Author Archive

February 9, 2012

What do you call someone who only speaks one language?

by Maitri Pamo

Yo puedo escribirles de esta manera. Puedo escribir estas hermosas palabras¬†en Espa√Īol y hay muchos de nosotros quienes comprendemos este idioma y lo hablamos orgullosamente. And I was not surprised to learn that the¬†individuals involved in the race to become the republican presidential nominee have patriotically stated that they support English as the¬†official language¬†of the U.S. The English-only debate is not new, and there has been a sustained, well-publicized effort since the 1980‚Äôs to push the agenda of a monolingual nation. But the control of language has deep roots not only in the U.S. but the world over.

read more »

January 31, 2012

Religion belongs in the home, but what about the House and Senate?

by Maitri Pamo
You have seen them: signs stating ‚ÄúDios bendiga este hogar.‚ÄĚ Their popularity is a testament to the overwhelming adherence to religious faith that characterizes the Latino experience in the U.S.

The last published report by the Pew Hispanic Center on the subject found that only 8 percent of Latinos identify as atheist or agnostic. In the overall population of the country the Pew Center found that despite a changing social panorama, most individuals still report some sort of religious preference.

read more »

January 19, 2012

Sandwiched: caught between caring for your parents and your children

by Maitri Pamo 

I had the important experience of meeting and knowing both my¬†grandmothers. This is significant to me, having lived in the U.S. for almost my entire life, because I was separated from the family tree and had only occasional opportunities to go ‚Äúhome‚ÄĚ and take shade under the canopy of my enormous extended family.

It was the women of the family who were my grandmothers’ caretakers. I remember wondering how my aunts felt about their lives. While taking care of their mothers, many were also taking care of their own children, and some even their grandchildren while their daughters went to work. It seemed like a very demanding existence.

read more »

January 11, 2012

Keep your princess costume off my daughter

by Maitri Pamo

David Castillo Dominici

Can you imagine the insolence of someone throwing a gift back at you? Social niceties dictate that when a gift (even if not quite the one you hoped for) is presented, you smile and graciously thank the giver. How disrespectful to state clearly that this is not the desired object and that no attention will be paid to the gift until the correct one is substituted.

Yet, this is exactly what I did when as a child, my father gifted me a nurse‚Äôs kit, complete with a pink hat. I reminded him that I had asked for a doctor‚Äôs kit, to which he smiled and answered, ‚Äúgirls are nurses and boys are doctors.‚ÄĚ I found the explanation ridiculous and never touched the thing.

read more »

January 4, 2012

The call to a better life: Vocational training for Latinos

by Maitri Pamo 
The new year is upon us and with it comes the eternal hope for peace and prosperity. For Latinos in the U.S., the road map to achieve this clearly involves education and community organizing to ensure that we continue on our path towards this goal. A worthy question to consider is the type of education that may best serve the individuals in our communities.Latino presence in U.S. colleges is growing. This very important and hopeful trend signals a positive change in a country where Latino higher educational achievement has been lacking. We have seen, that in addition to Latino students seeking college degrees, there also appears to be an emerging trend of Latinos entering post-graduate educational institutions.

read more »

December 27, 2011

Don’t be a Se√Īor/a Grinch; spread the love

by Maitri Pamo

David Castillo Dominici

The U. S. is full of generous people. As a nation, we are a nation of givers and the trend is growing. This fact is important to organizations that depend on charitable giving in order to function, especially in this climate of economic uncertainty when many non profits are also feeling the squeeze of money constraints. It is important for people to feel confident that their donations are well spent. Charity Navigator is a website that rates organizations based on their effectiveness at using donor gifts in the most cost beneficial manner. Please consider a year-end donation to some of the following four star rated charities and spread the love to those who need it.

read more »

December 14, 2011

The price of a woman’s life

by Maitri Pamo

Dundee Photographics

Just when reality television could not possibly get worse, along comes ‚ÄúCathouse‚ÄĚ a ¬†program detailing the lives of women working in a Nevada brothel and the man, ‚ÄúDaddy,‚ÄĚ who appears to be the owner of the establishment. Not fodder for the intellectual mind, to be sure.

read more »

December 12, 2011

Worker abuse: more than sour milk at the dairy farm

by Maitri Pamo

This holiday season, we have the opportunity to extend un abrazote to some of our Latino family across the country, to share a moment of solidarity with our brothers. Each of us can contribute to a support network that is forming around a group of Latino men who are facing a counter lawsuit in Washington State.

The owners of Ruby Ridge Dairy are bringing forth the law suit, what some term a SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) against these workers in what the men claim is retaliation for their efforts at unioninzing to help secure better working conditions.

read more »

November 30, 2011

A dangerous snag in the fabric of society

by Maitri Pamo

Last December, I was unnerved by a snag in the fabric of my local society. Antonio Martinez was arrested and charged with plotting to detonate a car bomb in Catonsville, a town in which I used to work and one that is not far from my home. A convert to Islam, Martinez had decided that he would wage ‚Äúholy war;‚ÄĚ as if war were ever holy.

Already on alert when I learned the location of the plot, my eyes widened when I heard the Latino surname. In 2002, Jose Padilla was arrested for conspiracy to commit acts of terrorism. Padilla, burdened by a long criminal record, had become radicalized in the U.S. Daniel Maldonado left the U.S. for terrorist training. Carlos Almonte and Bryant Vinas  also found themselves drawn to violence as a way to express their religious fervor. And then, there is the recent case of Jose Pimentel who planned to carry out violent acts in New York.

read more »

November 21, 2011

Grateful for snitches and designated drivers

by Maitri Pamo

Photo Googles images

I am fortunate that, on occasion, I have the opportunity to attend to canine police officers. They are remarkable creatures. Last week, a state trooper presented his companion to me for treatment. While chatting at the end of the dog’s hospitalization, the trooper mentioned that he was on his way to a high school where he was involved in a program to bring direct and graphic awareness of the devastating consequences of drinking and driving to students.

read more »

%d bloggers like this: