Almost 10 percent of the Afro-Colombian women who walk the streets of Cartagena with baskets of fruits and other goodies balanced improbably on their heads were not born in San Basilio de Palenque, the town famous for the practice.
Collectives of the women, known as palenqueras, say they don’t accept outsiders, though it appears there are plenty doing the work, according to the new study performed by Teresa Cassiani and reported by El Tiempo.
Cassiani, director of the Association of Women of Afro-Descent and of the Caribbean, is trying to organize the palenqueras. Her study found that at least 25 of the 350 women were from other towns.
It is no crime to sell fruit on the streets of any city, “but we are in a cultural and organizational plan in which are included venders selling candy and fruit; I think it’s better if they are born and bred in the village,” she said.