Somos Primos

MAY 2008
th  issue

Editor: Mimi Lozano ©2000-8

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


For information on Ruben Salazar, click.


Content Areas
United States 
National Issues
Action Item
Bilingual Education

Military & Law Enforcement Heroes
Patriots of American Revolution


Orange County,CA  
Los Angeles,CA
Northwestern US
Southwestern US 

East of Mississippi

East Coast


Family History
Community Calendars

Jan 27:  
Mar 17:  
May 24  
Aug 2



"Hay que trabajar juntos 
en virtud de los lazos de sangre que nos unen."

Jovita Idar


  Letters to the Editor : 

Congratulations for all of your wonderful work.    Es increíble.   As you probably know, Juárez is under a full press by 2.500 soldiers from the Mexican Army, with tanks, helicopters, you name it.  It is simply wonderful to feel once again the calm and tranquility that used to charactize this wonderful city, and which has been over-rum by narco and petty terrorism.

 I am going to Mexico City on Friday for two weeks, with a quick side trip to Veracruz. 

Saludos, Lic. Roberto Camp
Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México

Dear Mimi: CONGRATS!  I am excited to get to the link.  Wanted to let you know I have a new email address, if you could change it over to:  As always, keep doing the great work that you do and may God Bless you!

Patti Navarrette
Milwaukee, WI

Thank you so much for all of your help and information provided.
Thanks again,

Heather Padilla

Somos Primos Staff:   
Mimi Lozano, Editor

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

  May Contributors:  
Rudy Acuna
Luis Angel Alejo
Ruben Alvarez
Yolanda Alvarez
Dan Arellano
Bea Armenta Dever
Armando A. Ayala, Ph.D.
Mercy Bautista-Olvera
Eliud Bonilla 
Jorge Bonilla
Eva Booher
Suzanne Brooks 
Jaime Cader
Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.

Lic. Roberto Camp
Terry Cannon
Henry P. Casso, Ph.D.
Bonnie Chapa
Gus Chavez 
Norberto Franco Cisneros
Robin Collins

Jack Cowan
Grace Dobush
Richard Esquivel
George  Farias
Lupe Fisher
Lorri Frain
Yolanda Edwards-Guerra
Don Garate
Daisy Wanda Garcia
Kay Antoinette Garcia McAnally
Mary Garcia
Lauro Garza Arzamendi, D.D.
Dr. Jaime G. Gomez, MD
Rafael Jesús González
Richard Gonzales
Eddie Grijalva 
Henry Guzman Villalobos
Elsa Herbeck

Walter Herbeck
Lorraine Hernandez
Win Holtzman

Granville Hough, Ph.D.
John Inclan
Galal Kernahan
Rick Leal
Jaye Lewis
Pat Lozano
Juan Marinez
Debbie Martinez



Lourdes Medrano 
Magdalena Morales

Dorinda Moreno 
Alva Moore Stevenson
Carlos Muñoz, Jr. Ph.D.
Rosalio Munoz
Patti Navarrette
Rafael Ojeda
Maria Angeles O'Donnell Olson
Felipe de Ortego y Gasca,Ph.D 
Heather Padilla
Yolanda Patino
Efrén Paredes, Jr.
Jose M. Pena
Roberto Perez Guadarrama
Federico A. de Jesús, Reid
Angel Custodio Rebollo
Armando Rendon, Ph.D.
José León Robles De La Torre
Alfonso Rodriguez
Christy Rodriguez
Norman Rozeff
Steve Rubin
Viola Sadler
Richard Santillan, Ph.D. 
John Schmal
Dorina Thomas 
Jan B. Tucker
Ricardo Valverde
Albert V. Vela, Ph.D.
Cris Villasenor 

Ted Vincent, Ph.D.
Nelida Yanez 
Celeste L. Yantis

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


"Consider these words written by Abraham Lincoln as part of a resolution in 1863:

"'We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in number, wealth, and power as no other Nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own. Intoxicated with unbroken success we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving
grace, too proud to pray to the God who made us.



National Latino Museum Major Step Closer to Reality
Senate Approves Bill Including Latino Museum, Cesar Chavez Provisions
Hector P. Garcia, M.D. Cultural Competence Award
Ruben Salazar, American Journalist
UC San Diego Honors Educational Reformer and Feminist
Couple wants to use its experience to help the war-wounded
Youth, Identity, Power, The Chicano Movement
Why Chicano Studies?
Armando Morales Presente!

Job Announcement for Director, Smithsonian Latino Center

That's Not Fair, Emma Tenayuca's Struggle for Justice
Mexican-American Baseball Project Receives National Humanities Award


Thursday, April 10, 2008   
UPDATE: Senate Passes Latino Museum Bill

National Latino Museum 
Major Step Closer to Reality

WASHINGTON, DC - Today, the United States Senate passed a bipartisan bill to make the vision of a National Museum of the American Latino a reality. The Commission to Study the Potential Creation of the National Museum of American Latino Act of 2007 (S.500/H.R. 512), sponsored by Senator Ken Salazar (D-CO) and co-sponsored by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Mel Martinez (R-FL), would establish a 23-member commission to study the potential creation of a national museum in Washington, DC dedicated to the art, culture, and history of Hispanic Americans. The bill passed by voice vote in the House of Representatives on February 6, 2007.  After today’s Senate passage it will return to the House for procedural approval and will then be sent to the White House for President Bush’s signature.

“I believe we must celebrate the diversity of our Nation and Latinos have been a significant part of American history. They have contributed to nearly every facet of our culture including the arts, business, and served in our Nation's military with distinction,” said Senator Salazar (D-CO). “This bill would take the first step in commemorating the rich contributions of the Latino community to American life. The end result will be a more enhanced experience for the 20 million visitors that come to our Nation’s capitol to learn the full history of America.”

“With this recognition, we are acknowledging that America's success would not be possible without the contributions of Latino people,” said Senator Menendez. “The National Museum of the American Latino Community will further acknowledge that Latino culture, dreams and advancements are not outside, but within the very fabric of American life.”

 “This is a great step toward showcasing the historical achievements of Latino Americans in a national museum,” said Senator Martinez. “Latinos have been integral contributors since our Nation’s inception and a national museum is a fitting way to honor them. This museum will be a great tool in teaching future generations about their diverse cultural history and how Latino Americans have shaped our nation.”

 “To my friends, Senators Ken Salazar of Colorado, Bob Menendez of New Jersey, and Mel Martinez of Florida, this effort would be nowhere if not for your passion and your dogged drive to see to it that this bill became law in this Congress,” Rep. Xavier Becerra (CA-31), the House author of the Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Museum of American Latino Act, said. “What was once a dream is now a reality, and it is my hope that the president signs this bill quickly so that we can immediately form the commission and subsequently move forward to complete our American cultural mosaic.”

The bill sets up a 23-member commission charged with producing three things: one, a national conference to bring stakeholders, experts, policymakers and other interested parties together to discuss the museum’s viability; two, a fundraising plan to create an extensive public-private partnership; and three, a report to congress detailing a recommended plan of action on how to move forward with taking the museum from concept to reality. All of this will happen within 24 months of the bill being signed into law. 

# # #

Stephanie Valencia (Salazar) – (202) 494-8791
Afshin Mohamadi (Menendez) – (202) 224-4744
Jessica Garcia (Martinez) – (202) 228-5113    



For Immediate Release
Date: Thursday, April 10, 2008
CONTACT:  Federico A. de Jesús, Reid, (202) 224-2939




WASHINGTON, DC - Today, the United States Senate passed legislation that includes provisions which could lead to the creation of a National Museum of the American Latino, and also paves the way for the designation of various historic sites around the country after the legendary César Chávez. The Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008 (S. 2739), which the Senate passed today, includes both the Commission to Study the Potential Creation of the National Museum of American Latino Act of 2007 (S.500/H.R. 512), as well as the César Estrada Chávez Study Act (S. 327).

“I am proud that Senate Democrats led the way to approve legislation today that honors the countless contributions of Hispanic Americans to our country,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said. “By approving a bill that would eventually honor Latinos with a national museum in Wasington, DC, and that would pave the way for honoring historical sites related to civil rights icon César Chávez, the Senate helped bring recognition to the vital place that Latinos have in our national mosaic.”

The Latino museum legislation would establish a Commission to study the potential creation of a national museum in Washington, DC dedicated to the art, culture, and history of Hispanic Americans. The bill passed by voice vote in the House of Representatives on February 6, 2007.  It will now head back to the House for final action as part of a larger package of bills. 

“I believe we must celebrate the diversity of our Nation and Latinos in general, and César Chávez in particular, has been a significant part of American history. They have contributed to nearly every facet of our culture including the arts, business, and served in our Nation's military with distinction,” said Senator Salazar (D-CO). “These bills would take the first step in commemorating the rich contributions of the Latino community to American life, and would honor César Chávez as one of our nation’s top civil rights leaders.”

The César Chávez provision would authorize the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior to conduct a special resource study of sites associated with the life of César Estrada Chávez. The study would help determine whether those sites meet the criteria for being listed on the National Register of Historic Places or possible designation as national historic landmarks. The house version is sponsored by Rep. Hilda Solís (H.R. 359) and was passed in July 2007.  This bill is also contained in the package that will move to the House for final action.  

“The contributions of Latinos in this country are innumerable and I am delighted that we are one step closer to fulfilling the dream of having a Museum of the American Latino on the national mall and historically significant places in the life of César Chávez designated as national landmarks”, said Sen. Robert Menéndez (D-NJ). “These initiatives acknowledge the major part Latinos have played in weaving our historical fabric and strengthening our nation.”


Ruben Salazar American Journalist 


Ruben Salazar remembered
A biography and columns from the legendary Times columnist.

On April 22 2008 the United States Post Offices distributed a block of 20 first -class stamps of American Journalists.  Journalist Ruben Salazar was honored to be included as one of the American journalists. The former Times columnist had left his mark long before his death during the 1970 Chicano Moratorium March. As both a columnist and news director of the television station KMEX, Salazar was an important figure in L.A. journalism.

The complete article can be viewed at:


Mexican American journalist to be honored with U.S. postage stamp
By Louis Sahagun
Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

April 22 2008: The U.S. Postal Service will issue a stamp today honoring Los Angeles newsman Ruben Salazar, who, through his reporting and opinion columns during the 1960s, became a provocative voice for a Mexican American community searching for its political and social identity.

The complete article can be viewed
below or:


Mexican American journalist to be honored with U.S. postage stamp
Ruben Salazar's columns for the Los Angeles Times and his management of a major TV outlet helped shape the community's political and social identity.

By Louis Sahagun, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
April 22, 2008

The U.S. Postal Service will issue a stamp today honoring Los Angeles newsman Ruben Salazar, who, through his reporting and opinion columns during the 1960s, became a provocative voice for a Mexican American community searching for its political and social identity.

Among the first Mexican American reporters to work at a mainstream newspaper, Salazar was killed Aug. 29, 1970, struck in the head by a high-velocity tear gas projectile fired by a sheriff's deputy during an anti-Vietnam War demonstration in East Los Angeles. He was 42.
Related Content
Remembering Ruben Salazar                                                       Salazar stamp
· Former editor joins those honoring Salazar
· High school senior writes winning Ruben Salazar essay

A Times columnist and general manager of KMEX-TV at the time of his death, Salazar quickly became a cultural icon. Awards are granted in his memory, and roads, schools and parks have been named after him. His likeness appears on posters, murals and lithographs, including one by the famous Mexican painter David Alfaro Siqueiros. Folk songs were written about him.

Ruben Salazar: An article in Tuesday's California section about the U.S. Postal Service releasing a stamp in honor of Los Angeles newsman Ruben Salazar reported that he was general manager of KMEX-TV. He was news director. Also, the article quoted restaurateur Lucy Casado, whose husband was good friends with Salazar, as saying that when her husband learned of Salazar's death he had "grabbed a stick and scratched the words 'Ruben Salazar: 8-9-1970'" in wet cement. She actually said "8-29-1970," the date of Salazar's death. In addition, an image that ran on the front page and editorial page showed a Salazar stamp costing 41 cents. The image was of the stamp before a rate hike to 42 cents that takes effect in May. -

He is one of five American journalists being honored with stamps. The others are Martha Gellhorn, John Hersey, George Polk and Eric Sevareid.

The work and death of the husky man with piercing eyes, wavy black hair and a penchant for Louis Roth suits continue to haunt and inspire people.

Among them are a restaurant owner who for half a century has been helping Latinos campaign for political office, a professor writing a book about injustices Mexican Americans have suffered at the hands of law enforcement, a woman trying to separate myths from facts about her famous father, and a continuation high school student trying hard to get back on track.

But after 38 years of reminiscing and interpretation, can the true personal, professional and political depths of Salazar's life ever be known?

The truth, like everything else about Salazar, is complicated. Born in Juarez, Mexico, he was a political moderate who married a young white woman and lived in a middle-class home with a swimming pool in Orange County. Salazar was especially fond of dining on steak and corn with his wife, Sally, and their three children.

Yet, Charlie Ericksen, the founder of Hispanic Link, a Latino news service that publishes a weekly newsletter, recalled, "The husband that Sally knew was so different from the man we knew that it was almost as though he changed uniforms while driving down the freeway on the way home from work.

"Sally said he didn't like tequila, he preferred Scotch, and that he didn't like 'that Mexican music,' " he said. "But the Ruben I knew often spent his last dollar on one more song by mariachis. He was mas mexicano than anybody."

Ericksen, who was a staffer with the U.S. Civil Rights Commission in 1970, is among those who to this day believe that Salazar's death inside the Silver Dollar bar was not accidental, as determined by the Los Angeles County coroner.

Just weeks before he was killed, Ericksen said, "Ruben called our office and said, 'I just want to go on the record with you guys that the police are out to get me; I know they are following me.' "

About a year earlier, Salazar had left The Times, though he continued to contribute columns, to become news director for the Spanish-language station KMEX.

"We met up with him at a little place on Olvera Street that served great carnitas," Ericksen said. "My boss kidded Ruben about the threats he was getting. 'Ruben,' he told him, 'the community needs a martyr.' "

A week later, Salazar was dead. Raul Ruiz, a Chicano Studies professor at Cal State Northridge who was among the marchers in East Los Angeles the day Salazar was killed, has been investigating the incident for nearly four decades.

"I'm going to release my own conclusions about what happened in a book to be published later this year," Ruiz said. "It's called 'Silver Dollar Death: The Murder of Ruben Salazar.' "

Lucy Casado will never forget the hot and humid evening when the telephone rang at her El Adobe Cafe, a modest Mexican restaurant famous for attracting power brokers and rock stars. On the line was a City Hall insider with bad news for her husband, Frank, now deceased, a political activist and close friend of Salazar's.

"I started screaming out loud over and over, 'They've killed him. They killed Ruben Salazar,' " Casado recalled. "Filled with grief and anger, my husband ran outside, grabbed a stick and scratched the words 'Ruben Salazar: 8-9-1970' deep into a square of wet cement on the sidewalk near the entrance."

Standing over her husband's markings recently, she shook her head and said, "They'll stay there forever. It's not a Hollywood star, but it is the emblem of a hero."

But to Lisa Salazar Johnson, Salazar was simply "Dad."

Seated at her kitchen table in Huntington Beach and sorting through a heap of letters, documents and photographs her father collected during assignments in the Dominican Republic, Mexico City, Vietnam and East Los Angeles, she said some of the accolades for the man who died when she was only 9 are puzzling.

"People assumed we spoke Spanish at home. We didn't," she said.

"And I'll never forget how, when he was lying in an open casket, people kept walking up and laying rosary beads on his hands. A few seconds later, my mother would walk up and take the rosaries away. He wasn't Catholic."

Nonetheless, she said, "all this attention 40 years after his death is humbling, and there are still so many unanswered questions, starting with exactly how did he die."

At Ruben Salazar High School in the working-class community of Pico Rivera, 12th-grader Janine Perez recently wrestled with a particularly tough assignment.

"When my teacher said we had to write an essay about Ruben Salazar, I wasn't very excited," said Janine, one of 250 students at the tiny continuation school surrounded by a 10-foot-high fence.

"But after a week of reading about him in a booklet and on the Internet, I thought, 'This man is really interesting. Maybe I can try and write something really good about him.'

"I spent a whole night just trying to understand his vision of the world, and what he did with his life," she said.  "Then I started writing. It wasn't easy."

The essay was still undergoing rewrites when Janine and her mother, Gabriela, were driving along Whittier Boulevard in search of a cake for her older sister's baby shower.

At one point, a row of storefronts caught the teenager's eye. "Oh my god! Mom, this is where it happened," she blurted out. "There was a riot going on and a sheriff's deputy shot him."

"Who?" her mother asked. "Ruben Salazar," Janine said. "On Aug. 29, 1970."

"Wow," her mother said. "You're really getting into this assignment."

Janine, who wants to pursue film and video editing and acting, earned high marks for the essay. "This assignment reminded me about how some grown-ups say Mexican Americans can't get serious jobs," she said. "But they don't know me."


Hector P. Garcia, M.D. Cultural Competence Award
Hector P. Garcia, M.D.
Hector P. Garcia, M.D.

Each September the University of Texas Medical Branch honors Hector P. Garcia, M.D., a distinguished School of Medicine alumnus and civil rights champion by presenting a monetary award to a deserving student.  All full-time UTMB students are invited to submit essays to the Hector P. Garcia committee.  The winning student will be selected from the pool of applicants who entered the contest.  Dr. Rebecca Saavedra has prepared an exhibit about the life of Dr. Hector P. Garcia to celebrate the special occasion in September 2008.  

For more information, visit the UTMB web site:  

The Eighth Annual Hector P. Garcia M.D. Awards Ceremony luncheon (click here to read about the luncheon) was held on Sept. 15 to honor the memory of UTMB alumnus Hector Garcia and recognize his crusade for civil rights and equal access to health care for all Texans regardless of race, ethnicity or financial status.
Dr. Ninfa Cavazos, UTMB alumnus, physician, attorney and community leader was the featured speaker.

Prior to Dr. Cavazos' presentation, the winner of the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Cultural Competence Award was announced. Students of all four schools were invited to enter the essay contest, as they are each year. The author of the winning essay had to demonstrate an understanding of cultural competence and its relevance to his or her ability to work with, conduct research with and care for a culturally diverse population. Honorable mention essayists were also announced at the event.

The winning essay this year was submitted by Christie D. Huynh and was entitled "The Importance of Cultural Competency: A Nursing Student Perspective". Christie is a student in the School of Nursing.

Honorable Mention was awarded to Omerine Yembe (School of Medicine) and Tran Cassandra Huynh (School of Medicine). All three essays can be found by clicking on the links below.

The Importance of Cultural Competence: A Nursing Student Perspective
by Christie Huynh

Shovel or Syringe: Cultural Competence, Durban South Africa
by Omerine Yembe

Dr. Hector Garcia Cultural Competence Essay
by Tran Cassandra Huynh

The Office of Equal Opportunity and Diversity, the Hector P. Garcia Committee, Office of Student Services, and the Office of the President.

Sent by Daisy Wanda Garcia
Click To read the Family Secret of Dr. Hector P. Garcia  by Wanda



UC San Diego Honors Educational Reformer and Feminist
Gracia Molina Enriquez de Pick

Sent by Gus Chavez Molina Enriquez de Pick, an activist in the international feminist movement and lifelong proponent of educational reform—especially for Latinos and Chicanos—once said, "Your individual life only has meaning if you unselfishly engage as sisters and brothers in the fight for equality, justice and peace."

Molina de Pick, who sacrificed and struggled for social, economic and political justice throughout her life, was honored April 1 at UC San Diego’s Cesar Chavez celebration kickoff.  She was recognized for her recent $125,000 challenge gift that will endow The Gracia Molina de Pick Endowed Fund for Chicano/a Studies to support the Chicano/a~Latino/a Arts and Humanities minor program in the Division of Arts and Humanities at the University of California, San Diego.

The political, cultural and economic importance of Spanish-speaking communities in the United States continues to increase.  In California alone, the Latino population is expected to grow to 50 percent of the total state by 2040.  Given these trends, UC San Diego created the Chicano/a~Latino/a Arts and Humanities minor program in 2002 to complement all majors by permitting students to gain a wide knowledge of diverse Spanish-speaking and indigenous histories and cultures in a hemispheric and global context.  Molina de Pick’s gift will be used to enhance the program, such as bringing renowned scholars and artists to campus for public lectures, performances and exhibits, as well as generating interest and educational opportunities at UC San Diego for Chicano/a and Latino/a youth.

"With this generous gift—the first endowed fund for our program—Gracia Molina de Pick continues her life-long activism and unwavering support for Latinas and Latinos in higher education," said Jorge Mariscal, UC San Diego professor of Literature and director of the Chicano/a~Latino/a Arts and Humanities minor program.  "Gracia’s generosity should serve as inspiration to others throughout San Diego, motivating them to help students of all backgrounds learn about the history and culture of the fastest growing demographic group in California."

A longtime educator and mentor, Molina de Pick first taught at a National City junior high school, where 70 percent of her students were Hispanic and undereducated; as a faculty member at Mesa College, she founded and wrote the curricula for the first associate’s degree in Chicano/a Studies that appeared in the Plan de Aztlan, the 1970 blueprint for higher education for Mexican Americans; at San Diego State University, she taught Peace Corps recruits and soon became an important voice in the Chicano Movement; and at UC San Diego, Molina de Pick was one of the founders and a faculty member for the university’s Third College (now named Thurgood Marshall College).

"Martin Luther King said, ‘An injustice to one is an injustice to all.’ It is imperative that we learn to care for one another for our future is intertwined … and Gracia is a human being who cares about people," said UC San Diego alumna Yareli Arizmendi, ’87, ’91 MFA, an actress, writer and producer whose work includes the feature films A Day Without a Mexican and Like Water for Chocolate.  "Thanks to her support, the campus can develop holistically rounded human beings with the tools to be empathetic and understanding in a diverse society."

Molina de Pick added, "I don’t have a lot of money—but I’m rich in so many other ways.  Everything I have, I give to the causes.  I hope others will also help in raising the consciousness of the people of our community.  The UC San Diego Chicano/a~Latino/a Arts and Humanities minor program is critically important, but it needs to be nourished and it needs resources."

Her gift of real property, which provides the seed money for The Gracia Molina de Pick Endowed Fund for Chicano/a Studies, launches a grassroots fundraising effort conducted by her friends, including former students, staff and those she has mentored over the years, who are seeking to raise $125,000 in matching funds.  This challenge will culminate March 2009 in a Women’s History Week event that will feature Gloria Steinem as keynote speaker.  For more information, please call the UC San Diego Arts and Humanities Office of Development at (858) 534-9097.

About Gracia Molina Enriquez de Pick
For over 60 years, Gracia Molina Enriquez de Pick has been an educator, feminist, mentor of students and community activist for women’s equality, indigenous communities, labor and immigrants’ rights.  She was born in Mexico City into a family of political activists, and moved to San Diego in 1957 after she married Richard A. Pick.  She obtained a teaching credential and a master’s degree through SDSU; she pursued doctoral studies at UC San Diego and USC.  She is a founder of IMPACT, an early community grassroots organization fighting for the civil rights of Mexican-Americans in San Diego, and founder of the Comision Femenil Mexicana Nacional, the first national feminist Chicana Association.  She served as the Chicana Caucus Chair of the National Women’s Political Caucus and the National Council of La Raza, the first Civil Rights Advocate group for Mexican American Civil Rights.  Molina de Pick was also the national organizer for Chicana participation at the U.N. World Conferences on Women.  She is a published author—her latest book, “Mujeres en la Historia & Historias de Mujeres,” highlights women in Mexican history, covering the indigenous period prior to 1492 through the first half of the 20th century.  Designed for high school students and the general public in Mexico and the U.S., the book will be released in May 2008.


Couple wants to use its experience to help the war-wounded

By Anita Creamer -
SCENE section, Page E2, Sacramento Bee  April 16, 2008
Sent by Armando Ayala, Ph.D.


Ruth Ayala is a woman of faith. You can see it in the praying-hands pendant she wears around her neck, the crucifix hanging on her dining-room wall and the Bible she flips through, looking for the verse that has inspired her.

Here it is in 2 Corinthians, these words about how God comforts us so we can comfort others in turn when they're troubled. The Ayalas – Ruth, 63, and her husband, retired California State University, Sacramento, professor Armando, 78 – have known both trouble and comfort over the years. Armando is an amputee who's paralyzed from the chest down, the cumulative result of diabetes, stroke and a spinal tumor. He's been disabled for 19 years.

"I was sitting there thinking, 'What purpose have we had in our life?' " says Ruth. " 'Why were we given the challenge of care-giving? How can we help someone else from what we've learned?' "And I realized, maybe we're supposed to do something related to the war."

Specifically, she wants to help the families of the military's wounded find their way through the new terrain of their daily lives – to share what she and Armando have learned over time and to connect one-on-one with the families. 

According to the Department of Defense, through the first half of April, 14,417 service members in Iraq and Afghanistan have been wounded badly enough not to return to action.  "They'll never be the same," says Ruth, "those who've been injured and those whose injuries we don't even see."

Their families are expected to adjust and cope and assist as best they can, just as the Ayalas – whose blended family includes six offspring – had to after Armando's left leg was amputated.  He initially went into the hospital for knee-replacement surgery. Infection set in. Then came the strokes and the amputation.

"When I brought him home, I didn't know much about taking care of him," says Ruth. "And our daughter was only a year old at the time." She learned by doing, because what other choice was there?

By 1992, Armando was paralyzed, too. He continued working part time until 2003. But with his disability, Ruth found herself in the permanent role of caregiver to him – and also the sole parent who could string Christmas lights, run errands and pick up their daughter from school.

"It's very easy to fall into depression," says Armando, a veteran from the Korean War era. "Especially for the new GIs coming back."  Imagine the turmoil of that initial adjustment, from vitality to new limitations. Imagine young spouses adjusting, too, to their role as medical advocate, cheerleader and home nursing provider.

"Their families are at what I consider the acute phase," says Ruth. "We've had that acute phase at various times over the past 20 years. You operate differently then.  "And then there's the phase of isolation. I've learned that living with illness means there's not a lot of predictability in life. You have to be flexible. You never know when you plan something what will happen.

"It's hard to commit yourself to activities outside the home.  "And then there's the impact on your children."  Her eyes fill with tears. Armando has been in and out of the hospital recently. His illness continues to be hard on the family.  "My husband said to our daughter, 'I don't know how long I'll be around,' " Ruth says, and she stops for a moment, too choked up to continue.

"And she said, 'All my life, I've felt that way.' " Of course.  "And I said, 'All your life, you've known exactly where your mom and dad are, 24-7,' " says Armando.

After he retired from teaching, he continued mentoring students. That's what he and Ruth would like to do now, too: mentor young families coming to terms with disability.  They want to volunteer, but they don't really know where to turn. But they have faith that answers will come to them.



Revised and Expanded Edition
The Chicano Movement                                             
                                             By Carlos Muñoz, Jr

'An essential record of the Chicano movement and an
 important addition to the history of the American social protest." -San Francisco Chronicle

"A very important and powerful book, documenting American HistoryŠwithout question, one of the lodestones in reference to the 'movimiento'."  --  Luis Valdez, founder of the Chicano Teatro Campesino.  

"The first major book on the Chicano movement by one of its leaders, who is also a first-rate scholar.  Youth, Identity, Power is certain to be a benchmark for all future work on the subject.  An importantŠcontribution to the history of the 1960s, itŠshould be required reading."- Clayborne Carson, Stanford University  

In the revised edition of YOUTH, IDENTITY, POWER (available from at a discounted price), scholar-activist Carlos Muñoz, Jr extends his classic study of the 1960s Chicano civil rights movement with a groundbreaking afterword that brings the imperative of multiracial democracy to a new level of clarity.  This analysis of Chicano thought and struggle in America bridges the movement's involvement between civil rights, social progression and the ever-pertinent history of Mexican-American tensions.  

Muñoz chronicles the evolution of the 1960s' Chicano radical leaders from their student activist precursors of the 1930s, and evaluates how the progress of their combined labors have formed the many American Latino communities of today. The contribution of such a necessary study from one of the influential leaders of the Chicano movement provides for an empowered and crucial estimation of the struggles confronting the burgeoning Latino community.

About the Author:
Carlos Muñoz, Jr
is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.  He was the founding chair of the first Chicano Studies Department in the U.S., and a founder of the National Association for Chicana and Chicano Studies.





Prepared for the conference of the National Association for Chicano and Chicano Studies, Austin, Texas, March 19-22, 2008.

By Felipe de Ortego y Gasca

Copyright © 2008 by the author. All rights reserve

Scholar in Residence, Western New Mexico University; Professor Emeritus of English, Texas State University System–Sul Ross; Founding Director of the Chicano Studies Program, University of Texas at El Paso, 1970.


orty-five years ago when I began university teaching after some years as a high school teacher of French, there was no Chicano Stud­ies. That is, no Chicano Studies as an organized field of study. To be sure, there were Mexican American scholars working on various aspects of Mexican Amer­ican life and its cultural productions, scholars like Aurelio Espinosa, Juan Rael, Arturo Campa, Fray Angelico Chaves, George I. Sanchez, Americo Paredes, and others. Important as this scholarship was, it emerged amorphously,  reflecting independ­ent intellectual interests rather than a scholarship reflecting a field of study. This is not to say that some of these scholars may not have considered their work as part of a field of study conceptualized as Mexican American Studies.  Despite its lack of an under-pinning,  it was a field of Mexican American Studies, its constituent parts subsumed as American folklore.

This situation created a critical barrier to the public discussion and dissemination of information about the presence of Mexican Americans in the Unit­ed States and their contributions to American society. Until 1960 and the emergence of the Chi­cano Movement, Mexican Americans were charac­terized by mainstream  American schol­ars–principally anthropologists and social work­ers–in terms of the queer, the curious, and the quaint. That is, regarded as a “tribe,” Mexican Amer­icans were categorized as just another item in the flora and fauna of Americana in precisely the same way American Indians were categorized.

The Chicano Movement–that wave of concientizacion that came to bloom among Mexican Americans in the 60's transforming them into Chicanos– helped to change American perceptions about Mexican Americans. While Mexican Americans knew much about Anglo Americans, Anglo Americans knew little about Mexican Americans. From 1848 to 1912–the period of transition for the conquest generation of Mexicans who became Americans per the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on Febru­ary 2, 1848–Mexican Americans were regarded poorly by the American public.  So poorly, in fact, that the territories of New Mexico and Arizona were delayed statehood until their populations were predominantly Anglo American.

In Two Years Before the Mast, Richard Henry Dana described the Mexican Americans as “an idle, thriftless people” who could make nothing for themselves (1959: 9). And in 1852, Colonel Monroe reported to Washington that “the New Mexicans are thoroughly debased and totally incapable of self-government, and there is no latent quality about them that can ever make them respectable. They have more Indian blood than Spanish, and in some respects are below the Pueblo Indians, for they are not as honest or as industrious” (Congressional Globe, 32nd Congress, 2nd Session, January 10, 1853, Appendix, p. 104).

Four years later, W.W.H. Davis, United States Attorney for the Territory of New Mexico, wrote a propos his experiences with Mexican Americans that “they possess the cunning and deceit of the Indian, the politeness and the spirit of revenge of the Spaniard, and the imaginative temperament and fiery impulses of the moor.” He described them as smart and quick but lacking the “stability and character and soundness of intellect that give such vast superiority to the Anglo-Saxon race over every other people.” 

In 1874, General William Tecumseh Sherman quipped before a committee of the House of Representatives that Mexico be prevailed upon to take back the territory of New Mexico (Arnold L. Rodriguez, “New Mexico in Transition,” New Mexico His­torical Review, XXIV, July 1949, 186). And in 1902, Senator Albert  Beveridge of Indiana objected to statehood for the New Mexico Territory on the grounds that “the majority of people in New Mexico could speak only [Spanish]. . . . Illiteracy was high, and the arid conditions of the southwest imposed serious limitations on agriculture” (Robert W. Larson, New Mexico’s Quest for Statehood 1846-1912, 1968: 215).

Even after 64 years as Americans, Mexican Americans were considered foreigners in their own country. Little thought was given to the fact that Mexican Americans were not immigrants to the United States, that they were a “territorial minority” cum Americans as a booty of war, that the border had crossed them. By the 20th century, mainstream Americans had forgotten that as a consequence of  the U.S.–Mexi­co War of 1846-1848 Mexico was dismembered, giving up more than half of its territory to the United States: a territory now constituting the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado, as well as parts of Wyoming, Kansas, and Oklahoma, a territory larger than France, Spain, and Italy combined.

During the period of Americanization from 1912 to 1960, Mexican Americans fared little better despite their efforts to become Americans. During this period, from 1913 to 1930, more than a million and a half Mexicans made their way north from Mexico to the United States, owing to the destabilization of Mexico during its  civil war from 1913 to 1921. This influx of Mexicans to the United States plus the population of Mexicans who were part of the conquest generation came to constitute the primary population of Mexican Americans that has given rise to their present demographics in 21st century America.

We have no definitive count as to the numbers of Mexicans who came with the dismembered territory. Figures range from a low of 75,000 to 300,000. The dismembered territory was certainly not void of population, considering the cities that were part of the annexed territory–San Antonio, El Paso, Santa Fe and the San Luis Valley of Colorado, Tucson, San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, San Francisco, and Pueblo, Colorado, not counting the hundreds of smaller communities dotting the landscape.

The third factor in the demographic growth of Mexican Americans was the 20 year immigration compact between the United States and Mexico that brought thousands of Mexican “braceros” (laborers) into the country between 1942 and 1962. This demographic troika of Mexican Americans (conquest generation, civil war refugees, and braceros) now numbers some 30 million, its growth due principally­ to fertility abetted certainly by a small but steady annual ingress of immigrants since 1962.

These 30 million Mexican Americans are 66% of the American Hispanic population. That is, two out of three American Hispanics are Mexican Americans. These are not undocumented workers; they are American citizens. But in the current wave of nativist hysteria, American Hispanics including Mexican Americans are regarded as aliens whose expedient deportation is desirable in the national interest. As American citizens, Mexican Americans have been thrown into the mix with undocumented Hispanic workers not only from Mexico but throughout Latin America, under the rubric of “illegal immigrants.” This is “Why Chicano Studies?” Americans need to understand that Mexican Americans are not a new population. That they have been part of the American enterprise for 160 years. And this is why after almost 40 years I am still convinced about the need for Chicano Studies.  


hen I joined the English Department at New Mexico State University almost half a century ago, I was the only Mexican American in the department and totally clueless about Mexican American Studies, though I had studied Spanish literature, Mexican literature, and Latin American literature as well as English literature and American literature. My parents taught me about Mexico. I knew that a branch of mother’s family had settled in San Antonio, Texas, in 1731. But about Mexican Americans in general, I knew nothing except that we had relatives in Chicago and Pittsburgh (whom we visited often), as well as in Texas.

In my comparative studies classes at the University of Pittsburgh between 1948 and 1952, I learned nothing about Mexican Americans except what I learned from the long-time Mexican American communities there. But none of that information spurred my curiosity to learn about the history of Mexican Americans in the United States. The apodictic value system of the United States held me firmly in its grip, reinforcing the mantra that I was an American. Later, I would ask: If I’m an American, were my ancestors English since our teachers and textbooks emphasized that a special relationship existed between the United States and England as the mother country. In a country of E Pluribus Unum (One out of many), the United States has many mother countries. The United States is the world. Had Italians in the United States been subjected to the same kind of indoctrination? Germans in the United States?  


n 1970 I was recruited to be founding director of the Chicano Studies Program at the University of Texas at El Paso, first such program in the state. By this time, I had become conscientized as a Chicano. From 1967 on, I had become identified as a Quinto Sol Writer, that is, among the first wave of Chicano writers of the Chicano Renaissance which had its beginning in 1966 with the creation of Quinto Sol Publications headed by Octavio Romano. By 1970, I had written extensively about Mexican Americans and their plight in the United States. In the Fall of 1969 I had taught the first course in Chicano literature in the country. By 1970, I was finishing up Back­grounds of Mexican American Litera­ture, first literary history in the field (University of New Mexico, 1971).

In 1969, California had organized the first Chicano Studies Program in the country. In the following two years many more Chicano Studies Programs were inaugurated throughout the Hispanic Southwest. But all was not serene in Aztlan–the name Chicanos chose to identify the Hispanic Southwest, that territory dismembered from Mexico as a consequence of the U.S. War with Mexico (1846-1848) and annexed­ by the United States per the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo signed on February 2, 1848.

The Handbook for the organization of Chicano Studies was developed in California as El Plan de Santa Barbara (The Plan of Santa Barbara). This was the blueprint we used in developing the Chicano Studies Program at the University of Texas at El Paso in 1970. Our guiding principal per the Plan de Santa Barbara was: a Chicano Studies Program not controlled by Chicanos is not a Chicano Studies Program.

Not surprisingly, Chicano students, faculty, and community leaders pressed hard for Chicano control of the Chicano Studies Program at the University of Texas at El Paso, despite institutional and system resistance. That resistance was so obstructive, that only a student takeover of the administration building with the president as hostage in December of 1971 precipitated the necessary impetus for the institutionalization of Chicano Studies.

Reluctantly, the intransigence of the university turned to half-hearted support for Chicano Studies. Our aim was to embed Chicano Studies courses in as many departments as we could. Our recruitment efforts were effective, bringing to the UT El Paso campus Chicano luminaries like Rodolfo de la Garza in Political Science, Donald Castro in English, Hector Serrano in Theater, and Tomas Arciniega in Education. We increased the number of Chicano faculty substantially, but still nowhere near a percentage reflecting our numbers in the American population or our numbers in El Paso–a community more than 75 percent mejicano at the time.  


ore than half the students at the University of Texas at El Paso in 1970 were mejicanos, but Mexican American visibility on campus was restricted to the maintenance workers, janitors, and gardeners. Our objectives for Chicano Studies were twofold: not only would Chicano Studies help us to enlighten both Chicanos and non-Chicanos about who we were, but Chicano Studies would enable us to promote our visibility beyond maintenance workers, janitors, and gardeners. Moreover, Chicano Studies would provide the missing pieces of American history anent Mexican Americans. Chicano Studies would show Americans the rich heritage of Mexican Americans and the splendor of their indigenous past. This was one way to bring Chicanos into the consciousness of the American mainstream, though Chicano Studies was not explicitly a mainstream venue. Chicano Studies was the alternative to the mainstream. That was Octavio Romano’s argument in the editorial of the first issue of El Grito in 1967. Since the American mainstream rejected Chicanos, Chicanos would establish their own institutions and outlets for their cultural productions. Chicano achievement was not predicated on the approval of the mainstream. While Chicanos wanted to be in the mainstream they would not be brown copies of whites in the mainstream.

Now, almost forty years later, looking back on the progress and evolution of Chicano Studies 
I wonder how much mainstreaming has taken place. And whether mainstreaming has been the ignis fatuus it has always been for Chicanos. In a recent edition of The American Tradition in Literature published by McGraw Hill, the 2500 page anthology did not include one American Hispanic writer (that is, an Hispanic writer who is of the United States and not from Hispanic America). Not till page 2299 do we see an Hispanic writer: Isabel Allende, the Chilean writer who now lives and writes in the United States. Not one Chicano writer appears in the McGraw Hill an­thology which purports to be the American tradition in literature. This situation would be like including Chinua Achebe in the anthology as representative of African American writers.

Five decades later Chicanos are still invisible to the American mainstream, although a number of Chicano writers have made their way into that mainstream. Despite Chicano nationalism, there is a wave of Chicanos who desperately seek approval of the white mainstream which progressively validates Chicanos who most reflect its values. In the background, however, silent running, are those diehard Chicano venues like Arte Publico Press and The Bilingual Review Press which continue to nurture the aspirations of Chicano writers still marginalized by main­stream presses.

In 1968 the absence of minority writers in anthologies of American literature, especially those anthologies used in colleges and universities, was so exacerbated that the minority caucuses of the National Council of Teachers of English banded to­gether as the NCTE Task Force on Racism and Bias in the Teaching of English, issuing a blistering re­port entitled Searching for America which detailed just how bad the situation was. Along with Carlota Cardenas Dwyer and Jose Carrasco, I was a founding member of that Task Force. The NCTE Report included the piece on “Chicanos and American Literature” by Jose Carrasco and me, later reprinted in The Wiley Reader.

In 1970 I sent a piece on “Chicano Poetry: Roots and Writers” to Richard Ohman then editor of College English. He returned the manuscript with a note saying he didn’t think the article would be of much interest to the readers of College English, besides he was already considering a piece on Chicano literature for an upcoming issue of College English.  The piece turned out to be an essay on Chicano literature by a non-Chicano. The following year I presented “Chicano Poetry: Roots and Writers” at the First National Symposium on Chicano Literature organized by Ed Simmen at Pan Amer­ican University in Edinberg, Texas, and published as part of the proceedings along with the presentations of Tomas Rivera and Jose Reyna. In 1972 the piece was reprinted in Southwestern American Literature. In the meantime, I finished my work on Backgrounds of Mexican American Literature  (University of New Mexico, 1971), first study in the field.

By 1971 the Modern Language Association had sanctioned a Chicano Caucus, as had the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese. It appeared that the Chicano voice was gaining in volume. It also appeared that conceptions of Chicanos were changing. Helping that change along was establishment of La Luz magazine in Denver in 1972, the first Hispanic public affairs magazine in English, organized by Dan Valdes as Publisher and me as Associate Publisher. Over the ten years of my tenure with La Luz we published dozens of pieces by Chicanos in various genres. In 1973 Washington Square Press brought out my anthology of We Are Chicanos which included many of the early luminaries of the Chicano Renaissance.  


hile there was headway in making the Chicano presence in American society more visible, Chicano venues began to shrink as that visibility gave more prominence to Chicanos who became more attractive to mainstream purveyors. By the 1990's Chicano venues for literary production had dwindled to a handful from what had been hundreds of ephemeral “garage presses” intent on promoting the jinetes of Chicano literature. By the 1990's there had not been a dramatic integration of Chicano perspectives into the academic disciplines. The dozens of Chicano Studies programs (including those that were departments) dwindled as well to a few, although today there are two doctoral programs in Chicano Studies. Nevertheless, since the 1990's there has been a retreat from using Chicano Studies as a disciplinary anchor  for promulgating the story of Chicanos in America.

Chicano Studies has become a subset of Hispanic Studies and Latino Studies, seemingly more palatable terms than Chicano Studies much the way the term Latin American became a more palatable term than Mexican American when the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) was orga­nized in Corpus Christi, Texas,  in 1929.  The term Chicano has been lost in the lexicon of Hispanicity and Latinismo. More attention seems to be paid now to members of Hispanic groups in the United States with minimal population numbers compared to the 30 million Mexican Americans currently in the U.S. population (not counting the purported numbers of undocumented Mexicans in the country). Of the 45 million American Hispanics counted in the Census, two-thirds of them (66 percent) are Mexican Americans.

The sub-alternization of Chicanos in Hispanic Studies emphasizes  the point: Why Chicano Studies? Why? Because Chicano Studies is being cut off a medio grito, aborting its premise and promise. This does not mean, of course, that the study of Chicanos cannot go on without academic programs of Chicano Studies. But rooted in an academic setting of respect and encouragement, Chicano Studies provides the ground and  lens from and through which to illuminate the historical processes that have brought Chicanos to this point in American history. These are the same heuristic considerations that under gird other disciplines.

However, suspicions about the ideological agenda of Chicano Studies have wormed their way into the  debate over Chicano Studies, raising questions about objectivity, questions Chicanos raised in the 660'6 and 70's about the institutional disciplines that did not include the presence of Chicanos in their pur­view. This does not diminish the value of continuing the constructing a Chicano narrative; it just interposes inhibitions to that construction.

The Chicano Studies programs at the University of Texas at El Paso and at California State University at Northridge have endured because of their academic rigor and the passion of their faculty. This is not to say that other Chicano Studies programs lack rigor and a passionate faculty. Whether a Chicano Studies program should be disciplinary or interdisciplinary remains a question of academic inquiry. My concern is: without Chicano Studies in the academy, who will advocate for Chicanos therein? In the current public debate over immigration we see the growing hostility towards Chicanos who are perceived as part of the undocumented hordes of Mexicans invading the United States as Lou Dobbs and CNN characterize the situation.

The immigration debate avers the proposition that Americans, by and large, know little about Chicanos other than what they learn about them through public media. Everywhere today, Chicanos are being assailed by nativists and jingoists who see them as progeny of “black” Spaniards and savage Indians. Chicano Studies becomes, therefore, the instrument through which Americans can come to see Chicanos in their own right rather than through the normative view of mainstream Americans.

For the past 39 years I’ve taught Chicano literature to undergraduates, Master’s students, and doctoral candidates. Most of these students have been Chicanos. The students we also want to reach are are non-Chicanos. But they have not signed up for Chicano Studies courses in numbers to suggest that we are reaching them with our story. This is also why we need to keep and strengthen Chicano Studies.

Last semester (Fall 2007) I taught on-line the introductory graduate course to Chicano Studies which is part of our Interdisciplinary Master’s Program. All the graduate students were Chicanos. This indicates the work the Chicano Faculty Caucus has to do in promoting to all our students, especially non Chicanos, the Chicano courses in our embryonic Chicano Studies Program.

Como una hija querida, tenemos que defender Chicano Studies porque si no, perderemos nuestro futuro. That’s too important a future to lose, too ex­acting a price to pay. This is the exact moment of history for Chicanos to rise to the occasion. Inaction begets failure. Now, more than ever we must band together in common cause. Chicano Studies deserves no less.



                    Armando Morales Presente!

Compas, Armando Morales passed away, the oppressed of this world are less safe, of course he inspired and mentored many more to speak truth to power. I only worked close with him for half a year or so. Summer of 1970 through Winter of 1971 when the administration of injustice in this country was out to destroy the Chicano and other progressive movements. I was chair of the Chicano Moratorium Committee.  We worked on a serious attempt to begin dismantling racist practices of the LAPD and Sheriffs.

Mando documented the institutional and out right racism of the LAPD and Sheriffs from their own
manuals and statistics and from broader health and psychological measures, and historical truth.  He helped us develop a program of reform, something like the Christopher Commission only Chicana/o derived, its in his book Ando Sangrando.  Thousands and thousands of Raza were marching to push for such changes, scores of infiltrators were injected into the movement to take it off a non violent path.

