Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Market days in Central Park are ideal for local artisans


For many years, the San Pedro Artisan Market was located in Central Park, where many set up shops to display their products to tourists. In 2016, the then San Pedro Town Council (SPTC), under the administration of previous Mayor Daniel Guerrero, moved the artisans to its current location on Angel Coral Street. Unlike the old days when visitors were greeted by the artisan market, today they can find signs guiding them to walk from Barrier Reef Drive (front street) heading west until they reach the third street of downtown to the “back street.”
At the time of the relocation, artisans were optimistic, as they were told the wooden facilities they were to use were just temporary and plans to develop the area further were in the works. However, the area’s development did not come, and years later, artisans are still using the temporary structures. Additionally, artisans have complained that due to the location in the “back street” of the island, the flow of tourists is not consistent.

Under the current administration, artisans can sell their products at Central Park twice a month. Artisans have reported better sales during the two days they are allowed to operate at Central Park, which they consider an ideal location to showcase their crafts. “The area is open, and it’s also where one of the most popular water taxis operates, attracting a better tourist flow compared to the Artisan Market location,” commented a local artisan.
San Pedro is famous for its beaches, bars, and restaurants, but it also features a unique cultural experience provided by talented craftsmen. Tourists can find handcrafted jewelry, interesting textiles, unique wooden carvings and learn how they were made.

While residents can now enjoy the Central Park and San Pedro beaches without vending stalls set up, artisans want the community to recognize the value that they bring to the community. They are not just asking for a better working environment; they are asking for support for an industry essential to tourism productivity.
The SPTC is working to find ways to help the artisan industry on the island and improve the Artisan Market, as it’s an integral part of San Pedro’s unique cultural identity.

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