When some Boyle Heights residents suffer from aches and pains, they turn to people like Pedro Granadas, a sobador, a cross between a masseuse and a healer. Sobadores have long been a source of comfort for many Latinos suffering from a wide variety of ailments. Boyle Heights Beat paid a visit to Granadas (pictured above) as part of a story on sobadores, who are not licensed or are required to undergo any special training. While many are dismissive of the massages and ointments used by sobadores, others swear by them as affordable and effective alternatives to medical doctors. Boyle Heights Beat explains that Granadas , a 52-year-old Mexican immigrant and full time construction worker, and other sobadores usually learn their skills from family members:
An older family member usually teaches a sobador how to massage through an informal apprenticeship. That is how 52-year-old Pedro Granadas, a sobador from Boyle Heights, learned. “This comes from my family, from my father, my mother, my grandfather,” said Granadas, who has been a sobador for more than 30 years.
While some sobadores charge up to $50 per session, Granadas said his customers pay what they can afford, with some paying between 50 cents to $5.