To All Phoenix Residents:
I am writing this letter to tell you all about my experience, and how I have benefited from taking this course.
I would like to address all misconceived notions about the community living within South Phoenix. Often we hear that the “Southside” is a terrible place to be. That only thugs and gangsters live in this area and that it is therefore filled with crime, drugs, graffiti, acts of violence, or any other comparable acts of inhumanity. This is all false. In my eyes, South Phoenix is comparable to any other community throughout the Metro-Phoenix area. Like all other areas, every community has its share of crime and misfortunes, only some we hear about a bit more that others.
What I found in South Phoenix is a community of diverse individuals living amongst each other forming a strong community rich in culture and ethnicity. What I saw was a neighborhood very familiar to me, almost as if I were in my own backyard. To say that this community was foreign would be a rejection of my own culture and community. In saying so I was not walking or driving on unfamiliar grounds, which made it easier for me to approach everyone in a friendly manner.
South Phoenix is filled with hard-working honest people like you and I. Surely this area is not gleaming with luxury vehicles like Mercedes and BMWs, but that doesn’t make this community inferior communities of North Phoenix. Instead, what I see are practical, family vehicles i.e., Trucks, Suburbans, SUVs and Hondas, as a result denoting this community as a community of practical people.
There is a lot to be learned from the residents of South Phoenix. There are many small family-owned businesses and restaurants that add to the culture of this community. In visiting these establishments and talking with the “community”, I find that these residents are no different from any of one of us. We all work hard each day to ensure that every subsequent day is better that the next- to provide for our families and ourselves. The only considerable difference that a remains distinguishing one from the other is the geographical locations of the place we call home and the communities of which we belong to.
I encourage all to visit South Phoenix and to get to know the community. Although our experiences will vary, I’m sure that each will be work the “risk”.
Javier R. Canchola