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From the advisors: Voices won’t be silenced When my mother started elementary school in 1940s Texas, she only spoke Spanish. My mother was born in Texas. At the time, Hispanic students were punished for speaking Spanish at school. One time, a teacher caught my mother speaking Spanish on the playground with her friends. As punishment, a teacher locked her in a closet all day. This instilled a fear in my mother. She told me she grew up afraid to talk. Thank goodness the days of blatant discrimination on the playground have disappeared. As an educator, I feel it is important to teach my students to express their own voice and recognize the importance of being bilingual. This is one of the reasons why my colleague, Elio Leturia, and I have worked closely with the students who have created El Mestizo. The goal of this publication is to showcase their work and highlight different stories of interests for our Columbia College community. The voices of the young people will never be silenced like my mother’s once was. We hope you enjoy what we have to teach you for years to come.

Teresa Puente and Elio Leturia, HJC advisors

A One-on-One with Luis Gutierrez By Carolina Cruz

Letter From The Editor A dream comes true! Hello Columbia students, Welcome to a New Year filled with excitement and new opportunities to show our work. With a lot of pride and happiness, I present to all of you the new El Mestizo 2011 edition. Here you will see the work of our best and more knowledgable members who are or were a part of Hispanic Journalists of Columbia (HJC). As the new president of HJC, I hope to meet your expectations and exceed them. In this edition, you will notice a wide range of topics. If you are interested in art, music, cuisine, political issues or figures you will find something in here for you. HJC’s latest trip to Orlando, Florida for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists convention was very fun and useful for all the members and myself. Our next goal is to attend UNITY in 2012. UNITY is one of the largest conferences for minority journalists. Every 4 years, this conference takes place bringing together journalists from different backgrounds: Asian-American, African-American, Native American and Hispanics. I hope you join us in our efforts for making another dream come true and enjoy the delights of reading and learning from exceptional Latinos! Sinceramente Gracias, Carolina Cruz HJC President

EL MESTIZO Fall 2011 Editor-In-Chief: Carolina Cruz Reporters: Lynndel McCullough Tyler McDermott Janeth Mendoza Allison Rodriguez Carolina Cruz Cover photo: Courtesy of Mario Castillo Faculty Advisors: Teresa Puente Elio Leturia Special thanks to: Daniel Aranda Ana Karina Garcia Ray Haynes Want to submit a story! E-mail us at: or


hen asked what was his response to those who argue why he did not run for Chicago Mayor when he had the chance, he answered, “I respectfully disagree.” To those who criticize his decision for not running he replies, “as a congressman, I believe I will be more helpful.” His plans for the Hispanic community right now are to improve the way we live. For the year 2011, his ideas are to protect consumers in general by creating jobs and new businesses. In addition, keep an eye on Wall Street and purchases done with credit. s the first Latino to be elected to Congress from He also plans to focus on education ensuring the Midwest, Congressman Luis Gutierrez is someone to ad- this aspect is not devastated. “I think every dollar we mire in the Hispanic community. Gutierrez, now in his 10th put into education is an investment,” said Gutierrez. term as an U.S. Representative in the House, has served Make sure bilingual programs, community colleges, Illinois as part of the Democratic Party since 1992. and head-start programs are strong. The strategy is I got the opportunity to talk with him one-on-one to double down on many measures that are already last year. Furthermore, I got a chance to talk with him a implanted. Moreover, find economic support towards little more in depth of what his thoughts and overall plans these programs. are for the Hispanic community. The greatest accomplishment of his life so “I first got active in the world of politics during the far, is making possible this wonderful opportunity to campaign of Harold Washington in 1983,” said Gutierrez. serve. He wants to unite different Latino communiHe claims that after getting to know the world of politics ties with a single purpose, which is defending the and seeing what others do in order to help their communirights of the most vulnerable among us. ties, he became inspired to get involved. His recommendation to those that are still During his first year as a Congressman, he realized fighting against discrimination and racism is to that there was a true challenge for the Latino community. watch, listen and be ready to make changes. “Those How could he change people’s lives to get them counted as of us who have citizenship should sacrifice so others our numbers expanded? can have a greater freedom,” said Gutierrez.


