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Yucatan’s iconic hammocks hanging in there

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A store in Tishkokob, near Merida, displays hammocks for sale. Photo: Getty
A store in Tishkokob, near Merida, displays hammocks for sale. Photo: Getty

Merida, Yucatan — Manufacturers and sellers of hammocks are in a struggle to stay in business, threatening the future of an iconic symbol of Yucatecan living.

Marco Antonio Salazar Rosado, whose firm Hamacas el Aguacate has been making and selling hammocks for 50 years, said he and  his peers are in danger of closing their doors. A lack of organization in the marketplace, among other factors, is attributed problems in to both exports and domestic sales, he asserted.

The hammock has used since ancient times in Yucatan to sleep or rest and has been used in different times, places, and it is made with different materials object.

According to retailer lasiesta.com, the origin of the hammock is traced to the native people of Central and South America. The first hammocks were made ​​with the bark of of the Hamack tree. Christopher Columbus is said to have first encountered the hammock in the Bahamas. Columbus took the hammock with him back to Europe, where it caught on with sailors, who enjoyed how the boats rocked them to sleep.

Yucatecan hammocks, made with nylon or cotton, became so popular 20 years ago, but, “things have changed,” Salazar Rosado lamented.

“Exports have come down and now hamaqueros rely heavily on sales in stores and on the amount of domestic and foreign visitors carry us to achieve our business,” he explained.

“We also face strong competition with the so-called recruiters, people who receive commissions for bringing tourists to buy from certain sites, most dedicated more to selling crafts that specializes in hammocks,” he acknowledged.

He said a single hammock “done well” has an average cost of $300 pesos, with more ornamental designs costing up to $600 pesos.

However, he continued, business such as Hamacas el Aguacate enforce the popular saying that “Yucatecan hammocks are the best in the world.”

But European tourists can return home and order hammocks from Denmark, saving on shipping costs. State and federal authorities should promote Yucatecan hamocks on the international market as superior and authentic.

Even so, “there will always be those willing to continue manufacturing hammocks, as it is part of the history of our state, what we are and we live every day, so I think there will Yucatecan hammocks for many more years more,” said Salazar Rosado.

“With the heat that almost always feel in Yucatan, it is always necessary to have a hammock.”

Source: Sipse

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