Manuel Vasquez Castellanos is a sastre cortador (tailor/cutter). He spends ten to twelve hours a day in his small taller, (workshop) on Calle Quetzacoatl in the Centro Historico de Oaxaca. Although his taller is not his declared residence, he has a bed in the back and spends many a night curled up after a long day of work. "I like my taller; tailoring has been my life since I was a kid," he explained to me. "I come in each day around ten after breakfast, and call it a day around nine or ten at night".
Although he still works hard, not all of those hours are spent working. Many are spent reminiscing of the "old days". He speaks of the best sastres in Oaxaca in the 1960's like a baseball fan speaks of hall of famers. They did quality work in a time when hand sewn garments were still in fashion and worn with frequency. "Now, " he claimed, "there are not many people who wear hand tailored suits. It is much cheaper to buy them off the rack and price has over-ridden the importance of quality and a good fit".