Sierra Magazine: As Palm Plantations Grab Land, Mayan Women Organize

I reported in Sayaxché, Petén with support from the International Women in Media Foundation to produce this story. It focuses on how African palm oil plantations have impacted the Q’eqchí Mayan community’s food security. I profile a group of women that is working with a non-profit called Sagrada Tierra to maintain food production in the region, as the cost of staple goods goes up. “’Before we didn’t have land, we lived on a hacienda,’ says Celia, an Indigenous Guatemalan woman with deep creases folded into her expressive…Continue Reading “Sierra Magazine: As Palm Plantations Grab Land, Mayan Women Organize”

Viewpoint Magazine: The Rebel Project of the Caravan

I wrote for Viewpoint Magazine about the precedents of migrant organizing in Mexico and the nascent cross-border solidarity movement. I include some of my own experience volunteering in a migrant shelter in 2013 and 2014, and how the caravans of past years laid the groundwork for what’s happening now. “While presidential tweeting and international media coverage has brought newfound attention to the plight of Central American migrants, the movement in Mexico and beyond to support undocumented people in transit has been growing for years, through…Continue Reading “Viewpoint Magazine: The Rebel Project of the Caravan”

CityLab: Migrant Caravan Rolls Into Mexico City

I wrote for CityLab about the Mexican towns and cities giving the migrant caravan a dignified welcome. “In a broad-brimmed straw hat and an airy linen shirt, Oscar Cruz Lopez, the municipal secretary of Juchitan, Oaxaca, surveyed the crowds at the city’s new bus station. Before him sprawled about 6,000 people who had spent the night on the grounds. As church members served chicken stew on paper plates, taxi drivers circled the bus station, offering rides into the center of town for 15 pesos (about…Continue Reading “CityLab: Migrant Caravan Rolls Into Mexico City”

The National: Maligned by Trump, earthquake-hit Mexican town receives migrant caravan with open arms

I wrote for The National about the caravan of Central American migrants and asylum seekers. I traveled to Juchitan, Oaxaca last week as the caravan passed through. This report discusses how local towns rolled out the welcome mat, and the challenges that the caravan will face in coming days and weeks. “As night falls on Mexico’s southern Juchitan and city lights begin to flicker, thousands of Central American migrants spread out across a brand new bus station, transforming the grounds into an impromptu refugee camp….Continue Reading “The National: Maligned by Trump, earthquake-hit Mexican town receives migrant caravan with open arms”

HWGTN: How Outdated Cars Live on in a Smoggy Afterlife

During my reporting trip this fall in Guatemala with the International Women in Media Foundation (IWMF) I reported on the country’s pervasive pollution problems. Looking into air pollution, I followed many a dirty tailpipe to understand why authorities have failed to regulate vehicle emissions. Here’s the result, published in How We Get To Next this week. “El Trébol, ‘The Clover,’ is a tangle of highways and roundabouts in Guatemala City, where traffic grinds to a halt during the morning and evening rush hours. Colorfully-painted buses…Continue Reading “HWGTN: How Outdated Cars Live on in a Smoggy Afterlife”

New York Magazine: The Pirate Cell Towers of Rural Mexico

I wrote for the “Developing” series at New York Magazine, which looks at tech in a global context. This story was inspired by my time researching in Oaxaca in 2014-15. It’s always fun to bring an old interest into my current reporting. “Talea de Castro is a four-hour drive through winding mountain roads from the capital of Oaxaca, Mexico. In 2013, the indigenous Zapotec town launched Mexico’s first nonprofit, community-run cell-phone network. Now, Indigenous Community Telecommunications (TIC for its initials in Spanish) provides low-cost cell-phone…Continue Reading “New York Magazine: The Pirate Cell Towers of Rural Mexico”

Longreads: To Tell the Story, These Journalists Became Part of the Story

I wrote a book essay for Longreads about Patriot Number One by Lauren Hilgers and The Far Away Brothers by Lauren Markham. Both books trace the stories of recent immigrants to the United States, from China and El Salvador respectively. I weave in my own experience working with migrants in Mexico. These two books go beyond the day-to-day headlines on immigration to understand the forces pushing people out of their home countries. “The attention paid to the U.S.-Mexico border seems to ebb and flow like…Continue Reading “Longreads: To Tell the Story, These Journalists Became Part of the Story”

CityLab: Mexico City’s Architects of Destruction

“On the first anniversary of the Mexico City earthquake, an investigation explores how engineers, builders, and politicians failed to follow building codes—with deadly results.” I wrote for CityLab about the damning report from a Mexican NGO showing that widespread corruption caused multiple buildings to collapse in the September 19, 2017 earthquake. Mexico City officials have yet to learn the lessons of 1985. Read the full story on CityLab.

NACLA/Americas Program: The Emergency Isn’t Over

“As long as one single neighbor is still displaced from their home, the crisis that started with the earthquake continues,” says Gabriel Macías of the Tlalpan United group of neighbors whose apartment complex collapsed in the Sept. 19 earthquake. Around him crowd dozens of journalists, neighbors, and members of the “Topos,” the moles, Mexico City’s volunteer rescue crews.” I wrote for The Americas Program and NACLA about the one-year anniversary of the Mexico City earthquake. Victims organizations are calling out the government’s ineffectual response and…Continue Reading “NACLA/Americas Program: The Emergency Isn’t Over”

Culinary Backstreets: Tortas Robles- A Sandwich For the Pueblo

“The Robles family has sold tortas in downtown Mexico City for over 70 years, earning generations of devoted customers. But this year could be its last. Their story begins in 1940s Mexico City, at the intersection of Doctor Mora and Juárez Avenue, the southwestern corner of the Alameda Central. Diego Rivera immortalized the famous park, the first of its kind in Mexico City, in a 1947 mural, imagining over 100 seminal figures from Mexican history strolling through the grounds. On a sunny summer morning at…Continue Reading “Culinary Backstreets: Tortas Robles- A Sandwich For the Pueblo”