Features & Stories

The Least Convenient Truth: White Supremacy and Climate Change Bitch Magazine

"But all this makes me wonder about the colonizers. I get capitalism, but if your goal is long-term domination, wouldn’t you be in favor of environmental sustainability? Turns out: Nah. Because they knew in the end, people of color would be the ones paying the highest price for the environmental consequences of settler colonialism."
“But all this makes me wonder about the colonizers. I get capitalism, but if your goal is long-term domination, wouldn’t you be in favor of environmental sustainability? Turns out: Nah. Because they knew in the end, people of color would be the ones paying the highest price for the environmental consequences of settler colonialism.”

Unnatural Disasters: The Human Cost of Human-Caused Disasters Bitch Magazine

"It was 6:58 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, in the Manabí province, and as the sun finally declined behind high green hills, a slight Atlantic breeze flirted with the folks in the otherwise humid, buzzing streets. Friends and families were leaving dinner and popping open Pilseners, our country’s beer of choice. Then they heard a hard hum, a chorus of seismic waves as tectonic plates grinded against each other underground, causing the earth to roll and the walls of edifices to shake until they shattered."
“It was 6:58 p.m. on Saturday, April 16, in the Manabí province, and as the sun finally declined behind high green hills, a slight Atlantic breeze flirted with the folks in the otherwise humid, buzzing streets. Friends and families were leaving dinner and popping open Pilseners, our country’s beer of choice. Then they heard a hard hum, a chorus of seismic waves as tectonic plates grinded against each other underground, causing the earth to roll and the walls of edifices to shake until they shattered.”

Buy Issue 08 of Apogee Journal to read my work of creative nonfiction, Downhill

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Downhill Apogee Journal 

“Ecuador. Maximum circle of the spheres of East. A country in South America that owes its name to the equinoctial line running through it. It divides the earth into two hemispheres—north and south. Those above and those below. If Ecuador is the name of an imaginary line, then we Ecuadorians are imaginary beings.”
“Ecuador. Maximum circle of the spheres of East. A country in South America that owes its name to the equinoctial line running through it. It divides the earth into two hemispheres—north and south. Those above and those below. If Ecuador is the name of an imaginary line, then we Ecuadorians are imaginary beings.”

Ride or Die: Documentary ‘Ovarian Psycos’ Paints a Complex Portrait of a Badass Latinx Bicycle Gang Bitch Magazine

they’re tapping into a long legacy of women of color organizing that links intimate forms of violence that happens [not just] in their homes but in the streets.”
“They’re tapping into a long legacy of women of color organizing that links intimate forms of violence that happens [not just] in their homes but in the streets.”
Spend & Save: The Narrative of Fair Trade and White Saviorism Bitch Magazine

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With names like Buy the Change, Global Girlfriend, and Indigenous Designs, these companies employ practices that are naive and self-serving at best, and that reek of imperialist exploitation at worst. In the middle lies a controlled form of cultural appropriation, where white women get the green light to wear “authentic” “ethnic” garb, to consume the oft-endangered cultures of the Other.

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Someplace Else: A Guide to Responsible Summer Travel Bitch Media

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Peep the history. Remember: Wherever you are, you’re on native land. Do some research on the historical relationship between your place of origin and your place of visitation. As an American of color, I don’t take the power of my blue passport and the heavy imperialist history it weighs over others, a history which enables me to be a tourist today, lightly.

The Brother from Another Planet AWAY Journal

Measuring the authenticity of the stories we tell: “Ever since he’s lived here as a boy, the relics would come, riding on warm Pacific waves to the shores of África, or revealed beneath grains of sand after centuries of slow-rising from the tombs, tiny icons of civilizations past, like the Tolita-Tumaco culture. He began to collect them.”
Measuring the authenticity of the stories we tell; a narrative photo essay: “Ever since he’s lived here as a boy, the relics would come, riding on warm Pacific waves to the shores of África, or revealed beneath grains of sand after centuries of slow-rising from the tombs, tiny icons of civilizations past, like the Tolita-Tumaco culture. He began to collect them.”

The Revolution Will Go Viral Abernathy Magazine 

21 year old Kwame Rose found a sense of purpose for life while protesting the death of Freddie Gray during the #BaltimoreUprising, calling out FOX News on live television in a video that has since gone viral.
21 year-old Kwame Rose found a sense of purpose for life while protesting the death of Freddie Gray during the #BaltimoreUprising, calling out FOX News on live television in a video that has since gone viral. “In 1930, the Baltimore Afro-American reported, “The trouble is police brutality in Baltimore has gone as far as some people are going to stand.”

