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Crosscurrents is our award-winning radio news magazine, broadcasting Mondays through Thursdays at 11 a.m. on 91.7 FM. We make joyful, informative stories that engage people across the economic, social, and cultural divides in our community. Listen to full episodes at kalw.org/crosscurrents

For this Bolivian father and son duo, tailoring is a way of life

 Gabriel Escobar (Left) and Efrain Escobar (Right) inside Efrain's shop, Escobar Tailors, in Pleasant Hill.
Ricky Rodas
Gabriel Escobar (Left) and Efrain Escobar (Right) inside Efrain's shop, Escobar Tailors, in Pleasant Hill.

This story aired in the March 21, 2023 episode of Crosscurrents and was reported in partnership with The Oaklandside.

This story was made to be heard. If you are able, press the play button above to listen.

The Escobar family has lived through a lot: war, typhoid fever, political unrest, economic upheaval and immigrating from Bolivia to the Bay Area. But throughout these challenges, three generations of Escobars have honed their skills as master tailors, working for some of the biggest names in fashion, as well as running their own businesses in Oakland and Pleasant Hill.

Ricky Rodas is one of KALW's 2022 reporting fellows. He is a member of the 2020 graduating class of the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism. He spent two years reporting on immigrant communities in the Bay Area as a reporter for the local news sites Oakland North, Mission Local, and Richmond Confidential. Rodas, who is Salvadoran American, is currently the small & immigrant-owned business reporter for The Oaklandside through a partnership with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms to report on under-covered issues and communities.