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Pacas for Cheap Clothes in Central America

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Pacas are the place to shop for cheap clothing in Central America

A paca is kind of like a scene in a movie where a car is parked in a bad urban area and is quickly stripped of all of its pieces by the locals in fast motion while the owner goes for a stroll around the block. But, in this instance, a paca is a place where extremely cheap used clothes are rapidly carted away rather than car parts.

A paca is a cheap used clothing market that opens temporarily whenever there is a load of merchandise to sell. The clothes are probably donations from the USA meant to be given to the poor of Central America that were capitalized upon en-route.

A few days before a paca there will be a sign in the street advertising it — Paca here tomorrow — and on the specified day a disused storefront will momentarily thrive with commerce. Pacas usually stay open until most of the stock has been picked cleaned to its bare bone carcass.

For at a paca there is often one set price for everything, it is usually well under 1 USD. Get what you can while it is still there, or you may find only purple stretch pants with pee stains on them to purchase.

I watch my wife dig through the racks and boxes of clothing at a paca in Puerto Barrios, her foraging instinct being satiated in full force. The spoils of a paca go to the first grabber.

Photos of a paca

paca guatemala

Paca in Central America

Paca Hhere

Paca open today sign

paca empty store front

Pacas happen in usually unused store fronts

Paca

Paca

Related articles: Import from USA resell clothes in Guatemala

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Filed under: Central America, Clothing, Economics, Guatemala

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 76 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to Forbes, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3053 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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