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

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ay Dios, The Politics (and Politicos) of South Texas

Has it really been 4 years since I last posted on this blog? Hijuesu (or Ahijuesu) (or ay huesu) (or quien sabe)? I guess the primary reason that I can't believe that I stopped blogging is because there is so much good material from which to choose in South Texas. A quick rundown of things that have happened since I've been down here in the RGV again (since 2008): Cameron County DA Armando Villalobos gets 13 years in prison for corruption. His cohorts include State District Court Judge Abel Limas (6 years) and attorney Abel Marchan who committed suicide after having been convicted. I don't question whether these were good men before all of this mess. I don't know them but I think the number of people that they had standing by them shows that they were good people in general. They just did something very wrong. Closer to home in Hidalgo County everyone knows what The Panama Unit did. This all leads me to my point. Our mágico valle deserves better. No es por nada pero da vergüenza. I'm ashamed that we have to be associated with this because we deserve better. The raza that I grew up with works hard y también le gusta pachangiar. We give respect pero lo pedimos también. I love seeing that our judges, mayors, state elected officials, police chiefs, etc. are casi Chicanos or hispanics, but I hate seeing them fall - and fall hard they do. I'd like to say that it's as easy as going to the polls and voting good people in. It's not. We vote good people in and bad things happen. Somehow we need to teach ourselves again that we are good people. Not just good people - great people. We are humble and proud. We can be quiet and loud. Pero por dios we need to walk a straighter line. I only write about my culture because that's what I know. I understand that corruption or bad acts is not culturally or ethnically specific. Corruption does not distinguish between socio economic status or region of the country. I'm not crazy man Attorney General and Republican Gubernatorial Greg Abbott thinking that there's no hope for us down here (referring to the RGV as "third world"). Corruption is possible everywhere and in everything - so I guess we need to do better as human beings - but again, I challenge my local community to do better as people who share a common culture (the valley).

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Quinceañera

This weekend I went to my prima's daughter's quinceneara. It was fun and interesting. First off, my cousin's daughter, kept calling me "primo." Now, technically, for those Americanos reading this, that may be correct. I think most people would say she's my cousin once removed. But that just sounded so weird to me. Why you ask? Because I grew up calling my dad's cousins, "Tio." Even this weekend, my other cousins introduced their kids to me and said, "say hi to your tio." I'm her tio, not her primo! Now that I have a kid, my kid will call my cousins "tio" or "tia." That's just the way it is. It was just pretty funny. Nonetheless, the quinceneara was really fun and I'm glad I want.

Next, my cousins from Califas came to the quinceneara. They seemed to get a kick out of watching the way people danced. Now, you make think Mexicans here and Mexicans there and Mexican everywhere are the same - we're not. Apparently, its a phenomenon to them to see people on the dance floor moving in a circle. You know, just going with the natural flow of the traffic - kinda like on a skating rink. Isn't that just the way people dance? I'll ask my wife, she's from Califas.

I hadn't been to a relatives quinceneara in a pretty long time. This one was fun. Afterwards, we went back to my primas house and ate menudo. Kinda like a tornaboda, but a tornaquince!

Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Border Wall Must Stop

This week the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is expected to take more than 100 protesting landowners to federal court in an effort to allow government surveyors access onto their land. DHS is preparing to build a wall along the U.S.- Mexico border but many landowners along the border, especially in Texas, have refused to allow surveyors onto their land. These acts are more than acts of civil disobedience – they are acts of survival. Although many of these landowners despise the fact that a government imposed wall will unjustly separate sister communities along the border, it is possible that most landowners simply do not want the government stripping parts of their land.

Along the South Texas border, many families have been on their land since the 1700s when the Spanish government provided land grants to people living along the Rio Grande. Now, in an effort to “protect” the United States from undocumented immigrants, DHS is attempting to tear away portions of people’s homes to build a wall that stretches from California to Texas.

The arguments used by activists along the border vary as much as the people making the arguments. Immigrant activists argue that a wall isn’t the solution. Property owners argue that the government doesn’t have the right to take their land. The Chamber of Commerce argues that a wall will affect business in border communities. But the argument that has rarely been voiced is the one about the American government’s history of bullying South Texas – a community that most Texans don’t understand, much less politicos in Washington D.C.

Situated at the southernmost tip of the U.S., the Rio Grande Valley is as far South as you can go along the U.S. – Mexico border. Hearing people switch from English to Spanish in any given situation is as common as hearing a Seattleite order a double latte. South Texas is a place rich in culture, where the 4th of July is celebrated by parades with local high school Mariachi groups performing. This one simple celebration illustrates the fact that these communities are separated only by administrative borders.

But this community, rich in dual cultures, also has one of the highest rates of unemployment, with more sub-prime mortgage rates than anywhere else in the country. Another incident of bullying? Perhaps. Or, perhaps this is simply indicative an unyielding economy. But why then are there high incidences of children living in colonias suffering from hepatitis? Running water or electricity seems fundamental, but in these colonias, families make do without. In a life of the haves and the have nots, most South Texans have resigned to the fact that they are forgotten by their government and instead rely on one another. These South Texans know that their only support is within the community and with each other.

But now, with architectural blue prints in hand, the government remembers that the South Texans are there. They are walking onto their lands and into their homes with billions of dollars lining their pockets – but that money is not to help ease a hungry child’s cry, or a sick child’s need for medicine. Instead, this money is earmarked for a border wall in their neighborhoods and backyards. DHS insists on tearing apart these communities despite the many, repeated protests by so many South Texas residents.

Residents feel helpless. The eyesore of a wall separating sister communities seems inevitable unless legal challenges are successful. But most distressing is the unanswered question of what this wall will do to the existing communities on either side of the border. With a wall separating neighbors, it will slowly begin to erode the support systems that have for so long helped the ever-pervasive population of have nots.

Right now, it’s not looking good. The attack on immigrants and communities of immigrants must stop. It’s our border, let’s protect it.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Geraldo Yells at Bill O'Reilly

This video of Geraldo Yelling at Bill O'Reilly is the best thing I've seen in a long time. It might even inspire a comeback from this Daily Texican.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

I Will Return!

I'm planning on making a comeback pretty soon. Thanks to everyone who has sent emails.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Funeral For A Fallen Soldier

This is the story of Pfc. Kristian Menchaca. His funeral was held in Brownsville, TX. My friend told me that it was the saddest funeral he's ever been to.

View Funeral For A Fallen Soldier.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Border Troops Helping Local Economy?

I thought this was a rather interesting story. Local restaurants are gearing up for the troops arrival. Yikes.