Somos Primos

105 Online Issue

Mimi Lozano ©2000-8

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



21 year old American Henry Cejudo wins 
Wrestling Olympic Gold Medal 


Table of Content Areas

United States 
National Issues
Action Item
Bilingual Education
Anti-Spanish Legends
Hispanic Heritage Month
Military & Law Enforcement Heroes
Patriots of American Revolution




Orange County,CA
Los Angeles,CA

Northwestern US
Southwestern US 

East of Mississippi


Family History


Quote for the Month:
In you, our fathers put their trust; 
they trusted and you delivered them.
Psalm 22:4


Letter to the Editor:

 Letter from the Philippines

Your piece on Magellan and your comment that Enrique de Malaca was the first to circumnavigate the globe was welcome here in the Philippines.
Enrique de Malaca was able to communicate with his fellow natives not because he knew Malay, but because he knew Cebuano which is a dialect based on Malay but only understood by Cebuanos. We say this because when Enrique landed in Guam (with Magellan) he was not understood.  When they landed in the Island of Suluan (Province of Leyte) he was not understood.  When they landed in the island of Homonhon (Province of Samar), he still was not understood.
It was when they landed in the Island of Masawa or Limasawa which is Cebuano speaking which he understood.  Magellan exulted.  From then on it was easy sailing and Enrique persuaded his people and the fleet to proceed to the bigger town of Cebu located in the island of Cebu. 
After the massacre of the Spanish forces, Enrique who most likely connived with Rajah Humabon (since his master Ferdinand Magellan was no longer alive though he fought beside Magellan) stayed behind in Cebu.  The Spaniards fled in disarray for their lives.  Enrique was finally at home, in Cebu. 
It is well known that Cebu and Luzon traders would settle in Malacca and vice versa as there were no trade barriers among the islanders since time immemorial.  Magellan got Enrique in the Malacca area and knew that he came from a still unknown place.  Why did Magellan talk about Enrique to the King of Spain unless he knew that this indio slave could serve as a linguistic geiger counter for him.  And in the records in Sevilla Enrique de Malaca is listed as a "lengua"  (interpreter) and gets the same amount of salary. as the Antonio Pigafetta.
Bless you guys for being honest and not biased as some western historians,   
Antonio Sebastian Araneta

Joe Soto, 90 years old is hoping to make contact with other survivors of the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941.   
He said out of the 48 Marines that survived, only 6 are left and he is hoping to make contact with them.  His telephone is: 626-284-0380


Somos Primos Staff:

Mimi Lozano, Editor

Mercy Bautista Olvera
Bill Carmena
Lila Guzman
Granville Hough, Ph.D.
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

Contributors to the September Issue:

Antonio Sebastian Araneta
Mercy Bautista Olvera
Robert Benavides
Eva Booher 
Jaime Cader
Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.
Douglass Capogrossi, Ph.D.
Bill Carmena
Prof. Israel Cavazos Garza
Bonnie Chapa
Gus Chavez
Alfred Cota 
Jack Cowan
Stephanie Elizondo Griest
Carlos Erickson
Richard Esquivel 
Juan Farias
Virgil Fernandez  
Maria Fischer
Lupe Fisher
Lorri Frain
Norberto Franco-Cisneros
Angela García-Sims, Ph.D.  
Virginia Gause
Glen Greener
Ron Gonzales

Michael Hardwick
Walter Herbeck
Granville Hough, Ph.D.

John Inclan
Lizette Jenness Olmos
J.L. Kunkle
Frank C. Lemus
Gladys Limon
José E. Limón, Ph.D. 
Sheri Long
Francisco L. Lovato
Juan Marinez
JV Martinez, Ph.D.
Emma Montemayor
Alva Moore Stevenson
Dorinda Moreno
Eric Moreno
Paul Nauta
Gregg Nevarez
Maria Angeles O'Donnell Olson
Rafael Ojeda
Felipe de Ortego y Gasca, Ph.D.
Ignacio Pena
Jose M. Pena
Alfredo Perez
Roberto Perez Guadarrama



Richard D. Perry
Angel Custodio Rebollo
Crispin Rendon
Roberto Rodriguez 
Alba Romero 
Norman Rozeff
Benicio Samuel Sanchez Garcia
Tony Santiago
John P. Schmal
Mary Sevilla, CSJ
Robert Smith
Joe Soto

Adam Taub
Robert Thonhoff
John Trasviña
Charley Trujillo
Ricardo Valverde
Arturo Villarreal
Cristina Villasenor
Ted Vincent
Kirk Whisler
Celeste Yantis 
Elvira Zavala-Patton

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

2008 Beijing Olympics

American whiz kid Cejudo wins Olympic gold
Daughter of Mexican Immigrants Became Force in U.S. Water Polo
American whiz kid Cejudo wins Olympic gold
By Alan Robinson, AP Sports Writer

BEIJING (AP)—This Olympic medal, Henry Cejudo said, is for every kid whose life seemed hopeless, who went to sleep hungry, whose parents couldn’t always buy food, let alone Christmas presents.

His medal, the one he wasn’t supposed to win so soon, so convincingly, proves to Cejudo that anyone can do what he wants, and at an early age, if only he wants it so badly nothing else matters. Even if the odds are overwhelming.

Cejudo, the 21-year-old mat prodigy who had never won a match in a world-level senior tournament before Beijing, won the gold medal at Olympic freestyle 55-kilogram (121 pound) wrestling Tuesday.

Two years after U.S. coach Kevin Jackson called him the future of wrestling, the future became the present in a dazzling four-match flurry, making Cejudo the youngest American to win an Olympic wrestling gold medal.

“I always knew I was going to be here,” Cejudo said, his blackened right eye a contrast to the gold medal he clutched tightly. “I watched the Olympics as a kid and I knew I’d be here. It was tough. But it’s all worth it.”  

The tears that fell moments after he defeated Tomohiro Matsunaga of Japan 2-2 on tiebreaker and 3-0 gave way to a smile as wide as a wrestling mat, as he realized what he had done. And, too, how he had done it.

American wrestlers are supposed to go to college, then enter the Olympic program when they’re experienced and ready; Cejudo did so at age 17 and is the only wrestler to win a national senior championship before leaving high school.  From high school to the big time, the same path LeBron James and Kobe Bryant took in basketball.

On his day of days, Cejudo all but gave away periods, gambling he’d have enough energy to wear down his opponents in the last two periods, admittedly causing Jackson moments of panic.  “I’m kind of unorthodox,” Cejudo said.

The whiz kid won because he was every bit a wizard against wrestlers older and more wizened. “This proves that whatever you want to do as an American, you can do it,” Cejudo said.

His parents were illegal immigrants from Mexico who met in Los Angeles. His mother had six kids, four with his father, Jorge, who was in and out of prison until dying of heart problems at age 44 last year. Cejudo never saw him after age 4.

The family was miserably poor, sometimes moving from apartment to apartment under the cover of night because they lacked rent money. His mom worked several jobs at a time, stealing home for a few hours to make sure her family wasn’t in trouble.

Sometimes they stayed with friends, sometimes with relatives, sleeping six or seven to a room in bad neighborhoods, drug deals going on down the street. Always, though, someone was there to offer a helping hand.

One time, Cejudo recalls, several derelicts came knocking at the door. The kids felt threatened and feared the worst, only to have them hand the children badly needed food and drinks.

Henry and older brother Angel emulated the pro wrestlers they saw on TV and the Mexican boxers they revered, and they entered a youth wrestling program in Phoenix. Angel was the first ace, winning four high school state titles, and Henry did the same.

Henry Cejudo of the US display… 
AP - Aug 19, 7:20 am EDT 

Neither liked studying so, when Angel was invited to the Olympic training center, Henry tagged along and won his last two state titles while living there. Within a year, younger brother was the rising star.

“The deal is, he’s been groomed for this ever since he stepped onto the OTC (Olympic Training Center) campus (in Colorado Springs at age 17),” Jackson said. “I give (coach) Terry Brands the credit for training his mind and body to know he was going to be here one day, and he’s here a lot sooner than a lot of people thought. He’s a kid who always thought he could be special and a world and Olympic champion.”

But winning an Olympics so soon, with so little world-level experience, almost never happens. Cael Sanderson was the only U.S. freestyle gold medalist in Athens, but he had a long and storied amateur career and was a four-time unbeaten NCAA champion.

Cejudo has size, strength, indefatigable energy—he cut 10 pounds in 90 minutes’ time on Monday to make weight—and a personality that believes he can do anything. On Tuesday, he did.

Cejudo’s first match was a tipoff of what was to come as he defeated European champion Radoslav Velikov of Bulgaria 0-1, 3-2, 4-3, his first victory on the world level.

Cejudo then beat Besarion Gochashvili of Georgia 1-3, 3-2, 3-0, using single-leg takedowns to get the deciding points in each of the final two periods. He again lost the first period in the semifinals, but rallied to beat Namig Sevdimov of Azerbaijan 3-5, 3-2, 4-3, on another single-leg takedown.

Matsunaga helped by pinning world champion and Olympic favorite Besik Kudukhov of Russia in a major upset, and the Japanese wrestler appeared to lose his edge against Cejudo and didn’t wrestle nearly as well.

Several of Cejudo’s brothers and sisters were there to watch it, including Angel, who, Cejudo said, “made it tough on me, with a few knuckle sandwiches along the way. But he’s the reason I’m here. We won this gold together.”

Their mom, Nelly Rico, didn’t make the long trip but, Henry said, will get the gold medal that he planned to sleep with Tuesday night. “I’m not letting go of this,” he said, holding it up proudly. “It’s beautiful.”

His something-from-nothing story produced the 125th Olympic wrestling medal for the United States and its 50th gold. Only swimming and track and field, with far more events, have produced more American golds.

“I’m proud of my Mexican heritage,” Cejudo said. “But I’m an American. It’s the best country in the world. They call it the land of opportunity, and it is. Maybe if some other kid watches this, he can do the same.”

The bronze medalists were last year’s world champion, Kudukhov, and Radoslav Velikov of Bulgaria.

Sent by Juan Marinez
For more on Cejudo

New York Times reports that Henry Cejudo, the son of unauthorized migrants, has just won the gold for the U.S.  For most nativists, however, Henry Cejudo is not a U.S. citizen.  He is an "anchor baby".  An "anchor baby" is the child of unauthorized migrants who has been given U.S. citizenship by birth.  Nativists groups believe "anchor babies" should not be U.S. citizens, and are doing everything they can to overthrow or have the 14th amendment to the U.S. constitution overturned so that they're goal can be overturned. 


Daughter of Mexican Immigrants Became a Force in U.S. Water Polo
Posted on 11 August 2008, Nuestra Voice 

The Mexican town of Tecalitlan lies in the heart of mariachi country, but Brenda Villa's mother didn't have much time for music. As the oldest of nine children, Rosario left her native state of Jalisco for El Norte when she was 18.

Her journey three decades ago wasn't particularly unusual for a Mexican immigrant. She worked as a seamstress in the Los Angeles area. She sent money home to help her mother, a widow. She lived in the burgeoning Mexican community east of L.A., married another immigrant and hoped for a better life for their children.

But much of what happened since hasn't followed script. The Villas settled in Commerce, a gritty, working-class L.A. suburb that happened to have a community aquatics complex. The mother sent her children to the pool to learn to swim because she was afraid of the water.

Brenda, along with her older brother Edgar, soon began playing water polo as a diversion from swimming. Then she and her Latino teammates began winning junior tournaments, often defeating all-boys' teams from more affluent areas.

Finally, Brenda became America's best young women's player, earning a scholarship to Stanford. And she began her third Olympics today by scoring a goal in the United States' riveting 12-11 victory over China.

"I couldn't have imagined it," Rosario Villa recently said in an interview conducted in Spanish.

How could she? Rosario had never even heard of water polo, growing up in dusty Tecalitlan. When her kids said they wanted to join the Commerce team, "it was a little strange to me," she said.

Now Villa, 28, is competing in what might be her final Olympics. She helped the Americans win a silver medal in 2000, when women's water polo made its debut, and a bronze four years later. She wants to end her career with a gold medal, but after the match against China, it appears the top-ranked Americans won't waltz to the title. It took fourth-quarter goals by Kami Craig and Lauren Wenger to prevent an embarrassing upset at Yingdong Natatorium. The Americans face reigning Olympic champion Italy on Wednesday.

For some of Mexico's gold medal winners, click
Sent by Mercy Bautista Olvera


National Museum of the American Latino 
National Hispanic Veterans Museum

Tortillas the Choice of Space Station Crew
Real Women, Real Voices 
Sept 19: National POW/MIA Recognition Day
LULAC seeks to create a permanent leadership academy at the UNM
NAHJ Honors  Defend the Honors Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez
The Founding of MALDEF
SACNAC Conference & their list of Scientists
Major Fernando E. Rodriguez Vargas, DDS
Center for Mexican American Studies, UTAustin
The Last Message of Dr. Hector P. Garcia, 1990-1996





The National Museum of the American Latino documenting over 500 years of American Latino contributions to the United States


A Blended History

Latinos share a heritage drawn from a combination of old world and new world culture. Among America ’s ethnic groups, Latinos are unique in the fact that there are strains of influence from European, African, and Arabic cultures, as well as the indigenous cultures of the pre-Colombian Americas .

Latinos have been an integral part of the history and culture of this country. The story begins with the peoples and cultures whose scientific, mathematical, and artistic contributions are still considered incredible achievements. The Mayans, the ancestors to today’s Central Americans, invented the concept of zero, without which today's technology would not be possible, and continues with the exploration and conquering of the Americas .

Latinos were present on the American continent for more than two centuries prior to the Declaration of Independence. The first permanent European settlement in 1565 was St. Augustine, Florida, 41 years before the establishment of Jamestown. Spaniards mapped an explored a large portion of the continent, from California to the Southwest; up the Mississippi and the east coast. They named many of the areas and those names still are part of this country: Florida, Colorado, California, Nevada, Montaña, San Francisco, Los Angeles, El Paso and Santa Fe .

Latinos have also played a crucial role during every conflict.  During the American Revolutionary War, General Washington’s army was successful at Yorktown in part because of support from a multi-ethnic army led by the Spaniard Bernardo de Galvez on a southern front against the British, in Mississippi and in Florida, driving them out of the Gulf of Mexico. Galveston, Texas, is named in his honor. In every subsequent military conflict, Latino soldiers fought along side their American brethren.

The museum will create a home for the historical artifacts, images, and personal stories documenting over 500 years of American Latino contributions to the United States. The Museum will serve as an educational tool for the thousands who visit the museum each year, as well as instilling a sense of pride in the Latino community today and in the future.

Summary of H.R. 512/S. 500

The Commission to Study the Potential Creation of the National Museum of the American Latino Act of 2007 was signed into law by the President on May 8, 2008, but there is still much work to do. The next step is to send letters to the House and Senate Appropriations Committees asking them to fund the Latino Museum Commission created by the legislation. 

Editor:  Please check out the website.  You will be SO encouraged.  Slowly, but surely, with your continuing support, it will become a reality.  Write to the House and Senate Appropriation Committees right away.  We need your letters!!!

Article:  Hispanics May Get a Museum Marking Contributions to Developing America

Hispanics colonized the New World, discovered Florida, fought for the United States in every major war, shaped cities like Miami and Los Angeles and have become a sought-after electorate. But no national museum exists to tell their story exclusively. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami, hopes that will change in a few years. She is the lead Republican sponsor of a bill recently passed by Congress that paves the way for the National Museum of the American Latino, the first of its kind. Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Los Angeles, conceived the idea five years ago.

   National Hispanic Veterans Museum, San Antonio, Texas
Congratulations to all the hard and smart working volunteers who brought the museum into a charitable organization reality!

How appropriate and timely it is that San Antonio will be the birthplace and center of proudly honoring our Hispanic veteran heroes and heroines contributions during a year when the planning for the last reunion of the original Defenders of Bataan and Corregidor will take place next May in San Antonio. Hispanic soldiers, pilots, sailors, nurses, and all veterans in the Philippines were the first to fight, die, and endure horrific brutality as POWs to come home to build a stronger America for us all.

In May, I plan to walk the 65-75 mile distance again in the San Antonio area to bring public attention to the contributions of our Fathers. Anyone who would like to participate, in any manner, feel free to contact me.

Francisco Lovato
530-477-1519  530-863-0988  
    National Hispanic Veterans Museum

I am proud to announce that the National Hispanic Veterans Museum in San Antonio is now able to accept federal Tax Deductible donations. This is due to ACOT-Austin Circle of Theaters- becoming our Fiscal Sponsor, effective today, July 28, 2008.  

We are now able to use their Tax ID # as a 501(c)(3) organization, as we apply for grants and also ask corporations to make financial donations to our museum.

I wish to thank our Vice-President. Laura Exparza, who was very instrumental in this process. Gracias Laura.   We can now enthusiastically work towards our first major fund-raiser next year--a golf tournament--at one of San Antonio's top private country clubs. Details to come soon. 

Thank you for your support.

Virgil Fernandez  
National Hispanic Veterans Museum  

  Tortillas the Choice of Space Station Crew

NASA Astronaut John (“Danny”) Olivas
American engineer of Mexican descent
Born May 25, 1965 in North Hollywood, CA and raised in El Paso, Texas

As you are aware, John (“Danny”) Olivas, who hails from El Paso and considers me a mentor, was a member of the crew that flew to the space station last year.  During one of his space walks he repaired the thermal blanket on the shuttle which was precaution that its heat shield would not fail upon the shuttle’s re-entry.  The other notable undertaking was that he prepared breakfast burritos for the space station crew.  The novelty in this task was that using bread on the station is a bit of a concern since bread flakes are known to float around the compartment with a chance they can imbed themselves into the equipment, air ducts, etc.  Tortillas don’t have that problem and I trust their use in food consumption is a god send.  Let’s hear it for diversity.

John called me yesterday and informed me that he and Jose Hernandez was chosen to be on the crew to visit the space station next June.  John is scheduled to conduct space walks but not so Hernandez, as best as I could learn.  Of course I had to restrain my excitement upon learning this news.  John indicated NASA has let out a press release which I yet to read.  I kidded him by indicating that now he can prepare breakfast burritos for the space station members and Jose can prepare the dinner burritos.  Perhaps we can consider this space event as the Hispanic event in space.   

You might not know that Jose has an interesting background being he is a son of migrant workers who worked the fields around Stockton .  He once told me that his father insisted he and his siblings receive a good education.  On this account, it is humorous to hear that Jose’s dad would insist they obtain the list of homework before returning to Mexico at the end of the picking season to assure they kept up with their studies. Thus, said Jose’, “We never had a summer vacation.”  Ultimately, Jose’s father was advised by a sympathetic teacher and advisor that his taking the children out of school was counter productive to their receipt of a quality education.  As a result, the father took the advice to heart and settled in the Stockton area.  As time went on, Jose’s father with help of the adult children bought a truck for contractor work.  As I understand it, the father and family did very well in developing the business.  

What also struck me about the news John conveyed to me is that Jose’ as a migrant worker has distinguished himself.  (He hold a Master’s degree in Engineering and prior to joining NASA was an employee of the Department of Energy Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.)  Now we learn of his being chosen for a space station assignment when not long ago, we learn of Quinones have jumped the fence only to end up as a neurosurgeon at John Hopkins Medical Center .  I will never forget Quinones statement made for the TV program that featured him recently, viz., “Not long ago, these hands were picking tomatoes and now they are picking brain tumors.”  (sic)  Now if this isn’t an account that should raise the chests of members of our community, I don’t know what will.

Thanks for listening.  
Peace, JV

Sent by JV Martinez senior science advisor is a federal government executive  



Eating American on the Fourth of July
by Rinku Sen

Published on Friday, July 4, 2008 by Real Women, Real Voices
On this Fourth of July, I will be eating hot dogs. While I was trying to fit in as an Indian immigrant child throughout the 1970’s, they represented the quintessential American food. I begged my mother to let me have them for dinner every night instead of chicken curry and rice. She nixed the hotdogs but sometimes allowed spaghetti and meatballs — straight from a can. Hotdogs were “invented” by German immigrants serving their traditional sausages in the hustling streets of the new world, and spaghetti, everyone knows, came from Italy. If I had been celebrating Independence Day 150 years ago, however, neither would have been on the menu. In those days, Germans and Italians weren’t considered Americans, or even white. When they fought over the most lucrative street corner for food vendors in the 1880’s, the press reported these incidents as “race riots.”

