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In the House: Latinos in the Greek system

Raising the Roof: Org builds more than houses

Illegal: The damage of a single word

Birthday Bash: Mexico’s bicentennial

. The Immigration Issue

Enrollment or Enlistment? Current DREAM act legislation proposes two options

Fall 2010 | Vol. 41 Issue 1

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4 | El Mundo Latinoaméricano 15 | Pro-Immigration Group Overtakes Nevada Tea Party Hopeful Turning the Latino vote towards Democrats

12 | Latino Greek Organizations Breaking the mold and forging strong communities 13 | Out on a Mission Members of Nu Alpha Kappa fraternity volunteer at a center for the homeless

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5 | September: Meg Whitman 5 | October: Robert de Posada 5 | November: Russell Pearce

¡topen esto!

13 | Jobs vs. Charity World’s richest man responds 14 | The Bicentennial: Mexico moves forward by paying homage to its past A close look at what makes 2010’s Grito de Inlatinoamérica dependencia celebrations worth the wait 6 | Denied the Right to Vote Los Angeles Peruvian Consulate fails to provide voting 15 | ILLEGAL How this anti-immigrant term contaminates public perception of services undocumented immigrants 7 | Threats to Democracy in Latin America The siege against progressive leadership in Latin America and how it can be deportes countered 16 | The Penalties of Guatemalan Soccer Dwindling attendance and talent have teams in the red comunidad 8 | Casas para Cambiar el Mundo Latin American volunteer organization brings sigan luchando hope by building homes 17 | From Within Art of Corcoran and 9 | Learning Alternative Center supports urban youth through self-empowerment Pelican State Bay Prison and education


Pablo Buzio works as a part of Un Techo Para Mi Pais, a service organization dedicated to constructing homes in Latin America

arte y cultura nuestra joteria

9 | Advocating for Gay Rights Political action groups seek to educate and advocate for the Latino LGBT community

18 | Monsters, Aliens, and Mexican Immigrants Tired allegory make “Monsters” lose its appeal 18 | Letras de la Vida Survivor of Dirty War recounts experiences at “174 Memoria” exhibit at UCLA



10-11 | The Path to Citizenship If the DREAM Act passes,undocumented hopefuls must decide between enrollment or enlistment


A mural at Chuco’s Justice Center with the message “Emancipate yourself from Determined Ethics.”

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ABOUT THE COVER ART A painting by Long Beach artist Jose Loza entitled “How much is this going to cost me?”, the young woman represents the strength students have in order to get by with their educational and everyday lives. The social security card with money symbols replacing the numbers is a reminder of what those nine little numbers can mean financially and the hurdles you face for not having them. To view more of Jose Loza’s work or to contact him visit

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notibreve information, rápido latinoamérica news/happenings ¡topen esto! all things opinionated tarado del mes the not-so-hot tamale arte y cultura need we say more? sigan luchando for those inside expresiones all things creative comunidad local insights nuestra joteria LGBTQ deportes for the players out there universidad exclusively osito

A note on Vol. 40 Issue 3: Unfortunately, we were unable to print our Spring 2010 issue. But don’t let that keep you from reading it! All articles are available at

Shoot us an email:

We’re looking for: Writers, Editors, Web Editors, Bloggers, Twitter-ers, Facebook-ers, Illustrators, Photographers, Layout/Graphic Designers, Morale Boosters

Story submissions: La Gente accepts outside submissions of all sorts for review and possible publication. Email and include “submission” in the subject line. Unsigned editorials represent the majority opinion of the La Gente editorial board. All others columns, cartoons, and letters represent the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editorial board. The UCLA communications board has a media grievance procedure for resolving grievances against any of its media. For a copy of the complete procedure contact student media at 310.825.2787. Copyright 2010 ASUCLA Communications Board

la Gente VOL. 41 ISSUE 1 EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Samantha Lim MANAGING EDITOR Helga Salinas MANAGING ASSISTANT Lucia Prieto COPY EDITORS Paulina Aguilar Lucia Prieto STAFF WRITERS Maribel Carmago Emilio Hernandez Catherine Mangan Carina Padilla Monica Ponce de Leon Marcos Osorio Gilbert Portillo Heileen Salazar Jonathan Sanabria Armando Solis DESIGN Samantha Lim Maria Esmeralda Renteria GRAPHICS & ILLUSTRATIONS Samantha Lim Maria Esmeralda Renteria STUDENT MEDIA DIRECTOR Arvli Ward STUDENT MEDIA ADVISOR Amy Emmert

From the Editor At the turn of the 20th century, the Statue of Liberty greeted immigrants as they arrived to Ellis Island. An immigrant herself, Lady Liberty was a gift from France. Despite her foreign roots, this iconic symbol of American ideals, representing freedom and democracy, was designated a national monument in 1924. More recently, the Statue of Liberty—widely identified as a tourist destination—serves not only as a physical marker of American identity to the world, but connects the nation’s population to a common land and shared history. But what does Lady Liberty stand for during this critical moment when discussions on immigration policy enter our daily lives? As globalization continues to collapse some boundaries and allows ideas, goods and people to move more easily, borderlines on our domestic front have become a literal place of divide. In our current time of economic crisis it’s easy to place blame on a different group rather than look for a rational explanation. In many cases, this threatening and burdensome “other” has been specified as the recent immigrant, whose roots in the US are perhaps more recently formed but no less valid. In front of a congressional hearing on migrant workers, Stephen Colbert voiced the anti-immigrant opinion. “My grandfather did not travel across 4,000 miles of Atlantic Ocean to see an America overrun by immigrants!” said Colbert. “He did it because he killed a man in Ireland.” If, as in Colbert’s grandfather’s case, an action hurting one’s community is enough to move one from his or her country of origin, it is astounding that actions such as keeping families together or working toward positive social contributions that empower communities are not enough to stay in another. Contemporary times make it much more difficult to gain the “right” to be in this country, one that, if based on precedence, should be freely available to all. The complexities and gravity of immigration will only continue to intensify. I ask that you also take a moment to reflect on your own community and consider how social relations play into immigration and current events as you begin to navigate this vivid and intricate issue. Yours,

Community profiles, arts, culture and politics for the Latino college student 118 Kerckhoff Hall 308 Westwood Plaza Los Angeles, CA 90024 Email: Phone: 310.825.9836 La Gente is a proud member of the Campus Progress Publications Network.

Our Mission La Gente Newsmagazine is for the UCLA student interested in Latino issues. We want to represent the diversity of our culture and cultivate pride in our community. We’re a forum for conversation hoping to inspire readers to get involved and make their voices heard.

Fall 2010 LA GENTE 3

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New ruling overturns 2004 law

“Tony Tormenta” dies in a storm of police gunfire



Leader of the Gulf cartel, 1 Ezequiel Cardenas Guillén, better known as “Tony Tormenta,” died in a shootout near the US border on Nov. 5. The US State Department offered a $5 billion reward to anyone who had a lead on the whereabouts of one of Mexico’s most wanted. The Gulf cartel, which controls trafficking from Mexico to Central America is responsible for the shipments of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, and other drugs across the US border.




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Iranian group known as the Revolutionary Guards Corps - Qods Force (IRGC-QF) has ties in many parts of the world including North Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan and Latin America. A new report by Congress regarding Tehran’s military indicates there is an increase in paramilitary Qods in Venezuela. The report shows no evidence of action by either Venezuela or Iran, yet there is indication of Qod network operations increasing in Venezuela. This relationship has sparked mixed responses from professionals. US and Middle East specialist Kenneth Katzman warns for a close examination of this seemingly anti-US relationship the two countires share. On the other hand, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates describes this issue as a minimal concern, claiming that Venezuela does not pose a threat at this time.

ARIZONA’S SB1070: NATIONAL TREND? 25 states look at similar legislation MARCOS OSORIO


Arizona’s citizens are no longer required to prove US citizenship to vote, though they are still required to show identification. This new ruling came from a federal appeals court decision on Oct. 26. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer and Secretary of State Ken Bennett called the decision “an outrage and a slap in the face to all Arizonans who care about the integrity of their elections.”



