De Nosotros, Con Amor

LaGenteNewsmag

de nosotros, con

amor

Volume 49 Issue 3


table of

contents

Table of Contents

2

3

Editor’s Note

Love Languages: A

Practical Guide

Nayeli Velarde

16

17

21

The Throwback Playlist

Roma

Emilia Acevedo

Wash Me

Destiny Diaz

5

7

12

13

Beneath the Avocado

Tree

Andrew Valdovinos

Groundbreaking Women

Espy de La O

Mi Niña

Angie Santos

Nostalgia de Novelas:

Re-evaluating How We

See Novelas

Jonathan Valenzuela

23

27

31

32

35

Hace Años

Jennifer Rosario Arriaga

Tijuana

Claudia Ledesma Rodriguez

Coloring Page

Haven Jovel Morales

Senior Spotlight

Staff Page

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Dear Gentista,

This quarter was one where the staff dug

deep and thought of the ways we navigate

amor y el dolor. This has been an ongoing

conversation we’ve held in our meetings

for over a year now. We consistently are

reminded that the things we love are

never simple. The complexities in the

way we love are what make us human.

We thought about our childhood and

how at first glance it is very simple to

look back and feel nostalgic. We tend to

see the past with rose-colored glasses and

quickly forget that our past holds both love

and pain. It is perfectly valid to look back and

praise what we used to love. However, it is also

important to be critical of the things we once

loved. This allows us to move forward and progress

towards relationships that love us more deeply, towards

media that represents us more fairly, and towards self-love that allows us to thrive.

As we close out our 49th year, there are many things to love. We love the way our

founders created a safe space for Chicanx students in the 70s. We love the way past

editors made the important move of expanding the magazine to Latinx students in

general and not just Chicanxs, a move that is critical in creating inclusive spaces. We

love this space because we can consistently critique it and aim to make it better. You

have to love something enough to want to change it towards being a better version

of itself. Future generations have plenty of work ahead. However, we hope that the

passion that lives within our tiny office and virtual calls continues to be the force that

pushes La Gente ahead.

To the staff: you are all “love” if it were personified. Your care and passion in creating

important and valuable content is something that will always be special. It’s been my

greatest pleasure serving as your EIC this year. Entre el amor y el dolor, recuerdo que

el amor y el querer es lo que nos junta.

De nosotros con amor,

Angela Vargas

EIC 2020-2021

2

Editor’s Note


by Nayeli Velarde

As humans we all give and receive love

in different ways. As we navigate through

life and develop personal relationships

with others, understanding how you

prefer to receive love and how the people

around you do is valuable. This is not

meant to be an exhaustive list of how

love languages can manifest, rather it

should be taken as a starting point to

discovering what is right for you and your

relationships.

1. Words of affirmation

Loving someone through words of

affirmation relies on vocalizing how you

feel about them. This can take the form

of encouraging words, compliments, a

written note or telling someone you love

them. The key to loving someone through

words of affirmation is consistency and

being genuine.

A Practical Guide

2. Acts of service

For someone who prefers

acts of service, actions

speak louder than words.

Someone that is loved

through acts of

service enjoys

knowing that

they can rely on

someone. This

can look like doing chores for

them, preparing a meal when they are

sick, or running a bath after a long day.

Being able to be a partner in which

they can rely on is what drives this love

language.

3. Quality Time

Although it may sound self-explanatory,

quality time is not simply spending

time with someone. Rather it is

making whatever time you do have

with them meaningful. This can be

through having active

conversations in which each party

is engaged, setting aside a chunk

3


of uninterrupted time to catch up or

even planning a day trip somewhere. For

people who love through quality time,

making whatever time you spend with

them memorable is very important.

4. Receiving Gifts

This love language often

receives a lot of

judgement because

most people believe that

it is based on material things.

Receiving gifts relies on the

thoughtfulness behind a gift

rather than the amount spent on

something. Some examples include

giving them flowers, going out of the

way to buy them their favorite snack

or remembering something they

mentioned and giving it to them on a

special day. Whatever the gift is, the

person will cherish it and appreciate it

dearly.

5. Physical Touch

Loving someone through physical touch

relies on prioritizing intimacy. People who are

loved through physical touch want to be held.

This can look like giving them a big hug after a

long day, a massage if they are feeling stressed or

holding their hand while walking. Since physical

touch relies on a nonverbal form of intimacy the

key is to love them in this way often. Expressing

your appreciation for someone through their

own love language lets a person feel seen.

Deepen the connections you already have by

learning to love someone in the way they

want to be loved!

Art by Haven Jovel Morales

4


Photo by Andrew Valdovinos

by Andrew Valdovinos

5


To The People I Miss,

Home was the most succulent of

paradoxes. Our mutual silence roamed

throughout the house and deafened my

incoherent thoughts. In a home full of

people, I isolated myself. There was an

inherent distinction between you and

I, a noticeable difference that many

loved to point out. In hindsight, when I

think about our time within the walls of

our duplex, pain wrapped its illustrious

warmth around the silence that created

us; but that summer was different.

Every morning, during summer break,

our days would be spent at Abuelitas.

There was nothing particularly exciting

about our visits. We would arrive, head to

her room while she watched her shows

in the room next to hers, while time

vanished like a shadow in the night. I

remember sedating my mind with video

games and tv shows to evaporate the

pain of existing. In that time between

shows and gaming, I remember peeping

outside the window and seeing the

shadows of trees begin to shift. We had

spent all day inside -- time became

evasive and by the time we realized what

the clock showed us, it was time to leave.

In reflecting on that time, I recall pain

knowing you the most. The way you

always needed to escape from the

confines of home. I remember the color

difference between your shoulder and

your arm-- like pain, the sun knew you

too. The world scared me. The ridicule

at school for my existence being a

burden, indifference created a fear of

unacceptance that was unshakeable —

it seems as though that was a character

trait embedded into our dna. We were

opposing forces existing together.

