METRÓPOLI

"I am a singer, unemployed, and I already spent my 2-year savings"

At least 6 thousand artists, musicians, waiters, and staff members participate in social events in party halls, bars, and restaurants in Edomex

  • ISAAC RAMÍREZ
  • 14/07/2020
  • 21:09 hrs
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I am a singer, unemployed, and I already spent my 2-year savings

NAUCALPAN.- Cintia Monter had never faced anything like it with 12 years in the music industry and dedicated to working in bars and restaurants, the 33-year-old woman lost her job almost four months ago. Covid-19 forced the owners of the venues she worked to close their doors, taking her future and that of their colleagues with them.

"I am a singer, and we stopped receiving income from the first week of March. We already had a bad streak from January and February, which is terrible because we come from the expenses of December; however, this was prolonged for a long time by the pandemic. We were aware that we would stop working, but we never imagined that it would be for this long, " she says.

Like Cintia, it's estimated that at least 6 thousand artists, musicians, waiters, and staff members who organize and participate in social events, party halls, bars, and restaurants in the State of Mexico had to survive without their source of income. During four months, these establishments were the first to close their doors in the face of the covid-19 contingency. The singer has not faced the challenges the pandemic has placed on some fellow musicians, such as being evicted for not paying rent or not having money to eat, she says she had to sacrifice her health, so she wouldn't have to go through those situations. When her two-year savings ran out, the young woman had to figure out how to generate an immediate income that would allow her to pay her rent and the daily expenses left by the quarantine.

"I live in Ciudad Satélite (Naucalpan), where most of the neighborhood residents are seniors who don't know how to use mobile applications or who were afraid to go to the supermarket. I spoke with them and asked what services they required, such as going to the bank or making payments. I did everything in exchange for a payment. "Fortunately, I was able to get what I needed. There were days when I did not have enough water, and, in the end, something came up, but it was a complicated four months until last week when I returned to work as a hostess in the bar where I worked. Now I can have a salary again," she narrates.

THE WORLD OF ENTERTAINMENT

They are only part of a small group of people who have been unemployed since the pandemic; however, the Mexican Social Security Institute (IMSS) reported that, from March to June, 1.1 million people lost their formal job because of the covid-19 in Mexico, of which 58,805 belong to the State of Mexico.

Although, estimates made by the Council of Chambers and Business Associations of the State of Mexico (Concaem) point to more than 150,000 jobs lost during the health contingency, considering the informal sector of which Cintia and her colleagues are part.

Angélica Ramírez, president of the Scene movement, founded during the confinement, says that those dedicated to social events in Mexico are part of the sector of the population that has had the most losses during the pandemic. It has been four months in which they were left without work or social support that allows them and their families to get ahead.

"Since March 21, the places where we work have had to close their doors due to the coronavirus, and, since then, we have not been able to generate money to support ourselves. All of us dedicated to this, find ourselves in informality, and have no type of social security or help lessen the losses we had, "she says.

Among those affected by the pandemic and who depended on their participation in these recreational and social events dramatic stories are told. Those who have had to get rid of their professional equipment or their own medicine to survive.

"There are senior musicians who cannot do something else due to the risk that implies going out to work. Some mothers have changed their work clothes for food, and some have not been able to continue with their permanent treatment because they do not have money to buy it or, even, who has had to sell it, to be able to feed themselves, "she stresses.

THEY LOST EVERYTHING

The lack of daily income has led other members of this sector to sell their musical instruments to survive, even if it means auctioning them off and giving up their past.

"They are investments of up to 30 thousand pesos that had to be pawned since they could not be paid they were auctioned off. It will be hard to recover because to do it, you will have to work on something else, while the places where we work, do not open their doors, which we are not sure when is going to happen, "says Angélica Ramírez. This condition has led many entertainment industry members to resort to self-employment in other ways, through the sale of products by catalog or selling snacks on the street, to ensure an income that allows them to meet their basic needs. Between April and May, unemployment is unquantifiable, figures from the IMSS and INEGI indicate that there were around 20.14 million unemployed due to the covid-19. In this period, 7.96 million part-time jobs were generated, so statistics released by the Deputy Governor of Banco de México, Jonathan Heath, point out that there would be close to 12.18 million jobs lost in this period; figures released by La Silla Rota.

Given this, the president of the Business Coordinating Council of the State of Mexico, Laura González Hernandez, expressed concern about the increase of jobs lost due to the direct impact on the pandemic's economic activity. She insisted that the three levels of government, business people, and citizens must work together to reduce the economy and employment impact. She considered that the loss of jobs due to the pandemic is not expected to be short-term since the effects could be felt for up to two years before normalizing the economic growth levels that were held until the first two-month period of 2020. To alleviate this condition, waiters and members of these events have begun to organize themselves to take to the streets and ask the federal authorities to join the Welfare programs of the Federal Secretariat. They can get microcredits to the word or join the Tandas for Wellbeing, to have an additional income that enables them to start a temporary business to face the months that follow the health contingency. The unemployed from the municipalities of Chimalhuacán, Coacalco, Ecatepec, Huehuetoca, Naucalpan, Nezahualcoyotl, Tlalnepantla, Toluca, Tultepec and Tultitlán, among others. They intend to take into account and incorporated into social programs until as long as they do not receive unemployment insurance, and economic activity is normalized.

Traducción: Valentina K. Yanes