Local production of crafts or artesania can contribute to economic development
within a community. What are the connections between the
production and sale of artesania and ecotourism? There has been impressive
academic work by Robert Healy, whose research project is to determine how
residents of tourism destinations, particularly those in rural Third World
settings, can obtain greater financial benefit from tourist visitation. Buying from
the artisan helps lessen the chance for exploitation -- particularly if you
pay a fair price.
In many Latin American markets, negotiation is part of the process. Too often well-meaning
tourists will drive a hard bargain to save a nickel. If you find something you like, offer
what you consider a fair price rather than the lowest possible bid.
On the downside, not all crafts available in markets are produced by or benefit local artesans. Nor is
production always sustainable. Be wary of buying products made with feathers or
animal skins if you're trying to protect nature!
If you are interested in this topic, please bookmark this page as we explore the
connections among the production and marketing of artesania and the goals of
ecotourism -- conservation and local economic development.
Traditional Mexican Markets - Jim Conrad/Earthfoot
Market research - Bob Healy
FONART (Mexican Popular Art)
Two Craft Towns of Lake Patzcuaro - Jennifer Rose/Mexico Connect
Xochicalco Market - Mexico City