But I remember that summer under the

avocado tree — it was a time where

I remember we existed outside our

signifiers of othering. Where the pain

drifted away with the cold gust that

swept under the tree and brushed the

sweat on our backs, leaving a cooling

sensation that gave us goosebumps.

Where the tree, with all its might, tried to

shield us from the sun, but the leaves left

too large of gaps to shield us wholly, and

the columed light made its way through

and kissed our skin in warm delight.

That summer was a mental state of

isolation, life became bearable beneath

that tree. The shade offered solace from

the abrasive heat but those pockets of

sunlight kept us tethered to the forces

arounds us, it brought us to reality. The

breeze brushed by our bodies in a wave

of comfort, allowing us to exhale.

I say all of that to say, in a pocket of

remembrance, love persevered. In

a moment of stillness, a memory so

mundane in experience can be profound

in hindsight. Life, then, was unfair,

unkind, and unshakable; Its abrasiveness

was likened to the suns radiating heat,

beating on us unapologetically, it owned

us. Within the umbrella of green leaves

and shadowy valor, in glorious calm

blunder, we existed.

Yours,

in Loving Remembrance

6


groundbreaking

Groundbreaking

womenWomen

by Espy de La O

The impact of revolutionary women throughout history has gone unheard of for far

too long. Their stories are often ignored or pushed into tiny paragraphs within the vast

pages of textbooks. The groundbreaking contributions made by Latinas have a lasting

impact on us in modern times despite the systemic obstacles that actively worked to

hold them back.

Sylvia Rivera

When we think of the 1969 Stonewall

Uprising Marsha P. Johnson often

comes to mind but not many will think

of her close friend and fellow activist

Sylvia Rivera. Johnson and Rivera were

prominent figures of the Stonewall riots

and co-founded the Street Transvestite

Action Revolutionaries (STAR), a street

activist organization that focused on

recognition for trans individuals within

the gay liberation movement and

society as a whole. Rivera spent most

of her life battling for the inclusivity of

gender expression among gay rights

movements. Throughout the 1970s

she constantly quarreled with gay

rights leaders who hesitated to publicly

BESE.

support trans people in their work. She

also fought against the active exclusion

of transgender people from the Sexual

Orientation Non-Discrimination Act in

New York. In 2002 the final bill passed

preventing discrimination “on the basis

of actual or perceived sexual orientation

in employment, housing, public

accommodations, education, credit, and

the exercise of civil rights.” As a Puerto

Rican and Venezuelan American who

was homeless for a good part of her life,

Rivera drew from her experiences of

poverty and racism to create a platform

for both her voice and the voices of

others to widen the marginalized space

that drag queens, homeless youth, and

transgender people were forced into.

Evangelina Rodriguez

Evangelina Rodriguez grew up in the

highly segregated community of San

Pedro De Macoris, Dominican Republic.

She lived with her grandmother and sold

gofio to buy supplies for primary school

at a young age. After completing her

secondary schooling, Rodriguez became

7


Women’s Activism NYC.

the first

woman

in the

Dominican

Republic to

receive her

medical

degree

in 1909.

Choosing

to start

her career

in Ramon

Santana,

for over

a decade Rodriguez treated poor

patients free of charge or for very little

and made available great quantities of

medicine for free. In 1921, she studied

gynecology, obstetrics, and pediatrics

at the University of Paris. She graduated

in 1925 and returned to the Dominic

Republic where she was able to work

more effectively with her patients by

delivering babies, offering medical

advice, and visiting local prostitutes to

educate and advise them on sexually

transmitted illnesses. In the late 1930s,

Rodriguez was politically active as an

outspoken opponent of the Trujillo

dictatorship and contributed articles

to several journals and newspapers,

including one titled Femina. Throughout

her whole life, she advocated for

women’s suffrage as well as for broad

social and economic reforms.

Dolores Huerta

Dolores Huerta founded the Agricultural

Workers Association while serving

in the Stockton Community Service

Organization (CSO), where she initiated

voter registration drives and

pressured local governments for barrio

improvements. Upon meeting César

E. Chávez, a colleague that shared the

same desire to organize farmworkers,

resigned from the CSO and in 1962

established the National Farm Workers

Association. In 1963, Huerta secured

Aid For Dependent Families (AFDC) and

disability insurance for farmworkers in

California. She also played an essential

role in the enactment of the Agricultural

Labor Relations Act of 1975, a law that

was the first of its kind in the United

States to grant farmworkers in California

the right to organize to bargain for better

working conditions and wages. Huerta

continues to work tirelessly for those that

are unfamiliar with the benefits they are

entitled to or the laws that protect them,

and as the founder and president of the

Dolores Huerta Foundation, she pursues

social justice by inspiring and organizing

communities in disenfranchised regions

of California.

The Dolores Huerta Foundation.

8


General Photograph Collection/UTSA Libraries Special Collections.

Jovita Idár

From a young age Jovita Idár was

interested in journalism and political

activism due to being inspired by her

father Nicasio Idár; a newspaper editor

and civil rights advocate. While working

for her father’s paper La Crónica,

she wrote articles about racism and

support for the Mexican Revolution.

In 1911, the First Mexican Congress

was organized by Idár and her family

to unify Mexicans across the border

to fight injustice where issues such as

education and economic resources were

often discussed. After the Congress, Idár

turned to write about women’s rights

which led to the founding of La Liga

Feminil Mexicaista in 1911, a feminist

organization that provided education

for Mexican-American students. A few

years later, Idár served as a nurse in

Mexico during the revolution, where she

joined La Cruz Blanca, a group similar to

the Red Cross. After returning to Texas

later that year, she began working at

the El Progreso newspaper and wrote

an article opposing President Wilson’s

decision in sending United States troops

9

to the Southern border. When the United

States Army and Texas Rangers arrived

at the offices of El Progreso because

they disliked what she had written, Idár

refused to let them in and stood in front

of the door. Although they returned later

to shut down El Progreso, Idár continued

to write by returning to La Crónica and

ran the newspaper in 1914 when her

father passed away. After marrying

and moving to San Antonio, Texas, she

fought for equal rights for women in the

Democratic Party in Texas and was an

editor of El Heraldo Cristiano. She was

constantly active in her community,

later starting a free kindergarten for

children and volunteering in a hospital

as an interpreter for Spanish-speaking

patients.