I’ll be sharing this holiday with a group of restaurant workers, largely immigrants. Along with the hotdogs, we’ll have tacos, samosas, falafel. According to one side of the immigration debate, we can keep our goodies to ourselves. America doesn’t want them, or us.

Immigration restrictionists argue not only that we need to stop undocumented immigration, but cut back drastically on legal immigration as well. They argue that this economy — no longer industrial but focused on information and service — has no room for masses of poor immigrants. There’s a fear that technology makes travel and communication so easy that new immigrants won’t break ties with the old country and reassign their loyalty. To them, the telephone is a dangerous device and communication with relatives a terribly un-American act.

Restrictionists have tried to modernize their argument, but it hasn’t changed much through the years. Immigration of the late 19th century was dominated by Italians, Poles, Hungarians, Jews, and other groups from southern and eastern Europe. At that time, these new residents were widely seen as inferior to native-born whites. They were reviled for their refusal to speak English, for their political and economic demands on American corporations, for being so poor that they became “public charges” or undercut the wages of the native-born workers, and for their unacceptable sexual behavior.

The Immigration Acts of 1920 and 1924, the most restrictive immigration policies we’ve ever had, limited new entrants to 150,000 per year, which was less than a quarter of the total immigration rate at that time. These laws crafted large quotas for northern Europeans while setting limits for countries like Russia and Italy. Thousands of southern and eastern Europeans, however, continued to come.

As immigrants were deported for violating the quota policies, social reformers began to fight for long-time residents who had built families and communities in the U.S. These reformers won a series of changes that gave immigration officials the ability to change someone’s status.

The liberalization remade the American identity, but kept it white. Mexicans, for example, were left behind by the process. According to historian Mae M. Ngai, They weren’t explicitly excluded, but they had little access to the mechanisms through which to change their status, and no one cared to correct that oversight. In 1929, Congress also passed the Registry Act, allowing people to change their status if they paid $20, hadn’t left the U.S. since 1921, and were of good moral character. Of the 115,000 people who were forgiven between 1930 and 1940, 80 percent were European or Canadian. The attorney general began to suspend deportation orders after 1940, and an internal Justice department study in 1943 revealed that the overwhelming majority of suspensions went, ironically, to Germans and Italians; only 8 percent involved Mexicans. Instead of liberalization, Mexicans got a guest worker program, and in 1954, Operation Wetback, the country’s first mass deportation program.

Restrictionists have frozen images of a “true” America, as though our identity hasn’t changed since 1776. Stasis, however, is a fiction. Cultures do not stand still, nor should we want them to. We have the chance now to remake our immigration policy in the modern era, not by taking it back to the 1920’s, but by grappling honestly with the fact that the American identity is always undergoing cultural change. Modernity challenges us to create a policy that finally recognizes the full humanity of all immigrants without regard to their racial identity.

If we are indeed what we eat, Americans are already eating like the world. It’s time for our policy to catch up to our palates.

Sen is the president of the Applied Research Center and the publisher of ColorLines magazine. Her book, The Accidental American, will be released in September.

Copyright (C) 2008 by the American Forum. 6/08
Sent by Juan Marinez




National POW/MIA Recognition Day
Sept. 19, 2008

National POW/MIA Recognition Day is traditionally observed on the third Friday of September. This year, the day will be commemorated on Sept. 19, 2008. The theme for 2008 commemorates the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific. POW/MIA Recognition Day posters can be ordered at the following website  or by calling 703-699-1131. For more information, visit the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office website. By law, the black POW/MIA flag can be flown over federal facilities and cemeteries, post offices and military installations on that day.
Sent by Rafael Ojeda


LULAC seeks to create a permanent leadership academy at the UNM

35 Students Selected Nationwide Graduate From The UNM/LULAC National Leadership Program 

Washington, DC - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) in conjunction with the University of New Mexico graduated high school students from a summer youth leadership development program that is funded by the Department of Energy.

The students participated in training July 20th - August 1, 2008 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. The purpose of this program, which began last year is to develop young Latino student leaders and prepare them for college. The Department of Energy granted $154,833 to continue the successful program for the next three years.

The theme this year's program was "Can Latinos Afford to go Green?" Students were given the opportunity to learn leadership skills by educating themselves on environmental issues that impact the whole community. The program provided leadership training,
tutorials, guidance, counseling and cultural/social enrichment activities. 

"LULAC thanks the Department of Energy for making this national leadership program possible," said LULAC National President Rosa Rosales. We congratulate all thirty-five students who graduated from this program. We are excited about the leadership academy and we were impressed by the students' presentations that we are going to start a campaign focused on saving the environment."

Keynote speakers were Theresa Alvillar-Speake, Director, Office of Economic Impact and Diversity from the U.S. Department of Energy along with the LULAC National President Rosa Rosales, National Youth President Jessica Martinez and Dr. Eliseo Torres, Vice President for Student Affairs, UNM. Student speakers from the UNM included Ruben Gonzales, Karissa Vasquez, Steven Astorga and Xochitl Romero.

"The DOE/LULAC/UNM partnership represents one of the ways that DOE works in the communities where it has a presence," said Theresa Alvillar-Speake, Director, Office of Economic Impact and Diversity from the U.S. Department of Energy. "This particular
partnership focuses on developing DOE's future diverse workforce."

"The University of New Mexico is one of the leading Hispanic institutions in the country and we are honored to hold the leadership conference in New Mexico where we will continue to see students from all over the country benefiting from this important program that develops future leaders," said New Mexico State Director Pablo Martinez.

Other guests included the staff of Sen. Pete V. Domenici (R-NM), LULAC National Educational Service Centers (LNESC) Albuquerque Director John A. Moya, LULAC State Director of New Mexico Pablo Martinez, LULAC National Youth President Jessica Martinez and LULAC Program Manager and Policy Analyst Elizabeth Garcia. 

"The partnership provides students an opportunity to continue their leadership skills and give back to the community," said National Youth President Jessica Martinez. "Last year the focus was on immigration and this year the students made their presentations on the

LULAC wants to thank the support of the local councils, LNESC centers and parents for sponsoring the students' attendance at the program.

2008 graduates:
Malleri Acevedo, Windsor, CT
Kimberly Alvarez, Dallas, TX
Tracy Aparicio, Dallas, TX
Irene Araiza, Milwaukee, WI
Steven Astorga, Houston, TX
Margarita Barrón, Laredo, TX
Ashi Colina, Maywood, IL
Edgar Coronado, Sierra Vista, CT
Camila Cremata, Apollo Beach, FL
Omar Cruz, San Antonio, TX
Jason Delarosa, White Plains, NY
Desiree Frias, Bronx, NY
Jorge García, Albuquerque, NM
Eleno Garza, Corpus Christi, TX
Anali González, Albuquerque, NM
Jazmine González, Mundelein, NM
Ruben Gonzales, Gladstone, MO

Jhordan Granger, Albuquerque, NM
Christian López, Stockton, CA
Vicente Mares, San Antonio, TX
Salina McKinney-López, Crystal Lake, IL
Alexis Nuñez, Albuquerque, NM
Karyna Ramírez, Albuquerque, NM
Kimberly Romero, Albuquerque, NM
Xochitl Romero, Cicero, IL
Angelica Salinas, San Antonio, TX
Jennifer Schrock, Carlsbad, NM
Mikayla Soto, Carlsbad, NM
Solomón Soto, Carlsbad, NM
Mercedes Stone, Odessa-Gardendale, TX
Jessica Tena, Albuquerque, NM
Lizbeth Tenorio, Milwaukee, NM
Ruben Terán, Sierra Vista, AZ
David Uranga, Odessa-Gardendale, TX
Karissa Vásquez, Albuquerque, NM
In its first year, 26 high school Latino high school sophomores and juniors from across the country with scholastic potential participated in the week-long training. 

This year, the number of students increased and next year will accommodate more students to attend. 

Editor: Students from the 11 states participating this year: 
13: New Mexico 
10: Texas  
  3:   Illinois  
  2:  Connecticut and New York   
  1:  Arizona, California, Florida, Missouri, New York, Wisconsin

The League of the United Latin American Citizens advances the economic condition, educational attainment, political influence, health and civil rights of Hispanic Americans through community-based programs operating at more than 700 LULAC councils nationwide.

Lizette Jenness Olmos
(202) 833-6130 ext. 16
LULAC National Office, 2000 L Street, NW, Suite 610 Washington DC
20036, (202) 833-6130, (202) 833-6135 FAX


National Association of Hispanic Journalists honors 
Defend the Honor, Co-chair, Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez


Two of today’s most respected media diversity champions – NAHJ founders Juan Gonzalez and Maggie Rivas-Rivas-Rodriguez – and 19th century journalism pioneer Francisco Ramirez will be inducted into the NAHJ Hall of Fame during this summer’s UNITY ‘08 convention - the nation’s industry’s largest gathering of journalists. The NAHJ Hall of Fame Gala was held July 25 in Chicago.  

Juan Gonzalez         Francisco P. Ramirez           Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez

Sent by Juan Marinez

United States Photos Archive  

A new way to share photos on Flickr:  The Commons. 
Your opportunity to contribute to describing the world's public photo collections.

A great resource for pictures on file in the LIBRARY OF CONGRESS .

The Commons was launched on January 16 2008, when we released our pilot project in partnership with The Library of Congress. Both Flickr and the Library were overwhelmed by the positive response to the project! Thank you!

The program has two main objectives:  

  1. To increase access to publicly-held photography collections, and
  2. To provide a way for the general public to contribute information and knowledge. (Then watch what happens when they do!)

    Sent by Bill Carmena


The Founding of MALDEF

The man who brought it together was Pete Tijerina. A graduate of St. Mary's Law School in San Antonio, Tijerina had been fighting discrimination in Texas for a long time. While still at the University of Texas in 1946, he joined LULAC and, by the mid-Sixties, was serving as State Civil Rights Chairman for San Antonio's LULAC Council No. 2. He traveled all over Texas persuading Chicano students to master English; raising money for scholarships; denouncing the racist policies of local institutions.

The main instrument for fighting abuses was a "traveling squad" composed of LULAC members who would group together when problems occurred and try to correct them. Sometimes that meant going to a rural area late at night to investigate the killing of a Chicano laborer; sometimes it meant sitting in a town park and striking up conversations with Chicano passerby to organize a new LULAC council; sometimes it meant talking to politicians about the need to correct school segregation problems.  

These actions produced good results, but their effects wee limited. What Chicanos needed was a sustained legal attack against racism in the Southwest; but that would take time and, most of all, money, which nobody had.

The final straw came in April 1966. Tijerina was working on a case in Jourdanton, Texas, involving a woman named Munoz who had lost her right leg at the knee in an accident. Tijerina felt that the woman deserved at least $50,000 in compensation. When the opposing party refused to come up with that amount, Tijerina decided to go to trial but stopped short when he realized that the jury panel contained not one Spanish-sur-named person.

Tijerina knew that an all-Anglo Southwest jury was unlikely to give the Chicana woman a fair trial. The common Anglo assumption was the "Mexicans didn't need much money to live on. "Tijerina brought his problem to a local judge who told him to come back in August and promised to provide some Spanish-surnamed jurors to choose from.

That summer, Tijerina received an invitation to a civil rights conference in Chicago from Jack Greenberg, Director of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF). A LULAC brother who went in Tijerina's place returned with a favorable report on the work LDF was accomplishing for black people.

In August, Tijerina returned to Jourdanton to try the Munoz case. When the time came to select jurors, he found that he had two Mexican-origin people to choose from: one had been dead for ten years and the other was an undocumented immigrant who had been called by mistake. Tijerina decided to forego the trial and settled the case for a smaller amount.

When he returned to San Antonio, Tijerina was incensed. He was determined to mount a major battle to end jury discrimination in Texas, Hernandez V. Texas had won the Chicano's right to be represented on Texas juries but, because the Supreme Court mandate had not been enforced by further lawsuits, Mexican American jurors were still very scarce. Tijerina and his LULAC brothers talked about lobbying and protesting. Of course, the need to mount a legal challenge was discussed. So was the price tag. A jury discrimination suit could cost close to $10,000.

Tijerina decided to go for higher stakes. Along with Bexar County Commissioner Albert Pena and former City Councilman Roy Padilla of San Antonio, Tijerina traveled to New York in Spring, 1967, and conferred with Bill Pincus, a Ford Foundation representative, at a meeting arranged by Jack Greenberg. Tijerina eloquently set forth the problems Chicanos were experiencing in the Southwest and stressed the need for a Mexican American civil rights organization. At the end of three hours, Pincus was sold. Ford would be willing to consider a proposal for a five-state Mexican American Legal Defense Fund headquartered in Texas. With LDF's help, a seed grant to fund writing of the proposal was obtained from the Field Foundation and work on the new defense fund began.

The task of organizing fell to Tijerina. He and his secretary Rebecca Villareal spent countless hours gathering data for a proposal. That summer, Tijerina piles his family in a car and started out to set up representative MALDEF committees in five southwestern states. Utilizing LULAC contacts, he met with community groups. Local sensitivities and the general activist tenor of the times frequently complicated his task, but with the help of local attorney and community leaders, New Mexico, Arizona, California, and Colorado committees were formed. An LDF-sponsored conference held in Fall, 1967, took an important next step. It was the first time that a board cross section of Chicano attorneys interested in civil rights had the opportunity to meet face-to-face. Everyone gained a strong realization of the uniformity of problems they were confronting in the Southwest and important professional links were made that would serve the Chicano community well in future years. Among the participants was a young Chicana named Vilma Socorro Martinez, who was working as an attorney for LDF and who began serving as an important liaison with the budding civil rights organization.

The last committee was put together in Texas in February, 1968. Tijerina announced that a grant of $1 million was being sought for the creation of a civil rights organization. Carlos Cadena was named President of the Board and Tijerina was appointed Executive Director.

For the nest few months, each member of the fledgling Board was highly excited. Cases poured into Tijerina's office and phone calls continually asked, "What's happening?" "When do we get started?" Finally, on May 1, 1968, Pincus arrived in San Antonio for a meeting at the St. Anthony Hotel. The Board members from Texas included Cardena, Tijerina, Albert Armendariz, State Senator Joe Bernal, Gregory Luna, Albert Pena, and Father Henry J. Casso. Herman Sillas, Louis Garcia, Richard Ibanez, and Frank Munoz came from California. Manuel Garcia of Arizona, Dan Sosa of New Mexico, and Jack Greenberg attended. Robert Gonzalez from California and Levi Martinez of Colorado were present by proxy.

Bill Pincus made his announcement: The Ford Foundation had decided to grant to the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund a sum of $2.2 million to be spent over five years on civil rights legal work for Mexican Americans; $250,000 of the grant was to go for scholarships to Chicano law students. The board was dumbfounded. Ford had given them over twice what they had asked for. Greenberg pledged support from the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and both Pincus and Greenberg were given standing ovation.

MALDEF was to begin work.  



SACNAS Conference
International Polar Year: 
Global Change in Our Communities 
Salt Lake City, Utah
October 09-12, 2008 
Location: Salt Palace Convention Center 
The mission of SACNAS (Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science) is to encourage Chicano/Latino and Native American students to pursue graduate education and obtain the advanced degrees necessary for science research, leadership, and teaching careers at all levels.

For 35 years, SACNAS has provided strong national leadership in improving and expanding opportunities for minorities in the scientific workforce and academia; mentoring college students within science, mathematics, and engineering; as well as, supporting quality precollege (K-12) science education. SACNAS' annual national conference and precollege teacher training workshops, chapters program, postdoc and leadership initiatives, and online internship and job placement resources are tools that help a diverse community of undergraduate and graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, professors, administrators, and precollege educators achieve expertise within their disciplines.

SACNAS Conference . . .International Polar Year: Global Change in Our Communities 

SACNAS provides unparalleled conference activities for students, postdocs, educators, administrators, and researchers in all disciplines of science, mathematics, and engineering.

About the Theme:
The 2008 SACNAS National Conference celebrates the organization’s 35th anniversary. In honor of this milestone, SACNAS marks this year’s conference by engaging conference participants from all scientific fields in discourse on global change.

SACNAS’ theme focuses on global change—particularly climate change—and its impact on all fields of science. The theme explores changes to all ecosystems and populations from the poles to the desert Southwest. Timed to correspond with world-wide efforts related the International Polar Year and supported by a grant from the National Science Foundation, SACNAS' IPY conference represents an opportunity for the minority scientific community to have a voice in the direction and application of research affecting the health of the planet and her people.
Sent by Rafael Ojeda



  Dr. George Castro, Engineer & Associate Dean
Dr. J.D. Garcia, Physicist
Dr. Carlos Gutierrez, Physicist
Dr. Vicente LLamas, Physicist
  Dr. Ramon E. Lopez, Physicist
Dr. Emir Jose Macari, Civil Engineer
  Dr. Theresa Maldonado, Electrical Engineer
Dr. J.V. Martinez, Physicist
Dr. Luz Miranda-Martinez, Physicist
Dr. Alfonso Ortega, Mechanical Engineer
  Dr. Renato Aguilera, Biologist
Dr. John F. Alderete, Microbiologist
Dr. Vernon Avila, Biologist
  Dr. Cecilio Barrera, Microbiologist
Dr. Lee Bitsóí, Educator
Dr. David R. Burgess, Biologist
  Dr. Carlos Catalano, Pharmacist/Biochemist
Dr. Eugene Cota-Robles, Microbiologist
Dr. Wilfred Foster Denectlaw, Zoologist
Dr. Joan Esnayra, Geneticist
Dr. Dolly Garza, Marine Advisory Agent
Dr. Leo Gómez, Radiation Biologist
Dr. Elma González, Cell Biologist
Dr. Scottie Henderson, Invertebrate Biologist
Dr. Karen Magnus, Biophysicist
  Dr. Ernest D. Márquez, Microbiologist
Dr. Leticia Márquez-Magaña, Molecular Biologist
Dr. Sonia Ortega, Program Director and Marine Biologist
  Dr. Clifton Poodry, Biologist
  Dr. Eppie David Rael, Molecular Biologist
Dr. Elba Serrano, Biophysicist
  Dr. Frank Talamantes, Endocrinologist
  Dr. Eugene Vigil, Plant Biologist
Dr. Lydia Villa-Komaroff, Biologist
Dr. Luis P. Villarreal, Virologist
  Dr. Jerry Yakel, Neuroscientist
  Dr. Maria Elena Zavala, Plant Biologist
  Dr. Martha Zuniga, Biologist


  Dr. Frank A. Gomez, Chemist
Dr. Jani Ingram, Chemist
Dr. Nancy Jackson, Chemist
Dr. Donna Nelson, Chemist
Dr. Elvia Niebla, Soil Scientist
  Dr. Eloy Rodriguez, Natural Products Chemist
  Dr. Michael Rodriguez, Medicinal Chemist
  Dr. Joaquin Ruiz, Geochemist
Ecology/Environmental Science
Dr. Robyn Hannigan, Environmental Scientist
Dr. Robin Kimmerer, Plant Ecologist
Dr. Ann Lopez, Environmental Scientist
  Dr. Lee Anne Martinez, Ecologist
Dr. Miguel Mora, Wildlife Toxicologist
Geosciences/Earth Science
Dr. Inés  Cifuentes, Seismologist
Dr. John Cortinas, Meteorologist
Dr. Frank González, Oceanographer
Dr. Margaret Hiza, Geologist
Dr. Carmen Nappo, Meteorologist
Dr. Ken Ridgway, Geologist
Dr. Russell Stands-Over-Bull, Geologist
Dr. Aaron Velasco, Seismologist
Dr. Manuel Berriozábal, Mathematician
  Dr. Carlos Castillo-Chavez, Mathematical Biologist
Dr. Ermelinda DeLaViña, Mathematician
  Dr. Benjamin S.  Duran, Statistician
Dr. Rebecca Garcia, Mathematician
Dr. Concha Gomez, Mathematician
  Dr. Cleopatria Martinez, Mathematician
Dr. Robert Megginson, Mathematician
  Dr. Javier Rojo, Statistician
  Dr. Richard A. Tapia, Mathematician
Dr. William Vélez, Mathematician
Psychology/Social Sciences
Dr. Healani Chang, Clinical Behavioral Scientist/Pacific Biosciences
  Dr. Marigold Linton, Cognitive Psychologist
Dr. Craig Love, Psychologist
Dr. Michael Sesma, Psychologist



Major Fernando E. Rodriguez Vargas, DDS

(February 24, 1888–October 21, 1932) 
was an odontologist (dentist), scientist and a Major in the U.S. Army 
discovered the bacteria which causes dental caries.

