The popular Instagram account Veteranas and Rucas describes itself as: SoCal Youth Foto Archive “Chicanx/Latinx youth culture. Dedicated to women raised in SoCal from ??-’99/2000”.
The carefully curated collection of photos instantly transports viewers to a different time, whether you lived that lifestyle or not. The photos celebrate the beauty and vibrancy of a culture that is either caricatured or ignored by the mainstream, but is simultaneously fetishized and feared. With 90k subscribers and counting, Guadalupe’s project has shown the power of memory and authenticity, and opened up new lines of communication between generations. We wanted to learn more about Guadalupe and her work, and hope you will enjoy this Q&A…
What’s your favorite taco spot?
4 Vientos Fish and shrimp tacos. The spot is by the Estrada Courts in Boyle Heights!
What inspired you to start Veteranas and Rucas?
I needed something I could relate to that wasn’t just the “cliche”/ stereotypes of the Latinx/Chicanx culture. I wanted to use photography–mostly candid pictures–to humanize my experience of growing up in L.A.
What were you like as a kid?
Shy, quiet and observant. As a teenager I was a party animal but was mostly interested in finding unique spaces and people who shared similar interests as me.
When and where were you most happy?
With friends, cruising and kickbacks gatherings.
What your favorite intersection in LA?
Whittier Blvd and Arizona.
What are your favorite slang terms from Latinx/Chicanx youth culture?
“Scam and Jam” and the word “orale” because you can use it for pretty much anything.
Do you have a lucky number?
Do you have a personal photo you’ve published that means a lot to you?
I have a personal attachment to a photo that was submitted a year ago of a young woman and her friend at a Car show in Orange County in 1996. One of the women is doing life in prison. I always think “was this something that could have been prevented?” and “if so, how? Because I want to get to the bigger issue of these types of unfortunate situations, specially when it’s about women.
Has Instagram changed your life?
Yes, I have met many people and faced many challenges. Moved back to LA after spending 15 years in New York because it was important for me to have a dialogue in physical spaces outside of social media.
What is your entrance music?
The oldie song It’ll Never Be Over For Me by Thee Midniters
Got any shoutouts?
My mom, sisters, brothers, the housing projects, all of East LA and Boyle Heights. RIP to my cousin, Ever Sanchez, I love you and I’m always missing you.