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L. ice cream seller adapts to life in the world of COVID-19

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L. ice cream seller adapts to life in the world of COVID-19

For the past 16 years, Mauro Rios Parra has driven his bicycle to a warehouse on Washington Boulevard to start his day as paletero. And every day for 16 years, he filled the same stroller with more than 300 ice cream and fruit bars, or paletas: coconut, tamarindo, pineapple, hibiscus, coffee, lemon, sapote mamey, nance and personal favorites, vanilla and strawberry.

Then there are ice cream cups and sandwiches, Choco Tacos, Tweedy and Spider-Man, and the Ninja Turtle bar with stupid eyes.

Under the recent cloudy morning sky, Rios, 63, holds the door of Barahona Ice Cream in Pico-Union wide open. Into the warehouse workers moved a giant blue chest filled with dry ice and dozens of frozen boxed foods.

Pico-Union is his home and region. Located a few miles west of downtown, this is one of the poorest and most populous neighborhoods in Los Angeles, with around 45,000 people squeezed into 1.67 square miles.

Considering physical distance is one of the best protections against the corona virus, it is also one of the hardest hit by a highly contagious disease.

Rios set up his ice cream cart at Barahona Ice Cream in Pico Union.

(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

LA. is a city of street vendors. Hot dogs wrapped in meat, mulitas, freshly sliced ​​fruit, raspado and boiled corn are just a few of the delicious delicacies they sell. But valuable and ubiquitous, street vendors like Rios are also one of the most vulnerable populations in the food community. They are being abused, and many live in the country illegally. COVID-19 has added other stressors to their livelihoods.

Thank you, please help, “Manager Norma Barahona pushed the people who pushed the ice box into a simple, musty warehouse. “Please, wear your mask.” Framed photos of La Virgen de Guadalupe hung on the wall. Likewise, reminders of diseases lurk all about. “Keep your distance,” said one sign in English and Spanish.

Rios unpacked the milk crates filled with ice cream that bears his name. He reached deep into his cart and folded each sweet paleta and cold dessert in the appropriate place.

Señor, por qué esta tan callado? Tiene miedo o qué? “Oscar Samano, a colleague paletero, asked Rios, who was focused. “Sir, why are you so quiet? Are you afraid or not?” He quipped. “How much do they pay you to keep your mouth shut?”

Oscar Samano, right, hugged Rios inside Barahona Ice Cream.

Oscar Samano, right, hugged Rios inside Barahona Ice Cream.

(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Rios is silent.

On ordinary days, he would quip back to Samano, a tall, well-built man who proudly called himself “the soul of this place” and cheerfully dubbed Rios in other parts.

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“I don’t want to hear you call me ‘my love,’ later,” Samano warned Rios, who responded “mi cielo, “my heaven. They laughed.

At 11:40 a.m., Rios is ready. Wearing a black mask covering his mustache made of salt and pepper, he closed the lid of the wagon, held the handlebars firmly and pushed him down the aisle and out of the warehouse, which stood between the church and the locksmith.

Rios rang the bells of his ice cream cart during his trip to Pico Union.

Rios rang the bells of his ice cream cart during his trip to Pico Union.

(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

West Washington Boulevard begins to wake up. A few steps down, people carry shopping bags from La Campanita Meat Market.

For the next seven hours, Rios will walk more than seven miles uphill, crossing the streets and passing empty schools satisfying the sweating teeth of the mass of L.A. The jingling of the bell marked the path.

He likes to make people smile, he said.

At present, this is a far more difficult task.

**

Rios came to the U.S. in 2002. He had worked at a brewery in Oaxaca, Mexico, pocketing a little money. He struggled to support his wife and three children.

Then he made a difficult decision.

Rios crossed the road at the end of his day.

Rios crossed the road at the end of his day.

(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

“I will leave so you can have a better life,” Rios told his children before heading north to find work that would pay more. “Learn as much as possible. Forward in life. ”

He did not want them to suffer the extreme poverty he and his family had experienced in his hometown San José Chiltepec. At the age of 13 his father died, and Rios quit school to work. Every day, from sunrise to sunset, he grows chili, corn, beans, rice, and more.

