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Cocina económica cooks up free meals for increasingly hungry neighbors

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Two women are feeding their hungry neighbors at the cocina económica Mi Casita at Calle 89 between 58 and 60 in the Centro. Photo: Sipse

Updated to correct the address in the final paragraph.

Fátima Pérez Pech has joined forces with her mother-in-law, Elsy Caamal, whose cocina económica has gone from offering inexpensive food to offering it for free to those who need it.

The pair decided to unite to help people who have been affected by the coronavirus health contingency, most left jobless and unable to feed their families.

Pérez Pech, 26, who also lost her job as a cook as a result of the pandemic, decided to support her mother-in-law at the cocina económica Mi Casita at Calle 89, in the impoverished south.

Cocina económicas are informal, bare-bones eateries that specialize in a few home-made dishes each day. Workers depend on them for wholesome Yucatecan food.

Like other economic kitchens, the proprietors cook and serve until they run out of food. But today, they are often able to continue serving customers through dinner time because they are receiving food donations from supporters.

A donation of Philadelphia cream cheese led to a batch of empanadas to give away.

If people stop coming to the eatery, the proprietors go to the streets and hand it out to anyone they find who wants it.

They told a Punto Medio reporter that they wish they could do more, but the lack of resources is an obstacle, since they live day-to-day.

“We cook on charcoal because we do not have money to buy gas, because it is very expensive and the economic situation is difficult these days,” said Pérez Pech.

The restaurant is accepting donations of beans, rice, oil, and even coal at Calle 89A, No. 499H between 58 and 60 in the Centro.

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