We met Walberto because he is the brother of Mincho, the guy who took care of our car at the time.
As Mincho had a business as a car mechanic, Walberto worked as a an independent construction artisan.
Brothers in a family of a dozen, we eventually met many more Alamanzas including their mother, Doña Magda. A true matriarch, Magda keeps track of her family AND everyone in town so we were soon invited to her home for a visit. For a visit and so she could get the down low about who we were and perhaps just what we could do for her.
As we wandered about her property, talking chickens largely, I saw this painting on the wall of one of her sheds. I loved it immediately and asked who did it. Walberto, when he was a boy. We had just started working with Walberto. He was doing simple things for us, like a concrete retaining wall and water drainage outlets. But I had noticed the special care he took with his work, as mundane as it was, and I had instantly thought to myself, “he works as an artist would.”
Since then Walberto has renovated our now beautiful kitchen and bathroom, built us a lovely tool shed, a beautiful guest cabin and most gloriously of all, a gracious composting commode where one can while away the hours gazing into the forest and watching the ocean wash against the shores.
Originally published May 19, 2014