Guatemalan-style Salt and Pepper Shakers

Guatemalan-style Salt and Pepper Shakers

Recycling is good.

In Guatemala we do a lot of recycling, not out of conscience, but rather out of necessity. We recycle retired school buses and turn them into colorful and powerful public transit buses known in derogatory terms as chicken buses. Some of these recycled buses have become mobile libraries or marimba orchestra buses. In other words, retired school buses from up north get to live a second life; a more productive life, down in the Guatemalan jungles and hi-lands.

The same goes for many retired vehicles from the rich north which are rodados (rolled) across the U.S., Mexico and Guatemala to live a second life. Rodados is the term used in Guatemala to designate old vehicles or crashed vehicles which were driven or towed all the way south into Guatemala.

The same goes for books, magazines, computers, and a very long et-cetera all the way to second or third hand clothes known as pacas for clothes that come in pallets.

If it wasn’t for all this recycling, sometimes, it feels like we are the big backyard dump for our neighbors from way up north; sort of a black hole where you can throw away all your trash, never to be seen again.

Out of sight, out of conscience!

Heck, sometimes we even do some local recycling too. For instance, all those empty hard liquor bottles can have a fulfilling second life as salt and pepper shakers.

What I like about the people of Café No Sé is that they know when they are onto something; at once they apply the Café No Sé branding, and just in case, they make sure it is registered. These are my kind of hippies! 😉

For all those Guatemalan ex-pats out there in the world, what kind memories do you get from seeing these Venado bottles?

© 2008 – 2013, Rudy Giron. All rights reserved.

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  • what a great idea for salt shakers.

  • sompopo

    Here at home we make it a point to shop at second hand or thrift shops for clothes or furniture. Garage sales or yard sales are another good source for items that can be reused or refinished to liven up the decor in the home. Not only that but it keeps it out of the land fills too. Its like a treasure hunt because you never know what your going to find.

  • Pat

    More people should recycle. We throw out so much that could be used. Thanks for reminding us.


    Guelph Daily Photo, My Photos.

  • coltrane_lives

    clever, colorful and resourceful! love this!

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  • Herber

    Me recuerda las cantinitas clásicas de los pueblitos y algunos cuantos charas colectando botellitas de alcohol puro de alguna tienda o farmacia 😀

  • It seems in order to have these stylish shakers one has to make the sacrifice to drink the contents, along with some boquitas (chicharrón anyone?), some cola as a mixer and enough limones. Octavos and cuartos bring me memories of my great-grandma and two tricks I learn at her place using these bottles.

  • Claudia

    so funny, I remember when we were little my abuelita would send one of us to the tienda for an octavo, little did I know . . hee hee.

  • I call it practicality…also resourcefulness and efficiency. =)

    Gran foto! Buen dia!

  • Reduce. Reuse. Recycle. Like you said, a lot of things have a second life in Guatemala. Sort of related, but not really…I distinctly remember playing “comidita” with my mother’s violets in our patio, but that’s not the point (poor violets). The point is, the violets were all planted in containers that had once been home to evaporated milk, sauces, beans, etc. I feel I inherited that sense of finding other uses for things from my parents…there is a yogurt here that comes in glass jars and I took them to school and used them to hold water for our watercolor lessons…and here at home I have one holding paper clips on the desk. In closing, I love the No Se registered trademark on the salt shaker. 😉

  • Patsy, it is a great idea and you find these kind of shakers often.

    Sompopo, treasure hunt, huh? you will never know what you are going to find… it is like following the white rabbit. 😉

    Pat, thanks for the visit and your nice comment.

    Coltrane_lives, ingenious isn’t it?

    Herber, no se te olvide que LAG es un pueblito, con pisto, pero pueblito al final de cuentas.

    Manolo, Chicha-y-rón seguro. Sacrifice? I don’t know about that. 😉

    Claudia, I am sure you knew! 😉

    Gizelle, thanks for all your wonderful feedback.

    Carmen, actually you just gave me a good idea. I will photograph all the cans used as pots, which people use here very often. Thanks!