This is about DulcebyPultoy©
I live in a town of 5,500 folks in Colorado. We are rural, agricultural and have a large Hispanic population. I am fifty five and have been self-employed most all my adult life. Times were becoming difficult in my business and I knew I was not going to survive without making some changes.
More and more, Hispanic restaurants, 'Tiendas' and cultural enterprises began to sprout. About fifteen years ago, it began to dawn on me that we are not serving our Mexican/Central and South American neighbors.
My business, our thrust was only to the whites. I have, a natural affinity for these folks (Hispanics), especially when they are first or second generation and began to research some possibilities for gaining their business.
Little by little I started. I took a local Community College course in Conversational Spanish; I made trips to Costa Rica, Mexico and also took pictures of and studied conditions, of retail establishments and, more exactly, observed just what these groups of people were seeking here, in the United States. I began to immerse myself in the culture and the language; learning, talking, listening and watching.
Over the next two years, I began to establish, and implement a plan. I found wholesale sources for imported Mexican goods. I realized that many of the people who live here could not read English, and did not know the difference between Prell Shampoo and Palmolive Dish Detergent. They went into our HUGE stores, aghast. There is So much available, so little knowledge.
I began to realize that they had their own, familiar products, back home. This was the beginning of my thinking. That is what started my foray into the world of the Hispanic Culture and this story.
In November of 2001, I opened a Tienda. We feature meat (geared to the Hispanic taste), produce, canned and dry goods...all imported from Latin America, or geared to their lifestyle, their likes and tastes.
It was odd. Here I am, a Gringo, 6'3", pleasant attitude, nice looking, but little ability to communicate, yet, I am amiable, gentle, kind and open to them. As far as I know, nobody (no Anglo) in this county is open to the Hispanics. Because of the financial depth of my other business, I was able to tough it out and our sales began to grow, especially as I added other services and products.
In about a year, all the other Hispanic tiendas had closed in our area. I was the only one left. It was a surprise, but I was very pleased with the friendship and support of more and more of their business, their support. We had added services, the sending of money grams to families in Mexico and Central and South America, Photo ID's (not official, but some picture ID for them to carry and have), and many products they couldn't get at the larger American stores.
We also have one other thing that others don't have; I hire really nice looking chicas(girls) to wait on the customers. They were exclusively Spanish Speakers, single, and it began to draw the single male clients, without regard to other motivations to shop elsewhere.
I went through a number of girls. Over the past few years, they came and they went. Though I am single, and, over their age limit, I began to learn the language, became a 'compa' to many of the clients. Many housewives, many single men have frequented my business. We weren't exactly kicking ass, but we were more than holding our own.
Then, came Dulce (this means, 'sweet' in Spanish). Maria, my main girl was pregnant...I would need to replace her soon.
In comes this 27 year- old knockout, looking for work. She had been abused in Mexico, both by her dad and her husband. She had been living on the streets in Mexico since age 12, gotten married at 15, had two children and her husband ran off with another woman...leaving her alone, with two kids. She left her kids with family and made the trek to America. Truthfully, she had a forged id card and the Government wasn't cracking down yet so it was easy to hire her.
Dulce's trek to the Northeastern part of Colorado is a story of resolve, strength and determination unlike any I've personally witnessed.
She left the town of Hermosillo in Sonora, hitchhiking and walking to the border town of Aqua Prieta, where a Coyote smuggled her across the border into Arizona. She walked in desert heat, without food and little water for two weeks. They rendezvoused with another Coyote in Tucson where they were loaded like cattle into a van, one of thirty people in a van built to carry fifteen.
Her destination was to be Denver, but they took the Southern route, dropping other companero's off along I-40, not going into Colorado at all.
Dulce said she was raped several times, went without food, sleep and any help at all for two solid weeks. She landed in Nashville, where they dumped her out.
Eventually, by selling herself to other Mexicans along the way, she made it to Colorado.
When I met her, she hadn't bathed in over a month, she hadn't eaten regularly in two months. She walked into my tienda looking for work, this was the town she was going to settle in and she needed to get started working.
Bear in mind, this girl is good looking, really good looking.
After I hired her, during these weeks following, I was able to find out that she found a place with others, that she sleeps on the floor, and the 'cucarachas"(cockroaches), crawl on her at night, even into her ears. Yet, the years of living hard do not extinguish the hope she has in her eyes. She wants to support her children, to send money to them in Mexico and she is willing to endure whatever she has to endure, to be faithful to her children. My heart has gone out to her. Her determination not to be wounded, but to gainfully better herself, willing to work hard, to endure any hardship or insult, stuns me.
This girl is so pretty. She has reddish brown hair, brown eyes, dimples in her cheeks, ready smile, full and kissable lips, very trim and thin body, suppressed breasts because she wears very tight braziers, small waist, flat tummy. She is not looking for a man, she is looking for help for her children in Mexico, willing to endure whatever she has to endure, to make it. Desperate, yes she is. Willing to compromise, no, she is not. I had determined not to make her endure more abuse.
I made sure she has food for each night before she leaves. I began to gain her confidence and she told me of a terrible burning in her female area, with cramping and rash. I took her to our town's only female doctor and translated between Dulce and the doctor.
We got her VD and her rash cleared up. She had no idea how to read the directions for the crème, or how to take the pills, so I told her, after reading the directions.
We went to Wal Mart and bought her clolthes. She only had what she was wearing the day she came into my store, and they were filthy.
I have never tried to seduce my employees; though some have been absolute lookers. I have just tried to make them appreciative of a good boss, by giving them more that what I agreed to give them, ie; food, be gentle and kind and amiable.
Though, I detect she is wary of me, I sense that she is open to a gentleman. I am a Gringo, after all...right?
The other day, she pulled on the leg of my shorts (I always wear shorts in the summer). Today, I saw her look longingly at my crotch, and then, into my eyes. No words were spoken, no other communication.
She considers me a rich American, I know, but she also sees me as a kind and gentle and appreciative man.
2012. Dulce left our little town in 2008. She found a young man that she says, "treats her like a queen; his name is Victor."
They moved to Denver, where there was work for him. I've visited them a few times and only once did they return to our town, just to see me.
After a couple of years, we drifted apart and I haven't heard from her in quite a while.
Often I think of her struggle, her resolve and am strengthened in the wrestling of my own life's battles.
Maria had her baby and moved to Denver also with her husband. I have never heard of or from her since.
There's a poem, called the Desiderada. It was supposedly written by a monk or priest several hundred years ago. In it, there is a line, "As much as possible, be at peace with all men, even the dull and the ignorant; for they too have their story."
Thank you for reading. The courtesy of your vote is appreciated.