Published On: Tue, Apr 29th, 2014

Chem Bech Market Renovations Begin!

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MÉRIDA, YUCATÁN – For those who don’t know it, “Mercado de la Chem Bech” (Chem Bech Market) is located on Calle 57, at the corner of Calle 42, in Centro. In addition to the main markets in the middle of the city, there are three other neighborhood markets in Centro, of which Chem Bech is one (the others are Santiago and Santa Ana). Although not as popular with the foreign community as the Santiago area, the east side of centro has a number of expats living in it, many of whom shop from time to time at Chem Bech.

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Recently, the market has been looking a little tired, and happily, renovations have begun. The market building is now completely cleared of vendors, who have temporarily relocated to a tented area in the roadway on Calle 42, making for an ‘intimate’ shopping experience due to the lack of space and tightly packed shelves of products.

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The interior of the building is partly empty, and partly occupied by piles of rubble – renovations are expected to take approximately another ten weeks, although vendors I spoke to this week told me that work is proceeding faster than expected and they are hopeful they will move back inside earlier than planned.

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The ‘loncherias’ at the side of the market on Calle 42 (popular spots for breakfast and evening panuchos) are still operating normally, as are the small tienditas along the other side on Calle 57.

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We are looking forward to seeing a bright and shiny new Chem Bech market soon. Watch this space for pictures when it re-opens!

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Are you interested in knowing more about Mérida’s markets? How about taking a tour of the main central markets to learn the best techniques for shopping in them? Resident expat Rosa Soares runs regular market tours, and was featured in TYT in January. She has been away for the last couple of months; however is now back in town, and ready to teach you everything you want to know about market shopping in Yucatán.

For more information, and to contact her, see our article here:

By Stewart Mandy

Stewart Mandy

Stewart Mandy

Questions or comments? Let us hear from you below, or send an email to

Born in Europe, raised in the Middle East, and a long-time resident in the Americas, Stewart has been based in Mérida, Yucatan since 2010, and has lived and worked worldwide in the media, travel, tourism and transportation industries for well over 20 years. His local contacts and global knowledge provide him with unmatched access to the stories ‘behind the stories’ and he likes to take you to the places that others don’t or won’t go. From the Arctic Circle to Tierra del Fuego, from Moscow to Melbourne, from Bergen to Buenos Aires, Stewart has been there. Chances are, wherever you are heading, he knows the score.

In addition to The Yucatan Times, Stewart contributes (or has contributed) to “The Examiner” (, “Business Briefings”, “Cruise & Ferry Magazine” and “The Apollo Magazine”. He is a former editor of “rolling pin CRUISE” magazine.

He can be contacted by email at or

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