Introducing Amate Paper Makers in San Pablito

Beatriz Santos Contera

Is a 34-year-old woman who lives with her husband and four children.  Beatriz is a woman who can adapt to any circumstance. She was married when she turned 15 years old and then learned to make amate paper which has been her family’s income ever since.

She loves sunny days because she loves to “shine” (work hard) on the days when her paper can dry.  For Beatriz a sunny day means a day of work all morning and afternoon as she makes paper. Beatriz is a very joyful, optimistic, responsible and hard-working woman.

María Guadalupe Casa Grande

Is a 35-year-old woman who lives with her husband and four children.

In the village where María lives many people work making a similar tule paper with designs, but this does not bother her because she feels that God provides for each family.  She has taught her kids to make paper because she wants her kids to go to school and have options for the future. She feels that papermaking is a way of making a future for them.

Sabina Hernández

Is a 45-year-old woman who lives with her husband and four children.  She has been making paper for over twenty years.

Sabina is a hard-working mother who believes in a better future for her kids and therefore teaches them new ways of making paper.  She is punctual and kind-hearted.

Her reason for working is her family.  Sabina shows us that making paper is a way of expressing oneself because even though she does not yet read or write her motive of pride and pleasure is her artisanal expression.

Belen Garcia Hernández

Is 25 years old, lives with her husband and her four-year-old son.

Belen learned to make amate paper in her parent’s house before she was married.  Five years ago she started adding her own designs in the amate paper.  She likes to look for new signs of life when she is walking and adds these designs to the paper.

She is hard-working, takes initiative, is responsible and completes her goals. For Belen amate paper is not just a way of helping her economy but a beautiful inheritance.

About the Village and People of San Pablito

Children in school in San Pablito

This paper is mostly sold to Nahua painters in Guerrero.  The paper is used both as a canvass and as unique art unto itself as the Otomi infuse the paper with different shades in process and use techniques of twisting and shaping it.  All this turns into something amazing to behold.

These villagers are extremely limited in how they can distribute the paper. As well, the villagers themselves are quite poor, and are seeking to improve their living conditions and lack of health education.

Cre8ive Supplies is pleased to be partnering with the Portage Alliance Church in bringing this product to Canadian artisans, to benefit the people and the village of San Pablito. Here is a video made by Chris Kehler that shows some brief shots of the village, and the extensive process of how they make the paper. We hope this gives you a good picture of the people, their culture and their product.