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Languages and Literatures

Actividades culturales - primavera 2015

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Mass and Luncheon: “Farm Workers Movement”
USD Camino Hall Patio
March 26 | 12:15 p.m. | Free | Contact: | (619) 260-2395

The Association of Chicana Activists, Filipino Ugnayan Student Organization, Movimiento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlán, and the University Ministry cordially invite you to Farm Workers Movement Mass. A wonderful USD tradition commemorating César Chávez, Dolores Huerta, and Philip Vera Cruz. Come join us in prayer for all those who labor in our fields.



Performance: Mariachi Festival
California Center for the Performing Arts, Escondido
March 29 | 1-6 p.m. | Free | Contact:

Mariachi Garibaldi is performing for the Route 78 Rotary Club's 2nd Annual Mariachi Festival. Tickets are going really fast so please buy ahead of time. We have an awesome show planned for you: Mariachi Garibaldi is playing the first half of the concert with Ballet Folklórico Tierra Caliente, then  Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles headlines the show, supporting the Rotary Club's scholarship program and providing educational supplies to local schools -- not to mention a great concert.



Lecture: “An Evening with Lalo AlcazarLa Cucaracha book cover
UCSD: Price Center East, The Loft
April 1 | 6 p.m. | Free | Contact: (858) 882-3808 or

Lalo Alcaraz is the creator of the controversial nationally syndicated daily comic strip, “La Cucaracha,” and is a prolific editorial cartoonist. Lalo is currently a producer and writer on Seth MacFarlane ‘s upcoming animated Fox program, “Bordertown.” Lalo’s recent books include A Most Imperfect Union graphic US history book with Ilan Stavans, (2014 Perseus Books), and Latino USA: A Cartoon History, 15th Anniversary Edition (2012 by Basic Books), as well as the book pictured here (2012 by Andrews McMeel Publishing).. He heads the satirical website, and co-hosts KPFK Radio’s satirical talk show, “The Pocho Hour of Power.”


Lecture: “Visioning a Transit City: Transit Planning and Citizen Participation in Quito, Ecuador”
UCSD: Institute of the Americas, Copley International Conference Center, Deutz Conference Room
April 2 | 3 p.m. | Free | Contact: (858) 534-2230

Julie Gamble is a PhD Candidate in City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley and focuses on public transportation in Quito, Ecuador. Her research focuses on the intersections of citizenship and expertise in transit planning. She holds a BA in History and Gender Studies from Northwestern University and a Masters in City Planning focusing on community and international development also from the University of California, Berkeley. Her current academic work adopts an ethnographic approach to study how urban citizens engage, use, and experience public transit based on their mobility practices.


Lecture: “Nahuatl Across Borders” (“El Nahuatl Cruzando Fronteras”)
UCSD: IR/PS Gardner Room
April 4 | 1:30 p.m. | Free and free parking | Contact: Magnus Pharao Hensen, (858) 534-4503

Join us for a colloquium on the Nahuatl language and cultural revitalization in Mexico and the U.S., with participation from American and Mexican scholars, educators, activists and community organizers.

Speakers and Topics:

Speaker: Carlos Octavio Sandoval, Universidad Veracruzana Intercultural
“El náhuatl de las Altas Montañas de Veracruz: estrategias de rescate y fortalecimiento de un idioma vivo”
(Totlahtol itech weweyi tepemeh Veracruz: tekitl pampa tikchikawaltiskeh se tlahtol yoltok)

Speakers: Felix Evodio Cuaxtle and Marcos Aguilar, Academia Semillas del Pueblo
“Kalmekak - international inquiry, promotion and regeneration of Nahuatl Mexicano”
(“Kalmekak - indagacion, promocion y regeneracion internacional del Nahuatl Mexicano”)

Speakers: Lupe Lopez, Alianza Indigena
“Nahuatl in the Californian legal system”

Speaker: David Vazquez, Nahuatlahtoh & Temachtiani
Title forthcoming

Speaker: Fermin Herrera, UC Northridge
Title forthcoming


Lecture: “Compañeras: Zapatista Women’s Stories
UCSD: Institute of the Americas, Copley International Conference Center, Deutz Conference Room
April 8 | 3:30 p.m. | Free, but registration required | Contact: (858) 534-2230

Speaker: Hilary Klein, author and chief of staff at Make the Road New York

"Compañeras" is the untold story of women’s involvement in the Zapatista movement, the indigenous rebellion that has inspired grassroots activists around the world for over two decades. Gathered here are the stories of grandmothers, mothers and daughters who became guerrilla insurgents and political leaders, educators and healers—who worked collectively to construct a new society of dignity and justice.

