In the Andes, each town and village has a market area. Stalls selling fresh produce, various juices, bread, meat, textiles, fish, furniture, shoes, shaman supplies, bags of coca leaves, flowers and spices crowd pleasantly together. The aroma of all the different produce can be overwhelming at times, because this food is fresh, just picked or dug up. The market is an alive and vital place. All you need is a table to set up your wares.
Umbrellas cover the fruit juice vendors, and corn is roasting over little stoves. You can buy bowls of soup and snacks. Have exact change, because often vendors are not able to break large denomination bills. Bartering is expected.
In the high mountain hamlets, the market may only happen two days a week. Women sit down on the ground in groups of twos and threes to spread out and display their mesa ties, mestana cloths and hats for sale. In larger towns, and at tourist sites, there are markets just for tourist trinkets and treasures. Everywhere, people are working: women spin wool while they sell their textiles, men haul in huge bales of long grass for livestock, children sell mesa ties, people push three-wheeled bicycle carts full of potatoes. The market is a lively, lovely place.