Domingo en el Barrio

The bells ring out early from the nearby churches of Santa Lucia and the Parroquia de Santiago which are packed with devoted locals all Sunday morning. 

Dawn breaks to the song of White-Winged Doves which have an endless cooing call that sounds like ‘who cooks for you?’

The great-tailed grackles also start up early and continue all day with their shrieks, clacks, whistles and chatters, along with a loud piercing ascending whistle that sounds like a

The local Mercado Santiago is already heaving with crowds by 9am, all enjoying the various food stands which include the famous La Lupita, where for a couple of dollars A$ you can have a Panucho, Taco or Torta of Cochinta Pibil, or a mouth wateringly delicious Lechon Al Horno. And, for just under A$1, you can buy half a kilo of the freshest Tortillas we’ve found anywhere – super thin and super tasty maize Tortillas which we buy every day – we’re living on them!

Also on Sundays there’s a small band that strikes up early morning with drums, trumpet and a sax playing local Mexican tunes that we can hear from the garden. This of course adds another layer of atmosphere to yet another scorching hot day in Mérida. It’s now late March and the daily highs reach 37 degrees whilst the overnights are 23, so by 9 or 10am it’s already pushing 30 degrees. We’re trying to keep our walking regime up, but unless you head off early, it’s already too hot. We’re only managing 5 or 6ks a day, before beating a retreat back to La Casa de los Abuelos and heading straight to the cool inviting pool under the massive spreading Sapote tree. 

Around mid-morning there’s a particularly kooky market that springs up haphazardly around Parque Santiago each and every Sunday. It’s all about vintage toys, so it attracts a huge number of geeks of all ages, buying, selling, trading and gawking at action figures, model cars, Disney characters, freaky monsters and (even) gonks. Everything is laid out on heaving tables in the hot baking sun with stall owners energetically engaging with a constant stream of inquisitive shoppers looking for their particular thing. There’s vintage with perfect original packaging, limited-edition action figurines or just a sentimental reminder of childhood.

In addition to the huge amount of vigorous trading going on among vocal young men, there are families here too, with wide-eyed young kids agog at what’s on display. I love it. It’s a uniquely Mexican experience in many ways with the rousing Mexican band playing slightly out of tune, the church-goers streaming out of morning service in their Yucatecan finest, the bells tolling, the grackles whistling and, drifting through everything, the hunger-inducing aromas of roast suckling pig over coals. 

What’s not to like about Sundays in Mérida?  

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Bevanlee says:

    Oooh, there are Gonks amongst those toys. Retro rules! 😍

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Bevanlee says:

    That well known Sondheim musical “Sunday in the Plaza with Onnis” 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

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