“Una vez durante la noche, un grupo de cholos estaban gritando que barrio es superior en frente de la casa y sabía que algo iba pasar, así que levante mis hijos y me escondí en el cuarto de atrás. Luego de repente balas volaban por todas partes orando a dios que nada pasar a mis hijos.”- Trinidad Huerta’s testimony
This quote shows us how East Los Angeles was filled with gang affiliations in the early ‘90s. Trinidad would be cautious while she was hustling to sell Raspados, chips and candy in the streets by City Terrace Park. She told us that her daily routine was to head out in the afternoon when the kids got out of school and come back home before sundown so nothing would happen to her. What sets her apart from the other eight vendors is that she’s only 4’10’’, but pushing an 80 to 100 pound cart up hills. Once you reach Hazard and City Terrace, it’s all hills and she struggles going up. She has her son help her, which is heroic in our eyes. The story behind all this is that her husband at one point was working full-time until he got laid off. She couldn’t bear not being able to not provide food for her children or put a roof over their heads. Their life was like a plane that only had a quarter tank left, crashing into a deep poverty hole. Like any parent would, she went out of her comfort zone and became a vendor like the rest of her family. She had a natural instinct to go out and hustle to provide bread on the table.
She has been a vendor for eight years and still gets worried about the violence around the community because of what she always hears on the news. She has not yet encountered a problem in the streets but is still afraid that it might happen to her. Trinidad’s husband now has a job, but she is still a street vendor because she likes the idea of having a little extra money for her family. She is thankful for her job because it helps provide food on the table, as well as help with the light and gas bills when her husband doesn’t have enough. She wanted us to know that she does not discriminate against people that live on the street. She is grateful that she has a car, and enough money for her family to live on. She is an East Los Angeles Celebrity because she is a hard working woman working for her family. She reflects the experiences of the many people in East Los Angeles who are struggling economically, starting little businesses and doing anything they can to have some type of money.