From humble beginnings in Mexico City to a life in Northeast Tennessee, brothers Josiamar and Carlos Martinez dreamed of owning their own business.

During their childhoods in Mexico City, the brothers were already earning their own money.

“We made favors to the people,” Josiamar said. “They asked, ‘Can you buy something for me at the store?’, and we made money and would use bicycles to get there. We were 6 and 11 years old. Older people, they don’t want to go out, and would tip us and things like that.”

Visiting yard sales throughout the year helps keep the brothers in business at the Jonesborough Flea Market, where they work on Sundays.

Saturday, 17 October 2015 19:03

José Vázquez: A bracero for life

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His smile was inviting, and the red apples José Vázquez’s daughter placed on the table were starting to turn the color of his warm, brown complexion. Vázquez, 77, laughed as he tried to remember the when he had crossed the border to America to work in the hot sun. “A long time ago” is finally what was settled on.

The worst thing he could remember about his time in the Bracero Program was the food — especially the oatmeal. Oatmeal was nothing like Vázquez was used to eating in Mexico. He said he would look down at it and wonder what this mush was the Americans were trying to feed him.

The Bracero Program was an arrangement made between the U.S. and Mexico during World War II that lasted from 1942 until its “formal” ending in 1965 to make up for the large number of men America was sending overseas. Mexican workers faced high unemployment and inadequate harvests during the 1930s, so many migrated to the United States to search for opportunities, according to the Sin Fronteras Organizing Project.

“Mom, I don’t want to go back to my dad because he wants to have control of our lives,” a daughter tells her mother.

“I know, but I love him, and you know he loves us,” she replies.

“Then why does he hurt us?” her daughter asks. “I know you’re scared, I am too. We don’t have to be.”

This mother was a victim of domestic violence and didn’t feel she could leave her husband. Her eldest daughter took action, moving herself and her mother to a shelter so they could have a better life.
In cases of domestic violence, victims often feel they have no other option than to endure the cruelties inflicted on them by their spouse or family. Sometimes, they fear for their life or the lives of their children and sometimes they fear deportment.

On the third Friday of each month, several Latino men living in Johnson City and Kingsport, Tennessee, get together to cook meals that remind them of their past.

Although the group has no official name, the men have called themselves “The Machos” and have dubbed their meetings “Cena de Machos.” Antonio Rusiñol, one of the members, says it is not a serious title, since the term “macho” has negative connotations in the United States as well as in his home country of Argentina.

“We just jokingly called it ‘Cena de Machos,’” Rusiñol said. “[It means] more like ‘dinner with the guys.’”

In minor league baseball, athletes come from thousands of miles away in hopes of making it to that next level. They only have a few months to prove themselves or be sent back home… back to square one.

The Johnson City Cardinals rookie team has many fans that support them throughout the summer season. Young kids look up to the players because they’re the only baseball players in town beyond the collegiate level.

The side of the Cardinals that most fans don’t see is the athletes coming from outside the U.S.

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