Felisa Rincón de Gautier

Called Doña Fela by the public, Fela

was the mayor of San Juan, Puerto

Rico in 1946 and consequently the first

female mayor of a capital city in the

Americas. Devoted to the public welfare

by improving housing, health, and

employment

for the

residents

of the city,

Doña Fela

was reelected

four

times and

was a wellloved

figure

throughout

Puerto Rico.

An active

advocate

Fundación Felisa Rincón de Gautier.


for women’s

suffrage in

Puerto Rico

and member

of the Liberal

Party, she was

the fifth woman

on the island to

register to vote

and became the

Liberal Party’s

representative

for the

registration of

women. After the defeat of the Liberal

Party in 1936, Doña Fela aided Luis

Muñoz Marín (future governor of Puerto

Rico from 1949-1965) in establishing

the Popular Democratic Party (PPD)

in 1938. In 1940, she was designated

the President of the PPD’s San Juan

Committee and accepted the position as

mayor of San Juan in 1946 after Mayor

Roberto Sánchez Vilella resigned. As

mayor, Doña Fela distributed resources

to poor children, offered legal aid to

low-income residents, and built centers

for the elderly. The San Juan Municipal

Hospital, under her careful renovation,

was the first on the island to receive

full accreditation from the American

Hospital Association, and also laid the

foundations for the founding of the

School of Medicine in 1950. In 1949, she

established “Maternal Schools,” centers

meant for childcare that allowed women

to find careers outside of the household

and that also served as a model for

the federal Head Start program in the

United States. After leaving office, she

remained active in politics by partaking

The Costa Rica Star.

in committees that focused on urban

issues and was the Goodwill Ambassador

to countries across the world.

Karen Christiana Figueres Olsen

For almost all of her life, Figueres has

been involved in activism pertaining

to climate change, sustainable

development and energy, and land

use. Globally recognized as a leader on

climate change, Figueres was elected

Executive Secretary of the United

Nations Framework Convention on

Climate Change (UNFCCC) from 2010

to 2016. For those six years, she worked

to reassemble the global climate change

negotiating process which led to the

2015 Paris Agreement (a plan in which

each country must deduce, plan and

continuously report on its contributions

towards reducing global warming). She is

the co-founder of Global Optimism, has

served as chair of the Advisory Board

of The Lancet Countdown: Tracking

Progress on Health and Climate Change,

and is the co-author of the book “The

Future We Choose: Surviving the Climate

Crisis.”

10


El Faro/Fred Ramos.

Claudia Paz y Paz

Claudia Paz y Paz was the first woman to serve as the Attorney General in

Guatemala. She made it her mission to reduce crime, punish criminals, and

ensure that the law guaranteed equality, justice, and peace for all. She worked

as a judge, national consultant to the UN Mission in Guatemala, and founded

the Institute for Comparative Criminal Studies of Guatemala before becoming

Attorney General in 2010. As Attorney General, Paz y Paz immediately began

setting records such as arresting more drug traffickers in the first six months

of her term than in the past ten years, catching five of Guatemala’s ten most

wanted criminals. She also resolved ten times more cases of violence against

women and homicide than under any previous leadership. She improved

evidence analysis by fortifying a crime investigation unit and opened 24-hour

courts so cases of violence against women could be expedited. She went

after high-ranking combatants of the civil war for war crimes and was the first

Guatemalan law enforcement official to do so, succeeding in convicting four of

the soldiers for the 1982 Dos Erres massacre. Believing that all are equal before

the law, Paz y Paz has spent her life demonstrating that justice is possible in her

forceful dismantling of corruption.

11


Photo by Ruth Chincanchan

When I think of you, I see light.

I see a beautiful brown girl

soft black curls,

Golden skin,

And laughter.

When I think of you,

I remember watching cartoons on those bright Saturday mornings,

The food fights and skating on the soapy kitchen floor.

I feel the princess dresses brushing against our legs,

hear the clicking of plastic slippers we wore with confidence.

I see a ferocious leader with a smile full of innocence.

When I picture your eyes, full of hope.

I remember the memories we made together,

the love we had for each other.

And then you left.

You were gone and I was alone.

That once bright light extinguished.

Gone was the hope in our smile and the light in our eyes.

The days full of happy laughter silently faded.

The bliss of our ignorance fleeting.

Life crept in forcing you to hide.

Mi

Niña

by Angie Santos

Experiences aged us

Hateful words scarred us

backhanded comments became insecurities

Discrimination became the norm

But through it all, you stayed

You became our safe haven

You showed me there was strength in emotion

Power in vulnerability

I have found you once again mi niña

And I will love you

Always.

12


Photo by Ruth Chincanchan

by Jonathan Valenzuela

Re-evaluating How We See Novelas

13


The infamous telenovela is a genre that

most Latinos grew up with, whether in

our countries of origin or the United

States with channels such as Univision or

Telemundo. It is a staple that has marked

our lives, as the memories of watching

novelas with our families highlight them

in our minds and give us a rose-tinted

vision of how they are. However, the

harsh reality is that nostalgia blinds us

to the unfortunate truths of telenovelas,

and how they are not the best media for

the Latinx community.

One of my favorite novelas that I

remember watching at a young age is

Teresa, and we all remember iconic

quotes like “Entre ser o no ser, yo soy”

and “Odio ser pobre, lo odio.” This novela

told the story of Teresa, a young lady

wanting to succeed and exit poverty

through whatever means possible, as

it engaged audiences with its longentailing

plot and continues to influence

Latinx generations. However, within

this Mexican novela, we have to look at

the main characters’ representation.

