Saturday, May 24, 2008

Macondo, corner Youree and Ockley, Shreveport: Ecuadorean-Peruvian clothing shop and Latino crossroads

Macondo is a shop that is well-stocked with the natural fiber and bead products of Ecuador. It lies, hidden if in full view, at the corner of Youree and Ockley. Inside we recently found voluble shop owner Janine Demerath and beaming daughter, Rafaela.

Demerath is a native of Ecuador. Macondo is, she says, "my mini Ecuador. It represents my country in my heart." She notes that the goods reflect other Latino countries, too, such as Peru and Mexico.

Macondo is a crossroads for those who love Hispanic culture. The performing arts group Voces Castellanos (see earlier Shreveport Blog posts) meets here, she says.

The shop's name is taken from the novel One Hundred Years of Solitude, the work by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Macondo is a fictional town that represents the villages in which Marquez was raised; the book stands as a metaphor for the history of Latin America.

Demerath, a teacher of Spanish for Centenary College and Hispanic storyteller for the Louisiana Endowment of the Humanities program, Prime Time, has 2 children, Rafaela and Gus. Her husband, Loren, is professor of sociology at Centenary and a community activist. Please see A Better Shreveport.

Jewelry, flowing dresses, caps, T-shirts: the shop has a wide assortment of goods. It is open 3 pm to 6 pm and can be accessed, even when Demerath is out of pocket, by asking for help at The Mattress Shop, which shares a portal.


Please see photos from a visit to Macondo at Shreveport Faces.

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