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To an outsider, standing in the center of Loja’s central market is like facing a torrent of sensory stimulation. Vendors bombard you from every direction with information on what they are selling and how economical it is. Moreover the rich blend of colors and textures draws your eyes to a hundred things at a time. At first it is impossible to do anything except wander however, after some time, structure begins to take shape. Most apparent to me was that everything was fresh. Nothing in this market had ever been packaged or shipped overseas. Even the meat, one of the most overly processed items in the states, was fresh from the farm. Nothing is refrigerated and everything is sold as fast as possible, a method which helps both the local farmer and the environment.

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Taken on March 5, 2011