Chapin Goodies

In Guatemala, many of the kids at some point in their life have eaten a cuquito (icies). These refreshing icies that you can buy for a quetzal (and previous generations, for less) in the neighborhood stores of almost every town. These little bags had juice (natural or artificial) that was frozen and delicious. My favorite was the lemon juice with salt and pepitoria (crushed pumpkin seed).

I dare to think that many of us even attempted to make our own and sell them. Memories of this made me think that the Chapin delicacies, which very often, come in bags. My grandmother, for example, made some delicious jello with bits of fruit. We ate them cold or frozen. You could also (and still can) buy them at the stores.

Nowadays, walking around La Antigua, you can see on a few street corners (especially those near the schools) a cart or a basket with bags full of seasonal fruits or vegetables, seasoned with salt, pepita, lemon and chili powder. Its striking colors make anyone stop to eat a delicious – and also nutritious – snack at any time of the day. Mangos, strawberries, oranges, cucumbers, radishes or celery … Whatever made your mouth water!

Probably you have heard to many Chapines asking for “un agua”. Actually what we are asking for is a soda and before it was quite common (although practice is still present) that when buying it in the store of your neighborhood you were given it in a plastic bag, specially if you didn’t bring a glass bottle. You could ask for any carbonated drink with a straw to drink it. Childhood recesses were not the same without a cold agua in a bag.

Usually at the fairs (although now also Sundays in the central park) you can see men with a wood stick hanging from it like clouds of colors, the cotton candies. There is no one who can resist them.
Can you think of others?.


Written by: Julissa Carillo

Translated by: Melissa Schroden 

Photos by: Sofia Letona y Mercedes Sosa

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