In 2015, Mario was grilling hotdogs and making smoothies, but our visitors were begging for more substantial meals. We leased a building across the street—a small, one-story, three-bedroom home—and turned it into a much larger boutique. On the roof, we created a tiki bar and opened the new “Café Papillon,” which today hosts hundreds of people a month. They come to relax, enjoy a pizza or cheeseburger, and of course, meet and greet Mario while he makes them his favorite smoothie of the month.
In 2016, Mario was picking his father up from the airport, when they were followed by armed robbers. Mario was shot in the face and left for dead. Miraculously, he survived. Over the course of the past year, we have been raising money for the reconstruction of his jaw, teeth, and mouth. He still works at the café and still greets customers with his famous Mario Special.