“The Lost City”

Ever heard of Candelaria, Texas? Neither have I.

“Imagine you lived in a small town and then imagine you couldn’t travel more then a few miles from that town. This is the problem that the residents of Candelaria, Texas face every single day. The only reason they live there is to send their children off to school on the U.S. side, because the school on the Mexican side is in complete shambles. The closest town with a grocery store is one hour away and for fear of deportation they cannot even travel to buy food. They must rely on anyone who is willing to help them. Most of the men work on the Mexican side but their wages are so small that most families have 4, 5, or even 6 people living in small trailers made only for a couple of people.”

Alberto Garcia along with a group of filmmakers and Producers are looking to develop a small documentary on Candelaria and the hardships the undocumented residents of the small community encounter on a daily basis.

They call it “Lost City”, an independent documentary about the hardships of the people of Candelaria, TX. Undocumented and trapped in their own town.

Alberto Garcia was the creator of the film, “An American Dream”.

“Three years ago I started a film called An American Dream a movie about the immigration debate raging in the United States. Two years after I began the film it was picked up by The Documentary Channel and aired every month for 2 years across the United States. It was viewed by more then 500,000 people, our voice about immigration was heard. Now with my small crew I want to repeat that process with this new movie called The Lost City, our voice can and will be heard across the country.”

Visit this project’s Kickstarter, learn more about it, and help them develop this film.

Sitting in an airplane, reminiscing…/Sentada en un avión, recordando el pasado…

Airplanes, Airports, Flying…sigh! From having to deal with the long lines, to the over-crowded gates, over-priced food, snacks, water…. The idea of being in an airplane (no matter what size it be), gives me the chills. Having to be stuck seated for maybe 30 min all up to a dozen hours? Gives me anxiety… The experience is annoying and/or claustrophobic… and being here (currently in an airplane) only makes me miss my family road trips! Because before airplanes became more common and affordable (at least to my family) we used to travel by car! How I miss those long family road trips to Mexico! Let me explain…

Our family road trips didn’t consist of a nagging, “are we there yet?” or of awkward silences, headphones etc. Back in the day, or since I was “born” my family and I would take several road trips throughout the year, but it was that end of the year road trip that stood out amongst them all. Five people in one car headed out from Watsonville, Ca to Jocotepec, Jalisco, Mexico. “Insane!” “Uggh”, you’re thinking? Not really. I would say it’s a pretty normal thing for families to experience at least ONCE (it’s very common) when traveling down south to visit their families in Mexico. As soon as mid December hits, (my estimation) hundreds, thousands of people hop in their car, truck, SUV and drive all together SOUTH of the border.

As soon as school would be out and my parents got vacation time, the family of five would head out. We would take games, music, movies but they would mostly remain untouched. Instead, We would take pictures, make videos (yes, in the car), sing together, have heart-to-heart’s with each other, share tears and so on. Typically, a drive from Watsonville to Jocotepec, Jalisco, Mexico would take you two days… it would take us almost three! We would drive during the day; stop to have breakfast, lunch and dinners in restaurants where we’d usually take longer than we’d plan on. We would randomly stop when we were all tired in a hotel and get some sleep. From doing it year after year, I can say, crossing the border and driving that far of a distance is the most breath-taking, wakening, and interesting experience.  Just imagine for one second… driving from California, leaving the states, driving not only south but also crossing THE BORDER. I saw things I would have never seen otherwise and I am very grateful for that.

So after taking our sweet time to get to Mexico, we’d arrive and it would all be over. My father would then spend most of his time in his town, San Pedro Tesistan with his family and friends, my mom would exhaust my grandparent’s with her presence 🙂 and my sisters and I would disperse into our group of friends and our closest cousins.

Now, we have exchanged those memorable experiences for a four-hour obnoxious flight…. I am currently sitting in an airplane writing this blog, reminiscing, on my way to Mexico, alone. Although I can’t change the fact that we highly rely on airplanes and that my family and I will probably never drive to Mexico together again, I am glad that it is something which I got to experience and that I could write about and share with you. My name is Joanna and I love taking road trips with my family…I hope I’m not the only one that feels this way.

