Pleas by florists for permission to break the Covid-19 lockdown and allow them to open on May 10 – Mother’s Day – appear to have fallen on deaf ears.
The refusal of authorities to grant a reprieve has angered representatives of the state’s floral sector. Thousands of hectares of flowers are specially cultivated for this important date on the Mexican calendar and will go to waste, they say.
Flower markets in Guadalajara, such as the ones located outside the Mezquitan cemetery and Agua Azul Park, are usually a hive of activity in the days leading up to May 10. All their booths are currently shuttered and will remain that way on Mother’s Day. Vendors who decide to violate the rules and open can expect municipal officials and police officers to be breathing down their necks with closure orders.
Online and telephone flower sales have picked up since the start of the health contingency, but account for less than ten percent of normal sales, sector representatives say.
According to state government economic data, there are more than 5,000 florists in Jalisco providing work for around 60,000 people. This state is the third largest flower producer in Mexico, sending significant exports to the United States, which have all but dried up in the past two months.
Alejandro Guzmán Larralde, Jalisco’s coordinator of economic development, said allowing flower vendors to reopen for Dia de las Madres is complicated because of the “large conglomeration of people” this would imply.
Several sources say many flower vendors in Guadalajara will probably decide to open anyway on May 10.