Somos Primos

May 2007 
Editor: Mimi Lozano

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

Mendez v Westminster 60th Anniversary
 Official U.S. Postage Stamp Unveiled, April 14th 
Stamps available in September

Building a Bridge 
for our
American Civil Rights History
Chapman University
Orange, California

click for more information


Content Areas
United States
. . 4
   Action Item . . 5
National Issues
. . 17
. . 30
     Bilingual Education . . 42
   Culture . . 67
. . 85
Anti-Spanish Legends . . 89
Military & Law Enforcement Heroes
. . 94
. . 115
. . 129
. . 131
Patriots of American Revolution
. .  133
Orange County,CA . . 137
Los Angeles,CA
. . 142
California  . . 144
Northwestern US
. . 150
Southwestern US 
. . 152
African-American . . 160
. . 162
. . 166
Texas  . . 170
East of Mississippi
. . 182 
East Coast
. . 183
. . 188
. . 196
. . 199
. . 200
. . 208
Family History . . 211
SHHAR 2007 Meetings 
Jan 27:  Researching on the Internet and Spanish surnames 
Mar 17:  Writing Family Histories
Apr  29:  Family History Conference, 5 classes on Hispanic Research
May 26:  Naturalization Records, Steps Towards Citizenship  
Aug 25:  Hispanic Political Pioneers

Letters to the Editor : 

Hi Mimi,
This is Monica from AZ.  I am very appreciative of the tremendous job you do for all of us by putting together all the wonderful resources for Hispanos everywhere and anyone who is interested in researching Latino history and/or issues.  Please send me monthly notification of Somos Primos. Con carino, Monica Smith. (Former SHHAR member from Orange Co.)
(article under Southwest)

I visited the somos primos web site and I liked it very much. It is full of historical data and statical facts about Hispanics that need to be known by everybody. Congratulations for a huge effort on your part to broadcast all things Hispanic. Thank you again for your interest in my work.  
Regards, Danilo
(Poems under Culture)


Mimi, I can't tell you how much I look forward to reading Somos Primos....It really is a very professional publication......My address is changing from to don't want to miss an issue...please advise me as the correct procedure to change my address.....Wishing you the very best, Carol Jean Spicer Surnames- Diaz, Hernandez and Almamza

Good Morning Mimi!
How are you?  Hopefully all continues to be well.  Many thanks for your kind and note and many, many thanks for your very informative online magazine which I receive every month!  You continue to do great things!  Your work is very valuable and I enjoy reading the publication -- I learn so much from it and your work, your strength and your vision inspires me!
Best regards, Diane Sears
Everything really great and inspiring 
is created by the individual 
who can labor in freedom.
Albert Einstein

  Somos Primos Staff:   
Mimi Lozano, Editor
Mercy Bautista Olvera
Bill Carmena
Lila Guzman
Granville Hough
John Inclan
Galal Kernahan
J.V. Martinez
Armando Montes
Dorinda Moreno
Michael Perez
Ángel Custodio Rebollo
Tony Santiago
John P. Schmal
Howard Shorr 
Ted Vincent
Dan Arellano
Richard Arroyo
John Arvizu
Armando Baeza 
Mercy Bautista-Olvera
Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.
Roberto Camp
Bill Carmena
Bonnie Chapa
Jose A. Cobas, Ph.D 
Richard A. Collins
Fr. Pedro Contreras
Joe Coto
James Crawford

Sal Del Valle
Eduardo Díaz
Francisco Estrada
Angelo Falcon
Lorri Frain
Robert Gamboa
Wanda Garcia
Carlos Ray Gonzalez
Jaime Gómez-González, M.D.. 
Rafael Jesús González
Memo Gracia Duarte <<<<check spelling
Roberto Jose Perez Guadarrama
Michael Hardwick
Jeff and Helena  Hammer
Manuel Hernandez-Carmona
Teresa. Kentara
Galal Kernahan  

Ignacio Koblischek
Danilo Lopez 
Orlando Lozano
Kathryn G. Ocampo
Maria Angeles O'Donnell Olson
Rafael Ojeda
Pedro Olivares
Michael A. Olivas
Sal Osio, JD
Janet Mallet
Jesus Manuel Mena Garza
Andres E. Montoya
Dorinda Moreno
Carlos Munoz, Ph.D.
Rosalia Munoz

Rudy Padilla
John Palacio
Willis Papillion
Ellen Pedraza
Jose M. Pena
Elvira Prieto
Joseph Puentes
Joe Ramos
Rebecca Ramirez Shokrian
Rudy A. Ramirez
Angel Custodio Rebollo
Armando Rendon
Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Temo Rocha
Alfonso Rodriguez
Antonio Ruiz Caballero
Viola Sadler
Ruben Salaz
Tony Santiago
John P. Schmal
Diane Sears
Howard Shorr
Johnny Silva
Collin Skousen
Monica Smith
Carol Jean Spicer
Corinne Staacke
John Trasvina 
Janete Vargas
Ricardo Valverde
Jennifer Vo
Katie Wilmes
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
Letter to PBS from California Latino Caucus
Letter to PBS from Rafael Jesús González
Burns Won't Reedit 'War,' PBS Clarifies
It is a shame that PBS
The Rio Grande Valley
Waco LULAC Council 273 request KWBU PBS not to air, THE WAR
Reaching out to Non-Hispanics to share our history and presence
Defend the Honor Update
Expanding our History via podcasts 
Mexican Americans Defending the United States

National Issues
Dr. Hector P. Garcia Day in Texas on fast track
South Texas War Dead Have Returned,  October 30, 1947
English Only, the Constitution of the United States
Inspiration by daughter, Wanda Garcia
Justice for my People,  the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Story, documentary available
Hernandez vs. Texas:  Groundbreaking case for Latinos
Cesar Estrada Chavez Study Act
Statue of Cesar Chavez to be Unveiled Oct. 9, University of Texas, Austin
National Cesar Chavez Day Committee
Farmworkers Bring Down the Golden Arches
Nation's Largest Latino Museum opened in San Antonio, Texas
S: Abrirán museo hispano más grande del mundo
USS New York, ship's motto? "Never Forget"

American Hispanic School
El Diccionario Biográfico Medico Hispanoamerícano
The Millennium Momentum Foundation, Inc.
Louis Caldera, Vice Chancellor, California State University, Fullerton
Flat Stanley visits the Health Care Agency in Santa Ana, California
Latino Education: Parent Involvement

Bilingual Education
Mendez v. Westminster, 
60th Anniversary, Stamp Honors Desegregation 
Mendez v. Westminster, forerunner of  "Brown v. Board of Education
Spanish word of the Day
John 0. Gonzales, a longtime social-rights activist 
Hold Your Tongue
Being Bilingual can be a Dangerous Thing
Language Oppression & Resistance: Middle Class Latinos in US

May 3rd, Ask a Mexican, Book Debut and Signing
Luis Valdez elected to the College of Fellows of the American Theatre
Poems by Danilo Lopez 
Bill Tapia, Ukulele legend has song in his heart  
The 70's from a Chicano's Perspective, Jesús Manuel Mena Garza
Another artist to celebrate:  Andres E. Montoya 
Special Feature: About the Charro Mural & Other Things 

The Mexican Initiative: A Workable Guest Worker Program
Latinos Claim Largest Slice of Minority-Business Pie
Small Business, Big Returns



Action Items


Latino Legislative Caucus

March 26, 2007

Ms. Paula Kerger
PBS President and CEO
Office of Corporate Secretary
2100 Crystal Drive

Arlington, Virginia 22202

Dear Ms. Kerger,

The California Latino Legislative Caucus wishes to express our dissatisfaction with PBS’ exclusion of Latinos from Ken Burns’ forthcoming documentary, The War. As longtime supporters of public television, we are disappointed that you have no sensitivity to this issue, given the widespread expression of dismay from the Latino community over this act of discrimination by omission. The exclusion of the Latino community from this critical documentary series is not acceptable.

A major challenge to our work is overcoming negative images of Latinos in the media and in the public discourse. This is particularly challenging with all of the anti-immigrant rhetoric dominating society and being so recklessly and irresponsibly spouted by too many of our political leaders. Mr. Burns’ clear blind spot on the Latino experience in this and his previous documentaries only perpetuates the harmful notion that Latinos have made no significant contributions to American society – which couldn’t be further from the truth. Ignoring or eliminating their roles during a significant part of American history only feeds the xenophobic attitudes that we are witnessing too often these days.

We support the position of the Defend the Honor Campaign! We want PBS to delay release of the documentary to re-edited it and present a historically accurate account of the war by including the Latino experience in World War II – this would greatly contribute to achieving the universal experience he was trying to document. LATINOS WERE THERE. THEY FOUGHT AND DIED ALONGSIDE MANY OTHERS DURING THAT WAR. Anything less, would be unacceptable.

I respectfully suggest that you institute an immediate, comprehensive review of your programming and call on numerous Latino experts in academia, journalism and the civil rights community to ensure that this kind of incident is not repeated in the future.

Sincerely, Joe Coto



Rafael Jesús González
P. O. Box 5638
Berkeley, Ca. 94705

Ms. Paula Kerger,
President & Chief Executive Officer PBS
2100 Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22202-3785
Dear Ms. Kerger:
I write you as the nephew of three uncles who served in the U. S. Army, two on the front lines in World War II; as the brother of a retired Colonel in the U. S. Army Reserve; as a veteran who served in the U. S. Navy and the U. S. Marine Corps at the end of the Korean War, and as a concerned citizen.
I am outraged that the film of Ken Burns, which you plan to air in September of this year, is so completely lacking in its recognition of the Hispanic/Latino men and women who served in the U. S. Armed forces during the Second World War, a great many of them on the front lines and a great many of them laying down their lives.
Some years ago, I visited the U. S. Military Cemetery in Normandy, France and was aghast at the sheer number of identifiable Hispanic surnames among the 10,944 names on the walls and on the crosses that cover the 172 acres of hills leading down to Omaha Beach and the sea. And those Hispanic names represent only those fallen in the invasion of Normandy and other actions in the European theater of war. There are at least as many Hispanics who gave their lives in the Asian theater. And these are only the names of the dead, not the veterans many of who returned home maimed, or ill, or emotionally wounded.

The exclusion of these men and women from the Burns film is reprehensible and smacks of outright racism, itself an illness that has longed plagued the history of our nation. I submit to you that for PBS to let this flagrant omission stand uncorrected is unconscionable.

I expect that you will do all in your power to correct this for the sake of truth, justice, and the integrity of the Public Broadcasting System.
Most sincerely,
Rafael Jesús González
Prof. Emeritus of Creative Writing & Literature
Berkeley, California

Burns Won't Reedit 'War,' PBS Clarifies

By Paul Farhi,Washington Post Staff Writer, Thursday, April 19, 2007; C01

A PBS official said yesterday that filmmaker Ken Burns will not re-cut his documentary on World War II -- a statement that disappointed and angered minority-group activists who on Tuesday said they believed Burns and PBS had committed to reediting the film to address their concerns about its content.

Programming chief John Wilson, seeking to clarify PBS's earlier statements, said yesterday that Burns's 14 1/2 -hour documentary, "The War," is complete. That statement, however, leaves unresolved the complaints from some Latino and American Indian organizations, which have been pressing Burns and PBS for months to incorporate into the film material about Latino and American Indian service members.

Burns has resisted any suggestion that he is changing "The War," despite his agreement to film additional material to try to address advocates' concerns. A spokesman for Burns insisted yesterday that the filmmaker isn't "reediting" his work, as The Washington Post reported yesterday.

But a PBS spokesman had told The Post on Tuesday that the new footage would be "seamlessly" added to the film, which is scheduled to air in September.

Members of advocacy groups said they left a series of meetings with Burns and PBS officials on Tuesday gratified by apparent assurances that changes to the main documentary were forthcoming. During Tuesday's morning meeting, PBS President Paula Kerger introduced a Texas documentarian, Hector Galan, who has been hired to help Burns produce new material about the estimated 500,000 people of Latino descent who fought in World War II.

Some of the disagreement over Burns's -- and PBS's -- intentions turns on small but critical semantic distinctions, particularly whether the unproduced new material will be a "part" of "The War," or instead air as a supplement.

Latino advocates are wary that the additional content that Burns has promised will appear during breaks in the film, or otherwise outside the main story arc. They insist that the new material should be part of the story itself, which focuses on the wartime experiences of four towns or cities in different regions of the country.

But that will not be the case, according to Burns's representative and Wilson.

"It does not satisfy our concerns to be an amendment or some kind of addendum" to the documentary, said Raul Tapia, a spokesman for the American G.I. Forum, a Latino veterans organization. Latinos "who contributed so much to winning the war deserve better. They are not an addendum. They stood up for their country, and we are standing up for them."

Members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus also met yesterday about the issue. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), a member of the group, issued a statement last night, saying: "Ken Burns is a well-known filmmaker, and whether it's fair or not, his films are viewed by many as definitive histories. It is socially responsible and historically accurate to include the invaluable contributions of Hispanic Americans not as a footnote, but as part of the actual story of World War II.

"The way PBS has handled this since the issue was raised has left a lot to be desired." Over the years, Burns has drawn criticism from Latinos for his PBS series "Baseball" and "Jazz." Some critics from advocacy groups also contend that in those documentaries, he downplayed or overlooked the contributions of Latinos.

Burns's spokesman, Joe DePlasco, said that while Burns "will not re-cut his film, which is done, he does believe strongly that these additional stories will be a valuable and important contribution to the broadcast and the national discussion about World War II."

PBS's Wilson, trying to navigate yesterday between the advocacy groups and Burns -- the network's most famous producer -- said that the new footage that Burns produces "will be part of the broadcast" of the film, its DVD and teaching materials that accompany it.

"To the viewer at home, it will be part of the same contiguous experience" as the documentary itself, he said, with "the same tone and tenor and production qualities" of the documentary.

When pressed, however, he acknowledged that Burns's original work won't be recut to incorporate the stories of Latino and American Indian service members or their families -- the key demand of the interest groups.



It is a shame that PBS, a federally funded educational network will air "The War" a documentary by Ken Burns" that has omitted the contributions and participation of Hispanics in World War II. Despite the fact that PBS Chief Executive Paula Kerger is aware of this serious injustice, the network considers the documentary a "Masterpiece".

I exhort the readers of "Somos Primos" who are loyal law abiding tax paying citizens of this country to unite their voices in protest by writing to their Congressman and the PBS network. Remind them that we pay taxes with our hard earned money and that PBS would not be on the air were it not for the taxes which we pay. 

et them know that PBS should not contribute to the Anti-Hispanic sentiment in this country by omitting the contributions which we as a people have made. Many Hispanics have given their lives for the good of the United States and their sacrifices should not have been in vain. 

Write to PBS Ombudsman, Michael Getler
and express your dissatisfaction. Do this not for yourself, but for the good of the future generations that will come after us.

Tony Santiago
a.k.a. Tony the Marine

Editor: Just caught this in letters to HISPANIC magazine, April 2007, page 11. 

"The Rio Grande Valley is located in the southernmost tip of Texas. It is a very patriotic region of the nation, one of the poorest and predominately Hispanic.

So far, of 22 soldiers and Marines who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, 18 are Hispanic. Recently the director of the South Texas Health Systems of the Veterans Administration in San Antonio, Timothy Shea, said that "The Valley has the highest percentage of decorated combat veterans and casualties of anywhere in America."
Arturo Treto Garza
Harlingen, Texas

Waco ( Texas ) LULAC Council 273 Inc., has approved a resolution requesting KWBU PBS Channel 34, Baylor University , Waco ,Texas to cancel and refrain from airing the Ken Burns's 14-hour World War II documentary PBS Special entitled "The War"

The resolution will be presented to the KWBU PBS Channel 34 station manager Clare Paul and to Brazos Valley Public Broadcasting Board President Dr. Charles S. Madden. Brazos Valley Public Broadcasting is the governing body for KWBU.

Waco LULAC Council 273 Inc., will also forward the resolution to  the Office of Congressman Chet Edwards, (TX D-17), Waco , Texas .

Robert Gamboa, Executive Director
Waco LULAC Council 273 Inc.

Reaching out to Non-Hispanics to share our history and presence
The Heart of "Los San Patricios" – Rudy Padilla
Part of an article in a Kansas City newspaper Mid-March

Since the Spring of 2006, "Caminos" is growing more concerned about the restlessness among Hispanic youth amid reports which I receive from schools, that they feel like outsiders and are not respected in Kansas City. The reports for the most part are about teenager’s who were bought to this area when they were younger, from Mexico or other Spanish-speaking countries.

In the summer of 2006, the Fordham Foundation zeroed in on the lack of history taught in schools. Specifically these are comments which pointed out the lack of history studies about Spanish-speaking countries, as Mexico, Central and South America. Could this uneducated part of individuals lead to racism and intolerance on the part of the majority?

In several discussions among Hispanic military veterans, they appreciated the opportunity to defend this country and to being treated as equals. But, there was also quite a bit of explaining about one’s own background. For example, when I spent "boot camp" in Great Lakes, Illinois several years ago, I was the only Mexican-American in my company at boot camp. I must say that I got along very well with the other 99 members, but I was approached several times to explain myself. Most of the other members of the company were from New York City, Boston, New Jersey and the South. Most of them had seen Puerto Ricans on the East Coast. They had observed, but not really spoken with any of them. The questions to me were – what is the difference between a Puerto Rican and a Mexican? You speak English well - how did you learn English? What kind of foods do Mexican-Americans eat in Kansas City? And of course, "Don’t they have a lot of cows and horses walking the streets of Kansas City?" These were very serious questions they asked. I have heard of several Mexican-Americans who experienced the same questions when they were in the military.

(Rudy Padilla can be contacted at

Please go to the website for a complete analysis


Weekly Update,  Activities & Events Surrounding Burns PBS WWII Documentary
April 29, 2007 -- Available via email or on the website:
Quote of the week: "Before us is a vital opportunity to tell a story that has been passed over for far too long. Without fully integrating this story of [Latinos'] sacrifice and distinction, "The War" will be a disappointment to the American Hispanic community for generations to come." --Congressional Hispanic Caucus, in letter to Paula Kerger, April 20, 2007.

SUMMARY:  This week, Ken Burns faced questions in Los Angeles , Sacramento and Dallas , at showings of his documentary, as well as at speeches. In LA, there were a few pickets, as there were in Dallas . The Dallas event was covered by local print publications. The Defend the Honor core group is giving Hector Galan, the Latino documentarian hired by PBS to help integrate the new material into The War, a few days to assess the feasibility of doing so. We would like to give PBS and Ken Burns every opportunity to do the right thing, before shutting the door on them.

Expanding our History via podcasts 

If you are not familiar with the work that Joseph Puentes as done in gathering positive heritage information, please go to: (Latin American History Podcast) (Environment Podcast) (Blog for above)

1) In the Archaeology section hear a very high caliber presentation by Dr. George Stuart titled, "Discovering the Maya":

2) In the American Revolution hear a background message titled "10 Presidents" by Jack Cowan. Jack.Cowan is the founder of the Texas Connection to the American Revolution Association and will be shortly following this message up with a message appropriately enough titled, "The Texas Connection to the American Revolution." Here is the URL for the "10 Presidents" audio:

If you know of conferences, lectures, presentations, discussions, or poetry readings related to Latin American History please contact: and visit the site.



Mexican Americans Defending the United States
A Commentary
By Jennifer Vo and John P. Schmal

Web Published 4/16/2007
LatinoLA Communidad


By Jennifer Vo and John P. Schmal

Recently I found myself involved in an interesting conversation about Ken Burn's upcoming 14-hour documentary on World War II, "The War." While talking to an acquaintance about the topic, I mentioned my disappointment that Mr. Burns had not taken the time to pay tribute to the Latino contribution in World War II, suggesting that Mr. Burns should have read "Hispanic Military Heroes" by Virgil Hernandez. Or better yet, if he had read the Department of Defense's 1990 publication, "Hispanics in America's Defense," he would have learned about the numerous contributions of America's Latino citizens to the U.S. through many wars.

To my surprise, the gentleman I was talking to said, "What's the big deal? What did the Latinos do during World War II?" My new friend was talking to the wrong person. My name is Jennifer Vo and I am Mexican American and two of my family members were killed in action during World War II. This discussion and similar discussions taking place across the country had made me realize that many Americans across this nation see Latinos - and Mexican Americans in particular - as relative newcomers to this country and as lacking the patriotism of other American ethnic groups.

One need only look at my family to know that this is not true. My family's service on American soil started in 1781 and has continued to the present day. I am an eleventh-generation Californian, and several years ago, John Schmal and I embarked on a research expedition to explore my family's military service to this country. We came across one amazing discovery after another, all of them essentially confirming the oral tradition handed down from one generation to another.

From the very start, my family was involved in the military service. Four of the soldiers taking part in the Expedition of 1781 to establish the Pueblo of Los Angeles in California were my ancestors, including my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, Juan Matias Olivas, an Indian from the city of Rosario in the present-day Mexican state of Sinaloa.

From my earliest memories, my family has always expressed its pride in its military tradition of protecting American soil. When my mother, Sarah Melendez Basulto Evans, was just a teenager, she went to her grandfather's funeral in Oxnard, California. After the church service, the family drove to the Santa Clara Cemetery in Oxnard for the burial service. Recounting that day four decades ago, Mom told me, "Once the graveside service had ended, my Uncle Simon [Melendez] took me for a long walk, pointing out the various tombstones for many of our ancestors. I was amazed that he could recount so many stories and names from our family history."

Sarah also explained to me that "because Uncle Simon was a Korean War veteran and had lost an uncle and a cousin in World War II, our family took great pride in its long military tradition extending back to our earliest California ancestor, Juan Matias Olivas." One generation after another had joined the military to defend the only land that we could call home. And, although Mexican Americans in California have been treated as newcomers and strangers in our own homeland, our resolve to defend this state and this country has never wavered.

From the first moment Juan Matias Olivas entered California -- and for the better part of eleven generations -- my family has played a role in the defense of California and since 1848, the United States. And, in some cases, members of my family had to make the ultimate sacrifice to safeguard the security of our country. Over a period of two-and-a-quarter centuries, the flags, the causes, and the surnames have changed, but my family's legacy of military service to California has endured.

My most distant ancestor, Juan Matias Olivas, was born two and a half centuries ago near Rosario in what is today known as the state of Sinaloa (in the Republic of Mexico). On August 6, 1780, Juan Matias enlisted for ten years as a soldado de cuera (leather-jacket soldier) attached to the Military District of Monterrey of northern Mexico. Joining Spain's frontier army offered Juan and his family an opportunity that would not have been available to Indians who lived in the Rosario area. If he had stayed in Rosario, Juan Matias Olivas would have been destined to a life as a poor and lowly Indian laborer, subject to the whims of his hacienda jefe and to a society that classified him within the lower rungs of a racist caste system.

But, as a soldier serving in the Spanish military, Juan Matias Olivas earned new privileges. In 1781, Juan Matias and his small family took part in the expedition that would establish the small pueblo of Los Angeles. After the founding of the Santa Barbara Presidio in 1782, Juan Matias Olivas was stationed with his family at the presidio until his retirement in 1798 at the age of forty years.

Juan Matias Olivas' son, Jose Pablo Olivas, witnessed his father's eighteen-year service in the military and stepped into his shoes as a soldier around the same time that his father retired. Many years later, Jose Pablo's son, Jose Delores Olivas, would also follow in the footsteps of his father as a soldier, but his allegiance would be to Mexico, not Spain. During this time, the Mexican people had revolted against Spain's rule, and after twelve years, independence was achieved. California would thus become part of Mexico.

Three generations of Olivas men would serve as soldiers at the Santa Barbara Presidio and, like his father and grandfather before him, Jose Dolores married and raised a family. Between 1830 and 1850, Dolores and his wife became the parents of twelve children, including my great-great-great-great-grandmother, Maria Antonia Olivas (who was born in 1834). During this twenty-year period, Dolores retired, and California became a part of the United States, as a result of the Mexican-American War, which ended on January 13, 1847 with the signing of the Treaty of Cahuenga. A year later, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was signed on February 2, 1848, ending all hostilities between the two nations and granting American citizenship to my Olivas ancestors. The tightly-knit Olivas clan - composed of five families - continued to live in the Santa Barbara area.

The American Civil War (1861-1865) divided the American people into two camps and resulted in more casualties than any other war in American history. Many of the hostilities in this war took place in the eastern half of North America, especially in the Southern states. For the most part, California - which was a Union state - seemed removed from most of the battlefields and action that was taking place. However, as early as 1862, California State Senator Romualdo Pacheco, having observed his fellow native Californians in action, came to recognize them as skilled horsemen who could easily be transformed into units of exceptional cavalrymen. Pacheco was anxious to prove that Californians could prove their patriotism even though many of them were born in the state when it was under Mexican rule. As a Union loyalist, Pacheco proposed the formation of a regiment of "native cavalry," which would stand ready to protect the Union's western boundaries.

As the war between the states raged in 1862, Brigadier-General Wright of the Union Army followed up Pacheco's idea and recommended utilizing the "extraordinary horsemanship" that came so naturally to native Californians. In December, he wrote to the War Department in Washington, requesting "authority to raise four companies of native cavalry." It was believed that these skilled horsemen would be able to serve in both California and Arizona and guard those regions from Confederate incursions. On January 20, 1863, the War Department authorized General Wright to proceed with this task. In the course of the next year-and-a-half, the U.S. Government organized four companies of Mexican-American Californians into the First California Native Cavalry Battalion [Source: Richard H. Orton, "Records of California Men in the War of the Rebellion" (Sacramento: State of California, 1890), pp. 304-306; Sacramento Union, January 28, 1863.]

At this time, the family of my ancestor, Maria Antonia Olivas, lived in the Santa Barbara area. When recruitment began, two of Maria Antonia's brothers, Jose Victoriano Olivas and Felipe Olivas, joined Company C of the First Battalion of the California Native Cavalry. In addition, two of their first cousins, Antonio and Pablo Olivas, also joined Company C, while another cousin Blas Olivas joined Company D. By the end of July 1864, all five Olivas cousins were in uniform and ready for action. However, for the first half-year of their service, they were put to work on a massive irrigation project, marched in parades and patrolled the California waterfront in the Los Angeles area.

But, in 1865, the Native Cavalry was called upon to perform more important tasks and spent August of 1865 to early 1866 on the Arizona frontier in a series of Indian campaigns. Jose Pablo Olivas, unfortunately, had died of consumption on December 26, 1864, but my two uncles and their two Olivas cousins were mustered out on April 2, 1866 and returned to civilian life as proud veterans.

[Note: More detailed information on the First Native Battalion can be accessed at:]

Maria Antonia Olivas and her siblings married and raised their families in the Ventura and Oxnard areas. Several generations came and went, while America enjoyed a period of significant peace, interrupted only by the Spanish-American War of 1898 and World War I (1917-1918).

Maria Antonia's great-granddaughter, Isabel Ortega, grew up with her siblings in Saticoy and endured the Great Depression. This period was a difficult time for my family as it was for most American families. But the beginning of World War II was an ominous event for all Americans. For three years, the United States had avoided involvement in this war, which pitted the Axis Powers (Germany, Italy and Japan) against a multitude of other nations, including Great Britain, the Soviet Union, and China.

On December 7, 1941, everything changed. The surprise attack on the American naval fleet at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii would bring America into this struggle against tyranny. And when Uncle Sam called for recruits, his call was answered. By the end of the war in September 1945, sixteen million men and women had worn the uniform of America's armed forces. It is believed that as many as 750,000 of these soldiers may have been Latinos, consisting of Mexican-Americans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans and persons of other national origins.

The State of California - the traditional home to a significant number of Mexican Americans - played an important role in World War II. Eighteen California National Guard Divisions were sent overseas, and thousands of men enlisted or were drafted. According to the United States War Department, California - containing 5.15% of the population of the United States - contributed 5.53% of the total number who entered the Army. Of these men and women from California who went to war, 3.09% failed to return home, representing 5.54% of the American casualties

In 1942, my great-uncle Luciano P. Ortega - the brother of my great-grandmother Isabel Ortega- joined the armed forces. Luciano was attached to the 34th Infantry Regiment of the 24th Infantry Division, which would fight on the front lines in the war against Japan in several crucial campaigns. The 24th Infantry Division was among the first to see combat in World War II and among the last to stop fighting. After a period of intensive training, the Division took part in Operation Reckless (the landings at Hollandia in Netherlands New Guinea) in early 1944. Later in the year, Uncle Luciano's unit would take part in the campaign to liberate the Japanese from Leyte in the Philippine Islands.

On October 20, 1944, Uncle Luciano and the 24th Division landed on Red Beach and Leyte and advanced steadily to Breakneck Ridge by November 12, 1944. The Japanese resistance was tremendous and, on November 19, Uncle Luciano was killed in action. He was buried in the Manila American Cemetery in the capital city. My great-great-grandmother, Theodora Tapia Ortega, never reconciled herself to her son's death and refused to accept it. Instead, she continued to believe that he was missing in action and would someday return home to Saticoy.

The eighth generation of my family saw four men go to war, one into action in World War II and three into the Korean War. Late in World War II, Chello O. Ortega, the nephew of Luciano Ortega, went to war. He was the second Ortega to go to the Army from Saticoy and - like his uncle - was sent to the Pacific Theater. Cousin Chello belonged to the 383rd Infantry, which was attached to the famous 96th Infantry, better known as the Deadeyes.

The campaign to wrest control of Okinawa from the Japanese lasted from April 1 to June 14, 1945. It was a long and bloody campaign. My cousin Chello took part in the 383rd Infantry's attack on Conical Hill and helped to defeat a Japanese counterattack on May 13th. However, Chello was killed in action the following day and a day later, on May 15th, the Deadeyes secured Conical Hill.

According to the military report, my Cousin's body was not identified until June 19th, five weeks later, and not until July did my family and the Saticoy community find out that Chello had been killed in action. Two months later, Japan would surrender and peace would finally come to America after three years and nine months of war.

As World War II drew to an end, the three Melendez brothers - sons of Refugio Melendez and Isabel Ortega and brothers to my grandmother Dora - were teenagers. Raymond (Raymundo) Ortega Melendez had been born in 1929 and yearned to join the military. In 1945, at the age of 17 - with his parents' permission - Ray entered the American armed forces. This would mark the beginning of a long military career, with would take him through the Korean and Vietnam Wars before his retirement in 1969.

The Korean War began in 1950, only five years after the end of World War II. The participation of Mexican Americans and Puerto Ricans in the Korean War was so significant that the Department of Defense paid tribute to their contribution, explaining that "they served with distinction in all of the services. Many Mexican Americans from barrios in Los Angeles, San Antonio, Laredo, Phoenix, and Chicago saw fierce action in Korea. Fighting in almost every combat unit in Korea, they distinguished themselves through courage and bravery as they had in previous wars."

By the end of the Korean War, all three of my grandmother's brothers, Raymond, Donald (Danny) and Simon would join the United States Army. During this war, Uncle Ray served as an airborne paratrooper for many years. But my Uncle Simon Melendez's experiences in the Korean War are the stuff that legends are made of.

Born on October 28, 1930, Simon Ortega Melendez was raised in Saticoy and attended Ventura Junior High School and Ventura City College. When the Korean War started, Simon joined the 2nd Division of the U.S. Army and became a machine gunner. It would be Uncle Simon's destiny to take part in two of the bloodiest battles of the Korean War. The "Battle of Bloody Ridge" began in August 1951 and continued up until September 12, 1951. On August 27, Simon was hit in the neck and legs by mortar shrapnel and in the back by grenade fragments. At the same time, he was separated from his platoon. For seven days, he was behind enemy lines and disoriented by torrential rains that made his weapon inoperable.

The rain did not stop until the sixth day, and on the seventh day he was able to make his way into the area of the 9th U.S. Regiment. When asked how he managed to make his way through enemy lines for seven days, 21-year-old Simon explained that "my extreme faith in God brought me through." Soon after this, Uncle Simon was able to have a three-day reunion with his brother Ray near the front lines. Raymond, who had already been in the service for six years, was a paratrooper and had been stationed about a 100 miles from Simon's position. Soon after, Simon was once again in the thick of the fighting when his unit took part in the "Battle of Heartbreak Ridge," which lasted from September 13 to October 22, 1951.

The Battles of Bloody Ridge and Heartbreak Ridge were the two bloodiest battles of the Korean War. By the time he left the service, Simon had been awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and three Purple Hearts. He also founded the Mexican-American Korean War Veterans of Ventura County and became a life member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. Simon Melendez, the proud Korean War veteran, died at the age of 71 on June 15, 2002, surrounded by a family that adored him. Even to this day, Uncle Simon's memory remains strong with me and my family, in large part because he had a larger than life personality that endeared him to everyone.

Uncle Donald Ortega Melendez, who was born in 1936, entered the service in 1954 at the tail end of the Korean War. Like his brother Raymond, he initially joined the paratroopers. During his first stint overseas, Donald was assigned to the 9th Infantry Regiment of the 2nd Infantry division. He did three separate hitches overseas and was on service during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. Uncle Donald spent 25 years in the military and achieved the rank of First Sergeant before he retired in 1979.

Uncle Ray, also an airborne paratrooper, served all around the world at one time or another and achieved the rank of Command Sergeant Major by the time he retired in 1969. Like Donald, Uncle Ray was a career military person and does not feel that he is at liberty to discuss his military service in great detail. Uncle Simon - after his Korean War service - had been offered a promotion too, but he decided that he was ready for civilian life.

Even since the Korean War, many members of my family have served in the American military. Luciano Ortega's daughter, Geraldine, joined the military for a long period of time. Donald's son, Daniel Melendez, followed in his father's step and served as a paratrooper from 1970 to 1982. Uncle Simon had two sons who spent a number of years in the military. When he was twenty years old, my mother's brother, Eusebio Javier Melendez Basulto followed in our family's military tradition by enlisting in the U.S. Army. He served in Military Intelligence with MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) Unit 406 ASA, where he achieved the rank of Specialist, Fourth Class. Uncle Eusebio's military career lasted from 1973 to 1985, a total of 12 years, after which he became a chemist in the civilian world. And, today, my younger sister is making plans to join the military, carrying on the tradition for yet another generation.

As Mexican-American citizens of California, my family has carried on a proud tradition of military service. When our nation has been in need, my ancestors - from the earliest days in California - answered the call with a sense of pride and obligation. This sense of duty is a deeply held tradition to all Mexican-Americans.

For me, this represents a strange irony. As a teenager growing up in the San Fernando Valley, many of my friends thought that I was Italian American. Although I have inherited my dark eyes and thick dark hair from my Mexican ancestors, I am also of German and Anglo-American descent through my father's side of the family. For this reason, it is not readily evident to some people that I am Mexican-American. As a result, I have - on occasion - heard friends and acquaintances express less than flattering opinions about Mexican immigrants or Mexican Americans. Such comments and criticisms - although they were undoubtedly based on ignorance or fear - hurt me and were an affront to my family's pride and dignity.

When one friend in high school found out that I was Mexican American, she actually ended our friendship, an act that puzzles me to this day. For all those people who expressed these hurtful opinions, I can only say that I hope that they are reading this story. I hope that these individuals are aware that my family has been fighting (and dying) for their freedom since the Civil War.

My maternal grandfather, Eusebio Basulto, was born in the Mexican state of Jalisco and I am very proud of my Jalisco roots. My direct paternal ancestors were German-Americans who fought for the United States against Germany in two world wars. And my great-grandfather, Refugio Melendez, came from Guanajuato. I am proud of these aspects of my heritage, but nothing is as meaningful to me as the proud military tradition that my family has inherited over many generations, a tradition of defending our native soil (California).

John and I paid tribute to my family's military tradition in a publication, entitled "A Mexican-American Family of California: In the Service of Three Flags" (Heritage Books, 2003), which is currently out-of-print, but will be back in circulation in about a month.

John and I believe that Ken Burn's documentary may very well be a moving and interesting documentary, but as far as we are concerned, one element is missing. A tribute to the many ethnic groups that participated in World War II (including Mexican Americans) would have recognized the great team effort that saved the world from fascism.

We also think that Mr. Burns should read the story about "Hero Street, USA" (Silvis, Illinois), a small Mexican-American community which has sent more than 110 men and women into the military. Fifty-seven men from Hero Street joined the military during World War II and Korea, and eight of these men - William Sandoval, Johnny Munos, Joseph Sandoval, Peter Masias, Tony Pompa, Joseph Gomez (pictured), Claro Soliz and Frank Sandoval - lost their lives in the two wars. All eight of these men were Mexican Americans. For more information, please go to this website:

In conclusion, we believe that Army Chaplain (Captain) Carlos C. Huerta of the First Battalion, 79th Field Artillery said it best: "Hispanics have always met the challenge of serving the nation with great fervor. In every war, in every battle, on every battlefield, Hispanics have put their lives on the line to protect freedom."

Copyright 2007 by Jennifer Vo and John P. Schmal. All rights under applicable law are hereby reserved.

Jennifer Vo currently works as a library aide for the Los Angeles Unified School District. She also operates her own online editorial business,, which serves the community's communication needs by providing high quality, reliable editorial and proofreading services.

Jennifer Vo and John Schmal coauthored "A Mexican-American Family of California: In the Service of Three Flags," about a founding family of Los Angeles and its military service through two centuries (Heritage Books). This book was sold out but is at the printer and should be available in about a month. The Heritage website can be accessed at:

Click to WWII and the Bracero Program

National Issues

Texas Congressional Bills on fast track for a Dr. Hector P. Garcia Day in Texas

It won't result in a day off for Texas students, workers or state employees, but would serve to ensure that the late doctor's legacy, life and civil rights accomplishments would be preserved through community observances. 

The Texas Senate bill was authored by Sen. Juan "Chuy" Hinojosa, D-McAllen.Similar legislation was filed in the House by Rep. Juan Garcia, D-Corpus Christi,  co-authored by Reps. Abel Herrero, D-Robstown; Solomon Ortiz Jr., D-Corpus Christi; Juan Escobar, D-Kingsville; and Yvonne Gonzalez Toureilles, D-Alice.

Daughter Wanda Garcia plans to lead a movement to take the concept to a national level.  Below are two documents that Wanda shared with Somos Primos readers. It is very clear by his activities that Dr. Garcia viewed the complex  inter-relationships of all the human needs
of the Hispanic/Latino communities, and was anguished that the needs were not being addressed, nor served. 

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


Wanda was blessed to accompany her father to meetings, conferences, even some times on his medical rounds.  The flyer below has special meaning to her.  In 1989, Wanda accompanied her father to Washington, D.C to attend the Hispanic Heritage Awards Ceremony where he would be recognized for his accomplishments. Dr. Garcia took the opportunity to speak out boldly against the English Only movement and even had Wanda distribute the flyer below. 

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

Wanda Garcia

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

My father was a private person who rarely spoke of his inner feelings. Yet, I perceived much about his character from his statements and actions.

My father knew who he was and it was apparent when he introduced himself. He would say, "I am Dr. Hector Perez Garcia". There was no doubt to the listener that this was a man who was well grounded in his sense of self. He was proud of his Mexican heritage and felt that being raised in Mexico during his formative years kept his self-esteem intact in contrast to his Norte American counterparts who were "defeated" because of discrimination.

He steadfastly believed in the law of cause and effect and lived by this belief. * He believed what you did not do had consequences as well. Dr. Hector validated these beliefs during in an interview for KERA, Dallas, TX. Yolette Garcia, my cousin who interviewed Dr. Hector, asked what gave him such strong a sense of right and wrong. He replied his father named him after Hector the hero of the Iliad, and he felt obliged to live up to his namesake. According to Dr. Hector, in the classics there were consequences for deeds. Dr. Hector cited the tale of Odysseus, hero of Homer’s Odyssey, how the gods condemned Odysseus to wander for 11 years because of his treachery to the Trojans. Influenced by the classics, Dr. Hector could not stand idly by while others of his group suffered, thus he became an activist.

*The belief that the type of energy, negative or positive, you send out returns back to you.

Many would ask "doctor, you could have had a comfortable life, why did you get involved in this work?" To which he answered that he had a conscience.

I remember how passionately he spoke about discrimination and how he was active in the Pvt. Felix Longoria incident, the Hernandez trial, filed suit against Texas school districts for maintaining a dual school system and many others. He spent his own money to pay for legal fees because most Hispanics were impoverished and could not contribute. Giants in the Hispanic Civil Rights Movement such as Dr. George I. Sanchez and Attorney Gustavo Garcia and later Justice James DeAnda met with my father at our house to plan the strategy for the suits. I would hang around the dining room to listen to their conversation.

He believed in service to the community. Patients never needed to make an appointment and his waiting room was always filled. To Dr. Hector, his patients came first. Many a politician had to wait for my father to finish treating his patients before he gave them an audience. During every hurricane or disaster, Dr. Hector would volunteer to administer care to the injured. In later life, he journeyed to the Colonias along the Texas border to treat patients. He advocated with the Texas Legislature to improve living conditions at the Colonias.

My father reacted when the "English Only" movement controversy surfaced. He told me he spent $600 in telegrams alone to elected officials to protest the movement. In 1989, Dr. Hector and I were in Washington, D.C to attend the Hispanic Heritage Awards Ceremony where he would be recognized for his accomplishments. The event was formal dress attire. And when Papa saw me in my formal dress, he told me I looked very nice and handed me a file box filled with manila envelopes. "What is this for", I protested, "This is a formal event". And he responded, "You don’t understand. These are very important government officials and they have to listen to me for 20 minutes." Dr. Hector showed me a sketch he had designed in pen and ink about the "English Only" movement that was included in the packet. He instructed me to stand in the back of the room with the box and pass out the packets during the ceremony when he gave me a sign.

So, we went to the ceremony and when they presented the award to my father, he thanked them briefly and talked against the "English Only" movement. I smile when I remember how his speech contrasted with the other speeches. When I returned home to Austin, TX, I put the sketch on the top shelf in my closet and forgot about it.

My father’s spiritual beliefs transcended traditional religion and religious practices. He rarely attended church except on the holidays. While he did not observe the external practices of religion, he sought validation from the Catholic Church. During every illness, a priest was summoned; usually the bishop would come personally to attend to him. Equally, Dr. Hector listened to his intuition and sought guidance from "spiritual intelligence". It was this intuition that helped him foil many assassination attempts.

Dr. Hector used this intuition and listened to his spiritual guides to cure his patients. He managed to heal patients suffering from polio and other incurable illnesses. Dr. Hector knew instinctively what to do to heal his patients.

Dr. Hector was quoted in an article in the Corpus Christi Caller Times. He was recovering from open-heart surgery and was very ill. He saw a figure of a monk in spirit materialize and say in Spanish, "Hector, your time hasn’t come yet." And he vanished. My father took the vision as a sign that he was meant to go on working.

Dr. Hector was psychically well connected to his family. Dr. Hector could guess what was in any Christmas or birthday gift we gave him down to the color and the shape of the object. He had a sense when we were in trouble. The phone would ring and it was my father asking me what was wrong. We could never hide anything from him, because he knew what we were up to.

After his death, Dr. Hector continued to guide us on many matters. There was many a time when I could sense his presence and hear him give me advice about what he wanted done.

In September 1996 two months after his death, the Hispanic Heroes group invited me to Washington D.C. to receive a posthumous award for my father. I was ambivalent about my speech given the circumstances and felt not up to the challenge. As I foraged in the bottom of my closet something flew out of the top of my closet and struck me with such force in the forehead that it drew blood. It was the sketch that my father had created eight years earlier. So I went with the sketch to Washington, D.C. I had not prepared an acceptance speech. When the time came for me to speak, the words flowed and I spoke against the "English Only" movement just as my father had at the Hispanic Heritage ceremony. My father inspired me to speak the words he would have.

My father’s greatest dream was to convert his clinic into a center for civil rights studies to showcase his memorabilia. This dream has not yet materialized. To date, when a group visits his clinic, his private line will ring though the phone had been disconnected for years. I was a witness to the phone ringing on many occasions. The Corpus Christi Caller Times in an article quoted Maria Ramirez, a long time assistant, in which she confirmed hearing the phone ring every time she visits the clinic. Maria Ramirez knows Dr. Hector is communicating with her about wanting the work to proceed on his clinic.

I grieved a lot for my father after he passed away on July 26, 1996. On November 17, 1996, 
I wrote in one of my journals:

It is hard to believe that Papa is gone. Papa who had such prominence in my life for 50 years.  I feel like a rudderless ship…

Next passage: Remember I am not far away and not far behind.
                                       My Papa’s was comforting me.

The was a principle that guided both my father and grandfather.

Always be the best, my boy, the bravest,
and hold your head up high above the others.
Never disgrace the generation of your fathers."

--The Iliad. Homer, translated by Fagles--Book 6, ln 247-249


Justice for my People, the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Story is a 90 minute   documentary produced by Jeff Felts in 2002, a production of KEDT. Justice for my People tells the story of Dr. hector P. Garcia- Mexican Revolution refugee, physician to the barrios, decorated veteran, political activist and presidential confidante - as he fought to bring attention to the Mexican American civil rights movement. Materials are available for classroom use, prepared for primary and secondary application.  

For more information:
To contact Wanda Garcia,


Hernandez vs. Texas:  Groundbreaking case for Latinos

Carlos Guerra: Groundbreaking, yet little-known case for Latinos subject of film
Web posted 04/27/2007 San Antonio Express-News

Even though the U.S. Supreme Court answered the question in 1954, people still ask: "Aren't Mexican Americans 'white'?" And few realize that the answer forever changed Latinos' legal status everywhere.

Yes, Hernandez vs. Texas:

Remains little known as its importance is under-appreciated. "I didn't learn anything about this case in University of Chicago (Law School)," says Carlos Sandoval, an inactive attorney who began making a documentary about it in 2002, when he realized that it wasn't until the 1950s that Latinos were afforded equal rights protections.

And by putting human faces on the case, he says, Latinos will finally start sharing their history with fellow Americans.

After World War II, South Texas was in transition, and tensions were building. Mexican American veterans were coming home. But they were returning to dismal barrios and towns, where they were expected to don civilian clothes and remain docile; content to live in isolated poverty with limited opportunities and inequality from which they thought their service had freed them.

Resentment was fueling a spreading activism. But the Texas of old was unyielding. The facts of the Hernandez case aren't pleasant. And the only veterans involved were among the defense attorneys.

One evening, Joe Espinoza was murdered by another farm worker, Pete Hernandez, in Edna, Texas. He was quickly indicted, tried and convicted.

But four young civil rights attorneys . Carlos Cadena and Gus Garca of San Antonio, and John J. Herrera and James de Anda of Houston . took on the case to challenge Mexican Americans' second-class legal status in the Lone Star State.

Hernandez should have never been indicted since Jackson County grand and petit juries included no Latinos, they argued. But after state courts upheld the conviction, they appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court.

As a Mexican American, Hernandez was denied his 14th Amendment right of equal protection, the lawyers argued. But that protection applies only to blacks and whites, the state responded, and being white, his conviction should stand.

But no Latinos had sat on any Jackson County juries for at least 25 years, the young lawyers showed. That was a coincidence, the state's attorney replied. But in a 9-0 decision, the Supreme Court justices disagreed.

"The evidence in this case was sufficient to prove that persons of Mexican descent constitute a separate class, distinct from whites," wrote Chief Justice Earl Warren, before adding that when "laws single out that class for different treatment, the guarantees of the Constitution have been violated."

This monumental ruling knocked out an important linchpin in the notion that "separate" could still be "equal" . in treatment, facilities and opportunities . and it became an underpinning that helped broaden protections for other groups in a wide variety of areas.

But this Latino story, and the story of these Latino lawyers, has gone virtually untold, Sandoval says. And because of it . and others like it Latinos are misunderstood and remain invisible to many Americans.

"Particularly after the Ken Burns controversy, it's very much up to us to reclaim our history," he says, before asking South Texans for help: "This is an opportunity for them to directly respond because people in South Texas were such a part of what civil rights were won."

Sandoval hopes that people who knew those involved in the Hernandez case, or who have photos, film or other materials, will contact his Camino Bluff Productions by calling (917) 796-5431 or by e-mailing him at .

"This isn't just about our (untold) history," he continues. "We're also being swept into the immigration debate; and all Latinos are now being seen as if they just arrived, even if many families have been here for many generations. Because of the Latino population explosion, there is a lot of fear, resentment, and let's face it, racism arising."

Transcript of the Texas case at:

Michael A. Olivas  MOlivas@UH.EDU  writes:  This link is to the case holding or decision, but not the "transcript." There is no transcript, as cases argued then in the Supreme Court were not transcribed or reported. However, in part because of Gus Garcia's rhetoric and that of Thurgood Marshall, who also argued that January, 1954 week (in Brown), the arguments of all cases argued there began the following term, in October of 1954.

To contact Carlos Guerra, call (210) 250-3545 or e-mail
His column appears on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays
Source: "LaRed Latina" WWW site:
"LARED-L Discussion Group: http//



Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis discusses her bill, H.R. 359 the Cesar Estrada Chavez Study Act, which authorizes the Department of Interior to study lands relevant in the life of Cesar Chavez for inclusion in the National Park Service. Solis is joined by (l-r):Rev. Deacon Sal Alvarez League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and The National Farm Worker Ministry; Father Richard Estrada, Archdiocese of Los Angeles; Julie Chavez, granddaughter of Cesar Chavez; Dolores Huerta, co-founder of United Farm Workers; John Trasvina, President and General Counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF); and Paul Park, César E. Chavez Foundation.
Sent by Mercy Bautista Olvera 

Statue of Cesar Chavez 
to be Unveiled Oct. 9 at 
The University of Texas at Austin

The unveiling of a statue of civil rights leader Cesar Chavez at The University of Texas at Austin has been scheduled for Oct. 9 as part of a celebration honoring his legacy for social justice. It will become the first statue of a Hispanic person on the 123-year-old campus.

Sent by Viola Sadler

Special Announcement

Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday is proud to announce the launching of its web site on the occasion of Cesar E. Chavez's 80th Birthday

To join the growing movement for national recognition Cesar Chavez!! Go to: www.cesarchavezholi
* Volunteer in your area

* Sign the petition for a Cesar Chavez 
   National Holiday!
* Join the Coalition
* Learn about the holiday movement
* Endorse
*Tell us what is going on in your area

Evelina Alarcon, Executive Director at:
or phone: (323) 333-7589
Sent by Dorinda Moreno

Extract: Farmworkers Bring Down the Golden Arches
by Kerry Kennedy
Published on Wednesday, April 18, 2007 by

On behalf of the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial, I congratulate the Coalition of Immokalee Workers in their historic victory reaching an agreement with McDonald’s to assure the human rights of farmworkers working in McDonald’s supply chain.

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers, this small group of farmworkers from southwest Florida, over the past few years has brought together major labor leaders like AFL-CIO’s John Sweeney, faith leaders like the National Council of Church’s Rev. Bob Edgar, human rights groups like the Robert F. Kennedy Memorial and even actors like Martin Sheen and musicians Zack de la Rocha and Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine to support their cause. The farmworkers and their allies, known as the Alliance for Fair Food, have formed a movement for human rights winning agreements on workers’ rights in the supply chain of major produce purchasers in the fast food industry, first with Taco Bell and now McDonald’s.

