Thursday, September 27, 2007

Central American Cacus @ Latino Congresso


October 5th-9th, 2007
Los Angeles, California
Sheraton Los Angeles Downtown

Dear Colleagues,

Greetings- Many of you all participated in last years National Latino Congreso and were present at the “Central Americans in the US and Central America: A Status Report Workshop.” Last year, it was resolved that Central American community members would use the National Latino Congreso to further discuss issues relevant to our community at future Congreso meetings. We hope to build on last year’s gathering by engaging distinct sectors of the Central American community in developing plans related to our community for public policy, advocacy, legislative and electoral strategies for the next year. We invite you to participate in this important day of discussion. Please note: in order to submit resolutions, your organization must be a Convener, Co-Convener, or a registered organization. (Resolutions deadline this Friday September 28th).

The National Latino Congreso 2007 will have a Central American Caucus on Saturday October 6th, at 8am. at the Downtown Sheraton in Los Angeles, CA. We are still seeking Sponsors for the Caucus, so if your organization is interested please contact me at the info below.
Please take a moment to check out our website www.latinocongreso. org. I invite you to endorse and register! Please join us in downtown Los Angeles for this important event.


Miguel Perla
Coordinator, National Latino Congreso 2007
2914 N. Main Street, 1st Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90031
Phone: (323) 222-2217
Fax: (323) 222-2011
Cell: 415-279-9759
mperla@wcvi. org
www.latinocongreso. org

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Of organized truth, the Jena6, and immigrant rights

From Echolandia and Youth Media Council:

Published on: September 22, 2007
Published by: karlos schmieder

We've been kicking around a quote at the YMC office since the POWER 10th Anniversary, em(Power)ed. Minister Christopher Mohamed, the keynote, came real.

He said, "Truth is essential, but it is, of itself, insufficient. Because disorganized truth can be overcome by an organized lie.”

I mean, he said a bunch of other deep shit.

This quote really struck a cord at YMC.

I thought a lot about it as I watched the Jena 6 coverage on CNN.

I have to say, the demonstration was beautiful. I wish I had gotten it together to get there.

Yet I heard CNN anchors gush all day that it was "the biggest civil rights demonstration in a generation."

Just so we're clear. The Jena6 demos WERE NOT the biggest civil rights demonstrations in a generation. The biggest were, of course, the May 1st marches for the civil rights of immigrants the past couple of years.

Now, the question isn't which were bigger. The question is how we connect these movements.

Race and civil rights are once again becoming central to the political debate in the United States. Unequal justice is a familiar theme.

Whether it's the immigration debate, Katrina, Jena6, education, health care...whatever.

And we've seen these major diverse and different gatherings of marginalized peoples.

* The May 1st demonstrations
* The United States Social Forum, and all the regional forums leading into it
* Jena 6

Yet none have truly been connected. Yes, there's been an effort. It's not as if people aren't doing stuff. The US Social Forum was an attempt at that, no doubt. There are folks connecting as a result. The Jena6 could've been helped by the forum happening in the South. But to say these movements are truly connected, or even "organized" in the traditional sense, would be foolish. (There's this viral thing to the way these events have manifested that we haven't figured out yet either.)

Folks have pointed out that it would have been great to see the crowds in Jena be more diverse. Same could be said for the May 1st demos.

And this just ain't a black/brown thing. It's about the inequalities and lack of opportunities for all our communities. It's about poor and working white folks and Native Americans too. It's about our Filipino sisters and brothers. It's about all of us. Civil and human rights at the center of the debate in this country is an opportunity to connect our movements, struggles and, yes, victories.

At the em(Power)ed event, Minister Mohamed quoted Frederick Douglas and Louis Farrakhan. "Power concedes nothing without demand," was the quote from Douglas. Mohamed pointed out that Farrakhan said power doesn't concede demand with out more power to back up that demand.
So that's my question. How do we organize our truth and power into collective demands that benefit us all? How do we really become a movement? Ok two questions...and even more than that.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Desde El Epicentro

"An Anthology of U.S. Central American Poetry and Art"
Introduction to forthcoming book:

This anthology is about creating a home for those who have lost their home, who were taken from their home, who had it stolen, who decided it was time to leave and for those who carry their home in their heart and need a place to rest. It is about recovering, documenting and making our own histories and demanding their rightful place among cultural, political and literary movements. We give our testimony to resurrect memory, inspire action, to laugh loudly and to heal old wounds.

