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A majority Latine and Black

coalition of unhoused

residents sue San Francisco.

'Family run, family owned,

best tortillas in town'

You'll want everything on the menu at La Palma. PHOTO BY ZOE BINDER/FOGHORN


Staff Writer


I have an awful sense of direction but even I couldn't miss the

enticing smell of “La Palma Mexicatessen.” Nestled on the corner

of Florida Street and 24 Street, La Palma has been serving Mission

residents since 1953. La Palma’s mission statement is a direct promise

to the community that its food will remain affordable and high

quality for their customers. “Our mission is to continue to provide

the healthiest, freshest Latin food to serve our community.”

La Palma's promise of affordable, fresh food called out to everyone

and their mothers — the store was packed. The staff kindly

and swiftly flipped from Spanish to English to help each customer.

Despite their best efforts, they were too busy to comment — and the

first bite of my burrito made me admire their hard work even more.


THURSDAY, OCT. 13, 2022 • VOL. 120, ISSUE 6

SFMOMA Exhibit

Latine culture needs

07 highlights '80s activism 08 support from USF, not 12

in Mission District.

just its students.

La Palma has two registers: one to ring up various ingredients

and to-go goods, and another at the very back of the restaurant to

purchase hot meals. In the center of the restaurant is a barrel of

packaged tamale husks, next to shelves full of canned beans, jars of

pickled vegetables, tortillas, and an assortment of ingredients for

customers to make their own dishes.

To fit the spooky season, two plastic skeletons are perched on

the corners of the shelves greeting customers as they step inside.

Alongside the east wall of the restaurant are rows of refrigerators

stocked with salsas, guacamoles, cheeses, and a rainbow of agua

frescas. On the very bottom of the refrigerators are plastic containers

of flan, jello, and pastries adorned with frosted roses. It’s a tight

squeeze between the refrigerator and the goods sold in the center so

customers weave around the store, standing in single-file lines.


Dons striker Dereck

Valentine reflects on Costa

Rican heritage and his

adjustment to USF.



OCT. 13,




Freedom and Fairness








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An estimated 62.6 million Hispanics live in

the U.S. today, accounting for 19% of the nation’s

population. Yet, there are debates around what

terminology should be used to identify this population,

and whether we should have an umbrella

term to identify them at all. Commonly accepted

terms right now include Hispanic and various

forms of Latin-o/x/e — but how do you properly

refer to a demographic that spans so many countries

and covers so many people?

Coined in the ‘80s by the Census Bureau,

the gender-neutral term “Hispanic” refers to

Americans of Spanish-speaking descent. But because

the definition is based on language, it leaves

out Indigenous communities whose ancestors did

not speak Spanish, and Brazilians are excluded

because their official language is Portuguese.

In the early ‘90s, Northwestern University

sociology professor Felix Padilla coined the

term, “Latinidad” while studying the cross-over

in Chicago’s Puerto Rican and Mexican experiences.

Since then, Latinidad has been viewed as

a pan-ethnic identity and movement that encompasses

the experiences of Latin Americans living

in the U.S. Stemming from Latinidad, the U.S.

has since used “Latino” in multiple censuses.

Latino, as a male noun, has a feminine

counterpart Latina as a noun — but what about

people who do not identify in the gender binary?

Latinx has been suggested as a mediator, but 2020

Pew research reported that less than a quarter of

Hispanic Americans were familiar with the term.

Because Spanish is a gendered language, nouns

are assigned masculine or feminine articles and

gender influences grammar. This makes it difficult

to have a gender neutral term that still works

in a gender-focused language. The “x” at the end

of the word is also not pronounceable in Spanish.

Enter “Latine.” The “e” in Latine is gender

neutral and is an ending commonly used in

Spanish, reflecting the regular vocabulary used

by LGBTQI+ folks in Latin America.

For example, rather than saying,

Latine, Latinx, or Latino/a? Latine,

“hola amigos” one could say, “hola

amigues” without changing the


sound of the language.

On our campus, the term Latine


is common in academic sources and Latino/a?

among students. Isabella Flores, the


president of Latinas Unidas, said “I

like to use Latine as Latinx is more

‘English,’ like the x isn’t really used in

Spanish to indicate gender neutralness.”



The Washington Post’s Samantha

Chery said that more young



adults are looking for a term that is

inclusive as gender neutrality is normalized.

“Linguistic purists may


decry the newer terms as Americanized

bastardizations of Latino culture



but no ‘right’ term exists as language

evolves,” she said.


The contention that exists over

Latinidad, and its various forms, naturally

extend to and shape the discourse

on the identity debate itself.



Latine, Latino/a? or Latinx, Latine,

Historically in the U.S., Latinidad as

a movement and identity was forged from the oppression

of those of Latin American descent such

as Jim Crow laws, which targeted Latine people

directly, and the lynchings of Mexicans in Texas.

In this context, Latinidad became a point of solidarity

for a community struggling to find footing

in a new country.

