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Mexico polishes its silversmiths.

Calling all potential silversmiths: a unique Mexican school is offering a one-year program to train apprentices in the production of high-grade silver jewelry.

The school is the Centro Platero de Zacatecas, located in Mexico's historic mining region in the state of the same name. Established by leading Mexican silver companies in conjunction with the state and federal governments and funded by leading silver fabricators and miners of Mexico, the Centro seeks to revive activity in silver, create jobs, increase awareness of the beauty and value of Mexican silver products, and promote tourism in Zacatecas State.

For admission to the apprentice course, students, whose ages range from 14 to 45, must demonstrate artistic aptitude as well as an understanding of the principles of business and promotion. To prepare its graduates to earn a livelihood, the Centro drills its students in the principles of design, silver fabrication and other aspects of silver craftsmanship. Upon successful completion of the course, the graduates are furnished with the equipment, employment referrals and project contracts needed to launch them into business.

Now in its second year, the Centro Platero is housed in a majestic 300-year-old Spanish colonial building which has been remodelled to create spacious classrooms, laboratories, training rooms and workshops. Plans call for the establishment of some 200 silver workshops providing jobs for 1,000 silversmiths and apprentices on the six acres surrounding the Centro by the year 2000.
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Title Annotation:Americas: !Ojo!
Author:Goethals, Henry
Publication:Americas (English Edition)
Date:Nov 1, 1990
Previous Article:No chip off the old block.
Next Article:Uncovering Columbus' chambers.

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