Los Angeles

Pop-up marketplace on Olvera Street creates space for small businesses to express pride in culture

DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES (KABC) — If you’re looking to celebrate Hispanic and Latin American Heritage Month, a pop-up marketplace on historic Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles might be a good fit.

The monthly event is called Molcajete Dominguero, and organizers say it’s a place where small businesses can express pride in their culture.

One of the vendors, Neri, Rivas, specializes in “repujado,” which means to push out. The art is done on aluminum and he typically makes items with religious and pop art themes.

He said he’s on a mission to keep this type of art alive.

“It’s dying in Mexico, it’s dying in Latin America. People really don’t know about it so when they come here to any of the shows and I’m vending, they say ‘I’ve never seen it before’.”

The pop-up started before the pandemic and made it through some difficult times. Visitors can find unique items, often one-of-a-kind handmade works of art.

“The importance of Molcajete Dominguero was to go ahead and bring our community together. Before (it) started we didn’t have a lot of pop-up events that focused on our culture,” said Betty Carlos.. Organizer..

Small business owners like Vanessa Zamudio can express pride in their culture and sell their products. Her business, Zelicious Creations, makes tasty treats and snacks with a unique twist.

“With my products, it’s the chile, it’s the spices that go into the gummy bears and the gummy worms,” she said. “Traditionally, they’re sweet, but we put a kick into it… it’s natural tamarind and chili spices.”

Organizers say it’s just an example of the amazing items that are made by some very creative people and it’s important that people know where they can find products that are rooted in Mexico and other Latin American places.

“Support your local small business vendor. They’re important. It’s supporting someone’s dream,” Zamudio said.

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