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The People’s Uprising by Antonio C. Cabral • “Get your knee off our neck!”, Excerpt of eulogy delivered on June 4, 2020 at George Floyd’s memorial by Reverend Al Sharpton in Minneapolis, MN. • The Morning After, San Antonio’s response by Maria Salazar • Opening up Pandora’s Box by Julio Noboa Polanco • Quarantine across borders In the Time of COVID-19 by Judit Vega • Discovering Greece, Discovering Myself by Barbara Renaud González • My Family in Tennessee by Rachel Jennings • Museo del Westside to showcase West Side history, culture by Ben Olivo, San Antonio Heron • What could have been / For Officer Brian Encina, Citizen Sandra Bland and our system by Tom Keene • when history repeats itself, -in honor of BLM by Yon Hui Bell • LA CORONA ES UNA DEMONIA COVID-19 IS A DEMON. by Lucille Briseño

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Published by esperanza, 2020-06-22 14:05:22

La Voz - July August 2020

The People’s Uprising by Antonio C. Cabral • “Get your knee off our neck!”, Excerpt of eulogy delivered on June 4, 2020 at George Floyd’s memorial by Reverend Al Sharpton in Minneapolis, MN. • The Morning After, San Antonio’s response by Maria Salazar • Opening up Pandora’s Box by Julio Noboa Polanco • Quarantine across borders In the Time of COVID-19 by Judit Vega • Discovering Greece, Discovering Myself by Barbara Renaud González • My Family in Tennessee by Rachel Jennings • Museo del Westside to showcase West Side history, culture by Ben Olivo, San Antonio Heron • What could have been / For Officer Brian Encina, Citizen Sandra Bland and our system by Tom Keene • when history repeats itself, -in honor of BLM by Yon Hui Bell • LA CORONA ES UNA DEMONIA COVID-19 IS A DEMON. by Lucille Briseño

July/Aug 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 6 San Antonio, Tejas

On May 30th San Antonio joined protests in the U.S. and throughout the world decrying the killing of George Floyd and
demanding that police be held accountable for this and other killings of black men and women that have yet to cease.

LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • July/Aug 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 6• La Voz de As I write this editorial on June 17, 2020 there are so many things happening at once: Let’s
Esperanza begin with George Floyd’s horrific murder by police 3 weeks ago. It ignited a worldwide
response supporting the Black Lives Movement. Protests, marches, and actions continue to
JULY/AUG 2020 impact cities and states locally in the U.S. and globally. I was particularly delighted to see that
Vol. 33 Issue 6 British protestors took it upon themselves to dump a slave trader’s statue into the harbor in
Bristol, England. The 18-foot-tall statue was of 17th-century slave trader, Edward Colston—
Editor: Gloria A. Ramírez revered for his wealth made in the slave trade. Yet, still in the U.S., there are people protesting
Design: Elizandro Carrington the removal of Confederate statues and the renaming of some military bases.
Cover Photos: San Antonio protests on
May 30, 2020 by Gloria A. Ramírez Since George Floyd’s killing other actions are taking place challenging institutional rac-
Cover Art: Mural painted by Xena Goldman, Greta ism especially in police units throughout the U.S. Huge and constant protests have led to the
McLain & Cadex Herrera at Cup Foods, site of review of traditional roles and tactics police continue to practice that are simply racist. Today
George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, MN. George Floyd’s brother, Philonise went before the United Nations to ask that the The UN Hu-
man Rights Council in Geneva set up an international probe to investigate killings of Black
Contributors people in America, and violence against demonstrators. Imagine that!

Yon Hui Bell, Lucille Briseño, Antonio C. This week also marked 5years since a white supremacist, Dylan Roof, opened fire on
Cabral, Barbara Renaud González, Sarah churchgoers at the Mother Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston. One would have
Zenaida Gould, Rachel Jennings, Tom Keene, thought that the massacre of 9 African Americans in worship would have been enough to
Ben Olivo, Julio Noboa Polanco, María Salazar, cause a rebellion against the white power structure but not so. Many have pointed out that the
shooter, arrested a day later by police, was taken to Burger King for a meal because he was
Rev. Al Sharpton, Judit Vega hungry. Compare that to Rayshard Brooks’ recent killing—when police responded to a call that
a man was asleep in his car at a Wendy’s drive-thru in Atlanta, Georgia. After cordially talking
La Voz Mail Collective for some time and Mr. Brooks moving his car to a parking spot, police officers chose to esca-
late matters such that Mr. Brooks wound up being shot in the back, twice. However, because of
The Collective is sheltering at home due to the the recent Floyd protests, those police officers were arrested the next day and the police chief
COVID-19 pandemic but will be returning when resigned. It was revealed recently that after the shooting, one of the policemen kicked Brooks,
while the other chose to stand on his shoulders. We can be heartened that the officers involved
their health and safety can be assured. Extra were quickly arrested or we can continue to be wary aware that Atlanta police called in sick en
funds are being raised to pay for folding La Voz masse to support the accused killers. We cannot let up, we must continue to protest, march and
write. Silence equals violence.
each month during this time.
There is some hopeful news that intersects with the Black Lives Movement and the George
Esperanza Director Floyd murder this week, though. The Supreme Court came forth with two promising decisions:
On June 15, the Supremes ruled that the language of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohib-
Graciela I. Sánchez its sex discrimination, applies to discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity,
as well; and on June 16, as I finish this editorial, the justices ruled that the Trump administra-
Esperanza Staff tion cannot carry out its plan to shut down the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program
(DACA). This allows Dreamers (800,00) to continue
Elizandro Carrington, Sarah Gould, Paul Plouf, to stay in the U.S. for the time being avoiding depor-
Kristel Orta-Puente, Natalie Rodríguez, tation as long as they continue to register their status.
Imgard Akinyi Rop, René Saenz,
Susana Segura, Amelia Valdez Each community impacted by these decisions
needs to step forward and continue to protest on
Conjunto de Nepantleras their own behalf and for the Black Lives Matter
—Esperanza Board of Directors— movement. Each victory is a victory for all. We
must stand together with one voice a voice for
Norma Cantú, Rachel Jennings, change that will impact all communities that have
Amy Kastely, Jan Olsen, Ana Lucía Ramírez, faced injustice in this country. Continue to voice
Gloria A. Ramírez, Rudy Rosales, Tiffany Ross, your thoughts. No justice, no peace! Send your
articles to: [email protected]
Lilliana Saldaña, Nadine Saliba, —Stay safe, wear your masks! Gloria A. Ramírez
Graciela I. Sánchez, Lillian Stevens
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The People’s Uprising

By Antonio C. Cabral

Hurtful chapters in U.S. history keep violence. We remember all the victims

repeating themselves causing tremen- dating back to Jesus Bazán, Antonio

dous human suffering but also trigger- Longoria, Gregorio Cortez, Ricardo

ing uprisings that unfortunately were Falcón, Luis Martínez, Neva Arlene

often ignored or co-opted by the politi- Romero, Richard Morales, Joe Campos

cal class that has historically served Torres and many others who were mur-

the interests of the wealthy oligarchs. dered by police officers, Texas Rangers

Now, however, a new massive uprising or sheriffs.We know that not all police

nationwide over the deadly COVID-19 are abusive and mass punishment of

virus and police abuse may set the them is unjustified. If mass punishment

stage for qualitative and permanent is sought, then all politicians holding a

change in the socio-economic and government position where abuses take

political path of this country. place should be immediately fired first.

