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Tales From Colonia Popular

Tamar Diana Wilson

From the Introduction to Tales From Colonia Popular

Creative non-fiction or fiction, Tales from Colonia Popular seeks to describe the lives of people the author met in a squatter settlement in Mexicali, where she lived from 1988 to 1994. They are meant to depict the struggles of the poor in the face of seemingly overwhelming odds. They tell the stories of women who live in the colonia, including a woman who received Special Agricultural Workers' amnesty for working in the fields in the Imperial Valley and Salinas, a woman who was the colonia's president, and a woman who works in the maquiladora plants. They also tell stories of men who live in the colonia, including a former garbage picker, a drywaller who longs to give his family more than their income can provide, and a young man who was a coyote's helper when he was a child.

From "Only Chiapas? (1995)", A poem by the author

I have seen the best minds of five generations destroyed by poverty
struggling naked moaning sobbing howling in despair . . .

Who dragged themselves through dusty streets at dawn searched for a way to survive laborers for others . . .

Who sowed hoed cut harvested tended sheep cattle
horses goats burros on haciendas from age seven or eight . . .

Who after 16 years of civil strife . . .

Who then joined their urban cousins some to live on lonely brickyards no electricity no fans no refrigerators no running water. . .

Some to invade unused lands to form squatter settlements
shanty towns colonias paracaidistas colonias perdidas
colonias populares to build shacks of tarpaulin scrapwood
cardboard crushed aluminum cans trashed by Budweiser and Cola Cola drinkers to tap the holes against the rain . . .

 

ISBN: 978-1-891386-19-0

100 pages, $14.95


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