Patzcuaro is cool and all, but I have become terribly fascinated with the small towns that surround the area. Many of these towns specialize in a particular craft or skill that has been passed down through multiple generations. I’m talking skills that date all the way back to the pre-Hispanic time frame. Some of the towns are famous for their textile work, others for their basket weaving, but my favorite by far is Santa Clara de Cobre which is famous for their work with copper.

 

Copper in Santa Clara de Cobre
The work is so intricate and uses amazing technical skills. And yet most of this work is done by hand.

 

Copper Museum in Santa Clara de Cobre
One of us might have been slightly more impressed by the copper than the other.

For you passionate copper lovers (there’s got to be a couple people out there that fit that description) a visit to Santa Clara de Cobre is a must. It’s like a copper mecca here. There is an annual copper festival (Feria Nacional del Cobre) held in the town each August where the best of the best is shown off and is probably a good time to visit. While there, make sure to stop by the National Copper Museum. It’s free and you get to see some great copper pieces while reading about the history of copper mining and development in the area.

National Copper Museum
Crafty copper pioneers.
National Copper Museum
Important copper people. I think.
Copper
It’s absolutely unfathomable to me how this….
Copper pot
…becomes this. How on earth did ancient people even know to chisel away at that rock to get copper that can be manipulated and molded.

My understanding is that the majority of the town’s economic dependence is on the making and selling of copper. You can find copper everything here. Bathtubs, sinks, cabinets, chandeliers, door knockers, home decor and just about every kind of cooking device that you can imagine. And if I told you how much this stuff sold for here versus in the United States you’d hop on a plane or get in a car and head there right away because it was ridiculously inexpensive.

Copper Vases in Santa Clara de Cobre
The stuff is so pretty it almost makes me want to have a home to buy and put stuff in. Almost.
Copper Pots in Santa Clara de Cobre
I believe this set of skillets was selling for $400 pesos, that’s around $30 U.S. No, that’s not a typo.

Technology, schmecnology. What an absolute treat to see a prized skill and craft that is still done by hand, that people are still passionate about and that continues to be passed down through the generations.