Today as we walked to the Demo the streets were crowded and every available spot on the street filled with vendors. This is the local kids' shoe store we passed on the way. These shop owners set up and take down on a daily basis and we usually see the vendors at sunset with boxes piled one upon another on someone's back or on a handtruck (if they are lucky) as they head home after a twelve hour day in the marketplace.
You can see the exhaustion on so many faces. We were there at noon and by then many sellers, like this woman, have fallen asleep tending their wares.
Before we got to this meat market we passed the goat tiendas. We didn't take photos out of respect for the goats whose severed heads were sitting next to the platters of entrails. Compared to other markets in Latin America, most of the Demo smells pretty pleasant. There were one or two times today I had to hold my breath, but by and large the smells are tolerable. The cases behind me were packed full of chorizo sausages that sit out the entire day, unrefrigerated.
This is my favorite shop....the one where I buy all my baskets. I have to look up and around to make sure I locate the best ones available. I love the large rectangular ones, but haven't been able to figure out how to get them back to the U.S. Before we made it to the basket tienda, a young girl approached me to sell me a bag of red peppers for Q20. I purchased them, but didn't really have anything to do with them; so I gave them to this shop owner, who has become our friend.
We asked her for permission to take her photo. She was so cute about it and blushed and giggled when we showed it to her on the camera. The girls tending the shop behind her were getting a kick out of it too. Most Guatemalans are missing teeth, especially front teeth; so they are careful how they smile in photos. I've become so used to missing teeth I hardly ever notice. I'm not sure if that's the case for this woman. I think she's charming with or without teeth and as we leave I give her the customary kiss on the cheek. The Guatemalan people have really engaged my heart.