Photography by Michelle Kilfeather
Rodrigo Durán's parents come from very different backgrounds.
In Part 1, the host of Real City Ambassadors shares the stories of his parents' respective moves from Mexico to San Francisco. His dad came to the U.S. from Mexico City after becoming disillusioned with the revolutionary movement in his homeland, ended up in The City, and fell in with low-riders and Central Americans here. Rodrigo's mom is from a small town in Jalisco, and her father came to the U.S. on the Bracero Program. The two met in San Francisco, where Rodrigo and his siblings were born.
After a brief time back with family in Mexico, Rodrigo returned to SF, went to school in Chinatown, and got involved in the Aztec dance community through his dad.
Rodrigo ends Part 1 reflecting on the inclusion he felt from various communities in San Francisco.
In Part 2, Rodrigo talks about coming back to the Mission to go to middle school at Horace Mann, where he met many of his lifelong friends. He ended up at Lowell High School near Lake Merced and temporarily lost touch with those friends.
From there, Rodrigo went to San Diego for college. He explains the influence on his life that came from Carlos Aceituno, a capoeira teacher he met at Mission Cultural Center, and how that affected his decision to go to UCSD. That move led to Rodrigo's time in Brazil, which he talks about extensively in this episode.
He ends this podcast with his return to The City and his involvement with Calle 24 and San Francisco's Carnaval and starting his latest project, Real City Ambassadors.
We recorded this podcast at the offices of Calle 24 Latino Cultural District in November 2020.