Despite its short time on the Mexican handcraft and folk art scene, the Mercado de Arte Mexicano in Rosarito has become an important event promoting folk and fine artists from all over the country.
Given its target markets of collectors in southern California, retailers in the U.S. and retirees in the Rosarito area, it was originally called the Mexican Folk Art Market but recently changed its name to the Spanish version. However, it still maintains its mission of promoting Mexican artisans to the U.S. market, promoting the event through Mexican consulates in the country and even offering transportation to Rosarito from San Diego.
The festival was established as a private initiative, but has since gained state support. It has been in operation only for five years, but has already become the most important Mexican handcraft event in northwest Mexico. It features well- established grand masters, up-and-coming artisans along with Mexican designers and other products from Baja California, especially wine. This year, the event expects over fifty exhibitors including artists such as:Enedina Vazquez (Oaxacan ceramics), Angelico Jimenez (Oaxacan woodcarvings), Natividad Sanchez (Mexican textiles, traditional shawls), Dania Elisai (paper mache dolls), Jesus Hernandez (Oaxacan woodcarvings), Fernando Jimón (Tonala burnished ceramics) and Olivia Dominguez (Mata Ortiz ceramics).
It, among other events, has made Rosarito a cultural destination. The event regularly attracts artisans from well-established handcraft traditions such as those from Mata Ortiz, Chihuahua, Santa Maria Atzompa, Oaxaca, alebrije makers from Mexico City and Mazahua textile producers from the State of Mexico and Michoacán. Many of the artisans have won national level awards. Exhibitors from the fine arts include painter and sculptors and there are musical and dance shows as well.
It is organized each year by the Los Naguales Arte y Cultura Mexicana with support from the Rosarito Art Fest and the Baja California Secretariat of Tourism. The director of the festival is Benito del Águila.In 2018, the event will be held on November 10 and 11th at the Centro Estatal de las Artes Playas de Rosarito (Playas de Rosarito State Center for the Arts).