Mercado La Paloma is located in the Figueroa Corridor of South Los Angeles a neighborhood that is full of creative and hard working entrepreneurs, community spirit, artists, musicians and cultural traditions. The area has historically suffered from disinvestment - including a lack of quality jobs and business opportunities, quality gathering spaces, quality food, and art and cultural opportunities. The investment that has occurred in the area has often not been designed for the benefit of those living in our community. In 1999 in response to the suggestion of some residents in Esperanza’s housing developments for a local version of the bustling markets that they had left behind in their home countries, the idea for Mercado La Paloma was born. Over a five year period characterized by intense community engagement and research, Esperanza renovated our current building, converting it from a garment factory to a vibrant community gathering space. It is an experiment in community revitalization that provides opportunities for our local residents and showcases our local creativity to the broader Los Angeles community.
- Build Local Economies: By providing affordable retail opportunities, technical assistance, start-up capital and support, Mercado La Paloma seeks to create business ownership opportunities and living wage jobs in our community. It is our goal to offer needed goods and services to residents and employees and retain spending in our neighborhood.
- Provide Services: Through the non-profit offices located on the second floor, Esperan Salud (our public health drop by center), and our affordable meeting room that hosts a wide range of community meetings, events and classes, Mercado La Paloma provides a range of services to our community under one roof.
- Promote Arts and Culture: By hosting art exhibits, music and dance performances, spoken word, film showings and other events Mercado La Paloma seeks to support and showcase local artists, provide high quality art and cultural opportunities for our community and impart the unique heritage of the area’s residents.
- Build Community: By creating a warm and welcoming gathering space full of guests from all walks of life and open to their ideas and suggestions, we provide opportunities for empowerment, enjoyment and connection –– strengthening existing social ties and creating new ones.