Unique Original Items Found in Latin America

Unique Original Items Found in Latin America

Latin America offers the short-term visitor a delightful selection of small, unique, adorable, folk-art pieces that can be tucked into a suitcase and enjoyed later at home in Maine, Ontario, or any other part of the world. However, most permanent residents follow a different path. When size and weight are not factored in, the transplant into a quaint town in Latin America is likely to adopt not only the town, but also the colorful, captivating, custom pieces of art all around them. It is not unusual to notice that the interior of the expat’s home looks as Spanish-influenced as their next-door neighbor who was born in the town.

Opportunities for Timeless Distinctive Decorating

It is likely that this transition from fine hardwood furniture in the rooms and classic paintings on the walls is a switch from cautious to frolicsome. It is the Latin influence: the music, the food, and the warm, friendly people. Friskiness occurs in immigrants who settle in Latin America. Perhaps, because the artwork is playful, alluring, endearing, charming, and cannot help but make the viewer smile. From sunflower tables to Lady Catharina dolls of every size and shape, the delightfulness steps right in off the streets and over the threshold.   

The same folk-art style of carving into soft pine that was sold in 1940 is available today. The biggest difference now is the addition of bright colors to the wood. In the 1940’s, dark flat stains were common. Today, it is far more typical to see bright primary colors that have been applied by a talented hand. The paints being used on the furniture have improved as much as the universal appeal for folk art. 

Bargain Custom Artisans Expressions

The prices in Latin America for quality artwork tend to be 50% - 60% less than in the USA. Most artisans work in pine, ceramic, metal (lots of copper, steel, and silver), fabric, gemstones, and found natural products. The artist often weaves into the work the culture from where they originated. This insight into a foreign heritage may offer the respect and honoring of ancestors that is often missing in modern society. Just looking at Latin American artwork is likely to improve the temperament of the least playful of people.

Happy people make great artwork. According to the Happy Planet Index (HPI), Latin America is the only country in the entire world where the level of personal satisfaction with life and the affect of the lifestyle on global resources is cohesive. In other words, the HPI means that we need over nine planet’s natural resources equal to our Earth’s original resources to sustain the United States, but only one and a half to sustain Latin America. The Latin America is both environmentally aware of limited resources and has a standard of living that does not require as many resources be reduced. Therefore, when you buy from a Latin American artist, travel to Latin America, or move to Latin America you are doing a great service for all of humanity. Since relationships mean a lot more than creature comforts, you are also increasing your likelihood of finding happiness.   


Don’t wait. Visit Latin America, stay with locals a while, and delight in the local color. If your heartstrings are pulled hard enough, you are likely to buy a home and fill it with folk art. You won’t be lonely, because many others will be enjoying the culture as much as you are. Bien Viaje.

Written by 2Casa Expert:  Dr. Jacqueline Zaleski Mackenzie, author, speaker, and social scientist, is author of Empowering Spanish Speakers and other books to help understand the Latino culture. She has a BS and MS in business and an EdS and PhD in bilingual and special education and sociocultural studies. She lives in a native village in Central Mexico where she researches the Mexican culture and remodels a campesino home.