Petit Futé's opinion on MERCADO MODELO
This is the main handicraft market in the capital! It was inaugurated on 24 October 1942, the date of the anniversary of Trujillo, which ordered construction. The architecture, which was very modern at the time, benefited from a natural lighting system provided by the roof openings. Until 1963, only meat and agricultural products were sold. Today, many craft shops have taken place at the first level, while agricultural products have been relegated to the immediate vicinity of the market.
In Santo Domingo, no Viagra need, you'll discover at random a boutique mama juana (popularly called pegapalo), traditional bottles of roots, medicinal plants, blindfolded wood, used to cure all kinds of diseases, and especially sexual deficiencies (add a little honey and rum before eating).
If popular elixirs do not attract you, you can always fall back on crafts, most of which are imported from Haiti: jewellery, amber, beautiful, turtle scale, precious wood, coral (attention to clever plastic imitations), basket, baskets and hats, paintings of naive and colourful Haitian tradition, wooden sculptures, carnival masks, mecedoras (rocking-flesh) that can be bought in kit, typical musical instruments, including the famous and inimitable guira, the dominicain.
At the end of the market, specialized shops offer the whole range of articles and accessories necessary for voodoo rites: perfumed water, holy pictures, amulets, statuettes, candles, oils…
Outside, makeshift stalls are submerged under tropical fruit mountains (mangoes, avocados, passion fruits, pineapple, bananas, goyaves, limoncillos…) and less exotic fruit, such as citrus fruits or apples. The vegetables and flowers are piling up in a large pile of colours in a series of stands on the streets of the Mercado Modelo. This external market, nicknamed Haiti's small Haiti, Haïti Chiquito, abounds in world, colours and smells.
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