indigenous people day poem

by Rodrigo Sanchez-Chavarria


A Message From Vagabond to Occupy Wall Street: To Occupy And Unoccupy

“This is a war that’s been going on since the invasion of North America.” Rev. Pedro Pietri

“With the ongoing Occupation movement on Wall Street and the growing occupation movements going on around the US, this is just a reminder that some of us have been dealing with occupation for centuries now.

Although we support the ideas behind Occupy Wall Street and the other Occupation movements we want those who have chosen to use the terminology of ‘Occupation’ to be aware of the hidden and unrecognized history behind that word when it comes to non-white peoples.” Vagabond


The Mexican-American Boom: Births Overtake Immigration

From the Pew Hispanic Center...
Births have surpassed immigration as the main driver of the dynamic growth in the U.S. Hispanic population. This new trend is especially evident among the largest of all Hispanic groups-Mexican-Americans, according to a new analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center. 
In the decade from 2000 to 2010, the Mexican-American population grew by 7.2 million as a result of births and 4.2 million as a result of new immigrant arrivals. This is a change from the previous two decades when the number of new immigrants either matched or exceeded the number of births.

The current surge in births among Mexican-Americans is largely attributable to the immigration wave that has brought more than 10 million immigrants to the United States from Mexico since 1970. Between 2006 and 2010 alone, more than half (53%) of all Mexican-American births were to Mexican immigrant parents. As a group, these immigrants are more likely than U.S.-born Americans to be in their prime child-bearing years. They also have much higher fertility.

Meanwhile, the number of new immigrant arrivals from Mexico has fallen off steeply in recent years. According to a Pew Hispanic Center analysis of Mexican government data, the number of Mexicans annually leaving Mexico for the U.S. declined from more than one million in 2006 to 404,000 in 2010-a 60% reduction. This is likely a result of recent developments in both the U.S. and Mexico. On the U.S. side, declining job opportunities and increased border enforcement may have made the U.S. less attractive to potential Mexican immigrants. And in Mexico, recent strong economic growth may have reduced the "push" factors that often lead Mexicans to emigrate to the U.S.

As a result, there were fewer new immigrant arrivals to the U.S. from Mexico in the 2000s (4.2 million) than in the 1990s (4.7 million). However, the Mexican-American population continued to grow rapidly, with births accounting for 63% of the 11.2 million increase from 2000 to 2010.[1]

At 31.8 million in 2010, Mexican-Americans comprise 63% of the U.S. Hispanic population and 10% of the total U.S. population. According to Pew Hispanic Center tabulations from the March 2010 U.S. Current Population Survey, 39% of Mexican-Americans-or 12.4 million-are immigrants. With the exception of Russia, no other country in the world has as many immigrants from all countries as the U.S. has from Mexico alone. Nor does any country in the world have as many citizens living abroad as does Mexico. According to the World Bank, more than 10% of Mexico's native-born population lives elsewhere, with the vast majority (97%) of these expatriates living in the United States. 
[1] The 11.2 million increase reflects the net change in births, deaths and net migration of the Mexican-American population in the U.S. between 2000 and 2010.

Complete Report


The Ponce Massacre (Film Footage)

On March 21, 1937 (Palm Sunday), a march was organized in Ponce, Puerto Rico, by the island's Nationalist Party. It was organized to commemorate the ending of slavery in Puerto Rico in 1873, and to protest the jailing by the U.S. government of Pedro Albizu Campos.

File:Ponce Massacre.JPG

The peaceful march turned into a massacre as 200 heavily armed members of the US-controlled Insular Police opened fire. The horrific attack using machines guns, rifles and tear gas bombs, was carried out under orders of General Blanton Winship, Puerto Rico's US colonial ruler, and police chief Colonel Francis Riggs...a fellow best known for helping establish the dictatorship of Anastasio Somoza in Nicaragua.

Seventeen unarmed marchers were murdered and 235 wounded, including women and children. Hundreds more were jailed. The US Congress moved quickly to immunize Riggs and Winship from any charges.

It was the biggest massacre in Puerto Rican history. The following is a 19 second clip of that day of infamy.


Raquel Rivera's San Isidro

Photo by Jorge Vázquez.
Raquel Z. Rivera is a singer-songwriter (Las 7 Salves de La Magdalena/7 Songs of Praise for The Magdalene), author (New York Ricans from the Hip Hop Zone, Palgrave Macmillan, 2003), editor of the anthology Reggaeton (Duke University Press, 2009), scholar at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies (Hunter College), freelance journalist, essay and fiction writer, and member of Afro-Boricua music group Alma Moyo.

Raquel's latest work of art is her life in San Isidro of the South Valley, Nuevo Mexico. Here's an excerpt from her blog Cascabel de Cobre:
My brother introduced me to San Isidro Labrador (Saint Isidore the Farmer) some years ago. Jorge Homar carries around a small estampita of the saint in his wallet. A cook and farming enthusiast, my brother is passionate about everything related to growing and preparing food. From the moment I realized the saint was working his magic from inside my little brother's wallet, San Isidro has had a piece of my heart.


Christopher Lee Rios (aka Big Pun): 11/10/1971 – 2/7/2000

Christopher Rios (November 10, 1971 – February 7, 2000), better known by his stage name Big Pun (short for Big Punisher), was a Puerto Rican rapper who emerged from the underground rap scene in The Bronx in the late 1990s.

He first appeared on albums from The Beatnuts, on the track “Off the Books” in 1997, and on Fat Joe’s second album Jealous One’s Envy in 1995, on the track “Watch Out”, prior to signing to Loud Records as a solo artist. Big Pun’s career was cut short in 2000 at age 28 when he died of a heart attack.


Big Pun - Wikipedia
Big Pun - The Internet Movie Database
Christopher Rios, 28, Rapper Recorded Under Name Big Pun - Obituary NYTimes 2/9/2000
Big Pun: The Legacy documentary - YouTube
Big Pun Biography - Big Pun Forever


Quiara Alegría Hudes: Playwright, Author

Quiara Alegría Hudes is an award-winning author of plays, musicals, screenplays and other literary works.

Though her works are varied in style, she combines an intellectual curiosity with a humanistic vision to tell new American stories.

Her work for musical theater includes Broadway’s Tony Award-winning Best Musical In the Heights (Tony Nomination for her book, Pulitzer Prize finalist, Lucille Lortel Award, Outer Critics Circle Award) and the children’s musical Barrio Grrrl! (book and lyrics, Helen Hayes nomination for Theater for Young Audiences).


Quiara Alegría Hudes website
Worth listening - Courier-Post


Hispanic v. Latino by Google's Ngram Viewer

According to Google's nifty Ngram Viewer, use of the term 'Hispanic' in American English books peaked in the early 1990s and has been slipping ever since. In contrast, 'Latino' has been surging since the 90s. 

(Ngram Viewer by Google lets you graph and compare words and phrases over time, showing how their usage has waxed and waned over the years. The data is derived from 15 million books scanned by the folks at Google and includes all of the major languages.)