“Granada Granada Granada!” yelled the guy hanging out the door of our minivan, an express shuttle from Managua to, obviously, Granada. I couldn’t help but notice he was wearing a D.A.R.E. t-shirt. Just like the ones I used to get as a kid. How did that get here?
Was he a Nicaraguan hipster, wearing this D.A.R.E shirt in the interest of irony? (Seeing as this was my first thought, I’ve clearly spent too much time living in the hipster neighborhoods in Denver.) I think not. I bookmarked it in my brain as something interesting to keep track of.
As we continued to travel through the country, I started seeing all kinds of t-shirts that clearly didn’t belong here. I’ve seen guys wearing shirts for the Ventura County Fire Department and the Cabo San Lucas Police Force (I think this was a souvenir castoff.) We’ve spotted shirts for universities, high schools, and sports teams from all over the US, concerts, 5K runs, and tacky tourist shirts from all over the world. Brightly colored striped polos of the Abercrombie/Hollister/American Eagle variety are everywhere. One of our favorites celebrated a high school in Indiana’s marching band, and their 2003-04 season’s theme of Chicago.
Someone back in Peru told me a story about a friend that would visit the US and buy good quality secondhand clothes from stores like Goodwill and Savers for very cheap. Then they would bring the clothes down to South or Central America and resell them at a small profit. I’m not sure if that is exactly what happens around here (maybe the unwanted stuff is donated by organizations or individuals, I have no idea.) But it seems as good an explanation as any for what we see on the people around us.
In the markets there are several stores and stands (similar to the one pictured above) selling this type of clothing. Everything appears to be in good condition, and is probably going to better use here than it would at home.
I kinda wonder if any of the clothes we parted with before leaving the US have made it down here. I’ll keep you posted if I see something I recognize. :)