People gather around on the newly constructed 6th Street Bridge for a cruise. (July 10,2022). Part of photo essay by Hailey Guerrero, part of Summer 2022 Boyle Heights Beat photo workshop.

Photo Essay by Hailey Guerrero

Moving around from neighborhood to neighborhood has never been easy. Change is never easy, it may be a great way to grow, but it comes with its difficulties. My name is Hailey Guerrero and I’m 17. I’ve moved apartments six times in the past seven years. 

I moved out of Echo Park in early 2018, just a little bit after I started my eighth grade year. When I was little, my mom and I would walk around Echo Park running errands. From going to Echo Park Fashion so she could pick out a new outfit, to Combo A to get some bomb Chinese food and some fortune cookies. As I got older; stores turned into cafés, rent was skyrocketing, and my childhood friends slowly moved away. Then it was my turn. Rent got too high and we were evicted. 

 Transitioning from one side of a bridge to another was hard. I had all my friends in Echo Park, I was well adjusted, had hangout spots, and all my favorite places to go were there. Echo Park was my safe space. 

When I first moved to Boyle Heights in the beginning of 2018, a few months after my 8th grade year started it was difficult.  I knew a bit of Boyle Heights before I moved, my dad’s side of the family lived all around. Yet, I felt depressed and lost because I didn’t feel at home, I was displaced.

Slowly into my freshman year, I started finding my place here. I got into going to cruises, and met people who are so connected with their cultures. My dad would take me to different views from the train tracks, to El Mercadito, as well as any free events down in Mariachi Plaza. 

The following photos are a collection of memories over the last five weeks that have helped me acknowledge my past and move forward with my future. 

People gather around on the newly constructed 6th Street Bridge for a cruise. (July 10,2022).

Street Vendor selling Mexican flags and other merchandise on 6th Street Bridge (July 10, 2022)

Owner of Combo A restaurant in Echo Park.

Echo Park Fashion on Sunset and Echo Park Av.

Cars driving down 6th Street Bridge surrounded by people enjoying both the cars and the view of the skyline.

People enjoying Echo Park lake on swan boats and sitting during the golden hour.

Mural on Sunset and Echo Park Av.

PuppetMaster213 with El Triste and La Smiley on 6th Street bridge opening.

Sign of Echo Park before walking in.

Three men with vintage clothing on the 6th Street Bridge.

Cars officially crossing down the 6th Street Bridge.

See other Photo Essays:

Changed by faith by Terra Alvarez

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Boyle Heights Beat

Boyle Heights Beat is a bilingual community newspaper produced by its youth "por y para la comunidad". The newspaper and its sister website serve an immigrant neighborhood in East Los Angeles of just under...

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