ABSTRACT

During weekends and warm afternoons, barrios are a social kaleidoscope of minifestivals and celebrations of community. The reality of dense residential environments such as barrios is that their housing options generally fail to meet the demands of large households (Cayo-Sexton 1965; Bean and Tienda 1987). Parks, a central aspect of barrio social life, provide a respite from such crowded conditions and the daily intensity of working-class communities. Leaving home for the expanse of open space, great or small, is a common social activity for the Latina/o community. Here, they engage in unstructured activity, sports, recreation, play, music, and food. This public gathering gives definition to the meaning of “urban.”