The World’s Second Oldest Profession

Woman asking for money, San MIguel De Allende

Woman asking for money, San MIguel De Allende

 

In San Miguel, it is customary to see these old folks, usually women, pleading for money while sitting in doorways throughout El Centro. Their main aim is to shake some change out of the Gringos or Chilangos (as folks visiting from Mexico City — Chilangolandia are locally known). Feelings about them here are mixed. While many clearly suffer physical impediments, others seem simply to have made this their vocation. Either way, it is clear that they have immeasurably less than the rest of us, so in most cases, passing over five pesos seems the lesser of two evils. One dramatic difference from panhandlers north of the border or in Europe is that here they are spotlessly clean and immaculately dressed.

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