Cuban college students use “cachivache,” junk, to create online treasure

The word cachivache translates to junk, or rubbish, but in Cuba repurposing junk, in this case technology, is an aspect of daily life. That’s what a group of entrepreneurial University of Havana Communication students did a little over a year ago when they reengineered existing and accessible media technology to create a hip web magazine catering to Cuban citizens. was the product of their creativity and persistence and is indicative of the Communist country’s spirit of endurance, resistance and innovation after 50 years of a U.S. economic blockade and political standoff. The magazine is currently on hold as its staff considers its future direction. Daniella Fernandez, 21, an under graduate student at the University of Havana and community manager for the web magazine, explained why the magazine she helped launch 18 months ago was named after the Cuban word for junk.

Books and backpacks less easy to carry across the border now than before:  Mexican students who attend U.S. schools face a new reality in the anti-immigrant age of Trump

EL PASO – Hundreds of students cross the border from Ciudad Juarez to El Paso daily,  carrying heavy backpacks and books and dreams of a better life.  Heightened  anti immigrant  rhetoric across the country and various immigration enforcement executive orders from President Donald Trump have added more stress and uncertainty to their daily lives. Over 1,000 Mexican students attend the the University of Texas at El Paso and about  half commute to campus from their homes in Juarez, across the Rio Grande from El Paso, according to a previously published story. The commute is a hardship for many because of the long and complicated commute from their home in Juarez,  a walk  or a car ride across an international border bridge to have their documents checked, followed by a bus ride  to the UTEP campus some five to 10 minutes from downtown El Paso,

Related: In 2016, commuting daily from Mexico to attend school in the U.S. was no big deal for students who budgeted their time well

Most must wake up before dawn to make it to an early morning class, and often don’t return home to Juarez until well past the dinner hour.  Depending on the amount of foot or car traffic on the international bridge, the crossing time can vary from 20 minutes to two hours.