Somos Primos

April 2007
(c) Mimi Lozano 2000-2007  

Dedicated to Hispanic Heritage and Diversity Issues
Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research

Content Areas
United States
. . 4
National Issues
   Action Item
Bilingual Education

Anti-Spanish Legends. . 54
Military & Law Enforcement Heroes
. . 58
Cuentos . . 73
Literature . . 82
. . 93
Patriots of American Revolution
. .94
Orange County,CA . . 96
Los Angeles,CA
. . 103
. . 107
Southwestern US 
. 114
African-American . . 118
. . 131
. . 145
  . . 147


East of the Mississippi . . 153 
East Coast . . 156
. . 159
. . 172
. . 186
. . 188
. . 190
Family History. . 195
Archaeology  . . 204
. .206
2003 Index 
. . 180 
Community Calendars

   January 27 Web Searching/Surnames 
    March 17 Writing Family History
    April 28 OC Family History Conference
    May 26 Naturalization Records 
    August Outstanding Latinas
For more meeting information, contact: Viola Sadler

Dr. Hector P. Garcia,1989 

"We are a lost people. 
We do not know who we are 
and where we are going. 
We do not have a history, 
and a people without a history 
have nothing."  

  Letters to the Editor : 

David M. Gonzales. Medal of Honor recipient 
"Special Note: William Kouts, was the soldier David M. Gonzales was digging out when he was shot and killed by sniper fire. His daughter, Maribeth wrote to me with the following request: "My Dad is 85 and in ill health and we want to get into contact with the Gonzales family before Dad's passing so that Dad can tell David Jr. of his father's heroics firsthand." If any of our readers know how we can get in touch with Gonzales' family and make this request a reality, please get in touch with me via e-mail "NMB or with Kouts daughter, Maribeta at It would be great if we could accomplish this dying soldiers dream."

Thank you for another fantastic issue of Somos Primos!
The story about Dionicio Morales, "A Life in Two Cultures" is really inspirational, and I salute this fine man. Many of my relatives reside in the City of Moorpark in Ventura County. My family and I often visited Moorpark and Somis, where uncle Reggie and aunt Bertie Gutierrez and their family lived. Uncle was in charge of the huge walnut ranch in Somis, where we had large family gatherings and BBQs. Thanks to Mr. Morales for helping to make life better for everyone there and everywhere.

The California stories about my family ancestors show up nicely (see below), thanks to your staff for providing the pictures to go along with the stories--gracias.
Sincerely, Lorri Ruiz Frain
I assume you are referring to the response I prepared on February 15, 2007 to the Office of Personnel Management's "Sixth Annual Report to the President on Hispanic Employment in the Federal Government." If so, I have attached the file containing my brief analysis of that report.  

Thank you for continuing the fine work that you do. Your publication is important because it serves as a vital clearinghouse of current Hispanic issues taking place across the country. Please keep up the good work and I look forward to staying in touch with you. Gilbert Sandate

Editor: Gilbert Sandate recently retired from Director of Workforce, Library of Congress.  He has written a report which summarizes the deplorable lack of Latinos in government employment. Click to the article. 
I So enjoy the articles and stories of our ancestors. I just love the pictures. They tell so much. We have your Somos Primos on our website.
Becky Shokrian 

  Somos Primos Staff:   
Mimi Lozano, Editor

Mercy Bautista Olvera
Bill Carmena
Lila Guzman
Granville Hough
John Inclan
Galal Kernahan
J.V. Martinez
Armando Montes
Dorinda Moreno
Michael Perez
Ángel Custodio Rebollo
Tony Santiago
John P. Schmal
Howard Shorr 
Ted Vincent

Fredrick Aguirre
Linda Aguirre
Dan Arellano
Mercy Bautista Olvera
Eric Beerman, Ph.D.
Fred Blanco 
Bruce Buonauro
Jaime Cader
Roberto Camp
Bonnie Chapa
Gus Chavez
Grace Charles
Bert Colima
Jack Cowan
Johanna De Soto
Sara Duenas Flores

Felicia Escobar
Myra Y. Estepa
Rosiemarie Fernandez
Frank & Karla Galindo
Wanda Garcia
Andre Gladden Moreno
Chris Glavin
Carlos Ray Gonzalez
Sara Guerrero 
Lila Guzman, Ph.D.
Elsa Herbeck
Jocelyn Hernández Irizarry
Don Herndon
Michael Hogan
Win Holtzman
John Inclan
Galal Kernahan
Maria Kreger
Melissa Lopez
Francisco Ernesto Martínez
Rudy Montez
Dorinda Moreno
Ronald A. Navarro, MD
Maria Angeles O.Olson
Rafael Ojeda
Jose M. Pena
Eliza Lujan Perez
Elvira Prieto
Ricardo Quintana, 
Joe A. Ramos
Angel Custodio Rebollo 
Barbara Renick
Bessy Reyna

Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez.Ph.D.
José León Robles de la Torre 
Rudi Rodriguez
Ben Romero
Lorri Ruiz Frain
Rubén Sálaz
Lucy Sanchez Wilson
Gilbert Sandate
Edna Santos
Tony Santiago
John P. Schmal
Becky Shokrian
Juliana Smith
Alva Moore Stevenson
Dorina Thomas
Robert Thonhoff
Ricardo Valverde
Mario Torero
Lynn Turner
Ricardo Valverde
Carlos B. Vega 
JD Villarreal
Ted Vincent
Katie Wilmes
Theresa Ynzunza

SHHAR Board:  Bea Armenta Dever, Steven Hernandez,  Mimi Lozano Holtzman, Pat Lozano, Gloria Cortinas Oliver, Yolanda Magdaleno, Henry Marquez, Yolanda Ochoa Hussey, Michael Perez, Crispin Rendon, Viola Rodriguez Sadler, John P. Schmal. 


Our Hispanic Roots: What History Failed to Tell 
Us by Carlos B. Vega 

Under-representation of Hispanic/Latinos Evident throughout Government
Military Service: DoD Personnel Procurement Data, Incomplete
Two: Federal Employment Report Inaccurate
Three: PBS produced THE WAR, No Latinos included 
Four: Latino Museum Bill Receives Senate Hearing, Still in Limbo

Civil Rights Giants: Hector P. Garcia, George I. Sanchez, Gustavo Garcia 
Letter to U.S. Senator Lyndon Johnson, January 10, 1949
Honoring Cesar Chavez by Mercy Bautista Olvera 
About the Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday Coalition
New Book: The Struggle to Unionize America's Farm Workers
Life and accomplishments of Chávez observed in California

Beating the Odds: Dr. Ronald Navarro
Action Item: To Honor DEA Agent Enrique Camarena
Coyote Teaching 
Window of Opportunity for Latinos: Catholic Universities in the Americas 
Flat Stanley Educational Fun

Bilingual Education
"Mendez v. Westminster" Lawsuit
Growing up in a Hispanic community in South Texas
Theodore Roosevelt on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907. 
Subject: English language, prejudice, etc.

Mexican Film is Alive and well in Los Angeles
Study Finds Americans Cooked With Chili Peppers 6,000 Years Ago
Los Angeles Celebrates the Arrival of Avocados from Mexico

Two New Scholarship Guides for New Americans 
Kaiser Family Foundation Report on Racial& Ethnic Health Disparities 


 National Issues

PublishAmerica is proud to present their newest publication:

Our Hispanic Roots:
 What History Failed to Tell Us by Carlos B. Vega 

The Hispanic contribution to the making of the United States has been blatantly glossed over by most historians for the past three hundred years, despite the gallant effort of a handful of them who sought to do justice and set the record straight. This misrepresentation of the historical facts has rendered a whole nation to become oblivious to its true beginnings and formation, crippling its character and jeopardizing its future.

This book, based on established and undisputed historical records, is a new attempt to bring out the whole truth, to make us realize how this nation really came into being. The making of present-day United States did not begin in 1607, nor was it confined to thirteen unsettled colonies barely occupying a minute portion of a vast continent. We need to set the historical clock back and then forward, from 1513 on through well past 1776, and give due credit to Spain and other Hispanic countries, such as Mexico, for laying down many of the foundations that made us what we are today. We need also to be proud of our Hispanic heritage, and trumpet it with equal fervor and appreciation as we do it with other less deserving ones. It is only then that we would be able to define our character both as a nation and as a people.

Carlos B. Vega is an accomplished author of forty-six books to date. He has devoted his entire professional life to advancing the cause of Hispanism and fostering better relations and understanding between Hispanics and the United States. He has done this as a writer, speaker, and a college professor for over thirty years.

Frederick, MD, March 31, 2007


Wanda Garcia, daughter of  Civil Rights leader, Dr. Hector P. Garcia  comments on this issue.

This “under representation” has far reaching effects that extend beyond the Hispanic community, in that most Americans today do not realize how these ethnic differences created numerous obstacles to the self-determination of Mexican Americans. The unawareness is impacting leadership among Hispanics and may be one cause that contemporary leaders have not emerged to continue the work of Hispanic Civil Rights. Vicente Ramos, executive director of LULAC, said, “But to ignore the whole of our history including the difficult struggles is to ignore the improvements that still need to be made. And we can’t afford to do that.” 
UNDER-REPRESENTATION OF HISPANIC COMMUNITY IN FEDERAL DOCUMENTS, reflects the major problem for the successful inclusion and assimilation of Latinos into the U.S. American society.

The public has become aware of the omission of Latinos in THE WAR, a government funded project.  It is a glaring omission.  In addition to the PBS exclusion of Latinos, let  me also share two other examples of government produced reports which demonstrate misinformation by omission. If a pattern surfaces, then surely  this is  racism by omission, and could and should  be identified as an infraction of civil rights, in other words,  institutional racism.  Two documents demonstrate the magnitude of the problem: 

Personnel & Procurement Reports and Data Files:

The graph directly below was distributed by the Department of Defense.  Below that graph is research that was done by Linda Aguirre, Social Study middle school teacher in Orange County.  The actual website is called: "DoD PERSONNEL & PROCUREMENT 
Please note no information in this goverment document is included for Hispanic/Latinos fatalities in the Vietnam conflict . . .  
no information at all.  

Even if you go down a column to Hispanic/Latino -One or More Races,  only 349 are listed. This is a glaring omission of information which is readily available.  

Below this government document is information published by the California based, Latino Advocates for Education, Inc.  Linda Aguirre identified 3,741 soldiers with Spanish surnames who died in the Vietnam conflict.

Considering the enormity of this misinformation, I would expect that the other figures concerning Latinos would also be inaccurate, such as one Latino serving in the Gulf War.  Clearly the staff compiling this information was not qualified for the task, or the omission  was intentional.

By Frederick P. Aguirre November 7, 2000

Latinos have died and heroically served in our nation's military, but have not been accorded the appropriate acknowledgment in our history books or by the media. As this year is the 25th year of the end of the war in Vietnam, my wife, Linda Martinez Aguirre and I decided to conduct our own research.

On July 3, 2000, we contacted the Department of the Army and spoke to Dr. William Donnelly, Chief of the U.S. Army Center for Military History, Department of the Army, Washington D.C. He stated that the Department of Army did not have an accurate number of Latinos who served and/or died in the Vietnam War because the Department did not keep records of "Hispanics" during that period. It only kept statistics on "Whites" (which included Hispanics), "Blacks" or "Asians."

In Vietnam Reconsidered, a book published by Harper & Row in 1984 and edited by Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Harrison Salisbury, Ruben Treviso wrote: "One out of every two Hispanics who went to Vietnam served in a combat unit." "One out of every five Hispanics who went to Vietnam was killed in action."

The Latino Experience in U.S. History, a book published for elementary schools by Globe Fearon in 1994 and written by several University professors stated: "Latinos fighting in Vietnam had a 19 percent-casualty rate compared to a 12 percent rate for U.S. soldiers as a whole."

Hispanics in America's Defense, a book published in 1989 by the U.S. Department of Defense, states: "In 1969, a study was released which examined Hispanics participation in the war by analyzing casualty figures from two periods: one from January 1961 to February 1967, and the other from December 1967 to March 1969. The study revealed that for the two periods, 8,016 men from the States of Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas had been killed. Of the number, over 19 percent had Hispanic surnames."

My wife Linda, read each of the 58,202 names that are inscribed on the "Wall." The names are published in the 763 page book entitled: Vietnam Veterans Memorial: Directory of Names published in 1991 by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, Inc., Washington, D.C. She found that 3,741 names were Spanish surnames. Therefore, 6.4% of our country's total casualties were Latinos.

The figure is higher, we are certain, because we missed Latinos who have non-Spanish surnames, but who are clearly Latino.

For example Anthony Quinn, Jim Plunkett, Joe Kapp. Therefore, the accurate number of Latino casualties during the Vietnam War was approximately 7% of the total deaths. At that time Latinos represented approximately 5% of the total population in the U.S. Furthermore, we found that Latino casualties were from every one of our 50 states.

We also consulted the National Archives and Records Administration. Their website is According to those statistics, 5,572 soldiers from California died during the Vietnam War. Listed are their full names, home city, date of birth, date of death and if by hostile action. Of those 5,572 names, 823 are Spanish surnamed. Therefore 15% of the California casualties were Latino. At that time, Latinos represented approximately 7% of California's population.

From Texas, 23% of the casualties were Latino. Jose Maria Herrera, a doctoral candidate at Purdue University, wrote in his 1998 Master's Thesis in the History Department of the University of Texas at El Paso, that "of the 3,405 Texans killed in the Vietnam War, 784 were Latinos." Furthermore, in New Mexico, Herrera found that "while Hispanics made up 27 percent of that state's population, they accounted for 44 percent of the deaths."

On April 22, 2000, Elaine Woo wrote in a Los Angeles Times article: "Latinos answered the call to combat in Vietnam in unprecedented numbers and paid a heavy price: One in two Latinos who went to Vietnam served in a combat unit, 1 in 3 were wounded in action, 1 in 5 were killed in action."

Strength and Honor: Mexican American in the Vietnam War by Fredrick Aguirre, Linda Martinez Aguirre, and Rogelio C. Rodriguez published by published by Latino Advocates for Education, Inc, (c) 2006.

For more information:

To write to the Department of Defense and comment on the 
misinformation (by omission

TWO: *Hispanic Employment in the Federal Government*

In the February issue of Somos Primos, the second Action Issue identified a government study that concluded that approximately 11.7% of Federal employees were Hispanic/Latinos, approximately the national presence of Hispanic/Latinos.  

I questioned the accuracy based on the fact that information of federal employment levels (G-1 and so forth) were not identified.  For the full report go to: 

Below is an analysis by Gilbert Sandate, formerly Director, Office of Workforce at the  Library of Congress.  He is  asking for action to be taken to correct the practices denying Latinos opportunities in Federal employment. 




February 15, 2007

"This report demonstrates that neither OPM nor Federal agencies are effectively implementing Executive Order 13171 and the President’s Management Agenda to promote effective human capital practices in attracting and recruiting talented candidates, including Hispanics, to the Federal Government."

"The report’s findings should be a call to action by the Bush Administration and the Congress to fix, once and for all, the broken Federal Personnel Hiring System. At their current rate of hire, Hispanics will never reach parity with their numbers in the national civilian labor force."

"At 7.5%, Hispanics remain the only underrepresented ethnic group in the Federal workforce. The U. S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2005, Hispanics represented 13.5% of the national civilian labor force. Thus, at 7.5% Hispanics are underrepresented in the Federal workforce by 6.0%. This equates to the loss of over 100,000 jobs and four billion dollars in annual salaries alone to the Hispanic community."

Gilbert Sandate, Chair, Coalition for Fairness for Hispanics in Government

Response to key findings in OPM’s report:

The percentage hiring increase cited is a decline from previous years.

OPM extols the 0.1% increase in Hispanic representation in the Federal permanent workforce, from 7.4% on June 30, 2005 to 7.5% as of June 30, 2006, as a laudable accomplishment. In fact, the 0.1% annual increase is lower than the 0.15% average annual increase in Hispanic representation in the Federal permanent workforce over the past 40 years.

Actual Hispanic new hires decreased from the previous year.

♦ The actual number of Hispanic new hires decreased by 0.5%, or 624 positions, for the year ending June 30, 2006 compared to the previous year.

♦ The percentage of Hispanic new hires decreased in 16 of 27 major agencies for the period ending June 30, 2006 compared to the previous year. Not surprisingly, the agency with the highest percentage of Hispanic employees is the Department of Homeland Security. DHS’ largest sub-agency, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, leads the nation’s efforts to identify, arrest and expel undocumented immigrants.

Hispanics were hired into the lowest paying jobs.

♦ The report shows that Hispanics were hired into the lowest paying jobs. Nearly 26% (25.9%) of all Hispanic new hires for the year ending June 30, 2006 were in the GSR 1 through 8 and Blue Collar pay plans. Conversely, only 4.2% of all Hispanic new hires were in the Senior Pay category.

Flexible hiring programs were not utilized effectively.

♦ The report clearly shows that the hiring programs with the greatest potential for increasing Hispanic representation, the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) and the Bilingual/Bicultural Program, were woefully underutilized. Only 4.4% (4,542) of all new hires (104,003) for the year ending June 30, 2006 were SCEP appointments. Of these appointments, only 7.6% went to Hispanics. And, most distressingly, only 25 (0.002%) of 104,003 new hires were appointments under the Bilingual/Bicultural Program, a court-mandated supplemental hiring program intended to remedy the present effects of past discrimination against Hispanics. Only six agencies utilized the Bilingual/Bicultural Program as a hiring tool for the year ending June 30, 2006.

Contact: Gilbert Sandate, Chair, Coalition For Fairness For Hispanics In Government (972) 838-0090



Ken Burns THE WAR Magnifies the Extent of the Problem

It does not take a government study or report to very clearly identify the lack of Hispanics on commercial television programs.  Anyone can sit in front of a channel and log the number of stereotype Latinos that appear in a program or commercial on that channel. You can also compare those numbers to stereotype African-Americans and Asians. I've done it.  It is quite clear that our numbers are not represented in an equal share of the major networks air time.  

The delay in realizing reasonable diversity, reflective of the current US population,  resulted in powerful new Spanish language networks, welcomed by US advertisers looking to reach the Hispanic market. 

This gave US networks the excuse that now we Latinos have our own Spanish networks shows, therefore it is not necessary for major networks to be concerned about Latinos appearing in the programs mounted by major networks.BUT that is not the POINT. . .INCLUSION is the point.  

The Hispanic presence has been on the continent for over 500 years, and since most Latinos are mestizos (multi-ethnic, multi-racial), our presence in the Americas is since the beginning of time.  

To be recognized as separate to the main body of this nation is an ongoing problem perpetuated by the major networks, and now in the PBS government funded, THE WAR. If the visual message in THE WAR is aired, it will continue to reinforce separation and divisions in the U.S..  This should not be.  Now, PBS is leaning towards funding for documentaries to be produced by Latinos.  This sounds fair . . .  BUT airing THE WAR with a few quickly produced documentaries which will be aired during the scheduled THE WAR, still misses.  Latinos will remain the outsiders, the adjuncts, the also ran.   . . . oh yes . .  we forgot . .  they were also there.  

If anyone thinks that the nation will not be impacted by the airing of THE WAR, go to this website and observe the scheduled activities already in place to magnify this inaccurate, historical message.

Those scheduled plans will also explain why PBS is reluctant to admit any fault in funding Burns  or acquiesce to make any changes.  Attempts by PBS have already been made to find well-positioned Hispanics, as apologists to support PBS and Burns in their exclusion. 

Maybe they should start by explaining, even the use of the term documentary as associated to Burns work. It is an oxymoron to say his work is a documentary, and then talk about creative license in a historical work. It is absurd. A document is evidential, affording evidence, clearly proven. Burns work is not a documentary, it is a docufiction.. Standing alone, THE WAR would be a clear statement that Latinos were not in anyway association with WWII. 

Historical study is intended to give insight to the present. All the current major issues of  civil rights, bilingual education, immigration,  farm labor, green cards, etc. etc. had a foundation in the efforts of returning American Hispanics soldiers.  Dr. Hector P. Garcia gave voice to the disenfranchised minorities, and was later joined by other leaders, such as Martin Luther King,  who also refused to be treated as non-citizens. 

Burns' exclusion explains nothing about current societal issues. If ever there was a wasted opportunity for media to bring unity to this nation, this was it.  

PBS has a lot invested, but is in the untenable position of either . . . .PBS administration, staff, and Board are blatantly anti-Hispanic, or completely and totally ignorant of the Hispanic historical presence. 

Burns fully understands the importance of history to a people. On May 23, 2004, filmmaker Ken Burns delivered the commencement day address at Yale University.

He told the graduates: "Your future lies behind you. In your past, personal and collective. If you don't know where you have been, how can you possibly know where you are and where you are going?"

In his closing remarks at the Yale commencement, Burns told the graduates: "As you pursue your goals in life, that is to say your future, pursue your past. Let it be your guide. Insist on having a past and then you will have a future."

We should insist on having a past, a very public past, so that we too will have a future.  

We should insist that THE WAR be re-edited.  We must remember, 
THE WAR does not belong to Ken Burns.  It belongs to the people of the United States.  

THE WAR should be re-edited with Latinos as integral to the productions, for the good of the nation, not the comfort of Burns.  
Burns has already been well-paid.  Our men have not.


Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez has mounted a word arsenal  to react to 
BURNS' WWII Docufiction,


This website will serve as a support headquarters for local anti-THE WAR activities.  Weekly updates will be posted, plus letters to and from PBS. 

Included on the site, are all the PBS Member stations which are targeted to receive the 14-hour Burns'
  Sample letters are on the site.  Each one of us, individually or through our association with an organization or corporation can react.  

The Waco, Texas LULAC Council 273 has already sent a letter to  their PBS station
, stating that they "without reservation express complete and total opposition to the Ken Burns’ 14-hour World War II documentary" and ask that the station "refrain from airing The War".

Weekly Update about Activities and Events Surrounding the Ken Burns PBS WWII Documentary March 31 -- Available via email or on the website:  Brief summary below.  Go to the site for the complete report.  

PBS is listening and is making an effort to come up with a plan by April 10. Paula Kerger, president and CEO of PBS, reached out to the Defend the Honor Campaign core group (Gus Chavez, Angelo Falcon, Marta Garcia, Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez and Ivan Roman). Friday morning, at a little after 10 a.m., Kerger and Mickey Ibarra, a Washington-based Latino public relations consultant who has retained by PBS, and the five members of the core group met in a conference call. Kerger told the group: "We certainly have heard you .. Our commitment is to serve the American people and it's something I very much take to heart.  I am hopeful that we will come back with a plan that will tell you that we have very much heard you."

Kerger said she has met with several different organizations, including the American GI Forum, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, National Council of La Raza.

Several other organizations and individuals have voiced their concerns as well: the two Latino U.S. senators, Ken Salazar and Bob Menendez; California Latino Assembly, from Sweetwater Union High School District, the largest secondary school district in the State of California, and several others. She declined to share more details, but her tone was conciliatory.
Also, the news media coverage has reached a new level, as the Associated Press’s Suzanne Gamboa, a Washington bureau reporter, wrote a story for the “A,” or national, wire. It was printed in newspapers across the country.

It is time that the "sleepy giant" wake up, voice his opinion directly to our people of wealth and power who can make a difference. We cannot be satisfied with crumbs from the Anglo's table. With all the immigration controversy going on, the crumbs will become more scarce! Remember, the Black man was kept down until Martin Luther King came along. Guess who is taking his place now! We need a Hispanic Martin Luther King but one named Lozano, Sanchez, Gonzales, Garcia, Espinoza, etc. As for our friend Mimi, she has opened the doors to many through her monthly correspondence and has made us aware of the things that are happening around us, but it is now up to us all to take the challenges head on and to the finish line!

Respectfully, Lucy (Sanchez) Wilson


Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez and Dan Arellano in her office ( The war room) at the University of Texas. Behind them are just a small glimpse of the oral history collection of WW II Hispanic Veterans.

Dr. Rivas-Rodriguez says that her staff is ready to set up interviews of non-veterans who can share their memories of World War II. What was being experienced on the home front.  Her staff is equipped to record 12 interview in a day.  Organizations who would like to schedule a taping, must fund the opportunity.  For more information, please call Dr. Rivas-Rodriguez at  512.471.0405
Editor: Lack of accurate data collecting on Hispanics,  the presentation of data which does not convey correct information distributed by the government, and  hiring practices not in compliance are all indicative of institutional racism against Latinos.  

In 1995, I attended my first meeting of the U.S. Senate Task Force on Hispanic Affairs. At that time, the question of the need for more visibility was brought up with the recommendation for a Latino historical museum.  We were told  with emphatically that Congress had specified that no new museums would be built on the mall or adjoining the mall, period.  Obviously that was incorrect, both a Native American Museum and  African-American have been built in the last ten years. Both groups already had public access museums in Washington, D.C. 

I suggest the current practices be identified as a civil rights issue, racism by omission.   If a Latino Museum in Washington, D.C. is not built in the near future and our historical presence remains unrecognized, the results may be as Gil Sandate estimates, Latinos will continue losing over 100,000 jobs in federal employment to an estimated loss of four billion dollars in annual salaries alone.


In a message dated 3/20/2007 4:11:06 PM Pacific Standard Time, writes:

UPDATE: Latino Museum Bill Receives Senate Hearing -- PRESS RELEASE 
Date: 3/20/2007 4:11:06 PM Pacific Standard Time

Below is a press release on the Subcommittee on National Parks hearing on S.500/H.R.512, the Latino Museum Commission Act. Today’s hearing was very positive. Senator Menendez and Senator Martinez added their very supportive voices and shared their thoughts on the history of Latinos to this country. In addition, Moctesuma Esparza, spoke with great passion and eloquence about the need to enact S.500/H.R.512 as soon as possible. 

Senator Salazar has received several letters of support from many national, regional, and local organizations and leaders for the Latino Museum Commission Act (S.500/H.R.512). We welcome additional letters of support. To make these letters a part of the official record, please forward to me by MONDAY, MARCH 26, 2007. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at 202-224-5852. 

Thanks, Felicia

Felicia Escobar
Office of Senator Ken Salazar
702 Senate Hart Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

UPDATE: Latino Museum Bill Receives Senate Hearing

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A bipartisan effort to make the vision of a National Museum of the American Latino Community a reality took an important step forward today when it received a Senate hearing. The hearing was chaired by United States Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO), who, along with Senator Mel Martinez (R-FL) and Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), is leading the bipartisan fight in the Senate to establish this important cultural museum for the Nation.

Senator Salazar, along with Senators Martinez and Menendez, re-introduced the Latino Museum Commission Act (S.500) earlier this year. The bipartisan legislation was also backed by 19 other Senators, and would establish a Commission to study the potential creation of a National Museum of the American Latino Community in Washington, D.C. Senators Salazar and Martinez previously introduced the bill during the 109th Congress as a companion bill to legislation introduced by Congressman Xavier Becerra’s (D-CA) in March 2006. 

Senator Salazar noted the growing Congressional support momentum for the creation of the National Museum, saying in his opening remarks, “This bipartisan legislation has been introduced for the past several years and it was one of the first bills to pass out of the U.S. House of Representatives during the 110th Congress.”

“Regardless of nation of origin, Hispanics share common experiences and a common bond in the U.S. As the largest demographic minority population in the United States, it would be a fitting tribute to highlight the successes of this community through a national museum,” said Senator Martinez.

“The Latino community is vital to American life, art, culture and industry, and this bipartisan legislation would honor those contributions,” said Senator Menendez. “With this recognition, we are acknowledging that America’s success would not be possible without the contributions of Latino people. The National Museum of the American Latino Community will further acknowledge that Latino culture, dreams and advancements are not outside, but within the very fabric of American life.”

“Senators Salazar, Martinez and Menendez have done incredible work to bring this important legislation to the attention of their colleagues,” Rep. Xavier Becerra (CA-31) said. “Today’s hearing, coupled with last month’s unanimous passage of H.R. 512, is further proof that there exists the will and the interest to see this project come to fruition.”

Testifying on behalf of the Latino museum bill was Oscar-nominated and Emmy-award-winning filmmaker and entrepreneur Moctesuma Esparza, whose production credits include The Milagro Beanfield War, Selena, Gettysburg, Gods and Generals, and Introducing Dorothy Dandridge. His most recent film, Walkout, was produced for HBO and is based on actual events of 1968, during which Latino high school students in East L.A. walked out of class to protest unequal education.

In his testimony, Mr. Esparza noted, “I became involved in the film industry because I wanted to take on the roles of transforming the image of Hispanics in Hollywood, and by extension, the American public. Since producing my first documentary Requiem 29, I have strived to ensure that the history of the Latinos in this country is told and understood. Having movies, television shows, books, and other media to view is critical, as is having visible leaders, who have lived the American Latino experience. However, I believe having a National institution for Americans and the millions of tourists can visit is just as critical.”

Having received a hearing, the Latino Museum Commission Act now moves on to the next step: a review and approval by the full Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. This step, known as a “mark-up,” has not yet been scheduled. Earlier this year, the House passed H.R. 512, Congressman Becerra’s House companion to S.500.

CONTACT: Cody Wertz – Salazar/ 303-350-0032
Ken Lundberg – Martinez/ 202-228-5957
Allyn Brooks-LaSure – Menendez/ 202-224-4744
Steve Haro – Becerra/ 202-225-6235



to contact
U.S. Congressmembers 


Pioneers in the Hispanic Civil Rights Movement 

Photo by permission of: Dr. Hector P. Garcia Papers, Special Collections 
& Archives, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Bell Library.

Dr. Hector P. Garcia, Dr. George I. Sanchez, Gustavo Garcia
Physician                    Educator               Attorney

Wanda Garcia

From time to time I look at a portrait taken forty years ago of my father, Dr. Hector P. Garcia, Dr. George I. Sanchez and Attorney Gustavo Garcia. These three men are among the pioneers of the Hispanic Civil Rights Movement.

Each man, leaders of this movement met challenges in the areas of health, education and law. During the 1950’s, they met at our house to discuss the critical issues of this era, lack of access to medical care, high infant mortality and infant diarrhea, barriers to education and discrimination.

In the 50s, the quality of life was dim for Hispanics. They were placed in segregated schools, rarely completed grammar school, could not hope to get a fair trial by jury, and could only aspire to hold menial jobs. The poll tax kept low-income Hispanics from voting. Even Hispanic students who spoke English were placed in segregated schools. The segregated schools were dilapidated with exposed heating pipes and drafty rooms in the winters. Educational materials were scarce. Teachers punished Hispanic students for speaking Spanish. A friend of mine, Edna Santos remembered her experiences in the public school system. She could only speak Spanish so she would "not talk" to avoid punishment. This presented a challenge when Edna had to go to the bathroom. Someone would call Edna’s sister who could speak English to tell the teacher what she needed.

I would listen to my father, Dr. George I. Sanchez and Attorney Gustavo Garcia plan strategies at our dining room table. I would listen to them discuss their personal challenges and frustrations with the system. Each man approached these challenges with their unique abilities and left us a historical legacy.

Dr. Hector had formidable organizational abilities. He succeeded in creating an organization that gave him influence with the political infrastructure. He targeted the low income Hispanics because the middle income Hispanics felt they had a lot to risk by bucking the system. Many middle income Hispanics were critical of Dr. Hector. The American G.I. Forum (AGIF) was a veteran’s family organization that included chapters for the women and youth. Dr. Hector always acknowledged the importance of the women to the success of the organization. So he gave women and the youth an equal vote. The local chapters elected officers and sent delegates to the national meetings. The dates of the AGIF national meetings corresponded with holidays so that it would be easy for families to attend. The format was meeting all day and in the evening a banquet followed by a dance and a queen contest.

In Corpus Christi, TX, the meetings were held at the Driskill hotel. The Galvan brothers’ band provided the music. Since the AGIF was a family organization, many members brought their children to the meetings. On one occasion when I was riding in the elevator with my Papa, the elevator attendant called "mezzanine." I said, "Papa is this the floor where you kissed the queen?" Of course all the adults in the elevator started laughing at my father’s discomfort.

Eventually, the nation and the community recognized Dr. Hector for his service. In 1984, President Ronald Reagan conferred the Presidential Medal of Freedom on my father for his service to the Nation and the Community. This is the highest civilian award conferred on a citizen in our Nation.

When Attorney Gustavo Garcia ("Gus" came in my life, he had a long and distinguished list of accomplishments in the work of desegregating schools in Texas and other states. In 1949 he represented the family of Pvt. Felix Longoria. From 1951 to 1952, he was the legal advisor for the AGIF. In 1952, Garcia was an attorney in the case of Hernandez v. State of Texas. The case eventually went before the Supreme Court. Gustavo argued that Hernandez was denied a fair trial because an all white jury decided the trial. Garcia presented such a brilliant case that Chief Justice Warren allowed him an extra 15 minutes to present his arguments.

Gus treated me as an adult during his interactions with me. He took interest in my schooling and encouraged me to use my intellect instead of the traditional means available to women of that era. He would tell me to get an education and not to enter beauty contests.

Gustavo Garcia' s life was a series of challenges. He struggled with alcohol and had several stays in the hospital because of this illness. By 1956, invitations declined to LULAC and the American G.I. Forum functions. Garcia experienced a series of emotional and financial difficulties and was eventually disbarred. Dr. Hector kept up with Gus and would periodically update us with bulletins. On June 3, 1964, Gustavo Garcia went to the Old Farmer’s Market and asked if he could sleep on a bench. During the night, Gus died of a seizure, alone and penniless.

One afternoon in 1964, my father received a phone call with the news about Gus. I will never forget the expression on my father’s face when he said softly that Gus had died. That was all he said. Gus was buried with full military honors at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery at San Antonio. In 1983 San Antonio, TX established the Gus Garcia Memorial Foundation to sponsor projects recognizing Gus’ contributions.

Gustavo Garcia died before his time. A brilliant career cut short because of personal demons. As I reflect on Gus’ life, I wonder whether his life might have ended differently if he had not dealt with issues degrading his people. His memory will always haunt me.

Dr. George I. Sanchez dedicated his life to improving the educational opportunities for Hispanics. He questioned school funding, the use of standardized tests, segregation based on non-proficiency in English and other discriminatory practices against Hispanic schoolchildren. While in New Mexico, Dr. Sanchez challenged the use of standardized tests with Spanish-speaking children and equalization of school funding in the school system. His success came at a personal price, though. The opposing side used their influence to withhold a tenured position at the University of New Mexico. So, one door closed and another door opened. In 1940, Sanchez accepted an invitation from the University of Texas at Austin to teach Latin American Studies where he remained until his death in 1972.

The George Sanchez I knew was a quiet gentle man, totally nonpartisan. Most of his interaction was with my father. I heard little news about Dr. Sanchez once their work was completed. Dr. Sanchez resurfaced in my life when I attended the University of Texas at Austin in the 1960s. I would hear news about Dr. Sanchez from my roommate Dr. Blandina Cardenas who studied under Dr. Sanchez. He achieved recognition as a researcher and author in his lifetime. He was recognized for his contributions in education and law affecting Mexican Americans.

My father taught me a great deal about the dynamics of discrimination. I learned discrimination undermines a culture or group through "under representation" or "exclusion." This disregards the accomplishments and contributions of a group or individual. These practices and attitudes infiltrate into mainstream American society. Consequently, most Americans are clueless how discrimination influences a group’s self-determination. * The lack of self-determination among Hispanics may be one reason that contemporary leaders have not emerged to continue the work of Hispanic Civil Rights.

My father believed in the importance of history to a group’s self-determination. On February 1, 1990, in an address to the University of Texas Hispanic Alumni my father said, "We are a lost people. We are lost to ourselves. We don’t know our origins. We do not know who we are and where we are going. We do not have a history and a people without a history have nothing."

I wish I could believe that the Hispanic Civil Rights Movement made much progress and the task left to us was to build on the successes and sacrifices of our predecessors. A recent controversy surrounding the Hispanic role in WWII** being ignored by the media is an indicator that discrimination is alive and well in our country.

For this reason it is important to understand our history and continue the work of the civil rights movement. It is important to document and validate the life experiences of our Hispanic leaders, our parents and grandparents; otherwise, this valuable history will pass with these generations. Unless our youth is made aware of the difficulties and challenges faced by their predecessors, they will not understand, who they are and where they are going. Then we have nothing.

I am privileged to have witnessed the birth of the Hispanic Civil Rights movement, though at the time I did not realize it. I thank Spirit for bringing these men into my life and praise each for their contributions and sacrifices. Amen.

*Self-determination refers to the process of being in charge of one's own life. Self-determination involves the capacity, the needed supports, and the opportunity provided for making choices and decisions.

**The Ken Burns WWII documentary and Tom Brokaw’s "Greatest Generation"

Documents by permission of: Dr. Hector P. Garcia Papers, Special Collections 
& Archives, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Bell Library.

Cesar E. Chavez

1927 - 1993


Mercy Bautista-Olvera


Photo Courtesy of the Cesar Chavez Foundation


"One of the heroic figures of our time."

-Robert F. Kennedy

Cesar Chavez was born Cesario (Cesar) Estrada Chavez on March 31, 1927 in Yuma, Arizona. Cesar, the son of Librado Chavez and Juana Estrada-Chavez, immigrants from Chihuahua, Mexico, was named after his paternal grandfather. The family lived on a farm in an adobe house where Cesar was born and grew up. His father Librado agreed to clear acres of land and in exchange believed he would receive the deed of land that adjoined his home. The agreement was broken by dishonest landowners and sadly, the family lost their home. The mistreatment of his father caused young Cesar to learn of the many social injustices that exist. Cesar Chavez later would say "the love for justice that is in us, is not only the best part of our being, but it is also the most true to our nature."

Left, Cesar Chavez and one of his sisters (Photo courtesy of the Cesar Chavez Foundation)

During the depression, when Cesar was eleven years old his parents and family moved to San Jose, California. The family worked on the fields, and in towns such as Delano, Salinas, and many others. When Cesar Chavez attended school he struggled with the English language as Spanish was his first language and the only one spoken at home. He was often physically punished with a ruler for speaking Spanish at school. Around this time Cesar’s father Librado was injured in a car accident and unable to work, so Cesar decided to quit school and work full time as a migrant worker to help his family. Cesar’s early education years were not the best, but he knew that education was very important. Years later the walls of his office were filled with books on philosophy, economics, unions, and biographies on Mohandas Gandhi and John F. Kennedy.

In 1943 sixteen-year-old Cesar in attempt to prove that each citizen shared in this country’s civil rights was arrested in a segregated movie theater for sitting in the "Whites Only" section in Delano, California.

In1944 at seventeen years of age Cesar joined the Navy and served two years as a deck hand in the Western Pacific. Discrimination was visible wherever he went. In 1946 Cesar was discharged from the U.S. Navy and returned to work in the farm fields of California.


(Photo courtesy of the Cesar Chavez Foundation)



n 1948 Cesar married Helen Fabela. They settled in Delano and started their family; Fernando, Sylvia, Linda and five other children. It is here where he met Father Donald McDonnell, a Catholic priest from San Francisco who was sent to educate the farm laborers and Braceros, on labor organizing and social justice. Cesar and Father McDonnel talked often about farm workers and strikes. During this time Chavez began reading about Gandhi and came to see him as a role model in how Gandhi helped his people survive the injustices of his county.


Below, Cesar Chavez and wife Helen with six of their eight children

In the 1950’s a young Chavez would meet a community organizer, Fred Ross. While working in the apricot orchards outside San Jose, Ross recruited Chavez into the community. During this time Helen Fabela-Chavez worked side by side with her husband Cesar, to see his dreams of improved social conditions fulfilled. Together they began a teaching program to help Mexican farm workers become literate in order to be eligible for American citizenship exams. Helen also supported her husband’s efforts at organizing a union by working in the fields to earn extra money.

During this time the Community Service Organization (CSO) helped Latinos become citizens, registered voters, battled police brutality, and pressed for community improvements. Together, Chavez and Fred Ross organized 22 CSO chapters across California. In the 1950’s, under Chavez’s leadership the CSO became an effective civil rights group. After working nearly 10 years for the CSO, Chavez resigned and moved his family to Delano to begin organizing farm workers.


Chavez and the UFW co-founder Dolores Huerta worked under the slogan "Si se puede" and the paronage of the Virgin, "She is a symbol of faith, hope, and leadership," says Huerta

n 1962 Cesar Chavez founded the National Farm Workers Association. He was joined by Dolores Huerta, who created the slogan "SI SE PUEDE" (It can be done). The same year Richard Chavez designed the UFW Eagle and Cesar chose the black and red colors. Cesar made reference to the flag by stating, "A symbol is an important thing. That is why we chose an Aztec eagle; it gives pride . . . when people see it they know it means dignity."

Mexican Independence Day September 16, 1965 the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA), a union of comprised of 1,200 members, voted to strike against Delano area grape growers. After a 340 mile march from Delano to the steps of the State Capitol to bring awareness to the suffering of farm workers and after a four month boycott, Stanley vineyards negotiated and came to an agreement with NFWA – the first genuine union contract between a grower and a farm worker’s union in United States history.




While Cesar and his wife Helen worked in the fields, Cesar was determined to improve the living conditions of farm workers. During this time there were endless farm labor strikes. The farm workers and supporters carried banners with the black eagle imprinted with the words; HUELGA (strike) and VIVA LA CAUSA (Long live our cause). These labor strikes demanded higher wages, better living conditions, and fair hiring practices from the grape growers.

United States Senator Robert F. Kennedy conducted subcommittee hearings on agricultural labor. Kennedy had supported the National Farm Workers Assn., the grape strike, and boycott.

In the Spring of 1968 Chavez fasted for 25 days to rededicate his movement to nonviolence. In March of 1968 U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy joined 8,000 farm workers and supporters at a mass where Chavez broke his fast, and called him "One of the heroic figures of our time." 

Martin Luther King Jr., also supported Cesar Chavez. In a telegram to Chavez, King wrote "Our separate struggles are really one. A struggle for freedom for dignity, and humanity." Cesar later stated "Our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines what kind of men we are."

Left to right: Cesar Chavez, Coretta Scott King and Dorothy Day at the Cathedral of St. John the Devine, New York City, February 20, 1973. Photo: Chris Sheridan/Catholic News Service; courtesy Marquette University Archives




1973 Cesar Chavez began another grape strike when the UFW’s three year grape contracts came for up renewal. The contracts were presented to the farmworkers without any election or representation procedures. Thousands of strikers were arrested for violating and picketing injunctions, hundreds were beaten, dozens were shot and murdered.

Cesar Chavez, Rep. Don Edwards and Dolores Huerta  attend funeral for UFW member killed during 1973 grape strike.

In 1983 Republican George Deukmejian became California’s governor and began to shut down the enforcement of the state’s historic farm labor law. Thousands of farm workers lost their United Farm Worker contracts; many were fired or blacklisted, during that time Rene Lopez, a young nineteen year old dairy worker was shot to death by agents after voting in a 1983 union election. Cesar Chavez declared a another grape boycott in 1984


In 1986 Cesar Chavez campaign of "Wrath of Grapes" focused attention on the use of pesticides poisoning farmworkers and their children. He led a five-year nonviolent boycott against California grape growers, protesting poor working conditions and the use of pesticides.

In July and August 1988 when Cesar Chavez was 61 years old he conducted his longest (36 days) fast in Delano. The fast called attention to farm workers and their children stricken by pesticides. He never gave up helping his people after recovering from his fast, and continued to press the grape boycott and aid farm workers who hoped to organize. He worked with UFW First Vice President Arturo Rodriguez (who was also Cesar’s son-in-law) in leading walkouts in the Coachella and San Joaquin valleys, and helped grape workers gain their first pay hike in eight years. In the Salinas Valley, Cesar Chavez directed a march of more than 10,000 workers for better work conditions.


In 1991, Mexico awarded Chavez "The Aztec Eagle

"(Aguila Azteca), its highest civilian award to people

of Mexican heritage who have made major contributions

outside Mexico.



In the spring of 1993 Cesar Chavez, founder and president of the United Farm Workers of America, was in Yuma, Arizona. Cesar was helping United Farm Worker’s attorneys defend the union against a lawsuit by Bruce Church Inc; a Salinas, California based lettuce and vegetable producer. Mr. Church demanded that the farm workers pay millions of dollars in damages resulting from a UFW boycott of its lettuce during the 1980’s.

In San Luis (near Yuma), Arizona, on April 23, 1993, Cesar Chavez died peacefully in his sleep at the home of Mrs. Maria Hau, a former farm worker and friend. He was 66 years old. On April 29, more than 50,000 people attended Cesar's Funeral at Delano. California mourners marched behind Cesar’s plain pine casket during funeral services. Cardinal Roger Mahoney led the funeral mass, offering a personal condolence from Pope John Paul II.
                                                                                                                                                      Among the Honor Guard, were celebrities who had supported Chaves throughout his years of struggle. Farm workers, family members, friends and union staff took turns standing vigil over the plain pine coffin which held the body of Cesar Chavez It was the largest funeral of any labor leader in the history of the United States.


The body of Cesar Chavez was taken to Keene, California, the headquarters for the United Farm Workers. He was laid to rest near a bed of roses, in front of his office.





In August 8, 1994, at a White House ceremony, Helen Chavez, Cesar's widow, accepted the Medal of Freedom for her late husband from President Clinton.

In September 2, 1994, the Cesar Chavez Holiday bill was signed into law by California Governor Pete Wilson. It designated March 31 (or the appropriate Monday or Friday of the following or preceding that date) as Cesar Chavez Day. It is a California state holiday that promotes service to the communities of California in honor of Cesar's life and work throughout the United States there are many schools, parks, streets, libraries, public facilities, awards, and scholarships named in honor of Cesar E. Chavez. There is currently a petition in progress for President Bush to sign and establish Cesar Chavez’ birthday, March 31st as a National Holiday.

In September 18, 2002 the United States Postal Service announced plans for a stamp commemorating Cesar Chavez. Illustrated by Robert Rodriguez, the unveiling of the proposed thirty seven cent stamp was unveiled in the U.S. Senate building in Washington D.C. On the occasion Benjamin Ocasio, Vice President, U.S. Postal Service, stated: "It is a proud moment for the Postal Service to pay tribute to this true American hero."

Cesar Chavez’ son Paul, Chairperson of the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation paid tribute to his father, by stating; "My father’s teachings of compassion, justice and dignity still ring after ten years of his passing."

Attending the event were Senator Edward Kennedy (D-MA); Senator John McCain (R-AZ); Arturo Rodriguez, President of United Farm Workers: John Sweeney, President, American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organization (AFL-CIO). Henry Cisneros, Chief Executive Officer, American City Vista; Andres R. Irlando, Executive Director, Cesar E. Chavez Foundation. Raul Izaguirre, President National Council of La Raza; Dolores Huerta, Co-founder United Farm Workers; and Members of the California Congressional Delegation and Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

On April 23, 2003, the10th Anniversary of his death, the United States Postal Service honored and commemorated the civil rights leader and union organizer. On this date the commemorative stamp was officially issued. The ceremony took place in Los Angeles, California. The state Governor, Gray Davis, the city Mayor, James K. Hahn, representatives from the U.S. Postal service, and family members attended.

U.S. Postmaster General John Potter issued a statement describing Chavez as someone who "understood the hardships of working people and fought hard to bring about justice and quality of life for them and their families."

Also attending this event was Arturo Rodriguez. Rodriguez, Chavez’ son-in-law and now President of the U.F.W., said,

"Cesar gave his last ounce of strength defending the farm workers in this case…[Church vs. U.F.W.] he died standing up for their First Amendment right to speak out for themselves. Chavez believed that the farm workers were right in boycotting Bruce Church Inc.  lettuce during the 1980’s and he was  determined to prove that in court."

Years later the second multimillion dollar judgment for Church Inc. was later rejected by an appeal’s court and the company signed a UFW contract in May 1996.

In that Summer day in 1994 when Helen Fabela Chavez received the Medal of Freedom, it was President Clinton’s remarks that perhaps best summarized the life and impact of Cesar E. Chavez.



"Born into Depression-era poverty in Arizona in 1927, he served in the United States Navy in the Second World War, and rose to become one of our greatest advocates of nonviolent change. He was for his own people a Moses figure. The farm workers who labored in the fields and yearned for respect and self-sufficiency pinned their hopes on this remarkable man, who, with faith and discipline, with soft-spoken humility and amazing inner strength, led a very courageous life. And in so doing, brought dignity to the lives of so many others, and provided for us inspiration for the rest of our nation’s history."


About the Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday Coalition

"Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday!" was established by volunteers in Los Angeles, California. They spearheaded a campaign which resulted in the first Cesar Chavez paid state holiday.  The Calif. holiday and it's day of service and learning is celebrated on Cesar's March 31st birthday.  This marks the first time in our nation that a labor leader or Latino has been honored with an official public holiday. 
A wave of initiatives followed the California holiday and established holidays in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin. Many cities have also adopted holidays.

"Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday!", is now forming national, state and local coalitions; organizing volunteer committees; and by providing education about the importance of honoring Cesar E. Chavez.

If you would like to join the Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday volunteer committee, help circulate petitions (download petition here) or participate in a coalition to win national recognition for Cesar E. Chavez, please contact Evelina Alarcon, Executive Director at: (323)333-7589, (213)387-1974x20 or or write to them at: Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday! 3325 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1208  Los Angeles, CA 90010

Download a petition & circulate among your friends & family: Go to:
Please return signed petitions to: UFW, C/O Cesar Chavez Holiday Campaign, 
2550 N Hollywood Way, Su. 400, Burbank, CA, 91505

New Book: The Struggle to Unionize America's Farm Workers by Dick Meister, (Macmillan) contact him through his website,

The life and accomplishments of César E. Chávez, labor leader and champion of human rights, will be observed with a month-long series of diverse activities beginning April 2 and continuing through May 7 at the University of California, San Diego. All events are free and open to the public.

Sent byActivities honoring the Chicano civil rights leader during the celebration will include a discussion on activism, a kickoff luncheon honoring local activists, films, a cultural celebration, programs on the struggles of undocumented immigrants and undocumented students, a celebration of Chicano Park, and a special lecture exploring contemporary trends in politics and culture in Mexico. Carmen Lopez  Carmen.Lopez1@SDCOUNTY.CA.GOV

Jorge Mariscal, director of the UCSD Chicana/o-Latina/o Arts and Humanities Program, is chairing the 2007 César E. Chávez Celebration Planning Committee.  For further information call the UCSD Cross-Cultural Center at (858)534-9689.  Media Contact: Pat JaCoby <> , 858-534-7404 or Jan Jennings <> , 858-822-1684


Dr. Ron Navarro was nominated for a feature story in Peninsula People Magazine, a monthly magazine for residents of the Palos Verdes Peninula:

Beating the Odds: Dr. Ronald Navarro
Peninsula People Magazine
March 2007

Harbor area kid knuckles down to become leader in sports injury care
by Randy Angel

Thirty years ago, people snickered at young Ronald Navarro when he told them that someday he would become a doctor.

