Final Project Central American Diaspora- Salvadoran Diaspora in The United States of America

Lorraine Cheung

CAS 114B

Professor Freya Rojo

17 May 2011

Salvadoran Diaspora in The United States of America

The United States is a country of immigrants. Obtaining information from the official website of The Statue of Liberty- Ellis Island Foundation, even in the pre-1790 period, immigration to the United States already exists. African, English, German, and Scottish come to the States. Because of revolution around the world and people wanting to reunite with their families, join their GI husbands, and also due to work opportunities, people come to the United States and to take part in the economic boom. “Between 1880 and

The Statue of Liberty- Ellis Island Foundation. Immigrants between 1880-1930. Web. 8 May 2011.

1930 over 27 million people entered the United States.” Starting from the past, immigrants come to the United States “in pursuit of a dream”. They believe US provides them with a better future. This thought is still popular right now. According to the US Census Bureau, in 2007, the US population includes 38.1 million foreign-born persons. 3.5 million of them are Central Americans. They make up a total of 72% of the Hispanic population. Today, new illegal and legal immigrants still come to the United States with the same reasons as people in the past did. They bring in their own cultures, traditions, ideas, histories, and skills. Salvadorans immigrate illegally and legally to the US in search for a brighter future and some send remittances back without knowing the consequences. In order to maintain their culture in a new country, they look for jobs or set up self-employed businesses and set up their own Central American space.

Salvadorans immigrate to the States because of unfavorable conditions in their home country. Poverty, crimes, natural disasters, and lack of job opportunities are the main reasons for Salvadorans to leave their country. The U.S. State Department considers El Salvador as a critical-crime-threat country. It is not the perfect place for living. “El Salvador has one of the highest homicide rates in the world; violent crimes, as well as petty crimes are prevalent throughout El Salvador.” From Al Jazeera’s news and politics channel from the video “Obama for better El Salvador ties”, “El Salvador is ravaged by drug-related violence; it holds one of the highest murder rates in the world”. Stated by Salvadoran news Contra Punto, “according to Salvadoran police, in 2010, 3,985 murders were committed, which is estimated a rate of 69.9 homicides per 100,000 population.” Due to the high violence and crime rates, Salvadorans do not have a peaceful living environment at all. Besides violence, another main reason why Salvadorans go to the U.S is poverty. In the same news clip, Al Jazeera conveys “thousands of them migrate to the United States every year and search for a better life.” Although the poverty rates have decreased over the years, El Salvador still suffers from poverty. According to the information provided by the U.S Department of State, “poverty was cut from 66% in 1991 to 37.8% in 2009.” The World Bank’s definition of poverty is “pronounced deprivation in well-being, and comprises many dimensions,” “includes low incomes and the inability to acquire the basic goods and services necessary for survival with dignity,” “encompasses low levels of health and education, poor access to clean water and sanitation, inadequate physical security, lack of voice, and insufficient capacity and opportunity to better one’s life.” This means that in El Salvador, 2.7 million people are living in poor conditions and have low income and education levels that they are not able to maintain their own life. Because of extreme poor living conditions, Salvadorans go to the US hoping to find something better than they have experienced. Natural disasters are also a big reason why they move out of the country. Since El Salvador is located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, where it is prone to earthquakes and hurricanes, natural disasters have been an obstruction for Salvadorans.

Throughout history, hurricanes and earthquakes have killed numerous people. Taking examples from the US Bureau of Public Affairs, “in October 2005, Hurricane Stan unleashed heavy rains that caused flooding throughout El Salvador. In all, the flooding caused 67 deaths and more than 50,000 people were evacuated at some point during the crisis. Damages from the storm were estimated at $355.6 million. In November 2008, rains from Tropical Storm Ida caused flooding and mudslides that killed at least 199 and left extensive property damage in the departments of Cuscatlan, La Paz, San Vicente, and San Salvador. In 2010 property evacuation operations by the authorities prevented a higher number of deaths. In June 2010, Tropical Storm Alex killed 5 people and damaged 349 homes, and in September 2010, Tropical Storm Matthew killed 3 people and damaged 141 homes.” It can be seen that natural disasters in El Salvador not only displaced a lot of people but also left thousands of people homeless and jobless. From the above reasons- crime rates, poverty, and natural disasters, Salvadorans have no choice but to leave their home country and go to a place that would bring them a better life, better living conditions, job opportunities, and higher income.

Some people immigrate to the States with their whole family but some are just the parents who leave the country to work, earn money, and send remittances back home for family members. With reference to the background note of El Salvador from the U.S Department of State website, “remittances from Salvadorans working in the United States are an important source of income for many families in El Salvador. In 2010, the Central Bank estimated that remittances totaled $3.5 billion. UN Development Program (UNDP) surveys show that an estimated 22.3% of families receive remittances.” In the Washington Post’s article “Money Earned in U.S. pushes up prices in El Salvador,” it talks about Salvadoran immigrants send about $2.8 billion to their relatives every year for necessities such as food, clothing, and housing. “Without it, the portion of families who live in extreme poverty would jump from 6 percent to 37 percent, according to a recent study by the United Nations Development Program.” However, nobody has thought about the consequences of sending remittances back to El Salvador. It is in fact is a vicious cycle for Salvadorans. Economists are concerned that increase of cost of living may result from the flood of U.S dollars in El Salvador. “With more dollars chasing limited commodities such as land and housing, prices are rising. And because El Salvador imports most of its goods from nations that can make them less expensively, the consumption boom isn’t creating an increase in jobs. Meanwhile, the ready supply of desperate workers from the even poorer Central American countries of Nicaragua and Honduras keeps down wages for existing low-skill jobs — making it difficult for the Salvadorans who hold them to make ends meet. The impact of this dynamic is visible across this eastern stretch of the country, from which much of the Salvadoran migration to the United States has originated.” As seen, Salvadoran immigrants sending back money to their relatives back home is actually going to make things worse, the cost of living is eventually going to increase and people will just continue immigrating to the US as a solution, which is a vicious cycle.

