Thursday, June 22, 2023

A Trip to Jamaica

Jamaica... not the Caribbean island, but the Mexico City market... is one of my favorite places in the city.  As I said at the end of the last post, the museums in Mexico City are closed on Mondays, but the Jamaica Market is open 24 hours a day, every day of the week.  So, that is where I took Megan and John on Monday.  We took the subway, and fortunately it was not too crowded.  The neighborhood is not the greatest, but the Metro station is right at the entrance to the market.

At first Jamaica looks like any other Mexican market with stalls of colorful and sometimes exotic fruits and vegetables, butcher shops, fishmongers, and vendors selling most anything from shoes to pottery.  There was even a podiatrist's office in the middle of it all. But what makes Jamaica so unique and worthy of a visit is the enormous number of flower vendors.  There are over 1000 stalls devoted to the sale of flowers, flower arrangements, house plants and flowerpots.

Supposedly there are more than 5000 different types of flowers and plants to be found here.  Some are familiar to us, but others are very unusual.  For example, the bizarre flowers in the lower right corner are called "maracas" because of their resemblance to the percussion instrument.


(photo taken by John)

Six dozen roses for 60 pesos (3.50 US dollars)!

Whimsical flower arrangements
The owl with the mortarboard is obviously for a graduate.

Megan amid the sunflowers

While wandering around this enormous market we came upon something I had never seen on my numerous visits to Jamaica.  Hidden away in the heart of the market building is a space where we saw this fellow carving a wooden statue of an Aztec goddess.

He invited us in and explained that this space is a cultural center that offers free art lessons to the public.  He let us wander around and look at the artwork that had been done by the students.

(photo taken by Megan)

In addition to the incredible display of flowers for sale, Megan was also impressed by the wide variety of piñatas.  In fact, she bought a miniature piñata of a lion.

Megan asked permission from the vendor before giving this giant teddy bear a hug.

After our exploration of the market, we stopped at one of the many food stands.  "Carnitas Pati" is a stand which has received very good reviews.  I have eaten there a few times, and I have never had any tummy problems afterwards.  So I always take my visitors here for a snack at the end of our market tour.  The only thing they sell are "carnitas" tacos (chopped braised pork).  To drink we had "tepache" which is made from slightly fermented pineapple.

Megan's little lion piñata sipping the "tepache"

(photo taken by Megan)

Jamaica Market has become "discovered" by visitors coming to Mexico City, but it is still largely off the typical tourist track.  (I don't recall seeing any other "gringos" there.)  Everyone that I have taken to Jamaica has enjoyed their excursion, and I think that Megan and John are no exception.


  1. Neat! I've still never made it to Mercado Jamaica. I imagine it's something to see in the fall with the Dia de Muertos marigolds or the Christmas noche buenas.


    1. You definitely need to put Mercado Jamaica on your list of things to see on your next trip to Mexico City. Prior to Día de Muertos you have never seen so many marigolds in your life, but it is amazing any time of year.