What’s It Like To Go Shopping Around the World?

If you think mall traffic is crazy where you live, you should check out the crowded markets in Tanzania! And you’ve never seen more beautiful produce than at the fruit stands in Burkina Faso. Take a stroll through some of the world’s busiest, most colorful markets and experience the wonder of how people in other cultures go shopping.


I busy outdoor marketplace in Tanzania. A smiling woman is wearing a colorful purple and orange dress. Vegetable stands selling plantains and other produce are seen behind her. A woman walks by carrying a basket of fruit on her head.

Lucy’s laughter fills this busy market as she stands outside of her kiosk. She sells fruits and vegetables with joy even though at home, life is difficult as sole provider and single mom.

El Salvador

A woman wearing a maroon and blue cardigan is shopping for baby clothes at a store in El Salvador.

Carmen, a Compassion center director, goes shopping for items for a family recently impacted by flooding in her community. The crisp and colorful pieces are sadly not affordable for many families living in poverty in El Salvador. Carmen is grateful to help provide for the needs of children in Compassion’s program.


A teenage girl stands with her hands folded in front of a produce stand. In the background, a clothing stand is seen at the outdoor marketplace.

Jinda stands proudly by her products at Kids’ Market — a Compassion center training initiative where youths and children can practice selling goods such as vegetables from their garden, snacks they’ve made, clothing and small toys.


Two women in Ghana hold opposite sides of a colorful piece of fabric. One is holding a measuring tape to the fabric. She is wearing a pink shirt and blue jeans.

Hanna measures fabric with an apprentice at her clothing shop to create a custom piece. She received her fashion design training through a Compassion program and now makes items for families in her community. 

Burkina Faso

A smiling woman sits near blankets on the ground, which are covered with produce for sale. The open-air market in Burkina Faso is busy with people shopping and selling.

The aromas from the fresh fruits and vegetables are as inviting as Aminatou’s smile. It’s hard to resist such bright and beautiful produce, but these goods are often a rare treat for children in poverty. The fruits of this widow’s labor are the sole income for her family.


A teenage boy stands outside a shop window in Indonesia. The shop is painted teal green.

Petro, 16, used a financial gift from his sponsor to start a stall in his local market. He began the shop with just a few sweet potatoes but has grown the business over time. After school, Petro works to earn money that helps him support his family and save for his future.


A boy wearing boots and a light colored outfit sits near a cotton wheel in Ethiopia. He is helping his father make fabric to sell at a market.

Temesgen sits near his father’s fabric shop tending to a cotton wheel after school. Decorative clothing is a common way of expressing culture in Ethiopia, and Temesgen’s dad creates beautiful fabrics to sell at the market.

The Philippines

A woman wearing a pink shirt is shopping for fish at a market in the Philippines.

Aracile and her children live hand-to-mouth, but she is grateful to purchase fish for dinner from this busy open shopping market.


Shops line a dirt road in Uganda. Women and children walk past.

The dusty streets are a stark contrast to the shiny, slick floors in malls across America. Foot traffic in front of these storefronts has worn grooves in the dirt as shoppers peruse the latest styles and snacks.

The Dominican Republic

Yoliver goes window-shopping with his mom in excited anticipation for Christmas. This year, his local church provided his mother with a gift card through Compassion’s Christmas Gift Fund. She was thrilled to have the opportunity to pick out gifts for her boys.

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