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Escuela Tlatelolco Speaks! Vol. 2 Cafe Cultura Community Speaks Project #30 Telling Our Stories Spoken Word Class


Escuela Tlatelolco Speaks! Vol. 2 Copyright Š 2016 by Telling Our Stories Spoken Word Class All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission of the author.


To the proud and insightful students in our Spoken Word class: BElieve in YOUself because we need you! #CafeCultura #XpressYourself #TellingOurStories


Acknowledgments Thank you to the staff at Escuela Tlatelolco for another year working with your powerful students. Special shout out to our class for being true to yourself and speaking your truth. Remember: “It is our responsibility and choice to express ourselves and lift our voice, together building unity, leaders in our community. This is how we tell our stooorrrryyyy!�


Foreword It was an honor for Café Cultura to continue our relationship with Escuela Tlatelolco by offering our Spoken Word class for a second year. Using our “Telling Our Stories” curriculum, we observed participants’ growth in creativity and confidence. We collectively created a space in which students could not only speak about important issues in their lives but also use whichever language they chose to do so. Their brilliance shines through in this collection of spoken word/poetry, written during the 3rd quarter of the 2015-2016 school year. Through their words, these students show their resilience and desire to create change. We hope their work inspires you just as it did for us. For those who do not know about our organization: Café Cultura is an award-winning arts, culture, and youth development organization in Denver that promotes unity and healing among Indigenous peoples through creative expression while empowering youth to find their voice, reclaim oral and written traditions, and become leaders in their communities. Café Cultura has been providing positive, creative, and engaging community spaces for the Denver metropolitan area for more than ten years. After the passing of respected elder and veteran poet Abelardo “Lalo” Delgado, we accepted responsibility to continue using our oral and written traditions to provide opportunties for creative expression often not offered in schools or in the larger community. Café Cultura also drew inspiration from the movement connecting Indigenous people from throughout the Americas. We use creative expression to unify people representing southern Indigenous nations, known by terms such as “Chicana/o” and “Latina/o,” with those Natives of northern nations, referred to as “American Indian” or “Native American.”


CafĂŠ Cultura hosts one of the best open mic venues in the Denver metropolitan area, and the only space focused on family and youth. We also conduct highly engaging and culturally relevant spoken word/poetry workshops for underserved youth throughout Colorado. CafĂŠ Cultura partners with select organizations and schools to facilitate an intensive workshop series, publish youth poetry, and organize participant showcases. In an effort to develop young leaders within our community, we also coordinate a youth leadership program for Indigenous youth. If you or your organization is interested in collaborating, feel free to contact us. For more information about our open mic events, workshops, youth leadership program, and other programs: info@cafecultura.org 720-394-6589 www.cafecultura.org


Table of Contents The Path by Jocelyn ......................................................................... 1 Poder y Espanza by Maylee ............................................................ 2 Zombie Outbreak by Maximino .................................................... 4 My Roots by Alejandro.................................................................... 5 Fuerte by Seily ................................................................................... 6 efiL nwarD - Drawn Life by Amaury ............................................ 9 Skating Through Life by Eric ....................................................... 10 Love We Carry by Jocelyn............................................................. 11 Deep Thoughts by Erin................................................................. 12 En 10 Anos by Maylee ................................................................... 13 I Come From by Amaury .............................................................. 14 My Paradise by Eric ....................................................................... 15 Welcome to the USA by Alejandro ............................................. 16 Mi Carrera by Seily ......................................................................... 17 The One by Maximino .................................................................. 18 To the Future Me by Jocelyn ........................................................ 19 Montaña Rusa by Maylee .............................................................. 20 The Door by Amaury .................................................................... 21 En el Espejo by Seily ..................................................................... 22 Memories by Eric ........................................................................... 23


The Path by Jocelyn I find myself on this path to succeed. I start walking toward my future. This sidewalk starts to get difficult with family responsibilities. I keep my head up and move on. People doubt me. I hear their voices inside my head. I ignore them to succeed. I struggle up this hill to go to college. I manage to keep going and reach my dreams.


