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Mexican Vaqueros Hold On to Traditions in Urban Los Angeles

“The Mexican vaquero roamed California long before it became part of the U.S. And the iconic American cowboy owes most of his traditions to the vaquero, whether it’s in the saddles, the spurs or words like lasso.”

On a recent Saturday afternoon, a dozen men saddled horses, brushed their manes and picked out their hooves. The men’s spurs clinked as they led their mounts down a dusty lane that bisects some very modest stables. Most of these men, like Aparacio Ruvalcaba, are from Jalisco, Mexico. At 63, he looks like a Mexican Marlboro man.

This scene is not taking place on a dusty plain in rural Mexico, or even out in rural Riverside County. It’s in the heart of Los Angeles.

Read more and listen to the report at KPCC.

Photos: Riding along the San Gabriel River in Los Angeles. Credit: Charles Castaldi.