San Diego Migrant's American Dream Cut Short by Pandemic

For a migrant from Puebla, Mexico, the good news did not arrive in time

San Diego County prepares to enter the red tier after California announced that it has met its goal of vaccinating 2 million people in vulnerable, low-income ZIP codes. This change will allow fewer restrictions on businesses, which is good news for many, although for some it is too late.

The change from purple tier to red tier allows museums, zoos and restaurants to operate at 25% capacity, gyms at 10% and breweries and distilleries that do not offer food will be able to reopen, but customers must book and can only stay for 90 minutes.

"The economy is going to be further activated," said Xóchilt Villareal, owner of Casa Xovi in Barrio Logan.

But for a migrant from Puebla, Mexico, the good news did not arrive in time. On Saturday, Angelica Sierra prepared her last orange juice in her fruit and smoothie business, Frutimania.

"It's been hard, and it hurts to lose a place like this because we had high expectations," Sierra said through tears.

They had barely moved to Frutimania's second location in Escondido in March 2020, but the pandemic delayed the inspection process and permits to kick-start the business took time.

"We work very hard to give our customers the best, to give them a smile and offer them coupons," Sierra added.

After several months, they were finally able to open but were not getting a lot of business.

"My children were no longer in school and I had to become a teacher, mom, entrepreneur, worker, wife, and daughter," she said.

Sierra did not qualify for government aid checks, and receipts began to accumulate up to $13,000 in rent and came to the tough decision to have to close the business.

Sierra said she doesn't lose faith and knows that when one door closes, another opens.

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