En medio de un clima político hostil hacia los inmigrantes en los Estados Unidos, la comunidad Latina florece en todos los campos y aspectos de la sociedad norteamericana. Esta historia, encargada por la revista National Geographic, pretende celebrar la diversidad de este grupo humano. Estas fotografías documentan su lucha diaria para hacerse visibles y para hacer respetar sus derechos en un pais que los ha discriminado a través de su historia. La Latinidad la lleva cada individuo que mantiene viva su cultura o la de sus padres y que se adapta y aporta a la sociedad en la que vive. Aunque son varios sus países de origen, su raza, posición social, educación, etc, los latinoamericanos son una fuerza demográfica y politica, y se han convertido en el grupo minoritario mas grande del país.
In the midst of a political climate hostile to immigrants in the United States, the Latino community flourishes in all fields and aspects of American society. This story, commissioned by National Geographic Magazine, aims to celebrate the diversity within this community. These photographs document their daily struggle to make themselves visible and to demand their rights in a country that has discriminated against them throughout their history. The Latino power is carried by each individual that keeps their culture or that of their parents alive and adapts and contributes to the society in which they live. Although they have different countries of origin, race, social class, education, etc, Latinos are a strong demographic and political force in this country of the North. Latinos are officially the largest minority in the U.S.A.
The Garden of Eva
Eva Kataja lived on the corner of my street in the mountains outside of LA. Eva’s garden was a small jungle, full of plants and vines, tall trees, bushes, hidden statues and beautiful flowers. Eva was diagnosed with dementia about three years ago. She grew up in New York and went to Harvard. She never married or had children. She feels she did well in life. Eva held a private practice for decades and her research on alternative counseling treatments had yielded positive results. She bought a house and held parties to which many people attended. She was involved in political and activist groups of all sorts and she loved to play the guitar.
When I visited Eva I felt like I entered a warped reality, where time seemed to slow down. She spent a lot of her time filling out sweepstake forms to win millions of dollars. Some days, Eva forgot how to use a can opener or spell a word or what she was about to say. She would get frustrated. She suffered.
About a year ago, her conservator decided it was time to move her to assisted living. This devastated Eva. It took a long time for her to accept that she wasn’t coming back home. She has since moved to another facility and her days slowly go by.
I didn’t know Eva before so I have no point of reference on how she used to be. What remains is her strong personality, her clever humor and her stubbornness. I witness her fade away and stay trapped in a foggy alternate universe. Eva still recognizes me when I come to visit. This makes us both happy because we can still connect even though our conversations now have fewer words.
This is a story in progress.
A week before arriving in Buzescu, we were on a bus heading south towards Bucharest. We started a conversation with a young Romanian man, as our bus glided over the Carpathians. The man spoke of bizarre towns with “crazy gypsies”- as he called them, and the huge palaces they had built to show off their wealth. He then said: “They are so backward, these people, that they keep their horses inside the houses and they sleep outside in tents.” We were stunned by the man’s words. Was this just a folk tale?
Back in the 1900’s, Roma families from Buzescu were still semi-nomadic, and travelled in caravans through the Romanian countryside in their horse-drawn carriages. A lot has changed since, and the more fortunate ones have traded in their horses for brand name vehicles. Others, who live in the outskirts of town, never made that switch and still live a rural life next to their gadje neighbors.
After living in the town for some weeks it was obvious to us that despite all the “bling” of the 20-room-three-story-villas, most Roma still chose their modest little back rooms over their ostentatious houses. In fact, they had kept their culture unchanged in many ways, using outhouses, collecting gold and traveling across frontiers in the same way their ancestors did a century ago. They could also care less about outsider’s opinions; they are not showing off to the rest of the world, the show is only for each other.
Cada mes de Mayo, en algunos pueblos del estado de Guerrero, México, se celebra la Fiesta de la Santa Cruz. Además de venerar a cruces y traerles ofrendas de flores y comida, hombres, mujeres y niños se ponen máscaras de jaguar y pelean uno contra uno hasta que alguien se rinda. Esta es una tradición precolombina en la cual la sangre y sudor derramados son ofrendas a la tierra.
La familia Jimenez fue una de las anfitrionas de la cruz este año. Cada dia, los hombres de la familia despostan animales y las mujeres preparan grandes cantidades de comida para todo el pueblo invitado a la celebración. Los olores del mole, tamales, pozole, maíz y mezcal viajan por las calles de tierra.
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Silicon Valley continues to maintain its status as one of the top research and development centers in the world. A 2006 The Wall Street Journal story found that 12 of the 20 most inventive towns in America were in California, and 10 of those were in Silicon Valley