Gloria Tobir has been making piñatas on the south side of San Antonio for twenty years. Her work has brought joy to kids and families alike during Fiesta, quinceañeras, and so many parties.
The immigrant entrepreneur came from El Salvador more than two decades ago. She says she worked very hard to start her own business and to make sure it succeeded.
All of that changed Sunday evening when her business caught fire, reducing the building to ash and rubble.
"It hurts to know that I won't be able to serve the children and the families that would buy from me. I love them very much," Tobir says.
But amid the charred ruins, Tobir found a clear sign of hope untouched by the flames. Her Virgin Mary shrine was saved.
“I feel so happy because my Virgin Mary is safe,” she says.Tobir placed the altar in the corner of her business when she first opened the shop. She says she built the roof herself and added the fencing around the altar for protection.
As Tobir begins to rebuild her piñata shop, she looks to the Virgin Mary statue as inspiration.
She also knows the first step in the rebuilding process.
“I will keep my Virgin Mary just where she is.”
Gloria Tobir and her family have set up a GoFundMe page for donations.