By: Roxana Quijarro

As a Latino Americana I found this song to be an awesome interpretation of Latino America. I am impressed on how the Puerto Rican group Calle 13 was able to describe the beautiful things Latino America has to offer, as well as the negative issues that happened and are happening at this very moment. When I saw the video for the first time I was amazed how they described the richness of our land, yet at the same time display the poverty level that South and Central America face. How did they do this?… well they actually went to South America to discover the wonders around latino America. they called this journey: Calle 13 sin mapa calle 13 without map.

In my opinion the journey that they did in Latin America was very powerful because they experience things that I’ve experience, such as the growth of coca, the altitude in Peru and Bolivia, the poverty level, having to work at an early age, traditional believes, specially the value of the earth La Pachamama mother earth.

calle 13- Latinoamerica Translated: by lyricstranslate

 Soy, soy lo que dejaron, Soy las sobras de lo que te robaron,
Un pueblo escondido en la cima, Mi piel es de cuero por eso aguata cualquier clima,
Soy una fábrica de humo, Mano de obra campesina para tu consumo,
En el medio del verano, El amor en los tiempos del cólera,
Mi hermano!


I am, I am what they left behind, I am the leftovers of what they stole,
A town hidden on the peak,
My skin is made of leather that’s why it stands any climate,
I am a factory of smoke,
Country hand labor for your consumerism,
A cold front in the middle of the summer,
“Love in The Times of Cholera” my brother!

Being introduce in Quechua by a humble radio broadcaster calle 13 showed respect to the andean community.  The first part of the song describes what Latino America is.  it describes the abuse people had to face since the European colonization during the early modern period. However, it also describes how the mistreatment of interest groups has led to the development of thicker skin. It also describes the love that is in each community during times of cholera which is similar to discomfort, and anger.

Trabajo bruto pero con orgullo, Aquí se comparte lo mío es tuyo,
Este pueblo no se ahoga con marullos, Y si se derrumba yo lo reconstruyo,
Tampoco pestañeo cuando te miro, Para que te recuerdes de mi apellido,
La operación cóndor invadiendo mi nido, Perdono pero nunca olvido, oye!


I work like a brute but with pride,
Here we share,
What’s mine is yours.
This nation does not drown with disorders, and if it falls, I reconstruct it.
Nor do I blink when i look at you,
So you remember my surname.
Operation Condor destroying my nest,
I forgive but I never forget, hey!

Accompanied with singer song writer from Chorrillos, Peru Susana Baca, and Brazilian singer Maria Rita Calle 13 was able to advocated the message of many Latino Americanos which is that our land is not on sale. They also remind people that government corruption has been present since the begging of time, and citizen from the areas affected still remember the events. One example is Operation Condor or Plan Condor was a case of terrorism in South America by the power of dictators. Operation condor was one of the worst massacres in South Americans’ history killing opposition movements that were so- called criminals against the participating government. This is truth because my grandfather lived in that time and still tells me to this day how it is always good to have an education and to not fear the government like he did at that time.

I can’t say Calle 13’s song has impacted all Latinos (a) in the community, however, I can say that it has impacted me by enforcing my love to my country and also to South America. Without anything more to say enjoy the video Latinoamerica by Calle 13


About ocbarrios

Professor for Cal State Fullerton's Barrio Studies class for Fall 2011 semester

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