We had a meeting with the LA 22, the corporate and social elite, with other Chicano spokespeople.  Senator Cranston presided.  Otis Chandler was there, Cardinal McIntyre, others I hadn't met nor seen since.   Different concerns were raised.  Abe Tapia of Mapa wanted funds for Alex Garcias State Senate campaign, Julian Nava wanted more textbooks (he wrote some), Bob Gandera called them putos.  Armando, Ramses Noriega and I presented the changes we wanted in the Sheriffs and LAPD and if the departments resisted we wanted Davis and Pitchess out!  Others had other concerns.  The final speaker was Rep Ed Roybal, he strongly argued that police brutality was the biggest issue when he grew up, when he first ran for office, and still was in 1970.

We may have been storming heaven, but thousands of us were.  Armando stuck with us.  After the momentum was undercut and subsided he went ahead publishing his book that speaks to issues and facts that few historians of Chicano studies touch on today. A few years later new Mayor Tom Bradley nominated Mando for the Police Commission!.  The city council squashed it
saying he did not live in the city.  Hell much of the force was recruited from the South and most lived outside the city and still do.

Mando was one of our great movimiento scholars who put their research on the picket line, their asses too, Ralph Guzman was another.  His heart was with the people, like the words from Gorrioncillo Pecho Amarillo about the yellow sparrow whose nest was ravaged and was calling desparately for its mate, "no mas al verte ya estoy llorando, ando sangrando igual que tu!, just seeing you there I start crying, I am bleeding just like you.  I can hear him playing it right now.  Ando sangrando.  Rosalio Munoz

Obituary:  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 will be 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 am.

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.

Source: Rosalio Munoz
Rudy Acuna <
Sunday, 23 Mar 2008 

Director, Smithsonian Latino Center

 Announcement # EX-08-07

The Smithsonian Latino Center was established in 1997 to ensure that Latino contributions to art, science and the humanities are highlighted, understood and advanced through the development and support of public programs, scholarly research, museum collections and educational
opportunities at the Smithsonian Institution as well as affiliated organizations across the United States and around the world.  Over the past decade, the Center has been the catalyst for hundreds of Latino-themed projects, from museum exhibitions to live arts performances, research, virtual galleries, traveling exhibitions, additions to the Institution*s collections and educational programming for both museum professionals and the public. The Center leverages its federal appropriation with an active fundraising program, proceeds from annual events and the expertise and loaned artifacts from Smithsonian museums.  New partnerships with major organizations throughout the hemisphere, promise high levels of international collaboration on new
exhibitions, research and programming.

The Smithsonian Institution is the world*s largest museum and research complex comprising 19 museums, 9 research centers and over 150 affiliate museums. Last year the Institution welcomed over 23 million visitors. Millions more experience the Smithsonian through a wide range of outreach initiatives including educational programs, traveling exhibits, research collaborations and digital media productions. The Latino Center reports to the Under Secretary for History, Art  and
Culture and has a strong, active Advisory Board.

To review the Center*s website go to

Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.

Book: That's Not Fair: Emma Tenayuca's Struggle for Justice

¡No Es Justo! La lucha de Emma Tenayuca por la justicia (Wings Press)
by Carmen Tafolla 
and Sharyll Teneyuca (Emma Tenayuca's granddaughter)

In the 1920's, in San Antonio, Tejas, a young girl named Emma Tenayuca took a long look around her and decided that life is not fair to some poeple.  She began to do things to change
that.  She taught other children to read, and she learned the value of sharing what little she
had with those who had even less.  Just a few years later, barely out of her teens, Emma led
12,000 poor workers - the pecan shellers - in their historic strike for fair wages and improved struggle for civil rights and justice.  No less than a legend in her own hime, she is now an honored figure in Chicana/o history.

Carmen Tafolla is one of the most anthologized of all Latina writers with work for both adults
and children appearing in more than two hundred anthologies. With work translated into Spanish, German, and Bengali, Tafolla has been published in a great variety of genres. Twenty of her children's stories and poems have been published in English and Spanish educational publications K through college level by educational publishers.  Carmen Tafolla has also published five adult poetry books, seven children's television screenplays, and numerous short
stories and articles.

Sharyll Teneyuca is a graduate of Rice University and New York University School of Law. She was voted Outstanding Young Lawyer by the San Antonio Young Lawyers Association in 1985
for her work as the founder and director of the Pro Bono Law Project, the first volunteer
attorney assistance project for the representation of indigents in civil matters in Bexar County. As a Municipal Court Judge, she created the Community Service Program, providing an alternative to incarceration for citizens unable to pay city fines. Both programs have become an integral part of the San Antonio community. She has endeavored to carry on her Aunt Emma's legacy of compassion for human beings and dedication to justice. A former Legal Aid staff attorney, she practices law (and makes wonderful pecan pralines) in San Antonio, where
she lives with her husband and three sons.

Center for Mexican American Studies
the University of Texas at Austin
West Mall Building 5.102
1 University Station F9200
Austin, TX 78712
(512)471-9639 fax

Sent by Robert Calderon, Ph.D.  beto@unt.edu4em


The Baseball Reliquary’s Collaborative Project on Mexican-American Baseball 
in Los Angeles Receives 
National Humanities Award

The Baseball Reliquary’s collaborative project with the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library at California State University, Los Angeles on Mexican-American baseball has earned a distinguished national award for the California Council for the Humanities (CCH). The CCH provided a grant for Mexican-American Baseball in Los Angeles: From the Barrios to the Big Leagues as part of its California Story Fund, a grant program specifically designed to bring grassroots community stories to wider audiences and make them part of the larger California story. The CCH was awarded the 2007 Schwartz Prize on November 3, 2007 at the National Humanities Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia. The prize, given annually by the Federation of State Humanities Councils, is one of two awards for excellence in public programming presented each year in the United States and its territories.
            In October 2005, the Baseball Reliquary received a $5,000 grant from the CCH to begin its multi-faceted and comprehensive examination of Mexican-American baseball in partnership with the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library at California State University, Los Angeles. The project included a major exhibition at the library and oral history documentation conducted by Cal State LA students. The exhibition has subsequently toured throughout Southern California over the last two years. In nominating the project for the Schwartz Prize, the CCH noted that “Mexican-American Baseball in Los Angeles: From the Barrios to the Big Leagues had an extraordinary impact on a large, underserved California community, forged new and enduring ties between community members and participating academic institutions, used the humanities to explore a previously overlooked piece of the American story, attracted unprecedented audience members, and developed a life of its own, so that the project continues to prosper well after Council funding has ended.”

Among those attending the April 9, 2005 reception at California State University Los Angeles which formally announced details of the project Mexican-American Baseball in Los Angeles: From the Barrios to the Big Leagues were, from left to right: Douglas Monroy; Gabriel (Tito) Avila, Jr.; Tomas J. Benitez; Cesar Caballero; Bobby Castillo, 
guest speaker and former Los Angeles Dodgers/Minnesota Twins pitcher; Ramon Carrillo de Albornoz, Office of the Consul General of Mexico, Los Angeles; Richard Santillan; Francisco E. Balderrama; and Terry Cannon. Photo courtesy of Mark Langill.

      “I am excited that our project has been selected for this prestigious award,” said the Baseball Reliquary’s Executive Director, Terry Cannon, who collaborated with Cal State LA personnel and a group of advisors in developing the project and who was on hand at the Huntington Library in San Marino, California on December 13, 2007 when the Reliquary was formally presented the Schwartz Prize by James Quay, Executive Director of the CCH. “Hopefully the prize will allow us to continue to build and expand the project, particularly in terms of establishing a Mexican-American baseball archive at Cal State LA’s John F. Kennedy Memorial Library as a major resource for students, scholars, and the community at large.” Others associated with the project who were in attendance and spoke at the December 13 award presentation included Cesar Caballero, current University Librarian at California State University, San Bernardino (and Acting University Librarian at Cal State LA during the initial phase of the project in 2005 and 2006); Francisco Balderrama, Professor of Chicano Studies and History at Cal State LA, who taught the classes which conducted the oral histories; Al Padilla, former East Los Angeles ballplayer and coach, who was interviewed as part of the project; and Alice Kawakami, current University Librarian at Cal State LA.
           A statement issued by the panel of Schwartz Prize judges commended the Baseball Reliquary project as one “whose strong humanities focus both told the story of an overlooked chapter of Mexican-American history and forged new and lasting connections between underserved audiences and academic institutions. The judges highlighted the way in which this project used familiar humanities activities, such as the collecting of oral histories, exhibitions, and lectures in order to bring to life in an original and compelling manner the nearly forgotten story of the once-flourishing culture of Mexican-American amateur and semi-professional baseball teams. The collaborative approach of this project, one which created ties between local colleges and community members, including many who had never before been on campus, resulted in an experience of exceptional quality and lasting significance.”
            Since the inaugural exhibition for Mexican-American Baseball in Los Angeles: From the Barrios to the Big Leagues at Cal State LA in the spring of 2006, it has traveled to the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College Library & Learning Resource Center, the Institute for Socio-Economic Justice & Progressive Community Development (Brawley, California), and the Pomona Public Library.
            The Schwartz Prize is made possible by former Federation of State Humanities Councils board member Martin Schwartz and his wife, Helen, who established an endowment fund in the 1980s to recognize outstanding public humanities programs.
            For additional information on Mexican-American Baseball in Los Angeles: From the Barrios to the Big Leagues, contact Terry Cannon, Executive Director of the Baseball Reliquary, at P.O. Box 1850, Monrovia, CA 91017; by phone at (626) 791-7647; or by e-mail at


National Public Radio story on Guy Gabaldon aired
Absolut vodka pulls ad showing California in Mexico
Tejano Declaration of Independence
Saving Private Jose: Midwestern Mexican American World War II

National Public Radio story on Guy Gabaldon aired

Guy's Family and Friends,

Our hero lives today all over America thanks to National Public Radio and a beautiful story by Richard Gonzales.  Here is the link to the radio broadcast and article on NPR:  or just click on
(it's right on the front page).

Please enjoy this story and some more important breaks to come, including ASSOCIATED PRESS.  The completed film, EAST L.A. MARINE: THE UNTOLD TRUE STORY OF GUY GABALDON will be released nationally on DVD next month.  Here's hoping that we can finally get the attention for Guy he deserves!!

Peace, Steve Rubin  


Absolut vodka pulls ad showing California in Mexico
 Apr 7, Yahoo

The distillers of Sweden's Absolut vodka have withdrawn an advertisement run in Mexico that angered many U.S. citizens by idealizing an early 19th century map showing chunks of the United States as Mexican.

The billboard ad has the slogan "In an Absolut World" slapped over a pre-1848 map showing California, Arizona and other U.S. states as Mexican territory. Those states were carved out of what had been Mexican lands until that year.

Although it was not shown in the United States, U.S. media outlets picked up on the ad, and after a barrage of complaints, Absolut's maker said on Sunday the ad campaign would cease.

Defending the campaign last week, Absolut maker Vin & Spirit said the ad was created "with a Mexican sensibility" and was not meant for the U.S. market.

"In no way was this meant to offend or disparage, nor does it advocate an altering of borders, nor does it lend support to any anti-American sentiment, nor does it reflect immigration issues," a spokeswoman wrote on Absolut's Web site.

"Instead, it hearkens to a time which the population of Mexico may feel was more ideal," she wrote.

Absolut's blog cite has received more than a thousand comments since the ad campaign was launched a few weeks ago, with many calling for boycotts of the Swedish company.

"I have poured the remainder of my Absolut bottles down the sink," one blogger wrote.

A war between Mexico and the United States from 1846 to 1848 started with Mexico's refusal to recognize the U.S. annexation of Texas and ended with the occupation of Mexico City by U.S. troops.

At the end, Mexico ceded nearly half of its territory to the United States, forming the states of California, Nevada, Utah and parts of Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico and Wyoming.

Mexicans remain sensitive about the loss and the location of the border. At the same time, the United States is fortifying barriers to keep out undocumented Mexican migrants.

Some Mexicans use the term "Reconquista" (reconquest) to refer to the growing presence in California of Mexican migrants and their descendants.

France's Pernod Ricard is taking over Absolut vodka, one of the world's top-selling spirit brands, after buying Vin & Spirit from the Swedish government at the end of March.  (Reporting by Noel Randewich, editing by Philip Barbara)

  Hispanic US Statistics 

As 2005, the Hispanic population in the continental U.S. was more than 42 million, or 14% of the total population. An additional 3.9 million Hispanics were residing in Puerto Rico. It is projected that Latinos will account for more than one in four Americans by 2050.

·          50% of the Hispanic population is under age 25.

·          85% of Hispanics under 18 were born in the United States.

·          Latino buying power is more than $736 billion.

·          By 2010, it is expected that Hispanics will have more than $1 trillion in disposable income.

·          The U.S. Latino population remits billions of dollars to Latin America: $45.8 billion in 2004.  

(Sources: U.S. Census Bureau and University of Georgia’s Selig Center for Economic Growth)  



Tejano Declaration of Independence, April 6th, 2008  

The hugely successful Tejano Declaration of Independence in front of the Spanish Governors Palace in downtown San Antonio April 6th 2008. Mexican dignitaries from Mexico arriving by limo. Mexican dignitaries included ; Lic Olga Elizondo Guerra Presidenta Municipal Constitucional de Nueva Cuidad Cuerrero, Arturo Angel Martinez Juarez Secretary of Tourism;Lic. Bladimar
Martinez Ruiz, Sub-Secretary of Education, Tamaulipas. Of course we had our own dignitaries. Maclovio Perez from WOAI T.V. personality; Dr Jesus de la Teja, the official Historian for the State of Texas; Dr Andres Tijerina, History Professor and Author;and Mr Robert H. Thonhoff, Historian and Author.

Dan Arellano                                       

The sender has included tags, so you can do more with these photos. Download
Photoshop (R) Album Starter Edition-Free!




Richard Santillan, Ph.D. 
California State Polytechnic University, Pomona



Over the years, several movies have been produced highlighting the contributions of American servicemen during World War II. With rare exceptions, most of these films ignore the major contributions of Mexican Americans2. Mexican Americans have clearly distinguished themselves during combat, erasing any lingering doubts about their loyalty to the United States. It is estimated that nearly 500,000 Mexican Americans served during World War II. Mexican American women also played a major role both on the home front and in the military.3

Wartime has been a mixture of both immeasurable pain and unforeseen opportunities for the Mexican American community. Many Mexican American men have either been killed or seriously wounded on foreign battlefields, and families have suffered physical separation from their loved ones too many times.

Yet, wartime has provided Mexican Americans the opportunity to become U.S. citizens, purchase new homes, attend college, acquire new voting rights, and learn leadership skills. The G.I. Bill, for example, allowed Mexican Americans to attend college and learn skilled jobs, as well as break the cycle of housing discrimination by purchasing federally-owned homes outside their segregated community. All of these opportunities triggered a new wave of political activism beginning in 1946.

Mexican Americans from throughout the United States served in World War II, enlisted in all branches of the military and fought with relentless tenacity in major campaigns around the globe.4 For the Midwest Mexican American community, wartime has especially been a mingled time of intense family love, ranging from military moments of glory, to deepest loss of love ones. Over the years, the Midwest Mexican American community has paid tribute to the women and men who served their nation both in peacetime and wartime. This article is an attempt to portray, in part at least, the indomitable fighting spirit of the Mexican American soldier and the numerous ways in which the Mexican American community has remembered its heroes.


World War II provided an opportunity for a second generation of Midwest Mexican men to fight in the defense of their country. These young Mexican American servicemen distinguished themselves by their grace and courage in World War II and brought increased respect and pride to their communities. These men were not martyrs but ordinary mortal beings responding to a noble cause. For patriotic Mexican American men living in isolated rural communities during World War II, there were no local recruiting stations, so they collected money from their family and friends for the bus or train fare to get to the nearest big city to enlist. They enlisted in Detroit, Chicago, Des Moines, St. Louis, Toledo, Gary, Milwaukee, Bethlehem, Kansas City, Omaha, St. Paul, and East Chicago. Thousands of young men of Mexican descent and a handful of women enlisted or were drafted into all the branches of the military.

Most Midwest Mexican communities saw nearly all of their young men serving overseas during the war years. Many families also had nearly all their older daughters working in defense plants. Almost all the homes in the Mexican American communities had stars posted on their windows, indicating the number of men and women from that particular household who were serving in the armed forces. Military enlistment became socially contagious as young Mexican

Page 20 

American men saw their close friends joining the Army, Navy, and Marines; so they too wanted to be part of the national military effort. A few of them even lied about their age because they wanted a chance to defend the United States. As an added inducement, the United States government offered U.S. citizenship to all legal residents serving in the military, and some Mexican-born men wanted to take advantage of this policy.

Language diversity was obvious among Mexican American service personnel in the camps. There were Mexican Americans who were monolingual in English, monolingual in Spanish, and bilingual. There were regional dialects, including Calo, southwestern Mexican American slang. Moreover, Mexican Americans shared similar stories about discrimination.

They were surprised that discrimination was so widespread against them no matter where they lived, and they vowed with all their heart that they would return and positively change their community for themselves and for the next generation. This contact between Mexican Americans from throughout the nation was very significant in the history of the Midwest community because it instilled the notion that the Mexican people were a national ethnic group, transcending their local neighborhoods. For the majority of Midwest Mexican Americans, their world became bigger as they did their basic training in such states as Texas, California, New Jersey, Washington, Maine, Florida, Utah, Mississippi, Alabama, and North Carolina. Longtime friendships between Mexican Americans from various geographical regions would continue after the war and have immense political implications on the post-World War II civil rights movement.

Most Mexican American servicemen, having finished basic training, returned home briefly to visit their families and friends before being shipped overseas for combat duty. After an emotional farewell in the morning to family members and friends, young, war-bound servicemen and servicewomen would be driven typically to the bus or train depot, where another tearful scene would take place between family members and close friends. Some Mexican American couples also decided to marry before the men left. It was simply a case of love triumphing over the harsh reality that some of these brides could quickly find themselves widowed.5 After a final good-bye, the young men would leave by bus or train to the west or east coasts, where a ship or airplane would be waiting to take them to battle. These men saw themselves as honor bound to prove their courage and loyalty on the fiercest battlegrounds.

On the ships, they attended church services, wrote letters to their loved ones, and played Mexican music with their guitars. Most of them had never been on a ship before, let alone in a foreign country. Invariably, some Mexican Americans became very homesick or seasick or both. It took weeks for them to arrive at their final destinations.

The Battlefield

Between 1941 and 1945, Midwest Mexican American servicemen upheld the rich tradition of defending the nation as they spanned the globe and fought in North Africa, the Pacific, the Mediterranean, the Philippines, Sicily and Italy, Normandy, Burma, the Ardennes, and Central Europe—the toughest of the tough battles. They served as Seabees, combat engineers, anti-aircraft gunners, artillery men, Coast Guard sailors, infantry, military policemen, medics, cooks, bakers, signal corpsmen, pilots, navigators, and special services personnel. Paul Monzon from North Platte, Nebraska, for instance, was a Navy guard in Brazil protecting the U.S. Embassy.

Louis Sanchez of Dodge City, Kansas joined the Army Corps of Engineers. In June of 1943, Louis was 20 years old when the war called him. He learned to build bridges, and found out very quickly that the Marines don’t land first—the engineers do. He noted that due to their bilingual abilities and their Hispanic surnames, several of the Mexican American soldiers were treated very well by the local European villagers.6 His wife’s two brothers were killed in the war.


Augustine Rocha from Kansas City, Missouri stated that many Mexican American men saw action very quickly. During World War II, he saw action on D-Day and at the Battle of the Bulge: I left Camp Shanks, New York as an infantry replacement on Friday, May 13, 1944 and landed in Liverpool, England in time for the invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944. Crossing the short distance between England and France took all night and part of the next day. We were on an English ship and faced murderous fire from the German Air Force.7

Many Midwest Mexican Americans fought at the D-Day invasion. Robert Vasquez from Kansas City fought with the Second Infantry Division from Normandy to central Europe and earned five battle stars.8 Paul Ybarra of Wellington, Kansas landed on Omaha Beach on DDay as part of a reinforcement unit for the first waves that had taken heavy losses. He said that as they landed, they saw countless bodies either floating in the water or covering the entire beach. Mr. Ybarra said there was no time to stop because of the intense firepower by the Germans. A few days later, they met deadly fire from the enemy and, in the confusion, American planes accidentally killed most of the men in his unit.

Because his unit was almost depleted, Mr. Ybarra served as the head scout, a position designed to draw fire from the enemy in order to pinpoint their location. Mr. Ybarra was seriously wounded and spent nearly a month in the hospital. For his actions, Mr. Ybarra won the Purple Heart with cluster, the Bronze Star with cluster, and the Gallantry in Battle Medal.

After his recovery, he went back to the front lines and was wounded again while coming to the aid of a wounded comrade. He was sent back to the hospital for 30 more days. Mr. Ybarra also had two brothers who served in World War II, and he noted that his parents were extremely proud to have three silver stars posted on their window. In 1994, France presented Mr. Ybarra and other American veterans a medal commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Normandy invasion.9

Mexican American soldiers also fought in the Pacific campaign. Leonard Mejia was born in Kansas City, Kansas in 1920. He was a switchboard operator in the South Pacific and served with the First Marine Division that successfully assaulted Japanese strongholds in Tulagi, Gavutu, Tanamlogo, Florida, Guadacanal, and the British Solomon Islands. In one critical battle, he volunteered to aid another man in laying out two telephone lines across nearly 300 yards of open terrain where enemy 75mm and 105mm shells were landing. Mr. Mejia later helped in the evacuation of several wounded men. Because of his brave deeds, he won several medals, including the Bronze Star.

Cirilio Artega, who was born in Wichita, Kansas in 1924, was assigned as a scout in Okinawa. His main duty was also to draw fire from Japanese snipers in order to pinpoint their locations. He said that he survived only because the Japanese snipers, instead of killing him, waited until the main units were in place before firing. Mr. Artega had two brothers who served in the Pacific— Louis who fought in New Guinea and Luzon and Robert who was wounded on his birthday on September 10, 1942.10 

Several Mexican American servicemen also served in the Navy. Russ Cuellar’s brother Jay, for example, served in the Navy along with 10 other Mexican American boys from Newton, Kansas.11

Many Mexican Americans served in the air war during World War II. Joseph L. Belman, who was born in Lockport, Illinois in 1924, was drafted into the Army in 1943 and was trained as a gunner. He completed 35 combat missions on a B-17 Flying Fortress. Mr. Belman’s job was to make sure the bombs were secured and dropped in good order. He added that there were many close calls as several of his planes were seriously damaged during the bombings over Germany. Mr. Belman noted that his bombing missions included most of  [Page 22] Germany. As a result of his military record, he received 5 oak leaf clusters to the Air Medal and three battle stars to the European Ribbon. His crew won two Distinguished Unit Citations. Mr. Belman returned to the United States in April of 1945 and was discharged in October of the same year.12

There is also the story of Charles “Chuck” Garcia from Omaha, Nebraska. Mr. Garcia was born in Jackson City, Nebraska in 1921. After graduating from high school in 1940, he married and moved to East Chicago, Indiana, looking for work at Inland Steel Company. In 1943, he reported to the military and trained as an aircraft engine mechanic. He was assigned to the 839th Bomb Squadron, 487th Bomb Group, 3rd Bomb Division, 8th Air Force, and sent to England. During his overseas tour, he flew 35 missions and was award several medals, including the Air Medal with three oak leaf clusters, four Bronze Battle Stars, and the Distinguished Flying Cross. Mr. Garcia returned to the U.S. with rank of Staff Sgt., and helped train new pilots and combat crews. He later had five sons who served in Vietnam with one being killed in action.13

There is also the unparalleled story of Santor “Smiling Sandy” Sanchez, born in Joliet, Illinois, and raised by his grandmother. During the Depression he worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps after high school. At the age of 18, Mr. Sanchez enlisted in the Army Air Force and was trained as a gunner on a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber. He flew many bombing missions, sometimes two on the same day, between the fall of 1943 and the spring of 1944.

He was entitled to stop after flying 25 missions but volunteered to fly until he had flown 44 missions. He flew more combat missions than any other American flyer. During his missions, he shot down half a dozen Nazi fighter planes and received a chest full of ribbons and medals, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Silver Star, Soldier’s Medal, and Air Medal with 10 oak leaf clusters. The Solder’s Medal was won for his bravery when he jumped inside a runaway airplane and saved it from crashing into a hanger. The 8th Air Force had even named a flying fortress the “Smilin Sandy Sanchez” with the hero’s caricature painted on the fuselage. He was the first American flyer to be honored with such a tribute. After his combat tour of duty, he was stationed in the United States and then decided to return to the front lines and flew an additional 22 missions for a grand total of 66. Mr. Sanchez’s last letter home to his grandmother arrived on March 13, 1945. Two days later, his plane was lost over Germany. Four of the crew bailed out and became prisoners of war. In October of 1945, Mr. Sanchez was officially declared dead. His body was never recovered.14

Mexican American served with the Tank Corps as well. Alfred Serrato of Chanute, Kansas, served under General George Patton with the 3rd Army Tank Corps. Mr. Serrato was in constant combat for nearly 37 days as a tank rifleman-scout before he was seriously wounded. In 1993, he received his belated Purple Heart-fifty years after being shot.15 Pete Zamorano of Wichita, Kansas also served with the 3rd Army Tank Corps under the command of General George Patton. Mr. Zamorano landed on Omaha Beach one month after D-Day, his unit driving deeper and deeper into Europe against intensified German resistance. In one fierce battle, his tank was hit. As Mr. Zamorano climbed out of the tank he was wounded. In another bloody battle, he saved the life of another soldier whose tank had been seriously damaged. For his wartime deeds, Mr. Zamorano received several medals, including one bronze star with cluster and the Purple Heart with cluster. In 1996, the mayor of Saint Lo, France presented medals to the American men who had liberated his town, including Mr. Zamorano.16

As a result of their railroad background in civilian life, many Mexican American men worked on the railroads during their war years. Carlos Saenz of Peabody, Kansas, was [Page 23] assigned to the 729th Railroad Battalion, Company A. He landed on Omaha Beach, two weeks after D-Day, to build railroad lines to continue the fight deeper and faster into Europe.17

Overseas, Mexican American sometimes ran into friends or met soldiers from other units and asked how their friends from back home were doing. Pete Zamorano of Wichita, Kansas, remembered seeing his friend Paul Flores in France, who was coming back from the front lines with his unit. When they met, they gave each other an abrazo, an embrace. Mr. Zamorano said they talked a while and then stared at each other one more time, not knowing whether they might see each other alive again. Sometimes, Mexican American soldiers gave handwritten messages to other soldiers to personally deliver to their friends. Needless to say, it was devastating when Mexican American solders learned second-hand that a hometown friend had been killed or taken prisoner.18

Mexican Americans Killed in Action

The Midwest Mexican American community suffered terrible casualties and heart wrenching deaths. The savagery of war took its heartbroken toll on families, especially mothers and wives. Tragedy so overpowering, shocking, and deeply painful. Several Mexican American men lost their lives in World War II, both on the battlefield and in military accidents at home.

As the war dragged on, many of the silver stars on the windows of grief-stricken residences were replaced by gold ones-indicating family members killed in action. Black wreaths were placed on the doors of Mexican homes. Nearly every Mexican community in the Midwest lost sons in World War II. Ironically, when they brought home the bodies, the caskets, which were draped with both the Mexican and American flags, sometimes had to be carried to the church because the streets in the segregated Mexican communities were not paved and the rain-soaked mud prevented the hearse from driving to the church.19

Several Fort Madison, Iowa, Mexican Americans were decorated with honor. Two of them killed in the South Pacific Theater. Twenty-four Mexican American soldiers from the greater Kansas City area were killed in action between l941 and l945. The city of St. Louis, Missouri was home to five Mexican American men who died in battle, while the town of Chanute, Kansas had four of its young Mexican men killed in World War II. Teresa Moreno of Kansas City, Kansas sadly recalled that: "My father was killed in World War II. He had four brothers in the service with him. I was only four years old when he died. His brothers took his loss very hard and never fully recovered emotionally from his death."20

To be a five-star family during World War II was considered an American honor. But it also meant that the chances of having a son killed was extremely high according to several people who lost brothers. Some of the people who suffered losses were Guadalupe Sandoval and Lucy (Manzano) Moreno of Sterling, Illinois, and Mike Valente of Rock Falls, Illinois. 21 Mr. Sandoval had two brothers who served in World War II and one was lost in action. Mrs. Moreno was born in Arizona in 1930. Her brother Tom was killed in action in 1944. She recalled the gold star that was posted on the house indicating her brother had been killed in action. Her two sisters worked in war-related industries. Mr. Valiente was born in Sterling in 1922. He and his brother Louis served in World War II. His brother was killed at the Battle of the Bulge. Mr. Valente’s sisters Alice and Helen worked in a munitions plant while his wife JoAnn worked at a local steel mill.

The Mexican communities in East Chicago and Gary, Indiana, together lost 14 young Mexican Americans while Milwaukee lost four, and St. Joseph, Missouri, lost two. And many others were lost from Mexican American communities throughout the Midwest.

Page 24 
A handful of Mexican families in the Midwest tragically lost more than one son in the war."Ray Rangel of Topeka, Kansas recalled that: The Rangel family of Topeka included six brothers who served in World War II and Korea. John was killed in Luzon in the Philippines while his brother Jose was killed only six days later. Needless to say, the grief was unbearable. All of us had
grown up together, gone to the same schools, hanged [sic] around as teenagers. We were one big extended family." 22

Other Mexican American brothers made the supreme sacrifice. Petra Rodriguez of Dodge City, Kansas discussed the sacrifices of her brothers during the war: Robert, a member of the l0th Army Infantry, was killed in France on July 2l, l944....he was cut down in fierce fighting that followed the invasion of Normandy. Rudy, a member of the 9th Engineers, was wounded on July 4, l944, recovered, and was sent back to the front lines. He died on December 3l, l944, in the Battle of the Bulge. Mike, another brother, served as a member of the 3rd Armored Division. He was injured, but survived shrapnel injuries to his legs.23

Ila Plasencia of Des Moines, Iowa lost two brothers during the war and said: "One of my brothers died in the Philippines. He survived the Death March but died in a prison camp. Another brother was killed during pilot training here in the states. Their deaths stunned the entire Mexican community of Des Moines. We also lost Ray Martinez from nearby Newton, Iowa."24

The Mexican community in Davenport, Iowa, lost two brothers, Ralph Vasquez of the U.S. Army infantry and his brother Albert, U.S. Army airborne. Silvis, Illinois lost brothers Frank and Joseph Sandoval, ten months apart; Frank was killed on the Burma Road, while his brother Joseph died in Germany. Their brother, Tony Sandoval, observed that his brothers’ deaths were not in vain and, instead, opened the doors of opportunity after the war. 25 

He noted, for example, the positive changes for the community because of both the G.I. Bill and Mexican Americans becoming part of the union ranks. He said that there were citizenship and voter registration campaigns during the late 1940’s and early 1950's in the Mexican community. In addition to the Sandoval brothers, four other Mexican American men from tiny Silvis, Illinois, lost their lives.26

Besides those killed in action, there were many stories of fate and luck. One such person is Alfredo R. Lopez of Wichita, Kansas. Mr. Lopez graduated from bombardier school as a 2nd Lt. and was assigned to a light bomber group, the only Mexican American among a B-17 crew of ten. He said he prayed a lot and carried the Medal of Our Lady of Guadalupe around his neck. His first bombing run was over France hitting German installations. His plane also dropped supplies over Russia to aid the Polish underground’s war of resistance against the Nazis. One day, Mr. Lopez substituted for another bombardier who could not join his crew during a bombing operation. In return, the substitute took Mr. Lopez’s place the next day on Mr. Lopez’s plane. As fate would have it, Mr. Lopez plane was shot down and several crew members were killed including the substitute bombardier. Mr. Lopez eventually made 31 combat flights, the last one bombing oil refineries deep in Germany. Mr. Lopez retired from the Air Force as a major in 1979.27

Page 25

Mexican American Prisoners of War

Other unsung heroes included a small group of courageous Mexican American men held as prisoners of war. These included Rupert Lona of Kansas City, Missouri; Joseph Artega, Benny Rodriguez, and Salvador Chavez of Topeka, Kansas; Luis Paredes and Joe Gomez of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Eddie Graham of Hutchinson, Kansas, Antonio “Tony” Gonzales of Deerfield, Kansas; Manuel Robles of Garden City, Kansas; and Joe Lopez of Davenport, Iowa.28 Gonzales died in a POW camp. Other POW’s from Kansas and Missouri included Ted Pantoja, Moses Lopez, Gene Martinez, Tony Espinoza, Augustin Mora, and Tony Rivera.

John Sanchez was taken prisoner when Corregidor fell to the Japanese. He remained a prisoner of war for two years after which the War Department reported him as missing in action and presumably killed.29 Lt. Trinidad O. Rios, a former resident of North Platte and Scottsbluff, Nebraska was also captured by the enemy. He was held as a POW from March of 1944 until May of 1945. He was awarded the Air Medal.30 Nick Hernandez of Wichita, Kansas, was a prisoner of war for nearly three years after he was captured in Italy.31

Another Death March POW was David Chapa of St. Paul, Minnesota. Simon Velasquez, also from St. Paul, was a German POW and was interned in the infamous Stalag 17.32 A Mexican American POW from Topeka, Kansas, vividly remembered his time as a German prisoner:  "We were found by the Germans and taken prisoners. We traveled first by truck and later by train to a prison camp in Germany. This camp held 3,500 military prisoners from many nations. Our living conditions were terrible, with no heat, poor clothing, and little to eat. We had to sleep three abreast on wooden bunks."

We were liberated on April l5, l945, by the English after five months of detainment. We had a feeling of great joy as we ran toward the gates to meet our liberators.33

World War II Honors

Mexican Americans distinguished themselves as brave defenders of democracy on the battlefield during World War II. Nationwide, 250,000 Mexican Americans suffered casualties while demonstrating their sheer bravery and fortitude.34 These battle wounds included bullet and shrapnel wounds, blown-off limbs, malaria, burns, frostbite, and the emotional and psychological horrors of war including shellshock. The vast majority of wounded Mexican American servicemen returned to the states on hospital ships. Hospital wards in the United States were filled with Mexican American soldiers waiting for the long period of convalescence.

Mike Morado of Kansas City spent barely two months in France but still suffers from nightmares, trapped by the horrors of war. He was a scout behind German lines in eastern France. His job was to draw fire from the Germans and, thus, expose their positions. He also gathered intelligence from French citizens regarding German positions. Mr. Morado was wounded. He earned the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, and the Bronze Star. Forty years later, he returned to France to visit the site where he had been shot so long ago.35

Many Mexican men were wounded more than once. On April 16, 1942, Nick Castillo from St. Paul, Minnesota, was drafted into the army at Gibbong, Minnesota. Mr. Castillo was assigned to the Second Division which later participated in the D-Day invasion in Normandy on June 6, 1944. Shortly after the landing, Mr. Castillo was wounded. Several weeks later, he was wounded again. The second time was much more serious and he was returned to his parents in St. Paul.36

Page 26 

Midwestern Mexican Americans, as a group of servicemen, were highly decorated during the war. The heroic group of young Mexican Americans from Depue, Illinois, was typical of most Mexican American communities, earning such medals and decorations as the Purple Heart, the Asiatic-Pacific ribbon, the Philippine Liberation Medal, the Victory Medal, the American Campaign ribbon, the European-African Theater ribbon, the European-African-Middle Eastern ribbon, the Combat Infantry Badge, the Distinguished Unit medal, the Meritorious Unit Award, and the American Defense ribbon. The tiny Mexican American community of Hershey, Nebraska sent over 40 men to war. This group alone won 9 Purple Hearts, two Bronze Stars (Raymond Reyes and Andrew Contreras) and one Silver Star (Sisto Briseno). Rick Arrellano had been recommended for the Silver Star for bravery, but his captain died before full confirmation of his fearless actions. Instead, Mr. Arrellano received the Bronze Star.37 In Garden City, Kansas, Ezequiel Ledesma and Manuel Robles came home highly decorated. Nick Ortiz earned five Bronze Star decorations for combat in Italy and North Africa.38 Sgt. Albert Barreiro of East Chicago, Indiana, was killed coming to the aid of a fallen buddy on December 15, 1944 at Leyte Island. He was awarded the Silver Star for his heroic act.39

Overall, Midwest Mexican Americans have won at least five Congressional Medals of Honor in various wars. Pvt. Manuel Perez, who was born in Oklahoma City and lived in Chicago before the war, was one of the soldiers who won the Medal of Honor. He volunteered for the airborne infantry and was assigned to Company A, 511 Parachute Infantry of the 11th Airborne. Pvt. Perez distinguished himself twice in combat, on February l3 and March l4, 1945.  Perez killed 18 Japanese single handily during these assaults, and perhaps more than 75 counting those who had been killed by his grenades: It was on March 14 while on patrol in enemy territory that he was killed. Facing heavy rifle and machine-gun fire, Perez immediately volunteered to protect the withdrawal of the other men in his patrol. He was mortally wounded while exchanging fire with the enemy.40  Every year, the Mexican American G.I. Forum of Oklahoma City places a wreath at the grave site of Manuel Perez Jr.

Sgt. Veto R. Bertoledo of Decatur, Illinois, also won the Congressional Medal of Honor during World War II. He killed 40 Germans in Hatten, France on January 9 and 10, 1945 while serving with the 42nd Division.41 In addition to the Congressional Medal of Honor, several Mexican Americans earned the Silver Star or the Bronze Star, given for valor. According to Lando Valendez of Des Moines, Iowa:

"On July 1, 1944, in Shubert, France, three other G.I.’s and myself captured a German bunker and took 47 prisoners. On July 12, 1944, I was wounded. I was also part of the American forces that liberated the concentration camp of Dachau, and I couldn’t believe the horrors we discovered. I later received the Silver and Bronze Stars and the Purple Heart."42

All of the Mexican American men and women interviewed for this article vividly remembered where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news that the long ordeal of war had finally ended. Needless to say, there were many tears of bittersweet joy.  Charles Garcia of Omaha, Nebraska distinctly recalled that:

"I was serving in Europe when we learned that the United States had dropped the atomic bomb on the Japanese. We knew that the war was finally over. I prayed about coming home and seeing my family. I was both happy and sad, because I was alive but at the same time so many young men had given their lives for our country."

Page 27

Mr. Garcia was born in Jackson, Nebraska in 1921. He served in England during the war as a flight engineer for both B-17s and B-24s. He became active with the post-war civil rights movement. Also, Sam Moreno remembered when the war ended because he was preparing for the invasion of Japan.44  Mr. Moreno’s family had three brothers in the service. He served in the navy off Africa. He was preparing to invade Japan by land when the war ended. After the war, he retired from a steel company after 41 years of service.


The year 2000 marked the 55th anniversary of the end of World War II which has rekindled renewed appreciation from the Mexican American community for the women and men who safeguarded our nation during this troublesome time. As a result, several Midwest Mexican American communities have held celebrations and other special tributes to the people who defended this country so gallantly over a half century ago. For example, a banquet was held in Kansas City, Missouri honoring World War II veterans. The 1994 fiesta in Newton, Kansas was also dedicated to the contributions of Mexican American women and men during World War II.45 The local museum in Newton hosted a photo exhibit highlighting the impressive war record of Mexican American servicemen as well as Mexican American defense workers. North Platte, Nebraska saluted its veterans in 1990 with the theme “From the Beet Fields to the Battlefields.”

World War II was a bittersweet experience for Mexican American men in the Midwest. Mexican American soldiers returning from overseas were discriminated against in education, employment, housing, the legal system, voting rights and public accommodations. The war caused great physical and emotional trauma for thousands of Mexican men and their families. Yet, World War II marked a political and social turning point, as returning Mexican American servicemen were now determined to win, once and for all, their civil rights. Thus, after all their sacrifices, they would assert, along with Mexican American women, their right to full American citizenship at home. In 1945, the entire Mexican community was rejoicing and looking forward to a brighter future.

1This article is an excerpt from an unpublished manuscript titled, “Cuentos y Encuentros: An Oral History of Mexicans in the Midwestern United States, 1900-1979.” Many of the individuals cited are now deceased. This article is dedicated to their memory and wartime contributions.

2World War II movies which have generally ignored Mexican Americans include The Longest Day, Back to Battan, Steel Helmet, To Hell and Back, The Flying Tigers, The Best Years of Our Lives, Iwo Jima, Saving Private Ryan, Halls of Montezuma, The Guns of Navaro,and the Thin Red Line. Rare exceptions after the 1940's included Giant, The Guy Galderban Story, and The Dirty Dozen. As a result of the Good Neighbor Policy in the 1940's, Hollywood did make a handful of films depicting Mexican American Servicemen including: Air Force, The Human Comedy, Battle Ground, Objective Burma, Medal for Benny, Battan, and Guadalcanal Diary. In recent years, independent Chicano filmmakers have released a handful of movies depicting the role of the Mexican American servicemen during World War II, including Memories of Hell, The Men of Company E, and Hero Street.

3Santillan, Richard (1989 and 1995) “Rosita the Riveter: Midwest Mexican American Women During World War II, 1941-1945,” Perspectives in Mexican American Studies, Mexicans In The Midwest, Vol. 2, and “Midwestern Mexican American Women and the Struggle for Gender Equality: A Historical Overview, 1920s-1960s,” Perspectives in Mexican American Studies: Mexican American Women, Changing Images, Vol. 5, Mexican American Studies and Research Center, The University of Arizona, Tucson.

4Lopez, David A, (1998). Saving Private Aztlan: Preserving The History of Latino Service In Wartime. Unpublished paper, 1998, p. 1, author’s files.

5Gomez, Hazel (personal communication, September 11, 1994), Topeka, Kansas.

6Rhoads, Paula (1998) “Former Mayor A Walking History Book,” Dodge City Daily Globe, 1992. Back home from the war, Louie Sanchez followed in his father’s footsteps by working for the railroad because he figured it would be a lifetime job. But as diesel engines replaced steam locomotives, which required less people for service between stops, the railroad companies began dismissing workers. Two months short of 10 years and a pension, the railroad terminated Louie from a job he had worked “ten days a week” as a result of double shifts every other day.

7Rocha, Augustine (Augie) (personal comunication, February 19, 1987) Kansas City, Missouri.

8Martinez, Ricardo L. (written communication January 2, 1999) Kansas City, Missouri.

9Ybarra, Paul (personal communication September 4, 1998) Wellington, Kansas.

10Artega, Cirilo (personal communication September 15, 1998) Wichita, Kansas.

11Cuellar, Russ (personal communication September 16, 1998) Newton, Kansas.

12Belman, Joseph L. (written communication April 2, 1998) Lockport, Illinois.

13Garcia, Charles (personal communication, author’s files) Omaha, Nebraska. Also see the G.I. Forumeer, March/April, 1995, p. 9.

14Whiteside, John 1992, February 13 and 1994, August 30) Joliet Herald-News entitled “Sandy Sanchez was a real hero and he was one of our own,” and “Sandy Sanchez—tough times couldn’t stop him,” . Also Feldman, March ( 1993, November 4) “Honors sought for Hispanic war hero Sanchez,” Joliet Herald News.

15Butcher, Stu (1993, November 27) “Local Vet Surprised With Medal,” The Chanute Tribute.

16Zamorano, Pete (personal communication September 15, 1998), Wichita, Kansas.

17(1994, June 1) “D-Day: Marion County was Represented: Veterans Share Stories of Campaign,” Marion County Record, author’s files.

18Zamorano, Pete (personal communication September 15, 1998) Wichita, Kansas.

19 Terronez, Joe (personal communication June 21 and 25, 1986), Silvis, Illinois. Mr.Terronez noted that Vicente Ximenes, who served as Executive Director of the Mexican American Affairs Office during the Johnson Administration, led the federal effort to support the renaming of 2nd Street to Hero Street in Silvis, Illinois. On October 31, 1971 Hero Street was dedicated with the help of both major political parties. The two Sandoval families of Silvis, Illinois, for example, sent thirteen boys to both World War II and Korea. Three of the young men were killed in combat.

20Moreno, Teresa (personal communication February 28, 1987) Kansas City, Kansas.

21Sandoval, Guadalupe (personal communication May 27, 1987), Sterling, Illinois; Valiente, Mike (personal communication March 24, 1987) Rock Falls, Illinois; and Moreno, Lucy (Manzano) (personal communication May 27, 1987) Sterling, Illinois.

22Rangel, Ray (personal communication February 13, 1987) Topeka, Kansas.

23Rodriguez, Petra (personal communication June 24, 1988) Dodge City, Kansas. Ms. Rodriguez was born in 1904. The small city of Chanute, Kansas, lost four men including Phillip Gutierrez, an outstanding baseball player.

24Plasencia, Ila (personal communication June 17, 1987) Des Moines, Iowa. Also Rodriguez Cipriana (personal communication January 13, 1987) Garden City, Kansas. Njila, Manuel (personal communication April 25, 1987) Aurora, Illinois. His brother Jesse was killed in the South Pacific while another brother Porfilio was wounded. A younger brother, Robert, was wounded in Vietnam. Also killed during the war was Joe Hernandez of Davenport, Iowa. Pete Macias (written communication April 4, 1998) Davenport, Iowa.

25Sandoval, Tanilo (Tony) (personal correspondence June 21, 1986) East Moline, Illinois.

26Terronez, Joe (personal communication June 25, 1986) Silvis, Illinois. Also Martinez, Vallentin (personal communication May 18, 1987) East Chicago, Indiana, and Garcia, Manuel (personal communication March 23, 1987) Sterling, Illinois.

27Lopez, Alfredo R. (personal communication September 15, 1998) Wichita, Kansas.

28Lona Jr., Wesley H.(personal communication June 5, 1987), Kansas City, Missouri. Also Rodriguez, Cipriana (personal communication January 13, 1987) Garden City, Kansas.

29Rocha, Augustine (Augie) (written communication February 7, 1996) Kansas City, Missouri.

30Laguna, Albert (written communication January 11, 1999) San Jose, California.

31Zamorano, Pete (personal communication September 16, 1998) Wichita, Kansas.

