Burnham Park, People

“I come from Mexico”

Diego Sebastian pushes his cart of elotes (boiled or grilled corn on the cob), papas (hot and spicy Mexican potatoes) and chicharrones (fried pork rinds) up South 30th Street, honking a loud horn. Sebastian, who’s been in Wisconsin for 10 years, is trying to attract customers.

“Me, I push carts,” he says, as he scans the street. “[There’s] nobody outside, no have monies.”

Diego, who came to Wisconsin from Florida, says he often doesn’t make very much from the cart, but it’s better than working for someone else. “Restaurant is pay $230 per week; it’s too much work, no good,” says Sebastian. “Me, I push the cart.”

He says the summer months are slightly better and that other Mexican people buy from him. But, Diego, who is considerably shorter than his cart, says he’s also been held up for his money, before — it sounds as if it isn’t an uncommon occurrence.

Still, Sebastian isn’t unfriendly. He’s just eager to get back to work. “Okay, my friend,” he says. “God bless you y Jesus love you.”

He gets back behind the cart, and disappears down the street, honking the horn as he goes.


Did you find value in Diego’s story? If so, please subscribe to our newsletter; we publish the story of a different Milwaukeean every week.

Milwaukee Stories is a nonprofit organization that works to bring you the real stories of regular people all across our city. This work is solely supported by individual contributions from people like you. Please consider becoming a sustaining member, or make a one-time donation, today.

Patron | $3 monthly (or $50 one-time) donation
Member | $7 monthly (or $100 one-time) donation
Partner | $25 monthly (or $500+ one-time) donation