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Poder y Espanza by Maylee Vengo de una hermosa y humilde rosa. En ella, he aprendido mucho, incluso no rendirme fácilmente. Por ella, siempre he sido fuerte. Ella es mi madre. Mi familia viene de una ciudad muy preciosa con gente humilde. Aunque no seamos ricos, siempre nos mantenemos juntos. La Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua es muy querida por muchos lados. Todos tenemos una tradición que nunca se olvidará y que siempre recordaremos. I am a chile relleno that mi familia y yo comemos. Siempre recordaré el olor y el sabor delicioso de mis ancestros. I will never forget how my mom use to make them with patience and hard work. Yo vengo de una mujer poderosa y amorosa con manos muy fuertes que les da fuerza a las personas


Telling Our Stories Spoken Word Class

que necesitan su ayuda. Ella es una hermosa mujer morena que estĂĄ rodeada de un sol muy brilloso. Lleva su verde manta llena de muchas estrellas de poder, de esperanza. Yo soy el futuro de mis papas y vengo de una familia muy humilde. Siempre ha sido muy fuerte a pesar de muchas cosas. En el espejo, veo una persona que quiere lograr un sueĂąo grande y nunca rendirse.

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Zombie Outbreak by Maximino The zombie outbreak is now. You may not notice them, but they are in front of you.. You just have to look closer. They are showing up at Donald Trump’s rallies. They are the ones mumbling nonsense, trying to eat away your rights. This is no good. Trump has all these fools believing what he says, walking around with no purpose. They are like a white board and Donald Trump is writing all the facts. So it is up to you, yes you, to stop this zombie outbreak. Let me guide you to the path, to seize the road we all see, with bright lights at the end. Let us shoot these zombies with sense and prosperity, peace, and equality. Someday, the world will know true peace on earth because we’re all human, do not forget that. Donald Trump you suck! This zombie outbreak stops now.


Telling Our Stories Spoken Word Class

My Roots by Alejandro I will never forget Pancho Villa peleando en guerrilla, fighting for our rights, y cortando orejas para que no se les olvide que es nuestra tierra. He was born in Durango, igual como yo porque de ahí nacen los chingones. I will always remember Durango though I only lived there for a short time. Durango is in my blood. I am un coctel de camarón. It smells like a day on the beach with an ocean breeze blowing and cooling you down. It tastes like an atomic bomb exploding in your mouth, letting out a mixture of tomato, cucumber, and other wonderful flavors. I am a warrior and come from my ancestors’ roots. I look in the mirror and see a fighter who never gives up. In my dreams, I imagine full of peace and no Trumps.

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Fuerte by Seily Yo vengo de Narcizo Mendoza Durango, un pequeño rancho que es muy bonito. Para mí, es muy importante porque ahí fue donde crecí. Es un lugar muy bonito lleno de campos, árboles, y lugares bonitos. Yo soy una gordita de harina. Siempre recordaré a mi abuela porque ella las hacía muy ricas. Cuando se están calentando, huelen muy delicioso. Levanta el apetito. Su relleno podía ser lo que sea. Yo vengo de una mujer muy fuerte, hermosa, y valiosa. Para mí, siempre recordaré como es ella: amorosa y amable. Es la mama más linda y la más bonita de todas. Nunca olvidaré como ella, con tanto amor, me cuidaba


Telling Our Stories Spoken Word Class

y me daba cariño. Sin duda, ella es la mejor. Yo vengo de una familia muy unida y bonita. Siempre recordaré nuestro objeto que es un brazalete con caballo. Representa el amor que nos tenemos hacia nosotros. Por eso, este animal tan bonito lo elegimos como nuestro amuleto de la suerte. Yo soy poderosa y lloro cuando me caigo. Pero solo sonrió y trato de levantarme más fuerte. Mi amor para mi familia se siente como algo poderoso. Yo soy una persona honesta. Para mí, es injusto que a muchas personas no se les pueden cumplir sus metas. Me siento enojada cuando no puedo lograr algo. Yo quiero ser como esta mujer que cumplió su sueno de ser una profesional. Yo quiero ser fuerte, luchadora, e inteligente

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como ella. En sus manos, está cargando su futuro y en él, se refleja su inteligencia. En sus ojos, puedo mira su poder y su orgullo de sus logros. Su sonrisa es la más bonita porque a pesar de todo lo tiene que tenerla.


