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Poet, educator, humanitarian Jorge Argueta, a proud son of El Salvador and San Francisco, has dozens of books to his credit — books of his poems, books of poetry, culture and life philosophy for children… He also operates Luna Books in the Excelsior. And he maintains a safe space, a library for children, in San Salvador, traveling incessantly in all directions, delivering messages of love and hope to children and their families. He is one of the greatest treasures of our time.
Yuyi Morales, acclaimed author and illustrator of Dreamers, has said, “I was sitting next to Jorge as he was finishing Caravan to the North. I was in awe. I was witnessing Jorge write the book we need today. This is the book we have been waiting for. If there is a voice readers need to hear, it is the voice of Misael and many others recounting what happens in the hearts of those who migrate with their backpacks full of dreams. This is the new American Novel, and it is for children. What could be more powerful than that?”
In October 2019, Abraham Rodriguez, wrote in Mission Local that the tale “is based on real-life experiences of migrants, many of them still children, as they made the 2,000-mile journey in caravans from Central America. Argueta said he decided to write the book after conducting interviews and seeing firsthand hundreds of people fleeing for the U.S. border.
â€œ’If it happens to kids why donâ€™t they deserve to know about this? They are capable of learning and comprehending this. Theyâ€™re the victims. If this stuff happens to them why canâ€™t they read about it?’ said Argueta, who was born in El Salvador but left the country during its civil war in the 1980s. He arrived in San Francisco in when he was 19 and opened Lunaâ€™s Press, a small childrenâ€™s bookstore, at 3790 Mission St., near Park Street in Bernal Heights. He co-owns the store with Holly Ayala, his wife.
“Argueta in October 2018 found out about a large gathering of migrants that were planning to leave El Salvador and travel to the US-Mexico border. He lives once again in his home country and the group was set to meet at midnight at Plaza El Salvador Del Mundo in San Salvador.
“When he arrived at the staging area for the march, some 400 people were already there and a few of them were teens and children. Through interviews, Argueta learned that the underage travelers were leaving because they were afraid of gangs or felt that life was too hard in El Salvador. Some had been forced to go alone by their parents and others were leaving with their families.
“‘They were set on leaving El Salvador. The country couldnâ€™t provide even the most basic things, so they were tired of seeing crime and poverty,’ Argueta said.
“Argueta spent the entire night talking to the migrants, who then departed at dawn.”
Caravan to the North is Jorge’s telling of these children’s story in verse, of the children and for the children.
Our events are put on under the umbrella of the nonprofit Bird & Beckett Cultural Legacy Project (the "BBCLP"). That's how we fund our ambitious schedule of 300 or so concerts and literary events every year.
The BBCLP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit...
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Gigging musicians! You have nothing to lose but your lack of a collective voice to achieve fair wages for your work!
The IMA can be a conduit for you, if you join in to make it work.
Read more here - Andy Gilbert's Feb 25 article about the IMA from KQED's site