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Mercado de Artesania y Cultura de Vegueta

April 28, 2014
A traditional open-air shopping centre

Arts and crafts in Vegueta

On Sunday, from eight in the morning until two in the afternoon, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria’s Vegueta opens for business. At the Mercado de Artesania y Cultura de Vegueta in the Plaza Pilar Nuevo. This square faces the Casa de Colón and backs on to the cathedral. 40+ plus market traders hawk local lace, leather, and pottery as a band plays on. There’s fruit and veg for sale, along with bread and cheese you can try before you buy. Plus a bar which sells beer and crepes. What more could you want on the sabbath?

Mercado de Artesania y Cultura de Vegueta, the ethical tourist trap

Sure, this market targets tourists over locals. But all stallholders are FEDAC-OK’d. FEDAC’s the Foundation for Ethnography and the Development of Canarian Artisans, a guild set up to ensure quality crafts made in a tried and trusted way are sold at fair prices. There’s a permanent shop in neighbouring Triana as well as this pop-up version.

Vegueta time travel

Walking the cobbled streets of Vegueta, it’s not hard to picture yourself in a bygone era. Spain’s Golden Age, for example, which began in 1492 when Columbus made his celebrated Atlantic crossing. Stopping off in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on the way. A Sunday here feels even more like yesteryear. When this market recalls the nearby Mercado de Vegueta‘s open-air origins. How very medieval. You can almost smell the chamber pots.

Meet and greet the locals

Despite catering to overseas visitors with bilingual stallholders, the Mercado de Artesania y Cultura de Vegueta serves as a meeting place for GC natives. Natives who like to come here with their families. There are chairs for more elderly family members to enjoy the music, although there are those who prefer to bop along with the band rather than sit still. The Darby and Joan generation has its movers and groovers, it seems.