Total loan: $10,000


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Philadelphia, PA, United States / Food

Cristina's loan finished fundraising,
but these similar borrowers just need a little more help to reach their goals!

A loan helped This year has been a LOT of upheaval as we combined businesses. We are moving to a new location where we can continue my son's legacy and build our customers. We need loan support for outdoor seating, expansion, new furniture, permits and employees.

Cristina's story

My name is Cristina Martinez. I was born into a family of barbacoieros in the town of Capulhuac, the barbacoa capital of Mexico. I worked in the family business alongside my mother, father, brothers, and sisters, selling barbacoa on the weekends in Mexico City until I met my first husband. His family were also life-long barbacoieros, and together we dedicated our lives to serving barbacoa and raising our four children. Unfortunately, I had to flee this marriage because of physical abuse and threats. I fled to another state with my daughter, and continued to dedicate my life to selling barbacoa. When my daughter graduated high school, she decided to go into nursing. As a single mother cooking barbacoa in our new home, with no financial support from my marriage, I could not afford to send her. I made the decision to move to the United States for the opportunity to be able to afford to. I landed a job making pastries in a Philadelphia restaurant, which is where I met my husband Ben. As it had always been my dream to open my own barbacoa restaurant, in January of 2014, Ben and I started South Philly Barbacoa as a silver food cart, which grew into a brick and mortar shop at 11th & Morris by July of 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22iAviDd_M0&t=212s. Our barbacoa quickly earned positive attention locally and nationally from American and Latino guests alike, being lauded as one of the best tacos in the nation. This past January, an unexpected tragedy changed the trajectory of our lives and careers.