Relationship sparks concern and speculation



GOOGLE MAPS ERROR RENEWS 200-YEAR-OLD DISPUTE Nicaragua and Costa Rica fight over faulty border mapping


US air marshals hit turbulence in Brazil PAULINA AGUILAR

Two US air marshals were detained in Brazil on Oct. 1 after trying to control an unruly passenger on a flight from Houston to Brazil. The incident occured aboard Conti7 nental Flight 128 when the plane’s crew asked the US marshals to intervene with an apparently intoxicated female passenger. The passenger struggled with the marshals, but was subsequently arrested. Upon arriving at the Rio airport, the marshals took the female passenger, who is incidentally the wife of a prominent Brazilian judge, to Brazilian authorities for further legal action. The Brazilian authorities instead charged the marshals with assault and took their passports to keep them in Brazil. The US marshals, however, managed to leave the country and avoid further legal action with alternate travel documents.



On Oct. 31 Brazil elected its first female president. A former Marxist guerilla, Dilma Rouseff was the Energy Minister before running for president. She was picked by outgoing President Luiz Lula da Silva as his party’s candidate, and she will now take the head of one of the world’s most growing economies.

A report released by an immigrant rights MARIA ESMERALDA RENTERIA group determines that 25 states could Nicaragua invaded Costa Rica a few attempt to pass the same type of laws weeks ago due to a data error in as Arizona’s controversial SB1070. Google Maps that put Earlier this spring, Arizona Gov. Jan the border of NicaBrewer signed the bill into law but it was ragua 2.7 kilometers deemed unconstitutional by a federal into Costa Rica’s judge and is currently up for appeal beterritory. Nicaraguan fore the US Ninth Circuit Court. Like the Arizona law, the new trend of Military Commander Eden Pastora did the lawmaking will require local law enforcegoogling and dement officers to check for immigration ployed the troops. status during routine stops. Google Maps The report also states that from 2006 Will more states pass laws similar to AZ’s to 2008 towns passed local laws punSamantha Lim, Info compiled by Marcos Osorio ishing employers for hiring illegal immigrants. Arizona is still waiting for the SuGeorgia, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Likely preme Court to rule on the state’s 2007 South Carolina employer-sanctions law. States may be swayed by the court’s decision on SB1070. Finances may influMaybe Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, ence lawmakers as more court battles Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, and immigration arrests begin to cost Missouri, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, the state. The private prison industry will Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia profit off Arizona’s case. NPR recently reported that the private prison industry Less Maryland, Massachusetts, was behind the creation and lobbying of Likely Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, the SB1070 law, as co-sponsors of the bill Ohio, Rhode Island received money from the private prison industry or its lobbyists. SOURCE: ImmigrationWorks USA

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Dilma Rouseff


SB1070 next year?

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September: Meg Whitman Despite spending, Whitman just shortchanged herself


ailed Gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman learned the hard way that money can’t buy you love. Spending a record breaking $160 million, the former eBay CEO will have to go back to being an average billionaire. After months of invading Pandora Internet Radio and YouTube with pop-up ads touting her commitment to California, Whitman will hopefully disappear into obscurity, joining the numerous failed political hopefuls that were unable to purchase an election. The greatest contradiction was Whitman’s massive Spanish language media campaign that attempted to sway Latinos, despite opposing bilingual education. Whitman’s website craftily kept her views hidden from the Latino community, having links for ‘Latinos for Meg’ and ‘MEGaMujeres,’ which provided a toolkit for organizing and recruiting volunteers while simultaniously proclaiming her opposition to Arizona’s SB1070. Whitman went a step further by denouncing Proposition 187, an anti-immigrant bill passed in the early 90s of which her campaign chairman Pete “Pito” Wilson was an avid proponent. While having a former California governor on her team was a positive, had Whitman participated in the political process previously, she would have known that Latinos despise Wilson with a passion. While the political rhetoric of creating jobs, fixing education, and cutting spending continued to spew from her protruding gums, connecting with voters on a basic

human level proved to be a challenge. The cold charred piece of flesh that now sits where her heart used to be became clearly visible to voters when Whitman’s former housekeeper stepped out of Illustration Courtesy of Julio Salgado the shadows. Serving as contradictory evidence of a vital portion of Whitman’s anti-immigrant political platform, Nicky Diaz Santillan worked for over nine years without documentation at the Whitman home. Obviously fearing the looming backlash spawned by her hypocrisy, Whitman called foul and stated that her former housekeeper should be deported. It seems even California sunshine is not enough to warm the frosty yellowish plasma-like substance that courses through her veins. After spending a record $141.6 million of her own hard-earned cash on her campaign, Whitman was outdone by a former disgruntled housekeeper. Whitman said it best in a letter of defeat posted on her website: “Politics too often lacks humanity.” If by politics Whitman means “former eBay CEOs who run for political office,” then I and millions of California voters are in agreement.

October: Robert de Posada

Nevada Senate hopeful urges Latinos not to vote, then does so himself


obert de Posada is head of Latinos for Reform, a group that urged Latinos, especially in Nevada, to not vote on Nov. 2. The ad stated, “Democratic leaders must pay for their broken promises and betrayals…if they didn’t keep their promise on immigration reform, then they can’t count on our vote. Don’t vote this November. This is the only way to send them a clear message. You can no longer take us for granted. Don’t vote.” Despite his advice to others, Posada voted by absentee ballot in the state of Virginia. When confronted about this, he claimed that he didn’t see a contradiction, and said he urged people to vote, only that they not vote for those “who betray you.” Posada is a Republican strategist and a former Director of Hispanic Affairs for the Republican National Committee. Latinos for Reform is also funded by the GOP, a fact that the ad fails to mention. Univision pulled the ad after Democrats accused it of promoting cynicism and voter suppression. Posada said he will file a claim citing violation of the First Amendment. Democrat Harry Reid won Nevada’s Senate seat.

November: Russell Pearce Dear Arizona Republicans,

I wanted to discuss your decision regarding the election of Russell Pearce as Senate president. It’s such a relief to know that Senator Pearce will be running the chamber for the next two years for the following reasons: NONE. Congratulations. We are all painfully aware of Senator Pearce’s perennial fight to pass new state laws to curb illegal immigration. In regards to Prop 200 Pearce says, “[Illegal immigrants] can’t come to America and get free stuff. It’s just wrong. You’ve got to take their benefits away.” Really impressive. Clap. Clap. I couldn’t have said it more eloquently myself (…if I were also accepting millions of dollars worth of dirty money American Progress from prison companies based on my crooked law making…). I’d also like to make Senate President Russell Pearce a personal shout-out to Pearce’s recent authoring of SB1070. Your new muscular Arizona-style is helping you truly show your colors. (Just make sure not to wear your blue and white scarf out golfing next weekend.) It’s so comforting to know that Texas State Rep. Debbie Riddle is also following in your footsteps by emulating your lawmaking in her response to the escalating violence caused by Mexican and Latin American gangs. Riddle says, “It is absolutely out of control with the gang-related crime, which is going through the roof, so yes, we are addressing this, and quite frankly, I am not worried about political correctness.” And why should you be, Debbie? It’s not as if that’s your job...oh...wait... Len Tria of Tampa’s Hernando Today says, “I am sure the left will bring busloads of uneducated aliens and have them vote for their party of handouts and government largess…Think of what will happen across this land if anyone who wants to vote gets a ballot and casts a vote.” First of all, Len, thank you so much for using such derogatory terms, it really puts your education up on a pedestal for which to strive for, hope you’re polishing your credentials. Second, I am thinking about what is happening across the land when everyone and anyone who wants to vote gets a ballot and casts a vote…we end up with people like Russell Pearce in office, from sea to shining sea. In other news, the Kettle called and it says, “What’s up, Pot?” In Pearce’s defense, it seems like he has some very solid plans for Arizona’s future. When asked about the immediate gap between revenues and expenses he says, “Nobody has the magic wand.” With all due respect Senator Pearce, word on the street is, Harry Potter does. Why don’t you go try to run Hogwarts, I heard they’re looking. Stop worrying your pretty little sunburned head about things ‘round these parts. Love, kisses, puppies, and rainbows, Your Better Half

