Market Day


The markets of the Coast offer the best fruits and seafood of Guatemala. They likewise exhibit exotic fruits not found in other places. The Pacific Coast is also home to cacao. Suchi is a Nahuatl, or Mexican, word meaning ground cacao. Hence, the name of the department is Suchitepéquez. However, the region’s best chocolate comes not only from Samayac, Suchitepéquez but also from San Sebastián, Retalhuleu. Altough the Department of Escuintla leads pineapple production, the pineapples of San Sebastián are unrivaled for quality.


Zunil and Almolonga are but a short drive from Mazate. Therefore, the Coastal markets receive high quality produce every day. The interchange is two-sided, however. Quetzaltenango also benefits from the fresh fruit and fish of the Coast..

Although there are a number of bustling Coastal markets, none is as vibrant as that of Mazate. Most women there wear colorful native dress. Their outfits include a cloth worn at the hip. Despite its real name “chongo”, the highlanders refer to this cloth as a ´pistol´. Likewise, they call the women who wear the chongo ´pistoleras´.


Samayac´s market has more diversity in than does the market of Mazatenango, however.. Samayac touches the hotlands of Nahualá and Santa Catarina Ixtahuacán, Sololá. Therefore, many Maya come to buy and sell in Samayac dressed in the exotic clothing of Nahualá.

Half the people who attend the Sunday market in Samayac therefore enter from the Department of Solola. The blouses,of Nahualá are among the most beautiful of Guatemala.Thus, they brighten and enliven the market of Samayac. Men of Suchitepéquez wear American clothing. However, the men of Nahualá and Santa Catarina Ixtahuacan still wear native clothing, Their shirts and jackets are both colorful and elegant. In lieu of pants, however, they wear a wrap-around wool garment, resembling a skirt. They call this garment rodillera, or jerga.

Following, I present photos of southern coastal markets.

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