Folklore is to Santa Cruz what ethnic ceramics are to Guaitil. The pretty, quiet village is located 12 kilometers east of Santa Cruz. Chorotega Indian women produce their red, black and ocher colored ceramics, just as they have done for many generations. Nowadays, though, the women are part of an art cooperative and support their families with the money they earn.

A stroll through Guaitil reveals many woman sitting in front of their houses making pottery. They form the graceful vases, bowls, pots, cups and mugs from clay, which they obtain close to the village. The style and shape of the pots is pre-Columbian, and the artists only use colors made from natural pigments found in the area, resulting in exquisite pieces that make wonderful souvenirs.

Most of the ceramics are sold in San Vicente, a town just two kilometers from Guaitil. The decorative pots also add a touch of local color to the region’s hotel lobbies, inns and restaurants, where they are also often sold. Unlike the bazaars in some eastern countries where it is customary to bargain, haggling over price in Guaitil brings little reward.

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