Coloquio Online
Electronic Newsletter in Spanish and English
Revista electrónica en inglés y español
Javier Bustamante, Editor

Currently, it's
Restaurante Tio Pepe, Baltimore
Diciembre - December 2004

Coloquio desea a nuestros lectores unas Felices Fiestas y Un Próspero Año Nuevo 2005
Bells and Mistletoe
Coloquio wishes our readers Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year 2005

Tirma Tours






Election 2004







Other Sites:

Famous Hispanics in the World and History

Los Toros


Club Andalucía

Semana Santa en Sevilla

English Only?

King Juan Carlos I of Spain Center

Instituto Cervantes

Baltimore Mayor's Hispanic Liaison Office

CASA de Maryland

Maryland Governor's Commission on Hispanic Affairs

Maryland Latino Coalition for Justice

El Refranero Español: Aunque la mona se vista de seda, mona se queda

Manuel de Falla

Manuel de Falla
(1876-1946), Musician, Spain

How to save your own life during a heart attack

What you do during a heart attack can mean the difference between life and death. If you're having a heart attack and there is no one there to perform CPR on you, do the following:

· Immediately take a deep breath and cough twice, as hard as you can.

· Wait a couple of seconds, take another deep breath, and again cough twice. This will contract your diaphragm and compress the heart, causing it to pump.

· Call 911

This is a simple form of self CPR.

· Keep repeating the process until your heart begins to beat normally (or until help arrives).

· Once your heart has stabilized, chew and swallow one aspirin

· Take two cayenne pepper capsules or a table spoon of Tabasco sauce.

Aspirin will thin your blood and prevent platelets from sticking. Tabasco or cayenne will dilate your blood vessels so that blood can flow freely.

This a simple technique that can dramatically increase your chances of survival.


This might be a lifesaver if we can remember the three questions!

Sometimes symptoms of a stroke are difficult to identify. Unfortunately, the lack of awareness spells disaster. The stroke victim may suffer brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke. Now doctors say a bystander can recognize a stroke by asking three simple questions:

· Ask the individual to smile.

· Ask him or her to raise both arms.

· Ask the person to speak a simple sentence.

If he or she has trouble with any of these tasks, call 911 immediately and describe the symptoms to the dispatcher.

After discovering that a group of non-medical volunteers could identify facial weakness, arm weakness and speech problems, researchers urged the general public to learn the three questions. They presented their conclusions at the American Stroke Association's annual meeting last February. Widespread use of this test could result in prompt diagnosis and treatment of the stroke and prevent brain damage.

Are you or someone you know afflicted by a stroke? See here
¿Ha tenido Ud. o alguien que Ud. conoce una embolia? Lea aquí

El Trovador restaurant
Iraq War Casualties
Just so we remember

US and Coalition Iraq War casualties as of December 27, 2004 -- Days: 649

Total contractors dead (see here)
Who were they? See here
Total US Wounded
as of 12/22/04
Total Coalition Dead
Avge. per day:




Iraqis dead
Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and the government when it deserves it. -Mark Twain
Fascinating World Facts
Madrid, destino europeo
Feliz Navidad
'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the casa,
Not a creature was stirring - ¡Caramba! ¿Qué pasa? Keep reading

The Hispanic Republicans of Maryland hold their first convention on January 22, 2005 at the Lowes Hotel in Annapolis. Dr. Luis Queral will be honored for his long efforts on behalf of the party. Keep reading

"We have managed to slam the door shut on them, and we're locking them in". EVERY American city is now a border town. If you drive through the Arkansas hills, you will see a single-wide trailer church with a sign that reads "Templo Evangélico." If you take Interstate 10 through Metairie, La., and exit north, you will find a Mexican barrio hidden behind a neighborhood of Cajuns. In Naperville, Ill., Spanish-speaking men in work clothes peruse the abundant "Hispanic foods" aisle, buying corn husks and masa de maíz to make their traditional Christmas meal of tamales, but Chicago style - with bratwurst instead of beef. Keep reading

