Restaurants and food are an important part of any immigrant community. Food can tie a community to their home country, and provide comfort as they navigate an unfamiliar environment. “Among other strategies, immigrants cope with the dislocation and disorientation they experience in new and unknown spaces by recreating a sense of place around food production, preparation, and consumption, both at the personal and interpersonal levels”.4 La Esquina del Sabor Catracho is very authentic, both in the food they serve and in the environment of the restaurant. The crowd when I walked in the restaurant was entirely Latino, and perhaps this is because of the familiar space it provides to a community so far from home.
Honduran immigrants began arriving to the city of Chicago in the early twentieth century.5 Over time, Hondurans have had little success forming formal associations for the diasporic community. Hondureños Unidos was one unsuccessful attempt at organization. It was established in 1970 and then dissolved a few years later.6 La Sociedad Civica-Cultural Hondureña is a current organization that organizes through Facebook, but with only moderate success.
When Molina came to the United States, she chose Chicago because her family already lived in the city. She chose to open a restaurant because she had always enjoyed cooking and found a significant enough Honduran population in Chicago. She noticed a lack of Honduran restaurants in the city, and wanted to provide the food of her home country to the Honduran immigrants living in the city.7
For such a small community with little official organization, small, family restaurants like La Esquina del Sabor Catracho are important for community building. When church lets out on Sundays, Hondurans in Chicago may not have a community center or a host of professionally planned activities, but they will always be able to walk into this restaurant and get a taste of home.