Destiny's Children: A Legacy of War and Gangs

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Carlos and Ivonne’s story, part 1

Carlos was a child soldier in El Salvador. When he was fourteen years old he escaped the army, fleeing to Los Angeles with an older brother. After he was beaten up at junior high school, he joined the Chicano gang that controlled his LA neighborhood.

Now his former tormentors fear the skills he learned as a soldier.

For a few years the gang was the only family Carlos knew–until he met Ivonne. By the time he turned eighteen he was already a father with responsibilities. These days when he gets together with his homeboy, “Scrappy,” their girlfriends and babies come along too.

Carlos shaves his head and dresses Eighteenth-Street style.

Scrappy’s mom lets the kids meet at her home. She is glad to hear Carlos talking to her son and some of his other homeboys about finding work.

Scrappy’s girlfriend Veronica is pregnant.