OAXACAN  Markets

Markets around Oaxaca City: 
Sunday--Tlacolula = one of my favorite markets
Monday-- no market but visit Telcajete's home studios for alebrijes
Tuesday--Atzompa  = market and crafts gallery of green glaze potters
Wednesday--Etla = visit the market to eat typical Oaxacan food
          (Etla is Mexican chef Susana Trilling's favorite market.) 
Thursday--Zaachila =  one of the oldest markets in Oaxaca 
                and most typical Indian market
Friday--Ocotlan, with the Agular sisters and Coyotepec, with the black pottery 
Saturday--  Mitla, and the Mercado de Artesanias near the ruins;  
                --Oaxaca City, with one the largest market in Mexico 

Sunday markets in Mexicoare extremely rare, but Tlacolula, about 20 miles southeast of Oaxaca, is the exception.  On the way, about 20 miles from Oaxaca, we visited the famous 2,000 year-old   El Tule Tree, and sampled thedelicious rum-eggnog drink the nuns make.  

The Sunday Tlacolula  market surrounds the Dominican chapel, which is considered to,be the most beautiful Dominican church in the Americas. We collected from basket weavers, wood carvers and the gourd painters. Just outside the church door, the family who hand crafts the gourds have their booth.  These hand painted calabazas, gourds, are among my favorites. After shopping untill we dropped, we stopped for fresh carrot juice, although the papaya juice is equally delicious. Leaving the market, we stopped at the ruins of Mitla where we easily saw the major buildings in less than an hour.  The Mitla valley is covered with blue agave plants, and cactus which supplies the  mezcal distilleries. To be genuine, the bottle of mezcal must have a worm in it. The
liquor is surprisingly cheap, the bottles exceptionally colorful and collectable, and the
taste remarkably vile. 

Artisans Market in Oaxaca
After all that, we were ready for our <i>comida,</i> the main meal in Mexico, usually
served around 2 in the afternoon.  I especially loved the chicken in Mole sauce, but the
saucy chicken stuffed with sautéed vegetables was a close second.  After lunch, Donald
sometimes napped  but I always walked to the downtown  Artisan market, about 12
minutes away. It?s a small market with about 30 booths offering a variety of  crafts from
antique jewelry, baskets, carvers, clothing, tin work and weavers, and rug weavers
including Abuelita de Las Lapizs, or "granny with the pencils."

A visit to the Artist's Market in Oaxaca!

Abuelita with her handmade crafts.

Collecting in Oaxaca City is a Mecca for the folk art enthusiast.  Roads in any direction
will lead to a market held on a different day of the week. Artists open up their
home/studios and demonstrate their craftsmanship for collectors.  

Winter is the "dry" season, usually without rain, when afternoon temps
often reach the upper 70's.  It's sunny, so a hat is a mandatory, while a light jacket feels
comfortable at night! 

I have been a Craftsman for 28 years and Christmas is the busiest time of the year for me. 
After it's all over, past New Year?s, and things have settled down, I  celebrate Christmas
in Mexico.  The  Feast of the Three Kings, on January 6, the Epiphany, is
the day when Mexican's have their Christmas. Nativity scenes are spotlighted, and like
the Three Kings,  gifts are exchanged. It is time to visit  the home/studios of the artists  who have
created much of what I collect for eBay.

I shop different markets every day, tour artist's studios and collect
 rom them personally.  I like to visit some archeological sites on the way to shop. Early evening shopping sojourns to Oaxaca?s downtown markets, followed by cocktails and appetizers at Oaxaca?s best restaurants.

In Oaxaca, I will often tour an archeology ruin, watch ladies embroidered blouses made , or visit a mezcal distillery.  (I personally have not developed a taste for mezcal,  nor the worm!) 

Comida or "lunch" is the main meal of the day in Mexico and is usually served
around 2 PM.  This meal is usually the highlight of the vacation.