alibi online
Free Will AstrologyAlibi's Personals
 

poverty


V.23 No.38 |

news

The Daily Word in poverty, beisbol and cannabis

The Daily Word

More nuevomexicanos live in poverty this year compared to last. And we're still the second-most impoverished state in the nation.

The Grey Lady covers the National Police Shooting Championships and surrounding protest.

The Isotopes struck a four-year deal with the Colorado Rockies.

Scope our inaugural Cannabis Issue in print or online for editorials on politics and policy and arts and economics, a N.M. MMJ primer, a cannabis timeline, a compilation of weed quotes and more.

James Gandolfini would have turned 53 years old today. We sure do miss you, boss.

V.21 No.50 |

news

The Daily Word in 8-tracks, cigarette hats, condom-porn and poverty

The Daily Word

Espanola has a new Police Chief.

Mike Tyson did not get a sex change.

Don't go near Avenida Caesar Chavez and Yale today, traffic will suck.

Milton's Restaurant closed.

More stupid Facebook crap.

Most excellent 8-track museum is run by a weirdo.

"If we're not allowed to shoot in L.A. we'll go somewhere else."

Read how this lady was busted for a fraudulent workman's comp. claim.

Even if I could spend $85.00 on a six pack, I'd have to go to Colorado and this delicious sounding beer would all be gone anyway.

These neat-sounding British movies are all going on my "watch later" list.

Vintage cigarette case hat.

Why television coverage of mass shootings is to blame for mass shootings.

On this day in 2011 it was reported that U.S. Census data shows one out of two people in America are poor.


V.21 No.45 |

News

The Daily Word in air strikes, McAfee, poverty and pee

The Daily Word

The head of Hamas' military was assassinated.

Sen. John Kerry is being vetted to take over as Secretary of Defense.

Girls in foster care are especially at risk of being trafficked.

"If you do that to me again, I'll punch you out."

McAfee is a computer virus software brand. It's also a guy running from the law.

Second-worst.

Paul Ryan's tired of talking about presidential politics.

The power of pee.

"A precarious state of existence."

Voter groups, charted.

What's old is new again.

Rep. Dennis Kucinich is scheduled to hold a hearing on the use of drones.

Our current world map is subject to change.

Cerealist art.

V.20 No.52 |

News Year

The Daily Word in New Years resolutions

The Daily Word

11 things to expect in the future.

Turns out God is a woman and she just stabbed her son with a screwdriver.

Americans are getting poorer, unless you're a congressman in which case you're probably a MILLIONAIRE.

I hope there's a giant at my funeral.

Photo gallery of deserted London Christmas morning.

I love the sea dwelling cone snail, their venom can get you high and they eat things alive with utmost decorum.

Whale sperm is not the reason the world's oceans are salty.

German insurance firm rewards top employees — with an orgy.

The Sacramento Bee has an "Crime Q&A" section on their website.

Kay Stevens, Rat Pack blowj.... er, sidekick died at age 79.

Rio Grande Sun police Blotter 2011.

Five reasons not to leave the house on new years eve.

On this day in 1984 Bernhard Goetz turned himself in to NYPD because he shot a couple kids on a New York City subway a couple weeks previous.

V.20 No.26 | 6/30/2011
Eric Williams ericwphoto.com

Feature

Lost and Found

The children of Cuidando los Niños

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

V.19 No.25 | 6/24/2010
Villa el Salvador, Lima’s largest shantytown, was built on a giant sand dune.
Ilene Style

Feature

Diary of Villa el Salvador

An Alibi staffer’s journey through impoverished Peru

What follows are excerpts from a complete travel journal originally posted at alibi.com. Click here to read extra and extended posts.

