Did you know there is a (huge) city in Mexico called Leon that is considered to be the shoe AND leather capital of the world? I mean, I'm talking high quality leather shoes that even the Pope himself seeks out! Not only do they have great shoes, they also have other leather goods like belts, bags and even leather jackets.
If this place doesn't blow your mind, I don't know what will. It's literally every shoe lover's (and shopper's) dream. Luckily, it's just a cheap bus ticket and one or two hours away from our ILP cities, so all you ILP volunteers can make a few trips -- because one just doesn't cut it!
With all the shoes and bags you're gonna be buying, you're gonna need to save money somewhere! Go ahead and find out how you can pay LESS for a semester abroad with ILP.
It is no joke that this place is considered the shoe and leather place of the world. There are malls full of shoes and street after street filled with leather goods. Did you know there are 3,400 shoe vendors in Leon? Just think of all the chances you have to get the absolutely perfect pair of shoes you've been searching for your entire life!
Where to get the best leather shoes in Leon?
To get the best selection and deals, you will need to head down to the Leon leather zone -- Zona Peil! Here you will find a huge shopping mall pretty much dedicated to shoes and blocks and blocks full of leather vendors outside.
Just a heads up, a lot of vendors walk around with a few pairs of shoes trying to get you interested. If you want a pair of shoes they have, but they don't have your size, they will send you to their shop. Competition is rough out there for the vendors, so prepare to have a lot of sales people approach you.
Before you head out to Zona Peil, make sure you have a game plan of what you want to buy. This place is literally what dreams are made of and it is SOO tempting to buy everything.
Make sure you take lots of pictures of the market and post on your IG because this is going to make your friends back home super jealous! Oh BTW -- why don't you go ahead and follow the ILP Instagram while you're at it!
How to get to Zona Peil?
Conveniently for the ILP volunteers in Mexico (and for anyone traveling to Leon by bus), the leather zone is right across the street from the bus station -- Talk about the easiest day trip with your ILP group! All you need to do is catch a bus to the main bus terminal in Leon, hop off and you're there.
If you're already in Leon and want to visit the leather zone, just grab a taxi or hop on a bus and tell them to take you to the main bus terminal. Just make sure you follow these tips to not get taken advantage of by the taxi driver!
Best things to buy at the leather zone
Here are the most popular things purchased at the market -- which ones are you gonna pick up?
- Leather dress shoes
- Leather boots
- Leather kids shoes
- Leather belts
- Leather purses
- Leather backpacks
- Leather wallets
In other words, if you like leather, you're really going to love visiting Zona Peil! Make sure you give yourself plenty of time because there are lots and lots of vendors that you gonna want to browse through. Each vendors sells very similar items. Make sure you barter with them and get a fair price!
Don't just travel in Mexico! You won't get the full experience like you would if you were to volunteer in Mexico. Not only will you get to see all the cool things, but you'll also get to experience their rich culture.
Interested in volunteering abroad in Mexico with the International Language Programs? Click below to get more info!