According to Guadalupe Rosales, who curates the account, the word veterana means a woman who has put time in a gang and is now a respected elder. The word ruca is a slang word men use for their girlfriends. When Rosales was a teenager, she joined her older sister and dove into the party crew scene in East L.A., where she was raised.
"They were spaces where we felt like we belonged, where we could actually relate to others," the Mexican-American recalled to Vivala. "It's something that either the school or other places in East L.A. didn't provide for us. It was an alternative to gangs."
Rosales, now 35 and an artist who has been living in New York City for nearly 15 years, never forgot that time in her adolescence. Nor could she find any information on that piece of East L.A. history or the women who played such a large role in it.
“I started posting my photographs or images I felt were really empowering, with some history or background,” Rosales said about creating the Instagram account. “It grew because people noticed it. People felt that they could relate to it.”