[ more >> ] [ permalink ]

V.19 No.18 | 5/6/2010

Travel

Amor en Peru

Alibi’s Ilene Style reports from her volunteer mission in South America

In Villa el Salvador, a shantytown which is one of the poorest neighborhoods in Lima, there are hostels, or hostals as they are called, everywhere. Naturally, there are hostels all over Peru for travelers and tourists, but it struck me odd that there were so many in Villa el Salvador. I mean, how many touristas would want to stay in one of the worst parts of a city, where it is dangerous to go out after dark? When I inquired about this, I was told that the ubiquitous hostals in Villa el Salvador are not actually hotels as we know them, but places where men and women go “to have a private moment." Ah ... comprendo. All of these hostals have signs in their windows advertising their prices, which I now understand are hourly, not nightly, rates.

Hermana Jacci explained to me that there are two reasons for the success of these numerous hostals. There are sometimes so many people living in a home in Villa el Salvador, often in only one or two rooms, that married (or unmarried) couples have no private place to go to be together. The hostal serves as their private place. The other reason for the hostals is they provide a place for married men to take their amante, or lover. Peruvian men, she noted, are not known for their fidelity, much to the chagrin of their wives. Unfortunately, unfaithfulness among married men here men is so common that wives have practically come to expect it. Peruvian men themselves have confirmed that this is true, but have assured me that the “chauvinistic” society here is improving. I'm glad to hear that, although I'm sure it will take a while to change social mores that have been around for so long.

But that's not to say that married men with a wandering eye have cornered the market on amorousness in Peru. ¡Al contrario! Peruvians are the most affectionate people I've ever met. Public displays of affection are readily exhibited and highly encouraged here. Even the statues love a little PDA (see photo). Couples walk hand in hand, arm in arm, down the street, nuzzling each other on street corners, on buses, in movie theaters, and at the supermercado, oblivious to their surroundings. (At least now we know there's a hostal available for them in Villa el Salvador, should they need a room.) Even friends display more affection toward each other than I am used to.

Which brings me to one of my favorite things about Peru. When Peruvians greet each other, it is always with a kiss on the cheek, a hug and a greeting of "Buenos dias,” “Buenas tardes,” or “Buenas noches,” depending on the time of day. This ritual applies not only to good friends, but also to people who have never met before. When I first arrived here, this custom surprised me, as I was not used to kissing, or being kissed by, people I didn't even know. What happened to the polite all-purpose handshake? But in about no time flat my surprise turned into delight, as that sort of affection makes you feel immediately welcome, especially when you are clearly an outsider like myself. I have kissed and hugged more people than I can count since I've been here. (Kissing 100 abuelos hello and goodbye three days a week is practically a full time job in and of itself!)

This tradition is yet another thing that makes Peru so special. As far as I'm concerned, every country should adopt it.

V.19 No.19 | 5/13/2010

Travel

Help Los Martincitos in Villa el Salvador

Alibi’s Ilene Style reports from her volunteer mission in Peru

The question I received most frequently from all of you in response to my e-mails about the Los Martincitos program in Villa el Salvador was "How can I help?" I truly feel blessed to have friends who are so eager to help those who are not as fortunate as we are, even if they live 5,000 miles away.

I had mentioned previously that it is not recommended to send supplies or donations directly to Los Martincitos, because of the unreliable postal service in Peru. I have since learned that there is a website, which was started by Sister Jacci's niece Marianne Boyle, whose purpose is to raise money for Los Martincitos program. In Ms. Boyle's own words:

"Two years ago, my daughter and I traveled to Peru to perform service work with my aunt, Sister Jacqueline Glessner, a Catholic nun, who lives in Villa el Salvador, a shanty town of some 500,000 residents outside of Lima. I returned from that trip feeling like I wanted to help "her people" in any way possible. After all, it was nice to travel to the area and assist personally, but what these people really needed was money to purchase life's necessities: food and medicines, shelter and clothing."

