Close this search box.

Lobsters for the Gringo Market

I say these are lobsters for the gringo market because they were not to be consumed by Sanpedranos. The locals, up until today to a certain extent, could only eat the small, more succulent, free, and tastier ones. The large ones were strictly for the export market.

Pictured here from left to right are Nubia Alamilla, Emerita Aguilar, Luisa Alamilla, Dorita Graniel, Sara Trejo, and Addy Castillo. They were all single girls and part of a team of some 30 girls who were responsible for processing, cleaning and packing some 175,000 pounds of frozen lobster every year at the Caribeña Fishing Cooperative. All the young ladies of San Pedro worked here at the processing plant, and I really mean all, except the lazy ones. They worked two shifts in the day time and in times of high production, they even worked some night hours. The workers were paid by the amount of pounds they cleaned for that day, so if they really hustled, 100 pounds at 20 cents per pound could net them 20 dollars a day or 100 dollars for a week. Trust me back in 1968, this was an excellent income.

These young ladies wore gloves as lobsters have some spines that can hurt the hands. They also wore rubber boots because there was running water all day long on the floors and tables at the plant. It was cold chilly water too, so they had to be protected.

Working at the fishing processing plant was a pleasure and great experience for the ladies of San Pedro. And this went on for at least some 15 years. It was until the opening of several hotels on the island that the young ladies looked for an easier and higher paying jobs cleaning rooms or at the restaurants and offices. At that time San Pedro had to import girls for lobster processing. And guess who all came to the rescue? The Benque Girls, but that is another story for 25 years ago.

– by Angel Nuñez, Columnist

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *