The 2nd Annual Gran Posada del Pueblo

In the spirit of the season, Boyle Heights residents came together to celebrate Las Posadas with family, friends and of course great food. The East LA Community Corporation and Company of Angels Theater Company helped sponsor the posadas that included a turkey giveaway earlier a couple of days before the posadas. This years celebration, the Company of Angels Theater Company help put on a play, Los Peregrinos del Este, written by Xavi Moreno, Directed by Armando Molina and a dramaturgy by Ricardo Brancho featuring members of ELACC “neighbors building neighborhoods action committees. The play and posada were intertwined as it began at First and Boyle at the mariachi plaza and continued down Boyle to the ELACC head quarters with a few stops along the way.  

The posada started simple enough with everyone gathering, lighting candles and getting ready, but just as the festivities are about to begin, A representative from the MTA named Metro Joe comes to ruin the posada. He wants everyone to leave so construction for the gold line extension can continue at Mariachi Plaza.

Symbolizing the imminent danger of gentrification facing BH with the gold line, Metro Joe wanted to remove all of the mariachis and street vendors because he considers them eye sores and doesn’t want them around anymore. The BH residents don’t go without a fight and continue on with the posada making two stops with community residents affected by the gentrification of BH.  

The first stop was at a neighbors house who got evicted because she couldn’t afford to pay her rent anymore since her landlord raised the price. 

In between stops, everyone was singing hymns like “Campanas de Bele” and my all time favorite “Burrito Sabanero.” It was awesome to hear people singing in unison and hearing the songs through a megaphone. It’s awesome to hear the words, “Tuki tuki tukituki, tuki tuki tukita” while walking down the street in the cold evening.    

At the third stop some street vendors described their hardships through song. La gentrification is La Crisis’ twin sister but just nicer looking but still a complete bitch. 

At the final stop had all of the community members uniting to stop La Gentrification de BH. They emphasized the importance of residents knowing their rights and becoming involve in their neighborhoods. By empowering themselves with knowledge, they’ll be better equipped to face the oncoming changes that the gold line will bring. 

Even though the play ended, the celebrations were just getting under way as tamales, pan dulce, champurado and other homemade foods were served to anxious and hungry residents.

I was kinda ticked off that some people got pumking pie, but threw it away cause they didn’t care for it. I love pumking pie and it would have gone perfectly with the champurado.  

 No posada is complete without pinatas to bust and this “Eviction” pinata got hit extra hard by all the kids. 

People signed up and got some free merch. I got a shirt with a picture of some kids pouring some kool-aid for their homies. 

One of the best games they had was “Boyle Heights Loteria.”  Whole tables were used as boards and families had the opportunity to win some prizes. One of the twist in the game was that the winners had to yell BH instead of loteria. 

How awesome is this !? Some of my other favorites were “La Lucha Libre” and “La Whittier.”

Another game played was dangling donuts on string and letting kids eat them ala hungry, hungry hippos style. Good times.

20 thoughts on “The 2nd Annual Gran Posada del Pueblo

  1. “La gentrification is La Crisis’ twin just with nicer clothes but still a complete asshole.” El Random Hero in V Power format.

    Great line, I made it gender neutral so I can use it…haha!!!!

    Great post. Boyle Heights is a great neighborhood. The Gold Line is doing its best to be sneaky about its destruction. I think some of the Gold Line operative lurk around here occasionally.


  2. Great writeup, the event seems really cool too; a mix of celebration and political action. I’m glad you were there to share it with all of us!

  3. Great post. I’ve had a feeling that the Gentrification-Monster was coming East for a long time. Based on my experiences with gentrification (here in silver Lake), I would warn the BH residents to beware and to be involved and extra vigilant of most impending “improvements”, promising to be “for the community, and “in keeping with the integrity of the community” (I’ve discovered this to often be alot of Toro Poopoo). Also, when plans for local redevelopment are proposed and they include terms like: “Mixed-use developments”, “Transit Hub”, “Streetscape”,”affordable housing” ( & they never define affordable for WHOM) and when they show you concept drawings of BH looking like Pasadena and 3rd Street Promenade, it’s time to start hollerin’.
    Wouldn’t it be nice if the money they’d spend spiffing up the ghettos so that wealthy hipsters & yuppies can move in comfortably was instead spent on improving life for the existing community with stuff like job programs, education programs, etc.?

