Mapping Community: Eduardo Gonzalez

The first layer of Eddies' neighborhood map.

WELA YMCA Youth Institute, is part of the Building Healthy Communities (BHC) initiative funded by The California Endowment.Youth are exploring and investigating how the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) can empower and improve their local school communities.
Creating personal maps is one of the first activities we do in Youth Voices. We asked the students at WELA YMCA Youth Institute to identify the places they spend time with friends, or places that have meaning to them as well as other key locations, people, and things. This begins the process of thinking more critically about their neighborhood along with initiating a creative freedom to express ideas that are true to their experiences. The maps provide an opportunity to put it down on paper and reflect on personal memories that start to paint a clearer picture of their community and what they would like to see it become.

I thought drawing my own map was really fun, I enjoyed it a lot. I started drawing my map on Whittier and Atlantic because there are many potholes and it is a very active and dangerous intersection.

Name a place, corner or location in your neighborhood that you want to see changed (and why)
I would like to see Atlantic and Whittier Blvd. changed because it is very dangerous and there are many potholes all over the road.

Where is a place with great colors (what are they?)
A place with great colors in my community would have to be Salazar Park. There is a mural there that has many colors and it also has a lot of meaning with the community.

Name a place that has a deep personal meaning to you (and why.)
A place with deep personal meaning for me would have to be Belvedere Park because I would spend most of my time there as a kid with my family.

A place at school you like to spend time at (and why?)
I like to spend time in wood shop class because I can use my hands to make art that will express my feelings.

Name a place that has "history?"
I would have to say that Garfield High School has a lot of history because in 1968 the walkouts happened at Garfield and surrounding schools.

Where is a great place to hang out (why, with whom?)
A great place to hang out at would have to be the park with my friends because you can just hang out or play football.

Name a place where people come together to participate in a shared activity.
A place people come together would have to be the East L.A. Civic Center, on Saturdays they have a Farmers Market where the community can come and sell their products.

Who is a person that defines your neighborhood for you (and why?)
Jaime Escalante defines my community because he was a big influence in our community. He taught the students at Garfield High School that nothing is impossible.

Name a place or person that you are afraid to meet, cross paths with, relate to (and why.)
I wouldn't want to be on the streets of East L.A. at night, especially the streets that are not as busy as the main streets.

Where is a great place to eat in your neighborhood?
A great place to eat in my neighborhood would have to be Los Molcajetes in East L.A. It's on Atlantic and 3rd street. They sell Salvadorian food and it is really good.

The Second layer of Eddies' neighborhood map.

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