Tucked between Metrocentro and Universidad de El Salvador is a small neighborhood park, Parque de la Colonia Centroamerica, where Salvadorans go for lunch or a break from work. On one side of the park is Museo de Arte Popular and a few blocks from it, on another side of the park, is a unique ceramic studio called Shicali.
The main attraction at the Museo de Arte Popular is the exhibit about “sorpresas” from Ilobasco. Here you can see the history of how these “miniaturas” came to be. My favorite part was seeing whole miniature scenes, like the coffee harvest, sugar cane production, the zoo, and even the signing of the Acuerdo de Paz.
At Shicali, most of the twelve workers have some kind of physical challenge (discapacidad fisica) and each contributes to the studio in their own special way. On the day I was there I met the deaf potter who was throwing large plates. I also met the woman in the wheel chair who helped me with my purchases. The ceramic pieces Shicali creates, both functional and decorative, are of extremely high caliber and quite beautiful.
Upon visiting the park, museum, and ceramic studio, I felt content to have found a small haven of art, production, and peace hidden within the chaos of San Salvador.
There are some terrific photos of Shicali to be found on Flickr