Mexican Street Markets & More...

Señora selling pomagranets Host: Paco Jaimes

When: year round

Length of tour: A four-hour tour is proposed but any length can be considered

Number of guests: 1 or more

Languages: Spanish, English & German (even Bavarian...)

Fee: US$25 per person or $30 for a group for a full four hour tour within Mexico City, but if your student pocket can´t afford it we can meet an adecuate arrangement for both you and me. If 4 hours were not enough we can extend one or two or more extra hours free of charge, just as long as the person still has interest and feet don´t hurt.


My name is Francisco Jaimes (Paco) and I was born in the hard beating, blurry but still fascinating and wonderful capital of Mexico. How could I describe Mexico City!?!? To understand Mexico City you would have to mix concrete, an amazing number of different flowers, Diesel, love, corruption, ancient cults, great street food, beggars, excelent percussion music, sweet natural fruits, modern technology, ancient architecture and rituals, street clowns, preachers and dealers of all sorts, "left" revolutionary consciousness music and poetry, romance and two drops of erotism. What you get will be a brew that either you,ll love it or you'll flush it down the toilet.

Underneath Mexico City´s flesh lies the ancient indian culture that once ruled over a vast territory of Mesoamerica. The city of Tenochtitlan controlled all important trading routes and collected tribute from almost all surrounding indian cultures, it´s splendor was mainly from the XIV to the XVI century (posclasic period). European culture came and tried to burried it away along with gods and traditions but all they achieved was to blend a new culture. In all aspects we lay between a european and american indian culture, daily and unconsciously comes to us mexicans the question, who and what are we as a culture? ... I invite you to walk along the vains, wires, and streets of this city and figure out along with me what is Mexico or Mexico City itself.

What I can offer you isssssss...:

To stroll through street markets and taste the variety of colours along with an explaination of the ancient mexican indian market system. There is a big importance on appreciating and understanding the market system, that is to understand the almost hidden logic and function of a society, markets are essential to anthropology due to the fact that there it is possible to stablish which are the region´s products and also helps us to determine the relations between different social and ethnic groups among a society as well as their nutrition ways.
And it includes:

  1. a visit to the "Mexica Tenochtitlan" section at the Anthropology Museum. It is important to know and understand the logic underneath the trade system during the prehispanic period. There it is possible to visualize how markets were organized and to admire the variety of produts being sold or traded during the mexica period.
  2. Door to the flower market near the MercedA visit to Mercado de la Merced, one of Mexico City ´s most important markets, where it is possible to get lost admiring the variety of products of different regions of Mexico, all concentrated in one single market.
  3. Mercado de Sonora where not just vegetables are sold but also all sorts of animals are merchandized legally and illegaly, toys, medicine teas and witchkraft. This is the place where ancient african voodoo practices, cristian traditions and obviously indian cults gathered, this section of the market is the main attraction, there you´ll find articles to produce magic such as: amulets, stones with mystical powers, bone powders, black candles ,powders to attract money, love, sex or healthiness. The one market mentioned on Manu Chao´s songs.
  4. Or a typical Tianguis on an absolutely non touristic area that still preserves ancient prehispanic values, handling and products.
  5. Difficult to reach but worthy mercado at Chilapa Guerrero, 5 to 6 hours drive by bus to the absolutely non touristic mounatin region to meet one of the oldest and well preserved mercados in Mexico. Mixtecas, Tlapanecas and Nahuas still walk from remote regions to come and sell their products during the weekend. Simple, clean and safe accomodation will be provided for the two days tour. NOTE: this only upon a request of minimum 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure due to the difficulty of arranging transportation.

Simply tell me what you are interested in about Mexico City and surrouding areas, your city touring plans etc. -- art, history, politics, archeaology, museums or places of historical importance.
Transport: mainly public transport with the confidence that you´ll be with someone that knows how to move around and the do´s and dont´s of the city.


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