A profusion of colour greets your eyes when you push open the doors on Galeria de Arte Mexicano in centro.
Multi-hued talavera pottery bowls, plates, cups, serving dishes, and wine goblets are crammed into shelves, stacked from floor to ceiling. Brightly painted Mexican hand-crafted masks decorate the walls. Dazzling silver glints in the brightly lit store; earrings, necklaces, rings, pendants, and chains are stuffed into velvet lined display boxes, stacked in glass cabinets, and hung from the walls. Scores of semi-precious stones in hues of turquoise, coral and lapis lazuli blue glow like delicate flowers in a meadow of silver jewelry. It's visual overload!
|Alejandro Amaya Trejo & Luvia Espinosa|
The proprietor, Alejandro Amaya Trejo, has lived on Isla Mujeres for twenty-eight years, operating his Galeria for the past twenty-two years on the corner of Guerrero Avenue, near the Super X-Press Store.
Originally from Mexico City in the suburb of Xochimilco, Alejandro and several of his family members migrated to Isla Mujeres, settling into various businesses. Alejandro's father Gillermo Amaya (the same name as one of his brothers) owns a gift store on the corner of Juarez, called Artesanas Arcoivis, and another brother Hugo Amaya Trejo owns Mexico Magico on Rueda Medina. Both of those stores are a riot of colour and textures, overflowing with stock.
|Hugo Amaya Trejo owns Mexico Magico|
At various times in the past several years we have purchased visually-pleasing square-cornered talavera bowls painted in delicious combinations of red, blue, yellow and orange. Painted by a well-known Mexican artisan, Hernandez, Alejandro purchases these top quality talavera products in Puebla.
Pieces painted by Hernandez command a higher price than the factory painted pottery.
Plus, invariably when transporting fragile pottery products across the breadth of the country breakage must be factored into the final price.
The slightly higher cost for a beautiful piece is well worth the investment.
Silver, on the other hand, is weighed and the price is charged accordingly. Recently when a childhood friend celebrated her 60th birthday I picked out a very simple silver bracelet for her gift. For myself I purchased a beautiful silver and turquoise stone pendant that I hang on a white gold chain, that had been a birthday gift from one of my sisters.
Alejandro is one of the silver merchants that I trust implicitly. He sells real sterling silver, not silver plate. It's a very good thing to remember when you are purchasing silver in tourist locations.
|Galeria de Arte Mexicano|
When you are wandering around the dozens of shops on Isla, searching for that special souvenir or gift, remember to pop into his store and have a look around. It's quite the experience. Alejandro is fluent in English, and quick to smile.
He and Luvia Espinosa will happily help you find the perfect souvenir of your visit to paradise.
Lynda and Lawrie
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