“Care for today, hope for tomorrow”

In the beginning of this summer we had two guests, Rodolfo and Becca, visit “The Original Salsa and Salsa tour,” in Mazatlan. Dancing Chef Maaike is quick to make friends and conversation. At the show she discovered that the couple had just moved to Mazatlan in order to develop a new location for their organization called Back2Back Ministries. Back2Back Ministries is a faith based organization who help needy orphans in different locations. They currently have missions in USA, India, Nigeria and Mexico. When the Dancing Chefs heard of this, we knew that Back2Back Ministries would be a perfect candidate for Salsa L.E.L.A.’s charity of the month.


Salsa L.E.L.A. picked Back2Back Ministries for the month of June, 2012. We managed to collect a total of $906.00 USD for this special cause. What was most exciting was that Dancing Chef Maaike, Dancing Chef Leonique and myself, Dancing Chef Melissa were able to present the check in person to Rodolfo and Becca. It was a meeting full of stories exchanged, and lots of laughter. In this meeting they also had the chance to explain how the money would be spent.

Back2Back Ministries’ location in Mazatlan is in the beginning process of development.  They need a lot of support at the moment.  At this time they are working with a ranch for disabled orphans called “Rancho de Los Ninos”. Unfortunately the ranch has had several break-ins. Safety is the top priority for the children and for this reason the biggest need is at the moment is building a perimeter wall to prevent any more break-ins. The money that Salsa Lela has donated will be assisting in making this happen!


Salsa Lela and the Dancing Chefs are ecstatic to be supporting such a wonderful cause like Back2Back Ministries. Salsa Lela gives a variety of different causes the opportunity to complete critical goals that need to be met. Pay it Forward!


Dancing Chef Melissa

Ancient Mexican sculpting

The “Corn Cane Paste” (Pasta de caña) technique was created by the Purepechas (indigenous people from Michoacan, Mexico) in the 18th and 19th century.


The Spaniards came to Michoacan to influence the inhabitants with their doctrines; like they did in many other places in Mexico. They tried to oblige the Purepechas make their Saints like they were used to do it back inEuropeusing mainly wood carving. The interesting thing about this ancient technique is that the sculpture looks almost the same but weighs ten times less than the traditional wood carving. In Mexico these solid wood sculptures are called “de Bulto”, because they are made of one big piece. They are used for the traditional fiestas and the walking processions.


When the Spaniards found out that the Purepecha sculptures had the quality that they needed but ten times lighter, the Spanish monks started to teach the Purepechas how to make Saints instead of letting them do their own pagan gods.


The process starts gluing together the corn canes; the natural glue is made out of Orchids bulbs and cactus salvia. This becomes the internal structure of the final piece. Then we grind the canes and the glue and we have a paste that we will use to cover those canes structure and make the final details like face, hands and other features.


The second stage is sanding the surface until we have a smooth texture and then we finalize with the polychrome and the gold leaf finish.

Nowadays not many people know how to make sculptures using this ancient technique from the Purepechas in Michoacan. It’s a unique way to make Saints……

Mexico has many different kinds of handcraft and I hope you will discover these wonders with me in my following blogs.


Dancing Chef Victoria

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