UCI News

L.A. Fruteros’ colorful umbrellas are powerful symbols against development and COVID

L.A. Taco, April 12, 2022

April 12, 2022

L.A. Fruteros’ colorful umbrellas are powerful symbols against development and COVID

It’s been a while since I’ve seen the guy at the edge of the Target parking lot who always had the sweetest papaya, and, come to think of it, I rarely spy the lady by the gas station on El Segundo Boulevard who stacked the fruit extra high. To find out if my hunch is right, I contact Rocío Rosales, associate professor of sociology at UC Irvine and the author of Fruteros:  Street Vending, Illegality, and Ethnic Community in Los Angeles, a fascinating study that highlights the paisanaje—many fruteros share common hometowns and send money back to their families—and the evolving challenges of selling fruit in a public space.