After all, he was Hispanic. He and his twin brother, Randy, were the youngest of five boys. His father was a longshoreman. And, he was growing up in the tough harbor area of Wilmington. The odds certainly were not in Navarro's favor.

For most of Navarro's peers in the mid '70s, just making it through the twelfth grade and earning a diploma from Banning High School would be a major accomplishment. But to obtain an education from a four-year university and enter the highly competitive field of medicine? Fat chance.

But Navarro proved to himself--and his skeptics--that he knew what he was talking about as a youth and demonstrated how perseverance pays off. Surely it would have been easier to give into the daily temptations faced by teenagers in the much maligned public Los Angeles Unified School District. But Navarro had one goal in mind, bypassing the rolled joints sold on local street corners and focusing on other types of joints--those in the human body.

"By the time I was in high school, I knew what I wanted to do," Ronald Navarro, M.D. said. "When I said I'm going to be a doctor, most people said 'Yeah, right.'"

Today, Navarro is living the life of his dreams. The Rolling Hills resident is proudly serving the area of his roots as Chief of the Department of Orthopaedics and Director of Orthopaedic Sports Medicine at Kaiser Permanente South Bay Medical Center in Harbor City. He recently accepted a position to become the Assistant to the Medical Director in charge of Surgical Services at the same facility, effective January 2008.

An author of numerous articles pertaining to knee and shoulder surgeries in athletes, Navarro participates in research that has been presented nationally and abroad.

He recently returned from the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in San Diego where he presented his research on venous thromboembolism (blood clots) in shoulder arthroplasty, instructed a course on knees which have been previously operated on, and served as moderator in a session where other researchers presented their findings on knee and cartilage topics.

As one of the top surgeons in his field and a specialist in knee and shoulder surgeries, Navarro could easily earn more money by going into private practice, but finds it much more rewarding by giving back to the local community and spending quality time with Jennifer, his wife of 16 years, and their two daughters Isabella (7) and Beatrice (18 months) in their Peninsula home.

"I'm not driven by the money," Navarro said. "My motivation is healing people. The most rewarding thing in orthopaedics is that when you do an operation, you know that you are returning a function the patient has lost. The beauty of orthopaedics is a lot like construction. You build a home, the people love it, and the constructors move on to the next home. A surgeon has rebuilt or improved something that benefits the recipient, and in the majority of cases we don't see the client again."

Navarro attributes his work ethic and rise in the medical profession to his family, especially his parents Jesus and Amelia. A strapping man, Jesus migrated from Mexico in his mid-teens and worked laying rail ties from California to Oregon. He took his earnings back to Mexico and attempted to start a business, but returned to the South Bay when he was 19, worked on the docks and married Amelia, who was born in Wilmington.

Amelia made the best of being the only woman filled with a house full of men. "Some people might have thought of it as a curse, but I think my mom enjoyed being surrounded by six men who loved her," Ronald quipped.

"My parents were not big on rewards, but big on expectations," Ronald explained. "It created a loving, supportive family. I wish there was more of that in society today. There seems to be too much worry about self-esteem, but self esteem is something that has to be built."

Although Navarro's two older brothers are very successful--the oldest working for Northrop and the other involved in international banking and living in Singapore--it was middle brother Steve who was the first in the Navarro family to graduate from a four-year university and the person who piqued Ronald's interest in sports medicine.

"Steve was athletic trainer at Cerritos College at the time of my pre-teen youth," Navarro said. "We would go to the football games on Saturdays and I would watch him and it looked like fu. He told me 'You do well in school and then what you want to do is take it a step further and get into orthopaedic surgery, because those are the guys I interface with.'"

As a student at Banning High, Navarro played wide receiver on the Pilot's City Championship team in 1979, an experience that he recalls with great fondness.

"When I was growing up in Wilmington, we had a nice life because I had a loving family and was supported by older brothers," Navarro recalls. "But once you stepped outside of the home it could be tough. It was a rough place and you really had to watch what you said and watch who you looked crossways at. You learned to appreciate and respect other people, because if you didn't, many would react in a very violent way. You kept your head down, watched your P's and Q's and got your business done. There wasn't a lot of small talk with strangers, so you became very close with the people you knew.

"But one great thing about Wilmington back then was that the community really got behind the football team and provided a lot of local spirit. Being involved in the football program back then was like you see on Friday Night Lights and the image of football in Texas. The stadiums we played in (Gardena High, El Camino College) would be packed. There would be 10,000 people at high school games. It was an event every Friday night. The Valley teams always thought they could beat us, and every time we would go through the pass of the 405 freeway, we knew it was winning time. We knew someone was going to take a whooping and it wasn't going to be us.

"Along with my loving wife and parents, being involved with football at that time was a major inspiration to me and made me realize that I could do whatever I wanted to do."

Navarro has renewed his strong ties to the community by volunteering his time as a team physician for Banning's football team and serving on the board of directors of Team Heal, a non-profit organization aimed at increasing medical care of athletes in inner city high schools. 

With the support of his parents and financial aid, Navarro began his college career at Stanford. But Ronald began to miss his twin brother, who was attending UC Santa Barbara, and during the first quarter of his junior year, went south to visit Randy. 

Ronald enjoyed the lifestyle--and companionship--in Santa Barbara, transferred and earned his bachelor's degree in biology before moving to Illinois to continue his education in medicine. 

It was at the University of Illinois College of Medicine where Navarro met his future wife while earning his medical degree and Jennifer was obtaining her degree as a registered nurse. "We are both left-handed, which drew me to her," Navarro said, jokingly. "Once I was in med school, I unlinked my parents from the financial weight and took out a lot of loans myself. Jennifer has been a great, loving wife who has made numerous sacrifices. She was burdened with a fair amount of debts--both financially and emotionally--just by getting to know me." 

With two young children, Jennifer has put her nursing career on hold to be a stay-at-home mom and is active in PV Juniors, AYSO and Chadwick School, where Isabella is a first grader. 

"Ronald's success in his profession, as a husband and as a father, stems from his strong family upbringing," Jennifer said. "He never gives up. If he wants something, he goes and gets it. It hasn't been easy for him and he's had to overcome many obstacles in his life, but he's always searching for ways to make himself and his family better." 

Ronald knew that after college he would return to Southern California to continue his medical career. "People who are raised here appreciate other places, but appreciate the South Bay even more. It's a great place to live." 

Navarro began with a general surgery internship at Harbor General/UCLA Medical Center. "It's very hard to get into orthopaedic surgery, so I spent two years doing research at UCLA to improve my resume and eventually got in. The program at Harbor General is a fine one that teaches how to become a top surgeon. My experiences there were incredible. They taught us how to take care of patients." 

Along with serving as a clinical instructor to Harbor General/UCLA Medical Center internal medicine residents, Navarro has completed fellowships in shoulder, arthroscopy and sports medicine from the University of Pittsburgh, in joint replacement from UCLA/Sepulveda VA Medical Centers, Dan has served as assistant clinical professor at the University of Southern California. 

Navarro joined Kaiser Permanente in 1997 and thoroughly enjoys his affiliation. "My partnership with the Southern California Permanente Medical Group has been so supportive in all the things I have done. They've encouraged excellence, they've encouraged and helped fund research for me, and they've encouraged me to help make this the best orthopaedic facility in the region, bot in the Kaiser system and abroad. 

"The people I hire are the best in the business. We just finished a new operating room which will open in four or five months and we're going to build a whole new orthopaedic department in the next couple of years. This will be the Taj Majal of sports medicine in the area, both in the operating room and clinically. I'm really excited about it. 

"We run our practice at Kaiser much like an academic practice. I can specialize on knees and shoulders. I probably do more shoulder surgeries than anyone in the area because I don't have to do trigger fingers, ankles or hip replacements. That factor has catapulted my experience level. An analogy would be: Do people want to get their clutch fixed by a clutch specialist or the guy pumping gas at the gas station?" 

Despite the many hours spent in the operating room and doing research, Navarro has served as Medical Director of the LPGA Office Depot Championship, the Long Beach Marathon, the Lion's Club High School All-Star Game and on the Minority and Medical Advisory boards for former U.S. Congressman Steve Kuykendall of the 36th District--he finds time to keep in shape by snow skiing, running marathons, enjoying neighborhood walks with his family, and this past season, coaching Isabella's soccer team. 

"It was hard for me not to be competitive," Navarro said. "But those five-and six-year-old girls are so cute and sweet." 

His increasing involvement and numerous activities has made Navarro a well-known--and popular--figure in the community. "He is genuinely a nice guy," Jennifer said. "It's hard for us to go out without someone coming up to him to say hello. Having a quiet dinner alone in a restaurant is next to impossible." 

Navarro's work with young people keeps the doctor on his toes in the ever-evolving field of sports medicine. "Kids are maturing earlier now," Navarro claims. "Who knows what kind of hormones are being fed to the animals that we eat and we in turn are passing them on. I've never seen so many young kids now with gigantic feet. It's almost abnormal." 

Navarro notes that the most common injuries in young athletes today are Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) tears in female soccer players and elbow injuries in boys who play baseball, particularly pitchers. 

"When you consider boys beginning to play baseball at five years old, by the time they're 15 they might have played in two leagues a year for 10 years. Throwing breaking balls and the number of pitches without the proper rest take their toll. Competitive nature pushes a player's body, but it needs time to recover." 

While the majority of youth leagues maintain rules as to the number of innings a player can pitch, Navarro believes a pitch count would be a more effective way of preventing serious arm injuries. 

In older populations, ACL reconstructions are increasing. Where a 3-, 40- or 50-year-old person used to be considered too old for the procedure, it is becoming more commonplace. 

"I think a lot of older people have shoulder problems that they just deal with," Navarro said. "We're trying to get them in earlier before there is significant tissue damage and degeneration." 

Navarro is a strong proponent of fitness programs that include stretching and a focus on core strength, believing that a strong core will help prevent injuries--especially in the limbs--during everyday activities as well as athletic participation. 

Light weight training is also suggested, with more repetitions being safer than lifting heavier weights, particularly in young kids whose growth plates are still developing. 

"Bone degeneration happens a lot earlier in life now than we think," Navarro said. "A lightweight strengthening program is a good way to keep the bones stimulated. The medical profession is now suggesting light-weight strengthening for the elderly in order to keep their bone mass at a higher level and prevent bone mass loss. 

Navarro states that the average recovery time for a simple knee arthroscopy is 6-8 weeks, while an ACL reconstruction is six months at the earliest to a return to normal activities. Shoulder--most commonly rotator cuff--surgeries take 4-5 months, but a labial tear on a young person who is involved in an overhand-throwing sport usually takes six months. Navarro notes, however, that the athlete's velocity won't be the same for 1 to 2 years as the athlete must redevelop the mechanics and accuracy of throwing. 

With the increasing number of athletes in the South Bay--both young and old--Navarro realizes there will always be patients to mend and research to develop as he continues to give back to the community by improving lives. 

"By God's grace, I'm doing something I've always wanted to do," Navarro said. "I went ahead and did it and most importantly, I really enjoy it. To live the life of a surgeon and be able to operate on the human body, fix it and make a patient's life better is an amazing, fulfilling thing."  


DEA Special Agent
Enrique "Kiki" Camarena
July 26, 1947 - February 7, 1985



Hello, my name is Maria Krueger and I wanted to share with you a new website that was created for the DEA Enrique Camarena US Postal Stamp Proposal. I hope that you will take a look at it, sign the guest book, and help by writing a letter of support to the Stamp Advisory Committee. There is a strong possibility that this will part of the 2009 series of stamps.

The Federal Drug Enforcement Agent: Enrique Camarena Stamp Petition

Mrs. Holly's 5th grade class at Lugonia Elementary School in Redlands, California is proposing a concept of a stamp to honor Enrique Camarena. A U.S. Federal Drug Agent who was murdered in Mexico in 1985 for having come dangerously close to unlocking a multi-billion dollar drug pipeline, which he suspected extended into the highest reaches of the Mexican Army, Police and Government.

Their stamp proposal is -To Honor Enrique Camarena-A Hero Against Drugs. They would like to generate public awareness of Enrique Camarena’s dedication to the fight against drugs.

It is their hope that with your support they can get as many signatures as possible to present to our Citizens’

Stamp Advisory Committee endorsement.

Why a "stamp"?

To educate children and adults about how Red Ribbon Week began and to generate awareness in the fight against drugs. To honor a Key figure for his dedication in trying to decrease substance abuse. in our lives, and to keep alive the memory of F.D.E.A Enrique Camarena-A Hero. 

Please, help the Fifth grade Students at Lugonia Elementary School to make this proposal a success.

Let's get Our Stamp Campaign Approved 
We need to send in more signatures and letters to the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee in order to persuade them that a stamp to honor Enrique Camarena would be the highest tribute paid to this great man who fought against drugs, and lost his life in the process.

You Can Help:
By adding your name to the signature campaign. Get groups involved, like your church, neighborhood, schools etc.

Drugs are so available and so damaging to our youth. We must raise
awareness about Enrique Camarena, the commitment he made to his work, sacrificing his entire life, for a safer world. His death should not be in vain, but a celebration of a drug-free future for all. Help us keep Enrique Camarena alive forever.

Generate petition or write your own letter.
Send it to:
Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee
C/O Stamp Management
U.S. Postal Service
475 L' Enfant Plaza, SW
Room 4474EB
Washington, DC 20260 - 6756

Coyote Teaching 

Coyote teaching is a method of teaching and mentoring made popular by Tom Brown, Jr. and Jon Young. A coyote teacher never gives direct answers, and answers questions with questions, inspiring the student to dig deeper into the lessons and search for embedded or connected lessons. A successful coyote teacher inspires the student to learn on his/her own until the student no longer depends on the coyote teacher. Naturally, when a student is trained by a coyote teacher, the student becomes adept to the style of teaching and can, in turn, mentor more students in this method. A common saying among coyote teachers and students is, "When raised by a coyote one becomes a coyote".

Sent by Chris Glavin

A New Window of Opportunity for Latinos: Catholic Universities in the Americas. 
By Michael Hogan 
HispanicVista March 1, 2007            

As tuitions rise at universities in the United States and scholarship funds pay for an even smaller percentage of costs, many parents are finding college education for their children beyond their financial reach. For some, the answer has been to mortgage the home, or for the student to take out prohibitive loans. For others, the choice has been a community college or even to forego college entirely, and for the student enter the work force as untrained labor.

            A program begun in 2004 now offers students another alternative. The College Board’s University Recognition Initiative is engaged in the process of identifying those outstanding universities abroad which accept U.S. students’ Advanced Placement (AP) and SAT grades, have affordable tuitions, and are highly ranked academically. In Latin America, there are now over 90 such universities in 18 countries, including the premier Catholic universities which have convenios or agreements with U.S. colleges such as Norte Dame, Trinity, Loyola, Boston College, and others.

            For Latino students who are able to converse and read in Spanish this is a wonderful option. Not only do most of these universities give credit and/or advanced standing for AP grades, but several offer scholarships. The cost of tuition for a year at a Catholic university in Latin America is under $10,000 on the average, and that figure includes housing and fees. All of the listed universities are fully accredited and their degrees are recognized world-wide. 

For more than two decades there have been a few thousand American students studying abroad, including over 800 in medical schools (due to the cap on enrollment in the United States). Recently, with rising costs, that figure has increased more than 145%, and students with careers other than medicine in mind have begun to enroll in foreign universities. There are now over 26,000 U.S. students studying in Latin America alone, and over 170,000 world-wide. Not all study abroad for financial reasons, of course. Many chose to do so to gain a larger perspective on the world, to immerse themselves in a different culture or language, or to broaden their opportunities in a competitive global economy. 

            While language requirements curtail some students’ efforts to attend a university in another country, that limitation does not extend to Latino students, many of whom have the requisite language skills and are attracted to studying in Latin America. In addition, the widening of their cultural perspective as they learn about the history of Argentina, Uruguay, Chile or Mexico, the commitment to service (which is a requirement at universities in Latin America), provides them with valuable skills in the international marketplace.

            Many parents are attracted to this option as well. Catholic universities in Latin America are characterized not only by rigorous academics, but also by traditional values, a commitment to working with others, and a positive world-view which is absent in many secular institutions. Many of the Catholic universities are Jesuit institutions and are part of la red jesuita (the Jesuit Web) sharing resources, libraries and professors from Europe and Canada as well as the United States. Among those listed below are ITESO and Iberoamericana in Mexico. Others are what are called Pontifical universities which are essentially authorized by the Holy See to provide quality Catholic education, some dating back to the 1600s such as Universidad del Rosario in Colombia. Finally, some are Opus Dei-associated universities such as the Universidad de Montevideo in Uruguay. What all of them have in common is that they provide a safe place to learn, a rigorous curriculum, a commitment to service to the community, and strong moral values.

Since many college counselors are unaware of the opportunities for studying abroad, the College Board has created a site where students and parents can visit each of these recommended universities on-line. It can be found at

Over the past three years College Board staff have traveled to 18 countries in Latin America and visited over 140 universities.  They have personally confirmed the information that appears on the web page listed above, and continue to make follow-up visits to these universities throughout the year.

Recently I interviewed two students who had just graduated from a Jesuit university in Mexico: Paulina Julian and Gabriela Silva. Among the questions I asked them were: What was the most significant aspect of your education at a Catholic university in Latin America? Gabriela replied: “It helped me grow, especially the community service, because I was able to come in contact with other social classes and understand Mexico from a different angle. It is alarming to me that so many students in the U.S. are living very sheltered lives and they are going to make important decisions that have a direct effect on the world while actually knowing very little about that world outside of books.” 

Paulina said, “It helped me develop as a spiritual person. The caring environment, the way people looked after each other, was very nourishing to my spirit. And when my spirit is nourished I am better at what I do. I am in touch with a part of me which is wise, kind, friendly, and that reflects directly on my relationships with other people and with what I do.”

Paulina, who studied for a career in education, is now an assistant to the director of international education at a major university. Gaby, who studied for a career in psychology, works for an American school as an on-call psychologist. Both are people who have profited enormously from their education. They are not only successful in their chosen fields but they are also well-rounded and caring people.” 

            “I don’t know what would have happened or where I’d be today if I had studied in the U.S.,” Gaby told me. “But I am glad that I chose to study in Latin America which seems to me less closed-off and more welcoming than other places.”

Paulina noted, “In the long run I believe it is not really about where we study, if our university is open to other cultures and promotes the love of learning. But, I am glad that I chose Latin America. It is a part of the world that right now is most hopeful in terms of world peace. It is a place where there is little talk of war or enmity to other cultures.” 

List of top Catholic universities in Latin America recommended for U.S. students studying abroad:

1.  Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile. 2.  Universidad de los Andes (Colombia). 3.  Universidad del Rosario (Colombia). 4.  ITESO (México). 5.  Pontificia Universidad Católica Argentina. 6.  Universidad Católica Andrés Bello (Venezuela). 7.  Universidad Católica de Santa María (Perú). 8.  Universidad Católica de Uruguay. 9.  Universidad Iberoamericana (México). 10. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Puerto Rico. 11. Universidad Santo Tomás (Colombia). 12. Universidad Católica de Valparaíso (Chile). 13. Universidad Católica Santa María La Antigua (Panamá). 14. Ave Maria College of the Americas (Nicaragua). 15. Universidad Católica de Honduras. 16. Universidad Pontificia Bolivariana (Colombia). 17. Universidad Católica de Córdoba (Argentina). 18. Pontificia Universidad Católica Madre y Maestra (República Dominicana). 19. Universidad de Montevideo (Uruguay). 20. Universidad Panamericana (México). NOTE: As more Catholic universities submit their policies for international students and the College Board has an opportunity to visit their campuses, this list will continue grow. It may be that several quality Catholic universities currently recognize AP and SAT scores from U.S. students and have rigorous programs, but have not yet contacted the College Board and for that reason do not appear on this list.

MICHAEL HOGAN is an author and educator living in Mexico. Email:

Flat Stanley Educational Fun

Flat Stanley is an international project that encourages children to write, learn about other cultures. It was introduced to me by Karla Galindo during my February trip to Texas

Our Flat Stanley arrived in the mail to us on February 14th from the daughter of Karla’s first cousin in Winnie , Texas .  The student is in the first grade at East Chambers Elementary School .  Her teacher reads the Flat Stanley books with her students and they then work on a Flat Stanley project.  According to the story, the cartoon character became flat because a bulletin board fell on him.  However, that was a good thing because he can now travel to all corners of the globe to visit, since he can be easily mailed in an envelope.  Each student sends his/her Flat Stanley to someone out of town for a visit.  The new host family (Karla and me) takes him to interesting places to visit and meet new people on his trip.  They also take photos and write a travel diary about his experiences.  After a designated time period, Flat Stanley is returned home, along with the photos and travel diary.  Each student then takes the travel diary and photos, prepares an oral presentation, and gives the presentation to the class.  You can check out his web site at  for additional information if you are interested.

Since our last communication, Flat Stanley has returned home to Winnie , Texas after almost three weeks with us.  We took 130 photos and prepared a multi-page travel diary of his activities in San Antonio .  

Frank & Karla Galindo



Bilingual Education

"Mendez v. Westminster"

The "Mendez v. Westminster" lawsuit led to the end of school segregation in California and was the forerunner of the U.S. Supreme Court "Brown v Board o Education" decision which ended school segregation throughout the nation.

There are three dates to be considered: April 14, 1947 (the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal "Mendez v. Westminster" Opinion) August 1, 1947 (the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal "Mendez v. Westminster" Correct Opinion, and September 19, 1947 (when Legislative Repeal of the last California school segregation statutes took effect). 

What happened: the first "Mendez" opinion found that - -  while there wee state laws (Education Code 8003, 8004) about segregated schooling for California children of Indian, Chinese, Japanese and Mongolian descent -- there were no state laws about segregated schooling for children of Mexican parentage

The Corrected "Mendez" Opinion reported the State Legislature had recently acted to repeal these the last of California' school segregation laws.  The repeal went into effect on September 19, 1947, 90 days after it had been signed into law.

Growing up in a Hispanic community in South Texas
Edna Santos

Growing up in a Hispanic community in South Texas, I spoke only Spanish when I entered the first grade.  I attended a rural school.  During those years, we were not allowed to speak Spanish because we would be expelled.  I did not speak a word from September until January of the following year.  Whenever I wanted to go to the bathroom, I would either cry or I would raise my hand and with tears in my eyes, the teacher knew that I needed to go to the bathroom.  My aunt who was in the fifth grade would be called and she would take me to the bath room.  
Teacher  often complained to my parents about my crying so one day my mom insisted that my dad handle the situation and ensure that I stop crying at school.  At my mom's insistance,  so he took me outside and spanked me a few times. Before he spanked me, he said that it was going to hurt him more than it would hurt me but I needed to understand that I had to not cry at school Needless to say, I stopped crying at school.  That was also the only time in my life that I remember my dad spanking me.  From that day forward, all my dad had to say was that he  was disappointed with my behavior and his words were more than I could handle to know that I had dissappinted him.  
Growing up during the years when racism was prevalent, I remember watching the 1957 Little Rock 9 desegration march on our little seven inch TV.  As I watched TV, I cried and felt the saddness these chilren were enduring.  I asked my dad why this was happening. I remember my dad's response to me: " When  you grow up and leave Laredo, you will be faced with the same treatment from those who do not see us as equals.  He stated that I needed to remember that no matter the situations that I faced in later life, I was to remember that I was as equal, as good and better than anyone else.  It was very important that I remember this  no matter what situations I would be faced with in life.
Sure enough, when I left laredo after high school, I learned about racism when I couldn't rent a house to live, when my people made comments such as "I couldn't tell you were one of them but I know there was something wrong with your chilrdren, when my ex-husband was not allowed to go into a regular barbershop becasue he had curley hair. " It was during these times that  I never forgot what my dad told me at the age of seven.  
Going back to the day that my dad spanked me, I remember making up my mind that I had to learn to speak English to make it in school and not rely on my aunt to help me.  It was the integrity, honesty and the values that I learned from my parents that have allowed me to be who I am now.  I obtained higher education degrees, a professional career, and have taught my chilren the same values of equality, integrity and love.  It has taken years of growth to learn to let go of the pain and treatment of inequality that I grew up with.  Yet I am a better person for the things that I have learned from these experiences.  



Sent by Johanna De Soto

Theodore Roosevelt on Immigrants and being an AMERICAN in 1907. 

"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag... We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language... and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people." 

Theodore Roosevelt 1907 

March 2, 2007
Subject: English language, prejudice, etc.

Hi, everybody, on this wonderful Texas Independence Day from Donald Herndon (St Joe’s 58) in Mesquite, Nevada. And an especially big "howdy" to Carlos Farias and Felipe Farias, whom I'm e-mailing for the first time. (Also trying old e-mail addresses of Buddy flores and Enrique Ramon...perhaps they will not be sent back, undeliverable.) 

I am motivated to talk about this controversial subject because of 2 reasons: First, many of you have been posting interesting discussions lately about the use of the English language vs the use of the Spanish language. Second, I was traveling across country (San Bernardino, Calif, to Baltimore and NYC and back Feb 18-March 1) with a business partner. The trip was to pick up a big inventory of valuable comic books, Big Little Books (remember them?), and related original artwork. Also to attend the NYC Comic Convention. Made good money on the trip. But I found out I don’t like my partner because of his bigotry and outspoken prejudice. He’s like Jackie Gleason/Ralph Kramden of The Honeymooners without Gleason’s charm and with the addition of 4-letter words. 

As you probably know from my past e-mails to people in our age group, I’m proud of my bicultural heritage: 25% Mexican and 25% Irish on my mom’s side, 6.25% (1/16) Cherokee and 43.75% who-knows-what (mostly British, I guess) on my dad’s side. I have proudly told the story of my great-grandfather, Mamerto Rosas, Brownsville’s sheriff, who was ambushed by banditos in 1880, etc. I enjoy speaking Spanish whenever I can, and I can do it more often these days because so many more Latinos live in the USA these days, including Mesquite, a rural town of 18,000 people between Las Vegas and St George, Utah. Not only is it fun for me, but it keeps me from forgetting a valuable skill. “Use it or lose it,” as the old saying goes. 

Why is speaking Spanish fun for me? It’s like seeing a Whataburger restaurant on the road—and I saw several of them on my recent road trip across the country—and eating there. I grew up eating them every 3 weekends when my folks and I visited mom’s relatives in Corpus Christi. They’re not the best hamburgers in the world, even though Pipe Perez Garcia probably still thinks they are. (Ask him why.) But when I eat them, all the nostalgic memories come through when I take a bite of them, remembering all the necking I used to do in my car at White’s Landing eating cheeseburgers that were almost as good as Whataburger. Same thing happens when I speak Spanish. Good memories of Laredo. And I get a kick out of Latinos looking so pleasantly surprised when this “puro gringo” looking guy starts speaking relatively fluent Spanish in a Mexican accent, or at least in a border accent. And when I’m negotiating against a team of Spanish-speaking people, I don’t let them know I know Spanish. I get a lot of valuable information that way and put them off balance. (By the way, this is tactic number 3 in the list of 302 tactics I use in my “How You Can Negotiate and Win” seminar. It’s called “The Power of Pretending 1: Pretend You Do Not Know the Local Language and Eavesdrop.”)

So I speak Spanish as often as I can when I’m in the company of Latinos. Including hotel executives, valets, and maids in Baltimore and NYC on my recent trip with my business partner. He’s a guy who looks like Comic Book Guy on The Simpsons. Same weight, but no pony tail. Half-Irish and half-Italian, 61 years old, originally from Buffalo, New York. “Why do you speak Spanish to them people? Speak English. We’re in America. All those bastards should speak English” I was offended and told him so. Then, he was flabbergasted when I told him I was part Mexican and equally proud of both my Mexican and Anglo heritages. I told him, “Quite often, I still think like a Mexican.” (At least I THINK I think like a Mexican. Not sure.) When I told him that, he really got upset, and we almost dissolved our lucrative partnership, right there on the road in his Cadillac Esplanade. 

The issues I’m trying to raise here are somewhat complicated, and I’d like your feedback on this. 

My maternal grandmother, Maria Rita Rosas of Brownsville, married an Irish immigrant from Corpus, Joe Gallahan. They moved to Laredo and started an outdoor advertising company (billboards, painted signs). Around the turn of the 20th century, the outdoor advertising industry in the USA was dominated by low-class Irish immigrants. Like show business, it was NOT a prestigious occupation. In fact, most of the first billboards were used to advertise stage shows, circuses, and, later on, movies. My first wife, a beautiful Irish lady from Boston, told me “horror” stories concerning Irish immigrants there. They were mostly lower-class. And they showed off their lace curtains in their living room windows. Long-time Bostonians looked down upon these “lace curtain Irish,” as they were called. The same thing probably happened around the turn of the 20th century with my grandmother, Maria Rita Rosas, and her sister, Carlota Rosas. Both were very light-skinned, and both married Irish immigrants who lived in Corpus Christi. My grandmother dropped the name “Maria” from her name, and Carlota changed her name to Charlotte Benson. Both sisters tried and succeeded in passing for Anglo, even though the Anglos they married were lower-class Irish immigrants. My grandmother always signed her checks “Mrs. J. W. Gallahan.” My mother, Jennie Mae Gallahan, never acknowledged her Mexican ancestry and even got angry at me when I watched a Spanish-language TV program after my parents moved to San Antonio. Strange stuff, huh? Or normal? 

I was different from my mother and grandmother. I was—and still am—proud of ALL my different heritages. And I still enjoy speaking Spanish for the 2 reasons I mentioned. 

When my first wife (Boston Irish) and I moved to Honolulu shortly after we were married in the middle 1960s, she hated the place. Why? Mainly because she faced racial discrimination for the first time in her life. Hawaii is 2/3 Asian, and “whites” there are known as haoles. There was (and probably still is) a LOT of racial discrimination in the state employment system against haoles. She had a hard time getting any job referrals from the Japanese who made up most of the work force in the state employment system. When she confronted them, they told her “Oh, we were saving this job for locals.” (Locals meant Asians.) There was even an annual “Kill Haole” day in grade schools and high schools in Honolulu. It was a day when the Asian kids would try to beat the hell out of haole kids. It was a different day every year. Asian kids would spring it upon the unsuspecting haole kids after they got to school that day. Why after? So the haole kids wouldn’t skip school that day. Boys and girls, both.

I told my Bostonian wife that being prejudiced against wasn’t that bad. I told her that I got used to being discriminated against because of the “color of my skin” when I was growing up. Many folks in Laredo didn’t know I was part Mexican. Maybe you didn’t know it yourself when we interacted in the 1940s and 1950s in Laredo. I especially remember getting into a 3-hour fight at the St Joe’s Carnival with a guy named “Cigarro” (Ramon Romo). I remember him telling me he hated all gringos. Don’t know if he still does or if he was just being an asshole when he was in grade school. Is he still alive? Anybody know? I think he went to Martin High. I have several other memories of similar fights. But it was part of growing up. It didn’t bother me.

Later on, after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) started discriminating against white males… Uh-oh, I’m probably getting TOO controversial here. But I’ll go ahead with this important tangent and take the consequences: Anyway, after the EEOC guidelines led many employers (including universities where I spent 35 years teaching as a professor of marketing) to give preferences to minority groups, I started checking “Mexican-American” on employment applications. And I started putting “Mexican and American ancestry” on my resume. I’ve been doing this since the middle 1970s. I played the game. And it worked. Here’s one time it REALLY worked:

I was teaching in Malaysia in 1997-1999, and my 2-year contract was about over with. I wanted to go back home to the USA, so I started job-hunting from Kuala Lumpur, mailing out resumes with “Mexican-American ancestry” featured prominently at the beginning. I got a call from the dean of a black university in New Orleans, Dillard University. He was excited to hire me. He wanted to offer me the job over the phone, but said he couldn’t. I would have to have a personal interview, but it was a mere formality. So he flew me from Malaysia to New Orleans, at Dillard’s expense, for the job interview. He was VERY unpleasantly shocked when he picked me up at the airport. His first words after saying “hello” to me were: “You don’t look ethnic.” I replied, “Oye, vato, si quieres hablar en espanol, vamos hablar en espanol en vez de en ingles,” or something like that. He calmed down, but I knew he didn’t want to hire me. (I had piggy-packed several other job interviews on the same trip, so I wasn’t too concerned about that.) We went through the motions during the job interview. And then, at the very end, I impressed the hell out of the VP of Academic Affairs by telling him I listed to WWOZ in New Orleans all the time on internet radio—from halfway around the world. He was on the board of directors of WWOZ. Broad smile. He said, “You’re hired,” immediately after I told him that. So he hired me over the objections of the dean. I got a 2-year contract and began looking for a new job almost immediately, because I knew I wouldn’t get re-hired. Sure enough, at the end of my 2-year contract, my contract wasn’t renewed, and a black guy was hired to replace me. But I was the Nation Endowed Professor of Management and Marketing for big bucks for those 2 years. And I tried to speak Spanish a lot on campus during those 2 years. I invited some of the faculty over for home-cooked Mexican food several times when I lived there. I even hung a serape in my office, for gosh sakes.

I was thinking, “Gee, I’m doing IN REVERSE what my grandmother and mother did years ago. They tried to pass for Anglo, and succeeded.” But all I did was know how to use the EEOC to my advantage and then used it. A lot of Anglo male marketing profs were pissed off when the job market was bad in the first half of the 1990s because they were low-priority on the part of universities looking for professors. Highest priority: Female blacks. These guys were jealous of me. I said, “Hell, I’m even 1/16 Cherokee Indian. And I’m over 50 years old. So I’m a member of 3 minority groups, Mexican, Cherokee, and old farts. Why don’t you check into YOUR own ancestry? You’ll probably find you’re a member of SOME minority group.” (I’ve always wondered why females are considered a minority group by the EEOC even though they make up 51 percent of the human race. Anybody know? Anybody care?) 

So the system works both ways, I guess. I said at the beginning of this e-mail that I was going to raise complicated and controversial subjects. I have. I’m certainly anxious to hear what a lot of you Laredoans (and former Laredoans) in our age group have to say about this.

In closing, notice that I’ve used the name “Donald Herndon.” You know my REAL name. But I don’t want to be googled under my REAL name and have somebody, including my comic book partner, read what I have to say. What I have said here is among us, people in our age group who were raised (and perhaps born) in Laredo. One final thing: I’ve been married to 3 different women (not at the same time), and my second and third wives are Filipina. I spend a lot of time in the Asia-Pacific region doing seminars and consulting. I’ve lived in the middle east (phooey), Australia, Mexico, Canada, and Malaysia. I’ve done seminars/consulting in 35 nations on 6 continents. I REALLY and TRULY enjoy cross-cultural interaction. I’m so glad I was born and raised in a bi-cultural environment. I think being a Laredoan has enabled me to enjoy bi-cultural interaction over the years. I love eating foreign food and learning more about foreign cultures. I’ve had a very good life, and I’m so glad it all started in Laredo.

All the best to you on this special day celebrating Texas Independence from “Don Herndon” (St Joe’s 58)
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by Dr. Neo 
LARE-DOS COL. 11--- FEB. 2007 
Sent by Elsa Herbeck

[Dr. Neo is a Ph.D. in Dance & Related Fine Arts, Senor Int'l de Beverly Hills 1997, and Tiger Legend 2002. In Los KAngeles ontact]

If you want to know what the world thinks of American and world-wide films in general, watch the Golden Globes Awards, sponsored by the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. If you want to know what Americans think of the same topic, watch for the Academy Awards, aka the Oscars. 

And shine Mexico did at this past January's Golden Globes ceremony at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Not only did Latinas America Ferrera and Salma Hayek fare very well for their work in tv's new hit, "Ugly Betty," but the best film of the year honors went to Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, for his incredible job in the movie "Babel," starring Brad Pitt. 

I remember watching the movie a few months back, wondering for the first two hours how Inarritu was going to pull it all together, to end the film. Made in five languages and shot in three continents, the film consists of what seems a hodge-podge of unrelated stories in different parts of the world, about unrelated people. But lo and behold, with the stroke of true genius, at the end director Inarritu pulls it all together, and the movie makes perfect sense. The film received the most nominations at the Golden Globes, a total of seven, including best dramatic picture, best director and best screenplay by Guillermo Arriaga. The international nature of the movie really appealed to the Hollywood Foreign Press. The movie is about globalization and the world we live in. "Babel" is a perfect example of multinational movie productions, a perfect example of the movie business today. The Golden Globes celebrates Hollywood's borderless production frontier. Inarritu said: "I think culturally the world is getting bigger. Now we are iving in the world, we are not living anymore in a country or a society. We are part of the whole....we have a lot in common beyond the borders, beyond the ideologies. We are getting the sense that we are truly one world." 

Never mind that Inarritu also provided the best one-liner of the whole night of Golden Globes celebration, when his first sentence in his acceptance speech was directed at Califas Governator Ahhnold: "I want to assure the Governor that my papers are in order." 

Known by the nickname of "el negro" to his close friends, Inarritu is over six feet tall and posses movie star good looks. From his biography, we learn that he was born 
in M?xico City in 1963. Alejandro Gonz?lez I??rritu started his show-business career in 1984 as a DJ at top-rated Mexican radio station WFM. At the same time he studied filmmaking and theater. From 1988 to 1990 he composed music for six Mexican features, including Garra de tigre (1989). In the 1990s he became one of the youngest producers in Mexican TV when he was in charge of the production of Televisa, Mexico's most important TV company. After leaving Televisa he started Zeta Films, his own company. He began writing and shooting TV advertising for Mexican television (some of them can be seen in his first feature, Amores perros (2000)). However, for him those commercials were just rehearsals for a future movie. At the same time he continued his studies of filmmaking in Maine and Los Angeles, under Polish director Ludwik Margules. His first half-length feature, "Detras del dinero", was produced in 1995 for Televisa and starred Spanish actor Miguel Bos?. 

Looking for good stories, he read a lot of scripts and one day was introduced to Guillermo Arriaga, a screenwriter, and they planned to make 11 shorts to show the contradictory nature of Mexico City. After three years and 36 drafts, they ended up settling on only three stories and expanding them. That movie, "Amores Perros", became a major hit at its release at the Festival de Cannes 2000, where it received the award of the best film by the Semaine de la Critique, and went on to huge worldwide success. It also earned an Oscar nomination for best foreign movie. 

In 2002 Gonz?lez I??rritu was one of the directors involved in the making of 11'09''01 - September 11 (2002), a film about the influence of the terrorist attack of 9/11 on the world. Also participating in the film were such major filmmakers as Wim Wenders, Ken Loach, Mira Nair, Amos Gitai and Sean Penn. 

The success of those films opened the doors of Hollywood to Alejandro. His second feature, 21 Grams (2003), was also written by Arriaga, was shot in English and starred Sean Penn, Benicio Del Toro and Naomi Watts. All received Academy Award nominations for their participation. 

At present Gonzalez Inarritu is collaborating with Arriaga in the writing of a third movie that will form a trilogy about death with his other two first pictures.

Almost by divine coincidence, as Hollywood celebrates Inarritu, the Oscars org, known as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, is celebrating 100 years of Mexican film. (Mexican movies have really come a long way since, as a kid, I used to religiously go to the old Royal Theater in Laredo, where I would watch Mexico's best for 9 cents admission price, 1 penny for candy, and 15 cents for three bags of popcorn. There went the 25 cents allowance for the week.) 

Upon visiting the Academy's beautiful headquarters near where I live now, I learned that 
the important role of Mexican filmmakers working in Hollywood and the influence of international filmmakers working in Mexico are all explored in the Academy's Fourth Floor Gallery exhibition ?Made in Mexico: The Legacy of Mexican Cinema.? This remarkable history is brought to life through movie posters, behind-the-scenes photographs and star portraits, costumes and costume design sketches, fan magazines, original scripts, letters, documents, and other artifacts pertaining to the Mexican film industry?s vibrant past and compelling present. Also on display are video clips showcasing key performances and productions from a century of Mexican film.

Since the advent of public film projection in the late 
1890s, Mexican audiences have proved enthusiastic, and Mexican filmmakers have been actively involved in documenting their country's history and culture. As narrative filmmaking in the silent era gave way to the early sound era of the 1930s, stories that spoke to audiences from Spanish-speaking cultures literally found their voice. At the same time, Mexican performers became popular Hollywood stars, and important international filmmakers such as Sergei Eisenstein (and later Luis Bu?uel, Fred Zinnemann and John Huston) traveled to Mexico to make films. Mexican cinema enjoyed a ?Golden Age? in the 1940s, widespread commercial success in the 1950s, and a remarkable string of three consecutive Academy Award? nominations for Best Foreign Language Film in 1960, ?61 and ?62. The international profile of Mexican cinema has recently been raised once again by the Oscar?-nominated films Amores Perros, directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, and El Crimen Del Padre Amaro, directed by Carlos Carrera. 

Exhibition highlights include costume design 
sketches for stars Dolores del R­o and Ram?n Novarro, documents and photographs relating to the early sound recording system invented by the Rodrguez brothers for use on the groundbreaking film Santa (1932), and marketing materials for some of the Golden Age's biggest hits, including the films of Mario Moreno, better known as Cantinflas. Complemented by items related to the most current Mexican releases, the displays feature, for the first time, captions and explanatory text in both English and Spanish.

For more information:

Every year when I watch the Golden Globes, housed at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, I always remember the year when The Golden Spurs, Laredo dance team under the direction of Mrs. Estela Zamora Kramer, stayed at the Beverly Hilton Hotel when they came on a dance tour to Califas.That year they danced at BevHillsHS, Dodger Stadium, Disneyland, and Universal Studios. I also remember I managed to get the Beverly Hilton room cost down to about $15 per night per student, 4 in a room. And when a group of 4 was assigned to a poolside cabana, so the girls could have access to a room right by the swimming pool, the girls turned it down because they wanted to be together with the rest of the group. And this is when room rates were at about $500+ per night. Asi como lo oyen. And all of this came back to me because of all the Golden Globes action on tv....que recuerdos tan sabrosos....

Upon closing, I must send happy birthday greetings to our beloved MHS English teacher, Mrs. Elizabeth Nye Sorrell, who is 98 and living happily and still writing in San Antonio. Don't forget the Oscars Feb. 25, and I promise to try not to hate Simon Cowell of "American Idol," for the way he exploits disadvantaged American youth, as he laughs with million$ all the way to the bank. And Britney Spears, American pop princess at 25, has purchased a new home in a gated Beverly Hills community for $7.2 million. As of this time it has not been reported whether or not she was wearing underwear when she signed the house papers. 

And with that it's time for, as Norma Adamo would say: TAN TAN ! 

Study Finds Americans Cooked With Chili Peppers 6,000 Years Ago
by John Roach for National Geographic News, February 15, 2007
Sent by John Inclan

Domesticated chili peppers started to spice up dishes across the Americas at least 6,000 years ago, according to new research tracing the early spread of the crop.

Peppers quickly spread around the world after Christopher Columbus brought them back to Europe at the end of the 15th century, but their ancient history had been poorly known until now.  

The new research is based on the discovery that domestic chili peppers leave behind telltale starch grains.The findings shed light on the origins, domestication, and dispersal of the fiery fruits.

"We're excited to be able to finally trace this spice," said Linda Perry, an anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History.  Perry and colleagues report the finding in today's issue of the journal Science.

Pepper Trail: The researchers were intrigued by starch grains they found on artifacts collected at seven sites ranging from the Bahamas to southern Peru.

The grains look like tiny jelly doughnuts squished in their middles and didn't match those from obvious starchy foods such as potatoes, cassava, and other roots.

"It was only by accident that I figured out their source," Perry said. She recalled hearing that peppers cause intestinal distress. But that was odd, because the condition usually results from undigested starches, and Perry didn't think peppers contained starches.

"Then the light bulb lit up—maybe they do have starches—and I decided to take a look," she said.

She found the match on her first try. The chili pepper starch grains found in domestic strains, the researchers note, are distinct from any other plant starches as well as from wild-pepper starches.

The ancient pepper grains were almost always found with corn and often associated with yams, potatoes, squash, beans, and fruits. This suggests that they belong to systems of "sophisticated agriculture and complex cuisine," Perry said.

In some sites this advanced cultivation and palate predated pottery, which contradicts the popular theory that pottery and sophisticated agriculture spread together, the researchers note.

Spicy Origins. The earliest chili pepper starch grains were found at two sites in southwestern Ecuador that are dated to about 6,100 years ago.

Perry and her colleagues point out that Ecuador is not considered a center of domestication for any of the five cultivated chili pepper species, suggesting they were brought to the region via migration or trade.

"The initial domestication must have occurred earlier than this," Perry said. Scientists believe chili peppers, which gain their distinct zest from the powerful irritant chemical capsaicin, arose in what is now Bolivia. (Related: "Tarantula Venom, Chili Peppers Have Same 'Bite,' Study Finds [November 8, 2006].)

But they were first cultivated and domesticated in Mexico, the southern Andes, and the Amazon lowlands, according to the theory (South America map).  "What's going to be interesting, I think, is to go back to older sites and see if we can document the transition from wild to domesticated chilies using these microfossils," Perry said.

Sandra Knapp is a botanist at the Natural History Museum in London. In a Science commentary, she writes that the new findings indicate more ancient cultivation and more widespread use of peppers than previously believed.

"It also opens up new avenues of research into how the peoples of the Americas transported and traded plants of cultural importance."

(Editor's note: Perry has received funding from the National Geographic Society for unrelated research. National Geographic News is part of the National Geographic Society.)


Romántico, a documentary views the life of undocumented Carmelo Muniz who washes cars during the day, but at night he performs norteño and ranchero music. Please go to the website for more on the subject of his life, trying to support a ailing mother and two daughters living in Mexico. 

Producer Mark Becker says The Romantico DVD can be ordered from the website. Official release is April 3rd. Becker says the DVD includes an interview with me, a couple of deleted scenes,  the theatrical trailer, and a Q&A from the IFC Center in New York.
Sent by Dorinda Moreno

Los Angeles Celebrates the Arrival of Avocados from Mexico
Source: Hispanic Vista, March 1, 2007

[Hispanic Vista, since 1997, publishers of editorial content for the discussion of events, issues and ideas without prejudice to political affiliations or diversity of opinion that impact American Hispanics. ]

LOS ANGELES, CA — February 16, 2007 — A formal celebration — which included traditional guacamole prepared by abuelitas (Mexican grandmas) and a 21st-century recipe demo by Chef Franco De Dominicies of the Millennium Biltmore — marked the formal entry of authentic Avocados from Mexico into the California market.  

“February 2007 is the first time that Avocados from Mexico are available in all 50 states, all year-round,” said Jorge Fernández, president of APEAM (Asociacion de Productores y Empacadores Exportadores de Aguacate de Michoacán), the nonprofit organization representing the U.S. export initiatives of the Michoacán avocado industry.  

Prized for their rich flavor and creamy consistency, Hass avocados from Mexico have pebbly black skin that protects the pale green fruit inside. The growing conditions in Michoacán, with volcanic soil, warm days and cool breezy nights, are ideal for avocado orchards. 

“Los Angeles is not just the largest city in California, it is also the second-largest Mexican city in the world,” said The Honorable Ruben Beltran, Consul General of Mexico, “so it is a great joy to all of us for whom avocados are an important culinary treasure to be able to enjoy the world’s finest avocados here at last.”  

The first exports of Avocado from Mexico to the U.S. were permitted in 1997, but to only 19 states and only from November to February.  In 2003, the number of states increased to 31, with distribution from October 15 to April 15.  Two years later, distribution increased to 47 states, with year-round availability.

Last season — when market barriers still existed — the U.S. saw a 43% increase in total imports from Avocados from Mexico.  In fact, demand for Avocados from Mexico has grown 316% in just the past four years, despite regulatory and other restrictions, according to Jorge Fernández, official spokesperson of APEAM.  Mexico is expected to produce about 2.2 billion pounds of avocados in the 2006-07 season, of which approximately 380 million pounds will be exported to the U.S.

“The average Mexican consumes an average of 22 pounds of avocados a year, compared to less than 3 pounds per person in the U.S.,” said Mr. Fernández, “so there is still tremendous scope for growth in the U.S. market overall.” 

Currently the world’s largest producer of avocados, Mexico is responsible for over a third of total global avocado production.  Avocados from Mexico also represent more than 40% of total exports of avocados, worldwide.  

APEAM currently represents over 3,500 growers and 26 packers in the state of Michoacán, the heart of Mexico’s main avocado growing region. 
For more information visit:
For recipes:

Editor:  When I was a child, I remember two government officials from the Department of Agriculture who came knocking on my Grandma Petrita's door.  We lived in East LA.  It would have been in the late 1930s.  They questioned Grandma about the avocado tree that was growing in her yard.  She seemed quite concerned with the men's questions. Grandma knew about plants and herbs.  She had grown
the tree  it from a pit.  I don't know if the pit came from Mexico, or not.  Apparently there were some legal restrictions that Grandma had broken.  Eventually the men left and never came back.  Grandma and Grandpa moved to Stockton, the tree stood  

Contact: Anne Marie Weiss-Armush
DFW International Community Alliance

Dallas, TX – DFW International Community Alliance announces the Scholarship Guide for New Americans. The 28 page directory, made possible by support of Citigroup and Ernst & Young, is now available at libraries in Dallas, Irving, and Plano, and global community organizations.   A second and updated printing of the Guide to English (ESL) Classes for Adults, sponsored by Verizon, was also recently produced.  The Guides are FREE and available from the Dallas, Irving, and Plano Public Libraries, from the Mexican Consulate, and from La Paloma Taquerias.

These directories are among the six titles currently available in the series of Guides for New Americans.  According to DFW International Community Alliance’s 2005 report, 40% of North Texas residents are immigrants (foreign-born and their children). In addition to distribution through libraries and community organizations, all the titles are available as downloads from the DFW International Community Alliance website at .

