¡CUÉNTAME! - What's Your Story?

logo_Web_Cuentame_color2.gifCuéntame means: Count me or tell me your story – and we ask everyone to do so!

Cuéntame is a place for Latinos and the public in general! Whether YOU are a sports fan, movie fan, activist, artist, student, parent, organizer, Latino or not, award winning novelist, astronaut, actor, painter, or anything else, all are welcome here!

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  • commented 2014-11-06 21:55:35 -0800
    Hi, my name is Cesar Jonathan Paz. I am son to Julio Cesar Paz. My father came to the U.S. in search to better himself and support himself and my mom financially. They first came here without papers, but my dad luckily later got a work permit to be here. They denied his renewal. He stayed here without legal documents. My dad after some years had his first daughter. Then he had me. My sister passed away at 6 causing an aching hardship to my parents. It was okay though, because they had me. He continued to try and make something out of himself. He learned English on his own, he got a contractors license illgally yes, he had my brother, he built a residential home, he had another son, and then another daughter! 4 kids and his wife! He got deported, when his old manager deported after becoming furious with my dad for not being able to deceive him. He came back illegallly, yes. When word spilled out to the government from an unknown source, ICE went around the neighborhood showing his picture to the neighborhood and asking for info, as if he was some type of criminal. My dad by now had a restaurant, who he gave jobs too, and paid taxes, and helped the government. He has never smoked a single cigarette, been sent to jail, or done ANYTHING CRIMINAL LIKE. However ICE went around with his picture lying to neighbors that he was a criminal. There is still no criminal record on his file other than being here illegally. He was deported again, he came back. About 4 months later, ICE did the same thing. Except this time they arrested him in front of me, my 10 year old brother, 9 year old brother, and 6 year old sister. I will never forget the scene. Being sent in cuffs as if he murdered someone. He gave himself willingly though. Endless depressed nights filled the house. My mom is now working a job to support my 3 siblings, myself, and herself. My dad is currently in Mexico. Despite the hardships, I manage to do good in high school. I currently taking 4 AP classes and not doing too bad. But nights fill me with depress meant. He is banned from the U.S. for 25 years now I think. I just want my father back. Because yes, growing up without a father is hard, but having one and then have him taken away by your OWN government, is probably worse. This is my story. I hope you read this and so do the rich republicans out there who have no clue that my dad didn’t choose his country of birth. It was given to him. Just like theirs is given to them. You don’t choose to be American you just get lucky. So please stop being, greedy, self-conscious, ignorant people and help your people because we are not in the 1800’s and racism isn’t a trend anymore. Help your fellow Hispanic American out rather than screwing them over.
  • commented 2014-10-02 10:02:35 -0700
    La Gran Mentira de La Universidad

    Si la universidad es la clave para un futuro próspero en este país, entonces cómo es posible que haya tantos jóvenes profesionales desempleados y trabajando en labores que no requieren ni siquiera un estudio básico?


    En un estudio publicado en enero de 2014, por el Banco de la Reserva Federal de Nueva York, nos confirma las alarmantes tasas de desempleo de los recientes egresados universitarios de los Estados Unidos. Este estudio comprueba que hemos tenido la carencia de desempleo más alta de los últimos veinte años en esta categoría. Así como también, el índice de profesionales que están trabajando en labores que no requieren una preparación postsecundaria es el más alto en las últimas dos décadas.


    Entre tanto si un estudio universitario, que tiene un costo promedio de 8,000 dólares a 30,000 dólares por año académico, no está mejorando la oportunidad de obtener un buen empleo, la pregunta del millón es: Quién se está favoreciendo al invertir tiempo y dinero en una carrera universitaria? Los estudiantes o las universidades?


    A continuación, le daré unas alternativas para que usted sea el favorecido:


    Community College vs. Universidad “Prestigiosa”


    Es muy cierto que es un orgullo pertenecer a una universidad prestigiosa sin excepción alguna, Pero si esa universidad no te está otorgando una beca por cuatro años que es el periodo normal que dura una carrera universitaria, entonces es mejor asistir al Community college primero. Principalmente, porque al asistir a un Community college te ahorrarías miles de dólares. Por ejemplo, por todo un año académico en un Community College en Connecticut el costo es $1933.00 dolares, comparado a $30,000 dolares o mas, que tendrias que pagar en algunas universidades privadas por el mismo periodo. Aún más, porque muchas universidades, con el fin de aumentar sus cuotas mandatorias, ofrecen una beca por un año, pero muchas veces las cancelan al empezar el segundo año.


