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A Champion Challenger with a Winning Vision


Stockton, CA —The echo of a rope hitting the ground, constant punches to sand bags, and echoes of men and woman on boxing training mode fill the Yaqui Lopez Fat City gym walls — a gym under the leadership of Alvaro “Yaqui” Lopez.

Yaqui Lopez, is remembered for challenging the World Light Heavyweight Boxing title five times; although he did not succeeded as the title holder, he was inducted into the World Boxing Hall of Fame on Saturday, October 13, 2007.  “I am pleased to be among the champions who have been inducted into the hall of fame,” shared Lopez.

Today, Lopez’ focus is outside of the ring.   He has a vision to help younger generations reach their goals.  Lopez now trains and stands at the ring’s corner as Jack Cruz, his late father-in-law and manager, did during his 12-year career.

“I know that this guys have the potential of climbing the boxing later, I know they have the potential to reach their goals,” Lopez highlighted the hard work of each of the participants and what that means to him.

“I started training very young,” explained Abel Carreon, Stockton resident, who spends a minimum of two and a half hours training and runs an average of 10 miles a day.  Fat City has kept him out of trouble, “I come from the streets, being here keeps me healthy and out of trouble,” Carreon recognizes the positive impact of Yaqui Lopez’ vision.  Similar to Carreon’s story there are others who prefer spending their time training rather than to be in the streets.

The gym is open to the public with a nominal fee to keep the equipment running.  “We don’t get paid for all the work we do with the kids,” Lopez is grateful of the support he receives from several volunteers who help him keep and maintain the gym.  Lopez explained that, “we ask for a small contribution to maintain the equipment and to get other training equipment needed.”

Fat City Boxing Gym is constantly replacing damaged equipment as its natural boxing use tears and wears many items fast.  Many have stepped up to helping Lopez with equipment, and funds, “We operate as a not-for-profit organization; so, we constantly encourage our community to help.”

If you or someone you know is interested in joining Yaqui Lopez’s Fat City Boxing Club you may reach their office at (209) 800-2977.   The gym is located at 835 E. Miner Avenue, Stockton, CA  95202.

BW News – Your source of local news covering Latino News in Stockton, California


Candy Vargas, Bilingual Weekly

Candy Vargas poses for Bilingual Weekly cover-shoot by Sarah Lippincott.

Candy Vargas,

Born and raised in Lamont Bakersfield, Vargas moved to Stockton six years ago to attend the University of the Pacific.

It was during a study abroad program at Lima, Peru where Vargas renewed her interest in the public service. Continue reading

I Have a Voice: Danny Thomas Dunne Ruiz


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Dunne-Ruiz is a retired police officer from Tracy, author of the Blue Mexican, a novel published in 2009 and currently works as English teacher at San Mary`s High School and the San Joaquin Delta College.

What started as a part time job at the Tracy Police Department, for the young Dunne-Ruiz turned into a police career of twenty years.

“I went from a dispatcher to a patrol man, to detective sergeant.”

Continue reading

I Have a Voice:Ramon Medina-Building History


Medina leaves his Stockton home at four in the morning and heads to Oakland, California; the reason of his routine travel? To start a new day of work at a construction site —of one of the busiest bridges in the country— the new San Francisco’s Bay Bridge. Continue reading

I Have a Voice: Gina Valadez


Gina Valadez is the director and founder of Bread of Life — a San Joaquin County food program.

“I printed some flyers early in the morning, passed them around the neighborhood letting people know that we were giving away groceries,” Valadez shared her duties during the morning when Bread of Life started in Stockton back in 2008.  “The first time we open our doors, we had 60 people outside our church.” Continue reading

I Have a Voice:Niki Smith


Born in Glendale California, Nicolette “Niki” Smith moved to Stockton at an early age.  As an adult, Smith has become strong Latina advocate in the community.  She is involved in multiple organizations including the Latina Democratic Club, the Mexican Heritage Center and Gallery, she is an active member of Local Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and works at Head Start. Continue reading

I Have a Voice: Dr. Noe Mora


Dr. Noe Mora, once a 10 year old immigrant from Mexico is now Dentist running his own family practice alongside with his wife Dr. Edith Mora in Stockton. Continue reading

INTERVIEW: Gretel Quintero, Immigrant and Immigrant Advocate


Gretel Quintero: bwnews

(bw) Gretel Quintero poses near Bilingual Weekly office in Stockton California

CALIFORNIA – At 13 years old, Gretel Quintero came across the border from Mexico to the United States without documentation: her single mother had a dream of a better life for her children. Continue reading

Interview: Vietnam Veteran


 Soto in his library

(bw) STOCKTON, CA – Tracy Native and Veteran, Richard Soto’s began his life in the south side with his widowed mother and 4 siblings. Continue reading

I Have a Voice: Maria Valdovinos


Maria Valdovinos is the instructor of the Ballet Folklorico “Raíces Mexicanas” (roots of Mexico), and a dancer with over fifteen years of experience. Continue reading

I Have A Voice: Dr. Gene Bigler


Dr. Gene Bigler a visiting professor of International Relations at the University of the Pacific, and retired member of the U.S. Foreign Service; is a passionate man about Latin America’s culture and history. Continue reading

I Have a Voice: Gabriel Alfaro


Gabriel Alfaro is an Outreach Educator of Fathers and Families of San Joaquin and is dedicated to help young adults in the community. Continue reading

I Have a Voice: Vidal Navarro


Born in Guadalajara, México Navarro settled in California when he was 15 years old. Continue reading

I Have a Voice: Mirna Juárez


“I am Passionate about Change” 

Mirna Juárez is the Co-founder of the non-profit GRASSROOTS and a passionate Aztec dancer. Continue reading

I Have a Voice: Ileana Pérez


Iliana Pérez is a doctoral student at Claremont Graduate University; her story is the voice of millions of undocumented students in the country that fight day by day to accomplish their dreams. Continue reading

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