The book shows us how, after centuries of oppression, a few voices of dissent became a force of thousands, how a woman once confined to her kitchen rose to conduct peace negotiations with the Mexican government, and how hundreds of women overcame ingrained hardships to strengthen their communities from within.

Books will be available for sale after the talk.


Film: Capturing Activism and Revolution on Screen
UCSD: Raza Resource Center, Lobby
April 8 | 3 p.m. | Free | Contact:

This program will showcase past and current documentary work by award winning film director Ray Telles. In order to represent the Raza community in an equitable way, Ray will address the role of a Chicana/o film maker in producing how events are narrated, remembered, and placed in conversation with Chicana/o history. Day one of the program will begin with examining parts of Ray’s latest documentaries to build a conversation around the role of camera work, representation, setting, and gaps in history.


Film: Fight in the Fields
UCSD: Raza Resource Center, Lobby
April 9 | 1 p.m. | Free | Contact:

Day two will culminate with the screening of Fight in the Fields and address the United Farm Workers movement, representation of César E. Chávez, and how the past is framed.


Lecture: “A social and cultural history of Cuban dance from 1930 to 1990, both on the island and in the diaspora
UCSD: Institute of the Americas, Copley International Conference Center, Deutz Conference Room
April 9 | 3 p.m. | Free | Contact: (858) 534-2230

Speaker: Elizabeth Schwall, Visiting Graduate Student, Columbia University.


Guided Tour: “ArtStop: Latin American Art”
Balboa Park: San Diego Museum of Art
April 9 | 12 p.m. | Free after museum admission
Contact: (619) 232-7931

This ArtStop discusses Latin American Art and is led by Lucy Holland, Museum Educator.

ArtStops are 15 minute, staff-led tours of one to three works on view. Museum curators and educators present these brief yet always enlightening and informative talks every Thursday and third Tuesday at noon.


Lecture: “Dreamers: An Immigrant Generation's Fight for Their American Dream”
USD: Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, Room G
April 9 | 6 p.m. | Free | Contact: (619) 260-7919

Of the approximately 12 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States, as many as two million came as children. They grow up here, going to elementary, middle, and high school, and then the country they call home won’t — in most states — offer financial aid for college and they’re unable to be legally employed. In 2001, US senator Dick Durbin introduced the DREAM Act to Congress, an initiative that would allow these young people to become legal residents if they met certain requirements.

And now, more than 10 years later, in the face of congressional inertia and furious opposition from some, the DREAM Act has yet to be passed. But recently, this young generation has begun organizing, and with their rallying cry “Undocumented, Unapologetic, and Unafraid” they are the newest face of the human rights movement. In Dreamers, Eileen Truax illuminates the stories of these men and women who are living proof of a complex and sometimes hidden political reality that calls into question what it truly means to be American.

Please join the Trans-Border Institute for a presentation from author Elieen Truax. 

About the Author: Originally from Mexico, Eileen Truax is a journalist and immigrant currently living in Los Angeles. She contributes regularly to Hoy Los Angeles and Unidos and writes for Latin American publications including Proceso, El Universal, and Gatopardo. Truax often speaks at colleges and universities about the Dreamer movement and immigration.


Performance: “Teatro Izcalli  20 Years of Chicano/a Resistance”
UCSD Cross Cultural Center, Communidad Room
April 13 | 5 p.m. | Free | Contact:

Join the MECh@ meeting for a special performance by Teatro Izcalli followed by a discussion with Macedonio Arteaga, UCSD Alum, on the origins of Teatro Izcalli and 20 years of performances nationwide.