The website address is via-villa.com. If you'd like to get in touch with Marianne directly, you can e-mail her at merboyle@yahoo.com. She can also receive checks at her address in NJ, which she then deposits into a joint bank account she shares with Sister Jacci, who is able to access the funds in Peru and use for the program. All money donated goes directly to Los Martincitos; there are no administrative costs, or middle men. Her address is:

Mrs Marianne Boyle 18

Cummington Lane

Flemington, NJ 08822

There is also a link on the website to a program called Adopt a Grandparent, or "Adopta un Abuelo", another website that helps the Los Martincitos program. That website address is adopt-a-grandparent.org.

V.19 No.18 | 5/6/2010

Travel

Home visits in Villa el Salvador, Peru: Francisco

Alibi’s Ilene Style reports from her volunteer mission in South America

Francisco has just had his third stroke and is thought to be beyond rehabilitation. When we visited him, he clearly knew we were there, but was unable to communicate with us, as his speech and most of his movement had been affected by the stroke, except for movement in one arm. No communication was necessary for us to know that he was miserable. He so wanted to talk to us, and yet all that came out of his mouth was unintelligible sounds. His daughter (his wife was in the kitchen and didn't seem to want to talk to us) told us that the night before, he had made a hand signal across his throat indicating that he wanted to die. Hermana Jacci told him firmly it was God's decision when he would go, and he had no say in the matter. He cried when we left, and I did too.

Although Francisco was still able to attend the program at Los Martincitos after his first and second strokes, he is no longer able to attend because of his deteriorated condition. We now go to visit Francisco on a regular basis, since he cannot come to us. We talk to him and even try to joke with him, but it is difficult for him to respond. We believe he is comprehending because he squeezes Hermana Jacci's hand, and gesticulates wildly with his good arm when he doesn't agree with something, or wants to make a point.

Perhaps Francisco will improve, and will be able to attend the program again someday. If not, I pray that God intervenes and grants him his wish. No one should have to suffer, through no fault of their own, a life they cannot bear. Vaya con Dios, Francisco.

Travel

Home visits in Villa el Salvador, Peru: Petrona

Alibi’s Ilene Style reports from her volunteer mission in South America

Petrona, one of our abuelas, lives with her daughter and son-in-law. Her son-in-law is abusive to her, but her daughter is unable to do anything about the situation. One of Petrona's legs is very swollen, and she doesn't know why. My voluntaria friend Margaret from Ireland, who is a nurse, is on this visit with us. She thinks Petrona has some sort of infection, possibly cellulitis, and should see a doctor immediately. However, it is very painful for her to walk so she will need to figure out a way to get to the doctor.

While Hermana Jacci discusses the situation with Petrona and her daughter, I catch a glimpse of a little girl peeking out from behind a door. It is Petrona's granddaughter. I go over and try to talk to her in my broken Spanish. She is wary of me, and won't talk to me or even smile, but she agrees to have her picture taken. She begins warming up to the camera, and proudly shows me her prized possession, a Barbie backpack, which she insists be in the photo with her. She finally manages a slight smile after I have taken several shots.

This niña bonita was a bright spot in my day. Perhaps I (but more likely my camera) was a bright spot in her day too.

My camera serves an amazing function here in Peru, allowing me to communicate with people with whom I otherwise I would not be able, due to language or cultural barriers. It has become my most valued possession, and I keep it with me at all times. Thank you, Dad, for the best birthday present you've ever given me.

Travel

How to Exercise at a Peruvian Senior Center

Alibi’s Ilene Style reports from her volunteer mission in South America

In the mornings at Los Martincitos senior center, before desayuno (breakfast), and before the oraciones (prayers) that precede desayuno, the abuelos must do their exercises. It is important for the seniors in the program to loosen up their muscles and joints, and to get their blood flowing. They do this to dance music, and the exercises are led by an incredibly limber older staff member named Raul. After a week of working here, it became obvious to me that the only three songs they had in their warm-up repertoire were the Macarena, the Conga and the Hokey Pokey. I am astounded at the fact that I have done the Hokey Pokey more times in the past four weeks than I did during my entire childhood. (This is not something I had anticipated doing much of while in a foreign country.)

My fellow voluntario Quinn and I decided one day that we simply could not go on any longer sticking our right arm in, and then out, and shaking it all about, so we decided to choreograph our own exercise routine for the abuelos. Quinn thought that “YMCA” would be the perfect song for the abuelos to get down to. However, since we had no means by which to obtain the song and play it on the ancient boom box they use at the senior center, we had to settle for one of the three songs they already had. So, one morning, after practicing our routine the night before (we took this very seriously up until we actually had to do it), we asked permission to lead morning exercises.

Upon hearing the first few notes of the Macarena, we promptly forgot everything we had prepared for our big debut. We managed to fake it, though, with each of us taking turns leading dance moves that incorporated various body parts. Our rendition of the “twist” was extremely well received, and it was hard for us to keep straight faces while watching the elderly abuelos try to gyrate their hips, something that most of them were clearly doing for the first time in their lives. Apparently, our “non-routine” was a hit, based on the applause we got after the song was over. I always knew that those aerobics classes I took last century would come in handy someday!

V.19 No.17 | 4/29/2010
Angelica in her room
Angelica in her room

Travel

Home Visits in Villa el Salvador, Peru: Angelica

Alibi’s Ilene Style reports from her volunteer mission in South America

Angelica lives with her grown son Pedro, who is blind. Her other son, who also lived with them, and with whom she was very close, died recently of tuberculosis, a disease that is rampant in Villa el Salvador. She has trouble getting around because her legs are very swollen, despite the special stockings she wears. Her condition is not helped by the fact that she is overweight, something one does not see often in Villa el Salvador.

The walls of her house are made of a medley of strange materials that look as if they are about to collapse at any moment, and part of the house has no roof. The squalor inside is eye-opening. Hermana Jacci warned me about this the first time we visited her, saying discreetly before we entered, "Angelica is not the best housekeeper." There were piles of trash? ... knick knacks? ... worldly possessions? strewn everywhere. Apparently Angelica's neighbors had to come over and help her clean up the mess before her son's wake (which is always held in the home of the deceased, with the casket in full view. Burials happen quickly afterward, as there is no embalming available.)

Angelica has stopped attending the Los Martincitos program because she has been in a depression since the death of her beloved son. The second time we visited her, she cried because she misses him so much. Hermana Jacci tried to reason with her that she would be less depressed at the program, surrounded by her amigas, than sitting at home every day in the room that she shared with her son—the same room in which he was laid out after his death. She gave this some thought, but didn't seem convinced.

Her remaining son Pedro is supposed to be taking care of her, although that is difficult because he is blind. He is very domineering, and Angelica fears that because the deed of her house is in his name, he will eventually put her out. Recently he has acquired a new girlfriend, so has been spending much more time away from home ... and away from his mother, leaving her alone much more than she is used to.

We will continue to encourage Angelica to return to Los Martincitos, because if she misses too many days, she will be dropped from the program, as there is a waiting list of other needy abuelos in Villa el Salvador who would be grateful to have her spot.

Travel

A Word About Toilet Etiquette in Peru

Alibi’s Ilene Style reports from her volunteer mission in South America

--- On Sun, 4/18/10, <******@verizon.net> wrote: OK… when do we find out more about the toilet etiquette??

Many of you have asked me about the "toilet etiquette" in Peru that I mentioned in a recent e-mail. I wrote about the toilet etiquette here when I first arrived: "Because of the unsophisticated plumbing in Peru, used toilet paper is NOT flushed down the toilet, but is placed in a separate bin NEXT to the toilet. This was a hard concept for me to grasp. Like, gross!"

When I tell new voluntarios about this unusual custom, they are as grossed out as I was weeks ago when I arrived. Of course, now it's old hat, although still somewhat weird. You will never find a toilet in Peru without one of these next to it. They come in all different sizes, depending on how many people use one toilet, but always look the same. There are exceptions to this particular toilet ritual, of course. It does not apply in big fancy hotels. Perhaps these hotels have their own plumbing systems.