Angelique Boyer, the actress who played

Teresa, is herself French and grew up

in Mexico. Boyer is a white, light-eyed

woman in a country where the majority

of people, 53% according to a study

by the Latin American Public Opinion

Project at Vanderbilt University (LAPOP),

are of mixed-race origins. Sebastian

Rulli, who played the male protagonist,

is an Argentine man with a lighter

complexion and eurocentric features.

Looking outside just the origins of the

protagonists, we must look at the cast

of this and many other novelas, who

tend to be lighter-skinned people while

those who are of darker complexion are

relegated to either playing maids and

staff or villains. One example of this is in

Cuidado con el Ángel, where one of the

only Afro-Latinx characters portrays a

violent villain.

Mexico and Mexican-oriented content

falls behind other Latin American

countries such as Argentina, Brazil,

Chile, and Colombia, all who have more

socially forward content. Argentine

and Chilean television has featured gay

characters much earlier than Mexican

television. The Argentine telenovela

Verano del 98 had a kiss with two men

in a prime-time show in 1999, almost

twenty years before the first prime-time

Mexican show Papá a toda Madre would

in 2017. Colombian telenovelas have

given greater visibility to non-white and

mestizo people, so far as to have Afro-

Latinos being the protagonists of some

shows. One example is with La Mamá del

10, which features an Afro-Colombian

woman as the main protagonist. Not only

that, but the shows in these countries

tend to give deeper stories to these

characters, rather than simply portraying

them as stereotypes.

Highlighting Mexico’s problematic

reluctance to be socially forward, the

main Mexican production company,

Televisa, remade both Verano del 98 and

La Mamá del 10 but removed the gay

characters and Afro-Latina protagonists,

respectively.

14


The issue is, the Spanish-language

television seen in the United States is

produced mostly in Mexico, meaning,

most of the content being consumed is

catered to a Mexican audience. Due to

this centrism, the social advancements

of other countries have unfortunately

been unable to be seen within the media.

Nonetheless, novelas in Mexico have

begun to make strides towards better

representation such as, the 2019 novela

“Juntos, el corazon nunca se equivoca”,

which was one of the first to include a

gay couple front and center. Another

example is with the telenovela Amar a

Muerte, released in 2018, which featured

a lesbian couple in its subplot. However,

this process pales in comparison to

other television companies who’ve been

advancing faster socially than the wellestablished

production companies.

Netflix is producing more content with

better representation of non-white and

Mestizo Latinx actors and queer stories

that novelas hadn’t bothered to cover

before. An example of a series that does

this is, La Casa de las Flores by Netflix,

which contains multiple queer stories

and went into deeper themes that many

have been wanting to see from Spanishlanguage

content. Telemundo, a Spanishlanguage

content producer, has recently

been making more progressive strides

than the Mexico-based Televisa, most

recently with La Suerte de Loli. This

telenovela grants visibility to traditionally

underrepresented Latinos, notably

Asian-Latinx, Afro-Latinx, Plus-Size, and

Queer Latinx people.

Nostalgia can be a wonderful thing, it

brings us back to better times and makes

us feel good. It comes in various different

forms and telenovelas are no exception.

We feel happy and nostalgic when we

see novelas such as Rebelde, Teresa,

Rubí, and Cuidado con el Ángel but

unfortunately, in retrospect, they have

many painfully obvious flaws that we

have to take into consideration. You can

and should continue to enjoy this content

but always make sure that you do not

let nostalgia blind you to the issues that

plague telenovelas and Spanish-language

content.

Telenovelas have united us through

good memories and are still enjoyable

to watch but we need to keep in mind

what telenovelas lack and demand

improvement from our media. We

deserve better, our community and

people deserve to see themselves in the

media we consume.

ostalgia

15


Lamento Boliviano

Suga Suga - Baby Bash

Ahora te Puedes Marchar

Los Enanitos Verdes

Don’t Speak - No Doubt

El Listón De Tu Pelo

Luis Miguel

Los angeles Azules

Hips Don’t Lie - Shakira

If I Ain’t Got You - Alicia Keys

Complicated - Avril Lavigne

You Get what You Give

What’s Luv - Fat Joe

New Radicals

Eres Para Mí

El Sol no Regresa

ft. Ja Rule & Ashanti

Julieta Venegas

La Quinta Estación

P.s. Listen here! ->

16


ROM

OMA

OMA

Roma

by Emilia Acevedo

I grew up with two mothers: one of them

shared my blood, married and divorced

my dad, and I called her mom; the other

came from a small pueblo three hours

from Mexico City, and I called her by her

first name. Rosi was our maid. She had

worked with my family since I was four

years old and my sister was two. She

wasn’t a sweet woman. Most of the time

she wasn’t even a nice woman, and yet,

I was closer to her than I was to most of

my family. Sadly, in 2015, she left and,

despite her meanness and her hostile

personality, it felt like a family member

had gone and never came back. After a

couple of years, Mari came along. She

showed up in 2017 when I was already

15 years old and in high school, so it

felt like she didn’t impact my childhood

as much, but she still became family

within a couple of months. She is almost

entirely the opposite of Rosi, she is kind,

funny, caring, and extremely determined.

She isn’t very affectionate, and she hates

getting her picture taken, but she always

has a smile along with something kind

and unexpectedly wise to say. Over the

last four years, she has become a part

17


A

of my family and has been our greatest

companion and friend. She has changed

my life for the better and she teaches me

something new every day. And despite all

this, her life outside of my home remains

almost entirely a mystery to my family

and me.

The movie Roma by Alfonso Cuarón

follows Cleo, a maid working for an

upper-middle-class family in Mexico

City throughout a year in her life,

both in the family’s house and in her

ventures outside of the family. The

movie is a tribute to the day-to-day

life of an upper-middle-class family in

70’s Mexico City and a reality based on

Cuarón’s childhood memories and his

recollections of Libo, his family’s maid

during his childhood. Deep into his

adulthood and career as a professional

filmmaker, Cuarón felt that he owed

some sort of tribute or recognition to

women, like Libo, who are the backbone

and balance of Mexican society. Cleo

represents this in the film, and Rosi

and Mari have represented it in my own

life. The movie deals with classism and

racism, among other social issues, which

are still present in Mexican society even

50 years after the movie’s setting. It

reflects the way that these racist and

classist tendencies, represented through

the treatment of Cleo and other maids,

are embedded within our country. There

are over 2.3 million domestic workers in

Mexico, most of which are regarded as

inferior and less worthy, and are treated

as such.

The film’s cinematography itself is

designed to evoke nostalgia. The film is

shot in a digital black and white rather

than a stylized cinematic black and

white. Even though the film is meant

to evoke a sense of nostalgia and of

looking into the past, Cuarón did not

intend for it to have the “vintage” feel

we all know so well. This choice was an

attempt to get his audience to regard the

film as a memory; as looking back at a

moment in time from the present, in full

consciousness, rather than being entirely

transported to the past. Cuarón’s intent

was to play with the audience’s senses

to provide the fullest, most complete

experience of memory. In addition to

sight, Cuarón utilizes sound to submerge

the audience in as full of a nostalgic

experience as possible. The attention to

detail in both the sound design and the

visuals of the film is one of the reasons

why it was so successful both in Mexico

and internationally. Through the streets

in the movie, you can hear and see the

street vendors that, to this day, roam

Mexico City shouting the same lines and

selling the same puppets, balloons, and

whistles as they did in the 70s; they are

part of an iconic Mexican image you

cannot find anywhere else.

The film begins with a shot pointing at

a tile floor. The camera stays still for a

minute or so before there is any sort

of movement, only for the stillness to

be broken by a wave of water mixed

with soap, and the sound of a broom

sweeping and cleaning the floor. Even

after having moved out of my Mexico

18


City home almost four years ago, this

scene evokes nostalgia in me with the

memory of the sound of the broom’s

strokes against my patio floor. Once

the setting is as close to fully nostalgic

and accurate as possible, Cleo and the

family she works for enter the picture.

After another two minutes of looking at

what is now a puddle of water and soap

all while listening to the broom’s strokes

against the tile floor, the camera moves

up to discover Cleo. She is going about

her day, cleaning the house, and doing

so entirely tranquil and content. She

then picks the kids up from school and

makes lunch for the family. At night, the

children’s father comes home and takes a

painfully long time to park his car in their

minuscule driveway, similar to one I know

too well. While the family watches TV on

the couch, Cleo sits on the floor and one

of the children puts his arm around her,

only to have her stand back up when she

is asked to get some tea for the family’s

dad — highlighting the line that still exists

between worker and family. This is an

extraordinarily ordinary routine that is

somehow relatable to most upper-middleclass

Mexican families, as the quotidian

nature of the film makes it extraordinary.

There are events in the film that reflect

the extraordinary within the ordinary

in day-to-day life. A depiction of the

complexities of domestic workers’ lives

that we, as part of the families they work

for, live blissfully yet carelessly unaware

of. Half an hour into the film, Cleo finds

out that she is pregnant. She tells the

father of the baby, Fermín, about the

pregnancy at a movie theater. During

the last couple of minutes of the show,

he leaves the

theater to go to the

bathroom and never

comes back, leaving

Cleo to deal with the

baby on her own. Cleo

then tells her boss, the

family’s mother, that she is

pregnant and asks for her help.

Her boss agrees to help her, but

never finds out anything else about

her circumstances or background.

The children, of course, never find out

about Cleo’s pregnancy or they do not

acknowledge it. Eventually, when Cleo

is about to give birth, she is taken to the

hospital by the family’s grandmother,

and when the grandmother is asked the

most basic information about Cleo, all

she knows is Cleo’s name and that she is

family. Cleo’s childbirth, unfortunately,

ends in a heartbreaking scene as her

child is stillborn. This event is scarring

and life-changing for anyone that

experiences something even remotely

similar, yet, Cleo mourns it and then

moves on. The lack of conversation

between Cleo and anyone outside of

the family regarding her child keeps

the audience in the dark about her life

beyond the family. This maintains the

sense that we can never fully know, nor

are we truly invested in knowing what

goes on in maids’ lives beyond our homes.

According to an article by The Guardian,

90% of domestic workers in Mexico are

19


Art by Haven Jovel Morales

women and

one in five started

working

before the legal age

of 16. A lot of these women are the sole

source of income in their homes and are

forced to work in order to maintain their

families. Many of them reside in small

pueblos and Indigenous communities far

away and have to travel far from home in

order to work, as the largest sources of

income and job opportunities are in big

cities such as Mexico City. The hardships

that domestic workers experience are

reflected in Roma in a heartbreakingly

realistic and raw depiction of the love

and pain that they experience, and

the importance of their presence in

families across the country. The foremost

nostalgia I experienced when watching

the film, was not for my country nor

for my

family, but

for what domestic

workers have meant to me

throughout the years. The dedication

to the families they work for and the

hardships that they endure, unfiltered

and displayed in their full reality. Most

importantly, their commitment to working

in order to provide for themselves and for

their families, and to persevere regardless

of what life throws at them in a racist

and classist society that does not view

them as equals. I do believe, however,

that Cuarón’s tribute to Libo has played

an important role in the recognition of

the work of domestic workers and is a

reminder of their relevance in our society.

20


Photos by Ruth Chincanchan

by Destiny Diaz

21


I showered with the door open

the bathroom door unlocked

I hoped that as I rinsed my hair of suds

you’d somehow find your way back

that when I opened my eyes

I’d find you crawling into the shower

with me like you would do before.

The only thing that came in

was this cold breeze

invited in by open doors.

You weren’t coming back.

I knew this and still

I waited.

The water got cold.

The steam faded.

and still I waited.

I’m not sure what stung more

the ice that slid down my spine

reminding me of how long

I had been standing there

or the pain that settled in

the next morning when I went

to brush my teeth and saw

the shower door was still open.

It became one of my daily reminders

that you had left and I had stayed.

And I had waited far too long

for you to come in and wash me.

I began to hate the bathroom.

I avoided it.

Do you know how mad

you have to be to want to shower

but to loathe the loneliness

of the task so much so you never try?

