Yoani Sánchez, de bloguera a periodista

CHICAGO – Articulada y expresiva es Yoani Sánchez, la bloguera cubana que participó el 8 de junio en la Trigésima Feria del Libro Printers Row que organiza el periódico Chicago Tribune todos los años. “No pretendemos emular a los websites que se actualizan cada dos minutos”, empezó diciendo Sánchez al anunciar que el 21 de mayo pasado lanzó su periódico digital 14ymedio.com. “No pretendemos emular como una fábrica de chorizos sino de [presentar] reportajes de calado más profundo”, añadió. Sánchez, graduada en filología, confesó que es no es “periodista de carrera, sino a la carrera” explicando que su misión es permitir al mundo ser testigo de lo que ocurre en lo que ella llama “la isla de los desconectados”. Su esfuerzo anterior, el blog GeneraciónY que capturara la atención mundial al informar sobre la Cuba reprimida ha pasado a ser un periódico en línea.

Empower girls, keep them in school, global education experts say


WASHINGTON – Globally, 30 million girls don’t get a basic education, according to the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution. Isabel Matenje, a gender and social development specialist who is married to the ambassador of Malawi to the U.S., was one girl who got the opportunity to pursue an education.  In fact, she was the only girl at her school who didn’t drop out. “I happened to go to a secondary school that was in a district where my dad came from and that was kind of the rural district,” Matenje said. “I was working very hard, being advised by my parents that I needed to succeed. The other girls’ parents weren’t helping them to understand what education was all about.”

Experts in women’s education said Tuesday at the Brookings Institution that it is important for girls and their families to see the value in educating girls and empowering them to feel entitled to an education.

ETSU Hispanics share cultures, educate fellow students

Yesenia Cruz Pascual only knew about three other Hispanics on campus before joining the Hispanic American Student Community Alliance. She felt that not being able to interact with other Latino students was affecting her ability to keep in touch with her Spanish heritage. “Since I only get to go home every three months or so, and I call my mom like once a week, I didn’t get to practice my Spanish very often,” said Pascual, president of HASCA at East Tennessee State University. Anai Saucedo experienced the same lack of diversity. She said that before joining HASCA, she only knew one other person who spoke Spanish.

Palm oil use and production raises hackles around the world

EL PASO – The expanding production and use of palm oil has dire consequences for the environment, human health and rain forest wildlife according to those advocating a reduction in palm oil consumption.Palm oil has a low trans-fat compared to vegetable oil but it is extremely high in saturated fat, which is one of the main causes for heart disease. Orangutans, Sumatran elephants, Asian elephants, the sun bear, rhinoceros, and tigers are at risk of extinction as companies expand plantations into rain forests.Palm oil production is considered the main cause of deforestation of carbon-rich tropical peatlands, changing the forest landscape into wasteland. “Palm oil awareness has really picked up over the past ten years, but the industry has only been around about thirty years. Palm oil has been around for thousands of years, but only as a minor product that was produced by people who knew how to use the palm oil fruit.” claims Rick LoBello, Education Curator at El Paso Zoo. Palm oil plantations are creating massive damage to peatlands in the tropical rain forests of Southeast Asia and Indonesia as these areas are being cut down to open land for plantations.

Caring for thousands of children crossing illegally into the U.S. to cost $868 million in 2014

EL PASO – Employees at a children’s shelter in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, found 12-year-old Noemi Alvarez Quillay’s lifeless body hanging from a shower-curtain rod last March. The Ecuadorian girl had been trying to cross the border to reach her parents in New York when police apprehended her. She is only one of thousands of unaccompanied children braving exhausting heat during the day, freezing winds throughout the night, gang violence and corrupt authorities during their arduous journey north to the U.S. border. For Alvarez, the perilous journey ended within sight of the bridge that connects the two countries, but for her that was one bridge too far. Mexican authorities ruled her death a suicide because she was in fear of being deported back to Ecuador.

