Sunday, June 22, 2008

Virgen Territory

An American woman named Ashley Pinedo has produced an interesting series of very short films exploring how La Virgen de Guadalupe "impacts the lives of Mexicanas and Chicanas in both the U.S. and México."

This interview, filmed up the street from us, is with Crispina, an indigenous woman who sells baskets in the Plaza de los Fundadores. According to an email that came with this link, Crispina's income has dropped precipitously in recent months and so, one by one, she has had to send her four children to live with her mother-in-law in Guerrero, where the money she makes selling baskets in Querétaro is the family's only income.

The reason her income is so low is because the city recently passed an ordinance forbidding vendors on the streets without a license. This was a nifty bit of bureaucratic maneuvering (the licenses are free, but there are no more available for the heavily pedestrian-trafficked tourist areas in the Centro Historico) that effectively relocated all the indigenous trinket-vendors to an empty, windswept plaza in front of Templo de la Cruz, where they languish all day selling, well, nothing. Typically, the move was announced with great self-congratulatory fanfare by the city, which, in its benevolence, generously provided the women with the little lean-to tent thingies they sit under. Querétaro va en grande!

It seems pretty obvious to us that LVdG has given Crispina what non-theologians generally refer to as "the shaft," but Crispina clearly doesn't see it that way, so who are we to judge?


Anonymous said...

So, how many baskets have you bought to help this poor woman??


Burro Hall said...

None. As I understand the theory, this will encourage her to go to college and learn a profession. Give a man a fish, etc...