It took me 3 days.

3 days to try again and still even then

I cried. But crying felt good.

Like I was weeping for everything

that was and could have been.

Because I couldn’t face

the faucet without you

Because you weren’t coming back

and I needed to shower.

I almost lost myself to the drain that day.

But I survived, picked myself up

off the bathroom floor

silenced the roaring waters.

I decided to wash me.

Wash your memory off of me

and keep the me you chose to leave.

I learned to wash her hair,

to massage her feet and calves.

I decided to learn to love

to shower again.

And I am so glad I did,

because you didn’t come back

And I would have waited there forever

For you to come in and wash me.

Instead I learned to love me.

22


by Jennifer Rosario Arriaga

Hace 27 años que mi papá no ha

regresado a México. A los 17 años,

todavía era un niño. Mi papá sabía lo

que estaba dejando atrás: su familia, su

hogar, su pueblo, pero no se esperaba

el dolor que venía con el don de estar

separado de la gente que más ama en

la vida. Igualmente, mi mamá lleva 20

años sin ver a su familia y eso viene

siendo toda mi vida. En 20 años, nunca

he estado lejos de mi familia por más

de unos meses a la vez, y no me puedo

imaginar no tener la posibilidad de tener

el cariño y apoyo que mis padres me

han dado todos estos años. Aunque han

pasado tantos años que mis padres no

han regresado a México, siempre se

recuerdan de los detalles pequeños. A

veces, siento que a mis padres no les

gusta hablar de su niñez ni de sus vidas

en México porque les trae tristeza. Sin

embargo, las veces que si comparten

de sus vidas en México recuerdan a sus

padres. Tienen tanta nostalgia de no

poder verlos ni abrazarlos, pero siempre

comparten sus recuerdos felices cuando

se les vienen a la mente.

Es muy difícil poder hablar con mi papá

sinceramente sobre su niñez porque

siente que hubo mucho dolor en su

pasado y nunca quiero que me cuente

algo traumático de su niñez que no

23


está listo para compartir conmigo. Por

eso, muchas de las conversaciones

que he tenido con mi papá son como

rompecabezas porque nunca cuentan de

su vida completa y yo misma tengo que

juntar las historias de su vida para poder

entender porqué ciertas cosas le dan

felicidad o tristeza.

Photos from Jennifer Rosario Arriaga

Por ejemplo, algo simple que he

aprendido de mi papá es que le encantan

los trenes. Siempre que ve un tren, le

llama mucho la atención y le encanta

subirse en los recorridos en tranvía en

los Estudios Universales, Hollywood y en

los trenes de Disneylandia. Aunque mi

familia y yo disfrutamos de los paseos

en el parque temático, mi papá estaba

contento con tal de dar recorridos del

parque en los trenes por horas hasta

que regresábamos por él. Se nos

hacía chistoso y no sabíamos porque

le fascinaban tanto los trenes hasta

recientemente cuando me contó que uno

de sus pasatiempos favoritos y recuerdos

de niño era cuando su abuelo lo llevaba

a la Ciudad de México en autobús y

regresaban por tren. Le encantaba pasar

por el monte y ver los paisajes cuando

estaba con él. Mi papá siempre me

dice, “Como quisiera regresar al tiempo

cuando éramos niños; cuando no te

importaba nada de las preocupaciones

de la vida hoy.” Mi papá solía contarme:

“Mi abuelo me llevaba de la mano a

los 5 o 6 años. Nada más la

dicha de que me llevara, me daba

felicidad pero también siempre me

compraba algo. Él fue el primero

que me llevó a la Ciudad de México.

Nos fuimos en autobús pero

24


regresamos en tren. Una vez nos

fuimos a la Ciudad de México y nos

dejó el tren en la ciudad de

Veracruz... pero eso tiene ya hace

muchos años. Si no me llevaba con

él, lloraba. También íbamos a

cuidar a los borregos en el monte

y abrazábamos a los pequeños. Era

nuestra niñez. No había

computadoras ni teléfonos, ni

internet. Si te enseñaron a contar,

era de contar borregos. No se

compara a la actualidad que vivimos

ahorita.”

Mi papá tiene mucha nostalgia

cuando recuerda a sus abuelos, y

afortunadamente todavía tiene a sus

padres. En el caso de mi mamá, ella no

creció con sus padres pero tuvo mis

bisabuelos, quienes la cuidaron como si

fueran sus padres. Mi bisabuela, María

Manuela Díaz, falleció en octubre de

2012. Recuerdo que fue pesado para

mi mamá tener que perder a su mamá y

no podía consolarla ni entender lo que

estaba sintiendo. Al solo tener 19 años

con ella, mi mamá sufrió mucho porque

no tuvo la oportunidad de cuidarla

y tener su apoyo cuando tuvo a mis

hermanos en los Estados Unidos.

Comparada con mi papá, mi mamá

siempre habla de su mamá. Cuando

nos está cocinando algo, siempre nos

cuenta una historia de cuando cocinaba

con ella o cuando iban a la plaza para

comprar chiles. Muchas de las historias

que nos cuenta de su niñez son sobre

su mamá, especialmente cuando iban a

cuidar a las vacas cuando iban a dar a

luz. Nos contaba que a veces se dormían

ahí para poder estar atentos y ayudar a

las vacas. Igual que mi papá, reconozco

que mi mamá también extraña tanto los

momentos en su pueblo y los recuerdos

que tiene con su familia. Sé que extraña

tanto ir a cuidar a las vacas con sus

hermanas y mamá que decoró su cocina

con cortinas y toallas de diseño de piel

de vaca y siempre se pone contenta

cuando mira las vacas en los files por

nuestra casa en el valle central.

Todos los recuerdos que mi mamá tiene

de su mamá le traen mucha nostalgia

pero aprecio las historias que me cuenta

y trato de conocer lo más que puedo

sobre mi bisabuela por sus historias

ya que no la pude conocer. Mi mamá

siempre me dice que siempre recuerda

las veces que pasaron juntas y de

repente saber que no está, le da mucha

tristeza. Mi mamá contaba:

“Cuando estaba triste o tenía un

problema, mi mamá siempre

estaba ahí. Ella era muy de

apapachar. Siempre te escucha;

siempre estaba ahí, simplemente

con su presencia.