The human suffering caused by The fundamental difference between

the virus pandemic unmasked the previous protests and today’s mobiliza-

myth that the U.S. has a democratic tions is that now every single working

system that treats us all equally and person in Texas and throughout the

with justice for all. It exposed the U.S. knows what many of us have been

deep-rooted and institutionalized A prelimnary update from the NAACP provided a springboard for writing, talking and marching about
racism and disdain that people of demands to restructure police departments throughout the U.S. since the 1960’s: The political class and

color and impoverished communities have lived under while work- governments at all levels have not been looking after the social and

ing hard and producing wealth for greedy corporations and other economic interests of working families.

exploiters. The cold-blooded murder of Mr. George Floyd was the It took the deadly COVID-19 pandemic to remove the LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • July/Aug 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 6•
trigger that launched millions of people into the streets like never mask of hypocrisy and expose the disdain and lies
before. Their anger was not simply about the murder, as most of the and manipulation for all to see and witness.
corporate media has reported. Their anger and despair began when
the pandemic unveiled to them and to the world the brutally clear Thousands of men, women and children have died because there
evidence that impoverished working families in general have been is no vaccine and the government has never been prepared to deal
long-abandoned by the U.S. political class. with such a pandemic. Millions were infected and jobs were lost
forcing families to join long lines to get a box of food. Workers are
U.S. History in general and San Antonio’s history in particular now forced to either risk getting infected or lose their unemploy-
teaches us that police violence dates back many decades. ment benefits while billions of taxpayer funds appropriated for
economic relief were used to help corporations. Then, George Floyd
Just one example: On Christmas Night, December 1980, Hector was slowly murdered in the street.
Santoscoy went to see if Fred’s Fish Fry restaurant on Zarzamora
St. was open when police officer James Cammack drove up. That anger and despair felt deeply by the U.S. working class
Santoscoy was an undocumented immigrant and because of that he will not be cured by issuing more empty speeches and promises.
ran away with Cammack chasing him. Finally, Cammack cornered Naming parks, plazas, schools or streets after Black persons or
Santoscoy hiding under a house that sat about 24 inches off the Latinos or poor Whites will no longer ease the concerns working
ground on cedar posts. Cammack shot and killed him claiming families share over the country’s unfair and undemocratic path.
that Santoscoy had a brick in his hand while lying prone under the
house and was going to throw it at Cammack. The medical exam- Their demands include equal social and economic justice
iner ruled that Santoscoy’s arms were by his side when shot. including a living wage for all instead of taxpayers having to sub-
sidize exploiters whose workers have to use public programs just
Cammack was never punished. He had been a suspect in the to survive, they demand equal pay for women in all workplaces,
1968 beating death of Bobby Phillips, a Black man living in better schools and quality education and free health care for all.
the East Side of San Antonio. Cammack was never indicated or The corporate media has also ignored their demand for an end to
punished, back then. the U.S. wars of conquest in the Middle East, Africa and Latin
America that have cost thousands of civilian lives and $6.4 trillion
Some of us organized frequent marches for weeks following according to the Watson Institute at Brown University.
the murder of Santoscoy. Hundreds of locals joined our marches.
Petitions were turned in—all demanding justice. No justice was The young and old marching throughout the U.S. deserve the
had. Then, in 1986 incidents happened in San Antonio that forced support and even the appreciation of every person of conscience
the Police Department to confirm what many of us had been who wants a better life for themselves and for future generations.
saying for decades: There were racist vigilante officers within the

police department. 3Bio: Antonio C. Cabral is a freelance writer and life-long activist.
So, Mexicans/Chicanos know about institutionalized police
His essays are published in the U.S. and Mexico.

“Get your knee off our neck!”

Editor’s note: Excerpt of eulogy delivered on June 4, 2020
at George Floyd’s memorial by Reverend Al Sharpton in
Minneapolis, MN.

—Soon as I talked to the family and got the details and heard that

among George’s last words was, “I can’t breathe,” with a knee

on his neck, I immediately thought about Eric Gardner. I did the

eulogy at his funeral and I called his mother. I said, “I know we’re

not going out because of the Coronavirus but this is so much like

Eric. If we could arrange some private way to go to Minneapolis,

would you go?” And she said, “Reverend Al, I’m already packing.

Let me know.” Tyler Perry said, “I’ll give the families, the plane,

whatever y’all need, because this is wrong.” Robert Smith said,

“Don’t worry about the funeral costs.

George Floyd’s story has been the story of black folks be-

cause ever since 401 years ago, the reason we could never be who

we wanted and dreamed to being is you kept your knee on our A mural depicting George Floyd appeared on a part of the former Berlin Wall in Mauer Park

neck. We were smarter then the underfunded schools you…put us in Germany. His murder by police has awakened people worldwide to the issue of racism.

in, but you had your knee on our neck. We could run corporations between those calling for peace and those calling for quiet. Some

and not hustle in the street, but you had your knee on our neck.
We had creative skills, we could do whatever anybody else could of y’all don’t want peace, you just want quiet. You just want us
do, but we couldn’t get your knee off our neck. What happened to to shut up and suffer in silence. The overwhelming majority of
Floyd happens every day in this country, in education, in health the people marching wasn’t breaking windows, they were trying
to break barriers. They weren’t trying to steal nothing, they were
services, and in every area of American life, it’s time for us to
stand up in George’s name and say get your knee off our necks. trying to get back the justice you stole from us. Those that broke
the law should pay for whatever law they broke, but so should
That’s the problem no matter who you are.
the four policemen that caused this funeral today. We don’t have
even blacks that broke through, you kept your knee on that
a problem denouncing violence, Mr. Governor, we don’t have a
neck. Michael Jordan won all of these championships, and you
kept digging for mess because you got to put a knee on our neck. problem, Mr. Mayor, denouncing looting, but it seems like some
White housewives would run home to see a black woman on TV in the criminal justice system have a problem looking at a tape
named Oprah Winfrey and you messed with her because you just and knowing there’s probable cause and it takes a long time for
LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • July /Aug 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 6• you to go and do what you see that you need to do.
can’t take your knee off our neck. A man comes out of a single
parent home, educates himself and rises up and becomes the Pres- But I’m more hopeful today than ever. Why? Well, let me go
ident of the United States and you ask him for his birth certificate back. Reverend Jackson always taught me, stay on your text, go
back to my text, Ecclesiastes. There is a time and a season, and
because you can’t take your knee off our neck. The reason why
when I looked this time, and saw marches where in some cases
we are marching all over the world is we were like George, we
young whites outnumbered the blacks
couldn’t breathe, not because there was
marching, I know that it’s a different
something wrong with our lungs, but
time and a different season. When
that you wouldn’t take your knee off
I look and saw people in Germany
our neck. We don’t want no favors, just
marching for George Floyd, it’s a
get up off of us and we can be and do
different time and a different season.
whatever we can be. There have been
When they went in front of the Parlia-
protests all over the world. Some have
ment in London, England and said it’s
looted and done other things and none
a different time and a different season,
of us in this family condones looting or
I come to tell you America, this is the
violence. But the thing I want us to be
time of building with accountability in
real cognizant of is there’s a difference
Graffiti in the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone of Seattle, Washington the criminal justice system.

BLACK LIVE4

The Morning After, San Antonio’s response
By Maria Salazar

Editor’s note: Local activist and A young, Black woman, between 15 to 18 car-

attorney, María Salazar documented San ried a sign that read, “Am I next?”…

Antonio’s protest and march on May 30th I wanted to say, “no child, you are not. You

co-sponsored by The Autonomous Brown have your whole life ahead of you”

Berets De San Anto. She shares her But I couldn’t say that, because I wondered

facebook post with La Voz readers. The too. This broke my heart.

protests continue. Before leaving the police headquarters, a

Let me just say, I grieve for the family parking attendant at the lot on San Saba & Nueva

of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and asked me how things were at the park. He went

Ahmad Arbury. All who were recently on to tell me that this was the biggest protest he

murdered. With Mr. Floyd, I see a lynch- had ever seen in SA & that it was loud but peace-

ing. With Ms Taylor, I see recklessness. ful. I then returned to Travis Park where folks

With Mr. Arbury, I see vigilantism. With Poster by The Autonomous Brown Berets De San Anto were still hanging out.
all of it, I see contempt for Black lives. I
Some colleagues were now at the Alamo to

am angry that we are so far away from the promised land. And I am observe what was unfolding. We all confirmed with one another
sad that my generation is experiencing a pivot from building on an that the gathering was officially over & the organizers had an-
American Dream to living an American nightmare of rot, racism— nounced this as such. So whatever was happening at the Alamo
and all with the backdrop of a plague. I write these words to docu- was on impulse. We all agreed this was a dangerous situation to
have a crowd mingle without organization or objectives while
ment what I experienced on Saturday, May 30th, 2020 at Travis
armed counter-protestors agitated. I know folks were telling
Park, San Antonio. I caught wind of a peaceful vigil & march for
George Floyd. I am angry at the policeman and the police force that people to leave for their safety.
We know now there was vandalism including the smashed doors
murdered George Floyd. There is so much wrong with what we all
saw. And I say to police, you do not have that power to take a life. of Travis Church. I know some were arrested but I don’t know if
Not in my name. And never with my vote. So when I saw the vigil, these folks are from San Antonio. I am angry that these actions
diminish the message of what we desperately need to do which is to
I wanted to go but wondered how to safely participate with CO-
VID19 still very much a threat to our individual & collective health. mourn the death of George Floyd, to demand justice, to end police
I also wondered how I could help ensure that this vigil be peaceful. brutality & to respect Black Lives.
It’s a chaotic world with an incompe-
A few attorneys and I talked & offered our insight & assis-
tance to the organizers. We made suggestions to the organizers on tent president tweeting violent madness.
what to reinforce with the participants. They had this information But there are good people desperately
and intuition already, but with a rapidly growing attendance list, I trying to make a difference. I know what LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • July/Aug 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 6•
think they appreciated our suggestions. We managed to convene a I saw yesterday presented some hope but
meeting with the Police Chief at Travis Church. The Pastor offered it is going to be so much work to have a
better world materialize...
to open their doors for us to converse. It was productive. I think
Some of my doubt was lessened late
this meeting helped to keep this gathering as a planned peaceful
protest. This was all very informal but I can tell you that all were this morning after I read that volunteer cit-
izens were downtown scrubbing off graffi-
committed to keeping everyone safe.
The event began at 5 pm. And the march began at about 5:30 pm. ti & cleaning up the mess left by vandals.
We are in the middle of a pandemic and
From Travis Park, folks marched through town up to Police Head-
it’s the morning after mayhem & my City
quarters. The protest ended there. The whole event ended at about
7pm. Anything beyond that was not a part of the event at Travis Park. reminded me to pick up the broken pieces
so we can build. We must build.
I was overwhelmed to see about 5000 people gather for this
My thoughts drift back to that young
event. I saw folks I know as teachers, artists, neighborhood associa-
tion presidents, drivers & students. I saw folks of all ages & from all lady. I cannot let the generation behind
over this City, yes, folks from the Dominion to folks from Roosevelt. me wonder if she is next. We are lost if
Lots of young people were out, I was especially struck by that. we cannot give our youth hope...
San Antonio protest photo by

