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Posted inNews

EL NAYARIT, former Echo Park eatery, hub for undocumented, queer Latinos

In 1922, Natalia Barraza immigrated to the United States alone. In 1922, Natalia Barraza immigrated to the United States alone. She had grown up in Tecuala, a small town in Nayarit, Mexico. Although she immigrated not being able to write, read, or speak English, Barraza opened up El Nayarit, a Mexican restaurant formerly located in the Echo Park community Los Angeles. With time, the restaurant became a well-established community hub for immigrants, the LGBTQ community, and women.

Posted inImmigration

COLUMN: My undocumented father went back to Mexico, making holidays so hard

It has been a little more than a month since I had to say my goodbyes to my father, who left the United States for his hometown in Queretaro, Mexico. The last time I hugged him was on a late-November evening as he entered my cousin’s truck, the car that would take him to the Tijuana airport. “God bless you mija, take care of yourself, and do not be eating too much salt,” he told me as he was getting ready to board the truck. I held his hand and told him not to worry about me. He gave me his blessing and told me that he loved me. What followed was the longest hug I have ever received in my life.

Posted inBusiness

NEEMS JEANS, a sustainable and Latinx couple-owned customizable jeans brand

Knowing how important jeans are too many people and hoping to make the buying experience a million times better, Daniela Rodriguez, CEO, and Andre Ramirez, co-founder, founded Neems Jeans in March 2020. Neems Jeans is a Los Angeles-based, custom-made jeans brand, with two important values: to create jeans that are sustainable and environmentally friendly and to be inclusive and create pieces that fit people’s unique body types.

Posted inOpinion

COMMENTARY: Lack of diversity in healthcare is killing people of color

I am named after my great-grandmother; a curandera (healer) in the mountains of El Salvador, who only had a formal education up to first grade. For her whole adult life, people travel from surrounding villages to be healed by la niña Marcela. I grew up using herbs that have no English names, and having my mother and aunts use everyday herbs like garlic for multiple healing purposes. As a minority in my field (92% white), my upbringing has provided an awareness that a majority of my colleagues lack. 

Posted inOpinion

COLUMN: My undocumented father went back to Mexico, took my heart

Ever since I left my hometown in Queretaro, Mexico, building a place that feels like home in the U.S. has been an ongoing task. Today, the idea of home feels even further away because my father, an immigrant who spent almost two decades in the U.S., will be returning to Mexico. He bought a one-way ticket, not knowing that part of my heart will also be boarding the plane with him. Like him, I’m also undocumented, therefore leaving the U.S. legally, or traveling in and out of the country, is not an option for me. I will soon say goodbye to him, not knowing when I will see him again.

Posted inHealth

TIFFANY ROMO, health manager for LA County helps Latinos fight COVID-19

At the height of the pandemic, there were nearly 900 workers across LA County; the number now is around 400, said Tiffany Romo, health program manager at the Los Angeles Department of Public Health. As a health program manager at the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, Romo manages projects and implements community outreach planning as well as writing grants. “I love my job because I get to serve my community and help people improve their health and well-being,” Romo said.

Posted inBusiness, Representation

MC Mayans actor RICHARD CABRAL and a partner launch Tepito Coffee

With every sip of the most popular hot drink in the world, Tepito Coffee is building cultural bridges for Latinos living on both sides of the international border which separates Mexico and the United States. For Mike De la Rocha and Richard Cabral, owners and founders of Tepito Coffee, coffee is one of the forefronts in a fight to empower their communities. Cabral is an Emmy-nominated actor, producer and writer. He is best known for his roles on the show “Mayans M.C.” (FX, HULU) and the ABC television series “American Crime.” De la Rocha is a community organizer, musician and entrepreneur.

Posted inOpinion

COMMENTARY: Nury Martinez should embrace Oaxacan culture

In this current political scandal, we have five prominent Mexican-Americans in positions of influence nearly unprecedented historically, given the racist legacy of a past LA dominated by Anglo Americans. If those present did not directly insult the Oaxacans, they at the very least entertained language disparaging them. Such Oaxacan peoples are among the most culturally resilient in world history – and yet intrinsically linked to the national identities of modern Mexican people and their American counterparts. This is the historic legacy bestowed upon those officials, too.

Posted inJustice

COMMENTARY: As violence soars in Mexico, we need to do more

I recently returned to the U.S. after spending 14 months in Mexico. At first, the excitement of being back after 22 years in America made me overlook the dangers of being there. While I grew concerned about my safety over time, nothing out of the ordinary happened to me for months. But that changed a week before I returned to the States. August 9th was a normal day at my parents’ house in Irapuato. At 7:30 p.m., a loud explosion interrupted one of our usual long evening chats. An armed command attacked and burned to ashes a convenience store located two-and-a-half blocks from us. That night, drug cartel members set fire to 25 convenience stores, cars and trucks in Guanajuato and Jalisco.

Posted inCulture

COMMENTARY: Lessons on Mexican Independence Day from a professor

As a history professor, my dreams of wealth and rock n’ roll fame in young adulthood evaporated long ago. But just before this Mexican Independence Day on September 16, my professional moments sparkle, to use an un-academic term. Being a former Mexican American GED student in cholo garb, these moments of enlightenment – for me and my students – are about as priceless as any such moments of a respective jale. It’s my time to teach about Mexican Independence (which is not Cinco de Mayo).