Entrepreneur Lina Adames, owner of Lina’s Travel Y Multi Services, knows how to serve her community. When she set up shop in 2007 on North Fifth Street in Hunting Park, she decided to offer her clients more than just vacation planning.
Lina’s Travel is a collection of essential services for the neighborhood. The agency offers residents bill payment, money transfers, immigration services, notarization, fax service, calling cards, wireless service, tourist cards, cargo shipment and even help with filing for divorce.
Her daughter, Frankelina, works with her mom at the office serving as a travel agent as well as an English translator for Lina, who doesn’t speak much of the language. She credits the success of the agency on Lina’s experience and her family’s long residence in Hunting Park.
“She worked for a travel agency on Rising Sun Avenue for 10 years and we’ve lived here for 18 years,” Frankelina said.
That long history with the people of Hunting Park has led Lina to target certain areas of travel in her shop. Clocks set to local time for Spain, El Salvador, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Peru and Mexico line the top of one wall and most of the promotional posters feature cities from Latino countries.
With a 50 percent Latino population in Hunting Park, it’s no wonder most vacation planning calls to Lina’s are conducted in Spanish.
It is the Adames’ close relationship with the neighborhood that has led to the survival of Lina’s Travel during the current recession.
“Tickets are really high right now and people aren’t traveling as much, but we have our clientele,” Frankelina said.
Many residents have family in other countries or parts of the United States that they visit each year. Lina and Frankelina both travel to see relatives in the Dominican Republic at least once a year, but hope to one day fly to Barcelona and explore beyond the Americas.