On Wednesday, January 12, over a dozen San Diego residents spoke in protest of the recent news that the mainly Hispanic equestrian group Asociación de Charros de Escondido is being evicted from a one-and-a-half-acre location that they have occupied for nearly 40 years.
According to Filemon Jarra, a schoolteacher, the group received a letter from Escondido Community Services director Jerry Van Leeuwen notifying them of their eviction from 3410 East Valley Parkway. The letter said the City would like to make "better use of land," per Jarra. "I urge you to reconsider this decision," said Jarra to the city council. "We firmly believe that there's no better way to celebrate and honor our family-oriented traditions than to keep the Charro area where it is."
Jarra said even though he lived in Chula Vista, he and members of his family spent weekends growing up in Escondido at the rodeo grounds. The Charros are facing eviction on January 17, and the land they have occupied will be the site of a water-distribution facility, as reported by the North County Times.
Manuel Ponce de Leon spoke before the council to bring up his belief that the City is motivated to evict the Charros because Escondido needs to move their water facility to make room for the construction of a new Padres minor-league ballpark. "I don't see why they have to move just to make room for a ballpark that nobody is going to attend," said Ponce de Leon.
Pictured: Miguel Bautista of Charros de Escondido, 2006