Mendivil´s Heritage, Carrying the Charge to Make San Blas a Branch of Heaven

The Christ Child, Angels, Virgins, and Wise Men, all with long necks, were for Julio, Felicia, Agripina, Francisco, Juana, and Sergio Mendívil a part of their childhood and remain their present.

Francisco received me in the family workshop and store, since his sister Juana could not make the appointment.  He says that he was the closest to their father, Hilario. He would cover for him while he lived his Bohemian life.  In addition, like his brothers and sisters,  he learned from his father to be an artisan and carries out the charge of art since he was a little child.

A Long Necked Mendívil (Photo Wayra)
A Long Necked Mendívil (Photo Wayra)

Just like his father, Francisco continues to be an important personage in San Blas, now  with his wife Martha, who he met when they were both eighteen years old. Together they sustain the store and mueum in the heart of the artistic neighborhood of San Blas.

Thousands of workshops have appeared over the years within the field of art.  Even with the help of friends, many people have had to close their workshops because of the lack of time to tend them properly.

While continuing with the traditions of image making, they now add to them innovations, such as carving religious images in wood, to then cover them with silver.

With absolute humility, Francisco tells that his mother, Georgina, gave Pope John Paul II an image of the Virgin of the Dulce Espera.  He also says that the great writer José María Arguedas was his oldest brother’s godfather and that the great poet Pablo Neruda visited their home through the offices of Cuzco’s poet, Luis Nieto Miranda.

A Mendívil Madonna (Photo: Wayra)
A Mendívil Madonna (Photo: Wayra)

Queen Sophia of Spain also visited with Juana to buy an image, since years earlier a cultural attache had made her the gift of one which she cherished.  He named every one of those celebrated personages just the same as if they had been one of his siblings, nephews, and nieces who continue with the artistic calling.

Francisco has gone beyond his father. Without forgetting the culture of effort and hard work that is traditional in his family, he has opened stores in Europe so that the Mendivil heritage of art could be known in places like Portugal, Spain, Italy, Switzerland and France.

Nevertheless, his home continues to be what and where it always has been, a workshop and grand store. Though dark, the store is always illuminated by colorful angelic faces of all the images . As a result, number 634 of the Plazoleta de San Blas will always be a part of heaven.

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