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Migration Stories of Latinx and Caribbean Restauranteurs in Providence, RI

About the Exhibit

“Serving a Plate Back Home” is an audio interview series and photo exhibition that explores the stories of five restaurant owners — Yveline, Joaquin, Welbi, Milena, and Jenny —  who have reimagined how and where they can make home. This project offers a glimpse into the personal journeys and intentions behind five restaurants that function as enclaves for Latinx and Caribbean communities in Providence, Rhode Island. Serving diverse customers from multifaceted yet culturally-rooted menus, each establishment serves as a nourishing site of transnational convening and a counternarrative on the predominantly-white New England landscape. These five restaurant owners build for themselves, their communities, and all Rhode Islanders spaces that transcend the limits of geographical borders and expand the practice of storytelling into the culinary.


The photo exhibition is on view from March 20th-April 21st at the Center for the Study of Slavery & Justice at Brown University located at 94 Waterman St, Providence, RI 02906.

Migration Stories

Click on the portrait of each restauranteur below to hear their stories of migration and entrepreneurship in Providence.  

This project is part of the Mellon Foundation Sawyer Seminar "Rethinking the Dynamic Interplay of Migration, Race, and Ethnicity in the Caribbean and Latin America," led by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, the Center for the Study of Slavery & Justice, and the Africana Studies Rites and Reason Theatre.


The audio interviews for this project were conducted by Kristen Kolenz and the exhibition was curated by Kennedy Jones with photography by Rythum Vinoben, design by Erin Wells Design, and installation by Ben Kaplan. 


Thanks to Maiyah Gamble Rivers, Patricia Figueroa, Regina Pieck, Marta Martínez and the Sawyer Seminar sub-committee for the ideas that began this project.


Special thanks to restaurant owners Yveline “Eve” Bontemp of Garden of Eve, Joaquin Meza of Dolores, Milena Pagán of Little Sister, Jenny Paiz Capron of Mi Guatemala, and Welbi Genao of Trap Box PVD for sharing their migration stories with us.

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