Medellin: A tight job market and long hours.
The Medellin job market is characterised by labor exploitation, few worker’s rights and low wages ($250/month).
This leaves many with little choice but to get their hustle on!
The low wage economy in Medellín contributes to poverty.
Indeed, some even use this to justify crime rates.
However, the flip side to crime, is the resilience of the human spirit on display, in Medellin.
Actually the local Paisa’s are famed for their self-reliance and entrepreneurial culture.
If they can not find a job they will invent one.
If the labor market dictates 70 hour weeks for the minimum wage, with zero job security, then best get creative and work for yourself.
This is exactly what they do!
Fruit, patacón (banana fritter), arepa (flat cornbread), tamal (rice and meat steamed in banana leaf) and juice sellers are everywhere.
Variously pushing carts or hauling them behind on foot.
Like India, Medellin’s street sellers use rickshaw cycles or platforms built onto motorbikes.
Some of the luckier ones have cars stuffed to the gunnels.
See this old French banger below, weighed down with fruit, tannoy blaring out!
“come by my avocados my mangos etc….”.
This is all part of the colorful local vibe and job scene here in Medellín.
Less appreciated outside your window early on Sunday morning!
But taking the rough with the smooth, I can’t beat them, I ain’t gonna join them, so I brew a coffee and head for the hammock.
Nothing like easing into a new day in Medellín, the city of La Primavera Eterna.
Paisa – slang name for Antioquia locals
patacón – banana fritters
arepa – flat corn or maize breads
tamal – rice & meat steamed in banana skin wraps
Primavera Eterna – eternal spring