Newish book: Morena by Eva Marisol Crespin

I’m a little late on this one – it came out in 2017 – but better late than never right? Looks like a fantastic read…

Eva Marisol Crespin’s premiere poetry collection, Morena, was written in Albuquerque, New Mexico and spans a five-year evolution of personal growth and truth. Morena explores heartache, identity, love, and loss, with the dream of inspiring others to share and speak their truth.

Burque native, Eva Marisol Crespin, is a slam poet, writer and activist. She has been writing and performing since the age of twelve. Coming off a win at the 2016 National Poetry Slam Group Piece finals, Eva has been a part of a Number of slam teams who have seen final stage. She continues to slam and write poetry in her hometown of Albuquerque. She is currently working towards her degree in social work, working as a server, and teaching writing workshops in schools, recovery centers, and in the community. She identifies as a Queer, Xingona, Xicana, who is sculpting words and ripping herself open to speak her truth.


Newish book: Borderwall as Architecture


Borderwall as Architecture: A Manifesto for the U.S.-Mexico Boundary (2017)

With the passage of the Secure Fence Act in 2006, the U.S. Congress authorized funding for what has become the largest domestic construction project in twenty-first century America. The result? Approximately 700 miles of fencing, barricades, and walls comprised of newly built and repurposed materials, strategically placed along the 1,954-mile international border between the United Mexican States and the United States of America. At an initial cost of $3.4 billion, the most current estimates predict that the expense of maintaining the existing wall will exceed $49 billion by 2032. Envisioned solely as a piece of security infrastructure—with minimal input from architects and designers—the existing barrier has also levied a heavy toll on the lives of individuals, communities, municipalities, and the surrounding environment. In Borderwall as Architecture: A Manifesto for the U.S.-Mexico Boundary (UC Press, 2017)Professor Ronald Rael proposes a series of architectural designs that advocate for the transformation of the existing 700-mile-wall into a piece of civic infrastructure that makes positive contributions to the social, cultural, and ecological landscapes of the U.S.-Mexico borderlands. As both a muse and act of political protest, Rael’s designs challenge us to question the efficacy of the current barrier, while simultaneously stoking our imagination concerning its future.


Check out a great podcast about it here:

New Book: The Crossroads by Alexandra Diaz

  • Age Range: 8 – 12 years
  •             Grade Level: 3 – 7
  •             Hardcover: 336 pages
  •             Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
  •             Language: English
  •             ISBN-10: 153441455X
  •             ISBN-13: 978-1534414556


After crossing Mexico into the United States, Jaime Rivera thinks the worst is over. Starting a new school can’t be that bad. Except it is, and not just because he can barely speak English. While his cousin Ángela fits in quickly, with new friends and after-school activities, Jaime struggles with even the idea of calling this strange place “home.” His real home is with his parents, abuela, and the rest of the family; not here where cacti and cattle outnumber people, where he can no longer be himself—a boy from Guatemala.

When bad news arrives from his parents back home, feelings of helplessness and guilt gnaw at Jaime. Gang violence in Guatemala means he can’t return home, but he’s not sure if he wants to stay either. The US is not the great place everyone said it would be, especially if you’re sin papeles—undocumented—like Jaime. When things look bleak, hope arrives from unexpected places: a quiet boy on the bus, a music teacher, an old ranch hand. With his sketchbook always close by, Jaime uses his drawings to show what it means to be a true citizen.

Powerful and moving, this touching sequel to The Only Road explores overcoming homesickness, finding ways to connect despite a language barrier, and discovering what it means to start over in a new place that alternates between being wonderful and completely unwelcoming.

En Español

Jaime y Ángela descubren lo que es vivir como inmigrantes indocumentados en los Estados Unidos en la continuación de El único destino, libro ganador del premio Pura Belpré Honor.


