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

Four young men from Senegal sell bracelets in Madrid on October 20.
Ricci Shryock for NPR
Four young men from Senegal sell bracelets in Madrid on October 20.

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.

Listen to our full report by clicking or tapping the play button above.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Ari Shapiro has been one of the hosts of All Things Considered, NPR's award-winning afternoon newsmagazine, since 2015. During his first two years on the program, listenership to All Things Considered grew at an unprecedented rate, with more people tuning in during a typical quarter-hour than any other program on the radio.
Miguel Macias
Miguel Macias is a Senior Producer at All Things Considered, where he is proud to work with a top-notch team to shape the content of the daily show.
Ayen Deng Bior is a producer at NPR's flagship evening news program, All Things Considered. She helps shape the sound of the daily shows by contributing story ideas, writing scripts and cutting tape. Her work at NPR has taken her to Warsaw, Poland, where she heard from refugees displaced by the war in Ukraine. She has spoken to people in Saint-Louis, Senegal, who are grappling with rising seas. Before NPR, Bior wore many hats at the Voice of America's English to Africa service where she worked in radio, television and digital. Bior began her career reporting on the revolution in Sudan, the developing state of affairs in South Sudan and the experiences of women behind the headlines in both countries. In her spare time, Bior loves to kayak, read and bird watch.