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Meet Paul Zink! He traveled to Costa Rica and stayed! He became fascinated with the agricultural productivity of the land and was introduced to a miracle crop: Breadfruit. What is it? It’s like a potato, it’s gluten free and grows on a tree. The most ecological carbohydrate in the World. One tree can produce 300 pound of fruit in one year. He connected with others and created the Jungle Project. The program serves to expand breadfruit production and market alternative products. He has teamed up with EARTH University and the work is growing. Meet Paul and consider making a trip to Costa Rica to learn more on one of Via International’s journeys.
As someone who sought art that looked like her and her surroundings, Chicana artist Irma Patricia Aguayo has been on her own path of creation since she was 14 years old, with her earliest work taking the form of the people around her.
“My first subjects were my family,” she shared. “I have portraits of my family, my sister, my brother and I just began to paint a lot of brown skin.”
At 22, Aguayo held her first solo art show at the now-closed Chicano Perk Coffee Shop, a hub for artists and poets in the Logan Heights area. From that point on, her artistic projects began to take off.
Aguayo gathers works that center on identity topics, which closely correlate with her motifs, as part of her curatorial process in organizing art shows. For her, it is very important to create and show pieces that add to the empowerment of Chicanos and Chicanas everywhere.
Her work in the community also reaches Chicano Park as a Steering Committee member and Sherman heights, where she directs the Community Center with a keen, respectful ear for the wants and needs of the community. (Article by La Prensa's Mario A. Cortez)
Dr. Norma Iglesias Prieto is a transborder scholar with an interdisciplinary education (B.A. in social anthropology, M.A. in communications, and Ph.D. in sociology). Since 2000 she has been a professor at San Diego State University. Before that, she worked for more than 22 years at El Colegio de la Frontera Norte in Tijuana. She has 39 years of academic experience in cultural studies on the U.S.-Mexico border, with emphases on identity, gender, art, and mass media (particularly cinema). Dr. Iglesias Prieto’s recent scholarship draws on the creative potential as a mechanism to resist oppression and express human dignity, as well as on the role of the arts in the reconfiguration of the social fabric.
In addition to her academic work, Dr. Iglesias Prieto has experience as a media producer and art curator. She has been the screenwriter for various Mexican television series dealing with border issues and several curated art events in San Diego, Tijuana, Berlin, and Shenzhen China.
Do you want to ask something you've always been meaning to ask about Via International or the Via Cafe?
I'm reminded of the Spanish expression, "tomar la palabra." It literally means "to take the word," but more practically it means to "speak out" or to "speak up."
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