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Westlake – city of survival

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LA Stories are our way of showing another side – possibly the real side – of Los Angeles, as it’s not all celebrities, champagne and caviar. For some it is a city of struggle, for others it’s a city where they can find their niche. This is their stories. 

“If you have never been poor, you are never going to know what we have suffered. It is not because I feel better on the other side, I think that any of us would like to live well with his family, in his own land, but it is something that one does not have the choice.”

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Los Angeles, California, is known as a glamorous city where celebrities and other socialites enjoy a life of wealth and luxury. However, LA has another, more crude reality. In places like Westlake, a neighbourhood in the central part of Los Angeles, there is an enclave of illegal migrants trying to survive. Westlake is the second densest area of any community in Los Angeles County.

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The majority of the inhabitants in Westlake made the long and dangerous journey through Central America and Mexico in search of the Promised Land, “El Norte.” Many of them tell stories of having to abandon their countries to escape persecution or lack of job and educational opportunities. They felt forced to leave their families, their friends, and their customs in search for a better life.

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The origin of these migrants varies. A considerable number comes from rural areas, but in recent years, there has been a considerable increase of urbanites joining the migration. This group is impoverished, without education, and marginalised to a sordid destiny due to the evident difference between the social classes in their home countries.

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Ricardo Palavecino has been a cinematographer, videographer, and photographer for the past 30 years. He has a multicultural background with substantial international experience in documentaries, dramatic films, mini series, commercials, network promos and corporate videos. He has provided services to various television networks and production companies including, Reuters, Fox, ABC, CBS, NBC, Discovery Channel, Disney Channel, Sundance Channel, Sony Pictures, AXN Japan, TV Asahi Japan, RAI Italy, and many others.

Check our Ricardo’s work here: http://www.rpalavecino.com.temp.livebooks.com/

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