November is Native American Heritage Month, when we celebrate El Paso’s roots and continue to keep the traditions and stories of our ancestors alive.
On this Buy El Paso Adventure, we highlight Native American-owned businesses working hard to teach new generations about our area’s historical roots.
Our first stop is the Ysleta Mission Gift Shop, a go-to stop for regional art, Native American art and religious artifacts.
For Albert Alvidrez, co-owner of Ysleta Mission Gift Shop, it is important to spread awareness about the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo, its history and its future.
“It’s important because first of all it tells the story of the community,” Albert said. “Ysleta del Sur Pueblo has been here since 1680. We’re very fortunate and blessed to be able to be part of the Ysleta mission. This historical element gives visitors that come to the region and the tourist community that comes out, an opportunity to just experience some of the arts. It’s not something that’s happened in the past, it’s something that’s ongoing and living. Being part of the mission itself introduces people to the various arts and traits that exist in our region.”
The Ysleta Mission Gift Shop sells everything from art to jewelry to clothing celebrating the Ysleta del Sur Pueblo and the indigenous people of our region.
“It tells our story and it’s an opportunity for us to be able to showcase our art, our designs and our craft,” Albert said. “It tells a story of the people that we are.”
The Ysleta Mission Gift Shop is located at 131 S. Zaragoza Rd.
Our next stop is Tinta Sangre Tattoo and Art Gallery owned by Pablo Hernandez, a tattoo artist and muralist.
Tinta Sangre provides amazing tattoos to customers, but also has a gift shop featuring Mexican imports such as handmade clay items, and indigenous crafts and jewelry.
The goal of Tinta Sangre is to focus on the works of art being created by Mexican and indigenous artists.
“I started working with some indigenous families in Mexico on some projects,” Hernandez said. “I am trying to help out my roots, trying to help out myself, learn about myself and try to help these people’s way of life. People are still trying to keep those traditions alive of where we come from.”
Pablo will soon add a gallery to showcase the work of local and indigenous artists.
“Just the fact that we ourselves are Mexican and brown skin and we don’t know where we come from is a tragedy,” Pablo said. “So at least giving them support, at least kind of trying to, or even like indigenous people who still live on reservations and still try to keep those traditions alive, who try to plant the earth and grow livestock, and make jewelry and make art that has been passed down in their families. You’re keeping a tradition alive. You are affecting that culture and I think that’s the least that we can do after everything that’s been done to them.”
Visit Tinta Sangre Tattoo and Art Gallery at 3041 N. Zaragoza Rd. to learn about Mexican culture and buy authentic indigenous artwork — or stop by to get a tattoo!
That’s all for this Buy El Paso Adventure! Don’t forget to buy local and check out these businesses supporting our community and showcasing artwork by local and indigenous artists.