Written by
Tony (The Marine) Santiago


Ouch! Man, you know how bad it is when you have a tooth ache, the pain. Then the fear that most of us have when we have to visit the dreaded dentist. When you enter his office the first thing that gets to you is that weird smell and the horrible sound of the DRILL. Anyway, let’s face it, if it wasn’t for the dentist we would have a world full of people with rotten teeth. Did you know that up until 1921, dentists around the world knew that cavities were responsible for the decay of teeth, but that none of them had any idea as to the causes and of course the prevention of the decay? That is, until a Hispanic by the name of Fernando Emilio Rodriguez Vargas discovered the bacteria’s which caused tooth decay. Here is the story of the short life of one of our great scientists.

                                          Early years

 Fernando Emilio Rodríguez Vargas was born in Adjuntas, Puerto Rico to Luciano Rodriguez and Dolores Vargas. There he received both his primary and secondary education. After he graduated from high school, he applied and was accepted in the University of Puerto Rico where he took paramedic courses and earned his teachers certificate.  He then went to work as a United States Internal Revenue Service inspector and later as a Spanish translator for the United States War Department. In 1910, Rodríguez Vargas applied and attended Georgetown University, in Washington, D.C. where he earned his DDS degree in 1913. From 1913 to 1915, Rodríguez Vargas had his private practice in Washington, D.C. In 1915, he joined the United States Indian Medical Services, and was assigned to Tucson, Arizona located in the southwest region of the United States. During this time he studied the mottled enamel situation which was affecting Native Americans.  

                                    Military service

On August 16, 1917, he joined the United States Army and on September 14th, he was commissioned a First Lieutenant.  Rodríguez Vargas was assigned to the Army Dental Reserve Corps and attended a course at the Medical Officer's Training Camp at Camp Greenleaf, Georgia before being sent overseas.  

The  U.S. Congress had already declared war on Germany when Rodríguez Vargas was sent to the United Kingdom. On August 1919, he was reassigned to San Juan, Puerto Rico and served in Camp Las Casas. During his service in Puerto Rico he met and married Maria Anita Padilla. Rodríguez Vargas, who promoted to Captain on September 8, and his wife had a son which they named Roberto.  

                                   Scientific work

On February 18, 1921, Rodriguez Vargas was sent to Washington, D.C. and assigned to the Army Dental Corps where he continued his investigations in the field of bacteriology.  Rodríguez Vargas was there as an educator and investigator of the bacteriological aspects of dental diseases. His research led him to discover the bacteria which causes dental caries. According to his investigations, three types of the Lactobacillus species, during the process of fermentation, are the causes of cavities.  In December 1922, he published an original and fundamental work on the specific bacteriology of dental caries.  His findings were published in the December issue of the ''Military Dental Journal'' titled "The Specific Study of the Bacteriology of Dental Cavities".  Rodríguez Vargas also developed the techniques and methods of analysis. On September 28, 1928, Rodriguez Vargas published in the "Journal of the American Medical Association" his findings in the effectiveness of Iodine and other chemical agents as disinfectants of the mucous membranes of the mouth. Since then, other scientists have used the findings of his investigations as the basis in the study of the bacteriology of dental caries.  

Rodríguez Vargas earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Georgetown University, in 1924 where he was an Associate Professor of Bacteriology in the Ental School. On September 14, 1929 , he was promoted to the rank of Major.  

                                          Later years

 Rodríguez Vargas was a member of the District of Columbia Dental Society, the International Association of Dental Research and a fellow of the American College of Dentists. In 1925, he was assigned to the General Dispensary, U.S. Army in Boston, Massachusetts until August 1926, when he was reassigned to Holabird Quartermaster Depot, Baltimore, Maryland, which would turn out to be his last assignment.  

Major Fernando E. Rodríguez Vargas became ill with pneumonia and was hospitalized at the Walter Reed Hospital for treatment. On October 21, 1932, Rodríguez Vargas died of complications at the age of 44. He was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Section 6 Site 8429. He was survived by his widow and son.


Rodríguez Vargas is the only Puerto Rican honored with a plaque and bust situated in front of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in Washington, D.C.  

On March 16, 1940, the American College of Dentists presented a plaque to the Army Medical Service Graduate School (now Walter Reed Army Institute of Research) in memory of Army dental officer Major Fernando E. Rodriguez for his pioneer research showing the relationship between the Lactobacillus acidophilus and dental caries.  

On August 31, 1944, the War Department of the United States issued General Order No. 71 which renamed the Army General Hospital of Fort Brooke located in the Ballaja grounds of the Castillo San Felipe del Morro (Fort San Felipe del Morro) in Old San Juan, the  Rodriguez (161st) General Hospital, in honor of Major Rodriguez Vargas.  

In the 1950s, the Puerto Rico College of Dental Surgeons honored Rodriguez Vargas with the establishment of the "Dr. Fernando E. Rodriguez Scientific Contest".  

Note: I would like to thank my great friend Omar Rivera for his collaboration. Rivera e-mailed me telling me that he  enjoys reading my articles in Somos Primos. He has a “gift” for research and has provided me with much needed information. Omar, I know that you are reading this and I want you to know that I am praying for your mom.


Center for Mexican American Studies, The University of Texas at Austin
José E. Limón

The Center for Mexican American Studies at The University of Texas at Austin has been working closely with five different departments on faculty hires over the course of the last academic year. We are very pleased and honored to announce that four new faculty members will be joining the CMAS familia effective the 2008/2009 academic year. In addition to their departmental appointments, each will hold a courtesy appointment in and be designated a Faculty Associate of the Center for Mexican American Studies.

Below are biographies of the new CMAS Faculty Associates.

Néstor Rodríguez, Professor of Sociology, effective fall semester 2008. 
Professor Rodríguez, a native of Corpus Christi, Texas, received his bachelor's and master's degrees from Texas A&I University and received a doctorate in sociology from The University of Texas at Austin in 1984. He has recently served as Professor and Chair of the Department of Sociology and Co-Director of the Center for Immigration Research at the University of Houston. His research interests include international migration, immigration policy, border enforcement, global urban development, racial/ethnic relations, and state repression. Two of his most recent publications include When States Kill: Latin America, The U.S., and Technologies of Terror, University of Texas Press, 2005 and Black/Brown Relations and Stereotypes, University of Texas Press, 2002.

Roberto Tejada, Associate Professor of Art and Art History, effective fall semester 2008.
Professor Tejada received his bachelor's degree from New York University and his master's and doctoral degree in art and art history from the State University of New York, Buffalo. He has recently served as Associate Professor in the Department of Visual Arts at UC San Diego.  His research interests include twentieth-century image-making, cultural and critical theory, the language arts, and visual culture analysis. Two of his most recent publications include Travels in the Image Environment: Camera Culture in Greater Mexico, 1900 and After, University of Minnesota Press, forthcoming; and Luis Gispert/loud image, University Press of New England, 2004.

Deborah Vargas, Assistant Professor of American Studies, effective fall semester 2008.
Professor Vargas, a native of San Antonio, Texas, received her bachelor's degree from The University of Texas at Austin and a masters and doctorate in sociology from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2003. She has recently served as Assistant Professor of Chicano/Latino Studies in the School of Social Sciences at the University of California, Irvine. Her research interests include Chicana/Latina cultural production, racialized sexualities, transnational feminisms, cultural studies, and popular culture. Two of her most recent publications include "Brown Country: Johnny Rodriguez" in Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies. Volume 32, Number 1, Spring 2007; and "Cruzando Frontejas: Remapping Selena's Tejano Music Crossover." in The Chicana/o Cultural Studies Reader Angie Chabram-Dernersesian (ed.) Routledge Press, 2006

Cecilia Ballí, Assistant Professor of Anthropology, effective spring semester 2009.
Professor Ballí, a native of Brownsville, Texas, received her bachelor's degree from Stanford University and is currently completing her doctoral degree in anthropology at Rice University. She comes to us after a stellar career as writer-at-large for Texas Monthly. Her research interests include the U.S.-Mexico borderlands, gender and violence, transnational crime, music and identity and ethnographic writing strategies. Two of her most recent publications include "Borderline Insanity," in Texas Monthly OnŠTrue Crime, ed. Texas Monthly editors, University of Texas Press, 2007; and "All About My Mother," in Hecho en Tejas: An Anthology of Texas Mexican Literature, ed. Dagoberto Gilb, University of New Mexico Press, 2006.


I wish to extend my thanks to Martha Menchaca (Anthropology and CMAS), Deborah Paredez  (Theatre & Dance and CMAS) as well as Gloria Gonzalez-Lopez (Sociology and CMAS) for their service on the departmental search committees. We also thank the superb administrative personnel in each of the hiring departments.

I also want to thank Samuel Wilson (Chair, Department of Anthropology), Janet Davis (Chair, Department of American Studies), John Yancey (Chair, Department of Art and Art History), Robert Hummer (Chair, Department of Sociology), Richard Flores (Senior Associate Dean, College of Liberal Arts) and Gregory Vincent  (Vice President, Division of Diversity and Community Engagement) for all their work in the hiring of these new faculty members.  Finally, we are most grateful to Steven Leslie (Executive Vice President and Provost) and Randy Diehl (Dean, College of Liberal Arts).

Regards,  José E. Limón
Mody C. Boatright Regents Professor in American and English Literature
Professor of Anthropology and American Studies
Director, Center for Mexican American Studies

Luis V. Guevara
Assistant to the Director and Program Coordinator
Center for Mexican American Studies
The University of Texas at Austin
1 University Station  F9200
Austin, TX 78712-0531

(512) 475-6769
(512) 471-9639 FAX




November 14-15, 2008

Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Project Conference

SPONSORED BY: University of Houston, Rice University and Texas Southern University
LOCATION: Crown Plaza Hotel, Downtown Houston

Rebeca Reyes, Assistant to the Director
Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project  
University of Houston § 256 Cullen Performance Hall § Houston, Texas 77204-2006
Tel: (713) 743-3128 § Fax: (713) 743-3142
Emails: §
Sent by Rebeca Reyes PReyes@Central.UH.EDU

The project grew out of the work developed over the past twenty years by Nicolás Kanellos and the scholars on the Recovery Project Advisory Board who recognized that a vast corpus of writing by U.S. Hispanics prior to 1960 remained virtually unknown and scattered across the country. In 1990, they brought together leading scholars of U.S. Hispanic literary history for a conference to develop strategic plans for the recovery of that legacy. The Rockefeller Foundation sponsored the conference, the design of the project, and donated base funding for ten years. Soon thereafter, AT&T Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Ford Foundation, The Meadows Foundation, and The National Endowment for the Humanities also joined in support of the project.

Nicolás Kanellos is the Brown Foundation Professor of Modern and Classical Languages at the University of Houston and founder-director of Arte Público Press, the oldest and most accomplished publisher of U.S. Hispanic literature. He is a fellow of the Ford, Lilly and Gulbenkian Foundations and of the National Endowment for the Humanities. In 1988, he was awarded the White House Hispanic Heritage Award, and in 1989 the American Book Award in the publisher/editor category. Author of numerous books on U.S. Hispanic literature and theatre, Dr. Kanellos was appointed in 1994 by President Bill Clinton and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve on the National Council on the Humanities.

2008 to the following address: 
2008 Recovery Project Conference
Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project
University of Houston
256 Cullen Performance Hall
Houston, TX 77204-2006

THE AMERICAN GI FORUM 1990 through 1996

The Last Message of Dr. Hector P. Garcia
By His Daughter
Daisy Wanda Garcia

In 1985, Andrew Garcia of Yale University honored Dr. Garcia with an endowment  chair at Yale, California.  Left to Right: Andrew Garcia, Mrs. Hector Garcia, Dr. Hector Garcia.

Dr. Hector wrote his final column on April 12, 1990, six years before his death. This column finds Dr. Hector Garcia reviewing and enumerating his accomplishments and the changes in the socio economic conditions of Mexican Americans.  Dr. Hector knew that his time was short and it was time to pass the torch to the next generation.  Like Moses, he guided his people on a “perilous journey” out of discrimination.  Now it was time for them to carry on without him. His last charge to the American G.I. Forum (AGIF) was, “to be continually vigilant in its support of economic and social justice, particularly as it relates to the fair distribution of educational resources.” Dr. Hector Garcia left this final message with us.

 1989, Corpus Christi State University
  Commencement speaker. Here with Pres. Allen Sugg.

A Message From the Founder of the American GI Forum 
of the United States

42nd Anniversary Convention

April 12, 1990

U.S. Supreme Court William O. Douglas, writing his memoirs spoke a truth to which I devote to the 42nd anniversary of the founding of the American GI Forum:  

Only through the individuals, our real quality of life revealed.  That quality is improved by the tension we remove, by the frictions we reduce, by the prospect |
of true equality of opportunity for every human in our midst.   

This observance is special for it represents the embodiment of a movement rooted in advancing educational opportunity for our GIS and young people.  Our creed best symbolizes this movement:  Education is our freedom, and freedom should 
be everybody’s business.  For this reason, I have acknowledged this event as the “educational banquet.”  Through the efforts of the American GI Forum, we have improved the quality of life for thousands of individuals by removing and reducing those obstacles, which have hampered the development of our community.  

Project SER and the Veteran’s Outreach Program were founded by the American GI forum to turn despair into hope, hope into opportunity, opportunity into skills and education, and opportunity into jobs.  Making available scholarships to needy and deserving youth has kept alive the spirit and dreams of many individuals.  

Today in Corpus Christi , which I proudly refer to as the cradle of the American GI Forum, we honor those individuals who have contributed or have worked towards opportunity for many humans “in our midst.”   As Aristotle noted, the arena of human life honors and rewards those who show their good qualities in action.  Through their hard work, they have become living examples-role models for all youth to dream and pattern their lives.  U.S. Congressman Solomon Ortiz, having overcome poverty and discrimination, has become one of the most influential policy makers in nation defense in the United States .  Dr. Lauro Cavazos, a South Texas native, became the first Hispanic to serve as the U.S. Secretary of Education.  Dr. B. Alan Sugg, my dear friend, has successfully helped to transform Corpus Christi State University into a four-year institution.  The implications of increased educational opportunities for our youth are monumental.  Manuel Jaramillo Rodriguez has distinguished himself as an international artist who has paved the way for many young artists to pursue careers in art.   

For these individuals, including our major sponsors for this banquet-Corpus Christi State University and Hoechst Celanese-I am grateful.  Then American GI Forum will continually be vigilant in its support of economic and social justice, particularly as it relates to the fair distribution of educational resources and opportunities for South Texas .  Que Dios los bendiga.  

Time took its toll on Dr. Hector. Physical illness reduced a formerly robust man to a frail individual. Yet He wanted to ensure that Hispanic Civil Rights works continue.  In the 1990s, an interviewer asked my father what would happen to the Hispanic Civil Rights movement after he was gone.  My father said there were other leaders and organizations such as MALDEF, NCLR, and AGIF to continue this work.  

Papa completed work on this earth on July 25, 1996. At his funeral, I read the following passage from Ecclesiastes.  3:1-8.  

There is a time for everything…

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under the sun.
A time to be born and a time to die;
A time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to kill and a time to heal ...
A time to weep and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn and a time to dance ...
A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to lose and a time to seek;
A time to rend and a time to sew;
A time to keep silent and a time to speak;
A time to love and a time to hate;
A time for war and a time for peace.

He (God) has made everything appropriate to its time,


Dr. Hector gave his whole life in service to his country, his people and his organization, the AGIF. He left us with a huge legacy of activism, achievement and raised the Mexican American people up. It is our time to continue with this work!

At the 1990 dedication of the Memorial Medical Center renaming the wing after my father, Corpus Christi, Texas with Congressman Soloman Ortiz.


Dear Friends of Dr. Hector P. Garcia

My next series will be about Dr. Hector and his work in the health field.  I need to get interviews from former patients about their interactions with him.  

Please email me at

Or phone me at 512-478-7612.  If I do not answer, please leave a message and I will return your call. Thank you.  Wanda


Drug Wars, the Colombianization  Documentary
El Inmigrante Documentary
Changing the economics of illegal immigration 
Time for historical lesson on Mexican migration into U.S.
Mexicans turn to radio implants as kidnapping for ransom soar
Mexican Expulsions Websites
Nov 14-15: Recovering U.S. Hispanic Literary Project Conference
MPI's National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy
Training Program for Incarcerated Fathers
Social Cost of Divorce
African-American Million Father March

The Colombianization of Mexico

A Gary "Rusty" Fleming Film

Drug and human trafficking is a nationwide dilemma, and affects everyone in the United States where drug dealings occur.  Drug cartels are threatening to take over Mexico; they provide a gateway for terrorist gangs to come into the U.S. and can strike in any city.

Editor:  I spoke to Gary "Rusty" Flemings who produced this frightening documentary about the Drug Wars taking place in Mexico and the United States.  Yesterday's Orange County Register (8-25-08) had an article on Jesus Ruben Moncada, who was captured the previous day in East Los Angeles for the massacre of 19 people in 1998.  The massacre of 18 people, 12 adults and sadly 8 innocent children took place in Ensenada, gunned down for control of the drug trade.  

Flemings said that in most cases the cooperating agents, on either side of the border, or individuals needed to distribute the drugs are given a choice of  money or death, plata o plomo.   

Flemings, having lived among the drug scene in Mexico and the U.S. for three years, believes that the only way of diminishing the power and presence of the Drug Lords is to diminish the use of drugs.  He referred to social programs, as well as the real need of building up strong families.

Since 2000, when the United States cut down the effectiveness of the Columbian drug trade through $4 billion U.S. aid to assist the Colombian government's counter-narcotics efforts, the drug trade control and power has shifted to Mexican control.  

The wide-spread family connections that exists between Mexican heritage individuals has facilitated, very quickly the proliferation of drugs through out the United States.  Plus, he explained the inexpensive substances needed to produce very lucrative drugs has encouraged risk taking and increased inter-rivalry between gangs involved in the drug trade.

After viewing the documentary, I certainly agree with the text in the back of the DVD jacket:  "The problem is bigger than any one government or any one nation.  It's bigger than any one solution and its' bigger than any of us realize.

"This documentary exposes the real truth behind the headlines. From the viewpoint of the players and the victims; this situation gets exposed in graphic detail with never before seen footage of the most powerful terrorist on earth.  "The price for allowing our government to minimize this situation an longer is going to be higher than any of us are willing to pay." 

James Verini, contributing editor of Portfolio Magazine sums up my reaction to the Drug Wars, Silver or Lead, "Nothing yet broadcast in the U.S. captures the violence and urgency of the ongoing Mexican drug war, and it relevance to everyday Americans' lives."  

To purchase a DVD, go to: 
Winner: Director's Impact Award, West Hollywood, International Film Festival, 2008
Winner: Best Investigative Political Documentary, Bayou City, International Film Festival, 2008
Official Selection, Dallas USA Film Festival, 2008

Editor: Associated Press, Alexandra Olson, OCRegister, 8-31-08
Mexico City, on August 30th, 100,000 marched to demand drug related killings to stop.
800 murders in the state of Chihuahua this year.  
Kidnappings in Mexico average 65 a day.  


Many immigrants get caught up in moving drugs and become the innocent victims of those on both sides of the battle.


1 hr 29 min 19 sec - Jan 14, 2008  

Description: EL INMIGRANTE is a documentary film that examines the Mexican and American border crisis by telling the story of Eusebio de Haro a young Mexican migrant who was shot and killed during one of his journeys north. The film presents a distinct humanitarian focus in which story and character take precedent over policy and empiricism. Towards this end "El Inmigrante" examines the perspectives of a diverse cast of players in this border narrative. A cast which includes the de Haro family, the community of Brackettville, Texas-where Eusebio was shot, members of vigilante border militias in Arizona, the horseback border patrol in El Paso, and migrants en route to an uncertain future in the United States.

Sent by Frank C. Lemus 


In Depth: Beyond the Border
Changing the economics of illegal immigration 
By Erin Carlyle 

Orange County, CA  Register,  August 1, 2008 

O.C. restaurateur works to improve opportunities in Puebla, Mexico to reduce illegal immigration. 