32Coates, Nicha (personal communication 1998) St. Paul, Minnesota. Two other Mexican American soldiers from St. Paul, Nick Castillo and Conrad Vega, fought at the Battle of the Bulge.

33Topeka’s 55th Anniversary issue, author’s files. The Mexican community of Topeka lost several men in World War II.

34Limbert, Claudia (1978, June 15) Invisible People: The Mexican Community In Newton, Kansas, A Research Paper Presented to the Department of History, Bethel College, North Newton, Kansas, p. 43. Martinez, Robert (personal communication, April 4, 1998) Davenport, Iowa.

35Dos Mundos, (1989, October 15-18), p. 14, author’s files.

36Ramirez, Joan E. (1998, March), “Nicolas Castillo ‘El Rey Del Corrido’ The Life and Times Of A Man And His Music,” La Voz, , p. 9.

37North Platte Telegraph, (1993, April 3) author’s files.

38Avila, Henry (1997) "The Mexican American Community In Garden City, 1900-1950," Kansas History: A Journal of the Central Plains, Vol. 20, No. 1.

39Vasquez, Robert (written communication 1998), East Chicago, Indiana, author’s files.

40Morin, Raul (1966) Among the Valiant: Mexican Americans in World War and Korea, Borden Publishing Company, Alhambra, California, p. 2l6. See Torres, Ruben (1991, February), “The Legion Remembers Manuel Perez,” American Legion Magazine. Other publications focusing on the contributions of Mexicans during World War II include Allsup, Carl (1982), The American G.I. Forum: Origins and Evolution, The University of Texas Press; Austin, Ramos, Henry A.J. (1982), A People Forgotten, A Dream Pursued: The History of the G.I. Forum 1948-1972, American G.I. Forum, Washington, D.C.; and U.S. Defense Department (1984), Hispanics In American Defense, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense, Pentagon.

41Ibid., p. l67. Also,Amaro, Candelario (personal communication January 21, 1987) Dodge City, Kansas. Mr. Amaro served in the Pacific during the war and became very active with the post-war civil rights movement. Dominguez, Linda (written communication July 29, 1994) Gary, Indiana.

42Valendez, Lando (personal communication) Des Moines, Iowa. Also Boyos, John G. (personal communication March 7, 1987) Chanute, Kansas. Mr. Boyos won the Bronze Star in the Pacific.

43Garcia, Charles (Chuck) (personal communication June 2, 1987) Omaha, Nebraska. Also,Zuniga, Manuel (personal communication June 5, 1987) Kansas City, Kansas. Mr. Zuniga was born in Mexico in 1913 and fought in World War II between 1942-1945.

44Moreno, Sam (personal communication May 27, 1987) Sterling, Illinois.

45Olais, Ray (telephone communication) Newton, Kansas, author’s files.

Sent by Albert V. Vela, Ph.D.



Defend the Honor: Time Magazine 100 Most Influential People of 2007 Memorial Day Celebrations, May 30th
Veterans Day National Committee Seeks Artist for Poster Competition
Smithsonian Develops Photo Initiative

Time Magazine 100 Most Influential People of 2007

Time Magazine is solicitating votes for the 100 most influential people of 2007 – and Mr. Burns is a candidate – check it out at:

Here’s what his profile reads:
OCCUPATION: Documentary filmmaker, producer

PRO: The War, a gripping, shocking 15-hour docu-odyssey exploring the dark side of "The Good War," reminded the country that Burns is more than pledge-drive filler.
CON: Burns was initially criticized for failing to interview Latino soldiers. After some initial resistance, he addressed this with new interviews.

Everyone can vote on each of the about 200 people being consider for the final 100. At the moment, Burns is number 87. It’s easy to vote. Click on the “The Time 100 Poll:  Who is Worthy?” button on the right side of the page, middle. Once there, scroll down past the advertisements to “See the Complete List.”

Again, he’s listed in the 80s... A “1” vote is the lowest...and “100” is the highest.  Just though you’d all would like to know.  
Nancy C.  

For more information on DEFEND THE HONOR issues,
go to: 



Memorial Day Celebrations, May 30th

Please remind our Latino Folks to show up at the main stream local towns and cities Memorial Day celebrations throughout our Nation on May 30.  Recipients of the Purple Heart are usually recognized by name. Lets make sure that our Latino veterans are included. Also our Purple Heart Recipients can register their Names at the Museum of Honor of Purple Hearts in NY  

Sent by Juan Marinez 

Veterans Day National Committee, 
Seeking Submissions for Poster Artists

Attention artists, graphic designers and photographers!
Dean Stoline, Assistant Director National Legislative Commission

The Veterans Day National Committee is seeking submissions for the 2008 national Veterans Day poster. The poster is distributed to more than 110,000 schools nationwide, military installations around the world, and to federal agencies in the nation's capital. It also graces the cover of the official program booklet for the Veter-ans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. The committee will convene in May 2008 to review all submissions and select a finalist. The final poster must be 18"x24" at 300 dots per inch, but please scale down submissions to 9"xl2" and sub-mit electronic versions as jpg images or PDF files via e-mail to:
Alternatively, send copies of artwork or a CD with artwork files to: Department of Veterans Affairs (002C). 810 Vermont Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. 20420. Please do not send originals. The deadline for submissions is May 1,2008. To view Vet-erans Day posters from previous years, please visit and click on "Poster Gallery."

Submissions should include sufficient information to demonstrate that the image is the work of the artist and is not copyrighted material (i.e. photos and concepts). The Committee may select a particular submis-sion but ask the artist to make modifications to the original design. Additional changes may be required prior to printing.

Sent by Dr. Granville Hough
California Legionnaire
March/April 2008
Vol. 78, No. 4

Smithsonian Develops Photo Initiative

The Smithsonian Institution possesses more than 13 million images in 19 museums and 700 collections. It's been difficult for researchers—and even curators—to know where to find all the images related to a particular topic.

The Smithsonian Photography Initiative aims to change all that by making the institution's massive collection accessible to public. You're invited to get involved! Assistant editor Grace Dobush tells you how.  

School's Mendez Family Bookshelf tells story of inclusion
Going to School under an American Rainbow

States aim to help military families
Texas Educators split over teaching English Basics
Outstanding Migrant Students To Be Recognized

School's Mendez Family Bookshelf 
tells story of inclusion

By Julie Anne Ines, 
The Orange County Register, April 9, 2008

Library section at Los Amigos High School reminds students of landmark desegregation decision and their own diversity.

School's Mendez Family Bookshelf tells story of inclusion
RECOMMENDED READING: About 100 books comprise 
the Mendez Family Bookshelf at Los Amigos High.

FOUNTAIN VALLEY – The books on  the Mendez Family Bookshelf in Los  Amigos High School's library have a  few stories to tell. Individually, they tell the stories of

 people from different ethnic, religious and social groups. Collectively, they tell the story of the campus Human Relations Club's effort to remind students of the landmark

 Mendez v. Westminster decision, which  desegregated California schools, and to

 recognize the number of diverse voices  that make up the Fountain Valley campus'

own student body.

The bookshelf and the case are "about inclusivity. Where are we in our history books?" said Maricela Jauregui of Orange County Human Relations, which guides the high school's Human Relations Club.

While inspired by the Mendez v. Westminster decision, which has its 61st anniversary Monday, the approximately 100 books that sit on the shelf aren't just about the case that paved the way for the Brown v. Board of Education ruling that desegregated schools across the nation.

Each book on the shelf was chosen with the diversity of the student body in mind, featuring stories of people from different religious and ethnic backgrounds, as well as books about the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community.

Even though a lot of the books are fiction, they are "true" stories in the sense that people can relate to them, said club member Pedro Hernandez, a junior.

"I wanted to make sure if there were students like me that wanted to read about a certain thing that they have three or four books that they could look at," Hernandez said.

Members of the club began the Mendez Family Book Campaign, which provided books for the shelf, in the 2006-07 school year after a club retreat.

According to Jauregui, students on the trip were asked to put together a poem by picking out a favorite line from a variety of books that they hadn't necessarily seen before.

"There was this kind of look in their faces to see books written about Filipinos, Chicanos, different religions, different ethnicities. … You could see them relate directly to these books," Jauregui said.

The club would build on this idea of inclusion within literature and the Mendez case's message of inclusion on campus to create the bookshelf.

The students compiled a list of books they wanted and then asked members of the community for monetary donations or for the books themselves. The bookcase was finally unveiled during the school's Open Mic Night event about a year ago.

Former Human Relations Club member Rebeca Guerrero said that by putting the bookshelf together she just wanted to give peers an opportunity to find themselves. A "lot of them can say they know who they are, but a lot of them really don't know," said Guerrero, who is now a freshman at Santa Ana College.

For their efforts, the club was recognized by O.C. Human Relations as an outstanding school during an awards banquet last year.

Contact the writer: or 714-445-6604

About Mendez v. Westminster

1945: Gonzalo Mendez, Thomas Estrada, David Melendez, William Guzman, Frank Palomino and Lorenzo Ramirez sue the Westminster School District because their children were turned away from the district's all-white school.

1946:A Los Angeles judge rules in favor of Mendez and his co-plaintiffs, stating that school segregation was an unconstitutional denial of equal protection. The district appeals the decision.

1947:In response to the case, the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals orders an end to segregation in California schools.

1954:The U.S. Supreme Court outlaws the "separate but equal" doctrine with its decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. The Mendez case is cited by NAACP lawyer and future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall.  
Sent by Ricardo Valverde


Going to School under an American Rainbow

Galal Kernahan  

               (The “Corrected” August 1, 1947, U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal “Westminster School District v. Mendez” opinion was so flawed it could not serve as a legal precedent to close de facto “Mexican” schools anywhere.) 

            One “Mexican” school that continued long after the Mendez decision was in Montebello, California. One of Orange County’s outstanding scholars and authors, Alejandro Morales, entered its Kindergarten in 1950.  He went through Primary Grades there.  Having to sing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” at Christmastime did heavy damage to his Third Grade male ego.

          You can read what it was like in his 1988 fictional semi-autobiographical work, THE BRICK PEOPLE (Arte Publico Press, University of Houston, 300 pp.) The Montebello School District operated the school within the Simons Brickyard (where a whole community of workers and their families lived.)

          Simons bricks rebuilt San Francisco after the 1906 Earthquake.  Its bricks went into the construction of UCLA’s Royce Hall, Walt Disney Studios, parts of the Uniroyal Plant, thousands of homes and commercial buildings.  Behind its walls was a company town not only with homes for workers families but a store, a post office and an all-Mexican school.

          Here is another example. If you look at a map of Orange County, California, school districts, you might notice three in southern Anaheim. They bear names of once heavily promoted “cities” that never jelled—Magnolia, Savanna and Centralia. 

          The town of Savanna was laid out on the North end of the Stearns tract in 1869 with appropriate reservations for church, school and clubhouse, but at least one party, filled with enthusiasm by the boom literature of the San Francisco agents arrived to find himself and one coyote the sole citizens.

(CITY-MAKERS by Remi Nadeau, Trans-Anglo Books, Los Angeles, 1965, page 24)

          Magnolia offers an especially interesting case. The city-less name was

attached to two K-6 schools (Magnolia #1 and Magnolia #2) when post-World  

War II tract housing spread across the land.

          Opened August 13, 1929, Magnolia #2 (aka the “Mexican” school) was located at 10861 Garza Street in the Colonia Independencia barrio. PTA Activist Gloria Lopez lived at 10874 Garza Street.

          By 1956, surging enrollment at Magnolia #1 forced double-session operations. . .with triple-sessioning under consideration.  Gloria pointed out there were empty rooms in Magnolia #2.  Why not use them?

          The next board meeting was a shock.  There were only three other Colonia mothers with her when 300 Anglo parents took turns expressing dismay their children would be forced to go to school in the midst of the Colonia’s poor housing, bad streets, outhouses, open ditches, farm animals. . .

          That brutal meeting transformed Gloria, the Colonia and the Magnolia School District.  Out of her tears at home that night came an unstoppable woman, and a Colonia to be proud of with an integrated new school nearby.

           Here, from school district archives, is what happened on January 10, 1957 (10 years AFTER the “Westminster v. Mendez” San Francisco U.S. Ninth Circuit Court “Corrected” Opinion)—Pupils of both sessions, with the exception of kindergartners, went to Magnolia #2 School (the “Mexican” school) in the morning, gathered their books and marched with their teachers to the new school. Leading the parade of teachers, mothers and Principal Melvin Miller were PTA President Mrs. Charles Ralston and PTA First Vice President Mrs. John (Gloria) Lopez.

As the children arrived at the school, they lined up in front of the Administration Building, where a short flag ceremony was held.  Sixth Grade Teachers Mr. Brown and Mr. Austin were first to lead their students to their classrooms.

The PTA meeting of January 15, 1957, was conducted at the newly opened school in Room K-2.  PTA Board Members presented the Principal a pair of specially decorated roller skates to facilitate his commuting problems at school. . .

And what was (and is) the name of this then brand-new school at 1411 South Gilbert Avenue, Anaheim?  A letter from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine arrived in June: It was kind of you to write me of my membership in your PTA.  It may be that I will visit near Anaheim in the next year or so.  If I do, I shall certainly try to see for myself the honor you have bestowed. Sincerely, Jonas E. Salk, M.D.

This is how the “Mexican” School in the Colonia was closed, and its children joined “Anglo” children in a brand-new school named for the medical hero, who defeated polio (infantile paralysis).

But there is more.  Gloria Lopez became one of the most effective Latina community leaders in Orange County history.  The County Board of Supervisors and its Department Managers soon became very aware of her.  Sewers were installed in the Colonia, streets were paved and (gentle yet persistent) code enforcement brought to bear.  A new church and community center were built.

Before her death from cancer in 2004,  Gloria Lopez had been PTA President at two different schools, and (by Supervisorial appointment) on the Orange County Human Relations and Juvenile Justice Commissions,  Chairperson of the Orange County Community Development Council and Secretary of the Colonia Water Company. 

From a field of 70 candidates, the U.S. Census Bureau chose her to promote the 1980 count in Orange County.

(Postcript: Is there anything like an Orange County “Mexican School” serving something like a self-contained community today? Yes. Oak View Elementary is 1.5 miles seaward from Golden West College in Huntington Beach. Its reported 2006-2007 enrollment was 98.2% Hispanic (770 of 784 pupils). Ten years earlier, it was 99.3% Hispanic (682 of 687 pupils). Nevertheless, it still bore signs in Vietnamese identifying the district office decades after it had absorbed a wave of Vietnamese boys and girls for a few years.



States aim to help military families

TOPEKA, KAN.   Kansas and Kentucky are the first states to approve a compact that will make it easier for children of military families to change schools The compact seeks to provide flexibility for the 1.5 million children of military families in the U.S. They attend an estimated six to nine school systems between kindergarten and graduation on average, and differing educational requirements in different states often add to their burden.

The compact, which would become operational with adoption by 10 states, is intended to prevent children of military families from needlessly repeating courses or being denied access to extracurricular activities. It would provide alternative coursework options for districts that do not waive graduation requirements for students. States would work to create standards of practice, including the transfer of records, course placement and graduation requirements.

Texas educators split over teaching English basics

Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle Austin Bureau

AUSTIN — The inability of many Texas students to write and speak good English is like a dreadful disease requiring aggressive treatment, say some education advocates who want to use different teaching approaches.

Social conservatives on the State Board of Education, influenced in part by a retired teacher, are backing a new curriculum that increases the focus on basics, including grammar.

They've met fierce resistance from teachers and educators who warn this emphasis will prepare students for the 1950s, not the 21st century, and embarrass Texas in the process.

They fear the state's proposed new standards for reading and English language arts contradict established research and will only make things worse.

"The results will be bloody," predicted one of those language experts, former English professor Joyce Armstrong Carroll.

A fight over the board's perceived exclusion of Hispanic experts from development of the curriculum has overshadowed this larger struggle.

A public comment period on the proposed curriculum will end May 18, and the 15-member board is to take final action on May 22. If approved, it will guide how the state's 4.7 million public schoolchildren learn English and reading over the next decade.

Much of the debate focuses on grammar and reading comprehension. The controversy is being fanned, in part, by Donna Garner, a retired English and Spanish teacher in Hewitt. Garner writes education-related e-mails and contributes to My

Students must learn precise communication skills, and grammar requirements must be spelled out with explicit language, she argues.

"We have a disease in Texas — our students do not know how to write and speak English well," Garner said. "We need to treat the disease aggressively.

"The skills need to build upon each other as the student progresses from one grade level to the next. Learning the basics of the English language will provide students with a strong foundation upon which to write sophisticated papers and upon which to base clear communication," she said.

The integration of grammar with writing has been taught in Texas for the past 15 years without much success, Garner said, citing statistics showing half of Texas college freshmen are in need of remedial education, compared to only 28 percent nationally.

Teachers, parents and employers are appalled by the lack of speaking and writing skills, she said.

Ignoring research

But some experts warn of dire consequences of teaching grammar separately from writing and skimping on reading comprehension.

Standardized tests like TAKS and the SAT don't examine grammar skills in isolation — they test comprehension, said Carroll, a former professor of English and writing at McMurry University, author and co-director of Abydos Learning International in Texas.

Carroll was part of a professional educators' coalition that offered input during the three-year process of writing standards for the state's proposed English curriculum.

Some coalition members take a dim view of State Board of Education Chairman Don McLeroy, a Bryan dentist, and board member David Bradley of Beaumont, who have helped lead the push for a back-to-basics approach.

"Would anyone believe that the coalition's research is bogus, but a dentist from Bryan is right ... and a man without a degree from Beaumont is right?" Carroll said.

Bradley says he and McLeroy "are eminently qualified because, first of all, we're parents, we're businesspeople and we're taxpayers."

Many parents, he said, complain that the current curriculum standards are "so confusing, so vague, so mushy that nobody can understand them, so we have this industry to help people interpret and explain and develop strategies and techniques to teach this mush."

The proposed standards ignore at least 50 years of research on grammar instruction, counters Kylene Beers of The Woodlands, president-elect of the National Council of Teachers of English and a senior reading adviser to secondary schools in the Reading Writing Project at Teachers College at Columbia University.

People who yearn for a return to the basics usually attended school in the 1950s, and by the end of that decade only 20 percent of the best paying jobs required at least some college, she said, in contrast to today's figure of 56 percent.

"When we talk about getting back to the basics in literacy education, the first thing that smart people have to do is to realize that literacy demands have shifted. What's basic now isn't the same as what was basic when middle-aged adults of today were in school," she said.

Both sides view the fight over reading comprehension as bigger than the one over grammar.

"They have renamed 'whole language' as comprehension. It's down to the classic debate of phonics versus whole language," Bradley said.

Keeping it professional

Decades of research into how children learn shows that drilling the basics does not achieve desired results, said Alana Morris, language arts program director of the Aldine school district and president of the Coalition of Reading and English Supervisors of Texas.

"If you drill the basics on handouts and worksheets, then that's where kids will be able to apply them," she said. "The bottom line is that drilling doesn't transfer into solid writing."

Teaching grammar is important, "but we want to teach it clearly so that kids can actually transfer it into their writing," Morris said. "Teaching grammar in drills makes no sense, whatsoever, to them."

The proposal calls for students to learn how to infer the importance of a setting in a story in one grade level, visualize the setting in the next grade and then summarizing the setting two grade levels later, she said.

"It's the most ludicrous thing I have ever seen in my entire life," Morris said. "Each year with higher level text you should learn how to draw inferences, how to ask questions, how to synthesize information, how to summarize."

Teachers will remain professional if the State Board of Education approves the pending document, Morris said.

"Teachers are not the type that will march on Austin," she said, adding that experienced teachers will simply ignore the new English textbooks.



Outstanding Migrant Students To Be Recognized

March 25, 2008  


AUSTIN, Texas — High school migrant students from across the state will be recognized at a special ceremony at 11:30 a.m. on March 31 during the annual Migrant Student Recognition Ceremony at The University of Texas at Austin.

The ceremony in the ballroom of the Texas Union will honor Texas students who have completed distance learning courses through the university's Migrant Student Graduation Enhancement Program in the Division of Continuing Education. The program provides learning tools, services, courses, computer equipment and software applications that enable migrant students to meet or exceed requirements for high school graduation.

“The focus of the ceremony is on these accomplished students. The theme will be the new César Chávez statue located on the West Mall in the heart of the university’s campus,” said Dr. Judy C. Ashcroft, dean of continuing and innovative education. “The statue is an ideal symbol for migrant students since César Chávez devoted his life to improving the living conditions of farm workers. Its presence on the university campus conveys the message that migrant students belong on a college campus.”

Forty exemplary migrant students featured in the 2008 Exemplary Migrant Student publication will be recognized at the ceremony that will be held on the birthday of César Chávez. Two of the featured students will be named as “Students of the Year.” They and three other exemplary migrant students will each receive a $2,000 college scholarship from ExxonMobil. The checks will be presented by Rosendo Cruz, program officer for education and diversity at ExxonMobil.

“It is an honor to recognize these high school migrant students for overcoming the difficulties of their migrant lifestyle and for achieving academic excellence and leadership roles in their schools and communities,” said Ashcroft, who will give the welcoming remarks for the event. “I value the opportunity to encourage these outstanding students to continue their educations beyond high school and to invite them to apply for admission to The University of Texas at Austin.”

Dr. Felipe Alanis, associate dean of continuing education and K-16 education, will preside at the event. Senior Associate Dean of Students Margarita M. Arellano, the project director for the César Chávez statue unveiling event in October 2007, will deliver the keynote address.

About 150 migrant students, 30 parents and 40 educators from 23 school districts, including Alpine, Bastrop, Brackett, Brownsville, Donna, Eagle Pass, Edinburg, El Paso, Fabens, Fort Worth, Goose Creek, Harlingen, La Joya, Lamesa, Mission, Plains, Pharr-San Juan-Alamo, Roma, Santa Maria, Sharyland, Taylor, Uvalde and Weslaco will attend the ceremony. More than 100 guests from The University of Texas at Austin, the Texas Education Agency and the Texas Legislature also will attend the event that features a performance by the UT Ballet Folklórico.

Texas has the second-largest migrant education program and the largest interstate migrant student population in the nation. Students and their families migrate annually from Texas to 48 other states to work in agricultural and other seasonal jobs.

Since it was begun more than two decades ago, the Migrant Student Graduation Enhancement Program has enrolled more than 21,000 students in its mission to increase the graduation rate of high school migrant students in Texas. With funding from the Texas Education Agency and gifts from the Beaumont Foundation of America, ExxonMobil, the John G. and Marie Stella Kenedy Memorial Foundation and the Microsoft Corporation, the program helps Texas migrant students earn high school credits through distance learning courses that meet Texas curriculum requirements.

For more information, contact: Robert D. Meckel, Office of Public Affairs, 512-475-7847;  Peggy Wimberley, K-16 Education Center, Continuing and Innovative Education, 512-471-6037;  Kevin Wier, Continuing and Innovative Education, 512-471-2731.

Related Stories:  

Office of Public Affairs
P.O. Box Z
Austin, TX 78713
Fax 512-471-5812



Texas Board of Education Ignoring Needs of Hispanic Students, 
School Superintendent threatened Over Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish

Texas State Board of Education Ignoring Needs of Hispanic Students, 
Says Tearful Berlanga

By Joey Gomez
Rio Grande Guardian, 18 March 2008

State Board of Education member Mary Helen Berlanga met with students after her speech at
UTB-TSC on Tuesday. (Photo: RGG/Joey Gomez)

BROWNSVILLE, March 18 - Fighting back tears, the Corpus Christi and Rio Grande Valley
representative on the State Board of Education blasted a majority of her colleagues for failing
to consider the needs of Hispanic students.

In an emotional speech at the University of Texas at Brownsville, Mary Helen Berlanga said
the SBOE, which is controlled by conservatives, would not appoint researchers that understand
the learning needs of Hispanic children.

"For God's sake give us someone who has done research on those children and can help them
the plea went to deaf ears," Berlanga said.

"I am here to tell you they (SBOE) don't have a single researcher (even though they have six
now), that has done research on Latino children and how language-minority children learn the
English language."

The researchers that were appointed are looking at new English language arts and reading
curriculum for Texas.

Berlanga's comments echoed complaints made by the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, which is angry that the SBOE did not appoint anyone with Hispanic expertise to help update Texas
English and reading standards. MALC Chairman Pete Gallego sent a letter to the SBOE on Friday
to complain.

According to Texas Education Agency, 46 percent of Texas public school students are Hispanic,
and 16 percent have limited English proficiency

"They're trying to tell us what books to read, and what books a teacher should be reading to
children, without giving us the flexibility to allow children to read wonderful books by many
different authors of all colors...the state is going in the wrong direction," Berlanga said.

"The Hispanic Caucus is on the right track, I just don't know what's going to happen with the
State Board of Education."

Berlanga said the SBOE's stance towards Hispanic students is "really the most offensive position
I have ever seen the State Board take, and I have been on it for over 25 years."

Berlanga said Hispanic students are the biggest ethnic group in Texas schools today yet the
SBOE's response is to "slap us in the face and say 'we don't care, we can represent you'."

She said the fact that the SBOE has not recruited a single researcher with experience in
dealing with "our" children was a "disgrace."

Berlanga announced that UTB-TSC would be putting on free buses so that students could go to
Austin for a March 26 SBOE public hearing.

"I hope everyone can join me on March 26 in Austin because we're going to have a public
hearing. Remember, the Chairman (Don McLeroy) says we're going to have a public hearing on the 26th, and we were going to put that (document) out on the 27th and vote on it. By golly, I
would like to surprise him with so much support from the Hispanic population that this should
not be a meeting he will forget."

Berlanga pointed out that she is one of only three Hispanics on the SBOE.

"I'm upset because I represent a very large district, 15 counties. Rene Nu*ez represents El
Paso all the way to Laredo. Rick Agosto represents San Antonio but comes down and meets
up with us in our district," Berlanga said.

"We have the largest districts in that regard. I have done my best to represent this district, and the Mexican American Caucus is trying to ensure that get the proper representation we deserve in this state."

Interviewed by the Guardian after her presentation, Berlanga said it is important for
South Texans to know that the SBOE was just beginning its review of English Language Arts
and reading curriculum. The last review took place about 11 years ago, she said.

"So, we had a document that teachers worked on for about two years, and that was coming forward and that was what I was expecting. But instead, the Chairman, at the last minute, suggested we take another document that was produced by someone with his philosophy and way of thinking, and we use that in the classroom with children grades Kinder to grade 12," Berlanga said.

Berlanga said her disagreements with McLeroy heightened when he named a subcommittee to look at the new English Language and reading curriculum. The panel had members from Houston,
Dallas, and Bryan, she said, but no one from South Texas, West Texas, or the Panhandle.

"We were totally ignored. When you consider there are over two million children who are
Hispanic, it's the biggest and fastest growing population in the state. You cannot leave these
people out. If you do, at least do a good job of naming the researchers that are going to have
experience dealing with the Latino children. Even that would have been okay. But they didn't
do that either," she said.

Berlanga said three of the experts the SBOE utilized were proficient in Special Ed. However,
she said the Special Ed population was not that high when compared to the Hispanic population.

"The minority population, which is the largest, is totally under-represented. That's just a slap in
the face to Hispanics. It's totally unacceptable for the Chairman of the State Board of
Education, who supposedly represents all the children of the state of Texas, to intentionally
exclude a researcher whether he is Hispanic or not who has done research on Latino children and language minority children," Berlanga said. "It's a disgrace."

Berlanga said told the Guardian that Gov. Rick Perry ought to get involved by making McLeroy
"stop the process and immediately include Hispanic researchers or those who researched
Latino children or language minority children."

Source: Jaime T. Chahin
Sent by Dr. Carlos Muñoz, Jr.Ph.D.




School Superintendent Threatened over

 Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish

By Matthew Rothschild,  
April 21, 2008


The Pledge of Allegiance is creating an uproar in a high school in southern Wisconsin. Not the Pledge itself, but the language it's recited in.

For many years now, Edgerton High School in Wisconsin has allowed students in its Spanish class to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish over the Intercom one day of the school year. It also invites foreign exchange students (the school now has three) to say it in their own language.

This year, when Spanish students recited the Pledge on March 11, it caused a ruckus.
Parents complained. They demanded that the Spanish teacher, the principal, and the superintendent be fired. And they intend to press the issue at the school board meeting on April 28.

The superintendent, Dr. Norman Fjelstad, has even been physically threatened.
"There were a couple of people who made threats," he said. "I said, 'It's a felony to threaten me,' and they apologized. Once they got set back on their heels, we had a good discussion. It's the people who leave the messages on my phone-it's like shooting you in the back. I don't even know who they are."

Fjelstad has been superintendent for 20 years. The current controversy has taken a toll.
"It's not been fun," he says. "When I went to vote I was confronted. When I went to the grocery store, I was confronted. I get about five phone calls a day. They want me removed from my position unless I'm willing to put in writing that this will never happen again. And I won't do that. We don't allow bullying in our schools, and I won't be bullied by this."

Fjelstad realized he had a problem on his hands when the phones started ringing at the administration building on March 12.  The following day, the Janesville Gazette ran a story entitled "Spanish Pledge Angers Veteran."

It quoted Todd Dix, whose son goes to the high school. "This is America; we speak English," said Dix, who retired from the National Guard last year. "I don't want any of my three boys coming home saying, 'Dad, we did the Pledge of Allegiance in Spanish.' "

His son Kyle told the paper that he thought it was disrespectful to the troops.
The article in the newspaper sparked some heated exchanges on the paper's website, so much so that the editor, Scott Angus, decided to yank the debate.

"It started out fairly high brow," Angus said, "but then it got to be a racist thing."
One said: "I go to Edgerton High School and I don't appreciate Mexicans saying the Pledge in Spanish. . . . If you think Mexicans can waltz right in this school and have an influence on these American students, then you're wrong. This is America, home of the free and not the illegal."
"I've heard their frustration," says Superintendent Fjelstad. "I understand what they're saying. They feel it dishonors our troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. My response is this: I know there are 400 Hispanic speaking soldiers that won't disagree with them. They can't disagree because they gave their lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, there are 110,000 Spanish-speaking Hispanics serving in the military that I believe would agree with me that speaking Spanish does not dishonor the military."

Fjelstad also points out that George W. Bush had the National Anthem sung in Spanish at his inaugural in 2001.  Fjelstad adds a personal point. "I have a Norwegian heritage," he says. "My father could not speak English until the third grade, and he was patriotic, and he recited the Pledge in Norwegian."  Fjelstand also notes that "our Wisconsin Constitution was written in three languages: English, German, and Norwegian. The reason it was written in three languages is because it's important that people understand the words."

On top of that, Fjelstad invokes the First Amendment to the Constitution. "Government should never mandate that the Pledge or the National Anthem be said in one language," he says.
Fjelstad's conclusion: "I see nothing wrong with what we've been doing."  But he's not sure the school board will see it that way.

"The school board has the right to overturn my decision," he says. "If they do, I won't be insubordinate. I will comply. I won't be fired. But I'll be on record as saying I disagree with that decision, and that I believe people are suppressing what is a freedom of our country."

Sent by Dr. Carlos Munoz, Jr. 
and Howard Shorr


"Hacienda Heights," First English Speaking Hispanic TV Soap Opera
National Poetry Month/Mes nacional de la poesía  
La Peña presents two young singer-songwriters    
Meeting Favianna Rodriguez
Jose Simon, Musician Dies

“Hacienda Heights”
First English Speaking Hispanic TV Soap Opera

Chan Add Films is proud to announce, the first English speaking Hispanic soap opera in the history of television, “Hacienda Heights.” This provocative, groundbreaking new television show, takes the popular format of the traditional Telenovela introducing a profound experience to the audience. This majestic venture was brought to life by Executive Producer/CEO Mr. Desmond Gumbs and directed by Emmy Award winning Actor/Director Mr. Tom Eplin.

  The story fantastically portrays the trials and tribulations of the families in the unwavering city of “Hacienda Heights.” The conflicts that arise between the political, the wealthy and the working middle class families are universal and extremely current in today’s world. “Hacienda Heights” intriguing stories are filled with love, struggle, mystery, vengeance and the pursuit for happiness. “Hacienda Heights” seductive characters will enrapture you from its premier episode!

Take a sneak peek of this invigorating and tantalizing show at or View our amazing cast and see the excitement that will explode Daytime TV on fire Monday, May 5 Cinco de Mayo

Desmond Gumbs CEO  
Chan Add Films
Office: (510) 444-1899
   Fax: (510) 444-3038  
337 13th Street Suite 208

Oakland, CA 94612



National Poetry Month/Mes nacional de la poesía

In celebration of National Poetry Month, a gift for you, poets all, who share in my work. National Poetry Month is a celebration of poetry first introduced in 1996 by the Academy of American Poets as a way to increase awareness and appreciation.

Rafael Jesús González  
Muro en La Habana/Wall in Havana, Rafael Jesús González
El Poeta Leyendo/The Poet Reading, Judy Cheung  
El Poeta, poeta eres tú que lees  
© Rafael Jesús González 2008

(grafiti en una pared
de La Habana)


El poeta dice sus versos
                        al deslizarse el lápiz
                  sobre el blanco -
                   enigmas de quimeras y dragones
                  de lirios y de jaras
                    de nubes pesadas como plomo

                     peñascos livianos como suspiros.

                                Allí quedan

                        ni más ni menos encantados
                      que una mosca prisionera
                        en una gota de ámbar.
                   Allí esperan que los rescate

                        otro poeta -

                                tú, lector

                                que descifras

                                estas letras.


The poet says his verses
                        as the pencil glides
                    over the blank -
                    enigmas of chimeras & dragons
                   of lilies & of darts
                    of clouds heavy as lead

                        boulders light as sighs.

                                There they remain

                        no more no less enchanted
                       than a fly imprisoned
                   in a drop of amber.
                     There they wait to be rescued

                        by another poet -

                                you, reader

                                who deciphers

                                these letters.



May 1, 2008
La Peña presents two of the most influential 
young singer-songwriters 
of Mexico & Puerto Rico 


Mauricio Diaz, El Hueso from Mexico

Fernandito Ferrer from Puerto Rico

 Thursday, May 1st.   8pm $10.  
La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley


The most influential young singer-songwriters of Mexico & Puerto Rico meet in a must see performance. Mauricio Diaz El Hueso from Mexico and Fernandito Ferrer from Puerto Rico.

For the first time together in the Bay Area. Singer-songwriter from Puebla, Mexico, Mauricio Diaz creates engaging dialogues between his fiery guitar playing and off-kilter, rhythmically jagged singing.

Fernandito Ferrer has been a young pioneer among the new breed of singer-songwriters in Puerto Rico. He first appeared on stage in 1997 and has since made himself known throughout the island, the Caribbean, the US and Mexico.  



Meeting Favianna Rodriguez

by Efrén Paredes, Jr.

"The voice of the individual artist may seem perhaps of no more consequence
than the whirring of a cricket in the grass, but the arts do live continuously ...
they outlive governments and creeds and societies, even the very civilizations
that produced them." (Author Unknown)

Monday, April 7, 2008, I met Favianna Rodriguez, internationally renowned muralist, graphic artist, printmaker, and political activist.  Favianna attended our Latin American Spanish-Speaking Organization (LASSO) monthly general membership meeting as a guest speaker.

As an activist, Favianna was one of the founders of the EastSide Arts Alliance, an organization that supports Oakland neighborhoods through art programs.  She has also helped to make available performance, studio space, and affordable housing units.  She is a co-owner of TUMIS, an East Oakland-based design firm that provides design, technology, and communication strategy services for social justice and nonprofit organizations.

Favianna oversees Visual Element, a graffiti arts program that trains young artists in the traditions of muralism and graffiti for social change.  She coordinates recruitment, instruction, and retention of young graffiti artists of color, ages 17-20.  She has developed a street-based arts curriculum and fund raises over $75,000 annually from city grants, foundations, & private mural commissions.

While in Michigan, Favianna was doing a residency with Michigan State University Department of Arts and Humanities.  She met our Latin American Spanish-Speaking Organization (LASSO) sponsor who invited Favianna to attend our monthly LASSO meeting and present about the activism and social justice work she does through art and printmaking.

Before Favianna presented, I spoke to the group about the importance of art, particularly as it relates to the struggle for social justice.  I told those in attendance that art is a powerful expression of who we are and our views of the world.  It is a culmination of experience, history, and culture - it is a vivid expression of life itself.

Through art we convey our vision, dreams and hope.  We preserve the memory of our people for generations to follow.  We are also able to shape the consciousness of the global community.  Each piece of art is a tentacle with boundless measure.

As Suzanne Lacy, Executive Director at Museum Without Walls, puts it, "Artists as reporters represent their world.  Artists as experiencers  give tangible form to their feelings about the world.  Artists as analysts look beyond the immediate to reveal hidden universal truths.  And artists as activists help us see the world in new ways."

During her presentation Favianna covered a broad range of issues.  I couldn't help but quickly recognize that she is totally committed to social justice and the elimination of every form of discrimination.  It was also clear that she is passionate about the causes she supports and is unapologetic about her positions.  Favianna says her work "reflects a growing national consciousness that speaks to the contemporary urban barrios, rebelling against racism, homophobia, sexism and corporate irresponsibility."

During her presentation Favianna shared several colored copies of artwork she has done.  Everyone in attendance received a copy.  She also shared art she is making available for free to be used for noncommercial activist purposes.  They will be available online and in a new book Favianna co-edited titled "Reproduce & Revolt: Radical Images for the 21st Century."

She told us the story behind each piece of artwork she graciously shared with us, and explained the various processes she uses to create them.  Her presentation was very interesting and captivated those who were in attendance.  What began with Favianna saying, "I'm going to tell you a little about myself," concluded as a 45-minute political art discourse.

The range of topics that Favianna included in her presentation was vast.  Sometimes it included subjects about femicide, day laborers, and genetically engineered food, other times she talked about politics, the Olympic Games protests, and upcoming events she would be a part of.

Favianna spoke to us on the day that members of The Ruckus Society climbed the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco to support Tibetan independence. Members of Ruckus hung two large banners that read, "One World, One Dream: Free Tibet."  San Francisco is the only city hosting the Olympic torch in the United States.  Favianna is friends with members of Ruckus and has collaborated with them on projects in the past.

Listening to Favianna speak about the social activism she does was a great experience.  I felt proud to be in the company of a person truly motivated to do all she can for the advancement of people worldwide.  She is acutely aware of the many facets to social activism and the need to maintain an all-encompassing approach to avert any possible exclusion.

Favianna recently wrote in her blog how proud she was to see the unity between Black and Brown prisoners who were in attendance at LASSO the evening she presented.  What she didn't know is that not only is there a strong unity of Black of Brown prisoners in the group, there are also White prisoners who regularly attend the meetings and help foster the cohesion that is created.

This is one of the things about LASSO that I have worked so hard to accomplish as the group's president.  Having a vast background in social movements, Black history, and Chicano/Latino history, has equipped me with the necessary tools to help develop mutual respect and harmony between every race of people who attends LASSO.

Few people have been able to accomplish this because they lacked the knowledge about various cultures, history, and religions to create a human tapestry that is all inclusive.  One must understand the commonalities that people share before they can truly bring them together and create harmonious relationships.

My ability to do this is a much needed skill that can be utilized in society as well.  The model that I have created in prison to unify people and teach them how to respect one another and work together will significantly benefit the global community when I am one day released.

It was great hearing Favianna talk about various people she has worked with in Black and Brown communities.  I was able to relate to everything she said because vicariously I have shared her experiences.  I have always maintained an all-inclusive mentality when teaching people because I recognize the value that this has over employing a narrow approach.

Teaching about various cultures and history helps us better understand each other and appreciate the struggles we share.  It helps us realize more and more how similar we are and, rather than be afraid of each other due to our ignorance, we grow closer as a unified body.  Segregation breeds evils and is destructive to the human spirit.

I was also grateful that Favianna shared her thoughts with us about gender and women's liberation.  They are issues eschewed by many males but need to be discussed.  I have always been a strong proponent of the need for women to express themselves and compel others to respect their status in the world.

The mentality that relegates women as second-class citizens or tries to make their roles as footnotes in history is nothing short of disrespectful and oppressive.  Having a strong accomplished Latina speak about her strengths and the need to respect and appreciate women in front of a room full of men, particularly in a prison, took courage.

During a conversation with Favianna I learned that she knew one of my supporters and a person I admire, Dr. Elizabeth "Betita" Martinez.  Favianna worked closely with Betita for several years on the book "500 Years of Chicana Women's History/Anos de Historia de las Chicanas."

According to Rutgers University Press, "500 Years of Chicana Women's History offers a powerful antidote to this omission with a vivid, pictorial account of struggle and survival, resilience and achievement, discrimination and identity.  The bilingual text, along with hundreds of photos and other images, ranges from female-centered stories of pre-Columbian Mexico to profiles of contemporary social justice activists, labor leaders, youth organizers, artists, and environmentalists, among others."

Betita is a prominent and highly respected figure in the Chicano/Latino community.  She has a long history as a leader in the struggle for social justice.  I was able to learn about her experience working with Favianna on the book and about how their historical project materialized.

I made a donation to the Immigrant Rights Poster Project that Favianna is spearheading.  An immigrant rights conference is being held May 12-17 in Mexico City.  The event is being convened by TIGRA (Transnational Institute for Grassroots Research and Action), SEDEREC (Ministry of Rural Development and Community Equity for the City of Mexico), and CENCOS (National Center for Social Communication).

The event will bring together more than 300 migrant leaders from the USA, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and Europe.  Favianna is collaborating with other artists to create five posters and then will have 5,000 posters printed of each design to be distributed free of charge to groups supporting immigrant rights all over the world.  I chose to use some of the money I received for my birthday to help with this project.

Now when the conference is held I can truly say I helped make it a success.  And, whenever I am eventually released, I can begin attending global immigrant rights conferences - and other social justice conferences - as well and be an active participant.  It's just one of the many things I look forward to doing one day.

It was honor having Favianna visit us and be the first group of prisoners she ever presented to inside a prison.  We were privileged to have her as our guest and show her that the misconceptions and generalizations often made about prisoners aren't always true.  We represented the full inversion of the lies presented in the media.

Who knows, maybe Favianna will even do an art project to memorialize the event one day.

To learn more about Favianna Rodriguez and her amazing work you are invited to visit her web site at  While you're at it please read her writing, "Please Help Fund This Immigrant Rights Poster Project," and make a contribution if you are able to.Å°

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




Jose Simon, Musician Dies

LATIN ROCK INC is sad to report the passing of one of Latin Rock's  legendary members, Jose Simon, bass player of the group SAPO.  Jose was  held in high esteem and was a true member of the Classic Latin Rock scene.

Later in his career he became a stand-up comedian, one of the first of Latin heritage. He continued to entertain audiences and became a fixture on  stages across the country.

It was 1975,comedian Jose Simon had a dream. Barbra Streisand did it. A number of rock 'n' roll bands had done it, too. Even the symphony  gave it a  go.  Free outdoor concerts were becoming more commonplace in music. So,   why not  one featuring comedians? A free outdoor performance in the City that is considered the cradle of civilization for comedy would be a great  
way for local comedians to say thank you to their fans.

It took a few years and a lot of cooperation from a lot of people to  make it happen, but since 1981 more than 500 of the world's funniest comedians  have performed free-of-charge for over a half-million people at Comedy Day. It started in the Golden Gate Park Music Concourse (affectionately known as the Band Shell), moved to the Polo Fields in 1986 to accommodate larger  crowds  and, for the past few years, has found a home in Sharon Meadow.

San Francisco's professional comedy community joins together each year to produce the five-hour show. The Punch Line, Cobb's Comedy Club, SF Sketchfest, Pepperbelly's, and Jose Simon (founder of Comedy Day) each produced an hour-long, highly entertaining set.





LaRC Latino among nominee for 2007 NASA, 
Commercial Invention of the Year Award

The invention "Polyimide Foams" (AR-16615-1 and LAR-16615-2), by inventors Roberto Cano, Brian Jensen, and Erik Weiser (all from LaRC), and Juan Vazquez (PolyuMac TechnoCore, Inc.) has been granted U.S. Patent No. 6.956.066. The invention significantly reduces costs and increases production rates of durable polyimide foam materials. The products provide excellent insulation for sound, cryogenics, heat, or cold.

Sent by Debbie Martinez
HEP@NASA LaRC e-Newsletter - APRIL 2008

      Military & Law Enforcement  Heroes

Fueling the Beast by Henry Godines

Latinos/Latinas - Ultimate sacrifice, Part IV 
Capt. Kathlene Contres, US Navy’s highest ranking female Hispanic
Astronaut Joseph Acaba
Hispanic Military Heroes with non-Hispanic surnames



Brig.General Robert Cardenas USAF ret.


" Brig.General Robert Cardenas USAF ret. is an amazing individual who still lives in San Diego. He was in charge of the X-1 project as a Major. The X-1 is the manned rocket plane that broke the sound barrier for the first time. The legendary Big. General Chuck Yeager was the pilot. That event took place in 1947 at what is now Edwards Air Force base California. I even did a painting and made prints of a scene prior to that historic event (see attachment) Robert Cardenas is shown at extreme left then it's Chuck Yeager and Jack Ridley.

Henry Godines, artist
For more of Henry's art, go to
He has done oils of planes in flight, ships at sea. 

Below is an introduction to a fascinating website dedicated to Brig.General Cardenas.  Do check it out.  You can click to a marvelous collection of photos and read about Brig. General Cardenas military career and the history of US flight testing . 

Brigadier General Robert L. “Bob” Cardenas was born in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico on March 10th, 1920. Young Robert moved to San Diego with his parents at the age of five. During his teenage years, Cardenas built model airplanes and helped local glider pilots with their dope-and-fabric construction often bumming rides with the pilots in the gliders he helped to repair. A bright student with excellent grades in Mathematics and Physics at high school, Cardenas was the top student in his high-school year and was selected to attend the San Diego State University along with the top student from three other local high schools. During 1939 Cardenas began a long and distinguished military career when he joined the California National Guard. In September of 1940, Cardenas entered into aviation cadet training, graduated and received his pilot wings & commission as a second lieutenant during July of 1941.

