Mayan Smiles

Rudy Giron: Antigua Guatemala &emdash; © Mayan Smiles by Rudy Giron

Slowly but surely, many of the highland mayas are moving to La Antigua Guatemala. Soon enough all tortillerias and tienditas will be run by mayas from the highlands, from Sololá, Quiché, Totonicapán, etc. La Antigua Guatemala and its surroundings are Kaqchikel territory, so, it attracts more Kaqchikel people, but the K’iches are also coming. Today I share with you the smiles that were shared with me by such beautiful women. Enjoy and have a happy day!

© 2015, Rudy Girón. All rights reserved.

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  • Mercutio57

    This post brought back a memory. Some years ago I was in a shop in Antigua with some friends from the USA who do not speak Spanish. They were shopping for a jacket, and were of course discussing their options in English. Mientras tanto the two kids working there were platicando in Spanish. After a few minutes of this I said something to one of the shop kids in Spanish, revealing of course that I could understand their conversation. When they resumed chatting, it was in Kaqchikel. Clearly they wanted to keep me in the dark, even though what they had been saying before wasn’t anything unusual. Just one of those funny code-switching things, I guess.

    • El Canche

      That’s an amusing story and reminds me how with my wife and kids we often revert to Spanish when out in public, especially in shops and restaurants and we want our comments to be between us! We live in the UK in a part where no one speaks Spanish.

      • Mercutio57

        That wouldn’t work in the US, that’s for sure! And yet there have been a number of times in which Latinos here have been quite surprised to discover that this particular Gringo knows what they are saying…

  • NYChapin

    Well, glad to see that the “criollos” will have their tortillas and food shopping needs met. C’mon Rudy ! Maya people from the highlands are more than servants ,many move to the city and Antigua to study, be educators, artists, lawyers, and business owners.

    • That’s true NYChapin, but I’m not talking about the 1%, I’m talking about the majority of us. Now, remember La Antigua Guatemala is on the highlands as well, but I suppose what I am documenting is the migration of Maya people from the western departments towards the more affluent areas of the highlands. I assume they also migrate to Panajachel and Xelaju, etc. In the past decade, I have seen with my very own eyes how all the tienditas, tortillerias, panaderias, shops, have passed from being a local business into a business being owned by someone in the highlands and run by Maya’s from Occidente.

  • NYChapin

    Want to hear something crazy Rudy, something similar is happening to bodegas here in Brooklyn. For years they were run by Puerto Ricans and Dominicans. Now I can count at least 6 “tiendas” owned and run by Guatemalans from Totonicapan. As soon as you help me build my blog, I can start documenting them as well. Cheers !