Very few topics are as important to everyone as Social Security.
For the Hispanic community this is an even more pressing issue. Coloquio will try to explain this complicated issue as the talk of privatization heats up. Keep reading

Raul Yzaguirre retires.
For 30 years he has been a giant in the Hispanic community. Keep reading

Morgan State University
invites all Spanish speaking and/or American- Indian college graduates, to participate in the masters and doctors Public Health Programs Keep reading

CASA de Maryland
opens a Baltimore presence, gets a welcome from the community and puts the Mayor on the spot Keep reading

As he becomes one of the Senate's two Hispanic members, Ken Salazar
is going to be pushed into a role he is clearly uncomfortable with: a high-profile voice for Hispanics nationwide. Keep reading

The last 200 years have driven centralization and changed the human experience in ways that conflict with evolution. The Internet will reestablish a more balanced, decentralized lifestyle. Keep reading

Por segunda vez en la historia, (Mel Martinez fue el primero) un inmigrante hispano de origen cubano formará parte del gabinete de Estados Unidos.
Esta vez es el empresario Carlos Gutiérrez, ejecutivo en jefe de la empresa Kellogg, quien fue nominado por el presidente Bush para ocupar el puesto de Secretario de Comercio. Siga leyendo

Flamenco in Baltimore every Tuesday! Keep reading

Se lanza proyecto en Baltimore para proteger la visión de Latinos con diabetes. Siga leyendo

Maria de AgredaCloistered Spanish Nun Wields a Quiet Power
December 2004 marks the 150 th anniversary of the Catholic doctrine of the Immaculate Conception of Mary, and a unique opportunity to appreciate our Hispanic heritage. Keep reading

Workers fighting English-only rules
. While still rare, cases brought against employers who limit language have grown 612% since 1996. Keep reading

Luis GutierrezMusic this month. Keep reading

Si usted o alguien que usted conoce sufren del impacto negativo del abuso de alcohol u otras drogas, llamen para que le ayuden, en español. Siga leyendo

Attending preschool allows poor and minority children to shrink the "achievement gap" separating them from white, affluent students. Keep reading

Letters - Cartas

Coloquio encourages letters to the editor. Please email us your comments
Coloquio acepta cartas al editor. Mándenos su email

DahrmassageJavier: Para ti y para Coloquio nuestros deseos de que perseveres -como lo has hecho hasta hoy- en comunicar, informar y reflexionar con la comunidad nuestra. Te felicitamos por ello mientras auguramos un nuevo ano mas justo y en paz para este lastimado mundo nuestro. Te abrazamos,
Enrique y Ana Maria Codas
Querido Javier:
Un caluroso saludo y un gran abrazo en esta Navidad, con mis mejores deseos de que el nuevo año sea uno de prosperidad y bienandanzas tanto para ti  y tu familia, como para todos los lectores de Coloquio.  Te escribo también para informar a todos que se está organizando una recreación del ataque inglés de 1797 a San Juan, Puerto Rico, para el año 2006 y se necesitan voluntarios. En el ataque, un sitio que duró dos semanas, las fuerzas inglesas salieron derrotadas, a pesar de ser más numerosas tanto en soldados como en unidades navales.  El comandante inglés, Sir Ralph Abercromby, moriría en 1801 mientras derrotaba a las fuerzas de Napoleón en Egipto. Los que deseen más información sobre la recreación pueden acceder a la siguiente pagina web:
Hector Diaz,
Hispanos en la Historia
Keep up the good work, Javier. Thanks and happy holidays.
Ralph I. Miller
Hi my good friends,
You announce, just announce that there is " Flamenco every tuesday in Baltimore" but then add no where or when. Tell me where and when. Introduce yourself and I'll buy you one. Abrazos,
Jim Toland
Editor's note: See here
Hola Javier!
Thanks so much for keeping me on your mailing list. I enjoy the news and views. Today, I head to Silver Spring with Alvaro DeMoya to assist Hispanic small business owners. I hope that you and your family have a joyous, peace-filled Holiday Season.
Thank you so much for keeping me in this loop, it is a fantastic publication.  What do you think about Gonzales?  I am opposed givenhis support for torture among other things.  I was surprised that La Raza supported him so strongly.
Hope you have been well.
Adam Ortiz
Se lanza proyecto en Baltimore para proteger la visión de Latinos con diabetes

