Feria Maestros del Arte, the artisan fair that has brought Mexico’s top folk art craftsmen and women to Chapala for almost two decades, may not happen this November, organizers say.
Host coordinator Brenda Byrom normally begins finding hosts for the artisans’ lodging during the fair in June. But due to Covid-19 uncertainties, that isn’t possible this year.
With social distancing a possibility for many months, organizers say the impact on the Feria is likely to be severe.
“Many of the indigenous artisans do not believe in the virus and have practiced none of the safeguards,” a Feria newsletter says. “With no way of knowing who the artisans have come in contact with, will buyers, collectors, locals come to a large event like the Feria and feel safe?”
The newsletter continues: “Many of the habitual customers have suffered financially while businesses have been closed and may not be ready to spend yearly ‘folk art’ dollars at the Feria or feel comfortable flying in from other parts of Mexico or the United States and Canada in a crowded jet.”
With all this in mind the board of directors will make a decision next month whether the 2020 Feria should be canceled.