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Hidden within one of the many dusty La Paz neighborhoods is an excellent find that is worth knowing about.  Frank Hills, local resident, artist, and contributor to The Baja Citizen, has been kind enough to tell us of a wood craftsman named Bencho.
Bencho (Evencio Bustos Soto), the owner and craftsman of the woodworking shop, is 75 years old and has seen much over the years. His work reflects this experience.  Bencho’s shop produces woodcrafts made from local indigenous materials.  His crafts, cabinetry, and furniture stem from a time when materials were in short supply in the region.  To some extent Baja California Sur is still this way and often when you want something you need to know who can make the item.  Bencho is just your man for wooden crafts and cabinetry.  Some of Bencho’s creativity can be seen in his unique picture frames made of local cacti, often in combinations that create a very nice effect.
In fact, Frank Hills says, in describing the custom picture frames, Bencho can do the same quality work as I can, but for less money than I can make them myself.”  Frank further adds that Bencho gets the project done ahead of time and is willing to modify or make additions requested, often for free.
Bencho’s reputation is rock solid like his work.  He is honest as they come, does not haggle on prices, and offers a very affordable price at the start.  Bencho also employs the talent of young up-and-coming artists who are disciplined enough to learn the requirements to create works as good as his, of a quality any discerning person would want.
One of these talented helpers is Hugo Vizcarra, a 28-year-old, adept in woodcarving, etching, and painting.  Hugo is bilingual, friendly and can share the buyer’s goals with Bencho to create successful items.  Hugo is a skilled man who definitely will be an artist to watch for in years to come.
When one considers the solid character of Bencho, his unique creative style, and his courage to conquer about any woodworking task you desire, it is clear that you, the reader, should know about this great man who lives in La Paz.
Bencho’s work can be seen in his workshop by appointment or in the Artisanias stand on Alvaro Obregon (the malecon) between Rosales and Nicolas Bravo.  He can be contacted by phone at 612-160-5161 (cell).  Hugo, who speaks English, can be contacted at 612-131-8619 (cell).
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