Wednesday, March 16, 2011

To Market, To Market

Sometimes there is no better way to intimately get to know a country than through visiting its market.  I have been to some wonderful markets around the world: Chatuchak Market in Bangkok, Ladies Market in Hong Kong, La Bouqueria in Barcelona, souks in Israel, the Grand Bazaar in Egypt, and now the most famous market in Guatemala: Chichicastenango.  

Grand Bazaar in Egypt

Chinatown Market, Singapore
Market days in Chichicastenango are Thursday and Sunday--we timed our trip to visit the market on Sunday--the largest market day.

Markets can often be jarring and Chichicastenango was no exception.  As soon as we walked on the streets we were inundated with small children thrusting magnets, pot holders, and handmade stuffed animals in our faces, unrelenting until we agreed to purchase something.  (You really can't manage to do this all day or you will end up broke!)  

Through the narrow stalls you must weave in and out of throngs of people, clutching to your belongings.  You have to be prepared to put your game face on to bargain (I mostly leave this to my husband as he has made quite an art out of the back and forth negotiations).  Both challenging, heartbreaking, and eye-opening, a trip to Chichicastenango was a necessary stop on our journey.
Images via Travelmoon
If you are wondering what my favorite purchase was from the market: it is a Mayan antiquity of a Sun God that was found nearby washed up along a river.  Is it authentic?  I'd like to think so!   


  1. Love the colors in this post. You've really captured it! You should take your Sun God to one of those antique auctioneer shows (have you seen them on TV?!) to see if it's worth something :)

  2. That would be really interesting, but maybe I want to live in my blissful ignorance that I have something authentic in my hands and not be disappointed, haha!

  3. What a lovely market! The colors are gorgeous! Have a beautiful day, Kellie xx

  4. AMAZING!!! So jealous of your market adventures. Thank you for sharing them with us

  5. Chichi!!..I learned NOT to buy a single thing from any of those crazy children!!..lolol..omg, never have I seen such persistence. I should post some of my pics too from this beautiful town, just need to figure out how I can put a design spin on it, lol

    (and i'm so glad your enjoying my page!! really means a lot to me so thank you :-)


  6. Haha, once you have been traveling for awhile it is easier to resist their charm and tenacity...but they always pull on my heartstrings. I have been to many places where this is the case-excited to see your Guatemala pictures!

  7. Love the lively photos. I've been to markets in Thailand, Egypt, Ecuador, and Peru. Great places for souvenirs...but I feel like a lot of stuff in the markets is Made in China these days.

  8. I agree it is so disheartening to see that many of the products are not made in the country of origin anymore. I felt this mostly in Egypt-- I think we even found a Made in China sticker on something we purchased at a souvenir stand!