Thursday, January 14, 2021

Zoila Urízar Soto, aka La Canche; RIP

The passing of 'La Canche', so soon after her shrine-like shop beside La Merced, had us traipsing back down memory lane this afternoon.

We were trying to recall how many of the businesses which existed when we first met are still with us, and then proceeded to delve yet deeper into the era of my wife's childhood.
Bakeries have fared better than most. The San Antonio (Cuchi-Cuchi) and others were all up and running. Stationery shops were also doing quite well, at least until the pandemic. The Mariposa was there on the corner of the park, with an earlier incarnation of the Azmitia print shop a block or so away.
The vast majority of the long surviving restaurants tend to be Chinese, most prominently La Gran Muralla.
On the Calle del Arco the Fonda had long assumed its station but, believe it or not, there was no Pollo Campero to be found.
Cafe Ana was there on its own corner, decades before its near neighbourhood came to be dominated by the 'Panzón Verde'.
Helados Sarita sat roughly where one finds Café Condesa today, the latter one of those contemporary establishments like Doña Luisa, El Viejo Café and so on, whose job, like much of the rest of the city, is to look like they have been around forever, when they haven't.
Gilda Jolas's dance school was nestled into the arch and the Casa Troccoli was long established, though the present store is more of a reincarnation than a continuation.
As for Doña Maria Gordillo's traditional sweet shop, but of course.
What have we missed?

(La Canche, born in the same year as my mother, may have to be notched up as yet another victim of a local phenomenon which can be put down to the inadequate pension provision in Guatemala. I fear many of the over 65s here are continuing to run small retail businesses with unavoidable customer contact at a time when they really ought to be comparatively sheltered.)

No comments: