July 30, 2021

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This caborrojeño keeps the practice of picking up cans


What began as a test exercise, to see how she was doing, became the entertainment of the caborrojeña Wanda Cruz Montalvo.

This woman with a shy smile, a hard-working spirit and a noble character, began collecting cans about six years ago in the La Mela maritime recreation area, in Cabo Rojo.

Their presence in the place is silent, but always expected, especially during the weekends when visitors to the cabins or owners of campers In that area, dozens of cans are reserved for her, which she later accumulates to generate some income.

The collection of cans is not her main livelihood for this housewife, because the money she receives for every pound is very little. Before the pandemic, he said, a pound of cans could translate to 45 cents, but today that amount has dropped to 18 cents. For her, however, it is still worth it.

“I come to walk every day, so I see them, and I pick them up, and the people who know me, pick them up for me and keep them for me. It’s not much, but well … ”, commented the resident of the Pedernales plots.

The mother of an only daughter, living in the United States, and grandmother of four grandchildren, is recognized in her area as the only woman who maintains this practice. The rest are men. Fortunately, her experiences are all positive, especially due to the exchange of impressions with people often unknown to her.

“It entertains me, it distracts my mind,” he shared while walking through La Mela. “People who did not know me, have made friends with me, we started talking and things like that.”

Wanda, 65, carries a plastic bag in one hand, and in the other a thin metal rod, with a sharp point, with which she pokes the cans to pick them up.

In these times of COVID-19, avoid looking in trash cans, just grab the cans that you find loose.



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