Somos Primos

April, 2008
 Celebrating the 100th 
Online issue 

Vol. 9,  No. 4
All previous issues can be accessed at

Editor: Mimi Lozano ©2000-8

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



Completed and closed on April 1, 1908, 
Photo taken in Sonora, Mexico 1890

Lucas de la Fuente (43 years old) with four of his 10 children.
Lft to Rt: Carmen (18), Ramon (14), Catalina Dolores (15), Becerril (7)

Click to the translation 

Content Areas
United States 
National Issues
Action Item
Bilingual Education

Anti-Spanish Legends
Military/Law Enforcement
Patriots American Revolution


Orange County,CA  
Los Angeles,CA

100th Somos Primos issue online features: 
April 1st, 1908
Diary Lucas de la Fuente

Northwestern US
Southwestern US 
East of Mississippi

East Coast



Family History

Jan 26:  
Apr  2
May 2
Aug 2

"In all of us there is a hunger, marrow deep, to know our heritage,
to know who we are and where we came from, 
Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning. 
No matter what our attainment in life, there is still a vacuum, 
an emptiness and the most disquieting loneliness." 

Alex Haley

  Letters to the Editor : 

Ms. Lozano:  Just found the website and it’s wonderful.  Thanks, Lauro Almaraz

I am an avid reader, especially of history; World War II, and Mexican-American History. I was recently recommended to SOMOS PRIMOS by a Mexican-American Teacher in San Antonio, Texas.  I found a Treasure. I have recommended the on line magazine to all on my e-mail list.  If I were to be asked to describe SOMOS PRIMOS, I would say it like in the barrio,
" Esta pesado, guy; Pura Crema, fantastico. Es un tesoro de nuestra gente!"
Raul Garza, De Kingsville, Texas

Dear Mimi, I visited your site and found that you have a very unique information store for all of us that have been making the USA greater with diversity, ingenuity and culturally richer. Please add my email to your monthly newsletter.

I have unsuccessfully tried to find out more about my last name: Reta, if you can direct me to a person, database or site where I can do some additional research, I will appreciate it.
Best Regards,  

 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
Rafael Ojeda
Michael Perez
Ángel Custodio Rebollo
Tony Santiago
John P. Schmal
Howard Shorr 
Ted Vincent

to the March issue:  

Lauro Almaraz  
Dan Arellano
Gustavo Arellano
Bea Armenta Dever
Cecilia Armenta Richards 
John Arvizu, OD
Armando Ayala, Ph.D.
Elaine Ayala
Mercy Bautsta-Olvera
Joseph Bentley
Roberto Calderon
Bill Carmena

Dr. Henry J. Casso
CA Sen. Gilbert Cedillo 
Esther J. Cepeda
Bonnie Chapa
Grace Charles
Jorge Chino
Jack Cowan
Argentina Dávila-Luévano

Tino Duran
Teresa De La Fuente Armenta
Angelo Falcon
Lorri Fran

Rafael Ojeda
Maria Ortega Torres

Jeff Favre
Dr. Antonio Flores
Amador Garcia
Tony Garcia
Wanda Daisy Garcia
Raul Garza
Jonathan Goldberg
Dr. Jaime G. Gomez, MD
Marcos Gutierrez
Lorraine Hernandez
Aury L. Holtzman, M.D.
Granville Hough, Ph.D.

John Inclan
Kristian Jaime
Kathie Kennedy
Maria Krueger
José León Robles De La
Michael Lacayo


Jovita Lopez
Gregorio Luke
Raoul Lowery Contreras

Debbie Martinez

Henry Marquez
Mary Lou Montagna
Dorinda Moreno 
Alva Moore Stevenson
Dr. Carlos Muñoz, Jr.
Nancy Perez

Roberto Perez Guadarrama 
Dahlia Guajardo Palacios
Jose Puente
Alberto Casas
Angel Custodio Rebollo
Crispin Rendon
M. Rivas-Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Karina Romero Reza
Ruben Salaz M
Aramara Salgado M.
Carlos Sandoval
Tony Santiago
Sister Mary Sevilla
Howard Shorr
Monica Smith 
William G. Taylor
Robert H. Thonhoff 
Ricardo Valverde
Margarita Velez   
Pepe Villarino
Richard L. Whynot



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

Welcome to new Board member Tom Saenz, retired educator, teacher, principal, and Rancho Santiago Community College Trustee. 



Dr. Armando Rodriguez Honored, March 28th, San Antonio
Hacu Honors its Own, Dr. Antonio Flores
Tribulations, Trails and Triumphs of Hispanic Education, Kristian Jaime
A Salute to Dr. Armando Rodriguez, Dr. Henry J. Casso
View from the Pier, Herman Sillas
Dr. Hector P. Garcia versus Corpus Christi Independent School District
Dr. Armando Ayala. Pioneer Bicultural Program Recognized by US Dept of Edu
Dr. Armando Alfonso Ayala Recognized by the State of California 1992
Mujeres de Conciercia/Women of Conscience
Column of the Americas, Remembering & Honoring Ruben Salazar
Book: Right Before Our Eyes: Latinos Past, Present & Future


Dr. Armando Rodriguez 
Honored at the
Alameda/Smithsonian Latino Museum 
San Antonio, Texas
March 28, 2008

Sponsored by: 

The following articles were recently featured in 
LA PRENSA, San Antonio, Texas
Marzo 23, 2008, pages, 4-A, 5-A
Published by special permission of Editor Tino Duran


HACU Honors its Own

Dear Friends,

The Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) are pleased to participate in a well-deserved tribute to Armando Rodriguez.

In his book, “From the Barrio to Washington: An Educator’s Journey,” Rodriguez looks back on a lifetime of work and service and notes that of the many professional positions he has held, “No stint was more difficult than trying to hold down all the wildly varying aspects of being president of a community college. And I don’t think anything was more satisfying.”

The octogenarian’s memoir dedicates a chapter to his nearly six-year tenure
(from 1973 to 1978) as president of East Los Angeles College, a longstanding HACU-member and Hispanic-Serving Institution (HSIs).  

Dr. Antonio R. Flores, President and CEO 
of the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities. (photo courtesy)

Founded in 1986, HACU represents approximately 450 colleges and universities committed to Hispanic higher education success in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Latin America, Spain and Portugal. HACU is the only national educational association that represents HSIs, which, while comprising less than 10 percent of all colleges and universities in the U.S., enroll more than 50 percent of all Hispanic students. The majority of HSIs are community colleges.

While great strides have been made in Hispanic higher education in the 35 years since Armando Rodriguez became just the second Latino to be a college president in California, much work remains. For example, Hispanics have become the largest minority population in the U.S., at 14.8 percent, yet hold only 4.6 percent of all college presidencies, and just 6.1 percent of community college presidencies. Also, HSIs receive just 52 cents for every dollar of federal funding received by non-HSIs. And, Hispanic enrollment rates continue to lag behind other segments of society (30 percent of Hispanic 18-21 year olds attend college, compared to 48.8 percent of non-Hispanic whites).

HACU and our supporters are committed to rectifying these inequities. Rodriguez blazed trails in the federal sector as well, serving as the nation’s first director of the Office for Spanish Speaking American Affairs and as U.S. Assistant Commissioner of Education. Yet today, Hispanics remain the only underrepresented minority among federal employees. Through the HACU National Internship

Program, the largest Hispanic program of its kind in the nation, more than 7,000 young people have benefited from paid internships at federal agencies and corporations—many leading to full-time employment.

“Education, more than anything else, is the key to opening doors beyond the barrio,” writes Rodriguez, who was born in Mexico but grew up in the Logan Heights area of San Diego. “I learned that from my own experience, and I was glad to help broaden the opportunities for more kids.”

We at the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities commend Armando Rodriguez for a lifetime of exemplary service. May his inspiring example, as chronicled in his book, continue to open doors of opportunity for the young people of our community.

Cordially, Antonio R. Flores
President and CEO HACU


Dr. Armando Rodriguez shows his book and some of the historic moments in his life.

Tribulations, Trails and Triumphs of Hispanic Education
By by Kristian Jaime  


It seems almost cliché to rail against the seemingly overwhelming odds that are routinely faced by economically challenged students. The difficult truth remains that those barriers that were so subversive so many decades ago are still alive and well
and manifesting themselves to a new crop of Latino students. Yet when there is an example of a pupil finding a path from Mexico, to California, and then to the White House, it demands our attention. It is only right that it should since Armando Rodriguez could be anyone in dire straights.

When Rodriguez became a fixture in the Johnson, Nixon and Carter administration, it certainly was not a coup in the traditional sense. Yet his rise from a boy nicknamed
“Shadow” to the President of East Los Angeles College to one of the most visible Latinos in the nation ushered in the often tumultuous transition of a Hispanic minority to vital components of domestic education policy.

“My parents were always interested in education and encouraged us to participate
in things we felt we could do. When I was in college, I taught a variety of students including the special education classes and I coached the wrestling team; I enjoyed so much seeing the students’ eyes as they increased their ability to achieve whatever I could help them do,” said the former Head of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare Office of Spanish Speaking American Affairs under President Lyndon

Rodriguez’ sense of the youthful enthusiasm of the California students was infectious. The year was 1949 and the realization of a young idealist into the mature educator that would soon take a position as Chief of the Bureau of Intergroup Relations in Sacramento would be accompanied by experiencing firsthand the challenges of educating a minority.

In 1980, only 58 percent of Hispanic students finished high school and only seven percent earned a bachelor’s degree. A quarter of a century later the high school completion rate is only five percent higher, and those students gaining a bachelor’s degree is a mere 11 percent.

“It was not long before I began to look at administration in terms of more involvement in the direction of education for children—especially those, who like me, did not master English,” said Rodriguez. “I then took the role of non-native English speakers and tried to help them get in the mainstream of educational life. As I had more and more success, I received more attention by my peers and that is how I got into administration,” continued the former Regional Coordinator of the Health, Educational,
and Welfare Office for the Nixon administration.

For the many students like those the California native tried to help, English was
the ticket to not only educational legitimacy, but to a new identity that gave rise
to a new bilingual culture. The new moniker “Mexican- American” precipitated a hybrid student too assimilated to return to Mexico, but entirely too progressive for a country barely coming to terms with its impending metropolitan nature. This gray area where many students find themselves today has also created an epidemic of dropouts.

The stress of attending a school where one cannot communicate nor integrate successfully is one of the reasons behind 22 percent of Hispanic students not finishing secondary schools —almost 13 points higher than the national average.

Rodriguez knew all too well the struggle of trying to retain his native tongue while still successfully participating in staples of American life. The brief interlude when he returned to his ancestral country of Mexico in Gomez Palacio led to the stern assessment that his Spanish speaking skills were not up to par to enter school.

Culturally, he was much more American than he realized; yet he was only aware when his way of life was no longer marginalized by mainstream culture in San Diego.  “When I was teaching at the community college level, I felt that there was need for people like myself who were not born in this country, but had worked their way up the ladder to fight differences and encourage others,” said Rodriguez. “I became the first Hispanic teacher in California to become a community college president. When I look back, I see many of them now and that is what I wanted to happen—to have the opportunity to show that a Hispanic could do it.”

Growing up with a family of nine had exposed him to the need to work from everything as impromptu ice vendor to anything that would bring in money.  During his post as the Commissioner of the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission (EOEC), this experience would serve him well when he would work for fairness in hiring practices. This also highlighted another disparity that had affected many like him—the need for education to thrive.

“We were getting limited exposure and we did not have many cases of Hispanics dealing with the EOEC,” argued the doctor in Bilingual Education. “That was because they did not know about it and the opportunities and common practices that involved the Hispanic workers.

“Workers would begin to speak Spanish to one another and employers would not understand,” continued Rodriguez. “Workers began to speak to their superiors and that opened things up. In the end, it became easier, because employers knew how to handle the situation.”

As Hispanics are poised to take the role as the most influential minority block, the issues surrounding the future of education, commerce and culture are increasingly relevant. The outlook from the lifelong educator is surprisingly optimistic.

“The future of Latino education in this country is one where we provide the opportunity for them to do their part to become successful students. The future has to be for everyone who wants an education,” Rodriguez explained expectantly.


A Salute to Dr. Armando Rodriguez 
by Dr. Henry J. Casso
Project Uplift

How fitting it is that the Alameda/Smithsonian Latino Museum is hosting our coming together to celebrate Dr. Armando Rodriguez’s published autobiography entitled, “From the Barrio to Washington: An Educator’s Journey,” in which he shares important happenings and accomplishments of his early years as an immigrant from Gomez Palacio in Mexico and the Barrio of San Diego, into positions of major responsibility in local, state, and national responsibility.
                                                           National Hispanic Cultural Center Hosts a Forum
                                                                                             for Dr. Armando Rodriguez

In this very building, historical events have taken place and today this piece of history joins them; the LULAC Council 2 School of 400; Dr. Hector Garcia’s signing of the founding of the American G.I. Forum; the founding of MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund) and soon to be, the Alameda/Lincoln Center
for Performing Arts.

In “From the Barrio to Washington,” Dr. Rodriguez relates how he convinced Mr. Randolph Hearst to undertake an unprecedented national tour so he could consider a major undertaking for Spanish speaking children and the need for bilingual curriculum materials. This visionary streak began with a reception in the home of the esteemed Sam and Olga Madrid, which led to the Hearst Foundation establishing five centers in the country—San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco, New York and Milwaukee. This in time, as Dr. Rodriguez tells us, would lead to Hearst and him sharing their education findings in Russia.

It has been an honor to know, work with and observe much of what Dr. Rodriguez tells in his autobiography a life of dedication to public service, children in need of a dream, how to motivate and inspire people, how to bring diverse people together, how to give of the self often with great sacrifice, and how to achieve without taking credit.

This autobiography is a must read for the young and old alike. It is a challenge to all educators, at all levels, to be informed of the qualities found in this celebration of life, urge students to research, write and document the many valuable nuggets Dr. Rodriguez shares. Others can learn from this.

San Antonio should be proud of the events which have led to this day. Each
of us raised our hand in salute to one who in the words of the scripture, “has run a good race; he has won the good fight.” A special thanks goes to Dr. Rodriguez for sharing this with us.

Dr. Henry J. Casso
Project Uplift

By Herman Sillas

Dr. Armando Rodriguez poses with distinguished guests at one of his 
national book signing. 

I interviewed a long time friend, Armando Rodríguez, 87, in his El Cajon home. He tells of his life’s journey in a new book entitled “From the Barrio to Washington: An Educator’s Journey.” His Mexican parents migrated to the U.S. in 1921, and he tagged along. Armando was poor, spoke only Spanish, and was so dark skinned that he was called “Shadow” by the other kids. Yet, he was to serve four presidents of the United States, served as a soldier in World War II and became a naturalized citizen in the military.  When the military learned it had taught a non-citizen all its secret codes, they decided it was easier to make Armando a citizen than to revise the code of shoot him. 
Using the G.I. Bill, he embarked on his educational career as a teacher in San
Diego’s secondary schools. His happiest days were in the class room, he confessed,
then, he became the first Latino principal of a high school in San Diego. From there, he was called to Sacramento to assist the state’s Department of Education. Two years later, he was appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to join the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) and head the Office of Spanish Speaking American Affairs. President Nixon kept Armando in Washington, D.C. but in
another capacity.

In 1973, Armando became president of East Los Angeles Community College. Then President Jimmy Carter called him back to Washington to serve as commissioner of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. He remained in D.C. until 2001. Over his lifetime, Armando has served in significant positions both in the private and public sectors. That’s why his book is so revealing and a must read.

During my interview, I recalled the sixties and seventies, when he served as a mentor
to new, young, Latino teachers eager to help their barrio students. Today, when Armando speaks of the new youth, he speaks with great pride. He recalled that as a young teacher he and others were laying the foundation for young Latinos. His generation believed these neglected children had great potential, and today, he points out that in San Diego State University there are more than 7,000 Latino students enrolled. He smiles recalling his student days when the Latino population was probably seven, not 7,000.

“Armando,” I once asked, “Did you ever think you would see in your lifetime a black
man, or woman, become a major party’s presidential candidate?”

“Never in my wildest dreams,” Rodriguez answered. Yet, he and hundreds like him cultivated the seeds for different colored faces to enter into the hallways of education, government, business, and governing boards. We owe Armando and his generation thanks for increasing the diversity and population of this nation’s inventory of future leaders. Educated minds and bodies of all colors and genders are now available to us as a nation. That is Armando’s generation’s legacy.

Will Senator Barack Obama or Senator Hillary Clinton become president? If elected,
will they be better than any of the white men who were elected in the past? They can’t be any worse than some. But what is important is that Obama and Clinton have confirmed to every student sitting in class today regardless of race, creed, or gender that they too can seek the office of President. At the time of Armando’s youth that was an unrealistic dream for natural born citizens if they were “Shadows” or wore pigtails.

As I ended my interview, I commended Armando for taking the time to tell his story.
It prevents future historians from ignoring the contributions of all those unsung teachers, administrators, and parents who believed anything is possible and fought in the trenches to prove it. How did they do it? Read one guy’s story in “From the Barrio to Washington.” That’s the view from the pier.

Contact: Kristian Jaime
La Prensa de San Antonio
318 South Flores Street
San Antonio, TX 78204
O; 210/ 242-7900
M: 915/ 373-2097



Dr. Hector P. Garcia 
Corpus Christi Independent School District 

by Wanda Daisy Garcia with added contributions from 
Amador Garcia, President of the AGIF Archives and Historical Foundation

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



Dr. Hector Garcia believed that in order for Mexican Americans to become first class citizens of this country they should have an equal education.  Thus, the mantra of the American G.I. Forum became “Education Is Our Freedom and Freedom Should Be Everybody’s Business.”   Next, he challenged segregation in the school districts. Dr. Hector P. Garcia’s dispute with Dr. Dana Williams, Superintendent, and the CCISD Board over desegregation lasted 10 years. With hindsight, if Dr. Garcia had not persistently hammered the school district, CCISD would not have desegregated.  

The educational system was inferior for Mexican Americans in the 1960s. Minority school buildings were firetraps and health hazards.  Classrooms were overcrowded.  Teaching materials and textbooks were outdated. Teachers did not encourage minority students to attend college.  Nor were advanced courses taught in minority schools. Mexican American students dropped out of school by the 5th grade. The segregation extended to the teaching faculty. In that, CCISD assigned Mexican American teachers to teach exclusively in minority schools.  

Dr. Hector P. Garcia held rallies to discuss the importance of education and to motivate parents and students to fight for an equal education system. Dr. Guadalupe San Miguel was a student at Moody High School when he first heard of Dr. Hector P. Garcia and his work to improve the educational system for Mexican Americans.[1]  Dr. San Miguel said, “I’d gone to some of those rallies where Dr. Garcia would tell us about the struggle for education.”  

Then Cisneros V. CCISD happened. On July 22, 1968, Black and Hispanic members of the United Steelworkers Union filed a lawsuit alleging unconstitutional segregation in the Corpus Christi Independent School. In June 1970, Judge Woodrow Seals, federal court ruled: 

              Mexican American students were separated and segregated to a degree
              prohibited by the fourteenth Amendment in all three levels of the school system.

On the home front, Anglos opposed to busing organized the “Concerned Neighbors, Inc.”.[2]    The plaintiffs and school district came up with an alternative to busing. The alternative was majority-to-minority transfer. This rule allowed students in the majority ethnic group in their neighborhood school to attend a school where they would be in the minority. The school district would provide transportation for the participating students. Twenty Southside and Westside elementary schools and five junior high schools would participate in the student exchange program.

Even after Cisneros V. CCISD, Dr. Dana Williams and the school board did nothing to improve substandard conditions at the minority schools.[3]    Instead, the school board discussed building a new administration building and football stadium.  But the board did not mention renovations on the older schools. On August 1972, Dr. Hector asked the City Council to inspect the minority schools for possible fire hazards and health deficiencies after a fire had broken out in Austin Elementary.  Dr. Garcia presented to the City Council the results of a 1968 Department of Health Education, Welfare report, and 1971 Texas Dept. of Health report, which confirmed the substandard conditions of the schools, existed for many years:  

Stephen F. Austin Elementary after the fire.

The Texas State Dept. of Health on June 1971 inspected Austin, De Zavala, and South Gate Schools.  The report points out definite fire hazards and health inadequacies.  The three schools had gas space heaters that were obsolete and should not have been used.  Still the gas space heaters were present in the Austin school fire about one year later.  

The three schools did not have a single faucet of hot water.  The three schools were potentially fire hazards.  Still, no plan was forthcoming from the Board to correct segregation. On August 29, 1970, Dr. Hector Garcia called for the resignation of Dr. Dana Williams for the following reasons:  

Since 1960, Dr. Williams has had an opportunity to formulate a plan to correct segregation.  Evidently, Dr. Williams is not able to formulate a lawful integration plan and therefore he should resign. The plan submitted by Dr. Williams and the school board is to continue the discrimination that has existed in the Corpus Christi Schools.  In Spanish we say that the plan “Es unicamente para taparle el ojo a el macho.” The Williams Plan is mixing Negro and Mexican American students together with a token representation of both groups in the predominant Anglo schools.  

On September 1971, Dr. Hector Garcia went to Washington, D.C. to discuss the CCISD desegregation case with Dr. Goldberg of the U.S. Solicitor General’s office. According to Goldberg, the agency had disbursed 37 million in ESAP funds to aid in desegregation of schools.[4]   However, CCISD had not received any ESAP monies because of the order to stay integration. Dr. Williams reported that the Office of the Solicitor General had distributed only 3.7 million to 12 school districts.  When confronted about the discrepancy, Williams said he had misread the figures.[5]  Later, Dr. Hector urged CCISD to remove the stay order and reapply for ESAP funds. Dr. Hector formed the P.T.A. group[6] to call attention to the financial liability to the taxpayer if the school district did not receive the ESAP funds.[7]  

CCISD’s offer of free transportation for students wishing voluntary assignment was another ploy used to circumvent integration. When students tested the offer on three occasions, the Board turned them down. On August 14, 1972, CCISD Board denied the request of students for transportation to Anglo schools. On Sept 21, 1972, the school Board denied this request again.  On October 1972, Dr. Hector with 17 students attended a school board meeting to demonstrate against the school Board’s lack of cooperation.  

Amador Garcia, an eyewitness and Dr. Hector's cousin, said the meeting became tense with heated verbal exchanges between Dr. Hector and Dr. Dana Williams.  Amador said, "They got in each other's faces." So much so that Dr. Williams called the police to remove my father and the students from the meeting.  The police arrested my father and took him to jail.   
In the interim, Amador phoned Tony Canales, Dr. Cleo's son and Rudy Garza, Tony Canales' law partner.  Together they met at the jail.  Amador recalls what a contrast Dr. Hector was to the other inmates of the cell.  He was clean-shaven and wore a pristine short-sleeved white shirt.  The three lawyers assured Dr. Hector that they would post bail so he could get out.  Dr. Hector, still fuming from the interaction with Dana Williams, said, "No, I don't want you to get me out of jail."  Tony and Amador tried to reason with my father, "We cannot leave you in jail.”  Dr. Hector adamantly said, "No, I do not want to get out of jail." 


Meanwhile, the jail night clerk phoned the Chief of Police, William Banner.  Banner rushed to the jail to try to resolve the problem.  Banner noticed a large crowd of Mexican Americans gathering in front of the jail.  When Banner assessed the situation, he exclaimed, "I can't have this man in my jail.” Still Dr. Hector refused to allow his relatives to post bail for his release.  Eventually, Dr. Hector relented and he left the jail. Dr. Garcia and the Mexican-American community rallied on the steps of the Corpus Christi Police Department following his release from jail that same night. Perhaps Dr. Hector was trying to make a statement by staying in jail.  Chief Banner certainly got the message from the crowds gathering outside the jail.  

Stephen F. Austin Elementary before the fire.

On 1974, Dr. Hector and American G.I. Forum members met with the Texas Education Agency Commission. Dr. Hector described the physical condition of the schools and the high dropout rate of Mexican American students. He presented charts, graphs and photographs to document his arguments.  But the Commission was non-committal. 

After one meeting, Dr. Hector wrote:  

The TEA has not taken strong enough action against local schools.  The TEA by majority vote and action seems to be calloused and disinterested in correcting these same deficiencies as evidenced by this meeting.   

On May 1974, Dr. Hector asked Judge Owen Cox to take charge of the case himself “since the Board, Superintendent and Community failed to comply with the desegregation order.”  Three years later “nada”. On December 8, 1977, Dr. Hector wrote to Dr. John Bell, Office of Civil Rights Region VI advising that CCISD had not complied or submitted a plan for desegregation.    

Dr. Hector did get results though.  CCISD produced an integration plan after battling in and out of the courts’ and the schools were desegregated.  On 1977, the court ordered the district to began busing. Students in kindergarten, first and second grades went to their neighborhood schools. Third and fourth grade students attended a Westside school, while fifth and sixth grade students attended a Southside school. CCISD bused students at the junior high level for one of their three years using an alphabetical lottery system.  

On 1997, U.S. District Judge Janis Graham Jack dismissed Cisneros ET. Al. vs. CCISD, saying, the desegregation case had forever-improved Corpus Christi education.  The court battle that began in 1968 went on for thirty years.  Both key players in this drama, Dr. Hector Garcia and Dr. Dana Williams have passed away.  Dr. Hector died On July 1996 and Dr. Williams on July 2007. I send them love and light.

[1] Adriana Garza, “Barriers Remain despite progress”, Corpus Christi Caller, 01/04/2008.

[2] Les Schultz was the head of Concerned Neighbors, Inc.

[3] Dr. Dana Williams was the Superintendent of the Corpus Christi Independent School District (CCISD) from 1962 until 1981. 

[4] The Emergency School Assistance Funds was to help schools to desegregate.

[5] “Garcia Urges Forum Support”, Corpus Christi Caller, 09/29/1971.

[6] The P.T.A., Poor Taxpayers Association.

[7] “Garcia Urges Forum Support”, Corpus Christi Caller, Sept. 29, 1971.


Dr. Armando Ayala
California "Valley Intercultural Program" 
Recognized by the US Department of Education 
"Pioneers of Bilingual and Bicultural Education

Meanwhile In California, efforts to improve education had turned to teacher training and bilingual, intercultural education.  In 1970 Dr. Ayala who had just recently completed his doctorial studies was selected out of 50 applicants to head the Valley Intercultural Center Center in Sacramento. His selection was made by the combined decision of a Review and Control Board made up of: 
5 County Superintendents, 9 Principals, 9 Teachers, 9 Parent Representatives, 4 College Professors.

Dr. Ayala' undergraduate training was in cultural anthropology and linguistics. He graduated from East Texas State University in 1959 and was immediately, through the efforts of friend Steve Arvizu, recruited by Bakersfield School District in California. The Bakersfield school population was 33 percent limited English speaking. Out of the 1,200 teachers in the district, 5 were Spanish speaking. Dr. Ayala's professionalism eventually took him to leadership roles.  In 1967, he was elected "Man of the Year" by the Teachers' Union and served as President. Dr. Ayala was instrumental in helping to organize a Conference in 1969 in Asilomar of 25 experienced Mexican-American teachers.  The focus was to develop concepts for a Dual Language Model for public schools.  

It was the combination of Dr. Ayala's own life experiences [His mother died of TB when he was 4 years old.], Laredo schools, teaching in Bakersfield, agricultural, migrant worker's children, and his training in cultural and social anthropology that shaped the concept for what eventually was to be called in Early Childhood Bilingual Education, the "Ayala Dual Model". 

Dr. Ayala's visionary approach was to include and acknowledge the need to appeal to the Anglo population. "Bilingual education will never get off the ground until the Anglo gets a piece of the action."  

Eventually the program that was designed, developed, and maintained under the directorship of Dr. Ayala had waiting lists, parents eager to enroll their children in the bilingual/multicultural classes.  Dr. Ayala observed that "The higher the education of the Anglo community, the more bilingual education is valued."

This could never have been accomplished without the SUPPORT, COOPERATION, and ENTHUSIASM of and from the STUDENTS, parents, both the ANGLO and Mexican-American because this was an ENRICHMENT PROGRAM in which ALL PARTICIPANTS were VOLUNTEERS.   they could have opted to WITHDRAW at anytime.

Dr. Ayala served as the Director of the Valley Intercultural Center for 23 years.  He worked with Placer County Consortium and coordinated teacher training with the Office of Bilingual Staff Development at the University of California at Sacramento. Teachers were able to receive Bilingual certification.  The program funding was federal. Thirteen counties in Northern California participated.

The "Ayala Dual Language Model" is now, almost 40 years later, being implemented and practiced successfully in many areas throughout the nation.  

Editor: The information was gathered from a conversation with Dr. Ayala. Please note below how Dr. Ayala is receiving well-deserved recognition.


            E-mail message          2/1/2008
Subject Ca. Senate Resolution

Last June 2007, I received a call from Dr. Robert Tiffiletti, who was retiring after serving as "Grants Director of Title Vll Bilingual Ed. Programs. (35 years) and was being honored by dedicating a SPACE in his office to display the MOST SUCCESSFUL BIUNGUAVB1CULTURAL programs FUNDED during his tenure.

Our programs, "Valley Intercultural Program" (V1P) and Upper Valley Bilingual Program (UVBP) was one of 21 selected as "Pioneers of Bilingual and Bicultural Education.  This "HONOR" couldn't have been achieved WITHOUT YOUR CONTRIBUTION of IDEAS & TIME. 

Therefore, if you ever go to Wash. D.C.. look up the Department of Education Building and visit the Bilingual Education Office; there you will see this "Resolution Displayed in OUR honor. 


Your "COLEGA" in the "movement to promote MULTILINGUALISM for all!  

Dr. Armando A. Ayala Lecturer EMERITUS 2003 Ca. State, Univ.- Sacramento Multilingual/Multicultural Ed. Dept. College of Education

For information on the Valley Intercultural Program, go to:
Area III Valley Intercultural Report; 1970-71 Final Evaluation Report.
Placer County Office of Education, Auburn, CA recordDetail?accno=ED069708

Dr. Armando Alfonso Ayala 
Recognized by the State of California 





WHEREAS, Dr. Armando A. Ayala, director of bilingual-bicultural education for the Placer County Office of Education since 1970, and also coordinator for the bilingual-bicultural program in the San Juan Unified School District serving limited- and non-English proficient students, also serves as an adjunct professor for California State University at Sacramento, and is being honored on his retirement from the Placer County Office of Education; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Ayala has successfully secured over ten million dollars in federal and state grant monies to provide services for limited-English-proficient students in Area Three, a 13-county area in Northern California; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Ayala wrote the first bilingual consortium proposal in Northern California which incorporated multiple school districts; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Ayala worked as the director of the High School Equivalency Program at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, which brought back high school dropouts and placed them in a university setting; and

WHEREAS, Dr. Ayala is an international bilingual expert and has been a presenter, lecturer, consultant and trainer at many universities, school districts and conferences in Colombia, Spain, Mexico and in many parts of the United States and has trained teachers and parents in the Trust Territories of Micronesia (Ponape, Saipan, Guam and American Samoa); and

WHEREAS, Dr. Ayala has always gone out of his way to help others in need and, as a professional and as an individual, is truly a "Humanitarian"; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that I, Leo McCarthy, Lieutenant Governor of the State of California, extend my highest commendation to Dr. Armando A. Ayala for his distinguished service in education and community service in California, and convey to him my best wishes for continued success in his future endeavors.               

I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this twenty-third day of August, Nineteen Hundred and Ninety-Two.

Leo McCarthy

Mujeres de Conciencia/Women of Conscience 

This is an art book with magnificent black and white photos of prominent Latinas who have made definite and long standing contribution to the Hispanic community and the country at large. This photographic essay constitutes an important collective biography as well, with great journalistic insight and integrity into the lives of leading Latina women in the fields of education, science, literature, business, law, the arts, journalism, politics, and other fields of endeavor. This coffee table monograph, which has been published with art-book quality as a collector's edition, provides stunning artistic, B&W photographs of each subject with a parallel biographic journalistic essay in Spanish and English. The biographies explore the life-changing events of each subject, the personal mix of elements, circumstances, and values which allowed these women to set goals and objectives toward most successful careers and contributions to society. There are 72 leading women included in this collective biography and an extraordinary photographic essay offering the most incredible array of role models to inspire, guide and motivate young Latinas.  This title is an important addition to reference collections and individual libraries for they are testament to the vision and values of la mujer Latina.

"Growing up with the knowledge that I was bicultural has always been close to my heart. All my life, I have experienced the richness, the constant energy of two perspectives within me, weaving and intertwining into one integrated self. Being a native Californian blessed with parents from Mexico and Central America, and ancestors from Alta California, I inherited a rich tapestry of values, sensibilities, and visions. In addition, my parents participated in the struggles of San Francisco’s labor unions during the 1940’s. Their experiences provided me with a clear and enduring sense of the value of community and the importance of activism on behalf of all communities. My parents lived their lives with conviction, and always believed that there is great power in persisting when the cause is just. They had faith in the principles of world harmony and well-being for all, and championed the rights of others with great determination. These were early lessons in my life.

Guided by my parents’ values, I chose Social Science as my undergraduate major at the University of California, Berkeley. My graduate studies at California State, Hayward, were in Educational Psychology. With my newly acquired knowledge, I was able to recognize more accurately societal strengths and weaknesses, and I became professionally involved in social welfare. Over the years, in a variety of settings, I have worked in fields that specifically addressed issues of health, education, and economics in culturally diverse communities. Mujeres de Conciencia/Women of Conscience profiles Latinas in California whose knowledge and efforts have affected the well-being of communities in need. They are representative of hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans who are engaged in similar work. Written for the general public, the book offers examples which validate the Latino culture in the United States from its own perspective. It is no coincidence that the Latin American women presented here are of multi-cultural descent. They mirror the rich and varied ethnic background of the populace of Latin America. Some are the great-great-granddaughters of Mexicans who populated California and the Southwest of the United States. Others have roots in Central and South America, and in the Caribbean. Many of these women forged their social conscience and values from personal and family experiences. The stories of their families, together with their own first-hand experiences, contributed to the persons they became. They possess intimate knowledge of the Latino culture, and see the need to preserve it for themselves and others, and for those to come. They pursue endeavors on behalf of disenfranchised communities within the larger society in order to enhance the quality of life for all, firm in the conviction that society as a whole gains when all of its members prosper. Through their efforts, the women profiled in this book, as well as many other activists, are creating paths toward in-depth dialogue about progressive change. As they share their stories, replete with conviction, joy, pride, love, and pain, they emerge as agents for social change.

Mujeres de Conciencia/Women of Conscience represents a broad spectrum of interests and vocations. These women are writers, artists, community activists, lawyers, health specialists, politicians, labor leaders, business entrepreneurs, cultural promoters, and community mobilizers. They reflect many societal structures. Their common denominator is their understanding, respect, and love for all communities the impact of their collective work on the communities they serve; and the transcendence of their work for society as a whole. Truth and idealism hold pride of place in their motives for involvement. They look to themselves as well as to others to speak out for justice. Their biographies chronicle specific endeavors and reveal differences in style. The photographs strive to reveal something of the inner life of each. Although some of these Latinas have moved on to other positions of importance and to new responsibilities, their convictions and hearts have remained dedicated to community improvement. Mujeres de Conciencia/Women of Conscience is a collection of dreams, realities, and aspirations. It is a record of “people power,” presented to celebrate success fueled by intelligence, tenacity, talent, and a commitment to the preservation of human values. While the advocacy presented here focuses on minority issues in the United States, it is important to observe that these women are carrying out an equally strong advocacy with regard to world-wide societal issues. Their belief in the possibility of effecting positive change recognizes no borders. Their separate visions ultimately flow into and interconnect with one another. The purpose of this book is to celebrate their transformative power.

In creating it, I have been guided by a sense of personal responsibility as a Latina/Chicana American. “What is my personal role in disseminating truth?” “How should I apply my principles?” “What can I do to correct misconceptions?” These are the questions that prompted my journey. In Mujeres de Conciencia/Women of Conscience, I have attempted to present a cross section of American women of Latin descent whose lives and work have been a powerful force for societal change in the United States and in the world. I realize there are many others not included here who have also worked selflessly to make positive changes in the world. I hope this book will inspire other authors to continue the task undertaken here, to offer them the recognition they merit. I want to express my gratitude to my husband, John Spence Weir; to my son, Juan Weir; to Roberto Cabello-Argandoña of Floricanto Press; and to the many friends and organizations who have given me so much encouragement, guidance, and support for this project."

Victoria Alvarado  

Alma Flor Ada  
Lilia Aguilera
Terry E. Alderete
Juana Alicia
Isabel Allende
María Andrade de Ochoa
Vibiana M. Andrade
Judith Francisca Baca
Minnie López Baffo
Edda Caraballo
Gabriela Castelán 
Carmen Castellano
Lucha Corpi
Margaret Cruz
Antonia Darder
Diana Nancy Acosta De León
Guadalupe Fierro
Gloria Flores-García
Teresa Foster
Jane García
Lorraine García-Nakata

Belinda Guadarrama  
Juana Gutiérrez
Marisa Gutiérrez
Antonia Hernández
Ester Hernández
Inés Hernández-Ávila
Matilde Hicks
Hispanic Education & Media Group
Dolores Huerta
Latina Theatre Lab
Aliza A. Lifshitz
Ortensia López

Yolanda López  
Los Cenzontles
Mónica Lozano
Irma Luna
Elsa E. Macías
Lía Margolis
Rosamaría Márquez
María del Pilar Marrero
Arabella Martínez
Elizabeth (Betita) Martínez
Diane G. Medina
Josie Mena
Maritza Mendizábal
Frances Morales
Sylvia Morales
Carmencristina Moreno
Elsa Quiroz-Downs
Sarah Reyes
Mary Helen Barajas Rocha
Diane Rodríguez
Rodri J. Rodríguez
Lucille Roybal-Allard
Elba Rosario Sánchez
Honorable Teresa Sánchez-Gordon
Renée María Saucedo
Claudia Smith
Hilda Solís
Gloria Sotelo
Olga C. Talamante
Eva Torres
Nellie Trujillo
Cristina R. Vásquez

Patricia Wells-Solórzano
Mujeres de Conciencia/ Women of Conscience. Spanish English parallel text and photography by Victoria Alvarado. ISBN: 978-0-9796457-7-8. 2008 $79.95 Oversize Hardbound. Floricanto Press.htm Advanced purchase for individual customers $59.95. Save $20.00  


by Dr. Cintli "Roberto" Rodriguez 

For close to 40 years, my memories of journalist, Ruben Salazar, have been of smoke, fire, riots, rampaging police, and his premature death in East L.A. on August 29, 1970. Seared into my memory is running home every day to see the Inquest held into his death. What is actually seared is not the fact that he was killed by a nine-inch tear-gas
projectile, fired into the Silver Dollar Café by a Los Angeles County heriff's deputy, but rather, that no one was ever brought to justice. Neither was anyone brought to justice for the deaths of Angel Diaz or Lyn Ward, who also died on that day.

After years of memories of injustice, I instead choose to remember him this year on his birthday: Feliz cumpleaños - Happy Birthday, Ruben. On March 3rd, this pioneering journalist from Juarez-El Paso should have gotten 80 candles. Instead, on April 22, he will get a belated birthday present - his own 42-cent U.S. postal stamp. Also being
honored are four other journalists Martha Gellhorn, John Hersey, George Polk and Eric Sevareid.

Lost in the controversy over his death and the violent repression of the National Chicano Moratorium rally against the Vietnam war - was the historic nature of his journalism. Clearly, he was a journalist before his time and what he reported in the El Paso Herald Post and the Los Angeles Times, from 1955 through 1970, still seems relevant to this day. He covered an unpopular war; Vietnam. He also covered Cuba, the Dominican Republic and the upheaval in Mexico in the 1960s. He also wrote about the anti-war movement, black-brown relations, police repression, the border, the inhumane treatment of migrants, the trouble in the lettuce fields, and social and educational inequalities. In his last interview, he even complained about a meddling vice president who was attempting to stifle press freedom.

While not an activist, his journalism brought the emerging Chicano civil rights movement to the nation's attention. He defined for the nation - in language that mainstream society understood - what it meant to be Chicano. On Feb 6, 1970, he wrote: "A Chicano is a Mexican American with a non-Anglo image of himself." Activists to this day cringe at that description; for activists, a Chicano/Chicana was more than an image, but an unapologetic social and political rebel.

The issuance of a U.S. Postal stamp is a fitting tribute, yet, a stamp is not large enough to convey his life's work, nor the impact that his death has had upon an entire generation. His death accelerated what anthropologist Victor Turner refers to as a "primary process" or a massive volcanic political eruption. In this case, Mexicans rebelled against years of living a dehumanized existence. It is similar to the process that exploded during the 1910-1920 Mexican Revolution and also during the Mexican Independence movement 100 years before against a brutal Spain.

In California, this process can be traced to the East L.A. Walkouts of 1968 and to the even earlier strikes and boycotts of the United Farm Worker's Movement throughout the country. And yet, it was his death that completely unleashed this process or movement nationwide.

Those seeds of injustice created an instant martyr. Ironically, a primary process can be both an explosive time and a time of intense creativity. Such has been the case in regards to Salazar, though that political activity and cultural explosion has been mischaracterized by historians as a nationalistic and separatist impulse. My experience
tells me quite the reverse; that it was a rehumanization project in response to an ultranationalistic impulse in which Mexicans were not always welcomed or treated as fully human.

Nearly 40 years after his death, I have begun to develop a journalism class on his life's work. As I have been perusing over archives of the Media, Democracy and Policy Initiative, the group responsible for promoting the issuance of the Salazar stamp, I am in touch with a very special history. Included in the archives are his early work, notes,
photographs, letters, FBI files, the coroner's report and most special, the actual typewriter he used to write with. I get a feeling of frozen time. Yet truthfully, as I speak with his family, friends and colleagues, what strikes me is that he has not been forgotten and that his death is still an open wound. His memory is living history.

While many of us will always seek answers and justice, after a generation, it is also now time to remember him for the contributions he made, both to the journalism profession and to the world we live in.

Rodriguez, PhD., who grew up on Whittier Blvd. in East L.A.,  is a long-time journalist-columnist and the author of "Justice: A Question of Race"- a book that chronicles his own police brutality trials in East Los Angeles. He is currently a faculty fellow at the Mexican American Studies and Research Center at the University of Arizona. He can be reached at:  or 520-743-0376 or go to:

MDPI can be contacted at: or visit the website for the Media, Democracy and Policy Initiative at:

Sent by Dr. Carlos Muñoz, Jr.
Professor Emeritus, Department of Ethnic Studies

Right Before Our Eyes: Latinos Past, Present & Future

 By Robert Montemayor with  Henry Mendoza

             The Latino Face of America
By Alan Caruba
March 2005

A funny thing happened to me while I was pushing a cart up and down the aisles of my local Pathmark supermarket. I hit one aisle and suddenly realized that a very large portion of it was devoted to Goya and other products favored by Latinos. Not being a Hispanic or Latino—the terms are interchangeable—I had not noticed that before, but the fact is, New Jersey and nearby New York are major population centers for Latinos, even though much of the Hispanic population remains spread throughout the Southwest and, of course, throughout California.

In the past, I have written some pretty harsh analysis of the impact of illegal immigration on the United States of America. I have not favored the further granting of amnesty to the eight to twelve million illegal aliens here, most of whom are from Mexico, South America, and Caribbean nations. There is, however, a power in numbers and in history. They are both relentless when examined without prejudice.

Let me share some numbers with you from an interesting book, "Right Before Our Eyes: Latinos Past, Present & Future" (Scholargy Publishing, 1555 W. University Drive, Suite 108, Tempe, AZ 85281, by Robert Montemayor with Henry Mendoza.

# Latinos are the largest and the youngest ethnic minority in the United States.

# At approximately 40 million today, Latinos account for 13.7 percent of the US population.

# By 2050, one out of every four Americans will be Latino, a number that will exceed 100 million.

# In 2020, one out of six workers in the US will be Latino; in 2050, it will be one out of four.

# Latinos will spend $700 billion this year.

# Latinos represented between 6 to 8 million votes in the 2004 presidential election; they were estimated to represent the critical swing vote in six States.

All of a sudden, I began to think that maybe Social Security might not go broke if those illegal aliens were given the opportunity to become tax-paying Americans with a better opportunity to have their children schooled so they too can join the workforce as the baby-boomers head toward retirement. What does America need? A "geezer" workforce or one that taps the ability of native-born and immigrant Latinos?

A lot of Americans are going to be very surprised to discover that the taxpayer base in ten years and the workforce in 2020 are going to be predominantly Latino. It will be same kind of surprise I felt when I realized that aisle in Pathmark represented a change I hadn’t really noticed.

Part of the problem is that Latinos, particularly native-born, have had an especially hard time climbing the ladder of success in America. The appointment of Alberto G. Gonzalez as the first Latino US Attorney General was widely heralded, but Latinos remain under-represented at the executive levels of business, education, law, politics, and policy. There are exceptions, yes, but they remain exceptions.

Latinos are virtually invisible with the exception of entertainers like Jennifer Lopez and Salma Hayek, musicians such as Emilio and Gloria Estefan, and from the world of sports, golfers LeeTravino, Chi Chi Rodriquez or Nancy Lopez. Baseball has many Hispanic stars such as Alex Rodriquez, Sammy Sosa, and Manny Ramirez. When you look to science, aerospace, art, architecture, medicine, the military, and politics, the names of Latino achievers are barely known to most people, let alone to the vast Hispanic community.

As far as the mass media is concerned, Latinos are an even greater minority than African Americans, but Latinos outnumber them these days. When you read or hear about a Latino it is most likely because they have been arrested. This totally ignores the growing Latino middle class. For those born here and others who arrive here legally or illegally, there is an astonishing 600 Spanish-language radio stations and an estimated 550 Spanish-language magazines, newspapers, and websites. As Montemayor notes, "It is an industry all its own, and it exists within the largest English-speaking country in the world."

