Fall 2022: DESTINATION MEXICO CITY & CEO SOL TRUJILLO – YEAR OF LATIN AMERICA

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CELEBRATING CROSS-CULTURAL IDENTITY

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@CULTURSMAG

LATINO CEO

SOL TRUJILLO'S LEGACY OF GLOBAL GREATNESS

The year of

EXPLORING THE CULTURE, LIVES AND LOVES OF THE CONTINENT AND THE CARIBBEAN.

WHERE IS HOME: A MUST READ FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

COLORISM IS ALIVE AND WELL

A DOG'S LIFE: GRIEVING FOR THIRD CULTURE KIDS



WE EMBRACE THE CULTURAL

“in-between”

Multicultural, multiethnic, mixed-race and geograpically mobile populations (like immigrants, refugees and Third Culture Kids).

BECAUSE EVERYONE SHOULD FEEL LIKE THEY MATTER

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CONTENTS

FALL 2022

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FEATURES ON OUR COVER

14 Lessons from a TCK’s first pet on moments and memories With all the grief TCKs experience in a lifetime and especially during the developmental years, we deserve to experience a love where it is safe to be vulnerable.

26 Colorism is alive and real Can we talk about it?

50 Latino CEO, Sol Trujillo’s Legacy Trujillo talks about the lessons he learned during his career and the importance of Latinos in the United States.

88 Where is home? An Adult Cross-Cultural Kid (ACCK) gives her take.

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE

24 Fifth Print Anniversary World Tour — June 2022 Fifth Print Anniversary “Live in Color” World Tour: Five continents over five months. Follow us to see what’s in store!

34 Destinations with Doni: CDMX Mexico lindo y querido.


98 CULTURS Alchemist Awards The Culturs Alchemist Awards celebrate the best and brightest of our in-between community. We want to uplift and amplify the brightest minds, talents and visions of those often overlooked.

THE MUST LIST IN EVERY ISSUE 68

Must Read: 50 stories from the last 10 years in Guatemala as missionaries

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Must Read: Top 10 young adult books for Third Culture Kids

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Must Listen: Reik

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Must Know: Ebony notes

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Must Watch: Third Culture Kids Dwayne Johnson and Keanu Reeves in ‘DC League of Super-Pets’

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Contributors

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Publisher’s Letter

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Transnational Third Culture Kid Filmmakers

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Bella’s Front Porch

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Technology

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Behind the scenes

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PRAISE FOR THE

SUMMER ISSUE CELEBRATIN G CROSS-CULTU RAL IDENTITY WW W.CULTUR SMAG.COM @CULTURSMA G

CLOSING OU R:

The year of

EXPLOR ING THE CULTUR E, LIV ES AND LOV ES OF THE CON TIN ENT AND THE CAR IBB EAN.

BE AU TIF ULLY

A R R A NGED:

THIS KENYAN -FI LOVE TH AT BE LIPINO FA MILY IS ST EE PE GA N AS ST RA NGER S IN MA D IN A RR IAGE

DOGS OF

SOUT H AM ER

CA RNE AS

IC A

O: AN ARGENTAD IN E AS ADOR'S SE CR ET S

TH E KE Y FIT NESS TOR WOMEN OVFO ER 40

Amazing story, the photographs of Sol and Liz along with the rest of their family are beautiful. Thanks for sharing! — H. Leclerc, via Facebook

I'm loving the article from the influencer from the U.K.! Her tips for women over 40 are on point. — Glitter Coach, via Whatsapp Connect with Culturs on social:

@CultursMag

Love your magazine! — @Kimhairstonmusic, via Instagram

@CultursGuruTCK

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Fall 2022 www.CultursMag.com Volume V, Issue XVI

GURU PUBLISHER & FOUNDER Doni Aldine

Just saw the magazine. It is marvelous! It is an honor that you included us there. Count on us for any collaboration that you may need. Success! — J. Host, Buenos Aires

EDITORIAL MANAGING EDITOR John Liang

COPY EDITOR John Liang

SENIOR EDITOR Tammy Matthews

CONTRIBUTORS John Liang Jessi Vance

CREATIVE ART DIRECTION Diana Vega ILLUSTRATION Diana Vega

Thanks for building such strong communities of TCKs around the world.

COLUMNISTS Andrea Bazoin Paulette Bethel Romita Bulchadani Myra Dumapias

PHOTOGRAPHERS Jessica Felicio Gillian Fry Jurien Huggins Rosie Kerr

Olga Muller Jacko Prado Andrew Lucas Photography Jhonathan Rodriguezo Steve Saunders Vonda Sisneros Brother Swagler

WEB DESIGN Internet Growth Systems McMillion Multimedia DIRECTOR OF DIGITAL Allison Ramirez

SUPPORTERS

— J. Pham, via LinkedIn ADVISORY BOARD Chumba Limo Brooke Martellaro Gregory Moore Donna Musil

SPECIAL THANKS: Colorado State University Journalism and Media Communication

Linda Thomas Brooks Antionette Williams

Connect with Culturs on social:

Special Thanks to Subscriber Terie Miyamoto for suggesting Sol Trujillo for the magazine Cover. We truly are inspired by his legacy and continued work.

@CultursMag @CultursGuruTCK Clubhouse: @CultursMag XOTV.me: Channel 312

SUBSCRIPTIONS: www.cultursmag.com/subscribe. ADVERTISING INQUIRIES: Contact advertise@culturs.org. MEDIA INQUIRIES: Contact press@culturs.org. CULTURSTM magazine, Volume 2, Issue 3. Copyright Culturs Global Multicultural Philanthropic Lifestyle Network. All rights reserved. Published quarterly; Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall, by Simply Alive, LLC, 1800 Wazee Street, Suite 300, Denver, CO, 80525. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Culturs magazine, 1800 Wazee Street, Suite 300, Denver, CO, 80525. Reproduction in whole or part without express written consent is strictly prohibited. Simply Alive LLC does not assume responsibility for the advertisements, nor any representation made therein, nor the quality or deliverability of the products themselves. No responsibility is assumed for unsolicited submissions, manuscripts, photographs, and other material submitted. Culturs makes every effort to provide accurate information in advertising and editorial content, however, does not make any claim as to the accuracy of information provided by advertisers or editorial contributors and accepts no responsibility or liability for inaccurate information. PRINTED IN THE USA

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CONTRIBUTORS

Chilean-Nebraskan CCK ANDREA BAZOIN (pronounced “Bah-Zwah”) is a higher education professional turned entrepreneur. She is the founder of everHuman, LLC (www.everhuman.io), a company that provides tech support alongside coaching, project assistance and workshops delivered with both expertise and empathy. Her family ties span the globe and include Chile, Argentina, Australia and France. She currently lives in Fort Collins, Colo., U.S.A. with her French husband and culturally fluid son.

Adult CCK, TCA and TCK Parent PAULETTE BETHEL, PHD is a career U.S. Air Force officer, trauma recovery coach, global transition expert and a mother to Third Culture Kids. Culturally and racially-blended, Dr. Bethel is our expert on the importance of transition and its effect on relationships. Read her Culturs column: “Mélange: GPS Conversations for the Global Soul” and listen to her podcast, “Bella’s Front Porch” on our Culturs XOTV channel. She is CEO and Founder of Discoveries Coaching & Consulting.

Indian/American CCK For 15 years, ROMITA BULCHANDANI served as a leader in Fortune 200 companies like The Walt Disney Company, Marriott International, and DaVita. Then she quit her dream job in exchange for a dream life. She redesigned her entire life and in the process of uncovering her authentic self, revealed a passion for helping others do the same. She now lives her purpose through transformational coachingSpanish with “Glitter For The Soul” Colombian, TCA

Filipina-American TCK Third Culture Kid Expert MYRA DUMAPIAS is the Chief Executive Officer of TCKidNOW, which has been featured on the BBC, ABC News, The Telegraph, the U.S. Department of Defense and Education Week and helped thousands discover their TCK identity and find a sense of belonging long before mention of the term on social media. TCKidNow provides trauma-informed educational outreach about the lifetime impact of a transnational upbringing. While acknowledging the role healing plays in helping TCKs recognize and develop their skills, TCKidNOW fosters connections that help TCKs find a sense of belonging and give back to the world they grew up in. Dumapias holds a Bachelor’s in English and World Literature and a Master’s in Social Work.

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CONTRIBUTORS

Guatemalan-American TCK JOHN LIANG is an adult Third Culture Kid who grew up in Guatemala, Costa Rica, U.S.A., Morocco and Egypt before graduating high school. He has a bachelor’s degree in languages from Georgetown University and a master’s in International Policy Studies from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. Liang has covered the U.S. military for two decades as a writer and editor for InsideDefense.com, and is also managing editor of Culturs Magazine. He lives in Arlington, Va., U.S.A.

Mexico Native JACKO PRADO is a Mexico City-based Mexican artist. Her specialty in photography are portraits and capturing the essence in them. She has carried out a self-taught learning experience and combined with her second career, which is dance, the handling of forms and bodies have complemented her photographic pieces.

Guatamala-based TCA and TCK parent VONDA SISNEROS is an Illustrator and Photographer who lives with spouse Sisneros and their family in El Rosario, a small village tucked in the mountains of Guatemala. and work with the people there. The Sisneros family left a comfortable life in the U.S. to work with the women and the boys of El Rosario to help make a difference for the future.

U.S. TCK JESSI VANCE is the founder and CEO of Kaleidoscope, an online community for kids who live between cultures. She currently lives in Massachusetts, U.S.A. with her partner, a dog and two guinea pigs. You can usually find her leading virtual TCK Clubs online or reading a book on the porch (her favorites involve travel or fairies.) Find out more about Kaleidoscope and how to join or lead your own TCK Club at kldscp.orgor on Instagram @kldscp.

Mexican TCA DIANA VEGA is a Third Culture Adult. Born in Mexico and passionate about design, they studied architecture and started a small business after college. Interested in entrepreneurship, Vega moved to Colorado, U.S.A. to earn an MBA at Colorado State University. Now repatriated to Mexico, they are a graphic designer and illustrator for Culturs Magazine.

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Culturally Fluid Definitions n the 21st century, assessing someone’s background from outward appearance isn’t enough as hidden, rather than visual, diversity means people increasingly bring more to the table than meets the eye.

Whether through nationality, travel, race or ethnicity, many straddle culture in myriad ways. From Cultural Fluidity, to Third Culture Kid, Expat, Third Culture Adult, Cross-Cultural Kid and more, the language to describe our in-between community is of

Cross-Cultural Kid (CCK) A term coined by author Ruth Van Reken in 2002, is a person who is living, has lived, or meaningfully interacted with two or more cultural environments for a significant period of time during the first 18 years of life. This includes minority individuals living within majority culture.

Adult Cross-Cultural Kid (ACCK)

utmost importance. Knowing the vocabulary creates understanding and deepens our sense of belonging and connections to others with similar experiences. Here’s a quick overview so you can follow along any of our articles with ease:

Third Culture Kids (TCKs) Coined by Sociologist Ruth Useem in the 1950s as a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture. The first culture is considered an individual’s passport culture, while the second culture consists of the culture(s) in which the individual has lived. The third culture is a result of the person’s life experience; this is the culture to which they most belong. The third culture often is where individuals feel community with others of similar experience.

An adult who grew up as a Cross-Cultural Kid.

Domestic TCK Cultural Fluidity/Cultural Mobility

Illustration by Diana Vega

A term coined by Culturs founder Donnyale Ambrosine to characterize hidden diversity created by people who don’t or didn’t grow up in a homogenous cultural environment. Culturally Fluid individuals may straddle nationalities, ethnicities, race or culture. The fluidity created allows understanding between or among their foundational areas of meaningful experience. It also may hinder sense of belonging to any one area.

Children who moved to various regions within the same country while growing up, often having to re-learn ways of being, especially as regional differences in dress, speech and action are heightened in formative years when it is important to be accepted.

Adult Third Culture Kid (ATCK) An adult who grew up as a TCK.

Third Culture Adult (TCA) Missionary Kids Children of missionaries who travel to missions domestically or abroad.

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Coined in 2002 by Psychotherapist Paulette Bethel to signify individuals who travel extensively and are immersed in, or live in global locations after the age of 18 (after identity has been solidified).


Refugees

Traveler

Internationally nomadic group not characterized by a parent’s occupation. Displaced from their homeland forcibly or by choice, often having fled for varied reasons — violence, politics, religion, environment, etc. Refugees typically do not return to their origin country.

Those who travel expecting differences among intra-international or international culture, however, not immersed in these cultures for extended periods of time, or long enough to integrate local cultural norms as their own.

International Business Kids Immigrants People who, for varied reasons, immigrate to a country different than their homeland to stay permanently. Many return to their home countries to visit, though some do not.

Children whose parents work with multinational corporations that take them to faraway lands, often in professional fields surrounding oil, construction and pharmaceuticals.

Borderlanders Expatriate (Expat) As defined by Merriam Webster — to leave one’s native country to live elsewhere; which also sometimes means to renounce allegiance to one’s native country.

Military B.R.A.T. Children of military who move with parents to different places within or outside of their home country. They often experience other cultures within the confines of a military installation or compound that possesses traits of the home country.

Non-Military Foreign Service Children traveling with their parents to various countries in non-military government roles, diplomatic corps, civil service, foreign service, etc.

Diplomat Kids Children whose parents are members of the home country’s political framework while living on foreign soil.

Described by author Ruth Van Reken in the book “Third Culture Kids,” a borderlander is a citizen of one country that lives close to another. Often the norms, customs and traits of each country’s culture seeps into the other, creating a cultural experience separate from either original culture, while allowing inhabitants keen knowledge and insight into their own culture as well as the other.

Multiracial People whose family consists of two or more races to which the individual identifies. With race often come cultural norms, slang language and attitudes that can greatly differ. Many multiracial children, though not all, have the unique opportunity to learn norms of all the cultures they comprise.

Multiethnic; Multicultural People whose family consists of two or more cultures to which the individual identifies. Even when belonging to the same race, differences in culture may exist between ethnicities, tribes and other cultural contexts.

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PUBLISHER’S LETTER

NEW PODCAST CULTURS IS THRILLED TO BRING YOU THE BEST OF CROSS-CULTURAL IDENTITY THROUGH HIGHLIGHTS OF THE AFRICAN DIASPORA IN LATIN AMERICA

JOIN DONI ALDINE, CULTURS EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, AND DR. RHONDA COLEMAN AS THEY BRING YOU THE INSIGHTS, PERSPECTIVES AND HISTORY OF THE AFRICAN DIASPORA IN LATIN AMERICA TO EDUCATE, ENLIGHTEN AND CREATE A SENSE OF BELONGING FOR YOU.

WATCH: XOTV.ME CHANNEL 132 12CULTURS Winter 2021 MULTICULTURAL | www.CultursMag.com GLOBAL TV

LISTEN: ANY POPULAR PODCAST CHANNEL

VISIT: NEGRACOMOSOY.COM


PUBLISHER’S LETTER

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s I peek around the corner, I’m excited for all the growth and change at Culturs as we bring our year of Latin America to a close. For the first time ever, we have a FIFTH issue this year — a special holiday issue that highlights the movie BLACK ADAM — a new cinema realm anti-hero that bucks the hero trend. It also highlights our everyday heroes who are inbetween: possessing a foot in two or more cultural worlds. Just in time for a season of giving, we highlight those who work to make everyday life better for all of us: from products to services and giving back. For this issue as well, we continue to bring you those untold stories from the inbetween. From our destination Ciudad de Mexico (CDMX), or Mexico City, we show you the sights, colors, food and culture that prevails in one of the largest cities in the world. And we bring you the legacy created by our coverstar, Sol Trujillo — the youngest Latino executive at the time and first Latino CEO at what was then the world’s largest company: AT&T. Since then, he’s conquered roles across many continents, and now, he uses that platform to champion the value and power of the Latino community.

As always, we have profound stories of Third Culture Kid (TCK) experiences, like columnist Myra Dumapias’ heart-tugging tribute to her family’s adopted dog, Papi, who passed away this year (pg. 14). This story includes a sidebar and web article with resources on what to consider when looking to adopt a pet yourself, and how it can be one of the best actions your culturally fluid family can take (pg. 23). Dr. Paulette Bethel explores the concept of colorism on identity and its effects on individuals (pg. 26), while Romita Bulchandani gives her view on where to find home (pg. 88). Of course, you can revel in our best recommendations for books, music, movies and more in our always entertaining MUST LIST.

Enjoy this issue as we round the corner in our year of Latin America and start the celebration for our fifth year print anniversary. Culturs is here to serve you — working to develop a community that’s often overlooked, but oh-so-obvious. Every issue is for you: providing the content, tools and activities for you to live a life on your terms in full color. And we revel in it. We hope you do as well. Live in full color,

Doni (Dah-knee) Founder, Culturs lifestyle network Editor-in-Chief, Culturs magazine

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Life In Slow Motion: Lessons From A TCK’s First Pet On Moments And Memories By Myra Dumapias

Photo courtesy Myra Dumapias

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nce in a while, a film captures my attention that I want to share with my transnational audience. Other times, life itself beckons and my attention is captured in a real-life slow motion scene. One such scene is my reflection on a profound love that Third Culture Kids (TCKs) can gain from having pets, yet may not have the luxury to experience. Most of what I’ll share applies to pets in general, but I’ll be sharing from my heart about my first dog, my dear Papi. TCKs often don’t have the luxury of growing up with a pet. Beyond budget, space and time for pets, most global nomads have additional factors to consider: the frequency of relocations, the risk of not having stable or predictable pet health care and the possibility of summer-long absences to add to the list of out-of-town holiday trips.

We live in a world that doesn’t yet truly accommodate to the human-pet bond. People who aren’t able-bodied with furry helpers and those who simply want to bring their furry friends out often have a restricted selection of public places to choose from. TCKs have shared with me that only certain airports have “restrooms” for pets of passengers traveling with them. When I finally became a homeowner, free from pet rules for renters, and I knew my son was ready, we began the search for a dog. After various visits at shelters and with pet owners, one visit felt right. It was the visit that led me to my first dog ever: a black and white Bichon Frise and Collie mutt resembling a childhood TV favorite. We adopted him from a man who hated that he had to give him away due to moving. We named him Papirazzi, because he would follow us everywhere. Eventually, “Papi” just stuck. Having a dog was new for this TCK, as I had never had a pet before. Having Papi brought new horizons internally while on the outside, I stayed in one location. I got to experience a taste of what people who grow up in one place can have.

We named him Papirazzi, because he would follow us everywhere. Eventually, “Papi” just stuck.

In his puppy years, Papi would chew on a few items belonging to my son when we were both out of the house. Fortunately, we only had to reinforce his pottytraining. My son and I often played chase with Papi. He would dart around the house with so much vigor. Outside, Papi would chase birds in the backyard, at parks and on the beach. www.CultursMag.com

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Having Papi brought new horizons internally while on the outside, I stayed in one location. Papi became my son’s best friend and a member of our family. As Papi got a little older, he would escape from our back yard to roam around the neighborhood. My son and I would try different tricks to bring Papi back in the house or simply pick him up after he was done with his adventures. Papi would come on rides to pick up my son, from primary school all the way up to when he took college entrance exams. I would bring him to dog-friendly restaurants in a nearby city. We brought Papi on an out-of-state trip once with the family, where we discovered he loved being around snow. As a first-time dog mom, I know I made mistakes like initially keeping Papi off beds. Over time, however, the bond between my son and Papi helped the family expand where Papi was welcomed. This expansion is only symbolic of what Papi eventually taught me. Three moments demonstrated to me how dogs deserve dignity, respect and reverence for the way they each showcase their instincts through their unique personalities:

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Photo courtesy Myra Dumapias

1) The moment Papi’s herding instincts kicked in in our own backyard. My son and I watched Papi become himself while running repetitively in figure-eights. He was trying to round up squirrels. It was as if the sun rose on his personality, which emerged even more. We had become a bit worried about Papi’s escapes. It turns out he was just growing into his instinctive purpose. It also explained how he enjoyed some of his interactions with the family.

The way Papi lived his life taught me profound lessons as a TCK.


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2) The moment I first witnessed Papi showing adamance at staying outside when I was ready to go back in the house. Papi was just soaking up the sun on our wooden deck in our backyard. I was worried about something I had to do or someplace I had to go. Papi sat straight up with his head held higher and demonstrated he would not move even if I tried to make him. He would later do the same during our multiple car rides together. In his older years, when he could no longer jump to the back of the car, he would display his adamance on bike trailer rides. When he was not ready to end what he was enjoying, he would simply stay to soak up the moment some more. It was not Papi being stubborn. He was showing dignity and the right to make choices for himself. 3) The moment Papi stopped asking for permission to enter my mother’s room the week she was dying. Over the years, Papi always looked up for permission before entering my mom’s room. We were making sure his or our other dog’s fur didn’t end up on the floor or floating in the air. My mom’s post-stroke health required full 24-hour caregiving, including tube-feeding and diaper changes. She was also uninsured after my parents retired from the Foreign Service.

Papi respected my mom’s needs, especially after she went into home hospice for over a year. During the week before my mom took her last breath, however, Papi instinctively entered my mom’s room without asking for permission. He stayed under her hospital bed until the day she passed away. It was as if Papi was in vigil through her transition. I didn’t know how deeply I had fallen in love with Papi as a family member but the love is much deeper than I expected it to be. I write this from a place of

Photo courtesy Myra Dumapias

grieving Papi because as of this writing, we had to put him to sleep four days ago to release him from physical suffering and maintain his dignity. He seemed to hold on as long as he could or until the remaining family member, mainly I, was ready. It was one of the hardest things I have had to do. The way Papi lived his life taught me profound lessons as a TCK. Papi showed me:

DON’T BE AFRAID TO BE YOURSELF AND LET YOUR PURPOSE COME OUT. Being lost in our instincts and intuition, unlike how our society often plays it to be less valuable than Western science, can be more valuable. At times, instincts and intuition allow us to release more of ourselves and they are not to be hidden or be ashamed of. When Papi’s herding instincts came out, it deepened our appreciation for him and added to the dimensions of his personality. Papi integrated his instincts in how he played with us and protected us. When we allowed Papi space to be himself, it added to our bond with him. As TCKs, we know that we never had much time to make friends, but we bonded from being exactly who we were. As www.CultursMag.com

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understand or appreciate you for being yourself. Don’t chase those who only make you fit in the environment just to conform. An environment is only made richer when we each are uniquely who we are. Your purpose, which you discover when you are yourself, can benefit others.

LIVE WITH MINDFULNESS OF EACH MOMENT AND KEEP THINGS SIMPLE. As my son mentioned in our talk last night remembering Papi, dogs live simply and are always in the moment. Humans are distracted day-to-day by deadlines, social media, important events, increasing income, creating then paying off bills, updating our cars when our last one was fine, etc. Papi enjoyed simple things like relaxing to soak up the sun and car rides. His only focus was being loyal to my son and the rest of the family. While Papi showed consciousness of accountability or guilt, and sometimes demanded to be noticed, he was never mad back at me for times I got mad at him. Papi forgave the instances where we didn’t make enough time for him. Papi’s priority was simply enjoying more time with my son as his primary buddy and the family in each moment he had with us.

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DON’T BE AFRAID TO FORM INTIMACY AND BE VULNERABLE UNTIL THE VERY END. With all the grief TCKs experience in a lifetime and especially during the developmental years, we deserve to experience a love where it is safe to be vulnerable.

TCKs learn the importance of bonding while growing up because we say goodbye to dear friends so many times. As adults, remember to cherish bonds and connections in each moment before they pass. Increasingly, we seem to be discovering it is toxic to have pride in being busy. Remember to stay human with needs for connection and let go of pressure to make or have more when it compromises this human need.

Being close to someone can be scary because the process usually involves a great deal of vulnerability. The other person can choose to reject or criticize you. Whether in friendships, romantic relationships or leadership roles, people experience this vulnerability. Papi provided a bond where it was safe to be our complete selves, mistakes, ugly days and all and still be loved. Papi provided a space where it was safe to be vulnerably intimate. He grew so in tune with what was happening in our family despite our mistakes. While dogs have the survival capacity to protect themselves from potential harm, such as abusive persons, their unconditional love thrives among those they trustingly bond with. I may have never let my guard down completely with most friends I have made in my life so far. With Papi, however, I could count on being myself and Papi remaining loyal to me. As an only child, Papi may have been the closest I’ve had to a sibling, if siblings love unconditionally.


TRANSNATIONAL THIRD CULTURE KID FILMMAKERS

Pets are domestic violence survivors, too. Creating more safe spaces for domestic violence survivors and their pets so they can escape and heal together. Purina.com/EscapeTogether

www.CultursMag.com PURINA TRADEMARKS ARE OWNED BY SOCIÉTÉ DES PRODUITS NESTLÉ S.A.

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With all the grief TCKs experience in a lifetime and especially during the developmental years, we deserve to experience a love where it is safe to be vulnerable. Many of us TCKs may have experienced being loved for just being ourselves in international communities. I remember growing up surrounded by adults and kids grieving friends or family members they had to leave behind or who left them behind. In such spaces, people often connect on a deeper, vulnerable level with a shared connection of loss. I hope my TCK readers have experienced safe vulnerability. May you share it as adults.

THE MAIN LESSON: LOVE PURELY. Out of all the lessons Papi taught me, the overarching lesson is this: Love purely. In the way Papi only wanted more time with us through all the above ways he loved us, it brought out the pure love I felt I had as a child growing up with constant transnational goodbyes. Even though I knew the pain I would likely experience again and again, again and again I tried making new genuine connections. I would also hold on to those connections until the very end. From my childhood to early teens, it seemed to be OK if my personality was not perfect. My friends and I all forgave each other and grew together. It was Photo courtesy Myra Dumapias

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only later in my last two years of high school I learned that even some friends weren’t as loyal or patient as I had known. Papi reminded me that it was OK to not be perfect and that I would learn. His patience allowed for me to grow into a more graceful dog mom. As an adult, after a major move away from a community I thrived in, I learned that people can suddenly disappear, can sabotage your reputation, aren’t always genuine and can be fickle. In one relationship, I learned a narcissist can be so manipulative that they go so far as enforcing their own version of reality and try to alter others’ memories. I also learned later that community narcissists exist, cause damage when they feel their ego threatened and also try to alter memories.

Photo courtesy Myra Dumapias

As a TCK, memories are all I have. Papi’s loyal love was a refuge for what I have experienced after my move.

As a TCK, memories are all I have. Papi’s loyal love was a refuge for what I have experienced after my move. There were times I’d witness our dogs wait at the door my son left out of and stay there waiting in anticipation or with vigilance from elsewhere in the house. If humans were to do that or otherwise be as loyal as dogs, we would be considered “losers.” However, who are the ones who truly lose out? When I hear people speaking about regrets at funerals or on their deathbed, a common theme is regret for not spending enough time with loved ones. As an empath myself, I prefer connections where people are willing to be genuine and vulnerable. This is not

synonymous with tolerance for abuse. As a survivor of narcissistic abuse, I gravitate toward people who are sensitive and instinctively or intuitively pick up on energy that is not genuine. I learned to recognize energy from liars and manipulative people. Part of dogs’ instincts are to protect themselves from harm or people that are not trustworthy. One can be vulnerable yet protect oneself. Pure love just means not being afraid to be genuine enough to fulfill a deep desire to give it your all and risk getting hurt by people you choose to trust. Papi, like most dogs, cannot fake or hide love, excitement or interest. If more people were genuine this way, there would be less hurt along the way of navigating who suits us and who doesn’t. At the end of some days, I feel frustrated I wasn’t so productive. After having Papi in our lives, however, the person that I was when I was a child with multiple goodbyes and the person I remain as an adult comes out again and again. I am a human being who also just wants more time with loved ones. All the community organizing and activism I get involved in is founded on how not all of us have the freedom to be themselves and enjoy time with loved ones. My family at times have not always had this option. If I didn’t need to work, waiting

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TRANSNATIONAL THIRD CULTURE KID FILMMAKERS

for my loved ones and freely showing excitement when we can spend more time together is an attractive way to spend my days. However for now, we still live in a world where struggle and managing our time among multiple commitments seems to be the adulting default. I haven’t yet figured out how to live more simply, given that I still have to make some level of money to enjoy life and spend time with loved ones. However, let me impart a simple message I feel Papi left me with: “Waste time with me. I promise, although you think there are more important things to do, you gain time instead of lose it. You will know this difference when you look back at memories: the moments you fully

Photo courtesy Myra Dumapias

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soaked in, no one can take away from you and will forever be with you, like I will.” Dedicated to our loving Papi (06/11/2006 – 08/27/2022). You are always welcome home with us. Scan here or visit: www. cultursmag.com/life-inslow-motion-lessons-froma-tcks-first-pet

Waste time with me. I promise, although you think there are more important things to do, you gain time instead of lose it.


Pet Adoption Resources Pets are often a great source of love and consistency for the lives of in-betweeners including Third Culture Kids (TCKs) and Domestic Third Culture Kids (DTCKs) and others who constantly are geographically mobile. Consider the value pets can add to the life of your family or child who would benefit from the love and stability. It’s a serious consideration that deserves a lot of thought before taking action.

Petfinders.com has a great checklist on what to consider when adopting: • What expectations do you have for pet ownership? Do you expect a constant companion, travel buddy, running mate? • Do you have a plan for your new pet around travel? • For young animals, do you have the time and patience for house-breaking, chewing and high energy? • Do you have other pets? How will they react to a new pet? • What do you expect your pet to contribute to your life? • Is your living space well-suited for a pet? • What type and size pet would suit the other people who live in or visit your home regularly? • How will your social life or work obligations affect your ability to care for a pet? • Have you created a realistic budget including costs like routine care, health issues, accidents or illness? Scan here or visit: www.cultursmag.com/ Pet-adoption-resources

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A R C T I C

O C E A N

FRANCE

SWITZ SW NEW YORK, U.S.A. COLORADO, U.S.A.

PORTUGAL

EGYPT DOMINICAN REPUBLIC

GHANA

BRAZIL

P A C I F I C

AT L A N T I C

O C E A N

O C E A N

URUGUAY

ARGENTINA


ZERLAND WITZERLAND

ROMANIA

TURKEY

T

KENYA

TANZANIA

I N D I A N ZANZIBAR

SOUTH AFRICA

O C E A N

World tour

5TH PRINT ANNIVERSARY

5 CONTINENTS OVER 5 MONTHS Follow along on our “LIVE IN FULL COLOR” World Tour as we visit to celebrate the Fifth Anniversary of Culturs Magazine in Print! Starts in June and ends with a big announcement this fall! Check us on instagram @cultursmag


BELLA’S FRONT PORCH By Dr. Paulette Bethel

Photo by Steve Saunders

COLORISM IS ALIVE AND REAL

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BELLA’S FRONT PORCH

Can We Talk About it?

I

dentity is a funny thing. We write books about it. Movies are made about it. How we

see ourselves in the world is all about it. We often wax nostalgic about it — personal identity, place identity, community identity, social identity. Being a Louisiana, U.S.A. native of African and multiple other racial, cultural and ethnic descents, I suspect that I was aware of this thing called identity in its many manifestations since before I could walk or talk. Even though I lacked language to give voice to these experiences, I knew incredibly early on that I was being othered.

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One of my earliest childhood memories involved my mother being questioned about my racial identity in the late 50s and 60s: “What is she?” “Where are you from?” “Is her father white?” “Where did she get her large blue eyes from?” When she wasn’t being queried about my whiteappearing skin color and identity, she was being questioned about my blue eyes or light-colored, very curly hair that was prone to frizz in humid conditions. Like most children who were feeling uncomfortable, my reaction was to place myself behind my mother with my face nestled in her skirts to protect myself from these intrusions into our personhood. My mother would invariably respond with some sharp-tongued wit that I’m sure she had begun to rehearse in preparation for moments like these. Whenever she responded, especially to judging comments, I always felt safe and supported by her motherly words. As I entered adolescence and young adulthood the questions were coming to me directly, with an added layer of discomfort of being exoticized, sexualized or marginalized for appearing different or not neatly fitting into any one category of identity. Like my mother, I began to take on a coat of armor designed to selfprotect me from these incursions.

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Photo by Rosie Kerr

BELLA’S FRONT PORCH


BELLA’S FRONT PORCH

One of my earliest childhood memories involved my mother being questioned about my racial identity in the late 50s and 60s.

While they often worked to ward off these comments, internally I would be left to deal with the emotional turmoil that lasted well into my adulthood. Unbeknownst to me at the time was that I wasn’t only encountering racist ideologies, but I was also grappling with what would be later termed “colorism” in some instances. At the same time, though well aware of biases related to skin color, I hadn’t yet recognized or acknowledged the skin color privileges that came with my appearance. My internal sense of self and how I had been raised was to look in the mirror and see a fair-skinned black person. Being of African descent was my primary identifier, though I

understood that I came from a markedly diverse racial and ethnic background. It wasn’t until years later that I had a quite painful encounter with close African American co-workers who shared that it was their belief that I was given preferential treatment in assignments by leadership because they found my skin color proximity to whiteness more palatable. I was shocked and confused at the allegations about preferential treatment because I knew how hard I worked to be successful in all of my endeavors. It also marked the beginnings of my becoming increasingly aware of the role and dynamics of skin color and its impact on individuals, communities and societies. When I first began my internationally mobile lifestyle as an adult following joining the U.S. Air Force, I relished in the joy and opportunities to live and work in diverse cultures and having new and wonderful, sometimes challenging experiences. As I encountered these other cultures — Asian, Latin and North African countries and cultures — to my surprise, I noticed similar attitudes and skin color biases. Perhaps my upbringing made me a little more sensitized to this, as many would often say to me that it didn’t exist or they hadn’t noticed. I noticed.

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Photo by Olga Muller

BELLA’S FRONT PORCH

Having grown up in my home culture of New Orleans with its many-hued people and under the influence of white supremacy’s legally and socially constructed influences on notions of racism, skin color hierarchy and class, I was well aware of skin color biases that favored lighter-skinned people in everyday life — socially and professionally. Deep down, I hoped that in 2022 that identity based upon outer appearance and skin-tone stratification would be long past. However, recent conversations and interactions with Gen Xers, Millennials, Gen Zers and even Gen Alphas have illuminated for me that issues of race and colorism continue to be pervasive and are very much present in many societies. All one has to do is to observe the burgeoning multibillion-dollar skin lightening business around the globe, 30

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Although my journey of navigating racial identity and colorism began early in my life and has never actually gone away or fully able to settle, it has remained a part of me and who I am and filters through my understanding of the world, as I see it.

especially in places like Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean. Purchases of skin lightening products are expected to grow. Believed to have been first coined in 1982 by author, feminist and Pulitzer Prize winner Alice Walker, “colorism,” a global practice, was defined by her as “the prejudicial or preferential treatment of same-race people based solely on their color.” According to David Knight, skin color preferences emerged throughout European colonial and imperial history and are prevalent in countries as distant as Brazil and India. He adds that its legacy is evident in forums as public as the television and movie industries, which prefer to cast light-skinned people of color, and existing in private as internalized thoughts by people of color in many cultures. Rooted in racism, light skin and closeness to European aesthetics is often associated intelligence, employability, beauty, desirability, wealth and status. Eddie Fergus, an assistant professor of education at New York University, conducted a study on Latino high school males, Knight wrote: “Fergus found that Mexican and Puerto Rican males with white-looking skin are perceived as white and sometimes treated more favorably, while boys of the same ethnicity who had darker complexions are perceived as black and often experience discrimination. Not only did the


BELLA’S FRONT PORCH

Photo by Brother Swagler

boys in the study navigate the world as Mexican and Puerto Rican, but each navigated different racial expectations based on external reactions to their appearances. Despite being close or even related, people of the same ethnicity face different expectations, different realities and — potentially — different educational and economic outcomes, solely based on their skin color.” With the growth of people of color in Hollywood and other entertainment spaces, colorism and its impact is finally being discussed on a much larger scale than when I was growing up in the U.S. It’s a much-needed conversation, and I’m glad that these dialogue spaces are growing and expanding. Although my journey of navigating racial identity and colorism began early in my life and has never actually gone away or fully able to settle, it has remained a part of me and who I am and filters through my understanding of the world, as I see it. As I shared earlier, I had hoped that as a global society and most especially in the U.S., that we

would be further along in our interactions and perceptions on this topic. Sometimes I fear it has only grown and deepened its roots into our ways of thinking and being. It’s from this space that I write this article. I want to use my firsthand experiences with colorism and the stories of others to function as a springboard to stake my part in highlighting and elevating the conversation about its complexities and engage in meaningful discourse with a hope that identity based on colorism will be eradicated or at least minimized in my lifetime. Look for more conversations about this topic and others on my podcast “Bella’s Front Porch with Dr Paulette Bethel.” Scan here or visit: www.cultursmag.com/ colorism-is-alive-and-real

I want to use my firsthand experiences with colorism and the stories of others to function as a springboard to stake my part in highlighting and elevating the conversation about its complexities and engage in meaningful discourse with a hope that identity based on colorism will be eradicated or at least minimized in my lifetime.

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MARK YOUR CALENDAR! Join us in our upcoming trips! Argentina — August 2022 Dominican Republic — September 2022 Ghana — December 2022 Peru — 2023

BOOK TODAY AT Cultursmag.com/shop > Culturs Experiences


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CDMX By Doni Aldine

O

ne of the largest cities in the world, CDMX, or Ciudad de Mexico, has sights, sounds and

flavor for just about anyone. From art to history, culture and culinary delights, we’ve picked some of our favorites after spending time in this lively city.

Palacio de Bellas Artes

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POPULATION: The current metro area population of Mexico City in 2022 is 22,085,000*

ELEVATION: 7,349’ /2,240m

FOUNDED: 1521

LAND AREA: 573 mi² /1,484km2

*demographic information from macrotrends.net

Palacio de Bellas Artes

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WEATHER: 73°F (23°C), Wind N at 3 mph (5 km/h), 43% Humidity


PALACIO DE BELLAS ARTES The Palacio de Bellas Artes is a highlight of downtown Mexico City. Situated on the western side of the historic center of Mexico City, it replaced the first National Theater of Mexico, which was constructed in the mid-1800s and had a greater seating capacity than its replacement: Palacio de Belles Artes, which was inaugurated in 1932. It is home to some of Mexico’s most notable artistic events of all kinds, from painting, sculpture, photography and more.

Aerial view of Palacio de Bellas Artes

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Trajineras in Xochimilco.

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Panoramic view of zocalo and cathedral with “Dia de Muertos” decorations.

PLAZA DE LA CONSTITUCIÓN, THE MASSIVE MAIN SQUARE ALSO KNOWN AS THE ZÓCALO The city’s main public square is known as Plaza de la Constitución or El Zócalo. One of the city’s highlights with many other attractions flanking, it’s highly recognizable with a prominent Mexican flag at the center. Since the time of the Aztecs, it’s been the host site for large public gatherings. Historic buildings that line the square include the city’s national cathedral, which “U.S. News and World Report” cites as one of the

top things to do in Mexico City (No. 12), and the National Palace (Catedral Metropolitana), which comes in at No. 8 in the same city list.

TRAJINERAS IN XOCHINLICO According to WorldHeritageSite.org, Spanish colonizers built Mexico City in the 16th century, atop the ruins of the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan.

CDMX’s Xochinlico area, located just south of the city, contains a network of canals and islands built by the Aztecs. Today, “gondolas known as “trajineras” ply the canals and these are essential to local culture, and a festive activity often cited as a bucket list must do. In the article “Travel Spotlight: Mexico City’s Colorful Trajineras,” Forbes Magazine contributor Wendy Altschuler describes trajineras as “multi-hued flat-bottomed watercrafts, which resemble a Venetian rowing boats.” Propelled with the human power of a gondolier, these boats travel along the canals with many www.CultursMag.com

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Reforma avenue and the Angel of Independence.

Monument to the Revolution.

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others behind, next to and in front of your watercraft. Festive music, traditional cuisine and drink are ubiquitous along the way, as are tourists and locals alike. It’s a feast for the eyes, ears and palate.

REFORMA AVENUE AND THE ANGEL OF INDEPENDENCE The Angel of Independence, or El Ángel (The Angel) is known as Mexico’s Monumento a la Independencia — the monument of independence. A well-known visual for Mexico City, it’s a victory column in the center of a bustling intersection in the city’s Reforma Avenue (Paseo de la Reforma) thoroughfare. Since the early 1900s, it has stood in tribute to Mexico’s victory in its war of independence over Spain. Cambridge University Press’ “Journal of Latin American Studies” in 1996, analyzes this period around 1910 -- the centennial celebration of independence -- and all the activity happening in CDMX at that time in commemoration.

MONUMENT TO THE REVOLUTION Another towering monument is El Monumento a la Revolucion (The Monument to the Revolution), which is the world’s tallest triumphal arch at 220 feet or a little more than 67 meters.

The Angel of Independence.

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It’s a landmark and monument commemorating the Mexican Revolution, located in Plaza de la República, near the heart of the major thoroughfares of Paseo de la Reforma and Avenida de los Insurgentes. It also is a mausoleum with tombs for some of Mexico’s most prominent revolutionaries: Lazaro Cardenas, Plutarco Elias Calles, Francisco I. Madero and Francisco “Pancho” Villa. It also includes an art gallery, the National Museum of the Revolution and additional exhibit space. There’s so much more to know about this fascinating city. Take a deeper dive in our web article below.

Excited about Mexico City? Learn even more in our web article: www.cultursmag.com/ destinations-with-doni-cdmx/

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Soumaya Museum.

St Michael the archangel statue overlooking the Basilica of Guadalupe.


Jumex museum.

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CDMX CULTURALLY INSPIRED CHURRO MAKING PARTY WITH AUTHENTIC MEXICAN CHOCOLATE SAUCE MEXICAN CHURROS | CHURRO CHOCOLATE SAUCE

E

ach issue, we visit a country to bring you the sights, sounds and flavor of the local culture. With Culturs Celebrations, we create a Dinner Party Kit for 10 to make it easy for you to join the party and invite your friends and family. Get festive with us!

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MEXICAN CHURROS 46

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SERVINGS:

INGREDIENTS:

12 churros 1. 125ml milk 2. 125ml of water COOKING TOOLS:

3. 1 tbsp. of sugar 4. 2 Eggs (beaten) 5. 30 grams of butter

• Pot

DESTINATION:

CDMX

6. 150 grams Of flour

• Wooden spoon • “Churrera” or a

7. Light oil (for frying) 8. 1 teaspoon ground

pastry bag with a star-shaped nozzle

cinnamon (optional) 9. 1 pinch of salt

For the frying and the final presentation of the Mexican churros:

INSTRUCTIONS: 05

Preparation of the base dough for the churros 06

01

Add milk, water, sugar, salt and butter to a pot. Heat until the butter melts. 07

02

03

04

When the mixture starts to boil, add the flour. Mix the flour with the help of a wooden spoon until the flour has been well integrated.

08

Heat a generous amount of oil in a deep frying pan. Form 6-inch strips of dough with the pastry bag and place in hot oil. Fry the churros for about 2 minutes until golden and turn them over to get a uniform, golden color. Remove the churros on a tray lined with a paper towel to remove excess oil. Wait 10 minutes for them to cool down. Roll the churros in the mixture of sugar and cinnamon and they’re ready to serve.

Remove the pot from the heat and add the previously beaten eggs. In a few minutes you should have a homogeneous and smooth cream. Put the mixture in a “churrera” or a pastry bag with a star-shaped nozzle. www.CultursMag.com

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CHURRO MEXICAN

CHOCOLATE SAUCE 48

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INGREDIENTS: 1. 1/3 cup chopped semisweet chocolate or chips 2. 1/2cup liquid whipping cream

Not in Mexico? No worries, look

DESTINATION:

CDMX

for your closest ethnic grocer ask if they carry authentic Mexican Chocolate or Cacao

INSTRUCTIONS:

01

Place the chopped chocolate or chips in a medium bowl or deep plate.

02

Boil the cream in a pot or in the microwave.

03

Add to the chocolate and move the plate so that it is covered very well. Let stand about 2 minutes without mixing.

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SOL Phto by Gillian Fry

TRUJILLO

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A Legacy of Global Greatness

S

ol Trujillo is a global business executive with numerous successes while serving as CEO of three large market-cap global companies in the three different corridors of the world: the Americas, Europe and Middle East as well as AsiaPacific (AMEA). In a recent interview with Culturs Founder, Doni Aldine, Trujillo talks about the lessons he learned during his career and the importance of Latinos in the United States. Trujillo’s family roots trace back to the 1520s in Santa Fe, N.M., U.S.A. His parents married very young — ages 16 and 14 — and moved to Wyoming after World War II in search of work. “I was kind of a unicorn in Wyoming — weren’t many Trujillos or Lopez’s there,” he says. Trujillo chose to attend the University of Wyoming because he really wasn’t aware of any other options.

“My only choice at that point in time and my only knowledge in my universe was the University of Wyoming, in the state where I lived,” he says, adding: “Later on, people asked me, ‘Well how come you didn’t go to Stanford and Harvard’ and all that, and I didn’t even know about them. I was never recruited there because nobody would recruit somebody named Trujillo out of Wyoming. It was not in my realm of thinking.” One of the main reasons why Trujillo chose to study business in college was seeing the wealthier kids around him, as well as the work ethic his parents instilled in him. “I knew one thing growing up: I had to work starting at the age of eight, but the kids that had cars, that had nice clothes, and lived in nice houses and all that kinda stuff, their parents were people that were generally in business,” according to Trujillo. “So I was correlating the two of them, and I said, ‘Gee, if I were gonna make a difference in terms of my life ... going forward, I would go into business.’ So I majored in business, went to the University of Wyoming, and took the courses, took classes like Calculus, where you’re doing differential equations and I’d be sitting there saying, ‘How would anybody ever use this stuff?’ Right? I mean, a differential equation — is that real or is that just something that we’re doing here in class?”

I was kind of a unicorn in Wyoming — weren’t many Trujillos or Lopez’s there.

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As you take on different jobs and different issues and you innovate each time and you make it better — it’s always about making them better.

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It didn’t take long after college for Trujillo to learn not only how helpful that math would be, but how it would frame his way of thinking. In his first career position one year out of college, Trujillo says, “I was doing differential equations — creating new pricing models for a company that was an old, a hundred-year-old company that needed refreshment, they needed change, they needed all that. And I found myself doing this and all of a sudden saying to myself, ‘Wow, I never thought it would be useful’ because I didn’t have any background, I didn’t have any context, but once I got into business, I started thinking about all the ways to do things differently, in a different way and that was part of the competitor’s side [in me] and I was one of those people that just said, ‘Look, where there’s a problem, let’s solve it, let’s not talk about it, let’s solve it.’ And that started my career where I then was asked to go turn around every bad business, every company problem or whatever, and I used to love it. I liked to do what other people couldn’t do.” The shocker came when ATT&T’s CEO called from headquarters in New York (which, according to Trujillo, “was like 40 layers above me”), saying, “Sol, why”

What got him out of Wyoming, Trujillo says, was his knack for “innovation.” “I was always innovative, even on boring process kinds of things, you know, tools that people use that needed to be taken to a different level,” he says. After developing a lot of innovation in Wyoming, “I was asked to go to our corporate headquarters and then when I was there I worked on supporting a lot of things in different parts of our company and I used to be sometimes critical of people that weren’t doing well.” His boss response to his criticisms was to send him to AT&T’s corporate headquarters. “So it was kind of a pushback to a person that was outspoken,” Trujilllo says. After a stint at HQ, Trujillo was sent to New Mexico “because it was the lowestearning operational state in the old AT&T. I took it on, I took the problems on that were there and we turned it within two years to be the highest earning state. It was about innovation and innovation process, innovation with regulators, innovation with customers, innovation in rural areas. We were the first state in the country to put a fiber backbone. This is in the seventies, late seventies across the network to provide better services and afford companies the opportunity to start doing more for their customers. ‘Sol, why are you


putting fiber across the state of New Mexico?’ And I said, ‘Because we’re gonna make this the most competitive state in the country.’ He said, ‘But it’s a lot of money,’ and I said, ‘Yeah but there’s a lot of money to be made.’” We were doing those things because I was always thinking about making things better, making life better for our customers, making our company

It isn’t about your pedigree … where you went to school. Or where you grew up. But your pedigree is defined by what you do. And who you are and how you do it.

better, generating more revenues, more services and all that sort of thing and then that carried me back to Denver, Colo. where it was the same thing: ‘go fix that place’ and the next, and the next, and then the rest is history,” he says. “As you take on different jobs and different issues and you innovate each time and you make it better — it’s always about making them better.” As his stock rose with AT&T — at the time the largest company in the world — Trujillo learned more about the politics involved in interacting with his co-workers as well as superiors, and being Latino didn’t exactly help. “If you’re a person of color it’s like you’re not in the inner circle, you’re not invited to this or that and you don’t spend time with whoever,” he says. “I would watch all that and I’d see sometimes people that were not performing like I was, getting promotions and I was a fast riser but early on I was not so fast and then I caught fire because I took on big stuff and made results.” Even with that success, Trujillo says he was “always the maverick and people took me aside during my progress, and they’d say, ‘Sol, you have to conform, you have to be like everybody.’ Then I’d say, ‘But I’m not and I can’t.’ I want to get to the top.’”

“And I had one person that took me aside — one of my higher-level people — and he said, ‘Sol, you should never talk about wanting to be the CEO of the company.’ And I looked at him and I said, ‘Why?’ I mean what’s wrong with wanting to be the CEO someday and he’d say, ‘Well, you should never say it. It’s okay to want to but it’s not okay to say it.’ “And I’d say, ‘Well but if I don’t say it how do people know that that’s what I want?

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And if I don’t say it, maybe I can get some advice from people on how, how to get there, how to do it,’ he continues. “So all of this starts coming together in terms of my rise in a corporate world as a very nontraditional person.” Trujillo’s rise culminated in him becoming the first U.S.-born Latino heading up a Fortune 150-size company by the age of 42, where “everybody that I dealt with was generally 10 to 20 years older, generally you know they went to schools that are the name plate schools.” But for Trujillo, “it isn’t about your pedigree (where you went to school or where you grew up). But your pedigree is defined by what you do. And who you are and how you do it.”

While Trujillo is proud of how he went from growing up poor and working his way up the corporate ladder and being CEO of three major companies, “the real thing for me has been opening doors and in some cases breaking down doors so that others can pass through,” he says. “And I felt that responsibility,” he adds. “Because again as I watched my parents, as I watched their struggles and I thought about how they every day sacrificed (not for themselves but for their kids), and I just feel that right now in our country, the

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Photo courtesy of Sol Trujillo

OPENING DOORS FOR LATINOS


place our country is today, the only way that we are going to be competitive going forward, the only way that we’re gonna grow GDP (Gross Domestic Product) is by everybody valuing the U.S. Latino cohort. And understanding that we’re the youthful cohort and the most entrepreneurial cohort — and this is based on data,” he says. “So the other thing I learned in my career was when you make decisions based upon data versus just opinion you can be much more effective but also effective in helping people understand.” Having worked outside the United States helped Trujillo see his own country in a new light. “I was watching TV, and any American that grew up in the United States you watched stuff back home, and I saw all this stuff about building a wall and deporting people and there was a guy named Herman Cain that came on and said, ‘We need to build an electric fence so that people who try to climb the fence to enter the country they will be killed.’ “I was shocked sitting there in Sydney [Australia] watching this on the news and said, ‘That is not my country,’” Trujillo shares, “That is not the country I grew up in, it’s not the country where I

remember Ronald Reagan pointing at to the Russian president saying ‘take down the wall.’ And see what’s happened — I’ve been gone for almost eight years out of our country when I came back and they said, ‘Look, we get it, we have to change this,’ the narrative is wrong, the narrative is wrong because the fact base doesn’t exist. It’s an opinion base and so people thought that if you were a Latino from Mexico or a Latina from the Dominican Republic who might be an Afro-Latina or whatever it might be. These people come here and they’re parasites. They’re the takers, they’re not givers and they’re taking jobs and they’re doing all these things we’ve all heard, and I said. ‘That’s wrong. It is wrong.’” But Trujillo says he’s not the kind of person that sits back and complains and whines. I called a friend Henry Cisneros who is a Democrat — I’m a Republican but I never became a ‘Trumpendejo’ in terms of that kind of Republican — but I’m a believer in our country and so we have to come together, we have to have this notion of valuing all people.” “And in particular, we’ve struggled in this country with quote ‘diversity.’ We’re struggling with it today probably more than we have even maybe in the sixties because now

I just feel that right now in our country, the place our country is today, the only way that we are going to be competitive going forward, the only way that we’re gonna grow GDP — gross domestic product — is by everybody valuing the U. S. Latino cohort.

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Within the Latino community, there really hasn’t been any real, forceful pressure on helping everybody understand the Latino cohort — its economic significance, its cultural significance and more.

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it’s a broader issue,” he continues. “And so I decided I was going to come back and focus on the Latino cohort, because within the African American community there’s a lot of leaders and there’s a lot of organizations that have been effective at times and ineffective at times but there’s a thrust.” Within the Latino community, there really hasn’t been any real, forceful pressure on helping everybody understand the Latino cohort — its economic significance, its cultural significance and more, according to Trujillo. “I’ve been a brand builder and a believer in brands and so I sat down with Henry and some other leaders from across the country and I said, ‘Look, we’ve gotta rebuild our brand.’ And we’ve gotta take control of our brand because what was happening is the entertainment media was taking control of defining Latinos. When I grew up, there was a show called the Desi Arnaz show, with the elegant, muy elegante Latino who happened to be married to the redhead. Then after that there was a show called ‘Fantasy Island’ with Ricardo Montalban and I remember being young in my career and people on the weekends coming back they say to me, ‘Sol, how do I roll my Rs like that when he talks not

only on the show but when he does a commercial on the rich Cordoban leather. People wanted to know Spanish, they thought it was elegant,” he adds. ”And then we moved into the nineties and all of a sudden in the entertainment media you always need bad people, right? “When I was growing up it was the Russians and all those people, then it became the black cohort and then in the nineties it moved after the civil rights and the issues like that people became more sensitive around the African American cohort and they shifted over to the Latino cohort where it was your gang bangers or drug dealers or criminals sneaking over the border and in the positives we had Maria the maid or nanny. And we had Pablo the jardinero which is you know, Pablo the gardener, right? And then I was looking at that and saying, that’s just so wrong,” he says. “It’s not that we shouldn’t have people that are doing some of those jobs — we have a lot of other people that are doing other jobs and they’re valued,” Trujillo continues. “So long story short, we started gathering data. And today you see the fulmination of some of that with the GDP report, the Latino GDP report. And it shocks everybody every time we


Photo by Andrew Lucas Photography

released a report because today in the U. S. the Latino cohort is the seventh-largest economy in the world — two point seven trillion dollars of gross domestic product.” “It’s as big as France, soon to pass it, soon to pass the U.K. and when we issue probably the next report — and this is all actual data, not survey, not anything else, actual data — and it may be rivalling India within the next year or two in terms of economic studies so now think about this right here inside our country. We have a cohort that is really the main, as we would say in Spanish the ‘mero mero’ of growth rate … the one and only centerpiece of growth inside our economy.” The census data, according to Trujillo, shows that for 48 out of the 50 states in the last decade, the majority of their growth came from Latinos and Latinas. “Forty eight of the 50 states so when you look at a state like Tennessee guess how it’s growing its economy? You can’t grow an economy without workers and workers of all types,” he says. “And when you look at the Californias and Texas’s which everybody tends to look at; yes that’s logical but my view has been I want to open more doors, and the only way you can do it on a broad basis is to provide a broad set of context with data about how attractive, you know

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But we’re all kinds of people and an economy is an ecosystem. It’s not one job, it’s not one sector. And Latinos and Latinas are everywhere in this country geographically now. And also in every sector, providing a value. So … I want to open doors and I want to create bridges.

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when a Latino or Latina walks in the room everybody should be saying, ‘Whoa. That’s our growth, that’s our future, that’s our innovation, that’s our labor force. They are doctors, they are nurses and yes they’re the people that sometimes are in the fields extracting vegetables and whatever else. But we’re all kinds of people and an economy is an ecosystem. Trujillo continues. “It’s not one job, it’s not one sector. And Latinos and Latinas are everywhere in this country geographically now. And also in every sector, providing a value. So I want to open doors and I want to create bridges. And I hate to see walls because the one thing I learned as a CEO is when you have internecine battles going on — one department versus another or one person competing with their colleague versus competing against those that you’re supposed to be competing against, you start having problems and right now we’re going through a period in our country — and I see this very sadly — we’re going through a period where we’re more like the Divided States of America than the United States of America and part of my objective is bringing the United States of America back in my little way that I can affect it

and part of it’s gonna be because we’re now valuing everybody. Whether you’re Latino or Latina, African American, Asian American, Middle Eastern, whatever because nobody has a singular right to say we are America. It’s a collective ‘we’ and ‘us’ as opposed to ‘me’ versus ‘you.’”

For more from Sol Trujillo, including how the Afro-Latino population fits into his work, check out the full interview on Negra Como Soy podcast. SCAN HERE or visit: https://www.cultursmag. com/negra-como-soy-soltrujillo-u-s-latinos-andour-colletive-futurevideo/


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TECHNOLOGY By Andrea Bazoin, M.Ed., Founder of everHuman

Tommy Johnson

TOKENIZATION

Photo by Jessica Felicio

IS FLIPPING THE SCRIPT ON

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TECHNOLOGY

H

ave you ever been identified as the token [fill in your most visible identity] representative? Perhaps someone asked you, as the only Black person in the room, what the group can do to make people of color feel more included. Or maybe someone invited you into a committee to offer your perspective as Queer, Latina or differently abled. Even if you haven’t experienced this yourself, you’ve definitely seen it on TV, movies and other media. The token minority is a well-known and tired trope. Being identified as the “token” is not flattering or empowering. It reduces a person to a single aspect of their identity and completely ignores their unique contributions. Now, in the age of the blockchain, tokenizing has taken on a whole new meaning. And Tommy Johnson, chief education officer at Made With Black Culture, is leveraging it to change the game for Black creators. I sat down with Johnson at the 2022 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity to learn more about his nonprofit, Originals Nation, and their first incubated enterprise, Made With Black Culture.

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Q: What is the purpose of Originals Nation? A: I started Originals Nation to have a vehicle or outlet to express the importance of our organizing for economic progress while building a community of people who share the same values. Our north star is contributing to the diaspora by harnessing $15 trillion of total wealth. $15 trillion is important because, in the U.S. there is a $125 trillion baseline total wealth and resources. As Original People, we account for 12% of the population. So, it’s only equitable that we harness at least 12% of the total resources — that would be $15 trillion. Not only is $15 trillion the piece of the pie that represents our total population, but it’s also what’s owed to us, exactly, in reparations and what the commercialization of our image, likeness, labor and endorsements generates for the economy every year. Most importantly, $15 trillion is a mentality of operating in the spirit of togetherness instead of individualism. The next step for Original People in our maturity and evolution — going from fighting power to actually being power — requires economic expansion. I realized back in 2016 when Philando Castille was killed that for 200 years we have approached equality on social and moral terms. And, yes, we’ve made progress. I stand here today with the options, resources and access I 62

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Photo by Jurien Huggins

TECHNOLOGY

have because I’m a primary benefactor of the post-civil rights legacy. But the next step in our maturity is a function of economic expansion. Q: What do you mean by Original People? A: Words like Black, African American, people of color, negro, BIPOC, disenfranchised, underserved — all these words were created by white sovereignty to confuse us all about our true identity. So, when you get past all these labels (that all of us have tried so eagerly to identify ourselves with), you arrive at this eternal truth that we are the Original People. The first human beings began with what’s considered a so-called Black man or Black woman — this was the mother of creation, or the DNA, that created humans. We’ve been here for 6.5 million years — pioneering civilizations, discovering things like physiology, botany and astronomy; inventing things like poetry, medicine and divination systems (just to name a few). So, in an effort to get the language right — because within language is acknowledgment, and acknowledgment is truth, and truth is light — instead of referring to ourselves as Black or African American, we replace these words with the Originals. We are the Original People because all human beings are of African descent. This is how I refer to myself.

Q: How does Made With Black Culture fit into the picture? A: Made With Black Culture is the first enterprise incubated through our nonprofit, Originals Nation. We exist to protect Black Culture from commercial exploitation, appropriation and theft. Right now, free enterprise permits any corporation to come in and take whatever they want from anywhere and not have to acknowledge who they took it from or share in the economic rewards. To me, that’s unethical — but it’s business as usual. The values that dominate the world, to this day, are colonizing values that commodify people for profit. A lot of times we talk about the wealth gap — we’re only talking about that in terms of possessions like a home or an investment portfolio. Well, for Original People that’s not our wealth. Our wealth is our image, our likeness, our labor, our endorsements, our creativity, our ingenuity — that’s really our wealth. So, the first order of business is to control and protect what we already have. That’s the work of Made With Black Culture. We want to protect our existing assets so that we can participate in the commercialization of our own culture.

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Photography courtesy of Tommy Johnson

TECHNOLOGY

Tommy Johnson

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TECHNOLOGY Q: Our Culturs community is made up of people who identify as mixed — multicultural, multiethnic and multiracial. So, when it comes to preserving “Black” culture, who gets to be Black? A: The reason we chose Made With Black Culture instead of “Made With Original People’s Culture” is because Black is the word that is used in trade. If you want to change something, you have to meet the thing where it is. From there, we can educate on why that is not the appropriate terminology. But, education on nomenclature is not as important as the advancement of our economic interests. So, who gets to identify with this? Of course, first it’s the Original People who are the creators and sustainers of the culture. Then, it’s the people who are not of African descent but who are supportive of the culture — consuming it every day — they are also made with Black culture. [Ultimately,] we are rooted in acknowledging the way Black culture is ingrained in the economy and bringing our valuable cultural assets under our control. Just to be clear, Black culture is not the only culture that is oppressed by economies. Because of the lack of accountability around trade, everybody is oppressed. It’s just that the Original People have been the most oppressed, historically and economically. Starting with Black culture allows us to create a proof of concept around a system of ethical trade that can combat oppressive economic practices.

Q: How do blockchain Tokens (NFTs) play into all of this? A: So much of systemic racism is about how our history, our identity and our creations have been erased — completely whitewashed and removed from existence. But, the blockchain is not erasable. The blockchain allows you to build trust because it is public, immutable and transparent — you can’t change it. So, what better tool to use to protect, preserve and perpetuate the existence of a group of people? If, five generations from now, some kid wants to know who invented the folding chair, or the stoplight or the potato chip, they can go on a public ledger, see when it was authenticated, and see all the people that helped to create it. They can know the truth. Empowering the world to consume Black Culture ethically starts with acknowledging Black creativity for what it really is — Intellectual Property. Until NFT technology existed, we never had a way to draw a line around our intellectual property and cultural assets.

If you want to change something, you have to meet the thing where it is.

A line is like your border — it’s your protection. Because we’ve never been able to draw a line around our image, our likeness, our labor, and our endorsement, it’s been taken and extracted from us for 2,600 years. There are no walls, no barriers and no public ledger to draw a line back to the verifiable source of truth. So, we use the token to draw the line and say “that’s ours.” Up until now, there has never been recourse [for cultural appropriation and theft]. You just take, take, take and meanwhile the creative who put their blood, sweat and tears into the thing gets nothing. It’s just not right. [By using the blockchain and NFTs], once you know it’s ours, and you want to participate with it, you have to do it differently. www.CultursMag.com

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Q: How can creators “draw a line” around their work? A: You register your work, just like when you apply for a trademark or patent. The trademark office is a centralized body trying to regulate this and create trust. But with the blockchain you no longer need a centralized organization because the blockchain is the trust — it’s public, it’s transparent, it’s immutable. I look at Made With Black Culture as a trademark office for all of the creations made by Original People. As a creator, you want to register your work so that there’s a line drawn around it on a public database that says, “I created that dance,” “I created that artwork,” “I created that sound.” You cook up whatever you’re going to cook up, but before you give it to the world, you register it so it can have the Black Stamp on it saying, “This is a protected work and, if it is ever going to be commercialized, this is who I want to be sure has equity in the commercialization and profits of this thing I created.”

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Q: If someone reading this article is lit-on-fire excited about this, what can they do next? A: First, if you are a creator of African descent, register your products, whether physical or digital, to get the Black Stamp. Second, advocate for ethical trade by calling out companies you see that are exploiting or appropriating the culture. You can tag Made With Black Culture. We have a campaign called “Stop Playing” and it’s our way of telling these brands “stop playing, you know this product is made with black culture.” For example, we recently called in Adidas for appropriating the iconic Yeezy sneaker design without permission from its creator, Kanye West [now known as Ye]. Lastly, as a consumer of products, ask these questions of the brands you are supporting: Who actually created this? How are you giving credit and economic benefit to the creator? People are more conscious now about their intentions, their actions, their motivations and how they impact the community. We couldn’t have this conversation 15 years ago because the consciousness just wasn’t there. But now, people are talking about purpose and well-being. It’s just an amazing time to be alive, and why the timing of this work is so important.

People are more conscious now about their intentions, their actions, their motivations and how they impact the community.

Scan here or visit: www. cultursmag.com/tommyjohnson-is-flipping-thescript-on-tokenization/


From shows to watch and songs to hear, to artistry, shopping and things to explore, know and do, here’s a specially curated list of things we recommend as MUST experience items for the culturally fluid.

THEMUSTLIST

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MUST l READ

STORIES 50 YEARS 10 from the last

in Guatemala as

MISSIONARIES

Photo courtesy of George Sisneros.

By John Liang

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MUST l READ

F

or author George Sisneros, his kids leaving the nest was

something he “never thought about as a missionary.” In Sisneros’s new book, “Do You Love Me?: Giving Up the American Dream to Serve the Underprivileged,” he writes about selling his house and most of his belongings and moving himself, his wife and their children to Guatemala to become Christian missionaries.

George’s wife Vonda with their newly adopted daughter.

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They might be desperate for friendship in a now foreign country where

Photo courtesy of George Sisneros.

they don’t have roots.

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The majority of the book’s 50 chapters are anecdotes and observations of his family’s trials and tribulations in their work as missionaries to help local Guatemalans improve their lives, and how such work deepened his own personal faith. One of the chapters in the book that struck home for me as the reader (who was born in Guatemala and still has family there) was the one where Sisneros’s son’s best friend was kidnapped for ransom. While he was returned after the family paid a smaller portion of the ransom, it triggered a memory of a very close friend of my family’s who was also kidnapped and later returned after a ransom was paid.


Photo courtesy of George Sisneros.

MUST l READ

George Sisneros with his newly adopted daughter.

I was born in Guatemala but after two years spent my formative years also in Costa Rica, the United States (Connecticut, mostly), Panama, Morocco and Egypt due to my father’s job with Xerox Corp. We spent the majority of Christmas holidays in Guatemala, and while the Guatemalan portion of my family was upper-middle-class, there was no hiding from the part of the country that was desperately poor. Sisneros’s book does an excellent job of describing the grinding poverty endemic to the part of the country where he and his family live, including the reasons for why so many from

Central America choose to pay exorbitant sums to “coyotes” to help them get into the United States. My favorite chapter of the book comes near the end, where he talks about his children being Third Culture Kids (TCKs). Not only were his children TCKs for having been raised a good portion of their lives in Guatemala, “but they were also MK’s, or missionary kids. Both have their own unique burdens.”

“My favorite chapter of the book comes near the end, where he talks about his children being Third Culture Kids (TCKs).

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Photo courtesy of George Sisneros.

MUST l READ

George Sisneros.

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Photo courtesy of George Sisneros.

Photo courtesy of George Sisneros.

George’s wife Vonda with their newly adopted daughter.


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I wish we could have prepared them better. I wish we could have flown them home to visit family more often. To practice flying maybe. We just didn’t know. The nest was higher than we thought.

Sisneros fully admits that his idea of “home” is vastly different from his children’s. “That house [in the United States] we moved out of nine years ago is a distant memory for all of us, but especially for them. If it weren’t for photos, they might not remember it.” He also recognizes his kids might deeply miss their “home” of Guatemala when they go back “home” to their passport country. “They might be desperate for friendship in a now foreign country where they don’t have roots.” Sisneros also observes that his kids “might hold resentment or anger or sadness, or all three ... for a past they didn’t get.”

Additionally, he wishes he and his wife could have prepared their kids better for their return to the United States. “I wish we could have prepared them better. I wish we could have flown them home to visit family more often. To practice flying maybe. We just didn’t know. The nest was higher than we thought.” “Do You Love Me?: Giving Up the American Dream to Serve the Underprivileged” is a great book, particularly for missionaries — either current or future — that has great descriptions of what such a life entails.

Scan here or visit: www.cultursmag.com/ george-sisneros-50-storiesfrom-the-last-10-years

George Sisneros and his family.

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TOP

10 Young Adult Books for

Third Culture By Jessi Vance

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Photography courtesy of Jessi Vance.

Kids


MUST l READ

A

s a U.S. kid growing up in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, I had never heard the term “Third Culture Kid” but somehow I still found books that told me the stories of other children like me. From “Ballet Shoes” to “The Island of The Blue Dolphins,” I learned about my own identity, cultural adaptability and good (or not so good) goodbyes. As an adult who has built a career around TCK advocacy, I still find time to read as many books with cross-cultural characters as I can get my hands on. I deeply believe that stories and analogies are the best tool for teaching young people about themselves (and Brene Brown agreed with me in a recent podcast so there must be some supporting research somewhere out there). This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the works of fiction featuring TCKs, but a selection of recent publications that made my TCK self nod emphatically, laugh out loud, cry in public — and more often, all of the above. Whether you’re a mom looking for homeschool inspiration or a TCK getting ready for an extra-long flight, I hope these easy reads keep you captivated and strike up a few good discussions too. That’s what the best kind of books do, if you ask me.

Jessi Vance.

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3

1

‘ANNA AND THE FRENCH KISS’ BY STEPHANIE PERKINS

(Also: “Isla and the Happily Ever After”) Anna is shipped off to Paris for her senior year. Most people would think this is a dream but she’s just homesick for her best friend until she meets a ragtag group of TCKs. It doesn’t hurt that one of them has rockstar hair and a British accent. Main Characters: cross-cultural, expat Main Themes: moving and adapting Trigger Warning: none

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‘THE FIELD GUIDE TO THE NORTH AMERICAN TEENAGER’ BY BEN PHILLIPE

Think “Mean Girls” meets “10 Things I Hate About You.” Norris is a French-Canadian who moves to the very foreign Austin, Texas. His “field notes” explore habits and culture of the typical U.S. teenager with biting sarcasm and heartbreaking introspection. It hurts so good. Hatian-Canadian TCK author. Main Characters: cross-cultural, BIPOC, LGBTQ+ Main Themes: culture shock, identity Trigger Warning: bullying, racism, attempted suicide

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‘THE MEANS THAT MAKE US STRANGERS’ BY CHRISTINE KINDBERG

Set in historical South Carolina during the civil rights movement. Adelaide just moved from her home in Ethiopia where her parents worked as doctors. She doesn’t understand why her aunt forbids her to be friends with the five Black students at her high school. When she risks the friendship anyways, she experiences secondhand the violence of racism, prejudice and her friends’ fight for justice. Main Characters: cross-cultural, TCK Main Themes: culture shock Trigger Warning: racism, racial slurs and violence

4

‘FIRE KEEPER’S DAUGHTER’ BY ANGELINE BOULLEY

This exceptional book is written by a member of the X tribe and tells the story of X, who attends public school, plays hockey and desperately wants to be welcomed as a full member of her tribe. Her “between-ness” and belonging to multiple cultures shines through as she teams up with an undercover agent to solve a local mystery. Main Characters: cross-cultural, biracial Main Themes: belonging Trigger Warning: drug use, sexual assault

5

‘OUT OF THE BLUE’ BY JASON JUNE

Crush feels like a fish out of water -- literally! Born in the ocean, they are sent to spend a few months on land like all Merpeople do before becoming an Elder. It smells bad, humans are mean and Crush is really, really homesick … until they meet a human boy who needs their help. Main Characters: cross-cultural, LGBTQ+ Main Themes: culture shock and adaptability Trigger Warning: sex (consensual)


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Photography courtesy of Jessi Vance.


Photography courtesy of Jessi Vance.

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MUST l READ

6

‘WEIRD CULTURE KIDS’ BY NGỌC (BI) NGUYỄN

I had to let one non-fiction sneak through. While more of a memoir, Nguyễn’s story and observations about feeling “weird” is a fast-paced, witty read with plot twists that sound made up! From X to X, this one will leave you feeling proud to be a weird culture kid. Main Characters: cross-cultural, TCK Main Themes: identity Trigger Warning: none

7

THE ‘HARRY POTTER’ SERIES BY J.K. ROWLING

Everyone knows the premise — Harry is a young wizard who gets in trouble, goes on grand adventures and ultimately destroys the evil Voldemort *eek spoiler alert!* But did you know Harry grew up in the “muggle” or non-magic Britain? Did you know he spends each of the seven books learning more about the wizarding culture and navigating his belonging between these drastically different worlds? These are a must-read for any TCK. Main Characters: cross-cultural, wizard Main Themes: identity, belonging, cultural adaptability Trigger Warning: bullying, violence (also written by an author who in the years following publication of the series has espoused controversial views on transgender individuals)

8

‘ELEANOR AND PARK’ BY RAINBOW ROWELL

We all know what it’s like to be the new kid. Eleanor navigates some of the moments we have nightmares about while remaining true to herself. Park has never felt like he belongs but making friends with Eleanor challenges him to use his unique differences to fight for what’s right. Dabbles with bi-racial families and relationships too. Main Characters: biracial Main Themes: identity, belonging Trigger Warning: bullying, racial slurs, physical and sexual abuse

9

‘THE LADY’S GUIDE TO PETTICOATS AND PIRACY’ BY MACKENZI LEE

Historical fiction, a girl who just wants to be a doctor, pirates and exploration! Felicity Montague finds some unlikely friends in her travels and quest to study medicine (even as a “proper” woman). She has to confront her own identity, as well as what she thinks of her friends, through this fast-paced adventure. Main Characters: cross-cultural, LGBTQ+ Main Themes: identity Trigger Warning: alcoholism, violence

10

‘TOKYO EVER AFTER’ BY EMIKO JEAN

It’s like “The Princess Diaries” but set in Japan. Izzy is the only Asian kid in her mostly white school in California. She’s never felt like she fits in and then she finds out her dad is real-life Japanese royalty! On a whirlwind trip to Japan, she takes a crash course in cultures, customs and how to avoid the paparazzi but somehow still doesn’t feel like she fits in. Main Characters: cross-cultural, BIPOC Main Themes: culture shock, identity Trigger Warning: racism

Scan here or visit: www.cultursmag.com/ top-10-young-adult-booksfor-third-culture-kids/

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MUST l LISTEN

Photo by Justin Allen Hundsnurscher

REIK Reik live at Laredo Energy Arena in Laredo, Texas.

M

ade up of Borderlanders, Grammywinning Latin Pop band Reik is one of our own. Hailing from the Baja area of California, U.S.A., the group continues to gain popularity as they rise up the charts and collaborate with numerous other artists. 80

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Reik was formed in 2003 and received their first platinumcertified single in 2016 — a remix with Reggaeton artist Nicky Jam on the song “Ya Me Enteré” (I Already Found Out). Their single, “Amigos Con Derechos” (Friends With Benefits), a collaboration with Colombian singer Maluma, landed a second number one on the Billboard Latin Pop chart in 2018. And a single with Puerto Rican artist Ozuna titled “Me Niego” (I Refuse), won best Latin Pop Song of the Year at the 2019 Billboard Latin Music Awards. The group also collaborates with others, like Korean pop group Super Junior on the song “One More Time (Otra Vez).” The single debuted at number five on the Billboard Latin Pop Digital Song Sales chart.

Their name is pronounced like the English word, “rake.” It’s said they changed the spelling to suit their Spanish-speaking audience. Reik is comprised of lead vocalist Jesús Alberto Navarro Rosas, Julio Ramirez on acoustic guitar and Bibi Marin on electric guitar. Some of our favorite songs include “Poco” (a Little Bit), with Mexican crooner Christian Nodal, and “Cinco Estrellas” (Five Stars) with Panamanian Singer Sech, which launched Sept. 1, 2022. Reik’s most recent concert tour kicks off Oct. 1, 2022 in Mérida, Mexico.


THIRD CULTURE KID POSTER SERIES

— MEXICAN POP/ ROCK BAND “REIK’s” Lead Singer Jesus Navarro highlighting his borderlander roots in Baja/Mexicali Mexico/ California in an interview with AZCENTRAL.COM

Illustration by Diana Vega

“We’ve always wanted to do more English. Honestly, we’re border kids. What we listen to is probably 80 percent English stuff and 20 percent Spanish stuff. It’s very much part of our identity as people. The thing that’s kind of amazing is that there are so many new ways that people are listening to music. You don’t have to be a worldwide artist and only sing in English. You can do it in Spanish, in French, whatever. If you have something people connect with, that’s when it works. “


MUST l KNOW

EBONY

notes

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MUST l KNOW

E

bony Notes is an app for the culture. Our experiences are unique and we all have a special

way of greeting and uplifting one another that is unique to us. With the Ebony Notes app, users will receive affirmations via push notifications directly to their phone. These affirmations are meant to be positive, inspirational, humorous and relatable.

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MUST l KNOW

According to LaDonna Welch, the developer of the Ebony Notes app: “I had an affirmations app but it wasn’t enough. The affirmations were really dry and general. I did a search for ‘Affirmations for Black People,’ ‘Affirmations for Black Women’ and ‘Affirmations for Black Men’ in the app stores but the options were either generic or not related. I did a Google search as well and came up with nothing so my wheels started turning and Ebony Notes the app was born.” The categories in the app allow users to choose the tone and topics they’d like to receive. Ebony Notes is available in the Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

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MUST l KNOW

It’s a free app but subscribers can access all locked features and access to customizable options. Monthly Subscription: $4.99 Yearly Subscription: $29.99 One Time Fee: $99.99 For more info on subscribing, scan the link below. https://subscribepage.io/JEzLuh

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MUST l KNOW

Third Culture Kids DWAYNE JOHNSON and

KEANU REEVES

Photo by Eric Charbonneau Photography

in ‘DC League of Super-Pets’

DC League of Super-Pets - July 13th Screening Event.

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MUST l KNOW

Photo courtesy Warner Bros.

I

n Warner Bros. Pictures’ animated feature film “DC League of SuperPets,” from director Jared Stern, Krypto the Super-Dog and Superman are inseparable best friends, sharing the same superpowers and fighting crime in Metropolis side by side. When Superman and the rest of the Justice League are kidnapped, Krypto has to convince a rag-tag shelter pack — Ace the hound, PB the potbellied pig, Merton the turtle and Chip the squirrel — to master their own newfound powers and help him rescue the superheroes. Dwayne Johnson stars as the voice of Krypto the Super-Dog. The film also includes the voices of Kevin Hart, Kate McKinnon, John Krasinski, Vanessa Bayer, Natasha Lyonne, Diego Luna, Marc Maron, Thomas Middleditch, Ben Schwartz and Keanu Reeves.

Photo courtesy Warner Bros.

Stern, who previously wrote on the “LEGO” movies, makes his animated feature film directorial debut, directing from a screenplay he wrote with frequent collaborator John Whittington. Johnson, also one of the film’s producers, was born in California, U.S.A. of a black Nova Scotian father and Samoan mother and spent his formative years in New Zealand, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, Texas and Florida. Fellow Third Culture Kid (TCK) Keanu Reeves was born in Beirut, Lebanon and grew up in Australia, the United States and Canada. His father was of Hawaiian, Portuguese and Chinese descent while his mother is British.

Krypto the Super-Dog and Superman are inseparable best friends, sharing the same superpowers and fighting crime in Metropolis side by side.

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WHERE IS

HOME? By Romita Bulchandani

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Photo by Jhonathan Rodriguezo

T

he answer to this question has changed a lot for me over the years. I’m a Cross Cultural Kid (CCK), as I grew up in a place that was not my parents’ homeland. My parents were born and raised in India. They migrated to the United States in the late 1970s and built a community in the state of North Carolina. We had a huge family — about 129 close immediate relatives. Family members came one by one to our house. We were their starting point as they prepared to begin their new lives in the Americas. So, what exactly is home? I guess the technical answer is North Carolina because that’s where I was born. However, this answer never sat well with me. Is home physical or spiritual? Is it a feeling? Is it just the location on your birth certificate? Growing up, I wrestled with all these questions. I also grew up with the assumption that everyone has a home or should have one. However, my circumstances didn’t make it that black and white for me. Today I believe a home is physical and spiritual and can be felt by the heart. My journey with this question has given me gifts of wisdom that shaped my current beliefs. Allow me to explain.

Romita Bulchandani

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HOME IS PHYSICAL At the age of 5, I started kindergarten. However, my English wasn’t very good. The primary language in my house was Sindhi or Hindi. At home we primarily watched TV Asia, Bollywood movies and Indian TV. Most of the content was in Hindi (the national language of India), but in the house, everyone spoke Sindhi, the language of our Sindh community. I didn’t speak much English at home, even though I was born and raised in North Carolina. Reading and writing were hard for me because I didn’t know the foundation of the English language as well as the other kids in my class. In elementary school, kids would ask me, “Where are you from?” I would respond with “India.” Then the follow-up question would be, “When did you move here?” This question confused me because I never lived in India, so I never moved. This made my answer feel complicated. As a kid, the questions felt overwhelming. My house growing up was a fusion of Bollywood movies, Indian traditions/rituals, daily authentic Indian food and rich Indian culture. Everything physically looked and felt like India at home. Why would I not be from India? Outside my house, I would enter a small rural farm town with a rich Southern culture. My parents didn’t assimilate into the Southern U.S. lifestyle. All their friends were Indian. We went to dinners and social gatherings, all within the Indian community. When we went out, we would dress in traditional Indian attire.

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N'T TR LE Y T

DO

LD ; OR W E U. YO

YOURSEL N E FF S S OR LE ORLD CATCH UP T H O — BEYONCE W T E TO TH


ALTHOUGH WE LIVE IN THE U.S., WE ARE INDIAN, AND TO MY FAMILY, OUR HOME WILL ALWAYS BE INDIA Every summer, my parents would send my brother and me off to a different relative’s house to live. The summers took us to New York, California, Texas, Kentucky, Tennessee and overseas. Summertime is when we would explore the world. Like most of our school friends, we never went to summer camps or summer school. Traveling so young made us adaptable to other households and cultures. We learned how to become chameleons and physically adapt to diverse environments. By the time I was 18, I was considered welltraveled. My travels took me to places like London, Spain, Hong Kong, India, Canada and Singapore. Each relative’s home we traveled to, no matter what country, felt like India. Keeping our rich Indian traditions alive was the family’s mission. Seeing our rich Indian culture so intact in places all around the world made it feel like India had wings and was settling anywhere there was an opportunity for growth. Then came high school, and I desperately wanted to fit in. My so-called home felt like holding a bright yellow flag saying, “I’m different.” In my teenage years, being different wasn’t “cool.” Being well-traveled and educated on numerous cultures worldwide didn’t feel like an advantage. I was in a sea of middle-class, blue-collar and primarily white Southerners from the U.S. Most didn’t have a passport or travel past South Carolina or Georgia. Growing up, I was physically immersed in two extremes, Indian and Southern U.S.

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HOME IS FEELING Home became more of a feeling when I moved to Orlando, Fla. I landed a job with a cool guy named Mickey Mouse, who owned a magical place called Walt Disney World Resort. I was in my 20s working for The Walt Disney Company, and immersed with many Third Culture Kids (TCKs) and CCKs just like me. Except now, we all lived in Florida and worked for The Mouse. For the first time, it FELT like home. I had never had a feeling of home before. All this time, I based my definition of home on the physical aspects. Orlando to this day has a special place in my heart because of the connections I made there. In my 30s, I moved to Washington, D.C., capital of the U.S.! That gave me a whole different perspective of the country’s rich history. My feelings of home deepened, and I broadened my definition of home to the U.S. and India.


By this time in my life, I decided that home was both a feeling and physical. India is my roots, and the U.S. is where I evolved. Both are part of me, and both are home.

HOME IS SPIRITUAL In 2017, my mom lost her battle with cancer. Her passing shook me to my core. Her death became the catalyst that set me on a spiritual adventure to discover who I am. My mom was given two to six months to live after her diagnosis. She essentially was waiting to die, and as she waited, she began reflecting on her 67 years of life. We talked a lot about life, and I learned a lot about her life from a different perspective. “I’m finally going home,” my mom said to me. “What does that mean?” I asked. “You are home.”

She explained that home was not a physical place or a feeling. It’s much bigger than that. It’s a place that words cannot describe. Well, this puts a whole new spin on the definition of home. Just when I thought I had found home, my mom changed its entire meaning. Before my mom passed, she left me with lots of wisdom, thoughts and new perspectives. This newfound wisdom began a spiritual adventure that I am still unfolding. Today, when I’m asked, “Where are you from” or “Where’s home,” it gives me pause because a part of me is still looking for home. I don’t identify with the U.S. or India. However, they are a part of me and will always be my heritage. Here’s what I do know: Home lives within me. It’s a magical, powerful energy that flows through me. In the physical, I consider myself happily homeless and a nomad. The vibrations go up and down as I move from place to place. I pay close attention to the vibes I get. There are countries that I have a strong, energetic connection with and areas that drain me. I’m deeply in tune to the inner voice inside me. Some call it an inner knowing. Home is spiritual to me. Spirituality combines the earth, fire, air, water and the universe. Home is everywhere and nowhere. Where is home for you? What does home do for you? How do you define home? The beauty is that the answer will always be different from person to person, and that is OK. All that matters is you know what home is and where to find it. Scan here or visit: www.cultursmag.com/ where-is-home/

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BEHIND THE SCENES

Churreria“El Moro.”

Churreria“El Moro.”

Teotihuacan hot air ballon ride.

Mexican street tacos.

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BEHIND THE SCENES

CDMX artistic letters project wants to bring the CDMX (Mexico City) logo to a 3D application for people to interact.

The National Museum of Anthropology is a national museum of Mexico. It is the largest and most visited museum in Mexico.

Pet friendly co-working space in CDMX.

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BEHIND THE SCENES

Mariachi band playing while waiting for the hot air ballon ride.

Areal view from ballon ride.

Pre-Hispanic City of Teotihuacan.

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BEHIND THE SCENES

Grutas Tolatongo is a tourist park of hot springs.

Grutas Tolatongo is a tourist park of hot springs.

Catrina and alebrijes graffiti.

Chiles en nogada is a Mexican dish of poblano chiles stuffed with picadillo topped with a walnut-based cream sauce called nogada, pomegranate seeds and parsley. It is widely considered a national dish of Mexico. The colors of the dish—green chile, white sauce, red pomegranate— represent the colors of the flag of Mexico.

Mariachi band playing while waiting for the hot air ballon ride.

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THE ALCHEMIST

AWARDS

HEART OF THE WORLD The Culturs Awards celebrate the best and brightest of our in-between community. From Third Culture Kids and Military B.R.A.T.s, to immigrants, mixed-race, multi-ethnic and Expats, we want to uplift and amplify the brightest minds, talents and visions of those oft overlooked.

Niara Hardin

Whom do you want to celebrate? Nominate the best of the in-between at CultursMag.com/Culturs-Awards.

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THE ALCHEMIST

AWARDS 2023

From Military B.R.A.T. Deidre Hardin, who designed the CULTURS AWARD: As an artist, the spark of creativity is fickle at best. I tend to start a concept, set it aside, then come back when it calls for my attention. I spent a day playing with ideas meant to express the meaning of the CULTURS award. Keywords like belonging, family, culture and food were some of the broad concepts I considered. By the evening, I had drained my mental toolbox and settled down to listen to an audiobook. “The Alchemist,” by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho, was to be the catalyst that brought my efforts into fruition. My initial hesitation was with using copper to create the piece, my assumption being the award should be an elaborate material. This anxiety was swiftly laid to rest after a few sentences in the book stated, “There is no need for iron to be the same as copper or copper the same as gold… copper and iron have their own legends to fulfill.” Birthed from this unexpected inspiration came “The Alchemist Heart,” the title for the copper heart sculpture. The book is a metaphor for life. A story about a

personal journey and how to listen to your heart and follow your dreams. The secrets of alchemy are said to exist on a small emerald tablet that can’t be expressed in words. The Alchemist can transmute lead into gold and uses a solvent called the elixir of life to cure all ills. The chaotically twisted copper design is an interpretation of a personal journey through travel, decisions and career paths. The top of the heart is left open to represent one’s courage to embark upon their possibilities. Therefore, I placed the faux emerald that symbolized the Philosopher’s Stone as the eye of the fish. The fish symbolized not only food but a biblical proportion in sharing a skill with others. The base, as referenced in the book, can be the elixir of life or the oceans of the world. As a whole, the piece may be interpreted as ocean-crossed global citizens who find home, happiness, and belonging within their hearts. No heart suffers while pursuing its dreams using lessons learned in discovering its legend. Ultimately, there is no magic panacea to one’s heart’s desire.

Entries open soon! Join the free newsletter at CultursMag.com to ensure you are the first to know.

Nominate someone at Cultursmag.com/ Culturs-Award

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