Pueblo Community Invited To Attend ‘Borderlands’

  

by Paula Fierros & Daniela Moreno

On Saturday, Feb. 3, in Room T-12, graphic design teacher Mr. Ernesto Somoza held a meeting promote a project called “Borderlands”. Since then, he has organized and orchestrated other meetings—all leading up to an April 21 trip to the U.S.-Mexico border.

In February, six local artists attended the meeting and shared the same enthusiasm as Somoza, as well as their experiences in the field of art, specifically on and about the border.

“Our mission for this project is to help the students interact with the community and focus on the seriousness of the border,” Somoza said. “Beautiful art work is needed to change the ugliness of the border.”

The first artist to speak was Pueblo alumni Ruben Romero, from the Class of 1994; he donated pieces of his artwork, which contain a lot of political and cultural symbolism.

Romero said, “It is important to fuel the fire for the next generation of activists and to shine the light on human cruelty.”

A group of activists known as Derechos Humanos (Human Rights) with three representatives spoke about the way they have dealt with controlling of immigration and the border.

“What our group does is represent the rights every immigrant that crosses the border has,” said spokesperson Rachel Garcia. “Our group has a tradition where we have a pilgrimage to San Xavier carrying crosses that we made with the names of dead people found in the Arizona desert border towns—which is known as The Disappeared Art Project, and we lay the crosses down in front of San Xavier.”

Mr. Alfred Quiroz, an art professor at the University of Arizona, recalls several experiences with artists to create a more “aesthetically pleasing” border. However, in 2010, he was forced to remove the pieces due to the reconstruction of the border.

“A funny story is that I went to Nogales, and I saw my art,” Quiroz said. “I noticed it was little crooked, so I went to fix it, and an older man across the street yelled at me not touch the art. I explained to him that I was one of the artists who created that piece, and I asked him why he yelled at me. He responded that everyone from around there loved the art. It built the community’s unity.”

The last speaker was a former Pueblo student/artist, Hecho Diaz.

He said, “I came to this school [Pueblo] but was kicked out.”

Diaz said that he later became a graffiti “writer”, and he is also a graphic designer who has worked with big companies, creating graphics for them. He remains fervid about his community using his social media platform.

“I have seen and experienced things but the border is ridiculous, this country was built by immigrants,” Diaz said. “The border is a representation of how America feels about the Mexicans.”

Somoza said that the theme of the competition will be butterflies, and anyone who chooses to attend the event will be able to put these magnetic butterflies on the border wall—as well as project their artwork on the border wall.

He added that the butterflies are a metaphor—as they are creatures who migrate from the South to the North for better weather, “Immigrants migrate for a better life, too,” Somoza said.

The art competition ended on March 24. The first place winner received $300, and his/her art will be projected onto the border April 21 in Nogales, Ariz., with the following longitude N. 31 and latitude 19.998 W 110 54 651, along with all submissions near the Hudgen’s abandoned courthouse.

Somoza suggested that those wanting to attend this event should leave Tucson at 5:30 p.m. in order to arrive in Nogales at approximately 6:30 p.m. He added that if people have questions about this event, they should contact him ASAP in Room T-12. Somoza said that he is also providing transportation to the border wall for students with permission slips and approval—pending district approval.

If anyone is interested in submitting art, please email it to: submitborderlandsart@gmail.com.

Representative Raúl Grijalva (D) has publicly acknowledged his approval of this project and may attend the event on April 21.

Warriors United For ‘March For Our Lives’

By Iram Arce

On Wednesday, March 14, thousands of high schools across the United States participated in a “March For Our Lives” event to pay homage to the 17 shooting victims at Marjorie Stoneman-Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. on Feb. 14—as well as to express their strong opinions about a lack of stricter gun laws.

More than a thousand Warriors and many teachers and staff members participated in its own march at approximately 12:45 p.m. after the radio broadcast during sixth period.

Students started by walking in solidarity around the track two times.