Citigroup has been a major supporter of DFW International Community Alliance for over 3 years. Debbie Taylor, Director of Corporate Affairs, states that “Citigroup feels that our greatest responsibility as a society is the education and protection of our children.” As new sponsor of the project, Rita Shankel, Director of Human Resources for Ernst & Young, says "We share DFW International's commitment to social responsibility in the Dallas Fort Worth community."

"Literacy is one of Verizon Foundation's major funding priorities due to its enormous impact on education and economic development," said Steve Banta, Verizon Southwest Region President.  "Verizon is pleased to partner with DFW International to provide new residents with access to literacy and educational services."

The Guides are FREE and available from the Dallas, Irving, and Plano Public Libraries, from the Mexican Consulate, and from La Paloma Taquerias. DFW International Community Alliance is the portal for global North Texas, a network of 1,600 of the region’s ethnic and internationally focused civic, community and educational organizations.  The organization promotes and links North Texas ethnic and immigrant groups through its website and cultural calendar at, that receives over ten million hits a month.  DFW International Community Alliance also produces the Dallas International Festival and International DFW Month (March 6 to April 8, 2007). 

Sent by Ricardo Valverde

Kaiser Family Foundation Launches Free News Report on Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities on

Webcasts of interactive panel discussions, interviews, and policy-oriented conferences and events featured in new online report

Washington, D.C. - Recognizing the need for greater awareness and understanding of racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care, the Kaiser Family Foundation announced today the launch of a news summary report - the Kaiser Health Disparities Report: A Weekly Look at Race, Ethnicity and Health. The report is available through a free weekly email, with stories updated daily online on,  Foundation's news  information service.

Sent by

Anti-Spanish Legends

Anti-Spanish Legends
Bill to Replace Columbus Day by Indigenous Day in New Mexico 
Letters to the L.A. Times Editor
Missing in action: WWII documentary features no Latinos


Bill to Replace Columbus Day by Indigenous Day introduced in New Mexico 

To: New Mexico Legislators:
I write to urge you to defeat the bill numbered HB27 or HB 1200, introduced by Representative Irvin Harrison and now in the Judiciary and the Health & Government Affairs Committees, which proposes to eliminate Columbus Day and replace it with Indigenous Day. I ask you to consider how such a precipitous change would impact the people of our State of New Mexico. We would become the laughing stock of the nation. We have no objection for an Indigenous Day to be established, but not at the expense of Columbus Day, October 12.  Besides, enforcement of it would be most difficult. Are calendar companies to be contacted and asked to stop including it in their calendars? What about those states that continue to celebrate Columbus Day? Is someone to come to our homes and erase the date on our calendars. What if we prefer to celebrate the holiday in spite of this law? Will we be arrested? This is indeed a foolish law.

Why do the Native Americans want to name this Indigenous Day? What Indian sailed East across the Atlantic to discover Europe? What Native American discovered the prevailing winds to simplify the crossing of the Atlantic? What Indian introduced the world to a new continent or two? What Indigenous person caused the encounter of disparate civilizations? What Indian introduced new foods and concepts to the world? These were all accomplishments of Columbus the Great. He did not merely cross the Atlantic. He caused profound changes in the world, such that our world is no longer the same as existed before. 

Pablo Ricardo Quintana, 
Richard Quintana

Cristóbal Colón by Rubén Sálaz
Sent by Ruben Salaz

Christopher Columbus, was one of the greatest and most influential personalities in world history. He changed the history of the world by discovering the Americas in 1492. In the Europe of his day the aristocracy controlled everything worth controlling. In America, personal initiative, not birth, would often decide success. Anyone could have opportunity to make his fortune, despite his rank at birth. This would never have been possible without Columbus and the discovery of the Americas. It should also be pointed out that while writers have promoted a "European Age of Discovery", most discoveries were made by Spaniards or other Europeans sailing for Spain. For example, Magellan (Magalhaes, 1480-1521) circumnavigated the globe in 1519-1522.The age was actually one of Spanish discovery. [See Stewart Udall's Majestic Journey.]

On Mon, 26 Mar 2007 "Ruben Salaz" writes:

The article by Gregory Rodriguez is almost correct historically.  Oñate led and paid for the first European-based settlement in what is now called the Southwest. But, like so much of Spanish/Mexican history in the Southwest, the brief Acoma War of 1599 has been misrepresented by American writers and historians. Such misrepresentation is nothing new of course, merely part of what Philip Wayne Powell (UC-Santa Barbara) wrote about in his TREE OF HATE. Let me correct the record as briefly as possible.

The Acoma War was instigated by the Acomas and started because Spaniards who were invited up to the Sky City to trade were ambushed by warriors who had their weapons ready to kill when the trading ruse was over. Around 13 soldiers were killed by the warriors.

When word got back to Oñate he had to declare war, fearing that his little colony of some 500 Christians would be wiped out by the estimated 40,000-60,000 Indians. When the Spaniards were ready for war with some 70 soldiers, Acoma Pueblo was conquered in two days of fierce fighting. One of the unpublicized facts of the war is that when the Acomas saw they had lost the battle, they started killing their women and children to prevent them from being taken prisoners. This added immensely to the death toll.

Some Acoma adults were sentenced to 20 years of servitude and 24 warriors were to suffer the dismemberment of toes, puntas de pies in Spanish, not feet, as is usually publicized. Historian John Kessell has asserted that the document proving the dismemberment sentence had been carried out was never found by his researchers on the Vargas Project at the University of New Mexico. Further, Acoma Pueblo was being rebuilt within five years, negating the servitude sentence meted out to some survivors. It is likely the dismemberments never took place at all because what kind of servitude could a man render on one foot?

There is no doubt the Acoma War was terrible, as was the ambush that caused it. But the Acomas were not wiped off the face of the earth as the English did on the east coast and Acoma survivors were not deported to Oklahoma as did the USA with Indians living east of the Mississippi. Further, how does the harsh sentence of dismemberment of toes compare with the atomic bombing of the civilian populations 
of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

Be careful when you decide to talk Indian history, especially with the American record including Sand Creek in Colorado, Camp Grant in Arizona, the Washita in Oklahoma, the Council House murders in San Antonio, and the most brutal of extermination of Indians in California. Spanish/Mexican people have always been "handy villains" in American historiography but it is more subterfuge than valid 

Ruben Salaz M. (Historian)

Sent by Samuel Delgado

Missing in action: 
WWII documentary chronicling 50 people features no Latinos, leading to calls for the film to be changed
San Diego Union-Tribune, March 17, 2007

By John Wilkens,

SAN DIEGO – Gus Chavez of San Diego had five uncles who served in World War II, including two who were injured and one who was captured by the Germans. The uncle he's named after died during training for the war.

So Chavez took it personally when he learned that acclaimed filmmaker Ken Burns' seven-part documentary about the war, scheduled to air nationally on PBS in September, doesn't feature any Latinos.

"It's a misrepresentation," said Chavez, a retired San Diego State administrator and longtime local activist. "You have a documentary that runs 14 hours and it doesn't mention the Latino experience? It's unacceptable. It's shameful."

Chavez, 63, is helping spearhead a campaign called "Defend the Honor" to pressure Burns and PBS not to air the series until changes are made.

The campaign drew support this week from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the American GI Forum, a Hispanic veterans group. Cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz – tipped off to the controversy by Chavez – has been lampooning Burns in his comic strip "La Cucaracha," which runs in newspapers including The San Diego Union-Tribune.

In a written statement, Burns and co-producer Lynn Novick asked viewers to "refrain from passing judgment on our work until they have seen it." The statement said:

The Ken Burns "The War" tells the stories of about 50 "ordinary" people, most from four American towns: Sacramento; Waterbury, Conn.; Mobile, Ala.; and Luverne, Minn.

"We are dismayed and saddened by any assumption that we intentionally excluded anyone from our series on the Second World War. Nothing could be further from the truth.

"For 30 years we have made films that have tried to tell many of the stories that haven't been told in American history. In this latest project, we have attempted to show the universal human experience of war by focusing on the testimonies of just a handful of people. As a result, millions of stories are not explored in our film."

Burns, who worked on "The War" for six years, is used to controversy. His earlier big projects about the Civil War, baseball and jazz were so sweeping and powerful that they generated heated debates about what he put in and what he left out, raising questions about artistic license, political correctness and historical accuracy.  [[Editor: No Latinos were in either the baseball or jazz works.  I don't know about the Civil War.]]

He said the goal this time was to reduce "the greatest cataclysm in human history" to an intimate scale through the personal stories of about 50 "ordinary" people, most from four geographically distributed American towns: Sacramento; Waterbury, Conn.; Mobile, Ala.,; and Luverne, Minn.

The film was finished last fall and Burns has been touring the country, screening excerpts for veterans groups and active-duty military. He was at the Veterans Museum and Memorial Center in Balboa Park on Jan. 31.

Latinos who saw previews grew concerned and contacted Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, a journalism professor at the University of Texas and director of the U.S. Latino & Latina World War II Oral History Project.

Rivas-Rodriguez said she contacted the filmmakers to ask whether any Latinos were featured – about 500,000 served in the war – and to offer sources from her project's hundreds of interviews.

Word came back that the film is largely about individuals, not groups, although discrimination against Japanese-Americans and African-Americans is highlighted. No changes would be made, she was told.

"World War II affected us all," Rivas-Rodriguez said. "Our parents, our grandparents fought in it. We paid our dues and for that to be so completely disregarded is a huge insult to all of us."

Earlier this month, Rivas-Rodriguez, Chavez and other critics met with PBS President Paula Kerger in her office and asked her to push for modifications in the film. She declined, noting that each episode opens with this disclaimer:

"The Second World War was fought in a million places, too many for any one accounting. This is the story of how four towns and their citizens experienced that war."

Kerger said PBS is giving grants to local stations in every state so they can do their own war-related programming, which will be an opportunity to "bring forth the many stories that are not part of the Ken Burns series."

Chavez and other members of "Defend the Honor" are considering their next move. He said the controversy has outraged Latinos across the country, with some calling for boycotts of PBS programming and fundraising.

Although Burns often stresses that he is a filmmaker, not a historian, Chavez pointed to the popularity and influence of earlier documentaries and said "The War" is likely to wind up in schools and libraries.

"Our concern is our proper place in recorded history," Chavez said.

Article sent by Gus Chavez

In an other communication, Gus Chavez recommends that all correspondence, including attachments of articles and Op-Editorials, be sent directly to: Paula Kerger, PBS President &Chief Executive Officer

PBS Office of the Corporate Secretary
2100 Crystal Drive, VA 22202-3785 or email your correspondence to: 

Please send copies of your correspondence to members of the Congressional 
Hispanic Caucus (CHC) from your district as well as other elected officials who know of the Mexican American/Latino World War II experience. We need everyone to participate and assist with this national effort. As I stated to Dr. Jorge Mariscal Gracias from UCSD "The last thing we can collectively do to honor our elders is to make sure their sacrifices are not forgotten in documentaries, books and war memorials." Gracias a todos. (Please share this message widely)

Gus Chavez
Former Director of EOP &Ethnic Affairs
San Diego State University - Retired
U.S. Navy Veteran

Fact: President Bush's new budget calls for a $145 million cut of the PBS budget for next year. I don't think PBS can afford to have a Latino WWII veterano problem on top of the proposed budget cut.

Military and Law Enforcement Heroes
William Rodriguez, the last man out of the  North Tower
Army Sgt. Hector Hernandez
What is a Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT)?
Catholic War Veterans, San Jose Post 1805 
The Devil's Brigade Is Looking for Stories About Your Veterans
Hispanic Medal of Honor Recipients, Part III
DFAS Retired Pay Newsletter: Learn More About Your Retired Pay

William Rodriguez, the last man out of the North Tower

William Rodriguez, the last man out of the 
North Tower, rescued more than ten people with his own hands, and saved hundreds of lives by using his master key—the only one available—to open stairwell doors for fire department rescue crews. He exited the North Tower just as it was beginning its explosive collapse, dove under a fire truck, and lived to tell the tale.

Rodriguez is recognized worldwide as THE 9/11 hero. He has spoken to tens of thousands of people in the U.K., Venezuela, Malaysia, and other countries, and has repeatedly appeared before millions of viewers on all the major Spanish-language TV networks. His harrowing account may be the most compelling of all the survivors’ stories; it often moves audiences to tears.

The founder and President of the Hispanic Victims Group, Rodriguez was among the Families Advisory Council for the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. Along with the Jersey Girls featured in 9/11: Press for Truth, Rodriguez was instrumental in shaming Congress into finally setting up the 9/11 Commission.

Army Sgt. Hector Hernandez, 
of San Antonio, Texas in Iraq.
Published in San Antonio newspaper.  

Source: San Antonio newspaper.
forworded by ArmandoBaeza
to Dorinda Moreno,

Questions You Always Thought You Wanted to Ask About DMAT and NDMS

Rudy Montez, webmaster with a Team

The National Disaster Medical System (NDMS), fosters the development of Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs). A DMAT is a group of professional and paraprofessional medical personnel (supported by a cadre of logistical and administrative staff) designed to provide emergency medical care during a disaster or other event.

Each team has a sponsoring organization, such as a major medical center, public health or safety agency, non-profit, public or private organization that signs a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the PHS. The DMAT sponsor organizes the team and recruits members, arranges training, and coordinates the dispatch of the team.

In addition to the standard DMATs, there are highly specialized DMATs that deal with specific medical conditions such as crush injury, burn, and mental health emergencies. Other specialty teams include Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Teams (DMORTs) that provide mortuary services, Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams (VMATs) that provide veterinary services, and National Medical Response Teams (NMRTs) that are equipped and trained to provide medical care for victims of weapons of mass destruction.

DMATs deploy to disaster sites with sufficient supplies and equipment to sustain themselves for a period of 72 hours while providing medical care at a fixed or temporary medical care site. In mass casualty incidents, their responsibilities include triaging patients, providing austere medical care, and preparing patients for evacuation. In other types of situations, DMATs may provide primary health care and/or may serve to augment overloaded local health care staffs. Under the rare circumstance that disaster victims are evacuated to a different locale to receive definitive medical care, DMATs may be activated to support patient reception and disposition of patients to hospitals. DMATs are designed to be a rapid-response element to supplement local medical care until other Federal or contract resources can be mobilized, or the situation is resolved.

DMAT members are required to maintain appropriate certifications and licensure within their discipline. When members are activated as Federal employees, licensure and certification is recognized by all States. Additionally, DMAT members are paid while serving as part-time federal employees and have the protection of the Federal Tort Claims Act in which the Federal Government becomes the defendant in the event of a malpractice claim.

DMATs are principally a community resource available to support local, regional, and State requirements. However, as a National resource they can be Federalized to provide interstate aid.

A Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) is composed of professional and paraprofessional medical personnel (supported by a cadre of logistical and administrative staff) designed to provide emergency medical care during a disaster or other event. In mass casualty incidents, their responsibilities include triaging patients, providing austere medical care, and preparing patients for evacuation. In other situations, DMATs may provide primary health care or augment overloaded health care staffs.

How do I join a DMAT?

We are looking for qualified, energetic individuals to join our team. You do not have to have a medical background. For more information, you can attend one of our meetings. If you don't live in our area you can call NDMS (800/872-6367) or look at our Links for a DMAT near you.

For information about becoming a member of a local DMAT go to:
Sent by Rudy Montez

I am a member of the Catholic War Veterans, San Jose Post 1805. 

In early 1935 Monsignor Edward J. Higgins was disturbed by the persecutions of nuns and priests that was occurring at that time in Mexico and was upset that none of the existing Veterans organizations were willing to voice their objection to these atrocities.  After conferring with pope Pius XI, Monsignor Higgins received Papal approval for the formation of a Catholic Veterans organization with many purposes among which is to foster comradeship among Catholic Veterans, to protect their rights and to take positive action against atheism, especially Communism.  It was called the Catholic War Veterans.

Joe A. Ramos
700 Emeraldwood Drive
Austin, TX 78745
(512) 444-0276 Home
(512) 589-2175 Cell


Hi I was reading over your newsletter. 

My father Henry Gerlach Bazurto is a FIRST SPECIAL SERVICE FORCE MEMBER, Devil's Brigade, he fought in the World War 2 in the Pacific Theatre. 

I believe I heard at the 60th FSSF reunion held at Helena, Montana this past August that there were only 12 Mexicans that were part of a 2000 unit. My father is Mexican and German. In the musseum in Helena is a big display of my father's unit and in one of the glass displays is a huge photo (front cover of the book, Devils Brigade) my father is part of the photo...I was so over whelmed seeing the display in such a way. My father is 89 yrs old. He has a sharp mind. He Has a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart under his belt. I just wanted to share this with you. 

Thanks, Mary Is Looking for Stories About Your Veterans

For Honor and Freedom "Over There"

With less than twenty-five World War I veterans living today, are the American servicemen who sacrificed for freedom in danger of being forgotten? wants to know the stories of the Great War veterans in your family tree. How do you honor and remember them? How has your family history work increased your understanding of their service and sacrifices? We're also interested in stories about 
soldiers who served in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and more recent conflicts. 

Send entries of approximately 250 words to by 17, March 2007. 
Even though the date is passed, it is worth sending.
Please include your name and phone number with entries.
Veteran Information Overseas   By Valerie Cumming

Just to add to the discussion about sources of information for 
veterans (see and, I would suggest 
that you shouldn't forget to check out local sources in the locations 
where your veterans were based overseas. For example, I live near 
what was a small U.S. Air Force base during WWII and which is now a 
private airfield with a flying club. The owners and members have 
researched the history of the base and set up a small museum full of 
photos, names, flight details, mission details, etc.--all of them 
about U.S. Air Force veterans.

RootsWeb Review: RootsWeb's Weekly E-zine
07 March 2007, Vol. 10, No. 10
(c) 1998-2007, Inc.

Hispanic Medal of Honor recipients

Part 3

By Tony (The Marine) Santiago



This is the third part of the Hispanic Medal of Honor series which consists of the short biographies of World War II recipients Harold Gonsalves, David M. Gonzalez, Silvestre S. Herrera and Jose M. Lopez.

David Gonzales, Jr. and his wife attended a ceremony for war heroes, honoring his father David M. Gonzales and other heroes celebrated in Santa Ana, California in 1999. When they saw the fliers sent out by the Army, they realized the image on the fliers which was supposed to represent their father was of somebody else's. The family tried to get the Army to correct the error, however the Army did nothing until Fred Flores, an aide to Congressman Howard Berman investigated the situation. Not only did Flores discover that another image was erroneously displayed in the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes, but that there were many other medals, including a Bronze Star Medal which Gonzales had earned. The situation was finally corrected, but get this, Congressman Howard Berman presented the family with the decorations in a public ceremony and received all of the credit when it was really his aide Fred Flores who did all of the work.

Medal of Honor recipient Silvestre S. Herrera was the first resident of Arizona to be awarded the medal. The thing that makes Herrera unique is the fact that he is the only living Medal of Honor recipient authorized to wear both the Medal of Honor and Mexico's Order of Military Merit (first class).

* N.B. An asterisk after the name indicates that the award was given posthumously.

Harold Gonsalves*

By: ERcheck



  PFC Harold Gonsalves Medal of Honor

(Navy & Marine version)
Private First Class Harold Gonsalves (1926-1945) was a United States Marine who sacrificed his life to save fellow Marines in the Battle of Okinawa during World War II. For his heroism on this occasion, he was posthumously awarded the highest military honor of the United States - the Medal of Honor.

Early years
Harold Gonsalves was born in Alameda, California, on January 28, 1926. He attended school at Alameda and after two and one half years of high school, quit to take a job as a stock clerk with Montgomery Ward and Company in Oakland, California. In high school he had taken part in football, baseball, track, and swimming, and sang tenor in the school glee club.

Marine Corps service
Gonsalves enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve on May 27, 1943 and was called to active duty on June 17, 1943. He went through recruit training at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, California, and then, at his own request, was sent to the Raiders at Camp Pendleton, California. After three weeks with them, he was transferred to the artillery at the same camp. He was classified as a cannoneer on 75 and 105 millimeter guns before he joined the 30th Replacement Battalion in the fall of 1943. Pvt Gonsalves left the United States on November 8, 1943 and at the end of that month was assigned to the 2nd Pack Howitzer Battalion, which was then in Hawaii. He was promoted to private first class in March 1944 and with his battalion became part of the 22nd Marines two months later.

With the 22nd Marines, he participated in the assault, capture, and occupation of Engebi and Parry Islands, in the Marshall Islands. At Engebi, the Marines took the island in six hours, killing more than one thousand of the enemy. The regiment was cited by MajGen Thomas E. Watson, commanding general of Tactical Group I, for their part in the Marshalls' campaign. From Eniwetok, PFC Gonsalves accompanied the 22d Marines to Kwajalein, to Guadalcanal, back to Kwajelein and Eniwetok, then up to Guam in July where he took part in the liberation of that pre-war American island.

After Guam, the regiment went back to Guadalcanal, where in November they were detached from the 22nd Marines and joined the 15th Marines of the 6th Marine Division. It was with that outfit that PFC Gonsalves landed on Okinawa on April 1, 1945.

Two weeks later, on 15 April, the 19-year-old Marine was a member of an eight-man forward observer team which was engaged in directing artillery fire in support of an attack by the infantry on Japanese positions on Motobu Peninsula. When it finally became necessary for the team to advance to the actual front lines, the officer in charge took PFC Gonsalves and one other man with him. PFC Gonsalves was acting Scout Sergeant of the team. He and the other Marine were to lay telephone lines for communication with the artillery battalion.

As the team advanced to the front, they were brought under heavy enemy rifle, grenade and mortar fire. Just as the three had reached the front lines, a Japanese grenade landed among them. It was less than a foot from the two Marines with PFC Gonsalves. Without a moment's hesitation, he flung himself on the deadly missile, taking the full explosion into his own body. He gallantly gave his life for his fellow Marines and his country. The other two were not even touched by grenade fragments and they successfully completed their mission.

The Medal of Honor, with citation signed by President Harry S. Truman, was presented on June 19, 1946 to PFC Gonsalves' sister in the presence of his parents at ceremonies in the office of the commanding general of the Department of the Pacific, MajGen Henry L. Larsen, USMC in San Francisco, California.

Following the war, PFC Gonsalves' remains were returned to the United States for reinterment. He was buried with full military honors in the Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California, March 20, 1949.



"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty as Acting Scout Sergeant of a Forward Observer Team, serving with Battery L, Fourth Battalion, Fifteenth Marines, Sixth Marine Division, during action against enemy Japanese forces in Okinawa Shima in the Ryūkyū Chain, April 15, 1945. Undaunted by the powerfully organized opposition encountered on Motobu Peninsula during a fierce assault waged by a Marine infantry battalion against a Japanese strong-hold, Private First Class Gonsalves repeatedly braved the terrific hostile bombardment to aid his Forward Observation Team in directing well-placed artillery fire and, when his commanding officer determined to move into the front lines in order to register a more effective bombardment in the enemy's defensive position, unhesitatingly advanced uphill with the officer and another Marine despite a slashing barrage of enemy mortar and rifle fire. As they reached the front, a Japanese grenade fell close within the group. Instantly Private First Class Gonsalves dived on the deadly missile, absorbing the exploding charge in his own body and thereby protecting the others from serious and perhaps fatal wounds. Stouthearted and indomitable, Private First Class Gonsalves readily yielded his own chances of survival that his fellow Marines might carry on the relentless battle against the fanatic Japanese and his cool decision, prompt action and valiant spirit of self-sacrifice in the face of certain death reflect the highest credit upon himself and the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country."

References: William Kouts, was the soldier David M. Gonzales was digging out when he was shot and killed by sniper fire.

This article incorporates text in the public domain from the United States Marine Corps.

"Private First Class Harold Gonsalves, USMCR", Who's Who in Marine Corps History, History Division, United States Marine Corps.

Medal of Honor citation


David M. Gonzales*

By Tony (The Marine) Santiago





PFC David M. Gonzales Medal of Honor

(Army version)
Private First Class David M. Gonzales (June 9, 1923-April 25, 1945) was a United States Army soldier who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor - the United States' highest military decoration - for his heroic actions during World War II. On December 8, 1945, at age 22, PFC Gonzales was killed in action in the Philippines while, in the face of fierce enemy machine gun fire, digging out fellow soldiers who had been buried in a bomb explosion.

Early years
David Gonzales, born in Pacoima, California, was one of 14 children born to Mexican immigrants. He joined the U.S. Army at the recruiting station in his hometown at the outbreak of World War II. On December 1944, he was assigned to Company A, 127th Infantry, 32nd Infantry Division and sent to combat in the Philippines. He left behind his family, which included his mother Mrs. Rita Gonzales Duarte, his wife Steffanie and his newborn son David Jr.

World War II
On February 1, 1945, Gonzales, after only a few weeks with his division, was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge. On April 25, 1945, Gonzales' company found itself engaged in combat against Japanese forces at Villa Verde Trail on Luzon island in the Philippines. A 500-pound bomb smashed into the company's perimeter, burying alive five men. Gonzales and his commanding officer rushed to the buried men's rescue. His commanding officer was killed by enemy machine gun fire while Gonzales was digging out the men using a shovel and his bare hands. In an attempt to dig faster, Gonzales stood up, exposing himself to enemy fire. With his actions he was able to rescue three of the men before he was hit and mortally wounded.

On December 8, 1945, President Harry S. Truman, posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor to Gonzales, presenting the medal to his surviving family.

On February 2, 1949, Gonzales' body arrived in a funeral train to San Fernando, California where he was laid to rest.

Medal of Honor citation: Pvt. David M. Gonzales

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company A, 127th Infantry, 32d Infantry Division.
Place and date: Villa Verde Trail, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 25 April 1945.
Entered service at: Pacoima, California
Birth: Pacoima, California

G.O. No: 115, 8 December 1945.

"He was pinned down with his company. As enemy fire swept the area, making any movement extremely hazardous, a 500-pound bomb smashed into the company's perimeter, burying 5 men with its explosion. Pfc. Gonzales, without hesitation, seized an entrenching tool and under a hail of fire crawled 15 yards to his entombed comrades, where his commanding officer, who had also rushed forward, was beginning to dig the men out. Nearing his goal, he saw the officer struck and instantly killed by machinegun fire. Undismayed, he set to work swiftly and surely with his hands and the entrenching tool while enemy sniper and machinegun bullets struck all about him. He succeeded in digging one of the men out of the pile of rock and sand. To dig faster he stood up regardless of the greater danger from so exposing himself. He extricated a second man, and then another. As he completed the liberation of the third, he was hit and mortally wounded, but the comrades for whom he so gallantly gave his life were safely evacuated. Pfc. Gonzales' valiant and intrepid conduct exemplifies the highest tradition of the military service."


This photo was erroneously displayed in the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes and was replaced with the photo shown at the top of the page.

In 1999, David Gonzales, Jr. and his wife Bea attended a ceremony for war heroes in Santa Ana, California. There they discovered that the picture the Army was sending out to military ceremonies was not of his father, but of someone else. Gonzales Jr. wrote to the Army in Washington, D.C. to tell them of their mistake, but did not receive a response. He then wrote to Congressman Howard Berman, who in turn referred the letter to his aide Fred Flores. Flores, who was also from Pacoima, California, immediately called Pentagon officials and had them correct the mistake. However, the controversy did not end there. Flores found out that the family had only been presented with a Medal of Honor and a duplicate Purple Heart Medal (The original one was stolen) and he realized that there were many other medals, including a Bronze Star Medal which Gonzales had earned.

During a November 7, 2002 ceremony at Los Angeles Mission College, Congressman Berman presented David Gonzales, Jr. the following medals earned by his father: the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, the Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two Bronze Service Stars, the Philippine Liberation Medal, the World War II Honorable Service Lapel Button, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Expert Rifle Badge, and the Gold Star Lapel Button that identifies the next of kin of members of the military who lost their lives while engaged in action.

The photo of a soldier who was not Gonzales, but identified as that of the medal winner and that was erroneously displayed in the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes was removed and replaced with a correct one of Gonzales after the renovations of the Pentagon - made necessary by the 9/11 attack - were completed on March 31, 2003.

In memory 
In honor of David M. Gonzales, Pacoima Park in Los Angeles County, California was renamed David M. Gonzales/Pacoima Recreational Center. The local Army recruiting station there also carries his name, as does a county Probation Department camp in Malibu.

Awards and recognitions

Among Pvt. David M. Gonzales' decorations and medals were the following:
Medal of Honor
Bronze Star Medal
Purple Heart Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two Bronze Service Stars
Philippine Liberation Medal
World War II Victory Medal

Special Note: William Kouts, was the soldier David M. Gonzales was digging out when he was shot and killed by sniper fire. His daughter, Maribeth wrote to me with the following request: "My Dad is 85 and in ill health and we want to get into contact with the Gonzales family before Dad's passing so that Dad can tell David Jr. of his father's heroics firsthand." If any of our readers know how we can get in touch with Gonzales' family and make this request a reality, please get in touch with me via e-mail "NMB or with Kouts daughter, Maribeta at Thank you.


^ "Funeral of Pfc. David M. Gonzales", Los Angeles Times, February 3, 1949.
^ David M. Gonzales Medal of Honor citation.
^ a b Dennis McCarthy. "Medal of Honor Winner's Son Finally Gets dad's Due", Daily News, November 7, 2002.
^ Family of Hometown Hero Presented with War Medals. Los Angeles Mission College (November 7, 2002).


Silvestre S. Herrera

By Tony (The Marine) Santiago


PFC Silvestre S. Herrera Medal of Honor

(Army version)

PFC Silvestre S. Herrera (born July 17, 1917) was a member of the United States Army of Hispanic heritage who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions during World War II in Mertzwiller, France. His one-man charge on an enemy stronghold resulted in his single-handed capture of eight enemy soldiers. He is the only living person authorized to wear both the Medal of Honor and Mexico's Order of Military Merit (first class).

Early years
Herrera was born in the Mexican city of Camargo, Chihuahua, and not, as he once believed, in El Paso, Texas. His parents died when he was only a year old, and the man he had always thought was his father was really an uncle who had brought the 18-month old Herrera to El Paso to provide him with a better way of life in the United States. This fact was unknown to him until he was 17 years old. Herrera worked as a farm hand in El Paso. He soon moved to Phoenix, Arizona with his wife Ramona and three children, Mary, Elva, Silvestre, Jr. and the uncle he believed to be his father. Herrera was a member of the Texas National Guard, 36th Division. When the United States entered World War II, his unit was to be one of the first to land in Europe. When he broke the news to his family, he was told the truth about his parents' death and his place of birth.

World War II
On March 15, 1945 Herrera's unit found itself engaged in combat in a forest in the vicinity of Mertzwiller, France. His platoon came under heavy enemy fire from the woods, forcing most of the men to seek cover. Herrera charged the enemy stronghold and ended the threat, resulting in his single-handed capture of eight enemy soldiers.

Later that same day, his platoon came under fire and was attacked by a second enemy stronghold. The platoon found itself pinned down and the situation was difficult because there was a mine field between the platoon and the enemy. Herrera entered the mine field with the intention of attacking the enemy stronghold while drawing enemy gunfire away from his comrades. A mine exploded and shattered his leg. Then another mine exploded, severing his good leg below the knee. Herrera continued to fire upon the enemy with his own rifle, an act which allowed the members of his platoon to skirt the mine field and capture the enemy position.

As Herrera lay in the Army hospital recovering from his wounds, President Truman was not sure that Herrera would be well enough for a formal presentation of the Medal of Honor. However, on August 23, 1945, Silvestre wheeled his wheel chair across the White House lawn so that the President could present him with his award.

            Medal of Honor citation: President Truman with Silvestre S. Herrera

Silvestre S. Herrera

Rank and organization:
Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company E, 142d Infantry, 36th Infantry Division.
Place and date:Near Mertzwiller, France, 15 March 1945.
Entered service at:Phoenix, Arizona

G.O. No.: 75, 5 September 1945.

"He advanced with a platoon along a wooded road until stopped by heavy enemy machinegun fire. As the rest of the unit took cover, he made a 1-man frontal assault on a strongpoint and captured 8 enemy soldiers. When the platoon resumed its advance and was subjected to fire from a second emplacement beyond an extensive minefield, Pvt. Herrera again moved forward, disregarding the danger of exploding mines, to attack the position. He stepped on a mine and had both feet severed but, despite intense pain and unchecked loss of blood, he pinned down the enemy with accurate rifle fire while a friendly squad captured the enemy gun by skirting the minefield and rushing in from the flank. The magnificent courage, extraordinary heroism, and willing self-sacrifice displayed by Pvt. Herrera resulted in the capture of 2 enemy strongpoints and the taking of 8 prisoners."


A year after he was presented with the Medal of Honor, the Mexican Government presented Herrera with its Order of Military Merit, first class. He is the only living person authorized to wear both the U.S. Medal of Honor and the Mexican Order of Military Merit.

Herrera became the first resident from Arizona to receive the Medal of Honor during World War II. Arizona Governor Sidney P. Osborn declared August 14, 1945 to be "Herrera Day" and welcomed home Pfc. Silvestre S. Herrera with a hero's parade. A drive to bestow upon him citizenship of the only country he knew was started and as a result he was granted U.S. Citizenship. The citizens of Arizona raised $14,000 to provide him and his growing family with a new home.

Valle Del Sol, Inc. recognized him with a Special Recognition Award in 1994, and with a Hall of Fame award in 1999. On March 13, 1996, Herrera was honored by the United States House of Representatives upon recommendation of Congressman Ed Pastor. An elementary school in Phoenix, Arizona - the Silvestre S Herrera School - bears his name.

On October 24, 1998, the United States Army Reserve Center in Phoenix, which houses the 164th Corps Support Group was dedicated in honor of Silvestre S. Herrera.

Awards and Recognitions: 
Among Silvestre S. Herrera's decorations and medals were the following:

Medal of Honor
Purple Heart Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
American Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
Order of Military Merit-(Mexico)

^ Discharged in March 1946 at the rank of Sergeant. See Medal of profile.
^ of Honor citation
^ The Order of Military Merit is Mexico's highest award for valor. The Medal was awarded to Herrera, who was a Mexican citizen by birth. See profile.
^ Pastor, Ed (March 13, 1996). Honoring Silvestre S. Herrera - Hon. Ed Pastor; Extension of Remarks in the House of Representatives. Library of Congress. Retrieved on July 16, 2006.
^ Silvestre S Herrera School. Phoenix Elementary School District #1, Phoenix, Arizona. Retrieved on July 16, 2006.
^ 164th CorpsSupport Group - History. U.S. Army Reserve Command. Retrieved on July 16, 2006.


Jose M. Lopez

By: ERcheck


Master Sergeant

Jose M. Lopez Medal of Honor

Jose Mendoza Lopez (1910-2005) was a U.S. Army soldier who was awarded the United States' highest military decoration for valor in combat - the Medal of Honor - for his heroic actions during the Battle of the Bulge, in which he single-handedly repulsed an German infantry attack, killing at least 100 enemy troops.

Medal of Honor citation:

Jose M. Lopez

Rank and organization:Sergeant, U.S. Army, 23d Infantry, 2d Infantry Division
Place and date:Near Krinkelt, Belgium, December 17, 1944
Entered service at:Brownsville, Texas
Born:Mission, Texas
G.O. No.: 47, June 18, 1945

"On his own initiative, he carried his heavy machinegun from Company K's right flank to its left, in order to protect that flank which was in danger of being overrun by advancing enemy infantry supported by tanks. Occupying a shallow hole offering no protection above his waist, he cut down a group of 10 Germans. Ignoring enemy fire from an advancing tank, he held his position and cut down 25 more enemy infantry attempting to turn his flank. Glancing to his right, he saw a large number of infantry swarming in from the front. Although dazed and shaken from enemy artillery fire which had crashed into the ground only a few yards away, he realized that his position soon would be outflanked. Again, alone, he carried his machinegun to a position to the right rear of the sector; enemy tanks and infantry were forcing a withdrawal. Blown over backward by the concussion of enemy fire, he immediately reset his gun and continued his fire. Single-handed he held off the German horde until he was satisfied his company had effected its retirement. Again he loaded his gun on his back and in a hail of small arms fire he ran to a point where a few of his comrades were attempting to set up another defense against the onrushing enemy. He fired from this position until his ammunition was exhausted. Still carrying his gun, he fell back with his small group to Krinkelt. Sgt. Lopez's gallantry and intrepidity, on seemingly suicidal missions in which he killed at least 100 of the enemy, were almost solely responsible for allowing Company K to avoid being enveloped, to withdraw successfully and to give other forces coming up in support time to build a line which repelled the enemy drive."

The city of Mission, Texas, Lopez' hometown, has recognized Sgt Lopez by naming a street and a city park - Jose M. Lopez Park - in his honor.

Awards and Recognitions:

Among Jose M. Lopez's decorations and medals were the following:
Medal of Honor
Purple Heart Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
American Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal


*World War II Congressional Medal of Honor Recipient U.S. Army Sgt. Jose M. Lopez. Retrieved on July 23, 2006.

*Adam Bernstein. "Medal of Honor Winner Jose M. Lopez Dies at 94", Obituary, Washington Post, May 18, 2005. Retrieved on July 23, 2006.

*Ernie Garrido. LaGuardia at the dock: When Jose M. Lopez returned from Europe, he was a hero, the toast of N.Y. and then Mexico City. That’s how it is for a Medal of Honor recipient. Latinos & WWII. University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved on July 23, 2006.

^ Sergeant Jose M. Lopez, U.S. Army, 23rd Infantry, 2nd Infantry Division (1912-2005). Famous People. City of Mission, Texas. Retrieved on July 23, 2006.

^ Lopez' birth place in most references, including his Medal of Honor citation, is listed as Mission, Texas. However, other sources (Washington Post obituary) indicate that he was born in Mexico.

Do not miss next months issue of "Somos Primos", where I will write about World War II Medal of Honor recipients Private Joe P. Martinez, Private First Class Manuel Perez Jr., WTechnical Cleto L. Rodriguez and Private First Class Alejandro R. Ruiz.



DFAS Retired Pay Newsletter: Learn More About Your Retired Pay
Sent by Rafael Ojeada

The newsletter has changed!  Due to recent security changes by several DoD sites, we have reformatted the newsletter to a text version so that it is compatible for all users.  Many customers are unable to view the previous version of our newsletter because these new security restrictions do not allow it to be displayed correctly in some mailboxes.  We still host the articles on our servers where, via the links below, you will still enjoy the appearance you are accustomed to in your internet browser.  This step adds a measure of protection against various threats to your email inbox.  We apologize for the short notice for this change and we thank you in advance for your patience. 

Director's Corner
Welcome to the first issue of the DFAS Retired Pay Newsletter in 2007. 
Included in this issue you will find a number of helpful articles, including an update on the VA Retro program and how TRICARE is making it easy for retirees to pay their TRICARE Prime enrollment fees by establishing a monthly allotment from their retirement pay.  You'll also uncover some additional information on TRICARE, along with pertinent Web sites, to help in your health care efforts.  Please read more from Director Karl Bernhardt by using the following link:

VA Retro Update
The Disabled Military Retiree Retroactive Pay program, commonly called VA Retro, is well underway.  Eligible retirees are those receiving either Combat- Related Special Compensation (CRSC) or Concurrent Retirement Disability Payments (CRDP) and have been awarded a retroactive disability rating increase by the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) since their date of initial entitlement.  For more information about the VA Retro program, please follow the link below:

TRICARE Prime reminds retirees of a convenient payment option
TRICARE makes it easy for retirees to pay their TRICARE Prime enrollment fees by establishing a monthly allotment from their service retirement pay. 
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With tax deadlines approaching, retirees should have their 2006 information and forms ready to go.  Retired Pay Account Statements (RAS) and 1099Rs are posted to myPay ( for quick and easy access. For retirees who do not have a myPay account or have requested hardcopy documents, these forms were mailed on schedule in December. 
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Family Traditions by Wanda Garcia
Inspiration by Wanda Garcia
California: My First Lifetime Ended in El Valle by Elvira Prieto
That Time in the Snow by Melissa Lopez
From My Doll to Midol by Ben Romero

Garcia family, out of 7 siblings who survived to adulthood, 6 were physicians. 
[Editor: I was privileged to meet both Dr. Cleo and Dr. Dahlia.]

Photo by permission of: Dr. Hector P. Garcia Papers, Special Collections 
& Archives, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, Bell Library.

From the left, seated, Dr. Cleo Garcia, (me) Daisy Wanda Garcia, Wanda F. Garcia (my mother) Wyona Garcia (Dr. Jose Antonio Garcia's wife) and Yolanda DeLeon Garcia (Dr. Xico Garcia's wife). On the floor next to Dr. Cleo is Cecilia. At my mother's feet is Susie Garcia, my sister, and to her right are Bobby and Yolette Garcia. Behind Dr. Cleo are Mila's sons 3 and then Tony Garcia, Dr. Jose Antonio's son, Tony Canales, Dr. Hector P. Garcia, Jules Garcia (Dr. Jose Antonio's youngest son) , Dr. Jose Antonio,  C.P. and Xico.  Couch, from left to right, Tita Garcia, Dr. Jose Antonio's daughter, Elizabeth Garcia, Dr. C.P.Garcia's wife, Mila, Dr.'s sister, Dahlia, Dr.'s sister Mila, and La Chata, Mila's daughter.

The birth sequence: Jose Antonio, Hector, Cleo, C.P.,  Mila, Xico, Dalia.  

Wanda Garcia, daughter of 
Dr. Hector P. Garcia

Every Christmas and Easter, members of the Garcia family would converge at Dr. Cleo’s house to celebrate the holidays. During the holiday season, the house was filled with lots of relatives and friends, food and laughter. Relatives would come from far and near just to attend.

Aunt Mila’s Family would come from Mexico. Relatives would make the journey from Mercedes, TX as well. Abel Garcia, Amador Garcia’s father, contemporary to my grandfather and Dr. Cleo and Dr. Hector’s uncle came from Mercedes, TX. Dr. J.A. and Wyonna and his family, Tony, Roxanne, Tita and Jules. Dr. Xico’s and Yolanda’s children Yolette and Bobby would fly in from Dallas, TX and Fort Worth, TX. Dr. Dahlia’s son David Mallison would attend so would C.P. Garcia and his wife Elizabeth from San Antonio, TX. Dr. Cleo’s son, Tony and Yolanda Canales’ children Barbara, Patricia, Hector, Omar Berlanga, Representative Hugo and Laura Berlanga’s son, the Eppy Gonzales family and Rudy and Nora Garza and their children joined in the frolicking.

I always looked forward to the family gatherings at Dr. Cleo’s house because interacting with family gave me a sense of identity and belonging. There were a lot of expectations placed on all the members of the family to act like a "Garcia". This was defined as being a highly successful professional such as a physician or lawyer who was involved in giving service to the community, the Democratic political process, hard working and having the Catholic faith. So, I had plenty of role models and examples to choose from those attending the family gatherings and it was a great opportunity to learn about the family history from the "old timers" too.

Dr. Cleo had a beautiful home that overlooked the Corpus Christi Bay. The holiday spread had the traditional Mexican holiday dishes like fideo, tamales as well as the eggnog, turkey and ham. After Easter lunch or Christmas supper, the adults would gather in the living room while the kids played outside.

The Garcia family valued humor and what better opportunity to tell jokes then before a captive audience who would understand the all too familiar family legends. The Garcia men viewed attractiveness to the opposite gender as highly important, so many of the family jokes revolved around this topic.

Dr. Hector and Dr. Cleo would sit on the couch and begin with the family favorite the "Garcia Curse." According to Drs. Hector and Cleo, the Garcia family had a curse; intelligence, money and good looks- Dr. Cleo had the intelligence, Dr. J.A. the money and Dr. Hector the looks. This family legend sometimes caused friction between spouses because of its implications. On one occasion, a cousin spoke proudly about having the Garcia curse which set off his wife who made angry comments about the "Garcia curse".

Another favorite well-worn joke was about the Mexican tamales. According to the Dr. Cleo and Dr. Hector, there were 3 types of tamales that conferred varying degrees of stamina if eaten before going to bed.

    • Tamales #1 ranked low and conferred minimal performance stamina of 4 hours
    • Tamales #2 kept individuals active all night
    • Tamales #3 promoted 24-hour stamina.

Dr. Hector liked to recount the tale about Mr. G. one of his patients. According to the story, Mr. G was dying and could not be roused. So Dr. Hector gathered some of the best looking nurses at Memorial Medical Center and asked them to talk to Mr. G. After the "treatment" Mr. G revived miraculously because he thought he was in heaven speaking to angels.

Dr. Cleo liked to recount the story when she was in University of Galveston Medical School, about this fellow student who told her that she should be home and in the kitchen. Dr. Cleo asked him if he was proposing marriage to her. After her response, Dr. Cleo said that every time that particular student saw her he would go to extremes to avoid her.

Family was a very important value to the Garcias and they took great pride in the family history. Dr. Cleo was the official family historian and traveled far and wide in Mexico and Spain to gather information about the Garcia ancestry. Dr. Cleo valued the importance of history and ancestry in knowing who we are and where we are going. Dr. Cleo was a strong and successful woman during an era when women were expected to stay at home. She was a role model and had a great influence on my life. During the 1970’s I was fortunate that I had the opportunity to meet Uncle Abel who would tell the history of the early days of the Garcia family in Mercedes, TX, about my grandfather Jose Antonio and the Garcia mercantile store.

After a time, this family tradition of celebrating the holidays fell to Tony and Yolanda Canales, Dr. Cleo’s son. Now Barbara Canales, Dr. Cleo’s granddaughter, is carrying on the family tradition. With the passing of Dr. Cleo and Dr. Hector’s generation, the best tribute we can pay them is by remembering the lessons they taught us and observing the family holidays. As long as we remember them, they will never die.




From: California: My First Lifetime Ended in El Valle
En El Fil
By Elvira Prieto

I am dressed from head to toe in men's clothing. Layers cover every possible inch of skin in 115-degree weather. Sweat drips from each pore and muscle cells expand and contract with the ritual bending of my knees and back. I follow him down the row of grapevines. I am my father's shadow in his old work shirt and pants. The vines are bursting with Johnson grapes and we toil under the same sun that will dehydrate every bunch into raisins within a few days time. We are a team. He picks. I dump. I dance with my father down the row of grape vines, our movements choreographed in synch as we maximize time and motion. He moves down the row on his knees. We are both taller than the vines and he must get under the blanket of foliage in order to reach each bunch of fruit. The dark green of the leaves is muted by a thin film of dust and chemical pesticides that attaches itself to our clothes, patches of exposed skin, inhaled with every breath. I am hunched over in a perpetual squat, my spine curves and hips swivel as I balance the tubs of fruit, one at a time. We exchange tubs of rusted metal, empty for full and full for empty. He fills a tub and puts it on the ground next to him. I give him my empty tub and lift the full one off the ground. I shift around in half a turn and dump the fruit over the sheets of paper on the ground in front of me. This forward motion requires a delicate balance as I bend forward. The farmer who hired us brought his tractor through each row before we started picking. He smoothed the earth with a flat metal disc so that the grapes will dry on an even surface. I have to dump the fruit and spread it out on the paper without stepping forward. The paper needs to lie flat, so I must not step into the row and create uneven spots in the earth. "Si el patrón mira pisadas, se va a enojar," my father reminds me every day. "Necesitamos el trabajo." The sheet of paper is the color of a brown grocery bag and about three by four feet wide. Each paper is called a tabla because they used to be made out of wood. On a good day we get paid twelve cents per tabla, make two hundred tablas per row, and complete two rows. "Mi hija trabaja como un hombre," my father boasts. "Que lastima que naciste mujer." I am 12 years old.



By Melissa Lopez

Dedicated to my brother, John

I was ten the year we had one of the biggest snowstorms in Truchas history. All night and day it snowed, drifts piling on top of each other in the front patio, making my mountain village town sparkle with a white glare. It was just a few days after Christmas. We’d stuffed ourselves with biscochitos, and empanaditas; all the stuff my grandma made like no one else could. She continued praying over her dough, a tradition her mother, Juanita, practiced before her, and the result was heavenly.

Oh, but the snow! My brother and I just couldn’t contain ourselves.

"Mama, when can we go play? Please!" We lamented at my mother’s lack of compassion. Her only concern was staving off an onslaught of runny noses and floors flooded with melted snow. I have to say in retrospect, that she wasn’t all that wrong to hold us off as long as she could. Having to drink more than a few cups of home brewed remedio tea from my grandma, made from ocha, or manzanilla, was reason enough to try and stay well—but we were little kids! All the regalitos (gifts) from Christmas were no match for what we could do outside. A day in the snow was like paradise!

Finally, she relented. "Okay, okay, go," she sighed, bundling us up under piles of clothes, none of them waterproof or insulated, like they have now. Special clothes for the snow? Orale (Get real)! No no, back then, you acted as though you could defy the snow by virtue of quantity, not quality. Nothing was snow proof. You wore three shirts and two pants, a jacket and gloves, and maybe Your dad’s flannel shirt for good measure. You couldn’t move, but you sure weren’t gonna get cold anytime soon.

"What should we do first?" I asked my brother, who was four years my junior and the instigator of most of our adventures. We smiled at each other, both molachos (gap-toothed), and stepped out into the pile of nieve (snow) at our doorstep. It was so deep—and cold! Sable, our black Lab, came over and jumped all over us, pushing us down and breathing in our faces.

My brother reached into his pocket and pulled out a handful of candy -- the old-fashioned ribbon kind that my grandma always had this time of year.

"Let’s go to the acequia (irrigation ditch), to see if it’s frozen," he suggested. We trudged out of the yard, towards my grandma’s house, pushing the snow with our feet. Sable walked alongside of us, a black swath against the white.

My grampa was outside, preparing to get on the tractor, and move the snow. "Hey muchachos (kids)!" He called out to us, "what are you doing?"

"Hi Grampa," we giggled, on our way to the back of the house, past the abandoned gallinero (hen house), beyond the "pool" that my mom and her brothers and sister thought they could dig in the backyard when they were kids. When we got to the ditch, it was white with ice, although you could see little bubbles of water underneath. We just looked at it, afraid to step closer. Everything was silent around us. Then my brother picked up a handful of snow and threw it in my face – PAS!

"You’re gonna get it!" I yelled, as he tried to run, and fell just a few yards away. I picked up a huge ball of snow and dumped it right on top of his cabeza (head).

We rolled in the snow, making angelitos (snow angels) until my brother saw the big snow shovel my grampa used earlier. "Hey," he said, "let’s see if Sable will pull us!"