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Contributed by Veronica Ponce de Leon

Security escorts Peruvian voters out of Peru’s General Consulate in Hollywood

Denied the Right to Vote LA Peruvian Consulate fails to provide voting services Monica Ponce de Leon


eruvians in Los Angeles and surrounding areas headed to the General Consulate of Peru to vote for an important referendum that affects millions of Peruvians. Surprisingly, when they arrived to cast their votes, no one was there. It was 10:30 a.m. and the doors to the 3450 Wilshire building in Los Angeles were closed. A sign on the door read

Samantha Lim, Info compiled by Helga Salinas

that voters must head to another location in Hollywood. The Los Angeles office currently represents Peruvians as far as San Francisco, San Diego and even Arizona, hence frustrating many who drove long distances. Complying with their civic duties of compulsory voting, 150 Peruvians arrived at the Hollywood building. But none of the assigned

volunteers showed up. “Many people were shouting and expressing negative reactions,” said Alhambra resident Maria de Asin, one of many Peruvians hoping to vote. Peruvians were scheduled to vote that day for various important issues such as regional elections and a measure which would return money to a large number of people who paid taxes for housing projects but never got their fair share when the project collapsed in 1998. The elections for mayor were particularly important since it resulted in Lima’s first female mayor. Peruvians were met by Gabriel Pacheco, the Deputy Consul General of Peru. According to those who were present, Pacheco stated that none of the volunteers decided to come, so they were forced to shut down the building. Many determined voters advised Pacheco to select new volunteers so they can proceed, but he declined. “This is not fair. Our rights as citizens have been violated by the lack of organization and care by the administration in

Know your history Immigration Information: Intriguing details from our nation’s past

SB1070’s predecessor:

The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was the first and only legislation to explicitly prohibit immigration based on ethnicity. It remained in effect for 61 years.

When the border moves instead

The Treaty of GuadeloupeHidalgo gave Mexicans who lived on the recently acquired Southwest National Archives territories the choice of moving in order to remain within Mexico’s borderlines or staying and automatically gaining US citizenship. SOURCE: Roger Daniels’ Guarding the Golden Door: American Immigration Policy and Immigrants since 1882

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Los Angeles,” said Luis Yunis, who initiated a sign-in sheet for the frustrated voters to document who was there. Pacheco refused to sign it, stating that he was no “superstar.” Pacheco said he needed to follow the protocol of La Oficina Nacional de Procesos Electorales, which states that if no volunteers show up by noon, they must close the tables and no one can vote. He noted that it was the responsibility of Peruvian citizens to help this event work and they did not collaborate. “If we were in Peru we would use public force to obtain new voluntaries, but here in Los Angeles we do not have that, so there is no way to enforce people to be volunteers,” said Pacheco. The day ended with security guards escorting Peruvians out of the building. “It was heartbreaking to see our fellow Peruvians being turned away from one of the most basic rights that we have as citizens of our country: the right to vote,” said Peruvian citizen and Los Angeles resident Veronica Ponce de Leon as she exited the premises.

A one-way street:

Prior to 1922, a woman could not marry a man ineligible to citizenship without losing her own citizenship. However, if a male citizen married an alien woman, she was granted citizenship.

It’s either black or white

Ozawa v. US (1922) upheld an 1877 statue limiting naturalization to “white persons and persons of African descent” and declared that Japanese were not “white persons”.

They must’ve been next to the pot of gold...

The US had an estimated 40,000 to 250,000 undocumented Irish immigrants in the 1980s. When Immigration and Naturalization Services located 1.5 million deportees, only 46 of those were Irish.


Threats to Democracy in Latin America The siege against progressive leadership in Latin America and how it can be countered Gilbert Portillo


Samantha Lim Info compiled by Gilbert Portillo

ncertainty was high as the police closed in, but instead of pursuing a criminal, they had surrounded a democratically-elected president, aiming to overthrow him. Another coup attempt was underway in Latin America. On Sept. 30, 2010, a group of police officers led a protest over benefit cuts in Ecuador’s capital, Quito. After President Rafael Correa spoke to the group of revolting officers, he was attacked with tear gas and was rushed to a hospital. He later declared that he was being held hostage in the hospital, and that the attack was a coup attempt. After hours of uncertainty, military units conducted a successful rescue operation against the revolting police. The subsequent shootout left four dead. Ecuador has had a history of political instability; it has had eight presidents since 1996. President Correa was elected in 2006 and led an effort in 2007 to create a new constitution. However, disagreements between parties slowed this process. Meanwhile, the country remained consumed by debt accumulated during previous governments. In 2009 Ecuador defaulted over $3 billion of debt and cut itself off from the International Money Fund and the World Bank due to their detrimental effects on the economy. Besides this year’s attempt in Ecuador, this decade has also seen the military coup against President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras, which occured in 2009. In addition, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti resigned under US pressure in 2004, and an unsuccessful coup also took place in Venezuela in 2002. “[The recent coup attempt in Ecuador] is a manifestation that the progress of democracy Rafael Correa in Latin America is very


The word ‘coup’ comes from a French phrase: coup d'état (ku deta) [F. état state]:

a sudden and decisive stroke of state policy; specifically a sudden and great change in the government carried out violently or illegally by the ruling power.

...but did you know it can also mean: a place where rubbish is deposited; a rubbish dump or tip SOURCE: Oxford English Dictionary

The recent attempt to oust President Correa in Ecuador is not an isolated event. Take a look at the trending political turmoil in Latin America and the Carribean over the last two decades.

On The Rocks

April 1992: President Fujimori of Peru commits a “self-coup,” shutting down Congress after they resist his efforts to adopt neoliberal economic policies.

tenuous,” said Professor Raymond Rocco from UCLA’s Department of Political Science. The transition to democracy in many Latin American countries is not complete, and many disparities still exist. In addition, government institutions remain weak, and the military sometimes does not answer to the president. It is not uncommon for soldiers to hold allegiance to particular generals as opposed to the president. What should Latin American leaders do? Professor Rocco believes that Latin American presidents must make sure to maintain popular support. In Venezuela, massive public demonstrations played a key role in the reinstatement of Hugo Chávez after the coup in 2002. It is necessary to maintain that mass support, since these leaders have derived their mandate from the people. Professor Hector Perla, from UC Santa Cruz’s Department of Latin American Studies, believes that leftist leaders should confront the problems brought by capitalism head-on. They must create broad progressive alliances, done by strengthening their own party base, as well as forming center-left coalitions. Professor Perla believes that maintaining unity and grassroots activism is key to maintaining democratic rule. This includes the use of alternative news sources, including social networking, to counter mainstream media’s role in destabilizing Latin American countries. Progressive governments in Latin America will continue to be targeted. Therefore, it is necessary for people to remain politically conscious and look past propaganda and rhetoric; they must make sure not to internalize their own repression with indifference.



April 2002: Coup against President Chavez of Venezuela. He was reinstated two days later with the support of loyal military and massive public demonstrations rallying for his return.

February 2004: Haitian President Aristide resigns from office under US pressure, and he is then flown to Africa in a US government plane.

June 2009: President Manuel Zelaya of Honduras is ousted by the military. The postcoup government later holds elections, but their legitimacy remains challenged.

September 2010: President Correa of Ecuador was attacked and temporarily held against his will by revolting police units.