Language is a major sore point among advocates and critics of immigration. All previous groups that arrived on our shores, Italians, Russians, Germans and others, embraced English as the unifying language of these United States. It is language that, more often than not, stymies the progress of Hispanic immigrants and, if history is any guide, it is the necessity to learn English that will permit them to make a life for themselves and their children here.

Education is the key to progress, but our education system is in meltdown, poorly serving an entire generation of young Americans and, more often than not, neglecting Hispanic children to the point of their dropping out in numbers too great to ignore without peril to the growth of our economy and the well being of our society.

The numbers of Latinos born here and coming here cannot be ignored. Ways must be found to integrate new Hispanic immigrants into our society, nor should we forget that there are already millions of first, second, third and fourth generation Latinos for whom America is their home. A group that will spend $700 billion this year alone cannot be ignored and that aisle in Pathmark says they are not being ignored.

For those who resist this, a bit of history. Hispanic explorers had begun their travels around the North American continent centuries before their English counterparts. Years before the first English settlement at Jamestown, Virginia, Spanish explorers had discovered and traversed most of what would become the Southern States from Florida to Texas, "discovered Lake Michigan in the north, trekked down the Mississippi River, crossed New Mexico, Colorado, Nevada, and Arizona, and claimed the California coast extending as far north as Vancouver Island. In 1565, the Spanish admiral Pedro Menendez de Aviles founded St. Augustine, Florida." It would serve as Spain’s military headquarters in North America for the rest of the 16th century.

There are all kinds of issues swirling around the fact that some 400,000 illegal immigrants from Mexico, South America, and the Caribbean are arriving yearly. There are national security issues, education issues, medical care issues, crime issues, language issues, but there aren’t values issues. Latinos who risk everything, including their lives, to come here want to work, want their children to have a better life, want to live in a nation that offers real opportunity. And many come here legally, but go unnoted against the television images of those who do not.

So, let’s face it. The future face of America is going to be less English, less Scandinavian, less Russian, less Irish, less Italian, less German. We are going to learn to celebrate Cinco de Mayo along with St. Patrick’s Day.

Alan Caruba writes a weekly column, "Warning Signs", posted on the Internet site of The National Anxiety Center,


© 2005 Alan Caruba.
All Rights Reserved.



Defend the Honor
Report from Public Policy Institute of California:   Crime, Corrections   
Sadly, Center for Disease Control study overlooked Hispanic women 

Defend the Honor has prepared resources to carry on the message of honoring Hispanics military contributions in the United States Military.  In addition to buttons and a brochures are a beautiful floor standing display.  Organizations can purchase the display.


DEFEND THE HONOR recognized by National Assn. of Chicana and Chicano Studies
            National Assn. of Chicana and Chicano Studies met in Austin, Texas in March.  Defend the Honor received a community award, in recognition of coordinating the national effort of exposing Ken Burns neglectful treatment of Latinos in the PBS funded THE WAR.  There will be three other community awards given as well. 

3/19 Maggie writes: "We'll be there starting with Wednesday afternoon, with our Defend the Honor display, giving out brochures and selling buttons... 
hasta pronto, M"

Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez
Assoc. Professor, School of Journalism
University of Texas at Austin
1 University Station, A1000
Austin, TX 78712
Also, Director, U.S. Latino & Latina WWII Oral History Project

New report from Public Policy Institute of California…  

Crime, Corrections, and California: 
What Does Immigration Have to Do with It?

Kristin F. Butcher and Anne Morrison Piehl  

            “Immigrants are far less likely than the average U.S. native to commit crime in California, according to this issue of California Counts. For example, among men ages 18-40 – the age group most likely to commit crime – the U.S.-born are 10 times more likely than the foreign-born to be in jail or prison. Even among noncitizen men from Mexico ages 18-40 – a group disproportionately likely to have entered the United States illegally – the authors find very low rates of institutionalization. Such findings suggest that longstanding fears of immigration as a threat to public safety are unjustified.”

 A link to this report can be found below.

Sent by Ricardo Valverde

Crime rates lower for immigrants

Fewer problems in cities with recent influx of foreign-born 
By Julia Reynolds, Monterey (CA) Herald Staff Writer, 02/26/2008

Fears that immigration leads to rising crime rates are unjustified, says a California study released Monday.  The report by the Public Policy Institute of California, a nonpartisan research group, asked the question: Are the foreign-born more likely than the U.S.-born to commit crimes?

"In California, as in the rest of the nation, immigrants ... have extremely low rates of criminal activity," said Kristin Butcher, a co-author of the report, "Crime, Corrections and California: What Does Immigration Have to Do With It?"   Available data, the report's authors said, "suggest that long-standing fears of immigration as a threat to public safety are unjustified."

Starting with the fact that immigrants make up 35 percent of the state's adult population but only 17 percent of its prisoners, researchers said they discovered several "striking" findings.  One was the very low crime rate among young immigrant men without high school diplomas, especially when compared to U.S.-born male youths with low education levels.

Native-born women, the study said, are four times more likely to find themselves in prison than women born in other countries. The report also found that California cities with high levels of recent immigration have lower crime rates.  "We find that on average, between 2000 and 2005, cities that had a higher share of recent immigrants saw their crime rates fall further than cities with a lower share," the authors wrote."This finding is especially strong when it comes to violent crime."

The report's researchers said their results are corroborated by national studies, and that no contradicting claims have been reported in available academic research. Salinas police chief Dan Ortega said the findings are no surprise to him. "When I came to Salinas eight and a half years ago, people would raise the question about farm-workers and all the immigrants from Mexico in this city. Was that what was raising the crime rate?" he said.

"You look at who's filling our prisons — they're born and raised right here."  Ortega said he rarely hears that question any more at community meetings. In fact, he said, immigrants are more likely to be victims of crime in the city.

"Your hardworking immigrant that's come to make a better life, works in the fields all day — comes the weekend, they're not too familiar with the lay of the land. Maybe they have a couple of drinks, show too much money and they get robbed," he said.  Or they're victims of fraud perpetrated by unscrupulous business people, he said.

Among the report's other findings were that the group most likely to commit crimes — men between 18 to 40 — showed dramatic differences in incarceration rates, one of several measures the researchers used to gauge rates of criminality.  Native-born men in this group were 10 times more likely to be locked up than immigrants, the study found.

Overall, U.S.-born men end up in state prisons at a rate 3.3 times higher than immigrant men. The report did not venture far into the question of why crime rates are so low among immigrants.

Ortega said there are many factors to consider.  "Why does anyone commit fewer crimes? It could be character, integrity, the way they were brought up. I wouldn't want to go there," he said.  What the authors found striking, though, was that common explanations for criminal behavior — such as high poverty rates — would tend to predict that immigrants have elevated crime rates, not lower ones.

"It is also possible that immigration reduces crime," the authors wrote. "For instance, those born abroad may be less likely to be involved in substance abuse, gang life and violent culture, which drive so much of serious American crime." 

The study used several measures to gauge the impact of immigration on crime: incarceration rates in California state prisons; similar rates in institutions such as jails, mental facilities and halfway houses. It also looked at 29 cities' overall crime rates compared to immigration levels over five years.

For most of its findings, the study did not distinguish between immigrants who are citizens, permanent legal residents or those who entered the U.S. illegally. Instead, it looked all immigrants, defined as people born in another country. Because the undocumented make up an estimated 28 percent of the state's immigrants, the authors indicated that the results are nearly the same for that group, too.

The report did not investigate visa and other immigration violations, but looked at crimes most likely to affect public safety, such as property crimes and violent offenses.

As far as criminal activity among children of immigrants, the reports' authors said data was harder to come by. But the researchers did cite other studies around the country that suggest children of immigrants also have lower violence and incarceration rates than the native-born, "although perhaps not as low as the foreign-born themselves."

 While the researchers did not delve far into what their findings might mean for national immigration policy, they said reformers have many factors to take into consideration besides crime rates. "However," the authors concluded, "our results suggest that several of the reforms currently under consideration would do little to improve public safety."   

To download the complete report, see  
Incarceration rates per 100,000 residents
by Howard Shorr



Sadly, Center for Disease Control study overlooked Hispanic women 
by Esther J. Cepeda  
March 21, 2008


Behold the spectacle of the incredible invisible Hispanic woman. She and her sisters walk among us, over 20 million strong, young and old, U.S.-born and immigrant, legal and illegal, yet undetectable to the mainstream eye.

This month we heard about the "Hidden Epidemic" -- a major public-health crisis affecting one in every four teen-age girls -- when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released a study estimating 3.2 million young women between the ages of 14 and 19 are infected with the human papilloma virus, chlamydia, herpes simplex virus and/or trichomoniasis.

Media accounts made it clear these shocking numbers, gleaned from 838 randomly chosen study participants, were even worse for black women. A stunning 48 percent of those young women were infected with one or more STDs, compared to 20 percent of white women.

And the 20 million Latinas -- just those counted by the U.S. Census' last tally in July 2006, that is -- well, they just don't exist. At least not in this "nationally representative study."

Apparently, "insufficient numbers" of Hispanic women were served in the California high-school-based clinics and the New York City clinics studied by the CDC to make any estimates about STD rates among Latinas.

Really? The CDC and most media outlets covering the report's release went to great pains to point out the study didn't include any STD prevalence data on teen-age boys, but no one blinked at the glaring omission of the country's fastest growing ethnic group?

It's true, the big four STDs are a drop in the bucket compared with major chronic diseases -- such as obesity, diabetes and asthma -- decimating Hispanics. To its credit, the CDC in recent years has painstakingly researched, reported on and reached out -- even in Spanish -- to tell Hispanics how to prevent these illnesses.

But leaving Latinas out of this highly publicized report -- "the clearest picture to date of the overall STD burden in adolescent women" -- undermines the CDC's well-intentioned efforts to make us aware these STDs are everywhere, often go unnoticed and undiagnosed, and cut across racial and ethnic lines.

According to the CDC's Office of Minority Health, obtaining data for Hispanics is too hard because of "their relatively small numbers in the population and geographic dispersion" -- and the lack of "culturally and linguistically appropriate data collection materials and bilingual interviewers."

CDC officials should check out the latest statistics.

A Pew Research Center report, "Statistical Portrait of Hispanics in the United States , 2006," found that of the 45 million Hispanics counted, 61 percent were native-born. Of those under 18, 75 percent reported themselves predominantly English-speaking.

We could argue about perceived barriers all day. Instead, let me tell you why anyone who isn't a Gomez, Hernandez or Rodriguez should even care about STD rates in Hispanic women.

How about this? After 14 years of declining teen-pregnancy rates, between 2005 and 2006 the birth rate for all girls between 15 and 19 rose 3 percent. The CDC estimated the rate for Hispanic girls was 2 percent.

Or let's talk about the biggest biggie: HIV/AIDS, which is staging a comeback as a result of the misguided belief it is now curable with drug cocktails. In 2006, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found new AIDS cases worsening only among Latinos -- compared with all other racial/ethnic groups. Their cases doubled from 2001 to 2004, with Latinas' new infections jumping from 23 percent to 51 percent in that time period.

The bottom line: 20 million Juanas, Rosas and Marias are not invisible. Neither the CDC nor anyone else can afford to ignore the sexual health of 20 million Hispanic women.

In fact, lots of them will have sex with Toms, Dicks and Harrys. Or, as I like to think of them, your sons, brothers and fathers. Heck, some of the 20 million might even hook up with your moms, sisters and daughters.

And the STDs that'll cross cultural barriers just happen to be colorblind.

(Esther J. Cepeda is a director at the United Neighborhood Organization, a Chicago-based nonprofit dedicated to ensuring Hispanics' success in the United States. She may be reached at

Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service,


This invisibility follows a distinct pattern:  If you want funding for a specific group or purpose, a request for a study is made by a public official, in response to constituents, 
a group, or an agency's interest.  Once the study is completed, a request for funding can be pursued.

That appears to be the game plan of public funding:  Request a study and target the results to what, and who you want to fund. The excuses for not including Latinas in the study are quite weak.  

The omission by CDC of Latinas, members of the largest minority in the United States was either neglectful, a poorly constructed and flawed social health study, and/or completed with the goal of receiving funds for educational programs and treatment specifically for young black women.   

Since by this omission, the health and well-being of generations of Latino families is affected, it appears that the Civil Rights of all Latinos/Hispanics have been damaged.  

Let us hope that LULAC, MALDEF, and NCLR will take steps to censure the CDC study.
Let us hope that Latino agencies committed to the health of Latinos request that a study be done specific to young Latina women, so that they too can have access to educational resources and treatment.. 



Central City Community Health Center in need of Diabetes Meters
Corrido: Los Soldados Olvidados De La Segunda Guerra Munidial   
The Coalition for Western Women's History announces Writing Contest  
Enrique Camarena U.S.Post Office Stamp Update  
Cesar E. Chavez Foundation Petition 
Cesar Chavez Internet Resource
Central City Community Health Center, 5970 S. Central Ave. Los Angeles, 90001
            Editor:  My son (M.D.) has alerted me to a drastic problem at a Health Center in Los Angeles.  Most of the patients are Hispanic and 90-100% of them have diabetes.  Patients have no funds to purchase a meter to check their insulin on a regular basis. There is an Urgent need for meters to check diabetes Meters cost between $20-50.  The meters can be sent directly to the Health Center.  To help or for more information, please call 323-234-3280


Corrido: Los Soldados Olvidados De La Segunda Guerra Munidial  
Ode To Our Forgotten Soldiers of WWI
Friends and Supporters of the Defend The Honor Campaign:   

A historic educational, cultural and social justice tribute to our elders and warriors of WWII as written and sung by Los Romanticos.

We are excited to announce the first ever CD recording of a NEW Latino and Latina WWII corrido that incorporates the history, emotions, coraje, and hope as felt and experienced by our WWII warriors and supporters of the Defend The Honor Campaign. The "artistic decisions" made by the musicians in creating the corrido are of the highest quality and pay deep respect to our WWII elders and their families.  

Our history is being recorded by our own gente in books, research articles, voting booth, teatro and always through the use of music and the corrido. You can join all of us celebrate and experience the new corrido by purchasing one or more CD's  for yourself, friends, organization, library or school. It is a keepsake memento in honor of all Latinos and Latinas who served our country before, during and after WWII. 

Please contribute to our "WAR" effort by mailing a $20.00 check payable to:  
Pepe Villarino
5775 Amarillo
La Mesa, CA 91942  or

The Coalition for Western Women's History announces 
             The Coalition for Western Women's History is pleased to announce the 18th Annual Joan Jensen - Darlis Miller Prize for the best article published in 2007 in the field of women and gender in the trans-Mississippi West. The $500 prize is funded by a generous donation from the Charles Redd Center for Western Studies at Brigham Young University.

To be eligible for consideration, submissions must be scholarly articles published in the calendar year of 2007 and may include previously unpublished articles appearing in anthologies. The work must deal with the history of women and gender in the North
American West, including Mexico, Canada, Alaska, and Hawaii.

Deadline: May 1, 2008  The winning article will be judged by:

*  Its significance to the understanding of gender and the experience of women in the North American West.

*  The skill and imagination with which the author conducts research in original materials or has reinterpreted a major problem in the field.

*  Its gracefulness and style.

The CWWH will award a $500 cash prize and Storyteller figurine at the CWWH Breakfast during the 48th Annual Western History Association conference at Salt Lake City, Utah, October 22-25, 2008. Please submit five offprints or copies of the article by May 1, 2008 to Ann Gabbert, Chair of the Committee, at the address below. Inquiries may be directed to the street address or e-mail address listed below.

Contact information:

Ann Gabbert, Ph.D.
Entering Student Program
University of Texas El Paso
Undergraduate Learning Center, Room 344
500 W University Ave.
El Paso, TX  79968-0723
Sent by  Robert Calderon

Enrique Camarena U.S.Post Office Stamp Update

Just wanted to let everyone know that the Stamp Advisory Committee finally sent a letter to my mom stating that they did not approve the Enrique Camarena Stamp for this year. They made the decision last year in May but did bother to let us know until my mom sent in a letter asking the status on the stamp.

We are very disappointed and are at this moment really trying to regroup and figure out what the next step should be. Please visit the website to see the latest updates and please email me with any ideas you have to move forward with the project.

Thank you to all of you for your support and passion for the past 9 years. It means a lot to us. I know in my heart that it will happen, I just want it to happen now!

Thank you, Maria Krueger


Cesar E. Chavez Foundation Petition
            ·        As UFW Founder Cesar Chavez's March 31st birthday approaches-an official holiday in eight states and dozens of cities and communities throughout the nation-we want to thank you for signing the petition. Please help the United Farm Workers and the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation support the grassroots efforts of the Cesar E. Chavez National Holiday Coalition to make Cesar's March 31st birthday a national holiday by taking supportive action signing the petition, which can be download at: 

The petition can be sent to:
UFW, C/O Cesar Chavez Holiday Campaign,
4545 E. Cesar Chavez Ave, Los Angeles, CA, 90022
Cesar Chavez Internet Resource

The UFW has asked California LULAC to invite you to this exciting Cesar Chavez Internet Resource.  Do visit this excellent site and take a journey into the legacy of Cesar Chavez! 

 Sent by Argentina Dávila-Luévano, State Director - California LULAC
5034 Ranch Hollow Way - Antioch, California 94531
925 813-2178 (cell) - (h) 925 522-0331 (f) (email) - (State) - (National)




California State Board of Education to provide Internet Access to Student Textbooks
"We Love Spanish" Educational Materials 
California's economy needs more college-educated Latinos  
Solving California's Dropout Crisis
HACU 2008-2009 Scholarship Program


California State Board of Education to provide Internet Access to Student Textbooks
             At the January 10, 2008 California State Board of Education meeting, at the urging of Assembly member Van Tran and Wendy Leece, former Newport Mesa School Board Member and concerned parent, the BOE adopted Section 9523(b) to Title 5, directing textbook publishers, beginning in 2009, to provide public Internet access to Student Editions of public school textbooks submitted for California approval each year - so that teachers, parents, and concerned community leaders can verify the accuracy of what our children are learning.  

We must ensure that what our children are learning in the classroom is factually accurate. I am pleased that the State Board of Education adopted the new changes and I think it shows that not every problem needs a legislative solution.  

Prior to the policy change, interested parents and community members were limited in their options to check for accuracy and content in new state approved textbooks. The proposed textbooks were made available for members of the public to view at a limited number of Learning Resource Display Centers (LRDC) around the state from 9am-5pm – when most parents are working.  

Under the newly adopted rules, publishers will provide Internet access to the Student Editions of public school textbooks so that the public can search for errors online when their own busy schedules allow time. Publishers will provide the California Department of Education (CDE) with direct hyperlinks to the URLs of instructional materials submitted for adoption. Posting these URLs on the CDE website will democratize the textbook review process and factual errors will decrease.

According to Leece's research, in 2005, the publishers and our state approval process missed 427 indisputable factual errors in five 8th grade U.S. History textbooks. Leece visited the LRDC #20 in Santa Ana and reviewed the student and teacher's editions of the five approved 8th grade U.S. History Texts. Leece confirmed errors in both the student and teacher's editions: 427 confirmed factual errors and 168 errors in teacher's editions.  

At no cost to the state, this rule enhancement will empower the public to identify any errors and further strengthen the quality of textbooks used in California classrooms.

In a recent article in the Daily Pilot titled ''Aim to correct history,'' writer Joseph Serna reported on our efforts to reduce errors in textbooks and to increase parental involvement with their children. Here is part of the article:

Aim to correct history: In an effort to reduce errors, textbooks awaiting approval will be available online and open to public scrutiny, beginning 2009. By Joseph Serna

 President Andrew Johnson was impeached by the House of Representatives, President Andrew Jackson died in 1845 and many of the battles in the War of 1812 were in the United States.  

As true as those statements may be, depending on which textbook your child has in school, they might have a completely different impression of U.S. history. Assemblyman Van Tran and parent, former Newport-Mesa school board member and Costa Mesa City Councilwoman Wendy Leece teamed up to help parents rewrite history.  

''My goal is that textbooks be accurate,'' Leece said. ''It's tiny little details, but in the bigger picture parents and students will benefit.''

Source:  California Assembly member Van Tran  Tran’s Tidbits  
Vol.3 Issue 2, February 2008


"We Love Spanish" 
Educational Materials 


"We Love Spanish" is a small family business, devoted to encouraging parents and teachers to teach their children Spanish from an early age?

Sent by Jonathan Goldberg


California's economy needs more college-educated Latinos

February 27, 2007 - By Martin Carnoy, SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS  
California faces a major economic crisis: a shortage of four-year college graduates 



The state stands to produce too few graduates to fuel its cutting-edge service economy, mainly because not enough Latinos attend and complete college. 

In 2005-2006, one-half the students in California's public schools were Latinos, but Latinos earned only about 15 percent of the 150,000 bachelor's degrees awarded by all California colleges that year. As the student population of California becomes increasingly Latino, these numbers bode badly for the state's economy. 

The problem will not be easy to resolve. Many Latino students start out behind in kindergarten and never catch up. By the time they reach middle and high school, many bright Latino students are counseled by poorly trained school officials into low-level courses which are not in the academic track. Without family members who are savvy in navigating middle and high school choices, most Latino students never fulfill minimum course requirements for college. Many also attend high schools that don't offer the honors and advanced placement courses now needed to attend the University of California. 

Many dedicated teachers and administrators have motivated Latino and other disadvantaged students academically and have led them through this complex maze to a college education. But they can't do it all. To achieve the massive increase in Latino graduates needed by the economy, state and federal action is needed. 

State Schools Superintendent Jack O'Connell's P-16 Council has recommended steps that could help Latinos (and African-Americans) do better in school. But almost all will take a long time to produce results. For example, expanding free, high-quality early childhood education could jump-start Latino students in elementary school and, in 15 years, produce more college students. Similarly, pushing primary and secondary schools to do better could continue to raise student achievement, and eventually should produce better prepared Latino students to enter college. This, too, will take quite a while. 

Much more emphasis has to be put on policies that would increase Latinos' college attendance and graduation over the next five to 10 years. For example, California middle and high schools should have financial incentives to identify potential college-bound Latino and African-American students and help them along. 

College counseling in California high schools has to be strengthened, so that counseling staffs can encourage minority students to choose college prep courses and pursue funding opportunities for college. As many private schools have known for years, good counseling and college placement courses produce much greater results per dollar spent than just trying to raise test scores.

Next year, a new administration in Washington must pass tax credits for college tuition, increase the Pell Grant program aimed at low-income students and make the Pell Grant application process much simpler. This could help Latino families offset some of the rising costs of higher education. The state can do more, too. State universities should be rewarded for identifying potential lower-income minority applicants in high school. Colleges should also get financial help for providing remedial courses. If colleges can do this for athletes, they should be able to do the same for students with academic potential.

There are private, non-profit models for achieving success with young, minority, first-generation college students. One of these, First Graduate, is a San Francisco program that identifies students in middle school and mentors them through high school into college, helping them also find financing. Another is San Jose's National Hispanic University, which has its own pre-university program to help guide young Latinos into college. Yet, such programs are small. They are good models but cannot do the job on a large scale. The bottom line is that if government does not step up to the plate, California won't have the educated labor force it needs in the decades to come.

Dr. Carlos Muñoz, Jr.
Professor Emeritus|
Department of Ethnic Studies

Stanford University Will No Longer Charge Tuition to Students 
From Families Earning Less Than $100,000  

Amid calls by some U.S. lawmakers for wealthy universities to lower tuition costs, officials at Stanford
University said on Wednesday they would no longer charge tuition to students from families earning less than $100,000 a year.

Read entire article that gives much more info and tells you about Harvard and Yale and other schools, as well.

Solving California's Dropout Crisis

Solving California's Dropout Crisis

A new report from the California Dropout Research Project looks at the rates, causes and costs of high school dropout and what the state, schools and districts can do about it. Among the findings: the graduation rate for African-Americans in California is 57 percent, Hispanics 60 percent, Native Americans 52 percent, Asians 84 percent and Whites 77 percent.

Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities
2008-2009 Scholarship Program APPLY Today!
The deadline to apply online and submit all required documentation is May 23, 2008.


Sent by Ricardo Valverde

Saludos Dr. Keith Mew: 
For the FY 2008-2009 academic year, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) will award over 200 scholarships worth over $350,000 to help students from HACU member institutions continue their studies.    
Please forward this announcement to any students that are seeking assistance to pay for tuition. To see specific criteria for the various scholarships and begin the application process, please visit  
Lastly, act fast because the deadline is May 23, 2008.  We hope that you will take advantage of these scholarship opportunities!




Requesting Support For SB 1301 - Calif. Dream Act
Book: "From the Classrooms to the Courtrooms" by Prof. Richard Valencia
Requesting Support For SB 1301 - Calif. Dream Act
             The California Dream Act would allow undocumented students who meet in-state tuition requirements (California Education Code §68130.5) to compete for student aid at all public colleges and universities.  Under current California law, commonly known as AB  540, undocumented students are eligible to receive in-state tuition if they meet a series of statutory requirements. However, many of these students do not qualify for federal or state grants or loans.  Although these students have grown up in our neighborhoods, are accepted to our most competitive public universities, college remains financially unattainable for these low income families. The California Dream Act is a critical extension of AB 540 legislation.  

Please join me along with the coalition of business representatives, institutions of higher education, and community leaders in advocating for the successful passage of the California Dream Act.  Your leadership in education and workforce development interests can make a significant impact in the life of California ’s youth. 

I have included a fact sheet and sample letter for your review.  The first hearing of the California Dream Act is scheduled for April 2, 2008 in the Senate Committee on Education at 9:00am .  I would greatly appreciate a copy of you or your organizations letter of support by March 25 so that it may be recorded in the committee analysis.  Please fax your letters of support to (916) 327-8817.  

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or
Eric Guerra of my staff at (916) 651-4022 or visit   Thank you for your time and consideration.  

Gilbert Cedillo 
State Senator, 22nd District  
State Capitol, R oom 5100
, CA   95814


Book: "From the Classrooms to the Courtrooms" 
by Prof. Richard Valencia


Dear Mimi, this book is about the Santamaria v. Dallas Independent School District, desegregation case.  I have included a web site that mentions another Prof Valencia book for your review.  Rafael Ojeda

This article presents a testimony to the late Dr. Thomas P. Carter. Well known for his classic (1970) book, Mexican Americans in School: A History of Educational Neglect, Carter was an activist scholar and pioneer in Mexican American education. His considerable interactions with South Americans, Mexicans, and Mexican Americans served as a foundation that forged a lifelong commitment working toward equal educational opportunities for Mexican American students. It is clear from his biographical information that Dr. George I. Sanchez, whom Carter studied under while pursuing his doctorate in education at The University of Texas at Austin, helped to shape Carter's antideficit thinking perspective and structural analysis approach in doing research on Mexican American students. 

In this tribute to Carter, author Richard Valencia focuses on four of Carter's major accomplishments: (a) his 1970 classic book, Mexican Americans in School; (b) his influence on the education chapter in the Grebler, Moore, and Guzman (1970) book, The Mexican-American People: The Nation's Second Largest Minority; (c) his influence on the landmark U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Mexican American Education Study of 1971–1974; and (d) his role as an expert witness in Mexican American-initiated litigation, particularly the highly significant Cisneros v. Corpus Christi Independent School District (1970) school desegregation case. Based on these accomplishments, in particular, Dr. Thomas P. Carter emerged as one of the foremost contributors of his time in advancing the field of Mexican American education. As well, he needs to be acknowledged for assisting the Mexican American people in their quest for educational equality.



Film: "Green Eyed Monster" 
Cheech Marin presents Chicano Art & Soul 
Tex-Arcana: Tortillas have a long and tasty history
Emilio Martinez, The Naranjero Blues
Nuestra Familia Unida Podcas
Film: "Green Eyed Monster"
            To: Dr. Roberto Calderon

Hi, Professor.

I have been traveling with another UNT grad, Gabriel Barboza, across the country promoting his first film "Green Eyed Monster" (  He sent some info the the NT Daily before we left, but has yet to hear back from them.  We figured two UNT film graduates, who are driving in a rolling advertising truck from Texas to New York to L.A. and back in order to promote a low budget first feature, and are documenting the whole thing in video, blogs, and video logs, would have some appeal. 

If you think you can help us get the word out, I can send you press release that has more details. Thank you very much, Jose Juan Sauceda  

Cheech Marin presents Chicano Art & Soul 

Three Nationally Acclaimed Interactive & Introspective Exhibitions

Sent by Nancy Perez

Tex-Arcana: Tortillas have a long and tasty history
By Sara Inés Calderón
San Antonio Express-News, 03/02/2008  

Nothing beats a warm breakfast taco in the morning. The ultimate comfort food, it is a culinary mainstay of Texan culture, based on something that is centuries old: the flour tortilla.

In much of Mexico and elsewhere in the United States, tacos are usually made with corn tortillas, whose history goes back even further — thousands of years to the native people of the Americas. The Aztecs revered corn almost as a deity, said Melissa Guerra of McAllen, the author of several cookbooks, most recently, "Dishes from the Wild Horse Desert."

The flour tortilla gained a foothold after the Spanish conquest, she said, with colonizers considering corn unfit for human consumption. There were theological reasons for their preference for wheat, which Europeans associated with the body of Christ.

Jewish families — covertly practicing their faith or simply maintaining their traditions as Catholic conversos — settled in northern Mexico to get as far from the Spanish Inquisition as possible. Since corn was not kosher and they were accustomed to eating flat pita bread, they began to make tortillas out of wheat, Guerra said.

Flour tortillas became popular in northern Mexico — including what is now Texas — and stayed popular in Texas after its independence and annexation by the United States. That doesn't surprise Guerra because the Rio Grande became "really more of a political boundary than a cultural boundary."

"It was just our regional food," she said.

Corn tortillas remain the pre-eminent staple of Mexico and are increasingly popular in the United States, said Eduardo Campos, owner of Taco Rey on San Antonio's West Avenue and two other taquerías in his native Mexico City.

"In our culture and history, corn is fundamental," Campos said. "We're a people born of corn."

At his two taquerías in Mexico, the clientele overwhelmingly prefers corn tortillas. San Antonians always prefer his fresh flour tortillas for their breakfast tacos, Campos said, although that's changing.

As immigrants bring their love of corn to this country, the demand for these tortillas here is increasing, he said. 

The Naranjero Blues  
Emilio Martinez could have been Orange County's Woody Guthrie (and he still might be)  

Thursday, January 31, 2008 - 4:30 am  


If the coffee that Maria Daniel spilled had landed directly on the tape player, this story might not exist. Keith May

Elisa Carr, Maria Daniel and Emilio Martinez Jr. have kept the elder Emilio and music alive

Daniel was relaxing one recent Tuesday with her aunt Elisa Carr and uncle Emilio Martinez Jr. at Carr's Stanton home. Rain clouds were sweeping overhead, so Carr offered her niece and brother some coffee to fend off the cold. Before she rose to make another pot, Carr turned on a tape player, the rectangular kind with piano-key buttons and a sturdy grip handle that went out of popularity around the Carter administration.  

Out of a tinny speaker rumbled a deep, gravelly voice singing about a beautiful woman. A guitar strummed in the background. It was Carr's father, Emilio Martinez, playing just one of the hundreds of corridos he penned during his 85 years.  

"It's so nice to hear his voice," Carr remarked, as Daniel and Emilio Jr. nodded silently. She poured her niece another cup. But as Daniel raised her mug for a sip, the coffee splashed across the table.

Carr quickly snatched the tape player from the scalding liquid. The coffee only touched the machine's side. Her father continued to sing.

"That was really close!" she exclaimed, laughing. Carr turned off the tape. The coffee glimmered on the table. "Too close," she sighed, putting the tape recorder away and getting up to find some towels.  

History is a fragile, incomplete thing, especially when documenting minorities in the United States, and few local cases are more telling than the story of Emilio Martinez. Many of his compositions offer a vital glimpse into the county's Latino past, one ignored by Orange County's major historians for more than a century. The man wrote about some of the most crucial events in the county's formation: the 1936 Citrus War, the Great Flood of 1938, discrimination battles, the reign of King Citrus. He even made a couple of records.  

Yet only Martinez's family and friends are aware of his place in the Orange County saga. Historical ignorance is one factor, but part of the problem is Martinez's incomplete legacy. Notebooks containing his tunes are missing; recordings are rare. His only full-length interviews with non-family members were with professors researching other topics. More important, Martinez's Orange County no longer exists: the tight-knit communities that flocked to his performances, tuned in to his many appearances on radio and sang Martinez's corridos over bonfires and picket lines are gone, and the new immigrants he so loved to document and fight for don't concern themselves with the past of their predecessors.  

In another place, another time, Martinez would've been a folk treasure, the subject of dissertations, Smithsonian restoration projects and tribute CDs. Another scrap in the proverbial dustbin.  

*   *   *

Emilio Martinez was born on July 24, 1905, in Jalpa, Zacatecas, a small town near the state's border with Jalisco. His family's hardscrabble existence worsened with the onset of the Mexican Revolution: Emilio's dad was a supporter of Victoriano Huerta, the unpopular Mexican president whose ascent to power after the assassination of Francisco Madera set off a decade of bloodshed in the country. As opposition forces led by Pancho Villa hacked their way through the state, Emilio's father forced his 10-year-old son to run guns for Huerta's troops in the losing effort. Both Martinez males survived, but the devastation wrought by the warring factions forced the family north to the United States in search of jobs in 1923. After trying Houston and Los Angeles, Emilio moved to Santa Ana's historic Logan barrio around 1924.  

Shortly after settling in, Martinez's brother Luis returned from prison with a surprise—he now knew how to play the guitar. "I asked Luis to teach me—it was hard, but I finally was able to do it," Martinez told an interviewer in 1989, just two years before his death. "We used to play for the drunks in the [Logan] neighborhood." The two also occasionally drove down to Tijuana and played in the bars that sprang up in the city after Prohibition.  

Emilio stayed in Logan for a couple of years before bouncing around California's Citrus Belt—Santa Monica, Riverside, Redlands, Whittier and other parts of Orange County. He finally settled in Anaheim around 1930. It was the first year of the Great Depression, and California was about to undergo a decade of agricultural strikes that brought virtual race wars to the state's bountiful fields. Locally, activists were already planning to organize thousands of poorly paid, almost-exclusively Mexican naranjeros who toiled anonymously in the county's orange groves and packing houses.

Around this time, the Martinez brothers and another friend formed a musical group named Los Hermanos Martinez. The trio toured Orange County's citrus camps, singing Emilio's tunes and earning something of a following, but not enough to quit their jobs. Los Hermanos Martinez thought they nabbed their big break after attracting the attention of Los Madrugadores (The Early Risers), a legendary morning show on KMPC-AM 710 (now KSPN-AM) hosted by Pedro J. Gonzalez. Los Madrugadores was one of the first regular Spanish-language radio broadcasts in Southern California, and Gonzalez earned huge ratings by inviting local and famous artists to play live on the air. But Los Hermanos Martinez performed only a couple of shows before Gonzalez was arrested in 1934 on rape charges (the woman later admitted that American government authorities—who despised Gonzalez because his show openly criticized the racism and discrimination faced by Mexican immigrants—coaxed her into lying). Gonzalez wouldn't return to radio until 1940 in Tijuana.

His shot at a music career seemingly over, Martinez joined a just-forming citrus workers' union and quickly become the representative for Anaheim pickers in a countywide comité central (central organizing committee). The comité included members of Orange County's incipient barrios: Santa Ana's Delhi, Logan and Santa Nita; Anaheim's La Fabrica, Colonia Independencia and La Conga; Placentia's Atwood, Yorba and La Jolla; and many more. More than just preparing for what they knew would be a hard fight against the county's powerful citrus industry, the comité also helped workers struggling with hunger, joblessness and the mass deportations of Mexicans that the Hoover administration instituted in the 1930s.

The repatriations shook Martinez. "On Santa Ana Street [in Anaheim], the train would fill with crying kids," Martinez remembered in his 1989 interview. "Men and women who didn't want to leave, I'd tell them, 'Stay—they're not running us out with stonings.'" In 1935, he penned a song titled "Corrido del Relief" to describe the Mexican community's hatred of Hoover and gratitude for Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who ended federal funding for repatriations upon becoming president in 1933:  

Repatrió a los mexicanos
Cerca de trescientos mil
No sabiendo que algún día
De algo habían de servir

Cuando se separó Hoover
quedamos muy convencidos
¿Qué se hizo por la gente
de los Estados Unidos?

Apareció Roosevelt
Como el sol con resplandores
Tomó su administración
Y contó sus senadores.

Al mes de ser Presidente
El soñó un sueño profundo:
Todos tenemos derecho
de vivir en éste mundo.


(Hoover repatriated the Mexicans
Close to 300,000
Not knowing that one day
They would be good for something

When Hoover left office
We were convinced:
What did he do for the people
Of the United States?

Roosevelt appeared
Like a resplendent sun
He assumed his administration
And relied on his senators

After a month as president
He dreamed a profound dream
We all have the right
To live in this world.)


It wasn't his first corrido—he had already written odes to his hometown of Jalpa and Tijuana, as well as love songs. But a public performer was born, and Martinez the Musician prepared for what Martinez the Activist might do next.  

*     *     *

For years, Mexican citrus workers had bitterly complained about the harsh working conditions ?in Orange County's groves. Growers paid pickers 2 cents per box and charged them for the gloves, bags, hats and scissors needed to properly pick oranges, plus the transportation on trucks that took workers from their homes to the trees. In early 1936, the comite central drafted petitions seeking help from community organizations for a strike they wanted to avert but were planning if negotiations with growers for higher wages stopped. They approached the Catholic Church, schools, government agencies; none responded. With little other recourse, almost 3,000 citrus workers walked off the job on June 11 and began the Citrus War.  

The subsequent battle between the huelguistas and the county's growers, sheriff's department, district attorney's office, and hundreds of freshly deputized guards remains one of the most brutal and least-documented episodes in Orange County history (see "Gunkist Oranges," June 8, 2006). In the strike's first weeks, Martinez serenaded the picket lines with protest songs-some Wobbly standards in Spanish, but most his. The sheriff's department arrested Martinez along with hundreds of his fellow Mexicans on trumped-up rioting charges. About a month and a half later, a judge released Martinez and almost all of the other imprisoned strikers against the wishes of the district attorney, arguing that if the men stood trial, "We might as well dispense with our Bill of Rights."

While in custody, Martinez wrote "Corrido de la Huelga" (Corrido of the Strike). Only the following verses exist:  

Adios, California, adios
El estado de las flores
Que vivan los unionistas
Y que mueran los esquiroles

Mucho, mucho se ha dicho estos días
Que estos muchachos son comunistas
No se crean de lo que dicen
Son frases de los capitalistas

Si acaso le da verguenza
Retirense del empaque
Vayan a hacer su mochila para
Que toma el traque


(Goodbye, California, goodbye
The state of flowers
Long live the unionists
And death to the scabs

Much has been said these days
That the strikers are communists
Don't believe what they say
These are the phrases of capitalists.

If by chance you get embarrassed
Move away from the packinghouse
Get your backpack ready so
You can take the train out)


After the strike, the union remained intact and returned to its secondary purpose as a mutual-aid association. Two years later, members met their toughest test with the Great Flood of 1938.

On March 3 of that year, the Santa Ana River jumped its banks and flooded almost a third of Orange County, mostly north of its course. Thirty-eight people died in the county's worst natural disaster (see "The Tragedy of It All," Sept. 15, 2005); of that figure, three-quarters were Latino children living the Placentia and Anaheim area. The comité quickly put together dances and fund-raisers to assist families in need. Martinez, for his part, began writing. A couple of days after the flood, he wrote a 20-stanza dirge titled "Corrido de las Indunaciones del 3 de Marzo de 1938" (Corrido of the March 3, 1938, Flood). Its lyrics exemplified the best aspects of the corrido tradition: expert storytelling, vivid details, a natural flow and gut-wrenching emotion. Consider verses 9 through 11:

Algunas gentes corroan
Con sus hijos abrasados
Sin saber que al poco rato
Haboán de morir ahogados

Muchos padres de familia
Sus criaturas perdieron
Después de tantos esfuerzos
Que por sus hijos hicieron

Las pobrecitas criaturas
Gritaban todas llorando
Los hablaban a sus padres
"Papacito, me ando ahogando."


(Some people ran
Hugging their children
Without knowing that in a short time
They would die from drowning

Many fathers of families
Lost their kids
After so much effort
That they made for their children

The poor kids
Yelled, all of them crying
They called to their parents
"Daddy, I'm drowning")


After the Great Flood, Martinez spent most of the 1940s raising a family and picking oranges, taking time to record at least two records featuring his songs, neither of which ever really went anywhere. But around 1947, Martinez became angry that Anaheim officials erected a fence to bar Mexicans from enjoying most of Anaheim City (now Pearson) Park and allowed Mexicans to swim in the park's elegant pool only on Monday, the day before the week-old water got dumped out. "They were putting us in a corner of [Pearson] Park, in a wire-enclosed corral," Martinez remembered in the same 1989 interview. "Like animals, like beasts . . . like cows to the corral." Police officers patrolled the park to ensure Mexicans stayed in their area and didn't disturb the whites. As for the pool, Martinez said, "The only people who went into that dirty water were people without shame."

Martinez and others organized a protest in which they stood outside the park's gates to ensure Mexicans were allowed entry. One day, Rudolph Boysen-Anaheim's park superintendent at the time and the originator of the boysenberry-approached him and asked what was his business there. "I'm taking care of the Mexicans because you're running them out with sticks in your hand like animals," he replied. Boysen had him arrested on the spot.

In jail, a Latino police officer who used to pick oranges alongside Martinez asked him what happened. "You already know what's going on!" he snapped. "So what do you think about the discrimination?" the officer replied. "Look, officer, let me tell you a story," Martinez began. "When I came to Anaheim in 1933, the city asked us for a donation to pretty the park. I paid it-and now, I can't use it?" Martinez and other parents filed a lawsuit against the city. On their court date, a Superior Court judge asked if they had proof the city discriminated against Mexicans. Yes. "Do you mind if we screen a movie?" Martinez asked the judge. The perplexed magistrate agreed. The courtroom's lights dimmed, and onscreen flickered the image of a sign hanging just outside the park swimming pool: WHITE PEOPLE ONLY NO MEXICANS.  

"Very good. Now, I believe you," the shocked judge told Martinez and his friends. "Now, I'm going to issue an order: Everyone swims together, or we'll close the pool forever." The pool and park were desegregated shortly after.  

Throughout these battles, Martinez continued to pick oranges and his guitar. For years, he appeared every Sunday morning on KWIZ-AM 1480, Orange County's oldest radio station. Los Hermanos Martinez and another Martinez-led group, Trio Tapatio, occasionally performed before packed houses at the Yost, Santa Ana's legendary Latino theater. Martinez finally retired from public life in 1969 and spent the rest of his years taking care of grandchildren. But he never stopped composing corridos, even into his eighties.  

"I always remember Dad in the garage, writing songs, then figuring out the music," says Carr.

"Toward the end of his life, I tuned the guitar for him," Emilio Jr. adds. Emilio Martinez passed away in 1991. St. Polycarp Catholic Church in Stanton was filled, as was the funeral at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Orange, despite a pounding rain. Near the graveside, some men played one of his songs. Someone recorded the performance, but that recording has been lost.  

*     *     *

Elisa Carr lives across the street from where her father bought a house in 1959. It's one of Stanton's older neighborhoods, and all the houses have a distinct Mexican appearance: wrought-iron fences, immaculate lawns and gardens, deep lots. On Carr's living-room mantle is a picture of her parents as newlyweds and a portrait of an elderly Emilio playing a guitar, his eyes locked on his left hand gripping the fret as his right hand strums.  

She has fond memories of a stern-but-loving father whose true love was assisting the burgeoning Mexican community in Orange County. "He knew that there was so many Mexicans who needed help in those days," Carr said. "People would come to our house and ask for money, and he gave it away without question. Whenever somebody wanted to hold a fund-raiser, there he was."

For years, Martinez was the master of ceremonies for an annual Mexican Independence Day celebration held at Pearson Park, the same place he helped desegregate. The highlight of the show for his children, though, was hearing their father play before an audience of hundreds at the park's historic Greek amphitheater. "Oh, everyone just loved it, and he had such a great time," Emilio Jr. says. "Writing and singing was a way of making him relaxed and enjoy life more."  

But Dad's political activism always bubbled beneath his grandfatherly visage. One time, Emilio showed his son a government document that listed him as a Communist, an attempt by orange growers to blacklist him from the county's groves after the Citrus War. "I told him, 'You're one of them?!'" Emilio Jr. recalls with a hearty laugh. "'Get away from me! I just came back from 'Nam killing a whole bunch of them!'  

"He was always a fighter, a very stubborn man," Emilio Jr. continues. "In the 1930s, Mexicans would try to go into bars and get kicked out for being Mexican. Dad would go in again and again until they served him his drink."  

"He wanted his rights," his niece Maria Daniel interjects. "No, he didn't," Emilio Jr. deadpans. "He wanted his beer!" Martinez's musical mementos are spread across different branches of the family tree. Emilio Jr. has an article about him that appeared in The Register during the 1970s; Elisa keeps some of the lyrics and a one-hour VHS tape of the two discussing his life. Many grandkids have various tapes of an elderly Martinez singing songs and telling tales; a stepdaughter has the 78s he recorded during the 1940s and refuses to let Martinez's biological children have them or even hear them (Carr and Emilio Jr. declined to name her).  

Carr keeps her father's artifacts in a mailer scribbled with "Libros de canciones" (Songbooks). The large envelope is bent, wrinkled and faded, the color more Post-It canary gold than its original light yellow-brown tint. Its contents are in even worse condition-some papers are tissue-thin and greasy, while journals are faded, ripped and stained. In it is a wallet containing different cards-a Social Security number, a visa, a union card. "Look at this!" she exclaims. "I didn't even know this existed!" It's a gold card given to Martinez by the Orange County Board of Supervisors in 1978 as an "Honored Citizen" of Orange County for his contributions to the Mexican-American community.

