This area has enjoyed a renaissance in recent years and is home to many restaurants, shops and the popular Fruitvale Public Market.

It is the home to the Cesar Chavez branch of the Oakland library, the nation’s first library branch designed to serve the Hispanic community.

Each October, the Fruitvale community plays host to the Dia de los Muertos Festival, one of the region’s largest of its kind.


Healthcare options abound

The Fruitvale neighborhood offers a wealth of health resources arrayed along International Boulevard and along the East Bay BRT route.

Native American Health Center

(510) 535-4400

Perhaps the most visible is the Native American Health Center, which maintains clinic facilities at 3124 International Blvd.; its 7 Directions program at 2950 International Blvd., and its administrative offices at 2920 International Blvd.

Since 1972, NAHC has been serving communities in the Bay Area by providing an array of resources ranging from medical, dental, therapy, support groups, and HIV/HCV services.

From its original mission of providing comprehensive services for the well being of Native Americans — American Indians and Alaskan Natives – the health center has grown into a community healthcare resource open to everyone.

Today, the health center has nearly 300 employees in 12 sites throughout the Bay Area.

“We are committed to advocating for strong and healthy families and communities,” said Parke Ballantine, Native American Health Center media manager. “The Fruitvale area is rapidly growing and so are we.”

“We are very excited to have East Bay BRT in our community because it will make all of our resources more accessible,” said Ballantine.

In addition to health, nutrition and fitness programs, the Native American Health Center also provides youth services and hosts cultural events.

Offerings span all ages and include men’s drum circles, computer and coffee time, sewing and quilting classes, traditional arts, and parenting classes.

For more info visit

Other healthcare sites in the district include:

  • La Clinica

3351 International Blvd.; (510)500-9058

La Clinica offers community health care in wellness, prevention, and patient-centered care. Addressing the needs of the diverse Fruitvale neighborhood, La Clinica provides culturally and linguistically appropriate resources so that no one feels left out. Tattoo removal services and teen health are just a few of the many special resources offered to the public.

For more info visit

  • Access Health

3351 International Blvd.; (510)532-8831

Are you looking for affordable healthcare that doesn’t require a membership or insurance? Access Health’s experienced doctors and professionals can provide convenient, quality primary and urgent care. Walk-in or schedule an appointment for checkups, routine exams, or for urgent attention.

For more info visit

  • Westcoast Children’s Clinic

3301 E 12th St; (510)269-9030

The Westcoast Children’s Clinic delivers individual therapy for both children and family. Clients have access to programs that meet the needs of adolescents. Westcoast has highly trained clinical staffs that are available to help assess each child and cater a program to their needs.

For more info visit

  • Street Level Health Project

2501 International Blvd.; (510) 533-9906

Street Level provides temporary services like food, clothing, and health programs to help people get back on their feet. Check out the clinic and get free assistance on navigating community resources.

For more information visit

Food just part of Fruitvale’s appeal

Handmade ice cream, fresh produce, and Latin American cuisine are just a few of the treasures creating a buzz at the Fruitvale Public Market.

The Unity Council established the Fruitvale Public Market in 2008 to provide an affordable, attractive, and storefront space in the heart of east Oakland. Eleven businesses make up this indoor-market and they each provide an array of colorful goods visitors to the Fruitvale Village.

The market serves a one of the primary shopping destination in the neighborhood. Relax and enjoy the Latin American flavors that surround the courtyard area of the market and take advantage of the Farmer’s market year-around on Sundays and Thursdays.

The home-style cooking at the Taco Grill attracts foodies from all over. You can even try a caramel-filled churro from Churros Mexicanos. All of these delightful foods are what makes a trip to the market worthwhile.

The Fruitvale Public Market was created to expand opportunities for entrepreneurs and small businesses, create jobs, and to expand the resources in the Fruitvale and San Antonio neighborhoods. Each business holds a high standard of quality, freshness, and variety of service that is needed.

In addition to being an essential part of the Fruitvale neighborhood, the market is also the epicenter of Fruitvale’s popular fairs, arts and crafts demonstrations, and healthy living resources. The Unity Council hosts an annual Dia de los Muertos celebration that showcases Latin culture and live entertainment.

Don’t get stuck looking for parking when you can ride East Bay BRT to Fruitvale.

Librarian looks forward to BRT service

The start of Bus Rapid Transit service along the International Boulevard corridor will make life easier for commuters. But it’s also going to provide new opportunities – and more potential clients – for the many businesses and community services located along the route.

One of those who is eager to embrace the prospect of increased traffic is Pete Villasenor, the head librarian at the Cesar Chavez Branch of the Oakland Public Library (3301 East 12th Street, Ste. 271, at Fruitvale Village).

BRT would be really beneficial for our patrons,” said Villasenor. “I can only see benefit from this project.

“I expect more people will visit the library as a result of BRT. BART is nearby, but we draw mostly from the nearby neighborhoods, within a 1-2 mile radius. Parking isn’t easy here, but with this, it should be easier for people who don’t want to drive here and who are not able to make the walk.”

Villasenor knows his clientele well. He has worked for the library system since 1996, serving at Cesar Chavez for nine years and leading the branch for five years.

The Cesar Chavez branch has a rich history. It opened in 1966 as the Latin American Branch Library, the first library in the nation to specifically serve the Spanish speaking population. And it continues that tradition today with computer classes in Spanish every Saturday and bi-lingual story time for toddlers and preschoolers.

Today, libraries provide other services too.

“In a way, we’re becoming de-facto day care for these kids whose parent or parents have to work,” Villasenor explained. “This way, they are not on their own. They eat here and hang out here longer. We feed their stomachs and then feed their minds.

“This is the third summer that we will be offering free lunches for kids up to (age) 18 healthy lunches Tuesday through Friday. We feed on average 50 kids on each of those days during the summer.”

Villasenor also is looking forward to BRT on a personal level. “I’m a bicycler and I’m very happy that there will be bike lanes.”