The Media Portrayal and Community Cultural Wealth in the Mexican community of Cabrillo Village in the 1990s

Karina Garcia and Dr. José Alamillo


Cabrillo Village located between Ventura and Saticoy, California, was built as a farm labor camp in 1936. It housed Mexican farm workers and their families and after 1960, it became an established Mexican village that exists to this day. The English print media portrayed Cabrillo Village as a gang affiliated, crime-ridden community, ignoring the positive characteristics within the community. The scholarly literature followed the media’s lead and failed to critically address how the negative media portrayals affected Cabrillo Village residents. My paper investigates the community cultural wealth of Cabrillo Village to counter the negative media portrayals. I will be using archival research and oral history interviews to show the positive contributions of Cabrillo Village to Ventura County and how it supported its residents to succeed. My findings reveal that Cabrillo Village residents resisted negative mainstream images of their community by coming together to create youth programs, developing community institutions and small businesses, as well as organized themselves into a housing co-operative to resist the landlords who sought to displace them. This research project sheds light on the ways the mainstream media negatively impacts low income Mexican communities. It is important to listen to the voices of residents who present a more insightful and positive image of their community.

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