The notebooks contain dozens of yellowing corridos-some are dated but most aren't, some typed, others in cursive. Halfway through the journal are drawings and kids' writing and the spines of ripped-out pages. Some songs are missing half of their lyrics; others are unfinished. The vast majority of the corridos are love songs, but there are hints of Martinez's troubadour potential: the 1938 Flood; "Corrido del Relief"; one about a Latino soldier enlisting in World War II to "save my rights, my country, my faith"; another written in memory of Esteban Muñiz, an Orange County union organizer who died young in 1940.  

The artistry in Martinez's ballads is evident, but they represent just a small portion of his career, one in which Martinez had no peers following his lead-at least none known publicly. "A lot of what Dad had we can't find," Carr says. "Just a couple of years ago, I had a lot of pamphlets that my father put together for the Fiestas Patrias [Mexican Independence Day] celebration. Now, I can't find them anymore."  

*     *     *

One of the largest collections of Martinez interviews and recordings sat for more than a decade in the fourth-story office of Gilbert Gonzalez, professor of social sciences at UC Irvine. Gonzalez interviewed Martinez in 1989 for his Labor and Community: Mexican Citrus Worker Villages in a Southern California County, 1900-1950, a masterful examination of Orange County's orange-grove days told through the eyes of the Latinos who worked them. The professor talked with Martinez for more than seven hours over the course of a week and recorded the conversations on reel-to-reel tapes.  

It wasn't the first time Martinez sat down with an interviewer. In 1976, Cal State Los Angeles Chicano Studies professor Francisco Balderrama talked to him for In Defense of La Raza: The Los Angeles Mexican Consulate and the Mexican Community, 1929 to 1936, a 1982 book chronicling how the Mexican government assisted Mexicans in Los Angeles and Orange County during the Great Depression. Martinez only has one line in the book-he told Balderrama that Mexicans "would always be Mexicans" in the eyes of whites. Balderrama didn't respond to a request to be interviewed for this story.  

Labor and Community, on the other hand, made Martinez a key person in its narrative, excerpting many corridos and publishing his memories of the 1936 Citrus War. "[Martinez] remained an Orange County favorite, singing the villagers' favorite romantic, nostalgic and humorous tunes," Gonzalez wrote. "His compositions covered a range of themes, including unrequited love, religious paeans, political change and tragedies affecting the local population."  

Gonzalez tells the Weekly he found out about Martinez by accident. "In doing interviews for [Labor and Community], the old labor organizers would tell me, 'So-and-so was part of the strike-you should interview him'," he says. The professor found Martinez "very gracious, very open. From the beginning, he said, 'I'm going to help you with your book,' when he could've just retold what he did and leave it at that."  

The two always spoke at Martinez's kitchen table; throughout the various conversations, you can hear dishes rattle and Martinez's wife offer Gonzalez some food. It was in the course of these pláticas that Gonzalez discovered Martinez was a musician.  

"That generation [of activists] were knowledgeable about the music, but Martinez didn't view it as a career," the professor says. "He was close to the people. He sang about the problems, the happy events. In a sense, he was voicing the people. I don't think he took his music as a way of making a living. He was a picker, a part of the community, and he saw himself that way."

Neither Gonzalez nor Martinez kept in touch after the interviews; indeed, Carr and Emilio Jr. didn't even know about their dad's prominent role in Labor and Community. The professor hadn't played his Martinez reel-to-reel tapes for years, until the Weekly contacted him about them.  

Those interviews (which include a recording of a Los Hermanos Martinez and Trio Tapatio disc that you can hear at aren't perfect: The sound fades out, is scratchy and gets lost for minutes at a time. But they're priceless: A still-lucid Martinez recites dates, names and anecdotes as if reading from a script. He laughs, snaps at Gonzalez and never tires of questions. Martinez only gets subdued when the topic of his lost corridos comes up. Early in the first interview, Gonzalez asked him in Spanish, "Do you have some of your songs written?"  

"No, well, I lost them," Martinez replied. "Do you remember some of the words?"

At that point, the elderly composer named a couple of corrido titles, then belted out three stanzas from "Corrido de la Huelga" in a strong, joyful, confident voice.  

A couple of days later, Gonzalez asked again if Martinez had any more corridos about the Citrus War. "No, I lost them all," he replied. "Look: You move here and there, and they got lost. You have kids, and they rip them up." He also shares that one of his concerts at the Yost was recorded, but that the disc broke just after he finished singing. "We wanted to do another show to record, but everyone always said, 'Mañana, we'll do it again,'" Martinez recalled. They never did.

In one of their last interviews, an excited Martinez told Gonzalez that after looking around, he found some songbooks. "That's a treasure of information," the professor replied with awe.

A bit of silence. "I know," the old man said. And the conversation moved on.  

Nuestra Familia Unida Podcasts
    (Environment Podcast)  (Blog for above)  (Women's Peace Podcast)  (Latin American History Podcast)  (Jalisco, Zacatecas, and Aguascalientes Genealogy)

Mexican food has now become a favorite around the world, but many people know little about the country's diverse regional cuisines. Even within Mexico, the history of food, as a symbol of cultural blending or mestizaje, is known primarily through popular legends such as the invention of mole poblano by the sisters of Santa Rosa. Historian Jeffrey Pilcher seeks to elucidate this complex history, based on his prize-winning book, Que vivan los tamales! Food and the Making of Mexican Identity (1998). Please listen to "Mexico's National Cuisine" at: 

For interesting audio on historical Climate Change as it affected the Maya and peoples of South America see:

Sent by Joseph Puente    


FINCA, Small Loans-Big Changes
Uncertain Safety for Latino Workers
FINCA, Small Loans-Big Changes
The mission of FINCA is to provide financial services to the world's lowest-income entrepreneurs so they can create jobs, build assets, and improve their standard of living.  We accomplish this by offering small loans and a savings program to those turned down by traditional banks, believing that event the poor have a right to financial services.  With these loans families can invest in, and build their own small businesses, increasing their income-earning capacity.  Worldwide, our clients post repayment rates over 97 percent.

Maria Lucia Potosi Ramirez of San Jose de Chorlavi, Ecuador, is married and the mother of five children.  She has spent her lifetime weaving beautiful woo; sweaters and selling them in the local market.  But the income she earned from selling her handiwork 
went toward providing daily necessities for her family, which 
never allowed her to save.  When Maria Lucia learned about FINCA in 2001, she took out a loan for $200 allowing her to purchase more wool
 at wholesale prices.  Now her family eats better food and her loans have tripled, allowing her to purchase and save more.  "I'm so grateful because FINCA trusted me.  Now I can 
improve my life and the life of my family."

FINCA International, 1101 14th St., N.W. 11th Fl, Washington, D.C. 20005
Tel: 202-682-1510    Fax: 202-682-1535    Email:



Uncertain Safety for Latino Workers
Construction job fatality rates exceed those for other groups, and many are reluctant to complain

by Stephen Franklin
Published on Sunday, March 2, 2008 by the Chicago Tribune


            They were working on a sloped roof without hard hats or safety harnesses, hired off a Chicago street corner for $10 an hour, when Mario Lopez stepped on a loose board and tumbled down through a fire-gutted three-story house and landed in the basement. His spine was broken, his pelvis shattered.

Today, 33-year-old Lopez cannot walk without a walker, lift his arms or even feel his fingertips. He cannot sit or stand for long. "I can’t do anything," he said with slow, sad shake of his head.  Yet he can be thankful he is alive.
Hundreds of Latino workers across the U.S. die annually in construction accidents, a toll that has mounted steadily. Two years ago 354 Latinos were killed in construction accidents, a 34 percent increase over 2003, the most recent government statistics show. More than one out of three Latinos killed on the job in 2006 lost their lives doing construction work, a far higher proportion than for white or black workers.
And as Latinos have flooded into the U.S., their fatality rates in construction have steadily exceeded those of non-Hispanic workers, although both proportions have trended down of late for full-time workers Many of the Latinos killed or hurt are like Lopez, who is an illegal immigrant from Guatemala. They tend to hunker down in the shadows fearful of being caught. Many can’t speak English. Even those who do rarely point out on-the-job dangers because they desperately want the money.
Frequently they are hired off street corners for lower-paying, more dangerous construction jobs. Or they work for contractors "with poor or no safety programs at all," said Hester Lipscomb, a safety expert at Duke University.
When injured — and they suffer more injuries than whites and other minorities — they are less likely to have health insurance.
Latino construction workers are younger than non-Hispanics. They have less education, and often less experience, if any, in construction than non-Hispanics, according to the Center for Construction Research and Training, a Washington, D.C.-area think tank.
In New York City, where, federal figures show, the number of Latinos killed in construction has doubled since 2003, Luzdary Giraldo says young Latino workers recognize the dangers.
"They are very afraid, but they say they have no other options," said Giraldo, a workplace safety expert who counsels immigrant workers through the New York Committee for Occupational Safety and Health.
With construction drying up, an already dangerous situation may become even more dangerous.
"So many people who work in construction are willing to take risks and a job they wouldn’t have taken three years ago," said Jessica Aranda, head of the Latino Union of Chicago, an agency that assists day laborers. "There’s a lot of injuries I’ve never seen before."
Pressure to take jobs
Pablo Alvarado, head of the Los Angeles-based National Day Labor Organizing Network, which links dozens of day labor centers across the U.S., said job-hungry workers are faced with accepting jobs that they might otherwise ignore. That’s because, he said, "the number of workers going to the street is increasing and the number of jobs is decreasing."
Take Juan Torres, who is neither young nor inexperienced.
A burly 54-year-old, Torres had been doing construction work since illegally crossing the U.S. border from Mexico four years ago. But the contractor who regularly hired him had no work. So in September 2006 he was hired off a Chicago street corner.
He and another worker were supposed to dig a deep hole in a house basement. "I know they put protections to stop the earth from falling in," he said. "But the owner wanted everything done very quickly."
His head was at least two feet below the basement floor when earth started pouring in on him. "I didn’t think I was going to live," recalled Torres.
He believes it took the other worker at least half an hour to clear the earth away from his face and rescue workers five hours to free him.
"I can’t work … I can’t lift anything," said Torres, whose knees, shoulder and back were injured in the accident and who eventually sought help from the Interfaith Worker Rights Center on Chicago’s North Side, which helped him find an attorney to file a worker’s compensation claim.
Officials from the federal agency that oversees worker safety say they have watched the spiral of Latino deaths at construction sites and taken steps. They have distributed guides in Spanish, partnered with Latino community groups, and 22 of the 26 training grants for construction safety given out last year were aimed at Latinos.
"We are appalled that there are this many fatalities, whether for Hispanics or others," said Steve Witt, director of construction programs in Washington, D.C., for the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. "We are adjusting our programs and acting as aggressively as we can."
But experts like Jim Platner, an industrial hygienist at the Center for Construction Research and Training, question why there has not been a "payoff" from the government’s efforts.
They say the federal government and states must be more aggressive in discovering what Chicago attorney Jose Rivero describes as "a clandestine world where there is no security."
In places like California, where the number of Latinos killed in construction mishaps grew by 70 percent between 2003 and 2006, there simply aren’t enough inspectors to track down the dangerous and out-of-the-way work sites where workers are injured, said Linda Delp, an occupational safety expert at the University of California at Los Angeles.
But finding unscrupulous construction contractors is not easy, says Chicago attorney John Budin. "A lot of these contractors are not licensed or bonded. And they don’t report injuries to OSHA," he said.
Worker had spoken out
Lopez was not a newcomer to construction, having done such work since coming to the U.S. more than five years ago, and before that in Guatemala. He had also spoken out when he considered the work dangerous, such as on a job several months before his accident.
"We were on scaffolds and I asked the guy for a security belt because it was windy and with a fall from there, you aren’t going to get up," he said. "But he didn’t want to give them to any of us and so he got rid of me because I didn’t want to go up there without protection."
The day he fell last October, Lopez and another man were on the roof working on Chicago’s North Side.
Lopez said he had asked the other worker to nail down a board that they would use for footing. But the man, inexperienced in construction, didn’t do as asked, and the board flew away the instant Lopez’s foot touched it.
As he fell through the house, Lopez said, "I felt that I was going to die. I remember seeing the faces of my children in my mind."
Lopez didn’t report his injury to any agency. He didn’t even know he could.
And his world shrank dramatically. Now he lives in a basement, supported by friends and relatives, and rarely leaves. Therapy is impossible, he said, because he is an illegal immigrant and cannot seek government support.
Since he could no longer send money home his wife had to sell the house they bought in Guatemala City with the money he earned in Chicago. He also expects to be going home soon, since the formula that he lived by is shattered, just like his spine.
"Here in the United States, a day without work is a day lost, a day without earning money."

Sent by Howard Shorr



Military and Law Enforcement Heroes

Aviation Legend Don Lopez Dies
Letter to the United States Army, Equal Opportunity School Latinos
Latinas - Ultimate- Sacrifice, Part III by Mercy Bautista-Olvera
Seeking information about Sgt. Robert "Pancho" Garcia
Free Online Military Rolls and Regimental Histories 
Mexico 201 SQD and the Legion of Merit medal awarded
Interesting facts on Latin America during WWII and some Latin American Aviators

Aviation legend Don Lopez dies

By Adam Bernstein, Washington Post
March 6, 2008 

Photo: Mark Avino / Associated Press


Donald S. Lopez stands before a Curtiss P-40 - named in his honor - like the one he flew in World War II. Based in China, he flew 101 combat missions and had five documented aerial victories, the requirement for an ace. He later became a test pilot and spacecraft engineer and was deputy director at the National Air and Space Museum from 1983 to 1990 and again from 1996 until his death.

Donald S. Lopez, a World War II fighter ace who became a test pilot and spacecraft engineer and had a significant role in planning the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, died Monday at the Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., after a heart attack. He was 84.

Retired Marine Gen. John R. "Jack" Dailey, the museum's current director, said Lopez "spent the first half of his life making history and the second half commemorating it."

Lopez was based in China during World War II and flew 101 combat missions. He had five documented aerial victories, the requirement for an ace, and damaged several more enemy planes.

He was deputy director at the National Air and Space Museum from 1983 to 1990 and again from 1996 until his death.

Lopez arrived at the museum in 1972, four years before its public opening, and recruited curators and aircraft restoration experts. He also wrote and edited text explaining the displays.

He was the first curator of the Pioneers of Flight gallery, which features original record-setting aircraft.

Donald Sewell Lopez, whose father was a welder, was born July 15, 1923, in Brooklyn, N.Y.

His earliest memory was being taken to the ticker-tape parade for Charles Lindbergh when the transatlantic aviator returned to New York.

Lopez said he became hooked on fighter planes as a child after seeing "Wings," a 1927 silent Hollywood film about World War I.

His family later moved to Tampa, Fla., where he joined the Civilian Pilot Training Program at Drew Field in anticipation of the U.S. entry into World War II.

He received his pilot's license in May 1943 and that October transferred
to the 23rd Fighter Group. The group included many veterans of the American Volunteer Group, the China-based pilots who were nicknamed the Flying Tigers.

Lopez's first downing of an enemy aircraft was almost his last.

He was piloting a Curtiss P-40 when he shot down a Japanese Oscar fighter Dec. 12, 1943, over Hengyang, in the Hunan province of China. He nearly smashed into the enemy plane during a head-on pass, and 2 feet of his own plane's wing were shaved off. Lopez landed safely.

"Rather than saying I shot him down, I always said I 'winged' him," he told the Washington Post in 2003.

Lopez received the Silver Star for once chasing off enemy planes without resorting to gunfire. It was not by choice: He had just finished a mission and was out of ammunition.

Other decorations included two awards of the Distinguished Flying Cross and three awards of the Air Medal. After the war, he served as an Air Force test pilot and saw combat during the Korean War.

In the mid-1950s, Lopez received a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering from the Air Force Institute of Technology and a master's degree in aeronautics from Caltech.

He taught aeronautics at the Air Force Academy before his retirement from active duty in 1964 as a lieutenant colonel.

Afterward, Lopez became a systems engineer in Washington for Bellcomm, an AT&T subsidiary that provided technical and management advice to NASA's Apollo program.

He wrote several books about flight, including the memoir "Into the Teeth of the Tiger" (1986), and received numerous honors from aviation societies. Lopez had a role in creating the museum's annex, the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia, in 2003.

Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Glindel Barron Lopez of Alexandria, Va.; two children, Donald Lopez Jr. of Ann Arbor, Mich., and Joy Lopez of Durham; two sisters; and a granddaughter.


Letter to the United States Army, Equal Opportunity School
            Editor: I received the following letter from Warren Staples with the United States Army.  I asked Rafael Ojeda to respond.

Sir, I'm a Soldier in the United States Army in Equal Opportunity School. I have a presentation on Hispanic or Latino Social Characteristics (Mexican & Cuban American), can you send me information on this subject? Any information you send me would be greatly appreciated.

Warren Staples


Dear Mr. Staples.
If you are looking for the ethnic cultural and customs of Latinos in the Military, please
consider all of the difference ethnic groups within the Latinos, not only the Mexicans,
Puerto Ricans and Cuban.

Let me give you a fast perception of Latinos in the Military:

Even before the American Military, we had many Spaniard, all of Central America
including Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Venezuela, plus all the other islands that Spain
had already colonize, helping the American against the British. In all the Wars since the
American Revolution not only Latinos from the above countries have served in our military but many from the other "South America" countries served and are serving today. 

I live right outside Ft Lewis and McChord AFB, here in Tacoma, and I run into many retirees from WWII, Korea and Viet Nam plus now from the Iraq war. Not only are there  Mexicans, Puerto Ricans and Cubans, but now we have many young Latinos and Latinas from all over Central and South America that immigrated when they were babies or were born here.

I would say that the main difference between the Native Born and the new immigrants here in the Northwest is that many of the Native Born have gone through 12 years of school, plus some college education; and, most are Americanized. Latinos from NY, Detroit, and the SW tend to have their own customs, similar to their parents or grandparents.  In contrast, the new immigrants tend to keep many of their cultural traditions, even as they do adapt or acculturate to the social environment of the military.

I would say that especially the younger generation want to keep their heritage and
tradition.  They tend to live in two worlds, the Military and their own world. Their are a few that are ashamed or want to forget their roots and will stop speaking Spanish and will only teach English to their children, thus losing their heritage and traditions. Others will hang on to their traditions, by attending, where available, community or church involvements in Latino meetings.

One of the social attitudes of some Latino cultural groups is not being assertive or demanding, yet once they learn that this is a Competitive Society, they learn to adjust, even when they feel uncomfortable doing so. Its like growing up within oneself and learning how to survive in this "White Society"

With the Military training of their "Race Relation" and other EEOC civil rights, the military
is providing the opportunity for people to learn about this "Diverse military" but also gives the opportunity to learn that ones has the rights to all the freedoms and opportunities as everyone else.

I think that our Latinos should learn more of our Hispanic/Latino contributions not only to our Military but in every field. So that we can know and be proud of our contributions to the American Society.

I hope that this will give you a different perspective in you research and when you are
teaching others about Women and people of color. Its all about "Inclusiveness" and "Equality".

Thank you and I wish "Success" on your endeavor.
Rafael Ojeda
USAF Viet Nam retiree.

Latinos/Latinas – Ultimate - Sacrifice

Part III


Mercy Bautista-Olvera


In the coming months this series “Latinos/Latinas
Ultimate Sacrifice” will present the stories and
contributions of heroes who have sacrificed their lives for the United States.  The reason for me to be interested in writing about Hispanics, who lost their lives in Wars, I want to be of their voices.  We do appreciate their sacrifice.  It is my sincere belief and commitment, that these heroes are never forgotten.  Take time to look at their faces, read their histories, and keep their spirit alive . . .

USA SPC Ashley (Segura) Sietsema, 20, of Melrose Park , IL died on November 12, 2007 in Kuwait City , Kuwait while supporting OIF from injuries she suffered in a vehicle accident. She was a healthcare specialist and ambulance driver assigned to the 708th Medical Company, 108th Medical Battalion, 108th Sustainment Brigade, Illinois National Guard, North Riverside , IL . Ashley was driving an ambulance that was transporting a patient from Camp Arifjan to Camp Buehring when it rolled over and hit a light pole. She died on the scene. Originally, from River Grove , IL Ashley joined the IL National Guard in December 2004 before graduating in June 2005 from East Leyden High School in Franklin Park . She had been deployed since July and in Kuwait since 3 September. She is the 16th casualty from the Illinois National Guard and the fourth female Illinois Guard casualty. 

Army Sgt. Luis A. Montes, 22, of El Centro , Calif. , died on Sept. 7, 2006 in Brooke Army Medical Center , in San Antonio , Texas , of injuries sustained Sept. 1, from an improvised explosive device in Abu Ghraib , Iraq . Sgt. Montes was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 22nd Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, from Fort Hood , Texas . Montes quickly went through the ranks and, soon after that, was promoted to sergeant. He later applied for, and received, U.S. citizenship.  

Montes’ commanding officer reported that Sgt. Montes had pulled two men under him despite his own wounds after a bomb exploded beneath his tank, Montes was able to climb free but rushed back to help two fellow soldiers trapped inside. 

 “He didn't want to go up in the helicopter until he knew his men were all right,” his mother, Marisela, told the Los Angeles Times.

Army Sgt. Luis A. Montes was born in Mexicali , Mexico , grew up in El Centro .   At Southwest High School , Montes played on the soccer team and at one point planned to attend technical school in Phoenix . After graduation, however, he decided to enlist, and finished boot camp in mid-2003. 

Army Cpl. Luis Enrique Tejeda, 20, of Huntington Park , Calif. , died on Sept 30, 2006, when a roadside bomb struck Tejeda’s Bradley fighting vehicle. He died from injuries received while traveling to relieve fellow soldiers at a checkpoint. Tejeda known as "TJ," will be remembered, says Tejeda friend, Pfc. Dannie C. Cooper for "his infectious smile, his youth, his love of life, his laughter, were taken from his family, from us –his friends, his comrades. The enemy targets Bradley fighting vehicles because they know what the armored machine can do in battle, said Cpt. Tony L. Thornton, 1st Battalion, 6th Infantry Regiment, rear detachment commander. “I honor Corporal Tejeda for his competence and courage to drive and be responsible for such a target,” Thornton said. “On 30 September 2006, Corporal Tejeda paid the ultimate sacrifice for his country, his unit and his brothers-in-arms.”

On Lori Lagaie Bellingham from Washington sent a message to Tejeda’s parents, she wrote; “My son was with your son when he passed. He held him, comforted him, and stroked his head. Be comforted that he was not alone. Cpl. Tejeda is deeply missed; his fellow soldiers admired him greatly. He made a huge impact on my son’s life.”


Army Pfc. Alex Oceguera 19, of San Bernardino , Calif. , died on Oct. 31 from injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Wygal Valley , Afghanistan . Oceguera was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum , New York .   

Oceguera's family moved from San Bernardino to Montclair when he was a child. He was a June 2005 graduate of Montclair High School . His school counselor Joe Reynaga said Oceguera was a “hardworking student who like practical subjects such as auto shop and photography. “He was the nicest kid. He was always so polite,” Reynaga said. “He was the type of person who was not very outspoken. But he had real manners. It was always, 'Yes, sir' or 'No, sir.”

Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Rudy A. Salcido, 31, of Ontario , Calif. , died on Nov. 9, 2006 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his convoy vehicle in Al Asad, Iraq . Sgt. Salcido was in the Army National Guard 1114th Transportation Company, from Bakersfield , Calif. Salcido, described by family and friends as loyal and fun. He first enlisted in 2000, and was an ammunitions specialist until 2005. He returned home from Iraq and enlisted again, this time in the National Guard.


Army Sgt. Angel De Jesus Lucio Ramirez, 22, of Pacoima , Calif. , died on Nov. 11, 2006 on Veteran’s Day, of injuries sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle during combat operations in Ramadi , Iraq . Sgt. Ramirez was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 16th Engineer Battalion, 1st Brigade, 1st Armored Division, Giessen , Germany .      .   

Lucio-Ramirez served with the battalion during its first tour to Iraq from May 2003 to July 2004. Between deployments, he went from being a private to a sergeant and mentor to young troops. A Captain referred to Army Sgt. Angel de Jesus Lucio- Ramirez as “a leader of soldiers,” for which, he added, “there is no greater honor.”

A graduate of San Fernando High School in Pacoima, Lucio moved with his family from Saltillo , Mexico , when he was 11. He adapted quickly to his new homeland and took an interest in the U.S. military. His favorite pastimes as a child were playing soccer and army, said his father, Ignacio Lucio. He said his son's interest in the military grew with age. As a teenager, he spent his spare time playing video games with a military theme and watching war movies.” He was motivated to enlist by the events of 9/11," said his father, who sent for his family after becoming a U.S. citizen. "We were concerned because the country was at war. But we supported his decision and are very proud that he served the nation."

Marine Lance Cpl. Mario Daniel Gonzalez, 21, of La Puente , Calif. , died on Nov. 14, 2006, when a roadside bomb exploded near his convoy vehicle in the Anbar province of Iraq . Mario attended Nueva Vista Continuation High School . He liked soccer and paintball. He’s sense of humor always made people smile. Joining the Marines, he felt, provided a valuable experience that would lead him to become a police officer. Returning from boot camp his father stated, his son "had changed from a boy to a respectful, responsible man." At his funeral in Baldwin Park , family, friends, and fellow Marines, honored him. His father Mario Gonzalez and Patricia Arreola accepted the Purple Heart medal during the burial at Forest Lawn Memorial Park Covina Hills, for their son’s heroism. Mario Gonzales said his son "died for a cause that, to many, is an injustice, and we have learn to resign to the fact that many wonderful people like my son will die if it continues this way." 

Lance Cpl. Fernando Tamayo, 19, of Fontana , Calif. , died on Dec. 21, 2006 while conducting combat operations in Anbar Province , Iraq . Stationed at Twenty-Nine Palms, Calif. , Fernando was "determined" to be a Marine from the age of 9. Fernando graduated from Bloomington High School in Fontana in 2005 and promptly enrolled in the Young Marines Program (a program designed to give potential recruits a taste of Marine life). His father stated, "When he told us, we were happy for his decision, [but] a little bit scared like every parent. Since the [ Iraq ] war had started, we were a little bit concerned, but like every parent we wanted him to be free to decide what to do in life."

Army Spc. Lizbeth Robles 31, of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico ; died March 1, 2005. She was assigned to the 360th Transportation Company, 68th Corps Support Battalion, 43rd Area Support Group, Fort Carson , Colo. ; died March 1st at the 228th Command Support Hospital in Tikirt , Iraq , from injuries sustained Feb. 28 in a military vehicle accident in Bayji , Iraq .  

Lizbeth was born in the small town of Vega Baja in Puerto Rico ; she was a leader in her church and an accomplished athlete. Attended the American University , but unable to pay the tuition, than transferred to the Arecibo campus of the University of Puerto Rico .

Lizbeth was not happy with the jobs available to her; she joined the Armed Forces of the United States and received her basic training in Fort Hood , Texas .

Army Spc. Lizbeth Robles enjoyed driving tankers and trucks, she volunteered to be part of a new group with the 43rd area Support Group, one that rides and convoys and secures the dangerous roadways to the Fort Carson’s trucks in Iraq so the fuel could be deliver.

Army Staff Sgt. Juan De Dios Garcia, 27, of Los Angeles, Calif., died on April 30, 2005 in Khaladiyah, Iraq, when his Bradley Fighting Vehicle, was attacked by enemy forces using small arms fire. He was assigned to the 5th Battalion, 5th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, Camp Hovey , from Korea . Juan was born in Mexico , and when he married literally bridged the two countries he loved. He said his vows on the bridge between El Paso , Texas , and Juarez , Mexico . "He had a lot of charisma and an easy way of going." He enlisted in the Army after graduating from high school.

Special thanks to Alan Lessig, Director of Photography, for the website, “Military   Times, Honor the Fallen” ( for granting permission to reproduce photos for this article.

In Memory Afghanistan :

The Iraq Page:  



  Seeking information about Sgt. Robert “Pancho” Garcia


                            Full body image: Sgt. Robert “Pancho” Garcia - 1954

 I am trying to locate Sgt. Robert “Pancho” Garcia. In 1954, Sgt. Garcia was most likely with the 321st Signal Battalion and would normally hang around a place called the "Green Shack" near Kelly Barracks around Stuttgart Germany. He had friends in the 34th Signal Battalion which was the unit that was replaced the 321st Signal, among them Norman Kummer from New York. His 1st Cavalry patch indicates that he had served in  Korea or Japan before being stationed in Germany. I believe that Sgt. Garcia was Puerto Rican, however he was fluent in English (and Spanish) and often spoke of Texas, so he may have been Mexican-American. Sgt. Garcia should be around 80 years old now.  

     Does anyone know where Sgt. Garcia is or what happened to him?

If anyone knows Mister Garcia or any members of his family, please tell them to get in touch with me, Tony (The Marine) Santiago,  here in “Somos Primos” or by my e-mail   


Free Online Military Rolls and Regimental Histories
We have placed a large and growing number of Military references online in our very accessible and fully searchable EasySlide format: 
We hope you find them valuable and post links to them.  Thank you.  Eve and Don   
Sent by Bill Carmena

Mexico 201 SQD and the Legion of Merit medal awarded
            These web sites are about Mexico 201 SQD and the Legion of Merit medal awarded to
Col. Antonio Cardenas Rodrigues and Capt Radames Gaxiola Andrade in WWII. And Mr. Flores article about the 201 at Judy Baca, Hispanics in America Defense web site.
Rafael Ojeda
 Interesting facts on Latin America during WWII and some Latin American Aviators.

Lineage of the United States Air Force

Gathered by Rafael Ojeda 

Patriots of the American Revolution

Battle sites of the American Revolution on the Gulf coast, 1779-1781
Spanish Patriots of the American Revolution in Peru, Part 5


"We Americans have yet to really learn our own antecedents.,.. We tacitly abandon ourselves to the notion that our United States have been fashioned from the British Islands only...  which is a very great mistake.
Walt Whitman, 1883 "The Spanish Element in Our Nationality."


Richard L. Whynot, San Antonio, TX, 2007


This presentation is primarily concerned with the present day status of the American Revolutionary War battle sites in Louisiana, Alabama and Florida and how those sites have or have not been memorialized.

All of the facts and data concerning those battle sites are drawn from the scholarship and writings of those authors listed in the bibliography. I acknowledge the work they have done to bring to the public information about this long overlooked aspect of the American fight for independence.

Any discussion of the activities in the Gulf Coast area during the American Revolution must start with a summary of the career of that most important government and military figure, Bemardo de Galvez.

Bemardo De Galvez

Bom on July 23, 1746 in Macharaviaya, Spain, 27 kilometers east of Malaga and 9 kilometers from the Med. Coast. The village has a population of 400 and was founded on the site of a 16th century Moorish village. His father and three uncles all rose to high rank serving the Spanish crown. At age 16 he had graduated from the Spanish military academy at Avila and went off to fight in the war against Portugal. At age 24, in 1770, he was appointed military commander of Chihuahua and SW Texas.

He fought several battles with the Apaches in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas, going as far east as the Pecos River. Often low on food he was considered an inspirational commander and was severely wounded in one battle, including two lance wounds in the chest.

Back to Spain in 1772, he served three years in a French regiment in order to learn more of the art and science of warfare. He also fought in Algiers where he was wounded again. After an assignment as an instructor at the Avila Military Academy, he received orders in 1776 to go to Louisiana as commander of the Spanish Regiment.

Under the Treaty of Paris, 1763, Spain had ceded control of the U.S. Gulf coast to England, in return for the English giving back Cuba to Spain. Spain also controlled all the U.S. west of the Mississippi and retained the "Island of New Orleans" as the capitol of Spanish Louisiana.

In a royal order dated Sept 9, 1776 he was appointed acting governor of the colony. In a letter from his uncle Jose, Minister of the Indies, his duties included: conducting an annual census; visit the provincial districts ofNatchitoches, Opelousas and Attakapas; obtain full written accounts of affairs at posts beyond the Arkansas, giving special attention to the English frontier; to get maps of the Mississippi and the coast; to admit foreigners who were Catholic and would take the oath of allegiance to Spain; to adopt strong measures against illegal commerce; to curtail trade with foreign vessels; to encourage the raising of tobacco; to cultivate friendship with the Indians; to treat slaves humanly; to organize a better trained militia; to report on the state of religion, salt mines, roads, woodworkers and the circulation of foreign money. Finally, to collect information about affairs in the English colonies and to send secret commissioners for that purpose. He took the oath of office on January 1, 1777.

Despite all of his official duties, Galvez, in 1777, found time to marry Marie Felice de Saint Maxent (her second marriage, having been previously married to Jean Baptiste Honore d'Estrehan Ecuyer, former treasurer for France in Louisiana and founder of the first sugar mill in Louisiana). They moved into a house at 619 Chartres St (destroyed by fire in 1788 and rebuilt by Baron Pontabia).

Preparations for War

From the beginning of his assignment in New Orleans, Galvez sought to oppose the British forces who occupied West Florida under the treaty of Paris and further outlined in the British Royal Proclamation Number 31 of0ctober7, 1763.

This Proclamation set the boundary of West Florida, "bounded on the southward by the Gulf of Mexico, including all islands within six leagues of the coast from the river Apalachicola to lake Pontchartrain; to the westward by the said lake, the lake Maurepas, and the river Mississippi; to the Northward, by a line drawn due east from that part of the river Mississippi which lies in thirty-one degrees North latitude, to the river Apalachicola, or Catahooche; and to the Eastward by the said river".

In practical terms, Spain controlled all the land on the west bank of the Mississippi westward and including the "Island of New Orleans", while the British controlled the rest of West Florida and the east bank of the Mississippi.

Galvez, early in his administration, supported the American cause against the Brtitish and was encouraged in this effort by secret directives from Spain.

A key figure in his assistance was the American merchant Oliver Pollack, a resident of New Orleans and the commercial agent for Virginia. As early as the fall of 1776 he arranged the shipment of 10,000 pounds of gunpowder to the American forces with the blessing of Galvez.

The grave of Pollock can be found on a narrow, country back road, just over the state line from Louisiana, in Mississippi. After spending his fortune on helping the War of Independence, he apparently had to depend on the charity of friends in his later years By 1777, Galvez authorized the shipment of uniforms, shoes, blankets, food, medicine, lead, gunpowder, cannon, muskets and money to the upper Mississippi area and on to Pennsylvania and Virginia. There was a steady stream of correspondence between Galvez and American leaders, including Gen Lee (second in command to Geo Washington), Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, Gen George Rogers dark; this at a time when the Continental Army was going in to winter quarters at Valley Forge.

Galvez continued to send aid in the form of supplies and money to the American forces, while at the same time preparing his own forces to enter into armed conflict with the British.

As an experienced military officer, and recalling his supply problems while fighting in the South West, he realized that he needed a continuous supply of meat for his forces. He sent word to his fellow governor in San Antonio authorizing driving herds of cattle from ranches in the vicinity of San Antonio to Louisiana. Over the next two years over 15,000 cattle were driven through Nacogdoches, Texas and on to Natchitoches and Opelousas, Louisiana, for distribution to his troops. Some were trailed as far as Mobile.

By 1779, with his supply chain in place and with a new mandate from King Carlos III, Galvez was ready to take to the field.

This important early leader and friend of the American War of Independence has been memorialized and honored in several ways in Louisiana.

First is a larger than life size statue of Galvez, located at the foot of Canal Street, New Orleans, at the entrance to the Spanish Plaza. A new state office building in Baton Rouge is named for Galvez and most importantly, at a location just south of the Old State Capitol Building in Baton Rouge is the Galvez Plaza, which also commemorates the contribution of Oliver Pollock.

Fighting the Battles

A look at a map of the United States at that time will clearly show the confusing geography that Galvez had to deal with, not to mention the varied population groups that had arrived in the area. There were the Acadians from the 1750's; then in 1778 Canary Islanders and in 1779 settlers from Malaga who founded New Iberia. And there was also a steady stream of settlers who came to escape the British/American fighting in the thirteen colonies.

            Fort Bute at Bayou Manchac

This was always the first target of Galvez. He wanted to clear the British from this entry way from the Mississippi to New Orleans. A look at a map will show how this was a prime route for potential attacks in the city and the heart of Spanish administration.

The location can be found on River Road at the East Baton Rouge/Iberville Parish boundary, on private land, about 7-8 miles south of the Capital Building.

It took 11 days to go from New Orleans to Fort Bute, with the Galvez force split between ship and land elements. There was a force of about 600+ under Galvez, with 7 Americans (Oliver Pollock included). Two additional militia companies (Acadians and others) were added to the force from the area of St Gabriel making a force of about 1,440.

A map of the route shows how the force under Galvez went from New Orleans to Manchac and Baton Rouge.

The battle for Manchac was won on September 7, 1779, with an outpost on the Amite River also captured.

At the same time naval forces under the American William Pickles, after a 20 minute battle, captured eight British vessels on the lakes, including the brigantine "West Florida"; this vessel was renamed the "Galveztown" and would play a key role later in the Gulf Coast battles. Capt. Pickles sent his marines ashore and cleared all the British forces from the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain between Bayou Lacombe and the Tangipahoa River.

Fort at Baton Rouge

This was a much larger Fort, with about 500+ British forces and Galvez began his attack on September 20, 1779 and the fort surrendered on Sptember21, 1779 after Galvez had, under cover ofdarkness\ dug a trench and moved his cannon within musket shot of the British and severely damaged the fort.

The British fort at Natchez, .Fort Panmure, was also included in the surrender terms.
The location of Fort at Baton Rouge is on the south side of the Pentagon Barracks complex, with two markers for Fort San Carlos, which the Spanish rebuilt to take the place of the damaged British facility.

A nearby marker, to commemorate this Revolutionary War battle, is also incorrect in describing Baton Rouge as the only site outside of the thirteen colonies .

Here are a series of maps that show the status of the Fort San Carlos location in Baton Rouge and how it so easy to lose important aspects of the history of the country.

Fort Charlotte at Mobile, Alabama

Although delayed by bad weather, Galvez arrived off Mobile Bay on February 10, 1780 and on February 20,1780 received 1,400+ reinforcements from Havana. The siege started on February 29,1780 and the surrender was accepted on March 14,1780.

Spain ruled the Mobile area for the next 33 years, until 1813 and the fort was renamed Fort Carlota.

However, if you inquire for the location of Fort Charlotte there will be, generally blank looks. Instead you will be directed to the visitor center at Fort Conde.

A marker, to the left of the entrance, will solve the question. The British renamed the former French fort, as Fort Charlotte, in honor of the wife of George III. 

It is possible to view the Manchac and Baton Rouge sites in the morning and, using I-10, be in Mobile at Fort Charlotte/Conde in late afternoon. The site is in downtown Mobile off Government Street, on Royal at the comer of Church Street.

There is a marker, by the SAR, as well as other information in the fort. Around the comer is the Conde - Charlotte Museum House, in front of which is one of the cannons from the Galvez days.

Fort George at Pensacola, Florida

Galvez next set his sights on Pensacola, capital of British West. But promised supplies and reinforcements failed to arrive and Galvez was delayed until October 16, 1780. A hurricane hit his convoy and ships were lost and scattered. It was not until March 9,1781 that the siege of Pensacola was begun. By this time Galvez had a force of over 7,000 and had parts of the French Navy, commanded by Count de Grasse, including French troops, under his control.

On March 11, Galvez ordered the Spanish fleet to enter Pensacola Bay, but the Admiral in charges refused to risk his ships in the shallow water under the British guns. Galvez then took his own ship, the "Galveztown" along with some smaller vessels and forced the bay himself, with little damage. For this heroic action the King awarded him the right to display, on his family crest, the words "Yo Solo", "I Alone" as well as the brigantine "Galveztown".

On May 8th a lucky shot from one of the Spanish guns hit the powder magazine in the "Crescent", one of the British redoubts, killing over 100 soldiers. This left the British position exposed and at 3:00 in the afternoon the white flag was raised. The formal surrender was May 10th, 1781.Galvez was also wounded again, in the arm and stomach.

Galvez was also appointed governor of West Florida as well as of Louisiana as a reward for his victory and received additional royal honors.

DeGrasse and his forces were released by Galvez and after being refitted in Havana and his crews paid, sailed for Yorktown to help in the surrender of Cornwallis. Citizens of Havana contributed 500,000 pesos for this cause.

Finding Fort George is not difficult, again using I-10. Only 45 minutes from Mobile, exit onto Spur 110 and then exit on Cervantes Street, taking the first left, Palofox Street and then go to the comer ofLaRua Street. There you will find a marker placed by the DAR and then around the comer a small replica of Fort George, a collaborative effort of The City ofPensacoIa, State of Florida and the University of West Florida.


On the way to Pensacola, a stop at the Florida Visitor Center on 1-10 to ask for information on Fort George was met with a blank stare. The decent said that in nine years she had never been asked for those directions. So, even though Florida has done a creditable job on memorializing the Battle of PensacoIa, more work remains to be done on getting the public and state officials informed.

Mobile is furthest along in recognizing the contribution of Galvez to the winning of the Revolutionary War, particularly in the nearby Spanish Plaza and in the Charlotte/Conde Museum.

Louisiana has, apparently, made some late effort to both recognize the battle sites and recognize Galvez, who was, after all one of the Royal Governors of the territory.

Manchac, while not one of the major battles, was important because it gave his forces confidence in their ability to beat the British army.

What should be done?

- There should be established a collaborative effort between State, City and Parish governments, together with academia, individuals and private groups to undertake a project to properly memorialize the battle sites at Manchac and Baton Rouge. This will require funds and the private sector should take the lead in that endeavor.

- The Louisiana Department of Education, with the assistance of state historians, should develop lesson plans that cover the Revolutionary War period in Louisiana and have those lessons included in the public/private school systems as part of the study of state history.

After the objectives of step one have been accomplished, then the State Department of Tourism would be in a position to allocate funds to a public relations program to promote the sites and generate a whole new group of Louisiana visitors.

Richard L. Whynot, San Antonio, TX, 2007

                                               SEQUENCE OF EVENTS

1718-1731                   Five mission villages founded along the San Antonio River 
                                   near San Antonio de Bexar

1740's                         Three mission villages founded along the San Antonio River 
                                   near present-day Goliad

1746 (July 23)              Bemardo de Galvez was bom in Spain

1769                            Napoleon Bonaparte was bom in France

1775 (June 17)             Battle of Bunker Hill (Revolutionary War began) 

1776 (July 4)                Declaration of Independence was signed

1777 (January 1)          Bemardo de Galvez became Governor of the Louisiana Territory 
                                    with HQ in New Orleans

1777 (July)                   2,000 barrels of gun powder and other supplies were sent up the
                                    Mississippi to George Rogers  Clark

1777 (October)              Patrick Henry, then Governor of Virginia, wrote two letters to 
                                    Galvez requesting aid.

1777 (October 7)           Battle of Saratoga

1779 (May 8)                 Spain declares war on Great Britain

1779 (July)                    First cattle drives from Texas begin; destination:  Opelousas, Louisiana

1779 (September 7)       Galvez's forces capture British fort at Manchac, Louisiana

1779 (September 22)      Galvez's forces capture British fort at Baton Rouge, Louisiana

1779 (October 5)            British forces at Natchez surrender to Spanish forces

1780 (January)              Spanish forces set sail into the Gulf to attack British forces at Mobile

1780 (March 14)             Battle of Mobile ended; British forces surrender

1780 (October 16)           Spanish forces set sail for Pensacola, the capital of British West
                                      Florida (a hurricane forces cancellation of attack)

1781 (March 9)               Siege of Pensacola begins again 

1781 (May 8)                  British forces at Pensacola surrender

1781 (October 19)           Comwallis surrenders at Yorktown (Revolutionary War ends)

1782 (January)               Last cattle leaves La Bahia

1782 (May 6)                  British forces in Bahamas surrender

1783 (February)              Peace Treaty signed between Great Britain and Spain in Paris, France

1786 (November 30)        Bemardo de Galvez dies in Mexico City at age of 40

1789 (February)              George Washington inaugurated as the 1st President of the
                                      United States of America


1. Robert H. Thonoff, "The Texas Connection With The American Revolution", Austin, Texas, Eakin Publication, Inc., ISBN 1-57168-418-2.

2. Robert H. Thonoff, "The Vital Contribution of Texas in the Winning of the American Revolution", 2002, Essay, Privately published in Kames City, Texas.

3. Robert H. Thonoff, "The Vital Contribution of Spain in the Winning of the American Revolution", 2000, Essay, Privately Published in Kames City, Texas.

4. Thomas E. Chavez, "Spain's Support Vital To U.S. Independence", New Mexico Magazine, January, 1992, pp 33-37.

5. Hubert L. Koker, "Spanish Governor Bemardo de Galvez salvaged the Gulf Coast for the future United States", Great Battles Magazine, c. 1990's

6. Royal Proclamation concerning America, Number 31, British Annual Register, October 7,1763.

7. E.A. Montemayor, "Yo Solo- The Battle Journal of Bemardo de Galvez During the American Revolution", New Orleans, LA, Polyanthos, Inc., 1978, Library of Congress Card No. 77-0901109

8. Nancy Reynolds Tiner, "Bemardo de Galvez- Unsung Hero", Monograph, Privately Published, College Station, TX

9. Lorenzo G. LaFarelle, "Bemardo de Galvez - Hero of the American Revolution", Eakin Press, Austin, Texas, First Edition, 1992, ISBN 0-89015-849-5

10. John Walton Caughey, "Bemardo de Galvez in Louisiana, 1776-1783", Pelican Publishing Co., Gretna, LA, 1972, ISBN: 1-565545-17-6, 290 pages.

11. Jim Noles, "The Spanish Conquest of Mobile", Alabama Heritage, Winter 2006, pages 20-29, University of Alabama publisher.

