It amazes me what little research is done on Paleteros in specifically Santa Ana. More than 80% of the city is of hispanic origin. Today, as I was driving around Santa Ana off of Flower and Anahurst Street, I encountered a man known as a Paletero for a Paleta de sandia. I also had the luxury of getting his approval for a short interview. His name is Jose Cruz and here are the questions and answers per our conversation:
What is your name?: My name is Jose Cruz
Where are you from?: I am from Guerrero, Mexico
How long have you been a Paletero for?: I’ve been a Paletero for 4 years
What company do you work for?: I work for a company off main street called, “La Michoacana.”
What is the biggest obstacle you come across when at work?: Dealing with rude people who harass me at times. Manly young Hispanic men. Out of the four years working, I’ve only been assaulted once with a knife.
What is the best reward as a Paletero?: Hot sunny days like today. Whenever the weather is above 70 degrees, that means more money for me.