More than 15 years ago, someone thought that setting up a Blown glass company in Oaxaca was a perfect complement for a region where the mezcal sector was burgeoning. The idea rounded up when the possibility of recycling glass bottles from the hotel and restaurants sector was included. Not only was it an added value, but also an environmentally friendly action. As the company got launched and the reality came in, they noticed that the main challenge would be related to production costs: keeping an oven working 24/7 at 1350ºC. (2362ºF!) requires an enormous amount of energy. Gas is expensive in Oaxaca! Was there any solution around or would the company have to shut down?
The solution came again through networks and linkages: most restaurants were throwing away their used oil, so the solution was to recover it and turn it into fuel. The company started a weekly system of oil collection and hope regained its place. Nowadays, not only huge savings are made in energy, but the most important thing is that a culture of networking, recycling and reuse has been established for this small cluster.
Today, Xaquixe –that is the name of the company– exports not only to several places in the world, but has, also, a new venture: PPX, which specializes in technological innovation to create clean energies. They have been awarded various international prizes (Christian Thornton, one of the co-founders, is an Ashoka fellow) and received funding from the Mexican National Council on Science and Technology (CONACYT), among others.
In the factory, Diego will explain us –and we will be able to see it with our own eyes– the production processes of blown glass (Mon-Sat during the morning), then will make us visit their gallery and receive information about PPX. We will have enough time for a Q&A session. If you are interested in acquiring a piece of art or a set of glasses, cups, etc., the store will be open for you!
During this visit we will also pay a visit to the San Agustin Center of Arts, an old cotton factory dating from the late XIX century which is currently used as a space for training and creation of different artistic projects. If we are lucky enough and there is some exhibit, we will roam the place in the quest for inspiration. In the event that there is not such an exhibit, you will have time to to picture its architecture and gardens. Many surprises and details await you.
Length of visit: 5 hours.
- Lunch at a local restaurant (2:00 hrs)
- Legends of Xochimilco [UNIDAM] (2:00 hrs)
- Legends of Jalatlaco” [UNIDAM] (2:00 hrs)