Charlie Coosingh, a retired Custom’s employee, walks to the San Juan market every day from his Aranguez home where he sells his cocoyea brooms for $20 each. He sits under his coconut tree in Aranguez and cleans the branches that would later become a brand new cocoyea broom. In San Juan and Aranguez area he is fondly referred to by all who knows him as the Cocoyea broom man. Regular customers look out for him as he makes his daily rounds on his way to the market.
He says, “People like to use the dried branches, but them does break too fast, you have to use the ones that still kinda green.” Those were his instructions on making a durable cocoyea broom. “A cocoyea broom better than them thing in the grocery, they does clean better and I does have them all year round.”
Cocoyea broom man: ‘Aranguez has changed’
He reminisced about his childhood in the area and how quickly the area has changed in terms of Aranguez changing from being a community based on agriculture. Aranguez presently has become more urban, the streets lined with every manner of business, from retail stores auto supply stores. “It have more house than garden here now,” he commented about the recent spate of development in the Aranguez south area. “People don’t want to make garden anymore, it used to have vegetables as far as the eyes could see.” He then lamented, “Making garden is hard work you know, and you not always guaranteed to get a good price in the market. Plus Aranguez does always flood, that must be why people moving away from making garden.”
So when next you need a broom to clean your yard or just to dust away the cob webs, remember to look for Charlie the Cocoyea broom in the San Juan Market.
August 2016 www.sweettntmagazine.com
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