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Marigolds Bridge the Worlds of the Living and Dead

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By Emily Ellis Luis Coronado needed just one thing to complete his altar for el Día de los Muertos. Something that represents ancient Aztec legends. Something that brightens altars in homes throughout Latin America and the United States every autumn.  Something used around the world to lure the souls of the dead back to earth. Luckily, he found what he was looking for on sale at Costco. “You can see why they’re called las flores de los muertos,” says Coronado, a Mexican historian at the University of Arizona.  He hefts a large pot of bobbing golden flowers onto a corner of the altar he has built in the UA Latin American Studies Department. A sickly-sweet smell wafts over the grinning sugar skulls and black-and-white photographs. “Spirits come from a dark place,” he says. “To attract them to the material world, you...

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Lalo Guerrero: Tesoro Nacional del Folklor

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Escrito por Hailey Freeman Traducido por Lizeth D. Castellanos Mientras que miembros del equipo y voluntarios acarrean bocinas, cables y amplificadores desde el escenario improvisado en el festival folclórico Tucson Meet Yourself, el guitarrista George Landa convive con los tantos fans que esperan en línea para comprar el disco de su banda. Vestido con una boina y una camisa de boliche con un estampado de llamas, Landa acepta con gratitud los cumplidos de sus fans. Él y sus compañeros de banda Los Nawdy Dawgs acaban de terminar un tributo de una hora honrando la musicalidad de Eduardo “Lalo” Guerrero, nativo de Tucson, también conocido como el Padre de la Música Chicana.            Lalo es considerado Tesoro Nacional del Folklor (National Folk Treasure) por el Instituto Smithsoniano (Smithsonian Institution). Fue pionero de numerosas técnicas y estilos musicales, convirtiéndose en el...

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Aliados para el bienestar

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Por Christina Duran Traducido Hiriana N. Gallegos En una calurosa mañana de sábado, varias personas se juntan alrededor de una camioneta blanca en frente de la organización  House of Neighborly Services. Lorenzo González se para con la espalda hacia su camioneta con el logo del Sur de Tucson repartiendo cajas de pintura de aerosol, bolsas de plástico llenas de esponjas, trapos, papel de lija y baldes hasta el tope de agua. Brevemente le da instrucciones al público. “¡Recuerden no pinten la lechada!”, grita el Sr. González. “Voy a pasar por cada uno de los marcos si alguien necesita algo, ¡Gracias!” Grupos de tres a cuatro personas pintaban los marcos de los murales icónicos del Sur de Tucson creados por Las Artes, un programa de educación de artes para los estudiantes que no terminaron la preparatoria. Este evento que se...

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Redefiniendo Chicano Hip-Hop

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Por Stephen H. Crane III Traducido por Hiriana N. Gallegos La pequeña sala de narguile estaba llena de espectadores que esperaban presenciar el primer concierto de un artista joven.            Pero la memoria USB del artista no funcionó. No tenía la música de fondo.            “Lo más absurdo es que canté a capela”, compartió el cantante. “Me subí al escenario y le di con todo. La gente se alocó”.            Spit Hell Manuel, alias Manuel Andrade, tal vez tuvo un comienzo escabroso como artista, pero hoy en día el chicano apasionado y simpático está desempeñando su carrera en hip-hop. Tiene cuatro discos disponibles y ha creado más de 40 canciones. Andrade creció y actualmente vive en Avondale, Arizona, el cual él describe como algo difícil. “Me dijeron que ser mexicano en rap no esta de onda, así que aquí...

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Nogalenses create an oasis in a food desert

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By CHRISTINA DURAN Arizona Sonora News (Christina Duran is a reporter for El Independiente) Down Morley Avenue, one side of the street is lined with storefronts selling girls’ party clothes and bright plastic toys. On the other side, tents and tables occupy what’s usually a vacant parking lot. Each table is laden with an assortment of produce and homemade treats, from kale and yellow butternut squash, to pomegranates, empanadas, and different cheeses. A big metal pot between the crates of food lure Nogalenses with the rich scent of carne con chile tamales. Friday afternoons, near the border that separates Nogales and Sonora, people gather to listen to Latino hits and to enjoy the food at the Nogales Mercado. In 2012 the Mariposa Community Health Center (MCHC) and Nogales Community Development (NCD) partnered to found the Nogales Mercado. Their aim...