    De la misma manera, después de que termines los dos años en un Community College puedes transferir los créditos a la universidad “Prestigiosa” y así ahorrarte miles de dólares. Pero aun hay más. Si obtienes buenas calificaciones en el Community college, la universidad prestigiosa te puede ofrecer una beca por terminar la carrera allá. Por lo tanto, cuando terminas tu carrera obtienes el diploma de esa universidad privada como si hubieras estudiado toda la carrera desde un principio en el mismo lugar pero con la ventaja de que saldrías graduado de esa universidad debiendo miles de dolares menos lo que significa que tu deuda sería más baja.



    2. Psicologia vs. Contabilidad


    La psicología es muy interesante y por eso es la carrera más popular en los Estados Unidos; aparte de que es una de las más fáciles de estudiar. Aunque, si quieres tener un buen empleo, tienes que ser muy selectivo al momento de escoger tu profesión. Ya que hay muchas carreras donde el campo de acción es muy poco y por lo tanto no hay mucha demanda laboral. Entre ellas esta la filosofía, las artes plásticas, la antropologia, la sociologia, historia, y ciencias políticas.


    Pero existen unas carreras profesionales las cuales tienen mucha demanda y son muy solicitadas por un gran número de instituciones y empresas que siempre están buscando nuevos talentos. Entre ellas están: La Contabilidad, las Estadísticas, El Campo Médico, Ciencias Naturales (Biología y Química) así como también está la Educación con enfoque a las matemáticas, y para terminar esta computación e informática. Estas carreras requieren mucho más esfuerzo y algunas veces pueden ser más demoradas, pero aun asi hay muchas posibilidades de empleo para los que las eligen.


    Sin embargo, si sigues optando por estudiar Psicología porque es una carrera que te apasiona y no estás dispuesto a estudiar otra cosa que no sea esta, también hay otras alternativas que puedes usar: Una manera es escoger una carrera donde hay más posibilidades de trabajo y acompañar ese carrera con un enfoque en lo que realmente estás interesado. En el caso de psicología, por ejemplo, un estudiante puede elegir estudiar economía en vez de psicologia pero con un enfoque en psicología. Ya que las dos carreras manejan mucho el tema del comportamiento humano. La clave es combinar una carrera donde hay mucha demanda con lo que te apasiona.


    3. ¿Buscar empleo? Mientras soy estudiante vs. cuando termine o estoy cerca de terminar la carrera?


    Cuando eres estudiante universitario el momento ideal para buscar empleo es en el primer día de clase. Ya que uno de los errores que frecuentemente cometen los jóvenes, durante su carrera académica, es buscar empleo en su último año. No hagas lo que hacen la mayoría de los estudiantes y dejar esta búsqueda para lo último. Porque cuando las empresas van a las universidades a buscar talento, ellas acostumbran a buscar a los estudiantes con experiencia. Dando así menos posibilidades de ganar un puesto laboral a los que no tienen nada de experiencia previa.


    Por eso es muy importante que en el primer año de estudio, nosotros los latinos ubiquemos las oficinas de reclutamiento profesional. Esta la encuentras en casi todas las universidades, y cada una de ellas tiene un departamento correspondiente. Algo muy curioso es que por alguna razón, estas oficinas son las menos frecuentadas por los estudiantes. Y sin embargo, esto es el mejor recurso que tienes para buscar trabajo y ganar experiencia previa para futuros empleos.


    En este sitio aprenderás cómo llenar una hoja de vida, como entrevistar, y lo más importante que te enseñan es cómo desarrollar un Network profesional. Muchos de estos departamentos tienen muchos convenios con empresas que desesperadamente buscan talento hispano por medio de prácticas que se llaman internships. Ademas, la mayoría de estas prácticas son pagas y muchas ofrecen a los participantes empleo de tiempo completo después de que ellos terminan su carrera.
  • commented 2014-08-17 12:07:33 -0700
    hay
  • commented 2014-05-21 15:32:12 -0700
    NEGRITA is a feature length documentary which captures personal, unique stories of Latinas of African descent living in various cities across the United States of America. Conceived from social worker-turned-director Magdalena Albizu’s own journey of validation as an Afro-Latina, NEGRITA will reveal the experiences of Afro-Latinas around the USA who are caught in a constant struggle to choose between race and ethnicity on a local, regional, and national level.


