Monday, July 4, 2016


With the presidential race and all it stirs up in our collective pasts as immigrants  because we are all immigrants, even if some of us go as far back as the Mayflower — we will realize that we are all living on borrowed land, and if we learn to live together, we can learn that we are all one, and no borders need divide us. 

Kristian (right) joined a number of other community activists of all ages in Las Vegas 
to street canvass for the Bernie Sanders campaign this past February.

Some of us came later too, not in the early migrations but in more recent relocations, and especially today, we are still arriving, because the forced exodus from other lands  due to politics, warfare, poverty, displacement, or what have you  are all legitimate. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Poemas del destierro / Poems of Exile

Usually I post things about education or immigration.

Sometimes I post things on poetry.

So I thought, why not? 

This is about my father, and it is about his poetry, his beautiful poetry, which I want to translate completely, one day.  So this is the beginning... 

Today is my papi's birthday. He would have been 94 years young today, & he is still with me everyday, in everything I do. Looking at some old books, then, I decided to translate the prologue he wrote to his small book of poetry, of course, dedicated A MI ESPOSA/TO MY WIFE... 

I think this is the small birthday present I can give you, Papi. Little by little I will try to translate your book, and maybe, I will try to republish it, somehow, someday... Happy happy birthday, where ever you are!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Losing Paradise... Perder el paraíso

I’ll be off these next couple of weeks, a bit of repose after a long haul. 

Perder el Paraíso (Losing Paradise) by Tomás Sánchez, Cuban painter and engraver

But we won the asylum case for a young refugee mom with two children from Honduras, so I think I can take a little break before beginning again on a new case: a mother with two children who escaped from the Guatemala/El Salvador border. Her husband and brother-in-law were killed, and the maras  the gangs  tried to kill her son too, but their dog began to bark and saved him. 

Sunday, June 5, 2016


The recent publication of the second damning GIEI report, first publicized in the New York Times with subsequent coverage on National Public Radio is clear evidence that the Ayotzinapa movement has endured the test of time by staying in the world’s attention almost two years after the forced disappearance of the 43 normalistas. The Interdisciplinary Group of Independent Experts responsible for the GIEI Report (named such for its acronym in Spanish) was created by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on March 2015 to investigate what happened to the 43 students on September 26, 2014 in Iguala, Guerrero.

Guernica by Pablo Picasso, 1937 Museo Reina SofiaMadridSpain
Guernica warns humanity against the devastation of war & suffering: aren't the forced disappearances of Ayotzinapa an annihalation of the worst sort?

Thursday, May 12, 2016

I Do Not Exist.... UNDOCUMENTED!

I went to see the play Deferred Action this past weekend, a wonderful production about the trials and tribulations of the DACA movement, and the real lives it touches.

I hope the play catches on and begins to make its rounds in other cities: it is defnitely worth seeing.

Erik during the 2011 "I am a DREAM Voter" Campaign 

In any case, this play depicts the ongoing conflict brought on by the onslaught of deportation, and how DACA and the DREAM Act are trying to counter deportation's horrible effects. Millions of young people who were brought to the United States as children are now finding themselves in limbo, or their parents are in the crosshairs. Although the US government wants to deny these young people the only home they have ever known  the United States  they cannot call their home country their own either, because in most cases, they do not even remember it.

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Refugee Problem under USA's Rug in a Future Without Poverty

I have been too busy in the day-to-day to write anything much these days, but I did want to post my talk at the recent two-day conference presented by Future Without Poverty and dedicated to Reducing Global Poverty Through Grassroots Sustainable Actions

My husband Andrés L. Pacheco and I have been working with refugee populations at our southern border for the past few years, and we presented some of our findings during one of these excellent sessions. I am hoping to be able to post more in the future, but at least — for now — I can present my own, “The Chronic 'Refugee Problem' Under USA's Rug: Migration Along Our Southern Border." Andrés informally spoke about our process — what it is we do from beginning to end with the people we come into contact with — while I had a more formal, even if short, talk prepared. 


We began to work with refugees when we went to the border to help out in McAllen, Texas, along with people from the entire city and beyond in the state and country, as well as interdenominational organizations who put aside their politics because what we were suffering at the border was a humanitarian crisis.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

May Day, Things Change; Things Stay the Same...

I was looking through my old May Day activities, and I came across this letter I had written to my petition followers two years ago, in 2014. Back then I had a little over 4000 signatures, yet today we have 10,141. 

Has that made any difference? Unfortunately, no. 

Indeed, what is a stark awakening  when looking at this piece from two years ago  is that conditions are eerily similar, if not worse. Though more people seem to know about our conditions, more people seem to condone them too, or look the other way. 

We must not give up. We must keep fighting, struggling to make a difference, a change for the better. 

I am a Man: Mural Design Artist Marcellous Lovelace
Based on Civil Rights movement, Sanitation Workers' Protest March, Memphis, 3/28/1968
photograph © Ana M. Fores Tamayo