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Michoacan in Mexico is known for being violent, with areas known as 'tierra caliente' (hot land) that are considered too dangerous to visit, with regular gun fights, kidnappings and land disputes.  However, to write off the whole state would be a mistake.  There are many beautiful, peaceful parts with hidden gems and local artisans who will open their houses to anyone curious enough to ask.  It might seem counterintuitive to follow a strange man into a building, as he locks the door behind you and leads you through a run down building.  But sometimes in life you have to trust people and that trust can lead you to back rooms hosting artisans, decades old weaving looms and some genuinely warm people who are more than keen to share the secrets of their trade.  Here are a selection of artisans who kindly invited me into their homes and studios to watch them at work.   

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