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"The hotel industry has been sacrificed. There are no family conciliation and no schedules."

March 8th was commemorated with a traditional festival at the Municipal Pavilion in Churriana.

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"The hotel industry has been sacrificed. There are no family conciliation and no schedules."

March 8th was commemorated with a traditional festival at the Municipal Pavilion in Churriana. It honored, as each year, a group women who have distinguished themselves for their contributions, their example, or their professional careers in different fields.

Maribel Sanchez Elvira is a restaurant owner, cook, and co-owner of a Churriana hotel. She has been doing this for 28 years. Maribel, who was born in Granada, and raised in Otura by her parents, is the oldest child in a family that experienced the phenomenon of emigration over the 20-years that her father spent in Germany supporting the family.

At a young age, she worked in a garlic shop in her hometown. She then joined Benjamin Sanchez at Chikito in Granada. Maribel, who began her career in this industry to love, says that she started washing dishes in the kitchen. She was driven by curiosity and initiative and learned all the secrets to managing such a complex business. >.

Maribel still remembers working long hours in the restaurant on the day she gave birth to her first child. She says, "I learned alongside those who knew, without days off to learn this trade." Antonio Torres, a true institution of Granada cuisine was one of those masters.

Maribel and Benjamin gained valuable experience and worked hard. In March 1990, they opened their first restaurant in Churriana de la Vega. It was called the Meson San Cayetano. It was a completely new area with lots of empty land. It didn't have the services it now has and it still worked the first time. She says, "It's a very difficult job. There are no schedules. For women, it is even more complicated since there is no possibility of family reconciliation with the hours required by a restaurant." Maribel oversees the kitchen, while Benjamin is responsible for customer service and public relations. Through years of hard work and learning, dishes like oxtail, cod, spoon meals, or their famous croquettes have become household brands.

Maribel is moved by the recognition she received for the many women who work. It is a constant contact with the City Council, as well as the businesses in Churriana. This allows them to participate in the activities and life of the municipality.

Maribel is proud of her children, Benjamin, Maribel, and Ivan. The oldest works in the restaurant, while the rest are involved with their educations. Maribel says, "I'm happy doing what I love, being close to my family, and doing what I enjoy the most."

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