Luis, a queer-identified 19-year-old boy from El Salvador, is in Otay Mesa Detention Center and writes letters with Kate Swanson of Detainee Allies. Kate is born and raised in southern Ontario, Canada, and is a professor of urban geography with a focus on social and environmental issues. She is a core member of Detainee Allies and has been involved since the beginning of the organization. The interview cover topics such as discrimination, the process of writing letters, the conditions of the detention center, and family. I met Kate at a regular meeting for Detainee Allies volunteers. My name is Saul Miranda Cardenas, a senior atRead More →

Welcome to HIUS/ETHN 120D. I think there are many reasons to take this class, for example: you get to go off campus, you work with an organization, but the main reason I want to share with you is this class will prepare you with tools that can be implemented into your academic career. The experience you have with your organization will provide you with the skills you need to advance into your next internship/job. In addition, I would recommend you take the AIP 197T add on to this class. I am a transfer student from the Bay Area, so when I found out I wasRead More →

Kate Swanson, born and raised in southern Ontario, Canada, is a professor of urban geography with a focus on social and environmental issues. She is a core member of Detainee Allies, and has been involved since the beginning of the organization. The letters cover topics such as  discrimination, the journey to the United States, detention conditions, and family. I met Kate at a Detainee Allies Monday meeting. This audio recording was done on UCSD Campus. My name is Saul Miranda Cardenas, a senior at UCSD majoring in International Studies – Political Science. I am enrolled in Race & Oral History of San Diego.Read More →

Luis, a queer identified 19 year old boy from El Salvador, who came during the caravan of 2018. He is in Otay Mesa detention center and writes letters Detainee Allies. In the two letters I engage Luis  answers questions that he received from DetaineeAllies, I received these letters from Kate Swanson, who will be introduced in the second part of my project. Kate Swanson, born and raised in southern Ontario, Canada, is a professor of urban geography with a focus on social and environmental issues. She is a core member of Detainee Allies, and has been involved since the beginning of the organization. The interviewRead More →

“Use your imagination; Organize, organize, organize; consistency.” We write letters to share a piece of ourselves with others. Depending on the information, we are able to share with people a side of ourselves that no one knew. Language is important. When you speak the common language, you are communicating to people. When you speak the language they were raised in, you are speaking to their heart. As Detainee Allies receives more than 80 letters on a weekly basis, each letter is a connection to a human being. Each human being is sharing who they are with us. My experience with Detainee Allies has changed theRead More →

Chicanx Park as a whole does not end at the border where the grass field and cemented sidewalk meet, but rather the park is incorporated into the fabric of the community. Chicanx Park is a reflection of the community. Originally planned to be a CHP Control Center, the community of Barrio Logan resisted this plan and reclaimed their land by protesting to stop construction from going further. Walking within Chicanx Park, seeing all the murals, gave me a deeper understanding of the power of murals to tell a story. Each pillar in Chicanx Park that sustains the Coronado bridge reminds the community of city governmentRead More →

The drive from UC San Diego to Detainee Allies with my group mates allow for a long conversation about our well-being, reflecting on the quarter so far, and preparing our minds for what we may read by ending in silence. I must give myself time to meditate. Most of the letters we read describe their personal situation; in need of money, resources, missing their family, feeling alone. However, all the letters have two bits of information in common, which is their name and A#. The detention centers gives these people a number they possibly will never forget. This number is engraved into their brain, justRead More →