ES MAT TERGloriaA.Ramírez
5

Opening up Pandora’s Box

by Julio Noboa Polanco

While millions are wondering where this globalocal pandemic In no particular

is taking us as we struggle to maintain ourselves fed, healthy order, are these
and disinfected, the official and proclaimed leaders are taking Dirty Dozen…
advantage of our preoccupation with survival to unleash a

Pandora’s Box of maladies.

All this to ensure, maintain and extend their power 1. Dangerous misinformation
and wealth at our expense!
campaigns and attacks on
Not only was there an attempt by Trump and legitimate media
Trumpers to deny the coming tidal wave of pan-

demic, ignoring even official reports and scientific 2. Privatizing and corporatizing the
projections. Not only is there already a systemic
inequality that ensures that the poor and people pandemic response for profit by
of color will always receive the worst brunt enabling gross profiteering from testing,

of death and destruction. Now, the GOP treatment and later from the vaccine

3.Trumpers have opened up a Pandora’s Box Trillions given via grants, loans and tax breaks

of evil maneuvers which are unquestionably to corporations and Wall Street financiers, and
cruel, inhumane and unconstitutional.

All of these responses and numerous oth- even payments to evangelical churches, while
providing meager, limited and temporary relief to
Artwork by Mary Agnes Rodríguez ers are unmistakable evidence that the workers and small businesses

United States under Trump as a nation

and an Empire is on the verge of decline, disarray and disintegration. Our nation is

no longer the world leader during this time of global crises, nor even a reluctant fol- 4. Undercounting the actual level of viral crises and
lower of authentic world leadership. Our nation is now being led by a spoiled brat
who throws twitter temper tantrums, attacking perceived adversaries. “protecting”the economy by providing limited and
inadequate testing
Even worse during this pandemic pandemonium is the lack of authentic

LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • July /Aug 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 6• alternative leadership from the official democratic party establishment, the 5. Relaxation and elimination of critical environmental
Democratic National Committee (DNC).
standards and protections
It has also become painfully obvious that the chosen contender, Joe

Biden is demonstrably unable to communicate clearly, to control outbursts 6. Mandating that meat producers reopen their industries without
of anger, or to be present at the moment even when in public. Beyond his
cognitive decline, there is enough in Biden’s political history to damage requiring that their workers, mostly immigrant and minority,
his candidacy, let alone his disrespect for women’s personal space and obtain protections

the emergence of a very credible sexual assault allegation. 7. Destruction of civil rights, including criminalizing the right to protest
To all this we could add the fact that there is absolutely no
against fossil fuel pipelines and more recently, police brutality
enthusiasm for Biden among many Democrats, most especially

Latino voters and those under 50. Nevertheless, it is highly un- 8. Relying on market conditions of supply and demand for essential medical
likely that the Democratic leadership will replace Biden with a
truly viable candidate from the many that ran in the primary supplies thereby denying and delaying them to frontline workers, costing

who can more easily defeat Trump. thousands of lives

9.Our only hope is that woke Americans understand what Using voter suppression measures such as the Wisconsin GOP did by holding

is happening and will not accept without intelligent protest risky in-person elections and invalidating tens of thousands of mailed-in ballots
or strategic resistance these destructive responses (see

attached list) to the pandemic which Naomi Klein has 10. Using the excuse of the pandemic to abrogate women’s constitutional right to an
accurately labeled, Disaster Capitalism. abortion despite the fact most of these do not occur in hospitals

Finally, there has to also be an investigation and

an accounting of the damage Trump has already 11. The official incitement of white supremacist protests with assault weapons, utilizing
done and continues to do without which we would
place at increasingly dangerous risk the very lives neo-fascist tactics to intimidate and threaten violence against local governments, let

and livelihoods of millions of Americans. alone liberals, progressives, immigrants, and gays

Bio: Julio Noboa Polanco, former Esper- 12. The medical and genocidal neglect of prisoners effectively condemned to cruel and unusual
anza boardmember, is now a retired free-
punishment, as well as thousands of immigrants and asylum seekers already living in sub-
6 lance writer living in Costa Rica with his human conditions in private prisons which profit from this modern form of slavery
wife, Elsa, also a former boardmember..

Quarantine across borders In the Time of COVID-19
E s p e r a n z a S t a f f S t o r ie s

by Judit Vega

We have assaulted, extorted or tortured. Many fell victim to the very condi-
now been
in social tions that they had fled in emigrating to the US. This is a very real
isolation as a
family since threat for my husband.
early March. 
My husband, We are very worried also about the effect on our four kids with
German, left 
his prolonged absence. The pandemic has not only disrupted their
for El
Salvador in lives and daily routines—with preschool, school, and extracurricu-
late February
for his visa lar activities being replaced by Zoom meetings; friends and family
appointment
at the Ameri- only now in contact through phone calls and visits from the porch
can Em-
Judit Vega, Esperanza staff member, with her husband & children. bassy. This and curb; but now as well their beloved Papa is gone. They talk to
was to be the last leg of a many years- long immigration process
that would finally result in a green card that would bring him out him via Facebook video calls throughout the day. From isolation in
of living in the shadows as undocumented. He was unfortunately
delayed for his original appointment because of the obligatory doc- quarantine at his tia’s house in San Miguel he has virtually helped
tor’s appointment in El Salvador, where he was harassed because
of his tattoos. Tattoos in El Salvador are always assumed to be with homework, played outside blowing bubbles, joined in story
affiliated with gang activity, and the doctors saw an opportunity
to manipulate his situation to attempt to extort money from him. time, helped change a car battery, gone to the park, gave consejos,
I thus learned that immigrants are manipulated for cash both here
and in their home countries. His appointment was rescheduled for and so many other things. I realized how sad and strange this really
late March. We made plans and bought tickets to go to El Salvador
to support him, and so that I could attend his interview. is one night when my daughter Maya put the phone on her pillow
El Salvador initiated a national quarantine in mid- March
with only a few COVID-19 cases, including all international and told her papa that she wanted him to lie down next to her. I
flights into the country. His subsequent appointment in March
was cancelled indefinitely. Trump then announced that all legal tried not to let her see my tears, I have never been a stoic person
employment and family based immigration visas to the United
States would be halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We but now I am forced to be.
were assured by our attorney that this did not apply to us, as the
exception was for visa seekers who are children or spouses of US My oldest son’s senior year, graduation and possibly fall semes-
citizens. We have to wait until the embassy reopens for visa ap-
pointments. We have been separated now for nearly four months. ter at college has been irrevocably ruined and altered, and he has
There are other families in similar situations across the world, as
the State Department has halted all visa applications and appoint- since boycotted all the “bullshit” as he calls it. He did not attend
ments. Knowing this has not made it easier to wait.
Being separated from your loved ones during a global pandemic his graduation, and refused to send out announcements. I know that
is at turns unbearably tragic, and at turns hopeful. I try very hard to
maintain my composure on bad days for the sake of the children. it may be his own way of coping so i have ceased to push him to
German and I both have gone through some very dark moments,
thankfully not at the same time—fighting anxiety, depression and pretend that everything is normal. My shy child has retreated more
despair with all the unknowns. What if he gets denied once he has
an appointment? What is our Plan B? Do we move to Mexico? within himself, and my four year old wakes up nightly and has lost
What if he gets sick? What if he dies? The coronavirus is expand-
ing in Latin America, including in El Salvador, despite the na- weight. Only the baby, Lulu, seems blissfully unaware. I am thank-
tional quarantine. All schools and businesses are closed, but social
distancing has been very difficult to enforce, and people continue to ful that at least I am able to stay at home with them through this all.
get together and visit. Gang violence is still another constant reality
there. A study released in February 2020 by Human Rights Watch Everyone just wants him to come back, and now.
found that from 2013 to 2019, 138 people who were deported to El
Salvador were killed and more than 70 others were beaten, sexually The truth of this all is that we are all facing more uncertainty in

the world than ever before. Now with Texas experiencing the sec- LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • July/Aug 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 6•

ond wave of COVID-19 infections, we do not know when or where

this will end up. The pandemic and lackluster federal government

response to it has made the shortcomings and insecurity of capital-

ism and systemic racism ever more exposed and painfully obvious

in this country. German’s presence there during this pandemic has

put into stark contrast for me the privileges that we have here in the

US. Many of us have the ability to work from home, the kids have

virtual lessons and now summer camp, have access to free COV-

ID-19 testing and if we get sick we have subsidized acute hospital

care, irregardless of whether we have insurance or not. The health-

care rationing that was feared here has never panned out, even in

the hardest hit areas of the U.S. like New York and New Jersey.