BALTIMORE * Dados los múltiples riesgos de salud asociados con las tasas elevadas de diabetes en la comunidad Latina de Baltimore, el Instituto de Ojos Wilmer del Hospital Johns Hopkins, el Apostolado Hispánico de Catholic Charities y el Centro para Programas de Comunicación (CCP) de la Facultad Bloomberg de Salud Pública de la Universidad Johns Hopkins han unido fuerzas para ayudar a los Latinos entender como la diabetes afecta sus ojos y puede dañar su visión si no es tratada oportunamente.
El Instituto Nacional del Ojo proporcionó a las tres organizaciones - colectivamente conocidas como el Proyecto Pro Visión - $2.5 millones para enfrentar este problema que afecta al grupo minoritario que más rápido está creciendo en Estados Unidos. De acuerdo a estudios científicos, uno de cada cinco Latinos adultos (de 40 años o más) tienen diabetes y casi la mitad de estos (47%) tienen retinopatía diabética, una enfermedad que puede resultar en la pérdida de visión. Sin embargo, 15% de aquellas personas con diabetes no lo saben y 9% tienen retinopatía diabética moderada o severa. El tratamiento apropiado puede ser muy efectivo en prevenir la pérdida de visión.
"Reconocemos que hay muchos factores, incluyendo factores económicos, que prevengan que los Latinos reciban tratamiento para la diabetes y para sus problemas de visión," dijo la Dra. Sheila West, investigadora principal de Pro Visión  y profesora del Instituto de Ojos Wilmer. "Por esa razón, queremos trabajar con la comunidad Latina para aprender como reciben información sobre salud e identificar aquellos factores que puedan influenciar su búsqueda de tratamiento para su visión. Estos datos nos ayudarán a diseñar un programa de información sobre salud ocular así como un sistema de apoyo que ayude a satisfacer las necesidades de cuidado de salud de sus ojos."
El Apostolado Hispánico estará encargado de identificar y educar a personas con diabetes en la comunidad Latina. El Instituto de Ojos Wilmer utilizará su experiencia en salud ocular, la cual es reconocida mundialmente, en conjunto con las estrategias de comunicación para cambio de comportamiento de CCP para diseñar y diseminar mensajes y materiales sobre prevención de diabetes y retinopatía diabética en la comunidad Latina de Baltimore.
Pro Visión llevará acabo una investigación para determinar los niveles de conocimiento sobre el cuidado requerido para la retinopatía diabética y las barreras que se presentan en la búsqueda de servicios de salud ocular. Luego se utilizará un proceso interactivo con la comunidad para diseñar mensajes de salud, materiales y sistemas de diseminación. El proyecto también utilizará canales comunitarios para diseminar los mensajes de salud, los cuales buscan aumentar el conocimiento, ayudar a eliminar barreras al cuidado de salud de ojos y realzar comportamientos de búsqueda de servicios de salud. Al final del proyecto, Pro Visión evaluará la campaña y desarrollará un modelo para llevar estos mensajes de salud a otras comunidades Latinas.
El Instituto de Ojos Wilmer es reconocido mundialmente tanto por sus investigaciones como por su tratamiento de casos oculares excepcionalmente serios y complejos. Este instituto brinda atención técnicamente excelente y compasiva para pacientes que requieren cuidado de ojos a todos los niveles. Wilmer ha sido reconocido como el mejor departamento ocular en Estados Unidos por el U.S. News & World Report 12 de los últimos 14 años, incluyendo el año pasado.
CCP es un pionero en el campo de programas de comunicación para el cambio de comportamiento y promoción de la salud. Actualmente trabaja en más de 30 países y ha sido reconocido por colaborar con organizaciones locales para alcanzar resultados de salud mensurables.
El Apostolado Hispánico es un programa de Catholic Charities, el líder regional en provisión de servicios humanos. El programa de 41 años proporciona servicios sociales y apoyo legal a Latinos y otros inmigrantes del área de Baltimore. El personal bilingüe del Apostolado ofrece asistencia con empleo, clases de inglés, servicios legales para inmigración y acceso a servicios de salud.
Kim Martin
Senior Public Affairs Officer
Center for Communication Programs
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
111 Market Place
Baltimore, Maryland 21202
(410) 659-6140
fax (410) 659-6266


