A moment in Lawrence: Former residents of La Yarda and their descendants attend film screening

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Former residents of La Yarda, the East Lawrence housing unit built for Mexican American railroad workers from 1920-51, and many of their descendants attended a screening of a film about the neighborhood Saturday evening.

The short documentary, by local filmmakers Lourdes Kalusha-Aguirre and Marlo Angell, captured the history of the neighborhood. Families came to town to work for the Santa Fe Railroad, and they shared childcare duties and their traditions. A flood wiped away the housing complex in 1951.


The Lawrence City Commission at its Sept. 21 meeting proclaimed Oct. 2, 2021 as La Yarda Day to honor the residents and their descendants, and to thank them for their contributions to the city.

The Lawrence Arts Center held two screenings of the film Saturday evening — the encore showing was planned last week after tickets to the premiere went fast.

You can learn more about the residents and listen to interviews with them at this link from the Lawrence Public Library.

Photos by Marlo Angell

Marlo Angell / Contributed Photo Surviving residents of La Yarda attended the premiere screening of the short documentary film, “Searching for La Yarda,” on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021 at the Lawrence Arts Center.
Marlo Angell / Contributed Photo Left to right, in both photos, are former La Yarda residents Rick and Omar Romero.
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