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La Teja (English)

At the elevator that takes you to "La Teja"'s ofices, on the 6th floor at a building in downtown San José.

Last Friday Nov 6th I had an experience I never imagined. After a phone call from my dear friend Graciela, I was “hired” to freelance for a newspaper called “La Teja”… well, I exaggerate, I worked for them for one day so my friend could have her day off. I have no problems with this publication, but I must confess that I never imagined working there, because it’s not the kind of journalism that I like to do.

For those how doesn’t know it, the La Teja newspaper is a very popular newspaper that tries to show some characteristics of the Costa Rican idiosyncrasy (I am been very polite here). The back page (and sometimes also the cover) always has pictures of a woman on her underwear specially showing her butt. The newspaper doesn’t cover politics, gives big importance to sports and loves to include accidents and crime reports. Also, its website doesn’t show the “news” but the “Girls-Hot”.

That Friday I was at their offices, on the sixth floor of a building right at the heart of the city of San José, by 9:50 am. The Photography desks are hidden at the back of the establishment, the office has a window that looks to a hole in the building and to air it I had to use AC. I went straight in and sat down to wait for assignments.

45 minutes went by before I had a call from “outside”. A journalist called to ask for a picture of a field at a school, she said it wasn’t urgent and I could do it when I had to leave for another assignment. That cheered me up, at least I was sure I was going out for this.

Almost immediately another co-worker came to my desk alarmed: “there is a guy tied up outside the Repretel establishment and we need you to take pictures of him” I got up in a hurry, but then I realized that I had to deal with the transportation issue, since I was not used to that, coming from a publications that didn’t have transportation for their reporters, I didn’t know where to start… and things got worst when “transports” asked for an email requesting the service, then they did not have a car and so I ended up using a taxi… that system I knew.

Finally I got to Repretel, waiting to see a crowd of journalist and a person tied very dramatically in a very dangerous situation… but everything was so calmed, maybe they were wrong, or maybe I went to the wrong place… and then I saw this young guy with a red backpack and a with cap, tied to a light poll, with his own jacket and a wire that look like he picked up from the street. I got close and confirmed he was the person I was looking for.

Don Marlon Antonio Herrera Aguilar, Nicaraguan, told me a story of injustice and despair (he had to be either desperate or crazy to put himself to such a stupid situation) I took the photos and got very distressed to see him, it was very hot and he tied himself to a place where there wasn’t even shade. I have no idea what happen to Don Marlon, and the story didn’t make ti to the paper, I just hope that he eventually ended the self inflicted torture, went home, got some water and tried to find peace in a different way.

On my way back to the paper I took the photo of the soccer field, this photo was published.

Marlon Antonio Herrera Aguilar, ties himself to a post outside Repretel's offices (a TV producer).
Marlon Antonio Aguilar says he is loosing his eyesight after an accident at a job that he was fired from.
Marlon Antonio Herrera Aguilar, shows documents of a lawsuit he initiated against his ex-employer, nothing has happened with it and he says he has been threatened to kill him if he doesn't stop the sue.
A soccer field at the Naciones Unidas School where there will be a fair happening every weekend.
"I believe that..."

Once at the paper I had to get lunch, I was so hungry. While going down on the elevator I though about where to go eat… I decided to make my experience as “mass-like” as possible, so I had lunch at McDonald’s Plaza de la Cultura. Sitting on one table I looked out to the pedestrian road and watch people go by. The food was not healthy, and so wasn’t the reading I was producing, but we can’t denied that both are very entertaining.

One of La Teja’s characteristics is that almost every article has an “I think that…” feature, where they place random people’s opinion on the subject of the article. Back at the paper I had to do one of this.

In the afternoon I had the most important assignment of the day. The next day there was going to be a concert in Costa Rica by a very famous Mexican singer known as “El Buki”. It turned out that in Costa Rica we had an “El Buki” imitator, a mid-aged man that, after singing for ages “Los Bukis”‘ songs, he left his hear and beard grow and ended up looking very similar to the real Buki, so he decided to make a business out of that, performing anywhere he was hired to do so.

La Teja decided to take the “Buki-Tico” to visit the hotel where the real Buki was staying and try to force an encounter.

We waited for almost 3 hours and the encounter never happened, but we got photos of the “Buki-Tico” with the real Buki’s musicians, with Costa Ricans that thought he was the real one and with “El Buki”‘s brother. This story was published on a full page at the paper and was the main graphic on the cover.

My day at La Teja ended at 9pm when I finally got back home, very tired. I did not win much but it was very amusing!.

Sergio Ramírez, the Buki Tico, tries to meet the real Buki at the Hotel La Condesa.
Sergio Ramírez, the "Buki-Tico" did not meet the real Buky at the Hotel La Condesa, but met his brother, Miguel Solís.
Miguel Solís reads La Teja!

3 Responses

  1. Jose says:

    Hola Mo, Que día tan agitado!

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