The woman behind Mamá Coco

Since the film was released, her home started filling up with visitors, nationals and foreigners, who want to say hello and take pictures with her

The woman behind Mamá Coco
Left: Courtesy of Pixar; Right: Carlos Arrieta/EL UNIVERSAL
English 31/12/2018 12:03 Carlos Arrieta / Corresponsal Santa Fe de la Laguna Actualizada 12:03
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She hasn't been acknowledged by Coco's production team but she has in her hometown. She doesn't want money and she says she's happy with the way her life changed after being identified as “Mamá Coco”, Miguel's great-grandmother, the main character in Pixar's movie.

Her name is María Salud Ramírez Caballero, she is 105 years old, who was photographed by the production team. In the Quiroga municipality, she was awarded by local authorities and artisans and named as the artisans' ambassador.

The artisans and inhabitants hope that by using Nana Salud as their image, as she is known, the pottery from this community will be bought all over the world, as after the movie was released, sales increased, explained Gabriela Gabriel Fabián, a young potter.

“It has benefited us because many more tourists come. This town is known because of the lady's fame, they buy our artwork, everything we do and figures of her,” she explained.

As said by the creators of Coco, Michoacán represented a colorful trip that brought them closer to Mexican culture, therefore, its influence is present throughout the movie.

A new life. Three years ago, Nana Salud was diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and now she has to use oxygen tanks to breath.

Nevertheless, her age and illness don't stop her from walking around town, which was also an inspiration for the movie.

Since the film was released, her home started filling up with visitors, nationals and foreigners, who want to say hello and take pictures with her.

Thanks to this, her mood has changed and now the pottery sales generate “some cents.”

This way, María Salud went from being another inhabitant to being the pride of Santa Fe de la Laguna, in the Quiroga municipality, and her family's pride, says Patricia Pérez Hernández, one of her grandchildren.

Patricia says that Salud Rímirez is like any other grandmother: “She scolds us sometimes, but sometimes loving with us and her great-grandchildren, she has been happier lately and she even jokes,” she said.

She considers that the fact that the production doesn't acknowledge that the character is based on her features and movements, as well as the way she walks, talks, and behaves is a lack of attentiveness.

She emphasizes that they aren't looking to receive royalties, or money, despite her grandmother's need to recharge her oxygen tank every two days.

They only ask, she says, that the company acknowledged her contribution.

Therefore, she has been recognized by her hometown and she will now become their cultural an artisanal ambassador.
 

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