Volume XXX Number 07 February 17, 2006

FrontPage Stories

Reaching the Promised Land

Young Evangelicals Find Fulfillment in Tijuana

By Josue Rojas

TIJUANA, Mexico — TJ is the last place I expected to find a modern-day Canaan. I’m in an industrial area of the city, home of Ministerios El-Im, where the sound of drums and trumpets echo loudly against neighboring auto-body shops. A van kicks up dust, it stops long enough to spill a load of believers, packed like sardines, it’s mid-day and I’m loitering outside the church. The van pulls off abruptly — it has more rounds about the city.

In 2006 the congregation has grown to over 800. Photo by Josué Rojas

It’s the Sabbath and for many the van is the only way to church. Some come from towns as far as Tecate and Calexico, hours away. Others come from the nearby (yet somehow, infinitely distant) San Diego. Truly, a local diocese would’ve been easier to find — overwhelmingly, most of Mexico is Catholic. But these folks come from far and wide for something they believe they can only find here and nowhere else.

Gerardo Najar, 34, is wearing a pinstriped shirt as he greets the believers at the sanctuary door. Once a heroine-addicted gang member, Gerardo is now a pillar of this congregation.

He came to Tijuana as a child, fleeing his father’s dishonor. He’s the illegitimate son of a Catholic priest who, since birth, denied any relation to him.

“I want to go and see him,” Gerardo tells me. “He’s old and sick. I want to forgive him and tell him about Christ.” He’s a living example of the religious wind of change that’s sweeping Latin America and keeping would-be immigrants to the United States in Tijauna.

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Incendios azotan Colonia Chilpancingo: Residuos tóxicos representan graves peligros a la salud
Fotos y texto por Luis Alonso Pérez
La tarde del martes 8 de febrero la señora Marta Jaime de la colonia Chilpancingo –una de las zonas más marginadas de la ciudad– salió de su casa para recoger a sus hijos de la escuela. Al regresar, divisó a la distancia que su humilde casa de madera y la de muchas otras familias habían sido consumidas por un incendio.

HUNGER ON THE BORDER: Interview with Julia Quiñones
By David Bacon
Today the US/Mexico border is the subject of intense political controversy. Most of the fireworks focus on the idea that more enforcement can keep people from crossing it. Lost in this hysteria is the reality that the border is a huge place, where millions of people live and work. Not only that, but here free trade policies hold down living standards and prevent union and community organizing. That, in turn, produces pressure on people to seek a better standard of living elsewhere.

UFW Criticisms No Surprise In Central Valley
EDITOR’S NOTE: On February 3, 2006 we published this article in Spanish. Since then we have had several request to publish the article in English, which we now present.
By Eduardo Stanley
FRESNO, Calif.—Just four decades ago, California farm workers didn’t have bathrooms, drinkable water, medical insurance, a work schedule or retirement benefits. The list of abuses they endured could fill several pages.


Latino, welfare groups oppose FCC flat-fee for phone bills
By Elaine Marsilio
WASHINGTON - Latino and welfare rights organizations lashed out against a plan to apply a monthly flat fee to all phone numbers to generate revenue for programs that help poor people afford telephone service.

…del hermoso Acapulco, y del narco
por Dagoberto Márquez
Estimado lector, Fina lectora, este opinante conoce el bello puerto desde hace más de 30 o 35 años. Desde que nuestro Acapulco tenía por tierra una magnífica entrada rodeada de frescura, sombra y palmeras, donde decenas de amables y risueños costeños vendían al turista que se retiraba, cocos en racimo, dulce de tamarindo y souvenirs de todo tipo. Desde que su nuevo aeropuerto, ubicado más allá del Acapulco Princess tenía poco tiempo de haber sido edificado.

Por Luisa Fernanda Montero
Inmigrantes: entre el optimismo y la incertidumbre
Nadie ha osado ser tan optimista, pero por si acaso, durante el discurso sobre el estado de la Unión el presidente George W. Bush dejó claro que de amnistías, nada.

Where Errant Drivers, Electromagnets and Walnuts Intersect
District Science and Engineering fair puts the fun back in school projects
Some students studied types of mascara. Others studied gender differences in video game use or the effect of fin design on rocket flight. In all, about 120 students in junior and senior divisions entered projects in the Sweetwater Union High School District’s 8th Science and Engineering Fair, hosted recently by Rancho del Rey Middle School.

Obtenga ayuda financiera para los estudios universitarios de sus hijos
Los inmigrantes latinoamericanos que llegamos a este país en búsqueda de una vida mejor para nuestros hijos nos encontramos con una cultura y costumbres muy diferentes a las nuestras. Afortunadamente, este país también brinda oportunidades de apoyo que tal vez no existían en nuestros países de origen, como la posibilidad de que nuestros hijos llenen el formulario conocido como FAFSA para obtener ayuda financiera para cursar estudios universitarios.

¿Qué función tiene el amor?
Por: Doctora Luz
A través de mis años escolares, la palabra “amor” ha sido el blanco de una serie de debates: están las personas que creen fielmente en la existencia del amor; y en contrapartida, están aquellas que definitivamente niegan la presencia de este sentimiento.

