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The 5-Gallon Bucket a Cornerstone of Mexico’s Growth

Bodie Kellogg - Mexico News Daily
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May 16, 2017
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The ubiquitous five-gallon bucket, an essential piece of equipment at work and at home (MND)

The growth of modern Mexico has been augmented by an item so ubiquitous it is found in every household and business through the country. This object was not even invented until the 1960s, but it instantly became a component so critical that it transformed the culture. I am referring, of course, to the omnipresent five-gallon plastic bucket.

These sturdy pails first appeared containing paint or restaurant-grade foodstuffs, and were quickly repurposed into essential construction equipment. All Mexican construction projects from the 60s to the present require a dozen or more of these buckets, called cubetas.

They can be filled with sand, cement, rubble, concrete or water, and hoisted on to a shoulder to be carried across ground not suitable for wheelbarrows. And given the overall disarray of any Mexican construction project, it might be no surprise that buckets universally supplanted wheelbarrows for many operations.

Small building projects will most often have an anchored beam with a rope and pulley at the tip, protruding from a second or third-story roof. The bucket is utilized for lifting new materials up while lowering rubble and trash down.

Even where high-rises are being built with cranes, five-gallon buckets are still deployed throughout the project. All of this makes it quite clear to me that these indispensable pails have, quite literally, built modern Mexico.

However, these mute denizens of modern construction are not limited to commercial usage. They are utilized by the entire populace for a multitude of purposes. When it comes to ingenuity in the use of cubetas nobody surpasses the enterprising Mexican.

Read the rest at Mexico News Daily


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