Who is Jose Gregorio? New Project Coming Soon!

Who is Jose Gregorio? New Project Coming Soon!

I'm launching an online store in a few weeks that will have Jose Gregorio statuettes, crystals and more cool ish for the home.
Be the first to find out once it's live and get a 10% discount (and other freebies!) if you sign up to our first e-mail list - keep scrolling to see where. 
More info coming soon <3

A dark silhouette of a man with a hat with hands clasped behind his back is instantly recognized by any Venezuelan as Jose Gregorio. 

Jose Gregorio Hernandez to many Venezuelans is a saint - although to the Catholic church, the jury's still out on that one. He was a doctor who treated the poor without charge and was beloved by all.

 NY Times: As Catholic Church Seeks Proof, Venezuela Sees a Saint.

He died in 1919, run over by what they say, was the only car in Caracas.  

Caracas ran out of flowers the day of his funeral - the entire city went to pay their respects.

Jose Gregorio Statuettes, $32.00/ea  (about 8 inches tall) handmade by me, belen@belenestacio.com

Jose Gregorio Statuettes, $32.00/ea  (about 8 inches tall) handmade by me, belen@belenestacio.com

I love him, along with my black statuette of him. Not because of any religious or spiritual beliefs but because he reminds me of home. 

I bought the small figure on a trip to Caracas in 2015 - I hadn't been home in many years. I hadn't seen my cousins, aunts, or the house my parents raised us in. I was inundated with smells and phrases that I had forgotten but at the same time felt so familiar. It was a happy but tough trip.

Why? Because Venezuela is in really bad shape - it's even worse now but in 2015, it was still shocking. Very violent. Food and medicine shortages. A lot of poverty. Filthy streets.

To add to the strain, my visit was due to the fact that I had just quit my job in Miami on a whim and had no idea what I would do - a la millennial. I went to Caracas to spend time with my dad and get my sh*t together. 

My aunt took me to this beautiful store in a warehouse in Caracas on my last day there where they had tons of figurines of our culture. In neon and black they had several Virgin Marys and Saints. I had also forgotten about these. I picked out the black Jose Gregorio statuette and took it in my hands on the plane.  

If you want to learn about more cool Venezuelan things, read this post

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