Buying a Luffa in Someone's Driveway

Yes, this is a post about those scruffy, scratchy, exfoliating things people use in their showers or sinks. 

 Typical loofah

During a trip to the beach in Guatemala we learned a few things about luffas (also spelled loofah) and wanted to share. Turns out, they grow by the coast but we were surprised to find out they don't grow in the water. They are not a species of sponge. Loofahs are actually grown on vines and are part of the gourd or cucumber family.

 We saw fields of them being grown near the coast. This is what they look like before they end up in bathrooms.

We saw fields of them being grown near the coast. This is what they look like before they end up in bathrooms.

Since luffas are technically fruits we were not overly surprised that some people eat them. They are commonly used in soups and sitr-fries in Vietnam.

Learning we were in the land of luffas we set out to buy one. We stopped at tienda after tienda along the beach road looking for a place to buy one but had no luck. Turns out they are grown here but they are not something the locals use. We were just about to give up our luffa search when suddenly we spotted this house.

 The house was packed to the gills with luffas

The house was packed to the gills with luffas

We parked in their driveway and walked up to the door.

 They are clearly in the luffa business. 

They are clearly in the luffa business. 

The owners were inside watching TV. They noticed us milling around in their yard and knew what we wanted. 

 This luffa was as big as my arm.

This luffa was as big as my arm.

We bought one luffa for Q10 ($1.30 US) which coincidentally was the same price as releasing a baby sea turtle. It's also about 90% cheaper than buying them on Amazon.com

We're constantly surprised by what we learn, see and buy on the road.

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