Non può piovere per sempre

Tradotto da Monica Manicardi Deve solo allacciarsi le scarpe da tennis ed è pronta, con la divisa ben stirata ed i capelli accuratamente raccolti, Soledad sta per iniziare il suo terzo giorno di lavoro. S’affaccia  alla porta della cucina e vede la sala piena da scoppiare, calcola almeno cinquecento persone che devono essere assistiti da sei camerieri, tre donne e tre uomini. La mattina lavora come sarta in una lavanderia, i suoi rammendi  fanno allargare il portafogli dell’imprenditore, a lei  le paga una piccola somma ma la aiuta a pagare l’affitto della casa dove vive con i figli. Nel pomeriggio pulisce le case…

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Nell’ora della rugiada

Tradotto da Monica Manicardi Alle tre del mattino hanno già pronte le reti di carote, barbabietole e ravanelli. Le hanno lavate la sera prima, le trovano a basso costo quando i contadini li strappano dai loro campi e li consegnano direttamente a loro. Quest’anno si sono anche avventurati a comprare noci di cocco per il punch di fine anno, anche se per ottenerle hanno viaggiato da Chimaltenango a Escuintla o a volte fino Suchitepéquez, il che rappresenta una spesa extra e molto forte per la loro fragile economia. I genitori di Ixmucané sono riusciti a comprare una bancarella all’interno del…

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The Early Morning Dew 

Translated by Marvin Najarro At three o’clock in the morning they already have the agave net bags of carrots, beets, and radishes ready. They washed the vegetables the night before; it is cheaper when they get the produce straight from the farmers’ fields. This year they also took the chance of dealing in coconuts; an important ingredient of the fruit punch consumed during the end-of-year festivities. To get the coconuts they had to travel from Chimaltenango to Escuintla, sometimes to Suchitepéquez, which means an extra expense that will greatly impact their fragile economy.   Ixmucané’s parents, after twenty years of selling…

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Someday Things Will Get Better 

Translated by Marvin Najarro She just needs to tie the shoelaces of her snickers and she will be ready; with her neatly ironed uniform and carefully tied up hair, Soledad is about to start her third job. She takes a look from behind the kitchen’s door and sees that the room is full to bursting; she estimates there are at least five hundred persons that have to be served by six waiters; three women, and three men.     In the mornings she works as a seamstress in a laundromat, the mending she does fatten the business owner’s wallet; he pays her…

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Una giornata tranquilla

Tradotto da Monica Manicardi Si siede per riposare un attimo, è stata in piedi per dieci ore con due pause di dieci minuti per andare in bagno e mezz’ora per il pranzo. Il clima di novembre è molto freddo a New York, sono i giorni per vestirsi con tre cambi d’abito, con guanti spessi, due paia di calze e stivali da trattorista. Nemesia indossa sempre una cuffia e cappello per coprirsi dal freddo e dal sole. Il foulard che le copre il viso si usa tutto l’anno, l’aiuta un po’ con le scottature sulla pelle, d’estate per il caldo e…

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Tana’s Sandals

Translated by Katrina Hassan She observes her cracked fingertips because of so much cleaning chemical use. Her hands, used to working the land, have now cleaned restaurants and shopping centres for twenty four years. Originally from Camotán. Chiquimula, Guatemala, Tana left her traditional indigenous clothes behind and started wearing jeans, t-shirts and tennis shoes. She belongs to the Maya Ch’orti people. Tana and another 15 girls from her community left together. Her village became a dry corridor, after decades of being fertile land that nourished the crops. There wasn’t any water nor food and this obligated Tana and many others…

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Daylight Hours

Translated by Katrina Hassan Cayetana turns on the stove and starts heating up the food she will put in containers for her lunch. It is four in the morning. She fills up five 1.5 liter plastic bottles of water that she will drink during her working day. She puts tortillas in her lunchbox that have been heated, wrapped in aluminium and then enclosed in plastic bags. She checks everything is there, the container of rice, beans, scrambled eggs and the tortillas. She puts her knee pads on, double pants, double sweaters, a jacket and her Caterpillar type boots. in her…

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The Furrow and the Daily Wage

Translated by Katrina Hassan Rosa tries to reposition the nylon bag full of oranges that she carries on her back. She is barely able to take a step because the bag weighs fifty pounds. She is short in stature and the bag is half her size. The pain in her back makes her walk hunched over. Rosa has been working in the same job for sixteen years ever since she came to California from Xicotepec, Puebla, Mexico. She barely speaks Spanish. English even less, she know only very few words. Rosa is an indigenous Otomi. She speaks mountain Otomi, one…

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