"Pull us? Okay!" Sable was always doing amazing things. My dad could pick up a rock, let the dog smell it and then throw it as far as he could down the cañon across from our house, and Sable would take off, and bring back the exact same rock hours later. We could throw a rock on top of the roof of the garage, and he would climb the ladder, get the rock and then jump off the roof. So of course he could pull two mocositos (snot-nosed kids) on the back of a snow shovel!

We went to my grampa’s garage and got some rope and the shovel and tied one end to the dog. We sat on the shovel and Sable pulled us all over the place! We held on and laughed the whole time, tipping over and getting back on, pretending he was a racehorse.

My grandma came outside. "Mija," she called, "you guys come in. I have cookies." My brother and I hopped off, and went inside for a biscochito, warm and sweet, savoring the anise, and the cinnamon on top. Her Christmas tree twinkled in the corner, filled with ornaments that were old, but beautiful. The angel on top had a macaroni head that someone, maybe my mom, made years ago when she was a kid.

When we finished our cookies, she told us "Vayanse, go home and get cleaned up. We’re going to Española, and we’re taking your gramita with us." My great grandma, Juanita, was then in her 90’s and a trip to Española, for whatever reason, was a big deal. We trudged home and got cleaned up (runny noses and all) and piled into the red Datsun. Mom was at the wheel, ready to navigate the roads that curved like a snake covered in ice.

I sat next to my great grandma. I still remember her soothing smell, and the way she held my hand in hers. We made our way down the road, slowly, and just at the big curve that they call "el alto Juachin", it happened. We slid on the ice, in a wide arc straight into a snow-covered hill. I don’t remember if anyone screamed, but I do remember my gramita, with her rosary in one hand, holding onto me with the other, praying in a whisper. The Santa Maria, Madre de Dios, reverberated in my ears as she steadfastly held onto her faith and me in the same breath.

When we finally got free of the snow, with the help of someone who knew my dad, or my tio, or my grampo, someone, we decided to call it a day and just head back

home, abandoning our trip to town.

My brother and I looked at each other, smiling gap-toothed grins and sucking on pieces of candy we just couldn’t resist, and both asked in unison, "Can we go play outside again? Please!"

Melissa Lopez is a native of Truchas, a small town in Northern New Mexico. A descendant of settlers from the 1700's, Melissa has been writing poetry for ten-plus years and is now branching out into short story fiction. Her two daughters, Analise, ten and Adriana, eight, are both artists. Analise is also a dancer and Adriana a poet. Melissa enjoys writing about her culture and wrote her first poem in second grade.


By Ben Romero 

She was beautiful from the start, but I can’t take the credit. My daughter’s stunning looks were inherited from her mother.

“She looks like a little doll,” people would say, when I carried her in my arms, pushed her on her stroller, or took her for rides on her pony. 

Her smile was so big, that even after all her teeth came in, we could clearly see her gums. She seldom spoke, preferring to point and laugh. But when she was unhappy, her irritating cry was enough to cause her siblings and relatives to cover their ears.

Then she mastered speech, although much later than most children. It was constant chatter, first in English, then in Spanish. First words, then songs. And through it all, she remained Daddy’s little doll.


“I’m cute, aren’t I Dad? Admit it.”

How could I deny it? She’d dress herself up like a cowgirl, then I’d go outside to work in the yard and come back in to find her dressed like a gypsy or a Mexican dancer. An hour later she’d be dressed like an Indian girl, long braids and all, and later like a rock star. It was amusing and kept me guessing.

Which Rebecca will she be the next time I come in? It was her ability to change personalities from one minute to the next that distinguished her from other children, including her two older brothers and sister. But it didn’t matter. Each was amusing. It was as though I had several Rebeccas, one rambling in English, another in Spanish, 
and others alternating from happy to grumpy and back to happy.

Sometimes I’d leave her inside taking a nap while I worked in the garden and come back inside to find the furniture re-arranged. I don’t know where she found the strength in her tiny body to move the large dressers, but she’d do it, and laugh about it.


One day, when she was reaching adolescence, the moods suddenly changed. There was no laughter, no singing, no dancing, no endless talking. None of her personalities was happy. She yelled at everyone for no reason.

When my wife got home from work, I gave the kids a chance to take turns drawing her attention, then took her aside.

“Something’s wrong with Becca,” I told her. “She’s mad at the world. She doesn’t want to talk about it, either. Believe me, I tried. She hasn’t dressed up in the whole day. In fact, she doesn’t even look like a doll today.”

My wife must have noticed my concern, because she sent the kids outside and sat on the couch, motioning for me to sit next to her.

“She’s not sick.”


“She growing up, Ben. You’ll have to face it the way you had to face Victoria getting married. It‘s going to be like this at least one week per month from now on.” 

In the blink of an eye, my little girl had gone from being my doll to needing Midol.



By Vicente Riva Palacio 


 An earlier "Somos Primos" presented Pedro de Alvarado and his consort Luisa Xicotencatl. Below is Riva Palacio’s account of her brother Axayacatzin Xicotencatl, known as "the Younger." Their father Huehuetl "the Elder" Xicotencatl was president of the Tlaxcalan senate, former head of the army and ceremonial head of state in the Tlaxcalan nation. The ultimate political power in Tlaxcala rested in the senate - a deliberative body based on the traditional Indigenous Mexican council of elders. Tlaxcalans proudly distinguished their form of government from that of their Aztec rivals who were ruled by an Emperor. The below mentioned Otomi nation supplied mercenaries to the Tlaxcalans.
The copy of Xicotencatl en espanol is from story is in a segment titled "Tres episodios Mexicanos..."



The little army of Cortes came to a porthole in the great wall of Tlaxcala that defended the eastern frontier of the indomitable republic. The soldiers paused to look with astonishment upon the gigantic ramparts that Prescott called "the display of impressive power and force of the people who erected it." 

But on this occasion, the ramparts, which had been assigned to the Otomies, were left unguarded. The Spanish general put himself at the head of his cavalry, and looking back upon his soldiers exclaimed, full of faith and enthusiasm, "Soldiers, forward! Below the Cross and our flag we will be invincible," and the Spanish warriors stepped upon the soil of the free republic of Tlaxcala. 

The Spanish army and its Zempoalan allies walked in orderly manner with Cortes and his horsemen in the vanguard and the Zempoalans the rear. Passing the desert plain the column came across a monstrous snake with the head adorned with brilliant metal shine and a body covered with painted feathers. 

Cortes proceeded pensively; his wrinkled brow indicating deep thought. A thousand conflicting ideas and disordered thoughts competed in the soul of the brave Capitaine, who with but few men had thrust himself into an enterprise of a scale unmatched in the annals of history. 

A profound silence overcame the column, and the only sound heard was the breathing of the horses. Now and then Cortes spurred his horse ahead and gazed attentively eager to discover something in the distance. He would pause for a moment to take in the view, then return silently into meditation. 

What hope, what fear did the leader expect fulfilled in his gaze into the distance? He hoped for the return of his ambassadors and feared the response of the government of the Republic of Tlaxcala. 

* * * * 

When Cortes decided to march with his army to the capital of the Empire of Moctezuma, he vacillated over which road to take.. He initially intended to leave aside the Republic of Tlaxcala and take the more direct route through Cholula, a country that had submitted to the Empire of Mexico, and in which he hoped to encounter a favorable reception which could enhance the prospects for his reception with Emperor Moctezuma. 

But his Zempoalan allies, who joined him against the Aztecs rule, advised another path. Tlaxcala was a free and independent republic. Its people were bellicose and indomitable never having consented to the yoke of the Aztec Empire, having beaten Potyautlan in battle, beaten Zaxayactl, and later beaten Moctezuma. The love of nationhood had made them invincible and constituted them as irreconcilable enemies of the Mexicanos. The Zempoalans advised Cortes that to procure an alliance with the Tlaxcalans would bring him the bravery and loyalty of a people of valor. 

Cortes agreed that his allies had good arguments. He took the road to Tlaxcala and sent four Zempoalans ahead as his ambassadors to the senate of Tlaxcala, with a military gift consisting of a crimson helmet, a sword, and a bow. There was also a message. It acknowledged the valor of the Tlaxcalans, their perseverance, their love of country, and concluded by proposing an alliance, with the objective to humiliate and punish the ruling Emperor of Mexico. 

The ambassadors went forth and Cortes continued his path, passing through the great Tlaxcalan walled ramparts and penetrating into the land of the republic, without the ambassadors having returned with their report. 

* * * * 

The Spanish army advanced rapidly, the general following each moment with greater worry, but he finally gave in to impulse and galloped forward, a move imitated by his horsemen, and some of the footmen accelerated trying to accompany him. They slowed to a walk as Cortes explored the terrain. Suddenly they saw ahead a small band of armed Indios, who chose to flee when they saw the Spaniards coming. The horsemen galloped in pursuit and soon were upon the fugitives; but these, in stead of being terrorized by the strange sight of the horses, turned about against the Spaniards and prepared for combat. 

The handful of valiant warriors were about to be trampled by the horsemen when powerful reinforcements came to their aid. The Spaniards stopped, and Cortes sent a messenger to urge the foot soldiers to hasten their march. Meanwhile, the Indios flooded the Spaniards with arrows which managed to break the shielding of the horses, leaving two of them dead. Their heads were cut off for trophies. The battle was going bad for Cortes and might have gone worse had not the remainder of his troops arrived, the infantry charging into the lines and the musketeers discharging their weapons, that for the first time were heard in this region, and convinced the enemy to retire. They did so in orderly fashion, without giving the slightest sign of fear. The Christians were thus the holders of the battle field. 

The Spaniards chose the site for their camp, and they celebrated their triumph. Then there appeared two Tlaxcalans and two of the ambassadors Cortes had sent. They said that the senate, in the name of the republic, had disavowed the attack upon the Spaniards and informed them that they would be well received in the capital city. Cortes believed them, or feigned to believe in the good faith behind their words, and the army prepared for the coming of night, but without losing a moment of vigilance. 

Dawn of the following day, 2 of September 1519, the army of the Christians, accompanied by three thousand allies, put itself in march, after attending devotedly a mass celebrated by the priests. Breaking from the march were the horsemen, three taking the rear and the rest, as always, in the front with Cortes. 

They had not advanced far when they encountered the two other Zempoalan ambassadors of Cortes. They announced that general Xicotencatl awaited them with a powerful army determined to block their path at any cost. Indeed, moments later a great mass of Tlaxcalans appeared brandishing arms and giving warrior shouts.Cortes wished to negotiate, but these men would hear nothing of it. Darts, arrows and rocks rained upon the Spaniards, who though wavering, were little injured thanks to protection from their coats of mail.

"For Santiago and King," shouted Cortes in a rough roar, and the horsemen lowered their lances and charged upon the multitude. The Tlaxcalans retreated, and the Spaniards, blind with the heat of battle, pursued until they found themselves in a narrowing arroyo where neither the horsemen nor the artillery could operate. Cortes realized the situation and called for an exit to the plain from this tightening throat of a canyon. But then his darting eye caught the sight of Tlaxcalans who appeared to have multiplied their forces. It was the army of Xicotencatl, who had anxiously awaited the moment of combat. 

Over the confused mass of fighters there was hoisted the banner of the young general. It carried the design of the house of Tittcala, a heron over a rock, with feathers and insignias of combatants, yellow and red, further indications that these were the warriors of Xicotencatl. The trumpets sounded, and in the clash of war their came the terrible combat. 

* * * * 

It was Xicotencatl, the leader of this army, a young son of one of the most respected of the elders who composed the Tlaxcalan senate. 

Of Herculean form, it was said that he walked majestically, had an agreeable countenance, and his brilliant black eyes seemed to penetrate. He was given to meditations of hidden signs of the future. Self-assured and dedicated, the general was one of whom no one could ever imagine a thought of treason, no more than a night bird would chose to fly high in the sky to be lit by the light of dawn.. 

Xicotencatl’s appearance was made more impressive by his attire. Over his barrel chest, covered with a tight and thick coat of cotton, he wore an armor plate of gold and silver. Protecting his head was a helmet covered with precious stones and shaped to imitate the head of an eagle. Over this there waved a regal plume descending to near the knees and consisting of red and yellow in a species of cotton cloth bordered with feathers. His thin muscular arms showed rich bracelets, and from his sturdy back hung a small shawl, formed in a weave of exquisite feathers. On this day, he held aloft in his right hand a heavy wooden staff, its end bristling with points of "iztli," and his left arm held a shield painted with diverse arms of the house of Tittcala, and from which hung an elaborate plume of feathers. 

Xicotencatl could have been taken for one of the demigods of Greek mythology, considering his fantastical and beautiful appearance.. All the army of Tlaxcala obeyed him, and through him flowed the warrior heart of his republic, the incarnation of its patriotism and its bravery. It was he who scorned the fabulous tales about the Spaniards, that they were divine, invincible and children of the sun. He led the army of the republic to confront these strangers, disregarding the cowardly counsel of the elder Maxixcatzin, who wished for peace with the Christians. Unintimidated, the general marched to the line to face the monstrous forces, and the unknowns. 

The collision was terrible: an entire day of battle, and Xicotencatl, who lost eight of his most trusted Capitaines, had to retreat, but without believing that he had been defeated, and waiting the new day to give anew the contest. 

Cortes collected his wounded and wasted little time before continuing his march, until arriving at Tzomatachtepetl mountain. On the summit his men constructed a small church and rested for the night. The Christian soldiers and their allies celebrated their victory, but Cortes understood it was an ephemeral triumph. Worry filled his thoughts, and he toyed with giving his troops a day of rest. 

Xicotencatl camped quite close to Cortes, and prepared for a new combat as did the Spaniards. None-the-less, the Spanish general wanted to test the chance for peace, and ambassadors carrying messages of conciliation were sent to Xicotencatl to propose an armistice. The ambassadors returned with the answer of the young leader. It was a challenge to the death and a promise of attack the next day. Cortes reflected that his reputation was endangered and he decided to set out promptly the next morning toward the Tlaxcalans. 

A bright dawn marked the 5 of September 1519. The sun soon appeared pure and serene, and light fell upon the Spanish general’s soldiers and horsemen. The march was orderly and in silence, the custom of soldiers who await combat one moment to the next. All well knew that their bold general was leading them to an attack from the army of Xicotencatl. 

They had scarcely marched a quarter a league when that army appeared, and the view filled the horizon. The surprising spectacle featured an ocean of feathers of a thousand colors. They undulated in the fresh wind of the morning, and the light of the new day gave the gold, silver and precious jewels of their coats the phosphorescence of a tempestuous sea. 

On the horizon, appearing in the haze of flags of the distinct Otomi and Tlaxcalan caciques, and dominating all, proudly, was the gold eagle, its wings open, emblem of the unconquerable republic. At the sight of the army of Cortes, this multitude gave a terrifying bellow that was carried on the wind and echoed in the mountains in repeating confusion. 

The monotonous sound of the trumpets answered the shout of war: The Indio warriors, stood agitated for a moment, then as a torrent over flowing the banks, the multitude threw itself upon the Spaniards.There wasn’t a soul among the valiant Castillians who did not experience a shudder of awe.

The rapid advance of the army of Xicotencatl created an immense cloud of dust, that soon floated over both armies, as a canopy , through which crossed sad and yellow rays of the sun. Such was the boiling waterfall of men, weapons, feathers, jewels and standards.

A roar arose in the tempest, the shouts of combatants who felt for themselves each moment more close, who mixed themselves with the clatter of fire arms, the whistling of arrows, the sounds of trumpets and fifes and drums. 

The two armies entwined, became groping fighters, and the scene became horrifying, indescribable Neither horsemen nor infantry could maneuver. 

There came the silent blows of the steel swords of the Spaniards upon the thinly protected chests of the Indios, and the noisy hailstorm of rocks, and blows of arrows on the iron shields of the soldiers of Cortes. The extent of the slaughter can not be explained nor comprehended. 

The canon balls and the muskets created a broad mural of human meat, and the blood flowed as water in the streams. The combat became a human boiling of fighters who fell, one upon the other creating a bloody mud.Treason came to the aid of the Spaniards. A cacique of one of the militia under the orders of Xicotencatl fled, taking with him ten thousand fighters, and the victory was decided for the Christians.

The defeat discouraged the people and senate of Tlaxcala. But Xicotencatl reminded himself of the enthusiasm and love of the patria in his heart, and he met with the priesthood and the priests said to the people and the senate that the Christians protected themselves by the sun and ought to be attacked at night. The people and the senate agreed. That night Xicotencatl conducted his troops in an attack on the camp of the Spaniards 

The night watch of Cortes saw through the shadows the black masses of the approaching Tlaxcalan army, and the Spanish soldiers were soon on foot. Xicotencatl rushed at the fortifications of the Spaniards. A small distance still separated them when suddenly a band of red light flashed from the camp, and the sound of fire arms caused echoes in the mountains. 

The Tlaxcalans attacked furiously, but on this as on other occasions the canons and the muskets gave victory to Cortes. 

The senate of Tlaxcala blamed the loss of life on the insistence for battle by the young leader, who was forced to give up his struggle. As Spaniards entered triumphant into Tlaxcala, the eagle of the republic gave a cry of pain and flew to the mountains. 

The senate of the republic, that had yet to act toward the invaders in favor of the nation, and fearful of the anger of the conquistadors, stripped their young Capitaine of his rank. But the great spirit of Hernan Cortes was awakened and he felt the conduct of the senate was a profound ingratitude, and he gave his strong opinion that Xicotencatl should reclaim his honors. 

* * * *
It was the first days of March 1521. Cortes was returning to the capital of the Aztec Empire, from which he had fled, almost defeated in the celebrated Noche Triste, dragging now a powerful army composed of Spaniards and allies, including Tlaxcalans, among whom alarming news circulated. Xicotencatl had disappeared from their camp. It was the widely believed that his exit was caused by the bad treatment the Spaniards had given his fellow allies, and above all because of the hatred Xicotencatl professed against the alliance. 

The order as given for the Tlaxcalans to proceed to Tlacopan to begin the siege of the capital, and the Tlaxcalans took to the road. Leaving the city of Texcoco they viewed, without being given explanation, the construction of a large scaffold, which caused shivers in their ranks. 

* * * * 
In Texcoco the sun began to fall behind the mountains and formed a crystalline setting on the waters of the lake on the serene and pleasant afternoon. 

Along the road from Tlaxcala came a group of soldiers and horsemen conducting in the middle of their ranks a prisoner, who walked so proudly one might expect he was leading this troop. 

The prisoner looked the scaffold and understood the fate that awaited, but without a shudder. Because this man was Xicotencatl, and Xicotencatl didn’t know how to fear death. 

The Spaniards notified him of his sentence; he was to die for having abandoned his flags, and thus given a poor example to the loyal Tlaxcalans. 

Xicotencatl, who had begun to learn Spanish, answered his sentence with a smile of depreciation. Then he was hoisted and tied. 

The pale and melancholy light of the moon shown on the horizon, and tracked over the tranquil surface of the lake to light the scene of death. The commander of Tlaxcala, the hero of the republic’s fight for independence, expired suspended from the gallows, contemplated from below with admiration by soldiers of Cortes. 

In the distance were a group of Tlaxcalans, who fled in terror, because there on scaffold was the freedom of the nation. 

     Atravesaba el pequeño ejército de Hernán Cortés la soberbia muralla de Tlaxcala que defendía la frontera oriental de aquella indómita República.
     Los soldados se detenían mirando con asombro aquel monumento gigantesco, que según la expresión de Prescott (tan alta idea sugería del poder y fuerza del pueblo que le había levantado).
     Pero aquel paso, aquella fortaleza cuya custodia tenían encargada los otohomís, estaba entonces desguarnecida. El general español se puso a la cabeza de su caballería, e hizo atravesar por allí a sus soldados, exclamando lleno de fe y entusiasmo: (Soldados, adelante, la Cruz es nuestra bandera, y bajo esta señal venceremos): y los guerreros españoles hollaron el suelo de la libre República de Tlaxcalan.
     El ejército español y sus aliados los Zempoaltecas ordenadamente; Cortés con sus jinetes llevaba la vanguardia; Zempoaltecas la retaguardia. Aquella columna atravesando la desierta llanura, parecía una serpiente monstruosa con la cabeza guarnecida de brillantes escamas de acero, y el cuerpo cubierto de pintadas y vistosas plumas.
     Cortés caminaba pensativo: el tenaz fruncimiento de su entrecejo, indicaba su profunda meditación: mil encontradas ideas y mil desacordes pensamientos debían luchar en el alma de aquel osado capitán, que con un puñado de hombres se lanzaba a acometer la empresa más grande que registra la historia en sus anales. 8]
     Reinaba el silencio más profundo en la columna, y sólo se escuchaba el ruido sordo y confuso de las pisadas de los caballos.
     De cuando en cuando, Cortés se levantaba sobre los estribos y dirigía ardientes miradas, como intentando descubrir algo a lo lejos: así permanecía algunos momentos, nada alcanzaba a ver, y volvía silenciosamente a caer en su meditación.
     ¿Qué esperaba, qué temía aquel hombre que procuraba así sondear los dilatados horizontes? -Esperaba la vuelta de sus embajadores: temía la resolución del gobierno de la República de Tlaxcala.
     Cuando Cortés determinó pasar con su ejército a la capital del imperio de Motecuzóma, vaciló sobre el camino que debía llevar; era su intención dejar a un lado la República de Tlaxcala y tomar el camino de Cholula, país sometido al imperio de México y en donde esperaba encontrar favorable acogida, por las relaciones de amistad que le unían ya con el emperador Motecuzóma.
     Pero sus aliados los Zempoaltecas le aconsejaron otra cosa. Tlaxcala era República independiente y libre; sus hijos, belicosos e indomables, no habían consentido nunca el yugo del imperio Azteca, vencedores en las llanuras de Poyauhtlan: vencedores de Axayacalt, y vencedores después de Motecuzóma, el amor a su patria les había hecho invencibles y les constituía irreconciliables enemigos de los mexicanos: los Zempoaltecas aconsejaron a Cortés que procurase hacer alianza con los de Tlaxcala, abonando encarecidamente el valor y la lealtad de aquellos hombres.
    Comprendió Cortés que sus aliados tenían razón, y tomó decididamente el camino de Tlaxcala, enviado delante de sí como embajadores a cuatro Zempoaltecas para hablar al senado de Tlaxcala, con un presente marcial que consistía en un casco de género carmesí, una espada y una ballesta, y portadores de una carta en la que encomiaba el valor de los Tlaxcaltecas, su constancia y su amor a la patria, y concluía proponiéndoles una alianza con objeto de humillar y castigar al soberbio emperador de México.
     Los embajadores partieron, Cortés continuó su camino, atravesó la gran muralla tlaxcalteca y penetró en el terreno de [9] la República, sin que aquellos hubieran vuelto a dar noticia de su embajada.
     El ejército español avanzaba con rapidez; el general seguía cada momento más inquieto: por fin no pudo contenerse, puso al galope su caballo, y una partida de jinetes le imitó, y algunos peones aceleraron el paso para acompañarles; así caminaron algún tiempo explorando el terreno: de repente alcanzaron a ver una pequeña partida de indios aislados que echaban a huir cuando vieron acercarse a los españoles: los jinetes se lanzaron en su persecución, y muy pronto alcanzaron a los fugitivos; pero éstos, en vez de aterrorizarse por el extraño aspecto de los caballos, hicieron frente a los españoles y se prepararon a combatir.
     Aquel puñado de valientes hubiera sido arrollado por la caballería, si en el mismo momento un poderoso refuerzo no hubiera aparecido en su auxilio.
     Los españoles se detuvieron, y Cortés envió uno de su comitiva para avisar a su ejército que apresurase la marcha. Entretanto los indios disparando sus flechas se arrojaron sobre los españoles, procurando romper sus lanzas y arrancar a los jinetes de los caballos; dos de éstos fueron muertos en aquella refriega, y degollados para llevarse las cabezas como trofeos de guerra.
     Rudo y desigual era el combate, y mal lo hubieran pasado los españoles que allí acompañaban a Cortés, a no haber llegado en su socorro el resto del ejército: desplegose la infantería en batalla, y las descargas de los mosquetes y el terrible estruendo de las armas de fuego que por primera vez se escuchaban en aquellas regiones, contuvieron a los enemigos que retirándose en buen orden y sin dar muestra ninguna de pavor, dejaron a los cristianos dueños del lugar del combate.
     Sobre aquel terreno se detuvieron los españoles, acampando, como señal del triunfo, sobre el mismo campo de batalla.
     Dos enviados tlaxcaltecas y dos de los embajadores de Cortés se presentaron entonces para manifestar, en nombre de la República, la desaprobación del ataque que habían recibido los españoles, y ofreciendo a éstos que serían bien recibidos en la ciudad.
     Cortés creyó o fingió creer en la buena fe de aquellas palabras: cerró la noche y el ejército se recogió, sin perder un momento la vigilancia.
     Amaneció el siguiente día, que era el dos de Setiembre de 1519, y el ejército de los cristianos, acompañado de tres mil aliados, se puso en marcha, después de haber asistido devotamente a la misa que celebró uno de los capellanes.
     Rompían la marcha los jinetes, de tres en fondo, a la cabeza de los cuales iba como siempre el donado Cortés.
     No habían avanzado aún mucho terreno, cuando salieron a su encuentro los otros dos Zempoaltecas, embajadores de Cortés, anunciándole que el general Xicoténcatl les esperaba con un poderoso ejército y decidido a estorbarles el paso a todo trance.
     En efecto, a pocos momentos una gran masa de tlaxcaltecas se presentó blandiendo sus armas y lanzando alaridos guerreros.
     Cortés quiso parlamentar, pero aquellos hombres nada escucharon, y una lluvia de dardos, de piedra y de flechas, vino a rebotar, como única contestación, sobre los férreos arneses de los españoles.
     (Santiago y a ellos), gritó Cortés con ronca voz, y los jinetes bajando las lanzas arremetieron a aquella cerrada multitud.
     Los Tlaxcaltecas comenzaron a retirarse: los españoles, ciegos por el ardor del combate, comenzaron a perseguirlos, y así llegaron hasta un desfiladero cortado por un arroyo, en donde era imposible que maniobrase la artillería ni los jinetes.
     Cortés comprendió lo difícil de su situación, y con un esfuerzo desesperado logró salir de aquella garganta y descender a la llanura.
     Pero entonces sus asombrados ojos contemplaron allí un ejército de Tlaxcaltecas, que su imaginación multiplicaba: era el ejército de Xicoténcatl que esperaba con ansia el momento del combate.
     Sobre aquella multitud confusa se levantaba la bandera del joven general; era la enseña de la casa de Tittcala, una garza sobre una roca, y las plumas y las mallas de los combatientes, [11] amarillas y rojas, indicaban también que eran los guerreros de Xicoténcatl.
     Sonaron los teponaxtles, se escuchó el alarido de guerra y comenzó un terrible combate.
     Era Xicoténcatl, el jefe de aquel ejército, un joven hijo de uno de los ancianos más respetables entre los que componían el senado de Tlaxcala.
     De formas hercúleas, de andar majestuoso, de semblante agradable, sus ojos negros y brillantes parecían penetrar, en los momentos de meditación del caudillo, los oscuros misterios del porvenir, y sobre su frente ancha y despejada no se hubiera atrevido a cruzar nunca un pensamiento de traición, como un pájaro nocturno no se atreve nunca a cruzar por un cielo sereno y alumbrado por la luz del día.
     Xicoténcatl era un hermoso tipo, su elevado pecho estaba cubierto por una ajustada y gruesa cota de algodón sobre la que brillaba una rica coraza de escamas de oro y plata; defendía su cabeza un casco que remedaba la cabeza de una águila cubierta de oro y salpicada de piedras preciosas, y sobre el cual ondeaba un soberbio penacho de plumas rojas y amarillas: una especie de tunicela de algodón bordada de leves plumas también, rojas y amarillas, descendía hasta cerca de la rodilla; sus nervudos brazos mostraban ricos brazaletes, y sobre sus robustas espaldas descansaba un pequeño manto, formado también de un tejido de exquisitas plumas.
     Llevaba en la mano derecha una pesada maza de madera erizada de puntas de itztli, y en el brazo izquierdo un escudo, en el que estaban pintadas como divisa las armas de la casa de Tittcala, y del cual pendía un rico penacho de plumas. Xicoténcatl, con ese fantástico y hermoso traje hubiera podido tomarse por uno de esos semidioses de la Mitología griega: todo el ejército Tlaxcalteca le obedecía, y era él el alma guerrera de aquella República, la encarnación del patriotismo y el valor; y era él, el que despreciando las fabulosas consejas que hacían de los españoles divinidades invencibles o hijos del sol, conducía las huestes de la República al encuentro de aquellos extranjeros, despreciando los cobardes consejos del viejo Mexixcatzin que quería la paz con los cristianos, y sin intimidarse [12] de que éstos manejaban el rayo y caminaban sobre monstruos feroces y desconocidos.
     El choque fue terrible: un día entero duró aquel combate, y Xicoténcatl, que había perdido en él ocho de sus más valientes capitanes, tuvo que retirarse, pero sin creer por esto que había sido vencido, y esperando el nuevo día para dar una nueva batalla.
     Cortés recogió sus heridos, y sin perdida de tiempo continuó su marcha hasta llegar al cerro de Tzompatchtepetl, en cuya cima un templo le prestó asilo para el descanso de aquella noche.
     Los soldados cristianos y sus aliados celebraban la victoria. Cortés comprendió lo efímero del triunfo. La inquietud devoraba su pecho.
     Se dio un día de descanso a las tropas.
     Xicoténcatl acampó también muy cerca de Cortés, y se preparaba, lo mismo que los españoles, a combatir de nuevo.
     Sin embargo, el general español quiso probar aún la benignidad y los medios de conciliación, enviando nuevos embajadores a proponer a Xicoténcatl un armisticio.
     Los embajadores volvieron con la respuesta del joven caudillo: era un reto a muerte y una amenaza de atacar al siguiente día los cuarteles.
     Cortés reflexionó que su situación era comprometida, y decidió salir a buscar en la mañana siguiente a los Tlaxcaltecas.
     Brilló la aurora del 5 de Setiembre de 1519. El sol apareció después puro y sereno, y a su luz comenzaron a desfilar peones y jinetes.
     Su marcha era ordenada y silenciosa, el combate de un momento a otro, y todos sabían ya que su valeroso general los llevaba a atacar resueltamente al campamento del ejército de Xicoténcatl.
     Apenas habrían caminado un cuarto de legua, cuando aquel ejército apareció a su vista en una extendida pradera.
     El espectáculo era sorprendente.
     Un océano de plumas de mil colores que ondulaban a merced del fresco viento de la mañana, y entre el que brillaban como las fosforescencias del mar en una noche tempestuosa, [13] los arneses de oro y plata y las joyas preciosas de los cascos de los guerreros Tlaxcaltecas heridos por la luz del nuevo día.
     En el horizonte, perdiéndose entre la bruma las banderas y pendones de los distintos caciques Othomis y Tlaxcaltecas, y dominándolo todo, orgullosa, el águila de oro con las alas abiertas, emblema de la indómita República.
     Al presentarse el ejército de Cortés, aquella multitud se estremeció y un espantoso alarido atronó los vientos, y los ecos de las montañas lo repitieron confusamente.
     El monótono sonido de los teponaxtles contestó aquel alarido de guerra: los guerreros indios se agitaron un momento, y después, como un torrente que se desborda, aquella muchedumbre se lanzó sobre los españoles.
     No hubo uno solo de aquellos valientes pechos castellanos, que no sintiera un estremecimiento de pavor.
     El ejército de Xicoténcatl avanzaba rápidamente levantando un inmenso torbellino de polvo, que flotaba después sobre ambos ejércitos, como un dosel, al través del cual cruzaban tristes y amarillentos los rayos del sol.
     Aquella era una hirviente catarata de hombres de armas, de plumas, de joyas y de estandartes.
     Levantose un rugido como el de una tempestad: los gritos de los combatientes que se miraban a cada momento más cerca, se mezclaban con el estrépito da las armas de fuego, el silbido de las flechas, los sonidos de los teponaxtles y de los pífanos y de los atabales.
     Los dos ejércitos se encontraron, y se estrecharon y se enlazaron como dos luchadores.
     Pasó entonces una escena espantosa, indescriptible.
     Ni los caballeros ni los infantes podían maniobrar.
     Se escuchaban los golpes sordos de los aceros de los españoles sobre el desnudo pecho de los indios, y como el ruido del granizo, que azota una roca, el golpe de las flechas sobre las armaduras de hierro de los soldados de Cortés.
     Aquella carnicería no puede ni explicarse ni comprenderse.
     Las balas de los cañones y de los arcabuces se incrustaban [14] en una espesa muralla de carne humana, y la sangre corría como el agua de los arroyos.
     Era una especie de hervor siniestro de combatientes que se enlazaban y desaparecían unos bajo de los pies de los otros, para convertirse en fango sangriento.
     La traición vino en ayuda de los españoles, y un cacique de los que militaban a las órdenes de Xicoténcatl huyó llevándose diez mil combatientes, y la victoria se decidió por los cristianos.
     El pueblo y el senado de Tlaxcala se desalentaron con la derrota. Xicoténcatl sintió en su corazón avivarse el entusiasmo y el amor o la patria.
     Las almas grandes son como el acero: se templan en el fuego.
     Xicoténcatl contaba con el sacerdocio, y los sacerdotes dijeron al pueblo y al senado que los cristianos, protegidos por el sol, debían ser atacados durante la noche.
     Y el pueblo y el senado creyeron.
     Llegó la noche, y Xicoténcatl condujo sus huestes al ataque de los cuarteles de los españoles.
     Cortés velaba, y entre las sombras miró las negras masas del ejército Tlaxcalteca que se acercaban, y puso en pie a sus soldados.
     Xicoténcatl llegó hasta el campo atrincherado de los españoles, un paso los separaba ya, cuando repentinamente una faja de la luz roja ciñó el campamento, y el estampido de las armas de fuego despertó el eco de los montes.
     Los Tlaxcaltecas atacaban con furor: pero en esta vez como en otras, los cañones y los arcabuces dieron la victoria a Cortés.
     El senado de Tlaxcalan culpó la indomable constancia del joven caudillo, y le obligó a deponer las armas.
     Los españoles entraron triunfantes a Tlaxcalan.
     El águila de aquella República lanzó un grito de duelo y huyó a las montañas.
     El senado de la República, que nada había hecho en favor de la independencia de la patria, temeroso del enojo de los conquistadores, destituyó al joven caudillo; pero el espíritu grande de Hernán Cortés sintió lo profundamente ingrato de la [15] conducta del senado, e interpuso su valimiento para que Xicoténcatl fuese restituido en sus honores.
     Eran los primeros días de Marzo de 1521. Cortés volvía sobre la capital del imperio Azteca, de donde había salido fugitivo y casi derrotado en la célebre noche triste, con un ejército poderoso compuesto de españoles y aliados, como se llamaban a los naturales del país.
     En las filas de los Tlaxcaltecas circulaban noticias alarmantes. Xicoténcatl había desaparecido del campo, y según la opinión general, aquella separación era provenida del mal trato que los españoles daban a sus aliados, y sobre todo del odio que Xicoténcatl profesaba a esta alianza.
     Diose la orden para que los Tlaxcaltecas se dirigieran para Tlacopan con objeto de comenzar las operaciones del sitio, y los Tlaxcaltecas emprendieron el camino, dejando a la ciudad de Texcoco, en donde sin saber para quién, pero con gran terror, habían visto preparar una grande horca.
     Estamos en Texcoco.
     El sol se ponía detrás de los montes que forman como un engaste a las cristalinas aguas del lago: la tarde estaba serena y apacible.
     Por el camino de Tlaxcalan llegaba un grupo de peones y jinetes conduciendo en medio de sus filas a un prisionero, que caminaba tan orgullosamente como si él viniera mandando aquella tropa.
     Atravesaron sin detenerse algunas de las calles de la ciudad, y se dirigieron sin vacilar a la grande horca colocada cerca de la orilla del lago.
     El prisionero miró la horca; comprendió la suerte que le esperaba, pero no se estremeció siquiera.
     Porque aquel hombre era Xicoténcatl, y Xicoténcatl no sabía temblar ante la muerte.
     Los españoles le notificaron su sentencia: debía morir por haber abandonado sus banderas, por haber dado este mal ejemplo a los fieles Tlaxcaltecas.
     Xicoténcatl, que comenzaba ya a comprender el español, contestó la sentencia con una sonrisa de desprecio.
     Entonces se arrojaron sobre él y le ataron.
     La pálida y melancólica luz de la luna que se ocultaba [16] en el horizonte, rielando sobre la superficie tranquila de la laguna, alumbró un cuadro de muerte.
     El caudillo de Tlaxcala, el héroe de la independencia de aquella República, espiraba suspendido de una horca, al pie de la cual los soldados de Cortés le contemplaban con admiración.
     A lo lejos, algunos Tlaxcaltecas huían espantados, porque aquel era el patíbulo de la libertad de una nación.




Don Fernando Muñoz Altea Fernández y Bueno  nombrado 
                                                                                               Cronista Rey de Armas 
Index to the Enciclopedia Heráldica Hispano-Americana 
                                                                    of Alberto and Arturo García Carraffa

Cronista Rey de Armas Casa Real de Borbon Dos Sicilias (Italia) y de la Orden de San Lázaro.

Don Fernando Muñoz Altea Fernández y Bueno fue nombrado como Cronista Rey de Armas de la Real Casa de Borbón y Dos Sicilias desde el año 1962. 

 Desde entonces Don Fernando ha estado a cargo de las funciones inherentes a su cargo registrando blasones y emitiendo certificaciones genealógicas a las personas que así lo soliciten de conformidad con los procedimientos que tradicionalmente se han seguido para el efecto.

Don Fernando se desempeña también como Cronista Rey de Armas de la Orden Militar y Hospitalaria de San Lázaro de Jerusalén desde 1974.

"Estoy gustoso de pertenecer a ese grupo.

Soy licenciado en historia, investigador con más de 50 años de experiencia y tengo los nombramientos de Rey de Armas de la Real Casa de Borbón Dos Sicilias (Italia) y de la Orden de San Lázaro.

He de advertirles que soy profesional en el campo de éstas disciplinas y extiendo certificaciones de armas y genealogía, e investigo en toda latinoamerica, -principalmente en México donde resido-, España, Portugal e Italia.

Ello no obsta para contestar pequeñas preguntas, gratuitamente, si están a mi alcance.

Un cordial saludo, Fernando Muñoz Altea"
Index to the Enciclopedia Heráldica Hispano-Americana 
of Alberto and Arturo García Carraffa
The Library of Congress, Hispanic Reading Room
Sent by Bill Carmena 

The 88 volumes of this work, [Library of Congress Call Number: CR2142.G3] supplemented by a continuing work, offer an immense tribute to the work of indefatigable genealogists. The work treats Spanish heraldry in the first two volumes, and with volume three begins the Diccionario Heráldico y Genealógico de Apellidos Españoles y Americanos, or a listing of over 15,000 names with their respective genealogical histories (with color illustrations of representative crests) of Spanish and Spanish-American families. Please note that on the spine one finds two numbers, the Enciclopedia number followed by the Diccionario number (in other words there is a two volume difference in numbering).

Originally begun in 1919, its publishing history continued until 1963 when the last volume encompassing the letter "u" was published as a tribute to her late husband by Margarita Prendes Carraffa. In 1952, a reprinting of the earlier volumes began. The alphabet covered by the work goes from "a" through "u".

The structure of the work provides an index in each volume. As the work progressed, supplemental names were added, breaking the alphabetical continuum. Without perusing all the volumes one could never be sure that an article may have been missed. This present automated index, compiles all the names mentioned in the respective indices and allows a comprehensive search of all volumes at one time. One need only enter -- without accents -- the respective surname (whether it be a compound surname or not) and press "Submit."

Editor:  This is a treasure. . .  DO .. . DO . . .DO . . .  GO TO THE SITE!!

Patriots of the American Revolution

June 1991, Granaderos de Gálvez with Don Juan (padre of the king)
February 2007, Grandaderos and TCARA 
Reaching Out to the Community


Dear Mimi:

Conchita and I were invited to the presentation in Malaga and Macharaviaya last week. We took along the attached photo of June 1991 with the Granaderos de Gálvez with Don Juan (padre of the king), with Conchita (I am on her left). Málaga is very active on Gálvez. 

Best regards, Eric 
Dr. Eric Beerman

Members of the Granaderos and Damas of San Antonio met with the 
Texas Connection to the Revolution agreeing to seek
Honorary United States Citizenship for General Bernardo de Galvez

Photo by Rosemarie Fernandez, Randolph Air Force Base, February 18, 2007

Alphabetical: Jack Cowan, Susan Cowan, Joel Escamilla, Maria Escamilla, 
Angela Fernandez, Carlos Fernandez, Tito Fernandez, Frank Galindo, Karla Galindo, Lila Guzman, Ph.D.,  Margaret Hensley, Rosemarie LaPenta, Richard LaPenta, 
Mimi Lozano, Mary Beth Lyons, Corinne Staake, Robert Thonhoff, Vicky Thonhoff,  and Richard Whynot

The following list are the names of individuals that have shown an interest in promoting a knowledge of the contributions of Bernardo de Galvez to the general public.  The focus of our combined efforts will be to obtain an honorary U.S. Citizenship for Galvez.  Most of the activities will be within our own circle of influence, and through contacts with elected governmental officials.  Please feel invited to support this goal and let us know what you are doing, or how you can help.

Paul Bergeron: 
Eliud Bonilla      
Bill Carmena:
Hector Diaz:,     
Joel Escamilla,
 Joseph P. Gutierrez (y Galvez) 
Lila Guzman:
Granville Hough:,  
Rick Leal:
Mimi Lozano: 
Paul Newfield:,  
Maria Angela O'Donnell Olson:
Michael Perez:
Angel Custodio Rebollo:,                          
Mario Robles del Moral:,   
Steven Rubin:,   
Robert Thonhoff:,            
Carlos Vega:,    
Roland Vela Muzquiz:


Reaching Out to the Community

Lila Guzman, Ph.D. has been enjoying sharing the fun of history directly with young people.
LOS FRESNOS ISD: Los Cuates Middle School and Resaca Middle School
MISSION CISD: Mims Elementary
McALLEN: Jefferson Elementary and North San Juan Elem.

In the presentations (about 45 mins. long) the students and I discuss the American Revolution and Spanish involvement in it (supplies, cattle drives, battles fought by Bernardo de Galvez). We trace the route of supplies from Spanish New Orleans to General Washington. I also act out a mock small pox inoculation with two students.

The Lorenzo series is ideal for students studying American history. There are 3 books in the series at present. LORENZO AND THE PIRATE is due out in 2008. LORENZO AND THE TURNCOAT (2006) won the Arizona Authors Literary Award.  The publisher offers a special discount for classroom sets. Hard covers are available from Sagebrush and other book binders.

[[Editor: I thoroughly enjoyed the Lorezno series, adventures of a youthful hero who displays high values and great ability.  He is a mestizo with mulato lines, great model.]]

For information on the series, please email Lila Guzman ,


SATURDAY, April 28, 2007
8:00 A.M. TO 5:00 P.M

April 13: 9th Annual Latina Conference
April 14-15th The “Mexican” OC, 2-act Play
Orange county United Mexican American Veterans Association
Did SHHAR hold a quarterly meeting in San Antonio, or not?
Save the date: May 26 SHHAR Quarterly

A great opportunity for  to start or get help in doing family history research. This is the 23rd annual Orange County Family History Fair offered by the LDS Church to the community at at large.  There is no charge for attending the conference. A wide variety of classes is offered all day long, from beginning to advanced.  

I have highlighted in yellow those classes specifically for Spanish language or indigenous research.  I also highlighted classes in blue which would be very helpful.


SATURDAY, April 28, 2007
8:00 A.M. TO 5:00 P.M

Orange Family History Center


REGISTRATION: 8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
ASSEMBLY: 9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
Information: (714) 997-7710

Keynote Speaker: Jean Hibben, M.A, C.G.

"Come Away with Me"

No charge for classes

Class Syllabus is available for $10.00, Box Lunch $7.25
For more information, please go to


SESSION I. 10:10 a.m. - 11:10 a.m. 
B. * USING ANCESTRY.COM by Alan Jones 
E. READING GERMAN GOTHIC SCRIPT (Used in Scandinavia too) by Doug Ayer
G. *BEGINNING HISPANIC RESEARCH (in English) by Mike Brady

SESSION II. 11:20 a.m. - 12:20 p.m. 
B. + USING U.S. & WORLD GENWEB by Alan Jones

LUNCH BREAK: 12:20 p.m. - 1:20 p.m.
Brown bag, box lunch or fast food (map available of close fast food/resturants) SESSION III. 1:20 p.m. - 2:20 p.m.

SESSION IV. 2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
A. *+GOING FROM CLUE TO CLUE by Caroline Rober

SESSION V. 3:40 p.m. - 4:40 p.m.

Primos, members of SHHAR, pose with March's quarterly speaker, Dr. Jose de la Pena.  All four are related, happily discovering that connection through genealogical research.



FRIDAY, APRIL 13, 2007 - 
9th Annual Latina Conference: Community, Family, and You
Ontario Airport Hilton, Ontario, CA

The event will feature panel discussions on community, family and importance of women taking care of themselves. Latina Conference 2007 is on schedule to be another sellout! The conference will include speakers and presenters that have local and national community impact. Authors, entertainers, health professionals, educators and business owners will share their stories of success and personal empowerment. For sponsorship information please contact or 951.940.9099.  Additional informational can be found on our websiteHttp://
Sent by Theresa Ynzunza

Breath of Fire Theater Company
Proudly Presents, once again!

“One of the most significant plays in the 
History of Orange County theater" 
- Joel Beers, OC Weekly

 The “Mexican” OC

An original play in two acts,  directed by Sara Guerrero 
and includes a cast of local Orange County actors.

Back by popular demand, this production is a special presentation  at Chapman University in honor of the 60th Anniversary of the landmark Mexican American Desegregation Case, Mendez vs. Westminster of 1946.

The “Mexican” OC is a funny and poignant collection of stories based on oral histories and archival research that seeks to entertain, educate and eliminate the stereotypes of Orange County’s Mexican community.

 Debi Murillo, a pocha real estate agent and Yolanda Gomez, a chicana crossing guard, guide you through everything from Orange County’s first felon, the segregation era, La Habra’s first Latina mayor, and much more.

The performance will run for one weekend only, Saturday April 14th & Sunday, April 15th free of charge. Reservations are encouraged.

The “Mexican” OC, written in collaboration with Heather Enriquez, Sara Guerrero, Cristina Nava, Apolonio Morales, and Elizabeth Szekeresh, was made possible through a California Council of the Humanities California Story Fund Grant .

The performance will take place at: 
Chapman University
Beckman Hall #404
, One University Drive, Orange, CA 92866

To make your reservation please call: (714) 540-1157 or e-mail:  
For more info:

A brief post-show Q & A to promptly follow after each show

Showtimes: Saturday, April 14, 2007 @ 7:00 p.m.   
                                     Sunday, April 15, 2007 @ 2:00 p.m.


Orange County's United Mexican American Veterans Association
Meets the 3rd Saturday from 9-11 a.m. 
Kidworks, 902 W. Chestnut Ave. Santa Ana

January meeting:  Nick Sandoval,Stuart Dickinson, Sal Lujan, Isidro Gauna, Robert Collin, Ralph Colin De leon Ben Hernandez Henry, Lozano Mimi, Councilmen David Benavides, Nelida Yanez, Human Relation Commissioner and MAVA Executive Board Secretary Cecilia Aguinaga, Harvey Reyes, Alfonso Alvarez, Frank Luna, and Fred Bella.

For information, contact secretary:
Cecilia Aguinaga

Editor: The group is dedicated to supporting veterans in Orange County and preserving their life stories. Considering the issues with PBS this is a very timely endeavor.

No, SHHAR members did not hold a meeting in San Antonio.
Viola Sadler, Dr.Jose de La Pena, Mimi Lozano, and Ignacio Pena
discovered happily through their family history research that they are distant cousins.  Ignacio "Nacho" superimposed us on a photo of the Alamo to which the four of us have an ancestral connection. The photo was taken in Orange County.

You are invited to Attend 
SHHAR May quarterly meeting

Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research

"Using Immigration and Naturalization Records"
John P. Schmal

Historian, Genealogist, Lecturer and SHHAR Board Member

Saturday, May 26, 2007 @ 2:00 p.m.
Orange Regional Family History Center
674 S. Yorba, Orange, CA
Light refreshments will be served.
No membership dues. All are welcomed!


Bert Colima, Boxer with Early California Roots
Sons and Souls of California
May 2: Feminists Who Changed America 1963 ~ 1975
April 21st Adelante Mujer Latina 


Bert Colima 1926  won a 10 round decision

Hi, Everyone,  The E-mail below is from Bert Colima's son, Bert. Bert Colima was a famous prize fighter, boxer, from Los Angeles, CA, in the late 1920s, early 1930s. The Bert Colima story is being written by Servando Ortoll.  Mr. Ralph Romero is one of several coaches and mentors to young boxers with the "BCR Bert Colima Romero" Boxing organization in Indio, Southern California.

Bert Colima was my maternal grandfather, Ben Gutierrez' s (Romero blood line) nephew.   Lorraine Frain

Sent: 3/1/2007 12:55:04 PM

Subject: Writing Book

Dear Lorraine,  I thought I would let you know that Servando in Mexico is in the process of writing an autobiography on my dad, Bert Colima. (Epifanio Romero) I hope the photo comes out with this E- mail.. The bout took place in 1926, and Bert Colima won a 10 round decision.

Servando mentioned that he is trying to get as much data as he can in addition to the scrap book clippings that I have already showed him..

Hope you and your family are all well.

Sincerely, Bert


Student, Group
& Senior Rates Available!