SOURCES: BBC, Washington Times, Peruvian Times

Fall 2010 LA GENTE 7


Casas para Cambiar el Mundo Latin American volunteer organization brings hope by building homes Catherine Mangan


utside, the routine hustle and bustle of Monday afternoon in Buenos Aires’ Microcentro neighborhood might have kept me entertained, but not today. Nothing could distract me from our café table. The local Argentine sits across from me, placidly sipping his Quilmes beer, and says, “Come away with me.” In any other contemporary moment, an unattached female tourist such as myself would have cringed at this invitation and tugged down her skirt an extra inch. In this instance, however, what seemed like the prologue to a shabby romance novel was actually one of the most desirable propositions a girl could ask for. He was offering the world. When your summer plans comprise of cultivating the perfect tan, engineering sandcastles, and investigating imaginative ways to while your time away until fall, Pablo Buzio’s company seems even more enchanting. 29-year-old Buzio is an integral part of Un Techo Para Mi Pais (UTPMP), an initiative led by youth and young professionals volunteering in 18 Latin American countries including Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Mexico. This organization strives to create social consciousness and a spirit of solidarity through voluntary work, integrating the various sectors of society in overcoming extreme poverty through the implementation of the three stages of the project: construction of emergency housing, social empowerment, and the final development of a more sustainable community. That same day that I was to fly home to Los Angeles, Buzio would be boarding a bus for a 15-hour commute to Chaco province. Braving the cold, he and 200 other volunteers headed north to provide a new community with a new life. Families provide 10 percent of the total cost of housing. This produces a sense of commitment and ownership achieved through their personal invest-

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Courtesy of Federico Bosch

Sisters Rocio (left) and Belen (right) celebrate with Ignacio Gregorini, Director of Formacion (middle), and Pablo Buzio (above) during a sweltering Summer build in Tucuman, Argentina in February 2010. ment towards a better future. “We don’t believe in giving for free. We expect them to work and make an effort,” said Buzio. The home is a prefabricated modular house with wooden floors and walls and zinc roofs. This is supported on wooden piles that insulate and protect from moisture. Materials are extremely low cost, thereby enabling mass construction, and can easily be constructed by about eight to 10 volunteers in two days. For UTPMP, an important part of the experience is life in the community. The volunteers settle in schools and community centers that allow them to be near the construction site and live for a few days. “We have to sleep tight because of the cold,” said Buzio. “We are not mountain climbers with equipment; we are not fit for this. These are 18-to 30-year-old kids with a sleep-

ing bag and a couple of sweatshirts.” Each experience is full of mixed emotions for volunteers. Some don’t know what to expect, but each person involved finds that, just like every adventure, the ups and downs are what propel you. “I just got an email that in three days they are going to dismantle a house that I built six months ago for a family (a mother and four kids) that had to run away from the barrio because her ex-husband threatened to kill the kids. How do you disconnect from that? So you can ask me if we are really making a difference, and honestly I think we are, but it’s two steps forward and one back... and sometimes a couple to the sides,” said Buzio. Buzio can rest assured. It’s clear for outsiders that UTPMP is doing nothing but moving forward and moving mountains. These young people are part

of a larger historical network of remarkable advocates for social change, and their heart, numbers, and opportunities are only growing stronger. “You come to think, how is it possible that a kid that has no shoes, no decent clothes, barely any teeth, and hasn’t had a good meal in months is jumping up and down for joy and laughing nonstop for a whole weekend just because you are there? That’s amazing,” said Buzio. I am inclined to argue that Buzio has this effect on everyone, and if one such person can bring this much solace to families, imagine what an army of them is doing. Amazing doesn’t even begin to describe it. If you would like to become part of UTPMP in any capacity, please visit:

comunidad nuestra joteria

Advocating for Gay Rights Political action groups seek to educate and advocate for the Latino LGBTQ community Andrew Ojeda, Contributor


onor Political Action Committee (PAC) and Honor Fund were created to promote tolerance among Latino communities over the concerns of LGBTQ citizens. Honor PAC was founded in 2005 to support politicians, campaigns and ballot propositions that benefit the Latino LGBTQ community. The Honor Fund, launched in August 2010, is a program dedicated to educating and rallying Latinos around LGBTQ concerns. Both groups try to propel Latina/o LGBTQ individuals into positions of leadership and advocacy.

According to the US Census Bureau and the US Department of Homeland Security, 75% of immigrants learn to speak English well within 10 years of their arrival to the US.


Left: Chuco’s Justice Center, on the corner of Redondo and West Blvds., provides outreach and educational programs for Inglewood and South Central LA. Right: Coordinator Kruti Parekh attends students in one of CJC’s classrooms.

Learning Alternative Center supports urban youth through self-empowerment and education Armando Solis


rom the outside, Chuco’s Justice Center (CJC) appears much like the rest of the block: modest and calm. Once inside, however, a vibrant world filled with graffitiwritten quotes reveals a whole different story: several classrooms, some filled with students and some not, a basketball court, a special room where people can do graffiti without getting into any trouble and a busy computer lab with people using the internet. Serving a proactive role in its community, CJC offers an alternative and perhaps more comfortable setting for students to obtain a GED or high school diploma. Named after community leader, Jesse “Chuco” Becerra, who was gunned down in 2005, CJC offers day and night classes to local youth seeking to finish their high school education. For these students — the so-called at-risk youth from the South Central and Inglewood area — CJC provides something the public school system

struggled to give them: a high school education and adequate preparation to someday attend a university. CJC strives to reverse the overwhelming number of minority high-school dropouts. In LA County, one in three African American high school students and one in four Latino high school students dropped out of school, according to In conjunction with large dropout rates, black and Latino enrollment at major universities, like UCLA, are always among the lowest. Last year, the UCLA student body was made up of 4 percent of African American students and 15 percent Latino students. This is why places like CJC are very important: they have a steadfast commitment to bringing about positive change to their communities. Moreover, without the continued dedication by centers like CJC, minority enrollment in higher education will likely remain low. Sure, it isn’t like a conven-

tional high school. But considering the overcrowded classes in our public school systems, which struggle to assure the success of every student, this center seems to work best for this group of students. “I feel more comfortable,” Dawn Spencer, a CJC student, said. “The classes are smaller, so it’s a lot easier to get help.” In one of the math classes, the student-to-teacher ratio was about 10 to one. Another important aspect is that students are given the opportunity to instruct the class, which provides the teacher time to answer questions from individuals and allowing the students the experience of being in charge of teaching others. CJC seeks to reverse the low expectations their students had once grown accustomed to and gives them the opportunity to dream about a different future. As their fliers say, it helps them “break the school-to-jail track.”

For all the latest news, check us out on the web! La Gente Newsmagazine LaGenteNewsmag Fall 2010 LA GENTE 9


The Path to Citizenship If the DREAM Act passes, undocumented hopefuls must decide between enrollment or enlistment

Maribel Camargo


an you imagine paying $20,000 or more for your tuition without any loans or financial aid? Can you imagine having to choose between eating or buying your textbooks for the quarter? Can you imagine having to take public transportation for up to four hours just to get to and from UCLA? Can you imagine being undocumented? This is a reality that many undocumented students face every day. Brought to the US at a young age, many have excelled academically, with over 65,000 of them graduating from high schools every year. The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act) would open the door to young people whose parents brought them to this country as children without proper documentation. If they complete two years at a four-year institution, obtain a degree from a two-year community college, or serve at least two years in the military and show good moral character, the bill would provide them a pathway to earn US citizenship. Although the DREAM Act would benefit some undocumented students, not everyone fully supports it. Those who support the DREAM Act, including anti-war and immigrant rights activists, became opponents of the bill because of the military component. They believe that enlisting in the military to obtain citizenship would contribute to the recruitment of undocumented students who will be targeted and drafted at high numbers. The debate became more controversial when the DREAM Act was attached to a defense authorization bill by longtime supporter

10 LA GENTE Fall 2010



The military component is seen as a draft that will increase military recruitment targeting undocumented students that are typically of low socioeconomic status.

