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Latinos Petition For Official Neighborhoods, Like Peru Village, Little Venezuela

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The sign for the El Salvador Corridor (Photo via Facebook)
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Areas like Chinatown and Little Tokyo are household names in Los Angeles. However, absent from this list are some names of Latino communities—and leaders are now working together to create places they can call their own.

The Latino Economic Empowerment Round Table wants to put on the map spots like Peru Village, Little Venezuela, Paseo Colombia, Guatemalan Mayan Village, Oaxacan Corridor, according to the L.A. Times.

They are following the lead of Oscar Dominguez, who successfully carved out the El Salvador Community Corridor, which was a five-year battle within itself to garner approval from the city, the Times reported.

Of the proposed areas, Peru Village is the first designated turf the group has pitched to the city. It would be in Hollywood on Vine Street, between De Longpre Avenue and Melrose Avenue.

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"This is us uniting and saying, 'Hey, we contribute. We belong,'"Milagros Lizarraga, who's leading the charge for Peru Village, told the Times. "It's time we are all recognized."

But what some folks may not know is that starting up communities now isn't as easy as just planting a flag and deeming it so. The Wild West days of designating an area without any formal applications are now long gone. Since 2006, communities have been required to gather 500 signatures and present a compelling pitch in order for an application to be considered, according to the Times. And it makes sense to do that or else different communities would run over each others' borders.

Nor does it always happen organically where people identifying with a certain nationality live in an area and then "voila!" it becomes Little Bangladesh or Thai Town. Like with the idea of Little Venezuela, one leader says it may even take some convincing to get Venezuelans to move to the area, which would be on Western Avenue, between Santa Monica Boulevard to South Beverly Boulevard.