Advocates Seek to Carve Out Official Latin American Areas in L.A.

Esmeralda Bermudez, Los Angeles Times, April 2, 2014

Dassler Jimenez stood on a busy stretch of Western Avenue in East Hollywood, ready to plant a flag and call it “Little Venezuela.”

Never mind that none of his countrymen live or own businesses in the neighborhood–or the fact that Jimenez has no money to finance the effort and little clue how to make it happen.

“If the Armenians and the Koreans did it,” Jimenez said, “why can’t we?”

Jimenez and other Latino leaders have teamed up to promote a common goal: carving out islands for their communities in Los Angeles’ jumbled landscape–Peru Village, Little Venezuela, Paseo Colombia, Guatemalan Mayan Village, Oaxacan Corridor.

Together, they want to emulate what Asians did with Thai Town, Little Tokyo, Historic Filipinotown and Little Bangladesh. Together, they’re also hoping to keep Koreatown expansion at bay.

The Latino Economic Empowerment Round Table gathers monthly to strategize about boundaries, city requirements and ways to win favor with neighborhood councils, consulates and elected officials.

“This is us uniting and saying, ‘Hey, we contribute. We belong,’ ” said Milagros Lizarraga, leader of the Peru Village effort. “It’s time we are all recognized.”


Before he can set his plan in motion, however, Jimenez has to persuade some Venezuelans to move into the area.

“They believe and they don’t believe,” Jimenez said. “They can picture it, but then it seems so far away.”

The Venezuelan community, among the newest in Los Angeles, has slowly grown over the last five years because of political unrest back home. They are spread countywide and number about 5,000.

By Jimenez’s count, 14 live near his target area.

A few months ago, he decided to seek support from the Latino roundtable.

Guiding the group is a contingent from El Salvador, which boasts nearly half a million people in Los Angeles–the second-largest Latino population after Mexicans.

Oscar Dominguez, a businessman and community leader, fought for nearly five years at the city and state levels before winning approval to call a 12-block stretch of Vermont Avenue just north of USC the El Salvador Corridor.

Today, banners in El Salvador’s blue and white flag colors hang from light posts. They feature the national bird and flower. Salvadoran businesses line the street, and a nearby elementary school bears the name of a Salvadoran hero.

Before they were able to lay claim to the area last year, Dominguez said, Koreatown proponents had submitted their own plans for it.

“We had to speak up and say, ‘This is already taken,'” he said. “We’re not just laborers. We have businesses, we have restaurants, we have a vision for this place.'”


Until 2006, Los Angeles had no formal process for designating neighborhoods. Now, applicants must submit 500 signatures, along with a solid pitch for why the designation is merited.


Los Angeles is considering a designation for Peru Village, the first application submitted by a member of the Latino roundtable. If approved, a piece of Hollywood–a high-traffic stretch of Vine Street from De Longpre Avenue south to Melrose Avenue–would officially become Peru Village.

About 40,000 people with ties to Peru live in Los Angeles County. {snip}

To the southeast, in Westlake, Guatemalans too have a history that goes back decades. But their plan to launch the Guatemalan Mayan Village has more to do with saving their neighborhood from the future.

Community leader Yahir Gaitan Ortiz said he hopes culturally cordoning off the area will drive away the gentrification threatening to displace Guatemalans.

He wants West 6th Street, from South Alvarado Street to South Lucas Avenue, to become a mini Guatemala. Businesses will be painted in vibrant colonial colors and a statue of Tecun Uman, the great Mayan ruler, will guard the entrances of the corridor.

“We want people to feel proud,” Gaitan Ortiz said. “We want the city to see us and help us clean up, not push out the families that live here.”

Among the most organized members of the roundtable are those who represent Colombia.

They began searching for a place for Paseo Colombia a year ago, after the consul general in L.A. asked them to create a home base for Colombians in the city.

“But there is no place we can say, ‘This is Colombia,’ ” said community leader Augusto Rojas. “So we had to create an area out of nothing.”

They chose a spot just west of downtown’s financial district after doing a study to find an area that met their wish list: potential for economic growth, off the beaten path, centrally located and needing investment.

The idea is to set aside two blocks and build a Spanish Colonial-style corridor, lined with Colombian restaurants and shops. At the center, they hope to put the Colombian Consulate.


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  • MekongDelta69

    I was going to ‘carve out’ a White Area, but I realized that had already been done…

    I think they called it America until 1965. Then it disappeared. If you see it, let me know.

    • Paleoconn

      I like the ‘fear of Koreatown expanding’ bit. yeah, cause there is such a huge influx of Koreans into this country. I enjoyed how the Koreans went to their shop rooftops with AR-15s during the LA riots. None of the wilding thugs ventured anywhere near anything named Kim Variety or Park grocery.

      I’d like to see all these hispanic groups trying to unite, they all dislike each other.

  • Puggg

    The reconquest begins, pretty much officially.

    • IstvanIN

      They are planting their flags left and right.

    • DudeWheresMyCountry?

      Reconquest? Stop using that term framed by our enemies. Browns from Mexico never conquered The Southwest. The Spaniards did. Lefties and Mexicans here in California are constantly trying to blur the lines between Spain and Mexico. Mexicans have no legitimate historical claim to these lands. Don’t help them by using their disingenuous terms like reconquest.

  • Luca

    Assimilation was never their goal to begin with.

    They say they want to be recognized, well, you can’t help but recognize them. So many places in LA look exactly like a 3rd world banana republic.

    • IstvanIN

      Which is what they will recreate.

      • Bobbala

        That’s not true … in the movies and on TV.

