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Jesús Morales

Born in Nicaragua, arrived in Canada in 1988

Jesús grew up in the countryside,
not far from the Pacific Ocean.

During the 1980s, U.S.-funded right-wing paramilitaries
terrorized the civilian population.

Tens of thousands died and many more fled the country.

Following the death of his father,
Jesús went to Costa Rica to work in construction.

He heard that Canada was accepting refugees
and saved up enough for a plane ticket.

When Jesús first landed in Canada,
he didn’t speak the language or have
anyone to show him the ropes.

"For somebody that is new here,
it's like you are on Mars."

- Jesús

Learn more about Jesús


Jesús has built up a diverse clientele but has little security. Every time the lease comes up
his landlord could dramatically increase the rent and Jesús could lose everything.

Nicaraguan staples include grilled sweet plantains and gallo pinto
(literally "speckled rooster", a rice and bean mixture), served here with grilled chicken.

Ceviche, a traditional dish in Nicaragua's Pacific region
where Jesús is from, with tostadas de plátano (plantain chips).

In 2005 Jesús opened La Bella Managua,
which remains Canada's only Nicaraguan Restaurant.

Jesús and his daughters, early 2000s. Alexandra, on the left,
is now in high school and works part time at the restaurant.

Over time, Jesús worked his way up in the restaurant industry and started a family.

Jesús and his wife, Claudia, mid-1990s. Their romance began when Jesús
returned home for the first time after immigrating to Canada.

Jesús’s first visit to Niagara falls.