Things That Matter

Barrio Logan’s Chicano Park Has Its Eyes On Historical Landmark Status

Credit: nottkevv / Instagram

Politicians and activists are working hard to make sure the historic Chicano Park in San Diego’s Barrio Logan gains National Landmark Status. In 1969, the Coronado Bay Bridge bridge was built on top of Logan Heights, which had once been the West Coast’s second largest “Chicano Barrio community.” Since then, the community has brought the support beams to life, painting murals to honor Latino culture, its heroes, anti-heroes, and artists. U.S. representative Juan Vargas summed up what Chicano Park means in a statement to the San Diego Union Tribune: “Chicano Park is a cultural mecca that highlights the activist and artistic contributions of our local community.” If you’ve never been, here’s a quick look at some of the amazing art and history found in Chicano Park.

The Chicano Park kiosko, which is a nod to Mayan architecture, serves as a meeting place for community events.

#diadelosmuertos #chicanopark #barriologan #sandiego #art

A photo posted by Laura Alicia Flores (@laura_alicia_flores) on

Countless cultural icons — from Mexico to Cuba — are gorgeously painted in this mural.

A different angle of the previous mural shows even more detail.

Mural walk en el Barrio Logan. #barriologan #chicanopark #sandiego #california #vivalamachi

A photo posted by Michelle Enriquez (@vivalamachi) on

The famous words of Emiliano Zapata, one of the revolutionary leaders who helped overthrow Mexico’s President Díaz in 1911, are displayed on one of the pillars.

Most of the larger-than-life paintings each tell a story of the history of Latino culture.

Afternoon stroll through Chicano park #chicanopark #barriologan #sandiego

A photo posted by Yassi (@yassi.joon) on

Others are a celebration of Latino artistry, showing off the ingenuity and creativity found within the community.

The murals honor culture nearly destroyed by colonizers.

These murals are maintained out of pocket by artists and local groups. If given National Historical Landmark status, the murals and sculptures would receive federal protection.

The music group Prayers filmed their latest video in Chicano Park. The murals provided the perfect backdrop for their message of unity.

CREDIT: UPROXX / YOUTUBE

There’s even an hour long documentary on YouTube, highlighting many important points in the park’s history. Watch that here.

For now, however, the future of Chicano Park in Barrio Logan is uncertain.

#Note7

A photo posted by @nottkevv on

To become a National Historical Landmark, certain conditions must be met. According to the San Diego Union Tribune, landmarks must “tell stories” highlighting “their importance to the history of the entire nation, not just local communities.” The status also requires the seal of approval from the Secretary of the Interior, who would have to do a personal inspection of Chicano Park. As of today, a bill has been introduced to the House of Representatives, so the fate of Chicano Park’s status will be decided before January 3rd, 2017.

READ: “Mexica” by Prayers Is A Reminder Of Who Was Here First

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Here’s How This Man Created A Brewery Aimed At Highlighting The Best Of Mexican-American Culture

Culture

Here’s How This Man Created A Brewery Aimed At Highlighting The Best Of Mexican-American Culture

Javier Rojas / mitú

David Favela isn’t your typical brewer. He’s not fond of IPA’s or your usual German pilsner. His brewery, Border X Brewing, might also look like your typical neighborhood pub from the outside. But you won’t find a jukebox or cheesy neon signs on the walls.

Favela, 52, intends on straying away from your typical brewery business model. Instead, he is trying to create a brewery experience with Latin culture and community at the center of it.

“From the start, we didn’t bother with red ales and IPA’S because in all honesty none of us are ‘that.’ We didn’t grow up with that or any of those flavors,” Favela says. “If we’re not putting our personal experiences or palettes into our brewing then why bother? Quite frankly, we needed to bring some of our Latin background to this.”

This is the heart and mission of Border X Brewing. The brewery opened it’s first doors in 2014 just miles from the U.S.-Mexico border crossing in Otay Mesa before relocating to Barrio Logan, a largely Chicano neighborhood in San Diego. But now, Favela has his eyes set on tapping into the Latino community in Los Angeles.

With an array of Latin flavored beers, Border X Brewing is making a name for its self in the growing Southern California brewery scene.

Credit: Javier Rojas

Favela is the CEO of the growing brewery company that has become popular for its fusion of ingredients familiar in Latino kitchens. Beers like the Blood Saison, inspired by agua de jamaica, is made with hibiscus flowers and agave. Or the Golden Horchata Stout, a gold medal winner at the L.A. International Beer Festival, is brewed with vanilla and canela.

“We’re not the first brewers to use jamaica or horchata but many don’t come from that background to fully understand how important these flavors are and mean to our identity,” Favela says.

Born in San Diego, Favela grew up in a largely Latino neighborhood and quickly realized he wanted community and family to be the base of his work. That’s why after working at Hewlett Packard for 22 years, he decided to invest in brewing. Along with his brother and two nephews, they set on creating a business that revolved around community involvement and beer.

“I really just wanted to hang out with my family and do something special together,” Favela says. “The question in my head was always could we create a space that builds community and at the same time showcases our roots? Yes.”

Border X quickly garnered popularity in it’s San Diego location. After five years of operating out of the Barrio Logan neighborhood, the brewery has expanded to Los Angeles.