12. Liliana Loofbourow, "I Alone", Alabama Heritage, Winter 2006, pages 30-31, University of Alabama publisher.

13. Leroy E. Willie, "Galvez and Other Louisiana Patriots", Sons of The American Revolution, 1995, SAR Books, 8924 Gail Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70809

14. David Broussard, " Mysteries and Myths: Unraveling the History of the Old St
Gabriel Church", Old St. Gabriel Church Committee, 3525 Highway 75, St. Gabriel, LA 70776

15. "The Baton Rouge Story", Evelyn Martindale Thorn, Ed., March, !967, Foundation For Historical Louisiana, Inc., 900 North Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA 70821

16. "The Spanish in New Orleans and Louisiana", Jose Montero de Pedro, Marques de Casa Mena, Trans. by Richard E. Chandler, printed in Spain, 1979, reprinted 2000, Pelican Publishing, Gretna, LA, ISBN 1-56554-685-7,299 pages

17. "Descendants of Jean Baptist Destrehan Ecuyef\ William D. Reeves, pages 1 and 2, privately published by Destrehan


Part 5
 (continued Ce-Cz  and Ch)

Compiled by Granville Hough, Ph.D. 

Andrés Ceballos.  Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Cab de Huamalies, 1800.  Leg 7288:XVII:21.
Joaquín Ceballos.  Capt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Chota, 1793. Leg 7284:XXVI:36.
José Mariano Ceballos.  Sgt, Bn Mil Prov Discip de Pardos de la 8th Comp de San Miguel de Piura, 1797.  Leg 7287:XXXIII:4.
Juan Ceballos.  SubLt, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Huánuco, 1796.  Leg 7286:V:22.
Juan Francisco Ceballos.  Capt, Mil Urbanas Inf Moquegua, 1797.  Leg 7287:XXVI:4.
Julián Ceballos.  Lt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Cab de Huánuco, 1797.  Leg 7286:VI:11.
Manuel Ceballos.  Capt, Mil Prov Urbanas Cab de Huamalies, 1800.  Leg  7288:XVII:7.
Manuel Ceballos.  Sgt, Partida de Asamblea de Inf de la dotación de Chiloe, 1798.  Leg 7286:XVI:1.
Manuel Cedillo.  Sgt Mayor, Mil Españolas Cab de Luya y Chillaos, Prov de Chachapoyas, 1792.  Leg 7284:XX:1.
Pedro Cedron.  Capt, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Celendin, Partidido de  Cajamarca, 1792.  Leg 7284:XV:11.
Juan de Celis.  SubLt de granaderos, Inf Real de Lima, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXII:51.
Francisco Celorio.  Sgt Mayor Inf del Real Asiento de Paucartambo, 1798.  Leg 7286:XIX:4.
José Cenitagoya.  Capt, Mil Prov Discip de Inf de San Miguel de Piura, 1800.  Leg 7285:XXV:6.
Miguel Mariano Centeno.  Lt, Mil Discip de Inf de Cuzco, 1800.  Leg 7286:XXIV:20.
Atanasio Centurion.  Capt, Mil Urbanas Cab San Pablo de Chalaquez, 1798.  Leg 7287:XI:8.
Marcelo Centurion.  Lt, Mil Urbanas Cab San Pablo de Chalaquez, 1798. 
Leg 7287:XI:19.
Pedro Cernadas.  SubLt, Inf Real de Lima, 1794.  Leg 7285:IX:74.
Nicolás Cervantes.  Lt, Mil Prov Discip de Cab de Cuzco, 1797.  Leg 7287:X:16.
Andrés Cespedes.  Sgt, Mil Discip Cab Ica, 1797.  Leg 7287:XX:40.
Antonio Cespedes.  Alf, Mil lDiscip de Cab del Valle de Chincha, 1797. Leg 7287:XII:22.
José Cespedes.  Alf, Mil Discip de Cab de Ica, 1800.  Leg 7288:XX:27.
Victorino Cespedes.  Sgt, Mil Discip Cab Arnero de Chancay, 1800.  Leg 7288:III:27.
Carlos Cevas.  Sgt, Inf Real de Lima, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXII:98.
Francisco Cieza.  Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Chota, 1797.  Leg 7287:XIII:38.
Tomás Cifuentes .  Col, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Huanta, 1800.  Leg 7288:XVIII:1.
Valentin Cifuentes.  Alf, Bn Prov Mil de Pardos Libres de Lima, 1796. Leg 7286:XII:62.
Manuel Saturnino Cigueñas.  Alf, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones Huambos, Partido de Cajamarca, 1797.  Leg 7287:XVII:22.
Gabriel Cisneros.  Sgt de la 6th Comp, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Celendin, Partido de Cajamarca, 1797.  Leg 7287:IX:32.
Juan Cisneros.  Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Carabayilo, 1800.  Leg 7288:IV:33.
Juan Paulino Cisneros.  Sublt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Inf de Cajamarca, 1797.  Leg 7287:IV:17.
Angel Ciudad.  Lt, Inf Real de Lima, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXII:48.
Mauricio Claros.  Capt, Mil Prov Discip de Cab de Cuzco, 1792.  Leg 7284:XVII:9.
Narciso Claros.  Alf, Mil Prov Discip de Cab de Cuzco, 1797.  Leg 7287:X:30.
José Clavijo.  Capt, Mil Discip Pardos y Morenos Inf de Lambayeque, 1797.  Leg 728:XXIII:3.
Pedro Cler y Bermudez.  Capt, 5th Comp Mil Prov Discip Inf Lambayeque, 1797.  Leg 7287:XXII:5.
Manuel de Clox.  Lt, Inf Real de Lima, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXII:41.
Lucas Cobos.  Capt, Mil Prov Discip Cab de Cuzco, 1792.  Leg 7284:XVII:8.
Julián Collantes.  Capt, grad Lt Col, Mil Discip Dragones de Lima, 1794.  Leg 7285:VII:19.
Pedro Collazos.  Sgt de 1st Cl, Mil Prov Urbanas Cab de Huamalies,  1800.  Leg 7288:XVII:18.
Francisco Conde.  Alf, Mil Prov Discip del valle de Chincha, 1797.  Leg 7287:XII:26.
José Conde.  Sgt, Mil Prov Discip Cab del valle de Chincha, 1797.  Leg 7287:XII:39.
Sebastián Conis.  Sgt de Granaderos, Mil Prov Discip Inf de San Miguel de Piura, 1800.  Leg 7286:XXV:33.
Carlos Conquero.  Capt, Mil de Pardos Libres de Lima, 1796.  Leg 7286:XII:57.
Domingo Constancio.  Lt, Inf Real de Lima, 1794.  Leg 7285:IX:33.
Joaquín Contreras.  SubLt, Mil Prov de Inf de Cajamarca, 1797.  Leg 7287:IV:21.
Mateo Contreras.  Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Chota, 1797.  Leg
Rafael Contreras.  Sgt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Arequipa, 1800.  Leg 7288:I:71.
Antonio Corbacho.  SubLt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Arequipa, 1792.  Leg 7284:V:53.
Isidro Corbacho.  Lt, Mil Urbanas Inf Moquegua, 1797.  Leg 7287:XXVI:14.
Aniceto Corbacho y Abril.  Cadet, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Arequipa, 1800.  Leg 7288:I:81.
Antolin Corbacho y Abril.  SubLt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Arequipa, 1800.  Leg 7288:I:53.
José María Corbacho y Abril.  Cadet, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Arequipa, 100.  Leg 7288:I:80.
José Cordero.  SubLt de Granaderos, Bn Mil Prov Discip Inf de San Miguel de Piura, 1800.  Leg 7285:XXV:26.
Domingo de Cordoba.  Ayudante Mayor, Mil Discip Dragones del pueblo de
Querecotillo, Piusa, 1795.  Leg 7285:XXIII:4.
José Fernando de Cordoba.  SubLt Bn Mil prov Discip de Inf de San Miguel de Piura, 1800.  Leg 7286:XXV:21.
José Cornejo.  Sgt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Arequipa, 1800.  Leg 7288:I:73.
José Manuel Cornejo.  Cadet Mil Discip Dragones de Arica, 1800.  Leg 7288:II:63.
Juan Alberto Cornejo.  Lt, Mil Prov Discip Inf Lambayeque, 1797.  Leg 7287:XXII:15.
Marqués de Corpa.  Col agregado, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Carabayllo, 1800.  Leg 7288:IV:5.
Andrés Bocanegra.  SubLt, Mil Urbanas Inf Moyobamba, 1797.  Leg 7287:XXIX:19.
Miguel Cortabarria.  Lt, Comp sueltas de Mil, Discip de Inf de Trujillo, Perú, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXX:6.
Vicente Cortabarria.  Lt, Mil Prov Dragones de Arica, 1800.  Leg 7288:II:16.
Vicente Cortazar.  Lt, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Urubamba, 1797.  Leg 7287:XXXVIII:13.
Antonio Cortez.  Capt, Bn Prov Mil Pardos Libres de Lima, 1796.  Leg 7286:XII:56.
Carlos Cortez.  Alf, Mil Discip 8th Comp, Cab de Pardos Libres deTrujullo, 1797.  Leg 7287:XXXVII:3.
Juan José Cortes.  Lt, Mil Discip Cab Ferreñafe, 1797.  Leg 7287:XIV:27.
Manuel Eugenio Cortes.  Lt, Bn de Mil Prov Discip Inf de San Miguel de Piura, 1800.  Leg 7286:XXV:11.
Miguel Cortss.  Sgt, Mil Discip Cab de los Valles de Palpe y Nasca,1797.  Leg 7287:XXXI:38.
José Regis Cortes y Asua.  Cadet, Inf Real de Lima, 1796.  Leg 7287:XXIV:122.
Antonio Cortiguera.  Capt, Mil Discip Inf Española de Lima, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXIII:19.
Pedro Cortinas.  Sgt, Mil Urbanas de Dragones de Carabayllo, 1800.  Leg  7288:IV:32.
Rafael Corzo Neyron.  Lt Col, Mil Prov de Dragones de Caravel, 1796. Leg 7287:VIII:2.
Francisco del Corral y Aranda.  Lt, Mil Discip Cab de Trujillo, Perú, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXXI:7.
Patricio Corrales.  Alf, Mil Discip de Dragones del Valle de Majes,  1797.  Leg 7287:XXV:28.
Marcos Correa.  Ayudante Mayor Capt, Inf Real de Lima, 1794.  Leg 7285:IX:7.
Francisco Correa de Saa.  Ayudante mayor, Mil Discip de Cab de Arequipa, 1797.  Leg 7287:II:23.
Sebastián Cos.  Capt, Mil Prov Urbanas inf de Huánuco, 1796.  Leg 7286:V:9.
Joaquín Cossio.  Cadet, Real de Lima, 1796.  Leg 7287:XXIV:117.
José Cossio.  Alf, Mil Discip Dragones de Acari y Chala, 1796.  Leg 7286:I:24.
José Patricio Cossio.  Alf, Mil Discip Dragones de Arica, 1800.  Leg 7288:II:32.
Juan Cossio.  Cadet, Inf Real de Lima, 1796.  Leg 7287:XXIV:116.
Pedro Antonio Cossio.  Alf, Mil Discip ?Dragones de Arica, 1796.  Leg 7286:II:35.
Tomás Cossio.  Alf, Mil Discip Cab de Arnero de Chancay, 1800.  Leg 7288:III:24.
Mateo Cossio y Pedrueza.  Col, Mil Prov Discip de Arequipa, 1797.  Leg 7287:II:1.
Manuel Costa.  Lt, Inf Real de Lima, 1794.  Leg 7285:IX:51.
Francisco Costales.  Cadet, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Chota, 1797.  Leg 7287:XIII:59.
José Costales.  Cadet, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Chota, 1797.  Leg 7287:XIII:60.
Domingo Costanzo.  Lt, Inf, Real de Lima, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXII:27.
Eugenio Costilla.  Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Inf de Calca, 1797.  Leg 7287:V:26.
Juan Cotrina.  Sgt, 1st Comp, Mil Urbanas Dragones de Celendin, partido de Cajamarca, 1797.  Leg 7287:IX:30.
Juan JoséCovarrubias.  Capt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Inf de Abancay, 1793. Leg 7284:II:48.
Andrés Crespo.  SubLt de Granaderos, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Huánuco, 1796.  Leg 7286:V:20.
Hermenegildo José Crespo.  Lt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Arequipa, 1800.  Leg 7288:I:31.
Juan Antonio de las Cruces.  Sgt, Mil Discip de Cab de la Prov de Cañete, 1795.  Leg 7285:XIII:2.
José Gabino de la Cruz.  Lt, Mil Urbanas Cab de los territories de Huancabamba y Chalacó, Piura, 1800.  Leg 7286:XXVI:3
Manuel de la Cruz.  SubLt, Inf Real de Lima, 1793.  Leg 7284:IX:65.
Marcos Cruz.  Sgt, 1st, de Granaderos, Mil Discip de Inf de Cuzco, 1800.  Leg 7286:XXIV:36.
Antonio Cruzate.  Cadet, Inf, Real de Lima, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXII:111.
Francisco Cuba.  Sgt, Mil Discip Cab de Camaná, 1798.  Leg 7286:XIV:30.
José Santos de la Cuba.  SubLt de Bandera, Inf Real de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXII:74.
Antonio Cubas.  Sgt, Mil Urbanas Cab, San Pablo Chalaques, 1798.  Leg 87:XI:42.
Agustin Cuellar.  SubLt de Granaderos, Mil Discip Inf Española de Lima, 800.  Leg 7288:XXIII:42.
Esteban Cuellar.  Capt, Mil Discip Inf Española de Lima, 1800.  Leg  7288:XXIII:18.
Ramón Cuellar.  Sgt, Mil Urbanos de Cab de Moquegua, 1800.  Leg 88:XXVII:12.
Baltasar Cueto.  Sgt, Mil Prov Discip de Cab del Valle de Chincha,1795.  Leg 7285:XIV:44.
Francisco Cueto.  Alf, Mil Discip Cab de los Valles de Palpa, 1797.  Leg7287:XXXI:24.
Vicente Cueto.  Sgt.  Mil Discip de Cab de Ica, 1800.  Leg 7288:XX:41.
José Luciano Cueto y Segarra.  Lt, Mil Urbanas inf de Huamanga, 1800. eg 7288:XV:10.
Miguel Custodio Franco.  Lt, Inf, Española de San Juan de la Frontera de Chachapoya, 1792.  Leg 7284:VI:14.
Cipriano Chamorro.  Sgt, Mil Prov Discip Cab de Huanta, 1798.  Leg 7286:XVII:25.
Andrés Chavarri.  Sgt de Granaderos, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Cajamarca,1797.  Leg 7287:IV:30.
José Chavarria.  Alf, Mil Discip Cab Ferreñafe, 1797.  Leg 7287:XIV:38.
Juan Bautista Chavarria.  Lt, Bn Prov Mil Discip Inf Española de Lima, 1794.  Leg 7285:VIII:6.
Agustin Chaves.  Lt, Mil Prov Discip Cab, Valle de Chincha, 1797.  Leg 287:XII:15.
Alonso Chaves.  Lt, Mil Prov Discip de Cab del Valle de Chincha, 1795. 
Leg 7285:XIV:22.
Atanasio Chaves.  Sgt, Mil Prov Inf de Huanta, 1800.  Leg 7288:XVIII:61.
Bernardo Chaves.  Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Celendin, partido de Cajamarca, 1792.  Leg 7284:XV:33.
Bernardo Chaves.  Lt, Mil Prov Discip Cab del Valle de Chincha, 1797. Leg 7287:XII:14.
Bernardo Chaves.  SubLt, Mil Discip de Inf de Cuzco, 1800.  Leg 7286:XXIV:34.
Dionisio Chaves.  Sgt, Mil Urbanas Dragones de Celendin, partido de Cajamarca, 1792.  Leg 7284:XV:37.
Felipe Chaves.  Sgt, Mil Prov Discip Cab de Arequipa, 1797.  Leg 7287:II:51.
Francisco Chaves.  Portaguión, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Celendin, artido de Cajamarca, 1792.  Leg 7284:XV:6.
Gregorio Chaves.  Lt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Celendin, partido de Cajamarca, 1797.  Leg 7287:IX:13.
José de Chaves.  Sgt, 3rd Comp, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Celendin, partido de Cajamarca, 1797.  Leg 7287:IX:35.
Lorenzo José Chaves.  Capt, Mil Discip Inf Española de Lima, 1800.  Leg7288:XXIII:20.
Martin Chaves.  Sgt, Mil Prov Discip Cab de Arequipa, 1797.  Leg 7287:II:60.
Martin Chaves.  SubLt, Mil Discip de Inf de Cuzco, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXIV:25.
Pedro Chaves.  Cadet, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Celendin, partido de Cajamarca, 1792.  Leg 7284:XV:44.
Romualdo Chaves.  Capt, Comp sueltas de Mil Discip Inf del partido de hacao, Chiloe, 1800.  Leg 7288:XII:1.
Toribio Chaves.  Lt Col y Comandate, Comp de Cab Mil del partido de Snta, 1792.  Leg 7284:XXIII:1.
Esteben Chaves y Gamero.  Capt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Arequipa, 1800. Leg 7288:I:18.
José Chaves Gamero.  Ayudante Mayor, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Arequipa, 1800.  Leg 7288:I:30.
José Chavez.  SubLt, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Urubamba, 1797.  Leg 787:XXXVIII:32.
Juan José Cheverria. Cadet, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Lambayeque, 1797.  Leg 7287:XXII:34.
Manuel Chico.  Lt, Mil Urbanas Cab San Pablo de Chalaquez, 1798.  Leg 7287:XI:17.
Benito Chininos.  Lt, Mil Discip de Pardos y Morenos Inf de Lambayeque, 1797.  Leg 7287:XXIII:11.
José Domingo Chirinos.  Sgt, Mil Discip de Pardos y Morenos Inf de mbayeque, 1797.  Leg 7287:XXIII:17.
Francisco Chiritupa.  Cadet, Inf Real de Lima, 1794.  Leg 7285:IX:102.
Juan Rafael Coocano.  Cadet, Mil Urbanas Inf de Moquegua, 1797. Leg 787:XXVI:49.
Nicolás de Chopitea.  Cadet, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Arequipa, 1800.  Leg 7288:I:94.
Tomás Chorruca.  Cadet, Mil Discip Dragones de Arica, 1800.  Leg 7288:II:68.
(to be continued.)





Dancing in Combat Boots by Teresa R. Funke
Valley Fog by Ben Romero
The Nursing Home Resident by Raul Garza


Teresa R. Funke grew up waiting for her Mexican grandmother to share memories of her childhood in Saltillo and Monterrey . Her grandmother didn’t speak often about her past, but when she did, Teresa devoured her stories. And she’s been focusing on the stories of real people ever since. All of her books are inspired by people who’ve actually lived through the experiences she retells in her novels and children’s books. 

In Dancing in Combat Boots: and Other Stories of American Women in WWII, Teresa did something Ken Burns did not; she included a story about a Mexican-American woman’s wartime experiences. In her new children’s middle grade series The Home-Front Heroes, her third book will feature a Mexican-American boy as the main character. Teresa is hoping to find people who could share their memories of growing up during the war in San Antonio where her story is set or in any other predominantly Mexican-American community. Teresa also encourages people to send their wartime memories to her website at where she makes them available for school children and teachers.    

Below is the short story entitled “Las Estrellas de Oro” from the book, Dancing in Combat Boots.

                                           Las Estrellas de Oro

             ¡Ay! it’s hot in the store today. Reminds me of my last summer in Mexico , when I was five. And there she is in the corner, thinking I can’t see her. Thinking I can’t feel what she is doing. She doesn’t know about this instinct I’ve developed, but she also doesn’t know I understand. These ladies are not thieves, just mothers with too many children who haven’t learned to spread out their ration points. She sticks a two-pound bag of sugar into her bloomers, and I shake my head but say nothing. When she comes to the counter with her other goods, I simply charge her for the sugar. She looks as if the shame will kill her. I offer her son a candy. It is not rationed. I can hand it out as I please.

            Mexico . My only real memories are of the heat and the way my older sisters held their heads high when they walked along the boardwalks, the way my brothers talked of the things they would do, the fine girls they would marry, as they stocked shelves in my father’s dry goods store. They belonged in a place like San Antonio , a place far from the dust and poverty and violence of Saltillo , and they knew it even then. America is our home now, and we never complain. Our mother’s eyes no longer burn with worry.

            A colored kid comes in. He calls me Boss Lady, and I laugh. I’m 25 years old. By now, the only people I should be bossing are my own niños. But the war has changed things. I will not marry until it is over. Tomas understands that. He’s stationed at Camp Hood , and he knows I love him, but he won’t ask me to walk away from the store. He accepts I will not be one of those soldiers’ wives following her husband from base to base, dumped in some old, ugly place with bad plumbing and windows that won’t close. And I’m sure not going to be one of those heartbroken ladies with a kid or two and a husband off at war. My brother Alejandro is in Detroit working for the defense industry. He tells me I should join him. He tells me about the money I could make, but my place is here. Besides, how could I leave my mamá?

            I thought my brother Eduardo was loco when he volunteered me to run his store after he joined the Navy. “But, Eddie,” I said, “I have no experience.”

            “Oh, you’ll do all right,” he said.

            And I have. I’ll stay till the end of the war, till Eddie comes back.

            I do all the buying and selling and take care of the ration points. I make good money, forty-five dollars a week, but we’re not getting rich. The government won’t let us. Just yesterday, a woman planning her daughter’s quinceanera begged me to sell her extra sugar under the counter. She had the money, she said. “You have plenty of food in this store,” she said. “It’s not right for you not to share.”

            “And what if I get caught?” I said. “We’d lose our permit. Borrow some sugar from your neighbor. Use molasses. Don’t ask me this again.”

            Old Señor Zamora frowned when he heard how I had spoken to her. There are those in the neighborhood who think a young woman shouldn’t hold such a high post. But I believe people will take you for how you behave. I’ve always been seen as a lady. Like my sisters, I hold my head high. It’s a plus to have that respect, to have the respect shown our family.

            When Eddie married, my father gave him fifty dollars worth of merchandise to start his own grocery store. Eddie was ambitious. He had only half a dozen cans of sardines to start out, yet he had the nerve to put out flyers saying they were on sale. That half-dozen sold, and he dashed to the wholesale house to get more. He did the same with canned milk and sugar. When pinto beans were in season, he bought three times more than would sell, so when the other stores ran out, he’d still have some. Now ours is one of the biggest stores in the city, but I still greet most everyone by name.  

            The government inspector will show up any day now, but I’m not worried. There’s a new coat of paint on the walls. The shelves are clean, and the accounting and rationing books are in order. He will mark our store perfect condition again, and I will display it with a swell of pride. Eddie’s wife is in the back, tending to her seven children, and I’m grateful that, as much as there is to be done today, as humid as it is, as bad as my feet hurt, at least I’m not standing in her shoes.

Most days I work from seven to seven, but not today, gracias a Dios. We close early on Thursdays because the downtown stores stay open till nine. This is the day I usually do my shopping, the day I go to the movies or my sewing club. We eat pan dulce and embroider pillowcases and linens for our future, for the days we will marry our boys. On Thursday nights, I get away from this place, from the responsibilities and the feeling of being so tied down.

This is what I’m looking forward to as I go to the window to straighten the blue star that hangs there for our Eddie. Outside, the Martinez girls skip rope on the sidewalk. They are calling to me to come out and count for them. What they really hope is that I will jump. I laugh and tell them it’s too hot today; that I want to stay inside by the fan, but they plead with me from the doorway. “Run down to the corner and look for Manuel’s truck,” I tell them. “Tell me when he’s coming, and I’ll give you a piece of leche quemada.  My sister and her husband have run out of canned milk at their store and I have told them they can have some of mine. I’m hoping Manuel will take a look at the fan while he’s here. It has stopped oscillating. But before the girls can run off, there is a loud noise, like the buzz of an insect near your ear. The girls point toward the sky. “Señorita Vallejo,” they say, “¡mira!” I follow their tiny fingers to a place where a column of smoke rises. In an instant, I have the older girl’s shoulders between my hands.  

            “What did you see, Carolina ?”

            “A plane,” she says. “It went down behind that tall tree.”

            “Stay here,” I tell her. “Watch the store for me.”

            I should not leave, of course, not without calling for my sister-in-law, at least, but I have to see it. I have to feel this war that has wrapped around me like an old man’s serape but not yet touched me. I want to feel as though there is something I can do about it. We are surrounded by bases—Fort Sam Houston, Randolph Air Force Base, Kelly, Stinson Field. Navy seamen visit from Corpus Christi . We know them all, the soldiers, the airmen, the sailors. We dance with them at the USO near the Alamo . We sacrifice for them, giving up our nylon stockings for their parachutes, wearing the same shoes day after day, cutting the material for our dresses short to ensure they have enough fabric for their uniforms. Sometimes, though, like air or the spirit of God, you can be surrounded by something and still have to work to believe it’s real.

           Before I reach the crash site, I hear the news from the neighbors. An aviator on a training mission lost control of his plane. I see one piece of his body here, another there, and I cover my eyes and turn away. This I should not see. This was a man, someone’s son and brother. Mamá would say I should not have come. This is none of my business. But now that I’m here, I cannot move. I stand with the women, weeping and praying to Our Lady as some of the men put the body back together while others try to shield us from the view that will never leave us. Senora Cruz hands the men her rebozo and they cover the body with her shawl. Senora Cruz is known for her shawls. The women in the neighborhood come to her for advice or ask her to make special rebozos for their daughters.  We have given this young man the best we can offer and that finally loosens the bonds of our grief.

            I need to get back to the store, but my feet will not hurry, and my mind will not let go of an image of a mother or a young sweetheart replacing her blue star with a gold one. And now I cry as I walk down my street because I have failed before to notice just how many gold stars there are in the windows of my little neighborhood. I was foolish to think I could help that boy, that I could touch this war. It dances out of reach, like an evil spirit, taunting us.

            The Martinez girls are full of questions when I return, but they are too young to hear such things, so I shoo them away. I remind myself there is work to do before closing, that I can best honor the ones who die by doing my part. 

            My friend from Connecticut wrote once to complain, “There are no men here anymore. You have them all in San Antonio .” I think about that aviator and wonder if he could have been a Connecticut boy. Until today, I didn’t think much about where these young men came from or where they went when they left us. Of course, I knew most were here for only a short time, that it was our duty to entertain them, to see them off well, but I never let myself imagine what happened next.

             Tonight I will not go to my sewing club. I will say a rosary for that pilot and his family instead. I will remind God that I have already lost one brother to leukemia, another to an accident, and ask Him to please spare Eddie, to keep Tomas at Camp Hood and let no other woman tempt him. I will thank Him for my many blessings and ask Him to forgive my selfish heart.          

           I had thought we were such a powerful country this war would be over in a month. Now it is dragging on into years. I have been waiting for the war to end so I can start my life, a life with Tomas. Now I realize ésta es mi vida, this is my life. It is true I am not where I expected to be, not even where I always want to be, but coming home from that crash today, seeing the door to the store standing open, my sister-in-law with the baby on her hip, the customers waiting patiently at the counter, I know I am where I need to be. God has reminded me of that.

Teresa R. Funke
Author, Presenter, Writer's Coach

 Remember Wake --"A Book Club Must." This is the true story of the American men taken prisoner on Wake Island and the women they left behind.

Dancing in Combat Boots:and Other Stories of American Women in WWII -"Poignant and Inspiring."

Doing My Part -- Meet Helen Marshall, first of the Home-Front Heroes, in a new WWII series for readers age 8+.  

Teresa is very interested in interviewing Hispanics for this new series.  She is looking for the feelings and experiences of those who stayed at home during WWII and supported the war effort. Please feel invited to contact her.



by Ben Romero  



“It’s really froggy out there.”

“It’s the worst I’ve seen all season. The frogs are really out tonight.”

It was a play with words at the Fresno Postal Processing and Distribution Center. The night shift workers came in telling about their foggy driving experiences. Before coming to live in the central San Joaquin Valley, I knew nothing about fog. Oh, I’d heard about it and seen small pockets of it from time to time, but never had I felt it. In winter and early spring, visibility can drop to nearly zero, especially in rural areas. We lived in Madera Ranchos at the time.

I sat at the breakfast table feeling tired and sleepy.

“Another cup of coffee?” my wife offered.

“Yeah,” I yawned, as I held out my empty mug.

“What time did you get in this morning?”

“After five. We worked until 4:30, but it was so froggy coming home, that I almost got lost.”

My daughter, Victoria, sat listening politely to our conversation until she couldn’t stand it anymore.

“Don’t you mean ‘foggy’?” she blurted.


“I’m only in sixth grade, but even I know that it’s foggy, not froggy. You drive me crazy, always saying it wrong, Daddy.”

My wife gave Victoria a harsh look. “Apologize to your father.”

“It’s okay,” I said, rising from my chair and looking at my daughter. “Put on a jacket and take a walk with me to the mailbox. There‘s something I want you to see.”

A cold gust of wind caught us as we stepped onto our front porch. The eucalyptus tree leaves chattered as we walked down our long driveway. Without talking, both of us stayed on the gravel, avoiding the mud. The sky was overcast, threatening rain. The moisture in the air sent a chill deep into my bones. As we reached the mailbox I pointed down the road at our grove of trees, shrouded in fog.

“What do you see?” I asked.


“Now listen hard. What do you hear?”

Her eyes widened and her mouth formed a huge smile. “Frogs. Lots of them.”

“Driving slow last night in the fog with my window open, I could hear their songs for miles.”

She nodded her understanding.

“Now, how would you describe last night‘s weather?” I asked.

“I’d say it was pretty froggy,” she said.  

Ben Romero is the author of a series of books, each a collection of delightful little life-moments.  His books do not only include his experiences, but short stories gathered from family, neighbors, and friends.  His seventh book is Chicken Fluff and Other Stuff, An Anthology of Holiday Humor.

Ben received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Management with a minor in Spanish.  He is a part-time Adult Education teacher in an ESL program (English as a Second Language) and uses some of his writings as materials for teaching.
To contact Ben:





The Nursing Home Resident
by Raul Garza


I walked into the lobby,
There he was bold and daring,
Beckoning me to come over.
To while the time away.

I sat by his frail body,
Holding his icy hands,
Remembering better times,
Of this once agile, now withering man,

I felt a very moist tear,
Fall upon my warming hands
He asked if I was his long lost son, 
Or just a visitor to this lonely place.

He told me he was once a grandfather,
And a very great soldier,
Fighting in far far away lands,
And losing many of his best friends.

He told me of the many faces,
Young and old that daily crossed his mind.
He wishes with all his might,
He could place a name to them.

He touched my face very lovingly,
Looked at me with those deep brown eyes,
Turned his wheelchair and wheeled away,
He stopped, turned, told me not to
Forget to come back again.


The Nursing Home Resident
The Story by Raul Garza

I have been visiting nursing homes and facilities for nearly 15 years.  This does not make me a better person, but a better understanding and loving Christian.

I remember a person watching a cold, dirty, hungry and tattered child one Christmas Season.  That night that person questioned the Lord thusly: " Lord how come you let these terrible things happen to these children"  I thought you loved children."

The following night at his nightly prayer he again started, "Lord . .  " He then heard a voice that very patiently told him, "I did do something, I made you, didn't I?

Yes, even Alzheimers residents have feelings as as as frustrations.  They do not want your money or new pajamas, a new bath robe, etc.  All they want is to hold YOU, touch YOU, hug YOU.  All they want is to LOVE YOU.

Raul Garza, a Tejano is a retired teacher, administrator, and a very visible role model.  Born and raised in Kingsville, Texas, he graduated high school at 17; BA Degree at 20; MA Degree at 25.  Numerous awards for community service: Jefferson Medallion, Otis West Lifetime Service Award, El Dorado Club Lifetime Service Award, Student Council Hall of Fame at Alma Mater for Lifetime Achievement.





Mexico's 19th Century Romantic, samples of Vicente Riva Palacio
Quienes son los Puertorriquenos segun . . . Gabriel Garcia Marquez



Samples of Riva Palacio, 
Translation and commentary by Ted Vincent


The writings of Vicente Riva Palacio are considered in the romanticist school, in the sense that he wanted to inspire pride in the new nation of Mexico, in the manner that Goethe, the pioneer in German romanticism, sought to stimulated young Germans of his day to seek a unification of the scattered German principalities into a modern nation.  Riva Palacio’s writing was also a romantic in the other sense, that of lapses into passionate sentimental excess, two examples of which are presented below.

An example of Riva Palacio romanticism written in first person is displayed in his letter of July 20, 1854 to his future wife, Josephina Bros.  He was then 21, she 15.  The tone of the letter matches others in its volume of 137  testament of love that Vicente wrote to Josephina written between 1853 and 1854.

Romanticism in third person writing is displayed in a sample from Riva Palacio’s 1868 novel, “Calvario y Tabor” set during the early 1860s.  The heroine,  Alexandra, is from the Acapulco coast.  The region is described in sensual terms before the even more sensual depiction of Alexandra.

                                       Vicente Riva Palacio, a Josephina Bros


Adorable little Josephine, my first and only love, my breath, my life, the light of my heart.  Lucky me.  How could I describe for you the pleasure given through your letters of last night?  Oh, there are beautiful, bewitching, divine, my little angel.  You have much talent much.  You are an incomparable youth.  Tell me little Josephine.  It is I who inspires these things that are so beautiful?  Is it my love that enthuses you so, that provides the ecstacy of this celestial life into which you paint me?  Certainly, it is I, and 
I am the happiest on earth, he who has the glory to call you his, yes, because you are mine, mine as one with my heart, mine as my thought, because you my angel, you wished to consecrate with me, I to you, united to your future, your happiness, your soul, to my soul, 
to my coming spring, my happiness.  Ah, Josefinita, I give you thanks for such generosity.

Flower of my life, such good reason you have to say our lives will be celestial, divine.  You tell yourself of the days of the nights when we will be united.  Hear me, Little Josephine, how beautiful will be the nights, we will have a luxurious bed ( as that is for my J.) And when it is late we need not say as now, “Already the hour of separation has arrived,”, no, we can continue chatting from the middle of the night until the next day.  The last thing your eyes will see as they close for dreams will be your husband, radiant with happiness, and when you awake it will be to the most sweet and loving kiss.... 

Your impassioned

LETTER OF  JULY 20, 1854 

Vicente Riva Palacio, a Josephina Bros

 Adoradísima Josefinita, mi primero y único amor, mi aliento, mi vida, luz de mi corazón.  Bien mio: ¿cómo podré pintarte lo que he gozado con tus cartas de anoche?  ¡Oh!, están hermosas, hechiceras, divinas, angelito mío; tienes mucho talento, mucho, eres una joven incomparable.  Dime Josefinita, ¿soy yo el que te inspira esas cosas tan bellas?, ¿es mi amor el que te entusiasma así y te arrebata hasta esa vida celestrial que me pintas?  Sí, soy yo, yo el más feliz de la tierra, el que tiene la gloria de llamarte suya, sí, porque eres mía, mía como mi corazón, mía como mi pensamiento, porque tú, ángel mío, te has querido consagrar a mi como yo a ti, y unir tu porvenir, tu felicidad, tu alma, a mí alma, a mi porvenir, a mí felicidad. ¡Ah!, Josefinita, bendita seas por tanta generosidad. 

Flor de mi vida, cuánta razón tienes en decir que nuestra vida será celestial, divina.  Tú dirás que días, qué noches todo, todo cuando estaremos unidos. Oyeme Josefinita, qué bonito será en las noches, tendremos una recámara mí lujosa  (como que es para mí J.)  y cuando sea tarde no diremos, como ahora, “ya llegó la hora de separarse”, no, sino que podremos estar platicando hasta la media noche, hasta otro día.  Lo último que verán tus ojitos al cerrarse al sueno será a tu esposo radiante de felicidad, y te despertaré  con el beso más amoroso y más dulce....

tu apasionadísimo

CALVARIO Y TABOR, novel first published 1868

On the coast everyone sings and the 
tumbles of the sea awaken in the soul the 
desire for harmony. It is impossible to walk along the beach eying the eternal movement of the waters and listening to the eternal murmur of the waves without feeling in oneself an urge to mix your voice with the concert that the total scene offers to God.  It I s impossible to rest on a rock on the shore without breaking into song, and the heart offers always some memory of the passed 
of which one savors or weeps, mixed with notes f some song that your mind or body has associated with this memory, in such event that one has identified with it, that it is already the same as the song with which our mother gave in our baby’s milk to call dreams upon our eyes, and the tender notes of a favorite aire of the first woman in
the world that we love.  

Into the picture, without doubt, happy and light, comes a young woman of fifteen years, singing while walking on one of the paths through the woods heading in the direction of a spring of pure water, that is found between the grass.

She was a slender and graceful morena; her elegance was but that which is common to the women of these coasts; her eyes big black and bright, veiled by large curled eyelashes, her teeth exceedingly white and her gums full fleshed and fresh creating a delicious contrast with the perfect oval of her face, shaded with the most enchanting mat of black hair, she would give a person the passionate love of a painter, or the fevered tubercular brain of a poet.

Her white blouse had sleeves and collar literally transformed with waves of fittings, things which are the invention of the fair sex to stoke the fire of love and desire..this, along with a simple blue petticoat formed all her attire.  But around her neck shown bright bracelets of gold and coral and her hands flaunted a profusion of rings of gold with pearls, conchas and coral.  She was without doubt from a well off family, rich perhaps, but a worker none-the-less as were all the women of the coast, and for this she walked lightly carrying on her head a jug, which, by the laws of equilibrium, was maintained there without the help of the hands of the youngster.

If a painter could have seen her, Rebecca would have been born of his paintbrush, because there was nothing more elegant or more biblical to be found than these girls of the coast, who one could see coming and going to the arroyo, carrying grand jugs of water on their heads without disturbing the equilibrium even enough to lose a drop, such was the grace and lightness of their movements.  

            En la costa todo mundo canta: los tumbos del mar despiertan en el alma el deseo de la armonía; es imposible caminar en la playa mirando ese eterno movimiento de las aguas y escuchando ese eterno rumor de las olas, sin sentirse inclinado a mezclar su voz a aquel concierto que la inmensidad ofrece a Dios;  es imposible descansar sobre una roca en la orilla del mar, sin producir un canto; y el alma ofrece siempre algún recuerdo del pasado que saborear o que llorar, mezclado con las notas de alguna música que ha tomado ya cuerpo o alma en aquel mismo recuerdo, en aquel acontecimiento que se ha identificado con él, que es ya el mismo, como la canción que cantaba nuestra madre en nuestro lecho de niño para llamar el sueno sobre nuestros ojos, y las tiernas notas del aire favorito de la primera mujer que amamos en el mundo.  

Por eso, sin duda, alegre y ligera, caminaba cantando por uno de los senderos del bosque y con dirección a una vertiente de agua Purísima que se deslizaba entre la yerba, una joven como de quince años.  

Era una morena esbelta y garbosa’pero con ese garbo que es propio solo de las mujeres de las costas, sus ojos grandes, negros y brillantes, velados por largas y rizadas pestañas, sus dientes blanquísimos y sus encías encarnadas y frescas, hacían un contraste delicioso con el ovalo perfecto de su rostro al que sombreaba la más encantadora mata de pelo negro que haya podido imaginar el alma reflexiva de un pintor o el calenturiento celebro de un poeta.  

Una camisa blanca, cuya mangas y cuello estaban literalmente formados de encajes, de olanes y de esas mil curiosidades que inventa el sexo bello para soplar el fuego del amor o del deseo, y una sencilla enagua azul, formaban  todo su traje; pero en su garganta lucían hermosos collares de oro y de coral, y sus manos ostentaban con profusión sortijas y anillos de oro con perlas, conchas y corales.  Era sin duda la hija de una familia acomodada, rica tal vez, pero todas las mujeres en la costa trabajaban; y por eso esta caminaba ligera, llevando sobre su cabeza un cántaro que, por efecto de las leyes del equilibrio, se mantenía allí sin auxilio de las manos de la joven.

 Si un pinto hubiera podido verla, Rebeca hubiera nacido de su pincel, porque nada hay más gracioso y pudiera decirse más bíblico, que eses niñas de la costa que van y vienen al arroyo, llevando sin sujetarlos y en equilibrio sobre sus cabezas, grandes cantaros de agua, sin doblar la cerviz y sin perder por eso tampoco la gracia y la ligereza de sus movimientos.

Romanticizing of “morenas”and other dark skinned women is found in other Riva Palacio writings, such as his poem “Chinaco,” and the “Piratas del Golfo,.  Then too, in “Monja y Casada” the villain of the story is a “mulata” who repeatedly gets her way through her sensuality. Alejandra is identified later in “Calverio y Tabor”as a “mulata.”  

Quienes son los Puertorriqueños según . . . Gabriel Garcia Marquez

            No hay nadie que no conozca a un puertoriqueño o, por lo menos, conoce a alg uien que conoce a un puertoriqueño. De todas maneras, le preguntaron en una ocasión a un reconocido sabio maestro: 

¿Qué es un puertorriqueño?

Su respuesta fue la siguiente: ¡Ah, los puertorriqueños... que
difícil pregunta! Los puertorriqueños están! entre ustedes pero no son de ustedes. Los puertorriqueños beben en la misma copa la alegría y la amargura. Hacen música de su llanto y se ríen de la música. 

Los puertorriqueños toman en serio los chistes y hacen chistes de lo serio. No creen en nadie y creen en todo. ¡No se les ocurra discutir con ellos jamás!

Los puertorriqueños nacen con sabiduría. No necesitan leer, ¡todo lo saben! No necesitan viajar, ¡todo lo han visto! Los puertorriqueños son algo así como el pueblo escogido, por ellos mismos.

Los puertorriqueños se caracterizan individualmente por su simpatía e inteligencia y, en grupos, por su gritería y apasionamiento. Cada uno de ellos lleva en sí la chispa de genios y los genios no se llevan bien entre sí, de ahí que reunir a los puertorriqueños es fácil, pero unirlos es casi imposible.

No se les hable de lógica, pues eso implica razonamiento y mesura y los puertorriqueños son hiperbólicos y exagerados. Por ejemplo, si te invitan a un restaurante a comer, no te invitaron al mejor restaurante del pueblo, sino al mejor restaurante del mundo.

Cuando discuten, no dicen: No estoy de acuerdo contigo sino ¡Estas completamente equivocado!

Tienen tendencias antropofágicas; así entonces ¡Se la comió! Es una expresión de admiración y comerse un cable es señal de una situación critica. Llamarle a alguien come mierda es un insu lto lacerante. 

El puertorriqueño ama tanto la contradicción que llama monstruos a las mujeres hermosas y bárbaros a los eruditos. Si te aqueja alguna situación de salud te advierten ¡Mano, debiste hablar conmigo para llevarte donde un pana mío médico que es un caballo! 

Los puertorriqueños ofrecen soluciones antes de saber el problema. Para ellos nunca hay problema. Saben lo que hay que hacer para erradicar el terrorismo, encausar a América Latina, eliminar el hambre en África, pagar la deuda externa, quién debe 
ser presidente y cómo Estados Unidos puede llegar a ser una potencia mundial.

No entienden por qué los demás no les entienden cuando sus ideas son tan sencillas y no acaban de entender por que la gente no quiere aprender a hablar español como ellos. 

¡Ah, los puertorriqueños... No podemos vivir mucho con ellos, pero es imposible vi vir sin ellos! Dedicado con cariño a los habitantes del mejor país del Mundo...

Gabriel García Márquez

Sent by


History of Spanish Surnames 
Mixed Bicultural Marriages Hide the Hispanic presence
Historical figures reflect cross-cultural marriages on high social levels
Jewish and Irish Cousins
Laredo, Texas Cross Cultural Marriages
Portilla-Power-Welder Clan of Texas, Cross-Cultural intermarrying, 1800s
Livermore, California Cross Cultural Intermarriage
Surnames found on the Genealogy Chart of Californiano William G.Taylor
Photo of Arvizu Family Reunion 2000
What is a Hispanic?


The history of Spanish surnames is one of constant change.  Over the centuries many have developed and then disappeared. Many surnames developed from associations, such as:

Geographic location: Valle, Rios, Rincon, Mesa City
Where they lived: Madrid, San Pedro, De Leon
Occupation: Becerra, Madero, Caballero, Calderon
Physical Appearance: Delgado, Prieto, Blanco
Social Status: Rico, Reina
Character: Bravo, Bueno

There are approximately 60,000 Hispanic surnames in use throughout - Latin America and Spain, down from a total of about 240,000 surnames historically.*

This year Garcia was counted as among the top 10 United States most frequent surnames.  Top sixty-four surnames cover about 50% of the Hispanic population of the United States.*

According to Hispanic Surnames & Family History by Dr. Lyman D. Platt, the top  surnames frequently change places, as happened this year when the surname Rodriguez lost the top position as identified in 1996.*

The list below are the most popular Spanish surnames in the United States. The first three surnames change positions, most Hispanics will have one or more of the following in their family lines:

*Source: Hispanic Surnames and Family History by Lyman D. Platt, Ph.D. 
(c) 1996 Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc. Baltimore, MD


Mixed Bicultural Marriages Hide the Hispanic presence


One of the most frequent reason that Spanish surnames in the United States do not presently reflect accurately the Hispanic presence is due to the tradition of women taking their husband's surname.

Conversely, the children of these marriages, although half Hispanic, are not identified as Hispanics. It follows that Hispanic men marrying non-Hispanics will have wives carrying Hispanic names with no Hispanic blood, and children who are half non-Hispanics, carrying Hispanic names.

Photo: marriage of Meri Gaxiola and Albert Callender
May 13, 1917
HISTORICAL figures reflect cross-cultural marriages on high social levels
            Claudia Alta (Lady Bird) Taylor
Wife of Lyndon Baines Johnson (37th President of the USA)
was the daughter of Thomas Jefferson Taylor, Jr. and Minnie Lee Patillo 
who also had two other sons: Thomas Jefferson Taylor III and Antonio J. Taylor

George Washington's brother, Col. Samuel Ball Washington
had a descendant who settled in Piedras Negras, Coahuila, Mexico by 1850 
Adeodato Washington, U.S. Consul married Maria Severino Patino, 2 February 1881

            Earliest colonization of the Americas were by Spain and Portugal. Soon other nations followed. Although the Spanish language was evident during colonial periods, on both the east and west coast, popular U.S. history does not dv.'ell on that reality.
Sephardics (Spanish Jews)

The Sephardic presence on the east coast was extremely important to the development of commerce. In September 1654, twenty-three Sephardics arrived in New Amsterdam (New York), forming the nucleus of families who would experience three centuries of power and achievement. The heads of these families were Asser Levy, Abraham Israel De Piza (or Dias), David Israel Faro, Mose Lumbroso, Judith (or Judica) Mercado (or De Mercado, or de Mereda and Ricke (or Rachel) Nunes, and fourteen young people. Soon other Sephardics joined the original group, Salvador Dandrada, Jacob Henriques, Abraham de Lucena and Joseph d'Acosta, and Louis Gomez, Aaron Lopez.
Moses Levy became the first Jew (a Spanish Sephardic) in America to be elected to a public office, and also one of New York's earliest philanthropists, involved socially and politically. East coast Sephardics supported the Revolutionary cause with voice and purse.