Lecture: “Nicaragua's Perspective on Responsibility to Protect And Moral Responsibility”
SDSU: Peterson Gym 242
April 13 | 5 p.m. | Free
Contact: (619) 594-1103 and (619) 594-1104

Ambassador Franco Campbell is the first Ambassador of Nicaragua to the U.S. from the Autonomous Regions on Nicaragua’s Caribbean coast. He previously served as ambassador to Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Angola and Zambia. Between 1997 and 2010, Ambassador Campbell served as an elected Nicaraguan member to the Central American Parliament (PARLACEN), which sits in Guatemala City, and is charged with increasing democratic control and oversight of the Central American integration process. In 2007-08, Campbell served as Vice President of this regional parliamentary body. Ambassador Campbell has been a driving force in building institutions in Nicaragua’s Autonomous Regions and was a Founding Member and Vice-Rector General of the University of the Autonomous Regions of the Nicaragua Caribbean Coast (URACCAN), where he continues to serve as a Board Member.  He is the President of the Center for Human, Civil and Autonomous Rights (CEDEHCA) and was a Founding Member in 1990 of the Foundation for Autonomy and Development of the Atlantic Coast of Nicaragua (FADCANIC), working successfully in obtaining funding and support for the Autonomous Regions from a wide range of European, U.S. and other international sources.


Lecture “Civility, Victimhood and Citizenship in Post-dictatorship Chile”
UCSD: Institute of the Americas, Copley International Conference Center, Deutz Conference Room
April 14 | 3 p.m. | Free | Contact: (858) 534-2230

Speaker: Helene Risor, Professor at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile.


Film/Lecture: Which Way Home
Followed by a panel discussion with Ismael Avilez and Daniela Ríos, Program Directors of
Southwest Key Unaccompanied Minors Shelter
SDSU SHW-011: J. Keith Behner and Catherine M. Stiefel Auditorium
April 14 | 6 p.m. | Free | Contact: (619) 594-1104

Unaccompanied children enter the United States every year from countries all over the world. Some come to escape epic portions of violence in their home countries, some are trafficked into the country, some come to work, others to escape abuse and poverty. For nearly 20 years, Southwest Key has been on the front lines of these situations through its Unaccompanied Minors Program where immigrant children under 18 years of age who are in the United States without a parent or guardian find shelter. More recently, Southwest Key was called upon by the federal government to be a first responder to the youth immigration crisis at our southern border. Southwest Key works with the federal government to fulfill the U.S. Supreme Court’s mandate on the appropriate care of unaccompanied children from all over the world. This niche field of humanitarian crisis support demands the expertise of a team nuanced in the areas of efficiency, cultural competency and shelter care.

Which Way Home is a documentary that shows the personal side of immigration through the eyes of children who face harrowing dangers with enormous courage and resourcefulness as they endeavor to make it to the United States.

The film follows several unaccompanied child migrants as they journey through Mexico en route to the U.S. on a freight train they call "The Beast." These are stories of hope and courage, disappointment and sorrow.


Lecture: “Is Arabic a Spanish Language? The Uses of Arabic in Early Modern Spain”
UCSD: Atkinson Pavilion at the Faculty Club
April 16 | 6 p.m. | Free | Contact: or| (858) 534-4618

Starting in the 16th century, a new interest in Oriental languages arose in Europe, and in particular an interest in Arabic. This interest in Arabic stemmed from the textual study of the Bible which so absorbed European scholars in the age of the Reformation and Counter-Reformation. This is, then, an early "Orientalism" that has little to do with colonial enterprises, and follows different paths than those outlined by Edward Said in his famous book Orientalism.

It has traditionally been argued that Spain played no part in forming this Orientalist knowledge. In fact, from its European contemporaries of the 16th century down to the historiography of the 20th century, Spain was essentially held to be an Oriental country itself, and therefore more of an object of "Orientalism" than an actual producer of Orientalist learning. This paper focuses on these two assumptions by examining the situation of the study of Arabic in Spain, and showing how in Spain Arabic scholars were immersed in a very specific context and in an ideological debate in which the role of the Arabic language was a crucial one. Throughout the 16th century there were significant populations of Arabic speakers living in Spanish territory. Spain's relationship with these minorities, known as Moriscos or converted Muslims, was highly conflictive, and eventually lead to an identification of Arabic with Islam. The central aim of this paper is to examine the complexity of the relationship between early modern Spain and the Arabic language, including the language's ambiguous standing, the need to de-Islamize it, and the different purposes for which it was employed. In particular, this talk will highlight the tension between impure origins (those of the converts from Judaism and Islam) versus sacred origins, and the efforts that were made to write an account of the sacred origins of Spain that would allow Jews and Muslims to be incorporated into the nation’s past.