Desperation makes Salvadorans enter illegally to the United States. Some Salvadorans are so hopeless that they would rather risk their lives on a freight train to the United States for an uncertain future; they become the undocumented immigrants in the country. From the YouTube video, Immigration: Central American Migrants En Route to Arizona, Frank from El Salvador who has a pregnant wife and two children back home, shares his situation on the route to Arizona, passing through Mexico and try to get to the United States. “We know it’s illegal, but we’re doing it to help our families.” These undocumented immigrants know that they are risking their lives but they still give their best effort. The journey is definitely not easy. There are cases like a boy losing his left foot while jumping the train. Frank reveals that “here one suffers from hunger, at night it’s cold, it’s a hard journey. When one loves ones family, you want to give them everything so that they don’t suffer. We don’t need a life of wealth, the only thing that I ask is that you allow people to improve their lives.” Frank believes that people just want to improve the lives of their families and he thinks that everyone should be allowed to make that happen. He simply wants to work, therefore he risks his life and gets on the freight train because he believes that it is easier to find a job in the States. He is going to do whatever job he can find such as painting houses and construction. From Frank’s case, it can be seen how emotional and hard life is for him. We always have an assumption that undocumented immigrants are bad people because they enter the country illegally, in fact they are not bad people at all but just people who want to make their own and their family’s lives better. This video provides a clear picture of the desperation of Salvadorans going to the United States seeking for a better future. However, the people entering the States by getting on a freight train in Mexico and enter through Arizona is only a portion of them. There are still many other people who try different ways to illegally enter the States.

After the Salvadorans come to the States, they search for jobs immediately as they need a source of income to take care of their family members. Quoted from Fragmented Ties- Salvadoran Immigrant Networks in Americaby Cecilia Menjívar, majority of the Salvadorans are involved in restaurants and markets. “According to the 1990 U.S. Census, of the 38.7 percent of Salvadorans who were in service occupations in San Francisco (in contrast to 15.7 percent among the general population of San Francisco), close to one-third were engaged in food preparation.” With reference to the 2000 U.S Census, Los Angeles County has 350,087 Central Americans including 176,206 Salvadorans, which is half of the Central American population in Los Angeles County. Los Angeles alone has 238,191 Central Americans including 126,197 Salvadorans, which are the largest number in the LA County. A lot of them settle in Van Nuys, which is in the San Fernando Valley region. From my several field trips to Van Nuys, I realize that Van Nuys is packed with mostly restaurants and markets. La Tapachulteca is one of the markets I saw in Van Nuys. Getting knowledge from the La Tapachilteca website, it is a renowned market with a really long history. The first La Tapachilteca is located at downtown San Salvador. “Thanks to their work and entrepreneurial courage, Don Sergio and Mrs. Irma that little store made ​​one of the companies most important for El Salvador since 1999 had thirty-two stores in territory Salvadoran and two stores in South California.” As a large-scale chained market, the La Tapachulteca Market provides a large variety of Central American choice for customers. It has bakery, hot deli, meats, vegetables, fruits; entertainment like music, television and game machines; and services like money exchange. Most of the products they sell are Central American products. For example, the fruit drinks “Ducal”

Lorraine Cheung. "Ducal". Field Trip to La Tapachulteca. 16 Mar 2011.

that they sell are product of Guatemala. This offers a great space for Central American immigrants to shop for their very own native food. It is extremely accessible for them to collect materials for a native Central American meal. Flags of Central American countries are also hung on the ceiling of the market. This conveys a sense of Central American space as the decoration and music are related to Central American countries. I talked to a lady in the cashier and she says she is the only one in the market that speaks English. This shows how native this market is as she told me the rest of the workers are all from Central America. From the past until now, La Tapachulteca has been providing native Central American products to customers; it is also very accessible how customers can get a hold of Central American groceries so easily. This is the reason why they are still very popular today. Central Americans space is created as there is a native market in Van Nuys, the market is able to stand for so long because of the native products they provide and the customers they attract are Central American immigrants.

Google News. "Immigrants and working families attend a march to demand legalization for all immigrants." Web. 7 May 2011.

While some immigrants are content with their situation as they have well-settled in the United States, some other undocumented immigrants are fighting for their legal statuses in the United States. In Google News’s article on May Day 2011 “Thousands March to Demand Immigration Reform,” thousands of immigrants go on the street on May Day and demand President Barack Obama to fulfill when he promised during the campaign to give legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants in the States. “Most were immigrants from Central America and Mexico demanding the immigration reform Obama has promised for some of the estimated 11 million illegal immigrants in the United States to gain legal status.” Without being legalized, undocumented immigrants are not only hindered from services and benefits in the States, they also cannot go home and see their family. They come to the United States to earn money for the family and they deserve to go home and gather with their beloved ones. Being undocumented takes away a lot of their freedom; therefore undocumented immigrants voice out and hope President Obama will soon fulfill his campaign promise by legalizing them.

All in all, Salvadorans immigrate to the United States both legally and illegally as they risk their lives to get here via freight trains. They do that to avoid poor living conditions, crimes, poverty, and natural disasters in their home country; they therefore search for a better future in this new country and send remittances back home for families. However, not many people have paid attention to the harm it is going to bring for Salvadorans and to the country. Some Salvadorans immigrants fit in happily in this new country with its own Central American space, but some undocumented immigrants still have to seek for asylum every day.

Works Cited

“Race and Hispanic Origin of the Foreign-Born Population in the United States: 2007.”  Census.gov. U.S. Census Bureau, Jan 2010. Web. 8 May 2011. <http://www.census.gov/prod/2010pubs/acs-11.pdf>

“The Peopling of America.” Ellisisland.org. n.d. Web. 8 May 2011. <http://www.ellisisland.org/immexp/wseix_5_3.asp>

“Background note: El Salvador.” Census.gov. U.S. Census Bureau, 30 Mar 2011. Web. 8 May 2011. <http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2033.htm>

“The Homicide Rate Dropped in 2010.” Contrapunto.com.cv. Contra Punto, El Salvador, Central America, 2 Jan 2011. Web. 8 May 2011.

<http://www.contrapunto.com.sv/ultimas-noticias/bajo-la-tasa-de-homicidios-en-2010>

N.C. Aizenman.  “Money Earned in U.S. Pushes Up Prices in El Salvador; Subsidies Help Keep Many From Extreme Poverty :[FINAL Edition]. ” The Washington Post  14  May 2006, ProQuest Newsstand, ProQuest. Web.  10 May 2011.

“Immigration: Central American Migrants en Route to Arizona.” Online Posting. YouTube, 6 May 2010. Web. 6 May 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOBCw-VkHKY&gt;

“Obama for better El Salvador ties.” Online Posting. YouTube, 21 Mar 2011. Web. 10 May 2011. <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jl4wfvjBexI&gt;

“Hispanic or Latino Population by City- Los Angeles County, 2000 Census.” Laalmanac.com. Los Angeles Almanac, n.d. Web. 8 May 2011.<http://www.laalmanac.com/population/po18ab.htm>

“Thousands march to demand US immigration reform.” Google.com. Google, 1 May 2011. Web. 7 May 2011. <http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jnayil0PUWQ80tvaB1oJ_49REn6w?docId=CNG.5531a5fdacd2913af0d710c9a6a041f8.901>

La Tapachulteca. <http://www.latapa.net/TAPACHULTECA.html> Web. 17 Mar 2011.