Coloquio no se responsabiliza de las opiniones de nuestros corresponsales.
Coloquio is not responsible for the opinion of our correspondents.

Emilio Labrada Emilio Bernal Labrada, miembro de la Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española, es autor de La prensa liEbre o Los crímenes del idioma. Pedidos a:

Language, Our Daily Fiesta


by Emilio Bernal Labrada

If a good translation is music to the ear, then a bad one is... well, let’s say, like a poorly tuned instrument. But wait, I’m actually talking about translations involving music! In which case, I hasten to add, the result is, well, downright cacophonic!

I had the pleasure of meeting the subject of this article, the accomplished Cuban musician Israel López, better known as “Cachao”, when he gave a brief concert a few years ago on the front steps of the Library of Congress. But more about that and mistranslation later.

What concerns us up front is his new CD, which is partly bilingual in that song-titles are rendered in English and Spanish. We appreciate that, except for the title of the recording, which is a hip expression of Cachao’s, “¡Ahora sí!”. The original –it clearly deserves the word– conveys lots of spunk and spark, but talk about “lost in translation”! Whatever possessed them to render it into English as “Now yes!” is beyond comprehension. You’d think someone would have said “Wait a minute –isn’t that slightly literal?” Not to mention “Does it mean anything?” Who did this, I wonder: Andy García? I doubt it, since, he seems too smart and sensitive a man to think he can act, direct and produce (no doubt about it), play music (ditto), compose songs (ditto) AND translate too (everyone has their limits!). Besides, bilingualism (just plain, that is) is probably a disqualification for translational competence. Incidentally, Andy deserves a lot of credit for sponsoring and backing this recording project, plus having rescued Cachao from oblivion when, a decade ago, he was playing at Miami birthday parties and bar-mitzvahs.

Rather, we suspect that the linguistic genius who did this was probably someone who saw those two words “ahora sí” and said, hey, that’s easy! An experienced translator would probably have thought about it for two seconds and then come up with “This is it!”, “Now’s the time”, “Let’s hit it!”, or some other equally punchy expression.

Well, back to the beginning, at Cachao’s concert at the Library of Congress, where someone was announcing his song titles. They were actually not bad... until he got to the descarga (Cuban slang for jam session) entitled “Ahhh”, which obviously needed no translation. But guess what the announcer said. If you thought “A”, pronounced as in “age”, you got it right. I guess the audience was wondering if the next descarga would be entitled “B”, followed by “C”, etc.

That, by the way, was probably the same “linguist” who translated the CD title as “Now Yes!”


Emilio Bernal Labrada

de la Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española

Creemos que, sin lugar a dudas, tenemos una «historia» de veras noticiable. Y nada menos que por televisión.

Expliquémonos. Un noticiario televisivo ha hecho una recopilación de las noticias más impactantes del año, que va transmitiendo día por día, sucesivamente. Hasta aquí todo va bien. Pero, esperen. Adivinen el título que le han puesto. Pista: fíjense en el título. Bueno, ¿se dan por vencidos? Pues nada menos que «Historias del año».

Parece cosa de «Créalo o no», del famosísimo y curiosísimo norteamericano Robert Ripley. Pero no lo hemos inventado porque sería... diríamos, increíble. Nada, un poco más y le ponen «HISTORIETAS».

Podría alegarse que este empleo de «historia» está justificado por el libro mayor del idioma, el Diccionario de la Real Academia (DRAE). Y tendrían razón, pues da, entre otras, algunas acepciones que corresponderían al significado que se le pretende dar en este caso. Por ejemplo: «Conjunto de sucesos o acontecimientos [...]»; «Narración y exposición de acontecimientos pasados y dignos de memoria [...]».

Pero no, no nos convence. Porque el hecho de que el diccionario dé una definición capaz de abonar el uso de una voz no basta por sí solo ni es lo único que rige. La rica variedad de matices y valores rectos y metafóricos, aparte del efecto que en cada palabra tiene su entorno contextual, nos señalan divergencias de que apenas pueden hacerse eco los diccionarios. Si no, serían enciclopedias en que cada palabra exigiría un tomo completo.

Por otra parte, las otras acepciones del DRAE, como «Narración inventada» y «Mentira o pretexto», nos dan que pensar. Hmm, ¿no será que nuestros amigos noticieros tuvieron, más bien, una de estas en mente?

Pero concretándonos ya al caso que nos ocupa, estimamos que el vocablo clave, la motivación fundamental, ha sido «story», que se suele usar con el valor que en español tiene «noticia», y que es obligatorio en inglés porque la voz «news» («noticia») no se presta para un título anglo de esta naturaleza. O sea, no sería «News of the Year» –nótese la ambigüedad de número, ya que «news» es un plural con valor de singular– sino «Stories of the Year».

Lo que nos preguntamos es por qué los profesionales de la noticia, con un HISTORIAL que apunta presuntamente a amplios conocimientos del idioma que a diario deben usar correctamente, se conforman con una traducción literal cuando sería tan fácil (y más respetuoso de nuestro idioma) dar esta sencilla versión: «Noticias del Año». Al fin y al cabo de eso se trata, de los acontecimientos noticiables más destacados.

Ah, pero ya comprendemos. ¿Para qué utilizar un vocabulario más apegado a nuestro idioma cuando se pueden hacerle reverencias al espanglés y copiar términos fáciles de retrotransliterar en caso de que alguien no domine bien nuestro idioma? Como «historia» se parece más a «story», derrotó a la tentación de poner algo tan estrambótico como «noticias», que podría desconcertar al público. Imagínense, en un programa noticiero, nada menos. Es como para darle un traspié al más listo, dejándolo aturdido y sin idea de qué se trata.

Nos gustaría conocer la «HISTORIA» que nos irían a contar los autores de semejante atentado lingüístico para justificar su empleo del vocablo. Digamos, para ser caritativos –y no alargar esta curiosa HISTORIA– que eso, la ídem, se encargará de juzgar el caso. Mientras, no es NOTICIA que el español purga sus penas de tortura idiomática sin siquiera chistar. No hay peor astilla que la del mismo palo.

Barak Obama

Larry DeWitt is an historian and self-described political populist. Larry is a specialist in 20th century U.S. history and public policy. Born in the Southwestern U.S., he has lived in the East for the last 18 years. His commentaries on politics and society still retain the populist spirit of the rural West. See Larry’s past columns here

Identity Group Politics and the Future of the Democratic Party

As the keynote speaker at the July 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston, Illinois Senate-candidate Barack Obama thrilled the jaded convention-goers, although it is not clear that they knew why. They thought it had something to do with his "compelling biography" and his likeable personality.

After all, Obama, is the son of a mixed-marriage between a black Kenyan father and a white mother from the farms of Kansas. He had graduated from Columbia University and Harvard Law School. He had edited the Harvard Law Review. Keep reading

Eric GoodmanEric D. Goodman is a professional writer and editor. He is winner of the Newsletter on Newsletter’s Gold Award for superior electronic newsletter editing and is a two-time finalist in the Chesterfield Writer’s Film Project founded by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Entertainment. Eric writes both fiction and non-fiction. One of his novels, Thirteen to Gorky, is set in Russia. "Vodka in the Sun" was originally published in "Travel Insights" . Eric resides in Baltimore, Maryland with his wife and daughter. Contact Eric at to discuss reading, writing and Russia.


A Tale of Two Christmases (Part One)

By Eric D. Goodman

With the holiday season upon us, I’d like to take another diversion from the “Vodka in the Sun” series to bring you a tale of vodka in the snow: A Tale of Two Christmases.

