Víctor Merina started selling flowers on the street when he was 8 years old. That was 50 years ago. Growing up working on the streets gives you the best education of all, he tells me, where you learn all things good and bad in a place where you are not forced to do anything.
One of those bad moments was when he was shot twice during a gunfight between police and thieves. Víctor has lived with one of those bullets lodged between his ribs for 25 years, as its proximity to his lungs and heart meant it was too dangerous to remove.
He has happy memories too. A smile creeps across his face when he recalls the sense of community, living with friends who also worked on the streets, sharing food and drinks when they could.
Now, Víctor spends all of his spare time with his family and romance is thriving in Victor’s home as he gives wife fresh flowers every week. But really, Víctor says, work is how he shows his family that he loves them. “Without work and the ability to support yourself, what is life worth?” he asks. “It’s the law of life: to work.”
Every day Víctor buys fresh roses from Jamaica Market, which he then sells where Monterrey meets Viaducto in Mexico City. So what’s the secret of keeping cut flowers alive? “Water. Change the water every day and they last longer.”
What he neglected to add was his own talent for choosing roses that will last. I have first-hand experience of Víctor’s beautiful roses; they last for weeks.
Mexico News Daily