I wanted to photograph the vendors and the people on a typical Saturday in El Centro. Because I am sensitive to the people I am photographing, I decided to use my 70-200mm telephoto lens. This way, I hoped to capture some unique city and people-shots without being intrusive or invading anyone's space. It was a busy day on the streets of this city, and there was much to see and capture.
I received many stares today as I photographed the city because Canon telephoto L lenses are big and white, and they attract a lot of attention. Also, few people here walk around with such expensive and eye-catching camera gear. I don't have it to flaunt but to capture life wherever I go. I'm a photography junkie, so being a foreigner in a new land is heaven for me in the photographic arena. It is my passion and my joy!!! I'm thankful I have my bodyguard to protect me when I'm swept away into another world behind the lens. Only a true photographer will know exactly what I mean - it's as if no one else is around - only me, my lens, and my subject. If not for Bo, I wouldn't be able to relax and shoot. I'd be too concerned for my equipment and my safety.
A mother and her three children shopping on a Saturday in the city! Ecuadorian mothers carry their babies on their backs tied to a shawl. One rarely sees a stroller or baby backpack.
It's interesting to observe their traditional attire and how it differs from person to person.
In front of the churches are vendors selling religious paraphernalia. Is this vendor praying or sleeping?
Vendors who do not have a rented space in the mercados set up their produce or wares along the sidewalks. Many of them sit in a kneeling or squatted position waiting for a sale. We're finding that their produce sells for considerably less.
This beautiful old Cuencano woman was shopping and came out of one of the "tienditas" with her purchase strapped to her back. The aged here are active and still shopping the streets of the city.
Some street vendors sell only toothpaste, toothbrushes, and toilet paper. I buy 4 rolls for $1, and the next time I need toothpaste, I'll purchase it from a street vendor.
This young vendor was selling potatoes. Many of the vendors protect themselves from the equator sun by holding umbrellas all day long......
Other outdoor vendors will wear a folded shawl over their heads to block the sun. This vendor is selling small bags of grains and also crocheted apparel. She's busy working away on another project.
Along the city streets, we come across people whom we have no clue what movie they're making? What's his story? What's in his big box? Where is he going?
This begger was eating a bowl of soup. After he finished, he got right to work, extending his hand for some coins.
Young school girls dressed alike head down the streets of the city.
A picture of street vendors selling to some passerby shoppers.
While some are selling, others are waiting. This street vendor had beans (which she shells and bags) and corn.
While a flower vendor sorts through her bundles, a city dweller sits nearby. Notice the contrast in the vendors attire and the woman in black?
Daily, the bus stop on Calle Larga by the mercado is crowded with people waiting for their ride.
These children were waiting for a cotton candy vendor to hand them their big pink sugary treat. Sugary treats, cola, candy, cookies, ice cream, cotton candy, etc. are a daily common vendor sight on the streets of this city.
Vendors pushing wheelbarrows and crying "Cerezas" (cherries) is common on the city streets. This young vendor is hoping to bag some cherries and make her next sale soon!
Many of the street vendors are older women - yet they continue to work and sell!
The "Panaderias" have many varieties of Ecuadorian breads which are soft and airy. I long for Great Harvest bread!!!!
Along the city streets are many "Tiendas" selling their variety of wares and foods. Nothing makes sense in what is being offered, and it takes time and a curiosity to explore and know these shops.
Always, my favorite place is the mercado! the abundance of produce and the colorful mounds of fruits and vegetables still make me happy when I walk through the aisles.
We're beginning to explore the street vendors more, and we continue to learn the prices charged to the locals as we watch and listen. These already-bagged assortments of produce usually sell for $1 a bag. Avocados are five for $1.
Hopefully, it has been informative and a good visual of what to expect if you visit or move here.