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Xochitl-Julisa Bermejo: “Things to Know for Compañer@s”

Things to Know for Compañer@s
A No More Deaths Volunteer Guide

 

Did you know?

A baby rattlesnake’s venom is more lethal because it
knows no control. Woolly, mammoth tarantulas inch
across the road at dusk—not down it. Why did the
tarantula cross the road? To eat the chicken.

 

Did you know?

Everything in the desert is as alert as a needle and
just as sharp. It is possible to comically sit on a
cactus, though you probably won’t laugh. Crimson
scratches and emerald bruises will be your medals.

 

Did you know?

When patrolling trails, you may encounter a
mountain lion. If so, gather together, stand tall and
wave your arms. When encountering lightning,
spread out and crouch close to the ground. Do not
confuse the two.

 

Did you know?

Tu Español puede ayudar a salvar una vida.
Compañero is Spanish for we are in this shit together.
Do not be afraid to speak Spanish.

 

Did you know?

When you don’t have a mirror, you can’t care what
you look like. When you can’t remember what a
shower feels like, dirt and sweat cake your clothes,
and you want to forget everything sticking to your
soul, you won’t be too shy to skinny dip.

 

Did you know?

When barrel cacti become tombstones and their
yellow starburst blooms offerings for the dead, you
won’t be too cool to belt Katy Perry songs.

 

Did you know?

Orange poppies grow on slopes, oak trees in creeks,
and washes are not fixed cement slabs. A mile in the
city is nothing like a mile in the desert, and as-the-
crow-flies is an optical illusion to hikers relying on
hand-held, pixilated GPS.

 

Did you know?

There will be a moment when you fantasize crashing
water gallons down on the rocks, throwing off your
pack, collapsing on the trail and quitting. This is
when you are to stop and rest. There are people in the
desert who are never allowed rest.

 

Did you know?

One gallon of water weighs 8.35 pounds. To stay
hydrated, a person should drink 1-2 gallons a day.
Migrants carry a single oil-black gallon in calloused
hands for a three-or-more day trip. Why is it black?
So as not to glow.

 

Did you know?

Migrants are hurried over trails at night and without
light. Their blisters are caused by continuous friction,
muscle cramping by dehydration, vomiting by
drinking bacteria ridden cow pond water, and those
who move too slow are left behind.

 

Did you know?

To say, “I could care less,” is to say it is possible to
care more. The careless weed is called bledo in
Spanish. In Guatemala, bledo is boiled, drained and
chopped with onions, tomatoes and cilantro. It grows
wild in the desert and, if necessary, can be eaten raw.

 

Did you know?

I learned about bledo from a Guatemalteca named
Nancy. She could share more lessons with you than I
ever could. Nancy has crossed twice, and when she
talks about her daughter, Fatima, she cries.

 

Did you know?

Compañero is Spanish for willing to ask, willing to
listen, willing to know.

 

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