As in Montevideo, there are antiquated homes in Salto too.
This old casa, on a street off the main thoroughfare, is one that needs more care than it will ever get. While it waits for someone with a dream to fall in love with it, it is a garden shop – El Nuevo Vivero. Inside, plants and trees for sale are placed in empty rooms and since there is no roof on much of the building, rain waters them right where they stand.
The sign in front says the business is open on Saturdays and Mondays. This morning the front door is open and someone rustles inside. It is Wednesday.
A young man comes to the front door to see what I want and invites me to come inside to look at his business even though he is closed officially.
Guillermo is having mate first thing this morning and shows me some of his plants. He is wearing a Brazil soccer shirt and we laugh about that. People take soccer serious on this continent. How can you be a good Uruguay citizen and not wear a Uruguayan soccer shirt?
In the U.S., this place would be closed for code violations. Here, there is no harm, thus no foul.
When I leave the nursery, the ” Closed ” sign, in the front door, still hasn’t been replaced.
A business, it seems to me, that won’t open its doors for a customer, even when the closed sign is in their window, isn’t much of a business.
Guillermo, owner and caretaker of El Nuevo Vivero, has his finger on the pulses of both plants, and business.