Paco, the empanada vendor who rejected an offer from Carlos Slim

If you visit Santa Lucia Bay in Acapulco, you might bump into Francisco (Paco) Orihuela, a 15 year old who sells empanadas.

Paco is just one of many street vendors who works on the beach of the Mexican city.  But only he has rejected an offer from multimillionaire Carlos Slim.

The incident occurred last week. He published a video on his Facebook and YouTube channel (called Francisco Mercadólogo DelFuturo) in which he offers his empanadas to a couple who were visiting the beach.  Within a few days, the video had been shared millions of times.

“You could go home saying that you helped a vendor who sold with a bit of attitude, who did something different to the rest”, we hear Paco say in the video.  His success reached the ears of Arturo Elías Ayub, son in law of Carlos Slim and director of Strategic Alliances of América Móvil.  The business offered him a grant to aid him with his studies, and which would give him the chance to break into the world of finance.

However, the empanadero rejected the offer. “We don’t need support, the video just happened and became popular”, clarifies Paco.  Despite living with his 7 siblings and not being in the best financial situation, he says he wants to make a name for himself.

“We don’t need support, the video just happened and became popular”

Paco has even become a Halloween costume

Despite his age, the teenager seems to know exactly what he’s doing.  His sales strategy is based on the individualization of each offer.

“I see each client and say ‘well, if I sell to this client in this way’ and I analyse it. I’m going to give them this speech which will convince them, which is adapted for them.  And people find my attitude or my pitch funny and they buy into.  That’s when I close the deal.”

Paco has even perfected phrases in various languages in order to be able to approach all the tourists in Acapulco.  It would seem he can already reel off his speeches in English, French, Portuguese, German, Italian, Russian and Arabic.

But he emphasizes that “rather than see it as a job, I enjoy myself and I have fun”.  He hasn’t let the success go to his head, “the most important thing in the video is that I close the deal”, he says.  But, on top of everything, he repeatedly thanks his parents for the education they provided.


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