Written by: Sister Charlene Hudon, SP and Sister Marge Clark, BVM
June 14, 2013
Sister Charlene Hudon, SP: Mercado La Paloma is located in the Figueroa Corridor of
Las Angeles. It is in a neighborhood which has a vibrant community spirit and
diverse cultural traditions.
Upon entering the Mercado, one is greeted by friendly
people and colorful shops that offer crafts from Mexico and Central and South
America. There are restaurants that serve foods from various countries.
To meet the people’s needs there are large meeting rooms
where classes are given to those who want to start a business; they are
mentored in technologies and given ESL classes and many other programs. It
truly is a multicultural center.
With comprehensive immigration reform how many more
places like Mercado La Paloma would provide living-wage jobs and create
businesses that will add to the growth of the economy?
Sister Marge Clark, BVM: NETWORK’s Nuns on the Bus were
greeted by three enthusiastic youth when we arrived in Los Angeles, at Mercado
La Paloma. The Mercado was an outgrowth of the housing work done by Sister
Diane Donahue, a veteran of Nuns on the Bus 2012 and 2013!
It is a venture providing locations and support for
immigrants who are first-time entrepreneurs. There are restaurants and tiendas
on the first floor, and agencies and organizations on the second floor.
I had wonderful Ethiopian food, then a crystallized fig from
another vendor. At 6:30, each of the six or seven food vendors laid out a
wonderful sample spread for all to enjoy.
About 100 supporters of both the Mercado and of Nuns on the
Bus joined us for a program of story-telling, and learning how to give their
support to Comprehensive Immigration Reform over the next two weeks.
Many of those in attendance stepped on to see the interior
of the bus.