Isela Juarez | Christopher Santiago | Victor Santiago | Southern Foodways Alliance arrow left envelope headphones search facebook instagram twitter flickr menu rss play circle itunes calendar

Oral Histories

The SFA oral history program documents life stories from the American South. Collecting these stories, we honor the people whose labor defines the region. If you would like to contribute to SFA’s oral history collections, please send your ideas for oral history along with your CV or Resume and a portfolio of prior oral history work to

< Back to Oral History project: Charlotte’s Central Avenue Corridor


Isela Juarez, Christopher Santiago, Victor Santiago

Tacos El Nevado

Victor Santiago is the proprietor of two taquerias, one on South Boulevard in Charlotte and another in Florida. His wife, Isela Juarez, and sister-in-law, Vianey Juarez, are the main cooks. Cousins Nereyda Mali and Christopher Santiago are managers and cashiers. Their family dynamic is bicultural. Along with Victor Santiago and Isela Juarez, they discuss the immigrant population—including their own family and their clientele. Their experiences as Oaxacan immigrants and US-born children visiting Mexico impacts their restaurant and the community it serves.

Victor Santiago comes from a farmworking family. He started picking citrus in Florida before finding his way to restaurant entrepreneurship. Isela Juarez translates the culinary traditions of her Oaxacan upbringing into the Tacos El Nevado menu, which includes special cheese (quesillo) and tortilla (tlayuda) imported from Oaxaca. Victor and Isela’s son, Christopher Santiago grew up between Charlotte and Oaxaca. Both Christopher Santiago and his cousin Nereyda Mali are in charge of the younger generation of American-born family.

Date of interview:

Victoria Bouloubasis

Peter Taylor

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The Southern Foodways Alliance drives a more progressive future by leading conversations that challenge existing constructs, shape perspectives, and foster meaningful discussions. We reconsider the past with research, scrutiny, and documentation.


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