Saturday, February 02, 2008

The Day of the Pig


It was still before sunrise, and I had just awakened.

Cirilo called out "Hola!" to find out if I was awake.

"You are ready?"
, I asked.

"Yes!, it is time"
replied Cirilo.

I asked Cirilo,
"Give me two minutes to get dressed?"

It is time to kill the pig that is going to be slaughtered this morning. Ranchero Cirilo selects the largest pig. He uses a 22 caliber rifle to kill the pig. One shot to the head and the pig is instantly dead.

Cirilo and his grandson Edgar put the dead pig in a wheel barrel, and take it to the pickup truck. Then we drive to Cirilo's home in the Pueblo of Trigomil.

A table is set up. Ranchera Carmelina washes the table which will hold the pig for butchering.

The dead pig is removed from the truck and set on the table.

Then the butchering begins.


Cirilo Perez
Cirilo moved to the Pueblo of Trigomil in the early 1960s. He met his wife Carmelina here in Trigomil, and they were married in 1967. Cirilo bought his ranchito from the prior owner when he was 30 years old. The price of the ranchito was paid off in six years.

Cirilo has been working his ranchito for 32 years. He loves his work, and I am able to see how much he loves it when I have been watching him daily. He is always busy. Or, he is taking a rest on the hammocks across the ranchito road from the field of sugar cane.
Home of Cirilo and Carmelina Perez in the Pueblo of Trigomil.


Meat is for sale
The pig being butchered this morning is for sale to neighbors who live in the Pueblo of Trigomil. Much of this meat is already sold before the butchering. The ladies of the family spread the word around. And the orders come in.

Ladies drop by to pick up their pork meat. Or to look at what is for sale and buy some. It is not necessary to pay for the meat on the day of purchase. An accounting is kept by the ladies of the family, and the price may be paid later.
Plastic bags with different cuts of pork, all weighing 1kg.


Some meat is for eating!
The family of Cirilo and Carmelina live in homes next door. There are several family homes. Everybody in the family comes over to share in the eating.

I love the chicharrones, carnitas, beans, fresh tortillas and gorditas.
Carmelina cooking up the carnitas.

This is my plate with a gordita, frijoles refritos and carnitas.


Cooked meat sold too
Besides all of the fresh pork meat, cooked meat is sold also. Chicharrones, carnitas and cuartitos.

One pig each week
Selling the pigs is a major source of income for Cirilo and Carmelina. One pig is slaughtered every week. You would not believe how much work goes into butchering and processing the meat.

The work starts at 6:30AM and was not complete today until after 1PM. Wow! And then in the afternoon, Cirilo and his grandson Edgar returned to the ranchito in order to tend to the pigs and goats. They stayed at the ranchito until after 6PM. A long day.



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