Day five (cinco) begins with a two hour road trip to the city of Valladolid! First stop is the Huaracheria where we got to see the production of traditional Mexican sandals, known as huaraches.
From there we went backwards down the production line to visit the tannery. We saw a pretty gnarly room that was meant for salting hides that would be a perfect setting for a horror movie; alas the process is no longer allowed within city limits so it lays empty, except for the stains of salt and flesh. Ewwww. The process that we saw today was more the end process of tanning, with all the pretty hides drying in the heat of the midday sun.
The giant drum for dying was a monster! It holds 1000 kilos of dyeing hides and they spend up to a week in its wooden belly. We were most in awe of the giant wringer used to squeeze the liquids from the just-dyed hides. It’s one of those machines where you worry for the fingers of the operator, but he had all his fingers! The whole place was very impressive.
Next up we headed to the shop of the Huaracheria to buy shoes for the orphans of the Emmanuel Orphanage (we had traced their feet earlier, we’re so sneaky!). It’s been fun to see the complete process from tail to sale.
After that we used our one free afternoon to hit the town and do some much anticipated shopping! You can expect your holiday gifts to be Mexican in one way or another. Just sayin…