Lee Cuesta

Lee Cuesta

Thursday, May 12, 2005

More thoughts from Albuquerque

Be sure to visit my website, www.leecuesta.com for the (almost) complete report concerning my time in Albuquerque, at the University of New Mexico, with Dr. Charles Truxillo, and the students from ECDN. In fact, there are links to the ECDN’s website from my website (go to the Portal). I just wrote “almost” complete report, because only by reading my blog, which you are now doing, will you receive the elements that I decided to delete from my official report.
What stood out the most: Reflecting upon my conversation with Dr. Truxillo, I think a statement that stood out the most, was that he said he wanted to retire in Querétaro, a Mexican city (and state) in the central part of the country. This, in spite of his work to promote La República del Norte; despite the recent web-publication of his paper, “The Inevitability of a Mexicano Nation in the American Southwest and Northern Mexico.” If La República del Norte is going to be such a wonderful place, then why doesn’t he want to stay and live in it? I even checked the 2080 map of La República del Norte at the ECDN website, since the northern Mexico states will be included. I thought that he might be able to retire in Querétaro, and still reside in La República del Norte. But no. According to this map, Querétaro will remain in Mexico. (I just realized the answer to my question. Truxillo doesn’t expect to still be alive by the year 2080. So, since he won’t be alive to see the realization of La República del Norte, then he might as well retire in Querétaro.)
Before our meeting, I went to the UNM Bookstore because I had intended to buy Truxillo’s book that was published in 2001. The title is “By the Sword and the Cross: The Historical Evolution of the Catholic World Monarchy in Spain and the New World, 1492-1825.” I found it in the textbook section. But I was literally taken aback to discover that Truxillo’s book costs approximately $90.oo at the university bookstore. At Amazon.com, the price of his book is $85.oo, although there are six used ones starting at $76.88. And his book has only 136 pages! Unbelievable! Some people have said that my book was too expensive – 380 pages, trade paperback, for $19.95. But after seeing Truxillo’s book, I think that my book is a real bargain! Needless to say, I haven’t been able to purchase Truxillo’s book yet.
Dr. Truxillo said he believes that Catholicism is important in society as an institution; by this he was implying that it is an absolutely stable element in society, a foundational element; it has always been there and always will be. He compared this with the relatively recent uprise of evangelical churches in Hispanic and Latin American communities: when converts lose their first burst, he said, the experience is gone. (And then they have nothing left, he implied, because they’ve gone away from the Catholic church.) However, he stated that the influence of the evangelical church is beneficial because it “keeps machismo under control” re: drinking and womanizing. He also said that most Chicanos are simply secular – i.e., religion is simply absent from their lives.
After our meeting, it was raining in Albuquerque, with some sunshine, and there was a brilliant, complete rainbow; all the colors, glowing, from one edge of the city to the other; it was stunning – so brilliant, in fact, that people on the sidewalks were stopping to look at it, in spite of the rain. And it forced me to wonder what kind of harbinger this was – either for me personally, or for La República Del Norte.

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About Me

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LEE CUESTA, a journalist who worked in Mexico City, has written about the complexities in Chiapas for a decade, acquiring firsthand experience in both Tuxtla Gutiérrez and San Cristóbal de Las Casas. As a fully bilingual writer, the author has been published in periodicals such as Northwest, Eternity, World Pulse, Indian Life, Interlit, Prisma, El Faro and Apuntes Pastorales. The articles receive international response. In addition, Cuesta is the author of the novel entitled Once: Once, about religious intolerance and an independence movement in Chiapas, along with a conspiracy to recapture territory that once belonged to Mexico. In it, he combines the skills of a storyteller and investigative reporter to penetrate the historical, social and spiritual dimensions of this convincing tale. It provides a rare and stunning glimpse into the elements that render neighboring cultures so incompatible.

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