San Lucas Tolimán
Every day a couple vendors lingered at the entrance to our hotel Tolimán plying their blankets and beaded trinkets. This beaded lizard struck my eye immediately as the perfect gift for my great-grandson, Gabriel. Every morning as we left for our Habitat construction site I told one of them “viernes” and every morning it would be the same-“viernes.” Finally viernes (Friday) came and I had to make a decision.
He wanted $20 US and I held my offer to $15. He succumbed and took three $5 bills, running off to the tienda up the street. I think that he reported to the owner. As always in the bargain I wonder if I was generous enough or too generous. The craftsmanship appears very tedious and high quality
Of course, Gabriel was thrilled to receive the “beaded lizard” and we marked on the world map where Guatemala is. Always an opportunity for a spot of knowledge.
Researching the internet, the beaded lizard and other animals and birds and bracelets and necklaces are a craft of the local economy. Especially around Lake Atitlán, west of Antigua. One website has a similar beaded lizard priced at $125 stating: “This is our largest lizard; it takes 4 days to be made. Truly handmade to perfection, these are a piece of art that anyone can appreciate! There are only two women that are capable of making these to the quality that we require.”
Further research on Wikipedia and there is a Guatemalan beaded lizard! It is the rarest and most endangered species of beaded lizard and it is believed that fewer than 200 of these animals exist in the wild, making it one of the most endangered lizards in the world.