That has not been the case in El Salvador. Since the national quar-

antine was implemented on March 11th, all businesses and schools

have been completely shuttered. The economic fallout on the poor

has been profound. Although quarantine sites were established

early on, testing has not been widespread and acute hospital care is

not at a level to handle the surge in cases that are now occurring in

other Latin American countries.

As for our case, all I can do is have faith that we will be

together again as a family. Our marriage has been difficult at

times, but we have worked hard to overcome our own traumas

from our families of origin to build a solid emotional foundation

for our kids. That is something that transcends borders, American 7

imperialism, and racist immigration policies.

Discovering Gree
by Barbara Renaud González

Leaving the U.S. at the the police, not toilet paper.
After the brain surgery
time of Corona that saved my life, I realized

Why am I always surprised at the why it happened. I didn’t
signs?
Of course I was the second-to- want to be afraid of my
passionate, conscious, and
the-last American to enter Greece when falling-down life anymore.
they were shutting down the country on
March 18th. The other American was a Why compare myself
to anyone but me? My
wealthy white woman from Hawaii who destiny—the rebellions,
heard me say I was a writer, and they let her
in, too. the firings, the moves,
the unscripted dance of
A long long flight. Houston. Boston. life—means one thing. I’m
London. Athens. March 17th, 80 degrees
Athena by Leonidas Drosis in in San Antonio, supposed to write. That’s it.
front of the Academy of Athens Freezing in Boston, freezing in Lon- Everything has happened
because this is what I’m
don, rainy-cold in Athens. Me with my supposed to do. Life isn’t
poncho and a backpack, bluejeans and a summer blouse. A manu-
script and laptop in my backpack, and bare essentials. Why didn’t I rational, so quit trying to
make it so. Life is mystical.
prepare? A couple hundred dollars, that’s it. They didn’t feed me on Find the clarity in the mid- Barbara Renaud González, former Esperanza
the plane or give me a blanket or pillow like I expected, the Corona- dle of the ground-shifting. staffmember, is an award-winning writer, journalist &
risk. So I had 3 seats to myself, sleeping anyway. No cellphone activist. She grew up in the Texas Panhandle the eldest
Think—Gloria Anzaldúa. of 8 with a Tejano father and a Mexicana mother.
either, cause I washed it through the laundromat before I left.
iscovering Greece •Gracias,Pablito.
Lucky for me that Pablo Martinez gave me a Starbucks gift card Athens and the Corona Lockdown
before I left. A good breakfast in London, first meal in 24 hours.

I’ve always dreamed of being here, even when I was working the
The Greek Immigration Officer heard my story, my reservation cotton fields in the Texas Panhandle, running from the rattlesnakes.
made in November (thank you, Annette!) , that I needed to see the I don’t understand all of it, except that Greece is a country with a
museums…blahblahblah. “OK, Self-Isolate for two weeks.” I took foundational history of democracy, goddesses, yogurt, seafood, and
the metro from the airport into my rented flat in Athens, an hour- islands, in that order to me. Also, different varieties of feta cheese
long trip, basically by myself on the train at 9 pm. Everything was and baklava. In the ancient world, theatre and politics nurtured each
closed—the restaurants, the retail stores, the cinemas, and of course, other. Can you imagine a city that built temples to the goddess of
LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • July /Aug 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 6•covering Greeexceptmeandthecatseveryonefeeds.
Dmained open, just around the block that I discovered the next morn- Theatre)? The spoken word was valued, a living thing. And for a
Dthe Acropolis. No traffic, eerie. Lucky for me, I like my cooking, wisdom, and a public theatre on the slope of a hill where the greatest
and the grocery stores, bakeries, pharmacies, and the fish market re- writers participated in competitive theatrical productions (Dionysian

ing. And it began—nobody on the streets in the afternoons walking time, the playwrights presented their tragedies, comedies, and satire
for the whole city. The themes were about suffering, relationships,
The nights were in the 30s, the days in the 50s, no central injustice. The politicians sat front and center, learning from the art-
heating, so I froze for a month. Central heating/air is a luxury in
Europe, and I wasn’t gonna ask that the radiators be turned on. ists, and the writers studied the politician’s real-life dramas.
Example: The most famous playwrights: Euripides, Sophocles,
I don’t mind freezing if I can walk to buy fresh food and bread. Aeschylus, Aristophanes, (fifth century before Christ) wrote about
real people making bad decisions…and the effects of those actions.
What brought me to Greece How we lived in a flawed world. The dialogue with the dead. Think
sing. I was forced to face myself. Made lists of Oedipus, Antigone. Iphigenia. Tragedy is about confronting suf-
After my critical brain surgery in December of 2012, and no fering, catharsis, and healing. I think we need theatre more than ever.
iof all the people I was grateful for and all
health insurance in the time before Obam- Bakery Barbara passes Every time I visit an archaeological site –
acare, I experienced a spiritual rebirth.
My humongous brain tumor was a bless- the Acropolis, the Hill of Muses, the Temple of
Zeus, the Ancient Agora, and others, I inevitably
cry. What’s all this about? I’ve seen the pyra-
mids in Mexico: Teotihuacan. Palenque. Monte
those who betrayed me. Long lists. I also Alban, the pyramid in the clouds of Oaxaca.
made a list of all the people I’d betrayed—
short list. Myself. Realized I had to become And Tikal, deep in the Guatemalan jungle,
where the monkeys show you around. At those
who I’d dreamed of being. sites, I felt elevated, inspired, enlarged by my
No fucking around, no pretending any-
more. Because we are not in control of our heritage. Here I’m standing beside a goddess
sculpted in marble, revered by her city. A god-
lives, we’re not! Hope you see this with the dess of wisdom. A democracy that flourished,
Corona pandemic and the George Floyd pro-
tests. Our lives are not to be ordinary in any doomed to die. Now the ancient temples and
sculptures, present throughout the city, you can
way—forget the TV soaps, hunger instead see the Acropolis from different angles in the
for your own story, cry for the artists, the
The by every morning. city—are witnesses to our modern tragedies.
8 beaten-up women and the animalitos, protest

ece•Discovering mySelf
And what have we learned?
Which takes me to my memories of despair. I remember
the Plaza de Grimaldi, in Chile, where thousands were brutally
tortured under Pinochet. The town of Dolores Hidalgo, where
Mexican independence began with a grito. The concentration
camp, Majdanek, in Lublin, Poland, where hundreds of thousands
died and you can still smell the gas. Then there is the Monument
to the “Discoveries” in Lisbon, Portugal, where the conquistado-
res sailed on their way to the New World.
Maybe I need to be this far away so that I can see the personal The Parthenon is a major part of the Acropolis located on the hills above the city of Athens.

and collective tragedies of my world better, ¿Quién sabe? toward the Acropolis, which is about a mile and half from where I

