Travels

A market day in Almolonga, Guatemala

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Thus we find the market entrance at 9

Almolonga, “place where water sprouts". The names of Guatemalan peoples in the different pre-Columbian languages ​​(in this case, it comes from Nahuatl) are descriptive and beautiful alike. Located at about 2250 meters above sea level, in a beautiful valley away from the typical tourist route of the country, this town has the peculiarity of being the biggest orchard in the country and one of the largest in central america. The secret lies in the great natural fertility of the lands of Quetzaltenango -the department to which Almolonga belongs- when found dotted with eight volcanoes, of which only one is active.

Although we arrived at the town before 9 in the morning, Luisa - our dear guide - told us that it was already a little late and the market in the square would close in a couple of hours.

The movement begins at 3 in the morning every day. Before, with the rooster still sleeping, families quiche - dominant ethnic group in this region - leave their homes with the merchandise they are going to try to sell that day. The whole family is involved in the business. We realize that as soon as we reach the market and see how men, women and children, indifferently, carry bales of vegetables and fruit baskets from one side to another.

Technology is not at odds with tradition. The woman with her touch screen mobile

Seen from the other sidewalk and up a high curb the show reminds me of a procession of colorful ants. The movement is constant among the invisible streets of the market. Buyers and sellers intermingle to create a polychromatic body floor. Few men wear the typical male costume but almost all women wear it.

It is something totally rooted in indigenous culture. Each municipality has its own colors -and even type of fabric- at the time of dressing. They usually make their costumes themselves because if they decide to buy them the prices are not so affordable, between 1500 and 5000 Quetzales (150-500 euros). Colorful "headdresses”They cover their heads. The blouse is called “güipil" Y "cut"To the long skirt. To save and have two in one, some guipiles are reversible. Once I dive into the market I look at women and I can't see two equal suits. All are independent works of art, such as paintings painted by students of the same colorist school, but each with its own style and grace. Fabrics and every part of the suit are also sold in this infinite market.

It was 9.30 and the place was packed. He had to dodge the people he carried, on their heads or backs, sacks or baskets with coriander, plums, hejotes (beans), lemons (limes), grapefruit (grapefruit) or the omnipresent miltomate in the typical dish sauce of the region: the message.

The mother of all carrots ... That has to hurt

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