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Papagayo Spring 2018 Chapbook:   Revolution & Resistance   

The Papagayo Project at El Paso Community College-Rio Grande  © 2018 Copyright   All rights reserved to The Papagayo Project  and its contributors.   Do not copy or distribute without  permission from The Papagayo Project. 


Editors:   Paula Davidson   Sarai Sustaita  Annette Velasquez   Cover Art:  Sarai Sustaita  Advisor:  Jorge Gomez,   Assistant Professor of English  


Table of Contents     Poetry “​The Sounds​” by Estrella D. Teran “Co-Dependency and Overcoming” by Annette Velasquez “Stole Bloom” by Nipsia Castaneda “​Our Land of Milk and Bread​” by Sammy Rono “​To Kill A Weed​” by Emma Boushka “​Freedom​” by Natalia Arreola “​Earned​” by Selena Perez

Short Stories

4  5​-6  7  8-9  9  10-11  1​1 

“​Hope​” by Erica & Elizabeth Varela


“​Way Too Close​” by Anonymous


Art & Photography

“​Culture Shock​” by Analinda Rose Gonzalez


Description for “​Culture Shock​” painting by Analinda Rose Gonzalez


“​Touch of Life​” by Alejandra Almanza


“Into the Wild” by Griselda Anais Navarro


“​Untitled​” by Maria Herrera


“For the Unheard Women” by Griselda Anais Navarro


“​Untitled​” by Estefania Camp


“Lights” by Elena Sotelo



Poetry The Sounds  By Estrella D. Teran   

Each day in a row I wake up hearing the sounds  Sometimes I just stay awake.  Mommy is no longer here  She left looking for bread  Maybe the sound took her.     Each day in a row  Is like a rain of stars  Though no bright ones,  But the kind that brings dark.    Each day in a row  I asked for a wish  A wish for a day of silence.  For a day of peace.   I will defeat, I will resist. 


Co-Dependency and Overcoming By A ​ nnette Velasquez  Religion,  tradition  teach selflessness  while psychology,  common sense  celebrate the self.     And a lifetime is spent  teetering in the middle  trying for a happy medium  be gracious  virtuous  do the right thing  and give  till you can give  no more  or  truly and thoroughly  live-  just be  unfettered  free.     Then one day  you  name it  utter the unspeakable  and find if not closure  -then what?  catharsis perhaps.  You acknowledge  those hidden scars  the ones inflicted by  Mother, 


lover by significant other  but-  don’t shudder  or cringe  just reach for the stars…     Lift the veil of denial  (not the Egyptian river)  nonetheless  dive into the depths  the trauma and tears  remember  the terror  still, learn to transcend  know  what doesn’t kill  makes you stronger  sow  hope and heal  fight the pain  defy the slingers  of stinging shame  be wise  and visualize  that poster on your therapist’s wall  “Never make someone your priority  for whom you are only an option.”  Call  yourself victor  not victim  and make of your life  a song  of sweet survival. 


Stole Bloom By ​Nipsia Castaneda  

You stole my illusions, You froze my life in time.  I became another case in the news   before I could achieve my dreams.    You took away the opportunity   To make my family proud,  They wonder my location,  but yet I can see them everywhere.    You stole my illusions,  you stole my bloom.  Your ticket to hell is assured   So, I hope your train  Makes it there the first. 


Our Land of Milk and Bread By Sammy Rono  Have seen it  It is coming to destroy our land, our natural resources,  It is a monster making its way to east,  A long snake winding its way like a railway,  White butterflies matching along the railway.  Where are our men? “Moran” to save our children,   Let’s sharpen our arrows, carry our spears,  And stand together in solidarity for our freedom.  Soldiers we are “Moran” let’s be strong.  Our highlands have turned white,  We cannot cultivate our fertile land,  We are slaves in our own land.  Freedom comes by ballot or by bullet  Our land of milk and manner now is gone,   Let’s fight for our independence comrades, 


Our master, our father and our king God will never leave us, Let justice be our shield and defendant.  Let’s preserve our lives by fighting for our rights.  God created each and every person equal,  Despite of the differences we all have equal opportunities. 

