This was the second project I organized at WHP as part of the Virtual Redevelopment project. The Sanchez family moved to Watts in 1993. As immigrants, Carlos Sanchez and Juana Breseña met in the United States, married, and moved to the area where they had three children. The family recalled Watts in the 90s as a difficult place to live but they persevered. When asked why they stayed, Carlos replied, “community.” For the Sanchez clan, community is more than living side-by-side with neighbors; community is about a collective effort towards a common good; community is a state-of-mind and that definition extends to co-workers, friends, family as well as neighbors. I worked with the Sanchez family to develop a plan to rehabilitate the exterior of their home. In this case, the family wanted designs that reflected their cultural heritage – they wanted a fence inspired by ‘papel picado’ (chiseled paper streamers found throughout Mexico and parts of the U.S.). Artist Ana Rodriguez was a perfect fit for this project. A first generation Mexican American, Ana grew up in Maywood, CA.
Issues for the Sanchez: underutilized space, reduce water consumption, reduce time management of front lawn maintenance, introduction of an expressive element or cultural symbol into the designs, new front fence
Andrew Watkins and Miguel Rivera
A huge thanks to Sierra Service Project for providing volunteers and supplies!