Ojo: The "Cholo Word Of The Day" is simply for fun. This is not an academic exercise, therefore I do not spend much time checking for espelling or grammatical errors. Most of the words are not only used by "cholos," but by many people in S. Texas - and their usage can vary. c/s

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Los Paisanos

My trip to the Valley was fantastic. I couldn't stop eating. My trip down there started well when I stopped at a gas station to fix the tarp I had placed over my mattress. I was moving a lot of my stuff to Austin. I was almost done fixing the tarp when a paisano walked over and asked if I needed help. I guess he saw me struggling. He was in a van, loaded up with bikes, toys, clothes, and a lot more, with about 8 other men. I found out they were all headed to Guanajuato.

You've seen them in you've traveled during the holidays on any major highway heading south. Paisanos are the folks who work in the States (usually Mexicans) and head back to Mexico for the holidays. Many of them have papers and many of them do not. It's much harder for a Paisano without papers to get back into the states, so they tend to travel less.

I don't know the numbers for how much money these folks send to Mexico (we've seen them before), or how many Paisanos head back, but it's chingos.

I think about Paisanos because when I was a reporter and President Vicente Fox had recently been elected he promised to help put an end to the corruption and violence against paisanos. Back in the day - this was the perfect time for Mexican officials to rip off their fellow countrymen. The fuzz knew the people heading back had money with them - so they would extort. I talked to many Paisanos and they always told me they were more afraid of the Mexican cops than the several thousands miles of travel. I think things are better now, at least I hope they are. I haven't heard of overwhelming complaints -- maybe because we're not listening any more or may because everything is better. Who knows.

My mom - probably wouldn't be considered a Paisana. She's lived in Texas for a long ass time, but she's on her way to visit my buelita in El Refugio. The reason - to drop off the "Ensure" milk she buys over here. It's good for old folks and in Mexico it costs chingos.


Blogger Frederick's Mom said...

So what did you think of da snow!?! Amazing, huh?

11:52 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

i grew up in colorado. we were here before they took the southwest from mexico. i find your natural style of writing very good. i encourage you to continue writing. you make what you write very human and interesting.
write a book of recollections i read alot and think your sensibility is worthy of publication.
think of all those you have encountered you are their voice.
write it is a natural ability and it is very important to narrate the human drama of 'la fronteral'.

i now live in nyc. the migration from the south is incredible. the energy to make money determines all.

12:58 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


I live in "el Valle" and i think its cool what u are doing here in your blog. Cool way of represanting the valley, and letting plp now about things like these. The snow was a very nice touch to a valley christmas, right?

6:55 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Que onda, Texican? Damn good blog...it makes this Laredo boy feel at home on the web. Sacaste el dedo con tu blog. Cuando estas en Austin, tira me un email a el_longhorn@yahoo.com y tomamos unas cervezas.

10:10 PM

Blogger cindylu said...

the remittances these paisanos send home keep many a town afloat. i forget the figures, but remittances are comparable to tourism in the benefits on mexico's economy.

12:31 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was very confused reading the Paisano blog. I was using a different meaning for Paisano...that is also a degragatory name for Italian Americans...

See, listening to Howard Stern can be educational...

11:24 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oye Texican,

I want to second what el manito from Colorado was saying--you are a firme writer. I was just procrastinating from getting started on my studies and I stumbled onto this blog.
Being a Central LA Chicano laying low in Oclan (Oakland baby!) whose maternal grandparents are from el valle, I find it interesting hearing your stories and observatiions about Texas. I have been there a couple of times and know so many stories from my grandparents, but I don't really know it.

Thanks for sharing your observations about el otro lado de Aztlan.


9:26 PM


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