It’s a common question among newlywed couples: “Do we spend Christmas with my parents or yours?” This was a question my wife Nataliya and I did not have to consider at the end of our first year of marriage. I being from America and she being from Russia, we were able to enjoy the best of both worlds. We celebrated the holidays with my family and with hers.

In Russia, Christmas is celebrated on the evening of January 6 and the day of January 7. But children and children-at-heart don’t have to wait for Christmas to exchange gifts—they open the gifts under their holiday tree—or Yolka—on New Year’s Eve. In Russia, the festivities we in America associate with Christmas are combined with New Year’s. Russian Christmas is a more religious holiday in the way American Easter is.

This meant we would get to celebrate Christmas twice—once in American December and once in Russian January—and we’d get to celebrate a more festive New Year’s that combined two holidays I was accustomed to.

When December 25 rolled around, Nataliya and I were in America. She was awakened early in the pre-dawn hours for her first American Christmas. It was something she’d only seen in exaggerated movies—films exported to her country from mine. It was something that she learned was not nearly quite as exaggerated as she’d expected. Our extended family gathered around the huge Christmas tree and she peered at the most prevalent pile of presents she’d ever seen around one indoor evergreen. Then, in the hours that followed, we took turns opening our gifts to one another and watching as others opened theirs.

That day saw other rituals new to her as well: the drinking of egg nog, the watching of holiday movies and specials in the background, her first glimpse of “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “Miracle on 34 th Street.” Throughout the day we talked with one other and enjoyed our new gifts. Christmas carolers rang the bell and sang to us, and they didn’t even want a handout.

Nataliya was used to large Christmas feasts, although the savory selections on our American Christmas dinner table were quite unfamiliar to her: the turkey was huge, she’d never eaten stuffing and the closest thing to cranberries she could think was the loganberry jam she sometimes put in her hot black tea back home. Before and after the meal, we snacked the day away on homemade Christmas stolen, breads, fruitcake, cookies and candies.

“When are we going to church?” she asked.

“We’re not,” I said. “There probably aren’t any protestant churches open today! Everyone’s at home with their families!”

“No church service on Christmas?” To her Russian Orthodox mind, this was highly … unorthodox. It was a warm, peaceful Christmas and she enjoyed it, but the holiday seemed quite different. It seemed more like New Year’s than Christmas. I would understand why she felt that way in just a few days.

On December 26, we bid farewell to my family and boarded a plane to Moscow. I had experienced Russia in the snow before, so I knew to bring warm clothing. What I didn’t consider was that the snowy Russia I had experienced was in March, April and May. The snows of December were quite a different story—deeper and more bone chilling.

During my first day in Russia’s December, my Russian Father-in-Law laughed at the overcoat I shivered inside. Later that first day, after a bit of shopping, presented me with a huge down coat to cover the thinner, lined overcoat I’d brought with me. “Take this one, a good Russian coat,” he offered when I pretended the coat I had was enough. “An early New Year’s Present.”

It only took one walk through knee-deep snow to the Kiosk for a bottle of warming vodka to appreciate what an excellent gift it was. The vodka was for our New Year’s Eve celebration, although something told me we would be tapping into it before the looming holiday. But that’s a celebration for January, and this is December. Next month I’ll tell you about the second Christmas we celebrated that season, about New Year’s and Christmas in Russia. Until then, S Novym Godom!


por Fermín García Rodríguez

La seguridad laboral. Increíble.

En vista de la evolución del castellano en los últimos años, debido a las aportaciones realizadas por los jóvenes, la Real Academia de la Lengua dará a conocer, la reforma modelo 2004 de la ortografía española, que tiene como objetivo unificar el español como lengua universal de los hispanohablantes. Siga leyendo la presentación de Power Point.

Y las respuestas (y comentarios de un profesor) a las barbaridades coloridas de los alumnos. Siga leyendo

Hell. You have to see this.

Boy! It's taking us a lot to convince them we are the good guys. Yeap!

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