Founded in 1772, 8km inland from Aguadilla, MOCA is best known for its delicate, handmade bobbin lace or mundillo, used to embellish collars and handkerchiefs,
linens, pillows, bridal veils and baby clothes. The town’s mundillomaking roots are hazy: the craft was imported from Spain and became popular among the island’s elite in the nineteenth century, when it seems to have become the established trade of the town. Though lace-making remains an important cottage industry here, you won’t see much evidence of this on the streets: it’s a fairly typical Puerto Rican country town, with a sleepy centre of ageing clapboard houses and newer concrete buildings. The busy main square, Plaza Don José de Quiñones, contains a small statue of female lace workers, the Monumento a la Tejedora de Mundillo, but is overshadowed by the pretty pink Spanish Colonial-style church.
The best place to buy mundillo nearby is Artesanía Leonides and Pequeño Angelito, both at c/Blanca E. Chico 200 just south of the plaza. You can pick up lacy purses, place settings (from around $15), and cute dresses and booties for babies here ($30–40). Otherwise the Festival del Mundillo (T787/818-0105) is held at the end of June, when stalls in the main
plaza overflow with fine lace products.