RSSAuthor Archive for Melina Casillas

SPEAKERS' SERIES: Female Mexican directors topic of 'Behind the Lens'

SPEAKERS’ SERIES: Female Mexican directors topic of ‘Behind the Lens’



Pima Community College will host its first Speakers Series of the Spring semester on Feb. 7.

Speakers Series brings in Pima faculty members who share knowledge within their respective field.

Languages instructor Liz Rangel Arriola will present “Behind the Lens: Women Directors in Mexico.” Her talk will discuss the traditional social constructions they had to overcome, such as the vixens, harlots or damsels in need of male help.

“Mexican female directors are rewriting the answer to the question, “What is a Mexican woman?” in the cinematic medium which is more accessible to the masses,” Arriola said.

“Mexican cinema is actually flourishing,” she added. “The work done by women tells us a lot of the continuous struggles that women face in Latin America.”

The presentation is free and will begin at 6 p.m. in the Community Board Room (Building C) of the PCC District Office, 4095 E. Broadway Blvd. Light refreshments will be available.


The series will be followed by two more spring lectures:

  • March 7: “Cultural Awareness/ Consciousness” by Dorothy Brown-Smith.
  • April 4: “Going Global Without Leaving Town: Strategies for Internationalizing the General Education Curriculum” by Maureen Salzer.


For more information, call 206-4500.


Languages instructor Liz Rangel Arriola will speak on Feb. 7. Photo courtesy of PCC


East Campus to host Capoeira demonstration

Movement Culture studio will visit Pima Community College’s East Campus on Feb. 6 to present the history and culture surrounding the Brazilian dance-martial art of Capoeira.

Demonstrations of the Malandragen style will take place in the courtyard from 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

For more information, call the Student Life Center at 206-7616.

-By Dale Villeburn Old Coyote

Chisholm subject of Black History Month talk

In celebration of Black History Month, Northwest Campus will host a presentation about Shirley Chisholm on Feb. 8 from 11-11:35 a.m. in the Student Life Center.

Bobby Burns, a student services advanced specialist, will highlight Chisholm’s life and legacy as the first African American woman elected to the U.S. Congress and the first black candidate to run for the presidency.

Burns has presented themed Black History Month talks on prominent people and events for seven years. He says he desires to “let people know about the richness in the lives of African Americans.”

For more information, call the Student Life Center at 206-2121.

-By Elise Stahl


Desert Vista to hold Career Café Feb. 8 

Desert Vista Campus will host a Career Café on Feb. 8 from noon to 2 p.m. in the cafeteria. All PCC students are invited to attend the free event.

February’s “special brew” topic is “To Commit or Quit?”

Café stations will provide tips on resume writing, cover letters and interviewing. Free coffee will be available.

Two more Career Cafés will be held on March 8 and April 12. The March topic will be “Changing Careers” and the April topic will be “Small Talk for a Big Career.”

For more information, call 206-4500.

-By Rene Escobar

Love is in the air at Downtown Campus

Downtown Campus will host a Love Fest on Feb. 14 to celebrate a combination of Black History Month, Valentine’s Day and Arizona statehood.

Events taking place throughout the campus include Afrikana dancers, an expression table, snacks, a photo booth and giveaways.

Afrikana dancers led by troop leader Barbea Williams will perform on the RV Lawn from 11 a.m. to noon. An expression table in the atrium area will allow students to convey valentine love messages.

For more information, call the Student Life Center at 206-7258.

-By Dakota Fincher

Don’t fear ongoing, inevitable change

Don’t fear ongoing, inevitable change


New year. New semester. New Aztec Press.

Change has happened here at the Aztec Press. We’ve handed over the editorship to someone new and once again changed our flag and layout. Our goal, however, will always be the same: to deliver Pima news to our readers.

We’ve also welcomed new staffers to our team. They’ve been taken under the wings of our senior reporters and editors to learn the ropes of publication.

We’re all adjusting to the change of a new year, a new government and personal changes we may have faced within the weeks we were gone from Pima. While some of these changes feel like new slates, others feel scary. We must embrace what we cannot control.

Here at the Aztec Press, we’ll be covering how the changes within our local and national government affect us at Pima. Topics include the rise of minimum wage, an accreditation update and how Tucson reacted to the Jan. 20 inauguration.

The changes we write about and experience throughout the semester in the newsroom feel symbolic to the changes that happen around us at the Pima campuses at the beginning of every semester: different but with a feeling of similarity.

You, our reader, may be a returning employee or student, or a newcomer to the Pima campuses. Either way, we’re all experiencing some type of newness whether it be classes, instructors, friendships or challenges.

While it seems scary or overwhelming, we eventually adapt. We’ll get our schedules down and we won’t get lost trying to find our classrooms. We’ll finally figure out after two year that coming to campus at 10 a.m. guarantees a crappy parking spot.

Welcome back to Pima and to the new-ish Aztec Press. Not much has changed, so don’t be scared and enjoy our first issue of Spring 2017.

Dia de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos

Pima Community College student Andie Bessette writes in the remembrance journal at Desert Vista Campus to honor her loved ones who have died. Multiple PCC campuses built Día de los Muertos altars and planned other activities for traditional Day of the Dead remembrances. Many people in Mexico celebrate the holiday, particularly those living in central and southern regions, as do people of Mexican ancestry living in the United States. Many other cultures across the globe acknowledge Day of the Dead as well.

Decorated skulls sit with fruit offerings on the Desert Vista altar.

Aztec Press photos by Melina Casillas






Nov. 10-20: “Dracula,” West Campus Black Box Theatre, Thu.-Sat. 7:30 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. $18, with discounts available. Box office: 206-6986.

Nov. 14: Native American traditional blessing ceremony, East Campus courtyard, 10-11:15 a.m. Free, open to public. Details: 206-7616.

Through Nov. 30: Native American Heritage Month, Northwest Campus Student Life Center, D-201, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Details: 206-2121.

Nov. 23: Thanksgiving cultural celebration, Northwest Campus Student Life Center, D-201, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Free. Details: 206-2121.

Through Dec. 9: “Louis Carlos Bernal – Arizona Unseen, Color Photographs 1978-1988” exhibit, Bernal Gallery, West Campus Center for the Arts, free. Details: 206-6942.




Nov. 12: Football vs. Mesa CC, Kino North Stadium, 1 p.m.

Nov. 13: Men’s basketball vs. Utah State JC, West Campus gym, 2 p.m.

Nov. 17: Men’s basketball vs. New Mexico JC, West Campus gym, 4 p.m.

Nov. 17: Women’s basketball vs. Illinois Central College, West Campus gym, 8 p.m.

Nov. 18: Women’s basketball vs. Arizona Christian University JV, West Campus gym, 5 p.m.

