Archive for January 20th, 2012

Tortillerías and Tiendas

Friday, January 20th, 2012

As poverty strikes the rural areas of the country more and more, people living in the countryside are faced with the need of moving to the city in an attempt to make a little money. Most of them end up working in the informal economy selling candy, DVDs, clothes, etc. in the streets. Some women make tortillas and sell them to hungry customers throughout the day, especially around meal times. In the past, women used wood to warm up the “comales” (that were made of clay and are now made of steel) but now it is a common practice to use gas instead of wood. Making tortillas is a great time for women to bond: they talk, share their opinions and joys. They might also talk about their love life and crack up a little about it…what do you think they’re laughing about in this picture?
If you are planning on buying tortillas, consider not being in a rush and wait for the warmest ones which are “del comal”. You will not regret it!

P.S. Tortillerias are sometimes in the same spot as small convenience stores or “tiendas”. These stores did not have bars in the past but owners are now taking all actions possible to prevent robberies. I remember when I was little you could walk through the store and get your chips or soda yourself but now you have to ask the owner to get it for you…oh well, I guess things are not the same after 20 years

Text by: Astrid Fortuny