“An incredibly heartfelt depiction of immigrants and refugees in a land full of uncertainty.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Diaz paints an insightful, realistic picture of a place that’s filled with opportunity but simultaneously rife with discrimination, which is especially important reading for today’s children.” —Booklist

“Fans of The Only Road will appreciate following Jaime and Ángela on the next phase of their lives, while teachers and librarians may find the text useful to counter unsubstantiated myths about Central Americans fleeing to the US.” —School Library Journal

Jaime and Ángela discover what it means to be living as undocumented immigrants in the United States in this timely sequel to the Pura Belpré Honor Book The Only Road.

Alexandra Diaz is a Cuban-American spending her time between Bath, England, Santa Fe, NM, and the rest of the world. She has an MA in Writing for Young People from Bath Spa University and has led various workshops since she was fourteen. As a result of being homeschooled for most of high school, she’s fascinated by teenage school life and the drama that occurs in those quarters. One of the reasons she writes is to experience life in someone else’s shoes. She is a “jenny of all trades” having worked as a nanny, teacher, film extra, tour guide, and dairy goat judge (seriously). She currently teaches creative writing and circus arts, though not at the same time. For more information, got to


Original post by Rene Colato Lainez found here:

LibroMobile with Sarah Rafael Garcia

This is a truly special post to put up – from our good friends over at about one of our favorite authors, Sarah Rafael Garcia.

Check out the original post here:—libromobile–latino-book-review.html


A Love for Books

In March 2016, Sarah Rafael Garcia had returned to her childhood city, Santa Ana, CA., as an artist-in-residence at CSUF Grand Central Art Center (GCAC). Prior to her return, Santa Ana’s only bookstore had closed. Her nostalgia and desire to reclaim a space in her community for culturally relevant literature would soon lead her to create a unique platform—a space for books by writers of color, bilingual and Spanish books for children, youth, and adults, as well as books about culture and social justice issues.

An Idea

When Sarah first received a planter cart meant to garden herbs and organic veggies from her friend, the only thing Sarah could envision was a bookmobile on 4th St.—a type ofpaletero cart that had books instead. 

And so, with the support from community organizations such as Red Salmon Arts and Community Engagement, theLibroMobile project was bornThe repurposed gardening cart became, through Sarah’s will and creativity, an artistic and literary hub in Santa Ana. Since then, the LibroMobile project has grown substantially and now includes free visual exhibits, year-round creative workshops and live readings. As of January 2018, the bookmobile resides in a warehouse on Calle Cuatro (off 4th & Spurgeon, back alley area) and travels throughout Santa Ana, visiting a variety of community-based events.

Continues to Grow

The gardening cart where Sarah originally stocked 60 books has now become a bookstore with approximately 1000 titles, ranging from handmade zines to popular authors, to small press bilingual publications. LibroMobile has also been named The Best Used Bookstore of 2018 by OC Weekly “for helping to nourish the minds of its residents”.

​Currently, Sarah restocks several Little Free Libraries located at the Delhi Center, Heritage Museum of OC, and several apartments complexes. Through support from Community Engagement, she also donated little libraries to El Centro Cultural de Mexico, the public garden of Heritage Museum of OC, GCAC and others. LibroMobile also sells art by local artists where 100% of the profits are paid directly to the artists. LibroMobile is a safe haven for book-lovers, artists, and wanderers—a bold and growing initiative that builds community and literacy for the people of Santa Ana. 

Sarah Rafael García is a writer, traveler, and arts educator. Since publishing Las Niñas (Floricanto Press 2008), she founded Barrio Writers, LibroMobile and Crear Studio. In 2016, García was awarded for SanTana’s Fairy Tales (Raspa Magazine 2017), supported in part by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, through an Artist-in-Residence initiative at Grand Central Art Center. Sarah Rafael is an editor for the Barrio Writers and pariahs writing from outside the margins anthologies. In 2018, she held a collaborative artist residency at The Guesthouse, Cork, Ireland and was honored as an Emerging Artist at the 19th Annual Orange County Arts Awards. Currently, Sarah Rafael García spends her days stacking books, providing art workshops and writing in Santa Ana, California.

For more information about LibroMobile, visit their instagram page.