of the DREAM Act, Nevada Sen. Harry Reid. The bill is enacted each year to specify the budget and expenditures of the US Department of Defense. On Sept. 21, 2010 the bill fell four votes short of the 60 needed to pass. “There is a huge conspiracy theory that the DREAM Act will recruit more people in the military, but if that was the case the DREAM Act would have easily been passed through the defense bill. It would have been favored by all Republicans, but the opposite happened. The DREAM Act actually stalled the defense bill. The reality and the theory don’t make sense,” said Nancy Meza, UCLA alumna and the Media and Communications Chair for DREAM Team Los Angeles, a coalition of organizations in the Los Angeles area supporting the DREAM Act. The military component is seen as a draft that will increase military recruitment targeting undocumented students that are typically of low socioeconomic status. “The DREAM Act is a way to bring more of these undocumented [students] into the ranks, they understand that college is an expensive alternative for a lot of these folks so they’re offering the military,” said Marco Amador, a Los Angeles community organizer and collaborator of the film “Yo Soy El Army: America’s New Military Caste,” which explores the effects of the militarization of immigrant communities. “We need to acknowledge that there has been military recruitment in our communi-

ties even before the DREAM Act was drafted,” said Meza. It’s necessary also to take into account that although military recruitment has been occurring in our communities and undocumented students are not eligible for any federal financial aid, they are still graduating at the top of their high school class and going on to higher education. For undocumented youth, the benefits of the DREAM Act would be enormous. The DREAM Act is offering students a choice between pursuing higher education and enlisting in the military. In an interview on, Gabriela Pacheco, a 25-year-old student from Ecuador who grew up undocumented in Florida said, “I believe that for a lot of the students graduating from high school their desire is to go to college, and it’s what’s being proven right now.” Earlier this year, she and three other students walked 1,500 miles from Miami to Washington, DC, in what was called the “Trail of Dreams” to bring awareness to the DREAM Act. Leisy Abrego, Assistant Professor at UCLA’s César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies and leading scholar on undocumented students, made her decision to support the bill on loyalty to students she knows have worked hard to pass the DREAM Act. “[I] don’t support the military component, but based on the political reality that we’re in, I do support [the DREAM Act],” said Abrego.

The DREAM Act also receives support from students and those in the military. “I definitely support the DREAM Act as it is with the military component,” said Army Reserve member and third-year Chicana and Chicano studies student Margarita Peralta. Peralta said she didn’t consider herself being heavily recruited. “It’s a decision you come to yourself,” she said. There are undocumented students that want to join the military as a personal choice. For example, David Cho, a fourth-year international finance student at UCLA, said publically at the Campus Progress National Conference that he is undocumented and wants to serve in the U.S. Air Force. The DREAM Act is at a stage where it has the highest likelihood of passing in the last 10 years. Not supporting the DREAM Act would only minimize the efforts undocumented have made and the risks they have taken. Undocumented students have been the ones that put their lives on the line. It is the undocumented students that should have that personal choice whether they decide to go on to higher education or if they want to enlist in the military. “As DREAMers we are ready and willing to take the responsibility about educating our community. We see a hurdle; we don’t see a road block,” said Meza. This is not an easy choice but when have the choices for undocumented students ever been easy?

Fall 2010 LA GENTE 11


Latino Greek Organizations Breaking the mold and forging strong communities By Jonathan Sanabria


alking up and down the UCLA campus, it is almost impossible not to point out students wearing their Greek letters. As the Latino population continues to grow at UCLA, more and more have looked to join these organizations. Their presence on campus is being felt now that the Latino Greek Council has grown to include six organizations: Gamma Zeta Alpha, Lambda Theta Alpha, Lambda Theta Nu, Nu Alpha Kappa, Phi Lambda Rho, Sigma Lambda Gamma, and one colony (a probationary organization), Sigma Lambda Beta. Each organization has made it known that they do not want to be seen as the stereotypical sorority and fraternity depicted in movies. These young Latinos look to these organizations as a back-

bone to help them throughout their college and professional careers, and as a home away from home that can be used as a vehicle for change. Many of the students have a wide array of issues that they want to address, and they look to their organizations to do that. Edwin Orozco-Sanchez, a second-year sociology student and member of Nu Alpha Kappa, makes it clear that the stereotype of party animals is something that his fraternity fights on a regular basis. These stereotypes made him not want to join any fraternity. “Before arriving to UCLA I told myself that I didn’t want to get caught up with the Greek life and that I had more important things to concern myself with,” said Orozco-Sanchez. He later stated that what actually changed his mind was

talking to a fraternity member. He could relate to the organization’s goals of academics, brotherhood, and culture. His story is not very different from other Latinos on campus who want something other than the traditional activities of Greek life. Samantha Castillo, a fourthyear psychology student and member of Sigma Lambda Gamma, preferred the Latino based sorority over others. “It was more of a close-knit group of girls because of the smaller numbers in members,” said Castillo. Ruby Arias, a fourth-year sociology student and member of Lambda Theta Nu, was excited to talk about her organization’s philanthropies. “The girls work very hard to make sure that our conference happens. We bring girls from all

over the city to show that they too can come to a four-year university and succeed. We try to plant the seed to help them mature into intelligent, beautiful young ladies,” said Arias. Throughout the year, these organizations put together onand-off-campus events. “This year we have a lot of community service events we are trying to accomplish. A big and new one this year is a dodgeball tournament to raise money for a scholarship that will be awarded to an AB540 student, bringing awareness to that issue on campus,” said Henry Rivera, a fourth-year Chicana/o studies student and member of Gamma Zeta Alpha. Latino greek organizations strive to promote a better way of life for themselves and for everyone who comes into contact with them.

Who they are and what they do:

MARIA ESMERALDA RENTERIA, Info compiled by Jonathan Sanabria

! e t o N Take

Phi Lambda Rho • Making Strides Against Breast Cancer • Tijuana orphanage program • Adopt-A-Family • Adelante Latino Conference

Sigma Lambda Gamma • SHINE outreach program • Adopt-a-Block • Los Angeles Marathon • AVIVA: Activities with Teens

Lambda Theta Alpha • Focused Urban Teens United and Ready for Opportunity (FUTURO) • Sexual Assault Awareness Week • AIDS Walk

12 LA GENTE Fall 2010

Gamma Zeta Alpha • Make-A-Wish Foundation • California Academic Decathlon • American Diabetes Association

Lambda Theta Nu • The Tijeras National CommunityService Program • Latina/o Literacy • Latina Youth Leadership Conference

Nu Alpha Kappa • National Marrow Donor Program • Hispanos Dando Esperanza: Nu Alpha Kappa-Hermandad Initiative • MALDEF

Sigma Lambda Beta • Víctor Correa CPR Awareness Day • Collegiate Leadership Development


Out on a Mission Reflections as NAK volunteers at homeless center Jonathan Sanabria


riving eastward on Interstate 10 at 5 a.m., the most obvious thing I can see is the lack of traffic, but as I look closer, I see the change from the affluent Westside neighborhood around UCLA to the economically-ravaged downtown area known as Skid Row. With fellow members of Nu Alpha Kappa (NAK), we’ve made our way to the Midnight

Mission center, located in one of the city’s poorest areas. Even at this hour, people are starting to line up outside the center to receive breakfast. Twelve of us come to help serve food and clean the center. As we make our way into the center, everyone is quiet and sleepy. “It’s hard for a lot of us to get up at this time, but we know

NAK volunteers begin serving food.

