Saturday Morning Shopping: Hitting The "Pacas" Circuit

Recently when I ask any lady in town where she got her cute, new blouse/skirt/dress, the answer seems to be the same.  “Gial, the pacas.  Only $2BZD”.  Huh?  $2bzd ($1USD) for that cute real cotton pair of shorts?  IMPOSSIBLE!And it’s usually followed up with some far-fetched statement like this:  “I also snagged two pairs of Old Navy shorts, a Calvin Klein dress and a Tommy Bahama shirt for an only $14bzd more”.   Say what? How am I missing this phenomena?Well for one,  I am probably a year or so behind the Ambergris trends…the San Pedro “cool kids”.  Two, my “look” for the past year has been one faithful pair of gym shorts and many old t-shirts.   Ugh.

But this sounds intriguing…what are these mysterious places that have popped up all over town?  Why are half the women of San Pedro going crazy for them?  Why is early morning Saturday the time to get out there and shop?  Time to check the pacas.

I wrote a bit about my apparel shopping in San Pedro a few months ago, about hitting the used clothing stores.  What’s different about these places?

We first stopped by two right near the high school just north of town.  The first was closed.  The sign advertised it as a “nuevo pacas”.  There were about 6 ladies inside picking through a HUGE pile of clothes.  Apparently, they close Friday afternoons to ready the new inventory for Saturday morning when the doors open.  8AM!

Apparently this is a good sign.  HUGE bundles of new inventory from the U.S. come weekly…this is where the good stuff is.  “Paca” is actually the Spanish word for bale.

Next, we went down this side street (the one where the Computer Geeks is located) to the largest store of this type.  (None of these places seem to have names.)

This one was open and, mostly, it’s a very large used clothing store.  Some of the items have labels still on them…from the Gap or a department store, but most of the items are used.  And you are going to need to do lots of searching.

We did see quite a few “brand names” like Ann Taylor and Calvin Klein.  My sources are not lying.

There are two more shops on the Middle Street headed into town.  This one, which was also closed for pre-Saturday preparation.  A name!  Michelle’s.

And the other one, a bit more expensive, is located across from Micky’s.  It’s called American Apparel.

I also hear that there are a few on Back Street.

So…if you love searching through racks for that perfect item and you love bargain shopping, th pacas circuit might be your perfect Saturday morning.  Hit the stores and then maybe a nice breakfast at your favorite place using all the money you saved.

I bet it’s a bit of a fight.  A regular fracas at the pacas.  (Get it?  Those words rhyme!)  I’m not sure that I am up to it just yet.  But if you go…definitely let me know what you find.

I’ll be outside enjoying this GORGEOUS weather.

And I apologize for letting you know late.  But next week, you can be on the pacas queue bright and early.



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  • vera wang, max mara, liz clariborne. And a ton of yoga clothing and sports tops. One gorgeous silk dress, loads of old navy shorts, and, strangely enough, everything seems to be in my size!!!

  • Me

    Wow. Which one did you go to? I could use the sports tops.

  • fracas at the pacas

    Very droll!

    I love those sort of places. When I went to the Royal Military Academy, we were issued with a uniform grant (officers have to pay for their own uniforms) so we could engage one of the recommended tailors. With a wad of cash, I thought ‘Bugger that’ and headed straight to the ‘Officer’s Shop’ which sold second hand uniforms.

    Instead of paying 800 quid for my No 2 Dress, I paid forty quid.

    At the uniform inspection parade the adjutant stopped in front of me and asked me who my tailor was.

    My father’s tailor in Loughborough (a very provincial town in UK, not known for its tailors) I lied.

    Well that is the best fitting uniform I have seen in ages, he said.

    Forty quid! As per your advice, I pocketed the change and spent it on stuff I really wanted, like romantic dinners for two…