Life in the village of Cofradía de Suchitlán

I think I will start out by describing life here in the village. Cofradía is a small village of about 2000 people within sight of the famous Volcán de Fuego, the Volcano of Fire.
The streets are cobblestone, so it is a good idea to wear thick-soled shoes. My first trip here, I wore my beloved Sketchers, and I could feel every stone through the soles. No need to wear hiking boots if all you are going to do is walk in the streets. There are sidewalks, so on days where I need to wear my thin-soled nicer shoes, I try to keep to the sidewalks.
The village shops remind me of stories my father would tell of growing up in the Bronx in New York (he was born in 1919 – and if anyone wants to read his stories of serving in WW II or growing up in the Bronx, you can find those stories here: http://www.lepanto.com/ryan )
Anyway, the small grocery stores are called abarrotes, and they sell many of the same things, but many have specialities. For instance, the carnecería sells meat (carne = meat), the papelería sells stationery (papel = paper) and so on. The first part of the word tells you what they sell or do, and the “-ería” tells you it is a store or business.
My favorite so far is the cafetería – the coffee shop. It is just outside of town, about a mile walking distance, so you can walk off the calories you have ingested after drinking one of their delicious cold frappés – it tastes like coffee-flavored ice cream, topped with whipped cream and fresh blackberries. Probably a ton of calories, so I am limiting myself to once per week.
Behind the cafetería, they spread out the coffee beans to sit in the sun on platforms of cement. Behind these platforms are the machines where they finish processing the beans. Sitting in the café, you can sip your hot or cold coffee and eat some freshly made sweets while having a nice view of the bull ring and the green landscape. As you then head back into town, there is a magnificent view of the volcano.
One other thing I need to become accustomed to is buying things by weight. I couldn’t buy a half-dozen eggs. Instead I bought a half-kilo, which turned out to be about 8 eggs of various sizes. You can pick up however many pieces of fruit you want, but it is weighed and priced according to weight. Come to think of it, the supermarkets back home in Upstate New York DO put the produce on a scale at the register, but some of the more exotic fruits you do end up paying by the piece, such as “2 persimmons for $3.”
Also – your groceries are put into bags, so I carried the bag of my loose eggs VERY CAREFULLY to my residence. It’s not like at home, where you have the sturdy egg carton. The advantage was that none of the eggs was damaged – at home I would need to open the carton in the store to make sure none of the eggs was broken or cracked.
Everyone is friendly, and everyone says hello if I don’t say it first, as you pass by in the street. I have walked the village daytime and night-time in perfect safety.
There is a village square called the jardín, where celebrations are held, complete with music, dancing and fireworks, farmers’ markets and people cooking and selling delicious street food on the weekends. It is also just a nice pace to sit and admire the landscape.
I will add pictures once I figure out how to do it. Learning all the aspects of doing a blog is a bit like learning all the different aspects of living in Mexico – sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know until you suddenly need to do it.
I will post a blog about transportation separately. There is no bank or post office in Cofradía, necessitating a bus or car trip to one of the larger towns, such as Villa de Alvarez, Comala or Colima City (Colima is one of the 31 states of Mexico, and one of its cities is also named Colima, similar to New York State and New York City.)

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