relationships

This Podcast Captured The Emotional Moment When A Father Told His Daughter His Immigration Story

 “Tell me about your childhood in Mexico.”

Francisco Ortega grew up in Tijuana in the 1970s. At just 6 years old, his parents left him with an aunt and headed to Los Angeles to build a better life for their family. According to StoryCorps, Francisco’s father worked as a busboy while his mother was a factory seamstress. Francisco admits to being a bit of a terror to his aunt as he tried to make sense of not having his mother around. After three years without seeing his parents, 9-year-old Francisco was dressed up in a “white crisp shirt” and a clip on black tie and his aunt put him in a car set for the United States. As the car started to leave she blew him a kiss and told him, “Go change the world.”

StoryCorps is a podcast that collects interviews from different people — often with one relative interviewing another — to help “build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world.” In an interview for StoryCorps, Ortega’s daughter, Kaya, asked him what was his proudest moment since arriving at the U.S. Francisco relays that when he arrived in this country, he was a child immigrant who knew little English. Yet, in college, he had a professor pull him aside and ask him to help tutor some students who were struggling. One student was so grateful for the help that he offered to buy Francisco a beer as a thank you.

“So I go down [to the bar] and this guy grabs my arm and he says to me, ‘I want to thank you for helping me. I couldn’t have done it without you,'” Francisco recalls to his daughter. “And as I’m walking my way back to campus, I am flooded with this emotion and I’m like, ‘Why am I feeling this way?’ I realize, I came into this country as a poor, non-English-speaking immigrant kid and I was teaching how to write. For the first time in my life, I felt like I belonged here.”

As for changing the world, Francisco is the City of Los Angeles’ Community Engagement Specialist. His main goal in that position is to bridge the gap between L.A. residents and law enforcement.


READ: This Transgender Boy’s Question To His Mom Is Simply Heartbreaking

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This Mexican College Student Is Going Viral For Breeding the Largest Bunnies In the World

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This Mexican College Student Is Going Viral For Breeding the Largest Bunnies In the World

Photo via yakinkiro/Instagram

Look out Bad Bunny. There’s another breed of bunny in town that’s taking the internet by storm. A college student in Mexico recently went viral for the oddest thing. He has genetically engineered a strain of rabbits to be the largest in the world.

21-year-old Kiro Yakin has become a viral sensation after internet users have seen him with pictures of the giant bunnies he genetically engineered.

Yakin, a student at the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla on the Xicotepec campus, is studying veterinary and animal husbandry. He began his experimentation by breeding two unique rabbit types together. The Flemish Giant rabbit and other, longer-eared bunnies that Yakin happened to notice. As a result, his monster-bunny was born.

According to Yakin, his experimental bunnies grow up to 22 pounds  Flemish Giant, while the average Flemish giant weighs 15 pounds. But make no mistake, Yakin’s bunny experiment was no accident. “It takes an average of 3 to 4 years to reproduce this giant species,” he told Sintesis.

Yakin’s ultimate goal is to breed a rabbit that can grow up to 30 pounds. “I am currently studying genetics to see how to grow this breed of giant rabbits more,” he said.

Yakin, who has had a soft spot for rabbits since he was a child (pun intended), now cares for a whopping fifty giant rabbits out of his parents’ home.

Luckily, his parents are supportive enough of his dream that they support their son (and his bunnies) financially. “I have the financial support and support of my parents to buy food a week for all 50 giant rabbits,” Yakin told Sintesis.

But he also admitted his project has a long way to go. “So far I have not set aside the time or budget that is required to start the project more seriously,” he said.

The only thing that’s preventing Yakin from committing all his time and energy to creating even bigger bunnies is–what else?–money.

Photo via yakinkiro/Instagram

Although he already submitted a proposal to his university to try and expand his research, as of now, he is self-financed. However, Yakin makes a bit of extra cash by selling the giant bunnies to private customers.

His ultimate goal though, is to open up a large, professional farm where he can breed and cross-breed his bunnies to his heart’s content.

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This Virgen de Guadalupe Mural Was Vandalized In Los Angeles And The Community Is Devastated

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This Virgen de Guadalupe Mural Was Vandalized In Los Angeles And The Community Is Devastated

La Virgen de Guadalupe means so much to so many. Especially the Latino community in Van Nuys, California, near Los Angeles, which is reeling after an important mural depicting La Virgen was vandalized overnight.

Although security cam footage captured an unknown man defacing the mural, the suspect is still at large and the community is asking for help in finding out who committed the vandalism.

A suspect was caught on camera destroying a mural with La Virgen de Guadalupe.

The community of Saint Elisabeth Church near Los Angeles is asking the community for prayers after a mural of Our Lady of Guadalupe was vandalized on church grounds. 

The parish’s security system recorded video footage of an unknown man dressed in black approaching the mural with a sledgehammer at 1:40 a.m. Wednesday morning. He can be seen smashing the tiles that make up Our Lady’s face several times before fleeing.

On Friday, April 23, Father Di Marzio led a prayer service, which was livestreamed on the parish Facebook page. Some 30 parishioners gathered to sing and pray a decade of the rosary in front of the mural, which is roped off with caution tape, while nearly 100 others joined online. In closing, Fr. Di Marzio encouraged parishioners to “continue to pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary to help us, and to touch the heart of the person who did this.” 

Also on Friday, a local artist, Geo Rhodes, was scheduled to visit the mural and discuss a plan for repair, arranged by the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. “We hope that soon we will restore the image, or have a new one more beautiful than the one we had before,” Fr. Di Marzio said.  

La Virgen de Guadalupe is extremely important to the church.

The hand-painted tile mural stands between the church and the rectory. It was installed over 35 years ago as a “symbol of community unity,” said business manager Irma Ochoa. Each square tile was sponsored by a parish family. Overlooking a small altar, the mural has become a popular place for parishioners to pray and light candles, asking Our Lady for special blessings. 

“I feel an unspeakable sadness,” said Fr. Antonio Fiorenza, who is in residence at the parish. “But I feel pity for the one who made this sacrilegious gesture. I pray for his conversion and for all those who show contempt to the Virgin Mary.”

To donate to the restoration fund, visit stelisabethchurch.org

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