“My life is nothing but a work since then,” he said in Spanish.

His mind changed, he sold his house in Oaxaca to pay for smugglers and walked across the desert with about 70 others. His family moved with relatives.

Rios rested in the shade during his route.

Rios rested in the shade during his route.

(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Three people died of dehydration along the way. More than a week later, Rios arrived in Phoenix, went to Tampa, Florida, and found benches to build work on. He shares a small house with 12 other immigrants. But one night the police stormed into their home while everyone slept.

He was locked up in a detention center for a month before being deported. Two years later, he walked across the border again and arrived in Los Angeles.

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“I took the risk a second time out of necessity,” Rios said. Despite working seven days a week in Mexico, there is never enough money. “I am back [to the U.S.] for my children. “At least three times a day, he talks to his grown children and Reyna Regina Martinez Hernandez,” his love for 35 years. ”

He hasn’t seen his family in 16 years.

**

Rios pushed his cart to South Berendo Street which tended to residential areas, greeting those he met. “Buenas“He said cheerfully to a man passing by. Friendliness and communication are key in this field of work. If you want to sell paletas, you have to do it while smiling. Respect and time are also important.

Rios rested for a moment to drink Powerade.

Rios rested for a moment to drink Powerade.

(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

His first stop was a construction site at Loyola High School on Venice Boulevard. Rios curled his stroller over the green fence, where a large machine dug the ground from the ground. He rang the bell obediently, but the sound of a hammer drowned his jingle. A few minutes later, four workers with hard hats and safety vests made their first purchase of the day.

Rios then rolled his cart half a mile to the Normandie Recreation Center. A young couple sipping coffee at the picnic table. People play basketball on the field. One man does push-ups nearby while another kicks the ball on the fence. The children chase each other in the newly opened playground. Two old ladies standing guard.

Column One

A showcase for interesting storytelling
from the Los Angeles Times.

He rang the bell. Nothing is approaching.

Becomes paletero quite difficult in normal time. But during the pandemic, with parks and schools closed and people afraid of leaving their homes, many of its customers have disappeared. “Sales have plummeted,” he said.

His income, which is usually $ 180 to $ 250, drops to $ 120 or less. But Rios is not afraid of viruses.

“Only God knows what he is doing with us and what will and will not happen to us,” he said. “All we can do is look after and protect ourselves.”

**

Wherever Rios went, he saw how the city had changed since the pandemic began.

Rios sells paletas to children in apartment complexes.

Rios sells paletas to children in apartment complexes.

(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Bars along Pico Boulevard are equipped with plywood. The restaurant only emphasizes delivery and takeout. Church closed. The bakery and salon warn customers: “No masks, no services.” But Rios knows where to look for customers: the bustling Pico-Union apartment complex.

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On Pico Boulevard and Normandie Avenue, a man ran across the street to approach Rios. “Do you have paletas de tamarindo? “He asked. Only a few days before, he felt sick, and Rios asked how he was doing. Rios reaches into the wagon and gives him paleta, free. This is an act of kindness that is often done by a man without money.

Outside a block of ordinary houses far away, Rios rang the bell and waited. Shut up

Elizabeth Sanchez, left, 5, and Mia Estrada, 6, eat ice cream in their apartment complex.

Elizabeth Sanchez, left, 5, and Mia Estrada, 6, eat ice cream in their apartment complex.

(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

“I’m leaving! I’m leaving!” Rios warned a few minutes later. Still there are no sales. A woman riding a bicycle passed by and shouted in Spanish: “How much paletas?“He didn’t stop.

When Rios walked to the parking lot of another apartment complex, the bell immediately attracted customers. The man ordered coconuts, madam and tamarindo paletas“And one of them,” he said, pointing to a crazy drumstick. “Thank you very much“Rios jingled again.

