- Interview with Gladiano Blanco Pudillo, Margarito Sarcia Blanco, Francisco Gomez Sanchez, and Mario Pacheco / Una Entrevista con Gladiano Blanco Pudillo, Margarito Sarcia Blanco, Francisco Gomez Sanchez y Mario Pacheco
- Interview with Gladiano Blanco Pudillo, Margarito Sarcia Blanco, Francisco Gomez Sanchez, and Mario Pacheco
This interview was recorded at the home of Mario Pacheco on May 13, 2007, in Mata de Caña, Veracruz, Mexico.
JONES: Will you give me your names?
PUDILLO: Gladiano Blanco Pudillo.
BLANCO: Margarito Sorjia Blanco.
SANCHEZ: Francisco Gomez Sanchez.
ROWELL: How old is this community?
BLANCO: I'm about to be 69 and this community has been around since I was born. We can't say with certainty how old it is, but it must be about 150 years old.
JONES: And your parents were also born here? They're from this place?
BLANCO: Yes, they were born here. Mine have died.
ROWELL: The same families—all of your families—have been living in this one place as far as you know and as far back as you know?
BLANCO: Well, I didn't know my great-grandparents, but I did meet my grandparents. And my grandmother, for one, was born here, but my grandfather wasn't from here. My grandfather was from near Cordoba, from a place they call El Gallego. He and a brother of his came from there. The two of them got married here to my grandmother and another lady from here.
ROWELL: I realize that the community is called Mata de Caña and, as far as I can see, I see sugar cane planted. Has that always been the main source of livelihood here? [End Page 52]
BLANCO: For the most part, it's been sugar cane. But now we have lemons. It's only been twenty-five, thirty years since we started to plant lemons. Everything that's part of the municipality of Cuitlahuac has sugar cane and lemons.
JONES: And why did you start planting lemons?
BLANCO: Because a man who lived in Cuitlahuac had a ranch, and he's the one who started planting lemons. We started to realize that lemons yielded good results, because they offer work for the people as well as more money than other crops.
ROWELL: What do you have planted in your fields?
BLANCO: Some of us have lemons and we have a bit of sugar cane, but not in great amounts. For instance, I have two hectares of lemons, and three or four of cane. That's how the common land is. And the fields are small—of seven or eight hectares total. Typically, we live in a house on the land and we use the rest of the land to plant crops. But we're owners.
JONES: Are there any owners who live outside the community?
BLANCO: There are some, but there isn't any free land. The communal land is divided among us.
JONES: When you do sell your crops?
PUDILLO: Everyone sells when it's harvest time.
BLANCO: For instance with sugar cane, we all take it to a mill called El Potrero, which takes in practially all the cane from around here. There's another mill called San Jose de Abajo. There are some of us who take cane there, but very few. Let's say your sugar cane reaches maturity in December. You harvest your cane, and the following year you end up harvesting around the same time. The person who harvests in December harvests again in December. And that's how we go about it, until we all harvest it. But each one of us takes in his own crops.
ROWELL: What kinds of community resources do you have?
PACHECO: We have a church, without a priest. We have a health center. We have a school and a sports field. The rest of what we should have is located in the municipality's center, which is Cuitlahuac.
JONES: If someone's sick, do they have to go to Cuitlahuac? [End Page 53]
PACHECO: If someone's sick, we have to take them to Cuitlahuac, which is about two or three kilometers from here...