El Rinconcito un restaurante a fuerza de voluntad / El Rinconcito a restaurant made by the power of will

Por Guillermo Rojas y Victoria Lis Marino | Tulsa, OK

El Rinconcito es una de las más famosas taquerías de Tulsa emplazada en la 31 y Garnett, y en medio de la pandemia su dueño, Rafael Hernandez, intenta mante­nerla a flote a pesar de la falta de clientes.

La industria gastronómica ha sido una de las más afecadas por la cuaren­tena y si bien hay delivery de comida, nada es lo que era; pero Rafael considera que es sólo un traspie, y que la voluntad será el secreto para salir adelante.

“Hay buenas y malas en la vida y a ambas hay que hecharle ganas”, dice Rafael con honestidad brutal. Es que cada quien mide la realidad según sus experiencias personales y cuando la vida te da golpes desde el comienzo, las batallas se hacen más fáciles de pelear. “Uno viene de no tener nada, y acá, de repente, tienes la posibilidad de tener algo y eso se cuida”, explicó Rafael, quien va a trabajar aún sin clientes.

Rafael nació en un pueblito de Michoacán con “puras iglesias”, y 20 años atrás tomó la determinación de salir de su pobreza para siempre. Caminó durante dos días por las montañas con su hijo para llegar al estado de California, de allí se movíió a Arizona y finalmente desembarcó en Tulsa donde abrió dos taquerias. Cuando llegó a la ciudad tuvo que remar contracorriente y la fuerza de vo­luntad lo hizo salir airoso. “Llegué y la pasé mal porque justo habían aprobado la ley 1804 y todo el mundo se fue, me quede solo”, confesó.

Hoy, con sus dos negocios constituidos, Rafael está sólo otra vez, con sueldos que pagar y algún que otro delivery por hacer. “Ya hablé con el banco y con mi contador y no hay nada que puedan hacer”, explicó afligido.

Pero a pesar de la bronca, Rafael sabe que tiene lo importante, su negocio y su familia, y la voluntad de hierro para salir adelante. “Ahora estamos mal, pero todo sube y baja”, dijo. “La clave es ser constante, constante, estemos bien o mal, hay que ir a trabajar” (La Semana)

El Rinconcito a restaurant made by the power of will

By Guillermo Rojas y Victoria Lis Marino | Tulsa, OK

El Rinconcito is one of the main taquerias of the city. Located at the intersection of 3st and Garnett, it has become a staple in Easte Tulsa, but today, in the middle of the pandemic its owner Rafael Hernandez fights hard to keep it afloat amidst operating restrictions and fewer customers.

The gastronomic industry has been probably the most affected by the quarantine. Social distancing has forced the businessmen around Tulsa to rely on delivery, still, nothing is what it was. But Rafael does not fall into desperation and believes this is just another cycle of the economy and believes that force of will and perseverance will do the trick.

“Life is full of ups and downs, and in both situations, you need to work hard,” said Rafael with brutal honesty. Rafael believes that the truth is that each of us measures reality according the size of our shoes, filled with past experiences, and when life teaches you to fight since the day you’re born, then you get used to it, you become a fighter.

“I come from a place in which I had absolutely nothing, here suddenly I had the chance of having everything and I need to take good care of the things I have,” the restaurateur said, explaining why he still goes to work even with few customers.

Rafael was born in a small town in Michoacan, a place “full of churches,” he said, and twenty years ago, he decided to quit poverty forever. He walked for two days with his son and crossed the mountains to get to California. Later on he moved to Arizona and finally made it to Tulsa, where he grew to own two taquerias.

But the way was not all roses. “When I got here it was a terrible time. The [anti-immigrant] law 1804 had been passed and I was completely alone, no customers,” he recalled.

Today, the situation is pretty much the same, Rafael is lonely again, and has taxes and wages to pay, and maybe some food for take away.

“I’ve already spoken to the bank and there is nothing they can do,” he said. But in spite of the current difficulties, Rafael knows that he has everything he needs, his businesses and his family and a secret ingredient: eternal will to move into better times.

“Now we are on a rough path, but eventually it will be better,” he said. “The key is being constant, constant and diligent, because in good days and bad days, you still need to go to work.” (La Semana)