Probably better to read this in a foreign language anyway.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Little gopro clippings from the current Newport DIY Skatepark build in newport, Kentucky.

Them boys is gettin' it. Fuck yeah. Galaxie Skateshop, in Cincinnati, Oh and Newport, Ky have been supporting the bridge effort for years. Love this shit. Music poached from The Lost Bombers.

Pagan Races: Crosses, Flogs, Racing, and good times.

This is how we Pacific Northwestern skateboard boys celebrate Easter. Pagan races!
this quickly outgrew our ability to host it on home turf and was expanded to public parks soon afterward. This is a really good time. 

Brockpartee. My dude.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Guatemala Tattoo Trip 2017.

We went to Guatamala City to tattoo Gang members from La Limonada, an infamous barrio slum infested with MS13 and 18st gang members. The murder rate is something near 5 times what Chicago's is and the most dangerous country in the world for women, statistically. Neither the police or the Army go into La Limonada. We went there to cover up gangster tattoos that get kids killed. It was a little sketchy, it was definitely not what would be common "western" tattoo practices, and it was like nothing I have ever seen. We worked safely and steadily for several days to bang out a lot of coverups. We met some legendary characters and heard some insane stories. Through all the civil war, gangs, murders, corruption and poverty, there was so much love and heart mixed in with all the tragedy.. but that's Guatemala.  

These are our photographer Aaron Hildebrand's digi photos of the trip. (Various places throughout Guatemala we explored including Antigua, La Limonada, Zone 3, Cemetario General, and Tottugal.)

If youd like more info on where we were, precisely, theres a film called "REPERANDO", thats our people in that flick. Those barrio's. Some of the people in the film are seen in these photos as well.

Enjoy, friends.

Digital photo's by Aaron Hildebrand.
 Aaron Hildebrand of Best Day Ever ///
*Click em for big and purty resolution* 

Guatemala City. The darker side of C.A.

Guatemala.. sigh..

Its so staggeringly lovely in some places. Not Guatemala City, though. G.C. is a crazy place full of amazing things, but lovely it is not.

Architecture here is insane.. and awesome.

The architecture of G.C, and the country as a whole, is composed mostly of cinderblocks and Lamina, which is the Spanish for corrugated tin sheeting. Lamina costs about $30US for 15 sheets in Guat, so its affordable and abundant. People build upwards as their families and businesses grow. Since people rarely leave the family home in adulthood, even after marriage, expansion of ones buildings can only go one direction.. up. Hence all the exposed rebar on top of buildings.

I have a newfound and deep respect for what can be built of cinderblocks and pure effort. Guatemala is D.I.Y culture personified. working with what you have available is law, and if it doesnt exist or isnt available to you.. build, it, make it, do what you have to do to get it done. I absolutely love and completely respect this facet of C.A. people.

Industry. It's DIY as hell, too.
 Tires and Chrome for cars is a huge thing. There are more tires in Guatemala than i thought probably existed worldwide. Tire shops everywhere. Literally everywhere.
 Tourism is a relatively new thing in Guat. they had a 36 year "armed conflict" that deterred anyone from going there for any reason aside from humanitarian aid. The conflict is not officially a Civil War due to the American Red Cross never being called in to help. Apparently thats the international defining characteristic of what may be called a Civil War. crazy.
 Handmade stuff is a thing. this made me smile.. the effort that went into the bike opposed to the effort that went into the nameplate. I love this.
Need tires? I know a guy.

People operate buses and travel assistance on anything that rolls. More DIY industry. This is a "chicken bus". these are everywhere you look in Guat.
This is an actual legitimate Pepsi delivery truck.. Yeah. Perfectly illustrates Guatemalan DIY work ethic.

Lets talk about security..
 this is a Hostel we stayed at. Razor wire and tall walls are the norm. every building is prepared to repel invasion. Iron doors, bars, broken glass, barbed or razor wire coils, sharp posts and all manner of medieval assault barriers cover homes and businesses, countrywide. Thats what almost 4 decades of people being murdered by a corrupt government does to a populace. G.C is fairly dangerous.

This is a pretty low security door, in a gated community guarded by soldiers.

Compton doors take on a whole new scale in G.C. Often you cannot even enter stores, you just do business through the bars while a guy with a shotgun stands nearby to make sure you dont fuck around.

Cemetario General. Saddest place I've ever been.
 Mayan burial mounds amidst Christian and Catholic Mausoleums.

Crumbling Mausoleum. Fell in on itself due to constant seismic activity.

Puppers of the dead.

 People hang out and talk to their ancestors and loved ones. Its a cool little cultural thing.
Kids playing in the cemetery.

 this is where it gets sad. In Guat, you can rent a poor peoples grave for 7 years. Then you are exhumed and taken to a mass grave unless you have money for a plot. The vast majority do not. They also wall the poor into these corridors at the outskirts of the cemetery so the wealthy wont have to acknowledge their presence, even in death,

And then there is Chiquita.. These Motherfuckers.

This thing. Its a beautifully constructed Masonic shrine to one of the wealthiest families in Guatemala. The Chiquita Banana people. These motherfuckers were cited and fined by an Intl trade comittee for crop dusting pesticides over the top of child farm workers in the banana fields. Yeah.. you eat bananas from Chiquita, you are directly supporting child labor and contributing to practices that kill or maim children. Which sucks because Bananas are good for you. Aside from Chiquita making bananas  far too expensive for the poor folks who farm them to afford, the Chiquita "people" have the gall to erect this giant mausoleum directly in front of the poor peoples section of the cemetery. Chiquita will also be responsible for making the Bananas extinct in our lifetime. This crypt literally casts shadows across the buried poor they exploited. the Masonic/Egyptian motif is more that appropriate in this case. Fuck Chiquita. 

 these last two photo's are Aaron Hildebrant's Photos. Graciously donated. @ best_aar_ever on Instagram. 

Graffiti is prolific in G.C.
you can get an easily accessible permit to paint graff or murals. there's an insane amount of handstyles and tagging as well, but thats merely "frowned upon", socially.

this wheatpaste commemorates the "armed conflict". theres often pictures of random people pasted to walls around the city, It turns out that these are posters for all the people who dissappered or were "black bagged" by the Guatemalan government in that time. I dont know how many people, but its in the hundreds of thousands of people who were never heard from or seen again.

Guatemala City Dump. Zone 3.
As big as 16 soccer stadiums. The majority of residents of Zone 3 make their living scavenging from this dump for food and recycling, leading to rampant disease and malnutrition in the Barrio. Its so fucked..

Zone 3 and La Limonada. (The Barrio)

Dump scavengers in Zone 3.
shitty gang graffiti.
Lil MS13 Homies in Zone 3. They were super stoked on my hands.

Shorty checking out Brian's new tattoo at Brian's house in La Limonada.