We're in our last week in San Miguel de Allende in the Mexican province of Guanajuato, and we couldn't pass up one more visit to the sprawling Mercado de Martes - the Tuesday Market. Locally it is also known as the "Tianguis de Martes". The tradition of "tianguis" goes back to the pre-Hispanic era, with the word coming from the Nahuatl language meaning ‘market’. In those days, the tianguis were the pulsating heart of the Aztec cities. People brought their produce and other goods from all around the area, weaving the economic and social lifelines that threaded communities together.

Today's San Miguel market lives up to that heritage, and then some. We lost count, but there are at least six major covered areas stretching for 1000 feet or more across the lot - with furniture vendors and others circling the periphery.

Bakery table

I can say "you can find anything and everything here", but unless you actually walk through the market, you would not believe that I mean that literally. Although clothes shopping is a big draw, there are toys, games, electronics, furniture, shoes, boots, leather goods, plants, produce, beans and other dried goods, candy, nuts, tools, art - and not to mention all of the food vendors.

I mean everything - even parts for appliances and automobiles

These bras are advertised at 50 pesos - about $3.

Here are just a few on the food stalls:

Fried fish meals

In case you were hungry for a huge piece of fried pig skin.

Still, these pictures just give you a glimpse of the action. What we found interesting, was that not only was the produce much fresher and cheaper than the major grocery stores, we also found items that were not to be found in the chain stores.

Green beans, fresh peas, blueberries, and peaches to name just a few. Another good example, we could not find fresh strawberries in the grocery store and rarely at our local mercado. But here in this market, there were several tables that looked like the one below.

The mother lode.

If we should ever get tired of the roving lifestyle and decide to settle in this beautiful mountain town in Mexico, I can see that we would have to make weekly trips to the Tuesday Market to load up on as much as we could carry.

Finally, here's a short video of the clothes shoppers and just a small fraction of the market.

Follow the story of Jim and Rita, who sold their home to travel for the next few years here in this blog, and on the podcast "Travels With Jim and Rita", available on all major podcast platforms.