Solola Market in Guatemala


Solola Market in Guatemala

When travelling, markets are the perfect way to get a bit of an insider look into local life and customs. Now, I'm not talking about cheesy, touristy souvenirs markets, where you trip over gringo tourists, but the ones where local people go to buy their food. One of those markets is the market in Solola in Guatemala.

Solola Market in Guatemala

When I was travelling through Guatemala, my travel buddies and I made it a point to go and visit. We took a local bus from Panajachel where we were staying. The bus ride in itself was already quite the cultural experience as I was sitting to a Mayan woman holding a couple of caged chickens in her lap and a baby strapped to her back and my friends were sandwiched between a goat and a ferocious looking Mayan Cowboy.

Solola Market in Guatemala

The market town is centred around a the main square which is watched over by the Torre Centro Americano. It overlooks Lake Atitlan and boasts views of the San Pedro volcano. On Tuesdays and Fridays it's market day and people from all over the area, travel to Solola to buy food, shop around for new clothes and get up to speed with the latest gossip. And the great thing is: Hardly any gringos around.

Solola Market in Guatemala

The market itself is one of the most buzzing I've ever seen and one that tickles all senses. Solola is an authentic, Kaqchikel Mayan town and the locals dress in the traditional vibrant reds, pinks and purples. The fragrant and fresh produce on sale is no less colourful: bright orange bananas, blood red watermelons and golden bananas are on display side by side. There are numerous stalls selling purple, orange and yellow corn cobs and bushes of fiery red chili peppers. I was lured to a stall by the lovely smell of freshly grilled tortillas which were sizzling on a grill. I passed a shop selling heaps of colourful yarn. The next stall over was draped in vibrant Mayan cloths and funny looking masks and the one next to that was selling massive bouquets of sweet smelling flowers. The laughter of children playfully running around the stalls merged with the voices of the vendors, trying to shift their products.

Solola Market in Guatemala


We walked around for hours, tasting a piece of fruit here and there, sampling hot local dishes and chatting to the vendors. Still reeling from all the sensory impressions, we hopped back on the bus back to Panjachel. We all agreed that our little Solola Market excursions was a success and one that would probably overshadow many a market visit in the future.

Solola Market in Guatemala


Comments

  1. I love local markets, great photos !

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ha, these photos are actually really old and I had to digitalise them! One from the archives. :-)

    ReplyDelete

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