The Problem with Guantanamo Bay By Allison Rodriguez

Photo Mario Castillo “Peace Mural”

Most people know the story of how the United States of America came to be and the document that was and still is the foundation on which America bases its principles today. The Constitution has stood the test of time but not without many speed bumps along the way. It is the duty of the judicial branch of government to keep order and protect the rights of citizens and non-citizens. Throughout history, the Supreme Court has heard and ruled on cases that have defined our nation, such as Brown v Board of Education or Roe v Wade. It has also set precedents and standards for which it uses to rule today and for the lower courts to follow. It has run into a few snags along the way, especially with issues dealing with the federal government. Therefore, it was no surprise that when the United States started taking prisoners and holding them at Guantanamo Bay, the legality and constitutionality of certain issues had to be examined and/or challenged. In 1903, the U.S. leased the southern part of Guantanamo Bay. While Cuba retained ultimate

authority over the territory, the United States did have some authority. Inside the naval base set up there, the United States had a detainment camp for prisoners who they could potentially charge with terrorism. These prisoners were viewed as enemies of the United States. The terrorist attack on the U.S. on Sept. 11 2001 triggered Congress to pass the Authorization to Use Military Force. This gave authority for the president to “use all necessary and appropriate force against those” who had anything to do with terrorist acts against the U.S. In 2004, a landmark decision made by the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Rasul v Bush, recognized that the court system had the authority to decide whether or not, a non-citizen of the U.S. was held wrongfully in Guantanamo. In a television address held by former President George W. Bush, he stated that the U.S. had a “rigorous process to ensure those held at Guantanamo Bay belong in Guantanamo.” One of the prisoners being held in Guantanamo Bay was Lakhdar Boumediene, a naturalized Bosnian citizen.

He became one of the faces in the fight for Guantanamo Detainees’ Right to Habeas Corpus. Habeas Corpus is a court document demanding a person be brought before a judge for investigation of unlawful imprisonment. The detainees who filed Habeas Corpus were attempting to take the military to court for unlawful detainment at Gitmo, and for denying them constitutional rights. To this, George W. Bush said, “these aren’t common criminals or bystanders accidentally swept up on the battlefield; they are suspected bomb makers, terrorist trainers, recruiters and facilitators and potential suicide bombers.” In 2009, President Barack Obama signed an order to close down Guantanamo Bay and the prisoners were going to be transferred to different prisons. However, that still hasn’t happened. Hopefully, the closure will help our branches of government work better together when it comes to international issues.

A Piece of Work: In and Out of the Classroom By Lynndel McCullough In class, Mario Castillo is soft spoken yet passion- In 1969 he collaborated with multiple students of ate and thorough. He came to Columbia College in 1990 as diverse ethnicities and created an outdoors mural entitled an art professor, but he has been painting for over 40 years. “Wall of Brotherhood.” He also pioneered the Mexican His art has been displayed around the states. mural movement and created his first outdoors “Peace On the first day of class, this prestigious professor Mural” in 1968. looked at the students and said: His recent post-modernist work, “Ancestral “Well, I guess I’ll tell you all now in case you want Traces,” was exhibited at the Prospectus Art Gallery last to drop the class…there has been controversy surrounding spring. my work. In my paintings I focus on birth, life, death and When I walked into the gallery, I was swallowed the afterlife. Back in the day, I had an idea to use my own into different multicolored worlds. His paintings incorbody fluids in some of my artwork. Other artists used to porate artistic techniques that span all styles from Pop criticize the type of paint I would use -acrylics, because it Art to Surrealism. The vibrant colors fuse into different is a synthetic material- but I would think to myself, ‘You textures, making every detail and every layer an advenwouldn’t say that if you knew what else I was using.” ture for the eye to comb through. The students laughed. Attendance remained the In 1993, Castillo coined the phrase “Perceptualsame. Why would anyone abandon wisdom from an open ism” to describe this interactive process. His recent work and profound professor? is influenced by Surrealism, folk art, pre-historic cave On one occasion, the class voted to allow music art, and the Pre-Columbian era. Mexico, rich in imaginato play during work time, and Castillo explained that the tion and stories, also projects through his paintings. various genres were from around the world and instructed “If people do not want to see beyond the first that we respect whatever was playing, even if it sound odd glance when they look at them, well they missed out on to us. His class is centered on that ideal: each person listens having an experience with the work. These paintings are and gave a respectful critique of others’ artwork. Castillo more interactive,” said Castillo. After all, perception is patiently helps each student’s diversity bloom, and he has in the mind of the beholder. been an innovator of diversity throughout his whole life. For more information visit