However the experience to make it in the

U.S. differs according to race, documentation

status, disability status, class, sexuality and gender.

In recent years, pushback on Latinidad has

come from Afro-Latine, Indigenous-Latine and

Afro-Indigenous-Latine academics and activists.

To the Nation, Rosa Clemente, a Black-Puerto

Rican academic and former presidential candidate,

said, “what happens when you subscribe to

the idea of a single Latinidad narrative is you create

a monolith — culturally and politically — of

an entire continuent when every single community

has their own history.”

In an interview with Remezcla, Zapotec

academic and cultural critic, Dr. Alan Pelaez

Lopez said that Latinidad could “transform not

only Latin American people but the world,” if it

addressed anti-blackness, sexism, and homophobia

and prioritized inclusivity. “But right now, it

seems that Latinidad is to be accepted by white

United Statians,” they said.

Latine people are not a monolithic group,

and since language evolves over time there may

never be a singular word that can encapsulate a

massive demographic. In recent years the Census

Bureau has announced the potential of a 2030

census which would detail both the race and

ethnicity of Latine folks in the U.S. — a solution

inching towards the specificity Clemente

and Pelaez-Lopez advocated for. Until then, the

term Latine will serve to create space for all Latine

folks, especially those who were once excluded by

the “Hispanic” identity label.



Staff Writer

Teresa Sandoval was sleeping on the corner of 13th and Mission Street one evening

in June when she was awoken by city officials demanding that she move. A double

amputee, the Latine and Indiginous woman was moving slowly in a wheelchair. The

Department of Public Health workers seized her purse, her tent, and her prosthetics,

which she then saw being thrown into a dump truck.

This was not a new occurrence for Sandoval. In her time living unhoused over the

past several years, she noted that city officials have regularly harassed her, often saying

things like, “I’m going to detain you if you don’t move.” She has been given “movealong

orders,” which are forced removals of homeless encampments. Unhoused people

are subject to arrest or detention if they do not follow demands. After being served

these orders, Sandoval was not offered shelter or supportive services.

Sandoval is one of seven unhoused plaintiffs whose stories came to light in a Sept.

27 complaint suing the City and County of San Francisco. Attorneys for the Lawyers'

Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area and the ACLU of Northern

California have filed suit on behalf of these seven unhoused people, along with the San

Francisco Coalition on Homelessness.

Defendants in the lawsuit also include the San Francisco Police Department,

the Department of Public Works, the Department of Homelessness and Supportive

Housing, the San Francisco Fire Department, the Department of Emergency Management,

Healthy Streets and Operations Center Director Sam Dodge, and Mayor

London Breed.

The lawsuit finds that the perpetual nature of these sweeps, paired with a lack of

shelter for unhoused people, violates a number of laws, primarily the Eighth Amendment

and the California constitution’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment.

The suit claims that, “the City has embarked on a campaign of driving its unsheltered

residents out of town — or at least out of sight — in violation of their constitutional


In an interview with the Foghorn, Zal Shroff, a senior attorney with the Lawyers'

Committee and one of the lead lawyers in this lawsuit, said, “the city can say that it's

ending homelessness when all it's doing is kicking the can down the road, harassing

people, which only furthers their homelessness.”

While the City could not comment on the lawsuit specifically, in a statement to

the Foghorn, Emily Cohen, Deputy Director for Communications & Legislative Affairs

in the City’s Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing, said that San

Francisco has been working on increasing shelter spaces for unhoused people.

“Since June 2020 the City has expanded permanent supportive housing units by

nearly 3,000 new units (leases, acquisitions or new tenant-based subsidies). The City

shelter system has expanded to a capacity of 3,068 beds for adults, TAY [Traditional

Aged Youth] and families,” she said.

The plaintiffs do not find this expansion sufficient. The lawsuit says that approximately

8,000 residents are unhoused, leaving nearly 5,000 without city shelter.

Considering that five out of the seven unhoused plaintiffs are Latine and Black,

racial discrimination is one of the pillars of the plaintiffs’ argument. They claim that

the city’s homelessness problem is “rooted in decades of racial redlining and exclusionary

zoning practices, designed to kick low-income Black and brown families out.”

California has the highest population of unhoused people in the country, according

to data from the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. A new

report from the Department of Homelessness and Supportive Housing found that

homelessness in San Francisco Latine populations has increased by 55% since 2019


The same report showed that this year, while Latine people make up 16% of

the city population, they make up 30% of the homeless population. Similarly, Black

people make up 6% of the city’s population but 37% of those on the streets, according

to Shroff.

“The criminalization of homelessness is a racial justice issue,” he said. “San Francisco

has a history of racialized exclusion. It has been on a process of making its communities

whiter for quite some time with its target housing policies.”

The current gentrification of historically Latine neighborhoods, paired with job

loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has resulted in many more people living on the


“The homelessness crisis is an affordability crisis and housing crisis. There are

heavy racial injustices that are playing into those dynamics that the city has to resolve,”

Shroff said. “San Francisco is waging a war on communities of color.”

