March 25, 2016

A craft market, so to speak, that nevertheless has a huge cultural variety; you cannot miss on your visit to Cusco.


You cannot miss it on your visit to Cusco.

It is a feast for your senses with all the experiences that are in San Pedro Market, it is a huge place and at the beginning, it may give the feeling of clutter, but really is not. The stalls are grouped according to the merchandise to sell. Only street vendors placed anywhere to sell their handicrafts. Foodstuffs predominate, especially corn and potatoes in all varieties, but also clothes and all use; and flowers, many flowers. Worth traverse unhurried, and if when the food arrives in the middle can eat delicious and inexpensive, and take one of the great dessert fruit juices. Also stall vendors eat there on their own.

Similarly, the smells of all kinds accompany other voices and background noises, being all extremely animated, like a show that runs without interruption. This is a place of those that have no waste. Inside, we can find crafts made with Guayruro, goat and cow cheeses, typical foods, fruits, vegetables, meats, and all food you can imagine. It is, as every market on the face of the earth, a site worth knowing. The colours squeal as if they were alive. The sounds are accurate, crystal, here the granular noise pallares falling on the scales of metal, beyond the voices of women offering fresh little juices.

The aromas are so intense that with closed eyes you know what section is: Smells chocolates made from Cusquenia cocoa, wheat bread and corn, bunches of freshly plucked field flowers, to cheese, to beef cow, sheep and pig. The rich and ripe fruit mouthwatering: passion fruit, papaya, strawberries, bananas, grapes, pineapples, oranges. In the market, there are more. In a dark corridor countless hungs and colourful skirts, carrying the little women. Tucked in their sucuchos are seamstresses sewing in vetustas sewing machines, cobblers mending and fixing hats and shoes, tailors toiling on jackets full of basting. In the following positions, there are fabrics, dresses, menswear, candles, baskets, hats, textiles, shoes, sandals and “chullos”.

All that looks, smells and senses perceived power. However, something beyond them and becomes a little challenge: In the market, there are two areas where work canteens. We must take courage and surrender to the experience. Speaking a little about the historical, the San Pedro Central Market is one of the oldest of Cusco, founded in 1925, despite its age had no significant changes, but still and will remain the largest center of concentration and supply of the city.

The responsible of the construction of this magnificent market was Gustav Eiffel, a French engineer. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, the city market was located on the esplanade of San Francisco Square, until the period of Mayor Don Manuel Silvestre Frisancho, during what a new food market is built.

The new building was built in what was the abattoir or slaughterhouse was located since colonial times in front of the Temple of San Pedro and part of the gardens of the Beaterio of Santa Clara. The new food market opened on June 7, 1925, was the largest until then had been built covered area; type in its design completely detached from what was constructive tradition. It has a colonial style, is a rectangular building and a single tall, with columns and metal cover, which occupies an entire city block, it can only proceed from the need to protect the activity that once had to be developed, in this same place, outdoor.

Entering the market, is to know the cultural heritage of Cusco, their customs, their histories, their products, their aromas, their way of exchange, the living culture, here it reaches an authentic expression because it is known that the market is a focus where it comes together the need, where the daily meeting, a theatrical staging between sellers and buyers takes place continuously repeated over time.