East Los Angeles, which holds a sad reputation of stereotypes, has a representative unity with its sea of people. Everything from the delicious tacos from Flaco’s Tacos, beside the 60 exit ramp, to First Street Burgers next to Belvedere Elementary School, you see a great relation of Hispanics who consider this place home.
What you see in person, the observations you make, demolishes what outsiders think of us. You see, outsiders think that if you live in East L.A., you basically do not have any future. Everyone in East L.A. is supposedly involved in a gang, or are just criminals in general. Living here, I have been in the center of being told that I may not even have a great successful life.
Visiting some relatives in Brawley, after them finding out where I live, they told me that everyone who is there are just worst. Even now, people do not believe some Mexican teenagers can be successful.
Regardless of what people say, and think about MY home, all of the best moments of my life happened here in East Los Angeles. I learned to ride my first bike here in East Los Angeles, I learned how to throw my first baseball, and quite frankly, I learned to be humble here. This is MY home, and while people parade the phrase “home is where the heart is,” to me, that is everything.
I love it here. I love being here. Everything here is very accessible, for example instead of making the journey to the supermarket every two weeks, you can just walk to the stores. Where I live, everything surrounds me. There are schools, fast-food joints, bakeries, small family owned markets, and being in a religious area, there are many churches nearby.
One of the best parts about living here is that everyone knows each other in some way or some form. It represents the unity that we all share and the pride that we have for our culture and heritage.
In East L.A. we take pride for being Hispanic. You can clearly see that in our food, in our art such as our murals, churches and even in the parades that pass through Cesar Chavez Avenue.
In this community, you will meet some of the smartest, wisest people you can find. We welcome you to visit East Los Angeles and witness for yourself the beautiful bond that we all represent with each other. You have many opportunities being here in East Los Angeles.
An example is that my school was able to partner up with Metro for a summer internship (known as TCAP, Transportation Career Academy Program). If it wasn’t because of where I live in, the school that I am in wouldn’t have given me the opportunity to be invited to an overnight field trip visiting four different UC’s.
You quickly catch on being here. And after you stay, you wouldn’t want to leave. Everyone here has a different backstory, and we are all accepting of that. Our schools are indigenous. Our communities are indigenous. You observe that when you pass by Paisa’s shop beside Belvedere Middle School, which is above the famous Anthony Quinn Library.
Being told at a young age that I possibly won’t be able to succeed, it motivated me to pursue my dreams even harder. Me becoming successful will prove to everyone that the people here aren’t criminals. It’ll prove that in this “ghetto” community, we are some of the hardest working people.
We are all a part of this. WE are East L.A.