WINDSHIELD COMMUNITY ASSESSMENT 6
SanLorenzo has been featured in every historical period of California.From the expeditions of Spanish soldiers and Padres in 1769 to thebuilding of San Lorenzo community church in 1945, San Lorenzo is oneof the major places rich in cultural heritage in California. TheAshland community inhabits the triangular shaped area bounded by theSan Lorenzo Creek and Bayfair on the south and west respectively (SanLeandro City Planners, 2012). Although little on agriculture isevident today, historical background indicates that Ashland was anestablished greenhouse area and truck farm.
Thetype of building ranges from smaller to bigger houses. These aremostly residential buildings dating from century-old cottages torecently developed buildings. Although some of the housing resemblesthe 1950-era tracts found in Washington Manor, some parts of the areaare constructed according to county standards. The county rules allowfor tracts with large lots, no sidewalks or curbs, and narrowstreets. The buildings indicate a patchwork of old and recentdevelopments (American Fact Finder, 2011). From observation, one cansee little continuity from one block to the surrounding blocks. Someof the homes that have existed for a long time are in terriblecondition and dire need of rehabilitation.
Higherdensity housings are also found in Ashland. Most of them wereconstructed during the 1960s (San Leandro City Planners, 2012). Theseare two or three story apartments located between 159th and 169thAvenues in the East 14the Street. Some of these high-densitybuildings are also found in San Lorenzo Creek and Ashland Avenue.Blighted residential properties in Ashland are improved by programsdeveloped by the county. The programs also address the securityconcerns raised at some of the properties.
TheEast 14th Street is one of the major streets where commercials arelocated. Another area with lots of businesses is the LewellingBoulevard. In the East 14th Street, many car dealerships are found aswell as auto service uses. On the other hand, Lewelling Boulevard iscomposed of a mix of residential uses, office, service, and retail.Various commercial houses are either vacant or underutilized. TheCounty is yet to consider such properties for redevelopment.
Amongthe schools in Ashland are San Lorenzo High School and someelementary schools. Parks and a few light industries are also foundin Ashland. These are located along the Union Pacific railroad. Thehistoric town site of San Lorenzo is also situated in the northeastof Lewelling. The site, which dates from 1900 now hosts severalhomes, church, and historic cemetery. The historical preservationindicates the rich cultural heritage of the people of Ashland (SanLeandro City Planners, 2012).
Asstated by the census of 2012, the population statistics were notreadily available. However, the entire San Lorenzo had a populationof 23452. The predominant populace in the region was for the peopleaged between 15 to 19 years with a total population of 1835. Theywere closely followed by those aged between 50 to 54 years with atotal population of 1816. A total of 1467 were aged between 20 to 30years. The total number of house units are 7674. The number of vacanthouses is 249. Apart from housing, the medium of transport used manypeople is the road. These roads are not well maintained as indicatedby the poor conditions. Cars are the primarily used means oftransport (American Fact Finder, 2011).
BecauseSan Lorenzo host people from diverse races, the area has a mixedculture. These include people with Spanish, Chinese and Portugueseorigin. However, this paper will mainly focus on Latinos. AlthoughEnglish forms the language spoken by 77% of the population, Latinosfrom this area speaks mostly spanish language when they are together(Sandra, 2012). Latinos in San Lorenzo includes those whose ancestorsoriganted from central America, Mexico and seral carribean Islandsand south American countries. Religion plays a key role in Latinosculture. Latinos in San Lorenzo are Christians with majority beingcatholics. Latinos families in most cases teach their kids Spanish asa mode of passing down their culture and heritage. This stress on bilingialsim has assisted revive the spanish language in San Lorenzoas well as the entire U.S (Suárez-Orozco & Páez, 2013).
InSan Lorenzo, people are addicted to fast foods. The consumption offast food is high because of the many food restaurants found alongthe streets in San Lorenzo. Examples of these restaurants include theNewyork Pizza and KFC. The communities are therefore at high risk ofhaving the problems of heart diseases and high blood pressure.Restaurants are specialized in the type of food they offer becausedifferent races value certain type of foodstuffs. Latinos stillretain primary elements of their traditional Hispanic diet such asreliance on beand and grains as well as incorporating fresjvegetables and fruits in their meals. Many Latino dishes in SanLorenzo features foods such as tortillas, rice, ad been—all ofwhich have high content of carbohydrates. Besides, these Latino foodsare prepared using methods of cooking that add unhealthy salt andfat. Just like their collegues in other parts of U.S. Latinos in SanLorenzo do not like pickles, Pretzels and peanut butter(Suárez-Orozco & Páez, 2013).
Latinoscuisines are very popular in San Lorenzo and have a notable influenceon San Lorenzian cuisine as well as eating habits. Some of typicalelements in Latinos cuisine in this area include tacos, tamales, andtortialas (corn-based dishes), and different condiments and salsassuch as mole, pico de gallo, and guacamole. Salsa and tortilla chipshave become very popular and are highest selling fast foods in SanLorenzo restaurants (Suárez-Orozco & Páez, 2013).
Justlike their collegues in other parts of the United States, Latinosculture values family so much. Latinos in San Lorenzo tend to havelarge, close-knit families. It is common to find three generations ofLatino families living close to each other or in the same house.Grandparents play key roles in upringing their grandchildren. Thestress on the health and well-being of the family makes Latinos verygroup oriented with gathering of families occurring often(Suárez-Orozco & Páez, 2013).
Accordingto Sandra (2012), cancer is the main cause of death among San LorenzoLatinos. The third cause of death of Latinos results from influenzand pneumonia. One of the main social indicator among Latinos in thisarea is poverty and level of education. Due to poverty and low levelof education among the Latinos, chronic stress increases the rate ofdepression among them.
AmericanFact Finder (2011). Population Facts. Retrieved fromhttp://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=CF
SanLeandro City Planners (2012). BEYOND THE CITY LIMITS: SAN LEANDRO’SPLANNING AREA. Retrieved fromhttps://www.sanleandro.org/civicax/filebank/blobdload.aspx?blobid=3799
Sandra,W. (2012): Ashland/Cherryland Community information. retrieved fromhttp://www.acphd.org/media/53444/ash_cherry.pdf
Suárez-Orozco,M. M., & Páez, M. (2013). Latinos:Remaking America.Berkeley, Calif: University of California Press.