The horse-drawn carriages are the icon of Cartagena. First, it was a way of transport strongly related to the people of power, e.g. the members of the inquisition; it also became popular among the wealthy residents of the city. As time went by, carriages became more and more democratic: first as middle-class people’s mode of transportation and then, finally, since 1945, as a tourist attraction. Which is lately considered to be a controversial one.
Where do perfectly happy momposinos get their rocking chairs from? In Mompox there are probably 20 carpenter’s workshops. And the business is going well: workshop owners sell the chairs to momposinos, to residents of other towns (e.g. Baranquilla) and to the tourists who come here from all the parts of Colombia. In the workshop where I meet Hernan, they make 200 chairs per month. And they sell them all out easily.