  • John R

    So, let me get this: The Venezuelans want their own community because the Koreans, Japanese, and Filipinos already have theirs, and they are expanding too much? But wait: I thought that all of our interracial and interethnic problems were caused by racist, conservative, Christian, Republican voting White people? I thought that all of the other minority “persons of color” were just going to join hands and celebrate diversity? No Kumbaya between these people? Gosh, I feel so disillusioned…

    • JackKrak

      Right, and weren’t they all coming here because they wanted to be Americans? Because they shared our values and would surely assimilate and make our wonderful tapestry of diversity even more wonderfuller?

      And now they’re telling me that they’d rather carve out their own little piece of the map and stay they way they were but have access to everything YT built while their grandparents were still living in trees and barking at the moon????


  • One thing about L.A. is you can always tell where there’s a certain ethnic group located. Blacks and hispanics usually have trash and potholes.

  • Bossman

    It is nice to see that Latinos want to keep their identity distinct from East Asians.

    • Puggg

      But can’t Latinos and East Asians have their identities in their own countries?

      • Bartek

        You are not supposed to bring up the obvious.
        2+2 = 5

    • Greg Thomas

      However, Whites do not have the option of “keeping our identity distinct” from every third world mongrel to wash up on our shores our violate our border. Funny how that works.

  • Hmmm

    Is it still Little Venezuela when Venezuelans move in but the buildings are still owned by the Koreans?

    • TXCriollo

      Ha thats funny the point of the old ethnic neighborhood was the people owned shops and buildings this is just ethnic bs pride

  • CircleTheWagons

    We should be encouraging Balkanization not cursing it. We will need the precedent when its our turn.

    • Peter Connor

      Divide and conquer.

      • Bartek

        But what would be conquered is the globalist cabal that runs the West.
        I’m all for European Village neighborhoods.

        • Peter Connor

          Yes indeed.

    • Bobbala

      Only white people play by one set of rules … There is no “our turn”.

  • The different Hispanic groups hate each other. Soon, Little Venezuela will be at war with Little Peru, and so on. The multicultural experiment will once again be measured as failure as the streets run with blood.

    I’m just happy that it’s happening in the backyard of Cher, Sarah Silverman, Sean Penn, and the Hollywood moguls. Let some of the blood that runs be theirs, as they are caught in the crossfire.

    • Alexandra1973

      In the meantime wall off California.

      • IstvanIN

        Cut off the water from the Colorado River.

        • Bartek

          HAARP the fault (;

        • DudeWheresMyCountry?

          We have the California Aqueduct that brings most of our water to Southern California from the Owens Valley in Central California.

      • blight14

        I THOUGHT Kim Jong Ding Dong promised to newk Cali…….what’s the friggin hold up?

      • Zaporizhian Sich

        Then burn it to the ground with all of them penned up in it.

  • Greg Thomas

    And I thought diversity was supposed to be “our greatest strength!” We all know this is a lie, nothing more than a euphemism to cover up the ugly reality; the truth is that diversity divides communities, just as it divides a nation. It is an insidious ploy, meant to destroy this nation, as this little story proves yet again. Another truth that cannot be ignored is that members of diversity hate Whites and they hate other members of diversity.

  • billyjoerob

    The right is wrong about this. We should encourage this sort of ethnic pride, the only way to properly assimilate is as a proud member of the group you belong to. The alternative is a festering resentment of every white person who asks ‘where are you from?’

    • Bartek

      I don’t want them to assimilate.
      Whites also need to throw off the chains of assimilation and be Europeans again.
      Melting pot America died with the Heart Celler law of 1963.
      Whites need to demand exclusive territory and neighborhoods too.
      Identifying with a temporary multicultural ideologically based nation State such as the USA is ethnic/racial suicide and madness.
      No mongrel, polyglot nation based on ideology has survived the test of time.
      Only nations that are a natural extension of the ethnic group enjoy lasting stability.
      The failed experiment known as the USA won’t be any different.

  • Tom_in_Miami

    “We want the city to see us and help us clean up…” says this guy, but how are WE supposed to clean THEM up? Can’t they clean up themselves?

  • Karl Hungus

    I live near the stretch of Vine they want to call Peru Village. There is a Peruvian restaurant called Marios in a strip mall. Other than that I see no evidence whatsoever of this being a Peruvian area. Just non descript whatever Los Angeles.

    • Kenner

      You didn’t see the llamas tied to the bike racks?

  • DudeWheresMyCountry?

    Elysium, meet Camp of the Saints.

  • Bobbala

    The 3rd world population invasion of the US and the 3rd world government installed in the US — pure coincidence.

  • ViktorNN

    Los Angeles doesn’t need official designations in order to identify what part of town you’re in.

    All you have to do is look out the window as you’re driving along. It goes something like this:

    “Hispanic craphole, hispanic craphole, asian craphole, black craphole, hispanic craphole, nice white hipster enclave, nice white homoseual enclave, hispanic craphole” and so on and so forth.

    It’s pretty simple. There really aren’t any distinguishing visual cultural characteristics of these ethnic neighborhoods other than their overall ugliness, especially compared to white parts of the city.

  • blight14

    This is clearly a formal declaration of war……………or a formal declaration of surrender…….

  • r j p

    They leave Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Guatemala, and Mexico to come here.
    And yet they wish to recreate the experience (while receiving benefits).

  • shmo123

    Although not mentioned specifically in this article, I just don’t get why we still allow seemingly unfettered immigration of Koreans into this country. They’re not at war, not being oppressed by their government, and South Korea is an economic success story consistently held up as an example to the rest of Asia. Why then are they coming here and why do we allow it?