You know what you tell people to say in Mexico if you want them to smile for the camera?
That’s one of the discoveries I made last week driving around for three days with the intrepid Yesenia Diaz Delgado, communications coordinator for Pro Mujer Mexico. Working as a volunteer, I took pictures of women who get loans and health care through the nonprofit. Here are some of the dynamic women working hard near Mexico City.
Click on any photo to enlarge it. All photos © Pat Arnow 2014.
Josefa Gomez Sanchez is tough on chickens but good-humored to everyone else at her pollería in Tecámac, a big town just north of Mexico City. She is one of the micro-finance clients of Pro Mujer.
Josefa Gomez Sanchez at her pollería.
Arely Pavón-Torres has a green thumb that she has turned into a plant business from a workshop in her home in Xochimilco in the southern part of Mexico City.
Paola Torres, Arely’s mother has an indoor and outdoor kitchen. I want what was in the stewpot.
Paola showed me her impressive collection of molcajetes, the stone vessels used for grinding food since forever in Mexico. These were just a couple of them.
A planting by Arely in a molcajete. I didn’t ask if it was one of her mother’s collection.
Me and Arely in her plant-filled courtyard in Xochimilco. Yesenia from Pro Mujer took the photo.
The landscape around the state of Hidalgo north of Mexico City where we traveled after Xochimilco was dramatic with cactus and canyons, mountains, fast-moving streams, and big poinsettias plants like these growing over rooftops.
Tomato grower Gabriela Gonzalez Lopez in Ixmiquilpan in the state of Hidalgo. She also runs a produce and chicken store at a crossroads nearby. With her is Yesenia from Pro Mujer, who did all the driving through some profoundly bad traffic. She maintained her patience with both the jammed roads and my slow, tense-mangled Spanish.
We visited a farm that currently has just one two-year-old pig. She was happy to see us, grunting and looking for an ear scratch. Who can resist a cute pig portrait?