Some villagers still walk all day carrying their wares to attain Chichi's market, certainly one of Guatemala's largest and also a highlight of the many people's trips towards the country. It's a rich combination of the traditional plus the tourist, where local women looking for a new huipile rub shoulders with travellers trying to find a textile souvenir. Sunday may be the busier on the two market days, when Spanish school students and
weekenders from Guatemala City descend en masse on Chichi.
At dawn on Thursday and Sunday vendors distributed their vegetables, chunks of chalk (ground with a powder and boiled with dried maize to soften it), handmade harnesses along with other merchandise, and loose time waiting for customers. In the past vendors erected their stands of tree limbs and covered these with cotton sheeting each market day, but the days a lot of tin roofs remain an unchangeable fixture atop the plaza.
Tourist-oriented handicraft stalls selling masks, textiles, pottery and so forth now occupy high of the plaza plus the streets on the north. Things villagers need – food, soap, clothing, sewing notions, toys – cluster with the north end with the square plus the covered Centro Comercial Santo Tomás off of the north side, whose upper deck offers irresistible photo opportunities from the fruit and vegetable-selling business conducted below.