Postcards from Belize: San Ignacio Market Lady

Palmira Vasquez lives in the smaller town of Clarissa Falls, a thirty minute commute from San Ignacio. Both towns are in Western Belize.

“I come to the market every day, not only Saturday, like many of these people,” she says, sweeping the room with her right arm.

I stopped by Palmira’s stand because her broad smile distracted me, and her display was colorful.

On Saturday, everyone flocks to the San Ignacio market. Vendors sell everything from their locally-grown fruits and vegetables, to Guatemalan spices, to clothing. Belizeans who come to shop for the week also eat various hot foods on site, like empanadas or tamales. They sit in families around long picnic tables. Others relax in the shade by the Macal River just beside the market. It’s the one big social event of the week in San Ignacio.

Palmira sells me a couple of bananas and points to the starfruit. “Good to drink with sugar and ice, very good!”

I smile. She looks at my camera and tells me that another girl, “same color” as me, was here a few months ago and filmed her and her stand. “And then after, I see myself on television!” she giggles, her fingers covering her mouth. She takes a seat, ready for the camera.

Before I leave, Palmira makes sure I spell her name right.


  1. I just realized, I’ve shopped there for years, and didn’t know Palmira’s name, but would always recognize that beautiful smile.

  2. Lebawit Lily Girma

    Oh wow! That’s great :-) Thanks for sharing!