First Person
Feeling My Age
By Ernie McCray
It seems like just about everytime I mention to somebody that I’m growing old and coming apart at the seams they say to me: “Oh, you’re not old. You’re only as old as you feel.”


Audit of Sweetwater School District; Not a Pretty Picture!
This week the Audit firm of Rosner Brown Touchstone & Keller released their report of the operations of the Maintenance Department of the Sweetwater Union High School District that reflected a lack of control over the monies being spent by this Department.

El Tufo de Corrupción
Por Javier Sierra
A todos les habrá llegado el tufo a podrido procedente de Washington, DC. El cabildero republicano Jack Abramoff, quien se declaró culpable de varios crímenes, parece ser sólo la punta del iceberg de una de las peores oleadas de corrupción en la historia del gobierno federal. Parece que de la cúpula del Capitolio se ha colgado un cartel que dice: “Se Vende al Mejor Postor.”

The Stink of Corruption
By Javier Sierra
Perhaps you have detected the stink of corruption wafting from Washington, DC. The crimes of Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who pleaded guilty to several charges, seems to be just the tip of the iceberg in one of the worst corruption scandals in our federal government’s history. It seems as if a giant billboard has been hung from the dome of the Capitol that reads, “For Sale to the Highest Bidder.”

Why So Many Blacks Fear Immigration
By Earl Ofari Hutchinson
“There was this good kid, 17, who goes down to the local McDonalds to get a job. The manager tells him he can’t hire him because he doesn’t speak Spanish. Here’s a kid trying to get a little ahead — American born, four generations in South Central Los Angeles — who can’t sell french fries because he can’t speak a foreign language. You want to talk about disillusionment.”

El secreto de las remesas
Por Humberto Caspa, Ph.D
Hay quienes suponen que, una vez que los dólares salen de tierras estadounidenses a través de las remesas, su mercado interno pierde circulante y se descapitaliza. Esta gente también supone que esta descapitalización afecta a los proyectos de inversión a corto y mediano plazo y reduce la creación de trabajos. Contrario a estas suposiciones, las remesas son positivas tanto en el país que las emite como en el que las recibe.

The Public Forum . . . El Foro Publico
Did Horn Speak for all Supervisors?
Good editorial on Bill Horn (February 10, 2006). 

Political Notes:
Former Council Member Patty Davis Endorses Pat Moriarty for Chula Vista City Council
Pat Moriarty announced that she has the endorsement of former Chula Vista City Council member Patty Davis in the contest for Davis’ council seat. The office is currently held by Patricia Chavez, who was appointed by the Council to serve out the balance of Davis’ term.

Etc. Etc. Etc.
Reviews, Sporting news, and other tid bits

Celebración Universal “El Día del Amor”
Por: Paco Zavala
Existe en el mundo una definición clara y concisa que nos defina al amor. Si la existe, pero es tal la confusión existente sobre tal definición, que ¡Válgame Dios! la podemos multiplicar por cientos o miles de veces. De esta manera nos encontramos en la encrucijada de no entender nada sobre este asunto.

Inicia Temporada Opera de Tijuana Presentando en Escena “El Clavecinista Irreverente, ACTO I”
Por: Paco Zavala
Al iniciar el año en curso todas las fuerzas vivas de la ciudad de Tijuana, dedicadas y entregadas al cultivo de las Bellas Artes y a fortalecer el impulso a la cultura, comenzaron a retocar los detalles de sus actividades correspondientes. Una de las organizaciones independientes con más deseos de traer a la ciudad eventos de gran calidad artística lo es indudablemente Opera de Tijuana.

Playing in the Name of
Rockers launch Rage Against the Machine Tribute Tour
By Camilo Arenivar
The second most important thing to ever happen to Southern California’s competitive Spanish Rock scene is about to happen. I can’t tell you what the first was, whether it was Verdad y Justicia forming an agreement with national distributor Navarre in 2004 to release Rock en Español CDs from independent bands nationally or if it was the release of the “Tributo a Rage Against The Machine…en Español” CD itself last November.

Ruz Captures League Wrestling Title
By John Philip Wyllie
A year ago, Bonita Vista High School’s Gabe Ruz Jr. had to sit out his junior season of wrestling due to a knee injury, but this year the powerful 145 pounder was back on the mats compiling a perfect league record while going 28-5 overall. His three victories last Saturday at Otay Ranch High School made him the lone Baron to secure a Mesa League title. This weekend, Ruz will compete against the county’s best in an effort to grab one of the six coveted slots that will advance him to the Masters Tournament.

Mercado’s Siege Set for Saturday’s Home Opener
By John Philip Wyllie
Upon her graduation from Point Loma Nazarene last spring, NAIA All-American Jessica Mercado began searching for new challenges. As the daughter of two Dominican Republic immigrants, she had already become the first person in her family to graduate from college when she accepted her diploma in media and communications. But this former San Diego High four-time basketball MVP found that she still had a passion for the game.