By: Candice Aman

Photo by: Savore

Spirits were high as a surge of hope and anticipation pulsed through the air when guests began arriving at Mercado La Paloma, a bustling marketplace and economic development project in South L.A. that houses various vendors, services, and non-profits, for its 10th anniversary fundraising event on Friday.

Called “Taste of Mercado La Paloma,” the event celebrated the Mercado’s growth and impact upon the surrounding community by showcasing the best of what it has to offer: food, art, culture, and most importantly, the people that has helped to shape the project during the last decade.

“I don’t think that there’s been a plan for [the Mercado] to take 10 years to get to this point,” Bruce Saito, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Conservation Corps and the night’s Master of Ceremonies said. “It’s been a challenge all those years but this place has made an incredible impact on the community.”

As a division of the Esperanza Community Housing Corporation (ECHC), an organization that strives to achieve long-term community development, Mercado La Paloma continues to be invaluable resource for the surrounding neighborhood by providing residents the opportunities for jobs, education, and healthcare all under one roof.

Julie Gutman, Executive Director of Program for Torture Victims (PTV), a non-profit dedicated to helping torture survivors from all over the world rebuild their lives, recounted stories of doing business from unstable work environments before finally coming into the Mercado in 2001.

Full article:

 Join us for our 2nd Annual Dia de los Muertos celebration to honor, remember and celebrate the lives of those who have passed on and to share in the cultural roots of this indigenous holiday. We will have performers from singers, musicians, theatre to choreography. We will include a community altar for people who would like to participate with their offerings: photos, personal items, poetry, etc……. Lastly, we will have live art demonstrations to include face painting, leather work, traditional weaving and ceramics.

Mercado La Paloma 3655 S. Grand Ave. Los Angeles CA, 90007. Sunday October 30, 2011 from 11am – 8pm. Event is FREE and open to the general public!

So come out and celebrate Dia de los Muertos with us!

Come support the children of Villa Esperanza that will be competing in this amazing international martial arts event!!!

For more information, please email

Join us this weekend for an art exhibit entitled Break Free, a collective art exhibit that will take you on an artistic journey exploring the prison industrial complex, school-to-prison pipeline and other forms of slavery in this country. The following organizations/artists have been influential in making this exhibit possible:


  • The Center for the Study of Political Graphics
  • Youth Justice Coalition
  • The Community Rights Campaign

 May 6th from 7:00 p.m – 9:00 p.m. at Mercado La Paloma 3655 S. Grand Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90007.

Contact Damon Turner for information: 323.245.3199



Mother’s Day Celebration

Join us at Mercado La Paloma for Mother’s Day Celebration and enjoy the critically acclaimed cuisine,  amazing prizes, and live music by Ferfran Duo, Johanna Chase, and Trio Loteria.  May 8th from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at Mercado La Paloma, 3655 S. Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90007.



Mercado La Paloma brings their second art exhibit of the year.  From the camera lens of Ashley Blakeney comes very bold and captivating images shot from around the community we all take pride in, while Tiffany Latrice uses her paint brush to tell the story of those images on hand built wooden canvasses…some reaching taller than some of us! Both of these women are students at USC getting their first art show debut.

The night will showcase, not only art from these women, but also live performances from some of their favorite artists :

  • Fisseha Moges
  • Serena Powery
  • Mouse Kills Tiger
  • Wanda Payne and the Forgetmenots
  • REAL8

There will also be food samples/specials from a variety of restaurants housed at the Mercado as well as give aways to the first 20 people that come for the night from Gloria’s Alterations.

The exhibit Runs March 25th-April 15th, from: 7:00 pm – 10:00 pm at Mercado La Paloma, 3655 S. Grand Ave. Los Angeles CA, 90007.  For More Information Call Damon @ 323.245.3199

Day 2 : The Second Encounter Facebook page to RSVP :

Also see event on Fusicology LA :


Health as a Human Right in South Los Angeles.

