The centerpieces of parties in Mexico, piñatas, have been absent for almost a year since the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions were set in place, significantly affecting the artisans who make them.

As some restrictions begin to loosen in Mexico City, colorful piñata stores in markets have reopened their doors, with business owners hoping to rebound from the losses caused by last year’s shutdown.

Valentina Rojas Conde has been making piñatas for 38 years. In normal times she might sell 70 piñatas a day — but these are not normal times.

The price of each item 50 pesos (2.5 US dollars) to almost 3,000 pesos (150 US dollars) depending on the size, the figure, and the material used to create it.

Victor Sanjenis Ochoa, a well-known piñata artisan, said he sells one or two piñatas at most every week.

As a result, he’s been forced to lay off staff.

Piñatas are very popular at children’s parties and other celebrations.

Made of clay or cardboard, piñatas are pots that are suspended for partygoers to crack open.

People compete for whatever is inside – traditionally fruit, sweets or small toys.