Living in Honduras or Guatemala as a foreigner is sometimes hard, mostly fun and never boring. This Blog is about more than just the oddities of my years in the not-so tranquil, cobble-stoned town of Copán Ruinas and, more recently, Antigua Guatemala. Hence Serendipity, the gift of finding without seeking…
a very Christmassy sort of person, or much into any other festivities, but I
thought it would be nice to do something special for the holidays: affordable
art for everyone!
is a series of Pre-Columbian images that I copied from codex, engravings
murals, vase paintings, stelae, masks and other sources. Most of them are tiny details
that often go unnoticed, but they fascinate me. They’re not only Maya, there’re
some Mixtex, Inca, Aztec and
Mochica images too. I then colour them
with gouache paint and give them a little “Carin make-over”. So in the end they
have little to do with the original.
Those images shown
below measure 4.25” x 5.5”, painted on folded watercolour paper and wrapped in
cellophane (including a white envelop), so you can use it as a postcard. Or frame
it, hang it over the fire place, use it as a dart board, place-mat, whatever you
like. Or I can deliver the painting on a piece of 8.5” x 5.5” watercolour paper
on cardboard, wrapped in cellophane.
Each painting is original
and unique and costs only $10. I can do special requests (size, colours, theme)
for a small extra fee.
If you order 10 paintings, I’ll pay for shipping. (For smaller orders, allow $5 for shipping per
order). Payment through Paypal. For orders or more information, contact me at carinsteen at yahoo.com.
make someone happy for the holidays (me, for starters) and buy art NOW!!!
It took me a while,
but I have finally figured out where the main entrance to the market is here in
Or at least the place that people refer to when they speak of the entrance of
the market, because in fact, it doesn’t exist. The “Main Entrance” is basically
a street going around the market.
Around the back of the market, depending
on which side you consider the front
of the market.
Anyway, if you
start at the busy Alameda Santa Lucía and have the luck to find a traffic
controller who holds up his stop sign just long enough to hold the busy traffic
for you to cross the road, you’ll get into that narrow street, a continuation
of 3a Calle Poniente, with market stalls on both sides, and there you are, at
the Main Entrance of the Market. If you keep on walking, that street veers to
the right. On your left, the market turns into the bus terminal, the two only
separated by a thin line of wooden shops of all kinds and flavours.
This open air market
street is interesting enough with a wide variety of produce, plastics, clothes,
toys, fabrics, tools, phones and ambulant vendors loudly advertising their
ware. DVD dealers (of illegal copies, of course) try to outdo each other by
cranking up the volume of their TVs way beyond distortion. Women loudly promote
their fruits and vegetables, little girls mimicking their mothers in the same
detached and mechanic voice. Buses, only a wooden partition and some mangos
away, honk to announce their arrival and departure. This street is loud, busy
and a little crazy like all markets everywhere in the world. But this is not even
the real market…
From this, well,
let’s call it “Main Street”,
there are several entrances to the right into the real thing. These entrances
are not well displayed or logically located, so entering is either a case of
know-how or serendipitous luck. I can tell you there’s one on the far end
between the bananas and papayas. Usually it is, because it seems these entries change
as often as the stairways at Hogwarts, which is totally my own imagination, but
that doesn’t make it less mystifying.
Whenever I walk
from the Main Street
through a narrow corridor into the roofed-in market, it seems you enter a world
of silence. Not that there are no sounds, quite the contrary. But as opposed to
outside, where the noise of selling and buying seem to echo off the asphalted
street, inside the market sounds are being absorbed by simple wooden
structures, sacks full of cereals or herbs, heaps of today’s fresh fruit, fabrics
in fantastic colour combinations, wooden kitchen utensils, clay pots, plastic
woven shopping bags and brightly painted saints with their love and good luck
Not a square centimetre
is unoccupied here, not an inch without some sort of product. Vendors with
stalls have their merchandise stacked up all the way against the zinc lamina
roof. Women with baskets occupy the already narrow pass ways and ambulant
vendors make passing through sometimes next to impossible, not to speak of those
heavily burdened men and women supplying the stalls or just moving huge amounts
of goods from one place to the other.
When I first
entered that magic world of the Antigua
market, I didn’t think I’d ever find my around. I quickly found a section with
great vegetables, but just as quickly I lost it and it took me weeks to find it
But by now I can
at least identify some sectors of the market and their own specific ambiences. Not
that a clothing section means it only sells clothing, it just means is sells mostly clothing, along with anything
I find the indoor section close to the Main Entrance (whether it exists or not)
with its new cloths, fancy sport shoes and salespeople more interested in the
current soap opera on a tiny TV screen among the merchandise than in actually
selling something. Way more intriguing is the food court, the meat sellers (not
for the fainthearted or vegetarians), the fruit and vegetable section and oh,
the flowers, both fresh and dried, clean cut or neatly arranged for weddings or
funerals. The smells, the colours, the sounds, the textures, each visit is a
feast for the senses…
When you enter
the true heart of the market, if feels like travelling back in time. That
wrinkled old Maya lady over there in a corner, selling dried herbs, she might
have been sitting there for hundreds of years. That woman there pouring atol in a gourd cup, she has been doing
that since the beginning of time. Those tiny dried fish, the sweet smell of
ripe fruit, grains I don’t recognize and huge stacks of dried chile… Time stood
still in this part of the market.
As always I find
it hard to leave this labyrinth of colours, this maze of things familiar and unknown,
to return to the world of tuk-tuks and cell
phones. But on market days (Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays), the transition is
less harsh, because there’s an extra bit of outdoor market where (mostly) Maya women sell
their fruits, vegetables and flowers under colourful umbrellas, in a world
where Spanish is not the first language. More of the magic, but in the blazing
sun and under the watchful eye of the Agua volcano.
What a world! I’ve
never enjoyed shopping so much.