Greece and the people during the Pandemic. live—I’ve visited all the major archaeological sites now. Besides,
the neighborhoods are—European, like in Mexico, so there are
outdoor cafes, children on bikes and skates, the grandparents sitting
It seems to me that people took the pandemic seriously. A two-month on benches, dogs on leashes, sleeping cats everywhere (people
shutdown of the city. It’s June 10th as I write this, and there are still
lines to enter the supermarkets and most people use masks to enter. here feed and care for the felines, even at the temples), and so it’s
like Fiesta! every day without the borracheras and guns. I’m not
The retail stores opened in late May, and we are expected to use lonely. Here, I’m surrounded by a social life every day if I want it,
plenty of hand sterilizer which is provided at all the store entrances.
The restaurants opened for outdoor dining only last week. Face cause people walk throughout the neighborhood, and there is music,
shopping, coupling, and children biking like maniacs all the time.
masks are required on public transportation. The police flit around on You can also get a drink outdoors and walk home afterwards, so no
motorcycles ensuring that people don’t gather in crowds.
The Acropolis worries about getting a DWI.
I don’t have the money to go out beyond the museums and buy-
opened on May ing some Greek earrings, so the Lockdown has given me time to
• Dis is true of all the
15th, but not the
cove archaeological think, read, write, and make plans to visit the Oracle of Delphi, the
museum. This
rinsites I’ve visited. Temple to Poseiden
gImagine, Greece on a hill overlook-
myis a city whose
ing the Aegean Sea,
lighting candles at
Smajor industry is
the Greek Orthodox
etourism—and yet
lthey stoically en-
eece • D deprivingthem churches for my be-
iscoStations for recycling in Athens are everywhere. loved friend, Mari-
fdured two months LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • July/Aug 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 6•
veI see the concern in their faces, and yet they persevere, hoping for a ana Ornelas. If I get
a Visa extension, I lf
ribetter day. They are in this together. Even the dogs were in lock- will go to her island
ndown, wailing away their frustrations. of a Lockdown of Lesbos, over eight
gAlmost everyone speaks English, and I’ve heard little complain-
of an income. hours away by ferry,
and visit the poet
mproblem with the U.S.? And, when are they coming…And, maybe
Sappho’s birthplace.
It’s not up to me.
yWhat can I say?
At any rate, I don’t
SI hate to admit it, but the Lockdown has been very good for me.
ing. They can’t believe I’m here, and constantly ask me what is the plan on returning
to the U.S. till late
October for medical
eI don’t mind being alone, I can get books and magazines through
it’s better they don’t come because of the pandemic over there… One of many Greek Orthodox Churches where
Barbara lights candles for Mariana Ornelas, a friend.

checkups and of course, to vote.
But I’ve decided. I will move here or to Portugal permanently by
next Spring. My dream, and my destiny. The goddesses will surely
take care of me. I have promised to write more and greater stories
the San Antonio’s library “Libby” app, Kindle, or if I’m desperate about Texas.
enough, I can order books online. If I get restless, I just start walking

The first COVID-19 case was diagnosed in Greece on February 26th. Contact 14th, organized beaches and ski resorts were also closed. 9
tracing was initiated on the first and all subsequent confirmed cases, with all On March 18th, with 418 confirmed cases and 5 deaths, all stores were closed.
contacts being tested and isolated. On March 23rd, with 695 confirmed cases and 17 deaths, a nation-wide

On February 27th, the annual carnival in Patra (an event which draws big restriction of movement is enforced, whereby citizens can leave their house only
crowds from all over the country), was cancelled. On March 10th, with officially for specific reasons and with a special permit.
89 cases and 0 deaths, all schools and universities across the country were
closed. As of March 30th, Greece had 1212 confirmed cases and 46 deaths.
Source: Nation Public Health Organization, 2020
On March 12th, movie theaters, gyms and courtrooms were closed. On By June 1st, there were two new cases reported. The country’s museums,
March 13th, with 190 confirmed cases and 1 death, malls, cafés, restaurants, including the Acropolis Museum, are scheduled to open on June 15th. The
bars, beauty parlors, museums and archaeological sites were closed. On March restuaurants open for full dining on July 1st.

My Family in Tennessee

By Rachel Jennings

“Oh . . . ,” my father drawls softly outside my bedroom door. His The way we always have. I have always come home from Texas each
voice is shy, hesitant. He knows I do not like to be wakened or called. summer and each Christmas, and we have always gone on excursions
“Oh . . . ,” he says, but soon he will explain that he and Mom are get- together. Maybe we could go to the library. Would I like that? They
ting ready to go to the grocery store and would like me to go along. have books about local history, he reminds me. Or maybe I would
Or Mom is ready to wash clothes, so do I have any clothes I would like to visit the Green McAdoo Cultural Center, which commemo-
like to add? They are early risers. Their busiest activity is early in the rates the twelve black students who in 1956 entered Clinton Senior
morning. I open my eyes. High School, my and his alma mater, the first public high school in
the South to be integrated. Or, he suggests how about a drive in the
His “oh” was a dream or an auditory illusion. I am in San Anto- country, as we have had so many times before?
nio, not East Tennessee. Mom and Dad are not here.
For a moment, I imagined the drive. As sprawl spreads across
The last time I saw them was Christmas 2019. I had just started East Tennessee, the rural countryside has shrunk to a few hard-to-
chemotherapy for breast cancer. The day after my flight from San find backroads. We use memory, storytelling, and our imagination to
Antonio, I lost my hair. In preparation, I had gotten a radically short conjure the country as it used to be. “Where that dump is now,” he
haircut before the trip home. At the last moment, though, I chose will say, “there once was a school that your grandmother attended.”
not to shave my head. I needed time to adjust, I thought. Besides, I A quarter-mile later, he will recall, “There’s where the Shady Grove
Tavern was,” Dad will say as we turn onto 25-W. “You know, your
LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • July /Aug 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 6•Rachel Jennings, educator & activist, endured chemotherapy for breast cancer in 2019. Uncle Charles worked there during the Depression.” His voice is
sheepish. “But he just worked there. He didn’t drink anything, I don’t
could not predict precisely when my hair would come out. Now hair reckon.” He adds, one memory leading to another, “That was before
he entered the CCC. That was good work. He would send money
covered my chemo hats, shirts, sweaters, scarf, and bed pillows. I was home to Mom.” My imaginings are not simply fiction. My father
repeats these stories every time we leave the house. For my father, the
less worried about my hair, however, than about the stone bruise I valley and surrounding ridges are alive with the people and culture
that existed when Clinton was mostly known for its textile mill and its
had gotten while walking at Brackenridge Park. Due to my weakened Tennessee river pearls rather than being the quaint town next to Oak
Ridge, the secret city where uranium was enriched for the production
immune system after two rounds of chemo, a large blister beneath a of the atomic bomb.

callus on my foot had become infected. During my days home, the I explained to my dad that my flight was the next day. I had
chemotherapy on Monday and had to be rested and ready. There
infection worsened. A trip to an urgent care clinic and a was no time for rides in the country or trips to the library or the Green
McAdoo Center. I was packing today and tomorrow would need my
prescription for an oral antibiotic did not brother to drive me to the airport.

help. On the afternoon of Christmas Throughout January, I wore a boot as my right foot healed from
the infection. By mid-January, however, after I had completed four
Day, I was admitted to the hospital, chemotherapy rounds, I had come down with a gastrointestinal infec-
tion that compelled me again to enter the hospital.
where I stayed until December 27, my
The stay this time was about four days.
parents’ fifty-ninth anniversary. Returning to my house, I felt weak and tired
but relieved. Then, at a routine checkup
When I returned to my parents’
just a couple of days later, the doctor
house from the hospi- noticed I had a rapid pulse and slight
fever. She sent me directly back to the
tal, my father, who hospital. This time I had blood clots in my

would turn ninety- lung, heart, neck,
and left leg.
one a month later,
Despite che-
wondered what we
The Green McAdoo Cultural
might do together Center in Clinton, TN tells
the story of the Clinton 12 —
now that Christmas young black students who
on August 1956, entered the
was over. He and front door of the all-white
Clinton High School, making it
Mom and I might the first desegregated public
high school in the South.
10 enjoy a special
outing, he said.

motherapy, hospitalizations, visits to the doctor, and classes to teach, I them something to look forward to as they stay in their home without
might have called my parents or, since they are hard of hearing, writ-
ten to them in January. It is not so hard to dial a phone or pen a short visits from children and grandchildren. Only in late April did I dare to
note. The less they knew about the hospital, though, I felt, the better.
Enduring both leukemia and congestive heart failure, my mother resume sending letters.
should have nothing else to worry about. I had been sick, but I would
get better. I was about to begin a less severe course of chemotherapy Although I have completed chemotherapy, I also have continued
with different drugs. I had reduced my teaching load. I would be in
touch when life settled down. to isolate myself. At the time I am writing, COVID cases continue

Rachel’s mom, Hilda, 85 years old and her Dad, Sam, 91 years old. to rise. During all of this time, I have worried incessantly about my

