Pelota a Mano

about to whack it

Last weekend on my photo tour of Downtown LA and the Alameda corridor I spotted a group of about 30 people in an abandoned lot surrounded by a chain link fence. I parked in the cul-de-sac next to the lot and adjacent to a factory and asked some kids hanging out in a van “Donde esta la entrada?”, to which the responded in English that I had to jump the fence. Luckily for me there was a big tire leaning against the fence and a pool ladder propped up against the other side. After hopping the fence I took some pictures of the people on the make shift ball court playing a game of handball or pelota a mano. This game goes back some 3000 years in Mexico and South America and is some times played with a basket as in the popular game jai alai. The players and spectators were very friendly and interested as to why I was taking photos of them. I told them my web page which one of their daughters translated to “Pagina de Internet”, they asked if I was La Migra, and I assured them that I wasn’t. You can see more of the photos here.