Americans associate a wheelbarrow with country living. It was a necessity for most people living in the country and often in suburbs for many years. The modern wheelbarrow now often has 2 wheels and a frame so it doesn’t tip over as easily as the old fashioned type. I have had lots of experience with wheelbarrows tipping over and that was not fun as they were either filled with horse manure, trash or heavy weed cutting. Here in Mexico, the wheelbarrow or carretilla is a very common and useful tool to but it is used it for curbside businesses. It is often used to cook food on and serves as a portable oven. You will see them on street corners where vendors roast fresh corn cobs, and meats. It hosts as a holder for a tomal, or the big iron or clay flat disc used to make fresh tortlllas.
Where I live we have a wonderful small carretilla which is open from early morning to somewhere around noon. They serve breakfast to many workers who pile in steadily until they close. It’s a small family business of course and their meals are very delicious. I am fond of their potatoes and sausage and of course their Mexican coffee. They make fresh corn tortillas, sausage with potatoes, eggs, chilaquiles and fresh jicama juice
Here we see the great grandmother heating up her tomal with wood cuttings and throwing cardboard on the flames. She has her own tamal cooker for her tortillas. She has prepared her masa and is almost ready to shape and cook the tortillas. I looked in her eyes which were wise and tolerant. She agreed it was ok to take her picture. She has some kind of injury on her right arm which was wrapped in a long jersey sleeve of some kind. She moved slowly and with some difficulty but she managed to give me an “almost smile”. Their business has suffered a lot in the pandemic because now there are not too many workers with jobs, so no need to have breakfast on the way to work…what work? Also money is short and of course, this little place may be too much money for some so they are staying home. I always love coming here. Lately we see more and more Americans and less and less locals. I wish them well and hope they will survive these hard times.
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