Lakeside Guide to Lake Chapala, Ajijic, Mexico

Elena de Jesús Hernández

At a Glance

Handmade textiles & jewelry by a Triqui woman from San Juan Copala, Oaxaca.

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If you’ve been to the Ajijic plaza, you’ve almost certainly passed by weaver Elena de Jesús Hernández, who sets up shop in the northeast corner of the plaza seven days a week.

Elena makes a variety of items, including bracelets, necklaces, key chains, and earrings. But what grabs your attention the most must be the traditionally-woven dresses, ponchos, and blankets.

On some days you can catch her as she weaves with her telar de cintura. Don’t hesitate to approach and observe — she’s very proud of her work, and rightly so. Her designs are intricate, her technique by now intuitive, and as her hands and fingers work expertly you begin to appreciate a lifetime of dedication to her craft.

It takes her about two months to finish a piece like the one she’s shown making with her waist loom in the pictures below. Her prices are ridiculously low considering the energy, detail, and love she puts into her work: sometimes eight months or more to complete a single dress.

Elena, who came to Ajijic 30 years ago from San Juan Copala, Oaxaca, began weaving at age eight after learning from her mother and her grandmother. She is a member of the Triqui indigenous group, which resides in the northeast part of the State of Oaxaca.

Last updated August 6, 2019

Dane Strom

Dane Strom The Lakeside Guide

I moved to Ajijic in 2010 when I decided to quit my job of seven years as an editorial assistant at The Denver Post in Colorado. I'm the photographer, web designer, programmer, marketer, writer... the everything behind this website, The Lakeside Guide. All of the businesses on this website appear here for free at no cost to them. If you find this site useful, please consider giving a small donation to become a site patron. Learn more about The Lakeside Guide or check out my other website about photography of Mexico.

Street View

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Central Plaza

Ajijic

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Photos of Elena de Jesús Hernández

Elena working at her handloom.

Elena working at her telar de cintura waistloom.

Using the shuttle to weave the next row in the material.

Using the shuttle to weave the next row in the material.

Working away.

Working away.

Delicately weaving the colorful threads into the cloth.

Delicately weaving the colorful threads into the cloth.

Detail of her work.

Detail of her work.

Embroidered work done on a piece of waist-loomed tela (cloth).

A tela (cloth) that Elena made with her waist loom.

Bracelets with some traditional Triqui designs (such as the square pattern), as well as the colors of Mexico.

Bracelets with some traditional Triqui designs (such as the square pattern), as well as the colors of Mexico.

A Saltillo serape.

A Saltillo serape. Elena doesn't make these herself, but buys them for resale.

Bolsas (bags).

Bolsas: bags.

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Serapes and blouses.

Serapes and blouses.

Embroidered cotton manta blouses.

Embroidered cotton manta blouses.

Tightly embroidered traditional designs from San Juan Copala, Oaxaca.

Tightly embroidered traditional designs from San Juan Copala, Oaxaca.

Detail of an embroidered dress.

Detail of an embroidered dress.

An embroidered dress. Some items take Elena months to complete.

An embroidered dress. Some items take Elena months to complete.

An embroidered dress.

An embroidered dress.

Fine Art Photography of Lake Chapala

Kids pose as marionettes on a moving float during the New Year's Day parade in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico.

The Puppetmaster Adjusts His Sombrero

Kids pretend to be living marionettes while riding on a moving float during the New Year’s Day parade in Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico.

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Purchase This Fine Art Print
Earrings made from seed pods and beans.

Earrings made from seed pods and beans.

Earrings made from seed pods and beans.

Earrings made from seed pods and beans.

Necklaces made from seed pods and beans.

Necklaces made from seed pods and beans.

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