Joaquin is a native of Salt Lake City educated at the Local University of Utah he studied Anthropology and Modern Dance. Since an early age Joaquin has always loved music. He competed in the classical piano festival in his teenage years and was a part of the jazz band at his high school. His first job was as a yard worker in his neighborhood at the age of eleven. He was hired by his neighbor too mow her lawn. From their her expanded his business to the rest of the neighborhood where he worked every summer cutting and blowing the lawn. He was involved in a cultural exchange program called AMIGOS de las Americas which is an NGO that permits American teenagers to live in Latinamerica for the summer in a cultural exchange. During his experience he live in the southern Azuay region of Ecuador with a family a hour outside of the city of Cuenca. When Joaquin returned from this experience he was greatly moved by what he learned decided to change in initial desire to pursue the army and instead pursue the arts. He was a member of a dance group that went by the name of Porridge for goldilocks and had a solo in a hip hop piece entitled “Warriors of light” choregraphed by the UCLA professor Jackie Lopez aka Miss Funk. He is a member of two music collectives in Salt Lake City; the Ableton Live group and a University group that went by the name 73’ til infinity which are currently not active. In the next four years he plans of releasing at least two albums. One consisting of Hip Hop and Native American genre. The other mainly electronic and Classic repertoire. He is an avid musician in the Salt Lake underground community and this year was added to the Hear Utah Music Catalog at the Salt Lake Public Library (HUM). In the next year he plans to get Ableton Certified and work with teenagers in recovery. He is a pilar of the Arts for a Local recovery gym that goes by the Name of Fit to Recover (FTR) and is an active member of their open writing class.

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Longer stories with deeper texts 

So as my Mayan class begins to get more intense. I started to relaxed my Spanish isn’t as bad as I had thought. Getting a job as a local empanadas shop has helped. I’m no where near as fluent as the customers that grill me left and right about the most semiotic tasks. Where as when I am doing my word by word translation in Mayan I tend to translate the words many times to better understand the scholarly relevance of Ixchel, of Kukulkán, of Hun Ahau. It’s fatal to my esteem and sadly accommodating when they ask me where I’m from and I have to remind myself of the finer art of conversation outside of my stories.

The intermediate studies in Maya (maaya ta’an) 

So today when I woke up I realized I had double booked my schedule. I had class with my new teacher and intermediate students at 9am.

The class was no more then a dozen students. A mix between Mexicanos and Americans. I was informed that I was the only one whom didn’t have access to a resource for the class, which is a shotty way to be introduced to your peers.

Class typically runs two hours and since it was the first day I wanted to stay for the whole time. The problem was that I was also scheduled to work at Argentina’s Best Empanadas. A new job and a part-time source of funds. I decided the best option was to attend as much of class as possible before I had to start selling empanadas.

When I arrived at the kitchen the order was twice as big as I expected. Unfortunately I was going to have to deliver two 16”- 24” crates to the local mercado. Monica the cook, a very polite mid aged latinoamericana, always seems to dish out exactly what you give. She and her daughter, who’s name I do not know, I only recognize her by her rose tattoo on her forearm, tend to have a cheerful disposition when I come in for a pick up.

When driving with a car full of the intoxicating aroma of freshly made pastries it’s a good idea to keep your senses sharp. My classmates whom had gone over the six month lesson plan consisting of presentations, dialogues and literature analysis were all keeping there attention to their screens. While I frantically tried to get ahold of a worker at the mercado to receive the two crates.

Lucky for me I was able to park curbside near the drop off zone between an elderly man plugging in his crimson Tesla and an A-frame sign warning vendors not to drive vehicles on the sidewalk during market hours.

After three missed calls and a text message I was finally able to get a worker on the line. Turns out they had a line stretching all the way to Bangkok and were just now able to check their phones.

While I was waiting a couple of interesting occurrences transpired. First was that the vendors near the cross walk where I was waiting were being serenaded by an elderly guitarista whom had made himself home under one of our many Elder trees.

The second interesting occurrence was an interaction between a little girl and two poodles. It seemed that most of the customers had brought their pets to the mercado. I am myself a patron of animals.

