The Camote Man

9 06 2014

“Enjoy the little things in life,

for one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.”

Kurt Vonnegut


Peter and I had about given up on seeing The Camote Man again – when – while enjoying each other, wine, and emerging stars following a pink-sky sunset– an unmistakable screech penetrates the far-off cacophony of barking dogs and the occasional enthusiastic drummer .

“As the lights come on in Guanajuato they are reflected into the night, and we call them stars….” Dennis Pekus

As the lights come on in Guanajuato they are reflected into the night, and we call them stars….
Dennis Pekus

Each Mexican entrepreneur has his own distinctive marketing technique – The lute of the afilador who sharpens knives at your doorstep. Clang-clang on the tank by the gas company rep. “Aaaagggguuuuaaaaa” sings out the water guy. And – amazing to us – is not only listening but watching these men effortlessly heft their wares throughout the severe slopes of Guanajuato, over 6000 feet above sea level. How does that wiry little guy carry four of those five-gallon water garrafónes?

One of many callejones of Guanajuato.

One of many (steep) callejónes/alleys of Guanajuato.

This night, The Camote Man is obviously below us on a better-populated street: Calle Sangre de Cristo. We live far above, near The Panoramica which encircles this historic city. Will he venture this far? We start whistling and yelling to the universe — and anyone else who’s listening: “Arriba! Arriba! Up! Up!”

It was a couple of months ago when we first experienced the taste sensation – not to mention, the visual delight – of a camote (sweet potato) wood-fire-roasted in a Stanley-Steamer-looking device — coals glowing — pushed amidst the callejónes.


We are in luck this night. The whistle intensifies. Adults and children emerge from darkened doors, 20 pesos in hand, to receive a steaming camote dripping la leche condensada azucarada and canela. We pass on the sweeten condensed milk but request extra cinnamon – then retire inside to slather on mounds of butter and pour more wine.

A delectable camote for only 20 pesos -- about $1.50 USD.

A delectable camote for only 20 pesos — about $1.50 USD.

 Life is grand. We are grateful.




6 responses

9 06 2014

Marvelous!!! You have a gift.

I want to see you soon and yeah – I get to!

Linda Rhea, DTM Lt. Governor Education & Training 2013-2014 District Governor 2014-15 Elect District 26 Toastmasters Where Leaders Are Made 303 667 9956 “What do we live for, if not to make life less difficult for each other?” ~ George Elliot


9 06 2014
Rewired and Retired in Nicaragua

I love reading your descriptive stories. This one makes my mouth water. Yum! You do indeed have a gift for storytelling!


10 06 2014



12 06 2014

Ohhhhh Mary! I want one!! You make it all come alive and the capote virtually melt in my mouth. I cannot wait to come visit you! Sorry I’ve been put of touch. Back from an extended stay in the states then got sick as a dog. Fever and achy and unable to keep even a sip of water in. On the mend now after a week of this and will write more soon. Thank you for your always wonderful blog!! can’t wait for the next one! Love to you and Peter.


10 11 2014

you make the article so interesting that I can visualise the sights and sounds of Mexico.


2 02 2015
Kathy Schneider

Mary, took a break from face book: oh what I’ve missed! So happy for you and Peter. Enjoyed your blog (all of it today) immensely. Keep it up! Happy that you have Peter to share all the beauty and fun of life. Peace, Comfort & Joy, Kathy


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