This past Monday, McDonald’s set a resounding example agreeing to the international human rights principles laid out by the CIW. McDonald’s transformed ideas of corporate responsibility into more than words on their letterhead. Other industry leaders like Burger King now have the opportunity to follow in McDonald’s footsteps by accepting accountability for protecting the rights of those laboring in the fields, doing the back breaking labor of picking the produce that ends up in their salads and sandwiches.

41 years ago this month, my father, Robert F. Kennedy, first encountered the human rights struggle faced by farmworkers in this country in Delano, California at a U.S. Senate field hearing. Cesar, Dolores and the United Farm Workers were leading a boycott of California table grapes, forcing companies and consumers involved in the buying and selling of the fruit to see their role in continuing the cycle of poverty and abuse.

McDonald’s joined with 50 other global companies to sign on to the Global Compact and with Monday’s agreement they follow through on their human rights commitments. Four decades later, labor laws, pay and working conditions remain grim for farmworkers. The struggle continues for farmworkers and the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) has picked up Cesar Chavez’s torch.

Everyone has a human right to just working conditions, including fair wages that provide for a decent living for workers and their families. Today the average farmworker in Immokalee has a yearly income of less than $7,500. The CIW demands that farmworkers be paid a penny per a pound of tomatoes picked directly from produce purchasers like McDonald’s and Yum! Foods. The increase effectively doubles the wages of farmworkers picking for their suppliers. If the entire industry stepped up like these two companies and made similar agreements, farmworkers and their families could overcome extreme poverty.

Source: Robert F. Kennedy Memorial
Sent by Dorinda Moreno

USS New York
The ship's motto? "Never Forget"

USS New York was built with 24 tons of scrap steel from the World Trade Center .

It is the fifth in a new class of warship -- designed for missions that include special operations against terrorists. It will carry a crew of 360 sailors and 700 combat-ready Marines to be delivered ashore by helicopters and assault craft.

Steel from the World Trade Center was melted down in a foundry in Amite , LA to cast the ship's bow section. When it was poured into the molds on Sept. 9, 2003 , "those big rough steelworkers treated it with total reverence," recalled Navy Capt. Kevin Wensing, who was there. "It was a
spiritual moment for everybody there."

Junior Chavers, foundry operations manager, said that when the trade center steel first arrived, he touched it with his hand and the "hair on my neck stood up." "It had a big meaning to it for all of us," he said. "They knocked us down. They can't keep us down. We're going to be back."

The ship's motto? "Never Forget"
Sent by Bill Carmena

Nation's Largest Latino Museum opened in San Antonio, Texas

The nation's largest museum devoted to Latino culture and art opened in San Antonio April 13th.

The 39,000 square-foot Museo Alameda is expected to attract more than 400,000 visitors a year.  all the exhibits but one will rotate, displaying pieces ranging from Smithsonian artifacts to work by emerging artists.

"The time is right for a more robust cultural presence in the form of museums just because of demographics.  The Latino community is growing, and its presence is being felt," said Pilar O'Leary, director of the Smithsonian Latino Center.

As the nation's largest minority group, Latinos want their history and culture represented in museum, O'Leary said.  And non-Latinos are increasingly interest in the culture that has a growing influence on the country, she said.

Sent by Collin Skousen

Abrirán museo hispano más grande del mundo

San Antonio— La ciudad de San Antonio, Texas, inaugurará este viernes el museo hispano más grande de Estados Unidos, con seis mil metros cuadrados de áreas que relatan la experiencia hispana a través de la historia, el arte y la cultura.

Tras casi 10 años de planeación, el Museo Alameda abrirá sus puertas en la histórica “Market Square” en el centro de San Antonio, en el marco de una celebración de tres días que buscará reflejar la entretejida relación de culturas del suroeste de Estados Unidos.

Los eventos que iniciarán este miércoles, culminarán el viernes con un concierto gratuito de la cantante México Americana, Linda Ronstadt y con el intento de romper el récord mundial de la mayor concentración de grupos de mariachi en un solo lugar, unos 500.

El museo fue creado con la asociación entre el Instituto Smithsonian, el Kennedy Center de Washington y el Centro Nacional Para las Artes Latinas Alameda de San Antonio.

Su alianza con dos de las más prestigiosas instituciones culturales de Estados Unidos, permitirán al Museo Alameda presentar exhibiciones, representaciones artísticas y programas culturales que proveerán un foro permanente a la historia, cultura y arte hispana.

Henry R. Muñoz III, fundador y presidente del Centro Nacional Para las Artes Latinas Alameda, la organización no lucrativa promotora del museo, informó que en la construcción del inmueble se invirtieron 12 millones de dólares aportados por donantes y compañías privadas, además de la ciudad de San Antonio.

La instalación abarca una superficie de 11 mil 800 metros cuadrados y albergará en forma permanente una Galería Smithsonian donde se presentaran exhibiciones de esa institución cultural, además de un jardín de escultura.

En su diseño, el museo absorbió también el histórico Teatro Alameda,  inaugurado en 1949 como un símbolo de entendimiento entre Estados Unidos y Latinoamérica.

El histórico teatro sirvió por décadas de foro a los más famosos artistas latinoamericanos y en él se exhibieron las mejores películas producidas por México y otros países de Centro y Sudamérica.

La instalación, que había caído en un semi abandono durante los noventas, será restaurada a su estilo y esplendor de 1949 y contara con una capacidad para dos mil 400 personas.

El Museo Alameda operará con un presupuesto anual de 5.5 millones de dólares y se espera que reciba unos 400 mil visitantes al año, una buena parte de los cuales serán estudiantes.

La institución será dirigida por Laura Esparza, una residente de San Antonio con experiencia en el manejo de centros culturales, tras haber ayudado a establecer la Plaza de la Herencia Mexicana en San José, California.

El Museo Alameda vendrá reafirmar a San Antonio, como una de las ciudades más hispanas de Estados Unidos.

Sent by Orlando Lozano


Family of Fr. Pedro Contreras, Director of the American Hispanic School
Azis Askari and wife Emma (brother-in-law  & sister), Patrick Askari (nephew), Margarita (sister), 
Elsa (wife), Fr. Contreras, sons, Miguel and Julian

Photo taken by Viola Sadler 
Long Beach Performing Arts Center, 2/28/07

Headquarters: 13552 Golden West St.
Westminster, CA 92683

A.H.S. is a charter school for adults who have not completed high school, but have gone as far as 8th grade.  I visited the main site and spoke in length with Fr. Contreras.  He shared data that the level of education achieved is closely related to the level of education attained by the mother, not the father. About 2000 students have graduated from the American Hispanic School, 90% are women between the ages of 40-45.  It appears that 80-85% were of Mexican heritage. 

I attended a graduation ceremony of a small graduating class of 11 students.  I was very moved by the statements shared by each graduate commenting on what it meant to them to achieve a high school diploma.  Family members, husbands, sisters and brothers, children and grandchildren filled the room.  Many husbands were moved to tears, pride clearly expressed for the accomplishment of their wife. 

Fr. Contreras vision is to focus on adult literacy for the purpose of improving the family itself, which in turn will build better communities.  Spanish and/or English classes are set up for the convenience of the working student, and busy mother.  Three hours of in-class teacher instruction (small-group and one-on-one) is required per week, with most study done at home.  All assignments are completed in handwriting.  The walls of the Westminster facility is lined with student notebooks. 

A.H.S. has recently been approved to offer Advanced Placement classes. Online learning is available.  The structure and delivery of services seems a very successful system.   For more information, go to or contact Fr. Contreras at  714-893-4317/ 800-869-1114


El Diccionario Biográfico Medico Hispanoamerícano


              Warmest congratulations to 
       Dr. Jaime Gómez-González, M.D.

I know that this book has been a labor of love. For many years Dr. Gómez-González expressed the need for such a book, almost  ten years ago.

He  has been tireless in trying to give presence to the earliest of Spanish leadership in the area of  medicine. 

It took of four years of  intensive study and international networking to gather the biographical information of 3,300 Hispanic physicians included in the Diccionario. The book is 1,000 pages and include indexes and references.

More information:
To contact Dr. Gómez-González:

Información sobre el DBMH..

    Por iniciativa del Dr. Jaime Gómez-González, MD, en 2001 se constituyeron grupos de trabajo y de investigación en todos los países de nuestra América Hispana, con la finalidad de preparar el primer Diccionario Biográfico Médico Hispanoamericano, sistematizando la presentación de cada biografía, de acuerdo con las directivas proporcionadas y sugerencias recibidas.

    Luego de cuatro años intensos de labor, se ha logrado recopilar más de 3.300 biografías de profesionales de la salud, correspondientes a médicos nacionales y de otros países, que han tenido destacada o importante participación en el campo de la salud, de la asistencia sanitaria, de la docencia, de la investigación, estudio y análisis de los temas socio sanitarios de nuestra América.

    El Diccionario presenta en forma sistemática y organizada la relación de biografías por países, siguiendo el orden alfabético; reproduce los textos enviados por los colaboradores e instituciones pertinentes de cada uno de los  países intervinientes; la labor del  Comité de Dirección presidido por el Dr. Jaime Gómez-González ha permitido sistematizar y ordenar el conjunto de biografías por cada país, ajustando la redacción de forma únicamente, sin  afectar en grado alguno el contenido intrínseco desarrollado por cada autor, cuyos créditos se reconocen en el apartado correspondiente.

    El Comité de Dirección desea expresar a todos los autores, colaboradores, consultores, amigos  así como a las instituciones académicas, científicas, docentes, profesionales y culturales de toda América Hispana por la  brillante y generosa aportación realizada, al proporcionar las reseñas biográficas de los más destacados profesionales de la salud de nuestros países, para integrar este primer Diccionario Biográfico Médico Hispanoamericano.

  En la misma forma, se quiere expresar profunda gratitud a todos los autores y colaboradores, por ceder expresamente los derechos que les corresponderían, dedicándolos a crear un fondo de fideicomiso en la Asociación Latinoamericana de Academias Nacionales de Medicina, ALANAM,  que concederá premios anuales a los mejores trabajos de estudio e investigación de Historia de la Medicina de nuestra América.

  Por consiguiente dirige la presente edición del Diccionario, el sentido social y humanista de su Comité de Dirección, en común acuerdo con todos los autores y coparticipantes de esta importante obra, que por primera vez se edita en nuestra América, y que constituye un verdadero aporte al desarrollo, al estudio, a la investigación y al mejor conocimiento de la realidad médica histórica y social de nuestros países.

  Agradecemos su gentil colaboración por la adquisición de este primer Diccionario Biográfico Médico Hispanoamericano, y en especial por la valiosa contribución que representa para el estudio, la investigación y la divulgación de la Historia de la Medicina de nuestros pueblos americanos.  

Editado y publicado con la gentil cooperación y apoyo de la Academia Nacional de Medicina de Venezuela. Impreso por ATEPROCA, Caracas, Venezuela. 

Pedidos a: Editorial Ateproca
Av. La Salle, Edf. Pancho,Piso 1, Ofic. 8, Los Caobos,
Caracas, 1050, Venezuela.
Teléfono: (212)793-5103
Fax: (212) 7811737
Celular: (0416) 938.4594.


The Millennium Momentum Foundation, Inc. will be awarding academic scholarships in the amount of $2,000.00 each for the 2007-2008 academic school year to ethnic minority undergraduate and graduate students pursuing careers in public administration, public 
policy, or other public service related fields (i.e. political science, public affairs, etc.). 

Please note that the DEADLINE for scholarship application submittal is Monday, May 21, 2007 at 5:00pm! 

Interested students can access the Millennium Momentum Foundation, Inc. website at Once on the website, interested students should access the PROGRAMS section of the website, whereby they can then proceed to choose the BEST & THE BRIGHTEST SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM details therein. When clicking on the hyperlink to "Eligibility & Criteria", they will then be allowed to access and print the 2007-2008 scholarship application (PDF format) therein. 

Please assist by disseminating this information to students, interns and/or working professionals in your personal networks, among appropriate collegiate campus contacts, community organizations, and public service agencies that may be interested in this opportunity. Please remind them of the approaching deadline! Please contact me to 
confirm receipt of this correspondence. Also, if anyone should have any questions, they can contact me, Felicia DeRouen, Student Services Coordinator, at Millennium Momentum Foundation, Inc. at (323) 939-9549, or by email at

Thank You, Felicia DeRouen
Student Services Coordinator
Millennium Momentum Foundation, Inc.
(323) 939-9549
(323) 939-5345

Millennium Momentum Foundation, Inc., a notable 501(c)3 nonprofit public benefit corporation, was created with the mission to increase the number of students and young professionals from various ethnic backgrounds in the fields of public policy, public administration, and other public service related fields. The organization has become 
Southern California's leading effort to educate and professionally develop the next generation of leadership in public service. 

Sent by Ricardo Valverde

Helping the undocumented afford college

A campus organization raises and distributes funds for students who don't qualify for financial aid available to legal residents.

By Tami Abdollah, Times Staff Writer, April 17, 2007
Sent by Ricardo Valverde

For Francisco Alvarado, a 22-year-old undocumented immigrant enrolled at Cal State Dominguez Hills, a college education would be impossible without some financial assistance.

In his two years at the school, Alvarado has received about $4,000 from the student organization Espiritu de Nuestro Futuro, which raises scholarship money for undocumented students. "That's why I came to the United States, with the purpose to go to college, to receive higher education, to make my dreams come true," said Alvarado, vice president of Espiritu. "I came for the opportunities."

Previously, Espiritu raised money through bake sales and other small fundraising efforts. Since it formed five years ago the group has raised and distributed at least $30,000 to about a dozen students, members said.

But on Friday it will sponsor its most ambitious fundraiser: a banquet dinner hosted by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nuñez (D-Los Angeles) and Assemblyman Hector De La Torre (D-South Gate), with the hopes of raising at least $10,000.

"We have a principle in the United States that the sins of the father should not be visited on the child," De La Torre said of the campaign. "And these young people didn't do anything. They did not choose, when they were in kindergarten, fifth or ninth grade, to come to the United States. Somebody, an adult, brought them here."

Although Alvarado said his parents did not bring him to the U.S., they told him at age 15 that he had to come here to join his brother, giving him little choice in the matter.

Others said they came here with their parents.

Espiritu is one of several groups that have formed in recent years to provide financial assistance to undocumented students and others who qualify for admission to California's public university and college system. At Cal State L.A., the Erika J. Glazer Family Scholarship Fund, financed with a $1-million endowment, was specifically established in 2005 to assist these types of students.

In 2001, the state Legislature passed AB 540, which granted undocumented students and California natives who live elsewhere the right to pay in-state tuition fees if they met certain requirements. These included attending three years of high school in California, graduating from a California school and, in the case of the undocumented student, filing an affidavit with the university promising to promptly apply for residency.

"The problem is they can get in, but they don't have financial aid, and we know that fees in the Cal State system have almost doubled over the last five years," Steve Teixeira, director of the student support program at Cal State L.A., said of undocumented students.

But anti-illegal immigration groups said the law is unfair to others, especially those students here legally who must pay higher out-of-state tuition fees, which can run as much as $900 more per class in the Cal State system.

"Nobody wants to hurt the kids, but when you come down to it … there are only a finite number of seats available," said Ira Mehlman, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which seeks tighter border controls. "When you start admitting illegal immigrants, you are essentially denying somebody else's child the opportunity to attend the school."

In December 2005, a group of out-of-state students and parents filed a class-action lawsuit against California's public university and community college systems, alleging they were illegally charged higher fees than undocumented immigrants.

In October, a Yolo County Superior Court judge ruled that AB 540 did not violate federal law because it was based on high school attendance, not on residence. The ruling has been appealed.

Meanwhile, state Sen. Gil Cedillo (D-Los Angeles) introduced the California Dream Act, or SB 160, last year that would allow AB 540 students to apply and compete for financial aid at state public colleges and universities.

The bill passed both houses but was vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. "While I do not believe that undocumented children should be penalized for the acts of their parents," Schwarzenegger wrote in a note to the state Senate, "this bill would penalize students here legally by reducing the financial aid they rely on to allow them to go to college and pursue their dreams."

Cedillo reintroduced his bill this year.

Alvarado, who came to the U.S. from Mexico City at 15, lives in South-Central Los Angeles with his brother. As a senior in high school, he heard a presentation from a member of Espiritu on AB 540 students. When he got into Dominguez Hills, he joined the club.

Carolina Couto, 24, said she came from Mexico City more than a decade ago to join her mother, who was living in Los Angeles. Couto said her parents were divorced and that her father thought her move was best for the family. "Everything got arranged by my mom," she said. "I don't know many of the other details because I was 10 or 11, I just know I got here."

Now a senior at Dominguez Hills, Couto is majoring in psychology with a minor in philosophy. She is also one of Espiritu's founding members who helped start the fundraising efforts.

"One of our members was about to drop out of school because she didn't have any money, and so it was like, 'What can we do?' " Couto said. "So we started raising money."

The exact number of AB 540 students in California schools is unknown because of confidentiality rules. The Cal State system keeps no records but once attempted to count students through anecdotal means and "realized that it was in the hundreds for the whole CSU system," which has about 417,000 students, said Clara Potes-Fellow, a university spokeswoman. It's unclear how many of these are undocumented, she said.

The UC system estimates that AB 540 students made up roughly 1,400 of its more than 209,000 students last year. Of those, 390 are potentially undocumented.

In the California Community Colleges system, they account for about 15,000 to 20,000 of the 2.5 million students. "Up to 90% may be undocumented," said Linda Michalowski, vice chancellor of student services.

Mehlman contends that the undocumented students should return to their home countries, apply to return as foreign students and pay out-of-state tuition. "Somebody who's played by the rules, applied and gotten a visa, that person pays full freight," he said. "It is unfortunate if the children end up in this difficult situation, but it's the parents who put them there."

Meanwhile, Alvarado said he is planning to go forward with his plans to apply to law school.

"It doesn't matter if I'm not going to be able to practice, I'm still going to go," he said. "That's my dream — that's something that I really want to make a reality — and that's my family's dream."


 Vice Chancellor for University Advancement of The California State University

Caldera, 46, is Vice Chancellor for University Advancement of The California State University System. The CSU system is the largest four-year university system in the country, with headquarters in Long Beach and 23 campuses across the state. As Vice Chancellor, his portfolio includes system-wide fundraising and development programs, legislative affairs, community relations, alumni affairs, public affairs and communications. He also serves as President of the CSU Foundation.

Before arriving at the CSU, Caldera held two appointed posts in the Clinton administration. As Secretary of the Army from 1998 to 2001, Caldera, together with the Army's Chief of Staff, General Eric K. Shinseki, announced and set into motion a new vision for a more versatile and highly deployable force. During his tenure, Caldera also successfully led a reversal of recruiting shortfalls and initiated a range of highly  popular educational programs for soldiers and potential recruits. As Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of the Corporation for National and Community Service from 1997 to 1998, Caldera ran the federal grant-making agency that supports the volunteer service programs AmeriCorps, the National Senior Service Corps and Learn and Serve America.

Elected to three terms in the California State Assembly, Caldera represented the 46th District, located in and around downtown Los Angeles, from 1992 to 1997. During his tenure, Caldera chaired several business and finance committees, and was an active proponent of measures to improve the lives of children, particularly in the areas of education, foster care, and health and safety. Prior to his election to the Assembly, he worked as a Deputy County Counsel for the County of Los Angeles and as an attorney in private practice, including at the law firm of O'Melveny & Myers.

Caldera has served on numerous boards and commissions, including the National Commission on the Senior Year in High School, the Ad Council's Community Affairs Advisory Committee and the Panama Canal Commission. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Recent honors include the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Award and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Chairman's Award.

Caldera holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy, an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a Juris Doctor from Harvard Law School. He is married to Eva Orlebeke Caldera and has three daughters, Allegra, Sophia and Camille.

Source of information: The University of New Mexico Public Affairs Department
Sent by Rafael Ojeda


Grijalva: No Child law hurts English learners
By Josh Brodesky
Tucson, Arizona | Published: 04.15.2007

U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva said Saturday the No Child Left Behind educational law must either be dropped or drastically retooled if it is to serve, and not fail, Arizona students, particularly English-language learners.

"It's become punitive as opposed to what the intent was," said Grijalva, who sits on the House subcommittee that will rewrite the act, giving him considerable pull in how it will fare in the House.

The 2001 law, which is up for reauthorization, requires states to meet federal achievement standards in order to receive federal funding.

Grijalva led a community hearing Saturday on No Child Left Behind at Roskruge Bilingual Middle Magnet and Elementary School. The hearing came two days after the Star reported that 23 Arizona school districts, including Tucson Unified and Sunnyside, have failed to meet those standards for two years in a row.

What will happen to those districts is unclear, but they will have to undergo some form of corrective action such as the withholding of federal funds, replacing employees or removing schools from districts, among other possibilities.

Grijalva has also held roundtables on the law in Nogales and Yuma to gain public feedback.

Saturday's hearing drew about 300 people, mostly educators, who packed the small auditorium at the Downtown middle school. Most speakers raised concerns about the assessment and testing of English-language learners, who have higher failure and dropout rates than native English speakers.

"We let these kids fail," said attorney Tim Hogan, who has for years represented families of ELL students in an ongoing lawsuit for more state funding for their instruction.

Hogan said those students make up about 15 percent of the state's student population. So, a district that has a higher percentage of the students is more likely not to meet federal standards.

To effectively bring an ELL student to English proficiency, it would cost about $1,600 per student, he said.

"The failure with English learners has to be dealt with," Grijalva said.

Andrew Morrill, vice president of the Arizona Education Association and an English teacher, said he has concerns that the criteria for becoming a teacher is becoming diluted by No Child Left Behind's definition of highly qualified teachers.

Essentially, he said, No Child allows anyone with a college degree to meet that definition without having to go through a traditional certification program.
"We are raising the stakes for student achievement every year, and we are lowering the standards for teachers," he said. 

And Jay Stanforth, who teaches third and fourth grades at J. Robert Hendricks Elementary School, said No Child restricts the curriculum he can offer, limiting the tools available to foster learning. 

"Under NCLB we have so many standards we are forced to cover," he said.

Stanforth, who has received numerous awards for his teaching, often referred to teaching as his art. And while he said he was upset about how No Child has narrowed the curriculum, he said it has brought a certain level of standards that he supports. He would just like to see more local control over content.  

"Rather than a federal law pressuring us that we have to follow, they need to support us in preparing our art as we been trained to do," he said.  To Contact reporter Josh Brodesky at 807-7789 or

Sent by Dr. Carlos Munoz, Jr.  Professor Emeritus
Department of Ethnic Studies
510-642-9134  FAX 510-642-6456


National Council of La Raza Position on No Child Left Behind Law

Properly supported and implemented, NCLB encompasses high expectations for Latinos and ELLs, the appropriate use of assessments to measure and improve their levels of achievement, increased accountability and resources for school systems serving ELLs, and a greater role for the community in ensuring that these components are in place. However, important questions of policy and practice remain which must be answered to fulfill the promise of NCLB for ELLs and Latinos.  NCLR intends to work with policy-makers, researchers, administrators, teachers, and parents to provide the public schools with the tools to effectively implement NCLB.

For more information regarding NCLR’s position on NCLB, please refer to “The National Council of La Raza’s Position on the No Child Left Behind Act and English Language Learners.”


Flat Stanley visits the Health Care Agency in Santa Ana, California

Stanley paid us a visit a in April of 2003. Alicia Armstrong (MSW) gave Stanley a tour of The Health Care Agency here in Santa Ana, California. Stanley was just thrilled to meet all the hard working employees that keep us healthy. Stanley 
left Santa Ana on his way to Arizona. 
1725 W. 17th St.
Santa Ana, CA  92706

Sent by: Ricardo J. Valverde,                             Flat Stanley is standing on letter E
Senior Social Worker
Adolescent Family Life Program
County of Orange, Health Care Agency


Latino Education: Parent Involvement
By Manuel Hernandez-Carmona copyright 2007

Part I
Latino education in the United States is a concern for all those involved in the educational community. One of the hardest experiences for Latinos has been getting parents involved in their children's education. Because of financial need, recently arrived immigrants tend to work overtime and into late evening hours; the great majority of first generation and foreign born Latino kids in the United States find themselves without the support ever so needed and useful to assist on daily assignments from school. There are other issues of course, but it is not an easy task to learn a new language and assimilate a new educational system without the support of a parent at home. For hundreds of thousands of Latino families that migrate to the United States, there are other values that do not necessarily substitute education but undermine its importance. There is a lot of talk about the potential of Latinos in America. But much of the success of those today is intrinsically related to the support of a father, mother or an adult who inspired, encouraged, helped, supported and motivated them to get an education.

Research and studies have supported the fact that Latinos are culturally unique and distinct from all other American immigrants. Because they hold on strongly to their cutural roots, they have the tendency to ignore that education in America must be assimilated at all costs and sacrifices if that potential is going to be developed fully. According to a recent study stated by Marisa Treviño, "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." We Latino parents must find ways to reach out to contemporaries and get the message out at all fronts. The only way Latino kids will develop the academic skills needed to succeed in high school and beyond is with parent involvement.

What are the possible causes of lack of parental involvement? About 40 percent of the Latino children in the United States are below the poverty level. Less financial resources mean fewer opportunities for quality education. That is why a great minority of Latino parents have two and even three jobs. Latino children from low-income families are always more expensive to educate as they do not always show up at school ready to learn. Poor children more often than not attend under-funded schools. The Education Trust released a report in August 2002 documenting large funding gaps between high- and low-poverty and -minority districts in many states. The report reveals that in 31 of 47 states they studied, districts enrolling the highest of minority students receive substantially fewer (i.e. a difference of $100 or more per student) state and local education dollars per student than districts enrolling the lowest percentages of minority students. The same gap occurred in 30 of the 47 states studied for districts educating the greatest number of poor students. These gaps have real and troublesome consequences for the quality of education low-income and minority children receive. Students coming from below poverty line incomes have fewer opportunities to receive extra-curricular support for standardized testing preparation, culturally-based textbooks and tutoring. As a consequence, many Latino young adults find themselves working a part-time and even a full-time job during their high school years to help sustain their meager family income.

Many of us found forces within even when there was no role-model or support at home, but this is a society that strives on teamwork. That element is born at home. No wonder the Latino community in cities across America confronts so many obstacles when "unifying" its people is essential! We Latinos have been lured by "pretty faces and exotic bodies" displayed in the media and have forgotten to tackle the issues that really matter. Parental involvement opportunities programs such as Local Family Information Centers would help parents of English language learners make informed decisions about their children's education, such as which program of study is best for helping them learn English and academic course work. The potential for success of Latinos in the United States is unlimited. It is only a matter of one or two national electoral campaigns before we have a Latino candidate en route to the White House. Let us speak out today and pull resources now to get Latino parents in school and on track with their children's education. The success tomorrow of the present and future generations will depend on how much and how many of we Latino parents get involved in our children's education.

Part II
Parental involvement is not only a concern, but federal and state educational requirements have made it an essential element in education today. Because states are taking a much more involved role in education, parental involvement has become a major factor and a key to Latino/American education. Educational programs in cities across the United States have stopped undermining its influence and are finding ways to get parents more active in school and supportive of their children's education.

Different forms of school participation in education are being promoted today to effectively pinpoint the area of academic need in a child's educational development. American Latino parents may be busy with a full-time and one or two part-time jobs but without a doubt can support their children's schooling by attending plays, extra-curricular activities or other school functions and responding to school obligations. If they cannot become more involved by helping in their children's assignments, schools are providing intensive one on one tutoring programs after school which may be resourceful. These are not new ideas. But parental involvement is a partner in a child's educational resources that must be established as a priority by all the participants in the educational arena.

Studies support that parent involvement in children's learning is positively connected to academic achievement. In addition, research shows that the more actively parents are involved in their children's education, the more positive are the results. Further research demonstrates that there are strong findings that the most effective forms of parent involvement are those which place parents in working directly with their children on educational activities in the home. We American Latino parents have no excuses and in due time will be held accountable by our children's academic downfall or success.

How can Latino children compete in a new global-tech academic world without the support of an adult from the household? It's simply impossible. How can our children be part of an academic society when they feel a lack of parental involvement in schools? How will we as leaders of our children see it that they receive a better education? We must participate, assist and get involved in our children's education. There are no options here. It's a must! There will be more educational reforms tomorrow, but our involvement in education can only be improved by ourselves today. It's not a matter of time but a matter of priority.

(The author is a proud parent of a senior in high school and works as a high school English teacher in the same school his first born will be graduating from with honors this up and coming May of 2007. He is also the author-editor of the textbook, Latino/a Literature in The English Classroom)

Manuel Hernandez, a contributing columnist to, lives in Puerto Rico where he teaches school. He has a B.A. and MA Teaching English. He is candidate for a PhD. He has just published a textbook titled, Latino/a Literature in The English Classroom (Editorial Plaza Mayor, 2003). 
For school orders, go to
Essay collection: or 

Information, 787-764-0455 For a complete bibliography,
Write:  HC-O1, Box 8552, Luquillo, Puerto Rico 00773

Bilingual Education

Mendez v Westminster 60th Anniversary
Stamp honors desegregation for Latinos in School
Los Angeles Times, April 15, 2007

By H.G. Reza, Times Staff Writer
Sent by Dorinda Moreno,
and Teresa. Kentara

A first-class celebration for desegregation. Children whose parents' suit enabled Latinos to be integrated into public schools attend the commemorative issue's unveiling in Orange.

The historic case that desegregated Orange County public schools 60 years ago has been commemorated with a postage stamp unveiled Saturday, April 14th at Chapman University 
in a ceremony honoring five Mexican American men who sued for the right to send their children to school with other American kids. [Gonzalo Mendez, William Guzman, Frank Palomino, Thomas Estrada, Lorenzo Ramirez]

The 41-cent stamp recognizing Mendez vs. Westminster School District features two brown-skinned children, a boy and a girl, reading a book with stars in the background symbolizing the unlimited horizons accessible through education. The inscription reads: "Toward equality in our schools."

The stamp was displayed at Chapman University in Orange at a ceremony attended by about 400 people, including members of three families involved in the suit.

"Nothing was ever explained to us about our role in history," said Jose Ramirez, 69, a retired landscaper from Grand Terrace whose father, Lorenzo, was one of the plaintiffs. The others were William Guzman, Frank Palomino, Thomas Estrada and Gonzalo Mendez, for whom the case is named.  "Nobody ever spoke about it," Jose Ramirez said.

Mendez' three children attended a segregated school in Westminster, while the other four had children attending schools in the Santa Ana, Garden Grove and the old El Modena districts.

All four districts were named in the class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of 5,000 Latino children in Orange County. The 1946 ruling by Los Angeles U.S. District Court Judge Paul J. McCormick desegregating the schools affected only Latino children, but it led to the statewide dismantling of school segregation laws applying to other ethnic groups.

Civil rights groups were prepared to make the Orange County case a national test case, but school districts chose not to appeal further after the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld McCormick's ruling in 1947.

The U.S. Supreme Court did not rule on the landmark Brown vs. Board of Education case until seven years later, in 1954.

Testimony in the Mendez case revealed the discriminatory views held by some local educators. One testified that Latino children had trouble learning English because their "cultural background" did not expose them to Mother Goose rhymes. Another, according to court records, maintained that "Mexicans are inferior in personal hygiene, ability and in their economic outlook."

On Saturday, Ramirez recounted his father's role in the lawsuit that, he said, was as much about overcoming bigotry as about changing the law. Lorenzo Ramirez sued, the son said, so that he and his brothers, Ignacio and Silvino, could attend school with Anglo children in El Modena, which had two elementary schools, one for whites and the other for Latinos.

He said it was only 10 years ago that his family learned of its participation in the case, which his youngest brother, Henry, discovered while researching the role of Latinos in the civil rights movement. "It floored us," Ramirez said. "My dad was a laborer all his life. But you try to get into his shoes and you'll find you can't fill them."

Analysis of Law by Galal Kernahan:

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

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

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

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

Spanish Word of the Day, Saturday, April 28, 2007 

trece, adjective, noun
not to budge, to stick to your guns

Seguir or mantenerse en sus trece is an idiomatic phrase which means to refuse to change your position on something, for example:

Los dos líderes se mantienen en sus trece
The two leaders are refusing to budge

But why does thirteen come into this expression? The explanation goes back a long way. For a short period in the fourteenth century there were two Popes, one based in Rome and the other in Avignon, in the South of France. Pedro de Luna, a Spaniard from a noble family, was elected Clement XIII, based in Avignon. However, he later lost support, but despite attempts to negotiate by the rival Pope, based in Rome, Clement XIII refused to stand down, and was eventually excommunicated. He insisted to the end of his life that he was the only true Pope, hence the expression.

Content By © HarperCollins Publishers Ltd 2006. All rights reserved. 

  John 0. Gonzales, 91
  fought for the rights of Mexican Americans 

By Dennis McLellan,
Times Staff Wrtter, Dec 25, 2006
Sent by Sister Mary Sevilla

John 0. Gonzales, a longtime social-rights activist for Southern California's Mexican American community and founding president of a Los Angeles council of the League of United Latin American Citizens in the early 1940s, 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 Cali-. fornia Latinos in the early to mld-'40s when few dared raise their head above the crowd for fear of violent retribution," Edward Morga, a former national LULAC president, wrote in an e-mail.  He was the first president of a Los Angeles council of the League of United Latin American Citizens.

Gonzales, who helped organize the formation of new LULAC councils up arid down the state in the 1940s, was the organization's vice president general when LULAC members in Orange County helped organize a class-action lawsuit against four Orange County school districts that were forcing Mexican children to attend schools separate from white students.

The landmark: case - Mendez et al. vs. Westminster School District of Orange County et al. — 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 In December 1946 that helped bring national attention to the case, which was then un--der appeal-toJJte ILELjBth Or-, cuit Court of Appeals. ,

In his article, headlined "Calling All LULACs," Gonzales wrote passionately 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."

.In rallying members of his organization to provide national support for the case, Gonzales wrote: "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."

"He's not the one that was the catalyst [for the case], but he does have a significant role in the development of a rallying call to change the situation of how the education system in Orange County was being handled," Aguirre said.

In 2003, Gonzales received a certificate of special congressional recognition for his work during the Mendez case. A-year later, the 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, where he married his wife, Dolores, in 1935, he worked as a clerk in the county recorder's office, started a newspaper with a friend dealing with political issues in the Latino community and began his involvement with LULAC.

He moved to Los Angeles in 1939 and worked as a welder in a shipyard on Terminal Island. .He did undergraduate work at UCLA 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 on child support cases.

In addition to his daughter Diane, Gonzales is survived by his daughter Anita Femandez, sons John Jr. and Paul, 12 grandchildren and 12 greatgrandchildren. His wife died in 1997.




James Crawford, a Washington journalist, has vividly captured in his book, Hold Your Tongue, the disturbing history and destructive politics behind the English-only movement. He tells the stories of cities and counties in California, Florida, Massachusetts, and other states where activists have tried--and many have succeeded--in getting legislation passed outlawing the use of any language but English.

Begun on a shoestring, in less than a decade U.S. English claimed nearly a half million dues-paying members and was spending $6 million a year to preserve the status of English and to restrict the use of other languages. As a measure of its influence, by 1988 no fewer than forty-eight states had considered English-only legislation, and by 1990 a total of seventeen states had adopted such measures.

According to Crawford, the intensity of this activity is a bigoted response to the growing and changing nature of immigration to the United States.
Sent by Wanda Garcia,

Being bilingual can be a dangerous thing...
by Johnny Silva


Have you ever had a moment in your life when what you said didn’t come out just right? You fumble your words and you try to hold back what you just said but it’s too late? I’ve been there and done that. The thing that makes it even tougher is, in my case anyway, my family members won’t let me forget. They remind you about it for a long time.

In this fast-pace world we live in we find ourselves eating out quite a bit. A lot of times we find ourselves calling it in, driving through and picking it up. Well, it’s those moments when ordering at the drive-through that has gotten me in trouble and I found out a long time ago that being bilingual can be rough at times. Being able to jump from English to Spanish is a beautiful thing but boy words can come out extremely crazy at times.

Take the time we felt like eating corn dogs. We drive up to "Winnie World" and the young attendant walks up and asks me what I’d like to order. Without hesitation my response was, "I’d like six mini Corn Dorgs." "Excuse me?" he says. Well, I’m trying to keep a straight face and it certainly doesn’t help that my wife and son are sitting next to me trying to keep calm but I know that inside they’re busting out laughing. I know this because they turn around and face the other way and their bodies are shaking. But I understand where they’re coming from because stop and ask yourself, "What the heck is a mini Corn Dorg?"

If you don’t want your wife to laugh in your face when you think you’ve come up with a great idea of renting some movies, don’t say, "Let’s go to Bluck Boster and rent some movies." She will not keep a straight face!

When you’re at Sonic ordering a foot long hotdog for her, don’t finish the order by saying cut the tomatoes. Foot long hotdogs don’t come with that type of vegetable on them.

One day we felt like eating ice cream. There used to be an old Dairy Queen on 13th and Chadbourne till it closed down. It reopened under a different name. I don’t remember what it was called. But anyway, I did a doozy there. I start to order some chocolate covered ice cream with creamy whip. Whatever you do, do not pronounce creamy whip – creamy wheep. Your family will start laughing so hard you won’t be able to place your order and you’ll just have to drive away.

My son and I drove up to Grandys one day to pick up some food. After placing my order, the attendant asked me what two sides I would like. Please people, if you don’t want to have your son laugh uncontrollably, please don’t answer, "I’d like some corn beans with green." There is no such thing. There never will be.

If you ever run out of kitchen matches, don’t go to the store and ask the clerk where their "chicken matches" are located, he’ll give you this crazy look and ask you what kind? You’ll have to be quick on your feet and reply, you know kitchen matches.

Oh yeah, by all means don’t go home and tell your family because it’ll be added to the next family conversation of goof ups.

Like I said, being bilingual is a beautiful thing, but it can certainly make you a comedian without you even trying to be one.

I’d like to start of list of some crazy goof-ups. So if you have any you’d like to share, (and I know you do) please feel free to send them my way. Please let me prove to my family that I’m not the only one.

By Johnny Silva
January 05, 2007









 Articulo by Jose A. Cobas 


The growth of the U.S. Latino population is a source of concern for many white Americans, who assert this means the death of the U.S. way of life and the English language. This racialized rhetoric masks an attempt to maintain the preeminence of the language of the dominant group over latinos and thus helps whites to sustain their political-economic domination. Using interviews with 72 middle-class latinos in seven U.S. states, we document five strategies employed by the whites in everyday interaction to discourage latinos’ heritage language use and resistance to such discrimination. Finally, we discuss ideological elements in U.S. culture that hide the racism in these language struggles.



U.S. Latinos have increased steadily and now constitute 13.7 percent of the population (U.S. Bureau of the Census 2004). This steady growth, ‘the browning of America,’ is viewed with alarm by many whites, who often view such immigrants as a threat to ‘American values’ and the U.S. ‘core culture’ (Cornelius 2002).

Language lies within that core, and the dramatic growth of U.S. Latinos is viewed by many whites as a threat to the survivability of English, often termed by them ‘the official language of the country.’ As recently as 1987, most people in one national poll thought that the U.S. Constitution already had made English the official language (Crawford 1992) and thus they saw no real threat. This benign perception has changed. For example, the influential Harvard professor Samuel Huntington (2004), who has served as advisor to government officials, has articulated strong anti-latino sentiments in his stereotyped assessment of U.S. immigration. Like many prominent white officials and executives (Feagin and O' Brien, 2003), Huntington worries greatly that the United States will become aggressively bilingual, with English-speaking and Spanish-speaking sectors incapable of comprehending each other’s languages and values.


When the first English settlers arrived in North America, they saw themselves as bringing ‘civilization’ to the colonies. ‘Civilization’ meant English language and culture. American Indians, viewed as ‘savages,’ constituted the serious barrier to their plans (Fischer 1989). German immigrants represented another obstacle; Benjamin Franklin established a school in Pennsylvania to educate them. Franklin feared these immigrants could ‘Germanize us instead of us Anglifying them’ (Conklin and Lourie 1983, p. 69).

By the mid-nineteenth century the civilized-savage polarity was replaced by a racist Weltanschauung which played up achievements of the ‘Anglo-Saxon race’ against the shortcomings of inferior ‘others.’ A common element in both the English-other and the white-other conceptions was that the dominant group viewed the language of the ‘others’ with suspicion and often sought to eliminate it. In the aftermath of the 1848 Mexican-American War, the eradication of the Spanish language became an important U.S. goal. This objective was pursued in the schools of the Southwest (Gonzalez 1990).

Efforts to squelch the Spanish and other languages persist today. Since 1986 two dozen U.S. states have enacted similar provisions (Navarrette 2005). Many contemporary Spanish speakers feel in their daily lives the pressure to give up their mother tongue in favor of English (Montoya 1998). One might argue that whites’ attempts to limit latinos from using Spanish do not involve negative racial attitudes. Yet, this is a difficult position to sustain in light of many negative stereotypes about Latinos’ language and accents. In whites’ stereotypical accounts, the latino speech is said to reveal low intelligence and untrustworthiness ( Urciuoli 1999; Santa Ana 2002). Interference with latino speech occurs regularly, and the interlocutor is often well educated. Such acts seem to derive from strong emotions in a country which Silverstein (1996, p. 284) characterizes as having a ‘culture of monoglot standardization.’

Pierre Bourdieu (1991) identified as socially significant a group’s linguistic capital (e.g., a prestigious language dialect). The linguistic capital of Parisian French is higher than that of French in the countryside. According to Bourdieu (1979, p. 652 ), when individuals are in the linguistic market, the price of their speech depends on the status of the speaker. The outcome of linguistic exchange is contingent on the speaker’s choice of language, such as in situations of bilingualism, when one of the languages has a lower status. A group can strive for advantage in the linguistic market in order to bring about political and material gains. One way to achieve this end is by promoting the language it commands. Yet, the efforts of a group to achieve linguistic dominance is often met with resistance (Bourdieu, 1991, pp. 95-6). Although some classes, as the members of the bourgeoisie in post-Revolution France, operate from an advantageous position, the linguistic ascendancy of a class is the result of a struggle in the language market that is seldom permanently resolved. Achievement of language dominance does not necessarily mean that other languages disappear. Nonetheless, the dominant language becomes ‘the norm against which the (linguistic) prices of the other modes of expression… are defined’ (Bourdieu 1977, p. 652). Drawing in part on these ideas, we view white efforts to delimit or suppress Spanish as a thrust to protect or enhance the reach and power of English speakers vis-à-vis Spanish speakers.

The mechanisms used by U.S. economic and political elites to establish English ascendancy over Spanish vary, as we will demonstrate. Language subordination of latinos in the United States includes the idea that English is superior to Spanish (Santa Ana 2002). A second method is the denigration of Spanish-accented English. Other foreign accents are not judged in the same harsh terms (Lippi-Green 1997, pp. 238-39): ‘It is crucial to remember that not all foreign accents, but only accent linked to skin that isn’t white, or which signals a third-world homeland, that evokes… negative reactions. There are no documented cases of native speakers of Swedish or Dutch or Gaelic being turned away from jobs because of communicative difficulties, although these adult speakers face the same challenge as native speakers of Spanish.’

Another form of language denigration is ignoring speakers of Spanish even when they have a command of English. They are ignored by some whites as groups of people not worth listening to, as if their knowledge of their mother tongue renders their message meaningless and undeserving of attention (Lippi-Green 1997, p. 201). The process of linguistic denigration of non-whites also includes another component: the expression of skepticism or surprise when people of color evidence command of standard English. It is as if non-whites’ linguistic abilities were so contaminated that when they show their abilities in writing or speaking unaccented English some whites are unprepared to believe what they see (Essed 1991, p. 202).

Oppressed groups typically defend to the best of their ability against efforts to denigrate their languages or erect barriers against their use. Some examples are the Basque, Catalan, Occitan, and Bosnian peoples (Shafir 1995; Siguan 2002; Wood 2005). Cultural groups struggle to keep their language because it is fundamental to social life and expresses the understandings of its associated culture in overt and subtle ways (Fishman 1989, p. 470). Many latinos prefer to use Spanish because it affords them a richer form of communication. Other U.S. racial groups struggle to protect their languages (cf. Horton 1995, p. 211).

Although latinos are disadvantaged in the language market, because of the power of whites, they often resist attempts to squelch their language. When told to stop speaking Spanish on the grounds that Spanish is out of place, latinos often respond by asserting the legitimacy of their mother tongue. At a deeper level, this may be seen as a disagreement in which the white side is trying to disparage latinos’ language and latinos’ efforts to counter that image. In other instances, the latino individual persists against prohibitions that he or she speak Spanish through different means. In a celebrated U.S. court case, Héctor García was employed as a salesperson by Gloor Lumber and Supply, Inc., of Amarillo, Texas. Gloor Lumber allowed its employees to communicate in Spanish on the job only if there were Spanish-speaking customers. García broke company policy by speaking Spanish with latino coworkers. He was fired, sued and lost (Gonzalez 2000). García insisted on his right to speak Spanish.

In this article, we demonstrate a number of different techniques that are perceived by our subjects as attempts by whites to undermine the status of Spanish and Spanish speakers and discourage the language’s everyday use. We also examine forms of latino resistance to this linguistic restriction and oppression.


In this exploratory analysis of linguistic barriers and resistance, we employ new data from 72 in-depth interviews of mostly middle-class latinos carried out in 2003-2005 in numerous states with substantial latino populations.

For this pioneering research (the first of its kind, so far as we can tell), we intentionally chose middle-class respondents for two reasons. First, they are the ones most likely to have substantial contacts with white Americans in their daily rounds, and are thus more likely to encounter racial barriers from whites and to feel the greatest pressures to give up language and cultural heritage. Secondly, they are the ones who are considered, especially by the white-controlled mass media and by middle-class white Americans generally, to be the most successful members of their group – and thus to face little discrimination in what is presented as a nonracist United States. Thus, since social scientist Nathan Glazer’s 1975 book, Affirmative Discrimination, was published, a great many U.S. scholars have argued that there is little or no racial discrimination left in U.S. society and that, in particular, middle-class people of color face no significant racial or ethnic barriers. The first extensive qualitative fieldwork on the life experiences of contemporary African Americans--conducted in the late 1980s and early 1990s--took this approach, and in this research project we have followed much of the rationale and research guidelines for that prize-winning research (Essed 1991; Feagin and Sikes 1994; Feagin, Vera, and Imani 1996).

In this innovative research we intentionally focus on those latinos generally considered middle class and economically successful, such as teachers, small business owners, office workers, and mid-level government administrators. More than 90 percent of the respondents have at least some college work, and 58 percent have completed at least a college degree. A small minority hold clerical or manual jobs. Using the qualitative methods of researchers studying everyday racial experiences (Essed 1991; Feagin and Sikes 1994), we used a carefully crafted snowball sampling design and used more than two dozen different starting points in seven states to insure diversity in the sample. Initial respondents were referred by colleagues across the country. As we proceeded, participants suggested others for interviews. Few respondents are part of the same networks as others in the sample.

The respondents are mainly from the key latino states of Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York and Texas. Sixty percent of our respondents are Mexican-American; 18 percent are Cuban-American; 13 percent are Puerto Rican; and the remaining 9 percent are other from Latin American countries. This distribution is roughly similar to that of the U.S. latino population. Sixty-four percent of the respondents are women, and 36 percent are men.


We examine relationships between whites, the most powerful U.S. racial group, and latinos, a group that whites usually define racially as "not white" (Feagin and Dirks 2006). One reason for this focus is their central importance for the position of latinos in U.S. society. Another is that there are very few accounts in our latino interviews of other Americans of color attempting to discriminate latino respondents on language grounds. One reason for this, we venture, is that non-latino people of color are usually not in position to complain loudly about Spanish language even if they wished to, because they do have significant power in U.S. institutions.

As we observe below, even those whites not in the middle class, as much recent research has demonstrated (see Feagin and Sikes 1994), feel great power as whites to assert the privileges of whiteness versus people of color. As we will observe constantly in our accounts, Anglo whites in the upper middle, middle, and working classes feel powerful over middle-class latinos. In most accounts, the whites discriminators are of equal or higher socioeconomic status than those latinos targeted for discrimination.

The common goal in the language control methods of whites is to disparage the language of latinos. The methods follow a variety of strategies. Some are aimed at latinos’ use of English: asking participants to stop speaking Spanish, because ‘English’ is the language of the land or because the white interlocutors want to know ‘what’s going on,’ and ignoring latinos who speak Spanish. Other forms of control are deriding latinos’ accents, raising questions about their proficiency in English when Latinos demonstrate skill. Whites define latino speech as tainted in two senses. First, when latinos speak Spanish they are using a language that ‘does not belong’ in the United States and may be saying things behind whites’ backs. Second, when they speak English, their accent is inferior and does not belong. Whites see themselves as the authorities to adjudicate language use. Attempts to control latinos’ language or disparage it often provoke responses from the latinos involved in the interaction or witnessing it. The discussion that follows is organized around the different types of language control and denigration stratagems.

Silencing Spanish Speakers

One language control strategy is ‘silencing.’ It is the stratagem most frequently mentioned by the respondents. Silencing is straightforward: It consists of a command from members of the white group to latinos to stop speaking Spanish. It carries the supposition that whites can interfere in Spanish conversations of latinos to stop them from speaking Spanish. The command is usually based on the explicit or implied assumption by the interlocutor that, ‘We only speak English in America.’

A Cuban-American attorney remembers this story from her childhood a few decades back. It shows a classic case of silencing: 

We were in (a supermarket)…. It was during the Mariel Boatlift situation … there was a whole bunch of negative media out towards Cubans ‘cause … many of the people that were coming over were ex-cons or what-not… And so my mother was speaking to us in Spanish … and this (white) woman passed by my mother and said… ‘Speak English, you stupid Cuban!’ .… And then my mother turned around, and purposefully, in broken English, because she speaks pretty good English… said, ‘I beg your pardon?’… (The woman) repeated the statement.

The Cuban interlocutor’s response is quite assertive:

And my mother… asked her if she was a native American Indian. And when the lady responded ‘No… I’m Polish,’ … my mother responded … ‘Well, you’re a stupid refugee just like me.…’ And, the lady, I don’t know what she said, but my mother said, ‘Do you know why I’m here, in this country?... I’m here (which was not true) because I just came in the …( Mariel Boatlift) and the reason…was because I killed two in Cuba, (and) one more here will make no difference.’ …And so then (the woman) thought my mom was being serious and left there really quickly.

When she asks the white interlocutor, who is likely a middle class shopper, about her Indian ancestry, the respondent reposts by saying in essence that she and her language are as American as the white Polish woman’s.

In the next account, the attempt at silencing is indirect. A white Anglo post office employee, who is likely working class or lower middle class, complains to the postmaster, a latino, that two fellow workers are speaking Spanish on the job, and asks the boss to make them stop. The postmaster refuses to comply:

I had that situation when I was working for the post office. I had two Chicanos that were talking in Spanish. There was an Anglo carrier right in the middle and she approached me and told me that I should keep them from speaking Spanish. I said, ‘You know both of them are Vietnam veterans and I think that they fought for the right to talk any language they want to.’

