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