This week, we started off with a project launch. Our entire team went to Gathering Grounds which is the same place we are going to be having our Chula Vista Zine Fest. When you hear the word “church”, you probably think of a typical church with rows of seats and an altar at the front. But it was completely different. As you walked through the doors, it looked like a small cafe. There were tables set up and there was a counter where you could order drinks, just like a typical coffee shop. So it was basically a church with a coffee shop on the side. At the place, we met different social advocates, researched local zines to understand how social topics are important to a community, and we also learned the history of different social topics. We looked at zines from a monthly news journal called “La Voz de Esperanza” which translates to “The Voice of Hope” in English.
We got into pairs and looked through the zine. Some zines were different from others, meaning that the zines were focusing on different social topics within San Antonio, Texas. During the project launch, we also received a handout that had all of the information of what we were going to be doing in this project, the humanities/biology objectives, as well as where our exhibitions were going to be. After we had done all of the activities, we had the privilege of meeting 5 social advocates to hear what they are advocating for. There was Ruben Torres (Love Thy Neighbor), Sergio Garcia-Manriquez (Chicano Soul Food), Diana Pastora Carson (Ability Awareness), Irma Patricia Aguayo (Director of Sherman Heights Community Center/Community Artist), and Merlynn Tulen (Think Dignity). Although they were all advocating for something different, they all had the same idea of how teens can become advocates. One quote that stood out to me was, “Find where your activism lies.” That stood out to me because since teenagers are the future, we should starts speaking up for what we believe and try to bring social change to this world.