Tarabuco is a small town, roughly 65 km, or an hour and twenty minutes, from Sucre, which is famous for its Sunday market – famous to the point that the market has become quite touristy. Karen and I visited the market two weeks ago together with Emma, a Biblioworks volunteer, who was shopping for presents to bring home. Touristy, yes, worth a visit anyway: absolutely.
We had another opportunity to visit Tarabuco on a Wednesday last week as we were passing through on out way to Sopachuy. What a difference: there was not a gringo to be seen on the central plaza, as a matter of fact there was not a person to be seen, period.
We went back to Tarabuco this Sunday as Trabuco was combining its regular Sunday market with the Feria de Agricolacomercial and Gastronomica – somewhat like a state fair with a 4H show in the US. We also went back as Biblioworks has built a library in Tarabuco, and Biblioworks had a booth at the fair.
The addition of the state fair changed the flavor of the market significantly, and in a good way. While there were many gringos in attendance, there were many more locals than what we had seen before, and the “fast food’ section of the market was a pleasant, tasty, surprise.
At the Biblioworks, Roxana did a great job of setting up a game, using a “parachute”, containing numerous numbered and lettered pockets, to get kids involved and create a crowd around the booth. The kids, and grownups had a good time.
While there are locals who “dress up” for the tourists – mainly the locals who are working the sales booths – most don’t: wearing folk dress is what they do normally.
Transportation to and from Tarabuco is either on a tourist bus – expensive and not much fun – or on the micro’s or collectivos as they are known. A one way ticket, for an hour and twenty minute ride, is eight (8) Bolivianos, roughly $ 1.10. Not bad. But to a certain extent, you get what you pay for, and what you paid for is not very much room. Not much room if you are Bolivian, very rare to see a Bolivian close to 6 foot tall, and definitely not much room if you are 6′ 2″ (187 cm) as I am.
If you are lucky, or get to the micro early, before it’s filled up, you can get the front row of seats which does provide a few extra inches of room. At least it does until someone sits down on the floor in front of you.