Kill The Indian, Save The Man Nowhere Magazine

The United States vs. Native American hair: “Curly hair might indicate a person who contemplates the spiral of life, braided hair signifies a unified perspective and cutting hair – only done when a loved one has passed – severs a train of thought and symbolizes grief. Cutting hair is considered a humiliating act of “spiritual castration” — one that the United States government has a long history of committing.”
The United States vs. Native American hair: “Curly hair might indicate a person who contemplates the spiral of life, braided hair signifies a unified perspective and cutting hair – only done when a loved one has passed – severs a train of thought and symbolizes grief. Cutting hair is considered a humiliating act of “spiritual castration” — one that the United States government has a long history of committing.”

Telling It Like It Is: My Time at a Travel Writing Workshop for People of Color Matador Network

“Who travels more than people of color?” What she said made immediate sense to me. Whether it’s because we wanted to or had to or whatever the case may be, since the dawn of peoples, POC have been migrating. Before civilization “began,” before our lands were “discovered,” before Lonely Planet and Couchsurfing and Airbnb — we’ve been traveling. Yet our voices are drowned out by the whiteness of the genre — from the conquistador’s field notes to the vastly commercial industry travel writing is today.“

The Grand Canyon on Acid Paste Magazine

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Backpacking, birthdays and hallucinogens can be a recipe for disaster, or fun, or both: “During rare moments when the blizzard paused, the entire forest would seem to slip into a peaceful coma, tucked beneath its glittering layers of powdered-sugar snow. Then the storm would start up again, like the amplified revving of a car’s engine waking me from a dream.”

The Real Housewives of Ecuador Jezebel 

Passport privilege and labor abuse in the shadow of volcanoes: “I dragged myself out of the office and into the subzero highland night, shivering my way past the Imperial Inca walls holding up the hotel. A light-skinned woman just a few years my senior opened the door, revealing a pale old man passed out across the bed. The sweet smell of smoke from their fireplace and the scent of our hotel’s homemade hot toddies waved in my face like a flag, teasing me with something that could warm me from the inside out. But the woman shut the door as soon as I handed over the pillows, and I went back out into the night, cold and quiet as the volcanoes that encircled us.”
Passport privilege and labor abuse in the shadow of volcanoes: “I dragged myself out of the office and into the subzero highland night, shivering my way past the Imperial Inca walls holding up the hotel. A light-skinned woman just a few years my senior opened the door, revealing a pale old man passed out across the bed. The sweet smell of smoke from their fireplace and the scent of our hotel’s homemade hot toddies waved in my face like a flag, teasing me with something that could warm me from the inside out. But the woman shut the door as soon as I handed over the pillows, and I went back out into the night, cold and quiet as the volcanoes that encircled us.”

Brooklyn Zan Boko Word Riot

Death, birth, afterbirth, and Basquiat: “Blanca Martinez, Basquiat’s housekeeper, was struck by the alienated attitude of the mourners. “They were all standing separately, as if it were an obligation,” she says. “They didn’t seem to care. Some looked ashamed.” People began to leave the cemetery before the body was buried. Ignoring the objections of the gravediggers, Martinez tearfully threw a handful of dirt onto the coffin as they lowered it into the grave.”
Death, birth, afterbirth, and Basquiat: “Blanca Martinez, Basquiat’s housekeeper, was struck by the alienated attitude of the mourners. “They were all standing separately, as if it were an obligation,” she says. “They didn’t seem to care. Some looked ashamed.” People began to leave the cemetery before the body was buried. Ignoring the objections of the gravediggers, Martinez tearfully threw a handful of dirt onto the coffin as they lowered it into the grave.”

Intrepid Searchers of Danger Nowhere Magazine

“Local legend on the isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, has it that God entrusted a 14th century Valencian saint with a difficult task: to distribute sacred muxes (pronounced moo-shes) throughout the country from a sack on his back. But when the saint, named Vicente Ferrer, passed through the town of Juchitán de Zaragoza, the muxes — a third gender assigned male at birth but who live as women — eagerly tore through the sack and scattered, settling in the region as locals. Today about 3,000 muxes live in Juchitán and are celebrated every November at the Vigil of the Authentic Intrepid Searchers of Danger.”
“Local legend on the isthmus of Tehuantepec, Oaxaca, has it that God entrusted a 14th century Valencian saint with a difficult task: to distribute sacred muxes (pronounced moo-shes) throughout the country from a sack on his back. But when the saint, named Vicente Ferrer, passed through the town of Juchitán de Zaragoza, the muxes — a third gender assigned male at birth but who live as women — eagerly tore through the sack and scattered, settling in the region as locals. Today about 3,000 muxes live in Juchitán and are celebrated every November at the Vigil of the Authentic Intrepid Searchers of Danger.”

