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Monica Moreno - Piñata and Sugar Skull Making

Monica Moreno (Portland) is a fabricante del piñatas and las calaveras de azúcar (maker of piñatas and sugar skulls). Moreno started making piñatas in elementary school, in her hometown of Mexico City. She now owns a Mexican party shop in the Portland Mercado on SE Foster, where her handmade creations adorn the ceiling.


Monica Moreno makes piñatas and las calaveras de azúcar (sugar skulls) to sell at her small local tienda (shop), Fiesta Tradicional. She started making piñatas in elementary school, in her hometown of Mexico City. Traditional piñatas were star-shaped and used during Las Posadas ("The Lodging"), a nine-day Christmas house visiting tradition that commemorates Mary and Joseph's search for accommodation on their journey to Bethlehem. Piñatas have become a part of children's birthday parties and come in every shape and theme imaginable.

When Moreno opened her store, she decided to fabricate her own piñatas since those available commercially were too expensive to make them profitable to resell. Moreno's piñatas still incorporate a mini-star design, with four or five points instead of the traditional seven, and feature images of characters popular with children. She hangs her finished pieces from the ceiling in her shop.

Every year, for Día de los Muertos (the Day of the Dead), November 1-2, citizens from central and southern Mexico traditionally assemble ofrendas, home altars, that they fill with many items including decorative calaveras. Moreno recently started making the festive sugar skulls to sell at her store. She decorates the skulls with bright colors and glitter that can be personalized with the names of deceased loved ones.

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County - Multnomah


Monica Moreno
7238 SE Foster RD.
Portland, OR, 97206

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