Dr. J.P. Schwartz from Marfa, Texas quickly noticed a lack of shoe stores in the Big Bend Region. After searching, Schwartz found a man named Cordero out in Presidio who made shoes.

“He made really, really wonderful boots, but he didn’t charge very much for them,” he says. “I was so happy, I got two pairs right away and then I got another pair later on.”

At his store, Cordero introduced Schwartz to his wife, who was deaf. Schwartz remembers seeing the two communicating in sign language and with nods and smiles that spoke for themselves. He was also able to take a tour of Cordero’s shop.

“He was training young boys to make boots, that was a part of his program. He was trying to get it incorporated into the schools,” he says.

But on February 29, 2008 Cordero’s dream ended. A group of bandits crossed over the bridge that connects Ojinaga with Presidio, leaving everything in ruins. The bandits vandalized Cordero’s work and burned down the entire bridge. Schwartz says it has been out of use ever since but there is talk of reconstruction.

“It was really tragic and it put an end to his entire operation there.”

 

Written by Dani Matias.

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