“They can fly backwards. Pugnacious”
-Peterson Field Guide to Western Birds
With spider silk and scavenged butterfly cocoons, Broad-tailed hummingbirds build their nests in the same spot each spring– usually a slender limb reaching out, just so, suspended over a mountain stream somewhere in Crestone, Colorado, and other riparian thickets in the mountains of the southwest.
Whether hummingbird or human, “hometown” is a birthright. The local Crestone hummingbirds are Colorado residents, born and raised. But when the frost hits in September, they head to their other home– Tz'unun 'Ya (place of “hummingbirds and water” to the local Tz'utujil Maya people), and other choice spots in Guatemala and Mexico.
Hummingbirds come and go with the winds, but the conquistadors left a mark, significant and irreversible, on the towns of Guatemala. Today, the town of Tz'unun 'Ya is called San Pedro by most, in honor of a Catholic saint. But the Tz'utujil Maya never fled the town. Tz'unun 'Ya still exists, in word, and in action. Flyby tourists find hummingbirds everywhere, both in real life, and especially in the art and landmarks about town. There is even a local hummingbird festival each year held on the shores of Lago Atitlan.
Both Colorado and Guatemala might try to claim the Broad-tailed hummingbird as their own. Overlooked is the 2,200 mile journey, made twice each year, across an eleven year lifespan. Surely these birds feel at home on the road? After all, a hummingbird flaps its wings at a rate of 4,000 beats per minute, whether hovering or crossing continents.
Hummingbirds have a tremendous memory for the location and timing of flowers and feeders along their migration route according to research from biologist Susan Healy of the University of Edinburgh. They can remember where a food source is, when it is available, and return to it year after year. Like a hobo with a map, hummingbirds have a great memory for sweet spots.
We like to journey and find sweet spots along the way too. A few years back, our then younger family hopped a bargain flight from Colorado to Guatemala, and then back again, and again. On the road to experience, we started finding the coolest stuff– especially handmade beaded hummingbirds and other artisanal goods. Friends wanted some, then friends of friends, and eventually a friend of a friend’s store asked for an order. That’s when our import business was born– Voyperdido.co.
We import direct, ser humano a ser humano, from Sololá, Guatemala to Crestone, Colorado. We specialize in handmade beaded hummingbirds, reusable tote bags, textiles and novelties from the Lago Atitlan region. We sell online and direct wholesale. Seldom pugnacious, we don’t fly backwards, but we go the extra mile for our friends.