Tag Archives: tianguis

Sunday Tlacolula Market Meander Map For Sale

It’s Sunday in the Oaxaca Valley. Time to spend the day at the amazing Tlacolula Market. Located about 45 minutes from Oaxaca City on the Carretera Nacional–Mexico 190–between Teotitlan del Valle and Mitla, the market is the biggest and IMHO, the best in the region.

Tlacolula market scene with aprons as cultural identity, meat grilling area

I suggest you get there by 11 a.m. and stay until at least 3 p.m. All transportation points you to Tlacolula on a Sunday. You can take a bus from the baseball stadium in the city or a colectivo from the same point. If you wish, hire a private driver and have him wait for you at about 180 pesos per hour.

I created this map because the market is complex and goes deep. You don’t want to miss anything! The map costs $9 USD. Please order at least 24-hours in advance. I send this to you as a jpg or PDF. You print it out and take it with you — for personal use only!

ORDER YOUR TLACOLULA MARKET MAP HERE!

There are some flash points to avoid for personal safety. The narrow arch that spills out from the church courtyard to the street that connects on the opposite side to the permanent market is where the purse-slashers and pick-pockets hang out. Don’t go through there, go around.

Assessing quality, style and price.

The map indicates my favorite place to eat, places to shop and to explore. You don’t want to miss any of it!  Where to taste the best nieves — ice cream — or sample agua miel, the unfermented first juice of the agave cactus filled with digestive health benefits.

With the map, you will know the streets, where to get cash at the ATM, how the town is laid out, where to get the colectivos, where to park, how far to meander without missing anything.

This map offers an option to those who want to know where they are going before they get there!

ORDER YOUR TLACOLULA MAP HERE!

Thank you for supporting Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC. We invest a lot of time writing the blog and publishing photos. This is one way to help underwrite our efforts.

Also available by advance order, to guide you to weavers who work only in natural dyes in the rug weaving village of Teotitlan del Valle.  $10 USD

SELF-GUIDED TOUR MAP TO TEOTITLAN DEL VALLE WEAVERS!

Colorful plastic woven baskets, Tlacolula Market. Map to buy!

Christmas in Oaxaca: Three Wise Men and Rosca de Reyes

It feels like springtime here in Oaxaca, although we are still celebrating Christmas.  Yesterday was downright warm, with temperatures rising to the low 80’s, though nights can be a chilly 45 or 50 degrees.  Christmas here is an elaborate and lengthy celebration, starting on December 12 to celebrate the Virgin of Guadalupe and officially ending with Dia de la Candelaria on February 2.   The Three Magi, or Wise Men, arrive on January 6, for Day of the Three Kings or Dia de los Tres Reyes.

Celebrated and tasty Rosca de Reyes

Celebrated and tasty Rosca de Reyes

You have probably figured out that food motivates me almost as much as textiles.  So, this morning I was off again to the wondrous, expansive Sunday tianguis — portable street market — in Tlacolula de Matamoros, ten minutes from where I live.  I wanted to see what was in store for food preparations.

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Front and center is Rosca de Reyes, a round or oval fruit-studded sweet bread, a traditional delight.  Most Oaxaca celebrations are home and family centric, with a children’s gift exchange and a spin the top gambling game with whole nuts.  When you go visiting, it is customary to bring a small gift for children and one of these bread loaves.

Tucked inside the loaves are one or several little plastic dolls that symbolize the baby Jesus.  Whomever gets one of these dolls embedded in their slice of Rosca is obliged to host a tamale party on Candlemas.  Corn and tamales, symbols of sustenance, are interwoven into this and other Mexican celebrations.

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Today in the Tlacolula market the bread section was piled high with pan de yema, a sweet egg bread, shaped in the round.   The vendors were doing a brisk business. This year, bakers added decoration of sliced, canned peaches to accompany the candied dates, prunes, pineapple bits and cherries.

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Live poultry, like guajolotes and chickens, are a big item, too.  Add to that roses ($1 USD a dozen), huge papaya (10 cents each), mangoes, melon, strawberries, watermelon, avocado (5 cents each USD), and any number of types of other fresh fruits and vegetables at everyday bargain prices. For those who forget to bring their shopping baskets or buy more than they planned, there are specialty vendors who sell these, too.