The Mercado La Paloma ended the year 2010 with a Posadatradition mainly celebrated in Mexico and Guatemala.  The Mercado shined with colorful lights, a christmas tree, folklorico dancers from Oaxaca, exquisite food from vendors of Mercado La Paloma, the Urban Art Crew, arts and crafts workshops, ginger bread decorations, and live music.

Happy New Year to All of our Supporters!

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The 2nd Annual Health and Human Rights Conference took place on December 10, 2010 at the Convention Center.

Dr. Violeta Menjivar was one of the speakers visiting directly from El Salvador. The conference ended with a rally at the Orthopaedic Hospital.

Esperanza Community Housing Corporation will be hosting a film screening of at Mercado La Paloma, a project of Esperanza.  UNNATURAL CAUSES: Is Inequality Making Us Sick?  is a documentary of series exploring America’s racial and socioeconomic inequities in health.  First film will take place today, August 24th titled Place Matters.  The screening will be followed by a discussion lead by two Los Angeles Public Health facilitators:  Yesenia Eras, RN, BSN, Public Health Nurse and Nicole D. Vick, MPH, CHES, Health Educator.

The film screening will take place at:

Dates: August 24th & 31st; Sept. 7th. Mercado La Paloma 3655 S. Grand Avenue. Los Angeles, CA 90007.  Time: 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Hope you can join us!


Esperanza celebrated its 14th Health Promotes Graduation “Class 2010”.  The ceremony took place at Magnolia Place where 22 community residents walked across the hall to receive their diplomas and to take the next step in becoming future leaders of their community.

The ceremony began with entrance of the class of 2010 and a warm welcoming by Nancy Halpern Ibrahim, Executive Director of Esperanza and founder of the “Promotora Training”.  Lupe Gonzalez, Director of the Health  Program, and Community Health Promoter, the Honorable Councilwomen Jan Perry, and Norma Benitez, Associate Director of the Health Programs honored and congratulated the class for this great achievement.

Class speakers also motivated the moment with personal stories and their experiences while taking the Promoter Training.  Brenda Chour,Irma Avila, Juan Martinez, and guest speaker Silvia Esqueda was also part of the emotive ceremony.

“Promoter at Heart” award was also presented by Esperanza Community Health Promoters in recognition to those who have demonstrated, leadership, motivation, generosity, and respect to our community. The “Promotores de Corazon” this year where the following:

An individual who has demonstrated great leadership within the Promotores circle.  His passion to enhance the Promotores awareness in the social and environmental justice area make him unique.  His mission is to help people growth, both personally and professionally, and create opportunities where Promotores de Salud can serve the community in diverse areas around health and social justice issues. Dynamic, sociable, humble, helpful and dedicated are words that describe Marlon Portillo.

One of our strongest women in the promotora field, mentor to the health promoters for the past twelve generations, and a great model for many women in the field.  Because of her great leadership, encouragement, and motivation many women have taken the training and have graduated as health promoters.  Direct, kind, and compassionate are words that describe Maria Cervantes.

She is the definition of genuine generosity, shares a lot with the little that she has, believes that everyone should be treated equally.  As a health promoter she identifies witht he pain of others, such as illness of a child or the loss of employment.  She has set the model of how to help others by finding resources and overcoming obstacles when a family is in need.  Charismatic, dedicated, humble and warm hearted are the words that describe Irma Chavez.

Hard working individual always serving the community with honesty and respect, and always making sure that families get what they need and deserve. As a health promoter, she encourages families to adopt healthier lifestyles through nutrition, and has organized people to take part of special events and community events.  Respectful, hardworking, passionate, and compassionate are the words that describe Georgina Padilla.

Special thanks to:  Marisla Foundation, Mizuho, Graduation Committee, SAJE, Magnolia Place Family Center, Antonia Esparza, Antonio Rubio, Cindy Huerta, Patricia Rizo, and to everyone who donated to make this graduation possible.

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