Street vendors are an integral part of the Mazatlan urban economy

Many people in Mazatlán and the rest of Mexico have to work every day in the midst of the pandemic.

Although he is afraid of being infected with the coronavirus, Raúl Partida has to open his seasonal fruit stand in the city center, in order to cover his personal expenses.

Mazatlán, Sinaloa (April 26, 2020).- In the middle of Phase 3 of the coronavirus pandemic, elderly people continue to work on the streets, they have to go out to buy food and medicine because they live alone, working, surviving, risking their health to be able to eat, one day at a time.

Shoeshine men, street vendors, and market merchants go out to work every day, risking their lives, as people 60 and older are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19.

Don Raúl Partida Pérez, 66 years old, is dedicated to selling seasonal fruit on Calle Aquiles Serdán, in downtown Mazatlán. He needs to go out on a daily basis, in order to get money to survive along with his wife.

The situation is difficult for everyone, many people have been left without a job due to the health emergency, but those who are having a much worse time are those who depend on their everyday sales, which have decreased considerably with social isolation measures.

“For the government, it is very easy to say “stay home”, but that does not apply when you need to go out to earn a few pesos, so you can buy food and medicine”, said Don Raúl.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic began, sales have dropped considerably, and every 20 days he needs $1,500 pesos just to buy his medicine, and when he can not afford it, then he has to ask his children or friends for help.

Sales have dropped so much that there are days when he barely makes 200 pesos. Since the lockdown started, he has not been able to pay his suppliers, he is in a growing debt with them.

Don Raúl says that God is testing people, he says this is not a punishment, but a test for us to become better human beings.

The man has been selling seasonal fruit, for the last 50 years on the same spot. Myrtle, nanche, apple, walnut, not to mention the cocadas (coconut sweets). Don Raul and his cart have faced many challenges and adversities throughout time, but nothing like this.

He started working at age 16, then he got married at 18 and dedicated himself full time to sell fruit in the streets of Centro, years later he settled next to the entrance to the José María Pino Suárez market. And for the last 26 years, Don Raúl´s business has been settled on Aquiles Serdán.

“He who can afford to stay at home can do it… but most of us survive one day at a time, all we’ve got is our jobs, and we are not give them up despite the risk, if the coronavirus does not kill me, hunger and lack of medicines will… I have diabetes and a few years ago I had a mild stroke, in God we trust”, Don Raul Partida concluded.

Source: OEM

The Mazatlan Post

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