MORRISTOWN, Tenn. (WATE) — A weekend international “mercadito,” which is a Spanish word meaning “little market” is happening Saturday, April 23, as HOLA Lakeway kicks off its Tianguis Market.

The name Tianguis pays homage to the Tianguis Cultural del Chopo Saturday flea market in Mexico City. Much of Hamblen County’s population has diversified within the last several years, according to the 2020 Census, with around 14% of its residents being of Hispanic or Latinx descent.

That’s only part of the reason why the nonprofit began years ago: originally as the Hispanic Outreach Leadership Association of the Lakeway Area (“H.O.L.A. Lakeway” or “the organization”), which was created by the Latino Task Force of Morristown, the Latino Task Force of Knoxville and the Community Economic Development Network of East Tennessee in 2014.

Then, in 2018 the organization says its leaders began to see a growth in the community of families from countries such as India, Micronesia, Pakistan, etc. So, the board decided to expand its efforts to all immigrants in the community; expanding the mission statement and changing the name of the organization to HOLA Lakeway with no acronym. HOLA Lakeway was granted nonprofit (501-c3) status in May 2019.

“We are a grassroots, community-based organization with the mission of meeting needs and improving the overall quality of life for the immigrant population in East Tennessee’s Lakeway region, a six-county area,” the nonprofit states on its site.

To continue to drive its mission to not only offer services, education and advocacy to the immigrant community, Saturday’s first Tianguis Market will be celebrating some international food, culture and more. Vendors will also be selling jewelry and crafts.

HOLA Lakeway said on its social media that its executive director, Betsy Bonilla Jimenez-Hurst, will be making a Costa Rican traditional breakfast, “Gallo Pinto.”

The Tianguis Market is at 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 23 at the HOLA Lakeway Sankofa Center, which is located at:

1045 South Cumberland St.
Morristown, TN 37813

The Tianguis Market will then run each Saturday.