Loly María de los Santos

Jicara Figurines Artist Carver - Boruca Costa Rica

“One day someone gave me a jicara, and I saw something special, so I kept it. Many years passed before the inspiration came to me to create animals with it.”

Loly dries and boils the jicara fruit for hours to cure and clean it. Then she envisions her animal, carving the legs, head and tail in balsa wood. Her grandson works alongside her as a painter, adding the color.

Jicaras, also known as calabash, grow in trees around the village and have been historically decorated to make containers, water bottles or maracas. Now Loly has created a new art with them. Today she's focused on improving her workshop and finding better tools to make her fine work easier.