We are often asked why we want to distinguish ourselves as Central Americans. Why not just join in or blend into other cultural and political movements that have more established visibility and community support? Many of us are a part of community spaces where we work as a part of or in solidarity with communities of color, queer folks, immigrants, and educators. But we feel the need to create a space for our own U.S. Central American voices, which are still rarely heard. Ours are the voices that many of us wish we had heard more of growing up so we didn't feel so alone and invisible in our multicultural/multi-lingual realities.

This book also comes from finding solidarity and a home in the group EpiCentroAmerica that has since found its home in cyberspace. Founded in 2000 by Raquel Gutierrez and Marlon Morales, the group Epicentro or EpiCentroAmerica doesn't exist as it once did; meeting to workshop writings, organize events and perform as a collective. But our vital passion for doing creative work, the need to hear each other's voices and the desire to inspire new voices remains.

This anthology, an often talked about dream in Epicentro, is my contribution to cultivation of new spaces for Central American voices, the kind of voices that we have always wanted to hear; the conscious and empowered voices of compañeras/os who are immigrants, workers, students, mothers, fathers, children of borderlands and solidarity movements.

I hope you are moved to support this book and later published versions. The book will fulfill its goal if you find what you are looking for in it or if it inspires you to create what you want to see in the world.

Maya Chinchilla

Monday, September 10, 2007

Central American-American Studies Reader

Central American-American Studies Reader. Comparative and interdisciplinary papers sought for forthcoming anthology, to be edited by Arturo Arias and Claudia Milian, on cultural productions and representations of Central American-Americans in U.S. popular culture and/or mappings of U.S. Latinidad. Areas of exploration include:The relationship between Chicano, Latino, and Central American-American identities; Central American-American contributions to Latinidad; literary and media depictions of Central American migrations, cultural adaptation, and inter-ethnic relations; revolution and civil war as markers of Central American-American subjectivities; alienation in the U.S. metropolis and marginalization in U.S. Latino communities; Central American-Americans and the Mexico-Guatemala and U.S.-Mexico borderlands; cultural treatments of the trafficking of Central American labor in sexual and domestic industries; Central American-American re-indigenization of the U.S. landscape. Se nd 20-page, double-spaced papers, including references, by December 2007 to: Claudia Milian, Duke University, 205 Language Center, Box 90257, Durham, NC 27708-0257 and/or Arturo Arias at arturo_arias AT mail.utexas. edu.
Claudia Milian
Duke University
205 Language Center
Box 90257
Durham, NC 27708-0257
Email: claudia.milian AT

Sunday, September 09, 2007

HIGHWAYS' 3RD ANNUAL:Latino Works Festival

From Jessica Grande:
Please come out and support this saturday....I will be dancing with Erika Elizondo and other marvelous people...
Highways Performance Space and Gallery
@ the 18th Street Arts Center
1651 18th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Show Information
(310) 315-1459

Saturday, September 15 @ 8:30pm
A globe-trotting blend of dance and music featuring:

Erika Elizondo performing a collaborative piece with members of the dance companies L'Esprit D'Afrique, PAWS, and El Tambor. This work is an exploration into the energy of Ochun as a vessel of divine rhythm. Ochun is the Yoruban-derived, Afro-Cuban deity associated with sensuality, sweetness, fluidity and fertility. Elizando translates the deities sacred, ceremonial movement into its contemporary manifestations in the rhythms of Iyesa and rumba.

The Blankenship Ballet Company of Venice and Artistic Director Bertha Suarez Blankenship present two new works: "Liberdad!," featuring the world premiere of the new dance form "Capobale" (the blending of the Brazilian Martial Art for Capoeira with the Cuban Ballet Arts, resulting in a synergistic combustion of new work), featuring performance and music by Gustavo Calvas + choreography by Blankenship + Kimberly Mullen. Also feratured is "Metamorphosis," an abstract depiction of the evolution and metamorphosis of man and life, choreographed by Blankenship and Ramon Ramos Alayo after Narciso Medina.

The ABC Project combines the sacred and secular dance practices of Afro-Brazilian/Cuban performing arts in the new collaborative work "Yla � Divine Mortals," which explores the mortal conflict in achieving immortality through divine intervention. The work climaxes with a celebration of life in the experimental form of Samba Reggae, a Brazilian Carnavale dance. Choreographed by Kimberly Mullen, Dani Lunn, and Gustavo Caldas.

The Saturday night after-party is a Tribute to Celia Cruz, with her music played deep into the night. Featured will be music by Eddie Resto's Grupo Mundillo and Super DJ Ralph Montero ; vintage videos of "The Queen of Salsa"; and Celia Cruz impersonator Nahomy and her Divas. Come dip into our azucar-drenched mojitos (Cuba's National Drink), relax, and dance off the week. This event is hosted by Salsa*Arte* Sabor, an events producer whose mission is to host inclusive gay and lesbian Latin dance, art, and cultural events.

