East Los Angeles Renaissance Academy

Quality time in community parks

My brothers and I moved to East L.A. about 8 years ago, when I was 9 years old. To me, this was a huge step because I was raised in Santa Barbara.  My community over there was very peaceful and I felt comfortable and safe. Moving to East L.A was a huge step for me because I didn’t know my way around, and I didn’t know anyone around my new community. But the good thing was I was able to start brand new by making some new friends and meeting new family members from my dad’s side of the family. I came to East L.A after my dad got custody of me and my brothers, so we had to come live here.

Moving here actually brought me closer to my dad and my stepmom. I didn’t get along with them as much before because I lived with my mom my whole life. The feeling of moving to East L.A was a comfortable one, like if you’re about to watch a movie and you’re lying there waiting in your pajamas and blanket, getting all cozy waiting for the movie to start. Well, that’s basically how I felt. One thing that brought me and my dad’s side of the family together a lot was spending time at the park and having conversations about stuff from the past.

One thing I can say about East L.A. and its importance to me and my family is the parks in the community. When we take a day off from school for Martin Luther King’s birthday, Memorial Day, or Fourth of July, the parks have nice and free firework shows. Everyone just lies down on the grass with their blankets. We appreciate that there is a space provided for families to spend quality time and to have fun. For example, we use the BBQ pits there and have a little carne asada, a couple of soft drinks, some salad, and maybe even some sandwiches. Also on Easter my family and I go to Obregon Park and have an Easter egg hunt with my family and friends. What I admire most there are the baseball fields, the playground for all the kids, and even the workout machines and track for those who want to lose weight.