Photo Somos Primos Archives 
at El Comite de la Fiestas Patrias Celebration, 9-10-04 

Restaurant owner Carlos Olamendi works to strengthen Mexican economy and make staying home more profitable than crossing the border. 

Carlos Olamendi is tired of seeing Mexicans stream into the U.S. because of economic need.  Thirty-six years ago Olamendi, who is 52, emigrated here from Puebla, Mexico, driven by the economic conditions that push many Mexicans to cross the border. Olamendi came on a temporary visa, then overstayed it for years. He became a citizen in the 1980s, when President Ronald Reagan offered amnesty for those here illegally. 

Now a successful Laguna Niguel restaurateur, Olamendi would like to see more Mexicans stay home – and prosper. 

The goal, Olamendi said, "is to …establish immigration as an optional phenomenon, not a necessity." 

Olamendi feels so strongly about Mexican economic prosperity that he moved back to Puebla two years ago to help. He worked for the government to implement his program, which aims to stem the tide of poblanos, or people who hail from his home state of Puebla, across the U.S.-Mexico border. 

A stronger Mexican economy could relieve some of the pressure leading to illegal immigration from Mexico and reduce what is perceived as a strain on the American health care system, Olamendi argues. And a stronger Mexican economy could help reduce the number of Mexican immigrants who die trying to cross the border. Last year, 539 Mexicans died in the attempt – 27 of them from Olamendi's home state. 

The Mexican government reports its national unemployment rate for 2007 as 3.7 percent – lower than American unemployment, which hovered between 4.4 and 5 percent that year. 

However, the Mexican statistic is widely believed to be misleading and inaccurate. The CIA estimates that Mexican underemployment – people employed less than full time – was actually an additional 25 percent. 

El Programa de Generacion de Patriminio Familiar, or Keeping Families Together, includes economic development in Mexico, health care and education for Mexican nationals in the U.S., and an emphasis on savings and family reunification in Mexico. 

"Most importantly, it establishes a future," Olamendi said. "This is creating a situation where people don't have to leave town." 

Under Olamendi's program,poblanos in the U.S. can apply for grants from the Mexican government to start small family businesses in Mexico. The government helps them develop a business plan, and provides a matching grant for every penny of their remittances – money immigrants send to their families back home – they save to invest in their projects. 

"Bottom line, the reason we have the immigrants here is because of lack of opportunities in their homeland for jobs and better economic conditions," said economist Esmael Adibi, director of the Anderson Center for Economic Research at Chapman University. "So anything that could be done to enhance their opportunities in their homeland will be partially helpful to curtail the flow of illegal immigrants." 

Since the program began in July 2007, 136 families from Puebla who live in the U.S. have started businesses in Mexico, from landscaping and irrigation companies to tortilla shops, greenhouses, and fish farms. 

Santa Ana resident Jesus Salas, received a grant $5,000 matching grant to start a pharmacy. His father emigrated to the United States and returned to Mexico two years ago. He will stay to run the pharmacy. 

"It's an option for immigrants," Salas said. "So now they don't have to come back." 

The program also offers grants for community projects. With his hometown club of those immigrants here in Orange County hailing from Olomatlan, Puebla, Salas is leading an effort to bring potable water to their hometown of about 5,000 people. 

The program stipulates that the grants must go for family businesses. The goal, Olamendi emphasized, is to get Mexicans living in the U.S. to take the skills they have learned here and use them to build Mexico's economy. 

"All the family must be involved," Olamendi said, "so we don't leave any options for the family … to move to the United States." 

"I'm looking to develop their own dream," Olamendi said, "in their own land." 

Mexicans living in the U.S. sent $24 billion to Mexico in 2007, according to the Inter-American Development Bank. Olamendi says that $1.6 billion was from poblanos. Currently there are an estimated 800,000 poblanosliving in the U.S. 

"The economic factor is the one that makes you make the decision to leave your family, to leave your little house behind," Olamendi said. 

Olamendi says his economic development plan is becoming a model for the other Mexican states. 

"The whole idea is great," Adibi said. "It makes sense. But whether it's really going to make a significant dent that I'm not sure about. The problem for Mexico is not just limited to one province or one area." 

In addition to the economic plan, Olamendi has pushed for legislation to crack down on coyotes, who make their living sneak people across the border. 

He is also working to establish trauma centers on the U.S.-Mexico border, where Mexicans living in the U.S. would be sent for medical and psychological care. He is also working to establish a bi-national health insurance plan to reduce the cost of medical care for immigrants. No further details on these programs were available as of press time. 

The cost of health care for undocumented people has become a lightning rod in the debate over illegal immigration, as uninsured are blamed for driving up the cost of health care by using emergency services. 

However, it is impossible to know exactly how many of the uninsured are illegal immigrants – or exactly how much they cost the system. 

A 2006 RAND Corporation study found that foreign-born residents, including undocumented immigrants, use less public funding and pay more out-of-pocket costs for health care than native-born residents. In 2000, native-born Americans accounted for 87 percent of the population but 91.5 percent of the $430 billion national health care bill, according to the study. 

The state tracks the immigration status of Medi-Cal patients, and spent $1.2 billion caring for undocumented immigrants in 2005, according to the state Department of Health Care Services. In 2005, 52,398 illegal immigrants in Orange County received benefits. 

As of February 2007, about 801,000 illegal immigrants were eligible to receive Medi-Cal benefits, making up 12 percent of the state's 6.6 million Medi-Cal eligible patients. Medi-Cal officials count as illegal immigrants people who can provide neither a Social Security number nor immigration papers. 

Olamendi has already established a relationship with community colleges in Los Angeles to help immigrants further their education, through English classes, high school completion, and vocational training. 

Contact the writer: or 714.796.7722


Time for historical lesson on Mexican migration into U.S.
By Arturo Villarreal and Charley Trujillo
Article Launched: 08/06/2008 

Immigration is driven by historical and economic necessity on both sides of the border. There are times when the United States needs Mexican labor, such as during World War I and World War II, that migration is encouraged. During economic downturns, migration is discouraged. Repression is directed toward this population, such as during the Great Depression, the economic recession of the 1950s and the present downturn.

Perhaps by analyzing and understanding history, we can change our perspective on the issue - not by building a fence across the border but by building a bridge between two countries that share a long history. It is difficult to comprehend that a physical barrier across the border will fence in history.

Most discussions of Mexican migration into the United States lack a historical perspective that lead to characterize it as a spontaneous and recent phenomenon. However, people of Mexican origin are descendants of one of the six original world civilizations and whose ancestors help lay the foundation for the development of the present-day Southwest and other regions.

The melting pot theory of assimilation and its assumptions are most often used by journalists, politicians and citizens who don't believe Mexican immigrants, legal or not, are productive members of society. At best, this theory is applicable to ethnic immigrants of European heritage. Unlike European immigrants who had to traverse an ocean, this theory does not apply to Native Americans or Mexicans who are indigenous to America.

The first significant contact between whites and Chicanos led to the Texas revolt of 1834-36 when the symbolic battle of the Alamo occurred. Many of the whites in the Alamo were undocumented because Mexico barred further white immigration into Texas in 1830. Armed with a strong military and the ideological doctrine of manifest destiny that deemed the United States as people chosen by God to rule from sea to shining sea, the United States invaded Mexico in 1846.

Mexico lost the war and signed the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848. Mexico ceded California, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado and parts of Nevada, Utah and Wyoming for $15 million. Under the treaty, remaining Mexicans became U.S. citizens with all rights of property, language and religion. However, the provisions were ignored; or, in the case of property, it was taken by legal and extralegal means.

Violence against Chicanos by vigilantes and law enforcement officials was so severe that scores left for Mexico. Violence faced by those remaining was comparable to what blacks faced in the South. By the early 1900s, cheap Mexican labor was needed for work in the mines, railroads, agriculture and other industries. During this period, Mexicans also migrated to the Midwest and Northwest. The Mexican Revolution and World War I also contributed to push and pull factors that brought migration of Mexicans into the United States. It is estimated one-eighth of Mexico's population legally moved into the United States during this period.

Mexican labor has been instrumental in the development of infrastructure and capital accumulation in the United States. However, with the economic depression of the 1930s, Mexican labor was no longer necessary. Hundreds of thousands of Mexicans were deported. This deportation included U.S. citizens, a practice that continues.

Racial categorization in the United States is the confusion of race, nationality and ethnicity, whereby people of Mexican origin are always suspect of being foreign, regardless of legal status. To the dominant society, however, they are all indistinguishable. Unlike European immigrant groups who are removed geographically from home countries, Chicano culture and language are reinforced by new arrivals from Mexico. Unlike immigrants from other countries who can forge a new place for themselves, migrants from Mexico have a ready-made niche for them because of historical circumstances. Historical perceptions and stereotypes of Mexicans precede them as they venture into other parts of the United States. Hopefully, by understanding our shared history, we can refrain from stereotyping and scapegoating Mexicans.


ARTURO VILLARREAL is a professor at Evergreen Valley College in San Jose. CHARLEY TRUJILLO is a writer and publisher in San Jose. They wrote this article for the Mercury News.

Dr. Carlos Muñoz, Jr.

Mexicans turn to radio implants as kidnapping for ransom soar

Homeland Security Wire:  Mexicans, terrified of soaring kidnapping rates, are having tiny radio transmitters planted under their skin so they can be quickly tracked and rescued.  Hundreds of people, including a growing number of
middle-class Mexicans, are buying the tiny chip designed by Xega, a Mexican security firm.  

The Times's Mike Harvey writes
that kidnapping jumped almost 40 percent between 2004 and 2007 in  Mexico, which has surpassed conflict zones like Iraq and Colombia to register the highest kidnapping rates in the world, according to a recent study.

Sent by Ignacio “Nacho” Pena



Mexican Expulsions

The expulsion of Mexican peoples has a history that goes back to the 1830s and have occurred periodically to this very day. Indeed, Mexicans have been the victims of the largest mass expulsions in US History. Whether discussing the deportation of over one million people (60% of which were US citizens) in the 1930s or those expulsions under the notorious "Operation Wetback" in the 1950s where 1.4 million people were deported, these expulsions continue to this very day.

Sent by Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.
who received from Jose Angel  

MPI's National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy * Among immigrant full-time, year-round workers, 26.6 percent earned $50,000 or more per year while 12.3 percent earned less than $15,000. In contrast, 36.4 percent of their native counterparts earned $50,000 or higher and only 6.7 percent earned less than $15,000.

* In New Mexico, one in four immigrant full-time, year-round workers earned less than $15,000 — the highest share in the nation. In contrast, in West Virginia and Maryland, more than 40 percent of immigrant workers reported $50,000 or higher earnings.

* Between 2000 and 2006, the number of immigrants living in poverty in the United States increased from 5.47 million to 5.98 million representing a change of 9.3 percent. In comparison, the native-born population in poverty increased by 14 percent in the same period.

* At the national level, 16.2 percent of immigrants lived below poverty compared to 12.9 percent of natives in 2006. Compared to other states, immigrants residing in New Mexico were more likely to live below the poverty threshold (26.4 percent), while those in Maryland were least likely (8.3 percent).

* Noncitizens were more likely to be in poverty (20.8 percent) than naturalized citizens (9.8 percent).

To get these and many other facts about income and poverty characteristics of immigrants and natives, go to the 2006 ACS/Census Data Tool, select a state, and then choose the Income and Poverty fact sheet. This data tool is a project of MPI's National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy. It was made possible with generous support from Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Global Picture of Remittances Did you know that in six countries — Moldova, Tonga, Guyana, Haiti, Lebanon, and Tajikistan — remittances were equal to more than 20 percent of those countries' gross domestic product (GDP) in 2006? Remittances flows, the most tangible link between migration and development, totaled over US$280 billion worldwide in 2006. Find out more with the help of our Global Remittances Guide.

On behalf of the MPI Data Hub team, thank you.

Data Manager and Policy Analyst
Migration Policy Institute

Sent by Rafael Ojeda

HILO, HAWAII (USA) – 8July 2008 -- Akamai University which offers one of the most uniquely comprehensive Fatherhood and Men’s Studies has created an online Parenting Effectiveness Training Program for Incarcerated Fathers. The program is being hailed as a groundbreaking parenting tool and a model for parenting education programs for Incarcerated Fathers. 

“Our efforts to create an online multimedia and interactive course for Incarcerated Fathers has become a reality. After a full year of background research and development, we have experienced success at transforming portions of the successful classroom-based program for online delivery. Akamai University has created what we believe is a model for online parenting programs for Incarcerated Fathers,” explained Dr. Douglass Capogrossi, the President of Akamai University. .

Through Akamai University’s online Effective Parenting Training Program, Incarcerated Fathers will be provided with information, abilities and attitudes important in building effective parenting skills for successful family life and enjoyment of fatherhood. Topics for this initial online course will emphasize the knowledge, actions and characteristics of the successful parent and encourage more active parenting from prison and thereafter. Incarcerated Fathers will be involved in activities that prepare their attitudes and strengthen their character to improve the likelihood for success as a parent. Instruction includes lectures by audio presentations, videos, assigned web readings, worksheets, journal writing, online class discussion forums, and individualized presentations by participants. Following each class session, Incarcerated Fathers will complete journal entries related to the class activities and exchange confidential dialogue with the instructor.

For further information about Akamai University’s online Effectiveness Parenting Training Program for Incarcerated Fathers, please contact Dr. Douglass Capogrossi by telephone at (808) 934-8793 or by e-mail at:

CONTACT: Douglass Capogrossi, Ph.D.
President – Akamai University
Telephone: 808-934-8793


Social Cost of Divorce
Kids thrive in families where their parents have a healthy marriage.  Sadly, most couples don't know what it takes to have a healthy marriage.  This can be devastating for their kids.  Plus, it costs taxpayers a bundle.  Each divorce is our country hits taxpayers with an extra social services burden of $30,000 per divorce.  Across America, the social cost of divorce is estimated to be $112 Billion each year. 

For more on this, click to programs in Orange County, California.

Million Father March

Editor: Congratulations to the African-American community for their efforts to get fathers’ involvement in the education of their children.  Be looking in your newspapers for information on the Million Father March around the country, specifically in rural North and South Carolina and in St. Louis, Missouri.  More than 450 cities have registered for the Million Father March

If you want any more information about these events or our other programs pertaining to strengthening parenthood, please call (773) 285-9600.

Dads join in Million Father March
St. Louis invites men to first day of school

The Associated Press Published Thursday, August 14, 2008 ST. LOUIS - The St. Louis public school district has asked fathers to accompany their kids to this school year's first day of classes on Monday.

The district says other male care providers in a child's life, like grandfathers, stepfathers or foster dads, are welcome to participate in the event, known as the Million Father March.

It wants dads to bring their children to school, meet teachers and the principal, and hopes they'll join a new program called Fathers as Advocates for their Children's Education, which will encourage men to take a more active role in their children's learning.

"A male role model, especially a father, is irreplaceable in a child's life," said Stuart Scott with the Chicago-based Black Star Project, which has worked since 1996 to close racial academic gaps.

The group has been asking dads to bring their children to the first day of school since 2004 and says fathers in 420 cities, including St. Louis, plan to do so this year.

Scott said while the effort was founded by black men, men and women of all races are welcome. And the dads-to-school push isn't intended to slight mothers, it's just seeking more involvement by men. "Thank you," he said of the work many women do to stress the importance of education but said men should share responsibility. "That's unfair for us to expect the women to raise our child," he said.

St. Louis, the largest public school district in Missouri, will be under state supervision into 2011 due to long-standing academic and financial problems.

It's currently seeking a new superintendent, but the temporary district leader thinks the new effort is a good one.

Interim Superintendent John Wright said he believes some fathers have been on the sidelines for too long when it comes to education. He said the dads are welcome to stay as long as they want at schools on Monday.

"We have to remind people these schools belong to them," he said.

He didn't have an estimate of how many children in St. Louis public schools are from single-parent households or living with other care providers, like a grandparent, but said it can only be helpful to children to have male role models stressing education.

"That's a great idea," said Durrell Walker, 38, of St. Louis. The father of two students at Beaumont High School plans to attend the Million Father March. He said there's a lot of "buzz" around the city about the district's new effort.

"At heart, the fathers want to be involved," he said.

Walker tries to give his children straight talk about the importance of education and to serve as a disciplinary figure to keep them on track.

But he said he hears from other dads about challenges they face. Many work hard to provide for their children, but some face esteem issues or tension from their children's mothers if they can't contribute as much economically as they want or as is needed.

"In my opinion, the fathers that I've spoken with all seem to be interested in not only the first day, but in being more involved, period," he said.

Another father, Andrew Krigler, works at Columbia Elementary School as a parent support specialist. He was hired after years of volunteer and PTO leadership at a different school attended by his now 13-year-old daughter, Victoria.

He said he wants to host a "Doughnuts with Dad" event later this year and to post notices about volunteer work they can help with, like yard work or cafeteria duty at the school, along with photos of family members or care providers who have helped out.

He said it made his daughter feel good to know her dad was involved, and he thinks her daughter's grades were better as a result. "She knows 'my dad will be around,' so she can't mess up," he said.

To have your city join the Million Father March, please call 773.285.9600 or email





Shenandoah, Pennsylvania murder of Luis Ramirez and the pending criminal case.

8/19/08, John Trasvina wrote:

Dorinda, Mimi, Carlos and whomever else is on this email,

I would be happy to speak with you directly about this but wanted to provide you first with a common understanding of what has transpired on the Shenandoah, Pennsylvania murder of Luis Ramirez and the pending criminal case.

Shortly after the murder, we were asked by local Pennsylvania attorneys and the Mexican consulate to be of assistance to Luis Ramirez's fiancée, children and the Latino community in Shenandoah. I wrote to U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey asking for a federal investigation and hate crime prosecution. We were particularly incensed by the prevalent comments from local officials emphasizing that the "boys" were from "good families", not intending to do any harm, etc., etc. We foresaw a local coverup and sweeping the ethnic hostility under the rug. We also asked for intervention by the Community Relations Service. The following week, we organized a vigil and press conference, again, primarily to help Luis Ramirez's fiancée and family and to ease local tensions. We sent two MALDEF attorneys from Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, had meetings with local officials and met with the community. I was pleased that the local prosecutor decided to bring murder and ethnic intimidation charges and that the U.S. Department of Justice opened its own investigation. 

We have been in constant contact with Luis Ramirez's family since then and have seen some movement by the mayor of Shenandoah to apologize for his earlier comments, to work to improve Latino-community relations in Shenandoah and to encourage Latino community members to join an advisory committee for that specific purpose. We have also pushed county school district officials to assure Latino parents before school opens that hate crimes and retaliation are illegal and will not be tolerated. Thus far, the school officials have been more interested in talking to the football team and cheerleaders and have concluded that everything is fine, nothing has changed and that outsiders like us are not welcome. We are pushing back to the school district along with other local leaders who find that response unacceptable.

Yesterday's preliminary hearing had three important outcomes. First, Luis Ramirez's fiancée Crystal Dillman had the opportunity to tell the court what transpired when Luis was killed. Second, although the first- and second-degree murder charges have been dropped, third-degree murder and other charges, including ethnic intimidation, remain. This is still a murder case. For reasons I won't get into on this email, the first- and second-degree charges lacked evidence of pre-meditation in order to remain. Third, the defendants will be tried as adults. This last point is a very important step since if they were tried as minors very limited information on the crime and the case would ever be made public and their maximum sentence could have been counted in months, not years. The orientation of the juvenile justice system and the jurisdiction of the court are very limited in terms of them "aging out". 

We all have a lot of work ahead of us. We will continue to monitor the case and provide assistance to Luis Ramirez's family. We have an outstanding young attorney working on this case, Gladys Limon. Here,, you can find her appearance debating one of the defense attorneys on CNN. She is very dedicated and will not back down from seeking justice in this case. If the state case is not adequately pursued, the federal government has the authority to step in and bring federal charges. And please remember that the Justice Department will be under new management starting on January 20. In addition, a potential civil case for damages remains. 

As you have noted, the media has been slow in covering Luis Ramirez's murder. Fortunately, and perhaps surprisingly, the local press has kept on the local officials. The CBS network ran a report that was highly sympathetic to the town and blamed the murder on economic insecurity. (You might still be able to find the reporter's blog on When Matthew Shephard was killed in Wyoming, the press rightly proclaimed it an anti-gay hate crime. When James Byrd was dragged to his death in Jasper, TX, the press rightly proclaimed it an anti-black hate crime. Yet, in this case, we have not seen comparable coverage or treatment. Alex Nogales of National Hispanic Media Coalition and I met with CBS officials in New York in June about their slanted coverage of immigration. I will be raising their coverage of the Luis Ramirez murder with CBS News in DC on Thursday. 

