Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Here's something I never thought I would Feature. A gift shop! But this one is totally different from all the others you will see on the island. I have always said that if I opened a business here I would call it Island Made and only feature stuff made by local people. Well, this shop comes darn close to that. She only sells stuff made by people she knows

If you are heading north from the town square, look to your right at Ave Abosolo. About half way down the street you will see the shop. If you get to the Mundaca Real Estate office, or Amigos Restaurant, you have gone to far.

Here's a direct on look. She even had steps made to help you get up the high curb here.

This is the proud owner, Loreyna Lopez. Not only is she pretty and smart, she speaks perfect English also. A must if you are dealing with the tourist traffic. See that shiny board on the wall? Those are tropical fish magnets. A steal at $2 USD each. (and the person who made them, somebody you know and love everyday, gets $1 for every one sold. Buy dozens!)

As you walk up the steps to the shop, you see these bags artfully displayed. The large ones on the left are made out of oilcloth tablecloth material. My friend Rose makes them. The smaller bags are made by the same person who made the magnets. Buy one for yourself, buy one for your girlfriend, buy one for a friend. Just buy one!

This place is really cool. She has not cluttered every spare inch with some kind of junk made in China or Taiwan, disguised to look Mexican. Everything is displayed so that you can actually see it. And remember, everything here was handmade by somebody. No sweatshops, no child labor involved. Just people with talent trying to make a few extra peso. Notice the white and black curtained area. Ladies, she actually has a fitting room!

The opposite wall features jewelry and artsy stuff. A few purses have made their way to the shelf also. The black and silver one is made out of gum wrappers! The pink one next to it is made out of the tops of pop cans. Those little rings you put your finger in to open the can. Sounds tacky but it is actually quite clever.

In the middle of the shop she has a large piece of driftwood. Or at least a piece of salvaged tree. Another artsy way of displaying things.

I like this shop. It is totally not geared for men, but that's ok. It is still an interesting place to visit just to see the things talented people can make. (especially magnets and little evening bags!) Men, I'm sure Loreyna would be glad to chat with you while the wife spends all your money! And you will enjoy chatting with her. Go on, stop in, you know you want to!
UNRELATED SHOPPING CAUTION: A word to the wise. If you buy something large on the island, or anywhere for that matter, that needs to be packaged for travel, watch them pack it. Too many times I have heard of unscrupulous shopkeepers disappearing into the back of the store to put your large purchase into a box. When you get home, you discover that there was a slight substitution made. Be wise, watch them wrap your purchase. If they won't wrap it in front of you, don't buy it.


A. said...

Ay que nice!!! a place I would LOVE to go and buy stuff. Tilichero, yes, but how lovely!!!

wayne said...

a.: I can't find tilichero in my dictionary and the internet refuses to translate it also. I hope it is not something bad!

Steve Cotton said...

I was certain I would find a starfish magnet on the board. I see what appears to be a purple starfish eating what something similar to a geoduck. But I suspect it is a very nice palm tree and I just flunked my rorschach test.

scarltz said...

Do you mean NORTH from the town square? I think I know where it is but want to make sure so I can find it next time I'm there. Thanks for the review. Love your BLOG!!! Been following for months but don't speak up much. -scarltz

wayne said...

scarltz: thanks for catching that mistake! I have corrected it now. I would have sent people scurrying off in the wrong direction! Feel free to leave a comment whenever you want!

Anonymous said...

I have heard about this shop. I can’t wait to visit and shop there in April. Thanks for the information. I usually come through US Customs with $0 declared as purchases and have been question about that a few times. I just tell them that because I travel to the same place 4 times a year I really do not do any shopping. Maybe next I will have made some purchases. My December trip was cut very short due to my daughter having a medical emergency or I would have found this shop then.
I really enjoy reading your blog. Thanks for letting me life full time on Isla in my mind.

Hollito said...

Ay caramba! The shop is worth a visit just to have a look at Loreyna. :-)
(I hope my wife will not read this comment ;-))