By: Wilberth Villalobos Castrillo, VozdeGuanacaste – The popular farmers market “Las Guayabitas” will be rebuilt by the Municipality of Nicoya. Designs are ready and the new building will have a colonial style.
The current facility, where 13 Nicoyan vendors sell foods and textiles, has become obsolete after 14 years of operation. For that reason, the new building will have better conditions for shoppers and vendors alike.
Adriana Rodriguez Cardenas, the deputy mayor of Nicoya, explained that the new market “will be more attractive” and have access ramps for handicapped individuals in compliance with Law 7600.
The location of the new building will be the same, next to the Agriculture and Livestock Ministry (MAG – Ministerio de Agricultura y Ganadería), in the center of the colonial city.
The market’s vendors are reacting favorably to the change, which will improve the place they’ve worked in for more than a decade.
Ligia Gomez Gomez, secretary for the Ecological Market El Guayabo Association, locally known as Las Guayabitas, recognizes that sales have dropped in the last six months, and that the construction of a new building could bring more visitors and shoppers. She mentioned that, in the new facility, there will be space to install a soda to sell traditional food.
Beltran Sanchez Sanchez brings his rosquillas (small rings of baked corn flour dough) from the community of Obispo de la Mansion. He sees the redesign of the market as something positive. “Here, the majority of us are older adults who wouldn’t be able to get a job anywhere else. Here we earn our living,” he explained.
Guiselle Contreras sells seafood that she buys from fishermen from the Gulf of Nicoya. For her, the new building will mean improvements in quality when she’s selling her products. “People are going to come looking for us more because we will have better conditions. I only sell good, quality products,” she said.
Vendors Relocated During Remodel
The municipality estimates that work will begin in May and last for three or four months. During that time, vendors at Las Guayabas will be relocated to a temporary space where they can continue to sell their products, though the municipality has still not defined where that place will be.
Jose Segundo Montiel, who has a business at the entrance to the market, sells chorreadas (sweet pancakes made from corn), atol (a pudding-like dish made from purple corn), chicheme (a drink made from purple corn) and homemade bread. He agrees that everyone will benefit from the new building. However, he is anxious to know where the municipality will relocate them during the construction process.
On that point, Marco Jimenez, the municipal mayor, explained that vendors should not be worried, as they will not be left out on the streets. Instead, he will set up a space where they can continue to sell the products as usual. For now, the mayor did not say exactly where that place will be.
The Ecological Market El Guayabo is open every day, Monday to Saturday from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sundays from 6:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Article first appeared on VozdeGuanacaste, reprinted with permission