Just a few weeks ago Red Bull descended upon Los Angeles for the Red Bull Soapbox Race. The event challenged 61 teams to race their homemade, gravity-powered soapbox racers down Angels Point Road. Over 55,000 fans filled Elysian Park to watch the action.
The teams were scored based on three criteria – speed, creativity and showmanship – by the event judges, which included L.A. Laker point guard Alex Caruso, radio personality Patty Rodriguez and world champion boxer Mikey Garcia. Yet, what made this year’s event a little more special was the participation group of Latino students who are homegrown products of the City of Angels and were more than welcome to contribute their engineering prowess and represent their culture in the competition.
Hailing from East LA College was team Elote Loco, who are all engineering majors excited to show that when people get ELAC students they are getting the best. “We wanted something long and the elote is a staple of East LA and that’s what we’re going for, something that everyone will recognize,” said Ricardo Melgar. Motivated to take on the course and experience Red Bull Soapbox for the first time, this team was determined to make it to the finish line. “The elote loco consists of a few condiments like mayo, cheese, butter, chili powder, and each costume will have a condiment they will be throwing on top of the vehicle getting it ready to be served down the course,” said Ricardo.
Los Jaguares Del Norte
Also, joining in on the action this year was team Los Jaguares Del Norte. The Jaguar represents the strength of elite warriors in the Aztec culture and we [were] ready to represent just this at Red Bull Soap Box. “We are like Jaguars! Bold and strong and not afraid,” said Armando Moraza. Four years ago, the team witnessed a similar project and thought it would be interesting to participate. “We want to represent the ingenuity of what is part of the Aztec empire and use this as an opportunity to display our culture,” said Armando. The team’s goal is to inspire other students by showing their work and what they can achieve as a team of Latino students in college.
Elote Loco and Los Jaguares Del Norte crossed the finish line at this year’s race, but more importantly, they set quite the example for future students, by participated and reppin’ a little Latino pride.