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León – Jewelry

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León–Jewelry

The city of Leon is the 2nd largest in Nicaragua, full of rich history, Spanish culture, and architecture. During the revolution of the 80s, the Sandinistas took over the city streets with fighting to the point where Somoza bombed his city and the people. There was violent fighting from street to street until the Somoza government fell. The streets are still lined with many buildings with bullet holes, along with many churches, murals, and graffiti capturing national heroes and the rich nicaraguan history. In the main plaza stands the oldest Basílica Catedral de la Asunción, along with many street vendors selling their wares, children performing different acts and selling crafts to earn a few coins. This is where I first met Ramon where he was selling his bracelets! He is very proud of his city Leon where he was born, raised and even fought for. Over the years he has mastered his skills, and with pride, he passes his skills of making jewelry to the youth of Leon. Ramon with his friendly face is a beloved part of León!
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Ramon

Ramon grew up in the city of León during the Revolution of the 80’s. He joined the fight at the age of 16 and fought for three years. A combat injury left him with a limp and shrapnel in his hand. Like many enlisted soldiers after the conflict, Ramon returned without work and limited possibilities. He taught himself the art of jewelry making to support his family and give his daughter the education he never had.
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Jacqueline has a close friendship and business partnership with Ramon. She entrusts him with her safety to bring her to the Oriental Market—the largest market in Central America — unsafe for women and foreigners.

“I have worked with Señora Jacqueline OToole for 6 years which has helped me get ahead and I feel very good.  It is lovely to work with her and she is an excellent person.”Ramon Orijinario Garcia
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How It's Made

All designs are a mixture of rich Nicaraguan culture with a twist of contemporary style. Ramon's hand makes each piece using a cotton string covered in an all natural wax. He wraps the string around a nail on a board, then adds stones that are handpicked and tied into each design to make these intricate macramé bracelets.

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