The weekend at Arrazola was incredible! We stayed overnight with host families in that area and got a taste of what it is like to live higher up in the mountains. The nights and mornings were cooler than usual, and the sun was more intense because of the altitude. The day we got there, we met the host families for the night, who are also part of a community that makes Eco-Alebrijes, which are a more sustainable version of Alebrijes, a very popular wooden craft that originated in Arrazola. Later in the day we headed to do some community service, where we dug trenches around Copal trees (used to make Alebrijes) so they could sustain and absorb more water. We also painted the stems to avoid insects and pests climbing it and destroying the tree. It was a lot of hard work but it felt great doing it as a group and it felt good giving to the community and seeing the end-result of the work done.
After some great food we got crafty and painted our own Alebrijes! The host families gave us each an unpainted Alebrije which we worked on for about 3 hours! I couldn’t imagine painting larger ones and doing it every day. The detail of those the host families had already done were incredible and I got to really appreciate what they do every day.