Somos Primos

 January 2007 
Editor: Mimi Lozano

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


Paper on "Migrant Workers in Michigan: 1969 Field Notes" last item under National Issues.

Content Areas   
(Numbers refer to pages if printed)

United States
. . 4
Action Item. . 4
National Issues. . 11
. . 37
. .46
. . 50
Anti-Spanish Legends. . 52
Military & Law Enforcement Heroes
. . 57
. . 67
. . 74
. . 78
Patriots of American Revolution
. .  82
Orange County,CA . . 89
Los Angeles,CA
. . 96
. . 99
Northwestern US
. . 110
Southwestern US  . . 111
African-American . . 116
. . 133
. . 142
Texas  . . 145
East of Mississippi
. . 151 
East Coast
. . 154
. . 158
. . 170
. . 172
. . 174
. . 179
Family History . . 181
. . 191
. . 192
Community Calendars
SHHAR Meetings, Save the Dates. . . Meetings 
Jan 27:  Internet Research  and Spanish Surnames
Mar 17:  Naturalization Records and Using Batch files 
Apr  29:  Orange Family History Conference, 5 classes on Hispanic Research
May 26:  Writing Family Histories
Aug 25:   Research in Central Mexico


"Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves, 
and under a just God cannot long retain it."  
Abraham Lincoln

  Letters to the Editor : 

I look forward to SOMOSPRIMOS each month. I can hardly wait to scroll down and check out the topics. Due to your vast range of research, I always find several subjects of great interest! The material is not only interesting but educational and can be used as a future reference! 

Mimi, I thank the Lord for your dedication and time spent in enlightening us in all aspects of life. You have touched so many lives and reached many through your e-mails as you have mine. What a blessing you have been to us all!!   May the Lord continue to bless you and your loves ones. May he give you the strength and increase your wisdom so you can continue doing a fantastic job!

Happy Holidays!
With much respect, Lucy (Sanchez) Wilson

Thank you and your fantastic staff for faithfully sending out Somos Primos each month, and the Year 2006 was no exception. We owe you all a great debt of gratitude. Your journal reports and stories represents many of us in the Hispanic / Latino community and no doubt our culture will benefit and be better understood.  Muy buena suerte to Johanna De Soto who has also been an invaluable contributor and a fine person.  
Happy Holidays to You and Yours.
Sincerely, Lorri Ruiz Frain

MANY THANKS! For publishing the article on the Suquamish Native American Tribe. And also, my article of Veterans of Color.  As always, you and Somos Primos, gives us an accurate picture of our glorious past. Which is not attainable any where else! 
Willis Papillion

As usual, Mimi, you have done an outstanding job; keep it coming.  
Jose M. Pena

Congrats on another great SOMOS PRIMOS issue - much appreciated! 
Luce Amen

Thank you  for the great service you provide our community. The topics are wonderful. 
Phil Vasquez

New project to encourage world-wide networking.  International correspondence is under the International section. 
Click On. .  International
  Somos Primos Staff:   
Mimi Lozano, Editor


Lila Guzman
Granville Hough
John Inclan
Galal Kernahan
J.V. Martinez
Armando Montes
Michael Perez
Ángel Custodio Rebollo
Tony Santiago
John P. Schmal
Howard Shorr 

 Contributors to this issue:  
Ruben Alvarez
Armando A. Ayala, Ph.D.
Dan Arellano
Daniel Bartoz 
Mercy Bautista Olvera
Paul Bergeron 
Javier Bustamante
Jaime Cader
Bill Carmena
Sylvia Carvajal Sutton
Nestor Castano 
Robin Collins
Myra Y. Estepa
Ernesto Figuera-Figuera
Margarita Gonzales 
Raul Gonzalez
Elsa Herbeck
Lorraine Hernandez
Manuel Hernandez 
Aury L. Holtzman, M.D
Granville Hough, Ph.D. 
John Inclan
Chris Jepson
Ray Gonzalez
Eddy Gutierrez
Sergio Hernandez
Dan Hogan
Aury Holtzman, M.D.
Rudolph Lewis 
Jan Mallet
Ramon Moncivais
Armando Montes
Dorinda Moreno
Carlos Munoz. Ph.D.
Paul Newfield III 
Maria Angeles O'Donnell Olson
Ricardo Palacios
Richard Perry
Daniel L. Polino
Elvira Prieto
Joseph Puentes
Cris Rendon
Jose L. Robles de la  Torre
Dr. Refugio Rochin, Ph.D.
Ben Romero
Norman Rozeff
Viola Sadler
Lucy (Sanchez) Wilson
John P. Schmal
Leticia Segura Robles
Howard Shorr
Frank Sifuentes
Barry Starr
Catrina Storey 
Robert Tarín
Ricardo Valverde
Cathleen Vargas
Janete Vargas
Margarita B. Velez
Familia Villarreal Verra
Ted Vincent
Ben Vinson III
Arturo Ynclan

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


Action Item
A Legacy of Valor Display 
A Memorial to a Hero, Guy Gabaldon
National Museum for the Latino Community

National Issues

Looking at crime and immigration
Blood and Sweat in the Meat Industry
Call for Papers: New Directions in Race Research
Extract: Diabetes Inflicts a Dangerous Toll on Hispanics in the US
National Internet-based Menopause Study
Preparing a Family Health History
WellPoint Launches Online health Assessment in Spanish
Blue Cross of California Launches
Diccionario Biográfico Médico Hispanoamericano
Book: The Journey to Latino Political Representation by John P. Schmal
Migrant Workers in Michigan: 1969 Field Notes

The Supreme council of the Mexican-American Movement
Work begun on Valadez Middle School 
Ruling: Classes divided by race
Book Inspires Student Displays On Bilingual Education History
Teaching of English and Latinos in America: Where do we go from here?
Latino College-Bound, Tech Savviest Among Peers, Missing Parental Help 
Recommended websites for parents
Badillo Lashes Latinos, Rips Hispanic Values 

Starting Your Own Family Search
SHHAR invites you to become a member
International Networking 
Self Identity: Hispanic/Latino Widely Accepted, but Multiethnic is Used
Introduction to the History of Mexican-Americans, Wikipedia
Goya Producciones
"My Roots Run Deep" by Bobby LeFebre 

National Latina Business Women Association
Mexico Creates Network of U.S.-based high tech Migrants


Photo: Richard Avolio  puts up a cloth background behind a display for Hispanic Heroes, 
traveling photo exhibit, Corpus Christi, Texas.   Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Dec 22, 2006

Corpus Christi Exhibit shows Hispanics' Valor at War, 
December 21-22, 2006
The traveling photo exhibit was meant to serve as a reminder of the bravery shown by Hispanics on the battlefield and in the civil rights movement.

Rick Leal, President of the HISPANIC MEDAL OF HONOR SOCIETY hosted the event, celebrating the newly elected and currently serving Hispanic members of the Texas State Legislature.  

Corpus Christi Caller Times published three articles on the event: Dec 21st, 22nd, 23rd.

Thursday, December 21, 2006  
Exhibit shows Hispanics' valor at war,and at home 
Dr. Hector Garcia is featured in part of traveling display

By Mary Ann Cavazos Caller-Times
December 21, 2006
Corpus Christi, Texas

A traveling photo exhibit on display Friday is meant to serve as a reminder of the bravery shown by Hispanics on the battlefield and in the civil rights movement. 

"The message I want to leave with people is the strong sense of courage and commitment they showed," said Corpus Christi native Rick Leal, the exhibit's creator. "This is a part of history we must not let be forgotten." 

The Hispanic Heroes exhibit, unveiled in 1993, features photos of the 40 Hispanic Medal of Honor recipients on an 8-foot high mural that extends 50 feet. 

But after watching a documentary about Dr. Hector P. Garcia several years ago, Leal, who lives in San Francisco, was determined to expand the exhibit to include a display about the civil rights leader and founder of the American GI Forum. 

The endeavor took a year to complete and in 2003 the "Justice for My People: The Story of Dr. Hector P. Garcia" display was unveiled. The materials came from hundreds of boxes of Garcia's records and other documents archived at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi's Bell Library. 

"His story is one I want all Americans to know. He was a revolutionary and did so much for Hispanic Americans," said Leal, director of the newly formed Dr. Hector 
P. Garcia National Memorial Foundation and president of the Hispanic Medal of Honor Society. 

A third section of the exhibit, "Return with Honor: The story of Lt. j.g. Everett Alvarez Jr." was added last year. 

Alvarez, whose plane was shot down on 
Aug. 5, 1964, over North Vietnam, was the first American Navy pilot to be captured by the North Vietnamese. 

He spent nearly nine years as a prisoner of war before his release in 1973. He 
later retired as a commander. "They 
were tortured, they had no food and no medical (assistance) and many died,"
Leal said. 

Leal will host a welcoming party for more than a dozen newly elected state 
officials today to kick off the exhibit's opening in Corpus Christi. On Friday, the exhibit will be open to the public. 

Contact Mary Ann Cavazos 
at 361-886-3623
Friday, December 22, 2006  

Bravery on display

Lt. j.g. Everett Alvarez. Alvarez, whose plane was shot down in 1964, was the first U.S. Navy pilot to be captured by the North Vietnamese.  He spent nearly nine years a s a prisoner of war. he retired as a commander. Dr. Hector P. Garcia. Garcia, a World War II veteran, civil rights leader and founder ofhte American GI Forum, is known for a lifetime of service that included receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Rick Leal (left) creator of the exhibit, greets Joe Elizondo, a Vietnam War veteran who received three Purple Hears and a Bronze Star, during final preparation on Thursday for the exhibit's opening.
With sincerest congratulations to Rick Leal, a Corpus Christi native, and now a California resident, for  organizing and funding the 2-day event.

As a child Rick was treated by Dr. Hector P. Garcia. 
"I never forgot his kindness and the respect that he showed to my mother. We paid our bills, but I know he would have treated us anyway.  He was an extraordinary man.  I plan to honor his memory, not only through the Legacy of Valor display, but through other projects underway. 

If you would like to assist Rick, please contact him at:

Exhibit visitors learn more about Hispanic leaders
By Heather Ann White Caller-Times
Saturday, December 23, 2006  

It's a story that must be told - the heroism of the Hispanic men and women who sacrificed their lives for their country. 

People gathered at the Omni Bayfront Hotel on Friday to view the Hispanic Heroes exhibit, a traveling exhibit honoring 40 Hispanic Medal of Honor recipients and five other photo exhibits paying tribute to Hispanic leaders. 

"Every war the U.S. has fought, Hispanics have contributed their all," said Rick Leal, the exhibit's creator. "These are stories that must be told and cannot be forgotten. We need more visibility." 

Leal gave a quick tour of each exhibit, explaining its historical significance and sharing anecdotes. Leal, originally from Corpus Christi, said this is the exhibit's first time in the city, but hopes to come back next year. 

Leal and the exhibit will go on a three-city tour after the holiday, making stops in Chicago, Miami and Oklahoma City. 

Lucio Contreras, a Vietnam veteran, said it's important to learn about those who have served the country. 

"I've always been interested in the Medal of Honor," he said. "A lot of Medal of Honor recipients have been Hispanic, and that's important." 

Contreras, who also had two brothers in the service, said he was grateful for the exhibit, especially the one honoring Corpus Christi's Dr. Hector P. Garcia, a World War II veteran, civil rights leader and the founder of the American GI Forum. Garcia, originally from Mexico, grew up in Texas and graduated from the University of Texas. 

"I really enjoyed it. It certainly helps honor Hispanics," he said, saluting to the Medal of Honor mural as he exited the room. 

Albert Alvarez, who is visiting family this weekend, came to read about his relative, Army Master Sgt. Roy Perez Benavidez, a Vietnam veteran who received a Medal of Honor. Benavidez is Alvarez's father-in-law's brother, he said. 

"This is great," he said. "This exhibit is great homage to the men and women who have fought in wars. I hope more people will come out to appreciate everything the Hispanics have done in the pursuit of freedom for this country." 

Contact Heather Ann White at 886-3794 or

The wife of Guy Gabaldon exits on the arm of  St. Major Sal Navarro, USMC (Ret.)

A Memorial to a Hero, Guy Gabaldon
December 9, 2006
written by 
Mercy Bautista-Olvera


On December 9, 2006 I attended the Memorial Ceremony in Honor of Guy Gabaldon, held in the city of in the city of Montebello, California, and hosted by The Hispanic-American Veterans Association, Inc.  and Latino Advocates for Education.

The Memorial started with the Posting of Colors by United States Marine Corps Color and Honor Guard. The Pledge of Allegiance by Sgt. Major Sal Navarro, USMC (Ret) followed.

As I was walking in the park towards the Memorial Ceremony of Guy Gabaldon, I couldn't help but thinking of this man, the courage and bravery of a young U.S. Marine who single-handedly captured more than 1,000 Japanese soldiers during the Battle for Saipan, he took part of the invasion of Saipan in June 1944, Guy Gabaldon as a young Marine persuaded Japanese soldiers to give up their arms, and follow him to American lines, bringing him the nickname "The Pied Piper of Saipan,"

At this memorial the remarks by Hon. Superior Court Judge Frederick P. Aguirre, Major General Gus Hernandez, and Col. John Telles, USMC (Ret) were touching, it seemed as they all had a good relationship with Mr. Gabaldon as close friends. Mr. Gabaldon spoke to them of his adventures, how Guy would say a remark as "Ai te Guacho" (slang Spanish) meaning (see you later) to Superior Court judge Frederick P. Aguirre as they said their good-bye's. Guy Gabaldon never forgot where he came from, East Los Angeles was his hometown. He started shining shoes as a young boy to earn money, learning Japanese from his neighbors in East Los Angeles helped him communicate with Japanese soldiers to surrender. The placing of the Wreath in front of Guy Gabaldon’s photo by Major General Gus Hernandez was emotional, it reminded me of all men and women who died for their country and the bravery of Guy Gabaldon during WWII. Guy Gabaldon's sons, Ray and Jeff gave the Eulogy, they both gave a beautiful eulogy of the man, the father they knew, the beloved man who gave encouragement and guidance to his children. Ray Gabaldon was speaking about his dad with such emotion, that it was heartbreaking, both sons described on how their father was, a caring loving father who loved his family. Some of us were in tears when Col. John Telles, USMC (Ret.) presenting Guy's widow Ohana, with the Flag, how she held that flag so tight to her heart, at this time there was silence from everyone. Ohana, his wife walking holding this flag with his sons and members of the Gabaldon family after the Memorial Ceremony was also memorable.

The Memorial was very emotional, to see young men and women in uniform, to hear Humberto Argucia sing "The National Anthem," "America the Beautiful," "God Bless the USA," and listening the bagpipes of Ron Berenshot, play "Amazing Grace" touched our hearts, there were tears all around us. Mimi Lozano, the editor of Somos Primos was acknowledged for the distribution of lithographs of the Pied Piper of Saipan to non profit organizations for public display. The Congressional Medal of Honor was mentioned, sadly to say our hero, Guy Gabaldon passed away on August 31, 2006, Guy Gabaldon earned the Navy Cross, the Marines’ highest award for valor, but his family deserves the Congressional Medal of Honor as well. There is a petition to elevate Guy Gabaldon’s family with the Congressional Medal of Honor which he deserves for his courageous actions on the Island of Saipan. (There could also be a sculpture of Guy Gabaldon in the near future.)


On the platform as well as Mr. Gabaldon’s photo, was the lithograph by artist Henry Godines and a poster of the movie "Hell to Eternity," Guy Gabaldon’s actions were memorialized in the film, portrayed by Jeffrey Hunter, Mr. Gabaldon ended up naming one of his sons Jeffrey Hunter Gabaldon.Some of WWII veterans names were mentioned at the memorial, they were attending this memorial to honor Guy Gabaldon, wearing their uniform, a particular WWII veteran, dressed in uniform caught my attention as well, I don't know his name, he was sitting on a chair in front of me while I was standing among many other people, when a WWII veteran was mentioned, he walked to him to salute him, he walked with so much pride, as he was walking back, and many of us clapping our hands to honor him as well, he looked at me and said "thank you," this other man standing close to me shouted out "World War II was the Greatest Generation of Wars" the gentleman again said "Thank you," I thanked this man in uniform, and others did as well.

It was amazing to meet Guy Gabaldon's family, what an honor to have met them, Ohana, Ray, Jeff Gabaldon and other family members. It was an honor for me to have attended such a great memorial. It is a Memorial that I would never forget, I was able to learn more about the little boy from East Los Angeles, a great WWII hero, the man, the husband, the father, and friend; Guy Gabaldon was a WWII hero, his legacy would live with us and future generations.


Left to right: Ohana, Jeffrey, Heather and Ray Gabaldon
Grandchildren, Hunter, Leah, and Ellie 

 Dr. Josh Valdez, 
Senior Vice President 
of Health Care Management
WellPoint West Region

Gen. Gus Hernandez, Pres. HAVA, Inc.

Ohana receives plaque from Supervisor Michael Antonovich, LA Co.

Steven Rubin

Jeffry Hunter Gabaldon

Judge, Orange Co.
 Fredrick Aguirre

Ray Gabaldon

I was so impressed by the discipline displayed by these young people.  All ages,   they stood at attention during the whole ceremony.  The photo on the left are the backs of high school and university ROTC cadets that assisted in handing out the program and giving direction as needed.  When the ceremony started the cadets formed a circle around the entire stage and stood motionless with hands clasped behind their backs.  The young people in the photo on the right were elementary and middle school. They too remained motionless. I wasn't sure how I felt about elementary students in fatigues, but when I observed their behavior, I thought how much they would be strengthened in the years ahead with that kind of discipline.  

A very strange incident occurred during the ceremony, that must be shared.  The air was still, no movement, but when Los Angeles County Firefighter, Humberto Argucia, started singing "God Bless the USA" without a breeze, or anyone even close to it, the American flag fell, almost hitting the ground. It was caught by one of the Color Guard, who jumped the steps and returned the flag to the stand quickly.  

As Humberto continue singing "God Bless the USA" the flag once again began to fall. At this point four Marines rushed forward. One grasped the pole, but instead of putting it in the stand, he held firmly upright, and took a posture.  The other three young soldiers did the same, solemnly, deliberately took their post. 

A wave of emotion passed through the entire assembly.  We all seemed to breathe in unison, a sigh of relief, of joy.  Many of us were crying.  By the time the song was finished, no one remained untouched. We experienced America. 

I will never forget the pride, the gratitude, the comfort I felt with the behavior of our youth, especially those Marines.  They demonstrated in every aspect of their response and posture, they understand their responsibility, as America's protectors, and they take it seriously. It is an incident and emotions that I know I will always remember.

God Bless the USA.

National Museum for the Latino Community

Hello Everyone,

Bad news I'm afraid. The 9 bills that were packaged together are about to be the fatal victims of the 109th Congress. We tried to get HR 2134 passed as a stand alone bill earlier this year and this week, but there were objections.

It was an all or nothing deal and unfortunately there were objections.  I talked to Senator Salazar right now when he returned from the Senate Floor. He told me to thank you for all your hard work and dedication in seeing this bill pass. It will be a major priority for us and we will work to get it passed in the 110th Congress.

Again, thank you.
Felicia Escobar

[Editor: I will keep everyone updated on this issue. Please know that your voice does matters.]


National Issues

Looking at crime and immigration
Blood and Sweat in the Meat Industry
Call for Papers: New Directions in Race Research
Extract: Diabetes Inflicts a Dangerous Toll on Hispanics in the US
National Internet-based Menopause Study
Preparing a Family Health History
WellPoint Launches Online health Assessment in Spanish
Blue Cross of California Launches
S: Diccionario Biográfico Médico Hispanoamericano
Book: The Journey to Latino Political Representation by John P. Schmal
Migrant Workers in Michigan: 1969 Field Notes

Looking at crime and immigration
December 05, 2006
Sent by Howard Shorr

One of the talking points on illegal immigration these days is that illegal immigrants are responsible for an increase in crime in the US. The problem, of course, is that the actual data on this is unclear. That hasn't stopped people from insisting that it must be true and offering anecdotal evidence - which shows us some disturbing examples of crime committed by illegal aliens but doesn't actually prove anything about the overall reality.

It seems, however, that people are now trying to study the situation:Even President Bush, whose perceived generosity to undocumented workers has earned him vilification on the right, commented in a speech this May that illegal immigration "strains state and local budgets and brings crime to our communities."

So goes the conventional wisdom. But is it true? In fact, according to evidence cropping up in various places, the opposite may be the case. Ramiro Martinez Jr., a professor of criminal justice at Florida International University, has sifted through homicide records in border cities like San Diego and El Paso, both heavily populated by Mexican immigrants, both places where violent crime has fallen significantly in recent years. "Almost without exception," he told me, "I've discovered that the homicide rate for Hispanics was lower than for other groups, even though their poverty rate was very high, if not the highest, in these metropolitan areas." He found the same thing in the Haitian neighborhoods of Miami. In his book "New York Murder Mystery," the criminologist Andrew Karmen examined the trend in New York City and likewise found that the "disproportionately youthful, male and 
poor immigrants" who arrived during the 1980s and 1990s "were surprisingly law-abiding" and that their settlement into once-decaying neighborhoods helped "put a brake on spiraling crime rates."

The most prominent advocate of the "more immigrants, less crime" theory is Robert J. Sampson, chairman of the sociology department at Harvard. A year ago, Sampson was an author of an article in The American Journal of Public Health that reported the findings of a detailed study of crime in Chicago. Based on information gathered on the perpetrators of more than 3,000 violent acts committed between 1995 and 2002, supplemented by police records and community surveys, it found that the rate of violence among 
Mexican-Americans was significantly lower than among both non-Hispanic whites and blacks.

There's more detail about all of this work in the article, and it's worth reading.

It's not really possible to draw a firm conclusion from any of this; first of all, it's difficult to separate illegal from legal immigrants in these kinds of studies. It is reasonable, I think, to assume that behavior in the two groups wouldn't be that different, considering that they are often members of the same communities.

But the studies do illustrate the dangers of forming conclusions from no evidence or anecdotal evidence. That danger is compounded when you're talking about a highly emotional topic, and the political climate encourages people to use the most dramatic possible stories - or poorly supported statistics that make good headlines - for their own interests.

In that kind of environment, it's wise to take anything presented as known facts with a grain of salt. But it's good to see someone studying the issue.

Blood and Sweat in the Meat Industry

Rumbo, News Report, Rodrigo París, Translated by Elena Shore, Posted: Dec 19, 2006
Sent by Howard Shorr

A meatpacking plant, with temperatures of 32° F, very little light, high humidity, and frantic production lines, seems to be the closest to slavery of any factory in 21st Century America.

The organization Human Rights Watch (HRW) conducted a study in 2005 titled Blood, Sweat and Fear. The report found that employees in U.S. slaughter houses and meatpacking plants work dangerous jobs in difficult conditions.

The conditions and treatment of workers are human rights violations, the document says.

Forty-two percent of the workers in these plants are Latino. Their average annual salary is $21,320, nearly $10,000 less than the salary of workers in other industries, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Four factories – Tyson, Cargill, Smithfield and Swift – control 80 percent of the nation’s meat production. According to an OSHA report, the concentration of meat production in very few factories allows for their substandard practices and working conditions.

According to the Human Rights Watch report, 95 percent of Latino workers in these plants do not receive workers’ compensation for accidents and injuries (such as knife wounds) at a job that demands speed and precision at the same time. This is a result of the fact that the majority does not speak English or is afraid that the company will discover that they are working illegally.

Some 14.7 percent of the workers in this industry suffer work-related injuries and accidents according to OSHA’s statistics, although the situation has improved (in 1990, the rate was 30 percent).

Fifty percent of the accidents were caused by human errors while cutting the meat, according to the HRW report. “I lost a hand when I leaned over a table of boneless meat,” one worker told the organization.

Undocumented immigrants who work in these companies often don’t ask for work loans, compensation or improvements, afraid of the possibility that the company could turn them in to immigration authorities, according to HRW.

Many workers in the meat industry are afraid of the consequences of the massive Dec. 12 raids in various processing plants.

According to Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies, there are concerns that what happened could have repercussions for consumers and the entire meat industry, since they could experience a shortage of workers, a rise in production costs and, therefore, an increase in the price of meat.

Some observers say that perhaps it’s time for these companies to do what the meat industry in Canada has already done: raise their salaries and pay in proportion to the risks of the job. 

Call for Papers: New Directions in Race Research
Sent by

Social Forces seeks papers for a special section on race research planned for the December 2007 issue. We are soliciting original papers that address issues of race, racial inequality, racism and racial identity construction from U.S.and international perspectives. Papers might address new developments in racial inequality in housing, education or health; the creation, maintenance and changing definition of racial categories; the racial dynamics of colorblindness; and racism within the context of immigration, neo-colonialism and the environment. We welcome papers that expand our theoretical understanding of race and are particularly interested in empirical research that challenges, expands or redirects existing race scholarship.

The special section will be edited by Charles A. Gallagher, Department of Sociology, Georgia StateUniversity. Papers will be peer reviewed.

The deadline for submitting papers is April 2, 2007. Manuscripts should be limited to 5,000-9,000 words including references and endnotes and should be e-mailed as a Microsoft Word attachment to Any tables or figures must be editable in Microsoft Word or Excel. Do not use any automatic formatting feature. Submission fees for this section are waived.

Monica J. Casper, Ph.D.
Director of Women's and Gender Studies
Associate Professor of Sociology
Associate Professor of Women's and Gender Studies
Garland Hall 220-B
Station B, Box350086
2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37235-0086
(615) 343-7808

Extract: Diabetes Inflicts a Dangerous Toll on Hispanics in the United States
By Charlotte Hodge, R.N., Nurse Practitioner
Sent by Dr. Armando Ayala

One out of 10 Latinos has or will develop diabetes vs 1 in 20 for the general population. 
One in four Hispanics over age 45 has diabetes. 
In California, more than 830,000 Latinos have diabetes, half of them are unaware that they have the disease. 

As the Hispanic population continues to grow, the prevalence of diabetes among Hispanics is expected to reach epidemic proportions. The best Insurance policy one can have to prevent developing diabetes is to reach and maintain normal weight and participate in regular exercise.

National Internet-based Menopause Study

Project seeks participants.  Kim Belcik writes: Hola, I am a Hispanic research assistant at the University of Texas at Austin School of Nursing. I am responsible for the recruitment of Hispanic women between the ages of 40-60 for a national Internet-based menopause

This study is important because the majority of information about menopausal symptoms and treatments are based on the experience of Caucasian women. Nurses need to know more about the menopausal experience of women of other cultures so they can find better treatments for these symptoms. This study provides that opportunity.

Please visit our website for more information and to complete the survey:

Kim Belcik (née Ostiguin)
University of Texas at Austin
School of Nursing
1700 Red River St. #5.167
Austin, TX 78701
Office: 512-475-6352
Fax: 512-471-5470

Preparing a Family Health History

According to the American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG;, knowing your family's medical history can help your doctor predict conditions that may pose a risk to your health—meaning you can take actions to minimize those risks.

"Some families may already be collecting genealogical information but haven't gathered details about health history," said ACMG Executive Director Michael S. Watson. As with traditional genealogy, asking relatives is the best way to start. Since you’re all gathered around the table anyway, pose these questions from the ACMG:

1. What health problems are known to run in our family? 
2. Has anyone in our family had cancer, heart disease or other adult-onset health problems at an early age, such as between 20 and 50?
3. Does/did anyone in our family have mental retardation or learning problems, or have to attend a special school?
4. Have there been any early deaths in the family (including stillbirths, infant deaths and multiple miscarriages)?
5. Have any relatives had extreme or unexpected reactions to medications?

Examine your genealogy research, too, for clues to relatives’ illnesses and causes of death. Record the information using the My Health Portrait Web-based program at, print out the family health history chart and take it along on your next checkup.  Source:

WellPoint Launches Online health Assessment in Spanish

Questionnaire and Personalized Report Provide Spanish-Speaking Members with a Secure Online Health Tool to Identify and Manage Their Personal Health Risks

INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 12 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- WellPoint, Inc. (NYSE: WLP) announced today the launch of a secure, online Health Assessment in Spanish that will enable members to complete a health questionnaire and receive a personalized report, in Spanish, with recommendations on how to manage their personal health risks.

The Health Assessment helps members to identify and understand their personal risk factors, including family history and lifestyle behaviors. Upon completing the online questionnaire, members will receive a personalized, easy-to-understand report that allows them to compare their overall health status with the national average and with their peers.

The report also provides a member with personalized recommendations to help him or her effectively manage, reduce or eliminate personal health risks and embrace healthier lifestyle behaviors, for example, enrolling in a smoking cessation program, exercising regularly and getting preventive screenings.

"The online Health Assessment provides our members with a powerful tool -- in Spanish and English -- to help them identify their personal health risks and, more importantly, take action to manage these risk factors with a goal to prevent or delay the onset of more serious and chronic health conditions," said Ray Morales, M.D., a medical director for WellPoint, Inc., the nation's largest benefits provider. "This is especially important within the Hispanic community, where men and women are affected disproportionately by several health conditions, including diabetes and stroke. The Health Assessment is an easy-to-use tool that gives our members greater control of their health and health care."

The secure, online Health Assessment covers such topics as:

1) current health conditions

2) family health history

3) lifestyle behaviors, including alcohol consumption, tobacco use, stress, exercise and diet

4) vital statistics, including cholesterol and blood pressure measurements

5) life events, including family, children, relationships, job and finances

6) use of health care resources, for example, doctor visits, prescriptions and hospitalizations.

The Hispanic online community is one of the fastest-growing online populations. More than half of the Hispanic population in the United States actively uses the Internet.

The Web-based Health Assessment in Spanish complements WellPoint's comprehensive suite of online health resources that are available in Spanish and English through its health plans' member websites.

"The free, online Health Assessment -- now available in Spanish and English -- is a valuable tool that helps our members stay ahead of potentially serious, chronic and costly health conditions by answering a few simple questions about their health, lifestyle and family history," said Sam Nussbaum, M.D., executive vice president and chief medical officer, WellPoint, Inc. "We're committed to providing our Spanish-speaking members with health tools and information that respect language and cultural differences -- and which engage and empower members to make more informed decisions about their health and health care."


Blue Cross of California Launches
Web Site Resource for California's Latino Community, Friday December 22
Sent by John P. Schmal

THOUSAND OAKS, Calif., Dec. 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Blue Cross of California (BCC) has launched a Web site called NuestroBien ("Our Well Being") to help promote health and wellness in the state's Latino community. Located at, the site is designed to provide educational content for the Latino community and focuses on prevention, nutrition and early detection of health issues. It is available in both English and Spanish. contains facts about the leading health care problems for Latinos, tips on improving health, and links to the Blue Cross of California Web site, where those interested can apply for health coverage. A "Kids Center" contains games and animated clips on how the human body works. Over 600 health related articles for parents, teens and kids are available in both languages.

"Our goal is to offer consumers new online tools that make it easy, convenient and familiar for them to get the information they need to make the best choices possible about their health and health care options," said Mary Scanlon, senior vice president of eBusiness consumer technology for WellPoint, Inc., BCC's parent company. "With NuestroBien, Spanish-speaking consumers now have a valuable resource of health and wellness information for better decision-making for themselves, their children and their families." Additional information about WellPoint is available at

[[Editor: Congratulations to Dr. Jaime Gómez González []
long time member of SHHAR, who sent the following information. It is particularly exciting because I remember when the project was getting started. ]]

Diccionario Biográfico Médico Hispanoamericano

Circulo Biográfico Médico Hispanoamericano.
Jaime Gomez-Gonzalez, Leopoldo Briceño Iragorry, Miguel Rabi Chara, (Editores)
Ateproca, Caracas 2007
IBSN 980-6905-25-3

La Academia Nacional de Medicina de Venezuela nos presenta este CD Rom con la versión electrónica del DICCIONARIO BIOGRAFICO MEDICO LATINOAMERICANO
cuyos editores son los Drs. Jaime Gómez-González (colombiano), Leopoldo Briceño-Iragorry (venezolano) y Miguel Rabí Chara (peruano). 

La realización de este extraordinario instrumento de trabajo ha estado a cargo de la Editorial ATEPROCA, CA de Caracas, que ya nos tiene acostumbrados a un excelente nivel de realizaciones.

"La obra consta de 3.307 minibiografías de médicos ordenadas alfabéticamente por cada uno de los 21 países de origen. Las páginas del libro están numeradas de manera correlativa , y cada número va precedido de otro con el que se identifica el país, separados por un guión.

Esta primera edición del Diccionario Biográfico Médico Hispanoamericano, que verá su edición impresa a comienzos de 2007, es una muy loable iniciativa del colega colombiano y colaborador de Compumedicina, Jaime Gómez González, quien con el apoyo de numerosos otros médicos de todos nuestros países, y la efectiva colaboración de la Academia Nacional de Medicina de Venezuela, aportando la dinámica cooperación de su Secretario, doctor Leopoldo Briceño-Iragorry, han podido llevar a efecto este tan importante proyecto de auténtica integración cultural, con las minibiografías de médicos que ya no están con nosotros, pero cuyas obras constituyen la base sobre la que podemos seguir construyendo una medicina de muy alto nivel al servicio de toda la sociedad.® extiende sus más sinceras felicitaciones a la Academia Nacional de Medicina de Venezuela, a los editores, a los colaboradores y a la Editorial ATEPROCA, ya que este Diccionario establece un precedente integracionista significativo, que permitirá conocernos mejor y así poder trabajar más eficientemente en el mundo globalizado en que vivimos.

New Book: The Journey to Latino Political Representation 
By John P. Schmal

The Journey to Latino Political Representation is a detailed, yet succinct, description of the struggle of Latino Americans to express their political voice from 1822 to the present day. There are essentially two parts to this story: the decline of Hispanic representation in the Nineteenth Century and the revival of their political voice in the second half of the Twentieth Century. To explain this, the author discusses Latino population demographics, anti-immigrant legislation and other political influences. In addition, short biographies throughout the book help to familiarize the reader with each politician.

In the preface to this book, Dr. Edward E. Telles, the author of the award-winning, Race in Another America: The Significance of Skin Color in Brazil, states that this book is "an important educational service" that "will be useful in classrooms throughout the United States." He adds that "no longer can educators in any part of the United States deny or ignore the political importance of Latinos to their students, as this book makes apparent."

Table of Contents:
The Right to Vote 1
State Measures to Restrict Minority Voting 1
A New Generation 3
Latino Political Organization 4
The Twenty-Fourth Amendment 6
The Voting Rights Act of 1965 6

CALIFORNIA (1848-1899) 11
The Mexican-American War 11
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo 11
The Constitutional Convention of 1849 12
The First Constitutional Legislature (1849-1850) 14
The First State Legislative Session (1851) 15
Andres Pico 15
Chicanos in Office 16
Los Angeles 17
Santa Barbara 18
Romualdo Pacheco 19
The Gradual Erosion of Voting Rights 21
Reginaldo Francisco del Valle 23
The English Literacy Requirement (1894) 24

CALIFORNIA (1900-1964) 27
Miguel Estudillo 27
The End of World War II 28
The Emergency of Edward Roybal 30
The Election of Charles Navarro (1951) 32
Navarro as City Controller 34

CALIFORNIA (1900-1964) [Continued]
Fracturing the Chicano Vote 35
1961 Reapportionment 36
The 1962 Elections 38
The 1964 Elections 41
CALIFORNIA (1965-1975) 43
The 1965 Reapportionment 43
The 1966 Elections 44
Julian Nava's Election (1967) 44
The 1968 Elections 46
A New Decade (the 1970s) 46
The 1971 Reapportionment 47
The Elections of 1972 48
The Special Masters Plan 49
Chicano Legislative Caucus 50

TEXAS (1836-1964) 53
Independence 53
Early Political Representation 53
Thomas A. Rodriguez 54
The Poll Tax (1902) 55
José T. Canales and Augustine Celaya 55
John Charles Hoyo 57
Diminished Representation 58
Legislative Redistricting 59
A New Breed 61
First-Third Session (1953) 64 
The First Tejano Mayor of El Paso 65
Fifty-Fifth Session (1957-1958) 66
Fifty-Sixth Session (1959-1960) 67
Fifty-Seventh Session (1961-1962) 71
The Eighty-Seventh U.S. Congress (1961-1962) 74
Fifty-Eighth Session (1963-1964) 75

TEXAS (1965-1980) 77
The Twenty-Fourth Amendment 77
Eighty-Ninth Congress (1965-1966) 78
Fifty-Ninth Session (1965-1966) 79
Sixtieth Session (1967-1968) 81
Sixty-First Session (1969-1970) 84
Sixty-Second Session (1971-1972) 85
The Redistricting Battles of 1971 85
Sixty-Third Session (1973-1974) 88
Sixty-Fourth Session (1975-1976) 91
Sixty-Fifth Session (1977-1978) 92
Sixty-Sixth Session (1979-1980) 93

THE U.S. CONGRESS (1822-1959) 95
The Great Promise 95
Joseph Marion Hernández (1822-1823) 95
Demographic Influences on the Hispanic Population 96
José Manuel Gallegos 97
Miguel Antonio Otero (1856-1860) 99
Francisco Perea (1863-1865) 100
New Mexico Representation (1865-1873) 101
Romualdo Pacheco 102
New Mexico Representation (1877-1901) 102
Latino Representation in the Nineteenth Century 105
Puerto Rican Resident Commissioners 107
The Status of New Mexico 110
Hispanic Representation in Louisiana (1904-1941) 112
Hispanic Senators from New Mexico (1928-1952) 113
Antonio Manuel Fernández 116

THE U.S. CONGRESS (1960-2005) 119
Hispanic Representation Up to 1960 119
The Tide Changes in California 119
Texas Representation 121
Henry B. González 122
Kika de la Garza 123
Manuel Luján, Jr. 124
A New Decade (the 1970s) 124
The 1980s 126
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) 128
Redistricting in California (1981) 128
Texas 130
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen 130
The 1990s 131
Latino Representation in the New Millennium 132
The Election of November 2004 133

The Extension of the Voting Rights Act 137
Tejano Representation of the 1980s 137
Sixty-Eight Legislature (1983-1984) 138
Tejano Representation in the New Millennium 143
The November 2004 Election 144

A Mexican Pueblo 149
Antonio Francisco (Franco) Coronel 149
The Councils 150
Cristóbal Aguilar 151
The Decline of Chicano Representation 152
Edward R. Roybal (9th Council District, 1949-1962) 153
Charles Navarro (10th Council District, 1951-1961) 156
The City Council in the 1960s 157
Councilperson Snyder and East Los Angeles 158

The City Council in the Early 1980s 161
Richard Alatorre (14th Council District, 1985-1999) 163
The County Board of Supervisors 168
Mike Hernandez (1st Council District, 1991-2000) 170
Richard Alarcon (7th Council District, 1993-1999) 172
Alex Padilla (7th Council District, 1999-Present) 173
Nick Pacheco (14th Council District, 1999-2003) 173
Ed Reyes (1st Council District, 2001-Present) 173
Tony Cardenas (6th Council District, 2003-Present) 175
Antonio Villaraigosa (14th Council District, 2003-2005) 175
Eric Garcetti (13th Council District, 2001-Present) 176
Antonio Villaraigosa (Mayor of Los Angeles) 176
CALIFORNIA (1978-2005) 179
The 1978 Elections 179
The 1980 Elections 180
The 1982 Elections 181
The 1984 Elections 184
Chicano Representation in the Late 1980s 184
Chicano Representation in the 1990s 185
Increased Representation in the New Millennium 187
INDEX 199 

Migrant Workers in Michigan:
1969 Fieldnotes


Refugio I. Rochín
With Editor Notations by Danny Layne, JSRI

Occasional Paper No. 61
July 2006

List of Families Attended 
and Information on Some Families
Summer 1969

18. Andres Tafolla (26): Maria Isabel (23), Rodrigo (4 1/2), Ricardo (2 1/2), Andrea
(1 and 4 months), Mario Hernandez (58)- Maria's father, Maria de Jesus Hernandez
Maria's sister, Carmela rodriquez (31)- step sister, Santos Rosalez (18) second cousin.
19. Pedro (47) and Prudencia (27) Ozuna; Pedro Jr. (17), Francis (15), Delicia (14), Dalia (9)
20. Juan Sepulveda (59); Maria (40), Jose (19), Alicia (18), Eleazar (17), Carlos (12), Juan Jr. (10), and Carmen (4)
21. Rodolfo Garcia (33); Socorro (32), Guadalupe (13), Rodolfo (11), Jorge (9), Socorro (6), Sylvia (4), Sonia (3), and Rene Ramirez (20)
22. Manuel Serrano (36): Emelia (35), Maria Laura (17), Irma (14), Yolanda (13), Manuel Jr. (10), Ricardo (8), Elivera (6), Hector (4), Raquel (3), Elia (18 mo.), and 
Enrique (1 month)
23. Urrano (42) and Hermila (42) Benavidez-Rio Grande, Texas; Juliana (20), Adriana
(16), Juan de Dios (15), Renaldo (13), Graciela (11), Ricardo (8), Adolfo (7), Hermela (5), and Martina (3)
24. Urrano Jr. (18) and Oralia (21) - no children; Mike Sanchez and wife, Eliazar and Martinez and wife - 10 children.
1. Antonio Aguilar 
2. Arturo Aguilar
3. Juan Guerrero
4. Jesus Gonzalez
5. Ramon Guerrero
6. Flora Mata Martinez
7. Zeferino Reyna
8. Ramona Sanchez
9. Luis Torres
10. Rafael Mendoza
11. Guadalupe T. Tafolla (age
12. Domingo Reyna (28) (bachelor)
13. Ramiro Longoria (20) and Ana (20): 
four children (4,2,1, and 5 months)
14. Espiridion Salas and Poloma
15. Carmen C. Reyes (40) - widow: 
Federico (20) Mike (18), Jaime (1), Santos (13), Ricky (4), Debbie Garcia (3)
16. Pedro Alvarez Paredes (61); Celia S. Paredes (59); Maria (18), Narcisa (17), Guadalirio (16), Nico (15), Inez (14), Juan (13), Adela (12), Marylu (11)
17. Guadalupe Reyes (21) son of Carmen,. Elizabeth (15),Guadalupe (6 months)


Almost 40 years ago, from September 1967 through September 1969, I was a doctoral candidate
in Agricultural Economics at Michigan State University. As a Chicano from California, I missed my family and relationships with raza. In 1969 I decided to step out of the academic groove and enlisted as a volunteer with Michigan Educational Opportunity Program, a derivative of the federally-funded programs of the Office of Educational Opportunity. My "mentor" and supervisor was Ubaldo Patino.

The "notes" which follow are from my daily log. They record the actual names and places of my job. I leave this information intact, primarily because some of the people — like Mr. Patino — deserve to be remembered for their dedication and service to migrant workers in Michigan.

I was 28 years old at the time. I had no specific vision or plans to become an "expert" on farmworkers. But this "little" experience shaped my destiny. I never discarded these notes. They traveled with me all over the world (literally) and to the University of California, Davis where I began my academic career. And they came with me to my alma mater, MSU. The fact of the matter is that I was cleaning my files at the Julian Samora Research Institute when my student assistant, Matthew Martinez, put these notes aside. He left them for me to see.

What luck! Had I merely discarded all in my files, these notes of history would have joined the piles of the forgotten past. As good fortune would have it, Danny Layne also joined our staff at JSRI. His presence and knowledge of the area introduced an important component for this paper. Danny not only knew the vicinity of the labor camps, he knew the history of the area and some of the local population in the area. In short order, our conversations led to the idea of a co-authored production, specifically, my notes from 1969 with Danny’s updates and insights of changes in places and time.

I dedicate these notes to my mentor, Ubaldo Patino, a fine man who served countless farmworkers. I also take pride in recognizing Julian Samora, who taught me to value the legacies of our people — la raza. I honor my father, Refugio Rochín, who was a farmworker from Sinaloa, Mexico, between 1924-1928 and always taught me — by his example — that farmworkers have the pride, intelligence, and determination needed to make a better life for their children.

Migrant Workers in Michigan: 1969 Fieldnotes

6/27 Went to camp for first time with Mr. Ubaldo Patino and co-worker Suzie Holtz. The Heifetz Camps sit a half-mile off highway M-99 and 50, south of Eaton Rapids. The turn-off point is the Red Cedar Cafe.

Ownership of the Red Cedar Cafe has, since Rochín first visited there in 1969, changed several times. It is now known as the "Robin’s Nest," and remains a favorite eatery among many area residents. The restaurant turning point is the only visible reminder of the Heifetz Camps. There is currently only one state-licensed, migrant housing camp in Eaton County, where the Heifetz Camps were located.

The camp has 15, 20’x15" (or so) cabanas situated in a circular fashion. Each cabana has lighting with refrigerator, gas stove with two burners, and beds. The mattresses are all well-used and apparently dirty. None of the houses were well-cleaned before occupancy. Grease was on most panelings behind the stoves. A kitchen table and two benches provide the rest of the furnishings.

The camp grounds have some grass. There are clotheslines for family use and the water facilities are nearby. There are hoses, which serve as fire extinguishers, on both ends of camp. There is plenty of yard for recreation, which we will attempt to introduce.

Since 1978, Michigan has required the annual licensing and inspection of sites occupied by or housing migrant workers engaged in agricultural activities and food processing. The primary areas that are emphasized in this list of requirements include safe and adequate water supplies, structurally sound and equipped camp and shelter sites, fire safety, bathing and laundering facilities, and proper waste disposal. The State of Michigan has also provided grants in recent years to farmowners so they can construct and upgrade migrant housing.

After (the) informal introductions, we drove into Charlotte, 10 miles west of Eaton Rapids on M-50 to get some food stamps for the families in the camp.

Those going with us were the following:
1. Ramona Sanchez, with three dependents
2. Flora Martinez, with four dependents
3. Reyna Zeferino, with four dependents
4. Juan Guerrero, with 10 dependents
5. Arturo Aguilar, with six dependents
6. Ramon Guerrero, with six dependents
7. Antonio Aguilar, with four dependents
8. Jesus Gonzalez, with three dependents
9. Luis Torres, with six dependents

We were attended to by Mrs. Kade. She was very cooperative and took every family we presented with little questioning regarding last work and sources of income. She accepted the number of dependents without asking for birth certificates. Susie and I invited her to visit the camp with us and she was very willing to accompany us later.

Upon returning to camp we met a new arrival, Rafael Mendoza, with (his) wife and son. Since the banks were closed, we promised to take them in on Monday to purchase food stamps.

We should note that — out of the group we took for food stamps — only three could speak passable English. Two people had to sign with an "X."

We will try to teach them to spell their names.

6/29 Suzie and I drove to the camp Sunday noon to see if there were any more arrivals to take for food stamps; we soon found out there were none, except Mr. Mendoza.

The crew leader, organizer, and instructor, Frank Gonzalez, was at the camp with his wife and three or four children. Not knowing exactly who he was, I asked if he was Mr. Gonzalez and quickly explained that we were working with Mr. Patino. I’ll have to admit that our first encounter was uncertain for both of us. Mr. Gonzalez immediately stated that he knew our function and told us that we would have to be out of the camp by 8:00 every night.

Next, he asked if I was with Ruben Alfaro, a local unionizer. I assured him that I did not know the man and had no intentions of unionizing the workers. Mr. Gonzalez eventually calmed down and we sat around talking about agriculture with the workers there.

One very interesting thing discussed was "mechanization." Gonzalez felt that in a year or so, cucumbers (pickles) would be nearly 100% mechanized. Today, about one family (four people) can handle 10 acres of cucumbers at prime picking-time; machines could replace 250 pickers. Heifetz has something like 2,000 acres to pick and only needs farmworkers for 600 acres. The advent of mechanization in cucumbers is really something which promises to leave only a few jobs for those that can handle the machinery and their maintenance.

Training will be needed.

While Michigan cucumber production keeps the state ranked fourth nationally (state crop production values are estimated to be more than $2.1 billion annually), the Eaton Rapids area has witnessed a tremendous downturn since 1969. The local "pickle factory" closed its doors in the early 1990's -- displacing about 200 workers -- and a nearby turn-of-the-century warehouse is now used to store cucumbers harvested by area farmers.

6/30 I drove out alone to the camp to take Mr. Mendoza and his wife to get food stamps in Charlotte. I took a "frisbee" — or flying saucer —and left the men playing with the thing (Frank Gonzalez mentioned that he would buy a swing set for the children if we could find someone to install a heavy-duty one). The people want recreation. Their only main source of fun is driving around Eaton Rapids.

Eaton Rapids, the "Island City," is a small, "bedroom" community situated about 15 miles southwest of Lansing-- the state capital. The estimated population of Eaton Rapids in 1969 was about 4,500. Today-- according to the 2000 Census-- the city has a total population of about 5,330. Within a 10-mile radius of the city, however, there are an estimated 15,000 more people living there.

Michigan farmland has been sacrificed at a rapid pace to accommodate swelling suburban populations. With this trend, there are fewer family farms and even fewer migrant workers now than in 1969. State figures show nearly a 30% decline in family-owned farms from 1990 to 2000.

While state officials estimated nearly 47,000 migrant farmworkers in 1970, that number now ranges from 40,000 to 150,000 -- depending on the state agency providing the data. However, Michigan has embarked upon its first migrant and seasonal farmworker "enumeration," or census, project. The Migrant Services Division, part of Michigan's Family Independence Agency, expects initial results by 2007 with similar enumerations occurring annual or semi-annually from that point.

Again, we were met in Charlotte by Mrs. Kade, who continued to treat us very well. The Mendozas got their stamps and I took them back camp.

Charlotte is the County Seat of Eaton County. It is there that the county-level administrative offices of the state's social services programs are located.

In my discussion with the Mendozas, I found out that they joined the migrant stream three years ago. They learned of the pickle harvesting from a friend, who previously worked in Michigan fields. The situation in "the valley" of Texas seemed to force them to Michigan. A hurricane of a couple years back — Beulah — left them and others worse-off than ever.

Hurricane Beulah was one of the seven most severe hurricanes to affect the Texas middle coast during this century. Nearly 100 tornadoes were spurred by the 1967 hurricane with most of the storm damage resulting from the floods caused by the storm's extremely heavy rains. Rainfall totaled 10-20 inches over a widespread area of southern Texas and -- in some areas -- amounts reached nearly 30 inches.

In a way, the Mendozas looked forward to working in Michigan. They like the countryside and find the people who visit the camps to provide social services very friendly and helpful. Mrs. Mendoza said that there was no social welfare service of this kind in her part of Texas. Both were a bit apprehensive about the weather, but didn’t show any reluctance to express a willingness to find work here and settle. They will wait, though, at least a couple years until their son graduates from high school. Their aspirations for their children’s education is very great.

7/1 Suzie and I drove directly to the Eaton Rapids Community Hospital to inform them of our work, the presence of migrants in the area, and to ask them of their services. We met with Mrs. Steven who was very attentive and interested in our work. She is the Director of the business office and in charge of the paperwork we would have to deal with for emergency cases. She worked in the hospital the previous year and handled some medical cases of migrants. She made it clear that the hospital handled "emergency" cases, not stomach-aches, headaches, minor aches, and pains.

She said that the year before many of the migrant workers came into the hospital with their minor problems when they should have gone to the medical clinic. All in all, the hospital is primarily ready to handle emergency cases. Suzie and I left our names and telephone numbers, and Mr. Patino’s as well, with Mrs. Stevens so she could contact us if needed.

The Eaton Rapids Hospital, now known as the Eaton Rapids Medical Center, currently offers its patients complete laboratory, rehabilitation, and surgical facilities as well as "Urgent Care" or "Express Care" service to handle non-emergency, after-hours cases.

We met with Mrs. Fuller of the medical clinic and found her as receptive as Mrs. Stevens. The clinic is across the street from the hospital and has five doctors, each of whom shares the work in the hospital. We left the same type information with Mrs. Fuller as we did in the hospital.

Both the hospital and clinic require a form to be filled out for any treatment extended to a migrant. The forms are in the Social Services office in Charlotte and are a must for settling the problem of who pays. Last year, Frank Gonzalez, the contractor from Heifetz, was left with some bills because the forms were not filled out and signed by the migrant. Suzie and I told Steven and Fuller that we would handle the forms.

After these visits we went back to the camp.

Nearly all migrants were hoeing weeds in the field except for the Guerreros. Mrs. Gonzalez was also in the camp registering children, ages 1-13, for a summer school program to be held at the Union Street School under the guidance of Mrs. Dickinson. The program will bus children to school, feed them a light meal and provide a late snack, and give some schooling. Mrs. Gonzalez is visiting migrant camps in the vicinity including some run by her husband. She is, by the way, a Mexican from Guanajuato, Mexico, attractive, and polished.

Everything was fine in the camp as far as health went. We searched for the camp license, but couldn’t find it any place. This leads us to suspect the camp isn’t licensed — we’ll have to find this out later.

Suzie and I left a horseshoe game, primarily for entertainment, in camp for the males. We drove into Eaton Rapids and visited with the city clerk, Mr. Rule. He directed us to the Chamber of Commerce where we received a list of service organizations and members of the commerce. The Chamber is only open on Tuesday and Thursday from 9-noon. The Chamber President is a dentist — Dr. Zeller. His office is conveniently located next to the Chamber.

The Eaton Rapids Chamber of Commerce now has more than 50 local businesses, individuals, and organizations listed among its members. The Chamber's stated goals include: providing leadership in local business development; enhancing relationships with statewide organizations and the encouragement of strong partnerships between schools and businesses, promoting cooperation between organizations supporting community events; and establishing a citywide Volunteer Network (Ambassador's Club). Its mission is to "promote and advance the general welfare and prosperity of the Eaton Rapids area" so that its "citizens and... business, civic, cultural, educational, and farming community shall prosper." While the Chamber is more organized and structured than it was in 1969, it still only maintains office hours part-time.

Back to Lansing.

7/2 Suzie Holtz and I met with Mr. Patino in Cristo Rey Community Center. At noon we drove out to a small camp just north of Potterville on Davis Highway, just off of M-100. The camp is owned by Mr. Macleod who lives just up the dirt road. There are five houses, but only two are occupied. There is the Salas family with eight people living in the house. Next door lives Domingo Salas’ daughter and her husband, with another three or four inside.

The camp is licensed, apparently clean, and fairly-well furnished. But it’s difficult at this time to make any judgements. Mr. Salas and his son-in-law were working in the fields, so we spoke with the ladies. We arranged to pick them up on Monday, July 7, to purchase food stamps in Charlotte.

This evening we met with several doctors and nurses of the Lansing community in Dr. Hewitts’ home. The meeting was the first of a project to engage doctors in servicing migrants in their camps. Basically the set-up is still informal and runs as follows: the social workers — including me — will have two major functions to perform.

One is to find out the health records of families in the camps. We will make little index cards recording sicknesses, injections, operations, visits to the doctor, complaints, etc. We will, secondly, relay this information to doctors, who will team up with the social workers and nurses and visit the camps when able. At present, it appears that the doctors have not committed themselves whole-heartedly, and it will take some effort on our part to recruit them into visiting the camps.

The few nurses that attended the meetings appeared very enthusiastic. I think that as a first step, we will try to introduce the nurses to the camps, take them around so that their expert eyes can sense what’s wrong. Next we will influence them to encourage the doctors’ participation.

In the future, it would be highly advisable to engage as many people of the medical profession to make camp visits. To paraphrase Mr. Patino — "it’s not so much that the people need actual medical attention, but they need some attention." The people are greatly honored and humbled by the appearance of doctors and just their presence cures the mental ailments of many migrants. These migrants need to feel welcome in the community and a good place to start is with the well respected medical profession.

7/5 This Saturday was sure a wonderful experience. I went to the camp to visit and to primarily teach the men how to play horseshoes. I also took with me some clothing that neighbors had given me. I found that a good tactic is to tell the men that there are some things in the car for the ladies and themselves — to go see if they could use any of the clothing. The people — about 10 of them — went to the car and, without quarreling, went through the clothing and divided it all up. This used clothing can at least serve as work clothes. But I noticed that the women have few dresses. A recommended project for large camps would be sewing lessons on simple tent-type dresses. I’m sure the ladies would participate and benefit from the dresses made.

The men threw horseshoes for a few hours and loved the game. One guy even asked me to pick him up another game for his kids. During the game, I spoke mostly with Luis Torres and a couple new arrivals — Mr. Reyes and Mr. Tafolla.

They explained to me that people were working in the Brownsville area for $2 a day, that work conditions were very poor, and any work was hard to come by. They would work occasionally, but they gave me the impression that since there were few jobs, it seemed fruitless to seek work in Texas. Thus, they anxiously awaited their trip to Michigan.

7/7 The Mexican-American migrant has one peculiar attitude — he acts and thinks in terms of two types — for himself; he assumes a dual personality. At times, the migrant takes on the character of being a pure American or U.S. citizen. This is legally correct because most migrants were born in the U.S.

In this U.S.-type character, he mixes conversation with English and talks about this country. This I noted, in particular, when we discussed discrimination. At other times, especially when an Anglo is present, the migrant tends to put on a pure Mexican front. The language reverts to his best Spanish with little use of "pocho" or "Spanglish," as Anglos refer to the language. He may pretend not to understand English.

But oftentimes there is imbalance and dissonance, or conflict, in the role the migrant has to take on. To solve such conflict he relies on silence. Mannerisms are shy and humble. The "outsider" — whether Anglo or Mexican — has to clarify by his actions which attitude the migrant will presume. Once the "outsiders" appearance or image is understood, then the migrant assumes his particular role and acts accordingly. This observation leads me to suspect that, in general, relations with the Spanish-speaking migrants, the "outsider" must make it clear what his function is and whether he will be part of the Mexican character or part of the Anglo character. Whichever front predominates, will influence the "outsider-migrant" relationship.

This Monday was full of events.

