El Pelon Taqueria opened its doors to shaken Boston residents through social media. (Courtesy El Pelon)

Amid Boston Marathon tragedy, taqueria gives free food, shelter, comfort

After the bombs exploded and chaos erupted, tragedy was easy to find near the Boston Marathon finish line. But heroism was also on full display, along with everyday citizens who wanted nothing more than to be of service to others.

El Pelon Taqueria opened its doors and allowed shell-shocked people to come into their restaurant to sit down, eat free food and have drinks.

“We tried to help in that moment so they could come to the restaurant,” says restaurant manager Jose Torres. “We put it on Twitter, come get drinks, free food, charge your phones.”

Torres says part of the reason the restaurant, led by owner Jim Hoben, was moved to help was because of all of the uncertainty after the events unfolded.

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“One of the ideas was to get people together and safe,” Torres says. “We didn’t know how big this was.”

People were incredibly thankful that the taqueria opened its doors and offered refuge to shaken people, says Torres, who came from Mexico and has lived in Boston for eight years. “Some marathon runners came, in that moment people didn’t know what had happened. They were in shock,” he says. The company also used its Facebook page to spread the word of their open doors.

On Twitter, El Pelon caught the attention of those inside and outside of Boston, many of whom said they would be visiting in the future, even though they had never been there before.

After a whirlwind day of giving free food and comfort to shaken Boston residents, El Pelon’s owner thanked those who made it possible.

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