Immigrant street vendors are among the most cherished people in our communities. They bring two things we can’t do without: food and culture.[Hey, pochos: This design is available on t-shirts, too! Women’s in baby blue and men’s in black on sale now. Wear this shirt with Elote Pride!]
Jonathan Omar Ramirez (Facebook profile pic, right) had been a teenage paletero, he said. We asked him for his story:
POCHO: So what led you to become a paletero?
Well my friends from high school told me about it. Many did it before and they said there was a lot of cash involved and within a couple of hours of work. Also I was very poor.
POCHO: Was this right after high school?
No [it was] while I was in high school. Still I got money to go to the movies and for food or whatever I wanted to buy
POCHO: Wow, cool! So were you allowed to eat your own ice cream? Did you just have to pay it back?
In Los Angeles, an immigrant single mom tries to teach her son to do the right thing, but talk is cheap when the rent is due tomorrow and your only income is as an unlicensed street vendor. What would you do when it all came down to The Second Choice?
Short film by Alberto Belli. Spanglish with English subtitles.