After her class read “The Madonnas of Echo Park,” which follows the stories of several Mexican-Americans who struggle to hold on to their ethnic identity as their neighborhoods change, English teacher Jenna Gasparino took her English III classes on a field trip to Dodger Stadium and the neighborhoods around it to observe the gentrification in and around Echo Park.
The stadium was built on land that was previously a part of the Chavez Ravine, a canyon located next to Dodger Stadium. Dodger historian Mark Langill spoke to students about the construction of the stadium and the process of acquiring the land from the Chavez Ravine.
“It was very interesting to hear his perspective about how Chavez Ravine became Dodger Stadium,” Catherine Crouch ’19 said. “We had only read about it from the perspective of those who had lost their homes when the Stadium was erected, so it was interesting to hear it from someone who passionately defended the Dodgers.”
After leaving the stadium, students drove around the nearby communities and ate lunch at a local taco stand.
“I don’t go to Echo Park a whole lot so it was cool to see and it was interesting to see the stuff that we read about in the book in real life,” Andie Cook ’19 said.
Lucas Lyons ’19 said he enjoyed the trip because it helped further his understanding of the book his class was reading.