Vanessa Morales voted at Belvedere Park in East LA. “The main thing is to get the current president out of office,” says Morales. Photo by Samanta Helou for KCRW

PHOTOS: How LA’s Latino neighborhoods experienced Election Day 2020

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As the city geared up for the election, Latinos in Los Angeles experienced the election in diverse ways: restaurant workers in East Hollywood went about their day after voting by mail, undocumented street vendors in Westlake waited nervously for the outcome of an election they had no voice in, and healthcare workers in East LA stood in line to cast their ballot as mariachis serenaded them. It was clear that Latinos, who make up nearly half of the city’s population, are not a homogenous group.

This is what election day looked like in Latino neighborhoods across the city.

IMG_2523.jpgLuis Orellana and Suzette Avalos voted at LACC because it’s closest to their home in Koreatown. “It’s important to vote because these past four years this man has done nothing but insult the Latino community, and I feel we need to vote him out,” says Avalos who is Honduran and Mexican. Photo by Samanta Helou for KCRW.
IMG_2582.jpgFelix Joaquin owns 12 Hour Barbershop in Virgil Village and this year he voted by mail. Joaquin is originally from Guatemala and has voted in the last three elections. “We are a voice. If we don’t vote we’re like ghosts in this country,” he says. Photo by Samanta Helou for KCRW.
IMG_2634.jpgAngela Ochoa works at California Grill, a Salvadoran restaurant in Virgil Village. She came to the United States from El Salvador 10 years ago and this is her first year voting. Photo by Samanta Helou for KCRW.
IMG_2645.jpgOchoa mailed her ballot a week ago. “I liked voting because I get to make my own decisions, and I don’t have someone making decisions for me.” Photo by Samanta Helou for KCRW.
IMG_2785.jpgBlanca is a street vendor in MacArthur Park whose business was greatly impacted by the pandemic. As an undocumented immigrant from El Salvador, she can’t vote this year and is nervously awaiting the results. She doesn’t feel great about either candidate but wants to see change in the economy and immigration reform. Photo by Samanta Helou for KCRW.
IMG_2839.jpgMaria Mendivil is a hair stylist in Echo Park who is originally from Mexico. This is her first time voting in about 10 years. She says the only reason she voted was because her kids urged her to. Photo by Samanta Helou for KCRW.
IMG_2883.jpgJesse Jaramillo is an illustrator and tattoo artist who works in Echo Park but lives in Lancaster. Jaramillo questioned whether voting mattered given the need for systemic change, but ultimately decided to cast his ballot. “If our vote didn’t count then there wouldn’t be so much voter suppression,” he says. Photo by Samanta Helou for KCRW.
Sal Preciado is the owner of El Clasico Tattoo in Echo Park and a 5th generation Los Angeleno who grew up in East LA. He views voting in this system as “playing someone else’s game” and wants to see an Indigenous candidate. Photo by Samanta Helou for KCRW.
Preciado left the presidential choice blank. “I didn’t want to vote for either one of them; I only voted for the propositions.” Photo by Samanta Helou for KCRW.
IMG_3006.jpgSalesian High School in Boyle Heights was one of three voting centers sponsored by the Lakers. Photo by Samanta Helou for KCRW.
IMG_3101.jpgPeople cast their vote at Ruben Salazar Park in East LA. Photo by Samanta Helou for KCRW.
IMG_3140.jpgPeople cast their vote at Ruben Salazar Park in East LA. Photo by Samanta Helou for KCRW.
IMG_3157.jpgFree ice cream for voters at Belvedere Park in East LA. Photo by Samanta Helou for KCRW.
IMG_3273.jpgVanessa Morales and Anabel Garcia voted at Belvedere Park in East LA. Photo by Samanta Helou for KCRW.
IMG_3382.jpgLaura Zavala works with Innercity Struggle, a non-profit that organizes the Eastside to build community power and a progressive electorate. Today they were at Salazar Park handing out water, playing music, and ensuring there wasn’t any voter suppression. Photo by Samanta Helou for KCRW.
IMG_2968.jpgNathan Gomez is a student at Cal State Los Angeles who voted at Salesian High School in Boyle Heights. He chose this voting center because it’s where he once went to school. “I feel like the country has taken a step back, and I want to change that,” he says. Photo by Samanta Helou for KCRW.
IMG_3043.jpgEduardo Sandoval is a retired mechanic and Boyle Heights resident originally from El Salvador. He’s voted eight times since migrating to the United States in 1975. “I want to see changes to address racism and immigrant needs.” Photo by Samanta Helou for KCRW.
IMG_3255.jpgEli Pocon shares an ice cream cone with his daughter after voting. Photo by Samanta Helou for KCRW.
IMG_3397.jpgInnercity Struggle brought a mariachi group to serenade voters at Salazar Park in East LA. Photo by Samanta Helou for KCRW.