I had been hoping to be able to make one more visit to Chichicastenango before we left Guatemala, but we knew we were not going to attempt the visit with DiploTot and DiploBoy, which meant the chances were looking pretty slim. So needless to say, I was thrilled when DiploMom told me that some other embassy friends were going to be at the Hotel Atitlan and that they were planning to go to Chichicastenango on Sunday since they had never visited before and I was welcome to come along.
We headed out shortly after breakfast on Sunday and I was eagerly anticipating the sights and sounds of the Sunday market. While the market has attracted more tourists, it really exists for the locals, which is why in the midst of booths selling masks and other items, you’ll see groups of women haggling over radishes and onions and others making their way through the crowds with baskets on their heads. Not to mention hearing the various indigenous Mayan languages along with the Spanish. It is all just a sight to behold.
This is a pretty standard sight in highlands, but I’m never able to try to grab a shot since I’m always driving. This truck was ahead of us just as we were getting to town. And for what it’s worth, we’ve seen these little Toyota trucks filled with even more people, or sometimes 6 mattresses, or piled high with so much fruit that it seems as if the slightest bump or swerve would send them all crashing to the road.
Things hadn’t gotten too busy when we first arrived, which made snagging a parking spot a little easier. It didn’t take too long, though, before the streets started to get pretty full. My cash was stashed away in a pretty secure zippered pocket, which is necessary when visiting. Our friend Jim had nothing in his pockets, but told us that after one particular point of congestion where things got quite tight and folks were shoving a bit, that he felt a hand digging into his pocket.
Here are more photos from the morning. I had a great time and was so pleased that I had the chance to work in one final visit.