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Sentada en un avión…. Recordando el pasado……..

Aviones, aeropuertos, vuelos, (suspiro)! Desde tener que lidiar con largas colas y puertas llenas de gente, comida costosa, incluyendo bocadillos, agua….. la simple idea de estar en un avión (no importa el tamaño), me causa escalofríos. Tener que estar sentada por 30 minutos o hasta 12 horas? Me causa ansiedad……. la experiencia es fastidiosa y/o claustrofóbica… y estar ahí (en un avión) solo me hace extrañar los viajes por carretera con mi familia!

Antes de que los viajes por avión fueran comunes y accesibles (por lo menos para mi familia) acostumbrábamos viajar por carretera.Ahhh como extraño esos largos viajes a Mexico! Te cuento…..

Nuestros viajes por carretera no consistían de estar preguntando ¿“Ya mero llegamos”? o de silencios incómodos, o del uso de los audífonos, etc. En aquellos años, bueno yo diría que desde que nací, mi familia y yo acostumbrábamos viajar por carretera varias veces por año, pero era el viaje de fin de año, el que sobresalía de los demás. Cinco personas nos subíamos al auto y salíamos de WatsonvilleCalifornia rumbo a Jocotepec Jalisco México. ¿Qué locura verdad? ¿Te imaginas? Tal vez no. Yo diría que es un asunto muy normal (y muy común) el que las familias experimenten una vez en su vida  un viaje al sur a visitar a sus familiares en México. Me imagino ver a mediados de diciembre cientos, que digo cientos, miles de personas subiéndose a sus autos o camionetas y manejar todos juntos al sur de la frontera, al igual que nosotros.

Tan pronto como terminábamos la escuela y las vacaciones de mis padres empezaban, la familia de cinco comenzaba su jornada. Nos preparábamos con  juegos de mesa, música, películas, pero casi ni las tocábamos. Aun mejor nos la pasábamos tomando fotografías, haciendo videos (si, en el auto!), cantábamos juntos, teníamos la oportunidad de hablar con el corazón entre nosotros, compartíamos lagrimas y muchas cosas más.

Típicamente, un viaje de Watsonville a Jocotepec tomaba dos días con sus noches…. Casi tres! Manejábamos durante el día y nos deteníamos a desayunar, comer y cenar en restaurantes donde durábamos mas de lo esperado.  Cuando ya el cansancio nos ganaba,  nos deteníamos en un hotel a dormir .

Como lo hacíamos cada año, puedo asegurarles que cruzar la frontera y manejar tan largas distancias ha sido una de las experiencias más impresionante e interesante que he vivido.  Imagínense por un minuto…. manejar de California, dejar los Estados Unidos, y manejar no solamente a la frontera pero cruzarla. Créanme que por medio de esas experiencias, pude ver cosas que nunca en mi vida hubiera podido apreciar de otra manera y estoy muy agradecida de haber podido hacerlo.

Llegábamos a México y la jornada se terminaba. Entonces mi papá se pasaba la mayoría del tiempo en su pueblito natal, San Pedro Tesistan con sus familiares y amigos, mi mamá agotaba a mis abuelitos con su presencia y mis hermanas y yo nos separábamos a convivir con nuestro grupo de amigos y primos cercanos.

Como pueden ver, hemos cambiado esas experiencias memorables por un desagradable vuelo de avión de cuatro horas…..  ahorita estoy sentada en uno de ellos, escribiendo este mensaje, recordando el pasado, sola y rumbo a México. Aunque no puedo cambiar la idea de que ahora dependemos de los aviones, y que mi familia y yo probablemente nunca volveremos a viajar todos juntos a México por carretera, me siento satisfecha de que al menos tuve esas experiencias y que las puedo escribir y compartir contigo. Mi nombre es Joanna y me encanta viajar por carretera con mi familia…. Espero no ser la única que piense así.