Despite Low Wages, Street Vendors See Freedom as a Big Reward

Despite criticism by store owners, street vendors argue that they don’t compete directly with small businesses, since they are not selling food to those who can afford to eat at restaurants. Long-time vendor Heleodora Vivar  says people who buy from vendors are generally working class immigrants who can’t afford more than a two-dollar taco for lunch.

“We are helping poor people,” Vivar asserts.

Watch this video.

For more coverage of New York City street vendors read our feature article Feeding the Street and watch NYC Street Vendors Push Back.

Co-produced by Maria Villaseñor, a multimedia reporter based in New York City.

Feet in 2 Worlds coverage of street vendors is part of Street Food: Meet the People Who Make It, a partnership with Oakland Local and In These Times. It’s supported in part by The Media Consortium and the Voqal Fund. Join the conversation about street vendors across the country at #FOODUNDOCUMENTED.

Fi2W is supported by the David and Katherine Moore Family Foundation, the Ralph E. Odgen Foundation, and the Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation.

Avatar photo
AboutCamila Osorio Avendano
Camila Osorio is a journalist from Colombia. She studied Political Science in Bogotá and an MA in Sociology at The New School. She is now a student in the Journalism and Latin American Studies program at NYU and she has done reporting in Colombia, South Africa and New York.