Forty-two-year-old Francisco Sanchez spends his days walking around San Francisco selling ice cream cones, popsicles, chips and a friendly smile to children and adults alike. Francisco came to the United States 11 years ago out of necessity and  now lives in Oakland with his partner, who also sells paletas, and their two children, ages 10 and 12.

A big lover of chocolate, his favorite ice cream is called the Big Dipper — a classic ice cream cone with vanilla ice cream dipped in chocolate and peanuts. 

“My business has gone down a lot,” he said. With the coronavirus, his clientele are scarce. “In the parks, there aren’t children anymore. In the schools, leaving the schools, there aren’t children.”

Nevertheless, he continues to walk from Dolores Park to and then on Mission Street all the way downtown, looking for an adult or child who wants a bubble gum flavored paleta or a strawberry shortcake bar.

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Clara-Sophia Daly is a multimedia storyteller and reporter who has worked both in print and audio. A graduate of Skidmore College where she studied International Affairs and Media/Film studies, she enjoys working at the intersection of art and politics, and focusing on the stories of individuals to reveal larger themes.

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