Running Against Barriers By Paola Jaime

My project focuses on how community running groups bridge gaps between low levels of physical activity in the East Los Angeles Community
Members of East Los Angeles leave their blood, sweat, and tears at the Evergreen Cemetery, the most iconic running spot in the area. A 1.4 mile-long jogging path, it paves a path for runners of all ages, races, and creeds to run alongside the historic tombstones that carry the multi-cultural history of the city.

"Running is healing and challenging yet transformative"

Jo Ana Ley is a co-founder of the Running group, Running Mammies. She organizes bi-monthly runs for moms and their "bebes" and organizes additional activities for them.
Ley started running after ending a toxic relationship in college. She felt challenged and liberated in the space, and, in her own words, got the "mosquito bite itch" to continue running. After years of enjoying running independently, she involved herself in community organizations to address the lack of safe space for women to run.

Running Mammies empowers active moms to step out of their daily lives filled with responsibilities and to leave their energy out on the streets. The first of its kind in the area, this running group sets aside time and safe space for moms to run in comfort and with community.

Mariachi Plaza is located in the heart of Boyle Heights, and offers its' space to several running groups including Running Mammies, the Boyle Heights Bridge Runners, and East Los Angeles Runners. In contrast to the Evergreen Cemetery, this running space offers vibrant colors and culturally-relevant murals that offer a sense of warmth.
Community Resources are available with activities such as the Boyle Heights 5K Run

Hundreds of runners took to the 1st Street and Mariachi Plaza of Boyle Heights

Nike Community Shop

Nike's community shop located in East LA organizes a running campaign that brings families together to run miles together. By having such a prominent company in the community encouraging people to exercise, people are made aware of the plentiful resources they are surrounded by.

Between the organized running groups, community resources, and allocated safe spaces, communities are empowered to break the cycle of poor health and pursue healthier lifestyles

"There is beauty in every step taken" -Jo Ana Ley