Era muy paciente

en escucharte y

siempre me

estaba

preguntando

cómo estaba.

Siempre tenía el

apoyo de ella.

Recuerdo cuando

salimos al río

cuando de repente

no había agua en

25


la casa. Íbamos al río para lavar

ropa. En vez de verlo como un

trabajo, era una diversión para

nosotras. Mis hermanas y yo

jugábamos… el agua en los pies,

jugando con cualquier cosa ahí. De

repente nos mandaba a tender ropa.

Después, mi mamá llenaba su

canastita de ropa y nos regresamos

a la casa. Todos querían ir con mi

mamá porque era divertido. Algo

que extraño también es cuando

siempre íbamos en familia los jueves

a comer barbacoa de borrego en la

plaza. Esos eran los momentos

felices con mi mamá, y mi papá

también.”

Los recuerdos de mis padres se basan

más allá de sus experiencias en la

escuela o en el pueblo, y se enfocan más

en los recuerdos que tuvieron con sus

familias. Mi papá decía, “A veces, tienes

una necesidad de verlos, aunque les

dices que tienes

todo, siempre te

faltan ellos. No

siempre estás

completo, te falta algo. Hay nostalgia en

tenerlos lejos.”

Aunque mis padres quisieran regresar a

México para estar con sus familias, no es

posible en este momento. Mi papá habla

de regresar a México con mi mamá para

casarse después de que todos sus hijos

se gradúen de la universidad. En ese

caso, yo me quedaría sin ellos y sería la

misma experiencia que ellos tuvieron al

solo tener sus padres por su juventud.

Pero yo no estoy opuesta a que se vayan

porque he visto el dolor que han tenido

en perder a sus seres queridos y sé que

se sentirán más felices en México. Igual,

tengo esperanza que en el futuro yo

podré ir a visitarlos si fuera el caso. Por

eso mismo, yo trato de disfrutar todos

los momentos que tengo con mis padres,

porque en algún futuro serán recuerdos

del pasado.

Photos from Jennifer Rosario Arriaga

26


Photo by Ruth Chincanchan

by Claudia Ledesma Rodriguez

Fundada en 1889, Tijuana B.C,

México se ha visto en un proceso

continuo de transformaciones

causados principalmente por ser

una ciudad fronteriza. En el 2015, se

estimó una población de 1,641,570

habitantes y para el 2020 hubo un

aumento de 5,25%. Este crecimiento

es debido a que Tijuana es una

ciudad fronteriza en la que cada

año, personas de distintos países

y estados llegan a la ciudad en

tránsito a Estados Unidos o tienen

la necesidad de establecerse en

ella debido a no poder cruzar la

frontera hacia EE.UU. Para los

demás, este ha sido su hogar desde

nacimiento y han sido testigos de

la modernización y el cambio. A

escuchar el nombre Tijuana gente de

otros países, en especial de Estados

Unidos, asocian automáticamente

el nombre Tijuana con violencia.

Según BBC News Mundo, en marzo

del 2019 un informe del Consejo

Ciudadano para la Seguridad

Pública y la Justicia Penal (CCSPJP),

colocó a Tijuana entre una de las 50

ciudades más violentas del mundo.

A pesar de estas cifras, Tijuana es

una ciudad llena de esperanza y

belleza, cultura y diversidad. Por

medio de esta recolección y toma de

fotografías se espera capturar una

Tijuana del pasado y del presente.

Se espera reflejar ante los ojos del

espectador un sentido de nostalgia

de la historia del pasado y con

esperanza de un futuro mejor pero

sin olvidar lo que alguna vez fue.

27


Bancroft Library, Berkeley, CA.

pictures from

the past

Pictures from the Past

Lic. Alejandro F. Lugo Jr

Avenida Revolución y calle Segunda en el año 1907 tenían solo pocas tiendas y los

caminos eran de tierra. Por ser ciudad fronteriza, muchos estadounidenses llegaban

en sus carruajes a visitar y divertirse ya que la ciudad contaba con cabarets y bares.

Estampillas con las fotografías del Lic. Alejandro F. Lugo Jr y del archivo fotográfico

de la biblioteca Bancroft, de Berkeley, Cta.

present

Present

Garita Internacional San Ysidro-Tijuana.

Hoy en día la garita más transitada del

mundo. Cada día, miles de personas

cruzan la frontera en carro o a pie hacia

los Estados Unidos. En 1947 se registró

la construcción de la primera garita. Con

el incremento del flujo de personas, la

garita se fue actualizando hasta tener lo

que podemos ver en la actualidad con las

largas filas diariamente.

Photo from Claudia Ledesma Rodriguez.

28


El Gran Cinema Tijuana,

calle 5ta Zona Centro.

Fue construido a finales

de 1930 y cerró a finales

de los años 70. Con su

reapertura su nombre

cambió a “Cine latino”y

en la actualidad, el

cine continúa dando

funciones de películas

tanto familiares como

para adultos.Zona

Urbana, Rio Tijuana. El

río forma una línea que

va desde Tijuana y lo

conecta con Estados

Unidos y el Océano

Pacifico.

Photo from Claudia Ledesma Rodriguez.

Zona Urbana, Rio

Tijuana. El río forma

una línea que va desde

Tijuana y lo conecta

con Estados Unidos y

el Océano Pacifico.

29

Photo from Claudia Ledesma Rodriguez.


Templo de Tijuana,

construido del 2009-

2015. En la parte de atrás

se encuentra el “Cerro

Colorado”, un emblema

de Tijuana. La leyenda

cuenta de un guerrero

llamado Tihuan Cashian.

Era respetado por muchos

excepto por un brujo quien

se convirtió en su asesino.

