Sunday is the day of the open market at Parque Rodo in Montevideo, Uruguay. It is huge. Entrepreneurs converge on the area en masse. They set up their stands and tents, arrange their merchandise and they are in business. These are real Uruguayan businesses. Most of the merchandise is new and much is good quality. You can find leather goods, clothing, hats, boots, jewelry, school supplies, handcrafts and a very large selection of fresh vegetables and fruits. And on occasion even wild edible plants.

I bought some verdelago (or so the merchant told me) a few weeks ago because I have an interest in wild edibles. I bought it because he said it is good for salad. As we were leaving, just outside the market, lo and behold, was a grassy area with an abundance of beautiful verdelago growing, free for the taking. But the price I paid was worthwhile just to learn about the plant and what it is used for.

Does it look familiar? We used to have a ton of this in our vegetable garden. We pulled it out by the fists full and put it in the compost. We should have put it in the salad bowl! Little did we know!

Three blocks from my hotel a different market materializes magically every Tuesday and Friday morning, right in the street, shutting down traffic for three blocks. This one is limited mostly to food.

So if you live in my neighborhood in Montevideo you can buy your fish here . . .

your cheese, eggs, nuts, raisins and dates here . . .

flowers for your table here . . .

Your meat here . . .

And your fruits and vegetables here.

Here is a picture of one more market.










Yes, you´re right! It´s an honest-to-goodness grocery store. It is included just to assure you that Uruguay is a civilized country and if you really want a “normal” shopping experience you can have it here.

But I guarantee that it won´t be nearly as much fun! 🙂

Until next time . . . .


© Arlean Kelley 03/11/2009 All rights reserved.

Please feel free to send any questions. Article contributions from other expats living in Latin America are also encouraged. They are, of course, subject to editing.

From Uruguay Daily News

World Bank: Uruguay Better Prepared for Crisis
Posted: Wednesday, March 18, 2009 9:02 am

World Bank chief economist for Latin America and the Caribbean, Augusto de la Torre, said that although Uruguay is one of the best prepared countries in the region to face the international financial crisis, it will suffer in terms of trade. De la Torre said trade would suffer “in part because the world is contracting and in part because the country’s trading partners are having contractions in aggregate demand.” The World Bank economist said the government must be “proactive” to prevent higher unemployment. He predicted that if the crisis persists, there will be impacts on employment and household income in 2009.