Louie, His Cousin and His Other Cousin

Yellow Cadillac Robber Finally Caught

sev14.jpg         Young men from Mango Street, arrested after steeling a yellow Cadillac.

     Yesterday’s afternoon, the yellow Cadillac that was stolen, was finally found.  The young men from Mango Street, was happily spending his afternoon with family and friends, until he heard the police.  Immediately, he stopped the car, and the kids that were with him, got out of the car.   The young man tried to escape, but he crashed into the lamp post in the corner.  The young man resulted with a bruised forehead and a bloody lip.  He was arrested by the cops.  His family and friends waved at him while he disappeared.

Article without bias:

Puerto Rican male arrested on Mango Streetsev14.jpgPuerto Rican male was arrested while driving a yellow Cadillac.

     Yesterday’s afternoon, a Puerto Rican male was arrested after escaping from the police.  The man was spending his afternoon with family and friends, until he heard the police.  Immediately, he stopped the car, and his companions got out of the car.  The man sped up, crashing into a lamp post in the corner, due to the mall size of the road.  He resulted with a bruised forehead and a bloody lip.  He was arrested by the cops, while his family and friends waved at him while he disappeared.

 

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Dear Cathy

Dear Cathy,

    I am writing this letter to you to let you know how I feel about you.   First of all, I want you to know that when I first met you, you seemed to be a good friend, but there is something about you that makes me uncomfortable. Sometimes, you make me feel bad.  Every time I have a conversation with you, you end up making offensive comments and sharing negative opinions about others to me, and I want this to change.

    I am new to this neighborhood, and I know very few people; however, you are one of the few people I know. I feel that I am been used and that you pretend to be my friend just because you have no other friends here in the neighborhood. I think that you have no friends because the derogatory comments you make.  You act like if you are superior to rest of the neighborhood; for example, every time you repeat you are the great great grand cousin of the queen of France.

    But that’s not all, when I met Lucy and Rachel you ran away and you  stated that I shouldn’t talk to them because they smelled like brooms.  Rachel and Lucy are amazing fiends; they know what a true friendship is like, not like  our “friendship” that is based on conditions and time limits. A true friend is loyal, there’s no distance that can break a real friendship.

    The fact that you and your family are moving because Latino families like mine are moving in, also affects me.  Why don’t you like us here? What’s wrong with the Latinos?  We are not inferior to you, and we don’t have anything different than you. The only difference is that we speak Spanish. Your comments and your actions make me feel unwanted. There are many stereotypes about Latinos, but they are not true, and don’t apply to everyone.

    I want you to be conscious of this. It will also help you when hanging out with others.  My recommendation: be careful of what you say, and think before you act. I know that you may not say offensive things because you want someone to feel bad, it’s something you do without noticing.

I hope you understand my point.

Sincerely,

Esperanza

Collective Identity Unit: Yankees’ Life In Panama

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Yankees’ Life In Panama

Questions that helped us guide our research:

  1. When did the group arrive?
  2. Why did they come?
  3. Where are they located geographically on the isthmus?
  4. How were they treated?
  5. Why were they treated this way?
  6. What were their living conditions?
  7. What conflicts ensued?
  8. How did they contribute to society?
  9. How did they become part of the Panamanian society?
  10. How are they viewed today?

Border Crossing Review

imagesMaria Colleen Cruz’s realistic fiction, shows the importance of knowing and understanding your cultural identity, in order to understand where you come from and who you are.

In “Border Crossing,” even though, there are some predictable situations thanks to foreshadowing, there are several unexpected events, such as Tony turning to be Cesi’s cousin.  “Border Crossing” is a book which unfold pretty quickly, the author gets trough the whole book just giving details to specific situations, allowing her to describe the whole situation in a few pages.

As soon as you start reading Border Crossing, Maria Colleen Cruz, you immediately feel engaged.  The narrator, a 12 going to 13 year old girl, has crazy plans about crossing the border by herself, which makes you question what is going to happen? How will she accomplish that? Why would she want to go all by herself? As you continue reading, thousands of questions will pop in your head, motivating you to continue reading.

At the end of the book, Cesi learns a lot abut herself, about her Mexican culture and her father’s past. She learns that she shouldn’t be afraid to ask her parents for support or to take her to Mexico,  instead of running away. Cesi also learns that her father didn’t want to talk about his past because he didn’t’ want  her to have a hard childhood like he did, it was all a way to make her life easier, but Dad figures out after Cesi runs away, that probably hide his past to his’ kids wasn’t the best idea.

As well as Cesi learns about herself, Dad changes his dynamics.  For so long, he has hide his’ past to Max and Cesi because of the difficulties he faced when he was a kid.  He has also decided to not teach his’ kids Spanish, because a lot of the difficulties he faced were related to the language and ethnicity.  Since Cesi is a curious girl, trying to find who she is, she decides to learn about her Mexican heritage, even though it has been hidden from her for so long.  In her head, Dad wouldn’t want to take her to Mexico to find more about who she is, so she runs away by herself.  Dad find out that she has crossed the border and realizes that hide his Mexican culture to his family wasn’t a good idea, but his family later understands the reason Dad had to take the choices he did.