Jobs vs. Charity World’s richest man responds Maribel Camargo Carlos Slim, the Mexican billionaire who Forbes lists as the world’s richest man, does not believe in charity. He believes that the only way to fight poverty is through employment. “Trillions of dollars have been given to charity in the last 50 years, and they don’t solve anything,” Slim told an audience at the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Sydney. His point is that society would benefit more if the rich directed their abilities toward building businesses that would create jobs rather than donating money. Carlos Slim’s net worth is $53.5 billion. Slim’s stance on charity brings up questions about what a wealthy person in his position should do with his or her money. Slim’s idea of creating jobs for the poor is generally a good idea but it’s far more complicated than that. On the one hand, how long will it take for those jobs to be created and for the vast majority of the poor to be employed? On the other hand, to give to charity is to donate directly to the cause but how much does that help the people get out of poverty?



that it’s for a good cause so it makes it a lot easier,” said Adan Calzada, a fourth-year sociology student and NAK fraternity member. To most NAK members, it is nothing new to volunteer at the center. But some do not know

many children that are homeless as well,” said Moran. The homeless thank the members as they serve food. “There is no greater feeling than when people thank you and how you can really see it in their faces how much this re-

Midni ht Mission For more info or to learn how you can help, please visit: what to expect for their first time in this part of town. “A lot of [members] are not familiar with these parts of Los Angeles. As for me, I grew up in South Central Los Angeles,” said Jose Moran, a fourth-year sociology student and member of the fraternity. As we first walk in, I notice young kids, the youngest looking like he is three years old. At first, the children stay close to their parents, but after a while, they start playing around with fraternity members, and their smiles light up the fraternity members’ faces. “The hardest part of coming here is always seeing how many kids live in these conditions... we try to interact with the kids because they are the future of this country. When people think of homeless individuals, they never realize that there are

ally means to them,” said Victor Chan, a fourth-year biology student and first-time volunteer at the center. After the food is served, it is time to clean. The members are now livelier than they were when they first arrived. They talk and make jokes not just with each other, but with the leaders at the center as they sweep, mop and wash the center, making sure that it will be clean for lunch. But a difficult issue for NAK members is that they are not able to do more for the people on Skid Row. Many times they feel that they have to turn their backs on the individuals in need. “It’s great how we come out and give three to four hours of our time, but the most important thing we can do is not forget when we go back to UCLA,” said Moran.

Do you believe rich people have a commitment to help the poor? If so what should people in Slim’s position do with their wealth? Natalie Rondon Fifth-year, political science

“Yes, I believe rich people have a commitment to at least help the poor in their own should want your country to be well-off. Just as a person you should have compassion.” Mia Davis Third-year, Afro-American studies

“Give to the poor, but at the same time, if you can make a way for people to be self-sufficient, that’s also a good thing too. With charity you may be able to reach out to more people, but with employment there’s only so many people you can hire.”

Luis Rondon Fourth-year, political science

“Yes, by creating more jobs you will help people the most. It’s not about giving because people are going to get used to receiving [benefts] without working for them.”

Fall 2010 LA GENTE 13

¡topen esto!


Left: Girls in traditional Mexican dresses give out candy in the Desfile de los Charros, a parade celebrating regional cowboy practices and costumes on Sept. 13. Right: Dressed in a mariachi suit, a little girl smiles as she passes by, representing one of the most popular images of the state of Jalisco.

The Bicentennial: Mexico moves forward by paying homage to its past A close look at what makes 2010’s Grito de Independencia celebrations worth the wait Carina Padilla


he night is filled with different aromas, flavors and colors: tacos, sopes, carne asada, churros, and beautiful tricolored flags in every stand. But most exciting of all is the cheerfulness and anticipation of the people, young and old alike. Gathered in the main square of Zapotlanejo in the state of Jalisco, Mexico, we impatiently await the famous Grito de Independencia on the night of Sept. 15. This is one of the most important traditions for Mexico performed annually since the movement for independence in 1810. At midnight, we all enthusiastically exclaim “Viva Mexico!” However, this year’s cry was like no other for the Mexican people. We celebrated two important events, the Bicentennial of the Independence and the Centennial of the Revolution. I spent two months in Mexico this summer and was fascinated to see how much innovation and creativity were dedicated in honor of these two historical events. Countless projects were implemented in almost every area. New websites were created with recent historical research. Important historical places like Mexico City and Guanajuato opened special museum expositions that displayed artifacts of the Colonial and Independence eras. Patriotic TV commercials depicted famous revolutionary figures and scenes, while other commercials promoted tourism to “las joyas del bicentenario,” or natural treasures of the country. The Secretariat of Public Education printed new textbooks for public schools, detailing the events of 1810 and 1910. According to an online article by El Informador, federal and state governments funded new and improved highways to make traveling from one state to another easier, thus promoting unity and security within the country. Many of these highways have signs indicating historical routes traveled by the characters of the Independence and the Revolution. Similarly, streets, town plazas, city halls, and schools were remodeled and adorned for the patriotic fiestas.

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The best example, of course, is Mexico City. I was taken aback by the enormous decorations hanging from the balconies of the Zócalo buildings. The familiar faces of important figures like Miguel Hidalgo, the most representative of the Independence, and Pancho Villa of the Revolution, were displayed everywhere with great pride. I was fortunate enough to see a parade with horses and soldiers, carrying the bones of the Fathers of the Independence. I felt chills running down my back as I saw the carriages passing by me. I never imagined seeing the bones of Miguel Hidalgo! All these projects served to educate and beautify Mexico, creating an atmosphere of progress and development. President Felipe Calderon affirmed that the employment goal was surpassed, reaching 290,000 new jobs by March of this year. This year brought a growth in the job market, improving the economic situation of many families. These projects and the festivities of this year opened Mexico to higher numbers of tourists. A Los Angeles Times article reported a 20% increase in tourism to Mexico this year. In Nuevo Vallarta, I had the opportunity to meet an Argentine couple who came to Mexico every other year for vacation. We talked about food, politics, and violence and drug-related crime. Despite all, I was pleased to hear them say that Mexico is a paradise and their favorite destination in the world. Many national and international politicians, newspaper articles and even citizens have criticized the time, effort, money and commercialism put into this year’s historical anniversaries. They claim that the government should address more important issues in Mexican society and economy like the drug wars, the trafficking, crime, inundations, and political corruption. Sadly, this is reality in Mexico. But I ask, what country doesn’t have problems? It’s easy to judge Mexico’s condition, especially with the media focusing on negative aspects and sensationalizing the news. From my experience, as a Mexicana and an American student-traveler, I can confidently say that Mexico is a country with great potential. It is important to observe Mexico with an insider perspective to understand its condition. We must lose the fear and pessimism, and learn to live it and love it, either as our native country or as our next-door neighbor.


¡topen esto!

How this anti-immigrant term contaminates public perception of undocumented immigrants

Emilio Hernandez


n invading horde of disease-carrying criminal aliens pours over an unprotected border, draining limited state resources. This is the image of immigrants popularized by mass media. There is no denying the influential power that words possess in shaping how people perceive the world around them. It is precisely this reason why the word illegal must be consciously removed from popular discourse regarding immigration. “The word illegal sets the tone of how you treat someone,” said Nancy Meza, a UCLA alumna. “We need people to stop using the word illegal because it stops the conversation. When you call someone illegal you’re already demonizing them. This narrows the scope of understanding why immigration happens.” Identifying herself as undocumented and unafraid, Meza stated that being unafraid means you are public about your status and what you go through as an undocumented person. “We are not aliens, we are not criminals, we are not less than anyone else. We’re social refugees, economic refugees,” said Meza. The use of the term illegal in mainstream media stigmatizes undocumented people by reducing them to criminals. Subsequently, the veiled message the word conveys acts as a mechanism for racially-motivated attacks. There is a direct link between the anti-immigrant message conveyed across popular media outlets and the atmosphere of violence and hate that manifests itself on the streets. According to a 2009 report by the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education, the increasing number of anti-immigration commentaries from high-profile national media personalities “correlates closely with the increase in hate crimes against Hispanics.” The toxic manner in which the term illegal is irresponsibly spewed through the media is a catalyst for violence. In July 2009 two men beat and stabbed 45-year-old janitor Maria Guadarrama in Orange County. After taking her wallet, they are reported to have said, “You’re worthless, you’re Mexican.” On Oct. 14, 2010 two men in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, were convicted for the racially-motivated murder of Eduardo Ramirez Zavala. They are reported to have said, “Go back to Mexico,” and called him a “fucking wetback” as they beat the father of three to death. News anchors, pundits and politicians on both sides of the debate use the term illegal. Its repetition has created a negative connotation that overgeneralizes and robs people of their humanity. By calling undocumented people illegal, hardworking immigrants

