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An Excursion to Concordia: A Colonial Town Rich in History And Handcrafts

We decided this weekend to take a daytrip to the colonial town of Concordia. Located just 25 miles east of Mazatlan, it’s popular for its quality handmade furniture and pottery.

Touring the Town Square

Center to Concordia, like most Mexican colonial towns, is the church square. This is the gathering for everyone local or tourist alike. When we arrived there were already a small handful of Mexican tourists taking pictures and laughing as they tried to prop themselves up on a large wooden chair that looks like it was made for a giant.

The Chair

The wooden chair is a simple monument constructed as a testament to their local furniture trade along with the way of life it’s provided for the people here. When you visit you’ll understand why they’ve paid tribute to the furniture trade, it’s a big deal here.

The Church

The church’s simple stone construction is decorated lavishly on the outside by ornate carvings, angelic statutes, and complex concrete pillars. In my opinion this is what makes Mexican colonial towns a treat to see for the first time: the beauty, age, and history of their churches.

The “Palace”

On the next street you’ll find the Municipal Palace. I’m not entirely why it’s called a palace and at first I even thought this was just a boring government building. However, it does hang some interesting murals that tell the unique story of Concordia in a series of dramatic images. One of the murals shows the history of Concordia in just one painting, from the arrival of Spanish conquistadors to destruction that French soldiers brought in the 1860′s along with everything in between: mining, pottery, and more.

Raspadas!

Directly across from the Church at the town square is a small place on the corner that sells something called raspadas. If you’re from up north you’ll be familiar with this kind of treat, its basically a shaved ice drink but they do it a bit differently down here. With a fresh fruit topping, a bit of milk (if you want), and hand shaved ice its the perfect way to cool off after your tour of the town square.

As you enter the little building marked “Raspadas” you’ll be greeted by the constant scraping sounds of someone preparing the fresh shaved ice for the next person’s drink. After we ordered and were handed our drinks I saw an older man saunter in with a basket full of pineapples. As he sat them on the counter I realized something. This is as fresh as it gets!

Colorful pinatas hang from the ceiling and make for good decoration, contrast to the hundreds of swim trunk/bikini clad models plastered on the wall (I have no idea).

Hunting Down Some Handcrafted Furniture

You can normally find a furniture store open nearby the square but you might find the selection on the two-lane road coming into town better.

Made of Cedar

As you walk into any of the furniture stores you’ll be greeted by the strong beautiful smell of cedar, it seemed to be the only thing that they made their pieces with. Naturally resistant to bugs, no toxic chemical treatment needed, and totally renewable I can see why they are primarily using this quality wood.

The store we went to was stacked 2 levels deep with all kinds of wooden furniture from armoires, tables with chairs, rocking chairs (which is what we came for), bed furniture…In Concordia you’re going to find a literal treasure trove of furniture for sale and it’s all fairly priced.

I palm-faced myself as I wondered why we bought our dining set from the chain department store Coppel. Especially considering this furniture-lover’s paradise is just a short drive away.

SOLD! The “Executive” Rocking Chair

After mulling over the chair choices we eventually picked out what I would called an “exective rocking chair” It reminds me of the kind of chair a fortune 500 CEO would use if he had to take care of a baby in his office, I laugh when I think about it but it is a very fine looking chair. The total price: 1700 pesos or approx $142 dollars. Considering the craftsmanship and the style of the chair I think this was a very fair deal. If you look at the photo of chairs above, its the second chair with the padding.

Pottery Paradise

Before heading back home I stopped to take some shots of one of the pottery stores. The styles and vivid color schemes of the hundreds of pieces out on display really caught my eye. Although we didn’t buy anything or inquire on the pricing, I figured it was worth a picture nonetheless.

More Pictures of Concordia

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