CfP: Representations of Afrolatinidad in Global Perspective

Call for Papers

Representations of Afrolatinidad in Global Perspective

University of Pittsburgh

April 11-13, 2019

Conference Convened by the Afro-Latin American and Afro-Latinx Studies Initiative

Contact: Dr. Michele Reid-Vazquez, University of Pittsburgh,


Keynote Speakers:

Dr. Juliet Hooker, Professor of Political Science, Brown University

Dr. Nancy Mirabal, Associate Professor, American Studies, Director of the US Latina/o Studies Program, University of Maryland-College Park



The intersections of race, ethnicity, and representation have shaped historical and contemporary articulations of Afrolatinidad. As an expression of multivalent identity, both shared and unique, Afrolatinidad informs the experiences of over 150 million Afro-Latin Americans and millions more within diasporic communities in the United States, Canada, Europe, and beyond. The conference seeks to foster an international dialogue that addresses regional, national, and transnational links among the ways Afro-Latin Americans and Afro-Latinxs create, sustain, and transform meanings surrounding blackness in political, social, and cultural contexts.


This two-day symposium aims to engage multiple depictions of Afro-Latin Americans and Afro-Latinxs – whether self-fashioned or imposed. The varied portrayals in the past and present reflect the ongoing global realities, struggles, vibrancy, and resiliency of Afro-Latin diasporas throughout the Americas and elsewhere. The symposium will feature keynote addresses by Dr. Juliet Hooker, Professor of Political Science at Brown University, and Dr. Nancy Mirabal, Associate Professor of American Studies and Director of the U.S. Latina/o Studies Program at the University of Maryland-College Park. Their work on Afro-descendant politics in Latin America and Afro-Latinx discourses of race, gender, and territoriality, respectively, will spark broader exchanges around Afrolatinidad and representation among presenters and attendees.


We invite submissions that address aspects of Afrolatinidad, particularly through ethnicity/race, gender, history, technology, and expressive culture, such as music, dance and art. We are especially interested in papers that analyze these themes across a variety of conceptual frameworks, including Africana Studies, Anthropology, Caribbean Studies, Cultural Studies, History, Latin American Studies, Latinx Studies, Media Studies, Political Science, and Sociology.


Submissions need not be confined to these topics, but, if possible, please indicate at least two themes that correspond to your proposal.



-Slavery and Its Legacies in Latin America

-Politics of Culture/Cultural Expression

-Visibility and Invisibility

-Theorizing Afro-Latinidad

-Race, Gender, and Migration

-Diaspora, Community, and Technology/Social Media


Please submit a title, 250-word abstract, and 2-page CV by January 7, 2019, to If you have questions, please contact Dr. Michele Reid-Vazquez at and include “Afrolatinidad Conference” in the subject line. Authors of accepted proposals will be contacted by January 31, 2019, and paper drafts are due March 28, 2019 for pre-circulation with discussants and panelists. In addition to invited keynote, roundtable, and community and curriculum speakers, ten to twelve scholars will be selected to present their work at the symposium. Lodging and meals will be covered for all invited presenters.


This event and registration are free and open to the public. The tentative conference schedule is as follows:


Thursday, April 11, 2019

4:00-4:15pm   Welcome

4:15-5:00pm   Keynote-Afro-Latin America

5:15-5:30pm   Q&A

5:30-7:00pm   Post-Keynote Reception


Friday, April 12, 2019

8:45-10:00am – Session 1

10:00-11:45am – Session 2

Buffet Lunch

1:00-2:45pm – Session 3

2:45-4:15pm – Session 4

4:15-5:15pm – Pre-Keynote Reception

5:15-6:30pm – Keynote-Afro-Latinx


Saturday, April 13, 2019

9:00am-10:45am – Session 5 – Curriculum and Community

10:45am-12noon – Session 6 – Wrap Up Roundtable


Cosponsors: University of Pittsburgh Office of the Chancellor, Afro-Latin American and Afro-Latinx Studies Initiative, Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences, Year of Pitt Global, Humanities Center, Center for Latin American Studies, and the Department of Africana Studies

Malibu Jewish camps helped give life to the Chicano movement. They were destroyed in the Woolsey fire

Another banger by Alejandra Reyes-Velarde:

One of the first things Rabbi Alfred Wolf did after joining the Wilshire Boulevard Temple in 1949 was start a camping program for children. Wolf envisioned a place that would be the antithesis of the Nazi Germany he had escaped.