The postmaster’s response attributes legitimacy to the latino’s speaking any language they choose because they are veterans who fought in Vietnam and are Americans entitled to any language they please.

A latino respondent in a southwestern city was trying to help a Mexican immigrant at a convenience store. Their conversation was in Spanish. As they talked, a white interlocutor interrupted and voiced his displeasure at their use of Spanish, first by the indirect means of complaining about the supposed loudness and then more directly by suggesting the immigrant should leave the country.

(This) farm worker…. is Mexican. I was speaking to him (in Spanish)…. and this (white) individual asked us if I had to speak so loud. ‘Can you guys lower your voice?’... [Were you guys talking out in the street?] ‘No, there is a Circle K right by (work). We were standing right by (the counter)’.... [Did you respond to this man?] ‘I very politely explained to him and he was shocked (at the quality of my English) when I looked at him and I said, pardon me sir, I am speaking to him in Spanish … because he doesn’t speak English.’ His response then was, ‘maybe he should move out’. I said to him … ‘if he moves out, then why don’t you go pick the stuff out in the field?’ [What did he say to that?] ‘He just turned around and walked away.’

The response from someone who may have been a fellow shopper says, in essence, that the Mexican immigrant is performing a useful function in the United States, doing necessary work that the white interlocutor and many other whites apparently are not willing to do. At the very least, the respondent appears to say, he has a right to communicate in his mother tongue.

In the next episode, a successful executive related an incident that happened when he was on vacation with his family and visiting a famous amusement park. He and his wife came to the United States at an early age, and they have an advanced English proficiency. Yet they decided to often speak to their children in Spanish while they were young, so that they would learn the Spanish language. He provided this account:

‘I had a really bad experience at Disneyworld… My son at the time was … three .… He jumped the line and went straight to where there was Pluto or Mickey Mouse or something and I said, (Son’s name), come back,’ in Spanish and … ran after him. And I heard behind me somebody say, ‘It would be a ------- spic that would cut the line.’ Now my wife saw who said it, and I said, ‘Who said that?’ in English and nobody said a word. And I said (to my wife), ‘Point him out, I want to know who said that,’ and she refused. I was like, ‘Who was the ------------ who said that?’ I said, ‘Be brave enough to say it to my face because I’m going to kill you.’ You can see me, I’m 6’3’, 275 (pounds). Nobody volunteered’.…[So nobody stepped up?] ‘No, no and there was a bunch of guys there, and I would have thrown down two or three of them; I wouldn’t have had a problem.’

The executive’s response was clear, to the point, and came from the heart: his child was insulted by (probably middle class) white visitors to this expensive theme park. He was deeply offended for his family. Clearly his strong reaction could have led to further serious consequences, yet he was willing to take this risk by responding aggressively to the ultimate racist slur for latinos.

In these accounts, whites who are attacking or discriminating vary in social status. Sometimes, they are of higher socioeconomic status than our respondents, and at other times they are of equal or lower status. Yet, all whites seem to feel the power to hurl racist commentaries at latinos who are attempting to live out normal lives.

Practices silencing Spanish speakers reveal the asymmetric statuses of the English and Spanish languages. It would be inconceivable for a latino to ask a white Anglo to stop speaking English in any Latino neighborhood. Such reciprocity in action would suggest a language equality that does not exist, and latinos are well aware of this societal situation. We asked a South American respondent the following question, ‘Sometimes … I ask people I interview... have you ever seen a Mexican at a grocery store turn to [white person] and say, ‘Please do not speak English? Have you seen this happen?’ She laughed, ‘No, no!’

Despite attempts at the imposition of barriers, Spanish speaking respondents frequently answer back, softly or aggressively, thereby insisting on their right to use their native language.

Voicing Suspicion: Fears of Spanish-Speaking Americans

In the everyday worlds of latinos, whites' language-suspicion actions differ from language silencing acts in that the latter emanate from a conviction that English is the only acceptable language in the United States. Language-suspicion actions generally involve less confrontation.

Whereas silencing actions derive from a strongly-held notion about what should be the dominant language, suspicion actions likely reveal a notion that Spanish speakers need to be watched, that they are perfidious or sneaky (Urciuoli 1996). Silencing draws from a type of an ethnocentric discourse, one that goes back to 18th century Anglo-American fears of German immigrants and their language (Feagin 1997, p. 18). The suspicion response is rooted in anti-latino stereotypes. There is a common substratum of racialized thinking: When latinos speak Spanish, they are not playing by the ‘right’ rules as envisioned and asserted by whites. White interlocutors assume a right to interfere in a Spanish language interaction to put an end to it or at least alter it.

A major difference between silencing and voicing suspicion is that some of the white interlocutors who object to Spanish on the grounds that they are excluded express, at least on the surface, a desire to be included in the interaction. This inclusion is, however, one that is seen and defined in white terms, for the conversation must be in the white person’s language.

Another respondent provided an example of suspiciousness on the part of a more senior white manager who did not want her workers speaking Spanish:

‘Most of the coworkers and the supervisors or managers are bilingual… but… my manager was only unilingual.… She does not understand … that we were not talking about her…We were talking about our business… and personal stuff, but she doesn’t have to know what we were talking because we don’t need for her to give us her … point of view. If we need for her to talk we are going to ask her in English, not in Spanish…. (She said) ‘I don’t want you speaking Spanish’ and I told her ‘I do not agree with you because this is not right’. [And what did she say?] She said ‘Well, it’s not right; it doesn’t matter’. And I said, ‘Yes, it does matter and you’re not going to stop me from speaking my first language.’

The interviewee’s response is an unequivocal statement about her right to speak her first language. It resonates with the theme so frequently seen in the ripostes given by other respondents: ‘I’m entitled to speak my language.’

A male respondent reported on a situation where he was speaking in Spanish with another latino in a bank, when a white stranger broke into their private conversation:

‘On one occasion we were at a Bank of … branch… We were talking (in Spanish) and all of a sudden this (white) lady comes and asks us (in English) what we were talking about. [What did you reply?] We told her we were talking about our business.

Although we do not know what the white woman in this affluent setting had in mind when she interfered in the conversation, her action suggests the recurring concern of many whites that those not speaking in English may be plotting something contrary to white interests. There is no doubt that she took it for granted that she was entitled to interrupt. The latino’s response is matter-of-fact and seems to convey the notion that in his mind what he and his friend were doing was legitimate.

Another respondent reported that she was hired to work at a store in a U.S. town near the Mexican border so that she could help the numerous Spanish-speaking customers who crossed from Mexico to go to the store. Yet she faced a significant problem when she tried to do her job: she could not speak to customers in Spanish if white customers were present. It seems that the store owners were less concerned with causing difficulties for their Mexican customers than with offending the white ones:

In a store where I worked… I (saw a) lot of discrimination (against) the people that were coming from across the line (frontier) to shop here… If I (spoke) English (to them) they’d feel discriminated because they couldn’t understand me. Or if I spoke Spanish and there was an English patron shopping they’d feel that I was speaking against them or saying something that I should not be saying and I should be speaking (English) … How could I do this when I had English speaking people and Spanish speaking people but the one I was directly addressing was Spanish speaking and a non-English speaking person? Yet I was felt made to feel that I should be speaking English because I was in America.

Even though she was upset at the unreasonable situation in which she was placed, there was little the respondent could do short of quitting her job.

Another respondent, a female manager in a public agency, was also asked if ‘Anglo whites ever object to your speaking Spanish at work?’ She replied:

Yes. They are like, could you please speak English because we don’t understand what you are saying.… Even the supervisor tells us sometimes that we should talk in English because there are some people that don’t know Spanish. But you know what, I feel better speaking Spanish … because that’s my primary language. There is a lady that actually, that’s always complaining…. There are times that … she just feels like left out of the conversation. She’s like, I want to know what’s going on, but there are times that she’s kind of rude, so. [How do you usually respond to her?] I’m like, well, you need to learn Spanish.

The middle class respondent asserted the legitimacy of her Spanish use in a different form by suggesting that those fellow workers, middle class whites here, who wanted to partake in her Spanish-language conversations learn Spanish. Such a request may seem ludicrous only if one believes that English is the only language worth speaking in the United States. Even when languages have is granted official status, individuals are not forbidden to use other tongues in settings like work.

Suspicion of latinos speaking Spanish constitutes another instance of attempts on the part of whites to regulate latinos’ speech. In this instance, the reason given is that whites feel that Latinos are talking about them. The justification for white attempts reveals a view of Spanish speakers as sneaky and untrustworthy and the view that whites should be included in interactions with Latinos on the white’s terms. Despite whites’ objections, the typical Latino responds by asserting his/her right to use their mother tongue.

Doubting English Proficiency of Latinos

Since anti-latino rhetoric places such a heavy emphasis on Latinos’ abandoning their heritage language, one would expect that when Latinos venture into the world of English they would receive encouragement from whites. This is often not the case. There is white obstinacy here: latinos speak Spanish, an inferior language, and thus they are apparently presumed to be tainted by their heritage language when they speak or write English, even when there is evidence to the contrary. In some cases, their English is assumed to be ‘too perfect’ (compare Essed 1991, p. 202).

One example comes from the college experience of a chicana professional. She was born in a mining town in the Southwest, and her English did not have the accent many whites consider undesirable. She reported on an instructor who questioned her integrity:

(A professor) in college refused to believe that I had written an essay… because she assumed that Mexicans don’t write very well and so therefore I couldn’t have written this paper. [Did she tell you that?] Yes she did.… And so she asked that I write it over again…[So what did you do?] I rewrote the assignment and she still didn’t believe that it was my own .… She still refused to believe that it was my handwriting or my writing because she still felt that Mexicans could not express themselves well in English . . .

[Did she use those words?] Yes she did.

This woman explained that she came from a mining town where labor unions had helped Mexicans gain access to schools, so she had good English skills. The well-educated white instructor felt substantial power to impose her views: Mexicans cannot express themselves well in English. We see here an active countering response. The respondent stood up to the instructor but was unable to change her mind. Here again, we observe whites of higher social status or in more powerful positions discriminating against our latino respondents.

Another latina had a different experience. Asked whether whites have ever acted rudely after they heard her Spanish accent, she answered in the negative and discussed ‘left-handed compliments’ she receives:

No. In fact people go out of their way to tell me that I don’t have an accent. [Is that a compliment?]. I think so….[Tell me in more detail].Well you know, they begin to ask me, well where are you from? Am I from Arizona? No I am not from Arizona…. I’m from Texas. And then their comment is that you don’t have an accent. And I’m like what kind of accent are you talking about? I don’t have a Texas accent, the twang. And then I’ll say, no and I don’t have a Spanish accent. I speak both languages. And they are like, well wow, you don’t have an accent. Never fails….

White interlocutors in her immediate environment express surprise at her apparently unaccented English. The astonishment expressed by whites is reflective of stereotypes concerning some latinos’ English proficiency. In such settings, whites assume they have the right to determine which accented dialect of English is prized. English has many dialects, all with distinctive accents, yet most U.S. whites (unlike many European whites) are monolingual and do not view their own prized versions of English as accented.

In the next excerpt, a woman from Latin America relates her experiences with a paper she wrote. She had problems with contractions in English and had her paper checked by a campus facility that helped students. The center’s staff found no mistakes. Nonetheless, the latina’s highly educated white male instructor did not approve of how she used contractions, and even though he did not take off points from her grade, he made some comments to the class about foreign students:

I wrote a paper and I used some contractions and most of the time I have some problems with contractions…. I took my paper to the English writing center and nobody corrected anything. And so when I got my paper back (from the [white] instructor) and all the contractions were corrected and so I didn’t say anything, but I took the paper back (to the writing center) and they explained to me that there was not any specific reason to have changed them… [Did you get a bad grade on the paper?] No, but the teacher made a comment in class about foreign students and that we were in graduate school and we should write free of mistakes…. I said to myself that if I had been an American student using these words he would not have changed it…. It was because there was nothing else to correct on the paper. [He just was looking for something to correct, that’s what you are saying?] Yes.

This respondent did not confront her middle-class instructor directly, but in going back to the writing center, she refused to accept the definition of her abilities that he attempted to impose on her and expressed her anger at the language-linked discrimination (on a similar problem for African Americans, see Essed 1991, p. 232).

Intended or not, whites’ skepticism toward latinos’ demonstrated proficiency in English is part of the denigration of latinos. Although it is not a direct attack on Spanish, it reflects notions of language deficiency among the mass of latinos--based, ironically, on the deviation of latino interlocutors from stereotypical expectations.


Denigrating the Accent

Another method of undervaluing latinos’ English proficiency is by mocking those who have an accent whites consider undesirable. When they speak English, latinos frequently experience a close monitoring by whites, and if some sign of a certain accent is detected, they risk ridicule. In business or government settings white customers sometimes even refuse to deal with latino personnel because their accent is ¨not American.’ Indeed, some latinos feel so self-conscious that speaking English becomes difficult (Hill 1999).

Consider this account from a highly educated latino who went to a computer store. In response to our question, ‘has a white Anglo . . . acted abruptly after he heard your accent?’ he replied:

Oh, that has happened several times. I have had owners of a store imitate my accent. [To your face?] In my face, yeah. I went to buy a printer… I said, I’m here to buy a printer and the owner imitated my accent, back…. [Did you buy the printer?] No, I did not. … I felt that I was growing red in the face… And I said, ‘You know what, just forget it I’ll buy it somewhere else,’ and I turned around and left.

Something as simple as buying a printer turned into a humiliating, in this case from upper middle-class whites. Having the experience of someone powerful imitating his accent was not an isolated instance. Indeed, we see in several respondents' quotes this cumulative reality of discrimination; many forms of discrimination take place on a recurring basis in the lives of latinos. In refusing to purchase, the respondent resisted the discrimination and registered displeasure.

Another middle-class Latino who works at the customer service department of a retail store gave this example:

There was one time that I answered (the telephone) at my work currently, I had this lady, … and she goes, ‘I don’t want to talk to you, you have an accent!’ I was like, ‘you don’t want to talk to me?’ she goes, ‘Yeah, I want to talk to an American.’ I was like ‘ok. We’ll I’m sorry you’re gonna have to redial to speak to someone that you want.’ She goes, ‘well go ahead and transfer me over.’ I was like, ‘I’m sorry, I’m not going to be able to transfer you over. I have to take the call. I’m here to help you if you need anything.’ She goes, ‘well I don’t understand you. And I just kept going, well I there’s anything I can do for you, I’m here.’ So she finally gave me her number and we went over the account and at the end she goes, ‘I’m really sorry that I was too rude to you at the beginning.’

The white caller assumed that the individual answering the telephone could not be ‘an American’ because she had a Spanish accent and went on to say that she wanted to deal with ‘an American,’ suggesting that the Latina could not offer the same level of service. The Latina insisted that she was able to help and the white shopper at the end gave the service representative a chance to help her.

A South American doctor, who works as a medical assistant while she attempts to validate her medical credentials in the United States, told us about her problems when dealing with patients. One in particular was very rude:

There is a white female patient who has not come out and said it,

but lets me know that my accent bothers her…. I called another patient, an elderly woman who was a little ways from me, and she did not hear me. The first patient, in a rather aggressive way, said to me, ‘Who is going to understand you with that accent of yours?’ [What did you say?] I called the elderly patient again …. [Do you prefer to remain quiet?] I don’t like to get in trouble over things that don’t matter that much.

This white patient took it upon herself to intervene where it did not concern her and used the opportunity to make a scornful comment, which served no purpose other than to demean the doctor’s accent. Note again the repertoire of responses. Here the Latina did not respond aggressively, but dismissed the patient’s behavior and kept her professional demeanor.

For another woman, her accent was a cause of discomfort while dealing with white clerks. She replied to the question, has ‘a white Anglo store clerk acted abruptly after he heard your accent?’ this way:

All the time.... They tend to say, ‘What?’ And in a rude way.... Always it is this ‘What?’ .… Yes, it is never ‘Oh, I am sorry I couldn’t hear you’…. They are gesticulating… this non-verbal behavior that is telling you … ‘who are you’ or ‘I can’t understand you’ or ‘Why are you even here?’ … you get all these messages… (they are all) very negative.

This respondent’s accent evoked unwelcoming behavior from whites who may have been of lower social status than the respondent. In many instances, as we have seen the whites who discriminate are of equal or higher status than the respondents. In other settings, there are of lower status, yet most whites in either status seem to feel the power to discriminate in this fashion. The respondent clearly felt that the legitimacy of her status in the country was being questioned. We see here the way in which language attacks can literally crash into a person's everyday life when least expected.

Language mocking can affect a person’s emotions, as the next account illustrates. The perpetrator of an attack was a dear friend who evidently thought she was just joking:

[Anybody ever approach you about your accent?] ‘Yeah, all the time, all the time….I had a very… bad experience with somebody love very much. I was in…in nursing school and I had this friend and we’re very, very close. I mean we went through the nursing school together and we were great friends and I adored my friend, but she would always make fun of my accent. Because there’s still a lot of words, I still can’t say some words, a few words. She would always make fun of either the way the word sounded or whatever and I would never say anything because that’s the type of person I am. I just take everything in and I don’t verbalize my feelings most of the time. But that’s me. So when we were graduating from the program I wrote her a letter and I told her that I loved her very much and I wanted to continue to be her friend, but that if my accent bothered her that much that it was ok with me not to be friends anymore. And that I felt very uncomfortable with the way she criticized me with my accent’. [She was a non-latino?]…. ‘She was Italian.’

The latina’s educated Italian American friend evidently did not know the pain her mocking was inflicting. Our respondent endured the pain as long as she could, but eventually decided that if taking the mocking was the price of the friendship, she could dispense with it. She was gentle, but stood up for herself.

In her interview a Mexican American with a master’s degree sounded apologetic about being U.S.-born yet possibly having an ‘accent.’ She noted that some white middle-class co-workers had been supportive, but others had made fun of her:

English is my first language, so I really don’t know if I have an accent, but there are sometimes where some words come out different and that does get recognized by some people that I work with. And I don’t think it’s an intentional making fun of (it), but it’s noticeable and you know they kind of make a slight joke off of it. But I’d have to say I work around both types of people, (some) that have been really supportive despite some other people which you know they really look at you as not knowing as much (as whites).

Self-consciousness about a certain Spanish-linked accent is common among latinos (Urciuoli 1996), including those who are U.S.-born. In a related vain, Bourdieu (1991, p. 77) discusses the ‘self-censorship’ experienced by speakers who anticipate a low price for their speech in the linguistic market. This causes a certain demeanor (tension, embarrassment) which reinforces the market’s verdict.

The denigration of Spanish and Spanish accents, whether in joking or more serious commentaries, is generally insidious and thus part of the social ‘woodwork’ in the United States. In contrast, whites rarely denigrate the many accents of fellow white English speakers in such routine and caustic ways.

Most of our respondents resist through an array of strategies. At work sometimes they refuse to go along with demands that they not speak Spanish. There are other instances, such as when they work with the public, when the targets of mocking are in no position to resist. In other circumstances, as when they are customers in a store, they can express their displeasure at the way they are being treated, such as by discontinuing their shopping.

Ignoring Spanish Speakers

Many latinos report that whites dismiss them as not being worthy of attention after hearing them speaking Spanish. Unlike silencing, deriding Spanish accents , or voicing suspicion, ignoring Spanish speakers is a passive form of expressing disapproval toward the use of Spanish.

The case reported by the following interviewee occurred at a high-end resort in Arizona. She and her family went for drinks:

[In the last five years have you been mistreated in restaurants by whites because of your race, ethnicity, speaking Spanish or accent?] Yeah, we went to (resort restaurant) and we tried to order some drinks, but the lady kept passing and passing and said that she would come, but never came to ask what we want to drink I think because she heard us speaking Spanish….[And was the server, the person white?] She was white and we told her, we called her and told her if she wasn’t going to take our order or what because why that discrimination? We asked her a few times to come nicely and she kept saying, ‘I will be back, I will be back’ and so she apologized and excused herself of course ‘cause if not we were going to make a problem. [Then you told her that you felt discriminated?] Yeah. [And you say ‘we’, with whom were you at the hotel?] My mom and her husband and other friends.[ And you were speaking Spanish?] Yeah. [And so the lady then came and?] And she kind of apologized and we said ‘if not we want to talk to your managers’. [Did she change her attitude?] Yeah.

After repeated attempts, the respondent and family members said they felt discriminated against, and it appears that this caused the white server to change her attitude. In this case, the white person was clearly of lower social status than the latino family members, yet still felt she could discriminate in the provision of service.



The so-called ‘browning of America’ has raised fears among many whites at all class levels. The reason typically given is that latinos represent a threat to the U.S. way of life, with the English language as a major symbol of that way of life. Many whites have responded in part by racializing latinos and their language and attempting to demean its importance.

Efforts at squelching Spanish at an interpersonal level take various forms: Outright commands to Spanish speakers to speak English, protestations that when they speak Spanish latinos are talking about whites, skepticism about English proficiency of Latinos despite evidence to the contrary, mocking Latinos’ ‘accents,’ and ignoring Spanish speakers. Latinos often resist these incursions into their heritage language, but their resources are usually limited when compared to those at the disposal of most of their white antagonists.

Latinos often resist this mistreatment--a formidable task in light of the white establishment’s resources. Today, Spanish is ridiculed by influential whites, who often call for much stricter government control over Latin American immigrants. Ideological elements emanating from the dominant culture may mask for some Latinos the structural basis of their victimization and thus interfere with their ability to see the systemic structure of their oppression, yet there are no signs of surrender to whites' anti-latino discrimination.

The xenophobic discourse aimed at latinos relies heavily on the notion that they and their culture are sounding the death knell for English culture. This white discourse is heavy in rhetoric and short on evidence. Indeed, many English language programs for immigrants have long waiting lists. Facility in multiple languages is a valuable cultural resource for U.S. society. There is a widespread belief among our study’s respondents that there should be more tolerance toward languages other than English. Asked about attempts to ban Spanish in U.S. society, one respondent’s answer was typical:

I think the more languages you speak, the more culture you have, the more educated you are. We’re in a global society, I mean Spanish is the number two spoken language of the Americas. [Is it ok with you to use Spanish in ballots or other official documents?] You know this is the United States and English should be the number one language but, if they are U.S. citizens and they are paying U.S. taxes, then they should have Spanish ballots.

Interestingly, not one of our seventy-two respondents argued that language tolerance should be limited only to Spanish. Not one advocated that Spanish should replace English as the language inside or outside latino communities. Analysts like Huntington (2004) accuse latinos of being a threat to democracy and the ‘American way of life,’ which for them means Anglo-Saxon ways of doing things. On close examination, this is a peculiar accusation because most latinos are accenting the virtues of language and other cultural diversity that the official U.S. ideology accents in its omnipresent ‘melting pot’ imagery.

The struggles between Latinos and whites over language do not take place on a level playing field. As Barth (1969, p. 31) has put it, the interaction between the majority group and the minority group ‘takes place entirely within the framework of the dominant, majority group’s statuses and institutions.’ Given their position in the racial hierarchy of U.S. society, whites have tremendous resources at their disposal in the worlds of politics, business, finance, mass media, and education. Powerful white elites control much of the normative structure (Gramsci 1988), as well as much of the dominant thinking about what is right and proper in society. In this white-dominated milieu, Latinos struggle to preserve their heritage language as best they can, but it remains a difficult task.



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-- 1991 Language and Symbolic Power, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press

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CORNelius, Wayne 2002 ‘Ambivalent reception: mass public responses to the ‘new’ latino immigration to the United States,’ in Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco and Mariela M. Páez (eds), Latinos: Remaking America, Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, pp. 165-189

ESSED, PHILOMENA 1991 Understanding Everyday Racism, Newbury Park, Calif.: Sage.

FEAGIN, JOE R. 1996 ‘Old poison in new bottles: The deep roots of modern nativism," in Juan F. Perea (ed.), Immigrants Out! The New Nativism and the Anti-Immigrant Impulse in the United States, New York: New York University Press, pp. 13-43

FEAGIN, JOE R. and DANIELLE DIRKS 2006 "Who is White," unpublished research paper, Texas A&M University.

Feagin, Joe R. and O’Brien, Eileen 2003 White Men on Race, Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

Feagin, Joe R. and SIKES, MELVIN P. 1994 Living with Racism, Boston, MA: Beacon Press.

FEAGIN, JOE R., HERNAN VERA, and NIKITAH IMANI The Agony of Education, Routledge, 1996.

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Fishman, Joshua A. 1989 Language and Ethnicity in Minority Sociolinguistic Perspective, Clevedon: Multilingual Matters Ltd

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José A. Cobas, Ph.D.
Professor, Program in Sociology
School of Social and Family Dynamics
Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ 85287-3701
(480) 965-3785

It is not enough to prove something, one also has to seduce or elevate people to it.

Sent by Juan Ramos


Book Debut
 and Signing

Thursday, 3 de Mayo at 7:00 PM

And now the highly anticipated book of the decade comes out of the cuarto.  Finally someone answers 

"Everything you wanted to know about Mexicans" 
But were afraid to ask!


Celebrate GUSTAVO ARELLANO's book signing, at the . . .
Libreria Martinez Books and Art Gallery
1110 N. Main Street, Santa Ana
Sent by Ruben Alvarez


Luis Valdez elected to the College of Fellows of the American Theatre.

Speech of Hon. Sam Farr of California, in the House of Representatives, April 16, 2007

Mr. FARR. Madam Speaker, I rise today to honor Mr. Luis Valdez of San Juan Bautista, California, who will be inducted into the College of Fellows of the American Theatre on April 22 at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts here
in Washington, DC.  The 124 current members include playwright Edward Albee and Broadway director Jack O'Brien.

Like those before him, Luis is to be honored for his contribution to American theater.  His has been a ``career of firsts.'' His play ``Zoot Suit'' was the first play written by a Chicano to be produced on Broadway. His movie ``La Bamba,'' about the life of the 1950's rock 'n' roll star Ritchie Valens, won popular acclaim, and was the first film written and directed by a Chicano that was produced by a major motion picture company.

As a child, Luis emigrated from Mexico with his family and became a migrant farm worker. In 1965, he founded El Teatro Campesino, which means ``The Farm Worker's Theater.'' He chose to create this theater in rural San Juan Bautista instead of moving to a big city in order to stay in touch with his roots and remain a true theater of farm workers.

Luis has three sons, all of whom are involved in the arts. ``I have to stress the importance of family in my life,'' he said. He has won several awards, including the Presidential Medal of the Arts from the White House, but says, ``I'm proudest of my family. I consider myself to be quite blessed in that regard.''

Luis believes that art should have a message, and inspiring people to make changes in their lives has been one of his main goals in the theater. He recently produced a play for the Monterey Bay Aquarium about the dangers of pollution.

Madam Speaker, it is a tremendous honor for a national organization of any kind to seek out a resident of a small town for their highest award. Luis Valdez came from humble beginnings, and in spite of his remarkable accomplishments, he remains a humble man. I am proud
to congratulate Luis on his election to the College of Fellows of the American Theatre.

Forwarded by Rosalio Munoz  rosalio_munoz@SBCGLOBAL.NET 

Tribute paid: 
Luis Valdez,  The road has been hard but very productive. Luis you are the ICON of Latino producers and directors. Every body came later and you paved the road with La Bamba and other films. Congratulation!

I met Luis Valdez in Del Rey, Ca. when he was not married. I saw his "Shrunken Head of Pancho Villa" performance and many other "Actos". Though he never asked me to act on stage during the time... 1967-1969. I developed an admiration for the stage and acting.

That is why after being an educator for 33 years (Now Retired) my new career is acting and screenwriting. I which he would have told me to jump on stage and do a Cold Reading.

By the way I have the original Red Book of Actos in a special place wrapped with a plastic cover. Forty years later..they are still in great shape. I which him the best and we should all see the JFK Center the night he receives his award. 

Viva Luis Valdez!!!!!

Luis might remember me when I used to come around after school to check out his productions.  NALIP and NOSOTORS member actor/screenwriter Pedro Olivares pedro.olivares5@SBCGLOBAL.NET


Poems by Danilo Lopez 

I am a relatively new Dallas resident, in my first year I had a poetry reading at the Latino Cultural Center along with a musician and an artist. I also participated so far in the Houston Poetry Fest, the Austin Poetry Festival, the Dallas Latino Book and Family Festival, and the Dallas International Book Fair.

House of the Spaniard

He came to this land full of dreams,
his mission was a mixture of Religious Crusade
and Capitalistic Enterprise

In the beginning, the Indians admired them
and gave gold in exchange for mirrors, those
were the Creators, they the creatures

Later came baptism, and force, and disease,

The Americans fought back, the mysterious
blonde centaurs had short spears that spit
noise and fire, they could kill at will
from the distance

Christian temples were built on top of the
pyramids, opposing mirror cities were
erected, a new single God replaced the Creators,
the natives continued their subversive customs
and rites, covered by a veil, masked

The Spaniard is satisfied. It is not easy
to be a conqueror. The spices, the gold,
the new varieties of plants had a price

He has a grand house, made out of thick
blocks, precious woods, and spanish tile,
a patio in the middle, galleries around, 
arcades and a fresh fountain where a vision 
of his wife, waiting in Sevilla, appears at dawn

Up on the second floor, in the Arms Room:
muskets, blades, swords, pistols, cannons
used in the quest, and also trophies:
obsidian spears, bows and arrows, a rattan
throne that belonged to the Quiche King

He is alone now, admiring his possessions,
while she, the most beautiful native, sleeps
in their bedroom after taking a bath downstairs

In the interior patio, the water in the fountain
runs smoothly

Through a circular, narrow, high window, a
streak of light falls in, it hits a polished
family crest with an embossed matte drawing,
the reflection forms a dark cross on his face,
it is an omen:
within two hundred years
a new race of mestizos, born from centaur
and indian, will end the Spanish Empire and
build a New Republic there
Guard at the Bank

Nobody talks to him.
The guard stands at the entrance,
Still as a statue, a galil rifle in his hands.
Beware of the guerrilleros that
can come into the bank anytime
and take some money for their
mighty cause.

No carpet, no sophisticated
security systems. Only him, like the
only remaining pawn on the chess board.
He is the sentinel, the center.
He is the system. He is feared.

Nobody looks into his eyes.
People come in, wearily perform their
transactions. Leave.
I change my one hundred dollars
at a rate of 5 to 1 with the
local currency. Now I have five
hundred. A Mastercard sign hangs
on the wall, as a reminder of far away lands.
Diners Club is accepted, too, for
Plastic is universal.

Before leaving, I turn to the guard:
"Have a nice day", I say, slightly
nodding my head. And then he answers,
his face comes to life, illuminated with an
unimaginable grin,
"Have a nice day, señor!"

I want to organize another poetry reading at the Latino Cultural Center and need a few poets, artists, and musicians interested  in participating in an evening of art, discussions, wine, and bocaditos. The  reading will be bi-lingual English/Spanish.

Thank you, Danilo Lopez
214-682-9714 (cell)

Ukulele legend has song in his heart

Bill Tapia of Westminster is recognized as the world's oldest performing musician, and he's not slowing down.
By BRIAN QUINES  The Orange County Register, CA April 14, 2007

At an age when many are lucky to walk and talk unassisted, 99-year-old ukulele legend Bill Tapia is recording new albums, touring the nation, and giving private lessons to a couple dozen students in his Westminster home.  "I don't want to retire," said Tapia, a Honolulu native with a strong island accent.  "When you retire, you're gone. I'm gonna keep on playing and working until I forget to breathe." 
Photo by Steve K. Zylius. OC Register

He hopes to release three more records before he turns 104. He already holds the Guinness Book of World Records title for world's oldest performing musician.

When Tapia picked up a uke to play "Tangerine" during a photo shoot, he seemingly turned 30 years younger – never missing a beat and playing with lightning-quick fingers.

Pair his talent with sparkling charm and storytelling that includes true tales about gigs in prostitution joints and smoking pokalolo (Hawaiian for marijuana) with Louis Armstrong, and you'll understand how he still sells out small concert halls in Orange County, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii.

"He's very real and you want to figure out how to be as passionate as he is and not lose your zest for life. It's part of the reason he's still successful today," said Mercedes Coats, co-producer of the 2006 documentary about Tapia, "To You Sweetheart, Aloha."

"The first time you meet Bill, you're bowled over by his charisma for music and life. He has total commitment and expectation that he is going to be a musician his entire life."

Tapia started performing when he was 10, collecting tips from servicemen at ports and train stations during World War I. At 12, he joined a vaudeville show, then a few years later became a regular at the Moana Hotel and the Royal Hawaiian Hotel, where he taught ukulele to stars like Clark Gable, Jimmy Durante and Shirley Temple.

When he turned 15, Tapia ditched the uke to play jazz guitar. He gave away all of his old ukuleles, including the first one he bought for 75 cents from his neighbor Manuel Nunez, credited with inventing the instrument.

Tapia played jazz on a steamship headed for the mainland, where he played gigs at small clubs before picking up jobs at the Beverly Wilshire and Millennium Biltmore hotels, where he played with giants including Vido Musso and Benny Goodman.

Eventually Tapia and his wife, Barbie, moved to Westminster in 1998 to be closer to their daughter Cleo, a legal secretary who had a voice like Billie Holiday, Tapia said.  His wife died three years later. Six months after that Cleo, 60, died of breast cancer.

"My wife and daughter, I miss 'em like hell," Tapia said.  "God must love me because I was able to carry on. I still think of them every day. I cry almost every day."

A resurgence of interest in the ukulele at local senior centers and Hawaiian clubs reinvigorated Tapia after the sudden deaths.  He started to teach ukulele and play jazz tunes at senior clubs and local jam sessions, which led him to record and release the debut album "Tropical Swing" in 2004 – his first recording since he began his career nearly 90 years ago.

"In the olden days, people thought the ukulele was a novelty or toy," Tapia said.  "I play jazz on this and the people are starting to listen. The ukulele, it's a good instrument. It sounds so beautiful I don't even pick up my damn jazz guitar any more."

MUSICAL LIFE: Bill Tapia, a Hawaiian native, has been performing for nearly 90 years. He recorded his debut album in 2004.  
For more information:,
Buy the documentary "To You Sweetheart, Aloha" at    
Sent by Ricardo Valverde


Jesús Manuel Mena Garza Photography

Fine Art, Documentary and Commercial
Redlands, California USA  (909) 557-7151
Sent by Armando Baeza and Dorinda Moreno
Editor: I was particularly moved by the black and white photos, powerful.

Another artist to celebrate:  Andres E. Montoya


Escaramuza Charra, Las Guadalupanas del Valle,

About the Charro Mural & Other Things 

Memo Gracia Duarte 
El Charro

It's fiesta time. The charro parade & the unveiling of the first-ever two-piece public mural depicting the arts & tradition of the Charrería in California has just ended. The gallant charros & beautiful escaramuzas or horsewomen have scattered on the main streets of Lindsay, calmly guiding their mounts towards the horse trailers to then come into the Restaurante El Palmar's banquet hall.

Inside, a quick look around is enough to notice their beaming faces. They look handsomely well in their fine & snug, made to measure, attire. Most are chatting or enjoying their Mexican birria with their neatly dressed friends, family, acquaintances & estorbos or hindrances like myself. This convivio charro or charro get-together is getting better by the minute. Even I start consuming a little faster my Mexican drink.

It's been so cold that even at 2:00 o'clock daylight the orange trees surrounding the city, where I'm a guest, have still many ice-encrusted oranges resting on congealed leaves & what look like diminutive frozen tornadoes firmly hanging from the fruit & lower limbs.

I mention this because yesterday morning I went wondering a little outside the city, populated by 11,185 souls, with Latinos being the majority, or 78%. 

It was the first day in which the prediction by the National Weather Service, in Hanford, became a cold, indisputable reality. The arctic air mass encapsulating the Central Valley produced temperatures in the tens & twenties, the coldest since 1990 & 1998, when more than 80 percent of the lost crop cost the Tulare County $350 million.


This time, the future looked bleaker. Even in this rigid, shivering state that made me feel some areas of my body sort of numb or shrinking, I saw so many of my paisanos or countrymen dispersed all over the orange orchards. I felt ashamed of wearing my pea-coat all buttoned up & my hands buried in my 501's.

While some hurriedly disappeared into the tree branches others came out carrying big bags filled with oranges. I could hear voices coming out from the top of the big, round trees, where those who used movable stairs tried to salvage every orange. They seemed to know that almost 75% of the Tulare County's orange crop was still attached to the tree.

"¡Ya mero acabo este árbol!"
yelled one in Spanish. "I'm almost done with this tree!"
"¿Son todos Mexicanos?" I asked one of the orange pickers. "Are all of these workers Mexicans?"

"Todos," he said, taking his worsted globe off to shake hands. "We're all Mexicans. We're the only ones you'll see here, there, & there, & there, everywhere. Who else would want to work under these conditions?"

Of course they're earning almost double of what they'd normally earn under a different weather, which is between $8.00 & $10.00 per big crate, yet it takes a little more than half an hour to fill one —when there are plenty of oranges to pick, that is, like now.

"Is it really worth it?" I asked the same man.
"Hay que trabajar ahorita que hay," he answered me with a big smile. "We must work now that there is work available. We all have families."

I'm left wordless.
I thanked him for talking to me as I'm well aware that his time is money. He quickly joined his coworkers, whose whistling, singing, yelling & constant motion appeared to somehow give them the necessary fire to keep warm & cheer up a little their soul. For a moment I thought they were in some way enjoying their job.

At night, I was invited to the house of a jaliscience family, that of Pepe Jauregui, where the Charrería is a live topic. In the open air they grilled steaks, at least one inch and a half thick, each. I had to have a strong caballito or tequila shot so I could stay away from the fire before my hair & mustache got burned.

Under a dark sky filled with tiny stars I heard ranchera or country music coming out from a parked car, but my ears concentrated on the loud sound of the wind machines, which at first I confused with that of helicopters. Later I was told they are designed to provide adequate cold protection, by moderating the energy of any moving stream of air.


I swear I started praying for the orange trees & my paisanos. I did not dare to ask whether they'd still be picking oranges or filling out available jobs. A strong, Mexican Chinaco or solidarity feeling got into me, making me throw the most amazing madres or insults against the breed of ungrateful opportunists who live off of blaming Mexican immigrants from every bloody problem the nation has.I pretended to fall asleep.

Now is Sunday, January 14th. It's a clean, sparkling blue-skied day. Beautiful. It's the Gran Día del Charro Californiano for the Charro Family & the Mexican & Mexican American communities. Since early in the morning, shiny trucks pulling horse trailers started coming in from different roads of the Golden State. Most charros, charritos & escaramuzas were already perfectly dressed in their spotless attire.

At the same time, Oregon based artist Roger Cooke walked back & forth at the back of 111 N. Mt. Vernon Ave., between Hermosa and Honolulu streets, contemplating his unfinished piece.

"The mural won't be ready until next Tuesday," he lamented. Since November 29th, 2006, he's been showing up to this site, almost every day, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., armed with his acrylic palette & his cowboy or baseball hat, depending on his mood.

"The weather conditions & the fact that the days are shorter have made it a little difficult for me to have it ready for today's dedication," he admitted as he looked towards the arrival of an old truck filled with foldable, aluminum chairs.

A group of six men sentenced in court to do community work got off. One of them, Mr. José García, from Guadalajara, Jalisco, fixed his eyes immediately upon the mural.

"This is beautiful!" he exclaimed, clearly in awe. "It's reminding me of mi tierra, my land. Es un gozo ver esto. It's a joy to see this! ¡Mire nomás qué chulada, 'el paso de la muerte!' Look at this, the death leap act, how awesome!"

One of his mates, the youngest, seemed to think that a very exaggerated opinion was being arbitrarily verbalized before his nose, so he started rolling his eyes & making a sick, donkey face.

"Hey, man, the rodeo is nice, but..."

"But nothing!" Mr. García, 39, cut him off. "¿Tú qué sabes? What do you know? This is the most beautiful tradition that we have in México. You were born here; the only thing you know about is cars, & that's okay. But we know all about horses. Ask your family. For your information, this is NOT rodeo. It's CHARRERÍA. ¡Qué rodeo ni qué nada!"


The rest of the mates just listened attentively, not daring to take any sides. Another truck stopped by. The driver asked the workers to get the chairs down & aline them facing the mural. Mr. García took a good look at the artist & grinned.

"I'm happy to see someone from the white race painting this mural," he admitted. "We Mexicans have many excellent artists, but it's nice to see a gringo interested in our tradition. Se estan educando. They're learning. And this one is doing a good job. It's the first time I see the mural; you saw me coming in that truck. I'm from Porterville, near here, but I'll tell you one thing: just looking at it makes me feel even prouder of my roots. I know I'm supposed to be working, but rest assured that I'll be watching the parade, too. I don't get to see this everyday."  

At 1:30 p.m., all of the charros & the escaramuza team Las Guadalupanas del Valle are mounted on their well-equipped, athletic horses, exactly at the corner of streets Westwood & Hermosa. They look solemn, ready to start the parade.

One charro, Mr. Jesús Castellanos, is carrying the Mexican flag. Another, Mr. Samuel Alarcón, that of the US. Charro Joel Flores, a two-time all-around-charro-champion, is the only one on foot. As soon as the first tamborazo zacatecano echoes in the city, he begins executing intricate flourishes with the riata."¡BRAVO!" people cheer.

Again, today is a Gran Dia for the Charro Family. For the first time in California, there's a mural, rightly named Charro Traditions, dedicated exclusively to the their sport or Mexico's National Sport by Excellence.

One of the two aluminum, movable panels bears the name CHARRO followed by a silhouette of a charro on horseback, facing right, in the same scale as the letters. An identical silhouette, except backwards, is reproduced before the name Traditions on the other panel. Each measures 15-by-30-foot.They both have red borders.

The Charro piece features a large scale, oval portrait of a charro in profile facing right. Three other charros practice their suertes charras or charro exercises in a big corral highlighted with an Aztec key pattern. No one is looking at each other; they're all concentrated on their respective suertes.

The first charro, from left to right, performs his jineteo de novillos or bull riding act in full apogee. The one in the middle demonstrates on horseback his superb skills with the riata to then complete his terna en el ruedo or team roping event, though he could also be getting ready to exhibit the manganas a caballo exercise, in which he must rope the forelegs of a running wild mare. The third charro is clearly executing the cala de caballo, where he shows his proficiency in reining & horse control, done effortlessly & without the help of any unnecessary punishment.

The Traditions panel portrays el paso de la muerte or death leap act, in which a charro jumps from the bareback of his own galloping horse onto the back of a running, untamed mare, then grabs her by the mane & stays atop until she stops bucking. Right in the middle, a charro is carrying out the suerte colas en el lienzo, where after chasing a bull on horseback he's already grabbing & twisting its whiplike tail to make it fell. Another charro experiences a bone-jolting ride on a wild mare while doing the jinete de yegua event. On the far right is a large scale, oval portrait of a charra almost in full profile facing left.


Each piece looks like a giant postcard or billboard where the faces of the charros can be easily identified by long-time Lindsay residents.

"That one's Lencho," reveals Mr. Russell Reeley, pointing to the portrait of charro Mr. Florencio Salas, who is, in reality, one of they key figures in launching the charro mural campaign.

He assumed his role when Mr. Jerry Llewellyn, owner of Cal Citrus Packing Co, where he works as a field manager, said to him that it would be great to have in Lindsay a mural portraying the Charrería, exactly as pictured in the calendar filled with charro pictures he had right before his eyes.

To prove he was serious, he donated the back wall of his orange packing house, which faces Lindsay's Sweet Brier Public Plaza. The plan was then introduced to the Mural & Public Art Society CALPAMS.

Little by little, Mr. William "Bill" Drennen, CALPAMS cofounder, formed a committee to seek a $30,000 fund & ultimately approval from Lindsay's Redevelopment Agency. Cal-Citrus Packing Co also contributed with funds. Two thirds went straight to the artist's pocket & the rest for buying materials.

"Do you see the other charro, right there? That's Angel," continues Mr. Reeley, pointing to Mr. Angel Jauregui, another key supporter of the mural. 

Reeley keeps identifying every charro. He's lived here all of his life, so he knows who's who in the Lindsay's realm. Clearly, his once athletic cowboy figure —he was a national rodeo champion— is a bit arched now. He also has trouble keeping his belted pants on place, but Mr. Reeley's memory is enviable.


His blue eyes light up as soon as he recalls that in his days children used to come to Lindsay's school on horseback. He can describe places & events in full detail or provide magnificent references about Mexican horsemen like Mr. Francisco "Paco" Rubio.

"I know about charreadas because of Paco," he says. "I was the only gringo going to their charreadas, about 15 years ago. I've never had any problems with Mexicans. They've always been good to me. I know Paco came from México & trained charro horses here. He explained to me all about el paso de la muerte, manganas, colas... I personally think that the team roping event is a bit too long in charreadas, but that's just me."


That's right.
At 2:40 p.m., the more than 40 charros & escaramuzas already lined perfectly against the Plaza, along with many local & outside residents, witness before their eyes the unveiling of the Charro Traditions Mural. It's Lindsay's 17th mural. The only thing missing is the body of a horse in the paso de la muerte event."

It's the ghost horse," jokes Mr. Cooke, who specializes in Western-themed murals. "But it won't be anymore by Tuesday. I'm very happy with this piece. I've done 47 murals across the country & I'm still not too happy with some of them. But I really like the way this one's turned out. I'm very surprised to hear this is the first mural dedicated to the charros in the U.S."

A fact that makes the piece, beyond its debatable or subjective aesthetic value, a source of joy for the Charro Family, one owed to them long time ago. 

This is particularly true in California, where charros, though invited to world known events such as the annual Rose Parade, in Pasadena, are rarely included in equestrian sports books or mainstream media.


It seems that the majority of the scholars or field experts, regardless of their academic credentials or intellectual level, are not familiar or choose to ignore the Charrería's history, which was born en el campo, on the open range, during the first Colonial Society, from 1521 to 1570, & began to have its momentum at the beginning of the XVII Century with the fast growing cattle & equine population in the Haciendas.


The vaquero, who always used spurs & rode atop his horse wearing a straw hat, shirt tied at the front, leather jacket & chaps, proved with his roping skills, bravery & manliness that he was the hombre to carry out every day duties like branding, castrating, shearing or the rodeo, whose goal back then was just to gather the livestock together.

The Charrería, then, is the practice of every Hacienda-bred faena or job.As an official or formal sport affiliated to the Confederación Deportiva Mexicana CODEME, it's been strictly regulated & closely watched by the Federación Mexicana de Charrería A. C. FMdeCh since 1933.

As an organized sport, however, it stretches to the tip of the tail of the Mexican revolutionary period, with the Asociación de Charros of Jalisco claiming September 14th, 1919 as the official date & the Asociación Nacional de Charros of Mexico's Capital that of June 4th, 1921.

Whichever date is accurate, the charros have been mastering their skills & adding to the suertes higher degrees of style, difficulty & aesthetics, without, of course, subtracting effectiveness.

In a few words, the heart of the Mexican Charrería is the charro, gallant horseman who, without excuses or prejudices, dominates regally his faenas on the open range or his suertes in the lienzo & ruedo, under the impartial eye of an official judge, who could either award or deduct the corresponding points or apply severe sanctions, including a partial or total expulsion, depending upon the severity of the violation or insubordination.

But the California's Charrería seems invisible. It's braided almost 100% with the Mexican, since it already existed by february 2, 1848, when México lost to the United States more than half of its territory in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, yet it's constantly ignored by academicians, book authors & the media alike.

It's all about that feminine dressage activity from the l'École Nationale d'Équitation, white Polo players, horse racing or the North American cowboys, who more often than not forget or overlook the fact that they are, & will always be, an economical copy of the Mexican charro & the vaquero.


Apparently, it's not a valid trait or sports oriented value anymore the fact that the charro fathers are always asking their children, when they come home from school, to first finish every piece of homework & assigned chores before having any contact with horses & riatas.


Between their duties & an innate love for the Charrería —because it's extremely rare to hear a charro asking or demanding of his offsprings to practice such sport as it is both expensive & dangerous— it's almost null that a charrito or escaramuza would have any spare time to think about stupidities, to display on the streets their artistic ability for illegal graffiti or to even walk in the mall like a toddler with a loaded pamper, due to their pants hanging halfway down their ass.

If there is an actual list of authentic role models, the Mexican charro is at the very top, leading the rest.

For all of this & more, "the Charro Traditions mural means a lot to the Charro Family," reassures Mr. Rafael Cabral, president of the California Charro Union Associations PUA.

Lindsay's Mayor, Mr. Ed Murray, tells the same thing to the gathered crowd when he's given the microphone.

"I was really surprised to hear this is the first mural dedicated to the charros in the US," he highlights. "It should have been done a long time ago... It's been long overdue."

People clap and then smile as Mr. Murray shares with them that his grandmother was born in Mexico City, but moved to Texas, where she married an Irish descendant. Regardless of the mixture of blood & culture, he says, "we're all one person here."

After the dedication of the mural, which, according to the artist, will eventually receive an anti graffiti, UV protection coat, everyone is invited to a $10.00 buffet luncheon in Restaurante El Palmar's banquet hall.


It's the convivio charro where I'm having a good time, especially since I'm meeting very interesting people, such as Mr. William "Bill" Drennen & Mr. Melesio de la Riva, coordinator of charro judges in California.

While standing in line to get his birria portion with rice & beans as side dishes, Mr. Drennen corroborates that key city officials favor the construction of a lienzo charro or charro arena in one of Lindsay's properties.

"Oh, we're going to have a charro arena," he says. "It just makes sense."It makes sense because records in the FMdeCh de California disclose the existence of 68 Charro Associations in the Golden State, with more than 1,600 members federated, 25 from Lindsay or its surroundings.

For his part, Mr. de la Riva tells me all about his efforts to educate the charros on crucial matters such as the appropriate way to dress while competing at a charreada, which is also stipulated in the FMdeCh regulations code.

"I honestly believe that without women in the Charrería we would not have properly dressed charros," he confirms. "Women are actually the ones who most want their husbands & sons to look their best. Have you noticed that many of best dressed charros are those whose women make their suits? All of my respect goes to these women."

Mine too, 100%.
When I'm left alone, better yet, when no one shows any sign of wanting to talk to me, I think about how awesome would be to have a Gran Charreada & Convivio Charro in the Cow Palace of San Francisco.

"Awevo," I say to my self. "Indeed, why not?"

I submerge myself so deep within this thought that I don't even notice when the singing mariachis are replaced by a banda zacatecana. Órale, right on, people start dancing. They sure know how to enjoy a fiesta. 


Although I'm having a blast with the Charro Family & even relish the thought of enjoying a full caballito, I must hit the road. It's already 6:30 p.m. I pick up my journalistic gear & off I go.

On my way back to the Bay Area, where I live, at least until I win the lottery or someone is willing to lend me $12 million to buy the fantastic, awe-inspiring Rancho Bonilla, I'm struck again by this idea of seeing live, in the Cow Palace, a great charreada, a gold labeled charreada, a charreada to remember.

It's time to think.

