We like to do things, so quite often we look for events around our area on Facebook. As it is December, the month of buying stuff, there are usually many markets wherever you are. We looked for some organic, vegan, sustainable markets around Tijuana, of course we found plenty and at least four that we were interested in. We were excited and looking forward to visiting all of them, finding some exciting new things and of course sharing our finds with you! But you know how it goes with plans, you make them and then life rolls along and makes some little tiny changes.
Attempt number one
A special Christmas edition vegan market, this sounds promising. As we want to be active, hit zero CO2 emissions and had a bit of spare time, we walked six kilometres one way and…
…and we found a nice coffee place where you can have a vegan lunch. I mean we basically eat vegan most days at home, and the truth is the dishes we found were nothing really special. We didn’t like that there were no signs or menus, so we couldn’t see prices and food descriptions. Maybe that is intentional to make people communicate more, but I never feel comfortable after asking a million questions and not buying anything.
Anyway we decided to have coffee and some sweets. The cafe for sure makes great coffee and cookies as well as vegan donuts which were super delicious. If we were nearby then I’d drop in for coffee and and a cookie but I am not sure I would go again 12 km in total just for that.
Attempt number two
Another market, which on Facebook seems to be bigger than the first, and our hopes rise again. When I hear that event is cancelled because of the weather conditions I kind of imagine it is going to be a great storm, but actually here in Tijuana just the winter rain is the reason.
So the market we planned to go changed the date, these things happen. We waited for one more week. The place was around 10 km from us so we took a bus and then walked for a bit. We definitely found a market, but after looking around it really didn’t look like the we had imagined at all! Nothing caught our attention.
After we left we looked more carefully at the event information and found that the location was changed but they hadn’t changed the location and address on the Facebook event. Great, thanks for that! We really wanted to visit the market so we took two buses to the other side of the city. The small organic market was taking a place in a huge shopping mall and without clear directions it was hard to actually find it. At the end we did find it, but it was disappointing again… Let’s say if you happened to be in the shopping mall it was okay, but to come just for this, well I don’t think so.
Maybe I need to write what our expectations are from an organic market. First of all to see a variety of handmade homemade products that can be used in daily life like jams, salsas, tea, hygiene products. Secondly some new handcrafts and DIY ideas, maybe bags, vases or anything else. Probably we also kind of expect to see things from small businesses, not well known massive brands. One more important aspect is to meet the creators, have a chance to learn about and try the products, maybe even to attend a workshop.
The last, but for sure not the least thing is nice food. If it is organic then I would expect more plant based dishes, no plastic plates and cutlery and in general to feel that everything is connected with sustainability. Maybe you think this is a bit demanding, but shouldn’t the organic or vegan markets be events that offer and showcase new things, that are exciting and fun, so that they increase the attention on the important issues they are trying to help solve.
Attempt number three
Tadam, one more organic market! Feeling so nice and this time the advert is sounding even more promising. getting ready by preparing our reusable shopping bags and cash.
The new information reached us – cancelled. Really cancelled? No different date? For health and security reasons? The rain is the cause? Hell no… Can we change anything? No.
We still believed we could visit a nice organic market this year, though there were just a couple of weeks left, but we always try to have hope. Our toothpaste was running out and we would like to try something local and new. I felt like it should be the last attempt and if it is not working we will just go and get wild in my favorite organic shop in Tijuana (link coming soon if we can find the name of it!).
Attempt number four
The last one, our final attempt. The nice sunny winter morning in North of Mexico was promising just not so sure about the market promises.
Well it was rescheduled, but at least not cancelled. The market took place not so far away from our regular mercado so in any case we wouldn’t waste our time again and so we took a walk. Just from the first moment we saw the market we already knew it was the best we visited so far.
It was next to a restaurant/bar, in what is probably it’s parking normally, small, but well organised by Mercado Ecomunitario. There was a food area with three different food counters suggesting different dishes. We even had some vegan hotdogs, usually I am against any kind of sausage but this time I made an exception. It was not the best food we ever had, but it was good, I shared my pickled chili with John, because it was just too strong.
In the market we could see the trend for natural handmade cosmetics, many different solid soaps and shampoo bars for people and animals, deodorants and toothpastes, we even found toothpaste in tablets. Some people were selling reusable diapers, menstruation pads, cups. As expected in every organic market we saw some reusable shopping bags, organic clothes, second-hand clothes and shoes, handmade jewelry and other crafts. Some food products – tea, coffee, salsas, granola, spices.
They had a workshop area with a program of prepared activities in different areas of sustainability: The future of gardening, How to create your own natural zero waste cleaning products, Reusable diapers, Ecological menstruation items, Sustainable personal hygiene (actually you can read more about it in our post Sustainable Travel Kit), Why we should avoid plastic and others.
So our fourth attempt was actually successful and we got two different kinds of toothpaste and a handmade rose soap bar. I am waiting to try them out! I am a bit worried because I was expected higher prices, but hopefully will be happy after testing.
I am not sure I will be up for hunting markets again because it was somehow exhausting 😀 But if there is the same one in the same place then we are up for it, or if I will be passing through one for sure I will look around for some goodies.