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Justice and Space Matter in a Strong, Unified Latino Community

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Kathy Bussert-Webb, María Eugenia Díaz and Krystal A. Yanez

Justice and Space Matter in a Strong, Unified Latino Community provides a detailed analysis of colonias along the Mexico–United States border, examining the intersection of culture, education, language, literacy, race, religion, and social class in Latino immigrant communities. The researchers investigated Corazón, a colonia in South Texas, as a case study of these unincorporated border settlements, consisting of mostly Mexican heritage residents and lacking many basic living necessities. Highlighting over ten years of research findings, the authors consider structural inequalities alongside the unique strengths of Corazón. Their acute observations dispel myths about such high-poverty communities and demonstrate how residents overcome the odds through activism, faith, and ganas. In presenting a portrait of the Corazón colonia, the authors offer a deeper level of understanding of one Latino community to inspire the development of a more equitable, compassionate world. This book will be invaluable to students and scholars of all fields who work with culturally diverse people in poverty, and will be ideal for courses in ethnic studies, multicultural studies, ethnographic methods, and socio-cultural applications for education.

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Chapter 3. Corazón (with Irma Guadarrama, part of entrepreneurial section)

Extract

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CORAZÓN

Meet Poeta and Esposo

Esposo [husband] and Kathy squirm from the back of Brother James’s car, Esposo with his walking cane, Kathy with a digital recorder. Standing upright now, the sight before Poeta’s [Poet’s] and Esposo’s home makes Kathy’s head reel. At least 75 cracks in the cement driveway greet us, with brave white and fuchsia teresitas [Vincas of Madagascar] in every crevice. Each teresita bears testimony, not to a single blossom, but to innumerable curved friends. Each bouquet stands 10 inches tall—at least. The fenced-off driveway waits not for cars, but for the careful to admire and skirt. Las teresitas mock the harsh cement, the impossible. What began as a talk with los señores [the men] transforms into an understanding about how las señoras [the women], have fought.

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