Carmen Amelia and Pedro Pablo both grew up on San Cristobal. When Carmen was in school, she worked at a fruit stand near where Pedro played soccer. One of their mutual friends would steal watermelon from Carmen’s stand, run over and give it to Pedro, saying, “Look what Carmen sent for you!” Carmen would get very frustrated that he was stealing fruit and embarrassing her. Pedro always said that she made him fall in love with her because of those watermelon slices.
One day, he passed her on the street and shook her hand as they greeted each other. They walked down the street holding hands and, according to them, “that was an excuse to be boyfriend and girlfriend.” Carmen’s grandmother, with whom she lived, would not let them talk to each other outside of church. However, Pedro found a hole in her wall blocked by a stone. He would sneak over to her house around 8 or 9 at night and remove the stone from the hole, so that they could speak softly so her grandmother would not hear. After a few words of affection, he would replace the stone so that no one could tell that it had ever been removed.
Carmen and Pedro’s love story has lasted 72 years. Pedro is now 90 and Carmen is 89. They still manage Carmen’s family farm in the highlands, while raising chickens and growing various crops in their backyard. Their 10 surviving children all live nearby and help to keep Carmen and Pedro in good health and keep the farm going. Having lived in the islands for nearly a century, they have seen immense changes to the culture and economy of the islands; however, their deep love has remained as a constant.