Actually, I should say removing the mold pieces. Basically, to manufacture pilas, washbasins, there four basic steps:
- Set the mold pieces and iron rods pieces to serve as skeleton. The mold concrete pieces are applied a light layer of burnt oil so they don’t stick to new concrete structure.
- Fill it with concrete and wait 24 hours.
- Remove the mold pieces and clean up
- Paint and add the final touches, like white dots.
Here we see the worker removing the concrete mold pieces by hitting them with a hammer and piece of wood so they break loose.
Don Eduardo Gonzalez shared with me that a good quality pila like the ones he builds could be bought for Q25/$3 when he started 24 years ago. Compare that with today’s going price of Q500/$60. Of course, 24 years ago the Quetzal was worth a lot more; if I am not mistaken, the exchange rate was Q3 per $1 (today’s exchange rate is Q8,39 per US$1).
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