, 1954. Mr. and
Mrs. Nuñez's marriage was blessed with five children: Annie Nuñez, Cruzita
Salazar, Wally, Toni and Meraldo.
When Don Wally was 45
years old he was given the opportunity to purchase a tortilla factory from the
late Daddy Paz. With the full support of his wife and children, Don Wally made a
thriving business out of this enterprise he named Tortilleria El Patio. The
husband and wife team worked diligently seven-days-a-week to supply the
villagers with hot corn tortillas. Their work began by cooking the corn the day
before and rising out of bed as early as 4:00 a.m. the next day when Don Wally
would wash the corn by hand. The corn was then ground in the "molino" to produce
the "masa". This was then passed through the tortilla machine, producing 100%
hot corn tortillas. Villagers were able to purchase this staple food for daily
consumption by six o'clock every morning. But the work did not fall solely to
the hands of Don Wally, Mrs. Tudy also did her share of labor, as did the
children. More than a tortilla factory, Tortilleria El Patio was a social
gathering place where island housewives would discuss their plans for the day
and husbands (who were also sent to buy) would boast about their latest catch.
Children also enjoyed going to Don Wally to buy tortillas as this charming
gentleman would give the children a hot tortilla to eat during their walk home.
This always made the children feel very special and they would brag about it
when they arrived.
Four and a half years ago, after
working in the tortilleria factory for 25 years, Don Wally was forced to retire
from this job he enjoyed so much but the production of tortillas did not end
there. Under the able supervision of Mrs. Tudy the work continued, though,
assisted by two other employees.
Even now, tortillas
remain one of the staple food in the houses of most San Pedro residents and are
also served as a side order for many local dishes at restaurants.
The legacy of Don Wally Nuñez lives with the Tortilleria
El Patio and the great product his wife continues to provide. Without a doubt, a
lot of hard work and dedication goes into making traditional corn tortillas, a
business that truly adds flavor to the local meals served in "Our