  4. but, aldesmadre, how would the construction companies get their kickbacks if mta spent its extension money on things like jobs and education? come on, now, some sympathy for the vultures, please.

    seriously, though, i am a fan of getting trains to more places. i have no idea why anything of value to the community needs to be destroyed to make it happen.

    el random, great post. always good to see what the community is doin.

  5. I don’t know if I should fall for this gentrification “estiercol” — you know that today is Mexican April fools’, right? (Dia de los Inocentes).

  6. La Gentrification is something that has been on a lot of people’s minds. It’s good that people are aware of it and wanting to not let it happen here in Boyle Heights. The best possible outcome is like Al wrote and BH will become better than it is now.

  7. Are you serious about that asshole from the MTA coming and complaining for people to get out? From it being dark i would assume that this was a time when construction was not going on, and from the position it is also a space that is nowhere near constuction activity.

    I ask because I actually have followed these 2 issues (construction time and timely spacial access) in terms of the esgoldline and they would make MTA Joe full of BS (and something that should be looked into). I actually wish they would work past 5pm (till about 11pm and start at like 6 am) and on the weekends more so this badly needed train could be finished sooner. I am also unhappy that they have not opened public spaces in a more community benetting manner, meaning quicker and soner. The evergreen jogging path was left for several months behind fences as a storage area when it was totally uneccessary and people were dangerously crossing the road to use this path, and I wondered why they would not prioritize opening the actual public areas (those physically possible given construction processes) sooner. I mean this is East LA and people do use public space often, as well as leaving them empty and neglected is a recipe for safety issues.

    That portion of Mariachi Plaza has not needed to be closed off for several months, as it is completed in terms of constuction and a high use area. It is appalling that the MTA would continue with this braindead mindset towards communities they supposedly were trying to work with for quite some time. To let it sit fallow and unused is bad enough, but for some nitwit to bitch about a community event disturbing abosolutely nothing is also even worse and the proper channels should be contacted to see who put this into motion. That sucks ass.

  8. NOOOOOO !!!!!! Metro Joe was all part of the play. My bad, maybe I shoulda been more clearer on that hahaha, but the issues you bring up are important though. Having been walking my dog around evergreen before the construction started, I’ve seen what you’re talking about and the idiocy of some people who for not crossing the street, run the high risk of getting runned over by on coming cars. It was a hassle to have to deal with all the construction but now that it’s all said it done it was worth it to be able to ride the train when it’s finished.

  9. I didn’t want to sound so simplistic as to generalize that the Gold Line will surely bring rampant gentrification and destroy all existing integrity in it’s path. I’m all for progress and there’s a fine line between nimbyism and community activism sometimes. But, I think it’s VERY important for the people to be AWARE and involved and most importantly, to let the MTA, DOT, city & county officials & the developers know that you are aware & involved in these things. These powers thrive on community indifference when it comes to slipping their agendas by you and giving the people the short end. You have to be ready to plan for the worst scenarios most of the time or you can get screwed real quick. They’re worst nightmare is an aware, educated & involved public that’s vocal, and cares about their hood to keep them in check. (See the resident involvement at the proposed MTA North Hollywood/NBC studios mixed use high rise developement)

  10. What I am amazed at in regards to Boyle Heights is how long 1st Street has been completely messed up. During the holidays last year Metro shut it down, like those businesses didn’t have to make money. They even rerouted the bus service. I just don’t like the very different treatment and lack of consideration that our communities get from Metro in comparison to communities like Pasadena, where they planned and made it beautiful.

    That Highland Park going at grade through people’s front yards and them wanting to recreate that scariness in South LA via the Expo.

