In some ways, my body is in Frederick, but my mind is in El Salvador.
I would like to go back someday, but that is not a reality.
Jose Perez grew up in El Salvador with 12 children. They had no running water or electricity. His father visited the U.S. many times and encouraged him to move there. Jose wanted to be a farmer in El Salvador. With the civil unrest, living in America was the safest choice, and he wanted to help his family. In 1980, at age 18, Jose moved to Washington, D.C. He worked as a dishwasher and learned all aspects of restaurant management.
In 1991, Jose and two friends bought the El Mariachi Restaurant in Rockville. They now own restaurants in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware and Florida. Jose has owned and managed the Mexicali Cantina in Frederick for nearly 20 years. He opened Cacique in 2004.