Shortcomings in Mexico

Columnist Lizbeth Alvarez visited Mexico in early February.

Columnist Lizbeth Alvarez visited Mexico in early February.

Lizbeth Alvarez, Aztec Voice

I think that everyone is proud of their country!

Why do people immigrate to the US?

To most answers, I can claim that people from Mexico come here to get a better life, to have rights, to work hard and never give up; they come here for the American Dream – dream that a lot of people think is the best.

If you ask my dad if he wanted to live in Mexico, he would be glad to tell you yes.

Why? Because that is where everything is, for him.  Other persons might not like the idea of living in Mexico because they have their own life here and they are happy with it.

I just traveled to Mexico. We celebrated my quinceañera, and I think that’s something that everyone likes, but the point is the lack of things that people have. When the girl asks for her party, the most likely answer is, “There’s not enough money.” It is extremely sad when you know that your daughter wants a party, she wants to feel she is old and you can’t afford enough to make a simple party.

When I first got to Mexico, everything looked so simple so weird, I know it isn’t a good thing to think about your country, but I went two years without visiting, and it felt like a whole new place.

When I was in the airport, there was this loud and busy language, and you could say everything was so Mexican. When I was in the airport there was this police officer talking to American people. I just liked the idea that they give themselves time to go and visit such a beautiful place, but then I just heard the police officer ask the woman if she knew Spanish, to which she said no, and the police gave this nasty and ugly answer of “If you are in Mexico, you need to learn Spanish.” That isn’t true. People are just copying quotes from others; this isn’t respectful. The woman answered calmly, but that kind of things shouldn’t be said.

I think everyone has the desire to buy something, but in Mexico I notice there’s so much lack of everything. When I first was going to take a shower, it was funny because the water from the bathroom shower was so little of what I am used to. People could say that is normal, but it was a little amount of water coming out, and then some people get tubs with hot water to shower themselves.

Columnist Lizbeth Alvarez stayed with her grandmother in Mexico in February.

Columnist Lizbeth Alvarez stayed with her grandmother in Mexico in February.

When I was getting to my house I saw so many other little houses that were made of wood and plastic – you could actually see the bags of plastic used as their windows. The sad thing about these people living in these houses is that they are old, almost everyone is an old person, an old person who doesn’t have the strength to get up and go work and  get some money. These people need help from their government what they are not getting.

I’m not going to say they lived around giant buildings and around a lot of population because that isn’t true, this is a far place from the town, but I guess either way the government has to have an idea that these people exist.

Shortcomings are everywhere, and people need help.


In defense of Valentine’s Day

wedding-roses-1381333Paola Salazar, Aztec Voice

February 14 is coming up and many people are excited.

But also some people are kind of not in the mood for this day – it’s like a regular day for them because they think it’s a day only for people in love, like as in boyfriend/girlfriend, but you can give and get valentines from family and friends.

In my opinion, I think Valentine’s Day is a good day to tell your loved ones that you’re happy to see them or anything sweet and nice maybe get them a gift or chocolates. The most common things you get on this day are chocolates, bears, roses, balloons and cards.

I think Valentine’s Day is a such a sweet, loving day for many people, not only couples.

If you’re not in the mood for this day, then you could also go out with a couple of friends who are not in the mood to celebrate it either. You could have a girls’ night out or a guys’ night out with friends and family.                                                                                                                    

Binge-worthy shows to get you through February

Madison Wilson, Aztec Voice

"Criminal Minds" is just one of the excellent shows on Netflix right now. In the show, FBI agents investigate violent crime. (CBS)

“Criminal Minds” is just one of the excellent shows on Netflix right now. In the show, FBI agents investigate violent crime. (CBS)

If you need TV shows to watch here are some recommendations… 

Criminal Minds  

Watching “Criminal Minds” is a BIG yes. There are 13 seasons, but there are only 12 on Netflix – but it’s worth it. You should watch “Criminal Minds” because you see what happens and how FBI agents think when they’re on a case. You also see what’s happening in their personal lives.

