East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy

Thuds from the cardboard boxes, echoes through the house

Identity is the most important thing about someone because it makes them who they are and a community is made up of a bunch of different identities. There are many different identities inside these communities though. But what makes them stand out? What stands out most to me about my identity is my ability to be versatile and disregard differences to get where I want to be.

In this specific community where I am right now, East Los Angeles, my identity was affected a significant amount. This is because I am Hispanic and since it’s a predominantly Mexican community, I am able to express my Mexican side a little more than if I was in a white community where I would have no one to relate with when it comes to my roots. But if I were to move to another community whether it’d be black, white, or Asian I feel like that’s where the versatile aspect of my identity would come into play and I’d still be able to do what I want.

I feel like the reason why I am like this is because I’ve had to move a lot. I still remember the first time when I was about 7. It was a very gloomy day and most of the sunlight was blocked out by huge clouds. I came home from school and the house looked empty. There were luggage and boxes everywhere. It smelled like newspaper from all of the packed things. I remember hearing loud slams from the doors opening and shutting. The thuds from the cardboard boxes being tossed around echoed through the house. Overall there was just this feeling of emptiness it’s like I knew things were going to change. This was only the first time out of the many times I had to move but I am thankful for it in a way because it made me who I am today.

I’ve been to so many different communities and because of this I know what makes a strong community. I am a strong believer in the idea that bringing too much change to an extremely cultural community, like East L.A., would only diminish some of that culture. But If I was given the chance to improve the city, I would make some minor changes.

I would start off by making it cleaner. By cleaner I mean cleaning up the streets and repainting some of the buildings. Also remodeling and rebuilding some of the older buildings wouldn’t be a bad idea. But then again old buildings and dirt can tell stories, hold memories, and become symbolically important throughout time and I feel that this is what makes a community.