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Chair for: Abelardo Vásquez Peniten

Designed and created by Grace Gámez
Tucson, AZ


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The Artist
The Student
El Estudiante
The Location
Location Images

About this Artist

Emily Verdugo

Tucson, AZ
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Grace Gámez and Emily Verdugo, both Arizona natives and of proud Mexican descent, are program coordinators at American Friends Service Committee- Arizona. The goal of AFSC-AZ is to reduce the number of people in prison and immigration detention centers in Arizona; challenges criminalization oppose prison expansion, and advocates legislative change. Arizona's legacy of racism and inequality coupled with its models of supervision, punishment, and control have relegated entire generations of communities to underclass status.

Biography [English]

Abelardo Vásquez Peniten

Abelardo Vázquez Peniten, friends call him 'Abe', but when they want to tease him, 'pájaro' (bird).  This sometimes bothered him, responding "I don't have feathers!", but his friends knew that deep down he liked the nickname as he dreamed of flying. In Atliaca, the community in Guerrero where Abelardo was born nineteen years ago, the soccer field is waiting for him because soccer was always his passion. One of his favorite photos is one showing him holding the trophy after the win of the Emperador Cuauhtémoc tournament at 'la preparatoria.' Abelardo graduated a year ago, a few days before traveling to start classes at ‘La Normal de Ayotzinopa. Even though his family said he was happy, in his photo he looks serious - he was always like that, a very quiet boy always ready to explain math to his friends who had difficulties understanding the subject; laughing at their horsing around even while he participated but never starting the ruckus. “Abelardo never bothers anyone” - his friends say. “What he does is dream. He wants to be someone in life, a strong man helping his mother, his father and each one of his six brothers.” His female friends remember that 'Abe' did not want to fall in love. He wanted to work first, to become a man of character and then to think of love. The female friends teased him, telling him that with those dimples, he could conquer any one of them and he just needs to decide which one! However, Abelardo is very firm, love is not for him now. That is the reason he has so many female friends. He texts with them or uses Facebook to chat with them. The day before going 'La Normal’ in July of 2014, he told his best friend, 'This is his opportunity to start the path toward his dream of being a man of character and responsibility.' He left Altiaca heading to Ayotzinapa without the complete support of his family or from his female friends. It was at this moment he told his parents that he was a strong person, able to confront adversities, that he could be away from his friends, from his female friends, from the soccer field and from his brothers. Abelardo has said many times that he can overcome any test, is resolved to be a man, dreams to be and asked everyone that loves him, to do the same.

Biografía [Español]

Abelardo Vásquez Peniten

The Chair's Location

103 N Park Ave
Tucson AZ US

Location Images