East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy

Commentary: The East L.A. hotdog Lady

It was a cold Saturday night in East Los Angeles. As I walked out the Civic Center train station, I could see all the lights of the cars passing me while walking towards Belvedere Park.

When I arrived at Belvedere Park, I had a hard time finding Maria Lorena, the Hotdog lady. I guess I got there too early before she came so I waited for a while.

When she got there, I didn’t go directly to her. I waited and watched her set up her station as she got ready for the business. At first I didn’t know what to do, I couldn’t just go up to her and ask her questions without buying something.

So you know what I did, I bought me a hotdog.

While I was getting the hotdog, I asked her for her name. She told me her name and age, 43. I asked her if I can ask her a couple of questions.

I asked her when she came to the U.S. Lorena said she came to the U.S in 1997 with her three kids. She is from Matamoros, Mexico. She told me that she came for a better life and for her kids.

I asked her when she started working. She said she started working in 2003, with some of her family members and friends.

Lorena told me that since Donald Trump got elected president, many people have been sacred to come out and try to make some money to feed their families. So she told me that her and a group of friends go sell all over Los Angeles.

The interview had to be cut short because she started to get a lot of customers and I couldn’t make her lose that money. I tried to finish our interview the next day, but she never came.