Tagging Along on Ecuador’s Marcha de las Putas Bitch Media

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Then last fall, President Rafael Correa replaced ENIPLA and everyone who worked there with Plan Familia, a state-run strategy which centers policy on “family values,” abstinence-only education, and the “struggle against hedonism,” (which the propagandist newspaper El Comercio describes as “pleasure for pleasure’s sake.”) By presidential decree, Correa instated ultra-right conservative Mónica Hernández—who is rumored to be a part of the extremely conservative Catholic group Opus Dei—as the head of Plan Familia. What few strides ENIPLA tried to make in the campaign to make abortion legal at least in cases of rape have been scrapped. Unlike ENIPLA, Plan Familia bypasses all the ministries and takes its orders straight from the president, who has called feminist activists in the country “muchachitas malcriadas,” or “bratty little girls.”

Ecuador Time is Like…Whatever Paste Magazine 

Time and the returning second generation immigrant: “Tiempo Ecuatoriano alludes to Ecuadorians everyday disregard for clocks, their curious inner workings and our indifferent dispositions in general. This could come off as annoying to the outsider but I saw us as calm and unrushed, my immigrant family like an oasis in the impatient blur that is New York, where I grew up.”
Time and the returning second generation immigrant: “Tiempo Ecuatoriano alludes to Ecuadorians everyday disregard for clocks, their curious inner workings and our indifferent dispositions in general. This could come off as annoying to the outsider but I saw us as calm and unrushed, my immigrant family like an oasis in the impatient blur that is New York, where I grew up.”

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop Nowhere Magazine

Just as Spanish has been adapted into their Uto-Aztecan lexicon and Roman Catholicism worked into their monotheistic religion, where all non-Rarámuri are referred to as Chabochi. According to an old legend, the Devil fashioned Chabochi out of pure clay mixed with white ash, and the Rarámuri seldom had a reason to use the term until they met the Spanish, when they sensed there was a reason to keep their world camouflaged within the Copper Canyons.
Just as Spanish has been adapted into their Uto-Aztecan lexicon and Roman Catholicism worked into their monotheistic religion, where all non-Rarámuri are referred to as Chabochi. According to an old legend, the Devil fashioned Chabochi out of pure clay mixed with white ash, and the Rarámuri seldom had a reason to use the term until they met the Spanish, when they sensed there was a reason to keep their world camouflaged within the Copper Canyons.

A Confluence Amy Gigi Alexander 

Going manic in Montreal: “We shared a joint in the house’s wintry backyard, overgrown with scandent vines that yield wild red grapes in the summer. A laundry line spangled with cotton underwear tied between tamarack trees hung over our heads like good luck. Alejandro told me about locking up his bike outside the Jean-Talon Metro stop three days ago and losing the key. Our laughter woke up the neighborhood dogs.”
A narrative travelogue on going manic in Montreal: “We shared a joint in the house’s wintry backyard, overgrown with scandent vines that yield wild red grapes in the summer. A laundry line spangled with cotton underwear tied between tamarack trees hung over our heads like good luck. Alejandro told me about locking up his bike outside the Jean-Talon Metro stop three days ago and losing the key. Our laughter woke up the neighborhood dogs.”

Fever Coast Nowhere Magazine

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The racist shitshow that made the Panama Canal possible: “During its 34 years under construction, workers watched the daily of procession of coffins carried by the trainload to Mount Hope cemetery by the city of Colón, killed by malignant illnesses and dire living conditions. Nearly 22,000 workers were hospitalized in the second year alone. Yet the canal is known as one of the seven wonders of the modern world.”

Promised Lands Nowhere Magazine

Named by Portuguese settlers for the perennial palm trees that foliate the state of Pernambuco in northeastern Brazil, Palmares was a massive self-sustaining settlement of escaped slaves that survived for the entirety of the 17th century.
Named by Portuguese settlers for the perennial palm trees that foliate the state of Pernambuco in northeastern Brazil, Palmares was a massive self-sustaining settlement of escaped slaves that survived for the entirety of the 17th century.

Sinking States Nowhere Magazine

If the country disappears, “our spirits will have nowhere else to go,” says Tong. “We ask the spirits to change the minds of those people who are doing this.”
As the planet warms, the island of Kiribati drowns: If the country disappears, “our spirits will have nowhere else to go,” says Tong. “We ask the spirits to change the minds of those people who are doing this.”

 

Weekend Layover: Quito, Ecuador Paste Magazine 

Destination article all about Kitu: “The leftist artist famously depicted the plight of the poor indigenous majority using sculpture, murals and portraits. The emotive, prismatic images take patrons on a journey through the history of Ecuador in often chilling visual detail—the leathery creases of a workingman’s hands, the wide-open stare of a starving woman’s eyes—and leaves a powerful impression.”
Destination article all about Kitu: “The leftist artist famously depicted the plight of the poor indigenous majority using sculpture, murals and portraits. The emotive, prismatic images take patrons on a journey through the history of Ecuador in often chilling visual detail—the leathery creases of a workingman’s hands, the wide-open stare of a starving woman’s eyes—and leaves a powerful impression.”

Searching for Peng Jiamu Nowhere Magazine

Chinese biochemist Peng Jiamu disappeared in the Lop Nor desert in 1980 and hasn’t been found since: “When some colleagues suggested they turn around, Peng brought them together and lectured, “Science is to walk a road not travelled by other people!” So they continued.”
Chinese biochemist Peng Jiamu disappeared in the Lop Nor desert in 1980 and hasn’t been found since: “When some colleagues suggested they turn around, Peng brought them together and lectured, “Science is to walk a road not travelled by other people!” So they continued.”

The Real El Dorado TravelThru History

A historical tour of Cuenca, Ecuador from the Cañari resistance to Incan subjugation to Spanish colonization and historical markers in the city today.
A historical tour of Cuenca, Ecuador from the Cañari resistance to Incan subjugation to Spanish colonization and historical markers in the city today.

Babble On Nowhere Magazine

And a few blocks away on Calle Colombia, you can order a cafe con leche from a Beijing native in the neighborhood’s most beloved Chino-Latino joint. Pakistani, Polish and Tibetan business owners alike can be overheard speaking everything but English from their Tudor-style building storefronts along the Jackson Heights Garden City Trail, sporadically marked by faded maps.
And a few blocks away on Calle Colombia, you can order a cafe con leche from a Beijing native in the neighborhood’s most beloved Chino-Latino joint. Pakistani, Polish and Tibetan business owners alike can be overheard speaking everything but English from their Tudor-style building storefronts along the Jackson Heights Garden City Trail, sporadically marked by faded maps.

Trip to Trinidad Nowhere Magazine

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Ellis describes Morning Glow as a “transgender spiritual center” and a place where guests can recover in a safe, supportive space in the company of allies. They represent a new generation of transwomen who don’t have to couch the truth in euphemism the way some in the 70’s had to. Those clandestinely seeking the services of Dr. Biber would simply say that they were “taking a trip to Trinidad.”

Crime and Punishment Nowhere Magazine

Gay, lesbian and trans refugees are also oftentimes challenged with the peculiar burden of having to prove their sexuality to immigration authorities. Leaked documents showed that the UK’s Home Office requested that claimants produce footage showing sexual intercourse and asked questions like, “What is it about men’s backsides that attracts you?” and “Do you read Oscar Wilde?”
Gay, lesbian and trans refugees are also oftentimes challenged with the peculiar burden of having to prove their sexuality to immigration authorities. Leaked documents showed that the UK’s Home Office requested that claimants produce footage showing sexual intercourse and asked questions like, “What is it about men’s backsides that attracts you?” and “Do you read Oscar Wilde?”

 

Life Aquatic Nowhere Magazine

Legend has it that when a princess from Johor was carried adrift by the hands of a heavy swell and lost in the depths of the Sulu Sea, her aggrieved father ordered his subordinates to comb the ocean and not return until they’d found her. Out of the murk of this myth emerged the Bajau people, an assemblage of seafaring indigenous groups of Southeast Asia’s Moro ethnicity. Today they’re celebrated underwater hunters.
Legend has it that when a princess from Johor was carried adrift by the hands of a heavy swell and lost in the depths of the Sulu Sea, her aggrieved father ordered his subordinates to comb the ocean and not return until they’d found her. Out of the murk of this myth emerged the Bajau people, an assemblage of seafaring indigenous groups of Southeast Asia’s Moro ethnicity. Today they’re celebrated underwater hunters.

