The Rise and Fall of Vatos Locos

If you know me in real life you might know that I once created a group called Vatos Locos. But what ever happened to “Vatos Locos?” What happened to this group of friends that one day were like family and the next thing you know, they parted ways? Well, the time has come. It is time to tell the story of Vatos Locos.
Lets start from the beginning. It all started when *doo-loo-loo* (if you also know me, you would know I would always say doo-loo-loo before telling a story) I was in grade five. My best friend at the time Justin Andrade and I would always cause trouble and naturally shit disturb our teacher, Ms. Sternak. We loved to be reckless, loud and quote lines from the movie “Blood In Blood Out: Bound By Honor,” which is undoubtedly one of my favourite movies of all time:
(Miklo Velka; one of the three main characters from the film “Blood In Blood Out: Bound By Honor,” showing the Vatos Loco sign)
Even though Justin and I were two different people, we shared this common interest and absolutely adored that film. Mainly because the story revolves around three Chicano characters, two whom are brothers and the other is their cousin. The movie also unveils the concept of family, honour, loyalty and empathy. Needless to say, these three Chicano characters were Vatos Locos and that was something Justin and I admired dearly. There is this one line from the film that Justin and I would quote all the time; “Vatos Locos Forever!” One day, we decided we are Vatos Locos and at age ten, I believed with all my innocence that it would last forever. But then something unexpected occurred. It was the end of the year and my best friend was leaving Toronto; and I wasn’t sure if he was coming back…
A year went by and I reacquainted myself with friends whom I met when I was in Kindergarden (yeah, you read correctly, Kindergarden.) In grade six, the four of us became Boylicious, but that’s a story for another day.
Fast forward to grade eight. I formed a strong friendship with one member of Boylicious named Damian Da Cunha and I made an unexpected friendship with one Jason Vieira. These two guys would assist me in filling the Vatos Locos void:


(Left to right: Myself, Bradley, Damian and Jason)

Just like that, the three of us were tighter than a pair of skinny jeans on a white girl. We even went to the same High School together and on the first day, I stated Well, this is the beginning of the rest of our lives. It’s a shame that didn’t last either, because one group member fell into a different crowd of people at school. Nevertheless, by the time I was in grade ten, Vatos Locos was growing at a rate even Mr. Vacarri couldn’t calculate.

Who was involved at this point? Damian “What?” Da Cunha, Bradley “Va-ja-hine-nah!” Inacio, Matthew “Chubs” Pereira, James “Trololololol” Da Costa, Alexandra “Courtney Love/Xela/Alice/ etc.” Fontes, Diego “Pinche Mexican” Rivera, Courtney “Shenanigans” Shannon and Henrique “Lopesh” Lopes.

Now I knew Bradley from elementary school but it was when he came to Romero in grade ten that he became a Vato. To this day, I don’t remember how Chubs and James became Vatos. There was never really an “initiation” so to speak but they were hilarious guys and I loved them. Same goes for Alex and Diego. However, Courtney was a different case.

We were at a party and I witnessed her drunk for the first time. The things she said were hilarious, so hilarious I made her a Vato Loco that night. Despite my best effort, she didn’t last long as a Vato Loco but it’s not a bad thing. I still got respect for her, shout out to Courtney!

Last but not least, Lopesh! I knew Henri since grade seven in Ms. Gimblette’s class. He had the illest three pointer shot; we called it the “Henri Shot.” But in High School, as Vatos Locos grew, so did our friendship. I know it bothered him for the longest time that it took so long for him to become a Vato and I apologize buddy. For the record, I still have the video of when you were finally initiated into Vatos Locos and if you don’t remember, I will l send you the video haha:


Did ya keep track? There was officially eight members of Vatos Locos at this point and things were looking great. We actually had great times together some that I personally will never forget. Whether it was times we went bowling to birthday parties to celebrating a team’s victory in futbol or simply hanging outside on the front stoop, we had blessed times as a group. But we also had our downfall…

It started when two out of the eight members of the group were getting closer than usual. And by usual, I mean a bromance. It sparked a conflict within the group because of negative, hateful comments that were made daily by the two and it was something that didn’t bother me until one day, it all came out like when a virgin busts a nut for the first time. Naturally I approached the two members who were making disrespectful comments and thus resulted in the second dismemberment in Vatos Locos history. From that point on, the group fell apart as relationships within the group were not as strong as they used to be. Then on March 13, 2013, I made the announcement via Twitter that it was officially over:


Nevertheless in present day earth, I am proud to say I remain friends with majority of the group members and as the years go by, I know in my heart that these guys are in my life for a purpose. What that purpose is, I don’t know exactly, but I do know I love them like Floyd Mayweather loves money.

Now to reflect on Vatos Locos as an entity, was it a failure? Sure, happened three times before I realized I don’t need to label my group of my friends; I just need to know that they are my friends, homies that will be there for me as well as I will be there for them. But I do believe life is funny that way. I worshiped the film Blood In Blood Out so much that I completely lost track of how it affected my life for more than five years. I wanted what Miklo Velka had in the movie, I painfully desired something like Vatos Locos. But just like the ending of the film Blood In Blood Out: Bound By Honor, you can’t force something to happen it has to happen naturally. Now with that being said, I think it is safe to say Vatos Locos will live forever; through this blog post so to speak. And that kids is the story of how Boylicious was– uh, I mean… That is the rise and fall of Vatos Locos.









-David Lazo-Pineda


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