By the late 1700s and early 1800s, German Jews, Ashkenazic, were present on the east coast and marriages between the two Jewish groups, Spanish elite and German immigrants commenced. Some Ashkenazic sounding surnames were actually Sephardic surnames changed during their centuries in Germany, Franco became Franks and Garcia became Gratz. However, names like Baruch and Loeb gained dominance and Spanish surnames lost their visibility on the east coast, until more recent history.

Irish also have close historical ties with Hispanics. As early as the 1500s, Spain welcomed Catholic Irish escaping English rule. During the colonial period many Irish achieved high positions of responsibility and respect in Spain. For example:

COUNT ALEXANDER O'REILLY was Governor of Spanish Louisiana.
JUAN O'DONOJU was the last Viceroy in Mexico.
RICHARD WALL, Minister, External Affairs and Secretary of State
for Ferdinand VI PEDRO ALONSO O'CROULEY, conducted the 1774 census
of Nueva Espana.

San Agustin Parish of Laredo, Marriage Book II 
Angel Sepulveda Brown and Glora Villa Cadena

March 10, 1859
Groom: a soldier, born in County Limerick in Ireland.
Bride: Laredo resident, daughter of Juan Garza and Juana Cortinas

June 6, 1870
Groom: native of Greenbale (sie) Ireland, and resident of Laredo, son of
Bernard Farrell and Annie dark
Bride: age 19, native and resident of Laredo, daughter of Apolonio
Ramon and Leaner Dovalina.

April 20, 1888
Groom : native of Edinburgo*, Prussia , son of Carlos Eberling and
Catarina Englar
Bride: daughter of Benito Garcia and the late Evarista Guerra. *Most
likely Edinburg, Scotland or Spanish -Edinburgo, Esocica.

Groom: native of New York, son of John and Josefa Hall Bride: daughter of the late Pablo Mendiola and Nieves Salinas.

October 21, 1889
Groom: age 31, native of Echalland, District of Vaud, Switzerland and
resident of Laredo, son of Josep Stephen Godfrey and Gabriela
Clemans, both deceased.
Bride: age 28, native of Rio Bianco and resident of Laredo, daughter of
the late Inocencio Ramlrez and Emiliana Esparza.

Groom: native of Gaul (France)* and resident of Laredo, son of the late Jean Marie Martin and Antoinette Tournis. Bride: native and resident of Laredo, daughter of Bartolome Garcia and Maria Carmen Benavides. *Entry in Latin gives the groom's birthplace as "Gala (Francia)."

Sept. 17,1817
Groom: age 32, native of Corneliano (sic)x Spain and resident of Laredo, son of the late Geronimo Fernandez and Maria Garcia Tunon. Bride: age 17, native of New Orleans, Louisiana and resident of Laredo 18 months, daughter of Antonio Guerra and Rosa Bassevi.

Groom: age 27, native of Hamilton, Canada and resident of Laredo 5 years, son of the late Peter Spohn and Anna Stinson. Bride: age 16, native of Cuatrocienegas, Coahuila, Mexico, 8 yrs {Laredo resident, daughter of Marina Estrada and Ana Maria Valdez.

November 4,1880
Groom: age 27, native of Middletown, Missouri, son of William Rice and
Maria Rice.
Bride: age 14, native and resident of Laredo, daughter of Vicente
Barrera and Juana Cruz de Barrera.


Texas family history began with Felipe Rogue de la Portilla, born in Burgos, Spain, 1768. Married Maria Ignacia de la Garza, of Mier, Mexico. Her family owned much land there. Natural children: Jose Calixto, Juan, Miaria Dolores, Jose Francisco, Maria Tomasa. They adopted Luciana and Maria Monica.

Dolores de la Portilla married (in 1832) James Power, who was born 1778 in Ballygarrett, Ireland. After Dolores died (in 1836) in childbirth. 
James Power married her sister, Tomasa Portilla (in 1837).
James  Power fathered.(in his first marriage:
James, Jr. (married Elizabeth Bower)
Dolores (married John Welder) who came in 1830 from Bavaria

His second-marriage offsprings were:
Tomasa (married Waiter Lambert)
Mary Agnes (married John Franklin)
Eliza (married E.J. Wilson)
Philip (married Mary Lousie Luque)

Livermore, California Cross Cultural Intermarriage


Robert Livermore was born in Springfield, Essex, England in October of 1799. He was serving as an apprentice to a mason when in 1816 at the age of 16 he decided to join the crew of an English merchant ship. It would be thirty-five years before his family would hear from him again. In 1822 Robert landed on the coast of California aboard the English trading ship "Colonel Young'*. He left the ship and took up residence near Monterey. In June of 1823 Robert was baptized at the Mission Santa Clara into the Catholic faith. By 1829 he was the Majordomo of the rancho of Don Jose Joaquin de la Torre near the mouth of the Saunas River. la the early 1830's Robert located in the Sunol Valley where he built an adobe and raised stock and grain with his partner Jose Noriega. The land grant for Rancho Las Positas, near what is now Livermore, was granted to Robert Livermore and Jose Noriega in 1835. Robert would later buy out his partner's half of the grant.

In 1838 Robert Livermore married Josefa Higuera Molina at the mission San Jose. This was Josefa's second marriage, her maiden name being Higuera. Josefa's father, Jose Loreto Higuera, owned the Tularcitos Rancho and her half brother, Fulgencio Higuera, owned the Agua Caliente Rancho. These ranches were located next to each other just south of mission San Jose. Some accounts of Robert Livermore's life state that he worked at the Tularcitos Rancho and that is bow he met his future wife.

In approximately 1835 the adobe house that Robert and Josefa would live in on Rancho Las Positas was built In 1850 a wooden two story house was shipped around the horn and constructed on a hill not far from the adobe. The adobe was then rented to Nathaniel Greene Patterson who used it to establish a small hotel, the first place of entertainment in the valley.

Surnames found on the Genealogy Chart of William G. Taylor
descending from his
demonstrates that Somos Primos 




















"My Great, Great, Great Grandfather, Francisco Salvador Béjar, born in 1772 in Tepic, Mexico.  He  came to Alta California in 1790.  Francisco Salvador was sent under contract with the Catholic Church, as an artisan and a Soldado de Cuero. In 1798 he married Maria Josefa Benita López in Mission San Gabriel. The marriage resulted in five daughters and eight sons. He and his wife were the founders of the Béjar/Véjar family in Southern California.  I am proudly one of over 1000 descendants of this union.   William G.Taylor. "  

Somos Primos, December 2001

Editor: Bill Taylor was a friend and supporter for many years of SHHAR/SomosPrimos. He passed away before we could make a connection between my great great great grandmother Maria Juana Garcia de Bejar and Bill's lines.    


Photo: Pedro Maria Vejar 
Born in Los Angeles 1842 and died in 1884.


Arvizu California Family Reunion 2000  
The Arvizu surname has been recorded in the Southwest as early as the 1500s. Captain Tomas De Arvizu (also spelled Alvizu or Alviso), was born in 1594, and left Mexico City in 1625 to help escort a wagon train to the Nuevo Mexico territory.  An Arvizu family migrated to California in the late 1700s and early 1800s. 

John Arvizu has contributed Arvizu information in numerous Somos Primos issues.  For more on the Arvizu surname and Arvizu families in California, do a Somos Primos keyword search Contact researcher John Arvizu at




Five factors contributing to the confusion:

(1) Many Hispanics/Latinos in the United States are actual descendants of the Spanish colonization, and have direct ancestral roots in the present day United States, dating back over 500 years. Evidence of this fact of continual presence is little known in the United States.

(2) Many Hispanics/Latinos have indigenous roots. During colonization in the Americas, their European ancestors intermarried with natives all over the world, the Americas, Caribbean, Africa, Asia, Hawaiian Islands, Philippines, and Indonesia. Some descendants have lost their Spanish surnames, and some descendants carry Spanish surnames, but with indigenous bloodlines.

(3) Hispanic roots are multi-racial and include, in addition to Spanish and Indigenous, many European, Arabic/Jewish, Black, and Asian lines.

(4) Hispanic roots are multi- national. Whether for political or economic reasons, continual waves of migrations have brought and continue to bring Spanish-speaking heritage individuals from all over the world into the U.S.

(5) In addition, individuals and groups have entered into the United States, from all over the world, with a great variation in educational and economic levels. Thus transition into the America mainstream, varies. Hispanic/Latinos have the highest level of cross-cultural marriages.

Social results: 

There are no correct stereotypes for
                            what a Hispanic is . . .

Surnames do not express 
                            what a Hispanic is . . .

Physical appear does not express 
                            what a Hispanic is . . . 

Dominant language does not express what
                             a Hispanic is . . .  

Photo (circa 1927-1928): 
Samuel Rodriguez of Viola Rodriguez Sadler
16-17 year olds Western Union Delivery Man




April 26: How to Do Hispanic Family History Research
April 12: Breath of Fire Latina Open House
8th Annual Cesar E.Chavez State Holiday Held at Delphi Park, March 22



Saturday April 26
674 S. Yorba
Orange, CA 

For all of you who have been wanting to start your own family history research, 
this is a wonderful opportunity to get started.

Thirty-Five plus classes will be offered, offering a global approach to family research.
A track specifically for Hispanic research will be part of a full day conference on family history research.  No cost for the workshops.  The syllabus may be purchased.

Mike Brady, Spanish teacher and researcher will teach a Beginning class in Spanish 
and another in English. 

Three SHHAR Board members will conduct classes:
Intermediate and Advanced Research: Cris Rendon
How to Read Spanish Documents: Viola Sadler
Searching on the Internet:  Mimi Lozano
For registration and information, go to:


Breath of Fire Latina . .  Open House, April 12 

BOFLTE Announces"New Plays Festival"

Submission Deadline: June 1st
Submit Scripts to:  BOFLTE-New Plays
PO BOX 74324
San Clemente, California 92673

(Electronic submissions will not be accepted) Guidelines: plays by Chicano/Latino playwrights; no previous professional productions; no published plays accepted; staged readings or college productions accepted

 Notification: August 1st. 
4-6 Finalists will be selected.

 Production Considerations: Maximum 10 cast members (prefer under 6), modest production demands. 

.Frequecy: Annual

Types of Materials: full-length plays, one-act plays.




Submission Procedure: two copies of script; scripts will not be returned
Facilities: Black Box Space. 40-50 seats  

Festival Dates:
Finalists will have staged readings as part of the festival weekend beginning August 29-31, 2008. The winner will be announced on August 31st with a possible future production. Re-writes may be requested.

The 8th Annual Cesar E. Chavez State Holiday was held at Delhi Park, March 22  

The City of Santa Ana takes pride in hosting the only event in Orange County that celebrates the legacy of the Cesar E. Chavez, a man who is recognized as a great leader, humanitarian, and authentic hero who serves as a role model to millions around the world.  As the co-founder and president of the United Farm Workers (UFW), Cesar E. Chavez devoted his life to raise awareness of the plight of farm workers in this country.  His lifelong struggle to eliminate the unhealthy and intolerable working conditions that farm workers endured is especially admired because of his commitment to non-violence.  Beginning in 2001, March 31st became an official state holiday for Cesar E. Chavez.    The 8th Annual Cesar E. Chavez State Holiday at Delhi Park, on Saturday, March 22, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., with a full program of speakers, entertainment, and family fun.  A community resource fair will be held at Delhi Park to help share important resources and information with the over 800 expected event attendees.



April 10: Frida Kahlo in color by Gregorio Luke
Thousands honor '68 walkouts by Mexican American students
Armando Torres Morales  


a new multimedia presentation

by Gregorio Luke

April 10 - 8 p.m. 



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            Gregorio Luke
P.O. Box 531
Long Beach, CA 90803  

Thousands honor '68 walkouts by Mexican American students.
Marchers gather in L.A. to commemorate the 'blowouts' that helped launch the Chicano Movement.

By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer, March 9, 2008,1,5259023.story  


As she joined about 2,500 marchers striding through neighborhoods east of downtown Los Angeles on Saturday with placards that read, "Brown and Proud: I'm the next generation," 17-year-old Santa Monica High School senior Jennifer Galamba said, "We're here to honor heroes and a defining moment in our history."

Galamba was among those who turned out for a 40th anniversary celebration of the student walkouts and marches at five high schools -- Roosevelt, Garfield, Wilson, Belmont and Lincoln -- that helped ignitea powerful new force on the American political scene: the Chicano Movement.

The event featured a 1.5-mile march from Lincoln High School to Boyle Heights' Hazard Park that included hundreds of youths and dozens of the original student activists whose actions unfolded into the first act of mass militancy by Mexican Americans in Southern California. Later this year at the park, a granite boulder with a plaque is to be dedicated to the courage and legacy of the students now known as "Los Niños Heroes."

In March 1968, hundreds of high school students walked out of the predominantly Mexican American high schools, demanding better teachers, smaller classes and equal opportunity in higher education. They did not know they were launching a civil rights crusade that would affect generations to come.

Within days, close to 22,000 students, some flanked by Brown Beret bodyguards, were participating in walkouts, speeches, picketing, clashes with police and emergency school board sessions. Margarita Cuaron was a 15-year-old junior at Garfield High when she strode out of English class, picked up a bullhorn, climbed on top of a car and began shouting, "Walkout! Walkout! Walkout!"

A few days later, she was arrested in the principal's office on misdemeanor charges of disturbing the peace, then suspended for a month. When Cuaron returned to school, her history teacher chastised her in class. "You should be ashamed of yourself," said the teacher, who flunked her.

The events "left an indelible mark on me," said Cuaron, 55, now a registered nurse with the Highland Park office of the L.A. County Department of Mental Health. "It was like living in the eye of a torrential and profound storm."

The man of the hour Saturday was Sal Castro, a former social studies and government teacher at Lincoln High who walked out of class with his students. Before that, students said they wanted to express their frustrations by holding a "blowout," or walkout, Castro recalled. His response: "Organize. What do you need?"

A walkout committee was established at four of the schools. With help from college students, the high schoolers made signs and printed demands. The original plan was to present their concerns -- and the threat of a walkout -- to the Board of Education.

But on March 1, the principal at Wilson abruptly canceled performances of the high school play, "Barefoot in the Park," saying it was unfit. That was the last straw. "Fearful that the cops would come down on us, I told the college kids, 'I need you for your heads,' " Castro recalled. "They thought I meant brain power. But I said, 'I literally need your heads in the way in case cops start swinging batons on students.' "

College recruits included Carlos Muñoz Jr., who was among 13 people arrested and indicted on misdemeanor charges by a grand jury for conspiracy to disturb the peace. All were later exonerated, said Muñoz, 68, now professor emeritus at UC Berkeley and author of books including "Youth, Identity, Power: The Chicano Movement."  
"At the moment we were in the midst of making history, we weren't aware of it," Muñoz said. "We were acting on raw feelings. I had gone through the public school system in Los Angeles at a time when Mexican American students were automatically labeled wood shop majors."

"I was an honors student and president of the student body at Belmont High and thinking I was all set for a university," he said. "Yet I had not been given any science or algebra courses, so I ended up having to first go to a community college."

A year after the walkouts, UCLA's enrollment of Mexican American students soared from 100 to 1,900. Over the following decade, college enrollment increased from 2% to 25% nationwide. Many walkout participants went on to successful careers in politics, academia and the arts.

Paula Cristostomo is director of government and community relations at Occidental College. Ray Santana is an attorney in the San Gabriel Valley. Cassandra J. Zacarias is a high school teacher in Santa Fe Springs. Then there is Bobby Verdugo, 57, a social worker who works with teenage fathers.

As marchers gathered Saturday on North Broadway with flags of both the United States and Mexico, he recalled, "Man, we were scared to walk out of class because of the possible consequences. If anyone tells you they weren't scared, they are either lying or forgot a lot."

"But we were fed up, you know?" he said. "A year earlier, a teacher had said to me, 'Verdugo, you have three strikes against you: You're an underachiever, you're lazy and you're Mexican.' "

"Well look at me now," he said with a smile. "I'm a social worker who lectures across the nation, and today I'm marching with thousands."

Sent by Dr. Carlos Muñoz, Jr.

Armando Torres Morales, DSW
September 18, 1932  -  March 12, 2008

After a long bout with cancer, Dr. Armando Morales passed away on March 12 at his home in Stevenson Ranch with his wife and family by his bedside.

Armando, the son of Lupe and Robert Morales, was born and raised in East Los Angeles.  His mother served on the US Commission on Aging under President Jimmy Carter, and his father was a founding member of the East Los Angeles Community Service Organization.  The Morales family was instrumental in the campaign to elect Edward Roybal to the LA City Council in 1949, which marked the birth of Latino politics in
California. Following graduation from Roosevelt High School, Armando served in the military during the Korean War.  His upbringing and experiences as a young man inspired his future as a scholar and social activist whose focus was helping the disenfranchised
from all walks of life.

Dr. Morales achieved the rank of Professor IX, the highest level attainable, Professor of Great Distinction in Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the Neuropsychiatric Institute & Hospital, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.  He was appointed
to the faculty in 1971 following his graduation from the USC School of Social Work where he earned his Master’s degree and became the first Latino in the nation to earn a Doctorate degree in social work.  In 1966, he co-founded the first community mental health clinic for Latinos in the nation in East Los Angeles. In 1972 he established the first "store front" satellite outpatient mental health program in California for Latino veterans as a consultant to the Veterans Administration.  From 1977 to 1990, he founded and directed the first psychiatric clinic created to serve Spanish-speaking patients at the UCLA
Neuropsychiatric Institute.  It was the first of its kind ever established in the entire U.C. medical system.

His textbook, Social Work: A Profession of Many Faces, 2006 (with co-author Bradford W. Sheafor),  now in its eleventh edition, enjoys the distinction of being the longest surviving major textbook in the history of social work since it's original publication in 1977
and has been used by more than 150,000 students.  He is also the author of Ando Sangrando (I am Bleeding): A Study of Mexican American Police Conflict, a book
considered one of the seminal works of the Chicano political movement.  He was co-editor of The Psychosocial Development of Minority Group Children (Brunner/Mazel).  He published nearly 90 articles, chapters, and papers on the subjects of mental health,
police-community relations, social work, urban riots, homicide, suicide, filicide, gang violence, homicide intervention and prevention, and the assessment and treatment of female and male juvenile and adult offenders.

From 1975 through 1977, Armando was the President of the Board of Directors of the Western Center of Law and Poverty in Los Angeles, and while there, was a primary architect behind the landmark legal case “Serrano vs. Priest.”  As a mental health consultant to parole officers and psychotherapist to parolees beginning in 1977, Dr. Morales provided over 12,000 treatment sessions to Latino, non-Hispanic white, African American and Asian American gang members and their families through his affiliation with the California Youth Authority. As an expert Superior Court witness, he testified in 40 criminal cases in California, Florida, Oregon, and Washington, including the controversial 1993 Reginald Denny beating trial in Los Angeles.  Dr. Morales was also called upon as a
consultant to US Senators, Congressmen, State Legislators, and Los Angeles City Councilmen.

From 1979 to 2000, Dr. Morales served as Director of the Clinical Social Work Department and Director of the Clinical Internship Training Program at the UCLA
Neuropsychiatric Institute.  Outside of UCLA, beginning in 1971, he presented 429 lectures, workshops, and 85 keynote addresses at professional conferences throughout the United States, Mexico, and Spain.

A devoted family man, Armando leaves behind his wife, Dr. Cynthia Torres Morales, daughter Christina Mia, 13, two adult sons from his first marriage, Rolando and Gary, daughter-in-law Soo, 3-year old twin grandsons Vincent and Rocco, a large extended family, and many friends.  He loved being a father and took special joy in his daily interaction with Christina. Active in her school and extracurricular endeavors, he
was also the quintessential homework coach who took pride in her every accomplishment.

Throughout his life, Armando was an avid athlete. During his service in the Air Force in Korea, he trained as a boxer and was the undefeated Far East Air Force Bantam Weight Champion in 1952 and 1953.  He was an excellent hurdler, runner, cyclist, and skater.

Music was also a lifelong passion for Armando.  He mastered the classical guitar, composed music, and in later life learned to play the keyboard.  He performed at the Troubadour in West Hollywood as well as the Ice House in Pasadena.  He especially loved to perform for friends and family.

Just before he died, Armando came close to finishing his last book, a humorous memoir of his life, closely edited by his son Rolando.  Armando Morales embodied the true essence of a Renaissance Man, defined as one who sought to develop skills in all areas of
knowledge, in physical development, in social accomplishments, and in the arts.  He will be deeply missed by all whose lives he touched.

FUNERAL SERVICES were held at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, 555 West Temple Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012 on Wednesday, March 26, 2008 at 9:30

Armando requested that any DONATIONS given in his honor be made to Homeboy Industries, 130 West Bruno Street, Los Angeles CA 90012.  Located in Boyle Heights, the neighborhood in which Armando was raised, Homeboy Industries was founded by Father Gregory Boyle in response to the civil unrest in Los Angeles to create businesses that provide training, work experience, and above all, the opportunity for rival gang members to work side by side.  “Nothing stops a bullet like a job.”  Make your check out to Homeboy
Industries and include a note saying the donation is made in honor of Dr. Armando Morales.  You will receive a Tax ID number to use for tax deduction purposes


Celebrating the 
100 year Old Diary 
Completed and closed on April 1, 1908


Bea Armenta Dever, SHHAR Board member and oldest child of her family inherited the responsibility of caring for the diary of her great great grandfather, Lucas de la Fuente.

We can enjoy the insight shared by Lucas de la Fuente in his hand-written diary in which he recorded the marriages, births, and death of family members, plus other important events.   

Bea has traced her mother's family De la Fuentes back to 1783 in Mexico:

Miguel Maria De La Fuente 
       m. Margarita Corella.
Son: Ramon De La Fuente (b.1813)
       m. Francisca Saldamando
Son: Lucas De La Fuente (b.Ures, 
       Sonora, MX) m. Camen Villa
Son: Enrique De La Fuente (b.23 July,
       1878, Guaymas, Sonora)
        m. Teresa Contreras

In 1916 the family moved to Nogales, AZ and then to California in 1925, a family  of six children.



Photo:  March 31,1929
Enrique V. de la Fuente and Teresa Contreras de la Fuente
in front of the Bojorquez residence
1218 W.Main St.  
Alhambra, California

Their daughter, Teresa De La Fuentes married Ramon Armenta in Los Angeles on the 3rd of Sept,1932.  

Beatrice Armenta Dever, was the first child of eight to be born to Teresa and Ramon.  

Bea's mother, Teresa shared a story about their Great Grandfather Lucas.  Lucas and his brothers were captured by Indians as they crossed the river.  The boys were rescued by a regiment of soldiers.  

Below is a personal account of the French invasion of Mexico in 1864 as recorded by Lucas de la Fuente. 

                                                      Hermosillo    April 1, 1908



Book of Memories that I wrote so that my children can remember and it is to remain with my son, Enrique, this same date.



Lucas de la Fuente wrote his memories just two months prior to his death.  His son, Enrique, recorded his death as follows: 


“My beloved father, Lucas de la Fuente, died in Hermosillo, Sonora, of stomach cancer the 12th of June 1908 at 9 PM and was buried on the 13th at the age of 60 years, 7 months, and 25 days.”


Enrique continued recording family history in his father’s book.  Enrique’s daughter, Teresa de la Fuente Armenta, translated her grandfather’s book and continued recording family history.







Dear Children


Today 1st of April 1908, I count 60 years, five months, 20 days, because I was born the 18th of October 1847.


There is nothing in my life I can tell you that would be interesting because it just rolled on without any episodes still I’ll concentrate and give reference to my median age the most intimate of it.


My parents were very poor, but the good society in which we lived, always respected them and granted them consideration for their honesty and propriety.


My father was always a government employee in the State (also in another place) and he retired after presenting proof to Congress of 44 years of service without interruption.   This was my father of whom I am highly honored to be called his son.


I lived the beginning years in the most revolutionary era that the State experienced.  I had very little schooling.  At 15 years old, I was an employee of the Congress, my immediate boss being my father, and little later ascended as an employee of the Tribunal of Justice.  The Government had to constantly attempt to suppress the local rebels also the tribes Yaqui, Seris, and Apache that every day would attack travelers causing a thousand tragedies.  Everyone without exception lent their services as soldiers, keeping guard for public security including the senators and ministers.


In 1864 we were notified that the French who had invaded the country were coming in warships to Guaymas.  The Governor hastily called the National Guard into action who were concentrated at the port to defend it from invasion.  For this reason I was named “little official” and was placed in charge of 100 men in Ures to lead to Guaymas, which I did, according to the instructions I had received.


At last the French arrived in Guaymas the 29th of March of the same year 1865 and because they feared the bombarding of the town all the services left and we were camped in a place called “The Passion”.  On the 22 of May of this same year and at 6 AM we were attacked by the French at camp and we were placed in complete dispersion.  In these bad conditions, we arrived in Hermosillo, where the men of honor swallowed the shame of the most dishonorable defeat registered in the history of the Republic.


The many enemies of General Pesqueira, blamed him for this fiasco, but that is not so, among the lesser chiefs there was discord and treason.  The fault of the General in charge was not to remedy the cause in time.


One time in Hermosillo we were dispatched to fight against a group of traitors that had been seen in the Sonora River, District of Arizpe.  This battle was made on the orders of Colonels Angel Corella, and at the end of Jun 1865, we met with the enemy Imperial Salvador Vasquez, who immediately engaged us in battle in a place called “La Galera” very near Cumpas, and since our armies already were disgusted with what happened at “The Passion”, they rebelled and 400 men went to the enemy and left only 18 officials of which eleven were taken prisoners.  The rest arrived in Ures in dispersement where the Governor was reconstructing his small army and war equipment that he had left.  I was among these last officials.


On the 13th of July, that is to say one month after our defeat, the order was given by the fort General to fire several cannons in solemnity of the defeat of the French (The Count Rauset de Borbon) in Guaymas in 1865.  As the few volleys were shot, the enemy traitor appeared and occupied the first position at the Plaza de Ures where the battle was continued far into the night of the same day.


The enemy was encamped 1100 meters from Ures, each night liberals would desert and join the traitors until the Plaza was deserted.  General Pesqueira retreated with the few chiefs and officials that were left and I was among them.  The large part of the chiefs and officials that were left were held ten leagues from Ures so that each could decide what was best to do.  I went to Ures which was occupied by the Imperials; my parents lived there and we thought the revolution in Sonora was over at least that was what we believed.


Once I arrived in Ures, one of the chiefs invited me to go with him to join General Rosales, who was fighting for the State of Sinaloa.  Since I was very young and without funds the chief offered to pay all expenses until we could incorporate with the liberals.


The day we arrived In Hermosillo this individual abandoned me without any funds but a Frenchman that was established here in a big pharmacy and mercantile had me brought to his establishment where I remained several months full of gratitude for my boss (Alfonso Soule).


After three months of working as a salesman in said company, there appeared in this town a certain Joaquim Contreras who took over the charge of the jail.


This announcement was aided by Attorney Ygnacio Ramirez and Mr. Francisco Serna, the 1st of good faith and the 2nd to save his brother-in-law, Mr. Dionisio Gonzales, who was being held with a few others.   With the voice and great interest that Attorney Ramirez took, in three days, 500 men were recruited and were very well armed and equipped.  Five days after the announcement, Contreras left with 300 infantrymen to meet Governor Santiago Campillo, who was coming to attack this plaza.  Serna arrived and was placed in charge of the plaza, with 200 dragons at his command.  But at dawn of this same day, Contreras returned as planned with Serna, who had already reduced the cavalry into small groups and caballeros.  The plaza was deserted.  Contreras had nothing left but to leave from there to look for General Garcia Morales and join him, which he did, this being the last complete defeat in the town of Naiori (District of Ures).


I, with my boss, Soule, who knew what had to happen, went to Ures because the administration I had joined was going to again arrest the officials that they could find. This did not happen to me because the Secretary of the Governor was Mr. Francisco Gomez Mayen (my brother-in-law).  All the newly arrested officials were placed in groups in firing squads in Guaymas, while I, together with others, stayed in Ures, carefully watched and persecuted by the traitors because General Garcia Morales did not rest one moment, always gaving them a stubborn battle.  While this was happening, General Pesqueira remained very seriously ill in Calabazas, U.S.


A little after the above happenings, General Angel Martinez came to Sonora through Sinaloa bringing his notorious revolutionaries that like their chief enjoyed the reputation of first class  robbers like nobody else.  This one soon got in communication with Generals Pesqueira and Garcia Morales.


They took as place of reunion the town of Fecoripa and there they combined means to attack the traitors and cited the same town for the reunion of all the groups of liberals that were dispersed in the State.  With these a considerable column was formed to confront the enemy, who counted with all the best elements and soldiers of the Empire.


At the end of August of 1866 one day at 10 at night Mr. Manuel Velez Escalante (Sub Profecto Actual de Ures) appeared personally at my home and told my father that together with his sons, he was expatriated and had only ½ hour to comply with that edict.  Adding that with his sons, Donaciano, Lucas and Manuel, he should present himself in military court in Guaymas so, as liberals, they should be judged and so that he wouldn’t have any problems on the road he was to  bring his passport, which he gave him and left on the spot.


Immediately and very content (because the expatriating, we received was a great service from the Empire) with the help of my mother who was a very strong lady, she readied two knapsacks, one my brother, Manuel, took and the other I took and with 75 centavos that my mother gave us, we started on the road at 10 ½ PM in a very dark and with the alleys very full of water.  My poor father with his cane in one hand and very content, took the lead and we made our trip full of laughter, because my father when he saw a white spot, would jump towards it thinking it was a dry spot but would land in the biggest puddles.


This way we travelled until 1 AM when we arrived at a little hacienda of a friend of ours.  There we slept and the following day very early we resumed anew the march toward Hermosillo and for lunch we spent one quarter for “coyotas”.  At noon sharp, we had to go through a dip in the river in order to reach a hacienda called “El Cavilan” for which we had to strip because it carried a lot of water.  But before we crossed, we had breakfast each eating one “coyota.”  When we passed to the other bank, we dried ourselves, and we replaced our clothing to continue our journey; in this act we were surprised by Mr. Miguel Gandara calling halt and demanding the passport, and while looking for this document, we were surrounded by the Indians that accompanied Mr. Gandara, but when Mr. Gandara recognized my dad, he became very friendly and apologetic and insisting we accompany him to eat at his home. We went and passed by a bunch of 200 Indians that were in constant vigil waiting for enemies from all directions.  We finished eating that consisted of casuela and tepaparis, Mr. Gandara asked permission to leave to check on something in relation to his property.


As soon as this gentleman left, and without saying goodbye, because it wasn’t convenient, we resumed our journey, paying one of the Indians the five reales that we had left, so he would guide us through the Sierra.  The road we had to travel that afternoon was short and we were able to reach San Jose de Gracia early to hacienda of the Encisos, friends of ours who received us in their home lovingly.  There we slept and the following day in the afternoon awaiting the departure of a little old man who was going to the Maquinaria de “Los Angeles” so we could join him and incorporate again with the first squad of liberals that we met.


It must have been six in the afternoon, when some soldiers appeared at the gate of the house and at first we thought they were imperialists, but among them were a few that had infiltrated under my orders.  They told me right away what had happened, telling that that afternoon Mr. Gandara had been defeated and in complete dispersement and then discarded the chief to go to Hermosillo and join the cavalries of General Pesqueira.   Asking him who was his chief, he told me Chalia Andrade and since this was my comrade of arms, I sent him word that my dad and three sons were being deported and we needed four saddled horses to join him which he personally brought to us and we started out on our way while a driving rain fell on us.  That night we spent ambushed until the next day and in the morning we left for Hermosillo.  In Chino Gordo we met General Pesqueira as he marched toward Ures with 300 horses to join Generals Pesqueira and Martinez.


The 3rd of Sept of 1866 we spent at the Maquinaria de Los Angeles and the next day we joined the main part of the army at Santa Rita (three leagues from Ures).  Meanwhile General Lamberg who had just joined General Fanori and with all the strength of the forces and was already catching up to the liberals.  While this was going on and the forces took water, Generals Pesqueira, Martinez and Colonel Alcantara conferred as to where would be the most convenient point for commencing the action, and having decided on the hills of Guadalupe, they hurried to the site.


The enemy that at that moment came into sight, believing that we were in dispersion, and blood thirsty ran in pursuit, but because of some arrangement that had taken place, they encountered well organized forces under Colonel Silva who opened fire against the enemy, dying in the act the General in Chief (Lamberg).  With which they were overcome in great demoralization and after two hours, more or less of the battle Campol, the field was ours and the enemy in complete dispersement.  That evening we didn’t break camp because it was raining in torrents.  The next day the 5th at the sound of rivalry we started the march to Ures, a distance of two leagues, and as the traitors occupied the house of corrections and several forts, the fighting continued all day and night until 3 in the morning when they abandoned the plaza and fled in different directions.  The 5th and 6th several executions and assassinations were committed on part of our forces.


On the 9th we left on orders of General Garcia Morales with several squads towards Montezuma where several chief traitors had gone and on the 12th at 1 PM we entered the town where Colonel Antonio Feran y Barrios was placed in front of the firing squad with a few others.  On the 16th we continued the march to Guaymas and we went to confront the Yaquis—fight that lasted three months returning to Hermosillo where we were freed and the troops of Generals Martinez and Davalos embarked toward Queretaro following the shooting of General Fanori and sixteen of his companions.


Having been relieved of duty, I went to Ures with my parents, returning next as a government employee.  A short time after, there were two companies established in Guaymas that made coins of Federal character under the orders of General Morales who was Military Chief of the State.  This Chief named the officials for which he invited me; he requested I place my resignation as employee and made me Fenicenta Ayesdante of said companies.


As a soldier of these companies I remained two years, advancing said companies as the 2nd and 4th and 8th Degree Battalion official without moving out of Guaymas.  When faced with the inactivity, the troops rebelled against the command.  I found myself involved in a personal problem with the Commandante of Interior of the Plaza (Mr. Fernando Galvez) and having been married only six days and finding myself well liked by my troops, I had the opportunity to give good services to the businesses of Guaymas especially in the business of Loaiza and Bustamente by preventing the stealing of $35,000 in money bags being shipped that same day to California.


That day and later I suffered a lot with the consequences of an announcement which resulted that I would be named Commandante of the Plaza putting pressure on the other officials.  I was in that position for a few months until General Davalos arrived from Sinaloa with forces to investigate my companies and they ordered me to make an accounting at the headquarters at Mazatlan.  After 15 days, I completed my accounting and came out good and returned to Guaymas.   Although I was no longer in the military, my character was of a soldier.  After returning to Guaymas, I remained quiet for eight days and when there was no activity in the headquarters at Mazatlan, I was released but not by legal means.


I  had a difficult life from 1871 to 1880 working with several employments; watchman for Grounds Customs then as a teacher in the San Jose school system in Guaymas and finally as treasurer and secretary of that municipality.  Following that my life was calm but I didn’t know how to manage my money or economize because I lacked experience and a good person to confide in like my father.


I hope that this is a good example that you always save your money for unforeseen calamity or misfortune.

In another area of the diary, Lucas de la Fuente wrote: 

  "At 15 years old, I was an employee of the Congress.  My immediate boss being my father.  A little later I ascended as an employee of the Tribunal of Justice.  But as I said before, the government had to constantly attempt to suppress the local rebels.  Also the tribes of Yauis, Seris and Apaches that every day would attack travelers causing a thousand tragedies - everyone without exception lent their services as soldiers, keeping guard for public security, including the Senators and Ministers.  In 1864, we were notified that the French, who had invaded the country were coming in warships to Guaymas.  The Governor hastily called the National Guard into action.  I was named "Little Offical" and was placed in charge of 100 men in Ures to lead to Guaymas, which I did according to the instructions I had received."  

Translation notes by Granddaughter Teresa De La Fuente Armenta  
Typed by Great Granddaughter Cecilia Armenta Richards
Organized and prepared by Great Granddaughter Bea Armenta Dever, 
assisted by Jovita Lopez and Henry Marquez with interpretation and translation.  

Another dimension in exploring family history is to read into and gather an understanding of our ancestor's character, their nature, who they were in the inside.  What family characteristics were inherited, beyond the physical?  Bea was fortunate to receive an analysis of the character of her Great Grandfather Lucas De La Fuente based on his penmanship in the family record that he kept.  This analysis  following the diary was done by Sister Mary Sevilla April 26, 1996. 


Lucas de la Fuente    18 Oct 1847- 12 Jun 1908
A Handwriting Analysis by Sister Mary Sevilla, Ph.D., MGA
All of us work diligently to find names, dates and places to be documented for ancestral charts which is certainly very satisfying. Having verified births, marriages and deaths of past generations, we wonder if we could learn more. Treasured old photographs and diaries, of course, lend interest to the fruits of our labor. Then we pick out certain ancestors and ask, what was she really like or how did he feel in a given situation? 
What were her strengths and weaknesses? How did he respond emotionally to life's vicissitudes?

If we are fortunate enough to find old letters, journals, any handwriting at all, a Handwriting Analyst can provide invaluable information about the character and personality of our loved ones.

Bea Dever has a treasure in that her great grandfather, Lucas de la Fuente, left something very special. He left a handwritten journal with this inscription on the cover: (Libros de memorins que formo para recuerdo de mis hijos y quedra para mi hijo Enrique - Lamisma fecha. Hermosillo Abril Ide 1908) Book of Memories that I formed 
for remembrance for my children and is left for my son Enrique. The same date. What 
a wonderful peek into the past!! Bea went a step further and asked me to analyze his handwriting to see what his personality was like. The following are some observations made based on his handwritinganalysis.

Great grandfather Lucas was a fairly emotional man but worked hard not to let this feelings show. He was bright, able to process information quickly and yet had the ability to slow down to be more deliberate and precise. He was curious, inquisitive and had a good ability to concentrate. Lucas was usually cautious in thinking and problem-solving but at times would jump right in. He was fairly attentive to details and used his intellect to prove his point of view.

Senor de la Fuente tended to be impatient, plunging in when things needed to be done. He could, however, be cautious if something was unfamiliar to him. He liked to be efficient in his work but would slow down to be sure the job was done right. Lucas was highly enthusiastic and followed projects through to completion. He was ambitious and probably had long term goals. Great Grandfather was motivated by spiritual growth and finding meaning in life was very important to him. He had a love of the past and yet was not afraid of the future. It is no wonder he preserved life event's in his wonderful journal!
And so Bea, I hope you have enjoyed learning a little more about your great grandfather and now you can clearly see what personality traits you received from him!

Physical & Material Drives
Lucas appears to be a moderately energetic person. As long as his energy resources are not tapped too frequently, he will have enough energy to meet his needs and face the challenges which confront him. He enjoys some physical and material pleasures, but he doesn't need to eat gourmet foods or be in luxurious surroundings very often to be contented with his life. While he likes to be physically active, he is not too restless or hyperactive. Accumulating money or material possessions is not very important
to him. Lucas is not eager to build a fortune or surround himself with expensive things. While he tends to be thrifty, he is sometimes willing to share his resources with others.

Emotional Characteristics
Lucas's frequency of emotional expression occasionally trips him up, but rarely carries him away. He likes to think of himself as a rational person, but he can get emotional sometimes when he is upset or angry. His feelings are typically moderate in intensity, so when he gets really upset about something, he is usually able to calm down and let go of his anger in a reasonable length of time.
Lucas is responsive and tender, though he may also be slightly moody. His emotional state is affected by the moods and feelings of others. He may fly off the handle when he becomes irritated over little things that go wrong.

Intellectual Style
Though Lucas is able to process information quickly, he is willing to slow down to be more deliberate and precise. He is curious and enjoys uncovering new information. Because of his impatience to discover a solution, he may not take the necessary time to analyze problems thoroughly. If he doesn't slow down and make sure that he understands all the issues, he is liable to jump to incorrect conclusions. He can focus his attention and concentrate in

Sometimes Lucas is cautious in his thinking and problem-solving approach while at other times he jumps right in.  He is very logical and excels in rational problem-solving, continuity of ideas and follow-through.  He prefers not to trust his hunches.  When problems cannot be solved logically, however, and a new, more inventive approach is required, he may find himself getting stuck.  He is an abstract thinker and enjoys philosophical problems which stimulate his intellectual curiosity and help him to know and understand more. He likes to use conceptual models to illustrate and develop his ideas.  He usually notices details, but he may occasionally forget or not take the time to consider all the particulars of an idea or problem.  He uses his intellect to stoutly defend his opinions in matters which are important to him.  He will explore all possible avenues in order to defend his point of view.

Personality Traits
Lucas wants others to think he is totally self-confident and he
doesn't like others to question his competence, even in areas where he is not competent.  He can be very self-critical and blame himself for a variety of shortcomings.
Lucas's impatience can cause him to become frustrated when he is forced to wait or to do the same thing over again.  He is willing to pitch in and become involved with familiar activities, but he tends to be more cautious and stop to think before becoming involved in unfamiliar activities.  He has difficulty getting himself to do the things he knows he should do.  When his mind and his desires do not agree, he often follows his desires.  He tends to exercise self-restraint and reflect before he acts.

Lucas is adaptable for the most part, and is able to accommodate to changing conditions.  He is able to adapt to varying external pressures and force himself to do the things that need to be done. His behavior is steady, and he is not inconsistent in his responses. He depends on his instincts to guide him, and trusts that he will find a way to survive.  He values traditional ways.  He may be less receptive to more progressive viewpoints in favor of those perspectives which are approved by time.  He likes to talk out loud when he is alone.  He finds it helpful to verbalize his thoughts.

Social Behavior
Lucas doesn't like others to crowd him or encroach on his space. He feels uncomfortable when there are too many people around him.
At times Lucas is very open and conversational - even to the point of indiscretion. At other times, he is discreet about what he says and carefully screens his words. He tries to be clear in what he is saying because he wants to avoid miscommunication and misunderstanding.

Lucas's feelings will usually not get hurt when his personal appearance is criticized.  When his abilities or his performance are criticized, he is able to maintain a sense of dignity and poise rather than letting his feathers get ruffled.  He is warm-hearted and able to put himself in someone else's shoes without going overboard. He may become upset when people cannot keep up with him and react as quickly as he does.  While he may be receptive to praise and attention, he doesn't need to be stroked constantly.  He wants to know that others look up to him and view him with respect and admiration.  In order to please others and gain their approval, he will sometimes show off and act in a contrived manner rather than being genuine.  He may feel vulnerable and be afraid that he will not be valued by others if he reveals his true self to them.
Lucas enjoys having a good discussion.  He doesn't usually develop dependent social relationships.  His independence allows him to establish, maintain or break off contact when he chooses to.

Vocational Implications
Lucas likes .to streamline his work, but he will sacrifice speed for accuracy when necessary.  He slows down to make sure that the accuracy of his work doesn't suffer.  His motivations come from his work, and he can stick with a job for long periods of time.  He is able to shut out the rest of the world and see only what he is doing, so he can work well behind the scenes.

Lucas is able to organize his work most of the time; however, he can be disorganized on occasion.  He is motivated by work which encourages him to use his verbal abilities.  He is likely to become frustrated in occupations which discourage verbal communication.
Lucas is a very enthusiastic person who frequently gets excited about his work.  He is determined to hang in through the longer, duller stretches of work, so he is good at following through and completing projects.  He will follow company rules, put up with the boss's unique ways of doing things and get along well with his co-workers.  In order to cover himself, he may conceal information from supervisors or co-workers.

Lucas is internally motivated to set and reach long-range goals and carefully plans how he will attain them.  He is motivated by spiritual growth.  Finding meaning in life is very important to him. He is able to benefit from a constructive evaluation of his work and doesn't react defensively when he is criticized.  He stands back, looks at his work objectively, and changes what needs to be changed in order to do the best job he can.  He feels good about himself when he does his job well.  Consequently, he usually works hard at what he does because he feels more worthwhile when he produces quality


Minerva Goldmine for Historians 
Channel 61, News and Public Affairs Programs
Hecho en California/ Donde Esta Marcos? Radio 1010
Jesus Orosco Radio Show
April 26th Rondalla de Guadalupe Dance Fund Raiser

Rondalla de Guadalupe is a non-profit organization in Sacramento.  We are trying to raise funds with a dance party ( baile ).  This year the dance will be held April 26th at Memorial Auditorium.  The poster will be sold at the event for $3.  The monies collected will be used in support of the Shriner's Hospital (Sacramento), Breast Cancer Cure, and Telethon (Centro de re-habilitacion infantil, Mexico)

Visit our web page ,where proudly, have Dr. Mark Diaz as our sponsor ,We still looking for Sponsors, to Keep Helping our comunnity, and showing everybody our Culture through our Music ,also we opened our RGPE School of Music.  We NEED HELP to Keep working.

For more information, contact Joaquin Galvan
Mark Diaz <

Sent by Dorinda Moreno  


             Hello Mimi, how are you?
Thanks for the referral, but when it comes to preserving Mexican Traditions, people tend to look the other way. Regardless, we have sent a letter to the Santa Clara Couty Board of Supervisors and another one to the Mayor of San Jose. They were published on and I think they should be published in your website as well. We firmly believe that a great injustice is being committed against my centuries old Equestrian Tradition. Un millon de gracias.

