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Mount Signal Cafe
1201 West Highway 98,
ten miles west of Calexico
(760) 357-1379

Women matadors are infrequent, partly because that's how the male matadors like it. But if you're determined to become a matador, and you're a woman, talk to Guillermina de Jesús. She runs the Mount Signal Cafe on lonely West Highway 98, ten miles out of Calexico. "My mom, Maria de Jesús, was a bullfighter," she says. The café is plastered with bullfighting pictures. "She was known as 'Manolita.' Mom started when she was 17. She was part of the only female bullfighting team ever. Six women. My mom used to stick the banderillas in over the horns." Guillermina realized early she didn't have the stomach for it herself, especially after her mom died four years ago. But she knows all the bullfighters who gathered here each Mexicali season around her mom. It was difficult being a woman 20 years ago when her mom started, and it still is. But Guillermina could point you in the right direction -- south -- if you really were determined. She says it's time. Since her mom died, there hasn't been an all-woman team anywhere in the Americas.

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