At the end of a narrow corridor, just under the train tracks of Elephant&Castle Station, Oscar Caicedo, with the help of María and his brother Albeiro, has been running La Caleñita for more than 10 years. Coming from Cali, well known for dancing tradition, they cook everyday all kind of empanadas, bollos and croissants as well as a lunch menu at the rhythm of Salsa. In the metallic bright kitchen, María cooks all the salty dishes of the day. Meanwhile, behind the counter, the brothers Oscar and Albeiro bake sweet pastry and help the costumers. The rest of the small bar is packed with four tiny tables facing the television that shows 24h Spanish news.
Consumers come shortly and individually, buy a drink and a snack, sit down while watching TV, and leave when they are finished. Only a minimal interaction can be perceived between customers, but a strong sense of belonging. It’s the core of the Colombian community. Everyone feels as comfortable as if they were in their own living-rooms. The individual identity is not relevant, but the protection of the community. The daily repetition of the cooking movements together with the flue of people and constant transactions makes the place unique and varied. Every single movement cannot be repeated, but is the addition and conjunction of each one that make the routine.