Mujeres Unidas por Justicia, Educación y Revolución (M.U.J.E.R.) de UCSB has created a GoFundMe campaign to support and fund the return of Hijinio Camacho, better known as El Elotero, to campus.
Camacho has been selling raspados, mangonadas and other treats in Isla Vista and UCSB for the past three years.
Since the campaign’s creation in February, $490 out of the $85,000 goal has been raised. The $85,000 primary goal is to cover the cost of a “professional” food cart as well as permits and insurance Camacho needs to sell on campus, according to the campaign’s website.
M.U.J.E.R. co-chair and third-year sociology major Dulce Gonzalez created the campaign in hopes of gathering financial and community support for Camacho’s return to campus.
The campaign was first posted on the UCSB Free & For Sale page on Facebook, and organizers have been tagging larger news outlets like Univision and Mitù in hopes to gain support beyond the UCSB community.
“We’ve tried to collaborate with him because he’s not only trying to get back on campus to fundraise and help student orgs out with their fundraising, but we also want to try to expand his business,” Gonzalez said.
Camacho hopes to raise enough funds to help him purchase a food truck from a vendor in Los Angeles that would be built to fit Camacho’s needs. The cost of converting a vehicle into a food truck ranges from $95,000 to $120,000.
Since Sep. 2017, the Office of Student Life and the office for Environmental Health and Safety have implemented regulations that require vendors like Camacho to obtain either a Temporary Food Service permit, which has a fee of approximately $180, or a Mobile Food Facility permit.
A general liability insurance that covers up to approximately $2 million in coverage is also required. The yearly payment for general liability insurance for a food cart vendor can range from $500 to $1000 a year, according to Brashears Insurance. For a food truck, the yearly payment can cost between $5,000 to $7,500 a year.
Camacho has since held fundraisers in Isla Vista but has experienced issues with the county food inspectors.
He has been asked to remove his stand by inspectors due to the proximity of a public restroom from his food booth, although he does have the necessary permits to sell in I.V.
He believes that a food truck would allow him to comfortably sell both on campus and in Isla Vista.
“Unos de mi mayores gustos es trabajar con los estudiantes. Yo tengo que hacer todo posible para volver a trabajar con ellos y para que la universidad me dé el permiso para trabajar con ellos.”
“One of my greatest joys is working with the students. I have to do everything that is possible so that I can work with them and that the university give me permission to work with them,” Camacho said.
Camacho has cancelled all fundraising events at UCSB and expects to have the food truck by the beginning of the next school year.
“Even that if we don’t meet the goal of the GoFundMe, what’s important is bringing awareness to the fact that someone who has contributed so much,” Arroyo said. “Someone who once provided their services to you now needs you to help his business.”