You have heard and seen MALDEF take on the likes of Lou Dobbs and some of the cable and radio talk show hosts, the American Legion on their anti-immigrant report (you can find our 23 page response with the American GI Forum at, and local jurisdictions that we have sued successfully when they pass anti-immigrant ordinances. In addition, we have worked to have introduced by Senator Hillary Clinton and Rep. Michael Honda federal legislation to establish local immigrant integration councils composed of ethnic, labor, educator, business, religious and other community leaders and provide money for adult English classes, particularly where employers provide before-work or after-work language training for employees. 

Our voices must be sustained and loud. We encourage others in the community to step up on this. The hate crime that occurred in Shenandoah could have occurred almost anywhere in the country; the pervasiveness of anti-immigrant sentiment is that deep. This fall, we will be devoting some of our attorney time to Election Protection, both during the registration period and before and on Election Day, in order to protect our right to vote. 

I hope this outlines where we are on the Shenandoah case and where we need to take it. I appreciate your vigorous and spirited defense of Latino rights. Please let me know how you can help. While this is a long email, I wanted you to know what we have done on the legal side and seek your ideas on how the community as a whole responds. 

John Trasviña

Judge Reduces Charges in Killing of Mexican Immigrant

In Pennsylvania, a district judge has thrown out first- and second-degree murder charges against a pair of teenagers accused of beating to death a Mexican immigrant in the town of Shenandoah last month. Instead, the teenagers are now being tried on counts of third-degree murder and ethnic intimidation in the death of Luis Ramirez. A third teenager has been charged with aggravated assault, ethnic intimidation and other counts. On Monday, a fourth teenager testified in court that one of his friends kicked Ramirez in the head while he lay motionless in the street. After the teenagers beat Ramirez, one of them told an eyewitness, "Tell your Mexican friends to get out of Shenandoah, or you'll be laying next to him."


"Letter's To The Editor." in the Shenandoah community newspaper, 
from the Thomas F. O'Neill, Mayor, Borough of Shenandoah
Wednesday, August 20, 2008 6:54 AM,   To: Gladys Limon  

Hi Gladys, 
This was published in today's newspaper under "Letter's To The Editor."
Thought you might be interested in reading it...  
Best, Jacqueline

Latino community urged to take part in committee
Published: Wednesday, August 20, 2008 
To the Editor:

As all residents of Shenandoah know, on July 12 Luiz Ramirez, a resident of Shenandoah, suffered a violent beating which resulted in his death two days later. Our hearts go out to his family, especially his children, who will grow up without their father.

What makes this incident even more of a tragedy is that three young men from Shenandoah and the surrounding area have been charged with the death, and charges are pending against a fourth.

This is a crushing blow to Shenandoah Borough officials and to the entire community. What is even more upsetting is that the individuals charged have been charged with ethnic intimidation.

We cannot allow this senseless crime to tear our community apart. We must allow the justice system to do its job. The justice system works slowly.

In the meantime, we must reach out to one another for help and support. As part of that help and support, the Borough of Shenandoah is forming an advisory committee of which members of the Latino community are urged to take part. This committee will address all concerns and accept all advice for consideration.

Anyone with concerns or advice, please contact me, or any other borough official. Details on the first meeting are forthcoming.

I believe that Shenandoah has been inaccurately depicted on certain television broadcasts and in written medium as a backward, racist, bigoted community. We do have a few bigots, as does any other community - and the media always manages to find them to unfairly represent our entire community.

Thomas F. O'Neill
Mayor, Borough of Shenandoah

Editor: I am pleased to report that positive action has taken place in Shenandoah, under the direction and leadership of Mayor O'Neill.  Gladys Limon has asked Somos Primos readers to please send thank you and words of encouragement to Mayor O'Neill.  Below is an August 26th posting in the,0,7867729.story  

Extract: “Meanwhile, people at the program, called ''Building Community Unity,'' said they were working to organize a peaceful counter-rally. Tom O'Neill, son of Mayor Thomas O'Neill, said he had been in contact with the state Human Relations Commission about it.

Mayor O'Neill said word of the anti-illegal immigration rally was particularly unwelcome in a town already under a national spotlight.  ''Not that it doesn't deserve it,'' O'Neill said. ''But the people have had enough. They've been worn down.''

Monday's program, by Albert Gonzales of Difference Makers Ltd., an Albuquerque, N.M., motivational speaking agency, was held by Shenandoah Valley High School to calm concerns after two students and a former student were charged in the July 12 beating death of Luis Ramirez. The 25-year-old Mexican had lived in the borough six years and had two children.”


Mayor Thomas O’Neill
Borough Hall, 
15 W. Washington St., 
Shenandoah, PA  17976



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La Opinion Launches Partnership with AARP
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BienTech International
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Serving government, military academic and commercial clients, internationally 
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Unique Brand of Service-Oriented Journalism to Help AARP Educate 

America’s Growing Elderly Hispanic Community 
LOS ANGELES, January 24, 2002 – In one of the most innovative moves among U.S. Hispanic publications, La Opinión, the nation’s largest Spanish language daily newspaper, has partnered with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) to produce special editorial content specific to Hispanics ages 50 and over. Leveraging its 75 years of excellence in service-oriented journalism, La Opinión’s editorial team will manage the development of stories and features for the AARP’s newest publication, Segunda Juventud, translated as “Second Youth.” 

Segunda Juventud is a new, groundbreaking bilingual magazine created specifically to inform and educate today’s growing elderly Hispanic community, estimated at nearly five million the U.S. Bureau of Census. La Opinión’s award-winning writers and editors are responsible for the researching and writing of stories focusing on topics that impact today’s elderly Hispanics, including health, legal issues and personality profiles. AARP editors manage the design and production of each edition of Segunda Juventud. 

On January 8, the inaugural edition of Segunda Juventud was distributed to Hispanic AARP members in the Miami, Florida area. Throughout 2002, Segunda Juventud will reach a total of 200,000 Hispanic AARP members in Houston, New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, and Puerto Rico. The second edition of Segunda Juventud is scheduled for release in April to Hispanic AARP members in the Los Angeles area. In addition, copies will be distributed throughout AARP's 53 state offices and at major public events, including Fiesta Broadway in Los Angeles. The AARP hopes to double circulation through the addition of new Hispanic members throughout the country. 

"La Opinión’s selection by AARP as the content provider for Segunda Juventud is a great testament to the outstanding quality of journalism we strive for each day,” said Monica Lozano, president and chief operating officer. "La Opinión understands the issues that are most relevant to the community and our unwavering commitment to editorial excellence has earned us the reputation as one of the top news gathering organizations in the country.” 

La Opinión will continue to lead the development of Segunda Juventud’s editorial content throughout the year. In addition, La Opinión will work with AARP to help increase awareness among U.S. Hispanics age 50+ through the development of an integrated marketing strategy. 

Serving the Southern California community for 75 years has earned La Opinión an unparalleled understanding of the Hispanic market. Leveraging this expertise, the newspaper developed a broad range of marketing solutions, including custom publications, designed to meet the needs of its clients. Recently, La Opinión developed numerous similar custom publications designed to serve as a resource and educational tool for Hispanics. La Opinión’s custom publications include not only the most up-to-date news readers seek to stay informed, but also important resources such as advocacy organizations, how-to tips and the best places to seek additional information. Some of La Opinión’s recent custom publications focused on topics such as health care, energy conservation, college scholarship guide and financial literacy. 

Over the last two and a half years, La Opinión has grown at an astounding rate, posting an increase in paid circulation for six straight reporting periods and positioning it as one of the fastest growing daily newspapers in the country. With a daily readership of over 679,000, La Opinión is now the second most-read daily newspaper in the Los Angeles market, according to the 2001 Gallup Media Study – Los Angeles Market. La Opinión’s dedication to quality journalism has not only earned it the respect of AARP and other organizations, but numerous awards and recognitions from the National Association of Hispanic Publications, the Press Club of Mexico, the Inter-American Press Association and others.

About La Opinión
Founded in 1926, La Opinión celebrated its Diamond Anniversary on September 16, 2001 with 75 years of continuous service to the city of Los Angeles. La Opinión is distributed throughout the five-county Southern California area and reaches more than 679,000 readers daily. The Lozano family has published the newspaper since its founding and owns a fifty- percent stake in Lozano Enterprises, the corporation that publishes La Opinión. The Tribune Company, in partnership with Lozano Enterprises, owns the other 50 percent. For more information, visit La Opinión on the Web at
For Information, contact:  (213) 896-3600

Sent by Alba Romero

  The Gonzales Group
Delivering Multicultural Business solutions and Insight

Recommended Books:

Immigrants and Boomers: Forging a New Social Contract for the Future of America
Author: Dowell Myers

Manifest Destines: the Making of the Mexican American Race
Author: Laura E. Gomez

Ex Mex: From Migrants to Immigrants
Author: Jorge G. Castañeda

Mongrels, Bastards, Orphans, and Vagabonds 
Author: Gregory Rodriguez

Sent by Rafael Ojeda



Dr. Julius Richmond, 91; Helped create Head Start program
Monte Perez, Ph.D., President of Moreno Valley Community College
Update on Tuition for Harvard & Stanford
HABLA program builds on idea: More words make better readers
Is this the next baby boom?
Julius B. Richmond

Dr. Julius Richmond, 91; helped create Head Start program

Los Angeles Times

As surgeon general in the Carter administration, Dr. Julius Richmond issued a report on the health risks of smoking, reporting for the first time the overwhelming medical evidence for the dangers of cigarettes. In 1965, while working in the Office of Economic Opportunity in the Lyndon Johnson administration, Richmond implemented Project Head Start, an enrichment program for preschoolers that was greeted eagerly by local groups.


The pediatrician also served as surgeon general in the Carter administration and pushed for stronger warnings on cigarette packs.

By Thomas H. Maugh II, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
July 30, 2008

Dr. Julius Richmond, the pediatrician who helped create Project Head Start and later, as surgeon general, issued a 1979 report on the health risks of smoking that led to more informative warning labels on cigarette packs, died of cancer Sunday at his home near Boston. He was 91.

"Dr. Richmond was one of the giants in our field," said Dr. Renee R. Jenkins, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. "He was a wonderful role model for pediatric leaders in the U.S. and throughout the world."

The Supreme Court's 1954 decision in Brown vs. Board of Education requiring equal access to education inspired Richmond and his colleague Betty Carter to focus their pediatric research on policy as they documented how poverty and lack of educational opportunity affected the emotional and intellectual development of young children.

They showed, for example, that malnutrition and other components of poverty could make learning more difficult, putting children at increased risk of failing in school and later in life.

His work came to the attention of Sargent Shriver, then the head of the Kennedy Foundation. When President Lyndon B. Johnson tapped Shriver to be head of the new Office of Economic Opportunity, Shriver persuaded Richmond to join him.

At the agency, he used demonstration grants to channel funds directly to local public health programs rather than through state health departments, bypassing a substantial amount of bureaucracy.

In 1965, he implemented Project Head Start, an enrichment program for preschoolers that was greeted eagerly by local groups. The following year, he sponsored a series of Neighborhood Health Centers that combined economic development incentives and local oversight of health services delivery.

After Richmond spent nearly a decade in academe, Joseph Califano, President Carter's secretary of Health, Education and Welfare, invited him to return as assistant secretary for health. Richmond agreed, on the condition he would also be named surgeon general, giving him a public health bully pulpit.

His second time in Washington was less successful, primarily because of budgetary restraints.

In 1979, he issued an updated version of Surgeon General Luther Terry's 1964 report on the health risks of smoking, reporting for the first time the overwhelming medical evidence of the dangers of cigarettes.

Since 1965, cigarette packages have been forced to carry a generic warning that smoking "may be hazardous to your health."

Following Richmond's report, Congress required four new labels, titled "Surgeon General's Warning," that outlined specific health risks.

That same year, he issued a seminal report, "Healthy People: The Surgeon General's Report on Health Promotion and Disease Prevention," that focused attention on prevention of disease rather than treatment.

The report challenged the country to meet 226 goals over the next decade to make people healthier, reduce deaths by 20% to 35% and lower sick days for the elderly by 20%.

A decade later, the goals had been fully implemented for children under the age of 14 and 80% completed for everyone else.

Subsequent surgeons general have issued new goals to supplement his original achievements.

Julius Benjamin Richmond was born Sept. 26, 1916, in Chicago.

He attended the University of Illinois, receiving his medical degree in 1939.

After an 18-month internship, he joined the Army Air Forces and spent WWII as a flight surgeon with the Army Air Forces' Flying Training Command.

After the war, he joined the faculty at Illinois, then moved to the State University of New York at Syracuse in 1953.

After his first period of government service, he joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School. He also served as chief of psychiatry at Children's Hospital Boston.

He formally retired in 1988 but continued to teach, write and do research. He also served as an expert witness in several class-action suits against the tobacco industry, including one by flight attendants.

"We are in the midst of the largest man-made epidemic in history, and that is lung cancer," he later said.

His first wife, the former Rhee Chidekel, died in 1985. Survivors include his second wife, the former Jean Rabow, and two sons, Barry and Charles.



Sent by Ricardo Valverde who wrote: "It's amazing what influence the Mendez and Brown vs. Board of  Ed has had on untold numbers of individuals. It has rallied many to take on the challenges of eliminating the injustices of the world." 

  Monte Perez, Ph.D. 
New President of Moreno Valley Community College,

Riverside Community College District Interim Chancellor Jim Buysse today announced the selection of Monte Perez, Ph.D., as the new president of the District's Moreno Valley Campus, pending final Board approval at a special Board of Trustees meeting on June 11.

Dr. Perez was selected following a national search that involved a committee comprising college administrators, faculty, students, and community members. In making the announcement, Buysse cited Perez's leadership qualities, his knowledge of the California community college system, his strong student services background, and his experience developing community and business partnerships.

"Dr. Perez will join us at a very exciting time," said Buysse. "The Moreno ValleyCampus is ready to become a separately accredited college, the local community is growing, and the role of the campus within the community is expanding."

As part of one of California's largest and oldest community college districts, the Moreno Valley Campus is known nationally for its strong academic programs, particularly in the allied health and public services fields. Partnerships are in place through the Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Riverside County Regional Medical Center, and new partnerships to build programs in fast-growing career fields are in development.

"Moreno Valley has an enviable history of strong academic program development thanks to senior campus leaders like Dr. Lisa Conyers," Buysse said. "With Dr. Perez's arrival, I believe we will have an excellent team in place to move the campus to the next level of excellence."

Perez is vice president of Student Services at Golden West College in Huntington Beach, CA. He began his higher education career as the assistant director of Admissions at Stanford University. Subsequently, he served as director of the Educational Opportunity Program and Student Support Services at California State University, Los Angeles and taught Political Science and Chicano Studies. While at Stanford and CSU Los Angeles, he implemented numerous outreach and student retention programs. His success led to his selection as a policy fellow for the U.S. Department of Education. He relocated to Washington where he became the Secretary's senior policy analyst specializing in financial aid, workforce education, TRIO, and youth employment issues.

Upon returning to California, Perez was appointed director of Community and Organizational Relations for the Educational Testing Service's Western Regional Office and later promoted to regional office director. He then joined the National Hispanic University (NHU) in San Jose, CA as the director of Institutional Research and was promoted to provost and vice president of Academic Affairs. At NHU he engineered the institution's successful WASC accreditation as the first Latino non-profit independent four-year college on the West Coast. In 2004, Perez was selected to his current position at Golden West College.

A graduate of James A. Garfield High School in East Los Angeles, Perez obtained his bachelor's degree in Social Science Government at California State University, Los Angeles, and his masters and Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from the University of Southern California.

Perez is expected to assume his duties as president of the Moreno Valley Campus on July 1, 2008.

Sent by Gus Chavez  and
Dorinda Moreno


Harvard University announced that from now on undergraduate students from low-income families will pay no tuition. In making the announcement, Harvard's president Lawrence H. Summers said, 'When only 10 percent of the students in Elite higher education come from families in lower half of the income distribution, we are not doing enough. We are not doing enough in bringing elite higher education to the lower half of the income distribution.'  

If you know of a family earning less than $ 60,000 a year with an honor student graduating from high school soon, Harvard University wants to pay the tuition. The prestigious university recently announced that from now on undergraduate students from low-income families can go to Harvard for tuition and no student loans!

To find out more about Harvard offering free tuition for families making less than $ 60,000 a year visit Harvard's financial aid website at: or call the school's financial aid office at (617) 495-1581.

Harvard has had this in place for a couple years now I think, but
Stanford's a better deal.  ALL STUDENTS who come from households that have incomes of less than $100,000 get free tuition!

Actually I think there's still room and board costs for both (though it's not THAT expensive considering tuition costs).  Stanford actually waives room and board fees in addition to waiving tuition costs for those that make less than $60,000.

Sent by Lupe Fisher  




HABLA program builds on idea: More words make better readers

Outreach project aims to help Latino toddlers learn love for language before they start school.

By Amy Taxin, The Orange County Register, July 2, 2008

The Orange County Register  


ANTA ANA – Aurora Ochoa flips through the pages of the book her mother holds at the kitchen table, pointing out the animals and colors that jump out from the page about a dancing pig.

"I like to read books," the 4-year old says, noting the pig propped up in bed, reading. "I like to read books with mom and dad."  

Over the past two years, Ochoa has sat down twice a week at the table with her mother and a community outreach specialist from a UC Irvine-based program aimed to help Latino toddlers learn a love for reading and improve their language skills before they hit the classroom.  

HABLA – which stands for Home-based Activities Building Language Acquisition and translates to "speak" in Spanish – sends trained "coaches" to Spanish-speaking homes in Orange County armed with bilingual books and educational games. The goal is to help parents teach their toddlers the basics so they can excel in school as early as kindergarten.  

Virginia Mann, HABLA's director and a professor of cognitive science at UC Irvine, started the program eight years ago after noting that many children of low-income Spanish-speaking families in Santa Ana had trouble reading – the same kind of troubles she'd occasionally see in more affluent families with children who had dyslexia.  

But these children didn't have a learning disability but rather a "language deficit" – common in poor families where parents read and speak less with their children because they have longer work schedules and less formal education, Mann said, adding that research shows children who hear more words in conversation are able to pick up language more quickly.  

That led Mann, who studies language acquisition, to tailor a national program aimed to improve English literacy in the 1960s to Spanish-speaking families – and HABLA was born.  

"Children who start learning their native language well are more likely to be able to learn a second language – in this case English," Mann said.  

The debate over bilingual education has been thorny in California – and particularly in Santa Ana, a city where more than half of residents say they don't speak English well. Today, fewer than 1,000 of 31,000 English learners in the Santa Ana Unified School District are enrolled in bilingual education while most students take classes solely in English, according to state data.  

Last year, about 270 children enrolled in HABLA. The program, which is funded by Orange County's Children and Families Commission via state tobacco tax revenues, will nearly double this year as part of a research study by the Washington-based Brookings Institution on whether boosting toddlers' communication skills in their native language helps them learn English.  

Rob Toonkel, a spokesman for U.S. English, said he supports early literacy development for children in any language so long as they aren't pigeonholed as English-learners or isolated from native English speakers when they get to school.  

"At age 2 to 4, as long as you're speaking and working with letters and things like that, I don't see the problem," said Toonkel, whose group wants to make English the country's official language. "As long as you get them into a love of learning, I think you're going to find a lot of these kids are going to want to learn English."  

In Santa Ana, parents and teachers say HABLA is making a difference. Irene Torres, a bilingual pre-school teacher at the Warwick Square apartment complex, said parents who participated in HABLA show a much stronger interest in their children's education. And she believes HABLA, as well as having an older sibling around the house, may be helping her 4-year old students pick up English more quickly.  

"From the very beginning, you can see these children have a more positive attitude in class and they have a real desire to learn," Torres said. "They're interested in books, they ask more questions -- they're more confident."  

In HABLA, trained specialists – some are professionals; some UCI students - visit homes twice a week. The first time, they introduce a new book or activity; the second they help parents play the leading role. The program, offered in Santa Ana and Anaheim, runs for six months at a time over 
a two-year period – at which point many children head to pre-school or kindergarten.  

