Band Biography

Los Jornaleros del Norte at Placita OlveraLos Jornaleros del Norte are:
Loyda Alvarado – Vocals & Güira
Manuel Ortiz – Drums
Ervin Mancilla – Congas
Arnoldo Juarez – Vocals & Piano
Pablo Alvarado – Bass & Chorus, Vocals
Omar León – Vocals, Accordion & Piano

About Los Jornaleros del Norte (The Day Laborer Band)

The day laborer band was created after an ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) raid that took place in City of Industry in 1995 while a mobile health clinic of the Los Angeles County Health Department was providing HIV and other STD testing. Omar Sierra, one of the main vocalists of the band was present during the raid and decided to write a Corrido (ballad) about the incident. As time went on, the Day Laborer Band expanded and became a fundamental tool in the organizing effort. The band’s purpose is to inform, educate, organize, and mobilize day workers, sensitize the general community about day labor related issues, and denounce the abuses committed against them. The band has performed for day laborers at corners and centers, for local unions, for students, for activists, for teachers, etc.

Expanded Background

People see us struggle for a living on the street corners of big cities, in front of construction stores, on the sidewalks, in parks and parking lots. Some of us are tall, short, skinny, fat, young, and old. We are the workers who are commonly called esquineros (corner keepers), day laborers, day workers, or street workers. We do not come from the same country and we do not have the same customs, or manners of speech. Some of us had the opportunity of getting a certain level of formal education and others of us cannot even read or write in our own language. We day laborers are all different, but alike at the same time. Pedro, Juan, and Miguel all want the same thing: an employer that arrives at the corner or at the formal hiring sites to give us work.