Helado, Helados, hay Helado! (ice cream, ice cream, there is ice cream) yells the "heladero" ringing the little bell familiar to every child's sweet tooth and pushing his cart through the streets of Guatemala.
I just read a post by Luis Figueroa that brought me back in time to this fond childhood memory. Post and picture here.
We used to live in a cul-de-sac, an official stop for the ice-cream man. It was the call that brought all children out to start an afternoon of play. There were ice cream sandwiches nicely pronounced "sanguich", vasitos (little cup) and my favorite Olímpico (orange popsicle filled with cream). This was probably one of the few treats my parents would let me eat "en la calle" (on the street), later I deviated from the rule and fortunately never got sick.
The carts are still all over Guatemala, now a lot of them carry the same type of ice-cream bars and popsicle you can buy at a store, a very good thing, since I also apply the same rule of "no comida de la calle" to my children!
One interesting thing I found out, from my aunt who lives in the LA area, is that there is a community of heladeros that cross the border every summer to sell ice-cream from a cart. They all stay at a big werehouse at night and go out the next morning ringing their bells in the streets of LA. As crude as it still sounds to me they probably are extremely happy to do it. They might make 8 times more money and get to bring Guatemala closer to the immigrants.
This is another story of an heladero. Here we were in Mixco Viejo an archeo-
logical site 60 kms from the city, I've written some about it in a past post.
This ice cream vendor had walked up the mountain, carrying as a cooler various layers of carton boxes and plastic bags, to sell ice cream to the scarce amount of visitors that Sunday of July.