An addict for markets, there are many local markets nearby Xela on different days of the week. San Francisco (Fridays), Zunil (Mondays), and Salcaja (Tuesdays) were the ones I visited:
- The San Francisco Market was huge, very local and a bit crazy. They have the regular narrow alleys selling textiles, food, and random items, but what sets it apart is a large patch of dusty ground where they sell livestock, cats, dogs, and even furry chicks for 1Q ($ 0.15 CDN). I learned that you can buy a goat for about 2200Q (just under $300 CDN) - I wonder how much they go for in Canada?
- While I didn’t go to Zunil on market day, even on regular days they had the largest fruit and vegetable market I have ever seen. Perhaps on account of the rain, all the goods were kept in a large building the size of a school gym, and almost every spot on the floor was covered with carrots, cabbage, cauliflower, etc, with small narrow aisles to navigate through. In addition to the usual market foods, they also had a corn and pumpkin soup that was perfect after a rainy ride back from the hot springs.
- The market in Salcaja was small compared to Chichicastenango or San Francisco, but many textile workshops are located near the town, and the morning that I went with a photographer friend Willson, I saw the most beautiful trajés I've seen in Guatemala! Costing 1000Q (or $130 CDN), the quality of the labour is evident. On our way back to Xela, driving through a small community, we saw an artisan working with thread wrapped multiple times around a stand, the thread stretched out to the width of his house and two of his neighbours! I stopped for a photo and he invited me into his house/workshop (‘taller). I saw him creating the intricate fabric on a large loom that took up the entire (6‘X5’) room.
- I've lost count of the number of markets I've been to in the last few months, but I never seem to tire of them!