They travel everywhere to solve cases, but their headquarters is located in Quantico, Virginia. The acting in the TV show is really good: they cast the right people in the right roles. For example, one of the actors, Matthew Gubler, plays Spencer Reid. He is a genius; every time they’re on a case, he helps the team by giving them information about everything his brain knows.  He reads books really fast, and he knows everything about anything. He is your stereotypical nerd.

The writing is amazing. You would think that they really do these things in real, like you could go down to Quantico and ask them to help you solve a case.  

There are Season 1-13, and they have lots of cast members who have left and joined the FBI team. But there are four people who have never left the FBI team in Quantico. They have been in all 13 seasons and other actors  joined in the middle of the season. The show stars Matthew Gray Gubler playing as Spencer Reid, A.J Cook playing Jennifer “JJ” Jareau, Kirsten Vangsness playing as Emily Prentiss and Thomas Gibson playing Aaron Hotchner.

If you like “CSI: Miami” or “Law and Order,” then you might like “Criminal Minds.”  


“Riverdale” is also a great show to watch. The drama and romance and the cast and the characters there… it’s just a great show to watch. It gives you life.

It takes place in a small town called Riverdale (if you haven’t known, that’s the show’s name). The suspense of the show makes you want to keep watching. The acting is soooo good; this is another show that has the right people to play the characters in the show.

A fun fact about about this show is that it’s actually based on a book called “Archie Comics.”

When the show starts it hooks you and makes you want to keep watching. The actors are great. They act like its a reality show but better. The way they set up the action and the writing are great also. They also have someone narrating the story in the TV show, and the way he tells the story makes you not want to change channels.

The characters are good too. The main characters are Betty (played by Lili Reinhart), Veronica (played by Camila Mendes), Archie (played by KJ Apa) and Jughead (played by Cole Sprouse).

If you like “13 Reasons Why,” “Pretty Little Liars” and “Vampire Diaries,” you might like “Riverdale.”


I think “Empire” is the #1 drama show on television right now. Even though they’re on a break until March 28, you have to keep watching it. It’s so good that it makes you want to go back and look at past episodes. “Empire” is so good that if you stop watching it, you will regret it because you would miss a lot. “Empire” is must-watch TV.  

I’m going to just say that if you love drama and romance, then this is the show for you.

“Empire” shows you how the music industry and how to start from the bottom and how to make it to the top – but the gangster way. Even the cast is fantastic. They have the amazing Taraji P. Henson that plays the role of Cookie, then Terrence Howard playing Lucious Lyon and other actors like Jussie Smollett, Bryshere Y. Gray  and more. They just make the acting good.

Even the writers who write what’s going to happen in the show, I give them props because they make you feel so much anger or happiness that it makes you want to hop in your television and makes you want to  join.

“Empire” makes you feel like you can relate to the show (well, I know I can). The romance that happens in the show makes you happy and mad, like a show that makes you feel like you just want hop out of your seat and throw your popcorn.

If you like this then you would love shows like “Star,” “The Get Down” or “Scandal.”

These are some great TV shows that I think that you would love to watch, especially if you need something to watch now and if you want to get out of your comfort zone. I hope you like these shows!!!!


Why states should legalize all forms of marijuana

cannabis-leaves-affected-by-wind-burn-1616160Ashley Becerra, Aztec Voice

My opinion on cannabis is that it isn’t bad and that it should be legal everywhere. It doesn’t hurt people, and if people can smoke weed more, than people might not smoke tobacco and get cancer, because tobacco can cause cancer, and cannabis helps cure cancer.

Only 23 states in the U.S. have legalized medical weed (Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Florida, Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico and Arizona).

Weed should be legal because of the fact that medical cannabis helps certain kind of sicknesses. According to Business Insider, “weed can help treat glaucoma, slowing down the disease and preventing blindness. People who smoke tobacco lose lung function over time, but cannabis smokers showed an increase in lung capacity. It helps with epileptic seizures. Marijuana decreases the symptoms of severe seizure disorder known as Dravets syndrome. The chemical found in marijuana stops cancer from spreading. It turns off a gene called Id-1, and compounds could even kill cancer cells.”

Cannabis also helps with depression and anxiety, according to Business Insider. It can decrease anxiety and prevent depression. Weed helps relieve pain and suppress nausea. It helps people live their lives, so why can’t it be legal? When you smoke you get munchies and eat a lot, I guess because you get very hungry, but you stay the way you are; it keeps you skinny, even though you probably ate a lot.And it helps your metabolism. People who smoke weed have healthier metabolism and reaction to sugars. Marijuana promotes sleep too.

Medical marijuana is used by people who go through chemotherapy, and it helps them get an appetite and helps with their nausea and pain.

I think weed should be legal because it isn’t dangerous. I mean you can’t overdose on weed and die, according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse for Teachers. Weed isn’t technically a drug: it’s a plant because you grow it. The government is just saying it’s bad, and some people believe it. The myth is that it’s bad because you could die from it, but if you smoke weed, you aren’t really going to die because it isn’t bad for you in a lot of ways, but some people always think it’s bad.

Weed should be legal everywhere in the U.S. for recreational use, too. Eight states in the U.S. legalized marijuana for medical and recreational use (Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Colorado, Alaska, Maine and Massachusetts). Some people just like smoking weed because they like how it makes them feel and how they could forget things they don’t want to remember. Some people smoke because they like how the food tastes when they eat.

They should legalize every type of weed in every state. People are going to jail because they get caught with weed. That isn’t even cool, because why does somebody have to go to jail for having a plant that’s called a drug? They should put rapists and other criminals in jail because they’re doing bad stuff, but smoking weed isn’t something somebody should go to jail for or go to a place where like they talk about their addiction because weed is not like being a alcoholic or an actual drug addict.

I think every drug except marijuana is bad because you can overdose and die or it harms the body a lot. But weed doesn’t do that. It helps you with some medical problems you have, so they shouldn’t even call it a drug. There are more pros than cons about weed in my opinion.

Fighting teen depression and suicide

1200px-Lifelinelogo.svgLizbeth Alvarez, Aztec Voice

Depression is a mental health disorder characterized by a persistently depressed mood or loss of interest in activities, causing significant impairment in daily life. This can cause a person to think about suicide and have no interest for life, without a reason to be alive.

Have you ever experienced depression?

I  have, and it is really hard to have it. It feels like nobody is there for you – like I just get really sad for simple things when it happens, and it feels awful. People can even think of killing themselves just because of their depression.

According to, here are some signs of depression:

  • Disciplinary problems
  • Talking about death
  • Change in eating habits and sleeping problems
  • No hope for the future
  • Fear of losing control
  • Change in behavior
  • Substance abuse
  • Isolation
  • Hurting themselves

There are really a lot of signs. What you really need to see in a person with depression is the sadness, the deep sadness people pass through. All of it is about problems that they have, maybe just because they are passing through things that challenges them.

These are some causes of depression:

  • Loss
  • Sexual orientation confusion
  • Any kind of abuse
  • Victim of bullying
  • Pressure in school
  • Future
  • Close Relationships

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among young people, behind car accidents and homicide, according to National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

What to do when people think about suicide?

Teenagers need to understand that life is about our own selves, not about other people in life. We need to survive and live and act how we want, not how others want.

Signs of depression are everywhere. Try to help somebody!

These are some thing you can do to help somebody, according to National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

  • Take your loved one seriously, hear all they say and pay attention to them.
  • Don’t keep suicide a secret. If your friend asks you to keep it a secret, please don’t do it.
  • Learn the warning signs!
  • Do not shame people for being negative; try to be positive when you are with them.

How easily can people hurt each other?

I’m going to start with relationships. What about love? What is a good relationship?  According to Marshall University Women’s Center, women shouldn’t have to experience violence.

As Marshall University writes, “Relationship violence is the physical, emotional and/or verbal abuse of one partner by the other partner in a current or former dating relationship. Abusive behavior is any act carried out by one partner aimed at hurting the other; the goal of the behavior is to establish and maintain power and control in the relationship.”

I can say that if you have depression, it is harder to work out in love relationships, because of the thought of being alone.

What about being jealous?

When there’s a new person in your group of friends, have you ever felt like she/he is getting more important than you?

I have. Maybe is it because of depression or anxiety. Either way, on people with hard depression, problems are worse because it is just thinking that they are replacing you, and it’s hard just to think people are taking your place.

