The (Canadian) Mississippi River near Galetta, Ontario, Canada.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Galetta, Ontario, Canada.

Where are they going next? Ecuador on October 13th.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

The copper production at Santa Clara del Cobre

Yesterday morning, we took 11 members of the group to the copper town... Santa Clara del Cobre. We ordered 3 taxis and it cost 200 pesos ($10.50 USD, $13.75 CAD) per cab for the 16 km (10 mile) journey.

They say that 80% of the inhabitants in and around the town of Santa Clara del Cobre are in some way involved in the production of copper items.

We walked from the central plaza to the Casa Felicitas Copper House.

Casa Felicitas on Calle Pino Suarez.

The entrance.

Unfortunately, you are not allowed to take photos of the finished products in the store. They are all original items and they don't want mass produced copies made so they try to limit the number of photos found on the internet.

You go through the store to the workshop area in the back. There, you find a copper workshop that looks like it hasn't changed in 200 years... and perhaps it hasn't!

The only noticeable difference is when they start the fire... the old manual bellows to make the fire hot have been replaced by an electric fan!

Starting the fire.

They go through lots of wood!

Our host Rafael was working on this piece when we arrived.

Rafael has been working here for 58 years. He started working for his father and his grandfather when he was 8 or 9 years old. He said his first job was operating the bellows for the fire. His 2 sons and 3 grandchildren are also in the copper business.

Rafael showing us a demonstration.

You even get to participate yourself if you choose. Here is a video of Ruth, with the big hammer! Turn up your volume...


Even I took a turn...

Kevin, doing some "polishing" with  finishing hammer.

It's an interesting demonstration and Rafael was very patient with our translating for the group. Unfortunately, we cannot show you photos of the finished pieces. You will have to go there for yourself!

Afterwards, we wandered around the town a little bit.

The street in front of Casa Felicitas.

The main plaza. Notice that the roof of the gazebo is made of copper.

An old building!

Garth needed a piece of mirror cut for his passenger side mirror on his motorhome, and Bob and I went in search of a glass shop. We found one... with the front door wide open... but nobody was around.

Inside the glass shop. 

We yelled, and banged on the counter, but nobody came. Eventually, I went into the shop next door and asked if they knew where the guy was. The girl said that if the doors were open, just wait and he would be back soon. Sure enough about five minutes later the guy came riding up on his bicycle! He cut us two pieces of mirror... cost 60 pesos ($3.15 USD, $4.25 CAD).

The church plaza.

And then we put some people in taxis, and we took the collectivo back to the RV park with a few others. 

Back at the RV Park, I took a couple of hours to give Sherman's roof a good wash. It hadn't been done for a while, and after being down on the coast it had lots of salt spray and grime on it. Much better now!

Today is a free day, and what do we normally do on a free day? Go for a hike, of course!

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Toshiba Fire Smart 32" TV... record low price!

And in Canada...



4 comments:

  1. Did anyone buy a finished piece of copper? Was it expensive?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, a few people ought some smaller pieces. Ruth bought some ear rings for 28 pesos ($2.00 CAD)! Some items were expensive, but I would say much cheaper than you would pay anywhere else in the world.

      Delete
  2. You look like naturals working that copper. Another income source to fund your travels? :cD

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Paul and Marti but it is far too much work for us, we wouldn't be able to handle the 12 hours a day!

      Delete

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