Cardenas was sent to Kelly Field, Texas to become a flight instructor, then onto Twentynine Palms, California to establish the U.S. Army Airforces glider training school and followed this by becoming a Flight Test Officer and then Director of Flight Test Unit, Experimental Engineering Laboratory, Wright Field Ohio.

Cardenas next assignment was to the 44th Bomb Group (known as the flying 8-balls) and arrived in England on January 4th, 1944. Based at Shipdam, Norfolk, Cardenas flew his first mission on January 21st in B-24H “Southern Comfort”. On March 18th, 1944 (on his twentieth mission) whilst flying as command pilot aboard B-24J “Sack Artists” the aircraft in which Cardenas was flying was badly damaged by anti-aircraft fire and enemy fighters. The target was the Manzell Air Armaments plant at Freidrichshafen, Germany. The right wing of the aircraft had been badly damaged after a shell had gone through setting both the right engines ablaze. Cardenas had been injured when a piece of flak pierced his helmet causing a head wound, yet still Cardenas pressed home the attack. The pilot, Lt. Lacombe turned and headed for Switzerland as it was clear to Cardenas and the crew of the B-24 that they would not make it back to base, and would have to bail out. After bail out, the aircraft exploded and the remains crashed into Fehraltdorf, Switzerland. Cardenas landed on the shore of Lake Constance (on the German side) and swam to the Swiss shore of the lakeside. After contacting the local resistance, Cardenas made his way into France prior to D-day and the French Resistance arranged for Cardenas to get back to England.

Upon his return to the United States, Cardenas was assigned to the Flight Test Division at Wright Field and became a test pilot after graduating from the Flight Performance School. Cardenas flew the Messerchmitt ME-262 and the Arado 234 bomber to test,evaluate and gather data on the captured German jets and tested the Douglas XB-42 Mixmaster and the jet powered version, the XB-43. Major Cardenas was assigned as the chief test pilot of the bomber division and would fly all the new prototypes over the next four years.  



Latinos/Latinas – Ultimate – Sacrifice

 Part IV


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 United States . The reason for me to be interested in writing about Hispanics, who lost their lives in Wars, I want to be one 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…


Marine Cpl. Antonio Mendoza, 21, of Santa Ana , Calif. , died on June 3, 2005, at Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio , Texas , from injuries sustained on Feb. 22 while fighting enemy forces in Ar Ramadi, Iraq . At the time of his injury, Mendoza was assigned to the 5th Battalion, 11th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, 1 Marine Expeditionary Force from Camp Pendleton, Calif.


Antonio Mendoza, a 2002 graduate of Saddleback High School had a sense of humor, and a great personality; he also loved to dance.     


Navy Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Cesar O. Baez, 37, of Pomona , Calif. , died on June 15, 2005. He was killed by enemy small-arms fire while conducting combat operations in Anbar province, Iraq . Baez was assigned to 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward) from Camp Pendleton , Calif.

Cesar was a real patriot," his father said. "But the pain I'm feeling right now is indescribable. He loved, served his country, died for his country but I wish I had him back."  He had served 10 years in the Navy after serving four years in the Marine Corps. He attended Garey High School and later received his diploma after classes at Pomona Adult School . His mother said he had hoped to become a doctor. While away at war, Baez got a care package with an item that would change his life: a blue baby bootie. The father of three young girls was going to have a fourth child in September, "a baby boy," said his father, also named Cesar. "He really wanted a baby boy." "He called everybody in the family," said Bernardina, his mother. "He was so happy…"  

Baez's younger brother, Marine Staff Sgt. Roger Baez, who stationed in Germany , at the time, called his parents Friday and told them that he would follow his brother's body from Delaware to California .


Marine Cpl. Carlos Pineda, 23, of Los Angeles , Calif. , died on June 24, 2005. He was killed by enemy small-arms fire while conducting combat operations in Fallujah , Iraq . He was assigned to Headquarters Company, 8th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Lejeune , North Carolina .

Marine Cpl. Carlos Pineda was born in El Salvador , raised in East Los Angeles , Calif. His father died when he was 9 years old, and quickly became the man of the family. His sixth-grade teacher, Ms. Kerr, remembers that Carlos was always more mature than his peers. “When he was in the sixth grade and his class would begin studying a subject, Carlos would come back the next day carrying a stack of library books, spouting what he had read,” “Carlos would have made a great U.S. history teacher,” his wife also says. Carlos Pineda took interest to help other teens, acted as an older brother to other kids in the community. Carlos Pineda was interested in law enforcement by joining the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Explorer Program in high school and became a mentor to at-risk teens, He enlisted in the Marine Corps after graduating from Garfield High School in 2001 and hoped to return to the sheriff’s Department and start a family.

Marine Lance Cpl. Sergio H. Escobar, 18 of Pasadena , Calif. , died on Oct. 9, 2005. Cpl. Escobar died two months after he arrived in Iraq from an improvised explosive device while conducting combat operations against enemy forces in Ar Ramadi, Iraq . Sergio signed up for the Marines in September 2004, and was assigned to the 3rd Battalion of the 7th Marine Regiment based in Twenty-Nine Palms, Calif. attached to the 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward).

Sergio was born in Veracruz , Mexico ; he came with his mother to the U.S. when he was 3 years old. In high school, the teenager joined the Reserve Officers' Training Corps, but also ran with a tough crowd. Escobar dropped out before returning to graduate from Rose City High School , and enlisted with the Marines in September 2004.

"He changed a lot," his stepfather said. "He was real nice, the way he would talk to me with a lot of respect; he paid more attention to his younger siblings. He left a special request with his family in case he died. "If I ever die, I want you to take me in one of those classic cars, like a Chevy Impala."


Army Sgt. Arthur Mora Jr., 23, of Pico Rivera , Calif. , was killed on Oct. 19, 2005, when his patrol vehicle was attacked by indirect fire in Balad , Iraq . Sgt. Mora Jr. was based at Fort Stewart , GA and was a member of the Army’s 5th Squadron, 7th Calvary Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat team, 3rd Infantry for the U.S. Army.

He met with Army recruiters in high school, and in 2000, the year he graduated from El Rancho High School, his mom agreed to sign the papers allowing him to join the military.

Mora traveled around the nation and the world, he met his wife in Ohio while on his way to a concert with friends, the couple married in California . The couple had a daughter, Mora's young family grew on Oct. 11, 2005, while Mora was in Iraq , and his wife gave birth to a baby boy. Army Sgt. Arthur Mora Jr., also had a stepdaughter.

Although he saw the violence in Iraq , and took it very hard when his best friend was killed, his family took comfort in knowing he was where he wanted to be. "He loved the military," said Mora's sister, Celia. "He wouldn't have changed what he was doing for anything."

Just over a week later, on Oct. 19, 23-year-old Mora called home to tell his wife he was safe and not to worry. Hours later, his patrol vehicle was hit by indirect fire in Balad , Iraq .

At El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera , city officials and friends mourned the death of Sgt. Mora, a 2000 graduate of the high school, and possibly the first alumni to die in war since the Vietnam War.  

Army Spc. Sergio Gudino, 21, of Pomona , Calif. , died on Dec. 25, 2005 in Baghdad , Iraq . Army Spc. Gudino died when an improvised explosive device detonated near his M1A1 tank during combat operations. Gudino was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart , Georgia .

Sergio was a straight A’ student at Claremont High School , an athlete, who was part of the football, track and field, and wrestling teams. After graduation, Sergio worked and attended Chaffey College . He liked what he was doing. "He never seemed scared about anything," said his eldest brother Victor.

He married his sweetheart Candy in 2001, the year Gudino graduated from Claremont High School , when he began attending Chaffey College . Sergio shifted to the working world when he and Candy learned they were expecting a baby. Sergio Gudino was working three jobs to support his small family before he joined the Army. To provide for his wife and newborn son, he worked for United Parcel Service, at a sandwich shop and selling time-shares.

After holding down three jobs, he joined the Army in 2003, to the surprise of his older brother Victor, who described him as a "big teddy bear." "He was a strong person said his brother Victor, "He liked what he was doing. He never seemed scared about anything."  

Army Spc. Marcelino “Ronnie” Corniel, 23 of La Puente , Calif. , died on Dec 31, 2005 in Baghdad , Iraq , when an enemy mortal attack occurred near his observation post. He was assigned to the Army National Guard’s 1st Battalion, 184th Infantry Regiment in Fullerton , California . A graduate of Bassett High School in La Puente , he first served in Iraq as a Marine and returned in September after enlisting in the National Guard.

Marcelino "Ronnie" Corniel's wedding was less than a month away when a mortar attack claimed his life. The date had been set and his return home from Iraq was scheduled, but his fiancée, Claudia, would not see him again.

He died on New Year's Eve in 2005, five days before his planned departure from Baghdad . "He was packed and so happy he was coming home. I told him, `Baby, take care of yourself,"' said Calderon, 24.

Marcelino “Ronnie” was a Bassett High School graduate; his sisters described him as the "best brother" and a legend at Bassett who made everyone laugh. His grandmother said he was a confident leader with a love of music - he had recently started a band and recorded a CD.

Corniel served in Iraq as a Marine, and then enlisted in the National Guard on his return home, not expecting to be sent to Iraq again. He was to get a bronze star for valor in saving other troops in Iraq .

Marine 1st Lt. Oscar Jimenez, 34 of San Diego , Calif. , died on April 11, 2004 by hostile fire in Anbar province, Iraq . He was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, at Twentynine Palms, Calif.   

Oscar Jimenez grew up in Logan Heights , San Diego , California ; he attended La Jolla High School and was a criminal Justice major at SDSU. A Logistics officer, in 1991 participated in Operation Desert Storm and was in his second tour of duty in Iraq . He was killed while in a seven-vehicle convoy he commanded was ambushed near Fallujah. To honor his memory, SDSU's chapter of Gamma Zeta Alpha, a Latino-interest fraternity, established the Oscar A. Jimenez Scholarship for graduating under-represented minority high school seniors. The 14-year veteran was a loving son, husband and father, a great friend.

USA SPC Isela Rubalcava, 25 of El Paso , Texas , died on May 8, 2004. Rubalcava. First female from El Paso to be killed in action, when a mortar round hit near her in Mosul , Iraq . She was assigned to the 296th Combat Support Battalion, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division (Stryker Brigade Combat Team) Fort Lewis , Washington .


Isela graduated from Canutillo High School in 1996. Isela Rubalcava was a joyful person, the kind of woman who could leave boot camp smiling. "She achieved everything she set her heart on," said grandmother Margarita.  Isela Rubalcava attended the University of Texas at El Paso and Sul Ross State University before joining the Army.  "They took a piece of my heart," Ramon Rubalcava said of his only daughter. "I only hope this war ends soon, because I don't wish this pain on anyone else." Her cousin Hector   said, "She’s always been a happy person, always smiling.      


Marine Cpl. Rudy Salas, 20 of Baldwin Park , Calif. , died on May 20, 2004. He died in a noncombatant-related vehicle accident in Iraq ’s Al Anbar Province. Salas was assigned to the 1st Light Armored Battalion 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton , Calif.

Rudy Salas graduated from Baldwin Park High school , where he played varsity football. He joined the Marines the summer after his High school graduation. "He always wanted to join the Marines," his mother Elida said. Salas died six months before his 21st birthday.

Rudy’s' mother, Elida Salas, clutched close her love ones and wept when her son was given full military honors at the cemetery, which included a ceremony in front of a glittering lake and a 21-gun salute, following a recorded rendition of "Taps.".

Marine Cpl. Rudy Salas platoon commander, Chief Warrant Officer 2 Richard Ortega, who was still in Iraq , wrote through an e-mail that Salas turned the platoon into a family and was the type of Marine the younger men looked up to. "Rudy is a quiet person, however he has many interesting topics to discuss and will enlighten you on anything and everything he's currently reading," Ortega wrote. "He was an awesome mentor to all the younger Marines, mostly because he's such a good listener. Our Marines are indebted to his service."

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.

Iraq/Afghanistan War Heroes:




   Born July 13, 1955

Captain Kathlene Contres 

United States Navy’s highest ranking female Hispanic.

First Hispanic woman Commandant 
of the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute

Mimi,  It is with great pleasure that I introduce to our readers Captain Kathlene Contres. Capt. Contres is the United States Navy’s highest ranking female Hispanic Line Officer on active duty. The term line officer (or "officer of the line") is used in the United States Navy, Coast Guard and Marine Corps to describe a military officer who is trained to command a warship, ground combat unit or combat aviation unit. Capt. Contres is also the President of the Association of Naval Services Officers (ANSO). It was Capt. Contres who named me the Official Military Historian of ANSO upon the recommendation of Rear Admiral Jay DeLoach.   Tony Santiago  

EARLY YEARS (Wikipedia)

Contres grew up in Spangler, Pennsylvania where she received her primary and secondary education. Her grandfather Jesus Contreras, was a Mexican national who immigrated to the United States as a teenager. After migrating, he worked on the railroads, coal mines, and a paper mill. He eventually settled in York, Pennsylvania and shortened his name to Jess Contres. She was born to Mr. and Mrs. John Contres who had six children, two daughters and four sons. Contres, at a young age, decided that she wanted to become a teacher. Upon her graduation from Ebensburg's Bishop Carroll High School in 1973, she enrolled in Slippery Rock University in Pennsylvania and in 1977 she earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Education with an emphasis in Sports Medicine.[1] Contres returned to her high school alma mater as a substitute teacher. She was teaching high school during the day and coaching the girl's basketball team during the evenings, as well as Athletic Trianing during other sports seasons. On one occasion she visited a friend at a United States Marine Corps base and was impressed with the institution's discipline. In 1980, she spoke to a Navy recruiter and became aware of the educational and travel opportunities which the Navy offered. Contres decided to enlist for four years of military service.[2]

For information on Capt. Contres military career, please go to:


Joseph Acaba

On May 6, 2004
became the first Puerto Rican to become an astronaut candidate and on February 10th, 2006 the first to complete the training.

PERSONAL DATA: Born in 1967 in Inglewood, California and raised in Anaheim, California where his parents Ralph and Elsie still reside. Enjoys outdoor activities such as camping, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking, and scuba diving. Also enjoys reading, especially science fiction.

EDUCATION: Esperanza High School, Anaheim, California, 1985
B.S., Geology, University of California-Santa Barbara, 1990
M.S., Geology, University of Arizona, 1992

ORGANIZATIONS: International Technology Education Association and Florida Association of Science Teachers.

EXPERIENCE: United States Marine Corps, Reserves. Worked as a hydro-geologist in Los Angeles, California. Primarily worked on Superfund sites and was involved the assessment and remediation of groundwater contaminants. Spent 2 years in the United States Peace Corps as an Environmental Education Awareness Promoter in the Dominican Republic. Served as the Island Manager of the Caribbean Marine Research Center at Lee Stocking Island in the Exumas, Bahamas. Shoreline Revegetation Coordinator in Vero Beach, Florida, planning, designing, and implementing a mangrove revegetation project. One year of high school experience at Melbourne High School, Florida and four years of middle school experience as a math and science teacher at Dunnellon Middle School, Florida.

NASA EXPERIENCE: Selected as a Mission Specialist by NASA in May 2004. In February 2006 he completed Astronaut Candidate Training that included scientific and technical briefings, intensive instruction in Shuttle and International Space Station systems, physiological training, T-38 flight training, and water and wilderness survival training. Upon completion of his training, Acaba was assigned to the Hardware Integration Team in the Space Station Branch working technical issues with European Space Agency ( ESA) hardware. Currently he is assigned as a mission specialist on the STS-119 mission, targeted for launch in the winter of 2008. The flight will deliver the final pair of power-generating solar array wings and truss element to the International Space Station.


      Hispanic Military Heroes

                  with non-Hispanic surnames

                    By: Tony (The Marine) Santiago  


One of the discoveries which I have made during my years of research is the fact that many of our heroes were Hispanics with non-Hispanic surnames. There are various historical factors which may have contributed to this phenomenal . Therefore, I will indulge into some of the historical events which occurred in the past and which can give us an idea as to why there are many Hispanics with non-Hispanic surnames.  

 Wild Geese


                                       Field Marshal Alejandro O'Reilly

                                 “The Father of the Puerto Rican Militia”

During the 16th Century the Irish, who were mostly Catholic, were suffering many injustices from the English authorities who were Protestant. William Stanley, an English Catholic was given a commission by Queen Elizabeth I to organize an Irish regiment of  native Irish soldiers and mercenaries. The main idea was to get rid of these men because the English authorities wanted them out of the country. They were sent to fight on behave of England in support of the Dutch United Provinces. However, in 1585, motivated by religious factors and bribes offered by the Spaniards, Stanley defected to the Spanish side with the regiment. The Irishmen who fled the English Army to join the armies of other foreign nations became known as “Wild Geese“.  One of these men was Alejandro O’Reilly, an Inspector-General of Infantry for the Spanish Empire who as a military reformer became known as “The Father of the Puerto Rican Militia” and who later became known as “Bloody O’Reilly” during his governorship of Spanish colonial Louisiana. Another was Ambrosio O'Higgins, Marquis of Osorno, a Spanish officer born in County Sligo in Ireland, who became governor of Chile and whose son was Bernado O'Higgins, the South American independence leader born in Chile.

These men did not return to Ireland, instead they married and raised their families in Spain and her colonies.  This is only one of the reasons that we have Hispanics with Irish surnames.

The Royal Decree of Graces of 1815


                              The Spanish Royal Decree of Graces of 1815  

The Spanish Royal Decree of Graces of 1815 is a legal order approved by the Spanish Crown in the early half of the 19th Century to encourage Spaniards and later Europeans of non-Spanish origin to settle and populate the colonies of Puerto Rico and Cuba.  

In the 19th Century the Spanish Empire had lost all of its territories in the Americas with the exception of Cuba and Puerto Rico.  These two possessions, however, were demanding more autonomy and had pro-independence movements.  Realizing that it was in danger of losing its two remaining territories, the Spanish Crown revived the Royal Decree of Graces of 1815.  This time the decree was printed in three languages Spanish, English and French with the intention of attracting Europeans of non-Spanish origin, with the hope that the independence movements would lose their popularity and strength with the arrival of new settlers.  Free land was offered to those who wanted to populate the islands with the condition that they swear their loyalty to the Spanish Crown and allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church.  

These conditions led to a massive European immigration to the Americas.  Hundreds of Corsicans, Italians, French, Irish and Germans, attracted by the offers of free land by the Spanish Crown, moved to the colonies of Cuba and Puerto Rico and accepted the conditions stated.  As soon as these settlers swore their loyalty to the Spanish Crown and their allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church, they were given a "Letter of Domicile".  After five years, the settlers were granted a "Letter of Naturalization" that made them Spanish subjects.  In an effort to attract non-Catholic Europeans, the Spanish Courts passed a law in 1870, granting the right of religious freedom to all those who wished to worship another religion other than the Catholic. The new settlers eventually intermarried with the natives and hence we have Hispanics with French, German, Corsican, Italian and Irish surnames from the Caribbean region.  

United States Expansion

There are many Anglo Americans who have intermarried with Hispanics while serving in the Armed Forces of the United States. Let’s take a look at some of the military conflicts in which the United States has been involved with the intention of expanding it’s territory and military strength. First of all a series of U.S. military incursions into Florida led Spain to cede it and other Gulf Coast territory in 1819. The country annexed the Republic of Texas in 1845. The U.S. victory in the Mexican-American War resulted in the 1848 cession of California and much of the present-day American Southwest. Victory in the Spanish-American War in 1898 demonstrated that the United States was a major world power and resulted in the annexation of Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines.  From 1903 to 1979 the Panama Canal Zone territory was controlled by the United States, which had built and financed the canal's construction. The United States military interventions during the 1930’s into Central and South America in the so called '''Banana Wars'''  (an unofficial term). Most of what is now our country belonged to Spain and/ or  Mexico. It was not uncommon that the new settlers, mostly male, would intermarry with Hispanic women  in the new territories. In some cases Anglo soldiers would marry the native women of the countries where they were stationed, such as Puerto Rico and the Panama Canal Zone.    

There are also many Hispanics in the United States who have intermarried with non-Hispanics. We are all familiar with the prejudice and discrimination which Hispanics have been subject to in our nation. During the 1940’s there were signs in restaurants which stated “We do not serve Mexicans” and in the East Coast “No Dogs nor Puerto Ricans Allowed”. We know about the lynching of African-Americans, but little is mentioned that the same thing happened to Mexican-Americans. In Arizona, Mexicans were not allowed the use of public swimming pools except on Thursdays because they were cleaned on Fridays.  Hispanics have always been  stereotyped as lazy people by the non-Hispanic population. Therefore, it should be to no surprise that Hispanics with non-Hispanic surnames would rather hide their Hispanic heritage or in some cases those who had Hispanic surnames change them into non-Hispanic sounding names in order to get ahead.  

Hollywood is a perfect example of what I am talking about. Do you know who Raquel Tejada,  Margarita Carmen Cansino and Ramón Gerardo Antonio Estevez  are? How about if I told you that they are  Raquel Welch, Rita Hayworth and Martin Sheen in that order? Now, there were some who despite the fact that they changed or “Americanized” their names, were always cast in stereotyped roles because of their physical features. Among them we have   Enrique Tomas Delgado, Jr. = Henry Darrow - Manolito in The High Chaparral and Antonio Rodolfo Quinn Oaxaca = Anthony Quinn who despite the fact that he used his “Irish” surname was mostly cast as a Native American. This was also true in sports. Victor Pellot became Vic Power. The sports establishment tried to do the same to Roberto Clemente. They wanted him to change his name to “Bob Walker” but, he was proud of his heritage and did not permit it.  

The same goes for the military. Many of our heroes with non-Hispanic surnames were told that if they wanted to get ahead in the military, they should hide their Hispanic heritage.  David Bennes Barkley, our only recipient of the Medal of Honor in World War I , enlisted in the Army using his Anglo father's surname in order to avoid being segregated into a non-combat unit. In my conversations with a Hispanic Rear Admiral,  I was told that his father encouraged him to hide his Hispanic heritage. The Hispanic Rear Admiral in question, however is proud of his Hispanic heritage and embraces it. We have five Medal of Honor recipients with non-Hispanic surnames, they are: David B. Barkley, Lucian Adams, Miguel Keith, Elmelindo Rodriques Smith and Humbert Roque Versace.  Here I will present you with some Hispanic heroes with non-Hispanic surnames, whose heritage may have gone unknown if not for some serious research.


    Rear Admiral Frederick Lois Riefkohl

                   By: Tony (The Marine) Santiago  


                                Rear Admiral Frederick Lois Riefkohl  

Rear Admiral Frederick Lois Riefkohl (February 27, 1889–September 1969), a native of Maunabo, Puerto Rico, was an officer in the United States Navy and the first Puerto Rican to graduate from the United States Naval Academy to be awarded the Navy Cross. The Navy Cross is the second highest medal, after the Medal of Honor, that can be awarded by the U.S. Navy for heroism or distinguished service. He was a World War I Navy Cross recipient who served as Captain of the USS Vicennes during World War II.  

                                          Early years  

Born and raised in the town of Maunabo, Riefkohl was the son of Luis Riefkohl and Julia Jaimieson. His older brother was Rudolph Riefkohl, a Colonel in the United States Army Corps of Engineers, who was the first Puerto Rican to receive a "tombstone promotion" of Brigadier General after his death, which  technically made him the first Hispanic brigadier general in the United States Army. After he graduated from high school, Riefkohl received an appointment on July 5, 1907, from Beekman Winthrop, the U.S. appointed governor of Puerto Rico from 1904 to 1907, to attend the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland In 1911, he became the first Puerto Rican to graduate from the Academy.  

During World War I, Lieutenant Riefkohl served as Commander of the Armed Guard of the USS Philadelphia and on August 2, 1917 he was awarded the Navy Cross for engaging an enemy submarine. The Navy Cross is the second highest medal that can be awarded by the U.S. Navy and are awarded to members of the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps for heroism or distinguished service.    

                                 Navy Cross citation


                              Riefkohl, Frederick L.

                                         Lieutenant, U.S. Navy 
Armed Guard, U.S.S. Philadelphia 
|                                    Date of Action: August 2, 1917


“The Navy Cross is awarded to Lieutenant Frederick L. Riefkohl, U.S. Navy, for distinguished service in the line of his profession as Commander of the Armed Guard of the U.S.S. Philadelphia, and in an engagement with an enemy submarine. On August 2, 1917, a periscope was sighted, and then a torpedo passed under the stern of the ship. A shot was fired, which struck close to the submarine, which then disappeared.”    

                                     World War II

Upon the outbreak of World War II, Riefkohl, who was the Captain of the USS Vincennes, was assigned to the Fire Support Group, LOVE (with Transport Group XRAY) under the command of Rear Admiral Richmond K. Turner's Task Force TARE (Amphibious Force) during the landing in the Solomon Islands on August 7, 1942.



                                           USS Vincennes  

On August 9, 1942, the Northern Force which consisted of the USS Vincennes, USS Quincy and the USS Astoria, found themselves just off Guadalcanal. Riefkohl commanded this force. Rear Admiral Victor A. Crutchley, the commander of the Northern Force left with his flagship HMAS Australia to meet with the top brass without notifying Riefkohl.  

Japanese Admiral Mikawa and his navy decided to make a surprise attack on the American ships. He first destroyed an Australian cruiser, then the USS Chicago before going after the USS Vincennes. Riefkohl was summoned up to the bridge and believed that a minor skirmish was taking place with some ship. When the Japanese ships turned on their searchlights, Riefkohl mistook them for the American ships from the Southern Force and asked them over the radio to turn off their lights because enemy vessels might be near. The Japanese answered the message with a fusillade of shells and torpedoes.  

Riefkohl ordered a starboard turn, but torpedoes hit and exploded, destroying both engine rooms. The USS Vincennes fired back and may have hit the Kinugasa, a Japanese cruiser. The Vincennes received 85 direct hits and Riefkohl ordered his men to abandon ship. The sailors manned the life rafts and the Vincennes rolled over and went down with 342 men still aboard. Riefkohl was presented a Purple Heart Medal for the wounds which he received.  

Rear Admiral Riefkohl wrote in an epitaph: "The magnificent Vincennes, which we were all so proud of, and which I had the honor to command since April 23, 1941, rolled over and then sank at about 0250, August 9, 1942, about 2½ miles [5 km] east of Savo Island . . .[sic] Solomons Group, in some 500 fathoms [900 m] of water."  

Rear Admiral Frederick Lois Riefkohl died in Brevard County, Florida in 1969 and was buried with full military honors in the United States Naval Academy Cemetery of Columbarium. He was married to Louisa Gibson Riefkohl (1902–1974) and didn't have any offspring.

Awards and recognitions  

Among Rear Admiral Frederick Lois Riefkohl's decorations and medals were the following:  
Navy Cross,  
Navy Distinguished Service Medal,  
Purple Heart Medal,  
World War I Victory Medal,  
American Defense Service Medal,  
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal,  
World War II Victory Medal  


                 Colonel Virgil R. Miller

                                 By: Tony (The Marine) Santiago



                                            Colonel Virgil R. Miller


Colonel Virgil Rasmuss Miller (November 11, 1900-August 5, 1968), was a United States Army officer who served as Regimental Commander of the 442d Regimental Combat Team, a unit which was composed of "Nisei" (second generation Americans of Japanese descent), during World War II. He led the 442nd in its rescue of the Lost Texas Battalion of the 36th Infantry Division, in the forests of the Vosges Mountains in northeastern France.

                                              Early years  

Miller was born in San German, Puerto Rico, which is located on the western coast of the island.  In 1915, his family moved to San Juan the Capitol of the island when his father Dr. Paul Gerard Miller, was appointed Commissioner of Education, position which the senior Miller held until 1921.  Miller and his siblings received their secondary education at El Caribe High School in San Juan. During World War I, he served in the Puerto Rico Home Guard, a local militia. In 1920, he received an appointment to the United States Military Academy at West Point from Arthur Yager (1858 – 1941), who served as Governor of Puerto Rico from 1913 to 1921.  

                                         Military career  

Miller graduated from the U.S. Military Academy and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the infantry in 1924. He married Ann McGoughran the following year and in 1926 returned to Puerto Rico where he served with Puerto Rico's 65th Infantry Regiment. In 1940, he was transferred to Hawaii, where he served with 21st Infantry Brigade and 24th Infantry Division stationed on the island of O’ahu at Schofield Barracks.  

                                       World War II  


                                  Col. Vigil R. Miller (Bottom Row, third from L to R)

                                              in 1945 442nd Regimental Staff Photo  

On December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and the United States entered the war. In June 1943, Miller was named Executive Officer of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The team included the 442d Infantry Regiment, the 522d Field Artillery Battalion, the 232d Combat Engineer Company, the 206th Army Ground Forces Band and the 100th Infantry Battalion from Hawaii's National Guard. The unit was mostly composed of Nisei, second generation Americans of Japanese ancestry who were drafted into service. Some of these men had family members who were still interned in Japanese American internment camps.

Among the campaigns in which Miller participated as either Executive Officer or Regimental Commander of the 442nd RCT were the Rome-Amo, North Apenines and Po Valley Campaigns.

The Battle of Bruyeres (Rescue of the Lost Battalion)

On October 1944, the 1st Battalion, 141st Infantry of the 36th Division, made a push down a long heavily-wooded ridge that extended southeast and dominated the valley of Bruyeres, France from Biffontaine to La Houssiere. The 1st had overextended itself behind enemy lines and had been cut off by strong enemy forces. The 442nd under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Miller was ordered into the line of combat in an effort to relieve pressure on the 1st Battalion.  

On October 26, the 442nd launched its attack and at times had to engage in hand to hand combat at a terrible cost of men and material. The 442nd Combat Team was badly battered and without reinforcements, however they were committed to their mission of reaching the 1st Battalion, 141st Infantry of the 36th Division which became known as the "Lost Battalion". Finally, on October 30, after five days of combat, the Combat Team made contact and rescued the men of the "Lost Battalion". The 442nd, according to its commander, Lt. Col. Miller, had lost approximately three times more men (over 800 casualties) than the 211 that were eventually saved. Because of intense German attacks, there was little time to celebrate the rescue together. The 442nd were ordered to pursue the Germans and the "Lost Battalion" men were given a hot meal and put on the lines again. 442nd Regimental Commander Colonel Charles W. Pence, was replaced by Lt. Col. Miller who was promoted to Colonel. In January 5, 1945, Miller was named Commanding Officer of Puerto Rico's 65th Infantry Regiment but, he declined the assignment on January 17, on account that he preferred to continue with the 442nd Combat Team.  

                                The Po Valley Campaign

In April 1945, the 442nd RCT came to the aid of the 92nd Infantry Division and spearheaded a diversionary assault on the western sector of the Gothic Line on the Peninsula Base Section Staging Area at Pisa, Italy.  

Field Marshall Albert Kesselring had directed the construction of fortifications, drilled out of solid rock and reinforced with concrete, in the rugged mountains of the Apennines. The German stronghold, contained machine gun nests which produced deadly interlocking fire upon the Allied forces. On April 5, 1945, Col Miller, and 3rd Battalion Commander, Lt Col Alfred A. Pursall planned a pincers attack at dawn with the surprise element of an all-night climb of a 3,000 foot mountain face in the dark with full fighting gear, to get in position for an assault.  

At the dawn of April 6, Millers men proceeded on their advance, however the explosions of landmines alerted the Germans and a fierce battle followed. The Gothic Line was cracked after a full day of fighting and by the end of the day the last ridge link, Mount Cerreta, finally fell. Miller then led the 442nd in the capture of Mt. Fologorito, Massa, a German Naval Base at La Spezia (where they captured a submarine) and Turin.  

Col. Miller relinquished his command of the 442nd on June 1945. Among the many decorations which Miller's 442nd Regimental Combat Team and its members earned were: 21 Medals of Honor, 52 Distinguished Service Crosses (including 19 Distinguished Service Crosses which were upgraded to Medals of Honor in June 2000),1 Distinguished Service Medal, 560 Silver Stars (plus 28 Oak Leaf Clusters for a second award) and 7 Presidential Unit Citations (5 earned in one month). Thus, the 422nd is the most decorated unit in U.S. military history.  

At a memorial service held on May 6, 1945 for the men of the 442nd RCT, Col. Miller was quoted as saying:  

"The sacrifice made by our comrades was great. We must not fail them in the fight that continues, in the fight that will be with us even when peace comes. Your task will be the harder and more arduous one, for it will extend over a longer time."  

                                           Later years  

Miller served in Italy until 1947 and served as an Infantry advisor in Turkey. He was a Professor of Military Science and Tactics at Pennsylvania State College, Lehigh University and the University of Michigan. Miller retired form the military in 1954 and as a civilian became a Research Associate at MIT, position which he held until his retirement in 1963.  

Col. Virgil R. Miller died on August 5, 1968 at Ann Arbor, Michigan. He was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. The Honor Guard carried the 422nd Regimental Colors which was sent by 442nd Regiment from Schofield Barracks, Hawaii with the assistance of Senator Daniel K. Inouye. He was survived by his widow Ann, two sons William and Richard and his daughter Julia.  

Awards and decorations:  

Among Col. Millers military awards and decorations are the following:  
Silver Star Medal  
Legion of Merit  
Bronze Star Medal w/oak leaf cluster  
Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal w/ one battle star  
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal w/ battle stars  
American Campaign Medal  
World War II Victory Medal  
National Defense Service Medal  
Presidential Unit Citation  
French Croix de Guerre w/Gold Star (France)  
Croce al Mertito di Guerra (Italy)

Badges: Combat Infantryman Badge  

   Major General Terry de la Mesa Allen, Sr.

                                 By: Tony (The Marine) Santiago


                               Major General Terry de la Mesa Allen, Sr.  

Major General Terry de la Mesa Allen, Sr. (April 1, 1888 - September 12, 1969) was a United States Army officer who was featured on the cover of Time magazine during World War II. He was a World War I veteran who during World War II was the commanding general of the First Infantry Division in North Africa and Sicily, and later the commander of the 104th Infantry Division.  

                                       Early years  

Allen was born in Fort Douglas, Utah to Col. Samuel Allen and Consuelo "Conchita" Alvarez de la Mesa. Allen's family had a long line of military tradition. Besides his father, Allen's maternal grandfather was Colonel Carlos de la Mesa, a Spanish national who fought at Gettysburg for the Union Army in the Spanish Company of the "Garibaldi Guard" of the 39th New York State Volunteers, during the American Civil War. Allen grew up in various military bases because of his father's military career and in 1907, received an appointment to the United States Military Academy (West Point) in New York.  

                                   Military career 

There were certain factors which affected Allen's performance at West Point and which would led up to his eventual dismissal from said military institution. One of them was that he began to stutter and soon fell behind in his classes. Another was that he was held back a grade in his second year because he failed mathematics. Finally, he failed an ordnance and gunnery course.   

Allen enrolled and attended the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1912. He joined the Army once more and after passing the competitive Army officers exam, was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and assigned to Fort Meyer in Virginia. In 1913, he was reassigned to the 14th Cavalry at Eagle Pass, Texas and served there until 1917. During this time he pursued and captured ammunition smugglers and served on border duty. He was promoted twice, the first on July 1, 1916, to First Lieutenant and the second on May 15, 1917 when he was promoted to Captain.  

World War I  

On June 7, 1918, a year and two months after the United States declared war against Germany and entered the World War I, Allen was sent to France and assigned to the 315th Ammunition Train. Allen showed up at a school for infantry officers the day before a class graduation. When the commandant of the school began to hand out certificates to the graduates, Allen lined up with them. When confronted with him the commandant said "I don't remember you in this class." "I'm Allen-why don't you?" was the reply. Without further due, Allen was given  the certificate and became a temporary Major.  

Allen was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 358th Infantry Regiment, 90th Division which he led into battle at St. Mihiel and Aincreville. During one battle Allen received a bullet through his jaw and mouth and as a result of the wound never stuttered again. He was awarded a Silver Star and a Purple Heart Medal for his actions. Allen remained with the American Expeditionary Forces in France until the Armistice with Germany . He then served with the Army of Occupation in Germany until 1920 when he returned to the United States.  

Pre World War II  

After Allen returned to the United States, his temporary rank of Major was reverted to Captain until July 1, 1920 when he was fully promoted to Major. He served in Camp Travis and later in Fort McIntosh, both located in Texas. In 1922, Allen was assigned to the 61st Cavalry Division, at New York City.  

He continued to take military related courses, among them: an advanced course in Cavalry School, Fort Riley, Kansas; a two year program at Fort Leavenworth's Command & General Staff School;  a course in the Infantry School at Fort Benning and an interim course in infantry command with other divisions. In 1928, he married Mary Frances Robinson of El Paso, Texas with whom in 1929 he had a son, Terry de la Mesa Allen, Jr. On August 1, 1935, Allen was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and became an instructor at the Cavalry School at Fort Riley in Kansas. He wrote and published ''"Reconnaissance by horse cavalry regiments and smaller units"'' in 1939. On October 1, 1940, General George Marshall promoted him to Brigadier General (without ever holding the rank of Colonel) and in 1942, he was promoted to Major General and given command of the 1st Infantry Division.  

World War II


                                          MG Allen addressing his troops  

In 1942, the 1st Infantry Division was sent to Britain where they underwent further combat training, which included training in amphibious warfare. The division participated in the invasion of North Africa under the command of General George S. Patton. The division landed in Oran, Algeria on November 8, 1942, as part of Operation Torch. Elements of the division then took part in combat at Maktar, Medjez el Bab, Kasserine Pass, Gafsa, El Guettar, Béja, and Mateur, from January 21, 1943  to May 9, 1943, helping secure Tunisia. In July, 1943, the division supported other units in the invasion of Sicily and took part in Operation Husky.  

Allen and his second in command Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr. (son of former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt) distinguished themselves as combat leaders. However, General Patton was critical of both Allen and Roosevelt and asked General Dwight D. Eisenhower permission to relieve both Allen and Roosevelt of their commands on the theory of rotation of command. On  August 7, 1943, Allen was relieved of his command by Major General Clarence R. Huebner and on August 9, 1943 he was featured on the cover of Time Magazine.     

Allen was reassigned to command the 104th Infantry Division, known as '''Timberwolf Division'''. Some 34,000 men served with the division under Allen's command and fought for 195 consecutive days after landing in France on September 7, 1944. The division's first action came in October of 1944 during the taking of Achtmaal and Zundert in Holland.  It then participated in the Battle of the Bulge, advanced through the Siegfried line and across the Inde River into Cologne, and it helped complete the encirclement of the Ruhr pocket.  Finally, it made a 350-mile sweep to the Mulde River in the heart of Germany. The division which became renowned for its night fighting prowess, was deactivated in June 1946 upon its return to the United States at the end of the war.  

                                      Later years

Allen retired from the Army on  August 31, 1946. For a number of years he served as a representative for various insurance companies in El Paso and was active in civic affairs and in veteran organizations. In 1967, Allen's son, Lieutenant Colonel Terry de la Mesa Allen, Jr., was killed in the Vietnam War. Allen, Jr., served with the 1st Infantry Division, which his father had commanded in World War II. Major General Terry de la Mesa Allen, Sr., died of natural causes on  September 12, 1969, in El Paso, Texas, at the age of 81. He was buried, alongside his son, in the Fort Bliss National Cemetery with full military honors. The United States Military Academy presents the "General Terry de la Mesa Allen Award" to the student with the highest rating in Military Science.  

Military awards and recognitions

Among Major General Terry de la Mesa Allen, Sr.'s military awards and recognitions are the following:  
Silver Star Medal 
Legion of Merit
Distinguished Service Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster 
Purple Heart Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. 
Mexican Border Service Medal 
American Defense Service Medal
American Campaign Medal
European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
World War I Victory Medal
World War II Victory Medal 
Army of Occupation Medal

Foreign Decorations  

Honorable Order of the Bath - United Kingdom
French Croix de Guerre with Palm medals - France
St. Mihiel Medal- France
Order of Suvorov  Class II (Gold) - USSR

Further reading  

*"Terrible Terry Allen: Combat General of World War II - The Life of an American Soldier" by Gerald Astor; Publisher: Presidio Press; 1 edition (April 1 2003); ISBN-10: 0891417605; ISBN-13: 978-0891417606   

Next month I will continue with the more stories of our “Hispanic Military Heroes with non-Hispanic surnames.” Until then, “Que Dios los Bendiga“.

         Patriots of the 
       American Revolution

1779 Cattle Drive from Texas to Louisiana to be Commemorated
Valley Forge Workshop Commission
Spanish Patriots of Peru During the American Revolutionary War, Part 6 
      (continued with surnames beginning with D and E)




   August of 2009 will be the 230th anniversary of the first official cattle drive from the San Antonio area to Natchitoches and Opelousas, LA, via Goliad and Nacogdoches.  

The cattle were requested by the Spanish governor of Louisiana, Bernardo de Galvez, who was preparing to start a military campaign against British forces in Louisiana, Alabama and Florida, in support of Generals George Rogers Clark and George Washington and the American War of Independence. Galvez had already served as a significant source of war materials for the American forces in the West and to Washington.

The Spanish governor of Texas, Cabello, carried out the request and the first trail herd was gathered from mission ranches and private ranches in the San Antonio and La Bahia (Goliad) area and set out in August of 1779 in what was the first cattle drive in American History. Over the next two years more than 12,000 head of Texas longhorns were trailed to the Spanish forces as they won battles against the British forces at Manchac and Baton Rouge, Mobile, and Pensacola. Galvez knew that well feed troops always fought better and his use of Texas cattle, as a “traveling commissary”, proved to be decisive against the well trained and equipped British forces.  

This defeat of the British forces in the Gulf Coast area prevented them from going North in support of Cornwallis at Yorktown and other eastern battle sites.  

The 2009 Commemoration is being sponsored, among others, by the Granaderos y Damas de Galvez (since 1975 telling the story of Galvez) and the Texas Connection To The American Revolution Association (TCARA).  

Those groups are looking for members of The Texas Longhorn Breeders Association who are willing to supply a few longhorn cattle to recreate this historic 1779 cattle drive (in short reenactments). Tentative dates are August 1, 2009 in San Antonio area; August 2, 2009 in Goliad and August 8, 2009 in Nacogdoches with later dates in Louisiana.  

Contact point is Jack Cowan, Executive Director of TCARA at TCARAHO@AOL.COM or (210) 651-4709.




Valley Forge Workshop Commission
John D. Treantos, Jr. Area 3 
Commissioner and Post 172 Commander

One of the many programs sponsored by the Department of California to benefit life in California is the Valley Forge Workshop. Valley Forge was the winter quarters of George Washington's army in the Winter of 1777-1778 west of Philadelphia. Hosting the workshop is the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge that v»ds founded in 1949, and its first chair-man was Dwight D. Elsenhower.

The Foundation was formed to honor patriotism and good citizenship. The Foundation hosts a number of one-week seminars for elementary and secondary educators of which the Department of California is one of the sponsors. The location of this organization is located next to Valley Forge National Park.

Teachers who attend are provided with  tuition, lodging, meals, park admissions, and bus transportation.  The cost is $1,000.00, which the sponsoring Post in California provides. Air-fare, around $400.00, is provided by the teacher attending. During the week, there are classes on the American Revolution given by re-enactors, trips to various Revolutionary battlefields, historic houses from the 1770s, Washington Crossing, and the historic center of Philadelphia, which includes Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.

One of the highlights on the Freedoms Foundation campus is the Medal of Honor Grove where all of the states have a memorial with the names of all who have won the Medal of Honor from that state. Posts throughout California should make a real effort to recruit either 4th or 5th grade teachers to attend this worth-while educational experience.

Sent by Dr. Granville Hough
California Legionnaire
March/April 2008
Vol. 78, No. 4


Part 6

(Continued with surnames beginning with D and E)

Researched and Compiled by Granville Hough, Ph.D.

Antonio Dalor.  Lt, Mil Discip Inf Española de Lima, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXIII:29.

Bartolomé Dapelo.  Lt, Mil Discip Cab Ferreñafe, 1797.  Leg 7287:XIV:25.

José Darcourt.  Lt de Granaderos Inf Real de Lima, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXII:42.

José Antonio Darcourt y Tudela.  Cadet, Inf Real de Lima, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXII:138.

André Amador Davalos.  Lt, Mil Discip Dragones de Acari y Chala, 1796.  Leg 7286:I:14.

Esteban Davila.  Alf, Mil Pardos Libres de Lim, 1796.  Leg 7286:XII:63.

Felipe Sancho Davila.  Lt Col, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Carabayllo, 1797.  Leg 7287:VII:3.

Francisco Paula Davila.  Cadet, Mil Urbanas Inf de Moquegua, 1797.  Leg 7287:XXVI:45.

Gregorio Davila.  Lt, Mil Españolas Cab de Luya y Chillaos, prov. De Chachapoya, 1792.  Leg 7284:XX:10.

José Davila.  SubLt de Granaderos, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Arequipa, 1800.  Leg 7288:I:60.

Juan Davila.  Capt, Mil Discip Dragones de Lima, 1790.  Leg 7283:IX:40.

Pascual Davila.  Capt de la 8th Comp Mil Españolas Cab de Luya y Chillaos, Prov de Chachapoya, 1792.  Leg 7284:XX:2.

Julián Delgadillo.  Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Quispicanchi, Cuzco, 1798.  Leg 7286:XX:30.

Andrés Delgado.  Capt, Momandante Mil Discip Cab Ferreñafe, 1797.  Leg 7287:XIV:11.

Bartolomé Delgado.  Porta-guión, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Quispicanchi, Cuzco, 1798.  Leg 7286:XX:25.

Francisco Delgado.  Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Chota, 1797.  Leg 7287:XIII:39.

Hermenegildo Delgado.  Capt, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Quispicanchi, Cuzco, 1798.  Leg 7286:XX:5.

José Delgado.  Sgt, Mil Discip Inf Española de Lima, 1792.  Leg 7284:VIII:46.

Ramón Delgado.  Alf, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Quispicanchi, Cuzco, 1798.  Leg 7286:XX:24.

Francisco Delgado y Barriga.  Sgt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Arequipa, 1800.  Leg 7288:I:78.

Juan Delicado.  Sgt, Inf Real de Lima, 1796.  Leg 7287:XXIV:83.

Jorge manuel Deza.  Alf, Mil Urbanas Cab San pablo de Chalaquez, 1798.  Leg 7287:XI:31.

Antonio Diaz.  Sgt, Mil Discip Cab de Ferreñafe, 1797.  Leg 7287:XIV:49.

