Chichicastenango, Guatemala, el 13 de noviembre, 2016
So I was up bright and early, waiting to catch a shuttle to Chichicastenango which is a couple of hours away, to go to the largest market in Central America. It's only open Thursdays and Sundays. Of course we're living on Guatemala time, so 45 minutes later......
Along the way-
A roadside fruit stand with hanging peppers-
Chichicastenango is a large indigenous town on the crests of mountaintops-
at an altitude of 1,965 m (6,447 ft). 98.5% of the population is indigenous Mayan K'iche. 92% speak the K'iche language, and 71% are bilingual. Most people I ran into today spoke Spanish and a lot of English, at least enough to get some of my money!
Goods are sold out of the backs of trucks along streets-
The market itself is a labyrinth of narrow, crowded streets-
There are blankets, back packs, purses, wall hangings, tote bags, quilts... You name it, it's here, and all in bright colors-
All kinds of little shops are in the nooks and crannies of the market-
Other things for sale include ice cream-
The steps to the church are covered with gorgeous flowers-
The women dress traditionally-
The store fronts are so interesting. I had a beer here-
The postal system is closed! Apparently, the CANADIAN company that was running the system didn't get their contract renewed, so they just closed down - all post offices! However, their contract stated they had to continue services for 3 months, so they're doing it but there is only one office in Guatemala City that receives any mail: for the whole country! Can you believe that?
Sunday meals aren't provided because it's our family's day off. Back in Antigua, on my way to supper, I came across another procession at the Merced Church. There is always something going on there! There were red streamers, incense and a large orchestra playing while the procession slowly shuffled along-
Supper was at Frida's, recommended in my travel book and I was very impressed-
Back to school tomorrow - already it's my last week in Antigua!