WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Sindi Zhinin hopes her new deli, Rincon La Chorrera, not only introduces Elmsford to her delicious empanadas and other South American treats, but shines a light on the immigration problems our country faces.
In light of President Donald J. Trump's recent comments on the campaign trail about immigration, she is particularly concerned.
Zhinin, who was born in Ecuador, moved to Westchester when she was 6. She and her family -- she's now married with three children -- are here legally but the Elmsford resident understands the plight of those who are not. Which is why -- when she' s not busy with her business, she's trying to make a positive difference for others. Last year she was appointed to the Greenburgh Human Rights Advisory Committee by the Greenburgh Town Board.
Being an immigrant, she said, is not easy. She knows many area residents who experience discrimination and disrespect because of the color of their skin or ethnicity or their presumed unlawful status.
She also understands the value of hard work. In Ecuador her family lived on a farm. It was difficult for her parents and family to make a living. Some members of her family who are still in Ecuador make only $10 a day which barely covers basic living expenses.
In Elmsford, her deli is starting to make a small profit. Zhinin is trying to save some of her money so she can help family members in Ecuador and in the United States who are less fortunate than she is.
The deli serves traditional Ecuadorian food – empanadas, humitas, tamles, ceviche and encevollado and hornado and cuy -- with two soups offered daily. Customers will also find typical American sandwiches, along with a smattering of tables and chairs.
Zhinin, who is also a student at Westchester Community College, gets up at 4 a.m. and opens her store at 4:45 a.m. That's when she starts preparing for the day. The first customers come at 5:30 a.m. She said her staff includes amazing cooks and hard workers. She closes the deli at 9 p.m. and goes to sleep around 10 p.m.
She said she loves America and the opportunities she's had but she can't help worrying about the controversies surrounding immigrants since President Trump started talking about building a wall and deporting thousands of undocumented workers. She wants others to have the same opportunities she's had and is trying hard to gain the skills needed so she can give her children (ages ten, six and three) a better, easier life than she and her husband have had (he works in the construction industry).
Her goal? To invite President Trump to visit her deli and to chat with her immigrant friends and customers so he will have a better understanding of how hard working this population is and how immigrants like her want to make America great again.
If any resident has a connection to Trump and can make this possible, she asks you please send this article his way along with her deli's address: 260 North Saw Mill River Rd (near Carvel); (914) 215-2075.
Said Zhinin: "I promise to make him delicious empanadas."