Antonio Diaz.  Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas de inf de Urubamba, 1797.  Leg 7287:XXXVIII:35.

Atanasio Diaz.  Capt, Mil Discip Cab Trujillo, Perú, 1797.  Leg 7287:XXXVI:4.

Bernardino Diaz.  Alf, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Celendin, Partido de Cajamarca, 1797.  Leg 7287:IX:21.

Félix Diaz.  Lt, Mil Discip Cab San Pablo de Chalaquez, 1798.  Leg 7287:XI:12.

Filiberto Diaz.  Capt de Granaderos, Mil Prov Discip de Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800.  Leg 7288:IX:23.

Gregorio Diaz.  Porta-guión, Mil Urbanas de Dragones de Palma, Partido de Jauja, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXI:24.

Ignacio Diaz.  Capt, Mil Prov Discip de Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800.  Leg 7288:IX:9&11.

Isidro Dliaz.  Sgt de Granaderos, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Celendin, Partido de Cajamarca, 1797.  Leg 7287:IX:39.

Jenaro Diaz.  Sgt de la 5th Comp, Mil Prov de Dragones de Celendin, Partido de Cajamarca, 1797.  Leg 7287:IX:31.

José Diaz.  Sgt 1st, de Granaderos, Comp sueltas de Inf Españolas de Mil Discip de Immemorial del Rey, Lima, 1794.  Leg 7285:IV:5.

Juan de la Cruz.  Alf, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Celendin, Partido de Cajamarca, 1797.  Leg 7287:IX:26.

Juan Manuel Diaz.  SubLt, Mil Urbanas Inf Moyobamba, 1797.  Leg 7287:XXIX:25.

Matías Diaz.  Lt, Mil Urbanas de Cab de San Pablo de Chalaquez, 1798.  Leg 7287:XI:16.

Matías Diaz.  Lt, Comp Sueltas de Inf y Cab de Morenos Libres de Lima, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXVI:2.

Pedro Diaz.  Capt, 1st Comp suelta Inf Discip de San Carlos de Guapilacuy, Chiloe, 1800.  Leg 7288:VIII:1.

Ramón Diaz.  SubLt, Mil Discip Inf de Lambayeque, 1797.  Leg 7287:XXII:44.

Agustin Diaz de Aguayo y Palazuelo.  Col, Mil Prov de Dragones de Caraveli, 1797.  Leg 7287:VIII:1.

José Diaz de Arellano.  Capt, Mil Discip de Inf Española de Lima, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXIII:25.

Paulino Diaz de Leon.  Porta-guión, Mil Prov de Dragones de Chota, 1793.  Leg 7284:XXVI:4.

Félix Magallan.  Lt, 7th Comp, Mil Urbanas Inf de Moyobamba, 1797.  Leg 7287:XXIX:15.

Gabriel Diaz de Sandi.  Alf, Mil Urbanas Cab San Pablo de Chalaquez, 1798.  Leg 7287:XI:38.

Manuel Diaz de Sandi.  Capt, Mil Urbanas Comp San Pablo de Chalaquez, 1792.  Leg 7284:XVIII:14.

Antonio Diaz de Soria.  Capt, Inf del Real Asiento de Paucartambo, 1798.  Leg 7286:XIX:12.

Felipe Diaz de la Torre.  Col, Mil Prov de Cab de Huanta, 1798.  Leg 7286:XVII:36.

Vicente Diaz Valdivieso.  Lt, Mil Dragones prov de las fronteras de Tarma, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXIX:12.

José Diez Canseco.  Capt, Mil Urbanas Inf de Moquegua, 1797.  Leg 7287:XXVI:8.

Francisco Dominguez.  ?Garzón? Sgt, Mil de Pardos Libres de Lima, 1792.  Leg 7284:XII:15.

José Dominguez.  SubLt, Mil Prov Discip de Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800.  Leg 7288:IX:64.

Manuel Dominguez.  Sgt, Inf Real de Lima, 1790.  Leg 7283:VIII:99.

Nicolás Dominguez.  Sgt, Mil Urbanas de Cab de los territorios Huancabamba y Chalaco, Piura, 1797.  Leg 7287:XXXIV:14.

José Donaire.  SubLt de banderas, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Huanta, 1800.  Leg 7288:XVIII:34.

José Eduardo Donaire.  Capt de Granaderos, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Huanta, 1800.  Leg 7288:XVIII:7.

Mateo Donaire.  Sgt, Inf Real de Lima, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXII:90.

José Antonio Donaires.  Capt, Mil Cab del Partido de Santa, 1799.  Leg 7286:XXIII:2.

Manel Dongo.  Alf, Mil Prov Discip de Dragones de Caraveli, 1796.  Leg 7287:VIII:29.

Antonio Donoso.  Lt Col, Mil de Pardos Libres de Lima, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXV:15.

Manuel Andrea Doria.  Capt de Granaderos, Mil Prov urbanas de Inf de Huánuco, 1796.  Leg 7286:V:8.

Pedro Dueñas.  Sgt, Mil Prov de Cab de Cuzco, 1797.  Leg 7287:X:37.

Francisco Dulanto.  Capt, Mil Discip Caab de Arnero de Chancay, 1800.  Leg 7288:III:10.

Pedro Dulanto.  Sgt, Mil Discip de Cab de Huaura, 1797.  Leg 7287:XIX:22.

Manuel Duque.  Lt, Mil Urbanas de Dragones de Palma, Partido de Juaja, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXI:13.

Diego Duran.  SubLt, Mil Urbanas Inf de Huancavelica, 1800.  Leg 7288:XVI:16.

Felipe Duran.  Lt, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Cajamarca, 1797.  Leg 7287:IV:13.

Juan Esteban Duran.  Sgt Mayor, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Huánuco, 1796.  Leg 7286:V:3.  

Juan de Eceta y Ceballos.  Cadet, Inf, Real de Lima, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXII:129.

Francisco Echarri.  Sgt, Bn Prov Mil Pardos Libres de Lima, 1794.  Leg 7285:VI:11.

Gregorio Echave.  Alf, Dragones Prov de las fronteras de Tarma, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXIX:33.

Miguel Echave.  Ayudante Mayor, Dragones Prov de las fronteras de Tarma, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXIX:13.

Pedro Echave y Mollinedo.  Col, Mil Prov Cab de Cuzco, 1797.  Leg 7287:X:2.

Ramón Echaverria.  Sgt de la 3rd Comp Mil Prov Discip Inf de Arequipa, 1792.  Leg 7284:III:69.

Pedro Antonio Echegoyen.  Capt, Mil Prov Urbanas Cab de Huanuco, 1797.  Leg 7286:VI:8.

Juan Echevarria.  Lt, Mil Dragones Prov de las fronteras de tarma, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXIX:20.

Juan de Echevarria.  Col, Mil Prov Cab de Huamalies, 1800.  Leg 7288:XVII:1.

Pedro de Echevarria.  Capt de Carabineros, Mil Prov Discip Cab de Arequipa, 1797.  Leg 7287:II:9.

Felipe de Echeverria.  Lt, Mil Discip de Cab de Ica, 1800.  Leg 7288:XX:19.

José de Echeverria.  Sgt, Mil Discip Dragones de Lima, 1794.  Leg 7285:VII:58.

Agustin José Egusquiza.  Capt, Mil Cab del partido de Santa, 1792. Leg 7284:XXIII:3.

Antonio de Elejalde.  Lt, Comp sueltas Mil Discip, Inf de Ica, 1800.  Leg 7288:XIX:10.

Manuel Elguero.  Cadet, Mil Urbanas Inf de Huancavelica, 1800.  Leg 7288:XVI:27.

Victorino Elgueta.  Sgt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800.  Leg 7288:IX:96.

Gregorio de Elizares.  Capt, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Huanta, 1800.  Leg 7288:XVIII:10.

Manuel de Elizares.  Capt, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Huanta, 1800.  Leg 7288:XVIII:14. 

José de Elizundi.  Alf, Mil Discip Dragones de Lima, 1796.  Leg 7286:XI:40.

Juan Antonio Encalada.  Sgt de Granaderos, Comp sueltas Inf Española Mil Discip de Immemorial del Rey, 1796.  Leg 7286:VII:4.

Domingo Enciso.  SubLt, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Huanta, 1800.  Leg 7288:XVIII:45.

Baltasar Erazu.  Capt, Mil Discip Dragones de Lima, 1796.  Leg 7286:XI:21.

José Ermosin.  Alf, Mil Prov Discip de Cab del Valle de Chincha, 1795.  Leg 7285:XIV:29.

José Antonio de Errea.  Capt grad Lt Col de Milicia, Mil Discip de Dragones de Lima, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXIV:14.

Juan Fermin de Errea.  Lt Col, Mil Discip Prov Cab de Arequipa, 1797.  Leg 7287:II:3. (Also listed as Juan Fermin de Erredo.)

José María Errea y Fuente.  Cadet, Mil Prov Discip de Cab de Arequipa, 1797.  Leg 7287:II:66.

 José Escalante.  Cadet, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Chota, 1797.  Leg 7287:XIII:58.

Agustin Escalante y Barba.  Alf, Mil Prov de Dragones de Chota, 1797.  Leg 7287:XIII:37.

Diego Escobar.  Capt, grad Lt Col, Inf Real de Lima, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXII:17.

José Escobar.  SubLt, Inf Real de Lima, 1788.  Leg 7283:II:79.

José Luis Escobar.  Lt, Mil Discip de Dragones de Arica, 1800.  Leg 7288:II:24.

Pedro Manuel Escobar.  Alf Mil Discip de Dragones de Lima, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXIV:58.

José Escobar y Fuente.  Cadet, Mil Discip Dragones de Lima, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXIV:76.

Antonio Escobedo.  Ayudante Mayor, Mil Prov Discip Inf de San Miguel de Piura, 1800.  Leg 7286:XXV:13.

Bartolomé Escobedo.  Sgt, Mil Discip Urbanas de inf de Calca, 1797.  Leg 7287:V:19.

Matías Escobedo.  SubLt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Inf de Calca, 1797.  Leg 7287:V:17, bis.

José María Espejo.  Lt, Bn Prov de Mil de Pardos Libres de Lima, 1796.  Leg 7286:XII:34.

Juan Manuel Espejo.  Cadet, Inf Real de Lima, 1793.  Leg 7284:IX:108.

Antonio Espiel.  Capt, Mil Prov Discip Cab de Arequipa, 1797.  Leg 7287:II:12.

Miguel Espinach.  Lt Col, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf San Antonio de Cajamarca, 1797.  Leg 7287:III:1.

Pablo Espinach.  Lt Col, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Huambos, partido de Cajamarca, 1797.  Leg 7287:XVII:2.

Ambrosio Espinosa.  Porta-estandarte, Mil Prov Urbanas Cab de Huanuco, 1797.  Leg 7286:VI:23.

Baltasar Espinosa.  Sgt, Escuadrones Cab Mil Urbanas de los territoros de Huancabamba y Chalaco, Piura, 1797.  Leg 7187:XXXIV:17.

Bernardino Espinosa. Capt, Bn Prov Mil de Pardos Libres de Lima, 1796.  Leg 7286:XII:21.

Bernardo Espinosa.  Sgt, Mil Prov Discip de Dragones de Caraveli, 1796.  Leg 7287:VIII:35.

Francisco Espinosa.  SubLt de Fusileros, Comp sueltas Inf Mil Discip de Imemorial del Rey, Lima.  1792.  Leg 7284:VII:5.

Francisco Espinosa.  Lt, grad Capt, Mil Urbanas Inf de Andahuaylas, 1799.  Leg 7286:XXII:14.

Gabriel Espinosa.  Sgt de Fusileros, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Cajamarca, 1797.  Leg 7287:IV:31.

Juan Espinosa.  Sgt, Mil Dragones Prov de las fronteras de Tarma, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXIX:41.

Miguel de Espinosa.  Lt, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Urubamba, 1797.  Leg 7287:XXXVIII:21.

Pablo Espinosa.  Lt, Mil Prov urbanas Inf de Abancay, 1793.  Leg 7284:II:14.

Gregorio Javier Espinosa de los Monteros.  Capt, Comandante, Mil Discip Dragones del pueblo de Amotape, Piura, 1795.  Leg 7285:XXIII:2.

Luis Espinosa de los Monteros.  Sgt, Mil Prov Discip Cab de Cuzco, 1792.  Leg 7284:XVII:30.

José Espircuela.  Sgt, Mil Discip Cab de Huaura, 1797.  Leg 7287:XIX:21.

Alejo Estacio.  Lt, Bn Prov Mil Discip Inf Española de Lima, 1800.  Leg7288:XXIII:30.

Manuel Esteban.  Capt, grad Lt Col, Inf Real de Lima, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXII:20.

Tomás Esteban.  Sgt, Inf, Real de Lima, 1796.  Leg 7287:XXIV:92.

Narciso Estela.  Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas Cab de Huanuco, 1797.  Leg 7286:VI:32.

Pedro Estela.  Ayudante Mayor, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Lambayeque, 1797.  Leg 7287:XXII:10.

José María Estella.  Cadet, Inf Real de Lima, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXII:127.

José Nicolás de Estella.  Cadet, Inf Real de Lima, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXII:142.

Manuel Estella.  Capt, Inf Real de Lima, 1800.  Leg 7288:XXII:24.

Rafael Esteva y Ilach.  Capt Comandante, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Celendin, partido de Cajamarca, 1797.  Leg 7287:IX:3.

Félix Estrada.  Porta-estandarte, Mil Prov Discip Cab del valle de Chincha, 1797.  Leg 7287:XII:29.

Fermin Estrada.  Porta-estandarte, Mil Prov Discip Cab del valle de Chincha, 1797.  Leg 7287:XII:28.

Mariano de Estrada y Aguilar.  Sgt, Mil Discip Inf de Cuzco, 1800.  Leg 7286:XXIV:39.

Ramón Estrella y Villarruel.  SubLt de Bandera, Mil Prov Discip inf de Sam Miguel de Piura, 1800.  Leg 7286:XXV:25.

Miguel Estremiana.  SubLt, Inf Real de Lima, 1788.  Leg 7283:II:66.

Juan Pedro Ezleburu.  Capt, Mil urbanas Inf de Moquegua, 1792.  Leg 7284:XXIV:10.

José Manuel Ezquerre.  Lt, Mil Discip de Pardos y Morenos Inf de Lambayeque, 1797.  Leg 7287:XXIII:7.

(to be continued.)





Ice Cream and Chorizo, 1933 by Mimi Lozano 
Chorizo Care Package,  Armando A. Ayala, Ph.D.
The Balance of Take-Aways by Norberto Franco Cisneros
The Sweet memories of Sharon Brooks   


Mimi Lozano 

Strange food cravings of pregnant women all over the world are a well documented. Whether it's devouring a whole bottle of peanut butter at a sitting (my Mom), or munching on lettuce leaves 
(my daughter), it seems to be a very personal matter. Added to personal yearnings, are undoubtedly cultural influences.

In the Mexican culture, if a pregnant woman has an 'antojito', a craving, the family must satisfy it. If not, the baby may be born with a deformity of some kind. Two incidents stand out concerning this belief. One, when my Mom was carrying me. And one, when I was carrying my first born.

My Mom, not used to being catered to by my dad, I'm sure enjoyed her season of special attention. One afternoon, hot, pregnant with me, she happened to see a neighbor lady pass her window eating a vanilla ice cream cone. She dwelled on the ice cream cone, savoring thoughts of its milky sweetness. San Antonio's August humidity intensified the desire. A cold vanilla ice cream cone crowded other thoughts out of her mind. How good it would taste. How perfect.

That night, when my Dad came home. Mom said, "Ne gustaria una nieve." I want ice cream. "Una cona de nieve, de vanilla." "A vanilla ice cream cone." She explained she'd been thinking about it since the early afternoon when a neighbor passed her window eating a vanilla ice cream cone. Mom sais, she just had to have one.

All the stores in the 1930s used to close about six. There were no 24-hour stores at that time. It was well passed six. It was late. Although angry with the in-convenience, cultural beliefs kicked in. Dad left, determined to get the ice cream cone for her. He drove to the neighborhood pharmacy. They used to serve ice cream cones regularly at pharmacies.  I think only Thrifty Pharmacy still does these days.

Maleness to the rescue, Dad pounded loudly on the storefront, shook the collapsible metal gate front and yelled up to the pharmacist who lived above the store, "Open up. Open-up. I want to buy an ice cream cone."  The half-asleep pharmacist must have thought, "It must be a drunk or a lunatic." Finally a light went on, leaning out the winow, he saw my dad, pounding and yelling at the top of his lungs, "My wife is pregnant and she wants an ice cream cone." Dad was finally able to convince the storeowner to open up and sell him one single vanilla ice cream cone. Perhaps the pharmacist considered the dire consequences of not fulfilling her craving, or perhaps he just wanted to get back to sleep.

Melting, sticky, dripping, Dad brought Mom her "antojito'. Mom said, "It was the best ice cream cone she ever tasted." The next day Dad spoke to the neighbor lady, warning her not to walk by the house eating anything, anymore. Instead, Mom said instead the neighbor would bring her whatever treat she was enjoying, candy, cookies, or ice cream.

I would never have known about the belief, or the incident, except for an occasion which involved me. In 1957, my husband accepted his first teaching job in the town of  Weaverville, a mountain town in the middle of Trinity National Forest.  We lived literally in a log cabin on the north side of a mountain. It was beautiful, deer strolling by our window.

Joyfully, I got pregnant and decided to treat myself to the expense of a long distance call.  I called my Mom in Los Angeles. Excitedly, I told her I was expecting. In our conversation I casually mentioned the limited fare at the small town grocery store. "I can not buy tortillas or chorizo". [Chorizo is a very spicy, hot pork sausage that is usually scrambled in with eggs.] "How I would love some chorizo,"  We spoke some more and then hung up. I thought no more about our conversation. 

Mail was not delivered to your home in Weaverville. You were responsible to pick it up your own mail at the small rural post office. Not expecting any mail of consequence, perhaps more than a week went by before I went in to check my mailbox.

I walked in and noticed that the postmaster assistant's whispered some thing to the postmaster. Neither said anything, but looked at me with the most curious expressions. Puzzled, I walked over to my mailbox. As I opened the mailbox, the spicy scent of chorizo overwhelmed me. Surprised, pleased, amused, I glanced at the postmasters, still looking at me. Mom had satisfied my "antojito.' I knew without opening the package.

The familiar grease in the sausage had gone through the wrappings. It was chorizo. "Thank goodness you came," the postmaster said in relief. "The odor was really getting to us," "We've been smelling it all week." "All week," I thought sadly, "it's probably gone bad by now." At first hopeful that I could now satisfy a craving which I had shelved, my disappointment was intense.  Outside the post office, I slowly opened the package. Sniffing, expecting the worse, I found surprisingly, the chorizo smelled fine.   Gratefully, the week  or more waiting in the post office box had not affected the chorizo. Stopping off at the small grocery store for eggs, I rushed home and cooked my chorizo.  I guess the combination of the cold mountain air and unheated post office acted as an excellent preservative, because the chorizo was absolutely delicious.

I called to thank Mom for her thoughtfulness. The very day we spoke she explained she had rushed out, bought, packaged, and mailed the chorizo.  Mom certainly wasn't taking any chances with anything being wrong with her grandchild. I had an antojito and it was her responsibility to fill it.

In the process of preparing the Bea Armenta Dever story, Bea shared my little cuento with Mario Lopez, Jr. of Carmelita Chorizo.  I had told Bea that I was pretty sure that the chorizo that I received and relished was a Carmelita Chorizo.  At that time, the company was located on Carmelita and Michigan, close to Soto St.  Mom was living in that area.  

Mario explained a possibility for the preserved sausage.  He stated that Carmelita used to use a natural casing to package the chorizo sausages.  The sausages would keep indefinitely wrapped in that  material, without refrigeration.  Unfortunately, the USDA banned the use of the natural casing.  Mario was not sure when that change took place, sometime after WWII.  My special chorizo experience was in the late 1950s.  It is possible that the natural casing was still in use.  It might not have been the cold of the minimally heated mountain post office which had kept the chorizo from spoiling, it might have been the product itself.  By the way, I usually have a Carmelita sausage in my refrigerator . .   like right now.


Chorizo Care Package to DC

Mimi, as usual, YOU did a marvelous editing OUR conversation; it was an HONOR to be included in the same issue with my "TOCAYO" and long-time "COLEGA" , Armando Rodriguez, who was instrumental in our "VIP" program in being successful from when he was here in the Ca. State Dept of Ed. to the "HALLS of WASH. D.C.

Steve Arvizu & I used our "CARE PACKAGE" (Tortillas, Chorizo, Queso Blanco & a large can of Chiles Jalapenos en escabeche,) as our "CALLING CARD" . It was a "CALL HIM NOW" message to his secretary; no matter where or with whom he was!

I had sent him an apologetic e-mail, letting him know that WE couldn't be with him on this "HONORARY" memorial celebration, but that we will see him @ his home in "The Box, "ca. (El Cajon, Ca.) LOL

Como siempre, con RESPETO y CARINO, se firma su humilde seguro servidor,

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

"Ora es cuando EL CHILE le da savor al caldo"!
"El Hueso" de Laredo,Tx.;MHS'48



norberto franco cisneros

Give me love and I’ll give you affection

Give me affection and I'll give you compassion

Give me compassion and I'll give you caring

Give me caring and I'll give you charity

Give me charity and I'll give you loyalty

Give me loyalty and I'll give you truth

Give me truth and I'll give you a child

Give me a child and I'll give you life

Give me war and I'll take it all away.


  The Sweet memories of Sharon Brooks  

[Suzanne, sharing with Mimi Lozano of 'Somos Primos' for her consideration and hopeful publication of this delightful exchange. I remember brushing me teeth with baking soda, and thank my Tia Aurora, (isn't that another sign?!), who taught me how to iron shirts, and use starch (we also used it for making atole), and embroidering. tia aurora is mid 80's and as sharp as a tack! and, makes the best tamale's ever, no doubt... ]

This morning several people crossed my mind. It's funny but it's not the momentous occasions or stupendous achievements that linger long in our minds about a person, but the small, sweet memories that we never write down but yet which flit across our minds like a butterfly--beautiful, holding our attention for just a moment, then gone, but not forever. We take comfort in the knowledge that the thought will come again.  

So whenever I see store brand plum jam in a grocery store, I think of my grandmother, whom we called "Marba" in collective imitation of my hard of hearing cousin, Paul, who couldn't pronounce "Mother" as she was called by his own mother and her sisters. I also think of Marba when I see baking soda which she used to brush her teeth and as deodorant and which my cousins and I thought of as old fashioned. How she would have laughed to see all the toothpastes and deodorants today containing baking soda. How this reminds me of the superior knowledge that elders can have, those we often see as less educated, less scientific than ourselves. She didn't need our approval and resisted our calls for modernization without acrimony. She just said, "Do what you want to do and I will do what I want to do."  Having known me for a while, I think you will understand how much I see that I have modeled myself after her. I have found, after all, that I now like plum jam too. Just the thought of it makes me smile to myself.  

Romaine lettuce reminds me of you. Though I like it with Caesar dressing, I can never remember the dressing you like. But whenever I see it, wherever I see it, I am reminded of a very happy day that Harry and I spent with you and Alan at your house. In my mind's eye, I see you carefully separating and washing and drying the leaves. I recall too observing the desperately needed indigenous connection that you and Alan made for Harry. You touched him in a way that he needed and gave him respite from the society surrounding and drowning him. He was/is more than his addictions. He was smart with a kind of innocence that refreshed those around him but was only visible when he was sober. Before that evening, I don't think I had ever seen you in a domestic activity like cooking and then as now, I can't imagine you doing this or other domestic chores with any regularity. Of course, this may reflect my distaste for such work after years of related enslavement, as a teen in hot, humid summers, ironing shirts for youngish white businessmen who dropped them off washed and dry and left them for me and my cousins, Joyce and Buffy, to starch and iron. At one point in time, I recall that we used an iron that was heated by sitting it on a hot stove! I sometimes think that this was a snapshot of the lives of countless slaves in years past. Hot, sweating till it ran down faces and bodies, taking turns to get the job done, and yet we were not sad. We were happy to be earning money that we could spend as we wished for school clothes and movies and 45 records. And we ironed, barefoot and in shorts, singing and dancing and talking and gossiping. I was the youngest of the three. Buffy had two daughters, years apart. The father of the first was named Bobby. I remember that she really loved him and he eventually abandoned her. Her parents had divorced when she was young and had given her and her 2 brothers (Frank and Paul) to Marba, my grandmother, to raise, while they went on with their lives with other spouses and other children. She would later go to prison for a time as an arsonist. Her oldest daughter committed suicide with a gun while living in the apartment next door to Buffy who was by this time outed as a lesbian. Buffy and her brother, Frank, were put into the "Special Class" at Media School where they had 4 recesses a day, worked in the cafeteria, learned to make potholders and Christmas tree ornaments and when 16 years old, were moved to the 9th grade and encouraged to drop out, which they both did. Buffy, at least, learned to read at about 7th grade level. Frank, who is dyslexic, never did. Paul, their brother, was sent to Pennsylvania School for the Deaf where, although he and family already knew he was gay, met and later met and married Roma who was deaf with a family history of schizophrenia, for which she was later hospitalized for 25 years. Paul and Roma had 2 sons, Paul and Daryl, my godsons, whom I raised. Joyce's mother died of multiple sclerosis when she was 15. Her father used to beat her mother for staggering from the MS as she walked. Joyce married an abusive man, had 3 children, divorced, married an alcoholic, divorced and so on. She has some shaking condition of her own which looks like MS but she says it isn't. Her daughter married an abusive football player; divorced and is married to a doctor. Her oldest son became a dentist who married, was abusive, lived beyond his means and cut off his thumb to collect insurance, then was turned in by his wife and sent to prison. I think he now pumps gas at a station his brother took over while he was in prison. What does this have to do with my grandmother? For many years, all of us cousins spent the summers together with her. She walked a lot because she never had a car and there was little public transit. So we all learned to walk a lot. She had an artistic side--all of us do too, without exception, though in different genres. She was tolerant of all religions and at the same time committed to her own. Religious bigotry is unknown to us. She took in people of every ethnic group and made friends of people in all groups. This tradition has continued in the family. I could cite other examples of the influence she had in the lives of so many who seem like a dysfunctional group, even to us. She lived to be 97. Her mother had the gift of clairvoyance and other visionary attributes. My mother has a little of this. I have more.  

What is the connection of all of this with you? It is that in your preparation for that meal, as you made little comments about your favorite foods, including Romaine lettuce, I was drawn to the many little connectors that we have and the myriad kinds of activities in which we have been engaged which not only give us the strength and persistence needed to survive, but make survival more than a chore. It is the handed down knowledge and ability of creating jazz from an amalgamation of slave songs and forgotten African melodies and rhythms. It is making the cast off bones of pigs given to slaves as the least amount of meat on which to survive turned into the savory ribs that rank about the world's most popular delicacies. It is delicious dandelion greens and berries and other wild foods that were foraged and made into satisfying and sweet moments in lives full of challenges and troubles and grief. Had we the time, I don't know how long we might sit and talk before running out of something to say. We have never had enough time and, I suspect, never will have enough. We always run out of time before the conversation ends. When I see you in my mind's eye, washing lettuce and talking and reflect on Harry and Alan and I sitting and watching you and listening and joining in, I feel connected to you. It doesn't matter what was being talked about. I don't remember that. I do know that we were all comfy and cozy and safe and that we understood each other in the ways that matter. We still do. Even though Harry's addictions have cost him much of his health and each of us has had to face medical and other difficulties, nonetheless we live with the knowledge that we are part of a family--the most meaningful kind of family, with roots back to the most ancient times. When thought of in that way, we can see the equality among us. Each of us knows quite a bit about our ancestors and have carried their spirits with us in everything we do, though we don't usually speak of it. These are the most powerful of connections. I believe it is this ancestor force and spirit that triumphed in Alan's remarkable movement back from the edge of death. It is what impels me to write this to you this morning after eating Romaine lettuce for breakfast. There is something we must be meant to do. Meanwhile, I delight in thinking of you and the many happy moments I have had with you through the years. You bring me joy. 

Suzanne Brooks








The defenders of Puebla were helped by the Mexican cavalry commanded by future president Porfirio Diaz. His horsemen are shown here riding in from the lower left to create confusion in the ranks of the Emperor’s troops.

Seven years after the battle at Puebla in 1862, Vicente Riva Palacio devoted an editorial in his Mexico City newspaper "La Orquesta" to the significance for the nation of that event. The army of Arch-Duke Maximilian of Austria, funded by Emperor Napoleon III of France, had met unexpected resistence from Mexican fighters and was repulsed. Most of the defenders were hastily recruited from the streets of Puebla and Mexico City. Twenty-nine year old Riva Palacio had helped in the recruiting, fought in the battle, and wrote afterward to his father of the excitement in the chase of the retreating French/Austrian army.  The reference in the editorial to December 2, is to the day that Napoleon I declared himself Emperor in 1804, and Napoleon III chose the same day in 1852.

Battle of Cinco de Mayo 1862. French failed to take the hill top guarding the city. Mexican soldiers ran out of powder for their canon balls and hurled them down by hand.

"Cinco de Mayo" by Vicente Riva Palacio
 translation by Ted Vincent
Published in La Orquesta 
5 Mayo 1869

The nation has its days of glory, breaks from painful memories and sad considerations.

Mexico counts the 5th of May among these days, when the great Mexican family forgets its days of pains and sadness to loose itself in celebration of the memory of an immortal triumph, the commemoration of a great and heroic deed.

The destiny of the nation had been decided on the fine desk top of the grand merchant of European politics. Napoleon was convinced his entrance would be a ball game, as certain as it would be lucrative, and the grandest achievement of his reign, yet attempted with a haste and flippancy, as if it wasn’t going to put two peoples in battle, as if this enterprise would not cost rivers of blood, as if his adversaries would not balance the power and wealth of France through their heroics, determination, love of the patria, and by the most complete and profound disdain for death.

There are men who are indifferent to the fate of the people they govern, there are men elevated to power on the misfortune of their people, who sacrifice them to their ambition, to their pride, or to their capriciousness. There are men that appear destined to be the whip on the people, and that never the less, by the grand designs of Providence, are no more than the crucible that inspires the patriotism and grandeur of nations, and all the tyrannies, whatever has been their investment, and their pretext that they invoke through law to exercise despotisms, whichever has been the mask with which they hide or pretend to hide their true face, whichever would have been the epoch in which they appear, always, the people take from their terrible reign lessons that are never forgotten, and that drive humanity toward progress, and that are, to say it clearly, are the light houses that mark the rocky shores that appear in the march of the people

Napoleon had sent Mexico the seed of tyranny, that was planted here by his marshals and watered with the blood of martyrs to the nation, but instead of germinating as was hoped, the man of the 2nd December produced a tree of liberty.

The fifth of May was the prologue to the grand story of the second war of independence.

(The two wars Riva Palacio refers to were: 1810-1821 against Spain, and the one begun in 1862 that lasted until 1867).


La patria tiene sus días de gloria, escentos de penosos recuerdos, y de tristes consideraciones.
Mexico cuenta el 5 de Mayo entre esos días, y la gran familia mexicana olvida en ese día sus dolores y sus tristezas para entregarse con efusión al recuerdo de una gloria imperecedera, á la conmemoración de un hecho grande y heroico.  

La suerte de la república se había decidió sobre el rico estritorio del gran comerciante de la política europea.  Napoleón había creído hacer una jugada de bolsa tan segura como lucrativa, y la obra mas grande de su reinado se acordó, pero con una premura y una ligereza, como si no se tratara de poner en lucha á dos pueblos; como si esta empresa no fuera á costar ríos de sangre; como si el poder y la riqueza de la Francia no estuviera mas que compensado entre sus adversarios por la heroicidad, por la constancia, por el amor á la patria, por el mas completo y profundo desdén á la muerte.  

Hay hombres para quienes la suerte de los pueblos que gobiernan la suerte de los pueblos que gobiernan es indiferente, hay hombres que elevados al poder por desgracia de esos pueblos, lo sacrifican todo á su ambición, á su orgullo, ó á sus caprichos; hay hombres que parecen destinados á ser el azote de un pueblo, y que sin embargo, por esos grandes designios de la Providencia, no son sino el crisol en que se purifica el patriotismo y la grandeza de la naciones: y todos los tiranos, cualquiera que haya sido sus investidura, y el pretexto que como ley han invocado para ejercer el despotismo; cualquiera que haya sido la máscara con que han ocultado ó pretendido ocultar su verdadero rostro; cualquiera que haya sido le época en que han aparecido, siempre los pueblos sacan de su reinado terribles lecciones que nunca olvidan, que hacen progresar á la humanidad, y que son, por decirlo así, los faros que muestran los escollos que hay en la marcha de los pueblos.  

Napoleón ha enviado á Mexico la semilla de la tiranía, que sembrada aquí por sus mariscales y regada con la sangre de los mártires de la patria, en vez de germinar, como los esperaba el hombre del 2 de Diciembre, produjo un árbol de libertad.  

El 5 de Mayo fué el prólogo de la gran historia de la segunda guerra de independencia.



The Family Secret of Dr. Hector P. Garcia
Ignacio Seguín Zaragoza, Mexican General, Cinco de Mayo Hero
Hispanic Roots, Genealogists Uncover Royal Blood Lines



Daisy Wanda Garcia

Left to right, Padre Jose Antonio Garcia, back row
Dr. Hector, Jose Antonio, Faustina (mother) Emilia (Mila) Clotilde (Cleo)  
Infant, Cuitalahuac  
Children seated in the front row, Cuahctemoc and Dalia I  

The Garcia family valued the role of history in understanding who they were.   Dr. Hector Garcia believed not knowing their history was an obstacle to the self-determination of the Mexican Americans.  My father reaffirmed this belief when he addressed the University of Texas Hispanic [i]Alumni.  

“We are a lost people. We are lost to ourselves. We do not know our origins. We do not know who we are and where we are going.  We do not have a history and a people without a history have nothing.”  

The history of Mexican Americans in Northeastern Mexico and South Texas was lost for many reasons. In Texas, the main reason was that Mexico lost the war for independence. For this reason, Spaniards/ Mexicans are portrayed as villains or their contributions are not included in Texas textbooks.  

This practice called Damnatio memoriae means literally “damnation of memory”, in the sense of erased from memory.  Thus, few Texas students know about the roles of Spaniards/Mexicans in Texas, that Mexicans fought on both sides at the Alamo or about the Hispanic Civil Rights movement. During the August 23, 2002 state textbook review process, a tearful Lucy Camarillo confronted the board about the omission in the Texas school textbooks of the overt discrimination Mexican Americans faced until the 1960’s. The board was indifferent to her pleas.[ii]  

Dr. Hector spent a lot of time researching the history of the Mexican American in Texas. One summer, my Papa taught me the history of Mexico. Later, he recruited me into the historical research process as well. When I was a student at the University of Texas @Austin, my papa asked me to research the lives of some of the “movers and shakers” in Texas history.  What I found startling was that all of these men adopted Spanish names when they moved to Texas. Many married Mexican women, became Mexican citizens and tried to blend within the Mexican culture. The Texas History books neglected to mention this information! 

Dr. Cleo Garcia, my aunt was the family historian.  Dr. Cleo devoted much of her time to the uncovering of the past.  She traveled in Mexico, Spain and the United States to recover Mexican and American history. Dr. Cleo was an accomplished historian and wrote ten books and two articles about her research. In 1986, she participated in the founding of the Spanish American Genealogical Association (SAGA).  In 1990, United States Senator, Lloyd Bentsen, presented Dr. Cleo with a document from the 101st Congress, honoring my aunt as a “Re-discoverer of Texas.”  

Dr. Cleo gave me a reproduction of the Garcia coat of arms. She told me about our roots in Spain and how the Garcias immigrated to this continent.  Not only did her research uncover our own cultural heritage but also the “Family Secret.” According to Dr. Cleo, the Garcia ancestors were Sephardic Jews. [iii] I remember the moment when Dr. Cleo told me about the “Family Secret.” We were in her den.  After she revealed the “Family Secret” to me, she looked at me waiting for a reaction.  At the time, I did not really grasp the significance of what she said because Dr. Cleo was understated even when she was dropping a bomb.  Therefore, I said nothing. Dr. Cleo told me that she was working on a book about the Garcia family.  She said it would be similar to “Roots” in scope.  Regrettably, Dr. Cleo had a stroke and was unable to complete her book.  My dear aunt died in May of 2003.  My “Mama Grande” went to join my father on the other side.  

The Garcia family had its origins in Galicia, in Northern Spain.  In 1492, the Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella issued an order expelling all Jews from Spain.  The day following the order, Christopher Columbus set sail upon his voyage to the New World. [iv] The Garcia ancestors were on some of the voyages that came to the New World.  

In 1739, King Phillip V of Spain issued a royal decree for the colonization of the coast along the Gulf of Mexico.  The viceroy of New Spain appointed Captain Jose de Escandon to explore and colonize a new province named Nuevo Santander in South Texas. Escandon brought in families already established in northern Mexico from the states of Nuevo Leon and Coahuila.  One family headed by Captain Blas Maria de la Garza Falcon lived in New Spain since 1550-fifty-eight years after Columbus discovered American.  De la Garza Falcon was instrumental in developing the new province, Nuevo Santander that included present day South Texas.[v]  Ten settlers from Camargo joined the expedition.  Among them were Rafael Garcia and Matias Garcia. These Garcia family ancestors were among the forty colonial families de la Garza Falcon brought to settle Nuevo Santander. The crown bequeathed land grants in Nuevo Santander to the Garcias as a reward for their participation in the Escandon mission.  

The Mexican Inquisition forced Sephardic Jews to flee Mexico and relocate in Texas, New Mexico and Southern Colorado. Like many other Jews in Mexico, the Garcias were anxious to flee Mexico because of the Catholic Inquisition.[vi]    Nuevo Santander was ideal because of the proximity to the Garcia land grant near the border town of Camargo, Tamaulipas, Mexico.   

Jose Antonio Garcia, my grandfather kept the family heritage a secret.  None of the Garcia siblings knew they were Jewish, until Dr. Cleo stumbled on the “Family Secret” while conducting genealogical research on the Garcia family.  Perhaps the “Family Secret” would explain my grandfather’s strong anti-clerical sentiments. Even Dr. Hector would remark he did not understand why his father felt that way. I can only speculate on Grandfather’s reasons.    

In 1985, Juan Jose Gussoni, Honorable Vice Council of Spain presented my father with a framed facsimile of the Garcia coat of arms depicting the family motto and a letter.  He captured the spirit of my father in two short sentences, Dr. Garcia con su liderazgo y forma de actuar ha hecho realidad la divisa de los Garcias.  Ya que yo no conozco a nadie que con justicia y verdad pueda decir o considerarse superior a usted en su labor en favor de los americanos de origen hispano.  

             Dr. Garcia, with your leadership and actions, you have made the

 Standard (coat of arms) of the Garcias a reality.  Truthfully, I do not know anyone who might be considered superior to you in your work on behalf of Americans of Hispanic origins.  

I never knew if the knowledge of his Jewish roots affected Dr. Hector. In any case, he focused on his mission for Hispanic Civil Rights.  Dr. Hector set high standards for himself because he constantly challenged himself to be the best he could be.  

De Garcia Nadie Diga Arriba
Of Garcia No One Can Say Anything Higher.

[i] February 1, 1990, University of Texas @ Austin.
Austin Chronicle, 2002.
Sephardic is a Jew originating in the Iberian Peninsula (Portugal and Spain), including the descendants of those subject to expulsion from Spain by order of the Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella.   
Columbus was a Sephardic Jew.
Clotilde P. Garcia, M.D., “Captain Blas Maria de la Garza Falcon, Colonizer of South Texas”, 1984.
The Mexican Inquisition lasted from 1571 until 1815.


Left to Right, Picture of Dr. Hector's aunts and Uncles

Odon, Jose (father) Abel (Amador Garcia's father) Antonio, Moises, Albina, Francisca, Clotilde, Jeusra,  Rosita, Grandmother (center) Antonia Garcia Valverde


Captain Ignacio Seguín Zaragoza, Mexican general and hero of Cinco de Mayo

The Descendents of Captain Miguel G. Zaragoza
Compiled by John D. Inclan

Generation No. 1


1. CAPTAIN MIGUEL G.2 ZARAGOZA (JOSE-MARIA1) was born Abt. 1807 in Veracruz, New Spain (Mexico), and died in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico?. He married MARIA-DE-JESUS SEGUIN-MARTINEZ 05 Jul 1826 in San Fernando, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, daughter of JOSE-IGNACIO SEGUIN-FLORES and MARIA-LUGARDA MARTINEZ-MIRELES. She was born Abt. 1810 in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, and died in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico?.

Source: Book II, 3rd volume from the set of books entitled "Residents of Texas, 1782-1836"  printed by the University of Texas, Institute of Texan Cultures,  the following appears in a census dated 1 Jan 1820:No. 53

Nicolas MARTINEZ 80 Spaniard Md Farmer
Gertrudis MIRELES 52 Spaniard Md
Toribio BERMEJO 14 Mestizo Sg Peon
Santiago LEIVA 44 Indian Sg Peon
Maria Luzgarda MARTINEZ 26 Spaniard Md
Maria Jesus SEGUIN 11 Spaniard Sg

3. ii. GENERAL IGNACIO ZARAGOZA-SEGUIN, b. 24 Mar 1829, La Bahia, Goliad County, Texas; d. 08 Sep 1862, Puebla, Mexico.

 Generation No. 2

2. MIGUEL3 ZARAGOZA-SEGUIN (MIGUEL G.2 ZARAGOZA, JOSE-MARIA1) He married MARIA-CONCEPCION FLORES 06 Jan 1859 in La Capilla de Santiago, Graytown, Wilson County, Texas. She was born 1841.

She and her son are listed on the 1870 USA Census, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas.

Witness:Don Juan Nepomuceno Seguin and his wife Dona Maria Gertrudis Flores-de-Abrego.

i. MIGUEL4 ZARAGOZA-FLORES, b. 1860, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas.
He is listed on the 1880 USA Census, Precinct 1, Wilson County, Texas. 

3. GENERAL IGNACIO3 ZARAGOZA-SEGUIN (MIGUEL G.2 ZARAGOZA, JOSE-MARIA1) was born 24 Mar 1829 in La Bahia, Goliad County, Texas, and died 08 Sep 1862 in Puebla, Mexico. He married RAFAELA PADILLA-DE-LA-GARZA 21 Jan 1857 in Sagrario Metropolitano, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, daughter of JOSE-MARIA PADILLA and MARIA-JUSTA DE-LA-GARZA. She was born 01 Nov 1836 in Nuestra Sra de Guadalupe, Salinas Victoria, Nuevo Leon, Mexico, and died in Puebla, Mexico?.


Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin, (1829-1862). Militar. Héroe Nacional. Nació en la Bahía del Espíritu Santo. En Matamoros, Tamaulipas a fines de 1836 hace su instrucción primaria y después en Monterrey cursa estudios de preparatoria en el Seminario. En 1846, al iniciarse la Guerra de Intervención Americana, pidió su ingreso al ejército para batirse contra el enemigo, pero no logró su incorporación. En 1850 regresa a Monterrey con su padre quien obtuvo el retiro del ejército; trabaja como empleado de comercio y en 1853 sienta plaza en la Guardia Nacional del Estado de nuevo León iniciando su carrera militar; en 1855 tenía el grado de capitán y el 30 de mayo de dicho año secundó los Planes de Ayutla y de Lampazos desde Ciudad Victoria marchando hacia Monterrey para ponerse a las órdenes de Vidaurri con 113 hombres de tropa y algunos oficiales; participó en la ocupación de Saltillo en 1855 y obtuvo el grado de coronel después de la derrota del gobierno de Santa Anna, y al sobrevenir la Guerra de Reforma a fines de 1857 Zaragoza permanece fiel al bando liberal destacando en diversas acciones en Silao, Guadalajara y Calpulalpan, ascendiendo en 1860 al grado de general. En 1861 fue ministro de Guerra y Marina en el Gobierno del presidente Benito Juárez, cargo al que renunció para tomar el mando de una división frente a la Intervención Francesa que se iniciaba, participando en la Batalla de Acultzingo del 28 de abril de 1862, siendo nombrado días después por el Presidente Juárez, Comandante en Jefe del Ejército de Oriente en substitución de José López Uraga y con ese cargo dirigió la defensa de la ciudad de Puebla obteniendo la famosa victoria del cinco de mayo. El 8 de septiembre del mismo año, víctima de tifo, murió en su cuartel general en Puebla. Zaragoza no sólo pasó a la historia como héroe nacional sino también como reorganizador del Ejército Mexicano. Se le declaró Benemérito de la Patria. (Arroyo Llano, Rodolfo: Ignacio Zaragoza, Monterrey 1962; Ramírez Fentanes, Luis: Zaragoza, Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional. México, 1962; E. D. M., T. 12, 1130 y 1131).

Captain Ignacio Seguín Zaragoza, Mexican general and hero of Cinco de Mayo, was born on March 24, 1829, at Bahía del Espíritu Santo, Goliad in the state of Texas. He was the second son of Don Miguel G. Zaragoza of Veracruz, Mexico, and Dona María de Jesús Seguín of Bexar, who was a relative of Juan José Erasmo Seguín. With Mexico's defeat in the Texas Revolution, Miguel Zaragoza, an infantryman, moved his family from Goliad to Matamoros, where Ignacio attended the school of San Juan. The elder Zaragoza was transferred to Monterrey in 1844, and Ignacio entered a seminary there. Initially he wanted to be a lawyer and priest. By 1846 he realized that he did not have a strong vocation and left. When the United States invaded Mexico, he volunteered to serve as a cadet in the Mexican army but was rejected. He entered the mercantile business for a short time, and in 1853, he joined the National Guard of Nuevo León with the rank of sergeant, this began a brilliant military career, with the high point of which was the Battle of Puebla. When his regiment was incorporated into the Mexican army, he was promoted to captain.