To Kill A Weed By Emma Boushka   

You were stubborn and would not leave. I cut away your flowers but your roots were strong  and you grew back over and over and   over again.  I had to dig you up,  destroy your roots,  unearth you from me.  To finally be free. 


Freedom By Natalia Arreola  You’re not alone  Not all is black   Life isn’t fair   But I can guide you  Take my hand and set you free    Let it go your monsters  The voices in your head  See the visible things hidden  Hidden in the mountains of bones  Mountains from the past  Break the schemes that stop you from the run  Jump into your life  Don’t worry  The guns and the empty eyes cannot catch you    You are free  You are your own person  Stand before your last breath came up  Stand up before the black lady came for you    It’s hard moving forward with the devil in your back   But I still follow you into the dark 


Even if the lighthouse is far Or your way is not reflected light  We keep walking  Resisting falling into distant voices    The lady in black approached me and said me to stop  How it will tell you in the future  Take off the mask and face what you hide  Fight even if it is against you  Fight even if you stop feeling  Fight even if you have no reason to move forward   Because I will be by your side  Until the lights come up.  

Earned By Selena Perez  I am not just a woman,  I am not just a person to gaze at,  to be used and recycled.  Among my rights to be, I am oppressed and judged.  The feeling of inequality has been fitted in the description of a "Woman",  Where our success is controversial and questioned.  As a woman, I deeply concern myself with this last statement,  Change is a must not a want.


Short Stories    Hope  By Erica Varela and Elizabeth Varela     

“It is something incredible that you are this big!” My grandmother tells me as she sees me entering her house that morning. When you get there it’s like you are entering a time machine, it is like  opening a universe of memories and of history that will surprise anyone.  “Come sit here! Did you eat something already? Do you want me to prepare you some  pancakes?” She starts attacking me with all her questions, and I only manage to sit down and accept  the mountain of plates that start coming to the table, and for a moment I begin to feel as if I was seven  years old again. Like when every Saturday in the morning we were going to a visit, almost obligatory,  and after we got there little by little my uncles would get there also. And, in one moment that house  was a madhouse. Adults talking loudly and kids coming in and out in crazy runs all around the house.   A sea of memories and feelings crowded my heart. And as always full of wisdom my  grandmother noticed it, she saw my happiness combined with sadness and with her voice complete  with mellowness she starts to talk to me about her daily activities. And she starts to number them  giving them an air of importance and momentousness that at the end, we began to laugh when we  noticed that things, had not changed at all from how our lives had been long ago. Seeing all the  happiness that we were able to live and also all the obstacles and great sorrows that we have passed  through have made us stronger and united making us almost as one. 


That’s why we are here today together, just us two, but the environment in the house, in our hearts we are the three of us, like always the partners, the accomplices, two against one or in other cases  the three of us agreeing. We stayed in silence looking at each other, trying to guess what will wait for us  in the future when in comes my daughter running. A little one with the look full of illusion and  happiness with her curly hair messed up and tangled, and her face as well as her knees full of mud from  the back garden. And in her hands two flowers and happiness that could fill the whole house. Our  hearts fill with love and hope as she offers them to us to get us to smile and a kiss which is a promise  that together we will be partners, and accomplices.  “Hope! Where are you, young girl?” That is my scream of battle every morning. Today like  every day we always run and get mad like a type of ritual to have Hope ready so we can leave for school.  We were in the first days or years in where she had to give herself the courage to enter school; she is a  mature girl. Well, that is my argument, for when I was 12 years like her I felt like a little girl still. But  when I turned 13, it turned into the decisive year in my life where destiny made me mature. Always  remembering when I was happy and full of dreams, I was preparing my last year of middle school. I  would begin to let go of my dolls, leave the small plates that I used to love to play pretend food with.  Separating myself from my best friend Rocio my first doll, the one that knew my happiness and  sadness, and the one that I would find comfort in. Playing pretend that I would protect her from the  witch that wanted to bewitch us like Snow White. All of this was taking place on a beautiful turquoise  green trunk, that my grandmother had bought for me, it’s where I put everything in and took them to  the attic.   


