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10/13/2021

Diageo Celebrates Hispanic Street Vendors, Artists for Heritage Month

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a person cooking food in a kitchen

For Hispanic Heritage Month this year, which took place Sept. 15 through Oct. 15, Diageo and its portfolio of brands highlighted Hispanic food vendors and artists that it says bring creativity and essential conversations to communities across the country.

In an effort to honor the historical contributions and cultural impact of the Hispanic community in the U.S., Diageo's Johnnie Walker, Buchanan's scotch whisky, Don Julio and Crown Royal selected street food vendors in New York, Chicago, Houston and Miami to support. The alcohol giant said it chose local vendors with deep ties in each city and connected them with Hispanic artists to transform their food trucks with bright murals honoring the vendor's background and story.

The program began in New York's Queens neighborhood, where 22-year-old, Ecuadorian-owned Mike's Express food truck was selected and highlighted by Diageo for its leadership in the community. Mike's Express is owned by Maggie Morales who recently lost her husband and partner in the family business.

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a truck cake sitting on top of a blue wall
Artist and activist Magda Love painting Mike's Express food truck

Diageo paired Morales with artist and activist Magda Love, who created a truck mural aimed at capturing Morales' "big heart, warm energy and fighting spirit," according to a recent media release from Diageo. The truck included brightly colored flowers and foliage, paying homage to Ecuador, and a blue night sky with stars and butterflies to symbolize Morales' "transformation as a leader in her community and a voice for change."

"At first glance, this initiative is a celebration of elements of Hispanic heritage that we know and love: food and art," Phil Pearson, multicultural director at Diageo, said in the release. "But it's really about people using their hands to serve and elevate their communities. These small business owners and artists are creating a world that's more accepting and inviting, and that's why we really want to honor and celebrate them.”

In addition, Diageo made a donation to the Street Vendor Project, a nonprofit advocating for street vendor rights to assist the organization's mission of serving as a resource for street food vendors and preserving Hispanic street food culture.

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