MAR 27 - 31
Sons & Souls of California
Two Solo Performances
: Mar 27-30 @ 11:30 AM
Evenings: Mar 29-31 @ 8:00 PM
5269 Lankershim Blvd
North Hollywood, CA 91601

Two legends of American History come together in one unforgettable theatrical event.Starring Fred Blanco as Cesar Chavez and Bruce Buonauro as Bernardo de Galvez.
The Stories of Cesar Chavez follows the Mexican American civil rights leader during his first hunger strike in 1968. Led on a spiritual journey by the Virgen de Guadalupe he finds new strength during one of the most turbulent times of his life.
The Stories of Bernardo de Galvez Finally taking his place among the European heroes of the American Revolution is General Bernardo de Galvez. Born a Spanish aristocrat, the Governor of Spain’s territories in the New World became the patriot who fed and clothed the ragged army dying in Valley Forge and the warrior who drove the British from the western and southern borders of what was to become the United States of America.

Schools welcome to matinee performances


Feminists Who Changed America 1963 ~ 1975  Bridging the Legacy

May 2, 2007 ~ 2 PM – 4 PM
University of Southern California

Celebrate the release of Feminists Who Changed America 1963 ~ 1975** with many of the people honored in this new, elegant & historical book. Books will be on sale or bring your own copy to have signed at this once in a lifetime gathering.

Our illustrious panel members will be sharing stories about who inspired them and lit their torch that lasted a lifetime and changed the lives of all Americans. Passing on the light, panelists will be sharing their legacy with an inspired young person of their choosing. You are also encouraged to bring someone you want to build a generational bridge with; an apprentice, a relative, a student, a friend ~ share the torch that lights your life.

  • Barbara Love  

Author, a founder of PFLAG, once board member of NGLTF, White House-appointed delegate to Houston, and Founder of the Pioneer Directory which became Feminists Who Changed America 1963 – 1975.

  • Dorinda Moreno

Founder of Concilio Mujeres, activist, author, director, founder of Hitec Aztec Communications Elders of 4 Colors 4 Directions, "We Are The Ones That We Have Been Waiting For," Global campaign.

  • Gloria Orenstein

Ecofeminist and professor, author, great guardian of the arts, student of shamanism and teacher. First hire in the Program for the study of Women & Men in Society at USC.

  • Judith Stiehm

Founder & Chair of the first women’s studies program, USC. A founder of The National Women’s Studies Association, author and peace activist.

  • Mitsuye Yamada

Poet, feminist, teacher, humanitarian. A founder of the Asian Pacific Women’s Network and her local chapter of Amnesty International. Delegate to the National Women’s Conference, Houston.

  • Riane Eisler

Co-founder of Los Angeles Women’s Center & the LA Women’s Center Legal Program. Teacher, author, speaker and President of Center for Partnership Studies & founder of the Spiritual Alliance to Stop Intimate Violence.

Hosted by Zoe Nicholson, Sponsored by USC Bookstore
Doheny Memorial Library Room 240, Second Floor
3550 Trousdale Parkway University Park Campus
Los Angeles CA 90089-0185

**Feminists Who Changed America ~ 1963 – 1975 (University of Illinois Press) edited by Barbara J. Love of the Pioneer Feminists Project in partnership with Veteran Feminists of America, a tax-exempt organization created to document feminist history, inspire younger generations, and rekindle the spirit of the feminist revolution.

Rich and elegant history of American feminists, September 27, 2006

Buyer Beware! You are about to fall in love with a feminist. Turn the page and another will become irresistible. Feminists Who Changed America, 1963 - 1975 will change YOU. This is a dazzling compendium of over 2,000 biographies; elegant, short, profound and inspiring. Unlike the lost legacies of many First Wave feminists, the stories of these Second Wave feminists will be preserved forever in this collated, verified and beautifully presented book. In addition, each feminist's archive site is indicated.

The three year creative process began with identifying and locating feminists who were active 1963 ~ 1975. They (or their heirs) were sent questionnaires and their responses were transformed into short bios. You can be certain of the veracity of the information here but don't think for a moment that it is dry or exclusively academic. With each biography you will fall in love with a feminist who was a first; first lawmaker, first professor, first publisher, first judge, first member in a legislature, first to march, first to open women's health clinic. In this reading you will read and feel how these brief years paved every road for women in America and, thus, women in the world. It is rich as cheesecake, a bite everyday is delectable.


Adelante Mujer Latina 2

13th Annual Conference 2007
Presented by: Pasadena Youth Center

Contact: Veronica De La Rosa, Conference Administrator   
Office Telephone:  (626) 795-7990 (@ Center For Community & Family Services) E-mail:                                  

What:  A career and vocational conference with a day-long program specifically designed  with the cultural and family values of the Latino community in mind. The conference program will consist of over 50 diverse workshops on career and vocational choices. Each year the conference opening and closing program is represented by a sample of California's most influential Latina women.

Who:  More than 1,500 Latinas, ages 14 to 21, are the target audience for this conference.  The mothers and female relatives are invited and encouraged to accompany their teen. Professional Latina mentors are also encouraged to attend with their students.

When: April 21, 20077:00am - 4:00pm
  Pasadena City College   
1570 East Colorado Boulevard, Pasadena, California  91106

In addition, our conference provides: AResource Center with over 75 representatives from corporate and government employers, community organizations, colleges, and universities.
Special bi-lingual & Spanish workshops designed for the mothers & mentors of the teens.
Sessions for teachers and counselors are also offered. Registration:  The registration fee of $15.00 includes a continental breakfast, lunch, and all conference materials.  Pre-registration is required.  Please call (626) 7957990 
Sponsored by: Pasadena Youth Center Center For Community & Family Services 
Co-Sponsored by:  Pasadena City College, Pasadena Unified School District


Ken Burns will be in Sacramento on April 24
Gus Chavez,

Margaret Cruz  "Little Giant of the Mission District"
Mexican Genealogy Group, Northern California
Red CalacArts Collective, 3rd annual Chicano Park Day Fundraiser
Southern California Students
Los Californianos Heritage Calendar, April  
Recibido de la Peña Andaluza en California
Party/fundraiser organized by Amigos de El Salvador.  
California Genealogical Society Changes Its Address 


Margaret Cruz  "Little Giant of the Mission District"

Message from photographer Andre Gladden Moreno:
These photos were taken at the Margaret Cruz Memorial at St. Finn's Catholic Church in San Francisco. The late Margaret Cruz who died at her home in San Francisco on Feb. 6 was a long time friend of my mom, Dorinda Moreno. 

Cruz was hailed as the "Little Giant of the Mission District"  for her small physique but big political fights; she rose in profile in 1960 when co-founded the Mexican American Political  Association.
<Photo: Frank and Margaret Cruz
In addition to celebrating her life, the memorial offered an opportunity for my mom and me to be reunited with old friends, including many of her classmate from San Francisco State University. 

I'm enjoying my time in San Francisco with my mom and her/our friends. Margaret Cruz was a big loss for us as she was meaningful fixture in our family and nation. 

Among Mom's friends that attended were  Ray Balberan (Film, Back in the Streets), Miguel Barragan (National Concilio's of America, Composer/Singer "Mujer Valiente", Mr & Mrs Lorenzo Dill, Denhi Donis and son Emiliano, Marine Dominguez (Film Maker, Hispanic Media Group), Marcos Gutierrez,  Roberto Hernandez, Dorinda Moreno, Ray Rivera,Margo Segura (Cada Cabeza es un Mundo, Curriculum), Gene Royale, Sadie Williams  (Building Alliances Coaching), Gladys Sandlin, (Dir. Mission Neighborhood Health Center), and Victoria (Author, Book on Women). 

I'm probably remembered most by these folks for causing trouble on campus. One time I marched into one of her classrooms and barked, "I wanna dollar!" Another time it took several of my mom's friends to pull her out of class because I was stuck in a tree. Once they got her, she scolded me from below the tree saying, "You figured out how to get up there, now you have to figure out how to come down! 

Anyway, I'm enjoying my time in San Francisco with my mom and her/our friends. Margaret Cruz was a big loss for us as she was meaningful fixture in our family and nation. 

If you are having problems viewing this email, copy and paste the following into your browser:
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Mexican Genealogy Group, Northern California

March meeting in Elk Grove (near Sacramento), California.

For information, contact Jaime Cader

Red CalacArts Collective, 3rd annual Chicano Park Day Fundraiser
Upcoming Chicano Park Day, April 21st, San Diego
Sent by Dorinda Moreno

Calacamig@s- On behalf of the Red CalacArts Collective we would like to thank all who performed, contributed, and attended our 3rd annual Chicano Park Day Fundraiser this past Saturday March 24.  Especially Los Romanticos, Acteal, and Chunky and Ricardo Sanchez for the beautiful music. Antonieta Manríquez for the wonderful menudo. All who donated items for the raffle, including but not limited to: Guillermo Aranda, Sal Barajas, Chicano Park Steering Committee, Carmen Kalo, Annie Ross, Mario Torero, Jim Moreno, Adrian Hernandez, Loca, Ricardo Islas, Pepe Villarino, and Endy Bernal. The event would not have been a success without the help of these fine people. 

After expenses over $1200 was raised to help organize this year's 37th anniversary of Chicano Park. Since we started the fundraiser three year's ago the Redz have raised over $3000 for the Chicano Park Steering Committee. We look forward to many future Chicano Park fundraisers.  The Redz are planning another fundraiser on May 12. This time to help out Calaca artist Berenice Badillo who is recovering from hip replacement surgery. This silent art auction will feature many of San Diego's finest Chican@ artists. Save the date! More info to come.

Los Romanticos kicked off the fundraiser. 

Diego, Betty, Octaviano and his wife enjoyed the menudo and the show. 

Without a drummer or bass player
 Acteal still rocked it. 

Hope to see you all on 
April 21 for Chicano Park Day. 
Desde Calacalandia, 
Brent E. Beltrán and Consuelo Manríquez de Beltrán 

Artist Teresa Yolanda Lopez and los hermanos Baza came out to support. 

Las Redz (Mariajulia, Annie and Marisa) relax for a minute to take a  pic. 

Chunky and Ricardo of Los Alacranes closed out the show. 

Southern California Students 

About once a year I remind the researchers of Southern California families to take a look at my web site: Search for your parents or grandparents in the yearbook listings.

I have not been able to post weekly as I did when the page was young, but I try to upload graduating classes at least monthly. All classes listed are at least 50-years-old and all are from Southern California. No ads and strictly non-profit. Hope you find your ancestors.

Karla in Bakersfield
Visit the California-Spanish website at

Mimi, Here follows the bit from TESTIMONIOS to which I referred. 
Here from pp. 127-128 are the recollections of Juana Machado:

The change of flags in 1822 was as follows. . .(in San Diego). . .

The infantry, cavalry, and a few artillerymen were ordered to line up in formation in the presidio plaza. . .A corporal or a soldier held the Spanish flag in one hand and the Mexican flag in the other. Both flags were attached to little sticks. In the presence of Officer Don Jose Maria Estudillo, Commander Ruiz gave the cry "Long live the Mexican Empire!" Then the Spanish flag was lowered and the Mexican flag was raised amidst salvos of artillery and fusillade. After this, the soldiers received nothing.

The next day, the soldiers were ordered to cut off their braids. This produced a very unfavorable reaction in everyone--men and women alike. The men were used to wearing their hair long and braided. At the tip of the braid there would be a ribbon or a silk knot. On many men, the braid went past their waist. . .

The order was carried out. I remember when my father arrived home with his braid in his hand. He gave it to my mother. His face showed such sorrow. My mother's face was not any better. She would look at the braid and cry. . .

Galal Kernahan
" A delightful book.  It brings history alive. "


Testimonios: Early California through the Eyes of Women, 1815–1848 
Translated with introduction/commentary by Rose Marie Beebe and Robert M. Senkewicz
512 pages (6 x 9), with b&w photos, maps, glossary, and index
Cloth, ISBN: 1-59714-032-5, $27.50  Trade Paper, ISBN: 1-59714-033-3, $18.95
Published in collaboration with the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

"Testimonios is a pioneering work of scholarship and critical interpretation by two of the finest Hispanicists active in early California studies. It is also a deeply moving act of liberation in which thirteen women are called forth from the tomb of neglected history so that they might at long last speak to us of their lives and times and the California they helped bring into being."—Kevin Starr, Professor of History, University of Southern California.

From the editors of the highly influential Lands of Promise and Despair, here are thirteen women’s firsthand accounts from the time California was part of Spain and Mexico.

When in the early 1870s historian Hubert Howe Bancroft sent interviewers out to gather oral histories from the pre-statehood gentry of California, he didn’t count on one thing: the women. When the men weren’t available, the interviewers collected the stories of the women of the household—almost as an afterthought. These were eventually archived at the University of California, although many were all but forgotten.

Having lived through the gold rush and seen their country change so drastically, these women understood the need to tell the full story of the people and the places that were their California. Some of their words are translated here into English for the first time.

Advance Praise: "Testimonios is a pioneering work of scholarship and critical interpretation by two of the finest Hispanicists active in early California studies. It is also a deeply moving act of liberation in which thirteen women are called forth from the tomb of neglected history so that they might at long last speak to us of their lives and times and the California they helped bring into being."—Kevin Starr, Professor of History, University of Southern California

About the Editors:  Rose Marie Beebe and Robert M. Senkewicz teach Spanish and history, respectively, at Santa Clara University. Together they are the authors of Lands of Promise and Despair: Chronicles of Early California, 1535–1846 and the editors of Guide to Manuscripts Concerning Baja California in the Collections of the Bancroft Library. They translated and edited The History of Alta California by Antonio María Osio, and they are also co-editors of Boletín: The Journal of the California Mission Studies Association. The couple lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Información de la Peña Andaluza para nuestros socios y amigos:
Sent by Maria Angeles O'Donnell Olson

Fiesta del Caballo Español:
5 de Mayo 
Burbank, California

La Peña Andaluza participará un año más en este faboluso despliegue de exhibiciones y concursos de caballos de pura sangre española y andaluza. 

Montaremos un "stand" con los colores de España y Andalucía con publicidad y artículos de nuestras provincias andaluzas y españolas. Nuestro agradecimiento a la Oficina de Turismo de España en Los Ángeles por su aportación cada año al esfuerzo de nuestra organización para difundir nuestra cultura. El grupo flamenco de la Peña amenizará esta fabulosa fiesta en la que se presentan más de 400 caballo y a la que asisten miles de personas.

Para los detalles, visita la página:

organized by Amigos de El Salvador.  

The dance was held in Concord, California.  The young pretty lady is Leyla Perez of Nicaragua, but who also has a Salvadoran and Middle Eastern background.  She works for the U.S. Post Office in Antioch, California.  In one photo she is sitting next to my mother Eva Cader, and in another photo she is dancing with her friend from Veracruz, Mexico.


 "Amigos de El Salvador" gives out scholarships to Contra Costa Co. students
Please see their website:    
Sent by Jaime Cader

The California Genealogical Society and Library has moved to new 
quarters. The new address is:

California Genealogical Society
2201 Broadway, Suite LL2
Oakland, CA 94612-3017

Volunteers are working hard to reopen CGS in the new location as soon as possible. The books are on the new shelves awaiting shelf-reading, and supplies are being unpacked. The expected date for reopening is 8 March and an informal open house for members is planned for 10 March, with a formal gala open house to occur at a later date.

More details will become available on the society's website:
RootsWeb Review: RootsWeb's Weekly E-zine
07 March 2007, Vol. 10, No. 10
(c) 1998-2007, Inc.


Please send info on upcoming events to: Mike Ford, 2123 Brutus St, Salinas, CA 93906 or phone (831) 262-7393 or Email

Through APRIL 22:
Exhibition of paintings & etchings, "Romance of the Bells", depicting the California Missions (courtesy The Irvine Museum), at Hudson Museum, Ukiah.
To arrange group tour, (707) 467-2836 or

The Carmel Mission in Art at Jo Mora Chapel Gallery, Carmel Mission. 1st phase through September = Photography.  Curator Julianne Burton-Carvajal will add Painting phase in October and Print/Drawing phase April (2008).

21st Presidio of Santa Barbara Founding Day 225th Anniversary - Traditionally, activities have included a procession and reenactment of the founding by Los Soldados.

20th - 22nd Los Californianos meeting in Pomona, Visit to Alvarado Adobe  
Information: Jane Cowgill 



Los Veteranos of World War II:
Cecilia's Year
Reflections of an avid Genealogist


Los Veteranos of World War II:

Documentary Reveals History of Phoenix through Eyes of Mexican-American Veterans
Dr. Pet Dimas

Post 41 played a critical role in eliminating local discrimination.

WHAT: Phoenix College liberal arts instructor and director of Southwest studies, Dr. Pete Dimas will unveil Los Veteranos of World War II: A mission for social change in Central Arizona, a documentary written by him. Los Veteranos of World War II: A mission for social change in Central Arizona tells the history of Phoenix through the eyes of local Mexican-American veterans of the United States Military. The ceremonies for this premier will include the Color Guard of American Legion Post 41.

Dr. Dimas considers this as Episode 1 to an extensive video history project of this area as experienced through the Hispanic veterans from World War II to the present.

The families of some of the World War II veterans were part of the early history of Phoenix. Their story reveals the pre-war social conditions and how these veterans used their unity to challenge adverse conditions and the status quo of Phoenix during a critical time. From eliminating local discrimination in public housing, VA and FHA financed housing, educational institutions, and public facilities to creating a health clinic for their community, members of Thunderbird American Legion Post 41 were instrumental in the fight for equality. Ultimately, the story of Post 41 serves to clarify much of the mythology and history of Phoenix. 

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, call (602) 285-7181. 

WHEN: Thursday, May 5, 2005 (7 p.m.)
WHERE: Phoenix College - Bulpitt Auditorium

WHY: Membership of Post 41, "an essentially all Chicano Legion Post," according to Dimas, played a critical role in challenging long established racial inequities in Phoenix. Many of the Mexican-American veterans experienced overwhelming scrutiny and discrimination; however, their conviction and cohesive unity truly shaped local history, a history told in Los Veteranos of World War II: A mission for social change in Central Arizona. 

WHO: Dr. Dimas is a professor of history in the Liberal Arts Department at Phoenix College and is also Director of Southwest Studies for the college. A life-long resident of Phoenix, Arizona, Dr. Dimas is a Navy veteran of the Vietnam War, has served as a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the area encompassing South Phoenix, and is a former member of the South Mountain Village Planning and Zoning Committee for the City of Phoenix. He currently serves on the state board of the Arizona Historical Society and is a board member of the Braun-Sacred Heart Center, Inc.

Phoenix College News Story
Contact: Christy Skeen   
Sent by Rafael Ojeda

Cecilia's Year - an historical novel set in the Rio Grande Valley of New Mexico just after the Great Depression. The novel’s title character struggles to balance the demands of life on her family’s farm with her ambitions of education and a life in the big cities she reads about in magazines and novels. Deeply rooted in the culture and traditions of the American Southwest, Cecilia’s Year is also strongly reminiscent of YA classics like Anne of Green Gables and Little House on the Prairie.

Cinco Puntos Press
701 Texas Ave.
El Paso, Texas 79901
Phone: (915) 838-1625
Fax: (915) 838-1635

Reflections of an avid Genealogist


As with any persistent genealogist, it’s anticipation, and ultimate rewards that keep me going.  Every lead, every document I chase has the potential of revealing the unexpected. Oft times I stumble across intriguing tales –oral history that merits retelling.   


I dialed the number of a Mary Lujan found among my jumbled notes. The woman at the other end of the line was somewhat annoyed.


“Where did you get my unlisted number?” she asked. I briefly explained that I was researching my Lujan lineage, “It was my deceased husband Manuel who was a Lujan,” she replied curtly.


Undaunted I persisted.  “Did he hail from Chihuahua , and more specifically the border town of Ojinaga ?” I asked.


“Yes he did” a surprised Mary replied. Plied by the unexpected link, Mary Lujan dropped her guard and shared more details.  Her husband’s father-- Manuel Lujan Sr. had installed Ojinaga’s initial source of electricity, and as far as she knew his parents had been Jesus Lujan and Sara Houston. 


Houston ?!”  I blurted out.


“Yes” came the matter-of –fact reply.  “Sara was a niece of Sam Houston of The Battle of San Jacinto fame”.


Genealogy and history going hand- in-hand, I found myself pondering over the Houston connection for days.  The intriguing issue moved me to write to the author of a National Geographic article on Sam Houston.  The courteous gentleman wrote back immediately saying he knew nothing of a Sam Houston brother.  The nagging question compelled me to go back to the source, and I called Mary again.  What developed was an unfolding of both friendship and story.


Pearl was a widow of twelve years when she met the dashing Manuel Lujan Jr.  The love-smitten young man courted Pearl who was always accompanied by two younger sisters. When Manuel proposed marriage, Pearl ’s response was that when he learned a hidden truth about her, he would not want to marry her.  She confessed that girls she had introduced as her sisters were in reality her daughters!  Pearl ’s explanation of the deception was that she believed she would not receive the same “respect” as a widow as that of a “Senorita”.  Hearing this, Manuel expressed admiration of her “qualidades de mujer Decente’.  Marriage preparations were on.


At their local parish, the priest putting the necessary paperwork together inquired of Manuel if his father was Manuel Lujan Sr. of Ojinaga , Chihuahua .  Manuel’s answer in the affirmative elicited another amazing story.


“I owe my life to your father,” Father Ramirez told Manuel.  During the Mexican Revolution, he and Manuel Sr. were forced to flee Ojinaga rather than face the vengeance of Pancho Villa who hated both priests, and moneyed Lujans. “Your father got me out and onto US soil disguised as a woman!” Ranirez said.


Mary “Pearl” Alvarez was born in Dona Anna County, New Mexico. Nearby neighbors included the family of Pat Garrett –the man who killed Billy the Kid. In fact her widowed grandmother had worked in the Garrett household.    As a refined and decent young lady, she caught the eye of Edward Fountain who was grandson of Albert Jennings Fountain, an extraordinary figure in Dona Anna County .  Despite differences in social and monetary back ground the couple married with full Fountain approval.  Edward and Pearl enjoyed a happy marriage until his early death.


Pearl strongly suggested I go visit the old Fountain Homestead which is now the Gadsden Museum in La Mesilla, New Mexico .  The following year I did just that.  Mary Veitch Alexander gave me a detailed tour of this amazing tribute to her Grandfather.  She spoke proudly of the man who became a legend in his own time.  Colonel Albert Jennings Fountain was at times, Political figure, Indian Fighter, newspaper publisher, Texas Ranger, and in 1881, defense attorney for Billy the Kid.   I delved into personal objects, authentic Indian artifacts, paintings of Native Americans –done on Deerskin by Albert Fountain Jr. And –in the back yard, the jail-bunk that held Billy the Kid!


Before I left I went back for one more look at a painting of Zara Houston, and a silk- embroidered vest worn by Sam Houston—both donations from Pearl’s husband, Manuel Lujan Jr.  Thanks to Mary Alexander the mystery of Sam Houston’s brother was solved. He was a diplomat living In Chihuahua, City when he met and married Francisca Estavillo.  Their daughter Zara married Manuel Lujan Senior.  Their son Manuel Lujan Junior was Pearl’s second husband.


Sometime in 1994 Pearl failed to answer my calls.  (Unbeknownst to me her area-code had been changed) Assuming she had moved or worse yet had passed on; I was left with fond memories and cherished photographs of her and Manuel. Twelve years later, I’ve come full circle and called the Gadsden Museum for verification of pertinent facts related to this paper.  I spoke to Mary Alexander’s daughter.  She told me her mother had passed away in 2006.  I immediately thought of Pearl who was 94 when I last spoke to her, and assuming she also was gone, I asked for details of her demise.  Once again, my passion for genealogy has dealt me another great surprise.  Mary”Pearl” Lujan just celebrated her106th birthday! 



Elisa Lujan Perez 2007


Recovered History: The First Major Black Theater
Freedom's Journal
Tips from the Pros: Afro-Louisiana History and Genealogy
Florida's Forgotten Rebels
Roots of Latino/black anger 
What is to be done about Latino prejudice against Blacks?
Five historical perspectives 


In 1910 the largest theater catering to a black audience, built with black capital, opened in Washington DC nearly two decades before the Apollo began offering black entertainment. For decades, the Howard would feature such acts as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald, Billy Eckstine, Sarah Vaughan and Lionel Hampton.
So important was this institution to a community isolated in segregation that students from nearby high schools would periodically  cut class to attend an afternoon performance. "After recess, there wasn't anybody at the school," recalls Lillian Gordon, once a dancer at the Howard. On at least two occasions, a principal or assistant
principal showed up at the Howard, halted the show, turned up the lights and ordered their charges back to class - one without saying a word, just pointing to the exit.

But as Elissa Silverman reported in the Washington Post, "The 1968 riots spurred a decline in the U Street corridor known as Black Broadway, and the Howard Theatre closed its doors two years later. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.  

Comedian Redd Foxx and others attempted revivals but, for years, the building has remained vacant and crumbling. Now that the area around the Howard has been revitalized with condominiums, restaurants, and retail shops, developer Chip Ellis wants the Howard to come back to life, too." Ellis, a black Washingtonian, has enlisted the programming aid of Blues Alley, one of America's clubs that musicians like the most.

Last weekend your editor enjoyed an event pulled together by his social historian wife - Kathryn Smith, who co-chairs the Historical Society of Washington - at which more than 200 people gathered to hear anecdotes from the Howard's past.

While many of the names and some of the stories were familiar to one who had been among the young white guys who also went there in the fifties, I was reminded again of the theater's role in holding the community together. The Howard was part of a self-sufficiency the U Street area developed that moved the neighborhood beyond survival towards pride and growth. The theater also provided a shared story that cut across class in the community. Once when the Mill Brothers performed, the crowds were so large, they had to make T Street one way. Decades later, it still is.

Bertell Knox  - a longtime drummer in the house band and later backup for Charlie Byrd - recalled how  important the Howard band's leader had considered dress. If you weren't in 'full tux' you would have to provide a bottle of whiskey for the other members of the band. The players would look around to see which of the group had left on their brown socks as they rushed to get dress. The musicians were also role
models for the young; Saxophonist George Botts remembered that it  was how well the performers were dressed that made him think as a young man that this was the path he should follow.   He did and would evetnually accompany Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Dinah Washington, Sarah Vaughan, Jimmy Witherspoon, Etta Jones, Redd Foxx, Betty Carter, T-Bone Walker, Benny Goodman, Anita O'Day, and John Coltrane, just to mention a few.

In a revealing way, the program became somewhat anarchistic towards the end. As some  members of the audience were telling their stories, other spectators got up and started socializing in the back. A nice confirmation not only of the importance of this story, but of the importance of people having a place to tell their stories. Everyone
owned a piece of the history.

One of the reasons that history feels dull to many is because it is so often confined to the past. Among the prices of literacy has been to imprison history in a timeline. In cultures dependent upon oral tradition, however, the past often become a partner of the present just as it did last weekend.  It occurred to me while headed to the event that we are all history; it's just that some people got a head start on us.  And as I watched the young members of a jazz quartet that played for the event talking with the panelists, I wondered what stories they would tell a few decades down the road.

Sent by Dorinda Moreno

Freedom's Journal
Freedom's Journal, the first African-American owned and operated newspaper puts out is premiere weekly issue in New York City, March 16, 1827.  The paper pleads "our own cause" to readers in 11 states, covering such noted African-Americans as shipowner Capt. Paul Cufee, and decrying slavery, until the paper's end in 1929.  
Smithsonian March2007, page 28.

Tips from the Pros: Afro-Louisiana History and Genealogy

by George G. Morgan

One of the most impressive collections of online African American genealogical materials can be found at the Afro-Louisiana History and genealogy website. The database, created by Dr. Gwendolyn Hall, a professor emeritus of history at Rutgers University, consists of a vast collection of materials discovered in 1984 in a courthouse in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana. Included are documents delineating the background of approximately 100,000 slaves brought to Louisiana during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The database is searchable by name, gender, racial designation, and plantation or origin, and will be invaluable to many African-ancestored researchers. You can find this site at

Juliana Smith, Editor
The Generations Network, Inc. 05 March 2007

Afro-Hispanics' Rich History Often Overlooked
by Bessy Reyna
February 15 2002

Inspired by the celebration of African American History Month, I decided that it was time for me to learn more about Afro-Hispanics, their history and contributions to Latin American culture. However, I must confess that trying to remedy my own ignorance on this subject has been very frustrating. This information has not been easy to find. Part of the problem I encountered is a lack of books about Afro-Hispanics, and the Internet, usually overloaded with information on any possible topic, had relatively few useful references. 

I was very excited when I finally located the book "Extraordinary Hispanic Americans" by Susan Sinnott at the Park Street Branch of the Hartford Public Library. Unfortunately, this author limited her study to Hispanics in the United States. Of the more than 60 people featured, only two are Afro-Hispanics: Puerto Ricans Arthur Alfonso Schomburg and Roberto Clemente. Schomburg, a historian, was an avid collector of books and documents on black history. His collection was purchased by the New York City Public Library and is now archived in the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Roberto Clemente was an extraordinary baseball player who died in 1972 in a plane crash trying to bring help to the victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua. 

Inspired by the celebration of African American History Month, I decided that it was time for me to learn more about Afro-Hispanics, their history and contributions to Latin American culture. However, I must confess that trying to remedy my own ignorance on this subject has been very frustrating. This information has not been easy to find. Part of the problem I encountered is a lack of books about Afro-Hispanics, and the Internet, usually overloaded with information on any possible topic, had relatively few useful references. 

I was very excited when I finally located the book "Extraordinary Hispanic Americans" by Susan Sinnott at the Park Street Branch of the Hartford Public Library. Unfortunately, this author limited her study to Hispanics in the United States. Of the more than 60 people featured, only two are Afro-Hispanics: Puerto Ricans Arthur Alfonso Schomburg and Roberto Clemente. Schomburg, a historian, was an avid collector of books and documents on black history. His collection was purchased by the New York City Public Library and is now archived in the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. Roberto Clemente was an extraordinary baseball player who died in 1972 in a plane crash trying to bring help to the victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua. 

As well-intentioned as this book might be, it is also an example of the omissions in literature dealing with Hispanics. The biographical notes about Schomburg quote one of his teachers in Puerto Rico who told him that "black people had no history, no heroes, no great moments." Sinnott compounds the teacher's error by failing to include other Afro-Hispanics in her book, including well-known contemporary actors and performers.

Those of us who grew up in Latin America are very aware of the socioeconomic and racial differences that exist between ethnic groups. We know that in most of our countries, the native Indian and black populations are still marginalized. This is true even in countries such as Brazil, where the population is more racially mixed. A few days ago, I was listening to an interview on WHUS radio with Brazilian singer and songwriter Tania Maria, who was in Connecticut to present a concert at the University of Connecticut. Tania Maria mentioned that she left her country because she knew that as a black woman it was going to be very difficult for her to become the musician she wanted to be. So she did what many black artists from the United States and Latin America had done: She moved to Paris.

Florida's Forgotten Rebels

Rediscovering the most successful slave revolt in American history
Amy Sturgis | April 2007 Print Edition

John Horse's story feels like an answer to every Hollywood studio's wish list: a mix of Spartacus, Braveheart, Amistad, and Glory, with just a pinch of Dances With Wolves. A sweeping tale of a decades-long struggle against oppression, the movie would show how Horse and the Black Seminoles created the largest haven for runaway slaves in the American South, led the biggest slave revolt in U.S. history, won the only emancipation of rebellious North American slaves before the Civil War, and formed the largest mass exodus of slaves in U.S. history. In the 1830s Horse's people journeyed from the Florida Everglades to what is now Oklahoma and then across the border to Mexico, where they ultimately secured title to their own land.

What is perhaps most amazing about this story is how it has been overlooked so consistently, not just by filmmakers and popular audiences but by almost every
historian of slavery. Now a nonprofessional historian-- J.B. Bird, an administrator at the University of Texas--has written and produced an engrossing multimedia Web documentary, Rebellion: John Horse and the Black Seminoles, the First Black Rebels to Beat American Slavery. (To see it for yourself, go to In the process, Bird has illustrated not just an important part of the American past but
also one of the ways cyberspace is changing how history is studied and taught.

Bird's narrative begins in Spanish Florida in the early 18th century, when two groups fled from the colonial South: Seminoles migrating from Alabama and Georgia to escape white encroachment and blacks fleeing the bonds of slavery. Both were welcome in Spanish Florida. The escaped slaves, in fact, were offered their freedom if they would defend the Spanish crown. Both the Catholic Church and Spanish law treated slavery as an unnatural condition, and both recognized blacks and American Indians as human beings (if not equals). More practically, offering sanctuary to English slaves created a human buffer zone and a free fighting force against the British colonists.

The mixed society that emerged in Florida produced "maroons" or "Indian negroes"--today known as Black Seminoles, people of Seminole cultural traditions and full or partial African descent. Mose, north of St. Augustine, was soon established as "the first legally sanctioned free black town in North America."

By the start of the American Revolution, Great Britain controlled Florida. The Seminoles and blacks living there overwhelmingly sided with the British during the
conflict, as they had no love for the colonists who had dispossessed and enslaved them. At the end of the war, the Treaty of Versailles returned Florida to Spanish
rule in 1783.

The Southern states did not rest easily with free and armed blacks living nearby and welcoming runaway slaves--especially since those communities were allied
with thousands of equally free and armed Indians. From George Washington onward, presidents tried to deal with the "problem." In 1818, during the Monroe
administration, Gen. Andrew Jackson invaded Florida, ostensibly to pursue justice against those who had attacked Fort Scott in Georgia. In the process he seized the peninsula for the United States, executing those who opposed him and "cleaning out" many Seminole and Black Seminole villages to make Florida more
suitable for annexation. The United States formally purchased the peninsula from Spain the following year.

When Jackson became president, he decided to drive the remaining communities out of Florida by force. The result was the Second Seminole War (1835-1842), the
largest and most costly of the Indian Wars.

By this time, 45 percent of Florida's population was enslaved. Not surprisingly, given the close links between the territory's black and Indian populations, the Seminole struggle spawned a slave revolt. As Bird explains, "Maroon warriors and plantation slaves played integral roles in the uprising. By April of 1836, the Black Seminoles and their Indian allies had sparked the largest slave rebellion in U.S. history, as more than 385 plantation slaves fled their masters and joined in the wholesale destruction of Florida's sugar mills--at the time some of the most valuable plantations in all of North America." One Seminole leader at this time was
the legendary chief Osceola, who drew much of his support from the Black Seminoles and was reputed to have a black wife. During the war, another leader
emerged: the former slave John Horse, half black and half Indian, who was destined to lead the Black Seminoles on a long, complex exodus in pursuit of freedom.

In 1838 the Black Seminoles agreed to cease fighting and move to the Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) in exchange for legal recognition of their freedom. Once relocated, though, Horse and his people were threatened repeatedly with re-enslavement--by Indians as well as whites--with little or no protection from the law. In 1848 U.S. Attorney General John Y. Mason announced that the United States never had the power to free the Black Seminoles, and that they therefore were still legally slaves.

With no security in the Indian Territory, Horse and his Seminole ally Coacoochee promptly led their people to Mexico, where slavery had been outlawed for two
decades. There Horse became a famed colonel in the Mexican army. When slavecatchers from the Republic of Texas attempted to capture the Black Seminoles in Mexico, they met resistance from Mexicans as well as Black Seminoles. In the 1850s, Horse and his people finally gained a legally recognized Mexican homeland in Nacimiento.

Although Bird is careful not to assign too much nobility or heroism to Horse or any other actors in the story--he acknowledges, for example, Horse's duties as
"professional Indian killer" while guarding the border of Mexico--he is not above celebrating the tale he has recovered and preserved. "As a nation," he writes, "we
have dimly remembered the failed black militants of prior centuries but have completely forgotten our most successful black freedom fighters. We celebrate the
founding fathers for taking up arms against the oppressor, yet nowhere in American history books will students find an example of a community of armed black rebels who successfully fought the tyranny of slavery."

Bird argues that several factors combined to "bury" the tale of John Horse and his people. One is the inherent difficulty in separating the intertwined threads of the
Native American conflict, "maroon war," and slave rebellion that made up the Second Seminole War. Many scholars simply did not attempt to extricate one story
from another. But Bird believes there is also an ideological reason most schoolchildren do not know the name John Horse.

Citing the Marxist historian Eugene Genovese's work as an example, Bird notes how the distinguished scholar concluded "broadly, that after Nat Turner's uprising in
1831, southern Americans effectively co-opted their slave-proletariat by improving living conditions and offering them the feeble hope of emancipation through peaceful means, a naive dream that was easier for slaves to accept than the brutal consequences of leading a failed rebellion." Such an interpretation is hard to maintain when the largest slave uprising took place after Nat Turner's rebellion--and was at least partly successful. But when the giants in the field hold such positions, Bird suggests, it poisons the well, since many others tend to draw on these giants' work. (More recently, Genovese and his scholarship have turned from Marxism toward conservatism. But Bird's point still stands.) By bringing together the lesser-known insights of revisionists and adding his own significant original research, Bird seeks to repair oversights such as Genovese's.

With its cross-referenced sources and attention to detail, Rebellion offers a compelling case for Web documentaries as a significant new medium for the writing, dissemination, and revision of history. Bird originally conceived of his project as a film, and he still is pursuing that goal, but the Rebellion site is an impressive accomplishment in itself. The site's interactive structure and varied contents are useful to scholars and educators as well as interested laypeople. From the interactive map of John Horse's life, for example, visitors may click on any location for images of and additional information about that place. Or they can leap directly to the specific page among the 370 multimedia panels that explores the relevance of that place to the website's larger narrative.

Bird also sets a good example by clearly distinguishing his verifiable facts from his personal musings: It would be difficult, for instance, to confuse the "Why does any of this matter?" section of his Frequently Asked Questions (where he notes that "America never was the lily white nation of Pat Buchanan's dreams") with the heavily documented academic journal articles located in the "Essays and Articles" page. He also takes special care to document his research, while presenting information in a variety of formats appropriate for different skill sets and interests,
from the introductory to the scholarly, the brief to the in-depth, all labeled in a clear, user-friendly manner.

Does it matter that Bird is not a professional, credentialed historian? Not really. He knows the difference between primary and secondary sources, and his citations open the door for additional research by interested parties of all backgrounds. In some ways, it may be a blessing that Bird is not a professional. His website manages to be both comprehensible and comprehensive, neither lost in the self-serving jargon of too many monographs nor myopic and overspecialized to the point of irrelevance. Bird communicates his message clearly and never loses sight of why it is important to the "bigger picture." In so doing he offers a welcome and edifying example to many in the field.

That said, his greatest accomplishment lies in what he has done, not how he did it. In Bird's own words, "Readers seeking a politically correct indictment of American history may be disappointed in Rebellion, but so will those who are uncomfortable learning the darker sides of the American tradition." He has told a thrilling and disturbing tale, forgotten for far too long, about people who were committed to seeking freedom and ultimately successful in finding it.

Amy H. Sturgis ( teaches Native American studies at Belmont University and is a member of the Scholarly Board of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research. Her newest book is The Trail of Tears and Indian Removal (Greenwood Press).

Portside aims to provide material of interest to people on the left that will help them to interpret the world and to change it.  Submit via email:

Roots of Latino/black anger 
Response to an article that appeared in the L.A. Times  (12-7-04)
Longtime prejudices, not economic rivalry, fuel tensions.
By Tanya K. Hernandez, January 7, 2007
Tanya K. Hernandez is a professor of law at Rutgers University Law School.,1,414328.story
Sent by Alva Moore Stevenson

THE ACRIMONIOUS relationship between Latinos and African Americans in Los Angeles is growing hard to ignore. Although last weekend's black-versus-Latino race riot at Chino state prison is unfortunately not an aberration, the Dec. 15 murder in the Harbor Gateway neighborhood of Cheryl Green, a 14-year-old African American, allegedly by members of a Latino gang, was shocking.

Yet there was nothing really new about it. Rather, the murder was a manifestation of an increasingly common trend: Latino ethnic cleansing of African Americans from multiracial neighborhoods. Just last August, federal prosecutors convicted four Latino gang members of engaging in a six-year conspiracy to assault and murder African Americans in Highland Park. During the trial, prosecutors demonstrated that African American residents (with no gang ties at all) were being terrorized in an effort to force them out of a neighborhood now perceived as Latino.

For example, one African American resident was murdered by Latino gang members as he looked for a parking space near his Highland Park home. In another case, a woman was knocked off her bicycle and her husband was threatened with a box cutter by one of the defendants, who said, "You niggers have been here long enough."

At first blush, it may be mystifying why such animosity exists between two ethnic groups that share so many of the same socioeconomic deprivations. Over the years, the hostility has been explained as a natural reaction to competition for blue-collar jobs in a tight labor market, or as the result of turf battles and cultural disputes in changing neighborhoods. Others have suggested that perhaps Latinos have simply been adept at learning the U.S. lesson of anti-black racism, or that perhaps black Americans are resentful at having the benefits of the civil rights movement extended to Latinos.

Although there may be a degree of truth to some or all of these explanations, they are insufficient to explain the extremity of the ethnic violence.

Over the years, there's also been a tendency on the part of observers to blame the conflict more on African Americans (who are often portrayed as the aggressors) than on Latinos. But although it's certainly true that there's plenty of blame to go around, it's important not to ignore the effect of Latino culture and history in fueling the rift.

The fact is that racism — and anti-black racism in particular — is a pervasive and historically entrenched reality of life in Latin America and the Caribbean. More than 90% of the approximately 10 million enslaved Africans brought to the Americas were taken to Latin America and the Caribbean (by the French, Spanish and British, primarily), whereas only 4.6% were brought to the United States. By 1793, colonial Mexico had a population of 370,000 Africans (and descendants of Africans) — the largest concentration in all of Spanish America.

The legacy of the slave period in Latin America and the Caribbean is similar to that in the United States: Having lighter skin and European features increases the chances of socioeconomic opportunity, while having darker skin and African features severely limits social mobility.

White supremacy is deeply ingrained in Latin America and continues into the present. In Mexico, for instance, citizens of African descent (who are estimated to make up 1% of the population) report that they regularly experience racial harassment at the hands of local and state police, according to recent studies by Antonieta Gimeno, then of Mount Holyoke College, and Sagrario Cruz-Carretero of the University of Veracruz.

Mexican public discourse reflects the hostility toward blackness; consider such common phrases as "getting black" to denote getting angry, and "a supper of blacks" to describe a riotous gathering of people. Similarly, the word "black" is often used to mean "ugly." It is not surprising that Mexicans who have been surveyed indicate a disinclination to marry darker-skinned partners, as reported in a 2001 study by Bobby Vaughn, an anthropology professor at Notre Dame de Namur University.

Anti-black sentiment also manifests itself in Mexican politics. During the 2001 elections, for instance, Lazaro Cardenas, a candidate for governor of the state of Michoacan, is believed to have lost substantial support among voters for having an Afro Cuban wife. Even though Cardenas had great name recognition (as the grandson of Mexico's most popular president), he only won by 5 percentage points — largely because of the anti-black platform of his opponent, Alfredo Anaya, who said that "there is a great feeling that we want to be governed by our own race, by our own people."

Given this, it should not be surprising that migrants from Mexico and other areas of Latin America and the Caribbean arrive in the U.S. carrying the baggage of racism. Nor that this facet of Latino culture is in turn transmitted, to some degree, to younger generations along with all other manifestations of the culture.

The sociological concept of "social distance" measures the unease one ethnic or racial group has for interacting with another. Social science studies of Latino racial attitudes often indicate a preference for maintaining social distance from African Americans. And although the social distance level is largest for recent immigrants, more established communities of Latinos in the United States also show a marked social distance from African Americans.

For instance, in University of Houston sociologist Tatcho Mindiola's 2002 survey of 600 Latinos in Houston (two-thirds of whom were Mexican, the remainder Salvadoran and Colombian) and 600 African Americans, the African Americans had substantially more positive views of Latinos than Latinos had of African Americans. Although a slim majority of the U.S.-born Latinos used positive identifiers when describing African Americans, only a minority of the foreign-born Latinos did so. One typical foreign-born Latino respondent stated: "I just don't trust them…. The men, especially, all use drugs, and they all carry guns."

This same study found that 46% of Latino immigrants who lived in residential neighborhoods with African Americans reported almost no interaction with them.

The social distance of Latinos from African Americans is consistently reflected in Latino responses to survey questions. In a 2000 study of residential segregation, Camille Zubrinsky Charles, a sociology professor at the University of Pennsylvania, found that Latinos were more likely to reject African Americans as neighbors than they were to reject members of other racial groups. In addition, in the 1999-2000 Lilly Survey of American Attitudes and Friendships, Latinos identified African Americans as their least desirable marriage partners, whereas African Americans proved to be more accepting of intermarriage with Latinos.

Ironically, African Americans, who are often depicted as being averse to coalition-building with Latinos, have repeatedly demonstrated in their survey responses that they feel less hostility toward Latinos than Latinos feel toward them.

Although some commentators have attributed the Latino hostility to African Americans to the stress of competition in the job market, a 1996 sociological study of racial group competition suggests otherwise. In a study of 477 Latinos from the 1992 Los Angeles County Social Survey, professors Lawrence Bobo, then of Harvard, and Vincent Hutchings of the University of Michigan found that underlying prejudices and existing animosities contribute to the perception that African Americans pose an economic threat — not the other way around.

It is certainly true that the acrimony between African Americans and Latinos cannot be resolved until both sides address their own unconscious biases about one another. But it would be a mistake to ignore the Latino side of the equation as some observers have done — particularly now, when the recent violence in Los Angeles has involved Latinos targeting peaceful African American citizens.

This conflict cannot be sloughed off as simply another generation of ethnic group competition in the United States (like the familiar rivalries between Irish, Italians and Jews in the early part of the last century). Rather, as the violence grows, the "diasporic" origins of the anti-black sentiment — the entrenched anti-black prejudice among Latinos that exists not just in the United States but across the Americas — will need to be directly confronted. 

Copyright 2007 Los Angeles Times

Dear Alva Moore Stevenson

The Tanya K. Hernandez article provokes the question?

What is to be done about Latino prejudice against Blacks?

In 1992 I discovered in Mexico what I believed is an antidote for racial confrontation. On a rainy day in Xalapa, Veracruz, I sat in the public library on Calle Juarez and read in the Diccionario Porrua the Clause #12 of the Iguala Plan for the independence of Mexico from Spain. From that day to this one, I have retained a copy of the Iguala Plan in my brief case. Clause #12 reads:

"Todos los habitantes de la nueva Espana, sin distincion alguna de Europeos, Africanos, ni Indios son Ciudadanos de esta Monarquia con opcion a todo empleo segun su merito y virtudes." 

Thus in 1821, Mexico declared racial equality. The clause was rephrased and made part of Law #279 of the first Congress of free Mexico in 1822. The Mexican statement of equality should be pasted on the front wall of every public school classroom in Los Angeles - and elsewhere. 

Students in public schools need to know that Mexico was born in struggle for racial equality The most promissing solution to the Latino/African American conflicts in Los Angeles today is to highlight the common fight, common revolutionary impulses and common bravery to fight "the man."

Tanya Hernandez mentions the political campaign in Michoacan in which a conservative politician declared that left-candidate Lazaro Cardenas II was somehow not Mexican because of having a Cuban-African racial tie through his wife. This nonsense can be confronted by asking the question, who in Mexico has stood up for the people against the real powers, against the injustice of the tiny European looking elite?

It has been people who worked in multi-racial coalition.

For independence it was leadership by Hidalgo, Morelos, Guerrero, - a blanco and two with Indigenous and African heritage.

For the mighty mid-19th Century "Reform," President Alvarez started it when he gave future president Juarez a cabinet post, and Juarez then enlisted a cultural and intellectual awakening through such people as Guillermo Prieto, Vicente Riva Palacio and Ignacio Altamirano. - Alvarez is part black, Juarez pure Indigenous, Prieto of poor white roots, Riva Palacio has African and Indigenous in his mix, and Altamirano is an Indigenous villager made especially dark by an African ancestor.

For the 1910 revolution. Emiliano Zapata was an Indigenous with African and Espanol heritage. He declared identity with his Nativo roots, but he welcomed all to his struggle against the elite - and in one decree openly welcomed "homosexuals" if they wanted to join the fight. The Indigenous and Basque Francisco "Pancho" Villa also had features that had him labeled "the Negroid bandit," Diego Rivera claimed his roots included in addition to Indigenous, an African ancestor. Venustiano Carranza is shown in a recent study to probably have had Jewish ancestry. President Lazaro Cardenas, who had a "mulatto" grandfather, is revered for what he did for the peasantry. A ten foot bust of President Cardenas sits, not in a city square, but on a rural roadside in the lower Balsas River valley, looking out over fields he granted to the peasantry, which in this area was substantially African as well as Indigenous in colonial census counts. 

Since 1992 I have presented racial background information on the very many wonderful, brave, daring, and capable militants of Mexico. Their fight has consistently highlighted the need to liberate the exploited Indigenous of the nation. Today, for purposes of building coalitions, it needs to be acknowledged that a great many of these warriors had their Indigenous roots mixed with African. An explanation is in order: These mixed-race leaders basically came from villages, haciendas and small towns where there were very few Spaniards, and where an African minority married with Indigenous - unlike in the big cities where blacks and whites blended in the "model minority" phenomena. By 1810 and the war for Mexican Independence, Indigenous villagers with African heritage were often the ones in the village best positioned to lead a fight. Colonial rules had allowed those designated "African" to ride horses and run mules, and had encouraged these "pardos" to learn Spanish. So, Mexico had a situation somewhat analogous to present day Los Angeles, where English speaking African American activists have certain built in advantages. In Mexico the situation was realized. War against Spanish tyranny was waged, not just for independence, but for the goal of Clause #12 of Iguala - racial equalily. During the eleven year war there were certain tensions within independence ranks on racial grounds. It was not until eight years into the conflict that a pure-Indigenous became a General in the Independence army, he being Pedro Ascensio, who was selected by Commander in chief Vicente Guerrero, himself a "Black Indian" with ties ties to the Indigenous. 

Publicity for the historic Mexican tradition of fighting for equality is needed. Unfortunately, the prejudice Tanya Hernandez describes has kept many a Latino who hears the facts from accepting them in the spirit of comradery.

As a Latino member of the audience at a presentation I gave in Chicago said angrily, "If Zapata is black the moon is made of cream cheese." The listener had jumped from hearing that Zapata had African in his ancestry, to Zapata was a black. The listener had internalized our USA "one drop makes you black" mentality. Shame on him. He needs to go read the Iguala Clause #12. 

The prejudice is insidious in that those of us who work to publicize the African heritage in Mexico have found that we can receive acceptance if we dumb down our presentation and talk only about the African "presence," and avoid mention of the socio-political situation that creates militant Mexican heroes of black roots.