A San Francisco Public Health employee throws away items from a tent encampment by the Ferry



One of the plaintiffs, Toro Castaño, a Latine artist who became unhoused during

the COVID-19 pandemic, found the sweeps to be “a dehumanizing disruption to the

small ounce of stability that I was trying to build for myself during one of the hardest

times of my life.”

The suit reports that the city destroyed Castaño’s MacBook Pro and tent, along

with other belongings. He recently settled a claim against the city for $9,000.

On the Hilltop, this suit has caused community members to reflect on perception,

race, and economic impediments.

For Kemelyn Alvarado, a board member of USF’s Latinx Undergrad Network

of Activists and a third-year politics major, rectifying the mistreatment of Latine unhoused

people is a passion.

“Raiding someone’s place of living is unconstitutional and inhumane,” she said.

“If raids and destruction of property were occurring in any neighborhood, this would

make headlines everywhere. Not only is there a criminalization of the individual because

they are homeless but also because of their Black or brown skin.”

The plaintiffs are filing for declaratory and injunctive relief, which means that

instead of just monetary compensation, they are asking for legal compensation. They

are working to end move-along orders, as failure to move currently threatens citation

and arrest.

“What we hope [the city] will do is invest in affordable housing, because every

dollar that goes to affordable housing is something that prevents people from entering

homelessness in the first place,” Shroff said. “Understandably, no one wants to see

homelessness, but they have categorically failed at the things that actually do respond

to the homelessness crisis, such as new affordable housing.”

For USF community members looking to get involved in advocacy, Shroff suggests

knowing the facts. “The best way to advocate is to arm yourself with the information

you need for the cause. The truth matters a tremendous amount, especially when

there's incentive for power structures to conceal their wrongdoing, shining a light on

that is what is most critical.

“For students who are engaged, they [should] do that work for themselves, to

think critically about these issues,” Shroff said. “Several witnesses in this case, are

organizers or just ordinary volunteers who saw what was going on here, saw that it was

wrong, and thought they needed to do something about it. And that's really powerful.”


04 05


OCT. 13,








Staff Writer

The Mission District is one of the oldest neighborhoods in San Francisco. It

is known for its flat and sunny streets, authentic art and food scene, and Latine

community. Yet, as San Francisco is becoming one of the most gentrified cities in

the United States, the Mission is seeing the ramifications of these changes.

Gentrification primarily impacts long-term locals in a community due to an

increase in economic progress, a process that helps land owners and hurts tenants.

Because many Bay Area newcomers are ready to pay a price above current rates,

landlords are incentivized to increase rents, pricing out middle and low income

residents of the area.

Daniela Rivas, a USF alum born and raised in the Excelsior District, also

known as the Outer Mission, first came to understand the term in high school.

“My school was right up the block from Valencia Street and I remembered how

dangerous the Mission used to be,” Rivas said. “My [high school] Spanish teacher

told me it’s because of gentrification that all these new cafes and overpriced shops

are on Valencia Street, and I was seeing some shops on 24th closing down.”

The Excelsior District, often described as the “untouched district” by locals

like Rivas, saw a recent influx of tourists, and subsequently, a plethora of “for sale”


“We just started seeing a whole new crowd,” she said. “The change was very

obvious and it was very slow.”

While interviewing a restaurant owner in the Mission for a research project,

second-year chemistry major Isabella Escutia’s initial view of gentrification

changed. “I was actually able to get a sense of community and how it affected them

with not just new people coming in, but remembering who the older generation

Mural by Precita Mural Arts represents the heritage of the Mission. PHOTO BY ELISE EMARD/SF FOGHORN

was and how it affected them,” she said.

Escutia said that most of the restaurant’s regular customers moved from the

Mission out to Sacramento for affordability. Rivas noticed this change in Excelsior

as well, with many of her mother’s friends moving to the East Bay.

Displacement through gentrification not only occurs at the economic level,

but has led to the loss of lives on the basis of race.

Alejandro Nieto was eating a burrito in Bernal Heights Park when he was

shot 14 times by the police on March 21, 2014. The taser that he carried for his

job as a nightclub bouncer was mistaken as a firearm by white men new to the

neighborhood, who called the police.

“We know that [gentrification] is a violent process. It’s not just about a bunch

of folks moving in and joining a new community, it’s about that happening at the

very painful expense of the displacement of people who have been the fabric of

that community,” said Roberto Gutièrrez Varea, professor of Performing Arts &

Social Justice at USF and former director of the Latin American studies program

and previous co-director of Center for Latino Studies.

As San Francisco becomes a more popular place to live, advocates of affordable

housing are looking for a balance between the demand for housing, affordability,

and that ensures longtime residents housing security. “We’re choosing between

two imperfect solutions. I have yet to see a solution that stops gentrification,

but also allows for economic progress to happen and allows diversity to happen,”

USF Economics professor Mario Muzzi said.

