Market Day in Cuzco

A market day can be any day of the week, such as Monday, Tuesday… or especially Saturday, or Sunday. In the city’s markets customers receive attention every day.

During the week housewives use up their supplies to make the fascinating dishes of our Cuzco for their families to eat for lunch or dinner. As their week ends they are low on what they need and find themselves having to go to the market.

Saturday Market in Wanchaq
Saturday Market in Wanchaq

While some people go daily others make a weekly visit to one of Cuzco’s markets. People will put together a list to see what they need. Beginning early in the morning on the most popular days, Saturdays and Sundays, the markets fill with people looking to meet their household needs.

Why do people choose to go to the market on weekends? It is easy to answer this question since for more than sixteen years I have accompanied my mother to the markets to make the weekly purchases. First of all on the weekends people are usually off work and have free time to go to the market. That time becomes market time.

A Mountain of Pineapple Fruit
A Mountain of Pineapple Fruit

Weekends are spent in family in Cuzco. As a result, when you go to the market on those days you do not just find housewives, but often whole families.

The markets make sure they have ample supplies of the basic ingredients that are most in demand. They also bring in other things. You can say that on the weekends you will find goods int he markets that are not there on ordinary days.

The most well known markets in the city, the ones that people go to most often, are the biggest of our city. They include the Vino Cancho and San Pedro, General Buen Dia o Cascaparo, the fair of Huancaro, etc.

The Market Fruit Section
The Market Fruit Section

The ingredients that weigh the least are found at the beginning of the list, for example onions, tomatoes, carrots–almost all the vegetables. Then they go to the meat section to buy cuts of beef, pork, or chicken. Finally they go for products such as rice, sugar, oil, eggs, etc.

At the bottom of peoples lists you find the products that way the most. These are those that people buy towards the end before leaving the markets. Fruit is also something that people buy last.

If you go the market on weekends you need to remember that if you do not go early your lunch might have to be served late and since it is a weekend your whole family is there waiting.

From 4 in the morning movement begins in the markets. The caseras, vendors, prepare their products for sale. Large trucks bring the products to be distributed and finally the market’s doors are opened to begin the market day.

Brayan Coraza Morveli

I am completely Cusqueño and am 20 years old. By profession, I am a systems analyst. I like to listen to and play Andean music as well as do break dancing. I also love to share my experiences as someone from Cuzco with other people. One of my great goals is to get to know my culture more deeply and share it with others, both people of other generations and brothers and sisters from other parts of the world.

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