Globalization and the Fight for Central America

Globalization and the Fight for Central America:
Costa Rica Inc. and Beyond
(un evento bilingüe)

Saturday, September 15 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Guest speaker from Costa Rica:
Fabián Pacheco Rodriguez
The President of FECON & the son of former Costa Rican
President Abel Pacheco

Event Location:
The Women's Building
3543 18th St. (between Valencia and Guerrero)
San Francisco

Requested donation of $5.00
(everyone is welcome--no one turned away for lack of funds)

Globalize This! in conjunction with the Costa Rican Federation for the
Conservation of the Environment (FECON), will be hosting a special
event, co-sponsored by CISPES, which will look at the consequences of
free trade agreements on the Americas with a focus on Central America,
specifically Costa Rica. We will review contemporary struggles of
across the American continents against the ratification of the Central
America-Dominican Republic Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA).

Fabián will be discussing FECON's involvement in Bloque Verde and the
Costa Rican movement to defeat CAFTA in the upcoming referendum on
October 7, 2007. Fabián will be coming to us direct from Costa Rica
fresh off the front lines of this historic vote, which is the first
that any population has had the opportunity to vote on a free trade

The event will include a screening of segments of two documentaries,
"Fourth World War" and "Costa Rica Inc," and will include a
discussion of strategies for people in the U.S. to work in solidarity
with our comadres and compadres in Central America.

For more information, contact us at:


Globalización y la lucha por Centroamérica:
Costa Rica S.A. y los Demás

Sábado, 15 de septiembre de 2pm a 4pm

Orador especial de Costa Rica:
Fabián Pacheco Rodriguez
Actual presidente de FECON e hijo del ex-presidente de Costa
Rica, Dr. Abel Pacheco de la Espriella

Sitio del Evento:
El Edificio de las Mujeres (The Women's Building)
3543 18th St. (entre Valencia y Guerrero)
San Franscisco

Se solicita una donación de $5 a la entrada pero no es obligatoria

Globalize This!, en conjunto con la Federación Costarricense para la
Conservación del Ambiente (FECON), serán los anfitriones de este
especial, con el fin de ver las consecuencias de los Tratados de libre
Comercio en las Américas, con un enfoque en Centroamérica, y Costa
en específico. Vamos a exponer las luchas contemporáneas de los
del continente americano, en contra de la ratificación del Tratado de
Libre Comercio EE.UU., Centroamérica y República Dominicana.

Tendremos la presencia del Sr. Fabián Pacheco Rodriguez, orador
actual presidente de FECON, e hijo del expresidente de Costa Rica, Dr.
Abel Pacheco de la Espriella.

Fabián discutirá la participación de FECON en el Bloque Verde, y el
movimiento costarricense para rechazar el TLC- EE.UU. en el referendo
del 7 de octubre de 2007. Fabián llegará directo desde Costa Rica,
ha estado en el frente de lucha de esta votación histórica, la cual,
representa la primera vez en que un país, tenga la oportunidad de
y decidir sobre un tratado de libre comercio.

El evento incluirá la proyección de algunos segmentos de dos
documentales: "Fourth World War" y "Costa Rica S.A." . Seguidamente,
se realizará la charla y discusión de estrategias para que la gente
los Estados Unidos, pueda trabajar en solidaridad con nuestros hermanos
en Centroamérica.

Para más información, contáctenos por email:

Guatemala electing new president

Article from BBC News:

The presidential vote is expected to go to second round
Guatemalans are voting in presidential and parliamentary elections after one of the bloodiest campaigns in the country's history.

More than 50 candidates, activists and their relatives have been murdered in the run-up to the elections.

The two main presidential contenders are Alvaro Colom, a centre-left businessman, and a former general, Otto Perez Molina.

They have vowed to fight crime and reduce poverty.

Mr Colom, who is running for the presidency for the third time in a row, has promised to overhaul the security forces and the judicial system, which many criticise for being slow, corrupt and inefficient.

Otto Perez Molina of the Patriotic Party addresses supporters
Otto Perez Molina says he will bring back the death penalty
Mr Perez Molina has pledged to increase the size of the police force by 50% and revive the death penalty.

Of the 14 presidential candidates, Nobel laureate Rigoberta Menchu is the best-known internationally, but she trails far behind the front-runners.

Alejandro Giammattei, from President Oscar Berger's party, is also trailing in the polls.

None of the candidates is expected to win the 50% support needed to win outright, and a second round run-off is expected on 4 November.

(click link for more)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Mestiza Academic

Check out this educated salvi powerhouse and her blog:

Mestiza Academic