Source:From the books, Juan Cortina and the Texas-Mexico Frontier by Jerry D. Thompson.
Presidio La Bahia by Kathrya Stoner O'Connor. Page 259.

i. IGNACIO-ESTANISLAO4 ZARAGOZA-PADILLA, b. 22 Nov 1858, Sagrario Metropolitano, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
ii. RAFAELA ZARAGOZA-PADILLA, b. 01 Jul 1860, Sagrario Metropolitano, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.



Hispanic Roots

Genealogists Uncover Royal Blood Lines

George Farias, M.B.A. - Copyright 2005 They are the Kin of the Kings. Some Hispanics in Texas and Northern Mexico are becoming increasingly aware of the little known fact that their ancestors, who settled in the New World, had close family ties to the royal houses of Europe linked directly through kinship to Spanish and Portuguese royalty. Although these familial connections may seem unusual, much well-established documentation shows them to be quite prevalent.  
Hispanic genealogists in the United States and Mexico have recently been uncovering blue blood among their forebears who not only made major contributions to the colonization of Latin America but to the United States as well. San Antonio is fortunate to have a one of these very active grass roots research groups, Los Bexareños Genealogical Society, founded by Gloria V. Cadena in 1983.   Many club members are some of the best investigators of Spanish Colonial and Mexican documents and records.  

Research into the Spanish discovery, conquest, and colonization of the Americas has shown that the
early persons who arrived to take over the government of the newly conquered lands were personally appointed and authorized to emigrate by King Charles V of Spain who also was Charles I, Holy Roman Emperor.

After the amazing conquest of Mexico, the king
feared that Hernán Cortés would assume independent power and establish himself ruler of the newly conquered territory. Moving quickly to stem this possibility Charles V sent as officials only members of his family, his court, or noble families known and loyal to him.

The first four royal officers to arrive were Tesorero (treasurer) Alonso de Estrada, Contador (accountant) Rodrigo de Albornoz, Veedor ( inspector) Pedro Almindez Chirinos, and Factor (business agent) Gonzalo de Salazar.

Estrada and Salazar had been members of the king's court and many others like them followed. Cortés, although given great praise, credit, and rewards for his achievements, found himself slowly divested of any real authority.

Joel René Escobar y Sáenz from Pharr, Texas has published a book titled Rodrigo Diaz de Vivar (El Cid Campeador) & his Descendants (The First 23 Generations) and The Civilizations of Spain (McAllen, Texas 2004, 1st Ed., privately published).  

Diaz de Vivar, known more familiarly as "El Cid," was the invincible knight and warrior who fought for his Castilian Kings, Sancho II, and Alfonso VI, and is considered unequivocally Spain's greatest National Hero. El Cid's seed spread to the kingdoms of Navarre, Leon, Castile, Asturias, Aragon and Portugal, extending later to the countries of England, France, Germany and Sicily.

Escobar notes that with the emigration of Diego de Guevara y de Tovar to Mexico City (c.1530-1535), El Cid's line passed to the New World. With the marriage of Joseph de Treviño de Quintanilla and Leonor Ayala Valverde the line came to Nuevo Leon in Northern Mexico. Thereby, numerous persons living in Mexico and the United States can claim this legendary knight as their ancestor. * * *

Another connection to royal lines can be found in the ancestry of Josefa de la Garza, mother of Tomás Sánchez, who founded Laredo, Texas in 1755. Josefa's story, and more. Click for Part Two / Part Three.

Copyright 2005 By George Farias, M.B.A.

(Editor's Note: Author George Farias and Colonel E.A. Montemayor
are Partners in
Borderlands Bookstore Inc. located
on the web at

Sent by John Inclan


May 1-30 Fire in the Morning Exhibition
May 2 Mariachi Divas, OC Pavilion, Downtown Santa Ana
May 17 Rancho Days Fiesta, Heritage Hills Historical Park
May 17 2nd  Annual Southern California Barrio History Symposium

May 24 Searching for Indigenous Roots in Mexico, SHHAR Quarterly 
May 24 United Mexican American Veterans Association Annual Picnic
Sacrificing Our Pennies, Nickels, and Dimes for the War
Westminster LULAC Council #3017 Awards Seven Scholarships
Santa Ana Historical Preservation Society, New books  

The reception for “Fire in the Morning,” the pictorial exhibit of Mexican Americans of Orange County, is May 1, 2008. The display will remain at UC Irvine for one month.

Please bring your friends and relatives, especially the elderly who lived the days represented in these historic photographs and who especially enjoy the exhibit of 100 historic photographs.

This exhibit of 100 historic Orange County photographs, circa 1915 through WWII opens with a
reception at 7:00 p.m. May 1, 2008 at UCI.

May 1 – 31, 2008
UC Irvine Student Center
Corner of W. Peltason Drive and Pereira Drive.

Reception: May 1, 2008, 7 p.m., Thursday
Crystal Cove Auditorium Lobby in the Student Center at the corner of W. Peltason and Pereira, parking directly across the street.  Presentation and refreshments.

Hours call (949) 824-2419.
Information call (714) 538-8380
Invitation sent by Display Curator, Yolanda Alvarez



       Mariachi Divas, Orange County Pavilion 
Downtown Santa Ana

Friday, May 02, 2008 

Founded by Cindy Shea in 1999, the all-female Mariachi Divas are continuously making big waves on the Los Angeles music scene. Mariachi Divas is a unique, multi-cultural ensemble, and over the years has been represented by women of: Mexican, Cuban, Samoan, Argentinian, Columbian, Panamanian, Puerto Rican, Swiss, Japanese, and Anglo decent. Founder and Director Cindy Shea states, "Music is a way of uniting our cultural backgrounds."    Sent by Ruben Alvarez



SATURDAY, MAY 17, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Heritage Hill Historical Park
25151 Serrano Road
Lake Forest

Visit Heritage Hill Historial Park to celebrate the colorful history of Saddleback Valley.  There will be entertainment and activities for the whole family including crafts, pinatas, and historical music.  You will also have a chance to churn butter and taste freshly baked tortillas.  $4 adults; $3 children (3-12)

Entertainment includes
the storytelling of Adrienne McMillan and Frances Rios, musician.
For more information, go to



Saturday, May 17th
2nd  Annual Southern California Barrio History Symposium
"Bringing History Together, Past, Present & Future"

Golden West College, Student Center
15744 Golden West Street, Huntington Beach
8:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Free Admission

Community and academic historians will speak on the history and challenges facing Mexican American barrios, colonias and campos. Public is invited and welcomed. No host lunch & live entertainment

Free parking on the east side of the campus adjacent to Gothard Street
The Student Center is in the middle of the campus.
Campus map:

For information contact The Orange County Mexican American Historical Society
714/415-8626  or 714/447-1026




Society of Hispanic Historical & Ancestral Research

Quarterly Meeting  

Date:     Saturday, May 24, 2008

Find out about 

Noted author and researcher: 
John P. Schmal


Location:  Orange Family History Center : 674 S. Yorba, Orange , CA   92869

Schedule   9:30-11:00am:  "Indigenous Mexico: An Introduction to Mexico's Remarkable Diversity" 

If your family comes from México and you have always wondered what tribes lived where your ancestors lived, this presentation will enlighten, educate and entertain. Utilizing a 40-page Power Point Presentation, John Schmal will discuss many aspects of Indigenous Mexico, including the inter-relationships of the  Uto-Aztecan languages.

John is an historian and a genealogist who specializes in tracing lineages in Mexico , Puerto Rico, and the Southwestern U.S.A. He is the coauthor of "Mexican-American Genealogical Research: Following the Paper Trail to Mexico " (Heritage Books, 2002). He has also coauthored several other books on Mexican-American themes, all of them published by Heritage Books in Maryland . As a volunteer consultant at the Los Angeles Family History Center , he helps visitors in tracing their Mexican and Central American roots. He is presently studying families from Aguascalientes and Jalisco.  

11:00-12:00 :   Sharing and Networking. 
                          (Bring your books, Charts, family trees and Success stories to share)

Please save August 23 for our next Quarterly Meeting: 

SHHAR is a non-profit, non-dues organization with family history research and networking as its prime focus. Everyone is welcomed.




  “Honoring Yesterday, Appreciating Today, Inspiring Tomorrow”

U. M. A. V. A.  
Invites members and their families to their
3rd Annual Picnic

 Date       :      Saturday, 5/24/08
Time      :      12:00 – 5:00 pm
Where    :      Jerome Park, Santa Ana


Welcome…. Please join UMAVA in celebrating a family day in the park.  The event will feature guest speakers, entertainment, music, games for the children, Veteran networking, socializing with friends and family, and of course a BBQ.

You may bring your favorite main dish or salad to share (but do not feel obligated).  UMAVA will provide non-alcoholic drinks, water, hamburgers, hot dogs, condiments, potato chips and dessert.  Bring your sun block, sunglasses and be ready to enjoy !  - picnic tables & benches will be available -

For further information, contact Picnic Committee Chairperson, Fred Bella at (714) 973-4771.  In case you get lost on the day of the event, please call the following cell phone numbers to bring you in:  

*Nelida Yanez (714) 721-6141   *Joe Yanez (714) 323-0006   *Cecilia (714) 478-2918 


Non-profit organization Tax identification number:  27-0143834. 
Donations may be mailed to:

c/o Sid Gauna, American Legion Post 132, 
P. O. Box 214 , Orange , Ca  92856-6214.

Sid Gauna, Financial Officer  (714) 558-7071 
Mimi Lozano, Public Relations/Membership    (714) 894-8161    ·
Ben deLeon, Veteran Affairs Officer      (714) 541-9998




Sacrificing Our Pennies, Nickels, and Dimes for the War

Sent by Eddie Grijalva


Mimi, I came across this bit of my past history and I thought it would be nice to share 
with other people, I am sure that they went through the same shame in our past American history.

In 1942 when we moved from El Toro to Santa Ana, my father had to find a school for my younger brother (Butch) and me to attend. Two blocks from our new house in Santa Ana, was a school, but we were denied the opportunity of attending because our skin was brown. 

My father was told to take us to instead to the J.C. Fremont Elementary, a school for Mexicans, American Indians, African American and all others. A school two blocks from house, but we had to be bused passed it every day to attend a school for dark-skinned students.   It really did not matter that much to me and my brother. It  was okay with us and for one reason. One winter day, it was cold, raining cats and dogs, we were in the bus on our way to school, nice and warm.  I looked out the window I saw some white kids walking to school, they were all wet and cold. I told my brother, you see, we are special, we get ride a bus to school and those poor kids have to walk and get all wet.

You see in our innocence, we did not know what that ugly word PREJUDICE meant.

Su amigo, Eddie Grijalva.



Westminster LULAC Council #3017 Awards Seven Scholarships

Our council scholarship committee met on Tuesday, April 22, 08 at the ABRAZAR Community and Learning Center. Gloria Reyes our member and Director of ABRAZAR hosted the meeting. She provided sandwiches and beverages from Paul’s Deli. Thank you Gloria the sandwiches were delicious and really appreciated.

The committee members present were: Nora Barajas, Lupe Fisher, Mimi Lozano, Gloria Reyes and Cris Villasenor.

We received over 30 applications this year. Not all were from our area. We pulled those within the Huntington Beach Union High School District area and reviewed those first. We then awarded seven. Each student will receive just under $700. The remaining applications will go on to another CA LULAC Foundation for consideration. 

Our 2008 student recipients are:
Steven Flores of Westminster
Jara of Westminster
Ricardo Medrano of Westminster
Joanna Gallo-Moreno of Westminster
Fernanda Moreno of Westminster
Ponce  of Huntington Beach     .
Rocio Ponce  of Huntington Beach      

LULAC Council #3017
Cris Villasenor  


New SANTA ANA Book Due in July

With the first two Santa Ana history books such a success for Arcadia Publishing, they asked us to create another. Long-time native Roberta Reed volunteered to create a new volume of vintage photos from the 1940s to present day.

For the last 8 or so months, she has culled through hundreds of photos - scanning, processing, and writing about 200+ images. She accessed private family collections, photos from the County Archives and the Society's own digital collection. She was helped in her efforts by her husband Nathan, and local historians Rob Richardson, Phil Brigandi, and Chris Jepsen.

The 120+ page book is now at the printers and will be released in late July or early August. We'll provide advance information for members as soon as we have the final details.

Logan Barrio History Documented

Santa Ana Historical Preservation Society member Mary Garcia completed her book on the history and families of Santa Ana's Logan Barrio and the Society published the book late last year - in time for the annual Logan Reunion. The book has been very well received and Mary has been invited to a variety of events to speak as author of the book.

The book includes over 80 vintage family and neighborhood photos as well as stories and Preservation Society remembrances of many of the early families of the neighborhood.

The book's publication is very timely as it reminded us of the historical importance of the Logan Barrio particularly when the City of Santa Ana was working on a "Renaissance Plan" to improve the area.

You can buy a copy of the book for $14 (tax included) and $3 for mailing.

Santa Ana Historical Preservation Society
120 Civic Center Dr. W. 
Santa Ana, CA  92701-7505


Carmelita Chorizeros Baseball Team, Mexican-American Baseball in LA
The History of Carmelita Chorizo Company
Mexican-American Baseball in Los Angeles: From the Barrios to the Big Leagues" Pasadena Exhibit, July 1-July 31st
Celebrating Culture, History and the Arts of Los Angeles
May 3, The Black/Brown Dialogues, Part 11
May 3, Fiesta of the Spanish Horse
Phantom Sightings: Art After the Chicano Movement
Race, Labour and Citrus in the Making of Greater Los Angeles, 1900–1970 
Memorial Service for Laborer Leader, Fernando Pedraza
May 10th: Dionicio Morales Transit Center




In the October issue of 2007, SHHAR Board member Bea Armenta Dever shared the story of the Los Angeles Baseball exhibit, "Mexican-American Baseball in Los Angeles: From the Barrios to the Big Leagues."  Along with gathering data and stories about our ancestors' life, it is a joy to fit them into the fabric of the community in which they lived.  Her story featured her Dad and brothers playing baseball with the Carmelita Chorizeros baseball team. 

Bea recently visited the Camelita Chorizo company which is now located in 2901 Floral Drive, Monterey Park. She had the joy of seeing photos of her dad and uncles on the walls of the Choriza office.   Below is a photo of Bea with the sons of Mario Lopez, Sr.

Surrounded by historical photographs of the Carmelita Provisions era (later known as the Carmelita Chorizeros), Bea Armenia Dever is presented with a Carmelita baseball cap by Mario, Larry and Frank Lopez for her Dad's Ramon (Ray) Armenia, participation as a member of the Mexican-American baseball team.




Proudly displayed in the offices of Carmelita is this "Golden Age of Community Baseball in East Los Angeles" resolution adopted by the Council of the City of Los Angeles on September 21, 2007.



Over fifty years ago a dynamic optimist and enterprising young man founded, almost at the same time a factory. home and baseball team.

His name was Mario Lopez Sr. He had three dreams: to establish a business, a family, and to organize a baseball team. He loved work. children and baseball team. When he  established his small chorizo factory, 'Carmelita' he selected young people like himself, people with dreams and commitment to their community. Mario "s Baseball team went on to win 19 city championships. With his wife Julieta at his side they raised a family of 5 children.

Mario Lopez sr. passed away on October 3 1966. but his accomplishments did not die with him. His factory, children, grandchildren and baseball team have kept his legacy alive. Today his enterprise operates under the management of his three sons 'Carmelita Chorizo Company' The heir of name and character. Mario Lopez Jr., has taken an active participation in the business since 1957 after 3 years of military service.

Carlos joined the company in 1958 just after graduating from Garfield high school. Frank, the youngest of Lopez clan, joined the company in 1968 after serving in the Vietnam war with the united states marine corp. Carmelita chorizo today sponsors several teams of boys and girls in baseball soccer, basketball and golf and is also proud sponsor of the Marjachi heritage society.

For more on Carmelita Chorizo, go to:

For a personal chorizo story by your editor and one by Dr. Armando Ayala, click to CUENTOS


Golden Age of Community Baseball in East Los Angeles

"Mexican-American Baseball in Los Angeles: 
From the Barrios to the Big Leagues" 

Pasadena Exhibit, July 1-July 31st


THE TENTH INNING, a major survey featuring highlights of Baseball Reliquary exhibitions has been presented over the last ten years (1999-2008) at libraries, galleries, and community centers throughout Southern California.  

A small portion of "Mexican-American Baseball in Los Angeles: From the Barrios to the Big Leagues" will be at the Pasadena Central Library from July 1-July 31, 2008.  

The Pasadena Central Library is located at 285 E. Walnut Street, Pasadena, CA.  Library hours are Monday-Thursday, 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.; and Sunday, 1:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m.  For further information, phone (626) 791-7647; for directions, phone (626) 744-4066.  

Please be sure and check the Baseball Reliquary Web site ( for additional information on upcoming exhibitions locations for  "Mexican-American Baseball in Los Angeles: From the Barrios to the Big Leagues".    

Terry Cannon

For more on the Golden Age of Community Baseball in East Los Angeles, click to CULTURE.


Celebrating Culture, History and the Arts of Los Angeles

Olvera Street’s 78th anniversary.
One of the oldest avenues in Los Angeles, Olvera Street is a traditional Mexican marketplace that was opened in the 1930s. Olvera Street, also known as El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument, it has hosted presidents, dignitaries, movie stars and visitors from around the world. April 19th, a city-wide celebration was held, free to the public.  Olvera Street E-newsletter

Sent by
History of Olvera Street

When socialite Christine Sterling walked through the Plaza and Olvera Street in 1926 she was shocked by the dilapidated condition of the oldest part of the city, and started a campaign to save it.   Mrs. Sterling envisioned a colorful Mexican marketplace and culutral center. With funding provided by six influential men and publicity from the Los Angeles Times, she started a corporation to revitalize Olvera Street.

To learn more about the history of Olvera Street, go to:


The Black/Brown Dialogues Part II
Saturday, May 3, 2008 starting at 7:00 pm
Free To The Public

I n s p i r a t i o n H o u s e P o e t r y C h o i r

Curated by Peter J. Harris, artistic director, Inspiration House

Featuring Music & spoken word by:
Peter J. Harris Maria Elena Gaitán
Gloria Alvarez Tchi konsase Ajé

Commissioned by Kathy Gallegos, Director of Avenue 50 Studio,
 “The Black/Brown Dialogues” is curated by Peter J. Harris artistic director, Inspiration House, which produces work dedicated to leaving its audiences renewed and recommitted to cultural work that contributes to the creation of a humane society.

This event is the second of four Inspiration House PoetryChoir events honoring healthy and ethical cultural dialogue between the African and Latino communities, at one of Latino LA's most important independent galleries.

Using the Inspiration House PoetryChoir format, poets read their work while master musicians improvise musical responses to the poetry, blending words, intonations, audience responses, and dynamic silence into a sonic tapestry that's entrancing and exhilarating. The Black/Brown Dialogues are supported in part by the Ford Foundation, JP Morgan Chase, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Southwest Airlines through a grant from the NALAC Fund for the Arts

For information contact: Marisela Norte
or Alva Moore Stevenson


Los Angeles Equestrian Center
480 Riverside Drive
Burbank, CA. 91506

May 3, 2008
Festivities begin at 3:00 PM
Extravaganza: 6:00 PM

     Fiesta of the Spanish Horse: Is an evening of magnificent entertainment to celebrate the heritage of the Spanish Horse and it's travels from Spain & Portugal through South American, into Mexico and finally into California. This event will feature Andalusians, Lusitanos, Peruvian Paso, Paso Fino, and other Beautiful Spanish Bred Horses, Roping, Trick Riding, Drill Teams, Latin and Mariachi Music, Dancers, Venders, Food and 10th Anniversary Surprises.
A partial list of 2008's special entertainment, NOT in show order.

USC Mascot "Traveler"
Members of the USC Marching Band
Medieval Times
Ballet de Mexico Aztec Folklorico Dancers
Pena Andaluza en California
Mariachi Orgullo
The Music of Aconcagua
Andalusian and Lusitano Horse Exhibitions
Peruvian Paso Horse Exhibitions
Paso Fino Horse Exhibitions
Parade of Cancer Survivors
Parade of Stallions
Mario Fernandez
Stunt & Trick Riding Presented by Tad Griffith
Longline and Riding Exhibitions
Charro Riding Exhibitions
Rancho Jiminez
Parade of Spanish Influence
Vaughan Smith Equine Services
Ruben Haro

Tables for 6 on Arena Floor: (Must Be A Silver Medal $2000.00 or Up Sponsor)
Reserved Box Seats:  $50.00, Reserved End Box Seats: $40.00,
General Admission Bleacher Seating: $20.00, Children(4-12), & Seniors(65+): $15.00
Children 3 and Under: Free (General Admission Bleacher Seating Only)
***$5.00 Facility Parking Fee Charged***

Mail order tickets incur a $6.00 handling and mailing fee or
tickets can be placed at will call for pickup the day of the event
at no additional charge.  Tickets may also be purchased at the
LAEC Box Office,
A $3.00 service fee applies for tickets purchased at Box Office.****

Ticket Order Form (.pdf)
.......Admission to the Horse Show during the day is Free.......  
For ticket information please call: 818-842-7444

For Sponsorship, Ad, Vendor, Horse Show, or Exhibition information,
 please call: 818-842-7444
or e-mail:


Queridos socios y amigos de la Peña Andaluza,


Este año estaremos de nuevo y por quinto año representando nuestra cultura en la Fiesta del Caballo Español que se celebra todos los años en la ciudad de Burbank, California.

Desde el primer año de nuestra participación, iniciamos las gestiónes para que los organizadores de este gran evento reconocieran la importancia de invitar y dar una mención especial a nuestro Consulado General en Los Ángeles. Hace tres años nuestro Cónsul General fue invitado y desde entonces fue creciendo el interés de los organizadores por la participación consular de nuestro país. Desde hace dos años nuestro Cónsul General Excmo. Sr. D. Inocencio Arias asiste acompañado de su esposa el día de la Extravaganza que se celebra el primer sábado de mayo y son recibidos y mencionados con todo los honores.  

Por nuestra parte, gracias a la aportación de la Oficina de Turismo de España en Los Ángels y Turismo de Andalucía, participamos con un bonito "stand" cultural en el que nuestras banderas de España y Andalucía ondean bien alto y en el que se reparten gran número de folletos informativos de todas las regiones españolas.  Nuestro grupo flamenco participa en la representación folclórica y lo pasamos  estupendamente a pesar del madrugón y el largo viaje desde San Diego donde residimos la mayoría de los que participamos en este fabuloso evento.

 Es un gran orgullo para nosotros haber sido los promotores de la presencia española y por supuesto andaluza en este gran evento que recomendamos a todos.


Pueden encontrar más información en Fiesta of the Spanish Horse, Burbank, California.

Charo Monge R.  
Presidenta de la Peña Andaluza en California  

Information sent by Maria Angeles O'Donnell Olson
Honorary Spanish Consul, San Diego



  "Phantom Sightings: Art After the Chicano Movement"

Hispanic Marketing 101
Volume 6, Number 9 April 8, 2008

Hola! One of the great needs we have within the USA is for more museums to feature collections of Latino art and history. That's why the Smithsonian Latino Center program noted below is so important.

We also like to remind everyone in the West that the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is providing a rare focus on Chicano art with "Phantom Sightings: Art After the Chicano Movement", which runs through September 1, 2008.



A World of its Own: Race, Labour and Citrus in the 
Making of Greater Los Angeles, 1900–1970 

 by Matt Garcia 
(Chapel Hill and London: The University of North Carolina Press 2001)

TO UNDERSTAND the history and culture of southern California and much of the southwest of the United States, it is necessary to understand the Mexican heritage which underlies and supports it. Matt Garcia's book is a strong contribution to bringing that heritage alive in economic, cultural, and human terms. In his discussion of the citrus industry of southern California, Garcia, half-Mexican and half-Anglo himself, brings to light an often hidden world of Mexican immigration and labour in the area's once-premier industry, the growing and harvesting of citrus crops in areas now pimpled with tract housing. Chicano cultural development is mixed with the study of community-building to show how the physical layout of Greater Los Angeles — a landscape of Chicano barrios, suburbs, and strip malls — developed.

Garcia, who teaches ethnic studies and history at the University of Oregon, discusses the racism that led white growers to select workers they believed more easily exploited, immigrant Mexicans and Asians, and the deliberate segmentation of the work force by race, language, gender, generation, and citizenship to combat unionization.

While discussing strikes, boycotts, and political organizing as responses to exploitation, Garcia also looks at the alternative cultural expressions that challenged the discrimination which permeated the Los Angeles area. While his seeming digression into the worlds of little theater and dance halls may not seem immediately relevant to his discussion, a blended, and therefore more complete, history emerges, one that sees people not just from the viewpoint of their economic roles, but from their artistic and playful sides as well. With that approach the reader sees a world of human beings, not just statistics.

The highly-profitable southern California citrus industry began in the 1870s, promoted by state and local governments and by the economically dominant Southern Pacific Railroad, creating townships where citrus groves often came right to the doorsteps of the growers' homes, melding urban and rural landscapes. By the early 1900s crops were worked by Chinese, Sikh, Japanese, Mexican, Filipino, and white employees on farms averaging 10 to 30 acres in size. Despite ethnic and wage differences, workers attempted to organize but were thwarted in 1919 when alleged organizers were physically removed from the area by white growers, one of numerous vigilante anti-union actions in the citrus groves.

After World War I growers began favoring immigrant Mexican workers for the year-round (as opposed to seasonal) labour required. Company towns or segregated labour camps were built. Fear of Filipino intermarriage with whites spurred the shift to Mexican labour, and by 1940 the 22,000 Mexican men working in the orchards represented almost 100 per cent of the labour force. In the 1920s a state Commission of Immigration and Housing began pressuring growers to provide more decent housing, aided by local white educators and social workers whose Americanization programs were not readily accepted by the growing numbers of Mexicans. Workers resisted employer efforts to control their physical space by establishing colonias, communities which were Mexican-centered, some of which grew into large and complex communities on the edges of Southern California's citrus suburbs.

Immigration restrictions were favored by white growers, except for their Mexican work force, which caused debate in Congress on how best to protect a "white man's country." Growers argued that they did not have much use for Mexicans, but "we take him because there is nothing else available." With the advent of the Great Depression, however, government visa policies effectively cut off Mexican immigration into the United States. Both the American and Mexican governments supported repatriation of Mexicans to their native country. But those who stayed participated in union battles during the Depression decade and began shaping a culture independent of their immigrant parents. The Padua Hills Theater in Claremont, founded in 1931 and surviving into the 1970s, drew white audiences to Mexican-themed plays with Mexican performers, bridging a cultural gap and bringing awareness of Mexican-American social conditions to a larger community. That continued in later years with the growth of dance halls and concert venues for traditional Mexican music and an emerging Mexican-influenced rock and roll. That expansion into the larger, Anglo community led to the development of social and political organizations to combat de facto segregation.

Passage of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) in 1935 excluded agricultural workers from union organizing protections and employers continued to resist employee organization, often with violence. World War II, which brought stability to unions organized into the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), saw the birth of the bracero guest worker program, which lasted from 1942 through 1964. Mexican contract workers were brought into the United States to plant and harvest, and many Mexican women were hired in packinghouses, creating a new women's work culture. Packinghouse workers were covered by the NLRA, but employer-imposed divisions of the workforce combined with fear of losing the best jobs — however low-paid and dangerous — they ever had kept unions out. Tensions developed between Mexican nationals and Mexican-Americans, leading to the murder of a bracero in 1952 which stirred their communities into heated discussion and led Mexico to recall some 500 contract workers from southern California. The end of the bracero program in 1964 opened the floodgates of illegal immigration, which is an issue on the front pages today.

Matt Garcia does an excellent job of interpreting the past, including the recent past and the anti-immigrant backlash in California. Exploring the issues of illegal immigration may be beyond the scope of his book, but demands addressing. The Mexican-American community itself, Garcia notes, is divided on the issue. A larger perspective would have been useful. In a simplified nutshell, Mexico has large oil reserves, and in the 1970s borrowed heavily in an effort to enter the First World. Oil prices dropped, however, and Mexico found itself deeply in debt. The World Bank and International Monetary Fund agreed to lend Mexico the money to pay the interest on what it owed, in exchange for creating an "investment-friendly" climate — reduced government services, opposition to free trade unions, low wages, non-enforcement of environmental laws, and the like. Hundreds of American-owned factories known as maquiladoras opened on the other side of the border, and employed large numbers of young women. Unemployed young men sought work where they could find it, mainly by crossing the border illegally, and often at great risk (some 2,000 migrants have died in southern Arizona's deserts over the last decade) into the United States. Jobs await them from employers looking for cheap and docile labour, even though hiring undocumented workers is illegal. The problem of "illegal aliens" in the United States is a creation of the US's own policies and employer greed. And immigrants have always been useful scapegoats when the economy is awry, especially if they are darker and speak a foreign language. A World of Its Own urges us to look beyond a world of our own to see how race and class play out not just in Greater Los Angeles, but in the larger world.

Albert Vetere Lannon
Southwest Labor Studies Association, Arizona
Sent by  Albert V. Vela, Ph.D.

Matt Garcia, Ph.D.  Associate Professor 
American Civilization, Ethnic Studies and History 

Brown University, Norwood House, Box 1892 
82 Waterman Street, Providence, RI 02912 
Tel: (401)863-1697 Fax: (401)863-7589

Other Books authored by Dr. Garcia: 
A World of Its Own: Race, Labor, and Citrus in the Making of Greater Los Angeles, 1900-
1970 (2001, University of North Carolina Press); Co-winner, best book (biannual award), Oral History Association, 2003; Honorable Mention, John Hope Franklin Prize for best book, American Studies Association, 2003; Honorable Mention, Lora Romero Prize for best first book, American Studies Association, 2003.

Geographies of Latinidad: Mapping Latina/o Studies for the Twenty-First Century, co-edited volume with Professor Angharad Valdivia, Institute of Communication Research, University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign (forthcoming 2006, Duke University Press) 

Dr. Garica’s bio can be found at:
Included are article, reviewed, etc. which Dr. Garcia has authored.


Memorial Service for Laborer Leader, Fernando Pedraza

On Monday, May 5th, beginning at 9 A. M. in Rancho Cucamonga, at the corner of Arrow highway and Grove street, a memorial service and pilgrimage march will be held in memory of deceased day laborer leader Fernando Pedraza.  In taking up the dream that Pedraza had been working for before he died, the marchers will present hundreds of petitions at city hall for a day labor center in Rancho Cucamonga. 

The memorial service and march coincide with the day that Fernando Pedraza died one year ago.  On Cinco de Mayo, 2007, a spontaneous demonstration by the Minutemen against day laborers on the corner of Arrow Highway and Grove Avenue in Rancho Cucamonga, ended with the death of day laborer leader Jose Fernando Pedraza.  Fifty-seven year old Pedraza died at the corner where he waited on a daily basis for one-day jobs.  It is also the corner where Pedraza organized other day laborers to defend their rights.  In 2002, Pedraza was part of a court case against the City of Rancho Cucamonga who wanted to enforce a law disallowing day laborers to gather on the street.  In the recent months before his death, Pedraza had attended several meetings of the Rancho Cucamonga city council to support his fellow day laborers so that they could have a job center where they could be safe from hate-based attacks and traffic accidents.

Pedraza, a Mexican immigrant and a father of five daughters and the grandfather of seven, was killed at 1 P. M. on May 5, 2007 when an SUV, that hit a car in the intersection, rolled onto the sidewalk where day laborers were gathered.  On any other day, the day laborers would have left by the noon hour.  On this day, the day laborers stayed because the Minutemen showed up to protest the day laborer corner.

The memorial march and service is supported by the Latina/o Roundtable, the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, the Latino Student Union, The National Day Labor Organizing Network, CLUE, and a coalition of  campus/community organizations.

Sent by Roberto Calderon,  
Source: "Jose Calderon"



May 10th: Dionicio Morales Transit Center

Hello All,  
I just wanted to be sure you knew about the upcoming event for my dad, Dionicio Morales.  It is the dedication of the Dionicio Morales Transit Center (his park).  It will take place Saturday, May 10th from 3:00-4:00 p.m.  Supervisor Gloria Molina and MAOF will be sponsoring this event. 

East Los Angeles Civic Center
4801 East Third Street
Los Angeles, CA 90022

Magdalena Morales, President
Dionicio Morales Foundation
"Pride in Heritage Project"
(323) 225-4241


Legacy of Valor, May 16- June 1, San Jose Mexican Heritage Center
May 8th: From the Barrio to Washington: An Educator's Journey 
Heritage Discovery Center, May Update
Luis Angel Alejo receives public service award
May 3, La Peña's California's Musica Mexicana series continues
Rodolfo Marquez Cuellar, Descanse en Paz Hermano, 1927-2008
May 3, Cinco de Mayo Festival, Roseville, CA

May 4th Cinco de Mayo Festival and Parade in San Jose, CA.


Legacy of Valor 

May 16 to June 1st 

San Jose Mexican Heritage Center
1700 Alum Rock Ave
San Jose, CA 95116
(408) 272-9920

Rick Leal's 50 foot display, honoring Hispanic Medal of Honor recipients and members of all the Armed Forces will be available for viewing between May 16 and June 1st.  The Legacy of Valor will be featured at the 4- day National Council of La Raza conference in San Diego, July 12-15.  

The mission of the Mexican Heritage Plaza of San Jose is to affirm, celebrate and preserve the rich cultural heritage of the Mexican community and showcase multicultural arts within the region and nationally. MHC was founded by a group of San José's Mexican-American community leaders led by then-Vice Mayor Blanca Alvarado (now a Santa Clara County Supervisor) and Fernando Zazueta, a prominent local attorney. Their original goal was to develop the city's first Mexican cultural garden. That vision grew into a 55,000 square-foot cultural center that serves as a vibrant resource for cultural programming and education. Built in association with the San Jose Redevelopment Agency, it is one of the largest Latino cultural centers in the nation.

To learn more about the Mexican Heritage Plaza, visit


"From the Barrio to Washington: An Educator's Journey," 
Author Reading by Armando Rodriguez

DATE: Thursday, May 8, 2008
TIME: 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
UC Berkeley, Ethnic Studies Library, 30 Stephens Hall

Here is the invitation from Lily Castillo-Speed of the UC Berkeley Ethnic Studies Library for the Thursday, May 8, Author Reading by Armando Rodriguez.  
Refreshments will be served. Photos will be exhibited.  

Dear ES Faculty, Staff, and Students, Everyone is invited to a talk and book signing by Armando Rodriguez, author of "From the Barrio to Washington: An Educator's Journey," published by the University of New Mexico Press. From the attached flyer: "Rodriguez was influential in shaping education on local and national levels. Also a Latino pioneer in the world of electoral politics, a mentor to leaders of burgeoning Latino advocacy groups, an international reformer, and a labor rights activist, Rodriguez is the hero in the story of a boy from the barrio who became an
instrument of change for his community and country. His life's lessons are not those of a bygone era but are important to today's youth."


A review of the book is at the following link:

Armando Rendon




                           ~ May UDPATE ~  



Mustano’s View~ A Remembrance

 From time to time, we meet friends that will always hold a special place in our hearts. The kind of friends that are there through thick and thin. The friends that no matter how bad you are, they can make everything okay again, and the friends that will not only fight your battles, but will take you for your victory gallop… In the last two months, we have lost two of those friends. Our remarkable foundation stallion, Buenos Aries and our wonderful painted gelding, Begotes.


Buenos Aries

 Lovingly known as “BA”, was the most intelligent and brave soul that I have ever had the privilege to share my life with. He had strength in everything that he did and was exceptionally proud of who he was and his Spanish heritage. He had a light that you could never dim and a presence that could not be ignored. But most of all…he was my friend.  BA left us unexpectedly and too soon, we shared his wonderful life and his spirit will remain with us forever. If there is such a thing as a soul-mate, he became mine.


Buenos Aries was a foundation stallion from the Wilbur-Cruce ranch.  BA was already 2 yrs old when he came to live with us in Monterey , Ca in July 1, 1990 with the other Spanish Wilbur-Cruce horses. A precocious youngster he matured into a gentleman who was courteous, creative, refined, noble, bold, adventurous, and courageous.  BA became a great leader and manager but he never forgot how to express joy.  He helped us find all of those attributes in ourselves and led us toward our spiritual aspirations as well.  He encouraged the mind and heart to soar.  BA was a highly educated individual, mostly due to his own curiosity and initiative.  Buenos Aries participated in Liberty work, Classical Dressage, Doma Vaquera, Jousting, Jumping, Event Performance, Parades, our re-enactments, documentaries, and public presentations and was eagerly engaged with his full heart and soul in each effort.   He was also my favorite individual to just disappear down the trail with.  BA never said no, he only said more…   Whatever trail lies before you BA, my heart is with you, and may you always have more...  

“When God had created the horse, He spoke to the magnificent creature: ‘I have made thee unlike any other.  All the treasures of this Earth lie between thine eyes’.”


Never thank yourself.  Always thank the horses for the happiness and the joy we experience through them.”



Generosity unparalleled…Begotes was our friend and partner.  He shared his life with thousands of people in the 24 years of his life with us. He traveled throughout the state to Fairs and historic events so that people may see, touch and connect with our historical western history, and the legacy of our American Mustang.

BegBegotes was a beautiful and perfect example of the color pattern of ‘frame overo’, and as he adorned our pasture and graced our lives with his magnificent presence he was a constant reminder of love and perseverance.  He had been crippled as a week old foal during a BLM helicopter gathering of mustangs in Susanville California .  This injury to his left front hoof was a permanent disability…but he continued to
demonstrate the value of a life well lived and gave his best every day of his life to everything and everyone that he touched.  Begotes was truly an inspiration to us all.

Begotes was on Dan Rather (20/20) and many other media events and documentaries about the issues and purpose for saving our western wild horses and their Legacy.  He enjoyed working in our EAGALA, and educational programs and he was our most wonderful ‘living canvas’ for our pony panting classes and events.  So many stories of people’s lives and feelings were expressed and told as they painted their thoughts on his beautiful coat for us to share and understand.  

He guarded the mares and foals that were out in pasture when they were in mountain lion and coyote country and he was the role model, mentor and friend to our foals while they grew up through adolescence. How fortunate they were to have such a great companion and protector.  

The absence of Begotes is a loss in our days and emptiness in our hearts…we miss him greatly.  For those who had the great fortune to have shared his life we appreciate that you had the opportunity to have known the wonderful ‘spirit’ of our equine partner, eternal friend and  the Heritage he represented.  

To our boys:  I will remember you and all of the things that we’ve gone through, there is so much I could say but words get in the way. When I need to find you I’ll just close my eyes, for you’ll never be that far from me… I love you


As for the Heritage Discovery Center , we’ve had a hard time pushing through this difficult time, but we were delighted to welcome little ‘Notorio’ to our family. He was born a little over one month ago and is the son of our special black mare Bravura and our foundation Cruce Stallion Francisco. This little love is full of life and personality, and is turning out to be an extremely exciting color – a black chestnut. This old Spanish color is rarely seen anymore. Notorio has been a very special gift to us in this time of weakened heart.


Two very exciting updates ~

In the beginning of April, we were invited to a royal event in Olympia , Wa . where we were formal guests of His Excellency, King Juan Carlos of Spain as his council knighted Brad Owen, Washington ’s Lieutenant Governor. He was honored for introducing the Spanish-built high-speed Talgo train to Washington , promoting Spanish language instruction and teacher exchanges, and bringing Spanish art treasures for exhibitions in Seattle .


King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia visited the Seattle Art Museum exhibition in 2004. He, along with with our friend Antonio Sanchez ,
Senior Analyst and Coordinator of Economic De development and International Relaons for Washington State, helped create the Cervantes Institute at the University of Washington to further promote Spanish language and Thank you Rafael Ojeda for hosting us! culture, as well as promoting the development of Fort Nunez Ganona in Neah Bay to commemorate the first European settlement in the territory 215 years ago. We were extremely honored to be included in such a special event.   BA would  have been proud… for this was his heritage.


Recently, we were also quite delighted to meet a new and special friend – Miles Dean. This school teacher and executive director of the American group, ‘Black Heritage Riders, rode over 6000 miles from Manhattan to California to spread his message of how the Africans and their horses have traveled through history together. We were so pleased that we were able to host him and his California trip coordinator, a Merced High School teacher and fellow horse-person, Lyndell Johnson, and they had the mutual pleasure of meeting California ’s horses of history – the Wilbur-Cruce herd. This is yet another example of the vast multi-cultural heritage that we are in hope of accurately representing. The horse has been so important to mankind throughout the history of all ethnic backgrounds all over the world that their rapid-fading stories must be remembered and told.

Miles Dean and his partner Sankofa
(‘To return to get it’ in the Ghanaian Language)

As for our current situation: The beauty of spring is so undeniable, it amazes me every year just as much if not more than the year before. The colorful wildflowers in their pinks  and blues,  purples and  yellows, it just make me smile every time I lay eyes on them. Unfortunately, due to the drought, the beautiful yellow flowers are the toxic “fiddle-neck” and they are taking over our pasture. So we need to hire some help to come out and aid us in pulling all of these lethal plants so our horses can be safe from the fatal liver damage that this noxious weed causes them when consumed . We refuse to use poison on the property out of our love and respect for nature, so if you can spare even just one dollar to help with the cost of the labor it will take to keep these horses safe, you would be helping priceless lives. And to make donations even easier, we now have PAYPAL on our website: You can also still send your tax-deductible and much appreciated donations to:     

Heritage Discovery Center
40222 Millstream Lane
Madera, CA 93636

Edited by: Celeste L. Yantis


Luis Angel Alejo receives public service award
Only two recognized in the state

The Watsonville Register-Pajaronian, April 4, 2008

Luis Alejo, Watsonville community activist and public interest attorney, was honored Saturday with the 2008 John F. Kennedy Jr. Award for Outstanding Public Service at the California State Democratic Convention.

Only one male and one female honoree were awarded this statewide recognition by the California Democratic Party, said Alejo.

"I was honored to receive the award, but I also acknowledged everyone that I have been privileged to work with and the farmworker movement," he said. "Everything we accomplish is because we work together to make good changes for our communities."

To be considered for the award, nominees must show outstanding leadership qualities, and must have made a difference affecting the lives of Californians in their communities, according to the California Democratic Party's Web site.

Alejo has been extremely active in education, particularly in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District. He filed a lawsuit against the school district in February alleging violations of open government laws.

He is also active in immigration issues, and was the coordinator of the 2006 Pajaro Valley Voter Registration and Education Project, which registered hundreds of voters and distributed thousands of fliers about citizenship issues to non-citizens in Watsonville.

Alejo works for California Rural Legal Assistance, a statewide nonprofit organization that works with impoverished people. He also works as a staff attorney of the Monterey County Superior Court, where he assists English- and Spanish-speaking self-represented litigants who cannot afford private attorneys.

Alejo has been engaged in grassroots community organizing since he was 19.  He graduated with honors from UC Berkeley in 1997 with dual bachelor's degrees in political science and Chicano studies. In May 2001, he obtained his Juris Doctorate from UC Davis School of Law with a concentration in public interest law. In June 2003, he received his master's of education degree from Harvard University with a concentration in administration, planning and social policy.

He is a founding member of the Pajaro Valley Cesar Chavez Democratic Club.  "I was honored to be recognized by fellow Democrats and state party leaders at a statewide level," he said. "I try to represent our community in a very positive way. I received a lot of compliments from people from all over the state about the work we are doing in the Pajaro Valley. But to me, the recognition is of the efforts of many people whom I am privileged to work with for the betterment of our community."
(Published in 4/4/08 edition)

The Santa Cruz Sentinel, April 3, 2008
Activist wins Democrat award

Luis Alejo, an activist lawyer who's worked on causes ranging from education to immigration, has won the California Democratic Party's 2008 John F. Kennedy, Jr. Award for Outstanding Public Service.

The award, which honors one man and one woman statewide, was presented to Alejo on Saturday at the California State Democratic Convention in San Jose.

The award was established in 2000 to honor the spirit of Kennedy, who encouraged young people from all walks of life to get involved in public service and to engage with the important issues of the day.

To qualify for the award, nominees had to have displayed outstanding leadership qualities in service to others and have made a substantive difference in the lives of Californians in their communities.

Luis Angel Alejo 


May 3, La Peña's California's Musica Mexicana series 
continues with   
Mariachi Postmoderno:  La Familia Peña-Govea


Saturday May 3, 2008. 7:30pm: Conversation with Artists. 8:30pm: Performance. $10 before 7:30pm, $12 dr. At La Peña 3105 Shattuck Ave. Berkeley.

The California's Mexican Music Series is a multi-part series of music from Mexico's five distinctive geographic regions. Jose Cuellar, Ph.D. (a.k.a. Dr. Loco), noted Xicano musician and SFSU professor, will host the events, engaging the featured artists in lively panel discussions followed by exceptional evenings of música mexicana!

Gaining a well-deserved reputation as an exciting San Francisco-based band of multi-instrumentalists and vocalists, the Peña-Goveas present a memorable program of Mexican rancheras, waltzes, polkas, boleros, and cumbias with great gusto!  Susan Peña (the mother) sings and plays violin and guitar, Miguel Govea (the father) sings and plays trumpet, violin, guitarron and button accordion, and Cecilia (13 year old daughter) sings, plays trumpet and guiro, and perform a wide-range traditional and original music in a variety of styles.

The series also includes:

Mexican Music Clinic & Tardeada with Miguel Govea. Sunday April, 27. 3 - 4:30pm - Learn about the Corrido tradition 4:30 - 6:00 pm - Tardeada jam session in La Peña's Café.

Mexican Music Classes Every Tuesday Night at La Peña - Free! 6:30 - 7:45 pm - Acordeón with Jose Cuellar 6:30 - 7:45 pm - Mexican Guitar with Tomas Montoya To sign up or for more information, visit or call Sophia at
510-849-2568 x20.

More Music to come in Summer 08 - Mariachi, Marimba and Conjunto Music, Please visit for more information please contact Fernando at 510-849-2568 x 15



Descanse en Paz Hermano

Rodolfo Marquez Cuellar


Rodolfo Marquez Cuellar, a longtime Roseville resident who championed the rights of farm workers and started one of the area's first bilingual newspapers, died Saturday. He was 80.

"He told me to become involved in politics and be involved in my culture and be a part of community service because that's what he was all about," family friend and Roseville City School District board member Rene Aguilera said. "I looked up to him and will totally miss him."