* * * In the mornings it was a parade of fashion, all the clothes were perfect… but not for me, I felt  so insecure about them. But my mother with her eyes full of understanding and her cheerful smile  would calm me down and, in the end, I could decide what clothes I would use for that day. And that’s  how the days would go by, where my worries were typical for a teenage girl. Everything in my life was  perfect, well that’s what I thought since I didn’t notice the severe faces of my mom or my  grandmother. Because, when I entered the room they would always change the topic, and the similes  would show themselves at the same time as I did and all the shadows would have disappeared. That’s  how it was for the whole year, my graduation ceremony from middle school was beautiful. Never will I  forget the look of pride and satisfaction that my mother and grandmother had. Afterward in the party  surrounded by all my family members: my uncles, my aunts, my cousins, and my friends that saw me  grow up and I saw them as part of my family, we were all happy that day.  Then came summer, that time where I thought that it would only be meeting up with my  friends and days in the pool or the mall. It was a summer where everything in my life changed, in those  days my mother and grandmother started to have strange outings, they would leave early in the  morning, and they would return very late in the day with solemn faces. And my mother would return  directly to her room, and my grandmother would go straight into the kitchen to start on drinks and  broths. That surprised me because it was so hot that I wondered why she was doing a dish that was also  hot.  In the middle of my vacations, my mom promised me to take me to the beach, and I was going  to ask for my promised trip. But as I entered her room and saw her laying on her bed, it was when I 


noticed that something wrong was happening with her. She was so skinny, her skin was white, and her hair that was once shiny started looking grey, scared I left running to look for my grandmother and,  she was in the door of the room, she hugged me. While we were embracing, we heard my mom calling  us on the side and the both of them looking at each other they told me that they had to say something  important to me. “Gloria you have to be very strong” as I heard them tell me this I felt like I was falling  down a deep cold water well. My mom was sick, an ailment of the heart that was very rare, which they  couldn’t control and it was consuming all her energy and strength.  I cried, I cried so much for a few days, I don’t remember how many days, but when I was able  to calm down the three of us sat down to talk. It was then when they told me that all the treatments  that were available were not working and that there weren’t any other treatments that could help, that  the only answer now was to look for a doctor. Well, a type of guru, a type of spiritual guide that could  treat her with natural medicine. I told them that they could count on all my support and that night we  started to plan the trip, but because of the severity of her condition, she couldn’t board a plane. And  everything would have to be by bus, and they knew that that would be hard for me because of the car  sickness I got on long trips. I told them that I would be fine as long as I had someone to talk to once I  would wake up from naps. The day for the trip came when we arrived at the bus station all of the  family went with us to say goodbye to us, it was a bittersweet departure.   


For the following non-fiction story, reader’s discretion is advised.

Way Too Close By Anonymous   I was forcibly thrown on the bed, trying to say the one simple word that meant I did  not consent. Somehow, I was so in shock that nothing could come out. I looked out the  window viewing all the people walking in the streets to all the shops lined up together. I could  have screamed for help, there was no glass on the windows, just the bars, but nothing came out  and I didn’t want to cause a scene. Even though it would have been better for me to, for my  sake.    I finally get my virginity taken away, and this is how it’s going to be. Not by choice, how it’s  supposed to be, but by force, and though I love this person, I’m not in love with him. Especially in  this way. However, the worst part of all is not the fact that I’m losing my virginity before  marriage, not the fact that I am getting raped… This person I speak of is not even a stranger. No  one wishes to lose their virginity through rape, but I just thought that maybe if it could have just  been a stranger, It would have been easier for me personally maybe to get over it a lot quicker.  The nice thing about strangers is if they leave a bad impression on you, you can never see them  again. I wish I could have that feeling of never seeing my offender ever again. But he is far from  being a stranger. He’s a person I’m supposed to be able to trust, but sadly I feel like I can’t  anymore. He’s a family member… He’s my cousin.  I looked back at him from the window, and saw him fumbling with his belt. Oh shit!  My eyes grow wide in fear. The thing is, he touched me inappropriately many times before,  every time I came to visit my mom’s old home. That’s why I never like to visit there. I never  tell her that, because I would have to tell her why. I can’t tell her that her nephew has been  doing things with her daughter, how could I? She feels so happy when she comes back home.  I don’t want her to lose that, therefore I stay quiet and pretend to be excited when really, I 