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Project 3 Text- One Day of Life

Lorraine Cheung

CAS 114B

Professor Freya Rojo

28 April 2011

One Day of Life

In the novel One Day of Life, author Manlio Argueta portrays the living condition and situation in El Salvador during the Cold War in the 1980s. Written through the eyes of a woman, Grandmother Lupe, who is the narrator of the book, Argueta, a middle class young man, successfully saw and wrote what was happening to poor people in the country. The interior monologue of Lupe throughout the novel describes what a day for her is like in El Salvador. From the novel, it can be seen that there are numerous types of problems. Utilizing From the author’s unique writing style, Argueta utilizes a women’s perspective with detailed and vivid descriptions to successfully present poverty, gender roles, and illiteracy problems which are interrelated and that further contribute to inner struggles of the people in the novel.

Using Lupe, Argueta illustrates Gender roles in El Salvador. He sees through the eyes of a woman and is able to understand women’s roles. Gender roles hinder what females can or cannot do in society. Most of the time, women are treated differently than men. They are held back to do certain things such as going to school. Lupe confesses “My parents could send me only to the first grade. Not because they didn’t want to but because we were so many at home and I was the only girl, in charge of grinding corn and cooking it and then taking tortillas to my brothers in the cornfields.” (Argueta13). Lupe’s parents preferred to send the boys in the family to school because of gender roles. Boys in the family have priority of being educated whereas girls have the responsibility of taking care of the family and doing housework. Boys in the family are seen as the more important ones since they inherit the last name of the family. Girls are expected to keep the house and take care of children. Lupe therefore grew up and lived up the expectation of society; “My mother and I would take care of the house.” (Argueta 13). Moreover, Lupe reveals the reason why she is “somewhat cowardly.” “I was raised only with brothers and they were always scaring me: controlling me, looking after me, and telling me to be careful, not to go that way, not to walk in the dark; you know all the pampering you get if you’re a girl (and even more if you’re the only girl).” (Argueta 6). Girls are always over-protected and they get fewer chances to make mistakes and learn from them. Argueta is able to point out that Lupe’s cowardly personality was actually developed from her family’s influence. Furthermore, women are disrespected by the military in El Salvador. The Special Forces have a common believe- “all these women are whores; to be a woman is to have been born a whore.” (Argueta 128). “As for women, the older they get, the more whorish.” (Argueta 130).

El Salvador — Ripped Apart by Civil War and Repression

Observing from different perspectives, Argueta brought together his understanding of how women were being looked upon and women’s desire and wishes in the book. At the beginning of the chapter 6:30A.M, Lupe admitted that she was happy then owing to the fact that Chepe stayed home last night to sleep. She enjoyed “snuggling up to him”, “hugging him”, “the warmth of Jose”, “being next to him without talking”, “close to him, to the sweat of his shirt, my face against it, the way one does with small children, his wet shirt, the humidity that clings to clothes after a hard day’s work.” (Argueta 47). As a woman, I can totally relate to Lupe’s happiness when her love finally gets to sleep with her. In One Day of Life, Argueta does not only talk about the household things women have to take care of, but also how strong women are. As the novel develops, Adolfina, Lupe’s Granddaughter, takes up a major part in the story. Unlike Lupe, is extremely outspoken and active towards demonstration for workers’ rights, for instance demanding a discount on seeds and fertilizer. Not only she disapproved of the authorities’ rudeness and arrogance, she was also not afraid of the authorities and she told them that they were “wasting her time” when they kept questioning her. She paid attention on political matters and had her own stance towards them. Speaking for the women, Argueta shows the readers that women in a way can be dominant and powerful. They can never be underestimated as they are worth everyone’s respect because of what they do- take care of the house and raise children, and are active towards political issues. Throughout the novel, women are shows as selfless because they often serve people and put others before them. Same as everyone else, they have integrity and they deserve admiration and appreciation. Seeing from Lupe’s, Adolfina’s, and the military’s perspectives, Argueta discusses women in society throughout One Day of Life.

War, Woman, Children

From Argueta’s writing style, he portrays the poor living condition as ubiquitous. Details of poverty are included throughout the novel, this has made the poverty situation simply normal scenarios. Poverty in El Salvador prohibits poor people from getting equal treatment. Lupe could not go to school because her parents were poor and could afford it. “My parents could send me only to the first grade.” (Argueta 13). As a result, she had to stay home and be “in charge of grinding corn and cooking it and then taking tortillas to my brothers in the cornfields.” (Argueta 13). Quoted from “SALVADORAN SISTER CITY HAS COME A LONG WAY; Villagers tell of progress since war :[1 Edition],” the illiteracy rate in El Salvador 20 years ago during the civil war was a lot higher than now. ‘“Before, the illiteracy rate in El Salvador was 80 percent,” Hoffman said in an interview. “Now it’s 45 percent. And in San Jose Las Flores, it’s 7 percent.”’ This implies the standard of living has increased after the war and more people now are going to school and receive education, but the illiteracy rate before was extremely high. On the other hand, children die of dehydration when they’re very little. Since they do not get good medical and health care system, and with their limited knowledge, it is easy for children to die of dehydration “since their bones are very soft, and if you’re not careful, they get diarrhea and the forehand sinks in.” (Argueta 13). From Argueta’s detailed description, he shows how frightening and tragic poverty can lead to things. In addition, they were so poor that they could not afford nutritious food like milk and cheese. Argueta describes milk as one of the “luxuries” that poor people cannot afford. This absolutely appeals to readers since milk is just an accessible and common thing to get. Besides, Lupe and Jose do not want the children to get used to drinking milk or eating meat because they do not want to spoil them. Medicine is another unaffordable thing for them. “Medicine is so expensive- what used to cost ten cents is now two for twenty-five.” Therefore, they have to use home remedies like “snake powder” instead. They cannot afford to see doctors or got to hospitals either. “If the kids had a doctor to treat them, they wouldn’t die just like that. We have never had that kind of assistance. And often I think: and if there were a doctor around here, with what money would we pay him, since we hear they’re so expensive.” (Argueta 56). “That’s why some people don’t like to go to hospitals; they prefer to die at home and not in the city, because besides spending money for the bus you have to give money to the hospital, and where will it come from if you don’t have any.” (Argueta 56). Lupe’s family never got proper medical treatment because they simply had no money. By using appealing description, Argueta approaches readers’ heart. It makes readers reflect and realize how fortunate it is to have all the daily necessities and a good and reliable health care system. Therefore, through Argueta’s writing style, he describes information in a detailed manner that captivates and stimulates readers.