Mom, who is eight-five, did worry, of course, updated by my sis- elderly parents, my brother-in-law with severe osteoporosis and
ter about the severe side effects of my chemotherapy. “I wish I could
be there to take care of you,” she wrote. Yes, she would have loved to hypertension, and the many relatives who are “essential” workers
bring fresh bedsheets and hot vegetable soup with crackers. I smiled.
or who have lost their jobs. Having had cancer not once but twice, I
By March, of course, the pandemic hit Texas and the rest of the
nation. Like everyone else, I entered lockdown. As a chemotherapy know that illness can strike anyone at any time. What will happen to
patient, I knew too well how vulnerable I was to infection. Besides
teaching my class virtually on Zoom, I had both groceries and pre- my family?
scriptions delivered. I left the tip in an envelope on my porch. When
the groceries arrived, I wiped down each package with a Clorox wipe I think about past visits with my sister Kathy. A spinner of yarns,
before taking it inside the house. Without a washer or dryer, I washed
my clothes in the kitchen sink and dried them on bushes outside or on a visionary and prophet, my sister describes the late capitalist world
a towel rack in the bathroom. I stopped going to church or meetings
of the Esperanza board, Jewish Voice for Peace, or the Texas Coali- of war and climate change with imagery of the apocalypse. Imagin-
tion to Abolish the Death Penalty. To avoid encounters with others, I
walked no more than two blocks down the street. When I swiped my ing a dystopian future, she has shared with me her vivid nightmares
credit card at the gas station, I wiped it down afterwards. I wiped the
handle of the gas hose. I wore a mask when I left the house. Finally, I involving fires on the ridges and crowds of fleeing people. Almost
informed the few people who had taken turns driving me to chemo-
therapy that I would drive myself now. I had cherished their com- two decades ago, she shared with me a secret code so that we can
pany and conversation on the way to the infusion center, but I had to
protect all of us from COVID-19. communicate when the end times come.

For weeks, I avoided writing letters to my parents, who are not I think, too, of Cormac McCarthy, the novelist whose early novels
familiar with texting or online messaging. The COVID-19 virus, I
feared, might find its way onto an envelope and infect my vulnerable were set in East Tennessee and later novels are set along the US-Mex-
parents. I called them, but they are hard of hearing. The letters give
ican border. His 2006 novel, The Road, describes a post-Apocalyptic

world my sister might recognize. In the novel, a father and son travel

together across a barren, scorched landscape. Although McCarthy

identified the city of El Paso as first inspiring his novel, critics have

identified locations in the narrative that match sites along a path from

Middlesboro, Kentucky, to places throughout East Tennessee. He

seems to allude to my own hometown, Clinton, and many familiar

sites that roughly correspond to the route of the 25-E Highway. (See

Wes Morgan’s “The Route

and Roots of the Road,”

2007).

Both my sister and Cor-

mac McCarthy envisioned

our current dystopian world LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • July/Aug 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 6•

of violence, strife, and

cataclysmic environmental

harm. The element missing

from their narratives is the

pandemic, this catastro-

phe that forces us into our

homes rather than down

from the ridges or onto the

road. The pandemic kills

us but also isolates us. I From left standing are Rachel, Kathy and Julie.
cannot walk home through Seated is Hilda, their mom, celebrating her 40th

a barren landscape as do the birthday in 1974 with Danny, the baby on her lap.

characters in The Road, nor

can I drive or take a bus or fly. When will I see my sister and brother,

my niece and nephew, my cousins, my elderly parents? When will go

on our drive in the country? I miss my home.

BIO: Rachel, a local poet & teacher, is also a boardmember
of the Esperanza.

11

The Charles Seivers Blvd. overpass in Clinton Tennessee showed the textile mills left that employed many in the past.

Museo del Westside

to showcase West Side history, culture

By Ben Olivo, San Antonio Heron | May 29, 2020

that’s not expected to slow the project. The concep-

tual approval “allows us to move forward with

pricing out everything , so we can move towards

pulling permits,” said Gould, who the Esperanza

hired in 2018 to run the museum.

Since 2008, Esperanza, whose headquarters

is on San Pedro Avenue near San Antonio Col-

lege, has envisioned a museum on the West Side.

Much of San Antonio’s identity as a unique city

stems from the cultural richness of the West Side—

whether for its food and music or for its activism

and blue collar demographic. The West Side was

a part of town deemed “hazardous” for real estate

lenders during the redlining practices of the 1930s.

The organization is pursuing grants, historic

tax credits and individual donations toward its

goal of $2 million, the project’s estimated cost.

The former Ruben’s Ice House will be restored and converted into the Museo del Westside. Gould declined to say how close to the $2 million
Article reprinted with permission of the author, Ben Olivo. Photo by Ben Olivo | Heron goal they are. She pointed out that Esperanza has
a track record of making capital projects happen,

After two years of planning, the Museo del Westside, a museum including purchasing and paying off its San Pedro building in six

dedicated to West Side history and culture that’s going into an old years; while also rehabbing two former homes and constructing

LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • July /Aug 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 6• icehouse, cleared a major hurdle last week and rehab work could the MujerArtes pottery studio and exhibit space, also made of

begin this fall. compressed earth blocks, on the Rinconcito property. The organi-

On May 20, the Historic and Design Review Commission zation is also converting the once-endangered Lerma’s Nite Club

(HDRC) gave conceptual approval on plans to convert the old on North Zarzamora Street into a cultural center with assistance

Ruben’s Ice House at 816 S. Colorado St. into a museum. The from $1 million in grant dollars from the city and county.

1,152-square-foot, wood-framed ice house space will be trans-

formed into a gallery space. Then a second 1,286-square-foot gallery Ruben’s Ice House
made of compressed earth block will be built behind the structure.
The structure known as Ruben’s Ice House dates back to the
The project is part of the larger Rinconcito de Esperanza 1930s, when it was a home. Around 1950, it was converted into
cultural arts hub owned and operated by the Esperanza Peace & the M&E Grocery Store (named after Manuel and Elida Reyes),
Justice Center on Colorado just off Guadalupe Street.

The museum’s director,

Dr. Sarah Gould, said she

hopes the first exhibit, which

will cover women and activ-

ism on the West Side, can

open next summer.

Esperanza has been work-

ing with architect Dwayne

Bohuslav, a coordinator of the

San Antonio College architec-

ture program, on the project.

The HDRC requested more

info on the materials being

used for the doors, windows

and back addition before Bird’s eye view of the Rinconcito de Esperanza complex on South Colorado Street on the West Side.
Courtesy Esperanza Peace & Justice Center
12 granting final approval, but

stay in place. “They built the build-
ing around it,” Gould said. “It just
doesn’t come out. It will be part of
the interpretation of the building
itself.” The backroom kitchen, where
the burgers were grilled, will be of-
fice space.

Rinconcito de Esperanza

Since Gould was hired two years

ago, Esperanza has held community

meetings, asking neighbors and West

Siders what they’d like to see in the

museum.

Some of the ideas generated from

those meetings include exhibits on

why families settled on the West

The former Ruben’s Ice House (inside view) at 820 S. Colorado St. will be restored and converted into the Museo del Side, historic dance halls such as La
Westside. Photo by Ben Olivo | Heron Perla and Buena Vista Gardens, and

according to Esperanza research. Around 1959, Reyes added the the Chicano civil rights movement.
concrete block seating addition in the back and turned it into Ru- Esperanza has also rehabbed Casa de Cuentos, a 100-year-old
ben’s Ice House, named after his son. It operated as an ice house house that has held community meetings, musical performances,
and community gathering space until it closed in 1987. oral history gatherings, among other cultural gatherings. The
restored 1920s Casita, a 200-square-foot home, serves as an ex-
At Ruben’s, men sat in the front space drinking beer, while ample of a poor family’s home during that era. And MujerArtes is
families gathered at picnic tables and ordered burgers from a slid- the home of a women’s ceramics collective where they make and
ing window in the back. The plan is to build the second gallery sell pottery and related crafts.
where families used to gather in the back. Two adjacent homes will join the other structures. One will
complement the museum as a research room where residents can
“The front of the ice house was a very male space, so basical-
ly only men went in there to drink beer,” Gould said. “Families

and children who would come and maybe order burgers … they view the Esperanza’s digital photo collection, as well as peruse its

would sit on the picnic tables. This was covered, screened in with oral histories—or record their own.

a pony wall, so we’re gonna stay within this footprint.” “We’ve been waiting for a while and we’re really happy we

A smaller space in the front corner will serve as a gift shop. got this done,” Gould said. “It’s our time now to really start with LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • July/Aug 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 6•

Even the old walk-in cooler in the center of the building will the number crunching and making it happen.”

