Robaina's plantation

Thursday, 9 January 2020

Feria Agropecuaria (Pop-Up Market) Playa, Havana

                     I call this a pop-up market because like many things in Cuba, it's uncertain if it will appear or exactly when. The where (in this particular case), is in the Playa district of Havana, along 13th Avenue between 72 & 84 streets. The when, I'm not exactly sure but it seems to appear once a month, on the same Sunday....that is, if it happens.
                     From the few articles I've read in Cuban Publications, it's with the help of the Ministry of Agriculture that these markets are able to appear in various districts of Havana including; Havana del Este (Boulevard de Valencia in Alarmar and central promenade of Villa Panamericana), Cerro (Latin American stadium parking and Plaza del Cerro market), Marianao (124th street between 51 and final and 88th street from 41 to 49) Lisa (51st street from 200 to 208, San Agustín distribution 46th street from 31 to 37 and 244 street between 35 and 37), Boyeros (Santiago de las Vegas in Doble Vía and 100 and Boyeros), Playa (13th Street from 72 to 82) Revolution Square (15th and 24th Street in Vedado and Panorama and Lombillo), Centro Habana (Zanja Street from Marqués González to Hospital), Old Havana, (Vives Street from Águila to Gloria) Regla “(Máximo Gómez street), Guanabacoa” (in front of the amphitheater), San Miguel del Padrón (Virgen del Camino), October 10 (Red Square) Arroyo Naranjo (Minas and Atlanta street) and Cotorro (Plaza 26 de July). Now, it's not exactly clear to me if these markets appear with the same frequency as does the one in Playa, or if at all after this article was written, but from what I understand they take place at least once a year at several of these locations to celebrate the anniversary of the triumph of the Revolution at the end of the year.
                    Prices for products can be lowered but can't go above a fixed amount set by the government, guaranteeing the best prices of anywhere in the city. A vast array of products are available making this a one stop shopping experience for Cuba. Products include; a variety of grains such as beans and corn, fruits and vegetables such as; bananas, yams, papaya, pineapple, malanga, tomatoes, cabbage, lettuce, cucumber, onion and garlic and meat such as pork, sheep, rabbits, turkeys, chickens & ducks. Of course being Cuba, all these products are seasonal, meaning they're only available certain times of the year. Processed foods produced both in a factory or homemade are also available including; tomato paste, garlic, tomato sauce and peppers, pickled vegetables and chopped fruits in preserves, etc. As well as the food products, a whole bunch of other stuff can be found; spices, dogs, birds, aquarium fish, leather products, wood articles, plants, kitchen can find a bakery, a restaurant, a guy cooking chicken and pork on a grill, cold soft drinks and beer.
                  In an article dated December 28, 2019, these markets opened in four Havana municipalities; Playa, Diez de Octubre, Habana del Este and Plaza de la Revolución, on the following Saturday, as part of the celebrations for the 61st anniversary of the triumph of the Revolution. A wide variety of agricultural products came from several provinces, including Artemisa, Mayabeque and Matanzas. The Ministry of Agriculture mobilized around 500 trucks to deliver product to the four fairs, which would represent more than 2,000 tons of agricultural products.
                  Below are some of the pictures I took at my first visit to the market located in the Playa district of Havana. It was an interesting experience, long lines in some cases, items that are more in demand (lettuce for example) will be sold out earlier. Everyone was orderly, no yelling or screaming that was out of the ordinary.

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