Graciela Garcia prepared pupusas for the opening of Mercado del Pueblo in Boyle Heights./ Photo by Aurelia Ventura / La Opinión
Street vendors in the area of Los Angeles have struggled to deliver your goods, but community organizations in the city, along with political figures have joined together to give them a place to sell their products. One such place is the Mercado del Pueblo in Boyle Heights.
The Village Market opened Saturday in the parking lot of Hollenbeck Middle School, in a ceremony presided by 14th District Councilman Jose Huizar and organized by East LA Community Corporation (ELACC).
“It is important to create jobs for people who need it,” said Maria Cabildo, president of ELACC. “We need to create sources of economic development, giving vendors a decent place to work.”
Councilman Huizar for his part, stressed the importance of it and hope that this type of facility can be extended to the entire Los Angeles area, to give vendors a place to work quietly.
“I feel that this is going to be a success,” said Huizar. “This is a pilot program for us but it is an example how you can do in other parts of the city. This tells us that when we cooperate and work together, we can have a good solution.”
Street vendors offered food they used to sell on the streets, such as tamales, enchiladas, fresh water and churros. Although the idea of the market is to bring together people who sell on the street, vendors from other areas also took the opportunity to bring their merchandise, especially clothing, toys and agricultural products.
“This is a great experience. I like the atmosphere because the coordinator works to help us,” said Jose Torres from West Los Angeles who has never been street vendor but has sold his goods at Mariachi Plaza on Fridays and Sundays and decided to try his luck at the new mercado.
People of the area and further afield came to the market to enjoy the food and purchase an item. Others came attracted by curiosity and by the proximity of their homes.
“I think it’s a good start. The food is rich and we know some of the vendors,” said Vicky Molina from El Sereno who visited the market with her mother and daughters. “Hopefully this will grow.”
El Mercado Del Pueblo
Open Saturdays from 5-10 p.m.
Hollenbeck Middle School (corner of 6th and Matthews streets in Boyle Heights)