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Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

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Downtown Los Angeles market brings community together

El+Mercadito+has+been+standing+is+Los+Angeles+for+25+years+and+heres+a+shot+of+one+of+the+buildings+in+Downtown+Los+Angeles.
Alfredo Menjivar
El Mercadito has been standing is Los Angeles for 25 years and here’s a shot of one of the buildings in Downtown Los Angeles.

El Mercadito Salvadoreño is a big Salvadoran market located in the heart of Los Angeles.

It is not only just a store, it is a full-on flea market loaded with so many street vendors selling several different things to see and eat.

Each street vendor sells relatively the same things such as medicine, snacks, candies, clams, bread and exotic fruit from El Salvador.

The snacks and candies are also imported from El Salvador as well so you can get a taste of El Pulgarcito (the mainland).

Along with the street vendors, there are several mini restaurants in the same area set up for people to dine in and have many things to choose from on their menu such as the national dish pupusas, soups, yucca con chicharron (potato with pork) and more.

The person who started it all, Rosy Guzman, is currently still running the whole business.

The street vendors of El Mercadito came a while after Rosy Guzman started her business in that spot. (Alfredo Menjivar)

Guzman came from El Salvador to Los Angeles and started the market around 25 years ago.

“My business was not this it was something else and there was an occasion where I returned to El Salvador and went to Mercado Ex-Cuartel and visualized El Mercadito,” she said.

Guzman started bringing things from El Salvador to Los Angeles such as towels and other necessities to start her business.

She told herself to make the business she thought of and knew it would thrive in LA. Eventually, everything started to fall into place.

Guzman brought more things little by little and within a month, everything was sold out where she was selling the products, which took place 26 years ago.

She also asked her cousin how to bring the products to the city of Angels and her cousin was kind enough to give her a hand.

 

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Guzman lastly stated that the street vendors came much later, after she started her business, and is now a place where all Salvadorans love to go.

A woman named Llese, a native of El Salvador, is one of the cooks that works at one of the mini restaurants there.

She cooks pupusas, soup, meat, chicken liver and platano frito (fried plantains).

Llese is now working in her fourth month at El Mercadito. She worked with her mother in law and who taught Llese how to cook and decided to make a business.

She says that on a bad day, she gets at least 20 customers a day but also mentions that she cannot keep count of how many people she gets on a good day.

El Mercadito brings together family and friends to dine, shop and enjoy a nice sunny day in the urban city of Los Angeles.

It is great for the Salvadoran community as finding products from the homeland can be quite difficult at times.

This wonderful place will also make people feel like they are back in El Salvador.

It is great for the U.S. young generation to get a taste of what they would find at their guardians’ origin.

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About the Contributor
Alfredo Menjivar, Sports Editor
Alfredo Menjivar is the sports editor for Talon Marks. Alfredo loves watching ice hockey, specifically the Los Angeles Kings. He wishes to transfer to Cal State Long Beach to pursue his career of being a sports/hockey writer and possibly play hockey for the university of his hometown.
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Downtown Los Angeles market brings community together