When Guadalupe Rosales started the Instagram account “Veteranas and Rucas” it was meant to be a sort of archive for Southern California Chicano Life in the 1990s. It started off as a way to connect with people she lost contact with after she moved to New York. But after a while, the account took on a life of its own.
Veterana and Ruca
“‘Veterana’ means someone who has put in work or time in the gang culture, and ‘ruca’ is what you call your chick,” she told LA Weekly. “If you know these words, you can connect with me and the West Coast.”
And lots of people knew what she was talking about. As of now, the account has 25,000 followers. People are constantly visiting the page and posting their own pictures. Some are dedicating posts to loved ones they’ve lost and others are even finding relatives they’ve never met. Rosales herself, connected with her long lost best friend.
“I’ve had teens who are curious about their parents, who wonder how their parents met or knew their parents were from this gang or party crew, but they never experienced it,” Rosales says. “They’re learning history and at the same time trying to save and preserve it.”
The World is Taking Note
What’s shocking to Rosales is that this life is not really chronicled anywhere. There are no archives helping preserve this side of history. So she contacted UCLA’s Chicano Studies Research Center and she will now be exhibiting photos, films and flyers from this time. Because, as Rosales says, “So many of us were part of it that it’s kind of like, ‘How could it not be important?’”
Read more about Chicano life in the 90s here.
Check out more pics from @veteranas_and_rucas here.
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