Es tiempo de fiesta. Terminó ya el desfile charro y la inauguración del primer mural que exhibe al ojo público el arte y tradición de la Charrería en California. Por las calles del centro de Lindsay van los charros gallardos y escaramuzas guapísimas guiando tranquilamente sus caballos hacia las casitas o remolques, para luego dirigirse al salón del Restaurante El Palmar.

Adentro, basta un vistazo para notar su semblante alegre. Lucen regios en sus finos trajes ajustados, hechos a la medida. La mayoría se pone a conversar o disfrutar de la birria con sus amigos, familia, conocidos y estorbos como yo. Este convivio charro está armándose de lo mejor. Hasta yo le tupo un poco aprisa a mi bebida mexicana.

Afuera ha estado tan frío, que incluso a plenas 2:00 de la tarde los naranjos que rodean como guardianes a la ciudad, donde soy un invitado, se ven llenos de naranjas totalmente forradas de hielo y reposando sobre hojas congeladas. También cuelgan firmemente de las ramas y frutas picos de hielo similares a tornados pero en tamaño enanito.

Menciono esto porque ayer por la mañana anduve un rato de pata de perro por los alrededores de Lindsay, donde los latinos son la mayoría, o un 78% de las 11,185 almas que la habitan.

Era el primer día en que la predicción del Servicio Nacional del Tiempo National Weather Service, de Hanford, se convirtió en una indisputable, fría realidad. La masa de aire Ártico que encapsuló al Valle Central produjo temperaturas arriba de los diez y veinte grados, los más helados desde 1990 y 1998, cuando más del 80% de la cosecha perdida costó al condado de Tulare $350 millones de dólares.

Esta vez el panorama pintaba de lo peor. Aun en tan rígido estado, que me provocó escalofríos e hizo que me pusiera a tiritar o sentir ciertas partes de mi cuerpo medio encogidas o entumidas, vi a tantos de mis paisanos esparcidos en las huertas de naranjos. Hasta vergüenza me dio portar mi abrigo todo abotonado y las manos enterradas en las bolsas de mis 501.

Mientras unos desaparecían apresurados entre las ramas otros salían cargando morrales llenos de fruta. Oí voces provenientes de las copas de los robustos árboles, donde los que usaban escaleras movibles trataban de salvar cada naranja. Parecían estar muy enterados de que casi el 75% de la cosecha cítrica en el condado de Tulare aun seguía pegada al naranjo.

"¡Ya mero acabo este árbol!" gritó un piscador.  "¿Son todos Mexicanos?" pregunté a otro trabajador.

"Todos", respondió, quitándose su guante de estambre para saludarme de mano. "Aquí hay puros mexicanos. Somos los únicos que va usted a ver aquí y allá, y allá, y allá, en todas partes. ¿Quién más va a querer trabajar en estas condiciones?"

Naturalmente que están ganando casi el doble de lo que normalmente ganarían bajo un estado de tiempo distinto, que son entre ocho y diez dólares por canastón, pero casi les toma media hora llenar uno —eso cuando hay bastantes naranjas por cortar, como ahora.

"¿Realmente vale la pena trabajar así?" inquirí al mismo señor. "Hay que trabajar ahorita que hay", contestó con una sonrisa. "Tenemos familia a quien mantener".

Me dejó sin palabras.
Le di las gracias por hablar conmigo, ya que estoy consciente de que su tiempo s’ es dinero. Rápido se unió a sus compañeros de trabajo, cuyos silbidos, canciones, gritos y constante movimiento parecían de algún modo darles el fuego necesario para mantener el cuerpo caliente y el alma contenta. Por un momento pensé que de cierta forma hasta gustaban de su trabajo.

Por la noche me invitaron a casa de la familia jaliscience del Sr. Pepe Jauregui, donde la Charrería es un tema vivo. Al aire libre cocinaron grandes bistecs a la parrilla, de una pulgada y media de grosor, mínimo. Yo necesité de un buen caballito mexicano para poder alejarme un poco de la fogata y no chamuscarme las greñas y el bigote.

Salía música ranchera de un coche, pero lo que oí con más claridad bajo un cielo estrellado fue el ruido de las máquinas de viento, mismo que al principio confundí con el de helicópteros. Me explicaron luego que están diseñadas para proveer protección adecuada contra las heladas, moderando la energía de cualquier corriente de aire.

Yo la verdad me puse a rezar por los naranjos y mis paisanos. Ya no quise indagar si aun a esas horas andarían piscando o laborando en lo que hiciera falta. Me entró un sentimiento marca Chinaco que me robó el frío e hizo lanzar madres y riatazos contra el montón de oportunistas malagradecidos que se la pasan culpando a los inmigrantes mexicanos de todos los malditos problemas de la nación.

Mejor me hice el dormido. Ahora es domingo, 14 de enero, el Gran Día del Charro Californiano para la Familia Charra y las comunidades mexicana y mexicoamericana. Es un día fresco, azulado, bello. Desde muy temprano, camionetas limpias con remolques para caballos empezaron a llegar de diferentes carreteras del estado dorado. Casi todos los charros, charritos y escaramuzas venían ya enfundados en sus trajes impecables.

A su vez, el pintor Roger Cooke caminaba de un lugar a otro en la parte trasera del 111 N. Mt Vernon Ave., entre las calles Hermosa y Honolulu, contemplando su obra incompleta.

"El mural no estará listo hasta el martes," lamentaba. Desde noviembre 29 del 2006, el Sr. Cooke se ha visto en esta dirección, casi a diario, de 8:00 a.m. a 4:30 p.m., armado con su paleta de pinturas acrílicas y su gorra tejana o beisbolera, dependiendo de su estado de ánimo.

"Las condiciones del tiempo y el hecho de que los días son más cortos me han hecho un poco difícil la tarea de tenerlo listo para la dedicatoria de hoy", admitió mientras veía la llegada de una camioneta vieja llena con sillas de aluminio, de esas que se doblan.

De ella bajó un grupo de seis hombres sentenciados ante un tribunal a desempeñar servicio comunitario. Uno de ellos, el Sr. José García, de Guadalajara, Jalisco, clavó sus ojos de inmediato sobre el mural.

"¡Qué bonito!" exclamó, claramente emocionado. "Me recuerda a mi tierra. Es un gozo ver esto. ¡Mire nomás qué chulada, es
el paso de la muerte!"

Uno de sus compañeros, el más joven, pareció pensar que una opinión muy exagerada se estaba verbalizando arbitrariamente ante su nariz, por lo que empezó a voltear los ojos al revés y a poner cara de burro atorzonado.

"Hey, man, el rodeo está bien, pero..."

"Pero nada", lo calló el Sr. García, de 39 años. "¿Tú qué sabes? Esta es la tradición más hermosa que tenemos en México. Tú naciste aquí; lo único que sabes es de carros y está bien. Pero nosotros sabemos bien todo lo de los caballos. Pregúntale a tu familia. Todo ésto que ves ahí pintado NO es rodeo, es CHARRERIA. ¡Qué rodeo ni qué nada!"

El resto del grupo se limitó a escuchar atentamente, sin atreverse a tomar partido. Llegó otra camioneta. El conductor dijo a los trabajadores que bajaran las sillas y las alinearan de frente al mural. García volteó a ver detenidamente al pintor y sonrió.

"Me da gusto ver que alguien de la raza blanca está pintando el mural", compartió. "Los mexicanos tenemos muy buenos artistas, pero es bonito ver que un gringo se interesa en nuestra tradición. Se están educando. Parece que él está haciendo buen trabajo. Es la primera vez que veo el mural; usted me vio llegar en esa troca. Vivo aquí cercas, en Porterville, pero déjeme decirle que en cuanto vi ésto me sentí más orgulloso de mis raíces. Se supone que debo estar trabajando, pero también voy a estar viendo el desfile. No todos los días pasa algo así".

Eso que ni qué. Ya para la 1:30 p.m., todos los charros y el equipo de escaramuzas Las Guadalupanas del Valle están formados en sus bien equipados y atléticos caballos, justo en la esquina de las calles Westwood y Hermosa. Lucen solemnes, listos para iniciar el desfile.

Un charro, don Jesús Castellanos, lleva la bandera de México. Otro, don Samuel Alarcón, la estadounidense. El charro Joel Flores, campeón dos veces en la categoría de charro completo individual, es el único a pie. Tan pronto como el primer tamborazo zacatecano retumba por la ciudad, comienza a florear la riata de manera extraordinaria.
"¡BRAVO!" la gente hecha porras.

De nuevo, hoy es un gran día para la familia charra. Por primera vez en California existe un mural, apropiadamente llamado Charro Traditions o Tradiciones del Charro, dedicado exclusivamente a su deporte o el Deporte Nacional de México por Excelencia.

Uno de los tableros movibles de aluminio reza Charro, seguido por la silueta de un hombre de a caballo con rumbo hacia la derecha, en escala igual que la de las letras. Una silueta idéntica, excepto en dirección opuesta, antecede al nombre Traditions en el otro tablero. Cada uno, enmarcardo en rojo, mide 15 pies de ancho por 30 de largo.

La pieza del Charro presenta en tamaño grande el retrato ovalado del perfil de un charro viendo hacia la derecha. Tres charros más practican sus suertes charras en un gran corral con barda enjarrada, en la que resalta un diseño Azteca. Ninguno se ve uno al otro; están concentrados en sus respectivas suertes.

El primer charro, de izquierda a derecha, efectúa en pleno apogeo la faena de jineteo de novillos. El de en medio demuestra a caballo un floreo de riata para luego completar su suerte de terna en el ruedo, aunque bien podría estar preparándose para tirar una excelente mangana. Es evidente que el tercer charro ejecuta una cala de caballo, donde muestra que su equino posee una estupenda educación y que sabe gobernarlo sin esfuerzo alguno o mediante la aplicación de un castigo.

El tablero de Traditions presenta, empezando por la izquierda, el paso de la muerte, donde en pleno galope un charro brinca del lomo a pelo de su caballo al de uno bruto, sujetándolo únicamente por las greñas y abarcándole la panza con las piernas para resistir los reparos. En el centro, otro charro realiza la suerte de colas en el lienzo, donde después de perseguir a un toro lo agarra por la cola, se la enrosca en el pie y se alista para estirársela y derribarlo. El último charro vive un agitado paseo sobre el lomo a pelo de una yegua bruta mientras practica la actividad física de jinete de yegua. En la parte derecha hay otro retrato ovalado de tamaño grande en el que aparece el perfil, casi completo, de una charra vestida en traje de gala, viendo hacia la izquierda.

Cada pieza parece una tarjeta postal o cartelera en dimensión gigante, donde el rostro de cada charro puede ser fácilmente identificado por cualquier residente de la ciudad que lleve años viviendo ahí.

"Ese es Lencho", revela el Sr. Russell Reeley, apuntando con el dedo al retrato del Sr. Florencio Salas, quien en realidad es una de las figuras claves en la campaña de difusión a favor del mural charro.

Asumió su papel en el preciso momento en que el Sr. Jerry Llewellyn, dueño de Cal Citrus Packing Co, donde él trabaja como contratista de mano de obra, le comentó que sería estupendo tener en Lindsay un mural que retratara a la Charrería, igual que lo hacía el calendario lleno de fotografías de charros que tenía ante sus ojos.

Para demostrar que hablaba en serio, donó de buena gana la pared trasera de su empacadora de naranjas, la cual encara a la Plaza Sweet Brier de Lindsay. El plan fue entonces expuesto a la California Public Art & Mural Society CALPAMS.

Poco a poco, el Sr. William "Bill" Drennen, co-fundador de CALPAMS, formó un comité para buscar la aprobación y un fondo de $30 mil dólares de la Lindsay Redevelopment Agency —fondo al que Cal-Citrus también contribuyó. Dos tercios del dinero pasaron al bolsillo del pintor y el resto a la compra de materiales.

"¿Ve usted el otro charro que esta ahí? Es Angel", continúa el Sr. Reeley, señalando al Sr. Angel Jauregui, otra figura clave en el nacimiento del mural.

El Sr. Reeley sigue identificando a cada charro. Ha vivido aquí toda su vida, así que sabe quien es quien en el reino de Lindsay. Es obvio que hoy en día su una vez figura recta de cowboy —fue campeón nacional de rodeo— luce un poco arqueada y tiene problemas para mantener el pantalón en su lugar, aun bien fajado, pero su memoria es envidiable.

Sus ojos azules y cara delgada adquieren un brillo casi nostálgico cuando recuerda que en sus días los niños asistían a la escuela montados a caballo. Puede describir lugares y eventos en detalle o dar magníficas referencias sobre hombres de a caballo mexicanos, como el Sr. Francisco "Paco" Rubio.

"Si conozco las charreadas es por Paco", le da crédito. "El me invitaba cada vez que había una por ahí. Yo siempre era el único gringo en una charreada; de eso hace como 15 años. Nunca tuve ni he tenido problemas con ningún mexicano. Siempre han sido muy buenos conmigo. Sé que Paco vino de México y aquí entrenó muchos caballos charros. Me enseñó todo sobre el paso de la muerte, manganas, colas... En lo personal creo que la suerte de terna en el ruedo es un poco larga, pero es solo mi opinión".  
¡Faltaba más!
 A las 2:40 p.m., los más de 40 charros y escaramuzas que ya están alineados de espaldas a la Plaza pública, junto con muchísimos aficionados de dentro y fuera de la ciudad, presencian ante sus ojos la develación del mural Charro Traditions. Lo único que falta a la pieza de Traditions es el cuerpo de un caballo en
el paso de la muerte.

"Es el caballo fantasma", bromea el Sr. Cooke, quien se especializa en temas del oeste. "Pero el martes dejará de serlo. Estoy muy satisfecho con esta obra. Llevo 47 murales en todo el país y aun no estoy del todo contento con algunos de ellos. De verdad me gusta cómo quedó éste. Me sorprende mucho oír que es el primer mural en los Estados Unidos hecho específicamente en honor a los charros".

Lo cual hace que la obra, más allá de su debatible o subjetivo valor estético, signifique una verdadera alegría para la Familia Charra, una que hace mucho se le debía.

Esto es particularmente evidente en California, donde los charros, aunque invitados a eventos conocidos a nivel mundial, como el Desfile de las Rosas, efectuado cada año en Pasadena, son raramente incluidos en la literatura sobre deportes de la equitación o en cualquier medio de comunicación, tanto en inglés como en español.

Da la impresión de que la mayoría de los eruditos o expertos en materias, independientemente de sus credenciales académicas o nivel intelectual, desconocen o escogen ignorar el historial añejo de la Charrería, la que nació en el campo durante la primera sociedad colonial de 1521 a 1570 y empezó a tener su momento cumbre a principios del siglo XVII con la multiplicación del ganado vacuno y caballar en las haciendas.

El vaquero, que siempre calzaba espuelas y montaba a caballo portando sombrero de palma, camisa de nudo, chaqueta de cuero y chaparreras, mostró con su destreza, arrojo y hombría que era el mero mero para manejar la riata y efectuar las faenas de herrar, capar, tusar, o el rodeo, cuyo fin entonces era sólo reunir al ganado.

La Charrería, pues, es la práctica de las distintas faenas campiranas nacidas y desarrolladas en las haciendas. Como deporte oficial o formal afiliado a la Confederación Deportiva Mexicana CODEME, ha sido regulado y estrictamente vigilado por la Federación Mexicana de Charrería A. C. FMdeCh desde 1933.

Como deporte organizado, no obstante, data de la punta de la cola del período revolucionario, con la Asociación de Charros de Jalisco adjudicándose el 14 de septiembre de 1919 como fecha oficial y la Asociación Nacional de Charros en la capital la del 4 de junio de 1921.

Sin importar cual fecha es la correcta, los charros han venido perfeccionando sus suertes, agregándoles mayor grado de dificultad, estilo y belleza, sin restarles por supuesto efectividad.

En sí, el corazón de la Charrería Mexicana es el charro, hombre gallardo de a caballo que, sin excusas o prejuicios, domina regiamente sus faenas en el campo libre o sus suertes en el lienzo y ruedo, bajo la mira imparcial de un juez oficial, quien lo mismo puede darle o deducirle los puntos correspondientes que aplicarle severas sanciones, incluyendo la expulsión parcial o total, según la magnitud de la falta o insubordinación.

Mas la Charrería californiana parece ser invisible. Está trenzada casi un 100% con la mexicana, pues ya existía para el 2 de febrero de 1848, cuando se firmó el tratado de Guadalupe-Hidalgo con el que México cedió a los Estados Unidos más de la mitad de su territorio, pero como que no existe para los doctos u autores de libros sobre deportes ecuestres.

Por lo general mencionan solo la actividad tan femenina del dressage de la l'École Nationale d'Équitation, a jugadores Polo de la raza blanca, las carreras de caballo o los rodeos de los cowboys estadunidenses, quienes a menudo se les olvida o pasan por alto el hecho de que son, y siempre serán, una copia económica del charro y el vaquero mexicano.

Aparentemente, ya no es una característica preciada o un valor deportivo el también hecho de que los charros papás exigen a sus hijos e hijas, cuando regresan a casa de la escuela, que terminen primero toda la tarea y quehaceres del hogar antes de tener cualquier contacto con el caballo o las riatas.

Entre sus obligaciones y amor innato por la Charrería —porque es rarísimo además que un charro pida o exija a su hijo que practique tal deporte, pues es carísimo y peligroso— es casi nulo que un charrito o escaramuza cuente con tiempo libre para pensar en tonterías o pasársela en la calle exhibiendo su habilidad artística para el grafito ilegal o en el mall caminando como niño con pañal sucio debido a que el pantalón le cuelga a media nalga.

Si actualmente existe una lista de auténticos ejemplos a seguir, el primero de todos tiene que ser el charro mexicano.

Por todo esto y más, "el mural Charro Traditions tiene un inmenso significado para la Familia Charra", reafirma el Sr. Rafael Cabral, presidente de la Unión de Asociaciones de Charros de California.

El Sr. Ed Murray, alcalde de Lindsay, dice lo mismo ante los reunidos en la inauguración del mural cuando le dan el micrófono.

"Me sorprendió muchísimo oir que este es el primer mural dedicado a los charros en los Estados Unidos", subraya. "Debió hacerse hace mucho tiempo. Se les debía a los charros".

La gente aplaude y sonríe al tiempo que el Sr. Murray aprovecha para compartir que su abuela nació en la ciudad de México y se mudó al estado de Texas, donde se casó con el descendiente de un irlandés. Independientemente de la mezcla de sangre y cultura, dice Murray, "aquí todos somos una sola persona".

Tras la dedicación del mural, que eventualmente recibirá una capa anti grafito y protectora de los rayos ultravioletas, se invita a todos a una comida de $10 dólares tipo bufete en el salón del Restaurante El Palmar. 

Es el convivio charro donde me la estoy pasando a todo dar, especialmente por la clase de gente tan interesante que me presentan, como el Sr. William "Bill" Drennen y el Sr. Melesio de la Riva, coordinador de jueces charros en California.

Mientras espera su turno para recibir una porción de birria con arroz y frijoles, el Sr. Drennen corrobora que funcionarios claves de la ciudad favorecen la construcción de un lienzo charro en una de las propiedades de Lindsay.

"Oh, estoy seguro que vamos a tener un lienzo charro", piensa. "Hace mucho sentido". Hace sentido porque registros de la FMdeCh de California revelan la existencia de 68 Asociaciones de Charros, con más de 1,600 miembros federados, de los que 25 son de Lindsay o sus alrededores.

El Sr. De la Riva, por su parte, me cuenta sus esfuerzos por educar a los charros en asuntos de vital importancia, como el modo apropiado y requerido por los estatutos de la FMdeCh de portar el traje mientras compiten en una charreada.

"Honestamente creo que sin las mujeres en la Charrería no tendríamos charros bien vestidos", confirma. "Son las que más quieren que sus esposos e hijos luzcan de lo mejor. ¿Se ha dado cuenta de que muchos de los charros mejor vestidos son aquellos a quienes sus mujeres les confeccionan sus trajes? Todo mi respeto para estas mujeres".

El mío también, 100%.
Cuando estoy solo, mejor dicho, cuando nadie parece interesado en conversar conmigo, pienso en lo bonito que sería efectuar una Gran Charreada y Convivio Charro en el Cow Palace de San Francisco.

"¡Awevo!" me digo entre dientes. "¿Por qué no?" Me clavo tanto que ni siquiera noto cuando a los mariachis los reemplaza una banda zacatecana. ¡Órale! Veo que la gente empieza a bailar. Ellos sí que saben cómo disfrutar de una fiesta.

Aunque la estoy pasando bien con la Familia Charra y jugueteo con la idea de beber un caballito completo, debo ya emprender camino. Pasa de las 6:30 de la tarde. Agarro mis herramientas periodísticas y pélale gallo.

De regreso al Area de la Bahía, donde vivo por el momento hasta que me saque la lotería o alguien me preste 12 millones de dólares para comprar el fantástico e inspirador Rancho Bonilla, me asalta de nuevo la idea de ver en el Cow Palace una charreada a lo grande, una charreada de etiqueta dorada, una charreada para recordar.

Es tiempo de pensillermo

Charro, Joel Flores

Editor's note:
Mr. Gracia Duarte article appeared in the May*June*July 2007 issue of Charro USA, a bilingual publication consecrated to promote the Mexican and Mexican American equestrian tradition of the Charrería.  Mr. Gracia Duarte is a journalist based in San Francisco. He has worked for La Opinion, in Los Angeles, & Univision 14 in San Francisco. 


The Mexican Initiative: A Workable Guest Worker Program
By Sal Osio, JD From the Publisher's Corner April 10, 2007

The flow of intensive affordable labor will become an increasingly and critical need to sustain our American service, construction and agricultural sectors. To overly counter this needed flow of labor from Mexico is the equivalent of 'cutting our nose to spite our face'. Once more: the law of unintended consequences due to lack of vision and over-reaction to a problem.

It is almost universally agreed that as a sovereign nation we have the right and the obligation to protect our borders and regulate our immigration. It is almost universally agreed that in practice we have a broken system that desperately needs mending. And it is also agreed that we are incapable of adopting an equitable and workable solution, primarily due to incompetent leadership and political paranoia from right wing anti-immigrant, anti mestizo, 'Lou Dobbs' type pundits.

Accordingly, I recommend that the Mexican Government takes the initiative. After all, labor is a precious and vital commodity that needs to be regulated and judiciously exported by the source country. If Mexico does not restrict the flow of labor into the US it will find itself lacking this precious commodity for its own development and economic well being. In the past Mexico added 1 million new workers each year to its population for whom it needed to provide jobs. Lacking the growth to employ this labor force, one half of the workers immigrated north to find the employment not found in their home country.

However, the dynamics are changing and changing rapidly. According to the Mexican census and validated by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Mexican families are now averaging 2.2 births as opposed to the 5+ births of yesterday. As a consequence, based on its current rate of economic growth, Mexico will be able to employ the new workforce of 500,000 per year in the near future. This demographic transition spells economic doom for our country. Without the supply of labor from Mexico our three industries - construction, services and agriculture - will be economically handicapped. Additionally the US consumer will face unreasonable price increases which will significantly add to our consumer price index, fueling inflation and retarding our economic growth.

Maybe Mexico has not come to the realization that it, and not the US, is in control. The tables are turning. We will need their labor more than what they can supply for our critical needs. Our demand for their labor, in fact, will increase in the immediate future as a result of our shrinking labor pool due to the aging of our 'baby boom' generation.

Now is the time for Mexico to take the initiative. Formulate a guest worker program on its own terms with adequate protection for the most affected of the interested parties: The worker. If Mexico were to enroll and process 250,000 workers per year to fill pre-screened US employment opportunities, which immigrants would be accorded multiple entry US visas allowing them to return home for vacations and to visit their families, at least two times per year, based on agreed to terms of employment and the oversight of a US-Mexico joint agency, the problem of undocumented, unregulated immigration would come to a screeching halt.

The above would not have to be tied to a path to US citizenship. Mexico will need the return of their workforce. Also, by not sealing our borders and allowing a reasonable entry-exit visas that would allow the Mexican worker to visit his family, he would not find the human need to start a family in the US. After all, the undocumented worker settles and starts a family in our country because effectively he cannot return to his homeland once he is here

Although only a partial solution to our needs which require a greater magnitude of guest workers - over 500,000 new jobs per year have been filled by undocumented workers for the past 10 years according to the Pew Hispanic Center - the reduced labor import will fend off catastrophic economic consequences to our affected industries. Also, we will be in a position to implement similar programs, should the need prove to be critical, with Central American countries.

Hispanic Vista addresses herein a petition to President Felipe Calderon of Mexico: For the sake of US-Mexico economic reciprocity and good neighbor diplomacy, take the initiative, after all, Mexico controls the source.

Sal Osio, JD is the publisher of ( 
Contact at:

Sal Osio, JD
1925 Century Park East, Suite 500
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Direct line &Voice Mail: 310/377-7046
Fax: 310/544-5052 Cell: 310/293

Latinos Claim Largest Slice of Minority-Business Pie
By Nicole Ibarra, Hispanic Business, April 22, 2007
Sent by Howard Shorr

Editor's Note: Hispanics own more businesses than any other minority group, according to figures recently released by the U.S. Small Business Administration. Most Asians and Hispanics in the U.S. workforce are immigrants.

Hispanics represent the largest group of minority-business owners, claiming 6.6 percent of the 23 million U.S. firms, according to a demographic review released by the U.S. Small Business Administration this month.

Hispanics also own 3.7 percent of all employer firms and 7.4 percent of nonemployer firms, according to figures collected from the 2002 Survey of Business Owners (the latest data available from the U.S. Census Bureau). The report found that Hispanic-owned businesses in 2002 were concentrated in administrative and support, waste management, and remediation services.

Despite the progress, one figure suggests that Hispanic small businesses still have an uphill road. On average, for every dollar made by a white-owned firm, a Hispanic-owned firm made 56 cents. Black-owned businesses made just 43 cents, comparatively.

The study also measured the performance of four Hispanic subgroups: Mexican, Mexican American, and Chicano; Puerto Rican; Cuban; and other Spanish/Hispanic/Latino.

Among the subgroups, Cubans had the highest ratio of employer firms to total firms (18 percent), the highest average receipts per nonemployer firm ($36,692), the highest average receipts per employer firm ($1,108,998) and the highest average payroll per employee ($28,769).

The subgroup of Mexicans, Mexican Americans and Chicanos had the highest average number of employees per employer with 8.1.??The survey also revealed that the majority of Asians and Hispanics in the U.S. workforce are immigrants, either naturalized or not. Among self-employed Hispanics, 56.8 percent are immigrants.

Six general demographic groups were covered in the survey: Hispanic, White, Black, Asian, American Indian or Alaskan Native and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander. Other minorities trailed Hispanics in business ownership. Blacks owned 5.0 percent of all U.S. firms while Asians and Pacific Islanders owned 4.7 percent. In total, minorities owned approximately 18 percent of the 23 million U.S. firms in 2002.

Complete report,  Small Business Administration's Website at


By Diana A. Terry-Azios
AGENDA SUMMER 2006, page 22

Hispanic business owners fuse passion and hard work to forge their own path in the market. Hispanics are entrepreneurial by spirit," says Michael L. Barrera, President and CEO of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC). And the numbers prove it. There are approximately two million Hispanic-owned businesses in the United States, generating nearly $300 billion in gross revenue, according to the USHCC. That figure is expected to reach $465 billion by 2010.

With a growth rate of 82% since 1997, Hispanic-owned businesses are among the fastest-growing in the country. Hispanic women actually lead that growth-approximately 35% of Hispanic firms are owned by women. And the momentum isn't slowing. An Internal Revenue Service report pre-dicts that by 2007 Hispanics will own one of every 10 small businesses. With ambition, an increasing need for products and services geared toward the Hispanic population, and expanding training and funding programs, now is the time to take advantage of business opportunities.

TAKE ACTION: The U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and U.S. Bank have joined forces to create the Capital! program to help small businesses develop and grow. visit:  or to learn more.

To find out about the National Council of La Raza Affiliates focusing on workforce or business development, visit

For recommendations about policies that help immigrant entrepreneurs, visit the American Immigration Law Foundation at

Anti-Spanish Legends

Clearing up Confusion in Chicano Park
Omission is still racism
Examples of changing history by omission


Mural is truly sign of the times
Decades-old text opposes junkyards, not Yankees
By Leslie Berestein, staff writer, San Diego Union Tribune, April 16, 2007
Sent by Dorinda Moreno

BARRIO LOGAN – The old mural on National Avenue is about all that's left to remind people of the great Barrio Logan junkyard controversy, when residents were pushing city officials to clear light industry out of their neighborhood, especially junkyards – or in Spanglish, yonkes.

Painted in 1977, the mural at one edge of Chicano Park depicts protesters beneath the message "Varrio Si, Yonkes No!" Neighborhood yes, junkyards no.

It's been nearly a quarter-century since the junkyard issue was resolved, and most of the offending businesses are long gone. But a different kind of controversy has quietly grown around the mural and its pithy, if antiquated, caption. It highlights the ethnic tension that persists on the edge of the nation's immigration debate.

Some English speakers who spot the mural interpret yonkes as "Yankees" and assume the mural makes a racist, anti-Anglo statement. The author of a recent letter to The San Diego Union-Tribune thought the mural made a statement against "honkies."

"Is San Diego the United States of America?" the woman wrote. "If the mural stated More houses for Whites . . . Less Mexicans how long would it take you to take action against this racist, discriminatory, in-your-face comment which is painted on government property?"

Messages posted on some Internet sites also claim the mural makes an anti-Yankee statement. Last April, someone on, a conservative chat site, posted several photos from the annual Chicano Park Day festival, billing it as a "San Diego reconquista gathering." Among them was a shot of the mural with the photographer's interpretation underneath: "Barrio Logan Yes, Yankees no!"

Victor Ochoa, one of the artists who painted the mural three decades ago, chuckles when he hears about such charges. He said it's not the first time the mural's meaning has been lost in translation.

In the mid-1970s, he drew a flier to distribute at community meetings with the caption "Barrio Si, Yonkes No!" (He later took creative license with the spelling of barrio on the mural, using a V for victory, he said.) There was a halfway house in the neighborhood, and many of the occupants were drug addicts. At one meeting, Ochoa was taken aback when an angry ex-con approached him.

"He said, 'Hey Victor, what do you have against us?' " he recalled. "They thought it meant 'no junkies.' "

Yonke, Yankee, yanqui

Yonke, or yonque, is a term for junkyard that is used widely along the border. Although the official Spanish term for junkyard is depósito de chatarra, several junkyards in border cities such as Tijuana, Tecate and Mexicali have names like Yonke Parra and Yonque Jimenez.

Yanqui, meanwhile, is a term derived from Yankee often used in Latin America to refer to someone from the United States.

The Yankees interpretation of the mural dates back years. Tommie Camarillo, head of the Chicano Park Steering Committee, received a telephone call from a television news reporter shortly after the mural was completed.

"He had contacted me saying that there were complaints, and why were we saying 'Yankees go home?' " Camarillo said. "I told him what it meant. It does not say anything about Yankees."

The park, created following a community sit-in in April 1970 to claim the land for open space, is under the jurisdiction of the San Diego Park and Recreation Department.

Andy Field, assistant to the department director, said that he has heard no complaints about the mural from people who think yonkes means Yankees but that he isn't surprised it happens.

"That is not the technical, correct translation," Field said. "It means junkyard."

He noted that one individual – the same one who wrote the letter to the editor – did complain recently about two small Mexican flags flown at the park. Field said a larger Mexican flag is flown on a flagpole there 42 days out of the year, by agreement with the city. He said the city was checking on the legality of the smaller flags' presence.

As is the case with many other small city parks, such as nearby Grant Hill Park, there is no American flag, he said.

The cry of "yonkes no!" in Barrio Logan dates to when residents were pitted against junkyard and other light industry owners in a battle to have the area rezoned. One 1978 news photo shows protesters marching in front of a junk heap, carrying placards with the slogan "Casas Si! Yonkes No!" Houses yes, junkyards no.

"We had these junkyards right next to residents," recalled artist Ochoa. "We were trying to get them to go to another area."

After years of debate, the City Council approved a land-use plan in 1982 that called for a cleanup, and many of the industrial yards left.

In the blogosphere
Some who are knowledgeable about the area's history aren't convinced about the mural's meaning. One of these is former San Diego resident Matthew Bracken, who believes that yonkes – just two vowels away from Yankees – is code for the latter. "It is no accident that it (the mural) is put facing the drivers," said Bracken, 50, who has self-published a novel about a future reconquista, or reconquest, of the Southwest by Mexicans. "It is there to be in the face of the gringo. Don't be naive. How many gringos see that and see 'yonkes no' and think it means junkyards?

Bracken, who moved to northern Florida last year, points out that some murals in Chicano Park involve controversial subjects, such as revolutionary leaders Emiliano Zapata and Che Guevara, and maps of the mythical land of Aztlan. The park's 60-plus murals cover subjects ranging from Aztec deities to the Virgin of Guadalupe.

He is among those who have posted photos on the Internet of the yonkes mural with a "Yankees No!" translation. Much of the back-and-forth surrounding the yonkes-Yankees controversy has been carried out in chat rooms and in the blogosphere.

Tom Boggioni, a local blogger who recalls going to Barrio Logan junkyards for auto parts, said he became exasperated when he saw "Yankees No!" written beneath an Internet photo of the familiar mural.

"Some people, they just don't know any better, said Boggioni, 52, a Pacific Beach native. "They are older and they don't understand the culture or speak a word of Spanish, and that word reminds them of something. But part of it is willful ignorance. They want the words to mean what they want the words to mean."

As for the writer of the letter to the editor, she did not respond to several requests for comment after being informed about the one-time junkyard controversy.

Context lost to history
Although the mural has been misinterpreted in the past, the contention over its meaning is being fueled by the immigration debate and ethnic tension surrounding it, said Jorge Mariscal, director of the Chicano Studies program at UC San Diego.

Chicano Park, with its revolutionary iconography, is difficult enough to understand for those not familiar with the Chicano rights movement that took place in San Diego in the 1960s and '70s, he said. Add an old mural with a message whose context has been lost to history, and misinterpretation is sure to follow.

"The historical memory has faded for most people," Mariscal said. "The historical ignorance of the people making certain claims is so profound that they can project their fantasies and fears onto the mural, and in doing so, erase whatever history was there on behalf of the artist. It's a Rorschach test for these people, because they don't know the history."

 Leslie Berestein: (619) 542-4579;



As has been noted, racism by omission is still racism; omission in regard to the Burns' mockumentary is the use of "non-language" connoting the non-existence of a whole group of people. We are not included in a significant production that purports to convey the universality of experience in a momentous event in the history of the U.S.--words are missing such as Chicano, Puerto Rican, and Latino from the series, thus we did not fight and die for this country, we are not good citizens, we do not exist. Words are powerful, non-words are fatal.


Examples of changing history by omission.

"Recently this week, UK removed The Holocaust from its school curriculum because it "offended" the Moslem population which claims it never occurred

It is now more than 60 years after the Second World War in Europe ended. This e-mail is being sent as a memorial chain, in memory of the six million Jews, 20 million Russians, 10 million Christians and 1,900 Catholic priests who were murdered, massacred, raped, burned, starved and humiliated with the German and Russian peoples looking the other way!

Now, more than ever, with Iran, among others, claiming the Holocaust to "a myth," it is imperative to make sure the world never forgets."

Sent by Jan Mallet 4/17/07

Editor: A few years ago Japanese historians were bitterly divided between those that wanted to rewrite and reshape Japanese history during WW II towards a more kindly and pleasing record consistent with ancestral honor,  On the side were Japanese historians that wanted the truth of Japanese aggressions,  brutalities, and failures to be told for the benefit of the children, not to repeat the action the nation's imperialist actions of the past. 

Recently, plans for a memorial observation of 911 in Orange County was halted by the actions of a vociferous Muslim who did not want the event to take place.  

                       Correct history is an essential foundation for wise action. 

Military and Law Enforcement Heroes

Speech of the Honorable U.S. Representative Linda Sanchez of California
Hispanic Admirals in the United States Navy
The Final Inspection 
Hispanic Medal of Honor recipients
Letter to Honorable U. S. Representative Lloyd Doggett
The Soldiers' Project

Speech of the Hon. Representative Linda Sanchez of California, House of Representatives, April 16, 2007

Ms. Linda T. Sanchez of California. 

Madam Speaker, 
I proudly join my colleagues today to pay tribute to the contributions of Latinos who served in our Armed Forces during World War II. As we were painfully reminded by the complete omission of Hispanics from a PBS documentary on World War II, the important contributions of Latinos, native born, as well as immigrants, are too often overlooked and forgotten.

From the American Revolution, a victory that established our Nation; to the Civil War, a victory that preserved our Nation; to the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Hispanics have played an instrumental role.

From Hispanic business owners to day laborers to the growing number of Hispanics in executive level positions, Hispanics are ingrained in the fabric of our strong Nation. As the largest and fastest growing minority in the Unites States, Hispanic participation in all segments of society is not only essential but apparent. It should not be surprising, then, that Hispanics also serve our nation in one of its most patriotic duties --the heroic defense of our country.

During World War II, Hispanics served in greater proportions than any other minority in the U.S. Armed Forces with the number of Hispanics serving likely peaking at well over 400,000. Although proper record keeping of Hispanics in the armed forces was not kept until after World War II, we have a multitude of accounts of Hispanic participation. 

One famous example is Company E of the 141st Regiment of the 36th Texas Infantry Division, which was made up entirely of Spanish-speaking Americans. For their notable service they were awarded 1,685 Bronze Stars, 492 Silver Stars, 31 Distinguished Service Crosses, 12 Legions of Merit, and 11 Soldier's Medals.

One individual example is Staff Sergeant Ysmael R. Villegas. A California native, he served in the United States Army during World War II. At the Battle of Luzon in the Philippines, he stepped up to lead his squad in a counterattack of the enemy and single-handedly cleared five installations of heavy machineguns. Upon taking the sixth and final area of firing, and at only twenty-one years old, Staff Sergeant Villegas was killed in action. For his bravery, President Harry Truman posthumously awarded him the Medal of Honor.

There are countless stories of heroism like Staff Sergeant Villegas'. Hispanics disproportionately earned more Medals of Honor in the 20th Century than any other major subgroup.

From the Civil War to the Vietnam War, there have been thirty-nine Hispanic Americans who have received the Medal of Honor. Twenty-two of them sacrificed their lives in combat in service to the United Stated Navy, Army, and Marines. According to the latest Census, there are over 1.1 million living Hispanic veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. And this number is expanding. Since November 2006, 25,300 Hispanics have been deployed for service.

According to the Department of Defense, Hispanics have endured the most deaths for a minority group in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Our country honors their service as well as those who have served in the past.

I encourage all Americans to take the opportunity to recognize and continue to learn about the role Hispanics played in World War II and throughout our nation's history. It is an integral part of the American story. Without these contributions and sacrifices, America would not be what it is today. 

Hispanic Admirals in the United States Navy

By: Tony (The Marine) Santiago


Hispanic Admirals in the United States Navy can trace their tradition of naval military service to the Hispanic sailors, who have honorably served in the Navy during every war and conflict since the American Revolution.

Admiral, a word that stems from the Arabic term Amir-al-bahr (commander of the sea), is the rank, or part of the name of the ranks, of the highest naval officers. Admirals are the highest-ranking officers in the U.S. Navy. However, through the American Revolution until 1862, the U.S. Navy had no admiral rank. During the American Civil War, it was recognized that the rapid expanding Navy was in need of admirals and the Congress proceeded to authorize the appointment of nine officers the rank of rear admiral. 

On July 16, 1862, Flag Officer David Glasgow Farragut was the first to be appointed to the rank of rear admiral. Farragut, an Hispanic-American, became the first vice admiral in the U.S. Navy two years later (1864), and the first full admiral in 1866. As of April 2007, twenty one Hispanic-Americans have reached the rank of Admiral.

Admiral David Glasgow Farragut

Born on July 5, 1801 at Campbell's Station, near Knoxville, Tennessee, David Glasgow Farragut (born James Farragut) was the second son of Elizabeth Farragut and her husband Jorge Farragut Mesquida, a Spanish - Catalan by descent and a Minorquin by birth, who had emigrated to America in 1776. Jorge Farragut Mesquida served during the American Revolution.

In 1808, Farragut's mother died from yellow fever and his father then gave him up for adoption. He was adopted by future-U.S. Navy Captain David Porter.

Farragut entered the Navy as a midshipman on December 17, 1810. His first naval combat experience came in the War of 1812, when the ship to which he was assigned, the USS ''Essex'', captured an enemy vessel and, at the age of 12 years old he was given the assignment to bring the ship safely to port.

Civil War

In April 1862, Farragut was the "flag officer" (a term which the U.S. Navy preferred over Admiral ) in command of the West Gulf Blockading Squadron. With his flag ship, the USS ''Hartford'', he ran past Fort Jackson and Fort St. Philip and the Chalmette, Louisiana, batteries to take the city and port of New Orleans, Louisiana. This victory was an influential factor when in 1862, Congress created the rank of Admiral and named Farragut eight other naval officers (which also included his foster brother David Dixon Porter) as rear admirals. Thus, Farragut became the first Hispanic-American admiral in the United States Navy.


"Battle of Mobile Bay" 
by Louis Prang

Farragut's greatest victory was Battle of Mobile Bay on August 5, 1864. Mobile, Alabama at the time was the Confederacy's last major port open on the Gulf of Mexico. The bay was heavily mined with tethered naval mines, also known as ''torpedoes''. When the USS ''Tecumseh'', one of the ships under his command, struck a mine and went down, Farragut shouted through a trumpet from his flagship to the USS ''Brooklyn'', "What's the trouble?" "Torpedoes!" was the reply. Farragut then shouted his now famous words 
''"Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!"'' The fleet succeeded in entering the bay. Farragut then triumphed over the opposition of heavy batteries in Fort Morgan and Fort Gaines to defeat the squadron of Admiral Franklin Buchanan.

Farragut was promoted to vice admiral on December 21, 1864, and to full admiral on July 25, 1866, after the war, thereby becoming the first person to be named full admiral in the Navy's history.

United States Naval Academy

The United States Naval Academy (USNA) is an institution for the undergraduate education of officers of the United States Navy and Marine Corps. The institution was founded as the Naval School in 1845 by Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft.

According to Rear Admiral Jay A. DeLoach the first Hispanic-American to graduate from the academy to reach the rank of admiral was Robert F. Lopez, of the class of 1879.

The first Hispanic from Puerto Rico to graduate from the academy and to reach the rank of admiral was Rear Admiral Frederick Lois Riefkohl from the class of 1911.

The Academy's Hispanic alumni

Frederick Lois Riefkohl 

ADM Horacio Rivero

RADM Jay A. DeLoach

*Commodore Robert F. Lopez, USN - USNA Class of 1879. Born in Davenport, Iowa. Admitted to USNA September 29, 1874. Appointed from Tennessee, 9th Congressional District. Lopez retired in 1911 as a captain. He was recalled to active duty during WWI and given the rank of Commodore (one star admiral rank typically used during war time) to command the Mare Island naval shipyard.

*Rear Admiral Frederick Lois Riefkohl, USN – USNA Class of 1911. Born and raised in Maunabo, Puerto Rico, he is the first Puerto Rican to graduate from the Naval Academy. He was a World War I Navy Cross recipient who served as Captain of the USS Vincennes (CA-44) during World War II.

*Rear Admiral Jose M. Cabanillas, USN - USNA Class of 1924. Born in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, was an Executive Officer of the USS Texas which participated in the invasions of North Africa and Normandy (D-Day) during World War II. In 1945, he became the first Commanding officer of the USS Grundy (APA-111).

*Rear Admiral Edmund Ernest Garcia, USN - USNA Class of 1927. Born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, his father Enrique Garcia was a Captain in the U.S. Army. He was originally a member of the Class of 1926 but requested to be turned back to the class of 1927 for academic deficiency in mathematics. During WWII was commander of the destroyer USS Sloat and saw action in the invasions of Africa, Sicily, and France.

*Rear Admiral Henry G. Sanchez, USN – USNA Class of 1930. Born on December 29, 1907. During World War II, then-LCDR Sanchez commanded VF-72, a F4F squadron of 37 aircraft, onboard the [[USS Hornet (CV-8)]] from July to October 1942. His squadron was responsible for shooting down 38 Japanese airplanes during his command tour which included the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands.

*Admiral Horacio Rivero, Jr., USN - USNA Class of 1931. Was the first four-star admiral from Puerto Rico and the second Hispanic-American full admiral, after Admiral David Farragut, in the Navy. Born in Ponce, Puerto Rico and graduated third in his USNA class. During WWII, he served aboard the USS San Juan (CL-54) and was involved in providing artillery cover for Marines landing on Guadalcanal, Marshall Islands, Iwo Jima, and Okinawa. In October 1962, Admiral Rivero found himself in the middle of the Cuban Missile Crisis. As Commander of amphibious forces, Atlantic Fleet, he was on the front line of the vessels sent to the Caribbean by President Kennedy to stop the Cold War from escalating into World War III.

*Rear Admiral Rafael Celestino Benitez, USN - USNA Class of 1939. Born in Juncos, Puerto Rico], was a Lieutenant Commander and saw action aboard submarines and on various occasions weathered depth charge attacks. For his actions, he was awarded the Silver and Bronze Star Medals. Benitez would later play an important role in the first American undersea spy mission of the Cold War as commander of the submarine USS Cochino in what became known as the "Cochino Incident".

*Vice Admiral Jesse J. Hernandez, USN – USNA Class of 1958. Hernandez was the Commander, US Naval Forces Japan from 1990 to 1993.

*Rear Admiral Benjamin F. Montoya, USN – USNA Class of 1958. He was born in Indio, California and graduated from Coachella Valley High School in 1953. He retired from the Navy in 1989 as the Chief of the Navy Civil Engineer Corps and Commander of the Naval Facilities Engineering Command.

*Rear Admiral Henry F. Herrera, USN – USNA Class of 1966. Hails from Miami Springs, Florida, he was the commanding officer of two fleet ballistic missile submarines, the President of the Board of Inspection and Survey, the Commander of Submarine Group NINE, and the Director, C41 Systems (J-6), U.S. Strategic Command.

*Rear Admiral Marc Y.E. Pelaez, USN – USNA Class of 1968. He was commanding officer of nuclear-powered attack submarine USS Sunfish (SSN-649), director of submarine technology at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and Chief of the Office of Naval Research.

*Rear Admiral George 'Rico' Mayer, USN – USNA Class of 1975. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, became a naval aviator and assumed his current assignment as Commander, Naval Safety Center, in August 2005. Mayer earned a Master’s degree from the U.S. Naval War College.

*Rear Admiral Jay A. DeLoach, USN - USNA Class of 1978. Born in San Diego, California, His academic background include a Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Engineering and two Masters degree; Master of Arts in Management & Supervision and Masters of Engineering in Nuclear Engineering. DeLoach is the Assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Operations for Resources, Requirements and Assessments. DeLoach played a instrumental role in implementing a visionary "Memorandum of Understanding" between the Submarine Force Active component and the Reserve component. He helped pioneer many key initiatives that have since been adopted Navy-wide.

Other Hispanic Admirals

There are also some members of the Navy who reached the rank of Admiral and who were not graduates of the Naval Academy. These were men who had earned specialized degrees and then chose to serve in the Navy. The following are the Hispanic Admirals who are not alumni of the Academy.

*Rear Admiral Jose Luis Betancourt, Jr. (Surface Warfare)(Ret.), born in Mexico, commanded a destroyer during the 1991 Persian Gulf War. He was the top officer in the Mine Warfare Command, headquartered in Corpus Christi, Texas. His command locates and destroys sea mines and identifies and marks safe passage routes for ships. He also is responsible for the development of the Navy’s underwater mines.

*Rear Admiral Alberto Diaz, Jr. (Medical Corps) (Ret.), born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from George Washington University and a Master's degree in Psychology from Butler University. He earned his Medical Degree from the University of Barcelona Medical School in Barcelona, Spain. Diaz was the first Hispanic to become the Director of the San Diego Naval District and Balboa Naval Hospital.

RADM Philip A. Dur                                  
*Rear Admiral Philip A. Dur
(Ret.), born in Bethesda, Maryland, earned a bachelor’s degree in Government and International Studies and a Master’s degree in Soviet East European studies from the University of Notre Dame. He also earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration and a Ph.D. in Political Economy and Government from [[Harvard University]]. Dur served as Assistant Deputy Chief of Naval Operations; Director, Navy Strategy Division; Commander, Battle Force United States Sixth Fleet; Commander, Cruiser Destroyer Group EIGHT; United States Defense Attaché accredited to the Government of France; Commanding Officer, USS Yorktown; and Director, Political Military Affairs on staff  National Security Council.

*Rear Admiral Alvaro R. Gomez
(Ret.) born in Brooklyn, New York, earned a Bachelor’s degree in history from St. Johns University and an Master of Science degree in business administration from George Washington University. In the Navy he specialized in Surface Warfare.

*Vice Admiral Diego E. Hernandez (Ret.), born in San Juan, was the first Hispanic to be named Vice Commander, North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD). Hernandez as Commander, Third Fleet, coordinated RIMPAC '88, a massive naval exercise which included more than 40 ships, approximately 200 aircraft and more than 50,000 sailors, airmen and Marines from the United States, Japan, Australia and Canada. This exercise marked the first inclusion of a battleship, USS Missouri, as a component in RIMPAC

*Rear Admiral Rodrigo C. Melendez (Dental Corps) (Ret.), from Los Angeles, California, joined a Navy Dental Student Early Commissioning Program during his freshmen year in Dental School. He earned Bachelor of Science and Doctor of Dental Surgery degrees from the University of Southern California and a Master of Science degree from George Washington University. He served as Assistant Chief for Education, Training and Personnel, Bureau of Medicine and Surgery in Washington D.C.


As of April 2007, there are four Admirals in the Navy of Hispanic descent. They are:
*Rear Admiral Jay A. DeLoach
(See: ''The academy's Hispanic alumni'' above)

RADM Albert Garcia
*Rear Admiral Albert Garcia
, Civil Engineering Corps, from Round Rock, Texas. His academic background include a Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Ph. D. in Environmental Engineering form Texas A&M University. Garcia has served as Commanding Officer of Officer in Charge of Construction, Atlantic; Commodore for the 9th Naval Construction Regiment; Assistant Chief of Staff for Reserve Affairs in the First Naval Construction Division; he commanded Task Force Charlie of the MEF Engineering Group and later was assigned as the Deputy Commander of the MEF Engineering Group in Iraq. In 2004 he assumed responsibility for consolidating several reserve augment units into a new command, NAVFAC Contingency OICC. He assumed the duties of Deputy Commander of the First Naval Construction Division in August 2005.

*Rear Admiral Will Rodriguez, Engineering Duty Officer. Born in [[Portsmouth, Virginia]], His father was Captain William Primitivo Rodriguez, USN, a 1954 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy. Rodriguez has been the Chief Engineer for the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR 05). Between November 2005 and February 2006, he was the Acting Commander for SPAWAR as well. Rodriguez's academic backgroud includes a Bachelors Degree in Mathematics and Computer Science and a Master of Science Degree in Systems Technology (Command, Control and Communications with emphasis in Computer Science and Communications Engineering).

*Rear Admiral George 'Rico' Mayer (See: ''The academy's Hispanic alumni'' above)

Credits: I would like to thank Rear Admiral Jay A. DeLoach and ERcheck for their help with this article.



                             THE FINAL INSPECTION

                 The American Soldier stood and faced God,
                      Which must always come to pass.
                     He hoped his shoes were shining,
                      Just as brightly as his brass.

                        "Step forward now, Soldier,
                        How shall I deal with you?
                  Have you always turned the other cheek?
                     To My Church have you been true?"

                The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
                        "No, Lord, I guess I ain't.
                    Because those of us who carry guns,
                         Can't always be a saint.

                      I've had to work most Sundays,
                      And at times my talk was tough.
                     And sometimes I've been violent,
                    Because the world is awfully rough.

                        But, I never took a penny,
                        That wasn't mine to keep...
                    Though I worked a lot of overtime,
                    When the bills got just too steep.

                    And I never passed a cry for help,
                    Though at times I shook with fear.
                      And sometimes, God, forgive me,
                         I've wept unmanly tears.

                      I know I don't deserve a place,
                          Among the people here.
                       They never wanted me around,
                        Except to calm their fears

                   If you've a place for me here, Lord,
                          It needn't be so grand.
                     I never expected or had too much,
                    But if you don't, I'll understand.

                There was a silence all around the throne,
                     Where the saints had often trod.
                      As the Soldier waited quietly,
                       For the judgment of his God.

                      "Step forward now, you Soldier,
                      You've borne your burdens well.
                   Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
                      You've done your time in Hell."

               Sent by Sal Del Valle

Hispanic Medal of Honor recipients

Part 4

By Tony (The Marine) Santiago

This is the fourth part of the Hispanic Medal of Honor series which consists of the short biographies of World War II recipients Joe P. Martinez, Manuel Perez Jr, Cleto L. Rodriguez and Alejandro R. Ruiz.

Now here is an interesting historical fact. If you went around asking people when was the last time that a war was fought between the United States and foreign country on American soil, the vast majority will most likely say that it was the War of 1812, when the British raided the shores of Chesapeake Bay and burned the White Hose in Washington, D.C. However, that is not the answer, the last time that the United States fought a foreign power in American soil was in 1942 when the Japanese invaded the island of Kiska. The island of Kiska is in the Aleutian chain which is part of Alaska. One Hispanic was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions in the Aleutians, he was Private Joe P. Martinez.

Private Joe P. Martinez from Taos, New Mexico was the first one of thirteen Hispanics awarded the Medal of Honor during World War II and the first soldier to receive the medal for his heroic actions during combat on American soil since the Indian Campaigns. Martinez was also the first Hispanic Medal of Honor recipient to have a naval ship named after him. When you read the stories of these men, I know that you will fill yourself with pride knowing that our people, our Raza have true heroes that we and our youth can look up to.


Joe P. Martinez*

By Tony (The Marine) Santiago



  Private Joe P. Martinez Medal of Honor

Private Joe P. Martinez (July 27, 1920 -May 26, 1943) born in Taos, New Mexico, was a United States Army soldier who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor - the United States' highest military decoration for his actions on the Aleutian Islands during World War II. Private Joseph P. Martinez was the first Hispanic-American to receive the Medal of Honor during World War II. His posthumous award was the first act for combat heroism on American soil (other than the 15 at Pearl Harbor) since the Indian Campaigns.

Early years
Martinez, whose birth name was Joseph Pantillion Martinez, was one of nine children born to a family of Mexican immigrants. In 1927, his father, who was an agricultural laborer, decided to move from Taos, New Mexico to Ault, Colorado. There Martinez received his primary and secondary education. On August 1942, he was drafted into the United States Army and sent to Camp Roberts in California where he received his basic training.

World War II
On June 6, 1942, Japanese forces invaded the island of Kiska and on June 7, the island of Attu. These islands are the western most island on the Aleutian chain and are part of Alaska. The U.S. feared that the islands would be used as bases from which to launch aerial assaults against the West Coast, and it became a matter of national pride to expel the first invaders to set foot on American soil since the War of 1812.

After Martinez completed his basic training, he was assigned to Company K, 32d Infantry, 7th Infantry Division. The 7th Infantry Division landed at Holtz Bay, Attu. On May 26, 1943, 32nd Infantry Regiment was engaged in combat in the vicinity of Fish Hook Ridge against enemy troops. The regiment was pinned down by enemy fire and Martinez on his own account led two assaults. He fired rifle into the Japanese foxholes and the men of his unit followed. Martinez was shot in the head as he approached one final foxhole after the second assault, dying of the wound the following day. Martinez was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.

Private Martinez was the first Hispanic-American recipient who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for combat heroism on American soil during World War II.

Medal of Honor citation: Pvt. JOE P. MARTINEZ

Rank and organization: Private, U.S. Army, Company K, 32d Infantry, 7th Infantry Division.
Place and date: On Attu, Aleutians, 26 May 1943.
Entered service at: Ault, Colorado
Birth: Pacoima, California
G.O. No.: 71, 27 October 1943.


"For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action with the enemy. Over a period of several days, repeated efforts to drive the enemy from a key defensive position high in the snow-covered precipitous mountains between East Arm Holtz Bay and Chichagof Harbor had failed. On 26 May 1943, troop dispositions were readjusted and a trial coordinated attack on this position by a reinforced battalion was launched. Initially successful, the attack hesitated. In the face of severe hostile machinegun, rifle, and mortar fire, Pvt. Martinez, an automatic rifleman, rose to his feet and resumed his advance. Occasionally he stopped to urge his comrades on. His example inspired others to follow. After a most difficult climb, Pvt. Martinez eliminated resistance from part of the enemy position by BAR fire and hand grenades, thus assisting the advance of other attacking elements. This success only partially completed the action. The main Holtz-Chichagof Pass rose about 150 feet higher, flanked by steep rocky ridges and reached by a snow-filled defile. Passage was barred by enemy fire from either flank and from tiers of snow trenches in front. Despite these obstacles, and knowing of their existence, Pvt. Martinez again led the troops on and up, personally silencing several trenches with BAR fire and ultimately reaching the pass itself. Here, just below the knifelike rim of the pass, Pvt. Martinez encountered a final enemy-occupied trench and as he was engaged in firing into it he was mortally wounded. The pass, however, was taken, and its capture was an important preliminary to the end of organized hostile resistance"


USS Pvt. Joe P. Martinez

Martinez was buried with full military honors at Ault Cemetery, Ault, Weld County in Colorado. On April 13, 1945, the United States Navy named one of its ships, which served as a troop transport during the Korean War, the USS Private Joe P. Martinez. The state of Colorado has honored his memory by naming a street and re-namimg a former base reception center and early officer's club which currently serves as the service center after him. The government named a Disabled American Veterans chapter in Colorado and an American Legion post in California in his honor. Three statues were erected with his likeness and are located in the Colorado cities of Ault, Greeley and Denver. The U.S. Army also named an Army Reserve military installation in Denver, Colorado after Martinez.

Awards and recognitions:
Among Private Joe P. Martinez' decorations and medals were the following:
Medal of Honor
Purple Heart Medal
American Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal

Congressional Medal of Honor Society
Hispanics in Americas Defense
Battle of the Aleutian Islands
Medal of Honor citation
U.S. military Installations


Manuel Perez Jr.*

By Tony (The Marine) Santiago



PFC Manuel Perez, Jr. Medal of Honor

P.F.C. Manuel Perez, Jr. (March 3, 1923-February 13, 1945) born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, was a United States Army soldier who was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor - the United States' highest military decoration for his actions in Battle of Luzon during the Philippines campaign of World War II.

Early years
Perez was a Mexican-American born in Oklahoma City. There he received his primary and secondary education. He moved to Chicago, Illinois where he worked before joining the United States Army upon the outbreak of World War II. After his basic training, the Army sent him to paratrooper school.

World War II
Japanese forces had invaded the Philippine islands and had under its control all of the U.S. Military Installations including Fort William McKinley which was located just south of Manila the capital. Fort William McKinley was where USAFFE (United States Army Forces - Far East) had its headquarters for the Philippine Department and the Philippine Division. The bulk of the Philippine Division was stationed here and this was where, under the National Defense Act of 1935, specialized artillery training was conducted.

In 1945, Perez was sent to the Philippines and assigned to Company A 511th Parachute Infantry, 11th Airborne Division whose mission was to take Fort William McKinley. On February 13, as the 11th Airborne Division approached the fort, it encountered a strong enemy fortified sector. The sector was composed of cement pillboxes armed with .50-caliber dual-purpose machineguns which defended the entrance to the fort.

Upon the realization that the pillboxes (Blockhouses) were withholding the advance of his division, Perez took it upon himself to charge the fortifications and blast them away with grenades. He killed 18 of the enemy before he was mortally wounded. Due to his actions his unit was able to advance successfully.

Medal of Honor citation: PEREZ, MANUEL, JR.

Rank and organization:Private First Class, U.S. Army, Company A 511th Parachute Infantry, 11th Airborne Division.
Place and date:Fort William McKinley, Luzon, Philippine Islands, 13 February 1945.
Entered service at:Chicago, Ill
Born:3 March 1923 Oklahoma City, Okla.
G.O. No.: 124, 27 December 1945.


"He was lead scout for Company A, which had destroyed 11 of 12 pillboxes in a strongly fortified sector defending the approach to enemy-held Fort William McKinley on Luzon, Philippine Islands. In the reduction of these pillboxes, he killed 5 Japanese in the open and blasted others in pillboxes with grenades. Realizing the urgent need for taking the last emplacement, which contained 2 twin-mount .50-caliber dual-purpose machineguns, he took a circuitous route to within 20 yards of the position, killing 4 of the enemy in his advance. He threw a grenade into the pillbox, and, as the crew started withdrawing through a tunnel just to the rear of the emplacement, shot and killed 4 before exhausting his clip. He had reloaded and killed 4 more when an escaping Japanese threw his rifle with fixed bayonet at him. In warding off this thrust, his own rifle was knocked to the ground. Seizing the Jap rifle, he continued firing, killing 2 more of the enemy. He rushed the remaining Japanese, killed 3 of them with the butt of the rifle and entered the pillbox, where he bayoneted the 1 surviving hostile soldier. Single-handedly, he killed 18 of the enemy in neutralizing the position that had held up the advance of his entire company. Through his courageous determination and heroic disregard of grave danger, Pfc. Perez made possible the successful advance of his unit toward a valuable objective and provided a lasting inspiration for his comrades."

Perez was buried with full military honors at Fairlawn Cemetery which is located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The state government of Illinois honored the memory of Perez by naming a plaza located in Chicago's Little Village Square and a school after him. The Department of the Army the reserve center of the 221st Unit Army Hospital in Oklahoma City, the Manuel Perez Jr Reserve Center.

Awards and recognitions:
Among P.F.C. Manuel Perez, Jr.' decorations and medals were the following:
Medal of Honor
Purple Heart Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
American Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
Parachutist badge

Manuel Perez, Jr. Medal of Honor citation
National Government Oklahoma city

Cleto L. Rodriguez

By Tony (The Marine) Santiago



T/Sgt Cleto L. Rodriguez Medal of Honor

Technical Sergeant Cleto L. Rodriguez (April 26, 1923 - December 7, 1990) born in San Marcos, Texas, was a Hispanic-American who served in both the U.S. Army and in the U.S. Air Force and received the Medal of Honor for actions in Manila, Philippine Islands during World War II.

Early years
He was born and lived in San Marcos, Texas until his parents died when he was nine years old. After the death of his parents he was sent to live with relatives in San Antonio, Texas. As a boy he worked for the Gunter Hotel as a newsboy. He enlisted in the United States Army in early 1944 where he served as a Private in Company B, 148th Infantry, 37th Infantry Division.

World War II
In Manila on February 9, 1945 Cleto's platoon was ordered to initiate an offensive assault against the Paco Railroad Station that was being held by the Japanese. While crossing an open field in front of the railroad station his platoon was stopped 100 yards from the railroad station by intense Japanese gunfire. Without being ordered to do so Cleto and a fellow soldier left the platoon and continued forward under heavy Japanese gunfire until they made it to a house 60 yards from the railroad station. The two soldiers remained in their position for an hour while firing at targets of opportunity, killing 35 Japanese soldiers and wounding many others. After an hour the 2 soldiers moved forward towards the railroad station where they discovered a group of Japanese replacements attempting to reach pillboxes.

Cleto and his fellow soldier opened heavy fire and killed more than 40 Japanese soldiers and stopped any other attempts to reach the pillboxes. The enemy fire increased as the two soldiers came within 20 yards of the railroad station. Cleto's comrade provided cover fire while he moved up to the railroad station where he threw 5 grenades through a doorway killing 7 Japanese soldiers and destroying a 20-mm gun and wrecking a heavy machine gun. With their ammunition running low the 2 soldiers made their way back to their platoon while each took turns providing cover fire for the other to move. During the return back to their platoon Cleto's comrade was killed. During the 2½ hours of fighting the two soldiers killed more than 82 Japanese soldiers and completely disorganized the defense of the railroad station which paved the way for U.S. soldiers overwhelming the railroad station in victory. Two days later Cleto again enabled his platoon to advance when he single-handedly killed 6 Japanese soldiers and destroyed a well placed 20-mm gun. As a result of these actions Private Cleto L. Rodriguez was awarded the Medal of Honor for his gallant determination to destroy the enemy, and heroic courage in the face of tremendous odds.

Medal of Honor citation:  CLETO RODRIGUEZ

Rank and organization:U.S. Army, Company B, 148th Infantry, 37th Infantry Division
Place and date:Paco Railroad Station, Manila, Philippine Islands, 9 February 1945
Entered service at:San Antonio, TX
Born:San Marcos, TX


"He was an automatic rifleman when his unit attacked the strongly defended Paco Railroad Station during the battle for Manila, Philippine Islands. While making a frontal assault across an open field, his platoon was halted 100 yards from the station by intense enemy fire.

On his own initiative, he left the platoon, accompanied by a comrade, and continued forward to a house 60 yards from the objective. Although under constant enemy observation, the 2 men remained in this position for an hour, firing at targets of opportunity, killing more than 35 hostile soldiers and wounding many more.

Moving closer to the station and discovering a group of Japanese replacements attempting to reach pillboxes, they opened heavy fire, killed more than 40 and stopped all subsequent attempts to man the emplacements. Enemy fire became more intense as they advanced to within 20 yards of the station.

Then, covered by his companion, Pvt. Rodriguez boldly moved up to the building and threw 5 grenades through a doorway killing 7 Japanese, destroying a 20-mm. gun and wrecking a heavy machinegun. With their ammunition running low, the 2 men started to return to the American lines, alternately providing covering fire for each other's withdrawal.

During this movement, Pvt. Rodriguez' companion was killed. In 2 l/2 hours of fierce fighting the intrepid team killed more than 82 Japanese, completely disorganized their defense, and paved the way for the subsequent overwhelming defeat of the enemy at this strongpoint.

Two days later, Pvt. Rodriguez again enabled his comrades to advance when he single-handedly killed 6 Japanese and destroyed a well-placed 20-mm. gun by his outstanding skill with his weapons, gallant determination to destroy the enemy, and heroic courage in the face of tremendous odds, Pvt. Rodriguez, on 2 occasions, materially aided the advance of our troops in Manila."

Later years
He later served in the U.S. Air Force from 1952 to 1954 and again served in the U.S. Army from 1955 to 1970. He died on December 7, 1990 in San Antonio, Texas and is buried in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery.

In 1975, the elementary school that Rodriguez attended during the 1930s in San Antonio was renamed in his honor, becoming the only school in the San Antonio school district to be named in honor of a former alumnus. An 8.5 mile stretch of Texas highway 90, from I-410 to I-35, has been named in his honor.

Awards and recognitions:
Among Cleto L. Rodriguez's decorations and medals were the following:
Medal of Honor
Silver Star Medal
Bronze Star Medal (2 times)
Purple Heart Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal with two Bronze Service Stars
Philippine Liberation Medal
World War II Victory Medal

Further reading
Raul Morin (1963). Among the Valiant: Mexican Americans in World War II and Korea. Los Angeles: Border.

Cynthia E. Orozco (April 5, 2005). RODRÍGUEZ, CLETO L.. Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved on December 16, 2006.
Rodriguez Elementary. San Antonio Independent School District. Retrieved on December 16, 2006.

Alejandro R. Ruiz

By Tony (The Marine) Santiago




PFC Alejandro R. Ruiz Medal of Honor
Private First Class Alejandro R. Ruiz, born June 26, 1923 in Loving, New Mexico, was a United States Army soldier who was awarded the Medal of Honor, the United States' highest military decoration, for his actions on Okinawa in the Ryukyu Islands during World War II.

Early years
Ruiz was born and raised in New Mexico and enlisted in the United States Army in the town of Carlsbad, New Mexico upon the outbreak of World War II. He was assigned to the U.S. 27th Infantry Division after completing basic training.

World War II
During World War II, the conquest of the Japanese island of Okinawa was considered vital for the Allied forces as a step towards an invasion of the Japanese mainland. The invasion (codenamed Operation Iceberg) was the largest amphibious operation of the Pacific war, and involved units of the U.S. Tenth Army, commanded by Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr. These consisted of III Amphibious Corps (1st and 6th Marine Divisions, with 2nd Marine Division as an afloat reserve), and XXIV Corps (7th, 77th, 96th and 27th Infantry Divisions.)

On April 28, 1945, PFC Ruiz's unit was pinned down by machine gun fire coming from a camouflaged Japanese pillbox and was unable to advance to its assigned objective. Ruiz, on his own initiative, charged the pillbox under a hail of machine gun fire. On his second attempt, he was able to neutralize the pillbox by killing all of its occupants. For his actions he was nominated for the Medal of Honor. On June 26, 1946, President Harry S. Truman presented Ruiz with the Medal of Honor in a ceremony held at the White House.

Medal of Honor citation:  ALEJANDRO R. RENTERIA RUIZ

Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Army, 165th Infantry, 27th Infantry Division
Place and date: Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, 28 April 1945
Entered service at: Carlsbad, New Mexico
Born: June 26, 1923, Loving, New Mexico
G.O. No. 60, 26 June 1946.

"When his unit was stopped by a skillfully camouflaged enemy pillbox, he displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty. His squad, suddenly brought under a hail of machinegun fire and a vicious grenade attack, was pinned down. Jumping to his feet, Pfc. Ruiz seized an automatic rifle and lunged through the flying grenades and rifle and automatic fire for the top of the emplacement. When an enemy soldier charged him, his rifle jammed. Undaunted, Pfc. Ruiz whirled on his assailant and clubbed him down. Then he ran back through bullets and grenades, seized more ammunition and another automatic rifle, and again made for the pillbox. Enemy fire now was concentrated on him, but he charged on, miraculously reaching the position, and in plain view he climbed to the top. Leaping from one opening to another, he sent burst after burst into the pillbox, killing 12 of the enemy and completely destroying the position. Pfc. Ruiz's heroic conduct, in the face of overwhelming odds, saved the lives of many comrades and eliminated an obstacle that long would have checked his unit's advance."

Ruiz currently resides in Visalia, California and actively participates in activities honoring Medal of Honor recipients. The town of Visalia has honored Ruiz by naming the "Alejandro R. Ruiz Sr. Park" after him, located at North Burke Street and Buena Vista Street.

Awards and recognitions
Among PFC Alejandro R. Ruiz' decorations and medals are the following:
Medal of Honor
Purple Heart Medal
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal
American Campaign Medal
World War II Victory Medal
Combat Infantryman Badge

27th Infantry Division
Medal of Honor citation
Visalia Times-Delta
Valley Force

                  Dedication events bring together Medal of Honor Citation recipients

[ Do not miss next months issue of "Somos Primos", where I will write about the last two Hispanic World War II Medal of Honor recepients, Jose F. Valdez and Ysmael R. Villegas and I will write the first two articles of the Korean War Hispanic MoH reicpients, Fernando Luis Garcia and Edward Gomez .]



March 10, 2007

Honorable Lloyd Doggett
U. S. Representative, 21st Congressional District
300 E. 8th Street
Austin, TX 78701

Dear Congressman Doggett:

The purpose of this letter is to voice my concern and disappointment that in this day and age, the historian Ken Burns can use public funds to produce a WWII documentary and not even mention the contribution made by our Hispanic forefathers to the War effort. Our forefathers were used, abused and discarded immediately after the war. My own father, Isidro Ramos fought the war in Manila, Philippines Island for two and half years along side Medal of Honor recipient, Cleto Rodriguez. Rodriguez was the seventh person of Mexican descent to receive the Medal of Honor in WWII.  

After reading Tom Brokaw’s The Greatest Generation, I wondered where is the story of the Mexican descent veteran. Our very own Joe Ureigas landed in Normandy. He was awarded the Legion of Honor from the French Government. Why was my father never afforded the use of the GI bill. My father only had a third grade education and was never assisted with even a high school education. He is a great American in his own right. He raised two sons that served in the U.S. Navy and four grandchildren now serving in the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Army and USMC. He taught us to be proud of being American. And yet we continue to be treated like we did not exist or have never contributed. This is a big concern and disappointment to me.   Thank you for your service to our great nation. If I can ever be of service to you please feel free to call me at (512) 589-2175. 

Yours in Christ Jesus  
Joe Ramos
First Vice-Commander 



The Soldiers' Project

With continuing military involvement of the US in Iraq and Afghanistan, there is a growing need for psychological services for military service members and their families.

Recent studies indicate that 35% of Iraq war veterans access mental health services in the year they return, Reservists and National Guard members now make up 40% of the forces in Iraq and will be returning to their communities in large numbers. They are not eligible for the same medical coverage as active duty service members and will need services in the private sector.

Many of our soldiers have suffered psychological injuries no less serious than the visible physical scars of war. Every military service member and his or her family is affected in some way by the disruption of normal life which begins with deployment orders and continues through the challenges of readjustment upon coming home.

As mental health practitioners who understand the far reaching consequences of these war related experiences, we can provide the support that is needed to smooth the transition back into families and communities.

Because of the large numbers of reservists and National Guard who have been called up, many families who are affected by the deployment, do not live on military bases. It is often teachers, physicians and other social service providers who are the first to see these families in distress. We offer seminars to providers and community groups to heighten awareness that the upsets that they are seeing may related to having a family member in the service or recently returned home.

We have learned that some soldiers are fearful of accessing mental health services while on active duty. This is a significant factor in the under-use of available psychological services within the military and VA systems. As clinicians is private practice we can address these fears and provide alternative treatment options outside of the military system.

Mission Statement

The Soldiers' Project is a project of the Trauma Center of LAISPS (Los Angeles Institute & Society for Psychoanalytic Studies). Participating therapists and supporters include other licensed clinicians and members of local psychoanalytic institutes. We provide - free of charge - psychological services that are individually tailored to the particular needs of those who seek our help. We are available to work with service men and women on active duty, veterans, and/or families and loved ones.. We provide counseling for individuals, couples and families, as well as group therapy. We are able to respond to any request for help within 24 hours. We are not affiliated with any governmental agency and offer the flexibility and confidentiality available in private clinical practice.

If you or one of your family members thinks they might benefit from help, please contact us. One of our mental health professionals will be in touch with you to set up an appointment.

info(S) Phone: 818-761-7438

You can also visit our website for additional information at www.thesoldiersproject



Anastacia Nunez-Bautista, a Noble Woman and Survivor 
Sharing Family Stories with Children
Growing up in Kingsville, Texas 


"A Noble Woman and Survivor"

January 22, 1908 – October 27, 1978


A Mother’s Day Tribute

By Mercy Bautista-Olvera (daughter)

My mother Anastacia Nuñez-Bautista was born on January 22, 1908 in Cieneguillas, Zacatecas, mom’s parents were Juan Nuñez Flores and Guadalupe Robles Nava, and Anastacia's paternal grandparents were Lucas Garcia Nuñez and Serapia Molina Flores, the maternal grandparents were Antonio Casas Robles and Refugio Acevedo Nava.

Anastacia’s sibilings included; Everardo, Francisco, Modesta, Pedro, Ignacia, Felix and Josefina, all born in Los Negros (Zacatecas), except for Anastacia. Anastacia was born in Cieneguillas, a ranch close to the city of Zacatecas. Her family owned cattle, horses, and sheep. Fortunately, her family did not suffer from poverty as many other families did in Mexico at the time. As a child Anastacia spent most of her early years with her maternal grandparents Antonio Casas Robles and Refugio Acevedo Nava, they lived in Tepetongo, Zacatecas, not far from her parent’s ranch. Little Anastacia was extremely close to her maternal grandparents.

In 1916 Anastacia’s mother Guadalupe Nava Robles died at the young age of 30 during an epidemic. Her mother’s early death left her father, Juan, and now eight children motherless. At this time the oldest, Everardo was thirteen years old and the youngest Felix just a few months old, Anastacia was just eight years old. At this time her father Juan decided to take Anastacia back to his home and help his family. Anastacia’s maternal grandparents, Antonio and Refugio, were not only devastated of losing their daughter Guadalupe but also losing their young beloved granddaughter Anastacia. Although there were visitations among the families, it was never the same for a child of that age.

Anastacia, at the age of eight was given the responsibility of a caretaker to her brothers and sisters, in later years her siblings would say that she was a mother to all of them including to her two older brothers, Everardo and Francisco. For most of her youth Anastacia cooked, sewed, and cared for her brothers and sisters. As a result of owning a small farm, her father, Juan, had a stable job delivering milk.

Later Anastacia’s widowed father Juan, married Gregoria Robles (his first wife’s cousin). This eased the load of work and responsibility for Anastacia. During these times education was the least of their worries, most of the children did not go to school, though Anastacia did have a little bit of schooling. The older boys helped their father with the small farm chores and the girls mostly were at home, doing chores, reading, knitting, etc., on their own.


Upon reaching womanhood, she met and fell in love with Marcelino Ramirez Bautista. Marcelino, a young and handsome man was the son of Tiburcio Muro Bautista and Petra Arteaga Ramirez.

Anastacia and Marcelino met in the city of Zacatecas. Their romance was through self-written letters exchanged and delivered by friends or relatives. While Marcelino asked for her hand in marriage, her father, Juan, refused to give his blessings. Juan had his own plans for his beloved daughter Anastacia; if she was to be married, would marry a farmer. According to Juan it would be a better life than what Marcelino had to offer. However, since Anastacia was old enough to make her own decisions, she agreed to the marriage. Nonethless, the local authorities were called to let her father know that he had no right to stop his daughter from marrying the young man she loved. Finally, an irritated Juan Nuñez signed his name approving of the marriage. Juan was so upset that he did not visit his newlywed daughter for more than a year. However, in time he accepted the marriage.


Anastacia Nuñez and Marcelino Bautista, June 7, 1930

In Zacatecas, Zacatecas, Anastacia and Marcelino married on June 7, 1930 at the Iglesia del Sagrario. Life was not easy for the young couple, Marcelino worked in the mines, and held such odd jobs as painting houses, welding, and delivering water. They would have nine children; Victoria, Enrique (Henry), Andrea Petra, Modesta, Guadalupe, Esther, Maria Mercedes (Mercy), Carlos (Charley) and Jesus (Jess).

In 1937 while pregnant from her fourth child Modesta, Anastacia became very ill. Doctors suggested urgent surgery on her leg; however, due to the pregnancy she was unable to take medication. During surgery the doctor attending simply instructed her to bite the bed sheets. Thus without anesthesia, Anastacia underwent surgery, leaving her with a large scar on her upper leg. It was never clear if the surgery was the result of gangrene or a blood clot.

With Marcelino still struggling and working, Anastacia decided to help him by seeking wealthy families around Zacatecas and asking for work. She was fortunate to find jobs right away. During this time Anastacia cleaned houses for middle class families, washed and ironed their clothes, oftentimes she would bring the clothes home in order to spend more time with her children. Anastacia’s children were lucky in that they lived next door to their paternal grandfather Tiburcio (Bucho) Bautista. Tiburcio worked jobs similar to those of his son Marcelino. After losing his first wife, Petra Artega Ramirez., Tiburcio re-married Maria Cruz Dorado in 1920, she was a widow with one married daughter. Together these grandparents, Tiburcio and Cruzita became very good grandparents; they loved Marcelino’s and Anastacia’s children and they in turn loved them.

Hoping to improve their overall living conditions the family moved to Guadalupe, Zacatecas. It was here that Marcelino, became ill with pneumonia. In fact he became so sick and unable to work, that Anastacia decided to earn extra money by baking and selling doughnuts. It was common for the youngest children in the family to go with her and help her sell doughnuts. However, one night while returning from selling doughnuts she tripped and fell, despite being injured, she somehow made it back home. When Aunt Maria (Marcelino’s sister) arrived from California it was decided that the family return to the city of Zacatecas. In Zacatacas, Marcelino’s health, under doctor’s care, improved and Anastacia returned to work.

Marcelino (center) visiting Marquez Bautista (cousin) in Upland, California in the 1940’s

By the early 1940’s there was news that the Bracero Program was recruiting men to work in Unites States as farmers or for the railroad. Marcelino was one of the thousands who realized the opportunities this program could afford him. Marcelino finally left his family to work in the U.S. Anastacia was devastated; she loved her husband and didn’t want him to leave. Marcelino worked on the railroads in such states as; Missouri, Kansas, and Ohio. Unfortunately, for Marcelino, as well as other Braceros, they were sent back to Mexico once World War II ended. A few years later Marcelino frequently crossed the border with a work permit to work and then returned to visit his family in Zacatecas. It often seemed like years would pass before he returned to his family. It no doubt put a strain on him and members of the family.

On a November rainy afternoon, Anastacia, while pregnant with her last child, and while attempting to bring in her hanging laundry, slipped down a high hill. Severely cut and bruised, an ambulance arrived to take her for emergency care. This unfortunate accident required surgery and stitches on the right side of her face, close to her temple, and to the top of her lip. For a few weeks it was necessary for Anastacia to remain hospitalized. Finally, she was released and sent home to us. The baby was born in the same hospital a few weeks later. Some still say that it was a miracle that she and baby survived the accident.

           Marcelino Bautista 
During this time Marcelino traveled to Chicago, Illinois and California looking for work, but jobs were scarce. For a while he returned to Zacatecas only to leave his family again. Finally, while staying with his sister Maria in California he secured a job as a construction worker.

This separation of Marcelino from Anastacia and his family was not easy. While Anastacia struggled to maintain her composure, her pain was evident to all those around her. She continued working and sewing clothes and doing the best she could for the family. Despite Marcelino’s absence, he was always responsible and would regularly send money to his family in Zacatecas.

To further assist Anastacia, her cousin Fernando Robles, who owned a small business, offered jobs to the teenage children; Andrea Petra, Modesta, and Henry. However, eventually Fernando’s family moved to Mexico City. By now the two oldest daughters were married with children. While Marcelino visited his family as much as possible, it was nonetheless heartbreaking to have long separations.

Finally in Califonria, Marcelino found a steady job as a construction worker for Sully Miller Construction Company in Los Angeles. He was proud of his work and proud of his accomplishments with this company, and the pay was good. At this point Marcelino decided to bring his family to Los Angeles, California. The family moved to Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico in order to immigrate to United States. Anastacia worked in El Paso, Texas, cleaning houses with a work permit. Just days before the departure, one daughter, Guadalupe, eloped with her boyfriend. She refused to leave with the family. A few years later the family discovered that Guadalupe was very ill. Hoping to nurse her daughter back to health, Anastacia decided to visit her daughter, but instead became ill herself. It was decided that Henry, the oldest brother, would return to Juarez and further assist his ill sister and now, mother. Dismayed Henry found them both not only seriously ill, but abandoned by his sick sister’s husband. To further compound the situation, Guadalupe now had a one year old daughter. In time Anastacia’s health improved. However, when they attempted to re-enter the United States, Guadalupe was denied entrance because she was still too ill. The situation resulted in Anastacia and Henry taking Guadalupe back to Zacatecas and placing her in a hospital for long term treatment. Sadly, in 1957,  she passed away just months after being hospitalized. After her passing, Henry again, returned to Juarez and brought Guadalupe’s daughter to United States to live with her maternal grandparents. 
    Guadalupe Bautista               
The series of events was understandably traumatic for Anastacia who never recovered from losing her daughter Guadalupe, of only 17 years age.

Finally, the family settled in Los Angeles, California. It was a happy home. There was always music in the house since Anastacia listened to the local Spanish radio stations. Besides radio, Anastacia’s own record collection included: waltzes, Pedro Infante and El Charro Avitia, Libertad Lamarque, Agustin Lara, Pedro Vargas, Lola Beltran and many, many more. In her free time Anastacia watched television. One of her favorite movies was the "Five Sullivan's." The movie was the true story of five brothers, who join the Navy, although she couldn’t understand a lot of English, she understood the meaning and struggle of a family losing their sons during WWII. She found it easy to relate to the "mothers" on such 1950’s television programs as "Donna Reed," "Leave It to Beaver" and "Ozzie and Harriet." "I love Lucy" was also one of her favorites.

By the early 1960’s Anastacia easily absorbed American culture. She admired President Kennedy and his family. She took it hard when the President was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. She couldn’t believe why anyone would hurt the President. In watching television news, listening to the radio, and reading "La Opinion" the Spanish language newspaper, Anastacia was now well aware of the world around her.

Anastacia was born before her time; she worked and traveled on her own. She frequently traveled alone to visit family in Zacatecas. Living in Southern California she worked as a seamstress. Never learning to drive, she would take the bus, rain or shine. And since she had a professional sewing machine at home, the company staff would often bring her garments to sew. Despite these demands, she was a devoted mother who enjoyed such pastimes as crocheting, embroidering, sewing, gardening, cooking, and most of all being around her children.

A normal school day would find Anastacia making fresh flour tortillas in the morning for her school age children. The tortillas would then be stuffed with potatoes and ground round. This was all done before she went to work. Even neighborhood kids loved her cooking. The Bautista house was the place to be after school; filled with the Bautista children and their children’s friends. Anastacia never complained about so many kids coming to the house since she was good friends with their parents, and besides the kids loved and respected her.

In the early 1960’s the Bautista family departed to visit family in Zacatecas, Zacatecas and then traveled on to Los Negros ranch. Here at the ranch some of Anastacia’s family members still lived, specifically her brother Francisco Robles Nuñez and his family. Seeing her three young handsome nephews on horseback riding, immediately reminded one of the popular television program of the day, "Bonanza." It was a most joyful occasion for Anastacia, she was so happy to see them, and the ranch, it reminded her of her upbringing. The family visit was like living an old Mexican movie, complete with working ranch, colorful hacienda, and most of all, home for a close knit family.

It was shortly after returning from this vacation, during one of Anastacia’s physical exams, that the doctor diagnosed her with cancer. Despite being admitted and released from General Hospital, she still needed treatments. The treatments were painful and uncomfortable, this was made even more difficult since to receive these treatments, she traveled by bus. At this time most of the children were too young to drive, and her husband and oldest son could not afford to miss work. Eventually, her health improved, and life returned to normal.

At this time the Bautista family moved to a nice neighborhood and lived in a brand new house in an area called La Colonia. Unfortunately, the high payments forced Marcelino and Anastacia to move to another area. While Anastacia frequently visited her father and family in Zacatecas, she was understandably devastated when her father, Juan Nuñez died in 1962. He left property to all of his grown children, including Anastacia. After making funeral arrangements, she sold her share of the properties and returned to Los Angeles.


Marcelino and Anastacia were a loving couple, one seldom, if never heard them argue, or if they did they, it was kept private. Typical weekends at this time included; traveling downtown to see Mexican movies, lunching at Clifton’s Cafeteria, and shopping at the Central Market. On Sundays the whole family would walk to church. After church there would be outings at the beach or park.



The Watts Riots that began on August 11, 1965 turned the family’s lives upside down. From where the family lived, gunfire and fire engines were continuously heard. At one point Anastacia told her children to simply lie on the floor to avoid any stray gunshots. It was definitely a war zone, the local television news showed buildings being burned, one by one. And through it all Anastascia was brave and protective for her children. During this time she stopped working, but when the rioting ended she returned to work. Shortly after the riots the family moved to Huntington Park, California. At the time it was a predominantly Anglo neighborhood, and the Bautista family was one of the first Hispanic families to move in. It was here that Marcelino Bautista and Anastacia Nunez would live the rest of their lives.
Anastacia’s final years were spend growing closer to her eldest son, Henry. Their memorable years from the old country produced a unique bond. Whatever mother needed Henry was there for her, and living on the same block as our parents obviously helped. And both she and Marcelino always looked forward to visiting their youngest son (Jess), daughter-in-law, and grandchildren in Denver, Colorado.

Henry Bautista 1934
– 2005

In 1978 Mom expressed a dream, to become a U.S. citizen. She asked me, her youngest daughter to assist and study with her. Sad to say Anastacia never met this dream. On an October afternoon in 1978, she suffered a stroke. 

1975, Bautista Family 
with 7 of their 9 children

For several days she lingered on life support, until the older children and Dad decided to let her go. Without saying it was one of the most difficult times in our lives.

Our Dad, Marcelino, devastated to have lost her, never remarried. Eleven years later, he also succumbed from a stroke in 1989.

To Dad, Anastacia Nuñez was a wonderful wife and companion. For us, her children, she was a noble, loving, generous, sincere, caring, and loyal. With so much love in her heart; she was adored by all. And most of all, to us her children, we will always be blessed with special memories of her.


Our mother was a remarkable woman… 

Her life has left a great legacy for her family. For her adult children and grandchildren, and great-grandchildren; her spirit, her memory, her love for family, lives-and will always live on.

(Right, Anastacia and her daughter Mercy, 1975)



Sharing Family Stories with Children

Since I was young child I have heard stories from my father and uncles about how our family was descended from the early Spanish/Mexican explores. My dad, William Arvizu, was a story spellbinder and would fill me with what the Early/Spanish California life was like before the days of the gold rush of 1849 and when the Ranchos were still thriving. Stories of old California and the days of Joaquin Murrieta filled my head. I wanted to learn more. My days in Public School history classes did nothing to teach me about what California was like before the gold rush. I learned that not much was written about the early Spanish California days. I was even told by the curator at the Gilroy Museum that not much was known about those times because the descendants were all dead.

I set out to learn for myself what Early Spanish California was like. I have been gathering family information most of my adult life. My passion is to learn as much as I can about Early California History and to pass it along to others. This book is the fulfillment of a dream which sprang from seeds planted by my father's early stories. I wanted to put our family history into writing and in a form which would be interesting for others to read. Our history parallels the story of many other Latino families which helped to settle the west before the vast area became what is now part of the United States. This is the reason that I have dedicated the book to my father, William Arvizu.

I have actually been writing this book all of my life since I have been gathering information most of my adult life and learning from stories I had heard as a young child.

The book is the history of the Arvizu family from the mid 1700s when they first arrived as settlers and soldiers with the Kings Army. Some citations start as early as 1621 when Captain Miguel DE Arvizu lead a wagon train from Mexico City to the Kingdom of New Mexico. It is a genealogical study and covers up to the mid 1940s. There are many old maps, prints and historical Arvizu photos starting around 1830 and ending in the 1940s. The book is also a recognition of what the Arvizu family and other Latino families did to help build California into the state that it is today. That is why I have titled the book BUILDING CALIFORNIA -200 YEARS OF ARVIZU HISTORY.

I hope others enjoy it as much as it was interesting for me to put this together. Of course I had help from other cousins like Rose Hardy and Tim Arvizu who helped with the family research. They did much to encourage me.

John Arvizu  
For more information, click.

Growing up in Kingsville, Texas
Rebecca Ramirez Shokrian


My life differs somewhat from end Santos from Laredo, Texas who grew up in an Hispanic community in south Texas; but, discrimination was present from the time of my parents who lived in Kingsville, Texas in the '30s.

My father worked for the Missouri pacific railroad and my mom was a meticulous housewife who worked from sun up until nighttime. I grew up with four brothers. Because of my Spanish heritage I inherited a fair complexion with light brown hair and eyes. . Pasaba por gringo (I passed for Anglo).

I learned to read Spanish from my Uncle Rudolf Alvarez an interpreter for the Kingsville court system and CPA accountant at age five. Our parents stressed English at home since we started talking, and as a result i skipped pre-school.         Jose and Rebecca Ramirez
I was placed in beginner's grade, which I suppose would be 
equivalent to kindergarten.

I was a small and skinny kid for my age but very bright. My teacher would tell me to tutor and help those who could not read English. I guess that's when I knew I was going to be a teacher of small children when I grew up. It was at Memorial jr. high school that I learned that I was different.

I made friends with everyone Anglo, black or Mexican -American kids. Perhaps because I made excellent grades and teachers liked me I grew up thinking I was like everyone else. But, it was in the eighth grade while walking down the hall behind two of my friends (one Anglo Sandra Amacker. and the other passing for Anglo Gloria Bodillo that Ii overheard them say: we are so glad no Mexican won the class favorite for eighth grade.

I guess that it was then that I realized the hypocrisy and the dislike for my people. Even in 2nd grade I remember going to the principal's office for speaking Spanish in the playground. Mr. sherry sternly told me:" you know young lady, this is America and we speak English only. Now go to that corner and place your nose on the wall and think about what I said. "I had never felt so humiliated in my life. I just could not understand why we could not speak Spanish at school. I knew right then and there I would never tell my parents that I had been sent to the office for I feared I would get a spanking at home for getting into trouble at school.

After a while Mr. sherry looked at me and told me he did not want to see me in his office ever again. I kept looking down at the floor. Then he got upset and told me, "Look at me when I speak to you". I just could not for I was so ashamed. He took his hand and held me by my chin and again told me "look at me when I talk to you". Well, it was going to be many, many years later that I realized when a Hispanic child is being punished one looks down in shame not out of disrespect but as a courteous gesture for an elder. That was one our Hispanic customs. That was one of the worst days in elementary school that I ever experienced. I know I must have cried a lot that day. Deep down in my heart I kept asking the question: why can't I speak Spanish; after all my parents and grandmother speak it? I kept that entire episode in my heart, mind and soul for many, many years.

The time came for high school. I only went to Kingsville high school for one or two semesters as my dad was transferred to Freeport, Texas where there were very few Hispanics. But, before we moved. We were all being called by the counselor to make plans as to what we wanted to do in life. When I got to his office, the Anglo counselor told me oh, Rebecca you have such excellent grades except for math (I was having trouble with plane geometry) that I know you will make an excellent receptionist and secretary. Let us see. We can give you bookkeeping and typing courses to prepare you for the future. When I protested and said but I want to be a teacher not a secretary. I hated to type and still do to this date. He kept pushing me to sign some papers to pursue a secretarial career. Thank god we moved to Freeport where I was given a lot of praise for my grades and future plans to become a teacher.

Carolyn Brewer wherever you are, I thank you many times over for leading me into a teaching career which lasted 38 years with a B.A. In elementary education and spanish from Sam Houston state teachers college in Huntsville, Texas and masters in education from trinity university in san Antonio, Texas.

I have my parents Rebecca and Jose Ramirez to thank. They encouraged me. They helped with my tuition. For my first year in college, I got several scholarships and a loan from the National Defense Student Loan program. Everyone kept telling me, no matter what, to pursue my teaching goals and plans to teach in a lower socioeconomic school, to keep going no matter what. I was reminded to respect god, family, country, and myself, to be proud of who and what we are no matter what. Yes, in spite of all the discrimination, shame, embarrassments, put downs, i experienced in Kingsville, Texas.

My school friends of the 50's grew up to become teachers, lawyers, dentists, doctors, administrators, and social workers. Why, because we had the best Hispanic teachers who loved and cared for us; I would not be fair in stating here that yes there were a few Anglo teachers who helped us too: Mrs. Mildred trailer and Mrs. McNabb. But they were few. They taught us to respect property, love our country, be proud of our Hispanic heritage, be kind to one another, help those in need, and most of all respect our elders and ourselves.

Yes, growing up in Kingsville without a TV, a car, and all the modern gadgets our kids have today taught us basic values and respect for others and love of country. I am now fast becoming the older generation for my parents generation is just about gone. I go to Kingsville once in a while for all my relatives and one of brothers is buried there. I go to lay flowers at their gravesites and thank them for giving us life and the values of life that are fast disappearing from this generation.

I think of those times when we could play outdoors until almost sunset, not fearing for our lives, when jumping rope, playing jacks and marbles, climbing trees, telling scary stories, and playing with our pets, listening to the radio were the" in" things. If we had a phonograph or a TV set we were very lucky. Though the Hispanics lived on one part of town, the blacks in another, and the Anglos in another part of town, we never knew or really cared. I guess we were sheltered in our neighborhoods but we were a happy, laughing bunch of kids growing up in a world of discrimination and hatred for those who were different.

In spite of everything, I loved my elementary school, my books, my brothers and friends and parents and relatives. I belonged to the Bluebirds, and the Campfire girls. My dad was a leader in community Latin clubs and scouting programs. We enjoyed going to the movies for 10 cents admission and taking sandwiches and eating popcorn. Even then I could not understand why blacks could only sit in the balcony of the theaters and why they had separate water fountains and restrooms.

I suppose times have changed in Kingsville to a certain extent. I know not for I don't live there anymore. But I know what Kingsville did to many of my cousins: they left Texas and never want to return and what it did to one of my brothers. He can't stand dark Mexicans, all because of their color of skin. He learned this from all the kids, who would kick him, curse him etc because he was blond. He had blond hair and blue eyes. Where did they learn this? To hate those who were different? Even at college, at one of my classes the Anglo professor asked me what was I doing with a Spanish surname? And this was an educated man.

At Trinity University we had to sign some forms and when I came to race and ethnicity. All it had was white, black and other. So I said aloud what? I am not going to mark and other. My professor was taken aback as to my comment. I told them they should have: Mexican, Mexican American, Latin American, Hispanic, Tex-Mex, Chicano, etc. for all these names I have been called all my life.

Have we really changed much since then? Here we are in the year 2007 and we are still fighting the idea: this is America and only English should be spoken. Ridiculous! Look at our foreign brethren who live in Europe. They speak several languages. Yes, growing up in Kingsville was something else. But you know what? As Dr. Hector P. Garcia (1989) stated "... .A people without a history have nothing". . That is true.

My friends we do have a history. We do have a culture other than American. We do speak another language other than English and it is up to us to teach our future generations our heritage. Do not let it die. Do not give up your right to speak another language whether it is Spanish, Arabic, French or Italian or Latin. Fight for the right to carry on our other culture.

I carry the bloodline of the Angel of Golid the Hispanic heroine who saved many lives during the Mexican war of 1836. She may have been born in Mexico but she was a proud, feisty, brave woman who helped everyone no matter what race or ethnicity he or she belonged to. I pray I can follow even a little in her footsteps and instill these qualities in my future grandson. God blesses America! God blesses our troops! And may the United States of America remain strong and free for evermore.


From 1896 anthology "Cuentos del General" 
                                by Vicente Riva Palacio

by Vicente Riva Palacio 

It was the night of December 31, 1800 and in one of the virgin forests of the American continent the genies and the fairies celebrated the birth of the 19th Century with a grand fiesta. 

All the flora had arranged itself to provide splendor to this fiesta. The moon hung majestically over the sky seeding the stars that were eclipsed with its passage. 

The jungles sparkled, will-of-whisps moved between the grasses, the trees gave a phosphorescent glow from their powerful trunks, and insects gave light, some as they crawled others flying rapidly, in lines straight or in all contrary directions. 

The birds of the night sang in the branches, and the breezes fluttered the leaves of the trees, that shook to provide the low notes to the concert, that was heard above the monotonous noise of the waterfalls and the far off tumble of the seas. 

The genies and fairies danced and sang, and each one of them lay a gift upon the new born century. None of the gifts were more talked about than one that promised to strangely use both water and fire to create a powerful force that would move mighty machines, that when hooked to a train of cars would pull them along the countryside, and see large boats through the rustled waves more easily than with the help of the wind. This, the genies and fairies declared, would certainly be the singular astonishment for humanity in the 19th Century. 

But during the conversing of the genies there was one who didn’t speak, and failed to give an offering to the new born. It was a genie of bright eyes, who had brows the color of the sky, and was the only one wearing a dangling sparkle, one that had such luminous intense brilliance that it seemed to carry the light of the sun."

And you, what will you give to the new born?" the others asked. "We have given out treasures in this and all the centuries that have died, and you, until today, never have given anything, and you always you act mysterious, as if you possess immense treasures."

"The hour of my reign hadn’t yet arrived. But it has come, and I will open for this century the doors of my treasures. They are as unknown as they are inexhaustible. I will carry words at the speed of a light ray. I will give to hearing a fineness which you yourselves do not have. I will make the darkness of night disappear, giving humanity the service of the light of lightening. I will make thoughts cross below the waters of the ocean. And there will be not an art, nor a science that will not receive from my new impulse. I myself scarcely know the treasures I guard. 

The genies and fairies laughed loudly at these words. But at the moment of the passing of midnight, the genie lowered the sparkle in his front and placed it on the chest of the new born, and the 19th Century left for the infinite, waving its wings over the earth. 

The years passed rapidly, and made the path of our planet, already deceptive, one that will go down among all others for the consummation of the promises of the genie. The wires of the telegraph cross the civilized nations, carrying the sound of progress as if the immense harps of the winds of Aeolus.. 

The telephone carries the word of humans in secret in the vibrations of a wire; the depths of the ocean are sirens connected by subterranean cables, bringing surprising news of that which passes on the land. The flick of a button is enough to light a city with the clarity of day; and the hand of a child can send the signal that ignites the warning of the depth in the ocean or the presence of the most frightening reefs. And there is the steamship, the once astonishing development, that has ceded its place to once unknown and mysterious driving forces. 

The genie of the luminous sparkle said many times to his companions, "I have fulfilled my promises, and I advise you that the humans still have penetrated scarcely the porch of my palace." 

Translation by Ted Vincent


Vicente Riva Palacio

Era la noche del 31 de diciembre del ano de 1800, y en uno de los bosques vírgenes del continente americano, los genios y las hadas celebraron con gran fiesta el nacimiento del siglo XIX.

Toda la naturaleza se había empeñado en dar esplendor a esa fiesta, la luna atravesaba majestuosamente, sobre un cielo sembrado de estrellas que se eclipsaban a su paso.

Las selvas habían encendido sus fuegos fatuos que se movían inciertos entre la yerba; los bosques lanzaban la claridad fosforescente de los podridos troncos y los insectos luminosos se cruzaban, arrastrándose unos, y otras volando rápidamente y describiendo líneas rectas en encontradas direcciones.

Los pájaros de la noche cantaban entre las ramas; las auras sacudían los hojas de los árboles, dando las notas bajas del concierto, y se eschuaban en la lejanía del monótono ruido de las cataratas y los acompasados tumbos de los mares.

Los genios y las hadas danzaban y cantaban, y cada uno de ellos había hecho un don al recién nacido y de ninguno de esos dones se hablaban tanto como del que le habían presentado en extraña unión el agua y el fuego, ofreciéndole que de allí saldría poderosa fuerza que haría mover las mas pesadas maquinas, que arrastrarían en vertiginosa carrera enormes trenes a través de los campos, y llevarían los embarcaciones entre las olas encrespadas, con mas facilidad que si soplara viento protector. Aquel don seria el asombro de la humanidad en el siglo XIX.

