You’re 14 years old, in the sixth year of primary school and your father, a worker in a mezcal distillery, falls ill. Your family’s economic situation becomes precarious, along with the opportunity to continue your studies.
What do you do if you’re an indigenous girl from San Dionisio Ocotepec, in the Central Valley of Oaxaca?
You make mezcal.
La Palenquerita is the result of the efforts of that 14-year-old girl, named Adela, who has created a product that has since won first prize in three regional competitions, and resulted in a meeting with state Gov. Gabino Cué.
The Mezcal Girl, as she is being called, began operating a rudimentary though artisanal distillery whose product was sold in plastic bottles bearing a simple paper label. What was missing was commercialization, and her meeting with the governor soon fixed that.
The state has anted up 825,000 pesos, or US $53,000, in funding to commercialize La Palenquerita. Economic Development and Tourism Secretary José Zorrilla said Adela’s mezcal will be included in a national catalogue of mezcal brands and sold in supermarkets.
Export opportunities will be explored as will the distillery’s inclusion on the state’s mezcal route.
Source: Milenio (sp)