In which I nerd out on Mexican paper goods

20 Apr 2010


Warning! Extreme crafty geekism ahead.

So, on our first day in Cabo, Bridget and I headed into town. Neither of us had seen it before, and we wanted to just wander about. Oh - and score some awesome food.


The area around the marina, where the tourists land, is pretty developed and rather Americanized, so we headed inland, hoping we might stumble on a nice museum or park.

Well, we stumbled onto a little paper store.


It was unassuming at first glance, until we wandered past a wall of rather plain-looking shelves, stacked with what looked like sheets of white paper. Bridget idly slid one out to take a look, and we both gasped with nerdly glee.


What we'd found was a treasure trove of beautiful Mexican educational posters. Hundreds of them, covering history, arts, literature, nature, human development, commerce, and more. And all gorgeously illustrated in this way.

Collage materials, anyone?


I would love to know more about these. Does anyone have information? My Googling isn't turning anything up. The sheets have "D.R." printed on them, and there's a little logo, but no other information. The topic of the sheet is covered in Spanish text on the back.


I'm absolutely besotted with how the illustrations tell richly-layered stories. And the illustration style, which is detailed and colorful.


Here's a sheet about adolescence. I understand Spanish just enough to get the meaning of the captions.


I'm resisting the urge to photograph every single one I brought home, and make you look at them all. I have no idea how I'll ever use them - the perfect project will have to present itself.


Okay, two more things. I also scored these business-card sized pieces, which have text on the backs. The shop had these cards depicting modern and historical famous people, and animals, and plants.


Then these sheets are roughly index card size (3x5), and they describe various professions. I love that cloud-shaped die cut! And the illustrations are so charming.

If you want to see a little more of Cabo (because yes, I did photograph more than educational materials), you can peek at my Flickr set from the trip.

I still have some Mexico crafty awesome to show you, and a little bit from the cruise ship, but we'll come back to that in a couple days. Rumor has it there are giveaways coming up here soon....



I love me some geeky craftiness . . . Thanks again for being the awesomest crafty cruise roomie EVER!! I haven't even STARTED my cruise blogging yet . . . hee hee hee . . .

These illustrations are so gorgeous! I would have spent hours in the shop and loaded up too. I love finding wonderful local shops like this when traveling, especially off the main tourist path.

i was so busy oogling the adorable papers in google reader, than i didn't even notice the hooters until popping over to comment. ay! the cloud cut ones are my favorite!

Awesome! Thank you for the info!

A flickr set?! YAY!
These are great little bits of art to make a mosaicked journal cover with, or copy reduced and use as weaving material, or hat bands or reproduced on fabric for a sash or even fabric wallets or totes, the colors are amazing. I really love finds like these. Loteria are the bomb!
off to see your Flickr.

These images are fantastic! I really love the sardina and the cloud shaped ones too!

Thanks for sharing such cool papers! I am glad I wasn't there. I would've freaked out and bought the shop! ;-)

This is awesome information, Angie - thank you! Seems like a really
fun way to learn.

Maybe you should start up an Etsy shop and sell these to eager US
crafters. :-)

Aw, right back atcha, my dear. I enjoyed all the NERD TIME!! :-)

So glad we're getting this info . . . Clearly, we need to have some kind of Comos Craft-off!

They do seem really vintage-y! I would love to know when these things
were originally created.

Ohhhh, you totally scored! Those are so cool, I also love those profession based index cards, they have such a vintagy feel.

Me, Either! :-)

Wow! What luscious colours! I can't wait to see what you do with them.


So awesomely fantastic! Love the geek out - reading a geek out is just about as much fun as experiencing the geek out. LOVE! :)

Ooh, yes! I got a ginormous pack of those loteria cards for just a couple bucks. *rubs hands together and cackles*

Very, very cool! I have seen some use of lottery/bingo cards (my son has fun finding ones numbered with, ummm... particular birthdays/ages on them and decorating cards/gift bags)...but these are really fun!

Yaaaay! Thank you for the info, Linda. I'll definitely blog about any
project I manage to devise for them. They seem to precious to cut up
and use right now. Wish I knew of a place to get more online...

these are what they teach the children with in spanish speaking countries i live in panama, they are here too, you go into some of the stores and they have a big file of them if you figure out what to do with them please tell me cause i have quite a few my self already, i saw them and thought to myself i could do something with them, but not yet come up with anything to do with them

I totally love these! Faves: Dad in a green smoking jacket and cravat (ha!) and the waitress with a headband on. What is the profession on the middle left? Photography? Or International Playboy? :)

Heh - it's Photographer. I know - I love the depiction of the photo
subject - all international super-spy!

Oh my goodness. So gorgeous. I am incredibly jealous.
There used to be a store here in Toronto that sold materials like this, but certainly not as cheaply as this. I need to get back to Mexico!
I cannot wait to see what you do with these - I can enjoy them vicariously!

They are called "cromos". When students are studying a certain subject, the teacher askes for a "cromo". Example: "Mexican Independence. It will have pictures on the front and lots of information on the back. Teachers usually have students cut the images and past them in their notebooks with whatever notes the teacher gives tham.

They are super cheap! And there are soooo many (my friend has a "papelería"). If you want some more, of a certain subject, let me know and I'll send them to you....

And yes, thay have not changes much in the last 50 years!!! My husband still remember the clasical ones (Mexican Independence, Revolution, "servidores publicos"(policemen, teachers, doctors, etc.) Same images!!!

Ah. Monografías.

You could see this as "poor man's encyclopedia". You'd get an assignment on a subject, so you'd go to the store and get whatever monografías covered that subject. You'd then make your homework with it (usually recycling the pictures cutting them up and pasting them in).

Below I saw someone call them "cromos", but in my 15 years in Mexico I never heard them called that so it may be regional (that's how they'd be called in Spain, tho').

Thank you so much, Eduo! That's really helpful information.

oh, what FUN! And such a funky little "discovery" - i love the vintage color palette, esp on the food pics! Have fun - vicki

What a major score with those images you found!! I love the images, as the colour combinations are perfect in each little piece of paper. Good for you for finding this little gem of a store :)

I used to live in Mexico (18 years) , tese are educational material used to enhance the lessons learned @ school .

Thanks for the memories (I used them all though grade school and junior high)
Have FUN!