Pro-Immigration Group Overtakes Nevada Tea Party Hopeful Turning the Latino vote towards Democrats ARMANDO SOLIS


n an attempt to dissuade Nevada voters from electing Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle, pro-immigration groups launched ads against the Tea Party hopeful. They were concerned with the misrepresentation of immigrants as synonymous to “criminals and thugs” in ads sponsored by Republicans. Angle, who has tried to link her democratic opponent, Harry Reid, to illegal immigration, said that she was campaigning against what she believes is a “porous” border and not an anti-Hispanic campaign. The Los Angeles Times reported that while Angle had a substantial lead among white voters, two-thirds of the Latino vote in Nevada went to Reid, helping him defeat Angle and remain Senator.


are unfairly cast as pedophiles, drug smugglers and murderers. Linguist Otto Santa Ana, Associate Professor with the UCLA César E. Chávez Department of Chicana and Chicano Studies at UCLA, has actively researched the representation of Latinos in print media. “Those who favor the term illegal claim that unauthorized immigrants are criminals who deliberately violate US law. The argument continues that once in the US they abuse its social services, so they merit only punishment,” said Santa Ana. “It’s a really horrible term to call people,” said Penelope Guevara, an undocumented student and third-year philosophy major at UCLA. Guevara has lived in the US since she was a child and considers herself an American. “If you know the story about undocumented peoples, you see they are not all these things, we’re people,” said Guevara.

Advertise with us! Rates as low as $65 For more information email

Fall 2010 LA GENTE 15


Penalties of Guatemalan Soccer Dwindling attendance and talent have teams in the red Marcos Osorio


he setting is 1962 at Mateo Flores stadium in Guatemala; over 50,000 fans are in attendance. The athletes are well-known and Contributed by Rafael Osorio the competition, A sold out crowd of 8,000 fans arrive at Oscar Monterintense. People roso Izaguire Stadium in Guatemala to support their from across the team, Juventud Retalteca, in 1979 country came to watch the championship game between Xelajú (Quetzaltenango) and ComuniSamantha Lim caciones. With low numbers of attendance More recently, on Jan. 29, 2010, an important qualifying for Latin America’s favorite sport, match between Guatemala and how do UCLA fans compare? Nicaragua reveals a different story. Out of the 30,000 availWomen’s Soccer able seats, a feeble 150 onlook11,000* ers were in the stands. The 6618 absence of fans at matches has people wondering if Guatemalan 945 soccer is dying. Rafael Osorio, soccer historian and former major league coach, and George Bella, a former administrator for Guatemalan Soccer during the 1980s, explain the issues and obstacles Men’s Soccer in Guatemalan soccer. 11,000* “It would take three weeks of all the games played [in a 6549 season] to equal the total attendance of one title game from 1309 back then [1960’s],” said Osorio. “Presently, stadiums that hold 30,000 people are receiving less than 1,000 fans…title games have gone from 60,000 to an average attendance of about 3,000 in 2003 and now Average number of attendees lower in 2010.” at Drake Stadium per home The quality of soccer has game since fall quarter began been questioned in these last Total number of attendees to years. Horrible losses to lowerDrake Stadium during fall tier teams have frustrated socquarter home games cer fans. “We no longer have stars, Capacity of Drake Stadium and people can’t seem to find *some areas are sectioned off a reason to attend the games,” during games said Bella. Famous skilled athSOURCE: UCLA Athletics letes have been missing from

On the home field


Keeping Score

SOURCE: Kickoff Magazine

16 LA GENTE Fall 2010


Not only good with his feet, Pelé also scores with the numbers. Check out some of the soccer great’s most notable accomplishments.

teams during the past years. The few stars that remain are aging and are nearing the end of their careers. For example, Carlos “El Pescadito” Ruiz, a 31-year-old major player for the Guatemalan national team and also wellknown internationally is being surpassed by younger players. However, getting young players prepared to play in the major league is problematic. There is a lack of support for upcoming talent. “Guatemala needs to concentrate on 15-to-18-year-old athletes and continue to develop them,” said Bella. There is a lack of youth or school leagues that can develop kids to become good players. Coaches, scouts, and players do not have the resources necessary to compete against better leagues. The lack of grassy fields for youth to play in throughout the country has also become evident in the last 15 years. The land is instead being used for other commercial purposes. “[Young athletes] need more areas to be able to play at,” said Bella. The current global economy makes it much more difficult for people to attend soccer games. According to CIA the World Factbook, the gross domestic product per capita in Guate-

3 100 The number of World Cup winning teams Pelé has played on. He is the only player to do so.

Nov. 19th is Pelé Day, the anniversary of his 1000th goal.

Illustration contributed by Ricardo Mata

mala is an estimated $5,000. Most people can’t afford to pay for average ticket prices, which vary in price range. Discount promotions of soccer tickets as low as $1.25 are offered, but this still does not attract fans. Soccer fans are not willing to pay to see secondrate players. Guatemalans are instead watching European soccer on TV, which is considered to be the best in the world. “In every country the national team echoes the present and the future of everyone [in the nation]. As the team continues to gain positive results, the confidence goes up…or you get the opposite where losing brings disappointment and represses the community,” said Osorio Despite these obstacles, there seems to be hope in the near future for Guatemalan soccer. Last month’s classic rivalry game had 7,486 soccer enthusiasts, a higher attendance rate than in any other of the previous 10 years. Osorio and Bella believe Guatemala needs to continue to focus on the future. Add some wins and improvement, and the people will return to the stands.

Pelé’s head is responsible for Brazil’s 100th goal scored at a World Cup


17 Age when Pelé won his first World Cup— he still holds the record for the youngest World Cup winner.

sigan luchando

From Within Hey Picasso! La =FREE Gente wants to AZTLAN= showcase your talent! = 2010 Send us your awesome artwork, short stories, poetry, songs— and more. come on, make your mamá proud!!

Juan Pablo Espinoza at Corcoran Prison 2010

“Free aztlán, 2010 ” By Juan Pablo Espinoza Corcoran Prison

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“Que tzal coat l Trav eling thro ugh mict lan” By Enri que “Coc o” Zara goza , Pelic an Bay Stat e Pris on

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arte y cultura

Monsters, Aliens, and Mexican Immigrants

Tired allegory makes “Monsters” lose its appeal Heileen Salazar


hat do monsters, aliens and Mexican Immigrants all have in common? Apparently they’re all dangerous creatures that must be extinguished. Well, at least that’s what the movie “Monsters” implies. This sci-fi thriller is more of a snooze filled with tired allegories of the present border situation in Mexico. The film looks through the eyes of an American journalist who must bring his boss’ daughter back to the US. The problem is that aliens have invaded the border, making it near impossible to travel from Mexico to the US without encountering danger or death. The political premise of the movie: immigrating to the US is hard. The American couple basically learns what it’s like for immigrants to reach the US. And in case you missed the allegory, the main character makes sure to mention how “it’s different looking at America from the outside.” The exaggerated innuendos prevent the viewer from enjoying the movie as a horror flick and the movie ends up feeling more like a parody of immigration instead. In an MSN interview, the director Gareth Edwards denied that there was an allegory to immigration in the film saying “The allegory [I] was interested in was: You have a monster or an enemy or evil that you don’t like, and it’s what cost is it worth destroying that monster?” I disagree. Aside from taking place in Mexico and the main characters being American, there are many scenes that suggest negative stereotypes associated with immigration. Not only does the journalist haggle with the ferry officer, who is a glorified version

of a coyote, he also loses a passport and must bribe officers to help him and his companion find a way to travel to the U.S. by land. Sound familiar? Likewise, there is no sense of desperation or terror emitted from the characters. Traveling through dark forests, dark rivers, and unknown lands with the possibility of running into the octopus-like aliens would produce more panic than encourage a journey of personal reflection. The lack of tension and Vertigo Films action from the monsters only add to the impression that the movie is a criticism to how Americans treat and view immigrants. The director’s view of the movie as a general quip to the limits one will go to when confronted with a threat may have been believable if he hadn’t included a geographical conundrum. The American couple supposedly travels through the northern part of the Mexican border which is mostly desert land. But the couple ends up walking into a pyramid temple with a view of the border instead. The magical moment of the end scene is overshadowed by the pyramid’s unrealistic and odd placement. The movie just doesn’t live up to its intriguing premise.

