'We're pushed to the side': Street vendor says they've been forgotten amid COVID-19 pandemic

ByYukare Nakayama WLS logo
Monday, March 23, 2020
Little Village street vendors still working amid pandemic
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It's business as usual for some Little Village vendors who say the community of vendors have been forgotten.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- For some Little Village street vendors, it's business as usual. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Joaquina Rivera and Isais Hernandez are out on their posts seven days a week, nine hours a day. Both rely heavily on their profits for basic necessities.

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"We also wish we could be in quarantine but we don't have the means to pay for rent if we don't work," said Rivera.

On 26th and Pulaski, Rivera sells fruits, corn, and pig skin. Lately, Rivera has only been making about $20 a day.

"We know that the government will help the people, but people that are documented. So we're pushed to the side," said Rivera.

Not too far away, Isais Hernandez is also feeling the brunt of COVID-19. He said sale of his tamales have gone down so much that last week he made a little over $100.

What keeps pushing him forward is his faith.

"We all believe in God, and who ever going to get sick will get sick," said Hernandez.

Both will continue doing what they know best, until they can't.