Vendors in Mérida’s markets are facing increasing economic pressure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Several small business owners have decided to close up shop due to almost a year of exceedingly low sales.
Iconic markets such as Santa Ana and Santiago are currently allowed to operate at 30% capacity.
Most stalls in San Benito market currently stand empty, and the few vendors that remain say they are unsure how much longer they will be able to hang on if things do not improve soon.
“We are hoping against hope that things improve, we have been in this business for a very long time and it would break our hearts to shut it down for good,” said Inés Pech.
Some vendors have decided to leave the market to set up makeshift stalls from which to sell their products on busy city streets, where foot traffic is plentiful.
Markets in Mérida sell a wide selection of products including fruit, vegetables, traditional candies, local seasonings, flowers, and tourist souvenirs. Most also have several food stalls which serve up traditional specialties such as cochinita pibil and relleno negro.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, many consumers in Yucatán have begun to purchase groceries and other goods through the use of express pickup and delivery services.