Market Marauding: Oaxaca
I will never forget my first trip to the markets in Oaxaca. An overload of the senses, I stumbled and weaved carefully through each narrow passage way trying to absorb the plethora of new sounds, sites, tastes, and smells. The markets are packed so tight with tens of thousands of trinkets and treasures of all shapes and sizes that you truly need to put yourself into a meditative trance in order to soak in the entire experience. And if you tend to be a more visual person, forget about it. Bright colors, flamboyant prints, countless textures, ingenious displays, interesting people…seriously, your head just might explode.
Led by the lovely Luz Aida Morales, we visited every market in downtown Oaxaca, including Benito Juarez, 20 de Noviembre, Artesania, and Oaxaca’s oldest and largest market, Central de Abastos (literally meaning the market of supplies). Each market has a different specialty, whether you’re looking for fresh produce, textiles, leather, sandals, alebrijes, grasshoppers, coffee, ceramics, miscellaneous “artesania” or chocolate. What particularly sets the Oaxacan market experience apart from several other popular Mexican destinations is that you’re not going to bump into too many tourists. But you will be bumping elbows with lots and lots of locals; so you get a really good feel for their tastes, lifestyle, and preferences.