seaside, ca - Erika Matadamas 06/01/2020
Mariscos Puerto Nuevo sits quaintly in the corner of lower Broadway Avenue, on a typical day, it is bustling with people coming and going enjoying delicious platillos mexicanos. These are not typical times under the global pandemic of Covid-19 which has upended life for millions across the world. Locally, hundreds of businesses are struggling to stay afloat and adjust to the new reality of take out orders and restrictions imposed to ensure social distancing and hygienic measures. The burden is felt acutely by small Latinx-owned businesses in Monterey County, as there is a gap in access to paycheck protection programs and other federally funded stimulus programs.
The permeating narrative is one that Latinxs in Monterey County are vulnerable, at-risk, and are struggling. Yes--- it is true our community is struggling. Jobs have been lost, schools closed down, industries dependent on immigrant labor are forced to shut down leaving thousands of families without a social safety net to fall back on. Undocumented families have little to no access to relief services.
Narratives matter during this time and although our community faces challenging times now and ahead, our community mobilizes to ensure those without food, without access to information and without basic necessities have support. It is not enough to simply state Latinx communities are poor or lack basic services without attributing to our quick mobilization to pool resources, share food and give even when families or businesses are struggling.
Antonia garcia, owner of Mariscos el Puerto Nuevo Restaurant, recently contributed items and food to a local food drive in Seaside benefitting hospitality INDUSTRY workers laid off due to the pandemic. “I THINK THAT IT'S VERY IMPORTANT TO CONTRIBUTE to our community BECAUSE THERE ARE PEOPLE WHO HAVE NEEDS. fortunately WE HAVE WORK AND THE LITTLE WE CAN GIVE IS SOMETHING.” said antonia.
Mariscos el puerto nuevo was joined by the owners of camacho produce and la chiquita market all whom contributed to the charitable food drive hosted by the alexis 2020 campaign and the local labore union "unite here! local 483". Despite facing financial hardships, all three of the most prominent latinx owned businesses came together to support families most impacted by the pandemic. there is no attention or story shared on their philanthropic spirit but all share a deep commitment and responsibility to ensure those most economically impacted are taken care of with basic necessities.
Alexis garcía-arrazola, candidate for seaside city council and "unite here! local 483" were able to feed more that 80 families laid off due to covid-19 pandemic.
"growing up in seaside, my parents and i have worked in the hospitality industry. At the age of 6 due to lack of childcare and my parents working two jobs in order to make ends meet, I was forced to wake up early on the weekends and clean hotel rooms with my grandmother at "the lone oak lodge" in monterey, ca. As time went on, i found value and appreciation for the hospitality industry workers and have always said that working in hospitality has made me the person i am today. hospitality industry workers are the backbone of our economy and if i can do something to alleviate burden, then i will do all i can" - SAID GARCÍA-ARRAZOLA
THE ALEXIS 2020 CAMPAIGN AND "UNITE HERE! LOCAL 483" WILL BE HOSTING A SECOND RELIEF DRIVE ON JUNE 19, 2020. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE AND DO YOUR PART YOU CAN DROP OFF ESSENTIAL ITEMS AT 1168 Amador Ave, SEASIDE CA. 93955. THE CAMPAIGN WILL BE TAKING:
-NON PERISHABLE FOODS
THE POWER OF LATINXS BUSINESSES COMING TOGETHER SHOULD NOT BE UNDERESTIMATED. SEASIDE IS COMPOSED OF A DIVERSE AND EMPOWERING COMMUNITY THAT MAKES THE CITY UNIQUE AND WELCOMING. THE SPIRIT OF GIVING IS NOT NEW , WE COLLECTIVELY COME TOGETHER WITH A PURPOSE AND LOVE FOR NUESTRA COMUNIDAD, BECAUSE WE AS ONE, WE ARE STRONGER THAN EVER.