“Border Crossing” is narrated in an interesting way, one chapter is from the present, the next one from the past, as a flashback, then, the following in the present, and it goes the whole book like that, back and forth.  Probably, Cruz decided to tell the story in this specific way in order to give the story more drama and entertaining, since if she would have tell the story explaining all the past, and then present, probably it wouldn’t had been so engaging or entertaining.

In “Border Crossing,” you can fins several themes, but in my opinion, “Knowledge on your cultural identity is important because knowing where you come from, helps shape who you are, and contributes to the personal development” is the theme that works the best.  It shows how Cesi after knowing and understanding her Mexican heritage grows culturally and emotionally, adding to her personal development.

“I can’t believe I was that stupid, that I trusted these people.  I should have known better.”  When Cesi arrives to Mexico, except for the twenty dollars she had in her pocket, all her money was stolen.  There is a stereotype about Mexican being robbers, and when Cesi gets her money stolen, she makes tis stereotype.  This passage surprises me because Cesi is trying to know about her Mexican heritage, and even she being Mexican, makes this stereotype. When she says “these people” she is making a derogative comment on Mexicans, but later she realizes (with Tony’s help) that it was unrespectful, derogatory, and that by making that stereotype, she includes herself in “these people” since she is also Mexican.

The ending of the story is satisfying, Dad and Cesi go and visit Douglas and Nogales, important towns in Dad’s childhood, and Cesi learns a lot about her Mexican heritage thanks to aunt Delfina and Dad.  It all was an expected ending, except the fact that Tony and Cesi turn be cousins.  This is the only part of the story since in my opinion, I think its too much chance to cross the border by yourself being a 13 year old girl, then meet a boy in a train, with the same destination, and later it turns to be your cousin when you meet with his aunt  which is actually your aunt as well, but you don’t know it.  Then, after so long without seeing each other, she calls your Dad to inform him that you are in her house.

This is the first book I read by Maria Colleen Cruz, but I wouldn’t mind read other books about her.  If I had the opportunity to ask one question to the Cruz, it would be: what inspired you to write the story the way you did?

This novel has made me realize that the struggles Mexicans facing in the United States in the present, with Trump and all the deportations, did’t start a few years ago, they has been around for a long period of time.  This novel has inspired me to know more about the situation Mexicans are facing, since they are looking for better lives, and taking jobs that many people wouldn’t take.  This novel I can connect it with the situation in Panama right now, since many Panamanians complain about immigrants taking jobs, but in reality,  many people in Panama don’t want to work, and prefer that the government take care of them with indemnifications.  Additionally, in the border, there are many Cuban immigrants retained by the border patrol, since they don’t want to let them enter to Panama.

The Greencorn, A Real Creature Or Just A Legend?

There we were, in Bosnia-Herzegovina. It is a place known for its culture and is  rich in mythology. We were two confused explorers on a scavenger hunt for the best known mythological creature of Bosnia-Herzegovina, the “Greencorn.” There are many testimonies and witnesses who had seen the Greencorn; however, there is not proof of its existence. Many people believe that this amazing creature lives here in Bosnia -Herzegovina, while many other people think  it is nothing more than a legend. Our mission is to find the Greencorn, catch it,  and show it to the world in order to prove its existence.

      After four hours of trekking for the Greencorn,  we gave up. We were hungry and tired, so we decided to look for a restaurant in which we could try the authentic delicacies from the  country.  After walking a long distance, we finally found the restaurant. We were so tired that it seemed like a figment.  We entered rapidly, we were so hungry that we could eat anything, or at least that is what we thought.  When we got in, we were surprised, there wasn’t absolutely any customer at the restaurant besides us two and the waiter. Despite the solitude in the restaurant, we decided to stay because we knew that we wouldn’t find any other restaurant nearby.

When the waiter came to take our orders, we decided to try a little bit of every plate because we didn’t knew how the Bosnian food would taste.  The waiter was surprised of the amount of food we ordered, but without hesitating, he went into the kitchen to place order.

After about thirty minutes later, our food finally arrived.  Every plate was unique and delicious.  Even though we ordered ten different plates, we devour everything.  After we finish  eating, we ordered a Bosnian dessert.  It was delicious, but while we were eating it, something unexpected happened.

We were calmly enjoying the dessert until we saw something rare flying in the sky, it was the Greencorn.  We played close attention to the creature and when we were sure it was the Greencorn, we took our camera and capture the Greencorn doing ungainly movements.  We were fascinated by the creature, but specially because of its green plumage.  In all of a sudden, we were vulnerable of attack.  The Greencorn was a predatory creature doing ungainly movements towards the restaurant we were eating in.  In that moment, we left the dessert, our priority was to get in a closed area and free of a possible attack.  After about fifteen minutes, the Greencorn flee away and we were safe again.

After the attack, we send the pictures of the Greencorn attack to local and international news.  Even if some people still think this is just a legend and make derogatory comments saying this is photoshop, we know that this dangerous and astute creature is real.