Melissa's Oaxaca Service-Learning Blog

I was enrolled in a summer Service-Learning Program through ACCD. this blog follwed our adventures in San Antonio and in Oaxaca. It now holds some thoughts on life, and fun as well as comments. I will continue to post Oaxaca information as i get it. you will want to continue checking for updates since we are suppose to go back in March 07!

This is what Democracy Looks Like
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
WOW, I thought in this day and age that tear gas, and harassment of peaceful protestors was only done in countries with no constitutional rights. That America, although a young country could not possibly partake in such violence and unlawfulness against its own people.


We returned back today to SAC. I couldn’t get any sleep, I woke up early. I wanted to get back to a routine of things, I felt like my kids at school, I need a schedule I need consistency.

I was excited to see Mel when she walked in than Gayle; we greeted each other with hugs. Than Liz came walking in. Another round of hugs. Mel said it perfect there is no way we can lose touch with each other. Not after what we've been through. I agree.

To go through the events, and the emotions we did with each other automatically bounds you to one another. I’m still trying to process what all happened and how we walked down those streets.

Denise and Karen started us right off with work. It felt good, yet another "comfort food". Food for the brain. Karen went over what made a civilization and what made a culture. We had to read the history of Oaxaca in our handbooks (I had to go buy another book, I left mine in Oaxaca during our rush to exit the hotel)

In reading the history of Mexico, I am getting really interested in learning more about where my great-grandmother came from. My grandmother has told me stories about her father and Poncho Villa, how they helped him and gave him refuge at their ranch, but I just kindly listened, now I want to learn from them.

Than we saw a video, that was produced and directed by Jill Freidberg and Rick Rowley. The film was intense and heart breaking, I did pretty good until the part where you knew they were going to get tear gassed. My tears started flowing down, I told my self don’t cry. This is the past. The events happened in 1999, only seven years ago! The events recorded on film were that of a peaceful protest in Seattle. 50,000 people, of different nationalities, organizations and religious beliefs came together. To protest against the World Trade Organization (WTO).

I could not help but think again of what we saw in Oaxaca, tear gas falling. Where did the children go? Questions, questions, no answers.

This is a very powerful film. As Rage Against the Machine music plays in the background I start getting a little pumped up thinking, we should be doing something here in San Antonio to support the teachers in Oaxaca. Some how we need to let the people know here what is going on.

Why didn’t I go back? I could hear Denise in her official "mom" voice in my head saying do not go past the park. I should have gone back and got right in the action of things but than I guess I would be running for my life too. But the adrenaline rush and the feeling of being there and not really being there over takes you. It took my own voice of reason (small one) to say no let's not go back, let's not go past the park.

My eyes, my heart and my mind have been opened to my nievness of the world, people and government in another country as well as in ours. As I search deep in me of who I am and what is my purpose, I yearn to learn more about my heritage. Where are my roots? What is driving me?

Question, questions again, yet still trying to find answers.

I use to think, I am an American, not a Mexican-American, and I don’t know why people support Mexico as if they lived there. How stupid, arrogant, and selfish of me. And if you know me even a little, you know that I am not any of those things. But I am willing to open my mind up to new things. Something a teacher shouted up to me while on the roof hit me harder than a ton of bricks.

Go back and tell them in Los Estados Unidos- United States, tell them what is happening. That we were just sitting hear peacefully. Tell them because we have families there they need to know, and because you are from here, we are the same people.

Yes I forgot we are the same people, we are all humans. No matter what we look like, we all have this in common. We are human beings no better or less than our neighbor.

We are blessed to live in America where we have freedom, to hold a peaceful protest, freedom of speech, but here too I discovered today with our film, that those rights have been taken away by those we turn to that are suppose to protect us.

I have been set on fire (as if I needed another passion) by my peers, professors and grandmother. My thirst for more information is taken on a new quest for me.

Please link to the following site to get more information about the film. I am going to see how I can get a copy or order one online. I think everyone needs to see this film and be awaken to our own battles in the USA.

"Let every American, every lover of liberty, every well wisher to his posterity, swear by the blood of the Revolution, never to violate in the least particular, the laws of the country; and never to tolerate their violation by others."
--From the January 27, 1838 Lyceum Address, Abraham Lincoln
posted by Melissa Rodriguez @ 6/20/2006 07:37:00 AM  
  • At Wednesday, June 21, 2006 8:49:00 PM, Blogger Mel said…

    Melissa, you never seem to amaze me! I enjoy reading your blogs because you and I have alike in so many ways. Uh oh! LOL
    Tears rolled down my face as I read your "red quote." It brought back so many emotions from our trip. I think of this experience as a test to make me a stronger person. A stronger woman! A stronger Mexican!
    If there was only more we could do to make things fair for our people.

  • At Wednesday, June 21, 2006 10:40:00 PM, Blogger Melissa Rodriguez said…

    mel, i read this blog out loud today to some friends i had over, and i am not sure when iam going to stop this emotion, but i cried too, again, i can still hear his voice in my head. so many things seem to haunt me about that night/day. i know it's hard for us as women, as latinas to strive and survive in this world. But it's events like this that we experince first hand that do make us stronger and encourage future generations that one person CAN make a differecne, when you stand next to someONE, and they are standing next to someONE and so on.! See ya in class!

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About Me

Name: Melissa Rodriguez
Home: San Antonio, Texas, United States
About Me: New me, not the same one that started out in the begining of the summer. Oaxaca and what I saw here in SA changed me. I use to think I did a lot, volunteer for organizations, chair events. blablabla. But there is sooo much more to do! And i learned not to be afraid. Not that I was scared of things before. But not to be afraid to venture out and ask questions. Or to say NO! And to ask why something can't happen. To be in the middle of all that and not knowing what tomorrow held. Finding out who really loved you when you called home, who was waiting for your call.. maybe my last call, that woke me up to what i want for my life....New me ..braver, more aggressive, and more FOCUS than ever on a GOAL! UPDATE: one goal completed since last updated: i graduating w/ my AA in PR! 2nd goal going to OLLU for my BS. 3rd goal: WE ARE GOING BACK TO OAXACA!!!
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