Participants marched from their classrooms to the football field for approximately 17 minutes, one minute for each of the victims in Florida. Students then were directed to the bleachers to listen to students’ speeches.

First, Dr. Augustine Romero voiced his support for students’ opinions.

Twelve students spoke afterwards—each of them conveying their concerns regarding school safety and regulating the Second Amendment, either in short two or three-minute speeches or in the form of poems.

One of the dozen speakers, senior Brianna Metzler, said, “Because of my anxiety issues, giving this speech was a true testament to needing to express my voice. I took a chance [to publicly speak] and do not regret the words that I shared with nearly a thousand students. I’m proud of myself, and I really hope that I was heard.”

Warriors listened attentively to the speeches prepared by their classmates.

“I was shocked at how many students participated,” said senior Jorge Becerril, who was one of a few students instrumental in organizing this event. “I was equally impressed by the quality of the speeches from students who were very committed to expressing their voice about gun violence at our schools across the country.”

Another senior who co-organized this event, senior Liam Membrila, said, “I have always seen and felt the hunger for myself and my generation to be heard. I really want to show our representatives our reality—seeing the swarm of Pueblo students and faculty marching and chanting, ‘The people united shall never be divided!’ This inspired me to be even louder.”

Membrila added, “The greatest frustration, however, was a constant tug-of-war with the district about allowing local media on campus. It’s not as if our march were something disrespectful or about something illegal. We [students] were speaking about our safety. My generation will be the change.”

“Last minute changes were very frustrating,” Becerril said. “I was disappointed that our administrators did not allow Channel 4 [KVOA] on campus, but I suppose that they had their directives from the district office. It’s not like we were trying to riot or speak about something not legal. We students definitely had a mission and a purpose, and our diligence to have common sense gun laws hopefully lasts until there is change. I would think that our administrators would want the Pueblo community to have media coverage because what we students did was very positive.”

Student body president Kanani Salazar, a senior, was one of the two emcees at the event, introducing each speaker.

“The march was extremely organized,” Salazar said. “We heard many different voices that are seldom heard. I hope this isn’t the last of these marches because students need to be heard. Young people across the nation are the future of this country, and we will make positive changes, including common sense Second Amendment laws.”

Another emcee, senior Cynthia Amarillas, said, “I am very proud of the Pueblo community for uniting for a very valid cause. We will be the generation that changes gun laws in America. We all must register to vote so that our voices are heard. We will not abandon this movement. Enough is enough!”

Seniors Darlene Padilla and Bea Nevarez set up a table for 18-year-olds to register to vote, and many seniors took advantage of this opportunity.

Andrea Cuevas, a senior, and one of the hundreds of participants in the march, said, “Voting is essential to change this country’s policies. Young people—especially Hispanics—need to vote. This generation is creating this country’s future. If we don’t vote, then we become merely bystanders.”

TUSD School Board member Ms. Adelita Grijalva (and a former Pueblo graduate—from the Class of 1989) voiced how proud she was of Warriors’ spirit and their commitment to making positive changes.

At approximately 2 p.m., the march was officially over, and students returned to their classes feeling confident that they had made a difference in their community.

“Overall, Pueblo High School’s first march to pay homage to Florida’s shooting victims was undoubtedly very successful,” said Cynthia Amarillas. “Hopefully this march also showed administration that students are capable of organizing and implementing events that make a positive difference.”

Aerial Photos: Andrew Romero, a junior, under the supervision of teacher Mr. Ernesto Somoza.

Students, Faculty Encouraged To Join ‘March For Our Lives’ (Wear Orange)

by Elizabeth Noriega

To honor the 17 slain students and faculty members at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Feb. 14, Pueblo’s “March For Our Lives” encourages all students and faculty members to participate on Wednesday, March 14—exactly a month after the tragedy. Hundreds of schools across the nation will be participating in their own marches on this date.

Senior Jorge Becerril was one of the architects of this movement.

