There's no better market in the whole world like the one in Chichicastengo, Guatemala. It's way up in the mountains in a beautiful village. Market days are Sunday and Thursday and sellers come from miles around trudging up steep hills with wares strapped to their backs, women with baskets of textiles balanced on their heads. Buyers come from all over the world seeking the beautiful embroidered huipiles (blouses), woven fabrics, pottery, carved wooden items, and much more. Locals are more interested in the fruits, vegetables, spices and flowers.
(I apologize for the bad photos which are old and fading, kind of like the memories).
As you're shopping in the market, you smell a sweet smell and are enveloped in a kind of haze. This is the incense coming from the steps of the Santo Tomas church. Parishioners are swinging braziers up the steps and into the church leaving an incredible scent that you never quite forget.
My ex-husband (who is Guatemalan), Barbara and I traveled throughout Guatemala in July of 1963. What a beautiful country it is, The Land of Eternal Spring.
We stayed at the most gorgeous hotel, The Mayan Inn. Each room has its own fireplace and you're assigned a man who lights the fireplace every morning.
The rooms were all appointed with colonial style antiques and fresh flowers. Time Magazine did an article years ago about the 10 best places to take your mistress, and the Mayan Inn was on the list. Mainly because it is so remote, no one you know would ever catch you there.
Here I am wearing one of the huipiles that I purchased at the market. My ex and I are relaxing in front of the fire.
Here's Barbara peeking through the door from her room.
To get a taste of the market, check this out.
To visit other markets or related stories, click here: Sepia Saturday