I bet you didn’t know this…
Tecpán is the Christmas Tree capital of Guatemala! Yup.
Every weekend during the month of December Guatemalans, seeking to fill their homes with the scent of pine, drive along the Central American highway to one of four different “Pinavete Fincas” to pick up their tree!
We’re talking big, beautiful and expensive Christmas trees. Each tree sells for a minimum of $100!
Here’s something else you likely don’t know. Tecpán is located at 7000 feet and is full of beautiful pine forests that resemble many of British Columbia’s woods. Temperatures between December and February generally drop to about 6 degrees celsius at night. In the day they can rise to as high as 25C!
One Sunday, last December, after being in Guatemala City, I counted 65 SUVs driving back toward the city with a tree atop their vehicle (in just one hour)! That inspired us to reach out and find the business people that were running these enterprises in Tecpán. As is usually the way, it was Mynor of the “Tecpan Coffee Shop” (yes, his shop has an English name) who did the introduction. Salvador is the owner of the Chichavac Finca which sells the trees.
On Sunday, for the first time, we went and set up “shop”. We set up a beautiful table displaying the lovely Christmas baubles the mamas have been needle-felting since the end of June. Salvador had warned us that most Guatemalans don’t value handmade products like Canadians and Americans do, but we knew it was worth a shot. We didn’t sell out. We didn’t walk away with a huge wad of quetzales but we did have fun and we did learn alot.
It was a good opportunity for Clara, our mama in charge of the felties, to be out there in the “public” sharing her wares and talking about felting. We found out that tree sales were super busy the weekend prior. Weirdly, I had thought it would be the quieter weekend. I can’t really imagine how trees purchased so early, will last for four weeks. I guess people want to get their money’s worth out of their tree!
We will go again next weekend. We’ll try Saturday this time and see how sales go.