Souvenirs to Buy at Guatemala’s Chichicastenango Market

Author: , June 18th, 2015

Guatemala Market

Guatemala is famous for the vividly colored handwoven textiles that locals expertly craft into everything from hammocks to purses. And there’s no better place to shop for these fashion finds than at Central America’s largest indigenous market in Chichicastenango, a highland community two hours north of Guatemala City. Rivaling the most extensive of malls and unfolding on the cobblestone streets of the central plaza Thursdays and Sundays, the market draws more than 300 vendors from all over the country. A vast array of wares — including handcrafted instruments, baskets, ceramics, blankets, and produce — fill the stalls from every angle. But what to buy? For those shoppers keen on souvenirs that reflect Guatemala’s rich Mayan heritage, here are our five key picks.

1. Handwoven Scarf

Scarfs are chic and versatile. In virtually anywhere in the world, anyone can wear them on their neck, around their shoulders, on their head — the options are endless. At the Chichicastenango market, you’ll want a handcrafted scarf. Be on the lookout for machine-made knockoffs by examining the sides and underside of the cloth; there should be telltale loops and threads that indicate that the scarf was created on a loom. Arrive early, before 10 a.m., for the best selection and fewer crowds. And haggling is expected, so don’t accept the first marked-up offer.

2. Tablecloth or Runner

A beautifully designed tablecloth — which can also double as a wall hanging — makes a lovely gift or the perfect souvenir. The pieces run from plain woven fabrics to fanciful embroidered motifs, and they’re of course typically priced much cheaper here than anything you’ll find stateside. Browse through the bold colors and designs, comparing the size of the cloths to make sure it’s a good fit for the table you’re considering.

By Rosalind Cummings-Yeates
– Full Story at Shermans Travel
| Guatemala Gay Travel Resources

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: Buying Souveneirs When Traveling

Author: , November 5th, 2011
Email Don & Ray | Visit the Gay Travel Guys Website

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We have been asked repeatedly by people who are traveling whether on business, vacations or just traveling for the heck of it, what type of souvenirs we usually purchase.

Of course different people like buying different types of souvenirs. Some people like to purchase refrigerator magnets, sweat shirts, T shirts, baseball caps, coffee mugs, salt and pepper shakers and really all kinds of stuff. That is great if that is what you are into and want to remember your traveling by.

Being in the antiques business for over 38 years, we have always purchased souvenirs that we can use or display in our home, like fine china, clocks, furniture, silver, oil paintings and chandeliers! It IS amazing what we can put in our automobile and come home with.

Among the many items that we have found are a wonderful old antique wooden sea gull that we found while visiting Maine, a Baccarat Crystal Chandelier from an estate in Newport Rhode, Island, a French Morbier Clock from Chicago, several oil paintings from Denver, Los Angeles and New York City, a French settee from St. Louis, sterling silver from Atlanta, fine English porcelain from Philadelphia and all types of items for our home.

We love living with these items and when we look at them, they bring back so many memories from our travels.

Once when we were in the Hamptons in New York we went to a charity auction and purchased a dress that Shirley MacLaine wore in the movie, ‘The Evening Star’ and a shirt that Rock Hudson wore in the theatrical production of ‘I Do, I Do’. We got special cases to put them in for our home.

Sometimes it is just small items such as sterling flatware that we find and other times, we fine silver butter servers, silver teapots and silver serving trays.

So our travel souvenirs are all around our home and something that we can see and use on a daily basis. We have more stemware than we really need, however we are always purchasing more. We have 33 sets of china for dinner parties and who needs that many? But we do enjoy having the variety to use. As Mae West said, “too much is not enough!”

We also enjoy purchasing souvenirs for our outdoor patio, such as flamingos, boat buoys, driftwood, different types of unusual signs, statues, wind chimes and all kinds of bric a brac.

We also purchase a lot of our clothing when traveling which certainly does not help our local economy but it is helping other communities. Sometimes we get really great bargains as when we purchased fur coats down in southern Florida and just why would any shop be selling fur coats down there?

And swimwear in Chicago in the middle of winter. There are a lot of great bargains to be had out there, but it is just like fishing. The more you fish, the more you are going to catch.

The more shopping you do, the more you are going to find. And great finds can be found at Neiman-Marcus just as easily as at a local flea market. We always shop Neiman-Marcus in Ft. Lauderdale and Palm Beach when in Florida in January. Other items that we always purchase are CD’s from local entertainers.

Many entertainers that are entertaining in local bars especially the piano bars have CD’s for sale and are more than happy to autograph them for you. We have dozens of such CD’s from our travels from coast to coast.

For those of you who are into refrigerator magnets, baseball caps, etc. by all means go ahead and purchase them from your travels.

As for us, we will stick to purchasing items for our home so that we can enjoy them for years to come. Traveling is so exciting and interesting and fun but when you return home, all you have left are the wonderful memories, photos and if you are like us, you will also have some cherished souvenirs that you will be able to enjoy for the rest of your life.

We are sharing some photographs of some of our favorite souvenirs with our readers this month.

Always remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone!
TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married). Proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at gaytravelers@aol.com and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/

Don & ray - Gay TravelersAlways remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone!

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married). Proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at gaytravelers@aol.com and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/