Panajachel, a.k.a. Pana (thankfully Guatemalans like to shorten their town names), is going to be a nice base. Its location in the highlands of Guatemala & on the shores of Lago de Atitlán (Lake Atitlán) is stunning, surrounded as it is by many picturesque villages and some of the 30 volcanoes found in Guatemala, only 4 of which are active. With Pana as a base I’ll be, & with the help of chicken buses, be exploring the nearby indigenous villages where the traditional Maya culture is prevalent.

Riding the chicken bus en route to Solola, Guatemala. May 21st 2013.

Riding the chicken bus en route to Solola, Guatemala. May 21st 2013.

Guatemalan Mayan Markets
Guatemala’s indigenous Mayan population comprises more than half of the 15 million population of the country, the majority of which live in adverse poverty in this rural highland region west of Guatemala City, the country’s sprawling, unforgiving & unappealing capital. The Mayan villagers’ strengths lie in their strong family & community ties, and their traditions.

Each village holds market days when locals from the surrounding hills descend on the town to sell their produce or crafts & textiles. Today was my first introduction to the explosion of noise & colour that is guaranteed when visiting a Mayan market of the Guatemalan hinterland, having spent a portion of this morning attempting to photograph the goings-on in & around the market in Solola.

Solola

Solola Market, Guatemala. May 21st 2013.

Solola Market, Guatemala. Traditional Mayan fabrics are in everyday use here meaning a walk amongst the narrow, noisy market stalls in any highland Mayan village affords an explosion of vibrant colours. Each garment identifies the village from which the wearer hails, something the Spanish colonists introduced in order to distinguish the inhabitants from each other. Market day in Solola (map-pointer-icon), Guatemala. May 21st 2013.

Solola Market, Guatemala. May 21st 2013.

Solola Market, Guatemala. May 21st 2013.

Solola Market, Guatemala. May 21st 2013.

Solola Market, Guatemala. May 21st 2013.

Video || Solola Market
A brief walk around a section of Solola Market.

Solola Market, Guatemala. May 21st 2013.

Solola Market, Guatemala. May 21st 2013.

Solola Market, Guatemala. May 21st 2013.

Solola Market, Guatemala. May 21st 2013.

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More Mayan Markets
Pictures & video from my subsequent Guatemalan Mayan Market visits.
1 || Chichicastenango (Chichi)
2 || Santiago Atitlan

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