Nov. 18: Men’s basketball vs. Salt Lake JC, West Campus gym, 6 p.m.

Nov. 19: Women’s basketball vs. Gillette College, West Campus gym, 11 a.m.

Nov. 19: Men’s basketball vs. Pascua Yaqui College, West Campus gym, 9 p.m.

Nov. 22: Women’s basketball vs. Tohono O’Odham CC, West Campus gym, 5:30 p.m.

Nov. 22: Men’s basketball vs. Tohono O’Odham CC, West Campus gym, 7:30 p.m.





Nov. 9-13: Loft Film Fest, Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. Times vary. $10 general admission, $8 Loft members. Details:

Nov. 11: Veterans Day Parade, downtown Tucson, starts 11 a.m. at Granada Avenue and Alameda Street. Free. Details:

Nov. 12: Tucson’s Military History: A Veteran’s Weekend Celebration, 196 N. Court Ave., 10 a.m.-3 p.m. $3. Details:

Nov. 12: Harvest Heritage Festival at Steam Pump Ranch, 10901 N. Oracle Road, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. Details:

Nov. 12: Sahuarita Pecan Festival, 1625 E. Sahuarita Road, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. $5 on-site parking. Details:

Nov. 13: VintagePalooza!, Cat Mountain Station, 2740 S. Kinney Road, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Free. Details:

Nov. 18-20: Holiday Artisans Market, Tucson Museum of Art, 140 N. Main Ave., 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free. Details:

Through Dec. 31: Plaza Palmino Saturday Mercado, 2960 N. Swan Road. Saturdays 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Free. Details:

Through May 31, 2017: “Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life,” Tucson Botanical Gardens, 2150 N. Alvernon Way. Daily 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Adults $9-$13, senior/military $8-$12, children 4-17 $5-$7.50. Details:

Through May 31, 2017: Butterfly Magic at the Gardens, Tucson Botanical Gardens, Mon-Friday 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Sat-Sun 6:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Adults $13, students/senior/military $12, children 4-17. $7.50. Details:




Nov. 11: Lindsey Sterling, Centennial Hall, 1020 E. University Blvd., 7 p.m. $29.40-$59.50. Details:

Nov. 11: Lil Uzi Vert, Rialto Theatre, 318 E. Congress St., 7 p.m. $37-$46. Details:

Nov. 12: Futuristic–As Seen on the Internet Tour, The Rock, 136 N. Park Ave., 7 p.m. $15-$20. Details:

Nov. 13: Lil Yatchy, Rialto Theatre, 7 p.m. $22 – $25. Details:

Nov. 15: Mac Miller – The Divine Feminine Tour, Rialto Theatre, 7 p.m. $33-$36. Details:

Nov. 20: Jesse y Joy, Rialto Theatre, 7 p.m. $35-$150. Details:

Nov. 22: Switchfoot & Relient K–Looking for America Tour, Rialto Theatre, 6:30 p.m. $33.50-$36. Details:

Nov. 23: Radkey, 191 Toole, 191 E. Toole Ave., 7 p.m. $10-$12. Details:




Theater releases



“Sleepless Night”

“Almost Christmas”



“Shut In”

Nov. 18:

“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them”

“Bleed for This”

“Life on the Line”

“The Edge of Seventeen”

“Nocturnal Animals”

“Manchester by the Sea”

Nov. 23”

“Bad Santa 2”

“Rules Don’t Apply”




DVD releases/ Blu-Ray

Nov. 15:

“Army of One”

“Coffee & Cigarettes”

“Pimpernel Smith”

“Mia Madre”

“Cardboard Boxer”

“Finding Dory”

Nov. 22:

“Hell or High Water

“War Dogs”

“Kubo and the Two Strings”

“Hands of Stone”

“The Wild Life”

The All Soul's Procession 2016

The All Soul’s Procession 2016


Tucson’s All Souls Procession began in 1990 when local artist Susan Johnson was mourning her father’s death and found comfort in the way death is celebrated during the traditional Mexican holiday Dia de los Muertos.

“From the beginning, it was different people’s ethnic groups, different cultures, but also it was all these different art forms put together,” Johnson writes on the All Souls Procession website.

The procession has grown to have more than 150,000 participants and stretches for two miles down Tucson’s downtown streets beginning at Sixth Avenue and ending at Mercado San Agustin.

This event is completely volunteer-based and participants are encouraged to donate to the local nonprofit organization Many Mouths One Stomach.

There is a ceremonial burning of an urn at the end of the procession that is filled with hopes, offerings and wishes for loved ones who have died.


Evangelina Dominguez has been coming to the All Souls Procession for more than 20 years, memorializing someone each year. “This year I thank God I don’t have to,” she said. Dominguez came with her daughter, Natalie Islas, who was memorializing her brother-in-law who died earlier this year. Dominguez has been a widow for 25 years. “Every time somebody passed away, like my husband, I mourned them for two years and wore black.” She said the All Souls Procession is about closure. “Even though I’m crying, it makes me feel good because I think about them all the time and this helps.”

Evangelina Dominguez has been coming to the All Souls Procession for more than 20 years, memorializing someone each year.
“This year I thank God I don’t have to,” she said.
Dominguez came with her daughter, Natalie Islas, who was memorializing her brother-in-law who died earlier this year.
Dominguez has been a widow for 25 years. “Every time somebody passed away, like my husband, I mourned them for two years and wore black.”
She said the All Souls Procession is about closure. “Even though I’m crying, it makes me feel good because I think about them all the time and this helps.”

Participants gather at an urn filled with messages for loved ones before the burning.

Participants gather at an urn filled with messages for loved ones before the burning.

Representation of social issues is present during the procession Sunday evening.

Representation of social issues is present during the procession Sunday evening.

Locals bring their best outfits to the annual event All Souls Procession.

Locals bring their best outfits to the annual event All Souls Procession.

This year was the third year coming to the All Souls Procession for Kessa Burke and her mother, Mia Burke. They were joined by Kessa Burke’s friend, Bri Rodriguez. Kessa and Mia Burke were at the All Souls Procession to remember Saskia Burke, their sister and daughter. She was murdered at age 18 in 2012. “This is a very honest and respectful procession that we get to celebrate in every year that we can,” Kessa Burke said “It’s full of nice people who respect everything that has happened. It means a lot to us.”

This year was the third year coming to the All Souls Procession for Kessa Burke and her mother, Mia Burke. They were joined by Kessa Burke’s friend, Bri Rodriguez.
Kessa and Mia Burke were at the All Souls Procession to remember Saskia Burke, their sister and daughter. She was murdered at age 18 in 2012.
“This is a very honest and respectful procession that we get to celebrate in every year that we can,” Kessa Burke said “It’s full of nice people who respect everything that has happened. It means a lot to us.”

Local artist PaulaCatherine Valencia looks haunting in a traditional Dia de los Muertos costume at Tucson’s annual All Souls Procession. Valencia is part of a local band, Crystal Radio. She can be found on YouTube and can be supported on Kickstarter.

Local artist Paula Catherine Valencia looks haunting in a traditional Dia de los Muertos costume at Tucson’s annual All Souls Procession. Valencia is part of a local band, Crystal Radio. She can be found on YouTube and can be supported on Kickstarter.

The All Souls Procession brings together a mother and daughter in remembrance of a family member.

The All Souls Procession brings together a mother and daughter in remembrance of a family member.

WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Pima ranks No. 1 in national preseason poll

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: Pima ranks No. 1 in national preseason poll


The Pima Community College women’s basketball team starts the pre-season ranked No. 1 in the NJCAA Division II national poll.

Last season, the Aztecs scored an upset playoff win against No. 1 Monroe Community College (74-73) in the national third-place game.

“Traditionally, we’re one of the better teams in the conference,” head woman’s basketball coach Todd Holthaus said. “Last year we finished third in the country and got a few pieces back from that same team.”

During Holthaus’ nine-year-reign, Pima has won four regional championships. In national tournaments, the Aztecs finished in the top five four times, in the top three twice and were the runner-up once.

Holthaus attributes success to his team and the players he’s picked.

“What we look for predominantly is skill kids with a high IQ,” he said. “Obviously we want to take the student side of them into consideration too, because we don’t want eligibility to become a concern.”

Players like 5-foot-5-inch guard Sydni Stallworth, who shot 84 percent at the free throw line last year, has high hopes for this season’s team.

“It’s very different but I think we have aspects that we didn’t have last year,” she said. “Like more shooters and more speed. I think it makes up a bit for the lack of height we have.”

Stallworth earned 576 points last season while averaging five rebounds, two steals and three assists per game.

Holthaus likes to keep in check the different elements that go into making a top-tier team.

“We really stress the defensive end as well as chemistry,” Holthaus said. “I think the big thing has probably been recruiting kids that are more about ‘we’ and less about ‘me.’”

The Aztecs open home play in the Native American Classic tournament at the West Campus gym Nov. 17-19.



Nov. 17: Illinois Central College, West Campus gym, 8 p.m.

Nov. 18: Arizona Christian University JV, West Campus gym, 5 p.m.

Nov. 19: Gillette College, West Campus gym, 11 a.m.

Nov. 22: Tohono O’Odham CC, West Campus gym, 5:30 p.m.

Stalking knows no boundaries

Stalking knows no boundaries


It’s over. A relationship that held high hopes has ended. There’s only one problem. One partner won’t let go. Sometimes, that partner begins to stalk the other.

Stalking is part of a pattern of domestic violence. Some 7.5 million people are stalked each year in the United States, with women in the 18-24 age range at greatest risk.

Stalking on college campuses is an increasing problem. “The rates of stalking on college campuses are higher than in the general population; similar to the rates of sexual assault,” Michelle Garcia, director for the National Center for Victims of Crime’s Stalking Resource Center, said.

Pima Community College had seven cases of stalking in 2014 and six cases in 2015, across all campuses, according to the 2016 annual Clery report.

Domestic or relationship situations accounted for an increase in stalking seen on the University of Arizona campus from three cases in 2014 to 10 cases in 2015, according to UA Chief of Police Brian Seastone.

Although just four cases of stalking have been reported to the UA police department so far in 2016, Seastone expects that number to increase. Reports made to non-campus, public property and residential facilities are reported separately.

Seastone believes stalking is on the increase in society as a whole.

“In today’s world, you have the internet and social media and so many different ways that people can now follow people where they didn’t in the past,” he said.

Although females report most of the cases at UA, a few past cases have involved male victims being stalked by female partners.


No boundaries


Stalking and domestic violence know no boundaries in terms of sex, age, socio-economic groups or cultures, according to Ed Mercurio-Sakwa, the CEO at Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse.

“Stalking is a tactic which can be completely outside of a domestic relationship,” Mercurio-Sakwa said. “It’s a tactic for controlling or isolating the person.”

Oftentimes, leaving a relationship doesn’t stop the controlling behavior and may cause the abuser to use any means possible to keep his/her partner in a fearful state. The relationship won’t end until the abuser says it’s over, Mercurio-Sakwa said.

The idea is to continue to exert power and control over the victim in order to instill fear of what could happen next. Sometimes, an abuser will escalate to physical violence, but may also try to manipulate the victim by such means as stalking or harassment.

Emerge! recommends calling its hotline so counselors can help the victim reduce risk by forming a safety plan.

The agency’s mandate is to assist victims and to work toward a culture shift to change what is acceptable and normal.

Emerge! mostly sees males abusing women in domestic violence situations.

This is because the norm in American culture is that men are in charge and women are weak. Even if other males witness the abuse, there is an unwritten rule that “you don’t break the bro’ code,” Mercurio-Sakwa said

In its work with abusers through a Men’s Education Program, Emerge! has found that learned behavior can be unlearned and that belief systems held by abusers can be changed.

In situations where men are the victims, others often don’t intervene because of the perception that men who are being abused are weak. Again we need a shift in our culture, which allows the weak to be preyed on by the strong, Mercurio-Sakwa said.

Emerge! held an awareness day on Oct. 20 called “Paint Pima Purple.” Participants came, wearing purple, to the Emerge! Center on 22nd Street and painted positive messages on T-shirts as a way of supporting families that have been affected by domestic violence.


Enforcement increasing


“Enforcement of domestic violence cases is increasing,” criminal defense attorney Steve Sherick said.

Although he has taken some cases of stalking, he said it’s more common to see cases of domestic violence prosecuted. Even college roommates have been charged in situations where an argument resulted in a call to the police.

In fact, the victim can be your child’s parent, your girlfriend or boyfriend, your grandparent, parent, grandchild, brother, sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, step parent or step child.

Charges can be filed under several sections of the law, according to Sherick. (See sidebar). In some cases, multiple charges may be applied, resulting in more serious punishment for the offender.


Clothesline Project


Nicole Hayes of PCC East Campus Student Life recently attended a Title IX conference, where she collaborated with other colleges conducting projects to raise awareness and show support for all victims of domestic violence – men, women and children.

Hayes learned about the Clothesline Project, which has been very successful at other campuses, and organized a Clothesline Project at East Campus on Oct. 24-27.

The project involved creating a display of T-shirts decorated by participants. In the same vein as “Paint Pima Purple,” positive messages provide a voice for those overcoming the negative messages of verbal, mental, physical and sexual abuse.

“The goal is empowerment and inspiration for people who have survived this experience,” Hayes said.


