"Oaxaca, Mexico: An

Expatriate Life"

Writing by Stan Gotlieb

Pictures by Diana Ricci

The Pochote Organic Market



The Pochote, named after a type of tree in the Zapotec language, is a small movie theater established by Francisco Toledo that offers free films to the community, 6 nights a week. It is another of his "tequios" (contributions of things, or of work to the community). Every Friday, starting in November of 2003, vendors began coming to Pochote to sell their organic products.

These flowers are also for sale there.

**Click on an image to see enlarged photo**

The wall between the street and the market is formed by Oaxaca's old colonial aqueduct, with many arches supporting it. This poster, advertising organic products, is posted above one of the arches.
These vendors are in front of the vine-covered theater wall. They set up their booths on the newly lanscaped ground, either as you enter or on the upper level.
Shade grown organic coffee (Pluma Hidalgo is believed to be the best grade) from Oaxaca's coastal mountains. You can buy it in beans, or ground.
Packaged, dried fruits, mushroom, tomatoes, and more from a new organization - Pueblos Mancomunados, located just outside the city.
This enterprising family sells tamales, cheeses and rompopo (a drink of rum, egg, and milk).
Tonatzin Tlalli is a recently organized cooperative near the community of Ejutla, about an hour south of the city. Philippe - the young man in the picture - is part of the group involved in the project. He is totally bilingual and very excited about the project and its successes.
Valy (standing), and her husband have one of the first "new wave" organic farms in the area. They sell fresh varieties of lettuce, arrugula, celery, and sometimes, even tomato plants
A pan (bread) vendor sells rolls made of whole wheat flour and onion.
The banner lists the various dairy products for sale at this booth.
Ceramic bowls and plates and cups. The design and colors are typically Oaxacan. Painted on the bottom of each piece is "sin plomo" - without lead. That makes it organic, too.

 

[Read a selection of "Letters From Oaxaca, Mexico"]

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