Varea said advocates should look to each other to find solutions and be less

dependent on the government. “Often forces look up at where the problems are

coming from and not down at one another for solidarity, support, creativity, and

solutions,” he said.

#Justice4Sean becomes a Bay Area activist movement. SCREENSHOT COURTESY OF @JUSTICE4SEAN via instagram.


Staff Writer

A twenty-two year old Latino man, Sean Monterossa, was empty handed and

on his knees when he was fatally shot by a Vallejo, California police officer Jarrett

Tonn in June. The officer, in an unmarked police car, was reportedly responding to

a call regarding potential suspects in an earlier looting at Walgreens that evening.

He fired five rounds at Monterrosa, claiming that Monterrosa was kneeling “in

preparation to shoot.”

The officer who shot Monterossa was put on leave in May 2021, almost a full

year after the incident, and as of October, has officially been terminated from the

department. The Vallejo Police Department (VPD) cannot publicly identify the

offending officer due to the verdict of a related lawsuit brought about by the Vallejo

Police Officers’ Association.

Despite a department-funded investigation revealing several tactical violations

in Monterossa’s case, including the officer’s failure to turn on his body camera

until the aftermath of the shooting, no arrests have been made.

Monterrosa’s case has sparked outrage throughout the Bay Area and prompted

reflection from Latine students at USF on the state of police brutality. The

Instagram account @justice4sean_ has been one popular resource for advocates

of Monterrosa with 20,000 people following the account for updates on Monterrosa’s


These activists created a website with compiled resources related to the case,

including a link to the Stand With Sean petition that calls on the VPD to release

the badge bending reports, cases in which Vallejo officers allegedly bent their

badges after shooting victims. It also calls to the public and for Vallejo City Council

members to vote in favor of the Police Oversight Model, a proposed system in

which designated individuals who are unaffiliated with the police routinely review

complaints or concerns against the department or officers.

What happened to Monterrosa is not an isolated incident in the VPD. In

2020, KTVU Bay Area News revealed that since 2010, the VPD has killed 19

people, a rate that is higher than all but one of America’s hundred largest police

forces. Additionally, according to NBC, the VPD has the highest rate of residents

shot per capita in Northern California. According to research conducted by Campaign

Zero, the department also uses more force than any other department in


Monterossa’s case speaks to more pervasive issues of police bias against Latine

people in the Bay Area. An analysis conducted by CalMatters found that between

2016 and 2018, Californian Latine people made up 46% of fatal police shootings

despite only making up 39% of the population.

Michael Alvarez, a Latine first-year marketing major, weighed in on the issue.

“Because San Francisco and USF are both so diverse, there have been times where I

have found myself falling into a dangerous mentality of ‘this [police bias] doesn’t

happen here, it happens in other places, to other people,’” he said.

“Even in a city where I see my culture all over the place, where it's prominent

and celebrated, the truth is that police violence will always be a very real, looming

threat for people who look like me.”

Upon hearing the news that the officer who killed Monterrosa was fired, Alvarez

said, “It’s a victory, I won’t sell it short, but it almost feels like too little too

late. They have been sitting on proof of this happening for two years and still no

one has been charged? Really?”

Second-year psychology major Serena Martins said that she was shocked by

the lack of mainstream media coverage on Monterrosa’s case. “What happened to

Sean felt like it was rarely discussed unless in a greater conversation about police

brutality,” she said, “What happened to him was never the center of attention.

There’s a pattern when it comes to Latino victims of police violence, it’s never

talked about, it’s almost expected.”




OCT. 13,




To the right of the entrance is a service window

for people to grab their takeout orders. Customers were

scattered around the restaurant's entrance, waiting for

their order numbers to be called from a small service


This is where I caught Hugo, a long-time customer,

loading up his car with various bags of food. Hugo

estimated that he has eaten at La Palma for the last two

decades. Hugo keeps coming back for the restaurant's

“authentic traditional Mexican food, good service,

good people,” he said. “Family run, family owned, best

tortillas in town.”

La Palma is known for their fresh masa, a cornmeal

based dough. According to their website, the restaurant

makes their masa daily with dried, GMO (genetically

modified organism) free corn used to make tamales,

tortillas, and a variety of other dishes. The restaurant

produces a myriad of masa, most notably white corn,

blue corn, and cactus. La Palma also makes strawberry

and cinnamon masa for dessert tamales.

Although most customers decided to opt for takeout,

father-son duo Tom and Henry enjoyed an early

lunch on the restaurant’s side patio. Tom has been

coming to La Palma for over 15 years and absolutely

loves it, “Gosh, just everything, especially the chips and

salsa. All the little side things you can get here are so

wonderful.” Tom explained all the dishes they bought

while Henry sat patiently. “I got the chili verde burrito

today, he gets a bean and cheese — plain. We also

picked up a bit of this thing, it's called carne de cerdo

chicharrones.” Tom suggested getting the refried beans

and Henry likes the chicharrones and drinks.

Like Tom and Henry, I will be back for more.

