a Texas-based cultural activist — educator — poet
“As a language educator, I have experienced life through one hundred different languages, and have learned that together we are able to love, heal, and prosper best through tolerance, effort, and celebration.” — Jen Yáñez-Alaniz
“There is no official tribe I can claim. I am an amalgam born from an attempted conquering. A history of fear, death, and forced assimilation drives my survival, my purpose, my ascension” — Jen Yáñez-Alaniz
I work with newcomers from around the world. My mission is to advocate for cultural preservation of all languages and food traditions as resistance. This photo is from our urban agriculture project: CIELO Gardens; where over 60 families grow and share produce native to their countries of origin. CIELO offers a place where newcomers can transition, access, and connect to important foods and family traditions.
Welcome: A Poetry Declaration
“Poetry is one of humanity’s oldest forms of expression and can be used to create deep connections between poets and the worlds they inhabit. Teachers and other community members also use poetry to connect people who feel displaced. A unique project in San Antonio, Welcome: A Poetry Declaration, is using poetry to celebrate World Refugee Day and to create myriad connections for displaced people. Refugees flee from their home countries to preserve their lives and seeking liberty and hoping to find happiness through peace. Once they leave their countries, refugees search for connections to their former homes, to create connections to their new homes, and to promote deeper engagement across humanity.” — Co-founder of Welcome: A Poetry Declaration and San Antonio City Immigration Liaison, Celestino Gallegos. https://poetrydeclaration.org/