In the morning I took the Tafollas to Charlotte to purchase food stamps. Mr. Tafolla is 32 and his wife is 30. They met in a migrant camp in the state of Washington and now have seven children, all under 11 years of age. Both Tafollas have been migrants all their lives; they have little education, but want their children to complete at least high school.

In 1965 they started coming to Michigan at the invitation of Frank Gonzalez. This year, they purchased a 1969 Dodge pick-up and are concerned about fulfilling the payments on the truck.

At noon I drove to Lansing and picked up Suzie. We went on to Potterville to pick up Mrs. Salas and her step-daughter, Mrs. Longoria. They went with us to Charlotte to get food stamps. This extended family is very alert and the children are especially sharp.

One of the Salas daughters — Francis — is an honor student and was passed on to the seventh grade in Potterville. The other kids do pretty well, too. One notable feature is that they like to speak English and have the best vocabulary so-far encountered. Ana Longoria and her husband — both 20 with four children — would like to stay here and get a good job. This is one family with excellent potential.

After we purchased the food stamps, I noticed that one of the little Salas girls — Rosi — who went with us was limping. I found out that she stepped on a nail a week ago, but had received a tetanus shot. We immediately went to the clinic in Charlotte.

We soon learned that the only time shots could be authorized were on Thursdays. So we went across the street to the emergency service of the hospital. We were treated nicely, but asked to drive 10 miles south to Bellevue to get the tetanus shot from — get this — Dr. Frankenstein. He was very cooperative and accepted our word that he would get the social welfare to take care of the $8 bill (something we did the next day).

The Charlotte Hospital, now called Haynes Green Beach, is about 14 miles west of Eaton Rapids. The cost of a typical office visit in the Charlotte-Eaton Rapids area is currently $65-$85 for new patients. The cost of a tetanus shot from a private physician is $50; the Eaton County Health Department offers Tetanus shots to underage residents for $10. There are still no specific provisions for the inoculation of migrant or seasonal workers, according to an Eaton Health Department spokesperson.

The Salas and Longoria families seemed pleased and especially happy about the stamps. We promised a visit the next day to do the small paper-work for the emergency treatment. We also got some information on free vaccinations from the clinic and will make an effort to have the kids immunized.

One interesting story was told to us by Ana. She related that her step-mother came from a very poor family that still lives in a hut, with a camp fire for a stove, near the Mexican border on the U.S. side. Get this, Ana said that these relatives were so poor that even their father sent money to help. This is a remarkable case of charity coming from people who themselves live on as little as $2,800 per year. If everyone expressed such willingness to contribute to the feeding and care of others, just think of how much better-off we would all be. But, such is life and rare is the moment when the spirit of thanksgiving hits us with such generosity as witnessed among the poor themselves.

Virtually all of a record $16.6 billion dollars sent back to Mexico in 2004 was from workers within the U.S. This is a 24% increase over the previous year, according to the Bank of Mexico. Remittances today are considered the second largest (money-generating) industry in Mexico, surpassing tourism but lagging behind petroleum. About 20% of Mexicans report receiving money this way.

7/8 I am more an more convinced that the cause of poverty amongst Mexican-American migrants is basically a lack of opportunity from the time of birth. Theirs in not a problem of "culture boundaries." Nor is the problem essentially or fundamentally one of poor health.

There are too many cases that prove that Mexican-American migrants are not "culturally bound." Take, for example, the Reyna family.

As Domingo Reyna tells it, his father died leaving five little ones in the care of Domingo’s mother. Domingo and his sister, Guadalupe Tafolla, — being the oldest — worked with their mother in fields since there were no other jobs available to raise the other children. Domingo and his sister proudly show the pictures of a brother in the Navy with a high school education, a sister who completed college and now teaches, and a younger brother who is in high school and was recently voted most popular student among his peers. Theirs is just one case, but there are others.

If just a little more opportunity — in the way of work with good pay — had been available, I’m sure Domingo Reyna and his sister would not be working the fields.

As it is, they have assumed a responsibility to care, in any way possible, for the others of the family and feel honored by the performance of their family.

Suzie and I spent the morning talking with this wonderful family of the Tafollas and Domingo. We learned that Mr. Tafolla is very concerned about making payments of a new Dodge pick-up. The reason they bought a new truck was for the warranty that came with the truck. This concern has made Mr. Tafolla consider staying in Michigan. He is interested in steady employment that pays well. However, he gives the impression of feeling that there is no other job for him.

His biggest fright seems to be his illiteracy. He can barely write his name. But, he’s been all over the states and wouldn’t be afraid to try a winter in Michigan if the opportunity is perceived by him to be readily available.

In 1999, 85% of non-Hispanic adults -- but less than 57% of Hispanic adults -- graduated from high school, according to the National Institute for Literacy.

In 2000, median earnings of workers age 25 with:

  • master’s degree were $55,300;
  • bachelor’s degree were $46,300;
  • associate degree were $35,400;
  • some college, no degree were $32,400;
  • high school diploma were $28,800; and
  • some high school, but no diploma were $21,400.

The 1992 National Adult Literacy Survey reported that, with the exception of persons without a high school diploma or GED, annual earnings rose continuously across the literacy levels. The mean annual earnings of the employed population with 9-12 years of education were $12,420 (at prose literacy Level 1) and $8,580 (at Level 4).

For migrant farmworkers, however, things still look dismal. When combined with low educational attainment and limited employment opportunities, the average Agricultural worker's earnings decreased between 1989 and 1998 as their hourly earnings fell (in real terms and in 1998 dollars) from $6.89 to $6.18. Today that rate is about $5.94. Some are paid hourly, others earn a piece rate where a set amount is paid for each filled container.

According to the USDA's 1998 National Agricultural Statistics Survey (NASS) the piece-rate wage increased by 5.7%, but in real terms the average annual hourly piece-rate wage lost nearly 14% of its value. Half of all farmworkers still earn less than $7,500 annually and half of all farmworker families earn less than $10,000 annually, far below the 2002 U.S. poverty level of $18,100 for a family of four.

I can’t believe that these people are not in poor health; nearly every migrant I have talked to has mentioned passing a few days without food. In one case, Mr. Tafolla told me of begging for food amongst Blacks in the state of Washington. He said they were very generous and gave them a great boost of attention since they were working. Tafolla isn’t afraid to work and will seek out jobs first before asking for alms to feed his family.

7/9 The Mexican-American migrant is very proud and humble in his actions. Some of this pride even works against him to an extent. I know that Mr. Salas would not go for food stamps without the minimal payment involved. Little could be given to him and others for free.

But, the Mexican-American migrant also seeks self-respect that needs to be recognized and honored. They make it clear that they work for their earnings. The simple and used clothing that is given to them is taken as "work clothes" — at least they say it is. And when something is received by them, the donor receives, in turn, a warm thank you and welcome.

An aspect of this respect that they deserve was indicated to us today when Suzie and I visited with Mrs. Guerrero and her daughter-in-law.

The day before, we noticed that their children didn’t board the bus for the first day of summer school with the rest of the kids. The reason… the lady who registered the kids said she would tell the parents a day in advance of the bus’ arrival. Well, the lady didn’t carry out her advance notice and when the bus came, the Guerreros refused to send their children. Last night the registrar came out to see what was wrong and her visit provided the fulfillment of her original promise. Today, Mrs. Guerrero’s kids were on the bus and in school for the day. Mrs. Guerrero explained that, without the advance warning, she had no time to clean her kids and give them an adequate meal before they left.

State and National Literacy Coalitions continue to improve the nation's adult literacy rates ("Adult Literacy Rate"' is the percentage of the population over age 15 who can read and write, with understanding of a short, simple statement) through an assortment of efforts. Primary education is often supplemented by national and state-run Head Start and Migrant Head Start Programs, and by "English as a Second Language" classes. Adult education programs are often available, but barriers to attending these include time, transportation, and perceived value.

7/10 Why do they migrate? For money. It’s the simplest and best reason.

Every Mexican-American migrant (we) interviewed comes from the Valley of South Texas, around the Brownsville area. There just isn’t any work there; barely enough to employ the many people of the locale. The place must be a seed-bed of poverty, yet is the home of many migrants. What little work exists, but pays little. I’ve been quoted many times a figure of $4 per day for as many as 10 hours of work.

And this is field work.

The reason for such low pay is an abundance of labor. The forces of supply and demand interact here with apparently little attention given to the minimum wage standards. What’s worse, though, is that even with this low wage there are still unemployed. The unemployed seem to be of various kinds. There are those too old or in poor health, or in poor physical shape. There are also those who admittedly refuse to work for such low wages and search for income elsewhere. This later category provides much of the U.S./Mexican-American workforce.

The Mexican-American migrant is a person alert and willing to seek work elsewhere. He is informed of the outside job opportunities via various channels. One way is through family and friends, who have already made similar trips. Another channel of information is the crew leader from the fields of employment. Men like Frank (Pancho) Gonzalez travel to South Texas around March to tell people of the opportunities for working in the Michigan fields.

From the 1970's to the early 21st Century, the "official" Mexican population of the U.S. ballooned from about 800,000 to more than 8 million. Undocumented workers, now estimated around 6-7 million, are partially included in this latest count.

Most Mexicans regard job opportunities north of the border as a legitimate part of their geographical heritage, according to author Hank Heifetz. Attempts since the early 1990's to control popular entrance sites have driven the undocumented to much less populated -- and much more dangerous -- crossings points. There, someone with expert knowledge of the area is needed as a guide. These are often coyotes (or polleros), who lead groups across the terrain, ideally avoiding the mounting dangers of la migra, strategically situated military personnel, Mexican or American predators, self-appointed vigilantes, and the lack of water and humanitarian assistance. These guides quickly abandon their "clients" in unfamiliar territory if there are any problems.

Since new border policies were implemented and strongly enforced in the 1990's, more than 3,000 migrants have reportedly lost their lives along the U.S./Mexico border. Records of the Coalici—n de Derechos Humanos/Alianza Ind’gena Sin Fronteras indicate 233 undocumented workers died trying to reach the U.S. in 2003-2004, and 282 perished in 2004-2005. So far this year, in Arizona alone, there have been 121 confirmed border deaths. That figure is based on information from Mexico's secretary of foreign relations and Arizona county medical examiners.

Gonzalez works for the Heifetz Company, a pickle firm subsidiary of Allied Products, Inc. in Wisconsin. Frank is also in a position to lend money to families wishing to work the fields. Over the last five years Frank has managed to become familiar with several families of the Brownsville area. These families come to the Eaton Rapid camp and he finds them work on small farms that sell cucumbers to Heifetz. If a family has borrowed money, then their immediate obligation is to repay Frank with their first wages.

The people tell me that Frank does not charge interest and watches their needs with a family-type interest. They know where Frank lives, have his address, and generally call (him) when in need.

There is another source of job information that is not clear to me in its operation. This information comes from a man who lives in Brownsville area named B. Garcia; there may be others with the same function for all I know. Garcia passes out cards with "guaranteed" information on jobs. He works as a liaison between the farmers, who need labor, and the labor market participants, who need work.

The Reyes and Paredes families have worked in Nebraska using Garcia’s service.

The following families came in last night and were taken to buy food stamps today:

1. Carmen C. Reyes (40) widow with seven dependents
2. Guadalupe Reyes (21) son of Carmen – with two dependents
3. Pedro Alavarez Paredes (61) friend of Reyes with nine dependents
4. Andres Tafolla (26) – with eight dependents

It is an understatement to say that the Mexican-American migrants are generally "extended family working groups." They really extend their groupings. For example, Andres Tafolla — who is the head of the household — has with him his wife, three children, his wife’s father, his wife’s sister, a step-sister, and a second cousin — or his wife’s father’s niece. Perhaps more accurate terminology is "overextended family working unit." Not only that, in the same camp is Tafolla’s brother with his family unit of eight or more.

Almost 80% of all migrant farmworkers were born in Mexico. They continue a long tradition of people from Mexico harvesting crops in the southwestern United States, including those who came here through the historic "Braceros" program in the early 1940's to bolster the nation's labor force as "soldiers of the fields and railroads" during World War II.

The average farmworker today is about 31 years old -- since it is difficult for older workers to perform such physically-demanding labor -- and about 80% of those farmworkers are men who often leave their families behind while they work or seek work in American states.

Much farm work is seasonal and workers do not earn money in inclement weather, while waiting for crops to ripen, when they are sick, or when traveling between jobs. There is only a 50.7% high school graduation rate among migrant teenagers.

Migrant workers and their families experience poorer physical health than the general population, and are less likely to seek and receive adequate healthcare. While little nationwide data exists, available information shows elevated infant mortality rates and shorter life expectancies for them than the national average. In Michigan, studies have also noted increased rates of diabetes, mental and dental health problems, and obesity. Some of these problems, JSRI researchers note, are directly attributable to dietary changes, lifestyle choices, and assimilation.

How do these people get around? Surprisingly to first and last visitors, some of these families have relatively new cars — station wagons and pick-ups. There seems to be a practical-pride in buying such autos. I say "practical" because the family needs a good car — a car they know first-hand — to travel with. They also seek the warranty with the cars they purchase. The families also get pride from such cars. The first thing a young member wants to do is buy a car. He exhibits the proud ability to be on his own with such a purchase. It is a mistake to consider such purchases for "status seeking." Everyone knows they’re not fooling the other by purchasing a new car. As a matter of fact, conversation centers on what the car payments are and how they’ll be made. No "status seeker would discuss such problems openly.

An occasional family owns a 1-ton truck. Pedro Paredes owns a 1961 truck and the Guererros just started payments on one. The trucks are found with the large families and carry household equipment. These big trucks are also hired out to farmers for carrying cargo when the opportunity permits. The Guerreros carried citrus on their last stay in Florida.

Last night, one of the Tafolla girls cut her foot and received about 20 stitches from the emergency unit of the Eaton Rapids Community Hospital. Frank Gonzalez and his wife were in the camp at the time and took the girl and her family to the hospital. I checked with the welfare office in Charlotte and found out that Mrs. Gonzalez had already been there to see about paying the doctor bills.

7/11 "Exploitation" frequently occurs among the migrants. Understandably, of course, exploitation is a matter of perspective since at least two parties are involved. But, by exploitation of the migrant, I mean the unethical hiring and use of migrants by farm owners for the purposes of profiteering.

It’s not a difficult thing to do under the circumstances. You take somebody desperately in need of money and food and you tell them "take whatever I give you or get nothing at all." Mrs. Rafael Mendoza related the account of such exploitation in Minnesota.

There they were told they would be paid $1.75 an hour to clear a field. At the end of the day the owner put on a burst of anger and shouted at the migrants saying they did a lousy job. He even threatened not to pay at all. After a pause for reconsideration he "generously" paid the workers $1.50 an hour. Not only is exploitation exhibited, but deceit as well. The Mexican-American migrant, however, is basically passive. He is not one to lose his temper to outsiders. Any flare-ups occur within the extended family. They are not a rebellious lot and certainly would not be the type to make waves in a sea of "tranquility."

This day started out uneventful, but ended up with some interesting developments.

I took some donated clothing — mostly men’s stuff — to the Eaton Rapid’s camp and invited the people to share it. A little later, Mr. Patino stopped in for a visit and we talked with some of the housewives. We learned that the men who are working have been commuting as far as 50 miles to hoe weeds. Their jobs are arranged by Frank Gonzalez. Locally there is little work since the cucumbers still have another week or so to mature. This being the case, it was not surprising to me that the Tafolla’s — both extended families — left the camp. My guess is that they went to Indiana to pick tomatoes as they had mentioned to me earlier.

Mrs. Carmen Reyes also left the camp with an elder son, but for a different reason. She was worried about her youngest kids left at home in Texas with a grown daughter. I understood from the Paredes — the Padrinos of the Reyes family — that Mrs. Reyes called and got no answer. She also didn’t receive an expected letter. So she took off and drove home to Texas to see if everything was alright. Her oldest son, Junior, said she would come back in time to pick cucumbers. I think that the food stamps we got them helped in this sudden move since they were low on cash. This decision on Mrs. Reyes’ part show a great concern for family and a willingness to leave things behind for the sake of family.

Money is a secondary thing in this case.

I drove to the McCleod camp near Potterville to visit with the Salas and Longoria families — primarily to check on the Longoria baby to see about some open sores on her back and legs. The baby’s sores were full of puss and gave no signs of drying up. I volunteered to take the mother and baby to Charlotte to get medical treatment. The offer was accepted and the trip also turned out to be one for groceries. The family wanted to use their food stamps for the first time. Joining us on the trip was Maria Cervantes (Salas), the sister of Anna Longoria. Maria married five years earlier to a former Texas Mexican-American, who had settled on his own in Michigan.

The Cervantes live in Lansing near the St. Lawrence Hospital and have two children ages four and three. Two more recent children died of pneumonia.

The Cervantes have a load of problems. Mr. Cervantes has been unable to hold jobs and accumulated debts galore. Mrs. Cervantes worked for General Motors, bought a new car, and within a few hours Mr. Cervantes destroyed it. To make things worse, he was not insured (she was insured and told her husband not to drive the car, but…!). They claimed bankruptcy and started from scratch again.

Not long ago, Mr. Cervantes was found with marijuana and faces a court decision on Monday, July 14. At present, the family is on welfare. Mrs. Cervantes is young and intelligent even though she did not finish high school. She thinks her husband is nuts, but doesn’t want to leave Michigan. What a way to live. Certainly not a prime example for Mexican-American migrants to follow.

As it turned out, little Gloria Longoria had infected mosquito bites. The visit to Dr. Joseph of Charlotte, who was on Emergency Duty for the local hospital, cost $6. This coming Monday I’ll take Anna Longoria with me to the welfare office to see if they will pay the bill. Anna has another problem of a $300 bill with St. Lawrence Hospital in Lansing from the year before that she and her husband can’t pay. I’m not sure what can be done in this case.

The cost for Emergency Room care at the Eaton Rapids Medical Center is now about $175. However, an "Urgent Care" service drops that cost considerably (to less than $85), but access to medical care is determined by arrival time and need for care (emergency cases are handled first; Urgent Care patients are triaged and seen according to severity of their cases).

7/13 Nancy Bolt, a volunteer nurse, accompanied me and my wife to Eaton Rapids camp. It was a nice Sunday and the camp was active with talk and sports. Some of the younger kids went swimming at a public lake 10 miles south of the camp.

I joined the men in a few games of horseshoes while Nancy and my wife made a visit to each household. Their objective was to compile an index card of ailments for each person interviewed. The people were very open with their problems. Major problems appeared, such as Mr. Aguilar’s hernia and his wife’s diabetes. Other problems needing medical attention were poor teeth, pulled muscles, and skin rashes. It was also found that some women had taken birth control pills and wanted more.

Nancy and I made a list of priorities to follow through on: 1) find out when the Charlotte Health Department does immunizations (August 5, 6; 9-11 a.m. at the health clinic); 2) Try to get cancer smear tests — primarily cervical — that can be given at the camp; 3) Contact the family planning service in Lansing, since Charlotte has none, and 4) recruit a Doctor to visit the camp with us and service the people’s needs.

All in all, the day was very rewarding. The people appeared very pleased with our visit and willing to cooperate on things that ail them.

7/14 Anna Longoria of the McCleod camp and I went to the Social Services in Charlotte to have them pay for Gloria’s doctor visit. We were treated nicely by Beverly Cuthbert, who interviewed Anna.

Welfare health care will be extended to the Longorias for at least on month. All we have to do from now on is ask permission to receive treatment from the doctor or fill out medical prescriptions. While with Beverly, I got permission to take Rosa Salas to the doctor to check on her infected heel. The poor little girl has not walked well in 10 days.

This night Ubaldo Patino and I met with two members of the St. Vincent de Paul Society: LeRoy A. Gehrholz and Dorr L. Paquette.

We explained to them the nature of our work and interested them in helping us. Twelve dollars was donated to use in any way necessary for the migrant workers. There is also a used clothing store open for the people whenever in need. The two men were generous and helpful.

7/16 I teamed up once again with Suzie Hotlz and we drove to the Eaton Rapids camp. Present were the Guerrero women and 15-year-old Mrs. Reyes and her madrina, Mrs. Paredes. It’s amazing how young most Mexican-American migrant women are when they marry. I think the average age for all women is 15. Many have had a child by their sixteenth birthday. An interesting case is that of the Longoria’s near the Potterville camp; they have four children. Anna Longoria is barely 20 and her husband will be 20 in August.

We found out that things were running smoothly as could be in the camp. There was a new family that arrived the night before, but they were out at the time.

Nancy Bolt called and informed me that Dr. Wiegenstein of St. Lawrence Hospital agreed to visit during the coming Sunday. Nancy and I will prepare one of the cottages as a clinic. Nancy is a real go-getter and a pleasure to work with. With just one visit to the camp she has stimulated an interest in helping the migrants and has even recruited some of her nursing friends to help. Sunday will be a long remembered day in the camp.

7/18 I visited the Eaton Rapids camp in the morning and found that most men were working. Two new families arrived, but were also working and so I didn’t catch their names.

After short discussion with some of the ladies, I took off for Charlotte to visit the Public Health Office. The objective was to solicit medical supplies for the doctor’s visit on Sunday. I met with Dr. Brown, who is the director there, and a nurse in charge of the Eaton Rapids vicinity. The doctor said he couldn’t help, even with a donation of a packet of band-aides. He kept looking at my list of things, which nurse Nancy Bolt prepared for me, and said he was sorry, but they had no such things. The only offer was for vaccination shots at the clinic two days a month with the next clinic was set for Aug. 5 and 6.

The nurse was of even less help. She is getting along in years and apparently very sedentary. "Too much paper work" keeps her tied to her desk. She noted, however, that she did visit the camp once last year, but has not made any effort to return. The way things looked, I doubt whether she’ll visit the Heifetz Camp again. The whole set-up in the Charlotte Health Department is as shaggy as their 1910 building. They definitely need an overhaul of fresh blood in their mix.

7/19 On my way to the Eaton Rapids camp, I stopped at the Hospital to ask the price of a Pap test for cancer. The hospital sends their tests out and each costs $9.

At camp I joined in a game of horseshoes. The sport has caught on so fast that all the men are now qualified experts save one – me. I’m on the losing end all the time. But, at least a lot of conversation takes place while we have a good time.

The new families were the Sepulvedas with six and the Osuna’s with eight all together. Both families worked in sugar beets in Minnesota.

My intention was to have a short visit and to get back to Lansing to take my wife to a movie. It’s a good thing the plans were set because I stayed in the camp until 9:30 p.m. I shared some interesting conversation with Guerrero, Gonzalez, Torres, and Sepulveda.

I found out that Mr. Guerrero has been working as an agricultural laborer since the 1940’s, mostly around Texas. He still sends his mother checks now and then. Mr. Gonzalez was a true Mexican cowboy. He drove cattle, roped, branded, etc. for a few farmers near the border. He is a very pleasant and shy guy who believes in hard work. As a matter of fact, all the men present felt strongly about continuing work, but admittedly were concerned about the future and the onslaught of mechanization. If the situation arises where no farmwork is available, I’m sure they will move into other lines of work.

7/20 After a few advance notices, the people were all set to receive Dr. Wiegenstein. Nurse Nancy Bolt and a nurse friend assisted the doctor in treating the patients. We had a good turnout with nearly everyone showing up with one ailment or another. Most cases were minor, but a couple things did turn up. One boy had a bad case of bronchitis from working in the rain. Some mosquito bites were infected. A lady had high blood pressure and was given a prescription. Two ladies accepted Pap cancer tests and were given prescriptions for birth control pills.

The doctor was there for two hours and left just a little after 9 p.m. My wife and I left shortly after him. On the way home, we listened to the news of Armstrong’s descent to and walk on the moon. Quite a world of contrasts — from a marvelous space achievement to a poverty stricken area.

7/21 I made a quick trip to the camp to deliver some medicine the doctor provided for the case of bronchitis. What I took was penicillin in tablet form and some cough syrup. Apparently, if not taken care of properly, bronchitis can lead to pneumonia.

7/22 I took two families with me to get food stamps. They were the Pedro Ozunas with six in all and the Juan Sepulvedas with eight. Jose Sepulveda, the oldest boy, will be a sophomore at Pan American College in Texas. Mr. Patino later said he was interested in getting him a job visiting camps instead of working the fields.

7/23 In 10 days a few families will qualify again for food stamps. But, since they worked very little and paid bills on the cars and other items, they were running short of food. Mr. Patino advised me to use the vouchers for the purchase of enough food to last the week. On this day, I took Mrs. Juan Guerrero and hers son’s wife, Ramon Guerrero, to purchase food at the Kroger store in Eaton Rapids.

Despite the passage of nearly 40 years, there remains only one chain grocery store (Felpausch) in Eaton Rapids. There are a couple of smaller grocers, including those at the four local gas stations, that cater to travelers or small-purchase shoppers. Few, other than the grocery store, accept Food Stamps as payment.

7/24 Today the few other families went with me to purchase emergency food. Included were Mrs. Gonzalez, Miss Ramona Sanchez, and Mr. and Mrs. Luis Torres. While at the store I filled out an application form for Luis to work with Oldsmobile. A few more men are interested in the applications, but I’ll have to handle them later.

In the afternoon I took two more new families to purchase food stamps. Included were Rodolfo Garcia who has eight dependents and Manuel Serrano, who had 11.

7/25 Mrs. Mott and Mrs. Kade, both of the Charlotte social services offices, accompanied me on a visit to the Eaton Rapids camp. Both ladies have worked in welfare for around 10 years each, yet neither had ever visited a migrant camp. So the reason for taking them was primarily to show them the conditions migrants lived in. Additionally, it was my desire to develop rapport with the ladies and to let them know some of the families better.

To justify the ladies’ presence, I had them state that their intent was to remind families to purchase food stamps. The trip was worthwhile. Each family we visited qualified with little effort. They have hardly worked at all and they were very short on funds. We visited nearly 10 houses and reminded five families they could return in the following week.

It’s readily apparent that the integrity of the migrants should not be questioned. They exhibit extreme honesty and even simplicity. I have in mind a particular example. If they wanted to, they could easily falsify their monthly earnings in order to receive a larger bonus from the food stamps. The people at Social Services were willing to take their word for it about how much was actually earned. In every case, the families honestly reported how much they earned. I’m sure of this. I’ve developed enough confidence in them to get a straightforward answer. All families have, without hesitation, showed me their receipts. And believe me, they earned very little for a week’s work.

7/28 Ubaldo Patino took me on his rounds to the nearby Ingham camps. First we stopped by the Oldsmobile employment office to turn in some applications. Four of the applications came from my camp. We set an appointment for personal interviews on the following Monday.

Today there are only four licensed migrant housing sites in Ingham County; Eaton County only has one. Ingham County camps can hold a capacity of 133 residents while Eaton's sole registered and licensed camp can accommodate 25.

Next we drove west to visit the girls of the UMOI Program who are setting up a Day Care Center in an abandoned church. We found them on a break after they’d cleaned the once-dirty hallway. The church facility includes a large room, where services used to be held, and a basement. Also provided was clothing. They had enough things to clothe a couple hundred people. Toys were all over the place,too. These things were left over from a daycare-type program.

UMOI stands for United Migrant Opportunity Program. The acronym was commonly used during President Lyndon Johnson's "War on Poverty" during the 1960's.

A few small camps are located near to the church. Patino and I drove over to talk with Ramon Fuentes and his gang. Several families worked with Ramon and most are from Weslaco, Texas. Ramon in turn works under contract with Frank Gonzalez and has done so for a few years now. One of the girls is taking some of the family heads (of the household) to get food stamps.

We visited another camp. The people are housed in a large metal shed or barn where the room is divided into six or eight living units. One thing I noticed is that it is very noisy. You can hear everything the guy in the next unit is doing. The rooms were partitioned by half-inch plywood sheets.

Two other girls were visiting this second camp and had already gotten all the families food stamps. We drove across Ingham County to see two more camps in the Stockbridge area. Norberta Arguellas moved into this area a week ago and would help people here.

8/1 Most of the people who qualified for a second round of food stamps had already gone to get a new supply. Mrs. Paredes needed a ride to Charlotte for her stamps, so I took her with me. For her families’ earnings of the month before she only had to pay $16 for $94 worth of food stamps. Their earnings were a little better — probably the best in the camp — but even then, they didn’t earn very much.

I used $12 of the St. Vincent de Paul money to pay Mrs. Paredes for her medication and dentist bill. The medicine cost $8 and Dr. Zeller of Eaton Rapids pulled a tooth for $5. I think he gave her a bargain. Dr. Zeller is also the President of the Junior Chamber of Commerce in Eaton Rapids.

Dr. Larry Zeller was a longstanding community leader in Eaton Rapids. He was recognized for his community contributions throughout the years and eventually retired before moving out west. Few dentists, or doctors for that matter, now treat uninsured or underinsured patients without some personal promise of payment. A tooth extraction today costs about $85.

I reminded the families of the job interviews in Lansing for work with Oldsmobile. A new family moved in and I’ll be taking them for food stamps. Mrs. Paredes’ sister is in the family. All in all, it seems that everyone in the camp is related one way or another.



About the Authors

Refugio I. Rochín is currently the Director of Research and Evaluation at the Educational Partnership Center of the University of California, Santa Cruz. His team conducts research and evaluates projects aimed at increasing the awareness and preparation of students in grades 6-12 for access to college. According to Dr. Rochín, "building college-going communities among low-income, minority students and parents is an important mission for all. Everyone gains in the process of educating others."

He was the first Director of the Smithsonian Institute’s Latino Initiative in Washington, D.C. He is the former Director of the Julian Samora Research Institute and Professor of Agricultural Economics and Sociology at Michigan State University and Professor Emeritus of Agricultural Economics and Chicano Studies at the University of California, Davis. His research interests include immigration/migration issues, farmworkers, and rural populations. He received his M.A. in Communication and his Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics from MSU.

Danny Layne, an award-winning photographer and writer with more than three decades of journalism experience, is JSRI’s Publication and Network Administrator. He joined the JSRI team in 1995 and has been instrumental in establishing and solidifying the Institute’s web site as well as JSRI’s publications program. He holds a degree in photography and a BA in journalism from MSU. Layne, a former Marine Combat Correspondent, lives in Eaton Rapids with his wife and youngest daughter.


Rochín, Refugio I. (Dr.) and Danny W. Layne. "Migrant Workers in Michigan: 1969 Field Notes" JSRI Occasional Paper #61. The Julian Samora Research Institute, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, 2006.

More studies on varied topics pertaining to Hispanic/Latino/Chicano issues

For more information, contact:                  
Julian Samora Research Institute              
Michigan State University
301 Nisbet Building
1407 S. Harrison
East Lansing, MI 48823-5286
Phone (517) 432-1317
Facsimile (517) 432-2221

For a look at the events that influenced our world  in 1969,

Click 1969


The Supreme council of the Mexican-American Movement
Work begun on Valadez Middle School 
Ruling: Classes divided by race
Book Inspires Student Displays On Bilingual Education History
Teaching of English and Latinos in America: Where do we go from here?
Latino College-Bound, Tech Savviest Among Peers, Missing Parental Help 
Recommended websites for parents
Badillo Lashes Latinos, Rips Hispanic Values 


The stated purpose of the Mexican American Movement was, "to improve social, educational, economic, and spiritual conditions among Mexican Americans and Mexican people living in the United States." These goals were to be accomplished by providing encouragement for further education and financial aid to college students, promoting good citizenship and good relations with non-Mexicans, and organizing local councils with the goal of becoming a national organization. The organization had it roots within the Young Men's Christian Association until it established its own identity in 1945.

Three personalities are identified for their leadership in the of the Mexican American Movement:  Gualberto Valadez, Angelo Cano, and Paul Coronel 

Mr. Valadez passed away November 12, 2006.

Left: Valadez is pictured here with members of the Mexican Youth Conference, a civil rights group with roots in the YMCA. Valadez is in the second row back, fourth from the left. He was president of the conference when this photo was taken in San Pedro in 1942.

The Supreme Council of the Mexican-American Movement Collection was donated to the Urban Archives Center by Angelo Cano in 1981. The collection was inventoried at that time and in May was processed by a student in the course HIS 498C. The Collection was reprocessed in October 2002 as part of the Hispanic Servicing Institutions grant. This descriptive finding guide was revised in 2005, in part under a generous gift from the J. Paul Getty Trust. The collection is open to research without restrictions.

Urban Archives Center Descriptive Finding Guide for

Work begun on Valadez Middle School 
By Adam Townsend, The Orange County Register, December 8, 2006

LACENTIA – Construction officially started this week on the planned Gualberto Valadez Middle School, a facility that officials at the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District say will take pressure off Kraemer Middle School.

School and city officials and friends of the late Gualberto Valadez gathered Wednesday at the site of the new school – 10 acres freshly bulldozed in preparation for the project.

They honored the school's namesake and talked about the design of the new school, which is on the same plot as Melrose Elementary.

"On this site, which is a combined 20 acres, we'll have 1,500 students who will be able to call this home," said Superintendent Dennis Smith.

Valadez was a teacher at the former La Jolla middle school starting in the late 1930s. He was also active in advancing civil rights for Hispanics in the U.S. and was instrumental in starting sports programs for the youth in Placentia.

He died last month at 93, but he was alive to see the board of education officially name the proposed school after him.

Kraemer Middle School currently operates at double its capacity, housing extra classrooms in temporary portable buildings. The district expects to siphon off half those kids to the new middle school by 2009.

Contact the writer:


Ruling: Classes divided by race
by KENT FISCHER / The Dallas Morning News, November 18, 2006
Sent by Howard Shorr

For years, it was an open secret at North Dallas' Preston Hollow Elementary School: Even though the school was overwhelmingly Hispanic and black, white parents could get their children into all-white classes. And once placed, the students would have little interaction with the rest of the students.

The result, a federal judge has ruled, was that principal Teresa Parker "was, in effect, operating, at taxpayer's expense, a private school for Anglo children within a public school that was predominantly minority."

Judge Sam Lindsay's opinion paints an unflattering picture of the elementary school and a principal who was so desperate to appease the school's affluent white parents that she turned back the clock on school desegregation 50 years.

In April, Hispanic parents sued, claiming illegal segregation. The three-week trial concluded in late August. On Thursday, Judge Lindsay declared that the school's principal violated the rights of minority children by assigning them to classrooms based on race.

The judge ordered Mrs. Parker to pay $20,200 to Lucrecia Mayorga Santamaría, the lone named plaintiff, who sued on behalf of her three children.

Although the judge did not find the Dallas school district liable for Mrs. Parker's actions, he strongly criticized DISD administrators for being "asleep at the wheel."

"The court is convinced that several of the area superintendents knew, or should have known, about the illegal segregation at Preston Hollow," the judge wrote in his 108-page ruling.

The district has until Jan. 17 to remedy the segregation at the school. Mrs. Parker did not return messages left at her home and school Friday. District spokesman Celso Martinez said Mrs. Parker would remain the school's principal "until further notice."

Mr. Martinez said the school has undertaken steps to comply with the court order, namely relying on student language scores to place students.

"The truth is we have initiated quite a few changes at the school already," he said. "We need to compare those changes with the court order. We may well be in total compliance."

However, when asked if there are still classes at Preston Hollow containing only white students, Mr. Martinez replied: "That's a good question. I don't know the answer to that."

Desegregation plan
In 2003, a federal judge released the district from its court-ordered desegregation plan. That plan, however, focused on the allocation of resources and treatment of black students. In the 30 years the district operated under the order, whites fled and Hispanics have grown to become the majority. Blacks make up less than a third of the district; whites about 6 percent.

Preston Hollow's unwritten policy of clustering whites together was known for years among parents and teachers, according to testimony. In fact, Mrs. Parker's subordinates - including teachers and her assistant principal - raised concerns about it multiple times. One even wrote a letter to Superintendent Michael Hinojosa about it. Those complaints fell on deaf ears, the judge wrote.

"I began to see something very strange," Ms. Santamaría said in Spanish. "The difference was that the Anglo students would go to lunch together while the Latinos went with the Asians and the African-Americans." That, she said, raised a question in her mind "because the children don't know what segregation is."

Once the Hispanic families sued, Mrs. Parker tried to cover her tracks, according to testimony. For example, on the day an investigator was to observe classes at the school, Mrs. Parker "reshuffled" the student's classroom assignments, according to assistant principal Robert McElroy.

Mrs. Parker also asked members of her staff to sign confidentiality agreements about how students were assigned to their classes, and paperwork detailing the classroom assignments was destroyed under mysterious circumstances, according to the judge's ruling.

Principal uncooperative
The judge also took exception to Mrs. Parker's apparent unwillingness to cooperate with the court. At one point during the trial, the judge noted, Mrs. Parker testified that she didn't know whether Preston Hollow is a predominantly white neighborhood.

"The court finds it astounding that Principal Parker, who has served at Preston Hollow for five years, would testify that she knows nothing about the ethnic makeup of the immediate neighborhood surrounding her school."

The school's attendance zone is mostly north of Northwest Highway, east of Preston Road, south of Royal Lane, and just east of North Central Expressway. It includes affluent, mostly white single-family homes, as well as middle-class homes and apartments that are predominantly minority.

The judge also had sharp words for the district's attorneys, who argued that segregation would cause no harm to the minority students because their teachers used the same curriculum as those teaching white students.

"The court is baffled that in this day and age, that [DISD relied] on what is, essentially, a 'separate but equal' argument," the judge wrote.

Mr. Martinez, the district spokesman, said the district doesn't believe Mrs. Parker was segregating students, but he acknowledged that classrooms at the school need to be better integrated.

"It's our opinion that we were not segregating students at all," Mr. Martinez said. "In fact the judge found that we were not violating the constitutional rights of anybody. Do we need to integrate the classrooms? Yes, and we're doing precisely that."

Although the judge ruled against the school's principal in her personal capacity, he did not find the district, its trustees or Mrs. Parker liable in their "official capacities."

David Hinojosa, the parents' attorney from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, said he apparently didn't convince the judge that the district knew the segregation was happening.

"You just have a certain legal standard you have to meet, and unfortunately, the court didn't find that," he said. "We might appeal the issue if need be ... but we got the ultimate relief we wanted. The parents wanted to stop the segregation that was going on there."

PTA chief criticized
Judge Lindsay also criticized Meg Bittner, the school's PTA president, who wanted to lure more affluent white families out of private schools and back to Preston Hollow.

More white families would result in a healthier PTA, she testified, bigger fundraisers and, ultimately, more money for the school. The best way to lure back white families, teachers and others testified, was to put white children together in the same classrooms.

Teacher Janet Leon told the court that "neighborhood classes" were predominantly made up of white students because "the people who live in the Preston Hollow neighborhood, who are the majority being white, would want their children grouped together."

To aid in the recruitment of more affluent whites, the school's PTA created a brochure for parents that featured almost all white students. Hispanic parents had shown up at the school the day photos were being taken for the brochure, but the principal blocked their entry into the classroom where the photos were being taken, the judge's ruling states.

Additionally, the PTA, in conjunction with the school, held separate open houses and kindergarten recruitments for white parents. And when PTA members gave prospective parents tours of the school, they were never taken down the "Hispanic halls" where the minority classes were housed, teachers testified.

Mrs. Bittner and other PTA officers did not respond to phone messages seeking comment.

Sergio Chapa of Al Día contributed to this report.

Book Inspires Student Displays On Bilingual Education History
November 28, 2006
Sent by Dr. Armando A. Ayala 

The book The Strange Career of Bilingual Education in Texas, 1836-1981 by Texas A&M professor Carlos Kevin Blanton inspired Sandra Acosta to encourage her students in her Bilingual and Dual Language Methodologies class to create projects recording significant events in bilingual education history in Texas to display around campus. 

The students’ timelines are posted in the display case on the first floor of the Harrington Education Center Classrooms (HECC) building and the Memorial Student Center display case at the end of the second floor hallway above the Flag Room.  The displays will be posted until Dec. 10. 

“I wanted this project to be a focal point and a metaphor of each student’s personal journey as they acquire the professional knowledge and experience to make them competent bilingual education teachers,” Acosta said.

Acosta, the undergraduate coordinator of Bilingual Education Programs and assistant lecturer in the Department of Educational Psychology, chose Blanton’s book to use as a source and inspiration for students while they created timelines on bilingual education in Texas. Blanton, an assistant professor in the Department of History, received the Coral Horton Tullis Memorial Prize awarded by the Texas State Historical Association for his book.

On the timelines students recorded events such as case law that established bilingual education as a civil right of English Language Learners and family, personal and community histories. Acosta said that the goals of the project were for students to demonstrate knowledge of the historical background of bilingual education and create an effective visual tool that could be used to present information in their own classrooms.

“I hoped that the project would afford them a wonderment and joy of learning about history that they could share with their own students,” Acosta said.

The students’ timelines are posted in the display case on the first floor of the Harrington Education Center Classrooms (HECC) building and the Memorial Student Center display case at the end of the second floor hallway above the Flag Room.  The displays will be posted until Dec. 10.

“The timelines represent Texas history,” Acosta said. “As other students view these timelines we hope to pique their interest in their own family histories and the complexity and importance of language as the bearer of culture and personal identity.” 

Texas A&M University 
The Teaching of English and Latinos in America: Where do we go from here?
by Manuel Hernandez-Carmona

The teaching of English and Latinos in the United States is without a doubt interrelated to the historical, cultural, political and socio-economic relations that exist between the American Latino community and the United States of America. Abraham Lincoln’s hardest experience in life was not becoming President but enduring the hardships of a one hundred-mile journey from Knob Creek to Little Pigeon Creek, Indiana. The hardest experience for the teaching of English for Latinos has been the constant twists and turns of the educational policies that have governed it during the last one hundred plus years. Because these elements co-exist, a constructive view of the teaching of English is needed to recognize and set forth a vision, which includes four basic stages:
1. An in-depth acknowledgement of the historical, cultural, social and socio-economic reality,
2. A nation-wide public dialogue with teachers, students, administrators and parents, 
3. A consolidation plan in reaction to the first two, 
4. And a clear, concise and constructive view of the teaching of English for Latinos as the final stage in the ladder of success. Of the five definitions stated for vision in Webster’s New World  Dictionary, the one closest to its denotative meaning is the fourth 
one: “the ability to foresee something as through mental acuteness.”  In plain and simple words, vision is the process, which delineates our mental framework and sets goals in motion. In a society where appearances play a role in determining who we are as a people, a vision is unequivocally needed to establish the founding principles of an educational policy that will benefit present and future Latino generations. 

As a student and observer of educational empowerment, the essential element in an educational reform is a conceptual vision that will set the wheels in motion towards the attainment of goals and objectives. Recognizing the historical elements that have 
influenced the teaching of English is the first step to set the vision in motion. Latinos are culturally unique and distinct from all other American immigrants. Therefore, a specific plan for this incoming and growing student population is a must. Because Spanish has become “culturally popular” in entertainment sectors in America, the mother language of Latinos has become more and more of an acceptable social symbol. 

As a result, a great minority has decided to hold on to that which maintains them Latino. Unlike the first great waves of immigrants in the beginning of the 20th century that immediately dived into the melting pot, Latinos have come to America to stay Latino. That is extraordinary because it presents a non-measurable barrier to the teaching of English: a sociological phenomenon that is far beyond the reach of scholars and academics alike.

The constructive view of the teaching of English for Latinos is receptive of the current English standards of the Department of Education but refocuses strategies to adjust and meet the academic goals and expectations of the greatest minority in America. The 
vision is attainable, but it must be intertwined within the historical, social, cultural and socio-economic elements that paved the way for the teaching of the English language in the United States. Because Latino students have been deprived of their cultural and historical identity, there is a profound sense of loss and disinterest which psychologically reflects in the resistance of the teaching of English as a second language. 

As an English teacher in the public schools in the United States and Puerto Rico for the past twenty years, I can personally testify to the daily struggles experienced in the classroom. It takes encouragement, creativity and innovative ideas to provoke students to answer “What’s your name?” and “Where do you live?” I will never forget Laura Rivera (fictional name but true event). She had lived in New York City for twenty-three years and was a syndicated construction worker, but she failed to get pass English as a second language level one courses at the Adult School where I taught; she owned a house and lived in a middle-class neighborhood in the “city that never sleeps”. For her, English was simply not necessary. She had reached the so-called historical American Dream without it.

History is like a revolving door. At the middle of the 20th century, Latinos united to pursue common goals and interests. Social, political, cultural and educational organizations were created to empower the Latino people to set forth a vision to benefit the people. Intellectuals and politicians buried petty differences and created a new educational reform (The Bilingual Act), but that is part of the past now. Forty years later, Latinos find themselves at a crossroads. Bilingual programs have dismantled, and a new educational strategy has still yet to surface. But this time around, the results 
of the educational mishaps are bluntly stated in charts, statistics and numbers. We read them, see them and many times look the other way. A vision demands human attention and more so, divines intervention, which translates into one word: love. 

A constructive view receives ideas but reaches consensus, establishes priorities, creates programs, designs pertinent proposals and demands accountability. Decisions must be reached, delivered and implemented. It is not a monumental task, but it will take a 
monumental effort. The English academic standards need to be enhanced with vision and knowledge on how to identify, tackle and improve our children’s interest in English, Spanish and in all subject areas. It is time to design a vision that will meet the expectations of all those involved in the educational community. There are just too many 
Latino children without the proper academic attention. Where do we go from here?

(Manuel Hernandez is a high school English teacher in Fajardo, Puerto Rico and the 
author of the textbook, Latino/a Literature in The English Classroom, 
Editorial Plaza Mayor 2003)

Study Shows Latino College-Bound Students the Tech Savviest Among Peers but Missing Parental Help 
by Marisa Trevino, December 1, 2006
Sent by Howard Shorr

If a random survey was to be conducted on Anywhere Street, USA, and people were asked to say the first word that pops into their minds when they hear the word "hispanic," chances are they would say things like: illegal immigration, gangs, protest marches, big families, beans, school dropouts, tequila, etc.

It's a good bet that no one would say technology or the internet.

Yet, as Latina Lista reported earlier this month on how young Latinos are using the internet in greater numbers than any other ethnicity, technology and the internet are far from being oxymorons when used to describe today's Latinos.

In a new study released today titled Hispanic Students and the Web: The E-Expectations of College-Bound Hispanic High School Students, some interesting discoveries were made regarding Latino high school students.

Hispanic students were far more likely, in fact twice as likely as white students, to download a podcast or a videocast - illustrating how they not just embrace technology but use it.

Those young Latinos who are college-bound understand the role the internet also plays in researching colleges too. The study showed that 57 percent of Hispanic students say they like to participate in online chats at college web sites, whereas only 48 percent of white students have the same interest. Fifty-four percent of Hispanic students would download a college web site video podcast versus 44 percent of white students.

And when it comes to cell telephones: 

White students showed a higher rate of cell phone ownership, with 71 percent having their own phones versus 60 percent of Hispanic students. However, Hispanic students were more open to taking calls from college
representatives (66 percent compared to 60 percent of white students)and far more open to receiving text messages (61 percent compared to 46 percent of white students).

So, by the looks of this study, Latino college-bound students should be way ahead of their peers when it comes to researching and applying to colleges - 

BUT that's not the case.

There is one detail that is holding Latino students back in a big way.

The largest behavioral gap between Hispanic students and white students appears to be the amount of parental support with college research. Just 48 percent of Hispanic students said that their parents are helping with "some of the research and paperwork," compared to 65 percent of white students. Half of all Hispanic students said they were doing all the college research and paperwork on their own, compared to 30 percent of white students.

Any of us who come from a Hispanic background knows that this discovery is nada nuevo. Whether it was because of a language barrier or the fact that our own parents never attended college and didn't know how to go about helping us, it was not unusual to do the research and applying on our own.

And that seems to be one of the keys in just how far some get in realizing their dreams.

Because Latino students are already so tech-savvy, the study targeted colleges with suggestions on how they can better help Latino students overcome the challenges of applying for financial aid to attend college.

Colleges were told that to better help Latino students and make the experience more one-on-one, contact and information should be shared via text messaging and other electronic communication styles Latinos already embrace.

But it doesn't erase the fact that the parents are not as involved as they should be.

And it could be the children's fault. 

Pressed for time, impatient that their parents don't "get it" quick enough, students don't want to hassle having to explain everything when it's easier just to do it, and some parents are more than willing to allow that.

Yet, times are changing and no matter how much new technology is involved - it can't replace the fact that when parents are involved, children feel like they and their success in the future really matter.

It's not enough to just provide one night of financial aid information and college applications for parents and students. Unlike others, it's not just the Latino students who need their hands held during the whole process but the whole family.

The hope being that if it's done for the first child, then parents can learn and repeat it with the other children and teach their comadres and copadres to do the same for their children, and so on.

By 2014, it is reported by the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute, that Hispanic students will account for 47 percent of all high school minority students.

That's a lot of students and untapped talent that need guidance and nurturing to achieve their potential - And as the old saying goes, it all starts in the home.

Recommended websites for parents  This is the whole enchilada on Part A. You will need to scroll all the way to the top of the page to see all the sections.

This is another one to put on your favorites:
Check Programs section on the right hand side and Policy section. This is a very good tool for checking with schools or districts. Lots of reading and downloading or print out. But it is all free even to sign up for all new updates.

Now this one is  this for California use all the tabs for any information you need all is available with all the links too.
This a guide book that has all the terms and contacts anyone may need. I have one. It is like the next best thing next to the bible! SPSA Guide means Single Plan for Student Achievement Handbook. It is the guide to how each SSC (school site council) must function, and how important it is for parents to be involved.

ELAC means English Language Aquistion Committtee (Program state; ELAP)
It is the school's responsibility to provide information to ALL parents, by post, flyer, mail or whatever it takes to get the information out. 

Not all students at Elementary Level go home and tell their parents about what happened or any changes. I have learned from personnel experiences that some schools do not inform parents on discipline or conversations they have have with students. which is a violation of their civil rights since they are minors. I can share with you some good examples on what to ask for to the children. Never believe the school, always go with your childs even if you may have doubts do not let your child know you doubt, because they will never again come to you. I have learned to show a Postive front when confronting the school with whatever issue they have with your child. 

There are California codes that protect students. If the parents don't know the laws, they can ruin your child's dream of doing well in school in the Middle school or High school. I am a strong beleiver that the problem is with the school at the elementary level, not following the procedures Parents and children are being labled not helped. People give up, once they get bigger they believe it is too late. And They are wrong! It is not too late.. Help is there for them and their kids. 

Leticia Segura Robles,

Starting Your Own Family Search
SHHAR invites you to become a member
International Networking 
Self Identity: Hispanic/Latino Widely Accepted, but Multiethnic is Used
Introduction to the History of Mexican-Americans, Wikipedia
Goya Producciones
"My Roots Run Deep" © by Bobby LeFebre 

Starting Your Own Family Search

Are you anxious to get your research off on the right foot in the New Year? 
Help may be as close as your local society and now is a great time to join. 

If your research interests lie elsewhere, that shouldn't stop you. Help may come in the form of a periodical delivered via snail mail or e-mail, online conferences, discounts on research services, online classes, exclusive access to online databases, and in a variety of other ways. If you are in the area, check to see when their next meeting or conference is planned.

As an added bonus, when you are on a society membership list, you can be counted as someone with an interest in family history. When legislation arises that threatens the records we use, these membership numbers can be used to exert influence over those we vote into (or out of) office.  

Check out the societies that are out there for your area of interest and see what they have to offer. You can find many societies through the Federation of Genealogical Societies at Society Hall:

Editor: The Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research, SHHAR, invites you to become a member.  We have NO membership dues.

The SHHAR website has links and many resources, specifically for beginning family history.  Somos Primos readers are invited to start by gathering family information through oral interviews of older family members and add it to the SHHAR networking database:

is unique.  Although we do have quarterly meetings in Orange County, California, to which all are invited, our emphasis is world-wide networking. Successful networking is possible by the marvel of the internet, the SHHAR database, and the opportunity of contacting individuals who submit articles and letters.  Articles are submitted by skilled researchers, professional archivists, authors, librarians, genealogists, university professors and students throughout the world.  In addition, many articles are submitted by family researchers who want to share their information, hoping to make more family contacts.    

International Networking: 

In this issue, we start a new service to promote more international networking.  Angel Custodio Rebollo, Somos Primos staff writer and columnist for El Diario in Huelva, Spain will be coordinating the project.  Angel is literate in Italian, Portuguese. Angele will receive the queries,  condense the information and forward for inclusion in Somos Primos'  International file.  We have queries this month from Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela.
For more information, go to International Networking. 

You are a Somos Primos reader
consider being a SHHAR networker

Self Identity: Hispanic/Latino Widely Accepted, but Multiethnic is Used

Lourdes Medrano -- Arizona Daily Star, December 5, 2006 
December 6, 2006 • Volume 4, Issue #204

Hispanic, Latino, Chicano, Xicano, Mexican or Mexican American? 
J.J. Federico said he can wear most of those ethnic labels comfortably, although he prefers Mexican American and Latino. "In my opinion, there isn't just one ethnic identity," the 20-year-old said. 

The views of Federico, who was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Nogales, Ariz., match those in a wide-ranging survey of the nation's largest ethnic-minority group. 

The Latino National Survey found that the so-called pan-ethnic identity of Hispanic/Latino has gained wider acceptance among people who trace their roots to Spanish-speaking countries. But the study also found that most of the 8,600 respondents identified with multiple identities. 

"There was a simultaneous strong sense of pan-ethnic identity, national original identity and American-ness," concluded the summer study conducted in 15 states -- including Arizona --and the Washington Metropolitan area. 

John Garcia, a UA political science professor who spearheaded the survey with five colleagues from other universities, said the rising presence of a pan-ethnic identity cuts across age, national origin and education. 

"It's an added dimension of who you are," he said. "A lot of it is being reinforced by mixed connections" between Hispanics of different backgrounds, as well as by the pervasiveness of the pan-ethnic labels in mainstream society. 

In the survey, Hispanic was the preferred umbrella term used, Garcia noted, although the Latino label was quite popular. 

"We've taken the position that the whole concept of Latino is an American identity," Garcia said. "It has no meaning outside the U.S., so when we think about if you say Latino, you're not American. ... that's not the reality which people have." 

The term Hispanic grew out of government efforts to count the population as a separate ethnic group, and Garcia said the Latino label surfaced as an alternative. The perceived meaning of both has been debated intensely over the years by those who subscribe to one, the other or none. 

The survey also showed that about half of Latinos surveyed see themselves as a distinct race, despite the U.S. Census Bureau's classification of Hispanics as ethnic minorities that may be of any race. 

The Latino survey was one of myriad efforts to analyze a complex and diverse group -- about 42 million, or 14 percent of the population -- that includes people from various nationalities who have been in this country for several generations as well as recent immigrants; those with and without legal U.S. status; and those who speak Spanish or not. 

In interviews, Tucsonans said they don't mind using the umbrella labels of Hispanic, Latino and Latina in addition to more specific references to identity. In Tucson, like in Arizona overall, residents of Mexican descent comprise the vast majority of Hispanics. 

Lillian Pope, 28, said that depending on where she is and who she is with, she usually identifies herself as Mexican and Hispanic. "Here, I mostly say I'm Mexican, but when I lived in the D.C.-area I used to say Hispanic because there are more Hispanics from different countries there." 

The legal assistant, who is the process of becoming a naturalized citizen, said she does not identify with the terms Latina or Chicana. But she is not offended by them, either. 

Louis Hollingsworth, an attorney, also said the way he identifies himself varies with the situation. "If I'm talking to people of Mexican or Latino descent, I identify myself as a Latino. If I'm talking to an Anglo I tend to say I'm Hispanic. If I'm asked what kind of Hispanic I am, I'll say I'm of Mexican descent. 

One self-identifier he won't use is Chicano, which he -- like other native Tucsonans -- said they view as militant. The term grew out of the Chicano Movement of the 1960s that with fierce ethnic pride demanded social justice. 

"I'm not suggesting that it wasn't necessary or that it didn't benefit Latinos of Mexican descent," Hollingsworth said. "But it's not how I like to perceive myself." 

But for Chucho Ruiz, 26, the term conjures up images of self-determination and his indigenous roots. "I feel closer to it," he said, noting that he spells his self-identifier as the more contemporary Xicano, because in the Nahuatl language of the Aztecs, the "x" sounds like "ch." 

Pepe Carrillo, 50, a naturalized citizen who came to the U.S. at 11, said he describes himself as Cuban, American, Hispanic, and then Latino -- usually in that order. 

"I'm Cuban by birth and American by being immersed in this country most of my life," the home inspector said. "But I can wear any of those titles: I don't have a problem." 

Lorenzo Barcelo, who is originally from the Dominican Republic, said he uses the terms Hispanic and Latino interchangeably. "To me, they are the same." 

Maggie Amado-Tellez, who was born in Tucson, said she thinks of herself as a Latina, although she has identified herself as Mexican American. 

"In the end, I'm an American," the said. "When I'm talking about being Latina, I'm not talking about my nationality. I'm talking about my culture." 

Lorraine Lee, executive director of Chicanos Por La Causa, said she proudly describes herself as a Chicana, Chinese-Chicana, or Asian-Chicana. "I'm very proud of that history because that's what set the foundation for where we are today," she said of the Chicano Movement. 

Sometimes, though, she turns to the Latina term. The umbrella labels that describe all Hispanics or Latinos can act as a unifying force as the country undergoes demographic changes, Lee noted. 

"People are unsure of who we are, what we're about and how to handle us," she said. "But we want what everybody else wants -- food on our table, a roof over our heads and a better future for our children." 