    NEGRITA recently launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo in order to raise $50K. Shooting is scheduled to begin in September 2014. We are 5% funded and are very grateful for the support but we still have a long way to go to reach our $50K goal. Therefore, I am humbly asking if you would share this project with your friends, colleagues and family until the campaign ends June 10. A click, a retweet, a share— they are all just as valuable as donating money. http://tinyurl.com/mx8lane


    ABOUT THE DIRECTOR

    Before NEGRITA, Magdalena Albizu founded the Long Island Latino International Film Festival in 2004 and also severed as the former President of the New York Chapter of the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP). Her independent film credits include, So In Love, Love Me Through It, The Great Divide, and Willets Point. Her TV credits include: MTV Music Awards, I am Legend, Memphis on the Big Screen, 50 Cent’s The Money and the Power.
  • commented 2014-05-05 15:05:32 -0700
    ¡Ya Basta! 5 Reasons for Latinos to support ending the War on Drugs this Cinco de Mayo

    By Jeronimo Saldana

    Raza, it’s time we take our holiday back. For far too long, Cinco de “Drinko” has proliferated in cities all across America every 5th of May promoting racist caricatures of Mexicans and negating the actual reason we raise a shot of tequila: to celebrate the day on which the vastly outnumbered and ill-equipped Mexican army defeated the invading French army at La Batalla de Puebla in 1862. While the French would go on to occupy Mexico for three years, in the end, Mexico prevailed.

    Similarly, the failed war on drugs has invaded our communities and left a trail of devastation in its wake. I would like to propose that we take back our holiday and celebrate Cinco de Mayo by ending marijuana prohibition and the failed war on drugs.

    Here are five reasons why Latinos should support ending the war on drugs:

    1. Keeping families together

    In 2010, nearly 50,000 Latinos were incarcerated for non-violent drug offenses and, according to a recently released TRAC report, nearly one-quarter of a million people were deported for nonviolent drug offenses in just the past six years. Ending prohibition is an important step in halting the failed war on drugs and keeping families from being needlessly torn apart.

    2. Ending the violence

    According to Human Rights Watch, prohibition and the failed drug war has led to more 60,000 deaths in Mexico from 2006 to 2012. The failed war on drugs has only served to exacerbate the violence and enrich cartels while our communities suffer needlessly.

    3. Creating safer communities

    Marijuana use is not a violent crime, and yet in 2011 law enforcement arrested someone for marijuana possession every 42 seconds. Ending the failed war on drug would allow police officers to go after more serious offenses that pose a real threat to our community.

    4. Treating cancer and PTSD

    Studies have shown that medical marijuana provides relief from patients suffering from cancer, veterans with PTSD and other debilitating illnesses. Ending marijuana prohibition means prioritizing the needs of sick people and helping to end their suffering.

    5. Saving lives

    The war on drugs has prioritized incarceration over saving lives and has led to individuals witnessing an overdose not calling 911 for fear of arrest. Arresting someone for their own personal drug use does not make our communities safer or stop them from engaging in drug use after they’re released. Providing treatment to those who need it and leaving those who don’t alone is smarter solution than locking them up.

    So this Cinco de Mayo, I hope you’ll join in me taking our holiday back and saying Ya Basta to the failed war on drugs.

    Jeronimo Saldana is a legislative and organizing coordinator for the Drug Policy Alliance.
  • commented 2014-02-10 15:14:58 -0800
    Mutts take over Dallas’ Instagram selfies with #muttbombing

    Dallas Pets Alive! (DPA), a non-profit organization focused on promoting and providing the resources needed to eliminate the killing of companion animals, launches its first viral campaign. The #muttbombing initiative is part of the DPA communication platform created by Dieste, Inc.


