Public Lecture – Patricia Nazario

Masa Revolution: The Backstreet to the American Dream


The Backstreet to the American Dream:
The film with the working title, Masa Revolution: The Backstreet to the American Dream is about how Mexican immigrants, in their quest for economic opportunity, inspired a global food truck phenomenon.  Food trucks were a fixture in Latino neighborhoods long before they became trendy destinations for fancy feasts.  But worldwide popularity isn’t necessarily paving L.A. streets with gold for all food truck vendors.  Hundreds of traditional taco trucks, orloncheras, dotted around Southern California are operated by immigrant families from South America. While gourmet trucks thrive in high-rent districts, the struggle for social justice is ongoing for many Spanish-speaking families operating loncheras in blue-collar neighborhoods – some in the same spot for the past 20 year, or more.

This story captures their grassroots efforts to form a united front against local lawmakers and challenge proposed changes in the industry that would marginalize their long-standing presence in Latino communities.  The project is especially timely given our country’s current political and social climate, which feels more like a war on immigrants.

Patricia Nazario is an accomplished international journalist with 18 awards and honors.  Her career spans from the O.J. Simpson trial in Los Angeles and hurricane coverage in Central/Sou Florida, to lower Manhattan in the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks. Her outstanding work of Miami’s Cuban community won WLRN its first statewide award.

She freelanced from Buenos Aires during Argentina’s worst-ever economic crisis, and traveled extensively across South America.  Hopscotching the continent, her body of work includes stories about the HIV/AIDS crisis in Colombia, children working on Ecuador’s remote banana plantations instead of going to school, and American expats contributing to Costa Rica’s thriving economy.

Patricia is bilingual and uses her Spanish regularly in covering L.A.’s immigrant Latino community for her independent film project, Masa Revolution: The Backstreet to the American Dream.  She’s a U.C.L.A. alumna, and holds a Master of Science from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.