Throughout the novel, Argueta includes the implication of the inner struggles the family faces. They have a lot of hopes and wishes but they would never come true because of how poor they are. Jose has told Lupe “I would like all our children to learn to read so that they won’t have to live as hired hands and suffer as much as we have.” “The children are our only hope- at least they may give us a hand in our old age.” (Argueta 12). The parents know what is best for their children but they simply do not have the ability to do what they want to do because of their financial status. They are moneyless but Lupe still have to buy them a change of clothes in order for them to “get dressed up on Sundays like real people.” “I can’t have them walking around in rags, especially because now they’re earning a few cents and they give me all their money.” (Argueta 11). From above examples, the author portrays the inner struggles they face.  Although they are very willing to, the parents cannot afford all the kids to go to school. In order for them to fit into society, they have to dress and look better. It is miserable how the people are poor but are not able to do anything about it. The way Argueta illustrates their inner struggles absolutely earns readers’ sympathy.

All in all, it is absolutely impressive how Argueta can develop a great story out of the taste of a poor woman. It is indeed very accurate and touching as he is able to understand the emotional and vulnerability stages a woman goes through. From his detailed and vivid writing style, he is able to move and inspire readers. One Day of Life also proves that even people that are not in the same class and gender and do not have the same encounter can understand the experience of another class and gender’s background. From the novel, it is stimulating to get a taste of poverty, gender roles, illiteracy, and inner struggles during the Cold War in El Salvador.

Works Cited

Janice O’Leary.  “SALVADORAN SISTER CITY HAS COME A LONG WAY; Villagers tell of progress since war :[1 Edition]. ” Boston Globe  27  May 2007, ProQuest Newsstand, ProQuest. Web.  13 Apr. 2011.

Argueta, Manlio. One Day of Life. New York: Vintage, 1991. Print.

Susan Meiselas. Magnum Photos. “El Salvador, 1981”. Web. 28 April 2011. <http://www.weareca.org/index.php/en/era/1960s-Present/salvadorans.html&gt;

Gary Mark Smith. “War, Woman, Children”. Web. 28 April 2011. <http://www.streetphoto.com/images/El%20Salvador%20photograph%20War,Woman,Children.jpg&gt;

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Project 2 Space- The Way Central American Immigrants Ease Themselves into a New Country

Lorraine Cheung

CAS 114B

Professor Freya Rojo

29 March 2011

The Way Central American Immigrants Ease Themselves into a New Country

Central Americans immigrate to the United States of America to start a brand new life. Their goal is to make a living in order to provide a better living situation for themselves and family members. According to National Public Radio, “they (immigrants) are clear that economic opportunities and legal rights are better in the United States than in their countries of origin, but they are less certain about some cultural matters.” Los Angeles has the second largest Central American population in the world, and a lot of them settle in the San Fernanado Valley, the city of Van Nuys, where it is well known of its Central American community. It is certainly hard for the immigrants to settle and get used to the new American culture quickly. Moreover, quoted from Fragmented Ties- Salvadoran Immigrant Networks in America by Cecilia Menjívar, “according to the 1990 U.S. Census, of the 38.7 percent of Salvadorans who were in service occupations in San Francisco (in contrast to 15.7 percent among the general population of San Francisco), close to one-third were engaged in food preparation.” These Central American communities are set up for their people to purchase and support their own country products, without a surprise, foods are very common in the community. Central American immigrants create their own space in the new country to create a sense of belonging. For instance, they gather and start businesses like restaurants, markets, and clothing stores in the same area so that they can have their own area and space of own culture and language.

Central American opens native markets in Van Nuys so as to provide an accessible way for other immigrants to purchase products from Central American countries. La Tapachulteca is a renowned Central American market. As I walked into the market, the music of Salvadorian singer, Manola Gavan flooded the whole market. From the history of La Tapachulteca, it was founded in 1962 by Don Sergio Torres and Doña Irma Torres and was a very small shop back then. “It was located on the street near Gerardo Barrios downtown San Salvador. Thanks to their work and entrepreneurial courage, Don Sergio and Mrs. Irma that little store made ​​one of the companies most important for El Salvador since 1999 had thirty-two stores in territory Salvadoran and two stores in South California.” As a large-scale chained market, the La Tapachulteca Market provides a large variety of Central American choice for customers. It has bakery, hot deli, meats, vegetables, fruits; entertainment like music, television and game machine; and services like money exchange. Most of the products they sell are Central American products. For example, the drinks “Ducal” that they sell are product of Guatemala. This offers a great space for Central American immigrants to shop for their very own native food. It is extremely accessible for them to collect materials for a native Central American meal. The founders of the market create its own Central American space and make use of space very well. They hang flags of Central American countries on the ceiling of the market. Only one worker in the market speaks English, this also shows how native this market is. Central Americans create their space by opening a market in Van Nuys, they are able to make a living because of the native products they provide.

Central American immigrants also open up small grocery stores to make a living. First Bargain is a grocery store two-minute walking distance from La Tapachulteca market. Despite its small-scale business, it has more customers than the famous market due to the cheap, diversified, Americanized and internationalized products it sells. For instance, with the same brand “Jumex” juice made in Mexico, La Tapachulteca sells it for 99 cents but First Bargain sells it for 50 cents. For the same candles, La Tapachulteca and First Bargain both have, First Bargain sells it 50 cents cheaper. On the other hand, the products being sold in First Bargain are way more diversified. They have products like umbrellas, backpacks, stationery, utensils, decorations, first aid kits, outfits, underwear, and toiletries. They also have American products like cereal, M&Ms chocolate, pretzels, cupcakes or cookies powder and Easter eggs. Other international products are crackers and cookies from South American countries like Argentina, Colombia; Asian countries like China, Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Indonesia; and Oceanic countries like Australia. The products in First Bargain are so much more diversified that it gives a lot more choices for people to buy. Not only Central Americans can go there, but also Asians and Americans because this place simply attracts them. There is always a long queue for checking out in First Bargain while the cashier in La Tapachulteca market always has to wait for someone to come in line. Therefore, the boss of First Bargain has figured out how to make more business and profit. The way is to lower the price so that products can be cheaper than large-scale markets, sell not only Central American products but also American and international products.

Central American immigrants open up clothing businesses and sell them really cheap in the Central American community to benefit their fellow Central Americans. Fallas Paredes, a clothing shop, opened by Central American immigrants sell really cheap goods. As seen in the pictures, a pack of four XOXO lotions costs $5.99; a bra costs $2.99; and a pair of fancy sandals is under $8. They are listed as “factory low price.” It is absolutely rare to see goods that are this discounted nowadays. As a result, Central American immigrants utilize their space in the community and sell cheap goods to attract Central American customers.