ThreeKingsDay-15 ThreeKingsDay-12            I like to arrive at the market by 10 a.m. to take a leisurely stroll through the streets.  Before noon, there are not a lot of people and there is no line at the bank ATM located on church side street.  Later, it’s packed and it’s like bumper cars with people.

Chicken meatballs in spicy broth at Comedor Mary

Chicken meatballs in spicy broth at Comedor Mary

Lunch is a special treat at Comedor Mary, located on the opposite side of the church on the street that borders the permanent market. Today’s special was albondigas con pollo — a picante broth with fresh ground and spiced chicken meatballs.  Amazingly delicious.

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This is the season to come to Oaxaca and stay a while.  It is a feast for all your senses.  And it is senseless to stay wrapped up in frigid northern weather if you don’t have to!  Feliz Año Nuevo.

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Tlacolula Shopping List: Oaxaca’s Sunday Market

The Sunday Tlacolula regional tianguis (indigenous market) is where locals go to buy everything imaginable: furniture, cookware, light bulbs, plants, vegetables, fruits, meats, rebozos, live animals, jewelry, aprons, CDs and DVDs, clothing and plumbing supplies, just to list a few!

Portable stalls, covered with blue plastic tarp, line the streets for blocks on end.  Interspersed are some interesting tourist collectibles: finely woven baskets, lacquered gourds, Mitla tablecloths, embroidered blouses, carved wood figures, fancy shawls, and more.

I love Tlacolula.  The colorful indigenous dress, women carrying babes to their breasts wrapped in shawls securely tied around their necks and midriffs, wheelbarrows filled with honey dripping from hives, pushcarts with piles of fresh strawberries and guayaba so ripe that the air is like breathing a smoothie.  Men pull goats by coarse ropes.  Old women cradle turkeys under their arms.  Hawkers call out the daily specials at improvised street cafes where rotisserie chicken spins as diners eat at makeshift tables.

Petate weaver

This Sunday I had a shopping list.  No tourist dawdling for me.

I started out late, hopped on a 3 p.m. bus from Teotitlan del Valle (TDV) to Tlacolula.  The 10-minute ride is 7 pesos (that’s about 50 cents).  On Sundays, that’s the only destination for the TDV bus that makes numerous round trips all day ending with the last one returning at 3:30 p.m..

Tlacolula Shopping List:

  1. Clothes hangers.  The basic necessities are not what tourists are looking for, but Tlacolula has everything. 10 for 25  pesos.
  2. Oil cloth. This is not for the dining room table! I lit upon this solution to cover a window to keep the light out. Hopefully making for better sleeping.  2 meters for 60 pesos.
  3. Masking tape and picture wire.  The tape to hang the oilcloth and the picture wire to hang a beautiful clay sirena (mermaid) wall plaque I bought in Santa Maria Atzompa last week.  The potter made the platter with only one hole (a mistake) so no way to thread a wire to hang.  So I found a button at the market, too. (My plan, fit the button into the hole, thread the wire through the button holes, hang–it worked.) Tape and wire at the hardware store for 35 pesos.  Button from a street vendor for one peso.
  4. Hand-woven petate floor mat. Not on my shopping list, but who could resist the woman sitting on the curb weaving these mats from palm fronds. Indigenous people slept on these. Now, they make a perfect natural floor covering.  A steal at 40 pesos.                                         

La Dueña de Comedor Mary

5.  Late lunch at Comedor Mary. The most delicious food in the cleanest restaurant you’ve ever seen – anywhere.  I could write a whole post about Comedor Mary. Located on the street between the church and the permanent market. Chicken soup, chile relleno, accompanying plate of avocado, radishes, guaje, with a Coke Light for 90 pesos.

     

By the time I left the market, the TDV buses were kaput (last return trip at 3:30 p.m.).  So I walked to the Tlacolula crucero (crossroads) and picked up a collectivo (10 pesos) that dropped me off at the TDV crucero.  I sat next to the cutest 2-year old with her mom in the back seat and we made goo-goo eyes.  From there, I took a local collectivo (5 pesos each and sharing the cab with 6 people, 3 adult men in the front seat) into town.  My bundles went into the trunk, fortunately.   From there I walked home.

Overall, a great day I’d say.  Shopping list accomplished.