Nonprofit to host buy-out event in support of deaf Long Beach paletero

Los Angeles based nonprofit Local Hearts Foundation is hosting an event Saturday to support Pedro Castellanos, a Long Beach paletero, who is deaf and has worked in the city selling ice cream from a cart for almost eight years.

The nonprofit is inviting people to come out to 308 E. Shoreline Drive on Saturday from 2 to 5 p.m. to buy out all of Pedro’s cart inventory.

The foundation’s founder HJ Chong said his nonprofit wanted to highlight individuals such as Castellanos, who despite being hearing impaired, is able to work and make a living for himself.

“He may experience some adversities, but he still works hard,” Chong said.

Local Hearts Foundation has helped other vendors and paleteros in the past. The group recently raised $10,000 for a new cart for another street vendor who had his original cart stolen last month.

Local Hearts Foundation co-founder Tito Rodriguez said he had bought ice cream from Castellanos before.

“I remember he was deaf, and thought, ‘This guy is a legend,'” Rodriguez said. “He has not let any health condition stop him from working and doing what he wants.”

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