Enrique Villalpando and his family live in Juarez (on the outskirts of Monterrey, in northeastern Mexico), where he produces and sells candied apples. Usually people order a few dozen apples to sell in stalls on the street or at fairs and celebrations, and Enrique himself goes out to sell his candied apples in the streets as well. But recently, Enrique was delighted to receive a huge order: 1,500 caramel apples.
He set to work with his family’s help, and was able to get the order ready on time. But whoever had placed the order canceled it and didn’t pay anything for the work Enrique had done.
Overnight, he and his family found themselves with a huge shipment of unsold caramel apples, which was a big financial problem. They were going to lose more than 12,000 pesos (about $600 USD), part of which he had borrowed in order to fulfill the order, he told Televisa, as the family has only modest means.
What to do? Luis Álvarez, Enrique’s son, came up with the idea of asking for help through Facebook.
“Good afternoon, friends,” he said in a Facebook post, which has since been removed, presumably due to the overwhelming response. He said he wanted to “offer you candied apples at 8 pesos each, since they ordered 1,500 apples from my dad and they canceled them at the last minute, and if you could help us to recover some of the money he invested, I would really appreciate it.” Eight pesos is about 40 cents in US dollars.
The Facebook post was shared more than 11,000 times. It was met with an overwhelming wave of solidarity. It’s the kind of thing that makes you feel good about humanity.
A few days later, not even Luis himself could believe it: they were receiving orders not only from Juarez and all over the Monterrey metropolitan area, but from all over Mexico.
Luis finally could comment on the post: “Friends, they have all been sold; thank you very much for your support. This is the last delivery. Really, thank you very much for your support, a thousand blessings to you.”
The story was picked up by the Mexican ABC news outlet, among many other publications and websites. The Televisa network interviewed Enrique, and he showed that he is very grateful and overwhelmed by the wonderful help that came to him at the worst moment:
“We sold everything but I still continue to have requests to answer. They called me from different cities to try to help me. I started getting so many requests that we can’t believe it,” he said. “They even sent me orders from Nicaragua,” he added.
Even the mayor of his municipality decided to help by buying him a large tricycle with a basket for him to carry and sell his products, according to a report on the Posta website.