Los Caminos De La Vida

The People’s LES

FABnyc, Downtown Art
Project Coordinator and Lead Artist – Ro Garrido


In April 2019, we began a series of oral history workshops in collaboration with senior centers at University Settlement and Grand Street Settlement, and hope to continue the work with more senior centers throughout the neighborhood. This workshop series was inspired by our desire to explore oral history as a collaborative practice of gathering, preserving, and interpreting local histories and voices from the Lower East Side. Considering the various immigrant histories present within the Lower East Side, we also wanted to focus these workshops on the lived experiences of immigrant seniors in our neighborhood.


In these workshops, conducted in both Spanish and Cantonese, we facilitated and recorded group interviews where seniors were asked to share and reflect on their history of migration, the history of the neighborhood, and their vision for the future of the Lower East Side.


We also facilitated a collage art activity where seniors were able to create with different paper materials including photos from the People’s LES archives. We worked with Cristóbal Guerra, an interdisciplinary artist and photographer from San Juan, PR, to capture portraits of participating seniors. To learn more about Cristóbal Guerra’s work visit cristobalguerra.com.

Listen to short selections from these group interviews now on the People’s LES Soundcloud!

— Ro Garrido

To learn more on Ro Garrido’s work visit rogarrido.com

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.