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Saturday 23 March 2019
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Vendors not giving up Charlotte Street

File photo of Charlotte Street
 PHOTOBY  SUREASH CHOLAI
File photo of Charlotte Street PHOTOBY SUREASH CHOLAI

CAROL MATROO

ABIOLA has been a vendor for over 30 years and makes his living by selling his goods on Charlotte Street in Port of Spain. However, the city’s mayor Joel Martinez had earlier this year said vending on Charlotte Street would be stopped because the vendors blocked legitimate businesses and created a safety hazard as they restricted access to ambulances and police vehicles.

This has been an ongoing issue for many years and vendors have refused to give up their vending spots.

Several days ago, Martinez said there would be "zero tolerance" to vending on Charlotte Street.

"This is how I making my living. Nobody tell me anything so I will continue to sell my goods," he said.

Nigel has been selling his fresh seasonings like chives, celery, thyme on the street for the past four years.

"This is what I do. I make my own garden, but I can't do it full time because I wouldn't have time to sell my goods. This is all I have," he said.

Teshan lives with his mother and this was how he supported both of them

"The most important thing is I not robbing and thiefing. There is no place else for me to go so something have to work out."

Lloyd has been selling on the street for the past 12 years and has vowed to continue to do so because he has five boys, ages 12 to six, to take care of.

"The boys’ mother leave and gone so is up to me to take care of them. I have good days and bad days, but I try to make do with what I have. Since the Government change, things real hard. Right now I wish I could get a job I would really appreciate it."

Donna was willing to face hell or high water to sell her goods, mainly male and female underwear and kitchen towels.

Asked how she would survive if she had to move, she replied, "Girl, there is a God who can answer that.. this is my everything. If I can't put it out I hold it in my hand. I know how to survive and I have my customers who know what I have so they could find what they want."

Vendors have been given a grace period to sell from December 17 to 19, then December 24-26. The regular days are from Thursday to Saturday.

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