The Rug Hook Project
Providing a livelihood for rural women is an integral part of Mujeres en Cambio.
Teaching Skills to Earn Income
In 1995 one of Mujeres en Cambio’s early projects included teaching embroidery classes in San Miguel to rural women. Many of these women had to travel a great distance from remote villages to attend classes, often forfeiting a day’s work in the fields or the income from selling their home-grown produce.
In 1996 it was suggested that hooked rugs might be a more lucrative and successful craft, classes in rug hooking began at DFF and the women that attended were from in Agustin Gonzales. This was the genesis of the Rug Hook Project / Las Rancheritas.
In the small village of Agustín González, located in the central Mexican highlands near San Miguel de Allende, the people are subsistence farmers who grow corn, beans and squash.
The 18 women, Las Rancheritas, spend what little free time they have hooking rugs. They are a cooperative that shares in the cost of making and selling their rugs. You will find them working late at night by kitchen tables after children are asleep or perhaps you will see them sitting under a tree in the hillside tending the cows and working on their rugs. Their subject matter is the life around them—the mountains, cactus, cows, horses, burros, flowers, a small house, a church, ducks, rabbits, chickens, roosters or fish.
The hooked rugs are made from 100% wool which has been donated from rug hookers in the USA. Each art piece is entirely unique as is the skill of rug hooking in Mexico.
The rugs come in various sizes although the average is 16″ x 16″ and each rug costs between $55 and $75 USD. The proceeds from selling these art pieces help pay for additional food, children’s schooling, doctor visits and other family needs. Many of the women are the sole supporters of their families.
These artistic hooked rugs are available at Mercado SANO on Saturday art shows in San Miguel de Allende, at their store in Agustín González and in the USA. This has been a hugely successful project and has its own website, Rug Hook Project.
Las Rancheritas have created the very popular Rancho Tour which provides an opportunity to visit a rural Mexican community. You can try your hand at using a metate to grind corn, learn about medicinal herbs, experience their ancient language Otomi, delight in the cuisine of these talented women and have the opportunity to view and or purchase their folk are hooked rugs.
Tours are by appointment. If you would like to schedule a tour email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The cost is 750 pesos and includes transportation from SMA and a traditional Mexican lunch plus the tour.