Monday, September 22, 2008

Day Eight of Twelve Days in Guatemala

(Another version of this post appeared on Google was the one that wouldn't post the other night when Blogger was having difficulty...anyway, you now get to read the new and improved version..)
After breakfast this morning we were on our way via boat to the other side of this large lake to the Tzutujil (zoo-too-eel) village of Santiago to the market. Along the way we saw lots of cayucos, little hollowed out fishing boats.

The market was awakening as we arrived. Lots of vendors, beautiful crafts and textiles, and many persistent sellers. We had been well versed on how to bargain with them. Many purchases were made. It was unbelievable as we shoved off, the vendors were literally leaning into the boat, asking you to give your "best price".
For a few Quetzales (7.33 quetzales converts to $1.00 American dollar) one lady unraveled and redid her 'tocoyal', the headdress that helps them carry bundles on top of their heads. We also were able to pay the locals for photographs, 5 Q's per. That's about 65 cents. We took lots of source photos.

We left Santiago for a short boatride to a property located on top of a hill overlooking the lake that belonged to an American who had relocated from the states to Guatemala 32 years before. She and her son and his family live there now. She created a foundation that helps to preserve "back strap weaving", as machines seem to be taking place of this waning art. Her house (several separate free standing rooms) was featured in the 2002 Architectural Digest "Exotic Homes" magazine. Everything here is self sustaining, from the coffee beans roasted on the fire hearth, to the wine made from local berries, to the fresh coconut in our coconut cream pie...we had a wonderful Guatemalan lunch prepared by the family.

This is Florencia, the granddaughter. She is 3 or 4, and quite a cutie!
The buildings each had a thatched roof, the mindset was to keep to the local way of life and not to create anything that looked out of place or didn't conform to how the people of the area lived. It was like paradise! We had some wine atop a two story, canopy covered lanai area. Here's to you!


Mark Bridges said...

That guy in the market is selling Adirondack furniture. Wonder if he got the idea from some where?

Pattie said...

There were so many things in these markets, you just didn't have time to see it all, but thanks for pointing the furniture out, I hadn't seen it, then or now!