Thursday, 12 October 2017 18:00

Bilingual church sets goals for 75th year

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For the past two years, Father Timothy Holder, “Poppa T,” of Saint Thomas Episcopal Church in Elizabethton, Tennessee, has been reaching out to the Latino community in the area.

While in New Jersey he received his nickname from a group of rappers after he began offering a hip-hop Mass. His goal was to serve a wider audience that others would overlook. 

In January 2016, St. Thomas began what Holder refers to as a “Latino partnership,” with sermons delivered in both English and Spanish.

“I would say about 20 to 30 percent is in Spanish as of now,” said Holder. “The end goal is to have a completely bilingual service where English and Spanish are going at the same time, and I think we’re heading there. An example of this is during communion, I’ll offer the bread in Spanish and the wine in English.”

Marcelo Kramer begins each of his capoeira classes with a history lesson. Then comes the music, and he expects everyone to join. Only after that does he begin instruction in the martial art.

Kramer, 33, has taught capoeira at ETSU’s Basler Center for Physical Activity since May 2016. He works hard to incorporate the cultural and historical significance of capoeira into the physical aspects of the class.

Soccer, football, futbol, whatever language is spoken and no matter where the origin, this sport has a global language.

Throughout the cold winter nights in Johnson City, groups of men and women from various backgrounds come together to play futbol.

For Hispanic Americans, futbol is an important part of life. The Johnson City Indoor Soccer leagues offer a place for communities to come together and play the game they love.

The day of a farm worker starts at the crack of dawn and stretches well into evening. These work days also call for hearty meals to keep workers energized.

Preparing these meals makes for an even earlier morning for some.

From April to October, Anabel Andrade begins her days in the kitchen at 4 a.m. to provide homemade and authentic Mexican meals to the migrant workers at Scott’s Farm and Jones and Church Farms in Unicoi County, Tennessee. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, she is the fuel for these workers’ day of strenuous labor.

Felipe De Oliviera Fiuza is the new director if the ETSU Language and Culture Resource Center. The Brazilian native wants to create an all-inclusive LCRC by implementing programs, classes and initiatives to educate people of different cultures and customs.

“We have great ideas and great plans about the future of the LCRC,” said Fiuza.

Fiuza believes there are many misconceptions about foreign cultures due to misinformation and prejudice in society, and the only way to eliminate these stereotypes will be to create a platform at ETSU to educate students at ETSU about how diverse and rich other cultures are.

Thursday, 12 October 2017 16:26

International Buc Buddies: A Home Away From Home

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Universities and colleges in the United States accept students from around the globe to help students further their education and East Tennessee State University is in that category. Students travel hours to ETSU and for Maria Avila, it was no different.

Avila arrived as a freshman in spring 2013. She traveled from Cuernavaca, Mexico, the capital city in the state of Morelos. When she went home after a semester in the United States, she wasn’t sure she wanted to return. She missed her family and home.

Limestone, Tennessee, is a small farming community. Most of its businesses are auto repair shops, gas stations, a medical clinic, restaurants and a post office. CrossFit Glorified, owned by the Florez family, is the only fitness facility.

CrossFit is not just a business to Gustavo “Gus” Florez and his family: It’s a passion.

Gus and his wife Lourdes owned and operated sports facilities and a premier competitive soccer program in Connecticut before deciding to move to Limestone to be with family. After moving they decided to start their own CrossFit affiliation. Their children, Samuel and Camila, train with their parents. Gus’ mother, Dennyr Florez, also does CrossFit training.

Thursday, 12 October 2017 20:45

It takes two (Uruguayans and one American) to tango

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In 2010, Michael Luchtan set out on an adventure to Mexico, hoping to learn Spanish and study Mexican heritage through its music. Along the way, he hoped to bridge divides between it and his own culture.

In 2016, Rodrigo Guridi came to East Tennessee State University from Uruguay to continue his music studies. His friend Diego Núñez would later follow.

Through Arrabal, a tango trio born from the three men’s love of music, Luchtan’s goals have been realized.

“Music doesn’t know about borders,” Núñez said. “People used to cross borders and music would just go with the people.”

En un pequeño gimnasio en Kingsport, Tennessee, más de 100 ciudadanos mexicanos están en fila o sentados pacientemente en sillas. Están esperando ser acompañados a una gran área de cámaras, impresoras y equipo de oficina cerca de la parte trasera del cuarto.

Ahí, los empleados del Consulado Mexicano en Atlanta esperan detrás de una larga fila de mesas,tomando fotos y hablando con los visitantes que necesitan un pasaporte, una identificación o matrícula consular u otros documento.

Cuando le preguntas a Silvia Fregoso cuantos hijos tiene, ella pregunta, “¿mis hijos biológicos o mis otros hijos?”

Por los últimos 27 años, Fregoso ha trabajado en la educación de la primera infancia con el programa Head Start para Migrantes y Estacionales de Telamon Corp. En este momento ella tiene 31 niños bajo su cuidado en Elizabethton. Cuando empezó su carrera, Fregoso no sabía con seguridad si el trabajo era bueno para ella.

“Mi esposo trabajaba en los campos en esos días y no tenían personas bilingües para trabajar con el programa Head Start; y yo no era bilingüe todavía, pero Head Start me contrató”, dijo ella.

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