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'Tech Taco Truck' in Seattle's Central District provides much more than just food

The owner is now empowering the community through powering the community with a solar power grid.

SEATTLE — Seattle’s Central District is turning some heads with the “Tech Taco Truck” that’s been charging the community for several weeks.  

Moises Santos has been running the El Costeno Taco Truck at an old gas station for years and said he had been dreaming about reviving the location that has been neglected for decades due to systemic issues.  

Recently, Moises made a move towards his dream of fusing sustainable tacos with community service. He is now empowering the community through powering the community, literally.

A grassroots effort has led to a 10kw local solar power grid and the addition of WiFi and 5G service has enabled more local kids to access online learning. They offer mentoring for kids looking to develop technology of their own and host weekend tech workshops for locals. 

Plans are in the works to add a reverse osmosis plant to provide clean water to visitors. The old gas station is now home to Northstar Cycles — a community run organization that offers free bikes to kids who want to tour more of the city.  

The fusion of tech and community has resulted in a 24/7 accessible resource for power and internet with an emphasis on community empowerment and education.  

The plans are constantly evolving as Moises has now partnered with more than 15 organizations and relies on zero city or government funding. 

Moises is assisted by a couple partners who share his vision for recharging the area, including Aaron Bossett, who leads the community initiative to mentor local youth.

With the recent heat wave and the potential for rolling blackouts, the group believes they are providing a crucial and strategic resource for a highly diverse community.  

Moises said his current grid could power 50-60 homes and is currently developing mobile units that could be deployed to homes or to assist seniors in a time of need.