Cordially, Guillermo Gracia Duarte   El Charro Azul < this is his email
DOWNLOADED FILE. . San Jose mayor

California Minerva Goldmine for Historians
            California Secretary of State Debra Bowen launches online catalog of historic documentary treasures

California Secretary of State Debra Bowen has unveiled a unique online catalog that gives researchers and history buffs around the world access to information about the acclaimed collections preserved in the California State Archives.

The online catalog, named "Minerva," gives descriptive details of all types of records stored in the State Archives, from maps and court cases to legislative papers and photo-graphs. Minerva replaces a paper-based record keeping system and is updated almost daily with the latest information about the Archives' collections.
"Minerva is a dynamic goldmine for historians, journalists, students and anyone else who just loves California history," said Secretary of State Bowen. "Minerva offers a real-time listing of everything we have on hand in the California State Archives, whether it's a videotape we've just received or an old map we've been storing for decades."
Several years in the making, Minerva is the result of expert input from dozens of archivists and information technology professionals. Minerva integrates all internal State Archives functions for appraising, accessioning, processing and other workflow management. It also offers the public the ability to search or track collections from any computer with Internet access, and it connects users to the Archives' reference desk for more information.

The new website is
"Until now, people had to come to Sacramento if they wanted to find an up-to-date listing of everything available in the State Archives," continued Bowen. "Minerva is tailored to meet the high-tech needs of modem-day Archives users. It makes government records more accessible to the general public and makes research more efficient for professionals."

Secretary of State Bowen is charged with securing and preserving the historical records of state government and pro-viding access to those records. Located in Sacramento, the California State Archives facility houses the original California Constitutions, the State Seal, all official acts by the Legislature, many case files of the California Courts of Appeal and Supreme Court, and records of numerous Executive Branch agencies. The California State Archives holds approximately 232 million pages of records.

Minerva, the Roman mythological goddess of wisdom, is prominently featured on the official California State Seal.

Source: California HISTORIAN, Summer 2007, pg. 19

Channel 61, News and Public Affairs Programs, Mt. San Miguel Studio on Kearny Mesa

            Question: When you drive by the San Diego Mission in Mission Valley, what comes to mind? Do you know that mission founder Father Serra collected one peso per Indian parishioner and two pesos per Spanish Californio to help fund the Spanish war against the British in the American Revolutionary War in such exotic places as St. Louis, Mobile and Pensacola?  

Continuing, the majority of County students who are mostly "Hispanic" or, in some precincts, "Latino," plus Black and Asian do not have access to their own American history and world-view because it has been ignored by those who control the dissemination of American history, politics and news.  

Here is what I am looking for—People who know by experience and education American history that reflects the contributions of Hispanic soldiers, sailors and Marines since the American Revolutionary War. People who can relate Hispanic and Black influences on American culture to those around us who know so little, and people who can look at the coming Presidential election with savvy based on experience not emotion.

I need people who can look into a camera without blinking or shrinking in shyness. I want people who can communicate, who are assertive and are confident in their own skins. I want people with views, some of which may differ from mine slightly or by miles. I want all sides of issues examined, debated and put in front of all so all can use their own minds intelligently.  

This Election year is the right place and the right time to start such programs.  

I’ve spent most of my time recruiting Community college history, political and social science instructors for several reasons. (1) They are used to speaking in front of numerous people. Also, to be full-time community college instructors they mostly have Master (or doctorate) degrees in their subjects, thus they know their subjects. And, (3) most have similar educational and life experiences to me that we need to parade in front of the hundreds of thousands of young Hispanic and Black students who attend the very same schools we attended.  

At the same time we need the input and performance of people from the community-at-large that have expertise and experience that are relevant to the real world, like earthquakes, fire storms and other non-political events that affect us all.  

For example, I’ve invited or am inviting political consultants Larry Remer (Democrat) and John Dadian (Republican) along with Border Angel founder Enrique Morones, former La Mesa City Councilman Barry Jantz and Voice and Viewpoint Publisher John Warren to participate. While Morones and I have shared microphones before, disagreeing most of the time on issues, we share one basic component—We must show show our kids what’s possible.  

I have or am inviting Super Democrat lawyer Thor Emblem to not only discuss politics but to do a regular legal information segment for ordinary people on laws and situations that they encounter daily.  

Carlos Contreras of Grossmont College, Victor Chavez of Southwestern College and Ternod MacRenato of City College have indicated they will participate. Will you?

If you think you can add something to discussions of history and politics, sign up. If you have published books you wish to promote, if you want community invitations to address groups in San Diego County and/or if you want to contribute to a community data base of information that is usually ignored by our local television colleagues, sign up.  

So far, none of us are "pretty faces" but all of us are serious accomplished people who know that news doesn’t stop at the border. We all know that news from Mexico City is just as important to our region as news from 1600 Pacific Highway.  

We also know that some of us speak better Spanish than English that’s why we are planning an entire news segment in Spanish. We are organizing 57 minutes of English news and seven in Spanish. No other news source in the region offers bilingual news, none.  
Also, we are open to suggestions of others to participate in front of and behind the cameras. Anyone with some broadcast experience is welcome to contact me.  

I can be reached at 619-817-1418.
Raoul Lowery Contreras, Board Director
International Communications Network


Hecho en California/Donde Esta Marcos? Radio 1010

Welcome and thank you for visiting our web site. As you can read in the biographical section, I have been working in the media since 1968. Most of the programming has been community-based and informative.

Presently, I am on the air on Radio 1010 in San Francisco, 990 in Sacramento and 1540 In Seattle, Washington. The programming consists of news, interviews with news-makers, discussions of issues of the day and primarily the voices of our public.

We have two programs, Hecho en California (Made in California) Monday-Friday from 9:00-11:00 am and Donde Esta Marcos?(Where is Marcos?) 4:00-5:00 pm. We also have special programming on Saturdays from 11:30 am to 5:00 pm.

We buy the time from Multi-Cultural Radio Broadcasting and re-sell to sponsors who want to invest in grass-roots advertising  and at the same time support our Mission. MGP (Marcos Gutierrez Productions) is the largest time-broker on the stations which means we can deliver the largest audience.

The concept behind Hecho en California is to highlight information pertaining to "making it" in California. Our shows cover immigration, political power, the Chicano Movement, Latino America and the acquisition of wealth through investments and opportunities found in this country.

Our mission stems from my doctoral degree at the University of San Francisco's Education Department. My dissertation, titled "Toward the 21st Century: Radio and TV and the Latino Community" concluded that we as Latinos have very little access to independent media which caters to the true needs of the our people. This is a need we are trying to fill.

Radio Internet
Listen to Marcos Gutirrez on the Internet.
arcos Gutierrez Productions

All Rights Reserved ~ Copyright 2006 US A
Cell: 1.650.740.1910
Fax: 1.650.992.1222 - Messages: 1.650.992.1680

Jesus Orosco Radio Show

Great news! Jesus Orosco has a radio show that is on the air on the 1st Saturday of each month. He has offered us an opportunity to speak about Juana Briones. This will be a great opportunity to get her name out to the public. If any of you are interested in speaking about Juana, please let me know so that I can schedule the radio show time.  

Thanks, Tony Cisneros
Lorri  Frain



His Excellency Carlos Westendorp 
Woodburn, Oregon: A Microcosm of Immigrant Shifts in America


The honor of your company is requested by:

 His Excellency Carlos Westendorp

Ambassador of Spain to the United States


The Most Honorable Manuel Pradas Romani 

Consul General of Spain, San Francisco


The Most Honorable Don Luis Fernando Esteban

Honorary Consul of Spain, Washington State


At a reception to bestow the formal Decoration of Spanish Knighthood granted on behalf of His Majesty the King Juan Carlos I de  Borbon Under La Encomienda of


“The Royal Order of Isabel la Catolica


The Honorable Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen



“The Royal Order of Merito Civil”


Dr. Antonio Sanchez  


On Wednesday, April second the year of our Lord 2008 

Eleven thirty to twelve thirty o’clock – reception follows

In the State Reception Room, Legislative Building, Olympia Washington 


Guest of Honor, the Honorable Governor Christine Gregoire


Woodburn, Oregon: A Microcosm of Immigrant Shifts in America
Newswise, March 19, 2008

            Newswise — Travelers on I-5 know that Woodburn, Ore., is home to the region's largest tax-free outlet center. A University of Oregon researcher, however, turns away from the mall to study the heart of town, which, she says, provides insight on how new immigrant settlement patterns are transforming place and identity in small- to medium-sized U.S. cities.

Details of the research by Lise Nelson, professor of geography, appeared in two recent journals, Geographical Review (October 2007) and Cultural Geographies (January 2008). The former examined migrant farmworkers and community relationships as they transitioned from a migratory workforce in isolated labor camps to having year-round roles in the economy and becoming permanent residents. The latter follows the friction between an advocacy group's efforts to build new housing in the 1990s and resistance from mostly white residents and city officials.

Many of the changes detailed were fueled by globalization in the 1980s, Nelson said. Mexico faced an economic crisis, the U.S. economy became service-oriented and created a demand for low-wage workers, and the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 allowed millions of undocumented workers with long employment histories to become legal workers. These events, in turn, allowed more family members to migrate and join the workers. The dynamics expanded already well-established labor flows between Mexico and the United States.

Economic changes in the northern Willamette Valley in the 1980s also contributed to increasing numbers of immigrant farmworkers arriving and settling in Woodburn. The expansion of the greenhouse and nursery industry, agricultural processing plants, the Christmas tree industry and a transition to immigrant tree planters in public and private reforestation activities combined to create nearly year-round demand for immigrant workers, mostly from Mexico.

While Nelson's research is on Woodburn, a city of 20,000 people just south of Portland, similar changes occurred in nearby Gervais and Canby and many other non-metropolitan cities. The 2000 census found Woodburn to be the largest Oregon city with a majority population of Latinos.

"Woodburn is a place that represents a microcosm of the broader-scale migration and settlement dynamics that are changing small- and medium-sized towns throughout the United States," Nelson said.  

"Woodburn's farmworker housing struggle in the 1990s offers a window into the shifting dynamics of belonging and identity in these contexts.

"The housing struggle reflected a deep resistance on the part of some white residents to the presence of Mexican immigrants, yet today we see, at least on an official level, a more active embracing of Woodburn's multicultural identity. A few years ago Woodburn inaugurated, as its first urban renewal project, a downtown plaza, designed in a Latin-American style," Nelson said. "For several years now the city has helped organize a community celebration of Mexican Independence Day. This is not to say the picture is all rosy, as racism and discrimination against immigrant residents have not disappeared, but there have been public and visible changes."  

Nelson collected data from archived newspaper articles, public records and personal interviews done in English and Spanish. Her research follows shifting politics and immigration, as well as economic changes that drive both. She has done extensive research in Mexico, especially in Michoacán, within migrant-sending communities.

Mexican workers came in large numbers to the northern Willamette Valley in the 1940s under the U.S.-sponsored Bracero Program to alleviate World War II labor shortages. The workers often lived in cramped, ill-equipped labor-camps. By the 1950s and 1960s, most farmworkers were Mexican-American citizens coming from border areas on a seasonal basis. The rural labor force shifted again by the late 1970s, when large numbers of workers again began arriving from Mexico. By the 1990s, the trend saw more immigrants seeking employment in smaller cities rather than large gateway cities such as Los Angeles and Chicago.

During the 1980s as farmworkers workers sought housing in Woodburn, Nelson found, they often were crowded into single-family housing units or lived in garages and cars. Landlords often charged for entire families to live in one room; multiple families shared bathrooms, living rooms and kitchens. Overcrowding created unsafe conditions, fostered social tensions and led to housing decay. Few residents were pleased, Nelson noted. Longtime residents, both white and Mexican-American, reported plummeting living conditions, and immigrant families were concerned about the effects on their children and family life.

In response, a coalition of advocacy groups formed the Farmworker Housing Development Corp. (FHDC) in 1991 to build safe and affordable housing. With bank loans and grants, FHDC sought to take over a failed Housing and Urban Development-funded site to build an apartment complex with rents scaled by income. Although this appeared to be a win-win situation, Nelson said, the city, which was forced to foreclose on the property after a private developer went bankrupt, resisted the proposal for two years before giving to avoid paying $245,000 to the government.

Nelson's study provides insight to the battle. FHDC eventually prevailed and opened Phase 1 of the Nuevo Amanecer (New Dawn) complex in August 1994. "Nuevo Amanecer created living space for farmworkers that contrasted sharply with traditional farmworker housing," Nelson noted in Geographical Review. "It enacted a spatial claim to place and belonging in the community for farmworkers who had historically been relegated to the labor camp. FHDC staff worked with residents to generate rules governing the complex, from security to garbage-collection schedules."
FHDC's efforts to build another complex also met with resistance. In 1995 FHDC purchased, to the city's surprise, an abandoned lot near Woodburn City Hall. Again, the city balked and stalled its approval, but, again, FHDC won and opened Esperanza (Hope) Court in October 1997. The FHDC later won awards for its design and operation of the complexes.

"I talked to some residents in Woodburn who had originally opposed the housing projects," Nelson recalled. "They said that they thought there would be gangs, more trash and more problems. Instead, they found them to be well run and a nice place for families -- with a lot of participation by residents. It is seen by many as a really innovative and successful program." The September 2005 dedication of the downtown plaza, she added, "indicated a shift in who is seen as belonging in the community, and the nature of the town's 'place identity' itself."

"Woodburn's housing struggle," she said, "offers a window into the shifting dynamics of belonging and identity between white residents and Latinos, including Mexican-American and Mexican immigrants. These inter-group dynamics are now more accommodating, more understanding and more accepting of differences, even though not all racial tensions are gone."

The Woodburn Area Chamber of Commerce proclaims the city's diversity on its Web site, noting the city has "grown up a lot," is one-half Hispanic, one-fifth Russian and one-quarter senior citizen. "People of all ages and all cultures have come together to know Woodburn as the City of Unity, a place where they can celebrate their differences and share their cultural heritage," the site says.

In the Cultural Geographies paper, Nelson concludes that "the political and economic power structures remain overwhelmingly white ... But constructions of place identity and the public sphere in Woodburn have become decidedly more pluralistic, partly, I think, as a result of the successful struggles such as those to build Nuevo Amanecer and Esperanza Court." She predicts that over time the town's power structure will become more pluralistic as well.
A slide show narrated by Nelson is available at:
Link: Nelson faculty page:

Sent by Howard Shorr


Arizona Presidio brings 1700s to life . . A blast of the past
Hispanic Research in New Mexico 
Lesson plan book on New Mexico History
April 5: The Pueblo Revolt Massacre Slide/Lecture Presentation 
Club Los Conquistadores formed in the later 1930's
El Pueblo de Atrisco, Nuevo Espana


Presidio brings 1700s to life . . A blast of the past
The re-enactments are taking place every Saturday through April 5.
Opinion by Bonnie Henry
Accent Tucson, Arizona, 03.02.2008 ® 


Ninety years after the last vestiges of Tucson's walled fort known as San Agustín del Tucson were carted off, a portion of the presidio has now come to life Downtown.

But re-creating the late 18th century in modern-day Tucson hasn't come easy.  Adobe walls had to be stabilized. Uniforms had to be meticulously researched. And then there was that cannon — one that shoots out toast, rather than fire power.

One can only wonder what the presidio's original inhabitants — and the Apaches they fought — would think of all this.  Inside, meet some of the stalwarts determined to keep our history alive — with or without limitations. — Bonnie Henry

The Transamerica Building looms to the south, sometimes blocking the sun.  Across the street is a parking garage. Trains can be heard rumbling in the distance.

And plunked in the middle of all this modern urbanity sits Tucson's distant past: the re-created Presidio San Agustín del Tucson. Part anachronism, all dream — particularly for Tucson architect Lewis Hall, who in 1984 helped found the Tucson Presidio Trust for Historic Preservation.

Its main mission: reconstruct a portion of Tucson's long-gone fort, which dates back to the late 1770s. Hall had an even bigger dream. "He wanted the whole thing. He wanted to tear down City Hall," says another Presidio Trust founder, Sybil Needham. "It was an obsession with him."

Lewis died in 1998, a year before funding to reconstruct a portion of the presidio was approved.

The location: a parking lot, three acres in all, on the northeast corner of Church Avenue and Washington Street.  Funded with $2.67 million in Rio Nuevo money, re-creation became reality last May, though not without its naysayers.

"Some people say you can't restore," says Needham. "But the Alamo is restored. All those buildings bombed to gravel during World War II have been restored."

Archaeologist and anthropologist Gayle Hartmann, who is a former president of the Presidio Trust, says, "Yes, this is a reconstruction. It used to be a parking lot. I don't think that matters. It's a glimpse of history."

For 14 months, workers labored to reconstruct the northeast tower, a soldier's family home, a soldiers barracks, a warehouse, a Sonoran street scene mural, an horno for baking bread, and a 2,000 year-old pithouse. Visitors can take a self-guided tour of all this Wednesdays through Sundays. And on Saturdays, now through April 5, re-enactors are bringing this slice of late-18th-century Tucson to life: how the people of the presidio dressed, what they ate, how they defended themselves.

A few steps and almost a century away is a territorial courtyard and the restored Siqueiros-Jácome home, dating to 1866, which offers exhibits and a gift shop.

Just as today's world intrudes beyond the presidio, there's a nod to modern times inside as well.  The fort's adobe walls are stabilized with concrete. There's rebar in the tower walls. And ramps and modern restrooms were built to accommodate disabled visitors.

Even so, it's a huge achievement for the Presidio Trust — especially when one considers the alternative: a six-lane highway proposed by the city in 1988.

If You Go:  Living history re-enactments at the presidio take place every Saturday through April 5 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the northeast corner of Church Avenue and Washington Street.

Events scattered throughout the remaining Saturdays include spinning and weaving, bread-baking, soap-making, carpentry and leather-making. The April 5 event also will include games for kids, 18th-century soldiering, medicine and food demonstrations and the trying on of 18th-century clothing.

All events are free and parking is free on nearby streets on the weekends. The presidio and gift shop and exhibits in the nearby Siqueiros-Jácome house are also open 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Wednesdays-Sundays, closed Mondays and Tuesdays.  Information, call 884-4214 or .

Be part of the past: Want to dress up as a presidio soldier or just learn more about the Tucson Presidio Trust? Call 298-7052 for more information. The group is always looking for more members and volunteers for its re-enactments.

No posole for you, thanks to the health department. And before you fire that musket, better warn the neighbors.  Yep, going back in time a couple of centuries does have its pitfalls — but also its rewards.

Meet some of the members of the Tucson Presidio Trust working to keep our history alive: 

Gayle Hartmann learned about authenticity from the ground up. A cotton bush planted inside the presidio wall is now providing some native cotton — enough for volunteers to demonstrate cleaning, carding, spinning and weaving techniques of the early settlers.

"I wanted to promote some skills from this period," says Hartmann, 65, an archaeologist, anthropologist and past president of the Tucson Presidio Trust.

She began with a couple of bags of cotton from the Pima County Cooperative Extension Service. "We learned how to take the seeds out, to card, and then to spin and make it into thread," says Hartmann, who took a class in weaving and rounded up a group of weavers and spinners.

"We're trying to explain what life was like around 1800, the skills needed to survive. This has been a wonderful small-scale success for Rio Nuevo. People say nothing's happening down here. This has happened."

Hector Soza: His great-great-great grandfather once patrolled the grounds where Hector Soza now strolls. His name was José María Sosa, and he served at Tubac and then at Tucson after its presidio was founded in 1775.

Quite naturally, Soza — the name was changed from Sosa in 1891 — portrays his ancestor.  Thanks to old service records, Soza has a pretty good idea of what José María looked like.

"He was 5-feet-4, black hair and eyebrows, brown eyes, black beard, a swarthy complexion and a sharp nose."  Promoted to sergeant in 1782, José María escorted supply caravans and took  part in 20 campaigns against the Apaches. "He did get wounded in one of  his legs," says Soza.

José María was still a soldier when he died at age 56, says Soza, who at age 78 must portray a much younger man. "I paint my hair and mustache black every time we do events. But I do not have a beard. It's too hot."

He does, however, try to emulate the period uniform, right down to the white stockings and buckled shoes. As for what José María Sosa might say about his descendant's lifestyle today, Soza answers without hesitation: "He would say, 'Get a horse.' He must have been a marvelous horseman."

Mickie Soza's head hurts. Blame it on the comb and lace mantilla she wears while portraying a comandante's wife at a fiesta or church during presidio re-enactments. "You have to keep your head up high and stiff or the mantilla will fall forward. My head aches by the time I'm done."

And we just thought Spanish "upper class" women of the 1800s were haughty. Married to a man who's a direct descendant of a presidio soldier, Soza is a stickler when it comes to getting her outfit exactly right.

"We're trying to research what they truly wore. There were little snatches written here and there," she says.  Silks and satins and velvets were in vogue, says Soza, 76. "Spanish women were formal, but for everyday they wore cotton and linen."

Shoes had little heels and big buckles in front. "And there was no left and right foot," she says. Hooks and eyes, rather than buttons and zippers, kept everything in place, she adds. But there's a limit to authenticity, it turns out.

"I had a velvet jacket I took all the buttons off and tried the hook and eye. It worked, but if you wore the amount of clothing they wore underneath, it was way too tight."

Sybil Needham:

For several years, Sybil Needham shared her homemade posole at Casa Cordoba, in the Tucson Museum of Art Historic Block. There, Tucson Presidio Trust volunteers did their re-enactments before the presidio opened last year.

No more. "I can't get past the health department," says Needham, who acknowledges that the Pima County Health Department mandates that prepared foods for such events must be made in a county-inspected commercial kitchen.

"So I don't make the posole anymore," says Needham, 70, a founding member of the Tucson Presidio Trust. The group does bake bread in an earthen oven called an horno, and recently cooked some chickens — though they didn't share them with visitors.

"We can't share anything we make," says Needham. "I think it's kind of rude." Present-day presidio soldiers also can patrol atop the adobe tower — but once they're done, the ladder must be hidden away. Safety was a factor. So was the Americans with Disabilities Act.

"If we let some of the people up on ladders, we had to let them all up," says Needham. "Now, they have a ladder locked in the tower. Only soldiers can bring the ladder out and patrol."

Despite such modern-day intrusions, Needham is looking back to the future the presidio now affords. "We're hoping to get school groups in here."

Did You Know . . . Lewis Hall, who founded the Tucson Presidio Trust for Historic Preservation and fought long and hard for the presidio's reconstruction, was also a well-known architect.  Among his works: Tohono Chul Park's Tea Room, originally built as a home, and what is now Anthony's in the Catalinas restaurant on North Campbell Avenue.

In 1782, a cannon was used to scare away Apaches. Now, the biggest reaction comes from the cars in the parking garage across the street.  "We fired the cannon for the grand opening of the presidio," says Rick  Collins, 52, who portrays a presidio soldier — one who sometimes gets to fire off a replica cannon. "It was hilarious. For 15 seconds we couldn't talk. We had to wait for the car horns to stop."

And yes, he, along with fellow cannon-firer Jeff Coleman, 48, are now proud graduates of cannon firing school. "The Presidio Trust sent us to Florida, where the National Park Service has an 18th-century cannon school," says Coleman.

He and other presidio soldiers also shoot off their flintlock muskets at least once a month. "I do stay in touch with El Presidio Neighborhood Association and let them know when we're firing," says Coleman.  In the next few weeks, the men expect to replace their borrowed cannon with a new $10,000 four-pounder, donated through the Marshall Foundation.

For now, Coleman and Collins are the only two certified to fire the cannon, which spews out something akin to toast, rather than metal.

Presidio San Agustín del Tucson Timeline:

• 1690s: Father Eusebio Francisco Kino visits the Tucson basin and finds a series of O'odham villages along the Santa Cruz River.

• 1752: A presidio fort is established at Tubac.

• 1775: Capt. Hugo O'Conor, an Irishman employed by the Spanish military, tours the presidios on the northern frontier and recommends moving Tubac's soldiers to Tucson. He picks the Tucson site, El Presidio de San Agustín del Tucson, on Aug. 20, 1775.

• 1782: Only a log palisade encloses a few buildings and the adobe wall perimeter is still incomplete when Apaches launch a surprise attack in May, nearly destroying the fort. Cannon fire scares them away.

• 1783: The fort's adobe walls are completed: 10 feet high, 3 feet thick, about 750 feet long on each side.

• 1792: A peace agreement with the Apaches results in several hundred of  them moving next to the fort. In exchange for information on other Apaches, they are given food, clothing and tools.

• 1821: Mexican independence is won, but the new government has little money to spend on frontier posts. Apaches resume their raids.

• 1848: The census shows only 509 residents inside the presidio — the only Mexican settlement in Arizona.

• 1854: The Gadsden Purchase makes Tucson part of the United States.

• 1856: Mexican soldiers evacuate the post. The American military has no use for the fort, and many of its adobe bricks are hauled away for other buildings.

• 1918: The last standing section of the presidio is demolished.  Source: Tucson archaeologist Homer Thiel, who has spent years excavating the foundations and other reminders of the presidio.  Centuries before any presidio walls started going up, ancient peoples were living along the Santa Cruz River — and, it turns out, right inside what  would later become Presidio San Agustín del Tucson. Four Early Agricultural period pit houses, including one dating to 450 B.C., have been found inside the presidio.

Finding the foundations to a fort a mere couple of centuries old also proved daunting.  During construction of the Old Pima County Courthouse in 1929, archaeologists located the southeast corner of the fort. Salvaged adobe bricks are now on display inside the Pima County Assessor's Office.

In 1954, an excavation at the northeast corner of Church Avenue and Washington Street uncovered a pre-Hohokam pithouse. The site, which later became a parking lot, is now a re-created portion of the presidio, including that pithouse.

Using a ground-penetrating radar study from the previous year, in 1992 volunteers with the Center for Desert Archaeology helped expose a north-south adobe wall thought to be the east presidio wall.

Volunteers returned in 1998 to search for sections of the north, south and west walls.  Today, we know the walls lie beneath the Old Pima County Courthouse, the mayor and City Council parking lot, the corner of Main Avenue and Washington Street, and the corner of Washington Street and Church Avenue.

Approved in 1999 as part of Rio Nuevo and opened in May of last year, the presidio's speedy 14-month reconstruction caught officials off guard.

As far as day-to-day operations, "the city did not have a budget line for this," says Tucson Presidio Trust board member Gayle Hartmann, who also serves as liaison with the city.

Tucson Parks Department employees now staff the presidio, which cost $2.67 million, with Presidio Trust volunteers doing programs and training. When other westside Rio Nuevo projects open, such as the University of Arizona Science Center, the city will "have discussions on how to manage it all, whether it's city, county, nonprofit, or a joint operation," says City Manager Mike Hein. In the meantime, the presidio is up and somehow running. Arizona Daily Star 1999 Tohono Chul Park's Tea Room.

 ● Bonnie Henry's column also appears Mondays and Thursdays in Accent. Reach her at 434-4074 or at, or write to 3295 W. Ina Road, Suite 125, Tucson, AZ 85741.  Copyright © 2008 | Slide show

Sent by Monica Smith



 HISPANIC Research in New Mexico
The largest collections of Hispanic materials in New Mexico is at the Special Collections Library of the Albuquerque/Bemalillo County Library Sys-tem. Materials are for in-house use only. Holdings include a newly published genealogy of Albuquerque's founding families, "Aqui Se Comienza," and microfilm copies of The Spanish Archives of New Mexico, the Mexican Archives of New Mexico, Land Grant Records, and the Territorial Archives. The Dreesen files provide information on the original settlers of the Rio Abajo prior to 1900.

There are newspapers from the Territorial period, and a collection of sixteenth century Spanish passenger lists, Pasajeros a las Indias, is on microfilm. The library has a complete collection of the Archives of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. These records extend as far back as 1678 and as recent as 1956 for some areas. The New Mexico collection features nine thousand books on New Mexico history and culture, with an emphasis on the Albuquerque area. Historic maps. City of Albuquerque documents, pamphlets, postcards, and bio-graphical information are also held. The library's website is

Source: Federation of Genealogical Societies
FORUM, Vol. 19, No. 3  Fall 2007

Lesson plan book on New Mexico History
             Dear Mimi,
A good resource lesson plan book on NM history. Many of the people and history tie in
with our SW Latino history.
Rafael Ojeda


Slide/Lecture Presentation
by Rubén Sálaz M


The presenter is Rubén Sálaz M, historian and former schoolteacher  (33 years) with the Albuquerque Public Schools. (Rubén is the author of works like New Mexico:  A Brief Multi-History (State adopted for New Mexico history) and EPIC of the Greater Southwest, as well as his latest effort, The Pueblo Revolt Massacre (which has been described as a primer on Spanish colonial New Mexican history). 

How American history is written is basic to this presentation on New Mexican history, the Acoma War, and the Pueblo Revolt. Excerpts from many authors/books will be flashed on the screen for documentation.   

The presentation will include highlights of Western Civilization then focus on Spain, New Mexico, and the Southwest. Brief discussions will be provided on issues like the fact that, contrary to popular opinion, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table were and always have been fantasy, never real people. (Bring an open mind. Some people have become irritated upon learning that King Arthur never existed.)

Were the Hispanic colonists of New Mexico actually “crypto-Jews”? Or were they mostly Mexican Indians and mestizos? Did New Mexicans target the Pueblo Indians for genocide? What have been the effects of Americanization? Attend the presentation and decide these things for yourself.

WHEN:  April 5, Saturday, 10:30 a.m. (Monthly meeting  Albuquerque HGRC.) WHERE:  Botts Hall (Reference Library), Central and Edith.

[Please circulate to your network. You can reach Rubén at]



Club Los Conquistadores formed in the later 1930's

On 3/6/08, Rosalio Munoz


Below is an excerpt from a longer article on Mexican American student organizing at Arizona State College at Tempe, now University, the excerpt deals with the club Los Conquistadores formed in the later 1930's.  1937 I believe.  It starts with a California group my uncle (by marrying my Aunt nee Rebecca Munoz, Felix Gutierrez (father of my cousins Felix, Mercedes "Gail" and Loraine)called the Mexican American Movement which inspired my father Rosalio and my aunts Lucinda, Rebecca, Josephine and Elizabeth to help found and sustain Los Conquistadores. The longer article can be
found at the following web page

By 1934, Mexican American students at Arizona State Teachers College began supporting political issues advanced by the southern California group of college
students who were active in the "Mexican American Movement", or MAM. The group held their first student conference in San Pedro, California in that same year, 1934. FelixJ.

Gutierrez, journalism major at Pasadena Junior College, was among the students at the conference. The students in MAM wanted to work together with other Mexican
American students in the southwest to improve the socio-economic conditions of Mexican families, and to call attention to the racism and discrimination they experienced in their communities. Education would be their tool to eliminate despair. And so MAM adopted the motto, "Progress Through Education." It became the rallying cry for
MAM's efforts to unite Mexican American college students in California, Arizona and Texas colleges and universities.

Among the college students who brought MAM's ideology from California to Arizona in the late 1930s and the early 1940s and to Arizona State Teachers College were
the Muñoz siblings: Rosalio; Rebecca; Lucinda; Elizabeth; and Josephine. The Muñoz siblings and others, who were already members of Los Hidalgos, knew the only way
they could become part of MAM's growing community efforts and participate in their own student conferences and work on community issues, such as poverty and discrimination against Mexicanos in Phoenix, was to break away from Los Hidalgos and form their own student organization. They spoke with Dr. Wilson about their concerns and asked her to serve as their student advisor. And she said yes. After some discussion, they all agreed to call this new Mexican American student organization, "Los Conquistadores." On October 1, 1937, they followed academic procedures and wrote to the Arizona State
Teachers College Committee On Organizations and asked permission to form a club for Mexican American students. 

One reason behind their requests was "to interest others in a college education, especially those of our own nationality." Rosalio Muñoz and his sister, Josephine,
agreed to assist the Preamble Committee, made up by Hilario T. Alvarado from Miami, Arizona  and Tony Vicente from Jerome, Arizona. It was their responsibility to compose the fundamental laws and principles of their new group. By the end of the Fall semester, 1937, they had drawn up their official Constitution, which included the Preamble and
the Articles which spelled out the purposes, duties, and responsibilities of Los Conquistadores. The new club was added to the list of campus organizations at
Arizona State Teachers College. The 1937 Preamble of Los Conquistadores read:
"We, the Spanish-Speaking Students of Arizona State College at Tempe, in order to develop a better understanding between ourselves and others; to gain greater social,
cultural, and intellectual values through our association with others; to interest others in a
college education, especially those of our own nationality, do hereby organize this club. The name of this club shall be "Los Conquistadores."Said club shall exist on the
campus of Arizona State College at Tempe."

To begin their work, Los Conquistadores formed the "Endowment Fund Committee," headed by Rosalio Muñoz, Edmundo Valdez, and Hilario T. Alvarado. The committee
was charged with seeking financial contributions from citizens throughout the state to support Los Conquistadores in their efforts. The money raised was used to help
financially strapped Mexican American high school and college students to go to the college of their choice.

Funds raised were divided into two ways: one half of the money was used by Los Conquistadores to help students in the Phoenix area; and the other half was shared among Phoenix Junior College, Arizona State College in Flagstaff, and the University of Arizona in Tucson to help students in those areas.

Sent by Dorinda Moreno  

El Pueblo de Atrisco,  Nuevo Espana  

El Pueblo de Atrisco,  Nuevo Espana  

Mr. Inclan,

I wanted to write to personally thank you for your ancestry research that you made available for everyone online.  I especially appreciate it, since I was able to verify some information related to Columbus that you provided on Somosprimos.  

Researching my ancestry:

I started to research my family history and ancestry about two years ago, in order to gain answers for the way things were in the family.  I decided to find out, why I had always been treated very badly, when I never did anything to deserve it.  My life has been one only of honor, integrity and truth.  Yet that never seemed to matter to my family, they would lie, cheat and steal and I was always the complete opposite of their mentality.  

They would often wipe their hands on me, many times throughout the years, never knowing why and many times wouldn’t even know it.  Yet, I would suffer from these consequences anyway and everyone would act like it was normal to treat me that way.  As a result, it got serious when I got very sick and almost died from all that pressure at age of only 43.  After almost two years in bed, trying to recover, along with going through a lot of tests.  When I started to get better in 2005.  Believe it or not, I had a few paranormal experiences and that is when I decided I had to gain some answers by researching my ancestry.  

Reason for verifying ancestral facts:

I was able to verify some facts that were kept from me by the family, intentionally.  While finding others had benefited from this kept knowledge, while being surprised at the importance and significance of others facts I researched and verified!  This experience has inspired to continue, as difficult as it has been with interference from my own family in seeking the truth.  As well as from interference from certain government and law enforcement aspects that are also involved.  As I used to work (20+ years) for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office and in what is related to that is a long story.  People say I should write a book, yet at this point.  I am not sure anymore if that is sarcasm or disbelief.  

Anyway, I continued my own ancestry research, as I feel it is important to add what I feel I need to contribute to the Global Hispanic family tree.  I believe it is important to have an accurate history for humanity and that can only be done through our ancestry.  I feel it is terrible that Spanish, Hispanic & native histories are very fragmented at the present and are much is already in serious jeopardy of being completely destroyed.  Therefore, I may be just one person trying to do my part to be provide an accurate accounting of history through my ancestry and suffered consequences from it.  

My ancestral discoveries:

Through, I feel my own research is important and it seems to have led me to find that I probably am descended from Columbus himself. I also found that the Lacayo-Bermudez ancestry were Don & Dona’s in central America, that ran large coffee/cocoa plantations even since Columbus discovered those commodities.  

I also found that I was a blood heir to a Spanish Land Grant called “Atrisco”, (is the pueblo that created Albuquerque, New Mexico).  It remained intact somehow, being one of the first and last of the Spanish Land Grants in North America.  Then Atrisco was recently put up for bid, so that some 55,000 acres could be sold off.  And I do not think it was a coincidence, that almost exactly when I started to (Oct/Nov 2005) research the family ancestry is when that started to happen.  

The company who managed my ancestral land since 1967, (Westland Development) started to solicit illegal bids from outside “non blood heir” companies.  And boy did the sharks come out too, along with finding there is a lot of blood on many people hands and this is probably why they were trying to suddenly wipe Atrisco away from history.  However, I do not care about the crooks and thieves.  I feel it is my responsibility and duty to do whatever I can to save Atrisco, as I never was taught about it in school and most people never heard of it either.  It seems I was supposed to die for Atrisco anyway, so I figure I must continue my work to gain a claim.  

I hope you can understand what I have been attempting to explain in this letter, it is an emotional subject and I think you may agree about the importance of ancestry.  I have written to many people in the past two years.  From high profile people, to congressman, senator’s and Governor’s, all who ignore me.  Anyway, I have been working on a web site about Atrisco and if you may be interested in visiting my site, you do so may at:  

Once again, thank you for your ancestry research!  

Respectfully yours, Michael Lacayo



Atrisco Land Grant

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The Atrisco Land Grant is one of the few remaining land grants left in the United States.

[edit] History

During the period of Spanish rule over the American Southwest, various monarchs of Spain would create land grants to reward their subjects or for the purpose of creating common land for settlers. In 1692 King Charles II of Spain created the Atrisco Land Grant as a reward to Don Fernando Duran y Chavez. Don Fernando Duran y Chavez was responsible for putting down an uprising of a tribe of Pueblo Native Americans. It originally consisted of 41,533 acres (168 km²), but in 1760, an additional 25,958 acres (105 km²) were granted in an attempt to calm land disputes.

After the Mexican-American War, land grants in the territory ceded to the United States in the Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo were to be respected by the United States Government, however because of the language barrier, and unscrupulous government officials, many land grants were essentially stolen. However, the Atrisco Land Grant remained intact.

In 1967, the Legislature of New Mexico granted permission to the Atrisco heirs to form a private corporation, the Westland Development Company, which manages the land. Each of the heirs received shares of the company, and today there are more than seven thousand heirs. These shares can only be transferred among other heirs.

The future of the Atrisco Land Grant is uncertain. At this time, the Westland Development Company is attempting to sell the land. The city of Albuquerque is growing quickly, and the Atrisco Land Grant is the most desirable area for the development of new residential areas. While many of the shareholders are enthusiastic about the sale and the income it would bring to each of the heirs, others are reluctant to part with their 300 year old patrimony.

Westland Development Company finalized a sale of the land to SunCal, a land-development corporation out of California, in December 2006. The sale price was $315 per share.

The sale of Atrisco is still in dispute, for many factors that are related. Such as U.S. Government records indicate they failed to fully consider, find and identify the entire history of Spanish Land Grants, and had only verified about 25% of the "original and subsequent blood heirs".

Some of these disputes have resulted in multiple lawsuits throughout the last two centuries, of which some have been heard and ruled on in the U.S. Supreme Court. Some have also related to past and current litigations pertaining to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848).

The significance of Atrisco, besides it's historic aspects, is also its native cultural aspects with the various tribes, who described the area to Don Diego de Vargas as Atlixo (surface of a body of water) in their native Nahuatl language.

Atrisco is the central point of the historic "El Camino Real" Spanish trail and the Road to El Dorado. From Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, the trail turns left to a southern route and it was this trail, that went directly to the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, modern day Mexico City.

Later the trail was made to the west. The western portion of the trail is what colonized Arizona, California, which at the time ended in San Bernardio and eventually the city of El Monte.

The trail would continue up along the Pacific Coast. Where the familiar "Sheep herder hook, hanging Bells" marked the old Spanish mission trails.

Spain made plans to meet with the President of Mexico sometime in August 2007 regarding the Hidalgo Treaty and other issues, as well as the border disputes and immigration issues and concerning the U.S. and Mexico. Yahoo your homepage.




Museum exhibits explore heritage of Afro-Mexicans 
Welcome to VidaAfroLatina.c om
Michael tropea
Maximino Javier's "Indecisive Chacmool/Chacmool indeciso" is part of the California African American Museum's exhibit on Afro-Mexicans. The exhibit runs through June 1.

Museum exhibits explore heritage of Afro-Mexicans 
California African American Museum
600 State Drive, Los Angeles



Michael tropea Maximino Javier's "Indecisive Chacmool/Chacmool indeciso" is part of the California African American Museum's exhibit on Afro-Mexicans. The exhibit runs through June 1. The African Presence in Mexico

Three related exhibits, "The African Presence in Mexico: From Yanga to the Present," "Who Are We Now?: Roots, Resistance and Recognition" and "Common Ground," are up through June 1 at the California African American Museum, 600 State Drive, Los Angeles. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. Admission is free. For more information, call 213-744-7432 or visit  

Poet Langston Hughes said he felt liberties there that he never experienced in America. Runaway slaves escaped there from Southern states to live free, as did Black Seminoles.

The "there" is Mexico, which abolished slavery in 1829 and had a lengthy history of African influences on culture, politics and society.

But unlike the United States, Mexico — even today — does little to recognize its Afro-Mexican roots, even though some of its major figures have descended from African ancestors.

This complex history is only recently being celebrated by such studies as "The African Presence in Mexico: From Yanga to the Present," the largest of three exhibits on display at the California African American Museum in Los Angeles.

The show and its companion, "Who Are We Now? Roots, Resistance and Recognition," were created by the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago and will remain in Los Angeles for five months.

The museum's founder and president, Carlos Tortolero, wrote in the exhibit's catalogue that "The African Presence in Mexico' offers an unusually magnificent opportunity for both African-Americans and Mexicans to celebrate a unique bond."

Of course, a large part of that bond, which curator Cesáreo Moreno makes clear in the first gallery, is slavery.

"I think there are misconceptions about the arrival of enslaved Africans to what is today Mexico," said Moreno, standing next to a large poster of the one-time slave Yanga. "Many people don't realize how soon Africans arrived on this side of the world. Columbus brought enslaved Africans to the Caribbean.

"Yanga is overlooked and should be recognized and celebrated by both African-Americans and Mexicanos as a cultural and historical leader."

Gaspar Yanga, believed to come from noble ancestry in Gabon, Africa, led a slave revolt in the late 16th century against Spanish colonials around Veracruz. Despite having more resources and soldiers, the colonists couldn't defeat Yanga and eventually gave in to his demands for the former slaves to live in a free settlement.

The town, named Yanga, was settled in 1630.

Moreno also highlights the significant role of Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon, a priest of African, Spanish and indigenous descent who helped lead the Mexican War of Independence until his execution in 1815. His follower Vicente Guerrero became president of Mexico, and their combined efforts led to the abolition of slavery.

Much of the exhibition details the era after the Mexican Revolution, which ended around 1920.

"That's when the cultural phase of the revolution began," Moreno explained. "It was a time of bringing together the old world and the new world, Spanish and American. But what is intentionally left out is our African heritage. Mexico is looked at as a new race, and the African part of us is left out of the history books and not given the prominence it should have."

But the photos and paintings Moreno has gathered firmly establish that, even while not stated, the presence of African traditions exists throughout several Mexican states.

"The African Presence" flows into "Who Are We Now? Roots, Resistance and Recognition," which goes into greater depth about the long-standing, and in some cases forgotten, bonds between African-Americans and Mexican Americans in the 20th century. Curator Elena Gonzalez juxtaposes art from both cultures to show a heavy overlap in style and subject matter.

The third show, "Common Ground," developed by CAAM and curated by Mar Hollingsworth, displays 20 works by black and Latino artists who explore the relationship between the two cultures in California.

"Outcast," the initial piece in "Common Ground," created by John Outterbridge and Jane Castillo, is a rainbow sculpture of fabrics tied together, a symbolic bond of many cultures existing and working together.

The message is delivered by the artists loud and clear, and the curators of all three exhibitions hope visitors are listening.

— E-mail freelance columnist Jeff Favre at  

Bem-vindo! ¡Bienvenidos!
Welcome to!


Bem-vindo! ¡Bienvenidos!
Welcome to!

Did you know that 95 percent of Africans brought to the Western Hemisphere during the slave trade were unloaded in Latin America or the Caribbean? Only 5 percent were brought to the United States. The majority of Black America has always been south of the border.

Today, millions of people in the U.S. self-identify as both Latino and Black. And it is estimated that one-third of the population of Latin America and the Caribbean—approximately 150 million people—is of African descent.

Black impact on the economic, political, spiritual and cultural evolution of every Latin American country is beyond quantifiable. Still, Black Latinos are woefully underrepresented in general market, Latino and African-American media. has been created to fill that gap.

Welcome to, a digital media publication featuring news and views by and about Afro-Latinos in the U.S. and throughout the Americas. You can expect our writers to explore issues of identity, the arts, activism and much more. Each week we will post articles, events and a new video relevant to Latinos of African descent.

By subscribing to our weekly newsletter, you will receive regular updates about what's new at

In this age of globalization, the time has come to expand the definition of Black America beyond the borders of a single nation. At, we embrace the culture, heritage, beauty and ongoing contributions of Black Latinos. We hope you will join the celebration!

Sent by  Alva Moore Stevenson


Se habla Nahuatl? Old tongue returns. 
Teaching American Indian languages in Schools to Raise Achievement
A sorry attempt at apology
Sec. 301.  Resolution of Apology to Native Peoples of United States
8,000 Drums 
The 62 Mexican living languages

Se habla Nahuatl? Old tongue returns. 
            Reuters via Orange County Register, Feb 28, 2008

MEXICO CITY o Mayor Marcelo Ebrard wants city employees, from hospital workers to bus drivers, to learn the Aztec language Nahuati in an effort to revive the ancient tongue, the city government said Friday. Ebrard, seen as a possible presidential candidate in 2012, presented his yearly development plan this week translated for the first time into Nahuati. "This publication is not just a symbolic act. It is the first step to institutionalizing the use of Nahuati in government," his office said a statement.

The next steps will be classes to officials, including the mayor and his aides, and book-lets about indigenous culture that will be distributed to 300,000 public servants.
"Our native languages are disappearing. They are now mostly spoken only at home," 
said Rosa Marquez, a city official.

Nahuati gave the world the words "tomato," "chocolate," and "avocado," all of them native to ancient Mexico. The language dominated central Mexico more than 1,000 years ago and is still spoken by about 1.4 million of Mexico's 107 million people today.
Mexico City, home to 30,000 native speakers, provides Nahuati translators in hospitals and courts but wants all office workers to learn the basics in classroom sessions and online courses.

