Senor Ernesto Aguilar a Master Huarachero.Posted: December 9, 2011
Senor Ernesto Aguilar knows how to make 40 different Huarache designs and tans his own leather. He makes rugged designs for the local laborers and custom made fine Huaraches for formal wear. He proudly remarks that unlike other Huaraches his are made to last, which is probably why the leather is visibly thicker. As with many fine Huaracheros he does not sell to retail and works from his workshop ‘Taller’ making bespoke Huaraches. For this reason I returned a few times to his workshop to see which styles he had waiting to be picked up.
Senor Aguilar’s pinnacle Huarache is the ‘Caracol’ Huarache which he can be seen making below.
The ‘Caracol’ has so many closely cut slits in the upper (corte) that the slightest increase in a slits length will cause it to cut into a nearby slit, thus ruining the upper and requiring the cutting/punching process to restart on a fresh piece of leather.
Each pair of ‘Caracol’ Huaraches takes up to 2 days to make and is lined so that the leather weave (correa) does not touch the foot.
Senor Aguillar also vegetable tans his own leathers, this is something he began doing many years ago as prices of leather began increasing. He is very passionate and knowledgeable about his craft and we spoke at length about the opportunity for him to teach his craft, from tanning the leather to constructing Huaraches to disadvantaged and poor communities in Africa for example. The thought of working in Africa also had him very excited because of all the Acacia bark he would have to tan leathers with.
Although Senor Aguilar makes the ‘Petatillo’ style Huarache, he developed a unique more open version for some of his customers that wanted a more open and breathable Huarache sandal.
Many of Senor Aguilar’s customers work in the field with livestock and crops, so for them he makes thicker versions of Huaraches like the ‘Petatillo para Trabajo’ Huaraches below.
These are also the work/field version of his ‘Flecha para Trabajo’ Huaraches.
Some ‘Cruzado para Trabajo’ Huaraches being soled.
The ‘Cruzado para Trabajo’.
The ‘Siete Vueltas para Trabajo’.
In his workshop ‘Taller’ Senor Aguilar also has a photo album with many more of his designs and a few of these photos can be seen on his web site (click on the link below):-
To contact Senor Aguilar, call or visit him at:-
Calle Luis Curiel 44,
San Agustin, Jalisco,
The town where Senor Aguilar works is called San Augustin and its on the outskirts of south Guadalajara, getting there is very easy. You can even catch a bus from the Central Vieja in Guadalajara to Jocotepec and ask the driver to drop you of in San Agustin, or get the 619 ‘Periferico’ bus from just outside the Central Nueva, or the Periferico Sur Tren Ligero Station all the way to San Agustin (the last stop before it turns back). Senor Aguilar works 2 blocks east of San Agustin Centro.