The dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) recognizes two meanings of the term changarro. The first one refers to a cowbell: a small metal bell that is attached to the neck of an animal, usually a cow.

Locator bell

The changarro contributes to the location of the specimen that carries it. Thanks to your sound, the farmer can find and identify the carcass.

Changarro cows

“Changarro” is synonymous with “cowbell”

Mexican changarro

The notion of changarro, on the other hand, is used in Mexico to name one shop small. A changarro, in this sense, is a store with few products. Changarros are very important for the economy. Many Mexicans live off these businesses that can sell different kinds of items.

It is common to call a changarro street food stall, even if it is ambulant. A lot of persons They resort every day to the changarros to eat and taste cakes, tacos, empanadas, fresh waters and other options.

Beyond operating irregularly on many occasions or business instability, changarros frequently become the only possible job opportunity for thousands of Mexicans, especially young people. Faced with the impossibility of finding a formal job, many individuals end up investing their savings or applying for a loan for the start-up of a changarro.

According to different reports, the changarros were greatly affected by the pandemic of coronavirus. Due to their scarce resources, they have more difficulties than large businesses to adapt to the new reality and comply with health regulations.

COVID-19 against changarro

One of the situations that occurred more frequently during the but time of the coronavirus pandemic in the changarros of Mexico was a significant decrease in the clientele, which was replaced by a large percentage of people who came to ask for food but that I had no money to pay it. This led to the country’s small merchants bordering on bankruptcy, although this economic nightmare failed to end the solidarity, which knew how to shine above the crisis.

This was part of the movement recognized by the motto «Together we will go forward«, Through which many stores helped those who needed it most. In particular when it comes to changarro owners, changes in sanitary standards and high operating costs prevented a large number of entrepreneurs from reopening their stores, so that they lost their only source of income. income overnight, ignored by their own government. Despite this, the people knew how to protect one of their cultural icons due to the lack of support from the leaders.

Changarro market

In Mexico, the «changarro» is a small shop, generally family-run

The changarro has long occupied an irreplaceable place in the culture from Mexico, and has been able to adapt to different commercial fashions over and over again. In an ideal world we should not “eliminate” good traditions to establish new ones, but we could make them coexist in harmony. Returning to the solidarity campaign, the coronavirus pushed many people to order food in restaurants and shops; some began offering dozens of free meals a day, even exceeding fifty.

Against the threats of COVID-19, the majority of Mexicans who started new businesses throughout 2020 did so by betting on their traditional changarro, some of which had ten employees. In most cases it is family groups that decided to start self-employment to face the crisis. The most common situation during this flowering stage of the changarro was the loss of the job stable, leading hundreds of thousands to self-employment.