New Mexico artist receives funding to tell life on the border through music

Amalia Mondragon shares her experience of growing into “Transfronterizx” in the El Paso-Juarez-New Mexico area

El Paso, Texas (Border report) – Like many children of Mexican immigrants, Amalia Mondragon grew up on both sides of the border. This means speaking English at school and then returning to her Spanish-speaking parents. This means spending a peaceful afternoon in the farming community of La Union, New Mexico, and then visiting family during the weekend in the fast-paced and noisy urban expansion of Juarez, Mexico.

It also enables her to explain important information to her parents in English and automatically switch to Spanish when she crosses the border into Mexico.

“It’s like walking into a mirror, and then you become your left,” said the Latin Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter. “This is a kind of code conversion, and it’s automatic. I take it for granted. I think being a walking bridge and walking translation is a super power.”

This word”Cross-border“It has long been a cross-border for Spaniards. Today, Border crossing The door was opened, allowing people to describe the border residents who walked back and forth in the geo-cultural mirror in a more diverse and tolerant way.

Amalia Mondragon (photo courtesy)

Next year’s Mondragon will have the opportunity to tell the world what life is like in this unique corner of the world. She is one of 27 artists or organizations that have received a total of $1.4 million in funding from the Ford Foundation and the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC) to change the narrative of boundaries through personal storytelling.

“Destructive narratives about border communities have long dominated the country’s attitudes towards immigration. Maria Torres-Springer, vice president of Ford Foundation’s U.S. Programs, said: “We are proud to support these communities. Restore their truth, tell their stories, and make a new national anthem for the United States, which is full of the dignity, demands, and dreams of border communities.

Five groups and artists in the El Paso area received funding. The winners include La Semilla Food Center in Anthony, New Mexico, La Mujer Obrera and Rubi Orozco Santos in El Paso, and Ni En More in Juarez, Mexico.

Mondragon said she will use her grant to edit her first solo album. She is the former singer of Las Chamanas, nominee for the 2016 Latin Grammy Awards.

She said: “It’s about the concept of living as a dual-spirited person. They identify with men and women.” “My idea is to tell the story of my cousin Tereso Contreras and myself through genre. Each genre is represented. An emotion, an individual thing, using the genres we have heard since childhood, such as rancheras, corridos, cumbias, but giving them our own style Minorism Or grow up on the border. “

Mondragon said she is still raising funds.

“It’s funny,” she said.

To learn more about the artist, please visit or find @amalia_mondragon.

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