Thirdly was the two nearest booths content. I realize that salsa is a hot commodity, two booths on prime real estate must mean it sells like dulce to niños.

When the Worker Ezra picked up I informed him that I was at the same location I had been last week. I helped him load the dolly and was off to the tienda. I only caught a few words from the class …ba’ax…. kaansaja… bey…

Opening the tienda was easy enough a few switches, stocking the product. The most complicated task was connecting the Bluetooth speaker to the shop’s iPhone. Cumbia music is my favorite station.

The patrons here tend to be of a sabio mindset. Always asking the right questions, bantering, patient. It’s a shame that the store hours are so corto. But I guess that’s part of the appeal.


Contact between the Old World and the New was a disaster for the latter. Conquest, mass killing, and enslavement were part of the story, but even …


Ode to Pizza 

When William wrote, he wrote of love to “compare thee to a summer’s day”.  When I write, I write to compare thee to a pizza on a spring noon. Cheesy,…

Ode to Pizza

The social justice origins of Hip-hop 

By The West View

January 06, 2020

by Joaquin Galvan
(Charlotte Fife-Jepperson added to the story)

Hip-hop started in the early ‘70s in the Bronx, New York City. Unemployment, poverty, and crime rates were at an all-time high, and the community’s black and Latino residents, who felt abandoned by the city, found an outlet through a new culture and art movement – Hip-hop.

Grandmaster Flash, an influential DJ who was involved in the early Hip-hop scene, said that Hip-hop’s message was, “We matter. We stand for something,” according to a quote in Dorian Lynskey’s August 2016 article “Grandmaster Flash,” published in The Guardian.

In the ‘70s and ‘80s, Hip-hop culture spread through the streets in the Bronx through house parties, block parties, gym dances and mix-tapes.

The words Hip-hop and rap are used interchangeably today, however Hip-hop is not only rap.

Afrika Bambaataa, DJ and founder of the Universal Zulu Nation (an international Hip-hop awareness group) outlined the Four Pillars of Hip-hop as: DJing (turntabling), MCing (vocal rapping), breakdancing (movement), and graffiti (visual art).

Hip-hop’s roots can be traced back to slavery. Much like Hip-hop, songs and spirituals were sung by African American slaves as a way of transmitting culture to the next generation.

After slavery, as African Americans moved into cities like Detroit, New York and Chicago, the culture they created followed. However, because they were seen as second-class citizens most lived in poverty for generations.

Hip-hop began to take stances on social justice issues early on, much like the Black Lives Matter movement does today. Songs like “Fight the Power” and “F* the Police” are prime examples of rap that took a stance on the injustices afflicting the African American community during the 1992 L.A. riots over the Rodney King assault.

Hip-hop has become a great way for a community to have its voice heard when other avenues for the political process have failed. It is also a means of communicating within the Hip-hop community itself.

The Stop the Violence Movement was formed in 1987 by rapper KRS-One in response to violence within the Hip-hop community. Several New York rappers joined forces to record the single, “Self Destruction.” All proceeds of the single went to the National Urban League, a New York based group that focuses on social and civil rights issues affecting communities of color.

Two years later, the West Coast Rap All Stars followed suit by teaming up to produce a No.1 rap single “We’re All in the Same Gang,” which earned a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group in 1991.

Several Hip Hop groups and rappers like 50 Cent, Timbaland, Common, Talib Kweli, Run the Jewels and MC Killer Mike have endorsed political candidates throughout the years.

Kamau Rashid, Associate Professor at National-Louis University, Chicago, said in 2006,

“[Hip-hop] represented a potential shift in the ideological and ideational dynamics of the African American community insofar as it signaled an intergenerational movement around crafting solutions which were artistic, organizational, and institutional to the structural malaise of post-industrial urban black communities.”

Hip-hop maintains a strong stance in the African American community today. However, as the Hip-hop culture grew so did its diversity. It has become a global community of solidarity.

Joaquin Galvan, a Filipino American raised in the Guadalupe neighborhood of Fairpark, appreciates Hip-hop in all its forms.