Friday, October 16, 2009

People who knock on our door #1: Don Hilario

Don 'Latón' Hilario is the slightly worse-for-wear face of recycling in our neighbourhood. Every few weeks he helps prevent the area beneath our pila from becoming a dumping ground for empty beer cans.

The lack of adequate social support in Guatemala means that men well past retirement age still have to stumble over the cobbles to earn themselves a few Quetzales (while younger, fitter unemployed hombres prefer to vegetate at home).

It's a system that might just appeal as a form of indirect charity to sworn enemies of socialism, except that we are apparently the only people on our street who actually gift Don Hilario our surplus aluminium. Elsewhere he has to count up his booty and pay a fixed fee to each participating householder.

Empty bottles of Ron Botrán are the most prized find for these itinerants as they fetch a minimum bounty of 50 centavos each.

Time for a brief aside about a door to door vendedora who turned out not to be. This morning V spotted a woman outside her brother's house with a big basket of avocados and called her over in the hope of a tasty deal: "Ahorita le quito el peso completo..."

It turned out that the woman had in fact just bought them from my brother-in-law, which means that in all likelihood they were already our avocados, as he has built a house on his terreno to the south (which lies alongside ours) and had to clear all the aguacatales off the plot in order to do so. Such is life.

1 comment:

Mark said...

It's a system that might just appeal as a form of indirect charity to sworn enemies of socialism..."

I don't think you have to admit the errors of socialism to be charitable (directly or otherwise).

And what's so wrong with working anyway? I'm quite certain if I stop working it will only be because I saved enough to do so...

P.S. I'll save and contribute all my Brahva and Zacapa bottles and donate them if someone wants to pick them up.