Long before joining Infinite, I have been heavily involved in outreach within the piercing community. Over the last decade, I’ve dedicated much of my time to the Association of Professional Piercers
(APP): acting as a member of both the membership and conference committee; teaching classes—in both English and Spanish—at numerous APP events; and serving as a member of the board of directors from 2008 to 2001. Outreach helps me give back to a community that has given me so much, so I didn’t hesitate when I was invited to teach classes at the the third annual Latin American Body Piercing Association (Asociación Latinoamericana de Body Piercing
(LBP) conference in Tlaxcala, Mexico. This year’s event took place from November 2 through November 6.
, the APP began organizing classes, in Spanish, in Mexico City. I started teaching classes in 2008
, while I was a member of the APP board. Since then, I have seen the seminars expand and develop in both the scope of classes being offered as well as the number of piercers attending. In 2012, at the end of that year’s APP event in Mexico, a small group of Latin American (predominantly Mexican) piercers decided to band together and become their own organization. A year later, the first conference was hosted
by the newly-formed LBP—and the event has continued to grow each year.
Early last month I once again made the trip to Mexico City to instruct classes and workshops at their third annual Congreso International de Perforadores Profesionales. What this event has become over the years is inspiring—and mind-blowing. When I first started helping out, seminars were held over three days in a small conference room in a hotel in the Zona Rosa in Mexico City. There were about 80 attendees, mainly from Mexico, with several from Costa Rica and a few from Argentina. This year there were close to 180 attendees from fourteen different countries—with only half of originating from Mexico. It was wonderful to see so many people coming together for a truly Latin American conference.
The conference has grown into a five-day event with an expanded course schedule—forcing attendees to be selective with what they want to take. This year it began with an amazing opening party: starting with a performance of traditional Mexican dance and ending with Aztec dancers performing a ceremony to celebrate the Día de los Muertos, the Mexican Day of the Dead. Other events throughout the week included daily yoga, a karaoke party, and a three-day jewelry exposition with fourteen different vendors, including Infinite favorites Quetzalli
(from Mexico City), and Maya Jewelry
and Industrial Strength
from the United States.
As in years past, this event culminated in a formal banquet dinner. This year I was surprised to be presented with an award from the LBP for my “entrega y conpromiso” (dedication and commitment) as an educator and mentor to the Latin American body piercing community. The award is named for LBP’s first member, Beto Madrigal, who passed away in 2013. Needless to say, it was an incredible honor.
I continue to do my best to stay involved and volunteer wherever I can within my industry and community, but I must admit that the most gratifying event I regularly attend is the annual LBP conference. The gratitude, love, and humility that are present at this conference compare to no other. I look forward to seeing the LBP organization and conference become even larger, and I’m dedicated to continuing to teach at future events.
Lastly, thanks to James
for letting me take the time away from the shop to do what I love!
- Eduardo Chavarria