Latino USA

Recuerdos de mi Barrio: Chávez Ravine / by Maria Hinojosa | May 7, 2010

Recuerdos de mi Barrio: Chávez Ravine
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Home is at the heart of any conversation about immigration. Where we call home says something about where we were born, but just as much about where we are loved, and nurtured, and connect with the people who care about us.

The hillsides around Dodger stadium in Los Angeles were once thriving neighborhoods of Mexican-Americans. In the late 1940s, the City of Los Angeles eyed the area for development. Public housing was planned there.

But by the 50s, things changed and the city claimed the property through eminent domain and sold it to the Dodgers.

Some people left on their own. Some were forced out. And the place changed drastically.

Our colleagues at StoryCorps: Historias were in LA recently, and recorded stories about the old neighborhood of Chávez Ravine. Carol Jacques’ family moved out in the early 1950s. Alfred Zepeda and Albert Elias have been friends for more than 70 years; they grew up in Chávez Ravine.


Right-click here to download an .mp3 of this segment.

You can connect with StoryCorp: Historias and tell your story.

Chávez Ravine has been the subject of a number of documentary efforts. The historical photos you see here are the work of photographer Don Normark.

The PBS series Independent Lens featured a history of the neighborhood in a film titled “Chávez Ravine: A Los Angeles Story.” The website for the film has more of Don Normark’s haunting photos.

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