Bucerías Ease, Bucerías Hustle

By Victoria Kim

“Where there is life, there is hope. Where there is hope, there is life.”

 I met Luis, and this is one of the quotes he shared with me. He sells over 10 flavors of aguas frescas underneath the iconic bridge in Bucerías, and let me tell you, these lightly flavored “waters” are simply delicious.
Some background: my team is working on the business innovation project. Our task has been to create a dried-fruits business so that it could then be transferred to local entrepreneurs. My partner Lily and I visited Luis a few weeks ago to ask if he had any ideas for us. At this point in the game, we were just starting to build a wooden solar dehydrator from scratch.

Here’s our dehydrator – all finished!

Here’s our dehydrator – all finished!

Unsurprisingly, Luis so generously shared tons of information with us. He knows so much about the health properties of all these different fruits and foods, which include lime, beet, coconut, mango, mandarin, and a lot more. We learned that he carefully chose which flavors should go together to get that perfect taste-energy balance.

I share this because Luis is a shining example of the ease, warmth, knowledge, and industriousness of the Mexican culture. Bucerias is a tourist destination and much of its income relies on the high season of tourist visits. Despite the current low months, Luis still rises at 5:30 every morning preparing his drinks for the day. Moreover, every time I see him, he is greeting his customers with such genuine kindness. I love the life that I see in him. And although I don’t know him so well, he seems like a persevering person, one who might be shaken but not destroyed by life’s setbacks.

Luis showing off all the flavors he makes and sells.

Luis showing off all the flavors he makes and sells.

My team is currently preparing the dried fruits samples to show potential buyers, while also looking for various workers, deciding price points, and brainstorming marketing techniques. Although I get easily stressed from week to week, the business experience I am gaining is invaluable. I forget why I’m here in the daily grind, but it’s all about the impact we can make. If this business we launch can provide an avenue for Buceríans to channel their hard work and knowledge into something that generates returns—economically, personally, professionally, and more—this to me is success. No, our project may not change the lives of hundreds or maybe even dozens, but to see a handful of people feeling proud of their resourcefulness, business abilities, and most importantly, themselves is a great first step for me.

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Gerardo, one of the local shop owners we would like to sell to, sampling and loving our dried mango! Another great, hard-working, kind man.

There are people like Luis who already have the work that they do. Then there are others who hustle with multiple jobs and want to take on even more. We haven’t found the people we need for this business yet, but we’re simply looking to empower those who take action and responsibility for their economic future. Wherever they are, I know that they will have the life and hope that Luis talked about.{:}