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sketch 2


Love this song and speaks to all our traditions! 

English translation below

Latinoamericano by Calle 13

Soy, soy lo que dejaron, Soy las sobras de lo que te robaron,
Un pueblo escondido en la cima, Mi piel es de cuero por eso aguata cualquier clima,
Soy una fábrica de humo, Mano de obra campesina para tu consumo,
En el medio del verano, El amor en los tiempos del cólera,
Mi hermano!

Soy el que nace y el día que muere, Con los mejores atardeceres,
Soy el desarrollo en carne viva, Un discurso sin saliva,
Las caras más bonitas que he conocido, Soy la fotografía de un desaparecido,
La sangre dentro de tus venas, Soy un pedazo de tierra que vale la pena,
Una canasta con frijoles.

Soy Maradona contra Inglaterra Anotándole dos goles.
Soy lo que sostiene mi bandera, La espina dorsal de mi planeta, en mi cordillera.
Soy lo que me enseño mi padre, El que no quiere a su patria no quiere a su madre.
Soy América Latina un pueblo sin piernas pero que camina.

Tú no puedes comprar al viento,
Tú no puedes comprar al sol
Tú no puedes comprar la lluvia,
Tú no puedes comprar al calor.
Tú no puedes comprar las nubes,
Tú no puedes comprar los colores
Tú no puedes comprar mi alegría,
Tú no puedes comprar mis dolores.

Tengo los lagos, tengo los ríos, Tengo mis dientes pa cuando me sonrío,
La nieve que maquilla mis montañas, Tengo el sol que me seca y la lluvia que me baña,
Un desierto embriagado con pellotes, Un trago de pulque para cantar con los coyotes,
Todo lo que necesito!

Tengo a mis pulmones respirando azul clarito,
La altura que sofoca, Soy las muelas de mi boca mascando coca,
El otoño con sus hojas desmayadas, Los versos escritos bajo las noches estrelladas,
Una viña repleta de uvas, Un cañaveral bajo el sol en Cuba,
Soy el mar Caribe que vigila las casitas, Haciendo rituales de agua bendita,
El viento que peina mi cabello, Soy todos los santos que cuelgan de mi cuello,
El jugo de mi lucha no es artificial porque el abono de mi tierra es natural.
Vamos caminando, vamos dibujando el camino!

Trabajo bruto pero con orgullo, Aquí se comparte lo mío es tuyo,
Este pueblo no se ahoga con marullos, Y si se derrumba yo lo reconstruyo,
Tampoco pestañeo cuando te miro, Para que te recuerdes de mi apellido,
La operación cóndor invadiendo mi nido, Perdono pero nunca olvido, oye!

Vamos caminado, aquí se respira lucha.
Vamos caminando, yo canto porque se escucha.
Vamos caminando, aquí estamos de pie.
Que viva Latinoamérica.
No puedes comprar mi vida!

English version
I am
I am what that they left
I’m all about what that was stolen.
A village hidden on the peak,
My skin is from leather that’s why it stands any weather.
I’m a factory of smoke,
A peasant working hand for your consumption
Cold Front in the middle of summer,
Love in the Time of Cholera, my brother.
The sun that is born and the day that dies,
with the best evenings.
I am developing raw,
a political speech without saliva.
The most beautiful faces I’ve met,
I’m the photograph of a missing person.
I’m the blood in your veins,
I’m a piece of land that is worth it.
I’m a basket with beans,
I’m Maradona against England scoring 2 goals.
I’m what that holds my flag,
the backbone of the planet is my Andes.
I’m what that my father taught me,
Who doesn’t love his fatherland don’t love his mother.
I’m Latin America,
People without legs but can walkYou can’t buy the wind.
You can’t buy the sun.
You can’t buy the rain.
You can’t buy the heat.
You can’t buy the clouds.
You can’t buy the colors.
You can’t buy my happiness.
You can’t buy my pains.

