Immigrant Life

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Dig in at Pica Pica: Venezuelan Cuisine in the Mission

Adriana Lopez moved to the Mission District from Venezuela nine years ago. In 2010, she opened Pica Pica Maize Kitchen, a Venezuelan arepas restaurant at Valencia and 15th streets. Lopez told Mission Local about the history of...
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Salvadoran Chef Tells the Story of Her Mission Market Restaurant

Inside the Mission Market Food Mall is a small restaurant that customers say will transport you to El Salvador with its authentic cuisine. The restaurant’s master chef and owner, Aminta Calderon, migrated to San Francisco from...
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Don Julio Presides Over His Mission Curiosity Shop

Julio Lucero migrated to the United States in 1979 because of the brutal civil war that was then escalating in his homeland of El Salvador. About a decade later, Lucero became the owner of a...
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Business Runs in the Family at Cafe La Taza

Carlos Martinez, manager of Cafe La Taza on Mission Street, says business runs in the family. His father, Noel Martinez, managed a supermarket in his native Nicaragua before moving to the United States with his...
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Mixing Printing and Musical Notes at Ibarra Brothers

Most know the Ibarra brothers as the owners of a printing shop with the same name on Valencia Street, but the native Nicaraguans have a secret identity: they’re famous musicians. They have a record label...
Cristina at her home in San Leandro contemplates her return back to Mexico. Photo by Sean Havey.

An Immigrant Woman’s Nightmare Journey Into Post-Traumatic Stress

Cristina often found herself wandering the streets of the Mission District for hours, without direction, contemplating suicide. “I just wanted to be alone,” she said — so much so that when she saw her son...