Pero entre aquel concurso de genios, había uno que nada hablaba ni nada ofrecía para el que iba a nacer; era un genio de ojos brillantes, envuelto en crespones de color de cielo, y que llevaba por único adorno una chispa sobre la frente; pero tan luminosa, tan brillante, tan intensa, que parecía encontrarse allí toda la luz del sol.

- Y tu, ¿que das al que va a nacer? - le decían los demás - Nosotros hemos agotado nuestros tesoros en este y en todos los siglos y que han muerto, y tu, hasta hoy, nunca has dado nada, y siempre con ese aspecto misterioso, como si poseyeras inmensas riquezas.

- La hora de mi reino no había llegado aun; pero ha sonado, y abriré para este siglo las puertas de mis tesoros, tan desconocidos como inagotables. Yo daré a la palabra la rapidez del rayo; yo daré al odio la finura que vosotras mismos no tenéis; yo haré desaparecer las sombras de la noche, dando a la humanidad para su servicio la luz del relámpago; yo haré cruzar el pensamiento de los hombres debajo de las aguas del Océano, y no habrá ni un arte ni habrá una ciencia que no reciban por mi nuevo impulso, que yo mismo apenas conozco los tesoros que guardo.

Los genios y las hadas rieron estrepitosamente de aquellas palabras; pero el genio desprendió la chispa que llevaba en la frente y la coloco en el pecho del recién nacido, en el momento en que pasaba la media noche, y el siglo XIX, saliendo de los infinito, tendía sus alas sobre la tierra.

Los anos pararon con esa rapidez con que hace nuestro planeta su camino; y cuando ya caduco, iba el siglo a hundirse otra vez en la eternidad, las promesas del genios habían cumplido; los hilos del telégrafo formaban sobre la superficie de las naciones civilizadas, inmensas arpas eolicas, donde al cruzar los vientos sonaba la nota del progreso.

El teléfono llevaba en el secreto la palabra humana en las vibraciones de un alambre; en el fondo del Océano, las sirenas se agrupaban a los cables submarinos, para sorprender a su paso las noticias de lo que acontecía sobre la tierra; el giro de un botón basta para iluminar una ciudad contada la claridad del día, y la mano de un niño mandaba la chispa que inflamara la mina que despedazaba, en el fondo de las aguas, los mas terribles escollos; y hasta el vapor, que tanto había asombrado, iba cediendo su puesto a una fuerza motriz desconocida hasta entonces y misteriosa.

El genio de la chispa luminosa decía muchas veces a sus compañeros: "He cumplido mis promesas, y os advierto que todavía el hombre ha penetrado apenas en el pórtico de mi palacio."

This story is from Riva Palacio's anthology of short stories, "Cuentos del General"  published shortly before his death late in 1896.  The anthology has gone through nine different editions that I know of, the latest being in 1997.  The original in Spanish is included.  



Excelsior, W
ednesday, July 21, 1993


Written by Mimi Lozano

LOPEZ, the 6th most common surname among modern Hispanic families in the United States and the 5th most popular in Spain. It is patronymic deriving its origin from the Latin "lupo," lupe, lope, meaning wolf. The very popular Lupe, used for both men and women as a first name does not originate from wolf. Lupe as a first name comes from Guadalupe which is Arabic in root.

Of the men who accompanied Cortes in 1521, the second most frequent surname was Lopez, twenty two men named Lopez, twenty four men named Fernandez. A survey of surname frequency in the 17th century in northeastern Nuevo Espana placed Lopez in 6th place, which interestingly 300 years later still holds.

Lopez men came to Nueva Espana from all parts of Spain, Jaen, Cordoba, Salamanca, Asturias, and Seville. Most, however, came from Seville. The background and occupations varied from Jeronimo Lopez, Hidalgo as occupation, to Pedro Lopez, Physician to Martin Lopez, a ship's carpenter.

No one played a bigger part in the conquest of Tenochtitlan, save Cortes, then did Martin Lopez. Lopez was 26 years old when he arrived in the Indies in 1516. He spent a year in Cuba before joining the 1519 entrada with Cortes. The son of a Spanish carpenter, he was taken on as ship's carpenter. Although not the position Martin had wanted, it was his skill and knowledge that played a key role in the success of the conquest. It was he that fashioned a kind of wooden mobile fortress armed with guns and small cannons by which the small army escaped out of the Aztec capitol. It was he who devised the strategy for fighting against the 1,000 war canoes which made up the Aztec navy.

From a base high in the mountains with the Tiaxcala nation, Martin directed the building of 13 brigantines from scratch, improvising with found materials. Ship's riggings and sails which had been saved from their ocean voyage were used. After testing their sea worthiness, the ships were dismantled. On Christmas day and with the help of 2,000 Tiaxcalan Indians, the traveling navy began its descent. Ship pieces were carried the 60-mile four-day trek over the 11,000 foot mountain pass.

The city Texcoco was captured easily. Martin Lopez directed the construction of dry docks inside the city and lock and dams, from the lake to the city. On April 28, 1521, after a solemn mass, a salute was fired and the prefabricated vessels entered the water. The small vessels with no wind for their sails were almost surrounded by Aztec canoes, when a miraculous wind suddenly filled the ships' sails and gave them the victory. Martin Lopez's carpenter skills and creative brilliance had succeeded in capturing Tenochtitlan. Martin Lopez, son of Cristobal Diaz Narices and Estefania Rodriguez was rewarded with part of an encomienda and several land grants. He also received three different coats of arms, dated 21 December 1539, 15 May 1550, and 20 May 1551. His first wife, Ines Ramirez of Seville, died before 1529, and in 1533 in Seville, he married Juana Hernandez. He fathered 10, 5 boys.

Editor:  In the fall of 1992, the Managing Editors of the Excelsior, the Orange County Register Spanish language publication asked me if I would consider writing a series of articles, focusing on popular surnames.  Dr. Lyman D. Platt's in Hispanic Surnames and Family History, lists these sixteen surnames as the most popular surnames in the United States in the following order.  The articles were submitted in English and translated by the Excelsior staff.  The series proved very popular. SHHAR participated for almost two and half years. 



Patriots of the American Revolution

The Order of Granaderos y Damas de Galvez 
Presidio Santa Barbara Soldados participate in the 225th Founding Ceremonies 


The Order of Granaderos y Damas de Galvez 
recognized the outstanding contributions of 
Judge Robert Thonhoff, Lt. Col (Ret.) Jack Cowan, and Joel Escamilla
for their promotion of the Spanish Contributions to the American Revolution 
February 2007
Photo by Corinne Staacke


Soldados from 
Presidio Santa Barbara participate in the
225th Founding ceremonies 
Mission San Buenaventura
Ventura Celebration 



225th Mission San Buenaventura in Ventura Celebration

In celebration of the 225th founding of Mission San Buenaventura in Ventura, March 31, 1782, Los Soldados from El Presidio State Historic Park participated in ceremonies at the mission on Saturday, March 31, 2007.  Father Damian Fernando of the parish at the mission hosted the event, which included local Native American children under the guidance of Mary Mendoza whose own grandchildren participated in the event. Soldiers in the procession were directed by Jim Elwell Martinez who portrayed Lt. Ortega. Jim Martinez as a native of Ventura and welcomed the opportunity to be a part of the founding ceremony. 

Michael Hardwick appeared as the governor Phelipe de Neve who originally planned settlement of the Channel Coast area. It was the first settlement of the Channel Coast to be founded by soldiers traveling from Mission San Gabriel. A month later Neve and soldiers from San Gabriel Mission would also found the presidio in Santa Barbara on April 21, 1782.

On Easter Sunday morning, March 31, Serra blessed the site under the shadow of the hills far from the river and close to the sea. The Cross was raised and blessed. Within an enramada, Serra sang a High Mass and preached. After that, the soldiers took possession of the land in the name of the king, permission having been obtained from the natives through interpreters to settle here. Following this the Te Deum of thanks was sung as Serra founded his 9th and last Mission in Upper California.
The founding ceremony in Ventura was organized by the 225th Anniversary Committee. Participants included Deacons in Training and Visiting Priests and the Chumash descendants of Saticoy Native Americans (Turtle Clan). Chumash re-enactors opened the ceremony with a song of welcome in the native tongue. During the ceremony, they provided sage incense within the church and sang sunrise/eagle songs. 

Later in the garden additional Chumas songs
were sung as the Chumash children assisted in raising of the cross. The Alabado was sung and Ortega read the Kings titles. This was followed by a ceremony by the soldiers of taking possession of the land for Spain and was properly saluted by the firing of muskets.

In one of the photos Jim Martinez is standing in front of an original ruin settling tank for the Mission water system. Mike Hardwick (Neve) is standing in the garden in front of the fountain with the side of the mission behind him. The lady with the green dress is wearing an outfit that I believe she made. I don’t know here name, but it is her little daughter that is wearing the soldier’s uniform.

Santa Barbara Trust is sponsoring three days of celebration to celebrate the presidio founding.   Sent by Michael Hardwick


Los Soldados de Cuera at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park 

In April of 1990, this living history group formed to recreate the Soldado de Cuera of the period 1769-1821. The group is chartered to authentically portray the Spanish presidial soldier by means of reenactments of military drill, use of period costumes, role playing, and research into period history. Los Soldados re-enact the soldiers, civilians and their families as they lived at the Presidio of Santa Barbara in the period of time following the founding of the presidio in 1782.

Los Soldados are valuable contributors to numerous educational events throughout the year at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park, sharing the stories of the early settlers of Alta California and the Santa Barbara Presidio with school children, the local community and visitors from around the world. In addition to their work at El Presidio de Santa Barbara, Los Soldados find time to participate in many other prominent community celebrations and reenactments throughout the Southwest. 


Valenzuela, Jack Romero and Bud Decker participated in the annual Yuma Crossing Day in historic Yuma, Arizona. Los Soldados were part of the scores of re-enactors who helped celebrate the history of the Yuma Crossing and the story of the diverse community that developed in what is now known as the
 Yuma Crossing National Heritage Area

Los Soldados also gathered at the site of the Yuma Massacre on the banks of the Colorado River where on July 17, 1781, Spanish Captain Fernando de Rivera y Moncada and 131 settlers, priests, and soldiers were killed in a surprise attack in Yuma by Kw'tsa'n (Quechan) and Mohave Indians.

On February 25, 2007, Jim, Mike, Ben, Jack, Bud, and Dave Martinez represented Los Soldados del Real Presidio de Santa Barbara at "Anza en Calabazas" an annual outdoor performance, held at Soka University of America in Calabasas, commemorating February 22, 1776, when the 240-person expedition led by Juan Bautista de Anza camped in the area on their way to establishing a new town that would later become San Francisco. The play is produced annually by the Calabasas Anza Heritage Association and is based on the diaries of Anza and Father Pedro Front (the priest-in-charge).


May 26th SHHAR Quarterly Meeting
Orange County Cinco de Mayo Celebration 
"Early Placentia" chronicles city history
Seeking Photos of Santa Ana from 1940s to 1980s for Historic Photo Book
Seeking Volunteers for the Orange County Fair



Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research


"Using Immigration and Naturalization Records"
John P. Schmal

Historian, Genealogist, Lecturer and SHHAR Board Member

Saturday, May 26, 2007 @ 2:00 p.m.
Orange Regional Family History Center
674 S. Yorba, Orange, CA

Light refreshments will be served.

No membership dues. All are welcomed!
More information: 714-894-8161

Orange County Cinco de Mayo Celebration 
25151 SERRANO RD. 

EVENT ACTIVITIES INCLUDE: Native American Dancing & Music
Mariachi Music and Song
Living History Presentations
Educational Exhibits
Arts and Crafts Faire
Ranch Activities

Adrienne McMillan will be re-enacting Maria Josepha Grijalva Yorba and Frances Rios (California 8th generation descendant) will play Spanish songs from early California. 

Just for kids. . .
Hand Cranked Ice Cream
Candle Dipping
Early American Crafts
Butter Churning
Pony Rides $1.00

Courtesy of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, City of Lake Forest, Amigos de la Colina and Serrano Creek Ranch


"Early Placentia" chronicles city history

Set for official release this month, the book is the first of two planned. 
By ADAM TOWNSEND  The Orange County Register Friday, April 13, 2007
Contact the writer:

PLACENTIA "Early Placentia," a paperback by the Placentia Historical Committee chronicling the city's history through 1960 is slated for release April 23.  "Our hope is that this book will be an informative and entertaining way to get acquainted with the city," said Lawrence de Graaf, a committee member, history professor emeritus of Cal State Fullerton and author of the textual portion of "Early Placentia."

"There are several books on Placentia. This is more heavily illustrated (and) the earlier books, you hardly know there's a large Mexican community." 

The publishing house that contracted the book is Arcadia Publishing, a company that has published hundreds of books in its "Images of America" series. Each volume chronicles the history of a town or community in photographs.

Jeanette Gardner, the chairwoman of the Placentia Historical Committee, said assembling the photos was a huge effort. All the members of the committee helped choose the photos that appear in "Early Placentia" from archives at the Placentia Public Library, the George Key Ranch and the Anaheim and Fullerton libraries. Gardner assembled, organized and digitized photos for the history book.

"I brought the nine historical committee members in here as a group and let them choose them," Gardner said, sitting in the History Room of the Placentia Library. "Larry drew up a table of contents first for guidelines. If there were any subjects that were missing pictures, we went to outside sources." 

De Graff said the committee plans to sign on for another volume in a year or so to bring the history through the rest of the 20th century, the same route he said the city of Anaheim took with it's history book project.  "Our thinking is, after a suitable interval, we'll approach Arcadia for another contract."


FIELD HANDS: Men haul fruit crates through a Placentia orchard owned by the Semi-Tropical Fruit Company, which was renamed the Placentia Fruit Company in 189. George B. Key, center, managed the Gilman ranch and Andrew Ipsen, at left in a tree, was a future city councilman. COURTESY OF JEANETTE GARDNER


"Early Placentia" Authors: Lawrence de Graaf and Jeanette Gardner
Book signings:
2 p.m. May 12 at the Barnes and Noble in Fullerton; 
1:30 p.m. May 20 at Placentia Public Library

Available at:
Barnes and Noble, Borders and Placentia City Hall

Seeking Photos of Santa Ana from 1940s to 1980s for Historic Photo Book

Arcadia Publishers would like to complete a book series of historic photos of Santa Ana from the 1940s to about the 1980s. Photos that fits the theme are sought from people who would be willing to share. Photos can be of be buildings, scenes, people, etc., but of course we would want something of interest to the general Santa Ana interested public, and in the time frames mentioned. You would need to allow your photos to be borrowed to scan, then they would be returned. You would need to be willing for them to be published in the book. If you have any photos that you would be willing to have included in this project, please contact Roberta Reed at      Sent by Ricardo Valverde


A Dramatic Duo Shares Local History 
Frances Rios and Adrienne Mcmillan
Other E-mail:
(714) 832-7130 home

I am attaching to this email the flyer from Heritage Hill Historic Park where Frances and I will be performing on May 5, 2007 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. I will be re-enacting Maria Josepha Grijalva Yorba at that event and Frances will be playing old Spanish songs from early California. We will be at the park throughout the festival..

On May 20, 2007 from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. I alone will be at Rancho Los Cerritos in Long Beach also portraying Maria Josepha Grijalva Yorba.

Seeking Volunteers for the Orange County Fair

Would you like to help in the Genealogy Booth at the Orange County Fair . 
Norma Storrs Keating, a member of a group of professional genealogists, is in charge of the booth this year.  She is seeking Hispanic volunteers because she said they had lots of Hispanic people coming by the booth last year interested in starting their  family research.   

SHHAR ran a booth at the Orange County Fair for 6 years.   It is lots of fun.  Entrance to the Fair is free for volunteers.  Usually you work a shift and have the rest of the day to enjoy the Fair.

Email Norma to get the details.

"Arte Colectivo: Recent Works by Ricardo Islas, Rigo Maldonado, Nuvia Crisol,
 Jose Lozano, Carol and Peter Gelker."

Santa Ana, CA-- April 14, 2007 - Only two months after shutting its doors at its original location of 2202 N. Main Street due to an abrupt lease termination, SolArt Gallery Café is proud to announce that it will continue to serve as a space that "promotes solidarity through ALL the arts" at its new location 511 E. Santa Ana Blvd.  

The community art space was originally founded by Sali Heraldez to create opportunities for homegrown talent and community to converge and create.  Although its lease termination came as a surprise, community support quickly gathered around its founder resulting in its speedy reopening. Heraldez states, "It was sad to close the last space. SolArt was born there and for a second I thought it would die there.  Thanks to the overwhelming support we received from the community we can continue our mission."        

Kicking off SolArt Gallery Café's new life at 511 E. Santa Ana Blvd. is the group show entitled "Arte Colectivo: Recent Works by Ricardo Islas, Rigo Maldonado, Nuvia Crisol Jose Lozano, Carol and Peter Gelker."  About the Artists:

Ricardo Islas
The art of Ricardo Islas stems from his desire to portray Mexican culture and the social issues Chicanos grapple with every day. Using the canvas as his camera, he captures a moment in time where he can offer a glimpse into the struggle of the Mexican people. A Chicano artist for three years who uses oil on canvas as his primary medium, Ricardo is a California native who grew up in Calexico, a border town similar to San Diego. His art was recently featured in San Diego's Clayton's Coffee House, the Mesa College Gallery, and North Park Studio.

Nuvia Crisol
Her interest in art began as a way to assimilate her many experiences as a woman. Fueled by numerous trips to Mexico, Crisol draws inspiration from Mexican art and culture to express her journey as a Latina. By showing her work on both coasts, and on both sides of the border, Crisol continues to explore the many ways she is connected to her culture.

Jose Lozano
A highly regarded painter and a member of La Mano Press.  He was born and raised in California but also spent some of his childhood in Juarez, Mexico; as a result, he identifies himself as Chicano, influenced by Mexican and American cultures.  His gouache and oil paintings have a strong narrative quality, stemming from such literary works as Madame Bovary, One Hundred Years of Solitude and Juan Rulfo's Pedro Paramo. 

Rigo Maldonado 
Born and raised in Santa Ana, CA, artist Rigo Maldonado, explores the plastic interplay between traditional craftsmanship and 21st Century notions of gender, identity, body politics and culture. Maldonado incorporates a baroque sensibility to create complex and fanciful works of art dealing with religion, sexuality, and popular culture.  His dynamic installations incorporate sculpture, video, fashion and photography to create an iconic aesthetic of social consciousness.

Carole Gelker 
Figurative artist and practicing psychoanalyst. After graduating from a well-respected psychoanalytic institute in Los Angeles, Gelker began to paint and explore the printmaking process. Her paintings and prints incorporate layering of paint, impasto, vibrant color, form, gestural strokes and various media. When creating art, like working with patients in psychoanalysis, Gelker reveals not only her own personal narrative but becomes an important link to another human beings understanding of themselves.

Adriana Alba-Sánchez
Community Developer
(714) 319-8405



Cinco De Mayo, Culture Clash, Zorro in Hell
Compañía Nacional de Danza 2!
May 19, Los Angeles Women: A Record of Experience, Story Symposium 

Amigos of Culture Clash, come join us on our 23rd anniversary Saturday, Cinco De Mayo (May 5) @ 3:00 PM at the Ricardo Montalban Theatre. We're also celebrating 23 years of politically relevant, historical and hysterical theater work as well as the launch of public ticket sales to our L.A. premiere of Culture Clash's ZORRO IN HELL.

We're giving away FREE opening night tickets to the first 30 who dare to dress 
in ZORRO outfits! Help us unveil the theatre's marquee and receive free goodies like it was the El Monte Swap Meet!


At the Ricardo Montalban Theatre located at 1615 North Vine Street, in the heart of Hollywood. Get your "Z On" sharply at 3:00 PM.
Sent by Dorinda Moreno                   

Compañía Nacional de Danza 2!
Somos Primos readers, receive a 20% Discount

Renowned Artist Nacho Duato first emerged as a choreographer to watch while a dancer with the Nederlands Dans Theater and quickly became the company's resident choreographer. Now one of the world's most sought-after artists, his works are in the repertoires of many great companies including American Ballet Theatre, Australian Ballet, the Royal Ballet and San Francisco Ballet, just to name a few. 

Making their Music Center debut, Compañía Nacional de Danza 2 is led by Nacho Duato, one of the world’s leading choreographers. Nacho brings his own 14-member company, direct from Spain to perform Remansos; Gnawa, a Company U.S. premiere; and Rassemblement, a West Coast premiere. CND2 consists of amazing young dancers who eloquently and successfully embody the fluidity of Nacho's vocabulary. Experience acclaimed work that is known for its romance, vibrant musicality, and vivid Spanish soul.

Don’t miss out on this special opportunity! Performance Dates/Times , Ahmanson Theatre
Friday, May 18, 2007 7:30 pm
Saturday, May 19, 2007 7:30 pm
Sunday, May 20, 2007 2:00 pm

*20% off Premiere Orchestra, Orchestra, Orchestra Ring, Founders and Loge seating ONLY. Tickets subject to availability. Not valid on previously purchased tickets. Other restrictions may apply. No refunds, cancellations or exchanges. Offer only available through Ticketmaster or at the box office window.
Use promotional code: GRSRTS 
3 Ways to Buy:
1) Click to Order Online
2) Order by Phone: 213-365-3500
3) Order in Person: 
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion Box Office
135 North Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Los Angeles Women: A Record of Experience Story Symposium 
For its current exhibit at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy
May 19, 2007 
Time: 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM; Includes reception 
Location: National Center for the Preservation of Democracy 
Address: 111 N. Central Ave, Los Angeles 

This event is intended to be a broader conversation between scholars, experts, students, and the general public regarding the role of women in Southern California history. The event will include a special reading by Susan Suntree, two moderated panels, and presentations by historian Lois Banner, photographer at large Victoria Bernal, art therapist Lucia Capacchione, political scientist Regina Freer, photographer Gloria Lin, historian Peter La Chapelle, photographer at large Gloria Lin, historian Vicki Ruiz, and artist Linda Vallejo. 

Among other subjects, the Story Symposium will cover Charlotta Amanda Bass, Sister Karen Boccalero, Sister Mary Corita Kent, Marilyn Monroe, Womanhouse (1972), and the myth and representation of LA women over time. Website:
More information:

Sent by Dorinda Moreno


Building California - 200 Years of Arvizu History
May 5: Cinco de Mayo Fruitvale Festival & Parade
May 12: San Fernando Museum of Art & History, Ritchie Valens Park, Pacoima 
May 25:  Defend the Honor co-chairs in San Diego
Inauguracion de Galeria en San Diego
Briones supporters protest demolition
Feria de la Gastronomia Española 




New book:
Dedicated to the memory of William Arvizu. He instilled in me a deep sense of the family pride and awareness of what our Arvizu ancestors contributed to the making of what is now California of today. Our Arizu history parallels the history of many other Latino families who helped to settle the Western United States over many past generations.

                    JOHN ARVIZU
           GILROY, CALIFORNIA©2007

The famed expedition of Captain Juan Bautista de Anza to establish a land route across the American Continent to the Pacific in 1774 accomplished many things.  His expedition, with 235 colonists and soldiers, established, what is today, the longest international trail in the world, extending from Culiacan, Mexico to San Francisco, California.  Along the way, his party founded the Presidio de San Francisco and the Pueblo de San Jose.  The families of the surviving soldiers were rewarded with huge land grant ranchos, given them by the King of Spain, for their accomplishments.  Captain Juan Bautista de Anza was made the Governor of New Mexico, as his reward. The legacy of this achievement lives with us today in the names of the soldiers and their ranchos.  Names such as Bernal, Berryessa, Pacheco, Castro, Moraga, Pico and of course Arvizu/Albizu/Alviso have become known to us and were in his company of soldiers.

Corporal Domingo Alviso, as he is known in most of American texts and literature, was a soldier in the King's Army and stationed in the Tubac Presidio of what is now Southern Arizona when he was attached to the de Anza expedition.  He, along with his wife, Maria Angela Trejo and four children, left Tubac on October 13, 1775 and arrived in Monterey, Alta California on March 10, 1776. Later they helped found what is now the city of San Francisco and San Jose, California.

The spelling of his surname, as well as that of his wife's, has variations.  The variations of Corporal Domingo's last name are easily explained when one realizes that in the translation from the original Basque to Spanish and then later into English, the name has been through at least three corruptions and possibly more as different transcribers over the years have changed the name from Arvizu to Albizu and finally Alviso.  As an example, Domingo and his wife, Maria Angela, can be found in the colonial mission records of the 1700s, in Arizona as well as in Mexico.

They are listed as Albizu the descendant of an Arvizu with his wife's Trejo maiden name written as Maria Angela Trexo.  Tracking the name has been made all the more challenging as a result of these corruptions in the spelling.

Corporal Domingo Arvizu/Albizu/Alviso ( born 1739) is the great uncle of another Domingo Arvizu (born 1834). This latter Domingo is the progenitor of another branch of the Arvizu clan who came to California to find fame and fortune in the land of opportunity and is my great grandfather.  These men, their families and their descendants became the settlers and the builders of the California which we know today.  This is why I have titled this book BUILDING CALIFORNIA--200 YEARS OF ARVIZU HISTORY.  The legacy of their accomplishments is evident in the work of the Arvizu Brother's Pipe Company which made the pipe which irrigated and built the agricultural industry of Kern County.  The California Aqueduct, the dams of the South West and the Petro Plants which William Arvizu helped to build were works which made California the State that it is today.  I should add to this the
additional fact that William helped to build Petro Plants around the world in places like Saudia Arabia and Venezuela as well.

As you read through this genealogical study, you will see many names which are familiar to you. One of those is Colonel Manuel Ignacio de Arvizu who was the last Commandante of the Presidio in Spanish Tucson of the 1800s and later became Governor of what is now three Mexican states and several US States.  My hope is that you will find it as interesting as it was rewarding for me to put this genealogical study together.

John Arvizu      

 Cinco de Mayo Fruitvale Festival & Parade
May 5, 2007 
presented by
Asociacion de Comerciantes y Profesionales de Oakland

The Spanish Speaking Citizens' Foundation
Aztec 5K Run For Education Begins Prior to the Parade

It’s that time of year to celebrate The Cinco de Mayo! The ACPO Fruitvale merchants association present this year’s celebration on Saturday, May 5, 2007 on International Blvd. Between 33rd and 40th Avenues.

This is a traditional celebration that attracts an ethnically diverse family-oriented audience. Last year’s attendance exceeded over 100,000 and should prove to be as popular and attract even more participants this year! We invite you to join us as an exhibitor at this fabulous family event!

The Fruitvale District of Oakland will come alive with families, community members and people from all walks of life to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! The holiday of Cinco de Mayo, The Fifth of May, commemorates the victory of Mexicans over the French army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.

The festival will feature stages of entertainment, 200 vendors, plenty of food, children's activities and arts & crafts. For details, contact the Cinco de Mayo hotline at 510-536-6084.  E-mail: This email address is being protected from spam bots, you need Javascript enabled to view it. We appreciate the support of the following sponsors...

San Fernando Museum of Art & History 
Located at : 519 South Brand Blvd. San Fernando, CA 91340 
This is a museum and cultural arts center that was created to promote the cultural arts in the historic San Fernando area:  visual art, music, dance, drama, poetry 

In May 2007 Battle of the Bands, 
Saturday, May 12, 2007 Ritchie Valens Park, Pacoima 

Saturday, May 12, 2007 
Special Reception with Ritchie's Family

Exhibit entitled: " Ritchie Valens a Local Legend" 
Featuring artifacts from the Ritchie Valens Family collection Original painting & photos by artist Sergio Hernandez and others, Live performance by Ernie Valens, Sal Guitarez, Jason Gutierrez & Sal Rodriguez.  Showing of  movie Go, Johnny, Go.
Historical photographs & other items related to Ritchie Valens life Albums and photos of Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper.
Program Agenda 3:00 p.m. Welcome Julie Ruelas Mayor, City of San Fernando Tours of Exhibit  4:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 
Performance:   6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. 

Showing of Movie "Go, Johnny, Go" (Ritchie Valens actually performed in this movie!) Ritchie Valens Birthday May 13, 1941 Richard Steve Valenzuela Died February 3, 1959 17 years old.

For more information please call the Museum below. 
Richard Arroyo  818 838-6360 

May 25, 2007 -- Defend the Honor co-chairs in San Diego

Veterans Museum & Memorial Center , at Balboa Park, in San Diego .
May 25, 2007 from 12:00 p.m.- 3:00 p.m. Book Signing and Forum, with Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, director of the U.S. Latino & Latina WWII Oral History Project, and Gus Chavez, San Diego volunteer for the project and long-time activist. Event will in effect kick off the observance of the Memorial Day weekend. 

Inauguracion de Galeria en San Diego

Somos tres parejas, dos de las cuales espanyoles, que hemos decidido aventurarnos y empezar esta experience que nos hace tanta ilusion. Todos los cuadros expuestos son de Isabel Fueyo, de Asturias y Jose Fuentes de Barcelona. Ofreceremos quesos espanyoles y cava.  

Os esperamos !! Noelia Pahissa
Sent by Maria Angeles O'Donnell Olson


Palo Alto Online News

Briones supporters protest demolition
Historic house is just too important to tear down, they say

About 20 supporters of the Juana Briones house rallied Monday in front of City Hall, protesting the planned demolition of the historic structure.

With signs stating "Palo Alto dropped the ball on the Juana Briones house," "The Juana Briones house is not an eyesore, it's living history" and "What would Juana do?," the Raging Grannies and representatives of other Juana Briones and historic groups sang and spoke about the importance of the house.

The adobe, with later additions, was constructed in the 1840s or 1850s for Juana Briones, a Latina pioneer, healer and mother.

Current owners Jaim Nulman and Avelyn Welczer have been trying to tear down the house since 1998. After years of legal wrangling, the demolition of the house is currently on hold pending the resolution of a lawsuit calling for the city to conduct an environmental review before issuing a demolition permit.

It was filed by a new group called the Friends of the Juana Briones House.

Archeologist Barbara Voss, a professor at Stanford, said the environmental review is important because the site could contain architectural resources from native people who lived before and during Briones' residence at the property at 4155 Old Adobe Road.

To help recognize Briones, Friends member Jeanne McDonnell said there are plans to install a tombstone on her unmarked grave in Menlo Park's Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery.

The protest attracted a filmmaker from Monterey, who said it is "super important" to save the house.

Source: Granny Ruth
Sent by Lorri Frain






Para informacion sobre otras fiestas, llame (858-569-6381)



Pace Of Cultural Change Too Fast For Rural Washington Town

Extracts: Pace Of Cultural Change Too Fast For Rural Washington Town
By Chana Joffe-Walt

BREWSTER, WA 2007-01-02
Sent by Willis Papillion

The Xurape Family. The family says they were discriminated against at Brewster High School.  Latino parents in Brewster, Washington say for years their kids have been
treated as second-class citizens.  Schools in the central Washington town are 75 percent Hispanic but the parents say the kids suffered from chronic low expectations.

So they sued the district for racial discrimination, and won. It's believed to be the first time Latinos have brought a civil rights case against a Northwest school. 

Remember all those corny motivational things your teacher used to tell you? You can do anything you put your mind to, dare to dream, reach for the stars? Oscar Xurape says he never heard anything like that in school. He's a Mexican immigrant.

Oscar Xurape: "It was kinda, really hard. Maybe if I had a little bit more help from the teachers. Which I didn't."  Every kid who gets bad grades says the teacher hates them. But Oscar says, no, it was because he's Mexican.

He's sure of that because of something that happened in 11th grade at Brewster High School. Oscar says a counselor told him he should drop out.  Oscar Xurape: "He called me into his office and said that I wasn't going to come to school and said I was a failure and I had to drop off just get it over with. I told him at least let me finish one more year. He said no. He said he didn't want me in school."

At first, Auxillio Xurape, Oscar's mom, didn't believe her son was coerced into dropping out. But then her second son had problems at school. And then her third. All three of her boys complained they didn't get the same attention white kids got.

By the time her youngest, Willy was in high school Auxillio was visiting the school regularly to check on him. One day, she showed up to find Willy, and 26 other Hispanic students locked in the library with the principal and the police.

Auxillio Xurape: "When I got there I asked where's Willy? I was told in the library. Then I went down to the library and he was there with everyone else locked in there." The story from the kids was that the principal, Randy Phillips had rounded all the Hispanic kids he thought were involved in a fight that morning.

He talked to them about how badly Hispanics do on standardized tests. He them they were going to end up in the orchards like their parents.  The kids say they were then forced to sign contracts that if they got in  trouble they'd be suspended or expelled.

The parents had already begun to talk to each other and worry about the things they were hearing from their kids. But the library incident is what pushed them over the edge.
They got together and sued the school for racial discrimination.

As far as the library roundup Mr. Phillips says that's been completely misunderstood.  
He says around that time Latino kids were copying the Crips and Bloods from California.
They'd started a gang rivalry. They were getting in fights. Two kids had brought pistols to school earlier that year.

Mr. Phillips was at the end of his rope. Randy Phillips: "You know I'd been dealing with the individual fights, individual incidents. But once it starts being a mob mentality. Disrupting the whole school. So I guess that was a breaking point right there. You know
before someone really gets hurt."

Mr. Phillips says in his 16 years as principal, the school has done its absolute best to support all its students. But the district agreed to the parents demands and the suit was settled last month.

Each family won between $5000 to $20,000 in damages. And the high school is
supposed to make some changes.

The settlement included a list of things the school should add like Hispanic history classes, an office of minority of affairs and diversity training for teachers. But if you talk to Mr. Phillips, it doesn't sound like change will happen quickly.

Brewster's identity has been turned upside down and in a really short period
of time.  In Mayor Gamble's era and even into the mid 80s, you could count the number
of Latino families on one hand.  Now Latinos make up more than half the population. Some long time residents say it takes time to adjust to change.

The high school doesn't have a lot of time to get used to Latino students. They have five years to make some concrete changes. Next year, a court appointed reviewer will start monitoring Brewster.  Other small town schools with booming Latino populations say they'll be watching too.

C Copyright 2007, KUOW <>



May 19, 2007, Presidio Real de San Agustin del Tucson, Arizona
La Gente del Presidio, Living History Fair circa 1775-1856
Tucson Presidio Heritage Park Construction Photos
The Spanish Mustang, An Important Link to Hispanic American History
Bil: Juan de Oñate by Antonio Ruiz Caballero


Presidio Real de San Agustin del Tucson, Arizona
La Gente del Presidio 
Sent by Monica Smith,

Grand Opening 9 AM on May 19, 2007, of the northeast corner of the original presidio wall in downtown Tucson at the intersection of Washington Avenue and Church Street. It is free and open to the public.

On May 19, 2007,"La Gente del Presidio", a volunteer group, will hold a historic re-enactment and living history at the Grand Opening of the newly constructed adobe Presidio Tower and Wall which depicts one corner of the original one. I just made a copy 
of your list of Spanish Terms. It will be a great guide for me as I depict a Spanish Colonial scribe.

"La Gente del Presidio" has been working for years to see the Presidio Tower and Wall reconstructed and at last the City of Tucson has brought it to fruition. It will be operated by the Parks and Recreation Dept. and will be a great public attraction. For more detail, please see our web site at

Also, we have a newsletter called "El Presidio Real" which comes out on a quarterly basis. The next one will have an article about the grand opening celebration of the Tucson Presidio. 

These photos are from our third annual Living History Fair circa 1775-1856, held March 24, 2007.  There were soldados making leather goods and other items, mujeres carding and spinning wool & cotton, children's games, soap making, carpentry, indigenous grains, meats and vegetables plus those introduced by the Spaniards, posole to taste and tortilla making. This is a part of the Tucson Presidio Trust for Historic Preservation.  
Sent by Monica Smith, Spanish scribe.

"La Gente del Presidio"

Event plans for Grand Opening 

Compañeros, I do not have to tell you of the honor we have of posting the colors and being one of the focus points of the presidio opening. This will be the first time that the Spanish flag has been hoisted above the presidio since 1821. That is quite exciting.

We have the good fortune of the services of a professional drummer who will be dressed in the livery colors of the King, and using a genuine regimental drum. Señor Rodriquez will play us through the ceremony leading the audience back into the 18th century. He will then march us into the presidio, sounding La Marcha de los Fusileros (march of the fusiliers) where we will hoist the flag to La Bandera (the flag). He will then drum the reenactors to their stations with La Fagina (the fatigue).

Outside the presidio we will have already posted the American and AZ colors and right before the opening of the gate we will post the Spanish colors on a stand.

The big event for us will be the marching inside (the first people) and hoisting the colors above the torreon.  His Excellency, Señor Don Sosa, will command the detachment. Currently we stand at 6 Catalonian Volunteers and 4 Presidio troops, and a drummer. The presidial soldiers (Garcia, Stevens, Yanez and Urias) will carry 9 foot lances and the guillon (the presidio company guidon).

We will have two presidials firing a cannon.

The actual event is May 19 and begins at 9am. For those of you in town, we are requesting your presence on May 12 (at 8am) for a dress rehearsal. We may try to a walk through prior to the dress rehearsal date for those of you who can make it (To be scheduled). The design of the Opening ceremony will cause some tweaking of our methods as we deal with the small spaces.

All presidials should have flat hats and uniforms with neck stocks or cravats, white shirts with collars and botas if possible. No cartridge boxes or swords are necessary. Lances will be the weapon of the day.

I look forward to your presence at the Dress Rehearsal and the event. I think we will be an important part of Tucson’s history.

Sincerely, Rick Collins
Richard A. Collins
Tucson Presidio Trust
520-626-7216 cell: 429-0598

Rick Collins (left) of The Presidio Trust, and Eric Means of The Means Design and Building Corporation , who is actually doing the construction on he project.

Sent by Michael Hardwick

Tucson Presidio Heritage Park Construction Photos,
sent by Mike Hardwick
who writes:

Enclosed are some recent photos of construction at the Presidio Heritage Park in Tucson which is scheduled to open
May 19. 

The Spanish Mustang, An Important Link to Hispanic American History

The SMR( a non-profit organization.) is attempting to preserve a breed of horse that only existed circa 500 ybp in Spain, and is now extinct in its country of origin. The Spanish "Mustang" is beginning to gain acceptance as a "living historical artifact". It was the Spanish horse that most helped shape the USA as we know it.

Descended of the horse of the Conquistadors, this breed has a rich and illustrious history that forms an important part of our American Heritage. Thanks to a handful of dedicated breeders, who have made it their life's work to preserve these special horses, the breed is still in existence today, albeit on the critical list of rare breeds by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy:

Sincerely, Jeff and Helena  Hammer


By Mercy Bautista-Olvera

Don Felipe Resuscitates Juan de Oñate.

Material of photos spoken for /Marcos Aldana Aguirre Juárez, Chihuahua 2211107

The Society of Chihuahua’s History Studies from Ciudad Juárez plans to celebrate the Foundation of el Paso del Norte, and having as guests the governors from Chihuahua, Texas and New Mexico and the Mayors from the successful villages, from all el Camino Real, from Santa Barbara to Santa Fe.

This would be April 30th a memorable event, and our city civic celebration, although the first year was awarded with only commutative plaques to each guest and one trophy, we contemplate in the future to challenge each mayor from "del Camino Real" who has benefited their own community during the year.

Also, in the future we are planning to organize a caravan from Santa Barbara to Ciudad Juárez and from here, if neighbors are interested and wish to follow to Santa Fe. Is something practical as the Oñate’s huge statue in El Paso would be unveiled at the Paseño airport on April 30th.

A question has been addressed to the Society of History Studies president Don Felipe Calaveras, if he’s afraid if a boycott would come out of this as some people would argue that the city’s founder was Fray Garcia de San Francisco, and the Indigenous communities from the other side attempting to destroy the statue, since they consider Juan Oñate killed many people. Mr. Talavera response was "Do you think that reflexion is valid to discourage us?"

If the diffusion available helps us, we have the support of radio and television stations by sending messages so they could be inform.

The information is:

First: On the act possession of this land for the crown, the name of el Paso del Norte is mentioned for the first time, which from here passed to there.

Second: That there were tribes living in the village, that they seemed friendly, that’s how the Indians got their name as "Indios Mansos." (tame Indians) And Fray García was indeed the founder of Guadalupe Mission.

Third: That there was not such killings, the natives did not fought with the peregines, and what was Oñate accused of at the time was only politics, to take him out of the region, for him to leave el Camino.

(Yesterday like today there is always a de Anda walking on de del Camino Real).

For Don Felipe the proceedings are remembered for the history on what Oñate accomplished, not for his personality.

Fourth: That Juan Oñate was not Spaniard but Zacatecano. Furthermore on the "La Voz de Los Siglos" book by Feliperto Terrazas, the author writes that Oñate did indeed have Spanish and Aztec blood, his mother was Doña Isabel de Tolosa, grandaughter of Moctezuma. The indigenous communities should have seen Oñate as an Aztec princess son.

Fifth: That before putting down colonists statues, it would be preferable to launch an Indian as Tepórame, who fought against soldiers and priests with more success than Cuauhtémoc or Jerónimo, or a Victorio or Jú. For the ones against this project they could also launch an initiative to this history studies, they would get our support. But not to interfere on el Camino Real since our slogan for this event is "We are going by the same road, we share the same destiny."

THIS IS HOW THE WEST WAS FORGE In Respect to Juan Oñate expediton this is the story:

In 1595 Virrey Gaspar Zuñiga y Acevedo, Count of Monterrey, ordered 3 expeditions to conquer: Sebastián Espinoza assignment was incursion from the Pacific departing from Acapulco to California where he was the founder of a port and named it Monterrey (Monterey)

For Diego Montemayor his mission was an incursion from the East, he also gave the city the name of Monterrey in honor of Virrey.

To Oñate the Virrey gave the most difficult journey: from Zacatecas, he ordered Oñate to traveled to Santa Barbara from there to organize a caravan that would cross valleys, mountains, and Chihuahua, Texas and New Mexico deserts, going thru the left from the river, where the Juárez bridge is, Oñate decided to cross the river not before taking position for the crown that in turn he named "Paso del Norte" this was on April 30, 1598.

The event was celebrated with a Mass, Act of Thanks. Trumpet and drum music, beef (carne asada) the first carne asada that is Ciudad Juárez tradition. The caravan brought with them hundreds of cattle and although the natives were aware of buffalo meat they preferred carne asada it was exquisite, they had Casablanca cattle and "longhorn" also chorizo español (spicy sausage) and Gallego soup.

Later the traveling was common from el Rio de Parral, where campers explored the surroundings. That’s how the minas (mines) from Santa Barbara were discovered.

And from there, "the conquest of the west" was conquered, they traveled to colonized Sonora, Arizona, New Mexico, parts of Texas and Colorado, taking the Hispanic Mexican cultures, types of food, cowboy boots, rodeos, Texan hats that in the beginning of El Cordovés with folded sides. This was way before an Anglo was on site. From there an infinite of old Mexican families that stayed on the other side, after the Guadalupe Treat., descended from Chihuahua families.

In conclusion Don Felipe Talavera would bring back once again Juan de Oñate.


by Antonio Ruiz Caballero

Don Felipe resucita a Juan Oñate.
Material de retratos hablados/Marcos Aldana Aguirre/ Juárez, chihuahua/ 22 III 007

   La Sociedad Chihuahuense de Estudios Históricos de Ciudad Juárez está invitando a celebrar la fundación de Paso del Norte a los gobernadores de Chihuahua, Texas y Nuevo México y a los alcaldes de los poblados que se levantaron por todo el Camino Real, desde Santa Bárbara, hasta Santa Fe.

   Esto hará del 30 de Abril una fecha toral en las celebraciones cívicas de nuestra ciudad, pues aunque el primer año se proyecta entregar sólo placas conmemorativas a cada invitado, y si acaso un trofeo, se contempla en el futuro convocar a un certamen al que se premiará al alcalde "del Camino Real" que más beneficie en el año correspondiente a su comunidad.

  También para el futuro se piensa en organizar una caravana que parta de Santa Bárbara a Ciudad Juárez, y de aquí si lo desean los vecinos, proseguirla a Santa Fe. Algo factible, pues en El Paso se ha levantado una gigantesca estatua ecuestre de Oñate, que se develará en el aeropuerto paseño el 30 de Abril.

   Se le pregunta al Presidente de la Sociedad de Estudios Históricos, don Felipe Talavera, si no teme un boicot de quienes afirman que la ciudad la fundó Fray García de San Francisco, y de comunidades indias del otro lado que atentaron contra la estatua, por considerar que "Oñate mató a mucha gente". A lo que expresa:  -¿Cree que esa reflexión será válida para calmar los ánimos?-

   -Si los medios de difusión nos ayudan, sí.  
Estamos enviando boletines y yendo a programas de Radio y Televisión para difundir el evento.
Se informa que:

  Uno- En el acta de toma de posesión de esta tierra para la Corona, se menciona por primera vez el nombre de Paso del Norte, porque por aquí se pasó hacia allá.

   Dos- Que ya estaba poblado por tribus que se mostraron amistosas, de lo que viene el nombre de "Indios mansos". Y que lo que fundó Fray García fue la Misión de Guadalupe.

  Tres- Que no hubo tal matanza, puesto que los nativos no agredieron a los peregrinos. Y que la acusación que se le hizo a Oñate en su tiempo, fue por política para sacarlo del camino (ayer como hoy, siempre anda un De Anda por ese Camino Real).

   Para don Felipe los próceres se recuerdan por las etapas históricas que representan, no para rendir culto a su personalidad.

   Cuatro- Que Juan de Oñate no era español, sino zacatecano. Más aún, en el libro de Filiberto Terrazas "la Voz de los Siglos", se dice que era de sangre española y azteca, pues su madre, doña Isabel de Tolosa, fue nieta de Moctezuma. Las comunidades indígenas debieran ver en Oñate al hijo de una princesa azteca.   
   Cinco- Que antes que echar abajo estatuas de colonizadores, sería preferible que levantaran una a un caudillo indígena. Podría ser Tepórame, que presentó guerra a soldados y frailes con más éxito que Cuauhtémoc. O a Jerónimo, o a Victorio, o a Jú. Que lancen la iniciativa y hasta la sociedad de Estudios Históricos los apoyarían. Pero que no se atraviesen por el Camino Real, porque, según el slogan del evento: "vamos por el mismo camino, compartimos el mismo destino".

   ASI SE FORJO EL OESTE-    Respecto a la expedición de Juan de Oñate, esta es la historia:

   En 1595 el Virrey Gaspar Zúñiga y Acevedo, Conde de Monterrey, ordenó 3 expediciones para la conquista del Nuevo México. A Sebastián Espinoza le tocó incursionar por el Pacífico partiendo de Acapulco a California, donde fundó un puerto al que llamo "de Monterrey" (Monterey).

   A Diego Montemayor le tocó incursionar por el Este y fundó una ciudad que, también en honor al Virrey, le puso Monterrey. 

   A Oñate le tocó la jornada más difícil: de Zacatecas lo hizo marchar a Santa Bárbara para que de allí organizara una caravana que atravesaría valles, montañas y desiertos de Chihuahua, Texas y Nuevo México. Fue así que al vadear la margen izquierda del río, por donde está el puente de la Juárez, decidió cruzarlo, no sin antes tomar posesión para la Corona del entorno que llamó "Paso del Norte". Eso fue un 30 de abril de 1598.

    El evento fue solemne, con misa de Acción de Gracias, toques de clarín, redobles de tambor y carne asada. La primera carne asada, que ya es tradicional en Ciudad Juárez, pues la caravana traía cientos de cabezas de ganado, y aunque los nativos ya conocían la carne de búfalo, esta se les hizo exquisita, pues traían ganado Carablanca y "longhorn". También traían chorizo español y caldo gallego.

    Después se hizo común el tránsito desde el Río de Parral, donde permaneció un campamento del que salían a explorar alrededores. Así descubrieron las minas de Santa Bárbara.

   Y de allí se "conquistó el oeste", pues partieron a colonizar Sonora, Arizona, Nuevo México, parte de Texas y Colorado, llevando la cultura hispanomexicana, tipo de comida, bota vaquera, faenas del rodeo, sombrero tejano, que en principio el cordobés con ala doblada. Esto mucho antes que un gringo apareciera en el paisaje. De allí que infinidad de viejas familias mexicanas que quedaron al otro lado después del Tratado de Guadalupe, desciendan de familias chihuahuenses.

   En resumen, don Felipe Talavera hará cabalgar de nuevo a Juan de Oñate.
Sent by Ruben Salaz


Texas Rosenwald School To Open as Museum
National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque , NM 

Preservation Online: Today's News Archives
Texas Rosenwald School To Open as Museum
Story by Jimmy Scarano / Mar. 21, 2007

Formerly a hay barn, this 1912 Rosenwald School will open in June on the grounds of a museum. (Columbia Historical Museum)

For nearly 50 years, travelers driving down Highway 35 in East Columbia, Tex., just south of Houston, whizzed by a national treasure without even knowing it.

In fact, the wood barn, used to store hay for decades, is a Rosenwald School built in 1921. This spring, workers are finishing its $80,000 restoration.

Five years ago, Columbia Historical Museum President Emma Womack learned from a local historian that the hay barn on Highway 35 was in fact an old Rosenwald School--one of 5,300 built in 15 southern states between 1917 and 1932 as part of an initiative by Sears, Roebuck & Co. President Julius Rosenwald and black educator Booker T. Washington to build schools in the rural south for black students.

Rosenwald Schools were hubs of rural African American life in the 1930s and 40s throughout the South. So few have survived that in 2002 the National Trust for Historic Preservation put them on the list of the country's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places and soon after launched the Rosenwald Initiative to establish a unified effort to uncover and restore the forgotten buildings.

In mid-June, the relocated, restored East Columbia School will open to the public as a permanent, walk-in exhibit at the Columbia Historical Museum.

"The inside is about 20 percent from completion and about 10 to 15 percent of the outside isn't entirely ready to go," says Bill Womack, Emma Womack's son and director of the restoration project.

The Rosenwald School before:

After painting, wiring, insulating, and installing air conditioning and heating, workers are now refinishing the floors of the former barn and adding bricks to its chimney. A handicapped-accessible ramp must be installed before it can be open to the public.

The majority of the funding for the project has come from local industries and organizations, including BASF Corp., Dow Chemical Co., and the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Southwest Office.

Local residents who attended the East Columbia School donated the original teacher's chair and three desks and have formed an alumni association. They have also been interviewed several times by Gensler Inc., the Houston-based architectural firm that has assisted Bill Womack with the restoration, so that the school is as authentic as possible.

"We want to make it so that it matches the building as it was first constructed," Bill Womack says.

The school closed in 1949 when its students transferred to West Columbia. It was sold and moved to the pasture, where it was forgotten.

Emma Womack and Morris Richardson, the historian who spotted the barn, convinced the owners to donate it to the museum. In 2004, with money from the county, they were able to move it from its East Columbia location to its current location on a plot of land behind the museum, which is in West Columbia.

"We are terribly excited to have it here with us," Emma Womack says.

National Hispanic Cultural Center, Albuquerque , NM 

July 14
Film Series/Ciclo de Cine
"The Underground Railroad in Mexico," by Curtis Muhammad (U.S., 2004, 30 min, English). Documents stories of those of African descent in Mexico, based on a series of 'story circles' where participants sat together in their community and told stories about their experiences.

"La Tercera Raiz" (The Third Root), by Rafael Rebollar
(Mexico, 1992, 30 min, Spanish with English subtitles). Documentary focuses on daily life and cultural traditions of Afro-Mestizos living in the Costa Chica, area of Mexico's Pacific Coast./Este documental explora la vida cotidiana y tradiciones culturales de los afro-mestizos de la Costa Chica, area de la costa pacífica.

"De Florida a Coahuila: Historia de Los Mascogos" (From Florida to Coahuila: History of the Mascogos), by Rafael Rebollar (Mexico,2002, 48 min, Spanish with English subtitles). The remarkable story of a rebel people, the Mascogos, known in the United States as the Black Seminoles, who resettled along both sides of the Mexican border./Una historia
iluminante de un grupo de rebeldes, los Mascogos, conocidos en Estados Unidos como Seminoles Negros, quienes se establecieron en la frontera méxico-estadounidense.
4 p.m.

Wells Fargo Auditorium, National Hispanic Cultural Center
FREE Admission/Entrada GRATUITA

Todo por el momento,

Saludos, Eduardo Díaz
Executive Director
National Hispanic Cultural Center
1701 4th St. S.W.
Albuquerque , NM 87102
(505) 246-2261



La Otra Conquista
The Real First Americans Were From Iberia  

La otra conquista
Dear Mimi and Somos Primos, 
Thought you might find this of interest. 
This movie was a recent success in Mexico and is now being distributed in the US. 

Editor: website information extract:  The story concerns Topiltzin (Damián Delgado), a skillful Aztec scribe, Topiltzin, one of Moctezuma's illegitimate sons, who in May 1520 survives the Massacre of the Great Temple by the Spaniards and their allies. 

Through much turmoil Topiltzin manages to escape by making the priests to believe he is drawn to the statue of the Virgin Mary that accompanies the Spaniards wherever they go. 

Is the Indian's conversion real? Or is Tomás trying to retain his own beliefs under the guise of the new creed? Will he be able to survive with his sanity intact? These questions start revolving in Friar Diego's head, and although he puts many obstacles to keep Tomás from entering the sacristy and consummating his obsession with the statue, he finally allows Providence to decide whether Tomás' mission is legitimate or not. So who is in fact converting whom? Maybe the greatest mystery in the history of beliefs is how certain unorthodox encounters make us continue believing

La Otra Conquista is scheduled for showings in Texas, News Mexico, Arizona and California.
Check the website for information.

Ellen Pedraza
Kenosha, Wisconsin

 The Real First Americans Were From Iberia

                                                      Donald A. Chavez y Gilbert

Our creator must have a BIG lesson here for us all.  After all of these conflict-filled centuries of bigotry and war, the “us” versus “them” mantra needs serious reconsideration.

Conventional wisdom about who the first Americans were has been turned on its ear.  As modern forensic science becomes more reliable, the more compelling becomes the evidence that in America , our Stone Age Spanish (Solutrean) ancestors in fact arrived on the East coast thousands of years before our American Indian brothers arrived via the West coast. 

Some 3,500 years after the European Solutreans arrived and before anyone can remember, they became intimately acquainted with our Indian ancestors, and like wary in-laws of an ill-conceived marriage, consequently became the mutual grandparents of many of the first American cowboys (Spanish & Portuguese colonists) as well as many of the American Indian tribes.

The conventional version of the first Americans, the “Clovis man,” the name attached to the American Indians who arrived here during the Big Ice Age over the Bering Straits (Bering Land Bridge) from Asia into Alaska and the rest of the Americas followed the route of the Clovis hypothesis, sites which are in the Southeastern US, the American west, ending up in Canada. The wooly mammoth skeleton with which it lay for 9,500 to 11,500 years dated the flint spearhead discovered at Clovis , New Mexico . That much, everyone still agrees, is correct.  The date, however, was wrong by up to 20,000 years.

With the advent of the decoded genome, scientists eliminated the concept of different human races because we humans are too closely related to be divided so arbitrarily.  And now DNA science confirms the newly-revealed secret that our heretofore erstwhile first Americans are part Hispanic/Iberian European because when they (Indians) arrived in America they encountered the actual first Americans, (Europeans) who had already been here better than three thousand years.  These first and second Americans apparently got along so well that they interbred into a larger Indian melting pot and were forgotten until now.  In the alternative, the Indians, in an ironic twist of fate, decimated the first Americans and absorbed the women and children into their tribes, producing offspring with their captives.

The flint spearhead discovered at Clovis , New Mexico was distinctive because it had two faces where stone flakes had been chipped (“knapped”) away from the flint core.  This distinction was noticed in similar reports from forty-eight states, all dating to the same period.  Whoever and wherever these incomers were from during this period, the introduction of this spear point was so effective that it coincided with the mass extinction of many of our continent’s prehistoric animals- including the first two North American horse subspecies, Equs Caballus Alaskae, the Beringian Horse, and Equs Caballus Mexicanus, the American Perigalcial Horse, as well as other native species such as the giant sloth, wooly mammoth, giant armadillo, and great black bear.  All disappeared soon after the Clovis hunters (Indians) arrived on the scene. 

In 1977, archeologist Tom Dillehay of the University of Kentucky began excavating a site deep in the Chilean hills called Monte Verde. This human habitat was inhabited 12,500 years ago- a thousand years before the American Indians’ arrival from across the Bering Strait .

In the United States , Jim Adavasio of Mercyhurst College , Pennsylvania dared to excavate below the Clovis layer at his dig near Pittsburgh , Pennsylvania , where he too found blades dating further back- all the way to 16,000BC.  Predictably, there were too many archeologists’ reputations and oral Indian histories predicated on the American Indian Clovis man to make Dillehay and Adavasio’s discovery a smooth one.  Both the status quo archeological community and conventional Indian authorities declared their findings incredible and erroneous. 

Decisive evidence would have to be independently validated.  Dr. Douglas C. Wallace, Director, Center for Molecular & Mitochondrial Medicine and Genetics, Biological Chemistry, School of Medicine,
University of California who studies the mitochondrial DNA, the part of human chromosomes that is passed unchanged from mother to daughter, a technique that has allowed Wallace to map the geographical ancestry of all the Native American peoples back to Siberia and northeast Asia.  Wallace's migration history showed waves of incomers dating back twenty to thirty thousand years ago. Consequently the Clovis people (Indians) could clearly not be the first humans to set foot across North America .  Further validation comes from Archaeologist Bruce Bradley, PhD, who specializes in the particular skill of reading flint knapping and flint tools for their most intimate secrets. He spotted the similarity in production method between the Clovis point and tools made by the Solutrean Neolithic (Stone Age) culture in European Iberia ( Spain ) and southwest France . According to Dr. Bradley, “the Solutreans were a remarkable society, the most innovative and adaptive of the time. They were among the first to discover the value of heat-treating flints to increase strength.”  More evidence surfaced at an archaeological dig in Cactus Hill , Virginia , where Bradley determined that the Solutrean flint methods evolved into Clovis technology.

To get past Dr. Bradley’s circumstantial evidence, Dr. Wallace profiled the DNA of the Ichigua Native American tribe and identified a European lineage that predated any genetic mixing after Columbus’s arrival in the new world.  It dated back to the Solutrean peoples who made multiple migrations from Europe to America via the Atlantic coastline.  Dennis Stanford of the Smithsonian Institution suggests how the Solutreans made the trek from Europe to America .  “Ice-loving walrus could only have reached the American Chesapeake during the height of the Big Ice Age 15,000 to 20,000 years ago.  Like the owner of the fossil walrus jaw found nearby, the Solutreans traversed their boats along the ice edge which bridged across the Atlantic Ocean at that time.”

Unexpected benefits occurred as a result of a 1990 federal law, championed by Native American tribes, which requires museums to return Native American remains to their tribes.  It forced the experts to sort out each of over 2,000 human relic profiles.  A massive craniometric database was established with ninety skull measurements.  This database made the distinctions between differing tribes, for example between Keres and Tiwa Indians groups, relatively straightforward.  But as Sharon Begley and Andrew Murr put it, “some skulls stand out like pale-skinned, redheaded cousins at a family reunion of olive-skinned brunettes.”

Begley and Murr and a growing number of published scientists’ new archeological digs, old bones, and DNA tests reveal an ancient American land that was a mosaic of peoples- including Asians and Europeans.

“Consistently emerging evidence indicates that they were not Asians of Mongoloid stock who crossed a land bridge into Alaska 11,500 years ago, as our school textbooks say, but different ethnic groups, from places very different from what scientists thought even a few years ago. What's more, stone tools, hearths, and remains of dwellings unearthed from South Carolina to Peru suggest that Stone Age America was a crowded place for an America that was supposed to be empty until the Asians followed the coastline from Siberia into Alaska . A far different chronicle of the First Americans is therefore emerging from the clash of theories and discoveries that one anthropologist calls "skull wars." According to the evidence of stones and bones, America was populated by a wide variety of ethnic types, from southern Asia , East Asia and even Ice Age Europeans, who may have hugged the ice sheets in their animal-skin boats to reach America 3,500 years before Mongoloid American Indians. "It's very clear to me," says anthropologist Dennis Stanford of the Smithsonian Institution, "that we are looking at multiple migrations through a very long time period—migrations of many different peoples of many different ethnic origins."


Constance Holden suggests that Spaniards may have been among the first Americans, based on information at a meeting called "Clovis and Beyond," held (October 1999) in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where archaeologists presented evidence of technological parallels between the Clovis people, (American Indians) - long thought to have been the first to settle in North America some 11,500 years ago - and the Solutreans, who lived in northern Spain some 20,000 years ago. Ancient paintings by Spanish Solutreans’ early experiences with livestock appear in the cave at Altamira , Spain near Santillana del Mar, Cantabria, in northern Spain . The drawings show bison, horses, red deer and boar.

So it is with no small degree of irony that these European Solutreans of Iberia, who developed and specialized the technology of the cowboy and ranching culture, the great-grandparents of ethnic Spanish and Portuguese explorers and colonizers of the Americas, are the same ancestors of the actual first Americans, having arrived in America from the Atlantic coast side during the Big Ice Age thousands of years before the ethnic Mongoloid Native American Indians who arrived from the Pacific coast line.

Only an avid student of history, having studied and scoured the literature, would be able to hearken to the heretofore hidden voices between the pages along with those of a few still living elders who insisted that the vast majority of early Spanish and Indian peoples coexisted cooperatively and in peace over several hundred years following Columbus’ arrival in the Americas.  Fame and glory, however, are ascribed to the negative dramatic “ratings gathering” side, that of conflict, strife and pain of loss.  The conflict gets the play in the media and Hollywood .  This limelight of conflict however, begins to be diminished under the scientific perspective that, indeed, these first American Solutreans as well as other incomers who preceded the ethnic Mongoloid American Indians coexisted well enough to have joined cultures and hunting technology and produced children together, leaving their shared legacy concealed in their genes until now. 

The final irony is that amid the mountains of circumstantial proof that Europeans preceded Indians in America , likened to the standards of evidence in our courts, there is a preponderance of evidence supporting this conclusion.   The final, definitive piece of evidence flowing unchanged over the millennia pursued each consecutive generation like a long continuous chain in the genes of the Indians whose DNA exposed the inescapable revelation that the Solutreans were indeed here in the beginning, beyond a shadow of a doubt, the first Americans.


Like it or not, we European Cowboys and Mongoloid Indians are family.  The family ties that began 11,000 years ago were resumed in the fifteenth century with the return of the Columbus and the Spanish colonists.  So it behooves us to celebrate our likenesses rather than our differences, because there is no reasonable path back to the “us” versus “them” mantra.   We are family after all, the way the creator intended.


Sent by Ruben Salaz


The Thirteenth Tribe, The Khazar Empire and its Heritage
Thomas Jefferson's rare European lineage 
Libro: Expedientes de Limpieza de Sangre,  Sevilla: 1567-1825. Letras A-D

The Thirteenth Tribe
The Khazar Empire and its Heritage
Arthur Koestler

This book traces the history of the ancient Khazar Empire, a major but almost forgotten power in Eastern Europe, which in A.D. 740 converted to Judaism. Khazaria, a conglomerate of Aryan Turkish tribes, was finally wiped out by the forces of Genghis Han, but evidence indicates that the Khazars themselves migrated to Poland and formed the cradle of Western (Ashkenazim) Jewry...

The Khazars' sway extended from the Black sea to the Caspian, from the Caucasus to the Volga, and they were instrumental in stopping the Muslim onslaught against Byzantium, the eastern jaw of the gigantic pincer movement that in the West swept across northern Africa and into Spain.

Thereafter the Khazars found themselves in a precarious position between the two major world powers: the Eastern Roman Empire in Byzantium and the triumphant followers of Mohammed. As Arthur Koestler points out, the Khazars were the Third World of their day, and they chose a surprising method of resisting both the Western pressure to become Christian and the Eastern to adopt Islam. Rejecting both, they converted to Judaism.

The second part of Mr. Koestler's book deals with the Khazar migration to Polish and Lithuanian territories, caused by the Mongol onslaught, and their impact on the racial composition and social heritage of modern Jewry. He produces a large body of meticulously detailed research in support of a theory that sounds all the more convincing for the restraint with which it is advanced.

Mr. Koestler concludes: "The evidence presented in the previous chapters adds up to a strong case in favour of those modern historians - whether Austrian, Israeli or Polish - who, independently from each other, have argued that the bulk of modern Jewry is not of Palestinian, but of Caucasian origin. The mainstream of Jewish migrations did not flow from the Mediterranean across France and Germany to the east and then back again. The stream moved in a consistently westerly direction, from the Caucasus through the Ukraine into Poland and thence into Central Europe. When that unprecedented mass settlement in Poland came into being, there were simply not enough Jews around in the west to account for it, while in the east a whole nation was on the move to new frontiers" ( page 179, page 180).

"The Jews of our times fall into two main divisions: Sephardim and Ashkenazim.
The Sephardim are descendants of the Jews who since antiquity had lived in Spain (in Hebrew Sepharad) until they were expelled at the end of the fifteenth century and settled in the countries bordering the Mediterranean, the Balkans, and to a lesser extent in Western Europe. They spoke a Spanish-Hebrew dialect, Ladino,
and preserved their own traditions and religious rites. In the 1960s, the number of Sephardim was estimated at 500,000.

The Ashkenazim, at the same period, numbered about eleven million. Thus, in common parlance, Jew is practically synonymous with Ashkenazi Jew." ( page 181).

In Mr. Koestler's own words, "The story of the Khazar Empire, as it slowly emerges from the past, begins to look like the most cruel hoax which history has ever perpetrated."

Mr. Koestler was an Ashkenazi Jew and took pride in his Khazar ancestry. He was also a very talented and successful writer who published over 25 novels and essays. His most successful book, Darkness at Noon, was translated in thirty-three languages.

As expected, The Thirteenth Tribe caused a stir when published in 1976, since it demolishes ancient racial and ethnic dogmas...At the height of the controversy in 1983, the lifeless bodies of Arthur Koestler and his wife were found in their London home. Despite significant inconsistencies, the police ruled their death a suicide...


Map of the Khazar Empire
The Lord's Prayer in the Khazar language





Thomas Jefferson's rare European lineage 
GeoGene Newsletter, April 2007

A recent genetic study has raised a tantalizing possibility: did US President Thomas Jefferson have Jewish ancestry?
Researchers based at the University of Leicester, England, have characterized the Y chromosome carried by Jefferson and discovered he belonged to a rare haplogroup known as K2.
This paternal lineage is shared by only around 1% of men worldwide. It is most prevalent in Africa and the Middle East but is also found scattered around Western Europe. Although researchers cannot be certain, some believe that the dispersal of this lineage is best explained by the Jewish Diaspora in which Jews expanded throughout large parts of Europe. It is this that has created excited speculation among both Jewish and Jeffersonian communities in the US.
The study, titled 'Thomas Jefferson's Y chromosome belongs to a rare European lineage' was published in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
[Study: Jobling, MA et al, Thomas Jefferson's Y chromosome belongs to a rare European lineage, Am J Phys Anthropol. 2007 Apr;132(4):584-9] 


Por el presente le comunicamos que ya está disponible el libro:

El 3 de marzo de 1780 el Promotor Fiscal de esta "Real Universidad" de Sevilla, Dr. Pinto, advertía del mal estado de conservación de la documentación custodiada en su Secretaría y del peligro en que se hallaban "muchos papeles, prosimos a destruirse".

Gracias a este aviso, se hizo un gran esfuerzo para salvaguardar aquellos que se conservaban en buen estado y copiar, uno a uno y a mano los más deteriodados. Sin embargo, pasados 227 años nos encontramos ante el mismo problema y, aunque perfectamente conservados, el paso del tiempo sigue haciendo estragos en la documentación.

Para los genealogistas y para los historiadores la información aquí conservada es de vital importancia, ya que gracias a los expedientes de Limpieza de Sangre, nos podemos remontar hasta mediados del siglo XVI. Linajes llegados de todas partes de España y de muchos lugares de Europa dejaron constancia de sus orígenes y de sus circunstancias en
estos expedientes. Algunos incluso documentando hasta cinco generaciones por todos los costados.

Hemos aprovechado el último aliento de vida de muchos de ellos para ofrecer al investigador todo el contenido genealógico, expuesto de una manera sistemática, clara y concisa.

P.V.P.:20 euros. 
Promoción especial para los pedidos recibidos antes del 1 de junio:15 euros.

Para más información:
Esperamos sea de su agrado.

Ignacio Koblischek
Avda. San Francisco Javier Nº 9.
Edificio Sevilla 2. Planta 10. Módulo 11.
41018 SEVILLA (España)
Tlf.: 954 65 85 13


Tejano Genealogy Society of Austin, Texas
Mexican Immigration:  The Poverty of Policy 
La Alondra de la FronteraAngel of Goliad Descendants Historical Preservation 
Book: Remember Goliad! A History of La Bahia
'Family Legend' recalls Texas' bloodiest battle
The Tejano Battle of Medina
Texas Rangers Baseball Club, Héroes en la Comunidad

From left to right, Author Dan Arellano, George Gonzales, Rick Reyes President of the Descendants of the "Battle of Medina," and Maclovio Perez WOAI San Antonio TV after interview. 

The Tejano Genealogy Society of Austin, Texas  was founded in 2007 with two principal objectives: (a) to plan and carry-out the state wide Hispanic Genealogy Conference during the period September 13 to September 16, 2007; and (b) to promote genealogical research into the origins of the Mexican American and Hispanic population of the Texas southwest.  The principal goals of the organization are to explore, develop and increase genealogical resources and to disseminate information to its members, as well as to the community and future generations of our family lines.

Sent by Jose M. Pena





of the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin
invites you to attend
The 21st Annual
Américo Paredes Distinguished Lecture

Mexican Immigration: The Poverty of Policy

Professor, Department of Sociology
University of Houston

Thursday, May 3 2007, 3:30 p.m.
Texas Union Santa Rita Suite (3.502) 
Reception to follow, 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Texas Union Eastwoods Room (2.102) 

More information: Clarisa Hernández at 512-471-4557 or Dolores García, CMAS Cultural & Outreach Programs Coordinator, 512-475-6973.
Sent by Elvira Prieto




Left to Right,
Temo Rocha, Lydia Mendoza & Sylvia Rocha


Sylvia and I visited Lydia Mendoza (a cousin on my mother's side) in Houston in 1999. She has since left Houston and lives in a home for the elderly in San Antonio, Texas.  I visited her while she was living with one of her daughters in 2003.

March 28,2007  Re:AOGDHP Newspaper release 
Rudy A.Ramirez - President-Angel of Goliad Descendants Historical Preservation 
117 Redwood Dr. Palestine, Texas 75801 Hm.903-729-5800

Rudy A. Ramirez of Palestine, Texas President of the Angel of Goliad Descendants Historical Preservation said, on March 25,2007 the Angel of Goliad descendants met at the Angel of Goliad Plaza in Goliad, Texas.for the 2nd annual laying of a wreath ceremony to honor Francisca Alvarez (The Angel of Goliad),Texan and Mexican soldiers that were killed during that conflict and the civilians who lost their lives that were causalities of war.

This was also their 4th year to participate in the annual laying of the wreath for Col. James W.Fannin Jr.and several hundred of his men that were executed on Palm Sunday March 27,1836. In attendance were 60 descendants of the Angel and 100 to 125 guests and friends. Daniel Garza from Houston.Texas a 5th direct descendant of the Angel did the honors to lay a wreath on behalf of all the descendants of the Angel at Fannin's Monument.

Jessica Rose and Amanda Lou Lorenzini from Washington D.C. 6th direct descendants of the Angel did the honors to lay a wreath at the statue of the Angel. In attendance also were Lt.Col.USAF Humberto H-Alvarez (Ret.) and his wife Rosalinda from Kingsville, Texas. He is a 4th direct descendant of the Angel. Their grandson Anthony Alvarez Lorenzini a 6th direct descendant of the Angel has completed his first year at the USAF Academy in Colorado Springs,Co. His parents are Lt.Col.USAF Edward Lorenzini (Ret.) and his wife Elizabeth.

Linda Austin from Goliad, Texas did the honors of laying a wreath on behalf of the Descendants of the Men that died with Fannin at Goliad.

Rudy A Ramirez of Palestine, Texas President of the AOGDHP introduced special and honored guests at the ceremony .Honored guests were the Hon.Harold F.Gleinser County Judge of Goliad Co.and the Hon.William J.Schaefer Mayor of the City of Goliad. Special guests were: Robert Collins Jackie Collins Mixson of San Antonio, Texas, descendants of John P.Collins, a survivor of the Goliad execution. Linda Austin of Goliad, Texas a descendant of David Moses, who died with Fannin's men and Dodie Bradley of West Columbia, Texas a descendant of Elias & Erastus Yeamans that died with Fannin's men.

Inducted into the Angel of Goliad Honorary Members were: Hon.William J.Schaefer mayor of the City of Goliad, Robert Collins and Jackie Collins Mixson, a survivor descendant,Linda Austin, a descendant of David Moses who died with Fannin and Dodie Bradley, a descendant of the Yeamans brothers who died at Goliad.

Rudy A.Ramirez, President of the The Angel of Goliad Descendants Historical Preservation said, "we will continue to research and preserve the memory of this incredible lady who intervened to save the lives of many Texan prisoners of war during the Texas Revolution and helped so many to escape and gave assistance to numerous others".

Doctor Joseph Henry Barnard survivor at Goliad 1836 said . . "I must not here omit to mention the Senora Alvarez whose name ought to be perpetrated to the latest times for her virtues, and those of her countrymen, deserve to be recorded in the annuals of this country and treasured in the heart of every Texan. ."

For more information on the Angel of Goliad to to

Remember Goliad! A History of La Bahia
by Craig H. Roell

When Sam Houston's revolutionary soldiers won the Battle of San Jacinto and secured independence for Texas, their battle cry was "Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!" Everyone knows about the Alamo, but far fewer know about the stirring events at Goliad. Craig Roell's lively new study of Goliad brings to life this most important Texas community. 

Though its population has never exceeded two thousand, Goliad has been an important site of Texas history since Spanish colonial days. It is the largest town in the county of the same name, which was one of the original counties of Texas created in 1836 and was named for the vast territory that was governed as the municipality of Goliad under the Republic of Mexico. 

Goliad offers one of the most complete examples of early Texas courthouse squares, and has been listed as a historic preservation district on the National Register. But the sites that forever etched this sleepy Texas town into historical consciousness are those made infamous by two of the most controversial episodes of the entire Texas Revolution-the Fannin Battleground at nearby Coleto Creek, and Nuestra Señora de Loreto (popularly called Presidio La Bahía), site of the Goliad Massacre on Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836. 

This book tells the sad tale of James Fannin and his men who fought the Mexican forces, surrendered with the understanding that they would be treated as prisoners of war, and then under orders from Santa Anna were massacred. Like the men who died for Texas independence at the Alamo, the nearly 350 men who died at Goliad became a rallying cry. Both tragic stories became part of the air Texans breathe, but the same process that elevated Crockett, Bowie, Travis, and their Alamo comrades to heroic proportions has clouded Fannin in mystery and shadow. In Remember Goliad!, Craig Roell tells the history of the region and the famous battle there with clarity and precision. This exciting story is handsomely illustrated in a popular edition that will be of interest to scholars, students, and teachers. 
The Goliad Massacre

Around 6:00 a.m. on Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836, after being held captive for one week, Fannin's men were told to gather up their things. They thought that they were going to the Port of Copano and then on to New Orleans. They were happy and singing. They knew that Clonel Fannin had returned from the Port of Copano the previous day. What they didn't know was that at 7:00 p.m. the pervious evening, Colonel Portilla had received word directly from General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna to execute the men. About an hour after Portilla received the execution order from Santa Anna, he received another order from General Urrea to "Treat the prisoners with consideration, particularly their leader, Fannin, and to employ them in rebuilding Goliad."

It was a foggy morning at sunrise. The able bodied men were formed into three groups, and under very heavy guard taken out of the fort. The Mexican troops were lined up on each side of the line of prisoners. One group was taken out on the San Antonio road, another on the Victoria road, and the other on the Copano road. The prisoners had little suspicion of their fate, because each group had been given a different story as to where they were going. One group was told that they were going to gather wood, another to drive up cattle, and the other group was told that they were going to the port of Copano. At selected spots on each of the three roads from one half to three-fourths of a mile from the fort, the groups were halted. After they halted, the guards on one side stepped through the ranks so that all the guards were on one side, they turned and fired at very close range. Those men that where not killed ran and were pursued by the cavalry.

The soldiers then returned to the fort and executed the wounded that were in the chapel. The wounded were taken out and laid in front of the chapel doors. There were about forty of them. They were then shot as they laid on the ground. Colonel Fannin was saved until last. (Note: Fannin's room was in the south extension of the chapel. The room was separated from the main chapel by a wall. A door from the room opened into the Quadrangle. Fannin's room is now known as the Flag Room. Today, the doorway has been sealed, but you can see the outline of the doorway.) Fannin was taken outside the chapel, blind folded and seated in a chair next to a trench by the watergate. He made three requests, not to be shot in the face, his personal possessions be sent to his family, and that he be given a Christian burial. He was shot in the face, an officer took his personal possessions, and his body was burned along with many of the other bodies. Not all bodies were burned, some were left where they died. There were 342 men who died in the Goliad Massacre, which is almost twice the number of men who died at the Alamo and San Jacinto combined. Twenty-eight men did escape from the three massacre sites and seventeen men's lives were spared. It is from the accounts of the men who escaped and were spared that we know what happened at Presidio La Bahia. Francita Alavez, the Angel of Goliad and the wife of General Urrea saved the lives of a number of the men. 

Sent by came across this in a search of Taylor Descendants At the Alamo. 
This is some sad story for both the Mexican and American side. 
Carlos Ray Gonzalez 

'Family Legend' recalls Texas' bloodiest battle
by Henry Wolff, Jr., Victoria Advocate. April 08, 2007 .

Much less known than the battles for Texas independence at Gonzales, Goliad, the Alamo and San Jacinto was what happened some 23 years before in a sandy, oak-studded forest some 20 miles south of San Antonio.

In his book, "Tejano Roots, a Family Legend," Austin author Dan Arellano refers to the Battle of Medina as being "the Mother of All Wars" in Texas. While there is not enough space in this newspaper column to adequately define the circumstances leading up to Texas' bloodiest battle ever on Aug. 18, 1813, Arellano has covered the events thoroughly.

The battle is a part of his family history, he being descended from one of the participants, Sgt. Francisco Arellano. Having heard family legends about the battle, the author spent 10 years researching and writing the book, which is both a family history and a history of the earliest conflicts and various participating cultures that made up the Tejano population of early Texas.

Not only did his fifth great-grandfather, Francisco Arellano, participate in the Battle of Medina, but as a member of the Alamo de Parras Company had been involved in various other battles, including the Casas Revolt in 1811 during the Mexican War of Independence.

He is believed to have arrived at the abandoned San Antonio de Valero Mission in 1803 at the age of 18 with a company of Spanish soldiers from Alamo de Parras, Coahuila, Mexico, that possibly being how the Alamo got its name. It could also have been named for a grove of nearby cottonwood trees, "alamo" being the Spanish name for such.

In his research, Arellano learned that Francisco Arellano was of Texcalla Indian ancestry.

The author and other descendants of participants in the Battle of Medina will gather on Saturday for "first time ever" Tejano Battle of Medina Memorial Services at 1:30 p.m. during the annual Poteet Strawberry Festival, with the public invited to attend. The descendants will also participate in the festival parade beginning at 10 a.m.

Andres Tijerina, a history professor from Austin Community College, and J. Frank de la Teja, chairman of the Department of History at Texas State University in San Marcos, who was also recently named by Gov. Rick Perry as Texas State Historian, are scheduled to participate in the ceremonies.

"Many Mexican-Americans have given their lives defending freedom and democracy," Arellano notes. "A thousand Tejanos were killed in one battle alone in defense of these causes."

The Battle of Medina was between the Republican Army of the North consisting of 400 American volunteers, 900 to 1,000 Tejanos and 200 to 300 Lipan, Coushatta and Karankawa Indians, he further notes, and a Spanish army led by Gen. Joaquin de Arredondo.

"Out of 1,500 to 1,600 that set out to fight on that hot August day only 100 would survive," he says, "making it the bloodiest battle ever fought on Texas soil. Another 327 Tejanos would be executed in San Antonio after the battle and 100 more would be executed as they fled toward Louisiana."

While his ancestor fought on the side of the victorious Spanish Royalists, who lost only 55 men that day, Arellano says that he was not involved in the slaughter.

"Francisco must have been horrified at what happened," he notes. "Many of the people that were executed had to have been acquaintances."

Spanish Colonial historian Robert H. Thonhoff, editor and annotator of "Forgotten Battlefield of the First Texas Revolution, the Battle of Medina, August 18, 1813," a manuscript by Ted Schwarz, has described Arellano's book as combining "meticulous historical research with oral family history passed down to him over the generations to establish his identity (and the identity of many others) as Tejano and American.

"This groundbreaking book will enlighten many readers to the contributions of many founding families of Texas of Coahuilan and Tlaxaclan descent, who were in fact a typical American blending of ancestral backgrounds, but Tejanos and Americans one and all."

For further information about the book, or the events on Saturday at Poteet, the author can be contacted at or by mail at P.O. Box 43012, Austin, Texas 78704.

The Battle of Medina was near present Leming in Atascosa County.  Arellano became interested in researching his family history and connections to the early conflicts in Texas after hearing stories from his "great uncle" Tio Paez, head of nearby rancho on which his father had worked for many years.

"During the turbulent civil war times of Sept. 10, 1810, to Aug. 18, 1813," Thonhoff notes, "Tejanos had to choose between being a Royalist or a Republican.  The choices were difficult, and Thonhoff says they suffered one way or another.

According to the Arellano family legend, Francisco later joined with the mostly Anglo defenders at the Alamo during the Texas Revolution of 1836. He points out there are sources indicating there were more Tejanos in the Alamo during the siege than generally credited. Wherever he was at the time, Francisco had already established the Arellano family's Tejano roots.

Henry Wolff Jr. is a long-time Victoria Advocate columnist. He can be reached at  Forwarded by Robert Thonhoff


“The Tejano Battle of Medina

(August 18, 1813)

APRIL 6, 1813 the Tejano community declared themselves free and independent from Spanish rule. 

On April 14, 2007 the “Tejano Battle of Medina Memorial Service,” was held, recognizing the largest battle for freedom ever fought in the State of Texas . The ceremony was held Saturday, April 14, 2007 at 1:30 in the Veterans Pavilion on the Strawberry Festival fairgrounds. Mr. Maclovio Perez from WOAI was the Master of Ceremony. Dr Andres Tijerina Ph.D.Texas History Professor from Austin Community College and Author Dan Arellano were the keynote speakers. With a special guest appearance by Mr. Robert Thonhoff, Author and Historian.

Many Mexican-Americans have sacrificed their lives defending freedom and democracy. Over a thousand Tejanos were killed in one battle alone in defense of these causes. But this conflict was not on foreign soil. Not on the beaches at Normandy, not in Korea, Viet Nam or Desert Storm although Tejanos were there, but much closer to home in south Texas, less than twenty miles south of San Antonio. The “ Battle of Medina…the forgotten history of the Tejanos, these first sons and daughters of the State of Texas ….unknown and unrecognized for their ultimate sacrifice.

This battle was between the evenly matched forces of The Republican Army of The North consisting of three to four hundred American volunteers, nine hundred to a thousand Tejanos and two to three hundred Lipan, Coushatta and Karankawa Indians and a Spanish army led by Gene ral Joaquin de Arredondo.  

A little known fact is that the Tejano leader Colonel Miguel Menchaca, in the heat of the battle had been ordered to withdraw his men, whereas it is said that Menchaca responded “Tejanos do not withdraw,” and plunged back into the foray. Out of the 1500-1600 that set out to fight on that hot August day only 100 would survive, making it the bloodiest battle ever fought on Texas soil. Another three hundred twenty-seven Tejanos would be executed in San Antonio after the battle and a hundred more would be executed as they fled towards Louisiana .

Dan Arellano,


Al Pueblo Mexicano/Latino del Metroplex and the Texas Ranger baseball Organization

A response to the following request for participation by Karin Morris was made by Roberto Calderon. Calderon's response based on historical accounts follows the request. 

I wanted to make sure that you received the information below regarding a new program that the Texas Rangers and Chevrolet are beginning this month. Several of you may have been recognized last year in our inaugural month of the program during Hispanic Heritage month. The program has expanded and now also includes a $500 donation to the non-profit organization of each selected leader's choice. Please take the time to read the information below and nominate someone that you feel has exhibited leadership within the Dallas/Fort Worth community.

Héroes en la Comunidad, a program that was tested last season, will be continued through the 2007 season and sponsored by Chevrolet. The Texas Rangers will honor one Dallas/Forth Worth Hispanic Community leader each month of the season in a special pre-game ceremony. Fans will have the opportunity to nominate someone from the Dallas/Fort Worth community who has made a difference in the Hispanic community. The nominees should exhibit leadership, civic responsibility, courage, and dedication on a local level through educational and volunteer programs, corporate citizenship, or any other avenue that demonstrates dedication within the Hispanic community. Each of the six winners will receive six tickets to the Texas Rangers game when they will be recognized along with $500 for the non-profit organization of their choice. The people who submit the winning nominations will also receive two tickets to the game when the
leader will be recognized.

Nominations can be sent via email to: or via mail to Texas Rangers Baseball Club, Héroes en la Comunidad, 1000 Ballpark Way, Suite 400, Arlington, TX 76011.

For more information, please feel free to contact me at (817) 436-5933
Thanks- Karin Morris, Director, New Market Development  

Roberto Calderon:

I have a counterproposal to your "Héroes de la Comunidad." Anyone with a mind to know the history between the Texas-Mexican community and the Texas Rangers as a law enforcement body in the State of Texas knows that the Texas Rangers were used in South Texas and along the border generally with Mexico to suppress the Mexicano community's civil and human rights. We know that sometime during the decade of the 1910s perhaps as many as 5,000 Mexicanos, men, women, children and the elderly included, were needlessly killed, lynched, and otherwise disappeared from the face of the earth in what is now called the Rio Grande Valley, or El Valle, as mexicanos call it today. One can read any number of stories including the late Tejano scholar Dr. Américo Paredes's longtime classic, "With a Pistol In His Hand," to know that there's a deep current of culture resident in the Mexicano memory here in Tejas with respect to the Texas Rangers. And none of it is all too favorable.

Those of us who live in the North Texas metro area but who grew up on the Texas-Mexican border during any period prior to the 1970s, and still perhaps, can remember learning schoolyard ditties that referred to the Texas Rangers. In particular I remember one from the early to mid-1960s growing up that went something like this: "Pinches rinches caras de chinches." Don't ask me where it came from, but I suspect that it had long resided on the school-grounds of the elementary schools of the Texas-Mexico border, a tradition we, my contemporaries and I, inherited. As we grew older and some of us came to read this history that the particular ditty referred to, years later mind you, we could understand the basis for the characterization provided the Texas Rangers. In fact, Mexicanos in Tejas and along the border generally on either side have long referred to the Texas Rangers as "rinches." It is akin perhaps to the term mexicanos and now other latinos have come to know and adopt for the US Border Patrol, "migra." These are names reserved for those who work iin the service of empire, and the use of force, arms, and violence generally is assumed. It doesn't matter as may occur today or then that
you were of Mexicano descent and wore the badge or uniform of one of these anti-Mexicano and anti-Latino border-enforcing bodies. If you were a rinche, there was no denying it. One can also read the excellent border history written by the Tejana historian and writer, Dr. Beatriz de la Garza, that thoroughly documents how corrupt an institution the Texas Rangers were with respect to the history of Mexicanos in Tejas (see her excellent study, "A Law for the Lion: A Tale of Crime and Injustice in the Borderlands" (UT Press).

My proposal to the Texas Ranger baseball organization is simply, dropthe name, change your name, and keep the baseball while you're at it. Baseball is a wonderful gift that US workers and corporations gave to Mexico and Mexicans with the building of the railroads during the Porfiriato, during the 1880s and after. And it was border mexicanos on either side that took it up first (read William Beezeley's interesting cultural history, "Judas at the Jockey Club" for this particular story). It's not baseball that's objectionable, but calling a professional baseball team in a state and metropolitan region that's on its way to becoming majority Mexicano/Latino "Rangers." It leaves a bad taste in the mouth. It runs contrary to the present and future currents of Texas history, and if Texas history is all of our history, not just that of the European Americans who won it for Uncle Sam once upon a time, then it ought to be considerate of Tejano historical concerns too. What's in
a name after all? It's the money to be made by the corporate sports entity that matters most in the end. Can we agree on this much?

My proposal is to have the Texas Rangers organization REBRAND the team, much like vaqueros and cowboys did once upon a time across the wide open prairies of Tejas. Drop the ugly historical reminder of conquest and empire, subjugation and repression, injustice and lawful impunity, drop the RANGERS from the name of the team, but keep the baseball. Better still, to really get close to the growing Mexican/Latino market in North Texas, why not let the Mexicano/Latino community participate in the REBRANDING of the RANGERS. Hold a Metroplexwide contest to rename the team and create a committee of Metroplexwide Mexicano/Latino leaders and civic "heroes," men and women, to make the final decision from the names that would be submitted. Make the first, second and third place winners in the naming contest an offer of a monetary reward for having actually come up with the final name chosen, or for having come close to doing so. Give them $10,000, $5,000, and $1,000, each respectively. For the hopefully hundreds or thousands of others who submitted names, give them a free ticket to a game for their trouble. What will the new name be for the Texas Rangers? Well it sure will not be Rangers, not even Rinches. It would be something thoroughly Tejano/Texan and affirming of all of the great things that this state represents for all of us. Now that is a marketing campaign I could support!

I have to admit that I have been to one Texas Ranger game since living in the Metroplex. We had relatives from out-of-state visit and they wanted to go see a game, so we obliged them. They love baseball, they were not necessarily fans of the Rangers per se. Pero hasta ahí llegó el nicle.

In this day and age there is no good reason to call a major metropolitan team by the name of Rangers, which reminds more than 40 percent of the state's population, Mexicanos/Latinos, that they were conquered violently and their civil and human rights were not worth the ink nor paper that their dollar bills were printed with. What would it be akin to if instead of Texas Rangers we were to call the team by some other name? What if we were to name the team by those who in your/our collective history were your collective executioners? Were those who consistently and for decades and decades were specifically assigned to stamp out your civil rights, your political rights, your economic rights (rompehuelgas), your human rights generally. Were there to remind you that your place in Texas society was less than what you knew it should be, who were there to enforce the written and unwritten codes of a Jim Crow state, a Jim Crow society, where Mexicanos were the lesser for being whom they were? And they were there to remind you of it more or less permanently. They were a terror and villain in Tejano history from the perspective of our collective history, our collective memory. Let's honor our "heroes" by honoring those who would dishonor us. How about going out to root for them, and pay with your hard-earned dollars, even if they do have some Latino players.

Think about it. In any case, I've long wanted to be able to articulate these ideas publicly, and the particular marketing program presents the ideal occasion. Why? Because it is fully evident that the Texas Rangers recognize that the economic viability of their team now and in the future is highly dependent on the Mexicano/Latino market in North Tejas, where it is on a path to become the majority demographically speaking throughout the region within the next decade and a half.

Are we being asked to forget our history? Shall we forget the Alamo? as the character played by Elizabeth Peña at the end of the film "Lonestar" (written and directed by John Sayles) suggests? Or shall we remember our antepasados and honor them in the simplest of ways imaginable by demanding that the Texas Rangers be rebranded before they earn the right to our dollars and our unquestioning support? One might also add finally, that the Texas Rangers who participated in the US-Mexican War during the middle of the nineteenth century earned the euphemism given them by mexicanos in that conflict of "los diablos tejanos." It was an allusion to their particularly violent streak and wanton killing of innocents. Have the modern "Rangers" surpassed this history, it doesn't matter in the new Tejas that is emerging some may argue. We might add a rejoinder and ask, does it? Qué verguenza. Think about it.

Respectfully submitted, Roberto R. Calderón, Ph.D.
Sent by Dorinda Moreno


The Canary Islands Heritage &  Cultural Society of Louisiana 

The Canary Islands Heritage 
and Cultural Society of Louisiana 

These were taken by Chad LeBlanc , President of The Canary Islands Heritage and Cultural Society of La when he visited the March Fiesta. Unfortunately there are no captions , but the pictures do show the activities that went on .  I was not there . Sent by Bill Carmena



Group Wants To Remove Dumped Debris from 1759 Fort
May 9: Voces de la Cultura 
Puerto Rico Cultural Parade  
May Schedule of Programs at the National Archives 

Group Wants To Remove Dumped Debris from 1759 Fort
Story by Tovah Pentelovitch / Apr. 11, 2007
Preservation Online:

Fort Pitt is located in Point Park, on the tip of this peninsula, a state park that has been a National Historic Landmark since 1960. (Greater Pittsburg Convention & Visitors Bureau)

On Jan. 3, Pennsylvania state-funded construction crews entered Pittsburgh's Point State Park and began burying a 250-year-old bastion to make way for concert and festival grounds.

The Fort Pitt Music Bastion, one of the only remnants of the French and Indian War's Fort Pitt, built in 1759, is now covered with 10 feet of demolition debris and sand. This spring, while work continues on a $35 million construction project in downtown's state park, a group of historians and citizens is determined to unearth the bastion.

"Without Fort Pitt, we would probably all be speaking French right now," says Will Rouleau, co-founder of The odds are against Rouleau's group, however.

"There are no current plans to uncover the bastion; however, it was filled and protected in a way that is reversible, so it can be uncovered at a future date," says Jane Crawford, spokeswoman for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, in an e-mail.

Fort Pitt served as a refuge for 600 men, women, and children in 1763, the last year of the French and Indian War. Until recently, all that remained of the fort was the Block House, built in 1764, and two of the five original bastions. The Monongahela Bastion currently houses the Fort Pitt Museum, and the Music Bastion is no longer visible.

"The excuse they used to bury the Bastion was illegitimate," says Michael Nixon, co-founder of "The only reason they buried it was because it was an inconvenience to their motive of building a flat surface for concerts and food vendors."

For Nixon, Roulau, and at least 2,000 others who have signed the petition, the bastion stands as a symbol of what lies below it: the footprint of Fort Pitt.  Last week, members of were surveying the construction site and came upon part of the fort that workers had struck during their digging.

"We made a discovery just the other day of one of the casements—that is, a subterranean room where gunpowder and artillery materials were stored," Nixon says.

Nixon expressed concern that the site is not being properly maintained during construction. "We are keeping the site under observation. There is not an archeologist standing at every site that they are digging," Nixon says.

According to Crawford, "The work is being supervised by the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Department of General Services project staff with oversight of archaeological professionals, as we requested." wants to unearth the bastion, restore it to be a grand entrance to Point State Park, and ultimately gain the fort classification as a World Heritage Site. "Restored, it would be a magnificent edifice," says Richard Lang, an archaeologist who supervised a partial excavation of the fort in 1964.

Nixon hopes that restoration of the bastion will not only serve to celebrate the history of Fort Pitt but will "celebrate what the site means in world history, to Americans, Europeans, African Americans, and Native Americans."

The immediate plan of is to formally organize as a nonprofit.
"We would like to get the organizations responsible for the demolition of the Bastion to see the error of their ways," Nixon says. "Then we may be able to work together in developing a plan to finish a full restoration of the bastion."


Voces de la Cultura 2

Testimonios sobre Personajes, Cultura,

Instituciones y Eventos Históricos

en Puerto Rico y el Caribe


Ángel Collado Schwarz

President and Founder of the Fundacion Voz del Centro

Wednesday, May 9, 2007


El Museo del Barrio

1230 Fifth Avenue (and East 104th Street)

New York, NY


Admission: Free


To RSVP and for further information:

Lourdes M. Correas  at


Supported by

Univision TV41and WADO 1290AM



José Julián Álvarez

Constitutional Lawyer, Professor at the UPR School of Law, and the author of Puerto Rico, in Constitutions of Dependencies and Special Sovereignties (Blaustein, ed.), 2d ed. 1991, "The Empire Strikes Out: Congressional Ruminations on the Citizenship Status of  Puerto Ricans," Harvard Journal on Legislation 27 (1990), and "The Protection of Civil Rights in Puerto Rico," Arizona Journal of International and Comparative Law 6 (1989)


Antonio Martorell

He is a well known Puerto Rican painter, graphics artist, writer and radio and television personality, and Resident Artist at the University of Puerto Rico at Cayey.


Voces de la Cultura 2: Testimonios sobre Personajes, Cultura, Instituciones y Eventos Históricos en Puerto Rico y el Caribe, by Ángel Collado Schwarz (Fundación Voz del Centro, 356 pages, $95.00 oversized hardcover). This is the second volume Puerto Rico's most successful history book. Presented at the Guadalajara International Book Fair and in San Juan, Madrid and New York. Oral History of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean. It is a compilation of 25 interviews of some of the most prominent intellectuals of the region, including Ricardo Alegria, Jorge Rodriguez Beruff, Juan Manuel Garcíi Passalacqua, Efren Rivera Ramos, Ivonne Acosta, Antonio Fernos, Antonio Garcia Padilla, and Rosario Ferre, among others. History, Literature, Art, Politics and Culture are the subjects covered. Extraordinary collection of photographs; including  illustrations and documents never before published. Prologue by Latin American writer Edgardo Rodriguez Julia. A 10-1/2x13 in. size full color book printed in Italy. Published by Fundación Voz del Centro in Spanish.  


Tony Bechara

Chairman of the Board

Julián Zugazagoitia, Director

El Museo del Barrio


Dennis Rivera, President

1199 SEIU Healthcare Workers East


Antonio De Jesús, Interim Director

Centro de Estudios Puertorriqueños

Hunter College


Sent by Angelo Falcón, President

National Institute for Latino Policy


Puerto Rico Cultural Parade was held April 28th, 2007, Tampa. FL

For more information visit:




May Schedule of Programs at the National Archives 

The following is a list of events taking place at the National Archives during the month of May, 2007. For more information, respond to this email or call Katie Wilmes at 202-357-5127.

Wednesday, May 9, at 6 P.M.
William G. McGowan Theater
Film and Discussion*The Rape of Europa
The Rape of Europa is a feature documentary that tells of the systematic theft, deliberate destruction, and miraculous survival of Europe's art treasures during the Second World War. The film skillfully interweaves the history of Nazi art looting with contemporary stories of restitution. Tonight, following a screening of the 117-minute film, a distinguished panel will participate in a discussion and a question-and-answer session with the audience. Panelists include Lynn Nicholas, author of The Rape of Europa, the award-winning book on which the film is based; Robert M. Edsel, author of Rescuing Da Vinci and a co-producer of the film; and Michael J. Kurtz, Assistant Archivist for Records Services at the National Archives.

Thursday, May 10, at 7 P.M.
William G. McGowan Theater
Presidential Courage
Michael Beschloss will speak on his latest book, Presidential Courage: Brave Leaders and How They Changed America, 1789*1989. Presidential Courage describes the inner turmoil faced by U.S. Presidents at moments of crisis and the sources of strength they have drawn upon during such times. It also highlights the wives and other relatives, the friendships, and the private beliefs from which these Presidents took their strength. A book signing will follow the program. Beschloss is the author of eight distinguished books on the American Presidency.

Thursday, May 17, at 7 P.M.
William G. McGowan Theater
Julius Rosenwald: The Man Who Built Sears Roebuck and Advanced the Cause of Black Education in the South
Peter M. Ascoli, grandson of Julius Rosenwald, tells the remarkable story of Rosenwald's lifelong devotion to hard work and success and of his giving back to the nation in which he prospered. The son of German Jewish immigrants, Julius Rosenwald*president and CEO of Sears, Roebuck & Co.*was an exemplary businessman, pioneering philanthropist, and true humanitarian who played an important part in the history of America at the start of the 20th century. Yet few know the story of this immensely talented figure. His commitment to social justice and equality led him to involvement in a wide range of philanthropic projects*among them the building of more than 5,300 schools for African Americans in the rural South and the issuing of an unprecedented $1 million challenge grant to aid Jewish victims of World War I.

Tuesday, May 22, at 7 P.M.
William G. McGowan Theater
Einstein: His Life and Universe
Walter Isaacson will discuss his latest work, Einstein: His Life and Universe. Albert Einstein was the most influential scientist of the 20th century, and Isaacson's book is the first full biography of this great icon of our age since all of his papers have become available. Isaacson looks at Einstein's science, personal life, and politics and explains how his mind worked, what he was really like, and the mysteries of the universe that he discovered. Isaacson, the CEO of the Aspen Institute, has been chairman of CNN and managing editor of Time magazine. He is the author of Benjamin Franklin: An American Life and Kissinger: A Biography and is co-author of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made.

Friday, May 25, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater
From the Vaults: The Army-Navy Screen Magazine
During the Second World War, The Army-Navy Screen Magazine was a biweekly news, information, and entertainment short subject designed for servicemen and screened in all military motion picture theaters. Produced by the Signal Corps' Army Pictorial Service under the supervision of Frank Capra, the films are now among the motion picture holdings of the National Archives. Today we will screen several highlights from the series. Approximately 75 minutes.

The National Archives Experience
Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, Washington, DC

All events listed in the calendar are free unless otherwise noted. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Use the Special Events entrance on the corner of 7th Street and Constitution Avenue.

The National Archives is fully accessible. If you need to request an accommodation (for example, a sign language interpreter) for a public program, please e-mail or call 202-357-5000 at least two weeks prior to the event to ensure proper arrangements are secured.