Resources available


There are resources and shelters available in Tucson for those escaping stalking and domestic violence. (See sidebar).

Although family members and friends can provide support, they don’t always understand the complex nature of domestic abuse.

“People ask, ‘Why doesn’t she leave?’” Mercurio-Sakwa said. “That’s the wrong question. The right question is, ‘Why doesn’t he stop?’”

Tucson resources


Stalking Resource Center: (202) 467-8700

Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse: 795-8001; hotline 795-4266

Salvation Army Hospitality House: 622-5411

Gospel Rescue Mission Women and Children’s Center: 740-1501

New Beginnings Shelter: 323-1708

Administration of Resources and Choices: 623-9383

Pasqua Yaqui Domestic Violence Program: 883-5190


Legal definitions of domestic violence in Arizona

ARS13-2921: “Harassment” occurs when a person, with the intent to harass another person, causes a communication with another person (verbal, electronic, telephonic, or otherwise) which would cause a reasonable person to be seriously alarmed, annoyed, or harassed.

ARS13-2923: Harassment is considered “stalking” when the behavior is more predatory in nature. Victims experience fear for their safety, or the safety of their family or pets. Victims may even fear death.

ARS13-360: “Domestic violence” can include several laws. The main stipulation is that there is a qualifying victim. The following can all be considered domestic violence: criminal trespass, kidnapping, threatening, disorderly conduct, assault, criminal damage, harassment.



Top 10: Worst native American depictions

Top 10: Worst native American depictions


Native Americans don’t resemble their caricature-like, often racist, media portrayals. We compiled our least favorite depictions of Native American culture.

We couldn’t limit our selections to just 10, so added four dishonorable mentions: “Pan” (2015), the “Twilight” series (Taylor Lautner is not Native American), “The Ridiculous Six” from 2015 (Adam Sandler sucks) and “Jungle 2 Jungle” (1997).

  1. “The New World” (New Line Cinema, 2005)

The 2005 epic film is a Pocahontas story with No. Native. Americans.

  1. Old Indian, “Natural Born Killers” (Warner Bros., 1994)

A small, but noticeable part of the film includes the protagonist, Mickey, dreaming of an “Old Indian” as he dies from gunshot wounds. The Native tells a snake story, and that’s about it.

  1. Weird Naked Indian, “Wayne’s World 2” (Paramount Pictures, 1993)

Naked Indian, who brings Wayne to Jim Morrison, is a face-painted caricature of some high white guy’s dreams. He also cries when trash is dumped all over a park, which is understandable but plays into his nature-loving stereotype.

  1. Sacagawea, “Night at the Museum” (1492 Pictures, 2006)

The predominantly white cast leaves the roles of minorities like Sacagawea to a couple of lines at best. Sacagawea carries a quiver of arrows throughout the flick but never uses them, and probably never used a bow and arrow on her trek with Lewis and Clark.

  1. “Last of the Mohicans” (20th Century Fox, 1992)

Despite the beautiful soundtrack, the movie plays up the savage, bloodthirsty warrior.

  1. “Looking Hot,” Gwen Stefani music video (2012)

Stefani is a sexy Native American princess tied up by cowboys. Native American author Sherman Alexie tweeted the video turned “500 years of colonialism into a silly dance song and fashion show.” Enough said.

  1. Tonto, “The Lone Ranger” (Disney, 2013)

The remake of the 1974 flick features Johnny Depp as Tonto. The one-type Depp was a bad actor choice. He should have stuck to “Rango.”

  1. Sports teams

Professional sports teams that ethnically stereotype Native culture include the Washington Redskins (NFL), Kansas City Chiefs (NFL), Atlanta Braves (MLB), Cleveland Indians (MLB) and Chicago Blackhawks (NHL). More than 115 civil rights, educational, athletic and scientific organizations have labeled use of Native American names by non-Native teams as a form of ethnic stereotyping.

  1. Tiger Lily, “Peter Pan” (Disney, 1953)

After Peter rescues the chief’s daughter, Tiger Lily, from Captain Hook, they celebrate by singing a pleasant song called “What makes the red man red?” Lyrics include “Why does he ask you, ‘How?’”

  1. Pocahontas, “Pocahontas” (Disney, 1995)

Some white guys want some gold on someone else’s land. Big surprise. Pocahontas saves one of their lives. They fall in love. Here’s another racist song about Natives: “What can you expect, from filthy little heathens? Here’s what you get when races are diverse. Their skins are hellish red. They’re only good when dead, they’re vermin as I said and worse.”


© Disney, 1995

Turquoise Trail tells Tucson's history

Turquoise Trail tells Tucson’s history

Presidio San Augustin del Tucson is now a living history museum that depicts the life of indigenous people before and during Spanish colonization but in 1775 it was a fort, the first European structure in Tucson.

The presidio, located at 196 N. Court Ave., marks the beginning a 2.5-mile self-paced historical walking tour of downtown Tucson known as the Turquoise Trail.

Marked by turquoise stripes on the sidewalk, the trail features 23 stopping points to view historic sites and commemorative structures.

The walk not only takes you through the heart of Tucson but can also lead to additional sites. You can visit Saint Augustine Cathedral if you take a small detour off the turquoise path or you can drive to Tumamoc Hill.

Estimated time for the entire walk is about 1.5 to two hours. Bring water but there are also more than 20 restaurants scattered along and within a few blocks of the trail if you need to take a break.

A map of the trail and information on parking can be found online at or at the La Placita Shopping Center, 110 S. Church Ave.

Story and photos by Melina Casillas

Stop 2 on the Turquoise Trail, The Pima County Courthouse has a piece of the original Presidio wall that can be seen in the Assessor's office.

Stop 2 on the Turquoise Trail, The Pima County Courthouse has a piece of the original Presidio wall that can be seen in the Assessor’s office.


Stop 13 on the Turquoise Trail, a mural symbolizing the West and death above Teatro Carmen.

Stop 13 on the Turquoise Trail, a mural symbolizing the West and death above Teatro Carmen.


The Temple of Music and Art, Stop 16 on the trail, honors the Spanish Colonial Revival architecture.

The Temple of Music and Art, Stop 16 on the trail, honors the Spanish Colonial Revival architecture.


Stop D, the Elysian Grove and Market, a popular market in the 1800s is now a bed and breakfast.

Stop D, the Elysian Grove and Market, a popular market in the 1800s is now a bed and breakfast.


A Panel that edicts Spaniards, missionaries and indigenous peoples donated by Jacome Department Store. This stop is located in front of the Tucson Convention Center and is number 9 on the Trial.

A Panel that edicts Spaniards, missionaries and indigenous peoples donated by Jacome Department Store. This stop is located in front of the Tucson Convention Center and is number 9 on the Trial.

