Changing Directions: from Criminal Lawyer in Mexico to Baker in Canada
Sol Barrones grew up in Pachuca, in the province of Hidalgo, about 90 kilometres north of Mexico City. Her father was a lawyer and Sol and several of her brothers and sisters followed in his footsteps. She married Alejandro and they moved to Chihuahua, where her husband had a job as an aircraft mechanic.
Criminal law in Mexico
Sol was employed by the state as a prosecutor, representing the government in criminal trials for 12 years. Chihuahua is a northern border state, and the work was stressful, but Sol thoroughly enjoyed it.
The Mexican legal system is very different from the Canadian as the cases have traditionally been presented in writing rather than orally in court.
In 2007, Chihuahua was the first to make the transition from a written to an oral system. It was a huge change for all the lawyers and judges and very stressful. A slow, reflective process was transformed into a courtroom drama. “Now you’re like an actor in front of the judge,” explains Sol. “You need to convince the judge that the individual is a criminal, while the other side is trying to convince the judge that he’s a good guy.”
The other Mexican states are now following Chihuahua’s lead and adopting the oral criminal justice system as they believe it is faster and more efficient.
“You get really involved,” Sol says. “It’s like painting a blank canvas.” Sol’s friends and neighbours started ordering birthday cakes and cookie bouquets.
Moving to Canada
A year and a half ago, Sol’s husband was offered a job in Saskatoon, and they accepted. Alejandro’s co-workers at Transwest Air welcomed him and were very helpful. Their son (now 9) started attending school, and Sol started learning English.
Sol and her family had always shopped at the market in Mexico, and she enjoyed visiting the Saskatoon Farmers’ Market and buying Saskatoon berry pies. So when one of her teachers at the Open Door Society suggested that she try selling her baked goods at the Market, she was delighted.
She wouldn’t be practising law, but she would be using her baking and decorating skills. Sol’s favourites are the cookies, and they come in all shapes and sizes – from high heels and dresses, to butterflies and tulips, to ice cream cones and cupcakes. For Father’s Day, Sol plans to make footballs, baseballs, soccer balls and tools.
Individual cookies are $2 or you can purchase a custom-designed cookie bouquet for $10 and up. What could be nicer than to welcome a new baby with a bouquet of cookies shaped like a baby bottle, a baby carriage and baby’s clothing – or a yellow duck and a pony?
Sol also accepts requests to decorate birthday cakes – and her favourite form of decoration is cookies.
You can follow Sol's Cookie Shop on Facebook.