Talk of the African "presence" highlighths the majority of the descendants of the enslaved Africans brought to Mexico who, allegedly, quietly, without fuss or struggle, politely learned Spanish and assimilated into a "mainstream." That is, to talk of the Africans being a mere presence is to make them a Mexican "model minority" that doesn’t make waves. As we know in the US ,"model minorities" are used in propaganda that compares their achievement with that of other minorities which are said to have failed because of sloth or stupidity. In Mexico, the stereotyped polite Afro-Mexican who just married-up, is used against the Indigenous, who are accused of backwardness for retaining traditional languages, clothing and customs.

The answer to the "model minority" issue is to highlight the Mexican coalition that in some respects is analogous to the activist progressive block in today's US Congress, where we see a common struggle in which elder leaders such as Ted Kennedy are joined in great numbers by women and minorities - by Barbara Lee, Xavier Bercera, Luis Gutierrez, Jessie Jackson Jr. and more. 

The answer to prejudice by Mexicanos toward African Americans is promotion of pride in the Mexican tradition of inclusiveness. The promotion is already at work. Just look at who has a picture on the Mexican peso.
Over the past two decades, those on the peso bills, from the 10 to the 200, are three of mixed Indigenous, European and African ancestry, Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon, Lazaro Cardenas and Emiliano Zapata. There are two pure Indigenous, Benito Juarez, and the poet King of Texcoco, Nezahualcoyotlzin, and there is one person of basic European stock, and she is the feminist poet Nun, Sor. Juana Inez, said to have had a Jewish ancestor. Poets! Women! People of color! A heathen and a Jew! What a great country! What a great tradition of acceptance to uphold in your neighborhood, even in Highland Park.

Ted Vincent

Hi Ted . . In summary
Your 5 points are good for both the Latino & Black communities. 
1. Mexico has a history of promoting racial equality. 
2. Latinos/Blacks have a common fight, the struggle for racial equality.
3. Work in multi-racial coalition.
4. Acknowledge that "one drop of black blood" does not make the person black.
5. Promotion of pride in the Mexican tradition of inclusiveness.

Needed is a perspective on how Latinos perceive their standing in the U.S. verses how they view the Black community's standing in the U.S. Maybe you could explore that dimension ? ? ? 

Understanding is surely needed. . . God bless, Mimi




Fuerza Mundo
Azteca America and Fundación Azteca America
Senate passes bill seeking Navajo code talkers stamp 
Cherokees Pull Memberships of Freed Slaves
Indigenous Baja 
Three Sisters' Defense of a Cemetery 
American Indian Dad-Daughter Study
Robert W. Young, 1912-2007 - Linguist helped create Navajo dictionary 

Fuerza Mundo

FUERZA is a diversified group of artists led by community artist and activist Mario Torero. Based in San Diego, CA, Grupo FUERZA grew out of the Chicano Park Art Movement of the 70's, influencing the cultural landscape of the San Diego region. 

After 33 years of struggle, and considering the 500 years of Latin/Indian evolution, FUERZA is moving forward with the concept of re-joining the Aztec/Mayan Cultures of the North with the Inca Culture of South America, through the Concept of Aztlan. Aztlan is an Aztec/Mayan spiritual belief that the representation of our creator, Quetzalcoatl, would return to earth around this time as he has done every 500 years. 

       Mural in Chula Vista, California 

The legend conceives that the liberating spirit of Quetzalcoatl would arrive in the Promised Land of Aztlan, presently, the Southwestern United States. From there he would spread throughout the original anscestral lands, reuniting all indigeneous peoples of the Americas. 

FUERZA's contribution to this reunification is to rejoin the indigenous peoples through an arts and cultural exchangTe. 

Currently, FUERZA is working to develop the Quilca Arts District in Lima Peru. More on Quilca...


Mario Torero
858-774-1286 cell
619-299-2840 studio
"mario torero" <>
Sent by Dorinda Moreno                                                       Quetzalcoatl 
                                                                                                           by Mario Torero

Azteca America and Fundación Azteca America are proud to be part of the organization of the First International Movimiento Azteca. We have chosen the Gray Whale because this magical creature represents the integration of our subcontinent and our love for the Earth.

The Gray Whale is Latino, she is born in Laguna San Ignacio, México, and in time comes back, traveling thousands of miles to mate and give birth in this place that we are fighting to conserve. The Gray Whale teaches us great lessons, and it is our responsibility as Hispanics to preserve her habitat.

We are proud to be part of this effort, please join us in this First International Movimiento Azteca, follow the link below to learn how. http:
Sent by

Senate passes bill seeking Navajo code talkers stamp 

The state Senate approved and forwarded to the House a resolution that would call on the U.S. Postal Service to create a stamp honoring Navajo code talkers. The resolution was approved on Monday, March 5.

SCR 1010 also would advocate stamps commemorating the World War II service of Japanese-American soldiers and the black pilots and crew of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Meg Burton Cahill, D-Tempe, who cast the only vote against the resolution, tried unsuccessfully last week to seek recognition instead for "Native American Indian code talkers" because members of other also tribes served.

"I in no way mean to be disrespectful to the Navajo, but this is disrespectful to all other Native Americans who served," Burton Cahill said after the vote.

A leader of the Hopi Tribe said the measure overlooks the contributions of code talkers from other American Indian tribes.

"We had our own Hopi code talkers, and none of their codes were broken by the enemy," Philip Quochytewa, a Hopi Tribal Council member and Vietnam veteran, said Monday. "There needs to be something to recognize all Native American code talkers."

Quochytewa said his uncle, Travis Yaiva, is the last surviving Hopi code talker.

"It's like honoring one regiment in the army but no one else," said Janet Regner, a representative for the Hopi Tribe. "It is insulting to those tribes that did send code talkers, and it's historically and factually untrue."

But a member of the Navajo Nation said that it is important to recognize the specific achievements of code talkers.

"If you are going to do a Native American code talker stamp, it should be a set," said Michael Smith, a Navajo whose father served as a code talker. "Clumping all tribes together takes away from the specialties and specific things these warriors had done for the [U.S.]"

Members of more than 10 American Indian tribes served as code talkers in World War II, according to the Smithsonian Institution. The other tribes include the Hopi, Comanche, Meskwaki, Sioux and Crow.

About 400 Navajo code talkers served in the Marine Corps, far more than the number from other tribes. In 2001, President Bush honored 21 surviving Navajo code talkers at the White House.

The resolution and a SB 1192, which would appropriate $100,000 for a Navajo code talkers monument outside the State Capitol, have prompted debate over whether it is appropriate to honor Navajos over code talkers from other tribes.

Gov. Janet Napolitano signed legislation in 2003 calling for the monument to be added to the plaza outside the State Capitol.

Cherokees Pull Memberships of Freed Slaves
By Sean Murphy AP
OKLAHOMA CITY (March 4) - The Cherokee Nation vote this weekend to revoke the citizenship of the descendants of people the Cherokee once owned as slaves was a blow to people who have relied on tribal benefits.

Charlene White, a descendant of freed Cherokee slaves who were adopted into the tribe in 1866 under a treaty with the U.S. government, wondered Sunday where she would now go for the glaucoma treatment she has received at a tribal hospital in Stilwell.

"I've got to go back to the doctor, but I don't know if I can go back to the clinic or if they're going to oust me right now," said White, 56, a disabled Tahlequah resident who lives on a fixed income.

In Saturday's special election, more than 76 percent of voters decided to amend the Cherokee Nation's constitution to remove the estimated 2,800 freedmen descendants from the tribal rolls, according to results posted Sunday on the tribe's Web site.

Marilyn Vann, president of the Descendants of Freedmen of the Five Civilized Tribes, said the election results undoubtedly will be challenged.

"We will pursue the legal remedies that are available to us to stop people from not only losing their voting rights, but to receiving medical care and other services to which they are entitled under law," Vann said Sunday.

"This is a fight for justice to stop these crimes against humanity."

Cherokee Nation spokesman Mike Miller said Sunday that election results will not be finalized until after a protest period that extends through March 12. Services currently being received by freedmen descendants will not immediately be suspended, he said.

"There isn't going to be some sort of sudden stop of a service that's ongoing," Miller said. "There will be some sort of transition period so that people understand what's going on."

In a statement late Saturday, Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chad Smith said he was pleased with the turnout and election result.

"Their voice is clear as to who should be citizens of the Cherokee Nation," Smith said. "No one else has the right to make that determination. It was a right of self-government, affirmed in 23 treaties with Great Britain and the United States and paid dearly with 4,000 lives on the Trail of Tears."

The petition drive for the ballot measure followed a March 2006 ruling by the Cherokee Nation Supreme Court  that said an 1866 treaty assured freedmen descendants of tribal citizenship.

A similar situation occurred in 2000 when the Seminole Nation voted to cast freedmen descendants out of its tribe, said attorney Jon Velie of Norman, an expert on Indian law who has represented freedmen descendants in previous cases.

"The United States, when posed the same situation with the Seminoles, would not recognize the election and they ultimately cut off most federal programs to the Seminoles," Velie said. "They also determined the Seminoles, without this relationship with the government, were not authorized to conduct gaming."

Ultimately, the Seminole freedmen were allowed back into the tribe, Velie said.  Velie said Saturday's vote already has hurt the tribe's public perception.  "It's throwback, old-school racist rhetoric," Velie said.

"And it's really heartbreaking, because the Cherokees are good people and have a very diverse citizenship," he said.  Miller, the tribal spokesman, defended the Cherokees against charges of racism, saying that Saturday's vote showed the tribe was open to allowing its citizens vote on whether non-Indians be allowed membership.

"I think it's actually the opposite. To say that the Cherokee Nation is intolerant or racist ignores the fact that we have an open dialogue and have the discussion, he said.

  Indigenous Baja  

By John P. Schmal   

Published in HispanicVista, 
March 1, 2007

The Baja California Peninsula is located in the northwestern portion of the Mexican Republic. This body of land extends approximately 775 miles (1,250 kilometers) from Tijuana in the north to Cabo San Lucas in the south and is separated from the rest of Mexico by the Gulf of California (also called the sea of Cortés). Occupying the northern half of the peninsula, the state of Baja California shares its northern boundary with two American states, California and Arizona, and is also bordered on its northeast by the Mexican state of Sonora.  On its western flank, the state also shares a long coastline with the Pacific Ocean. 

Baja California occupies a total area of 69,921 square kilometers (26,990 square miles), which makes up 3.7% of Mexico’s national territory. On Baja California’s southern border is another Mexican state, Baja California Sur, which occupies a total area of 71,428 square kilometers (25,751 square miles), taking up 3.7% of the national territory. 

The story of the indigenous peoples of the Baja Peninsula is a sad one.  Living in an arid environment, their susceptibility to the ravages of war and disease was accentuated by their already marginal existence.  The vast majority of the Baja Indians have disappeared and those that have survived in the north are represented by as few as a dozen individuals or as many as a few hundred. Ironically, most of the Mexican indigenous languages spoken in the two Bajas are actually tongues brought to the Peninsula by migrant workers from other states, in particular Oaxaca.

Early Contacts Between Spaniards and Indigenous Inhabitants

In 1532 – a decade after the destruction of the Aztec Empire – the Spanish conqueror Hernán Cortés sent an expedition commanded by his cousin, Diego Hurtado de Mendoza, to explore the Baja California Peninsula and other locations along the Pacific coastline of northwest México. A second expedition to the area left Santiago, Colima, on October 29, 1533. The voyage was a disastrous failure, but mutineers from this expedition explored the area now called La Paz. 

In April 1535, Cortés himself led a third expedition of three ships that landed near present-day La Paz on May 3, 1535, where he formally took possession of the land for the King of Spain. Cortés founded a small colony in the area, but the local Indians remained very hostile towards the visitors. By November 1535, more than 70 of Cortés’ men had died from starvation or skirmishes with the indigenous population.

Early in 1536, Cortés posted 30 Spaniards to man the small colony and sailed back for Mexico. A fourth expedition led by Francisco de Ulloa in June 1539 found that the small colony had been destroyed.  Other expeditions followed, but they frequently encountered large groups of natives who strongly resisted their intrusions.  For this reason, the colonization and settlement of the Baja Peninsula was a very slow process, complicated by the hostility of the indigenous groups and the great distance from sources of supply, as well as by inhospitable weather conditions.

Indigenous Groups at Contact

At the time of contact, Baja California Norte was primarily inhabited by several indigenous groups belonging to the Yuman language branch of the Hokan linguistic family.  Most of these early inhabitants lived by hunting and fishing, but some of them also gathered acorns, seeds, prickly pears, apples, pine nuts and other small edible plants found in the harsh desert environment.  

The northernmost aboriginal Baja Californians spoke several closely-related Yuman languages, most notably the Kiliwa, Paipai, Kumeyaay (Kumiai), and Cocopá (Cucapá) tongues. Using the controversial technique of glottochronology, it has been estimated that the initial separation of the Yuman family into different languages occurred perhaps 2,500 years ago. The Cocopá and Kumiai languages are believed to be very closely related to each other, separated by perhaps about one thousand years of independent development. 

Pai Pai
he Pai Pai Indians – also known as Akwa'ala – occupied the northern Sierras in the interior of the northern Baja California Peninsula.  Their original territory included the lower Colorado River Valley in the present day municipios of Ensenada and Mexicali, as well as adjacent areas in western Arizona, southern California, and northwestern Sonora.  

Kumeyaay (Kumiai)
The Kumiai (Kumeyaay) Indians were hunters, gatherers and fishers who inhabited coastal, inland valley, and mountain regions along the present-day Baja California border region with the United States.  The traditional Kumeyaay territory originally extended from around Escondido in California to the northern part of the present day municipio of Ensenada. Occupying the southern section of present-day San Diego County in California, the Kumeyaay inhabited the region near the San Diego Presidio when it was founded in 1769. The Kumeyaay in the vicinity of San Diego were also referred to as the Diegueño by the Spaniards. 

The Cochimí Indians inhabited a considerable part of the central Baja Peninsula, from north of Rosario to the vicinity of Loreto in east central Baja California. Like many of the other Baja tribes, the Cochimí Indians survived by fishing in the coastal areas and gathering fruits and seeds for sustenance in other areas.  

Cucapás (Cocopá)
The Cucapás, living in the desert region along the Colorado River in the frontier zone of Baja California Norte and Sonora, fished and hunted deer, rabbit, moles, mountain lion and coyote. They also collected a wide variety of desert products, including cactus flowers, potatoes, and wild wheat. 

The Kiliwa Indians were hunters who inhabited northeastern Baja California. The Kiliwa lived along the eastern slope of the Sierra San Pedro Mártir and ranged down the Gulf Coast. Their habitat also extended into the Colorado Desert. 

Guaycura (Guaicura or Waicuri)
The Guaycuras lived in the middle part of the lower Baja peninsula, inhabiting the Magdalena Plains from Loreto down to and including the La Paz area. 

The Pericú occupied the southern tip of the peninsula around San José del Cabo and several large Gulf islands, including Cerralvo, Espíritu Santo, San José, and Santa Catalina. 

The Colonization of Baja California Sur

In 1596, King Felipe II of Spain ordered the colonization of the Baja California Peninsula.  Six years later, Sebastián Vizcaíno made his famous voyage to Baja, exploring the present-day site of Cabo San Lucas, where he was confronted by a force of 800 native warriors.  Vizcaíno managed to build a fort at La Paz, but after a skirmish with local natives, the post had to be abandoned by the Spaniards.

In 1683, Admiral Isidro Atondo y Antillón led a state-sponsored expedition to Baja and established a settlement at La Paz.  However, according to Mr. Laylander, the settlement “was abandoned after a few months because of escalating conflicts with the native inhabitants.”  Another post was established at San Bruno, north of Loreto, but was also abandoned in 1685 “because of meager local resources and uncertain outside supplies.” 

In October 1697, Jesuit missionaries started arriving in the southern Baja peninsula with the intention of establishing missions. On October 19, 1697, Father Juan María de Salvatierra established the first permanent mission in Baja California Sur, dedicating it with the name of Our Lady of Loreto de Concho, near present-day Loreto, Baja California Sur. Between 1697 and 1767, Jesuit missionaries would establish sixteen missions throughout the length of the Baja Peninsula. 

The Jesuit missions played an integral role in the Christianizing of the indigenous peoples.  However, to accomplish their objectives, the missionaries resettled and congregated many of their converts in rancherías that were located close to the missions.  Although this practice was effective in enforcing religious instruction, tribute collection, and the organization of a work force, the concentration of the natives had a devastating effect on the aboriginal groups and made them more susceptible to smallpox, typhus, measles and other infectious diseases.

Don Laylander, in “The Linguistic Prehistory of Baja California,” has written that “the linguistic map of Baja California underwent dramatic changes during the historic period, culminating in the extinction of many of its aboriginal languages. Before extinction, prehistoric lifeways were altered in a myriad of ways, through such factors as externally-introduced epidemic diseases, military conflicts, and the relocation of populations to mission settlements.” The most serious epidemic was the typhus epidemic of 1742-1744, which probably killed 8,000 Indians. During the following decades, entire tribes disappeared, while small bands of Pericú, Guaycura, and Cochimí – struggled to survive in the south.

The Revolts of 1734-1744

The most serious rebellion in the southern part of the Baja Peninsula took place in 1734-1737.  This uprising of the Pericú and Guaycuras engulfed several missions in the southern part of the peninsula, most of which had to be abandoned. In January 1735, indigenous forces ambushed the Manila Galleon that had stopped at San José del Cabo for supplies. “The revolt and its subsequent suppression,” according to Don Laylander, “hastened the disorganization and declines of the southern aboriginal groups.  

To suppress the revolt, the Jesuits were forced to call in outside military assistance.” In 1742, King Felipe V authorized the use of royal funds to suppress the revolt. The arrival of a military force from Sinaloa helped to restore order and reestablish control of the southern Baja lands. The last scattered resistance to the Spaniards did not end until 1744.  

The Expulsion of the Jesuits

In June 1767, King Carlos III of Spain expelled all the Jesuit missionaries from México. Eventually, the Dominicans continued the missionary efforts of the Jesuits, especially in the territories of the Cochimí, Kiliwa, Paipai, and Kumeyaay. However, by this time, southern Baja’s indigenous populations had declined to the point of no return. Don Laylander explains that “in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the role of aboriginal peoples in the peninsula’s history has become increasingly marginal. In the central and southern portions of the peninsula, culturally distinct aboriginal populations had disappeared before 1900.”

The Kiliwa were one of the few Baja groups that was able to hang on, albeit precariously. In 1840,  the Kiliwa, who lived in Baja’s northeast corner, successfully rebelled against the Dominicans and fled into quiet isolation. This seclusion enabled the Kiliwa to survive into the Twentieth Century. In 1938, University of California Berkeley anthropologist, Peveril Meigs, searched the entire Baja Peninsula for surviving bands. At that time, he located and did studies on a small band of about fifty Kiliwa living in the east-facing canyons of northern Baja’s mountains.

Political Chronology

In January 1824, after the Mexican Republic was constituted, the central government organized and oversaw the Territory of Baja. Twenty four years later, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo – which ended the Mexican-American War – divided the territory of California, with the northern half, called Alta California, being ceded to the United States, while the southern half remained with Mexico as Baja California. 

On April 26, 1850, two partidos (secondary administrative divisions) were created as Baja California Norte and Baja California Sur.  On December 14, 1887, the status of both partidos was changed to distritos (districts), and on January 1, 1888, the northern part of the peninsula became known as the Northern District of Baja California. On December 30, 1930, the separate territories of Baja California Norte and Baja California Sur were created, effective February 7, 1931.  The northern territory became a state on January 16, 1952, while the southern Baja State achieved statehood on October 24, 1974.

Indigenous Groups of the Twentieth Century

By the end of the Nineteenth Century, the aboriginal population of the entire Baja Peninsula had been severely depleted. Up until the 1910 census, the population statistics for Baja California Sur and Baja California Norte were tallied together as one jurisdiction. According to the 1895 Mexican census, some 2,150 individuals spoke indigenous languages in Baja California. However, this tally dropped to 1,111 at the time of the 1900 census.

The indigenous speaking population for the Baja territories dropped further in 1910 to 711, representing only 1.36% of the total population. Although most of the indigenous speakers spoke languages indigenous to other states, 96 Cochimí speakers were counted. Yaqui-speaking individuals (primarily from the state of Sonora) were tallied at 65, while Otomí speakers from central México numbered 40.

The 2000 Census

According to the 2000 census, the population of persons five years of age and more in the northern state of Baja California who spoke indigenous languages amounted to 37,685 individuals. These individuals spoke at least forty-five languages from Mexico and United States but represented only 1.87% of the total state population 5 years of age and older (2,010,869). 

Interestingly, the great majority of the indigenous-speakers in Baja California Norte in 2000 were actually transplants from other parts of the Mexican Republic.  The largest language groups represented were the Mixteco (11,962 speakers), Zapoteco (2,987), Náhuatl (2,165), and Purépecha (2,097), and Triqui (1,437), all languages that are indigenous to other parts of the Mexican Republic.  

Transplanted Languages

As a matter of fact, 2000 census statistics indicate that 1,025,754 of the 2,487,367 residents of Baja California Norte were, in fact, natives of other entities, representing a total migrant population of 41.2%. In the 2000 census, 41,014 persons in Baja claimed Oaxaca as their birthplace, and it is likely that most of the 11,962 Mixtecos and 2,987 Zapotecos living in the state were probably natives of that state. Already, in the 1970s, Baja had become a major zone of attraction for Mixtec farm laborers, with Ensenada and Tijuana as their primary destination points.  Baja California growers almost exclusively recruited Oaxacans laborers for their agricultural labor needs. An additional 89,083 residents of Baja claimed Michoacán de Ocampo as their birthplace, possibly explaining the substantial number of Purépecha-speaking individuals living in the state (2,097). 

Native Baja California Tribes in 2000

Unfortunately, the Indian groups indigenous specifically to Baja California never recovered from their initial declines of the Seventeenth Century and are few in number. The primary native speakers of indigenous languages in Baja California Norte in the 2000 census were the Pai-Pai (193 speakers); Kumiai (159); Cucapá (82); Cochimí (80), and Kiliwa (46 people). All of these tribes were of the Yuman Linguistic family whose ancestors had probably migrated to the Baja Peninsula thousands of years earlier.

The Pai Pai, living in the Santa Catarina community of the Ensenada municipio in the north, had become bilingual and concerns have been expressed that their language is nearly dead. 

Estimates of the Kumiai population in Mexico at the end of the Twentieth Century put their numbers at 600. However, by 2000, the Mexican census recorded only 159 persons five years of age and older who actually spoke the Kumiai language in the state and all but 13 of these also spoke Spanish and were thus bilingual. Most of the Kumiai lived near Tecate.

The Cochimí culture – located primarily in the central and southern parts of Baja California – also declined dramatically by beginning of the Nineteenth Century. By 2000, only 80 Cochimí speakers were registered as inhabitants of the northern Baja state, most of them living in the municipios of Ensenada, Mexicali, and Tecate. In the 2000 census, only 46 persons were classified as speakers of the Kiliwa language. Readers who are interested in studying more detailed information about the nearly extinct indigenous languages of Baja California can learn more by accessing the Ethnologue website at the following link:

Indigenous Speakers of Baja California Sur

In the 2000 census, the government classified 5,353 inhabitants 5 years of age or more as speakers of more than fifty Indian languages. However, these indigenous speakers represented a mere 0.22% of the total population of the same age group.   The primary groups were the Mixteco (1,955), Náhuatl (987), Zapoteco (606), and Amuzgo (126), Trique (113), and Purépecha (106), all imports from the Mexican states of Oaxaca, Michoacán and Guerrero.

Oaxaca Migrants

In the same census, it was reported that 137,928 of the residents of Baja Sur (out of the total population of 424,041) were born in other political entities, indicating that migrants represented 32.5% of the total population of the state. Today, the Mixteco and Zapoteco Indians are the only significant indigenous languages spoken in Baja California Sur. It is likely that most of the 1,955 Mixtecos and 606 Zapotecos living in Baja were probably born in Oaxaca.  In the 2000 census, 8,083 persons in Baja Sur claimed Oaxaca as their birthplace, while another 8,564 listed Michoacán as their birthplace, the original home of the Purépecha language.

The use of Oaxacan migrant labor in Baja California Sur has been a well-established practice since the 1970s. For more than thirty years, many Baja California growers have recruited Oaxacans almost exclusively, with La Paz as a major destination for most Mixteco laborers.

Copyright © 2007, by John P. Schmal. All Rights Reserved.


Homer Aschmann, “The Central Desert of Baja California: Demography and Ecology,” Ibero-Americana 42 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1959).

Don Laylander, “The Linguistic Prehistory of Baja California,” in Gary S. Breschini and Trudy Haversat, “Contributions to the Linguistic Prehistory of Central and Baja California,” Archives of California Prehistory Number 44 (Salinas, California: Coyote Press, 1997). 

William C. Massey, “Tribes and Languages of Baja California,” Southwestern Journal of Anthropology, V (Autumn 1949): 272-307.

William C. Massey, “Brief Report on Archaeological Investigations in Baja California,” Southwestern Journal of Anthropology, III (Winter 1947): 344-359.

Peveril Meigs, “The Kiliwa Indians of Lower California,” Ibero-Americana, 15 (Berkeley, California: University of California, 1939). 

John Schmal was born and raised in Los Angeles, California.  He attended Loyola-Marymount University in Los Angeles and St. Cloud State University in Minnesota, where he studied Geography, History and Earth Sciences and received two BA degrees.  Mr. Schmal has been a life-long history buff and is also a skilled genealogist. His genealogical specialties including tracing lineages in Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the Southwestern U.S.A.  He is the coauthor of "Mexican-American Genealogical Research: Following the Paper Trail to Mexico" (Heritage Books, 2002).  He has also coauthored six other books on Mexican-American themes, all of them published by Heritage Books in Maryland. He is an Associate Editor of and a board member of the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research (SHHAR). Presently, in addition to writing weekly columns for (,  he is writing a book about the ports of entry along the Mexican-US border.  Mr. Schmal has a passionate love of Mexican history and is intrigued by the linguistic and cultural diversity of its indigenous peoples. For the last few years, he has been writing short histories of each state, which are being compiled at the following link: Around April, John Schmal will publish "The Journey to Latino Political Representation," about the struggle for Hispanic representation in California, Texas and the U.S. Congress.  The preface to this book was written by his friend, Edward Telles, a professor at UCLA and the author of an award-winning book about race in Brazil and who is preparing to publish a book about Mexican-American assimilation. Contact at:  

Three Sisters' Defense of a Cemetery 
by: Henry Van Brunt, Friday June 7, 1946
Sent by Carlos Ray Gonzalez
Recent Death of Miss Lyda Conley Recalls Long Series of Outbreaks and Defiance of Law by Women Who Built Shack on Indian Burial Ground in Heart of Kansas City, Kansas and Lived beside Graves of Ancestors. 

The death on May 28 of the most aggressive of the three Huron park Conley sisters -- Lyda Burton Conley -- at the age of 72 sent the writer on an adventurous trek through the files of the Star, picking up the back trail of what you might call the 1-woman Indian mutiny of Kansas City Kansas. 

The file of clippings arranged chronologically, measures more than half aninch in thickness and covering a period of forty years, come October, represents the reportorial activity of perhaps scored of reporters, many of whom, obviously had no realization of the venerable tenure of the subject they were handling. 

For instance, it was hardly fair to refer to Miss Conley in 1928 as having "recently cause trouble in Huron cemetery" when that stubborn champion of Indian burial rights had then been at it for nearly a score of years. Trouble was her prerogative; she thrived on trouble... And, as far as the writer is concerned, they can take all the clippings and file them in the Zane family lot as an enduring monument to pertinacity and publicity. Old Indian Tragedy Recalled

As background for the Conley epic, it is necessary to bring up the Wyandotte migration and the big rain of 1844. The Wyandottes came to the confluence of the Missouri and Kaw rivers... and settled in the Westport area until the Delaware sold them thirty six sections and gave them three sections in memory of friendship in what is now Wyandotte County. Records are lacking, but it is reliably reported to have rained forty days and forty nights in 1844. Floods filled the whole area of what is now the Central Industrial district, an epidemic of smallpox followed and between 200 and 300 Indians died. They were buried in the Huron Park Cemetery 

That is the basis for the Conley sisters; defense of the Indian burial ground. Their mother was buried there and, they say, ancestors further back. 

The revolt of the three sisters, started in the summer of 1907 as a result of plans broached the previous year for purchase by the city of the Huron Cemetery, Congress, having authorized its sale by the secretary of the Interior in 1905. Built Shack in the Cemetery

As soon as the Conley sisters realized that the sale was pending they announced that they would protect the graves of their ancestors, if necessary, with shotguns. Forthwith, they marched to the cemetery and threw up a 6 by 8 1 room frame shack hard by the ancestral resting place and moved in. H.B. Durant, Indian commissioner commented that it was a unique situation and washed his hands of it, suggesting that it was up to the Department pf Justice and Federal troops. 

Troops never were called to eject the sisters, who defended their cemetery fort through 1907. 1908. 1909. and through the summer of 1910. Throughout this period, Lyda prepared herself for legal action by an assiduous study of law books, the better to contest the government order. When the battle began the new Carnegie library stood in the center of the square, the new Brund hotel stood at one corner, and on another preparations were being made for the reconstruction of the Masonic Temple, destroyed by fire. 

It was William Rodekepf, paving contractor, who won the distinction of the first actual encounter with the sisters by tearing down a fence which the Conleys erected between the cemetery and the temple site. The sisters rebuilt the fence, and the contractor's men tore it down again. Again Lyda rebuilt it in defiance of an injunction obtained by the Masonic bodies, and it was again laid low. The writer took a pencil and tried to figure the number of times the fence was destroyed and rebuilt during a fortnight in the winter of 1907, but gave it up. On one occasion the sisters defended their fence with sticks and stones. 

Through this early period, the rightful ownership of the cemetery remained in doubt -- unless it could be said that the Conleys owned it by right of possession. There was a federal order to remove the bodies to Quindaro Cemetery, but it was qualified in such a way as to leave grounds for suits in the federal courts, and Lyda Conley took full advantage of this opportunity, supported by women's clubs and others with whom sentiment outweighed commercialism and twentieth century progress. Helena Hold The Fort

And while Lyda fought her battle in the courts, her sister Helena, who prefers the name Helene, guarded the fort, keeping things trim in the burial ground, felling dead trees with an ax while awed bystanders admired the play of her muscles, resenting intrusion by roaming holiday makers. Because of the intrusions, the sisters finally wired the cemetery gates together and put up a sign: "You Trespass at Your Own Peril." None disregarded it. 

Lyda Conley was admitted to the Kansas bar in 1910 and in the course of her fight against removal of the Indian graves, made several trips to Washington. She is said to have been the first woman lawyer to plead before the United States Supreme Court. 

On July 29, while Lyda and her sisters were in Wyandotte County District Court Hearing arguments in the last legal step they took to hold the cemetery, the United States marshal and his deputies entered the cemetery and destroyed the "fort" and an injunction was issued forbidding the sisters to rebuild it. 

Finally, in August, 1912, the HOuse Indian affairs committee in Washington  favorably reported a bill prohibiting the removal of the cemetery--the first ray of hope the sisters had in their fight. However, they did notefinitely settle the affair, and the sisters still held their ground among the graves. There is a little item in May of 1918 recording the fact that Lyda pulled up some stakes driven near the the cemetery by city surveyors, bruised and scratched three detectives (!!??) who dragged her to policeeadquarters. She was fined $100 for destroying city property. 

In the intervening years, Lyda -- her case won insofar as sale of the property was concerned -- the government having agreed to keep the cemetery "improved" confined her activities to a watchful guardianship, which included care of the birds and squirrels in the cemetery. On the coldest winter days she would leave her home at 1816 North Third street and carry water and nuts to the squirrels. 

Then in June, 1937, wielding a broomstick, she chased some people from the cemetery. A young judge, perhaps not cognizant of the fact that Lyda had never been in jail in all the twenty-six years of her defiance of the authorities, gave her choice of a $10 fine for disturbing the peace or a 10 day jail sentence. 

Proudly she served the sentence. The item of June 16, 1937 headed "Miss Lyda Conley Leaves Jail," was the last printed appearance of Lyda until the notice of her death and of her burial on May 31. 

For more information about the Huron Indian Cemetery and the Conley Sisters visit the Huron Indian Cemetery Site. 

Copyright ? 1946 Kansas City Times 

American Indian Dad-Daughter Study
A lot of American Indian dads are married to Latino women.
American Indian Dad-Daughter Study Colorado State University is conducting a survey of American Indian/Alaskan  Native Dads and Daughters. American Indian fathers, step-fathers or adoptive-fathers, 18 years or older, with at least one American Indian
daughter can participate.

A web-based version of the survey is available by clicking on the AI-DADS link at

It takes 15-30 minutes to complete. Very little research-based data currently exists regarding the relationships between American Indian fathers and daughters. 

This study will collect such data and compare it with results of a 2004 Roper Poll
conducted on behalf of Dads &Daughters organization, which focused on fathers in general. For more information, contact Dr. Martin Reinhardt at  

Ricardo J. Valverde
Senior Social Worker
Adolescent Family Life Program
County of Orange
Health Care Agency / MCAH
(714) 834-8559

Robert W. Young, 1912-2007 - Linguist helped create Navajo dictionary 
Linguist Robert W. Young, whose collaboration with a Navajo linguist resulted in dictionaries of the native language, has died. 

Young died Feb. 20 at age 94. As he requested, no service was planned. 

He became an adjunct linguistics professor at The University of New Mexico when he retired from the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs in 1971. He taught Navajo language classes and was co-director of The Navajo Reading Study. 

Young is known for his Navajo dictionary and lexicon work, including The Navajo Language: A Grammar and Colloquial Dictionary, published in 1980, Analytical Lexicon of Navajo, published in 1990, and The Navajo Verb System -- An Overview, published in 2000, all by UNM Press. 

Sent by Dorinda Moreno


Technology creates extreme genealogists 
17th Annual Conference Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies
Jews in Arab Countries 1948 and Now

Extract: Technology creates extreme genealogists 
By MATT CRENSON, AP National WriterSun Mar 4,2007
Sent by John Inclan

New technologies have made it possible to achieve incredible genealogical feats with relatively modest effort.

Dick Eastman, who writes an online genealogy newslettersays the Internet is great for the United States, especially New England. And it's pretty good for Britain and Ireland. But if your ancestors came from Southern Europe, Africa, Asia or even Canada in some cases, the Internet can be pretty useless.

"If I want to go look up my French-Canadian ancestors there's almost nothing to help me more than two or three generations back," Eastman said. "It's not going to be as rosy an experience as some of the online services would like you to think."

Herbert Huebscher, a retired electrical engineer from Franklin Square, N.Y., found himself in that kind of situation when he went looking for his ancestors. The most distant ones he could identify were Ukrainian Jews who were living in small village near the Romanian border around 1830.

"In general, Jewish paper trail genealogy tends to hit a brick wall around 1800, give or take 50 years," Huebscher said.  To push farther into the past, he turned to DNA.

DNA testing has made it possible for people to make connections when the paper trail fades into tatters. The technology was used several years ago to show that Thomas Jefferson — or one of his male relatives — fathered a child by his slave Sally Hemings. It has also shown that a significant proportion of men in modern Ireland can trace a direct male descent from Niall of the Nine Hostages, a legendary 5th-century king.

Huebscher had his own genetic profile tested by a Houston-based company called Family Tree DNA. He found that he matched one other individual in the company's database, a South African-born Londoner named Saul Isseroff. 

It turned out the two had some very distinctive anomalies in their DNA profiles, which allowed them to identify other matches as new Family Tree DNA customers joined the company's database. They have now found more than 40 closely matched families. Nearly all of the families were Jewish, and nearly all of them trace their heritage back to Eastern Europe — though oddly enough, one family traces its roots to Puerto Rico. 

A statistical analysis of the genetic data showed that whether they were named Huebscher or Isseroff, Wolinsky or Rosa, all of the families must have shared a single common ancestor who probably lived four or five centuries ago, long before most Jews even had surnames, much less written vital records. 

Though his research is not yet conclusive, Huebscher believes the common genetic ancestor may have been descended from Sephardic Jews who lived in Spain before the Inquisition. 

For some lucky people, the techniques of extreme genealogy make it possible to trace their origins back not just centuries, but a millennium or more. All they have to do is link themselves to a royal line, Drew explained, and ride it back as far as it goes. "We're all related to royalty," Drew said. The trick is to prove it. But thanks to the power of extreme genealogy, it can be a lot easier than you might think. 

17th Annual Conference Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies
Albuquerque, New Mexico
August 5-7 2007 

The Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies will be holding its 17th Annual Conference from August 5 through 7, 2007, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We invite papers on crypto-Judaism from any discipline (e.g., anthropology, history, sociology, philosophy, literature, music, etc.) and from any geographic location or time period. We also welcome papers on other aspects of the Sephardic experience and other communities whose historical or sociological experience is similar to that of the crypto-Jewish community.

All interested scholars and professionals, including advanced graduate students, are invited to submit proposals for papers, presentations or workshops. Proposals are also welcome from individuals with personal stories and genealogical or other research relating to crypto-Judaism. 

Proposals may be for individual papers/presentations or for complete sessions on specific topics. Please indicate if presentation represents completed research, or work in progress. Proposals must include a 200-word abstract and a brief bio. 

Please send proposals or inquiries to 
Seth Ward, Religious Studies, University of Wyoming, 
Proposal Deadline: May 1, 2007
For more information, see the SCJS website at:

Sent by 

Jews in Arab Countries 1948        Now
Algeria 140,000                             0
Egypt 75,000                             100
Iraq 135,000                              100
Lebanon 5,000                           100
Libya 38,000                                 0
Morocco 265,000                      5,700  Trilingual Spanish/French
Syria 30,000                               100
Tunisia 105,000                        1,500
Yemen 55,000                             200

Sent by Win Holtzman




Tejano Mounument, Inc.
April 25,Ken Burns to explain exclusion  
April 4:   Tribute to Artist Luis Jimenez
April 7: Alamo Plaza Project
April 27/28: Symposium Dallas"Hispanic Genealogical Research - Basics"
Tejano Oral History Project
Texas Launches New Award Humanities
Land Grants Given by Spanish Royal Commission in 1767
Those interred in the San Diego, Texas Cemetery 

Tejano Mounument, Inc.  Supporters of the Tejano Monument can now own a part of this important Tejano legacy.  Artist Armando Hinojosa has produced a miniature version of the central bronze horseman that will sit on the top of the Tejano Monument entitled "El Tejano".  El Tejano is an elegant work of art that is historically accurate and highly detailed description of the Tejano horsemen of the late 1700s to early 1800s.  The outstanding sculpture has been produced an limited edition of 300.  For more information, to to or write 501 Mocking Bird Lane, McAllen, Texas 78501. 

Information, SAGA CC Newspaper, Issue 1
President, Sara Duenas Flores,


Ken Burns will be in Dallas on April 25, 2007.  
Protest in Dallas being organized.  


April 4:   Tribute to Artist Luis Jimenez

We would like to extend a special invitation to our Flatbed patrons for the upcoming tribute for Luis Jimenez given by Texas Folklife at Flatbed Press located at 2830 East MLK Jr. Blvd. on Wednesday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m. The tribute -- a panel discussion featuring three experts on his career -- is free and open to the public. Panelists are Houston gallery owner Betty Moody, who handles Jiménez's work, Art in America writer Charles Dee Mitchell and University of Texas at Arlington professor and gallery director Benito Huerta. Texas Folklife board member Susan Morehead, a photographer and architectural historian, will moderate the discussion.

Also featured at the tribute will be the lithograph, "La Voz" which he created to benefit the Texas Folklife Resources and the two other lithographs created at Flatbed Press.
Sent by :



Award winning films such as:
"The wilderness Road: Spirit of a Nation"
"Boon & Crockett: The Hunter - Heroes"
"The Real Cowboy: Portrait of an American Icon"
And numerous others.
April 7, 2007, 12:00 Noon, 
Cost $25. must reserve
San Antonio Country Club


What is the Alamo Plaza Project?

1. The acquisition of the Downtown Main Post Office and its transformation into an International Living History Museum.

2. The creation of an International Education Telecommunication Center.

3. International recognition of San Antonio as a "World Database" of History.

4. The renovation of the Alamo Plaza area into one that more aptly honors the heroic endeavors of Alamo and American heroes.

P O Box 690696
San Antonio, TX 78269
Additional information: 210-651-4709



Symposium in Dallas
April 27 and 28
"Hispanic Genealogical Research - the Basics"

The presentation at the General Meeting is what will be presented at the DSG symposium April 27 and 28 at the main Public Library in Dallas. The topic of presentation for HOGAR will be "Hispanic Genealogical Research - the Basics". 
The HOGAR de Dallas presentation will be on April 28, 2007 from 9:30-10:30.  
Address: 1515 Young St
Dallas, TX, 75201-5411 
(214) 670-1400

Sent by Jose M. Pena

Tejano Oral History Project

(San Antonio, Texas) March 26, 2007 – Texas, a San Antonio-based research, publishing, and communications firm, is proud to team with the City of San Antonio Office of Community Initiatives and the San Antonio Public Library to present the second phase of the Tejano Oral History Project.

This special event will take place from 9:00am-noon on Wednesday, April 4, 2007 at the main branch of the San Antonio Public Library (600 Soledad). Volunteers from the Los Bexareños Genealogical Society will be on hand to collect these priceless oral histories, as well as scan in any photographs and take photos as well.

"When we started Texas over five years ago, this project was always something that we knew we wanted to do," explains Texas President and Founder Rudi R. Rodriguez. "There was no place in South Texas that housed the oral histories and records of the Hispanic community and we knew that that was something that needed to be corrected."

The morning of the event, seniors from several city centers will be transported to the Main Library where they will be given a tour of the facility and its resources. Everything that is gathered and collected that day will be permanently housed and archived at the Library and will be made accessible to the visiting public.

"The seniors from Immaculate Heart of Mary and Salvation Army-Hope Center City-sponsored Nutrition Centers have expressed their enthusiasm towards this project that will record their legacy through tape recordings, photos and other artifacts," says Laura Cisneros with the City of San Antonio, Department of Community Initiatives, Senior Services Division.

This event is a continuation of one of Texas’s most ambitious projects to date and continues to be one of its most rewarding for everyone involved.

"Preservation of history and culture is one of the most important functions a library can perform," says San Antonio Public Library Director Ramiro Salazar. "The San Antonio Public Library is honored to be a partner in this outstanding initiative to record the memories of our citizens."

The Tejano Senior Oral History Project is just one of the exciting projects that Texas will be undertaking this year leading up to the annual Tejano Heritage Month festivities in September.

"We are fortunate to have such valuable partners as the City of San Antonio and the San Antonio Public Library in this endeavor and that they share our goals in preserving this priceless treasure – these seniors represent the foundation of San Antonio and its history and should never be forgotten," says Rodriguez.

More information about and its projects can be found at or by calling 210.673.3584.

About Texas

Texas is a multi-faceted organization whose goal of promoting, publishing, producing and marketing Texas Tejano print, electronic and educational materials continues to be a leader in its field. The company was founded in 2002 on the premise that little is known by the public about the role of Tejanos in Texas history. Through our efforts, we strive to help the public learn about the fascinating past of local Tejanos and their influence on Texas.

Texas, conducting a statewide search for the best example of Tejano art 
to be used in the first-ever production of an official poster for Tejano Heritage Month!

More information about Texas can be found at
CONTACT: RUDI R. RODRIGUEZ at 210.673.3584 
ELIZABETH BERMEL at 210.207.2500
LAURA CISNEROS at 210.207-8198

Texas Launches New Award Humanities 

Texas invites nominations for the first annual Humanities Texas Award, which recognizes imaginative leadership in the humanities on a local, regional, or state level. Nominees might include a local library that has started an especially effective reading and lecture series; a group whose work has advanced heritage tourism efforts; or an individual who has developed a significant public program grounded in history, literature, philosophy, archaeology, folklore, or other humanities disciplines. The winning individual or organization will receive a cash award of $5,000. Nominated individuals must reside in Texas, and organizations must be based in the state. For nomination materials, please see:

Sent by JD Villarreal

A list of Land Grants Given by Spanish Royal Commission in 1767, plus the map which shows how the land parcels were divided. 
Porción Grantee
70 Ramón Gonzales
71 Francisco de la Garza
72 Juana Josefa Gutierrez 
73 Agustin de la Garza
74 Pedro Lugo
75 Juan Villarreal
76 Cristobal Garcia
77 Nicolas Zapata
78 Diego Garcia
79 Juan Cisneros
80 José Antonio de la Garza
81 Juan José de la Garza Falcon
82 Nicolas Vela
83 María Marcela
84 Ventura Vela
85 Antonio de la Rosa
86 Francisco Xavier Rodriguez
87 Juan Flores Villarreal
88 José Salvador de la Garza
89 Juan José de la Garza Falcon
90 Salvador Vela
91 Josefa Benavides
92 Santiago López
93 Matia Longoria
94 Pedro Longoria
95 Ramón Quintanilla
96-100 Bartolome Treviño
Ygnacio Treviño
Ygnacio Treviño
Ygnacio Treviño
Ygnacio Treviño
103 Margarita Gonzales
104 Joaquin de la Garza Falcon
105 José de Ynojosa
106 Miguel Perez
107 Juan José Solis
108 Francisco Antonio Villarreal

Information taken from Guide to Spanish and Mexican Land Grants in South Texas. Austin: Texas General Land Office, 1988.

Those interred in the San Diego, Texas Cemetery 
Submitted and Researched Art Garza

 My goal is to eventually get a current list of individuals interred in the San Diego, Texas Cemetery since the 1800's, and maintain it as current as possible.  In this issue are some of the people whose surname begins with the letter A or B that are buried in the San Diego, Texas Cemetery. Included are people who have passed since I first started my list. It is difficult to maintain a current list, but this is a start.

In the next newsletter, I will provide a list of individuals who are buried in the San Diego, Texas Cemetery whose surname begins with C and D. In the meantime, if you are doing research and would like to find out if an individual is buried in the San Diego, Texas Cemetery, contact me and I'll search the list I have.

General Meeting: Third Tuesday of the month at Casa View Library - Joaquin and Ferguson, Dallas

Contact person: Dorina Thomas  
Fax: (214) 324-4268

HOGAR of Dallas Newsletter, Vol. 9, issue 4
February - March 2007




Looking Back: Former Resident recalls her years in the Square.
Spanish Louisiana Infantry Regiment 


Looking Back: Former Resident recalls her years in the Square.

It is not too often that a newspaper will write an article about one individual representing a time period in a certain neighbor.  Bonnie McNabb Chapa was fortunate to have photos in order when she was contacted. Her memories were included as part of a celebration concerning Lafayette Square, St. Louis, Missouri.

George Washington wreath laying ceremony February 21, 2005 at Lafayette Park, St. Louis, Missouri. The ceremony which concluded with Daughters of the American Revolution placing the wreath at the foot of the statue of George Washington.

Bonnie NcNabb Chapa, frequent submitter to Somos Primos, sent a 3-page article which included information about her  Lafayette Square memories.  


Text: In the 1940s Bonnie McNabb and her family lived in Lafayette Square at 5 Benton Place.  On page 12, read Bonnie's fond memories of her old neighborhood
 and the home she will never forget.
Bonnie McNabb Chapa thechapas@YAHOO.COM

The Spanish Louisiana Infantry Regiment is seeking individuals who share our interest in the history and events of the American Revolution, with specific focus on the men and women of the Spanish forces led by Don Bernardo de Galvez. We promote, encourage, and participate in battle reenactments, tactical demonstrations and living history presentations.

Anyone with an interest in this chapter of the American Revolution is most welcome. Membership is open to all persons without regard to sex, color, creed, or national origin. If interested please send email to

Best regards, Eliud "Elie" Bonilla
Adjunct Professor, George Mason University
Unit Adjutant, Spanish Louisiana Infantry Regiment
Video clip:



National Archives April Schedule

The following is a list of some of the events taking place at the National Archives during the month of April, 2007. For more information, respond to this email or call Katie Wilmes at 202-357-5127.

Wednesday, April 11, at noon
Jefferson Room
The Summer of 1787 
David O. Stewart will discuss his new book, The Summer of 1787: The Men Who Invented the Constitution. George Washington presided; James Madison kept the notes; Benjamin Franklin offered words of wisdom at crucial times. The Summer of 1787 traces the struggles within the Philadelphia Convention as the delegates hammered out the charter for the world's first constitutional democracy. 

Thursday, April 12, at 7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater
Slavery and Freedom in Washington, D.C.: Show Me the Evidence!
The Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) and the National Archives host a panel discussion to observe the 145th anniversary of the District of Columbia's Compensated Emancipation Act. On April 16, 1862, before slaves were freed elsewhere in the United States, President Abraham Lincoln signed the law freeing 3,100 slaves in Washington, DC. The panel will explore the lives of free and enslaved African Americans in the nation's capital, documentation from that period, and the impact the act had on the region and the nation. The panel will feature Lerone Bennett, Jr., executive director emeritus, Ebony; Elizabeth Clark Lewis of Howard University; and Walter Hill, senior archivist in African American history. John W. Franklin of the NMAAHC will moderate. For further information on DC Emancipation Week programs, visit

Family Day Celebration 
Sunday, April 15, 11a.m.*2p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater and Lobby
"Presidential School Days"
Join us for a day of fun family activities featuring themes that helped shape the Presidents' young lives as schoolchildren. Presented in partnership with the Foundation for the National Archives.

"Listen to Tunes" 
In the spirit of our Presidents' varied musical talents, listen to area high school choral and instrumental ensembles.

"Lead a Cheer" 
Create a spirit pennant and learn a cheer to motivate the team! Meet Screech, mascot of the Washington Nationals, from noon to 1 p.m.!

"Use Your Noodle"
Participate in a Quiz Bowl to test your knowledge about American history and Presidents.

"Enjoy a Treat"
Sample some of the Presidents' favorite snacks from their younger years. See if your favorite food matches theirs!

"Preserve a Memory"
A conservator will teach you how to care for special documents and pictures so that they will last a lifetime.

