Quetzal–an ancient symbol of Liberty

July 26, 2011

The Quetzal was the nahual (spirit guide)  of Tecún Umán (1500-1524), a warrior who was the last ruler of the Quiche Mayan people (in the highlands of Guatemala) during the latter stages of the Spanish conquest of the region.  Legend has it that when Tecún Umán was slain by conquistador Pedro de Alvarado, the quetzal flew down and landed on Umán, dipping its chest in the warrior prince’s blood.  It is there that the bird acquired its distinctive red chest feathers. (from www.3833.com)

“The name quetzal is an ancient Mayan term for tail feather, and the bird itself represents liberty. Ancient people believed the Quetzal would not survive in captivity, it would rather die than be held prisoner. So rather than killing these birds for their feathers, the Maya would pluck them and set the birds free to grow new feathers. Unfortunately this has since proved false and Quetzals can be viewed in zoos throughout the world.” (From wildernessclassroom.com)

To hear the song of this bird, click on  http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/birds/quetzal/ and choose the “Audio” link

From National Geographic.com:

“The resplendent quetzal is an aptly named bird that many consider among the world’s most beautiful. These vibrantly colored animals live in the mountainous, tropical forests of Central America where they eat fruit, insects, lizards, and other small creatures….”

“Unfortunately, these striking birds are threatened in Guatemala and elsewhere throughout their range. They are sometimes trapped for captivity or killed, but their primary threat is the disappearance of their tropical forest homes. In some areas, most notably Costa Rica’s cloud forests, protected lands preserve habitat for the birds and provide opportunities for ecotourists and eager bird watchers from around the globe.

Such admirers continue a long history of adoration for the quetzal. The bird was sacred to the ancient Maya and Aztec peoples, and royalty and priests wore its feathers during ceremonies.”

Other facts:

– The quetzal is Guatemala’s national bird; it’s on the flag, coat of arms, and currency, which is named a “quetzal.”

– The quetzal eats wild avocado, and has a symbiotic relationship with the avocado (being the primary animal to distribute its seeds).

– The quetzal is the equivalent to the N. American bald eagle as a symbol of liberty in South America.


More video of arrests of undocumented workers

June 28, 2011

Slideshow: Images of Immigrants under arrest

June 28, 2011

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Illegal work/ Illegal working conditions

June 28, 2011

This video nicely encapsulates the multiple strands of illegality that converge on the issue of undocumented workers.  700 people arrested and detained for working illegally and having used false identity papers; at the same time, the meatpacking company for which they work is being investigated for violation of health and safety laws, child labor violations, allegations of sexual harassment, and for withholding pay from their workers (who, being undocumented, have no legal standing to sue for withheld wages).  If you’ve read Fast Food Nation the story of the meatpacking plant conditions will be familiar.

Video of infamous AZ Sheriff Joe Arpaio

June 28, 2011

Makes the people he arrests live in tents in the Arizona heat and wear pink underwear (To humiliate them?  To brand them?  Just ‘cuz he can?)

Cell Phone Tower: Bird’s Eye View

June 26, 2011

Corporate Promotional Video #2

June 22, 2011

This second one is an employee training video from Gulf South, a medical supply company.  The quick, flashy graphics/images at the begin have a good grab, and I think we could steal something from the talking suit scene–I think it’s kind of great that he’s so casually dressed and has a Southern accent–very down home and friendly, doesn’t feel like a “boss.”  Perhaps instead of making ALEC creepy and scary, we make him superfriendly and positive and feel like a great guy to work for!

This one also is more of a template, structure-wise, for the kind of information our video has in it (goes from flashy visuals to talking head to more information-type graphics (maps, graphs, numbers, video of people doing their job, etc)