Clockwise from top left: Artesol, Mardue, Zarycanha, Me with master weaver Leonarda Choquechampi from the Parobamba community in Peru's Sacred Valley, Arte Chipalo, Ismuina, Cerámicas Renacer
Plaza Bolívar is many human stories.
Each of our objects has been carefully handmade by a person from one of more than eighty indigenous communities from my home country, Colombia. Each embodies an ancestral tradition which values ritual, beauty, craftsmanship and function, as well as the attentive use of natural materials. It has been these qualities that have ignited my passion to showcase the creativity, splendor and diversity of Latin American artistry; the culmination of which is my Plaza Bolívar.
I have been residing in New York for over two decades, but my heart and soul have always been strongly attached to my Colombian roots, embedded in the warmth and hospitality of ‘mi gente’ and the daily rituals of celebrating life around the table. My mother always taught me the importance of beauty and detail in every aspect of life, from the objects that give tenderness and meaning to each corner of our home to preparing and presenting a beautiful table for dinner with friends or the family meal.
Throughout my career as cultural entrepreneur, I have always been driven by one ultimate goal: to promote the talent and artistry of Latin American culture in all its forms and bring awareness of its aura and allure of to a broader audience.
Out of all these seeds sprouted one colorful dream, to develop Plaza Bolívar, a virtual marketplace that honors and preserves the treasured traditions of artisan communities throughout Latin America. This journey begins with our first stop, Colombia, where we have gathered a selection of artisanal techniques as a fine representation of the country’s artistic diversity. Some are small cooperatives that are located in extremely remote regions from the tropical rainforest ‘del Pacífico’, to the dense jungle ‘del Amazonas’ and the eastern plains bordering Venezuela – all arduously working to preserve these ancestral techniques and to provide a dignified livelihood for their families and communities.
Ana Gladys Aponte in Inirida; Cainba Silvia Tseju in the indigenous reserve of Caño Mochuelo; José Pablo Neikase in the Chorrera township in Amazonas and Julia Eliza Castillo in Guaduas, are just a few of the many talented individuals that form Plaza Bolívar’s artisan partners. By sharing their unique creations, each one of them represents an entire culture and the history of my country, Colombia.
Join us in celebrating Latin American craftsmanship and life around the table.
Founder, Plaza Bolívar