Salcaja is just 15 minutes away from Xela and it is another premier city in which to purchase corte. We asked our friend and taxi driver, Jaime, to take us there last Saturday for their market day. Note the "Texas" signs along the street. Jaime tells us that 70% of the people in Salcaja go to the U.S. to work and send money back to family members in Guatemala. This was obviously a real sore spot with him, as he feels if you look for a job in Guatemala you can work and support your family as well as the local economy. Many people in Salcaja speak English because of their close association with the U.S.
We were a little uncertain as to how to keep our bearings and not get lost in an unfamiliar city, so we kept close track of landmarks as we made our way through the marketplace. Since I don't often need a cell phone, we only use Mike's, which can be a little disturbing when you're leery of becoming separated in a crowd.
This is our new normal. The only thing I am not used to or comfortable with are the severely deformed people who beg in the marketplace and there simply isn't enough one can do to supply relief.
This little girl was helping set up shop and I desperately wanted her photo. Since you have to be cautious of taking children's photos here, I will sometimes pose near them to make it look legitimate.
This is a sample of the beautiful, traditional Guatemalan corte. The biggest problem is choosing from among all the lovely patterns and colors.
We were nearly ready to return to the first shop we had been in to purchase corte when I found this family's shop on the street. The fabric was just what I wanted, so we purchased it and asked the woman if she was the weaver. She said her son had woven our fabric, so we asked if we could have their photo. They were delighted to pose for us and even more so when they saw the picture in our camera. These sweet (and very close-knit) Guatemalan families have stolen my heart.