Mercado de Paz

The Esperanza Center’s annual Mercado de Paz/Peace Market was the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving, as it is each year. It’s my favorite holiday sales event – here’s how it’s described (see some photos of the sellers’ wares at the end of the post):

“As an alternative to crowded malls filled with crazed consumers and mass-produced goods, the Esperanza’s Peace Market features unique, handmade gifts and artesania centered around themes of peace, social justice, cultural diversity, and ecological concerns.

Shoppers can wield their economic power by spending their time and money supporting individuals and groups that are fighting for a better world. A diverse array of gifts are offered each year from artists like: Oscar Alvarado, mosaic-tile artist and found-object furniture designer; Veronica Castillo, internationally-renowned ceramic artist from Izucar de Matamoros, Mexico; Martha Prentiss, silversmith and owner of Prentiss Jewelry; Barrio Beat/Alma de la Raza, a company that seeks to carry on Chicana/o culture through community-based business enterprise, and to reflect and include voices of the pueblo in its operations; and Colores del Pueblo (formerly Pueblo to People), a Houston-based nonprofit organization that buys merchandise from over 200 grassroots craft and agricultural co-ops throughout Latin America—paying much better prices than for-profit corporations—and then resells directly to consumers in the U.S., thereby eliminating unfair profit and providing artists in developing countries a larger market for their work.”

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