Light Projection – A new virtual experience in Roman museums, sites

By Rachel Gonzalez

Rome is a cultural mecca with museums and sites at every turn. Tourists and scholars have flocked there for many years learning from its history and trying to decipher the clues left behind that tell the story of the past. Today light projection act as a visual aid for visitors by creating a kind of virtual window into the past. It may seem that places like the Forum of Augustus and especially the Colosseum are in no need of modern technology to get people interested, but these technologies are not to bring people through the door, they are there to enhance the experience of those who visit and give them a bright new angle of view. Three Roman locations in which light projection has made a debut are the Roman House (le Domus Romane di Palazzo Valentini), the Forum of Augustus and the Colosseum.

The Pantheon – An illuminating experience  

By Matthew P. Gonzales

The Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain persuade many to visit Rome. Personally, these were not sites I was very interested in seeing. I was part of the Layers of Rome study abroad course visiting Rome, Italy.  On a bright sunny day, our class went out to look at a monument that is one of the last remaining buildings from the Roman Empire dating back to the 2nd century, the Pantheon. The word Pantheon means a temple dedicated to all the gods.

Italy and my encounter with the issues of bilingualism

By Crystal Calderon

Growing up in a bilingual environment meant I was fortunate to have the opportunity  to learn at least two languages. I grew up in the border city of El Paso TX., right next to Juarez Chihuahua MX. I was fortunate enough to grow up bilingual. Unlike most US citizens who are monolingual, my background enabled me to feel more  natural when in Rome. This past summer I traveled to Italy as part of the Layers of Rome study abroad course hosted by the  Humanities Program of the University of Texas at El Paso.

Educator shares 5 tips for supporting immigrant and refugee students

By Katrina Landa, Ed.D.

In 2016, the United States welcomed 96,874 refugees, including 15,479 from Syria alone, according to the US Department of State’s Refugee Processing Center. Nearly 60 percent of those refugees were children.  As these families settle into the country and children enroll in local schools, teachers face the unique challenge of ensuring refugee students feel welcomed, while also meeting their educational needs. 
As the ESL and bilingual coordinator at American College of Education (ACE), I frequently share my experience in working with refugee, immigrant and foreign language-speaking students and offer teachers these top five tips below. 
1. Establish a safe space in your classroom. You must be vigilant and stop any bullying immediately.

Sanctuary is in the fabric of El Paso, not the label

By John M. Gonzales and Alex Hinojosa
There are 118 so-called “sanctuary cities in the United States, but applying the term to El Paso is like calling Texas a little bit country. With one in four city residents living a bi-national life to manage and work in Mexican factories across the border, traffic snakes bumper-to-bumper every day through checkpoints from neighboring Ciudad Juarez. Twenty-five percent of residents are immigrants — with an estimated 3 percent of the state’s unauthorized immigrants Texas-wide residing in El Paso County. Yet, like other jurisdictions that inherited the sanctuary city tag originally used by immigration control groups to create an image of blanket refuge, El Paso is being told to uphold a law that strikes to the core of its identity. “We’re allowing D.C., and sometimes Austin, to dictate what border policy should be,” said David Saucedo, a mayoral candidate who is pitted against the more politically experienced Dee Margo in a June 10 runoff.

Border Patrol ride along gets real when migrant family appears

by Jennifer Thomas

On paper it sounded like the perfect assignment:  spend a day along the U.S. Mexican border with members of the El Paso sector of the U.S. Border Patrol as part of the Dow Jones News Fund Multimedia Journalism Training Academy at UT El Paso.  Off we went – cameras, notepads and audio equipment in hand.  It was hot. 100 degrees. Most of us, have in the least read about, if not reported in some way, the border between the two countries, and the migrants who try to cross illegally into the U.S.  What we were not prepared for, was to see an apprehension first hand. 

U.S. Border Patrol agent Oscar Cervantes and Joe Reyes served as our guides. Cervantes has been a border agent for more than eight years.  Reyes – more than fourteen.  

