Cuenca has many mercados. The biggest is Fiere Libre. I went there once with a Spanish speaking ex-pat and was overwhemed. It's was indeed a visceral experience. A smaller and gentler Mercado is Mercado 9 de Octubre located at Mariscal Lamar and Hno Miguel. Today I ventured in and was awed by the 2 floors of vendors. I mostly stayed on the first floor and was very proud that I conducted all the transactions in Spanish without using hand gestures. I even asked for a nyapa( spelling) which in Quecha means an extra.