Latinos watch Inauguration and reflect on significance

During the Inauguration ceremony, KPCC's Adolfo Guzman-Lopez listened in on a Spanish-language broadcast of the proceedings with patrons of a Mexican bakery and restaurant in Long Beach.

Adolfo Guzman-Lopez: Early in the morning, the oven at El Rey Bakery began turning out the day's 1,000 rolls of Mexican sweet bread. The establishment's two televisions broadcast "la toma de posesion," the presidential Inauguration.

Television Commentator: Que Barack Obama ha estado esperando, el sueno de Martin Luther King hecho realidad.

Guzman-Lopez: El Rey owner Casimiro Pena, a Mexican immigrant who's lived in the United States for four decades, wanted to see the man he voted for in November take the oath of office.

Casimiro Pena: Es historia, no, todos esperamos un cambio.

Guzman-Lopez: Pena called it a historic event. Obama, he said, will change U.S. foreign policy and boost the economy. Enrique Herrera hoped so, too, as he waited for his coffee and bread next to the cash register.

Enrique Herrera: La economia es importantisimo ya que debido a eso esta el pais como esta, una crisis tremenda, una depresion.

Guzman-Lopez: The country's in a depression, Herrera said. A sharp slowdown at the place that's employed him for two decades, a construction tools manufacturer, shaped his opinion.

Ramon Pena Pena, the owner's brother, watched from El Rey's kitchen.

Ramon Pena Pena: Ya se ocupaba uno de esos, de esa clase de raza.

Guzman-Lopez: It's about time an African American became president, Pena Pena said. He admitted he hasn't always been fond of blacks. About 20 years ago, a group of African Americans stole a flat of eggs from a taco truck out making the rounds, he said, then pelted the truck with the eggs. He laughs at the incident now... and said he looks to Barack Obama as his president.

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