    The campaign will feature real dogs that are available for adoption “photobombing” publicly available Instagram photos of residents and celebrities from Dallas. “When it comes to finding homes for shelter pets, you have to really get creative. So we’re trying to show a different side of our pets through a fun and virtual interaction,” says DPA Executive Director Leslie Sans.


    #muttbombing, developed by Dieste, is a fun but also emotional campaign to promote the adoption of companion animals. You can check all the #muttbombing pictures at www.muttbombing.com.


    “There are two basic truths about Instagram: the selfie epidemic keeps growing and pictures of pets, especially dogs, are as popular as ever. If people won’t go to the shelters, why not bring shelters to them? Instagram has become a critical platform to reach the masses in a visually interesting way,” says Executive Creative Director Ciro Sarmiento, who led the creative team.


    Learn more about muttbombing at www.muttbombing.com
  • commented 2013-08-08 17:52:07 -0700
    Yes but not tonight. But a “Bridge Builder” with a planetary vision.

    Always looking for allies to create public domain King Chavez Legacy Teams. At 77 years young see no need to create but one more non profit and have power points within my Linkedin profile. Most interested to learn about others who see value in youth voice strategies and networking. www.linkedin.com/in/grupoamistad

    and Face Book: King Chavez Legacy Team

    “In the future all young people will come together to make this a better world” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and CC “If you want to remember me, organize.” Cesar E. Chavez Toward that end so can speak into this and ongoing actions steps have taken me to Cuentame.
  • commented 2013-07-23 12:57:56 -0700
    I was taken to the US unwillingly by my mother when I was 9 years old. Grew up in the US, went to school and pledged alliegience to a flag that was not my own.

    I learned the language fast, and also learned to love the US and it’s people from all different nationalities, religions, and backgrounds….

    when I turned 27 I was deported for the crime of being in the country illegally. The judge failed to see that I was to young to know that at the time when I was forced by my mom to go to the US, I did not know that I, or she was commiting a crime. Now I’ve been living here in Mexico for over four years and still find it hard to adapt. My mother still lives in the US in Colorado by herself. I haven’t seen her in 5 years, and the last time I seen her, she was outside my cell, and I could see her through the small window, in her parked car, with her head on the steering wheel crying over the injustice that was done to me.

    Sometimes I have nightmares about the whole experience, and the time I spent in 6 different county Jails surrounded by true criminals, as I fought my case encouraged by my lawyer who just wanted more and more money ‘til I was broke and still deported.

    I wish sometimes I could be with my old family and friends that I grew up with, but that’s the systems fault… Right?? and who’s behind the system?? Like we don’t know….
  • commented 2013-06-30 11:29:07 -0700
    I need sone advice, my husband and me have been together for twelve years. And he made the rrmark that my biological son, who is exactly two weeks apart, saying that his son is coil and tough cuz hed doing five yesrs in prisin for shioting into a vehicle to kill someone, but he missed.and my son, got thrown out for not complying, which ii thought was right. nd since the age of 15, has held a job, consecutively, becausr im a drug addict, and he hates what i do. But he survives. And by the grace of God, he has always found a place to luve. Now my husband says ny sons a sissy, cause he cant fight. And he couldnt survive in prison. He makes his son sound glorified. Wow, please help me to realuze that i can tell him, what you the public have to day. He also just flung a four loco in my face. I did it back, but pleeze help out my stepson to not glorify this lifestyle.. thank you so muvh
  • commented 2013-06-25 20:48:31 -0700
    My story begins long ago, in 1967, in East Los Angeles, on Halloween night. My story has many twists and numerous turns. But each chapter of my story has been lived by me. My mistakes were many, my accomplishments, jouss and disappointments eerr all influenced by my mexican blood. My mexican soul, and only by my mexican pride, can i continue my lifes ride. Soy como soy… the end
  • commented 2013-06-13 02:48:31 -0700
    My story is simple, short, and upsetting to say the ileast. Why is there no mexican actors portraying our people. The talent is there , but the representatoon is not presen. Why the hell is rosario dawson portraying Dolores Huerta? How absoluyely sickening
  • commented 2013-05-20 07:28:03 -0700
    My story is similar to many out there, that I don’t feel that it will make much of an impact on anyone.