Wednesday, April 18, at noon
Jefferson Room
Jackie Robinson's First Season
Author Jonathan Eig discusses his book, Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season. April 15, 1947, is perhaps the most memorable date in baseball. When the Brooklyn Dodgers opened their season on that day, an African American man took the field in a major-league baseball for the first time. Amid death threats, isolation, and segregation, Robinson broke the color barrier, all while being the most scrutinized ballplayer on the planet. Eig offers an intimate and surprising portrait of a true baseball legend and an enduring symbol of civil rights. 

Sunday, April 22, at 7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater
Reflections of a Biographer-Historian
Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein hosts Pulitzer Prize*winning author and historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. The conversation will examine Goodwin's career of more than three decades. She has been an aide and confidante to President Lyndon Johnson, a Harvard University professor, a Presidential biographer, and a commentator on issues from baseball to the American Presidency. Goodwin has written numerous articles on politics and baseball and has been a participant on television news programs and documentaries. Her books include Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln; Lyndon Johnson &The American Dream; No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt*The American Home Front During World War II; and Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir.

alute to Documentary Filmmakers Robert and Anne Drew
William G. McGowan Theater
Friday, April 27, at 6:30 pm
Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment (1963) 
Featuring remarkable candid footage of President John Kennedy and Attorney General Robert Kennedy, this film chronicles the confrontation between the Kennedy administration and Governor George C. Wallace over the integration of the University of Alabama. (52 minutes.)

The National Archives Experience
Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, Washington, DC

All events listed in the calendar are free unless otherwise noted; reservations are not required unless noted. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Use the Special Events entrance on Constitution Avenue.

The National Archives is fully accessible. If you need to request an accommodation (for example, a sign language interpreter) for a public program, please e-mail or call 202-357-5000 at least two weeks prior to the event to ensure proper arrangements are secured.

For information or to be placed on the mailing list, call 202-357-5000 or e-mail

National Archives and Records Administration
Center for the National Archives Experience
Operations and Public Programs Division
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Rm G-9
Washington, D.C. 20408
(202) 357-5000



Bil: Jerezanos in the history of Torreón, Coahuila
Finding Your Mexican Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide
S: Que han Contribuido al Engrandecimiento
Investigation on Mexican Human Genomic Concluded 
Descendents of Benito Juarez, President of Mexico
Descendents of Jose Geromino Vasquez
S: Descendientes de Victoriano Barrón de San Juan de Ahorcados,


Por: José León Robles de la Torre -


Foto de don Fernando Escobedo de la Torre y su esposa doña Bertha Cabral Escobedo, tomada el 23 de julio de 1949 en Gómez Palacio, Dgo., cuando vinieron de Jerez, Zacs., a la boda de su hijo Adolfo Escobedo Cabral, con la señorita Ma. del Carmen Valdés Ro

      CENTENARIO - 1907-2007

El Siglo de Torreón en Línea

Siguiendo con la genealogía de los Llamas y los Escobedo, en el artículo anterior, vimos que se unió a los apellidos mencionados en su 5ª. Generación, la 7ª. de los Cabral, que siguió como Llamas-Escobedo hasta doña Berta Cabral Escobedo, casada con don Fernando Escobedo de la Torre, y para mejor conocimiento, citaré enseguida la línea de los ?Cabral? con don Domingo Cabral, nacido en Jerez en 1610, casado con doña Catalina Ana Pinedo Caldera (Gen. 1). Juan Cabral Pinedo (2B), bautizado en Jerez el 16 de marzo de 1649, casado con doña Gertrudis de los Reyes Rodarte. Juan Cabral Rodarte (3), nacido en Jerez en 1674, casado con doña Felipa de Ubillos García. José Cabral Ubillos (4-A), nacido en Jerez y casado con Ma. Guadalupe Andrea Vázquez Carrillo. Juan José Cabral Vázquez (5) nacido en Jerez en 1745 y casado con doña Juana Josefa Escobedo del Árbol Bonilla. Mucio Cabral Escobedo (6), nacido en Jerez el 22 de mayo de 1769. Casado con Ma. Gpe. Rufina Refugio Rodríguez. José Ma. Cabral Rodríguez (7), casado con doña Pantaleona Llamas Escobedo. José Nisandro Cabral Llamas (8), bautizado en Jerez el siete de noviembre de 1851 y casado con doña Juana Escobedo Escobedo. Y Bertha Cabral Escobedo, nacida en Jerez y casada con don Fernando Escobedo de la Torre.

Veamos ahora los ancestros de don Fernando Escobedo de la Torre, por la línea materna. (1) Lic. Diego (Pérez de la Torre, nacido en Almendralejo, de Extremadura, España en 1482, que vino con Cédula Real de Carlos V en 1536, como juez residenciado de Nuño de Guzmán y 2º. Gobernador de la Nueva Galicia, casado con doña María Álvarez. (2) María de la Torre Álvarez, casada con el Cap. Hernán (Fuentes) Flores. 3) Cap. Juan (Flores) de la Torre, nacido en Guadalajara, Jal., en 1542 y casado con Isabel Caldera, hija del Cap. Miguel Caldera y 2º. con una señorita Valdés. (4) Cap. Roque de la Torre Valdés, nacido en Jerez en 1597, casado con Juana Gamboa y Valdés. (5) Cap. Cristóbal de la Torre Gamboa y Valdés (casado con Ma. Rodríguez y 2º. con María Copelo. (6) Andrés de la Torre y Gamboa Valdés, nació en Juanchorrey, Tep., en 1710 y murió en Juanchorrey en 1795, casado Ma. Guadalupe Carlos (7-C) José Rafael de la Torre Carlos, casado con Juana Pascuala Ortiz y 2º. con Ma. Pioquinto González. (8) Juan José de la Torre González, casado con Ma. Petra Borrego Escobedo. (9) Francisco Borja de la Torre Borrego, nacido en el Salitral, Tepetongo el nueve de octubre de 1836, y casado con Dolores Miranda Ávila (10). Francisca de la Torre Miranda, casada con Aurelio Escobedo González. (11) y el matrimonio ya citado de don Fernando Escobedo de la Torre con Berta Cabral Escobedo, quienes procrearon a Amalia Escobedo Cabral, en Jerez en 1922; Adolfo Escobedo Cabral el 26 de agosto de 1923 casado con Carmelita Valdés Romo, que ya mencioné en mi artículo anterior, a Fernando Escobedo Cabral, a Eduardo Escobedo Cabral, a Joaquín Escobedo Cabral, a Ernesto Escobedo Cabral y Aurelio Escobedo Cabral.



Jerezanos in the history of Torreón, Coahuila

Mercy Bautista-Olvera

CENTURY 1907- 2007

The Genealogy of the Llamas and Escobedo: The surnames Llamas and Escobedo united themselves on the 5th and 7th generations with the Cabral family tree, that followed Llamas Escobedo to Bertha Cabral Escobedo, married to Fernando Escobedo de la Torre, and for better understanding I would start with the Generations:

1st Generation, Domingo Cabral, born in Jerez in 1610 married Catalina Ana Pinedo Caldera

2nd Generation, Juan Cabral Pinedo, baptismal on March 16, 1649 Jerez, Zacatecas Married to

Gertrudes de los Reyes Rodarte

3rd Generation, Juan Cabral Rodarte, born in Jerez in 1674, married Felipa de Ubillos García

4th Generation, José Cabral Ubillos, born in Jerez, married Maria Guadalupe Andrea Vázquez Carrillo.

5th Generation, Juan José Cabral Vázquez, born in 1745, married to Juana Josefa Escobedo del Árbol Bonilla

6th Generation, Mucio Cabral Escobedo, born in Jerez on May 22, 1769 married to María Guadalupe Rufina Refugio Rodríguez.

7th Generation, José María Cabral Rodríguez married to Pantaleona Llamas Escobedo,

8th Generation, José Nisandro Cabral Llamas baptized in Jerez November 7, 1851, married Juana Escobedo Escobedo

9th Generation, Bertha Cabral Escobedo, born in Jerez, married to Fernando Escobedo de la Torre

Fernando Escobedo de la Torre maternal ancestors:

1st Generation: Licenciado Diego (Pérez) de la Torre born in Almendralejo de Extremedura, Spain in 1482, who came with permission from Real de Carlos V in 1536, as Nuño de Guzmán, residential judge and governor of Nueva Galicia Licenciado (Lawyer) Diego Pérez de la Torre married María Álvarez

2nd Generation, María de la Torre Álvarez married Captain Hernan Fuentes Flores

3rd Generation, Juan (Flores) de la Torre, born in Guadalajara, Jalisco in 1542 married Isabel Caldera, daughter of Captain Miguel Caldera, (2nd wife was a Valdes (first name unknown).

4th Generation, Captain Roque de la Torre Valdés, born in Jerez in 1597 married Juana Gamboa y Valdés

5th Generation, Captain. Cristóbal de la Torre Gamboa y Valdés married María Rodríguez, 2nd wife María Copelo.)

6th Generation, Andrés de la Torre y Gamboa was born in Juanchorrey, Tepetongo, Zacatecas in 1710 married María Guadalupe Carlos, died in Juanchorrey in 1795,

7th Generation, José Rafael de la Torre Carlos married Juana Pascuala Ortiz, second wife Maria Pioquinta González.

8th Generation, Juan José de la Torre Gonzalez married María Petra Borrego Escobedo

9th Generation, Francisco Borja de la Torre Borrego, born in El Salitral, Tepetongo on October 9, 1836 married Dolores Miranda Ávila

10th Generation, Francisca de la Torre Miranda married Aurelio Escobedo González

11th Generarion, Fernando Escobedo de la Torre and his wife Bertha Cabral Escobedo. The couple’s children Amalia Escobedo Cabral, born in Jerez in 1922: Adolfo Escobedo Cabral born on August 26, 1923 married to Camelita Valdés Romo, Fernando Escobedo Cabral, Eduardo Escobedo Cabral, Joaquin Escobedo Cabral, Ernesto Escobedo Cabral and Aurelio Escobedo Cabral


Finding Your Mexican Ancestors: A Beginner's Guide is essential to any researcher looking to trace their heritage across the Rio Grande. In it, authors George and Peggy Ryskamp show how easy Mexican American research can be by providing detailed descriptions of parish records, civil records, and other types of records common in Mexico. 

This book makes it clear that Mexicans kept very good records, and outlines where to find such resources, and how
 to use them. In addition, it provides a basic introduction to the Spanish vocabulary researchers are likely to encounter in their research, and includes useful Mexican historical and 
                                         geographical context as well.

Filigranas, Fundaciones Y Genealogias/Jerez, Susticacan and Monte Escobedo, Zacatecas  Sent by Mercy Bautista Olvera

Personajes de la historia / JEREZANOS EN TORREÓN Y LA COMARCA LAGUNERA Por: José León Robles De La Torre

Portada de mi libro No. 27, cuya edición acaba de salir a la luz y próximamente será presentado. Contiene muchas familias laguneras, cuyas raíces son zacatecanas, y particularmente de Jerez.
13 de febrero de 2007


Muchos árboles han extendido su ramaje genealógico en Torreón y la Comarca Lagunera a lo largo de su historia y que hoy con motivo del Centenario de la ciudad de Torreón, 1907-2007, aparecen en mi nuevo libro que tiene 405 páginas tamaño carta, a doble columna, con unas 150 fotografías y 32 árboles genealógicos y que iré dando a conocer en próximos artículos periodísticos. 

“A raíz -dice mi libro citado-, de la fundación del Instituto Municipal de Cultura en 1988, por el R. Ayuntamiento presidido por el Lic. Heriberto Ramos Salas para que funcionara con el patrocinio del Estado, del Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes y la Presidencia Municipal, quedando al frente la señora doña Sonia Salum Chávez, ahora de Garrido, comenzó por organizar el Festival de Torreón y sus Grupos Étnicos, logrando, en principio, participar las colonias chinas, alemanas, inglesas, norteamericanas, japonesas y muchas más. 
Además, se organizaron los grupos nacionales de los estados, que de muchas maneras han contribuido al engrandecimiento de Torreón, hasta lograr lo que ahora es. Se ha formado un mosaico de actividades que comprenden todas las ramas del quehacer humano: agricultores, ganaderos, escritores, mecánicos, obreros, industriales de la masa y la tortilla, estableros, médicos, científicos, artistas, músicos, etc., etc., muchos de los cuales procedían del Estado de Zacatecas, que mezclados con los grupos étnicos extranjeros y de otros estados del país, se ha formado una fuerte raza lagunera capaz de vencer al desierto y convertirlo en un jardín florido. Y como un botón de ese gran campo florido, citaré algunas personas que desde que Torreón era rancho a partir de 1848, después Villa en 1893 y Ciudad en 1907 han contribuido al crecimiento y desarrollo de esta gran ciudad que ahora es. 

Así veremos, por ejemplo, que el matrimonio de don Francisco González y su esposa doña Rita Castañeda, se radicaron desde 1809, en el Real y Hacienda de Jimulco, según asienta el escritor Profr. don Roberto Martínez García; el profesor don Manuel N. Ociedo, que fuera Presidente Municipal de Torreón en 1911. Familias Correa Valdés, que vinieron a Lerdo, y después a Gómez Palacio, Dgo., desde 1872, que fue doña Valeria Valdés Sánchez, con su hijo Antonio Correa Valdés, padre de don Anacleto Correa Burciaga, doña Olallita Valdés Valdés, nacida en Jerez y madre de la numerosa familia de los doctores Ramírez Valdés, ampliamente conocidos. Familias Llamas, Escobedo, Cabral, Alatorre, De la Torre, Robles, Sánchez y otras como la abuelita del Dr. Alfonso Garibay Fernández, que era jerezana. La abuela del Dr. Luis Maeda Villalobos, era jerezana y su bisabuela doña Severa del Refugio de la Torre Valdés, que era de Tepetongo, Zacs., la familia del Arq. Samuel Alatorre Morones, también era jerezana y otras muchas más de las que iré publicando artículos especiales de cada una de esas ramas que teniendo su tronco en el Estado de Zacatecas, ya echaron nuevas raíces y ramajes en La Laguna. 

If your are interested in buying this book please deposit $55.00 dollars, shipment included to the order of Jose Leon Robles de la Torre, at El BANCO BANORTE de Torreon. The author would send you the book by mexpost to your address, upon him receiving the deposit he would send you the book. If you want to contact the author his e-mail address is:

Investigation on 
Mexican Human Genomic is Concluded


General Director Doctor Gerardo Jimenez Sanchez from The National Institute of Genomic Medicine of Mexico reports that after two years researching, the Mexican human Genome is ready; the genes from Mexicans are the result of the mixture of 35 groups, alnicos different from the ones from Europe, Asia and Africa.

Dr. Gerardo Jimenez- Sanchez concludes that 65% from the component Mexican Genomics is Anico and is denominator acermendio, which means that a connectional ill, and by consequence, has pains, it has to have medical assistance, in major cases by medicine elaborated in a special way, and not imported from other countries, that were fabricated to help genomes from other towns.

Diabetes, Mellitus, diseases cardiovascular and different types of cancer (Breast Cancer, thyroid, infant leukemia and prostate) are some of the illnesses that 
we Mexicans are more liable to have.

The doctor who knows the Mexican genomic map would transform the paradigm of the medical attention that would be more individual predictive and preventive.

The human genome in the total number 
of chromosomes that the body has, that are responsible for the heredity and the study provides what kind of illnesses a person would have during its lifetime.

To know the Mexican Genomic map it would be necessary that the specialists recollect blood tests of 140 mestizos – 50% women and 50% men from seven Mexican states from the republic of Mexico: Sonora, Zacatecas, Guanajuato, Yucatan in, Veracruz, Guerrero and Tamaulipas.

The requirements that volunteers had to have, that none of them were related, 
that are at least 18 yeas old, with parents, grandparents with origins from the same state, and have not inmigrate in others recently.

Sent by Roberto Camp

Translation from original source by:
Mercy Bautista-Olvera


El director general del Instituto Nacional de Medicina Genómica, Doctor Gerardo Jiménez- Sánchez reveló que luego de dos años de investigación, el genoma humano de los mexicanos está listo. los genes de la población mexicana son el resultado de una mezcla de 35 grupos étnicos, distintos por lo tanto a los de Europa, Asia y África.

Agregó que el 65% del componente genético de los mexicanos es único y se le ha denominado “amerindio”, lo que significa que cuando un connacional enferma y, como consecuencia, padece dolor, su cura debería ser atendida, en la mayor parte de los casos, por medicamentos elaborados de manera especial, y no por los importados, que fueron fabricados para atender los genomas de otros pueblos.

La diabetes mellitus, las enfermedades cardiovasculares y diversos tipos de cáncer (de mama, tiroides, leucemia infantil y próstata), son algunos e los padecimientos a los que estamos predispuestos los mexicanos, dijo Jiménez-Sánchez.

El médico señaló que conocer el mapa genómico del mexicano permitirá cambiar el paradigma de la atención médica en el país porque podrá ser más individualizada, predictiva y preventiva.

El genoma humano es el número total de cromosomas que tiene el cuerpo, los cuales son los responsables de la herencia y su estudio permite conocer qué enfermedades podrá sufrir una persona durante su vida.

Para conocer el mapa genético de los mexicanos, fué necesario que los especialistas recolectaran muestras de sangre de 140 personas mestizas -50% mujeres y 50% hombres- de siete estados de la República: Sonora, Zacatecas, Guanajuato, Yucatán, Veracruz, Guerrero y Tamaulipas.

Los requisitos que tuvieron que cubrir los voluntatrios fueron: que no existiera ningún parentesco entre ellos, que fueran mayores de 18 años, con padres y abuelos originarios del estado en cuestión y que no hubieran inmigrado en años recientes.

Source: Ser Empresario
Domingo 11 de Marzo del 2007



Decendents of
Benito Juarez, President of Mexico
Compiled by John D. Inclan
Generation No. 1
1. PRESIDENT OF MEXICO BENITO-PABLO2 JUAREZ-GARCIA (MARCELINO1 JUAREZ) was born 21 Mar 1806 in Santo Tomas Ixtlan de Juarez, Oaxaca, Mexico, and died 18 Jul 1872 in Mexico City, D. F., Mexico. He married MARGARITA-EUSTAQUIA MAZA-PARADA 31 Oct 1843 in Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca, Mexico, daughter of ANTONIO MAZA and PETRA PARADA. She was born 28 Mar 1826 in Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca, Mexico, and died 02 Jan 1871 in San Cosme, Mexico City, D. F., Mexico.
i. MARIA-MANUELA-JUANA3 JUAREZ-MAZA, b. 19 May 1844, Sagrario Metropolitano, Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca, Mexico.
ii. MARIA-FELICITAS-TEODORA JUAREZ-MAZA, b. 01 Apr 1847, Sagrario Metropolitano, Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca, Mexico.
iii. MAGARITA JUAREZ-MAZA, b. 1848, Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca, Mexico.
iv. MARIA-GUADALPE JUAREZ-MAZA, b. 1849, Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca, Mexico; d. 10 Oct 1850.
v. SOLEDAD JUAREZ-MAZA, b. 1850, Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca, Mexico.
vi. BENITO-LUIS-NARCISO JUAREZ-MAZA, b. 02 Nov 1852, Sagrario Metropolitano, Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca, Mexico.
vii. JOSEFA JUAREZ-MAZA, b. 30 Jan 1854, Sagrario Metropolitano, Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca, Mexico.
2. viii. MARIA-DE-JESUS JUAREZ-MAZA, b. 30 Jan 1854, Sagrario Metropolitano, Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca, Mexico.
ix. JOSE-MARIA-MELECIO JUAREZ-MAZA, b. 06 Dec 1856, Sagrario Metropolitano, Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca, Mexico; d. 1865.
x. FRANCISCA JUAREZ-MAZA, b. 1859, Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca, Mexico.
xi. ANTONIO JUAREZ-MAZA, b. 13 Jun 1864, Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico; d. 01 Aug 1865.
Generation No. 2
2. MARIA-DE-JESUS3 JUAREZ-MAZA (BENITO-PABLO2 JUAREZ-GARCIA, MARCELINO1 JUAREZ) was born 30 Jan 1854 in Sagrario Metropolitano, Oaxaca de Juarez, Oaxaca, Mexico. She married JOSE SANCHEZ-RAMOS.
i. ANDRES4 SANCHEZ-JUAREZ, b. 08 Jul 1878, Mexico City, D. F., Mexico; d. 21 Feb 1949, Mexico City, D. F., Mexico; m. VICTORIA CORONA; b. 19 Oct 1881, Madrid, Spain; d. 1962, Mexico City, D. F., Mexico.


The Descendents of Jose Geromino Vasquez
Compiled by John D. Inclan
Generation No. 1
1. JOSE-GEROMINO1 VASQUEZ He married MARIA-DE-REFUGIO LEDESMA 13 Sep 1797 in San Miguel Arcangel, Yahualica, Jalisco, Mexico.
i. JOSE-GUADALUPE2 VASQUEZ-LEDESMA, b. 14 Dec 1798, San Miguel Arcangel, Yahualica, Jalisco, Mexico.
ii. JOSE-CLETO-CECILO VASQUEZ-LEDESMA, b. 28 Apr 1802, San Miguel Arcangel, Yahualica, Jalisco, Mexico.
2. iii. JOSE-APOLINARIO VASQUEZ-LEDESMA, b. 30 Jul 1804, San Miguel Arcangel, Yahualica, Jalisco, Mexico.
iv. JOSE-FRANCISCO-DE-BORJA VASQUEZ-LEDESMA, b. 14 Oct 1806, San Miguel Arcangel, Yahualica, Jalisco, Mexico.
v. JOSE-CASIANO VASQUEZ-LEDESMA, b. 18 Oct 1806, San Miguel Arcangel, Yahualica, Jalisco, Mexico.
Generation No. 2
2. JOSE-APOLINARIO2 VASQUEZ-LEDESMA (JOSE-GEROMINO1 VASQUEZ) was bapt. 30 Jul 1804 in San Miguel Arcangel, Yahualica, Jalisco, Mexico. He married DOLORES CORONA-ELIZALDE 16 Apr 1822 in Moyahua, Zacatecas, Mexico, daughter of RAMON CORONA and FRANCISCA ELIZALDE. She was born abt 1808.
ii. JOSE-JUSTO VASQUEZ-CORONA, b. 13 Aug 1828, Moyahua, Zacatecas, Mexico.
iii. JOSE-AGAPITO VASQUEZ-CORONA, b. 20 Mar 1831, San Miguel Arcangel, Yahualica, Jalisco, Mexico.
iv. JOSE-VICENTE VASQUEZ-CORONA, b. 07 Apr 1833, San Miguel Arcangel, Yahualica, Jalisco, Mexico.
v. JOSE-PEDRO VASQUEZ-CORONA, b. 22 Oct 1835, San Miguel Arcangel, Yahualica, Jalisco, Mexico.
vi. JOSE-DE-JESUS VASQUEZ-CORONA, b. 30 Dec 1840, San Miguel Arcangel, Yahualica, Jalisco, Mexico.
vii. MARIA-NICANOR VASQUEZ-CORONA, b. 15 Jan 1843, San Miguel Arcangel, Yahualica, Jalisco, Mexico.
viii. MARIA-MARIANA-DE-JESUS VASQUEZ-CORONA, b. 22 Jul 1847, Moyahua, Zacatecas, Mexico.
ix. JOSE-LUCIO VASQUEZ-CORONA, b. 29 Aug 1849, San Miguel Arcangel, Yahualica, Jalisco, Mexico.
Generation No. 3
i. JOSE-RAMON4 RIOS-VASQUEZ, b. 04 Sep 1849, San Miguel Arcangel, Yahualica, Jalisco, Mexico.
ii. MARIA-BIBIANA RIOS-VASQUEZ, b. 07 Dec 1851, San Miguel Arcangel, Yahualica, Jalisco, Mexico.
iii. MARIA-JULIANA RIOS-VASQUEZ, b. 24 Jun 1853, San Miguel Arcangel, Yahualica, Jalisco, Mexico.
4. iv. JOSE RIOS-VASQUEZ, b. Abt. 1864.
Generation No. 4
4. JOSE4 RIOS-VASQUEZ (TOMASA3 VASQUEZ-CORONA, JOSE-APOLINARIO2 VASQUEZ-LEDESMA, JOSE-GEROMINO1 VASQUEZ) was born Abt. 1864. He married SOLEDAD PEREZ-RODRIGUEZ 09 Jan 1888 in Moyahua, Zacatecas, Mexico, daughter of JORGE PEREZ and MARIA-NIEVES RODRIGUEZ. She was born 31 Mar 1872 in San Miguel Arcangel, Yahualica, Jalisco, Mexico.
Generation No. 5






Hostess, Campesina,  at

Descendientes de Victoriano Barrón(1)

1. VICTORIANO1 BARRÓN(1) nació cerca de 1779 en San Juan de los Ahorcados, Zacatecas1, y murió el 24 de junio de 1849 en Santo Domingo de la Punta, Coahuila2. Se casó con CECILIA TREVIÑO-HERNANDES?. (El apellido de Cecilia es indiscriminadamente escrito como Treviño y TREBIÑO).

2. i. CALIXTO2 BARRÓN-TREVIÑO, nació en Santo Domingo de la Punta, Coahuila; murió. Santo Domingo de la Punta, Coahuila.
3. ii. JUAN BARRÓN-TREVIÑO, nació en Santo Domingo de la Punta,
Coahuila; murió en Santo Domingo de la Punta, Coahuila.


Domingo de la Punta, Coahuila, y murió en Santo Domingo de la Punta,

9. iii. CATARINA BARRÓN-MUNGARAY, nació en 1832 en Santo Domingo de la Punta, Coahuila.
10. iv. PEDRO BARRÓN-MUNGARAY, nació en 1840 en La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila; murió en La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila.
v. MARÍA-DARÍA BARRÓN-MUNGARRAY, nació en 1844, La Punt de Santo Domingo, Municipio de Viesca, Coahuila; se casó con MACARIO SÁNCHEZ, el 8 de marzo de 1862, Santo Domingo de la Punta, Coahuila.
11. vi. JOSÉ-CARMEN BARRÓN-MUNGARAY, nació el 16 Juio de 1848 en La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila.
vii. JOSÉ-JOAQUIN BARRÓN-MUNGARAY, nació el 18 de agosto de 1850 en La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila.
viii. MA.-PORFIRIA BARRÓN-MUNGARAY, b. 21 May 1854, La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila.
3. JUAN2 BARRÓN-TREVIÑO (VICTORIANO1 BARRÓN(1)) nació en La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila, y murió en La Punta de santo Domingo, Coahuila. Se casó con MARÍA-PATRICIA CALDERÓN9, hija de JOSÉ-MARÍA CALDERÓN y de CONCEPCIÓN (RELLES) REYES.

I. MA.-GUADALUPE3 BARRÓN-CALDERÓN, nació en 1839, en La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila; se casó con JULIÁN CAMACHO-DE-LOS-REYES. Mas de MA.-GUADALUPE BARRÓN-CALDERÓN: Bautizada en La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila.
ii. MARÍA-CONCEPCIÓN BARRÓN-CALDERÓN, nació el 8 de diciembre de 1852, en La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila.

Los hijos de Benigno Barrón-TREVIÑO and MA.-CENOVIA AGUIRRE-SOLIS are:
I. LEANDRO3 BARRÓN-AGUIRRE, nació el 28 febrero de 1848, La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila.
ii. FRANCISCA BARRÓN-AGUIRRE, nació el primero de febrero de 1851, La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila.
I. DIONICIO3 BARRÓN-AGUIRRE, nació en septiembre de 1852 en La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila.

I. GALDINO3 BARRÓN, nació el 18 de abril de 1853 en La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila.

SATARAÍS, se creé nació en 1858.

Los hijos de MA.-MERCED BARRÓN-MUNGARAY y de NICOLAS ESPINO fueron: I. TIMOTEO4 BARRÓN, se creé nació en 1860. ii. BASILIA BARRÓN, se creé nació en 1867.
9. CATARINA3 BARRÓN-MUNGARAY (CALIXTO2 BARRÓN-TREVIÑO, VICTORIANO1 BARRÓN(1))nació en 1832 en La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila. Se casó con (1) FRANCISCO HERNANDEZ. Se casó con (2) FRANCISCO CAMACHO el 2 de julio de 1856.

I. MA.-EUSTAQUIA4 HERNÁNDEZ-BARRÓN, Se creé nació en 1857.

10. PEDRO3 BARRÓN-MUNGARAY (CALIXTO2 BARRÓN-TREVIÑO, VICTORIANO1 BARRÓN(1))14 nació en 1840 en La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila15, y murió en La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila. Conoció a (1) MAGDALENA (DE LA CRUZ?) RUIZ?. También a (2) EMILIA AVITIA-G. Se casó con (3) MARÍA-PAULA CASTRUITA-DÍAS el 15 de junio de 1862 in La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila con la hija de ANASTACIO CASTRUITA and MA.-NICOMEDES DÍAS.


ii. JOSÉ-BARRÓN-AVITIA4, se creé nació en 1919.

13. iii. CARLOTA4 BARRÓN-CASTRUITA, nació en La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila? y murió en El Tanque Aguilereño, Coahuila.
14. vi. TOMÁS (1) BARRÓN-CASTRUITA, nació el 30 de Septiembre de 1863, Santo Domingo de la Punta, Coahuila.
15. vii. SEBERA BARRÓN-CASTRUITA, nació el 1ro. de Febrero de 1864, Santo Domingo de la Punta, Coahuila.
16. viii. CIPRIANO BARRÓN-CASTRUITA, nació el 17 de Septiembre de 1865, La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila; murió por el 24 de Septiembre de 1947, La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila.
ix. MARÍA-BLAS BARRÓN-CASTRUITA, nació el 3 de Febrero de 1877, La Punta de Santo Domingo, Municipio de Viesca, Coahuila16; murió en La Punta de Santo Domingo, Municipio de Viesca, Coahuila.
17. x. FELIPE BARRÓN-CASTRUITA,nació el 23 Enero de 1878, Santo Domingo de la Punta, Coahuila; murió el 6 de Febrero de 1965, La Joya, Municipio de Torreón, Coahuila.
xi. ANSELMO BARRÓN-CASTRUITA, nació el 21 Abril de 1880?.
xii. LADISLADO BARRÓN-CASTRUITA,nació el 18 Agosto de 1884, Santo Domingo de la Punta, Coah.?.
11. JOSÉ-CARMEN3 BARRÓN-MUNGARAY (CALIXTO2 BARRÓN-FRESNILLO, VICTORIANO1 BARRÓN(1)) nació el 16de Julio de 1848 en La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila. Se casó con MA.-RICARDA CHICA ZALAZAR-MORILLO el 22 de Octubre de 1875, hija de MARCOS ZALAZAR-PICHARDO y MA.- CANDELARIA MORILLO.

I. JOSE-MARÍA4 BARRÓN-ZALAZAR,naci2 el 21de Marzo de 1877 en, La Punta
de Santo Domingo, Coahuila.
iii. JOSÉ-ENCARNACIÓN BARRÓN-ZALAZAR, nació en Junio de 1876, Santo Domingo de la Punta, Coahuila; murió el 8 de Diceiembre de 1877, Santo Domingo de la Punta, Coahuila. 8 months.
18. iv. LORENZO BARRÓN-ZALAZAR,nació el 4 Septiembre de 1878, Santo Domingo de la Punta, Coahuila; murió en Mexicali, Baja California, México.


19. i. MARGARITO5 DE-LA-CRUZ-HERNÁNDEZ, nació el 27 de Octubre de
1927, Santa Cruz del Orégano, Durango.

FRESNILLO, VICTORIANO1 BARRÓN(1)) nació en La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila?20, y murió en El Tanque Aguilereño, Coahuila21. Se casó con (1) GUILLERMO (2) SÁNCHEZ. Conoció a (2) GUILLERMO (1) DÍAZ. Se casó con (3) JAQUEZ. Conoció a (4) MIGUEL LUNA, el hijo de NATIVIDAD LUNA. Conoció a (5) ANDRES ALVARADO en San Juan de Guadalupe, Durango. Se casó con (6) CARLOS DIAZ.

20. i. RITA5 SÁNCHEZ-BARRÓN, nació en 1927, Hacienda (rancho) Santa Rosalia, Durango.
22. iii. GUADALUPE "LUPE" SÁNCHEZ-BARRÓN, nació en El Tanque
Aguilereño, Coahuila?; murió en El Paso, Texas.
24. vii. PEDRO5 (DÍAZ)-BARRÓN, nació se crée que en 1901, El Tanque Aguilereño, Coahuila.
viii. CARLOTA (2) BARRÓN-.
ix. Niño BARRÓN-.
25. x. ATANASIA BARRÓN-?, murió en Estación Juan Eugenio, Coahuila Municipio de Coahuila.
xi. MARÍA-JOSEFA BARRÓN, nació en 1900.


26. xiii. BAUDELIO5 (LUNA)-BARRÓN, nació en La Punta de Santo Domingo,Coahuila; murió el 20 de Diciembre de 1982, La Joya, Coahuila, a la edad de 92 años.

xiv. BICTORIANA5 ALVARADO-BARRÓN, nació en La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila.
BARRÓN-FRESNILLO, VICTORIANO1 BARRÓN(1)) nació el 30 de Septiembre de 1863 en La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila. Se casó con FELICIANA?.

FRESNILLO, VICTORIANO1 BARRÓN(1)) nació el 1ro. De Febrero de 864 en La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila. Se casó con GUADALUPE ALVARADO. El hijo de SEBERA BARRÓN-CASTRUITA y GUADALUPE ALVARADO es: I. ZENOBIO5 ALVARADO-BARRÓN.
BARRÓN-FRESNILLO, VICTORIANO1 BARRÓN(1)) nació el 17 de Septiembre de 1865 en La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila, y murió se crée el 24 de Septiembre de 1947 en La Punta de Santo Domingo y ELEUTERIA ALVARADO. Se casó con (2) MARÍA REYES en La Punta De Santo Domingo, Coahuila. Se casó con (3) PETRA RETÍS-(GONZÁLEZ)23 el 21 de Abril de 1913 en San Juan de Guadalupe, Durango.

27. i. ALVINO5 BARRÓN-TREVIÑO, nació en 1891, El Zacate, Durango; murió el 20 de Mazo de 1975, Santo Domingo de la Punta, Cohuila.
28. ii. MARÍA BARRÓN-TREVIÑO, murió el 19 de Junio de 1989, La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila.
29. iii. PEDRO BARRÓN-TREVIÑO, nació en El Tanque Aguilereño, Coahuila; murió se crée en 1949, Santo Domingo de la Punta, Coahuila.
30. iv. ETANISLAO BARRÓN-TREVIÑO, nació en 1900, La Punta de Santo Domingo, Municipio de Viesca, Coahuila?.
v. ZACARIAS BARRÓN-TREVIÑO, nació en San Jose de Barrones, Coahuila; murió el 11 de Septimbre , San Jose de Barrones, Coahhuila
31. vi. PETRA BARRÓN-TREVIÑO, nació en 1905, El Zacate, Durango?.
FRESNILLO, VICTORIANO1 BARRÓN(1))24,25 nació el 23 Enero de 1878 en La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila26, y murió el 6 de Febrero de 1965 en La Joya, Municipio de Torreón, Coahuila27. Se casó con (1) MAGDALENA FRAIRE. Se casó con (2) JUANA LÓPEZ-ESCOBEDO el 3 de Junio de 1901 en San Juan de Guadalupe, Durango?, la hija de CIPRIANO LÓPEZ-RODRÍGUEZ y MA.-TRINIDAD ESCOVEDO-RENTERÍA(1). 

La hija de FELIPE BARRÓN-CASTRUITA y MAGDALENA FRAIRE es: I. JULIA5 RUIZ, nació en La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila. 

32. ii. ANTONIA5 BARRÓN-LÓPEZ, nació en 1907, La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila; murió en San Juan de Guadalupe, Durango.
33. iii. TOMÁS BARRÓN-LÓPEZ, nació el 7 de Marzo de 1904, en La Punta
de Santo Domingo, Coahuila; murió el 13 de Febrero de 1990, Santo Domingo de la Punta, Coahuila.
34. iv. CIRILO BARRÓN-LÓPEZ, nació el 9 de Febrero de 1910, en La Punta e Santo Domingo?, Municipio de Viesca, Coahuila; murió el 4 de Mayo de 1986, Juárez, Chihuahua, México.
v. JOSÉ BARRÓN-LÓPEZ, nació se crée en 1911, La Punta de Santo Domingo, Coahuila; murió se crée en 1927.
35. vi. JUAN-ANTONIO BARRÓN-LÓPEZ, nació el 13 de Junio de 1912, Santo Domingo de la Punta, Coahuila?; murio ?.
36. vii. VENUSTIANO BARRÓN-LÓPEZ, nació el 30 de Diciembre de 1916, Matamoros (El Refugio), Coahuila; murió el 30 de Mayo de 1992, Torreón, Coahuila.
viii. JUAN BARRÓN-LÓPEZ, b. 1926, La Punta de Santo Domingo. Coahuila; murió en 1932, San Juan de Guadalupe, Durango a la edad de 6 años.
BARRÓN-FRESNILLO, VICTORIANO1 BARRÓN(1)) nació el 4 de Septiembre de 1878 en Santo Domingo de la Punta, Coahuila (29), y murió en Mexicali, Baja California, México ((30)). Conoció a (1) ANSELMA CÓRDOBA. Conoció  a (2) ANIZETA TREVIÑO. Conoció a (3) ATANASIA ADAME. La hija de LORENZO BARRÓN-ZALAZAR con ANSELMA CÓRDOBA es:



El Regimiento Fijo De Puerto Rico Recreado
United States sources available for Puerto Rican genealogy research
El Músico Lisandro Ramírez Velásquez y su descendencia en Masatepe. Guzman Reports: Latino Power


El Regimiento Fijo De Puerto Rico Recreado
Les invita a su práctica de 
Tácticas de Batalla a la usanza del Siglo XVIII
del 20 al 22 abril de 2007

La Batería del Escambrón en San Juan
de 9:00 AM a 3:00 PM
Auspicia: La Compañía de Parques Nacionales de Puerto Rico
Sent by Prof. Eliud Bonilla

United States sources available for Puerto Rican genealogy research

Genealogy has become quite popular these days, and while some have been at it a while, others have just began their plunge into their family history research. My interest began back in 1989 after graduating from college. I discovered many sources marketed towards American heritage research, but I was researching my Puerto Rican ancestry, and I was the first generation in the U.S. Mainland. At first, it seemed like an overwhelming task, but as I learned the ins and outs of the countless documentation available to us, the task became less intimidating.

I had the usual questions about my ancestors. Who were they? How did they live and where? All answers that I would begin to find out by joining several Puerto Rican based Genealogy Societies, and through them, discovering sources that were made available to all Americans.

These records are available at the NARA archives and through a paid subscription with

History and genealogy

Anyone seriously studying genealogy knows that history and genealogy go hand in hand. It is important to know what U.S. sources are available for Puerto Ricans and why.

The original name of the island, given by the indigenous Taino-Arawak people, was "Boriken," which means "land of the brave people." On his second voyage to the Americas in 1493, Christopher Columbus claimed Borinquen for Spain. More than half a century went by and most of the Taino population was destroyed through war in opposition to the Spanish invaders, slavery and diseases brought to the island by Europeans. With the Taino population largely reduced, the Spanish began enslaving African to fill their need for labor. African slavery was an important factor of the Puerto Rican economy until 1873, when it was finally abolished.

By the nineteenth century, Puerto Ricans were a distinct community. Puerto Rico's indigenous, Spanish, and African roots had blended together into the island's unique political, social, religious, and cultural life. Puerto Ricans were hopeful of achieving independence from Spanish rule and establish their own nation. On July 17, 1898, an independent government was officially installed in Puerto Rico. This new government was not successful for long, a week later the island was invaded by U.S. forces. After 400 years of Spanish domination, the island was now under the control of the United States government.

From 1898 until 1947 the U.S. government ran military and civil political administrations on the island of Puerto Rico. In 1917 President Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones Act, which made Puerto Ricans citizens of the United States. On July 25, 1952, in commemoration of the date of the U.S. invasion of Puerto Rico in 1898, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico was established.

Sources available for Puerto Rico

Military Records

Among several Military records, the following are some that I have found useful in my search.

  • World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards

U.S. citizenship extended to Puerto Ricans in the midst of World War I brought with it the imposition of military service on Puerto Ricans. The World War I Selective Service System Draft Registration Cards, available at the Washington, D.C. National Archives and Records Administration, includes Puerto Ricans. Puerto Rico’s draft cards were in Spanish.

  • U.S. World War II Army Enlistment Records, 1938-1946

This includes men and women from Puerto Rico who enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II.


This is a sample of a WW1 Registration card, as retrieved from

Guadalupe Hernandez Ramos was my Great Grand Father on my paternal side.

Social Security Death Index

As U.S. Citizens, Puerto Ricans also became entitled to Social Security benefits. This record, which contain information of deceased persons possessing social security numbers, and whose deaths were reported to the Social Security Administration, is a great source for Puerto Rico as well.

This is a sample an application for Social Security account number.

After finding my Great Grand Mother in the Social Security Death Index, I wrote to the Social Security Administration.

For a small fee, I was able to obtain a copy of her original application.


The United States Federal Census

The Census Bureau included Puerto Rico in their census for the years of 1910, 1920, 1930 and up to date. With this source, I began to map out my family’s properties in each town and began to find more relatives living close by. I also learned of other marriages and additional children.

The following are available by the Bureau of the Census for residents of Puerto Rico at the National Archives and Records Administration:

  • Thirteenth Census of the United States, 1910
  • Fourteenth Census of the United States, 1920
  • Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930

The Census provides a good source of information for everyone, because it provides many details about individuals and families including: name, gender, sex, color or race, age, birthplace, relationship to head of family, marital status, birthplace of father and mother, and more.

The only problem I found was that the Puerto Rican census has different questions in different lines. I collected information on Census Extraction Sheets I found online and the information simply did not match, so I made new census Extraction Sheets that included the information in the census. This makes the information easier to transfer on hardcopy.

Jocelyn Hernández Irizarry

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Jocelyn Hernández Irizarry was born in Phoenix, Arizona and raised in San Juan, Puerto Ríco and New York City, the oldest of 4 children. She has been researching her family history since 1989. She is the moderator of the Irizarry Surname Project’s discussion list on Yahoo which can be found at

She splits her time between the Caribbean and Spain. Her personal research can be found at


El Músico Lisandro Ramírez Velásquez

y su descendencia en Masatepe.

Por: Francisco Ernesto Martínez
Miembro de Número de la Academia Nicaragüense de Ciencias Genealógicas. 

Masaya, Nicaragua, jueves 22 de febrero del 2007.

Publicada en Academia Nicaragüense de Ciencias Genealógicas
Boletín número 8, editor, don José Mejía 

El compositor y violinista Lisandro Ramírez Velásquez nació en Masaya en 1873, hijo del músico Alejandro Ramírez Flores (1841-15/03/1911, compositor de música sacra y profana) y de doña María de Jesús Velásquez Díaz (también conocida como Josefa Velásquez y que murió en Masaya el 8/04/1886), hermano entero del genio Carlos Ramírez Velásquez. Merece consideración su descendencia por estar compuesta por conocidas personalidades que enorgullecen a la agradable ciudad de Masatepe que otrora fue testigo de las maravillosas producciones de Lisandro Ramírez en villancicos, sones de pascua, misas, valses, marchas y blues. Compuso entre otras 12 misas de Requiems y 15 de Gloria, "Cantos a la Virgen María" y "Villancicos al Niño-Dios", oberturas como "La Reina de las Hadas", su inspirado Intermezzo y dos Valses famosos: "Ilusión Perdida" y "Lluvia de Estrellas".

Gilberto Vega Miranda escribe en su libro Breviario del Recuerdo: "En ningún arte es tan necesario el árbol genealógico, como en el arte de la música; las leyes de la herencia son infalibles, de padres a hijos y de hijos a nietos, como los Bach y los Strauss en Alemania, como los Urroz en Managua, los Ramírez Velásquez, los Zúñiga y los Vega en Masaya, los Ibarra en Granada, los Mena y los Vargas en León, los Montealegre, los Velásquez y los Blanco en Chinandega, que siguen enalteciendo la estirpe artística que les legaron sus antepasados."

Su registro bautismal en la Parroquia Nuestra Señora de la Asunción en Masaya se lee: "En Masaya á veinticuatro de marzo de mil ochocientos setenta y tres bauticé solemnemente á José Lisandro h.l. de Alejandro Ramírez y Josefa Velásquez; padrino Antonio Vega: lo firmo, J. M. Bolaños."

Lisandro Ramírez Velásquez vivió en Masatepe desde muy joven, puesto que a este pueblo había emigrado don Alejandro después de viudo; alternaba su música trabajando como telegrafista y se casó a los 18 años con una señorita de 15 años, que era huérfana, llamada doña Petrona Gutiérrez Tiffer (1876).

Tuvieron estos hijos: 1) Francisco Luz, 2) José Alejandro, 3) Alberto, 4) María de Jesús, 5) Emma Migdalia, 6) Félix Pedro, 7) Ángela, 8) Laura Dolores, 9) Esther Luz, 10) Blanca Luz, 11) Lisandro, 12) Carlos José y 13) Carlos José.

  1. Francisco Luz Ramírez Gutiérrez (24/07/1894 – 3/02/1971), violinista y compositor, casó con doña Trinidad Pérez Guerrero y tuvieron los siguientes hijos:
      1. María Josefa Ramírez Pérez (1921) casada con Remigio Sánchez Brenes (1916) con los siguientes hijos:
        1. Mirna Sánchez Ramírez (1938, distinguida dama, miembro relevante del grupo católico Los Carismáticos de la ciudad de Masaya) casada con el odontólogo Dr. Marco Antonio Solís.
        2. Roberto Francisco Sánchez Ramírez (1940, Historiador, Miembro de la Academia Nicaragüense de Geografía e Historia y Miembro de la Academia Nicaragüense de Ciencias Genealógicas, periódicamente escribe artículos muy buenos en La Prensa).
        3. Ligia Sánchez Ramírez (1942).
        4. María Auxiliadora Sánchez Ramírez (1944).
        5. Róger Sánchez Ramírez (1946).
        6. Rogelio Javier Sánchez Ramírez (1952).
        7. Carmen Patricia Sánchez Ramírez (1956).
        8. Ramiro Sánchez Ramírez


      2. Enma del Carmen Ramírez Pérez (1923) casada con Miramón Porras Miranda.
      3. Francisco José Ramírez Pérez (25/04/1925), conocida personalidad en Masatepe, muy vinculado a la cultura y a la educación de generaciones, tiene un buen archivo sobre la historia local, casado con doña Esmelda Sánchez Larios (16/09/1929).
      4. Noel Ernesto Ramírez Pérez (23/03/1927 – 5/10/2001) casó con doña Luz Elena Sánchez Gutiérrez y tuvieron los siguientes hijos:
        1. Noel Ramírez Sánchez (Presidente del Banco Central de Nicaragua de 1996 al 2001, Diputado de la Asamblea Nacional de Nicaragua del 2001 al 2006).
        2. Mauricio Ramírez Sánchez
        3. Roberto Ramírez Sánchez

        Francisco Luz Ramírez Gutiérrez después de viudo se casó con doña Clara Flores Echeverri y tuvieron los siguientes hijos:


      5. Norma Luz Ramírez Flores (1933).
      6. Clara Melba Ramírez Flores (1935).
      7. Jorge Lisandro Ramírez Flores.

  2. José Alejandro Ramírez Gutiérrez (3/05/1896 – 1996), flautista, casó con doña Emperatriz Álvarez Gutiérrez y tuvieron los siguientes hijos:
      1. Francisca Luz Ramírez Álvarez (1932)
      2. Teresa del Socorro Ramírez Álvarez (1933)
      3. Rosa Argentina Ramírez Álvarez (1940)
      4. Petrona Ramírez Álvarez (1945)

  3. Alberto Ramírez Gutiérrez (1900 – 1972), compositor de valses, boleros y música popular, tocaba el cello, el contrabajo y el violín; casó con doña María del Carmen Beteta Sánchez y tuvieron los siguientes hijos:
      1. Soila Argentina Ramírez Beteta (1947)
      2. Gustavo Alberto Ramírez Beteta (1949)
      3. Juan Francisco Ramírez Beteta (1951)
      4. Pedro de Jesús Ramírez Beteta (1953)
      5. José Napoleón Ramírez Beteta (1956)
      6. Rosa María Ramírez Beteta (1959)
      7. Luis Antonio Ramírez Beteta (1961)

    Alberto Ramírez Gutiérrez tuvo también con doña Balvina Eustaquia Velásquez García una hija: 8. Práxida Julia Velásquez Ramírez.

  4. María de Jesús Ramírez Gutiérrez (28/12/1900) casó con Carlos Paniagua Romero y tuvieron los siguientes hijos:
      1. Carlos Alberto Paniagua Ramírez
      2. Carmen de la Luz Paniagua Ramírez (1924)
      3. Oscar Gregorio Paniagua Ramírez
      4. Gloria Esperanza Paniagua Ramírez (1929).
      5. Lilliam Petrona Paniagua Ramírez (1932)
      6. Vilma María Paniagua Ramírez (1934)

  5. Emma Migdalia Ramírez Gutiérrez (8/11/1901 – 23/02/1911).

  6. Félix Pedro Ramírez Gutiérrez, conocido como Pedro Ramírez (19/05/1905). Escribe Sergio Ramírez en su libro Retrato de Familia con Violín: "Los hijos varones se hacían músicos a medida que crecían. Sólo mi padre, que había sido dedicado a tocar el contrabajo, el instrumento menos divertido y más enojoso de transportar, despreció el oficio. Las mujeres, todas muy bellas como todavía se las ve resplandecer en los retratos de familia, nacieron dotadas de voces melodiosas, de manera que los ensayos de la Orquesta Ramírez, cada varón con su instrumento, las mujeres cantando, se convertían en fiestas que atraían al barrio entero". Casó con doña Luisa Emilia Mercado Gutiérrez y tuvieron los siguientes hijos:
      1. Luisa Ramírez Mercado (13/04/1940)
      2. Sergio Ramírez Mercado (5/08/1942), Escritor muy reconocido nacional e internacionalmente, ex Vicepresidente de Nicaragua, Miembro de la Real Academia Nicaragüense de la Lengua, ganador del premio internacional de novela ALFAGUARA. Casó con doña Gertrudis Guerrero.
      3. Lisandro Mauricio Ramírez Mercado (15/05/1945).
      4. Rogelio Ramírez Mercado (18/07/1947).
      5. Marcia Ramírez Mercado.
      6. María Petrona Ramírez Mercado (29/04/1950).

