Friday, May 7, 2010

El Mercado - Market Days

El Mercado: This is a Friday like any other Friday. It is not the weekend, which is even bigger, busier, and shoulder to shoulder bargaining. I almost go knocked over waiting to pay for a papaya at the Sunday market. Luckily a local woman grabbed my hand and we all had a good laugh once I balanced myself. How sweet she was!
This is the second largest market in Xela, which is about a five minute walk from my Spanish school. We took a quick field trip to buy veggies for a family style soup we ate for lunch today.
I cannot stress enough how much I love the market. Love it! The colors, the rows and rows of fresh fruits and veggies...along with the ability to get just about anything you might need, from yoga pants to a rebuild car engine. The market it loud, large and IN CHARGE...ALWAYS with the ability to bargain!
Guatemala has a huge second hand clothes market. People dress in style. I could have a rockin' wardrobe for very little money. Unfortunately, I don't want to carry any more clothes! Truckloads come from the US. One of my teachers got a used Marmot jacket for $ the states it would go for over $100. Love it!
Oh avocados! How I love thee. There are a variety of avocados grown around Xela. The bright, shiny green ones are the smooth, buttery ones grown on the coast, which is about an hour from Xela. Then the larger, dull ones behind are grown in around the corners in colder, mountain climates. They have a more watery taste. 4 avocados for $1.25, which is 10 Quetzales.
El mercado is also a great place for people watching and interacting. Local indigenous communities come together with modern city dwellers to talk shop, food, and life.
The market stretches on and on and on. Items are delivered throughout the day in trucks, buses, bushels on peoples heads, or wheel barrels full (of peanuts).
Of course no market would be complete without the meat and butcher.
One of my personal favorites is the endless stacks of eggs, eggs and eggs. Brown, white, large, small.

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