Muttnik Nowhere Magazine

Her last hours were spent watching Earth spin before her, herself spinning even faster about Earth, weightlessly navigating the space between celestial bodies and, eventually, becoming one of them.
The story of Laika, the first dog in space: Her last hours were spent watching Earth spin before her, herself spinning even faster about Earth, weightlessly navigating the space between celestial bodies and, eventually, becoming one of them.

Gringolandia Nowhere Magazine

A glance at an Ecuadorian tourist ghetto: At the center of it all is Plaza Foch, a cobbled square lined by outdoor bars, lounges and cafes where eight-year-old Kichwa kids the color of coffee, dragging wooden shoe-shining kits behind them, are shooed away by patrons, where roving packs of Argentinian hippies hawk their handmade wares to anyone with a pulse, where gringos scoff at the outdated Top 40 music by day, and dance to its familiar beats at night.
A glance at an Ecuadorian tourist ghetto: At the center of it all is Plaza Foch, a cobbled square lined by outdoor bars, lounges and cafes where eight-year-old Kichwa kids the color of coffee, dragging wooden shoe-shining kits behind them, are shooed away by patrons, where roving packs of Argentinian hippies hawk their handmade wares to anyone with a pulse, where gringos scoff at the outdated Top 40 music by day, and dance to its familiar beats at night.

Venezuela’s Reluctant Jews Nowhere Magazine

When Latin American liberator Simón Bolívar was driven into exile at the turn of the 19th century, he found refuge in the homes of Jews on the Dutch colony Curaçao, some 40 miles north of Venezuela. After Gran Colombia won independence from Spanish rule and Bolívar expanded the constitution to include religious freedoms, the Jewish community in Venezuela began to swell, building a significant presence in the country over time. But those numbers are diminishing today, as Jews flee the unstable nation in record numbers.
When Latin American liberator Simón Bolívar was driven into exile at the turn of the 19th century, he found refuge in the homes of Jews on the Dutch colony Curaçao, some 40 miles north of Venezuela. After Gran Colombia won independence from Spanish rule and Bolívar expanded the constitution to include religious freedoms, the Jewish community in Venezuela began to swell, building a significant presence in the country over time. But those numbers are diminishing today, as Jews flee the unstable nation in record numbers.

Siberian High Nowhere Magazine

Chilled by Siberian air masses that accumulate during winter, the steel-colored eastern shoulder of Kholat Syakhl (“Dead Mountain” in local tribal language) in Russia’s northern Ural mountains seems like the kind of place an unexplained mystery would take place. And it was.

Flying Circus Nowhere Magazine

The Ritual of the Bird Men began over 1,500 years ago as a prayer to the Spring (Xipe Totec), sun (Chi’chini) and rain (Tlaloc) gods during the Spring equinox. Each flyer represents a bird, an element and a cardinal direction circling a total of 13 times during their descent (52 altogether, keeping with the pre-colonial calendar), while El Caporal represents the center of the universe; his music, the voice of the sun.
The Ritual of the Bird Men began over 1,500 years ago as a prayer to the Spring (Xipe Totec), sun (Chi’chini) and rain (Tlaloc) gods during the Spring equinox. Each flyer represents a bird, an element and a cardinal direction circling a total of 13 times during their descent (52 altogether, keeping with the pre-colonial calendar), while El Caporal represents the center of the universe; his music, the voice of the sun.

Reservoir Noir Nowhere Magazine

Abandoned when Arab pirates landed ashore in the 7th century, Olous had once claimed prosperity and power as the oldest settlement on Crete, so ancient that its name can be tracked back to the Pre-hellenic period. Just as the residents were settling into their new inland city, away from the dangers of the sea, a major earthquake shoved what was left of the town into the island’s shallow waters.
Abandoned when Arab pirates landed ashore in the 7th century, Olous had once claimed prosperity and power as the oldest settlement on Crete, so ancient that its name can be tracked back to the Pre-hellenic period. Just as the residents were settling into their new inland city, away from the dangers of the sea, a major earthquake shoved what was left of the town into the island’s shallow waters.

 

decolonizing travel culture

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