Mercado Cuatro is a shopping/trading center occupying the wedge formed by the intersection of Avs Francia and Pettirossi and stretches over several blocks in Asuncion, Paraguay. It is about a 30 minute walk from the city center.
It’s easy to get lost amongst the hustle and bustle of the vendors. You can find almost anything in Mercado 4–the variety is overwhelming…exotic animals, traditional clothing and crafts, instruments, bootleg everything (Nike, Adidas shoes, Prada, DVDs, Rolex, etc…), food, beauty supplies, fishing gear, Christmas lights (especially since Christmas is almost upon us), fresh fruits and vegetables, live animals, exotic animals, Chinese knock-offs of almost every name-brand clothing there is…you name it, it is probably there somewhere.
Live animals available for purchase
Traditional Clothing and other traditional wares
Toys and Miscellaneous
Walking amongst the stalls was invigorating. The masses of people around you, the sounds of bargaining, kids running around, music blasting from different stalls, traffic from the street, vendors luring you into their shops. The smells were at times incredibly pleasant: fresh baked chipa, grilled meats, fresh fruits. Other times the smells were…well….those of gutted cow, intestines being cleaned, gutted fish, giant hearts hung from the ceiling, caged animals…those kind of smells.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Beef (Organs and Intestines) and Fish Market
We didn’t purchase much this time…it was more of a sight-seeing/hunting expedition. I found my yarn that I’ve been searching for and it was only Gs 24,000 (~$4) for 10 skeins and Nickie’s mom bought our youngest a cute little dress for about $3.
As for the photos, I had to use my iPhone for them because I wasn’t familiar enough with the environment to use my DSLR and carry our youngest at the same time. At least with my iPhone, I could slip it in and our of my pocket quickly before most even noticed I was taking photos.
In the comments below, I’d like to hear your suggestions for future posts. What would you like to know about Paraguay? Are there any traditions or places you’d like to read about and see photos of? Let me know!