La Palma's selection of housemade to-go items. PHOTO BY ELISE EMARD/


Delicious potato taco from La Palma. PHOTO BY


Acción Latina:

Matter in the Mission



The ‘80s

With walls adorned with vibrant murals and the rich scent

of Latine food, San Francisco’s Mission District is a celebration of

Latine history and culture. However, the people who laid the foundation

of today’s Mission are often overlooked. The latest SFMO-

MA art installation by Acción Latina, “The ‘80s Matter in the Mission,''

was celebrated at its opening event just in time for the end

of National Hispanic Heritage Month. The exhibit honors Latine

artists and organizers who advocated during the AIDS epidemic

and the immigration of Central American refugees to the Mission.

Most notably, the exhibit pays homage to queer Latine artist

and advocate, Juan Pablo Gutiérrez Sánchez, who passed away

last December. Dedicated to bettering the lives of Latine immigrants

and queer Latine folks, Gutiérrez pushed for AIDS education,

served as one of the first gay directors of the Mission Cultural

Center, and made sure Día de los Muertos was celebrated in San


Guitierrez’s life was honored through a mural by Mexican-American

artist Elizabeth Blancas that was the focal point of

the exhibit. Blancas’ mural, “Nuestros Muertos No Se Venden,” or,

Our Dead Are Not for Sale, is a nod to Guitierrez’s motto speaking

to parties trying to profit off of Día de los Muertos.

One of the event's curators and speakers, Paul S. Flores was

overjoyed to “make the past come to life through art.” Flores, who is

a Latine advocate, poet, and professor at USF, hopes for viewers to

not only remember the past, but to, “listen to it. Watch it. Experience

the visual memories and the voices of the time.”

When they weren’t looking at art, viewers dug deep into the

archives of California’s longest running bilingual newspaper, El

Tecolote. Co-curator Fátima Ramirez, executive director at Acción

Latina and former Foghorn news editor, wanted people to immerse

themselves in and experience all aspects of the Mission in the ‘80s

through the newspapers from the time.

El Grupo Maiz delighted the crowd with an El Salvadorian

Baile Folklórico performance halfway through the event and audience

members danced, sang, and clapped along.

Viewer Isabel Raskin was moved by the presence of culture and

solidarity at the event. “I just love seeing so much energy, spirit, and

a sense of community and support.”

Another audience member, Christos Eugen said he felt, “sadness

and happiness because we’re trying to remember all what happened

to all the Latinos during the ‘80s and ‘90s in the Mission and

in the whole San Francisco.”

Muralist Josué Rojas made two pieces that hug the book shelves

and play on his Central American heritage as a child growing up in

the Mission. His piece “Mission Pie” is a personal recollection of the

neighborhood in the 1980s. Tanya Orellana’s neon and vinyl print

installation “19th & Valencia” is inspired by her childhood memories

of growing up near the Mission Playground Pool and when the

Lexington Club transitioned from a Latine bar to a lesbian stronghold

in the Mission.

“It’s important to know our history and to remember the people

who gave a lot of effort to change the political and social realities

in our neighborhood and community,” said Flores.

The exhibit will be featured at the SFMOMA through June

23, 2023.

Jordan Premmer contributed to the reporting of this story.



Grupo Maíz presents Baile Folklorico from El Salvador. PHOTO COURTESY OF NICK DERENZI

08 09


OCT. 13,





is a second-year

advertising major.



As a Latine student in higher education I feel

invisible most of the time. Even with USF’s diversity,

it’s hard to see myself represented in guest

speakers, professors, and peers. Imposter syndrome

is a familiar enemy that I face on a daily

basis: when I look at the people around me, when

an unfamiliar idiom is used in class, and even

in my leadership role at Latinas Unidas where

I sometimes feel like I’m not “Latina enough.”

The one thing that has helped me through these

struggles is joining a Latine organization where

I can share these experiences with others who

know exactly what I am going through.

Although the Latine population makes up

21% of both the graduate and undergraduate

student population at USF, I believe that we are

one of the most underrepresented and underserved

communities here on the Hilltop. Declining

retention rates, staggered club enrollment,

and conversations with friends tells me that it isn’t just me who feels invisible

to the institution.

Isaac Madrigal, a fourth-year design major said he sees a lack of USF

bridge programs — programs created to support Latine students transitioning

into academic and professional life. “It’s important for that to be here because

our people don’t have a long history of going to higher institutions nor family

members who can help guide them through that,” he said. “So it feels like

we’re on our own.”

USF is not currently a Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSI). To qualify to

be an HSI, the Latine student population must be at 25%, which USF falls


just short of. According to the U.S. Department of Education, qualifying as a

HSI would grant USF funding to strengthen institutional programs, facilities,

and services for the Latine community on campus. USF currently lacks the

funding to provide consistent support to Latine students; although they try —

mostly during National Hispanic Heritage Month.

