Mercado de Silvia

Cauca & Huila

On Tuesday, market day, members of the Guambiano community come down from their surrounding villages to Silvia to sell fruit, vegetables and handicrafts. This is the best time to visit the town. It is not a tourist market – fruit and vegetables, raw meat, discount clothing and household items dominate – but you may find a poncho or woven backpack that takes your fancy. The main attraction is seeing the Guambiano themselves in traditional dress.

Almost all the Guambiano dress up; men in blue skirts with a pink fringe and bowler hats, women in hand-woven garments and beaded necklaces, busily spinning wool. They travel in chivas (colorful traditional buses) and congregate around the main plaza. The Guambiano don't like cameras and may be offended if you take their picture; always ask before photographing someone and respect their wishes if they say no.

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