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Month: September 2011

Meet a Mexican Woman Who Works Directly with Migrants

Meet a Mexican woman who works directly with migrants like Enrique from Enrique’s Journey

Enrique’s Journey tells the story of a young man who travels from Honduras to the United States to find his mother, who made the same migration years earlier. Enrique’s journey includes a dangerous train journey through Mexico.

Nancy Garcia works daily in Oaxaca, Mexico, with migrants seeking a better life in the north. Their journey is full of risks, including robbery and rape, kidnapping for ransom, and serious injury and loss of limbs on the train journey. Nancy sees people who have been injured both mentally and physically. She offers them shelter, food, and a little more information on what they are getting themselves into in the journey ahead.

Despite the dangers, people keep coming north, and we have to ask ourselves how well do we really understand the causes of migration, the conditions these human beings are trying to escape from? What would cause people to risk their lives for money?

With Nancy’s help, and by reading Enrique’s Journey, we can put a human face on this mass migration. We need to ask ourselves what has caused or contributed to the hopeless economic situation of so many Central American countries?

Join Nancy in conversation and learn about thousands of other young people like Enrique, on Monday, October 10th at 4pm, Open Book Cafe, Room 1250 College Library.

Nancy’s visit is co-sponsored by Community Action on Latin America, a Madison non-profit advocacy organization (, and Witness for Peace, a national organization offering educational travel opportunities ( with additional support from Go Big Read.

This Go Big Read talk is part of a larger visit to Madison:

Go Big Read Event Details: October 10th, 4 pm, at College Library Open Book Cafe, Free and Open to All!

Nancy will present the LACIS Lunchtime Lecture on Tuesday, October 11, 206 Ingraham Hall, UW Campus. LACIS Event Calendar

She will also host a public conversation at 6:30pm on Monday, October 10th, at Centro Hispano, 810 West Badger Road off south Park Street.

Nancy will spend Monday morning at West High School and Tuesday morning at Shabazz High School. She will be on the Edgewood College campus on Monday, October 17th.

Submitted by Carol Bracewell, Volunteer, Community Action on Latin America

Madison Public Library Discussions Appreciated

With three public library discussions under our belts, I’m getting good feedback from the librarians leading the discussions. One librarian told me:

“Reading the book was eye-opening for all of us, as to a person attendees had not previously been aware of the plight of these children and the culpability of America in the dearth of economic opportunities in the immigrants’ home countries.”

Another said: “It was a good discussion – lots of very honest debate about illegal (and legal) immigration, both pro and con, all of it very compassionate toward the immigrants, regardless of their views.”

I understand the Madison Public Library discussions are getting a mix of ‘regular’ attendees and newcomers. We warmly welcome both!

The public library community in South Central Wisconsin is obviously eager to discuss the book– we have the most discussions scheduled for a Go Big Read so far (see the Event Calendar for dates and locations). The waiting list in the LINKcat public library catalog is 300 strong, but we have copies set aside specifically for our library discussions at MPL. Call the library hosting the discussion to find out how to get a book.

As a member of the selection committee, I’m glad we chose a book that is resonating with the wider community. Partnerships are underway with Literacy Network and Centro Hispano, and private book groups are reading it as well. Wonderful!

The Pulitzer Prize for Journalism

As we prepare for Sonia Nazario’s October 27th visit to campus, it’s interesting to learn more about this well-recognized author. Readers of Enrique’s Journey may be aware that author Sonia Nazario and photojournalist Don Bartletti won the Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for their work on the original Los Angeles Times series on which the book was based. The Pulitzer Prize website states that the award was “awarded to Sonia Nazario of the Los Angeles Times for Enrique’s Journey, her touching, exhaustively reported story of a Honduran boy’s perilous search for his mother who had emigrated to the United States.”

Each year, there are over 2400 submissions to the Pulitzer Prize, and approximately 21 awards are given. Among other criteria, submissions must include text-based newspapers or news sites- not magazines or broadcast media. Click here to learn more about Pulitzer Prize criteria.

Other finalists in 2003 included Connie Schultz of Cleveland’s The Plain Dealer and David Stabler of Portland’s The Oregonian.

This is not Nazario’s only award; she was also awarded numerous prizes and recognition for her work on The Hunger Wars: Fighting for food in Southern California.

Click here to read the text of the original LA Times series, Enrique’s Journey. We’re excited to welcome Nazario to campus, and hope you’ll join us on October 27th!

Helen C. House Party 2011

The 2011 Helen C. House Party at College Library was a huge success this year! We had a great time hanging out with librarians and students at the campus libraries mini golf course.

Even Bucky made an appearance and got a hole-in-one- with a little creative scoring.

Bucky wasn’t the only one who had a great time- students took a break from studying to enjoy pizza, balloon hats, Ninja Tag, and of course, mini golf. Did you have a favorite part of the house party? Leave a comment and let us know!

Check out our Facebook and Flickr pages for more pictures, and feel free to upload some of your own!

Honduran Culture and History

Students are beginning to receive copies of Enrique’s Journey, and it’s a great time to get started reading, discussing, and thinking about the issues in the book. Enrique is born in Honduras, and while Sonia Nazario indirectly discusses Honduran culture and history in some instances, she primarily focuses on Enrique’s journey to the United States. Readers may be interested in further information about the country Enrique is born in and ultimately leaves.

Wondering where to start looking for information about Honduras? Global Road Warrior is a database subscribed to by the UW Madison Libraries. Primarily designed for international business travelers, this database contains practical cultural information regarding currency, holidays, travel, and food, as well as a variety of maps. It also contains cultural and historical summaries for hundreds of different countries. Click here to visit the Global Road Warrior Honduras profile page.

A bit of Honduran History
According to Global Road Warrior, Honduras was named by Columbus in 1502. The nation has been in a state of unrest since gold and silver were discovered in 1570 near Tegucigalpa, the city where Enrique grew up. Over the centuries, both the Spanish and British have laid claims to Honduran lands, but the Honduran Republic was established in 1838, and the Spanish and British left the area in 1821 and 1859, respectively. However, since its independence, the country has experienced military coups, dictatorships, rebellions, and civil war.

This is merely a small glimpse of the history that has made Honduras the country it is today. While Enrique’s Journey can stand on its own, we encourage you to look further and explore these current and past events even more.

Looking for something else? Visit the Enrique’s Journey Research Guide for suggested databases, books, data sources, and more!

“American Dreams” Immigration Books at College Library

Looking for some additional readings concerning immigration issues and policies?

American Dreams

Visit College Library’s “American Dreams” display table to find books and DVDs regarding the topics in Enrique’s Journey.

Selections include:

Stop by and check these out, or click here to learn more about College Library!

New Student Convocation 2011

A big thanks to all the volunteers and workers who helped us hand out Go Big Read books to new students! Convocation was a great success, and we’re excited for this new group of Badgers to join us in reading and discussing Enrique’s Journey.

In his address to the new students, Chancellor Ward stated that “We expect this book will foster debate…it asks each of us to think if what we believe in is fair and just.” Further, he said that “Enrique’s Journey is a story of hope even in the darkest circumstances.” We hope that the Class of 2015 will agree!

Volunteers wait to hand out copies of Enrique’s Journey as freshmen leave the Kohl Center.

New students ready to start the year!

Our Nation of Others: Submit your Creative and Artistic Reactions

To encourage a variety of dialogs with this year’s “Go Big Read” selection, UW-Madison’s Memorial Library, Latin American, Caribbean and Iberian Studies Program, University Health Services, and the School of Education will hold a juried art and literature competition for creative and artistic responses to Enrique’s Journey.

All members of the Madison community, including students of all ages, are encouraged to submit a creative work made in reaction to Enrique’s Journey.

Submissions can be in the form of literary works (poems, short stories or essays) or visual works (photographs, paintings, sculpture, collage, etc.). A committee made up of UW faculty, students, and community members will choose the best works, which will be featured in a campus exhibit in Spring of 2012. The creators of the best works will also be recognized at a public awards ceremony and reception to be held in conjunction with the exhibit.

Please watch for a formal call for submissions, to be posted on the Go Big Read web site and distributed widely in late September 2011.