Research done by Humberto Rojas

This last weekend I decided to wake up early and visit a Home Depot near my house. I woke up around 6AM, got ready and walked down to see how a typical morning would be for a JORNALERO. I was nervous, but happy to find a great story from a local JORNALERO. All I had was my camera, cell phone, a note pad and pen. Once getting closer to the Home Depot I notice many of the JORNALEROS came across a Carl’s Jr with a coffee. I also notice couple of trucks that park across the Home Depot location and saw JORNALEROS just standing around their trucks. I positioned my self across the street from the Home Depot and sat a bus station bench. I probably sat there for an hour just looking how local people pick up JORNALEROS. However, the morning trucks that I saw where still located near the Carl’s Jr and I was curious to see if they were JORNALEROS also. I approach one truck that had tools in the back and sure enough I met Armando, a JORNALERO. Armando is from El Salvador, has been here for ten years and he has been a JORNALERO for six years now. He started learning all the skills a JORNALERO learns, but soon realized he needed to step it up and stand out from the rest of the JORNALEROS. He mentioned that little by little he began purchasing tools at the Costa Mesa swap-meet. When he had sufficient tools he began bringing his truck and started gaining more clients because he had tools and a truck to move around. He has been parking here at the Carl’s Jr for the last five years and has gain many regular clients that will call him once in while. He also mentioned that he only works Monday-Friday and the weekends are for his lovely family. The truck is a Chevy Yukon and said to me that during the week the truck is dedicated for work and weekends is for family. He has three little girls and one boy and his oldest girl is about to enter high school. He mentioned also that he would like them to attend college and encourage them to get the education he never had and to take advantage of the opportunities this country has to offer.

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About ocbarrios

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

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