I have changed my blog picture in honor of my good friend Abraham who is from Oaxaca, Mexico. Abraham has been off work for the last two weeks due to the highly touted 'swine flu'. Very nervous, he has written frequently to describe his worries about living in a community far from medical services, and his fear that "now, no one wants Mexicans."
When Abraham was visiting, I was exposed to the 'underground' Latino community that lives in Vancouver. I was embraced warmly (both figuratively and literally - machismo culture alive and well) and in my halting Spanish, managed to ask all sorts of questions about what life is like for illegals in Canada. I can't imagine what its like to know all of the secret ways to enter Canada, sneak across the U.S. border, and to have family that have been killed by border police. It was one of the most eye-opening weeks I've had in a long time. What must it be like to leave your family, not knowing if you'll ever return?