8.24.2007

Dr. Louis Gerard Mendoza's Bike Ride to Record the Latinoization of America

Louis Gerard Mendoza is on a journey only a few hardy souls would ever attempt: he's traveling to all four corners American on his bike.

Why?

A scholar and head of Chicano Studies at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Dr. Mendoza is riding to see and record the "Latinoization" of America.

Here's how he describes his quest:

From July-December 2007 I'll be biking across the U.S. This experience will be the basis for book that follows José Martí’s 1891 call in "Our America" for a distinctively American culture, one that embraces rather than denies, the dynamic and organic relationship between place, language, and experience that shapes the American continent. In the blog I'll document the exchanges I have with people about the Latinoization of the U.S. as well as my own life experiences and thoughts.
Dr. Mendoza has completed the first leg of his trip, traveling 2,750 miles between Santa Cruz, California and his hometown of Minneapolis. The second leg takes him East. Here's the intinerary:

My plan from here is to go south to Iowa City and visit friends who have alerted me to local tensions arising in nearby communities related to immigration. From there I will go towards Milwaukee, down to Chicago and then across to Detroit and into Ontario, Canada where I will cross back into the U.S. at Niagara Falls. From there I will head east through New York, Massachusetts and began a southward trek along the eastern seaboard.
It's a fascinating journey of discovery for Dr. Mendoza and readers of his Journey Across America weblog.

In addition to blog entries, Dr. Mendoza is capturing video of his trip. Here's his up close look at a majestic Buffalo near Yellowstone Park.



Buffalo on road in Yellowstone from Louis Mendoza and Vimeo.