We hustled stories over fires and peeped drones over head.
I haven’t written as much as I’d like to about our short but powerful visit to Standing Rock, ND this October. I feel overwhelmed by this historical moment and incredible people out there each day facing down guns. But I want my friends to know and I want other Latinxs to know–this is all of our struggle. If you’re considering it please go up to Standing Rock now!. They need us right now. We need them even more. (Or support however you can).
For me, it was both powerful on the macro/movement sense and meant so much to me as a Latinx with indigenous roots. Movement wise– this is it–it’s the answer to the chaos sparked in 1492, it’s ground zero for decolonization. Ecologically and economically people are calling for the end of vulture capitalism that values profits over all life.
As a Latinx with roots in Ecuador and Puerto Rico it was the meeting of my relatives, literally folks were interested in us finding out Latin American “tribe” while we were out there, our delegation was welcomed with ceremony, we were smudged and greeted by the camp elders. If you can go, you should. Of course I danced–learned to do the owl and rabbit. If I’d stay longer we woulda been dancing salsa at some point. I earned a camp nickname: “Boricua!”
We stayed at the main camp “Oceti Sakowin” and it felt sacred–all day and night you can hear drumming and singing– you feel this beauty there–I mean all these flags and all these people and all these stories in one place. So many have sacrificed so much personally to remain there for weeks, months even–pulled in by the weight of this moment.
You don’t have to sleep outside –some folks book a room at the casino and drive down the road to camp. You don’t have to get arrested–only those who want to go to the front lines are prepared to do so. But our water protectors need us to come up and phyically be present to stop the encrouching machines from drilling underneath the sacred waters and earth.
There is so much other work to do–I helped cook in the Lower Brulé Sioux camp where all the guys hang out who do security. Made a camp version of arroz con gandules. (Lol with “game meat” bc there was no salchichon). If you have questions, hit me up. ❤️