Another popular business that Central American immigrants run is the restaurant business. Take a home Salvadorian restaurant called La Carreta as an example, the restaurant maintains the Salvadorian culture even if it is in the United States. With reference to Bloomberg Businessweek’s article “Central America is Holding its Breath” in 2005, “nearly 40% of El Salvador’s people nevertheless remain mired in poverty, many living in the violent slums of the capital. Thousands migrate illegally to the U.S., where some 2.5 million Salvadorans live. They send home about $2.5 billion a year — 16% of the country’s gross domestic product. Some fortunate Salvadorians open up businesses instead of doing low-paid jobs like some unfortunate ones do. Despite the La Carreta owners come from poor conditions, they come to the United States and still carry on the Salvadorian culture. Its space is taken up by a lot of meaningful and interesting decorations in order to bring up the taste of the culture. Different kinds of decorations are at the ceiling, there is not only fake leaves and fruits hanging on the ceiling that evoke a sense of nature, there are also children’s t-shirts, tank tops and pajamas with hangers that indicated home and family. On the sidewalls, there are all kinds of decorations too. El Salvador maps, plates with unique patterns, clocks, crucifix, and plagues are hung on the wall, there is also a sign that said “for sale.” Thus, they are both for sale and for decoration purposes. Except from selling native Salvadorian food like Papusa and Arrayan that I had, the restaurant also sells products from El Salvador like shampoo, shower gel, deodorant, Salvadorian snacks, seasonings etc. As seen, Central American immigrants survive in the United States by maintaining and promoting its culture.

All in all, Central American immigrants set up their own space in a community in order to help neutralizing the extreme influence of American culture when they got here. They try their bests to maintain and promote Central American culture. Most Central Americans get into service occupations that include workers in personal service, in food preparation and in restaurants. They seem at ease when settling in the new place because of the coziness and proximity of the Central American community in the United States, especially in Los Angeles. Some of them have the ability to survive because they have their own way to earn money, some are able to live happily without culture shock. Everyone has its own way to merge into a comfort zone, and this is how Central American immigrants set up their own- creating their own community in Van Nuys.

Works Cited

National Public Radio. <http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4062605> 6 Oct 2004. Web. 22 Mar 2011.

La Tapachulteca. <http://www.latapa.net/TAPACHULTECA.html> Web. 17 Mar 2011.

Smith, Geri. “Central America Is Holding Its Breath.”  Bloomberg Businessweek. 20 Jun. 2005. Web. 24 March. 2011. <http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/05_25/b3938078_mz058.htm>

Menjívar, Cecilia. Fragmented ties: Salvadoran immigrant networks in America. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000. Print.

 

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Project 1 Media- Unfortunate Nicaraguan Immigrants and Costa Ricans from South-South Immigration

Lorraine Cheung

CAS 114B

Professor Freya Rojo

24 February 2011

Unfortunate Nicaraguan Immigrants and Costa Ricans from South-South Immigration

A myriad of Central Americans immigrate north to the United State of America to search for a better future. However in the 1980s, there is a drastic increase of for south-south immigration.  The foundation of this study is based on the University of Costa Rica, legal and illegal Nicaraguans make of 75 percent of the foreign population in Costa Rica. Nicaraguans, hoping for a better life, travel south to Costa Rica instead. As specified by the audio clip from PBS news, because of extreme poverty, lack of job opportunities, natural disasters, economic downturn, political conflicts and instability in Nicaragua, poor Nicaraguans have no choice but to leave the country. Many Nicaraguans are rejected by Costa Rica when they want to immigrate there, but they do not give up. As seen in the picture “86 Nicaraguans arrested- Trying to Cross Illegally to Avoid Forced Army Enlistment”, they risk their lives to illegally cross over rivers and mountains to Costa Rica instead. Some of them successfully get by, but some unlucky ones are arrested. Nicaraguans risk their lives putting all hopes on a bright future, some of them get what they want- a job and a higher wage. Yet, some of them are not treated equally. The south-south immigration issue becomes troublesome when unfortunate Nicaraguans face adversities for example sexual exploitation, prejudice, poverty, low pay, and discrimination. But at the same time, Costa Ricans also suffer from the immigration of Nicaraguans as some of their jobs are taken away.

Nicaraguans are not paid equally in Costa Rica. The lack of jobs in Nicaragua drives Nicaraguans to take their journey to Costa Rica. So, the unskilled workers are willing to take up any jobs that are available in the new environment. The illegal immigrants from Nicaraguans usually work as farm laborers. According to Faces of Costa Rica- Neither Here Nor There: Nicaraguans in Costa Rica, “they harvest coffee, bananas, and sugarcane under the hot Costa Rican sun, working long hours and making little. They walk shoeless in the mud, digging for clams, which sell about $6 per hundred. They grow and sell produce, often forced to pay for its transport. They frequently work at below minimum wage and many do not have steady employment.” Farming is such an unstable job because the weather can fluctuate drastically. One day it can be sunny and it can be rainy in another, which is not ideal for plant growth. As shown in the studies done at the University of Costa Rica, 30 percent of Nicaraguans in Costa Rica live in extreme poverty. Although they have more job opportunities and most of them are employed in Costa Rica, their unsteady income leads them to poverty.

Nicaraguans not only have to work and earn money for themselves, they also have to take care of their family members. In spite of the better living situation in Costa Rica, Alicia Gonzalez is still very desperate from her current situation since she has four children under 12 years old to take care of. Stated by Faces of Costa Rica- Nicaraguan Immigrants Hope for a Better Life, “neither Gonzalez or her husband have a steady job, because they are illegal.” Each morning, Gonzalez gets up with the sun to cook tortillas and arroz con leche, or rice pudding, which she and her daughters sell in town. Her husband works sporadically as amachetero, cutting grass with his machete. During sugar cane season, the whole family works in the hot sun, following the plows and harvesting the sugar cane.” With their income, they cannot even afford a home. The shelter they are now living in is lent for free. The family of five “all live together in a small patchwork shack, originally made of wood, but now rotted areas are covered by plastic garbage bags or metal sheets.” Despite the poor living conditions, they are still very thankful and appreciative. From this case, it shows that Nicaraguans come to Costa Rica searching for a better life, unfortunately it is harder than they think and they do not have one.