    I married an illegal Mexican. Technically we are only married by our church, but he is my husband regardless. We’ve been together for five years. He’s told me his story of crossing many times. We have a son together who will be two in August and a little girl that will be coming in July. I’ve been in several relationships with men that always treated me badly, he is the first that had treated me with love, respect, and kindness. For that, I fell in love with him. He has stayed with me through some very horrible times, including drug addiction.

    We have contacted an immigration lawyer that wants 5-6,000 dollars that we can not afford. We’ve been waiting on his taxes, but that never seems like it will come, there has been several issues with his ITIN numbers, etc.

    He works almost 80hours a week, and is only home with us long enough to eat, shower and maybe have an hour of time together before he goes to bed. He works for a little over minimum wage, with no overtime. I have seen him grow old, and he is only 26. His boss is kind to him, besides taking advantage of him and the other workers. He allowed him time off when our son was born, and will again when we have this baby. He’s given us paychecks early when needed. He is a kind man, he just takes advantage of illegal workers. I know other bosses that would fire someone if they had to call of one day because they were sick. My husband has only missed one day in five years due to being sick.

    I just don’t know when it will get better. I have a great husband, but I feel like I hardly know him. We never have time together, and he hardly has time with his son. I feel like a single mother.

    My hugest fear is for him to get deported. He lives life like he’s walking on eggshells, every time he sees a cop on the street, he watches him until he’s out of sight. He has been pulled over three times, and where I’m from, sometimes they arrest you, sometimes they don’t. All three times, myself and friends or family were there to come to his rescue. Therefore, I haven’t allowed him to drive for the past three years. I’ve driven him, which is another two hours out of my day, and twice as much in gas money spent every week.

    I’m so scared to lose my husband. He misses his family back in Mexico, and all I want is for him to get his papers, so he can have access to Mexico and coming back. Also, I don’t want to have the fear that he will be taken away from us. I cry often about it, and have worried for five years that one day he might not come home. He is a good, kind man that would never hurt anyone, and the only thing he has ever done wrong is crossing into this country illegally and of course staying.

    I get so upset hearing about the people trying to have Mexicans deported. Saying that my children are anchor babies, even some saying he is with me to get his papers, which is hilarious, considering what we’ve been through and he has never pressured me for marriage.

    I tell my story as often as possible, especially those who are against immigration. I of course, get lots of insults from judgmental people. Thanks for allowing me to share my story. I pray one day, we will get my husband legal so my family and I never have to worry about losing him.
  • commented 2013-05-12 09:23:13 -0700
    7 year ago i met the man of my dreams. He is an immigrant from Guatemala . We have 2 beautiful boys together one is 2 the other is 5. This man has always worked and paid taxes. He has no criminal here or in Guatemala. He has 1 ticket for driving a vehicle without a license the only reason he got it was because he was driving me to the hospital because i was very ill. We are currently in the process of fixing papers, and with the law that passed in March we were able to submit his pardon from here in U.S. Unfortunately this still means that when he gets his interview appointment with immigration he will have to leave and the time he will be gone is still uncertain. My 5 year old son has a very good memory and hears everything that is said around him. Whenever he hears the word “Guatemala” or “immigration lawyers” he starts crying asking if its time for daddy to leave. He sometime asks his dad that if he loves him why don’t he stay, but it is not that my husband does not love him, but he has no choice. The time frame we where given for him to leave would be approximately this October. During this time frame i myself will be going for surgery in October, and the man that has been there to support me and help me through all of my problems will not be by my side to help me. The only reason we started this process was because we were seeing how a lot of people were being arrested in their workplaces and we did not want to risk him being deported in such way, but either way my family will be broken because of my husband not having papers.
  • commented 2013-03-13 10:18:53 -0700
    My maternal great grandmother was Latina. She married my great grandfather who was a Confederate veteran and to hid her identity some family members told people she was “European Spanish” and later that she was “Cherokee”. Her maiden name was “Gerales” and she gave her maiden name to my grandfather as his middle name. Sadly the name was never pronounced as a Spanish name but instead a very convoluted “English” name was substituted. But on his birth and draft record the proper Spanish spelling was maintained. My maternal grandparents as was my paternal grandmother all were of Celtic decent.