People hurt each other by so many ways.  I remember when I was little, I used to feel so bad when I didn’t know an answer in the class or the teacher called on me; it is just so hard.  

Try to not hurt others and think before you act!

“A suicidal person may not ask for help, but that doesn’t mean that help isn’t wanted. People who take their lives don’t want to die , they want to stop being hurt,” National Suicide Prevention Lifeline stated – this website is really helpful!

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

These are some things you could do if you are struggling:

  • Ask for help.
  • Evaluate the relationships in your life.
  • Take your loved one seriously.
  • Provide support. You can also get involved in the page and help others that need you.

When I have talked to people with different problems in their lives, I even cry; it is just complicated. Sometimes you know that you argue with things that don’t have a big importance in life while other people with worse problems are happy, and they are there just smiling like nothing bad happens.

When I came to the U.S., I just thought, “Why can’t I understand, why can’t I just be normal and talk English like everyone else?”  But now I know that if I hadn’t faced that problem in my life, I wouldn’t be doing stuff I do now, and I’m really happy I passed through that.

People just need a little punch in their lives to have the courage and fight harder.

“I was 12 years old when I came to Kansas City, Missouri, and I was so scared I didn’t know what to say. The worst was the language and people not accepting you. I think we pass through depression because people don’t give us attention, and they bully me, so it was harder. I didn’t wanted to tell nobody because I was shy. I thought they were gonna laugh at me,” freshman Victor Hernandez said.

When you ask people about their problems, sometimes they say everything is okay, and some of them just get mad and try to ignore the question. If you feel bad, you need to express it and let people know it, because being hurt somehow is always there no matter how much you want to hide it.

Be confident about you!

Everyone has been nervous sometime, but why? Maybe because they are shy or something. I think it isn’t okay. We need to be confident about ourselves and trust ourselves, trust our knowledge, and if we fail, it doesn’t matter; we need to stand up and ignore other bad points of view, ignore those others who judge you without knowing about you.

A teenager I know

I could say that I know a bunch of people who have thought about suicide. You walk by them, and they really look normal without a problems.  Sometimes we even get jealous because we think that they are “perfect”… are they? You never get to know a person completely, but if you could heard them how they suffer, how they are asking for help, everything would be totally different.

Family support

Support is essential for a person to forget about suicide and depression, but I think that the main support they could get is from their families. Why? Because they are the ones with whom they live; children learn how to act after their parents teach them. All bad and good things are learned, but I think that bad things are learned faster, and people learn how to hurt instead of learning how to be nice with people. This is so important because every child needs support from their parents.

Suicide Statistics from the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP):

  • Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S.
  • Each year, 44,965 Americans die by suicide.
  • For every suicide, 25 attempt.
  • Suicide costs the U.S. $51 billion annually.

According to the ASFP, “494,169 people visited a hospital for injuries due to self-harm. This number suggests that approximately 12 people harm themselves for every reported death by suicide. However, because of the way these data are collected, we are not able to distinguish intentional suicide attempts from non-intentional self-harm behaviors.”

Christian Nordqvist writes in Medical News Today, “According to the [World Health Organization], approximately one million people commit suicide each year worldwide. That is about one death every 40 seconds or 3,000 per day. For each individual who takes his/her own life, at least 20 attempt to do so. Suicide has a global mortality rate of 16 per 100,000 people.”

It’s okay if sometimes you feel lonely. People just need to ask for help, and everything will be okay. Life isn’t going to kill you, because you the only one who can do whatever you want with life.


What You as an Internet User Need to Know About the Fate of Net Neutrality

light-up-the-web-1193828Samantha Barron, Aztec Voice

What is net neutrality, for starters?

Net neutrality is the principle that internet service providers, or ISPs for short, like Verizon, should give users access to all applications without blocking any. Without it, ISPs would have the choice to sell separate packages, and consumers would have to pay separate packages for using certain applications like Instagram or Snapchat, Gmail and entertainment applications like Netflix.

Luckily net neutrality is still in place, but in the near future it might not be. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the government organization that oversees communication systems like television, radio and the Internet in the U.S. And now it is considering changes to how we access and pay for websites.

FCC Chairman Ajit V. Pai has proposed a plan to “change” the rules to net neutrality, which benefit ISPs not the users (aka hurting you). Pai proposed this idea in April 2017, but it didn’t kick off until in May 2017 when the FCC voted forward the plan, and now anxious users have been waiting until today, where the final decision of net neutrality’s fate will be decided.  

We spoke with some Alta Vista students to get their take on this decision.


Senior Gustavo Valdovino

Q: What do you think about what Chairman Pai is doing?

A: I’m not okay with it; if his plan actually happens, it would benefit the companies and not the people.

Q: What would you do if they got rid of net neutrality?

A: Honestly I would only buy some packages provided. It would cost too much money to buy all the ones that I wanted

Q: How do you think people will react if they did get rid of net neutrality?

A: I personally don’t think it’s a big deal, but some people might would probably be upset about it, but if it happens they would have to face the fact that that is gone. But I think they shouldn’t be mad about it because it’s a luxury, not a necessity.


Freshman Anthony Barron

Q: What do you think about what Chairman Pai is doing?

A: I don’t support him at all. He’s only doing that so that companies like Verizon gain money, and [that] leaves us the users over-paying.   

Q: What would you do if they got rid of net neutrality?

A: I guess I’d just buy the package that I want.

Q: How do you think people will react if they did get rid of net neutrality?

A: People would obviously be upset, almost everyone I know uses a whole lot of apps.

Basically, without net neutrality everything – app or website – that you use that you now pay for in one package will no longer just be one but multiple packages. This could make using the Internet much more expensive.

To voice your opinion with the fate of net neutrality, contact your representatives in Congress to show that we the people are against getting rid of net neutrality.

How stressed are you?

studying-ahead-1421056Wendy Vega, Aztec Voice

As finals start approaching, it makes me really stressed and exhausted. I mostly forgot what I learned from the beginning of the school year. These couple of days I’m going to be studying a lot, because I don’t want to fail my classes and get summer school. I’m pretty confident that I’m going to do well in my finals because I’m going to try really hard. Also after finals, I’m gonna go to Mexico to visit my family that I haven’t seen for 13 years, and I’m really excited to go see them and that my finals are finally over.   

Junior Stephanie Gonzalez says, “I get stressed and worried when it comes to finals week, because I feel like I didn’t prepare myself, and there’s so many tests and I’m worried about making my parents not proud of me.”

Junior Priscilla Reyes says, “Right now I feel calm, but later on I’m going to feel stressed because [I’m going to] have to work harder and study more.”

Junior Jackelyn Lopez says, “We have too many finals, and I’m not prepared to take them, because I need to review some of my assignments so I can understand and know what to expect on the test. It’s going to be tense because I need to get some classes up in a short amount of time.”

Sophomore Edith Marquez says, “I feel overwhelmed, and regardless how much effort I put in, it still won’t be enough.”

Senior Aaron Ramirez says, “Finals [are] stressful. I really hate how at this point [in] the year, everyone struggles the most because some people want to get their grades up to a passing or people just want to have a better grade. It’s just a struggle but we gotta stay hustling.”

Junior Alexeah Morton says, “I’m nervous about them because some subjects, I don’t really understand them, but I feel confident about some subjects.”

Senior Michelle Morales says, “Finals week can be super stressful! For a senior you have to make sure you study really hard to pass them classes. But it’s a relief that vacation are coming – I keep that in mind to finish strong!”

Overall Av students are feeling stressed about finals week because they all want to pass this semester and be able to have a good grade for each class.


Little Debbie tricks us all – but which treat has to go?

Cindy Vega, Aztec Voice

There was a tweet on Nov. 8 from Little Debbie about Little Debbie treats going away forever, but not all just four of them: Christmas Tree Cakes, Oatmeal Creme Pies, Nutty Buddy and Honey Buns. In my opinion, I think Oatmeal Creme Pies should be the ones to go if it does happen one day, because I hate oatmeal and I feel like only grown ups are the ones who mostly buy those.

According to “Today,” this was all just a prank; Little Debbie was just trolling all of us on Twitter, and mostly everyone believed them. But we decided to ask some Alta Vista students which treat they would choose to eliminate.

Senior Cristian Juarez says, “I think the Oatmeal Creme Pies should go because they look like they have peppermint, and they don’t look delicious or appealing.”

Sophomore Dayana Valverde says, “In my opinion, Honey Buns should go because they are just so sweet and they are not that good like the rest of them. Plus they make your hands all dirty and sticky.”

Junior Wendy Vega says, “I think it’s between the Nutty Buddy and the Oatmeal Creme Pies, because the Nutty ones taste just like peanut butter, and I hate peanut butter, and I don’t like oatmeal, so it’s between those two. The rest I love.”

Senior Mayela Marron says, “The Honey Buns should go because they are gross, and the rest are better for me. The buns just taste so weird and are not for me.”

Junior Johan Yeverino say, “The Christmas Tree Cakes should go because they are not good at all. They are too sweet, and I just get tired of eating them with just one bite.”

Senior Brenda Esquivel says, “I really like all the Little Debbie treats but the Christmas Tree Cakes have to go. The rest are bomb.”

Sophomore Alexis Juarez says, “I really think they should all go because they are just too sweet for me, and I hate sweet things.”

From going around and asking different people for their opinion about which one should go, they all gave me different answers, but they were all asking if this was really going to happen. Little Debbie is not getting rid of any of these treats, which is good beccause it would make everyone mad because they love Little Debbie treats.

October favorites


The leaves change in October, making the world more colorful. (

by Paola Salazar, Aztec Voice

Many people love October. In my opinion, October is the best month because everything and everyone gets in the Halloween spirit, and houses are decorated very scarily and others are very beautifully decorated.

October is a very special time of year for families to come together because there is pumpkin carving, pie making and many family things you could do in this month.

Another thing that’s very popular in this month is Halloween. Halloween is a very good holiday because all kids dress up and adults too, but they also have Halloween parties.

October is the month for scary movie releases. Old scary movies come back, and they screen them in the movie theaters. Also many people like a special drink that comes from Starbucks: Pumpkin Spice Lattes. Another thing that people love about October is that people get to dress very cozy and get to cuddle up in warm blankets and cuddle with your boyfriends and girlfriends.

Aztecs talk about police brutality

police-sirens-1254127Opinion Column

Ali Flores, Aztec Voice

It’s a very interesting topic to talk about when it comes to police brutality. It may not look like it’s happening around us, but it is, and it’s getting mostly out of control in some states. Something that shocked the nation, including the kids from Alta Vista, was when police brutally killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. People around the country have taken action on doing a peaceful protest.

Isao Osuga, algebra teacher: “I think that police brutality is a product of a system of oppression that is design to keep the order and things functioning the way they were designed to function – which is to perpetuate the power white males in America have. I believe that there’s indisputable evidence that this is the case, and the sad thing is that people think this is a new thing but is has been said multiple times. Violence against people of color is not a new thing, the new thing is that now we have cameras and we can document and put it on Facebook. There is no doubt… there is no doubt that it is charged against people of color.”

Junior Clara Odette: “The extortion of police power is a huge problem. What I’m saying is that the system itself is insulting people. The system was purposely set up to make us people of color fail, it’s been set up against us since day one. I’m not saying that police are bad, but what they represent is. The police academy only does six months of training, and you’re certified to be a trained officer. I feel like they should extend that, because how come it takes an officer six months to learn the law they swore to protect, but it takes a lawyer nine years?”

Junior Alicia Flores: “I feel like it’s an unjust discrimination and racist to people of skin color. Yes it targets minorities, and its prejudice level and social contract that we have as a stereotype over the years that minority people are more aggressive,  which is not very true is just a journalisation, face the consequences and help then.”

Social studies teacher Greg Brenner: “It sucks. It is a definitely disgusting problem, probably because they’re the problem, honestly because they’re the ones we are suppose to rely on when there’s a problem, but now they are becoming the problem.”

As I talked to my fellow classmates and teachers of Alta Vista High school, I notice a lot of frustration as they were talking. The way they view police brutality is in a negative way; they look at it as wrong – as in the system has us people of color suppressed as a target.