The largely Latino commercial strip of Crows Landing Road returned to normalcy Tuesday as customers came back to businesses that closed shop to support the national immigration boycott.
The street was clogged with thousands of demonstrators Monday, while businesses remained vacant throughout the day.
Some store employees and customers, however, wondered Tuesday if the one-day boycott was enough to produce reformed laws that would grant amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants in the United States.
Juan Cuarenta, 43, of Modesto, was one of thousands who marched down the usually busy corridor on the way to downtown Modesto to protest proposed legislation they say is meant to criminalize undocumented immigrants.
Cuarenta didn't buy anything and didn't go to work as a vendor at the swap meet on Crows Landing Road.
But he was back filling up his van with gas Tuesday, wondering if the demonstrations had a lasting effect.
"It wasn't that much of a sacrifice," Cuarenta said in Spanish on Tuesday. "If it's going to take more than one day, if it's going to take several days, then we'll do it."
Latino community leaders said they were happy with the local events. However, there is more work to be done, they said.
"Personally, I was happy to see that everything went very smoothly. There was no aggression, there was no violence," said Raul Garcia, site manager for El Concilio Community Center. "This was an opportunity for the Latino community to express the contributions they make to society."
"I was very impressed with how respectful people were," echoed Dale Butler, president of the Hispanic Leadership Council.
Immigration reform, he said, "is up in the air. But hopefully there will be a good outcome. In the meantime, people can write their legislators. I'm sure there will be future marches until this matter is resolved."
Norma Robles, 33, of Modesto, didn't join the demonstrations, but she said her family chose to protest its own way.
"I kept the kids from going to school, I didn't buy anything and my husband didn't go to work," Robles said in Spanish. "But I'm in favor of everything (protesters) did."
Araceli Arredondo, a manager at La Perla Tapatia market on Crows Landing Road, did join the demonstrations with the support of business management.
The business has eight other stores in the Modesto area and closed them all on Monday.
"That's what it was for, so they can see that (Latinos) are united," Arredondo said in Spanish.
Jorge Elizalde organized the march from Crows Landing Road and was surprised that more than 10,000 people showed up., Only about 4,000 were expected.
"We are part of this economy and this country," Elizalde said of the effects of Monday's march. "We are Americans and we want to be Americans."
About 45 businesses along Crows Landing Road closed Monday to support the demonstrators, said Elizalde, who is president of Crows Landing Road of Stanislaus County Businesses United.
He owns El Tio Auto Sales on Crows Landing Road and took a revenue loss as did other businesses in the area.
"Everybody here didn't take it like a loss. They took it like an investment," Elizalde said. "We have family and friends who need legal status."
Fernando Arredondo, manager of Carniceria 3 Hermanos, said the butcher shop lost about $5,000 in revenue after closing Monday.
He said the familyowned business supports the cause.
"I think things will change," Arredondo said in Spanish. "Let's see if this will really be the historic day they said it would be."
Bee staff writer Rosalio Ahumada can be reached at 578-2394 or email@example.com.
Bee staff writer Michael Mello contributed to this report.