Antes de morir Tihuan le

dijo a su esposa que el

mal hubiera perdido si

una montaña se hubiera

encontrado ahí. Fue así que

él se convirtió en el Cerro

Colorado con el propósito de

cuidar a su gente.

Photo from Claudia Ledesma Rodriguez.

Photo from Claudia Ledesma Rodriguez.

Reloj Monumental Tijuana,

Avenida Revolución

inaugurado en el 2001. Una

placa fue colocada junto al

reloj donde se describe a

este arco como un “símbolo

de la fortaleza y unión de sus

habitantes hacia el nuevo

milenio”.

30


Illustration by Haven Jovel Morales


Ashley Huendo

Major: History & Digital

Humanities

Hometown: Long Beach,

CA

Farewell Message:

“During my four years

with La Gente, I had the

honor of being part of

an amazing organization

filled with amazing

people. As a kid fresh

out of high school, I had

no idea that choosing to

intern at La Gente would

lead to developing more

confidence in my abilities.

I’m excited for the future

of La Gente and I look

forward to seeing all of the

great work.”

Lesley Ramirez

Major: English major and

Labor Studies minor

Hometown: Culver City,

CA

Farewell Message: “It’s

been fun working with all

of the colorful, spirited

and bright people of

La Gente! Good luck

everyone!”

Andrew Valdovinos

Major: American

Literature and Culture

Hometown: South Central

LA, CA

Farewell Message:

“Emotional negligence

carries a profound impact

on our perception of life,

nurture feelings more than

people for a connection

based in longevity.”

32


Angela Vargas

Major: Sociology major and Labor Studies minor

Hometown: South Gate, CA

Farewell Message: “I wasn’t entirely aware of the

impact La Gente would have on me when I first joined as

a college freshman. These last four years have brought

me beautiful friendships, comfort, encouragement, and

inspiration. I will forever be grateful for our tiny office

and the endless amount of love and talent that lives in

those four walls. I can’t wait to see what future gentistas

will do with the space and will forever be rooting for this

staff.”

Melissa Díaz

Major: Political Science with a concentration in Race,

Ethnicity, and Politics. Minors in Global Studies, Gender

Studies, and Musicology

Hometown: Los Angeles, CA

Farewell Message: “I sought to join La Gente looking for

a creative community with individuals who had a similar

background and identity to mine. I found that, and

much more. I am so grateful to have been part of this

great organization throughout my college career, and

to have witnessed the growth La Gente has undergone.

The welcoming environment, and creative, passionate

community is something I will hold near and dear to my

heart. Thank you.”

Rebecca Gutierrez

Major: English major and Labor Studies minor

Hometown: Highland Park, CA

Farewell Message: “Meeting in Kerckhoff, was a

highlight of my week. I love La Gente and I am forever

grateful for the memories and people I met throughout

my undergrad<3”

33


Claudia Ledesma Rodriguez

Major: English

Hometown: Tijuana, B.C

Farewell Message: “I want to give thanks to La Gente

for giving me the opportunity to be part of this amazing

community. To my editors who helped me grow and

gave me their support along the way and to all the lovely

staff, writers, and content creators. Without each and

every one of them, La Gente Newsmagazine would

not be what it is today. Thank you for making my last

transfer year an awesome experience!”

Melissa Gonzalez

Major: American Literature and Culture and Chicana/o

and Central American Studies minor

Hometown: Chino, CA

Farewell Message: “I am so glad that I was a part of La

Gente during my final year at UCLA. My favorite part

was meeting new people, getting to read amazing work

before they were published, and getting to see everyone

creatively work together to make meaningful content. I

highly encourage joining the team, it made my senior so

much more rewarding.”

Jessica Jimenez

Major: Sociology and Chicana/o and Central American

Studies minor

Hometown: San Fernando Valley, CA

Farewell Message: “I am so thankful to have been a

part of La Gente. I have gotten to meet so many people

and tap into different levels of my creativity I did not

know were possible. Being a part of La Gente has given

me a sense of community and I will forever cherish the

memories I have made.”

Nayeli Velarde

Major: Political Science and Chicana/o and Central

American Studies minor

Hometown: San Ysidro/Tijuana, B.C

Farewell Message: “don’t ever try to break in dr martens

by going up the hill #ouch”

34


staff Staff

Front and Back Cover Art

Ruth Chincanchan

Editor in Chief

Angela Vargas

Managing Editor

Melissa Díaz

Web Manager

Rebecca Gutierrez

Visual Editor

Haven Jovel Morales

Layout Design Editor

Cristelle Hugo

Head of Copy

Rebecca Gutierrez

Content Editors

Karim Hyderali

Kevin Bernal-Rivera

Sofia Rizkkhalil

Spanish Editors

Ashley Huendo

Casandra Georgina

Chamorro

Social Media

Coordinators

Haile Arriaza

Casandra Georgina

Chamorro

Radio Coordinator

Alvaro Hernandez

Copy Editors

Marisol Huerta-Ontiveros

Laysha Macedo

Andrea Serrato

Isabella Poma

Jacqueline Silva

Melissa Gonzalez

Staff Writers

Jennifer Rosario Arriaga

Nayeli Guadalupe Velarde

Sarah Mejia

Janet Elizabeth Rivera

Sandra Ocampo

Alize Magaña

Espy de la O

Angie Esther Santos

Destiny Piedad Diaz

Andrew Valdovinos

Jerylee Perez

Carol Ann Martinez

Kimberly Cienfuegos

Miriam Torres Sanchez

Spanish Team

Claudia Ledesma

Rodriguez

Emilia Acevedo Corona

Lesley Ramirez

Renee Grange

Jonathan Valenzuela

Mejia

Jacky Barragán

Visual Team

Ruth Chincanchan

Social Media Team

Paulina Fernandez-Garcia

Kimberly Cienfuegos

Juan M Antonio-Martinez

Radio Team

Jessica Elizabeth Jimenez

Marilyn Chavez-Martinez

Ruth Rodriguez

Lesley Ramirez

Web Design

Jennifer Garcia

35


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