People of Northeast Los Angeles: Dora Moctezuma

My name is Dora Moctezuma. I have been here for twenty something years. I am a nurse, a C.N.A., and I take care of the elderly. I really care about the elderly and children, but I work mostly with old people. I really believe the elderly have a need for help because they are often defenseless.

Even though I have years of experience, I still have cases that bring me to tears. I feel happy to be able to help by contributing my little bits of knowledge. Unfortunately, in these areas people are low income.

Some people do have help, but some don't. Unfortunately some families neglect their parents. Families have to go to work and bring in people to help their parents, but sometimes they are not well trained. I see these things and I say, "I wish I could be everywhere."

Unfortunately there is violence. I really believe that it's got to do with the government up there. Unfortunately, from what I have observed, they take care of the better areas and it seems to be related to money.

I take care of Jewish people over there in Malibu, and you don't see these things in places like Beverly Hills. There are no gangs and no violence in the streets.

Over here you see it all. Personally, I believe that we have to help ourselves and better ourselves by trying to do right. It is not to get out of here. I love my Latino community. It is just about doing better to progress.

I think it is a little worse over there in those areas called 'the avenues.' My daughter lives there and when I went to visit her there were a bunch of flowers there because a young kid was gunned down. We said, "Oh my god, there is no safety! How could you be safe?" Even when you are in your house you can't leave your windows open because people break into the houses. Terrible, terrible!

The above interview is transcribed and edited from the following interview:

About People of
Northeast Los Angeles
These are stories from the everyday people that make-up Northeast Los Angeles, particularly the neighborhoods of Atwater Village, Cypress Park, Glassell Park, Lincoln Heights, and Elysian Valley. See some of our featured portraits below, explore by neighborhood, or see all the stories.

About the Author

For the past twenty years, Chilean born Ricardo Palavecino has been developing his skills as a cinematographer working on documentaries, feature films, television shows, and commercials.
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