Nicaraguans are also discriminated by Costa Ricans. Costa Rica means “rich coast” in English, it is one of the most ideal places to live in Central America. People there are proud of the country because of its prosperity. IPS news states that Costa Rica has a GDP per capita of 6,557 dollars in 2008, it has a relatively large middle class which can afford to employ domestic helpers. In accordance with the National Statistics and Census Institute, “nearly 120,000 people work as domestic employees in Costa Rica. Ninety percent of them are women, and 60 percent are foreigners, mainly from neighboring country Nicaragua.” IPS news further mentions that not even 12 percent of domestic employees have social security coverage for sickness, disability, and retirement. Domestic employees have the lowest minimum wage in the country, equivalent to $207 a month, the deceitful part is that more than half of the wage is paid in kind as food, accommodation, personal items and toiletries. Throughout time, men have always placed women in the category of housewife or domestic workers because they are seen as weaker. In this case, Costa Ricans and women in general are discriminated to work as domestic workers with an extremely low wage and without a security protection from work.

In the movie Rosita, women are treated negatively, but the most prominent and damaging fact is certainly brutal physicality on the young female adolescent body. A Costa Rican farmer raped a nine year-old Nicaraguan girl named Rosa. He knew what time she went to school and planned to bump into her and catch her to his room. Unfortunately, Rosa became pregnant and had to give birth to a baby. Based on Los Angeles Times’ 2003 article, “THE WORLD; Girl, 9, in Abortion Rights Furor; Rosa became pregnant after she was raped. A family decision to abort has made Latin America the focus of an international uproar,” by T. Christian Miller, the girl was “suffering vomiting and false contractions that knotted her stomach hard as a flexed bicep.” Even little girls in Costa Rica were not respected by the community shows that their status in society was really low. Quoted from the audio clip from PBS newshour, Nicaraguans Seek Better Life Across the Border, “children and women are being trafficked for sexual exploitation (in Costa Rica).” Nicaraguan females in Costa Rica truly suffer from negative and frightening treatment.

[http://www.attiegoldwater.com/rositathemovie/trailer.htm]

Nicaraguans encounter prejudice when they are in Costa Rica. In Paul Murphy’s book Insight Guide of Costa Rica, he mentions that Costa Ricans look down on Nicaraguans. “Ticos are often prejudiced against their northern neighbors, who are stereotyped as ‘dirty’, and are unjustly accused of committing crimes. Further, Nicas are often blamed for the perceived social decline of the country and for putting a burden on the health service, schools, and the workplace, when in reality the immigrants are doing the work many Ticos refuse to do, and without them, coffee, banana, and sugar production would be devastated.” Nicaraguans have subtly helped Costa Ricans so much on their work and economy, even so they still do not get the respect and dignity they should have. They are despised and scorned. Hence, Nicaraguans not only have to worry about their jobs, wages and family, they are also concerned about their social status in the new country.

Nicaraguan immigrants are not the only ones who face adversities when they come to Costa Rica, Costa Ricans themselves also have problems when Nicaraguan immigrants take away their jobs as they are willing to work for lower wages. In Times News’s 2006 article “Some Interesting and Odd Goings-On About Immigration,” Nicaraguans immigrants are desperate for money and they do whatever it takes to make a living. “They are taking the jobs of us ‘Ticos.’ My brother-in-law is a mechanic. He made $5 an hour. Now a Nicaraguan has his job, and he’s doing it for $1 an hour.” In the article, Carlos said that this was a “serious problem” because their border with Nicaragua is a river. “Old treaties mandate that the countries share the river. Consequently, Nicaraguans are coming into our country illegally. We now have more than 150,000 illegal Nicaraguans in Costa Rica.” These undocumented immigrants enter Costa Rica and are likely to take away jobs from Costa Ricans since they are ready to work even for low wages. Thus, they post a threat on Costa Ricans and they face unemployment problems too.

South-south immigration occurs due to the attractive qualities Costa Rica has. For instance, Nicaragua and Costa Rica share the same culture and language. Costa Rica has a good health care and education system owing to the fact a lot of money is saved from not having an army. Moreover, Costa Rica is far more prosperous then Nicaragua and it is very close to it, they are only separated by San Juan River. Regardless of all these attractions, Nicaraguans result in having problems settling in Costa Rica. After all, nothing is as easy as it seems. Nicaraguan immigrants stumble across sexual exploitation, prejudice, poverty, low pay, and discrimination. And Costa Rican workers have to accept the face that their jobs are possible to be taken away.

Works Cited

“Some Interesting and Odd Goings-On About Immigration.” Times – News. 16  Apr. 2006, ProQuest Newsstand, ProQuest. Web.  10 Feb. 2011.

Murphy, Paul. Insight guide Costa Rica. Travel: Langenscheidt Publishing Group, 1998. Print.

T. Christian Miller.  (2003, March 23). THE WORLD; Girl, 9, in Abortion Rights Furor; Rosa became pregnant after she was raped. A family decision to abort has made Latin America the focus of an international uproar :[HOME EDITION]. Los Angeles Times,p. A.26.  Retrieved February 24, 2011, from Los Angeles Times. (Document ID: 315849861).

“Nicaraguans Seek Better Life Across the Border” PBS News. 2009. 15 Feb. 2011. <http://www.pbs.org/newshour/indepth_coverage/latin_america/nicaragua/slideshow/index.html?page=6#slides&gt;

“Neither Here Nor There: Nicaraguans in Costa Rica” Faces of Costa Rica. 2003. 7 Feb. 2011. <http://www.facesofcostarica.com/economics/nicaraguans.htm>

“Nicaraguan Immgrants Hope for a Better Life” Faces of Costa Rica. 2003. 7 Feb. 2011. <http://www.facesofcostarica.com/economics/gonzalez.htm>

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CAS 114A Final Project

Lorraine Cheung

Professor Freya Rojo

Central American Studies 114A

14 December 2010

The Dark And Bright Side Of Chinese Diaspora

Immigrating from one country to another is definitely not easy. Immigrants have to get used to the culture, language, lifestyle, and religion of a new country. The Chinese are the largest ethnic group in the world, numbering about 1.3 billion. Although a vast majority of them are still in Mainland China, many have immigrated to other countries. There are 12,000 Chinese immigrants in Nicaragua, 53,000 in Panama, and 35,000 in Costa Rica. These Chinese immigrants have faced problems when they first settled in Central America. In the novel One Day Of Life written by Manlio Argueta, the Guardado family suffers from poverty, inner struggles, race, and violent problems in El Salvador. The immigration issue becomes problematic if immigrants get treated unequally and unfairly upon their encounter with a new culture. For instance, the difficulties Chinese Immigrants face in Nicaragua, Panama, and Costa Rica lead to poverty, race discrimination, and violence. 

