The parking lot of the Volcan Lodge Hotel in the Chiriqui Province town of Volcan is no different from your typical car park. That is until 9:00 AM every Friday morning, when stalls seem to grow out of the asphalt, and the “Gringo” Market is open for business.
With a growing expat population, new opportunities for socialization are to be found among the deliciously fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as in front of the delectable homemade breads and baked goods.
The location of the Friday Market is less than intuitive to find. Fail to get good directions, and you are likely to be driving around until noon, when, like Brigadoon, all signs of the market completely vanish until the next Friday morning.
The accompanying photos show land marks to help you find the market.
The much larger Tuesday Market in Boquete also has mouth-watering fresh produce, and baked goods. But in addition, it offers used books, sold to help support various local charities, handmade jewelry, crafts, a variety of meats,, as well as the opportunity to get your knives sharpened and your neck massaged.
The Tuesday Market is located at the BCP (Boquete Community Players). You can purchase such things as prepared meals and homemade sausage from Two Guys and a Cooler, fresh goat yogurt and cheese from Milky Way Dairy, handmade chocolate from Chox and coffee from the Boquete Rotary Club.
The market is open from 9:00 AM,, to noon. Most weeks, there is a presentation, where shoppers and schmoozers can learn about diverse topics; from crime prevention to gardening to local resources, and many other subjects of interest.
After your first visit to the Tuesday Market, it will become more difficult to get through quickly.
By then, everyone you met during the intervening days will know you, and want to chat. The Tuesday Market is a delightful way to spend a morning, even if you don’t buy a thing.