"We can all work together. We can support each other. All of us have the potential to do great things."
Ofelia Escobedo is a community builder and two-time cancer survivor who has a passion for culture, family, and the value of the neighborhood. The co-owner of Lola's Market and Deli, Ofelia spent her early adulthood in a Barrio Carlsbad that was friendly and united. After raising her family in Orange County, she returned to the area in 1985 and was shocked to see her town center neglected and littered with graffiti, drugs, debris, and gangs. Determined to restore the community to its prior vibrancy, she rallied the neighborhood and formed the Barrio Carlsbad Association. Through her leadership and the support of the community, the neighborhood decline was reversed, and the area was successfully transformed and today is a vibrant community full of life, hope, and possibility. To her credit, Ofelia started an annual Fiesta in 1990 that now attracts over 8,000 people a year to celebrate the history and culture of Barrio Carlsbad. Her resiliency and commitment to purpose have been foundational in building a renewed sense of unity and strength within her community. When you walk into Lola's Market you can see the evidence of her work: family behind the counter, tables filled with people of all ages, and an ever-changing Wall of Fame celebrating high achievers. Everyone is welcome, and everyone is recognized.