Ways to earn a living.
01.03.2013 - 21.03.2013
Around the plaza in Loja, Ecuador, woman earned money by offering to laminate documents and ID cards. A side street in Chiclayo had a dozen men with typewriters on tall stands ready to type up your letters or documents. A few streets away, men with crude boxes of tools could do your repairs.
In every town there are fruit vendors of various types: some cut up fruits and sell them in plastic bags ready to eat, others sell the whole fruit, and yet others crush it into juice for you on the spot. They may sell from a wheel barrel, a shopping cart, a small stand or a large wooden cart on wheels.
In the plazas, there are sellers of balloons, candy apples (the hard shiny red cinnamon kind), cotton candy, bubble-blowers, toys and balls. There are usually shoe shine men strolling through the crowds too.
"Control your weight" the sign says; this gentleman has a scale that you can step onto for a fee.
In Chiclayo, the cutest yet saddest vendor products were the boxes of puppies. So cute, but I was appalled at how many lined the long block and some puppies looked too young to have been weaned properly. Many of the puppies looked listless. I couldn't help but reach out and stroke some of them on their little heads.
In Peru, where money exhange is legal, the dealers congregate by the banks on the street. Sometimes they wear bright colored vests to announce their business, but who else is hanging around with a 4 inch wad of money in their hand or counting one hundred dollar bills in the open? Some casually perch on wooden stools against the wall; others rush up to cars to do a 'drive-up' business.
Last night, a woman in a taxi stopped at a light called out to the young girl selling tiny quail eggs. The girl immediately prepared two small bags with a half-dozen boiled and peeled eggs-- one with hot sauce, one without-- and then ran out into the road to trade them for some coins.
There are also jugglers, windshield washers, chicle (gum) sellers, and newspaper boys wooing the captive drivers who have stopped at larger intersections.
A flamboyant young man in tight pants and a woman's purple top has approached me twice since being in Trujillo. He is selling small wrapped lemon candies. Last night, he found me again. "They are so good" he tells me as he pulls a handful out of the bag to show me. When I shake my head, he calls me 'malita'. That's your sales pitch I ask? Telling me I'm 'bad' (albeit it in an endearing form)? "Bonita?", I ask while pointing at my face. "Guapa!", he cries. "Mi Reina!" That's more like it. When I enter a market, I am used to being the most beautiful, most desirable woman in the place as the vendors call out their complements and endearments in hope of getting my business. As soon as I pass, I hear them calling to the next woman in the same fervid pitch.