Monday, July 20, 2009

The 48th Artisans Festival of Barranquitas

Unlike many other Latin American countries, Puerto Rico is not known to have large open-air markets, like those you would see in Chichicastenango, Guatemala. Nowadays, Puerto Ricans prefer the large American-style malls, like Plaza Las Americas. Yesterday was certainly an exception. We headed to Barranquitas for the 48th Artisans Festival, or the 48va Feria Nacional de Artesanía de Barranquitas. There were many people browsing through the different kiosks, drinking beer, and eating. There was also a salsa band playing. The atmosphere was great! The festival began last Friday and ends today, Monday. During my previous trip to Barranquitas, the plaza was desolate.

The only other event which I've attended in Puerto Rico, where I found even more artisan work, was the San Sebastian Festival, which is held every January. Artisans in Puerto Rico actually have to register themselves with the Instituto de Cultura Puertoriqueña (the Puerto Rican Institute of Culture), and they'll usually display their registration at their kiosk. Unfortunately, visitors to the island will not normally find a lot of local hand-made artifacts in the most popular tourist areas, such as Old San Juan. The island's biggest shopping mall, Plaza Las Americas, is often the gathering place for most artisans to display their work.

No comments: