This week’s edition covers stories
from September 28th to October 4th, 2023.
Today’s issue is 780 words, a 6–minute read.
Isabella talks October Twin Cities events, Chemistry Nobel Prize 2023 winners, music albums of the week,
East Phillips Neighborhood Institute update,
and Ecuadorian immigrant fruit sellers.
October has arrived, marking the onset of the spooky season. It’s that time to start brainstorming your Halloween costumes if you’re inclined towards such creative endeavors. Alternatively, if you’re seeking some wholesome autumn entertainment, consider paying a visit to a pumpkin patch or getting lost in a corn maze.
You have until October 29th to explore the Twin Cities Harvest Fest and Maze, where the 2023 maze is adorned with a St. Paul Saints theme. For those looking ahead to the end of the month, there’s the 11th annual Festival de las Calaveras, scheduled for October 21st in St. Paul and a follow-up event on November 4th in Minneapolis.
Next week, we have the 11th annual Cine Latino event happening right here in town. From October 11th to the 15th, you can immerse yourself in 14 remarkable films from Latine, Latin American, US Latinx, and Ibero Cinema. Alongside these captivating films, anticipate the presence of food trucks, lively fiestas, and visits from the talented filmmakers themselves.
I’m particularly excited about two films in the lineup. Firstly, there’s the Argentinian crime thriller “La Extorsion,” skillfully directed by Martino Zaidelis. Secondly, we have the US Latinx documentary “Going Varsity in Mariachi,” helmed by Alejandra Vasquez and Sam Osborn, which promises an insightful exploration of its subject matter.
On the global stage, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was recently bestowed upon Moungi Bawendi, Louis Brus, and Alexei Ekimov for their groundbreaking work in discovering and synthesizing quantum dots. Quantum dots hold profound significance in the field of nanotechnology. As acknowledged by the Nobel Prize organization, these tiny particles possess exceptional properties and are currently employed in various applications, such as enhancing the brilliance of television screens and LED lamps. Furthermore, they play a pivotal role in aiding surgeons by providing clear illumination of tumor tissues during medical procedures. Exciting, right? What do you think? Let us know!
For our music lovers and genre explorers, my top albums of the week are:
In a notable achievement on the local front, the Minneapolis City Council has granted approval to the East Phillips Neighborhood Institute’s proposal to acquire the Roof Deport site. The vision for this site is to transform it into an urban farm with a range of facilities, including affordable housing, training centers, and a solar energy hub. More on that here.
This endeavor serves a dual purpose, as it not only safeguards the neighborhood but also contributes to the prevention of environmental harm. According to the National Agricultural Library, urban farming has the potential to reduce transportation expenses, mitigate runoff issues associated with heavy rainfall, and enhance overall air quality.
On Wednesday, a lively discussion took place in our offices regarding the fruit-cup vendors in the Minneapolis area. The recent Star Tribune article featured one of these vendors, Rosa, a 45-year-old mother from Ecuador. Many of us have observed various women working alongside highways during scorching summer days. Initially, our thoughts drift to the sight of mangoes drizzled with chamoy sauce and tajin. However, we couldn’t help but reflect on the risks associated with such labor conditions and their situation as asylum-seekers. The earnings from this line of work are minimal, if not non-existent.
Various entities in Minneapolis, including the city government, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, the Minneapolis Police, and concerned community members, have made concerted efforts to either regulate or dissuade drivers from purchasing from these vendors due to health concerns. While this response is certainly comprehensible, our discussions primarily revolved around the potential jeopardy to the immigrant vendors’ legal status in case of arrest, the possibility of exploitation of immigrant women within the workforce, and the hazardous work environment they face.
Unfortunately, asylum-seekers are unable to apply for work permits until six months after filing their claims, and an astonishing 3,389 Ecuadorian cases are currently pending in the Fort Snelling immigration court, as reported by the Star Tribune. While the city enforces its policies and some neighbors remain wary, it prompts us to ponder how many have paused to consider that some people are simply starting from where they are, utilizing their available resources, and doing whatever they can to make a living. Additionally, we question how many have stepped forward with offers to assist these vendors in transitioning from their current “inconvenient” circumstances.
What can we do to help? Offering asylum-seekers the necessary tools to settle in a new home is important. Provide them with resources, interpreters if needed, and support to survive and recover from forced displacement. Organizations like the International Association for Refugees, MN Asylum Network, the City of Minneapolis, CLUES, and others can help asylum-seekers with employment, food, clothing, housing and shelter, transportation, healthcare and more.
That’s all from me, we’ll see you next time.
Hit play on the Spotify icon below for NewMusica’s Latine/Hispanic Heritage Month playlist, a playlist by the NewPrensa team that brings you NewTaste and NewVibes.