Friday, August 24, 2007

Some Working Families in Oaxaca (not Chacala)

I love seeing families together in Mexico. That's my favorite part of life in Chacala, I think. And in Oaxaca especially. My first afternoon in town I was looking for a pizza place near the Santo Domingo complex, when I noticed a family walking away from me.I was sitting on a bench flipping thru the torn-out pages of the "Oaxaca" section of my Lonely Planet Mexico handbook, when a little boy approached me, selling Chiclets. I bought a pack, and soon, his Mom approached me. It turned out they were the family I had noticed walking down the Acala, a non-vehicle (except for speeding motos) pedestrian street between the Zocala (center city park) and where we were, n front of Santo Domingo church.The woman, Lupe, was selling rebozos, small shawls hand-woven from cotton. Cheap ($3US) and basic, but I liked them. I though they would make good gifts for Narcisa and Gracia. So I bought three. We visited for awhile. There was also a little baby girl, but I didn't take photos of her. Lupe's little boy goes to school, and she sells her rebozos in the afternoon, after school is out.
Later I went back looking for her. She had some more expensive silky looking rebozos I liked, and I wanted to find her. I showed her photo, on my camera screen, to the other vendors, and they all knew her. They told me she only works in the afternoon, so I returned several afternoons but I never found her.
Leonor and his wife, who was at comida, lunch, when I took this photo, have had this shop selling metal-art at the Artisan's Market below the Zocalo for ten years. Before that they sold on the street. They were very friendly, and I returned several times because I liked what they were selling, and the prices. Little 4"x6" inch painted time picture frames with and without mirrors were 5 to 10 pesos. (50 cents to $1US). The abuela (grandmother) here, is actually sitting on a bench, and the girls are sitting on a planter box. She definitely has legs, even though the photos doesn't really show them. They were selling smaller woven cotton scarves for 15 pesos, about (1.35US). I bought some of those too, for gifts for ladies here in Chacala.
The man, Benjamin, is a leather worker at the the giant Abasto street market. He was happy to pose for 10 pesos, a buck, and wanted me to take lots of photos. He also mended my broken plastic flipflop. Also for 10 pesos. His friends, in the next stall, supervised the picture taking,and told me he doesn´t know how old he is, but they think it´s more than 100 years.

1 comment:

Dan said...

This is great... Most gringos would see these people only as bothersome vendors. But you see them as real people with real families. That's very rare.