An Un-Documented Artist Activist


Posted Wed, Dec 11, 2013

Art by Alonso Munoz [Imbalance- Struggle of Righteousness]

Art by Alonso Munoz [Imbalance- Struggle of Righteousness]

DENVER — Alonso Munoz is an un-documented citizen, a Mexican indigenous, who dedicates his life to changing the world with art.

His greatest aspiration besides self success is showing America the positive attributes and aspirations that the indigenous Mexican people offer our country.

“I have indulged in the reciprocity change for survival from a Mexican/Indigenous spiritual perspective, to a capitalist European American view of the world.  I grew up with a constant culture battle, especially in a society like the U.S., where ignorance of the Hispanic population who strives to adapt for acceptance, is seen as a peripheral community,” Munoz says.

Born in Gomez Farias, Chihuahua, Mexico.  He was only two- years-old when he first moved to West Palm Beach, Fla.  At age four, his family moved to Denver. The Munoz family has lived there since.

Raised in West Denver, Munoz spent his adolescence in a gang related, influenced neighborhood within the Barnum community, known as a gang from the west side.

Although Munoz was surrounded by a gang community, with high drop-out rates, he did his best to focus on school, success and achieving a life that inspired others. Munoz discovered his focus of life through his passion for art and activism, living a life that seeks for the acceptance of the Mexican indigenous in American society.

“My pride reminds me to express my struggles of standing out as a human being and searching for the respect I expect.  I do this by painting and pursuing higher education, hoping to further contribute as an advocate of the Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (Dream Act),” Munoz says.

“My greatest achievement thus far is pursuing higher education.  It gives me pride and fascinates me knowing I am fighting against Hispanic school drop-out statistics and emerging in society as a potential and educated individual with versatile skills. Being the first of my family in pursuing higher education is an achievement in which I plan on raising the bar as high as I can.”

Art By. Alonso Munoz [The Trio]

Art by Alonso Munoz
[The Trio]

The Journey of Higher Education

Munoz began his expedition in higher education at CCD (Community College of Denver.) There tuition cost him three times the amount of an in-state tuition student. Although he could prove residency and lived in Denver since age four, Munoz could not provide a valid social security number because he was not born in the U.S.

Munoz valued the art program he was pursuing at CCD, even when chasing his dreams was burning a deep hole in his wallet. With time Munoz heard of a University, CHU (Colorado Heights University); a university that accepted un-documented students and charged them the same rates as in-state tuition students.

Colorado Heights University

CHU is a private University that has been in operation for over 100 years, since the late 1800’s. It began as Loretto Heights Academy in 1896, – an all girl’s Catholic school founded by Mother Pancratia, of the Sisters of Loretto. Mother Pancratia had the vision of educating the women of the west.

In 1989 the school transformed into a University becoming the campus it is today, situated on 76 acres on the highest point in the Mile High City.

CHU offers an opportunity to international students, to pursue higher education in America at a reasonable price. A dream most international un-documented citizens thought would never be attainable.

Munoz Chance to make a difference

Munoz discovered that CHU was the only University in Colorado to give the opportunity to prove Colorado residency using K-12 school records.  Although the decision was a dramatic change for him because he had to switch from Art to Business at CHU, he contemplated the opportunity, cost and weighed the tradeoffs, to finally decide that Art can wait.

As a major in International Business, Munoz figured the transition would open the doors to marketing his art work, “My goal became to explore the possibilities to market my artwork,” Munoz says.

Not only does the University offer outstanding educational opportunities for students but they also provide well renowned clubs and organizations for their students to participate in.

 Dreamers Ink

The most fascinating organization at CHU is Dreamers Ink. An organization formed to help students express themselves through art, giving students an opportunity to get their artistic talents exposed to the world outside the University.

Founder of Dreamers Ink Art Club, Muna Osman is an international student from Somalia, Africa. Osman is an MBA student at CHU who took initiative in forming Dreamers Ink. Osman is currently the vice president of the club.

The organization was inspired by Osman and her love for fashion, with the hopes to cultivate her business degree. Osman wanted a place to show the world her work, and furthermore a place for other international students to have the same opportunity.

Munoz President of Dreamers Ink, believes Dreamers Ink is an organization that supports and encourages the life actions he seeks. He joined Dreamers Ink and became President with the purpose of finding opportunities to explore avenues for creative expression.

Art By. Alonso Munoz  [Cant' Escape]

Art by Alonso Munoz
[Cant’ Escape]

“Being a part of this club inspired me to work with international artists and has given me a chance to finally become a part of a group of individuals who also had the vision of standing out as artists,” Munoz says.

“My favorite thing about art is the opportunity of self-expression.  It can be philosophical and paradoxical at the same time.  I feel life sometimes needs contradictory explanations for one to grasp the reality of meaning.  Like amplified common sense and sarcasm on canvas.”

Munoz job in Dreamers Ink, is to institute consensus decision-making during meetings, coordinate conflict of interests between members and subordinates, and provide information and brainstorm methods for members to reach marketing and personal artistic goals for club shows and activities.

With the help of Dreamers Ink Munoz feels that he is being able to achieve his goal speaking to the world through his art and bringing the story of his people, the Mexican indigenous, known to the world. He also feels that it is amazing that other international students are being offered the same opportunity, and loves the fact that students are being given these prospects to show the world their true talents.

“Opportunities like these may help me further express my views to a blind society and implying open mindedness.  I am hoping I become not only a Latino American model, but the role model of my daughter,  I can instill in her mind to think about improving society as well,” Munoz says.

Munoz hopes to open his own art gallery or a Graphic Design firm one day from what he is learning at CHU.

“10 years from now I picture myself owning my own business.  Perhaps I will own my own Graphic Design firm, or an art exhibition gallery where I can fully extend my messages to local artists or art admirers.  Creativity will hopefully guide me towards that direction,” Munoz says.

“My efforts can possibly spread the awareness of a Hispanic community emerging from the shadows of political suppression in an effort to pursue civil rights in this American country I have called my home since childhood.”


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About Cherise Scrivner

Cherise Scrivner is a Denver-area freelance writer. She is also the Managing Editor of CMAN (Colorado Martial Arts News)

View all posts by Cherise Scrivner

One Response to “An Un-Documented Artist Activist”

  1. Rigoberto Cordova Says:

    Good job primo I’m so proud of you eres un buen ejemplo para mi


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