In Spanish Harlem and other parts of New York City, there are a lot of women immigrants from Mexico and Central America who work as street food vendors, selling gorditas, tostadas and other foods from their homeland. They are called “vendedoras”, and many of them are here illegally, and do not know English or local food laws.
In order to help them out, an organization called Esperanzas del Barrio was formed in 2003 to specifically help vendedoras navigate the maze of being street food vendors in New York City. Alison Bowen investigated their world and filed the following report, which describes a typical day for a vendedora, as well as some of the problems they face. [Women’s eNews.org]