Mayor and Chief walk downtown

I’m posting in an effort to get Keyrose to keep writing at (because I do hope he keeps writing his blog and that today was really not his last day) - it isn’t just that but that this press release just struck me as… well, if you know me, you know how it struck me.  Of course, I’ll be at work so I won’t get a chance to look for them and talk strategy of collaboration between downtowners and LPD participate in this “great photo opportunity.”  

Mayor Salinas, Police Chief Garner to Visit Downtown Laredo Businesses

Meet the owners, customers, assure them that they are both ready to serve and protect

WHO:             City of Laredo Mayor Raul G. Salinas

                       Chief of Police Ray E. Garner

WHAT:          Downtown visit

WHEN &       Wednesday, September 18, 2013      10:45 a.m.

WHERE:       Jarvis Plaza, then will walk to downtown businesses

WHY:             In an effort to reassure the downtown community about the commitment from the Laredo Police Department, as well as to listen to any concerns or issues residents and business owners in Laredo’s downtown may have about security or other infrastructure issues, Mayor Salinas and Chief Garner will be visiting several downtown businesses and senior citizens’ homes.  

                        Great photo opportunity.

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Gringo Barrio Debuts Album

This was a neat little surprised that arrived in my inbox.  Gringo Barrio is introduced in the press release with the following:

Gringo Barrio is proud to release their debut album of the same name at the iconic Stubb’s Bar-B-Q in Austin, Texas on August 24th, 2013. With songs that capture the heart and essence of the life on the border, Gringo Barrio, tells the stories of a group of three non-hispanic friends growing up in a predominantly mexican culture. But forget traditional cumbias or corridos, Gringo Barrio, translates these stories to the sounds and folklore that Texans know and love.

Check out their music video about Laredo (Apparently WordPress changed since I last posted and I can’t load in a video but the following is the link):

Maybe they would want to play at the no-budget historic neighborhood street festival in November… hmm…. doesn’t hurt to ask!

Gringo Barrio

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A tiny look at Voz de Niños

My first introduction for Voz de Niños was through its former director, Edgar Ricalde. His wonderful presentation at a Rotary meeting informed members of the key role played by CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) volunteers across the state. In Laredo, though, it is better known as Voz de Niños, but it’s mission is similar to other CASA programs (the following description is from the Texas CASA website):

What A CASA Volunteer Does

CASA volunteers are screened and highly trained and then appointed by judges to represent and advocate for a child’s best interests in the child protection system. CASA volunteers are each assigned to help one child or set of siblings at a time, so they can focus on giving that child or sibling group the individualized advocacy and attention they need. CASA volunteers save taxpayers money and children’s futures by helping children find a safe, permanent homes as soon as possible.

The local Voz de Niños is currently looking for dedicated new volunteers to serve the children of the Laredo and surrounding communities. By the way, in addition to volunteers, they are looking for another fabulous Executive Director.). The numbers of children in the system is astounding. I write this as I prepare to attend the Webb County Child Welfare Board of Directors meeting where we are provided the up-to-date figures of children in foster care and facing care needs. Voz de Niños is the advocate, the go-between, the link between children and the multiple agencies they have to go through. I hope to be able to give you a little more information about the Board of Directors of Voz de Niños and the system that abused and neglected children enter.

Many of you have already entered the drawing for prizes coordinated by Critters and Crayons. Be sure to check out the blog post at Critters and Crayons; and, also LaSanbe’s blog post.

Also follow Voz de Niños on Facebook!

Voz de Ninos header

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Good Friday, good eats

I miss my parents’ Lenten cooking. Fridays during Lent were filled with arroz con camarones, chiles rellenos, lentejas and, of course, my favorite capirota. The streets of Laredo seemed so deserted today since 1/2 of the workforce is off for the Easter celebrations. My little store has been empty all morning except for the silver-haired lady who stopped by to offer banana bread. Wish she would have had capirotada :P.

I’m not religious so the weekend will be spent catching up on work but… I can’t stop thinking about food. I saw the morning post on facebook from El Meson de San Agustin (FYI, they are closed Saturday & Monday – darn!). Mouth-watering:

Menu del Viernes 29 de Abril,
SOPITA DEL DIA: Lentejas, Papa y Brocoli…

Pechuga Rellena de Camarones,
Enchiladas Poblanas,
Nopalitos con Tortitas de Camaron,
Camarones Gratinados,
Costillitas de Res en Salsa Huerfana,
Chile Relleno 1 de queso,
Camarones Gratinados……

So, I figured I would live vicariously through you, few readers. My neighbor (fellow non-Christian) promised me a straight-up traditional carne asada but… I want to hear about the special meals you like during this time of the year. What are your favorite Lenten dishes?? What are you planning on cooking?

I’m sharing Presley’s Pantry version of capirotada video from 2012, for those of you who are interested. She cracks me up.

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International Women’s Day on twitter and elsewhere


It’s International Women’s Day! A day celebrated worldwide to honor women’s achievements and progress throughout history and today. I have not heard of a specific event celebrating women in Laredo but we are only a few keystrokes away from connecting with those supporting the celebration. On Twitter, you can check out #womensday (or follow @womensday linked to the hub for International Women’s Day activities) or a bit more locally, you can participate in a Twitter party hosted by Las Comadres de las Americas. This was their invitation to join other Latinas at 1:00pm today.