  7. Ángela Ramírez Gutiérrez (19/09/1907) casó con Francisco Sánchez Brenes y tuvieron un hijo llamado Hebert Sánchez Ramírez.

  8. Laura Dolores Ramírez Gutiérrez (1908) casó con Alberto Fernando Sánchez Brenes y tuvieron los siguientes hijos:
      1. Bayardo Alberto Sánchez Ramírez (1941)
      2. Julia Auxiliadora Sánchez Ramírez (1943)
      3. Sonia Argentina Sánchez Ramírez (1945)
      4. Mayra Luisa Sánchez Ramírez (1948).
      5. Fernando Vicente Sánchez Ramírez (1949) 

  9. Esther Luz Ramírez Gutiérrez (14/06/1911 - 1992) casó con Salvador Norori Quintero y tuvieron los siguientes hijos:
      1. Teresa Esperanza Norori Ramírez (1939).
      2. Martín de Jesús Norori Ramírez (1940).
      3. Trinidad Lourdes Norori Ramírez (1942).
      4. Manuel Sebastián Norori Ramírez (1944).
      5. Miguel Ángel Norori Ramírez (1946).
      6. Flabio Ernesto Norori Ramírez (1948).
      7. María de Fátima Norori Ramírez (1950).
      8. Nubia Jamileth Norori Ramírez (1952).
      9. Edgard David Norori Ramírez (1955).

  10. Blanca Luz Ramírez Gutiérrez (11/10/1914 – 6/01/2003), soltera.

  11. Lisandro Ramírez Gutiérrez (14/04/1915).

XII. Carlos José Ramírez Gutiérrez (14/04/1917). Murió niño.

  1. Carlos José Ramírez Gutiérrez (9/06/1918 – 1991), músico, compositor y cantante, último Director de la Orquesta Ramírez, tocaba varios instrumentos entre ellos el banjo, la guitarra, el contrabajo, el clarinete y el saxofón; casó con Cledia Gutiérrez y tuvieron los siguientes hijos:
      1. Mario José Ramírez Gutiérrez (1940).
      2. Lidia Auxiliadora Ramírez Gutiérrez (1942).
      3. Carlos José Ramírez Gutiérrez (1947).
      4. Maritza del Carmen Ramírez Gutiérrez (1948).
      5. Janeth del Socorro Ramírez Gutiérrez (1959).


Carlos José Ramírez Gutiérrez también tuvo familia con doña Aura Lila Alemán Tinoco.

Foto inédita suministrada al autor por la joven Tania Ortega Amador.

Carlos Ramírez Velásquez con su hija Lolita Ramírez López visitando a su hermano Lisandro Ramírez en Masatepe.

De pie de izquierda a derecha del lector: doña Lolita Ramírez López observada por una niña curiosa (Masaya, 8/10/1900 – 5/07/1989), el ilustre Carlos Ramírez Velásquez (14/01/1882 – 24/04/1976), doña Petrona Gutiérrez Tiffer, Lisandro Ramírez Velásquez y doña Amalia Ramírez Pérez (1897, hija de Alejandro Ramírez con su segunda esposa y madre del pintoresco Melico Ramírez). Atrás aparecen otros miembros de la familia que no he logrado ubicar, al parecer la joven que se encuentra sonriente detrás de Lolita Ramírez es doña Ángela Ramírez Gutiérrez.

Lisandro Ramírez Velásquez murió en septiembre de 1956. Escribe Sergio Ramírez: "Para el entierro de mi abuelo...fueron llegando en el tren y a caballo por los caminos enlodados, músicos de todas las poblaciones vecinas para tocar la misa de réquiem de Eslava. Los recuerdo bien. Eran tal vez unos sesenta músicos, más las voces del coro, muchos de ellos adversarios, miembros de las viejas orquestas siempre en guerra, ahora bajo la sola batuta de mi tío Carlos (Ramírez Velásquez), que mucho más joven que mi abuelo, todavía conservaba bríos."



  1. Libro "Genealogía de mis Padres", en el capítulo XIV "Descendencia de don Miguel Ramírez. Familia Ramírez de Masaya y Masatepe". Managua, Nicaragua, edición particular, abril del 2004. Autor: Francisco Ernesto Martínez.
  2. Foto inédita de Carlos Ramírez Velásquez con su hermano Lisandro Ramírez Velásquez. Suministrada por su bisnieta Tania Ortega Amador.
  3. Registro de Bautismo. Archivo personal de Francisco Ernesto Martínez.
  4. Libro Retrato de Familia con Violín. Instituto Nicaragüense de Cultura. Managua, Nicaragua, 1997. Autor: Sergio Ramírez Mercado.
  5. Libro "Breviario del Recuerdo. Antología de Músicos Nicaragüenses". Segundo Tomo. Talleres Nacionales, Managua, 1958. Autor: Teniente Coronel Gilberto Vega Miranda. - Pablo Guzman Reports: Latino Power
National Institute for Latino Policy

In a two-part series of reports March 1-2, 2007, CBS 2's Pablo Guzman chronicled the positive impact many in the Latino community are having.
Myra Y. Estepa

About two months ago, our News Director, David Friend, called me into his office. Quite honestly, my first reaction was "uh-oh." When the boss calls you into his office, you start getting flashbacks about getting hauled into the principal's office. Or your mother calling your name with that certain inflection that meant she found out about the lamp.

This was not one of those times.

Mr. Friend had been to a function a few nights earlier, and was impressed with the sizable number of successful Latinos in attendance. And that most of them owned their own businesses. "And they all seemed to know that group you were in. Do you have footage of that?"

Thus is a series born.

"That group" was the Young Lords Party. A Puerto Rican radical organization that, between 1969 and 1976 or so mobilized thousands of people to fight for things like getting a new Lincoln Hospital built in the South Bronx. Because the old building had been condemned by the city for 25 years. And for 25 years, the money that was allotted to construct the new one was always used for something else. The message the people of the South Bronx got was, You don't count. Finally, doctors and nurses took us inside, and showed us the rats running through the emergency room. We took the hospital over with their help, and embarrassed the city into building the new one.

Notice in the preceding paragraph I said "mobilized thousands of people to fight for things". The key word being "fight". In the early '70s, the system was so dead-set against people standing up for themselves, that when we went to the Sanitation Department (which is how we began, in June 1969) to ask for brooms and garabage cans to clean up streets in Spanish Harlem, we were cursed at and the cops were called. So we took the garbage that wasn't being picked up - piles of stuff that both fed the image of how dirty "those people" were, and also fed the depressing self-image kids especially had growing up around all that - and laid it out across Lexington Avenue and 110th Street, blocking traffic at rush hour. After a series of such tactics, interspersed with running battles with the police (Police Commissioner Ray Kelly was a sergeant in one of the Spanish Harlem precincts back then, and we joke now at his attempts to arrest me back then), the city finally changed the frequency of garbage pickups. And put more garbage cans on the corners.

By the time of the Lincoln Hospital takeover ten months later in April 1970, the Young Lords' reputation was established. We were building chapters in Philadelphia, Bridgeport, Hoboken, and Newark. With student groups on campuses in Boston, Ann Arbor, and California; and through our paper, Palante, generating support among both servicemen and prisoners. Needless to say, this put us, along with the Black Panther Party, on the FBI radar.

But it also inspired several generations of Latinos. You have to understand, that before the Young Lords, and the rise of the whole Puerto Rican movement in the United States, Puerto Ricans officially were a "zip." I'm not kidding: Birth certificates said "black" "white" or "other" (my birth certificate says "white", in keeping with some bureaucratic reasoning back then that Puerto Ricans, since they were not "black," i.e., the people who came from the slave ships down South and spread across America, must, then, by this crazy logic, be . . . "white". And if you've seen me on TV, you know I'm hardly white).

Caught in America's political and cultural wars, there was no sense of identity -- of what it was to be Puerto Rican. And proud. The Young Lords Party had a lot to do with changing that. In fact, I get more invites to speak at colleges across America about the Young Lords now than I did then. And "back in the day", I got invites from colleges as far-flung as Tallahassee, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Chicago, Detroit, San Antonio, and Los Angeles. I was even invited, and did spend, three months at the end of 1971 in the People's Republic of China.

(Side note: when my plane landed in Beijing - then "Peking" - in September 1971, the rest of the group of American radical organizers I was with saw Air Force One on the tarmac through the windows as we taxied to the terminal. Since relations with the U.S. did not exist, we flipped out. We found out it was Henry Kissinger, engaged in what would later be called "ping pong diplomacy." Because the Chinese really were isolated from America, while they were talking to Kissinger, they also wanted to talk with Americans like myself to get a fuller picture of what life was like in America at the time. There was even a meeting with Premier Zhou Enlai in the Great Hall of the People. When it started, he had a translator next to him, who later became familiar to Americans. But when the translator began, Zhou waved him off. And in perfect English said, "I don't think that will be necessary. We are among friends." About four months later, in February 1972, I was back home in New York, and saw how Kissinger's secret diplomacy had paid off. Nixon was in China, resulting in the normalization of relations between the two countries. And there, constantly, on TV, was Zhou Enlai. And that translator. I turned to my friends and said, "That guy is really slick. He speaks English.")

However, from the mid-1970's to the present, all the gains in what appeared to be a rising tide of political power did not translate into a substantial reworking of how, say, power in the city operates. Even though the number of Latinos here (legally, by the way) has jumped from the Young Lord days those numbers have not been marshaled into anything that gives you the sense the day-to-day decision making is being shared equally. At City Hall, where there has still never been a Puerto Rican mayor (not that that would automatically mean everything's great; but, even for just the symbolic value, you know?). At the editorial boards that shape public opinion. And so on.

But at the same time, as Angelo Falcón of the National Institute for Latino Policy says in our series, "Come the 2000 census; come Jennifer Lopez; and all of a sudden, this century begins with a tremendous recognition and visibility of the Latino community." Madison Avenue took notice. The Latino market. And politicians took notice. Bloomberg and Pataki are campaigning in Spanish! (by the way, I tried for nearly a month to get a brief comment from Mayor Bloomberg on the significance of the Latino vote and the importance of Latino business for this series, and was rebuffed constantly).

So, with all those numbers, and with all that energy that had been generated by the Puerto Rican movement, what happened? Well, nature, you know, abhors a vacuum. And while politically there's a lot that needs to get done -- not a few people I talked to said they were turned off by the Democratic Party clubhouse politics that dominates the world of Latino elected officials in this town -- it would appear that "all that energy" did go someplace. To Latinos starting their own business. Or working their way up the corporate ladder. (I didn't have the time this go round, but my research for this project put me in touch with a large and growing class of Latino MBAs who are beginning to have an impact at places like Goldman Sachs, Verizon, etc. Maybe next time.)

Dr. Hector Cordero-Guzmán, chairman of Black and Latin economic studies at Baruch College, agreed. "I think that you're right in that there's been more growth, and perhaps more dynamic change, in the business sector." The good doctor has been crunching seven years of business data compiled by the Census Bureau regarding Latinos in business, and has come up with some fascinating info. Like, of the states with large Latino populations, New York has had the fastest rate of growth (though it started behind states like Texas and California). Like how the Latin business community generally breaks down into three groups: the traditional "mom and pop" type operation, classically represented by the bodega (and while the bodega is often a subject for humor, the Bodega Association of America - you heard right - claims $7 billion in annual revenue). The group of basically self-employed professionals and consultants (lawyers, architects, etc) that has seen the most growth of the three business classes the last ten years or so; and the still-emerging group that Dr. Cordero-Guzmán thinks will be the dominant force in the future: the entrepreneurs, the true business men and women "who have an actual payroll, and a significant number of employees; who are in light industry, or major service fields."

To learn more from this class, which is really the focus of this series, I talked with six representatives of the National Hispanic Business Group, each of whom is building their own company into sizable enterprises: Bill Sotomayor, of TSC Design Associates; Jose Velazquez of Tri-Line Contracting Corporation; Mario Rios, of Classico Building Maintenance; Bob Sanchez, United Print Group; Mario Torres, Mario Torres Productions; and Armando Rodriguez, A&A Maintenance. I spoke with Myrna Rivera, an investment analyst with years of experience at places like Smith Barney, who started her own firm, Consultiva Internacional, with offices in Puerto Rico and New York (and I was lucky to catch her before she took off again for Puerto Rico, where she is based!).

Then there is the supernova, Phil Suarez. His parents emigrated from Puerto Rico, to Washington Heights where he grew up ("we used to sing doo-wop on the steps of Yeshiva University", a pcouple of blocks down from his building at 188th & Amsterdam). As a young man, he landed a job in the mail room at the George Lois ad agency. Lois was really into the company softball team, and put out a call for someone who could play this game. "I got through advertising on the softball scholarship," Phil jokes.

His hustle on and off the field carried him through the agency and eventually a partnership with groundbreaking director Bob Giraldi. Their videos for commercials and music became the gold standard. ("Yeah, I'm the guy that burned Michael Jackson's hair." Actually, he was the guy producing the commercial for Pepsi.)

Secure after completing that stage of his life, Phil next turned to restaurants. "What I essentially do is execute the concept." And how. Teaming with legendary chef Jean Georges, Phil turned their flagship restaurant on Columbus Circle into a chain of ten dining experiences, each with its own theme and cuisine. Thai street food, Latin fusion, new French . . . and they're not stopping. Their Las Vegas restaurantin the Bellagio is the highest-grossing restauarant in America. They are opening in China and Japan. They have completed a deal with Starwood Hotels, for places like the Meridien, W, and the St. Regis.

Phil has also expanded into real estate development, co-developing a stunning group of towers on West Street and Perry in the Village where "apartments" - that is, whole floors - sell for $11 to $14 million. And the "tenants" include Martha Stewart, Calvin Klein, and Nicole Kidman (and of course Jean Georges has a café in one of the lobbies).

You can hear all these folks by clicking on the links, and get a lot more than we had time to put on the air. Believe me, they are all fascinating. I wish there was time for Jorge Ayala of "La Fonda Boricua" on 106th Street between Lexington and Third; and Jeffrey Melo, the bodeguero's son, who was running the place at 115th and Lex when we stopped in. But I want to thank them for letting us shoot inside their places, so you could get a feel for the real cornerstones of the Latino business explosion -- rice and beans. And, the bodega.

Oh, and besides that taste of Rita Moreno from "West Side Story", the music you hear in Part One is "Vamonos Pa'l Monte", and in Part Two, "Chocolate Ice Cream". Both by the great Eddie Palmieri.




S: Pesquisas
Hispanic Genealogy Blogspot
Spain, the United Kingdom and the Junta of Andalucía Shipwreck Project 
Panoramic Flight


Estas son las peticiones que tenemos hasta ahora.
Angel Custodio Rebollo

-    Gloria Ballistreri, esta interesada en conocer antecedentes del apellido CORNEJO, que era el apellido de su madre. Contactar:

-    Juan Morales Castillo, desea información sobre los Morales Castillo de Guatemala y sobre los Villavicencio, también de Guatemala. Contacto:

-    Jose Alvarez-Sala, tiene mucho interés en conocer el origen de su apellido, que al parecer viene de Asturias, en Espana.  Contacto:

-    Sergio Morro, de Argentina, está en la búsqueda de donde es originario su apellido, MORRO, que al parecer arranca en la zona de Mallorca, Espana. Contacto:

-    Reinaldo Antonio, está interesado con contactar con personas que lleven el apellido FALCON. Contacto:

Hispanic Genealogy Blogspot

This new blog will have new articles posted primarily for research in Spain and Latinoamerica. You will be able to read, comment, and share.

Sent Lynn Turner

Spain, the United Kingdom and the Junta of Andalucía 
Agree to Sussex Shipwreck Archaeology Project 

Sent by Bill Carmena

The Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs has Issued a Press Release indicating the successful conclusion of negotiations relating to HMS Sussex

Tampa, FL, March 26, 2007 - Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. (AMEX: OMR), a leader in the field of deep-ocean shipwreck exploration, is pleased to publicly announce the conclusion of diplomatic negotiations for the archaeological project related to the shipwreck of HMS Sussex lost in 1694. 

A meeting of experts from the United Kingdom, the Junta of Andalucía and Odyssey Marine Exploration last week convened in Seville, Spain to discuss the archaeological plan related to HMS Sussex. After the meeting's successful conclusion, the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a press release, the English translation of which follows. 

[Original Spanish version of the document:

Discover the "panoramic flight": a new geographical navigation tool that makes an ever more interactive website. From now on you can fly over Madrid from your own computer, and ''land'' at the city's museums, monuments and buildings. Besides the useful information you will receive, you can also make on-line bookings at the accommodation of your choice.


DNA shows Scots and Irish should look to Spain for their ancestry 
Map proves Portuguese discovered Australia: new book 


DNA shows Scots and Irish should look to Spain for their ancestry.  The Irish and Scots may be as closely related to the people of Spain and Portugal as the Celts of central Europe.
Sent by

Map proves Portuguese discovered Australia: new bok 

By Michael PerryWed Mar 21, 6:26 AM ET;_ylt=A0WTUZozVgRGQhYBfgpn.3QA
Sent by Bill Carmena
A 16th century maritime map in a Los Angeles library vault proves that Portuguese adventurers, not British or Dutch, were the first Europeans to discover Australia, says a new book which details the secret discovery of Australia.

The book "Beyond Capricorn" says the map, which accurately marks geographical sites along Australia's east coast in Portuguese, proves that Portuguese seafarer Christopher de Mendonca lead a fleet of four ships into Botany Bay in 1522 -- almost 250 years before Britain's Captain James Cook.

Australian author Peter Trickett said that when he enlarged the small map he could recognize all the headlands and bays in Botany Bay in Sydney -- the site where Cook claimed Australia for Britain in 1770.

"It was even so accurate that I found I could draw in the modern airport runways, to scale in the right place, without any problem at all," Trickett told Reuters on Wednesday.

Trickett said he stumbled across a copy of the map while browsing through a Canberra book shop eight years ago.

He said the shop had a reproduction of the Vallard Atlas, a collection of 15 hand drawn maps completed no later than 1545 in France. The maps represented the known world at the time.

Two of the maps called "Terra Java" had a striking similarity to Australia's east coast except at one point the coastline jutted out at right angles for 1,500 km (932 miles).

"There was something familiar about them but they were not quite right -- that was the puzzle. How did they come to have all these Portuguese place names?," Trickett said.

Trickett believed the cartographers who drew the Vallard maps had wrongly aligned two Portuguese charts they were copying from.

It is commonly accepted that the French cartographers used maps and "portolan" charts acquired illegally from Portugal and Portuguese vessels that had been captured, Trickett said.

"The original portolan maps would have been drawn on animal hide parchments, usually sheep or goat skin, of limited size," he explained. "For a coastline the length of eastern Australia, some 3,500 kms, they would have been 3 to 4 charts."

"The Vallard cartographer has put these individual charts together like a jigsaw puzzle. Without clear compass markings its possible to join the southern chart in two different ways. My theory is it had been wrongly joined."

Using a computer Trickett rotated the southern part of the Vallard map 90 degrees to produce a map which accurately depicts Australia's east coast.

"They provided stunning proof that Portuguese ships made these daring voyages of discovery in the early 1520s, just a few years after they had sailed north of Australia to reach the Spice Islands -- the Moluccas. This was a century before the Dutch and 250 years before Captain Cook," he said.

Trickett believes the original charts were made by Mendonca who set sail from the Portuguese base at Malacca with four ships on a secret mission to discover Marco Polo's "Island of Gold" south of Java.

If Trickett is right, Mendonca's map shows he sailed past Fraser Island off Australia's northeast coast, into Botany Bay in Sydney, and south to Kangaroo Island off southern Australia, before returning to Malacca via New Zealand's north island.

Mendonca's discovery was kept secret to prevent other European powers reaching the new land, said Trickett, who believes his theory is supported by discoveries of 16th century Portuguese artifacts on the Australian and New Zealand coasts.
Copyright © 2007 Reuters Limited

Everything You Wanted to Know About the Canary Islands Heritage Societies 

Over 121,000 entries . Lots of Material.

Sent by Bill Carmena



Ancestors of today’s British and Irish are Basque 
Slavery An Integral Part of Nation's Shared Ancestry

Britain and Ireland are so thoroughly divided in their histories that there is no single word to refer to the inhabitants of both islands. Historians teach that they are mostly descended from different peoples: the Irish from the Celts, and the English from the Anglo-Saxons who invaded from northern Europe and drove the Celts to the country’s western and northern fringes.

But geneticists who have tested DNA throughout the British Isles are edging toward a different conclusion. Many are struck by the overall genetic similarities, leading some to claim that both Britain and Ireland have been inhabited for thousands of years by a single people that have remained in the majority, with only minor additions from later invaders like Celts, Romans, Angles , Saxons, Vikings and Normans.

The implication that the Irish, English, Scottish and Welsh have a great deal in common with each other, at least from the geneticist’s point of view, seems likely to please no one.

The genetic evidence is still under development, however, and because only very rough dates can be derived from it, it is hard to weave evidence from DNA, archaeology, history and linguistics into a coherent picture of British and Irish origins.

That has not stopped the attempt. Stephen Oppenheimer, a medical geneticist at the University of Oxford, says the historians’ account is wrong in almost every detail. In Dr. Oppenheimer’s reconstruction of events, the principal ancestors of today’s British and Irish populations arrived from Spain about 16,000 years ago, speaking a language related to Basque.

The British Isles were unpopulated then, wiped clean of people by glaciers that had smothered northern Europe for about 4,000 years and forced the former inhabitants into southern refuges in Spain and Italy. When the climate warmed and the glaciers retreated, people moved back north.

The new arrivals in the British Isles would have found an empty territory, which they could have reached just by walking along the Atlantic coastline, since there were still land bridges then across what are now English Channel and the Irish Sea.

This new population, who lived by hunting and gathering, survived a sharp cold spell called the Younger Dryas that lasted from 12,300 to 11,000 years ago. Much later, some 6,000 years ago, agriculture finally reached the British Isles from its birthplace in the Near East.

Agriculture may have been introduced by people speaking Celtic, in Dr. Oppenheimer’s view. Although the Celtic immigrants may have been few in number, they spread their farming techniques and their language throughout Ireland and the western coast of Britain. Later immigrants arrived from northern Europe had more influence on the eastern and southern coasts. They too spread their language, a branch of German, but these invaders’ numbers were also small compared with the local population.

In all, about three-quarters of the ancestors of today’s British and Irish populations arrived between 15,000 and 7,500 years ago, when rising sea levels finally divided Britain and Ireland from the Continent and from one another, Dr. Oppenheimer calculates in a new book, “The Origins of the British: A Genetic Detective Story” (Carroll & Graf, 2006).

As for subsequent invaders, Ireland received the fewest; the invaders’ DNA makes up about 12 percent of the Irish gene pool, Dr. Oppenheimer estimates, but it accounts for 20 percent of the gene pool in Wales, 30 percent in Scotland, and about one-third in eastern and southern England.

Still, no single group of invaders is responsible for more than 5 percent of the current gene pool, Dr. Oppenheimer says on the basis of genetic data.

He cites figures from the archaeologist Heinrich Haerke that the Anglo-Saxon invasions that began in the fourth century A.D. added about 250,000 people to a British population of one to two million, an estimate Dr. Oppenheimer notes is larger than his but considerably less than the substantial replacement of the English population assumed by others. The Norman invasion of 1066 A.D. brought not many more than 10,000 people, according to Dr. Haerke.

Other geneticists say Dr. Oppenheimer’s reconstruction is plausible, though some disagree with details. Several said that genetic methods did not give precise enough dates to be confident of certain aspects, like when the first settlers arrived.

“Once you have an established population, it is quite difficult to change it very radically,” said Daniel G. Bradley, a geneticist at Trinity College, Dublin. But he said he was “quite agnostic” as to whether the original population became established in Britain and Ireland immediately after the glaciers retreated 16,000 years ago, as Dr. Oppenheimer argues, or more recently, in the Neolithic Age, which began 10,000 years ago.

Bryan Sykes, another Oxford geneticist, said he agreed with Dr. Oppenheimer that the ancestors of “by far the majority of people” were present in the British Isles before the Roman conquest of A.D. 43. “The Saxons, Vikings and Normans had a minor effect, and much less than some of the medieval historical texts would indicate,” he said.

His conclusions, based on his own genetic survey and information in his genealogical testing service, Oxford Ancestors, are reported in his new book, “Saxons, Vikings and Celts: The Genetic Roots of Britain and Ireland.”

A different view of the Anglo-Saxon invasions has been developed by Mark Thomas of University College, London. Dr. Thomas and colleagues say the invaders wiped out substantial numbers of the indigenous population, replacing 50 percent to 100 percent of those in central England.

Their argument is that the Y chromosomes of English men seem identical to those of people in Norway and the Friesland area of the Netherlands, two regions from which the invaders may have originated.

Dr. Oppenheimer disputes this, saying the similarity between the English and northern European Y chromosomes arises because both regions were repopulated by people from the Iberian refuges after the glaciers retreated.

Dr. Sykes said he agreed with Dr. Oppenheimer on this point, but another geneticist, Christopher Tyler-Smith of the Sanger Centre near Cambridge, said the jury was still out. “There is not yet a consensus view among geneticists, so the genetic story may well change,” he said. As to the identity of the first postglacial settlers, Dr. Tyler-Smith said he “would favor a Neolithic origin for the Y chromosomes, although the evidence is still quite sketchy.”

Dr. Oppenheimer’s population history of the British Isles relies not only on genetic data but also on the dating of language changes by methods developed by geneticists. These are not generally accepted by historical linguists, who long ago developed but largely rejected a dating method known as glottochronology.

Geneticists have recently plunged into the field, arguing that linguists have been too pessimistic and that advanced statistical methods developed for dating genes can also be applied to languages.

Dr. Oppenheimer has relied on work by Peter Forster, a geneticist at Anglia Ruskin University, to argue that Celtic is a much more ancient language than supposed, and that Celtic speakers could have brought knowledge of agriculture to Ireland, where it first appeared. He also adopts Dr. Forster’s argument, based on a statistical analysis of vocabulary, that English is an ancient, fourth branch of the Germanic language tree, and was spoken in England before the Roman invasion.

English is usually assumed to have developed in England, from the language of the Angles and Saxons, about 1,500 years ago. But Dr. Forster argues that the Angles and the Saxons were both really Viking peoples who began raiding Britain ahead of the accepted historical schedule. They did not bring their language to England because English, in his view, was already spoken there, probably introduced before the arrival of the Romans by tribes such as the Belgae, whom Julius Caesar describes as being present on both sides of the Channel.

The Belgae may have introduced some socially transforming technique, such as iron-working, which would lead to their language supplanting that of the indigenous inhabitants, but Dr. Forster said he had not yet identified any specific innovation from the archaeological record.

Germanic is usually assumed to have split into three branches: West Germanic, which includes German and Dutch; East Germanic, the language of the Goths and Vandals; and North Germanic, consisting of the Scandinavian languages. Dr. Forster’s analysis shows English is not an off-shoot of West Germanic, as usually assumed, but is a branch independent of the other three, which also implies a greater antiquity. Germanic split into its four branches some 2,000 to 6,000 years ago, Dr. Forster estimates.

Historians have usually assumed that Celtic was spoken throughout Britain when the Romans arrived. But Dr. Oppenheimer argues that the absence of Celtic place names in England — words for places are particularly durable — makes this unlikely.

If the people of the British Isles hold most of their genetic heritage in common, with their differences consisting only of a regional flavoring of Celtic in the west and of northern European in the east, might that perception draw them together? Geneticists see little prospect that their findings will reduce cultural and political differences.

The Celtic cultural myth “is very entrenched and has a lot to do with the Scottish, Welsh and Irish identity; their main identifying feature is that they are not English,” said Dr. Sykes, an Englishman who has traced his Y chromosome and surname to an ancestor who lived in the village of Flockton in Yorkshire in 1286.

Dr. Oppenheimer said genes “have no bearing on cultural history.” There is no significant genetic difference between the people of Northern Ireland, yet they have been fighting with each other for 400 years, he said.

As for his thesis that the British and Irish are genetically much alike, “It would be wonderful if it improved relations, but I somehow think it won’t.”


Slavery An Integral Part of Nation's Shared Ancestry 
By Jay Bookman 
Sent by Dorinda Moreno

Let me tell you a story. My father's people come from western Virginia, near the headwaters of the James River. For 250 years they have lived in that valley, making their living as hunters and frontiersmen, then as farmers, later as railroad workers and tradesmen. The first of our line to settle there was Jacob Persinger. As a child of two or three, he had been kidnapped by the Shawnee and raised as a tribe member, adopted by a mother who had lost a son of her own. 

But in 1763, a treaty ending the French and Indian War required the Shawnee to return all white captives. Jacob, then a teenager, was handed to authorities, given a white name and told to live as a white man. 

He wasn't having it. Twice, young Jacob ran back to the Shawnee, traveling alone more than 200 miles on foot from Virginia to Ohio; each time, he was returned to the white settlement by Shawnee elders afraid of violating the treaty. 

"If you care for your Indian mother, you will not cause trouble for us again with the white man," the great chief Cornstalk told Jacob as he banished him the final time. 

Or so the story goes. 

Over the years I had heard bits and pieces of that tale, but when I started looking a little deeper, the story got richer. Among other things, I discovered that Jacob later owned two slaves, a female kitchen worker and a field hand known as Blue. 

We cannot judge the past by the standards of today, but I imagine Jacob knew slavery was wrong. The contrast between the way white Americans treated captured Africans such as Blue, and the way Jacob had been embraced by the Shawnee, would have been hard to ignore. Later, when the Civil War came, the Persinger family took the Union side. And in Jacob's will, he stipulated that both of his slaves were to be freed when they turned 31. 

Blue never knew that freedom. One year during haying season, the 22-year-old slave got into a dispute with Jacob's son, John. (Both parties are rumored to have been sipping from the family still.) Blue grabbed a sickle and slashed John behind his knee, cutting an artery and killing him. 

Surprisingly, Blue was given a trial with a semblance of fairness. The state of Virginia even hired a lawyer to defend him. After his conviction, on Aug. 12, 1842, he became the first man legally hanged in that county, riding to his execution on a coffin he built himself. 

The state then paid our family $320, compensation for destroying our property when it killed Blue. But first, it deducted $15 to pay the lawyer. 

Recently, the state of Virginia has tried to make amends of a different sort, passing a resolution formally apologizing for the enslavement of Blue and many others. A similar resolution has been proposed here in Georgia, but judging from comments by legislative leaders, its chances are slim. In following the debate, you get the sense that for some white Southerners, an apology will cost them something they can't quite articulate, but know they aren't willing to surrender. 

So let me take a stab at explaining it. Irrational beings that we are, we humans like to believe that stories about our ancestors in some way reflect who we are today. Sure, it's romantic claptrap, but we're all susceptible. That's why I went poking into Jacob's history — I liked the idea that an ancestor had been raised by Indians. 

Likewise, when white Southerners boast of ancestors who fought so well and so stubbornly in the War of Northern Aggression, they too bask in their forefathers' glory. But when they are asked to apologize for the slavery those ancestors defended, that pride is in some way diminished. 

I speak as an outsider, but it would only be natural if at a deep level black Americans felt something similar — not a sense of pride but a gnawing sense of shame that their ancestors had been held so long in slavery and treated as inferior. If so, that shame would be no more rational than the pride felt by members of the Daughters of the Confederacy, but it would feel just as real. 

That may be why, for many black Americans, slavery is still something raw between us. On the two occasions that I've mentioned the story of my slaveholding ancestor to black friends, their instinct has been to recoil and try to change the topic. It's not something to be comfortably discussed. 

A couple of years ago, I took my children to Jacob's grave, on a hill overlooking the Persinger homesite. I pointed out the emblem on his gravestone marking him as a veteran of the Revolutionary War, but I also pointed out the spot where Blue killed John, and I told them that story, too. 

Because, in the end, our history really is like DNA. We inherit it all, the good with the bad. If I embrace Jacob Persinger as a symbol of family pride, if I want to think that in some way his story says something about me, well, that story turns out to be complicated. 

(Atlantic Journal-Constitution/Common D) 
March 23, 2007 



Free Online Genealogy Database Hits 150 Million Names 
Figuring Out Family Relationships
Family History Web sites, and New Services
"What's in an Address?" by Juliana Smith
Power Point Presentation of a Family Tree
Websites Recommended

Free Online Genealogy Database Hits 150 Million Names 

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — FamilySearch™ announced today that the Pedigree Resource File (PRF) database has exceeded 150 million searchable names. 

Along with the milestone achievement, a new feature has been added that allows users to view genealogical and extended information for deceased individuals in a familiar pedigree (family tree) format. Users can search or contribute their personal genealogies to the free database at

The PRF database is a popular destination for family historians seeking to find missing branches of their family tree and then preserve or share family histories online. People from around the world can submit their genealogies online at Using a genealogy software program (such as the free Personal Ancestral File program found at, users can easily donate a copy of their personal family histories to the Pedigree Resource File. 

Details can be found online by clicking the Share tab on Since its launch in 1999, the database has grown at a rate of about 19 million names a year. Today, it boasts more than 150 million searchable names. To respect privacy, only information about deceased individuals is displayed online. 

"Prior to this latest search improvement, users didn't always realize that there was additional information available for an ancestor found in the database. We also wanted to display search results for an individual in the more familiar context of a family tree," said Steve Anderson, Marketing Manager for FamilySearch. "This new feature allows them to do just that." 

The Pedigree Resource File can be found on the advanced search page on

FamilySearch is the public channel of the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU), a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. FamilySearch maintains the world's largest repository of genealogical resources accessed through, the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, and more than 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries.

Figuring Out Family Relationships
At, we get asked about how to determine relationships all the time.  Here, you'll learn how to figure out the relationships between family members using a simple chart.

If someone walked up to you and said "Howdy, I'm your third cousin, twice removed," would you have any idea what they meant? Most people have a good understanding of basic relationship words such as "mother," "father," "aunt," "uncle," "brother," and "sister." But what about the relationship terms that we don't use in everyday speech? Terms like "second cousin" and "first cousin, once removed"? We don't tend to speak about our relationships in such exact terms ("cousin" seems good enough when you are introducing one person to another), so most of us aren't familiar with what these words mean.

Relationship Terms
Sometimes, especially when working on your family history, it's handy to know how to describe your family relationships more exactly. The definitions below should help you out.

Cousin (a.k.a "first cousin")

Your first cousins are the people in your family who have two of the same grandparents as you. In other words, they are the children of your aunts and uncles.

Second Cousin

Your second cousins are the people in your family who have the same great-grandparents as you., but not the same grandparents.

Third, Fourth, and Fifth Cousins

Your third cousins have the same great-great-grandparents, fourth cousins have the same great-great-great-grandparents, and so on.


When the word "removed" is used to describe a relationship, it indicates that the two people are from different generations. You and your first cousins are in the same generation (two generations younger than your grandparents), so the word "removed" is not used to describe your relationship.

The words "once removed" mean that there is a difference of one generation. For example, your mother's first cousin is your first cousin, once removed. This is because your mother's first cousin is one generation younger than your grandparents and you are two generations younger than your grandparents. This one-generation difference equals "once removed."

Twice removed means that there is a two-generation difference. You are two generations younger than a first cousin of your grandmother, so you and your grandmother's first cousin are first cousins, twice removed.

Relationship Charts Simplify Everything

Now that you have an idea of what these different words mean, take a look at the chart below. It's called a relationship chart, and it can help you figure out how different people in your family are related. It's much simpler than it looks, just follow the instructions.

Instructions for Using a Relationship Chart

  1. Pick two people in your family and figure out which ancestor they have in common. For example, if you chose yourself and a cousin, you would have a grandparent in common.

  2. Look at the top row of the chart and find the first person's relationship to the common ancestor.

  3. Look at the far left column of the chart and find the second person's relationship to the common ancestor.

  4. Determine where the row and column containing those two relationships meet.

Child Grandchild G-grandchild G-g-grandchild
Child Sister or Brother Nephew or Niece Grand-nephew or niece G-grand-nephew or niece
Grandchild Nephew or Niece First cousin First cousin, once removed First cousin, twice removed
G-grandchild Grand-nephew or niece First cousin, once removed Second cousin Second cousin, once removed
G-g-grandchild G-grand-nephew or niece First cousin, twice removed Second cousin, once removed Third cousin


Just When You Thought You Had it

When you are working with older records, be aware that the meaning of the word "cousin," along with the meanings of other relationship terms, have changed over time. The Glossary section of the Learning Center can help you with any confusing relationship terms, including those in Latin.

Sent by Janete Vargas

This article was written by staff.
Sent by Bill Carmena

Family History Web sites, and New Services

Among the spate of family Web sites popping up (read about three below) is the still-in-beta Geni, which lets you build a family tree by entering relatives' names and, if you choose, e-mail addresses. People you add get an e-mailed invite to add more names until, theoretically, the whole world is on there.

Though developers (who include former executives of PayPal, Yahoo! Groups and eBay) say Geni will help solve "the problem of genealogy," it's more of a social networking site: You can't upload a GEDCOM, for example, and there's no way to resolve conflicting information. Plus, genealogical protocol usually means you don't post living relatives. Only those in your tree can see your information on Geni, but once your tree starts growing, it's bound to include folks you'd—how shall I put it?—rather not hear from. More privacy options are on the way, as are other features such as photo-sharing, say webmasters.

We expect there'll be even more to Geni, given its illustrious staff and venture-capital backing. For now, its appeal is in its simplicity. Visit Geni at, then go to the Hot Topics Forum and let us know what you think. 

—Diane Haddad, Newsletter Editor 

P.S. Make sure you don't miss a single issue of your E-mail Update! Add our address ( to your e-mail-address book—your software will recognize the Update as an e-mail you want to read. 

Footnote to History
Buoyed by a contract with the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), a new online records service called Footnote debuted this month.

Footnote is digitizing and offering paid access to NARA records including Civil War pension index cards, Southerners’ property claims against the US Army, and naturalization records for New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts. Subscriptions cost $99.99 per year or $9.99 per month, or purchase a single image for $1.99. Visitors to NARA facilities get free on-site access, and if you can stand to wait five years, the records will be gratis on NARA's Web site (

Right now, searching Footnote is almost too simple: Type a name or keyword into a single field. Spokesperson Justin Schroepfer suggests using quotation marks and Boolean symbols (+, -) to focus your search; his team is working on adding Soundex capabilities and a search tips page. You also can browse by record type, year and other categories (such as place or military rank). Once you find a record, you’ll see a small image and some transcribed information. Click the image and you’ll be prompted to subscribe or buy a page view (unless you're in one of the occasional free collections, such as the Pennsylvania Archives series).

Similar to, Footnote lets subscribers and those who sign up for free registrations build "Member Pages" with document images—their own or those downloaded from Footnote. They can invite others, even nonmembers, to view the pages.

NARA, facing acute budget shortfalls, stands to benefit from the partnership through licensing fees—an arrangement not unusual for national archives: Both Britain’s and Scotland’s archives have similar agreements with private firms. 
World Change:  Subscription-records site, which debuted late last year, already has a new look and easier navigation, the results of user testing. The cleaner-looking home page now includes an automatically updated list of new databases as well as tabs for online genealogy training (in the form of live chat sessions) and membership benefits., headed by (now The Generations Nework) cofounder Paul Allen, isn’t through yet: The team (including several designers) is working on a "wiki-type" project—which the site unabashedly bills as the greatest family history tool ever created—to make a Web page for every deceased person and every location in the world. (A wiki is a site for which anyone can create and edit pages.)  An annual subscription costs $49.95, with a limited-time offer of two years for the price of one. 

Your Genealogy Pet Peeves
Does it bug you when you see the nonword "geneology"? Hear loud chatter in the library? Visit the Hot Topics Forum and tell us what most irritates you when you're researching. And if you've got a solution to your own or another's peeve, we're all ears.

Publicize Your Events
If your genealogial or historical society is throwing a family history fair or hosting a speaker, tell everyone about it using our Forum Calendar. Posting is easy, but we offer tips under Forum Guidelines and Updates.

This tip comes from the February 2007 Family Tree Magazine: 
Do you find it time-consuming to scan old photos for preserving, editing and sharing? Don't scan your photos one at a time. Most flatbed devices accommodate three or four typical-size photos at once, letting you scan them all in a single pass. Then using your photo-editing software, you can select each picture from the batch, copy it and paste it into its own file.

For more genealogy tasks you can accomplish in 20 minutes or less, see the February 2007 Family Tree Magazine. Do you have a great idea for discovering, preserving or celebrating family history? Post it on the Forum  at (you 
 must be a registered user to post).  If we publish it, you'll win a free genealogy book. 

Overwhelmed by the number of family history-related Web sites popping up? sorts through them all—whew!—to bring you only the 
very best. We recently recommended the following as Sites of the Week: 
• 1940 Census
Only five years to go until the 1940 federal census is released in 2012, but genealogists are already speculating about how the National Archives and Records Administration will handle the demand. Learn more here. 
• Easy School Search
If you have the name and state of your ancestor's school, look here for the phone number and address so you can inquire about genealogical records. 

Extract from article: "What's in an Address?" by Juliana Smith
Ancestry Weekly Journal: Using Addresses and Coroners' Records  1/22/2007 

Knowing your ancestor's address can be an important key to locating other records. Let's take a closer look at where to find addresses and how they can be used. 

As today's Weekly Planner suggests, it's a good idea to put together a chronology of addresses at which your ancestor lived. This information can be found on birth, marriage, and death records, probates, naturalizations, censuses (beginning in 1880), directories, military records, licenses, voter registrations, and any number of other sources. Home sources--those found in old files and in the attic--may be particularly helpful. I found my grandfather's address inside the cover of his copy of "Julius Caesar." Other home sources could include letters, postcards, subscriptions, and even personal belongings.

Once you've assembled the addresses chronologically, map them out. Historical maps can be found in the new Ancestry Store and I have one of 1866 Brooklyn and New York City that I use frequently in this capacity.
I make photocopies of appropriate sections of the map and then label the maps with points of interest. By comparing the maps of various families, you can see where they lived in proximity to one another. 

Plot churches in the area on the map along with their founding (and closing) dates. This can help you to determine what church the family may have attended and thus, where to find church-related records, Note the enumeration districts for the address to locate the family in census records when indexes fail.

I've had some important breakthroughs on several family lines by following them year-by-year through directories. There are a growing number of directories online and they can be extremely helpful in locating your ancestors and tracing them through the years. The Family History Library and other large libraries with genealogical collections may also have directories on microfilm. Check online 
catalogs and research guides to see where to find directories for your ancestors' neighborhoods. 

Directories in database form often add the ability to search by address. Sometimes it is in the form of a field for address, and other times you can add a street name and number to the keyword search field. Often several related families lived together at one address, and this can be a great way to find parents, in-laws, siblings, and other collateral relatives. For example, a search of the 1888-90 Brooklyn (N.Y.) City Directories at Ancestry  for Huggins turned up my great-great-grandmother with this entry: 

Ann Huggins, widow William, 92 Rapelye 
A search for 92 Rapelye gave me a more thorough look at the household 
and also listed: Terence, Christopher, 92 Rapelye, stevedore 

Christopher Terrence was the spouse of her daughter, Mary. Knowing the couple also lived there will prompt me to check church records and other records in the area. Since I know that Mary lived with her mother in 1881 and worked as a dressmaker, I can also follow her through the directories and using these entries, possibly narrow down her year of marriage. 

You can also try looking for surrounding addresses to see if neighbors may have also been family. And don't overlook those business addresses. You may find relatives (or future relatives) working in the same place as your ancestor. 

Knowing your ancestor's address can help you to determine whether you have the right family--particularly helpful when you're working with common names and are working in large cities. 

What's in your ancestor's address? A lot! Browse through the records you have collected and start noting those addresses. You'll be amazed at the doors they can open.

Juliana Smith has been the editor of newsletters for more than eight years and is author of "The Ancestry Family Historian's Address Book." She has written for "Ancestry" Magazine and wrote the Computers and Technology chapter in "The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy," rev. 3rd edition. Juliana can be reached by e-mail at, but she regrets that her schedule does not allow her to assist with personal research.

To print or comment on this article, go to:
Extract: "Using Coroner's Records," by Mary Penner

The death investigation systems in the United States today vary from state to state. Some states still have coroners who may not have any medical training. Coroners typically coordinate the investigations into suspicious deaths, hiring physicians to conduct autopsies if necessary.

Other states have medical examiners who must be physicians with pathology training. Other states have a combination of the two systems. Check online at the Center for Disease Control website  to find links to summaries of each state's current system.

If you have a twentieth-century relative whose death resulted in a medical examiner's report, you're apt to find a large amount of medical information. You'll find a complete physical description at the time of death, including external evidence of injuries. If an autopsy was performed, you'll learn about the deceased's medical 
conditions. The medical examiner will summarize the cardiovascular, endocrine, respiratory, and musculoskeletal systems. The examiner will offer an opinion on the cause of death. There will also likely be pictures of the deceased. (Not something for the faint-hearted.)

For earlier records, you may not find as many details. You might simply find a one page summary of a coroner's report. The report generally identified the deceased, the location of death, and the cause of death.

For murdered people, reports might identity the likely culprit. Sometimes a jury convened to examine the deceased and hear testimony at an inquest. Inquest juries were often headed by a justice of the peace. If you're lucky, you might find a transcript of the testimonies given at the inquest. The transcripts of an inquest for 
an 1893 death revealed that six different people had been with the deceased in the hours before his murder. None claimed to be eyewitnesses, but they each gave their own version of the events leading up to his death.

Ancestral relatives who died young populate our family group sheets. But, don't just assume they died from diseases or medical conditions known to plague previous generations. Check for coroner's records for anyone who died young, in addition to those who died accidentally, violently, or suspiciously.

Finding coroner's records can be a challenge. Start at the county level and work your way up to the state level. Coroner's records could be at the county clerk's office, among probate records, justice of the peace records, or in the local court system records. Some coroner's records have been transferred to state libraries or
archives. Investigate coroner's records to help solve family mysteries and add depth to the lives and deaths of your ancestors. 

Power Point Presentation of a Family Tree

Sent by Bill Carmena

Websites recommended by 
Janete Vargas

Genealogy Query and Surname Database 
Post and browse queries. Sorted by state, country and surname.

For Genealogists - 
Information for professional genealogists.

Archives - 
Western Reserve Historical Society 
Archives of the Western Reserve Historical Society.
GenForum - Home
Over 14000 online forums devoted to genealogy, including surnames, ...

AfriGeneas ~ African American &African Ancestored Genealogy 
Site devoted to African American genealogy. Features mail lists, ...

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Golden Plates in Bulgaria 
Oldest observatory in Peru 


The world's oldest multiple-page book — in the lost Etruscan language — has gone on display in Bulgaria's National History Museum in Sofia. And something about that book has particular interest for Latter-day Saints.

As is evident from the photograph, this book was created on metal plates that are bound together with metal rings  similar to the original source documents that became the Book of Mormon.  The book dates back to 600 B.C., which is roughly the time that Lehi and his family left Jerusalem.

The small manuscript, which is more than two and a half millennia old, was discovered 60 years ago in a tomb uncovered during digging for a canal along the Strouma River in southwestern Bulgaria. It has now been donated to the museum by its finder, on condition of anonymity.

Reports say the unidentified donor is now 87 years old and lives in Macedonia.The authenticity of the book has been confirmed by two experts in Sofia and London, museum director Bojidar Dimitrov said quoted by AFP. The six sheets are believed to be the oldest comprehensive work involving multiple pages, said Elka Penkova, who heads the museum's archaeological department.

There are around 30 similar pages known in the world, Ms Penkova said, "but they are not linked together in a book".

The Etruscans — one of Europe's most mysterious ancient peoples — are believed to have migrated from Lydia, in modern western Turkey, settling in northern and central Italy nearly 3,000 years ago.

They were wiped out by the conquering Romans in the fourth century BC, leaving few written records.

Golden Plates on Display in Bulgaria
The Ancient America Foundation (AAF) is pleased to present AAF Notes: a series of research articles by scholars of Book of Mormon culture and history and reviewed by AAF editors. Visit our website:
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Photo Reuters
An aerial view of a fortified stone temple at Chankillo in Peru

Extract: Stone towers make up oldest observatory in Peru 

A line of 13 stone towers that top a coastal hillside in Peru are in fact the Western Hemisphere's oldest solar observatory, researchers said on Thursday. The 2,300-year-old site points to a sophisticated culture that used the dramatic alignment of the sun and the structures for political and ceremonial effects, the researchers said.

The site, called the Thirteen Towers of Chankillo, precisely spans the annual rising and setting arcs of the sun when viewed from two specially constructed observation points.

"Thousands of people could have gathered to watch impressive solar events. These events could have been manipulated for a political agenda," said Ivan Ghezzi, who made the discovery while a graduate student at Yale University and who is now archeological director of the Instituto Nacional de Cultura (National Institute for Culture) in Peru.

Chankillo is a large ceremonial center laid out over several square miles (kilometers). It has a heavily fortified hilltop structure, thick walls and parapets. But no one quite understood a 300-yard-long (meter-long) line of towers that sits on a nearby hill like spines on a dragon's back.

"Since the 19th century there was speculation that the 13-tower array could be lunar demarcation -- but no one followed up on it," Ghezzi said. He tested the idea while studying military structures at the site, which dates to the fourth century BC.

But it took him several years to contact Clive Ruggles, a leading British authority on archeoastronomy, for verification.

"In the five-hour drive to the towers I could see that he was a little skeptical," Ghezzi said. "When he got there and made a few measurements he realized that from the points we were showing him, the alignments worked out perfectly."

"The fact that, as seen from these two points, the towers just span the solar rising and setting arcs provides the clearest possible indication that they were built specifically to facilitate sunrise and sunset observations throughout the seasonal year," he said in a statement.

Ghezzi said little is known of the people who built Chankillo. They pre-date the Incas by centuries.



Juke Box Music 1950-1984

Juke Box music 1950-1984
Webmaster is expanding back to the 1940s.
Sent by Bill Carmena