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Inside a local piñata shop where everything is made by hand

They have a little bit of everything -- any animal, any character.

SAN ANTONIO — In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we're highlighting a local piñata shop where everything is made by hand, with love.

"We don't sell piñatas. We sell memories," said Ana Reyes. "I'm the owner of Piñata Time. We work here with my sister and my three daughters now."

They have two stores: 

  • 3005 W Commerce Street
  • 2906 Blanco Road

She told us how this is her family business, and she spent all her summers after school working. They owned places like this in Mexico, but were able to start the San Antonio store. "We try to be a one stop shop. So the customers are able to go here to the party."

They have a little bit of everything -- any animal, any character.

"The process is very simple. Just use flour and water, like to make a glue. And then from there we use newspaper cardboard or some other materials to build some basic shapes, and then stick them together and try to shape it," she explained.

Reyes told us how "every occasion is good for a piñata." 

We also spoke to Patricia Sanchez, a professor at UTSA, who is also the department chair of Bicultural Bilingual Studies. "I think it's always a symbol of joy. And of something fun, something that's actually in the Latino community, even intergenerational."

She told us how if you want to dig a little further back, "some people who are looking at the cultural, historically, look at sort of these different practices, are saying that the piñatas originated most likely in China."

But Sanchez also said that in Mexico, some scholars describe the Aztecs who had a ritual with one of their gods. They had a clay pot that had goods in it that was beaten out with a stick as offerings.

The Mayans would also use a clay pot where people blindfolded would hit it.

"And we have some accounts of...the Catholic missions using it to sort of beat away the devil or the seven deadly sins," she said.

Now, that has really evolved

"Today is like a point of joy," said Reyes.

Her daughter told us her favorite part is having the candy after.

And Sanchez relates to the joy. She told us, "Here in my office, I have a picture on my desk that's of my mom…one of the things she's always done is ask the kids, 'What piñata do you want for your birthday? I'm going to make each of you your favorite piñata.' And so this is always like a beautiful memory we're going to have."

And Piñata Time is creating fun for a new generation.

"The best part that we have here is to see the kid's face when they come and pick up their piñata for their party," Reyes said. "They are so excited and they really enjoy it. So that's what really pays off all the effort."

Click here for more information about Piñata Time.

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