For information or to be placed on the mailing list, call 202-357-5000 or e-mail

National Archives and Records Administration
Center for the National Archives Experience
Operations and Public Programs Division
700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Rm G-9
Washington, D.C. 20408
(202) 357-5000


Sistine Chapel of Crystals
Bil: Jerezanos Radicados en Torreón, José León Robles De La Torre
S: Enciclopedia de los Municipios de México, Puebla
Descendents of Joseph de Olivares, Compiled by John Inclan

Sistine Chapel of crystals

April 9, 2007—
Geologist Juan Manuel García-Ruiz calls it "the Sistine Chapel of crystals," but Superman could call it home.  A sort of south-of-the-border Fortress of Solitude, Mexico's Cueva de los Cristales (Cave of Crystals) contains some of the world's largest known natural crystals—translucent beams of gypsum as long as 36 feet (11 meters).

How did the crystals reach such super heroic proportions?  In the new issue of the journal Geology, García-Ruiz reports that for millennia the crystals thrived in the cave's extremely rare and stable natural environment. Temperatures hovered consistently around a steamy 136 degrees Fahrenheit (58 degrees Celsius), and the cave was filled with mineral-rich water that drove the crystals' growth.

Modern-day mining operations exposed the natural wonder by pumping water out of the 30-by-90-foot (10-by-30-meter) cave, which was found in 2000 near the town of Delicias (Chihuahua state map). Now García-Ruiz is advising the mining company to preserve the caves.  

"There is no other place on the planet," García-Ruiz said, "where the mineral world reveals itself in such beauty." 

 Sent by Collin Skousen

José León Robles de a Torre Personajes de la historia / JEREZANOS RADICADOS EN TORREÓN

Por: José León Robles De La Torre - 10 de abr de 2007.



Presentación de libro: En el presidium, de izquierda a derecha: don José Hipólito Yáñez Adame, presidente del Club Pioneros de La Laguna Toastmaster; Sra. Soledad Llamas Alatorre de Anaya, de Raíces Jerezanas; don Ramón Iriarte Maisterrena, presidente del Patronato de las Fiestas del Centenario de Torreón; José León Robles de la Torre, autor del libro; Profr. don Arturo Berrueto González, director del Consejo Editorial del Gobierno del Estado de Coahuila y el Dr. don Luis Maeda Villalobos, escritor y periodista. Marzo 28 de 2007. Museo Regional de La Laguna, Bosque Venustiano Carranza en Torreón, Coahuila.

  TRANSLATION by Mercy Bautista-Olvera

On this book’s presentation Professor Arturo Berrueto González, addressed himself by saying:  

"José León Robles de la Torre book "Filigranas, Fundaciones Y Genealogías de Jerez, Susticacan and Monte Escobedo, Zacatecas, as part of the Centennial festivities who writes on a great number of Zacatecanos who lived here and the rest of la Comarca Lagunera, constructing with their work and growth of this region.

 "Proud of his origins, José León has published various books dedicated to Zacatecas, among them, "Ecos Poéticos Zacatecanos","Filigranas, Fundaciones y Genealogías de Tepetongo, Zacatecas", and today he brings a new book "Filigranas, Fundaciones y Genealogías de Jerez, Susticacan and Monte Escobedo, Zacatecas".

"Jerez has been a crib or has influence the formation of important men, and the formation of a cultures constant of its governors and habitants, it demonstrated as La Casa de Estudios that later was renamed Instituto de Ciencias de Zacatecas, Institute of Sciences; 
de la Torre School, which advocates the beginning on June 1894: Hinojosa Theatre, that brings the memory of Don José María Hinojosa, who influenced the political and social life in Jerez; other arquitecture that includes Portal de Humboldt building, constructed in honor of the scientific and cartographer German Alejandro Humboldt".

"El Jardin Rafael Páez, El Portal de las Palomas, construction that goes back to the beginnig of XIX: La Presidencia Municipal 
and some haciendas and ranches are other descriptions that are included on this work.

The author speaks of Don Francisco García Salinas, "Tata Panchito"; Don Candelario Huízar García, Ramón López Velarde y Berumen; of various Jerez’ poets; Professor Don Juan N. Carlos Rodríguez, Don Julián Nava Flores (once Abassador of Mexico)’ Professor Salvador Vidal García and many more".

And by ending I’d would say: …"Going back to our Torreón and Coahuila, I ask my great friend José León Robles de la Tore, to accept our admiration for his assistive bibliographic production, only one in this state; coming with me from Saltillo, my co-workers Licentiate Patricia Colunga (Editor Manager), Licentiate Carlos Santamaría, (Editorial Sub-director) 
and Luis Miguel Padilla, (design Manager), all of them immediate wanted to come to celebrate with you, this memorable event. It demonstrates the affection and care that you have gained from us, whom we all congratulate you in person and to profess this permanent Tribute. Congratulations José León".


En la presentación del libro el Profr. don Arturo Berrueto González, director del Consejo Editorial del Gobierno del Estado de Coahuila, entre otras cosas, dijo lo que sigue:

"Filigranas, Fundaciones y Genealogías de Jerez, Susticacan y Monte Escobedo, Zacatecas, de José León Robles de la Torre, como parte de los festejos del Centenario de la Fundación de Torreón se publica este libro que habla de un gran número de zacatecanos que radicaron aquí y en el resto de la Comarca Lagunera, contribuyendo con su trabajo al crecimiento de esta pujante región".

"Orgulloso de sus orígenes, José León ha publicado varios otros dedicados a Zacatecas, entre otros, "Ecos Poéticos Zacatecanos", "Filigranas, Fundaciones y Genealogías de Tepetongo, Zacatecas", y hoy nos entrega "Filigranas, Fundaciones y Genealogías de Jerez, Susticacan y Monte Escobedo, Zacatecas".

"Jerez ha sido cuna o ha influido en la formación de importantes hombres, y el fomento a la cultura es constante de sus gobernantes y habitantes, muestra de ello son la Casa de Estudios que se llamaría luego Instituto de Ciencias de Zacatecas; la Escuela de la Torre, cuya edificación inició en junio de 1894; el Teatro Hinojosa, que obra la memoria de don José María Hinojosa, hombre que destacó en la vida política y social de Jerez; otra obra arquitectónica que se incluye es el edificio "Portal de Humboldt", construido en honor del científico y cartógrafo alemán Alejandro Humboldt".

"El Jardín Rafael Páez, el Portal de las Palomas, construcción que data de principios del Siglo XIX; la Presidencia Municipal y algunas haciendas y ranchos son otras de las descripciones que se incluyen en este trabajo.

"Nos habla de don Francisco García Salinas, Tata Pachito; de don Candelario Huízar García, de Ramón López Velarde y Berumen; de varios poetas jerezanos; del Profr. don Juan N. Carlos Rodríguez, de don Julián Nava Flores, del Profr. Salvador Vidal García y muchos más".

Y termina diciendo: "...Regresando a nuestro Torreón y a nuestro Coahuila, ruego a mi grato amigo José León Robles de la Torre, recibir nuestra admiración a su excelsa producción bibliográfica, única en el Estado; me acompañan desde Saltillo, mis compañeros Lic. Patricia Colunga (jefa de edición), Lic. Carlos Santamaría (subdirector editorial) y Luis Miguel Padilla, (jefe de diseño), quienes de inmediato suscribieron sus personas por estar a tu lado; muestra esta disposición el afecto y cariño que has sabido ganarte entre nosotros, quienes nos congratulamos de poder personalmente entregarte nuestro encendido y permanente homenaje. Enhorabuena José León".


Jueves 29 de marzo anterior, se presentó el libro " Jerez, Susticacán y Monte Escobedo, Zacs. Méx." dentro de las actividades conmemorativas por el Centenario de Torreón.  Estuvo todo muy bien.  Les envío algunas fotografías que se tomaron en el evento. Tambien las pueden checar en
Reciban mi aprecio especial y un fuerte abrazo 
de José León Robles de la Torre

Enciclopedia de los Municipios de México, Puebla

Reseña Histórica
Sent by Arturo Ynclan

Lo que ahora es el Estado Libre y Soberano de Puebla, fue habitado por grupos humanos de diferentes etnias. Se han estudiado 454 sitios prehistóricos en el Valle de Tehuacán; el más antiguo es Ajuereado. Hay evidencia de familias nómadas que vivieron hace 10,000 años antes de Cristo. Se han encontrado utensilios de piedra y tejidos que datan de 6,500 a 4,900 a de J.C. La agricultura aparece antes de los 3,500 a 2,000 años J.C. y se había extendido por Aljojuca, Totimiuacán, Cholula e Izúcar. La irrigación agrícola surge de 900 a 200 años a de J.C., se cultiva maíz, frijol, calabaza, chile, algodón huautli (alegría). Del 1,520 al 700 a de J.C. se establece el comercio, las invasiones, la construcción de chozas y altares. 

La región de Tepexi, de Acatlán y parte de Chiautla fueron señoríos mixtecos, tributarios de Ilhuicamina. Grupos Olmeca-Xicalancas y Nahuas se ubicaron en la parte central del territorio poblano asimilando la cultura tolteca que floreció en Cholula; en el Norte, se asentaron los Totonacos, los Mazatecos y los Otomies desarrollando la cultura del Tajín. 

Por el siglo XIV, el conquistador Nonoalca, Xelhua, "El Partido", se apoderó de casi todo el territorio; en el siglo XV, la Hueytlatocáyotl, Gran Alianza de Guerra, somete a todas las poblaciones; la parte central y sur la controló México-Tenochtitlan, y la norte, Texcoco, dominio que duró hasta la llegada de los conquistadores. 
Hernán Cortés, después de vencer a los Tlaxcaltecas, se alía con el señorío de Huejotzingo y comete un genocidio en Cholula; entra a Tenochtitlan y sale derrotado, en 30 de Julio de 1520. Organiza a sus tropas que los aliados refuerzan decisivamente, a ellos se debe la caída de Tepeaca (Villa de Segura de la frontera el 4 de Septiembre de 1520). Huaquechula e Itzocan, señorío que al ser vencidos se unieron al conquistador, porque esa era la costumbre prevaleciente entre los nahuas, favorecieron a los españoles para derrotar a la capital del Imperio Mexica el 13 de agosto de 1521. 

Se establece la esclavitud, se marca con un hierro candente, en la mejilla, la letra "G", tanto a hombres como a mujeres; se hacen repartos de tierra y aborígenes. 

Los señoríos extendidos en el actual Estado de Puebla, en los primeros años de la Colonia eran: 
Tuchpa, situada entre los ríos de Tecolutla y Tuxpan, sólo una parte correspondía a Puebla. 
Tzicoac, una pequeña parte pertenece a Puebla, Atla, al sur de Tzicoac. 
Metztitlán, ubicado al oeste de Tzicoac y Atla, sólo pequeñas zonas caían en el estado. 
Tlapacoyan, al sur de Atla y al suroeste de Tuchpa, llegaba hasta Tlaxcala. 
Atotonilco, al sur de Metztitlán ocupaba una parte de Puebla, al oeste de Tlapacoyan. 
Tlatlauquitepec, al sur de Tuchpa, al norte de Cuautochco, al oriente de Tlaxcala. 
Huaxtepec, una pequeña faja caída en Puebla. 
Tepeaca, señorío colindante con Tlaxcala al sur y al norte con Yoaltepec y Teotitlán del Camino y al este con Cuautochco. 
Tlacozautitlán se ubica en Guerrero y Morelos, una fracción entraba en Puebla, al oriente limitaba con Quiauhteopan. 
Quiauhteopan, la mitad entraba en Puebla, al oeste colindaba con Tlacozautitlán. 
Yoaltepec, al sur de Tepeaca, al occidente de Teotitlán y al este de 

Enciclopedia de los Municipios de México, Puebla
© 1998. Centro Nacional de Desarrollo Municipal, Gobierno del Estado de Puebla 

Descendents of Joseph de Olivares
Compiled by John Inclan

Generation No. 1

1. JOSEPH1 DE OLIVARES He married YLDEFONZA DE FARIAS 20 May 1709 in Sagrario Metropolitano, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.



ii. MARIA-REGINA DE OLIVARES-Y-FARIAS, b. Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico; d. 21 Nov 1779.

iii. JOSEPH-JOAQUIN DE OLIVARES-Y-FARIAS, b. 11 Apr 1710, Sagrario Metropolitano, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

iv. MARIA-LUISA DE OLIVARES-Y-FARIAS, b. 04 Jul 1712, Sagrario Metropolitano, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

v. MARIA-DE-LOS-DOLORES DE OLIVARES-Y-FARIAS, b. 25 Sep 1725, Sagrario Metropolitano, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

vi. MARIA-ANDREA DE OLIVARES-Y-FARIAS, b. 24 Jan 1732, Sagrario Metropolitano, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

vii. MARIA-PLACIDA OLIVARES-FARIAS, b. 24 Jan 1731/32, Sagrario Metropolitano, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

Generation No. 2



i. JUANA-GERTRUDIS3 DE OLIVARES-Y-PENA, b. 18 Apr 1738, Sagrario Metropolitano, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.



Generation No. 3

3. JUANA-MARIA3 DE OLIVARES-Y-RUIZ-DE-OCON (JUAN-VITERVO2 DE OLIVARES-Y-FARIAS, JOSEPH1 DE OLIVARES) was born 1742. She married JUAN-JOSEPH-ANTONIO RODRIGUEZ-Y-DE-LA-GARZA 24 Jun 1764 in Sagrario Metropolitano, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico1, son of JOSEPH-ANTONIO RODRIGUEZ-DE-MONTEMAYOR and MARIA-INEZ DE-LA-GARZA-SANCHEZ. He was born 19 Feb 1736 in Sagrario Metropolitano, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.


4. i. JOSEPH-SANTIAGO4 RODRIGUEZ-OLIVARES, b. 01 Aug 1766, Sagrario Metropolitano, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

ii. MARIA-JOSEFA-JULIANA RODRIGUEZ-OLIVARES, b. 24 Jun 1774, Sagrario Metropolitano, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

iii. JOSEPH-MANUEL-VICENTE RODRIGUEZ-OLIVARES, b. 29 Oct 1775, Sagrario Metropolitano, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.

Generation No. 4

4. JOSEPH-SANTIAGO4 RODRIGUEZ-OLIVARES (JUANA-MARIA3 DE OLIVARES-Y-RUIZ-DE-OCON, JUAN-VITERVO2 DE OLIVARES-Y-FARIAS, JOSEPH1 DE OLIVARES) was born 01 Aug 1766 in Sagrario Metropolitano, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico. He married MARIA-DEL-CARMEN MONTES-DE-OCA-Y-DE-LA-GARZA, daughter of JOSE-FELIPE-SANTIAGO MONTES-DE-OCA-Y-DE-LA-GARZA and MARIA-ANTONIA DE-LA-GARZA. She was born 02 May 1785 in Sagrario Metropolitano, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.




1. Index to the Marriage Investigations of the Diocese of Guadalajara by Raul J. Guerra, Jr., Nadine M. Vasquez, and Baldomero Vela, Jr., Page 112. [#84-3]..



S: Puerto Rico Global
Por: Roberto Camp

"La Asociación de Industriales de Puerto Rico es el principal gestor privado de desarrollo industrial. Su director, William Riefkohl, ha servido en directivos públicos de fomento industrial y económico y como representante de Puerto Rico para fomento económico en Alemania. "


En enero Ser Empresario hizo un reportaje en Puerto Rico, gracias a la hospitalidad del director del Taller de Teatro Físico Polimnia, Iván Olmo, la coordinación de Maricel Rodríguez de la corporación pública Compañía de Turismo y las observaciones de Ismar Estrella del Banco Gubernamental de Fomento.

América Móvil ha comprado las acciones de Verizon en la Telefónica de Puerto Rico y desde hace tres años CEMEX es dueña de Puerto Rico Cement Corporation. Durante los últimos meses varios banqueros mexicanos se han afiliado al Banco Doral y otras instituciones fi-
nancieras del país. Grupo Cisneros de Venezuela maneja Blockbuster y la cadena líder de supermercados Pueblo. Las actividades de Grupo Gloria de Perú incluyen Suiza Dairy, Café Crema y la manufactura de envases plásticos.

Desde hace seis meses se habla del interés de Televisa en comprar Casiano Comunications, la empresa hispana más grande de publicaciones de Puerto Rico y los Estados Unidos. Antes de su escisión en 1992, Grupo Chihuahua tuvo un centro corporativo en la Isla.

Para el interés de los exportadores chihuahuenses, este mercado de 30MMD y 4M de habitantes importa 302.5MMD de productos mexicanos y genera demandas por muebles rústicos y contemporáneos de pino. Las salsas envasadas de Chihuahua se congenian con los gustos y preferencias en la gastronomía de la Isla, que es el noveno importador de mieles mexicanas. Con promoción y degustación, los sotoles de Chihuahua podrían alcanzar una aceptación significante, como lo han hecho las tequileras y Cerveza Corona.

La Asociación de Industriales de Puerto Rico es el principal gestor privado de desarrollo industrial. Su director, William Riefkohl, ha servido en directivos públicos de fomento industrial y económico y como representante de Puerto Rico para fomento económico en Alemania. Al igual que en Chihuahua, la manufactura local se ha mermado en la Isla, y este líder industrial subraya que junto con la atracción de inversiones foráneas, hay que revitalizar la industria insular.

Riefkohl desciende de alemanes que se asentaron en el Caribe, como lo hicieron en México, y es pariente de los Riefkohl de México, fundadores y accionistas mayoritarias de Grupo Calidra. La familia Degetau era otra familia alemana que dejó huellas en Puerto Rico, como lo hizo en México uno de los comerciantes más importantes de Ciudad Juárez en el siglo pasado, don Benjamín Degetau.

El Festival Internacional Chihuahua podría encontrar un tesoro de recursos dentro del fervor cultural de la Isla, que posee un vasto repertorio de cantantes, músicos, compañías de teatro, ONGs como la Fundación Nacional para la Cultura Popular con su paradigma digital
(, diversos museos y selectas galerías como Primer Piso, codirigida por el artista mexicano Favián Vergara.

Junto con la promoción cultural, el Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña del gobierno supervisa la protección, preservación y correcta rehabilitación de edificios históricos. Fruto de esta labor, el Viejo San Juan ha sido nominado para Patrimonio de la Humanidad.

El director Dean Zayas de la Universidad de Puerto Rico merece un reconocimiento por su participación de más de dos décadas en el Festival Siglo de Oro de Juárez y El Paso.

Los boricuas, como los juarenses, saben cómo portarse en eventos masivos. Su espíritu fraterno era evidente entre los 300 mil asistentes a la Fiesta de la Calle San Sebastián del 18 al 21 de enero. Ahí y en las calles aledañas del casco viejo de San Juan uno podía disfrutarse de expresiones variadas de artes plásticas, musicales y teatrales, apreciar a través de ventanales abiertos casones coloniales como la de Annie y Federico Mattei de Madrid Travel y, cantar, bailar y tomar hasta el amanecer, sin ningún incidente que lamentar. Y en el medio de todo eso toparse con un amigo no visto por más de 20 años, Rafael García, quien en su silla de ruedas había llegado en transporte público a decir presente.

El turismo actual de 4M de visitantes refleja la influencia de Miguel Domenech, veterano de la industria hotelera desde los años 60 y director de la Asociación de Hoteles y Turismo en los 70. De 1985 a 1992 fue director de la Compañía de Turismo, a quien le sirve ahora como consultor. Este visionario reconoce que el mercado regional de Chihuahua, Texas y Nuevo México podría aumentar los enlaces turísticos y así fortalecer el reinicio de vuelos directos
con México.

Desde 1959, cuando clausuraron los casinos de Cuba, los casinos y juegos al azar de la Isla han sido detonadores económicos que complementan la variada oferta turística. Por ley, dos tercios de los ingresos netos de estas operaciones se destinan a las arcas públicas, donde se dividen entre la Compañía de Turismo, un fondo de educación ública y la Universidad de Puerto Rico.

Sin lugar a dudas, los casinos seguirán como puntos de discusión en Chihuahua. Como lo dijo José Mario Sánchez Soledad cuando era delegado estatal de fomento económico en Juárez, no hay que tener miedo a lo desconocido, y bien valdría la pena organizar un viaje de familiarización a la Isla del Encanto.


Millau Viaduct
La Leyenda

The Millau viaduct is part of the new E11 expressway connecting Barcelona and Paris and features the highest bridge piers ever constructed. The tallest is 240 meters (787 feet) high and the overall height will be an impressive 336 meters (1102 feet), making this the highest bridge in the world.
Sent by Bonnie Chapa



En relación a los espanoles que fueron para el descubrimiento y colonización de la tierra americana, existe la leyenda de que viajaron para allá mucha gente indeseable; prófugos de la justicia, pendencieros, holgazanes, alborotadores y ladrones. Como es lógico, fueron tantos que entre ellos habría de toda esa gente que estaba al margen de la ley, pero también fueron personas buenas, trabajadoras,
que lucharon para conseguir para ellos y para los suyos una vida mejor. Gente que no podía vivir en Castilla, porque aquí se atravesaba una época crucial donde era difícil cubrir las necesidades vitales, lo que obligaba a estas emigraciones.

Para comprender esto, lo mejor que he encontrado es el libro de Antonio de Solís, "Historia de la Conquista de Méjico", que en sus primeros capítulos expone, (porque él lo vivió personalmente), muchos de los motivos por los que tantos españoles emprendieron la aventura de cruzar un océano sin saber si llegarían hasta el final y resignándose a dejar aquí a su familia en muchos casos, en manos de la

Como muestra de lo que antecede, en 1492 llevó Colón a cuatro personas tachadas de criminales, pero cuando se conocen los hechos, yo he variado mi opinión y explicaré porqué. Este grupo estaba compuesto por Bartolomé de Torres, natural de Palos y sus amigos Juan de Moguer, Alfonso Clavijo y Pero Izquierdo. Hubo un enfrentamiento entre Bartolomé y un alguacil de Palos, que al parecer era muy prepotente y provocaba con sus actuaciones, algo que después reconoció incluso su
familia, y en la disputa, salieron a relucir las navajas, con la mala fortuna, que un golpe de navaja de Bartolomé acabó con la vida del alguacil y como es lógico fue condenado a muerte y quedando prisionero en la cárcel local.

Sus amigos, en su deseo de librar a Bartolomé de la injusticia de condenarle por lo que había sido provocado por el alguacil, asaltaron en la noche la cárcel de Palos y lo liberaron. Cuando fueron capturados, también fueron condenados a muerte por su complicidad. Como al parecer, los cuatro estaban inscritos como tripulantes de la
expedición de Colón, dada la proximidad de la partida y el buen concepto que se tenía de ellos como marineros, fueron autorizados para hacer el viaje, pero sin perdonarle las penas impuestas, que tendrían que cumplir después de revisar el juicio a la vuelta a la patria. A su regreso recibieron el perdón del Rey.

Y estos fueron los únicos criminales reconocidos que fueron en aquella primera expedición.

Ángel Custodio Rebollo



Guatemala City Sinkhole
S: Casa Ximenez
S: Boletín Digital Turístico de Gran Canaria 
Bil: International Exposition and Conference of Archives” in Bogota, Colombia
Los Guadarrama en Venezuela


Guatemala City Sinkhole
By Juan Carlos Llorca, Associated Press Writer
Sal Del Valle

GUATEMALA CITY , Guatemala - A 330-foot-deep sinkhole killed at least two teenagers as it swallowed about a dozen homes early Friday and forced the evacuation of nearly 1,000 people in a crowded Guatemala City neighborhood. Officials blamed the sinkhole on recent rains and an underground sewage flow from a ruptured main.

The pit emitted foul odors, loud noises and tremors, shaking the surrounding ground. A rush of water could be heard from its depths, and authorities feared it could widen or others could open up.

Rescue operations were on hold until 
a firefighter, suspended from a cable, could take video and photos above the hole and officials could use the documentation to decide how to proceed.

The dead were identified as Irma and David Soyos, emergency spokesman Juan Carlos Bolanos said. Their bodies were found near the sinkhole, floating in a river of sewage. Their father, Domingo, was still missing, according to disaster coordinator Hugo Hernandez.


Entre los museos y lugares de visitas culturales que hay en Montevideo, en la Republica del Uruguay, está la denominada Casa Ximenez, lugar muy popular y al que en aquel País incluso le han dedicado un sello de correos en el año 2003.La denominada Casa Ximenez, es una mansión de dos plantas, compuesta por dos importantes patios de considerables dimensiones, separados por una capilla y que está rematada por un clásico mirador. Este edificio fue construido a principios del siglo XIX, entre los años 1816 y 1817, por un caballero andaluz que llegó a Uruguay a finales del siglo XVIII, llamado Manuel Ximenez y Gómez, que entre otros cargos ejerció como Regidor Decano, Alcalde Ordinario y había intervenido en la reconquista de Buenos Aires y durante las invasiones inglesas, sus barcos artillados prestaron una gran defensa de la población.

En esta casa se alojaban las personalidades importantes que visitaban ontevideo, entre ellos se cuentan, en 1824 la del Canónigo Juan Maria Mastai Ferreti, entonces secretario del Nuncio de Su Santidad, y que después fue Papa, con el nombre de Pio IX. Y en otra ocasión el huésped fue el Duque de Saldanha, que fue Presidente del Consejo de Ministros de Portugal. Pero lo importante para nosotros los onubenses, es que Manuel Ximenez y Gómez era paisano nuestro, natural de Huelva y llegó dedicado undamentalmente a los negocios de panadería y almacenaje de mercancías varias. La casa una vez restaurada da ubicación en su planta baja a la Liga
Marítima Uruguaya y a la Academia de Historia Marítima y Fluvial y el resto está dedicado a museo.

Custodio Rebollo
Publicado en Odiel Información. Huelva, el 10 de abril de 2007

Boletín Digital Turístico de Gran Canaria

Estimada Mimi: Posiblemente estara muy ocupada para estos ensuenos y nostalgias de emigrante, pero, si quiere vistas bellas, cuando tenga oportunidad, dese una vuelta virtual por Gran Canaria. De paso por aqui salieron para fundar San Antonio de Texas los diez que llegaron quince despues de desembarcar en Veracruz y llegar hasta alla sin Greyhound, Holiday Inns, ....

Saludos cordiales,
Alfonso Rodriguez
Visita el Boletín Digital Turístico de Gran Canaria

"Exposición y Conferencias Internacional de Archivos" en Bogotá (Colombia)
“International Exposition and Conference of Archives” in Bogota, Colombia
Sent by Viola Sadler

Dear colleagues:

We are pleased to inform you that our "Documentation Sciences Foundation" (Spain) has been included in the ARCA project (Congress-academy articulation) which is promoted and directed by the Senate of the Republic of Colombia. The aim of this project is to provide greater transparency to the law creation process by the active participation of universities, institutions, thought centers, observatories and civil community academic organizations which will have the opportunity to contribute their ideas and knowledge.

Thanks to this contribution and due to the fact that the city of Bogotá (Colombia) will be setting of multiple cultural programs in the context of the city having been named "Latin-American Capital of Culture in 2007" by UCC, and "World Capital of the Books" by UNESCO, the Documentation Sciences Foundation is organizing together with Archiblios Foundation (Colombia), with the support and participation of the Senate of the Republic of Colombia, an "International Exhibition and Conferences of Archives" in Bogotá from 23rd to 27th May, 2007


The Honorific Presidents of this event are Dra. Dilian Francisca Toro Torres, Chairwoman of the Honorable Senate of the Republic of Colombia, and from Spain, the scientist and treatise writer of "Documentation Sciences" Ms. Emilia Curras, and Ms. Antonia Hereida, among other personalities in the Honor Committee - Mr. Alfredo Cuello Baute (President of the Honorable Cámara de Representantes of the Republic of Colombia) / Mr. Mario Saores (Ex-President of Portugal) / Advisers of Culture (Basque government - Navarre government - Castilla y León government) /  Mr Ricardo Díez Hochleitner (The Honorary President of "The Club of Rome") / Noemí Sanin (Ambassador of Colombia in Spain) ...and others who are also prestigious personalities in the archival, academic and scientific world of America and Europe.


1- To show the advancement and management of archives (any format and type) in America, Asia and Europe taking them as reference for current and future development of archives in Colombia and Latin-America, thus being able to improve the quality of the archival task in all our Latin-American peoples. To have the opportunity to broaden the scientific knowledge that is involved in the Documentation Sciences by means of forums, conferences and a graphic, photographic, bibliographic exhibition, as well as high technology equipment for the development and betterment of archives.

2- To allow event participants to establish a reference framework for the archival management performed in Europe, America and Asia archives.

3- To put pressure on our governments, administrations and politicians, drawing their attention with proselytizing, philosophical and epistemological activities, so that they understand the importance of archives in the economic, cultural and welfare development of our societies and begin to improve the archive economic conditions and their infrastructure.


This is why we are pleased to invite you to spread the word among all your collaborators, similar institutions, friends, university professors and students so that we are able to gather a cultural and social International Archives and Information Society Exhibition.

The conferences and the exhibition will take place in the Center of Cultural and Recreational Services "Nueva Santafé" located in Carrera 5, nº. 5-15, in center of Bogota. In the "National Capitol" the diplomatic acts of Excol'07 will be made.

NOTE: In the House of Representatives of the Argentine Government they are debating to consider the event of NACIONAL INTEREST

Information Department
Documentation Sciences Foundation
Protectorate - Spanish Ministry of Culture
Phone: +34 927 416 606

Dpto. de Información
Fundación Ciencias de la Documentación
Inscrita en el Protectorado - Ministerio de Cultura Español
Telf: +34 927 416 606

Estimados colegas:

La Fundación Ciencias de la Documentación (España) ha sido integrada en el Proyecto "ARCA" (Articulación Congreso-Academia), que promueve y lidera el Senado de la Republica de Colombia con la finalidad de darle mayor transparencia al proceso de creación de las leyes, mediante la participación activa de universidades, instituciones, centros de pensamiento, observatorios y organizaciones académicas de la sociedad civil que tendrán la oportunidad de aportar sus ideas y conocimientos.

Fruto de esta colaboración y debido a que la ciudad de Bogotá (Colombia) será escenario de múltiples programas culturales por el otorgamiento y denominación por parte de la UCCI de Capital Iberoamericana de la Cultura 2007, y por la UNESCO de Capital Mundial del Libro, la Fundación Ciencias de la Documentación está organizando, junto con la Fundación Archiblios (Colombia), y el aval - patrocinio del Senado de la República, del 23 al 27 de Mayo del presente año, una "Exposición y Conferencias Internacional de Archivos" en Bogotá


Este evento, financiado en parte por la Consejería de Cultura de la Junta de Andalucía, tiene como Presidentas Honorarias a la Dra. Dilian Francisca Toro Torres, Presidenta del Senado de la República de Colombia, y por España a la Científica y tratadista de las "Ciencias de la Documentación", Doctora Emilia Curras y a la Científica y tratadista de los "Archivos", Doctora Antonia Heredia Herrera, estas últimas serán a su vez Conferencistas Magistrales.

EXCOL'07 cuenta en su Comité Honorífico con otros miembros de relevancia internacional como el Dr. Mario Soares, el que fuera primer Ministro de Portugal y presidente de la República hasta 1996, la Consejera de Cultura de la Junta de Andalucía, Dra. Rosario Torres, la Consejera de Cultura de la Junta de Castilla y León, Dra. Silvia Clemente Municio, la Consejera de Cultura del Gobierno Vasco, Dra. Miren Azcarate Villar, el Consejero de Cultura y Turismo del Gobierno de Navarra, Dr. Juan Ramón Corpas Mauleón, el embajador de Colombia en Polonia, Dr. Jorge Alberto Barrantes Ulloa, el diputado nacional de la Cámara de los Diputados de Argentina, el Dr. Francisco Delich, el Dr. Ricardo Díez Hochleitner, Presidente Honorario del Club de Roma, Dr. Alejandro Mira Monerris, Presidente de la Real Academia de Doctores de España, el Dr. Federico Mayor Zaragoza, Ex-Director General de la UNESCO, y la Dra. Noemí Sanín Posada, Embajadora de Colombia en España, entre otras personalidades de igual prestigio del mundo archivístico, académico y científico, de Europa e Iberoamérica.


1. Mostrar el avance y manejo de los archivos en Europa y América (sea cual sea su formato o soporte - tradicional / electrónico), tomándolos como referencia al desarrollo actual y futuro próximo de los archivos a nivel mundial, y poderlos proyectar hacia un mayor mejoramiento y calidad del quehacer archivístico en general para todos nuestros pueblos Iberoamericanos.

2. Poder ampliar el conocimiento científico que encierran las "Cienciasde la Documentación", a través de foros y conferencias, y de una exposición gráfica, fotográfica, bibliográfica y de equipos de alta aplicación tecnológica para el desarrollo y mejoramiento de los archivos.

3. Permitir que los participantes al evento, establezcan un marco de referencia sobre la gestión archivística que se realizan en los archivos Europeos y Americanos.

4. Ejercer presión, por medio del ruido de actividades proselitistas, filosóficas e epistemológicas, para que nuestros gobiernos, administraciones y políticos comprendan la importancia de los archivos en el desarrollo económico, cultural y benéfico para nuestras sociedades, y mejoren las condiciones económicas y las infraestructuras de estos.


Por tal motivo, nos gustaría invitarles a divulgar ampliamente este hecho entre todos sus colaboradores, instituciones afines, amigos, catedráticos y estudiantes con el fin de lograr reunir en Bogotá una Exposición y Conferencias Internacional de Archivos y de la Sociedad de la Información de carácter cultural y social.

Las conferencias y la exposición se realizarán en el Centro de Servicios Culturales y Recreativos "Nueva Santafé" ubicado en la Carrera 5, nº. 5-15, en el centro de Bogotá. En el "Capitolio Nacional" se realizarán los actos diplomáticos de Excol'07.

Los Guadarrama en Venezuela

Estimada Familia.  A continuación le presento un trabajo en Hoja Excel con la lista de todos los Nombres y Apellidos de casi todos los Guadarrama en Venezuela.

Para el 06 de Julio de 2.004 había 565 Personas Mayores de edad, sobre la Base de 12.394.109 de Personas Inscritas en el C.N.E para el día de hoy tienen que haber mas de 565 Personas ( Estamos sobre 17.000.000 de Personas ) incluso descontando los que han Fallecido desde el 06 de Julio de 2.004 a la fecha de Hoy.

¿Para que Nos puede servir todo estos Nombres y Apellidos?

Bueno les comento que para Nosotros es Una Suerte que Nuestro Apellido: Guadarrama es poco frecuente en Venezuela y el Mundo. Asi que es mas fácil de localizar que los Apellidos: González, Rodríguez, Pérez,...

Es probable que casi todos los Guadarrama en viven en el Estado Falcón tengan un mismo Tronco Familiar. También podemos incluir a los Guadarrama que viven en el Occidente del País, en los Estados: Zulia, Carabobo, Aragua, Lara,...

Con respecto a los algunos Guadarrama que viven en: Distrito Capital, Estado Miranda, Estado Anzoátegui,.. o sea del Centro al Oriente del País, parece que hay mas de un tronco Familiar, aunque no descarto que podamos ser Familia.

Lo primero que Yo agradecería de Ustedes es que Identifiquen a todos los Familiares que Pertenecen a Nuestra Familia. Marcándolo en Negrita, cambiándole el color a las Letras, resaltándolo,...

Lo segundo que Yo agradecería de Ustedes es que completen la información de Ustedes y de todos los Familiares que Ustedes reconozcan en esta Lista de 565 Personas, que se solicita o esta en blanco en las respectiva Columna, Casilla, Fila,... de la Hoja de trabajo en Excel.

¿Que información se solicita? Lo primero que hay que hacer es actualizar sus Datos Personales y posteriormente los datos de sus Padres, Hermanos, Hijos, Tíos, Sobrinos,... como son :

1. Fecha de Nacimiento.

2. Lugar de Nacimiento.

3. Nombres y Apellidos completos de los Cónyuges. ( Si aplica )

4. Dirección de Habitación.

5. Teléfonos de Habitación

6. Celular. (es)

7. e-mail. (s)

8. Nombre y Apellidos completos de los Padres.

9. Fecha de Fallecimiento de los Padres. ( Si aplica )

10. Lugar de Fallecimiento de los Padres. ( Si aplica )

11. Nombres y Apellidos de el(los) Cónyuge(s)

12. Nombres de los Hijos.

13. Fecha de Nacimiento de los Hijos.

14. Lugar de Nacimiento de los Hijos.

Agradezco a todos los que llenaron las Planillas Familiares y me las enviaron. Al resto que tienen Apellidos: Guadarrama, García, Millano, Lugo, Blanchard, le damos una nueva oportunidad de Sumarse, de decir: " Presente ", ...

Invito a todos que reenvíen esta Valiosa información a todos los Nuestros Familiares que se encuentran en sus Libretas Electrónicas ( e-mail ). Para que Ellos también tengan la Oportunidad de ver sus Nombres y los Nombres de todos los Guadarrama que hay en Venezuela.

Invito a todos a consultar las respectivas Libretas Telefónicas, Agendas Electrónicas,... donde se puede encontrar muchos de los Teléfonos de Habitación, Teléfonos de Trabajo y Celulares.

Hablando de # de Teléfonos y Celulares, les recomiendo que cada uno de Ustedes por su cuenta, a través de las Operadoras CANTV, MOVILNET, MOVISTAR, DIGITEL y/o de su Personal, solicite que comprueben si estas 565 Personas tienen servicios contratados con Ellos. Y posteriormente comparten los resultados Conmigo para llamarlos, enviarles mensaje de texto,... para comprobar si pertenecen a Nuestra Familia y/o Invitándolos a actualizar sus datos Personales y la de sus Familiares cercanos.

Lamentablemente Hoy no le puedo enviar esta información a través de e-mail a todas las 565 Personas, pero con su Colaboración, Participación, Compromiso,... podemos llegar a Todos ( Directamente o Indirectamente ) los que son Nuestra Familia Directa, cuando descartemos a los que No pertenecen a Nuestro Tronco Familiar.

También incluí a 63 Personas con el Apellido: Guaderrama en este trabajo, porque hay una versión que este Apellido antes era con " a " ( Guadarrama ) y posteriormente fue cambiado por " e " ( Guaderrama ), ...

Tengo que reconocer que la Mayor Responsabilidad de la Eficiencia de este Trabajo de Identificación, Actualización de Datos,... recae sobre los Familiares de mayor Edad, ya que Ustedes son los que nacieron, se criaron, crecieron,... en Paraguana y tienen Mayores y Mejores recuerdos de sus Padres, Hermanos y Familiares Cercanos

Que tengan un Excelente Fin de Semana y espero contar con Todos Ustedes

Roberto José Pérez Guadarrama


P.D.: Aprovecho la Oportunidad para recomendar la Notificación de todos los Fallecimientos, Graduaciones, Bodas, Bautizos,... a través de este Medio ( e-mail, Internet ). En el pasado cuando pasaba un acontecimiento Agradable o Desagradable, Nuestros Familiares se comunicaban a pesar de los pocos Recursos y/o Medios de Comunicación y cumplían Unos con Otros.





Mexican Americans, World War II, and the Bracero Program
Braceros WWII Query and MALDAF response
Mexican Americans, World War II, and the Bracero Program 

World War II had an enormous impact on Latinos in the United States, including Mexican Americans. Mexican Americans were drafted into or volunteered for the U.S. armed services, where they had the highest percentage of Congressional Medal of Honor winners of any minority in the United States.

The war also fueled Latino migration to the United States. As defense industries grew and many workers went off to war, industries experienced acute labor shortages. Women and African Americans entered industry in large numbers to help address these shortages, and temporary workers from Puerto Rico and Mexico, or
braceros, were through the Bracero Program, a 1942 labor agreement between the United States and Mexico.

 Although the Bracero Program brought Mexicans to the United States to work primarily in agriculture, some workers were also employed in various industries. Over 100,000 contracts were signed between 1943 and 1945 to recruit and transport Mexican workers to the United States for employment on the railroads. By early 1945, the
bracero population in the Philadelphia area numbered approximately 1,000, most of whom worked on the Pennsylvania Railroad. 

Living in substandard conditions in "box car camps," the laborers had little contact with the general population and limited access to healthcare, recreation, translators, or legal aid. In September 1945, Philadelphia’s International Institute (an immigrant aid organization now known as the Nationalities Services Center) formed the Philadelphia Regional Committee of Mexican War Workers to support these railroad workers and address some of the difficulties they faced. The committee helped with weekly English classes, recreational activities, shopping, and problems ranging from contract disputes. It organized sports events and day trips, and Sunday evening
fiestas that drew up to 200 guests and featured traditional music and food. The Committee was often called upon to mediate contract disputes. 

A particularly controversial subject was the automatic deductions made from the men’s paychecks for food, health insurance, and retirement benefits. Mexican workers were wary of representatives from the Pennsylvania Railroad. As one case worker reported, "one sensed constantly an antagonism to the railroad people." 
Bracero workers reading Pennsylvania Railroad safety manuals, 1944. Latino Philadelphia · The Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies of The Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Since most war-related job opportunities existed in urban centers, there was considerable migration of Mexican Americans to the cities in the decades of the 1940s and 1950s. In Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona there was a large exodus of the population to the urban centers. California had the largest population increase, giving it a Mexican-American population equal to that of Texas. 

One of the most serious incidents of discrimination occurred during World War II in the Zoot-Suit Riots of Los Angeles. The incident received its name from the type of clothing, known as a "zoot suit," worn by many young Mexican Americans of the early 1940s. In the summer of 1943, a dispute between a Mexican American and an Anglo erupted into widespread rioting. Anglo members of the armed forces were soon joined by civilians in a spree of attacking and beating Mexican Americans wherever they were found. 

With the end of the war and the return of troops from overseas, the railroad workers were required to return to Mexico (many Puerto Ricans, who were citizens, decided to remain). Serving or working abroad, or moving to a large city expanded the horizons of a generation of Mexican Americans. Like many African Americans, they had sacrificed for their adopted country, they began to want more of the American Dream: better education, better jobs, and an end to racism and discrimination. They considered themselves as Americans and wanted their full civil rights. Many decided to change the system in which they were reared.

 The termination of the war also brought into being the "G.I. Bill." This act provided veterans with opportunities for employment, high school and college education, job training, and resources for purchasing homes and life insurance. Many Mexican Americans took advantage of the G.I. Bill. For the first time, they entered college in large numbers. Within a few years after the war, their slightly higher educational achievements would lead to greater opportunities. 

Reading Questions:
"A History of the Mexican American People," by Julian Samora and Patricia Vandel Simon,; Maria Möller, ‘Philadelphia’s Mexican War Workers," Pennsylvania Legacies, November 2003, Vol. 3 (2), 16. Latino Philadelphia · The Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies of The Historical Society of Pennsylvania


Braceros WWII Query and MALDAF response


Hello, I was hoping that someone might have some information on a program that was started during WWII called Braceros. My father-in-law was enlisted in this program and lived and worked in the United States for 4 years. We've heard that there are benefits and or money available to these people but where. I have spoke with Immigration, Social Security and Veterans Affairs which have all led to dead ends. If you have any ideas please let me know.
Thank you. Kathryn G. Ocampo

From: Mimi Lozano
To: John Palacio  and CC to Kathryn G. Ocampo

Hi John, 
I am forwarding this email, hoping you will be able to help this individual.
Has MALDEF been involved in any effort to assist the WWII brazeros?
Do you know who they might be able to contact?

Sat, 14 Apr 2007
From: John Palacio
To:, John Trasvina <



Sent: Saturday, April 14, 2007 12:58 PM
From: John Trasvina
To: John Palacio;; Francisco Estrada
Subject: Re: Fwd: brazeros WWII

You are correct on our earlier work on this issue. It was handled by our Sacramento office headed by Francisco Estrada. He is copied on this email and can answer the question further.

I am not aware of new benefits eligibility for braceros in the program during the 40s, 50s, or 60s.


Date: 4/16/2007

After spending a bit of time researching this issue, this is what I found:

The Bracero Program was a guest worker program for Mexicans which began during World War II and ended in 1964. Braceros had approximately 10% of their salary deducted by the U.S. government and deposited in a Mexican bank. This amount was deducted to ensure that Braceros returned to Mexico and as a substitute for Social security withholding. Braceros were supposed to receive these wages upon their return to Mexico. Few, if any, Braceros received these funds when they returned to Mexico. After years of litigation and demonstrations, the Mexican government has established a compensation fund, and some Braceros may be eligible to receive small amounts (I believe around $2-3,000). I do not know what the eligibility criteria are, and I would contact either the nearest Mexican Consulate (in the U.S.) or a Ministerio del Interior office in Mexico. There is still controversy about the amount of compensation and there was a recent demonstration at the Ministerio del Interior office in Mexicali, Baja California, during which Braceros were demanding compensation of at least $10,000.

SB 37 (Dunn) which was referenced by John Palacio was approved by the Legislature but vetoed by Gov. Schwarzenegger. This bill would have provided reparations for the victims of the illegal and unconstitutional deportations of American citizens of Mexican descent during the "Mexican Repatriation Program" of the 1930s.

I hope that this helps. If you need any additional information, please contact me.

Francisco Estrada
Director of Public Policy
1107 9th Street, #240
Sacramento, CA 95814
916-443-7531 x 16


Genealogy Bank Resources
Genealogical DNA Testing Myths
eVetRecs: Request Copies of Military Personnel Records

Genealogy Bank Resources

*1819/1820 U.S. Passenger List Now Online *

** has put a digital copy of the complete 1819-1820 U.S .
Passenger List, free and online at:

This is an exact digital copy of the original document that was published by the Federal Government in 1821*. It covers the arrivals in 35 ports in 14 states and the District of Columbia.

*GenealogyBank *is pleased to provide this free and valuable research tool to genealogists. It is an excellent example of the types of genealogical records preserved at *GenealogyBank * that you can use to fill in the details of your family tree. A typical entry gives the passenger's name, age, where they were coming from, and their destination, the name of the ship, ship's captain and the port. Some entries also include additional notes.

This published passenger list gives the names of all passengers arriving in the US between October 1819 and September 1820. It includes not only immigrants coming to the U.S. but also a large number of U.S. citizens who were traveling by ship from one part of the country to another.

For example Alfred Spooner, age 32, a farmer from Vermont and D. McCall, age 33, a merchant from North Carolina were both listed as traveling on the *Brig Forest* that was going to Mississippi.

Entries also tell of births and deaths at sea. Eugenia Virginia Stark and Charles Julius Wittell were two German children born at sea. Christiana Yauch was not so lucky. She is recorded as having died at sea while coming to America from Germany.

Robert Crookshanks age 60, a merchant from St. John, New Brunswick is listed as "on a visit" to Portland, Maine coming over on the Schooner Recover. Francis Mitchell, age 28, a West Indies planter from St. Croix is listed as going to Ireland on the Schooner Edward and stopping at the port of New York.

There is more in a passenger list than just a list of names. And there is a lot more in ** too. It is packed with all types of genealogical records. For example there are more than 1,300 newspapers covering four centuries and all 50 States; digital copies of every page, all searchable. There are more than 103 Million obituaries and death records; over 114,000 government reports and books like this passenger list. All of
this material is online and searchable right now.

You are invited to search right now. Try it out and see what records it has on your ancestors. You will be able to see a snippet of the original record that shows the name that you searched on the page. Then if you would like to see the entire record, please join with us and get a membership in * GenealogyBank*. We add new content every day. Try it right now at: 

* Letter from the Secretary of State, with a transcript of the list of passengers who arrived in the United States from the 1st of October, 1819, to the 30th September, 1820. February 18, 1821. Printed by order of the Senate of the United States. Washington, DC: U.S. Congress. Senate, 1821. Serial Set Vol. No. 45, Session Vol. No.4. 16th Congress, 2nd Session. S.Doc. 118. 288p.

Sent by Janete Vargas


Genealogical DNA Testing Myths

Myth #1: Do we need to dig up our ancestors to get their DNA?
No! Their DNA is contained within your DNA, to some extent. For males, the Y-chromosome is passed from father to son on down through the generations. Males and females also receive mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) from their mothers, which also contains the DNA of their direct maternal line. However, only females will pass mtDNA on to their children.

Myth #2: Is the DNA collected by a blood test?
No. Commercial DNA testing companies utilize saliva/buccal cell sampling via swabs and various other collection containers.

Myth #3: Can an insurance company or court subpoena my DNA test to use against me for insurance or legal purposes?
No, and there's several reasons why:
- For a court to obtain your DNA, they may request your medical records, to access the labs where you have taken blood tests. Or, they would order you to take a DNA test through a specified facility.

- Your genealogical DNA test is not in a "controlled chain of custody" meaning that because it is sent through the mail, it is handled by people out of the control of testing company and lab.

- The types of DNA used for genetic genealogical testing cannot be used to identify you. Why? If you are a male, your brother, your father, your grandfather, all have the same Y-chromosome as you and an individual cannot be singularly identified using the Y-chromosome. A well-known example of this is that Thomas Jefferson cannot be
ascertained as the father of Sally Hemmings' children since other Jefferson males share the same Y-chromosome. The same also applies to mitochondrial DNA; you receive it from your mother, and all of your siblings have it, so it cannot be used to individually identify you.

Myth #4: Do my DNA results reveal any medical conditions?
The section of the Y-chromosome used for genealogical DNA testing is non-coding DNA, in that it does not recombine (mix) or have any known uses other than to fill the spaces in between your genes. However, because this DNA does not mix, and it changes very slowly (mutates) it's beneficial for use in genealogical applications.

With mitochondrial DNA testing, the portion that's tested is a region known as the "Hypervariable Region" (HVR) which like the Y-chromosome DNA, does not mix and it changes very slowly. Both HVR1 and HVR2 tests which are used for genealogical and deep ancestry purposes, do not reveal any medical conditions. However, a full mitochondrial
sequence test may reveal medical conditions, but this information is not analyzed by your testing facility, you would need to seek further analysis from a specialist. The full sequence test results are not public information, nor made available to your DNA Project
Copyright © 2005-2007 - - All Rights Reserved


eVetRecs: Request Copies of Military Personnel Records
Sent by Bill Carmena

Welcome to our online military personnel records request system. Use our system to create a customized order form to request information from your, or your relative's, military personnel records. You may use this system if you are:

  • A military veteran, or
  • Next of kin of a deceased, former member of the military
    • The next of kin can be any of the following: surviving spouse that has not remarried, father, mother, son, daughter, sister, or brother.

If you are not the veteran or next of kin, you must complete the Standard Form 180 (SF 180). See Access to Military Records by the General Public for more details.

How to Initiate a Request for Military Personnel Records:

  1. Click on the "Request Military Records" button below to start. This will launch a separate window.
  2. Enter the required information in the system to create your customized request form. There are 4 steps that you need to navigate. The system will guide you through the steps and tell you exactly which step you are on.
  3. Print, sign and date the signature verification area of your customized form. If you don't have a printer, have a pen and paper handy and we will guide you through the process. This is important because the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. 552a) requires that all requests for records and information be submitted in writing. Each request must be signed and dated by the veteran or next of kin.
  4. Mail or fax your signature verification form to us, and we will process your request. You must do this within the first 20 days of entering your request, or your request will be removed from our system.

                    12/30/2009 04:49 PM