We are lovers and loyal exponentials of our culture and Mexican heritage. We offer an exquisite potpourri of culture and life in Mexico that you can enjoy during your stay. Through said events, we preserve the uses and customs of our ancestors and at the same time we publicize the rest of the community.Within our priorities is developing cultural programs, such as community service, contributing with a grain of sand while at the same time maintain our roots, even though we are miles away from our homeland. It is our way of giving thanks and involving ourselves in the development of our city.
Martin Gonzalez, owner of La Milpa, has many interests, amongst them is the precolombine art of the ephedra torreyana, or popotillo. The popotillo is an art that consists of producing works with straws of color brought from Mexico.
The story of the Popotillo art is interesting. Generally, art straw dates back to the Han Dynasty in China. In Mexico, however, it is believed that this type of art originated with the Aztecs, who used decorative feathers to adorn their shields, before restoring to an early form of Popotillo when the particular birds that they used became extinct. During the mid-twentieth century Popotillo art became very popular in Mexico, and even today you can find workshops that offer instruction and sales in several places in the Western world.
Popotillo artisans build a mosaic from millet straw color individually pressing down on beeswax (known as Cera de Campeche) that has been applied to a board of some sort. The principal component of this beeswax, or Cera de Campeche, is the myricylpalmitate ester, which is used to build the combs. It is important to note that, during the creation of the masterpiece, the temperature of the wax must remain in between 62 and 65 degrees Celsius, to ensure that the board is easily covered.
The technique used to dye the straw used in Popotillo is also unique. The artisans must first obtain the straw from the vendors, which have collected them from the plains. The straw should be given an acid bath after having been cleaned, in order to improve the quality and vitality of the color and dye once applied. Popoteros, or artisans, dye a great amount of straw for their project using vegetables or aniline dyes.