Market Vs Supermarkets in Antigua Guatemala

Rudy Giron: Antigua Guatemala &emdash; The Maya Women, Mercado of Antigua Guatemala

Here are two different approaches to the distribution and sale of food. On one hand, the mercado is an agglomeration of small vendors versus the supermarket which usually represents a large company or national or even international chain.

In Guatemala, most mercados are the main venue where the Maya sell their products. The Maya vendors find a sort of independence from the Guatemalan labor and tax systems.

In Antigua Guatemala we have three small supermarkets and the largest and most important municipal market of the highlands. La Bodegona is the largest small supermarket we have in Antigua Guatemala, but it doesn’t feel like a supermarket per se, rather more like a big messy tienda, convenience store. The mercado is many times larger than the La Bodegona and even more chaotic and messy. Inside the mercado you can find just about everything from vendors selling in small stands. La Bodegona is family business. The mercado stands are also family businesses, many are past on the sons and daughters. The mercado has much more color and flavour than most supermarkets. Most fresh produce and meats sold inside the mercado are perishable within days; no conservatives here. Most food sold in the mercado is not the processed food one finds inside supermarkets, although one can find that as well.

Can you tell me what the other two supermarkets in Antigua Guatemala are?

© 2016, Rudy Girón. All rights reserved.

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