The Andean markets of Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia offer marvelous insight into daily life. Just outside of Otavalo and a little removed in mood and purpose from the handicraft market in town, is the Mercado de Animales. Here animals are bought and sold, and often treated differently than they might be in other parts of the world. Despite that, it is quite an experience to see the bargaining that goes on over a pig, a couple of sheep, some chicks or, here, a bag of guinea pigs.
The woman on the left is in the midst of settling on a price for the guinea pigs that she has chosen. I love how her daughter is preoccupied with the wiggly tail of the pig standing near her mother's feet.
Oh, yes, cuy or guinea pig, deep fried or roasted, is the national dish of Ecuador, something that as a vegetarian I did not sample, but I'm told that people love it.