Monthly Archives: July 2010

If we could shrink the earth’s population….

If we could shrink the earth’s population to a village of precisely 100 people, with all the existing human ratios remaining the same, it would look something like the following. There would be:

57 Asians
21 Europeans
14 from the Western Hemisphere, both north and south
8 would be Africans

52 would be female
48 would be male

70 would be non-white
30 would be white

70 would be non-Christian
30 would be Christian

89 would be heterosexual
11 would be homosexual

6 people would possess 59% of the entire world’s wealth
All 6 would be from the United States.

80 would live in substandard housing
70 would be unable to read
50 would suffer from malnutrition
(ONE)1 would be near death;
(ONE)1 would be near birth;
(ONE)1 (yes, only 1) would have a college education;
(ONE)1 (yes, only 1) would own a computer.

When one considers our world from such a compressed perspective, the need for acceptance, understanding and education becomes glaringly apparent.

And, therefore . . .

If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.

If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.

If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture, or death, you are more blessed than three billion people in the world.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.

If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful, you are blessed because the majority can, but most do not.

If you can read this message, you are more blessed than over two billion people in the world who cannot read at all. As you read this and are reminded how life is in the rest of the world, remember just how blessed you really are!

………………….figures found on the internet.

Casita Azul Folk Art & Huichol Art


Custer Street Festival 2010 in Evanston was better than ever. We were very lucky to have Huichol Yarn Artist Cilau Valadez here to show his art. His mother Susana accompanied him and was on hand to answer questions about the foundation she established in order to help the Huicholes preserve their culture and traditions.

While we, Linc & Jill split our year beteen living in Evanston, IL.  and San Pancho, Mexico, Cilau and Susana live part time in Sayulita, Nayarit, Mex. (neighbor to San Pancho) and Huejuquilla, Jalisco, Mexico. Huejuquilla is where the foundation and center is located and in Sayulita they have the Galeria Tanana  where they sell the beautiful art & stunning beaded jewelry of the Huichol Indians. Named after the Huichol Goddess of Life, Galeria Tanana specializes in unique Huichol art and high fashion designer jewelry The store was opened in order to raise funds for the non-profit project, the Huichol Center for Cultural Survival and Traditional Arts. The museum quality art and beaded jewelry promotes the rescue, conservation and documentation of this endangered tribe, which includes a school for Huichol children where they learn to value their cultural heritage and language.    

This  indigenous culture is deeply rooted in pre-Columbian spirituality,  healing arts and mysticism.  The goal of the Huichol Center is to create enduring lifelines between Huichol traditions and the future – lifelines that allow traditional wisdom to thrive in the 21st century by empowering the people who carry its spirit and substance. Protecting the ancient heritage is accomplished at the Huichol Center school that teaches the children to value their culture and to read and write in their native language.  Economic self-sufficiency is promoted by enhancing the skills of Huichol artists in the creation and marketing of their artwork.  Health and nutrition projects include organic gardening courses and a soy dairy.  Archival preservation is accomplished though the teaching of advanced computer skills where students make use of an extensive data base of Huichol art and culture.    

Planeta Indigena is a new indigenous awareness center which was recentlyopened in conjunction with Galeria Tanana’s new location in Sayulita.  The main focus of Planeta Indigena is to promote awareness of local and international indigenous cultures through art exhibitions, lectures, workshops, classes and international symposiums, video conferencing with schools that will provide a rich exchange of cross-cultural information.    

Also located in Sayulita under the umbrela that Susana has established is,    “MUMAS” – Manos Unidas de Mujeres de las Americas (United Hands of Women of the Americas). MUMAs offers information exchange via: networking, workshops, discussion groups, spiritual events, yoga, lectures, book-signings, craft sales events, artists events, fashion expos and much more among international, local and Huichol women.


And in San Pancho

Ceviche is  a combination of fresh fish/seafood, which is marinated in the citrus juice of limes. The acid in the limes “cooks” the fish. Now cooking you say invloves heat so how can lime itself “cook” the fish? Well, heat as well as citric acid are agents of a chemical process called denaturation. In marinating the fish in the lime juice the citric acids actually alters the proteins in the fish. This denaturation acts to turn the flesh firm and opaque, rendering the fish to be the same as if it had actually been cooked with heat. A variety of vegetables and spices are added as well. In Mexico, common ingredients in addition to the fish and lime include cilantro, celery, hot peppers, onions, corn and sweet potatoes.

Along this same lines, one of my favorite dishes to serve is Minilla, a fish hash. My favorite recipe for this dish is from cookbook author Zarela Martinez. It’s a hit whether served as a salad or a filling for fish tacos.


Meanwhile back at the shop in Evanston

Our “Wine on Wednesday” focusing on the pottery of the Purepecha Indigenous people of Mexico was a blast! We saw many faces we haven’t seen in quite some time. The shop being so small we at first weren’t able to bring in all of the pieces of pottery we brought back but after selling a number of beautiful pieces we were able to bring the rest in and fit them into the window display. Drive by, you can see them even if we’re closed. They’re featured in the window with our friendly wool critters from Chiapas who are sure to make you smile.