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‘Spit Hell Manuel’ on stage with Chicano rap

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By STEPHEN H. CRANE Arizona Sonora News (Stephen H. Crane III is a reporter with El Independiente) The small, crowded hookah lounge was filled with an audience awaiting a young artist’s first performance. But the performer’s flash drive failed. He had no music to back him up. “The crazy thing was that I performed acapella,” he said. “I went up there and ripped the stage. People were going crazy.” Spit Hell Manuel, AKA Manuel Andrade, may have had a rocky start as a performer, but today Andrade is making a career for himself in hip-hop. He has four albums available, and has created well over 40 songs. He grew up and currently lives in Avondale, Arizona, which he describes as pretty rough. “‘They told me, being Mexican in rap ain’t cool, so I’m here to kick doors down and...

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A national folk treasure: Tucson’s Lalo Guerrero, the father of Chicano music

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By HAILEY FREEMAN Arizona Sonora News (Hailey Freeman is a reporter with El Independiente) While crew members and volunteers haul speakers, cords and amplifiers off the makeshift stage at Tucson Meet Yourself, guitarist George Landa mingles with the handful of fans waiting in line to buy his band’s CD.  Clad in a black newsboy hat and bowling shirt adorned with flames, Landa graciously accepts compliments. He and his fellow Los Nawdy Dawgs band members have just wrapped an hour-long tribute performance honoring the musicianship of Tucson-born Eduardo “Lalo” Guerrero, known as the Father of Chicano Music. Lalo is recognized as a National Folk Treasure by the Smithsonian Institution. He pioneered a number of musical techniques and styles, becoming the first musician to incorporate Chicano slang into his lyrics. He learned this slang, or caló, growing up in Tucson, according to...

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Tucson felons set aside their past with rights restoration clinics

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By ANGELO LAVO Arizona Sonora News (Angelo Lavo is a reporter with El Independiente) All it takes is a laptop, a form, maybe two, and someone with knowledge of the process and access to online records. A lawyer could certainly perform the job, but it could be as much as $2,400. Felons with multiple convictions cannot vote, run for public office, sit on a jury or possess a firearm. They must have these rights restored via what is called a judicial “set aside.” In general, the set aside is an important step for former prisoners to return to a “normal” life. The Pima County Public Defender’s Office, in partnership with the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law, Pima County Clerk of the Superior Court and local nonprofits Primavera Foundation and Second Chance, provides four free opportunities annually...

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Unidas helps young women get involved in community, explore issues and opportunities

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By Brooke Goldstein El Independiente Sasha Enrique, 16, wanted more than a standard high school experience. She wanted to volunteer and work with charitable organizations, but didn’t know what was right for her. She surfed the web and came across the Women’s Foundation of Southern Arizona’s Unidas program. She filled out her personal information and wrote down her interests and thoughts on what it means to be a woman. A couple weeks later she was accepted into the program, and her life changed forever.   “Unidas helped me discover great volunteer opportunities,” Enrique says. “ Getting involved with my community has allowed me become a more aware and dedicated student.” The program helps girls like Enrique between the ages of 14 and 18 gain hands-on experience in community service, leadership and social justice to improve the quality of life...

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Little angels take big steps to understand loss

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By Phoebe Stevens El Independiente Children with painted faces run around Armory Park in homemade costumes, while their families spread out across the plush green lawn and relax beneath the sun’s warmth. From the air that buzzes with laughter and chatter, most people would not assume that the event being held that day had anything to do with death. But mortality is one of the main themes at the Procession of Little Angels. It’s a family-oriented extension of the annual All Souls Procession. It is an event held every year to provide a safe and kid-friendly space for children to explore and understand the concepts of death, grief and loss, which are all present at All Souls. “While you can find those elements in the All Souls Procession, because Little Angels is a kid-driven event, there’s this sense of the joy...

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