Recognized, bigger and stronger
Whenever we travel to another country and get to see the magic cities that compose it, going to a local street market fair is undoubtedly the best way to approach culture!
From Bangkok to London or Marrakech, through Istanbul or Paris, picturesque and important street markets are found worldwide, ready to share a part of history and culture.
Tagging or classifying is not an easy target, some stand out for food, others for antiquities, others for manufactured products, becoming in consequence a true tourist attraction, spaces that can give the visitors a unique experience.
For instance, we can mention El Rastro in Madrid, the Portobello Road in London, the Saint Ouen in Paris or the biggest one in Latin America, the Antiquities San Telmo Fair in Buenos Aires.
In Bogotá, Colombia we have the “Mercado de las pulgas de Usaquén” that is currently looking for growing opportunities.
LatinAmericanPost had the incredible chance to talk to William Ardila, the administrative director of the Bogotá’s street market about these growing expectations and consequently the actions taken to reach them.
“We are not as big as we would want to” said the director. The final goal of the 26 years-old capital’s street fair is to be recognized as intangible cultural heritage by the UNESCO and create spaces for the artists, manufacturers and each worker involved to express their opinions and cultural ideas through their contributions and in consequence expand the fair.
As described by William, the work has always been hard as there are administrations with different interests, some of them willing to work in aims to protect and keep safe cultural expressions and activities and some others with totally different priorities.
As one of the demanded requirements to apply to the UNESCO, the street market (Mercado de las pulgas de Usaquén) has already been recognized as activity of cultural interest of Bogotá by the district council through the article 544 of 2013 and currently works with 450 artist that rotate each weekend in groups of 150 expositors.
Besides, the administrative head of the fair has started a sign collecting process to officially start a process with the UNESCO commission in December of 2017.
In less words, William told us the final end of the project is to give support and stimulate multiple ways of entrepreneurship for the artisans of the future in Colombia. It is about protecting the activity beyond the artisan, is about creating strategic thinking and opportunity for the incredible human potential the city hosts.