La enseñanza del inglés en Juárez mantiene un escaso nivel de aprendizaje entre estudiantes universitarios

CD. JUAREZ — “Hello, my name is Alicia”. Esa expresión, junto con los nombres de los números y colores, fue lo único que Alicia Contreras Vargas logró aprender mientras cursó la secundaria. En retrospectiva, la hoy estudiante universitaria recuerda que sus clases de inglés simplemente “no tenían chiste”. Al igual que Contreras Vargas, un gran número de estudiantes en Ciudad Juárez reconocen el bajo nivel de aprendizaje logrado a lo largo de tres o más años de recibir cursos de ese idioma, pero no saben explicarse del todo las causas de ese déficit.

Annual hoops tournament draws special needs players and approving fans

EL PASO — On an April weekend a local high school gym was full of energy and excitement as a group of adults with special needs prepared to participate in a basketball tournament.The games were attended by members of local community centers and a crowd of some 200 fans roaring encouragement to motivate the teams to victory.Participants are in a government funded program, Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), which allows persons with disabilities to participate and promotes healthy lifestyles that include cultural and social activities. The Multipurpose CDBG Strikers is a group of special needs students who created a team as a part of the Special Olympics.The team is coached by Edward Gonzales. Participants with the local recreation center prepared for their first game of the tournament with smiles and determination.Two teams from that center were able to participate and enjoy an awards ceremony after their tournament games at the recreation center.”I’ve coached other teams before and it’s not so much that you’re helping them out but I personally like the challenge,” said Gonzalez, “I like the idea of doing something different and helping them excel considering their disabilities if I can make them just a little bit better mentally and physically thats what I like.”Tanya Guzman a player on the Strikers team said that the coaching staff “is into it; they worked us hard; we had a good exercise.”Gonzalez said early on it was tough for him to coach the disabled young adults. “Initially, the parents didn’t seem to take it seriously and after they saw me yelling at their kids almost every practice they realized how serious we were and they jumped on board and the support turned out to be very good.”The participants are a part of a daily disability exercise program that allows them to stay active and be a part of sports, weight training, water aerobics, arts and crafts, and computer skills training. Also several field trips and social gatherings are planned by the participant’s parents committee to give them an opportunity to enjoy the city.

Business students compete to advise Borderzine on rebranding effort

EL PASO — Three groups of business students with names like Corporate Eight, Innovation and Crazy Mariachis presented their semester’s project last week to a panel of judges at the College of Business Administration. The students, part of professor Denisse Olivas’ Multicultural Marketing class this semester, were eager to showcase their rebranding projects to their client, Borderzine.com. The judges included a professional team from Eureka!, a local design and ad company, and two borderzine staff members, Webmaster Lourdes Cueva Chacón and Program Assistant Ángel Cancino.The purpose of the projects was to help the organization get more page views, broaden the target audience and provide suggestions for the redesign of the site. The winning group was Corporate Eight, composed of students Valeria García, Brianda Herrera, Eduardo Perales, Pete Ramirez, Linda Gonzalez, María Chavez, Roxana Cabral, and Carlos Perez.“I think it’s a great opportunity to learn more,” said Brianda Herrera, a senior marketing major and member of the winning group “I think it’s a perfect implementation of our knowledge but also to go out there and research a real company, a real brand, a real magazine.” Olivas said she devised the hands-on project to teach her students the necessary skills that they will need once they entered the professional business world. She was first contacted by Cancino to help with the rebranding project for the website that features student multimedia stories about borders.

Madres de las desaparecidas lloran los feminicidios de sus hijas

CD JUAREZ — Unidas en un grito de justicia “Vivas se las llevaron, vivas las queremos”, madres de desaparecidas se reunieron ante La cruz de clavos, frente al puente internacional Santa Fe este 9 de mayo. En un momento conmovedor, las madres con lágrimas en sus ojos, oraron y cantaron por el regreso con vida de sus hijas. En vísperas del día de las madres se manifestaron para exigir a las autoridades que encuentren con vida a sus hijas y se acabe con la impunidad. Las madres declararon que no tienen nada que celebrar porque les quitaron una parte de su vida. Después de repartir y pegar volantes con las pesquisas de sus hijas en la cruz, las integrantes de “Madres y Familias Unidas por Nuestras Hijas”, se dirigieron hacia el Valle de Juárez en una caravana llamada “Conmemorando la Vida”, en memoria por las jóvenes desparecidas, y las jóvenes cuyos restos fueron encontrados en la Sierra de San Ignacio del Valle de Juárez.