Mercado de Paz Offers Unique Shopping Experience

Curvaceous calaveras lined up and ready for sale at the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center's Mercado de Paz, slated for November 25 through November 27. (Photos by Sam Sanchez)

Shoppers looking for an alternative to crowded malls and shopping centers will find a unique selection of gifts at the Esperanza Peace and Justice Center’s 27th International Peace Market or Mercado de Paz, held annually during Thanksgiving weekend.

This year, the market will expand its schedule from two to three days — starting Friday, November 25 and continuing through Sunday November 27.

For the past 27 years, visitors and local patrons have gathered for the yearly sale, filling the Esperanza’s two story building, the back patio and spilling out into the adjacent street with vendor tents.

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Over 100 international and local artisans will offer shoppers a variety of handmade items including rugs, pottery and textiles, clothing, paintings and sculptures.

In a press release, the mercado’s organizers say, “Peace Market provides a family-friendly safe environment that honors the importance of moments and spaces where people gather outdoors and indoors together as community. As one of the oldest annual open-air international markets, it offers a community-centered alternative shopping destination during the busiest corporate shopping days of the year.”

While shopping is the main activity at the market, both days will feature performances by local groups representing all genres of music and performance art. Below is the schedule of performers.

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There will also be plenty of food and refreshments for sale.

“Locally, our own artisans reflect the rich cultural heritage of our city with jewelry, folk art, fabric arts incorporating Chicano and Aztec iconography and symbols as well as San Antonio sites and cultural practices. Hidden treasurers and contemporary art forms abound and an entire day can be well spent at the Mercado among friends, good food and performances,” Graciela Sanchez of Esperanza said in a press announcement.

The Esperanza Peace and Justice Center, 922 San Pedro, presents the Peace Market (Mercado de Paz) on Friday and Saturday, November 25 and 26 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Sunday, November 27 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. For more information call 210-228-0201.

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