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SHOPPING

There are many shops in the renovated downtown area of Ponce that have local arts and crafts. The Atocha Pedestrian Mall runs along Calle Cristina just off the city’s central Plaza Las Delicias. It’s been one of Ponce’s main shopping areas for decades. There’s not a whole lot here, but it’s fun to walk around, and the shops and offerings are a throwback to a simpler time.

For artisans’ work, try El Palacio del Coquí Inc. (Calle Marina 9227), whose name means “palace of the tree frog.” This is the place to buy the colorful veijantese masks (viewed as collectors’ items) that are used at carnival time. Ask the owner to explain the significance of these masks.