El Mercado

It’s fun to shop for food in my small town here in El Quiche. The mercado fills the central plaza three days a week. It’s full of colors, people, food and anything else you might want to buy.

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I bought a woven belt from the friendly vendor (pictured below) but I’m going back for one of his beautiful bags. The one he’s wearing is the one I wanted. He put it on for me to include in the photo.

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Preparing food here takes more time than usual. Fruits or vegetables that are eaten raw must be washed first with soap and water then soaked for 15 minutes in a chorine solution and finally, drained and rinsed with purified water. This routine includes papayas, tangerines, apples, cucumbers, carrots, etc., but not bananas. To do this is harder than it seems and uses a lot of purified water and big pots. Now I look for small papayas!, Cooked foods still require washing but any pathogens are killed by boiling temperatures for 3 minutes.

What’s really fun in my home is throwing our food scraps over the back wall which drops down about 20 feet onto an unused field of weeds and large leafy plants. Chickens and rooster scamper for our leftovers! Below: the field behind our house.

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My last host family during pre-service training, gave me a small (personal size) coffee maker as a going away gift. I have so much fun tinkering with it every morning as I prepare my cup of coffee. I love it! I add powdered milk to my cup before I pour in the coffee which adds to the perfection.

Speaking of food, my friend, Dichaba, who is a Peace Corps Volunteer, has a wonderful food blog so check it out: Mas Picante

Happy eating!

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