“This country desperately needs common sense gun control,” Becerril said. “We students—and the teachers, too—shouldn’t have to worry about our safety at school. We are here to learn.”

Students and teachers—as well as everybody in the Pueblo community—are encouraged to participate in the solidarity movement after the radio broadcast in 6th period.

Participants are encouraged to wear orange, the color that has come to represent the anti-gun violence movement.

There will be an announcement over the intercom instructing Pueblo to begin their 17-minute march (one minute for every lost life in Florida) to the football field—much like a fire drill procedure. Once on the football field, students will continue walking around the track until the 17 minutes has lapsed. Then, everybody will sit in the bleachers and observe a minute of silence.

The two masters of ceremony, seniors Kanani Salazar (student council president) and Cynthia Amarillas (student council representative) will introduce student speakers. These speeches will last from one to three minutes. TUSD School Board member Ms. Adelita Grijalva is expected to be a speaker.

Becerril added, “There have been plenty of school shootings since I was a freshman, but for some reason, this shooting really affected me—maybe because there was so much press of this event in the aftermath of the tragedy. I’ve been inspired by many of the survivors of the Florida shooting who are adamant about getting their legislators to pass laws to make high school campuses safer.”

Becerril explained that this event is not about eradicating the Second Amendment (the right to bear arms), but rather making our society and our schools safer with common sense legislation that may ensure a safer country.
“This march is not an excuse for students to ditch or to skip their sixth period classes,” Becerril said. “We want our school to portray a mature message about this topic. This is also a great opportunity for students to voice their opinions. This topic is also a great opportunity for teachers to have meaningful dialogues and discussions in their classrooms.”

Warriors Learn Latino Law Student Association

  

By Iram Arce and Brianna Metzler

On Nov. 7, Pueblo students participated in a trip to the University of Arizona Law School to attend the 2017 Arizona Supreme Court Oral Argument—and also to learn about the Latino Law Student Association (LLSA).

The LLSA is a student organization dedicated to supporting students at the James E. Rogers College of Law. LLSA’s goal is to enhance the law college experience by providing networking and mentoring opportunities while also advocating for and serving our community.

Mr. Mario Matanza, School Community Liaison was in charge of taking all the students to the University of Arizona.

Soon after arriving at the College of Law, Pueblo High School students received a warm and gracious welcome from LLSA President Kristian Garibay; Dean Sally Rider, James E. Rogers, College of Law Associate Dean of Administration; and, Keith Swisher, Director of Undergraduate Legal Studies.

Swisher said, “Rather than the typical law course that students get at any university, students are actually taught [at LLSA] by full-time law professors and scholars dedicated to their field.”

At 10 a.m., Ms. Ana Islas, a Pueblo alum and Ms. Lynette Balderrama lead our Warriors on a tour to the James E. Rogers College of Law.

Matanza said, “I’m not surprised that the Pueblo Alumni have positioned themselves to play important roles in the community.”

After the tour, Pueblo students attended a panel of current law students and
undergraduate students to have a better insight into their experiences. Students also had an opportunity to ask current law and undergraduate students’ questions.

“Don’t be scared of applying or demanding what you want,” said Islas. “The worst case scenario is just a ‘no’—not just for law but for life.”

By noon, Pueblo students enjoyed a delicious lunch from El Molinito in the company of current law students from the Latino Law Student Association, and Arizona Supreme Court Justice Ann Timmer and John Lopez.

Our Warriors ended their trip by attending an oral argument for the case of
The State of Arizona v. Honorable Gates/Apolinar Altamirano.

Students returned to Pueblo with the understanding of what it truly meant to dedicate your life to the law of the land.

“It is usually under graduate students that are exposed to trials like these so to have high school students to have a quick peek is awesome,” Matanza said. “When are you going to meet the Supreme Court Justices again? I mean unless you get into big trouble.”

Senior Lydia Angulo said, “This trip was a rare opportunity that gave us a rare exposure to young people, and I am glad I went.”

