Not all Mexican handcrafts have centuries-old designs


ENART, the Exposición Nacional de Artículos de Regalo y Decoración Artesanal Mexicana (National Expo of Mexican Gift and Decorative Items) is a bi-annual event to promote Mexican handcrafted items. However, it is a bit different from most other events of its type.

Ceramic cat figures by Artesanias Erandi of Tonalá, Jalisco

Held at the El Refugio Cultural Center in Tlaquepaque, Jalisco, it is not geared towards tourists and collectors but rather wholesale buyers, especially foreign. While members of the public can enter for a fee, the event is not generally promoted through the mass media.

Wood bull figure by the Cardenas family workshop in Apaseo el Alto, Guanajuato

Instead, the buyers are retailers, with about 60% from Mexico, but the event works to attracts buyers from Canada, the United States and Europe with all information and services in Spanish and English.

Promotional video in English

Traditional piece for a nativity scene by Spacios of Tonalá, Jalisco

It was founded about 30 years ago, starting with only 20 vendors. Today, it can attract up to 200 from over 20 Mexican states, making it one of the largest and most important events of its kind in Latin America. Some states, like Guanajuato, sponsor a number of their artisans to participate. All vendors are traditional artisans and/or small producers, and all products are 100% made in Mexico.


While there are traditional and indigenous designs to be found, the events does seem to favor to those who adapt and modernize these designs. The event offers the annual ENART Award, given to artisans with the best and most innovative designs. This seems logical since the event is located and sponsored in this region of Mexico, whose crafts traditions include both old and new.




Glass by Cristaluc of Tonalá

The next event is scheduled for February 2017 at the same site. The website for ENART is










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