    When I’m on the Gold Line in Highland Park it looks like Metro just took a hatchet and plowed through there (you can clearly see where Metro took people’s yards and you can reach out and almost touch people houses) and then when I see the carefully planned platforms around South Pasadena and how I don’t remember businesses being blocked on that side of town it just makes me think this project is only for certain people.


  11. Those people in South Pas bitched up a storm. They even made MTA quiet down the train bells when it comes through Mission Station. They were out there every day with sandwich boards and banners raising poopoo at the MTA and booing the trains as they passed by.
    The difference in treatment BH may get may be due to lots of things. The fact that it’s not a city, it’s part of LA county. Sometimes it’s easier to talk to a local council person than it is to the Board of Sups. Perhaps a lack of broad voter base and perhaps the area does not have a big enough tax base (with the local businesses & local homeowners) to give it a loud enough voice that the powers that be can (or want) to hear.

  12. OK, I need some advice. My gf is making a big push for me to move to BH. I kinda want to move to the south side near vermont or north on vermont, so work is much closer. She thinks it’ll be isolating to go west (she’s in ela). I tend to think it opens up some work opportunities for me. also, i don’t like the drive or bus trip from bh over to the westside (i mean pico union, but you know what i mean)

    Now, here’s the gentrification angle. I’m basically middle class, and not latino. so i’m likely to raise rents. what should i do?


    second thing – LA has strong rent control laws. they can be used to prevent evictions, which is the main tool of gentrification warfare.

    though a lot of gentrification has happened in l.a., it’s nothing like what’s happened in other cities. this is probably due to geography combined with the rent laws.

    East LA, however, does NOT have rent control or anything. if there’s a desire to slow down gentrification, a rent control group or movement needs to start, and demand it from both the county, and these east la cityhood people.

  13. oh yeah, if there are any anti-gentrification groups, or groups to demand some social justice along with this train coming thru, could this blog link them? it would be useful to people to know they exist, when they have meetings, and so forth.

  14. @al – BH is in the city of LA. I think it’s huizar’s district. or maybe reyes’. i don’t know. here’s a link to the neighborhood council:

    east la is unincorporated, and is represented by molina.

    the biggest challenge is always competing with the influence of developer money, even if the developer happens to have a cool name like TELACU or Barrio Planners.

  15. See I don’t think you moving over here with your gf is a bad idea. Your more concious of what’s going on unlike other residents, which is a great thing. Groups like ELACC are taking the steps need to inform residents of they’re rights and to be involved in the community. La Gentrification is going to get its face kicked in if it comes anywhere near BH.

  16. Burned!! You got me el random!!

    In all honesty, any gentrifier in EastLos should be taken like a grain of salt. Because if they are ballsy enough to move there they may be conscious enough to enjoy and become a part of the barrio, and if they arent they will be chased out real soon. For comparison look at how small and insignificant (chicano culture wise) Echo parque was and how hard it has been to erase the latino community from there.

  17. Gentrification is a social/economic phenomenon and in my opinion, you can’t blame an individual for gentrification. And more importantly, you shouldn’t blame an individual’s race/ethnicity for gentrification either. Gentrification is an issue most related to class and economics not culture.
    Alienation’s fears of driving up rents are understandable but not something for him to fret about as an individual. It’s kinda like me not having kids, I know a landlord might prefer me as a tenant. Oh well! I’ve also had landlords who wouldn’t rent to me because they thought I was too “educated” and in their way of thinking I would be more likely to complain about sub-standard conditions (interestingly, I don’t). Anyways, individuals are not responsible for the myriad of variables that contribute to gentrification.

  18. For the concientious guy whose gf wants him to move to Boyle Heights: If you do move there contact the Community Organizing Department at East LA Community Corporation (ELACC). You can get involved in helping the community have a voice in the city planning decisions that often cause gentrification, aka, displacment of low-income community members of color. The ELACC number is 323-269-4214 and the website is Help and support from all sectors is much appreciated.

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