We are grateful for the recognition we have received over the past 15 years.

Tecozautla's handicraft sector from a local perspective

Tecozautla, whose name comes from the Nahuatl language and means "place of the yellow stone", is a municipality located in the state of Hidalgo in Mexico, it is considered Pueblo Magico since 2015. This place is known for its rich cultural heritage, its architecture, its history and its hot springs. In addition to its natural beauty and peaceful atmosphere. Likewise, it stands out for its handicrafts, which reflect the creativity and talent of its inhabitants.

The site's handicrafts represent an essential part of its cultural identity: they symbolize magic and tradition in each piece made. This craft is distinctive of the community of Pañhe where the skill, talent and dedication of its craftsmen and craftswomen are highlighted, who elaborate pieces that besides being functional and aesthetic, reflect the skill of those who make them. Some examples of the pieces are: baskets, furniture, basketry and accessories that are created from natural fibers such as reeds (a kind of cane or wild plant that grows naturally in the region) and the cane (fiber that comes from the ahuehuete tree or known as sabino).

The artisans of this municipality have perfected their skills over the years leaving a legacy of this craft from generation to generation, it is also important to note that they have adapted to changes and have innovated without losing the essence and meaning of their crafts, this in order to have a better economic remuneration, expand their market and continue contributing to the creation of works of art (as they refer to their work); each piece they create tells a story where they convey the cultural richness and identity of the place.

Man of challenges and innovative vision

Don Vicente Trejo Moran, a proud inhabitant of Pañhe, is a passionate man determined to put his community on a high level through this trade; he has been a pioneer in the incorporation of ancestral techniques with contemporary styles, which has allowed him not only to preserve the culture of his people, but also to adapt it due to the need that arose, since as he mentions "it is not enough to sell two baskets to keep up with the times".

Vicente tells a story with each piece he creates; visitors can observe the detailed and handcrafted process involved in the elaboration of each one of them. On the other hand, the materials are collected from his own garden and when the demand is high, large quantities of material are needed so he acquires them through local suppliers.

Don Vicente is a man of challenges and with a great trajectory, reason why he has been awarded nationally and internationally. He has received around 30 awards in contests for his artistic designs. For example, on one occasion he represented the state of Hidalgo in collaboration with other artisans from Hidalgo, who created the nativity figures for the Aula Paolo VI located in the museum area of the Vatican in Rome, in addition to participating in the first edition of the "Ibero-American Textile and Basketry Award 2024", which will be held on October 29th of this year and at the moment his piece is on display at the Museo Culturas Populares in Mexico City.

Local and artisanal tourism as a factor in regenerative tourism

As part of the transition towards regenerative tourism, it is important to promote local tourism to support the community's economy, in addition to considering social and environmental aspects, where the artisanal sector can play a significant role.

Although the municipal presidency establishes agencies dedicated to this sector, the achievements of the artisans are not disseminated, thus there is still an area of opportunity in terms of support, both for artisans to make their work visible and to promote the consumption and appreciation of handicrafts.

It is important to create and implement strategies to provide the necessary tools to artisans so that they can continue to make their pieces, as well as to market them. It is also important to strengthen collaboration and support among them so that they can obtain better opportunities.

Additionally, tourism plays an important role in supporting this sector, which is why Tecozautla and other destinations can be promoted as places where visitors can come to purchase these pieces and thus strengthen this activity, and at the same time it is essential that tourists and the locality are aware of the value of craftsmanship. Likewise, it is essential to motivate the current generations to be interested in continuing and revitalizing the craft in an innovative way, as well as preserving this factor of identity in the people of Tecozautla.

*Student of the Bachelor's Degree in Cultural and Natural Tourism Management at the Universidad Autónoma de Querétaro, Campus Tequisquiapan.

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