At Mancarrón Island – the largest island of the Solentiname Archipelago – visitors can watch local artists at work in their own houses, performing the complete process of creating artistic pieces out of wood. It is also possible to buy these arts directly from the artists.
The community of artisans is located in a small village called El Refugio, about 400 meters west of the principal dock of the village. The rural village is composed of 23 houses, most of them inhabited by artists that elaborate art from wood, and they can be seen working on their pieces in front of their houses. Small signs in front of the houses mark the places where artists sell handicrafts, although some lack the signs. The best option is to simply take the time and walk around the village to observe and compare all of the art that is offered.
In El Refugio there is also a small communal center where arts from over 30 artisans is exhibited and sold. Most of the art comes from Mancarrón Island, but there are also some pieces from the San Fernando Island (the islands differ in style so although their art is similar, there are differences). There are also primitive paintings and even pieces from artists from other regions in the country for sale.
The artists in El Refugio can be observed at work throughout the whole day, every day of the week. The communal center is open daily from 7AM until 5PM.
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