Hemos estado luchando: On Abundance and Danger in Southeast Los Angeles’ Dirt and Water (PDF)

“Y el agua, Chabelita?” I asked. “How do you use it in your home?”
“Yo la cuido,” she said. “La conservo. Estamos en una sequía.”

Excited to share my latest essay on #southeastla, featuring Jose Ornelas and his son Edgar (pictured in the cover image) of Ornelas Produce, the last farmer in Bell Gardens, and on Maywood environmentalist, mother to @aida_writes and her 6 siblings, Isabel Salazar Viramontes, que en paz descanse.

Read the PDF here.

An excerpt:
“The 710 Freeway exit for Atlantic/Bandini Boulevard takes you past huge warehouses and railroad tracks between the City of Commerce and Vernon, just a few blocks from Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles. The semis and eighteen-wheelers snake their way past small cars and into the broad streets. […] A few hundred feet past these giants are tens of thousands of children, mothers, grandparents, business owners, politicians, artists, and environmentalists. Isabel Salazar Viramontes can say she has been and is, many of these things. People call her Señora Chabelita.”

Check out the farmer’s market schedule for Ornelas Produce in the article. And although the piece was written a couple of years ago, all the information is still somehow timely and relevant.

Qué viva Chabelita!

Thank you to the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy and to Jane Tsong at the watershedconservationauthority for working with me. 

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