About the Speaker:
Prof. Mercedes García-Arenal is Research professor at the Centro de Ciencias Humanas y Sociales, CSIC, Madrid. (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, Spanish Council for Scientific Research).

She is a cultural historian of the Early Modern Muslim West (Islam in the Iberian Peninsula and the Maghreb), she has published extensively on religious minorities: mudejars and moriscos in Christian Spain, and Jews in Islamic lands, and dedicated much attention to processes of conversion, of messianism and millenarianism, to the study of saints and mysticism. She focuses on interreligious relations, cultural transmission, forced conversion and its consequences both for minorities and for mainstream society in Iberia.

Her best known book is the one written with Gerard Wiegers, A Man of Three Worlds. Samuel Pallache, a Moroccan Jew between Catholic and Protestant Europe, first published in Spanish (Johns Hopkins University Press in 2003), and also translated into Arabic, Italian and Dutch.

The James K. Binder Lectureship in Literature is made possible by Mr. Binder’s generous bequest and honors his wishes that we bring leading European intellectuals to UC San Diego to provide a forum for rigorous discussions of literary topics.



Lecture: “The Revolution is for the Children: The Politics of Childhood in Havana and Miami, 1959-1962
UCSD: Institute of the Americas, Copley International Conference Center, Deutz Conference Room
April 17 | 2 p.m. | Free | Contact: (858) 534-2230

Speaker: Anita Casavantes Bradford, Assistant Professor, UC Irvine


Music: Lila Downs
Copley Symphony Hall
April 17 | 8 p.m. | $30-85
Contact: (619) 232-0800

A world music superstar known for her unique synthesis of indigenous Mesoamerican music with cumbia soul and jazz, Mexican-born, California and Minnesota-raised singer Lila Downs has a Grammy® award and a red-hot international profile augmented by her soundtrack appearances for the films Frida and Real Women Have Curves as well as a show-stopping turn at the Academy Awards (performing “Burn it Blue” from Frida.) Backed her multi-cultural, multi-instrumental band La Misteriosa, this promises to be a concert experience like no other. *San Diego Symphony does not appear.


Lecture: “Mexico in Crisis as Reflected through its Cinematic Lens
UCSD: Institute of the Americas, Copley International Conference Center, Deutz Conference Room
April 20 | 12 p.m. | Free | Contact: (858) 534-2230

Speaker: David R. Maciel, professor emeritus, University of New Mexico and professor and division head, El Colegio de la Frontera Norte

Mexico's current and profound crises have been captured vividly by its filmmakers. In the last years, Mexican films and documentaries have addressed issues, such as political corruption, the loss of legitimacy, failed political institutions, organized crime, internal and international migration, among others.

Many of these films, particularly “La Jaula de Oro” have received universal acclaim and have been the recipients of innumerable awards. And importantly, with Mexican directors receiving the last two Oscar awards for Best Directors, the film community in Mexico has become a major player in the political debate, an opposition force to existing political order. Maciel’s talk will focus upon these two principal issues: the films themselves and the new role that filmmakers as public opinion leaders in Mexico.


Film/Lecture: Never Before Seen Footage: César’s Last Fast followed by
Q&A with LeRoy Chatfield

UCSD: Institute of the Americas, Copley International Conference Center, Deutz Conference Room
April 20 | 12 p.m. | Free | Contact:

Special screening of never before seen footage of César’s Last Fast. LeRoy Chatfield, close advisor to César E. Chávez for many years and a consultant to the documentary, will be doing a Q&A after a short screening of this rare footage. Hear him speak personally on his time working with the United Farm Workers and César E. Chávez.

Light refreshments provided.


Performance of Placas: The Most Dangerous Tattoo
UCSD: Visual Arts @ SME Performance Space
April 21 | 6 p.m. | Cost unknown | Contact:

An excerpt from the critically acclaimed play by UCSD Writing/ Literature alum Paul S. Flores about transnational gangs, tattoo removal and healing. Followed by a discussion with cast and gang peacemaker Alex Sanchez.


Performance: Jews and Latinos! Jewish Music and Hot Latin Rhythms
SDSU: Smith Recital Hall
April 22 | 7 p.m. | Free | Contact: (619) 594-5327

When not booked in ballrooms or theatres, many Jewish and Latin musicians in the late 1950's sustained themselves on the Bar Mitzvah and wedding circuit.  From Stan Getz to Herb Alpert to Larry Harlow, Jewish musicians have been transfixed by Latin rhythms and how to organically mix them with Jewish songs and melodies.

Jewish Music and Hot Latin Rhythms, featuring Yale Strom and members Hot Pstromi with Gene Perry, Afro-Cuban percussion, will take the listener from the East European shtetl to a swinging night club in Miami Beach, and back.


Celebration: 45th Chicano Park Day
Chicano Park, Barrio Logan
April 25 | 10 a.m.–5 p.m. | Free

Contact: (619) 563-4661

Be a part of communities coming together! Catch a free ride to the 45th annual Chicano Park Day celebration. Experience traditional music, dance, live bands, food, and arts and craft vendors.  Free transportation and lunch at Las Cuatro Milpas restaurant.

The 45th annual Chicano Park Day celebration will be held on Saturday, April 25, 2015 from 10 am to 5 pm in historic Chicano Park, located in the Barrio Logan community, under the San Diego-Coronado Bridge. The theme for the 2015 celebration is "El Movimiento Continues: 45 years of Protesta, Cultura, y 40 years of Danza Azteca."

This family event is always free and open to the public. The day's events will include traditional music and dance, many live bands, speakers, lowrider car show, vendor booths, and kids arts workshops.



Performance: El pasado nunca se termina
San Diego Civic Theatre
April 25 | 2 and 7 p.m. | $35 - $125 | Contact: No info available

San Diego Opera presents Lyric Opera of Chicago. | Music by José “Pepe” Martínez & Libretto by Leonard Foglia | co-creation of Lyric Opera of Chicago and Houston Grand Opera

Morelos, Mexico. 1910. The son of a wealthy landowner returns to his parents’ home to find his future... only to fall deeply in love with a humble servant girl. As forbidden personal passions burn, so too do political ambitions. It is the eve of the Mexican Revolution. And what happens on the hacienda changes destinies forever. El Pasado is a gripping, deeply emotional story that takes audiences from long-ago Mexico to present-day Chicago. It is a tale of lovers and freedom fighters, scandal and heroism, hopes and dreams-and the legacy of our ancestors that lives within us all.

The great Mariachi Vargas De Tecalitlán returns in this new Mariachi Opera from the same team who brought us Cruzar la Cara de la Luna, the sold-out hit in 2013. Come to the theater early for free local Mariachi performances on the Civic Theatre Concourse.

All performances at the San Diego Civic Theatre. 90 minutes with no intermission

English and Spanish translations projected above the stage.


Lecture: “The Invisible Farm Workers of Fallbrook”
UCSD: School of Medicine, Leichtag Building, Room 107
April 27 | 6 p.m. | Free | Contact: (858) 534-2230

Join the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) and Border Health Project for community health fairs, a documentary and photo display, and a discussion of Fallbrook farmworkers.


Celebration: “Fiesta Cinco de Mayo”
Old Town San Diego
Free entrance/parking. Price of food varies | Contact:
May 2 | 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
May 3 | 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Multiple stages featuring live music, entertainment and family-friendly activities. Events and significant entertainment on three stages.


Concert: Misa Azteca (Aztec Mass)
Old Town San Diego
May 4 | 7:30 p.m. | Free | Contact:

Southwestern College Concert Choir will fill Old Town San Diego State Historic Park with the sounds of Joseph Julian González’s Misa Azteca.

Meaning Aztec Mass,” Misa Azteca is based on the traditions of Roman Catholic mass yet features verses from the Cantares Mexicanos - a manuscript collection of Aztec songs and poems recorded in the 16th century at around the time of the Spanish Conquest of Mexico. An orchestra, choir, soloists and pre-Columbian percussion instruments will accompany the spoken and sung portions of the celebration, which will be carried out in Latin, Spanish and Nahuatle (the language of the Aztecs).