Mr. Cuellar was born in 1927 to Francisco and Maria Cuellar in El Paso, Texas, and was the oldest of four children.

After his parents separated when he was a teenager, Mr. Cuellar moved to Roseville with his mother, his sister Dora and his brother Roberto. He worked for an ice plant before taking a job repairing box cars for the Pacific Fruit Exchange.

A U.S. Army veteran, Mr. Cuellar met and married a Roseville woman named Velia Alice Ojeda. The couple had a son and a daughter.

His children were still in school when Mr. Cuellar decided to complete his high school diploma. It was while he was going to night school in 1967 that he became involved in the Chicano civil rights movement and began writing letters to the editor.

"He wrote about how we're Americans, but we're Mexican Americans," his son, Rudy Cuellar Jr., said. "He got a lot of flak for that. I would get pressure from some of the kids at school, who'd say, 'What's wrong with your dad?' But he wasn't breaking windows. He was just expressing himself.

"People didn't understand. Everybody wanted to just assimilate, and so did we. But he was saying it's important to understand what's happened in the process."

Mr. Cuellar soon began working with the Placer County Democratic Committee, and was a vocal supporter of labor leader Cesar Chavez, collecting canned food to take to striking farm workers in the Central Valley.

Mr. Cuellar helped found the Mexican American Political Association of Roseville and was instrumental in bringing Chavez and Sacramento artist, educator and writer Jose Montoya to Roseville.

"They spoke to people, usually small crowds, but nonetheless it was exposure that people didn't get," said his son, an artist who was affiliated with the Royal Chicano Air Force.

Eventually, his father's activism got him in trouble with his employer and he was forced to retire while he was still in his 40s.  "He was an agitator," said the son. "I remember hearing one man say he was being a 'Kenmore.' "

The loss of his job, however, led Mr. Cuellar to a new career in journalism. He started a bilingual newspaper called El Progreso, where he worked as editor, reporter and photographer covering politics and local events such as Mexican Flag Day.

"At that time, I was also a journalist and so I'd give him rides, or he'd give me rides to events," said Aguilera. "His favorite line was, 'Make sure you document every event, because once you document it you have it for life.' "

Aguilera said Mr. Cuellar took photographs everywhere he went and wanted to compile some of his collection into a book.  Mr. Cuellar also remained a political activist, leading the campaign to elect Gilbert Duran to the Roseville City Council.

"He taught me a lot," Aguilera said. "He made a big difference in a lot of people's lives not only politically, but making them aware of their culture."

From Rene Aguilera 916-532-5998,

For those that knew Rudy Cuellar Sr. there will be celebration of his life at the VFW Hall on Stockton Blvd. near Broadway from 4pm to 6pm this Friday only (the family just asks for you to bring something to munch on) and of course, at this Saturday's Cinco de Mayo event at Cirby Elementary School where his daughter Sylvia Cuellar volunteers in the classrooms and his grandson attends. Contact Alicia Peterson if you can volunteer at the Cirby Cinco de Mayo event at 916-300-6420 or myself at 916-532-5998.

Free Cinco de Mayo Fiesta in Roseville on Saturday, May 3, 2008

The Battle of Puebla took place May 5, 1862 and is commemorated annually as Cinco de Mayo, with celebrations on and around that day. May 5, 1862, contrary to what some may think, does not mark Mexico's Independence from Spain. Mexican Independence Day was September 15, 1810.

The Hispanic Empowerment Association of Roseville (HEAR) invites all to the 8th Annual Cinco de Mayo Fiesta on Saturday, May 3, 2008 at Roseville’s Cirby Elementary School and Multi-Purpose Room located at 814 Darling Way
off Riverside Ave. or Douglas Blvd / Keehner Ave. All proceeds of this year’s event go to the Cirby PTC for students and other school activities such as field trips and school supplies.

There will be live music and cultural ethnic dance performances as well as Mariachi’s, Aztec Dancers and drummers, Banda del Valle, ballet folklorico groups, children’s activities, Mexican food and a job, education, art and health fair.

“This is the only non-alcoholic and tobacco free event specifically designed for families and youth of all races,” said event organizer of HEAR, Rene Aguilera.  “We expect all to learn about the origins of Cinco de Mayo and come away with a better knowledge of our music, foods and culture,” Aguilera concluded.

Art, Education, Health and Job Fair
Saturday, May 3, 2008
814 Darling Way off Riverside Ave. or off Douglas Blvd./Keehner Ave.
Roseville, CA 95678
11 am to 5:00 pm

11:00 am Aztec Dancers and Drummers with a tribute and blessing to Rudy Cuellar and Familia
12 noon – Ballet Folklorico de Cirby Elementary School and Adelante High School
1 pm – Mariachi Tonantzin
2:30 pm – Banda del Valle
4:00 pm – Trio Capital - A tribute to the passing of fallen Roseville Leader Rudy Cuellar with Musica del era de Los Panchos

Contact Rene Aguilera at 916-532-5998  or Alicia Peterson at 916-303-6420

Sent by Richard Esquivel
Vice President, La Raza Network


  Sunday, May 4th
Cinco de Mayo Festival and Parade in San Jose, CA.

Location: Guadalupe River Park - Discovery Meadows
Time:  10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Please contact Pamela Harter, Latino Campaign coordinator, for more details.




Latinos and Seattle's civil rights history


This page is a gateway to the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project resources for exploring the civil rights activism of Latnos in the Pacific Northwest. Included are activist oral histories, research reports, newspaper reports, photographic collections, maps, historical documents

Slide Show: Raza Si! Chicano Activism in Washington State, 1965-today a powerpoint slide show introduces the history of the Chicano Movement. Includes video interview excerpts. 

Activist Oral Histories  Click to learn more about these activists and watch video excerpts of their oral history interviews., Pedro
Born in Wapato, Washington, Pedro Acevez was part of the first contingent of Chicano students to enroll at the University of Washington. He served as President of MEChA de UW and helped organize farm workers in the Yakima Valley as part of a United Farm Workers campaign in the early 1970s., Yolanda
The daughter of farm workers, Yolanda Alaniz was active in MEChA, the Brown Berets, the Freedom Socialist Party and Radical Women, in addition to writing for the UW Daily on Chicana issues. She now works as an archivist, preserving Chicano/a history., Juan Jose
Born in Mexico, raised in Texas, Juan Bocanegra moved to Seattle in 1971 to earn a graduate degree at UW. He quickly became active in the Chicano movement on campus and in the community, including the establishment of El Centro de la Raza. He also participated in the American Indian Movement struggles.., Sidney
Sydney Gallegos was born into a farming family in northern New Mexico. In 1969, Gallegos came to Seattle to attend UW. One of the founders of MEChA, he was also active in El Teatro del Pioja, a guerrilla theater group. After earning his degree in dentristy, Dr. Gallegos helped found the Seattle chapter of the National Chicano Health Organization., Erasmo
As a student at the University of Washington in the late 1960s and early 1970s Erasmo Gamboa was a founding member of MEChA, organized the grape boycott in support of farm workers, and was instrumental in establishing the Chicano Studies Program. He later earned his Ph.D and now teaches American Ethnic Studies and U.S. History at UW., Guadalupe
Guadalupe Gamboa is one of the founders of the United Farm Workers of Washington state. He grew up in the Yakima Valley and has been active in farm worker organizing since the 1960s. A graduate of UW law school, he was also one of the founders of MEChA at UW., Rosalinda
Rosalinda Guillen helped lead the United Farm Workers campaign that resulted in a contract with Chateau Ste. Michelle winery in 1995. A native of Skagit County, she had worked in the fields when she was young, then built a successful career as a bank officer. She gave that up to devote herself to farm worker organizing., Roberto
Founder of El Centro de la Raza, Roberto Maestas first became involved in Chicano/Latino activism in the late 1960s as a teacher at Franklin High School. He helped organize farm workers in the Yakima valley and students at UW and South Seattle Community College before leading the effort that resulted in El Centro., Frank and Blanca
Frank Martinez and Blanca Estella met at the UW during the 1970s. Active in MEChA and the farm workers movement, they were also principle actors and organizers of Teatro del Piojo, the activist Chicano theater troup that performed throughout the Pacific Northwest during the 1970s., Ricardo
Judge Martinez grew up in Lynden, WA when his family moved there from Texas. Attending UW in the early 1970s, he was active in MEChA. After earning a law degree, he became a King County deputy prosecutor, a Superior Court judge, and since 2004, a U.S. District Court Judge., Rogelio
Born in Texas and raised in Eastern Washington, Riojas enrolled at UW in 1969 and became a leader of the Chicano movement, active in both MEChA and the Brown Berets. Later earning a degree in Health Administration, he has been the director of the Sea Mar Community Health Centers for the past 28 years., Jesus
Jesus Rodriquez was a Chicano movement student leader at Texas Western University (now UTEP) before joining the UW's Chicano Studies program as a graduate student. A student-activist, Rodriquez was an active member of MEChA, the Brown Berets, a co-founder of SeaMar Community Health Centers.ña, Rebecca
Raised in Seattle, Rebecca
Saldaña is an activist  and labor organizer. Involved in farmworker solidarity efforts with PCUN and the United Farmworkers, she worked on Fair Trade Apples campaign. Currently she organizes janitors with SEIU Local 6 and is a board member of STITCH., Tomas
Founder and past President of the United Farm Workers of Washington state, Tomas Villanueva was 14 when his family immigrated from Mexico, settling in Toppenish three years later.  Since the mid 1960s, he has devoted his life to the struggle to unionize farm workers.


Fort Nunez Dedication

11 am, Saturday 17, 2008

For information on the dedication, please contact Rafael Ojeda. Email:



Father Kino's Memory Politicized
Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail
Eloisa Carrasco Baca Dies
May 3, Antologia de un Charro, Cinco de Mayo Celebration
Forty-niners in the Valley

Father Kino's Memory Politicized

Artist Miguel Angel Grijalva works on his painting titled "Restitution of the Essential," which ties Father Kino to today's border issues. (Greg Bryan/Arizona Daily Star)

Lourdes Medrano - Arizona Daily Star

In a Tucson artist's painting of Father Eusebio Francisco Kino, the Jesuit missionary forcefully emerges from the past to confront modern-day maladies of an international border that didn't exist in his day.

Kino, who died nearly three centuries ago, is depicted next to indigenous people as he encounters a Mexican illegal border-crosser, a Border Patrol agent and a member of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps.

In Miguel Grijalva's oil painting, guns are dropped at the sight of Kino, one of Southern Arizona's most recognized historical figures. In real life, the artist knows that when it comes to the U.S.-Mexican border, things are more complicated.

"The missions Father Kino founded are still going strong on both sides of the border," Grijalva said. "But the border is just falling apart, it's falling out of control."

Amid the annual May celebration that honors the priest in his final resting place of Magdalena de Kino, Sonora, the memory of the priest is being increasingly politicized.

In last year's festival, Kino was portrayed as an illegal entrant in handcuffs. This week, Grijalva will unveil his painting during the Magdalena event. Meanwhile, in Tucson, a Carmelite priest and a group of retired educators and other professionals are working with Sonora residents to establish an educational center somewhere near the border, in part to promote Kino's legacy in the same vein.

"We are all hungry for a figure that says, 'There are no borders, we are one people,' " Father Vicente Lopez said in his Midtown home.

Although the tolerance of illegal immigration among people of faith is nothing new, the elevation of Kino as standard bearer has only recently flourished. And it is taking place as the Vatican considers the Italian-born missionary for sainthood.

Lopez said some may criticize Kino, who started or founded more than 20 missions in what is now Southern Arizona and Northern Sonora, for spreading Christianity to Indians of the Pimeria Alta. But he said the missionary did so while respecting their language and identity.

Following Kino's example of respect for indigenous people and for convivencia - living together - can go a long way toward addressing border-related problems that are magnified by anti-immigrant attitudes on the part of lawmakers and newcomers who don't know the area's history, Lopez said.

"That's not the real story of the border," the Tucson priest said. "The real story is that we've lived together and that we've depended upon one another, and that we have shared family values, shared family blood lines. We are not all illegal, or undocumented. Some of us have been here for centuries."

Just like Kino advocated in the late 1600s and early 1700s, Lopez said, people on both sides of the border and all sides of the illegal-immigration debate must look for ways to coexist peacefully.

But Minuteman President Chris Simcox said the chaos surrounding the border cannot be solved merely by disarming his group and entering into a dialogue.

"If I came face-to-face with Jesus I wouldn't drop my gun," he said, adding that the Minuteman volunteers who patrol the border for illegal activity choose to arm themselves for protection.

Regardless of what supporters of illegal immigration do, Simcox said his group would continue its work in Arizona. "Our mission is to bring order to the border . . . faith or any deity is not going to solve this issue."

Meanwhile, the founder of Mothers Against Illegal Aliens said that as a Christian, she is offended by the use of Kino's name to encourage people to sneak into the country illegally.

"Those people, what they're doing is using a religious icon to benefit their cause, and it's shameful," Michelle Dallacroce said.

The Rev. Robin Hoover, leader of Humane Borders, which operates water stations in the desert for illegal entrants, said he isn't intimately familiar with Kino's work. But he said Kino's legacy could be effective in drawing attention to border and immigration matters.

"It's a perfect scenario - give the people something to identify with," Hoover said.

Contact reporter Lourdes Medrano at



Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail - 
Park Newspaper (U.S. National Park Service)

 By Don Garate


During the first two weeks of  October this year, a group of Anza Society members and their friends toured the homeland of the ancestors of Captain Juan Bautista de Anza in the Basque Country of northern Spain and southern France. Although the group saw many interesting sites and monuments in the history of Spain and the New World, their focus was Captain Anza, beginning with the earliest known places where his ancestors lived, and culminating with the house where his father, also named Juan Bautista de Anza, was born and the house where his sister, Gregoria, died.

After flying to Barcelona and taking a day there to see the sites, including the place where Columbus reported to Isabel and Fernando on the return from his first trip to the New World, the Anza tour actually began in Pamplona. Driving from there by bus up over the Pyrenees into present-day France, they visited the ancient pass known to the Basques as Orreaga, but more commonly known to the rest of the world as Roncesvalles. There in the year 778, the Basques, which included ancestors of Juan Bautista de Anza, massacred the rear guard of Charlemagne who had just ransacked Pamplona on his return from Zaragosa.

From Orreaga it is only a short distance down the mountain on the French side to the community of Zisa/Donibane- Garazi (known in French as St. Jean Pied-de-Port), where the Anza name actually came into being. There the group met six members of the present-day Anza family who took them on a tour of the ancient walled village with the beautiful Errobi River flowing through the center of it.

For a continuation of the article, go to:

Caption for photo One of the Anza family farms. This one is located in the Pyrenees above Zisa, France (to the right) and Hernani, Spain (to the left)

Number 36 Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail January 2008
Sent by Barry Starr



Sent by Dorinda Moreno
La Prensa, San Diego, April 4


"Antología de un Charro"
Cinco de Mayo Celebration

Saturday, May 3, 2008, 8pm

Albuquerque New México, Journal Theatre


A musical Journey through the feelings and emotions of the "Charro Mexicano". The strong and virile image of a Mexican man, a symbol that emerges at the need to bring out proudly the attributes of the country man:  His Love to this land, his country, his lady and his God. 
Armando Mora with live Mariachi Band and spectacular Folk Mexican Ballet.  
Special guest artists: Claraliz Mora and Salome Martinez

TICKETMASTER: 1 505 883 7800                                            
Felipe Infante Identity Productions: "Por la Expresión Artística del Alma Hispana" 
Sent by content&task=view&id=400&Itemid




Forty-niners in the Valley

By  Norman Rozeff, 

December 2007


It led to the largest migration in US history. It led to the admission of California into the Union in September 9,1850, only a short period after this Mexico territory was transferred to the United States by the Treaty of Guadeloupe Hidalgo in February 1848. It led to San Francisco growing from a small backwater settlement into a full-blown city. It changed the direction of our nation. It was the discovery of gold at Sutter's mill in Coloma, east of Sacramento, on January 24, 1848.

Subsequent overblown, exaggerated newspaper publicity fueled the gold rush. The first major East Coast paper to do so was the New York Herald of August 19,1848. When expansionist-minded President James Polk mentioned it in his speech to Congress on December 5, 1848, he put the imprint of veracity on it. He stated " The accounts of the abundance of gold in that territory are of such extraordinary character as would scarcely command belief were they not corroborated by authentic reports of officers in public service."

The number of individuals who traveled to California over the next few years ranges up to 300,000, about half to two-thirds of them being American. In 1849 alone 85,000 migrated to the territory, 40,000 by ship, 15,000 via Mexico, and 30,000 on trails across the continent. This latter route entailed a journey of at least 2,200 mile west from Independence or St. Joseph, Missouri. The first major trek from Missouri began in May 1849.

From the East Coast a sea voyage around Cape Horn at the southern tip of South America could take up to eight months and cost between $600 and $1,200 depending on accommodations. A shorter route was to voyage to the east coast of the Panama Isthmus, boat 75 miles up the Chagres River then traverse the 25 jungle miles to Panama City by mules. From here, and often after a considerable delay, it was another ocean crossing, this time to  San Francisco or even a port to the south. This journey encompassed five months.  In the year 1850 the Panama trip was taken by about 13,800 individuals; the Cape Horn one by 11,700. Passage through Nicaragua was also taken by some.

These and other routes exposed the traveler to myriad diseases. These included dysentery, cholera, typhoid, malaria, yellow fever, and scurvy among others. For the adventurers the loss of life was considerable.

The American overland trails were equally as hazardous. The major ones were the Oregon/California Trail that approached Salt Lake City at one point, a southern offshoot from this leading through Death Valley; the Santa Fe and Old Spanish Trails as approaches to Southern California; and the Gila River route via Santa Fe or El Paso and also leading to Southern California.

It was through Mexico that yet other alternatives were offered. The most popular route here was to journey by sea to Veracruz then go overland to Mexico City, Guadalajara, and on to a west coast Mexico port to catch a ship north to California.

What few Valleyites know is that one of the routes selected by some 49ers was through the Valley, on to Monterrey, Saltillo, Buena Vista, and west across the Sierra Madre Occidental Mountains to the seaport at Mazatlan.

Numerous 49ers kept diaries or later wrote reminiscences of their experiences.  One that touches on the Valley itself is the journal maintained by John Woodhouse Audubon, son of the naturalist and artist John James Audubon, and an artist and wildlife collector in his own right. He was born November 30, 1812 in Kentucky. In 1837 at age 25 he had visited Texas with his father for collection purposes and returned to do so alone in 1845-46.

With the gold rush gaining momentum, American fortune seekers soon began to organize into companies in order to better attack the many challenges that they would face.  Adventures put up their own funds, and other investors, banking on prospects for good returns, also put up money for the companies. Those that would migrate were mostly formed into military-type groups, since logistics and discipline would be required for a successful venture.

John Woodhouse Audubon joined a company that was financed primarily by his friends of the Kingsland family. This company, organized for mutual defense and assistance, was to be led by Col. Henry L. Webb. He was a veteran of the Mexican American War who had joined the Illinois volunteers and rose to command a regiment. It was his supposed knowledge of Mexico that led the company to take a route through this country. Audubon signed on 1/3/49 and his agreement induced others to follow. He was to be second in command of the organization.  He contracted to remain with the party for one year. It would benefit from his extensive "knowledge of a backwoodsman's life" and he would have the flexibility to pursue specimens of birds and mammals and draw from nature. He was 36 years old when he left New York, 2/8/49, for the expedition.

The company supplied everything except personal belongings and a horse. Each man was later to repay the initial expenses through his gold earnings. It embarked with 80 men from New York and joined with others from the Philadelphia area. The total number was about 98. They took with them $27,000 in cash. All the potential prospectors collected at Cairo, Illinois and embarked down the Mississippi River to New Orleans. They took with them, as they were later to find out, poorly made wagons manufactured in Cincinnati. The elapsed time from NY was 10 days. Once in New Orleans the party made important purchases. They ordered horse and mule shoes, bacon, flour, bags, tools, and ammunition. They then boarded the Globe for passage to Brazos Island and the Valley. This 461 ton propeller-driven vessel usually plied between Galveston and Brazos Santiago. Once offshore in South Texas, the first of many problems to plague the company ensued. The weather was uncooperative, and the ship had to stand offshore for four days before it could risk crossing the shallows above the sand bar in Brazos Santiago Passage. Once ashore the party rode their horses to Brownsville, arriving March 8, with only having had a hard-boiled egg for a mid-day repast.

Major Benjamin William Brice commanded Fort Brown at the time. Audubon was not impressed by Brownsville. He noted that many of the houses had been constructed by a Mr. McGown, that they were good, but simple. He reflected on the abundance of drinking houses and billiard parlors. Mentioned were the two ferryboats plying on hawsers between Brownsville and Matamoras and the thriving business of smuggling.

Col. Webb came up the Rio Grande to Brownsville on the small sidewheeler Mentoria, owned by Miflin Kenedy.  It had been built in Alabama in 1845 for the US Quartermaster Department. Webb was unhappy when the purchases of a few barrels of rice in town cost him twice the price asked in New Orleans.

The company boarded the Corvette commandeered by Captain O'Daniel. This medium-sized sidewheeler had been built in 1846 and was owned by the US Quartermaster Department. Just north of Brownsville the ship struck and became mired on a bar. This, of course, was not unusual, for the Rio Grande was notorious for its erratic flow levels. Once again underway Audubon recorded that the river was "erratic" and the ranchos along it "forlorn." He was not impressed by the jacals, rank reed growth, scant trees, except for "musquit" and willow though hackberry further back looked better.

The company wanted to go as far as Roma for their start would be across the river at Mier, Mexico. The river waters were low however and the steamboat captain did not want to chance getting hung up on a bar. The company was set ashore on the Mexico side opposite Camp Ringgold at Rio Grande City. The men encountered difficulties in unloading the supplies across the mud and sand adjacent to the solid land. Immediately the shirkers and goldbricks among the company became evident. Temperatures in the high 90s did not help matters.

The company later met with Major Joseph Hatch La Motte, who, like the other soldiers stationed at the camp, lived in a tent. Others at the camp who would befriend the party were Captains McCown and Deas,and  Lieutenants Caldwell, Hazzard, and Hayne. Once the party was established, Col. Webb took off for Camargo and then on to China about 50 miles from the Rio Grande on the Rio San Juan.  His goal was to purchase mules.

It was on 3/15/49 that J. Booth Lambert became the first fatality of the company. He was a victim of cholera.  He was buried at the (Clay) Davis' Rancho about ½ mile above Camp Ringgold. The company doctor, John B. Trask, contended that in his northern practice he had never seen the likes of the symptoms exhibited here. This disease caused consternation when three more men came down with it. Cholera was spread in water and food through poor sanitation.  The waters of the Rio Grande were likely the source of the infection. With the arrival of the steamer Tom McKinney, operated by her master Captain Miller, any who wished to leave for Roma were given the opportunity for the $100 fee Audubon was to pay for all. When the steamboat later came back downstream it carried 18-20 men who now opted to return to New Orleans.

The cause of cholera, a bacterial disease, were not known at the time, so the poor remedies offered by Dr. Campbell, who served at the camp, were largely ineffective.  These included the use of calomel lotion, external mustard packs, opium for pain, camphor, and brandy stimulants. These did nothing for the extreme dehydration and loss of bodily minerals and salts that were the cause of death.

Audubon had been entrusted with the company funds and was storing them in his saddle bags.  Dr. Campbell's recommended that Audubon place them in the hands of a man named White for safekeeping. White was the barkeeper at the Armstrong Hotel in Rio Grande City. Audubon did so. When Audubon wished to use some of the money a few days later, White claimed that he knew nothing about any money. A magistrate was contacted but did little. When word of this reached the company, the men were incensed and threatened to hang White.  After they persisted in pursuing this option, White admitted the thief and promised to recover the money in return for being freed. Once back with him in the bush where the loot was buried, the company found nothing, for White's accomplice, a man named Hughes, had removed it. With the help of Don Francisco, father-in-law of Clay Davis, Hughes was located and apprehended. $3,500 of the $14,500 was recovered at this time and returned to Audubon. Other suspects in the thievery became known, but they had left for Mexico where it would be impossible to bring them to justice.

In the interim 52 members of the company, twenty of whom were too ill to move, had become ill with cholera. A total of ten men of the original company were eventually to die. Party members did not want to associate whatsoever with any sick individuals, but Dr. Kearney of Rio Grande City did so. His extreme devotion to duty during this period led to his death. By this time many had fled to Roma and then across the river to Mier. On March 21 Col. Webb contracted the disease as did Audubon. Both were to survive. Two days later $4,000 more of the stolen funds was returned at Roma.  The balance of $7,000 was never found.

Once in Mier, 21 of the company's party agreed to go on, but Audubon was not one of them. Dissenters awaited a steamboat in Rio Grande City to take the party back downstream to Brownsville. It was delayed for whatever reason. Chaffing at the bit the party rejected any further command under Col. Webb. That was just as well for he communicated just then that he was too ill to continue to lead the expedition. In the interim Audubon had been entreated to take the lead of the party.  He then consented to do so. By a month later he had put the affairs in order, moved the 20 miles from Camp Ringgold to Mier, and returned a proportionate share of the money and provisions to Webb and the members who would head home. On April 28 a new start was made. Now fifty men all told commenced the arduous, adventurous odyssey west. This group included two cooks, two teamsters, two servants, and some loosely committed to the company.

At Roma the company took the main road to Chihuahua State via Monterrey.  At Parras, west of Monterrey, one man accidentally shot himself in the ankle.  He left the party with his cousin to return east. The number of travelers at this point had grown to 57 men and 157 mules and horse.  It reached the town of Hidalgo de Parral on June 18.  Here cholera took another victim.  Audubon himself suffered two separate attacks but survived. At Parral the group left any roads.  It followed the Conchos River in the Santa Cruz Valley then the Verde River finally taking off across the Sierra Madre Mountains to Sonora Province. Audubon made pencil sketches of some of this terrain. Once on the western slopes, towns and provisions were few and far between. After the town of Altar (about 65 miles southwest of present-day Nogales) was reached on 9/9 they entered a desert before reaching the Gila River and the line of General Stephen Kearny's march through New Mexico to California during the Mexican American War.  The desert areas they traversed provided scant food and water for humans as well as the pack mules. It proved to be the most trying passage of the journey. It is the same area where today illegal immigrants in Arizona perish. The passage through the Gila Valley to the Colorado River was also treacherous.

When San Diego was finally reached, eleven embarked by ship to San Francisco. Forty of the company continued the overland trek with the mules and equipment first to Los Angeles then on to Northern California. Naturally by the time of their arrival, most of the productive gold mines and placer areas had been claimed or mostly cleared of their treasures. One unusual footnote is that although this company's venture proved an utter failure, most of those that undertook it repaid the Kingslands. This was even the case for families of five of the men who died on the journey.

Audubon's journal ends abruptly when he apparently receives a communications drawing him home. Audubon was to return home an old, sad, and broken man. He was to die 2/18/1862 at age 49. His legacy lives on in his art work represented in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Gallery of Art, the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha Nebraska, 57 works in other museums and galleries, and more in private collections. Many of John Woodhouse Audubon's work may be viewed on "Google Images". Not only did he have a talent for art, but he showed strong character in his leadership abilities.  

Mexico and American place names in order reached on John Woodhouse Audubon's  journey to the California gold fields. Those without asterisks have either disappeared with time, are too small to show up on current maps, or had their names changed.

In Mexico:
Parras *
El Paso
Mapini (town & district)*
La Cadena*
La Zarca
Cerro Gordo
Rio Florida (it flows north into the Conchos)*
El Valle (Bia Valle)
Parral (Hidalgo de Parral)*
Santa Cruz Valley
Verde River*
Paso Chapadaro (if we knew where this was it may be the clue to the mountain passage)
Santa Borgia
Cerro Prieto
Jesus Maria (just south of Lake Presa Adolfo Lopez Mateus, north of Culiacan)*
Rio Yaqui (flows south)*
Pimos Valley (may be in US already)
United States
Gila River*
Pimos Indians
Yuma Indians
Cook's Well
San Felipe Creek
Santa Isabella
Santa Marie
San Diego Mission
San Diego*
Los Angeles*

* Located on maps


Immigrants from Costa Chica share an ancient ethnic heritage 
Diego Mendez, Persona de color
8th Annual Garifuna Festival  
A good day to remember ‘Yellow Rose of Texas'

Immigrants from Costa Chica share an ancient 
ethnic heritage and culture that few outsiders know about.

By John L. Mitchell, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer , April 13, 2008,0,1328730.story?page=1

Photo: Ricardo Dearatanha / Los Angeles Times

Maribel Silva, Francisca Dominguez and Vanessa Zorrosa support the Costa Chica soccer team from Pasadena, made up mostly of Mexicans with cultural and racial histories going back hundreds of years to the Spanish conquistadors and the African slave trade.  

Every Sunday, on a chewed-up soccer field in Pasadena, Mexican immigrants play a game they learned barefoot in the dusty pueblos along a remote stretch of the Pacific coast.

The Costa Chica team -- named for the picturesque coastline south of Acapulco -- has cut a winning path through the heart of an immigrant-dominated league in Pasadena, capturing three championships in two years.

Its players are agile and swift. And they've quickly earned the respect and admiration of opponents who at first didn't know what to make of their talented adversaries.

"Are you really Mexican?" they are sometimes asked.  Their skin is dark. They look Honduran, Dominican or even African American.  Black Mexicans?  "No existe!"

But Costa Chicans -- many dark in complexion with puchunco (curly or kinky) hair -- are Mexicans with cultural and racial histories going back hundreds of years to the Spanish conquistadors and the African slave trade.

As part of the massive wave of Mexican immigrants who began fleeing the economic hardships of their homeland in the 1980s, black Mexicans from the coast settled in communities throughout the United States, in Winston Salem, N.C., Joliet, Ill., and Salt Lake City, among other places.

Some 300 Costa Chicans live in Pasadena, and thousands more can be found in San Bernardino, South Los Angeles, San Juan Capistrano and Santa Ana, all enclaves characterized by close family and community ties.

The story of their journey and survival includes familiar subplots: immigrant families -- some here legally, some not -- struggling to adjust to a new country, establish livelihoods and avoid the perils of urban life. And for Costa Chicans, the unique cultural and racial identities add another layer of complexity as they try to make their way in a new land.

Like all immigrants, this group came here looking to scratch out a better life than the one offered in the small coastal towns of Guerrero and Oaxaca where most were born. Many seemed to have found what they were looking for -- and then some.

By most accounts, Roberta Acevedo, 42, was among the first of the Costa Chicans to migrate to Pasadena. When she and her husband, Francisco, arrived nearly two decades ago, she said she felt safe in this city at the foot of the mountains that reminded her of her pueblo, Jose Maria Morelos, in Oaxaca.

But back then, Pasadena offered little else that seemed familiar. The stores weren't stocked with the spices needed to make beef barbacoa or fish dishes from her native coast. She missed the festivals at which young men performed La Danza de Diablos, a traditional "dance of the devils" in which participants wear masks with long beards and horns.

Costa Chicans are steeped in an Afro-Mexican culture that is evident in dance, food and music -- they listen to cumbia, not mariachi. Acevedo longed for that culture and the sense of closeness that is common in the coastal pueblos where families are large and everyone seems to know everyone else.

Early on, the Acevedo home became a magnet for the migration. Acevedo and her husband would often wake up to calls in the middle of the night: Eight to 10 relatives and friends had crossed the border and were waiting to be picked up, sometimes as far away as Phoenix.

Eventually, Acevedo, who has seven brothers and sisters living nearby, came to own a Pasadena party and gift store selling piñatas and other accessories, renting tables and chairs and video-taping events. Her sister Yolanda, a former Mexico City police officer, is a seamstress who makes gowns for first Communions and quinceaneras, dresses that can cost as much as $500. One of their brothers is the store's videographer.

"My dream was that we would all have a chance to make it," Roberta Acevedo said. "Now I feel my dream has come true."

Despite a shared racial heritage, Afro-Mexicans in Southern California have little interaction with African Americans, the relationships hindered by religious, language and cultural differences. And cultural bonds with other Latinos are sometimes stymied by regional and racial preferences.

"I have African American friends who say, 'You're not Mexicans. I saw you with your dad and he's a black man,' " said Soledad Silver, 16, a junior at John Muir High School in Pasadena. "I say, 'Yeah, he's a black man, but he's also Mexican.' "

In Santa Ana, Yismar Toribio's only knowledge of his parents' birthplace comes from the stories he's heard over the years. San Nicolas and Montecillos are beautiful towns full of tradition, places where you don't stand out if you're black and Mexican -- unlike Santa Ana, where Yismar attends school in a district that is 94% Latino and less than 1% African American.

Things would be better if his school had more blacks, said the 15-year-old freshman with skin the color of rich dark chocolate.

At school, he has been stung by teasing and occasional racial epithets. He doesn't mind the taunts of friends. He can give just as much as he takes.  It's the taunts of strangers that hurt.

"I'm on the cross-country team, and if I come out with a black shirt on they'll say, 'How dare you come out with no shirt on?' "

Yismar lives with it, but he hasn't forgotten. One such memory: A teacher put him in the front of the class and someone shouted, "No, he belongs in the back. Put him in the back of the bus.'"

Yismar's father just wants to keep him focused and is pleased his son has eclipsed his own achievements in school; the accomplishment justifies years of sacrifice. Yismar wants to go to college; he wants to be an attorney.

For many of the Costa Chicans in Southern California, there are reasons to feel pride. 
Immigration has brought business success, home ownership, a continuation of community and the chance to improve the level of prosperity back home. The move has also exposed families like the Acevedos to the miseries -- and occasional miracles -- of urban life.

Early on the morning of Sunday, Aug. 27, 2006, just a few hours before a championship soccer game, Fortino "Chino" Acevedo was visiting with a few friends to cap off a night of partying and drinking.

Fortino, the younger brother of Roberta and Yolanda, had moved to the United States in 2003 from his father's home on the outskirts of Mexico City; he'd been sent to live in Pasadena to escape the lure of drugs and violence and took a job as a waiter at a country club in La Cañada Flintridge.

As he sat on nearby doorsteps early that morning with his friends, Fortino spotted three men surrounding a fourth near Orange Grove Boulevard and Lake Avenue. It looked like a holdup. He had once been robbed and wanted to put a stop to it.

The 20-year-old with a winning smile stepped into the crowd and announced: "If you are going to have a problem, have a problem with me," said Max Dahlstein, of the Pasadena Police Department. There was a fight, one of the men pulled a gun and shot Fortino in the face.

"He was trying to stop someone from being hurt and he ended up getting shot himself," Dahlstein said.  Fortino was rushed to Huntington Hospital, where the family gathered at his bedside. Several hours later he was pronounced dead. Doctors encouraged the Acevedo family to consider organ donation; from Mexico, the family patriarch granted permission.  

At the time of the shooting, Angel Zorrosa, a 26-year-old distant relative from the same pueblo as the Acevedos, was on kidney dialysis and had just been listed to receive a transplant. Hours after Fortino was declared dead, Zorrosa got a call: As a family member, he would be given priority to receive a kidney.

"I had just been approved that week for a transplant," Zorrosa said.  Last October, Zorrosa witnessed the birth of his first child, a son named Angel Luis. He weighed 5 pounds, 4 ounces.
The birth was a message, said Roberta Acevedo. "I try to find something about Chino in his child."

Negro, Chimeco y Feo" -- black, dirty and ugly -- is the title of a popular song from Costa Chica. The lyrics describe the life of a man who is born in a shack on the coast of Mexico with a midwife's help. He grows up attending pigs and fishing for shrimp with an old net; because he is poor, he makes his way in the world with almost no clothes.

But the lyrics go on to explain that his soul is pure, unlike those who were "born in clean diapers," those with lighter skin.  
It's a song that reminds Neri Cisneros, who lives in Santa Ana, of his childhood.  "I was that little boy," he said. "I would eat beans and I didn't have shoes.

"Sometimes we were the children playing in the streets without underwear. When I hear that song, it makes me sad because I used to live that life."

Cisneros, like many Costa Chicans in Southern California, is nostalgic about his childhood and misses the land of his birth. But he is the father of three daughters who have never set foot in Mexico. He is intent on raising them here. He will not soon return to Costa Chica.

On the day Fortino was shot, the Costa Chicans had a championship soccer game. They played the match and won.

It was important to keep the team focused on playing, said Martin Ibarra Aleman, the team's coach. The streets are too much of a distraction.

"If you are on the street, then you are heading for trouble," Aleman said. "The guys who play soccer are dealing with the game. For two hours they are in the game and that is all they care about."

But when the game is over, they return to lives shaped by immigration. Steady work has not always been easy to find. Many don't have driver's licenses and face stiff penalties if they're caught on the road in their cars. They worry about the safety and future of their children, most of whom were born here.

At the Sacred Heart Church in Altadena, Padre Glyn Jemmott, a Roman Catholic priest from Trinidad and Tobago who has had a parish of a dozen Costa Chican pueblos since 1984, said Mass one recent Sunday for a congregation of some 500.

Later, he challenged the group to apply their skills in organizing a winning soccer team to strengthening their community. The change is up to them, he said. 
"If you have water and you want to get the water to the roots of the plant, you have to carry it there," he said.

Sent by Dorinda Moreno, Mercy Bautista Olvera, Carlos Munoz,Jr. Ph.D., Alva Moore Stevenson and Yolanda Edwards-Guerra  

African Mexicans & Father Glyn Jemmott

African Mexicans & Glyn Jemmott II

Marco Polo Hernández Cuevas, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Spanish
Department of Modern Foreign Languages
North Carolina Central University
1801 Fayetteville Road # 215
Durham, North Carolina 27707
Telephone: (919) 530-7202

Websites sent
by Yolanda Edwards-Guerra
and Alva Moore Stevenson



personas de color

Ángel Custodio Rebollo

En la conquista de América, entre los españoles fueron personas de color, los que se denominan entre los historiadores, los conquistadores moros. Para comprender esto, hemos de aclarar que antiguamente la palabra “moro” significaba: “alguien de tez morena o de raza negra, originario de Marruecos o Mauritania” Entre estos hombres que emprendieron la gran aventura, se encuentra DIEGO MENDEZ,

Diego Méndez, era un “moro” que había nacido alrededor de 1470 y vivía en Castilla, desde donde fue con su padre a Portugal, para trabajar en casa del Conde de Penamacor, quién lo educó con sus hijos. Posteriormente, a partir de 1484, acompañó al conde por Francia, Inglaterra, Noruega y Dinamarca, regresando a Barcelona donde permaneció hasta la muerte del conde en 1484.

En 1502, Méndez participó como  escribano de la Armada

Sus amplios conocimientos lingüísticos y la confianza que tenía en él el Rey Fernando El Católico, le unieron a Cristóbal Colón en su cuarto viaje, siendo el criado y hombre de confianza del Almirante en toda la singladura.

Cuando  la expedición colombina navegaba rumbo a La Española,  encallaron en Jamaica, en la actual bahía de Santa Ana, quedando  los barcos prácticamente inservibles para la navegación.

Unos historiadores dicen que Colón propuso a Diego Méndez que fuera a La Española para comprar un nuevo barco y otros que, fue Méndez el que se ofreció al Almirante para realizar tal aventura.

Hubo dos tentativas, la primera fue solo Méndez y fracasó, y en la segunda salieron dos canoas, cada una con seis españoles y diez indios, una mandada por nuestro hombre y la otra por Bartolomé Fiesco. Después de tres días de viaje, recalaron en una isleta cercana a La Española y desde allí fueron a informar al gobernador Nicolás de Ovando, que no tenía ninguna simpatía por Cristóbal Colón y tras leer la carta que le llevaba Méndez, en la que pedía autorización para comprar una nave, hizo encarcelar por siete meses a los dos enviados del Almirante.

Cuando fueron puestos en libertad, se las arreglaron para a bordo de una carabela fletada por Méndez, llegar hasta Jamaica, donde Colón había tenido problemas con un motín que hubo a bordo y que logró sofocar. Una vez que subieron las provisiones a bordo, la nave zarpó para España, a donde llegaron el 7 de noviembre de 1504.

En 1508, fue condecorado por el rey Fernando, como caballero de las espuelas doradas, en un acto celebrado en Fuente de Cantos, en Extremadura (España).

Siguió fiel a la familia Colón y en 1509 pasó de nuevo a Indias como secretario y contador del segundo almirante Diego Colón, quien al año siguiente le concedió una encomienda de ochenta indios.

En 1517, Diego Méndez se casó con la española Francisca de Ribera y tuvieron dos hijos. En el año de sus nupcias, viajó a Flandes, donde estaba Carlos V, para resolver ciertos asuntos de la familia Colón.

Ya en 1522 alcanzó uno de sus sueños; ser alguacil mayor de La Española o sea  la mayor autoridad judicial de la isla.

Posteriormente regresó a España y murió el 8 de diciembre de 1536 en Valladolid.                                



Was Held in Los Angeles
April 12, 2008

The 8th Annual Garifuna Day Street Festival on April 12, 2008 on Avalon Blvd between 41st and 43rd Streets in Los Angeles from 10:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. The festival is one of the City of Los Angeles' official street festivals and commemorates April 12 as an official city holiday. April 12 was the last day that all the Garifuna were together as one people before most of them were deported into a diaspora from their homeland on the Island of St. Vincent by the British.  The festival features food, crafts and arts, including traditional Garifuna dancing, song, and music.

The Garifuna culture was the first to be designated by the United Nations as a "World Heritage Culture," and one of its most prolific artists, Belizean Andy Palacio, who recently passed away, will be honored at the event. Palacio, who had been named in 2007 as a UNESCO "Artist for Peace" and whose 2007 CD "Watina" received kudos from National Public Radio, Public Radio International and the BBC, gave a free concert in Los Angeles last year at the California Plaza.

Jan B. Tucker
P.O. Box 433 Torrance CA 90508-0433
Tel: 310.618.9596
Fax: 310.618.1950

California LULAC Civil Rights Commission
P.O. Box 433 Torrance CA 90508-0433 310.294.3043

History, geography, and social information about the Garifuna community; includes contact details for supportive organizations and current news.



Community Forum: 
A good day to remember ‘Yellow Rose of Texas'
Valley Morning Star, April 20, 2008 

Valley Morning Star Editor: 

In the 1800s, the term "yellow" referred to anyone of biracial blood, black and white, and the term "rose" referred to a young woman.

Everyone has heard the song, "The Yellow Rose of Texas," but how many people know that this song was actually based on a real person, Emily West, not Emily Morgan, as previously reported?

She was a free black woman working in 1836 on the Morgan Plantation, which was in the direct path of the Mexican army of Gen.

Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana on its way to San Jacinto to battle Texans and Tejanos under the command of Gen. Sam Houston.

According to Texas legend, Emily West was in Santa Anna's tent at the onset of the Battle of San Jacinto. Most Texas historians, including Stephen Hardin, military advisor to the movie, "The Alamo," have stated that there has not been a single eyewitness who actually saw "The Yellow Rose" at the battle. I informed Dr. Hardin that Texans and Tejano soldiers were specifically looking for Santa Anna, and that no one was looking for any mistress or camp follower. However, it is a fact that Santa Anna left his tent wearing only his pants and a linen shirt.

After discussing this history question with Mrs. Menton Murray, a retired Texas history teacher, we both agreed that West was with Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto. The Mexican general was a notorious womanizer and, after the fall of the Alamo, was without the companionship of his San Antonio "wife," whom he deceived by having a soldier dress up as a priest to "marry" them. West probably was taken at gunpoint for the Mexican general's pleasure and, on the plains of San Jacinto, Santa Anna's attention was on Emily in his tent, not on Gen. Houston's army on the battlefield.

Today, Texans and Tejanos should fly the Texas flag proudly to celebrate the victory at the Battle of San Jacinto and sing the song, "The Yellow Rose of Texas," to remember Emily West, who helped Gen. Sam Houston catch Gen. Santa Anna with his defense down. And the rest is Texas independence.

Jack Ayoub

Sent by TexasTrz



Tribes Clash over remains at Huntington Beach, California homes site

Abstract: Aztecs devised sophisticated arithmetic system
Presentan diccionario nahuatl-espanol con mas de 13,000 palabras
Indigenous Law of the Western Hemisphere
Mission Statement, Aztecs of North America, Inc.
Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo; February 2, 1848


Tribes Clash over remains at 
Huntington Beach, California homes site

The Juaneno and the Gabrielino-Tongya 
are at odds about tribal ancient remains on Bolsa Chica Mesa

By Cindy Carcamo, OC Register, March 31, 2008  


HUNTINGTON BEACH – Two tribes that lay claim to an ancient burial ground and village on the Bolsa Chica Mesa are fighting over what should happen to their ancestors' remains, adding yet another layer of complexity to plans for a residential community to be built on the site.

It's believed that the Gabrielino-Tongva and Juaneño Band of Mission Indians once shared the land where archaeologists discovered 174 ancient American Indian remains, half of them unearthed in the past 19 months. Human remains can mean whole sets or a fragment belonging to a person.

Archaeologists excavated the remains and artifacts from the ancient cemetery over the past 30 years to make way for Brightwater Hearthside Homes. The 300-home project broke ground in June 2006 after gaining state approval.

Half of the human remains and artifacts they found have been reburied. However, the 87 remains that have yet to be reburied have become a source of contention for representatives of both tribes.

Gabrielino and Juaneño leaders – appointed by the state's Native American Heritage Commission as most likely descendants for the site – are at odds as to whether their ancestors' remains should be DNA tested. In addition, the two groups disagree about whether some artifacts should be publicly displayed and where.

Archaeologist Nancy Wiley of Scientific Resource Surveys Inc. said the developer spent $15 million excavating the site – exceeding the amount spent on any other single site in the county and possibly in Southern California.

"The amount of archaeological work is unrivaled," Wiley wrote in a Nov. 5 memo. She is paid by the developer for her services.

Since the 1970s, activists and tribal members have pushed for preservation of the site that they said belonged to an ancient Indian village.

After a flurry of lawsuits and heated disputes over a plan to build more than 300 homes on the site, developer Hearthside Homes won permission to build as long as any discovered remains were reinterred elsewhere in the area.

Joyce Perry, cultural resources director for one faction of the Juaneño Band of Mission Indians, said the group opposes DNA testing.

"It's against our spiritual beliefs," said Perry, who has worked as a monitor on the site.