Many of the city's Nahuati speakers come from poor rural areas to find employment as street vendors or domestic workers. Ebrard's earlier initiatives included installation of an ice rink in the Zocalo square over Christmas and "beaches" of sand in public parks.

Teaching American Indian languages in Schools to Raise Achievement

Deseret Morning News in Salf Lake City

Teaching American Indian languages in schools is a tool that educators say has been tested as a way of raising the achievement bar.

To that end, the State Board of Education is seeking $275,000 to preserve and revitalize Utah's indigenous languages to help narrow achievement gaps.

Utah's CRT state test results show a 45 percentage point difference between the performance of Navajo and Caucasian students on language arts, 48 percentage points on math and 57 percentage points on science, according to data state associate superintendent Brenda Hales presented to the Education Appropriations Committee Thursday.

The Education Board wants to include San Juan and Uintah School District's Ute Indian population in the proposed program. The Northern Band of Shoshone, Goshute and the Skull Valley tribe would be included in the future, under the proposal, which came out of the governor's fall Native American summit, Hales said.

"Take a look year after year at low test scores and a 50 percent dropout rate, we have a whole generation of students we're going to lose if we don't start making immediate attempts to help them," Hales said.

Following a pilot program in San Juan School District where students were immersed in Navajo Language classes, the gap closed to 15 percentage points in language arts, 23 percentage points in math and 10 percent in science.

Forrest Cuch, director of the Utah Office of Indian Affairs, said culture is also at stake and that Utah's five native nations need to work together with the state and federal governments to preserve them.

"We're losing our languages," Cuch said. "The federal government has come forward and Utah tribes would like the state to come forward."

In addition to the language funding, Sen. Ross Romero, D-Salt Lake, said he's requesting $350,000 to partner with KUED on an educational program highlighting Utah's five nations -- Ute, Piute, Shoshone, Goshute and Navajo.

Salt Lake City School District multicultural director Janice Jones Schroeder passionately lobbied this past week for money to fund the language program. Schroeder, an American Indian, said the language of her ancestors has been lost, and with it part of herself.

"The more you deny bills like this you deny us as human beings," Schroeder said. "We're tired of being marginalized ... Our kids are not succeeding nationwide, in Utah and the schools I work for ... because we've been denied those rights ... to be who we are."

Committee Chairman Sen. Howard Stephenson wondered whether language preservation was the way to go, or if $275,000 could be better spent otherwise.

"When it's not spoken in the home ... how do we expect to require those students or encourage those students to keep that language alive?" he said. "Is it a reasonable expectation? Is it going be a useful language, or is it going to be something 100 years from now ... it's still gone?"

Responded Schroeder: "To me, every human being is worth more than $275,000."

Sent by Dorinda Moreno  


A sorry attempt at apology
 By Susan Greene Denver Post Columnist
 Article Last Updated: 02/26/2008 

 Shannon Francis never sought an apology from a country that yanked her  mom and grandma off their reservations, forced them into white foster families and barred them from speaking their native Hopi and Navajo languages.
 So the Denver resident was unaware Tuesday that her government had decided to say, "Sorry." "I had no clue it was coming," the 38-year-old mother of six said with a shrug. "So much for making history."
 Like Francis, you probably missed it when the U.S. Senate quietly apologized for centuries of "violence, maltreatment and neglect inflicted on Native Peoples."
 The unprecedented resolution acknowledges that the government forced indigenous people off their land, stole their assets and was responsible for "official depredations, ill-conceived policies and the breaking of covenants" with tribes.
 When Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd apologized two weeks ago for policies that degraded that country's Aborigines, he blared his pronouncement live on giant screens throughout Australia. U.S. senators instead buried their "Oops, our bad" in an amendment to a bill for American Indian health care.
 Well, that certainly makes up for the Sand Creek Massacre and Wounded Knee.  So much for healing generations.
 "White America can't afford to apologize too seriously because it would threaten their ownership of Indian land," said Iliff School of Theology Indian cultures professor Tink Tinker.  Tuesday's resolution came at the urging of Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan.,
 who reports a "deep resentment" among Native Americans in his state.
 His colleagues aren't so big on apologies. Congress hadn't formally said "sorry" since apologizing to Native Hawaiians in 1993 for overthrowing their kingdom a century earlier. In 1988, lawmakers apologized and compensated Japanese-Americans interned in World War II detention camps.  Brownback's resolution does not authorize or settle any claim against the United States.
 "We have a government that took our land and our children and physically and emotionally abused them and forced them to assimilate into something that they're not," said Francis, an accounting consultant by trade and a longtime activist for American Indian causes. "We - I -  live with the pain of that every day. And for this they issue a bunch of words, empty like their treaties, that mean nothing and nobody hears."
Who is the apology really for, Francis wonders?
 Is it for her mother, grandmother and aunties who spent lifetimes trying to forget the federal boarding schools that sought to strip away their culture?
 For her brother, plagued like their father and grandfather by poverty and alcoholism?
 For her son, who failed a 7th-grade history test when he refused to check the box saying Christopher Columbus discovered America?
 Or for Francis herself, who overcame years of shame about her dark skin and accent to learn the ways of her ancestors that her own family had failed to pass on: to honor her kids, hug them and root them deeply in their heritage?
 "If our people had been left alone, maybe things would have been different," she said.
 As Francis sees it, Tuesday's resolution does little to fix a sad sequence of abuses that still is far from over.
 "We don't need any more hollow words," she says. "What I want is for the country to be honest, really honest, about what it has done and what it continues doing to our people."
Susan Greene writes twice weekly. Reach her at 303-954-1989 or  
"NITAs mission is to promote justice through effective and ethical advocacy by training and mentoring lawyers to be competent and ethical advocates in pursuit of justice."
 Below is the text of S.1200:   Indian Health Care Improvement Act Amendments of 2008 (Engrossed as  Agreed to or Passed by Senate)
SEC. 301. 

(a) Findings- Congress finds that--
(1) the ancestors of today's Native Peoples inhabited the land of the present-day United States since time immemorial and for thousands of years before the arrival of people of European descent; 
(2) for millennia, Native Peoples have honored, protected, and stewarded this land we cherish; 
(3) Native Peoples are spiritual people with a deep and abiding belief in the Creator, and for millennia Native Peoples have maintained a powerful spiritual connection to this land, as evidenced by their customs and legends;  
(4) the arrival of Europeans in North America opened a new chapter in the history of Native Peoples;  
(5) while establishment of permanent European settlements in North America did stir conflict with nearby Indian tribes, peaceful and mutually beneficial interactions also took place;  
(6) the foundational English settlements in Jamestown, Virginia, and Plymouth, Massachusetts, owed their survival in large measure to the compassion and aid of Native Peoples in the vicinities of the settlements; 
(7) in the infancy of the United States, the founders of the Republic expressed their desire for a just relationship with the Indian tribes, as evidenced by the Northwest Ordinance enacted by Congress in 1787, which begins with the phrase, `The utmost good faith shall always be observed toward the Indians';  
(8) Indian tribes provided great assistance to the fledgling Republic as it strengthened and grew, including invaluable help to Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on their epic journey from St. Louis, Missouri, to the Pacific Coast; 
(9) Native Peoples and non-Native settlers engaged in numerous armed  conflicts in which unfortunately, both took innocent lives, including those of women and children; 
(10) the Federal Government violated many of the treaties ratified by  Congress and other diplomatic agreements with Indian tribes;  
(11) the United States forced Indian tribes and their citizens to move away from their traditional homelands and onto federally established and controlled reservations, in accordance with such Acts as the Act of May 28, 1830 (4 Stat. 411, chapter 148) (commonly known as the `Indian Removal Act'); 
(12) many Native Peoples suffered and perished--
 (A) during the execution of the official Federal Government policy of  forced removal, including the infamous Trail of Tears and Long Walk; 
 (B) during bloody armed confrontations and massacres, such as the Sand  Creek Massacre in 1864 and the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890; and 
 (C) on numerous Indian reservations; 
(13) the Federal Government condemned the traditions, beliefs, and  customs of Native Peoples and endeavored to assimilate them by such  policies as the redistribution of land under the Act of February 8, 1887  (25 U.S.C. 331; 24 Stat. 388, chapter 119) (commonly known as the  `General Allotment Act'), and the forcible removal of Native children  from their families to faraway boarding schools where their Native  practices and languages were degraded and forbidden; 
(14) officials of the Federal Government and private United States  citizens harmed Native Peoples by the unlawful acquisition of recognized tribal land and the theft of tribal resources and assets from recognized  tribal land; 
(15) the policies of the Federal Government toward Indian tribes and  the breaking of covenants with Indian tribes have contributed to the  severe social ills and economic troubles in many Native communities today;  
(16) despite the wrongs committed against Native Peoples by the United  States, Native Peoples have remained committed to the protection of this  great land, as evidenced by the fact that, on a per capita basis, more  Native Peoples have served in the United States Armed Forces and placed  themselves in harm's way in defense of the United States in every major  military conflict than any other ethnic group; 
 (17) Indian tribes have actively influenced the public life of the  United States by continued cooperation with Congress and the Department  of the Interior, through the involvement of Native individuals in official Federal Government positions, and by leadership of their own sovereign Indian tribes; 
(18) Indian tribes are resilient and determined to preserve, develop, and transmit to future generations their unique cultural identities; 
(19) the National Museum of the American Indian was established within the Smithsonian Institution as a living memorial to Native Peoples and their traditions; and

(20) Native Peoples are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and among those are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
(b) Acknowledgment and Apology- The United States, acting through Congress--   

(1) recognizes the special legal and political relationship Indian tribes have with the United States and the solemn covenant with the land we share;  
(2) commends and honors Native Peoples for the thousands of years that  they have stewarded and protected this land;  
(3) recognizes that there have been years of official depredations, ill-conceived policies, and the breaking of covenants by the Federal Government regarding Indian tribes;  
(4) apologizes on behalf of the people of the United States to all Native Peoples for the many instances of violence, maltreatment, and  neglect inflicted on Native Peoples by citizens of the United States;  
(5) expresses its regret for the ramifications of former wrongs and its commitment to build on the positive relationships of the past and present to move toward a brighter future where all the people of this land live reconciled as brothers and sisters, and harmoniously steward and protect this land together;  
(6) urges the President to acknowledge the wrongs of the United States against Indian tribes in the history of the United States in order to bring healing to this land; and 
(7) commends the State governments that have begun reconciliation efforts with recognized Indian tribes located in their boundaries and encourages all State governments similarly to work toward reconciling relationships with Indian tribes within their boundaries.
(c) Disclaimer- Nothing in this section-- 
(1) authorizes or supports any claim against the United States; or  
(2) serves as a settlement of any claim against the United States. 

Passed the Senate February 26, 2008.
 110th CONGRESS,  2d Session,  S. 1200
 AN ACT To amend the Indian Health Care Improvement Act to revise and extend
 that Act.

Sent by Dr. Carlos Muñoz, Jr.



For all Aztecas, Zapotecs, Olmecas, Mayans, Incas, 


8,000 DRUMS gathering took place on March 21 at noon  


Darlene Courchene was contacted by my friend Gilles Novaks who is a Montagnais Indian from Montreal. He is a Medicine Man and a Healer. He asked me to get as many Tribal people to participate in a worldwide ceremony called the "8,000 Drums.?

 He was contacted by two Huron Clan Grandmothers from up there in Canada and they asked him to help spread the word to Indians everywhere. It will take place on March 21, 2008 at 12:00 noon.  All you need to do is play a drum either alone, or with a group or have the whole Tribe participate. The purpose is to fulfill the OTOMI PROPHECY. The Otomi's are Mayan Olmec and Toltec descendants. The drums will be played so that the Creator will hear us and grant our wishes as we pray for help in the Healing Process of our Mother Earth.? People are destroying Her and our Mother Earth needs our prayers. Thank you.


Passing along the word to bring healing for our Mother Earth.  

Dr. Armando A. Ayala
"El Hueso" de Laredo,Tx.; MHS'48  

The 62 Mexican living languages

Indigenous languages of the Americas

Languages     Number of speakers

Náhuatl         2,563,000
Maya    1,490,000
Zapoteco or Diidzaj     785,000
Mixteco or ñuu savi     764,000
Otomí or ñahñu  566,000
Tzeltal or k'op         547,000
Tzotzil or batzil k'op  514,000
Totonaca or tachihuiin  410,000
Mazateco or ha shuta enima      339,000
Chol    274,000
Mazahua or jñatio       254,000
Huasteco or tének       247,000
Chinanteco or tsa jujmi         224,000
Purépecha or tarasco    204,000
Mixe or ayook   188,000
Tlapaneco or mepha      146,000
Tarahumara or rarámuri  122,000
Zoque u o'de püt        88,000
Mayo or yoreme  78,000
Tojolabal or tojolwinik otik    74,000
Chontal de Tabasco or yokot'an  72,000
Popoluca        69,000
Chatino or cha'cña      66,000
Amuzgo or tzañcue       63,000
Huichol or wirrárica    55,000
Tepehuán u o'dam        44,000
Triqui or driki         36,000
Popoloca        28,000
Cora or naayeri         27,000
Kanjobal        27,000
Yaqui or yoreme         25,000
Cuicateco or nduudu yu  24,000
Mame or qyool   24,000
Huave or mero ikooc     23,000
Tepehua or hamasipini   17,000
Pame or xigüe   14,000
Chontal de Oaxaca or slijuala xanuk     13,000
Chuj    3,900
Chichimeca jonaz or uza         3,100
Guarijío or varojío     3,000
Matlatzinca or botuná   1,800
Kekchí  1,700
Chocholteca or chocho   1,600
Pima u otam     1,600
Jacalteco or abxubal    1,300
Ocuilteco or tlahuica   1,100
Seri or konkaak         910
Quiché  640
Ixcateco        620
Cakchiquel      610
Kikapú or kikapoa       580
Motozintleco or mochó   500
Paipai or akwa'ala      410
Kumiai or kamia         360
Ixil    310
Pápago or tono ooh'tam  270
Cucapá  260
Cochimí         240
Lacandón or hach t'an   130
Kiliwa or k'olew        80
Aguacateco      60
Teco    50




Hidden History: 6 Flags Over Texas . . . Wrong. . There were 7 !!
Multicultural Initiatives Committee (MIC) Blog.
Green Flag of Texas
Leadership and Mestizaje
Photos/Footage Needed for PBS Documentary, Hernandez V. Texas Case
The My San Antonio Blog of  Elaine Ayala
HIDDEN HISTORY: Six Flags Over Texas….Wrong! There Were Seven!!

As the controversial WW II Ken Burns Documentary and the recent decision by the Texas State Board of Education has proven, we must tell our own stories.

On Sunday April 6th, 2008 from 2-4 P.M. in front of the Spanish Governors Palace 105 Military Plaza in downtown San Antonio there will be a reenactment of the Tejano Declaration of Independence proclaimed by the President of the First Texas Republic, Jose Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara on April 6th 1813.

The emcee will be Maclovio Perez from WOAI. Scheduled to speak will be Dr Andres Tijerina, Ph.D Author, Historian and Texas History Professor; Dr J. F. de la Teja Ph.D, Author, Historian and the official Texas State Historian; Dan Arellano, Author, with special guest Robert Thonhoff  past President of the Texas State Historical Association. Mexican dignitaries Lic.Bladimir Martinez Ruiz Subsecretario of Education and former Mayor of Guerrero Luis Gerardo Ramos G. will be attending. A documentary crew will be filming the event; period Tejano attire will be worn.

The event is free and open to the public. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy Mariachi Music. Sponsored by the Tejano Genealogy Society of Austin

Contact: Dan Arellano  

Multicultural Initiatives Committee (MIC) Blog.

            For those of you interested in museum issues, I would like to invite you to visit the new Multicultural Initiatives Committee (MIC) Blog.

The purpose of the MIC is to promote multiculturalism and diversity in the interpretation, staff, boards, and audience of museums.  If anyone has any interesting articles or additional links that you feel should be posted, please let me know.  Also please feel free to leave your comments.  To stay updated on the latest MIC news, simply subscribe to the blog.The MIC is open to all!

Project of the: Multicultural Initiatives Committee, TX Assn of Museums Affinity Group.

Ivette Ray, Museum Curator
Log Cabin Village, 2100 Log Cabin Village Lane
Fort Worth, Texas 76109
Ph: (817)392-6767
Fx: (817)392-7610


Sent by Dorinda Moreno and
Roberto Calderon


Green Flag of Texas

Please support this effort by writing to your representatives in support of this effort of having the "Green Flag," recognized as the 7th flag that has flown over Texas. This is the letter from Author and Historian Robert Thonhoff in support of this. Please address them to me so I can deliver them in bulk.
Dan Arellano P.O. Box 43012 Austin, Texas 78704

Robert H. Thonhoff
617 N. Esplanade St.
Karnes City , TX 78118-2522  
Telephone: (830) 780-3582  

March 2, 2008

The Mexican American Legislative Caucus  
202 W. 13th St.  
Austin , TX 78701

Dear Sirs and Mesdames:

Please let it be known that I support the efforts of Mr. Dan Arellano and others for your caucus members to take the lead in calling upon the Texas Legislature to enact a joint resolution acknowledging the manifold contributions of our Tejano ancestors in the history of our great State of Texas.  

Only in recent years have Texas scholars and citizens discovered many facets of Tejano history that heretofore have languished in obscurity.  

Two such great events that have been swept under the proverbial historical rug immediately come to mind: (1) The Battle of Medina, and (2) the contribution of Spain, including Texas, in the winning of the American Revolution, from which we gained the freedom and opportunity that we still enjoy—and defend—today.

The Battle of Medina, for instance, was the bloodiest and most disastrous battle ever fought on Texas soil.  Fought on August 18, 1813 , between Republican and Spanish Royalist forces, this battle affected the destinies of five nations: Spain , Mexico , the United States , France , and England .  More lives were lost in this battle of the First Texas Revolution of 1812-1813 than were lost at the Alamo , Goliad, and San Jacinto combined during the Second Texas Revolution of 1835-1836.  

So disastrous was this battle for freedom that a revolution, a republic, a battlefield, and a flag have been lost and/or largely forgotten in the histories of Texas and America .  Sadly, one would search almost in vain to find mention of the Battle of Medina in our Texas history books or in our Texas classrooms of today.  

I urge you to take the lead in assuring that such significant events, achievements, and contributions of our Tejano forebears are included in the teaching of Texas history.

Sincerely, Robert H. Thonhoff

Author, Historian, Speaker  
Retired Educator and Retired
Karnes County Judge  
Former President of the Texas State Historical Association

Sent by Dan Arellano


"Leadership and Mestizaje: From Multiple  Subjectivities to Multiple Objectivities"

The Center for Mexican American Studies
of the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin
Graduate Portfolio Plática Series

John Steven Cisneros

Doctoral Candidate in Educational Administration with

a Graduate Portfolio in Mexican American Studies
Dissertation Advisor: Dr. Ruben D. Olivarez, L.D. Haskew Centennial Professor
in Public School Administration, Department of Educational Administration

"Leadership and Mestizaje: From Multiple 
 Subjectivities to Multiple Objectivities"


Mestizaje and Leadership: From Multiple Subjectivities to Multiple Objectivities is a summary presentation of a research project that investigates the characteristics of three Latino public school superintendents in Texas and demonstrates how their Latino perspective manifest itself in their leadership practices. The results highlight the transformative nature of Mestizaje.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008
12:00 noon - 1:00 p.m.
Texas Union, Sinclair Suite (3.128)

of the College of Liberal Arts

at The University of Texas at Austin

cordially invites you to attend


The 22nd Annual Américo Paredes Distinguished Lecture|
Racial Memory and the Ghost of Modernity
by Rafael Pérez-Torres

Friday, April 4, 2008
4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Main Building 212, The University of Texas at Austin
please call 512-471-4557


For information about the Graduate Portfolio Program in Mexican American Studies, contact Luis Guevara, CMAS Graduate Program Coordinator at 512-475-6769 or visit CMAS web site at

Sent by Margaret Velez

Camino Bluff Productions is completing work on A CLASS APART, a documentary film about the Hernandez v. Texas Supreme Court case and the post-war Mexican American civil rights movement.  The film is produced by Carlos Sandoval and Peter Miller, and will be shown nationally as part of the PBS series AMERICAN EXPERIENCE in 2009.

We have scoured many archives in Texas and around the country for photos and footage related to the story (including the Center for American History and Benson Collections at UT, the Bell Library at Texas A & M, the Houston Public Library, and
the Institute of Texan Cultures, among others), but would be interested in seeing any additional images of the following subjects:

- The lawyers who argued the Hernandez case:  Carlos Cadena, James DeAnda, Gus Garcia, John J. Herrera

- LULAC or American G.I. Forum meetings (1940's  or '50s)

- Images of Mexican American civil rights groups or protests, ca 1930s, '40s or '50s

- San Antonio, Texas - images of the city and Mexican American life, ca 1940s - '50s

- Any images at all related to the Hernandez v. Texas case

We would also be grateful for suggestions of other collections that we might have missed, in which we might find these kinds of images.

Please contact Peter Miller if you have any suggestions or materials that you think might be of interest:

For more information about A CLASS APART, please visit <

Gracias!  Carlos Sandoval
Camino Bluff Productions, Inc.
752 West End Avenue, Suite 2F, New York, NY 10025
T. 212.666.3266  F. 212.864.4313


The My San Antonio Blog of  Elaine Ayala
            Dear Readers,

My blog celebrates its first anniversary this month. Since I started blogging Latino Life, which is also my beat at the San Antonio Express-News, I've written hundreds of entries, almost 20,000 lines, or 2,700 inches, of type. I've tried to cover all things Latino but never come close to writing about all the topics that interest me. Still, I hope you've found it informative and entertaining.

If you're a newcomer to my list, I hope you enjoy and sign up for daily updates, which you'll find on the left side of the blog page.

Also, check out Sunday's Express-News, in which I write a story about the fascinating Villarreal sisters, who were feminists, revolutionaries and newspaper publishers before and during the Mexican Revolution of 1910. And watch for future stories on the 40th anniversary of the 1968 Chicano student walkouts in San Antonio and the Land Heritage Institute, which is preserving a piece of land and history that was once a Native American encampment among other things.

Elaine Ayala
Features Writer
San Antonio Express-News
P.O. Box 2171
San Antonio, TX 78297
(210) 250-3402

Cesar Chavez was a 'communist'?

Isabel Allende unplugged

Vicente Fox speaks his mind

Eric Alva, first casualty of war in Iraq

La cocina unites us

Celebrating Tejanos

Speedy, offensive or cute?

A Brown Beret resurgence

Bob Morales, Ritchie Valen's brother, rocks

Watcha, the Wizard of Oz, Vato-style

A little known side of Henry B. Gonzalez

"I'm ok my grandma rubbed an egg on me"

Latinas take over City Council



The Storyteller & the 24th Chicago Latino Film Festival
Laurel, Mississippi 
NASA Glenn's tribute to Hispanics

Founding of New Iberia, Malaga

The Storyteller & the 24th Chicago Latino Film Festival
Pepe Vargas, Executive Director
By Jorge Chino

Photos by Steve Starr
Splendor Magazine

Like a character in one of Gabriel García Márquez’s novels or a movie, Pepe Vargas is a humble man with a majestic vision. He was a cab driver, a janitor, a paralegal in Mexico, a lawyer in Argentina and for more than 20 years the executive director of the International Latino Cultural Center of Chicago. In cooperation with Columbia College, the ILCC has produced the Chicago Latino Film Festival with an array of films filled with passion, imagination and social commentary.
Pepe Vargas, right, at the Latino Film Fest Kick-Off Party at Zocalo Restaurant, 2007

For this native of Colombia, the film festival is about telling stories, tales from the Hispanic world to be shared with the United States audiences. For Pepe Vargas the festival is about creating awareness and educating people of who Latinos are. “And what a better tool than cinema? It transports all of our histories,” comments the man from Bogotá who sees the Latino history and cinema as a single story; an idea not very far from what the greatest Latino American writers considered to be the Latin American novel, a single masterpiece.
Board members and friends at Latino Film Fest Kick-Off Party at Zocalo Restaurant

It all started with a grant and the five hundred people who showed up to the 14 films exhibited at the first film festival. Twenty-four years later, this annual event showcasing contemporary cinema from Latin America, Spain and Portugal is considered to be the largest, the best of its kind, and the most comprehensive Latino film festival in the nation.

Last year, about 30,000 people flocked to see Lo que sé de Lola, Apocalipsur, A Colombia, El Clown and Como mariposas en la luz. So far, the festival has screened more than 1000 films and videos, attended by more than 250,00 people, and a budget that has grown from $10,000 to about $1.2 million. Despite the lack of a permanent facility to show its films, the festival has been immensely successful and continues raising awareness about Latino culture through its films and events.

In 1999, Pepe Vargas and his board members began a monumental crusade to raise $50 million to build a permanent home, a world-class facility to promote Latino film, dance, music and ideas. This is the majestic vision of a humble man, who sees the 20 countries that conform the Hispanic world as a single Latino family; it is like the dream of a home that would produce events year-round, from tango shows to Latin dance and music concerts.
Attendees enjoy themselves at Latino Film Fest Kick-Off Party at Zocalo Restaurant

The 2008 Film Fest
Running from April 4 to the 16th, this year’s festival will feature 100 films from the Hispanic world, including Latino U.S.A. The Opening Night will feature El prado de las estrellas/The Field of Stars, a Spanish film of interconnected and conflicting stories set on a meadow.

The Mexican Night will take place at the Thorne Auditorium at Northwestern University on April 9th. The program will include a film by Sebastián Silva, El viaje de la Nona. Mr. Silva will introduce the film after the traditional reception.
Finally, the Closing Night will take place at the same place as the Mexican Night on April 16th. The Gloria Career Achievement Award will be presented to Puerto Rican comedian, actor and director Jacobo Morales.

“I’ll be happy for people to see as many films as possible,” says José A. Vargas, AKA Pepe Vargas around the world.
The 24th Chicago Latino Film Festival
April 4-16, 2008
$10 for most ticket



Laurel, Mississippi 
LAUREL, MS - 14JANUARY08 - Laurel, Mississippi is a town where many Mexican immigrants have arrived to work in poultry plants over the last decade, developing relations with African Americans who also work in the plants. 

La Veracruzana market and restaurant is named after the homestate of many immigrants.  Nearby, the Michoacana market sells religious statues.  At the Veracruzana, Frank Curiel, an organizer for the Laborers Union and the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance, talks with owner Samuel Holguin.  Down the street is.a motel where Mexican poultry workers live.

Jerry Ball is an African American poultry plant worker, and union steward at Pico Foods for the Laborer's Union.  His hands suffer from carpal tunnel, and show the impact of 13 years on the line in the plant.  Jim Evans, chair of the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance, is the head of the Black Caucus in the state legislature, and is the AFL-CIO representative for the state of Mississippi.

The photographs are part of a documentary project on the Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance.  An article about MIRA was published in The American Prospect, available at

More photographs in the series are at
More articles/images on immigration, see

See also the photodocumentary on indigenous migration to the US, Communities Without Borders (Cornell University/ILR Press, 2006)


See also The Children of NAFTA, Labor Wars on the U.S./Mexico Border (University of California, 2004)

David Bacon, Photographs and Stories


NASA Glenn's tribute to Hispanics

            NASA Glenn's tribute to Hispanics
In honor of NASA’s 50th Anniversary Celebration and the associated events taking place at the NASA Glenn Research Center, the Hispanic Advisory Council will be creating a tribute to Hispanics of Glenn Research Center.  The tribute will be showcased during the May 17th - 18th GRC Lewis Field Open House and May 31st - June 1st GRC Plum Brook Station Open House. 
POC: Daniel Rodríguez, Chair, GRC Hispanic Advisory Council (HAC) at

 For more information, please contact Debbie Martinez

Founding of New Iberia, Malaga

Subject:  Los Malagueños and Founding of New Iberia You may have seen this site already, but if not, this particular link may interest you. It's Chapter 8 from a book written in Spanish about the genealogy of some of the sixteen families from Malaga who founded New Iberia.  The entire chapter is repeated in English for readers who
do not read Spanish.   About 50 pages altogether.  Sources are listed in footnotes.
Sent by Bill Carmena



Rosa Rosales’ Contributions Recognized by Top Latina Leaders   
New Mexican Hispanic Culture Preservation League

Rosa Rosales’ Contributions to the Community Recognized by Top Latina Leaders  
Event in Washington DC honored accomplishments of Latinas


             Washington, DC- The Imagen Foundation, in cooperation with Honorary Chair Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis (D-CA), will host an event tomorrow night to celebrate Women’s History Month by honoring the contributions that Latinas have made in their communities. Rosa Rosales, National President of the League of United Latin American Citizens along with six other extraordinary Latinas and Latina Magazine will be recognized for their leadership and work. They will be joined by a prestigious Honorary Committee including Congresswomen Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Linda T. Sanchez (D-CA), and Loretta Sanchez (D-CA). 

“Rosa’s work has made a positive impact on the Latina community and is an inspiration to countless young people nationwide,” said Honorary Chair, Congresswoman Hilda Solis. “This dinner, being held at the Library of Congress, will give Latina leaders in business, government, media, and entertainment the opportunity to celebrate the accomplishments of Rosa Rosales and the other distinguished honorees.” 

President of The Imagen Foundation Helen Hernandez said, “The Imagen Foundation’s early mission to recognize and celebrate positive portrayals of Latinas in television and film has been expanded.  This year’s honorees include Latinas from many different professional fields, all of whom are making positive contributions to our country’s overall social fabric.” Hernandez continued, “This event provides the Latina community with the chance to honor those who have made phenomenal progress in their professional careers, as well as teach young Latina women that they can truly make a difference.” 

The League of United Latin American Citizens is the largest and oldest Hispanic civil rights organizations in the United States. As a member of the League of United Latin American Citizens, Rosa Rosales’ involvement with the organization spans over three decades. She now serves as national president and has also served as National Vice President for the Southwest. In 1994, she was reelected to a record-breaking fourth term and the second woman to serve four years as LULAC Texas State Director and was the first woman district director. Additionally, Ms. Rosales serves on the Board of the LULAC National Educational Service Centers (LNESC) and is passionate about her work in education. Her involvement in the community is underscored by her participation on numerous civic boards. She has received many honors and awards for her continued service to LULAC, including: American GI Forum Leadership Award, the LULAC Women of the Year Award and the Cesar Chavez March for Justice Award and the 100 Most Influential Hispanics. 

The other honorees include Univision Television talk show host, Cristina Saralegui, former CNN reporter Maria Hinojosa, Latina Magazine, national health care advocate Gloria Rodriguez, environmental justice youth advocates from New York’s UPROSE Jennifer Casamayor, Crystal Castro, and Judith Cardenas.

The Nielsen Company is the presenting sponsor of the Latina Leaders-Celebrating Our Voices Dinner. Grifols, Inc. is the major sponsor of the evening, with several other corporations joining as sponsors including AT&T, Southwest Airlines, Arbitron and El Proyecto Del Barrio.

The Imagen Foundation, best known for its annual Imagen Awards which honors positive portrayals of Latinos and Latino cultures in television and film, was established in 1985. Imagen provides access, education, and resources to Latinos in the industry and those looking for careers in entertainment.  Imagen has expanded its Awards to include events that profile positive and successful Latino/as as a way to share with the nation their positive influence on society and insight into the U.S. Latino experience.


New Mexican Hispanic Culture Preservation League


The New Mexican Hispanic Culture Preservation League is trying to get support for Congress to bestow the Congressional Gold Medal on the Bataan veterans from WWII.   They were prisoners of war.  Help by contacting those you elected to Congress  and request that they support NM Rep. Tom Udall's legislation H.R. 5315.  The medal would be placed at the Smithsonian in their honor.

For more information, please contact Conchita Lucero at


Personajes de la historia,  Municipal de Torreón, Coahuila 
The 1910 Mexican Revolution and Migration to the United States
The Genealogy of Juan Montanez and and His Descendants 
The Slaves of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
Publicaciones de El Colegio de Chihuahua 
Oaxaca Invita a Su Primera "Reunion Familiar"
Descendents of Doctor Ignacio Zapata

Personajes de la historia /

Por: José León Robles De La Torre:

Sent by Mercy Bautsta-Olvera


En artículos anteriores describí cómo fueron violentas las elecciones para Presidente Municipal de Torreón, Coah., de 1920, para el periodo del primero de enero de 1921 al 31 de diciembre de 1922 en que se declararon vencedores los tres candidatos, el doctor Samuel Silva, el doctor Ángel Gutiérrez y don Jesús Sotomayor Alejandro, en que el Congreso anuló las elecciones y que finalmente quedó el doctor Samuel Silva de León, zacatecano ilustre, quien tomó posesión del cargo el primero de noviembre de 1921 y terminó el 31 de diciembre de 1922.

El doctor Silva, nació en la ciudad de Zacatecas, Zacs., el día seis de diciembre de 1878, siendo hijo de don Jesús Silva y de su esposa doña Ma. Asunción de León. Estudió la secundaria y bachillerato en el Instituto de Ciencias de Zacatecas y la profesional en la Facultad Nacional de Medicina de la Ciudad de México, D. F., en la Escuela Médico Militar, titulándose de Médico Militar en 1919, con el grado de Mayor del Ejército Nacional. En 1901, se casó en Zacatecas con doña María Pedroza, procreando a Fernando Silva Pedroza en 1902, a María Silva Pedroza en 1904, y años después, sirvió como Médico Militar en Acapulco, Guerrero y en Quintana Roo, durante los años de 1910, 1911 y 1912.

Ya radicado en Torreón, nació su hijo Jorge Mario Silva Pedroza, que luego fue médico, en 1917, y años después se casó con la señorita Rosario Llamas Alatorre, hija de don Gustavo Llamas y Soledad Alatorre, procreando una numerosa familia

(puede verse en mi libro Cien Años de Presidentes Municipales en Torreón, Coah., 1897-1997).

Como Presidente Municipal, en un año y dos meses que estuvo en el poder, construyó la "Escuela Amado Nervo" en la avenida Ocampo y Galeana, bajo la dirección del Ing. José Ma. Rodríguez Vidaurri. La escuela se hizo de dos plantas y costó cincuenta y cuatro mil pesos de aquéllos de los años veintes.

El doctor Silva escribió más de sesenta cuentos que estuvo publicando en un periódico local y sólo se editó El Chendengue, un Cuento que fue Verdad. Su última voluntad fue que se editaran sus obras y el producto íntegro de su venta, se donara a la Casa del Anciano que él fundó.

A principios de 1946, con motivo del cuarto centenario de la Fundación de Zacatecas, el doctor Silva organizó una peregrinación de zacatecanos radicados en Torreón, a la ciudad de Zacatecas, al Cerro de la Bufa, y gestionó ante las autoridades de Zacatecas que se le impusiera el nombre de Torreón a una de sus avenidas, siendo la de la entrada a Zacatecas, por quebradilla, y en reciprocidad, consiguió que las autoridades de Torreón pusieran el nombre de Zacatecas a una de sus avenidas llamada hasta entonces González Ortega. El acuerdo de Cabildo fue el siete de febrero de 1946.

El doctor Samuel Silva de León, zacatecano ilustre, falleció en Torreón el día 19 de enero de 1959. Su muerte fue muy sentida y conmovió a la Comarca Lagunera. En Gómez Palacio, el Dispensario Guadalupano, manifestó su gran dolor por la pérdida de su benefactor que durante más de diez años, acudía constantemente a dar consulta gratuita y además llevaba las muestras médicas para regalar a sus pacientes. En la capilla de la Casa del Anciano que él fundó, se dijo una misa por el Vicario General don Rodrigo Marrero. Fue un acto conmovedor y doloroso para las monjas de la Casa del Anciano y para los trabajadores y pueblo en general. La Madre Lola, muy conocida en Torreón, encabezaba el duelo.


The 1910 Mexican Revolution and Migration to the United States
Dr. R. Bruce Harley,
Archivist Diocese of San Bernardino
circa 1995

Porfirio Diaz, dictator of Mexico from 1876 to 1911, never forqot that baiting of the Church and her priests was always sound politics in his country.   He sporadically (but not constantly) enforced the Reform laws stemming from previous Benito Juarez regime.  By 1900, this cat-and-mouse game led to both priests and Peasants migrating freely across the border to seek a better life in the U.S.

The migration pattern increased tremendously during  the Mexican Revolution of 1910 to 1917 and continued during the next decade as the country's political institutions sought some measure or accommodation and stability. The effect of this struggle can be seen in Southern California's Catholic parishes.   Established parishes tried to absorb an unexpected influx but in many cases it took the establishment of new parishes manned by refugee pastors to cope with the problem of ministering to the faithful.

This movement of people northward was the Mexican reply in a sense to the American mythology of the western frontier beckoning settlers ever onward until they reached the Pacific coast.  From the Mexican standpoint, the myth continued of someday regaining the northern of the nation lost in the 1846-48 Mexican War Hence, it was proper to migrate north into gringo territory which eventually would be retrieved. Coupled with continued persecution and later economic motives, the wave of virtually unrestricted unrestricted migration continued to  World War II years.  

Eventually, U.S. immigration laws were tightened but to no avail.  The tide of migration continued so that the flow consisted of two streams, legal and illegal.  The amnesty program of the 1980's did little in the long term of decreasing the post-amnesty illegal stream.  Hispanicization of the American southwest had become a reality.




Published in the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research,
Journal IV, (c) 1998 edited by Mary Lou Montagna and Ophelia Marquez


350 years ago Juan Montanez was ill and dying in the city of San Luis Potosi. His will and codicil were executed there in the Hospital San Juan de Dios, and twelve generations later those documents helped solve some unanswered questions regarding his lineage, marriages and offspring. Juan Montanez was the progenitor of a vast family in what was then a sparsely populated area in the lands of the Chichimeca Indians. The Montanez name is interwoven with many of the early families of Nueva Galida and Nueva Espana, as those areas of Mexico were then called. The strongest ties were with the Carrillo de Sandi y Gonzalez de Rubalcava family The Martin y Sotomayor/de las Ruelas connection also appeared frequently.

The search for Don Juan's genealogy was also a study in geography. He was the owner of the estanda de Ojuelos which today is a town located on the road that connects Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco, to the dty of San Luis Potosi, San Luis Potosi. But during Don Juan's lifetime the religious needs of those living on his estanda were served by the priests of Sierra de Pinos in Zacatecas. At about 27 miles north of his ranch, Pinos was the dosest town. Thus many of the baptism, marriage and death records of the Montanez family are located in the Pinos archives. Additional information was gleaned mainly from the archives of Teocaltiche, Jalisco, and the dties of Aguascalientes and San Luis Potosi where many of his descendants settled. Please note that all dates given will be for baptisms, unless otherwise stated.

The all-important testament dated 29 Sep 1648, begins...
En el nombre de Dios todo poderoso amen.   Sepan quantos esta carta de testamento...Juan Montanez vz° de la Ju"' de Sierra de Pinos en Reyno de la Galicia natural de la cw^ de Salamanca, Reynos de Castilla, hijo legitimo de Juan Montanes y Ana Bisente mis padres i naturales de las montanas de Leon, ya difuntos. Estando enfermo en cama...

Fui casado...
His first wife was Sebastiana Diaz, daughter ofMiguel Diaz from Guanajuato and his second wife Maria Medel. Sebastiana's paternal grandparents were Martin Alonso and Juana Sanchez. Her maternal grandparents were Pedro Medel vecino of Lagos and Ana Dominguez. I have identified three children from this marriage:

1.    Miguel Diaz Montanez who married Josefa Diaz in Ojuelos on 7 Apr 1641. Three of their children: (1) Juan, 3 May 1642, (2) Diego, and (3) Sebastian, 14
Feb 1645, married three sisters: Teresa, Jadnta, and Juana, daughters of Diego CarriUo de Sandi and Maria Gonzalez de Rubalcava. Other children identified from the Pinos, San Luis Potosi and Teocaltiche archives are: (4) Petra Diaz who married Joseph de Rubalcava, (5) Maria Baltasara baptized in San Luis Potosi on 22 Apr 1647. (6) Maria Diaz Medel, 5 Apr 1649, married Domingo Landeros in late 1663 and died in July 1665, (7) Lucas, 16 Jan 1651, (8) Nicolasa, 9 Nov 1653, (9) Manuel, 21 Feb 1658, and (10) Miguel, 25 May 1659.

2.    Ana was baptized 21 Sep 1623 per the Pinos records. This child must have died at a very early age, since the next daughter bom to Juan and Sebastiana was also named Ana, and Don Juan named only two children from this marriage in his will.
3.    Ana Vicente was baptized 28 May 1626. On 1 Sep 1638 in Ojuelos, she married Joseph Martin, son ofAndres Martin and Maria de las Ruelas. Their children were (1) Sebastiana de Sotomayor baptized 8 Apr 1645 in Pinos who married Fehpe Nunez de Esquivel from Queretaro on 31 Jul 1666 in San Luis Potosi. (2) Joseph Martin de las Ruelas, 20 Oct 1651 in Pinos, submitted information on 2 Aug 1678 in San Luis Potosi to marry Maria de Cardenas. He stated that his father was dead and that his mother was living in San Luis Potosi. (3) Maria de San Joseph who on 24 Feb 1681 na&rried her first cousin Alonso Martin Saldana, son of Diego Martin Saldana and Teresa de las Ruelas, sister of Joseph Martin. The last child I have identified is (4) Antonio who was bom in San Luis Potosi and who prepared a will in Aguascalientes on 19 May 1707, stating he had married a widow, Teresa de Peralta y Escalante, and that they had no children. He also mentioned in his will that his mother, Ana Vicente, was living in San Luis Potosi. Ana Vicente was occasionally referred to as Ana Diaz or Ana Montanez; however, in one instance in 1682 she was referred to as Ana Vicente de Saldivar.
Fui casado de segundo matrimonio...

Per the Pinos register on 14 Apr 1630, Juan Montanez married Maria de Sotomayor, daughter of Andres de Martin y Maria de las Ruelas vecinos de Teocaltiche. Maria de Sotomayor had eleven siblings who used the surnames Martin, de las Ruelas, de Sotomayor, Martin de Sotomayor, and Martin de las Ruelas. Their marriages were registered as early as 1619 through 1657. Juan Montanez and his second wife Maria de Sotomayor (aka Maria de las Ruelas) had ten children:

1.    Josepha de Sotomayor baptized 9 Ma- 1631. Married Joseph de Avila, son of Juan Lopes de Avila and Mariana de Sosa(sp?), on 7 Jan 1647' in Ojuelos. Children: (1) Juan Lopez de Avila baptized 30 Sep 1649 in San. Luis Potosi, and I believe married thrice. First to Fehpa Zapata, then to Juana de Truxillo, and in 1702 to Andrea de Medina. (2) Maria married Salvador Camacho in 1669 in San Luis Potosi. (3) Joseph 11 Aug 1655. (4) Manuel de Avila, who
wed Maria de Briones in 30 Sep 1694. Josepha died in San Luis Potosi on 1 Dec 1706.

2.    Petrona de Sotomayor was baptized in Ojuelos on 28 Sep 1632. She married her first husband Juan de Salcedo, a widower, in Ojuelos on 20 Jul 1648. He was the son of Juan Martinez de Salcedo and Maria Bravo Cortes. Petrona's son (1) Phelipe was baptized on 8 Mar 1650 in San Luis Potosi. A daughter, (2) Juana de Salcedo, was married to Luis de Castro and had no offspring. (3) Andres de Salcedo was the only other child I could identify.

On 2 Feb 1666 Petrona married Alvaro Marin de Peflalosa, also a widower, son of Juan Marin de Peflalosa and Maria CarriJIo de Sandi (sister of Diego Carrillo de Sandi who was married to Maria Gonzalez de Ruvalcaba and mentioned several times in this article). Don Alvaro had Dona Petrona had seven children: (1) Teresa Marin married Bemardino Ysia Delgadillo on 25 May 1687. They are my ancestors. (2) Antonia Marin married Pedro Calvulo Velasco (aka Pedro Gomes Calvillo) per their 7 May 1691 marriage information. (3) Agustin Marin, 27 Mar 1667, married Lorenza Salado on 29 Mar 1693. (4) Andres Marin, 7 Jan 1669. (5) Mateo bom 1670, (6) Diego bom 1672, and (7) Gertrudis bom 1675, died at a very young age. All these events, including Petrona's marriage, occurred in Aguascahentes. Alvaro Marin de Peflalosa was buried on 12 Mar 1685 and left a will. Petrona executed a will in June 1686 and again in June 1691. In the latter document she only mentions Andres de Salcedo, her son from the first marriage, and the first four children listed above from her second marriage. Petrona was still living in Mar 1693.

3.    Juan Adriano was baptized 25 June 1634. I located a Pinos burial entry dated 27 Feb 1668 for Maria de San Martin, mujer de Juan Montanez. But, have not been able to confirm a connection with Juan Adriano.

4.    Luisa de Sotomayor was baptized 9 Jun 1636 in Ojuelos. She married in San Luis Potosi on 2 Sep 1654 to Juan Romero Gallardo from Puebia, the son of Diego Romero and Jadnta Valero. The only offspring I have identified were through two death records. An entry dated 7 Apr 1683 does not name their daughter but refers to (1) a "doncella" and a week later on 14 Apr 1683 they bury a son (2) Joseph Romero. Juan Romero Gallardo was buried on 27 Sep 1684.

5.    Elena Montanez de Sotomayor was baptized 10 Sep 1637. She married Diego Perez de Frias in Pinos on 9 Jul 1656. They also are my direct ancestors. Their daughter (1) Melchora de los Reyes Perez Sotomayor married Joseph Omelas. Other children were (2) Antonio Perez de Frias, (3) Diego, (4) Mariana, (5) Juan de Frias, (6) Francisco Perez, and (7) Getrudis de Sotomayor. Fabian Perez may also be their son, but I have been unable to verify this.  These children were listed in the confirmation records of Teocaltiche, Jalisco.

