Chalio’s Sporting Goods, located on the border of East Los Angeles just off of Garcia Park, is a great example of the East Los Angeles street vendor’s community.
Roughly eight years ago I first visited the bursting van filled with sports gear. A line followed the opening rear door, and naturally filled with curiosity I joined the line and waited as my turn came around.
Chalio, an older man with a sense of sportsmanship asked me in a delightful tone, “Con que le puedo ayudar?”
I continued to describe a desire for a new hat and without question he suggested the best hat to fit my needs.
Throughout the years I have continued to visit this diamond in the rough, and believe recognition should be showed, not only for Chalio, but for all the vendors in East Los Angeles who strive to acquire clientele. Yes, although we are just considered income for these vendors, for Angelenos and myself they are the creative minds responsible for the delicious foods which are sold on the corners of sidewalks. They are also responsible for the enlightening of your attitude as you walk down Whittier Boulevard and hear their music running down the entire main street.
East Los Angeles is nothing without the people, and we the people are nothing without East Los Angeles.