Wednesday, February 11, 2009


The day I met Maribel Llachuas Armas was the day she passed away.

She was an artisan who worked with Bridge of Hope in artisan group Jupa. She was a mother and a wife. She was a daughter and a sister. She was 28 years old. I'll be honest, I didn't really know her or anything about her.

On Monday afternoon, she came to the office with new samples of cards that they made. They work in a style of embroidery called apillera. This involves many different colors of fabrics brought together to create a picture. They made one for St. Patrick's day (which is truly amazing), one for Easter and some for Valentine's Day as well. We talked about some other ideas for other holidays and birthdays as her daughter ran around the office. Then, the meeting was over and they left.

On Tuesday morning, we received a phone call telling us about her death. She had gone home, and was walking through her house when she fell over and hit her head. An autopsy told us she had a brain aneurism. The Bridge of Hope team went to her wake yesterday afternoon. We met her family. One by one we stepped up to her coffin and said a prayer. It was a white coffin with a bouquet of flowers on top. There were white carnations with a cross of dark pink roses in the center. The side of the casket where her head lay was not open, though there was a window so you could look in and see her face. When everyone was done, we said a prayer together.

One of the other members of the group told us that Maribel had been incredibly excited that we liked the card with the leprechaun. She was excited to start making more of them.

I ask for your prayers or your thoughts for this group. They are going to need a lot of strength and support to keep working together in memory of their friend.

Thanks for reading.

To read more about artisan group Jupa, visit the following site.

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