parent - educator - scholar - activist

Tag: #LatinoStudies

Radio: Ofrendas and The Beautiful (Un)Ordinary, art in South Philly

In this week’s episode of Encuentros Politicos/Political Encounters, I highlight two art projects in South Philly

Tune in:

Community altars, a conversation with the creators of La Ofrenda

Earlier in September, renowned artist César Viveros, opened his installation La Ofrenda, in the 9th Street commercial corridor in South Philadelphia.Across diverse communities and throughout the world, altars have been spaces for veneration and introspection. They are structures that assist individuals and communities during moments of celebration as well as during times of need or despair. The Philadelphia Folklore Project’s La Ofrenda initiative captures stories of hope, resilience, faith, fear and strength that are pillars of home altar-making practices within Mexican immigrant communities in our city. César Viveros has collected the stories behind the altars of local community members as a way to preserve and celebrate a sense of belonging.

To further discuss the art installation I am pleased to be joined via phone by Cesar Viveros,  Jose Ortiz-Pagan, Naomi Sturm-Wijesinghe, Sinta Penyami Storms

Here’s a link to videos that you can share:

Location: 1135 S. 9th Street, Philadelphia, PA

Open Houses
Thursday, September 12, 19 and 26 – 5:00-7:00 pm.

Special Presentation by national award-winning California altaristas Ofelia and Rosanna Esparza
Saturday, September 28 – 5:00-7:00 pm. (Limited seating. More details to come.)

For Full Details: Visit the Philadelphia Folklore Project website:; or contact the office for more information: 215.726.1106.

Major support for this program comes from the William Penn Foundation, with additional funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, Philadelphia Cultural Fund, the Samuel S. Fels Fund, Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation and individual Philadelphia Folklore Project members.


Sinta Penyami Storms

the beautiful (un)ordinary, a conversation with photographer Jose Mazariegos

In August, photographer Jose Mazariegos opened his first photo exhibit, the beautiful (un)ordinary: street portraiture of the people. To talk about the exhibit and his art I’m please to have Jose as a guest.


Animator, Photographer, Videographer and amazing Husband and Father, Jose Mazariegos, hails from Quetzaltenango, Guatemala via Trenton, New Jersey and currently resides in Philadelphia. An alum of the Art Institute of Philadelphia he studied multi-media arts and animation and has been working professionally as an animator for the last eighteen years. He is a self-taught photographer, exhibiting a passion evident in the grace and beauty of his work, and 2019 marks his tenth year practicing the art form. A versatile artist, his subject matter, color choice and composition runs the gamut with a focus on portraits and landscapes. His favorite models include his lovely daughter, Marina Nicolasa, his cats, Mr. Cesar J. Cat, Raja and Sasha, as well as a plethora of craft beer. Never afraid to experiment he has employed a multitude of photographic techniques which are on display in today’s exhibit. Pay close attention to his use of bokeh, the “art of the blur” where the subject snaps into focus while the background fades into a dreamlike haze. His work has been featured in three juried exhibits through the Da Vinci Art Alliance, “Lens on Latin America” where he won the third place prize, “Open Lens V” and “South Philly Pretty and Gritty”, as well in various Philadelphia media outlets and peer reviewed photography blogs. His animation and motion graphic work includes the visual effects for “Resistance: The Battle For Philadelphia” and animation for artist Michelle Angela Ortiz’ art installation pieces, “Seguimos Caminando”, “Quizas Manana” and the documentary, “Las Madres de Berks”.  Those close to the photographer can attest that not only is he rarely without his camera he is also one of the best human beings on the planet. A loving and caring person, Jose is a devoted family man and a true friend to all.

Photo exhibition at South Philly Barbacoa
1140 South Ninth St. Philadelphia

Contact: Jose Mazariegos

Tune in

Thursdays @ 5p (est)
Sundays @ 5p (est)
Mondays @ 1p (est)

Download Podcasts (via Spreaker)

New Date: 4.16.15 Becoming Julia de Burgos: The Making of a Puerto Rican Icon – Book Talk by Author Vanessa Pérez Rosario

Becoming Julia de Burgos  Cover, courtesy VPerezRosario

Becoming Julia de Burgos Cover, courtesy VPerezRosario

The Latin American Studies program, the Department of Educational Studies, ENLACE, the program in Spanish, the Gender & Sexualities Studies program, and the Department of English present:

Becoming Julia de Burgos: The Making of a Puerto Rican Icon

A Book Talk by
Dr. Vanessa Pérez Rosario

Note new date & room:

Thursday, April 16, 2015
Kohlberg Room 115, Swarthmore College 

While it is rare for a poet to become a cultural icon, Julia de Burgos has evoked feelings of bonding and identification in Puerto Ricans and Latinos in the United States for over half a century. In the first book-length study written in English, Vanessa Pérez-Rosario examines poet and political activist Julia de Burgos’s development as a writer, her experience of migration, and her legacy in New York City, the poet’s home after 1940. Pérez Rosario situates Julia de Burgos as part of a transitional generation that helps bridge the historical divide between Puerto Rican nationalist writers of the 1930s and the Nuyorican writers of the 1970s. Becoming Julia de Burgos departs from the prevailing emphasis on the poet and intellectual as a nationalist writer to focus on her contributions to New York Latino/a literary and visual culture. It moves beyond the standard tragedy-centered narratives of Burgos’s life to place her within a nuanced historical understanding of Puerto Rico’s peoples and culture to consider more carefully the complex history of the island and the diaspora. Pérez Rosario unravels the cultural and political dynamics at work when contemporary Latina/o writers and artists in New York revise, reinvent, and riff off of Julia de Burgos as they imagine new possibilities for themselves and their communities. This talk will also feature newly discovered archival material not included in the book that focuses on the poet’s legacy in the New York City Public Schools in the 1970s.

Follow: #LatinoLit, #LatinoEdu,  #TeacherLives

For questions:

About the Author

Courtesy of VPerezRosario

Courtesy of VPerezRosario

Vanessa Pérez Rosario (@VanessaYPerez) is Associate Professor of Puerto Rican and Latino Studies at Brooklyn College—City University of New York. Her research and teaching interests include Transnational Feminism, Latino Cultural Studies and Spanish in the United States. She is the author of Becoming Julia de Burgos: The Making of a Puerto Rican Icon (University of Illinois Press, 2014) and the editor of Hispanic Caribbean Literature of Migration: Narratives of Displacement (Palgrave 2010). She has received numerous fellowships including the Woodrow Wilson Career Enhancement Fellowship, a Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies, an American Association of University Women fellowship and a library fellowship at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies at Harvard University. Her work has appeared in Centro Journal, Meridians, and Translation Review. She currently serves on the board of Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage project at the University of Houston. She is Interim co-Principal Investigator of the CUNY—New York State Initiative on Emergent Bilinguals.


Information on Julia de Burgos

García, N. Julia de Burgos (en Español). La Respuesta Magazine

Relevant Curricular Material

Pérez, V. (2015). CUNY-NYSIEB Guide to Translanguaging in Latino/a Literature. Retrieved February 4, 2015, from

Book reviews:

Book Review: Becoming Julia de Burgos: The Making of a Puerto Rican Icon by Vanessa Pérez Rosario

Tonight (11/6) Precious Knowledge Screening + Convo with Curtis Acosta


Free and Open to the Public

Screening of Precious Knowledge and Conversation with MAS teacher, Curtis Acosta

November 6, 5:30 pm.

Swarthmore College

Kohlberg Hall, Scheuer Room.

Precious Knowledge portrays one of the final years of the highly successful but controversial Mexican American Studies (MAS) Program at Tucson High School. The program was a national model of educational success—93% of its enrolled students graduated from high school and 85% went on to attend college, bucking a statewide trend that saw only 48% of Latino students graduating at all. The program taught Mexican and American history, as well as Central and South American literature and culture. But the political tide shifted in Arizona in the 2000s, and in the midst of controversial state-level immigration reform lawmakers turned their attention to Tucson High’s ethnic studies program, and MAS in particular. Opponents of the program launched a campaign to convince the public that ethnic studies teach everything from communism to terrorism to “reverse racism.” The film follows some of the students and educators who fought to save their program and to provide Ethnic Studies for everyone.

The movie screening will be followed with a Q&A (via Skype) with Tucson MAS teacher Curtis Acosta* and a discussion of Ethnic Studies here at Swarthmore.

Food provided by Taqueria Michoacana (Norristown)

Sponsored by ENLACE,  Educational Studies, Film and Media Studies, and Latin American Studies.

For more information contact Edwin Mayorga,

Follow: #TeacherLives and #SaveEthnicStudies


*CurtisAcosta was a high school teacher for nearly 20 years in Tucson, where he developed and taught Chican@/Latin@ Literature classes for the renowned Mexican American Studies program in the Tucson Unified School District.In response to the elimination of Mexican American Studies in Tucson, Curtis created the Chican@ Literature, Art and Social Studies (CLASS) program where high school students receive free college credit through a partnership with Prescott College. He is also the founder of the Acosta Latino Learning Partnership; an educational consultation firm committed to help educators create empowering and engaging pedagogical practices in their classrooms and schools, along with being a founding member of the newly established Xican@ Institute for Teaching and Organizing (XITO). XITO is a sponsored program through Prescott College that strives to support the Xican@/Latin@ community through teacher preparation, social justice pedagogy, and community organizing.


In Lak’ech

Luís Valdez

Tú eres mi otro yo.
You are my other me.
Si te hago daño a ti,
If I do harm to you,
Me hago daño a mi mismo.
I do harm to myself.
Si te amo y respeto,
If I love and respect you,
Me amo y respeto yo.
I love and respect myself.

From the poem Pensamiento Serpentino por Luis Valdez

For more go to:’ech-you-are-my-other


precious knowledge poster

© 2023 edwin mayorga

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑

 OpenCUNY » login | join | terms | activity 

 Supported by the CUNY Doctoral Students Council.