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Nury Marchena

Artisan Organization: Nury Marchena

Country: Central America

"I'm Nury Marchena Grijalba from Costa Rica's Guanacaste province. When I was 14, I began working in ceramics and, by 16, I was able to shape the pottery myself.

"This is an art that's been handed down over generations. As a girl, I'd spend time in the workshops, observing how everything was done. It was exciting to see the many things that could be made, the different shapes and colors, and all with 100 percent natural materials.

"All this time, I have worked exclusively in ceramics. I'm mother and father to four children so I've had to divide my time between the workshop and the home so I could take care of them. Sadly, sales weren't very good in the town where we lived and many artisans lost many sales opportunities. But I thank God that, little by little, my community has been able to overcome these obstacles.

"One of my greatest dreams is to see my community making progress. I'd like the oldest artisans to teach this art to our young people. For us, ceramics are more than an art form — they are a family legacy we want to preserve.

"We want to have a tranquil life, a healthy life, a good life were we all support one another. I want to earn a steady income for my family. I am so grateful that God brings us new opportunities. I know that everything is achieved one step at a time but it's a blessing to meet people who appreciate this part of our culture.""