Markets and Wraslin’

RJ Lowery(Student): Sunday 1/5/14- Our day consisted of some very interesting cultural activities including a visit to the marketplace of Tlaqupaque, Jalisco and a Lucha Libre event. The market was unlike any I have seen. It had a diverse display spanning from hand crafts and art work to fresh produce. The Lucha Libre event was also new and entertaining event that surpassed my expectations.

The market in Tlaqupaque, or “place above clay land,” is said to be the best place in the country for shoppers to find a variety of handmade items. We first walked through a large indoor market with two floors. The first floor had sections with farmers markets and a few odd booths such as a watch repair booth. I noticed the produce appeared very fresh and seemed to be selling quickly. There were vendors that carried fish and meats that also seemed very fresh. Since most of the farmers/vendors cannot afford to keep these perishable inventories for extended periods, especially in the warm Mexican climate, most of these items come from close local sources. There storefronts seemed busy enough that inventory turnover could support the perishable meats and fish. The relatively short supply chain observed on the first floor was also seen up on the second floor. The top floor housed pottery and other hand crafted knick-knacks. I was actually pleased to find some nice souvenirs for my parents and brother. After this marketplace we walked the streets stopping into small stores along the way that caught your interest. I actually found one of the items I was looking for on this shopping trip, a nice hat to keep the sun off my face when fishing. After wandering around the market square for a while we met as a group for lunch at an open air pizza shop that featured handmade brick oven pizzas.

The evening at the Lucha Libre, or masked Mexican wrestling show was a good time. I was not quite sure of what to expect going into this, but the guys put on a good show and the crowd surely seemed into it. I have a short video clip of the action but I cannot figure out how to mute the “excited” woman behind us who tough us many new Spanish phrases better left off this post. To give you an idea of the scenario, image an American WWE type of thing but with more masks and brighter pants. The wrestlers took a beating in the ring and even found their way into the crowd a few times. There were multiple matches, some involving up to seven wrestlers. What struck me about this show was that the wrestlers were very good to their fans. After the show the guys took pictures and chatted with fans as they left the arena in their street clothes. I am not sure what their level of fame is, but all the wrestlers were excited to high five the kids as they went into the ring and sign autographs after. The featured event saw the challenger and crowd favorite upset the defending champion and ended the day on a positive note in Mexico.

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  1. #1 by CU blog on January 7, 2014 - 3:31 pm

    I agree with RJ, the markets were large, beautiful and eclectic. We walked around the lovely town of Tlaqupaque, able to join in the activities of the town square which included sidewalk vendors, large and small shops, food chart vendors, a packed church and folks and families enjoying the day together in the square. We learned this is common to find any day but in particular on Sundays! It was very nice. We visited the gallery of a very famous Mexican artist Rodo Padilla. I enjoyed viewing his art style and his works of art are so very beautiful. I found this one that looks like me leaving street markets. Charlene Marisol

  2. #2 by Thomas Fessenden on January 7, 2014 - 4:34 pm

    I enjoyed travelling to and seeing the markets in Tlaqupaque. The clay market was fantastic to walk through. All of the wares are hand made and have unique touches between sets. There is a heavy influence of religion on the collections, this time of year there are many nativity sets. I enjoy trying to communicate with the locals, Professor Martinez is very helpful in translating and teaching me more Spanish words; my vocabulary is increasing whereas my grammar and pronunciation definitely needs some work. Thomas Fessenden

  3. #3 by CU blog on January 7, 2014 - 5:49 pm

    I found the market unlike anything I had ever seen or imagined. Not only was I able to get a few gifts for my family, I even made a friend who laughed at me for calling him “Senor”. The wrestling show was hysterical and we got to see all different types of people booing and cheering for their favorites, we even added a few comments ourselves.
    Nolan Driscoll

  4. #4 by CU blog on January 7, 2014 - 9:29 pm

    The Tlaqupaque market was full of handmade items, most of them I would have liked to take home but simply where too big to fit in my carry on for Delta Airlines. On our way to the handmade market, we passed through a fresh produce and meat market. This was an amazing cultural experience. This made me feel as if I found the hidden jem of fresh produce that only locals knew about. An overall great day.

    Mike Torrnatore

  5. #5 by Steven Prentice on January 7, 2014 - 9:59 pm

    In the beginning i was not excited about going to the lucha libre. However it was much more fun than I had expected. I am very happy that I went. I figured it was going to be like American wrestling. in some ways it was but the culture threw in an entirely new element that I had not expected. I am very happy I went.

    Steven Prentice

  6. #6 by CU blog on January 7, 2014 - 10:10 pm

    I thought the market was awesome, it was similar to a few different markets that I had gone to in Europe, but there was a lot more hand made things. Many of the things in the other markets that I viewed were pre-purchased and sold by local vendors, almost if not everything in this market was handmade/hand painted and it was a really cool experience to see how another part of the world makes a living through these crafts. The Lucha Libre was awesome, I personally have never watched a wrestling match, but it was a lot of fun. There were many profanities that were uttered, but one of the coolest things was that after each match the wrestlers always went up to the little kids and gave them a high five or signed an autograph.
    Jordan Wyble

  7. #7 by Omar Lazaro on January 8, 2014 - 1:08 am

    I also didn´t expect to enjoy Lucha Libre as much as I did. However, it was a great experience seeing that part of the Mexican culture. I appreciated the atmosphere that the Lucha Libre offered to the audience. The crowd was able to let off steam while being able to enjoy a wrestling match. In the beginning, I was on the fence of whether or not to go but I am glad that I decided to go. – Omar Lazaro

  8. #8 by CU blog on January 24, 2014 - 10:07 pm

    Although I’ve never really been a huge fan of wrestling, when I heard we had the opportunity to watch a real life Jack Black movie scene, I was in. The Lucha Libre was an interesting part of cultural entertainment that I’m glad to have experienced. I couldn’t really understand anything anyone was saying, but from what I gathered, it was all in good fun. It was a great end to a culturally diverse day.

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