Warriors Join In On 2017 Women’s March

by Kanani Salazar and Abigail Sotelo

Yamaika Romano & Abigail Sotelo at Women’s March 2017 in Tucson, AZ.

On Saturday, January 21, 2017 several Pueblo Magnet High School students and faculty participated in the Women’s March, which began at Armory Park and ended at Joel D. Valdez Library Park.

There were several purposes of the Women’s March, including for marchers to advocate for equal rights of women, to end racial profiling and to voice opposition towards President Trump, who had just been inaugurated the day before. There were also protests related to pro-choice and birth control.

Participant and Pueblo High School teacher Dr. Raul Gonzalez said, “This march was an opportunity for everyone to express themselves and to stand up for those groups and individuals who are under attack. I hope we don’t miss more chances to actually do something about the injustices in the world.”

Men and women of all ages and of all races let their voices be heard. They used their power of communication to stand in solidarity with the many groups that have been under attack—such as women themselves, the LGBTQ community and minorities.

Pueblo High School teacher Ms. Victoria Bodanyi also committed to being a part of the march. She said, “Marching was straight up goosebumps the whole time I marched. I felt I was a part of something bigger, and it felt good to stand up and speak out.”

Marching inspired several of Pueblo’s students to express themselves—to voice their frustrations and opinions.

Junior and participant Yamaika Romano Robles said, “The march made me feel stronger about the future. There’s always hope.”

Another junior, Abigail Sotelo, said, “During the march, I felt empowered by my own fortitude and my own convictions. I mattered—my voice really mattered. I feel as if Donald Trump has nothing on me and nothing on America.” She paused and added, “Trump does not represent me, at all.”

Warriors Join With 2017 MLK Marchers

  

By Yamilex Garcia and Omar Quintana

On Monday, Jan. 16, 2017, the Tucson Community joined hearts as they commemorated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a march that began at the University of Arizona Bio Tech Park (on Kino Parkway) and ending at Reid Park. Among the marchers included several Pueblo students and staff members.

Despite temperatures in the very cool 40’s and 50’s and occasional rain, thousands of Tucsonans endured the three miles of the march.

Vanessa Mendez (Left) and Corina Ballesteros (Right) pose with a picture with Congressman Raul Grijalva.

One participant, Pueblo senior Corina Ballesteros, said that she has always been impassioned by King’s life—as well as his legacy.

“King would have loved what we all did on the march,” Ballesteros said. “His life still continues to resonate all of the original qualities that made him such an icon—for all people. He will always symbolize unity and peace, and that is something that we should never lose sight of, especially in our splintered country.”

Another Warrior student, senior Vanessa Mendez, said that this was her first time marching for anybody.

“I was very surprised how many people were involved in this [MLK] march,” Mendez said. “I felt empowered marching because of the vibrant environment.”

She paused and said, “There are still people out there who believe that King does not merit a holiday,” Mendez said. “I recently learned that Arizona was the last state to approve the King holiday back in the 1980s. However, King definitely deserves to be recognized. Next year, this event will be especially moving because it will mark the 50th Anniversary of King’s death. I am already committed to marching—and bringing along a lot of my friends with me.”

Not all was docile during the march. Many of the participants voiced their concerns regarding several issues including: police brutality; the “Jobs for Justice” movement; and racial profiling. Many of the marchers also protested against President-elect Trump, five days prior to his inauguration.

Food was available at the end of the march, and the marchers enjoyed the live jazz musicians.

The sun broke away from the clouds…

Ballesteros said, “President Obama’s farewell speech was playing at the park. I think that a lot of us were already missing Obama—even though he was still officially the president when the march occurred—especially considering what president we’ll have next…”

Mendez said, “Through this march, I learned that I have a civic duty to perform—as an American. I believe in the democratic process, and I wholeheartedly believe in the First Amendment, which is my right to express my voice, peaceably.” She paused and said, “I think King would be proud of all of us today.”

Both students were photographed with Congressman Raul Grijalva at the end of the march, at Reid Park.