Unsettled/ Inquietos: A collaboration with El Tecolote, the bilingual newspaper of the Mission!

Adriana Camarena is proud to collaborate with Accion Latina to create and distribute “Unsettled/Inquietos,” a series of literary non-fiction essays based on portraits of working class and poor residents of the traditionally Latino Mission District of San Francisco.

The essays will be published in English and Spanish in the bilingual El Tecolote newspaper of Acción Latina in print and online. Links to the essays in English and Spanish are provided below.

Get your fingers inky with a free print copy at a variety of local Mission and San Francisco cafés during the week of publication! (The author encourages this old school experience.)

Looking for Indio in the Mission. Issue #1, Oct. 5, 2017

Looking for Indio in the Mission, Issue #1, Unsettled/Inquietos, El Tecolote, Oct. 5, 2017

The Mission was once Chutchui, an old Ohlone village, surrounded by waterways. This is the story of Clyde, aka Indio, a Dakota Native American man who has lived his whole life in the Mission District. As a kid he participated in the Alcatraz Occupation, and was one of many Native Americans who moved to the Mission in the 70s. He now lives beneath the highway underpass at the edge of the Mission, once Precita Creek.

Threading the Life of a Mayan. Issue #2, Nov. 2, 2017

Threading the life of a Mayan, Issue #2, Unsettled/Inquietos, El Tecolote, Nov. 2, 2017

Luís Góngora Pat, a Mayan Mexican immigrant was killed by the police on Shotwell Street at corner of 19th street on April 7, 2016, in the Mission District. This is his story and the story of his wife Carmen May Can on the other side of the border, who I visit on Day of the Dead in Teabo, Yucatan.

Warriors in the Cove of Weepers. Issue #3, Feb. 8, 2018

Warriors in the Cove of Weepers, Issue #3, Unsettled/Inquietos, El Tecolote, Feb. 8, 2018

The Golden State Warriors are moving to San Francisco, into the old Cove of Weepers that the Spaniards colonized in 1776. Their new stadium on 16th Street will sit in the company of luxury condos in the now landfilled bay. Upstream at 16th and Mission is the community of impoverished single room occupancy (SRO) dwellers, which condo developers want to erase from the streetscape. Dale, an SRO survivor, is our hero.

Redlined. Issue #4, April 5, 2018

Issue # 4 Redlined, Unsettled/Inquietos, April 5, 2018

The Mission District was once a redlined neighborhood, now it is heavily gentrified by the influx of techies from Silicon Valley’s and City’s own start-ups and behemoth headquarters. Redlined is about the rise of the Latino Mission District and its organizing history since the 50s that has allowed it to pushback against real estate speculators trying to erase its living memory. Artists and community organizers share their points of view.

Renegade. Issue #5, July 12, 2018

Renegade, Issue #5, Unsettled/Inquietos, El Tecolote, July 12, 2018

Gaby is a Spokane-Kalispel Native American, a homeless, single mother, who is also a sex worker at corners of the Mission District where this trade has been traditionally plied since at least the late 60s. This happens also to be one of the most gentrified neighborhood corners where new neighbors have a “zero tolerance” policy against sex workers and their clients.

<Coded World> Issue #6, Sept. 19, 2018

Coded World, Issue #6, Unsettled/Inquietos, El Tecolote, Sept. 19, 2018

Joel Uicab is a 22-year-old coder living in the tech-gentrified Mission. He is also a Mayan-Mexican immigrant and an award-winning Latino student, who has been labeled a “gang-affiliate” by the criminal justice system. He scaled the wall at the border when he was 11. Now, he is trying to life-hack his way out of the school-to-prison pipeline that keeps his people down in the Land of the Free. That’s a lot of code to break!

The Girl Who Tamed the Beast, Issue #7, Nov. 15, 2018

This is the journey of Barbie Niño. At the age of 11, she struck out alone from Honduras to board the train route known as “The Beast” that crosses the length of Mexico from the southern border with Guatemala to the U.S. border in the north. Niño was steely in her desire to reach the U.S. to live free to be herself. This is a story of fierce courage from a little one, as much as the kindness of many strangers who buffered this butterfly girl from more violent winds of fate. Now a beautiful young transwoman, 27 years of age with raven black hair, Barbie tells her tale to inspire little children who feel uniquely alone in the world—just like she once did—to keep hope lit, and eyes open for the tricksters, beasts and angels who will bend barriers for them along the way.

