Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Corabastos Market

On Sunday morning, my flatmate and I decided to go to Corabastos, the biggest market in the whole continent.

We took a buseta (small bus) and headed off to the South. As we arrived it was 10:30 am and the market was already bustling with people shouting to sell their goods to anyone who could bear their screams. Cars, donkeys, policemen, trucks... an incredibly chaotic choreography of movement and noise! Pure energy!

...and people eating and eating, and eating everywhere, anything.

We walked around the trucks and inside the bays, where hundreds of workers were downloading the goods from the trucks and piling them in symmetrical order so the buyer could purchase it and take it to her/his shop. I decided that I will start filming here, the beginning of this universe where all imaginable food has been brought by the peasants from all over the region around Bogotá at 2:00 am. This goods would be purchased, generally, by a guy who will buy the whole content before is downloaded. After that, the workers would take down the goods.

Corabastos Market is located in the South-West of Bogota, in an area known as Ciudad Kennedy. It is the eighth locality of Bogotá and the most populous of all localities being home to 14% of the city's residents.

The Muisca people originally settled the area now known as Kennedy in the 16th century. From the colonial period until the early 20th century, it was mostly large ranches. From the 1930s on, it began a period of urbanization.In 1961, an urbanization project was undertaken, financed in part by the Alianza para el Progreso (Alliance for Progress). The locality was known as Ciudad Techo until 1963, when the name was changed in honor of the assassinated John F. Kennedy, who visited Bogotá in 1961 and supported the Alliance for Progress.

These are the maps of Corabastos; we are now mapping out the technical equipment required to film during the two nights that we will be there. At 23:00 pm, hundreds of lorries arrive from every town/village outside the metropolitan area of Bogota and park in the bays. At 4:30 am they will be ready to start the commercial transactions with the outsellers of the capital negotiating prices. The whole place is devided in areas calientes (busy corridors) that need to be cleared of people so they can be quickly transported into the bay.


  1. Hola Juan las fotos se ven hermosas, me gusta este trabajo, es curioso como ninguno de nosotros le ha dedicado tiempo a estos mercados, sera porque los tenemos hay y no los vemos, felicitaciones


  2. Hola Juan, con motivo de los 50 Años, he estado recuperando registros fotográficos propios por haber crecido en la Súper 6a y creo que tu vivías en la manzana de la Emisora Kennedy; el caso es que me ha traído muchos recuerdos y me agradaría si es posible el tener el vídeo, mi correo, espero poder comunicarme e intercambiar lo recuperado, saludos