In gratitude ciples at the Esperanza Peace & Justice Center and it also 13
undergirds the Museo del Westside’s work. While we are col-
Against the backdrop of the worst public health crisis since the lectively hollering out, we will not succumb to despair. We will
1918 flu pandemic and the worst economic crisis since the Great live proudly and joyfully.
Depression, we have borne witness to what may be the most ¡Basta con el racismo! 
widespread civil uprising against racial injustice since 1968. Sarah Zenaida Gould, PhD
Director Museo del Westside, June 5, 2020
The heartache and the weight of bearing witness to policies
and actions fueled by white supremacist ideology are unbear- Native plants at the Rinconcito include Turk’s Cap growing next to Ruben’s with a
able. Nuestra comunidad has been here too many times! And sign welcoming all people as neighbors. Photo: Kamala Platt
yet, in the middle of all of it all, our Beloved Community has
found time to speak up for our efforts to create a permanent and
protected home for the Museo del Westside. Two weeks ago,
with the support of the community, we received conceptual de-
sign approval for our architectural plans to rehabilitate Ruben’s
Ice House, and the Historic and Design Review Commission
(HDRC) also approved our request to create the first historic
district in the Westside at the Rinconcito de Esperanza. I want
to thank everyone who reached out to HDRC to support these
efforts. We know this has been a most extraordinarily difficult
time when our very survival has required our full attention.
Hope, peace, and justice have always been the driving prin-

Our Buena Gente Make A Difference!
Since closing our spaces in late March 2020 due to COVID-19, the Esperanza provided us with a consistent base of funds to build on. We especially invite

Peace and Justice Center continues to survive with all staffmembers working Voz readers to consider becoming Monthly Donors to help us sustain our work.

from home, and MujerArtes’ women working on staggered schedules creating There are 3 ways to sign up to become an Esperanza Monthly Donor:
• Our Automatic Bank Withdrawal Program is the most beneficial
clay artwork. Our building projects—Lerma’s, the Giovanni’s grocery store,

Museo del Westside and the elevator shaft at San Pedro are all slowly continuing option for Esperanza as there are no processing fees. Send a voided

with renovations. check to 922 San Pedro Ave. and we’ll use the routing & account

Like other cultural arts organizations, the Esperanza experienced a loss of numbers to sign you up!

revenue when our cultural programming ground to a halt. We also suffered a • Or, you can sign up on our website via PayPal using a credit card at

20% cut from funds that had been awarded to us by the City’s art funding process www.esperanzacenter.org/donate;

that is now in jeopardy for 2021. Still, we vow to creatively continue with our • Or, mail in your donation monthly to 922 San Pedro Ave., SA 78212.

cultural programming, our community connections and work for social justice! Because the Esperanza is a grassroots organization, we rely on community
Our community of supporters have come through for the Esperanza with do- members for support. Your generosity keeps us moving forward into the future!
Muchisimas gracias, y adelante con esperanza! Black Lives Matter!
nations during these trying times. One-time donations and monthly donors have
racias! For YAtlas,Caron
Aaby, Hanne Filyk, Patrick Nericcio, William A. Sánchez, Thomas Camargo, Dallana*

Acuña, Sophia Fly, Rosalinda Nitsche, Carmen Sánchez, Xavier Campos, Jesse & Joann

Alamo, Carmen Frausto, Dennise Obregon, Melvin Sanders, Heywood Cantú, Norma & Niebla, Elvia*

Albro, Tot & Ward Frisese, Joanne Ocañas, Gilberto S. Sandoval, Virginia“Gina” Casares, Viola & Jessica

Aleman, Enrique García, Rosemary Oduguwa, Emmanuella Schlenker, Carolina Cashin Lerma, Judith

Alvarado, Frances Garza, Theresa Olivas, Lourdes Shaughnessy, Tricia Castillo, Patricia

Amaya, Arthur L. Gonzáles, Luisa Otero, Lydia Short, Michael J. Cavazos, Irasema*

Anderson, Jessica González, Deena J. Patino, Brenci Silva, Jesse Chagoya, Ari & Casi Alvarado, Jennifer

Arevalos, Mona González, Hector Payton, Tom Singler, Roger Chellet, Magdalena & McChesney, Maray

Gould, Sarah Peña, Josie Smith, Patricia Cordero, Wilfredo

Auerbach, Rhoda Grande, Reyna Perales, Robert Spickard, Jim DeLeon, Maria Lydia

Baldacci, Spencer Guerra, Geronimo Pérez, Eyra Squier, Chuck Delgado, Rachel*

Barrientos Morales, Jorge Arturo Guerra, Sylvia Petersen-Rockney, Margiana Stoeltje, Samuel Dennis, Denise*

Beavin, Susan Gutiérrez, Lupita Pluecker, John Taylor, Yoko Duda, Tim

Bella, Peter Gutiérrez, Porfirio Portillo-Morales, Tita Eloisa Tejadilla, Sergio Duesterhoeft, Diane

Belmares, DeeDee Gwin, Jennifer Preston, Fred Tejeda, Juan Edmonson, Tom

Benavides, Dulce Heath, Garrett Pride, Chiara Vallejo, Blanca Escobedo, Maria Belén & Ramón

Benell, Jo Ann Hebert, Leonard Ramírez, Gloria Valverde, Peter Estevez, George*
LA¡VOZ de ESPERANZAG• July /Aug 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 6•
Berriozábal, Maria Hernández, Denise M. Rangel, M. Cherry Veloz, Brad Farris, Lauryn & Kerry

Bloomer, Ginger Hernández, Pat Rendón, Laura Villa-Komaroff, Lydia Flores, Raquel & Tony

Brand, Moon Sharon Herrera, Isabel Rezaee, Reza Villarreal, Raul Galván, Alicia Zavala*

Brigham, Deborah Ives, Susan Rice, George Walker, Rosemary Gardner, Kirsten

Cabral, Antonio & Mary Jensen, Karen Riojas Clark, Ellen Wallace, Trish Garza-Alvarado, Frances

Carrington, Elizandro Johnson, Kaisha Rios, Adriana Wolff, Elaine Gloria, Jessie Gloria

Carrizal-Dukes, Elvira Johnson, Michelle Rivera, Shey Woo, Analisa Goetz, David & Barragan Goetz, Philis

Carter, Benjamin Joseph, Margaret Rivera Servera, Ramón Zambrano, Isabel Gomez, Brenda

Castillo, Leo Kolstad, Peter Erik Rodríguez, Carol D’Armata, Annette & Pérez, Lourdes Gomez, Letitia

Cisneros, Lulu Kunreuther, Frances Rodríguez, Christopher Spener, David & Krassner, Marsha González, Eva

Codina, Xochitl Lambrou, Anna Rodríguez, Justin Schelling, Emmett & Segovia, Andrea & González, Micaela*
Colvin, Cosima Lawlor, Janice Rodríguez, Luanne (Nina) Yoon, Alex Greimel, Andrea

Contreras, Rita María Lindholm, Siri Rodríguez, Maria (Mary Agnes) MONTHLY DONORS Guajardo, Elena
Cook, Gillian López, Kevin J. Rodríguez, Queta Guerra, Donna*
Corpus, Julie Luevano, Fabiola Rodríguez, Raymond & Beverly Aguilar, Richard & Janet * Guerra, Susan Morales*
Cortez, Erlinda Martínez, Hernando Romo, Esteban Alejandro, Maria* Gutierrez, Gloria
Davalos, Karen Martínez, Jennifer Rop, Imgard Amberg, Stephen Haney, Pete
Davis, Marlon Mathis, Sandra Rose, Jessica Anaya, Frank and Estela* Hernández, Jose Manuel
De La Garza, Celestina Mayer, Joel Ross, Loretta Arkles, Gabriel Herrera, Araceli
de la Garza, Terrie Mendoza, Sylvia Saenz, Diana Atkins, Carolyn Horne, Stewart
Diehm, Janice Miller, Janice Saldaña, Lilliana Barajas, Carolyn Huerta, Elisa Diana*
DiBernard, Barbara Moore, Denise Saldivar-Christilles, Ana Bartholomew, Lauren Ireland, Jill
Drennon, Christine Mora, Ocelotl Saliba, Nadine Beddingfield, Linda Jasso, Pat
Dunn, Sandra Moreno, Beatrice Salluce, Robert Vincent Bonner, Cindy Jennings, Rachel*
Elder, Jack Moreno, Elida San Miguel, Cristina Brinkley , Michele* Johnson, Barbara
Endt, David Muñoz, Eddie San Miguel, Guadalupe Brown, Ann & Jay Juárez, Eduardo*
Negrete, Jen Sánchez, Isabel & Enrique Butler, Bett & Dilley, Joel Keene, Tom & Marilyn
14 Enriquez, Pauline
* Monthly Donors who also made individual contributions

Your Support!McGuire,Meredith&Spickard,Jim Saliba,Imane** Monthly Donors who also made individual contributions

