Lessons My Mexican Father Taught Me

Salvador Herrera, 40, from El Salvador, Jose Castillo, 58, from El Salvador and Gerasmo Perez, 63, from Mexico wait for work at a day laborer site in Los Angeles, California, on November 23, 2011. (Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)

Alvaro Huerta: I was not used to seeing a grown man, especially my father, “begging for work.” Now I realize I was wrong to be embarrassed and ashamed. Instead, I should have been appreciative and thankful of my father.

From Ghetto to Graduate Studies

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Alvaro Huerta: Too often, corporate-minded outsiders who never experienced poverty or attended overcrowded public schools preach to inner-city Latinos and African Americans about working hard, making the right choices and being accountable for their actions as the sole means to upward mobility.

Let’s Stop Blaming Immigrants

mccain kyl briefing

Alvaro Huerta: Whether it’s Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., blaming the wildfires in the Southwest on immigrants coming across the border or whether it’s the state of Alabama passing the harshest anti-immigrant law in the country, it’s clear that brown-skinned immigrants have become the targets of the day.

Obama Looking Like a Champ

obama-football-wide

Alvaro Huerta: To be a real champ, Obama now needs to end the tax cuts for the rich, withdraw all troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, and get the DREAM Act passed.

More Than a Village

Alvaro Huerta: While by no means a scientific study, my story is an example of how it takes more than a village for someone from the inner city to attend elite universities like UCLA and UC Berkeley.

Saving Public Redevelopment Agencies

Huerta_Mural-wide

Alvaro Huerta: I don’t blame Gov. Brown for seeking creative ways to save California from financial bankruptcy. The state budget, however, should not be balanced on the backs of the less fortunate—those who directly benefit from public redevelopment agencies to revitalize their communities.

From Tween Day Laborer to Urban Planning Scholar

alvaro huerta

Alvaro Huerta: Working alongside Latino immigrant men during a hot summer in Malibu, I learned firsthand the trials and tribulations of manual labor. This grueling experience became the impetus for my academic trajectory, scholarship and lifelong commitment to social justice.

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