How Salt Is Made

Every night, the  salinero (salt farmer) wakes up at half-past-midnight when the camp is pitch dark.

Standing under a swinging lantern outside his tent, the salinero has a quick breakfast with his wife. He then climbs into the rear cargo bed of a large pickup truck… with about fifteen others. It’s a free service provided by the salt Co-Op.

At 3AM, the truck pulls up next to the  eras (salt pans) of Cuyutlán, a dry lagoon that stretches along the Pacific coast in the state of Colima, Mexico.

The salineros get off the truck, wave goodbye to each other and head towards their plot of land, marked with their name on a sign.  The  salineros  are  in charge of up to 40 eras each.

Every morning, he pumps new brine into half of them (20  eras). The brine will sit there until the hot, blazing Colima sun does its job. Transforming brine into salt. The salinero and the sun are business partners.

Around here, there’s a saying. “ No sun, no salt”.

The salinero then tends to his other 20  eras. The saltpans the sun worked on the day before. For the rest of the “day” (before dawn), the salinero will rake the freshly formed salt, forming tiny white hills for each of his eras.

Later in the morning, as the day gets warmer — the salinero rolls out his wheelbarrow. With his two arms and two wood slats, he becomes a human clamshell bucket — moving salt from  era to wheelbarrow.

He has a 10AM deadline. That’s when the salt truck comes. That’s when the Co-Op measures his output and determines his pay for the day.Shortly after that, the unbearable heat of the day comes. After lunch, it is simply too hot to work.

This is how Colima Sea Salt starts it’s journey to you.

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