Telling Our Stories Spoken Word Class

efiL nwarD - Drawn Life by Amaury Before I start the drawing, I need to visualize my life. I am going to start drawing a car engineer. I might run out of resources but I am going to sharpen my pencil and start drawing again. If you make a mistake, you can stand up or erase the line and make it good. You do not have to be perfect. You just have to finish the drawing to reach your goal. .gniward ruoy hsinif ot noitartnecnoc sekat tI

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Skating Through Life by Eric As I step on the skateboard, I prepare myself for the obstacles I could face. While I skate, I know I will fall. No matter how bad I land, I will always get back up walking the pain off instead of laying helpless on the ground. Even with a broken bone, I will be able heal. I learn new tricks to avoid the failure. I know how to ollie over rocks filled with doubt. Instead of tripping and falling on them, I will learn new lessons to help me. I will reach my destination of being an auto mechanic and owning my own business.


Telling Our Stories Spoken Word Class

Love We Carry by Jocelyn I am a mochila carried around into the future. I come from a perspective only chosen by one. I am a bell boy that carries her work when she needs it. I will always remember the way I made them feel when I helped. I am a mom who makes my family proud of me. I come from a place that teaches self-respect and to love yourself. I am a little bit of sweetness from enchiladas. The smell reminds me of my mom and the love she has for us. I come from a lovely cultural recipe. I will always remember how they brought us together. I will never forget the memories we had together.

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Deep Thoughts by Erin I am a creative, smart girl and come from a broken family. It is unfair that I do not get treated right sometimes. I feel angry when I argue with the ones I love. In my dreams, I imagine a better Erin. I look in the mirror and see a happy girl with deep thoughts. I am curious and courageous.


Telling Our Stories Spoken Word Class

En 10 Anos by Maylee Lo que yo miro en el espejo es una persona muy valiosa y fuerte que le gusta seguir adelante y luchar por sus sueños. Cuando veo mi reflejo hacia el espejo, miro a una orgullosa familia. Cuando se refleja eso en mi persona, mi corazón empieza acelerarse mil miles por horas de lo hermoso y maravilloso que sentía adentro de mí. Talvez vea feos momentos en ese reflejo. Cuando veo que logro mis metas, me siento diferente. Ahora tengo mucho apoyo de mi familia y amigos para ser alguien en la vida. La verdad es de que tengo mucha fe en mi misma para lograr lo que quiero.

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I Come From by Amaury I am from Mexico, el DF, una ciudad con muchos mitos. They say it is a dangerous city, but I imagine a place with art in every corner. They say I will never return there, but I consider it home. I come from a father strong in his emotions and rough in his actions. I am like a nopal, rough, useful, and growing everywhere. I come from flautas, hard on the outside and soft in the inside, like me. They remind me of my family and where I come from. I am the next step of the future and come from my ancestors. I look in the mirror and see the future in my mind. In my dreams, I imagine a world without borders.


Telling Our Stories Spoken Word Class

My Paradise by Eric In my world, everything is perfect. Liars, cheaters, rapist, molesters, and the earth would be healthy again. My world would be the definition of paradise.

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Welcome to the USA by Alejandro Aliens is what my people are known as. Forget that! We do not look like green creatures with antennas. Trump says we bring drug dealers and rapists to the USA. The only drug we slang here is the spice we add to our food, the taste that explodes on our tongue. This is the USA, land of the greedy whites and home of the fools. But we are brown warriors ready to fight for our rights.


Telling Our Stories Spoken Word Class

Mi Carrera by Seily Para mí, la vida es como una carrera, en la que tendré que solo enfocarme hacia enfrente en la meta. La única razón para voltear atrás es para mirar lo que he avanzado y los obstáculos que pude brincar. En vez de quedarme ahí, aprendí a ser más fuerte. Y no necesita llegar primero a la meta. Quizá será cansado y querrá parar, pero no. Tengo que ser fuerte y avanzar. La gran diferencia es que estoy en mi propia carrera. Cada quien quiere llegar a la meta. La mía es terminar la universidad, graduarme, tener un título para trabajar y ya.

