A siete meses de la destrucción del huracán María, los puertorriqueños sienten su ciudadanía a medias

El año pasado nuestra isla del encanto, caracterizada por sus montañas vestidas de verde, su cielo azul y sus hermosas playas, se convirtió en lugar de escombros luego del paso del huracán María. María me enseñó que los huracanes no solo poseen la fuerza para arrasar ceibas y arrancar techos, sino que también tienen el poder de desenmascarar narrativas como las que he venido escuchando de mis colegas no-puertorriqueños aquí en los Estados Unidos. Narrativas que, al igual que el huracán María, han logrado exponer las raíces de un problema que lleva toda una vida presente en el territorio puertorriqueño. “But, Puerto Ricans are American citizens”, han repetido hasta el cansancio. Lo he oído tanto o quizá más que la canción “Despacito” cuando pegó en la radio el año pasado. Mientras muchos en la isla siguen en la oscuridad, del mismo modo le sigue tomando meses a mis colegas en comprender el significado de esa situación. Son mis colegas periodistas los que en realidad continúan a oscuras, sin entender las ramificaciones que tiene esta frase.

¿Me caso y me quedo? El dilema de Berta

En silencio nos sentamos en el muelle mientras el sol nos azotaba, el viento nos volaba el cabello en la cara mientras los turistas se tomaban, ningún reparo, sus selfies teniendo de fondo a la costa de California. El álgido tema de la conversación que yo y mi mejor amiga Berta* manteníamos nos hundió en la nostalgia, mientras contemplábamos la incertidumbre del futuro. “No sé qué va a pasar”, dijo Berta. “Pero voy a resolverlo, siempre lo hago”. Berta es una estudiante auspiciada por DACA.

7 things that change when you become pregnant as an undergrad

There are so many things that change when you go from being a regular student with two jobs, a social life and family life, to being a pregnant student with two jobs, a social life and family life. I would have never expected this to happen to me in my last semester of college but here I am, 32 weeks into my pregnancy and three weeks from graduation. Here are just a few things that change when you try to juggle pregnancy and college. 1. Fatigue

You think you’re a tired college student before you get pregnant?

(©iStockphoto)

What you need to do before graduating from college

College graduation is right around the corner. Right about now, graduating seniors like myself are either excited to start a new chapter in their life or scared of what life is bringing next but nonetheless it should be something to look forward to.  

Finding a job is at the top of the list for many students when thinking abut graduation, so it is definitely one of the most important things. However, there are other things that soon-to-be graduates should do professionally and things to simply enjoy in the final weeks. So before you head out, here are five things to do before graduating:

1) Make connections and land a job

 

Start reaching out.

The wisdom of my decision to cross el puente to study journalism in El Paso, an often deadly profession south of the border

I’m originally from Ciudad Juarez and like many others from my Mexican border city, I decided to study communication at UTEP in El Paso to become a journalist. Making the decision to become a journalist was tough. I had to deal with the displeasure of my family and friends over my choice of a demanding career that often provides minimal pay, long hours and can be deadly in Mexico. As many readers from the borderland already know, Ciudad Juarez and Mexico are not places where you would want to work as a hard-hitting journalist. Six Mexican journalists were killed in 2017, the highest number of journalists killed in a country after Iraq and Syria.

How I learned to respect my family’s belief in Santeria

As an 8-year-old child growing up in El Paso, I would frequently attend colorful family backyard barbeques that featured a small room lined with a row of chairs facing a table laid out with tiny cups and unusual statues of saints and Afro-Cuban dieties. In addition to enjoying the traditional barbeque food like hamburgers and hotdogs, my grandparents also served spicy black beans and rice, a dish they had learned to make when they visited Cuba some years ago. Confused by the strange rituals I witnessed at these every-other-week family cookouts, which were far different from what I experienced at the Catholic church I attended with my parents on Sundays, I tended to keep my distance from the adults and instead spent my time running around the yard playing with my cousins. I didn’t pay much attention to why, at the family reunions, my grandparents and other relatives chanted in an unfamiliar language and dressed all in white. As a young Catholic, Mexican-American boy growing up in the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, all I understood was that the unfamiliar rituals were strange and foreign.

Bright lights, big cities. El Paso/Cd. Juárez in the early evening from Tom Lea Park. (Cheryl Howard/Borderzine.com)

El Paso, you’ve been a lifesaver

In 2013, I found myself lost, confused and experiencing the normal growing pains of a 19-year-old trying to find her way. After a not-so-brilliant move to Los Angeles with a friend, I was soon out of money, with no job or place to live after a falling out with said friend. I felt betrayed and disappointed by the realities of “real life.”  Not wanting to return to my hometown of Kansas City, Missouri, I called my father. He was living in El Paso at the time, and having visited the city once, I thought maybe this could be a place where I could manage to get back on my feet.

What your service worker wants you to know is really annoying

Customers sometimes make service workers angry by intentionally or non-intentionally doing one of the following pet peeves in their job. Are you one of these people? As a consumer, you might be doing one of these annoying things that make workers cringe without you realizing it. 1. MONEY ON THE COUNTER

Most cashiers find people who place the money on the counter instead of handing it in as extremely rude.

Grandmother’s death brings lesson in living

The day my grandmother died I wasn’t sad. There was a sense of relief. After seeing my 84-year-old grandmother suffer through months of kidney failure in hospice I knew her death would bring her peace. And although hard to deal with, I knew I’d be fine as well. The beginning of the end

Two years ago my grandmother was hospitalized with a bowel obstruction and told she was in kidney failure.

No, I do not need my shoulders rubbed in the workplace

Over the past few months since The New York Times published allegations of sexual harassment and assault against Hollywood Producer Harvey Weinstein, women have begun coming out in droves to speak out about sexual assault they have endured. And, ever so slowly, men in powerful positions in Hollywood, the media, politics and television that may have long gotten away with #NSFW behavior for decades are now finally paying a heavy price. This includes Weinstein, actor Kevin Spacey, former President George H. W. Bush, popular comedian Louis C.K., talk show host Charlie Rose and Republican political figure Roy Moore. They and others are among the ever-growing list of powerful figures facing allegations that range from inappropriate behavior to sexual misconduct to rape. Former NBC Today Host Matt Lauer, radio personality Garrison Keillor, and music producer Russell Simmons are the most recent to bite the dust, and their spectacular falls came less than 24 hours of each other.