Traveling in California, the mayor of Mérida honored Yucatán’s representatives in the U.S. who have shared their culture with the uninitiated.
Among them was Edith Bello, whose restaurant, Castillito Yucateco, has served cochinita pibil and other peninsular favorites, in San Francisco’s Mission District for 35 years.
Mayor Mauricio Vila Dosal also honored Yucatecans abroad not only for popularizing the culture, but for economically helping their kin back home.
The Mission is a magnet for most Yucatecans who make their home in San Francisco. Citywide, 45 percent of all Latinos are from Mexico, according to the Mexican consulate.
Bello said that Meridanos who live and work in San Francisco are picky about their traditional food, and unforgiving about any dish that deviates from the original recipe.
Accompanied by Angel Granados Ontiveros, president of the Federation of Yucatecan Clubs of Northern California, the mayor greeted diners and tasted dishes such as brazo de reina, panuchos de relleno negro and poc chuc.
Later in the same neighborhood, Mauricio Vila was greeted by a large group of workers, dressed in traditional Yucatecan embroidery, at Yucatasia restaurant. He then visited Ox Café, whose Yucatecan owner also owns a window installation business, and Mi Lindo Yucatán, a restaurant owned by Manuela Ariel Balam for 20 years.
The mayor also visited the Stinking Rose, an Italian restaurant that employs just over 350 Yucatecans.
Finally, in North Beach, he met and congratulated the owner of Panuchos, which is described in local media as a hole-in-the-wall, late-night eatery.
This is the sixth foreign trip for the mayor, and the third just this year. His official travels took him to New York in March and Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., last May.