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Valeria Rodriguez: A Story of Immigration

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Tears filled her eyes as she said, “I was just afraid. I felt hopeless. It felt unfair. It wasn’t a decision that I made, but rather a life that I had no choice but to step into.”

Valeria Rodriguez, a full-time worker for Catholic Charities and part time TCC college student, holds a unique story of immigration.

Born in Cuidad Acuña, Mexico, Rodriguez had no idea that at age three her life would dramatically change.

“I had a great childhood, but one of the biggest struggles I had growing up was fear of losing my parents,” Rodriguez said.

At age three Rodriguez, her mother, and father, moved to Fort Worth, Texas to tend to her ill grandfather who was sent sent to John Peter Smith Hospital.

View Map: https://goo.gl/maps/vrTq9Y52QgS2

“The intention was always to go back,” said Rodriguez, “but during our stay, my father landed a great job, found a home to rent, and things back in Acuña started to become dangerous with the drug cartel, so we overstayed our Visa.”

Language was a huge barrier for Rodriguez; however, when she began kindergarten a kind friend translated the teachers materials for her.

“My family and I learned English because of my kindergarten homework,” Rodriguez said.

Growing up, Rodriguez always feared her mother or father would be deported. Both of her siblings were born in the United States, and received automatic citizenship; however, that is not her story.

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“The DACA program changed everything for me. I finally felt like I had a chance to better myself and pursue something that made a difference,” said Rodriguez.

As a teenager, Rodriguez worked at a Bazaar that paid 5 dollars an hour but knew she never wanted to stay there. Her mother is a McDonald’s employee, and father a mechanic, but Rodriguez wanted to pursue a higher education.

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The Dream Act (DACA), provided Rodriguez with a social security number, and the freedom to pursue an education.

However, with political tensions continually on the rise, these school, work, and opportunities for future growth and success are currently threatened.

val-sarahdelanie10480“My parents are Christian first, and then their politics follow. They are very conservative, and my dad always taught me the value of hard work,” Rodriguez said. “I definitely swing between the two parties, but as of right now – regardless of how selfish it is – I think Hillary would be the best President for me because she supports DACA.”

Rodriguez says that her backup plan if Trump becomes President, and DACA is taken away, is she will move back to a beach town in Mexico, learn to surf, and teach English as a second language.

“God has always been so good to me. I know He won’t stop now. I trust Him regardless of the outcome,” says Rodriguez.

 

Country Paper: Nicaragua

View PowerPoint Presentation Here: nicaragua-powerpoint-presentation

 

481024817.jpgCountry Paper

A. Nicaragua

B. The first Europeans came to Nicaragua in 1502; however, in 1522 Spanish explorers reached the southern shores of Largo de Nicaragua. A few short years later the Spanish colonized the region and founded two separate cities known as Granada and Leon. These two cities became politically divided; the Granada people were a prosperous colonial city that held conservative political views, while Leon was the heartbeat of liberal political action within the country, supporting trade, the interests of merchants, and smaller farmers.

In 1821 Nicaragua gained independence from Spain, but became a part of Mexico and then the Center of American Federation for a short time. Nicaragua is known as one of the five independent republics that emerged from colonial Spanish Central America (opensocietyfoundations.org). They received complete independence in 1838, which began a series of dramatic and politically manipulated events. The current political instability within the country has caused increased poverty and unemployment levels, along with low literacy rates and GDP. The development of media was intricately woven into the fabric of the ebb and flow of the political environment, which has made it difficult to maintain a professional and ethical style. We will assess the ramifications of this further on in this essay.

C. Nicaragua is a communist government, with Jose Daniel Ortega Saavedra as the current President. They pride themselves on being a democracy; however, realistically, it is more of a faux-democratic society. Ortega is up for reelection in November and is practically guaranteed reelection because he has taken over all government branches. This would put him in office for 19 years (http://www.ipsnews.net/2016/06/political-crisis-looms-in-nicaragua-in-run-up-to-elections/). However, the countries transition in the 1990s from a dictatorship to a more democratic society allowed for the expansion of media, regardless of whether it was an honest or non-bias pursuit (www.opensocietyfoundations.org).

D. Nicaragua is considered a free market economy, their GDP is 12.69 billion (http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/nicaragua), which makes it one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere. Nicaragua’s top exports are insulated wire, coffee, knit t-shirts, gold, and frozen bovine meat. Their top imports are crude petroleum, refined petroleum, packaged medicaments, light rubberized knitted fabric, and delivery trucks. (http://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/profile/country/nic/). The top export partners for Nicaragua are the United States, Mexico, Venezuela, Canada, and El Salvador. Their top import partners are the United States, China, Mexico, Guatemala, and Costa Rica (http://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/profile/country/nic/).

E. The primary religion is Roman Catholic; however, evangelical Protestantism is making significant headway in the region in general. (pressreference.com)

F. The dominating language is Spanish (95 percent) with English Creole, and Miskito spoke to some extent in the Caribbean region. (pressreference.com)

G. The top media companies in Nicaragua are La Prensa, El Nuevo Diario, and La Notice.  I would not say that the media systems are free, Humberto Meza, who holds a doctorate in social science essentially says that Nicaragua is politically polarized, and while several people are critical of what is going on, they remain silent for fear of official reprisals (http://www.ipsnews.net/2016/06/political-crisis-looms-in-nicaragua-in-run-up-to-elections/).  The countries top news sources were created with political intentions and still continue to perpetuate the state of the countries political environment. Licensing is politicized, and as far as decision making goes, the constitutional amendment in 2006 called for a 60 percent approval by the National Assembly for all important appointments, but this can be overruled at the president’s leisure (opensocietyfoundation.org). There are highly repressive media policies that make it near impossible for journalists to obtain direct access to official sources. The government, whose Secretary of Communication and Coordination, is Ortega’s wife Rosario Murillo, prohibit publication of any information that is beyond rudimentary concerning government organizations, laws, regulations, and so forth (opensocietyfoundation.org).

H. While I could not get my hands on the La Prensa and Nuevo Diario newspapers, nor could I find similar online stories to compare and contrast, I did look at both of the online sites for these papers to get a feel for their aesthetic. What is interesting is that the La Prensa does not have a designated political section in the menu bar, while the Nuevo Diario does, which makes me wonder if that is linked to Sandinista control. The Nuevo Diario seems to be much more politically focused than the La Prensa.

I. N/A

J. Advertising policies are strictly regulated by the Communication and Citizen Participation Council (Consejo de Communication y Ciudadania) (www.opensocietyfoundations.org). Official advertising has been seen as a way to award or punish news media according to their editorial stances, as was stated by the Inter-American Press Association (opensocietyfoundations.org). Clearly, the continuous theme throughout this entire analysis is that President Ortega and his wife have absolute control over state advertising funds, which gives him free reign to purchase and manage various other media entities (opensocietyfoundations.org).

Works Cited

By 1990, when the Sandinistas were defeated in elections held as part of. (n.d.). Press Reference. Retrieved from http://www.pressreference.com/Ma-No/Nicaragua.html

Nicaragua. (n.d.). Retrieved from

http://atlas.media.mit.edu/en/profile/country/nic/

Nicaragua. (n.d.). Retrieved from

http://www.worldbank.org/en/country/nicaragua

@. (n.d.). Political Crisis Looms in Nicaragua in Run-Up to Elections. Retrieved from http://www.ipsnews.net/2016/06/political-crisis-looms-in-nicaragua-in-run-up-to-elections/

Reading/Using Digital Media. (n.d.). Digital Media and Society. doi: 10.1057/9781137393630.0013