Hojancha’s Trash Is Angelica’s Art

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Materials that are garbage and clutter for many are opportunities to create something new for Angelica Rodriguez, something that is useful for her home and that is also a piece of art.

Rodriguez, 28 years old, was born in San Jose, but she has lived in Atenas, San Ramon and Abangares and currently resides in Hojancha.

People who visit her house are invited to take a seat, but the funny thing is that while guests rest comfortably on the armchair and sofa, they do not realize that the furniture is made from barrels covered in cardboard with cushions covered in fabric.

Inside the house, there are unique items all over the place: vases made with milk cartons and paper, flowers designed from tuna and sardine cans, pet houses made from cardboard, paper and a wooden base, lamps with a base of plastic cups, figures of animals from plastic and wood, birds from vehicle tires and everything you can imagine.

“I remember in school the teacher told us to use everything we had on hand because we were a very poor community (Los Guido de Desamparados) and always told us to look for wires, newspapers, wood and from there, I started to use my imagination,” Rodríguez said.

Thanks to her inventions, Rodriguez is well known in the places where she has spent time. In San Ramon and Cobano, people commissioned her to make a some furniture sets, which she designed from car tires with confidence. She was also commissioned to make vases, costume jewelry, ornaments, decorations, wallets and more.

For activities like birthdays and other festivities, neighbors always go to her because she has a way of setting up any scene without spending much money. Buying piñatas, ornaments, decorations and other such items never crosses her mind since she prefers homemade ones.

According to her mother, Xinia Mora, her talent with her hands is a skill that Rodriguez has developed since she was a girl, and she always surprises her with something new.

“Since she was very little, she has demonstrated this creativity with drawings that she made in a notebook. I even remember that people from other countries would give her pencils to make paintings. She has never studied crafts. It is a talent that she has had since she was little,” Mora said.

Rodriguez studied until the ninth year of high school, and even though she looked for courses on the types of crafts she does at INA (National Learning Institute), they let her know that what she does is very different from what is taught.

Currently, she does her work in her father’s carpentry workshop, in the midst of machines and tools, she takes advantage of everything she finds. Her children and nephews and nieces learn with her and help her.

Rodriguez has been invited to impart craft workshops at the nursing home, at elementary and high schools and to women’s groups from Hojancha. Her dream is to have her own workshop and to be able to share her knowledge with all of the people in the community, schools and organized groups that have an entrepreneurial spirit.

“My purpose is to teach that not everything is solved by buying something in the store or at the market, but rather to raise awareness of reusing things. My idea is to share my knowledge and, if possible, to create my own workshop with women entrepreneurs. I like to share and I get more excited when someone calls me to provide them with a training workshop than when someone buys some items from me,” Rodriguez said.

Couches, vases, tables and ornaments are some of the objects that Rodriguez creates from garbage, which adorn her living room.

To place orders or requests workshops, she can be contacted by phone at 6197-5762 or 8457-6058.