Class helps Aztecs to become Wildcats

Class helps Aztecs to become Wildcats


Pima Community College students attend school for their own reasons. I came to Pima to finish my general education credits and transfer to the University of Arizona.

Like most students who plan to transfer, I came to PCC because of its much lower cost.

Unfortunately, few Pima students know about a helpful transfer class.

Transfer Strategies, known as STU 210 at PCC, prepares and assists students in their transfer to the UA. All PCC campuses offer the class in both the spring and fall semesters.

The class covers everything from beginning your application to which garage to park in. (Hint: it’s the Second Street garage.)

Although students occasionally hear about STU 210 from their advisors, it seems not every student is given that information.

You should take the class the semester before you plan on transferring. Students who find out too late forfeit a great opportunity to handle their transition to the university like a pro.

I have first-hand experience taking the class at West Campus with instructor Todd Slaney. He’s been teaching the course since July 2014.

This semester the West Campus class had two sections, offering either a Friday or Tuesday meeting time. Both meet once a week for about two hours. More sections of the class are available during the spring semester.

Campus tours, priority registration and insider knowledge are just some reasons to take the course instead of transferring solo. Slaney talks about everything from application deadlines to how to write a great personal statement for your essay portion on scholarships applications.

Priority registration means you can register during UA’s “priority registration week.”

STU instructors really hope to see you accomplish your goal of transferring.

“I just really enjoy working with students who are finishing up and transferring onto their next steps,” Slaney said.

The feeling of transferring can be overwhelming on its own. It’s even more overwhelming to have questions that no one can answer.

Transfer students have a flurry of documents, paperwork, deadlines and dates to follow.

Obligations range from cancelling student financial aid at PCC to submitting copies of your immunization records. You also must provide verification of lawful presence, which is a fancy way of saying you must prove that you are a resident and eligible for in-state tuition.

STU instructors even make issues like how you’ll pay for tuition seem less scary.

“I think it can really help any student who is transferring over,” Slaney said. “Leaving PCC and its security and moving off to the UA, there’s a big shift there.”

Sarah Dunbar, a PCC student taking Slaney’s Tuesday course, is a pre-business student who hopes to be attending UA’s Eller business school soon.

“I feel like Todd does a really good job of telling you what you need to do and guiding you if you’re still feeling lost,” she said.

The class meets at both the UA and PCC and feels like a 16-week university orientation.

You learn about all the resources included with tuition payments, such as drop-in tutoring or using the recreation center.

“It’s great information to be told about everything the university has to offer and to actually see it firsthand,” PCC student Wesam Eljerdi said. He will be attending the Eller school for pre-business.

Site tours offer lessons in everything from campus plant life to the athlete memorabilia that sits in the McKale Center hall of champions. You get to know the university well before you start attending or even have your classes picked out.

Once you finally receive your acceptance letter, your STU instructor guides you to your next savior — the advisor for the college you’ll be attending.

After scheduling an appointment with your college’s advisor to plan your years at the UA, you’ll feel at ease for the time being.

“You feel like you can do this after you see your advisor,” Dunbar said. “And, when Todd says you’ve got this, you actually believe him.”

DACA: Hope for future generations

DACA: Hope for future generations


Gloria Elisa Valadez arrived in the United States as a 3-month-old. Maria Gabriela Arvizu Velazquez left México when she was 12 years old.

Both young women were part of families chasing the American dream.

Francisco Salcido’s story is a bit different. His family left a good life in Nogales, Sonora, because they feared for their safety.

All three Pima Community College students are undocumented immigrants. Each has registered for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, a deportation deferral program commonly referred to as DACA.

President Barack Obama created DACA by executive action in June 2012.

The policy affects undocumented immigrants who entered the U.S. before their 16th birthday and before June 15, 2007.

Those who qualify can pay $465 to receive a renewable two-year work permit and exemption from deportation.

DACA also allows eligible applicants to apply for different types of work permits, a Social Security card and a driver’s license.

Valadez, Arvizu-Valezquez and Salcido are three of 4,000 Pima County “dreamers” with DACA deferrals, according to an estimate by the Migration Policy Institute.

Nationally, the federal government has approved more than 728,000 applicants since the program began.

Life as an undocumented immigrant is not easy. Many arrivals must learn a new language and decipher a foreign culture. Even those who have lived in the United States for most of their life sometimes face discrimination.

Allowing eligible students to continue their dreams and receive benefits might seem like a no-brainer. However, many local and state politicians do not see it that way.

Arizona was the first state to oppose DACA, which has an estimated 80,000 undocumented immigrants eligible to apply.

In 2012, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer issued a counter-order that prevented DACA recipients from receiving any state benefits. Brewer said she barred the students from eligibility because they lack lawful immigration status.

Federal courts later overturned Brewer’s order.

Before DACA, Arizona colleges and universities charged out-of-state tuition to anyone without legal residency.

The Maricopa County Community College District, which includes 10 community colleges in the Phoenix area, began charging in-state tuition for undocumented students in Fall 2012.

The change did not sit well with then-Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne. He sued the Maricopa district, claiming the policy violated state law. Maricopa County courts ruled in favor of the college district.

PCC changed its policy in 2013 after a 4-1 vote by members of the governing board. In-state tuition for DACA students went into effect for the Fall 2013 semester.

The change came after members of an advocacy group called Scholarships A-Z petitioned the governing board. Many Scholarship A-Z volunteers are DACA students.

The sole board vote in opposition came from Scott Stewart, who said he was worried about a state lawsuit. He also didn’t think it was fair for someone with illegal immigration status to receive a better rate than an out-of-state student with legal status.

The three state universities began offering in-state tuition in 2015.

Arizona was not alone in impeding undocumented students. From Virginia to Texas, similar or harsher rules applied.

DACA students still aren’t eligible for federal financial aid. They also aren’t eligible for insurance through the Affordable Care Act.

Immigration and the future of programs such as DACA have been used a chess piece in this year’s presidential campaign.

Republican nominee Donald Trump said he would eliminate DACA and begin mass deportations of undocumented immigrants.

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton said that she would expand DACA to include more dreamers, and their parents. She has also vowed to work vigorously for immigration reform.

DACA students are anxiously awaiting the result of the country’s Nov. 8 election.


Witnessing violence spurs family’s flight


Crossing the international border with tourist visas was second nature when Francisco Salcido, 23, was growing up in Nogales, Sonora, México.

“It was easy for us to constantly cross because it’s a border town,” he said. “We did grocery shopping, we came to restaurants, we have family, so it was natural to cross.”

Life in México was good. Salcido and his two siblings were good students and his parents had well-paying jobs.

That all changed when his family witnessed an execution-style murder while attending a street fair.

The ordeal began as they backed their car to leave. A car that Salcido described as very fancy blocked their way.

In an instant, armed hooded men dressed in black approached the fancy car.

“We were sitting in the back of the car looking, and my little brother said to my mom, ‘Look mom! They have guns!’” Salcido said. “I remember my mom turning around and ducking us down.”

The men tried to kidnap the driver, who was in the car with his wife and two daughters. When the man resisted, the hooded men shot everyone in the car.

“When they were leaving, they saw that we were parked next to the car and that we were in there,” Salcido said.

The incident gave his mother an anxiety attack, which landed her in the hospital. There, a doctor told his mother the police were on their way to investigate what had just happened.

His mother refused to talk to the authorities, and Salcido understands her decision.

“I believe that was the wisest thing that she ever did,” he said.

The family later learned the man in the fancy car was a powerful businessman. They believe the hooded men were federal agents.

The next few weeks were troublesome for Salcido’s parents. They noticed they were being followed and that people were looking into their private records.

One frightening encounter changed the family’s lives.

Their mother had picked up Salcido and his brother from school, and the trio was walking home. A car filled with men stopped in a crossing lane in front of them.

“They took out a gun and they mimicked that they were shooting us,” Salcido said.

They went home, packed and left Nogales for Tucson to stay with an aunt. They have remained in Tucson ever since.

Going to school in Tucson and having to take English as a Second Language classes was a difficult adjustment for Salcido, but education remained a priority.

“My mother always told me that in life they can strip you of everything, but not your education and your knowledge,” he said.

Few opportunities were available because of Salcido’s lack of legal status.

His biggest roadblock was paying for college.

“I don’t like to think that money is what drives people around, but money was literally the issue,” Salcido said. “My mindset was to pay for it without having my parents pay for it.”

He worked five jobs in high school, both to save for college and to help his parents with bills and expenses.

He was accepted into colleges outside of Tucson, including Grand Canyon University and Stanford University. However, money and his drive to help his family convinced him to stay put.

Salcido decided to attend Pima Community College, which granted him a full-ride scholarship when he was a senior in high school.

In the middle of his first semester at Pima, he was pulled out of class and told he wasn’t eligible for the scholarship.

DACA was implemented three months after he graduated from high school in 2012, and Salcido felt relief when he qualified.

He could finally work and attend school without a threat of deportation looming. He also recently obtained health insurance, which was exciting because he had last visited a doctor in 2003.

However, being a DACA recipient does not exclude him from sometimes being treated as a second-class citizen. Salcido recalled an experience in which a police officer approached and told him he did not look like he was “from here.”

Salcido now works as school outreach coordinator for Scholarships A-Z. He believes DACA’s future rests in the hands of the next president, but said he will continue to pursue justice for himself and his peers no matter the outcome.

“I don’t think that we would stop working or lose our marbles in trying to figuring out what to do,” he said. “We will just continue fighting like we have been.”

Nogales, Mexico, native francisco Salcido reflects on his time in the United States. Salcido, Currently is a part-time student at Pima Community College, decided to stay in Tucson to help support his family.   © Ashley Munoz/ Aztec Press

Nogales, Mexico, native francisco Salcido reflects on his time in the United States. Salcido, Currently is a part-time student at Pima Community College, decided to stay in Tucson to help support his family.
© Ashley Munoz/ Aztec Press

Undocumented, but undeterred


Looking for the American dream, Maria Gabriela Arvizu Velazquez and her family left Mexico in 2005 when she was 12 years old.

The Arvizu-Velazquez family departed a little town in Guanajuato to join some of Maria’s siblings who were already living in the United States.

She is now enrolled in the deportation deferral program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, but knows uncertainty is part of being an undocumented immigrant.

“We would never talk about it,” Arvizu-Velazquez said. “This is the first time I talk about my life.”

Arvizu-Velazquez comes from a big family, with 13 siblings.

“People ask, ‘Why did you come as undocumented?’ It’s not a choice,” she said. “Getting a visa is hard, or to get a green card is a lot of requirements.”

After her family arrived in Tucson, life was harder than she expected. Arvizu-Velazquez did not know the English language.

“It was very hard to assimilate coming here,” she said. “Once you get in the U.S., it is a completely different world. It was a rough start.”

She describes herself as Mexican even though she has now lived half of her life in the United States.

“It is hard to come from a different country,” she said. “To blend my culture without compromising is difficult.”

Arvizu-Velazquez said discrimination is always present yet not always openly expressed.

“There are borders between people that we create ourselves,” she said.

When her family heard about DACA, they discussed whether to apply since they would be providing information to Homeland Security.

“We went and talked to a lawyer,” she said. “We were told that if by any chance DACA would be removed, they could come and get us.” Nevertheless, she and five of her siblings applied.

Though DACA doesn’t make them feel safer, it has made their lives easier. “My mom always told me that her American dream was our success,” she said.

Arvizu-Velazquez works for Scholarships A-Z, an advocacy group run by DACA student volunteers.

She’s been a Pima student since 2013, taking one or two classes per semester. She pays for them herself.

Future goals include transfering to the University of Arizona’s Eller School of Management.

“My siblings have always wanted to start a business, so that would be a way of helping them,” she said.

When thinking about her future, Arvizu-Velazquez has a hard time containing her emotion.

As her eyes start to tear up, she struggles to speak.

“I take it one day at a time,” she said.

Arvizu-Velazquez has heard presidential candidate Donald Trump’s statements that he will deport all undocumented immigrants.

“At this moment, I’m not scared anymore,” she said. “If he wins, I’ll go back to Mexico. I don’t mind.”

In comparing Trump and opponent Hillary Clinton, Arvizu-Velazquez doesn’t think either is a great option.

“You have to put it in a balance,” she said. “At the end, the people choose. It’s their country. I don’t think they will let him win, he doesn’t have what the country needs.”

Arvizu-Velazquez doesn’t think Clinton would make any drastic changes.

“Clinton would probably leave DACA as it is,” she said.

It has been 12 years since Arvizu-Velazquez and her family visited Mexico.

“If I go back to Mexico, I will continue my education,” she said. “My mom always told us that education is a treasure.”

She knows there may come a day when her family gets deported, but they hope to stay in the U.S. for as long as possible.

Arvizu-Velazquez says her family will stay together, no matter what.

“If our parents go back, we will go back with them,” she said.

Maria G. Arvizu-Velasquez stops to compose herself before continuing to talk about her experiences.   © Ashley Munoz / Aztec Press

Maria G. Arvizu-Velasquez stops to compose herself before continuing to talk about her experiences.
© Ashley Munoz / Aztec Press

She’ll find a way to stay


Gloria Elisa Valadez came to the United States as a 3-month-old from Magdalena de Kino, Sonora. She is now 28 years old and a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals student.

Her mother left behind a successful business to join her father in Las Vegas.

“My mom wanted a united family” Valadez said. “She wanted for me and my older brothers to have a paternal figure.”

Valadez lived in Las Vegas until the first grade, when the family moved to Tucson to be closer to her maternal grandmother.

She calls herself a Tucsonan.

“I have seen the streets change, downtown change,” she said. “This is my home.”

Valadez and her mother first came to the States with a tourist visa. The visas allowed them to visit Mexico occasionally.

“I was still able to travel back, but we wouldn’t do it often,” she said. “Summer break, just for a few days and come back.”

She had her visa for eight years but was completely undocumented for two years after it expired.

“I tried to be hidden, I wouldn’t post anything in Facebook,” she said. “I wouldn’t look policeman in the face.”

Growing up, Valadez knew she was different but didn’t comprehend the implications.

“I didn’t realize it until high school,” she said. “I asked my mom why I couldn’t go to college after finishing high school.”

Eventually, Valadez paid out-of-state tuition to enroll in an interpretation and translation program at Pima Community College. She has since added a political science major.

The day DACA was announced, Valadez was headed to a League of Women Voters event in Green Valley.

“I went on Twitter to see what was the update, to see what was going on in the world,” she said. “I see the first tweet saying President Obama has signed DACA. I probably saved the tweet.”

Valadez continued searching Facebook and websites, and watching TV.

“I was shocked,” she said.

Valadez had become good friends with an immigration lawyer who is well-respected in the Hispanic community.

When she heard the announcement, he was the first person she called.

“He told me I did qualify, but I just had to wait to see the application process to be announced,” she said.

It took her six months to save $465 for the DACA application.

Through DACA, she received a scholarship that helped with her school tuition. But a job permit was the item she most wanted.

“I got it on a Saturday,” Valadez said. “I went to the mall that day, and got a job in a retail store named Jopa.”

She worked there for two and a half months and then went to her current job at Cyracom, a company specializing in interpretation and translation.

Like many DACA students, Valadez is afraid of what may happen in the presidential election.

“It’s completely scary if Trump wins,” she said. “Clinton is more of a relief but you never know.”

Valadez does not like thinking about being deported, and said she would find a way to stay.

“I am about to graduate, I have a new car and new place,” she said.

Valadez is trying to find a second job so she can pay for the UA College of Law if she’s accepted. She hopes to become an immigration lawyer.

She says DACA will fight an deportation efforts.

“We have won everything we have fought for,” she said. “In-state tuition we won. We fought for driver licenses, we won. It will be another win for us.”

Echoing the DACA slogan, she added “We are here to stay.”

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals student Gloria Elisa Valadez takes time out of her school schedule to sit for an interview. © Ashley Munoz / Aztec Press

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals student Gloria Elisa Valadez takes time out of her school schedule to sit for an interview.
© Ashley Munoz / Aztec Press

Multicultural ‘Bless Me Ultima’ threatens white conservatives

Multicultural ‘Bless Me Ultima’ threatens white conservatives



Illustration by Katelyn Roberts

In 2006, Arizona Superintendent of Public Education Tom Horne ordered the closing of Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican-American Studies program.

Since its inception in 1998, MAS had received wide praise for fostering increased graduation rates and high student achievement among Mexican-American students.

Horne’s successor, John Huppenthal, upheld the ban in 2010. His action came on the heels of Senate Bill 1070, which targeted Mexican-Americans as a whole.

A companion House Bill 2281 passed by an extremely conservative state legislature charged MAS with fomenting left-wing ideas, promoting racism and classism against Anglos, and covertly advocating overthrow of the U.S. government.

The bill specifically banned a number of books from all TUSD curricula.

A few of the many banned books included “Rethinking Columbus” by Bill Bigelow, “Chicano! A History of the Mexican-America Civil Rights Movement in Pictures” by Elizabeth Martinez and “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” by Paulo Freire.

Other books were simply removed from school library shelves and placed under lock and key interdiction. Among these was “Bless Me Ultima” by Rodolfo Anaya, which was published in 1972.

“Bless Me Ultima” is a classic of Chicano literature and has garnered international acclaim. It is one of the most widely read of any American literary works and has been translated into many languages.

It is considered a seminal work in the emergence of an entire genre, and created academic respect for Chicano literature.

What was, or is, so subversive about a story set in 1940s New Mexico that explores a young boy’s apprenticeship to an old midwife and healer named Ultima?

In lyrical passages describing the landscape, they navigate the high plains and woods – llanos y bosques – in search of curing herbs and roots, following the rhythm of the moon and the seasons.

He accompanies her to the curing of sick people and witnesses her strength and power in the face of an evil-doer. She counsels him on the ways of the heart and what it takes to be a man. When Ultima dies, he asks for her blessing to guide him through life.

The portrait painted in Anaya’s words is of a world where religions and cultures blend. Conflicts are resolved through understanding of complex, rather than simplistic, world visions.

The boy is often puzzled by the discrepancies between his mother’s Catholic devotion and the priest’s uncompromising catechism, and the Earth-centered practices of a curandera, a healer.

Ultima has as her companion an owl, which is also her soul-double. When it is killed by an evil man, it takes her along into death.

To Ultima, the Virgin is the spirit of the healing Earth. This portrait is one of a living culture, a composite of blended Pueblo and Spanish rituals, traditions and beliefs.

Reading this story broadens one’s perspectives and understanding of culture and religion.

Given the hostility of present-day conservatives to the Mexican-American presence in the Southwest, it becomes clear how such a multi-stranded way of thinking and being could appear as a threat.

It challenges a monolithic worldview centered on fundamentalist Christianity and the predominant Anglo ruling class.

After all, the American ethos is of a “melting pot” to absorb waves of immigrants. Unlike the Canadian concept of a “quilt” made up of distinct units forming a harmonious whole, the melting pot is a crucible that expunges differences.

The melting pot is a bonfire of all variety, with its final product an alloy meant to closely resemble the Anglo ideal.

There is no room in this alloy for mystical thinking, for other languages or cultural trends.

Thus, “Bless Me Ultima” was perceived by educational authorities as inimical to existing power structures rooted in white supremacy.

It is similar to the 19th and early 20th century attempts to eradicate Native American Indian cultures by forcibly herding children into boarding schools. Speaking indigenous languages was punished and strict codes of dress and behavior enforced, erasing their identities.

Banning “Bless Me Ultima” represents a 21st century form of ethnic cleansing, of cultural genocide.

Whether banned or withdrawn from circulation, preventing students from reading this important work of American literature impoverishes education in Arizona. It narrows the range of possibilities for people of all ages, cultures and religions.

The more we learn about others, the more open our minds are to the varieties of human experience.

Learning about others helps us create a peaceful and cohesive world family, where differences are cherished, appreciated and, above all, accepted.

Pima Community College student Maria Cadaxa originally wrote this essay as part of Banned Books Week activities held Sept. 26-Oct. 1 at Downtown Campus.

East Campus gamers embrace diverse group

East Campus gamers embrace diverse group


 The East Campus Gamer Club, which has been around for about a year and a half, provides students and faculty with a way to relieve every-day stress.

Student Life provides consoles such as PlayStation and Wii while members bring Xboxes, among other consoles, as well as board and card games.

Club advisers are also in the process of constructing computers for members to game on.

“We’re here to get people that like to play games, board, card, video games, anything like that,” club adviser Will Crabtree said. “We’re here just to have fun.”

The Gamer Club welcomes a mixed group of nearly 150.

“The games are a catalyst to bring in a diverse group of people,” club adviser Aaron Holley said. “It’s impressive to see different people come together.”

Club president Josh Wetherill called get-togethers “a place to hang out and make friends.”

Crabtree recently designed a new logo for the club after many hours of testing, remastering a version previously created by club member James Donelson III. The club embraces the logo as a way to indicate what the club is about.

“We wanted something that looked decent and somewhat professional,” Crabtree said.

Because it supplies much of its own equipment, the Gamer Club doesn’t rely on outside funding or other resources.

“Other clubs need money to make stuff happen,” Holley said. “We don’t.”

Instead, the club gives back to the community. Members regularly hold charity events and provide donations for veterans and Dietz K-8 school, among others.

All Pima students and faculty can join the Gamer Club free of charge. The club meets in the Student Life office every Wednesday from 1 to 4 p.m.

“We create an environment on campus that doesn’t exist,” Holley said. “We create a sense of community.”

BEST BETS: Check out Tucson’s best fall festivals

BEST BETS: Check out Tucson’s best fall festivals


As October comes to a close, the season loses none of the theatricals that Halloween brings our way while November offers events that appeal to our local culture. Check out these events: 

Buckelew Farm Terror in the Corn

Oct. 27, 28-29, 30-31

Buckelew Farm’s Terror in the Corn at 1700 W. Ajo Way has been voted Tucson’s best haunted attraction three years in a row.

Activities include a haunted cornfield and scavenger hunt within the corn maze.

Buckelew will host College Night on Thursday, Oct. 27. Show school ID to receive $5 off the admission price.

Final dates are Oct. 28-31 from 6 p.m. to midnight. Special Halloween events take place Oct. 30-31.

Admission is $25 for all ages. A $30 fast pass lets you bypass the line. You can buy a flashlight for $5 or bring your own. Maps cost $1. You will get $5 off if you wear a costume on Halloween.

Details:, 822-2277


Tucson Comic-Con

Nov. 4-6

Tucson Comic-Con has provided a pop culture experience since 2008.

This year’s event will be held at the Tucson Convention Center, 260 S. Church Ave. Hours are Nov. 4: 4-8 p.m., Nov. 5: 10 a.m.-7 p.m. and Nov. 6: 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

Weekend memberships for ages 14 and up are available online for $35. Weekend memberships for children ages 9 to 13 cost $10 online. Kids ages 8 and below are admitted free with an adult membership.

Single-day tickets are available at the door. Adult admission cost $15 on Nov. 4-5 and $25 on Nov. 6. Tickets for ages 9 to 13 cost $5.



Tucson Celtic Festival

Nov. 4-6

The 30th annual Tucson Celtic Festival and Scottish Highland Games will take place at Rillito Park, 4502 N. First Ave.

Opening festivities on Nov. 4 include a Pirate Pub Party from 6-10 p.m. It costs $5 a person, with children under 5 free.

Adult admission on Nov. 5-6 costs $16 per day or $22 for two-day tickets. Senior citizens and military pay a discounted $10 a day. It costs $6 per day for kids ages 6 to 15 and is free for children age 5 and under.

Games taking place Nov. 5-6 feature nine competitions of strength and athletic ability for men and women age 18 and over.

The festival will feature live performances by Out of Kilters, Aris, Puca and others. Additional activities include a Scottish Highland dance competition and youth highland games.

A whiskey tasting will be held Nov. 5-6. Entry is $15 a person. Patrons can purchase food at the Welsh Baker Tea Room.



Participants in Tucson's All Souls Procession gather annually to memorialize loved ones. (Larry Gaurano/Aztec Press 2015)

Participants in Tucson’s All Souls Procession gather annually to memorialize loved ones. (Larry Gaurano/Aztec Press 2015)









All Souls Procession

Nov. 5-6

The organization that sponsors the All Souls Procession will host a variety of activities in late October and early November, leading up to the main event on Nov. 6.

Tucson artist Susan Johnson founded the All Souls Procession to memorialize loved ones. The procession ends with the burning of a large urn filled with slips of paper containing hopes, offerings and wishes for those who have passed.

A Procession of Little Angels will take place on Nov. 5 from 3-7 p.m. at Armory Park, 221 S. Sixth Ave. Parents can gather with their children to paint wings, create paper flowers and approach grief in a child-friendly place. The events are free, but donations are encouraged.

Participants in the Nov. 6 procession will begin gathering at 4 p.m. at the intersection of Sixth Avenue and Seventh Street.

To avoid crowd congestion, consider joining the procession along the route. Onlookers should also choose a viewing site away from the gathering spot.

The group will start walking at 6 p.m., following a two-mile route to the finale site located west of Congress Street next to Mercado San Agustin.

The finale ceremony will get underway at approximately 8:30 p.m. and last until 10 p.m.

An All Souls Mobile App is available for download from the website.



Tucson Comedy Arts Festival

Nov. 9-12

The Tucson Improv Movement will host the second annual Tucson Comedy Arts Festival, spotlighting improvisational and stand-up comedy, storytelling, the art of improvised hip-hop and comedy workshops.

This year’s festival aims to teach as well as showcase performers. Featured guests include Zach Ward, 808 Hip Hop Improv and Big Grande.

Activities will take place at two locations: the TIM Comedy Theater, 329 E. Seventh St., and the Flycatcher, 340 E. Sixth St.

Shows will take place Nov. 9-12 at times between 1:30-10:30 p.m. Workshops will be held Nov. 11-12 from 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and 2-4:30 p.m.

Details:, 314-7299


Loft Film Fest

Nov. 9-13

The Loft Film Festival showcases foreign, independent and classical films at the Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. General passes cost $125.

Screen 1 passholders will receive priority and guaranteed seating 20 minutes before screening. Those attending the Screen 3 screening get a free ticket at the box office to guarantee a seat.

Details:, 322-5638