Things That Matter

Video Shows Salvadoran Street Vendor Becoming Homeowner Thanks to TikTok

A video of a Salvadoran street vendor receiving a new home is circulating on TikTok.

The video shows Lorenzo, a coconut vendor in El Salvador’s capital San Salvador, explaining how he’s struggling to make ends meet and doesn’t have a place to live. Despite being homeless, he’s happy because — as he says — happiness comes from within. 

Influencer Aaron Murphy, whose handle is @murphslife on TikTok, shows how he and others got together to build a house for Lorenzo and his family to have a safe place to live in. 

In the video, Murphy documents when he accompanies Lorenzo to see his new house complete with furniture, multiple rooms, and a mural that features Lorenzo and his cocos.

In response, Lorenzo thanks Murphy stating, in Spanish, that “it was his miracle and your heart who did this.” He then goes on to stake a teary-eyed claim to his new room and lay down in his new bed, welcoming his children and grandchildren into the home. 

The project was the product of a GoFundMe that Murphy organized with a $75,000 goal (he ultimately raised $81,152) to help Lorenzo, his family, and other street vendors in El Salvador. But this isn’t Murphy’s first time organizing a project like this. On his TikTok there are numerous stories. 

In another video, Murphy highlights the story of Isabel, an elderly woman without kids, who was left without support when her husband died. He posted a video of her on TikTok and organized a similar campaign to raise money to help her. 

@murphslife

Thank YOU to everyone who made this possible! #elsalvador #elsalvador🇸🇻 #fypシ

♬ A-O-K – Tai Verdes

In a follow-up video, he showed how the fundraising campaign provided enough funds to rebuild Isabel’s entire community.

According to the video, thanks to the funds viewers raised, they were able to build a food park in the community, provide materials to repair six houses, and build six storefronts. Similar to Lorenzo’s story, they painted a mural of Isabel to show how she impacted the community. 

Murphy has gone beyond social media platforms to launch the Murphslife Foundation, where besides watching Murphy’s videos, visitors can buy products from hats to handbags that directly support different communities in Latin America, and find out more about the communities he works with. 

According to the Murphslife Foundation website Murphy aims to fight poverty caused by “a long history of imperialism, turmoil, and instability” through direct donations on Patreon, Venmo, Paypal, and Cash App that go beyond the traditional bureaucracies of non-profits and international organizations. 

These donations go directly to the communities affected, providing families with self-sustaining businesses that will allow people to get “back on their feet.” 

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