Most guidebooks tell you not to go to Stabroek. Not just the market, but the entire area of Georgetown, Guyana. City tours will drive you past the market, but they tell you to not get out and keep your hands in the car. Stabroek market is indeed chaotic. Tends of thousands are streaming in and out of the market and wandering the surrounding streets at any given time, preventing most traffic from inching forward, giving it the feel of a crowded festival.
Yet, it’s unbelievably interesting, as the photos below will show. The oldest structure still in use in Guyana’s capital of Georgetown, Stabroek was built, out of iron and steel, in 1881 during the British colonial period, which is reflected in the Victorian style clock tower. While the outside streets are more prone to selling jewelry, electronics, and general junk, within the 80,000 square foot market meat, fish, produce, herbs and spices dominate. At a halal butcher shop, someone sees me taking a photo and screams out “Hey, you see this man (the butcher)? He’s gay.” Everyone laughs. There are Indians, indigenous, whites, blacks, and Chinese. It’s loud, colorful, dark, dirty, and pungent. In all of the markets I have been to throughout the new world, it is perhaps the most unique.
Writer and photographer Nicholas Gill is the editor/publisher of New World Review. He lives in Lima, Peru and Brooklyn, New York. His work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, CondeNast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler, Afar, and Penthouse. Visit his personal website (nicholas-gill.com) for more information.