A woman with a red apron and flip-flops walked out of her apartment and ordered a stupid Powerpuff Girl ice cream. He picked it up and shouted in Spanish to a little girl hiding behind a closed door: “See, this?”

Rios sells paletas in an apartment complex on South Normandie Avenue.

Rios sells paletas in an apartment complex on South Normandie Avenue.

(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Eulalia Vargas doesn’t know what her granddaughter Mia Estrada wants, 6 years old. He ordered three sticks to be safe. A few minutes later, Vargas reappeared with Mia in hand. “He doesn’t like all this!” he tells Rios, his eyes crinkly in amusement. Ice cream sandwich is what he wanted all this time.

Sin esto no se vende“He said, pointing to the bell. “Es muy importante.“” Without this, you do not sell. They are very important. “The bells of the two bells fell some time ago, but Rios replaced them with a pair of small keys and metal keys.

Throughout the day, young and old people chase bells. He walked for miles every day, often in the hot sun. But he loves his job. “It’s very fun and disturbing … and I’m happy to do what I do,” he said.

Mauro Rios Parra moves his cart near the construction site where workers sometimes buy paletas.

Rios places his cart near the construction site.

(Dania Maxwell / Los Angeles Times)

Foreigners and customers still treat them well. But it is dangerous work, he said. Twice he was robbed, and he fended off three other attempts. He learned to hide his income in various places.

And he adopted this philosophy: “Befriend such people so that they are not your enemies.”

At 3 pm, Rios had made 26 sales, most of his apartment visit. But he has more space. He checked his watch. Within 30 minutes, construction site workers will end their shift. He leads their way.

**

Four hours later, Rios returned to the warehouse. He emptied his stroller from desserts he didn’t sell.

He put $ 80 in his pocket, said goodbye to his colleagues, and pedaled his street bike to the road. The sky is Orange Creamsicle.

The sacrifice is beneficial. His children are learning as much as possible. One of them is a doctor; both are lawyers. In two years, Rios plans to return to Oaxaca. This time, he hopes to stay. He wants to have a garden and a chicken coop. He wants to open his own business, selling roast pork, Cuban style.

He will not be paletero again. But he will be with his family.

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PORTUGUESE PARACHET JUMP IN THE NETHERLANDS

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PORTUGUESE PARACHET JUMP IN THE NETHERLANDS

Members of the Airborne Operational Battalion of the Parachute Regiment of the Portuguese Army during the annual Falcon Jump exercise on September 17, 2022 over the Ede launch zone, 18 km west of Arnhem, in the province of Gelderland, the Netherlands. A Portuguese skydiver is equipped with a SPEKON RS 2000 parachute from the German manufacturer SPEKON Sächsische Spezialkonfekion GmbH. Above him are US paratroopers with T-11 parachutes.

Photo by M. Bienik | 6 barrels per day

The annual Falcon Leap 2022 exercise, based in Eindhoven, in the south of the Netherlands, took place from 5 to 16 September 2022 in the Netherlands and Belgium. During the first week, the exercise focused on cargo drop operations, and the second week focused on drop operations. It was attended by more than 1 thousand soldiers representing 13 countries, including Portugal, with the participation of the Operational Detachment of 22 soldiers from the Airborne Operational Battalion of the Parachute Regiment of the Ground Forces.

The exercise officially ended on September 17, 2022, commemorating the 78th anniversary of Operation Market Garden, which began on the same day in 1944, during World War II, as part of the largest airborne operation in which more than 40,000 troops serving in the 1st Airborne Division of Great Britain, the 1st Independent Parachute Brigade of Poland, the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions of the United States of America. These commemorations were marked by the launch of paratroopers over the original drop zones of the Operation.

The photo was taken by the Polish soldier M. Benek, seconded to the 6th Airborne Brigade (BPD) – Brigadier General Stanisław Sosabowski, a unit that is the result of the historical legacy of the 1st Separate Polish Airborne Brigade, which jumped during the operation ” Bazaar Garden “, in 1944 under the command of General. Stanislav Sosabovsky – whose name is a suffix (as patron) of the current unit.

