Joseph Rodriguez, a freelance photographer who has worked for Pacific News Service, National Geographic and Black Star and is now affiliated with, is photographing the gangs of East Los Angeles during his Alicia Patterson fellowship year. He lives in Los Angeles.

Porky, 16, right, and Jaime, of the Marianna Maravilla Diablos, an Easl Los Angeles gang, hold his machine gun in front of a car that Porky was shot in. "I love the barrio more than I was loved," Porky relates.
Porky, 16, whose real name is Mike, describes how he was shot. His parents are "veteranos " (veteran gang members) from the previous generation in Maravilla. This gang started in Mexico in the 1920’s. Porky started in the gang when he was in the seventh grade. "I got my brain washing from my friend, Jaime, who used to bother me every day on my way from junior high. school. I have put in work (gang activities, which include shooting or beating up people, robbery, etc.) for five years."
Danny, one of the Evergreen Boys, looks out of the window after waking, as his homeboys call on him.
Evergreen Boys dance at a house party.
Mark, 12, is trying to hang out with the older homeboys. Here they are lighting his cigarette.
Mark, 12, is fighting playfully with one of his Evergreen Boys friends.
Mark, 12, hangs out with the Evergreen Boys, dreaming of owning a car. Mark later was arrested for probation violations because of graffitti and truancy. His mother says that if Mark wants to play, he will have to Pay with his freedom.
Mark, 12, and other Evergreen Boys throw bottles at their enemies who are on the way home from school.
Some of the Evergreen Boys show off some of their hardware.
Michael, 4, holds a photograph of his father, Jimmy, who is in prison on a murder charge.
Aida Quilles is a single parent in east Los Angeles. She has raised eight children. Her son, Danny, 16, right, is a member of the Marianna Maravilla Diablos gang. His mother says she knew the older Maravilla gangs, but they were less violent than the ones today. Danny, who has been arrested many times, says he was always a trouble maker. "I don't like people telling me what to do.
The Quilles family at home, Danny at right, Romero at left and Maria, at left, sitting.
Danny Quilles sleeps as his brother and sister wake up for school.
Maria Quilles plays with a b-b gun.
Ceasar comes to the window to call Danny to go out.
Netto, in the wheelchair, was shot in a gang shooting and is paralyzed for life. He is part of the Marianna Maravilla Diablos.
Popeye, 14, checks a .45 automatic after getting dressed for the day. He is part of the Evergreen Boys gang.
Largo, 14, an Evergreen Boy, waits for the bus, watching the streets carefully for his enemies returning from school.
Above, Joshua, 3, sits between his aunts. His mother attends school during the day. His father, Danny, 18, is a member of the Evergreen Boys, and is finding it difficult to get a job.
Below, Diablo holds the baby of one of his home girls. They hang out in Evergreen Park until members of the Los Angeles police kick them out.
Romero, an Evergreen Boy, gets an early morning haircut. A few, weeks later, he was shot in the skull by a rival gang member. He survived. Ceasar, right, plays with a toy gun, Later, they talked about their hopes of finding work. Ceasar's father has an upholstery business, but Ceasar doesn't like the work. His brother, Frankie, (left) helps their father when there is work. Ceasar is proud of avoiding drugs and alcohol; his girlfriend wants to major in law enforcement at U.S.C. They want jobs.