Saturday, July 16, 2011

Tales of Chiapas - Part 6 - Manuela Cooks! July 2011

One of the truly great things about staying
at Bela's B and B is Manuela - and her cooking!
And boy can she cook.

Manuela's Bio - By Bela Wood
Maunela was born in Chanal, Chiapas - 
which was listed five years ago by the UN as one of the poorest
100 pueblos in the world -
and they don't know exactly how old she is.
She is registered as being 52 years old 
(but that was so she could get an ID - they really don't know).

She came to San Cristóbal when she was about 15,
escaping a guy who wanted to marry her. 
At the time, there were women who went to Chanal to take embroidery
to the women so they could make some money. 
Manuela asked a friend to ask them (she didn't speak Spanish)
if they would take her to San Cristóbal and find a place for her to work.
They did.

She worked for a family, she got up at 5:00 am to take the corn
to the mill and then made the tortillas.  She went to sleep at midnight.
They were not bad to her.

Later she worked for another family who had her baptized,
Dr. Hugo is her godfather. He is cool. 

She learned how to cook by watching the women in the houses where she worked.
It was all by watching!

Then she worked for an American woman, where she met Martín,
and watched the cooks there too.
 She didn't get together with Martín until she was 28.
After a while she was cooking and taking care of the kids and cleaning.

I rented that house in 1997 and she and Martín were like caretakers
- they came with the deal.
At that time she had six kids aged 2 - 12
and she was earning $50 a month! 
She's the next to the youngest of 13 kids - her mother is still alive.

Manuela and her mother.

Thank you Bela, for sharing Manuela's story with us!

Next up we will cook comida with Manuela!
Stay tuned.


  1. Watching 6 kids turn into adults-as good as it gets.

  2. I can't wait to see what Manuela is cooking! :)

  3. I thought I'd get your attention! You'll like it. Promise.

  4. I love this story! Manuela's is such a success story in her world. You're lucky to know her.