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My Poem to Latin America

By Juan L. García

Carlos Montes with Garfield HS history teacher Juan Garcia.

Today, I am proud to be Latin American. Today I will not complain about injustices. Today I will not cry. Today, in addition to celebrating our heritage, we must reflect and begin to love our America, just as José Martí, to really love her! It is time to be proud, to raise your forehead high and not be afraid. It is time to feel the pride of coming from a land where the cosmic race was born, where people from all over the world were merged into a clash where there was death, blood, conquest and colonialism. But from this brutal change, hope was born ... a new culture, with strong roots, mixed with earth, mud, stone and full of life. Today I want to tell all of you, old, young and children to discover your roots! This way you can have the pride of being who you are and want to fight for what is yours.

Mexico – I mount an eagle to devour the injustice above a cactus, inspired by the rebellion of Emiliano Zapata. Earth and freedom!

Guatemala – A quetzal flies towards the volcanoes, carrying the message of Rigoberta Menchú to defend indigenous law and its great Maya past.

El Salvador – In the company of Monsignor Romero to seek God, union and freedom.

Honduras – My “catracho” friends still mourn the loss of Berta Cáceres, an environmental and indigenous rights activist.

Costa Rica – The Ticos, they know how to take care of the coffee land and not let the ancestral Turtle die. Costa Rica, Pura vida!

Nicaragua – Land of Sandino, revolutionary, idealist who rose to fight against the greatest and defend his land, with spirit and freedom.

Panama – The punchbowl was formed at the Panama festival, dancing on its channel that connects the Atlantic with the Pacific.

From there we go to the Caribbean,

Cuba – Land of Celia Cruz and José Martí. Land of my friend Fidel, idealist and revolutionary of America, full of courage and courage against the grip of oppressive capitalism.

Puerto Rico – Taino Island, where rhythm and talent sprout with the wind. I get on the bus and the hurricane god takes me to you.

Haiti – Land of rebels, fighting slavery and colonialism when no one dared. That is value.

Dominican Republic – full of music: Merengue, Bachata and baseball.

South America we begin with Colombia,

Colombia – How cool is life in Colombia, with coffee and a good cumbia. Walking through Cartagena, Medellín and Bogotá, passing 100 Years of Solitude.

Venezuela – Land of Simón Bolívar, the liberator of America, born in Caracas. Without fear to overthrow the Spanish empire.

Brazil – Land of the Amazon, the lungs of the planet, where I hope they don't forget who Chico Mendes was.

Ecuador – Where the pink dolphin swims in the Galapagos Islands, a World Heritage Site and what to say about Quito, the center of the planet, the perfect place to discover my essence.

Perú – Land full of history, from Cusco, to Lima, I was inspired by Machu Picchu. The condor passes and will continue to fly through the Inca land where Tupac Amaru once stood.

Chile – Land of poets, how to forget Pablo Neruda and his Twenty Love Poems and a Desperate Song, the ideals of Salvador Allende, and the guitar of Víctor Jara .. from your capital Santiago de Chile I look at the Andes.

Bolivia – Although in your land I hear “Lamento Boliviano”, your wealth is within your Heart. With two capitals Sucre and La Paz you only have one flag and one Heart.

Paraguay – Your official language is Guaraní, but some speak Spanish. Don't let a few dominate everyone. Clap and don't knock on the door.

Uruguay – Beautiful, progressive, liberal land, where José Mujica reminds you of the phrase “Freedom or Death”, from your capital Montevideo you can see the Río de la Plata and I can surely kick the soccer ball to your heart.

Argentina – Where you can dance tango, or rock in Spanish, but yes ... you will go on a motorcycle, as well as Che Guevara, an icon of revolution and social equality. Strength and even victory always! Say no to dirty war.

This is my Latin America…our America.

I hope one day to meet you from end to end, from California, Texas, Nevada, New Mexico, and Arizona to Patagonia, may God give me license, and so be it!

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