Mexican street paper Mi Valedor used this year’s #VendorWeek as a three-fold opportunity: to treat vendors, to give them access to much needed medical treatment that they might not always have, and to get them up close with readers, and other members of the public, at a selling event.
Tuesday (5 February) was ‘Día de la Candelaria’, a religious holiday on which the Virgin of Candelaria is celebrated. On this day, Mi Valedor staff came together with the vendors to mark the occasion. With tea, coffee and a bunch of different types of tamales (a typical Mexican food mostly made out of maize, prepared in the leaves of a banana tree).
On the Wednesday and Thursday, Mi Valedor vendors were given the chance to go to the optician and get their eye sight checked. If any of them were found to need glasses, they were given out for free by the optician.
As #VendorWeek wound to a close, Saturday was the biggest day for Mi Valedor. This was an open event for the public, not only for vendors. People were invited to go out on the streets and sell magazines in small groups with experienced vendors. The purpose of this activity was to create empathy with the difficulties and hard work associated with being a vendor. Each group was made up of one vendor and four to five volunteers.
The volunteers had the opportunity to learn from the sales experience of the vendors, and from their life experience. The money that each group made on the day was then split up and added to the savings of each vendor. Previously, the vendors had made New Year resolutions regarding various different areas of their life, the most important one being their savings. For example, Alfredo will use his savings to have a healthier diet and Erasmo will use his to buy vitamins to improve his health.
Read more coverage of #VendorWeek 2019 here.