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The One by Maximino I am the rice of my culture. I come from the land of lands. I will always remember the taste of the rich rice, the smell of sweet cinnamon. It tastes like a cool winter's day. I will never forget the warmth and light it brings me. I am the rice of my culture. I was given a Buddhist amulet when I was a baby. I was a chosen one to save humanity, to bring peace to this world. I believe that one day everyone will understand each other. I come from a hardworking man who always accomplished what he says he is going to do. He is like Yoda from Star Wars, living that great saying that most people should know. “Do or do not. There is no try.� He is like a Master Jedi. I am the next generation and come from a far land. I look in the mirror and see the world changing. In my dreams, I imagine the future and good things to come. I am the one.


Telling Our Stories Spoken Word Class

To the Future Me by Jocelyn To the future me: Always remember who you are. Life might not be easy but you can do this. Always think positive. Remember to love yourself before you share it with someone else. Enjoy your life. Do not worry too much about your future. Just let it be but fight for your dream.

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Montaña Rusa by Maylee La vida para mi es como una montaña rusa con muchas bajadas y curvas. Tal vez, pueda ser divertido o ser espantoso. Las bajadas son las que me tratan hacer fuerte para seguir adelante y llegar al final con más ganas de seguir a mi meta. Tal vez, no pueda tener el control de la montaña rusa. Pero lo que yo si tengo el control es de mi misma. Aunque sea difícil las curvas y las bajadas, tal vez pueda ver momentos que me den miedo y otros momentos que disfruto. Pero yo sola me doy motivos para tratar de terminar mi meta. Aunque tengo otras personas conmigo, como mi familia, ellos también son los motivos para seguir y no parar. Aunque siga en esa montaña rusa no voy a rendirme hasta que llegue a mi futuro y de lo que más me espere.


Telling Our Stories Spoken Word Class

The Door by Amaury You are smart. You are very smart. We are the best. You are a genius. I appreciate you. You are loyal. I changed a lot. You came true, Win! Win! Win! Win! Win, no matter what! The doors that were closed, I rip the doors off. When I remove the hinges, I put them in the boy’s hands. Yeah, in the boy’s hands. You can put the hinges in your hands too. Never give up. Never surrender. Put the money, your money, in a savings account. Buy your whole family houses.

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En el Espejo by Seily En mis ojos, veo una persona trabajadora y estudiada con un futuro lleno de felicidad En mis manos, miro la fuerza que tengo para demostrar que tan fuerte soy. En mi cara, demuestro lo feliz que soy. Lo que miro en mi espalda es todo lo que ha pasado y aun asĂ­ he salido adelante. De mi boca, salen las palabras que pueden ayudar a las personas y cambiar al mundo. Mi corazĂłn demuestra el tipo de persona que soy, la honestidad que tengo. Y veo esas cualidades en ustedes.


Telling Our Stories Spoken Word Class

Memories by Eric I am a spicy hot wings that brings my family together on important days that mean a lot to us. I come from a tradition only carried on during football games. I will always remember the special times my family held while in the presence of hot wings. I will never forget how close my family becomes when we eat them or smell old memories in the air. I am the thing that holds my family together and brings them back if they left. I am more than just a hot wing. I am the hard worker who works as long as I can to earn my pay. I come from a rough past. I will always remember the bad times that brought me to be the person I am today. I will never forget the obstacles in my life. I am a proud, hard working brother. I am a bracelet originating from California. I come from the love and thoughts from my girlfriend. I will always remember the day it brought these two as one. I will never forget

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the thought they felt in my presence. I am skateboarding free from restrictions. It makes me feel free without boundaries with nature around me.


Escuela Tlatelolco Speaks! Vol. 2  

Escuela Tlatelolco Speaks! Vol. 2 (published 5/20/16)...written by participants in Cafe Cultura's Poetry/Spoken Word Class (aka "Telling Our...

Escuela Tlatelolco Speaks! Vol. 2  

Escuela Tlatelolco Speaks! Vol. 2 (published 5/20/16)...written by participants in Cafe Cultura's Poetry/Spoken Word Class (aka "Telling Our...

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