This Author Is Writing Children’s Books For Central American Kids Explaining Deportations

Culture

This Author Is Writing Children’s Books For Central American Kids Explaining Deportations

randyertll / Instagram

Randy Jurado Ertll has been writing novels and children’s books for well over a decade, all with the mission to inspire his fellow Central Americans about the possibilities that abound for them in the U.S., and in the fields of public service and politics.

The author of multiple books and novels, including children’s illustrated book, “The Adventures of El Cipitio,” Randy Jurado Ertll has used literature as a means to help others stay woke.

Credit: randyertll / Instagram

“It’s important for us to be seen and heard through books that are bilingual. My goal is to make my literature accepted and to be recognized and valued because we haven’t been valued as a whole, a community,” Jurado Ertll says in an exclusive interview with mitú.  

Born in Los Angeles to a Salvadoran mother in the 1970s, Jurado Ertll is a product of what can be accomplished with absolute grit and determination, despite being part of a group that has been on the margins of society—the children of deported immigrants.

When he was just eight months old, his mother was deported back to El Salvador and Jurado Ertll went to live with her until the age of five.

“People think it only happens under Trump, but it’s been happening forever but people forget,” Jurado Ertll says about deportations.

After his mom’s deportation, he tried making the most of living in a foreign land and soaked up as much as he could about the culture.

Credit: randyertll / Instagram

“That helped me and gave me an opportunity to learn first—hand the history and culture [of El Salvador]. It shaped my world view,” Jurado Ertll says.

Once he returned home for elementary school, he had to completely relearn the English language and says it was “kind of like a rebirth experience.”

He grew up in South Central Los Angeles during a time when there were few Latinos in his neighborhood. He was a student of the Los Angeles Unified School District until he was accepted into a program to study at a high school in Minnesota.

After high school, he returned to California to study at Occidental College and obtained his master’s degree from Azusa Pacific University. He then went on to be a communications director in Washington, D.C. for a congressional member and also wrote numerous opinion columns for newspapers across the country including the Los Angeles Times and USA Today.

Jurado Ertll published his first book in 2009.

Credit: randyertll / Instagram

His titles include “Hope in Times of Darkness” about his experience as a Salvadoran American, and a novel with surreal elements about a three-foot mythical creature titled “The Lives and Times of El Cipitio.”

“The Lives and Times of El Cipitio” is a surreal novel, I wanted to use lots of symbolism,” Jurado Ertll says. “I wanted to create an anti-hero that is evil but becomes good, a gangster that runs for mayor of LA then president, and the novel talks about how he evolves.”

When demand for his books increased, Jurado Ertll knew it was time to start bilingual books to inspire readers.

Credit: randyertll / Instagram

He then created “The Adventures of El Cipitio.”

“The Adventures of El Cipitio” is more of a feel-good, illustrated book.

Credit: randyertll / Instagram

“Kids need to feel good and proud, and see themselves in words and illustrations they can see themselves in,” he says.

Although Jurado Ertll has written several books to put the stories of more Central Americans like him to diversify bookshelves and tell the stories of all types of Latinos, one story he hasn’t quite written about in depth is his own deportation story.

“[The] story hasn’t been explored or told as much because it’s traumatizing—it distorts your sense of safety and belonging, and you can make it positive or negative,” Jurado Ertll says.

“It made me into a resilient person. There are other kids who have suffered more than I have. I wanted to empower people. If you born here, you can come back [after being deported.] Lots of people do that, but their stories are not told,” he continues.

Jurado Ertll has certainly chosen to take his experiences and make it a positive one.

Credit: randyertll / Instagram

Jurtado Ertll’s books are sold in Costco and Amazon, and he also continues to present his books at book fairs and events across the country.

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Donald Trump And El Salvador’s New President Are Both Using Twitter To Fire People And Twitter Isn’t Sure How To Feel About

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Donald Trump And El Salvador’s New President Are Both Using Twitter To Fire People And Twitter Isn’t Sure How To Feel About

As Nayib Bukele waged an underdog bid for the presidency of El Salvador, savvy use of social media helped propel his rise.

Now, in his first week in office, some officials in the Central American country are reeling from the power of the presidential tweet.

Since taking office, El Salvador’s President has taken to Twitter to fire officials.

Credit: @Reuters / Twitter

The 37-year-old former mayor of San Salvador, who was sworn in on Saturday, has taken some of his first actions in office via Twitter, including giving officials the ax.

His targets so far have included relatives of former president Salvador Sánchez Cerén and figures from the outgoing political party, the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front.

In one such tweet, the 37-year-old former mayor of San Salvador said: “CEL president William Granadino is ordered to remove Claudia Sanchez Villalta, daughter of former president Sanchez Ceren, from her position. Do not hire a replacement.”

Mr Bukele, an avid social media user with more than 700,000 Twitter followers, has fired several other officials via tweet.

Credit: @nayibbukele / Twitter

Translation: The president orders @ANDAElSalvador @FredckBenitez to remove Manuel de Jesús Cornejo, the Father OF the FMLN’s deputy, Cristina Cornejo, from his position as head of the security unit, with a salary of 1.500 dollars per month.

Some of the dismissed responded with tweets such as: “Your order will be executed immediately, president @nayibbukele.”

While some of Mr. Bukele’s supporters have cheered the new form of presidential communication, his opponents on the right and the left described the practice as autocratic.

Norman Quijano, the right-wing president of the Salvadoran congress, told reporters: “This is not a monarchy.”

He added: “The absolutist monarchies were a thing of the Middle Ages and we are in the 21st century, where institutionality must be respected.”

The president isn’t just firing people though.

Credit: @nayibbukele / Twitter

As was the case of José Rafael Mena Castaneda, a talented student in architecture who, a few months ago, almost left school because of economic problems. His desire to continue studying led him to launch a project making full-scale cardboard buses.

When Bukele read his story in a local media, he “ordered” his presidential commissioner of strategic projects to give the young man a job interview.

Only a few hours later, he announced that José Rafael had been hired to modernize El Salvador’s schools.

Many on Twitter pointed out that just because the firings are being made public, doesn’t mean they should be celebrated as transparency.

Credit: @GeovannyVicentR / Twitter

Twitter users were taken by surprise and not all for the same reasons. Many see Bukele’s posts as signs of transparency and say they’re happy to see that the new president is taking action and doing something for El Salvador, a country that suffers from endemic violence, poverty and corruption.

Others are less amused. According to them, the “war” that Bukele is waging against the FMLN is an abuse of power — considering local media have revealed that the new government also employs several of Bukele’s relatives

Jaime García Oriani, El Salvador political analyst, believes Bukele could face other problems if he does not follow the legal process of dismissals the country has.

The president is also using Twitter to enact policies.

Credit: @GeovannyVicentR / Twitter

After tweeting demands at fellow government officials, most have responded immediately confirming they’ve completed his request.

Many took to Twitter to warn Salvadorians that this doesn’t always play out well.

Credit: @Reuters / Twitter

The obvious connection between El Salvador’s President use of Twitter and that of Donald Trump was lost on nobody.

It echoes the approach of U.S. President Donald Trump, who communicates to his Republican Party base daily via Twitter and has also fired some officials via tweet.

Trump, perhaps recognizing another Twitter fan, sent the following tweet on Saturday: “The United States stands ready to work with @NayibBukele to advance prosperity in El Salvador and the hemisphere. Congratulations President Bukele on your inauguration!”

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