Aglean Rodríguez left her beloved home country when gunshots became a daily occurrence. Now, she sells fair trade Mexican crafts (and the occasional bottle of mezcal) from her colourful shop in Friedrichshain.
For Aglaen Rodríguez, her small corner shop in Friedrichshain is just like a little piece of home in Berlin. That’s exactly what Rincón México means: ‘Mexican corner.’ Her store in Samariterkiez is a 30m² kaleidoscope of arts and crafts: carpets, fashion, jewellery, decorations and accessories. She also offers a selection of tequila and mezcal from small distilleries.
Everything is fair trade, a fact about which the owner is very proud. Aglaen Rodríguez, who hails from Monterrey, a city in Northeastern Mexico, has always had an interest in politics. Back in her hometown she would work together with NGOs, and today she maintains relationships with small cooperatives and collectively organised groups whose products reflect the diversity of their communities in Mexico. She sells textiles from the Northern Mexican city of Saltillo, carpets form the southern state of Oaxaca, and amber and organic coffee from the indigenous state of Chiapas, which is famous for the Zapatista uprising in the 1990s.
The espressos and arabica coffees carry that history with them in their names – ‘Rebeldia’ and ‘Libertad – The Coffee of the Daily Revolution,’ among others. It was the darker side of life in Mexico that finally prompted Rodríguez and her German husband to move. “It got too dangerous and not a single day would go by without the sound of gunshots.” But of course Aglaen Rodriguez misses her home country. And her shop has allowed her to forge her own little niche in Berlin.
All photos by Lena Ganssman
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Proskauer Str. 34, 10247 Berlin-Friedrichshain
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