In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age
of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this
financially independent lifestyle, they invite you
to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.
Panajachel, Lake Atitlan,
Billy and Akaisha Kaderli
We have been living in the
tropics now for decades. One of the things we like the most is the abundance we
see at the food markets. Some markets are better than others with fresher fruits
and more variety, and it's our opinion that Guatemala has some of the very best.
The Maya Day Market is
walking distance from the center of
town, and we go there several times a week.
Fruits in season
What is being sold depends
on availability. Here you see apples, pears, papayas, pineapples, melons,
grapes, oranges and mangos.
These fruits are sold
individually, by the pound or cut up in portions by the bag.
Fruit such as apples,
pears, peaches and plums are gown in the mountainous highlands of Guatemala.
The egg truck
Eggs are sold by the flat, individually or by
the carton in a grocery store. I can get a half-dozen eggs in a carton for 7.40
Quetzales or about $0.15USD per egg. At a small store in a callejon near
my hotel, I can purchase one egg or three eggs or however many I want.
If you purchase a flat of eggs here, they
will be tied together with string and a handle will be made for ease of travel.
Salted and dried fish
Especially on weekends, you will see merchant
stands of dried and salted fish. We have seen filleted fish on plastic sheets
drying out in the sun. The odor of dried fish is very pungent.
Green beans, beets and carrots
These vegetables are so colorful and alive!
There are juice bars in Pana and these carrots and beets will find themselves in
healthy drinks for sale around town.
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Unlike Mexican food, Guatemalan meals often
include large sides of vegetables.
It doesn't always happen in town because the
locals are used to the tourists, but the Maya who are from the mountains are
often camera shy and don't prefer their photos being taken. Here, these women
have turned their heads and one has put up her hand to cover her face from the
More fruit vendors
Here you see basket after basket of papayas,
bananas, melons and oranges. So. Sweet.
Many times mangos, oranges and papayas are
served with a sprinkling of chili. Or if you prefer, a vendor will drizzle fresh
honey on them, or squish a lime for you.
This woman has her items spread out on a tarp
on the ground. She has dried shrimp, greens, banana leaves tied up, flowers and
other miscellanea for sale. The banana leaves are the original "to go"
containers and food will be wrapped up in these leaves and tied together in a
bundle. The same process is done in Asia.
If food is wrapped in a banana leaf, you will
often see the leaves tossed on the ground after the food is eaten. This is very
common place, especially in mountain towns.
Selling wood by the pile
For the most part, the Maya still cook over
wood fires. Selling cut wood is a good business, but a difficult one,
considering all the man hours that go into preparing it. This woman's piles of
wood sell for between 20 and 35 Quetzales each, which is between $2.50 and $4.50
The wood will then be bundled up in a woven
cloth and either carried on top of a woman's head, or on someone's back.
Sometimes a head strap is used to help disperse the weight more evenly. This is
also a very common sight.
Lake Atitlan is just over 100 miles to the
sea and one can enjoy seafood in restaurants and markets here. This dried shrimp
is most likely from Monterrico, about three hours away.
Candied figs and squash
Sunday markets spill out
into the streets surrounding the regular Maya Day Market and vendors from all
over the neighboring areas offer specialties such as these candied figs and
Bring your child to work day
Every day is "bring your child to work day."
It is a normal sight to have children playing right along side their mothers as
they go about their daily work tasks. This child is in a plastic crate and that
is her playpen. The mother doesn't have to worry about arranging or paying for
child care and the child - who was probably carried on her mother's back to this
location - rarely is out of her mother's sight.
One of the things we have noticed, is that it
is a rare occasion for a Maya child to be crying. They are attached to the
mother's back in a woven sling for their first years of life and are brought to
work with their mothers daily. At some point, the
children themselves begin to sell
the product also, and they learn the bargaining process and how to make change
at an early age.
More dried fish
These dried fish are not from
and are most likely from the sea, 100 miles away.
Notice the baskets made of banana leaves
placed inside a larger basket.
Using a simple scale to weigh product
Here you see a Maya woman utilizing a simple
scale to weigh product that she is selling. This is common place.
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As a culture, the Maya love pattern. You will
notice that these Maya women have printed blouses, printed hand woven skirts,
and the vendor is wearing another patterned apron.
Vendor of dried goods
This vendor is selling beans, corn of various
sorts, and rice. Since this photo was taken on a weekend market day, he is
probably from a town many miles away, coming to the famous Panajachel market to
sell his items.
He uses a more sophisticated scale that you
can see in the lower left hand side of the photo. He measures the dry good into
another bowl and uses a small hand shovel to add or subtract weight from the
Fruit spilling out into the street
This particular photo was also taken on a
weekend, and this vendor has brought native fruit to sell. Customers are
interested and are checking out what they want to purchase.
The weekend market has taken over the outside
area of the regular Maya Day Market and vendors have set up shop in the street.
These strawberries are sold in two sizes:
small and large. The small sell for 4Quetzales a pound (about $0.50UDS) and the
large for 5Quetzales per pound (about $0.63USD). They are sweet, brilliant red,
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These strawberries will also find their way
into the fruit drinks served in restaurants throughout the town and in fruit
plates offered at breakfast time.
Here you see eggplant, tomatoes, onions, red
and green peppers, squash or pumpkin, cabbage, cauliflower, hot chili peppers,
apples and rambutan.
The selection is wide, prices are great and
flavor is delicious!
The rambutan fruit is native to the
Malaysia/Indonesian part of Asia but has migrated to Central America. Inside is
a sweetish white fruit that surrounds an almond cluster type of seed.
You want to purchase the fruit when the
outside is brilliant red. Take a knife and cut a circumference around the fruit
and pull apart. Squeeze the white fruit into your mouth and spit out the almond
Rambutan is similar to a lychee. Verrry
tropical and exotic!
For more stories
and photos of Guatemala, click
About the Authors
Early Lifestyle appeals to a different
kind of person – the person who prizes their
independence, values their time, and who doesn’t
want to mindlessly follow the crowd.