With the help of Ternium products, the artisan could establish a family business.
In the manufacture of steel pots, the owner also has shaped new artisans and entrepreneurs. Now, they are the competition, but clients too, since he sells them the key product for them to be successful as he is.
In order to know more about the work and life of the protagonist of this steel story, we visited his workshop located on Olintepeque, the municipality of Quetzaltenango, Guatemala. Finding him is easy, even without an address, because his good reputation is known among the population and traders.
With such a demand, the manufacturer distributes steel pots in municipalities of other departments, where the clients have the certainty of his quality work and a guarantee since he uses Ternium smooth steel sheets. He uses that product because of the resistance and hygiene of the product, which is cold-rolled and galvanized-coated on both sides. Thanks to our technology and production processes, we apply a greater zinc coat, firm and uniform, to increase its life cycle.
Quality is vital in this context since a detachment of zinc could be harmful to people’s health. However, after 33 years of using this steel material, the interviewee discards such risk. He also guarantees that the product doesn’t get rusty or develops stains.
These pots are also called barrels when they are used in other activities such as soaking the laundry, transporting, heating, or depositing water. Also, they are essential for some production processes, specially handcrafted ones, for example: in the textile industry, they are used to wash certain materials and dye threads. The truth is, there is one of these containers in almost every home in the provinces and rural areas. Every user defines its purpose.
In the beginning, the artisan tried to work with tinplate, but he preferred Ternium products as the recipients, as their main characteristic, must resist high temperatures. He elaborates the containers in different sizes, with a capacity from 5 pounds up to a tonne by using different sheets, especially of 28 millimeters.
The artisan confessed that the smooth steel sheet of Ternium helped him make a living, initially as an artisan and, later, as a businessman. Nowadays, besides elaborating on those products, he distributes the raw material used for their creation, even though the main clients are former workers from his workshop and now represent the competition in this market. He also took the opportunity to sell hardware store materials but made it clear that the star is the smooth steel sheet of Ternium in different thicknesses.
During that process, the artisan also shapes his children’s productive future, as they actively collaborate in the workshop while developing other skills related to the profession and bringing new ideas. However, they will have their own in the future, he exclaimed excitedly off camera.
The contribution these tools bring to the gastronomy of the native towns in Guatemala is important and visible. We were able to see it down the streets in the Olintepeque Market, where a woman cooked and sold corn in a pot made with Ternium steel. The taste said it all.