‘Keeb’ Marquez a Rising Star By Tyler McDermott


reat artists come around He set out to achieve his every now and again, armed with dreams with this mindset along the true love for their craft that most with the inspiration of a deceased artists of our time forget. These art- family member from which his ists find joy in capturing crowds and stage name Keeb originated. giving the masses a level of creativ- Constantly writing and beat ity that most will find hard to forget. making, Keeb increased his work Marcus “Keeb” Marquez is one of ethic each time he met a challenge. those rare artists. The man, most He describes his love for hip -hop people recognize by his combat boot like this: “I do it for the love of the and designer jacket attire is referred game. To give the people what they to as the “Diddy” of Chicago. need. I do it for the ladies that go Throughout his life Keeb has through heartbreak. That’s why I done everything from producing to don’t mind giving away my music rapping to managing to volunteer for free.” work. Taking time to focus on his One of his most popular personal career Keeb has been con- songs, Anything & Everything, stantly on his grind, developing song which is available on iTunes right after song, touching on a variety of now, is a direct example of his themes, mostly catering to the love overall style as a detailed and expehe has for women. rienced lyricist, giving the audience However, as busy as he may what they need: a glimpse into the be, he made time to sit down for an essence of Keeb. interview with El Mestizo and gave He showcases a skillful us a glimpse of who Keeb really is. approach to the ladies, and even Keeb describes himself as a touches on heartbreak, like in his “simple guy from Chicago with big song Heartbreak Hotel. Though city dreams.” The simplicity com- he’s constantly making moves as a ing from his Cuban heritage, which performer, Keeb also makes room Keeb recognizes as the tool which for a little down time to share his taught him life’s values and that big skills while volunteering at the things often come in small packages. Boys and Girls Clubs of Chicago. From day one his goal was simple, When it comes down to it, “To be a Boss”. He wanted the life Keeb is the measure of a man. With that hard work and motivation gave a work ethic as highly advanced as his idol, Sean “Diddy” Combs. He his, it is hard to deny he is well on also cites popular Midwest raphis way. per, Nelly and Southern rapper, T.I. as other musical influences. Keeb To get his songs and find out more learned from T.I. to “never forget about Keeb go to: where you come from.”

Mexican Men Also Cook By Janeth Mendoza Born in Chicago to Mexican parents, 21-yearold Jerry Tapia was always exposed to cooking. It was part of his everyday life because both of his parents worked as chefs. As a child, Tapia remembers the polished silver tables so shiny that he saw his own reflection. The neatly lined up stoves were all occupied with sizzling pans, people ran with urgency, and all while he stood gazing with bliss at all the commotion. One can say Tapia did not become interested in culinary arts but rather grew right into it. While he grew up, Tapia and his older brother and sister would accompany their parents to work because they did not have babysitters. Since both of his parents worked as chefs, Tapia got to experience first hand the excitement of a kitchen. During high school, when he entered a culinary and pastry competition, a judge was so impressed with his Greek food that he truly complimented his work and motivated Tapia to continue cooking. He graduated from Steinmetz High School in Chicago in 2007. Shortly after, he attended Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts and received his Culinary Degree in 2009. His passion and ideas come from his surroundings. Something as simple as a tree, or a red autumn leaf can spark his imagination. The biggest and greatest goal for him is to use his creativity not only in his dishes, but also in all that he does. He is an up-and-coming chef who plans to teach people how to eat and not just cook. He firmly believes in the idea of eating for pleasure and not just getting caught in between the traps of fast foods. Tapia has gathered experience from previous jobs, while cooking and catering for Soldier Field and Allstate Arena. Furthermore, he crafted his art by working at Charlie Trotter’s Restaurant where he worked doing pastry and culinary, and Henri Restaurant as a pastry line cook. Both of these places are fine dining restaurants.

Jerry currently resides in Chicago and is working towards his goals of having a bakery, a restaurant and writing a book. Keeping himself busy with his creativity and ideas he goes by the motto: “Never develop a comfort zone, step out on to the unknown.”

if you are interested in trying one of jerry tapia’s cakes, tarts or pies visit his website at: http://cakesbyjerry. com/index.htm or email him to place an order at: cakesbyjerrytapia@ !Buen provecho!

El Mestizo 2011  

In Fall 2011, I work as the Editor-in-Chief of this college publication. It was part of my duties as the president of the NAHJ chapter at Co...

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