People Watching at the Tecpan Market

People Watching at the Tecpan Market

Cackchiquel Mayan at the Tecpan Market

Shopping Essentials

Where: Tecpan, near Guatemala City, Guatemala, Central America
Bag a Bargain: Fresh fruits & vegetables
Go there for: People watching – amazing authentic brocade garments and indegenious people and language.

Where It’s At

The Tecpán Market is a central feature of the small community of Tecpán. The village is situated 80km west of Guatemala City on the Pan-American Highway. It is nestled in the central highlands and is close to the Iximche ruins. The people of Tecpán are descendants of the Cackchiquel Maya group, and consist mostly of peasant farmers. In Tecpán you are more likely to hear Kaqchikel (a Mayan dialect) spoken instead of Spanish.

What’s In Store?

Justine Shapiro sample local fruits and veg at the market

image: Justine Shapiro sample local fruits and veg at the market

The market is such a central feature of the community that Tecpán is seen as a market town, and every Thursday, Saturday and Sunday the town comes alive when the farmers of Tecpán and surrounding villages flock to the market to sell their produce. Avocados andbeans are some of the main products of the area. You can buy freshly squeezed orange juicefor a couple of cents and all kinds of fruit and vegetables here. For travellers on a tight budget, this is the place to shop.

The market itself is a colourful spectacle. The Mayan women manning the stalls wear their traditional hand-made garments. These garments are practical as well as symbolic because the brocade in each garment indicates which village the wearer comes from. This market can be seen as more ‘authentic’ to the traditions of the people because the Tecpán Market hasn’t been as influenced by tourism as other Guatemalan Markets.

Related Content