By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
"We promised each other that if we got out we would devote ourselves to helping others," Hendrixson says. Chagra, serving a 19-year sentence, was diagnosed with cancer in prison. "She never got out. She died in there." As Hendrixson tells the story, the tone of her voice conveys the implicit message that drives her: Bajito Onda is the only thing that has kept her from sharing Chagra's fate.
"Del will swallow you up," Hallman says. "She wants you to live and breathe Bajito Onda because she does--and that will scare some people off." That same intensity is what makes Hendrixson effective and what allows Bajito Onda to survive, because of and in spite of her. As Hendrixson puts it, describing the way she works with convicts, "I'm pretty awesome if I do say so myself." And she does, without hesitation.
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