BARRIOS, COLONIAS AND CAMPOS;
IN SEARCH OF HISTORIC MEXICAN NEIGHBORHOODS
Mexican urban Barrios and Colonias in the early 1900s often formed around a particular place of work where property values were low, or where lots had been subdivided again and again for the profit of a land speculator, whereas outside the city limits, employers and packing houses often supplied company housing in an effort to promote a stable workforce. In the greater area of La Naranja (Orange County), many early century Colonias and Barrios were established as citrus camps, where workers were tied to a single employer or packing plant. Residential patterns ranged from company built housing areas, to communities in which workers laid out the street, built their own homes, developed small businesses, and as was also done in Santa Ana’s Barrios, engaged in the domestic production of clothing and vegetables. By the 1950s, there were some 40 Mexican neighborhoods spread across all of Orange County. Some of these old neighborhoods you can still find, but it’s too late for finding others because they have been done away with by gentrification.
Gentrification projects intended to drive out Mexicans from Orange County are nothing new. In the 1930s, immigration officials deported entire camps in La Habra and Fullerton. During the 1950s, Anaheim officials bulldozed the La Conga Barrio near Glover Stadium to clear space for parking lots. Barrio after Barrio have fallen victim for one gentrification project or another over the last century. And the sinister planning continues to take place even to this day. From San Juan Capistrano to Fullerton, among swap meets and factories and all along the railroad tracks, luxury condos, apartments, homes and other pricey developments are metastasizing in or near neighborhoods and commerce centers that Mexicans have populated since the days when orange groves outnumbered people.
The coming loss of community in these Barrios might not be as dramatic as what happened during the massive Mexican deportations executed by county and federal agents during the Great Depression and the 1950s. But gentrification ultimately proves more insidious and more successful in getting us Brown Raza out. So take a cruise through those remaining Barrios, check out their people and their streets and enjoy their history before yuppie filth ruin them as they did Echo Park.
You and I both know, that there is something very special about those scatterd places were our familas, our kinfolks, and our old neighbors grew up, were we grew up. Something so special that it makes us say with fondness and pride, that we are from Santa Nita, from La Colonia Independencia, from La Jolla, from Los Coyotes or from this or that Olden Barrio or Colonia. Because in spite of the poverty of the places, the richness is in the heritage, in the close-knit nature of the people who live there sharing joys and the tragedies which life has to offer.
What remains of many of those that have disappeared under a never-ending OC developing project are the stories and photographs, intact in the hearts and minds of those viejos who lived the tiempos.
Here's a list of some of those old Mexican neighborhoods.
BARRIO PILAR ARTESIA (WEST SIDE SAN'TANA)
BARRIO LOGAN (EAST SIDE SAN'TANA)
BARRIO DELHI (SOUTH SIDE SAN'TANA)
BARRIO SANTA NITA (WEST SAN'TANA)
COLONIA JUAREZ (FOUNTAIN VALLEY)
COLONIA INDEPENDENCIA - LA COLONIA (ANAHEIM)
COLONIA MANZANILLO (GARDEN GROVE)
COLONIA LA PAZ (GARDEN GROVE)
EL CARGADERO (EAST SIDE SAN'TANA)
LITTLE HOLLYWOOD - LOS RIOS (SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO)
LA CONGA (ANAHEIM)
LA FABRICA (ANAHEIM)
LA JOLLA (PLACENTIA)
LA PALOMA (PLACENTIA)
LA PALMA (ANAHEIM)
COLONIA ALTA VISTA (LA HABRA)
CAMPO VERDE (LA HABRA)
CAMPO CORONA (LA HABRA)
CAMPO COLORADO (LA HABRA)
TRAVELERS CITY (ANAHEIM)
PENGUIN CITY - LITTLE PEOPLE'S PARK (ANAHEIM)
BARRIO TIJUANITA - LITTLE TIJUANA (ANAHEIM)
PLACITA SANTA FE (DOWNTOWN PLACENTIA)
LA PHILADELPHIA (DOWNTOWN ANAHEIM)
BARRIO CYPRESS (ORANGE)
LOS COYOTES (BUENA PARK)
CROW VILLAGE - STANTON VILLAGE(STANTON)
EL MODENA (PLACENTIA)
LA ESPERANZA (PLACENTIA)
LA BOLSA (HUNTINGTON BEACH)
LA MANZANITA (ANAHEIM)
Maybe some of you know exactly where they are located. maybe some of you still live there. Maybe you have something to say or add with respects for your sacred grounds.