Born and Raised in East Los

Hi, my name is Shuandy Herrera and I am a proud native from East Los Angeles.

East Los Angeles is about a 10 minute drive south of Downtown, LA. The city has a population of 119,666 and its population is predominately hispanic: 97 percent to be exact. Residents from the city like to call it, “a home away from home.” East LA is a small city. It’s so small that everybody feels like they know everyone. However, this doesn’t include its neighboring city, Boyle Heights. A small street called Indiana Ave is the fine line that separates the two rival cities. Residents use the well known meat market, Los Cinco Puntos, to distinguish between the two cities.

I went to Malabar Street Elementary, a small elementary right on the border of the two cities. Those same classmates joined me as I attended Belvedere Middle School, where I was part of the gifted magnet program. Although I lived in a neighborhood full of latinos, the magnet program was some what diverse. I had a few African American, White and Asian classmates in school. Together we formed unity something that was embedded in us living in a Latino community.

Before I came to CSUN, I went to Garfield High School, home of the Bulldogs.

East Los High, the highly addictive teen soap on Hulu was inspired by the city and the high school. In the 2008, it was the only high school in East Los Angeles. Now there about three high schools in the neighborhood. A lot has changed within the years but something that will never change are the memories that I took with me. Within my four years attending the school, I was part of the East LA walkout in 2006, along with five other high schools around the community.

That same year, HBO aired the Walkout film; based on the East LA student protest in 1968. Chicano Pride! Stand as one was the message behind the film.

Many students were undocumented at Garfield High School, and came from low income families. Middle class and high classs families were unheard of in the city. Not alot of students graduated and moved on to college. Only 47 percent out of 642 seniors graduated with a high school dipolma.