The risks are high and the rewards low for the desperate manteros of Madrid

In parts of Madrid, a blanket could lead to jail time for Senegalese street vendors known as the manteros.

They sell counterfeit goods that sit on mantas, Spanish for blankets. They often don’t have work visas and the police harass them, but they can make a little more money selling knockoffs.

The nature of their work is highly visible, and on any given day you can see manteros on the streets of Madrid trying to convince tourists to buy one of their bags.

The risks are high and the rewards are low. And some manteros spend years doing the work as they wait for visas and work documents.

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