This is the story of my experiences living as an ex-pat in Mexico since 2003. It's to culminate in a published book. With your help, I'll be editing, selecting a title, and cover art: a participatory project. Your comments encouraged!
Letters from Mexico
Tepoztlán, Mexico: Romero Organic/Natural Foodstore (left). Organic farmer's market at Las Palmas (right). Photo by author.
It's fun to shop for fresh vegetables and fruit at the outdoor markets. The warm dry climate makes it comfortable. During those few months when it rains, an overhead tarp provides protection.
The main market in Tepoztlán is in the center of town. Parts of it are open every day, but it expands on weekends to serve the large tourist influx to this "Magic City." Wednesday is also an expanded market, and is called the "local" market, because it caters to residents.
There are three markets on Fridays that call themselves "organic," but "natural" might be more appropriate, as there is very little certification here. All three are within walking distance of each other, and about a half mile downhill walk from the central market.
Friday, for me, is the socializing day of the week. Two of the natural markets have home-made prepared food and drink. Often they have live music. There are comfortable places to sit, eat and drink, and chat. I see people there that I know, or meet new ones who come regularly.
Markets in the Centro
There are a lot of indoor stores, like the one pictured below-- few small supermarkets, and many neighborhood ones like this.
Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. A small grocery store in my neighborhood. Photo by author
The focus in this article is the tianguis, or open air market. They are very colorful and festive, with a variety of fresh food to take home and prepare awesome meals. And they sell other items, some handcrafted.
There are alternative markets on Fridays. The main market, in the center of town, runs daily, but expands for tourists on weekends. Another expanded market, for the locals, is on Wednesdays.
Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Two vendors at the Wednesday market for locals. Photo by author
Alternative Markets on Fridays
These markets are smaller, run only on Fridays, and feature natural and organic products. Some have home-made prepared food and places to sit, eat, socialize, and watch live music performances.
The lead-in photo, at the top of this article, shows and indoor store, Romero, on the left, and the Las Palmas market on the right. Las Palmas is a short stroll down the block from Romero. This alternative market has the largest produce selection, a lot of it from the permaculture farm of a Frenchman, Jean Louis, a jolly and helpful fellow. This market does not have meals or prepared food, places to sit, or entertainment. For this, you need to go across the street and down the block, across the street from Romero, to the Mercado Organico at the Mulata Mia bar/restaurant. On the same side of the street, about a fifteen minute walk further away from the town center, at EKKO Hostel, is yet another alternative outdoor market.
Alternative Market at EKKO Hostel
The EKKO Hostel has an enormous lawn that is also the home to many other events besides this market. It is a small market, with tarp covered booths forming an oblong market space. It does not have as wide a selection of fresh fruits and vegetables as the other markets, but has more prepared food of excellent quality, and with a more open and relaxed feeling--good for munching and hanging out.
Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Eating area at the EKKO Hostel market. Photo by author
Mercado Organico is an alternative market on Fridays, along with the other two. It is about a half mile from the center of town, across the street from the Romero store, which is in the left photo at the start of this article.
Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Bottom: The banner outside the market at the street entrance. Top left: A design inside the market. Top right: A sign announcing Tarot readings by the proprietor of the nearby booth. Photo by author
The host of Mercado Organico is a bar/restuarant, Mulata Mia, that has a large outdoor area with seating and performance stage. It serves a range of home-made dishes and baked goods for dessert, as you can see from the menus in the images below.
Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Top left: Sign of the bar/restaurant. Top right: Inside. Bottom left: menu. Bottom right: dessert menu. Photo by author
Prepared foods at Mercado Organico do not only include vegetarian. Here is a hamburger grill, with meat from grass fed free ranging cows, strips of bacon, pieces of pineapple, and cheese--all of this, with a chili and onions, in a bun. Sometimes a baked potato goes with the burger.
Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. Grill with a cheeseburger in progress. Photo by author
A couple of booths sell CBD and other hemp-related products. Below are photos with signs listing some of their wares.
Tepoztlán, Morelos, Mexico. This composite photo lists hemp products of two different booths. Photo by author
Here's a video I shot of the Mercado Organico. In the middle, I inserted a short interview with one of the booth's proprietors to learn why she sells there.
I hope you've enjoyed this tour of the open air markets in Tepoztlán. Perhaps you might understand why these alternative Friday markets provide me with my "socializing" day of the week. The main reason, among many, why I moved here in 2003, had to do with the fiestas. In Mexico, there is no concept of baby sitters. Children and pets are included in most activities, including markets, as you can see if you paid close attention to the videos.
If you like these blogs, you might check the archives for topics you missed or want to read again. Would you like to help me by reading the eBook of compiled blogs, or my completed memoir: Better Living in Mexico, before publication? These will be out by the end of February 2021. Get on my helpers list here.