San Jacinto Mercado

This is the smallest public mercado that I have seen so far in Ecuador.

It is located a few blocks from the main street and one block off the beach. There were at least three vendors selling several different types of fish including corvina (sea bass), pargo (red snapper) and two different sizes of shrimp one heads on and one without, and calamari. Prices seemed to be what I have found in Playas maybe a bit less with the heads on shrimp going to $3 to $3.50 for medium to large 20-24 to the pound.

I was fascinated to see one man selling fresh from the cow, unpasteurized milk in a plastic bag. He must have a home garden with tomatoes, beans and fresh baby cilantro. He comes to the Mercado to sell his vegetables each day. He looked to be over retirement age and this is probably his only income.

There were a few places with red onions, more tomatoes and I even saw a few beautiful eggplants. Not a huge variety of produce but enough for everyday meals.

12 thoughts on “San Jacinto Mercado

  1. Nancy,
    I am following your trip up the coast. It would be helpful, when you have completed your trip, to list the positives about each place you visited. Helpful information for those of us planning a move……

    • Tom, I will be sure to let you know about my impression of the areas we visit…so far San Jacinto is just a beautiful town, very small, not much in the way of shopping, pretty clean and well maintained, nice beach areas, good and inexpensive Manibi food (lots of Mani (peanut) being used, small but adequate mercado for day to day fish shopping, great people, very easygoing and totally understanding of our lack of Spanish language skills. Just all around a very quiet, peaceful town. We traveled in town by bus yesterday for .25 cents each, clean, helpful and so cheap. Did get a moto-taxi from Clemente to Jacinto he did try to over charge me $2 for the ride but I got him down to $1.50 which was still probably .50 cents higher than a local would pay…will write more with more photos when the internet is not so finicky…N

  2. The flooding of that Charapoto area is probably the reason for the lack of variety of vegetables. There is more variety in Jama, though they might have been brought in from another area. There are many bruised and spoiled tomatoes – probably picked when green to save what they could. Ditto for achojcha.

    • Hi Z, Thanks for your comments. We have seen the flood debris floating both her in Jacinto as well as in Villamil Playas. It actually has been more organic stuff here, on the beaches in Playas we saw some very distressing medical waste washed up on shore, along with light bulbs, glass bottles etc. It is all the junk that has dumped into the rivers from the flooding, we have not seen a difference in the vegetables or fruits sold in Playas, here I just think this is a very small town, with very small needs so they do not have as much in the mercado. Have a great day! Nancy

        • Hi Lisa, thanks for your comment. I am so happy to meet Mary and John want lovely folks, thanks for the link to your post. Having issues with my internet very slow or I am too far away from the unit. Nancy

          • mary and john personify the classic icon/dream of the change of latitude! trading traditional life for one where less is more. they’re great walking ambassadors! Z

            • Lisa, I could not agree with your more on your assessment of these beautiful folks. Dinner at their home this evening was so special and WE have found lasting friends in these two fine people. Thanks again for your kindness in putting us together…Nancy & Joe

              • OK.. I am little bit jealous! (not really) i’m thrilled that you’ve visited their home and witnessed their joy in their new life! I’m trying to persuade them to write a blog, as they send dynamite newsletters!
                so glad that you had a great evening! Z

  3. Hi Nancy, Enjoyed your posts. Z (zebra aka Lisa) popped me an email with a link. There is another mercado with a large selection of fruit and veggies coming into San Jacinto from Charapoto( huge market on weekends). I’ve been to the fish market, great dorado, but the veggies there always seemed to be old and a bit nasty. Next time you’re in San Clemente , look us up. Most know where we live (apartments by Macadonia). As far as locals and mototaxi…majority pay nothing, except perhaps a small contribution for gas, since each large family group seems to have a relative that owns one. Looking forward to meeting you,
    Mary and John

  4. Pingback: Morning Update – Friday, May 4, 2012 « South of Zero

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