Lecture: United Farm Workers Movement 101
UCSD Cross Cultural Center, Comunidad Room
May 6 | 12 p.m. | Free | Contact: or (858) 822-3808

An overview of the cross-cultural moments of solidarity especially among Filipino and Latino laborers. Presented by the Cross-Cultural Center Social Justice Education Team.


Conference: “Freedom of Expression”
USD Location: TBD
May 6-8 | Time: TBA | Free | Contact: (619) 260-7919

In partnership with Nuestra Aparente Rendición, an international volunteer organization working to protect the freedom of expression in Mexico, the Trans-Border Institute will bring together leading journalists, scholars, and advocates to discuss the biggest challenges to the freedom of expression in war-torn Mexico and Central America.

Mexico and Central America have become two of the most dangerous places in the world for journalists – more than 100 have been killed or disappeared since 2004. Hundreds more have been censored, threatened, and forced into exile. Collecting, translating, and disseminating their work to a broader audience will help to protect at-risk journalists, vindicate those who have been exiled, and preserve the memory of those who have been disappeared. The substance of their work, in turn, will expose an English-language audience to a much more nuanced perspective on the wave of violence gripping the region over the last decade than what’s available in the international press or the policy literature.

Local journalists who have cultivated sources and invested their lives in the communities they cover almost inevitably achieve better rapport, a deeper sense of local history, and a more nuanced understanding of causality than even the very best who drop in from abroad. The contraction of newsrooms and foreign bureaus and the myopic focus on border and drug enforcement have only widened this gap. Local journalists also cover the small stories in between the crises that attract international attention. They’re better attuned to the experience of change over time and less prone to hyperbole about apocalypse or revolution.

An experiential dimension is vital to understanding the current wave of violence in Mexico and Central America. The physical impact of violence hasn’t risen to the levels experienced in Syria or Afghanistan. But, the terror, uncertainty, and displacement have been far more intense and pervasive than the term “drug war” or the body count suggest. The San Fernando (2010) and Ayotzinapá (2014) massacres have only just begun to open the eyes of the world to a more complex and terrifying reality, and one deeply tied to legacies of authoritarian rule.

The goal of the conference is to produce a unique and accessible book exploring the lives and work of frontline, exiled, and disappeared journalists. By including photographs, essays, biographical sketches, and other artifacts along with hard-hitting journalism, we will explore the current violence at a more intimate sensory, aesthetic, and cultural level. We will examine the freedom of expression as something essentially human, something that can’t be captured by purely quantitative metrics or the presence or absence of censorship. At the same time, the life and work of local journalists show that violence is not some immutable characteristic of these places, but the product of specific histories – actions by individuals and institutions that can be identified and changed.

Please check back later this semester for a program and list of participants.


Film/Discussion: Real Women Have Curves followed by
Q&A with
playwright Josefina López
UCSD Cross Cultural Center, Comunidad Room
May 7 | 4 p.m. | Free | Contact: (858) 534-2230

After the screening, talk about the film and engage in critical dialogue about the issues of body, gender, sexuality, Chican@/Latin@, and education.


Ballet: “Don Quixote”
Spreckels Theatre, San Diego, CA 121 Broadway, Suite 600 San Diego, CA 92101
Tickets: $28.85 - $77.85 | Contact: (619) 235-9500
May 8 | 8 p.m.
May 9 | 8 p.m.
May 10 | 2 p.m.

Based on the Spanish novel by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote follows the adventures of a man out to revive chivalry.




Stage: Oedipus El Rey
Lyceum Stage (Horton Plaza)
through March 29 | Times vary | $47-57  
Contact: (619) 544-1000

In 430 BC, the playwright Sophocles wrote one of the greatest tragedies in the history of the Western world: Oedipus Rex, the tale of a king who from birth was destined to murder his father and marry his mother.

Now the acclaimed playwright and MacArthur Genius Grant winner Luis Alfaro has created a startlingly contemporary adaptation that trades the temples of classical Thebes for the urban barrios of Southern California. With a sly sense of humor, he melds the ancient with the modern: Oedipus is imprisoned for ripping off a Costco; Jocasta splashes on the Jean Naté™ while glued to “All My Children,” and the oracle offers life coaching for cash only.

