José Azcona stands in front of his shop in Oaxaca de Juárez, Mexico. Azcona is a monero, someone who makes giant puppets for celebrations. All events in Oaxaca have been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, putting Azcona and his fellow moneros temporarily out of work. “My puppets have just been here,” Azcona says. “They haven’t been able to go out onto the streets.”
Karen Cerón, right, helps Karla Rey prepare for a dance performance in downtown Mexico City, Mexico, during “Contigo en la distancia,” which means “with you at a distance.” For LGBTTTIQ+ Pride Day, the National Coordination of Dance hosted the daylong event – which included live dance performances, classes and talks – on its social networks.
From left, Pamela Rodríguez Vela, José Ramón Fernández and Octavio Escobar Blancas paint a home in Puebla, Mexico. Neighbors, community groups and nonprofits around the city organized a neighborhood cleanup of the historic city center. Participants were entered in a raffle, and the winner had their home painted for free.
Guillermo Antonio Altamirano Ramírez monitors his cornfield on the banks of the Tonameca River in San Isidro del Palmar, a town in Mexico’s Oaxaca state. The river flooded in August after heavy rainfall, leaving soggy crops and football fields. “No one is denying that this is how nature is,” Altamirano says, recalling when Hurricane Paulina came through the area nearly 23 years ago. “This doesn’t even compare to Paulina. This was just a little flood.”
Herman Vázquez García, better known as Alibastik, sews wrestling masks in Chilpancingo, a city in Mexico’s Guerrero state. Vázquez has been wrestling for more than 40 years, but he slowed down toward the end of 2019 to prepare for his retirement from the ring. In addition to participating in the sport, he makes masks for wrestlers, a trade that today has become part of his economic sustenance. “This job doesn’t make me rich, but it does help me take care of necessary expenses,” Vázquez says.
Erika Martínez and Silverio Arango make bread to sell at the Mercado Alternativo Artesanal in Mazunte, a town in Mexico’s Oaxaca state. “The recipe is the same one we’ve been using since we started almost six years ago,” Arango says. “Except that we improved it by using sourdough instead of yeast.”
César Aceves makes chiles en nogada at his restaurant, Mesón de la Cofradía, in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico. The dish, which features stuffed poblano chiles and a walnut sauce, is offered during August and September because that’s when the ingredients are available.
Roberto García emcees an event on the roof of a home in Ecatepec, Mexico. García has used his talents as a sonidero to entertain neighbors since the pandemic began. “We did it with the aim of paying tribute to the neighbors who had fallen ill or passed away due to COVID and bringing a bit of happiness and music to everyone in quarantine,” García says. His rooftop sonideros gained attention over the months, which eventually led to an invitation from Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Ecatepec, an artist collective, to play in Ecatepec.
Aldahir Díaz Aguilar, left, and Pedro Maldonado discuss operations as they walk through a creole poblano chile farm in Calpan, a region in Mexico’s Puebla state. The duo work with Sociedad Cooperativa Sabores de Calpan, a cooperative that encourages local residents to visit farms to learn about plant cultivation.
Rosa Martínez, 45, sells fish on the streets of San Pedro Pochutla, a city in Mexico’s Oaxaca state. “We are selling less than normal,” says Martínez, a single mother. “Before, I used to come every day. Now I come to sell every other day, but I have to come and sell, so I can take care of my children.”
Livier Poblete Gutiérrez anoints Edna Carime Abad Delgado, left, with smoke before she enters a temazcal, or sweat lodge, in Chilpancingo, a city in Mexico’s Guerrero state. In this neighborhood, Emperador Cuauhtémoc, healing temazcales are held frequently. Carime Abad Delgado says the ancestral ritual can improve the immune system.
The artists known as Line Marker, left, and Notek adhere an image to a wall in downtown Oaxaca, Mexico. Line Marker chose Benito Juárez for the image to provoke humor and represent strength in these difficult times. “In Mexican history, Juárez symbolizes the determined struggle against invasion,” Line Marker says. “It’s the same now: the invasion of a virus that evolved and is generating fear in its wake.”
Joel Espinoza Román, 17, left, and Aída Lucero Hernández, 32, clean and paint the metal used to assemble a market stand in Mexico City, Mexico. The pair construct, maintain and disassemble stands throughout the city for people who operate the temporary markets during the day but need them taken down overnight.
Chantal Monter cuts Eduardo Chávez’s hair at her salon, Zynadeyu Barbería, in Tecámac, State of Mexico. Since the federal government has allowed some nonessential businesses to open, she decided to open back up and follow the suggested hygiene measures: She wears a face mask, uses antibacterial gel, allows no more than two people in at a time and only accepts clients by appointment.
Micaela Elizabeth Gordillo Vázquez fills bottles with hand sanitizer at Tequio, a hand sanitizer factory in San Cristóbal de las Casas, in the Mexican state of Chiapas. Most of the hand sanitizer produced at the factory is sold at a reduced cost in the city or donated to indigenous communities who lack running water for handwashing.
Fitness instructor Wendy Lechuga leads, from left, Nataly Rojas, Angélica Rosas, Marlene Salcedo and Renata Herrera in exercises at a basketball court in Tecámac, State of Mexico. The group asked Lechuga for help exercising during the voluntary quarantine. “We looked for a large place where there wouldn’t be any people, so we could keep a distance of 1.5 meters between each of us,” Herrera says.
Carlos Verdín, a volunteer, rests after preparing approximately 400 meals at Vrindavan Deli, a restaurant in Guadalajara, Mexico. During the pandemic, volunteers from different religions joined together to distribute meals to migrants, people without homes and others in need. Doctors and nurses at the Red Cross and Civil Hospital of Guadalajara have also received meals.
Ciresthel Bello Ríos, a doctor at the Universidad Autónoma de Guerrero, conducts a COVID-19 test on Marco Antonio Espinoza Cortés at a medical station, which was installed at a kiosk in Francisco Granados Maldonado Park in Chilpancingo, a city in Guerrero, Mexico. Espinoza said he had some COVID-19 symptoms and that some of his friends have died from the virus, which is why he came to do the test.
Ivan Pulido, right, and Sergio Nájera, get ready for a live, socially distanced show with the dance company México de Colores. The show is part of the event “Contigo a la distancia” at the Shakespeare Forum in downtown Mexico City. “Every rehearsal, every show, every chance we get to step onstage is a kind of magic that can only be lived by being there,” Pulido says.
Ángel Nájera Herrera sells sweet bread from a cart in San Jerónimo, a neighborhood in Mexico City, Mexico. Nájera Herrera, 22, has sold bread, coffee and sandwiches from his cart for four years. He says his business has dropped off in recent weeks: On this day, he says, he only sold two coffees instead of the 40 or 50 he would usually sell before. The bread, however, is still popular.
Fidel Chapa Molina replaces tiles on the front of a clothing and shoe store in downtown Chilpancingo, a city in Guerrero, Mexico. For Chapa, isolating to avoid the coronavirus isn’t an option: He has to work daily to maintain his household. “If the coronavirus doesn’t kill us, hunger will,” Chapa says. “The government just says ‘stay home,’ but they don’t understand our needs.”
José Ernesto Ávalos Pardo, commander of the 35th military zone, serves Lucía Alcocer, left, at a soup kitchen in Chilpancingo, a city in Mexico’s Guerrero state. The state government set up the soup kitchen to feed those in need during the coronavirus crisis.
Erick Martínez Pérez, 40, and other workers from the health department’s vector control program disinfect the park outside Iglesia de San Francisco, a church in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Mexico. As a preventive measure during the coronavirus health crisis, the San Cristóbal de las Casas City Council and health department coordinated an urban sanitation campaign in the city’s public spaces.