Xelebrity of the Month
By Alex Mac
XelaWho’s ear-to-the-suelo correspondent, Alex Mac, brings you the stories behind the famous faces you see around town in Xela. This month he spoke to Mayra Perez Oxla, proprietor of the famous Tienda Mayra y Rosy Venta de Pupusas (aka the “Parque Central pupusa ladies”). Right on the corner of the park, locals and foreigners alike line up for ages every night of the week to taste Mayra’s pupusas .
So where are you from Mayra?
I’m from here in the center of Xela, pura Chiva toda la vida!
How long have you been selling pupusas here in Parque Central?
The store has been here about 15 years. My mum Maria Louise Oxla used to run it while I was growing up but since she passed away I’ve been looking after the stand.
If you’re pura Chiva, how come you sell a typical Salvadoreñan dish?
We don’t sell Salvadoreñan pupusas, we make them with a different recipe and style that’s popular in Xela. So they are pupusas but Guatemalan pupusas not Salvadoreñan pupusas.
Every night I see huge lines of people waiting to buy pupusas at your stand but other stands are empty. Why are yours so popular?
We’ve been here for so many years so people really know us and trust the quality of our delicious pupusas.
Being in the best spot in town, right on the corner of probably helps I reckon 😉 So do you have to pay rent to get such a good spot?
No, we’ve been here for so long that everyone knows the spot is ours!
So when are you open?
The 4 of us ladies who work here start work every night from 4pm til 11ish.
What do you put in the pupusas? And where do the ingredients come from?
We go to terminal everyday to buy the ingredients since they sell them wholesale up there which is cheaper than here at Mercado Central. We use a classic mix of corn flour, salt, water, delicious mozarrella… and of course chicharon (crispy pork) if you want it.
So I’ve been buying pupusas here for about 5 years for Q6 but they went up to Q10 last year, what’s up with that?
Ingredients are getting more expensive so we had to put up the prices.
Hmmm, OK. Not happy about it but they’re just so damn tasty so I’ll be back. So is there a Mr. Oxla?
How many kids do you have?
- (Mayra and the other ladies start crying with laughter). No, sorry I’m just a bit nervous about getting interviewed. I have 3 kids. One is 8 years old, another is a 3 year old and the third is a baby.
So do you like the work?
Yeah it’s great. We are always cracking jokes together and some of the customers can be really funny. The rain really sucks though, that’s the worst part of the job by far.
Do you make a good living selling pupusas?
Yeah, we’re not the richest ladies in town but we do alright.
Anything you’d like to say to our readers?
We are always waiting for you here. We love to serve our customers and hope to see you soon.
Thanks so much! Una de queso con todo por fa!