Brya Ingram / Stuff
Colombian Catalina Suarez-Diaz sets up a Latin market to introduce different cultures and products to Marlburians.
Marlburians are being treated to a taste of Latin America at a new winter market on July 15.
Mercado Latino de Invierno is the brainchild of Blenheim resident Catalina Suarez-Diaz and will be held in Redwoodtown during the school holidays.
Suarez-Diaz came to New Zealand four years ago from Colombia and is a customer service representative at Yealands. She also runs an online South American retail store.
“The idea is to hopefully have representatives from each Latin American country to represent their own culture.”
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At the “mercados” in Colombia, you can find fish, beef, furniture, food and “whatever you want”.
“There’s music on the street all the time. You walk by and dance with people you don’t know,” Suarez-Diaz said.
Eight vendors have already registered for the indoor event, and there is reportedly space for four more booths.
“We have food stalls from Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, so you can try Latin American dishes like empanadas, pancakes and a special hot chocolate from Chile.”
Other stalls include one run by a Colombian woman selling handmade t-shirts and another showcasing handicrafts from Mexico.
There would also be salsa dancing demonstrations, Suarez-Diaz said.
It is hoped that the Latin market can be held every season, so four times a year, with the support of the Marlborough Multicultural Centre.
Marlborough Multicultural Center Community Connector Osmith Vides-Contreras took up the post in April and met with Suarez-Diaz a month later.
“MMC is synonymous with integration, multiculturalism and welcoming new businesses.”
The Marlborough Multicultural Center will help fund the venue and equipment required for the market.
Marlborough Multicultural Center manager Sarah Wheldale said she encourages people with ideas to come and see them.
“We really encourage these concepts where people want to share their culture with the Marlburians. It’s fantastic.
“And we will be happy to see how we can support them.”
The center held its multicultural festival in Pollard Park every year, but had to cancel it last year due to Covid.
“We are going to relaunch it in March next year.
“But in the meantime, we will be offering other smaller events,” Wheldale said.
The Winter Latin Market, Friday July 8. 6-8 p.m., 1 Riley Cres, Redwoodtown. FREE ENTRANCE.