Profile: Aura Maria Diaz Leyva
Aura loves to create, especially when it comes to food. She is an expert at teaching how to make Nacatamles a typical Nicaragua food consisting of corn dough, potatoes, onions, garlic, tomatoes, rice, spices, and meat all placed in their specific order, wrapped in banana leaves and boiled for several hours. Her other specialty is soups of all kinds. They are always lively to eat, full of texture and color. She also likes to make a typical Nicaraguan drink called pinolio which is a mixture corn and coco bean which have been toasted and ground into a fine meal. To this mixture are added ground cinnamon, cloves, sugar, and water. After a long day of working in the fields or washing clothes this drink is a perfect refresher.
When not cooking Aura likes to go out to the fields to help her husband as well as to bring back ingredients for her next creation in the kitchen and the fire wood needed to cook it. She is also a very enthusiastic and committed member of the evangelical church where fellow weaver Trinidad is the pastor. She makes every effort to attend all of the celebrations, Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday with her daughter Eveling.
Aura has shown great skill in weaving. The very first rug she made she was able to sell for twenty dollars. She has great control over fabric that she uses and a complete understanding of who to use the loom. The edges of her rugs are always straight and she has quickly grasped the concept of combining like colors to make for a more and organized product. Aura wrote the following about her experience learning to weave and her goals for the future development of FABMRON:
¨I write to say that I am very thankful for the unconditional help that we have received from the women that have given aid. For we have obtained this machine to weave that for us has been and will be of much benefit for us socially and economically, proportionally in the improvement or well being in the family. Now our goal is to continue in our efforts and to continue forward giving maintenance to the women’s group and directive like organized women to maintain this great work, valuing all the work that Ivy has come developing in our community. Another goal is to everyday improve our knowledge, practicing making the rugs and to learn to weave bags that can also generate income. Allowing that our work has great value not only nationally but also internationally, because the photo that you sent us with the people that bought our rugs has made us feel more enthusiastic to continue improving and fine tuning the weavings. I say good bye thanking you¨