want to die inside knowing he will be there waiting for me to be alone with him. He never went far enough to which I would have to worry about getting pregnant, which is why I was so  shocked to see that he’s actually serious about putting it in this time. When he pulled my  pants down, I thought he was just going to touch me there and it would all be over. This was  the last straw for me you would think. You would think right, however, after all of this, I still  couldn’t say no. I was screaming and crying inside all over myself to beg for a miracle to get me  out of this situation. I also found myself frozen and not being able to move for some reason,  and he was still fumbling with his belt, so it wasn’t like he pinned me down. I had the  opportunity to run, but I was afraid he would be able to grab me and slam me back on the bed,  because I was never fast enough to escape him. I wasn’t free while I felt trapped, even though  physically I was. I closed my eyes waiting for whatever that was about to come would come  already, so I could get this over with. The sooner it happens, the sooner I can get out of here.  But before he did… A miracle happened. It was as if my desperate cry for help and  scream of agony was loud enough for my own thoughts inside my head to be heard, because  just then my aunt and uncle called us down for Lunch. He put his pants back on and then his  belt. He waited for me to walk out of the door before him. I exhaled a deep breathe out, glad  it didn’t happen after all. “That was way too close” I thought to myself.  I did end up losing my virginity before marriage after all, because I didn’t give a shit  anymore, and it wasn’t by force. Most importantly it was to someone who neither is a stranger  or a family member. He’s just a friend, former friends with benefits, but not boyfriend  material in my opinion. At least not for me. He felt that same way for me mutually, it was just  casual. Point is, it was great. He was great. But the fear of me almost losing myself to my  cousin still haunts me to this day. I wish to forget, but I can’t and I have nightmares. That was  way too close. 


Art & Photography   Culture Shock  By Analinda Rose Gonzalez           


Description for “Culture Shock” painting By Analinda Rose Gonzalez  1. Revolution starts small and grows in size to the point of no return. The  catalyst is always based on unfairness and injustice by those in power upon  those without the means which makes them vulnerable. Revolution is  strength in numbers fighting for their rights, their freedom, and against  oppression. Resistance is not giving in. It is standing up for what you believe  and for your principles. There is nothing trite or trivial about resistance. It is  the unwillingness to succumb, give in, nor surrender no matter the  consequences.    2. My painting relates to revolution and resistance is a paradoxical way. The  tables are turned when you see a woman of color dominating a Northern  European male. For centuries in patriarchal countries, white property  owning males were in charge. In a sense, minorities and women were  subservient. In my painting, this third world looking woman with an ominous  skull in her right hand is elevated symbolically by being seated higher than  her submissive, nervously anticipating Anglo male. The revolution has  shifted the power into the resistant hands of the oppressed. Tenacious  resistance has led to a small minority of powerful, rich “members” to find out  the hard way of what it is like on the opposite end of the spectrum. Now they  feel the loss and the pain. 


Touch of Life   By Alejandra Almanza   


Into the Wild By Griselda Anais Navarro 


Untitled By Estefania Camp


For the Unheard Women By Griselda Anais Navarro 


Untitled By Maria Herrera 


Lights   By Elena Sotelo 


Profile for The Papagayo Project

Papagayo Spring 2018 Chapbook  

Comprised of student and community submissions, this chapbook embodies the theme of revolution and resistance.

Papagayo Spring 2018 Chapbook  

Comprised of student and community submissions, this chapbook embodies the theme of revolution and resistance.


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