Might look familiar in a barrio

Hello everyone! My name is Giselle Beltran and I’m a senior at CSU, Fullerton.  I come from a family of six, being the middle child out of all my 3 sisters.  I guess I can say growing up without a brother was fun since all I ever hear through my friends is that brothers were a pain in the… (pues ya saves que) I was born in the county seat of Orange County and for those of you who don’t know by now; it’s the city of Santa Ana.  My father was also born in Orange County in the city of Fountain Valley, CA. My mama was born in Michoacán BUT was raised in the USA.  As a nine year old, her familia moved to Huntington Beach, CA and according to her, she felt out of place.  Going to school with so many gringos made her feel out of place; especially because she didn’t know the language.  Finally, her familia moved to Santa Ana where she felt a little more accepted.  Anyways, know that I’ve talked a little about myself and where I come from, I will now briefly talk about my topic and why I chose it.

I love ice cream, who doesn’t? Have you ever wondered why people walk around in the loco summer heat sweating looking like zombies all just to make a couple bucks here and there selling ice cream? I’m a people person and I was always curious as to the reasons why they’re doing it.  I’m interested to know about where they come from, what got them into doing it, when’s their high peak/ low peak month’s when selling, and about their familia’s.  Because I ask myself these questions, I decided I was going to do my projecto on paleteros!

Interviews and maybe even taking videos with their permission is how I’m going to document my research on paleteros in Santa Ana so stay tuned for weekly updates.


About ocbarrios

Professor for Cal State Fullerton's Barrio Studies class for Fall 2011 semester

4 responses »

  1. kansaskate says:

    What a great topic! And timely, too.

    This summer has been the Summer of Paletas. Popsicle makers and popsicle molds sold like crazy in all types of retailers, from Wal-Mart to Williams-Sonoma. And just in time to help us make the most of us our new gadgets, a book of paleta recipes in English — _Paletas: Authentic Recipes for Mexican Ice Pops, Shaved Ice & Aguas Frescas_ (by Fany Gerson) — was published this year. [Both the recipes and the photos are mouth-watering, btw.] As paletas go mainstream across the US, it’s important to document their roots.

    Knowing something about los paleteros in Mexico could help provide some historical and cultural context to the story of los paleteros in Santa Ana. For that, you might try to find Martín González de la Vara’s book _La Michoacana: Historia de los paleteros de Tocumbo_.

    Also, this book might be helpful: _The Mexicans: A Personal Portrait of a People_. The author, Patrick Oster, profiles 20 individuals, each of whom represents a group of people in society, an archetype of sorts: la muchacha, el tragafuego, el fayuquero, el pepenador, etc. He doesn’t include a paletero, but his profiles are excellent examples of how one person’s story can be used to tell the story of many, and how those stories can help us understand a culture.

    I hope you’ll continue to blog as your research progresses, as I look forward to learning about los paleteros and their role in los barrios de La Naranja.

    • ocbarrios says:

      Thank you so much Kansaskate! Your suggestions are amazing and I will definitely take them into account when furthering my research on this topic. I’m glad you have interest in this topic as much as I do and I hope the interview I did today with one of the Paleteros in Santa Ana has some information that might interest you.

      If you would like to add a question for another Paletero in the future, don’t hesitate to tell me what it is that you would like to know.

  2. E Covarrubias says:

    Interesting topic! Looking forward to reading more about it!

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