Disasters & Accidents

Mexican artisans turn volcanic ash into souvenirs

Puebla, Mexico, May 26 (EFE).- Enterprising artisans in the central Mexican state of Puebla are filling little glass bottles with ash from Popocatepetl volcano and selling them as mementos.

Known affectionately to neighbors as “Don Goyo,” Popocatepetl has been especially active lately and ash has been accumulating in Atlixco, Puebla, the closest city to the volcano.

What began as a joke among Silvia Juarez, owner of La Pasadita craft shop, and her family about bottling the ash for sale as souvenirs has been transformed into a new line of business.

Juarez told EFE Friday that she asked her staff to come up with ways “to make the product more attractive” for visitors who might want a souvenir of their sojourn in Atlixco, one of the Mexican tourism department’s “Pueblos Magicos” (Magic Towns).

Silvia and her team began sweeping the roofs and doorsteps of their homes and La Pasadita, and even the surrounding streets, to gather ash for bottling.

After sifting the ash to remove rocks and other residue, they pour it into bottles 3.5 cm (1.37 in) tall that are offered for sale at prices ranging from 20 to 35 pesos (1 to 1.85 euros).

Coming on the heels of the Covid-19 pandemic, the recent spate of activity from Popocatepetl, located 70 km (43 mi) southeast of Mexico City, has had a negative impact on small businesses in the areas of Puebla, Morelos, and Mexico states that lie in the shadow of the 5,393 m (17,694 ft) volcano.

EFE ggg/dr

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