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The Mercado Modelo Dominican Republic
By Amy Adejokun Amy Adejokun Section editor

Discover The Mercado Modelo

The capital city, Santo Domingo, is also a place for shopping. You will discover a unique market: the 'Mercado Modelo' inaugurated in 1942 by dictator Trujillo, on Mella avenue, north of the colonial zone. In the heart of a cosmopolitan district, this market hall displays an impressive concentration of all types of Dominican handicraft: a profusion of Caribbean paintings (Dominican and Haitian), small Creole objects, rum and cigars and amber or larimar jewels are displayed (beware of counterfeits). Small shops, standing in line, one against the another in narrow passageways, offer a wide choice of local handicraft objects. You can easily negotiate a reduction of almost a third of the displayed price. You will also find merengue and bachata tapes or CDs. A tip: only buy the originals, sold at almost the same price as bootlegs (of an inferior quality) that can be found on the streets. Meat and fish stalls are on the first floor. The trouble is that this market is a 'tourist-magnet' and so sellers constantly heckle visitors. It is best to walk through it quickly and come out the other end into the working class road market where you will be immersed in the real Dominican lifestyle amid numerous stalls bursting with tropical fruits and cabbage hatchet choppers: it is a true festival of scents and colours!

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The Mercado Modelo

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