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Starting an event during a health crisis may sound risky, but Phoenix resident Jorge Mejia wanted to find a way to help small businesses that are struggling during the pandemic.

Thus, Cultivo was born, joining a small number of outdoor mercados in Phoenix spearheaded by people in the Latino community.

Mejia, who’s Salvadoran American, said Cultivo branched out from his Instagram page, @Phxknows. Maybe half the photos on there are pupusas and tacos, he joked.

He started Cultivo because talking about food on Instagram didn’t seem like enough. Cultivo is intended create a comfortable space for people of color, as well as an opportunity for micro businesses to generate revenue during COVID-19 times, Mejia said.

For safety, masks are required for vendors and shoppers, he added.

Like other pop-ups, such as AZ Mujeres Mercado and the South Central Mercado, Cultivo isn’t exclusive to Latino vendors and customers. But Mejia