Placing the passionate love between Oedipus and his mother, Jocasta, squarely at the play’s center, Alfaro creates a spellbinding dance of desire and eroticism. But the 2,500 year old question, asked by a prescient, opinionated chorus of heavily tattooed inmates is still the same. “Is our young homeboy doomed to suffer el destino?” The word on the street for El Rey is not good.

Stage: Our Lady of La Tortilla
On Stage Playhouse ( 291 Third Avenue, Chula Vista)
through April 4 | Thurs., Fri., Sat., 8 p.m.; Sun. 2 p.m. | $17-20 with student ID

The Cruz family is volatile even in the best of times. On one day, Nelson brings home his gringo girlfriend, his mother Dahlia obsesses about retrieving her husband from his new girlfriend, and brother Eddie shows up in a van with his failed life and pregnant girlfriend. But the real pandemonium is caused by sweet, long-suffering Dolores, Dahlia’s sister, when she sees the face of the Holy Virgin in a tortilla. This miracle brings hordes of believers and reporters to camp out on the Cruz’s lawn to await further miracles. As the family struggles with beliefs and conflicts, old and new, the endurance of family love is revealed to be the real miracle.

Playwright, Luis Santeiro. Directed by Bryant Hernández. Produced by Teri Brown. Cast are: Andre Gonzalez, Danielle Levin, Roman Rodriguez, Sandra Ruiz and Lauren Yowell.


poster of elements of the exhibition: photos and various types of basketsExhibition:  Kumeyaay: Native Californians

Where: Balboa Park: San Diego Museum of Man
Hours: Daily, 10-4:30
Cost: Students with ID: $7.50
Phone: 619-239-2001

The Kumeyaay, or Diegueño (as they were later called by the Spanish), are the Native American people of present-day Southern California (San Diego and western Imperial Counties) and Northern Baja. For many generations before the arrival of the Spanish, they occupied the deserts, mountains, and coasts, developing sophisticated means of adapting to the diverse environments. With the arrival of Spanish settlers in the mid-1700s, Kumeyaay lifeways had to change and adapt, often by force.

The exhibit explores traditional Kumeyaay lifeways, featuring the art of pottery and basket making, food procurement, dress and adornment, traditional medicine, games, and ceremonies. Artifacts and photographs from the museum’s collection highlight the rich cultural heritage of the Kumeyaay, offering a glimpse of the life of the ancestors of today’s present day people. The exhibit remains popular with school groups from throughout the county.


Exhibition:  Maya: Heart of Sky, Heart of Earthexhibit poster

Where: Balboa Park: San Diego Museum of Man
Hours: Daily, 10-4:30
Cost: Students with ID: $7.50
Phone: 619-239-2001

The ancient Maya tamed time. They could reckon dates far into the past and into the future by using cycles of the moon, the sun, and the planet Venus. More than a thousand years ago, they carved important dates, names of their rulers, and ceremonial events in their hieroglyphic writing on stone monuments in southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, and El Salvador.

The huge Maya monuments displayed in the Rotunda Gallery are casts of the originals from Quirigua, a site in Guatemala. The casts were made for the 1915 Panama-California Exposition and have been on display since then, except during World War II, when the Navy turned the Museum into a hospital. Today these casts are studied by researchers who are tracing the history of the Maya through their hieroglyphic writing. The Museum’s casts are in better condition than the originals, which have suffered some weathering and erosion in the 95 years since the casts were made.

The current exhibition includes a 42-foot-wide mural of a rainforest set in the time after the Maya Classic Period (C.E. 250-900), when the great ceremonial centers became overgrown by the jungle. In the center of the mural is the lofty ceiba tree, the sacred model for the Maya cosmos. Brilliant birds, and animals such as monkeys and jaguars, are represented, as well as elements from many Maya sites.

A frequent misconception is that the Maya no longer exist. Not so—their descendants continue to carry on many of the traditions and cultural traits of their ancestors through their weaving, woodcarving, and ceramics. The Museum’s conservation of the monumental casts offers us an opportunity to present the Maya as a cultural continuum.