At the Sunday market in Berlín, El Salvador, the streets are bustling with vendors selling their vegetables. Some have only a basket of goods to sell, while others set up a small table with a variety of crops available for a few cents each. We spoke with both buyers and sellers at the market to learn about how they’re making the most with the little they have.
In the rural communities surrounding Berlín, many farmers harvest just enough to feed their families. Those who are fortunate enough to harvest a small surplus often try to sell those crops in the market. Some of these farmers have to walk for hours from their villages to the market in town, just to earn a few dollars.
Other vendors purchase fruits and vegetables from a local supplier, and increase the price just enough to make a small profit. If the crops are spoiled, the vendors may lose money on their investments. Earning money at the market is not guaranteed, and when they do make a profit, it is usually at very slim margins.
Since most of the shoppers at the market are poor, even a slight change in the price of goods can have an enormous impact on their buying power. Many have only a few dollars to spend on the basic necessities – food for their families – with very little left over for other purchases.
Our visit to the Sunday market in Berlín showed just how vulnerable people are – vendors and shoppers alike – when they have so little.
July 2016 — Berlín, Usulután, El Salvador