Soledad en masa

Archive for the ‘Conferences’ Category

CLYLP 2005

leave a comment »

The author at CLYLP's Capitol Day, 2005.

The author at CLYLP’s Capitol Day, 2005.

“Who are you?” “California’s future leaders!”

In the first half of high school I moved without purpose. The only goal I had in mind was college but no real plan on how to get to college. I knew the college application process from my older brother and the UCLA Early Academic Outreach Program counselors at South Gate High School but I lacked the motivation and drive to do more than just my classes to prepare for college. I was involved with an environmental justice group in Southeast Los Angeles and two mariachis (South Gate High School’s and our own group) and spent the rest of my time in school, reading, playing video games, or (in the second half of my sophomore year), with my then girlfriend.

The summer of 2005 was a strange time for South Gate: for the first time in over two decades, all of its high school students had a summer vacation. South Gate High School’s position as the only high school in South Gate for over 70 years was about to end. South East High School was set to open in September 2005, taking with it about a third of South Gate High School’s students, along with South Gaters attending Jordan High School in Watts and those bussed out of South Gate due to overcrowding. The days of summertime school for two-thirds of South Gate high school students were over. For the first time in my life, I had a summer vacation.

I think it was for that reason that my older brother pushed me to apply to the 2005 Chicano Latino Youth Leadership Project (CLYLP) in Sacramento. He knew that I needed motivation I was not going to find by checking out books from the library or staying around South Gate. All I had lined up that summer were two summer school classes to fulfill graduation requirements and a free August.

The CLYLP promised me a week away from home with other students from California, most of us Latino, and learn about college and expose us to Chicano/Latino professionals. My first summer camp.

What I got was so much more. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by soledadenmasa

July 19, 2015 at 6:29 pm

Sal Castro remembered at funeral mass

leave a comment »

Banner of Sal Castro, highlighting his work as an activist and educator (Photo by Diego Rentería).

Banner of Sal Castro, highlighting his work as an activist and educator (Photo by Diego Rentería)

Family And Friends Remember Sal Castro, Teacher And Influential Chicano Activist

Amid cheers of “¡Sí se puede!” and “¡Viva Sal Castro!”, family, friends, former students, contemporaries and numerous admirers gathered this morning at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels for Sal Castro’s funeral mass.

You can read my remembrance of Sal Castro here.

Written by soledadenmasa

April 25, 2013 at 11:04 pm

Remembering Sal Castro

leave a comment »

I wrote a piece on Sal Castro’s death for LAist. Here’s a snippet:

Castro’s message was easily distilled into the message on the podium in the photo above: “No sean mensos (Don’t be idiots). Go to college and graduate!” I still have his business card from when I attended the CYLC eight years ago. On the back is the stronger version of his message: “No sean pendejos (Don’t be dumbasses). Go to college and graduate!”

Read the whole piece over at LAist.

Written by soledadenmasa

April 16, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Que bonita es esta vida.

with 3 comments

This past weekend I attended the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza in San Antonio, Texas. Needless to say, it was a great experience. Here is the text I kept as the trip went on. Enjoy!

Room 733, St. Anthony’s Hotel, San Antonio, Texas
6:23 p.m., November 30, 2007

I’m in San Antonio for the Mariachi Vargas Extravaganza, hosted by none other than el Mariachi Vargas. Mariachi Veritas arrived in San Antonio at 10 p.m. local time after eight hours of flight from Providence, Rhode Island. We had two stops on the way – Philadelphia and Houston. All three landings were rocky, but there were no major problems with the flight. We were the only people who stayed on the plane for the duration of the flight. It had more people flying to Philly than anywhere else. The flight to Houston was the loneliest; there were no more than thirty people on the flight. We landed twenty minutes late, but that was remedied by the fact that we had finally landed and that the mother of one our members not only got each of us a rose as a welcome gift, but also rented a limo bus to take us from the airport to the hotel. We rode in it for around an hour, stopping to eat and get some drinks. This hotel is real swank, by the way. Definitely recommend it. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by soledadenmasa

December 6, 2007 at 2:44 am

A little respite from blogging. [UPDATED]

with one comment

My life here at Harvard has become a bit more fast-paced. I have thoughts on what to write, but no time to expand on them and create a publishable piece. As such, I’ve decided to just make official my unofficial withdrawal from blogging for the moment. I might post videos once a week; it all depends on how I feel and whether I have found the time to scour YouTube and find one worthy of sharing. A final note after the jump.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by soledadenmasa

November 11, 2007 at 10:35 pm

Summer’s gone.

with one comment

Last night it rained here in Cambridge for the first time since I arrived. I welcomed it by running in the rain for about fifteen minutes with friends. I got my huaraches dirty, but I had a blast.

After reading Cindylu’s question on what one is looking forward to now that fall has arrived, I’ll list what I’m looking forward to:

  1. Seeing seasons actually change
  2. Rain/snow
  3. The Red Sox in the playoffs
  4. Patriots football
  5. Harvard-Yale football game at Yale in mid-November
  6. A mariachi competition hosted by el Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan in San Antonio in the beginning of December.

I have a lot of reading for this weekend. So it goes.

Written by soledadenmasa

September 28, 2007 at 9:48 am