Welcome to Cambodia Town and Long Beach California!
In the heart of Long Beach, running along Anaheim street just between Junipero and Atlantic, is the cultural hub of Cambodia Town. Cambodia Town has been a shelter for refugees since the 1980’s, initially serving as a fresh start for survivors of the Khmer Rouge and Vietnam war. The people of Cambodia town have overcome the effects of trauma and intergenerational trauma by leaning on each-other in a community oriented way. Anaheim Street is full of locally owned business ranging from authentic Cambodian restaurants to a multitude of different markets, auto-shops and clothing stores.
No where else in Long Beach can you get a pound of mung beans, a cup of freshly pressed sugar cane juice and a handmade dress in one outing. Cambodia town has the largest population of Cambodians outside of the country, it’s like a little slice of Cambodia transplanted into Long Beach. When you walk through the neighborhoods you’ll find gardens full of cultural fruits like papaya, banana trees and endless amounts of lemongrass.
There are even Buddhist temples sprinkled throughout the neighborhoods where people come together and practice spirituality. As the community continues to grow and flourish there are more and more opportunities for artistic expression and celebration, where people of all backgrounds and ethnicities can enjoy Cambodian traditions. Every year there’s a Cambodian new year celebration and parade and cultural festivals. Various nonprofits who provide social-work and mental-health resources, also help to curate these events and festivals.
Thanks to the help of community leaders in the non-profits the area has been filled with murals (Pow Wow Long Beach and Cambodia Town Mural Project) that were all painted with the help of youths and local artists who live in the area. No matter your age, ethnicity, or background there is opportunities for everyone to get involved in bettering the community.