And it would be not only for Jewish children, but for other children from Los Angeles’ burgeoning and increasingly diverse communities. There they could organize and try to improve their lot and those of others, said his son Dan Wolf, 68.

The rabbi built two camps in Malibu: the beachside Hess Kramer and its sister camp Hilltop. In the 1960s, they became another home for a group of young Latinos who helped launch the Chicano movement.

This week, the camps’ director, Seth Toybes, confirmed that Camp Hilltop was destroyed by the Woolsey fire.

At Camp Hess Kramer, only a dining hall and a building that housed an infirmary and offices are standing — as well as a wooden menorah and the plaque that commemorated its founder. Out of 28 cabins, only one survived the fire.

The lonely menorah that sits atop Inspiration Hill serves as a literal and figurative sign that the camp will be rebuilt, and that its spirit of empowerment for young people will live on, said Dan Wolf.


Camp Kramer was the place that planted the seed for many Chicano leaders, including Vickie Castro, who attended the first Latino youth conference there in 1963. Castro would become the second Latino elected to the Los Angeles Board of Education.

“Camp Kramer gave me a voice,” she said after hearing the camp’s fate. “It gave me organizational skills, and it exposed me to a much larger world than my own little neighborhood.”


It was at camp, she said, that she met young people from all over L.A. County who experienced the same problems in trying to get a good education that she did at Roosevelt High School in Boyle Heights. She played a part in forming the Young Chicanos for Community Action, which would become the Brown Berets.

At the 1967 retreat, Lincoln High School social science teacher Sal Castro began to form the idea for a boycott — the East Los Angeles Blowouts of 1968. At least 10,000 high school students, including Castro, boycotted their schools to protest widespread racism and inadequate education standards.


Castro said the destruction of the camps deeply saddened her.

“So many good memories,” she said. “It was a life-changing experience for me.”


Dan Wolf said his father wanted the camps to be a beacon for positive change.


“My father was directly involved in saying come use our facility to make your plans to make change,” he said. “I’m sure back in those days there were places they couldn’t go.”


Since it was built in 1952, the camp has been a haven for generations of children, some coming from abroad and out of state.


“There’s this connection that develops with that place … and I believe when it’s rebuilt that connection will continue. That won’t be lost.”


Toybes and Wolf said they are already planning to rebuild the structures and will host camp in a rented space until construction is complete.


“We’re going to have camp this summer, no matter what,” Toybes said.

A Lack Of Landmarks Leaves Latino History In Danger Of Being Forgotten


A makeshift memorial to Hispanic Civil War Union soldiers in an isolated part northern New Mexico is a typical representation of sites linked to U.S. Latino history: It’s shabby, largely unknown and at risk of disappearing.

Across the U.S, many sites historically connected to key moments in Latino civil rights lie forgotten, decaying or endanger of quietly dissolving into the past without acknowledgment. Scholars and advocates say a lack of preservation, resistance to recognition and even natural disasters make it hard for sites to gain traction among the general public, which affects how Americans see Latinos in U.S. history.

The birthplace of farmworker union leader Cesar Chavez sits abandoned in Yuma, Arizona. The Corpus Christi, Texas, office of Dr. Hector P. Garcia, where the Mexican-American civil rights movement was sparked, is gone. And no markers exist where pioneering educator George I. Sanchez captured images of New Mexico poverty for his 1940 groundbreaking book “Forgotten People.”

“People need to see history, they need to touch it, they need to feel it, they need to experience it,” said Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, a journalism professor at the University of Texas who has worked to preserve Latino historical sites. “When something is preserved, it’s a daily reminder of our history.”

