Last year, I met a group of mostly Latino teenagers from rival gang turf who came together each week for a “homies dinner” at the Eastlake YMCA and who started serving breakfast to day laborers before school on Monday mornings. Some of those youths, including 18-year-old Ivan Cruz — a Castlemont graduate — have joined an Aztec dance group, Eztli Chicahua, which practices on Friday nights in East Oakland. In the video, Ivan explains how the dancing has changed him.
The group performed at Saturday’s Our Lady of Guadalupe procession across Oakland, a 7.5-mile trek from a Catholic church on 100th Avenue and International to the cathedral on Lake Merritt. Read the story here.