Law & Border, Issue #8, Jan. 31, 2019

Law & Border covers the border crossing of the family of Luis Góngora Pat, against the backdrop of a brief history of Californios in the Mission and the making of the border in 1848.

Red, White and Blue: A Cuban in the Land of the Free, Issue #9, July 5, 2019

José Calderón was born in a hospital in La Havana, Cuba in 1951, and raised in Las Yaguas, a down-and-out shantytown on the south-east outskirts of the city. He immigrated to the U.S.A. as a Marielito. He shares his difficult story of migration, his joyous past as a child actor and his present as a relentless dreamer now in his sixties.

Masked Heroes and Masked Memories of Pandemics in the Mission, Issue #10, May 7, 2020

As we live with the surprising consequence of the coronavirus pandemic, this article remembers the catastrophic epidemics suffered by the original inhabitants of this place during the Spanish colonial era. Today’s indigenous migrants, often working as day laborers, nannies and restaurant staff, echo those first convert arrivals to the Mission Dolores. The pandemic affects them too, not only in San Francisco but in their original pueblos. A young K’iche’ Mayan day laborer in the Mission tells us how its’ going here and back home.

The “Unsettled/ Inquietos” series was originally supported by a 2017 Creative Work Fund literary grant.

We want to hear from you! Please write to the Author at mission.unsettlers @ gmail.com or the Tecolote Editor editor@eltecolote.org.

Upcoming presentation

[Closed during the pandemic]

Past readings

  • Wed. Feb. 27, 2019. 6:30pm. Panelist. “Invisible Bridges, Invisible Borders: Hidden Dynamics in SF,” Public Knowledge, SF MOMA at the San Francisco Public Library Ortega Branch, 3223 Ortega St, San Francisco, California 94122 FB event page here.
  • Fri. March 22, 2019. 6pm. Closing presentation and reception for the “Unsettled in the Mission/ Inquietos en la Misión” series, the successful collaboration between Adriana Camarena and Acción Latina/El Tecolote newspaper, which was supported by a  2017-2018 Creative Work Fund grant. Acción Latina, 2958 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110
  • Lectura en español, “La chica que domó a la Bestia,” El/la para Translatinas, Friday Nov. 16, 6:30-7pm Redstone Bldg, 2940 16th St, Suite 301
  • Unsettled in the Mission El Tecolote Series, extracts on policing, LitCrawl 2018 Event: Whoop Whoop That’s the Sound of the Police/ Whoop Whoop That’s the Sound of the Beast, Saturday October 20, 2018 5:00pm-6:00pm Adobe Books & Arts Cooperative 3130 24th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA, featuring other amazing artists as well
  • Coded,” Issue No. 6 of the Unsettled in the Mission El Tecolote Series, at a MAPP event at Noisebridge, 2169 Mission Street, 3rd floor, 7pm, Saturday October 6, 2018
  • Paseo Artístico hosts: An Unsettled/Inquietos Reading. April 14, 2017, 2:30-3:30pm, Acción Latina. As part of the Paseo Artístico events, Adriana Camarena with Shaping San Francisco, Acción Latina and El Tecolote newspaper present a free public reading of Issues #3 and #4 of “Unsettled in the Mission” with accompanying slideshow. Saturday, April 14, 2:30 PM – 3:30 PM, Acción Latina, 2958 24th St, San Francisco, California 94110 Facebook event page here.
  • Paseo Artístico hosts: An Unsettled/Inquietos Reading. Sat. April 14th, 2018, 2:30-3:30pm, Acción Latina. Adriana Camarena, Acción Latina and El Tecolote newspaper proudly present a free public reading of the first two issues of “Unsettled in the Mission” with accompanying slideshow. Saturday, December 9 at 1 PM – 3 PM, Acción Latina, 2958 24th St, San Francisco, California 94110 Facebook event page here.
  • Reading/ Lectura: Nov. 2, 2017, 5 p.m. Altar for/de Luís Góngora Pat, on Shotwell Street at corner of 19th street/ Calle Shotwell casi esquina con la 19. Facebook event page here.
  • Pilot Reading/ Lectura, 8 p.m. Oct. 7, 2017, Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts