Lessons from a Traditional Colombian Food Market: What food flows in the Galería El Porvenir Market reveal about Cali & Southwest Colombia


Surrounded by an orchestra of cilantro, oregano, and citronella, I’m seated on the concrete floor of a bustling market listening to campesino (farmer) Luz Dila, describe her routine: she wakes up at midnight, hops on her horse, trots about her farm gathering the bushels of freshly-cut herbs and produce, loads the bushels onto horseback, ties up her horse at the main road, and catches a bus to the market at 3 am. Three hours later, she arrives at the Galería, tastefully arranges her produce on plastic crates, and waits for consumers to arrive. People are still sipping their first coffee of the morning and Luz has been here for hours. I hadn’t thought about the remarkable crop diversity presented at her feet until she describes her farm, the cultivation process, and what it takes for the food to arrive with her. I’m struck by how much of the process I’ve overlooked and taken for granted.

Alex Reep
Publication date: 
December 1, 2022
Publication type: 
Blog Entry