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Monthly Archives: December 2008

If you get a chance check out this interview with this exiled artist from South Africa. This man speaks the truth.

DinitaLisa and I welcomed our baby Dina into the world. We cannot believe we got to hold her today.

Wise words from a longtime activist.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Allison Fitzgerald and Helen Murphy in Bloomberg report:

About 40 million people joined the ranks of the undernourished this year, bringing the estimate of the world’s hungry to 963 million of its 6.8 billion people, the Rome-based United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization said yesterday. The growth didn’t come just from natural causes. A manmade recipe for famine included corrupt governments and companies that profited on misery. Another ingredient: The World Bank’s free- market policies, which over almost three decades brought poor nations like El Salvador into global grain markets, where prices surged.

The FMLN is now struggling to maintain the few resource the country has. Jacob Wheeler writes:

In the 20 years of ARENA rule, El Salvador has suffered from neoliberal economic reforms that privatized social services and destroyed jobs, primarily in the agriculture sector. Paul D. Almeida, a professor of business at Georgetown University, writes in his 2006 book, Waves of Protest: Popular Struggle in El Salvador, 1925-2005, that the post-war generation of Salvadoran dissidents has fought not for land or to overthrow the government, but to oppose the privatization of key human needs like healthcare, education and water access. In return for the hundreds of millions of dollars the United States sent to the Salvadoran government during the war, Washington insisted on planting the seeds to liberalize the post-war economy.

When I was in El Salvador recently I heard that the country was poorer than it was at the beginning of the war. My hope is that instead of another conflict happening, that there would be a path to change that would be peaceful and just. It might be that the common poverty that is shared among all levels of people will foster a decrease in poverty.  Wheeler reports:

In a striking turn of the political tide, Ciudad Romero’s neighbors in Nuevo Amanecer now join them in wearing the red shirts of the FMLN. The military granted land to ex-soldiers, who named their community Nuevo Amanecer (“a new dawn”), and they have remained faithful to the ARENA-government, until little by little, Reyes says, they realized that ARENA was doing little to help their community. For 20 years, they’ve struggled with limited water access and agricultural projects.

Enemies during the war, Ciudad Romero and Nuevo Amanecer are now allies, and they represent the base of the FMLN.


Originally uploaded by julio and Lisa.

Today we celebrated Linda and Erik’s baby to come.
We are so excited to welcome their baby to this world.
Yeah baby Hernandez-Giblin.


Originally uploaded by julio and Lisa.

We love this little flowering cactus.
Christmas is my wife’s favorite time of year.


Originally uploaded by julio and Lisa.

Trying out my new camera and eye-fi sd card. It uploads to flickr great, but I can get it onto my iphoto as easily. That is frustrating, but otherwise I like the wireless feature.

Mos Def in his album Black on Both Sides talks about the water issues that are going to plague our world in his song New World Water

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Paraguay, a tiny country in the heart of South America, could be a major player in the water issue up coming because they are sitting a natural aquifer. Nature Serve reports:

The Guaraní aquifer is the largest freshwater aquifer in South America, covering more than 1.2 million square kilometers and spanning four countries—Paraguay, Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina.

I hope that the nation of Paraguay will look at water as a human right, rather than a resource to exploit.  Instead of oil, water could become a high commodity.  Marcela Sanchez writes that this environmental crisis is more important than the economic crisis.  She writes of the dangers of global warming in South America:

Those effects cannot be reversed with bailouts like the ones that have accompanied the financial crisis. A new environmentally driven economic agenda, inspired by the potential devastation as well as the search for ways to mitigate it, is essential today. The U.S.-touted Free Trade Area of the Americas failed because too many people thought they had too much to lose. If enough people agree that the economy, the water we drink and the air we breathe are at risk, uniting around environmental protection and renewable energy production could flourish into a green agreement for the Americas.

Mos Def is a deep artist.  I hope your next albums continues to make people think about what is going on in the world.

This is a very good photo essay on the journey north.  One person that reappears in the photo essay that I read about in Enrique’s Journey is Olga Sanchez Martinez.   At a church someone prayed for her and she was cured of cancer.  After she gained her health she has dedicated her life to serve injured immigrants.  She pays for their medical supplies and rest of their needs out of her own pocket.  She is a true saint.

If you haven’t read Enrique’s Journey, I recommend it to better understand the immigration issues of Latin Americans to the US. This is the story of a 17-year old boy who travels by land to reunite with his mother in the US. In the end, Sonia Nazario, the author interviews both the mother and son after they have reunited. It is worth reading the book just for their conversation at the end. The book won two Pulitzer Prizes and is soon to be made into a HBO series.