A few years before my boys barreled into my life, I had another baby. My labor of love, Bodega Stories, was born out of a photo essay I pitched to Latina Magazine that unfortunately didn’t go anywhere. But then an idea came to me. What if I were to create a space where I could publish the stories of customers who frequent my parents’ bodega? What other stories could I find? As a journalist and creative, it was the perfect passion project.
I’m the proud daughter of longtime bodegueros and grew up in this space listening to animated banter and stories of loss and sacrifice — and joy. I had an inkling that there were stories that I could help bring to light — of the diasporic communities in this corner of Tampa Bay.
Since I began the project in 2015, I have collected stories from New York and Honduras. I also have a few stories from the Dominican Republic that I am excited to share, so stay tuned for them.
You read the stories at bodegastories.com.
I’ll leave you with a lovely performance by Maria Colon, who I interviewed for Bodega Stories in 2015.