I have the lakes, I have the rivers.
I have my teeth for when I smile.
The snow that puts make up on my mountains.
I have the sun that dries me and the rain that wash me
*A desert intoxicated with beautiful drinks of pulque
To sing with the coyotes is all that I need.
I have my lungs breathing clear blue.
The height that suffocates.
I’m the teethes that chew the Coca.
*The autumn with its dropping leaves
The lines written under the starry night.
A wineyard filled with grapes.
A sugar cane plantation under the Cuban sun.
I’m the Caribbean Sea watching over the houses,
Doing rituals of holy water.
The wind that combs my hair.
I’m all the saints that hangs from my neck.
The juice of my struggle is not artificial,
Because the fertilizer of my land is natural.

You can’t buy the wind.
You can’t buy the sun.
You can’t buy the rain.
You can’t buy the heat.
You can’t buy the clouds.
You can’t buy the colors.
You can’t buy my happiness.
You can’t buy my pains.

You can’t buy the wind.
You can’t buy the sun.
You can’t buy the rain.
You can’t buy the heat.
You can’t buy the clouds.
You can’t buy the colors.
You can’t buy my happiness.
You can’t buy my sadness.

You can’t buy the sun.
You can’t buy the rain.
(we are drawing the way, we are walking)
You can’t buy my life.

Working hard but with pride,
Here we share, what’s mine is yours.
These people can’t be drawn with big waves.
And if it collapsed I’ll rebuilt it.
*neither blink when I see you.
So that you’ll remember my surname.
Operation Condor is invading my nest.
I forgive but I’ll never forget!

(we are walking)
The struggle breathes here.
(we are walking)
I sing because it sounds.

Here we are standing.
Long live Latin America.

You can’t buy my life.

Earth Day 2011

Saw lots of programs and ads for “green” lifestyles.  Thought I would add a few suggestions on things that could easily be done to help save the planet.

1.  Eliminate those little stickers on fruits and vegetables you get in grocery stores — no one looks at them anyway and they waste paper and time.  They are there to tell the consumer where and if it is conventionally grown, organic or genetically engineered.  I just found that out from this blog,  When were they going to tell us about that?  I had no idea!!  There has got to be a better way.

Just a few stickers I have randomly collected

2. Require all new construction to have a passive solar water heating system.  There are systems that work with pumps or even better with gravity. You can build onto an existing home with reused materials (  Free hot water for a small investment — pretty cool.  Here is a longer explanation of the process from a commercial standpoint.

Solar hot water heater

3. Have all outdoor lighting supplemented with solar power — then only use the electric grid when necessary. They are doing in in Dubai, an oil producing nation.

Solar Street Lighting

Just some thoughts after Earth day.  Every day should be Earth day!!

Just found this great website with lots of thought provoking posts and thought to share this one.

Marc and Angel Hack Life

And recently I saw a young friend who I have known since she was 8 and now is 18. She had a baby at 16 and everyone is pretty much telling her that her life is over. Well, that’s not true. I had a child at 19 and was divorced at 29 and went on to bigger and better things. Yes, it took me a little more time, but I have accomplished things that some people just dream about.

My addition to this list is this:

Life is all about beginnings and endings and there is no real beginning or ending—you can do things differently, you can start over today, you can dream.

Baby Shoes

My mother had my first pair of baby shoes, and those of my 2 sisters and my brother bronzed. My siblings’ had a pair of shoes, but mine was the only “single shoe”.  I asked my mother why and she said, “you chewed the other one so badly, it could not be used.”  That was the story behind the 1-bronzed shoe.  Since my sisters’ had 2 shoes, their frame was between the shoes.

The baby shoes were always in the empty space where the bible was kept in my parents’ headboard. Religiously dusted and carefully packed through the many moves that our family made. The glass in the frames was no longer there and the pictures had been moved to a photo album in a trunk where my mother kept all the important papers. No one remembers when that happened.

Then when my older sister had her kids, my mother had their shoes bronzed. When my children were born, I kept their baby shoes in the hopes of having them bronzed when I had money. My younger sister has kept her son’s baby shoes with the same hope.

When I looked into getting my own children’s shoes bronzed, I realized what a sacrifice my mother had made to get ours done.  Her mother died when she was 5 so having a family was extremely important to her. She was a single mother when she had my older sister’s shoes bronzed. When my shoes were done, my father was a soldier in Korea. By the time my mother had my brother’s shoes done, there were 6 of us living in a 1-bedroom cold water flat/apartment in the Lower East Side of New York.

My older sister had passed away in 1982, and her daughter got her pair of shoes. My mother passed away in 1994, but my father kept all the shoes in their special place above his bed until my younger sister and I emptied his apartment in 2006 to move him to a nursing home.  One of the first things that we looked for were our shoes since they had always reminded us of the love our mother had for us and the sacrifices she made to keep her family together.

When I look at the shoes now, I remember my mother and different events in my life—simple things like sneaking into her bedroom to look at the shoes, talking to her about why I only had one shoe, or helping her pack the shoes for all the moves that we made. Finally, my most recent memory is when I took them from New York to Maryland and realized that they are part of the last reminders of my parents’ home.




A poem of the history of the new world and hope for its future by Juan Antonio Corretjer, put to music by Roy Brown.  This video is hard to watch but a must see to understand the soul of Boricuas (Puerto Ricans).

This is the original poem that has more text than the song.

Oubao-Moin (Rio de Sangre, River of Blood)

El río de Corozal, el de la leyenda dorada. (The river Corozal, the one of the Dorado legend.)
La corriente arrastra oro. La corriente está ensangrentada. (The current is filled with gold.  The current is stained with blood)
El Río Manatuabón tiene la leyenda dorada. (The river Manatuabón has the Dorado legend.)
La corriente arrastra oro. La corriente está ensangrentada. (The current is filled with gold.  The current is stained with blood)
El rio Cibuco escribe su nombre con letra dorada. (The river Cibuco writes its name with golden letters.)
La corriente arrastra oro. La corriente está ensangrentada.(The current is filled with gold.  The current is stained with blood)
Allí se inventó un criadero. Allí el quinto se pagaba. (A nursery was invented there. The quinto (tithe) was paid there)
La tierra era de oro. La tierra está ensangrentada. (The land was of gold. The land is stained with blood.)
En donde hundió la arboleda su raíz en tierra dorada, (Where the trees sank their roots in the golden land)
allí las ramas chorrean sangre. La arboleda está ensangrentada. (There the branches drip blood. The trees are stained with blood)
Donde dobló la frente india, bien sea tierra, bien sea agua, (Where the Indian head bowed, good was the earth, good was the water)
bajo el peso de la cadena, entre los hierros de la ergástula,  (under the weight of the chain, between the irons of the deep dark prison)
allí la tierra hiede a sangre y el agua está ensangrentada. (there the earth stinks of blood and the water is stained with blood.)
Donde el negro quebró sus hombros, bien sea tierra o sea agua, (Where the black man broke his shoulders, good was the earth or water
y su cuerpo marcó el carimbo y abrió el látigo su espalda, (and his body marked the time of the carimbo drum, and the whip opened his back)
allí la tierra hiede a sangre y el agua está ensangrentada. (there the earth stinks of blood and the water is stained with blood.)
Donde el blanco pobre ha sufrido los horrores de la peonada, (where the poor white man suffers the horrors of being a peon)
bajo el machete del mayoral y la libreta de jornada (under the machete of the foreman and the daily ledger book)
y el abuso del señorito, allí sea tierra o allí sea agua, (and the abuse of the lord, there is land or there is water)
allí la tierra está maldita y corre el agua envenenada. (there the land is cursed and the poisoned water runs)

Gloria a esas manos aborígenes porque trabajaban. (Glory to those aboriginal hands because they labored)
Gloria a esas manos negras porque trabajaban. (Glory to those black hands because they labored)
Gloria a esas manos blancas porque trabajaban. (Glory to those white hands because they labored)
De entre esas manos indias, negras, blancas, (From within those indian, black and white hands)
de entre esas manos nos salió la patria. (from within hands out came our country.)
Gloria a las manos que la mina excavaran. (Glory to the hands that excavates the mine)
Gloria a las manos que el ganado cuidaran. (Glory to the hands that takes care of the cattle)
Gloria a las manos que el tabaco, que la caña y el café sembraran. (Glory to the hands that plant the tobacco, sugar and coffee)
Gloria a las manos que los pastos talaran. (Glory to the hands that cuts down the grass.)
Gloria a las manos que los bosques clarearan. (Glory to the hands that clears the forests)
Gloria a las manos que los ríos y los caños y los mares bogaran. (Glory to the hands that the rivers, the pipes and the seas row)
Gloria a las manos que los caminos trabajaran. (Glory to the hands that work the roads)
Gloria a las manos que las casas levantaran. (Glory to the hands that construct homes)
Gloria a las manos que las ruedas giraran. (Glory to the hands that the wheels turn about)
Gloria a las manos que las carreteras y los coches llevaran. (Glory to the hands that the roads and cars carry.)
Gloria a las manos que las mulas y caballos ensillaran y desensillaran. (Glory to the hands that saddles and unsaddles the mules and horses)
Gloria a las manos que los hatos de cabras pastaran. (Glory to the hands that graze the herds of goats)
Gloria a las manos que cuidaron de las piaras. (Glory to the hands that take care of the chirps of little birds)
Gloria a las manos que las gallinas, los pavos y los patos criaran.(Glory to the hands that raise the chickens, turkeys and ducks)
Gloria a todas las manos de todos los hombres y mujeres que trabajaron. (Glory to all the hands of all the men and women who worked)
Porque ellas la patria amasaran.  (Because they are building the nation)
Y gloria a las manos, a todas las manos que hoy trabajan (And glory to the hands,  to all the hands that work today)
porque ellas constuyen y saldrá de ellas la nueva patria liberada. (Because they construct and from them will come the liberated nation)
¡La patria de todas las manos que trabajan! (The nation of all the hands that work!)
Para ellas y para su patria, ¡Alabanza!, ¡Alabanza! (For them and for their nation, Praise! Praise!)

Progress is complicated

Just saw a video about Paraguay in 1958 ( that highlighted the bringing of “progress” to the Chaco, a wilderness area) in the form of Mennonites, the lumber industry, cattle ranching and the beginnings of “industry.” One of the indigenous tribes, the Lengua,  in the area lived on an estate owned by an American.

My husband is from there and he tells me the forests in El Chaco are pretty much gone.  In 40 years, over 70% has been lost, of that 40% of the loss occurred between 1990 and 2000.  The tannin from the trees that were felled is no longer required — there is a synthetic substitute used in industry today.

The cattle are no longer walked to the capital of Asuncion, but brought by trucks that consume oil that Paraguay buys from other countries.  The native people are poorer than ever before.  Of the 6 million Paraguayans in the world, 3 million live outside the country — a vast majority of whom send money back to help those who remain.

If the people in 1958 could have seen into the future what the results of their actions would be, what would their thoughts be — immediate gratification or helping future generations.  Progress is a complicated thing.

The Chaco forest is being lost at an alarming rate, but some still remains such as this patch, which includes some of Paraguay's beautiful national tree, the Lapacho. Article can be found at

Becoming butterflies

A friend’s mother just passed away after a long illness and I truly feel her sorrow. My daughter tells her young children that in death people become flowers. That you transform. and that makes sense. We don’t know what happens to consciousness after death.  Our atoms survive in a different form. The energy that we are converts into something else.

The question: Does the butterfly remember being a caterpiller or its death in that form to metamorph into something entirely different?

Mini Saga – Priorities

She needed her clunker car fixed. She had no job, no skills, and no money.  She asked for a $500 loan.  He countered with a proposal she had heard often in her life. Fifty dollars for a quickie in the storage room was the price to pay for steady transportation.

Saw this on another website and thought of all the mini-sagas of the people I know.  Here is the first one..


He had taught her daughter to drive and now the mother wanted to learn. He had taken advantage of her poverty and hoped the same with the attractive mother. Why not — sex with the daughter was great.  The mother was not convinced of the necessity of the exchange of services.