Posts Tagged ‘corn in Guatemala’

Corn and tortillas

Wednesday, August 18th, 2010

Almost anywhere you drive in the countryside of Guatemala, you see corn. Corn is the staple of the Guatemalan diet. According to the Popol Vuh, the sacred book of the ancient Maya, humankind was created from corn after the gods had tried and failed to make people with other materials. Corn was a gift from the gods,  symbolized by jade, the stone most highly prized by the Maya. 

In the front of this small tienda, young girls are making tortillas with their mother. Each day they make hundreds; a group of vendors, always women, will arrive later to pick up their ration to sell. Each vendor has her designated spot—in a doorway, on a corner, or outside Pollo Campero. Customers come to them, or the vendor sells door-to-door in a scheduled round. They carry the tortillas in a basket balanced on their heads.

In Antigua, Olivia and I eat our share of tortillas. Before lunch every day, I buy one or two quetzales’ worth: six to eight tortillas, depending on how generous the particular vendor is feeling. The tortillas are wrapped in a square of brown paper, still steaming when we get them home. Olivia eats them plain, or sometimes with butter and salt. I often melt mine with cheese. Delicious.