As the owners of community-oriented La Catrina Café in Chicago, Diana Galicia and Salvador Corona’s have become an integral part of Pilsen. The four-year-old restaurant has supported artists and provided a space for the Latino community to hold meetings or host events. This week, La Catrina was robbed again – making it the second time in less than a week. “Sadly, we were robbed again,” Galicia wrote on her Facebook. “If someone knows something please speak up. We’re tying to recover and move forward. But when these things happens, it hurts not only our family, but our staff and our community.”
After all they’ve done for the community, now people are repaying them by helping them get back on their feet. Alyssa Cardenas – a former La Catrina employee – began a GoFundMe page to raise $4,000 for the owners. This robbery hit them even harder than the first, with the thief or thieves making off with the machine they used to keep tabs on orders and a donation jar, where they collected money for their late son’s daughter.
When their son, Gabriel Cisneros, died last year in May, Diana and Salvador decided to honor his memory by starting The Gabriel Project, an organization giving young artists a way to pursue a career in the field. When they first started the initiative, Galicia said that it was their way to keep kids away from drugs and violence, according to DNA Info.
It’s exactly for reasons like this that Cardenas hopes people will open their wallets. “I worked [at] La Catrina for over three years,” she wrote. “It was a great opportunity in my life that surrounding me with many wonderful people and I’m enthusiastic to say they were and still are a family to me,” she wrote. “But when people come and take advantage of a small mom and pop shop, that’s upsetting and wrong… The fact that someone would target a family that has already had a rough past year is horrendous. It hurts me to see them hurting.”
In the one day since Cardenas began the GoFundMe page, 161 people have almost raised the entire $4,000. To help them get to the finish line, donate here.