Letras de la Vida

Survivor of ‘Dirty War’ recounts experiences at “174 Memoria” exhibit at UCLA Catherine Mangan


Left: The reconstructed prison cell features letters written from Videla Godoy to his mother. Above-Center: Videla Godoy’s sketches illustrate his ever-constant positivity. Lower-Center: One of many letters sent to Videla Godoy’s mother during his correspondence until her death in 1983. Right: Victor Videla Godoy.


ictor Videla Godoy disappeared in June 1974, one of several thousand people. In August 1974 the corpses of the first victims of Operation Condor were found in garbage dumps in Buenos Aires, Argentina. In October, Videla Godoy stood to talk about it at the UCLA Eli and Edythe Broad Art Center. Operation Condor was created by the military dictatorships of the Southern Cone, the secret service of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile and Uruguay. In the ‘Dirty War’ from 1976 to 1983, the Argentine military used what they considered necessary

18 LA GENTE Fall 2010

methods such as torture, rape and violent repression to persecute leftists who were living as political refugees. Videla Godoy was forced out of a United Nations refugee shelter on Córdoba Street in Buenos Aires and taken to Coordinación Federal, where he was tortured for nearly 25 days. From there, he was relocated to a jail in Villa Devoto where he was assigned to cell 147. “From jail cell number 147 I wrote approximately 100 letters to my mother. In those letters I never told her that I was hungry, that I was cold, that they hit us,

or that they punished us, but just the opposite,” said Videla Godoy. He led her to believe that Villa Devoto was a picture of beauty. “I told her stories that weren’t true. But in the end, she knew the reality.” Just after Christmas in 1976, Videla Godoy was expelled from Argentina and put on a plane to Zurich, Switzerland. In exile, he continued writing letters to his mother until she died on Aug. 30, 1983. It’s times like these I wish my language barrier didn’t leave me so lost in translation. However, as Videla Godoy stands there in front of me, even as

my brain struggles from word to word, I hear everything. It’s hard not to when his eyes light up with passion and willingness to illustrate to you such intimate details of his past. “I always told my mother to read the letters and then burn them; for some reason, she didn’t do it,” said Videla Godoy. Standing amidst the reconstructed prison cell of hundreds of letters signed ‘Victor,’ with illustrations of flowers, exclamations of ‘Querida!’ and splashes of color wherever he could, this exhibit leaves us with countless reasons why she didn’t.

Visit us at: Courses in Chicana/o Studies at UCLA are exciting, eclectic, build on existing skills and provide you with tools for future navigation in our diverse society. Our mission is to train a new generation of scholars to research and analyze the life, history, and culture of the Latino/a populations in the United States and the Americas. Our courses explore race, gender, sexuality, labor, and many other issues that encompass life; our faculty is world renown and they’ve won multiple teaching awards for innovation and technology. During the spring and winter quarters, consider enrolling in the following sample of classes. Also consider taking our classes during the summer to acquire your degree sooner, to take courses that you missed during the regular academic year, to take advantage of smaller courses, and to enrich your cultural and intellectual pursuits!

Check out our upcoming courses: Winter 2011: CS CS CS CS CS CS

151 Human Rights in the Americas 157 The Chicano Movement 169 Indigenous Peoples of the Americas 187 Latino Metropolis 188-1 Chicanos and the Political Economic History of Incarceration 191-1 Latina/o Families in the U.S.

Spring 2011: CS CS CS CS CS CS CS

M128 Race, Gender, and U.S. Labor 141 Chicana and Latin American Women’s Narrative 143 Mestizaje: History of Diverse Racial/Cultural Roots of Mexico 148 Politics of Diversity: Race, Conflicts, and Coalitions 152 Disposable People: U.S. Deportation and Repatriation Campaigns 188 Poetics & Politics in Central American Narratives 191 Chicana/o Public Interest Law

Summer 2011: CS CS CS CS CS

M102 Mexican Americans and Schools M125 U.S./Mexico Relations M155 Latinos in U.S. 166 Paulo Freire for Chicana/o Classroom 191-1 exploring Ethnic Los Angeles

For more information and student advising, please contact Eleuteria (Ellie) Hernández at or 310.206.7696 or visit 7351 Bunche Hall. Fall 2010 LA GENTE 19

Crossing borders Lucia Prieto

Test your knowledge of some important facts we’ve highlighted in this issue of La Gente. Plus, if you bring your completed crossword to our office (Kerckhoff 149E) you’ll get some La Gente swag! ACROSS 1. Country that witnessed a political coup attempt on Sept. 30 6. One of Nu Alpha Kappa Fraternity’s goals 7. Volunteer org that works to build houses in Latin America 10. Anti-immigration law passed by Arizona that as many as 25 other states may be looking to pass 11. Fútbol star that holds the record for the youngest World Cup winner at age 17 14. Yell projected by all of Mexico celebrating its independence 16. As of Oct. 26, Arizona voters are no longer required to prove this to vote 17. Deputy Consul General of Peru 18. The DREAM Act would provide citizenship to those that complete two years of college or two years in this government institution 19. Percentage of Latino students at UCLA during the 2009-2010 school year DOWN 2. Brazil’s newly elected (and first!) female president 3. Country that detained two US court marshals on Oct. 1 4. Director Gareth Edwards’ latest film involving an alien invasion of Mexico 5. The Democratic Senator of Nevada and supporter of the DREAM Act 6. Mexican billionaire and currently Forbes’ world’s richest man 8. A center on Skid Row that serves food to homeless people, at which Nu Alpha Kappa Fraternity volunteers 9. Mexican drug lord of the Gulf cartel who died on Nov. 5 12. Country that received 150 attendees for an international soccer match against Nicaragua on Jan. 29, when the stadium capacity was 30,000 13. Jesse Becerra’s nickname, after which CJC, a Los Angeles student community center, is named 15. The number of presidents Ecuador has had since 1996

Upcoming: Winter 2011 Photo Contest Hidden Treasures

For a list of solutions, please visit our website at

Inspiration from our Spring 2010 Contest:

Who can enter? Everyone is welcome. Why should I enter? If you are selected as one of the top entries, your photo will be published in Winter 2011 print issue and What do I enter? An original photo relavant to the contest theme: hidden treasures. Must also include the following: photographer’s first and last name, age, occuption, address (will not be published, used only to contact prize winners), and a 100 word description of the entry to be published alongside photo. How do I enter? Submit your photo to 118 Kerckhoff Hall, 308 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90024 or by Feb. 4, 2011 by 5pm Pacific Time. *Limit, one entry per person* What had been going through my mind at the time was the negotiation of identity as both a Latina and as someMonique Mendoza one who was raised in the States. I, like many Latin@s, am constantly reflecting on my identity. The flag is projected simultaneously behind and on top of my body. I think identity functions in a similar way because our present understanding of ourselves cannot be divided from our ethnic backgrounds and histories. I was drivng around South Central Los Angeles photographing murals in the area because I’ve been doing research on murals, community processes, education, and Latinos. I snapped this picture during that day-long mural search. It is urban with its meat market and the street reflects the Latino community with the Spanish language and Catholicinspired mural with La Virgen de Guadeloupe as a icon.


Mary Beltrán

done reading? please recycle


The Immigration Issue  

La Gente Newsmagazine Fall 2010 Vol. 41 Issue 1 UCLA Student Media

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