Chinese immigrants face poverty in Panama. Panama’s economy depends mainly on agricultural resources. Not many job opportunities are offered to Chinese immigrants because of their language barrier and low education level. Fishing is then one of the main economic options. Unfortunately, oil spill incidents in the Caribbean Sea have played a part in their decrease in standard of living since it is located right next to the sea. Many species are threatened by the oil spill; this has disrupted the fishing industry of Chinese immigrants as their main source of life-sustaining job is intruded. In “Current can take oil to Caribbean coasts,” Julal, B., and C. Davis reveal the impact of the Caribbean oil spill towards the ocean and fishing activities. “A study of the effect of oil spills in the Caribbean over the years has found that coral organisms were severely destroyed and mangroves were wiped out along with the creatures that inhabited them.” The ocean ecosystem is disrupted by the oil spills. “The fishing industry, and other industries dependent on the health of coastal waters would be too far-reaching to put a price on.” The oil slick’s damage to coastal areas like Panama development was colossal and to some extent irreversible. It destroyed the natural habitat of many species, reducing the fish population and harming fish and farming communities. Consequently, it caused a great impact to the Chinese immigrants who depend greatly on agricultural activities to make a living. Oil spill incidents disturbed them tremendously. Chinese immigrants are led to severe economic loss and poverty.1285693213 66 Atlas Marine Systems Assists in Oil Spill Recovery

Chinese immigrants have to come across poverty issues in Costa Rica as well. According to Costa Rica country profile on BBC News, “tourism is Costa Rica’s main source of foreign exchange.” “The Caribbean coast with its swamps and sandy beaches is also a big draw.” This conveys the importance of tourism in Costa Rica and how the country cannot live without it. Fishing and diving in the Caribbean Sea are popular tourist activities. As BBC News encloses in its 2004 article, “Alarm sounded for Caribbean coral,” these activities indirectly provide an annual economic value to Caribbean nations of $3.1-$4.6 billion. This shows the significance of tourism in the Caribbean nations like Costa Rica. Quoting again from their article “Current can take oil to Caribbean coasts,” Julal, B., and C. Davis further talk about the impact of the Caribbean oil spill towards the tourist industry. “In addition, the scenic beaches of the blue Caribbean waters would turn into oil-slicked coastlines and the economic losses to tourism.” It can be seen that the oil spill is destructive to coastal areas like Costa Rica, especially when it relies so much on tourism. So, when tourism is seriously affected, Chinese immigrants in Costa Rica are also influenced. Unemployment occurs and they have to experience poverty. Thus, poverty is prone to trouble Chinese immigrants.

The kind of jobs mentioned that Chinese immigrants engaged in are hardly reliable.  Agriculture and tourism are unreliable. Weather and natural disasters play a big part in both industries. Hurricanes and earthquakes are significant in Central America and they discourage tourists from travelling and visiting Central America. “Hurricane Mitch caused much devastation to Central America, in particular, Nicaragua and Honduras, when it landed during October 1998. An estimated 10,000 people were killed in mudslides and floods, and 13,000 people are still missing. It will be years before the economies are likely to recover due to the costs associated with crop destruction and infrastructure damage.” As seen, natural catastrophe damaged Nicaragua and Honduras. It is certainly difficult for the country and people to recover from such a disastrous incident. Tourism and agriculture are negatively impacted. Immigrants lose their jobs and they lost their main way to make a living. Hence, poverty is resulted.

Chinese immigrants in Costa Rica also have to deal with race problems. As Chinese immigrants are not familiar with Spanish, the major and official language of Nicaragua and Costa Rica, they face difficulties when looking for jobs. The jobs available for them are usually the most basic and lower class ones such as dishwashing, hotel cleaning, and domestic assistance. They are unable to get good jobs because of their education level and language barrier. This eventually leads back to poverty problems. They may not make enough money for living and therefore have to live in the state of lacking adequate food and money. Corresponding to “Poverty in America: A Handbook,” poverty rates for people in an immigrant household in Central America is 25.4%. This is due to their low education level when they come to Central America. Other Chinese communities who immigrated in later generations are reasonably successful. According to Costa Rica Link, “although Costa Rican claim that these [Chinese immigrants] are well integrated into the culture, anti-Semitic statements are occasionally made by Ticos [Natives of Costa Rica]. In 1999, a false report that Chinese restaurants served rats led to a surprisingly strong wave of anti Chinese sentiment. This motivated the president to make a publicized visit to a Chinese restaurant in an attempt to improve their unfairly tarnished image.” This incident shows that the Chinese has overcome race problems when they settled in Costa Rica. They are the group of people who were taken advantage of.

In Panama, Chinese face a socially accepted racism. According to the Panama News, “When President Martinelli announced that there would be a special requirement that Asian visitors only would be obliged to post a large sum of money in the Banco Nacional de Panama to enter Panama, there were few protests about racial discrimination outside of the Chinese community.” This indicates that the Chinese community is considered differently and unequally due to their race.

Not only in Costa Rica and Panama, Chinese immigrants also face race problems in Nicaragua. As they are immigrants, who are less powerful than the local Nicaraguans, they face land problems. In their 1985 journal, “Class, State, and Revolution in Central America: Nicaragua and El Salvador Compared,” Manus I. Midlarsky and Kenneth Roberts analyze how class structures create, and are influenced by certain patterns of inequality; how these patterns are affected by land scarcity. “A lesser degree of land scarcity, as in Nicaragua, should lead to a diminished extent of inequality, less acute class polarization, and multi-class, non-distributive revolutionary coalitions.” They have little power over land and it makes them inferior in the community. In his social science book, Poverty in America: A Handbook, John Iceland provides comprehensive information about how unequal Chinese immigrants are treated. “Chinese immigrants are denied citizenship and voting rights and were prevented from joining most labor unions. Through intimidation and discrimination, whites limited the economic achievement of Asians.” This conveys that Asians, including the Chinese immigrants actually have a lot of potential to become leaders in Central America. However, they are seldom given a chance to due to where they come from. They are treated as the lower class and are not given the same rights and opportunities. As a result, Chinese immigrants, because of their racial background, are not treated the same, they have to overcome this problem when they first immigrate to Central America.

Violence is another issue Chinese immigrants have to cope with in Central America. Their unfamiliarity with the language induces violent problems.  Chinese immigrants move to Central American countries like Nicaragua and Panama because they think the new place will provide them with more job opportunities. Nevertheless, that is not necessarily true when the literacy rate and educational level are low.  They are invisibly forced to engage in businesses that are illegal but profitable, for example drug dealing. According to Gabriela Reci’s book, “Drugs and Alcohol: US Prohibition and the Origins of the Drug Trade in Mexico, 1910-1930”, the percentage of Chinese consuming drugs is 32% and Chinese smuggling is 38%. As shown, Chinese are prone to involve in drug trafficking.

