A worker from Mexico harvests cantaloupes for the Mandujano Brothers in Pecos County. The company is the last one selling Pecos cantaloupes on a large scale.
Workers harvest cantaloupe in Pecos County. The Mandujano Brothers hire around 100 workers from Mexico every year.
“Everybody out here loves the Pecos cantaloupes,” Andy Price said as he buys three boxes for himself and two friends in Pecos County.
Madison L. Todd made the Pecos cantaloupe famous, selling the melons to dining cars of the Texas and Pacific Railway. Gas wells now operate on what is believed to be the former Todd land.
Empty fields stretch on either side of the road where Robert Gamboa steers his Ford pickup in Pecos County. A fracking boom contributed to the decline in cantaloupe production.
Robert Gamboa, 78, looks at pictures of fields he used to farm in Pecos County. “This is oilfield now,” he said of the surrounding land. “You’ll never be able to farm it.”
Veronica Mandujano frequently receives messages on Facebook from people desperate for her to mail them some cantaloupes. She shows one in Pecos County.
Antonio Perez Lara loads cantaloupes onto a machine at the Mandujano Brothers packing facility in Pecos County. The machine brushes the dirt off and sorts them by size.
Beto Mandujano, who helps to run Mandujano Brothers, shows off boxed cantaloupes in the packing warehouse on Wednesday, July 24, 2019, in Pecos County.
A gas flare burns on Thursday, July 25, 2019, near Pecos.
Juan Galvan, left, and Lucino Alvarez Vasquez, both workers from Mexico, harvest cantaloupe in Pecos County.
Alvaro Mandujano smiles as Adrian Duran finishes piling 1,500 pounds of Pecos cantaloupes into his truck in Pecos County. Duran had finished a job in El Paso when his boss asked him to pick up the melons. “He buys them by the assload,” Duran said.
Beto Mandujano, of Mandujano Brothers, drives to one of the company’s cantaloupe fields in Pecos County. He usually starts work around 6 a.m.