Today, class, the subject addresses the Saturday Market and downtown Coátepec. Coátepec is maybe four miles north of us on the way to Xalapa. It is a colonial town and was just granted the "honor" of designating itself a "Magical Pueblo." This opens up tourist funds from the Federal government, a pretty good thing. But Coátepec is hardly a tourist destination a la Cancún or Branson, MO. It is a place where people live and work at a number of things, especially coffee production. It is definitely a very pretty town with all kinds of old colonial buildings and streets which now can be better rehabbed.
We go to Coátepec fairly often. We shop at the main Mercado for all kinds of fresh produce, chicken, tortillas, piñatas, etc. We can also by clothing, radios, oilcloth, plants, bells and a host of other stuff. I guess outside of the shops here in Ursulo Galván, it is where we get most of our stuff. I am going to go get stuff for a new creche there in the next couple of days.
At this market, local producers sell organic fruits and veggies, jams, honey, cheese and butter and yoghurt and meat as well as really heavy and delicious breads, whole wheat cookies that taste great but go down like steel wool, crafty stuff, some delicious home-made liquors, etc.
When there is some sort of event in the Casa de Cultura, the Saturday Market is held in the courtyard of the Government Palace across the park. Here is a picture of the government palace which lies at the other end of the park from the main church of Coátepec. The church is across the street from the Casa de Cultura, to give you some idea of the lay of the land.
Now, let's go back to the Palacio del Gobierno to see it set up for the Saturday Market. It is not as pretty in the Palacio's courtyard and often the market is slower to get started since you don't know it's going to be there till you go to the Casa de Cultura first. Hopefully, a friendly policeman or other will know where it went and will direct you.
Mother and daughter, dueñas of Flor de Mayo, a panaderia down the street, also sell their wares at the Saturday Market. There is also a son and a father. The father is from Spain, but I don't know if mother and daughter are. The bread is, as an old boss of mine used to say, to die for. The apple strudels are wonderful, the muffins are like balls of lead. I don't know how people who can make some stuff so well can do so badly with the muffins. Anyway, they used to sell out of the kitchen which is outside and in back of hte store: a large whitewashed room with two huge wood-stoked ovens. Now they have a small store in front where they sell pots of herbs, a delicious mole and of all things where they also make duplicate keys for you.
This is the tiny, adorable, outgoing and charming woman who sells pan dulces and galletas which are made from whole grain and which are good for scouring out your insides, but which also taste fabulous. She would like to get married to someone who would want to live with her in the country and who would respect her business acumen. If you're interested, let me know!