Children love the games – which include a doctor play set to learn the parts of the body and wooden blocks in different shapes and colors – but also the books. Nancy Hernandez, Aurora's mother, said she always read to her daughter but now she comes to her, asking to read. "Now, it's like three books daily," Hernandez said.  

Hortencia Gomez, 41, started making house calls for HABLA six years ago. Most of her visits are in Spanish because the mothers speak only Spanish but the toddlers pick up English from TV and older brothers and sisters, she said.  

Gomez said the parents she works with teach their children good manners but most figured they'd learn to read once they got to school – until HABLA. "A child is never too young to read," she said.  

Contact the writer: 714-796-7722 or  
Sent by Ricardo Valverde

Is this the next baby boom?
By Sharon Jayson, USA TODAY

A record number of babies were born in the USA in 2007, according to early federal data released Wednesday that some demographers say could signal an impending baby "boomlet.  

Nelson attributes the 2007 numbers to a "perfect storm" of factors: more immigrants having children, professional women who delayed childbearing until their 40s, and larger numbers of women in their 20s and 30s in the population, keeping the fertility rate high. The average number of births per woman was 2.1 in 2006, the highest since 1971.

"We have three different phenomena around birth happening at the same time," he says.
But family demographer Ronald Rindfuss of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill says there is a bigger question looming than who's having kids.

"From the perspective of schools that have to educate these children, this is a real increase in the number of births and something they're going to have to deal with," he says. But it won't be "the kind of shock that we saw at the beginning of the baby boom. In 1952 and '53, in many parts of the country, schools had to run double sessions. This is a gradual increase." 


Judge orders Texas to revamp bilingual programs
Dismal Failure of Secondary Programs Violates Civil Rights 

Lulac Receives $1 Million Grant from AT&T

Source of photo:

  Judge orders Texas to revamp bilingual programs

July 26, 2008From Staff and Wire Reports 
The Dallas Morning News, Jason Trahan contributed to this report.

A federal judge has thrown out his own judgment last summer that the state of Texas was doing an adequate job of educating students with limited English skills. U.S. Senior District Judge William Wayne Justice's ruling issued Friday gives the state until the end of January to establish a language program that ensures equal education opportunities in all schools.

Legislative leaders had worried that an adverse ruling could force the state to spend hundreds of millions of dollars more on instruction. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, an organization that helped litigate the case on behalf of other advocacy groups, hailed the ruling in a written statement as the "most comprehensive legal decision concerning the civil rights of English language learners in the last 25 years." 

Judge Justice said in his new ruling that the Texas Education Agency is violating the civil rights of
Spanish-speaking students under the federal Equal Education Opportunity Act. TEA spokeswoman Debbie Ratcliffe declined to comment Friday night, saying she hadn't seen the ruling. In his ruling, Judge Justice said the 1981 Bilingual and Special Education Programs Act, a measure passed by the Texas Legislature that staved off court action addressing discrimination in Texas schools, has not improved the schooling of secondary students with limited English proficiency. 

Furthermore, the state's monitoring of programs for students with limited English-language skills is "fatally flawed" because of unqualified monitors, undercounting of students with limited English proficiency and arbitrary standards, Judge Justice said. State officials have defended the bilingual and ESL programs, citing achievement gains for many of those students in recent years. That included improved results on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. But attorneys for the plaintiffs said most limited-English students in seventh through 10th grade have failed to meet the state's minimum TAKS standards. 

They also note that limited-English students have been held back or have dropped out at far higher rates than other students. New judgment In July 2007, Judge Justice had affirmed Texas' education program for students with limited English skills, ruling that the state's programs complied
with federal law. He cited the fact that the state had shown it was achieving some success with
children in elementary grades as a sign that the TEA's implementation and enforcement of bilingual programs was adequate. 

"TEA's implementation of the program at the elementary levels is yielding promising preliminary results," Judge Justice wrote in his 2007 ruling. At the time of that ruling, MALDEF attorney David Hinojosa faulted the judge for not considering the shortcomings of secondary programs separately from more successful elementary programs. In Judge Justice's new judgment, he acknowledged his thinking had changed on how to assess the state's success in bilingual education.

"Previously, the court reasoned that though bilingual and ESL education are distinct educational theories, the secondary ESL program is merely the latter stage of a comprehensive educational
effort beginning with a bilingual elementary program," he wrote. "That finding was clear and manifest error on its face." In bilingual education classes, students are taught core subjects in their native language while they are learning English. In ESL classes * used mostly in middle school and high school * students receive intensive instruction in English while taking core courses that typically allow limited use of their native language. 

2006 petition Leading Hispanic civil rights groups * including the League of United Latin American
Citizens and the GI Forum * had filed a petition in 2006 urging the judge to update the sweeping court order he issued 35 years ago that forced Texas to provide better education for limited-English students across the state. 

Judge Justice, 88, of Austin, who in his four decades on the federal bench has built a reputation as a legendary civil rights advocate, is no stranger to groundbreaking legal  rulings. For more than 20 years, he oversaw reform of the Texas prison system, finally releasing it from his supervision in 2002. He wrote in March 1999 that the frequency of aggression by prison guards reflected "a culture ofsadistic and malicious violence." Staff writer Jason Trahan contributed to this report.

Margaret Moran, Immediate PastLULAC National
Vice-President for WomenWomen's Commission
P. O. Box 100931
San Antonio, Texas 78201
210 422-2812 (cell)  


Dismal Failure of Secondary Programs 
Violates Civil Rights of English Language Learners
July 25, 2008, Memorandum Opinion,  Final Judgment

SAN ANTONIO, TX - In the most comprehensive legal decision concerning the civil rights of English language learners in the last 25 years, U.S. District Judge William Wayne Justice ruled today that Texas is failing to overcome language barriers for tens of thousands of Latino students in secondary programs. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and the Multicultural Education Training and Advocacy, Inc. (META) sought further relief from the Court under its continuing jurisdiction in the landmark case of U.S. v. Texas. The case comes 25 years after the State promised the Texas Court to implement effectively a bilingual education program for all English Language Learner students.

The Court said: "After a quarter century of sputtering implementation, Defendants have failed to achieve results [and]…failed implementation cannot prolong the existence of a failed program in perpetuity."

According to MALDEF Staff Attorney David Hinojosa who, along with META, brought the case on behalf of LULAC and the American GI Forum, "this decision gives hope for the future of thousands of young Texans. Its importance can not be overstated."

While the Court noted that there was some success for students in the state's K-6 bilingual education program, the record at the secondary level was one of dismal failure. Attorney Roger Rice of META noted, "the Court looked not only at test scores but also at drop out rates, graduation rates, student retentions and exclusion from advanced academic achievement."

According to Rice, "as former Commissioner of Education, Neeley herself testified `no one in their right minds' would think that these students are demonstrating success."

Among the many serious flaws the Court identified in its 95 page decision, it found that the Texas Education Agency's (TEA) monitoring and data collection system allowed the program's failure to be masked by combining scores and dropout rates from elementary and secondary programs. The Court also found that TEA lacked trained program monitors, a situation the Court called "the blind leading the blind," and that it was likely that students were not being identified for programs.

The Court has given TEA until January 2009 to come up with plans to fix the monitoring and secondary school program and to implement those plans by the 2009-2010 school year.

Founded in 1968, MALDEF, the nation's leading Latino legal organization, promotes and protects the rights of Latinos through litigation, advocacy, community education and outreach, leadership development, and higher education scholarships.

For more information contact:
MALDEF: Laura Rodriguez: 310-956-2425
David Hinojosa, Staff Attorney: 210-224-5476, 210-473-1935
META: Roger L. Rice, Executive Director: 617-628-2226
Jane E. López, Staff Attorney: 617-312-3996




Grant Will Help Improve High School Dropout Rate Among At-Risk
Latino Youth 

WASHINGTON, DC -- The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the AT&T Foundation, the corporate philanthropy organization of AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) announced today that LULAC will receive a $1 million grant from the AT&T Foundation's Aspire initiative, to implement LULAC's Adelante America program, which will provide academic classes, mentoring and student leadership development for underserved, at-risk Latino teens in grades eight through 10.

"This important educational initiative in our community will help ensure that our nation's rich high-tech future and digital empowerment is within reach of our Latino youth," said LULAC President Rosa Rosales. "A good education is the key to a successful future. And as a long-time leader in broadband and mobile communications, and a long term dependable partner of the Hispanic community, AT&T is once again demonstrating their corporate leadership by keeping the American Dream accessible to Latino students all across the country." 

The $1 million grant will be spread out over two years and will serve a total of 910 at-risk participants in the eighth through the 10th grade. The Adelante America program will develop services and activities that will link classroom learning with the challenges that students face in post-secondary education and the workplace of the future. The goals include increasing rates of on-time promotion to the next grade; improvement of academic performance as measured by grades and test scores; improvement of interpersonal relationships between the children and their peers, teachers, family and other adults; reduction of the dropout rate, delinquency and gang involvement; and achieving a higher graduation rate for its participants. 

"As one of the most well-respected advocacy organizations in the country, LULAC will help ensure that Latino students have the tools they need to live up to their maximum educational potential," said Susan Santana, assistant vice president, External Affairs,
AT&T. "We are honored to play a small part in helping today's Latino youth become tomorrow's world leaders."

The AT&T Foundation's Aspire program was launched earlier this year, in an attempt to address the fact that nearly one-third of U.S. high school students drop out every year, which amounts to one student dropping out every 26 seconds -- a disproportionate
number of whom are Hispanics. The $100 million philanthropic effort announced in April reflects AT&T's commitment to help to strengthen student success and workforce readiness.

Currently, Latinos are vastly under-performing when compared with other groups. The percentage of adults over the age of 25 that has earned a bachelor's degree or higher is
27.2 percent. Among Latinos, that percentage is only 12.2 percent. In addition, Hispanic secondary school students have the highest dropout rates of any ethnic or racial group in the U.S.


Edgar Hernandez: POW - An American Hero
Survivor, from Bataan to Nagasaki: Frank N. Lovato
Carlos, A Tale of Survival: Carlos Montoya

American Son, by Oscar de la Hoya, Steve Springer
Mexican Enough: My Life Between the Borderlines, Stephanie Elizondo Griest




Los Angeles, CA, July 8, 2008-- Edgar Hernandez: POW - An American Hero is a first-hand account of a Texas native held captive for 21 days in numerous secret Saddam Hussein prisons at the onslaught of the Liberation of Iraq in March 2003.

Surviving an enemy ambush, Hernandez was shot and hit by grenade shrapnel in the face. Bleeding to death, he and several other soldiers including Jessica Lynch, (who would be held captive in a different location), were taken prisoner by Saddam Hussein’s Special Republican Guard who beat and paraded the captives as war trophies to a bloodthirsty Iraqi mob. 

Racing in a Red Cross ambulance at 100mph through the streets of Iraq, the POWs dodged missile fire from U.S. Marines, thinking Iraqi officers were trying to escape; unaware the POWs were inside. 

Endorsed by Major General Alfred Valenzuela, a highly decorated 35-year Army veteran, he declares Hernandez’s biography as “a thrilling account of heroism in time of war.” 

Written by Jose Martinez and Megan Rellahan, journalists with over 20 years experience covering news and a wide range of topics, Edgar Hernandez: POW - An American Hero marks their first collaboration. 

Distributed by Atlas Books/Ingram, Edgar Hernandez: POW - An American Hero is published by Ocean Breeze Books who is currently working on Honoring Forgotten Heroes – Hispanics in American Wars also written by Martinez and Rellahan, due in stores early 2009 - in addition to other titles.

Edgar Hernandez: POW - An American Hero will be available September 1, 2008 at all retail outlets as well as online book distributors. It can also be purchased directly at

To request an advanced copy, or to arrange an interview with Hernandez or the authors, please contact: Alfredo Perez, Ocean Breeze Books

Sent by Site Editor Alfredo Perez




Msgt. Frank N. Lovato

An American soldier's heartfelt story of intense fighting, 
surrender, and survival from Bataan to Nagasaki 

as told to Francisco L. Lovato

Dad and his American/Filipino compatriots heroically defended the Philippines until their capitulation at the tip of Bataan. His captain from Texas, a fellow New Mexican and 25 Filipinos may have been the first to face General Homma's invading Japanese face to face on the beaches of Northern Lingayen Gulf December 22, 1941. They sank 30+ Japanese landing craft with artillery mounted on their halftracks.Of course this battle was lost to the US historical record. The "Ken Burns" have been around as long as there have been cultures to dismiss.   

The already starving and malaria plagued defenders suffered inhumane treatment at the hands of the Imperial Japanese beginning with the infamous Death March to overcrowded POW camps, Hell Ships and Japanese slave labor camps. Everyone suffered from a muscle wasting starvation diet, lack of medicine and senseless brutality. Those who did survived came home indelibly wounded within their minds yet in spite of their scars helped build a better world for us all. A large percentage of the men were Latinos from New Mexico, Texas, and the Southwest. 

Ex-POW and Professor Emeritus Ben Steele generously provided several of his poignant drawings.  

By Dave Moller
Senior Staff Writer, May 8, 2008
The Union Bulletin

 A lot of people try to live vicariously through their children, but many don't follow in their parents footsteps anymore.

That isn't the case for Francisco Lovato, 60, of .Nevada County; who will walk 60 miles to Sacramento starting Friday morning in honor of his father, a survivor of the infamous Bataan Death March and the atom bombing of Nagasaki.

"The death march lasted about 60 miles, and he didn't talk about it when I was growing up," Francisco said about his father, Frank Lovato, 87. "He would just,
put his head down and nod and say, "It was hell.'"

 A friend prompted Francisco to get his father's World War II story about 10 years ago and it culminated in "Survivor," a self-published book he is promoting through the walk. He figures it will take him three days to get from Penn Valley to Sacramento on mostly trails.

When Francisco began interviewing his father, who now lives in Albuquerque,N.M., he realized he was getting stories that were filled with gaps. After doing research on she March in the Philippines where an estimated 6,000 to 18,000 American and Filipino soldiers died from starvation, torture and beheadings, Francisco got a better feel.

The author also realized he had not captured his father's feelings about certain
events and eventually went over everything with him again on a more emotional level. That's when he found out things like the night Frank and 17 other soldiers were lined up for possible execution because two other prisoners had escaped.  

Angered at first, Frank was then gripped with fear and eventually calm, playing his harmonica before the inevitable.  At dawn when the prisoners figured they were
dead men, a Japanese soldier rode up on a bicycle and said a general had called the
killings off.

"I got through with spirituality and a love of God and country, Frank said this week.   "Blood was flowing .. like water. I saw so many people beheaded and killed." 

He survived the march and terrible prison camp conditions.

Frank also was at Nagasaki when the second atomic bomb was dropped.

"I wasn't ilit by the radiation because the wind was blowing the other way," Frank said. "I'm just fortunate to be alive." 

The book arrived this week and Francisco hasn't had time to offer it to the area's many book stores. To .order one, go online to or call the author at 477-1519 or on, his cellphone at 863-0988

Francisco L. Lovato

Northern California Representative
P.O.Box 2103, Nevada City, CA 95959



Carlos Montoya : A Tale of Survival 

Carlos' story is that of one man's journey through the years of the twentieth century;

arguably the most tumultuous times in world history. This book follows him through the lean times of the Great Depression, to enlistment in the National Guard towards the end of the 30's, and then mobilization and deployment to the Philippines immediately prior to WWII.

Shortly after he arrives in the Philip­pines and eight hours after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the Japanese Navy attacks Manila and dark Field, and for the next four months, the Philippine and U.S. Armies fight to hold the Bataan peninsula until reinforcements arrive. Unlike a Hollywood movie, the cavalry doesn't come to save the day, and approx. 70,000 men are surrendered to the Japanese on the 9th of April 1942.


What follows is the notorious Bataan Death March where thousands died over a span of about fifteen days, then torturous work details and months of starvation in camps across the Philippines. He is eventually transported to mainland Japan via hellship, and spends the remainder of the war a slave in the freezing environment of northwest Japan, worked like a pack-mule, loading coal.

In 1945 after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the emperor surrendered unconditionally and Carlos was liberated and returned to society. There he quickly learned that the war had not only changed the society he left behind in 1941, but the three years and ten months that he spent a prisoner of the Japanese military had also changed him in ways that he was only beginning to see.

Every day, 1,000 WWII veterans die, and their stories die with them; a terrible waste of America's living heritage.





J. L. Kunkle was born in 1964 and he lives in Murrieta, California with his wife of 25 years, Tome K. He has one son, Joshua, and one daughter, Tandy. A graphic designer as well as a writer and blogger, he was a U. S. Marine during the Reagan administration.

Read more about facts pertaining to this book at
  Book: American Son, by Oscar de la Hoya, Steve Springer
American Son, by Oscar de la Hoya, Steve Springer — American Son, Oscar de la Hoya’s life memoir packed in some 300 pages, tells of his journey to the American Dream as an immigrant-born Hispanic in the U.S. It illuminates his relationship with his mother
and his reaction to her death caused by cancer, as well as the pros and cons of stardom. 

Released on June 1st of this year, Hoya reveals his most heart-wrenching mistakes and groundbreaking victories as he fought to stay on his determined course. This book communicates the dynamism of his career, as a ten-world title and Olympic gold-medal-winning boxer to a business man working in the recording industry, and his philanthropic nature as seen through the undertakings of his foundation.

From reading this book, readers can see how a son of Mexican born parents, growing up in East Los Angeles, makes it to the top and becomes a symbol of hope for the Hispanic community. (Harper Collins; hardcover; $25.95; 304 pp.)

Source of Information: HispanicLink  Vol26no28, July 14, 2008
Carlos Erickson

Mexican Enough: My Life Between the Borderlines
by Stephanie Elizondo Griest

I also want to share some exciting news: my latest memoir, "Mexican Enough: My Life Between the Borderlines," will be published on August 5 with Washington Square Press/Simon & Schuster. Here is a description: 

Growing up in a half-white, half-brown town and family in South Texas, Stephanie Elizondo Griest struggled with her cultural identity. Upon turning thirty, she ventured to her mother's native Mexico to do a little root-searching and improve her "Tarzan Lite" Spanish. She stumbled upon a social movement that shook the nation to its core. MEXICAN ENOUGH chronicles her adventures rumbling with luchadores (professional wrestlers), sneaking into prison to meet with resistance fighters, and rallying with rebels in Oaxaca. She also interviews scores of migrant workers and the families they were forced to leave behind. Travel companions include a Polish thief, a Border Patrol agent, and a sultry Dominatrix. Part memoir, part journalistic reportage, MEXICAN ENOUGH illuminates how we cast off our identity in our youth, only to strive to find it again as adults--and the lessons to be learned along the way. 

Texas Monthly Magazine excerpted Chapter One in their August 2008 issue. Sneak preview at: .

Or, just buy a copy here:

I'm about to launch a 17-city "Border Party Book Tour" and would be honored by your presence. I've pasted a sampling of the Steptember events below; the complete, updated list can be found at:  . 

Mil gracias for your support. I would be lost and lonely without it. 
Best wishes y saludos! 
Stephanie Elizondo Griest 

Tuesday, September 9 - AUSTIN, TX -- Book People at 7 p.m., 603 North Lamar

Saturday, September 13 - CORPUS CHRISTI, TX -- Instituto de Cultura Hispanica at 10:30 a.m., Instituto Museum at Heritage Park

Thursday, September 18 - Sunday, September 21 - HOUSTON, TX -- Latino Book & Family Festival 

Tuesday, September 23 - BROWNSVILLE, TX -- the University of Texas at Brownsville 

Saturday, September 27 - PHILADELPHIA, PA -- Taller Puertorriqueño's Julia de Burgos Bookstore at 3 p.m., 2721 Nth 5th Street 

Monday, September 29 - PRINCETON, NJ -- Princeton Public Library at 7 p.m.

