araceli cruz

My Life y Cultura

po15xlcc0sn.jpg

Ni de aquí, ni de allá: How I learned to be a Mexican and an American

"When people ask you what you are, what do you say?" my cousin asked me. "I say I am Mexican," I responded confidently. "But you're not, you were born [in America]," she said. That interaction, which happened while I visited family in Mexico as a teen, shifted my perception of my identity.  Read on....

Strawberry Fields Forever: My Family Spent 5 Years as Migrant Farm Workers

When I tell people my family used to pick strawberries in Washington state, most are astonished. It's like they've never met Mexican-Americans that were migrant farm workers. Many assume that migrant workers are all undocumented Mexicans, but that's just not the case. That assumption most likely comes from our country's history, in particular the Bracero Program, which brought millions of Mexican "guest workers" to the United States between 1942 and 1964. But farms obviously still need tending, so the work has continued for a large community of Mexican-Americans, including my family. I was very young when my family did field work, but what I do know lives on through our oral history and in pictures.  Read on...

 

Immigration + the U.S./Mexico Border

 

How Being Struck By A Drunk Driver Defined My Identity

At the 2016 Screen Actors Guild Awards, actress Ariel Winter, of Modern Family, confidently walked the red carpet wearing a strapless dress that revealed her breast reduction scar. In a tweet she responded to the buzz surrounding the scar, saying: "Guys there is a reason I didn't make an effort to cover up my scars! They are part of me and I'm not ashamed of them at all." That tweet reminded me of my own scar. The facial scar that I tried to hide as a little girl by applying vitamin E as my mother had instructed me. I didn't think at the time that I should be proud of my scar but rather try to conceal it. Read on...

 

 

Trump Wants To Send Undocumented Children To Detention Camps — This Is How You Can Fight Back

THE U.S. GOVERNMENT WANTS TO REVISE THE WAY UNDOCUMENTED children are being held in their makeshift, fenced-off detention centers.

The Trump Administration isn’t thinking of doing the humane thing — which would obviously be to reunite the children with their parents. Read on...

Here’s Why Advocates Are Concerned About The US Using DNA To Reunite Families Separated At The Border

The government is facing strict deadlines to reunite families that have been separated at the border. On June 27, Federal Judge Dana M. Sabraw in San Diego ordered that all families had to be reunited by July 27 if they were older than 5. Children younger than that were supposed to be reunited with their families by July 10. The Trump administration already failed with the younger children, only reunite four children with their families by the deadline. So how exactly do they plan to reunite the rest of the separated families? The use of DNA. Read on...

What Is and Isn’t True About 1,500 “Lost” Migrant Children That Outraged the Nation

In the past week, reports circulated of migrant children being separated from their families and caged in prison-like detention centers. At the same time, word spread of a separate, alarming report that some 1,500 migrant children were purportedly “lost” by the federal government. The two stories sprouted hashtags like #WhereAreTheChildren, #MissingChildren, and #FamiliesBelongTogether that were prominent on Twitter over Memorial Day weekend, but their overlapping timing also caused confusion and the spread of potentially harmful misinformation. The outrage also overlooked the fact that these immigration stories have been unfolding for years — since even before President Trump was elected into office. Read on...

 

End Gun Violence Now

Here's a couple of stories on March For Our Lives, gun reform, and the people leading the path to change.

 
edna-chavez.jpg
 

Thousands Took To The Streets In Washington And Across The Country To Join The March For Our Lives Revolution

Edna Chavez, a 17-year-old from south Los Angeles, was one of the 20 speakers at the rally in Washington.  

The senior from Manual Arts High School spoke loudly and proudly of her family, her heritage and her hometown. She spoke about her involvement with the Community Coalition organization who has shaped her to be an activist of gun reform after her older brother, Ricardo, died as a result to gun violence.

“That’s why I got involved,” Chavez told the crowd. “I wanted to impact policies and make sure our voices are heard.”

“I am a youth leader,” she added. “I am a survivor.”

Through tears, Chavez went on to speak about her the trauma and the anxiety she has experienced in the aftermath of her brother’s death, which has impacted her entire family.

 
Screen Shot 2018-03-31 at 10.26.12 AM.png
 

In Hillsborough, One Man Marched Alone for Gun Reforms 

William Lappenbusch walked up and down Churton Street in downtown Hillsborough protesting gun control for roughly three hours on Saturday—all by himself. 
The forty-eight-year-old Hillsborough resident, who’s been part of this community for more than a decade, said he would have remained at Saturday’s March for Our Lives protest in Durham but wanted to take his message to a place where it would be more meaningful.

“There’s a couple of ways of doing it, right?” Lappenbusch said. “You can go to these marches where everyone agrees and you don’t really have an impact, or you can go to small towns where it’s very controversial like this and half the people are honking for me and half the people are cursing me.” 

180221210754-02-parkland-town-hall-rubio-with-students-full-169.jpg

Parkland Survivors Took on Marco Rubio and the NRA in a Tense Town Hall Meeting

You’re either with them or against them.

That is the message that was clearly articulated by survivors of the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during a heated two-hour Town Hall hosted by CNN last night in Broward County, FL. Students, along with friends and family of those killed, spoke face-to-face with Florida legislators and confronted them about gun control and the urgency of making schools safer in the United States.

The real showdown happened as Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) and National Rifle Association (NRA) Dana Loesch exchanged words with outraged family members of those that were among the 17 killed in last week’s mass shooting.