For more than 30 years, Claudia Gonzalez has been creating masterpieces made of colorful strips of paper. From large estrellas (stars) to popular cartoon characters, Gonzalez’s Lower Valley store, World of Pinatas, is filled with the most magnificent shapes, colors, characters and items, all brought to life as large piñatas.
“This is my dream job,” says Gonzalez, explaining that her family-owned piñata store has been around for 30 years. She learned the art of piñata making from her parents, who owned a piñata store in Mexico before they immigrated to the United States 34 years ago.
Walking into World of Piñatas, it is immediately apparent Claudia takes her work as a piñatera seriously. Each pinata is carefully crafted to the smallest detail by Gonzalez and her small staff. Gonzalez even uses custom-made paper cutters that her parents designed to make the process faster and easier.
Her customers recognize the care that goes into each pinata as many of them have come to the store for many years.
“I always try to put a little more work into every piñata to make sure my customers are happy, and they tell me, ‘it shows,’” Gonzalez says.
Gonzalez and her staff each handle a step in the pinata making process, working together to create both one-of-a-kind designs as well as well-known characters. . The piñatas can take anywhere from two to three weeks to make, so she asks clients to place their orders in advance.
After each piñata is completed, it is a masterpiece, ready for kids and families to enjoy.
“I love making kids happy with each piñata we make,” she says. “That’s the part I love most about my work.
While people have come into World of Piñatas with many different requests for piñatas, Gonzalez says she treats each project like it’s totally different from the last.
Gonzalez says she is proud that her business is located in El Paso.
“We’ve been here many years and El Paso is our home,” Claudia says. “We wouldn’t want to ever leave.”