Credit: Javier Rojas

Border X Brewing opened the doors to it’s newest location in the City of Bell back in March. The thriving Latino suburb in Southeast Los Angeles has seen immense growth in the last few years. Favela also sees the expansion in Bell as a way to connect with another working-class Latino community.

“We are a community-based brewery, we’re about events and we’re about the people living in those communities. Bell fit the bill for us,” Favela says. “A lot of people come here and they don’t even drink; they just like being part of this experience we’re trying to create.

Upon walking into the new location you’ll see framed photos of local low-rider groups and Chicanos dressed in zoot-suit style attire. The work comes from local artists which is something Favela is proud of. In the four months that the location has been open, it’s hosted multiple local musicians, a low-rider event and a community art show that are all part of the brewery’s core mission.

“We host fundraisers, we have art shows and, in many ways, this place becomes a crossroads for so many different walks of life,” Favela says. “In Barrio-Logan we connected with ex and current gang members, artists and locals. It’s a collective of different people all connecting.”

The City of Bell wasn’t the first option for the newest location. Favela originally looked at Boyle Heights, another largely Latino working-class neighborhood.

Credit: Javier Rojas

When planning the move to Los Angeles, Favela originally considered opening in Boyle Heights, the community home to the Chicano movement of the ’60s. Yet he eventually reconsidered after thoughts of gentrification. He knew about the rapid changes in the neighborhood and didn’t want to intrude and have the community turn on them as other new businesses have.

“Things like coffee shops and art galleries should be community assets but they’ve become easy targets. I grew in these barrios and I’m all for them but it begs the question of how to improve these communities without hurting or displacing people.” Favela said.

There are many factors he considers when expanding the brewery, the biggest being the community. This is important to him and he knows the effect a new business can have on a neighborhood like Boyle Heights.

“There are certain criteria I’ve established and one of them is ‘Are you creating a service for a demographic waiting to come into the community or are you serving the community that’s already there,” Favela says. “When you come in here you’ll find the demographic is 90-95 percent Latino. We try to recognize and celebrate that local history where our taste rooms are.”

For Favela, he sees the brewery as a way to connect his Latino background to a demographic that’s been waiting to be heard.

Credit: Javier Rojas

Border X Brewing has seen it’s a first and second wave of success in San Diego and now in LA. But for Favela, he knows this is just the start. He plans to expand to more locations such as Long Beach and Santa Ana, both largely Latino areas. That also means brewing new beer flavors that represent those communities.

“In Latin America, there are over 2,000 fermentation practices. Most of the beers here you won’t find anywhere else and we’re just getting started,” he says. “Mazapan beer, abuelita chocolate and peppino sour, this is just who we are.”

Favela smiles as he recalls those first days back at the original brewery location near the U.S-Mexico border. He reminds himself of how important it is to stay true to himself and how the customers have been a huge reason behind this passion.

“I’m constantly told by people when they walk into the brewery about how much they feel at home,” Favela says. They say ‘I feel so comfortable here’ and “I feel like you made this place for me’ and I say to them ‘I absolutely did’ and that’s special.”

READ: The Makers Of Corona Beer Are Spending Billions To Get Into The Weed Industry

A San Diego High School Faces Controversy Over Yearbook Showing Teachers In Stereotypical Mexican Attire

Culture

A San Diego High School Faces Controversy Over Yearbook Showing Teachers In Stereotypical Mexican Attire

@stevepricenews8 / Twitter

As the school year comes to an end, students and school staff are wrapping it up with graduation events, prom, and, of course, signing each other’s yearbook. For one school in Southern California, the school year is ending on a controversial note.

A high school in San Diego is causing quite a stir over a picture in the yearbook that depicts teachers in stereotypical and offensive Mexican outfits.

Credit: @stevepricenews8 / Twitter

The teachers in question teach language studies at the San Pasqual High School in Escondido. Some parents expressed outrage over the picture, which showed the World Langauge Department instructors wearing ponchos, fake mustaches, and sombreros. One teacher in the picture wore a stereotypical French outfit (a beret, sunglasses, all in black attire) because she teaches French.

Not everyone was upset, in fact, some students and parents thought this kind of behavior was okay.

“It doesn’t look offensive to me,” Merced Juarez, a parent, told a local NBC news station, and added that she likes one of the teachers. “She’s a very good teacher. She was very strict with them because she wanted them to learn Spanish, to learn the language.”

The ironic aspect is that the spelling of Señor and Señora didn’t include the proper accent.

We have a feeling the students put together their own yearbook, which is why the “ñ” was missing — repeatedly — on the page. Typically, the yearbook staff has a teacher to oversee their pages and layouts, so perhaps they missed this one page. Furthermore, if the teachers are supposedly good Spanish language teachers, why aren’t their students getting proper Spanish language lessons? The “ñ” in “señor is basic Spanish.

The school said that these pictures were taken at the beginning of the school year and served as the teacher’s school ID cards.

In a statement to the Times-Advocate, the school said, “Administrators have discussed the issue with SPHS staff. Principal Martin Casas and his administrative team are taking precautions to ensure a similar situation does not occur in the future.”

Principal Casas said, “San Pasqual High School takes pride in its rich history and diversity. It is our intent to use this situation as a tool to remind students, as well as staff, to remember the impacts of their words and actions. We are committed to continuing our efforts to ensure all students, families, and staff feel welcome and valued.”

READ: White Students Wear Du-Rags And Cornrows In Racist Thug Day Celebration

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