A Call From A Prophet

In a letter dated 27/10/2009 we received a long awaited call to serve as full-time missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to work in the Mexico City Temple Visitors Center, in the Mexico City East Mission. We were to report to the Missionary Training Center on February 15, 2010 and later serve for almost two years in Mexico City

Monday, October 18, 2010

Neighborhood Businesses and Vendors

Mexico is a country of small businesses and street vendors. Outside of the downtown, neighborhoods are a mixture of small businesses, residences, and street vendors. Businesses are often very small (less than 100 s.f.) and often specialize in one thing. They usually do their car and large truck repairs right on the parking areas on the side of the street.

One day a week many neighborhoods have an open air market called Tianguis (different days of the week for different areas). To hold the market they often close down a street to traffic for the day. In a Tianguis you can find fruit,
vegetables, fresh meat, cooked food, clothes, makeup, shoes, trinkets, flowers, pottery, CD/DVD (often pirated), small appliance repair, etc.

The quality of fruit and vegetables is usually good and the price reasonable.

Above right, I am buying some fruit. It is sold by the kilogram (2.2 pounds per kilogram) and the price is usually posted. If the measure is close to a unit they usually throw in an extra piece. If there is no price posted it is haggle time.

To the right Leslie is searching for momentos to use to celibate Mexico's 200 anniversary of its independence from Spain, September 15, 2010.

Here is a vendor selling cooked food. It usually smells great but we do not buy cooked food off the street or Tianguis, nor fresh meat at Tianguis. Too much of a risk of serious digestive repercussions.

In addition, we soak all fresh produce (no matter where it is purchased) in a bleach water solution before we eat it.

Along the streets you will street vendors everywhere. Most sell food or drinks, for example, in the first picture below the person is selling fresh squeezed orange juice. In the second picture below the person is selling snow cones on the street in front of the temple. You will also find people selling clothes, magazines and newspapers, flowers, etc on the sidewalks. Close to where we live we have seen people in the street (literally walking among the cars in traffic) selling bread (a one legged fellow on crutches sells the bread), soft drinks and water, candy, fruit, newspapers, performing acts such as juggling or playing music, and washing car windows. It is really very interesting to see. These folks are real salespeople, and with other kinds of work hard to find, enterprising in finding ways to make a living.

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