by Kesley Fraley
Below are Kesley’s thoughts on yesterday at the market in Chichi, Guatemala.
“It’s Guatemala time, brush your teeth in 30 seconds, not 2 minutes.” –Dr. Lockett
We woke up with a mission (especially Dr. Lockett and I)! We grouped up and headed off to the Chichi market, ready to bargain!
Bargaining with the people of Chichi is an adrenaline rush! I love the feeling of accomplishment when I get a man selling placemats down from 150 Quetzales to a third of the original price.
You can find anything you could ever want at the market. They have machetes, clothes, shoes, placemats, table clothes, carvings, jewelry, and hammocks, just to name a few items.
The group also came out with mini chicken buses, Christmas ornaments, pottery, and chicken potholders (a definite group favorite). I bought so much that I don’t know how I’m going to get it all back to Texas. I made out with quite a bit and spent less than a $70 (Q539) on gifts for my entire family.
The only thing that really bugs me about the market scene is the excessive attention we receive. We become automatic targets when the “GRINGOS” hit the market streets.
To the left is one girl trying to sell potholders and bookmarks, another selling scarfs, and a third selling table clothes. Then to our right is an older women selling shawls, asking for a “good price” and telling me she “needs money for dinner.” Tables and booths line the crowded streets; as you walk by, people shout at you to buy their merchandise.
It’s all a little overwhelming, but I love it all at the same time.