Mercado Mexico

Mercado Mexico isn't a quick-visit kind of place. There's too much to see. This enchanting store sells imported goods from Mexico, Central America, and South America. There's a little bit of everything here: tiles, embroidered tops and dresses, wall art, dishware, Dia de Los Muertos decor, pots, metal yard statues, handpainted Christmas ornaments, cattle skulls, religious items, and much more. The prices are reasonable, but not cheap; these are artisan items, after all. We love to wander up and down the aisles, taking in the bright colors, fun designs, and beautiful craftsmanship, while we decide which treasures to take home this time.

When Mariachi Pasion perform, you feel their love of mariachi music come through every note as they play on violins, trumpets, and flute — plus the stringed vihuela and guitarron that help give mariachi music its distinctive sound. The size of the all-female band with roots in an Arizona State University music class has nearly doubled since they began in 2002. Today, there are 15 members delivering strong, crisp vocals that exude emotion, stirring those who hear them to clap, tap a foot, or dance along. They perform in all kinds of settings, from Crescent Ballroom to Desert Botanical Garden. And they touch audiences every time, making a beautiful statement about the power of music to forge connections and elevate the human spirit.

You're never too old to put on a blindfold and whack at a pinata. For birthday parties, barbecues, Cinco de Mayo, or any other festive occasion, we hit up one of Dulceria La Bonita's three Valley locations for pinatas and other party supplies. Pinatas come in a rainbow of colors in the traditional eight-pointed style, but there are also plenty of popular characters to choose from, including Transformers, Hello Kitty, Baby Shark, My Little Pony, LEGO, and Disney favorites. While you're there, you can browse a wide selection of Mexican cookies and chips; pick out party decorations and tableware; and buy candy to fill up your new pinata purchase.

In America, professional wrestling is considered to be, at best, a fringe pursuit enjoyed by neckbeards, or, at worst, trash culture meant for lowbrow types. In Mexico and other Latin America countries, though, it's known as lucha libre and is revered as an art form and cultural tradition stretching back almost a century. Masked luchadores, one of its best-known hallmarks, are considered to be superheroes, god-like beings, or a bit of both. It's been a draw for the Latino community everywhere, including in border states like Arizona. They're not the only ones cheering on the technicos (a.k.a. the good guys) and booing the rudos (or villains), as the higher-flying and faster-paced alternative to American-style wrestling appeals to people of other ethnicities, too. For proof, attend the matches put on by Lucha Libra Voz, one of the most popular promotions in the Valley. Heroes do battle against dastardly foes at nightspots and events like car shows and cultural festivals. We're certain you'll be cheering and jeering along with the rest of the audience in no time, cabron.

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