Sunday, April 26, 2015

Market day in Antigua

This is Mike...
Market day is a big event and people from all over Antigua come down the hills to sell everything imaginable. The streets come alive with commerce under the smog filled sky. Coincidentally, we have spoken to many locals about the air quality and they insist it will get better once the rainy season begins. I guess that is one way to look at the problem, bury your head in the sand! As I am writing this post, burning stuff is filling the air around the city and making the skyline obscure. This is no way for a population to live and I feel bad for saying this about Antigua. If you read anything about Antigua, you will be left with dreamy images about a city of eternal spring, cobblestone streets, colonial ruins, etc. and not the air quality. If only I could find a way to pipe the smog through the computer to your home you would all understand what I am saying. Today, we were walking to the market and decided to turn around and drive instead. My whole family decided to drive because we were tired of the chicken bus exhaust, tired of the dog poop on the streets, tired of the tripping hazards and tired of the non pedestrian friendly drivers. Don't get me wrong, we are not burned out on Antigua, as it is still a cute place to visit. We are just realistic with Antigua's shortcomings. We are tired of the scratchy throats and burning eyes! In the end, special places like Antigua need to do more to protect what they have before they lose it.               

Indigenous people bringing their crafts for sale

The ruins in the background make for a surreal setting

Beautiful dresses and jewelry adorn the Mayan ladies

The girls shopping amongst all the vibrant colors

Once the wind blew some of the smog away we went up to the overlook to take a picture of the city. This image was not possible any other day in Antigua so far.
Near the market is a place to buy wood that is already sized for a  typical stove.

The city is covered with large ruins which add so much charm to the city

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