From previous examples, Chinese immigrants have encountered problems when settling in Central America. They are mostly the ones who immigrated to the country in the past. Yet, not all of them stumble across these struggles. Today, Chinese immigrants are looked upon better because Central American countries established diplomatic ties with Beijing in June 2007. Corresponding to an article from The New York Times, “Taiwan cuts ties with Costa Rica over recognition for China, “A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Jiang Yu said, “The establishment of diplomatic ties is in the interest of the two countries and people. It has paved the way for friendly and beneficial cooperation between the two sides.” This move of the Republic of China and Costa Rica welcomes and encourages a new wave of Chinese immigrants. Same as the purpose of previous generations’, they immigrate also to look for a better life and unite with family members. In contrast, the few major differences are that they are now richer and come to the country via airplanes. They bring in capital to invest into the country as well. Many of them develop small businesses in Central America, one of the significant countries is Costa Rica. Many Chinese open Chinese restaurants in Costa Rica and they make a lot of money. There are numerous Chinese restaurants in Costa Rica and this proves that Chinese influence is noteworthy in the country. I had my cousin in San Jose to interview Bob, a Chinese restaurant owner in Central America. According to Bob, he chose to open a restaurant in Central America because of the situation at that moment; people in Central America like Chinese orientated food and they always order food from Chinese restaurants. In addition, restaurants make an average of $25,000-$30,000 per month; Unlike the US, restaurant expenses in Central America are quite low. Hence, they make good money. Chinese immigrants in Central America excel in the business industry when they are given an opportunity to do well.

Moreover, Bob mentioned in the video that it is hard for Chinese immigrants to settle in at first. Bob admits that there are not many opportunities for Chinese in Central America. It is hard as lifestyles, races, languages, and cultures of China and Central America are different. Everything has to be learnt from the beginning. In spite of the hardships Chinese immigrants face at the beginning, their attitudes built up a lot of respect from other people. Similar to the middle-class, college-educated, and English speaking Filipinos immigrants introduced in Diane L Wolf’s “Family Secrets: Transnational Struggles Among Children of Filipino Immigrants,” Chinese immigrants face inner struggles as well. Although the Filipino integrated easily into US society, they had internal struggles. Immigrants have to cope with deep source of stress and alienation. Since there are so few chances for immigrants, it is indeed very difficult for immigrants to settle down at the beginning. As seen, Chinese immigrants also face internal struggles when immigrating to Central America.

The other thing that proves the importance of Chinese community is the Chinatown in Costa Rica. According to Costa Rica Pages Travel and Business News, “a re-urbanization and beautification plan executed by San Jose’s two-time mayor Johnny Araya, will now include the construction of a Chinatown in downtown San Jose along the Paseo de los Estudiantes. The mayor, who recently traveled to China, announced the plan on Monday after securing a $2.5 million donation from the Chinese government to work on the second stage of San José Posíble. China will also supply architectural support to design the Chinese neighborhood in traditional Chinese iconic form.” This construction plan was announced this year in April. Along with cooperation of the Chinese government, the Chinese culture is promoted in Costa Rica. “Araya hopes that the Chinese cultural center will become a big attraction in the city center with restaurants, stores, supermarkets and art galleries. The Chinese population in Costa Rica has been present for more than 200 years and continues to grow today, adding to the diversity of the country. This region will help to shed light on their cultural identity so that the Costa Rican population and visitors have the chance to better appreciate and understand it.” Chinese community in Costa Rica does not only exist for a while, it has been remarkable for a long time and will stay the same way. As seen, the mayor supports and welcomes Chinese culture and influence. Therefore, Chinese immigrants can be well integrated in Central America if they are treated justly.

Chinese immigrants have faced countless problems when they first immigrated to Central America. Luckily they did not have to overcome obstacles on their own. There are organizations that help immigrants to go through these tough times. Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers, a Catholic organization, does a lot of work on immigrations. In Ann Coady’s Our Immigrant Neighbors, she talks about how she has changed and is now eager and enthusiastic to help out immigrants. She said, “a phone call changed my perspective. Someone from the local St. Vincent de Paul chapter had to make a call on a family of recent immigrants from El Salvador, and asked if I would go along to interpret. After that, word got out into the community that there was someone who understood their language and their needs and was willing to help.” Coady used to be a “stay at home” mom, but through Maryknoll’s program with immigrants, she is sent to offer help to people in need.

All in all, immigration can be problematic when immigrants are not treated equally. Observing from Chinese immigrants, some of them face many social problems like poverty, race discrimination, violent problems, and inner struggles. Fortunately, a few non-profit making organizations are there to give them a hand. On the other hand, Chinese immigrants, especially in later generations are a lot more successful as they have the ability and capital to open up small businesses. They are accomplished in Central American society and play a significant role in influencing the area.

Works Cited

Argueta, Manlio. One Day of Life. New York: Vintage, 1991. Print.

“United Nations: Second Committee Draft Expresses Deep Concern Over Oil Slick On Lebanese Coast, Requests Israel To Compensate For Costs Of Environmental Repair. ” M2 Presswire 27 November 2008  ProQuest Newsstand, ProQuest. Web.  4 Dec. 2010.

Julal, B., and C. Davis. “Current can take oil to Caribbean coasts. ” Philadelphia Tribune16 May 2010,Ethnic NewsWatch (ENW), ProQuest. Web.  4 Dec. 2010.

“Alarm sounded for Caribbean coral” BBC News. 22 Sept. 2004.

“Class, State, and Revolution in Central America: Nicaragua and El Salvador Compared,” Manus I. Midlarsky and Kenneth Roberts. (Jun. 1985): 163-193.

Gabriela Reci’s book, Drugs and Alcohol: US Prohibition and the Origins of the Drug Trade in Mexico, 1910-1930

Wolf, Diane. “Family Secrets: Transnational Struggles Among Children of Filipino Immigrants.”Sociological Perspectives, 40.3 (1997): 457-482.

Zarembo, Alan, and Brook Larmer. “Fields of Death.” Newsweek, 132.20 (1998): 50.

The New York Times Company. “Taiwan cuts ties with Costa Rica over recognition for China” The New York Times. 7 June 2007. 18 December 2010. <http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/07/world/asia/07iht-costa.1.6036203.html&gt;

“Chinese Influence Grows In Costa Rica.” Costa Rica Pages Travel And Business News.2008. 11 Dec. 2010 <http://www.costaricapages.com/blog/costa-rica-news/plans-for-chinatown/902>

“Conduct and Society.” Costa Rica Link. 2010. 11 Dec. 2010 <http://www.1-costaricalink.com/costa_rica_information/conduct_and_society.htm>

“Socially Accepted Racism.” The Panama News. 2009. 11 Dec. 2010 <http://www.thepanamanews.com/pn/v_15/issue_16/lifestyle_09.html>

Chinese Restaurant Owner In San Jose. Dir. Norman Chow. Perf. Bob. 2010.

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