Pedro Ruiz is an international lorry driver hailing from La Línea de la Concepción and currently living in Cartajima, in the Valle del Genal, just south of Ronda. He’s used to moving around, travelling Europe for over 30 years, but now he’s racking up kilometres in the Serranía de Ronda, in the Valle del Genal.
He makes and sells 'churros'- a traditional type of fried dough, usually accompanied by hot chocolate- in four villages: in Júzcar on Fridays, Parauta on Saturdays, in Cartajima on Sundays and in Faraján on Mondays. Pujerra is also within his line of sight, at the request of its inhabitants, but has still to make it there. You could say he’s a travelling ‘churrero’, a job that complements his main income, to help support his five children.
Pedro learned to make churros when he owned a café in Torremolinos and was interested in including them on his menu.
“I’ve known how to make churros since 1995. I had a café and I was interested in them. I bought the machines, the utensils and that was my first experience as a churro maker. Now I alternate between my driving job and churro-making, I need to provide for my family,” he said.
In La Línea de la Concepción, where he’s from, he also made churros, in a kiosk that one of the town halls owned. “I did that for about two years, but because it didn’t pay enough I decided to try lorry driving,” he explained. This churro-making lorry driver has also passed down his knowledge of this second job onto two of his sons, who now make their own in Gibraltar. “I showed them and there they are,” he said.
In Cartajima, where he settled down in search of tranquility, he proposed making churros and hot chocolate to celebrate the end of summer.
“It was a success, we all had fun, I’m at peace in this area, I feel very comfortable. I proposed making them without really having an interest. Afterwards, people started asking me to make churros, that they were very good, that they liked them,” he said.
Word travels fast around small villages - Cartajima barely has 250 inhabitants - and when Pedro began making and selling churros there on Sundays, his fame jumped to the next village, Parauta.
“The owner of a bar suggested that I go and make churros, he asked for permission at the town hall and that way I was able to go there too,” he explained.
The same happened in Júzcar and Faraján. “I don’t make a lot, but it’s something extra, I also have a good time. There are no churros establishments in these villages; no one sells them. I’m becoming the area’s churro man,” he said, as he admits to thinking about leaving the lorry-driving business.