She said she and the Juaneños' most likely descendent, David Belardes, have made their desire clear to the developer. Perry said Hearthside has sided with them on the issue.

The developer has a reburial agreement with Belardes' group, not the Gabrielinos, said Ed Mountford, Hearthside Homes senior vice president. He wouldn't give further details, saying they were confidential and sacred for the tribes.

Anthony Morales, the most likely descendant for the Gabrielino-Tongva, said the issue has not been resolved. He said testing is needed to show there are living people today whose DNA matches the ancestry in that area from thousands of years ago.

"That's more Gabrielino territory and there are probably more Gabrielino ancestry" on the site, he said.

"I don't know but maybe it's not to their best interest to find out if there are any living Juaneños that they can identify to the village,'' he said. "They may not be Juaneños."

One of the only things both groups agree on is that non-funerary artifacts should be given to the county to be displayed for a period of time in 2010 at the Old Orange County Courthouse in Santa Ana.

Still, the tribes disagree on what artifacts to display.

Morales said he's against the public display of ceremonial or funerary artifacts buried with his ancestors.

"It's disrespectful," he said. "It's definitely not right to display a ceremonial item. That's sacred. That needs to be buried back with the person."

Morales said some nonceremonial items, such as metates – stones used for grinding – would be acceptable.

Perry said items buried with the ancestors will be reburied. Exactly what will be displayed has yet to be defined, she added.

"The whole site is terribly significant, so one could argue everything is ceremonial and one could argue that everything isn't," Perry said.

The Juaneños' most likely descendant has suggested the artifacts be displayed at the tribe's Blas Aguilar Adobe in San Juan Capistrano. Ultimately, the developer decides what happens to everything found on his property, said Dave Singleton, program analyst with the Native American Heritage Commission.

Contact the writer: 714-445-6688 or




Abstract: Aztecs devised sophisticated arithmetic system

Thu Apr 3, 2008

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Using written symbols such as hearts, arrows and hands, the ancient Aztecs maintained an arithmetic system that was far more complex than previously understood, scientists said on Thursday.

The Aztecs, an empire in central Mexico has long been recognized for its sophistication in architecture, engineering, astronomy and other fields. And the new research confirms arithmetic can be added to the list.

The researchers examined hundreds of drawings in two manuscripts dating back to between 1540 and 1544 that were used to document agricultural properties by the Aztec people in the city-state of Tepetlaoztoc, near modern Mexico City.

The Aztecs used a system that included symbols of hearts, hands, arrows, bones, arms as alternatives to using fractions. An examination of these hieroglyphic records showed that the Aztecs used their own calculation system to figure out, for example, the area of a parcel of land.

"What we thought we knew about the Aztec measuring system was a little simplistic. We've determined that it was more complex," researcher Barbara Williams of the University of Wisconsin-Rock County said in a telephone interview.


Williams teamed with Maria del Carmen Jorge y Jorge of the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico in the study published in the journal Science.

"They used the four mathematical operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
But in almost all of the early societies, they could do everything they needed to do, with just those four. They didn't need square roots. They didn't need trigonometry," Williams said.

The two manuscripts -- one found in a library in France and the other in Mexico -- were written on
European paper by Aztecs a couple of decades after the conquest, using the Aztec system.

They were land records drawn up that helped determine taxation imposed on the local people by the Spaniards, Williams said.

The fact that the Aztecs mathematically calculated areas has been known since 1980, but until now there was little understanding as to how they did it, Williams said.

The new research adds further detail to the achievements of the Aztecs in other areas. "This increases our understanding of Aztec culture. It gets to the idea that it was a numerate society in the rural areas as well as the urban areas -- among the surveyors as well as the priests and the royalty," Williams said.

(Editing by Maggie Fox and Sandra Maler)



Presentan diccionario náhuatl-español con
más de 13.000 palabras
La Pagina del Idioma Espanol

Un diccionario con 13.000 palabras en náhuatl, una de las lenguas indígenas más habladas en México, fue presentado por la Universidad Autónoma de la Ciudad de México (UACM) en el Año Internacional de las Lenguas declarado por la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU). El diccionario 'Totlajtolpialis' significa 'la herencia de nuestra lengua', indicó a Efe tras la presentación el antropólogo Severo Hernández, quien además de ser el autor es profesor de esta lengua en la UACM.

Hernández presenta este libro con una característica especial: la supresión de la letra 'h' porque carece de sonido, con lo que la palabra náhuatl la escribe náuatl.

El diccionario recoge la variante del náhuatl de una zona del estado de Veracruz, este de México, y supuso un trabajo de diez años para el autor, quien declaró que el motivo por el que se embarcó en el proyecto fue que el náhuatl es su lengua materna, de la que destacó es un 'idioma vivo con uso actual'.

Según cifras oficiales, en 2005 1,3 millones de mexicanos hablaban náhuatl, 759.000 maya y 410.000 mixteco, las principales en el país donde existen 68 agrupaciones de lenguas. Hernández dijo que realizar el diccionario también suponía una 'necesidad de ampliar el material de apoyo didáctico' para enseñar esta lengua.

En el libro se explican en español las 13.000 palabras en náhuatl y hay verbos conjugados en presente, pasado, futuro y gerundio, para que el diccionario sirva para 'cualquier interesado en aprender la lengua, haciéndole un poco más fácil el camino', dijo el autor.

Hernández consideró importante que en el corto plazo se cree una academia de la lengua náhuatl que se encargue del desarrollo de este idioma y no para su rescate, porque es un lenguaje en uso en la actualidad.

El pedagogo Omar Chanona indicó durante la presentación que este diccionario es 'un acontecimiento cultural de la mayor importancia' y que desearía fuese el primero de una colección de diccionarios de lenguas habladas en México y sus variantes, aunque lo consideró 'improbable'. En su opinión, este documento destaca las carencias de los reconocimientos de los derechos de las lenguas y sus hablantes en México, y exigió mayor convivencia entre estos idiomas.

'No está escrito para satisfacer la curiosidad del hispanoparlante sobre el significado de un par de palabras, sino en función del uso diario que vive náhuatl', señaló. Protestó por la falta de políticas de Estado que fortalezcan el uso de las lenguas indígenas, lo que consideró 'necesario y urgente'.

'La palabra indígena no es un cuento o un mito como algunos piensan, sino una realidad', concluyó Chanona.

Sent by Viola Sadler




TEXAS BAND OF KICKAPOO ACT, Public Law 97-429 [H.R. 4496] January 8, 1983, Sec. 2 (a) Congress finds that the Texas Band of Kickapoo Indians is a subgroup of the Kickapoo Tribe of Oklahoma; that many years ago, the Band was forced to migrate from its ancestral lands to what is now the State of Texas and the Nation of Mexico.

The Kickapoo Nation are entitled to freely pass and repass over the International border separating the United States and Mexico.

CALIFORNIA ASSEMBLY JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 60--RELATIVE TO THE KUMEYAAY NATION. The Kumeyaay Nation has occupied and traversed the southern California and Baja California region from the Pacific Ocean to the desert approximately 75 miles north and 75 miles south of the International border separating the United States and Mexico for thousands of years; and....

This Joint Resolution Number 60 of September 16, 2002, allowed the Baja Kumeyaay Nation to pass and repass across the International border separating (North America) the United States and Mexico.

The Jay Treaty of November 19, 1794, between the United States and Canada, in Article 3, of this treaty, it states " It is agreed that it shall at all Times be free to His Majesty's Subjects, and to the Citizens of the United States, and also to the Indians dwelling on either side of the said Boundary line freely to pass and repass," also in Article 28 of this treaty, it states "It is agreed that the first Ten Articles of this treaty shall be permanent" (Jay's Treaty, is named after the first United States Supreme Court Chief Justice John Jay.)

Mexico, United States, and Canada, are in the present-day North American Continent, today the Indigenous Nations from Mexico, United States, and Canada, have a right to freely pass and repass over the International borders separating their ancestral lands.

In 1993, the President and CEO of Aztecs of North America, Inc., was the legal adviser of the Abenaki Nation in Swanton, Vermont.

The President of Aztecs of North America, Inc., has 30 years knowledge of American Indian law, federal law, and International law.

By: Henry Guzman Villalobos (Aztec Native American Indian) President and CEO, Aztecs of North America, Inc., A California Non-Profit Corporation, P.O. Box 325, Hayward, California 94543-0325 U.S.A., Voice:(510) 582-3880,

cc: Native American Nations, United Nations, The Honorable Thelton E. Henderson, Senior Judge, United States District Court, San Francisco, California, Media, General Public, United States Congress, United States Senate, Mr. Olin C. Jones, Director of Office of Native American Affairs in the Office of the California Attorney General, California Assembly, California Senate.



Aztecs of North America, Inc.

Aztecs of North America, Inc., a Native American Indian educational organization, was founded in 2002 for the purposes of rebuilding the Aztec Nation, and to educate the world about the Ancient Aztec culture, history, and language.

The Ancient Homeland of the Aztecs, is the present-day Great Salt Lake, Utah, many centuries ago, the Aztec Native Americans embarked on their sacred journey to the southern part of present-day North America now called Mexico.

Thousands of years ago, the Ancient Anasazi of the present-day State of Utah, were a Nahuatl speaking people like the Aztecs. The Aztecs are the descendants of the Ancient Anasazi Native Americans. Nahuatl belongs to the Uto-Aztecan (Shoshone) North American Indian languages of the United States of America and Mexico. Some of the other Native American Nations that belong to the Uto-Aztecan (Shoshone) languages are the Utes, Hopi, Nahuatl, Mexica, Shoshone, Yaqui, Pima, Tohono O' Odham (Papago), Comanche, Pueblos, Cahuilla, Serrano, Cupeno, Luiseno, Paiute, Mono, Gabrielino, Pipil, Tarahumara, Cora, Huichol, Tepehuan, Mayo, Opata, Tubar, and many other Native American Nations of the United States and Mexico. The Uto-Aztecan (Shoshone) languages are also found in the States of California, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and south to El Salvador, and Nicaragua.

As we are aware, the language of the Aztecs is called Nahuatl, some words in Nahuatl are Aztekatl=Aztec, Cualli Tonalli=Good Day, Nochipa=Always, Atl=Water, Metztli=Moon, Mexikah=Mexica/Mexican, Tlazokamati=Thank You, Tamalli=Tamale, Tochtli=Rabbit, Chapollin=Grasshopper, Nantli=Mother, Wey=Ancient, Nika=I am, Nikpia=I Have, Chimalli=Shield, Amoxtli=Book, Xochitl=Flower, Tlakameh=People, Pantli=Flag, Michin=Fish, Mazatl=Deer, Tototl=Bird, Kwalli Tlanextli=Good Morning, Amotleinika=Your Welcome, Tomawak=Fat, Mexiko=Mexico, Tekolotl=Owl, Awitl=Aunt, Azkatl=Ant, Moztla=Tomorrow, Yalwa=Yesterday, Chilli=Chile, Yowalli=Night, Kolli=Grandfather, Kakalli=Crow, Achtopa=First, Kema, Nitlatoa Nawatl=Yes, I Speak Nahuatl, and much more. (The President and CEO of Aztecs of North America, Inc., can also speak Spanish, Mandarin Chinese, and German.)

Today, there are millions of Aztec Native Americans on this continent, and as the original inhabitants, we are the caretakers of this sacred continent, and we must preserve our Indigenous culture, history, and language.

Today, the Aztec Native Americans from the United States of America are entitled to land, monetary, medical, and educational benefits from the United States Government.

The President of Aztecs of North America, Inc., has 30 years knowledge of American Indian law, federal law, and International law.

By: Henry Guzman Villalobos (Aztec Native American Indian) President and CEO, Aztecs of North America, Inc., A California Non-Profit Corporation, P.O. Box 325, Hayward, California 94543-0325 U.S.A., Voice:(510) 582-3880,

cc: President of the United States of America, United States Congress, United States Senate, United Nations, Native American Nations, Media, General Public.



The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of February 2, 1848, 
between the Mexican Republic and the United States of America, 
has 23 Articles.

The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Feb. 2, 1848, Guaranteed United States citizenship to Mexican citizens in California and recognition of their land titles. Indigenous Californians were citizens in Mexican and Spanish Law. their absolute title to the State of California was clear...and acknowledged by the United States. In this statement... (Article 8, citizenship and retention of land rights)

On March 10, 1848, the United States Senate ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and at that time, it deleted Article 10 guaranteeing the protection of Indigenous Mexican land grants.

"ARTICLE X, All grants of land made by the Mexican government or by the competent authorities, in territories previously appertaining to Mexico, and remaining for the future within the limits of the United States, shall be respected as valid." (Source: Center For Land Grant Studies)

The Indigenous Mexican people of present-day Mexico, have been traveling across their ancestral lands without any borders for thousands of years.

For many years, the Indigenous Mexicans from Mexico crossed easily between the Mexican Republic and the United States of America, because the Indigenous Mexicans were known to United States border agents and secured inexpensive border crossing cards.

Today, the Mexican government and the United States government are bound by International law to acknowledge the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo; February 2, 1848.

The Indigenous Mexican people are the original inhabitants of the present-day North American Continent, and have the right to pass and repass across the International border separating (North America) Mexico and the United States.

Today, the President and CEO of Aztecs of North America, Inc., can prove in federal court that the Indigenous Mexicans are from the North American Continent.

The President of Aztecs of North America, Inc., has 30 years knowledge of International law, American Indian law, and federal law.

By: Henry Guzman Villalobos (Aztec Native American Indian) President and CEO, Aztecs of North America, Inc., A California Non-Profit Corporation, P.O. Box 325, Hayward, California 94543-0325 U.S.A., Voice: (510) 582-3880,

cc: Native American Nations, United Nations, United States Congress, United States Senate, Media, General Public.

Information concerning the Aztec Native American Indian was forwarded by Dorinda Moreno 



Crypto Jews & the Mexican Inquisition by Richard G. Santos
udy Frankel, singer of Sephardic music, dies
Judy Frankel, San Francisco’s Ladino chanteuse, dies at 65
Judy Frankel, the Ladino Songstress, 65 years
En La Mar, Song sung by Judy Frankel


Crypto Jews and the Mexican Inquisition 

Richard G. Santos  

The Franciscan missionaries who arrived at the recently established Kingdom of New Spain in 1524, were vested with inquisitorial power to rid the land of practicing Jews, New Christians [commonly called conversos], Moors, witches, heretics, and descendants of people penanced by the Spanish Tribunals of the Inquisition. Royal decrees had repeatedly been issued barring the migration of these groups to the New World. "The prohibited people," as they were called, managed through diverse and novel means to migrate nonetheless.

The Franciscan's major concern, like that of Hernan Cortes and the Mexico City Council, were the foul-mouthed, lusty, promiscuous, blaspheming conquistadores who seemed to take God's name in vain with every breath they took. The "prohibited people" were generally ignored. In mid 1527, the Franciscan transferred their inquisitorial power and on-going investigations to the Dominican Order. On October 17, 1527, the Dominicans held the first Auto de Fe in North America. The Auto featured over two dozen blasphemers and four Crypto Jews. Two were converted to Catholicism and released. Conquistador Hernando Alonso and recently arrived colonist Gregorio Morales,. however, were burned at the stake for being unrepentant Crypto Jews. Inquisitorial power soon passed to the recently created Archdiocese of New Spain at Mexico City. Although a small number of Crypto Jews were tried, penanced and converted by the Apostolic Inquisition, Bishop Juan de Zumarraga seemed more concerned with blasphemers, bigamists and pagan Indians resisting conversion to Spanish Catholicism.

Ordered established in 1569, the Holy Office of the Inquisition of New Spain was seated in Mexico City in 1571. Its first Auto de Fe held February 28, 1574, featured one Crypto Jew and twenty-seven bigamists, six blasphemers, three Protestants, six French pirates and eighteen British pirates. The six Frenchmen and one British pirate were burned at the stake.

Although a handful of Crypto Jews were tried and penanced before 1589, the halcyon years of the Mexican Inquisition began with the trial of the Carvajal y de la Cueva - Rodriguez de Matos family and their Crypto Judaic community featured in the Autos de Fe of 1590 through 1596. They were followed by the Autos de Fe of the "Portuguese Conspiracy" held 1646 through 1650, in which many families had ties to the Crypto Judaic community of the Carvajal y de la Cueva Family. The individual trials afforded great insights into the religious beliefs and practices of the Crypto Judaic community as a whole [such as expecting the birth of the Messiah in Mexico City]. Also revealed in the Autos were the survivalist skills of the Crypto Jews, who, under duress, understandably lied about everything and everyone. Hence, the many reconciliations and conversions to Catholicism were proven not to have been seriously or sincerely accepted by the Crypto Jews who remained faithful to the "Law of Moses".

Crypto Jews continued to be penanced by the Inquisition for the remainder of the Spanish colonial period. The majority of inquisitorial cases dealt with the original causes which had led to its establishment. That is, the punishment of witches, blasphemers, bigamists, and sexually active priests and missionaries. The last concentrated activity of the Holy Office of the “The Inquisition” of the Vice regency of New Spain occurred during the 1810 through 1821 Mexican War of Independence from Spain. Mexican Independence brought an end to the Holy Office of the Inquisition of New Spain, but not to the memory (or descendants) of its victims who had Sanctified His Name in the torture chamber and flames of religious intolerance.  

Richard G. Santos

Sent by Jose M. Pena

Editor: I've included 2 articles on Judy Frankel because each revealed different aspects of the Sephardic community.

Judy Frankel, 
San Francisco’s Ladino chanteuse, dies at 65

by Joe Eskenazi, San Francisco staff writer, March 28, 2008

Judy Frankel performed to packed houses on several continents and sang for numerous dignitaries and heads of state. Yet her most treasured moments might have been right here in the Bay Area: learning Ladino songs from elderly Jews who sang them in their Mediterranean youths.

Twenty-one years ago, Frankel told this newspaper that it would have been easy for her to pick up Ladino-language songs from books. But it was more important to make a personal connection with a real person — and learn exactly how to pronounce Ladino in his or her regional accent.
Frankel, a singer who embraced the traditional Spanish-Jewish tongue of Ladino as if it were her own, died March 19 in her San Francisco home from colon cancer. She was 65 years old.
“She saved this music — not single-handedly and certainly not all of it,” longtime friend Bonnie Burt said. “But what she collected from these people would have been lost without her. It was a mission: She had to gather and preserve.”

Burt, a documentary filmmaker, produced the 1989 film “Trees Cry for Rain,” about Turkish Sephardi women. The documentarian hadn’t planned on a singer dropping by and learning a song in her interview subject’s home, but it made for great footage.

Frankel’s singing ended up providing the film’s soundtrack, and one of her performances served as its emotional conclusion.

Frankel, incidentally, was of Ashkenazi heritage. It was only after singing before Ladino-speaking seniors in the 1980s that her passion for the music was ignited — to the point where she traveled throughout Europe and lived in Israel for months on end researching Ladino music and Crypto-Jewish culture.

“We shared a deep and abiding interest in Judeo-Spanish, in secret or hidden Jews. Judy traveled all over the world collecting songs,” Burt said.

“There’s something about the music, the poetry and the sound that is so very appealing and heartfelt. It’s not easy to put into words, but it’s a connection we both felt.”

Frankel’s musical talent blossomed early; younger cousin Ellen Geisler remembered seders at the family’s Boston home in which a pre-teen Frankel sang and played guitar. She was a professional performer by age 13, singing at weddings, bar mitzvahs and on the radio and TV. Originally gravitating toward rock and jazz, her tenor voice was more suited to folk music, and it was in pursuit of club gigs that she moved to the Bay Area from Hawaii with her then-husband in the 1960s.

She was a regular at numerous Bay Area temples, old-age homes and hospitals, but her career shifted into another gear when she began focusing on Ladino songs. She released four CDs, wrote a book on Ladino music and sang in Israel and across Europe; she even serenaded Portuguese President Mario Soares at a concert in Portugal.

Frankel was a private person — Geisler predicted many people would be surprised to hear of her death as she kept most of her problems to herself — but she opened up on stage. Friends and fans recalled her as a captivating performer, one who always made certain to exhaustively explain who had taught her the songs she performed.

On stage or in life, Frankel didn’t seem to crave the limelight. A typical story came from Burt: Several years ago, she received a dazzling necklace from Frankel for her birthday. It was only recently that she learned — second-hand — that Frankel didn’t buy her that necklace. She made it.

Frankel didn’t stop to dwell on her own accomplishments, and she certainly didn’t dwell on her obstacles. More than 20 years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She beat it, and never stopped collecting and learning Ladino songs.

“I don’t have time to be sick,” she told this newspaper at the time.  “There are bigger-than-life things to work on that just carry you away.”

Judy Frankel, an only child, did not have any children. Her cousins and friends believe donations to any of the following charities would have pleased her:

The Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, P.O. Box 650309, Dallas, Texas 75265; The Osher Center for Integrated Medicine at U.C. San Francisco, 513 Parnassus Ave., S.F, 94143; The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, P.O. Box 90988, Washington, D.C. 20090; The S.F. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, 2500 16th St., S.F., 94103.


Judy Frankel, the Ladino Songstress, 
65 years

The Sephardic Perspective
The source for original political and historical commentary and observations from a Sephardic Jewish worldview. Sephardic Jews are Jews descendant from from Iberia as well as the former Ottoman Empire, including, North Africa, the Balkans, Turkey and the Middle East.

By Shelomo Alfassa on April 2, 2008 
A Personal Note by Shelomo Alfassa

(April 2, 2008) - Today, I came across a report that my friend Judy Frankel had died on March 20, 2008. There is nothing like the shock of learning about the death of a good friend in a newspaper, it's a pain that has no match. Judy was a fabulous soft spoken lady with a selfless and caring heart.

While she could sing songs in twenty languages, Judy will best be remembered for singing traditional songs, which she learned from Sephardic Jews, in the Ladino (Judeo-Spanish) language. Judy was taught the songs, mostly from older woman, who possessed these songs in only as an oral tradition. Although Ashkenazi (of Eastern European Jewish descent), Judy learned the old Spanish songs from Jews which had roots in the Balkans, Egypt, Greece, Turkey, Romania and other locations where Sephardim lived. These were families, like my own, who had been exiled from Spain and Portugal in the late 15th century, and relocated to the Ottoman Empire where they rebuilt their lives.

Judy was raised in Boston, where she graduated Boston University then moved to the Bay Area in 1969. She first worked as a teacher, then went into singing. One of her first jobs singing was at Mount Zion Hospital, where she sang to patients. Joe Eskenazi, a writer for the J News Weekly recently wrote:

"Frankel's musical talent blossomed early; younger cousin Ellen Geisler remembered seders [holiday dinners] at the family's Boston home in which a pre-teen Frankel sang and played guitar. She was a professional performer by age 13, singing at weddings, bar mitzvahs and on the radio and TV. Originally gravitating toward rock and jazz, her tenor voice was more suited to folk music, and it was in pursuit of club gigs that she moved to the Bay Area from Hawaii with her then-husband in the 1960s."

I had met Judy some 15 years ago in Colorado. We quickly became friends, and it was nice to see her when I visited California or when she played her many concerts in New York and Florida, both places I lived. I have fond memories of after concerts joining friends and taking Judy to dinner. One afternoon in Colorado, Judy and I were going for lunch, and she had her guitar in her car (she always had it with her). She brought the guitar into the restaurant, when I asked her why she brought it in, she responded, "she's my life!"

I bought my first Judy Frankel cassette in Miami, and I listened to it over and over on a three hour drive to Orlando. Her rendition of the Israel national anthem, Hatikva (The Hope), which she optimistically titled, 'Fiestramos' (Let's Celebrate), always moved me. On my first trip to Spain, I listened to nothing but Judy's albums in the rental car as I drove through the flowing hills from Cordoba down to Granada and then back up to Seville; these were cities from which the Sephardim originated from. Judy's sweet Spanish guitar coupled with her exquisite voice was the perfect accompaniment for my visit to my ancestral homeland. I truly loved Judy Frankel's music.

During WWII, the German Army, supported by other anti-Jewish individuals and factions, devastated the communities of Ladino speaking Jews in places such as Bulgaria, Greece and Serbia. So many Sephardim were murdered, that the old Sephardic communities never were able to recover. Judy helped perpetuate Jewish songs from these locations--songs which may have been forgotten about.

Her love of music, specifically, her appreciation of 'songs of old,' have left an enduring mark on the world. Unlike many contemporary "Ladino singers," Judy Frankel never tried to jazz up the old songs or perform them in a way which was not consistent with the traditional arrangement. She never attempted to mold the old Sephardic songs into New Age fluff or cheap sounding pop tunes. Because of Judy's diligence to preserve songs in a most authentic way-the way were originally sung at home, she leaves behind a true oral tradition for future generations to cherish.

Judy and I exchanged correspondence on various topics, and she would often ask me questions on Sephardic traditions and history. She once said that some day she would play music for my family, but that won't happen now. More than 20 years ago Judy was diagnosed with breast cancer, but she recovered from it; now, colon cancer has taken her from the world.

Judy en ganeden ke repoze. Ha'makom yenahem etkhem betokh she'ar avele Siyon v'Yerushalayim.

Judy lived in San Francisco for many years. She was an only child and she did not have any children. Among the charities her family has asked that donations may be made to in her name are: The Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, P.O. Box 650309, Dallas, Texas 75265 (and/or) The Osher Center for Integrated Medicine at U.C. San Francisco, 513 Parnassus Ave., San Francisco, CA 94143.

Music and Photos at
Tags: judy frankel ladino judeo-spanish judezmo jewish music obituary

These articles were sent by Jaime Cader, who writes: 
I met Judy Frankel some years ago.  She introduced me to Sara Levi, an elderly Sephardic woman from the island of Rhodes (Greece).  Sara was very generous in teaching me a lot about Sephardic culture and history.  I have a copy of Judy Frankel's song book and at least two of her recordings.  Below is one of the songs from Judy's song book. 

En la mar hay una torre.
En la torre hay una ventana.
En la ventana hay una hija
Que a los marineros llama.
Dame la mano, palomba,
Para subir a tu nido.
Maldicha que durme sola.
Vengo a durmir contigo.
Si la mar era de leche,
Yo me haria un pexcador.
Pexcaria mis dolores
Con palavricas d'amor.
Si la mar era de leche,
Los barquitos de canela,
Yo me mancharia entera
Por salvar la mi bandiera.


As sung to Judy Frankel by Isaac Sevi who grew up in Salonica, Greece.  The letter "x" in the above song is pronounced like the "sh" in the word shell.  The letters and musical notation for this song are found on pages 18 and 19 of the book "Sephardic Songs in Judeo-Spanish" by Judy Frankel.  It comes with a CD recording of the songs.  The photograph on the cover of the song book is of Selma Levi Mizrahi from the island of Rhodes, circa 1936.
Sara Levi told me an anecdote about Judy Frankel.  Among Frankel's circle of friends was Victor Perera, a Sephardi author from Guatemala.  He wrote the book "The Cross and The Pear Tree -A Sephardic Journey" among other books.  Some time before he died, he was in a coma and Frankel went to visit him.  She sang a song to him and the nurse noticed that he had a positive reaction, so she asked Frankel to come back the next day.  Frankel did and this time as she sang tears came from Perera's eyes.  Afterwards his health improved before he eventually passed away. 
(A note for Mimi Lozano:  The words "haria," "pexcaria," and "mancharia" above all have accent marks on the letter "i."  I'm not that computer savy so I could not put in the accent marks.  Surely if I would have used a Word document it could be done, but I'm not sure how to do this.  In any case, Judy Frankel used a more standard kind of Spanish spelling for writing the words to the songs.  In addition there are Sephardim that spell Spanish words more like they are in regular Spanish.  For example they will spell the word "querida" instead of "kerida", the later being how Turkish Sephardim write it.  Jaime Cader) 


Seven Flags Over Texas
29th Hispanic Genealogy Conference, August 28th to August 31st
"Por La Raza y Para La Raza"  Jovita Idar
Los Bexarenos Monthly Meeting: Monclova, Mexico Records Available
The Hispanic Heritage Center of Texas
Main Plaza Conservancy Redevelopment Project 

Guerrero Viejo, Inherit the Dust from the 4 Winds of Revilla
Alberto Gonzolo Garcia & Eva Carrillo Garcia, Austin
Who Was Clay Davis?
Save date:  Sept 24-27 2009,  30th Texas Conference
The American Heritage Bookshop
Spanish Missions 


April 6th, 

7 flags over Texas?
Event to shed light on forgotten history

Jeorge Zarazua

, April 6, 2008

Tejano historian Dan Arrellano is on a personal crusade to change what he claims is one of the biggest misconceptions in the state — one that continues to be taught in classrooms. 

There were not six national flags flown over Texas. There were seven. The forgotten seventh flag, Arrellano says, was a solid green one, hoisted here in San Antonio in April 1813 declaring the first Republic of Texas.

It was a short-lived republic, Arrellano concedes. It lasted only four months and was quashed at the Battle of Medina, a bloody clash between the new Republic and Spanish Royalists that until recent years had, itself, gone almost forgotten.

Today, Arrellano and other Texas historians will gather in front of the Spanish Governor's Palace downtown to raise awareness of the seventh flag and the first incarnation of the Texas Republic. The event will include a reenactment of the Tejano Declaration of Independence that Jose Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara, president of the fledging republic, proclaimed 195 years ago — on April 6, 1813.

Dan Arellano, second from the left.


Jesús F. de la Teja, appointed by Gov. Rick Perry last year as Texas' first State Historian, acknowledges Arrellano's argument.  "The whole 'six flags' is kind of a marketing gimmick anyway," de la Teja said. "For historians, it really doesn't have any significance. It's kind of a marketing tool for the state to show its heritage of diversity. So, one more or one less is merely a matter of marketing."

But for Arrellano, who laments the fact that so many places — including the state Capitol — fly only six flags, the issue is much deeper. "It's political," he said, adding the state repeatedly fails to recognize the contributions of Tejanos, or Hispanic Texans, in its history.

De la Teja concedes the state could do a better job in teaching its history to its students — something he plans to work on as the state's historian. He is slated to speak at today's anniversary events.

"The few words that I have will be why we have to do a better job of teaching this part of history to students," he said, adding that doing so will give students a better perspective of the historical events that followed, leading up to the battle of the Alamo and the Texas Revolution.

Arrellano hopes one day Gutierrez's name will ring predominantly in the state's history classrooms.  He said Sunday's event will be the first time San Antonio has recognized an anniversary of Gutierrez's Tejano Declaration of Independence.

Gutierrez, a blacksmith and merchant, was a Mexican revolutionary who set out to free Texas from Spain after a priest in Dolores, Mexico, rang his church bell on Sept. 16, 1810, calling for a revolt to Spanish rule — a day now celebrated as Diez y Seis de Septiembre.

Even though Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla was eventually captured and executed in August 1811, Gutierrez continued on his quest, traveling to Texas and on to Washington, D.C., where he is said to have received the unofficial support of Secretary of State James Monroe.

Robert H. Thonhoff, a Karnes County historian, said some researchers believe the color green was chosen for the flag of the First Texas Republic because it was the only color of cloth available when Gutierrez began his expedition into Texas to overthrow the Spanish governor. By that time, Gutierrez had joined forces with Lt. Augustus William Magee, who had formed the Republican Army of the North. Other historians believe the green color was chosen because Magee was of Irish descent.

Under that flag, which was initially a battle flag, Thonhoff said the Gutierrez-Magee expedition was able to win battles against Spanish forces in Nacogdoches and Goliad, where Magee suspiciously died in the Presidio La Bahia. Some believe he was poisoned.

The Republican Army continued, defeating the last Spanish Royalist army in the state at the Battle of Rosillo on March 28, 1813.

Spanish Governor Manuel Maria de Salcedo and his envoy displayed a white flag of truce as Gutierrez and his victorious Republican Army approached San Antonio on April 1, 1813.

Arrellano said Mexican dignitaries from Gutierrez's hometown of Guerrero in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas have been invited to participate in the reenactment of the declaration of independence.

Thonhoff offers another possible explanation as to why so many have forgotten the green flag of the First Texas Republic.

"So disastrous was the Battle of Medina that a battlefield has been forgotten and lost, a Republic of Texas has been forgotten, a green flag has been forgotten, and a first Texas Revolution has been forgotten," he said. "People just didn't talk about it."





29th Hispanic Genealogy Conference
August 28th to August 31st

Three-day 29th Hispanic Genealogy Conference will be held on August 28 to August 31st in Nacogdoches, Texas.   .   Here is the web-site.  Please visit it and don't forget to make your hotel and conference reservations early:
Elsa Herbeck


"Por La Raza y Para La Raza"

Jovita Idar
1885  -  1946  

It was a tumultuous time for Mexicans in Texas when Jovita Idar became a forever to be remembered "Heroine of La Raza." This was a period in our history when the Mexican Revolution was raging and the Texas Rangers, or "los rinches", were routinely lynching Mexican-Americans and Mexican children, women and men who were crossing the border to seek refuge from the revolution.

Jovita Idar was born in Laredo, Texas in 1885 to Nicasio Clemente and Jovita Vivero and was one of eight children. In 1903 at the age of 18 years she earned a teaching certificate from the Holding Institute in Laredo and taught in a small school but the conditions in which she had to teach Mexican children so frustrated her that she decided to join her two brothers as a writer for her father's newspaper "La Cronica." She believed that by becoming a journalist and an activist she would be more effective in changing the deplorable conditions that existed in the public schools for Mexican children. During this time, Mexican school children were completely segregated and, in many occasions, totally excluded.

Throughout 1910 and 1911 she wrote weekly articles that called for equal educational treatment and exposed the extreme discrimination against Mexican children in the public schools. In addition, Jovita Idar started writing about the atrocities being committed by the Texas Rangers against Mexicans. She wrote about the lynching and hanging of a Mexican child in Thorndale, Texas by the Texas Ranchers and the brutal burning at the stake of 20 year old Antonio Rodriguez in Rocksprings, Texas. Of Antonio Rodriguez, she wrote, "The crowd cheered when the flames engulfed his contorted body. They did not even turn away at the smell of his burning flesh and I wondered if they even knew his name. There are so many dead that sometimes I can't remember all their names."

The intolerable racism and brutality against Mexicans in South Texas made Jovita Idar to take bolder actions. In 1911 her newspaper, La Cronica, called for the formation of "La Gran Liga Mexicanista de Beneficencia y Proteccion" in order for the community to work together "en virtud de los lazos de sangre que nos unen." In the same year "La Liga" sponsored the "Primer Congreso Mexicanista" and adopted the motto "Por La Raza y Para La Raza" and its primary mission was the protection of Mexican-Americans against the racist and brutal actions of "los rinches" and Anglos. Her actions were both courageous and extremely dangerous.

From the "Primer Congreso Mexicanista" also came the formation of the first feminist organization called "Liga Femenil Mexicanista." Jovita Idar and other women formed their own schools and allowed poor Mexican children to attend for free. The organization also provided free food and clothing for the needy in the community. The organization met at Jovita Idar's parents home and La Cronica published the organization's news and fund raising activities.

As the Mexican revolutionary class struggle across the border grew increasingly more turbulent, the repression of the Texas Rangers and Anglos against Mexican-Americans and Mexican refugees became increasingly more violent. The Anglos feared that the revolutionary fervor in Mexico would spread to Texas. In 1913 Jovita Idar started writing articles in favor of the revolutionary forces of Francisco Villa and crossed the border to serve as a nurse in the Cruz Blanca on the side of General Villa. This attracted the attention of the federal government and the Texas Rangers.

When she returned to Laredo in 1914 and wrote an article critical of Woodrow Wilson's deployment of troops to the border, the infamous Texas Rangers came to Laredo to destroy Jovita Idar's printing presses. Texas Rangers Hicks, Ramsey, Chamberlain and another, who's name is not known, came up to the door and found Jovita Idar blocking the entrance with her hands firmly grasping the frame and feet planted on the threshold. "Los rinches" asked her to move out of the way but Jovita Idar stood her ground. A crowd gathered to witness the spectacle. In one of the greatest moments of bravery by a Mexican-American woman, "los rinches" backed down and left town. The newspaper, the voice of La Raza, was safe for a while, but only for a short while because the cowardly Texas Rangers came back in the stealth of night and with sledgehammers broke open the doors and with heavy blows smashed the presses, the linotype machines, the ink containers and the wooden table with the the lines of types. The destruction of the "little newspaper" as they called it was complete. They had silenced a strong and effective voice for political and social justice for Mexican-Americans in South Texas.

In 1917 at the age of 32 years Jovita Idar married Bartolo Juarez and both moved to safer territory in San Antonio, Texas. Mrs. Jovita Idar-Juarez did not stop her activism in married life but went on to organize "El Club Democrata" within the Democratic Party to politically empower the Mexican-American community. In 1920 she founded a free bilingual kindergarten school and continued her work as a writer and educator until her death in 1946 at the age of 61 years. She and her husband had no children.

Sent by Wanda Garcia


Los Bexarenos Monthly Meeting: Saturday, May 3, 2008
Speaker: C. Juan Felipe Blackaller Granada
"Archives & Records Available for Research in Monclova, Mexico"
(Presentation will be in Spanish)

Juan Blackaller, noted historian and archivist and the Director of the Archivo Historico de Monclova, Coahuila, Mexico, will speak to us in Spanish on the archives and records available for research in Monclova. This was a very important outpost and stopping point on the Camino Real and many of the early settlers either were stationed there or lived there with their families. Mr. Blackaller has shown his interest in Los Bexarenos and has already helped to make some records available to us. We urge your attendance at this event which will include a power point presentation. 

C. JUAN FELIPE BLACKALLER GRANADA, nació en Monclova, Coahuila en el año de 1939.Descendiente de JOHN BLACKALLER un Ingeniero Inglés que llegó a Monclova en 1826 para instalar la primera despepitadora de algodón y molino de trigo, se quedó a radicar en
la ciudad y fundó una dinastía que ahora se extiende por muchas ciudades de México y de Estados Unidos incluyendo la ciudad de San Antonio.También descendiente del  LIC. POLICARPO VELARDE, distinguido monclovense del Siglo XIX y miembro de una familia que
llegó a estas tierras por el año 1780.

Participa activamente en casi todas las actividades históricas de la Región y ha escrito y publicado más de 150 artículos sobre historia tanto Regional como de México.  
Note: The Los Bexareños Library at the Casa Navarro Historical Site is now closed due to relocation. The Library will be closed until a new location  can be found. We will announce any change in status.

Help for the beginning genealogists. The Society assists individuals in getting started with genealogical research through beginner's workshops.  Beginners also receive assistance from the more experienced members of the Society. Currently we are offering assistance by appointment only and on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month between the hours of 10:00am and 2:00pm at the following location:
The San Antonio Genealogical & Historical Society
911 Melissa Drive, San Antonio, TX 78213
Contact one of the following individuals by email or phone to schedule an appointment:
Dennis Moreno             210-647-5607  
Yolanda Patino             210-434-3530  



Dear Tejanos and Texians:

Texas, along with prominent State of Texas and San Antonio community leaders respectfully requests your presence at a historic announcement to launch the concept of establishing the first official Hispanic Heritage Center of Texas to be located in San Antonio. Please join us at this important event on Wednesday April 30, 2008 at 5:30 P.M. at San Fernando Cathedral’s City Centre Café on newly renovated Main Plaza. Refreshments and hors’doeuvres will be served. Since the founding of Texas in 1690, Tejanos have been the descendants of the first Spanish,  Mexican, Anglo and indigenous families to settle the Southwestern frontier. They helped develop, build and name our first cities, ranches, roads, businesses and laws in Texas. It is time for us all to work together as new Texans to commemorate our rich history and protect this unique legacy from being lost.

This Center will aim to champion the lives of Texas’ first pioneers and accurately recapture our Hispanic heritage in Texas. A wide array of programs will be shared to help accomplish the mission and goals of the Center, while reaching out to all Texans to highlight the many contributions of our historic Hispanic community.

We are asking for a show of support at this event to insure that this Center moves forward towards fruition. An initial board of directors and corps of supporters will be recruited to embrace the creation of this first-ever Hispanic Heritage Center. We will be seeking your input on the proposed project and fielding questions. Everyone will benefit and have access to its community services and resources. All Texans will be asked to contribute to the development of the proposed Hispanic Heritage Center of Texas.

If you cannot make the event but want to participate in some manner, either by donation, board or committee service or as a volunteer, please contact us at (210) 673-3584. In conclusion, we ask for your support to help establish and contribute towards making into reality the Hispanic Heritage Center of Texas. Please join us as we add to the rich history San Antonio has brought Texas and help build upon the efforts of our forefathers. For more information and to RSVP, contact us at (210) 673-3584 or via E-mail at .

Viva Tejano Texas!
Rudi R. Rodriguez

10000 W. Commerce St.
San Antonio, TX 78227
(210) 673-3584

(210) 673-3583 (fax)


Key Stakeholders

Commissioner Tommy Adkisson, County of Bexar
Dr. Felix Almaraz, Jr.
University of Texas at San Antonio
Ms. Hope Andrade,
Mr. Andres Andujar,
Dr. Amy Jo Baker,
S.A. Independent School District
Mr. Ramiro Cavazos,
Univ. of TX Health Science Center
Gen. Marc A. Cisneros,
Kenedy Memorial Foundation
Councilman Philip A. Cortez,
City of San Antonio
Dr. J. F. de la Teja,
Texas State University, Sam Marcos
Father David H. Garcia,
Archdiocese of San Antonio
Mr. Fernando Godiñez,
Mexican American Unity Council
Councilwoman Delicia Herrera,
City of San Antonio
Mr. Frank X. Laborde,
Laborde & Associates
Mr. Felix Padron,
City of S.A., Office of Cult. Affairs
Mr. Jerry Patterson,
Texas General Land Office
Mr. Richard H. Perez,
Greater S.A. Chamber of Commerce
Dr. Rudy Reyna,
University of Texas at San Antonio
Mr. Gerard Rickhoff,
County of Bexar
Mr. A.J. Rodriguez,
S.A. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
Councilman Justin Rodriguez,
City of San Antonio
Mr. Leonard Rodriguez,
Corporate Political Strategies
Mr. Rudi R. Rodriguez,
Commissioner Sergio Rodriguez,
County of Bexar
Dr. Ricardo Romo,
University of Texas at San Antonio
Mr. Thomas A. Stephenson,
San Antonio Express-News
Maj. Gen. Alfred Valenzuela,
Valenzuela Family Foundation
Sen. Leticia Van de Putte,
Texas State Senate
Judge Nelson W. Wolff,
County of Bexar
Dr. Rose Zambrano,
Palo Alto College, San Antonio

Sent by Dan Arellano


Main Plaza Conservancy
San Antonio, Texas
Held a special Sunday event, April 13 

This is from the Express news and we had a huge crowd. Dan Arellano

Main Plaza Redevelopment Project provides for the development of a master plan for Plaza de las Islas, the historical center of downtown, as well as landscape design and construction plans and documents for the redevelopment of the area as a pedestrian plaza. This work will improve drainage, pedestrian accessibility, ADA accessibility, and reinforce the historical nature of the plaza.



Guerrero Viejo:  Inherit the Dust from the Four Winds of Revilla
By Jose M. Peña


The Museum Foundation of Hebbronville hosted a public meeting at the First National Bank Bryan B. Gonzalez Community Room.
Hebbronville, Texas. The reading and book signing was informal and free to the public. 
The program was a presentation by Jose. M. Peña, author of  Inherit the Dust from the Four Winds of Revilla. Mr. Peña  spoke on the fascinating story of the ancient Mexican town of now known as Guerrero Viejo.

Peña's book represents a historical perspective of the old colonial town that was once one of the principal cultural and trade centers of northern Mexico and southern Texas. Today, the ghost of a formerly vibrant community still stands on the banks of a dried-up Rio Salado as a mute testimony to the remarkable resilience of a proud, pioneering people. In his talk, Peña tells the story within the broader historical context of Mexico's turbulent history, southern parts of Texas, and the U.S. He covers 250-years of Mexico's historical phases, Ancient Guerrero (its establishment, its people, its land grants, and its destruction), Texas Separation, Indian conflicts, U.S/Mexican War, Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, Bourland and Miller Commission, and effects on Land Grants such as an unpaid $193 million U.S./Mexican debt for lost/stolen/confiscated Texas lands.

Jose M. Peña was born and raised in Laredo and is a graduate of the University of Texas . His parents were born in Guerrero Viejo. He is a retired Foreign Service Officer with over 30 years of service with the U.S. Agency for International Development assigned to many Third-World countries.

Founded on October 10, 1750, the city of Guerrero, Tamaulipas, Mexico was one of twenty-three settlements established by José de Escandón between 1748 and 1755. By the nineteenth century, Guerrero's population reached approximately 10,000 as it became one of the principal cultural and trade centers of northern Mexico and southern Texas.

Guerrero Viejo's influence began to wane after the railroad bypassed it in favor of Nuevo Laredo in the late 1880s. The violence, bloodshed, and dislocations associated with the Mexican Revolution (1911-1917) further weakened the integrity of the town. Guerrero managed to survive until 1954 when the United States and Mexico finished the construction of Falcon Dam across the Rio Grande. The rising waters forced the remaining residents of that proud community to relocate to Guerrero Nuevo.

(Note: Above was adopted from an invitation written by George Gause of the Brownsville Historical Society.)

Sent by Walter Herbeck



Alberto Gonzolo Garcia and Eva Carrillo Garcia 

Leaders in Austin Community


Kay Antoinette Garcia McAnally  writes about her grandparents:

“My grandparents were exceptional people.  My father was Manuel Nicanor (Ronnie) Garcia.  My maiden name was Garcia and my married name is McAnally - I married an Irishman from Dublin.  
Alberto Gonzolo Garcia and Eva Carrillo Garcia's children included:  
Eva Garcia Currie
  Professor of Linguistics University of Texas|Maria Garcia Roach  World War ll Nurse Anesthetist who won the Silver Star for bravery
Alicia Garcia
  Social Worker
John Albert Garcia
Medical Doctor & Doctor of Jurisprudence (Attorney at Law)
Martha Garcia Rodriguez
, Pharmacist
Virginia Garcia Curry, Homemaker
M.N. Garcia
Attorney at Law
Hermis Garcia
Died in Infancy

The two biographies below are from HANDBOOK OF TEXAS ONLINE: