WIKI TWITTER YOUTUBE BLOG FLICKR
ABOUT
Planeta.com

search the planet


 

Last Updated




MEXICO

Exploring Mexico's Markets
by Ron Mader

MEXICO WIKI

El que busca encuentra. (One finds what one looks for.)
- Dichos

Aniversario #40 Mercado Sanchez Pascuas

FLICKR ALBUM: Oaxaca City Markets
SLIDESHOW


Mexico's markets are among the finest in the world. Traditional markets link the present with the past and hopefully the future.

A friend leads first-time visitors through Mexico City's Anthropology Museum in Chapultepec Park. He purposefully stops at the maquetas (models) that depict markets held in the days before Columbus and Cortez. Take a look, he says. There is a great diversity of products bartered, traded and sold. Some vendors sell inside the market, others outside.

A day or two later he takes his visitors to a traditional city market. There's practically no difference (outside of the vendors now have cellphones and purchases are carted away in plastic bags). Visitors see that markets are living museums and impart lessons that are educational and nutritional. They are also a good place to meet the locals and for locals to meet vistors.

HISTORY

The tianguis is a moveable feast traced back for centuries and are in a different class than the established markets -- mercados -- where vendors sell their wares each day.

Markets have been a chief ingredient in the social fabric of the country. The tradition goes back thousands of years to a time when cultivation of corn allowed people to live in settlements. For those who live in remote areas this is an opportunity to come to town to acquire provisions. Another prime motivator of the market is that it provides a place for people to socialize.

MEETING POINT

Markets provides a meeting point (punto de encuentro) in time and space for locals to gossip and for travelers to get a chance to take a peak at the 'real' Mexico.

Mexican markets are friendly venues for travelers as they welcome visitors. Enjoy your visit!

A good example of a market with an indigenous past is Tlacolula de Matamoros.

MARKET TOUR

For visitors heading out to the markets, we have a recommendations to make the most of your market visit.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Before you arrive - Learn how to say 'thank you' in the local language (or languages). Here are a few examples from Oaxaca.

Before you arrive - Print out a Flickr photo of someone you'd like to visit.

Buy something - See something you like? Make a purchase!

Bring small bills - Don't expect to get change for a small purchase if you are paying with a 200 or 500 peso note.

Bring change - Exact change is always appreciated.

Be time specific - If you are seeking produce for today or tomorrow, be specific. vendors are pleased (and at times insistent) in choosing the right produce.

Don't block the corridors - Remember that the market is a work environment. If you're in a group or traveling by yourself, keep the corridors clear for other clients.

Always ask before taking pictures - It is common courtesy, particularly for portraits, but also of goods in general. Better than taking a photo is printing out a photo from Flickr, find the vendor and give them the copy. Be Generous!

Pay attention - Tourists in markets are easy targets for thieves. Lessen the chances of robbery by paying attention.

After your visit - Evaluate your experiences and share photos on Social Web websites including Facebook and TripAdvisor.

WHAT TO BUY

In a traditional market, visitors can buy food and crafts. Meals are often available as are fresh juices.

Kitsch and loveable in the United States and Europe are the durable market bags, made of synthetics and often embossed with a design or the merchant's name. What better thing to buy in a market than a market bag? It's like buying postcards at the post office!

www.flickr.com

AGRICULTURE

Yet the markets are evolving as agriculture and distribution are changing.

Traditional markets are competing with global enterprises. They are also points of sale for nationally and internationally produced merchandise.

Don't be surprised to find grapes from Chile or cheese from New Zealand for sale in a 'traditional' market.

PACKAGING

Traditionally, market purchases were placed into a basket (canasta). Market baskets were made very broad so that purchases would not be packed on top of each other. Baskets have been replaced by market bags, some of which are quite attractive.

Traditionally, purchases would be wrapped in natural materials such as corn husks (totomoxtle). For example, higuerilla leaves would be used to wrap grasshoppers.

MEXICANISMOS: MEROLICO

The merolico is a street vendor whose loud and often humorous oratory is used to garner sales.

TEMPORARY MARKETS

During holidays, temporary markets spring up throughout Mexico. Visitors may think these markets are open all year long. It comes as a surprise to many that during low season the streets are empty of the temporary markets. Here's an example -- the 2006 Easter Market in Oaxaca City.

CHANGING MARKETS

The 2004 controversy about whether to allow a Wal-Mart near Teotihuacán is a sign that there is no simple answer to the question of how markets will fare in the new millenium.


OAXACA

The newly developing Oaxaca Market Project is an initiative of Planeta.com. We ask visitors to print photos (seen here archived on Flickr) and give them to the vendors. What might be a rushed visit becomes a search for familiar faces and seasonal products. This guide encourages you to learn about the markets before a visit. Details ...

MEXICO CITY

The nation's capital has a multitude of markets. Details ...

GUADALAJARA

Guadalajara hosts the largest indoor market in Mexico and some say, all of Latin America. Details ...


AUTHOR

Ron Mader is the responsible travel correspondent for Transitions Abroad and host of the award-winning Planeta.com website.


FEATURES

g Food
g World Markets
g Oaxaca's Pochimilco Market in the Earth Day Spotlight

VIDEO

g Oaxaca Markets Playlist

FLICKR

g Oaxaca Markets
b World Market
ONLINE FLICKR

WIKI

g Food
g Markets
g Oaxaca Markets
ONLINE WIKI

 

YOUTUBE



PLANETA


UPGRADE YOUR WORLD

Check out Ron's workshops and presentations.

www.flickr.com
 


seminars



events

mtw

GOOGLE
NEWS

NEWSGOOGLED
Mexico

Baja
Oaxaca

Yucatan


FOTOS
Flickr - Mexico
Yahoo - Mexico


 

Ron Mader



Copyright © 1994-2015. All rights reserved by individual authors. Link Guidelines