6.    Bemabe was baptized on 2 Aug 1638 in Ojuelos and married twice. He and Isabel Carrillo, daughter of Diego Carrillo de Sandi and Maria Lopez (aka Maria Gonzalez de Rubalcava) were married in Teocaltiche, Jalisco, on 14 Jun 1659. Seven of their known offspring married in Aguascalientes. (1) Rosa Maria wed Cristoval de Medina Avila; (2) Juan married Ana de Medina Estrada; (3) Marina de Sotomayor married Francisco Chavez Fragoso Padilla; (4) Geronimo wed Luisa Ruiz de Esparza Romo; (5) Nicolasa wed Melchor Valderrama; (6) Ana Vicenta married Manuel Ruiz de Esparza Sotelo; and (7) Juana married Esteban Gutierrez Duron Castillo. Bemabe may have had another daughter named Maria. She was only identified through a 1666 list of Teocaltiche confirmations. She cannot be confused with Marina, since both sisters were on the same list, but she may be the Rosa Maria named above.
When the widower Bemabe was 68 he married Ysabel Martin de Chavez Perez. There were no children from this marriage.

7.    Maria was baptized 4 Apr 1640. She was mentioned in her father's 1648 will and in another San Luis Potosi document a year later, but I have not located any other reference to her.

8.    Manuel Montanez was baptized 7 Apr 1641. In 5 Jun 1866 he married Elvira Carrillo Lopez daughter of Diego Carrillo de Sandi and Maria Gonzalez de Ruvalcaba (aka Lopez de Ruvalcaba). Two of their children were found only through baptism entries: (1) Diego 10 Sep 1672 and (2) Theresa Gertrudis 4 Mar 1690. The others were found in various combinations of baptism, marriage, and marriage information records. (3) Maria Montanez y Sotomayor married Alonso Madas Lopez in Aguascalientes on 20 Sep 1690. (4) Maria Concepdon Montanez married Joseph Agaton Calvillo and in his 1699 will he names their three children ages 3, 2 and 1. Maria and Maria Concepdon may be one and the same. (5) Juan Bonifado married Juana Esparza Rangel in 1701. (6) Ines provided information to marry in 1704 to Juan Estrada Bocanegra. (7) Gregorio Lopez Montanez Sotomayor at age 22 in 1707, gave information to marry Maria de Esparza.

9.    Victoria de las Ruelas (aka de Sotomayor) was raised by her unde, Joseph Martin and his wife Ana Vicente (Victoria's half sister). She was married in Aguascalientes on 16 Aug 1663 to Nicolas Vazquez Vallin. Their son (1) Juan was bom in 1666, followed by (2) Bartolome in 1668. Bartolome provided o information in Santa Maria de los Lagos (now Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco) in 1697 to marry Maria Guzman. Another son (3) Nicolas, baptized 2 Dec 1670, married twice: first to Petronila de Islas y Calderon in 1692, then to Petronila de Cabrera in 1698.

Victoria was widowed in 1670 and remarried on 26 Feb 1675 to Andres Ruiz de Esparza Vielma. In 1690, Victoria executed a will wherein she only mentioned her three sons and her second husband as heirs.

10.   Ana de Santiago was baptized 11 Aug 1643. She provided information in Pinos on 17 Nov 1663 to marry Juan de Moxica, son of Heman Peres de Moxica, who was bom in the Canary Islands, and Maria de Ortega. Juan died in San Luis Potosi in November 1681, leaving Ana a widow.

Maria de Sotomayor was buried on 24 Aug 1643. I can only surmise that she died of childbirth complications.
Declare que fuy cassado terzera bes...

Juan's third wife, Maria de Saldana, was the daughter of Alonso Martin Matheos and Catalina de Saldana. The date and place of this marriage has not been determined, but I believe it may have been San Luis Potosi. They had one daughter:
1.    Juana was baptized on 9 Jul 1646 in San Luis Potosi. She was barely two years old when her father died.

In his testament, Juan Montanez named all of his children and their spouses where applicable. He had originally named his son-in-law Juan de Salcedo as albacea (executor). But on 11 Oct 1648 via a codicil to his will, he replaced him with Pedro de Salas vedno de Pinos. Both documents are in the protocolos of Pedro de Avalos, escribano real.

He named Maria de las Ruelas to be the guardian of his orphaned children from his second marriage. She was their maternal grandmother and probably close to 70 years old, since she was already married in the very early 1600s. In July 1649, it appears that Maria de las Ruelas relinquished her guardianship to Pedro de Salas and to Ana Diaz muger legitima de Joseph Martin de la Rroelas otra hija y heredera del dicho Juan Montanez y de Sevastiana Diaz su primera mujer. Juan Montanez died shortly after completing his codidl.

Other Montaftez Families
There was another contemporary Montanez family in San Luis Potosi with origins in Puebia and connections in Queretaro. But the two families never appeared as witnesses or godparents for each other and seemed to live very separate lives, so I do not believe they were related. The earliest identification for this second family was the baptisms of three children of Juan Montanez and Antonia de Ledesma in Puebia. Maria, Miguel and Antonio were baptized in 1605, 1607 and 1610. Then a fourth child, Nicolas, appeared in San Luis Potosi 1642 marrying Angela de Barragan Cano, daughter of Guillermo Conde and Maria de Barragan. At that time Nicolas Montanez stated that his parents were living in and originally from la Ciudad de Mexico.

The padrinos of the 1642 wedding mentioned above were Miguel Geronimo Montanez boticario and his wife Gertrudis de Vargas. In 1648 a Nicolas Montanez from Queretaro gave a power of attorney to his brother, Miguel Geronimo Montanez, who was living in San Luis Potosi.

A generation later in 1661 in San Luis Potosi, a Geronimo Montanez from Queretaro, son ofAndres Montanez and Juana Pacheco de Orduna, married Josefa de Oliver. His first wife had been Geronima de Rivera and when his second wife died, he married again in 1671 to Juana de Segovia also from San Luis Potosi. She was the daughter of Miguel de Segovia and Isabel de Salas. Geronimo and Juana lived in San Pedro Piedra Gorda (now Ciudad Manuel Doblado, Guanajuato) where their twelve children were born.

There is another Montanez reference that should be mentioned. This was a burial record in San Luis Potosi dated 13 Mar 1704 for a Juan Montanez ve2° en San Luis Potosi y viudo de primer nupcias de D" Maria de Sotomayor y Alarcon. He had been bom in los reynos de Castilla circa 1634. Nothing more is known of him; but since he married into the Sotomayor family, I believe he was probably related to Juan Montanez, the subject of this article.

Sources and Acknowledgements
Church Archives:
Ciudad Manuel Doblado, Guanajuato
Guadalajara, Jalisco (Diocesan Archives)
Lagos de Moreno, Jalisco
Morelia, Michoacan (Diocesan Archives)
Nochistlan, Zacatecas
San Luis Potosi, San Luis Potosi
Sierra de Pinos, Zacatecas
Teocaltiche, Jalisco

Archivo Historico del Estado de Aguascalientes Archive Historico Municipal de Leon, Guanajuato Archivo Historico del Estado de San Luis Potosi

For their encouragement and research contributions, I extend my appreciation to:
Tony Campos,
Lie. Mariano Gonzalez Leal
Dr. J. Leon Helguera
Jaime Holcombe Isunza
Ophelia Marquez
Prof. Juan Francisco Salceda Andrade

The Slaves of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico

Featuring the slave Maria Anastacia

By Crispin Rendon, Dahlia Guajardo Palacios and Tony Garcia



Maria Anastasia, was a slave of yellow complexion. How often do you see yellow complexion outside of Asia? Mestizaje, Spanish for miscegenation is the mixture of races, something very common in Mexico. Petra, Maria Anastacia’s sister was described as a golden brown somewhat white female mulatto slave. Yellow skin and curly hair would catch your eye but the most striking thing about Anastacia’s appearance would have to be her smallpox scars.  

Smallpox is the disease cause by the variola virus. In the “History of the Conquest of Mexico” by William H. Prescott 1882, we learn that a Negro infected with the disease landed with Narvaez. The disease spread rapidly killing Indians on both sides of the conflict in great numbers. One of the first victims of the disease on reaching the Aztec capital was Cuitlahua, Montezuma’s successor. The disease is fatal in 30% of unvaccinated people. Where did this black man who brought death and despair come from and were there others?  

Conquistador Juan Garrido, a black, was the first person to plant wheat in New Spain. His fellow conquistador Capitan Andres Tapia had found wheat seeds in his rice and directed Juan to plant them. Andres is the 12th great grandfather of Crispin D. Rendon. You can read Andres Tapia’s account of the conquest of Mexico in “The Conquistadors” by Patricia de Fuentes.  

Juan de Villanueva “el Negro” a black encomendero arrived in New Spain in 1526 coming from Granada, Spain. More can be learn about him in “The Encomenderos of New Spain 1521-1555” by Robert Himmerich Y Valencia, page 262. How was it that these blacks came from Spain? We may have stumbled into the answer while looking for the Hacienda Guinala where Maria Anastacia was born.  

A search of the Monterrey protocolos for Guinala or with the umlaut Güinala yields a number of records of the hacienda. Where it is now, we do not know but a GOOGLE search locates a Rio Grande de Güinala in the West African nation of Guinea-Bissau. The Portuguese in the years 1513-1516 shipped 378 slaves from Guinea-Bissau to Spanish ports. This is before the conquest of Mexico and three of those slaves may very well have been the Negro who brought smallpox to the New World, Juan Garrido the first person to plant wheat there and Juan de Villanueva encomendero.  

Look at the scar where your smallpox vaccinated scab fell off and remember Maria Anastacia. Eat a flour tortilla and remember Juan Garrido. Dream of freedon and success and remember Juan de Villanueva.

Please enjoy our translations of the protocolos that provided the grist, the germ and place for this investigation.  

Monterrey, December 16, 1777

Will of Juan de Elizondo, citizen of this City and resident at the farm of Guinala; legitimate son of the General Pedro de Elizondo and Doña Maria de la Garza, deceased. He arranges to be buried in the parochial church of this City, shrouded with a cassock of San Francisco. He declares that he was married with Doña Maria Antonia de la Serna y Alarcon, deceased. Children: Jose Cayetano, Jose Ceferino, Vicente Ferrer and Maria Josefa de Elizondo. He declares that when he married, his wife brought to the marriage 47 pesos worth of clothes "and other little gems"; and he "a team of seven mares and his horse", and that when she died we had together, 760 pesos in personal property. He declares that he was married a second time to Doña Maria Marta Gonzalez, "neighbor from the hacienda de San Jose and who died in Monterrey, she was the legitimate daughter of Don Mateo Regalado (Gonzalez) and of Doña Francisca de Leon, both deceased". Children: Jose Felix, Antonia Francisca, Juana Maria, Maria Luisa, Ana Josefa and Maria Gertrudis de Elizondo. Declares to have married Doña Antonia Francisca, his daughter, to Alexander Barrera and have given to him 324 pesos 4 reales in dowry; to Doña Maria Juana Josefa, with Jose Ignacio Gonzalez, he gave him in dowry 298 pesos in reales; to Jose Felix, with Doña Maria Josefa Garcia, he gave to him 321 pesos 5 reales, in jewels and personal property; to Doña Mara Luisa, with Juan Jose Gonzalez, he gave him 236 pesos 7 reales. Goods: The house of his dwelling in Guinala, his and of his first wife, one house and lot in Monterrey, with a parlour and two rooms; the part of what he inherited from his parents, in the Hacienda de San Francisco, and purchased from Pedro de Elizondo, his brother; half a site for cattle horses and mules at Guinala; a site for sheep and goats at the plain of Encina Gorda; "the furniture of the house and kitchen, five boxes, a very large drawer, built, with the bench; a table, another table and bench, in the city; a bed made of boards, a cupboard, three wooden benches, a stool, a gunsmith, three large dippers and another medium one; two grinding stones, two flat iron pans, a spit to roast meat and a grub hoe, two grates, four plates of silver, seven silver spoons, a salt shaker, a salt cellar with a stopper, my horse riding apparel that goes with my saddle, moderate stirrup, bridle, spurs, weapons and saddle pads, fowling piece". Clothes: (his and Doña Maria Marta’s): "a cloth cape from Cholula; a jacket and trousers of the best cloth, black; two used short jackets, umbrella shaped under-petticoats, with it’s silver edge; a jacket of the same textile, equipped with silver; one ribbed silk skirt, one black ribbed silk skirt; one purple skirt, gold lace, some new and others used; a black velvet woman’s cape with long points; an embroidered shawl, another of blue cotton, seven silver lockets, two pairs of enameled gold earrings; four cushions, a tablecloth, a mattress, a printed cloth bed sheet, another one homemade of cotton; wool pillows, two bed sheets. Other Goods: 185 pesos that his wife had when they married; 940 goats and sheep; 250 head of cattle, eight yokes of oxen, 25 horses; several pack mules; 53 breeding mares. Debts: To Joaquin Canales, what is on record; to the Captain Jose Simon de la Garza, what is on record minus 100 breeding ewes and their rent of 10 plaited cords of wool. They owe him: Saucedo, 6 pesos for a cow; Jose Valentin Pena, 6 pesos for a horse; Francisco Lerma, 6 pesos for corn and meat; Blas Jose de la Garza, 5 pesos; the Alferez Seferino Saenz 6 pesos for goods that he gave to Ignacio Guerra; Javier Puente, 7 pesos 4 reales; Jose Antonio Gonzalez, neighbor of Ancon, 8 pesos for a fat young bull; Jose Cayetano de Lerma, 4 pesos for sheep; Jose Leon Garza, 4 pesos, for corn; Clara de Lerma, neighbor of Los Lermas, 12 fanegas (a fanega equals about 1.5 bushels) of corn and an ox; Francisco Barbosa, 6 pesos; Jose Treviño, 73 goats and their rents of 27 years; Santiago Garcia, 6 pesos; the Indians of the town of Guadalupe, one repaired yoke; Francisco Antonio, an ox; Governor Jose Cavazos (of Guadalupe?) 15 pesos; Lorenzo Maldonado, one yoke; Vicencio Ramos, 8 fanegas of corn; Lorenzo Lascano, an ox and its rent of 2 years; Juan Jose (Lascano), 4 pesos for a fat young bull; Juan Antonio Ramos, 5 fanegas 2 almudes (a almud is equal to one half fanega) of corn, rent of oxen; Jose Ramos, 8 almudes of corn; Felipe Santiago, 13 pesos of corn, at 12 reales fanega value "of one fat cow and a bull"; Lorenzo Ramos, 24 pesos 6 reales, in corn; Felipe Ramos, 15 pesos, in corn; Santos Ramos, 13 pesos 4 reales; Joaquin Ramos, 18 pesos 4 reales, value of a steer and a bull, Eugenia, widow of Toribio Gonzalez, an ox; Pedro Ramos 8 pesos and "the teacher of the school Don Melchor", one fanega and 8 almudes of corn. He declares that the slaves are his and of his wife Doña Maria Marta. To Juana Maria he gives her freedom, leaving only the children as slaves, Eusebio age 19 years, Petra age 10 years, Antonio age 8 years, Anastasia age 3 years and Basilio age 5 months. He leaves the second floor of his house so that its rent is applied to masses for his soul, and those of his spouses. Executors: Jose Joaquin Canales, his pal, Jose Felix Elizondo and Vicente Ferrer Elizondo, his children. Before Jose Cayetano Fernandez de Tijerina (signature without Fernandez), Mayor of second vote. Witnesses, Captian Jose Simon de la Garza, Jose Joaquin de la Garza, Jose Eugene de Treviño, Nicolas Jose de Treviño and Francisco de la Garza.  

Monterrey, May 7, 1779

Juan de Elizondo, citizen of this City at the farm of Güinala, sells to Salvador del la Garza, citizen of the Hacienda de San Francisco, of this jurisdiction, "one young female golden brown somewhat white mulato, named Petra; daughter of Juana Maria ", slave of the salesman. She belongs to him by purchase made in Mexico City from Manuel de Arnaiz, according to instrument written on November 28, 1728, before Francisco de Barberena Lanzarote. Arnaiz owned Juana Maria by purchase from Domingo Rovalo Mendez, pharmacist, empowered as well by Jose de Higa, owner of the slave. For 150 pesos in gold. Before Don Melchor Vidal de Lorca and Villena, Governor and Commander-in-chief. Witnesses, Santiago Tijerina, Luis Serna and Marcos de Arredondo. In attendance Pedro Pi and Andres Garcia Larios.  

Monterrey, November 12, 1798

Francisco Gonzalez, with authority of Maria Gertrudis de Elizondo, his wife, citizens of the farm of Guinala, jurisdiction of this City, sells to Salvador Chapa, of this vicinity, a slave named Maria Anastasia, "daughter of Juana Maria, slave who belonged to Don Juan Elizondo father-in-law of the grantor". For 125 pesos, Before Senior Judge Jose Joaquin Canales. Witnesses, Valentin Galindo, Jose Maria Careaga and Esteban Lopez Palomo (who signed at the request of the grantor, who does not know how). In attendance, Santiago Vedia y Pinto and Miguel Juarez.


Monterrey, November 19, 1798

Jose Salvador de Chapa, of this vicinity, sells to the Lic. Jose Vivero, vicar general of this Bishopric and provisional priest of the parish of this City, a slave named Maria Anastasia, "of yellow complexion that is scarred by smallpox, of average stature, with curly hair, a nose that is wide at the base and small at the point, twenty four years of age, more or less". In 125 pesos, "in ordinary silver coins in common usage". Before Junior Judge Fernando Uribe. Witnesses, Esteban Lopez, Pedro Berrio and Jose Maria Careaga. In attendance, Miguel Margain and Santiago Vedia y Pinto. Upon request of the grantor, I sign Esteban Lopez.

Monterrey September 2, 1799

The Lic. Jose Vivero, Canon of the Cathedral of this City, donates to Maria del Carmen de Arizpe, from this vicinity, a slave named Maria Anastasia, "of yellow complexion that is scarred by smallpox, of average stature, with curly hair, a nose that is wide at the base and small at the point, twenty five years of age, more or less". She belongs to him because he purchased her from Salvador Chapa, citizen of this City, for 125 pesos, according to the ruling granted before Junior Judge Fernando de Uribe, on November 19, 1798. Before Senior Judge Manuel de Sada. Witnesses, Miguel Gonzalez, Nicolas de Ibarra and Mariano Rodriguez. In attendance, Miguel Margain and Jose Santiago Rodriguez.  

Monterrey September 16, 1799

Jose Francisco de Arizpe, citizen of this City, sells to the Bachiller Mariano Jose Monsoon, citizen of this City, a slave named Maria Anastasia, "of yellow complexion that is scarred by smallpox, of average stature, with curly hair, a nose that is wide at the base and small at the point, twenty five years of age, more or less". She belongs to him because of the donation made to his daughter, Doña Maria del Carmen de Arizpe by the Lic. Jose Vivero.  For 125 pesos. Before Senior Judge Manuel de Sada. Witnesses, Rafael Borrego, Jose Antonio Rodriguez and Miguel Gonzalez. In attendance, Miguel Margain and Jose Santiago Rodriguez.  

Publicaciones de El Colegio de Chihuahua 

El departamento de publicaciones de El Colegio de Chihuahua envía lista de sus
publicaciones así como una invitación a adquirirlas y un cordial saludo a todos.

Para adquirir alguno de los títulos de El Colegio de Chihuahua favor de
comunicarse al tel. en Ciudad Juárez (656) 639 03 97 o al correo electrónico para información sobre venta y envío.

Para ventas en Ciudad Juárez dirigirse a las instalaciones de El Colegio de
Chihuahua en esta ciudad, ubicadas en calle Carlos Villarreal #3048 interior
201, de la Colonia Margaritas, en Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, C. P. 32300. 

* Título: El ambiente a la sombra del hombre Autor: Victoriano Garza Almanza
El Colegio de Chihuahua, Cd. Juárez, 2006 ISBN: 968-9225-00-6 Precio: $158.00 m.n.

* Título: Del conflicto a la conciliación Autor: Franco Savarino y Andrea Mutolo
El Colegio de Chihuahua-Conaculta-INAH-ENAH, Ciudad Juárez, México, 2006
ISBN: 970-94832-4-2 Precio: $60.00 m.n.

* Título: México visto desde lejos  Autor: Samuel Schmidt, Coordinador
Taurus, El Colegio de Chihuahua, México-Cd. Juárez, 2007
ISBN: 978-970-58-0120-4  Precio: $179.00 m.n.

* Título: Identidades Fronterizas. Narrativas de religión, género y clase en
la frontera México-Estados Unidos. Autor: Pablo Vila
El Colegio de Chihuahua-Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juárez, Cd. Juárez,
2007.  ISBN: 978-968-9225-02-7 Precio: $190.00 m.n.

* Título: Araucaria. Revista Iberoamericana de Filosofía, Política y Humanidades.
Director: Antonio Hermosa
Universidad de Sevilla-ICSA/UACJ-El Colegio de Chihuahua Semestral
ISSN: 1575-6823  Precio: $120.00 m.n. (Disponibles los números 16, 17 y 18)

Un saludo cordial
Karina Romero Reza
El Colegio de Chihuahua

Tel. (656) 639 0397
Fax (656) 639 0398




l Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de Oaxaca (MACO) y el Centro Fotográfico Manuel Álvarez Bravo, convocan a participar en la exhibición colectiva “Primera Reunión Familiar” que se llevará a cabo en Oaxaca en septiembre del presente año. En esta muestra podrán participar todas las personas que tengan “fotografías sobre geografía, historia, paisaje, arquitectura, hábitos, usos, deseos, vicios, sueños, objetos pasados, presentes, futuros o cualquier otro motivo relacionado con el Estado de Oaxaca”.

Esta exhibición colectiva tendrá lugar en el propio museo y en diversos recintos culturales del Estado.

La Convocatoria ha quedado abierta a todo público, desde el 1° de febrero y cerrará el 30 de junio del año en curso. Se podrá participar con cualquier género fotográfico.

Como parte del apoyo que los organizadores han solicitado a la Secretaría de Relaciones exteriores, se informa a las comunidades mexicanas en el exterior que podrán enviar sus fotografías a través del Consulado de México más cercano a su domicilio, en tanto que la red consular funcionará como centro de acopio.

A continuación se reproduce la Convocatoria que contiene toda la información relacionada con el evento. Cualquier información adicional será proporcionada en el correo electrónico
coordinació .

Lazos es un servicio informativo del IME, se distribuye de lunes a viernes, y contiene información sobre la población de origen mexicano y latino en EE.UU. y Canadá


Instituto de los Mexicanos en el Exterior
Plaza Juárez #20, Col. Centro
Deleg. Cuauhtémoc C.P. 06010
México, D.F.

Aramara Salgado M.

Su dirección de correo electrónico se obtuvo por alguno de los siguientes medios:
Lazos, Página Web, Eventos IME, Recomendación


The Descendents of Doctor Ignacio Zapata

Compiled by John D. Inclan

Generation No. 1

1. DR IGNACIO1 ZAPATA was born Abt. 1728, and died Aft. 1791 in Guerrero Viejo, Tamaulipas, Mexico. He married ALBERTA-LUCIA DE ESPARAZA. She was born Abt. 1729, and died Aft. 1791 in Guerrero Viejo, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

He and his wife are listed in the 1780 & 1791 census, Guerrero Viejo (Revilla), Tamaulipas, Mexico.


2. i. JUAN-NEPOMUCENO2 ZAPATA-ESPARZA, b. Abt. 1752; d. Aft. 1791, Guerrero Viejo, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

ii. MARIA-VICENTA ZAPATA-ESPARZA, b. Abt. 1763; d. Aft. 1780.

Generation No. 2

2. JUAN-NEPOMUCENO2 ZAPATA-ESPARZA (IGNACIO1 ZAPATA) was born Abt. 1752, and died Aft. 1791 in Guerrero Viejo, Tamaulipas, Mexico. He married (1) MARIA-GRETRUDIS GUAJARDO-GUADIANA 10 Apr 1771 in San Carlos, Vallecillo, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, daughter of NICOLAS GUAJARDO and MARIA-ROSA RUIZ-DE-GUADIANA. She was born 1753. He married (2) MARIA-MARGARITA BENAVIDES Abt. 1777. She was born Abt. 1764, and died Aft. 1791 in Guerrero Viejo, Tamaulipas, Mexico.


He and his family are listed on the 1780 and 1791 census, Guerrero Viejo, (Revilla) Tamaulipas, Mexico.


i. JOSEPH-ANTONIO-FELIZ3 ZAPATA-BENAVIDES, b. 1779, Guerrero Viejo, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

ii. JUAN-NEPOMUCENO-MAXIMO ZAPATA-BENAVIDES, b. 1781, Guerrero Viejo, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

3. iii. MANUEL-IGNACIO ZAPATA-BENAVIDES, b. 11 Aug 1783, Revilla, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

iv. PEDRO-JOSEPH ZAPATA-BENAVIDES, b. 1787, Guerrero Viejo, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

v. JOSEPH-GUADALUPE-TIMOTEO ZAPATA-BENAVIDES, b. 1788, Guerrero Viejo, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

vi. JOSEPH-ANDRES ZAPATA-BENAVIDES, b. 1791, Guerrero Viejo, Tamaulipas, Mexico.


Generation No. 3

3. MANUEL-IGNACIO3 ZAPATA-BENAVIDES (JUAN-NEPOMUCENO2 ZAPATA-ESPARZA, IGNACIO1 ZAPATA) was born 11 Aug 1783 in Revilla, Tamaulipas, Mexico. He married MARIA-FAUSTINA GONZALEZ-HINOJOSA 17 Jan 1805 in Guerrero, Tamaulipas, Mexico1, daughter of JUAN-DOMINGO GONZALEZ-SALDIVAR and MARIA-JACINTA HINOJOSA-DE-LA-PENA. She was born in Mier, Tamaulipas, Mexico, and died 05 May 1849 in Revilla, Tamaulipas, Mexico.



4. ii. MARIA-MANUELA ZAPATA-GONZALEZ, b. Guerrero, Tamaulipas, Mexico; d. Aft. 1860, Zapata County, Texas.

5. iii. MARIA-TRINIDAD ZAPATA-GONZALEZ, b. Abt. 1823; d. Aft. 1860, Zapata County, Texas.

iv. JOSE-ANDRES ZAPATA-GONZALEZ, b. 05 Feb 1810; m. MARIA-LEONOR DE-LA-PENA-RECIO, 29 Jul 1831; d. 27 Apr 1849, Guerrero, Tamaulipas, Mexico.

6. v. JOSE-JULIAN ZAPATA-GONZALEZ, b. 09 Jan 1815.

7. vi. OCTAVIANO ZAPATA-GONZALEZ, b. Abt. 1830; d. Aft. 11 Aug 1860, Zapata County, Texas.

8. vii. MANUEL-IGNACIO ZAPATA-GONZALEZ, b. 26 Aug 1832; d. Abt. 1877.


Generation No. 4

4. MARIA-MANUELA4 ZAPATA-GONZALEZ (MANUEL-IGNACIO3 ZAPATA-BENAVIDES, JUAN-NEPOMUCENO2 ZAPATA-ESPARZA, IGNACIO1 ZAPATA) was born in Guerrero, Tamaulipas, Mexico, and died Aft. 1860 in Zapata County, Texas. She married BLAS-MARIO GUTIERREZ-GUTIERREZ 12 Apr 1834 in Guerrero, Tamaulipas, Mexico, son of JOSE-VICENTE-DEL-REFUGIO GUTIERREZ-BENAVIDES and MARIA-EULALIA GUTIERREZ-VILLARREAL. He was born Abt. 1806 in Guerrero, Tamaulipas, Mexico, and died Aft. 1860 in Zapata County, Texas.


He and his family are listed on the 1860 USA Census, Zapata County, Texas.








vii. MARCELA GUTIERREZ-ZAPATA, b. 13 Jan 1858; d. May 1880; m. JUAN-MARTIN MARTINEZ-RAMIREZ; b. 30 Jan 1848; d. 1931, Cotulla, La Salle County, Texas.

5. MARIA-TRINIDAD4 ZAPATA-GONZALEZ (MANUEL-IGNACIO3 ZAPATA-BENAVIDES, JUAN-NEPOMUCENO2 ZAPATA-ESPARZA, IGNACIO1 ZAPATA) was born Abt. 1823, and died Aft. 1860 in Zapata County, Texas. She married JOSE-MARIA GUTIERREZ 03 Nov 1836. He was born Abt. 1820, and died Aft. 1860 in Zapata County, Texas.


He and his family are listed on the 1860 USA Census, Zapata County, Texas.


i. JUAN5 GUTIERREZ-ZAPATA, b. Abt. 1844; d. Aft. 1860.

ii. REFUGIO GUTIERREZ-ZAPATA, b. Abt. 1846; d. Aft. 1860.

iii. CALISTRO GUTIERREZ-ZAPATA, b. Abt. 1847; d. Aft. 1860.

iv. PEDRO GUTIERREZ-ZAPATA, b. Abt. 1850; d. Aft. 1860.

v. GUADALUPE GUTIERREZ-ZAPATA, b. Abt. 1852; d. Aft. 1860.




i. MARIA-FELIPA-BENICIA5 ZAPATA-URIBE, b. 02 Aug 1852, Tamaulipas, Mexico.


7. OCTAVIANO4 ZAPATA-GONZALEZ (MANUEL-IGNACIO3 ZAPATA-BENAVIDES, JUAN-NEPOMUCENO2 ZAPATA-ESPARZA, IGNACIO1 ZAPATA)2 was born Abt. 1830, and died Aft. 11 Aug 1860 in Zapata County, Texas. He married GREGORIA VILLARREAL. She was born Abt. 1831, and died Aft. 11 Aug 1860 in Zapata County, Texas.


He and his family are listed on the 1860, USA Census, Zapata County, Texas







8. MANUEL-IGNACIO4 ZAPATA-GONZALEZ (MANUEL-IGNACIO3 ZAPATA-BENAVIDES, JUAN-NEPOMUCENO2 ZAPATA-ESPARZA, IGNACIO1 ZAPATA) was born 26 Aug 1832, and died Abt. 1877. He married MARIA-JOSEFA URIBE-VELA. She was born 04 Aug 1833, and died Aft. 1880 in Zapata County, Texas.


On the 1880 USA Zapata County Census, she is listed as a widow.


i. MANUEL5 ZAPATA-URIBE, b. Abt. 1856; d. Aft. 1880.

ii. RAFAELA ZAPATA-URIBE, b. Abt. 1864; d. Aft. 1880.

iii. FABIAN ZAPATA-URIBE, b. Abt. 1870; d. Aft. 1880.

iv. EULALIA ZAPATA-URIBE, b. Abt. 1872; d. Aft. 1880.

v. EVA ZAPATA-URIBE, b. Abt. 1876; d. Aft. 1880.


Generation No. 5





Generation No. 6













xi. CAROLINA-ISABELA GALINDO, b. 07 Apr 1918; d. 26 May 2000, Hammond, Lake County, Indiana; m. PEDRO M SALINAS, 1940.

1. Spanish American Genealogical Association, Guerrero Church Marriage Records, 1753-1815. Vol. I. Grooms.
2. From the files of Anna Luisa Salinas.



Latino Pirates of the Caribbean
Artist Rafael Tufino Dies
The Ortega Diaz and Torres Hernandez Family Tree
Legendary Cuban musician 'Cachao' dies at 89


          Latino Pirates of the Caribbean

            by: Tony (The Marine) Santiago 

             I can still remember when I first visited Disneyland’s theme park version of “Pirates of the Caribbean” and how much I enjoyed it with my children. Now, that I have grandchildren, I continue to enjoy the ride with my two granddaughters, Isabel and Nina. I am sure that all of you that have visited Disneyland or Disney World have also enjoyed the ride.  When the movie  “Pirates of the Caribbean” was released with Johnny Depp playing the role of Captain Jack Sparrow, I went to see it, as a matter of fact I saw the trilogy, however I was disappointed that the movie, even tough it was based on fictitious characters, did not have a least one main Latino character in it. I mean everybody knows that the majority of habitants of the Caribbean are of Latino descent.  

Whenever we hear the word “pirate” we usually think of  Blackbeard or Captain Henry Morgan who were true pirates in their on right. Yet, it seems to me that most people are unaware that there were Dutch, French and Latino pirates roaming the Caribbean and not only Anglo pirates. Not only were there Latino pirates there were also Latino “privateers”. There is a difference between the two.  

A “privateer” was a pirate who was given "legal" status by colonial powers with the aim to weaken their rivals.  A private warship was thus authorized by a country's government by “letters of marque” to attack foreign shipping. A privateer was only entitled to attack enemy vessels during wartime. However, states often encouraged attacks on opposing powers while at peace, or on neutral vessels during time of war, blurring the line between privateering and piracy.  

A “pirate” in the Caribbean was a common seamen who would benefit from the lucrative opportunities of seizing European merchant ships, and robbing their valuable cargo, especially those from Spain, England and from the other European powers which sailed from the Caribbean to Europe. These men were considered criminals and when captured were usually sentenced to hang.  

I want to tell you the story of two Latinos, the first, Capt. Miguel Henriguez, was a privateer and war hero who is virtually unknown and the second, Capt. Roberto Cofresi, was a pirate who became a folk hero in his homeland.


                          Capt. Miguel Henriquez



Capt. Miguel Henriquez also spelled “Enriquez” (c. 1680 - 17??),   a mulatto  born in Puerto Rico was a privateer. 

A shoemaker by occupation, in the latter years of the 17th century, Henriquez decided to try his luck as a pirate. He intercepted English merchant ships and other ships dedicated to contraband that were infesting the seas of Puerto Rico and the Atlantic Ocean in general.  

Henriquez organized an expeditionary force which fought and defeated the British in the island of Vieques. Henriquez was received as a national hero when he returned the island of Vieques back to the Spanish Empire and to the governorship of Puerto Rico.  

In recognition for his services, the Spanish Crown, under the order of Philip V of Spain (King Philip V (1683-1746), awarded Miguel Henriquez with "La Medalla de Oro de la Real Efigie" (The Gold Medal of the Royal Effigy) in 1713 and named him Captain of the Seas and Land, The Spanish Crown also gave him a special permit to do his pirate activities in the name of Spain.  The letter of marque and reprisal granted him the privileges of privateer.  

According to Puerto Rican author, José Luis González, Henriquez eventually became one of the richest men in Puerto Rico. He owned as many as five ships and had at least 500 men working for him at one time.  

For some reasons, never clearly established, he was persecuted by the Spanish elite in the island and jailed on various occasions. He was stripped of all his power and wealth by the Spanish government in the island.  It is believed that he died a pauper.


                             Roberto Cofresí  

Roberto Cofresí (June 17, 1791-March 29, 1825),  better known as “El Pirata Cofresí“, is the most renowned pirate in Puerto Rico.   


                                             Statue of Roberto Cofresi

 Early years  

Cofresí was born “Roberto Cofresí y Ramírez de Arellano” in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico. His father was Franz Von Kupferschen (1751-1814), an Italian national of Austrian descent born in Trieste, Italy. According to Professor Ursula Acosta, a historian and member of the Puerto Rican Genealogy Society, the Kupferschen family immigrated from Austria to Trieste where Franz Von Kupferschen was known  as Francisco Confersin as was required by the Italian authorities. When Francisco Confersin (Franz Von Kupferschen) immigrated to Puerto Rico, he went to live in Cabo Rojo and changed his name once more to Francisco Cofresi, which made it much easier for the Spanish authorities to pronounce.  

He married Maria Germana Ramirez de Arellano, whose father was the cousin of Nicolas Ramirez de Arellano, the founder of Cabo Rojo. The couple had four children, a daughter by the name of Juana and three son's Juan Francisco, Ignacio and their youngest Roberto. Roberto Cofresí was four years old when his mother died.  

Cofresí and his siblings went to school in his hometown and the three brothers had one thing in common, their love for the sea. As a young child, raised on the coast with the sounds of the waves pounding on the beach, Cofresí spent hours and days daydreaming about someday becoming an adventurous sailor in the seas.  Those dreams were mostly inspired by the tales that he heard from the sailors who visited his town.  Cofresí had a small boat, which he christened "El Mosquito" (The Mosquito).  

Cofresí married Juana Creitoff from Curaçao in the San Miguel Arcangel Parish of Cabo Rojo.  They had two sons, both of them died soon after birth. In 1822, Cofresí and Juana had a daughter, whom they named Maria Bernada.


Cofresí the Pirate  

During this time there were several economic and political problems within the island, part of this instability was based on conflicts between the government and a separatist faction that was supporting independence from Spain. This influenced Cofresí's decision to become a pirate in 1818. After becoming a pirate he established a hideout in Mona (an island between Puerto Rico and Hispanola) and organized a crew composed of eight to ten men. On January 23, 1824, De la Torre, the governor in office in Puerto Rico, issued several anti-piracy measures based on economic losses that the Spanish government was sustaining and political pressure from the United States. 


Imprisonment in the Dominican Republic  

Cofresi attacked various Spanish ships and there was an order for his arrest. He and his crew  arrived at Santo Domingo, and upon landing the Cofresi and his crew were captured and sentenced to six years in prison. They were transported to Torre del Homenaje, where Cofresí organized an escape.  Some weeks later the Spanish government organized a float of ships to capture Cofresí, without knowing that he was on the Dominican Republic. Captured and imprisoned once again Cofresí and several of the imprisoned members of his crew planned another  escape. They decided to escape in a night that followed a storm by breaking the locks of the cells and climbed down the walls of the prison's courtyard by using a rope that they made by knitting their clothes. The men found a boat and  subsequently sailed to the island of Vieques. After establishing a new hideout in this island they reorganized a new crew, composed of fourteen men. Cofresí then selected six of them and traveled to the main island where they hijacked a schooner named ''Ana''. The crew of the ship was forced to jump into the ocean, and survived the incident.  The crew renamed the “Ana” and baptized her ''El Mosquito''. They proceeded to steal a cannon from another ship that was under construction. The remaining crew members subsequently armed themselves, with the weapons found in the vessels that they boarded.


Final years


                                      Small schooner similar to "El Mosquito"  

Cofresí  and his men which included his lieutenant Pedro Salovi, set out to sea and attacked ships that did not fly the Royal Spanish flag. These included a cargo ship named ''Neptune'', property of a importation company. The ship was boarded when it was docked in Jobos Port, located in the vicinity of Fajardo, Puerto Rico. The Neptune's cargo consisted of fabrics and provisions The vessel was then used as his pirate flagship. On February of 1925, Cofresí and his crew attacked a second cargo ship owned by a company based on Saint Thomas, gaining control of a load of imported merchandise. After the assault, the pirates left the ship abandoned in the ocean. Some time after the first attack they  boarded another vessel commanded by the same company and repeated the same  action.  

Cofresí's attacks were mainly focused on ships from the United States, and he often ignored ships that came from other nations including those from France, Holand and England. During this assaults he exhibited a very aggressive behavior influenced by a strong dislike to the American sailors, which originated when he was injured by a the captain of a American ship when he was caught eating part of the ship's sugar cargo without paying.  Following this event Cofresí  declared war on all of those that operated under the flag of the United States. He often displayed cruel behavior against hostages that were on these vessels, including reports of ordering that they were to be nailed alive to ''El Mosquito's'' deck. These led to the United States government to pursue Cofresí.  

Cofresí, who had a negative relationship with the Spanish colonial government, began assaulting Spanish, American and English vessels that were being used to export the island's resources, gold in particular. This sentiment was based on the fact that he felt that the Spaniards were oppressing the Puerto Ricans in their "own home". Cofresí would intercept the ships when they were abandoning the ports and would steal all of the ship's cargo. He did this in order to debilitate the Spanish economy, justifying it by saying that he "wouldn't allow foreign hands to take a piece of the country that saw his birth".  

The people on the coasts of Puerto Rico are said to have protected him from the authorities and, according to the Puerto Rican historian Aurelio Tio, Cofresí shared his spoils with the needy, especially members of his family and his friends. He was regarded by many as the Puerto Rican version of Robin Hood.  

The Spanish government received many complaints from the nations whose ships were being attacked by the Pirate Cofresí, as he became to be known.  The government who generally turned a blind eye to piracy against the ships of other nations, now felt compelled to have Cofresí pursued and captured. They continued to board several ships, including one occasion when they attacked eight consecutive ships, including one from the United States. Cofresí's last successful assault took place on March 5, 1825, when he commanded the hijacking of a ship property of Vicente Antoneti in Salinas, Puerto Rico


Capture and execution



                                     U.S. Schooner Grampus (1821-1843)

                      Note: the "Grampus" was lost at sea with all hands in 1843     and is depicted flying her National Ensigns upside down, a sign of distress.  

In 1825, Captain John Slout, commander of the Schooner U.S. "Grampus", engaged Cofresí in battle. The American version of the incident states that Commander Sloat solicited permission to use two small ships for military use, after becoming aware of Cofresí's latest actions. The report claims that Sloat was aware of a strategy used by the pirates to escape from large boats, this consisted of traveling as close to the coast as possible to avoid being followed. So he used the small ships to pursue them while attempting this strategy. Both vessels were armed and began working in a exploratory manner, traveling through several ports and coastal towns. On the third day while sailing near Ponce, the group located a ship and identified it as the ''Ana''. The ship pursued the pirates and located them in Boca del Infierno. When Cofresí saw the ship he confused it with a merchant vessel and made his attack, while he was approaching the ship, he opened fire. The subsequent exchange lasted forty-five minutes, it ended when the pirates abandoned their ship and swam to the beach. Vicente Antoneti who was traveling with Sloat, disembarked and notified the military about the event. Two of the pirates died in the battle and six others, including Cofresí were injured, even before being captured near Guayama.  


Cofresí was captured along with eleven members of his crew, and they were turned over to the Spanish government.  Cofresí and his men were jailed in Fort San Felipe del Morro (El Castillo del Morro) in San Juan, Puerto Rico. They were tried by a Spanish military court, found guilty and, on March 29, 1825, executed by firing squad. It was believed that he and his men were buried in the Old San Juan Cemetery (Cementerio Antiguo de San Juan), however this is not so since they were executed as a criminals they could not be laid to rest in this catholic cemetery. They were buried behind the cemetery on what is now a lush green hill that overlooks the cemetery wall. His widow Juana died a year later.

Influence in the Caribbean's folklore  

Cofresí's life and death have influenced aspect's of the Caribbean's folklore, inspiring several myths and stories. These included those depicting him as a generous figure, who used to share what he stole with the region's poor population. Several tales trying to study some of Cofresí's characteristics have been published, among the aspect's covered are his physical appearance, religion, education, romances and the relationship between him and his family, these where mostly focused on his daughter.                    


   Cofresí's earrings on display at the American Museum of Natural History  

In these myths he is generally described as a benevolent person, with the author's writing about his supposed personality. These portray him as a gentleman, displaying noble feeling and only working as a pirate out of necessity; as a generous man, claiming that on one occasion he went as far as saving the life of a baby in a confrontation and providing money for his upbringing and as a brave man, showing disregard for his life on several occasions.   

A published by ''Fiat Lux'', a magazine published in Cabo Rojo, notes that several persons in that municipality have said that they have witnessed the pirate's spirit. In the Dominican Republic folktales attribute magic abilities to Cofresí, these say that he was able to make his ship disappear when surrounded, this was based on a hideout that he had established in a cave located in a nearby beach.  

Outside of story books two musicals and several poems, songs and books have been written about him. Cofresí has served as the subject to numerous biographical books including: "''El Marinero, Bandolero, Pirata y Contrabandista Roberto Cofresí''"; (Spanish) by Walter R. Cardona Bonet; "''The Pirate of Puerto Rico''" by Lee Cooper; "''El Mito de Cofresí en la Narrativa Antillana''" (Spanish) by Robert Fernandez Valledor;"''Das Kurge Heldenhafte Leben Des Don Roberto Cofresí''" (German) by Angelika Mectel and "''Roberto Cofresí: "El Bravo Pirata de Puerto Rico''" (Spanish) by Edwin Vazquez.  

Outside of literature other kinds of tributes have been made to commemorate Cofresí throughout the Caribbean. In Puerto Rico, a monument to Cofresí was built by Jose Buscaglia Guillermety in Boquerón Bay, a water body located in Cabo Rojo. The town of Cofresí, 10 km west of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic was named after him.  

Until next month when I will write about some Hispanic war heroes with non-Hispanic surnames.


Rafael Tufino Dies

Note: We are saddened by the news that one of the greatest Puerto Rican artists, Rafael Tufiño, died on Thursday, March 13th in San Juan of lung cancer. Brooklyn-born "El Tefo" left a body of work and legacy that has had a profound effect of the consciousness of so many Puerto Ricans and others. As our good friend Evelyn Collazo observed, "A Master has passed away."

 Angelo Falcon:  National Institute for Latino Policy (NiLP)

The Ortega Diaz and Torres Hernandez Family Tree


Updated March 22, 2008

I am researching the Ortega Diaz(Cuba,Canary Islands)and Torre Hernandez(Spain,Cuba)families.

Most families on my family tree from Canary Islands were from Aguimes or Teror; the ones from Cuba were from Matanzas and Ciego de Avila.

This web site is the result of years of family research and a desire to both share my information and to find other family members researching the same ancestors. So far I have 1274 surnames mostly from Cuba, Canary Islands, Spain and some other parts of Europe.

If you would like more information about a particular ancestor or family, please contact me. I hope you find something useful on my site.

Any information would be appreciated. I have few more sources and information that I will be updating from time to time.

Maria Ortega Torres

My Family History


Family Tree Maker Reports and Trees

 Legendary Cuban musician 'Cachao' dies at 89

On 3/22/08,   

            By ENRIQUE FERNANDEZ   Miami Herald

            Known to the world by his nickname, Cachao, bassist, composer
and bandleader Israel López died Saturday morning at Coral Gables Hospital
of complications resulting from kidney failure. He was 89.
            Cachao was, in his last years, the most important living figure
in Cuban music, on or off the island. And according to Cuban-music historian
Ned Sublette he was ''arguably the most important bassist in  twentieth-century popular music,'' innovating not only Cuban music but also
influencing the now familiar bass lines of American R&B, ``which have become
such a part of the environment that we don't even think where they came

            Cachao and his brother Orestes are most widely known for