This is one of the coolest parts about living and volunteering in San Jose Iturbide, Mexico. With more things to buy than you would ever need and all the delicious food you could ever want, make sure you check out this local market during your semester in Mexico!
This market is seriously amazing. It's an awesome place to load up on souvenirs and other things to help you remember your time abroad. You really can find everything here, so get ready to shop!
Are the warm beaches, fresh fruit smoothies, and cute kids of Mexico calling your name? Well, then click here to start your application to volunteer with ILP!
Grab your ILP group and head here ASAP(and could you send me a street taco?- thanks!) Here's all the info you need about the market!
What Should I Know About The San Jose Iturbide Market?
- When and where is it?
- What kind of things can I find?
- What type of food can I get?
- Can I barter while there?
- Is it really worth going?
When And Where Is It?
The market is every Sunday and Wednesday from about 10:00am-7:00pm. If you're an ILP volunteer, it is only about a 10-15 minute walk from the school and is super accessible.
Every city in Mexico will have some type of city square and this is where the market is. The market starts in the middle of the square and works its way out through the streets all around that area. Basically it's huge and you have tons to walk through and see!
What Can I Find At The Market?
Literally everything ... And, that's not a joke! Clothes, shoes, batteries, phone cases, movies, jewelry, kitchen utensils, sports equipment, blankets, traditional clothes, trinkets, painting, souvenirs, food, and more! The list goes on. Check out these cute shoes a volunteer got for only $15!
What Type Of Food Can I Find At The Market?
All of your food dreams will come true at the market. These are some of the best Mexican street foods around! Tacos, fresh fruit, churros, cheese, ice cream, candied nuts, fresh drinks, horchata, crepes, gorditas, and quesadillas are some of the delicious things you can get your hands out. And, holy cow, you will want to go back every Sunday and Wednesday just for the food.
Ivy who is volunteering in San Jose Iturbide had something to share with all the cheese lovers. She said:
"The cheese is amazing! It's home made and it's Oaxacan Cheese (which is pretty much string cheese). Everywhere, including the cheese guy, lets you test the food which is always fun."
Can I Barter At The Market?
Yes! Go for it! Most street vendors are willing to barter and a lot of the time you can cut the price down in half. It just takes some time talking to them and making a deal. Here are some bartering tips (they still apply in Mexico!).
Amy A. who is volunteering in Mexico shared her awesome deal she got from bartering for this unique blanket.
"I bought a huge, beautiful quilt from a man in Mexico City at the ruins. He said that it took his family 45 days to sew it and he was going to sell it to me for $2,000 pesos ($108 american dollars). The quilt was definitely worth that much and would have been much more expensive in America but I knew I shouldn't do it. He followed me for a while trying to convince me and even lowered the price to 1700 pesos ($91 American dollars). After we hiked up all the pyramids I realized that I still wanted it. One of our head teachers (he's been on ILP 3 times so he's got some experience) was much better at bargaining so I went to him for help. After about 10-15 minutes of bargaining we got the price down to 850 pesos ($45 American dollars)."
A few bartering tips:
- only barter at outside markets/vendors, not in big stores
- to get "local prices" let them know you are living there for a semester teaching children
- learn basic numbers in Spanish (and other basic phrases) to help with your bartering
- have fun with it and make friends with the people selling!
Is It Worth Going?
A million times yes! You have to check out this market while volunteering. You will fall in love with the place and it's so big it will keep you busy for a loooong time. Make friends with the vendors there and have fun as you explore the cool booths and shops you can find. Enjoy!
Volunteering abroad in Mexico will probably be the best decision you ever make! With amazing things to see, the kindest people around, and the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of kids, you're never going to want to leave!
Click here to learn more about Mexico and how you can serve abroad!