Many states have historical markers and sites dedicated to Latino history but they usually center around the Spanish exploration era, colonial times and Old West settlement periods, scholars and advocates say. Those are “safe” sites because they downplay the racism and segregation Latinos had to overcome, said Luis Sandoval, a nonprofit consultant in Yuma who is pushing for the region to honor Chavez’ legacy.

As the nation’s Latino population grows, local tourism groups and the National Park Service in recent years have responded.

In 2012, the National Park Foundation’s American Latino Heritage Fund launched a campaign to improve the representation of Hispanics in national parks. The National Park Service also convened an “American Latino Scholars Expert Panel” made of members like Rivas-Rodriguez and Yale history professor Stephen J. Pitti.

Before leaving office, former U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell announced that four Latino national landmarks were among the 24 new National Historic Landmarks. Chicano Park — a collection of murals under a San Diego highway that became a gathering place for activists during the 1970s Chicano Movement — was among them.

But Albuquerque, New Mexico-based activist Ralph Arellanes, Sr., says much more needs to be done nationwide to save Latino sites.

The makeshift memorial in northern New Mexico dedicated to Hispanic Union soldiers during the Battle of Glorieta Pass is a good example. The memorial off Interstate 25 is 20 miles southeast of Santa Fe and was built by retired District Attorney Alfonso Sanchez. It has wooden saints and crude signs explaining a battle that has been called “the Gettysburg of the West.”

“I’m glad it’s there. But it looks like just a taco stand, without any tacos” said Arellanes, whose great-great-grandparents served as trail guides for the Union

The site marks where Union soldiers beat back the advancing Confederate Army, ending the battle for the West during the Civil War. Hispanic soldiers played a key role in that fight.

Arellanes wants state lawmakers to dedicate around $5 million to revamp the site. The Pecos National Historical Park officials give tours of the battlefield, but reservations often have to be made weeks in advance.

Arellanes also thinks New Mexico should preserve the birthplace of United Farm Worker co-founder Dolores Huerta, who was born in northern mining town Dawson. The ghost town is surrounded by a gated fence and is not open to the public.

Besides money, advocates sometimes have to fight local historical commissions that decide whether markers are erected, according to John Moran Gonzalez, director of the Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas. That’s why advocates in recent months have struggled to erect a monument commemorating the 1918 Porvenir Massacre — the killing of 15 unarmed Mexican-Americans in a border village by Texas Rangers.

“A lot of these historical county commissions are all white with older members,” Gonzalez said. “Remembering these important moments can be embarrassing to them.”

Still, some advocates say progress is coming.

In Austin, Texas, for example, a group of volunteers operates the Austin Tejano Trail aimed at giving visitors guided tours of important churches, homes and plazas linked to the city’s Mexican-American history.

Earlier this year, a Houston building where Mexican-American civil rights leaders planned President John Kennedy’s historic visit the night before his assassination has been designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation after years of pressure. The LULAC Council 60 clubhouse historical site also received a piece of a $450,000 grant to help with damage caused by Hurricane Harvey last year.

Sandoval said these are encouraging developments as activists try to work on commemorating Chavez in his birthplace of Yuma, Arizona, along the U.S.-Mexico border. He said Yuma’s powerful agricultural business interests resist most efforts to honor the late farm worker union leader.

“But the Latino population is growing down here,” Sandoval said. “They are going to be a powerful voice soon, too.”

Colorado’s History Is Grounded In Latino And Chicano Culture. Why Isn’t It Better Told?

Original post by Hayley Sanchez for Colorado Public Radio…Go the website to listen for free!

Colorado’s history is so interwoven with that of its Latino and Chicano residents that the state constitution was originally written in English, German and Spanish.

But landmarks, plaques and other commemorative monuments dedicated to Latino and Chicano history in the state are scarce and poorly preserved, if they exist at all. This is in spite of Colorado’s rich past, including Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzales’ activism, the Escuela Tlatelolco schoolChicano murals in La Alma-Lincoln Park and more…

CfP: St. Sucia’s Last Issue

Submit to!


