"We are teaching our own children and we dream of giving them a better life than we had. We take care to teach them to love our culture and to preserve our artisan traditions."
"We're Antonio and Macedonia Fuentes from a village in Oaxaca," Antonio says. "We come from a family of artisans who craft traditional alebrije sculptures. These fanciful and fantastical creatures are carved from copal tree branches and painted by hand, and are a uniquely Zapotec folk art.
"In my family, we are known as hardworking, perseverant people. When we first set up our own workshop, all we had was one small table where we displayed our work. We took it with us everywhere. Today, we have a real workshop, designed and built especially for tourists to visit where we proudly show our alebrijes. Many people have visited us there and they love our work.
"Over the years, there have been some difficult moments. In 2006, when Oaxaca was immersed in social conflicts, all us artisans suffered greatly. Tourism dropped off, no one was visiting our town and no one bought our work. Thank God, things are getting back to normal and we're so glad.
"Macedonia and I enjoy visiting fairs and craft shows to promote our work. We often meet other artisans there whom we know and even travel together while we talk about our lives and experiences.
"I inherited this woodcarving art from my parents and grandparents. From the time we were young, my brothers and sisters and I watched how they transformed pieces of wood into a variety of fantastical animals.
"We are teaching our own children and we dream of giving them a better life than we had. We take care to teach them to love our culture and to preserve our artisan traditions that are recognized around the world, and that are the source of income for all the families here.
"Our oldest son was born in 2003 and he's been interested in carving since he was a little boy. He helps us decorate our alebrijes. Jessica, born in 2006, has already inherited her mother's talent for painting delicate designs.
"We've had to practice every day to better our art. Discipline and innovation are what distinguishes our work. We use common tools such as machetes, knives, chisels, saws and paintbrushes along with our own style, diversity and creativity.
"Our greatest inspiration in our lives and in our art comes from nature, the family and our children.
"In our family workshop, we all work together to create our alebrijes. I do the carving, Macedonia paints them, and our older children help us by sanding the figurines. We really enjoy it and love what we do. We hope you'll share the excitement we feel during the creative process, and that you'll enjoy learning a bit about our culture and art."