    For a nation that has never been honest about its history of slavery and racial oppression now is the time to make whatever amends it can and one important step is a fair and compassionate immigration procedure and another is to admit how this nation has supported dictatorships and evil regimes over against the people of this hemisphere.

    I do not speak Spanish though someday I hope I may eventually learn to do so. I am proud of my Latino heritage which I am still learning about. I am proud to offer my support of immigrant rights in what ever way I can. I am a retired bishop of an ecumenical community, a Christian Democratic Socialist, and a sometime poet/writer.
  • commented 2013-02-21 18:42:14 -0800
    Im a single mom who used to be an immigrant rights activist (Im still an activist though not as active). I used to like Obama. Now I dont. from an immigrant rights activist to a welfare mothers perspective, I am disappointed in way I cant describe. Our nations immigration systems isnt the only thing that needs reforming…
  • commented 2012-06-12 11:04:17 -0700
    My father was from Japan, which I guess is probably why I’m all for people’s right to immigrate.
  • commented 2012-06-01 19:02:22 -0700
    Pardon for Oscar Now

    Sign the petition

    On May 29, 2012, Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera marks 30 years in prison in the United States. As was true with other imprisoned patriots before and now, even their jailers recognize that they aren’t common prisoners, that their conduct has been governed by a cause of conscience that for him is more valuable and transcendent than his own freedom, and even than his own life: the cause of the independence of Puerto Rico.

    The fact that there have been, and still are, men and women disposed to suffer persecution, prison, torture and even death, to obtain freedom for their people, is something that challenges all human logic and confers a superior moral character on these men and women disposed to such a great sacrifice. Only freedom can convene such a degree of vital commitment.

    For those who have chosen this path, freedom isn’t discussed; it’s taken and enjoyed as an inalienable and fundamental human right. That is the great lesson that our people has received from its patriots and political prisoners, who Oscar López Rivera has embodied for 30 years in an exemplary way. His stature and that of the other combatants for our national independence has been growing in the imagination of our people, in the same way that the U.S. government has been mercilessly treating him, as well as the González Claudio brothers Avelino and Norberto, just as it was previously merciless with Carlos Alberto Torres and their other compañeros and compañeras, and even before as they were with Lolita Lebrón and Oscar Collazo; with Rafael Cancel Miranda, Irvin Flores and Andrés Figueroa Cordero, among many others.

    The case of Oscar López Rivera is unique for several reasons. He is the Puerto Rican political prisoner who has served the longest time in prison in the United States, and is probably also the longest held political prisoner in our hemisphere. Additionally, his excessively lengthy imprisonment is the product of his jailers’ twisted logic. While the United States government claims to give lessons on freedom, democracy and human rights to the rest of the world, it has held Oscar López Rivera in prison for 30 years, denying him, under the rules of the very system it so staunchly defends, the right to parole and requiring him, in an arbitrary and inhumane way, to serve an additional 12 years in prison.

    The United States government has a responsibility to Puerto Rico which, to date, it has refused to fulfill. Their armed forces mounted an invasion here in 1898, by virtue of which our nation was militarily intervened and our right to decide our own political destiny subjugated — a situation that has lasted to date. That is the principal offense for which it must respond, and the reason for which Puerto Rican independentistas have waged a struggle for 113 years, and during which thousands of Puerto Ricans, Oscar López Rivera among them, have paid an enormous share of sacrifice.

    Now, Oscar López Rivera’s release from prison depends on the decision of the president of the United States, Barack Obama, who has in his hands the opportunity to emulate other U.S. presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, and pardon the Puerto Rican veteran. Obama, first Afro-North American to achieve this position, knows by his own experience the difficult path that must be followed to overcome prejudice and discrimination. For this reason, and for an elemental sense of justice and fair play, it is his duty to release Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera without further delay, and return him to the heart of the Homeland he belongs to and to which he has offered his life.
  • commented 2012-04-08 12:27:58 -0700
    I’m a 52 year old white male living alone in south-central Kentucky. I worked over 30 years in the printing industry until electronic documentation more or less decimated my profession. I’ve had to accept minimum wage jobs ever since and am frequently unemployed due to lay offs. This is not the “American Dream” I had imagined in my youth. I’m tired of government having money for WAR, WAR, WAR and nothing left for those in need!