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

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Para Los Imigrantes

Maneja Beto played a benefit concert for Casa Marianela last night. And they danced. They laughed.

Casa Marianella is an emergency shelter serving immigrants and refugees in Austin.

Casa Marianella has room to sleep 21 men and seven women and children each night. Under regular circumstances, a resident is given one month to stay at the house. The residents primarily come from Latin America, the majority from Mexico.

The show was very appropriate. I've heard the lyrics my friends sing, but hadn't really paid attention to all of them until last night. I wish more of the lyrics were posted on this page, because this isn't a true representation of what I am talking about. Some of the music talks about the immigrant struggle. It talks about the young immigrant men who didn't stop dancing all night. Casa Marianela invited it's residents to the show last night. It was interesting to see. Young immigrant men, young white hippies, and a good number of Chicana/os. I imagine most of the men at the show were not from Mexico, but from South and Central American countries. And they danced. They laughed.

The band opened up with a cumbia tribute to Rigo Tovar. They packed the dance floor and waited during songs. The band played. And they danced. They laughed.

I sat at a table looking at the dance floor, but thinking about many things. I wondered where these men/kids were from, how they got here, and what family they had to leave back home. I thought about how five hours earlier I was at work interviewing a young man from Guatemala trying to get his papers in order. He told me it took him three months to get to the United States. He walked, took the train, the bus, and walked some more. He was robbed three times. He had to leave some people behind. He swam across the river and now lives in North Carolina. He told me he can't go back to Guatemala, because there's nothing for him there. No jobs. No money. No food. "De que vive la gente?" I was curious to understand how people survived. "Me da verguenza decirte, pero roban." I couldn't believe that people stole for a living, but he insisted. His grandparents have been robbed three times in the last two months. He talked about the president, corruption, and leaving his country.

I watched the men dancing and thought of my cousin Edgar. He's still living somewhere near here. I don't know where. He's doesn't have papers. I haven't looked for him. What would we talk about? I could be him. Es primo. First cousin. He's not the only one. I have many cousins here de mojaditos (the addition of --itos, for oso). Am I so far removed. Yes, but not really. They danced. And they laughed. Then the band played my favorite, a rendition of Carabina 30/30 and I danced. I laughed.


Blogger Aleksu said...

Darn, Texican, you made me laugh and you made me cry with this post.

8:03 PM

Blogger cindylu said...

I've been thinking about things like this a lot. Maybe it's because I was listening to Tres Veces Mojados by Los Tigres del Norte while I was stuck in traffic. I felt like crying.

8:22 PM

Blogger Freebird said...

Fellow Texican here. Just wanted to say you have a great blog and I'll be reading.

9:02 PM

Anonymous Dave said...

Dude, very nice. I had no idea there was such an organization for immigrants in Austin. I'm going to have to check out Maneja Beto soon.

6:43 AM

Blogger oso said...

No tienes unas primitas para mi carnalito?

JK, that was seriously a beautiful post. I'm definitely gonna have to check out Maneja Beto one day soon.

7:22 PM

Blogger Fehnix. said...

Damn, that was deep.

It's interesting how most of us take education more seriously than others, perhaps because of our background and culture.

Oh, by the way, I will be checking out your blog from now on, a very good read indeed.

5:40 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, I thought the illegal Mexicans are suppose to go home now. You know, you're breaking the law. That's right, Mexicans don't believe in the law, that's why Mexico is such a dirt hole.

3:08 PM

Anonymous gregashton said...

Regarding 3:08 pm, Texas was stolen from Mexico, once it was stolen it was renamed. Stealing is against the law, why not return it to it's wrightful owner? Oh! Yeah, thats right poitics makes it okay.

4:36 PM

Anonymous Roy said...

re: gregashton,

Let's go past page 3 of your history book, o.k.? Texas was part of Mexico, Tejas y Coahuila, to be exact. "Mr. Napoleon of the West" decided that he didn't want those Tejanos doing their own thing, so he revoked a social contract with them. This caused the Tejanos to tell him, "La tuya, buey! We don't need you!" Their inspiration came from a country to the north that did the same to the British, several decades before.

Obviously, Mssr. SantaAna wasn't too pleased with that response, so he headed north to teach them a lesson they wouldn't soon forget.
Well, long story short, he got his butt handed back to him, and the Tejanos now had their own country.
The Tejanos had a problem, though. They had acquired a large debt and they didn't have a very effective army to defend themselves with. They told that neighboring country to the north that they were willing to become a state if they would pay off their debts and protect them. The US said, "Hey, sounds good to us" and Texas, the state, came to be, without ever having to be a US territory, like the rest of the states.

Oh, wait... You said stolen, didn't you. Let's go back a bit further. I believe it was, yes, it was Tony Santa Ana that stole that land from Spain, who had stolen the land from the Karankawa, the Kiowa, and Coahiltec, the Comanche, Apache,and so on and so forth... So, which rightful owner do we return it to?

a Tejano that really needs to get back to work...

3:13 PM


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