The here and now... and what and why

Complacency is a trap. At least that’s what I was thinking when I up and left the comfort of a Yankee prep school gig, where I taught music, amongst other things, for 28 years. There was also that life long career as a composer, musician and artist.

First, it was a year in St. Thomas, USVI, working as a reporter and shooting photography and then, a year in San Agustin Etla, Oaxaca, Mexico.
Time passed.
More time passed and a year back in the Athens of America followed by a hasty return to Oaxaca where it is all happening.
A couple of years in San Sebastian Etla and now, just down the road in San Pablo Etla. Life is good.

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For additional photography please visit my flickr page.
You can find my music on Jango (World & latin - Worldbeat) and at iTunes and most online stores.
¡Soy consciente de todas las tradiciones del Internet!
If you are coming to Oaxaca, please contact me for tours or advice.

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo
The view from Corazon del Pueblo

The hereafter re me

My photo
Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
Musician, photographer, videographer, reporter, ex-officio teacher, now attempting to be a world traveler

Friday, December 9, 2016

No dance for you...

This is so sad, but this is where we are.  I have friends that attend and teach at this school.  It is one of Oaxaca's more prestigious schools with an upper middle class clientele.
 From Huffington
A group of Mexican children won’t be making a planned trip to dance in the United States next year due to concerns over visiting the country during the presidency of Donald Trump.
Grupo Folklorico, comprised of middle- and high-school students from Instituto Blaise Pascale in Oaxaca, was planning to visit the sister city of Palo Alto, California, in April.
However, after Trump’s election, parents started to cancel, according to Neighbors Abroad of Palo Alto, a volunteer group that coordinates sister city activities.
“They are parents like... parents anywhere,” said Bob Wenzlau, the organization’s president. “When they are sending their children without their being there, there’s a heightened sensitivity, like any of us have.”
Palo Alto is an affluent city in the progressive San Francisco Bay area, but that distinction may not mean much to parents in a faraway part of Mexico, a country that was often targeted by Trump during the presidential election.
“We know we can tell them things are safe here,” Wenzlau said. But in their view, sending the kids to anywhere in the U.S. in this climate could still be risky.
“These are parents that are afraid to send their children into a little bit of harm’s way up here,” he said. “They’re a long way away.”
I just returned from El Norte and well, the atmosphere, which was pretty ugly before, has only worsened.  There is hate in the air, everywhere.  It is palpable.  And the rest of the world is watching and reacting accordingly, even though people in the US seem blind to it.


Claudia Michel said...

Not so much blind as feeling helpless about it.

Christopher Stowens said...

I guess I am referring to those who support the new isolation/hatred of "the other" and the rest of the world. I mean, one of the candidates for Sec. of State said of China, "Screw 'em"" The repercussions seem obvious to me, but as I say, they seem blind to the fact that we are all in one hell of a mess.

Bill Davis said...

Hi Christopher,
This story is so sad, but I fear that this story and many more are going to get far worse under the new hate adminastration!
A example: We have a very nice vacation rental in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We have a repeat Canadian couple (4 years in a row) that have always reserved the months of February and March in our rental ($1800.00 a month). This year they reserved the same months for 2017 back in September with a 50% deposit. Two days after the election they emailed us saying "do to the new political climate in the US we do not feel safe and would like to cancel our reservation"!
People have voted for this person . . . and YES we are all in one hell of a mess in this country!

Claudia Michel said...

Thanks for clarifying. We are certainly discouraged and depressed, but many of us thinking how we can become involved rather than just assuming others will do it for us. I for one am becoming involved with the local Sanctuary movement, IMiRj and continuing to strengthen my ties with my immigrant friends here in Portland. Money is heading out to NARAL, environmental concerns, - and figuring out ways to help more than only money. A women's march is going to be happening all over the US on January 21 - . And I see many of us fortifying our knowledge base in climate, environment, etc etc. So - I do think things are happening. And of course there is always the hope of impeachment, or electoral college bravery - etc.

On another note - I was recently in Oaxaca and noted much more tagging rather than the usual graffiti - the conditions in the city seemed more impoverished. I would like to return for my 6th time - but hope that I can figure out what my place in Oaxaca is. this visit was amazing because of my connections with family of my Oaxacan friends here in Portland. I prefer being with the people of Oaxaca - they are so gracious and so loving. How can I be of help in Oaxaca? surely more than just spending my money. Sorry for this - but am considering moving there if things continue to be dire here. Think :It Cant Happen Here;by Sinclair Lewis or some novel by Margaret Atwood.

sonya melescu said...

Yes the situation here is a dangerous one. I feel for the parents in Oaxaca, and understand their fear. Living in the metro DC area, there are many disappointed people. The day after the elections, I felt as though I just lost something so dear to me.... it was HOPE!!!!
I will be doing the Million Woman March on Jan. 21st, after the CRIMINAL is Inaugurated. We MUST be active!!!!
I still feel numb and question.... How did this happen???? We went from Barrack & Michelle Obama who brought grace, style and intelligence to the White House. To a NARCISSISTIC MADMAN that is and capable of anything.
I didn't realize there were so many ignorant, racist, sexist, fear based people, in the US. Mexico does sound like a good place to be, for the next 4 years. God Bless America is becoming a mantra.