Woven into the cultural fabric across Mexico’s rural areas and small towns and cities, are Changarros. Families sell anything they have or can make from a table in front of their homes. Food and snacks are the most common items, from corn to boiled vegetables, hamburgers, tacos, or even chips accompanied by different types of spicy salsas. But they also sell things they make themselves like piñatas or clothes, and things they no longer need from around the house. The last count estimated over 6 million informal family businesses throughout Mexico.This number has increased significantly since the pandemic hit.
The minimum wage in México is 172.87 pesos per hour, which is roughly $8.40 USD/hour. For Mexicans earning this wage, paying rent, buying food and basic necessities, paying for school, and childcare, and taking care of the elders is nearly impossible.Changarros are a lifeline for these families.
These businesses exist in a legal grey area.Local police eat at them without asking any questions about paperwork or taxes.This is how everyone prefers it.The income fluctuates and is typically small amounts.
As a photographer, seeing these Changarros is seeing part of the authentic street scenes of this country.They are an example of how a community can be there in times of hardship.
This project examines the Changarros of Mezcales and Jarretaderas, two small towns close to my home.
I’d love to continue shooting the rest of the Changarros: the mobile ones, the ones only open at night, and the ones on the beach. I dream of this project as a book.Something that can help tell the stories of the amazing people deciding to be their own boss while holding down a household.