While we're on the subject of el baño, another thing you must always do in Peru is carry toilet paper with you at all times (especially if you are a girl.) Toilet paper is not a priority in public restrooms here, nor are paper towels, soap or sometimes even toilet seats (I'm not talking about lid covers, but the actual seats themselves). Luckily, with or without paper, the public restrooms here are still a step above many of the the public restrooms in France, some of which consist of a drain in the ground surrounded by a privacy screen.

If you happen to be in a public restroom in Peru that requires you to pay to use the facilities, women pay more to use the ladies room than men pay to use the mens room. Why? Because the ladies room has toilet paper. What if men need paper? Lo siento, yo no se!

Aniseta y Olionia, Spa de Elena
Aniseta y Olionia, Spa de Elena

Travel

Spa de Elena

Alibi’s Ilene Style reports from her volunteer mission in South America

My new name in Peru is "Elena." The abuelos at Los Martincitos call me that because it is much easier for them to pronounce than "Ilene.” I soon realized that "Elena" it was much easier for ALL Peruvians to pronounce, so that is how I introduce myself now.

At work last week, I hung out a shingle and opened my very own nail salon, Spa de Elena, and gave manicures to the abuelas. My lack of experience was not a problem; after all, what self-respecting girl from the Big Apple doesn't know everything there is to know about mani/pedis? Apparently, receiving manicures is quite a special treat for the abuelas, as I had a large number of them crowding around me when they saw me bringing a shoebox full of nail paraphernalia to a small table that Hermana Jacci and I had set up. The nail polish and accoutrements are all donations from former voluntarias.

Some of the polishes were dried out to the point of being almost unusable, but that didn't bother the abuelas. I had to dispense with niceties such as nail soaking, cuticle trimming and clipping/filing early on, as the abuelas were interested only in having their nails painted the brightest and most garish colors that were still usable. They awaited their turns patiently, and despite my warnings of "¡No toca nada!" (don't touch anything!) when their manicures were finished, they immediately went off and touched everything in sight, effectively ruining their manicures within minutes. They then lined up again for me to fix the smears. My frustration eventually gave way to laughter, as it is hard to be cross with someone who is so excited, even for just a few minutes, about her newfound beauty.

Check out the "after" photos of some of my new spa clients.

Today's Events

Musical Chairs (2011) at South Broadway Cultural Center

A feature film on the joys and human connection of ballroom dancing.

Spring Bling 2015 Tour: Snoop Dogg • rap at Santa Ana Star Center

Craft & Vendor Expo at Sabana Grande Community Center

More Recommented Events ››
Join our mailing list for exclusive info, the week's events and free stuff!
 

  • Select sidebar boxes to add below. You can also click and drag to rearrange the boxes; close using the little X icons on each box. To re-add a box you closed, return to this menu.
  • Because you are not logged in, any changes you make to these boxes will vanish as soon as you click to another page. If you log in, the boxes will stick.
  • alibi.com
  • Latest Posts
  • Web Exclusives
  • Recent Rocksquawk Discussions
  • Recent Classifieds
  • Latest User Posts
  • Most Active Users
  • Most Active Stories
  • Calendar Comments
  • Upcoming Alibi Picks
  • Albuquerque
  • Duke City Fix
  • Albuquerque Beer Scene
  • What's Wrong With This Picture?
  • Reddit Albuquerque
  • ABQ Journal Metro
  • ABQrising
  • ABQ Journal Latest News
  • Del.icio.us Albuquerque
  • NM and the West
  • New Mexico FBIHOP
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • Only in New Mexico
  • Mario Burgos
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • High Country News
  • El Grito
  • NM Politics with Joe Monahan
  • Stephen W. Terrell's Web Log
  • The Net Is Vast and Infinite
  • Slashdot
  • Freedom to Tinker
  • Is there a feed that should be on this list? Tell us about it.
    BeLowLife Vids'n'Vinyl
    BeLowLife Vids'n'Vinyl4.30.2015