The desperate screams of a Mazatlan street vendor


Next to the train tracks, enduring the strong rays of the sun, there is Doña Rosa, exchanging her merchandise for some food

Mazatlan, Sinaloa.- Loaded with merchandise to sell during Holy Week, this is how Doña Rosa arrived almost three months ago to MazatlanShe left her native Oaxaca with her husband and two children without imagining that the Covid-19 pandemic would make a bad move on her. Now she lives on the charity of the people, exchanging her handicrafts for food because, with the semi-empty streets, there is no one to buy her the crafts that she so eagerly elaborated.

Lacking support programs, many of the artisan vendors in the city, as well as Doña Rosa, took to the streets to carry out the oldest activity of humanity, barter, yes, merchandise for food, in order to carry livelihood to their homes.

In times of the pandemic, craft work is worth the same as a bag of rice or some pantry; That is what those who make handicrafts are asking for outside of supermarkets and streets, under the need to exchange with their handicrafts in order to eat.

Loaded with merchandise, along with her husband, two children and two grandchildren, Doña Rosa traveled more than 24 hours by bus to reach the port 15 days before Holy Week, a time when dozens of itinerant artisans arrived to join the most of 600 organized that they have in the port.

We go to different parts, here we come to work for Easter, but we couldn’t do it because the beaches closed and everyone started to stay at their houses, but we have to go looking for him, because we have to pay rent and eat.

Doña Rosa

Regardless of the sun’s rays and unaware of the effects caused by the pandemic, she sells the different items, some made with her own hands, at a table that she places on Peche Rice Avenue, next to the train tracks. to the north of the city.

At 50 years old, with little visibility in her eyes due to diabetes she suffers, she goes out to work every day for eight hours, while her children and husband do it on the streets in the neighborhoods.

We were locked up at home, but we ran out of money and we found ourselves in the need to do this, sell or barter, exchange our merchandise, crafts for some food and we arrived at the Walmart parking lot, we were there for three days, but they ran us out and threatened to call the police on us.

Doña Rosa

Doña Rosa, who learned this trade from her mother, when she was just a child, shares that in her town at the age of 14 they already know how to make baskets, bags, bracelets, embroidery, knitting and now that she is old and sick she teaches her granddaughters to continue with the tradition.

Without knowing how to read, she barely knows her numbers, but she enjoys meeting the art and creativity reflected in the fine touches that, with love and dedication, she gives to each of his pieces.

During almost all her life she has been dedicated to making crafts, such as jugs, palm tortilla makers, embroidery, and small bracelets that today are sold very cheaply.

Accompanied by two granddaughters and with a bloodless face, she waits for a client who comes to buy something for her, to exchange merchandise for a pantry or a kind-hearted mazatleco to offer her financial support or food.

The itinerant artisan has had to live through very difficult times, poverty, but never anything like this, much less being away from her land.

Here the people are good, they pass and stop to help me, they buy me, even if it is not enough, others give me a pantry or give me some money and what my children sell we have already collected some money to buy my pills.

Doña Rosa

With tears in her eyes, she comments that these almost three months in Mazatlán have been very difficult because they do not know anyone and they do not have money, in their town that is located in the Sierra de Oaxaca they have at least land to plant corn, beans, and others. foods.

She prays every day that all this will soon pass, she will not get sick and she can return home with her whole family in a month at the latest and remember all this as a hard experience.

When the time comes, they will have to return as they arrived with nothing and part of the merchandise. Then they will have to raise money to pay for the packages, because everything has a cost on the bus.

We already want all this to happen, to collect money and return to the home, we are crying, because with what little we sell it is not enough to pay rent, receipt of electricity, water, and food.

Doña Rosa

In Mexico there are little more than seven million artisans, of which 65% are women, according to data from the National Institute of Geography and Statistics (INEGI) and this sector contributes 132 billion pesos.


50 years old has Doña Rosa.

2 children, her husband and two grandchildren accompany her.


The Mazatlan Post