Kitchen, Jimmy Reyna, Josephine* Timmons, Ginny Dunlap-Johnson, Barbara Clair Vega, Susan
Villanueva, Tino
Kuhns, Nikki Rodriguez, Natalie* Martha & Albert Friends Meeting of San Antonio Villarreal, Helen
Viramontes, Helena
Llinas, Patricia Rodriguez, José & Soele, Ron Treviño, Modesta & José Gomez, Leticia Wallace Huddleston, Ann
Watt, Molly
López, Rebecca Rojas, Ricardo & Ximena Valdez, Amelia González, Laura J. Walls, Marian J.
Wells, Vita
Lusk, Dee & Weiss, Lynn Rosales, Rudy Valdivia, Enrique* Goodman, William Young, Ivy
Zeller, Patrick
MacRae, Andrea Ross, Tiffany Vasquez, Marrisa Greene, Maria S. Zentella, Yoly

Madrid, Arturo & Castaneda, Antonia* Saenz, Rene Vega, Arturo & Sue Helenchild, Liz Gracias for donations made
in memory of Ray Mc Donald
Maher, Peter* Said, Sally* Villarreal, Michael Herrera, Oralia M. and jesse benavidez—may
they Rest in peace.
Martin, Nina Salcedo, Bamby Villarreal, Raul Houck, Patricia W. & Jenkens, Lyssa
Also, additional thanks
Mata, Domingo & Petra Salcido, Robert* Villegas, Barbara Hartley, June Jackson, to Graciela Sánchez,
Gloria Ramírez, Susan
Vineyard, Shelly Leandro, Choco Guerra, susana Segura
and others who requested
McMahan, Dortha Saliba, Patrick Wallace, Anne & Dow,Wayne Lyons, Alicia S. that donations go to the
Esperanza in honor of their
Merla, Angie Sanchez, Dee Yanez, Rosario Martinez, Consuelo & Max birthdays.

Monday, Wallis Sanchez, Diana & Xavier Zuniga, Lindsey Marisela, Martinez

Montemayor, Aurelio Sanchez, Mike Milk, Robert and Rosa  

Mote, Tanya* Sanchez, Graciela & Kastely, Amy* additional donors Morales, Mary Hope
Muñoz, Jesse
New, Danielle* Sanchez- Retamozo, Leticia* Aguilar, Elizabeth Myers, Deborah & Valdez, Nickie 
Alvarado, Ascención Orozco, Cynthia
O’Campos, Angel Segura, Susana* Archila, Nelson Patiño, Yolanda

Ojeda, Maria Alicia* Silva-Murguia, Eugenia & Murguia, Arredondo, Alicia Pearson, Anne
Olsen, Janice & Huntzinger, Therese Carlos
Orta-Puente, Kristel Barrigan, Philis Peña, David
Oviedo, Margot Smith, Barbara
Parra Codina, Laura Smith, Ron Boudreau, Carmen Perez-Booth, Celia
Patel, Geeta & Weston, Kath Solis, Joe
Peña, Rosalinda Sotomayor, Justin Brooks, Dudley & Frausto, Tomas Ybarra Piña, Alma
Perretta, Andrew Spener, David & Krassner, Marsha* Cagan, Leslie
Spielman, Cynthia & Mark* Platt, Dwight
Cárdenas, Hector
Ramírez, M. L.
Steele, James & Lety Castro, Adrian
Peterson, Charles* Rodríguez, José
Stevens, Lillian & Myrie, Elvia Omirelekun Choco, Leandro and, Mil gracias to the finance
Phillips, Betty Ruiz, Paul
Stichnot, Bill Crowley, Danelle committee who works
Pitts, Elizabeth Stokes, Dave
Stokes, Dave & Karen Davila, Paul & Mary
Plouf, Paul* Tafolla, Carmen diligently to continue raising
Taylor, Judine & Pressman, Richard* Deviney, Gloria
Ramirez, Ana Lucia* Teneyuca, Sharyll & Soto, Ray Dobbs, David D. Tobia, Rajia C. funds for the Esperanza peace
Ramirez, Cristina Thompson,Terris M. Donelson, Rosemarie G. & Dennis M. Uptown, Beacon and Justice center
Ramirez, Teofila Valdez, Maria A.

Notas Y Más Community meetings and art events are currently on hold LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • July/Aug 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 6•
due to COVID-19. Check websites, FB or call for virtual
July/August 2020 meetings and arts programming in July/August, 2020.
www.esperanzacenter.org

What could have been when history repeats itself, -in honor of BLM

For Officer Brian Encina, we are here again, which means we and i am losing track of the years.
Citizen Sandra Bland and our system  never left.
what happens to a dream deferred,
If this anger at her we tried to move on, but the chain only to a raisin in the sun?
and all she images, let us go so far.
if fear for my ego-invested badge, what is dried and withered hardens to
this uniform, my being what I am, we did feel some relaxation, stone
had just let her go with a ticket, some approximation
respectfully given, and whether it bleeds tears or
case closed.  of what we imagined freedom to be. blood is unknown.
If this death was by me
and not another… we did rest at times and bask in the sun. what is dried and browned to seed
having given in to despair
letting go the fragile threads of hope we are here again, which means germinates new life and sprouts new
for another sunrise, another day we never left. creeds.
and said yes to life, yes to myself.
If our system, this culture, i am telling myself the same —Yon Hui Bell
immersing us in arrogance and despair bedtime stories.
could just stop it. 15
  —Tom Keene August 14, 2015 i am rubbing the same worries from my
eyes

and the wounds around my ankle
have calloused.

each day feels like the day before
or the day after

LA VOZ de ESPERANZA • July/Aug 2020 Vol. 33 Issue 6•

LA CORONA Noche Azul’s
ES UNA DEMONIA
COVID-19 IS A DEMON. at home concerts

IT CAME DURING MY FAVORITE SEASON. Check our website
and FaceBook page
THE THREAT OF A VIRUS THAT CAN KILL. for upcoming online
concerts
TAKES US TO THINKING POSITIVE AND OF
GOD BUT STILL…. facebook.com/esperanzacenter
youtube.com/esperanzacenter
LA CORONA ES LA MUERTE.

AYE, LA MUERTE!!! Esperanza Peace & Justice Center Non-Profit Org.
922 San Pedro San Antonio TX 78212 US Postage
HASTE FUERTE. 210.228.0201 • www.esperanzacenter.org PAID

BE HEALTHYAND STRONG. San Antonio, TX
Permit #332

DON’T DO ANYTHING WRONG. Haven’t opened La Voz in a while? Prefer to read it online? Wrong address?
TO CANCEL A SUBSCRIPTION EMAIL [email protected] CALL: 210.228.0201
STAY HOME!! Pandemic Lotería
DO NOT ROAM. by Rafael

Gonzales Jr.

LA CORONA instagram.com/
pinche_raf_art

ES MUY CABRONA.

COVID-19 IS EXTREMELY MEAN.

IT’S THE WORSE VIRUS WE HAVE EVER SEEN.

LA CORONA NO VA GANAR.

WE WON’T LET COVID-19 DESTROY US.

BUT IT SURE DOES ANNOY US.

WE WILL SURVIVE AND WIN. COUNT ME IN.

AND ALAS, THIS TOO SHALL PASS.

– LUCILLE BRISEÑO

The Esperanza stands in solidarity with
the Black community & Black Lives Matter against

systemic racism & white supremacy!

The Buena Gente of the Esperanza Photographer: Johnny Silvercloud the movement who started the
Peace and Justice Center stand Stonewall riots were Black and
in full solidarity with the Black Latinx trans women of color
community and Black Lives who were resisting against
Matter movement in the fight police violence. Our struggle
against systemic racism and would not be possible without
white supremacy. The recent the continued and ongoing
police violence that has cut short struggle of Black Liberation.
the lives of George Floyd, Tony Black liberation intersects with
McDade, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud all social justice movements.
Aubrey and countless black The systemic violence that the
victims of state violence before them, are only the most Black community faces is an extension of the legacy of slavery
recent incidents of a long and painful history of structural and settler colonialism in this country, American Imperialism
violence and systemic oppression against African Americans and continued militarism abroad, and the violence of the
that stretches from the time of slavery through today. The consumer and capitalist system that unfairly burdens
Esperanza has fought for many years against the structures communities of color by creating persistent inequities in
of domination and oppression that most affect our poor and housing, education, health and all systems. It is our hope that
working class, communities of color, and LGBTQ communities. beyond the long overdue protests our communities will lead
As artists and cultural organizers we have worked to envision the work with elected and government officials long term
change and organize for a community built upon cultural for continued and lasting policy change that will dismantle
respect and mutual benefit for all. As a queer organization structural racism and white supremacy to create equitable
we recognize during Pride month that our grandmothers in systems for all.


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