RJ Lowery(Student): Sunday 1/5/14- Our day consisted of some very interesting cultural activities including a visit to the marketplace of Tlaqupaque, Jalisco and a Lucha Libre event. The market was unlike any I have seen. It had a diverse display spanning from hand crafts and art work to fresh produce. The Lucha Libre event was also new and entertaining event that surpassed my expectations.
The market in Tlaqupaque, or “place above clay land,” is said to be the best place in the country for shoppers to find a variety of handmade items. We first walked through a large indoor market with two floors. The first floor had sections with farmers markets and a few odd booths such as a watch repair booth. I noticed the produce appeared very fresh and seemed to be selling quickly. There were vendors that carried fish and meats that also seemed very fresh. Since most of the farmers/vendors cannot afford to keep these perishable inventories for extended periods, especially in the warm Mexican climate, most of these items come from close local sources. There storefronts seemed busy enough that inventory turnover could support the perishable meats and fish. The relatively short supply chain observed on the first floor was also seen up on the second floor. The top floor housed pottery and other hand crafted knick-knacks. I was actually pleased to find some nice souvenirs for my parents and brother. After this marketplace we walked the streets stopping into small stores along the way that caught your interest. I actually found one of the items I was looking for on this shopping trip, a nice hat to keep the sun off my face when fishing. After wandering around the market square for a while we met as a group for lunch at an open air pizza shop that featured handmade brick oven pizzas.
The evening at the Lucha Libre, or masked Mexican wrestling show was a good time. I was not quite sure of what to expect going into this, but the guys put on a good show and the crowd surely seemed into it. I have a short video clip of the action but I cannot figure out how to mute the “excited” woman behind us who tough us many new Spanish phrases better left off this post. To give you an idea of the scenario, image an American WWE type of thing but with more masks and brighter pants. The wrestlers took a beating in the ring and even found their way into the crowd a few times. There were multiple matches, some involving up to seven wrestlers. What struck me about this show was that the wrestlers were very good to their fans. After the show the guys took pictures and chatted with fans as they left the arena in their street clothes. I am not sure what their level of fame is, but all the wrestlers were excited to high five the kids as they went into the ring and sign autographs after. The featured event saw the challenger and crowd favorite upset the defending champion and ended the day on a positive note in Mexico.