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Transita Varguez Pacheco has been a live-in cook in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula for more than 50 years. Mauricio Velazquez de Leon describes cooking with her in his story Queen of the Yucatan »_

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Transita Varguez Pacheco feeding scraps of lettuce to the turkeys that live in the yard of the 18th-century hacienda near Merida where she works. James Oseland
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At the central market in Merida, Transita Varguez Pacheco selects tomatoes for lunch. James Oseland
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Bags of Yucatecan seasoning pastes, called recados, for sale at the central market in Merida. James Oseland
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Transita Varguez Pacheco in her employer’s kitchen. James Oseland
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Clockwise from bottom right: Transita Varguez Pacheco, her sister Ernestina, granddaughter Azul, friend Angelica, and employer Margarita “Wiggie” Andrews, peel and chop chayotes for a cold chayote soup. James Oseland
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Transita Varguez Pacheco’s granddaughter Azul grills chicken over a coal fire for pollo en escabeche oriental, a Yucatecan-style chicken and onion stew. James Oseland
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Transita Varguez Pacheco (right) and her employer, Margarita “Wiggie” Andrews. James Oseland
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Transita Varguez Pacheco deseeding a papaya for dessert. James Oseland

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