Latine students attend school year round, so who supports us once Hispanic

Heritage Month concludes? The success of the Latine student population

weighs heavily on the leaders of USF’s Latine oriented clubs: Latinas Unidas,

Latinx Undergraduate Network of Activists (L.U.N.A), and USF Folklórico

Club. As the President of Latinas Unidas, I feel the weight of my work for the

organization in everything I do. I fear that if we as an organization don’t keep

momentum and consistency, there would be no support systems for Latine

students to feel safe, succeed, and be seen.

USF Folklórico club Vice President and sophomore politics major, Lidia

Velasco-Robles has had similar thoughts. “Our work shows our perseverance

and how much we care. But, if it wasn't for us, I don’t think the change we

have made would have happened,” she said. “It makes me proud of how resilient

we are, but it's annoying to think that if we weren't the way we are we

wouldn't have gotten this far.”

Students aren’t the only one’s worried about the University’s lack of support.

Graduate Student Coordinator for New Student and Family Programs,

Valeria Ramirez said she’s afraid the energy that student organizations are

generating now won’t be permanently put in place by the University, “I worry

that USF will continually fail to recognize the necessity of providing this

support and care towards our Latinx/Chicanx/Hispanic student community.”

It was this common sentiment among my community and the lack of

institutional events here on campus that drove me to put my all into throwing

a successful Latinx Heritage Celebration. Last month, Latinas Unidas and

L.U.N.A invited students, faculty, staff, and families to attend our celebration

of cultural food, inspiring Latine speakers, dancing,

crafts, vendors, and games. Over the course of

two months, our two organizations were completely

responsible for planning and executing the event

— a huge job coupled with full course loads, jobs,

and extracurriculars.

Student organizations and cultural events are

so incredibly important — more than non-minority

people might realize. It is not just a Bad Bunny

song or a dance party, but a place to connect back

to our roots, to celebrate our culture, to feel like

we’re home again and feel confident in the new

home we’ve created at USF. Cultural events are a

space to feel seen, celebrated, and valued.

Although you can always count on students

to provide for their community, it is not entirely

fair that on top of striving towards our degrees, we

have to worry about maintaining these spaces. As

Madrigal put it, “We shouldn’t always be fighting.

We should be able to enjoy ourselves like everyone


The Latine community is incredibly resilient

— and if there’s two things we’re gonna do, it's

work-hard and persevere. Está en nuestra sangre. I

hope that our efforts encourage the next leaders of

the Latine organizations to continue the change.

Until then, I want USF to recognize our significance

with action that will solidify the change

student organizations are making. I would love for

students to be allowed to cater from community

restaurants that can prepare cultural foods for our

events, rather than being forced to order from Bon

Appétit. USF should also continue to increase the

budget for the New Student Family Programs department’s

Latinx Student Orientation and should

work to highlight and hire more Latine staff. These

small, but significant actions would simultaneously

benefit USF and the Latine community here on the



fourth-year international

studies major.

A couple of days ago I called my mom to

tell her how I was going to write an op-ed for

the Foghorn about how proud I am to be from

Tijuana, Mexico. I consider myself extremely

lucky to be from Tijuana. There's a vibrant

music and art scene and my friends and I orchestrate

jam sessions and art exhibitions. Tijuana

has, in my opinion, the best cuisine in the

world, and without a doubt the best tacos in the

country. The people are so warm and open. I

wanted to write about the beauty of being Mexican,

but something my mom said brought me

back to reality.

“Oh, speaking of [home], there was a

shooting yesterday at the Clamatos. Yeah,

a couple was shot at 2:30 p.m. in a drive-by

shooting,” she said. The Clamatos is a bar in an

affluent neighborhood only a five-minute drive

from my house. Usually, when I drive by, I honk

at friends sitting at the bar and wave. Two people died there this week.

This didn’t even make the news. Crime

used to be contained to some neighborhoods

I’ve never even been to, but recently it has

seeped farther into my home city and it has

become impossible to ignore. Just before I

came to San Francisco this fall, I was buying

beer and chips with a friend when she

received a desperate call from her mother

telling her to return home immediately

and lock the doors. We were shocked but

didn’t question it. Later, my mom told me

that there had been an explosion across the

street. Tijuana had become a war zone.

An important narco, or drug trafficker,

had been detained by the police and they

were not accepting bribes to let him out.

Because of this, organized crime blazed

through major cities across Mexico to put

pressure on the government to release their

leader. This meant bombings, fires, carjackings,

and assaults. People were advised

to stay inside all weekend while the narcos

went to town on our homes. Businesses

were closed and the streets were desolate

in eerie resemblance to the first days of the

COVID-19 lockdown in 2020.

I escaped to San Francisco a few days

later, grateful to be aways from the mess, but

worried for those I love back home.

Tijuana is the most dangerous city in

the world. According to Salvador Rivera

from Border Report, the presence of three

drug cartels vying for power in the region,

as well as Tijuana’s proximity to California,

creates a high murder rate. In August alone,

the Drug Enforcement administration reported

more than 120 murders or supicious

homicides in the city.

