Puerto Vallarta Taco Lady
One of my favorite things to do when I travel is to mingle with the locals. Eat where they eat, shop where they shop, and most important, I enjoy getting to know the people who live there. I like hearing people’s stories and how their path in life was carved, bringing them to where they are today. Oprah Winfrey, one of my favorite people in this world, once said, “Everyone has a story”
In Vallarta, I love to eat at the taco stands. It’s my kind of fast food and when I find one I like, I make it one of my regular stops. Four years ago, my path took me past a row of taco stands in front of a busy bus stop in the romantic zone. Like usual, I was hungry and decided order up some tacos. As I inspected the row of stands, trying to decide which would be my choice, one lady stood out. Beneath her tired appearance was a smile that drew me in so we pulled up a stool and ordered away. Carnitas con cuerito, tender pork with pigskin, was her specialty, but my favorite was a pork she prepared in a red chile sauce. As I devoured her tacos and ordered more, I couldn’t help but give her praise for her delectable dishes. I would soon find myself returning regularly for my fix. With each visit I wanted to know more about who she was and what was her plan in life. Little did I know that my inquiries would take me much deeper than I had anticipated?
Her name was Guadalupe, the same as my grandmother, who hung the moon for me. She was a housewife and her husband sold insurance and one day they took a car trip that would change their life forever. Their car was hit on the highway and after a couple of rolls down a hill the family miraculously survived but her husband would find his lower body crushed and as a result would be paralyzed. Guadalupe’s life would take a 180-degree turn and she now would become the sole income earner for her family and her husband would need a multitude of surgeries to repair his hip. Her talent at cooking would now serve to support them. Guadalupe rented a taco stand and since they didn’t have a car at the time, she would have to carry the food she was to serve that day, taking two buses each way. She would find herself working twelve-hour days, which rendered her about $200 pesos a day after her expenses, that amounts to less than $20 dollars.
Take a look at the videos to hear the rest of Guadalupe’s story.
If you would like to help the Puerto Vallarta Taco Lady, you can make a tax deductible donation (USA) at Casa JoJo Foundation, make sure and note the donation with "The Puerto Vallarta Taco Lady" to make sure she gets the contribution.
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