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30 years as a bricklayer

Mr. Pablo, 60 years old, says there's always work for a bricklayer, you just have to find it.
Photo: Cesar Gómez/EL UNIVERSAL
Querétaro, Mexico
Gonzalo A. Flores
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Mr. Pablo is over 60 years old. His hands are loyal witness to his job. Wide hands with residues of the sand and cement mixture that accumulated while he was repairing the facade of a chicken wings restaurant in Queretaro.

There's always work for a bricklayer,  but you have to go out there and find it.
With over 30 years of experience as a bricklayer, Mr. Pablo Luján recognizes it's not an easy job but, through it, he was able to support his 4 children, which makes him feel very proud.
Since he learned the art of construction, he knew it was way more profitable to work on his own rather than working for big construction companies which usually pay very little. 
His current job consists of building a 2 meter-tall brick wall over the facade of the restaurant, and another one inside; a job for which he is paid 500 pesos a day. 
However, the payment depends on different circumstances, such as the size of the surface to build, if extra workers are hired and even experience.
Mr. Pablo learned the occupation with "A guy from Colón, de Ajuchitlán, who could tell if a wall was well built or not only by looking at it, sometimes he made tear down the wall that I had just built and yelled at me, he would even throw me into the mixture".
After 5 years working for his first boss, Mr. Luján decided to devote his life construction, in which he specialized in red brick. It's been more than 30 years spent as a bricklayer, group that today (last Tuesday) is celebrating the Day of the Holy Cross, and it's one of the hardest and most underpaid occupations there are in the world.



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