LC tweetchat

“Count on Me: Tales of Sisterhoods and Fierce Friendships” is a recently published anthology by Las Comadres Para Las Americas.

In the book, beloved bestselling Latino authors share moving personal stories of the many ways that sisterly bonds have powerfully impacted their lives.

What would you do, where would you be, without your Comadres?

Join us for a special Tweet chat on International Women’s Day to celebrate our comadres and the stories about them. (If you haven’t yet ordered your book, visit – you can get a hard copy or a digital version)

Friday, March 8
11 am PST / 1 pm CST / 2 pm EST
Hosted by Alexandra M. Landeros @UndercoverMexi

To follow the Twitter conversation, log into your Twitter account and enter #lascomadres into the search box. That will bring up our conversation!

If you get lost, feel free to leave a comment here or Tweet @UndercoverMexi

Look forward to seeing you online!

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So much to do but if you have some time… enjoy a little jazz for free in honor of Black History Month

Jazz Concert flyer

It’s mid-February!! In Laredo, that means WBCA craziness! My usual participation is only the parade but this year, I may not be around. I WILL be around to enjoy some free jazz at St. Peter’s Plaza in honor of Black History Month – YAY!! While I don’t think I have any ancestors from Africa, I won’t know until I delve a little more into my family tree. What I do know is that I enjoy jazz and it’s importance as a uniquely American tradition. Unfortunately, living in a 90% Hispanic border community, sometimes the richness of other cultures is overshadowed. Not that I am complaining but I do sometimes miss the diversity of other cities I have lived in.

Laredo once celebrated Black History Month when the African-American community was a bit larger during the Fort McIntosh years. From the city of Laredo’s history page:

Due to its proximity to Fort McIntosh, the neighborhood attracted a small enclave of blacks. For a short time in 1865, the post was manned by a company of the 62nd U.S. Colored Infantry. Since that time a number of black units were stationed at the fort, including Company K of the Black Twenty-fifth U.S. Infantry in 1906. The soldiers’ families and their descendants made their homes in El Cuatro and the small barrio across the tracks called El Tonto. Saint James Tabernacle and the Grayson school remain as the only architectural relics of Laredo’s black history.

Check out an article that my friend sent me from 71 years ago. Yes, I said 71 years ago.

I’m not exactly sure where the Grayson School was but I do know that the St. James Tabernacle still stands in the St. Peter’s neighborhood on Hidalgo Street. Laredo is so chock-full of interesting history :). One thing that at first was cutesy but is a fad that is on its way out is the Harlem Shuffle videos. Those now following the fad ignore its origin. Waywire released a video of reactions from those who live in Harlem.

So, enough already; but back to the free concert. Three groups will perform different jazz sets with explanations of their origins. The neighbors of St. Peter’s, as you may recall, work with zero budget and just ask, ask and ask. A big thank you goes to Ric Cortez for volunteering to help set the line-up and bring more awareness to American music traditions.

Unfortunately, we do have a borrowed stage that does need set-up so we are a little short on volunteers. If you have a bit of time, stop by St. Peter’s Plaza to help unload stage pieces borrowed from Laredo Community College (Thank you, LCC!!) and assemble them before noon. If not, no worries, but we do hope to see you at 6pm with your own chair or blanket to enjoy the evening. Unless, of course, you prefer Tejano music and will be heading out to the Jalapeño Festival or The Society of Martha Washington Colonial Pageant & Ball or the Caballeros Cocktail Party or one of the other great scheduled activities for WBCA’s celebration – all great events – all can be fun and all give Laredo a different kind of flavor. Enjoy your Friday!!

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Que Fregados:

January 1, 2010 was the start of this here lil blog. So – happy new year to all and happy anniversary to me last month. Yes, I know my blogging has been spotty.

It isn’t that I don’t have stuff rolling around in my head. Those of you who know me personally know that I try to keep up with the goings-on in Laredo and carry my camera everywhere – the issue is time, time, time. Much has changed since my wheelchair-bound days and the biggest change has been the start of my little business and increase in responsibilities. One thing I have discovered is that I suck as a businesswoman but it is getting better. El Partner is now my ex-partner but he is still a great friend and supporter. Today I celebrate our friendship and all those who have shared their lives with me and let me into theirs. I am reblogging last year’s post because I still support el Día de el Amor y la Amistad.

During the new year’s celebration, I had the good fortune to have my parents visit. Although it’s a month and a half old, here is a wish from my mom and me:

Originally posted on Que Fregados:

Don’t get all anti-Valentine’s Day on me. I still celebrate Valentine’s Day, a la Mexico (and many other Latin American countries) style – in other words, I celebrate my friendships and love in general with el Día de Amor y Amistad (Day of love and friendship). I will not succumb to any of this must-have-a-special-someone-and-buy-all-kinds-of-unnecessary-stuff pressure. No siree, Bob.

Today, I received a beautiful surprise from an old friend. She scanned a card I had made for her in 2000 and told me how much it had meant to her. It warmed my heart to know that my friendship was valued and that I was a part of her life, even after all these years. We may live hours away from each other now but we still have contact. And for those reminders of amistad, I am grateful.

We live in a border town, celebrate el Día del Amor y…

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