Every town here has one. A central square. In Sucre, it’s the ‘Plaza 25 de Mayo’.
We go there most days to sit on the benches shaded by palm trees and watch the world pass by. Campesinos sell woven bracelets, bags and belts from brightly coloured striped blanket bundles that they sling over one shoulder. Ragged children sell corn to feed the pigeons, loose sweets and the ‘Inti’ magazine to eke out their family’s income. Boys tote scratched wooden boxes to offer shoe-shines. Other vendors sell to more fortunate families – sweets and peanuts, red wobbly jellies in plastic cups, fresh orange-juice and ice cream. These kids chase each other around the statue of Antonio Jose de Sucre, ride bikes, and play with balloons and paper windmills that their parents buy for them. Dogs, large and small, chase the pigeons with loping strides and lolling tongues, sending them soaring into the air with a great flap of wings and feathers. Businessmen read papers. Friends chat. Lovers hold hands.
It’s a people place. Always busy, but strangely restful. A little oasis in the middle of the city.