MÉRIDA, YUCATÁN – As we reported in April, the “Mercado de la Chem Bech” (Chem Bech Market) which is located on Calle 57, at the corner of Calle 42, in Centro, closed for renovations, and the merchants relocated to a temporary tented market on Calle 42.
Late last night, when I transited the area, the traders could be seen moving their produce from the tents into the new building, and today, the newly remodeled market opened its doors for the first time. Some dusty corners remain, as do some construction workers, putting the final touches to what is an impressive new addition to the east side of town.
As anyone familiar with the old market will know, it was previously a dark and gloomy building, which looked its age, and, frankly, never looked particularly clean. The new market stands in huge contrast; after around 5 months of work, it is now a bright and airy structure, with high ceilings, excellent ventilation, and lots of natural light. Gleaming stainless steel counters have replaced the old wooden ones, providing a considerably more hygienic atmosphere.
The city invested slightly over $4.5 million pesos in the new building, which is expected to be officially opened in the middle of next week.
The vendors are understandably delighted to be back in the market, and to have these excellent and modern facilities in which to sell their products. It is to be hoped that the city maintains the building in the future to ensure it continues to look bright and fresh.
The market offers a range of meat, vegetable, flower, and general merchandise vendors, as well as food stands and loncherias on the Calle 42 side of the building.
If you live in the area, come along and shop at your new market! If you live elsewhere in centro or the surrounding colonias, it’s worth a visit to enjoy traditional market shopping in a bright and clean environment.
The Chem Bech area is a mini-hub for the east side of the city, with a number of businesses located around the market including a couple of pharmacies, a beauty parlor, a laundry, a dentist, a liquor store, two bars, a couple of tortilla stores, and an excellent restaurant “Mar Y Sol” (closed on Tuesdays) which specializes in seafood and is highly recommended if you are in the area at lunchtime.
By Stewart Mandy
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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” (www.examiner.com), “Business Briefings”, “Cruise & Ferry Magazine” and “The Apollo Magazine”. He is a former editor of “rolling pin CRUISE” magazine.
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