Things That Matter

These Boyle Heights Teens Are Shedding Light On What Is Happening In Their Community With Their Own Newspaper

Teenagers in Boyle Heights, a neighborhood east of downtown Los Angeles, are taking media and reporting into their own hands and telling the stories that are directly impacting their community from a first-hand point of view.

The unique and very personal approach of having the neighborhood’s teenagers report these authentic stories has caught the attention of several national media organizations including The Los Angeles Times.

The Boyle Heights Beat was born because mainstream news sources were often leaving out stories about Boyle Heights.


According to the website, Boyle Heights Beat is a collaborative project born between USC Annenberg School of Communication & Journalism and La Opinión newspaper to give the predominately Latino neighborhood bilingual news about what is happening in Boyle Heights. The opportunity to report on topics such as immigration and gentrification as they see them affect their neighbors is given through Boyle Heights’ local newspaper, Boyle Heights Beat, or Pulso de Boyle Heights.

“Boyle Heights was not adequately covered by mainstream papers like the Los Angeles Times,” Michelle Levander, a co-founder and publisher of the Boyle Heights Beat, told NBC Latino. “So we thought, who knows a community better than its youth?”

With that, Levander and Pedro Rojas of La Opinión newspaper formed Boyle Heights Beat in 2010 and began recruiting Boyle Heights teens to cover issues and stories that mattered to them. According to NBC Latino, the teens do not need to have experience in their high school newspapers and are required to attended two news meetings a week as well as a journalism boot camp to teach them all the journalism basics.

Most of the reporting for the newspaper is done by teen members of the Boyle Heights community. The newspaper is always looking for new writers to continue their mission of covering Boyle Heights like nobody else does.


Teens interested in working for Boyle Heights Beat must be enrolled at one of the five Boyle Heights high school since the mission is to have the youth of the neighborhood cover the neighborhood. The opportunity to work for Boyle Heights Beat gives students a chance to learn about the field of journalism as well as their own community.

“Before I joined the Beat, I wasn’t really aware of issues in my community. I was just kind of like, I live here, whatever. But doing the Beat has really shown me a deeper appreciation for the community, for where I come from, and for where the community comes from,” Boyle Heights Beat reporter Saul Soto told NBC Latino. “It’s given me a newfound love for this place and I love it. I really love it.”


(H/T: NBC Latino)


READ: Latina Activist And DJ Drops The Cumbia Mix You Didn’t Know You Needed

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GeLATINX Is Taking The Mexican Gelatin Dessert And Giving It A Major Upgrade

Culture

GeLATINX Is Taking The Mexican Gelatin Dessert And Giving It A Major Upgrade

gelatinx_la / Instagram

We’ve all had to eat some gelatina dessert while we were at a family party. It was always fine but one woman is taking those desserts and giving us the flavors we all deserve.

In Boyle Heights, LA’s Mexican enclave, there are some incredible gelatinas being created.

Myra Vasquez is the brains and artist behind GeLATINX, a dessert company giving people the gelatina creations they didn’t know they needed. We all know the boring gelatina desserts we see at the markets with fruit suspended in the middle. That is the least likely thing you will get from GeLATINX.

Vasquez is really going for the feels with her sweet inventions.

Nostalgia is a major thing, in case people don’t know. There is something that is truly transcendental when you get to experience your youth. These desserts are the perfect union of two favorite things. The actual gelatina is one part but the flavors that Vasquez pulls from are instant nostalgia boosts.

This Duvalín creation is just beautiful.

Duvalín in gelatina form is something we all need during this crazy time. What is better than a bigger version of your favorite treat? It’s basically no different than an Oreo ice cream cake you had a friend’s birthday party. What’s the harm?

Admit it, your mouth is watering seeing these concoctions.

A little mango Chamoy goes a long way. The elevation of a true Mexican staple is everything. We can all use as much joy as possible right now. This creative way to present our childhood snacks is perfect.

Vasquez is offering pick-up orders if you are in the area and want one of these desserts.

“Anybody that knows me, knows I like to cook. I’ve always created pastries, cupcakes, flans and things like that for my kids’ birthday parties and family gatherings but I’d never really thought to put it out there,” Vasquez told LAist.

That’s how you turn your passion into a moneymaking side hustle. These look like a lot of fun.

READ: From Churros To Buñuelos And Atole— 12 Latino Comfort Desserts To Get You Through This Weird Quarantine Season

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Netflix’s ‘Gentefied’ Renewed For Season 2, Fans Overjoyed

Entertainment

Netflix’s ‘Gentefied’ Renewed For Season 2, Fans Overjoyed

gentefied / Instagram

Any and all news is welcomed right now and Netflix came through this week. “Gentefied” is coming back for a second season and this is absolutely not a drill. Soon we will be back in Boyle Heights with Ana, Chris, Erik, and the rest of the cast we have come to love so much.

Netflix has confirmed “Gentefied” for a second season.

The show is a fan favorite for Netflix with praise and love pouring in for the groundbreaking show. “Gentefied” is set in Boyle Heights and it is all about the fight against gentrification. The show premiered this year to big fanfare and excitement from Latino Netflix users. The show, created by Marvin Lemus and Linda Yvette Chávez, was picked up for an eight-episode run of the 30-minute show.

The show is one of the most relevant portrayals of the Latino experience in the 21st century.

The show highlights the plight of gentrification on communities across the U.S. Boyle Heights in Los Angeles has been the center of growing tension as the neighborhood slowly gentrifies. Rising rents have forced some residents and businesses to close and leave because of the changing demographic in the neighborhood.

Hearts are full as everyone celebrates the news of a whole new season.

The show originally premiered at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival as a digital series. Lemus and Chávez debuted the show and it was an instant hit with festival-goers. After three years of waiting, the show was released by Netflix and became a national hit. The show has shone a light on the cost of gentrification for more Americans than knew about it before the show aired.

Low key, it has made for perfect binge-watching during this quarantine.

There isn’t a whole lot any of us can do at the moment. Most of us are at home because of self-isolation and social distancing guidelines designed to save lives during the pandemic. Might as well us some of your time to watch and support and very important moment in our community. This kind of representation is something that Latinos have been asking for.

While excited, some fans want more, like a cross-over with Starz’s “Vida.”

Now, just to be clear, we are not concerned with what it takes to make this happen. Netflix and Starz can come up with the actual plan. We are just going to be here waiting to be heard so we can all have the kind of cross-over the world deserves. Just imagine a chance for those two shows to collide in Latino excellence.

Now we wait for an air date.

We are patient. We will be here when you are ready. All you have to do is let us know when to tune in and you know we are coming through.

READ: I Watched ‘Gentefied’ On Netflix And These Are My Brutally Honest Thoughts

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