Halfway up the switchback road from our hotel’s crater lake setting is Sololá Market. It’s an authentic indigenous market, not looking for tourists…as we find as we’re elbowed and pushed by the 5′ tall Mayans hurrying to set up and sell their goods. You can almost hear them thinking, “what in the hell are these hulking, slow-moving strangers doing blocking my way”!
The vegetables and fruit are even better and more varied than what we get from our organic CSA share.
The chicken is yellower than Purdue (from natural corn feed), and so fresh you can almost see them still moving.
Potatoes, squash, beans…the Mayan holy trinity. They are a religion.
The faces of the people are the essence of purity. Unfortunately the cool weather forces most to cover their beautiful local garb. Many groups are represented at the market — from all around the area, and each wears the specific clothing of their tribes. The women’s skirts are especially beautiful.
Many varieties of bread are staples of Mayan cuisine.
You rarely see a young Mayan woman without a couple of children nearby and one strapped to her back. They help at the market and are present everywhere the mother goes. There is no birth control among the indigenous Mayans.
One of the elder men. Take a look at the beautiful trousers and woolen skirt typical of the men in most of these local groups. They sometimes even wear a sash, all to keep their navels warm — It’s the center of their life force.
Flowers! Gorgeous, gorgeous flowers for sale everywhere, costing almost nothing. Beautiful long-stem roses are less than a dollar a dozen. An orchid might cost a quarter. Too bad they won’t travel home.
The proud kids really think they are helping…and usually are.
Selling men’s wool skirts. A couple of us are tempted, but thinking of the looks we would get at home…we keep walking.
A break at the Sololá town square. Young men shine shoes for a few pennies.
Carlos greets a local important elder he knows and explains his clothing and belonging to us.
Typical dress and blouse shown off by this woman…with the permission of her husband. We don’t take his picture standing by his new jeep in totally western clothing, looking as though he just returned from the gym and his personal trainer. He’s constantly answering his mobile phone and pacing. His serious (almost threatening) demeanor says his telephone transaction may be a bit nefarious.
Carlos giving me a few bits of insider information. He is a true gem, making our trip even more interesting and exciting than it would have been. We were supposed to have the afternoon off, but Carlos asks if we’d like to take a boat to visit one of the local, indigenous tribes a half hour around the lake; San Antonio Palapo. As you’ll see next, it was a very special extra visit.