Poet, retiring translator, and editor for El Tecolote , a community newspaper within San Francisco’s Mission District, Alfonso Texidor 66, began his journey in the slums of San Juan, Puerto Rico before his family migrated to New York. As a self defined revolutionary, he spent his time being involved with several advocacy organizations before making his way to San Francisco around 1983. Once in San Francisco, Texidor lived in Haight Ashbury for 10 years before reaching the glorious Mission District. He met fellow poets and became involved with the artistic movement that was home to the Mission neigborhood. Texidor was asked by his friend Carlos to do translations for El Tecolote, and the rest was history. He started as a translator and then became editor for the community calendar. He has worked for El Tecolote for over a decade.
As a Mission District resident for over 20 years, Texidor has seen drastic changes. “I can no longer even remember it,” said Texidor concerning his neighborhood, as he strolled down the streets of this slowly dwindling cultural gem. “It’s more middle class: the type of restaurants, the type of people walking up and down the street. You know ? They have more money.” When asked about the issue of gentrification that is affecting the Mission District, Texidor classified the issue as” invisible.” “It’s happening and people don’t even know that it’s happening.” Texidor blames the drastic shift on the construction of luxurious condos that are created for people “with money,” as he explains it. “Unfortunately a lot of us are going to be shoved out by condos, and it is not that I am glorifying poverty, but it’s just a reality.” Texidor calls it “unfortunate,” but he says the new locals response to the change is disheartening. “They will just tell you move on, aeropuerto!”
Texidor has played a significant role in organizing several political, musical, and cultural events.” It was lovely because I could announce all kinds of things that were happening in the community,” said Texidor. His love for keeping the Latino culture alive in the Mission District was also expressed through his poetry, where he performed many bilingual pieces that paid tribute to his heritage, while also addressing pressing issues that affected those around him. Although Texidor testifies to his plethora of memories at El Tecolote, he is now retiring.” I am done with all of that, but I am not departing from El Tecolote. I still want to do some work with El Tecolote because it is a sense of community outreach.”
Texidor plans to spend his time working with other local organizations to continue organizing cultural events in the community. “El Tecolote has always been an outlet to reach the community,” he said. “I am so grateful to the staff, for they have always supported me in all my efforts.”