Stephanie Elizondo Griest


F. Luis Mora: America's First Hispanic Master (1874-1940)
Jessica Arellano Talented Musician
Historia de un Letrero
Danny Flores, Hispanic tradition in popular-music industry
Dan Guerrero
Little Girl Lost: The Delimar Vera Story


Book Review
Norman Rozeff

F. Luis Mora: America's First Hispanic Master (1874-1940), by Lynne Pauls Baron           Falk Art Reference, Madison, Connecticut, 2008. 344 pages, 350 plates, half in color, $79.95

Why Mora is largely unknown or ignored by US art lovers is but one of the many facets covered in the first and comprehensive book dealing with this artist. With Spanish father, Domingo, who was an artist himself concentrating on architectural sculpture, it might be said that Francis Luiz and his younger brother Joseph (Jo) Jacinto were born to be artists. Jo (1876-1947) would go on to become a renowned California painter. Their mother as the book recounts was a member of the famed Baccardi family.

Luis's family left Uruguay during an insurgency in the year 1877.  They went to Barcelona then came to the United States in 1880. Father Domingo (1840-1911) came to set up an exhibit in New York City and remained to design terra cotta tiles that would be installed in the Metropolitan Opera House. He taught both sons the fundamentals of art. Luis (pronounced Lu-ee in the French manner), even as a child, worked the city, always sketching. Before the age of 13 he had painted 100s of action scenes with soldiers.

After a start in New Jersey where the boys were privately tutored, Luis and the family moved to Massachusetts.  Later Luis would start, in 1889, to attend three years at the Boston Museum School of Art. While even being a fully assimilated American, Luis retained his multi-cultural identity. He was fluent in Spanish, Catalan, and French. He painted and studied at El Museo del Prado in Madrid and his palette certainly utilized vibrant Latin American colors. His frequent trips to the Southwest reinforced his bright visages. Mora was strongly influenced by the great artist Diego Valazquez and his father's mentor Mariano Fortuny I (1838-1874).

Mora was an artist comfortable in many media from watercolor to oil to pencil and unafraid to work from miniature up to mural sizes. He was an etcher, illustrator, muralist, and painter. His portrait of President Harding is displayed in the White House. In a catalogue accompanying a major exhibit of his works he was described as "prophetic", "dazzling" and "life full-filling".

Most active between the years 1899 and 1931 when his wife Sonia of 31 years suddenly died, Luis Mora's buoyant, enthusiastic works are to be found in twenty three museums in the US and Canada besides many private collections. His works were exhibited in numerous galleries and the recipient of a number of salon medals.

This well-researched and thorough book explains Mora's descend with age into sentimentality and perhaps "kitsch". His realism fell out of favor as the art world came to embrace the avant-garde. The Great Depression decreased art patronage and hurt him as well. Now his optimism, confidence, and compassion are once again being recognized.

The illustrations alone make the book valuable but so does the touching story of Mora's life. Readers of this review may go to to view firsthand the wonderful bright accomplishments of this artist who fulfilled the heritage of two worlds.

Sent by Norman Rozneff

Jessica Arellano Talented Musician

Jazzing It Up
by Diane A. Rhodes, July 22, 2008 

Growing up in Hemet, Jessica Arellano was well known for her musical talent. An award-winning pianist while still in her teens, she also made her mark with Hemet High's music department as a saxophonist before graduating in 1997. 

Then it was on to USC where she graduated with honors and a music degree. The dark-haired beauty also met and married trumpet player Fabio Spinella. 

As Jessy J, she has been tearing up the jazz scene with her tenor sax virtuosity. Traveling the world and performing with some of the top names in the music business, Jessy J has seen the title song from her most current CD rapidly climb the charts. 

According to the Radio and Records Web site, "Jessy J breezes to No. 1 on her first try, as 'Tequila Moon' rises 2-1. The Paul Brown-produced piece is the title cut from her pop and Latin-influenced debut set, which has resided in the top 20 of Billboard's Top Contemporary Jazz Albums chart since its March release." 

Jessy J wrote in a recent e-mail message that she was on tour with Michael Bolton and was looking forward to performing a concert in his home state, Connecticut. 
"It should be a blast!" she said in the e-mail. 

Jessy J will be performing as a member of Bolton's band at Pechanga on July 31 and Aug. 1 but has found time for shows with her own band, too. 

She said that the concert featuring the most songs from her "Tequila Moon" CD will be on Aug. 15 in Newport Beach at the Hyatt Newporter Jazz Series. 

Her band also headlines at The Country Club in Avalon on Aug. 14. 

Jessy J graced the cover of "Jazziz" magazine in May. She has been interviewed for programs on CNN and Telemundo and has been a guest on late night talk shows. 

She was invited to perform for a major all-jazz cruise with Wayman Tisdale and was included at the Detroit Jazz Festival. 

Another gig keeping her busy is the 2008 "Guitars and Saxes" tour. The event takes world-class musicians around the country playing cool jazz during the hot summer months. 

This year's headliners are saxophonist Gerald Albright, guitarists Jeff Golub and Peter White, and keyboardist Jeff Lorber. This is the first time a keyboardist has shared top billing on the tour. 
This year marks another milestone in the 13-year-old concert series that attracts jazz enthusiasts and music lovers in general. Jessy J is the first female to be included in the traveling tour. 
"She's a great saxophonist," Albright said in an interview. "She's a side person for the tour, playing with the band, but she does some solos during the show." 

Jessy J returns the compliment by saying that she considers Albright "one of the best alto sax players alive." The tour will reach Newport Beach Hyatt Newporter on Aug. 8 and the Oceanside Pier Amphitheatre on Aug. 10.  She was nominated for Best New Artist. 

Information:  or  
Reach Diane A. Rhodes at 951-763-3461 or
Sent by Crispin Rendon 




Historia de un Letrero

Winner of the NFB Online Competition Cannes 2008


Fourth annual Short Film Online Competition - Cannes 2008. The NFB, in association with the Cannes Short Film Corner and partner YouTube, is proud to announce that the winner of the NFB Online Competition Cannes 2008 is Alonso Alvarez Barreda for his short film Historia de un Letrero (The Story of a Sign) produced in Mexico/U.S.A.

Director : Alonso Alvarez Barreda
Running Time : 04:50
Year : 2007
Country : Mexico/ U.S.A
Category : Short film

With a stroke of the pen, a stranger transforms the afternoon for another man in this emotionally stirring short film by Alonso Alvarez.

Alonso Alvarez Barreda was born in Mexico City in 1984. He met Alejandro Monteverde, who was still in film school, and since then Alejandro became his friend and mentor. Alonso wrote, produced and directed his first short film, called El Algodonero. His second short film, Historia de un Letrero, was named best short film in the Festival Internacional de Cine en Corto and also won the Hispanoamerican jury award in the Short Shorts Film Festival in Mexico City. It has also been an official selection at the San Diego Latino Film Festival, Cine Festival in San Antonio, Texas, Short Shorts Film Festival Monterrey and Morelos, and in the Short Film Corner in Cannes.

Currently, Historia de un Letrero is part of the regular programming on National TV in Mexico. Alonso lives in Los Angeles.

Sent by Bonnie Chapa
and Jaime Cader




Danny Flores part of a long Hispanic tradition in popular-music industry

Many were on the Top 40 charts back in the days of segregation. (Originally published Feb. 27, 2000)  
by Valeria Godines

The Orange County Register, July 8, 2008

Before Ricky Martin swiveled his hips, before Enrique Iglesias made girls swoon, even before Ritchie Valens took that fateful, fatal plane trip, there was Danny Flores.  

Hispanic musical artists may be the rage these days, but they certainly aren't new to the scene.

Flores, better known as Chuck Rio with the Champs, which earned the first rhythm and blues Grammy in 1959 for the song "Tequila," says he is the first Mexican-American artist to win the award.  

Grammy officials did not return phone calls to confirm the ranking, but other music-industry experts say Flores isn't just tooting his own horn.

A number of Hispanic artists made it to the Top 40 at a time when many Mexican-Americans still attended segregated schools.  

Pam Miller of "Dick Clark's Rock, Roll & Remember" radio show says that disc jockey Huggie Boy often played Mexican-American groups on radio station KRLA.  

If these groups were around today, some of them could have been as big as Ricky Martin.

"There is a long history, and unfortunately it is probably true that timing is everything and they were not given their due," Miller said. "They live in the memories of the baby boomers, pretty much. A lot of people, such as myself, bought their records and cruised to Huggie Boy and listened to all these incredible groups and soul performers. " The first Hispanic artist to make a big breakthrough was Valens, whose big hits included "Donna" and "La Bamba. " Valens died in a plane crash in 1959, along with Buddy Holly.  

"He was the first Mexican-American teen idol in rock history. He was the first Mexican-American rock superstar," Miller said. "And he grew up near here. He was a quiet, shy, very sweet kid who loved music."  

Other Hispanic artists/groups in the Los Angeles area from around the same time include The Midniters, "Whittier Blvd."; Premiers, "Farmer John"; Cannibal and The Headhunters, "Land of 1000 Dances"; Chris Montez, "Call Me"; and The Blendells, "La La La La La."

Sent by Ricardo Valverde




DAN GUERRERO began his eclectic career in New York where he was a successful theatrical agent with clients in the original casts of countless Broadway musicals in the years from A Chorus Line to Cats. He returned home to Los Angeles for an equally successful time as a casting director for stage and television before turning his talents to producing and directing.

He has been widely-acclaimed as a highly creative independent producer of diverse programming for network and cable television in both English and Spanish.  At the same time, he has produced, written and directed music and award show events at such prestigious venues as the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, the Cite de la Musique in Paris and New York's Apollo Theatre.   

Guerrero began his production career at Guber-Peters Television as head writer and co-producer of the long-running late night talk/variety program, El Show de Paul Rodriguez.  The landmark show aired nationally on Univision and internationally throughout Latin America bringing the biggest U.S. and Latin American stars together in a ground-breaking bilingual format.   

He eventually headed Paul Rodriguez Productions with two El Show colleagues where the team produced four "docu-comedy" specials for FOX starring the comic actor: Paul Rodriguez: Behind Bars, Crossing Gang Lines, Back to School and Born to Ride. The highly-rated programs were a unique mix of documentary footage, music performances and stand-up taped at locations from San Quentin prison to the Black Hills of South Dakota and the barrios of East LA and South Central.  

Guerrero served as executive producer of another successful talk/variety show, Al Dia con Maria Conchita. The daily talker aired nationally on Telemundo with Maria Conchita Alonso hosting top music and film guests from Latin America.   

As a partner in There Goes the Neighborhood Productions, Guerrero produced HBO's Loco Slam, a series of Latino stand-up comedy shows hosted by Carlos Mencia. He also co-produced the PBS Kennedy Center Concert of the Americas with Quincy Jones/David Saltzman Entertainment featuring the biggest names from the U.S., Mexico, Latin America, Canada and the Caribbean. The concert at the James L. Knight Convention Center in Miami celebrated the Summit of the Americas and was attended by President Bill Clinton and 34 leaders of Western Hemisphere countries.  

Under his own banner, Guerrero produced the NBC Vida Awards, the CNBC J.D. Power Global Automotive Awards hosted by Tim Allen and the national PBS music special, Vikki Carr: Memories/Memorias that featured Carr, Arturo Sandoval, Mexican superstar Pepe Aguilar and Jack Jones. The bilingual program included a DVD/CD release.  

An earlier bilingual Christmas special produced for Buena Vista International also created a best-selling CD topping the Billboard Top 50 Latin Albums chart.  Navidad en las Americas was taped at Disneyland and aired on Univision with Ricky Martin, Chayanne, Jose Feliciano and late, greats Celia Cruz and Tito Puente among the TV guest performers.  

Guerrero most recently co-produced and co-wrote Lalo Guerrero: The Original Chicano, an award-winning documentary on his late father, Chicano music legend Lalo Guerrero. The film has been airing nationally on PBS stations as part of the Voces series hosted by Edward James Olmos and includes a DVD/CD release. It has also been screening at national and international Film Festivals.  

Live shows and concert events directed by Guerrero include the recent world premiere of Concierto para Mendez for the Los Angeles Opera at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion with a full on-stage symphony orchestra, opera singers, a narrator and visual projections celebrating the life of Mexican trumpet master Rafael Mendez.  He also directed Jasmine Guy in Raisin' Cane, a solo show with an on-stage jazz trio about the Harlem Renaissance that toured several cities before a bow at the storied Apollo Theatre in New York.  

Guerrero produced and staged the spectacular AmericArtes Gala at the Kennedy Center to launch the multi-year AmericArtes Festival featuring performances by the Costa Rica Youth Symphony Orchestra, Brazil's Deborah Colker Modern Dance Company, Julio Bocca and Ballet Argentino and Mexico's Tambuco Percussion Quartet among other distinguished artists.  He returned to the Kennedy Center to direct Pablo Neruda: A Centenary Celebration, a special event honoring the Chilean poet with Il Postino author Antonio Skarmeta, the film's director Ariel Dorfman and soprano Veronica Villaroel among the participants.  

Other live events include opening ceremonies for the city-wide Artes de Mexico Festival with more than 300 musical performers and costumed participants on the steps of Los Angeles City Hall and The Maravilla Concert to inaugurate the new Roy E. Disney Performing Arts Center at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque. The gala featured tenor Daniel Rodriguez, flamenco troupe Yjastros, mezzo soprano Suzanna Guzman, the Francisco Martinez Dance Company and the New Mexico Symphony among other music and dance performances.  

Award show credits include the Inaugural NCLR Alma Awards Gala at the Biltmore Millennium Hotel, the Imagen Awards at the Beverly Hilton, the Placido Domingo Awards at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and Estilo Latino at Ruby Skye in San Francisco.  

Guerrero has been twice honored by the distinguished Imagen Foundation for his positive portrayal of the Latino culture in his work and Hispanic Magazine recognized him as "one of the 25 most powerful Latinos in Hollywood."
The Dan Guerrero Collection on Latino Entertainment and the Arts was established in 2002 at the University of California, Santa Barbara in their California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives.


Little Girl Lost: The Delimar Vera Story

Judy Reyes, Ana Ortiz and a Martinez Star in the Lifetime Movie

Judy Reyes ("Scrubs"), Ana Ortiz ("Ugly Betty"), A Martinez ("General Hospital")
and Hector Luis Bustamante ("The Shield," "24") star in the Lifetime Movie Network
original film "Little Girl Lost: The Delimar Vera Story," the incredible real-life tale of a mother's (Reyes) intuition that never wavered throughout her six-year  search for her daughter. 

In "Little Girl Lost," Reyes portrays Luz Cuevas, a working-class mother who is  told that her infant daughter, Delimar, has perished in a suspicious fire in their Philadelphia row house. Despite the evidence, and based only on her intuition as a mother, Luz remains convinced that her daughter was kidnapped and that she's still alive. Luz and her husband (Bustamante) attempt to put the tragedy behind them  for the sake of their other children, however, Luz continues to suspect her distant cousin (Ortiz) of foul play and enlists the help of Angel Cruz (Martinez), a sympathetic State Representative.

"Little Girl Lost: The Delimar Vera Story" is being produced by Lifetime in association
with TF1 International, and is directed/executive produced by Paul A. Kaufman. 
Harvey Kahn, Joey Plager, and Larry Thompson also serve as executive producers.

Anti-Spanish Legends

La Leyenda Negra: The Columbian Exchange
Untranslatable Words: "Macho" by Rose del Castillo Guilbault 
This Bond of Common Faith
Harsh stereotypes damage our community


From Somos Primos:
A Website Dedicated to Hispanic Heritage and Diversity Issues, Sept 2008

By Felipe de Ortego y Gasca

Scholar in Residence, Western New Mexico University ; Professor Emeritus, Texas State University System—Sul Ross  

[The Columbian Exchange--Number 2 in a series on La Leyenda Negra]


y the time of the Spanish Armada in 1588, Spain held firm control of its empire in the Americas, a control that, despite its loss in attempting to gain a foothold in England by force of arms, continued for another 30 years until 1620 with establishment of the Plymouth colony in Massachusetts by the English. Emboldened by the disaster of the Spanish Armada, which was actually a Luso-Hispanic collaboration, the English intensified their slanderous characterization of the Spaniards over those 30 years. Propagandists vilified Spaniards as “corrupt and cruel people who subjugated and exploited the New World Indians, stole their gold and silver, infected them with disease, and killed them in numbers without precedent” (

      There is no dispute that the Columbian contact with the Americas impacted the indigenous peoples of the Americas and the Spaniards and ineluctably altered the course of history. Within a century that contact devastated the Indian population within those zones of contact to one-tenth of their original size. That devastation was engendered principally by smallpox, influenza, and measles, diseases for which the Indians had no immunity. This is not to diminish Spanish excesses against the Indians, excesses practiced by all the other imperial powers around the globe. However, it was the Spanish excesses that “provided powerful ideological sanction for English involvement in the New World ” (Digital History, Ibid.).

      The heat of the Black Legend revealed the “true” nature of the conflict: Protestant England versus Catholic Spain. Some historians point to this conflict as the root cause of slavery in the Americas , singling out Bartolomé de las Casas as the architect of that trade by his suggestion in his Brief Account of the Destruction of the Indies (1552) to augment the indigenous workforce of the Americas with African slaves. But this view of non-whites as human commodities was part of the paradigm of ethnic-specific supremacy espoused by imperialism around the world then. Nothing in de las Casas’ work indicts it as the blueprint for the Black Legend or slavery.

      In the years following establishment of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the Protestant English settlers (essentially Puritans, though hailed as Pilgrims) regarded themselves as the vanguard in America against the Papist Spanish Catholics. The Puritan English settlers believed it was their destiny to rescue the Indians from their Spanish oppressors; but the Puritans also saw slavery as authorized by the Bible and a natural part of society.

      The most ardent of those rescuers was Cotton Mather (1663-1728), the most prodigious writer of Puritan America. In his zeal to free the Indians under Spanish rule from the yoke of Catholicism, he translated the King James Bible into a rough but tolerable Spanish for publication and distribution to the Indians of New Spain. Perhaps this contributed to the very common practice of intermarriage between Spanish colonists and the Indians of New Spain encouraged by Catholic priests.

      By the end of the 17th century the most virulent reference of the Black Legend which made Spain less than European was propagation of the concept that Spain ’s greedy thirst for gold could be attributed to Spain ’s racial corruption after 800 years of Moorish occupation mixed with Visigothic and Jewish remnants. That reference has become so historically ingrained in the collective consciousness of the world that even today the Spanish past in the Americas is characterized as a search for gold, nothing else. Never mind that Spanish settlers established communities, built human networks, and practiced agriculture, ranching and mining whose techniques are still with us in the Americas.

      The polemics of the Black Legend has so demonized Spain and its progeny that efforts to repair the character of Spain and its progeny seem almost insuperable.

Copyright © 2008 by the author. All rights reserved.

For Part One of the series, please go to:

Ponencias, Instituto Cultural "Raíces Mexicanas"


5290 Overpass Rd. Ste. 38 • Santa Barbara, CA 93111
(805) 683-3036 • E-mail

Untranslatable Words: "Macho" by Rose del Castillo Guilbault 

What is macho? That depends on which side of the border you come from. 

Although it's not unusual for words and expressions to lose their subtlety in translation, the negative connotations of "macho" in the U.S. are troublesome to Hispanics. 

Take the newspaper description of alleged mas murderer Ramon Salcido, who is accused of killing his wife and children in northern California. That an insensitive, insanely jealous, hard-drinking, violent Latin male is referred to as "macho" makes Hispanics cringe. 

"Es muy macho," the women in my family nod approvingly, describing a man they respect. But in the United States, when women say, "He's so 'macho,'" it's with disdain. 

The Hispanic "macho" is manly, responsible, hard-working, a man in charge, a patriarch. A man who expresses strength through silence. What the Yiddish language would call a "mensch." 

The American "macho" is a chauvinist, a brute, uncouth, selfish, loud, abrasive, capable of inflicting pain, and sexually promiscuous. 

Quintessential "macho" models in America are Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Charles Bronson. In their movies, they exude toughness, independence, masculinity. But a closer look reveals their "machismo" is really violence masquerading as courage, sullenness disguised as silence and irresponsibility camouflaged as independence. 

If the Hispanic ideal of "macho" were translated to American screen roles, they might be Jimmy Stewart, Sean Connery and Laurence Olivier. 

In Spanish, "macho" ennobles Latin males. In English it devalues them. This pattern seems consistent with conflicts ethnic minority males experience in the U.S. Typically the cultural traits other societies value don't translate as desirable characteristics in America. 