Two weeks ago, a longtime employee of

my father’s was murdered in his home along

with his family. Local newspaper TJNoticias

explains that he was murdered because

he reported criminal activity to the police.

When I heard the news I was shattered, but

a part of me was so relieved to be in San

Francisco. I was safe here and there’s a special

type of guilt that comes with that.

I’ve bragged to my Tijuana friends that

here, I am able to walk the streets without


being scared, even at night (which took me a while to do when I first moved

here). San Francisco is not the safest city in the U.S., by a wide margin, but

the weight I feel lifted off of my shoulders speaks volumes.

Both of my siblings and I moved to the U.S. for college, as our parents

encouraged us to. We also crossed the border every day to go to private

schools in San Diego. According to USMex at UCSD, 21% of ninth and

10th grade students in San Diego have lived and studied and Mexico before

and, on the flip side, 11% of ninth and 10th grade students in Tijuana have

have lived in the U.S. Like many others, my parents gave us the gift of being

Mexican, of learning Spanish as our first language, and of growing up

surrounded by family — but they understood that staying in Tijuana and

building a life there like they did is not worth our peace, or our lives for that


Today we are scattered across California but we ache for home. Home

will always be Mexico and I am so grateful for that. But, the fact that violence

is intrinsic in our lives and knowing that I can never be at peace there

is heartbreaking.

In Tijuana, we live well and we love each other deeply. We move on fast

and we mourn our losses with dignity. Tijuana is so beautiful and so broken,

it hurts to love it, but we do. We can’t help it.


10 11


OCT. 13,






third-year communications


“Heche la ganas” is a widely used phrase in the

Latine community. It asks people to put more life

into whatever they are doing — even if they would

rather be doing anything else — and usually comes

from elders giving advice to younger Latine folks.

While my parents say, “we all have to do things we

do not want to do,” it is more important than ever to

remind younger generations in the Latine community

to take care of themselves and to avoid pushing

their mental health beyond their limits.

From my own experiences and the experiences

of people in my family, I have seen how mental health

is more important to younger generations than older

generations: from prioritizing self-care to not feeling

the need to be silent about their struggles, and

normalizing asking for help. Yet, as we see pushback

from older generations, we need to acknowledge the

challenges of stigma, cultural norms, and the gendered

roles Latine communities face when dealing

with mental health. In light of these factors, the Latine community has all the more

reason to prioritize and understand the importance of mental health.

The culture that has shaped the generations before me has created a stigma

around mental health. In Latine communities, men are often taught not to be

“weak” or overly emotional. Meanwhile, women are deemed too emotional and are

not encouraged to want more for themselves, but at the same time, we are taught

that Latine’s work ethic is all we are meant to pride ourselves in.

Latine’s folks are also affected by the emotional baggage that results from our

communities’ history. To the Los Angeles Times, Dr. Leslie Gonzales explains that

first-generation immigrants experience stress, anxiety, and imposter syndrome. “[I

felt] pressure to make my parents' sacrifices worth it… and it eventually manifested

in anxiety and depression,” she said. As a first-generation student, I feel this deeply

in my day-to-day life. Although my parents never went to college, when I tell them I

feel accomplished at college, all they say is, “well, school is your job.” Comments like

these make me feel an immense amount of pressure to continuously outdo myself

to make them proud.

Statistically speaking, the Latine community displays similar vulnerabilities

to mental illness compared to the general population. But, according to the 2019

National Survey on Drug Use and Health, only about one-third of Hispanic people

experiencing any mental illness receive some sort of mental health treatment,

compared with 50% of non-Hispanic white people. For Latines that do seek out

treatment, disparities are still faced in both access and quality of treatment.

Growing up with these norms, like many Latine youth, I didn't learn how to

care for my mental health until I became an independent adult and found strength

in other people my age. My cousin Jona and I are both first-generation college students

who are learning how to take care of ourselves and overcome generational

trauma within our family. At the beginning of the pandemic, like so many people,

I struggled and felt alone, and my parents didn’t seem to get it. My older cousin, on

the other hand, was able to hear, process, and relate to my feelings. I felt so validated,

a feeling that many Latine youth rarely experience.

My cousin Mia, who is a college student like myself, experiences similar hardships

coping with her mental health. “I think that mental health is often overlooked

within Latino/Hispanic families. It’s not seen as a real issue or condition but rather

something to just get over” she said. “This is why it’s so important for everyone to

stay educated and know that mental health is so important and that it’s best to seek

help rather than just trying to ‘get over it on your own.’”

Despite these struggles and challenges, I am confident when I say that I could

not have made it this far either without my Latine work ethic or understanding the

importance of mental health in my community. If I could talk to myself even just

five years ago, I would tell myself to prioritize my health above everything and that

it is okay to be selfish. It is okay to turn to others.