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Article published in partnership with “Espada & Escudo”

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Luana Piovani goes to Portugal’s Golden Globes with her boyfriend

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Luana Piovani goes to Portugal's Golden Globes with her boyfriend



Luana Piovani

Photo: Instagram/@luanapiovani/Famous and Celebrities

This Sunday, the 2nd, actress Luana Piovani went to the Portuguese Golden Globes along with her boyfriend Lucas Bittencourt. In her Instagram, the actress praised the outfits they were wearing.

Ready for the Golden Globes. Great guy. We are very, very luxurious, my love,” said Luana. While Lucas was wearing a black suit, she was wearing a short white lace dress with green accents at the waist.



Luana Piovani at the Golden Globes.  -

Luana Piovani at the Golden Globes. –

Photo: Instagram/@luanapiovani/Famous and Celebrities

“Long live the Golden Globes and long live you, my love, who accompanied me and constantly gave me a hand, because I have very high heels and I have a problem knee,” the actress shared.

Luana Piovani revealed the reason for the breakup with Pedro Scooby

Actress Luana Piovani finally revealed the real reason behind his breakup with surfer and former BBB Pedro Scooby. In the documentary “A Vida é Irada, Vamos Curtir”, the actress recalled the tense moment they went through due to the inattention of the athlete, which eventually became the trigger for the divorce.

While they are traveling with their family, Pedro forgot to extend their stay, leaving Luana with nowhere to go with her children and several problems to deal with. “I had to leave before 13:00 the next day because the property was already rented out. With three children and twelve suitcases, Luna remembered. “When I hung up, I took the ring off my finger, put it on the table and said, ‘My marriage just ended.’ indicated.

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Portugal loses to meet Slovenia in the 1/8 finals of the Table Tennis World Cup – Observer

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Portugal loses to meet Slovenia in the 1/8 finals of the Table Tennis World Cup - Observer

The Portugal men’s table tennis team lost 3-1 to Denmark on Tuesday, but have already secured their place in the 1/8 finals of the World Team Championship, in which they will play with Slovenia.

Portugal, ranked ninth in the world rankings, proved itself in the previous two rounds against Slovakia with a score of 3:1 and against Brazil with a score of 3:2, thus guaranteeing not only access to the playoffs of the World Cup, which occupies a place in Chengdu, China, but also a victory in Group 6.

Without Marcos Freitas, the Portuguese player best positioned in the world hierarchy in which he is ranked 33rd, the national team won one game, Joao Heraldo, world number 49, over Anders Lind, 156th in the rankings, at 3- 1, with ends 11-9, 11-9, 8-11 and 11-5.

Diogo Chen (692nd), who replaced Marcos Freitas, lost the first two games he played in the tournament to Thor Christensen (891st) 3-0 (6-11, 9-11 and 8-11) and Anders Lind . , with a score of 3-1 (8-11, 11-6, 5-11 and 14-16), while João Monteiro (83rd) was surprised by Tobias Rasmussen (363rd) with a score of 3-0, with ends 12-14, 9-11 and 8-11.

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The Portuguese team could not get even with an exception introduced by Denmark in the round of 16 of the 2021 European Championship.which suffered its first setback in the competition and did not even shake the first place in the group, as it had the advantage of head-to-head with Brazil and Slovakia, who faced each other on Tuesday, with the South Americans winning 3-0.

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Portugal finished level with Brazil, while Slovakia was third and Denmark fourth, and will face Slovenia, the 14th team in the world, with Darko Jocic standing out as eighth in the individual pecking order and second in Europe.

The Slovenian national team, which beat Thailand (3:0), Puerto Rico (3:1) and the USA (3:0) in Chengdu and lost only to the hosts and the very favorite China (3:0), beat Portugal in the final of the Mediterranean Games 2022 year in Oran (Algeria).

Women’s representation, which reached the 1/8 finals of the World Cup for the first timewill play against Luxembourg, the 25th team in the world rankings.

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