Hispanic diversity 
--8,600 respondents in the United States 
to the Latino National Survey identified themselves in this way: 

Mexican: 66.1 percent 
Puerto Rican: 9.5 percent 
Cuban: 4.9 percent 
Salvadoran: 4.7 percent 
Dominican: 3.9 percent 
Guatemalan: 1.7 percent 
Colombian: 1.6 percent 
All others: 7.6 percent 
Census view 
--The U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey last August of 42 million Hispanics shows this breakdown: 

Mexican: 63.9 percent 
Puerto Rican: 9 percent 
Cuban: 3.5 percent 
Salvadoran: 2.9 percent 
Dominican: 2.7 percent 
Guatemalan: 1.7 percent 
Colombian: 1.8 percent 
All others: 14.3 percent 
--In Arizona, slightly more than 95 percent of 400 Hispanics surveyed reported Mexican ancestry. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. 

Source: Copyright (c) 2006, The Arizona Daily Star, Tucson. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Business News.

Introduction to the History of Mexican-Americans, Wikipedia
Sent by Ray Gonzalez ( )

[[This is a wonderful resource, with links to many other related topics.]]
The history of Mexican-Americans is wide-ranging, spanning more than four hundred years and varying from region to region within the United States. While Mexican-Americans were once concentrated in the states that formerly belonged to Mexico — principally, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and Texas — they began creating communities in Chicago and other steel producing regions when they obtained employment there during World War I. More recently, Mexican immigrants have increasingly become a large part of the workforce in industries such as meat packing throughout the Midwest, in agriculture in the southeastern United States, and in the construction, landscaping, restaurant, hotel and other service industries throughout the country.

Mexican-American identity has also changed markedly throughout these years. Over the past hundred years Mexican-Americans have campaigned for voting rights, against educational and employment discrimination and for economic advancement. At the same time many Mexican-Americans have struggled with defining their community's identity: some student groups flirted with nationalism in the 1960s and 1970s and differences over the proper name for members of the community — Chicano/Chicana, Latino/Latina, Mexican-Americans, Hispanics or simply La Raza became tied up with deeper disagreements over whether to integrate into or remain separate from Anglo society, as well as divisions between those Mexican-Americans whose families had lived in the United States for two or more generations and more recent immigrants.

There is no monolithic "Mexican-American community"; recent immigration is changing the community dramatically and revealing fissures within it.

Goya Producciones,
dedicada a la producción y a la edición de material audiovisual, está especializada en temas culturales, artísticos, religiosos, históricos y científicos.

the podcast project is happy to have received permission to link to the Tiahui Podkast:

===> Click to Hear Tiahui Podkast: "My Roots Run Deep" © by Bobby LeFebre

National Latina Business Women Association
Mexico Creates Network of U.S.-based high tech Migrants

National Latina Business Women Association
First Annual Conference, Building the Latina Business Woman
November 16, 2006, Long Beach, California

For information on the 2006 conference: 
 [[Surprise, as  Board member, I am being highlighted.]]

2007 NLBWA Conference, November 15. . . . .  SAVE the DATE

Gloria Romero, California State Senator, Majority Leader
Lily Z. Winsaft, entrepreneur from Georgia, with 25 years in business.
Caroline Bernal, President CBreeze Corp. owner of three McDonald franchises

Esperanza Awards Ceremony
NLBWA  "Latina Woman of the Year"  Maria Marin
NLBWA  "Latina Entrepreneur of the Year"  Diana Jimenez
NLBWA  "Latina Small Business woman of the Year"  Gabriela Hernandez
NLBWA  "Latina Entertainer of the Year"  America Ferrera

Mexico Creates Network of U.S.-based high tech Migrants
Kathleen Miller/Silicon Valley

Armed with a cybernetics engineering and computer systems degree, Mexico City native Angel Camacho arrived for his first day on the job as an engineer in California’s Silicon Valley and was immediately given an assignment by another engineer: Take out the trash. (…)
The problem is creating local jobs for the graduates. A recent analysis by Mexican and U.S. immigration experts found that nearly a third of all Mexicans with advanced degrees leave Mexico for the U.S. 
“Immigration has become a way to make up for the lack of opportunities in Mexico’s job market,” said the executive director of the government-run Institute for Mexicans Abroad, Carlos Gonzalez.
These professionals are often overlooked in the vast flood of Mexican migration. Of the estimated 11 million Mexican immigrants living in the United States, less than 5 percent have at least a bachelor’s degree, feeding a stereotype among Americans that Mexicans don’t do high-tech work. 

“When they want a good-looking yard or well-paved road, they hire a Mexican,” Camacho said. “But it’s not the same with their IT servers. If they want them to run properly, they usually hire Indian or Chinese immigrants.” 

Gonzalez said the talent network could help turn Mexico’s brain drain into a “brain gain” as immigrants “who are working in very specialized niches of the global economy will return to our country, if not physically, at least through their ideas and projects.”

Source: Sintesis informativa 12/06/06


Anti-Spanish Legends

The Price of Empire
Setting History straight ...should be the aim of every Hispano or Latino
Reactions to Herman Badillo’s Book, One Nation, One Standard

“The Price of Empire” 

J. William Fulbright, in his book “The Price of Empire,” says about white Americans, “Americans are not tolerant towards people of other races. Americans have a psychological condescension towards Mexicans in their attitude as if they were not authentic members of the human race. Americans are prone to self-righteousness. Americans have always had this sense of moral superiority and contempt for other people. When intervening in the affairs of other nations because of this “moralizing self-righteousness,” it was believed that the cause was justified because, “when we do it, it’s for their own good.”

The paragraph above was within a Letter to the Editor of a Austin newspaper sent by:
Dan Arellano  


Setting History straight ...should be the aim of every Hispano or Latino.... 

We all agree it's a big task to undo the damage done by the Black (Myth) Legend created by France, Holland and England in the Minor Antilles, in this case, (originally Spanish possessions, now in the hands of peoples from the above nations by way of "piratical" means, actual piratas del Caribe.. to "legitimize" their taking over of unprotected, outlaying Spanish lands and islands.

Now comes the difficult part, where we have to be careful not to step on innocent (uninformed) peopke's toes...the American People at large that hardly know anything about the rest of the world...funny thing.... maybe that's why they have "un buen corazon" ...anyway, that's why I like the title of your site: Somos Primos a mild statement, that tickles your, curiosity, kissing cousins or what ? ...

Thinking along those lines, historically somos padrinos de los Yankees, for time after time we've been there, done that..and, in a way, prepared the new land, kept it in one piece for a while (centuries, actually, my boy) Cristobal Colon (in future history books here in the USA, because that was his actual name when he did his thing): Land of Gomez and Land of Ayllon (US east-coast),     Spanish dollars or "pieces of eight" (minted at the Casa de la Moneda in Mexico City) became the official (via Thomas Jefferson) currency of the early Thirteen Colonies, Mustangs in Texas, bonanzas and gold panning in California, etc are hints that we were here first....

I suggest we expand on that theme, show our historical presence by using Spanish phrases and words when ever appropriate to an events, create sound bites.  

Gracias y afectuoso saludo.
Sinceramente, Ernesto Figueroa-Figueroa


Reactions to Herman Badillo’s Book, One Nation, One Standard

Congressman Jose E. Serrano:

I look at Herman Badillo as two different people. Herman of the past and Herman of the present. Herman of the past is a man for whom I still have a lot of respect. He was the first Latino to put us on the political map. Through him we were able to show that Puerto Ricans were capable of being intelligent and having the abilities to participate in all aspects of New York society. Herman was the first commissioner, the first Boro President and the first Congressman. He was highly respected and always made us look good. While it is true that other Puerto Ricans had been elected to public office, before him, it was Badillo who reached levels that we could only dream about. In the process of doing so, he made non-Puerto Ricans take notice of our talents. I doubt if our political, social and economic growth would be where it is today without the achievements of Herman Badillo. As the longest serving elected official in Bronx history and the longest serving Puerto Rican elected official in our country, it is clear to me that I owe a lot of my success to Herman's ability to open doors that were closed to all of us.

The Herman Badillo of the last 10 years is a bitter and angry person who seems highly hurt by his inability to become mayor of our city. He lashes out at the very people who are part of the community that launched his career. While it is true that we always need to push harder to attain success, he seems to forget that our public posture should continue to be one that speaks about all the difficulties we face rather than to concentrate only on some shortcomings in our behavior. Badillo seems to have lost respect for our community. I can remember, however, when he would tell us that Puerto Ricans were the victims of discrimination in all walks of life. I remember when he felt that because he was Puerto Rican a lot of folks would not vote for him in his attempts at becoming mayor. Did he forget when the Bronx political organization put a bad-sounding, out-of-tune salsa band on top of a truck and drove them late at night through white neighborhoods in Brooklyn with Badillo for Mayor posters? As we know, that was done to scare white folks away from us. Has he forgotten when he was the victim of political dirty tricks which were ways of showing the discrimination against a Puerto Rican running for high office, in our town? He has forgotten a lot. Today's Latino community faces a lot of the same issues that we faced and Herman should know that. The problems may look different but the effects are the same.

It saddens me to hear these comments from Badillo. It hurts to think that he truly feels that way. He runs the risk of ruining what otherwise would be the most positive legacy any of us could leave our community.

Fernando Ferrer:

Sadly, tragically, you are right, Joe.

Graciano E. Matos, Boricua hasta la luna:

Congressman Serrano;

As a young Puerto Rican male and 3rd generation here in the United States, I take very serious the words of Mr. Badillo. I have seen racial, ethnic, and economic discrimination all of my life in this country and as a young professional I still see it everyday. I also see how it continues to hurt my community, colleagues, friends, and especially my students who come from all parts of the world (most in the Southern Hemisphere).

Upon reading Mr. Badillo's comments I was very disturbed and angry and I wondered how would people react to it? I began to think how other people will read his comments from a Puerto Rican and use them as a token or a permission to continue their discriminatory ways and their bigoted ideas; they will take it as a confirmation that everything they thought up to now was always true.

How then will I react to the fact that more people will think in this way? How do we respond to it make sure that there are many voices that dispel what he has said? For one, I think that you did a wonderful job in your response and I am very grateful for your continuous leadership but also for standing up for your community, your people, and all peoples who may face a similar fate and don't have the voice to say what they think. And those who may be thinking that Badillo's comments were wrong but perhaps are not sure how to articulate their opposition.

Thank you again, Congressman, for standing up for our dignity and being an outspoken voice. I hope that more people continue to speak out in the same way.

Joanne Rodriguez: ¡Ay, Dios mio! What are we going to do about idiots like this!

Reginaldo Atanay: ¡Excelente exposición!

José Luis Morin:

I just read Badillo's most recent erroneous statements about Latinos and education. All real evidence points to the opposite. The Pew Hispanic Center's survey on Latinos and education points out the following: "Most Latinos (54%) feel that young people starting out today have little chance of success without a college degree. Knowing this, it is not surprising that nearly all Latino parents (95%) say it is very important to them that their children go to college." Unfortunately, Badillo gets the press; the truth gets lost.

Rei Perez:

With all due respect, my dear, when it comes to Badillo, or anything he does or even writes, there is no discussion . . . punto . . . there is only pity . . . bendito sea Dios...!

Fred Uria:

Herman Badillo, a tough boricua. With due respect, when your’s truly arrived as this American exile around 1970, Badillo was the man we Hispanics and boricuas looked up to.

When Badillo was going crazy with so many homeless people such as Puerto Ricans and African Americans, due to so many fires in the Bronx, Jimmy Carter, the President, gave his back to Badillo and the Bronx when Badillo asked for help to rebuilt ''the Bronx','remember? And even boricuas went against Badillo. Let’s not go too far back, but when Freddie Ferrer ran for candidate on 2001, in my opinion, a bunch of white racists got together with a bunch of an-alfabetos from our Hispanic community (and not to keep out a bunch of Afro-Americans) got together to keep Ferrer out and to elect ''Mr. Green,'' el blanco de irlanda. And, again, it happened when Ferrer ran against Bloomberg. In my opinion, so many peoples of different Hispanic backgrounds in New York and that is the best they can do?

Badillo hit the nail on the head and, let’s face it, you and I may be upset about something he wrote about other people. Yes, we are ''the exception''. Probably that is the only way Badillo can get his message across.

H. Velez-Colon:

Thank you for always keeping us up to date on what is happening and being said about Latinos and in particular in NYC, Puerto Rican's who fought the fight and paved the way for other Latinos to come. Badillo's comment's are outrageous, of course, but we need to see this as a wake up call. I knew he'd given up on his community a long time ago. Additionally, he is not alone in his beliefs, and perhaps, shamefully, he makes some points. Not for the reasons he says, but since he's brought the issues to a head, I believe it is time, as a community, to confront him, and perhaps even more importantly, confront ourselves. There has been wide acceptance of our conditions within our very own community. Complacency has become our enemy. Perhaps, simply, because we have become fearful of change. "Los pioneros", like my parents, probably yours, and millions of other Nuyoquinos, did not let fear of change stop their progress. We are survivors, and have survived. Some have even thrived. But we all know that survival is not thriving, and most are not thriving. Maybe what Badillo should have said is that something has been lost in exchange for the "comfort level" we now have. I for one would agree with that. Let's make him answer! But let us not forget to look at our complacency, too.

Alberto O. Cappas:

I would appreciate your organization sharing this positive information with your contacts, as you did with the Herman Badillo article. I believe that my material is more useful, informative and educational . . .

Herman Badillo is the past and he's trying to keep his ego alive, while An Educational Pledge is current and of real value to our community . . . especially our young people . . .

An Educational Pledge By Alberto O. Cappas, Puerto Rican Poet

I pledge to maintain a 
Healthy Mind and Body
Staying away from the Vice of drugs
I pledge always to try my Best to understand
The importance of Knowledge and Education
pledge to paint a Positive picture of where I plan to be in the future
Not allowing obstacles to stop the growth of my Plans
I pledge to seek Answers to Questions,
With the understanding that they
Will lead to other discoveries
I pledge to work Firm
With the Awareness and Confidence
That firm work Today will serve
As the Seeds for my strong Tree tomorrow
A Tree that no one will be able to tear down
I pledge to learn proper languages,
Beginning with my Mother's
Always prepared to Appreciate others
I pledge to gain a better understanding of Me
By understanding my Cultural roots
I pledge to fully accept Me as a human being
A Rainbow of many cultures and colors
I pledge to overcome any Personal misfortunes
Becoming Stronger from such misfortunes
Always striving to become
A wise person.

Veronica Gonzalez:

Where can I purchase Mr. Badillo's book? 
Answer: You can preorder on

Adcg: It is to be expected of a prostitute like him. He left the Bronx in a mess, CUNY was left in disarray and he now defends some of the worse people in this planet with his law firm.

Virginia Sanchez-Korroll:

What amazes me about Badillo's position on Puerto Ricans and Latinos regarding education is that he never understood how important education is, and has always been, to Puerto Ricans and to other Latinos. He really believes he succeeded all on his own. If all the entries on education in my recently published Latinas in the U.S. Historical Encyclopedia were taken out of the volumes and made into a single book it would give Badillo a very different picture about our common struggles for education, not just during his lifetime, but from the mid-19th century to the present.

The women we profile did whatever they had to, to secure an education for their children. If this meant taking low wage jobs, working under sub-standard conditions, walking the picket lines, dealing with harassment, and mobilizing their communities so that their children would not have to go through what they, the mothers, experienced, then so be it. In our research we found this hunger for education across the nation. In the words of one Connecticut community builder, "What made me get up in the morning; it wasn't because I wanted to. It was because I was poor. And I wanted a better life ... for my kids. And they wouldn't have a better life unless they went to school."

It is time Badillo realized what enormous strides Puerto Ricans have made, and continue to make, due in great measure to people like him who opened the doors. He should be standing proudly alongside all of us instead of pandering for publicity.

Gerson Borrero, Bajo Feugo Column, El Diario-La Prensa (December 20, 2006):

Badillo se odia a sí mismo

No se debe dudar de la sinceridad de Herman Badillo. Decir lo que piensa, de vez en cuando contra los más débiles, ha sido uno de los atributos que más daño le ha hecho al licenciado, contable y decano político boricua.

Hace unos 6 años durante un almuerzo que compartimos le sugerí que escribiera su biografía. "No puedo", fue la respuesta de Badillo quien en esos días contemplaba postularse para Alcalde de nuevo. Esta vez – en el 2001 - como republicano.

Sin esperar que terminara mi ¿por qué?, Badillo, quien ya me había hablado de lo mucho que vivió su abuelo, razonó que, "muchos sobre los cuales escribiría aún viven". Me imaginé cuántas cosas tendría para contar este logrado y sobreviviente político de tantas sabandijas que pululan las esferas del poder. Traté de convencer al huérfano de Caguas que eso lo haría más interesante, controversial y por lo tanto un certero ‘Best Seller’.

Ahora tenemos a Badillo como autor de un tomo titulado One Nation, One Standard en que al dejarse llevar por los adelantos de Penguin Group culpa a los hispanos, en este caso las víctimas, de ser los causantes de sus pésimas condiciones.

Nuestro atraso colectivo se debe a que no le ponemos las mismas ganas a la educación como los judíos y asiáticos, es parte de lo que esboza Badillo.

Otra opinión simplista del libro que todavía no circula habla de "la siesta de 500 años" a que nos sometió España, quien es responsable por la falta de "educación, democracia y solvencia económica", de nuestros países.

Estas creencias del mismo abogado que se anuncia pidiendo que los latinos lo llamen al 1-800 AYUDAME. Claro que los casos de accidentes en general, negligencia médica e incendios, entre otros males que le pueden ocurrir a cualquier latino y beneficiarse económicamente de esos mismos hispanos, parece no molestarle al licenciado Badillo.

Dos llamadas al autor acusador no fueron contestadas. Seguro que Badillo andará ocupado con Lou Dobbs preparando un programa desde algún estado de la frontera para que sea uno de los nuestros quien esta vez le justifique su xenofobia.

No hemos leído el libro de Badillo pero tan pronto lo hagamos puede que decidamos que merece ser analizado, discutido y sirva de trampolín para un debate nacional. O tal vez lleguemos a la conclusión que el problema de Badillo es que se odia a sí mismo.

hone: 212-334-5722
about NiLP:

Military and Law Enforcement Heroes
Comforting Embrace
WW II Pilot Hector Santa Anna
Retired AF General Robert "Bob" Cardenas
Reminiscences of a Naval Aviator, Daniel L. Polino
Medal of Honor Series by Tony (Marine) Santiago
Wounded Warrior Project
Cold War Museum
Family Fact of the Week: Veterans
Military Records Flesh Out Family Histories
Navy Color Guard 4-minute Video 

Comforting embrace

Air Force Chief Master Sgt. John Gebhart, of the 332nd Expeditionary Medical Group at Balad, Iraq, cradles a young girl as they both sleep in in the hospital. 

The girl's entire family was executed by insurgents; the killers shot her in the head as well. 

The girl received treatment at the U.S. Military hospital in Balad, but cries and moans often. According to nurses at at the facility, Gebhardt is the only one who calm down the girl, so he has spent the last several nights holding her while they both sleep in a chair.

Sent by Jan Mallet
and Sylvia Carvajal Sutton

Hector Santa Anna -- Respected bomber pilot 
became character in play on Latinos in WW II 

Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times, Sunday, December 24, 2006
Sent by Dan Hogan 
and Sergio Hernandez

Hector J. Santa Anna, who flew 35 combat missions over Europe as a B-17 bomber pilot during World War II and six decades later became a prominent character in a play about Latinos who served in the military during the war, has died. He was 83. 

A retired Air Force lieutenant colonel who was one of a small number of Latino pilots during the war, he died of pneumonia Dec. 9 at a hospital in Dover, Del., after a long illness, said his wife of 61 years, Olive. 

A descendant of the brother of Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna -- the Mexican general who led the bloody siege against the Alamo in 1836 -- Lt. Col. Santa Anna was born in Miami, Ariz., a small mining town, on Feb. 26, 1923. 

He moved to California after graduating from high school in 1940 to earn money for college. But after visiting an Army Air Forces training field and deciding that "this is what I'd like to do," he enlisted in the Army in 1942. 

Of the 97 cadets who received their wings at Brooks Field in Texas on July 29, 1943, Lt. Col. Santa Anna later recalled, he was the only Latino. 

Based in Sudbury, Suffolk, England, he flew his 35 combat missions between November 1944 and March 1945. 

On one mission, he later recalled, enemy flak knocked out one of the engines on his B-17, ruptured the fuel tanks, and destroyed the radio, oxygen system, elevator controls and all of the tires. But Lt. Col. Santa Anna kept the crippled plane in the air, and after crash-landing in Belgium, crew members counted more than 100 holes in the aircraft 
before they gave up counting. 

For years afterward, one former crew member would say that Lt. Col. Santa Anna was such a good pilot he "could fly a boxcar." 

This year, he found himself as one of the characters in "Voices of Valor," a play by James Garcia that dramatizes the lives of Latino World War II veterans and their families. The two-act play premiered at Arizona State University in March. 

Garcia's play is based on personal narratives culled from the more than 550 interviews, including Lt. Col. Santa Anna's, that have been conducted for the U.S. Latino & Latina World War II Oral History Project. The project, begun in 1999, is directed by Maggie 
Rivas-Rodriguez, an associate professor of journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. 

Garcia was so impressed with Lt. Col. Santa Anna's story that he created a single scene for his character, giving him his own monologue that lasts about three minutes. 

Garcia said he and the director "isolated that monologue and opened the second act with it. We felt it's so extraordinary and so special, and the audience is going to suck it right up, and they did. It has great impact." 

Although Lt. Col. Santa Anna had been in poor health, he was able to attend a performance of the play at the University of Texas at Austin in March. He was accompanied by his wife, two daughters and a granddaughter. 

"That night he came to the play, he was a big celebrity and everybody wanted to get a picture with him," Rivas-Rodriguez said. 

Statistics on the number of Latinos who served in the military during World War II were not kept, but estimates range from 250,000 to 750,000, she said. Of the more than 550 Latinos interviewed for the oral history project, only a few were pilots. 

In his 2003 interview for the oral history project, Lt. Col. Santa Anna said "there weren't many Latinos taking flight training as an aviation cadet." And in his case, he said, "It wasn't easy being the only one. They would always single you out, you know? With a name like Santa Anna, you stood out; some would accept you, and others would not." 

After the war, Lt. Col. Santa Anna flew 127 missions during the Berlin Air Lift. In the 1950s, he was chief of the U.S. Joint Military Group's Protocol Office in Madrid and served at the Pentagon as a special assistant secretary of defense for public affairs in the 1960s before retiring from the Air Force in 1964. 

He then became chief of NASA's exhibit design and operations. During the Nixon administration, he was the representative from the Office of Economic Opportunity to the White House, served on the President's Committee on Aging, and was a member of the President's Cabinet Committee on Opportunities for Spanish-Speaking People. 

He later worked with the Mexican government on aviation issues while working with the Federal Aviation Administration in Fort Worth, Texas. 

After retiring from the FAA in 1985, he continued to fly and was a flight instructor at a Navy flying club in Annapolis, Md. 

In addition to his wife, he is survived by daughters Sylvia Willoughby and Cynthia Abi-Habib, sister Norma Gauster, brother Otto Santa Anna and five grandchildren. 


Retired AF General Robert "Bob" Cardenas

Another famous Latino pilot of historical relevance is Retired AF General Robert "Bob" Cardenas (who is still alive and living in San Diego) a Chicano from Texas or New Mexico who flew the B-29 that dropped Chuck Yeager when he made the successful record breaking run at the sound barrier in 1948. He was a WWII bomber pilot and later was very instrumental in the testing of the "flying wing" and other aircraft of the 1950's at "muroc (now Edwards AF Base). He had a very colorful career and retired a Brigadier General in the 70's. He mentors to Latino students in the San Diego Area I'm told. 

Sent by Sergio Hernandez

Reminiscences of a Naval Aviator
A group of short stories by Daniel L. Polino

These stories were written for my kids and grandkids, so no blood/guts or sex! An 18 year old kid, who never drove a car, until WW II ended. May you get as much enjoyment out of reading my stories as I got out of living them - - and getting out of it alive. 
Mimi, You may use any of these stories in your literature. Dan Polino  

Introduction: World War II created many conditions that made it possible for young men and women of this country to become involved in adventures that would not have ordinarily been possible. The V-5 aviation cadet program made it possible for me, a recent vocational high school graduate, to experience the opportunity to fly many of the aircraft available in naval aviation, and meet people from other parts of this country and other countries, in the pursuit of the wings of gold. Many of my experiences were humorous, and many were tragic; but all were worthy of remembering. That's the purpose of this book of short stories - to record the more memorable of these for my family and friends to enjoy.

There are many books written about combat - this is not one of them. Instead, I will take you through the phases of my life in naval aviation including cadet days, a naval aviator during World War II, and the post-war ready reserve. Happenings that remained in my memory, together with the different personalities involved will be reflected on. This book is dedicated to my friends in naval aviation who, due to the hazards faced in everyday flying, never lived to be middle aged. Two were my roommates, Bob Pietsch from my hometown of Buffalo, New York, and Marion Teague from Minnesota.



In the early days of World War II, with our Pacific fleet in a shambles as a result of the destruction at Pearl Harbor, the need for building a large naval air arm was given a top priority. Many young men with only a high school education were accepted into the V-5 aviation cadet training program, which was sponsored by the U.S. Navy. Prior to that time, a minimum of two years of college was required before anyone would be accepted for naval aviator training.

As a result of the relaxation of educational requirements, many of us had this great opportunity to earn a commission as an ensign in the U.S. Navy and wear the coveted wings of gold. Having been raised in the big city it wasn't uncommon to find yourself at age 18 having never driven an automobile, which was my situation. The four years I'd spent attending Buffalo Technical High School did a lot toward making up for the two years of college which I lacked going into the program. It made a big difference.

My first assignment was to the training center established at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at Troy, New York; better known as R.P.I. The first few months were spent in the classroom learning those subjects that were to help us fly and navigate in our new, temporary career. After three months of ground school we were introduced to flying at the adjacent Troy airport, in a program sponsored by the U.S. Navy and administered by a civilian school, flying civilian-type aircraft. We learned to fly in the popular Luscombe aircraft, a very forgiving plane with a single parasol wing, fixed landing gear, and a 90 HP engine. The fuselage was all metal, while the wings were fabric-covered. Our instructors were civilian pilots who became role models for very impressionable young men.

The normal way to learn to fly is to acquire a minimum of eight hours of dual instruction, then take a solo flight. I obviously had impressed my instructor, during the first few hours of dual instruction, with my ability to handle the aircraft. So much, in fact, that after only 6 hours of dual flight, he decided I was ready for solo. To his credit, and my good fortune, he had impressed two things on me during the training sessions: If you feel that you're stalling the aircraft, apply the throttle; and, if you drop a wing, apply the opposite rudder to bring it up.

Before describing the details of my first solo flight, I'd first like to describe the layout of the Troy, New York, airport; at least, as it was in the early 1940's. It consisted of a large grassy field with a small hanger and ready room. There was one basic runway, identified by the fact that the grass was shorter where the planes took off and landed. In other places the grass was 12 to 18 inches high. At the upwind end of the runway, as you took off you'd fly over a row of trees approximately 50 feet high, beyond which was a line of power poles, followed by a drop of approximately 25 feet to the road that bordered the field. Beyond that point was a very large cemetery with many acres of tombstones, certainly not one's first choice for an emergency landing.

The throttle on the Luscombe aircraft consists of a narrow rod projecting horizontally out of the instrument panel, capped by a small knob, much like the choke handle found on some of the older cars and trucks. Full throttle meant that the rod was pushed all the way toward the panel. Idle position was with the rod pulled all the way out, a displacement of about six inches. Being somewhat tense and excited at the prospect of a hard landing, with an iron grip on the throttle knob, I had the throttle halfway in at the moment of impact. The result was that the force of the landing caused the throttle rod to bend down 90 degrees against the panel. It was jammed so that I couldn't push the rod inward, or pull it out to the idle position. Anyone with automobile driving experience would have reached over and turned off the ignition switch, but then I had no experience in either an auto or aircraft.

So - there I was with an aircraft that was so damaged that it shouldn't be
flown again, proceeding down the runway with something a little better than half-throttle, dodging other aircraft that were foolish enough to try to cross over toward the hanger at a time like this. I managed to control the Luscombe up over the trees, power lines, and cemetery to a safe altitude where, while circling the field, I managed to straighten out the throttle rod so that it was workable and could be returned to the idle position. At that point I made my downwind approach, pulled the throttle back to idle, and
spiraled down to a reasonably good landing. Taxiing back to the hanger I was met by a very excited airport manager and a stunned instructor, followed by some shaken cadets. Without a word to me, the manager inspected the aircraft and found: An engine loose on its mounting, a loose wheel strut, broken internal bulkheads in the fuselage, and an unusual accordion effect on the aluminum under-skin of the body. Needless to say, the aircraft was beyond repair and was surveyed (scrapped).

Descriptions of my (first) solo landing by the spectators were very colorful. Upon impact, the wing tips bent down to momentarily meet the grass. One of my cadet friends, upon seeing the landing, had the great urge to relieve his bladder, which he promptly did. My instructor said that it was the biggest thrill that he'd had in his years of flying.

In my own defense it should be noted that in the ensuing ten years of operational flying, during which time I flew everything the Navy had, under conditions including night carrier landings, I never damaged another aircraft. Some of my squadron mates, however, could have qualified as Japanese aces on the basis of the number of planes they destroyed (ours). My first solo is an event that I'm sure neither my instructor nor I will ever forget. As the saying goes - any landing you can walk away from is a good landing.


The Stories of Medal of Honor Recipients
by Tony Santiago


July 2006, a friend of mine told me about Sergeant Rafael Peralta, who was a United States Marine killed in Iraq in 2004 during Operation Phantom Fury in the city of Fallujah. Peralta an immigrant from Mexico, sacrificed his life to save his fellow Marines when he absorbed the blast of an enemy hand grenade with his body. Peralta is under consideration to receive the Medal of Honor.

When I was a child growing up in New York City, the only heroes that we Hispanics had were "El Zorro", The "Cisco Kid" and "Speedy Gonzalez". Our history books failed to make mention of the numerous contributions which Hispanics have made to the formation of our country. I didn't know about our participation in the Revolutionary War nor about our heroes in the Civil War. As I grew older, I became aware that our people produced good singers and that in some cases some Hispanics were given minor stereotyped roles in Hollywood and that we had a Desi Arnez who was in love with Lucy in the television sitcom "I love Lucy", but that was it.

I therefore set it upon myself as a goal to write about the positive contributions which we Hispanics have made to this country in general. After reading about Sergeant Rafael Peralta, my friend suggested that I write about our brave soldiers who in some cases have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. I started by writing a List of Hispanic Medal of Honor recipients with contains a short profile of each of our heroes. I then realized that the only information available in the Internet on these amazing men was only their Medal of Honor citation. I therefore decided to do some research and write short biographies which I plan to share with our readers in "Somos Primos".

I want to dedicate this Medal of Honor series to all our readers, to our youth and especially to our brave men and women in the Armed Forces serving our country. I want the nation, the world to know, especially during this time when you hear a lot of talk about anti-immigration laws, building of border walls to keep immigrants out and English-only legislation which forbids the use of Spanish, that yes, we do have many heroes who themselves were either immigrants or sons of immigrants. I hope that you all enjoy this series and that it fills you with the same pride that I felt when I wrote it.

I would like to thank my friend ERcheck for collaborating with me on some of the articles in this upcoming series.

Who is Tony the Marine?

Tony Santiago, a.k.a. "Tony the Marine," is a writer and administrator for Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, specializing in Puerto Rican related topics. He is also the editor of the Puerto Rican Military Channnel of El Boricua magazine and a contributor in Somos Primos.

Tony was born on March 9, 1950 in the South Bronx section of New York City, to Puerto Rican parents. When he was 13, his family moved to Queens during a time in history when the United States was going through the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam conflict. He was raised in the mean streets (Simpson St.) of New York where he was a member of a gang called "The Torchmen" a branch of the "Crowns". When his family moved to Queens he created and led a gang called "The Vikings".

Upon graduating high school he continued the family tradition by joining the United States Marine Corps. and soon served in Vietnam. In the Marines he and a group of fellow Puerto Ricans formed a group called "Puerto Rican Power in Unity" which eventually became "Latin Power in Unity". The objective of this group was to unite all the Hispanic Marines regardless of their national background, as a brotherhood. Together they shared their cultures and demanded to be treated equally as their black and white counterparts in the military.

Upon being honorably discharged from the Marine Corps, Tony went to Puerto Rico with the intention of getting in touch with his roots. There he met and married his wife Milagros and together they had three children.

He enrolled in the Interamerican University of Puerto Rico and majored in Business Administration and accounting. He was a magna Cum laude student. Tony has also graduated from the Puerto Rican Real Estate Academy and the American Banking Institute with honors. He studied computers in the Polytechnical Institute of Caguas , Puerto Rico and was the owner of a wholesale business and of other ventures.

In Puerto Rico Tony realized that as a child he was never taught about the contributions which Puerto Ricans had made to society. When he was a student in the United States, he recalled that he never heard nor read about any contributions made by Hispanics to that nation. The only Hispanic heroes that he ever heard about were "El Zorro" and "El Cisco Kid". He then made it a point to read and study the lives of Puerto Rican and Hispanic historical figures and soon had a library in his house with books about these people.

In 1990, he sold his business and retired, moving to Arizona, there his children finished their superior education and went to college. He spent many hours in the campuses library, while his children attended classes, looking for more information about Puerto Ricans and other Hispanics who helped shape our society but were relatively unknown.

With the wealth of information that he meticulously gathered and indexed, Tony began his own personal goal of educating the nation.  Somos Primos is very happy to welcome Tony and look forward to his series on the Medal of Honor Recipients.


Wounded Warrior Project
Sent by Ruben Alvarez

The Wounded Warrior Project raises funds and purchase backpacks for these returning troops.  Few realize that when these Veterans are evaced to the US they have a hospital gown and robe and little else.  The WWP backpacks contain calling cards, toiletries, underwear, a portable CD player, reading materials and other items which these folks really can use.  The backpacks are delivered by disabled Veterans from other era's who spend time with these newly disabled Veterans.  It's a great program.  To learn more about the Wounded Warrior Project you can go to 

Welcome to the Cold War Museum
Sent by Bill Carmena

From the 1940s until the 1990s the rivalry between the democratic Free World and the nations of the Communist bloc affected Americans' daily lives and events throughout the world. This "Cold War" actually became a "hot" one in Korea, Vietnam, and the Gulf War but generally took the form of espionage and diplomatic maneuvers, with the United States, the Soviet Union and China as the major combatants. The Cold War Museum seeks to memorialize the people and events of those years and educate future generations about that era.

· Franklin Roosevelt (1882-1945) - President 1932 - 1945 
· Atomic Bomb Development Summary 
· Joseph Stalin (1879-1953) - Premier 1927 - 1953 
· Nike Missiles (1945) 
· Potsdam Agreement (1945) 
· Harry S Truman (1884/1972) - President 1945 - 1953 
· End of World War II (1945) 
· Separation Of Berlin (1945) 
· U.S. Constabulary (1946 - 1952) 
· UFO Crash in Roswell, New Mexico (July 3,1947) 
· Marshall Plan (April 3,1948) 
· Czechoslovakia Coup (February, 1948) 
· Berlin Blockade (June 24, 1948 - May 12.1949) 
· Berlin Airlift (June 26, 1948 - May 12, 1949) 
· Soviet Atomic Bomb Test (August 29, 1949) 
· H-bomb development Summary (1949) 
· American History - 40's 
· Links 

Family Fact of the Week: Veterans

There were 24.5 million military veterans in the United States in 2004.  Of these, 1.7 million were women, and 9.5 million of the total number of veterans were age 65 or older in 2004.

(Source:  "Veterans by Sex, Period of Service, and State: 2004," Table 509, U.S. Census Bureau, Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2006 (125th Edition) 

USING ROOTSWEB: Military Records Flesh Out Family Histories

When you begin your family history research, if you are like most of us,you were thrilled merely to learn the names of your ancestors back a few generations, to discover the dates they were born, married, and died; and to learn where they lived. When those basics are recorded, however, you will want to learn more information to flesh out what your ancestors' lives were like, their occupations and whether or not they ever served in the military -- and possibly saw active duty in war-time.

If military records can be located they often provide insight into important events and commitments in your ancestors' lives. Military service records can bring your ancestors to life though they may have served long ago and far, far away. The challenge is to identify which military records exist and then figure out how to search for them.

Perhaps you didn't even know your ancestor served in the military until you began to delve into the family history and stumbled across the information or an older family member told you how handsome your grandfather looked in uniform as he marched off to war. Now you'd love to find a photograph of him in his uniform and learn more about his
wartime experiences.

If you have found a hint that your ancestor might have served in the military, how can you go about obtaining military records?  How can you learn where your ancestor served, and in what battles he may have fought? What would have happened if your soldier ancestor died overseas or at sea? What is the significance of the service medal that has been passed down in your family or his unusual uniform?

You might find answers to such questions in the archives of RootsWeb's military mailing lists, on the military topic message boards, in RootsWeb's user-contributed databases, or in RootsWeb's Guide to Tracing Family Trees.

Mailing Lists. To find the RootsWeb military-related mailing lists, start here:
and look under Other for the following categories:
   Military: 20th Century, Military: Aus-NZ, Military: Canada,
   Military: Canada Miscellaneous, Military: Europe,
   Military: Europe Miscellaneous, Military: Miscellaneous,
   Military: Naval, Military: UK, Military: US Civil War,
   Military: US Miscellaneous, and Military: US Revolution.

As you probably can tell from the above, the military list topics run the gamut from BATTLESHIPS to WARBRIDES, and from the BOER-WAR to numerous U.S. Civil War lists. All are indexed on the above pages and all have links to the list archives where you can search or browse for information of interest.

Message Boards. Military topic message boards may be found here:

These boards are categorized primarily by war and country with individual boards for a wide variety of subjects including branches of military service such as the Army and the Merchant Marines. An every-word search as well as advanced searches may be made either for all boards within the military topic boards from the above page, or for a
specific board from that board itself. Surname searches are also enabled on the boards.

User-contributed Databases. The military master database may be searched starting here:

You must enter a surname (last name) to be searched but you can select from an exact match, a match of the beginning letters of the surname (you must enter at least the first three letters -- do not use wild cards, just enter the letters), and a "sounds like" match (Soundex). You may also narrow your searches by listing a given name (optional) and/or
a war (optional).

A list of all military databases that have been contributed, included in the above search of the master military database can be found here (click on Military Records):

These user-contributed records listed on the above page are as diverse and varied as some World War I and World War II rosters, ships' crew listings, lists of soldiers in various training classes and lists of some who were killed in various battles. In addition, there is a
separate POW-MIA master database searchable from this site:

Also see the RootsWeb Guides No. 13 (Military Records -- worldwide) and No. 14 (Military Records -- U.S.) at:

Nothing brings history to life as vividly as being able to place your ancestors at the scene of history in the making on the battlefield, helping to shape the world in which we live today.

4 minute presentation
Dear Fellow Veterans,  I know you will enjoy this 4 minute presentation. Make sure speakers are on. If you have a dial Internet service and not a high speed broadband (DSL or Cable) you may want to just delete this email; otherwise, it may take too long to open and view. Enjoy!  Your Friend, Frank M Ortiz
Sent by Elsa Herbeck
Source: Frank Ortiz


Part-time Slave, Beneath the Shadow of the Capitol by Ramon Moncivais 
Una Historia de Luis Murillo, translated by Frank Sifuentes
Stories from the Barrio and Other Hoods by Margarita B. Velez 
Growing Pains in the Barrio by Heradio Luna
My Gift from Santa Claus by Ben Romero
Carrie Books 


Chapter 2  Part-time Slave (extract) from Beneath the Shadow of the Capitol
by Ramon Moncivais (c)

                                                                               Rafael Davalos Navarro 1928
My maternal grandfather, accompanied by a friend of his, crossed the border from Piedras Negras, Mexico, and entered the United States illegally at the age of 28. A farmer on the Texas side of the border found the two of them walking along a road and offered them a job on his farm.

On the second day, however, and at gunpoint, he put my grandfather and his friend in chains and made them work his fields. He fed them once daily but gave them all the water they wanted and coffee each morning. He would wake them up at seven o'clock, and they would work the fields and do chores until six or seven in the evening. The only baths they had were by drawing water from a well in buckets. No soap was ever provided for them.

At night, they were chained to the leg of a wooden bed that was bolted to the wooden floor of the barn where they slept. My grandfather took a small saw from one of the sheds and each night sawed on the inside of one of   the bed's legs.

About a month later, my grandfather and his friend decided to make their escape. That night, they broke the leg of the bed, pulled their chains free, and crept into the main house. They overpowered the man, broke both his arms and one leg with a 2' x 4', took his keys, and unlocked their shackles. Even though the man possessed a great deal of money, they only took $20 out of his pockets and then made their escape.

My grandfather told me that his father had taught him how to tell directions by looking at the stars; he later wondered what he and his friend would have done if it had been a cloudy night and they could not have seen the stars.


[The following story is on pages 89-91 of Manuel Gambio's book El immigrante mexicano, Instituto de investigaciones Sociales. 1900-1967 where there are 72 stories. I wish it sounded as 'artful' in English as if was in Spanish. Luis Murillo probably represented many many of young men who got hurt terribly in the Revolution.  Frank Sifuentes, 12-12-06]

I was born in Monterrey in l901. My father sold cattle skins to tanneries. And I learn how to tan hides myself.

I went to school until the 4th grade. And when I was 13 years old I was already very tall and looked older than my age, so I ended up doing errands for some soldiers of the federal forces that were in the city. It was the era of Huerta and I went and enlisted in the armed services.

They told us that the Carrancistas were on their way, and that they had lots of young soldiers like myself so that I was at the right age to fight. They gave me a new uniform, a rifle, like the one the Russians used, strong boots an everything else was arranged.

It amazed me to see myself converted into a soldier. They assigned me to the Riflemen of Nuevo Leon under the orders of Mayor Barrios. There were real battles and we continued fighting until we arrive in Mexico City, where the bandit Emiliano Zapata had recently arrived. Then we were completely defeated and disbanded.

I looked for work for a long time, but everything was paralyzed, the factories, mills; there were no jobs anywhere. Since they had burned the haciendas there were not even tortillas to eat, nothing but leaves of maguey and the like when Carranza got close to the capital, so I had no choice but to join the army again. I followed him but the army of the division was divided in Aguascalientes and I stayed with Villa.

I was aware enough to know what I was doing, why shouldn't I know. After all I fought out of conviction, as our forefathers had fought with Juarez. I left Carranza because the old man did not acknowledge the valor of Pancho Villa. Who assured the victory, if not Pancho Villa?

And who defeated the Rurales, if not Villa? If there had been justice and if Carranza had recognized him, there would not have been a division among the revolutionaries; which is the cause of the situation in which the country finds itself actually, with brothers killing brothers, without many not even knowing why.

I stayed with the division of the North all the way until we were fighting Obregon and the Yaquis. Oh, they were valiant when it comes to fighting; since they were half savage. They would fight in the trenches and under their horses. The trenches were filled with dead Yaquis.

Since the soldiers of the North were hunters of wild animals all around and knew how to ride their mounts well, and only fought in the open field. The poor Yaquis would build small adobe forts thinking they would be protected in trying to get near their enemy but the sharp shooters would pick them off, one by one. How could they compete against them??

Afterwards the Division of the North was disbanded, and my division went with Carranza. They accepted us because there had been an election he became the President of our Government.

I had to battle the forces of Almazon who was very brave and organized his men very well. Once we were in San Vicente in Saltillo and San Luis, with 65 men. I was the first Capitan and defended the Plaza when Almazon attacked. I could not send a telegraph to officer Rivera who had been left with 300 men in Vanegas.

But finally I got through to Rivera who came to our defense and we defeated Almazan. They had killed 30 of our men then and there were many wounded. If we had not gotten the forces of Rivera we would all have been slaughtered.

I did not join the forces of Obregon because by then it was about defending the 'government' so that I could not fight with conviction. So I returned to the home of my parents. And started working making belts and leather ties of ammunition.

I also made some beautiful belts well made with designs. But since I missed the adventurous life of the soldier, by l920 I crossed the bridge to this side of Laredo. Since I had been there a long time, it only cost me a nickel. Therefore I worked in the granaries on this side until l924, when I got contracted to work in Kansas. I went to the office of immigration and a white man there signed his name of a paper to take me and my family of five. We arrived in a small farm and harvested the crop, and we were told we were registered and could continue.

I did not find this very accommodating. We were in a farm with very few Mexicanos and we were not treated very well.. actually they were dIsrepectful. It was there where I started getting terrible sick and that is why I am this way now.



TRANSLATED BY: Frank Sifuentes


Stories from the Barrio and Other Hoods
by Margarita B. Velez 
Writer's Club Press (c) 2001

The Thread that Binds

Children's voices shouted, "La pastilla, la pastilla, donde esta la pastilla7." as we exited Saint Ignatius Church after the baptismal of a young relative. Papa, the godfather, tossed nickels and dimes in the air while kids scampered to snatch up the money.

Later I learned that if the godfather didn't toss the coins or "pastilla^ the kids proclaimed that the child being baptized would suffer from colic. That's one of my first memories of a religious ceremony.

Dona Gabriela, our neighbor, was called "Jaleluya," a crude descrip-tion of a non-Catholic. She hosted worshippers at her home where the tinkering piano drew the neighborhood children to listen outside. We lingered beyond the screen door and sang along. They always concluded with "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Later it dawned on me where the moniker for "Los faleluyas" derived from.

For my first Holy Communion I wore a floor-length gown and used it the next year to offer flowers to the Holy Mother. As we passed their homes women handed us flowers from their gardens. We arrived at church laden with fragrant roses, carnations and sunny marigolds which always made me sneeze.

Later we attended St. Francis Xavier Church and as an adolescent, "Las Hijas de Maria" provided direction. Father Diego guided the voices of the "Daughters of Mary" to sing High Mass in Latin. Now I make a special trip to Christ the King Monastery to rekindle that old feeling.

When Jehovah's Witnesses came knocking, Papa invited them in. They quoted from the bible and left copies of the Watchtower, which we read avidly. Their weekly visits helped us to define the difference between our beliefs.

One hot day as we frolicked in the sprinkler in our grandparent's lawn, a minister stopped to announce summer Bible School at the Church of the Nazarene. Abuelita, our grandmother, said we would attend.

Every morning for the next week, my cousins and I waited for the bus to take us to the church on Dyer Street. Later we sang "Jesus loves me, this I know for the Bible tells me so" for Abuelita even though she didn't understand English. My aunt was aghast when she heard we had gone to Bible School. "How could you allow them to go to the Protestant church," she protested. Abuelita replied, "As long as they learn about God there is no harm." No more was said, hhuelita was right.

The father of a high school friend was a Lutheran Chaplain at Fort Bliss. They invited me to service and explained the service to help broaden my understanding. Sikh members were also hospitable when I attended services with my friend Jagdev.
My neighbor Laniece provides tickets for the Living Singing Christmas tree at the First Baptist Church. Multicolored lights twinkle while voices blend in joyous song bringing the tree to life. It's a wonder-ful Yuletide gift.

In May, members of all denominations gather for the Northeast Prayer Breakfast. For more than twenty years, this event has united the community to break bread, share the gospel and honor the Citizen and Family of the year.

I'm lucky that friends care enough to share their faith. By attending various services I learned tolerance and respect for different beliefs.

Abuelita was right, as long as you worship God the blending of faith brings amazing grace.

Growing Pains in the Barrio, 
Van Horn History As I Remember It
By Heradio Luna

Some things just don’t add up.

There was a time between the 30’s and the 50’s when things just didn’t add up for Mexican-Americans in the state of Texas. Well-meaning teachers in our schools would try to inculcate in their students’ minds they were no longer Mexicans. “You are now Americans. You are now equal to everyone living in this great ‘melting pot’ we call America. George Washington is the father of our country.” 

Outside the confines of school walls, however, this melting pot was no longer operative. The other members of this great melting pot preferred to keep us hyphenated — Mexican — Americans, and some chose to drop the hyphen and American and kept us plain ole Mezkins. Restaurants would proudly display their “No Mexicans or dogs allowed.” Mexican-Americans desiring to eat a hamburger would have to wait for their orders either in the kitchen or outside.

When competing in out of town school activities, the students would be taken to restaurants to eat only to be advised Mexicans were not served in their restaurants. Most students who played football would opt to play hungry rather than eat the food from those restaurants when the coaches ordered take-out food for them.

Although attempts to subjugate the Mexican-Americans by some of the citizenry were common, it did nothing to keep these students from excelling in school. Whether it was football, basketball, track and field, or academic competition, they would always excel.

In 1949 a student by the name of Emilio Rodriguez decided to compete in Number Sense. He was better than good at numbers, and his math teacher talked him into joining his Number Sense team. He became the first and only Mexican-American from Van Horn to ever win district, bi-district, regional, and finally, state in that event. The principal who took him to state had relatives in Austin. He slept in his relatives’ house while Emilio slept in a barn with the animals.

When he registered at the event, the lady running the Number Sense event could not pronounce his name. She was more than certain a Rodriguez could not win that event, so she scratched his name off the list. She learned a lesson that day. Emilio won the event, went back to the lady and demanded his name be reinstated. Having done so, he instructed the lady, “Ma’am, I’m sure you know the song, ‘Row, row, row your boat..’ have you not? Well, my name is pronounced Row-dree-guess, Row-dree-guess. That’s the way you pronounce it.” 

He proudly claimed his trophy and came back to Van Horn a soaring Eagle. Eagles know no boundaries; they just fly and do their thing.

Sent by Leticia Segura Robles,

MY GIFT FROM SANTA . . .  Dedicated to good fathers
By Ben Romero
Here is a little holiday story (true, of course). 

What was I thinking? How could I expect two pre-school children to wait until Midnight for Santa to arrive? 

The year was 1988. The weather service predicted heavy fog for the Madera Ranchos area - perfect for my purpose. I had a plan. I’d run it through my mind for weeks. I was going to be the perfect Santa Claus. Because of my naturally slender build, my kids would never suspect it was me.

The hardest part was making my older kids wait until morning to open gifts. At ages twelve and thirteen, they liked to challenge my decisions.

“It isn’t officially Christmas until after midnight,” I explained.

“But we already did our Christian duty. We always open presents after church,” protested Andy.

“It will still be after church at midnight,” I responded.

“Dad, it’s after midnight in New York right now,” argued Victoria. “People all over the country are opening gifts. Why do we have to wait?”

I poked the fireplace logs and fanned the fire to rekindle a lost flame. “I want it to be special for Gabriel and Rebecca. Santa Claus doesn’t show up until Christmas.”

Their faces lit up for a moment. “Is Grandpa coming over?” asked Andy. 

“Is Grandma going to be Mrs. Claus?” asked Victoria.

“No, your grandparents aren’t coming over tonight. Grandma said they’d drop by tomorrow with lots of tamales.” My father-in-law had dressed in a Santa suit every year since Andy was born. His outfit this time was sitting in my closet.

"Then why do we have to wait?” pouted Andy. “It’s not fair!” He stomped off to his room.

Gabriel and Rebecca didn’t seem anxious at all. At ages six and four, they were happy to watch holiday cartoons on television and eat popcorn and candy. By nine thirty they were sound asleep - Gabriel on the couch and Rebecca on her blanket near the fireplace.

My wife brought me a cup of hot chocolate and sat beside me in front of the television. “Are you really going to make them wait?”

I took a sip from my mug. “It’s only two and a half hours more.” 

She squeezed my hand. “In that case, I’m going to put the turkey in the oven right now. It sounds like we’re going to be up all night.”

At eleven-thirty I carried Gabriel to his bedroom and lay him on his bed. Andy sat listening to tapes on his recorder and ignored me.

Next, I carried Rebecca to the bedroom she shared with Victoria, and lay her in her bed. Victoria looked up from piecing a puzzle together. “Is it midnight yet?”

“Not yet,” I said, “but close. Old Saint Nick will be along any time.”

“Sure, Dad,” she said.

“Well don’t be surprised if you hear footsteps on the roof pretty soon,” I said. “And if you do, make sure and wake your sister.”

I left their room and went into my closet, threw on the aging Santa suit and stuffed pillows underneath. As an added touch I put a flashlight under the suit. I then exited through my bedroom sliding doors that led to our backyard. B-r-r-r-r-r. It was cold. 

Circling around the house I stood at the edge of a grove of trees in our front yard and jingled a belt of bells. The fog was thick and I fancied the flashlight under my suit would make me glow like the spirit of Christmas. I stared at the windows but did not see the curtains move. 

I jingled louder and yelled, “Ho-ho-ho!”

Still no window movement.

I climbed a ladder I’d placed against the house. I stomped on the roof, jingling bells. “Ho-ho-ho!”

I climbed back down, stood by the window and tapped on the glass.


I knocked hard. Finally, Victoria opened the curtain a little.

“Wake Rebecca,” I called.

“I can’t. She’s fast asleep.”

“Then call your mom.”

I knocked on the boys’ window several times before Andy looked outside.


“Can we open the presents now?” called Andy.

I shivered. “Wake your brother.” 

Minutes later, Andy put his face on the window again. “He won’t open his eyes.”

My wife opened the front door and shook her head. “You may as well come inside, Ben. The kids are fast asleep. Aren’t you cold out here?”

“What about the camera?” I asked. “Can’t we get a picture or something? Look how the suit glows.”

“It’s so foggy you can barely see it. Get in here already. It’s too cold out here. Besides, we’re out of film.”

In frustrated resignation I went back inside the house, a defeated Santa Claus. It wouldn’t have been so bad if it had ended there. I came down with a terrible cold that lingered until New Years.     That was MY gift from Santa.

[[Editor:  My suggestion, get to your computer, and write something about your 2006 Christmas activities.]]

Sent by Paul Newfield III

Since there are many books that, for one reason or another, failed to gain publication or were published in such small runs that they are virtually unavailable to the public, Carrie has undertaken to scan, format and place on-line as many of these works. There is no particular order to the books selected. Some attempt has been made to make works by former members of the Department of History of the University of Kansas available when CARRIE was still at KU, USA, before being moved from April 2006 to the WWW-VL History Central catalogue, European University Institute, Florence, Italy).

Carrie invites copyright holders who wish their works to continue to be made available to a wider public to provide Carrie with a copy of their work, preferably in digital form, and explicit permission to make that work electronically accessible without charge to the public.

Readers should note that the electronic publication of these works does not place them in the public domain. Copies of part or whole may be made in accordance with the provisions of Fair Use, and links to this site may be made freely, but the republication of these works either electronically or in print, either commercially or not for profit, should not be undertaken without express permission from the copyright holder or from Carrie acting for the copyright holder.


The Funerals for Carlos V by Vicente Riva Palacio 
        translation by Ted Vincent
S: Done Vienen La Ranitas? Children's story by Frank Sifuentes


Vicente Riva Palacio

Among the Franciscan missionaries who preached Christianity to the Tarascan Indigenous, the inhabitants of the steep mountains of Michoacan in New Spain, was Friar Jacobo Daciano, distinguished man who exuded charity and perseverance.
According to the religious chroniclers of the Franciscan Order, Fr. Jacobo was of such illustrious blood that his elevated lineage was equaled in the colony only by the children of Moctezuma, or the unfortunate and timid Catlzontzin - by his other name Tzintzicha - King of the Tarascans.  Fr. Jacobo was of the royal family of the nation Dacia, from which his name Daciano,  a land  famed from the years of Herodotus to the time when Fr. Jacobo crossed to New Spain, leaving behind the religious struggles between Lutherans and Catholics that entangled the nations of Europe.
Friar Jacobo embarked for America, seeking not only to convert the natives, but also to find refuge from the persecutions of a Bishop of his nation who charged him with heresy and sought to end the moral existence of Fr. Jacobo - notes the chronicler Larrea.
The Tarascans, by an error of their King, subjected themselves without the faintest resistence to the yoke of the Spanish conquistadores, to whom the King offered the services and friendship of his people.  But they fled into the mountains, pursued by the soldiers of Nuno de Guzman, who inflicted a cruel tyranny unmatched anywhere else in New Spain.
Towns abandoned, homes deserted, fields untilled, roads without transients, the forests silent though providing refuge for the persecuted, such was the picture contemplated by the Franciscan missionaries who trudged on foot,  with little more than their love of humanity, daring to explore unknown and rough paths in search of the withdrawn and frightened inhabitants of this once rich and densely populated Empire of Michoacan.
The deep wound left by the sword of the ferocious Nuno de Guzman was hard to cure, but as love and perseverance can work wonders, little by little, and with some setbacks, those who had left as bees from a disturbed hive looked for new refuge and were enticed by the monotonous chime of the bells rung by the Franciscan missionaries.  Rumor spread that a social life lost in the abandoned towns might be regained..  Little clouds of smoke that appeared through the roofs of homes signaled that peace could be had, and the  return was now in earnest, and the laborious task of  civilization revived.
Friar Daciano had contributed more than his share to stitching the wound.  The Tarascans recounted many things about him which appeared almost supernatural.  He always went without shoes or sandals, crossing without hesitation the rockiest paths, or those with spinney vegetation.  With bloody feet, he went from one ranch to another attending to the needs of the Indios.  Some of whom said that at the approach of night, when the moon shown bright in the fading blue sky of Michoacan, and the night birds in the trees sang to bolster the wind blowing through the leaves of the thick foliage, there, on his knees, was Fr. Daciano, eyes to the sky, and it was  said that on occasion his body was seen to leave the earth and be suspended in the air.
This one may doubt.  But what is certain is that Friar Daciano was the only cleric of all the religious orders who had come to New Spain as of that time, to dare to administer to the Indigenous the sacrament of the Eucharist, and to forcefully declare that the new Mexican church was in error in not wanting to admit Indios into the priesthood, giving them the sacred orders.  His views and actions were badly received by his fellow clerics, and his attempt to defend his stance was challenged by Franciscan Fr. Juan de Ganoa, and Daciano was obliged to do public penance for the position he had taken.
In the year 1558 Fr. Jacobo lived in the convent of Tarecuato in the province of Michoacan.  He was the Guardian and founder, and on the morning of September 21, 1558,  Friar Jacobo awoke quite bothered and he hurried to the church and commenced to make the necessary arrangements for the solemn celebration of a funeral service.   For the important event the monks came from their cells, and Friars and others from residences of Tarecuato.
Nobody knew for whom such a solemn funeral was prepared; none in the capital of New Spain, nor among the judges of the Royal court  then visiting the state of Michoacan, much less in the little corner of Tarecuato was anyone aware of the death of a person of high distinction.
A little later that morning the doubts were dissipated, because Fr. Jacobo, with the utmost simplicity, but also with the strongest confidence, communicated to the Friars and the neighbors who had gathered, that he had had a revelation that this same day, at two in the morning, that  the King of Spain and Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire Carlos V had died in the monastery of Yuste.
The oracle of Friar Daciano was in the class of revelations too high for one to doubt, and the assembled felt secure in accepting it, and funeral honors were bestowed on the King with great devotion and prayers for his soul.  The lay people of Tarecuato were joined by visitors and ecclesiastics from afar, due to the novelty of the event, with its sad and deeply religious function.  The church filled with those inside displaying firm conviction that the end had come for the most powerful monarch  yet seen in the 16th Century.
Two months later, December 1, 1558, an announcement was published in Mexico of the death of Emperor Carlos V, who had died the same day that Friar Jacobo Daciano celebrated his funeral in Tarecuato.
The funeral services in the capital for the monarch left a lasting impression for their splendor and the luxury lavished by the government, the clergy and residents.  But in all the conversations at the event, one heard repeatedly of the funeral celebrated at Tarecuato.  And tradition and history conserved for many years the memory of such a legendary achievement.

Translation by Ted Vincent      

Daciano in official history
According to the “Diccionario Biographico y de Historia de Mexico” (Porrua),   Friar Daciano was actually born in Denmark.  He was an expert in Greek and Hebrew and a doctor of theology, and he had intense disputes with the Lutherans, a leader of whom was the churchman who marked Daciano for death.   He joined the Franciscan Order, came to Spain and then to Mexico, where he was the first in the clergy to give communion to the Indigenous, and he advocated that they be admitted to the priesthood.   These controversial views for the 1550s led him to settle in rural Michoacan, and to become known for an austere life, always walking, never using a horse, and never taking wine.  “It is said that in Tarecuato he gave a funeral service for Carlos V, official notice of which only came much later.”   Daciano preached in Tarascan and was a political/religious ally of Friar Maturino Gilberti, a reformer who was tried by the Inquisition for heresy but was spared serious punishment.   Daciano died at his Tarecuato monastery in 1567.

Por: Frank Sifuentes

Nachito vivia el la vecindad de Las Ranas en el barrio de East Austin, Tx. Y tenia ocho anos. Sus padres Ignacio & Elena Hermandez siempre lo apoyaban aprender todo a su gusto; pero tambien lo cuidaban muy bien y les gustaba mucho que "Chito' tenia mucha curiosidad.

Don Ignacio trabajaba por la Cuidad como jardinero. Y por eso le daba orgullo que su hijito tenia interes en la naturaleza.

En dias cuando llovia mucho Chito siempre les pedia a sus padres permiso para salir y andar entre las condiciones que las llovisnas creaban. Y Don Elena siempre le decia "Esta bien pero cuidate mucho..y vale mas que no triagas lodo adentro de la casa!  Y Chito salia corriendo.

Haci es que parecia que ya gozaba todo de lo bueno en su vida. El siempre se quedaba asombrado y mistificado porque cuando llovia siempre habia ranitas brincando como si apenas habian caido de el cielo: Y tan derepente que tenia que reflejar: Donde vienen estos animalitos maravillosos destinados a llegar ser sapos?

Un sabado por la manana cuando se padre estaba en la cosina esperando que su 'ama acababa de ser tortillas a mano, Chito se acerco y pregunto:"Ama..'apa, donde vienen las ranitas?"

"Las ranitas vienen de el cielo mijo," respondio su mama.

"Apa! puedo salir a jugar afuera? pregunto el nino.

"Ta' lloviendo mucho, mijo. Valemas preguntarle a tu mama."

"Ama, por favor..dejame ir afuera a jugar!"

Y como era un dia de verano y no estaba haciehdo frio..le dijo: "Esta bien, mijo..entonces salte a jugar, pero valemas que te quites los zapatos porque no quiero tener que ponerlos en la estufa para secarlos. Y tambien vale mas que no triagas lodo adentro de la casa, porque le dire a tu padre que te de nalgadas."

"No voy a taer lodo 'apa porque me lavare los pes antes de entrar."

"Ta' bueno mijo..entonces sale a jugar..nomes que tengas mucho se vayas a golpear!"

Chito pronto se quito la zapatos y salio corriendo. Y pronto se encontro con su amigo Luis Lopez que sabia como hacer barquito con los palitos de 'popsible' para ponderlos en las corrientes que hacian la llovisnas. Derepente notaron ranitas que parecian que apenas habian caido del cielo.

"Miro 'Viz' las ranitas que acaban de cayer de el cielo!"

"Mentiras, dijo calleron de el cielo."

"Ajaa! Me dijo mi mama."

"Pos, no es verdad..vienen de las charcos."

"Tu eres el mentiroso," le grito Chito.

"Y tu no sabes nada," respondio Luis.

Un poco despues encontro un charco grande que ya tenia tiempo de estar alli.

"Ito! Mira. Vez ese charco grande?"

"Si, que tiene?"

"Vamos alli y te voy a ensenar de una vez donde vienen las ranitas. "Fueron pronto y Luis levanto una pierda grande y la tiro adentro del el charco. Y salieron ranas grandes y chiquitas.

"Y vez!" dijo Luis.

"Si," respondio Chito. Y se puso muy pendiente porque sus padres no le dijieron la verdad. Y cuando llego a la casa se limpio los pies con mucho cuidado y entro a la cocina donde estaba su mama cocinando cosido de res.

"Ama..ahora vi donde vienen la ranitas. Luis me enseno que viven le los charcos. Porque me dijieron que venian de el cielo?"

"Pos..porque la lluvia viene de el cielo, y ademas todo viene de Dios que esta en el cielo. Mi'jo, ademas, todo eso es un misterio."

Chito se quedo pensativo..y despues pregunto: "Ama, porque hay tantos misterios?"

"Haci lo quiso Diosito Lindo..El Creador de todo en la vida," le dijo su mama con calma..
Aquerdate que El tambien hace los charcos.




Surnames identified in the Surname Column, 2000-2006
Two new FTDNA surname projects: Tarin and Zambrano
Successful Networking for Finding Primos means sharing information 


Surnames identified in the Surname Column, 2000-2006

If you want to find mention of a specific surname in all the issues of Somos Primos
use the KEYWORD SEARCH. It will list the specific issues in which the surname is found. 

For example: Farias, 61 hits; Cardenas, 69 hits; Guerra, 111 hits.

De la Garza
De la Libertad
Diaz de Vivar
Gomez Suarez de Figueroa
Irizarry I(Y)rissarri
Lafon  Lafon-Chapa
Ortiz and Ortega
Perez Plazola
Ponce de Leon
Robles   Robles de la Torre
November 2003 
March 2005
February 2004 
May 2006
August 2005
August 2005
September 2002 
January 2005
September 2004
May 2004
June/October 2004 
April 2004 
November 2004 
April 2002 
July 2002 
July 2006/April 2006
August 2002 
December 2005
May 2002 
Aug 2006
September 2003 
May 2005
March 2005
January 2003 
February 2003 
Nov 2006
July 2005
February 2005
October 2002 
Nov 2006/Dec 2006
April 2003 
November 2005
Oct 2006
March 2006
August 2003 
June 2005
September 2005
October 2005
June 2002/Dec 06
June 2003 
July 2003 
Sep 2006
May 2003 
October 2003 
July 2004 
December 2002 
December 2006
August 2006
April 2005
March 2003 
December 2004 
February 2006
August 2004 
March 2004 
November 2002 
March 2005
December 2003

Two new FTDNA surname projects: Tarin and Zambrano

I would like to announce the creation of two new surname projects at FTDNA: 

The first is the TARIN DNA Project at

The project goals are to determine the ancient origins and possible genetic relationships of all participants who are male TARIN descendants. The TARIN surname appears in Spain as far back as the twelfth century in Aragón. There was a medieval coin called TARIN (also spelled TARI) that was minted in Sicily and purchased in quantity by the crown of Spain during its rule of Sicily in the 1600s. One source has the TARI coin minted in Sicily in the eleventh century. Spanish sources for the etymology of the name link it to Sicily and the silver coin called dirham (pl. darahim) minted by the Arabs. Various darahim coinage was in use in Iberia, especially Andalucía as early as the 4th century. As a surname, TARIN may have originated as an occupational name in Spain. Regarding the genealogical spread of the surname from Spain, it is primarily found in Mexico with persons named TARI during the 1600s and TARIN from the beginning of the 1700s to present day. From Mexico it has expanded into the United States mostly since the 1800s.

The second is the ZAMBRANO DNA Project at
The project goals are to determine the ancient origins and possible genetic relationships of all participants who are male ZAMBRANO descendants. The surname ZAMBRANO originated in the Basque Country of Spain. According to the 18th century Spanish historian Francisco Zazo y Rosillo it originated in “el valle de Zambraos, anteiglesia de Santa María de Zambraos”. This is the present day municipal district or town of Zambrana in the province of Alava (Araba). The ZAMBRAOS spelling evolved into ZAMBRANO and is also documented as ZAMBRANA in the eleventh century. In documents from the 1500s the name was sometimes written in old Spanish as “Canbrano” with the “C” having a “cedilla” to represent an “S” sound. The written “C” with a cedilla later became a “Z”. Other variations include Cembrano and Cembranos. Branches of the family spread to Andalucía, the Canary Islands, and the Americas. The ZAMBRANO surname has been in Mexico since the 1500s and is also common in South America and the United States.

Membership is not limited to any particular country. Due to various surname practices common in Hispanic and Latin American cultures it is possible for a direct male descendant not to carry the surname. Hopefully, these surname projects will grow to shed some light onto their genetic genealogies.

Robert Tarín


In a message dated 12/21/2006 writes:
Subj: Ancestors found in Somos Primos website 

Hello, I'm so excited that I found my great-grandparents listed on your website. They are: ii. ALBINO-TRIFON CANALES-CAVAZOS, b. 1879, Ebonita, Nueces County, Texas; m. RAFAELA GARCIA-SALINAS.

I am Catrina Hinojosa Storey (3.2.2 below) - daughter of Chris Hinojosa III, grand-daughter of Virginia Canales Hinojosa

I too have heard of the Spanish land grants mentioned by Mr. Inclan. I suspect that we are related, however the documentation is so extensive that I couldn't find it. My great-grandfather, known as A.T. Canales lived in Premont Texas. He and Rafaela had four children and they were a ranching family. He was also a Texas Ranger in company D out of Kingsville. Their house still stands in Premont Texas. There is a picture of this house taken with my grandmother Virginia's wedding party on the front porch that is on display somewhere in the Institute of Texan Cultures. One of my dad's first cousin's has also done extensive research and has had these types of things added to the Institute as founding families of Texas. My father, Chris Hinojosa III, has an original Spanish Land Grant in the family safe. I've seen it a few times, but I'm not sure of the name of the grant. Here is what I know of my family from this generation on, starting with the children of my great-grandparents:

1. Tomasita Canales ( never married) - lived and died in Premont, Tx. - Still lived in her parents home.

2. Grace Canales - married Charles Hornsby - settled on a ranch just outside Premont Tx. . He was an attorney in Premont.

2.1 - Charles "Pete" Hornsby - married Bebe somebody and they had 4 children, divorced later and married Carmen somebody. Still lives in Premont.
2.1.1. - Tiffany Hornsby - married Alan Mantanona - 2 children
2.1.2. - Hunter Hornsby - married, lives in Kingsville - 2 children
2.1.3 - Heather Hornsby - married somebody Taylor - 2 children - lives in Victoria, Tx
2.1.4 - Josh Hornsby - married - 1 child 

3. Virginia Canales - b. 9/16/ d.12/13/94, m. Chris S. Hinojosa Jr. of Conception Tx. - settled in San Diego, TX - He was a pharmacist/rancher. They had 2 children

3.1 - Matilda Hinojosa - m. Don Cody - they had 6 children - they divorced - She died in San Antonio, Tx. 
3.1.1 - Debra Ann Cody (I'm going to skip all the rest, this is getting too long) 5 kids, lives in Boerne, remarried Daniel Pena.
3.1.2. - Mike Cody - married , 1 child, lives in SA, TX
3.1.3. - Linda Cody - m. Stan Rush - 1 son - lives in San Marcos. TX
3.1.4 - Patricia Cody - married twice - 5 children - currently divorced - ran away and we don't know where she is. Children are with 2nd ex.
3.1.5 - Kathleen Cody - married Blake Winterroud - lives in SA, TX. - dogs only
3.1.6 - Steven Cody - married , no chldren , lives in Houston, TX

3.2 - Chris Hinojosa III - b. 2/15/40, m. Mary Jo Hinojosa (b. 7/1/42, no relation) 8/1/62, rancher - lives on ranch in Cotulla TX - 3 children
3.2.1 - Christina Hinojosa - b. 6/28/66 ,m. John Forestier, Jr. - lives in San Antonio - 2 children
3.2.2. - Catrina Hinojosa - b. 8/30/64, m. Horace Dudley Storey IV of Cotulla.11/19/94 - lives in San Antonio - 3 children ( THIS IS ME !!!!!!!! )

3.2.3 - Chris Hinojosa IV - b. 5/18/67, m. Jo Anna Gierish (Divorced) - 2 kids - lives on ranch in Cotulla. 

(The rest of these people have a lot of kids so I'm going to skip them for now, most live in San Antonio, Houston or Premont.)

4. Gustavo Canales - m. Ruth somebody - they had 3 children - He died years ago, Ruth now lives in San Antonio
4.1 - Bebe Canales - m. Sherwood Inkley - 2 children - resides in San Antonio.
4.2 - Virgina (Cisi) Canales - m. Lloyd Jary - 4 children - resides in San Antonio.
4. 3 - Gus T. Canales - m. Pat somebody - 5 children - resides on ranch in Premont , Tx.

Please write back to me and tell me what you think. I have so many cousins all over the place. I find this all very fascinating when I met a new one. I met cousin just the other day by pure accident. She was working at Dillards and asked if she could help me. I noticed her Aggie ring and we got to talking. It came out that her major was not retail or business, but Ag Economics. I found this very odd that she was now in retail and I asked her how she came to major in that of all things. She said that she came from a small town and was raised on a ranch. Well, then I laughed and said "Me too, so where did you grow up ?". She said in small town near Premont, I forgot where. I said, "Oh my gosh, I have a lot of cousins in Premont". When I started naming them off, it turned out that our great-grandfathers were brothers. Isn't that cool ?

Hope to hear back, Merry Christmas Primo . . . 
Catrina Storey

From: to and 
Subject: Re: Ancestors found in Somos Primos website 

Dear Catrina . . . It is really exciting when you make a connection. I am forwarding your information to Cris Rendon (a Texan also) who has compiled a monumental work, interconnecting Texas primos. 

Cris is our database coordinator and maintains an online database.

I suggest that you search it out and then contact Cris at
Cris will be the best resource for you. 

I will add your email to receive monthly notification of when the latest issue of Somos Primos is online. If you prefer not to be notified, just let me know. 

I invite you go to our SHHAR and Somos Primos websites and explore all the resources available.

Feliz Navidad. . . . Mimi

Subj: Re: Ancestors found in Somos Primos website 
From: to,

Hello Mimi and Catrina, Based on the information that Catrina has provided my computer determined that we are all related. 

Nohemi (Mimi) LOZANO and Catrina HINOJOSA are 10th cousins 1 time removed. Their common ancestors are Capitan Pedro GARZA and Maria Lucia ROCHA.

I am also related to Catrina.
Crispin D. RENDON and Catrina HINOJOSA are 6th cousins 2 times removed. Their common ancestors are Nicolas SALINAS MORONES and Micaela CANALES.

With some more research we could find we are even closer.

Tu Primo,
Crispin Rendon

Patriots of the American Revolution

Louisiana Society of the Sons of the American Revolution 
El Regimento de La Luisiana/The Spanish Louisiana Regiment, 1781
Spaniards who went to the Philippines in the 1700 to 1800s. 
Buenos Aires Patriots of the American Revolution, M-Z


Louisiana Society of the Sons of the American Revolution

At the December 9, 2006 annual meeting of the Louisiana Society of the Sons of the American Revolution (LSSAR) in Baton Rouge, member Paul Bergeron presented a proposal for a first-ever re-enactment of the Battle of Baton Rouge of 1779 featuring the victory of the forces of Governor Bernardo de Galvez over British troops who occupied the territory of West Florida. 

In attendance were outgoing Louisiana Society President Henry Grace, incoming President John Johnson, and members of the Louisiana Society. Also in attendance for the annual meeting of the Southern District of the Sons of the American Revolution (later that day) were presidents and representatives of the state societies of Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi, and the President General of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, Nathan White. 

Bergeron used a collage of photographs taken by Professor Eliud Bonilla to describe the success of the tactical exhibition arranged by the Hispanics in History Cultural Organization on September 28, 2006 at the Northup Grumman office in Virginia. As Color Guard Committee Chairman Jacque Walker distributed information on sources providing period uniforms, Bergeron appealed to the attendees to draft a letter of support for the event.

Photo caption: Assisted by outgoing LSSAR President Henry Grace (left), LSSAR member Paul Bergeron describes the scenes in photos taken at the Hispanics in History Cultural Organization tactical exhibition and recruits support for a re-enactment of the Battle of Baton Rouge (1779). Photo by Joe Anjier, LSSAR.  Sent by Paul Bergeron.


El Regimento de La Luisiana   The Spanish Louisiana Regiment, 1781
Sent by Bill Carmena

Official website of El Regimento de La Luisiana,a unit of living historians dedicated to faithfully replicating the life & times of the Spanish soldiers which fought the British in the American Revolution, and which garrisoned Spain's North American colony of Louisiana for over thirty years.

In 2002, individuals who had long replicated soldiers of the unit on their own came together to form a cohesive, single unit.  Since that time, the unit has taken part in various events around Louisiana and the Gulf Coast of the United States, including the annual "Prelude to the Siege of Baton Rouge, 1779" in Vicksburg, Mississippi (site of Spanish Fort Nogales), the Bicentennial Ceremony of the Louisiana Purchase, and various other local events. Our unit is generally based in and around Louisiana, with members also located in Texas, Missouri, Maryland, Mississippi, and Florida as well.  Membership in our unit is open to individuals 16 years of age and older. Basic requirements for participating with our unit are mainly:
 1) meeting the minimum uniform requirements, and
 2) yearly dues to the Brigade of the American Revolution in order to attend B.A.R. events.

Robert H. Thonhoff wins the 
Presidio La Bahia Award 
for a Fifth Time

AUTHOR/HISTORIAN ROBERT H. THONHOFF, of Karnes City, Texas, holds his latest prize- winning publication, A Quadrilogy of Essays, for which he was awarded last December 2, the Presidio la Bahia Award for 2006. The slipcase set of essays, two in English and two in Spanish, are about the vital contribution of Spain, including Texas in the winning of the American Revolution. The award is presented annually by the Sons of the Republic of Texas "for outstanding contribution in the field of the Spanish Colonial Period of Texas History." This is the fifth time since 1970 that historian Thonhoff has won the prestigious award for his writing efforts. The essays, which tell a story that most Americans, including the author, never heard, read, or learned in school of college, would also be enlightening to persons of Hispanic descent worldwide. They are posted on .




Spaniards who went to the Philippines in the 1700 to 1800s.

To: Granville Hough, Ph.D.
From: wrote:

I just saw your article 2002 on the internet. I am curious to know if you have any information about the Spaniards who went to the Philippines in the 1700 to 1800s.

Me and my brother were searching the church records and it appears or at least we think that in our ancestry was one of the priests or his Spanish guard.

Thanks for any light you can shed.

Sincerely, Nestor Castano

Thank you for your interest and response. When the Spanish entered the war against England in 1779, their first thought was to secure Manila, and they gathered some of the best soldiers in Mexico and sent them there as replacements and reinforcements. They secured the islands and built some of the finest vessels ever made in the Pacific. I went through the lists of soldiers (and some sailors) and published them in /Somos Primos. /Some may have returned to Mexico, but I really believe most settled in the Philippines. It is quite likely that you do have ancestors among those soldiers.

By Granville Hough, Ph.D. 

Carlos Maciel. Capt, Caballeria Blandengues Montevevideo, 1798. Legajo 7258:VII:5.
Juan Pedro Maciel. Lt, Cab Blandengues Montevideo, 1798, Leg 7258:VIII:13.
Félix de la Maia. SubLt, Mil de Montevideo, 1799, Leg 7258:III:19.
José Maldonado. Portaguión, Mil. Cav. de Montevideo, 1799, Leg 7258:II:37.
Manuel Maldonado. Sgt, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:147.
Rafael Maldonado. Capt, Mil Cab. de Montevideo, 1799, Leg 7258:II:10.
Norberto Manterola. Alférez, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:V:56.
Ventura Miguel Marco del Pont. Lt, Mil Cab de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IX:12.
Juan Marin. Cadet, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1791, Leg 7257:IX:91.
Juan Antonio Marin. Lt Col with grade of Col, Dragones of Buenos Aires, 1791, Leg 7257:IX:101.
Manuel Marin. Portaguión, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:V:64.
Manuel Marin. Sgt, Cab de Blandengues de Buenos Aires, 1799, Leg 7258:VI:9 y 10.
Miguel Marin. Capt, Cab. Blandengues Montevideo, 1798, Leg 7258:VIII:8
Rafael Francisco Marin. Lt, Cab Blandengues Montevideo, 1798, Leg 258:VIII:14.
Manuel Mariner. Sgt, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1791, Leg 7257:IX:70.
Juan Marquez. Sgt, Cab Blandengues de Buenos Aires, 1799, Leg 7258:VI:5 y 6.
José del Pilar Mars. Cadet, Cab Blandengues Montevideo, 1798, Leg 7258:VIII:50.
Casimiro Martin. Sgt, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1791, Leg 7257:XIV:97.
Andrés Martinez. Capt, Cab Blandengues de Buenos Aires, 1795, Leg 7257:I:7.
Benito José Martinez. Cadet, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:174.
Fernando Martinez. SubLt, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:105.
Francisco Martinez. Sgt with grade of Alférez, Asamblea Cab de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:X:13.
Ignacio Martinez. Lt, Cab Blandengues de Montevideo, 1798, Leg 7258:VIII:11.
Ignacio Martinez. SubLt, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:108.
José Martinez. Sgt, Asamblea Cab de Buenos Aires, 1791, Leg 7257:XIII:7.
José Martinez. Sgt, Asamblea de Buenos Aires, 1791, Leg 7257:X:5.
José Martinez. Ayudante Mayor with grade of Capt, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:V:40.
José del Pilar Martinez. Cadet, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1795, Leg 7258:IV:100.
Juan Antonio Martinez. Capt, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:62.
Juan Blas Martinez. Cadet, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:150.
Juan Crisóstomo Martinez. Cadet, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:154.
Juan Ignacio Martinez. Capt, Mil de Cab de Montevideo, 1799, Leg 7258:II:8.
Manuel Martinez. Lt, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1787, Leg 7257:XVII:22.
Manuel Martinez. Capt, Cab Blandengues de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:VI:22.
Marcelino Antonio Martinez. Cadet, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 258:IV:176.
Marcos Martinez. Sgt, Asamblea Cab de Buenos Aires, 1800, Leg 7258:X:2 y 3.
Nicolás Mariano Martinez. Cadet, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1799: Leg 7258:V:19 y 20.
Pascual Agustin Martinez. SubLt, Inf fe Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:107.
Pedro Martinez. Sgt, Asamblea Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:XI:10.
Tomás Martinez. SubLt de Granaderos, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:93.
Valero Martinez. Sgt, Asamblea Cab Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:X:16.
Juan José Marti ez de Elizalde. Alférez, Mil Cab de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IX:21.
Manuel Martinez Garcia. Alférez, Mil Cab de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IX:18.
Juan Martinez-Mena. Sgt, Asamblea Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:XI:11.
Manuel Martinez Muñoz. Alférez, Mil Cab de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IX:26.
Miguel Martinez de Ochagavia. SubLt, Mil Inf de Buenos Aires, 1799, Leg 7258:I:27.
José Francisco Martinez de Tineo. Capt, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:V:36.
Antonio Martinez de la Torre. Lt, Mil Inf de Buenos Aires, 1799, Leg 7258:I:14.
Félix Mas de Ayala. Lt, Bn Mil de Montevideo, 1799, Leg 7258:III:8.
Mariano Masa. SubLt de Bandera, Mil Inf de Buenos Aires, 1799, Leg 7258:I:40.
Francisco Antonio Masiel. Capt, Mil de Montevideo, 1799, Leg 7258:III:6.
Juan Pedro Masiel. Cadet, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1791, Leg 7257:XIV:110.
José Mate Diego. Sgt, Mil de Montevideo, 1799, Leg 7258:III:26.
José Mechero. Sgt, Cab Blandengues, Montevideo, 1798, Leg 7258:VIII:28.
Agustin Medina. Sgt, Cab Blandengues Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:VI:48.
Andrés Medina. Sgt, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1799, Leg 7258:V:7 y 8.
Juan de Medina. Capt, Mil de Cab de Montevideo, 1799, Leg 7258:II:4.
Alejandro Medrano. Alf, Cab Blandengues de Montevideo, 1798, Leg 7258:VIII:23.
Juan Mejias. Sgt, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:127.
Francisco Melo. Sgt, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:138.
Isodoro José Mendez. Cadet, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1795. Leg 7257:VI:232.
Isodoro Mendez. Cadet, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258, IF:159.
José María Mendez. SubLt, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:110.
Juan Mendez. Capt, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:50.
Juan Mendez-Caldeira. SubLt, Bn, Mil de Montevideo, 1799, Leg7258:III:21.
Pedro Menendez Arguelles. Cadet, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1795, Leg 7257:VI:144.
Nadal Mengual. Sgt, Cab Blandengues Montevideo, 1798, Leg 7258:VIII:39,bis.
José Ignacio Merlos. Capt, grad Lt Col, , Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:43.
Francisco Mesa. Sgt, Mil Cab de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IX:39.
Félix Mestre. Capt, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1791, Leg 7257:XIV:145.
Santiago Miguel. Sgt, Asamblea Cab de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:X:17.
Mariano Miler. Cadet, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1799, Leg 7258:V:25 y 26.
Cristóbal Minquez. Sgt, Asamblea Cab de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:X:23.
José Miraval. Sgt, Cab de Blandengues de Montevideo, 1798, Leg 7258:VIII:44.
José Molina. Sgt, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:132.
Julián del Molino Torres. Capt, Mil Cab de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IX:9.
Manuel de Mon. Sgt, Mil Cab de Montevideo, 1799, Leg 7258:III:28.
Gregorio Mons. Sgt, Cab Blandengues Montevideo, 1798, Leg 7258:VIII:49.
Manuel Montaña . SubLt de Bandera, Mil Inf de Buenos Aires, 1799, Leg 7258:I:41.
José Montero Espinosa. Sgt, Mil ab de Montevideo, 1799, Leg 7258:III:24.
Manuel Morales. Sgt, Mil Cab de Montevideo, 1799, Leg 7258:II:63.
Rafael Morales. Capt, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:51.
Salvador Moreira. Sgt, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:V:72.
Francisco Moreno. Sgt, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1799, Leg 7258:V:15 y 16.
Manuel Moreno. Sgt, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:V:91.
Mariano Morte. Sgt, Asamblea Cab de Buenos Aires, 1791, Leg 7257:XIII:9.
José Moscoso. Lt Col, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1791, Leg 7257:IX:105.
Juan José Mujica. Alf, Mil de Cab de Montevideo, 1799, Leg 7258:II:25.
Domingo Muñoz. Sgt, Mil Cab de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IX:36.
Fernando Muñoz. Sgt, Mil Cab de Montevideo, 1799, Leg 7258:II:67.
Francisco Muñoz. Lt, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1787, Leg 7257:XIV:34.
Francisco Bruno Muñoz. SubLt, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1729, Leg 7257:VI:73.
José Bruno Muñoz. SubLt, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:103
Juan Antonio Muñoz. Sgt, Mil Cab de Montevideo, 1799, Leg 7258:II:54.
Manuel Muñoz Perez. Sgt, Mil Cab Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IX:62.
Rodrigo Muñoz y Ravago. SubLt, Mil Inf de Buenos Aires, 1799: Leg 7258:I:25.
Augustín Murillo. Sgt, Cab Blandengues de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:VI:50.

Victores Navajas. SubLt de Bandera, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258, IV:118.
Fernando Navarro. Capt, Cab Blandengues Buenos Aires, 1787, Leg 7257:XV:6.
Joaquin Navia. Sgt, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1787, Leg 7257:XVII:71.
Basilio Negris. Sgt, Mil Cab de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IX:63.
Manuel Nieto. Lt, Mil Inf de Montevideo, 1799, Leg 7258:III:13.
Antonio María Noailles. Lt, Inf Mil de Buenos Aires, 1799, Leg 7258:I:11.
Pedro Nolasco. Sgt, Asamblea Cab Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:X:22.
Nicolás Noriega. Sgt, Cab Blandengues de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:VI:55.
Florencio Nuñez. Lt, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:V:42.

José Obligado. Lt, Mil Inf de Buenos Aires, 1799, Leg 7258:I:17.
Antonio de Olabarria. Capt, Cab Blandengues de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:VI:18.
Rafael Olivera. Sgt, Mil Cab Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IX:52.
Antonio del Olmo. Capt, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1787, Leg 7257:XVIII:22.
Juan Antonio Olondris. Capt with grade of Lt Col, Inf of Buenos Aires,1798, Leg 7258: IV:47.
Jerónimo Olloniego. SubLt, Mil Inf de Montevideo, 1799, Leg 7258:III:18.
Pedro Onis. Cadet, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1793, Leg 7257:XIV:150.
Andrés de Ordoñez. Cadet, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:V:107.
Andrés de Ordoñez, Col, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:V:27.
Manuel Ordoñez. Alf, Dargones de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:V:62.
Andrés Nicolás Orgera. Capt, Mil Inf Buenos Aires, 1799, Leg 7258:I:3. 
Bernardino Ortega. Lt, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:80
Tomás Ortega. Lt, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1798:Leg 7258:V:47.
Francisco Ortigosa. Sgt, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1799, Leg 7258:V:97.
Rafael Ortiguera. Cadet, Cab Blandengues de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:VI:56.
Leon Ortiz de Rozas. Lt of Granaderos, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:71.
José Antonio de Otarola. Lt, Mil de Cab Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IX:11.
José Otero. Sgt, Mil Cab de Montevideo, 1799:7258:II:62.

Antonio Pablon-Jimenez. Sgt, Inf of Buenos Aires, 1791, Leg 7257:XIV:88.
Jorge Pacheco. Capt, Cab Blandengues de Montevideo, 1798, Leg 7258:XIII:3.
José Pacheco. Sgt, with grade of Alf, Asamblea Cab de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:X:12.
Juan Agustín Pagola. Capt, Cab Blandengues de Montevideo, 1798, Leg 7258:VIII:7.
Manuel Vicente Pagola. Sgt, Cab Blandengues de Montevideo, 1798, Leg 7258:VIII:45.
Juan Ramón Palacios. Sgt, Cab Blandengues Buenos Aires, 1800, Leg 7258:VI:1 y 2.
José Palavesino. Ayudante Mayor, graduate Capt, Asamblea Inf Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:XI:5.
Diego Pantoja. Sgt, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1795, Leg 7257:VI:101.
Pedro Pardo. Sgt, Mil Cab Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IX:40
Antonio Pardo-Sanchez. Sgt, Bn Mil de Inf de Montevideo, 1799, Leg 7258:III:29.
Pedro Pascual. Lt, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1787, Leg 7257:XVIII:40.
Gregorio Patiño. Alf, Cab Blandengues de Montevideo, 1798, Legajo 7258:VIII:24.
José León Pauleti. Sgt, Mil Cab Buenos Aires 1798, Leg 7258:IX:49.
Francisco Pazos. Sgt, Cab Blandengues de Montvideo, 1798, Leg 7258:VIII:43.
Juan Pelaez. Sgt, Mild de Cab de Montevideo, 1799, Leg 7258:II:50.
Manuel Antonio Pelaez. Cadet, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1799, Leg 7258:IV:35 y 36.
Juan Fernando Pelayo. Sgt, Mil Cab de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IX:47.
Gabriel Pellicer. Sgt, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:144.
Vicente Peralta. Sgt, Mil Cab ed Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IX:33.
Agustín Peralto. Sgt, Cab Blandengues de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:VI:40.
Ignacio Pereira. Alf, Mil de Cab de Montevideo, 1799, Leg 7258:II:31.
José Pereira de Lucena. Ayudandto Mayor, Capt Mil Cab, Buenos Aires, 1798:Leg 7258:IX:28.
Juan Perera. Sgt, Mil Cab de Montevideo, 1799, Leg 7258:II:49.
Agustín Perez. Sgt, Mil Cab Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IX:64.
Alejandro Perez. Lt, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:V:52.
Antonio Perez. Sgt, grad of Alf, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:V:70.
Antonio Perez. Lt, Mil Cab de Montevideo, 1799, Leg 7258:II:21.
Bartolomé Perez. Capt, Mil Cab de Montevideo, 1799, Leg 7258:II:9.
Diego Perez. Alf, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1787, Leg 7257:XVII:43.
Felipe Perez. Capt, Mil Cab de Montevideo, 1799, Leg 7258:II:1.
Francisco Perez. Cadet, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1799, Leg 7258:V:23 y 24.
José Perez. Capt, grad Lt Col, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:45.
José Perez. Alf, Cab Blandengues Montevideo, 1798, Leg 7258:VIII:20.
Juan Perez. Portaguión, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1795, Leg 7257:IV:47.
Juan Antonio Perez. Sgt, Cab Blandengues Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:VI:54.
Manuel Perez. Sgt, Dragone4s de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:V:73.
Manuel Perez. Alf, Dragones of Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:V:61.
Manuel José Perez. Capt, Mil de Cab de Montevideo, 1799, Leg 7258:II:7.
Pablo Perez. SubLt, Bn Mil Inf de Montevideo, 1799, Leg 7258:III:22.
Pedro Perez. Sgt, Cab Blandengues de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:VI:36.
Tomás Perez. Capt, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:65.
Felipe Pestaña. Cadet, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:V:104.
Juan Amaro Pestaña. Capt, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:V:35.
Juan Mariano Pestaña. Cadet, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg7258:V:111 y 115.
Martin José Pestaña. Cadet, Cragones de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:V:112.
Martin Pezoa. Sgt, Mil Cab Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IX:60.
Domingo Piera. Alf, Gragones de Buenos Aires, 1787, Leg 7257:XVII: 34.
Francisco Piera. Capt with grade of Col, Dragones of Buenos Aires, 1791, Leg 7257:XVII:34.
Agustín de Pinedo. Capt con grade of Lt Col, Dragones of Buenos Aires, 1798:Leg 7258:V:33.
Ambrosio Pinedo. Lt, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1798:Leg 7258:V:44.
Sebastián Pinel. Sgt, Asamblea de Cab de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:X:21.
Antonio Pinilla. Sgt, Cab de Blandengues de Montevideo, 1798, Leg 7258:VIII:41.
Juan del Pino. SubLt, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:106.
Miguel del Pino. Cadet, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:172.
Ramón del Pino. Capt, Dragones de Buenos Aires. 1798, Leg 7258:V:39.
Wenceslao del Pino. Cadet, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:171.
Blas Pinto. Alf, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1800, Leg 7258:V:3.
José Piris. Ayudante Mayor, Asamblea Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:XI:6.
Bartoloimé Pizarro, Cadet, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:168.
Francisco Pizarro. Cadet, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1796, Leg 7257:VI:153.
Juan Pizarro. Cadet, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:167.
Mariano Pizarro. Cadet, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:173.
Sebastian Pizarro. SubLt de Bandera, Inf of Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:119.
Tomás Pizarro. Capt, Mil Inf de Buenos Aires. 1799, Leg 7258:I:2.
Sebastian Planchon. Lt, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798:Leg 7297:IV:76.
Gaspar de la Plaza. Ayudante Mayor agregado Lt Col, Asamblea Cab Buenos Aires, 1795, Leg 7257:III:3.
Francisco Porley. Sgt, Mil Cab de Montevideo, 1799, Leg 7258:II:48.
Clemente Poveda. Sgt, Cab. Blandengues Buenos Aires, 1798k Leg7258:V:42
Antonio Prieto. Sgt, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1787, Leg 7257:XVIII:78.
Juan de la Puebla. SubLt, Mil Inf de Buenos Aires, 1799, Leg 7258:I:28.

Isidro Fexix de Quesada. Alf, Cab Blandengues de Montevideo, 178, Leg 7258:VIII:21.
Francisco Bruno de la Quintana, Alf, Dargones de Buenos Airees, 1798, Leg 7258:V:60.
Francisco Javier de la Quintana. Alf, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1791, Leg 7257:IX:41.
José Ignacio de la Quintanqa. Lt Col, with grade of Col, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:V:28.
José Miguel de Quintana. Lt, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:IV:86.
Manuel de la Quintana. Capt, Inf de Buenos Aires, 1791, Leg 7257:XIV:147.
Manuel de la Quintana. Portaguión, Drzagones de Buenos Aires 1798, Leg 7258:V:65.
Nicolás de la Quintana. Lt Col, 1st Commandante y Sargent-Mayor, Cab, Blandengues Buenos Aires, 1798, Leg 7258:VI:17.



January 27th SHHAR Quarterly Meeting
"OC Historical Update"
Gualberto Valadez, Beloved community member dies at 93
Vicki Ruiz Preserves the Stories of Latinas in America
The road Home for the Holidays is Paved with Extortion


"O.C. Historical Update" 

Hello fellow purveyors, protectors and students of Orange County history!  This is to let you know I've launched new O.C. history blog

This seemed like a good way for everyone (including me) to keep up with what's going on in the local historical community.

If you have relevant news, events, books, websites, projects, etc you’d like to promote, please let me know. Likewise, if there’s historical info you’d like to share or a question you’d like to ask everyone, I’d be happy to post those too. Meanwhile, I’ll try to keep things as up-to-date as time allows.


Beloved community member Gualberto Valadez dies at 93 
Placentia News-Times 
Sent by Ricardo Valverde

TEACHER: Gualberto Valadez, 92, began teaching at La Jolla School in 1939; after 19 years he went to Valencia High School, where he taught for 25 years. After nearly a century of devotion to his family, his community and his students, Gualberto J. Valadez died Nov. 12 after a long fight with cancer. 
Pictured at 91 years

A founding member of the Mexican American Movement, the creator of the first after-school programs offered Hispanic kids in Placentia and a 44-year teaching veteran, Valadez is remembered as a role model for generations of youngsters. 

"I think he was just obsessively dedicated to the community in both educational and sports efforts and what you would call civil rights," said Nora Valadez, one of Gualberto's five daughters. "He was part of that pioneering in the transformation from where our people were in the '40s to where we are now. It's great to see a lot of people proved him right - I don't think there was a lot of feeling that Mexican kids even needed to go to high school." 

Gualberto first began teaching physical education, and later Spanish, in the segregated La Jolla Junior High School in the late 1930s. He began some of the first after-school sports programs for neighborhood children. His career was so long and he touched the lives of so many! community members in their youth, former students gathered an avalanche of support last year to get the school district's new middle school named after him. 
"We have a group that meets once a month for breakfast," said a longtime friend, colleague and former student of Gualberto's, Santiago "Jim" Segovia. "We talked about what we could do to honor Mr. Valadez because all our conversations would end up about Mr. Valadez." 

"He was there when the school board announced they were going to name the school after him," recalled Leo Castro, another friend and former student of Valadez'. "The whole room was packed - it was standing room only."  Valadez taught and coached junior high and high school for more than 40 years.  

In a time when Mexican-Americans were pushed into the trades and manual labor, Castro said the challenging academic work in Mr. Valadez' Spanish class was an integral part of his education. 

"He was primarily a coach - he covered everything related to soccer, football, basketball, that sort of thing," Castro! said. "He taught a Spanish class which was very, very interesting and educational as opposed to the other classes we participated in like automotive shop, shop and more shop… (Most teachers) taught us the menial (skills), and types of jobs such as farming, shop work or carpentry. We never got any science. We never got any typing. We never got any algebra." 

Castro said Valadez taught the grammar rules of Spanish in such a way that he was able to apply the knowledge to English, learning to speak and write both languages better. 
Dr. Ervie Peña, in fact, says Valadez and his class were one of the reasons he went on to earn his PhD. Peña is now a professor of Spanish language and literature. 

"He's an urban legend that's been created within our community," Peña said on Valadez. "He has the reputation as a pillar of society and he's venerated by at least two or three generations in the community." 

Gualberto carried on his belief in the advancement of Latinos in the United States as one of the founding members of the Mexican American Movement, an organization that helped end segregation nationally. 

Adrian Olmos, Gualberto's grandson, is a professional musician in Los Angeles. He said his grandfather was integral to his success. 

"For me, growing up, I kind of had a different relationship than most in the family," Olmos said. "He was like my father; he had five daughters and I was kind of like his son. My grandpa is the reason I play - and have done anything. (He bought) me the sax I use right now. It's a Selmer - back in high school, it was just unheard of for a kid to get something like that. He's real strict about education, but he always said (music) was my ticket. He taught me everything, from how to hold a fork at a nice restaurant to opening doors for people - just basic manners and how to treat people… His whole life was helping other people." 


Vicki Ruiz Preserves the Stories of Latinas in America
UCImagazine, fall/winter 2006
Sent by Dr. Aury Holtzman

Growing up, Vicki Ruiz loved hearing stories her mother and grandmother told about their childhoods, the kind of stories she never found in history books. Today, Ruiz -newly appointed chair of history and professor of Chicano/Latino studies - is writing her own history books about Latinas who have long been overlooked by researchers. Her latest and most ambitious project is a three-volume work she co-edited called Latinas in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia.
Vicki Ruiz spent 8 years co-editing her nearly 1,000 page encyclopedia.

"We didn't want this to be a dry encyclopedia," said Ruiz. "We wanted to show what these women's lives were like in their historical moment. It's not a who's who."

The encyclopedia includes stories of more than 500 Latinas from the 1500s to the present. Among the local Latinas profiled are Los Tomboys, the "league of their own" 1947 softball champs from Orange County.

"I wanted these women to reveal themselves in their own words," said Ruiz, who has broken a few barriers herself - most recently as first Latina president of the American Studies Association.



The Road Home for the Holidays is Paved with Extortion

Despite sending money south all year to aid families, fund public projects, O.C.'s Mexican nationals find themselves prime shakedown targets in their homeland.
By Jennifer Delson,
Sent by Ricardo Valverde
When 40 Santa Ana residents return in a caravan of vehicles this month to La Presa, a small village in Michoacan Mexico, they will come with presents for relatives and to dedicate a new town plaza partially paid for with money they earned in California.

But that doesn't mean they will get the red-carpet treatment.
Even though they are Mexican nationals, the migrants say their American cars and clothing are dead giveaways to men claiming to be police who shake them down for money as they wind their way home for the holidays.

Though Americans might be considered untouchable because they are foreigners, migrants say they are easy prey for extortionists, who usually ask for $20 to several hundred dollars. 

The demands are an insult to those who annually provide millions of dollars to Mexico in the form of remittances to their families and contributions to local public works projects, immigrant leaders say.

If they protest, the migrants say, they are threatened with having their vehicles impounded, or other tactics that might delay their annual return to their native towns. As a consequence, many fortify themselves with a handful of $20 bills before crossing the border, resigned to paying.

"[It's] an aggression toward migrants returning home. It doesn't matter where it happens. It's part of the culture and I wonder if it will ever stop," said Aureliano Serrato, a Santa Ana gardener who said he has been forced to pay extortion on highways and at airports on his trips home to La Presa. 

"You cross the border and the corruption begins," said Serrato, who led a drive to collect $40,000 for the La Presa plaza. "It's like they are waiting for us." 

In the last 15 years, the Mexican government has made efforts to curtail the practice, and some immigrants said they noted fewer solicitations since Vicente Fox became president in 2000. They hope the situation will improve more during the presidency of Felipe Calderon, who was inaugurated Friday. 

Yet Mexican immigrants remain "perfect targets" for low-paid police officers looking to supplement their incomes, said Eduardo Bohorquez, executive director of Transparencia Mexicana, a nonprofit group that tracks Mexican corruption.

Police "know the migrants have dollars, that normally they do not have high levels of education and that they don't know about Mexican law," said Bohorquez.

This year, Florencia Martinez, the national coordinator of a program that seeks to help immigrants as they return home, visited several U.S. cities to educate migrants about their rights in anticipation of the holiday travel season, when 1.2 million Mexican nationals are expected to return to their hometowns.

"We've made great strides, but we still have work to do," she said.

Martinez talked to immigrants about how much new merchandise they are allowed to bring into Mexico and how to legally enter with a foreign car. Knowledge of the law, she said, is the migrants' greatest weapon against extortion.

Though migrants can refuse to meet extortion demands and can file official complaints, few turn to the Mexican government for help. 

In 2005, only 40 people filed complaints, Martinez said. "What we want to show is that we are taking these complaints very seriously, that there is a value in complaining."

Southern California immigrants are angered about the way they are treated by Mexican authorities. At a recent meeting in Santa Ana, they told her and other Mexican officials about their experiences.

Yet for many immigrants, the thought of refusing to pay extortion or filing a complaint seems risky and, at the very least, time consuming. Many say they just pay.

Juan Alvarez, 44, of Garden Grove said he filed a complaint last year but was never told of any consequence.

Alvarez, who spoke during the recent Santa Ana meeting, said he returned to his native Mexico City last Christmas and was halted while he stopped for gas in the state of Sonora by a group of men. Armed with rifles, they demanded all of his money - $200 - saying it was a toll for using the road, Alvarez said. When he reported the incident to federal police, Alvarez said he was told he shouldn't have been on the road because it was dangerous.

Once in Mexico City, he said local police stopped him because he had an American driver's license and asked him for $100 or they would confiscate his car.

"Traveling on the highway is really dangerous. You just don't know what can happen," Alvarez said.

Others take matters into their own hands. To avoid problems, some families travel in caravans to watch one other, said Adolfo Sierra, who heads a group of immigrants that annually returns to Guanajuato state in the central highlands.

Carlos Sifuentes, president of the Federation of Zacatecas Clubs in Orange County, said when he was stopped and asked for money by a man wearing a police uniform, he replied that he was a ranking member of an immigrant club. He said the man seemed impressed and immediately let him go. 

"When [officials] can't find something illegal that you have done, they just outright ask for money," said Sifuentes, who said on another recent trip he was approached by a man dressed as a federal police officer who asked him for $20 for coffee.

When Maria Torres and her family were returning to Aguascalientes, they were pulled over in Ciudad Juarez by men dressed as police officers. She said they told her they would have to confiscate the car because the headlights were not on.

She and her husband asked the officer for his name but he would not give it, Torres said. The family was given the option to pay a fine on the spot or wait until the next day when municipal offices would be open. Her husband, she said, gave the men $20.


Tracing your Native American Heritage
Latino Rights Pioneer from Orange County dies at 91
L.A. Wallflower: Hidden for Decades Mural is Being Restored

Tracing your Native American Heritage
Native American genealogist Daniel Bartosz 

Saturday, January 13, 1–4 pm
Southwest Museum of the American Indian, Mt. Washington 
234 Museum Drive, Los Angeles, CA 90065 


Many Americans have a Native American heritage.  For some, it may be a very small part of who we are. Some may be eligible for tribal benefits. Too many have little or no knowledge of our genealogies and the cultures represented in them.

This is a rare opportunity to attend a lecture and workshop by Native American genealogist Daniel Bartosz of the West Los Angeles Family History Center on tracing your Native American roots.

Representatives from local Native Nations will be available to share information about several of the Los Angeles area peoples. The Museum Store will have a wide selection of books and videos about genealogy and various Native American cultures.

Reservations are suggested. Call 323.667.2000, ext. 353
To contact Daniel Bartosz, email:

Latino Rights Pioneer from Orange County dies at 91

DANA POINT (AP) – John Gonzales, founding president of a Los Angeles Council of the League of United Latin American Citizens and a longtime activist for Mexican-American rights, has died. He was 91.

Gonzales died of natural causes Dec. 6 at his home in Dana Point, said his daughter, Diane Lichterman.

“He was a fearless stalwart in the defense of Southern California Latinos in the early to mid-’40s when few dared raise their head above the crowd for fear of violent retribution,” Edward Morga, a former national LULAC president, told the Los Angeles Times.

Gonzales helped organize the formation of new LULAC councils statewide in the 1940s. He was the organization’s vice president general when LULAC in Orange County helped organize a class-action lawsuit against four Orange County school districts forcing Mexican children to attend schools separate from whites.

The landmark case—Mendez vs. Westminster School District of Orange County -- led to the end of segregation in California schools in 1947, nearly seven years before the U.S. Supreme Court’s Brown vs. Board of Education decision that declared unconstitutional the racial segregation of public schools.

Margie Aguirre, chairwoman of the California LULAC Heritage Committee, said Gonzales helped raise funds for the Orange County case and wrote an article in the LULAC News that helped bring national attention to it. In his article, “Calling All LULACs,” Gonzales wrote of a time in the future “when all persons regardless of former ancestry, color or creed shall have the right to equal educational and economic opportunities and the equal protection of our laws.”

“Never in the history of LULAC has the call to arms been more urgent or for a more worthy cause, and I should like to feel that when this fight is over each of us shall have cause to be proud,” Gonzales wrote.

In 2003, Gonzales received a certificate of special congressional recognition for his work during the Mendez case. A year later, the California Assembly presented him a certificate of recognition in honor of his receiving the Patriots with Civil Rights Award from LULAC.

Gonzales was born in Avon, Colo., on March 29, 1915, and moved to Phoenix when he was in elementary school.

In Phoenix, he worked as a clerk in the county recorder’s office, started a newspaper with a friend dealing with political issues in the Hispanic community and began his involvement with LULAC. He moved to Los Angeles in 1939 and worked as a welder in a shipyard. He did undergraduate work at the University of California, Los Angeles, and transferred to Western State College of Law in Los Angeles, where he graduated in 1950. He later worked in the Los Angeles district attorney’s office.

Besides his daughter Diane, Gonzales is survived by his daughter Anita Fernandez, sons John Jr. and Paul, 12 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

Source: GARDEN GROVE JOURNAL, Thursday, Dec 28, 2006. 
Sent by Viola Sadler

America, 1932
David Alfaro Siqueiros
18'H x 82'W

The article below was previously published 
in Somos Primos, June 2005 as part of the  
 Olvera Street 75th Anniversary Celebration,  1930-2005

We are happy to report that the Getty Museum has undertaken to restore Topical America 
 to its initial condition.  It is estimated that the task will be completed by 2009. 
Thanks to Dan Hogan for sharing the information. 

"Tropical America," ("La América Tropical") by David Alfaro Siqueiros. is painted on the Italian Wall on Olvera Street. A banner reproduction, exactly 18 x 80 ft, just like the original  hangs over the protective cover of the original master piece. Tropical America was the first large-scale mural in the United States that created a public space by being painted on an ordinary exterior wall, 
History behind the Piece, America Tropical  

Upon is expulsion form Mexico in 1932 for political activity, David Alfaro Siqueiros settled in Los Angeles for six months. During that brief time, he completed three murals. The first, Street Meeting, was painted at the Chouinard School of Art, where he taught a class on fresco paining. He painted the last mural, Portait of Present Day Mexico (which still exists), at a home in Pacific Palisades. But Siqueiros' most important mural in Los Angeles was his second -- Tropical America. The powerful political statement was executed along the exterior of the second floor of the Italian Hall, where the Plaza Art Center was located. 

The title was suggested by F.K. Ferenz, the director of the Plaza Art Center who, along with Dean Cornwall, one of the muralists of the Los Angeles Public Library, sponsored the work. Commercial companies donated paint, cement, mechanical equipment and wood for the scaffold. Siqueiros, assisted by approximately 20 artists known as the Bloc of Mural Painters, began the mural in mid-August. He worked primarily at night, paining with an airbrush after the design was outlined on the wall with a projector. The fresco, made of cement rather than the traditional plaster, was completed the night before its dedication on October 9, 1932. 

In executing this work, along with his other murals in Los Angeles, Siqueiros extensively used mechanical equipment, such as the airbrush, for the first time. So emotionally charged was the allegorical imagery that within six months, a section of the mural visible from Olvera Street was painted out. Within a year, the work was completely covered. Portraying the struggle against imperialism was particularly offensive to Christine Sterling, the leading promoter of Olvera Street, presumably because it did not conform to her image of a docile and tranquil Mexican village. 

Virtually forgotten for years, the mural was rediscovered in the late 1960s when the whitewash began to peel off. However, it was severely damager shortly thereafter by exposure to the sun. A plywood cover which now hides the work, was installed in 1982 to prevent further deterioration. The mural has now been conserved. 

David Alfaro Siqueiros (1896-1974), born in Chihuahua, Mexico, joined Jose Orozco and Diego Rivera as the 20th Century's most influential muralists. They revolutionized mural content and style by portraying Mexico's rich history and contemporary economic problems in visually bold political terms.

Source of information:
For more about Siqueiros or to receive a free newsletter concerning activities on Olvera St. go to:

Information below from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

David Alfaro Siqueiros (December 29, 1896 in Camargo, Chihuahua, Mexico - January 6, 1974 in Cuernavaca, Morelos, Mexico) was a painter and muralist known for his social realism work.

His notable projects include his collaborative mural at the Mexican Electricians' Union (1939-40), From Porfiriato to the Revolution at the Museum of National History (1957-55), March of Humanity and the Polyforum Cultural Siqueiros on Avenida Insurgentes (1965-71), and his role in procuring mural commissions for artists on the University City campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 1950s Mexico City.

Siqueiros was one of several well-known Mexican muralists working at the time, including Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and Rufino Tamayo. His art directly reflected the time period in which he flourished as an artist. His art was deeply rooted in the Mexican Revolution, a violent and chaotic period in Mexican history in which various social and political factions fought for recognition and power. The period from the 1920s to the 1950s is known as the Mexican Renaissance, and Siqueiros was active in the attempt to create an art that was at once Mexican and universal.

Political activism was an important piece of Siqueiros' life, and frequently inspired him to set aside his artistic career. In 1911, when he was only fifteen years old, Siqueiros attended the Academy of San Carlos and was involved in a student strike that protested the academy's method of teaching and urged the impeachment of the school's director. One year later, when he was just sixteen years old, he conspired against Victoriano Huerta's dictatorship. At the age of eighteen, he participated in the Constitutionalist Army fighting against the forces of General Victoriano Huerta. He briefly gave up painting to focus on organizing miners in Jalisco. He ran a political art workshop in New York City in preparation for the 1936 General Strike for Peace and May Day parade. The young Jackson Pollock attended the workshop and helped build floats for the parade. Between 1937 and 1938 he fought in the Spanish Civil War alongside the Spanish Republican forces, in opposition to Francisco Franco's military coup. He was exiled twice from Mexico , once in 1932 and again in 1940, following his assassination attempt on Leon Trotsky.

From 1919 to 1922 he traveled to Belgium, France, Italy, and Spain to study art. Throughout his career he traveled internationally, promoting his version of muralism in the United States, South America (including Uruguay, Argentina and Chile), Cuba, Europe, and the Soviet Union.

Siqueiros was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize for the year of 1966. His nephew is filmmaker David Siqueiros.  

Original art by Siqueiros is available. .   go to ARTCYCLOPEDIA

Commercial Art Gallery Guide
David Alfaro Siqueiros in Museums and Public Art Galleries  
David Alfaro Siqueiros in Artnet Galleries: Artnet homepage for this artist
Diane Villani Editions, New York, 2 works listed
Pan American Art Gallery, Dallas, Texas, Nahuatl
Mary-Anne Martin/Fine Art, New York, Macbeth or the Criminal Act
ArtSpace/Virginia Miller Galleries, Coral Gables/Miami, Florida, Sentimental Friendship
Susan L. Halper Fine Art Inc., New York, From the Mexican Suite
Galería Enrique Guerrero, Mexico City, Mexico, Niño Sentado



California’s Heritage Discovery Center 
To Whom it may Concern
Traces of Spain in the National Parks & Monuments of the U.S.
Save the Juana Briones House
Jan 12, Mini-Festival of Latino Arts 
El Central Union High School, Class of 1950

California’s Heritage Discovery Center 
Home of the Wilbur-Cruce Spanish Mission Horse

The following article is by Robin Collins, President and Founder of Heritage Discovery Center, a new non-profit dedicated to preservation and continuation of the rare breed of Spanish Mission horse from the Wilbur-Cruce Ranch. Currently located on temporary quarters in Madera County, the HDC is working to establish a living historical agricultural museum that will highlight these wonderful horses and interpret
Spanish Colonial life through a living museum.

I have been fascinated by ‘behavior’ as far back as I can remember.  I was curious about frogs, deer, foxes, birds, and all wildlife. I was raised in the Los Angeles area and fortunate enough to have a second home in Big Bear Lake, where I grew up surrounded by the bounty, beauty and magnificence of nature. 

I have always been in the companionship of animals, all shapes and sizes.  Thanks to my wonderful parents, I have had the honor of sharing my life with horses since I was three years old.  I cannot remember what made me so determined to have a horse, but at seven years of age, with money I had saved, I purchased my first horse. I loved them all any color, shape or size.  And so I started to collect them, any color shape or size.  Mom always said about my love of horses, “If it was breathing, it was a beautiful horse.” 

I did my homework in the barn, slept with my horses, took them everywhere I possibly could and refused to go anywhere they could not go.  I believe you could call this “Horse Crazy,” a fantasy so many young people have, but so few get to make into a reality. 

My parents tried to understand and allowed me to start a horse directed lifestyle in my early years.  My Mother and Father decided that if I so inclined that I should ride with the best horseman that she could find. Lucky me! And so I became a student of Jimmy Williams, Master Horseman in every discipline. (Williams since received the honor of being inducted into the Show Jumping Hall of Fame. He was a founder and director of the Pacific Coast Horse Show Association.) 

My Mother picked me up after school and drove me to the Flintridge Riding Club nearly every day – what amazing dedication on her part.  There I learned not only about riding horses but behavior and life, both for me, and for the horses. Jimmy Williams trained people not only to ride but also horses and animals of all kinds to do anything and everything.  Many Disney movies are full of his “animal magic,” not to mention his stunt work in such classics as the very first “Mark of Zorro” with Tyrone Power and his training the horse Albarado in the Walt Disney feature film "The Horse in the Grey Flannel Suit."

I was fortunate to be able to observe and learn some of this behind the scenes training magic for a period of over twenty years.  This was in addition to riding and training performance horses for the Hunter/Jumper international circuit.  I also had the privilege of training horses and people that became Olympic Level Competitors from teams from the USA, Canada and Mexico. From the 1960s through the 1990s, my professional life consisted of training horses and animal behavior modification. My career was on a steady track – or so I thought! 

In 1990 I was offered another incredible opportunity.  Some Spanish horses, descendents from the earliest period of the Spanish presence in the New World, were placed into a conservation program to preserve their rare and unique genetics.  I was given the chance to share in their future. 

These horses came from the Mission and Rancho Dolores, Father Kino’s Mission in Sonora, Mexico, and were maintained on a ranch in Arivaca, Arizona for approximately 120 years.  This ranch was founded and owned by the Wilbur-Cruce family, beautifully described by Mrs. Eva Antonia Wilbur-Cruce in her book about the life and times of her family and horses on the ranch, A Beautiful Cruel Country (University of Arizona Press, 1990).

These horses were gathered and placed into this conservation program with the collaboration of Mrs. Wilbur-Cruce and the American Minor Breeds Conservancy, now known as the American Livestock Conservancy. Philip Sponenberg, PhD, Director for the AMBC, had done the scientific documentation of the horses, determining that they were, indeed, pure descendants of horses imported to Mexico and the American Southwest by the Spanish. Along with Mrs. Wilbur-Cruce, a strictly structured program for care and breeding was set, and the horses were placed with three conservation breeders. I was one of the three chosen to lead a conservation effort of the horses. I traveled to Arizona to meet my new herd, and I returned to California with twenty horses --six stallions and the balance in mares and foals. My new direction had begun.

At that time I was living in Carmel and our show horses were located at the Laguna Seca Ranch in Monterey.  This ranch had been a great stallion station and breeding operation -- such great stallions as Royal Orbit, Indian Hemp and Determined stood here.    This was a wonderful facility for the Wilbur-Cruce herd -- not to mention that it was California’s Capital of the Spanish Colonial period.  I soon realized that the horses from the Wilbur-Cruce Mission strain of Spanish Horse was an incredible living history on the hoof -- still part of the great story of the Spanish, Mission and Californio period of our region’s history. As many of the historians and artisans who reside in Monterey County came forth with illuminating historical facts and stories about theses horses I began to realize that their history was my own.

Stories of the treks of Portola and Father Serra as well as Juan Bautista de Anza bringing the colonists through the Mission Chain to Monterey and San Francisco brought more awareness of the participation and importance of the Spanish Horse.  Further colonization of California created the fabled lifestyles of the Californio and Vaquero, and vast herds of Spanish Cattle dotted the landscape.

I grew eager to revisit all that I was learning about out fabulous Colonial Period.  I had visited the Eastern Colonial Parks, such as Williamsburg and Sturbridge Village, and looked for a similar Western experience. I felt the need for people to share in the magnificent history of the Spanish Horses (Wilbur-Cruce remnant) I wished for the opportunity for people to share in California’s natural bounty, Native American and Spanish history as well. And so the idea for the Heritage Discovery Center began. 

There was someone who understood the history and above all the horses, my mentor Jimmy Williams. He knew the human history and he knew the role the horses played and understood their great importance in our history.  As I trained this horse to step forth from the pages of history into today’s re-enactment of our Spanish Colonial history, Jimmy shared the nuances of the Vaquero culture with me. The Wilbur-Cruce horses were invited to participate in a documentary film about Portola & Serra coming to Monterey and the history of Monterey as California’s Capital. Jimmy’s knowledge of the period proved invaluable; he explained how the Vaquero used his reata and rode in a ‘Center Fire’ saddle. He also talked about how people of the early Californio period depended on their horses and why it was called the ‘equestrian’ period of California.  Jimmy Williams passed before he could witness the finalization of the HDC, but his knowledge/inspiration and spirit of the partnership of horse and man will remain.

Generation after generation of these rare Spanish horses has proven that the history told about these horses is accurate and that they truly are living icons of a time past.  To visit these horses is to step back in time when horses were a part of our daily lives and man was proud of his equine partner.  These horses invite you into their social groups with enthusiasm and joy.  Their character is generous and communicative as a dear friend would be.  To know them is to feel their passion and spirit for life, as they make you part of theirs.

To ride one of these intuitive horses is to experience someone knowing your every move and desire, to frolic with the foals is to share time with your personal freedom, to share time with the mares is to witness unconditional love, and to be close with one of the Stallions is to feel your unbridled spirit.

Preservation of these unique equines time is a must.

I researched all of the Spanish Horse registries and found the Spanish Barb Breeders Association to be the most appropriate organization to use to develop registration identification for the preservation of this unique gene pool. These horses have returned from our colonial times to demonstrate adaptability to the 20th century. They have shared the pageantry and celebration of our history by participating in the Rose Parade, the Santa Barbara Fiesta, Interpretive days at various Mission celebrations, and ceremonies for the Los Californianos, and the Anza Trails Association.   

These are horses with keen intelligence that have shared human experience for thousands of years.

These horses are the Treasure that the Spanish left behind.

 ”Our history was written on the backs of horses. Never was there an animal as completely absorbed in the service of man as the horse.”  

 These horses are a living testament to the Spanish Colonists’ partnership with this noble breed.

 I believe this is my favorite poem about the horse, a favorite I share with Bill Cooke, director of the Kentucky Horse Park:

“Where in all the world is nobility found without conceit?
Where is there friendship without envy?
Where is beauty without vanity?
Here ones finds gracefulness coupled with power and strength, tempered by gentleness.
A constant servant, yet no slave.
A fighter, even without hostility.
Our history was written on his back.
We are his heirs.
But he is his own heritage...the Horse.”

At the Heritage Discovery Center these living ambassadors of our equine legacy are embraced and celebrated, recognized for their contributions to our human development.  At HDC we will come to better understand our partners in history. These horses link us intrinsically with a heritage we all share.  We need your help to continue to perpetuate this precious living legacy.  With your contribution and support, you have the opportunity to preserve this integral part of America’s history and bring the history of Spanish California to thousands upon thousands of children and families, students and seniors, tourists and residents of our great State alike – we look forward to your participation and support.

Robin Collins
President and Founder
Heritage Discovery Center
Madera, California

Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research
P.O. Box 490, Midway City, CA 92655-0490

To Whom it may Concern

In support of the California Heritage Discovery Center
November 10, 2006

It is with great interest and delight that I write in support of the concept of developing a Heritage Discovery Center in California, where both children and families will enjoy a variety of experiences that will broaden their historical understanding of Early California. It is certainly needed.

California is the most populous state in the Union and has the largest Hispanic population in the nation.. A Heritage Discovery Center with the ethnically inclusive vision that is intended, would not only be of value for historical insight, but would assist in helping to improve multi-cultural relations.

The unique aspect of a herd of horses with DNA tracing them to the earliest Spanish horses will surely attract support from a great variety of groups. Spanish horses and their Spanish riders facilitated the colonization and expansion of the Americas.

We must stand in awe of the dedication of horse breeders who were determined to keep these horses' bloodlines pure. Who knows the impulse that lead to this dedication or purpose, but surely the opportunity of touching and viewing those magnificent horses will impact mightily in the hearts of those future museum visitors.

January of last year, I received information from Refugio I. Rochin, Ph.D. , at that time Executive Director, (SACNAS) Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Latinos and Native Americans in Science. I first met Dr. Rochin in 1996 when he was the Director of the Latino Initiative at the Smithsonian. He shared with me that the National Park Service was in the process of preparing a publication as a resource for the interpretation of historic sites, structures, and landscapes as they pertain to Hispanic and Latino peoples in America.

This resource is intended to provide guidance and suggestions to identify themes, social history topics, and historic places that reflect the cultural heritage of Hispanic and Latino peoples in the United States. The major historical groups that will be covered in this study are Mexican Americans, Cuban Americans, and Puerto Ricans.

Working title: Hispanic American Heritage: Cultural Traditions and the Built Environment.

It appears that the timing and mission of the Heritage Discovery Center is right on target in terms of the National Parks vision. 1992, the National Park Service established the Spanish Colonial Research Center in partnership with the University of New Mexico
. The Spanish Colonial resources of the National Park Service provide numerous ways to explore Spanish heritage and its legacies in the United States, particularly in architecture, location, and documentation of the population.

The unique aspect of the Heritage Discovery Center will tie historical migrations and colonization together through the history of the horse. Although, buildings and artifacts will be available for viewing, as in other sites; it is the living aspect of the horses which should excite involvement and support.

[For information on research projects visit:
National Center for Cultural Resources

National Park Service 202.354.2266 202.371.2422 fax ]

In 1960, a Spaniard Luis A Bolin, authored a book entitled Parques Nacionales Norteamericanos. It was published in Madrid by Editora Nacional. It was then translated by Herbert Weinstock and published by Alfred A Knopf, Inc. as the National Parks of the United States in 1962.

Mr. Bolin included an Appendix, entitled: Traces of Spain in the National Parks and Monuments of the United States. It is included in its entirety. Hopefully, it will reinforce the reader's conviction that California needs to give clarity to its colonial history, and that the Heritage Discovery Center would be the perfect venue to do so.

Sincerely, Mimi Lozano
President, SHHAR

Editor, Somos Primos online magazine

Traces of Spain in the National Parks & Monuments of the U.S.

DURING the sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries, Spanish activity in the regions later integrated into the United States was far more intense than may people now suppose. Vestiges of that activity lie in full view. Some have tried to hide them, but others have sung their glories. To bring them back to life it is sufficient to stir up old memories.

Few relate the Spaniards in America and the national parks of the United States. Nevertheless, the connection is there. Let us begin our quest in the most remote of the forty-eight contiguous states-Washington, on the Pacific Coast, adjoining Canada and we shall soon find traces of Spain.

Olympic National Park is a preserve as distant as any from the big cities of the Atlantic seaboard, from the geographic center of the forty-eight contiguous states, and from the nation's capital. Let us see what is said of a Spaniard on a commemorative stone in the state of Washington on the Pacific Coast, on the edge of a marvelous highway that runs close to this magnificent park:

The Spanish captain Juan Perez sailed north from San Bias in 1774, with orders from Spain to claim the coast, against the Russians. Perez discovered Nootka Sound on the west shore of Vancouver Island and traded with the natives of the Queen Charlottes. He sighted a snow peak, towering high and afar from a rock-bound coast, on August 11, 1774. He named it Sierra Nevada de Santa Rosalia. Four years later British captain John Meares was the second explorer to observe the mighty peak. He named it Mt. Olympus.

Two captains of Coronado's troops, Pedro de Tovar and Lopez de Cardenas, were, in 1540, the first white men to be struck with awe before the wonders of the Grand Canyon of the Colorado, in Arizona.

The wooded heights of Great Smoky Mountains National Park were sighted by Hernando de Soto in the sixteenth century when he traveled with his men through what is now North Carolina and Tennessee.

The discovery of the Hawaiian archipelago generally is attrib-uted to Captain James Cook of the Royal British Navy, who arrived there in 1778. But the Haleakala Guide published by the Hawaii Natural History Association in 1959 asserts that a Spanish navigator, Juan Gaetano, visited the islands in 1555. Contemporary documents in the Spanish Archives, the Haleakala Guide states, show a group of islands in the latitude of Hawaii, but ten degrees of longitude too far west. What corresponds to the island of Maui is called La Desgraciada (The Unfortunate); the island of Hawaii is labeled La Mesa (The Table); and what appears to represent Kahoolawe, Lanai, and Molokai is called Los Monjes (The Monks). Despite the error in the recorded longitude, the fact that the islands appear on the chart, as well as their approximate locations-there are no other islands in the vicinity-allow us to assume with some assurance that Juan Gaetano was in effect the first white man to cast his eyes on the region that now includes Haleakala and Hawaii national parks.

In 1541, De Soto was in what is now Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas.

Kings Canyon, California, owes its name to the Spaniards who discovered the river of the Holy Kings one January 6, the feast of the Three Magi, in whose honor they named the area Canyon of the Three Kings.

Mesa Verde, Colorado, was discovered by Juan Maria de Rivera in 1765. Ten years later, Father Escalante camped near what is now the entrance to Mesa Verde National Park.

The Olympic Mountains, dominating the Strait of Juan de Fuca from the state of Washington and forming the central spine of Olympic National Park, were discovered in 1774 by a lieutenant of the Spanish navy, Juan Perez, who named the highest of them Cerro de Santa Rosalia. Four years later an English navigator, John Meares, saw the same peak from the Strait of Juan de Fuca and gave it the name of Mount Olympus, which has been used ever since on maps and maritime charts.

Platt National Park, Oklahoma, is a part of the territory that was traversed by Coronado's captains in or about 1542, when they were exploring the southern part of what is now the United States.

At least some of the seventy-five peaks that rise above 9,800 feet in Rocky Mountain National Park were sighted by Father Silvestre Velez de Escalante, Father Francisco Atanasio Dominguez, and Captain Miera y Pacheco, who accompanied the priests during their fabulous wanderings through what now is Colorado.

The men who discovered Kings Canyon and the River of the Holy Kings were the first to know or to hear anything about the gigantic trees that grow in Sequoia National Park, California.

The island of St. John, where Virgin Islands National Park is now established, was christened San Juan in 1493 by Christopher Columbus.

The discovery of the area known today as Yosemite National Park, in California, is generally attributed to two American ex-plorers. But this marvelous region is full of Spanish names-the Merced River, Mariposa Grove, El Mono and Fernandez passes, El Portal, El Capitan-an indication that the first men to become acquainted with its principal features spoke Spanish.

Zion, in Utah, forms part of the territories crossed by Father Escalante and his companions in 1776 during their march from Santa Fe into Colorado and Utah and back in search of the best route for reaching the missions that other Franciscan fathers had established on the coast of California.

Spaniards did not discover Mount McKinley or the region of Alaska that now constitute the magnificent park bearing its name, but they were relatively close to these areas in the course of the expeditions which, for political reasons, they carried out from Acapuico by order of Charles III during the last third of the seventeenth century. Abundant traces remain of their passage along the southern coasts of Alaska.

I myself have counted, on the spot or on recently published maps, some two hundred Spanish place names-towns such as Valdes and Cordova, capes, promontories, mountains, bays, creeks, islands, lakes, and rivers-which have endured for nearly two centuries. Spaniards, therefore, were not only the first Europeans to visit vast areas of Central and South America and of the continental United States, but also the first to explore and occupy part of Alaska, passing its western confines and anchoring their ships among the Aleutian Islands.

In the museum at Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas, the Park Service, whose leaflets are the source for some of the preceding data, commemorates the Spanish discoveries in America with these words:

Spain implanted her religion and culture in a New World nearly a century before other European nations gained a foothold inside it. A few courageous soldiers, priests and colonists spread Spanish Dominions from Arkansas to Peru and left a heritage of culture which still flourishes in the South West and in countries south of the United States. De Soto ranks with Pizarro and Cortes amongst the great conquistadores. Although his last expedition failed, it explored 4,000 miles of wilderness and traversed the territories occupied by ten States of the Union.

Eleven national monuments or historic sites in the custody of the National Park Service are linked to Spanish activities in the United States and one of its dependencies.

1. De Soto National Memorial, in Bradenton, Florida, cornmemorates the Conquistador's prodigious march through unexplored and inhospitable regions. It lasted four years, during which De Soto journeyed with his men through more than 4,000 miles of forest and wilderness.

The National Park Service's leaflet on this monument-an evocative, simple, and romantic area of some fifty acres situated at the entrance to Tampa Bay-is dedicated entirely to the personality of Hernando de Soto and to his prodigious, well-organized expedition through virgin territories. "Don Hernando de Soto," the leaflet says, "caballero de Santiago and a gentleman by all four descents, was a typical conquistador. Charles V appointed him Governor of Cuba and Adelantado (leader) to 'conquer, pacify, and populate' the northern continent.

"On April 17, 1538, trumpets sounded and cannon thundered as the flotilla left San Lucar, Spain, with about 700 volunteers aboard. The winds were favorable, and De Soto's bride was at his side.

"In Havana, on May 18, 1539, De Soto bade farewell to his Dona Isabel and set sail for Florida. On May 30, the army landed on the west coast, apparently at Tampa Bay. A few ruined pearls lay in the dust at the deserted Indian village where they camped, and the Spaniards believed themselves at the threshold of fortune. So Narvaez had thought, when he chanced upon a single golden ornament!

"Spanish scouts found the lost Juan Ortiz, who had come to Florida with Narvaez and had been saved by a native princess from death at the stake. For 10 years Ortiz had been a slave of the Indians, and, while he had seen no riches, he had heard wonderful reports of the interior land. De Soto assigned 100 men to guard the camp and sent the ships back to Cuba for supplies. The march through 4,000 miles of unknown land began on July 15, 1539.

"De Soto led 600 or more disciplined veterans who averaged - and sometimes doubled -a steady 10 miles a day on the march. Counting the Indians drafted as they went along, the expedition must often have numbered up to 1,000 people. About 200 horses mounted the lancers. There were about 300 crossbowmen and harquebusiers, a dozen priests, a physician, and workmen to build boats and bridges or repair weapons and rivet the slave chains.

"As they pushed northward, heat and hunger plagued them; hidden natives rained arrows upon them. De Soto followed the practice of seizing village chieftains and forcing them to supply food, carriers, and guides. Once beyond Ocale (in what is now Florida), Indians gathered to rescue their chief, but the Spaniards moved first, driving the warriors into nearby lakes.

"De Soto continued onward. Then from winter quarters in the hostile Apalachee farmlands (now northern Florida, near Apalachee Bay), he summoned the men left at the landing site, while to Havana he sent a present of 20 Indian women for Dona Isabel. Meanwhile, his scouts discovered Pensacola Bay; others saw the bleached bones of Narvaez' horses at Apalachee Bay.

"In the spring of 1540, they marched toward the Savannah River, where the comely chieftainess of the Cofitachequi, an Indian village, bestowed her pearl necklace upon Don Hernando. Another 200 pounds of pearls were dug from the burial mounds. But the Adelantado pushed onward. If no richer land were found, they could always return.

"Some were lame and sick by the time they reached a region called Xuala in what is now western South Carolina, but here they saw 'more indications of gold mines than in all the country they had traversed.' Up into what is now North Carolina, then across the Smokies into Tennessee they went. Mulberries, nuts, maize, and turkeys the natives gave willingly, as the army pressed south-ward toward 'Coosa' in central Alabama, still searching for treasure.

"Powerful Tuscalusa, lord of the Mobile Indians, hid his anger when the Spainiards seized him, and agreed to furnish 400 carriers as soon as they reached the town of 'Mabila.' But warriors-not carriers-surrounded De Soto in Mabila. The Spaniards fought free and in a fierce day-long battle burned the Indian town and slaughtered 3,000 Indians. De Soto suffered crippling losses in this battle; 20 men killed, including a brother-in-law and a nephew; a number of horses killed; most of the expedition's supplies and property destroyed; 'and the wounded comprised all the men of most worth and honor in the army.'

"De Soto had planned to meet supply ships on the coast and send the pearls of Cofitachequi to Havana. But the pearls were lost at Mabila. Some of his disillusioned men, naked under their rusty mail, planned to sail with the ships. To prevent this, De Soto again turned his face from the coast.

"The expedition almost ended in the spring of 1541, when the Chickasaw Indians made a surprise dawn attack on the northern Mississippi camp. Fortunately, the Indians mistook stampeding horses for cavalry and withdrew; yet a dozen Spaniards lost their lives, and 50 horses were killed. Clothing, saddles, and weapons were burned. Shaking with cold, the men covered themselves with grass mats, while they fashioned new saddles and lances.

"On May 8, 1541, De Soto saw 'the great River,' so wide that 'if a man stood still on the other side, it could not be discerned whether he were a man or no.' Beyond the Mississippi lay the rumored wealth of Pacaha Province, so the artisans built barges and the army crossed for the march into Arkansas to the mouth of the St. Francis. Finding no gold, they turned west, then south, to winter on the west bank of the Ouachita River, near what is now Camden, Ark. Here, the interpreter Juan Ortiz died, a great loss.

"Even De Soto was discouraged. He went back to the Mississippi, planning to settle at a seaport and refit for a westward advance, but the scouts found no news of the sea. To terrorize the populous country and keep the Indians from uniting against him, De Soto ordered the destruction of the Aniico village in what is now Louisiana. The fighting was left to his lieutenants, for De Soto, called by his men 'one of the best lances who have passed to the New World,' was burning with fever. A few days later, on May 21, 1542, Hernando De Soto died.

"Not all mourned his passing, for he was a stem man. Yet, his skill and courage demanded respect, and his concern for his men won devotion. Secretly, they buried their knight within the village walls, telling the Indians that the 'Child of the Sun' had ascended to his father. When the natives saw the loosened earth and whispered, the Spaniards dug up the body, weighted it in an oaken casket, and sank it in the dark bosom of the Father of Waters, as the Indians called the Mississippi."

2. Fort Caroline, Florida, is a commemorative monument principally related to the passage of the French through this region. It also signalizes Spanish military actions; for that reason I include it here.

3. Fort Frederica National Monument, in Georgia, commemorates the struggles among Spain, France, and England for pos-session of this region.

4. The Fort of Matanzas, a national monument, is a small fortress not far from St. Augustine, Florida. Protected by this fort, the Spaniards here destroyed the French who threatened them.

5. Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, Florida, is an impressive fortress in classic style, built by the Spaniards in St. Augustine to defend the city and protect the ships that sailed along the Gulf Stream on their way to and from Mexico, loaded with merchandise and traveling between Spanish and Caribbean ports while exposed to the attacks of English pirates. In this fortress, since November 9,1955, the flag of Spain again flies alongside the flag of the United States.

6. San Juan National Historic Site, in Puerto Rico, consists of fortifications, walls, and buildings constructed by the Spaniards.

7. Cabrillo National Monument, in California, commemorates the discovery of the Bay of San Diego by the Portuguese Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a member of a Spanish expedition in 1542.

8. El Morro National Monument, in New Mexico, covers an area of some 250 acres. It was declared a national monument in 1906 to preserve the inscriptions by Spanish and other explorers on its rocky walls.

9. Gran Quivira National Monument, New Mexico, was a Spanish mission during the seventeenth century.

10. Tumacacori National Monument, Arizona, commemorates another Spanish mission.

11. Finally, San Jose Mission National Historic Site, Texas, jointly administered by the Catholic Church and the state of Texas, was designed to preserve one of the numerous missions established in the United States by Spaniards.

It is thus that the memory of Spain's ventures-exploratory, military, or spiritual, always heroic in the face of peril is honored in areas that now form part of the United States and its possessions. This tradition provides a treasury of resources which, through Spanish and American public opinion, can help to cement Spain's close relations with a country to which so many peoples are linked today by close friendship. [[ and family lineage - editor]]



November 27, 2006

First Lady Maria Shriver
State Capitol Building
Sacramento, CA 95814

Subject: Save the Juana Briones House

Historic Preservation

Dear Madame:

It is with the utmost urgency that I am writing this letter to bring you up to date regarding the status of the legendary Juana Briones House. Efforts to save the house from demolition within a very short time remain tenuous, at best.

Plans for the Briones House were to remodel the house which would serve as a public educational resource for California history. The loss of this treasure of a house would be devastating for citizens of our county and state.

The owners of the Juana Briones property at 4155 Old Adobe Road and the City of Palo Alto have engaged in discussions regarding the house. However, the court has ruled in favor of the owners, Mr. Jaim Nulman and Ms. Avelyn Welczer. This couple is adamant about having the house destroyed. The historical significance of the house, built in the 1840s on the land called the Rancho La Purisima Concepcion, and now the oldest house in Palo Alto, is a testament to our Early California heritage.

Your support is needed to help us save the Juana Briones House.

Sincerely,  Lorraine Frain Descendant Briones 
Web site:


PALOMINO Productions

WHEN: Fri. Jan. 12 starting at 8pm
: La Peña Cultural Center (3105 Shattuck Ave., Berkeley—2 blocks from Ashby BART)

COST: $10 in advance, $12 at the door ($2 discount for students & seniors)

WORLD PREMIER of VIDEO = Improvising Jerez-Style (30 min., director Eve A. Ma). Shot in Spain about flamenco, combines interviews & performance (Antonio de la Malena, Moraito, Mercedes Ruiz, etc.), classroom footage (Ana Maria López), historical clip…

PERFORMANCE = de Rompe y Raja (Afro-Peruvian); Fiesta Flamenca (Spanish; Eva Ma dancing); Grupo Folklórico Talpalli (Mexican); and others

SCREENING of VIDEO = Arts across Borders (30 min., director Eve A. Ma) Latin American art/performance & interviews with the artists—Afro-Peruvian, Mexican & Ecuadorian (participating artists:de Rompe y Raja, Conjunto Romero, Grupo Folklórico Tlapalli, Ecuadorian Folkloric Ballet; Rubén Guzmán)

on PALOMINO Productions’ web site www.
: PALOMINO Productions ( OR (510) 236-3257)
La Peña Cultural Center (
OR (510) 849-2568)

CALIFORNIA. Imperial County. El Centro.
El Central Union High School, Class of 1950; 181 records; Dave de Beaux


Northwest Immigrant Rights Project

Advocate for immigrants will be honored with city award 
By Lornet Turnbull Seattle Times, December 7, 2006. 
Sent by Dorinda Moreno

Magdaleno Rose-Avila is the executive director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project. 

Today (December 7, 2006), the city of Seattle is awarding Rose-Avila, 61 — "Leno" to his friends — its Distinguished Citizen Award for Human Rights, given to individuals and organizations with outstanding records of furthering human rights in Seattle. It will mark the first time the city's Human Rights Commission and Office for Civil Rights has granted the award to an individual tied to immigration work.

An early activist, born in Colorado to Mexican immigrant parents who lived and worked on a colonia, or farm worker community, Rose-Avila was 11 when he started working in the fields alongside his father. His early years saw him working with migrant workers and organizing farm-labor groups throughout Colorado and California. In 1968, when Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, Rose-Avila put aside classes at the University of Colorado and spoke out publicly for the first time about discrimination. "King's death changed me in a profound way," he said recently. "It made me think seriously about the responsibility each of us has in ensuring justice for all people."

Hilary Stern, executive director of Casa Latina, which operates a day-labor center downtown, said Rose-Avila sees the struggle over the long haul. "For him this is not just about immigration or Latin immigration or 2006," Stern said. "He sees how this relates to the civil-rights movement and he knows it's a struggle that won't be won in a day or a week or a year."


Book: Tio Cowboy
The Western Connection
Improbable Discovery in New Mexico
Hace 'apenas' 347 años, Cuidad Juarez/El Paso

New book Tio Cowboy 

Ricardo Palacios or 
800-826-8911 or 1800-826-8911

Tío Cowboy

Juan Salinas, Rodeo Roper and Horseman

One of the best tie-down calf ropers ever to come out of South Texas, Juan Salinas grew up on a 15,000-acre ranch near Laredo, with the finest of horses to ride and hundreds of head of cattle to practice on. He roped in Texas rodeos large and small, and from 1936 to 1946, he followed the national rodeo circuit, competing from Texas to New York’s Madison Square Garden.
“Ricardo Palacios gives us a vivid portrait of . . . the first great Mexican cowboy to brush prejudices aside and follow the rodeo circuit in the 1930s and 1940s. 
He also provides a revealing study of a fading way of life in the mixed Hispanic-Anglo ranching community of deep South Texas. This book revives pleasant memories of such arena stars as Toots Mansfield, who trained under Juan Salinas and remained a close friend for life.” 

Elmer Kelton, western novelist


College Station, Texas
Orders: 800-826-8911
Fax: 888-617-2421

9 1/2 by 6 1/2, 195 pages, 38 b&w photos, $22, cloth.


The Western Connection: Reach the largest group of western enthusiasts on the web:  Sent by

Improbable Discovery in New Mexico
By Linda Miller Kocisek in Alabama, USA

I live in Alabama and until the Internet I had little access to records
farther west than Texas. One day I was visiting my local library's
genealogy section in Florence, Alabama -- once again searching for my
MILLER roots. It's difficult to research such an extremely common name.

The library had a thin section on New Mexico and it was composed of
genealogical journals, joined and with no common index. I had to search each monthly index separately. I found one reference to my great-grandfather. It said something like: Elk, New Mexico. Felix MILLER lost a horse to gunshot or choking. circa 1906 (They couldn't tell the difference?)

Before I gave up I decided to go slowly through the indexes one more
time and I struck gold. There was an article telling of a researcher who
in 1951 went around New Mexico interviewing and taping the memories of the state's old-timers.

Of the more than 150 people interviewed, facsimiles were given of two
index cards with the location of the New Mexico State Library, the names of the two interviewed, and accession numbers. All I had to do was go online and find a phone number. One phone call later and a library staffer had verified this information and told me how I could order a written transcript.

This was pure gold -- the story was in Felix's own words, telling of a
1869 cattle drive when he was seven and about all their moves from state to state. This interview had been around for more than 50 years and no family member even knew of its existence! For me this was providence.

Hace 'apenas' 347 años 
Cd. Juárez Chih., México - hoy es: 8 de Diciembre del 2006 
Sent by Armando Montes

En forma apresurada y con sus propias manos, indios Sumas y Mansos provenientes de la misión de Senecú y de estas mismas tierras que habían sido evangelizados por los frailes franciscanos, levantaron en 1659 una pequeña iglesia construida de lodo y palos con techos de paja 

Juan de Dios Olivas
La construcción se ubicaba en el lugar del Camino Real donde habitualmente las caravanas de viajeros cruzaban el río Bravo para internarse al actual territorio de Nuevo México y fue ordenada por fray García de San Francisco con la intención evangelizar a los indios Mansos que habitaban estas tierras.

Los débiles muros y la techumbre, mostraban la prisa por terminar. Sin imaginar el futuro, los indígenas construían con sus propias manos los cimientos de lo que 347 años después serían Ciudad Juárez y El Paso, Texas.

Cinco meses atrás, en julio, una caravana proveniente de la ciudad de México, se dirigía a Nuevo México con un nuevo gobernador y un nuevo custodio para las misión de Senecú: Bernardo López de Mendizábal y fray Juan Ramírez. Este último nombrado también procurador de las misiones.

Durante la marcha por el Camino Real de Tierra Adentro se registró una agria disputa entre el gobernador y los religiosos que provocó la deserción de 10 de ellos e impidió que las misiones franciscanas en la región se reforzarán con más religiosos.

Ramírez se regresó a México en busca del apoyo de sus superiores para afrontar el conflicto y dar parte al virrey.

Los indios habían acudido a fray García de San Francisco en la misión de Socorro para solicitarle la construcción de una misión en el Paso del Norte del río Bravo y en agradecimiento en varias ocasiones construyeron arcadas de ramas para recibir a los religiosos pero el recién nombrado gobernador López de Mendizábal, ordenó a sus soldados destruirlas cuantas veces se construyeran obstaculizando la labor de evangelización de los franciscanos.

Sin embargo, los indios mantuvieron otros arcos ocultos y cuando llegaron los franciscanos los recibieron con ellos. Fray García, al enterarse de que no habría sacerdotes destinados a evangelizar, decidió ir él a fundar de manera oficial el campo misionero que había estado preparándose ya con permiso de la Corona española y autoridades eclesiásticas, meses atrás.

El motivo de los mansos para apoyarlo era que estaban dispuestos a vivir en forma pacífica y sedentariamente en torno a la nueva misión, protegidos de la voracidad de los soldados españoles y del exterminio practicado en Nuevo México. Además aprenderían de los ministros religiosos formas occidentales de sedentarismo que no conocían.

Sabedor de que Bernardo López de Mendizábal era ya un enemigo jurado de los franciscanos y se oponía a la fundación de una misión entre los Mansos, fray García tuvo que actuar con rapidez para construir una iglesia provisional, reunir un nutrido grupo de indígenas mansos y sumas y realizar la ceremonia formal de fundación.

En una breve y sencilla ceremonia llevada a cabo el 8 de diciembre, fray García dedicó la misión a la virgen de Guadalupe, cuyo culto estaba ya presente entre los criollos del centro del virreinato y cuya celebración estaba ya muy cercana: el 12 de diciembre. 

El nombre que le dio fue: Misión de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe del Paso del Norte. En los informes dirigidos a sus superiores, fray García informaba sobre el acta de fundación de la misión:

...haber bajado (yo) con no poco trabajo a El Paso del Río del Norte en la frontera de la Nueva España y en medio de la custodia y provincia de Nuevo México y habiéndome congregado la mayor parte de las rancherías de los mansos paganos en dicho sitio y habiéndoles ofrecido la palabra evangélica y ellos habiéndola aceptada para su catecismo y permitiéndome construir una pequeña iglesia de ramas y lodo y un monasterio techado con paja, dichos paganos añadido y recibídome como su predicador y ministro... 

En nombre de nuestra sagrada religión... y yo nombro y dedico esta santa iglesia y conversión de la santísima virgen de Guadalupe con el citado nombre de El Paso colocando su santa imagen, por lo que... llamo por testigos al cielo y la tierra y a todos los ángeles que están presentes como guardias y especialmente a todos los paganos que son de esta conversión y a Bernardino Gualtoye, Antonio Guilixigue, Antonio Elogua, Juan Azoloye, Francisco Tzitza y Felipe Quele, cristianos del pueblo de Senecú, compañeros partidarios que descendieron conmigo.

La misión en ese entonces era una institución encargada de integrar a los indígenas a la sociedad novohispana volviéndolos primeramente cristianos e incorporándolos después al sistema económico y político dominante, refiere el historiador Martín González de la Vara en su texto “Breve Historia de Ciudad Juárez y su región.

Una vez cumplido su objetivo, dejaba de existir y la autoridad religiosa era dejada a un sacerdote secular obediente del obispo. Los indígenas que aceptaban vivir ahí, quedaban bajo la autoridad del misionero. El dictaba la rutina diaria de la misión y organizaba los trabajos agrícolas y religiosos, prosigue González. 

El misionero tenía derecho a controlar la vida privada de los indígenas en aras de evangelizarlos y estos tenían que trabajar para su manutención. La misión ofrecía a los nómadas la seguridad de que no iban a morir de hambre. A cambio tenían que cambiar su forma de vida hasta que dejaran de ser indígenas, añade.

Eran pues, comunidades que se formaban como se formó Paso del Norte.

Se consolida

Tres años después de la fundación de la misión de Guadalupe, fray García bendeciría la piedra fundamental y los cimientos del templo actual al tiempo que sus compañeros procuraban la subsistencia de la tribu Manso y enseñaban a los indígenas técnicas de agricultura, llevan ganado y se abre una acequia para el regadío de hortalizas y viñedos.

Para 1667, Andrés López de Gracia es nombrado alcalde mayor y capitán a Guerra de la Jurisdicción de El Paso del Norte, era el primer gobierno civil con un representante del gobernador de Nuevo México quien se asentó en forma permanente en la misión.

Un año más tarde, en 1668, el templo es terminado de construir y es dedicado nuevamente a la virgen e Guadalupe con la asistencia de autoridades eclesiásticas y el casamiento de 100 personas.

La edificación se ubicó en predios con evidente vocación agrícola. Fray García, escogió el mejor lugar para fundar la misión: Se encontraba a corta distancia del río Bravo, el cual proveía el agua necesaria para las labores agrícolas e irrigaba una planicie muy fértil que en la primavera, durante los deshielos era inundada por el río formándose una delgada capa de tierra orgánica que permitía sembrar cereales, árboles frutales y hortalizas.

El crecimiento de la nueva comunidad siguió y en 1685, el gobernador de Nuevo México, Diego de Vargas Sapata y Ponce de León Contreras, vino a Paso del Norte a inaugurar el Presidio de Nuestra Señora del Pilar y de San José nombrando ese día como primer alcalde mayor del Rey a José María Gracia.

El Presidio cuyo edificio es ocupado actualmente por el Centro Municipal de las Artes (Cema) se ubicó a espaldas de la Misión de Guadalupe y sus muros albergarían al poder político de la ciudad hasta la época contemporánea en que dejo de utilizarse para cambiarse a la Unidad Administrativa Benito Juárez.

Sin embargo, el centro de desarrollo en los primeros albores lo sería la Misión de Guadalupe.

El Paso del Norte en la historia

Luego de su consolidación como pueblo, El Paso del Norte sería el escenario de muchos acontecimientos que impactaron en el devenir histórico de la región y del país en sus 347 años de vida.

Desde su fundación, la misión tuvo adicionalmente al objetivo de evangelizar, ser refugio de caravanas de viajeros que se protegían de los indios bárbaros. 

En ese contexto tras la rebelión de los indios Pueblo y de los apaches en Nuevo México en contra del dominio español, lo sería también de las autoridades de la provincia en 1680.

El Paso del Norte sería disputado más tarde por las Provincias de Nueva Vizcaya y Nuevo México como un territorio que les pertenecía.

Durante la lucha por la independencia El Paso fue únicamente testigo y al finalizar la aceptó sin mayores preámbulos. El 8 de septiembre de 1821 el ayuntamiento proclamó su adhesión al plan de Iguala y en enero de 1822 festejo la independencia de México.

En julio de 1823 un decreto del Congreso dividió Nueva Vizcaya en dos provincias: Durango y Chihuahua, quedando el territorio de ésta última comprendido desde el río del Norte hasta el río Florido.

La división no fue aceptada y nuevamente por decreto al año siguiente se formaron los estados de Nuevo México, Durango y Chihuahua. En el decreto, El Paso del Norte quedo incluido en el estado de Chihuahua.

En las primeras décadas del México independiente, El Paso registró un auge económico basado en la agricultura y el comercio. Pero también registró las consecuencias de los gobiernos centralistas que redundaron en la pérdida de poco más de la mitad del territorio mexicano.

Tras la anexión de Texas a Estados Unidos, El Paso quedo enmedio del conflicto que se registró con México.

Una vez que la guerra se declaró, los estadounidenses invadieron México por varios frentes. Uno de ellos era el oeste donde el coronel Stephen Kearny avanzó desde Fort Leavenworth y ocupó Nuevo México y California sin encontrar resistencia.

El Paso del Norte estaba preparado, contaba con mil 796 hombres, 677 armas, 575 arcos y 193 lanzas, sin embargo, las fuerzas del coronel Alexander Doniphan invadieron Chihuahua y posteriormente esta región.

Los militares estadounidenses se retiraron en su avance a México pero la guerra en El Paso del Norte dejaría su huella para siempre. Tras la firma del tratado de Guadalupe Hidalgo que puso fin al conflicto, el 2 de febrero de 1848 se fijo como línea divisoria el río Bravo perdiendo parte de su territorio ubicado al norte de esa afluente.

Décadas después, nuevamente las políticas nacionales volverían a dejar su huella aquí. En 1865 tras llevar su gobierno itinerante a varias ciudades de México para resistir a la invasión francesa, llega a El Paso del Norte, el presidente de México, Benito Juárez García.

Entre el 18 de diciembre de ese año y el 10 de junio de 1866, Juárez asentó su gobierno nacional aquí y no sólo la vida cotidiana de la villa y su región cambio sino que se hizo patente la importancia estratégica de la ciudad para el gobierno de la República.

En honor a Benito Juárez, el 30 de julio de 1888 el Congreso del Estado de Ciudad emitiría el decreto que cambiaba el nombre de la villa por el de Ciudad Juárez el cual se empezaría a usar a partir del 16 de septiembre de ese año.

Fuentes: González de la Vara, Martín. Breve Historia de Ciudad Juárez y su región. UACJ, COLEF, USNM, Eon, México, 2002. Chávez B. Armando. Historia de Ciudad Juárez.Pax México, México, 1991. Sánches Reyes, Daría Óscar. El Legendario Paso del Norte orígenes. Congreso del Estado, Gobierno del Estado, Ayuntamiento de Juárez, México, 1994. Visión Histórica de la Frontera Norte de México. vol. IV, Universidad Autónoma de Baja California, Editorial Kino/El Mexicano, México, 2ª edición, 1994.
Diario Digital 2003© 


Black People - Slavery
Freedman's Savings and Trust CompanyCreating Racial Identities: 
The Free-Colored Militia in Colonial Mexico 
Slave Rebellions in the State of Virginia (1800, 1831)

Black People - Slavery
From Encyclopaedia Canadiana - Volume 9
Ray Gonzalez

"… Slavery was never a major factor in the development of Canada but the marketing 
and use of slaves was common until the beginning of the nineteenth century. 
French explorers and fur-traders accepted the practice of the Indians who frequently 
held as slaves men and women captured in tribal warfare, and purchased Indian slaves 
(called panis, from the Indian tribe name Pawnee) for their own use. Negro slaves were 
imported into the colony early in the seventeenth century, and in 1689, at the request of
the administration, Louis XIV authorized their importation from the West Indies to relieve 
a labour shortage. From then until the cession of the colony, Negro slaves were employed, largely by merchants and fur-traders, throughout Canada. The system was sufficiently widespread to persuade Jeffrey Amherst to include in the articles of capitulation, signed at Montreal in 1760, a clause guaranteeing that 'Negroes and Panis of both sexes shall remain in the possession of the French and Canadians to whom they belong'. After the Conquest, slavery became more firmly established. In Nova Scotia the British who settled at Halifax in 1749 brought with them a large number of slaves; by then opulent classes in the colony and in Canada were actively committed to the system. 

The migration of American colonists during the Revolutionary period resulted in a 
further influx of negro salves. By the end of the century however, anti-slavery sentiment 
was becoming more marked … In Nova Scotia as early as 1787 the legislature refused to 
accept a clause respecting slaves in an act regulating servants, on the grounds that 
slavery did not exist in the colony; and the courts invariably interpreted the law against 
the interests of slave owners. A similar situation existed in New Brunswick, Prince Edward 
Island, and Newfoundland. After 1800, public sentiment in the British colonies in North America was so pronouncedly opposed to the slave system that only minor vestiges persisted, and these were erased by the formal abolition of slavery by the British Parliament in 1833. 

Indirectly, slavery continued to affect Canada until its abolition by the United States. 
During the War of 1812 - fourteen Negro slaves had fought in Canada and had come 
to learn of the freedom they could enjoy there. An Underground Railroad was 
established by which slaves from the southern United States, aided by abolitionists 
in the North, were enabled to escape to Canada. Most went to Upper Canada but some 
found their way to the eastern colonies. "

"… Tuesday, March 28, 1786 FIVE DOLLARS REWARD Run away, a negro man named 
BEN, about 30 years of age, the property of Captain Jones, had on when he went away 
a light brown jacket, a plaid waistcoat, corderoy breeches, white stockings, and a round 
hat, is about 5'6" high, stout and well set, has very black thick lips… whoever takes up 
the said negro and delivers him to James Moore near Fredericton or, secures him that 
the owner may get him again, shall have the above reward, and all reasonable charges paid". 

"FOR SALE A stout, likely, and very active Young BLACK WOMAN late the property 
of John H. Carey: She is not offered for any a fault, but is Singularly sober and diligent. Enquire of James Hagt"

October 3, 1788
"… Negroes on Miramichi - John Stewart had a negro servant named Beckwith Smith. 
Two men James Walsh and John Willson Jr. were charged before the Quarter Sessions 
of Peace at the January 1790 Session with assaulting and beating this negro servant. 
They pleaded guilty and were fined 10 s each and costs."

Freedman's Savings and Trust Company

In 1867 a former slave named Charles Coleman filled out an application to open an account at the Freedman's Savings and Trust Company - a bank established at the end of the Civil War to give former slaves and soldiers a place to save their money.

As a financial institution, the bank was a failure. Little did Coleman and others know, however, that the family information they left behind at the bank would be priceless.

An 11-year project by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to digitize the old Freedman's Bank records has brought excitement and wonder to the United States' black community as family histories of former slaves have come alive on compact disc.

This unique CD provides a searchable database that documents several generations of African-Americans immediately following the Civil War.

"You have a bridge back across the divide from freedom to slavery," said Howard Dodson, director of the Schomburg Center for Black Research in Black Culture in New York City. "Making this particular set of records available certainly is an important contribution to the
African-American community as it continues to try to piece together the specifics of their history both during and after slavery."

The records provide a major breakthrough for many blacks who have found searching for their ancestors a difficult challenge.

Included in the records are the names of immediate family members and other relatives, age, place of birth, date the account was opened, and other remarks, such as assigned military units during the Civil War.

"The Freedman's Bank records may be more than an historical record. They may be the Rosetta Stone - the piece that allows you to go in and make the connection," said William Alexander Haley, son of Roots author Alex Haley and chairman of the Alex Haley Center.

The Freedman's Bank project began in 1989 when Marie Taylor, an employee of the Family and Church History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, found the original microfilms of the records. She immediately recognized their significance.

"When I looked at those records, the first thing I noticed was families, especially three generations of slave families. That thrilled me," said Taylor.

"When I discovered the Freedman's Bank records, I envisioned African-Americans breaking the chains of slavery and forging the bonds of families," she said.

The United States Congress chartered the Freedman's Savings and Trust Company in 1865 to benefit ex-slaves. Ideally, the bank would be a permanent financial institution for savings deposits only. It was designed to provide a place, safe from swindlers, to deposit money while individuals learned personal finance management skills.

But the bank was anything but beneficial. After former slaves deposited more than $57 million, it collapsed because of mismanagement and outright fraud, devastating the black community.

Now, more than 100 years later, there is a silver lining to the disaster. In an effort to establish bank patrons' identities, bank workers at the time recorded the names and family relationships of account holders, sometimes taking brief oral histories.

In the process they created the largest single repository of lineage-linked African-American records known to exist. It is estimated that 8 million to10 million blacks living today have ancestors who deposited money in the Freedman's Bank.

"This will be a great treasure trove of documentation virtually unusable before," said Eric Foner, a history professor at Columbia University's Institute for Research in African-American Studies. "It's an extraordinarily valuable set of documents."

Many genealogical researchers were aware of the existence of the Freedman's Bank records, but little use had been made of the data because it lacked effective indexes.

The records presented an irresistible challenge for Taylor, who soon enlisted the help of her friend Darius Gray. Together they embarked on a lengthy personal project to unlock the information trapped in the records.

"The census in 1860, and those before, did not have the blacks listed - we were not citizens of the United States," said Gray, co-director of the Freedman's Bank Project. "The Freedman records give us an in-depth look at those who were depositors and their family members during that critical period of time starting in 1865 and going to 1874.

Inmates at the Utah State Prison were invited to participate in the challenging project.

The Church had previously established a family history center at the prison, where inmates voluntarily donate their time to family history projects. The one-of-a-kind facility occupies three rooms filled with microfilm readers, microfiche readers and 30 computer stations.

The inmates extracted pertinent information, then linked and automated the 480,000 names contained in the Freedman's Bank records. The entire process involved approximately 550 inmates who vied for the opportunity to contribute their free time to the project. Theirs was a freewill gift - not a prison work assignment. Some inmates worked 10 to 12 hours a day, seven days a week.

"Now African-Americans and scholars have the means to access an extensive database of genealogical, sociological and historic information relevant to the African-American community," said Congresswoman Juanita Millender-McDonald, a representative for
California's 37th district and a member of the Congressional Black Caucus.

For Latter-day Saints, family history is a religious obligation. Church members believe that families whose relationships are "sealed" in the faith's holy temples are blessed to last for eternity - hence a real commitment to find who those ancestors are.

"Seeking to understand our family history can change our lives," said Church President Gordon B. Hinckley. "It helps bring unity and cohesion to families. There is something about understanding the past that helps give our young people something to live up to, a legacy to respect."

The Church's Family History Library in Salt Lake City maintains the world's largest collection of genealogical records. It is linked to more than 2.3 million rolls of microfilm; 180,000 microfiche; 288,000 books; 4,500 periodicals; and more than 3,575 family history centers located in 65 countries.

Researchers can log on to, the Church's genealogical Web site that allows visitors to find and share family history information.  The Freedman's Bank Records CD can be ordered through this Web site.


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Creating Racial Identities: The Free-Colored Militia in Colonial Mexico.

Ben Vinson III

Barnard College, Columbia University
Prepared for delivery at the 1998 meeting of the Latin American Studies Association,
The Palmer House Hilton Hotel, Chicago, Illinois, September 24-26, 1998



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Creating Racial Identities: The Free-Colored Militia in Colonial Mexico

The question of identity has been one of considerable importance to the study of race in Latin America. Particularly for the multitude of racially mixed offspring produced by miscegenation, it has been debated, what exactly was the degree of consciousness that race could produce? What degree of strength, if any, should be attributed to the caste boundaries created in the colonial period, and how did the reins of “caste” contribute to the 19th and 20th century heritage of the region?1 With the new and emerging research on the African Diaspora in Latin America, the question has often been asked: did the free mulato, moreno, or pardo ever feel a specific identity, especially during colonial times, and especially when racial discourse was apparently created by, and served the interests of those who held the supreme positions of power?

I feel that some of these questions can be addressed through an analysis of the militia. Few colonial institutions offered blacks (and I use the term “blacks” loosely to incorporate the free-colored castes, including pardos, morenos, and mulatos) the same amount of political, social, and legal strength as did participation in the military establishment. Military legal immunities, known collectively as fueros, offered a measure of autonomy from the traditional state channels of criminal litigation. While there has been some debate regarding the actual worth of the privilege, it is undeniable that under the fuero, military cases were reviewed by a designated legal appointee, the auditor de guerra, who often reviewed case files from a stance that took into consideration the free-coloreds’ value as soldiers.2 This distinctly military perspective mitigated the effects of racial prejudices and biases that frequently prevailed in ordinary civilian courts. Furthermore, free-colored militiamen enjoyed other special benefits, called preeminencias, which liberated them from numerous civil obligations that were often imposed by municipal and provincial authorities.

1For a sample of the literature and debates on race and class in Latin America see: Peter Wade, Race and Ethnicity in Latin America (London and Chicago: Pluto Press, 1997); John K. Chance and William B. Taylor, “Estate and Class in a Colonial City, Oaxaca in 1792,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 19, (1977): 454-87; Idem, “The Ecology of Race and Class in Late Colonial Oaxaca,” in Studies in Spanish American Population History, ed. David J. Robinson (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1981), 93-117; Dennis Nodin Valdes, “Decline of the Sociedad de Castas in Mexico City” (Ph.D. diss., Univ. of Michigan, 1978); Magnus Mörner, “Economic Factors and Stratification in Colonial Spanish America with Special Regard to Elites,” Hispanic American Historical Review (HAHR) 63, no. 2 (1983): 335-369; Lyle N. McAlister, “Social Structure and Social Change in New Spain,” HAHR 43, no. 3 (1963): 349-370; Woodrow Borah and Sherburne F. Cook, “Sobre las posibilidades de hacer el estudio histórico del mestizaje sobre una base demografica,” Revista de historia de América 53/54 (1962): 181-190; Patricia Seed, “The Social Dimensions of Race: Mexico City 1753,” HAHR 62, no. 4 (1982): 569-606; Rodney D. Anderson, “Race and Social Stratification: A Comparison of Working-Class Spaniards, Indians and Castas in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1821,” HAHR 68, no. 2 (1988): 209-41; R. Douglas Cope, The Limits of Racial Domination, Plebeian Society in Colonial Mexico City, 1660-1720 (Madison, Wisconsin: Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1994); Richard Boyer, Cast and Identity in Colonial Mexico: A Proposal and an Example (Storrs, Connecticut; Providence, Rhode Island; and Amherst, Massachusetts: Latin American Studies Consortium of New England, 1997); Robert McCaa, Stuart B. Schwartz, and Arturo Grubessich, “Race and Class in Colonial Latin America: A Critique,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 25 (1979): 421-33; with a reply to this article by Chance and Taylor, “Estate and Class: A Reply,” Comparative Studies in Society and History 25, (1979): 434-42; and Herman L. Bennett, “Lovers, Family, and Friends: The Formation of Afro-Mexico, 1580-1810” (Ph.D. diss., Duke University, 1993).

2Christon I. Archer, The Army in Bourbon Mexico, 1760-1810 (Albuquerque: Univ. of New Mexico Press, 1977); Lyle N. McAlister, The “Fuero Militar” in New Spain, 1764-1800 (Gainesville: Univ. of Florida Press, 1957).

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Additionally, select tax exemptions, such as relief from mandatory tribute and service fees (servicios reales) served to distance the free-colored soldier from ordinary civilian blacks.3

The militiamen’s transcendent legal status was coupled, at least for officers, with a fair degree of social elevation. By servicing the state in a military capacity and by willingly sacrificing life and limb for the king, these individuals strengthened their bonds of fealty. Militiamen and soldiers, dressed in uniform, commanded a position of respect. Admittedly, sometimes that respect was shown through outright scorn, as soldiers were frequently chafed when on duty--their uniforms being the first items on their person to be desecrated. Regardless, the impact of their militia duty was not lost. By protecting some of the most revered symbolic buildings in the colony, such as churches, hospitals, and the viceregal palace, military duty became virtually coterminous with the affairs and smooth workings of the colonial state.

In the view of some scholars, military status placed the soldiers in a separate social space that eroded the inhibiting effects of the caste system. Many free-colored militiamen sent their sons to the university, entered prestigious liberal professions, changed their baptismal registers to specifically mention that they were white, took fair-skinned brides, and used the honorific “Don” before their names to emphasize “hidalgo” status.4 In Mexico, there were certain militia families, such as the Santanders of Puebla, who reputedly possessed fortunes in excess of 70,000 pesos during the early 18th century, more than enough to be considered among the city’s elite members.5

In Jalapa, some free-colored officers played a role in local political assemblies in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.6 The possibilities for wealth, class, and even racial mobility have caused the militia to be perceived as a stepping stone towards achieving social whiteness, or at least to serve as a vehicle for lesser-grade “passing.”7 Undoubtedly, some soldiers used the militia in this capacity, as the evidence maintains. But for others, I argue that quite a different process was occurring. Within the military, and specifically the militia framework, I believe that the unique military privileges, along with the numerous struggles for added rights, actually worked to solidify racial ties by imbuing concrete meaning onto racial abstractions. In other words, while the pardos, morenos, and mulatos who participated in the militia may have been legally and socially 

3Free-coloreds in 18th century Mexico were subject to 12-16 reales of tribute fees per year as full tributaries. See: Archivo General de la Nación (AGN), Californias, vol. 58, exp. 1, fs. 6-8, 70; AGN, Civil, vol. 130 pt 2, 1757, Mexico City, fs. 5-11.

4George Reid Andrews, The Afro-Argentines of Buenos Aires, 1800-1900 (Madison, Wisconsin: Univ. of Wisconsin Press, 1980), 113-137; Peter M. Voelz, Slave and Soldier: The Military Impact of Blacks in the Colonial Americas (New York and London: Garland Publishing, 1993); Allan J. Kuethe, “The Status of the Free-Pardo in the Disciplined Militia of New Granada,” Journal of Negro History 56, no. 2 (1971): 105-117; Leslie B. Rout Jr., The African Experience in Spanish America, 1502 to the Present Day (Cambridge, England: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1976), 150-151; and Herbert S. Klein, “The Colored Militia of Cuba: 1568-1868,” Caribbean Studies 6, no. 2 (1966): 17-27.

5Archivo Judicial de Puebla, INAH Puebla, exp. 3108, fs. 1-277.

6Patrick J. Carroll, Blacks in Colonial Veracruz: Race, Ethnicity, and Regional Development (Austin: Univ. of Texas Press, 1991).

7Kuethe, “Status of the Free-Pardo,” 105-117.

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distinct from their civilian brethren, these very distinctions provided for a deeper racial understanding.8 Before engaging in a fuller analysis of how free-colored participation in the militia offered opportunities for the formation of a race-based identity, a few words are needed about the evolution of the free- colored militia in Mexico itself. I maintain that an important explanatory factor behind the development of a militia inspired racial identity lies in the periodization of events. It is not coincidental that the 18th century surfaced as a significant time for the expression of free-colored militia issues which incorporated a language of self-recognized, racial difference among the colony’s pardos, mulatos, and morenos.

Free-colored militia duty in Mexico first came about during the 16th century, specifically after the publication of the royal decree of 1540, which stipulated that Spanish colonists residing in the Indies were to provide for their own defense.9 By the 1550s, free-coloreds were found serving as auxiliaries to regular army units in the coastal port of Veracruz, and in 1562, a unit of pardo and moreno auxiliary militiamen operated out of Mexico City.10 The earliest years of the militia’s history are admittedly sketchy in the existing archival record, but what surfaces is that from the middle of the 16th century until the opening decades of the 17th century, free-coloreds were incorporated rather cautiously into the colonial defense scheme. On one score, this caution was produced by many of the difficulties that the colony had experienced with its resident black population. The first century after the conquest saw a considerable number of hostile acts performed by enslaved blacks and free-coloreds. There were menacing highway raids reported in New Galicia and Guanajuato. Multiple runaway slave communities were founded in Veracruz and Oaxaca, of which the best known was the settlement of Yanga, which successfully resisted the colonial government for some thirty years. In Mexico City itself, there were several botched rebellions planned, including a 1611 effort to crown a black king and queen to replace the sitting viceroy. Atop these episodes was the fact that slavery, between 1521-1639, was at its peak in Mexico, importing over 110,000 individuals, representing nearly half of all slaves imported to the Indies during those years.11 

Some colonial administrators confessed that they felt the colony was being inundated with blacks, and that they needed to implement more thorough measures of social control. A few royal officials, like Viceroy Gelves in the early 1620s, acted upon their intuitions 

8An initial examination of these themes can be found in Ben Vinson III, “Free-Colored Voices: Issues of Representation and Racial Identity in the Colonial Mexican Militia,” Journal of Negro History 80, no. 4 (1995): 170-182.

9Paul E. Hoffman, The Spanish Crown and the Defense of the Caribbean, 1535-1585: Precedent, Patrimonialism, and Royal Parsimony (Baton Rouge and London: Louisiana State University Press, 1980), 41. For additional information on the early free-colored militia in Mexico, as well as information on the 18th century see: Vinson III, “Las compañías milicianas de pardos y morenos en la Nueva España, un aporte para su estudio,” in Población y estructura urbana en México, siglos XVIII y XIX, comp. Carmen Blázquez Domínguez, Carlos Contreras Cruz, and Sonia Pérez Toledo (Xalapa, Veracruz: Universidad Veracruzana, 1996), 239-249.

10AGN, Indiferentes de Guerra (I.G.), vol. 197-B, Narcisso Sagarra, Ildifonso Silva, and Juan Pastor to Marques de Branciforte, June 25, 1795, Mexico City; Jackie Booker, “Needed but Unwanted: Black Militiamen in Veracruz, Mexico, 1760-1810,” The Historian 55, (Winter 1993): 260.

11Colin A. Palmer, Slaves of the White God: Blacks in Mexico 1570-1650 (Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1976), 28, 119-44. 

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by enacting a string of severely restrictive legislation. In short, demographic factors and substantiated fears about black upheaval, combined with a general unfamiliarity in arming large numbers of the free-colored population, produced a definitive trial period for the free-colored militia in which various arrangements of free-colored troops were experimented with. As the militiamen consistently proved their loyalties, sometimes against runaway slaves and hostile Indians, at other times against foreign pirates, free-colored militia service became more widely accepted and the institution developed on more autonomous grounds.

By the middle of the 17th century, three different types of free-colored militia service had clearly emerged. The least common type comprised militia units founded in former maroon communities. In this capacity, the militia essentially served as part of a larger social engineering project. Oftentimes, as had occurred with Yanga’s settlement and other runaway communities along the Veracruz coast, colonial towns were founded directly atop the sites of former slave resistance. Whites, mestizos, and even Indians were encouraged to migrate to these settlements.

But in the initial years after a maroon community had been defeated, the colonial government’s institutional apparatus was usually weak, and white and mestizo immigration to the area did not always occur in great numbers. To better integrate these communities into the greater colonial scheme of provincial design, the militia was seen as an attractive tool. Administrators realized that by offering high ranking commissions to former maroon leaders, they could provide crown sanction to these individuals’ leadership status, thereby serving to better tie their fortunes to the colonial government. The hope was that these ex-maroon leaders would be given the incentive to encourage their followers to emulate their example of crown loyalty. While in practice there were a range of responses to the crown’s designs, ultimately, royal bureaucrats hoped that the militia would help transform these settlements into centers that actively fought against further seditious slave activity and that protected their relatively isolated areas from all forms of hostile enemy incursions.

Much more numerous than the militia units founded in former maroon settlements were those which I call companies of the “independent type.” These were upgrades from the freecolored auxiliary forces which characterized much of the early and experimental forms of freecolored service in the 16th century. What most distinguished companies of the independent type from their predecessors was that the level of white supervision over their command structure and responsibilities was considerably reduced. Also, their military role was more pronounced, being less a support force than a separate field group. Additionally, matriculation into these companies was predicated almost wholly on race. Only free pardos, morenos, mulatos, and moriscos, could join. Sometimes these companies were even further delineated according to phenotype, as occurred in Veracruz, where the dark-skinned negros and morenos served apart from the lighter mulatos and pardos. Significantly, even officers were drawn almost exclusively from the freecolored racial categories, giving added racial independence from white and mestizo units. 

Freecolored companies of the independent type were most commonly found in the colony’s major cities, like Puebla, Campeche, Mérida, Veracruz, Valladolid, and Guadalajara. With fairly large and diverse populations, these centers were logical areas to possess militia forces that were stratified along racial lines.

The third major type of militia unit that bore free-colored participants were those of the “integrated type.” Not specifically based on racial premises or quotas, the racial composition of these forces was subject to wide variation, depending upon constantly shifting, regional demographic realities. In the rural towns of

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the Pacific and Gulf coasts, free-colored participation
6 in these types of companies ran extremely high. For instance, in 17th century Papantla, located along the northern portion of the Gulf coast of Mexico, free-coloreds came to comprise almost the totality of the town’s sixty soldiers, including officers. The situation persisted through the opening decades of the 18th century, where by 1749, nearly all of the 300 soldiers were pardos and morenos.12 Elsewhere along the coasts, the percentage of free-coloreds serving in integrated units frequently numbered between 70-90%, with all but the highest officers being drawn from the pardo and moreno groups.13

The period between the 1670s and 1762 was arguably among the most instrumental for the solidification, elaboration, and articulation of expressly free-colored demands within the militia framework. Some of this had to do with an increase in the meaning of militia service for its participants. Prior to these years, militia duty was primarily a casual affair. Companies congregated only a handful of times per year, and those that met most frequently did so at quarterly intervals, uniting once every four months for training purposes.14 Apart from making emergency musters to repel pirate raids and Indian attacks, the other major responsibility for freecolored soldiers in the early 17th century entailed gathering at their headquarters towns during Easter and Christmas to perform ceremonial marches. Additionally, the troops maintained security details during these holiday seasons to tame the drunken revelry that normally occurred.

Prior to 1670, the free-colored militia in most locations also had very little social impact in terms of its privileges. Many of the benefits and rights that I discussed earlier were simply non-existent. For instance, the characteristic tribute and tax exemptions, veritable hallmarks of free-colored service, were not in effect except for in the extreme southern Gulf port of Campeche. Most military fuero privileges were equally absent for the rank and file. Even ascension into the commissioned grades was jealously guarded in several cities and towns. Whereas after 1670, Mexico’s blacks would acquire posts of truly illustrious stature, prior to that time there were few free-colored officers holding a position above the captaincy.

The 1670s through the 1720s witnessed dramatic change for the free-colored forces. To begin with, after a daring and successful pirate raid was made on Veracruz in 1683, the colonial government provided for the expansion of the number of operable companies. In the diocese of Puebla, which was one of the zones most threatened by the attack, free-colored soldiers appeared in the fighting forces of nearly 50 towns and cities. The expansion process continued elsewhere as other raids were made. In New Galicia, there were 23 operating free-colored companies in place, possessing nearly 1,400 men, by the middle of the 18th century.15 Surprisingly during these years, free-coloreds even came to play open roles in militia units that were supposedly reserved exclusively for whites. When emergency situations arose, the more well-to-do españoles resorted to hiring replacements to fill their posts. Free-coloreds and mestizos drawn from the lower classes

12AGN, I.G. 488-A, Ildefonso Arias de Saavedra to Dn. Pedro Mendinueta, January 15, 1788.

13AGN, I.G., vol. 231-B, Luis Bermudo Sorrano, 1763; AGN, I.G., vol. 490-A, Aug. 9, 1766, Gorostiza to Villaba; AGN, I.G., vol. 490-A, Gorostiza to Marques de Croix, Oct. 17, 1766; AGN, I.G., vol. 490-A, Gorostiza to Villaba, Oct., 1766; and AGN, I.G., vol. 484-A, Tomas Gil de Onzue to Martin Mayorga, June 18, 1781.

14Hoffman, The Spanish Crown, 40.

15AGN, I.G. 252-B, Don Nicolas Lopez Padilla, October 13, 1772, Guadalajara; AGN, I.G. 46-A, Pedro Montesinos de Lara, Puebla, October 14, 1758.

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were among the soldiers of choice for stand-in duty. As the numerical presence of free-colored soldiers increased throughout the colony, and especially along the key strategic coastal sites, crown administrators felt prodded to concede benefits to the militiamen in order to retain a loyal and reliable defense force. Between 1710-1720, negotiations along these lines resulted in the conferral of the colonelcy to the free-colored militia, a rank that brought a measure of significantly increased autonomy to Mexico’s free-colored forces. Based out of Mexico City and Puebla, by the 1720s, the free-colored colonel had achieved the equivalent status of military inspector. He alone was commissioned to organize, supervise, train, and inspect all of the free-colored companies of the independent type throughout the viceroyalty. Among the many documents he carried with him in retinue was a special letter stating that he was to receive “all the assistance, favor and support that he will need [for the task],” without molestation from local governments.16

The level of autonomy that the free-colored militia possessed after the 1720s lasted briefly until 1762, when, with the advent of the Bourbon military reforms, veteran cadres of white officers were stationed inside each free-colored battalion for training and monitoring purposes. 

Apart from the physical expansion of the companies and their greater autonomy over internal affairs, the period from 1670 through the 1720s was also a time when the range of militia duties began to multiply considerably, encompassing a host of non-military related tasks. This transformed militia duty from being a merely casual affair, to being one with concrete, almost daily responsibilities in many locations. For example, free-coloreds in all types of units were called upon to fulfill an array of municipal obligations, such as patrolling city streets between the hours of dusk and dawn. Militiamen also ran errands for provincial governors, escorted silver trains across treacherous terrain, collected taxes, and even provided mail service for the colony’s most isolated regions.

As the soldiers responsibilities increased, so did their visibility. Particularly in rural coastal areas, the political involvement of soldiers grew markedly. In the Gulf coast community of Acayucan, years of political participation produced a situation whereby in the 1750s, the town’s free-colored militiamen had grown wholly divided in their loyalties. Some favored the provincial governor’s policies of town management, while others staunchly supported the local priest’s dictates and designs. Being militiamen, factions of free-colored support sometimes led to the overt use of arms, as occurred in the late 1750s and early 1760s, when the free-colored militia contingent who supported the priest conspired to remove a number of political prisoners from jail.

In actuality, there were many towns like Acayucan in colonial Mexico. This is to say that there were several communities which were heavily populated by free-coloreds and where the militia’s involvement in politics was pronounced. Indeed, in the colony’s central coastal lowlands, some accounts for the 18th century reveal that the free-colored population outnumbered whites by a ratio of 10:1.17 In such settings, colonial officials were almost pressed to rely upon some measure of local free-colored expertise for affairs to run smoothly, especially in cases where those who assumed office were unfamiliar with their provinces.

Since many pardo and moreno militia officers were well-known and prominent figures in their communities, by courting militia favor, administrators and clergymen built alliances that

16AGN, Civil, vol. 158, pt 7, exp. 16, 1742, Puebla, fol. 8v.

17Cook and Borah, Essays in Population History: Mexico and the Caribbean (Berkeley: Univ. of California Press,1974), 2:190-197.

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touched the deep, grassroots areas of their jurisdictions, often bringing into sway soldiers who lived in the most remote fringes of their respective provinces. Almost like Indian caciques, the free-colored corps performed a mediating function between what administrators perceived to be a broad and cohesive pardo community, and what the free-coloreds understood to be the colonial state. It is important to note that in most official contexts, blacks, while normally discussed in implicitly collective terms, were not normally assigned the same degree of internal cohesion as attributed to Indians living communally in pueblos de indios. Vagrancy, loitering, and rootlessness, were the traditional images and adjectives seen repeatedly in state documents pertaining to mulatos, pardos, and morenos. However, when blacks were discussed in relation to the militia, there was a different tone. While discussions of free-colored aimlessness could still abound, these might be counterbalanced with discussions of a militia-inspired, structural integrity among the their race. Consequently, a supposedly vagrant population could simultaneously be discussed as territorially rooted, thanks to its militia ties. Ultimately, therefore, I believe that the militia’s presence, and the strides made in the late 17th century towards providing the militia with more responsibilities and meaning, actually served to increase the plausibility of an existing, formal pardo community in the eyes of the state.

On the flip side, free-colored participation in the corps could increase black self-perceptions of racial solidarity, especially when layered with opportunities for obtaining collective political or economic gains. As the militia institution underwent changes in the late 17th and early 18th centuries, the prospects for racial bonding along these lines gathered strength. Take the case of Tamiagua, another coastal community along the Gulf coast. Here, free-colored residents readily referred to themselves as the vecindad de pardos libres militares during the first three decades of the 18th century. Quite literally, this meant the “community of free pardo militiamen.”

Taking its cue from the town’s free-colored residents, colonial bureaucrats in Mexico City adopted the nomenclature to refer to Tamiagua’s blacks as well. Interestingly, while a significant number of the town’s free-colored population was enrolled in the militia’s rosters, not everyone belonged to a military family. Yet the term encompassed civilians and militiamen alike. A quick historical glance reveals that the decision of Tamiagua’s free-coloreds to present themselves as the vecindad de pardos libres militares emanated from their long-standing efforts to secure fishing rights in the town’s outlying rivers. Since the 1640s, free-coloreds had been embroiled in legal struggles with successive alcaldes mayores, community whites, and Indians to acquire sufficient river access that reflected their dominant percentage of the town’s population. Over the years, the sustained conflicts had brought the town’s pardos together and actually gave meaning to race, since free-coloreds began to define themselves appositionally in relation to the other racial groups vying for river control. This led to the production of some rather interesting, pardo written histories about their evolution in the town, with accounts stretching back into the 16th century. But until the 1730s, free-colored arguments were largely ineffective in bringing about the policy changes that they desired. Even after legal victories had been achieved between 1644-1661, local officials continued to monopolize the town’s economic resources by disproportionately allowing river access to Tamiagua’s whites and Indians. It became evident thatit would take a harder-edged approach for free-coloreds to secure greater control.18

Understanding the situation, free-coloreds began using the influence of the militia towards enhancing their image before the state, particularly during the late 17th and early 18th centuries, 

18AGN, Tierras, vol. 1458, exp. 7, 1-97v.

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when the institution itself began to mature. Tamiagua’s pardos completely understood that they were more likely to receive supportive attention from crown bureaucrats if they fashioned themselves as a tightly knit vecindad of pardo soldiers, rather than as ordinary civilian blacks. At the same time, at the local level, free-coloreds actively used the militia as an organized strong-arm to thwart threats by local authorities. In 1710, free-colored militiamen organized a rebellion, freed prisoners, confronted and wounded the teniente de justicia, and avoided punishment for their actions by paying a bribe of 1000 pesos. The combination of altering their image at the viceregal level, and exercising raw militia power at the local level, produced a greater cohesiveness amongst Tamiagua’s pardos that was racially bound. As a testament to the success of their machinations, the free-coloreds were issued full river rights in 1732. In some documents, they were conferred these rights not just as pardos, but explicitly as the vecindad de pardos militares, re-emphasizing the role that the combination of race and military status played in their winning arguments. In my estimation, the major lesson to be learned from Tamiagua is that while race, in this case pardoness, often assumed meaning outside of the military context (keep in mind that in Tamiagua pardoness was intimately linked to the struggle over fishing rights), the insertion of military service and militia ties provided a distinct political edge and enhanced the commitment for many to associate with race.19

Let us now return to the happenings from 1670-1762, to further examine their effect on the free-colored militia. The period not only witnessed an expansion of free-colored militia companies, duties, and political involvement, but also an increase in militia privileges, providing the institution with more social impact. Contrary to popular belief, benefits were not simply doled out to the soldiers. Rather, they were secured through legal petitions initially launched by the soldiers themselves, in conjunction with the advice of their hired legal aides. The negotiation process provided the militiamen with considerable legal savvy. More importantly, the appeals assumed racial overtones that bespoke of their outlook on racial affiliations.

Tribute exemption was among the most important privileges to be secured by the soldiers. Apart from Campeche, the first exclusions were acquired in 1679 by captains Agustín Torres and Manuel Fernández Morgado for the militia companies in the port of Veracruz. In their arguments to the Real Audiencia, the two officers stressed that free-colored military services were rendered voluntarily and without pay. Furthermore, the men in their units furnished their own weapons and uniforms, making the militia financially independent of the royal treasury. All of these costs weighed heavily on the soldiers who were said to be poor. Moreover, being located in the port of Veracruz had advantageously placed the militiamen in frequent contact with sailors who kept them abreast of happenings throughout the Atlantic World. Thanks to this source of news, the captains added that they were well-aware that free-colored militiamen in Santo Domingo, Havana, Campeche and Guatemala, had already been granted tribute relief. Following their statements, a full investigation was called into the matter. On July 10, 1679, after three years of inquiry, the soldiers’ tribute exemption request was granted.20


20AGN, Californias, vol. 58, exp. 1, fs. 1-5; AGN, General de Parte, vol. 33, exps. 77-78, fs. 68-87; AGN, Tributos, vol. 40, exp. 11, fs. 182-192v; Recopilacion de Leyes, Libro VII, Titulo V, fol. 287v; and AGN, Reales Cédulas Originales, vol. 11, exp. 113, fs. 316-317. This last document intimates that the tribute exemption process may have been underway as early as 1669 in Veracruz, sparked by the appeals of militia captains Diego Perez and Francisco de Torres. However, the preponderance of evidence from other sources confirms the 1676 petition was the definitive push that secured the privilege.

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The successful bid for tribute exemption in Veracruz sparked an immediate tide of requests for similar exclusions throughout the Gulf coast region. First were the petitions of soldiers in Acayucan, representing the province of Guazacualco.21 These were followed by Guachinango (1679), Papantla (1688), Tabasco (1691), and eventually the town of Jalapa (1697), among others. By the end of the 17th century, exemptions had been granted to select locations along the Pacific coast.22 What characterizes all of the petitions is that every successful request took the form of individual contracts between the crown and the free-colored inhabitants of a specific town or region.23 Royal officials preferred handling matters in piecemeal fashion, reviewing situations case by case, and granting exclusions on the merits of each request. Often, the initial appeal for exemption would originate from a cabecera (head town), and then be applicable to several locations within a province. In the majority of cases, the exclusions were said to last indefinitely, although there are some instances where contracts lasted for just a few years.24 Likewise, there were regional differences as to who was included in the exemption. But in almost every case, over time, the militiamen’s wives and children were eventually relieved. 

The most successful appeals followed the lines of argument laid out by captains Torres and Fernández Morgado. The crown was approached with great humility, the cumbersome burden of bearing tribute was highlighted, and a list of militia deeds, such as struggles against Indians and pirates were featured. Generally speaking, the crown followed a policy of issuing dispensations to areas that could be categorized as frontier zones— meaning the most susceptible to attack. This included both coasts and the northern borderlands. Interior locations, like Mexico City and Puebla, were granted relief on the score that they could prove that they were important towards port defense in a reinforcement capacity.

Tribute exemption had a galvanizing effect on militia participation and free-colored behavior. In many of the rural areas were the dispensation was placed into effect, free-coloreds joined the corps as never before. Given the fact that prior to the 1760s, there no limits on troop enrollment, entire communities were said to be on roster, from youths who were well under age, to the elderly and decrepit. Even men who lived well over 30 leagues distance from the nearest headquarters town claimed militia status, although they clearly lived too far to render effective service.25 In truth, the general increase in militia participation was the first step in a series of processes by which blacks began to reinterpret the military exemption as applying to all freecoloreds, including those of non-militia status. There were also individuals who joined the militia briefly, perhaps for a week, and then quickly abandoned ranks, later claiming to tax collectors that 

21AGN, I.G., vol. 492-A, exp. 3, Testimonio de las diligencias practicadas en el superior gobierno por representacion que hicieron a su ex.a los pardos y demas milicianos de la provincia de Goazacoalcos sobre la reelevacion de pasar al puerto de Veracruz cada que haiga novedad de hostilidades, por los fundamentos que expresan, 1767; and AGN, I.G., Tributos, vol. 40, exp. 11, fs. 167-233.

22AGN, Tributos, vol. 34, exp. 7, fs. 163-173.

23The term “contract” is used in the petition of the militiamen of Tamiagua: AGN, Californias, vol. 58, exp. 1, fs. 23-62.

24AGN, Tributos, vol. 40, exp. 1, 1677. This document mainly discusses Indian exemption in Tabasco.

25AGN, I.G. 502-A, Thomas Roncali to Mayorga, Feb. 13, 1783, Acayucan.

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they had once served and were entitled to relief. The frequency of such turnover in units along the Gulf and Pacific coasts reached a critical point in the 1770s. Local officials complained that although some towns had companies of only 50 men, up to 300 would be excluded from tribute on the grounds that they had once been soldiers.26 Blacks further expanded militia benefits by redefining the scope of military privilege. Initial tribute exemptions were intended exclusively for the militiaman, his wife and children. After the 1760s, Bourbon reformers eliminated the privilegefor children.27 But in practice, entire kinship networks— including parents, siblings, nephews, and grandchildren— would successfully claim exclusion, citing that at least one of their family members was enrolled.28

Important to the process of expanding tribute privileges beyond the circle of soldiers were the actions of local officials. These included the alcaldes mayores and their subordinates who often accommodated the claims of free-colored civilians towards exemption status. Such allegations seem to contradict everything we currently know about the character of these officials, their profit driven behavior, and the nature of their offices. Presumably, they would have wanted to incorporate as many people as possible under tribute coverage to expand their regions’ income and increase their opportunities for graft. Yet, it is important to keep in mind that our present understanding of the tribute practices of the alcaldes mayores comes mainly from research on Indian communities, where the majority of the work on colonial tribute policy has been done.

Tribute collection among free-coloreds abided by a different set of rules, especially from those that functioned among Indians residing in pueblos de indios. Militia service played a crucial role in modifying the free-colored tribute arrangement. For instance, provincial administrators were sometimes nervous that if tribute exemption laws were interpreted too narrowly, free-coloreds would not provide military duties, especially sentinel and watchtower details, thereby leaving important regions defenseless and exposed to attack. Fears of sparking civil unrest and rebellion in their jurisdictions was another concern. In Acayucan during the 1780s, there was a real anxiety that since so many men were in the militia, any tinkering with the tax structure could trigger an uprising that would be difficult to subdue.29 Additionally, members of the justicia and various alcaldes mayores did not want to compromise the important supplementary functions that the militiamen performed, such as armed escort services, prison guard duty, and night patrols.

Laxity in collecting tribute from free-coloreds stemmed greatest from worries over securing rural labor. The decline of slavery in colonial Mexico placed an added emphasis on seeking new workers for sugar and cotton plantations, haciendas, ranchos, etc. Some of these estates belonged to the alcaldes mayores themselves, who boasted diverse portfolios in their attempts to maximize profits during their short tenure. The partial recovery of the indigenous population in the late 17th and 18th centuries, alongside emigrations from the pueblos de indios offered solutions to growing labor needs, but not adequately for all regions, as documents from

26AGN, I.G., vol. 307-B, Juan de Riva to Martin Mayorga, Dec. 10, 1780, Mexico City.

27AGN, I.G., vol. 307-B, Posada to Mayorga, April 21, 1781, Mexico City.

28AGN, I.G., vol. 422-A, Francisco Cañaveral y Ponce to Martin Mayorga, April 4, 1781, Acapulco.

29AGN, I.G., vol. 492-A, Maritn de Solis, June, 2, 1679, Mexico City; AGN, I.G., vol. 502-A, Pedro Moscoso, Feb. 7, 1782, Acayucan.

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Igualapa, Tabasco, and Xicayan, as well as studies of Morelos and Veracruz have made clear.30 Considering these realities, many alcaldes mayores understood that the best means of attracting and retaining the free-colored labor source in their provinces was by being flexible with privileges. If free-coloreds were being charged tribute with zeal in one jurisdiction but not the next, experience taught that there would be mass migration to escape the region imposing the burden. Eventually, a mosaic-like system of regional privileges evolved in colonial Mexico. In areas where free-coloreds figured prominently into the rural population, and where they comprised an esteemed labor source, local officials were often more lenient in the application of colonial tribute laws that prejudiced blacks. A few examples include Chicontepec, Guachinango, Xicayan, Panuco, Tampico, Papantla, and Tehuantepec.31 Again, tribute leniency mainly involved extending exemption to free-colored civilians by winking at their false claims of being soldiers.

What effect did this have upon the development of racial identity? For civilians, over time, leniency in the application of tribute laws caused tribute exemption to be viewed by blacks as a genuine legal right, institutionalized by custom if not by written law.32 When reforms threatened to change tribute policies, civilians protested vociferously. Particularly in the period after 1762, both the advent of Bourbon military reforms in Mexico and a renewed interest in fiscal austerity brought tribute privileges under wholesale attack. Take the examples of Tepic and Sentispac

30Cheryl English Martin, Rural Society in Colonial Morelos (Albuquerque: Univ. of New Mexico Press, 1985), 149-153; AGN, Padrones, vol. 18, fs. 209-305v; AGN, Californias, vol. 58, expediente formado a msta. de Don Phelipe Izusquiza, gefe de las companias de caballeria de Xicayan sobre que no matriculen en los tributarios los que son soldados, 1780; AGN, Tributos, vol. 34, exps. 4-6, fs. 106-117v; AGN, Tributos, vol. 40, exp. 9, fs. 81-159v. In Veracruz, Patrick Carroll has traced a shift in labor patterns from slaves to free workers. He notes a strong transition from slave to free workers between 1630-1720, intensifying after 1720. However, a glance at Adriana Naveda Chavez’s work on the 18 sugar haciendas registered in the area of Cordoba in 1788 reveal that although free-coloreds represented approximately 28% of the free-labor force, they comprised only 9% of total workers. Here, the majority of laborers continued to be slaves. In the smaller ranchos near Cordoba, of which 145 were registered in 1788, the percentage of free-coloreds was smaller, representing just over 7% of the labor force. None of the rancho workers were slaves. The patterns found in Naveda Chávez’s study are repeated further north in the Huasteca. Antonio Escobar notes that in 1743, almost half the hacienda residents were either pardo or mulato, the majority being slaves. In all, there were 878 hacienda residents, of which 132 were pardos and 392 mulatos. Of the mulatos, 277 were slaves. Interestingly, although slaves may have comprised the core workforce on haciendas in the Huasteca and near Cordoba, evidence suggests that the alcaldes mayores did not radically alter their disposition towards extending privileges to free-coloreds in these areas, for fear of losing those free-coloreds that did play important labor roles on these estates. References include: Carroll, Blacks in Colonial Veracruz, 61-78; Adriana Naveda Chavez-Ita, Esclavos negros en las haciendas azucareras de Cordoba Veracruz, 1690-1830 (Xalapa, Veracruz: Universidad Veracruzana, 1987), 54-55; Antonio Escobar Ohmestede, “La población en el siglo XVIII y principios del siglo XIX, Conformacion de una sociedad multiétnica en las Huastecas?,” in Población y estructura urbana en México, siglos XVIII y XIX, comp. Carmen Blázquez Domínguez, Carlos Contreras Cruz, and Sonia Pérez Toledo (Xalapa, Veracruz: Universidad Veracruzana, 1996), 277-291.

31For Guachinango see: AGN, Tributos vol. 40, exp. 11, fs. 167-233. Here, the teniente general suspended tribute payment in the late 1780s. The document also makes references to customary tribute exemptions in the jurisdictions of Papantla and Chicontepec. For Panuco and Tampico see: AGN, Tributos, vol. 40, exp. 15, fs. 270-74. For Xicayan see: AGN, Tributos, vol. 34, exp. 7, fs. 118-178v. For Tehuantepec see: AGN, Tributos, vol. 34, exp. 3, fs. 60-93. For discussion on Tabasco see: AGN, Tributos vol. 40, exp. 9, fs. 121-127.

32My thinking here is shaped by E.P. Thompson, Customs in Common, Studies in Traditional Popular Culture, (New York: The New Press, 1993).

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during the late 1770s. Here, civilians had been accustomed to receiving tribute relief for nearly two decades. Free-colored militia units had been founded in these areas in 1753, with tribute clemency for civilians following shortly thereafter. When the crown tried to impose the tax with vigor in the early 1780s, civilians responded uproariously with the argument that they were duly exempt on account of the sheer fact that they were pardos and morenos who inhabited the coast.

In this interesting example, civilians were claiming relief because they were free-coloreds, whereas the crown held them accountable for tribute on these same grounds. In their writings, the civilians essentially saw no difference between themselves and the free-colored militiamen, who they described as “just the same.”33 From their perspective, formal militia duty became a secondary criteria for tribute exemption. They lived in the same communities as the militiamen, were of the same caste, and contributed indirectly to the safety of the region. In their estimation, as elsewhere in the coastal areas of Mexico, these had become sufficient terms for free-colored civilians to advocate exclusion.

A somewhat different dynamic transpired among the militiamen. During the Bourbon reform period after 1762, militiamen experienced almost as many challenges to their tax privileges as did their civilian counterparts. This was because many of the military reforms were aimed at curtailing the number of free-colored soldiers who could staff the colony’s militia forces. Since tribute exemption was a privilege that was enjoyed equally by all soldiers, regardless of class and military grade, when tampered with, the response generated quick, unified action from the ranks.

In the Pacific coast community of Guajolotitlan, militia protests further joined in concert with civilian tax agitation. In fact, during the late 1780s, active duty militiamen under the command of Policarpio de los Santos successfully encouraged civilians, along with groups of forcibly retired militiamen, to formally resist tax collection. Ordinarily, militia-based protests against tribute collection did not assume the form of overt, race-based defenses for tax exclusion, such as those seen among civilian free-coloreds in Tepic and Sentispac. Militiamen had acquired exemption as a valid benefit in return for their military services to the crown. Therefore, there was no need for them to insert race into their arguments to preserve the privilege. But Guajolotitlan shows that militiamen were not averse towards expanding the scope of their reprisals by acting jointly, and even supervising the protests of free-colored civilians.

When engaged in this role, militia duty assumed a different function. Indeed, when the militiamen’s rights were challenged alongside those of free-colored civilians, sometimes the militiamen perceived of themselves as protectors of the broader free-colored population. In Acayucan for instance, when a free-colored soldier from the company of Lt. Juan Domingo Ramos was abusively whipped by provincial authorities, the officer expressed: “Never before in Acayucan has a pardo been whipped.”34 Although the soldier was a militiaman, the infringement upon his rights threatened to violate the status of all free-coloreds in the community. To curb future abuses, Lt. Domingo Ramos retaliated by planning a small confrontation with the local authorities. In short, what I am saying is that the militiamen’s defense of military privileges in general, and tribute immunities in particular, opened numerous possibilities for collaborative activities with civilians. The underlying goals of these activities involved the collective protection of self-perceived, free-colored rights at large.

33AGN, I.G., vol. 307-B, Juan de Riva to Martin Mayorga, Dec. 10, 1780, Mexico City.

34AGN, Civil, legajo 24, exp. 156, 1762, Acayucan, fol. 32.

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In closing, let me briefly summarize the major points of my presentation. The free-colored militia began tenuously in Mexico as an institution with few responsibilities and little social impact. As the militia matured in the latter portion of the 17th century, its participants gained a significant degree of autonomy over their internal affairs and began to press for added privileges. The accruing of military-related benefits and the increase in the number of prominent ranks open to blacks worked towards substantiating their place within the colonial defense scheme. As a result, the militiamen acquired political capital and leverage, which they then used to enhance their position in Mexican society. In many areas, particularly along the rural coasts, militia earned privileges held important implications for civilian free-coloreds, as they found themselves acquiring many of the rights that were supposed to be reserved solely for soldiers. Through garnering privileges, militiamen and civilians altered their legally assigned status as pardos and morenos. Rather than “passing,” or engaging in social whitening, a reverse process occurred. 

Through earning rights such as tribute exclusion, free-coloreds felt a confidence to express themselves in racial terms, since being free-colored no longer carried the traditional legal baggage associated with their race. Their confidence was seen in their official dealings with viceregal administrators, provincial governors, and local mayors. With the advent of the Bourbon military reforms between 1762-1793, a host of challenges to the military establishment and privilege structure were issued. During this period, racial defenses for tribute relief escalated among civilians, and protests for maintaining privileges intensified among militiamen, some of which led to unified militia/civilian actions in support of their self-perceived, free-colored rights.

Sent by Dr. Carlos Munoz, Jr.
Professor Emeritus, Department of Ethnic Studies
FAX 510-642-6456

Slave Rebellions in the State of Virginia (1800, 1831)

Agricultural counties in Virginia were faced with other problems besides those connected with lands and the marketing of products. In the eastern part of the state slaves had become too numerous to be sustained on the farms. In 1830 there were in Sussex, for instance, 4,118 free whites, 7,888 slaves, and 866 free Negroes, far too many Negroes for the comfort and happiness of either masters or slaves (70).

Naturally enough, there was fear of insurrection. Throughout Virginia everyone knew of the plot of Gabriel of Richmond, who was the slave of a white man by the name of Prosser. Just as Chanco had warned the colonists of Opechancanough’s Massacre of 1622, so two Negroes gave information that Gabriel had laid his plans to murder the whites and make himself “King of Virginia.” A storm, interpreted as an “Act of God,” was declared to have prevented Gabriel from carrying out a scheme that otherwise would have met with success. 

It was in 1831 that the long-feared tragedy was enacted, when the insurrection planned and executed by Nat Turner of Southampton County resulted in the murder of white men, women, and children. Southside Virginia rushed to arms. Under the command of Richard Eppes, a regiment from Sussex joined the troops from Petersburg and Prince George and hurried to the aid of their terrified neighbors. 

For years to come the name of Nat Turner was a byword throughout Virginia. This negro was the son of slaves who had been brought from Africa. The story goes that his mother had tried to kill him in babyhood rather than have him grow up in bondage. His father, after several attempts, had finally escaped to Liberia in Africa. Nat had learned to read and had pondered over the Bible—about the only book he could find. 

There he read of God’s people, who were led to Jerusalem. The only Jerusalem he knew was the little village in Southampton that is now called Courtland. He got the idea that he was called to lead the slaves there, as to the promised Land. Having gathered a group of follers, he attacked the whites on the night of August 21, 1831. In all 55 people were killed by Nat Turner’s band, which at one time numbered 60 slaves. After hiding for six weeks, while some 3,000 men searched for him, he was caught, tried and hanged. Among the soldiers who assisted in the man hunt were the men of Sussex (71). . . . 

Source: Sussex County A Tale of Three Centuries. Compiled by Workers of the Writers’ Program of the Work Projects Administration in the State of Virginia. Illustrated. American Guide Series. Sponsored by The Sussex County School Board. Talmage D. Foster, Superintendent. 1942.

Sent by Rudolph Lewis []  with the following comments:
Above is the problem I was pointing out about historical reporting. This writer is writing clearly from the perspective of "Sussex men" (read white men) with no self consciousness at all. And moreover from the perspective of the slaveholding landowners, the larger the more he identifies. Now this is a document financed by the State of Virginia and the federal government. This WPA writer lauds the freedom loving spirit of Virginians, except when it comes from its Negroes. 

He mentions the terror of the Negroes in their response to their cruel enslavement but is silent about the counter terror of the state and its local officials and military apparatus and by local individual whites themselves against anyone who had a Negro face--men, women, and children; free or slave; involved or not involved in Turner's violence against the slaveholding regime. Hundreds of Negroes were killed in retaliation. Then there were the "Black Laws" (extended general punishment for being slaves, a policy similar to that which Israel applies to the Palestinians) "enacted soon after the insurrection and which dealt harshly with the slaves" (72).

The WPA writer, a few pages later, allows that "on many [Virginia] plantations that no longer had fertile soil, there was little planting and there was much slave breeding. Negro families were separated as their members were placed on the auction block" and later quotes the writer of the book The Cotton Industry, "crops were often cultivated for the sake of raising slaves" (76). You would think that such conditions endured by Negroes would somehow have affected this writer's perspective on Turner and his holy war. But it did not. 

The WPA writer makes Turner out be an African mad man. As mad as his African mother. An ignorant simpleton. Moreover, this WPA reporter cares little about careful documentation of his assertions. For one can say almost anything about a Negro and it will be believed. Even historical facts like the dates when the war began and and the date of Turner's "capture" are not established with accuracy. Nor his father. For I have concluded his father was his first master.

Well, this was in 1942. You can excuse it. My assertion is that such practices continue into the presence when it involves reporting nonwhite violence against oppression. Negroes and other nonwhites simply cannot love freedom and democracy to the same extent as others from those writers who wish to satisfy the state and the status quo. 
What we get in such historical reporting is mockery and ridicule of the poor and the oppressed.


Gibson's Film is far from a Tribute to the Maya
Maya say Gibson movie portrays them as savages
New Book: Ajq'ijab by Jean Molesky-Poz

Mel Gibson directs a scene of Apocalypto, photo by Andrew Cooper, Icon Distribution. 
The Orange county Register, December 8, 2006

"Apocalypto" by Mel Gibson

The following information concern the new movie by Gibson was sent by: 
Dr. Carlos Munoz, Jr.  [Editor: some segments edited down] 
Professor Emeritus, Department of Ethnic Studies
510-642-9134  FAX 510-642-6456

Gibson's Film is far from a Tribute to the Maya
by Gabriela Erandi Rico, Doctoral Student
Department of Ethnic Studies, University of California, Berkeley

During the past week or so, tickets were distributed to U.C. Berkeley's students in order to attract Mexican-Americans to view Mel Gibson's new film, "Apocalypto." When I first heard about the film, I was struck by Gibson's investment in a project "reviving" an ancient Mesoamerican civilization not only because as a Mexican Indian (P'urhepecha/matlatzinca), I have great respect for the Maya but also because I've been fortunate to visit Catemaco, the wondrous place where the film was shot and was thus interested in how the site was used to capture the plot of the film. Curiosity got the best of me although I was a bit apprehensive about Gibson's ability to accurately portray a Native American society or to present Native people in a positive light.   I was right.

I came out of the theater with mixed feelings-mostly awe, disgust, rage and indignity. Although I admit that I was visually awe-struck by the awesome aesthetic reconstruction of Maya architecture and by sitting through a film mostly casted by Native American actors and listening to a dialogue completely in the Maya Yucatec language, there were many elements of the movie I found deeply offensive.   

The central aspect of the film was undoubtedly violence. While I understand that violence is necessary to keep the plot moving along in an action film and while I can even entertain the notion that shock value is a gripping method effective in capturing the audience's attention, I thought the use of violence in this film was grossly sensationalized, sometimes inaccurate and often unnecessary. The scenes that most stand out in my mind were those of unjust bloody battles, outright violent murder (including of women and children) with heavy and sharp weapons, and of course, mass human sacrifice. While I can see how human sacrifice can be a good attention-grabber for an adrenaline-hungry audience, I thought Gibson made his point after we saw one head falling from the steps of the central Mayan pyramid and that it was not necessary to have to sit through several scenes of sharp obsidian blades plunging into human flesh to extract pulsating hearts followed by fierce decapitations of sacrificial victims, all while onlookers of the Mayan king's loyal subjects cheered and demanded more. The killers were portrayed as sadistic and bloodthirsty while the victims were other frightened, naïve (and apparently weaker) Indians. This nonstop violent carnage throughout the movie combined with the highlighting of human sacrifice portrayed the Mayas as bloodthirsty savages. While the stereotype is a painfully familiar one for Native people, I find it quite ironic that Gibson thought we would be somehow flattered at his interest in reconstructing our past "reality" or that we would find it at all glorifying.

While sacrifice was, indeed, an important part of Aztec and Maya spirituality, many of the accounts given by Spanish soldiers and priests have been widely contested because of the bias coming from the source (conquistadores and Christian converters). The depictions in Maya and Aztec codices indicate that various forms of sacrifice were practiced and that they were, indeed, violent-but archeologists have been unable to find the mass numbers Spanish accounts claimed-proving that their alleged "eyewitness reports" (like Gibson's representation) were gross exaggerations. Furthermore, it's widely acknowledged by scholars who study the art of warfare that Mesoamerican societies like the Mayas and the Aztecs followed a strict set of rules of war. Their warrior societies did set out to find captives, yet the honor of the warrior was experienced in confronting another warrior on an individual basis and having him submit to his strength and valor-not, as Gibson portrays, in raiding villages or burning houses and definitely not in killing/raping women or disposing of children. Such cowardly acts would bring shame and dishonor to aspiring warriors.

The truth (one acknowledged by Gibson) is that the Mayas were one of the greatest civilizations in the Americas. They were highly advanced in astronomy, architecture, the arts and mathematics. They gave the world the concept of zero, came up with the most advanced writing system in the Western Hemisphere and designed a calendar far more accurate than the Gregorian one we live by today. Out of all these aspects of Maya society, Gibson chose to highlight sacrifices. This is far from paying tribute to the Mayas for their contributions.

The film opens with a quote by W. Durant, "A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within," somehow suggesting that the divisions and warfare a decadent Maya society was wreaking on itself were what essentially led to its downfall. This quote makes sense at the end of the film, when Jaguar Paw's run ends at his and his persecutors' surprise upon witnessing the arrival of European ships. The Spanish conquistadors (who were historically savagely violent in their own regard) are presented as mere bystanders to Jaguar Paw's persecution; religious symbolisms such as crosses and bibles in the hands of friars indicate that the Spanish have arrived to Christianize the heathens in order to save them from the savagery they inflict on each other. The quote on the film's billboards, "No one can outrun their destiny," can thus be read as the tragic truth that Jaguar Paw's exhaustingly heroic escape back to this home in the jungle is really in vain because he will still face destiny at the hands of the newly-arrived Spanish colonizers (and he will thus probably be killed or keep running). Such is the epic story of our tragic hero!-still destined to be extinguished by the annals of history and the arrival of modernity. Not quite a flattering portrayal for Maya/Native people.
During a time when the portrayals of Native Americans in the mainstream media are scarce, all representations of Native people make a statement. This is what's scary about continuing to see films like Apocalypto being undertaken by directors like Gibson. Indigenous scholars like Vine Deloria and Shari Huhndorf have theorized why as a population, which has been continuously preyed upon, dispossessed and colonized, Native Americans are particularly vulnerable to appropriation and co-modification. Indian cultures continue being capitalized upon and Indians continue being disposable, exotic (and in this case violent) others. The only good thing Apocalypse did for Native people was to leave money in indigenous communities in Mexico, expose audiences to the Maya Yucatec language (thus enlightening them), and of course, give jobs and jumpstart careers for a few indigenous actors. Otherwise, it's just another example of a white man's gaze following and misrepresenting Indians.

Maya say Gibson movie portrays them as savages
By Mica Rosenberg, (Reuters)  Dec 6, 2006

Much like his bloody epic about the death of Christ, a new Mel Gibson production about the collapse of the Mayan civilization is angering members of the culture it depicts even before it hits the screen. The "Passion of Christ" was accused by some of being anti-Semitic -- long before Gibson's career-damaging outbursts against a Jewish policeman in Malibu this year.

Now indigenous activists in Guatemala, once home to a large part of the Mayan empire that built elaborate jungle cities in southern Mexico and northern Central America centuries ago, say his film "Apocalypto" is racist.

Gibson's representatives were not immediately available for comment.

Only trailers for "Apocalypto," which will be released on Friday, have been shown in Guatemala, but leaders say scenes of scary-looking Mayans with bone piercings and scarred faces hurling spears and sacrificing humans promote stereotypes about their culture.

"Gibson replays, in glorious big budget Technicolor, an offensive and racist notion that Maya people were brutal to one another long before the arrival of Europeans and thus they deserved, in fact, needed, rescue," said Ignacio Ochoa, director of the Nahual Foundation that promotes Mayan culture.

At their height, the Maya built monumental cities in the Peten region of Guatemala, but the civilization went into decline after the 8th century, some say because of overuse of natural resources.

The culture is not thought to have been as blood-thirsty as the neighboring Aztec empire, but some archeologists say human sacrifice was common in the final years before the Spanish conquest.

More than half of Guatemala's population is descended from the original Maya. They face frequent discrimination and most live in poverty with little access to education and social services.

Over 200,000 people, mostly Mayan, were killed during Guatemala's 36-year civil war that ended a decade ago. Some rights groups say the army tried to wipe out the Maya.

Lucio Yaxon, a 23-year-old Mayan human rights activist, said Apocalypto's heart-pounding trailer was unrealistic.

"Basically the director is saying the Mayans are savages," said Yaxon, who speaks Kaqchikel, one of 22 Guatemalan Mayan languages, as well as Spanish.

But Richard Hansen, an archeologist who Gibson consulted on the making of the film, says the director took pains to ensure authenticity and historical accuracy.

The entire script is spoken in Yucatec Maya and the star is a Native American dancer named Rudy Youngblood. Gibson's use of indigenous actors has won praise from Latino and Native American groups in the United States.

"I am a little apprehensive about how the Maya themselves are going to perceive it," said Hansen, who directs an archeological project at the Mirador Basin in northern Guatemala, "but Gibson is trying to make a social statement."

Dr. Carlos Munoz, Jr.
Professor Emeritus
Department of Ethnic Studies
510-642-9134  FAX 510-642-6456

NEW BOOK: Ajq'ijab by Jean Molesky-Poz

Dear Friends:  A old friend of mine and colleague at the University of Santa Clara, Jean Molesky-Poz, has published a book on the Maya.  I've sent you all several excellent critical reviews of Gibson's  Apocalypto.  Her book is an excellent corrective to the racist negative image of the Maya as violent savages depicted in the movie.  A description of her book is below.  I strongly recommend it.  It can be ordered from the U of Texas Press, link below, or from your local bookstores.  

"Based on ethnographic work with contemporary Ajq'ijab', in conversation with interdisciplinary resources,  the work  illuminates contemporary Maya worldview and spiritual practices.   It opens with a discussion of how the public emergence of Maya spirituality is situated within the religious political history of the Guatemalan highlands, particularly the recent pan-Maya movement.  It investigates Maya cosmovision, and its foundational principles, as expressed by Aj'qijab'. and then  at the heart of this text,  Aj'qijab' interpret their obligation, lives and responsibility of their spiritual work.   In subsequent chapters, it  explores aspects of Maya spirituality --   sacred geography, sacred time (how the 260-day sacred calendar is "the heart of the wisdom of the Maya," the matrix of Maya culture) and ritual practices (the distinct way and method of ancestral study, with special attention to the fire ceremony).  What's also useful, is the ethnographic work is presented conversation with  archaeology, anthropology, hieroglyphics, and literature, so the read can examine "transformed continuities"  of Maya life."

Juaneno Unity Speech
Given by Bob Bracamontes at the Second Juaneno Unity Gathering on October 8, 2006
Sent by Dorinda Moreno

Today I am speaking through the voices of my ancestors that go back 10,000 years. I want our collective voices to be heard by them. I want people 10,000 years from now to hear our chants for total unity of all the Juaneno people, for unity of all the indigenous people of the world. We are not alone in this time and space we occupy; the entire world stands with us in the struggle to find peaceful unity.

All of humankind has grown accustomed to hear of only conflict and war. Never do we hear the cry for peace and unity from government leaders or the media. It has become too easy and even fashionable to think of hatred before love. Love is hard work. Hate has become too easy of a path for those leading the world today.

Some of us have gathered here to reinvigorate our love for family ties - ties lost by induced divisions, forced upon us by years of unprecedented intimidation by federal government pressures. We have all heard the familiar cries of divisive bickering, but it is time for reconciliation. We need to hear the following words, so that it is clear to those we love:

"I never wanted to stop talking to you my sister, my brother. I never hated you. I always loved you deep in my heart." These are the real feelings that must bring us together. Peace, Love, and UNITY.

Many believe that this speaker should not talk about politics or be political. But the truth is, all knowledge is political. I first saw those words written in that order by Estelle Freedman, founder of Feminist Studies at Stanford University. "Some people complain feminism is 'just politics,'" Freedman said. "Well, so is democracy. We're part of humanity, of humanism. All knowledge is political. We represent an analytical approach, and we won't deny our connection to politics." 

So, it seems to me that Juaneno unity is about seeking justice. And justice must come by way of federal recognition, which is about our people's sovereignty. Thus, we need to analyze what it all means to us in the context of our identities and the long historical legacies that our ancestors of 10,000 years ago left us. What legacies will we leave here for the next 10,000 years?

We have all gathered here today because deep in our hearts we share a common belief that unity will show the federal government and generations to come, that we are not defeated; we will not fail our children and grandchildren. We are not invisible and refuse to accept any false statements made by any officials that the Acjachmen, Juaneno Band of Mission Indians are a divided people. We are living, breathing proof that unity is the will of the people and no government, native or otherwise, can stand in our way. 

A few weeks ago a young mother named Ruth Diaz asked, "What do I tell my children about who they are and their history?" I found that to be a profound statement. We must all answer that question about ourselves. Who are we? Is our history about a great people? Certainly, in the present, we should be proud that our actions here today are positive ones, honest ones, filled with dignity and compassion, so that history can take note for the young Diaz children - Angela, Josie, Juan - and for all the children of the tribe. Our future, this action, our call for unity, is not a new tale or story, it is part of all humankind's history. And that is what makes the magnitude even more profound. Are we examples for all of humankind? Or are we just like everybody else in the world: bickering, fighting over land, money, oil, casinos, and prestige? All those imaginary illusions that are always just out of the grasp of the poor; those things that make countries bomb, kill and go to war.

I want our children to know that they are part of a great people. Our youth need to know how to accomplish it.
Langston Hughes, the renowned African American poet described what it takes to be a great poet. He said it like this: "One of the most promising of the young Negro poets said to me once, 'I want to be a poet--not a Negro poet,' And I was sorry the young man said that, for no great poet has ever been afraid of being himself. And I doubted then that, with his desire to run away spiritually from his race, this boy would ever be a great poet."

What this means for our Juaneno children is this: we need to be examples of a humbled greatness. We should never be afraid of saying we want unity; humble enough to embrace each and every member, sharing with them all the fruits of victory that united our ancestors against past conquers. These conquers could not annihilate them, or us, from the face of this earth. We fought off the Spaniards, the Mexicans, and now we must fight together or lose the battle for federal recognition. We can only blame ourselves because we will give the federal government the excuse they are looking for. It is an old strategy - keep them divided and they will fail. As Hughes might have said, we can't run away from the spirituality of our ancestors.

Only a great people have the ability to survive after being invaded time and time again. We will not be great unless we unite. Each of us must walk down the path our ancestors laid down. The path is for unity. We must make sure that our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren follow that same path. For all of eternity the name Acjachemen Nation, Juaneno Band of Mission Indians must be remembered as a people who understood the meaning of real unity, practiced and taught others what real unity was and is all about.

Juanenos are everywhere you can imagine. There is not a single part of the American landscape that we have not touched. And yet, America so far has pretended that we are absent from the classroom. 

Here today the majority of us are ordinary people. We are truck drivers, students, working mothers, working fathers. We are policewomen and policemen, teachers and more. Some of us are healthy and some are sick. But we are here as one people celebrating a historical moment. 

There are those that could not be here today. Some of them are ordinary people. There are many that have stayed away because of tribal pressures. Some of them are our cousins. And still others not here have been or are in Old Folsom, New Folsom, and Pelican Bay. I miss them too. And there are others that graduated form Boalt Law School, Harvard University, and Stanford University. 

We are the paradox of America's injustice; they have seen us in the jail cells of the cruelest maximum prison to the halls of the best universities, but they still make it seem as if we were all gone, as if we all died yesterday. And what makes all these diverse backgrounds become one people is the fact they are all Juanenos and nobody can ever take that away, from them or from us. 

The federal government and the American society at large cannot ignore us. We have been here, living on this land for so long, that simple logic dictates the truth for all eternity, we exist. We exist with or without a piece of paper. With or with out federal recognition, we are here. 

I remember an editor for the LA Times calling me at home one evening, I wrote for a local section. I had written about education. I learned in a class at Cal State LA that education was a lifetime endeavor. From our first day to our last we learn everyday. I had talked about how important it was to get a college education in the society we live in. But I went on to say that the smartest man I ever met was a dropout. She called to say that it was a contradiction and the readers would be confused. 

I did not identify the man I said was the smartest, because most readers in the neighborhoods that read my column could figure it out. The man was my father. She didn't realize that I learned more from him than if I read a million books. It was outside of the realm of her understanding of intellect, for her to ever imagine, that a man with out a college degree could be so wise. 

At one of the Harvard graduation ceremonies I attended, a native woman who was getting her PhD stood up and spoke. It was not at the huge ceremony, not at the dormitory ceremony, but at a small native ceremony at the end of the day. This small group was far from the fanfare and hoopla, where there was no press coverage or media to record our history.

Over her graduation robe was draped a beautiful blanket. I could not take my eyes off it. It just missed touching the floor. She said it was a very proud day. She was as proud of her blanket as she was her PhD from Harvard. Her grandmother showed her mother, her mother showed her and she had sewed the blanket she wore. Following the great tradition of her tribe added a special meaning to her life. That blanket defined her like no degree could.

As native people we know we are beautiful, artistic, intelligent, but the western world only examines their own history and we are judged and defined by that definition of who they are, what they think is reality. So, repeatedly, we are asked to prove ourselves in writing to the western philosophical paradigm. Bring me a piece of paper that says you are who you are or you are nobody to them. Their vision of you and me is, without papers you do not exist and will not be allowed to be a participant in the political domain that makes the decisions which directly affect our lives, I mean our sovereignty, that is so long over due. 

But no matter where we go, no matter our station in society, we will always be remembered in life, and in death, as Acjachemen, the great Juaneno people. 

Like the rest of humankind, we all seek self-definition, identity out side the parameters of the social systems set up by the contemporary conquistadores. Every person, every women, child and man, has special ancestral heritage that they wish to preserve and pass down to other generations because it has valuable traditions. It carries the moral fiber of dignity that is the compass of the soul and spirit of humankind. It is more valuable than gold, money or diamonds. We don't want it melted down into a pot. We refuse the popular view that assimilation is the absolute answer. 

Our ancestors fought hard, at times they lived as slaves, some hung from ropes because they wanted to preserve our culture. And some were shunned because they were to quick to accept the oppressor's way of life. And once again we are facing a similar dilemma, only today we know what is important. The most pressing being loving each other first, then working out how our sovereign nation will be run and administered. 

When I first mentioned the idea of unity now for Juanenos, my father, Joseph Raymond Bracamontes, was not in total agreement. He asked me if I was trying to start a revolution by stirring things up. At first I thought he was kidding when he said that to me. But like so many times before, his words made me think. 

In the country we live in, or maybe the whole world, unity has become a subversive thought. It is like using a four letter word. To a large degree I think most of the governments of the richer countries share the vision, "Don't let ordinary people unite." For governments that seek to control peoples thoughts, their money, and all the land, they just don't want to share with the poor. They don't want to share food, medicine, doctors, education or shelter. They hate to give back what they stole from the indigenous people, the Indian people.

So it is not each other we should look so hard to find fault. It is this new world, this new society we must examine. We must unite to teach them a new lesson in history. A lesson that is about a legacy of peace and unity.

We are not invisible and refuse to accept any image of us that portrays division. We are living, breathing proof that unity is the will of the people and no government can stand in our way. No government in this world can stand in the way of the people if they are united.

Home Page for Cherokee History
Sent by John Inclan

Within the site are links to numberous categories, one was Genealogy-Your Family History. On that page, I clicked to Native American Genealogy, which had links to other resources, listed below.

So Your Grandmother was a Cherokee Princess: The Cherokee Cultural Society of Houston's step-by-step guide to researching your Cherokee ancestry. [NOTE: There is no such thing as a "Cherokee Princess". This is a term popularized by Hollywood.] 
Native American Genealogy by Barbara Benge (Cherokee) 
Native American Genealogy Links by Dori West (Cherokee) 
Cherokee Cousins webpage: They will do some searching for you for a modest fee. They also offer an excellent variety of genealogy and Cherokee history books. 

Native American Genealogy  < Links to all the data below
My new publication on the 1890 Cherokee Nation census has been released for publication, you can also order my 1880 Cherokee Nation census as well. 
1880 Cherokee Nation Census Book 
1880 Cherokee Nation Census CD 
1890 Cherokee Nation Census Book 
1890 Cherokee Nation Census CD 

Native American Books at Heritage Books 
Index to the Guion Miller roll updated link 2 April 2001 
Information on how to obtain Guion Miller claimsnew link 7 February 2001 
Site last updated 5 May 2002. 
Sequoyah Family files added 9 November 1996 
Descendants of Mitchell Sanders (link sited updated 13 May 2003) 
Jim Hick's Website, genealogies of Descendants of Nathan Hicks, Sr; Descendants of John Downing, Major; Descendants of Moytoy; Descendants of Oo-loo-tsa; Descendants of Thomas Cordery (link sited added 10 September 1998 

Native American Bookstores and Maps 

Melodie Sander's Cherokee Genealogy Research Material 

Kevin Cloud Brechner's Lecture on the White Buffalo Calf with Links
Karen's and Melodie's Choctaw Home page (added 16 June 96)
Lakota home page with links to other sites (added 16 June 96)
What's in a Name? (added 16 June 96)
Our General Native American Link page (added 16 June 96)
The Cherokee Page (added 20 June 96)
Travel Guide to Oklahoma by Paul Sarrett Jr. (added 20 June 96)
How To Guide for Native Americans by Paul Sarrett Jr (added 20 June 96)
Native American National Archives Resourches by Paul Sarrett Jr (added 20 June 96)
Native American Resources by Paul Sarrett Jr (added 20 June 96)

Paul has send us the updated version of these files on June 30 so I have replaced them with the current ones. Karen's page on the Melungeon's (added 20 June 96) 
The Nargansett Home page (added 10 July 96) 
North American Indian - Population Records Southeastern Tribes (AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN) added 10 July 96 

A New Link Page dividing information into Catagories (updated 5 May 2002)
Osage Resource guide by Melodie Sanders (added 25 July 1996) 
Native American Newsletter, Usenet and Listservers (added 25 July 1996) 
General Genealogy Help (Added 10 August 1996 ) 
Nancy Ward, Most Beloved Woman of the Cherokee's Family History (added 10 Sept 1996) 
Listing of Available Material at Seattle Branch of the National Archives by John Sloniker ( added 8 November 1996 ) 
Kevin Cloud Brechner's lecture on how to store/save documents (added 10 November 1996) 
The First Nations of Canada, by Ed Mentz Sr. added 10 November 1996 
A Time for Sharing (AOL Native American SIG Newsletters) 
The Siler Rolls (added 97 January 1) 
The Chapman Rolls by Jerry Wright Jordan (up dated link sited added 10 September 1998) 
The Outlaws (added 15 March 1997) 
Black Indian Ancestory by Angela Walton Raji (added 15 March 1997) 
Our PowWow links (added 15 March 1997) 
Finding Cherokee Old Settlers ( added 11 April 1997 ) 
Ed Mentz lecture on the Myths and Desendants Pocahontas ( added 11 April 1997 ) 
Eagle of Millerton's home page Native American Poems and related themes, special on Inga-Lami which will benefit the Wings of America Program 
Indian Schools 
Turtle Tracks (updated link site 28 May 2000) 
1812 Horseshoe Bend Muster Rolls link site added 12 July 1999 General Native American Genealogy Links
Jerry Jordan's Home Page
(updated link sited added 10 September 1998) 
Cherokee Woman Website (Sandi Garrett) link site added 6 November 1999
Runs with Ponies (Karen Phister) link site added 6 November 1999
The American Indian CD-Rom (link sited added 20 September 1998 
So Your Grandmother was a Cherokee Princess 
Native American Tribal Histories Lee Sultzman, First Nations Historian has done a wonderful job 
American Indians [National Archives Microfilm Catalog] 
Homepage Listing the Carlisle Students


History of Sephardic Groups (1915-1985) in New York City
Compiled by the Sephardic Brotherhood of America
to Commemorate Their 70th Anniversary

Young immigrants from Salonica found themselves with common needs. They found themselves with a lack of knowledge of American customs and with the inability to speak English They shared a desire to worship together under the familiar Sephardic rituals and to acquire cemetery land in which to bury their dead. Social, educational, and cultural activities also were needed. And so, these young men organized the "Hermandad", a mutual benevolent society. Dues of ten cents per week were collected by volunteers. 

On April 3, the organization was incorporated under the laws of the State of New York as the Salonician Brotherhood of America, Inc. A drive was undertaken to increase its membership. At that time, it was limited mainly to men who originated from Salonica. 

As America entered World War I and many members found employment in the war industries. Others enlisted in the armed forces. As the economic status of members improved, marriages began to occur frequently. Every member was invited to the Weddings which were held in public halls. Increased socialization took place. Picnics, boat rides and parties were held quite regularly. Many members were employed in the war industries in New Jersey. And so, a New Jersey Branch was established with headquarters in New Brunswick. Some of the enterprising members of the Brotherhood began to establish businesses. 

World War I ended with the signing of the Armistice on November 11, 1918. During 1919-1921, there was a mass immigration from Salonica to this country. The leadership of the Brotherhood was ever alert to enroll the new arrivals as members and to provide them with assistance in acclimating themselves in their surroundings. 

Happy 5th Birthday to the Brotherhood. Time had gone by so quickly. The organization had grown in numbers. A movement was initiated to make our organization more cosmopolitan. On December 10, 1921, the organizations's name was changed to the Sephardic Brotherhood of America, Inc. 

New Immigrants continued to arrive. Two branches were established-one on the Lower East Side and one in Harlem. In order to accommodate changes in policy and attitudes, the Brotherhood was reorganized. A new constitution was adopted. It provided for the election by the membership of a representative body known as the Central Council. The Council would elect our Executive Committee and also it would have a final authority over executive decisions. Places of worship, organized for the High Holy Days, were very well attended. In addition, monies were collected for a "Secret Relief Fund" to assist our needy families. Monies also were needed for the mental hospitals of Salonica and to provide lunches for the orphans of Salonica. Despite the meager incomes of the majority of our members, their response to these appeals was gratifying. 

This was the year for the Brotherhood to grow. A vigorous membership drive was conducted. Volunteers held nightly rallies in the Lower East Side and in Harlem to induce the new immigrants to enroll as members of the Brotherhood. This campaign was very successful and the Brotherhood emerged as a leading Sephardic organization in the city. 

Due to the enactment of a new Immigration Law in 1924, immigration from the Balkans came to a virtual stand-still. In a sense this period was a difficult one for the Brotherhood. Ten years had gone by since its inception and it had become a vibrant active organization. However, efforts to finance the purchase of a building proved unsuccessful and the project was dropped. The Brotherhood faced a financial crisis which forced most of the leadership to resign and the Central council to disband itself, after electing a "Triumverate" to manage the organization's affairs, with carte blanche powers, until the crisis was over. 

Cool heads prevailed. Misunderstandings among the leadership began to disappear, and harmony once again produced progress for the Brotherhood. 

Things were going well. Most members were self supporting and contributed generously to our various funds. The disastrous effects of the 1929 "Wall Street Crash" were not felt by most of our members until 1930. Unemployment became a serious situation. In addition, the bank in which hundreds of members had their savings on deposit closed on December 10, 1930, and our members could not get their savings.. The collection of dues began to fall off at an alarming rate, and there was a high demand for financial aid from our "Secret Relief Fund". 

In 1932, the leadership inaugurated two steps which saved the unity of the Brotherhood and was of great assistance to the members: 1. Enactment of legislation, with the consent of the Branches, to transfer a large portion of the respective treasuries of the Branches, to a fund to be administered by the Executive Committee, to provide monies for rent and other emergencies, free loans, etc. to members in need : and, 2. Adoption of a policy whereby members in arrears in the payment of dues would sign a note for such arrears, and start paying current dues from the date of the note with the understanding that the note would be paid when prosperity returned. This latter device, although it seems very simple at this time, was the means by which members continued to remain in the organization. Had we not provided this method of suspending payment of dues arrears, it is very probable that a large number of our members would have resigned, and would never have returned to the organization in better times. Toward the end of the year 1932, with the election of Franklin Delano Roosevelt as President of the United States, an aura of hope prevailed throughout the nation and among our members. 

Many of our members, who had resided in Harlem, moved to other parts of the city. The Brotherhood operated with four branches: Downtown and Brooklyn; Long Island and Manhattan; New Brunswick, New Jersey; and the Bronx and Washington Heights. Each Branch had its own treasury and Executive Committee. Each held meetings and elected delegates to the Central Council and to the Annual Convention. The economic conditions began to improve for our members and there was a decrease in the need for financial assistance. 

A giant step forward...On April 15, the Central Council established a Scholarship Committee, Early in the year, two awards totaling $25 were distributed. Over the years the generous devotion of our members have made it possible for the Scholarship Program to grow. In 1983, over $10,000 was awarded. That's progress! Europe was becoming unsettled. The anti-semitic course followed by the German government was protested against by major Jewish organizations including the Brotherhood. We participated in a huge parade to protest the burning of all brooks written by Jew in Germany. So many members had moved out of Harlem. This necessitated a relocation on the part of the Brotherhood office so that we could be closer to our members. 

Our new offices and Synagogue, Khal Kol Israel, were located on a suite of rooms in a two story building at 353 East 169th Street, Bronx. The Junior League, an organization of our Junior Members, was established. They met regularly every Sunday. They sponsored many social events and participated in the affairs of the Brotherhood. They continued to meet until 1943-44 when almost all of its young men were in the armed forces. 

The Executive Committee decided that the minutes of its meeting and that of the Central Council be prepared in Ladino, using Latin Characters instead of Hebrew characters, so that future generations would be able to read the record of the proceedings. 

[[Editor: This is fascinating reading in terms of the early organization, scholarships, activities, and support for one another.  The site takes it up to 1985. ]]



Perez Elementary Named For Fallen Austin Marine
Distribution of Land in Texas, 1836
Extracts from the Chronological History of Harlingen by Norman Rozeff
Capt José de Urrutia :  Royal Presidio, San Antonio de Bexar 
Accessing John Inclan's Research
"Avenue Cafe" or "Las Manitas"
December 2006 Report: Undocumented Immigrants in Texas
Book: Hecho en Tejas, Premier!!

Perez Elementary Named For Fallen Austin Marine
Julie Simon Reporting, Oct 15, 2006

(CBS 42) AUSTIN There was a hero's tribute Sunday for an Austin man who died serving in the United States military. Lance Corporal Nicholas Perez was the first Travis County serviceman to die in Iraq. Sunday, the community officially   dedicated the school which bears his name. 

School was something that was very important to Nicholas Perez. He graduated from Travis High School with honors back in 2003.

Even though Perez Elementary School opened its doors last August,2006 on Sunday friends, family, and a U.S. congressman gathered to make it official.

There were a mother's tears of sorrow and of pride. Yolanda Valdez was overcome with emotion as the school named for her son, Nicholas, was officially dedicated.

The little boy, who loved the outdoors, loved his country and the man that died serving it, is now immortalized at this South Austin elementary school. His parents are so proud.

"It's an honor," his father told CBS 42's Julie Simon. "And the legacy lives on as far as Nicholas Perez goes on… The program was wonderful. It was more than I ever expected."

At the dedication, those in the audience were treated to a dance routine by the students. Members of the armed forces saluted their fallen brother. And Congressman Lloyd Doggett explained how even though Perez is gone, he will serve as a sort of big brother to the students at the school.

"For as long as they sit and learn at the desks which will fill the classroom here, Nick will be a role model in spirit as he was in life," Doggett said. Nicholas' parents, his sister, and the nephew who bears his name though the two never met were all in attendance.

Nicholas Perez was just 19 years old when he died. Nicholas Perez was killed on Labor Day weekend back in 2004. He died just two days before he was scheduled to return home. 
(© MMVI, CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved.)

[[Editor: This brief news story does not reflect the effort it took to accomplish having the school named after Nicolas Perez. Dan Arellano writes: ]]

"The Tejanos in Action, of which I am the Commander, are responsible for having the school in the background named after Lance Corporal Nicolas Perez, the first to give his life in Iraq, from Austin. The school district has had a monopoly on to whom they choose to honor,  by naming a school named after them, and it usually was an elder Anglo educator. It would take a struggle of over a year and many heated debates. The Hispanic Community, here in Austin is growing and we demanded a say in the highly political election process and after numerous rejections we were able to convince them of the political consequences of their actions. Needless to say we were successful in changing an old "good old boy" political system here in Austin."                                        

Distribution of Land in Texas, 1836
Consider the Lily: The Ungilded History of Colorado County, Texas By Bill Stein
Sent by John Inclan

Notes to Part 1: 1 Some individuals, who provided or promised to provide special services to the colony, were granted even larger tracts of land. Several later laws modified the amounts of land that were granted to new settlers, and the conditions under which the land was granted. Generally, the size of the land grants decreased over time. However, the constitution adopted by the Republic of Texas on March 17, 1836 allotted one square league and one labor (one twenty-fifth of a sitio, or about 177 acres) to married men and one-third of a square league (about 1476 acres) to single men, provided that they had lived in Texas on the day that independence was declared, March 2, 1836.

Nesbitt Memorial Library, Columbus, Texas



Extracts from the Chronological History of Harlingen by Norman Rozeff

This is a fascinating chronology, showing the interaction and marriages between different cultural groups, life and  business activities. I just pulled out a few names as examples.

It is prior to 1870 that the Court issues a license to Justo Treviño to operate a ferry at El Palmetal. The community is just south of the Arroyo Colorado in what is now Treasure Hills. His crossing served those coming from the west and northwest enroute to Brownsville. There is record of the license being renewed 11/28/70.

1874 In this year Donna Benigna Hodges' first husband, Morgan Barclay buys first of two tracts from the Matamoros heirs of Jose Narciso Carvazos. He is licensed by Cameron County Commissioners to operate the ferry at Paso Real. When her second husband, Mr. Hodges, dies she maintains the ferry until the coming of the railroad ends stagecoach travel. Years later, bed-ridden in her home above the Paso Real crossing she appeals to Santos Lozano to care for her after two ranch hands are killed by bandits. The Lozanos take her to Harlingen and care for her. Having no heirs she wills her ranch to Micaela Lozano. Thus the mercantile Lozano family also becomes ranchers.

In 1880 Francisco Saldaña filed a patent on Survey 45 and officially was granted the land after occupation and improvements in 1886. Various members of the Saldaña family likely owned a total of about 510 acres south of survey 27. They called it La Providencia Ranch. Plats of about 170 acres each were numbers 45 (F. Saldaña), 46 (E. Contreras), and 47 (S. Saldaña). The "F" may have been Francisco, who was to marry Anselma Sanchez and upon her death Josefa Abrego. The "S" was his son Secundino from his first marriage. E. Contreras was Estevan (also spelled Esteban) Contreras, who had married Librada Saldaña. Their daughter Josefa, who was baptized in the Presbyterian Mexican Church, Brownsville on 3/7/86, lived on the ranch until 1896-98. Another daughter was to be Anita Saldaña Contreras de Rosales. Herlinda Saldaña of the ranch family was to marry Joaquin S. Sanchez, have a son Jose, and live at 831 Curtis Street, Harlingen. Paulo Saldaña, Sr. and Jr. were other family members.

The first of the Lozanos to come into the area are Geronimo and his wife Luisa Rodriguez Lozano. She had been born at Santa Rosalia, southeast of Brownsville. They likely came to the El Muerto Ranch which was located along what is now Godwin Road running north from FM508 east of Combes. Some time after 1906 when his brother Santos started a mercantile store in newly developing Harlingen town, Geronimo was to do the same, also on Jackson Street, thereby starting only the second mercantile store in town.

He will die in 1918, but the family will continue to live in their dwelling at the corner of C and Van Buren Streets. Later son, also Geronimo, will long have his home at 122 W. Madison. It has since been torn down. The senior Lozanos will parent sons, Luiz (father of Yolanda L. Gonzales, a lifelong Harlingenite), Geronimo, and Zaragosa, together with Mrs. Felipa Lozano de la Villareal, and Mrs. Eloisa Lozano de la Rosa. Luisa Lozano, who was born in 1877, will die in Harlingen on or about 11/21/51 at age 74.

It was sometime before the turn of the 20th century when the El Muerto Ranch was in existence. It was located in former School Lands about four miles north-northwest of where the center of Harlingen would be. It was in survey 28 platted to one J.M. Gonzales. Here Don Julian Villareal and his wife Guadeloupe Montalvo Villareal built a house of sod, mud and sticks. They were soon joined by Calixtro Rosales (1859-1947) and his wife Modesta Villegas Rosales (1859-1944) who also built a simple abode. Their daughter was Leonor Rosales Alvarez would be 100 on 2/2/00. At age 48 on 10/18/1882 Julian would die. His son of the same name would later remove to Harlingen to establish a dry goods store with his brothers. This Julian was born 8/26/76 and died 3/8/38. Both are buried in the El Muerto Cemetery located on Godwin Road east of Combes and running north from FM 508. In 1990 Ofelia Olsson would compile a brief history of the cemetery and a comprehensive list all those buried there.

1900 Jesus Saldana is part of the extended family operating La Providencia Ranch. It is located in Surveys 45 and 47 directly west of what will initially be Harlingen. The sendero opened in 1904, and which would become Harrison Street, runs a mile or so to the S. Saldana property. This is important because the ranch is a source of good water, a necessity the community still lacks. From the well on the ranch, water is hauled by the barrel until the canal reaches Harlingen in early 1908. The charge is 50 cents per barrel for this service.

The wagon road going south from the adjacent F. Saldana ranch to allow a low water crossing of the Arroyo Colorado is now Tucker Road. Just beyond where it ends on the north side of the arroyo was a community named Castenas. [For more information on this subject see "The Location of La Providencia Ranch" link.]

1906(early) Santos Lozano, who had come from Alice in 1905, buys the second commercial lots on Main (Jackson) Street. He builds a small frame structure for a general store with living quarters upstairs. This building is removed in 1915 and replaced by a large two–story brick structure. The bricks are imported from Monterrey, Mexico. Initially the building has "S. Lozano and Son-1915" etched on the top of its north-facing and west-facing facades. Don Guillermo Lozano, Santos' son, will open the first meat market west of the railroad.

Santos Lozano was born in Ejidos San Nicolas de los Garzas (now part of Monterrey), Nuevo Leon State, Mexico in 1863. His parents, Felipe and Otta Gracia Lozano had immigrated to Texas during the Mexican-French War and ended up in Collins, TX when Santos was two years old. In Alice Santos would eventually operate a mercantile store for fourteen years before making his way to Harlingen. After the death of his first wife, Micaela Beasley, he would marry Tomasa Cantu. His oldest son J.B. Lozano was born in Alice 4/12/92, educated at public schools, and, in 1909, became a merchant with his father in Lozano and Son. He was to marry Herlinda Hinojosa 5/12/12. His younger brother, Santos V. Lozano was born in Alice on 7/27/94, and also educated in public schools. When he entered the business the store was called S. Lozano and Son Dry Goods Store. He came to Harlingen at age 11 and was to serve in WWI in a medical detachment. He later was an American Legion member and was in the Woodmen of the World. Both brothers were proud of their Irish-Mexican heritage. The other Lozano children who came to Harlingen by train in 1905 were Fidelia, Porfirio, Otila, and Alfredo.In the 1920s the Lozanos will have placed store branches in La Feria, Donna, and Raymondville. Santos would die at the ripe old age of 90. A daughter, Macaela "Mickey" Lozano was born in Harlingen on May 10, 1910. She would go on to graduate Harlingen High School, attend Texas A&I, and receive a B.S. Degree in Education from Pan Am. She married Manuel I. "Meme" Garibay who died in 1954. Retiring as a teacher in 1981, Mrs. Garibay was to die in Brownsville on 11/14/04 at age 94. Micaela's sister Sofia was also born in Harlingen.

The Secundio (Papa) Gutierrez family moves to a homestead at 313 W. Van Buren, Harlingen. The family has its origins in Amozoc Puebla, Mexico. Secundio's father, Manuel brought the family to Brownsville in 1862 due unrest in Mexico. Soon after he moved to northern Cameron County where he and his teenage son found work on different ranches. At age 22 Secundio was married by Father Keralum to Guadelupe (Lupita) Loya Loya. The ceremony took place on the El Mameado Ranch which was 2.7 miles north of FM 498 on an extension of FM 507. They settle in La Jarita, which is on FM 1420, and in 1876 started a succession of nine children. In 1890 they move to La Crucita Ranch. This ranch incorporated three smaller ones – La Crucita, El Gigante, and La India. Its initial acquisition was by Manuel Gutierrez. At this, their second home, they have four more children. The ranch encompasses Surveys 39, 40, 293, 294, and 295. It is bounded on the south by the Arroyo Colorado, the north by Garrett Road, the east by Tucker Road and the west by Altas Palmas Road. What is now Dilworth road cut through the ranch and led to a low water crossing of the arroyo and on to Turner Road leading to the Military Road. These provided a route to go to Brownsville. The serious drought of 1896 dries up the rangeland and kills their stock. The below-average region rainfall actually extended from 1893 through 1902. Survey 39 later fell into the hands of the Georgetown Railroad Company and eventually was subdivided by the developer F.Z. Bishop. Survey 40 came into the possession of G.S. Dorough and 294 Dayton Moses. 293 and 295 were bought by the Corpus Christi, San Diego and Rio Grande Narrow Gauge Railroad Company. Secundio after selling the ranch will close his general store in that area and late commence a bakery on W. Van Buren then open a dry goods and grocery store on W. Harrison. Rosaura Guttierez is the daughter of Eugenio, one of the 13 children. She is active on the Cameron County Historical Commission, among many other activities. Joseph Muniz, assistant Harlingen librarian, is the great grandson of Petra, the sister born the year before Eugenio was in 1885.

1902 Santos G. Garcia is born near what will later become Rio Hondo. It is his grandfather who sells Lon. C. Hill the 2000 acre Los Costanos Ranch for 50 cents an acre. Garcia will attend the first Harlingen school for Mexican ethnics. 
[[Editor: appears to be the first segregated school.]]

He is later to help subdivide the Mexican housing sections of Harlingen, Brownsville, and Mercedes before going bankrupt in 1934. He then became a claims adjuster for the Lloyd Caldwell Corp., where Harvey Oler was manager. In this same year he begins selling tortilla-making machines. These were invented in Mexico in 1911. 

Renting a vacant lot at 515 W. Monroe from Carl Woods for $3 a month, Garcia sets up a corn grinder and tortilla machine under a shelter. He soon improves his machine after seeing a more advanced model in Brownsville. By 1941 he is to open four more tortilla factories in Harlingen. A dozen sells for 10 cents. Over time he is to sell 4,000 tortilla-making machines across the southwest.  

In 1946 he will establish Club Educativo Commedo de Caming. This organization loans money to Latin students attending college. The club has 400 members who contribute 50 cents a month for the education fund.  [[Is this the first student loan program?]]


Book: Capt José de Urrutia : Commander,Royal Presidio of San Antonio de Bexar 
by John D. Inclan

The descendants of Captain Joseph de Urrutia : pioneer family of San Antonio de Bexar, 1700 to the present ; The descendants of Major Diego Ramón and Doña Feliciana Camacho y Botello : Commandant at the Presidio del Norte and Governor of Coahulia [sic], Mexico / by John D. Inclan ; edited by Bernadette Inclan.

Phoenix, Ariz.] : John D. Inclan, c2002.
Copy University of Texas, El Paso Library:
Spec. Coll. Rare CS71.U7782 2002  

Accessing John Inclan's Research
If you have Texas lines and are not tapping into pedigree lines that have been compiled by John Inclan, you are missing a treasure of information.  Below are some remarks made by Margarita Gonzales Garza de Garcia to John.  I asked for permission to include some segment of her letter to encourage all of you to go to John's site:

Margarita writes: 
"Growing up in South Texas where there was a lot of discrimination against the Mexicans, we have a low profile of ourselves. Reading about our ancestors through your research makes us feel wonderful and good all over. They were (to me) the cream of the crop of Spain. 

Your research has helped a lot of people find the true identity of their ancestry. Thank you for caring enough for your fellow man to do this."

Hi Mimi: I hope you had a good Christmas Holiday.  

You have my permission to use the write up to Mr. Inclan.  His work is wonderful.  His family was related to my family about 250 years ago.  The title of your magazine fits it so perfectly.  Somehow, someway, todos somos primos.  I found another distant relative through Mr. Inclan's work, where our ancestors were brothers, and that would be Mr. Guerra in Houston.  He ceases to amaze me with his wonderful work.
I went to school in Alice, Texas during a time when the blacks and the Mexicans were segregated.  It was a sad part of Texas history that should not be forgotten.  What we learned about Texas History and Mexico in school did not involve the minority people.  
I remember having a holiday at work to celebrate Junteenth, and I asked a very stupid question, "What's that?".  At my age, I now have plenty of time to learn what the system failed to teach me.  I feel very proud that my family were part of the colonization period. Before the captain of the Mayflower even thought of sailing to this country, our great ancestors had already paved the way.  
Wishing you the best, Margarita

"Avenue Cafe" or "Las Manitas"

Have you ever been to austin Texas? there is a little place in trouble down there by the name of "Avenue Cafe" or "Las Manitas", it is the place i go to without fail when i am down there. it is one of those places that reminds us of las tortillas de mama and smells like her kitchen, it is like heaven to me, cause that is where my mamasita grande is now watching from. Anyway, if in your travels for your company, you or one of your associates should wonder into Austin, go by and sit...Go all the way past the kitchen to the out-side patio and enjoy your almuerzo al viento. Have your associate write to the mayor about it. I myself have had breakfast there with friends like, Amado Pena the southwest artist, Lou Diamond Phillip and his family, and the late great governess of Tejas, Ann Richards.  They all go away with los olores de la cocina de mi madre,  and some awesome smiles...As you would/will go now, before the big conglomerate of Marriott takes and smashes the building to powder.

Raul Gonzalez

December 2006 Report: Undocumented Immigrants in Texas
A Financial Analysis of the Impact to the State Budget and Economy 
Sent by Dr. Carlos Munoz

This is the first time any state has done a comprehensive financial analysis of the impact of undocumented immigrants on a state's budget and economy, looking at gross state product, revenues generated, taxes paid and the cost of state services. 

The absence of the estimated 1.4 million undocumented immigrants in Texas in fiscal 2005 would have been a loss to our gross state product of $17.7 billion. Undocumented immigrants produced $1.58 billion in state revenues, which exceeded the $1.16 billion in state services they received. However, local governments bore the burden of $1.44 billion in uncompensated health care costs and local law enforcement costs not paid for by the state. 

-- Carole Keeton Strayhorn, Texas Comptroller 
Complete report:

The publication of HECHO EN TEJAS is going to be celebrated on Saturday, February 10, 2007, at the Southwestern Writers Collection at Texas State University in San Marcos. It will be the anthology's first event, and it will be a day long event.

To draw attention across the state for the need to teach and honor the literature and art of our community, to make a front spread in the Arts section in all the major newspapers in the state, HECHO has had much hope that there could be similar events in 6-8 cities: Austin, San Antonio, Houston, El Paso, The Valley, Fort Worth, Dallas, Laredo, Corpus Christi. Already there has been interest in the book from several newspapers and radio. The hope is that at each place, nearby writers (and some maybe could be brought in, if there's money) would come out to an event that will imitate the one we are offering in San Marcos--at least the sense of party, music, art--of EVENT. We are looking for ideas about places to have these. If you know, if you can help, please. Even as the San Marcos event is taking place at the library at Texas State University, what HECHO is hoping to find are community places where ordinary people will feel equally comfortable.

The hope is still that HECHO EN TEJAS will bring attention to many writers of Mexican descent within this state. That this anthology will become a textbook not only for junior high and high school readers--already there is some movement on getting a teacher's edition and an online guide made. More important is that HECHO can be used in college courses as well. It's time that when those who teach the literarure of the Southwest and Texas, there are no more excuses to not include us. There can be no reason for our children to not be exposed to our literary history and heritage. Even more than that, the hope is that the community itself will see this book as one to decorate the house--close to the big TV, near the family photos, sharing the table where beer and chips go, where a son or daughter will pick it up, open it, forget what time it is, and never even realize how much time has passed.

Elvira Prieto
Source: Ixchel Rosal


Katrina Begets a Baby Boom by Immigrants
Little Hope Cemetery, Bienville Parish URL
Louisiana Life Magazine URL
Louisiana State Parks URL

Katrina Begets a Baby Boom by Immigrants
by Eduardo Porter 

Photo by Lee Celano for The New York Times
Sara Alvarado, a Honduran immigrant, with son, Jackson Antonio, born in New Orleans. 

Babies born to workers who flocked to help rebuild New Orleans are
straining its decimated health system.
Sent by Dorinda Moreno

In the latest twist to the demographic transformation of New Orleans since it was swamped by Hurricane Katrina last year, hundreds of babies are being born to Latino immigrant workers, both legal and illegal, who flocked to the city to toil on its reconstruction.

The throng of babies gurgling in the handful of operational maternity wards here has come as a big surprise — and a financial strain — to this historically black and white city, which before the hurricane had only a small Latino community and virtually no experience of illegal immigration.

“Of all the myriad things that have changed after Katrina, this wasn’t high on anybody’s priority list,” said Dr. Mark Peters, chief executive of East Jefferson General Hospital in Metairie.

Because many immigrant mothers cannot afford to pay for prenatal care or delivery services, New Orleans’s newest citizens are adding an unexpected load to the decimated health infrastructure in a city abandoned by many of its doctors. Much of the state-financed Charity Hospital system, which before Hurricane Katrina provided the bulk of care to New Orleans’s uninsured and indigent population, remains closed.

Lacking health insurance and barred from most government assistance, expectant immigrant mothers can go to only the handful of charitable clinics that are still operating and that do not question a woman’s immigration status when offering low-cost prenatal care.

“Prenatal care is our daily nightmare,” said Shaula Lovera, the program coordinator for the Latino Health Access Network, an outreach service operated by Catholic Charities.

The two health units providing prenatal care run by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals saw more than 1,200 pregnant women from January to mid-November. Virtually all were Latino immigrants.

“Before the storm, only 2 percent were Hispanic; now about 96 percent are Hispanic,” said Beth Perriloux, the head nurse in the department’s health unit in Metairie.

There are so many pregnant women that the clinics have reached capacity. Dr. Erin Brewer, the department’s medical director, said, “We’ve gone from having a maternity clinic two to three days a week to five days a week.”

Many immigrant women are forgoing prenatal care and showing up, ready to deliver, in hospital emergency rooms, where they are required to be seen even if they are in the country illegally.

“When I felt the pains I just went to the women’s and children’s hospital,” said Noemi, an illegal immigrant from Oaxaca, Mexico, who arrived in New Orleans right after the storm as part of a cleaning crew from North Carolina. She left the city but then returned in October, a month after giving birth to her daughter Alejandra in Lake Charles, 200 miles west.

“If they hadn’t received me, my girl would have been born in the hall,” Noemi said. (She asked that her last name be withheld to protect her identity.)

There has been a small Latino population in New Orleans for several decades, mostly Hondurans who came after Hurricane Mitch battered Central America in 1998. But that population has started to grow.

According to the Louisiana Health and Population Survey, released in November, the number of Latinos living in households in Orleans and Jefferson Parishes has increased by about 10,000 since 2004, to 60,000, even as the total population has fallen by about a quarter, to roughly 625,000.

Last summer, researchers at Tulane University estimated that there were 5,000 to 7,000 illegal Latino workers in Orleans Parish alone, excluding nonworking relatives. But some community workers estimate that tens of thousands have arrived since the storm.

Immigrants can be seen working on roofs, installing Sheetrock and laying tile all over town, from the up-market Lakeview neighborhood in the west to East New Orleans. At the Lowe’s home improvement store in the city’s Bywater neighborhood, clusters of day laborers mill about in the parking lot every morning, waiting for jobs.

Most are not new to the United States. They come from Texas, Florida or California, seeking construction work that can pay $150 a day. But there are some newcomers, including Sara Alvarado, a 26-year-old Honduran, who arrived in the United States in August after a monthlong odyssey through Mexico with her partner, Tony, 32.

When Ms. Alvarado finally got to New Orleans, brought into the country by coyotes, or smugglers, who charged $6,000, she was more than six months pregnant. The last time she had seen a doctor was four months before.


Louisiana Websites: 

Bienville Parish: Carolina Cemetery; 438 records;Little Hope Cemetery; 193 records;
Maxine Blake Morgan

Louisiana Life Magazine and 
Louisiana State Parks:
Sent by Bill Carmena


Puerto Rican Pioneers In New York City: Forging an Urban Path
Jose Ruiz, Director Education-Based Latino Outreach Deceased

National Institute for Latino Policy

Puerto Rican Pioneers In New York City:

Forging an Urban Path

By John P. Schmal

In New York’s General Election of November 2, 1937, residents of New York City’s Seventeenth Assembly District went to their neighborhood voting stations to vote for three candidates: a Republican, a Democratic and a Socialist. By the time the polling booths had closed, the three candidates had received the following votes:

Meyer Alterman, the Democratic candidate – 6,218 votes

Oscar Garcia-Rivera, the Republican candidate – 8,798 votes

Jose Castro, the Socialist candidate – 275 votes

New York’s Red Book of 1938 tells us that another 2,516 votes out of the 17,807 cast were categorized as "unrecorded." With this vote, Oscar Garcia Rivera became the first Puerto Rican to hold elective office in the continental United States. Although the Democratic Party held considerable power in the Northeast during this period of American history, the people of Spanish Harlem had cast their vote for a Republican – and for a native-born Puerto Rican – who would serve their community in the New York State Assembly for three years (up to 1940).

Born November 6, 1900 in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, Garcia Rivera attended primary and secondary schools in Mayaguez before coming to New York City in 1925. Even at an early age, Oscar had demonstrated exceptional scholarship and leadership qualities. He served as Valedictorian at the Escuela Central Grammar (Junior High School) and was later elected as Class President at the Mayaguez High School in 1925.

After moving to New York, García Rivera became active in union causes and eventually fulfilled his dream to study law at Columbia University. In 1930, he became one of the pioneer law graduates from the St. John's University School of Law, which had been established three years earlier. He was admitted to the Bar of the State of New York in 1934 and then established his own law firm.

When Garcia Rivera decided to run for office 1937, he received widespread support from many notable politicians, including Mayor LaGuardia. With his election, Garcia Rivera became the first Puerto Rican in history to be elected to public office in the continental United States. In 1938, Garcia Rivera was refused renomination by the Republic party. The Republican County Committee decided to swing its support to an African-American attorney, John Ross, because Garcia Rivera "hung around too much with Communists and members of the American Labor Party." But, Garcia Rivera was determined to his serve his community and, according to historian Angelo Falcon, he charged a "Tammany plot" and ran instead on the American Labor party line and defeated the Republican candidate.

During this short stay in the New York Assembly, Assemblyperson Garcia Rivera became a strong advocate of minimum wage laws, controlled working hours and the right of workers to organize. Even after leaving office, he continued to play a significant role in New York’s Republican Party, as a member and officer in the New York Puerto Rican Republican Association.

Oscar Garcia Rivera became a pioneer for the Puerto Rican legislators who would follow in the subsequent decades. Between 1940 and 1950, the Puerto Rican population of New York City increased from 61,463 to 254,880. And by 1960, it had reached 612,574. With their growing population came a new political clout. In 1953, Ed Flynn, boss of the Bronx County Democratic organization, selected Felipe N. Torres as candidate for the New York State Assembly. With the support of Bronx Democrats, Torres won his bid for office.

Born in Salinas, Puerto Rico, Felipe Torres had graduated from Ponce High School, Puerto Rico, and served as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army during World War I. Shortly after the war, he came to New York (in 1919). After receiving an LL.B. degree from Fordham University Law School, Señor Torres was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1927 and engaged in the general practice of law. Felipe N. Torres was first elected to as a member of the Assembly to fill a vacancy in the Bronx’s Fifth District. Reelected four time times, Assemblyman Torres served in this position until 1962.

As Señor Torres represented his constituents in the Bronx, he was joined by another Puerto Rican in the New York Legislature. In 1958, Jose Ramos Lopez, a Democrat, was elected to represent the 14th Assembly District of New York County.

Mr. Ramos Lopez was born on December 2, 1915 at Bayamon, Puerto Rico, but attended primary schools and high school in New York City. He received his LL.B. degree from St. John’s University Law School in 1939 and after practicing law for a few years became the Deputy Commissioner in the New York City Department of Correction from 1953 to 1954.

As a representative for his Manhattan district, Assemblyman Ramos Torres sponsored bills to provide collective bargaining rights, unemployment insurance and workers' compensation for hospital workers. He also sought to ease voting restrictions for Puerto Ricans by omitting a literacy test for any who had voted previously. In 1964, he easily won reelection to the 14th district, defeating the Republican candidate by 18,380 to 1,135 votes. In 1967 he was elected as a Civil Court judge and in 1978 he was appointed an acting State Supreme Court justice, serving until his retirement in 1985 in the civil division of Supreme Court in Manhattan.

With the publication of the 1960 census, it was revealed that Puerto Ricans represented 9.2% of the population of New York City. Although Puerto Ricans represented almost one in every ten New Yorker in the Big Apple, their representation in the Assembly was only 4% (two of out 50 seats).

In the 1962 General Election, one more Puerto Rican elected official took his place in the New York Assembly. Carlos M. Rios, a Democrat-Liberal born in Ponce, Puerto Rico on March 5, 1914, was elected to represent the 10th Assembly District of the Yorkville, East Harlem area of New York County. Although he only served until 1965, Assemblyman Rios would become one of the founders of the Puerto Rican National Civil Rights Organization and of the Legion of Voters.

Two years later, Eugene Rodriguez, a native of New York City and graduate of the Brooklyn Law School, was elected to serve the Fourth Assembly District. He had served with counter-intelligence corps of the U.S. Army during the Korean Conflict. Assemblyman Rodriguez would soon be followed to the Assembly by Robert Garcia.

Puerto Ricans have a long tradition of serving in the American military and received acclaim for their heroic contributions to the American cause during the Korean War. In 1950, Robert Garcia, a native of the South Bronx, enlisted in the U.S. Army. He served in the 15th Regimental Combat Team of the 3rd Infantry Division and earned two Bronze Stars during the Korean War. After the war he attended City College of New York and New York Community College. In 1957 he trained as a computer programmer at the RCA Institute and worked as a computer engineer until 1965. In 1965, Mr. Garcia was elected to the New York Assembly and two years later he became the first Puerto Rican elected to the New York State Senate. By 1975 he had risen to the rank of Deputy Minority Leader. He would serve as a Representative to Congress from 1978 to 1990.

These six men were pioneers. Their determination and effort paved the way for many politicians, including Herman Badillo, who would become the first Puerto Rican elected as a Representative of New York to the U.S. Congress in 1971.


Baver, Sherrie. "Puerto Rican Politics in New York City: The Post-World War II Period," In James Jennings and Monte Rivera, Puerto Rican Politics in Urban America (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1984).

East Harlem News. "People, Places and Events in our Community: Oscar Garcia Rivera," January 1, 2000: Online: <>. [Accessed June 10, 2006].

Falcon, Angelo. "A History of Puerto Rican Politics in New York City: 1860s to 1945," In James Jennings and Monte Rivera, Puerto Rican Politics in Urban America (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1984).

Hartman, Myron D. (ed.). The New York Red Book, 1961-1962 (Albany, New York: Williams Press, Inc., 1961).

Hartman, Myron D. The New York Red Book, 1965-1966 (Albany, New York: Williams Press, Inc., 1965-66).

Hutchins, Mason C. (ed.). An Illustrated State Manuel: The New York Red Book, 1938 (Albany: J.B. Lyon Company, Publishers, 1938).

New York Times, June 30, 1938.

Sánchez Korrol, Virginia E. From Colonia to Community: The History of Puerto Ricans in New York City (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1983).




Education-Based Latino Outreach Founder/Director Mr. Jose Ruiz passed away December 6
Sent by Javier Bustamante

The Hispanic Business Association of Baltimore named Jose Ruiz as the Hispanic of the Year 2001 at their second annual awards ceremony held on May 24, at the Latin Palace in southeast Baltimore . Mr. Ruiz was Mayor O’Malley’s Hispanic Liaison a position he created in 1979. He spent the last 24 years working to improve opportunities for Hispanics in Baltimore . He was the Director of the Governor’s Commission on Hispanic affairs from 1988 till 1995. In this position he organized the first Annual Public Service Achievement Award Program for Hispanics and also organized the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Maryland.

Mr. Ruiz was the founder and former director of Education-Based Latino Outreach EBLO a non-profit educational organization that provides tutoring and cultural activities to Hispanic youth and families. It was his efforts and initiative that led to the establishment of English as a Second Language Classes for adults held in Canton Middle school . EBLO’s Mi Segunda Casa, an after school program for children and Saturday School , a weekly tutoring program are only two of the many programs that were established as a result of his leadership. EBLO’s annual fundraiser Latino Fest was organized by Mr. Ruiz in 1980 and has grown to be one of Baltimore ’s premier festivals. Mr. Ruiz organized La Plaza Hispana: a celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month for the Fells Point Fun Festival.

He was the host and producer of “Fiesta Musical” a weekly Latin music radio show that airs on Tuesday nights from 9pm till midnight on Morgan State University’s public radio station WEAA 88.9FM.

In his first year as Mayor Martin O’Malley’s Hispanic Liaison, Mr. Ruiz organized the First Bilingual Hispanic/Latino Business Summit in collaboration with the US Small Business Administration to provide the Hispanic community and business owners with access to the programs and services that are available to increase business opportunities. He supported and assisted in the initiation of the first Eating Together Program for Hispanic senior citizens in collaboration with the Commission on Aging and Retirement Education CARE. His work with Baltimore ’s minority community led him to organize the first coalition among African American, Hispanic and Korean community members in partnership with the NAACP to increase their awareness of the importance of improving race relations within Baltimore ’s ethnic communities.

He was a tremendous support to the entire Hispanic business community worked tirelessly to help Hispanics achieve the American Dream.

Rest in Peace
Javier Bustamante, Chairman
Baltimore Hispanic Round Table


Angelo Falcón
President and Founder, National Institute for Latino Policy

Formerly the Institute for Puerto Rican Policy


Durango Antiguo 
S: En la Historia
Exploring Colonial Oaxaca
Fechas Historicas de Torreón
S: Abre UANL Centro Genealógico
The Descendents of Ensign Pedro Garcia de Rivera 

Durango Antiguo 

Familia Villarreal Verra

Archdiocese located in north-western Mexico. The see was created 28 Sept., 1620, seventy-two years after the Friars Diego de la Cadena and Gerónimo de Mendoza had established the San Juan Bautista de Analco mission in the valley of the Sierra Madre. The city of Durango was founded in 1554 by the Spanish captain Ibarra, and served at once as a centre for numerous missionaries, whose efforts to convert the natives were so successful that under Philip III the Diocese of Guadalajara was divided by Paul V, and Durango was raised to episcopal rank. 

The first bishop, Gonzalo Hernandez y Hermosillo, devoted much time to the evangelization and spiritual welfare of the Indians. In the beginning the Diocese of Durango included New Mexico (Santa Fe), Chihuahua, and Sonora; eventually these were made independent sees. Durango was made an archdiocese by Leo XIII (23 June, 1891), and now includes all the State of Durango and part of Zacatecas, with Sonora, Chihuahua, and Sinaloa for suffragans. 

The first archbishop was Vicente Salinas. Among the remarkable bishops of the see were the scholarly Gorospe, to whom the city owes its canal; the famous writer Legaspi, who began the cathedral that was finished and consecrated by Antonio Zubiría y Escalante, and lately decorated anew by Archbishop Santiago Zubiría y Manzanera. The Catholic press is represented by "El Domingo", and the "Boletin Eclesiastico". Besides the Escuelas Guadalaupanas there are two colleges, the Colegio Guadalupano and a college of the Brothers of Mary. 

The territory of the diocese is quite mountainous and is watered only by a few streams, but is well adapted for grazing. There are many rich mines of gold, silver, and iron. In 1900 the population of the State of Durango was 307,274, that of the city 31,092. The latter, known also as Guadiana and Ciudad de Victoria, stands picturesquely at 6700 feet above sea-level, and has several important industries and a large trade in cattle and leather. REGINALDO GUERECA. 

Source: Eddy Gutierrez Hermosillo wrote: 
A si es, Hermosillo deriva de Hermosilla y fray Gonzalo de Hermosillo primer obispo de durango nacido en aprox en 1580 en mexico y muerto en sinaloa 1631. era hermano de mi ancestro Juan GJnzalez de Hermosillo casado con Maria Muñoz.
Datos tomados de Retoños de España en la Nueva Galicia de Mariano Gonzalez Leal 
Sent by John Inclan


En la Historia
I would like to highlight a podcast that the project is linking to: En la Historia ( This podcast is in Spanish and occasionally touches on current political themes but generally is about the History of Mexico. You can subscribe to their podcast via their RSS feed: and also listen to their audio from the Nuestra Familia Unida podcast projects page:
     The podcast project is an effort to collect and archive the highest quality Audio on Latin American History. Please consider helping this project by seeking out those among us that have a message that we need to hear. If you know someone that has a message on Latin American History please have them contact Joseph Puentes so arrangements can be made to have the message recorded. Contact Info: or


Espadaña Press is pleased to announce the publication of our new guidebook to colonial Oaxaca: Exploring Colonial Oaxaca

Our mission at Espadaña Press is to increase public awareness of the rich artistic and architectural heritage of Spanish colonial Mexico, through our illustrated guidebooks and regular features and updates on this web site.

Each month we post a new page, usually featuring the colonial monuments of Mexico with interesting stories or news items. In our constantly updated Art in Peril feature, we focus on those colonial monuments or artworks at risk from neglect, vandalism or theft.

Our new book describes the choicest of Oaxaca's colonial artistic and architectural treasures, in our traditional, compact 6" x 9" format, ideal for the traveler. Best of all, in addition to the numerous maps, plans and detailed line drawings, our Oaxaca guide includes for the first time a generous 40 pages of select color images by Mexican photographer Felipe Falcon, that do ample justice to some of the finest religious art in the region.

Listed at $25.00, we are offering our new book at a 20% discount when ordered direct from us via mail or through our web site. We hope that you will add our Oaxaca guide to the other Espadaña Press books on your bookshelf.

Remember too, when you order all six of our unique guidebooks to colonial Mexico, including our new guide to Oaxaca, at the discounted price of $100.00, we will ship them at our expense* to any address in the US. (* via USPS Media Mail) or call (805) 682-3664.
Espadaña Press
PO Box 31067
Santa Barbara, CA 93130

January: Art Robberies in Mexico. February: El Cabezón chapel (Jalisco) March: Tochimilco altarpiece (Puebla) 
Zegache (Oaxaca) 
San Nicolás Obispo (Michoacán)
Uayma (Yucatan)
July/August: An English king in Chiapas September: Tepemazalco (Hidalgo) October: The Sardaneta Santos (Guanajuato) 
Colonial Campeche.



Fundacion y Desarrollo, 
La Aduana de Torreón, Coahuila 
Jose Leon Robles de la Torre




CENTENARIO de la Ciudad de Torreon/ 1907-2007. 

.- CENTENARIO de la VILLA de Torreon, 1893-1993 

.- 75 ANOS, Bodas de Brillante de la Ciudad de Torreon, 1907-1982

1957- 50 ANOS, BODAS DE ORO de la Ciudad de Torreon, 1907-1957

.- 25 ANOS/ BODAS DE PLATA de la Ciudad de Torreon/1907-1957

1907- La Villa de Torreon/ elevada al Rango de Ciudad. 

.- Torreon elevado a Rango de Villa.

1850.- El Primer "Torreon" construido por D. Leonardo Zuloaga. 

.- Abril 24, se firma la Escritura de la Hacienda de San Lorenzo de la Laguna (que comprendia Torreon)/ otorgada por Don Jacobo Sanchez Navarro/ por si/ y apoderado de su hermano Lie. Carlos Sanchez Navarro/ por venta que Ie hicieron a D. Leonardo Zuloaga y D. Juan Ignacio Jimenez. La firma fue en Saltillo/ Coah. 

/ Marzo 16/ Se Fundo la Aduana Interior de Torreon/ coah./ que es un FRAGMENTO de la Historia de Torreon/ en su "CENTENARIO" como Ciudad, 1907-2007


Abre UANL Centro Genealógico
Por: Sofía García-Bullé, Viernes, 29 de Septiembre de 2006
Sent by Lorraine Hernandez

La UANL, en conjunto con El Centro de Genealogía de Utah abrieron hoy el Centro Genealogico

Un recurso de gran valor para la investigación histórica esta a disposición del público a partir ógico: Family ayer.

La Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León (UANL), en conjunto con El Centro de Genealogía de Utah abrieron hoy el Centro Genealógico: Family Search.

El centro contendrá los datos genealógicos de las familias neoleonesas registrados desde finales del siglo XIX.

Los datos de los que la Biblioteca Raúl Rangel Frías, se volverá depositaria fueron recavados por los El Centro de Genealogía de Utah, que están financiado en su totalidad por la Iglesia de los Santos de los Últimos Días, sin embargo aclaró Porfirio Taméz Solís, director de la Red de Bibliotecas de la UANL, que no se estaba realizando una alianza con una Iglesia, sino que se establecía un vinculo de cooperación con un organismo científico.

"La Universidad no puede proceder de tal manera de hacer alianzas con comunidades religiosas, pero si podemos establecer una relación de intercambio académico y cooperación para la investigación con el Centro de Genealogía de Utah", dijo el director.

La colaboración entre los dos organismos consiste en la donación de 24 millones de rollos y pergaminos microfilmados y digitalizados, que comprenden la historia genealógica del mundo, recavada por el Centro de Genealogía de Utah, y a la que ahora la UANL, a través de las instalaciones de la Biblioteca Magna, tendrá acceso.

En esos documentos se encuentra la labor de registro que hacían las comunidades de la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días, que con el pasar de los años se convirtieron en documento histórico.

"Se hacía trabajo registro para las familias y los miembros de la Iglesia, y ahora esta disponible como recurso de investigación histórica", dijo Jaime Morales.

Asesor de Historia Familiar del Área Norte de la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Últimos Días en México.

Según mencionó Morales, el Centro de Genealogía de Utah se instituyó en 1896 con los registros históricos que enviaba la comunidad de la iglesia para su preservación.

Mencionó Carl Hunt, director de Asuntos Públicos del Área Norte de México para iglesia, que las el Centro de Genealogía Ubicado en Utah recibía datos históricos y genealógicos de todos las países donde se encontraba presente la Iglesia, haciéndola una de las más extensas y ricas bases de datos genealógicas en el mundo.

A su vez mencionó que las condiciones en las que se tienen los documentos, tanto en Utah, como el en acervo que estará presente en la Biblioteca Raúl Rangel Frías, serán más que favorable, optimas para su conservación.

"Son documentos delicados con los que se debe tener extremo cuidado, los originales permanecerán en Utah, el acervo que se esta compartiendo con la Universidad son copias", dijo Hunt.

Comentó que esa es la dinámica con la que normalmente se lleva a cabo el nombramiento de bibliotecas subsidiarias, a las cuales definió como recintos donde se alberga material recopilado por la comunidad de la Iglesia, pero que no esta dentro de la Iglesia.

"Para la mejor conservación de los documentos originales, de todos los países que nos envían estos son guardados en el centro de Genealogía en Utah", comentó Hunt.

Habló también Morales del gran valor del establecimiento de esta alianza entre la UANL y el centro de Genealogía de Utah, dado que a través de esta se abrirá un espacio a través del cual el público en general tendrá acceso a una enorme fuente de investigación histórica hasta ahora limitada a los confines de la comunidad de la Iglesia.

"Independientemente de su primer propósito, que fue marcado por intereses de la comunidad de la Iglesia es una valiosa herramienta de investigación histórica que puede y debe servir a todos", dijo Morales.

Al final de la ceremonia de inauguración las autoridades del Centro de Genealogía de Utah, entregaron a Porfirio Taméz Solís un reconocimiento que acreditaba a la biblioteca Raúl Rangel Frías como depositaria del acervo histórico con la que el Centro esta colaborando. 

The Descendents of
Ensign Pedro Garcia de Rivera
Compiled by John D. Inclan
Generation No. 1
1. ENSIGN PEDRO2 GARCIA-DE-RIVERA (PEDRO1) was born Abt. 1700 in Castile, Spain. He married FELIPA CAMACHO-MALDONADO 12 Oct 1722 in Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico, daughter of DIEGO CAMACHO and CATHALINA MALDONADO-RAMON. She was born Abt. 1700 in Monclova, Coahulia, Mexico.
Index to the Marriage Investigations of the Diocese of Guadalajara by Raul J. Guerra, Jr., Nadine M. Vasquez, Valdomero Vela, Jr. Page 129. [64-14].
i. MARIA-DEL-ROSARIO3 GARCIA-DE-RIVERA, b. Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico; m. BERNARDO BLANCO-DE-LA-PUENTE, 05 May 1777, Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico; b. Castile, Spain.
iii. JOSEPH GARCIA-CAMACHO, b. 17 Jan 1721/22, Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico.
iv. MARIA-PANTALEON GARCIA-DE-RIVERA, b. 04 Aug 1723, Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico.
3. v. FRANCISCA-JAVIERA GARCIA-DE-RIVERA-CAMACHO, b. 18 Jul 1724, Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico.
4. vi. MARIA-JOSEPHA GARCIA-DE-RIVERA-CAMACHO, b. 21 Aug 1728, Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico; d. 24 Sep 1779, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila, Mexico.
vii. PEDRO-RAMON GARCIA-DE-RIVERA, b. 06 Sep 1736, Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico; m. JUANA-LEONOR DE-LA-CERDA-DE-LEON, 12 Feb 1770, Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico.
viii. BARTHOLOME-DE-JESUS GARCIA-DE-RIVERA, b. 02 Sep 1746, Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico; m. MARIA-GERTRUDIS PEREZ-DE-ANCIRA, 26 Feb 1772, San Pedro, Boca de Leones, Villaladama, Nuevo Leon, Mexico; b. 1754, Boca de Leones, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
Generation No. 2
2. NICOLAS3 GARCIA-DE-RIVERA (PEDRO2, PEDRO1) He married ANA-MARIA ALDERETE-RAMON 03 Nov 1753 in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico, daughter of VICENTE DE ALDERETE and JUANA-ROSA RAMON. She was born in Presidio de la Bahia, Goliad, Texas.
Source:Index to the Marriage Investigations of the Diocese of Guadalajara by Raul J. Guerra, Jr., Nadine M. Vasquez, Valdomero Vela, Jr. Page 1191 [101-13].
i. JOSE4 RIVERA-ALDERETE, m. MARIA-DE-LOS-SANTOS GOMEZ-MUNGUIA, 30 Apr 1781, Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico.
ii. MARIA-FRANCISCA RIVERA-ALDERETE, m. DIEGO DE-LA-CERDA-DE-LEON, 13 Apr 1780, Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico; b. 15 Jan 1744/45, Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico.
3. FRANCISCA-JAVIERA3 GARCIA-DE-RIVERA-CAMACHO (PEDRO2 GARCIA-DE-RIVERA, PEDRO1) was born 18 Jul 1724 in Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico. She married (1) DOMINGO DE HOYOS 26 Jul 1740 in Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico. She married (2) AGUSTIN LANSORES-HERMIA 08 Apr 1766 in Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico, son of PEDRO-AGUSTIN LANSORES and ROSA DE HERMIA-Y-SALAVEDRA. He was born in Villa Garcia, Galicia, Spain.
ii. MARIA DE HOYOS, m. JUAN-MIGUEL DE-LA-CERDA-DE-LEON, 24 Feb 1769, Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico.
4. MARIA-JOSEPHA3 GARCIA-DE-RIVERA-CAMACHO (PEDRO2 GARCIA-DE-RIVERA, PEDRO1) was born 21 Aug 1728 in Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico, and died 24 Sep 1779 in Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila, Mexico. She married LIEUTENANT VICENTE DE ALDERETE 09 Aug 1749 in Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahulia, Mexico. He died 23 Jan 1791.
6. i. MARIA-LUISA4 ALDERETE-RIVERA, b. 27 Dec 1750, Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico.
7. ii. ANTONIA-DE-LA-ENCARNACION ALDERETE-RIVERA, b. 03 Apr 1755, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila.
iii. MARIA-ANDREA-RITA ALDERETE-RIVERA, b. 13 Dec 1756, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila; m. MANUEL CABRERA-DEL-POSTIGO, 11 Aug 1782, Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahulia, Mexico; b. Malaga, Castile, Spain.
8. iv. JOSEPH-DE-JESUS-MARIA ALDERETE-RIVERA, b. 13 May 1759, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila, Mexico.
v. ANNA JOSEFA ALDERETE-RIVERA, b. 05 Apr 1761, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila.
10. vii. JOSEPH-AMOBENO ALDERETE-RIVERA, b. 08 Jun 1764, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila.
11. viii. MIGUEL-ANTONIO ALDERETE-RIVERA, b. 11 Apr 1766, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila.
ix. JOSEPH MANUEL ALDERETE-RIVERA, b. 28 Jul 1768, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila.
x. JOSEPH SANTIAGO ALDERETE-RIVERA, b. 30 Jul 1771, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila.
xi. JOSEPH MANUEL ALDERETE-RIVERA, b. 31 Jul 1771, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila.
Generation No. 3
i. JOSE-CRISTOBAL5 MENCHACA-HOYOS, d. 17 Mar 1826, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico.
6. MARIA-LUISA4 ALDERETE-RIVERA (MARIA-JOSEPHA3 GARCIA-DE-RIVERA-CAMACHO, PEDRO2 GARCIA-DE-RIVERA, PEDRO1) was born 27 Dec 1750 in Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico. She married JOSEPH-LUIS DE-LA-BARRERA-CARDENAS 26 Jul 1775 in Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahulia, Mexico, son of VICENTE DE-LA-BARRERA and MARIA DE CARDENAS.
i. MARIA-IGNACIA5 DE-LA-BARRERA-ALDERETE, b. 18 Apr 1777, Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico.
ii. JOSE-ANTONIO DE-LA-BARRERA-ALDERETE, b. 25 May 1780, Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico.
iii. MARIA-PAULA DE-LA-BARRERA-ALDERETE, b. 30 Mar 1782, Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico.
13. iv. MARIA-ROSADIA DE-LA-BARRERA-ALDERETE, b. 08 Sep 1783, Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico.
7. ANTONIA-DE-LA-ENCARNACION4 ALDERETE-RIVERA (MARIA-JOSEPHA3 GARCIA-DE-RIVERA-CAMACHO, PEDRO2 GARCIA-DE-RIVERA, PEDRO1) was born 03 Apr 1755 in Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila. She married ANTONIO DE OGUILLAS-Y-TOLEDO 11 May 1777 in Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahulia, Mexico.
i. MARIA ANTONIA5 OGUILLAS-ALDERETE, b. 21 Feb 1778, Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico.
8. JOSEPH-DE-JESUS-MARIA4 ALDERETE-RIVERA (MARIA-JOSEPHA3 GARCIA-DE-RIVERA-CAMACHO, PEDRO2 GARCIA-DE-RIVERA, PEDRO1) was born 13 May 1759 in Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila, Mexico. He married MARIA-JUSTA-FRANCISCA URRUTIA-SOBERON 17 Jan 1788 in Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahulia, Mexico, daughter of PEDRO-FERMIN DE URRUTIA-IRUEGAS and MARIA-CATALINA DE SOBERON. She was born 09 Feb 1758 in Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahulia, Mexico.
In 1817 he served as Commander of the Presidio of La Bahia, Goliad County, Texas.
Source:Presidio La Bahia bt Katheyn Stoner O'Connor.
ii. JUANA-MARIA ALDERETE-URRUTIA, b. Nov 1788; d. 1788.
iv. JUAN-JOSE ALDERETE-URRUTIA, b. 1790; d. 1790.
9. MARIA GERTUDIS4 ALDERETE-RIVERA (MARIA-JOSEPHA3 GARCIA-DE-RIVERA-CAMACHO, PEDRO2 GARCIA-DE-RIVERA, PEDRO1) was born 1763. She married LUCAS FRANCISCO ECA-Y-MUZQUIZ-Y-DE-LA-GARZA 26 Feb 1781 in Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahulia, Mexico, son of JOSE-FRANCISCO-JOAQUIN ECA-Y-MUZQUIZ-Y-URRUTIA and MARIANA DE-LA-GARZA-FALCON-VILLARREAL. He was born 26 Oct 1746 in Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahulia, Mexico.
ii. MARIA-GERTRUDIS-CARMEN-BARCILA ALDERETE-CASTILLO, b. 16 Jun 1812, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila, Mexico.
11. MIGUEL-ANTONIO4 ALDERETE-RIVERA (MARIA-JOSEPHA3 GARCIA-DE-RIVERA-CAMACHO, PEDRO2 GARCIA-DE-RIVERA, PEDRO1) was born 11 Apr 1766 in Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila. He married MARIA-FRANCISCA DE-LA-FUENTE-CUMPIAN 25 Apr 1793 in Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahulia, Mexico, daughter of JOSE-ALBERTO DE-LA-FUENTE and MARIA-TERESA CUMPIAN. She died 18 Feb 1824 in Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila, Mexico.
i. MARIA-MICHAELA5 ALDERETE-CUMPIAN, b. 19 May 1793, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila.
ii. MARIA ANTONIA EUSTQUIA ALDERETE-CUMPIAN, b. 12 Apr 1794, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila.
iii. JUAN CHRISOSTOMO ALDERETE-CUMPIAN, b. 04 Jan 1800, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila.
iv. JOSE VICTORIANO DE JESUS ALDERETE-CUMPIAN, b. 13 Sep 1802, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila.
v. JOSE-MIGUEL-PETRONILO ALDERETE-CUMPIAN, b. 06 Jun 1805, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila.
vi. MARIA-BRIGIDA-MICAELA ALDRETE-CUMPIAN, b. 12 Nov 1807, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila.
vii. PEDRO-ALCANTAR ALDERETE-DE-LA-FUENTE, b. 20 Dec 1810, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila.
i. MARIA-JULIANA5 ALDERETE-LANDIN, b. 25 Dec 1805, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila, Mexico.
Generation No. 4
13. MARIA-ROSADIA5 DE-LA-BARRERA-ALDERETE (MARIA-LUISA4 ALDERETE-RIVERA, MARIA-JOSEPHA3 GARCIA-DE-RIVERA-CAMACHO, PEDRO2 GARCIA-DE-RIVERA, PEDRO1) was born 08 Sep 1783 in Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico. She married JOSE-IGNACIO DE-LOS-SANTOS-COY-Y-GALINDO 21 Jan 1799 in Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico, son of PEDRO-JOSEPH DE-LOS-SANTOS-COY-VILLARREAL and ANASTACIA GALINDO-CEPEDA. He was born 27 Sep 1773 in Sagrario Metropolitano, Saltillo, Coahuila. Mexico.
i. MARIA-ANTONIA-ANARISTA6 DE-LOS-SANTOS-COY, b. 26 Oct 1800, Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico.
ii. JOSE-MARIA-DE-JESUS DE-LOS-SANTOS-DE-LA-BARRERA, b. 05 Nov 1800, Santiago Apostol, Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico.
His father, Don Jose de Jesus Alderete was the commander at the Presidio La Bahia, Goliad, Texas.
In 1830, Don Jose Miguel Alderete, served as alcade of Goliad, Justice of Refugio, Texas patriot, and signer of the Goliad Declaration of Independence. Don Miguel married the daughter of the Empresario of Victoria Texas-Don Martin De Leon.
In 1823 and 1830, Jose Miguel served as Commander of the Presidio of La Bahia, Goliad County, Texas.
Source:Presidio La Bahia bt Katheyn Stoner O'Connor.
GOLIAD DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE. Drafted by Ira Ingram, was read to the citizens of Goliad assembled at Nuestra Señora de Loreto Presidio on December 20, 1835. The document was enthusiastically ratified and received ninety-one signatures, the signers including José Miguel Aldrete and José María Jesús Carbajal, Texans of Mexican descent. Philip Dimmitt was also a strong supporter and major participant in the process, and many in his company of volunteers signed the declaration. The enacting clause resolved that the former department of Texas ought to be a "free, sovereign, and independent State," and the signers pledged their lives, fortunes, and honor to sustain the declaration. The meeting struck off several copies of the document to be sent to various parts of Texas, and the copy that reached Brazoria was printed and widely distributed. A committee including John Dunn, William S. Brown, William G. Hill, and Benjamin J. White, carried the original copy to San Felipe and delivered it to the General Council on December 30, 1835. The council referred the declaration to the Committee on State and Judiciary; but the arrival of the document caused some embarrassment because negotiations with José Antonio Mexía and Julian Pedro Miracle were then pending in San Felipe to ascertain whether the true intentions of the Texans were independence or cooperation with the Federalists in northern Mexico. Members of the council warned the Goliad messengers not to circulate the declaration further, and the committee report on the declaration said that it had been inconsiderately adopted. The document was to remain in the files of the secretary without further action. The declaration anticipated by two days Stephen F. Austin'sqv pronouncement favoring independence made at Velasco on December 22 and preceded the Texas Declaration of Independenceqv by seventy-three days. The chief importance of the Goliad Declaration was its alienation from Texas the support of the Federalists of northern Mexico.
i. CONCEPCION6 ALDERETE-DE-LEON, m. JOSE-MARIA CORTINAS-GOSEASCOCHEA, 24 Mar 1846, Nuestra Sra de Santa Anna, Camargo, Tamaulipas, Mexico; b. Camargo, Tamaulipas, Mexico.
Grandaughter to Don Jose de Jesus Alderete, the commander at the Presidio La Bahia, Goliad, Texas. and daughter to Don Jose Miguel Alderete, who served as alcade of Goliad, Justice of Refugio, Texas patriot, and signer of the Goliad Declaration of Independence. Her mother, Dona Maria Candelaria de Leon de la Garza was the daughter of the Empresario of Victoria Texas, Don Martin De Leon.
In 1856, he was elected tax assessor-collector of Cameron County.
Juan Cortina and the Texas-Mexico Frontier by Jerry D. Thompson.
18. iii. JOSE-MARIA ALDERETE-DE-LEON, b. 1820, La Bahia, Goliad County, Texas.
19. iv. COL. RAFAEL ALDERETE-DE-LEON, b. 1826, Starr County, Texas; d. Aft. 1880, Starr County, Texas.
i. JOSE-ATANACIO6 VELARDE-MUZQUIZ, b. 06 May 1807, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila.
ii. JOSE-RAFAEL VELARDE-MUZQUIZ, b. 31 Oct 1809, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila.
iii. MARIA-JULIANA VELARDE-MUZQUIZ, b. 20 Feb 1812, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila.
iv. JOSE-PASQUAL-BAILON VELARDE-MUZQUIZ, b. 20 May 1814, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila.
i. JOSE-SANTIAGO-DE-JESUS6 ALDERETE-AROCHA, b. 26 Jul 1822, Santa Rosa de Lima, Melchor Muzquiz, Coahuila, Mexico.
Generation No. 5
He and his family are listed on the 1880 USA census, District 1, Starr County, Texas.
i. ISMAEL7 ALDERETE-TREVINO, b. 1856; d. Aft. 1910, Victoria, Victoria County, Texas; m. AUGUSTINA-MARIA DE LEON-BENAVIDES, 02 Jul 1873, Victoria, Victoria County, Texas; b. 1857; d. 1905.
He is listed on the 1910 USA Census, Victoria County, Texas.


La Ciudad de los Castillos: 
Fortificaciones y Arte Defensivo en la Habana de los Siglos XVI al XIX 

La Habana fue la más importante base militar española en el Caribe, gracias a su valor geoestratégico. Este libro presenta los factores que identifican la historia de sus fortificaciones: eventos, cualidades arquitectónicas y la aplicación de los diseños en la estrategia de dominio territorial, en relación con la evolución de los métodos de guerra. El desarrollo de la ciudad fortificada puede ser percibido como síntesis de los modelos de defensa que interactuaron con el sistema urbano y los intereses coloniales. En La Habana están representados todos lo períodos de desarrollo de la fortificación española en América (1538-1898). La investigación que se presenta, basada en fuentes archivísticas y arqueológicas, han permitido llenar vacíos temáticos y aportar una bibliografía que faltaba en la historiografía cubana. Se abordan cuestiones como: la cultura diseñística de los Antonelli, Silbestre Abarca y otros ingenieros, la implicación espacial de levantar murallas, el período de gobierno del conde de Santa Clara en los finales del siglo XVIII, la identidad de las fortificaciones de campaña, el sistema de torreones del siglo XVIII, las baterías del siglo XIX, el pensamiento de los ingenieros militares y sus influencias teórico-estilísticas, la poliorcética que definía la evolución de los planes defensivos, los valores artístico-históricos sin reconocer de los castillos del Príncipe y La Cabaña, la grandiosidad de la plaza fuerte del siglo XIX, lo interesante de las estructuras defensivas menores apenas conocidas, etc. Parte considerable de la investigación ha permitido redefinir la caracterización de algunas fortalezas mal estudiadas, así como aportar fechamientos y reinterpretar incidencias históricas. El apéndice está dedicado especialmente a la vida y repertorio de obras de los ingenieros militares que actuaron en Cuba, tema poco conocido. 

About the Author
El autor es especialista en preservación arquitectónica y arqueológica y primera autoridad cubana en el estudio de las fortificaciones. Ha participado en importantes proyectos cubanos de investigación científica y restauración arquitectónica. Tiene investigaciones publicadas en varios países y ha recibido premios nacionales de historia, periodismo y arquitectura monumental. Fundador de la Asociación Cubana de Amigos de los Castillos; es miembro de la Asociación Española de Amigos de los Castillo, de la Asociación de Amigos de los Castillos de Puerto Rico y de Patrimonio Nacional Cubano de Estados Unidos. 

New book: La Ciudad de los Castillos: Fortificaciones y Arte Defensivo en la Habana de los Siglos XVI al XIX ISBN: 1-4251-0362-6
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Victoria, BC Canada V8T 4P4
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Oxford, UK OX1 1HH



Welcome to Síi, Spain
S: España el Día de la Constitución
S: ¿Leyenda?
S: Juan Cartaya, Sevilla
Sent by Arturo Ynclan

This interactive service "Sí, Spain" (3.0), which promotes free exchange of information on Spanish current affairs and its historical, linguistic and cultural development, has begun its new phase through the original team who created this service in May 1994. Available in Spanish and English.

Este servicio interactivo,"Sí, España" (3.0), que promueve el libre intercambio de información sobre temas actuales en España y su desarollo histórico, lingüístico y cultural, ha comenzado su nueva fase a traves del equipo original que lo creó en 1994

"Sí, España" ha recibido varios premios y menciones especiales. Con fecha 2006.12.19 09:39, Hora local de Madrid, han sido registrados un total de 64.484.615 accesos desde 10.210.425 máquinas a "Sí, España".

Director del proyecto: Embajador José Luis Pardos, pardos@SiSpain.orgProveedor de información & encargado del mantenimiento del menú: Profesor José Félix Barrio, barrio@SiSpain.orgConsejeros técnicos y proveedor de presencia en Internet: DocuWeb Information Services Inc.Traducción de "Sí, Spain" (2.0): Olé-Net Internet Services


España el Día de la Constitución
December 6, 2006

Estimados amigos:

Hoy se celebra en España el Día de la Constitución. Es un día muy importante para todos los españoles. A continuación os pongo solo el PREAMBULO de la Consitutición de 1978, pero si queréis leer el texto íntegro de la Constitución meteros en:

Un cordial saludo,

Mª Ángeles

PREAMBULO La Nación española, deseando establecer la justicia, la libertad y la seguridad y promover el bien de cuantos la integran, en uso de su soberanía, proclama su voluntad de:

Garantizar la convivencia democrática dentro de la Constitución y de las leyes conforme a un orden económico y social justo.

Consolidar un Estado de Derecho que asegure el imperio de la ley como expresión de la voluntad popular.

Proteger a todos los españoles y pueblos de España en el ejercicio de los derechos humanos, sus culturas y tradiciones, lenguas e instituciones.

Promover el progreso de la cultura y de la economía para asegurar a todos una digna calidad de vida.

Establecer una sociedad democrática avanzada, y colaborar en el fortalecimiento de unas relaciones pacíficas y de eficaz cooperación entre todos los pueblos de la Tierra.

En consecuencia, las Cortes aprueban y el pueblo español ratifica la siguiente

Sent by Maria Angeles O'Donnell Olson
Honorary Spanish Consul of San Diego


Cuenta la leyenda que allá por el año 1484, un piloto llamado Alonso   Sánchez de Huelva iba camino de Inglaterra y de pronto surgió un terrible temporal que lo arrastró y después de muchos días y semanas, fueron a encallar con su nave en una costa donde había unos nativos desnudos y que tenían parte de su cuerpo pintado y los tomaron por hijos caídos del cielo.

Fueron muy bien acogidos  y lograron recomponer su maltrecho barco, y cuando los vientos fueron favorables, los   que quedaban; Pero Fernández, Juan Bermúdez, Pero Francés, Franco Niño, Juan de Umbría y Alonso Sánchez de Huelva, se hicieron a la mar.

Llegaron a la isla de La Gomera, y allí embelesaron a los naturales contando las historia de la aventura que habían vivido. Pero Fernández y Juan Bermúdez, dijo que había visto una isla poblada y que en ella pernoctó. Los demás confirmaron lo que estos decían, aunque Juan de Umbría afirmaba que aquello era el paraíso terrenal.

Estaba en la isla, de paso, un comerciante de azúcar llamado Cristóbal Colon y enterado de lo que estos hombres contaban los hospedó junto a él en la casa de Diego García de Herrera y conversaba con todos sobre lo que habían visto y padecido.

Alonso Sánchez estaba muy enfermo y se dice que allí murió, aunque antes entregó al comerciante Cristóbal Colon unos planos de derrota que había confeccionado durante la travesía, para que se los entregara a un familiar en Huelva.

Dice la leyenda, que Colon se quedó con el derrotero y que  le fue muy útil para la propuesta que en su día hizo a los Reyes de España.


                                               Angel Custodio Rebollo 


                       Publicado en Odiel Información el 6 de diciembre de 2006


Juan Cartaya, Sevilla wrote:

Estimados todos:
He colgado en la web una nueva página acerca de algunas genealogías correspondientes a mi familia materna, originaria de la zona de la Merindad de Estella, en Navarra. En la página se hace un recorrido acerca de la propia merindad, las fuentes que en ella son útiles para la investigación histórica y genealógica, los rasgos genéricos que he podido advertir entre las relaciones familiares estudiadas y las genealogías en sí, desarrolladas (con algunas excepciones) en las villas de Bargota, Mirafuentes y Sansol. Espero que sea de vuestro interés, y que encontréis datos de utilidad. En un futuro, espero poder introducir un estudio particular de algunas de las familias que aparecen relacionadas. La dirección es:  Y, por cierto, se le ha hecho un lifting (e introducido algunos contenidos nuevos: en ella hay algo sobre Canarias) a la página, por si queréis echarle un vistazo. 
En fin, espero que os gusten y sean útiles. Saludos.

Sent by Paul Newfield III 


International Networking
Facilitated by Somos Primos

Sand Sculpture in Spain's Canary Island of Gran Canaria 
La Emigracion Canaria a America a Traves de la Historia
Genealogía y emigración 


International Networking Facilitated by Somos Primos

Requests should be directed to 
Angel Custodio Rebollo

En periodo de pruebas, Somos Primos va a publicar mensualmente una sección denominada " PESQUISAS"  dedicada a la búsqueda de datos personales y familiares, con objeto de intercambiarlos  entre los lectores que los posean . Las peticiones deberán dirigirse a la revista, indicando que es para " PESQUISAS"  y los textos para publicar que nos envien deben rondar alrededor de las 8 líneas como máximo. 


As a pilot-program, Somos Primos will publish monthly, a section entitled "Pesquisas" dedicated to posting personal and family history data for the purpose of facilitating an exchange of information between international researchers. Please write Pesquisas in the subject widow and limit the text to about 8 lines. 
Como inicio publicamos ya en este número los primeros textos que nos han llegado.    

Patricia Rossi esta interesada  en la búsqueda del apellido Rossi.
Reside en Argentina. Contactar:

Orlando Antonio Mora, de Venezuela, esta interesado en los apellidos
Montilva, Mora, Orozco, Bello y Ramírez. Contactar :

Nadia Mancho, de Argentina, esta interesada en los apellidos
Dall¨Aglio y Delmastro. Contactar:

Diego Lamas, de México, esta interesado en la búsqueda de los
apellidos Encabo y Lamas. Contactar:

Estoy interesado en contactar con personas de apellido San Fulgencio.



                   Canary Islands

A woman applies finishing touches to a sand sculpture at Las Canteras beach in Spain's Canary Island of 
Gran Canaria 

December 5, 2006. REUTERS/Borja Suarez (SPAIN)

Sent by Mercy Bautista Olvera

[[Editor: Introduction to an outstanding website on the part that the Canary Islands played in the colonization of the Americas.  Names, locations, dates, etc. make this a great resource. Links to additional information on colonies in U.S. Venezuela, Cuba, Uruguay, Puerto Rico, and Santa Domingo.]]

Manuel Hernández González
Profesor Titular de Historia de América Universidad de La Laguna

Sent by Bill Carmena


La conquista y colonización de las Canarias centrales corre paralela al Descubrimiento de América. El descubrimiento y la colonización de las Antillas por Colón convirtió a las Canarias en un escenario privilegiado, en un laboratorio experimental. Plantas asiáticas como la caña de azúcar y la platanera desde ellas serían llevadas a Indias. Técnicos canarios trabajarán en el primer ingenio del Nuevo Continente en Santo Domingo. El ñame africano penetrará desde bien pronto en el ámbito caribeño. Lo mismo ocurrirá con el cerdo, la cabra, el perro y la oveja, que, conducidos desde las Islas, se esparcirán por las Antillas. Las Canarias fueron, por tanto, un intermediario en la difusión de plantas y animales en ambos lados del océano. La papa se aclimatará rápidamente y se conocen desde bien pronto exportaciones hacia Europa. En una fecha tan temprana como 1567 ya eran enviadas a Flandes. En unión del millo transformará la agricultura isleña convirtiéndose en la alimentación por excelencia de las clases bajas de la sociedad. Por su posición y la acción de los vientos alisios se convirtió en el paso obligado para las Indias.

Los canarios participarían en la conquista como expertos guías. Entre 1492 y 1506 al menos 12 de las mayores expediciones hacen escala en La Gomera o Tenerife. Entre ellas las de los mayores nombres de la conquista como Colón, Ojeda, Vespuccio, Pedrarias, La Cosa, Yáñez u Ovando. Las Canarias tienen el privilegio de comerciar con Indias desde los comienzos de la colonización del Nuevo Mundo. Una Real Orden de 1511 simplemente especifica que los canarios parten solamente con la autorización del capitán del navío.

De esa forma, canarios o residentes en Canarias se convierten en parte integrante de las expediciones de conquista y colonización, como la de Pedro de Mendoza en la fundación de Buenos Aires en 1535 o la de Pedro Fernández de Lugo para la conquista de Santa Marta en Colombia y otras. Sin embargo no podemos hablar de emigración canaria en sentido estricto, pero sí como una base para el traslado al Nuevo Mundo sin  los severos controles del monopolio sevillano. En el siglo XVI Santo Domingo primero y La Habana después son los principales destinos canarios. De forma lenta se irá desarrollando un movimiento migratorio de comerciantes y de agricultores.

S: Genealogía y emigración  Rev. Nº 135
Lunes, 11 de Diciembre de 2006
Autor: Dominick Vila 
Sent by Paul Newfield III

Para cualquiera de nosotros, la genealogía supone el reencuentro con nuestros ascendientes en una búsqueda 
sin límites. Para el emigrante supone, además, un reencuentro con el lugar del que partió o del que partieron sus orígenes, siendo por tanto una búsqueda de las propias raíces, en el más amplio sentido. En este artículo recogemos la experiencia como genealogista y el testimonio como emigrante de Dominick Vila, descendiente de canarios y residente en Estados Unidos.

La Genealogía
Uno de los aspectos más interesantes de la genealogía es su confluencia con la historia, geografía, y la cultura de las regiones donde llevamos a cabo nuestras investigaciones. Invariablemente, lo que en general se manifiesta en un simple interés en construir un árbol genealógico con tres o cuatro generaciones, se convierte rápidamente en una obsesión y deseo de saber no sólo los orígenes de nuestra familia sino también las condiciones en que vivían.

Los requisitos más importantes para realizar una investigación genealógica incluyen un conocimiento extenso de la etimología de apellidos y las tradiciones de las distintas regiones donde llevamos a cabo nuestras investigaciones. En el caso de Canarias, donde existía una influencia portuguesa muy pronunciada durante la conquista y los primeros años de su colonización, es frecuente encontrar familias que usaban un sistema matriarcal para asignar apellidos a sus hijos. 

Los que tenemos la gran suerte de remontarnos a finales de la Edad Media nos encontramos con un sistema arbitrario en el cual hermanos usaban indistintamente los apellidos de sus padres, y a veces adoptaban los de sus abuelos e incluso los de un protector de la familia. Y si nos remontamos aun más, encontramos hijos que usaban un derivado del nombre propio del padre, o que sólo usaban el nombre de pila y su profesión o lugar de residencia como método de identificación.

Un conocimiento básico de los recursos que existen en cada país y región es esencial para obtener buenos resultados. En el caso de España podemos usar los excelentes servicios gratuitos del Registro Civil para obtener documentación sobre personas nacidas entre el año 1872, cuando fue creada esa institución, y el presente. Información sobre personas nacidas antes de esa fecha se puede obtener a través de los Archivos Históricos Diocesanos de la Diócesis correspondiente, o en la iglesia parroquial donde nuestros antepasados fueron bautizados o donde se casaron.

El nivel de información que se incluye en certificados de bautismo, matrimonio, y defunción varía en cada país, y en algunas naciones está influenciado por las normas establecidas por el Concilio de Trento. En el caso de España los certificados de bautismo incluyen los nombres de los padres y abuelos, así como también sus lugares de residencia u origen. 

El objetivo original de crear un árbol genealógico evoluciona frecuentemente en un deseo de incluir información detallada sobre nuestro pasado, y resulta en la elaboración de biografías de carácter familiar en las cuales incluimos no sólo los nombres y lugares de nacimiento de nuestros seres queridos, sino también sus profesiones, éxitos, anécdotas y trivialidades familiares, y las dificultades que experimentaron en el transcurso de sus vidas.

Uno de los requisitos más importantes es ser honestos y objetivos e incluir todo lo que encontramos sin prejuicio de qué se trata. Invariablemente, encontramos antepasados que fueron personas influyentes y otros que eran humildes; encontramos personas cuya honestidad es intachable y otros que cometieron actos ilegales; y encontramos una inmensa mayoría cuya vida consistió simplemente en trabajar y ganar lo suficiente para subsistir en un ambiente donde pasaron casi desapercibidos sin dejar huella de su existencia.

Lamentablemente, los resultados de nuestras investigaciones genealógicas muchas veces terminan en desilusiones, pues una de las cosas que aprendemos enseguida es que las entidades eclesiásticas que tienen los archivos antiguos carecen de recursos económicos y técnicos necesarios para realizar investigaciones genealógicas. 

La ansiedad que muchos investigadores experimentamos no se limita a nuestra inhabilidad de obtener los datos que buscamos, sino que también incluye la constatación de que archivos históricos que suponen parte de nuestro patrimonio e historia están desapareciendo debido circunstancias climatológicas inadecuadas, insectos, y el abuso a que son objeto por parte de profesionales cuyo único interés es cobrar una comisión. Casi lo más triste del caso es que muchas Diócesis todavía no tienen ninguna intención de digitalizar sus archivos; y niegan acceso a entidades eclesiásticas, como los mormones, que se dedican a la preservación de documentos de carácter genealógico por todo el mundo.

Uno de los requisitos más importantes para completar un árbol genealógico es no “saltar” generaciones. Es imprescindible llevar a cabo nuestras investigaciones de generación en generación para evitar errores, como por ejemplo incluir al hermano de un bisabuelo en vez de nuestro antepasado directo en nuestro linaje. Otra cosa que debemos tener en cuenta es no asumir parentesco con personas o familias simplemente porque tienen nuestro apellido, sobre todo cuando tenemos un apellido relativamente común y estamos realizando nuestra investigación en una ciudad grande. 

El número de personas que incluimos en nuestro árbol está basado estrictamente en nuestro interés personal y en los recursos que tenemos a nuestra disposición. Algunas personas se limitan a investigar su linaje paterno, otras incluyen ambas ramas de su familia, y otras incluyen las familias de primos y tíos lejanos y terminan con árboles genealógicos que incluyen a miles de personas. 

Investigaciones extensas requieren el uso de un ordenador y programas especializados con el tema. En mi caso, uso uno llamado Family Tree Maker, pero hay muchos otros, igualmente buenos e incluso más apropiados para el estudio de la genealogía española que permiten la inclusión de ambos apellidos, en vez del sistema anglo-sajón tradicional que sólo usa el apellido del padre.

El Foro GenealogiaCanaria
Al igual que miles de personas de origen hispano nacidas en el continente americano, mis antepasados nacieron en varias regiones de España. Mi padre, Domingo Vila Suárez, nació en Las Palmas de Gran Canaria. Mis abuelos y bisabuelos nacieron en Teror, Santa Brígida, y Las Palmas; y una bisabuela, sobre quien no he podido encontrar casi nada, nació en La Antigua, Fuerteventura. 

Después de años de esfuerzos infructuosos tratando de encontrar información genealógica me tropecé, casi accidentalmente, con la dirección electrónica del foro de genealogía canaria cuando buscaba información sobre mis raíces a través del Internet. Los mensajes en la base de datos del grupo, y la colaboración de todos los miembros, han ayudado a docenas de personas esparcidas por todas partes del mundo a encontrar sus raíces isleñas y, al mismo tiempo, a aprender más sobre la historia, geografía, y la cultura canaria.


Who really sailed the ocean blue in 1492?
Eureka! Digging for Gold.

Who really sailed the ocean blue in 1492?

Spanish scholars are on a mission to demystify Christopher Columbus's life, long shrouded in a veil of mythic heroism.
By Lisa Abend and Geoff Pingree | Correspondents of The Christian Science Monitor 
Sent by John Inclan

MADRID – Genovese nobleman or Catalan pirate? Adventurous explorer or greedy tyrant? What if the Italian gentleman who discovered America was in fact a brutal torturer and slave owner? And what if he wasn't even Italian? Schoolchildren may learn about a daring hero who proved the Earth wasn't flat, but because his biography is pocked with holes, Christopher Columbus is a figure around whom elaborate theories and enigmatic rumors have long circulated. This year, the 500th anniversary of his death, two Spanish scholars are working to clear up some of the mysteries. 

José Antonio Lorente, a geneticist at the University of Granada, is attempting to resolve one of the greatest enigmas - the question of Columbus's origins. In 1927, Peruvian historian Luis Ulloa Cisneros claimed Columbus was from Catalonia - in what is today northeastern Spain - rather than from the Italian port city of Genoa. [ Editor's note: The original version misidentified the location of Catalonia.] 

Since then, theories have proliferated, some suggesting that Columbus was a Catalan nobleman who rebelled against King Ferdinand's father, King John II, by engaging in piracy on behalf of the French, and then hid his origins to win favor with the son. Others maintain that he was the illegitimate child of Prince Carlos de Viana, a Majorcan nobleman related to Ferdinand and Isabella. Still others suggest that Columbus was a Jew, whose family fled to Genoa to escape persecution.

A historian at the University of Seville asked Mr. Lorente (who had previously used genetic testing to determine that bones in the Cathedral of Seville belonged to Columbus's own illegitimate son), to help resolve the Catalan/Genovese issue.

Collecting saliva samples from hundreds of people in Catalonia, the Balearic Islands, Genoa, Valencia, and the south of France with the last name of Colón, Colom, or Columbo, Lorente is comparing their DNA with that taken from the bones of Columbus, his brother, and Prince Carlos de Viana. "This way, we can try to determine which population with the same last name as Columbus has the most genetic similarities and differences to him," says Lorente.

The study, results of which were supposed to be released last week to coincide with the Spanish celebration of Columbus Day, has been delayed due to the technological difficulties. "Right now, we haven't developed sufficient markers that can be applied to DNA that comes from bones," says Lorente. "We're working on improving it every day, but we can't say when we'll have results."

Until he finds conclusive answers, the geneticist finds the Catalan theory compelling. "Although the majority think he was Italian," Lorente comments, "there are certain aspects of his biography that suggest non-Italian origins."

But while Columbus's origins remain undetermined, Consuelo Varela, a historian at Spain's Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas, has answered another question: Why, once he was governor of Hispaniola, did Columbus fall so far from favor that Ferdinand and Isabella ordered him arrested and returned in chains to Spain?

After archivist Isabel Aguirre discovered an uncatalogued transcript of Columbus's trial and brought it to Ms. Varela's attention, the answer was clear to her: Even by the uncharitable standards of 16th-century Spanish colonies, Columbus was a brute.
In her book "The Fall of Columbus," Varela uses the testimony from 23 witnesses contained in the document to show that as governor of Hispaniola, Columbus regularly used torture to maintain order on the island. "It was far more brutal than we had known," says Varela. "It was a frontier society, with terrible misery and injustice."

Columbus was also a strong supporter of slavery, refusing to baptize the indigenous people of Hispaniola so that he could enslave them (Spanish law prohibited the enslavement of Christians), and auctioning Spaniards into slavery, including a young boy caught stealing, as punishment. Varela also notes that Columbus was "surprisingly greedy. He was always tremendously worried about making money."

Although academic specialists have largely hailed Varela's work, popular readers have been less welcoming. An Italian author of historical novels recently wrote her to complain about the unflattering portrait and accused her of falsifying the document. Varela understands the resistance. "No one likes to see the dark side of a mythic person," she says.

For both scholars, it is the mythic elements of Columbus's personality and history that explains public fascination with him. "Columbus is a universal figure," says Lorente. "When you add in the fact that he never said anything about his origins, you have the perfect mystery."

Eureka! Digging for Gold.
RootsWeb Review, 29 November 2006, Vol. 9, No. 48

Decade by decade new mining excitements promised opportunities to strikeit rich in the U.S. -- in California in 1849, and then at Gold Hill, Colorado (then Nebraska Territory), 1859; Virginia City, Nevada Territory, 1860; Orofino, Idaho (then Oregon Territory) 1861;
Virginia City, Montana [then Idaho Territory], 1863; Deadwood, South Dakota, [then Dakota Territory] 1876; Tombstone, Arizona [then Arizona Territory], 1877; Cripple Creek, Colorado, 1892; and Nome, Alaska Territory, 1899.

These were places where our ancestors and relatives might have gone. Some of them made a fortune in a few weeks or months. However, many returned home broke -- or never returned at all.

If you have ancestors or family members who just seemed to have disappeared particularly in the 1850s or 1860s. Have you considered the possibility that they went to find their fortune in the gold fields? Read Shirley Gage Hodges' article at:

Many went to the gold fields of Australia in this time period. Learn more about the Australian Gold Rush at:

Can't find your ancestors in ca 1900? Look northward to Canada and Alaska. Your ancestors might have participated in the Klondike Gold Rush in Canada or have gone to Nome, Alaska Territory.

                 *     *     *
SOME SITES WORTH SEEING. Gold Rush! California's Untold Stories

Gold Rush Sesquicentennial:

Trails to the California Gold Rush:

California as I Saw It: First-Person Narratives of California's Early Years, 1849-1900
From the Library of Congress' American Memory Project

Early California History: An Overview From the Library of Congress' American Memory Project

Klondike Gold Rush:

Canadian Heroes of the Klondike Gold Rush:

Cyndi's List: Mining and Miners:


Tell the stories behind this year’s photos
100 Ports of Arrival and 100 Million Names
Ancestry Store Grand Reopening
Ancestral Artifacts Online
Orphan Records
Birth certificates slowly going digital 
Ellis Island One-Step search form
Getting Our Youth Involved in Family History
Cemetery Essentials

Tell the stories behind this year’s photos.

A New Way to Share Your Photo Memories with Your Friends & Family!

Instead of throwing this year’s holiday pictures in a drawer or shoebox, 
why not share them online using’s free photo sharing tool
called SnapGenie

To get an idea of how SnapGenie works, please visit our SnapGenie tutorial, or go directly to to start building your own today. From photos of your favorite holiday gatherings, to the year’s best memories, the possibilities of what you create are endless! 

Here’s How It Works: 
1) Upload as many or as few photos as you like 
2) Call the toll-free number indicated on the screen 
3) Speak into your phone to tell the stories behind your photos 
4) Enter email addresses of individuals with whom you want to share your

100 Ports of Arrival and 100 Million Names

NEWS. recently announced the completion of a three-year project to digitize and post online all available U.S. passenger lists from 1820 through 1960. This project covers more than 100 ports of arrival and 100 million names. The collection includes 7 million passenger list images and a thousand ship images.

It's estimated that 85 percent of Americans can find at least one ancestor in this collection. You'll discover not only the immigrants, but all travelers -- handy for tracking "birds of passage" (those who moved between their homelands and the United States multiple times before settling here for good), ancestors who visited family back in the
"old country," and even some ancestors or relatives who went on Caribbean cruises in the 1950s, for example, may show up in these lists.

The Ellis Island records were re-indexed by and do not contain the efforts of Ellis Island database (EIDB). By having another group re-index a record group, errors in the first one may not appear in the re-indexing. The major advantage to the Ancestry site is that it indexes arrivals after 1924, which is where the year the EIDB ends.

To commemorate the launch of the collection, ( offers free access to its entire "Immigration Collection" through the end of November. Click on "US Immigrant Collection" on its home page. You will need to register with the site in order to access the database. And, keep in mind that the free access is only to the new "Immigration Collection" -- not to everything else at

These various databases identify more than 100 million passengers. experts, including more than 1,500 paleographers (handwriting specialists), spent more than 1.8 million hours and typed 4.5 billion keystrokes to create the fully searchable passenger list index. The company notes that for the first time, people can look to a
single centralized source online to find all readily available U.S. passenger list records. It also announced plans to release in December all Hamburg [Germany] Emigration lists 1850-1934 with, initially, an index for the years 1890-1912., which supports, has invested more than $100 million to acquire, digitize, and make searchable online the invaluable historical records such as the exclusive U.S. census collection (1790-1930), birth, marriage and death records, photographs, military records and more. It now has more than 5 billion names in the 23,000 searchable databases.

RootsWeb Review: RootsWeb's Weekly E-zine
15 November 2006, Vol. 9, No. 46

These records are part of the Ancestry database.
US Federal Census Records  more than 543,000,000 names 
US Immigration Records  more than 21,000,000 names 
Social Security Death Index  more than 72,000,000 names 
Newspaper Archives  more than 850,000,000 names 
Family Trees  more than 330,000,000 names 


Ancestry has rebuilt and expanded its online store. As the category leader in online family history research, we figured it made sense for us to offer many more products to our site visitors, and to make it much easier to shop, purchase, and give gifts. One change includes a 30X increase in the number of products in our store. 

With an inventory of more than 9,000 products, new and existing products will be found in categories such as books (genealogy and history related), records (census records on CD, military, etc), software (FTM, Map My Family Tree, etc), photos (military, people, places), maps (every state in the U.S. as well as international maps), and a dedicated gifting section. Start shopping now at

SOME SITES WORTH SEEING. Ancestral Artifacts Online
Family Old Photos. Browse by surname, by state and special sections
(Civil War, railroad, circus, fire departments, etc.).

Heirlooms Lost. Designed to put people directly in touch with each other regarding lost family treasures.

Antique Family Photograph Archives. A collection of antique photographs of individuals and family groups, taken from the Civil War period (1861-65) up to about 1910. These are originals with data that identifies the individual(s). These are, for the most part, tintypes,
cartes-de-visite or cabinet cards. Some are large group photographs. There is a minimal charge for returning these original items.

Your Past Connections: Photographs, letters, marriage and birth certificates, Bibles, funeral cards, diplomas, postcards, etc. Submitters of "Available Items" specify an asking price which is displayed in the search results. Sometimes, the only cost requested is
the cost of postage. When someone searches the database of "Available Items" and finds an item that they would like to acquire, they fill in a form on the website and an e-mail message is automatically sent to the person who owns the item. From then on, arrangements for payment and shipping are made between the two parties involved. Your Past Connections sets up the initial contact and does not charge either party for this service.

Cyndi's List: Photographs and Memories

Source: RootsWeb Review: RootsWeb's Weekly E-zine
6 December 2006, Vol. 9, No. 49
(c) 1998-2006, Inc.

Ancestry Weekly Journal: Orphan Records 

"Have You Checked for These Records? Part Two: Orphanage Records,"
by Paula Stuart-Warren, CG

In Part One of this series, we looked at some records that tend to be overlooked by many researchers. As promised, we're going to delve a little deeper into some of the records mentioned in that article. Records related to orphanages are covered in today's edition of this continuing series. Although I am writing from the viewpoint of U.S. records, much of this relates to orphanages in other countries too. 

Who Lived in Orphanages?
Children who were truly orphaned by the death of both parents needed a place to live and not all were taken in by neighbors or relatives. Many were sent to orphanages. Other residents of orphanages were children who had lost only one parent or whose parents could not raise them. Others were children who had been abandoned and the parental situation may not have been known. There may be files on the children, cemetery records for the parent(s) or children, or data on whether the child left the orphanage. 

What Might the Records Hold?
Though the records will vary from place to place, many will provide some excellent family details. You may find:
-- Date of admission
-- Reason admitted
-- Names of parents, if known
-- Names of siblings, if known
-- Birth information
-- Notes on behavior, illnesses, physical traits
-- Religious affiliation
-- If the county or town are providing funds for the child 
-- If the child was sent to work in the community, and where
-- Date of leaving the orphanage and why (reached a certain age, death, adopted, in foster home, etc.)

I Can Already Hear Your Comments 
As I said, the records do vary. Not all of us are fortunate enough to find the record with the mother-lode of information noted above, but some of you will. And yes, not all the records may exist today or there may be restrictions on their usage. But, you will never know all this unless you try to track them down. 

Types of Orphanages and Their Records
These are just some of the types of orphanages you may find in the area where your family resided. 

-- Government facility. Check to see if the institution still survives in some manner. It may have a different purpose and a radically changed name. The records might still be at the facility or they may have been transferred to a county, state, or federal archive. Government records are generally archived or destroyed according to a retention schedule as all records are not necessary to the ongoing business of the city, county, or state. 

-- Organizational. The Independent Order of Odd Fellows is just one organization to sponsor orphanages for the underprivileged. The records may be in private hands, with the organization, or thankfully, might have been given to a historical society.

-- Religious. Check to see if there is an archive for that religious denomination or maybe for the order of nuns who ran the Catholic orphanage. Jewish orphanages abounded and an attempt to list them is found at the website, Jewish Orphanages in the United States.

-- Military connections. You may find institutions set up for orphans of soldiers, especially after the Civil War. One online source is "A Roster of Children in the Pennsylvania Soldiers' Orphan Schools of 1895."

-- Check with the probate or surrogate's court for any guardianship records for minors. They may detail that a child was sent to an orphanage. Many are available via the Family History Library.  Other children were simply left at the 

-- City directories often have lists of orphanages in that city. Check for these in larger libraries and historical societies and also via the Family History Library.

Access to the Records
You may need to prove that the sought-after person is an ancestor or other family member. Many record keepers also require proof of death for the person whose information is requested. Some repositories have restrictions on such records until they are at least fifty or seventy-five years old. If a website or holdings catalog is not clear 
about this, check via e-mail or telephone.

Finding Such Records
-- Check the websites of state archives, university special collections, and historical societies for online catalogs or inventories of records.

-- Check the Family History Library Catalog using keyword searches or look for the categories of "Orphans and Orphanages" under the state, county, or city name.

-- In a search engine, such as Google or Yahoo!, type in the name of the place and the word orphanage, or the specific name of an orphanage, to see if there are online record abstracts, indexes, or historical background. 

-- Check for a county or town website and see if it covers researching older records. E-mail or call to verify if they still have the type of record you're looking for and to see what their access guidelines are.

-- Historical and genealogical periodicals may supply you with the historical background of an orphanage and location of records. Use the PERiodical Source Index  for a subject index to thousands of these.

-- The USGenWeb  carries some orphanage record indexes or abstracted details for certain counties.

-- Check "The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy" for additional help.

For Additional Interesting Orphanage Information 

Oklahoma Orphanages:

American Local History Network:

Allegheny County, Pennsylvania:  
This site lists the names of orphanages over the years and, if known, where the records are housed today.

St. Louis Protestant Orphans Asylum 1834-1940

A RootsWeb mailing list on Orphanages

State Library of Queensland (Australia) 

Rhode Island State Home and School Project


About the author
Paula Stuart-Warren, CG, of St. Paul, Minnesota, is a professional genealogist, consultant, writer, and lecturer. She has lectured all across the U.S. and coordinates the Intermediate Course, American Records &Research at the annual Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy. She is a contributor to several periodicals including Ancestry Magazine. Comments will reach her at Paula is unable to answer individual genealogical research inquiries due to the volume of e-mails received. From time to time, comments from readers may be quoted in her writings. She will not use your name but may use your place of residence (i.e., Davenport, IA).
Sent by:

Birth certificates slowly going digital 
By JULIE CARR SMYTH, Associated Press Writer Thu Nov 30, 3:47 AM ET 


Sent by Jaime Cader 

COLUMBUS, Ohio - For decades, getting a copy of a birth certificate has required a weeks-long wait for the mail or a personal visit to a state's vital statistics office. That may soon change, much to the relief of those seeking passports, government aid and certain jobs. 

Vital statistics offices around the country are trying to automate the centuries-old practice of keeping birth records. Of course, the shorter wait likely will mean a higher cost to consumers.

In Ohio, for example, the cost of a certified copy of a birth certificate has risen from $10 to $16.50 in the past two years. Fees in some counties, where various charges can be added, have reached $25.

"It's a little pricey for a piece of paper, especially since I'm here in Ohio," said Lovelle Scott, a young mother with two children, who needs hers to apply for government help.

States are increasing the fees to raise money needed to convert their birth certificate archives from dusty stacks of paper and microfilm to electronic databases.

The idea is to make it easier to retrieve a copy in an era of heightened national security, expanded voter identification mandates, a national immigration debate and upcoming federal ID requirements. The transition also will streamline a growing number of government processes that rely on birth certificate information.

Texas was among states able to take advantage of the political climate to raise money for a modernization, said Doug McBride, a spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services. He said it is unclear whether it was the mood following the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks, the debate over illegal immigrants, or something else.

The state began converting its 48 million birth, death and marriage records to electronic files in January, a project expected to take five years. A month before the conversion began, the state doubled the price of a certified birth certificate from $11 to $22.

Texas also is among states that have offered an interim step into the electronic age: Birth certificates can be ordered online and paid for by credit card.

Ohio officials have given themselves until 2010 to create digital images of the state's entire birth certificate archive, dating to 1908 — which includes 26 million documents on 43 million pages. The upgrade includes a move into a new vaulted, fire-protected headquarters.

"Every state's facing the same situation where its vital record is a part of the identity definition for citizens," said Jim Pearsol, assistant state director of vital statistics.

"And so, as the issue of identity has drawn attention for passports, for Social Security

' name=c1> SEARCH
News | News Photos | Images | Web

' name=c3> Social Security numbers, for driver's license, that's had a corresponding influence on state vital records offices to get ready."

Ohio began planning its digital conversion in 2000, after a fire threatened the building where it housed its main records collection, Pearsol said. The department also realized that, despite improvements, its processing time had peaked at about 3 weeks on average.

The process requires four people: one to receive the certificate request, either at a window, through the mail or online; one to retrieve the record; one to copy the record; and one to stamp it certified. The steps are physically segregated for security and safety purposes.

"We sort of maxed out as far as we could go with a paper-based system," Pearsol said. "We can take it from weeks to hours with an electronic-based system."

Most states began plotting their conversions after 2003, said Garland Land, executive director of the National Association for Public Health Statistics and Information.

In that year, the birth certificate form used by obstetricians, health administrators and registrars nationwide saw its first post-Internet revisions. The form is revamped every 10 to 15 years by the association and the Centers for Disease Control's National Center for Health Statistics, Land said.

The idea of finally moving the birth certificate system into the electronic age was great in theory. Then states saw the pricetag: an estimated $750,000, depending on population — or a minimum of $37.5 million for all 50 states. Only about half the states have been able to afford it, most through fee increases like Ohio's, Land said. 

Land said with states moving at a different pace in transitioning records, America could spend the next decade without comparable vital statistics from the states. 

Centers for Disease Control spokesman Bill Crews said such statistics provide important insights for federal policymakers. 

"Just like the Census, it really undergirds our entire political system," he said. For instance, death statistics play a role in rates charged for life insurance, and statistics gathered on birth certificates, such as the average mother's age, can affect government budget decisions on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. 

In Ohio and numerous other states, some of the money for the conversion project is also coming from the Social Security Administration

' name=c1> SEARCH
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' name=c3> Social Security Administration, which is particularly eager to see state death records filed electronically so it can eliminate delays in cutting off Social Security benefits after a death. While Ohio's birth certificate conversion is projected to take until 2010, the death certificate conversion, with Social Security Administration's help, will be done later this year. 

"They're saving a lot of money by cutting off benefits early, so they see it in their best interests to speed up that system," Land said. "But nobody has provided support on the birth systems, so that's why states are slow to do this."

Ellis Island One-Step search form
Sent by Janete Vargas

Steve Morse Steve has created a new Ellis Island One-Step search form - the gold form. The gold form is capable of searching through the entire twenty-five million passengers in the Ellis Island Database, and it can 
search on every transcribed field.

His gold form makes his blue and gray forms obsolete. The blue form could search on every field but only for the one million Jewish passengers. The gray form could search for all passengers but only on four fields (name, age, year of arrival, and town).

The gold form has these new features:
(1) It can search on traveling companions, a feature the blue form had but the gray form did not.
(2) The user is able to specify which fields to display on the results page. 
(3) The user can specify how to sort the results.

Although the gold form also makes his white form obsolete, Steve is going to keep both the white form and the gold form available. Because they use different search engines (the white uses the search engine, and the gold uses Steve's One-Step search engine), they may provide slightly different results. But the gold form should be the form of choice. The white form was superior to the form on the website, and the gold form is far superior to the white form.

The gold form is the third item listed under "Ellis Island Search Forms and Ship Arrivals (1892-1924)" on Steve's website at

Joy Rich
Brooklyn, NY
Chapter Representative
New York Metro Chapter 
Association of Professional Genealogists

Getting Our Youth Involved in Family History
By Rosalind Heaps
Source: Federation of Genealogical Societies
Sent by

Several genealogical societies have been experiencing a decline in membership over the past decade or two. Most genealogical society memberships consist of those who are in the retirement years and lack members under the age of 40. It doesn't always mean that those under 40 are not interested in learning about their ancestors; usually they are
too busy with their education, careers and families to seek out a local genealogical society to join and attend meetings. The majority of those under the age of 40 are truly interested in their ancestors; that is when they have the time later in their life to learn about them or seek them out for themselves. So how can we help spark their interest at an earlier age?

The youth and young adults are not really interested in "genealogy: the study of family pedigrees" (Webster's Dictionary). They are much more interested in "family history" where they learn more about their ancestors than just their names, dates and places. They want to know what grandpa or grandma did and liked when they were their age. What was their home like, the kind of schools they attended, how they traveled
and what kind of work did they did. What was their life like that made them the kind of person they became.

Our young people are very visual and are usually interested in the old ancestral photos if they know who they are and how they relate to them. Scrapbooking has become a big pastime over the last ten years or so. These have become more than just the photo albums that we grew up with where we plastered in the pictures and closed the book. I have my grandmother's old photo album dating in the early 1930s and there is
not one word of who, where or why in it. Nevertheless, the photos are really interesting with my grandparents in their twenties and the old cars with the running boards. Even though I am able to identify most of the people in my grandmother's old album, my children or grandchildren will not know who they are unless I do something about it. The newer scrapbooks contain not only the photos, but a description of what the photos depict and sometimes embellishment that relates to the event making the albums a historical record of the family.

Our young people are also very technologically savvy and want more than just the written history and photos. I recently found this out with my own children while writing my father-in-law's history. My youngest son, Kenny, said he would like to hear his grandfather's voice. I told him we had a 1970's cassette tape recording where grandpa had told a story of himself at the age of nine bringing in the cows for milking, and riding a pony that had never been broken before. We have not had a working cassette tape player in the house for years so the kids didn't even know about these old family tapes and would most likely have thrown them out without ever knowing what they contained unless the topic came up. Kenny (age 24) borrowed the tapes and took them home, and by connecting a tape recorder to the computer, he was able to burn the taping onto a CD. This vocal story is now on our family Web site with his grandfather's written history.

Kenny's interest of preserving old family media didn't start with the cassette tapes. A couple of years ago, Kenny discovered grandpa's old home movies in my husband's closet. These are the kind that everyone gathered around to see back in the 1950's and 1960's without sound and sometimes Dad would make us all laugh when he ran the film backwards through the projector. Well, grandpa's old projector lasted through the
viewing of a couple of reels before it finally broke and we could no longer view the old movies. After checking eBay for another old projector, looking into self editing these fragile old films, and any other possibilities of preserving them, Kenny finally contacted a company in Kansas about having the films transferred or copied onto a DVD, thus putting it onto a media that Kenny could work with and edit. He is now in the process of editing the films and adding music and dialogue to them. The added dialogue will be recordings of family members as they watch the movies, telling of their memories and descriptions of the filmed events. This is a project he is still currently working on and hopes to have completed by the end of the summer and made available to other family members.
I am sure there are other ways of involving our young people in their ancestor's family history. It may involve the technology and hobbies of today, tying them to those of the past through photos, scrapbooks, CDs and DVDs. With a little bit of work, our next generation will become involved with preserving the past. Not all will be lost. The tape recording is found in the second story following the third paragraph at:
One of the home movies is at:


I had recently submitted a tip about getting "extra" photos at the cemetery while doing volunteer photos, and it crossed my mind that it might be a good idea to list some "essentials" to take along with you. The list below is only a starting point and others may have ideas as well.

-- First and foremost is water! To drink and to wet down the old stones; it makes them much easier to read. I use a one-gallon pump sprayer and carry water bottles in my car as extras.

-- Some sort of ground cover--a blanket or old quilt works well--and will keep you dry and clean.

-- Bug repellent in the warm weather.

-- A sharp knife to carve the grass away from those stones that are flat in the ground and overgrown.

-- A soft brush, to remove the surface dirt and mold. Spray first with the water and gently run the brush over the surface; do not scrub.

-- A wooden Popsicle stick, to get some of the moss out of the lettering.

-- An old towel or two to dry off the stone if it has water puddles.

-- A foil, car windshield reflector; this will help to direct the sun to the face of the stone if you are on the shady side of the cemetery.

-- I also carry a small pry-bar to help loosen those stones that are broken and embedded in the ground. I only use it when I have permission to do so--from the owner who has requested the photo, or from the individual who maintains the cemetery. I put a folded towel between the bar and the stone so as not to damage it.

Another thing to remember--no rubbing, no scraping, no shaving cream, no chalk--no kidding! Also never, never use bleach or any other chemical substance on any  stone--WATER only.

Of course, don't forget your camera, making sure your memory card is in it, and the batteries are fully charged. Depending on your location a few other ideas would be a cell phone and a GPS.

Bonnie Selig  25 December 2006


St Paul's tomb unearthed in Rome 
By Christian Fraser, BBC News, Rome
Sent by
Archaeologists working for the Vatican have unearthed a sarcophagus containing what they believe are the remains of St Paul the Apostle.

The tomb dates back to at least AD390 and was found in a crypt under a basilica in Rome.  It has long been thought that the crypt contained the tomb of St Paul but the altar had hidden it. St Paul was an influential early Christian who traveled widely in the Mediterranean area in the 1st Century. Excavations at the site began in 2002 and were completed last month.

Ancient pilgrims

The basilica of St Paul's Outside the Walls is the largest church in Rome after St Peter's. For the past three years, archaeologists have been excavating underneath the altar to remove two huge slabs of marble and now, for the first time in almost 1,700 years, the sarcophagus of St Paul is on public view.

The original inscription on the top reads: Paulo Apostolo Mart - Latin for "Paul Apostle Martyr".  The holes through which the ancient pilgrims would have pushed pieces of cloth to touch the relic are clearly visible.

"What we can see at the moment through a grating, a new grating that's been put there, is the side of the sarcophagus of Paul which seems to be white marble-like material," said Father Edmund Power, abbot of the nearby Benedictine monastery.

St Paul travelled widely through Asia Minor, Greece and Rome in the 1st Century. His letters to the early churches, found in the Bible's New Testament, are arguably some of the most influential on Christian thinking.

St Paul is said to have been beheaded in AD65 by the Roman Emperor Nero. His sarcophagus will be on public view for the foreseeable future but the church is yet to rule out the possibility that one day the interior itself will be opened and examined.



The Rescue 1969 Highlights

He had just saved her from a fire in her house, rescuing her by carrying her out of the house into her front yard, while he continued to fight the fire. 

She is pregnant. When he finally finished putting the fire out, he sat down to catch his breath and rest. 

A photographer from the Charlotte, North Carolina newspaper, "The Observer," noticed her in the distance looking at the fireman. He saw her walking straight toward the fireman and wondered what she was going to do. 

As he raised his camera, she came up to the tired man who had saved her life and the lives of her babies and kissed him just as the photographer snapped this photograph. 


A Look at the Events That Influenced Our World That Year

• Sweden (First Western country) recognizes North Vietnam

• Beatles release "Yellow Submarine" album

• US-North Vietnamese peace talks begin in Paris

• The Palestine National Congress appoints Yasser Arafat
Head of Palestine Liberation Organization

• U.S. population reaches 200 million

• World’s largest airplane, Boeing 747, makes its first commercial flight

• New York Yankees’ Mickey Mantle retires

• James Earl Ray pleads guilty in murder of Martin Luther King, Jr.

• Milwaukee Bucks sign Lew Alcindor (later to become Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)
to basketball contract

• Expansion Pro Baseball teams Royals, Expos, Padres, and Pilots
each win their first games

• Sirhan Sirhan sentenced to death for killing Bobby Kennedy the previous year

• Monty Python comedy troupe forms

• Abortion and contraception legalized in Canada

• Last Chevrolet Corsair built

• Walt Disney World construction begins

• Last episode of Star Trek airs on NBC

• "Hee Haw," with Roy Clark and Buck Owens, premieres on CBS TV

• Police raid Stonewall Gay Bar in Greenwich Village, New York;
up to 1,000 patrons riot against police for three days; considered to be
the start of the active Gay Rights Movement

• U.S. troop withdrawal begins in Vietnam

• Neil Armstrong steps on Moon

• Muhammad Ali is convicted for refusing induction in U.S. Army on appeal

• First performance of Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young

• Manson family commits Tate-LaBianca murders

• Woodstock Music & Art Fair opens in New York State
at Max Yasgur’s Dairy Farm

• Tiny Tim and Miss Vicky get engaged

• San Francisco Giant Willie Mays becomes second MLB player
to hit home run #600 (Babe Ruth was the other)

• Concorde 001 test flight breaks sound barrier

• Vietnam Moratorium Day; millions nationwide protest the war

• Paul McCartney denies rumors of his death

• Supreme Court orders end to all school desegregation "at once"

• "Sesame Street" premieres on PBS TV

• U.S. Army announces investigation of Lt. William Calley for alleged
massacre of civilians at Vietnamese hamlet of My Lai

• Wendy’s Hamburgers opens

• Isolation of single gene announced by scientists at Harvard

• KC outfielder Lou Piniella is voted AL Rookie of Year

• Lottery for Selective Service draftees bill signed by President Nixon and,
soon afterwards, U.S. government holds its first draft lottery since WW II

• Jackson Five made their first appearance on "Ed Sullivan Show"

• USAF closes Project Blue Book, concluding there is no evidence of
extraterrestrial spaceships despite thousands of recorded UFO sightings

• Curt Flood sues Major League Baseball and challenges the reserve clause;
free agency, as we know it, was created because of Flood’s efforts





             12/30/2009 04:49 PM