Staff Writer



The 2022 South American Games are currently underway in Asunción,

Paraguay. Fifteen countries and thousands of athletes are competing in 53

different events this month. Some of the sports included in this two-weeklong

multi-sport event are soccer, basketball, volleyball, field hockey, baseball,

rugby union, tennis, golf, cricket, polo, and more.

Argentina has been crowned as the top medalling nation for seven out of

the 12 South American Games, but is in fourth place so far this year. Brazil

has led the games this year with a total of 178 medals but Colombia is close

behind with 145. Although the total medals are a close race, Brazil gaps the

rest of the competition when it comes to winning gold medals. Brazil’s 80 gold

medals nearly doubles second-place Columbia’s total of 41.

The Brazilian delegation has been successful in the swimming events,

winning 34 gold medals in 40 swimming events. Brazil also won both available

gold medals in artistic swimming. Second-place Columbia has had most

of their success in speed skating. They have won eight out of 10 possible gold

medals in the sport, failing to take first place in only the female 1,000m sprint

and the male 200m one-versus-one event. Colombia has also dominated

diving, winning seven out of eight competitions, and losing only the female

one-meter trampoline dive. The most notable diving performance came from

Colombia’s Viviana Bermudez, who won gold in three out of the four events

she competed in.

Chile is in third place so far in the games, having won 71 medals, of

which 22 are gold. They performed best in rowing, where Chile had a podium

finish in each of the 11 events and won six of them. Chile was also successful

in water skiing, reaching the podium in every competition and also winning

first place in four out of the nine events.

The first South American Games took place in 1978 in La Paz, Bolivia

where 480 athletes representing seven countries competed in only 16 sports.

This is the 12th year of the games, which occur every four years. The games

occur every four years, marking this year's event as the 12th to occur.

Although dozens of events have been held, there is still a lot left to look

out for in the South American Games. Popular events like handball and basketball

are still underway and nearly half of the games are still being played

until the final day on Oct. 15.

Argentine President Alberto Fernández poses with the Argentine delegation of the 2022 South American Games.





OCT. 13,






Staff Writer

Dereck Valentine traveled more than 3,000 miles to show off his skills at

USF, but he was already playing at a high level before he got here. Valentine is a

third-year architecture major from Guápiles, Costa Rica who plays the forward

position for the Dons’ men’s soccer team. In Costa Rica, Valentine’s skill shined

when he played for Santos de Guápiles, the soccer academy he attended for his

high school years, earning him a spot on the Costa Rican national team.

The 6-foot-1 forward spent four years with the Costa Rican national team on

the under-20-year-olds team and participated in three tournaments, including the

Confederation of North, Central America, and Caribbean Association Football

(CONCACAF league) “There’s a lot of pressure because you’re representing your

country but at the same time it gives you

a lot of motivation,” Valentine said. “It's

great knowing you’re not only representing

your whole country and its people, but

you’re also representing your culture and

its values.” Valentine and Costa Rica finished

seventh out of 14 in the CONCA-

CAF league and won the Central American


It was a dream come true for Valentine

to represent his country on an international

level. “I started playing soccer when

I was four years old, and you always want

to go and play for your national team,”

he said. “It’s an experience not too many

people get to have. I look back and I am

so grateful for that experience. It made me

not only a better player but also a better


Valentine came to San Francisco in

2020 and felt culture shock as soon as he

touched down in the city. “Back home

there are no cities as big as San Francisco,

I’m used to being closer to the people

around me,” he said. “My first year was

hard, I knew a little bit of English but I

had to be more fluent and I didn’t have my

family with me.”

Valentine said his relationship with

his teammates helped him with his transition.

“They were helpful in terms of including

me in everything and trying to

get to know me. Even though my English

wasn’t that good and [I] couldn’t fully

communicate with everyone they made it

really easy for me to become a part of the

team and the family that we are now.”

Other than Valentine, there was only

one teammate who spoke Spanish — Rodrigo

Bueno, a third-year midfielder for

the Dons who was born and raised in

Monterrey, Mexico. Valentine said that

the two of them formed a bond that is still

strong to this day.

Although Valentine is living in San

Francisco, he still hasn’t lost that sense of

home. “It’s not that hard for me to carry

my culture every day, because it is my

home. I just want to have the strength to

help everyone around me as much as I can

and make the people with who I connect

just a little bit happier,” he said.

On the field, Valentine channels the mentality and philosophy of basketball

legend Kobe Bryant. “The last few years haven’t been easy for me on the sports

side. But that mentality that [Kobe] always had of being relentless and loving the

game and loving the process is with me,” he said. “There’s going to be bad moments

in life in general and things you can’t control, but what you can control is

how you react to them. You can control how much you work to be the best version

of yourself.”

Amid National Hispanic Heritage Month, Valentine reflected on Latine influences

and what the month of national recognition means to him. “Here in San

Francisco, there’s a lot of Hispanic and Latino people, and even though they’re the

minority, the culture here is huge,” he said. “So it’s a great opportunity for everyone

to get to know about the culture and share it with everybody.”

Dereck Valentine carries the heart of Costa Rica



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