We visited a portion of the 16-foot steel, eight-mile-long fencing that separates Colonia Anapra in Mexico and the village of Sunland Park, New Mexico.  The structure has been in place since 2007. “It only takes seconds or minutes to blend into the community,” Cervantes explained.   

The El Paso Sector encompasses all of the state of New Mexico and the western tip of Texas, and is one of nine sectors along the Southwest Border of the country.  There are 19,000 agents covering more than 250 miles of international border.  The section of the border is covered 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but Cervantes insists the fence is not meant anyone out.

College grad in limbo after ICE roundup reveals secret, splits family

By Sylvia Ulloa

Jeff Taborda lives in a faded green trailer in an old but neatly kept motor home community in north Las Cruces. Taborda,23, graduated in December from New Mexico State University with a degree in criminal justice, with ambitions to go into law enforcement and eventually join the FBI. He is lean and muscular, working out regularly with his younger brother, Steven. The home Taborda shares with his girlfriend is sparsely furnished, clean dishes in a rack in the sink. “As soon as I eat, I do the dishes,” he told visitors on a recent hot afternoon.

Security, trade, family bind both sides of border

By Pam Frederick

From the roof of the commercial customs lanes at the US-Mexico border in El Paso, TX, a line of trucks four lanes wide stretches beyond sight into the Mexican city of Juárez. A similar line of cars inch along, idling for hours, towards the Bridge of the Americas, one of 10 border crossings in the region. The view makes one point perfectly clear: free trade between the US and Mexico is not ending anytime soon. And no one around these parts knows that better than local business owners. “We build everything together,” says Miriam Kotkowski, the owner of Omega Trucking located just three miles from the border crossing at Santa Teresa, N.M. Her father started his business in New Mexico 50 years ago, crossing cattle.

Entre libros y pañales: se necesitan guarderías para madres y padres universitarios de Ciudad Juárez

Por Ana Carolina Valero Cortez, Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez

Amamantar a un hijo, para muchas es la mayor expresión de amor que una madre pueda profesar a su hijo, arrullarlo y calmar su llanto al mismo tiempo que el pequeño sacia su hambre es un derecho que prohibirlo sería lacerante para ambas partes, sin embargo, para Ixchel Villarreal, una joven madre universitaria ese derecho se vio violentado, pues la Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez (UACJ) no es una institución incluyente con los hijos de sus estudiantes. A través de un video publicado en las redes sociales, Villareal hizo público su reclamo, la activista local y egresada de la carrera de Psicología denunció un supuesto acto de discriminación dentro del Instituto de Ciencias Sociales y Administración (ICSA) por amamantar a su bebé en uno de los edificios. Después de que Villareal pidiera informes para poder ingresar a la maestría, Melquíades, de 10 meses, empezó a inquietarse, el calor sofocante de la ciudad y el hambre provocó en el pequeño malestar; un sofá dentro de un edificio con aire acondicionado parecía el lugar perfecto para amamantarlo y calmar su desosiego. Unos quejidos bastaron para que dos catedráticas de la universidad abandonaran sus cubículos para interrumpir la lactancia, argumentando que una institución educativa no es lugar para tener a un niño, que era un distractor molesto para los estudiantes y que además, no era el “espacio” correcto para amamantarlo. El video de denuncia tuvo tanto impacto que rápidamente empezaron a ventilarse acontecimientos de intolerancia tanto de maestros como de alumnos hacia las madres que por necesidad o gusto asistían con sus hijos a clases, de igual forma, surgieron comentarios reprobatorios apoyando la postura de las docentes.

Juarez has become a limbo for Central American migrants who decided to delay plans to cross into U.S

By Veronica Martinez

For years Casa del Migrante, a shelter in Ciudad Juarez, has been a haven and a crossing point for immigrants coming from the south, but the uncertainty of new immigration policies under the Trump presidency is convincing some of them to remain at the border indefinitely. In 2015  the shelter received 5,600 immigrants. Last year the number increased to more than 9,000, officials said. Ana Lizeth Bonilla, 28, sways back a stroller back and forth watching her two year-old son, Jose Luis, as he sleeps. “Now, we’re just waiting for her,” the pregnant woman says as her arm rests on her baby bump.