Last Call! We are opening submissions for our LAST ISSUE EVER! If you have always wanted to submit, but never knew what to send, this is an open call for everything! We have previously published all kinds of writing, visual art, and photos of media like film stills, textile work and sculptures. In the last 4 years we have achieved our initial goal of making space for Mujeres. We decided that instead of waiting to be invited into art galleries and book stores, we were gonna publish our own work. I’m that time we have published mujeres, gender non-conforming, two-spirit and non binary creators. We have published from as far North as Canada and as far south as Venezuela. Our community is so diverse with so many intersections and we tried to make space for voices of all Latinas: indigenous Latinas, Afro Latinas, boricuas, Dominicanas, xicanas, Centroamericanas, Mexicanas, Mexican-Americans, and Sudamericanas. Immigrants to the US and We-been-here-before-Columbus-came-to-the-US voices. Lesbian, Bi, Queer, Trans voices. Stories of factory workers and Latina PhDs. Stories generations old, and stories we never told anyone. Stories of pride. Stories of struggle. Stories of survival. All in our own words. By us, for us. We started out trying to get our work seen by more people. To show that we as, Latinas, as Latinx, have so much talent in our community of creators. We are so much more than stereotypes. We are writers, artists, photographers, film makers, publishers, everything. Just because no one is putting a spotlight on us, it doesn’t mean we aren’t here. Thank you to everyone who has ever submitted, been published, or bought one of our zines. Thank you to the students who wrote about us, librarians and professors who included us in academia. Because of y’all, these voices will live forever in libraries around the country and reach into spaces we never dreamed possible

New Book: Vincent Ventura and the Mystery of the Chupacabras by Xavier Garza

This looks like a great new bilingual book for children.

ISBN: 978-1-55885-869-5

Publication Date: October 31, 2018

Bind: Trade Paperback

Pages: 64

Award-winning author returns with thrilling new bilingual series for intermediate readers!

When stray dogs start disappearing from the neighborhood, Vincent’s dad thinks that maybe the Animal Control Department is finally doing its job. But then, Mrs. Rangel’s celebrity chihuahua Chato, who appeared in television commercials promoting tacos, disappears. And Mrs. García’s weiner dog and Mrs. West’s poodle go missing. Everyone in the neighborhood is puzzled, but Vincent Ventura has a theory.

The disappearances started when Mr. Calaveras moved into the house at 666 Duende Street, which is rumored to be haunted. Vincent knows he’s not the harmless but grumpy guy that everyone else sees. He’s convinced the old man is behind the rash of missing dogs. In fact, Vincent is sure he’s a monster, a blood-sucking beast known as el chupacabras!

Vincent enlists the aid of his cousin Michelle, the smartest student at their school, and her twin brother Bobby to spy on the suspected killer. Vincent Ventura, monster fighter extraordinaire, is determined to catch him in the act, even if it puts them all in danger! Accompanied by the author’s dramatic black and white illustrations, this exciting short novel for ages 8 – 12 will introduce Latino creepy creatures to a new generation of readers.



“Older middle-grade readers will find these Latin American horror stories deliciously short but spooky.”—Kirkus Reviews on The Donkey Lady Fights La Llorona and Other Stories / La señora Asno se enfrenta a la Llorona y otros cuentos

“With its quick pace, humor and endearing characters, this is sure to turn more kids into lucha libre fans.”—Booklist on Maximillian & the Mystery of the Guardian Angel

XAVIER GARZA is the author of numerous books for kids, including The Donkey Lady Fights La Llorona and Other Stories / La señora Asno se enfrenta a la Llorona y otros cuentos (Piñata Books, 2015), Maximilian and the Lucha Libre Club (Cinco Puntos Press, 2016) and Kid Cyclone Fights the Devil and Other Stories / Kid Ciclón se enfrenta a El Diablo y otras historias (Piñata Books, 2010). He lives with his family in San Antonio, Texas.