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August 10th, 2023

From Kentucky to Arizona: Reflections on Sazonblea

Sazonblea is an in-person gathering for Mijente members. If you’re actively building sin, contra, y desde el estado efforts or interested in joining – Sazonblea is for YOU!

Maybe you’re wondering what Sazonblea is all about, and why you should come. This post is a recollection of Sazonblea 2019 from our members and friends: Sarah, Lisa, and Marcos.

Where we begin as a community

The symbol of the horseshoe is from Sazonblea 2019, hosted in Louisville, Kentucky. It is not only a symbol of luck. The horseshoe is also representation of our gente, our parents, our hard work, and our desire to fight and win! Sanzonblea convening in our beautiful city for a weekend allowed us to show up for everything our icons have taught us. It inspired the following lines from a poem read by members at the start of the program on Friday morning.

‘LouisvilleMijente’ Poem

To ground us in space and place, Mijente members read Marcos Morales’ poem. We got a little taste of what it meant to be a Mijente member and Latinx person living in the Southern state that is influenced by Midwestern culture. Here’s an excerpt from ‘LouisvilleMijente’: 

Saludxs a mis no-parientes que son mis tías, tíos, padrinx y abuelxs impromptu comunidad peoples 

Chapins, Xicanx, Carribean, migrating, and homecoming peoples

West Beuchel, conservative Cubans who forgot where they came from peoples

Southside from La National, to Okolona, to Preston Hwy, family owned business peoples…

de Fairdale Applegate and Glengary, trailer park peoples

dy-a-spora grippo chompin’, sweet-tea sippin’, peoples

fighting over KING’S and INDI’S chicken peoples

float like a monarch, sting, like a bee peoples

yearning to be seen and heard peoples

For the full copy of poem, see: here

Why Join Sazonblea 2023?

Coming to Sazonblea gets you an inner view of our gente and struggles of Latinx kinfolk in a location you’ve never considered before. You won’t want to miss what’s happening over in Tucson, Arizona this year! This year’s meetup will take place across Tucson and members will join to get to know more about Mijente’s efforts sin, contra, y desde el Estado. Also, you will connect with your peoples from across the country and in Puerto Rico – from cities and towns just like your own, with people who are chingona just like you!

Don’t miss this year’s Sazonblea, get your ticket today! 

What Can You Expect?

You will listen, learn, connect — and maybe even dance together at one go the nightly jangueos! Really, being in space with your peoples is soul opening, heart penetrating, and exactly what many of us need at the end of this year. We think you will agree!

Three words that come to mind as a full expression of what it feels like to attend Sazonblea are Remember, Recover, Unlearn. These words, based on Mijente Principio #7 remind us that we owe it to those who will follow to do the work towards wholeness, wellness, and healing. Member Alejandra Estrada beautifully captured this principle in her art piece, created at the screen printing station. Lisa Castellanos, a Leadership Circle and Mijente member, organized the screen printing and facilitated hundreds of prints at Sazonblea 2019.

October is such a wonderful month for our gente. We’re getting ready to celebrate our ancestors, are getting geared up for all kinds of elections and campaigns, and more than likely ready to start sipping on some chocolate, tes de hierbas, and un cafe bien caliente. And weather in Tucson will be just right. Connecting to all our senses and in community helps us to remember so much about who we are and where we come from.

Making New Connections y Compas  

We know from experience that it’s too easy to get frustrated with the situations our neighborhoods and gente are facing. That’s why we come together in community with our compas. We are ready to learn and become refreshed with new ideas. By joining us at Sazonblea, you will get to meet the beautiful, amazing, and badass people of Tucson, like the F.U.G.A. organizers and volunteers. You’ll get an up close and personal experience with the city. You’ll get to know the issues the community is fighting for and the symbolism that the desert brings to movements in AZ. Come to recover the legacy of radical love, resistance, and resilience of our ancestors!

This is the space to get your head, heart, and spirit warmed and open to new ideas that you can take into the next year to feed your own curiosities and projects. Come to Sazonblea to unlearn what you have been taught by mainstream and oppressive institutions. You will have the opportunity to learn, practice, and play with the knowledge and creativity of elders and new organizers alike.

Dare to Do

At Sazonblea 2019, Mijente Director and co-founder Marisa Franco shared:

“What we’ve done in the last few years is that we’ve won ourselves the right to believe we can. And that is so fundamentally needed in our community. So we must get beyond “daring to dream” and we got to start to “dare to do”. That is my challenge, that is my offering, that is my invitation to each of us.” 

We can dare to dream about a new radical hub for Latinx diasporas…but right now we are needed to “Dare to Do”. That means taking risks to scheme and experiment. To try, fail, try again. To give it our good and win!

Embroidery made by Lisa Castellanos during Sazonblea 2019

The Time is Now 

Get ready to feel passion, connection, and a sense of readiness you may have never felt before. Because we work hard, play hard, and bring our sazón to everything we do. Through the culture making, art spaces, healing centers, and knowledge shares we become bolder and stronger. Ready to go home from Sazonblea and fight for a new tomorrow.

Our political home – on the ground and online – is a safe space to share, organize, collaborate, learn, heal and reflect, and celebrate the best of our identity and cultura.

Remember where you’ve come from

Recover your ancestor’s legacy 

Unlearn the lies you’ve been told

Sign up today my peoples. You won’t regret it.

Post by Sarah Nuñez, with contributions from Marcos Morales and Lisa Castellanos

Sarah is a Mijente member living in Asheville, NC and leading growing and distribution efforts for Aflorar Herb Collective, one of the first programs funded by our Sin el Estado grant, Living La Vida Local. She is a queer, Southerner, born in Colombia and raised in North Carolina, a family caretaker, educator, and organizer.

Paid for in part by Mijente PAC, 734 W Polk St., Phoenix, AZ 85007, not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.