Streetside Shocks

Mexico City residents pay toqueros for electrical shocks strong enough to knock out a dog

FOR MAKESHIFT MAGAZINE, POWERING UP ISSUE

 

Carlos Victorino clutches a stiff brown briefcase and clinks together two metal rods as he wanders the dusky streets of Mexico City’s historic centro. He eyeballs the families and revelers out on a busy Saturday night, beckoning them to approach with the clink-clink-clink of his hand. For a small fee, he’ll fill them with enough electricity to knock out a small dog.

“It feels like adrenaline,” says Marco Antonio Camacho, who just received a jolt from the rods that link back to the battery in Carlos’s briefcase. Marco Antonio and his family sit together, still shaking out their arms after paying for Carlos’s services, while mariachi music rings out nearby.

In Mexico, paying for a shock—called a toque, or hit—is an enduring pastime. Carlos is about to turn 60, and he’s been at it since he was 14. It doesn’t pay much, but it’s enough to get by. So far, he’s earned about 130 pesos (USD 10) from the Camacho family, plus a quick USD 8 from another group earlier that night…

CHECK OUT MAKESHIFT FOR THE FULL PRINT STORY BY JAMES FREDRICK: http://mkshft.org/streetside-shocks/

 

 

 

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