Escargot’s delicious breads are freely offered to hungry passers-by. Above, the bakery’s Centro location on Calle 58. Photo: El Universal

Mérida, Yucatán — “Si usted se encuentra en necesidad, agarre un pan”

The sign translates to, “If you are in need, grab a loaf of bread,” and one is posted every day outside Antonio Saraín Trujillos three Escargot bakeries. Next to each sign is a basket with 15 or 20 loaves.

Born in Chiapas, but “Yucateco by adoption,” Saraín Trujillo’s kind gesture has continued for four years.

In each location, about 200 pesos’ worth of bread is for the taking, no questions asked.

Saraín Trujillo told El Universal, which gave his generosity national exposure, that the idea “occurred to me, and now my staff — 10 employees — share it. I think the example is contagious. … Today people no longer think about their neighbor, about others.”

In addition, every year, Antonio collects toys to give to needy children. He does this because, he says, “in difficult times we have lost our love for our neighbor, we have fallen far in selfishness.”

Sometimes people after a freebie are reprimanded.

“Listen, it’s for people in need,” they are told.

“It’s difficult. You have to make people aware that this bread is given to the needy, not for anyone who walks down the street,” Saraín Trujillo says.

The 39-year-old businessman relates that in his native Chiapas, he was manager of an automotive company, where he earned a lot of money, but not everything was sweet.

“My colleagues and I were very busy, worried about time, hysterical, neurotic, sad; it was not living,” he says.

Then he met a Frenchman who taught him to make French bread with Mexican characteristics. As a result of that encounter, he thought about the future.

That’s when he quit, came to Mérida and opened Escargot Panadería.

The ovens are fired every morning at 1 a.m. to be ready for customers at 7:30.

The main Escargot Panadería is located in the Centro, on Calle 58 between 59 and 57. A second branch is in Santiago, Calle 68, between Calle 57 and 59, and the third is in ​​Itzimná, on Calle 18, between 19 and 21.

Source: El Universal