As the COVID-19 pandemic was declared by the World Health Organization on March 11, I knew my life would dramatically change. I just didn’t know how much.Some professors were already talking about transitioning to online learning, some of my plans were starting to fall apart, and I found myself washing my hands at every chance I had.At first, things were not that bad – Spring Break had been extended for a week and my university decided to transition to online learning for the rest of the semester. As I live on the Mexican side and study and work in the U.S., this meant that I didn’t have to cross the border every day for the next two months a half – quite a relief.For the next weeks, my life was fairly tranquil. I had the time to read more than I normally do – something I was overly happy about.I was able to cook more often than I normally do, and generally had to improvise because going to the supermarket every time something was missing wasn’t really an option.I even started planting my own chiles.Though I knew things were not alright and people all around the world were suffering the devastating effects of this pandemic, I still found some comfort in cooking with my family on a Friday morning.It was until mid-April that the pandemic started affecting me negatively – or my plans to be precise. I had submitted a paper to a conference in Oneonta, New York, which was cancelled due to the outbreak in the state.
One thing that the coronavirus pandemic has allowed me to do is read. I’ve been able to connect with many stories, characters and settings through the turning of pages. But no matter how connected I can feel to any story, it is deeper with those that feature my homeland on the U.S., Mexico border.What all these books have in common is an understanding of what it is to be somewhere in between two countries – sometimes lost, sometimes more aware than ever. From an odyssey to an identity crisis, from an individual struggle to political battles, these books situate us in the middle of La Frontera and help us understand our history while informing our present.In times of COVID-19, what better way to pass our days than getting to know ourselves and our heritage?1. The Line Becomes a River by Francisco CantúThis book is a memoir from a third generation Mexican-American who is a former Border Patrol agent from Arizona.
SAMALAYUCA, MEXICO — Residents of this small farming town in northern Mexico petitioning authorities to stop a copper mine from opening have managed to temporarily halt the project. They started protesting last August after the Canadian mining corporation VVC Exploration announced plans to open the mine ‘La Gloria’ in the Samalayuca desert. A district judge on March 5th ordered the suspension of the mining project for at least five months, according to a report from El Diario de Juarez newspaper. But opponents know the fight is far from over in Samalayuca, a small agricultural town in Chihuahua about 35 miles south of El Paso-Ciudad Juarez border. Residents and environmental activists protesting the mine are supported through various organizations including Frente Eco-Social Paso del Norte, Frente Ciudadano Contra la Mina, and Para Que No Nos Mine la Mina.
EL PASO – Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders fired up a nearly full Abraham Chavez theater Saturday while also heading to victory in the Nevada caucuses, hitting all the high notes and exciting his fans. Vowing to “end the hatred,” Sanders promised to change current immigration policy and no longer “snatch a baby from her mother” if people are crossing illegally and end ICE raids. The highly supportive crowd of nearly 2,500 cheered. Sanders has been critical of Trump’s policies and rhetoric, which he’s repeatedly referred to as racist and xenophobic. Before attending the rally, Sanders visited the memorial for the Aug.