I watched my own father struggle with these cultural ambiguities. He worked on a farm for 20 years. He laid down miles of irrigation pipe, carefully plowed long, neat rows in fields, hacked away at recalcitrant weeds and drove tractors through whirlpools of dust. He stoically worked 20 hour days during harvest season, accepting the long hours as part of agricultural work. When the boss complained or upbraided him for minor mistakes, he kept quiet, even when it was obvious the boss had erred. 

He handled the most menial tasks with pride. At home he was a good provider, helped my mother's family in Mexico without complaint, and was indulgent with me. Arguments between my mother and him generally had to do with money, or his stubborn reluctance to share his troubles. He tried to work them out in his own silence. He didn't want to trouble my mother -- a course that backfired, because the imagined is always worse than the reality. 

Americans regarded my father as decidedly un-"macho." His character was interpreted as non-assertive, his loyalty as non-ambition, and his quietness as ignorance. I once overheard the boss's son blame him for plowing crooked rows in a field. My father merely smiled at the lie, knowing the boy had done it, but didn't refute it, confident his good work was well-known. But the boss instead ridiculed him for being "stupid" letting a kid get away with a lie. Seeing my embarrassment, my father dismissed the incident, saying, "They're the dumb ones. Imagine, me fighting with a kid." 

I tried not to look at him with American eyes because sometimes the reflection hurt. 

Listening to my aunts' clucks of approval, my vision focused on the qualities America overlooked. "He's such a hard worker. So serious, so responsible," my aunts would secretly compliment my mother. The unspoken comparison was that he was not like some of their husbands, who drank and womanized. My uncles represented the darker side of "macho." 

In a patriarchal society, few challenge their roles. If men drink, it's because it's the manly thing to do. If they gamble, it's because that's how men relax. And if they fool around, well, it's because a man simply can't hold back so much man! My aunts didn't exactly meekly sit back, but they put up with these transgressions because Mexican society dictated this was their lot in life. 

In the United States, I believe it was the feminist movement of the early 70s that changed the meaning of "macho." Perhaps my generation of Latin women was in part responsible. I recall Chicanas complaining about the chauvinistic nature of Latin men and the notion they wanted their women barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen. The generalization that Latin men embodied chauvinistic traits led to this interesting twist of semantics. Suddenly a word that represented something positive in one culture became a negative prototype in another. 

The problem with the use of "macho" today is that it's become an accepted stereotype of the Latin male. And like all stereotypes, it distorts truth. 

The impact of language in our society is undeniable. And the misuse of "macho" hints at a deeper cultural misunderstanding that extends beyond mere word definition. 

Rose del Castillo Guilbault is the Editorial Director of the ABC-affiliate station, KGO-TV, in San Francisco, California.

Back to Folklorico Home Page 
Copyright © 1996 by Instituto Cultural "Raices Mexicanas" & David Rojas- All Rights Reserved. These pages may not be used for financial gain, commercial collections or compilations without express permission from the author. For information contact David Rojas (805) 683-3036 or e-mail

Sent by Sheri Long 
Amigos at Work, Inc.
4533 MacArthur Blvd., #200
Newport Beach, CA 92660





This Bond of Common Faith

NCLR President and CEO Janet Murguía's Remarks 
at the 2008 Annual Conference Latina Luncheon in San Diego, CA
Full Text

Sent by Gus Chavez, Co-founder
Defend The Honor

I want to first thank the City of San Diego. You have greeted us with open arms and all of us appreciate the generosity, good will and passion with which you have welcomed us in your beautiful home.

I am very pleased to be speaking at what is consistently one of the most popular events at our Conference, our Latina’s Luncheon. The issue of Latina empowerment is one that is near and dear to my heart.

Throughout the years, this event has showcased some of the Latino community's most prominent leaders and role models. I am especially looking forward to today's panel and how it resonates with what I want to speak to you about today.

Our panelists are not politicians. They are artists, filmmakers, journalists and writers. Yet, the issue of immigration and the rise of anti-Hispanic sentiment have deeply affected - and continue to permeate their work. It is just one more example that shows no corner of the Latino community has been unaffected by the anti-immigrant wave of hate.

I am so happy to see you all here today. We do have much to celebrate. This is the fortieth anniversary of the National Council of La Raza. For forty years, this  institution has played a significant role in strengthening America by promoting the advancement of Latino families.

Our NCLR Homeownership network has helped more than 25,000 low-income American families purchase their first homes and has provided counseling to more than 145,000 families.

NCLR and our Affiliates have built a network of health clinics and lay health-educators that in 2006 alone, provided care and disease prevention to nearly 100,000 people.

And during our forty years, NCLR and our affiliates have helped millions of Hispanic immigrants fully integrate into American society, by providing English-language training, civics classes and assistance with naturalization and voter registration. We also have much to celebrate as a community.

Latinos continue to play a greater and larger role in this great country. Our singers top the music charts and our athletes perform at the top of their sport. We have a greater presence in the movies and on television with such stars as such as Eva Longoria, Jimmy Smits, Roberto Rodriguez, and Jennifer Lopez.

We have more leaders in business and the military and more leaders in Congress than at anytime before in U.S. history, including three senators: Mel Martinez,Bob Menendez and Ken Salazar as well as 29 members of the House of Representatives. And for the first time in our nation's history, a Latino, Governor Bill Richardson, made a concerted run for the presidency.

We should also celebrate those whose names we don't know, yet who serve in ways great and small. Our teachers, our police officers, our firefighters, our doctors and nurses, and our ministers and priests. The people who prepare our food and clean our hotel rooms, those who work on our farms and factories, those who work at home and those who raise our children. And the people who are fighting for our country.

Each contributes to their communities every day and paves the way for the next generation to achieve the American dream. We have much to celebrate both as an organization and as a community. But, if this year has taught us anything, it is that we still have much left to do.

Not everyone rejoices in our success. The vitriol and hate that surrounded the immigration debate this year was a stark reminder that our road is long and filled with obstacles.

Voices of hate demonized our community with labels like invaders, illegals, anchor babies, and swarms. They falsely claimed immigrants bring crime and disease to our country. They say that immigrants are a threat to our culture, our way of life and even to the sovereignty of our nation.

Such labels and rhetoric are not new to our community. We have heard them before. What is new: is how much of their hate-speech is being parroted on the nightly news and by a number of politicians in both political parties.

I personally went on Lou Dobbs' show to make the case about the hateful rhetoric and engage him in restoring some civility to the debate. His answer was to try shouting me into silence.

I am here today, to tell you that we will not be cowed and we will not be silenced. This year, we started a campaign to expose the hate groups for what they are and to combat hate speech where it raises its ugly head. We are using this campaign to educate the public about hate groups, hate speech and its consequences - because we know that words have consequences…and hateful words have hateful consequences.

It is no surprise that hate crimes against Latinos are up 35 percent over four years. Hate groups targeting Latinos are up 48 percent since the year 2000. Two-thirds of Latinos say that the failure of the immigration bill has made life more difficult for Latinos overall and roughly half say that it has affected them personally.

The voices of hate have responded by saying, "But, we're not talking about immigrants. We LOVE immigrants! We're only talking about illegal immigrants." Make no mistake. This is about all of us. Most Latinos aren't immigrants. The vast majority of Hispanics in this country are U.S. citizens or legal residents.

But, you can't tell that just by looking at us.

Ask Jesus Garcia, a legal resident of Texas who spent more than 30 hours in custody for appearing to be undocumented.

Ask the Chief Financial Officer of Micro Solutions Enterprises who was picked up and illegally detained along with 100 other legal Los Angeles residents when his company was raided. He asked why only those who looked Hispanic were being questioned. So far there has been no answer.

Ask 17-year old Justeen Mancha, a U.S. citizen, who emerged from her shower to find ICE agents with guns in her living room, shouting for "her papers" and looking for what they called, "illegals."

Ask Baby Tomassa of New Bedford, Massachusetts who was separated from her father by an immigration raid. For every two people deported, one U.S. citizen child is left behind. So far, more than 13,000 American children have been separated from their parents as a result of our misguided immigration priorities.

The humanitarian crisis being perpetrated under the name of enforcement needs to be recognized for the national tragedy that it is.

Our nation's immigration laws need to be enforced. But, what is happening today with these raids is an assault on civil rights, common decency and basic human dignity.

It is outrageous that only the workers are targeted in most immigration raids while the owners and managers of plants go unpunished. We are better than this. America is better than this.

Forty years ago, in the year NCLR was founded, on the day after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, Bobby Kennedy gave a speech at the Cleveland City Club. It was exactly two months before his own life would be taken.

He said then, "When you teach a man to hate and fear his brother, when you teach that he is a lesser man because of his color or his beliefs or the policies he pursues, when you teach that those who differ from you threaten your freedom or your job or your family, then you also learn to confront others not as fellow citizens but as enemies - to be met not with cooperation but with conquest, to be subjugated and mastered.

We learn, at the last, to look at our brothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city but not a community, men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort. We learn to share only a common fear - only a common desire to retreat from each other - only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force.

As a nation, we have let the voices of hate stymie real solutions to the immigration crisis. We have let them sow fear and terror in a population that has lived peacefully and productively within our borders for years and poses no real threat to our country.

It is time to take back the debate. It is time to make our voices heard. It is time for us to restore common sense and human decency to this equation.

Criminalizing immigrants -- has NOT worked.
Forcing desperate people farther into the desert -- has NOT worked.
Denying care and assistance -- has NOT worked.
Raiding their workplaces -- has NOT worked.

We support a solution that restores the rule of law, secures our borders smartly and effectively, strengthens our economy and upholds the values of faith, family and hard work that are the cornerstones of our democracy.

Many of those living in this country without documents have been here for more than a generation. Most have worked hard, paid taxes, lived productive lives and been good neighbors. They have become integrated into American society and would gladly become citizens if they could.

Will we continue look upon them as a threat? Or, will we begin to recognize in them our common humanity.

How we resolve their status will say much about who we are as a nation. Bobby Kennedy concluded his speech in Cleveland by saying, "But, we can perhaps remember - even if only for a time - that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short movement of life, that they seek - as we do - nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.

That was Bobby Kennedy’s vision forty years ago. And it is a vision that still speaks to each of us today. Fulfilling that vision is why the Latino vote matters. And after this election, it will matter more. Our vote will be the deciding factor in who is elected President this November. We must choose wisely. Let us choose someone who has the courage to use his bully pulpit to quiet the voices of hate once and for all.

It isn't enough, however, to choose a President with courage. We must also elect a Senate with courage, a House with courage as well as state governors and state legislators who show courage.

To do this, NCLR has begun an unprecedented collaboration to mobilize the Latino vote across the country. This campaign is already succeeding at historic levels by producing more than one million new citizenship applications.

We are registering voters in a partnership called Ve y Vota with NALEO, SEIU, ImpreMedia and Univision. And, we have launched a major new initiative to improve Latino participation in the electoral process with Democracia USA.

This is an historic election. It is not only historic for the make up of the candidates who are running; it is historic for the role we will play in it.

For forty years we have talked about the day when we would have the votes to make a difference. For forty years, we have talked about the day when we could take our rightful place at the table of American politics.

For forty years, we have worked and struggled for the day when our voices would be heard.  hat day is here. That day is now. It is time for us to stand and deliver.

Our message is simple: we will not be demonized. We will not be scape-goated and we will not be ignored.  Sixteen weeks from today, on November 4, 2008, I promise you America will hear our voice loudly and clearly in state after state across this country.

My challenge to you is to help me deliver on that promise. When you wake up on November fifth and the votes are counted…when you look into the mirror…will you know in your heart of hearts, that you have reached out to your friends, families, co-workers, and neighbors about the importance of this election? That you have worked to empower our daughters, mothers, nieces, aunts, and sisters? That you have done everything humanly possible to register and to mobilize and turn out our vote?

Because that's what it will take to clear the landscape of hate. That's what it will take to determine our own destiny in this great country.

I'm counting on you…every one of you…each and every day from now until the election. And, so is everyone in this country who hopes to live the American Dream.  Thank you.

Harsh stereotypes damage our community

It is time, instead, to live values of tolerance and of understanding

The Honolulu Advertiser, June 26, 2008
By Eric K. Yamamoto, Susan K. Serrano and Moses Haia
Two weeks ago, Hawai'i's Latino American community was thrust into the public eye when City Council member Rod Tam used the derogatory term "wetbacks" during a council committee meeting to characterize undocumented workers from Mexico.

Hawai'i's Latino community spoke out strongly - and appropriately - against Tam's characterization. Tam issued a tepid public apology and the council reprimanded him. But then came the backlash: Latino community leaders received hostile calls and mail. Some expressed hatred for people of Mexican ancestry. Others simply said get over it, we make fun of groups in Hawai'i.

Hawai'i's special mix of people and cultures is reflected in our aloha spirit. That spirit of inclusiveness is generated in part from our appreciation of Hawai'i's native people and many ethnic groups - an appreciation of cultural uniqueness enlivened by values of tolerance and understanding. That spirit and those values are at stake.

History teaches that negative cultural representations of groups are not accidents or jokes. Instead they legitimize harsh unfair treatment of group members. U.S. political leaders used derogatory slurs to demean Japanese in America as sinister and unassimilable and to justify the groundless internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II. To defend the need for U.S. annexation of Hawai'i, politicians mischaracterized Native Hawaiians as uncivilized and childlike savages, labeling them "mongrels" and lepers in need of U.S. control.

Politicians also described Chinese as "miscreants" to push anti-Chinese legislation excluding new Chinese laborers and barring those in the U.S. (after finishing building the railroads) from working for local governments or businesses. Most notably, public officials used the N-word to denigrate and thereby legitimize the subordination (slavery, lynchings, segregation and discrimination) of an entire race for 200 years. The word was a code for uncivilized, inferior and unworthy, and it thereby made dehumanizing treatment of African Americans seem acceptable (to some). In similar fashion, for generations, demeaning terms described women's intellect and character in order to make their unequal treatment in all spheres of social life seem appropriate.

Deployed by decision-makers, negative group stereotypes block fair assessment of people as individuals and can legitimize sweeping unfair group treatment. This is why a government official's use of a demeaning term in a public setting is wrong. Not because it offends someone's sensibility. But because it has been (and can be) used to spur and justify harsh, unjust actions.

Government officials used "wetback" as a pejorative term for Mexican workers who crossed the Rio Grande and to justify a sweeping crackdown that injured not only Mexican citizens but also Mexican Americans. A politically popular effort in 1954, in a few short months the U.S.'s "Operation Wetback" expelled en masse more than 1 million Mexican immigrants (some documented, some not, many of whom had been solicited by the U.S. to work in the fields), along with American citizens of Mexican ancestry. The harsh stereotyping of Mexicans as sneaky, slippery and unwanted to legitimize the massive campaign spurred discrimination that persists today.

Now used to refer to Latinos generally, "wetback" is viewed as derogatory by both Latinos and non-Latinos. A public official's use of this term taps into this history and these stereotypic images: Latinos as outsiders and therefore unfit for our community.

But Latino Americans are not "outsiders" to Hawai'i - from the Mexican cowboys brought from California in the 1830s to teach Hawaiians the art of cattle ranching, to the several thousand Puerto Ricans brought at the turn of the 20th century to work on Hawai'i's sugar plantations. Kachi-kachi music, pasteles, and gandule rice are just one part of that legacy. Latinos of many backgrounds are now a part of the economy and the cultural mix that make Hawai'i special.

The U.S. Census says that there are now nearly 100,000 Latinos in Hawai'i.

Hawai'i's Latino American community is not arguing in favor of unlawful immigration. Nor is it saying that Councilmember Tam should refrain from discussing immigration policy. But it is saying that those discussions must avoid the kind of derogatory stereotyping that breeds intolerance and misunderstanding.

When any among us ask for understanding - like the Latino American community and friends are doing now - our Hawai'i community needs to open our hearts and minds, and take the time to learn and interact. This is the time for everyone to dial down the heated rhetoric, to listen and learn from and about each other. It is the time to live our values of understanding and tolerance - in the genuine spirit of aloha.

Eric K. Yamamoto is a professor of law at the William S. Richardson School of Law. Susan K. Serrano is director of educational development at the Center for Excellence in Native Hawaiian Law, William S. Richardson School of Law. Moses Haia is a staff attorney at the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation. They wrote this commentary for The Advertiser.

Sent by Carlos Munoz, Jr. Ph.D.


New US Stamp, LatinJazz
La Quinceañera  


The U.S. Post office will be unveiling their new "Latin Jazz" Stamp on September 8,2008 in
Washington D.C. In time for our Hispanic Heritage Month celebration.

Sent by Rafael Ojeda and
JV Martinez, Ph.D.
"La Quinceañera"

My name is Adam Taub and I am a documentary film director from Boulder, Colorado. I am making educational institutions and student groups aware that I recently completed a documentary entitled "La Quinceañera" that has played at a number of film festivals and is now offered on DVD. Exploring issues of family, tradition, faith, and coming of age, “La Quinceañera” is a touching portrait of a Mexican family's love and devotion to each other and the Quince Años tradition. The film has been reviewed by School Library Journal, Video Librarian, among other review publications and may make an excellent resource for you.  It is already in use in classrooms from elementary to the university level.

Hispanic Heritage Month is a perfect time to make this DVD available for a screening.  More information on the DVD can be found at 

Thank you and if you have any questions please contact me.

 Adam Taub

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Resources  
Please go to the Somos Primos resource.  There are three new items that are excellent for 
any program or event honoring our men in the military.  
       Hispanic sailors
       Hispanic marines              History Channel             Hispanic Heritage       Biography       Hispanic Heritage Foundation:         National Hispanic Month:                  Hispanic heritage in the Americas:
Sent by Doroteo  :   Lt General Manuel Jose Asensio : BG Ricardo "Rico" Aponte from Puerto Rico : General Wilt Segura, "ACE" pilot.
Sent by Rafael Ojeda

Recommended Media . .  please google
East L.A. Marine: The Untold True Story of Guy Gabaldon
Justice for My People: The Hector P. Garcia Story
Lalo Guerrero, the Original Chicano
Los Soldados Olvidados de la Segunda Guerra Mundial: Defend the Honor
Pepe Serna, One Man Show: Ruco, Chuco, Cholo Pachuco
The Bronze Screen, 100 Years of the Latino Image in Hollywood
The Forgotten Eagles, Mexico's WWII Esquadron 201

Military and Law Enforcement Heroes

WWII surrender photo is like looking in mirror for son  
High school re-named as Eastside Memorial 
Honoring our First American Patriots Display and Exhibit
Helicopter rescue mission in Afghanistan.
Sgt. Gabriel Nunez, Manga-reading martial artist
Observing 63rd Anniversary of a Most Horrific Incident
Philadelphia Museum showcases minorities in WWII 
Quick Relief of PTSD Anxiety
igh School.

WWII surrender photo is like looking in mirror for son
David Sanchez shares picture and connects with other memories with his dad, 
William, at 90th birthday party.


Staring into the computer, doing research on World War II, 51-year-old David Sanchez couldn't believe the face that he saw among a sea of faces in a picture of Americans and Filipinos surrendering to Japanese forces on May 6, 1942, at Malinta Tunnel, Corregidor, in the Philippines.

"He was right in front … leading the men out," Sanchez said. "I saw him and it was like looking in the mirror at myself. 'There is my father.' "

Sanchez, of Huntington Beach, excitedly met with his father, William Sanchez of Monterey Park, to verify if the face in the photo really was Sgt. William Sanchez, who would have been 24 in the picture. "His jaw dropped when he saw it," David said. A piece of history.


William Sanchez, left, and Harry Corre display 1942 photo of surrender to Japanese forces in the Philippines. In foreground, with hands over his head, is Corre. Just to the right of him, in front row, facing a Japanese soldier, is Sanchez.


Saturday night, some other pieces of an unlikely puzzle were in a room together as David tossed a surprise 90th birthday party for his dad in Santa Ana. Harry Corre, 85, was there. So was Dr. Harry Levitt, 93.

The guest of honor, Bill Sanchez, has known Corre for 10 or so years through meetings of an ex-POW group weekly at the Veterans Administration in Los Angeles. What they didn't realize until four months ago was that they are standing right next to each other in that historic photo from Malinta Tunnel.

About four months ago at one of the ex-POW meetings, Bill Sanchez showed the photo to Corre. "He says, 'That's me outside the Malinta Tunnel,' " Corre said, "and I say, 'Gee, that's funny. That's me standing next to you.' We never knew it for 60-odd years."

"It's wholly coincidence," Bill Sanchez said. "We were both in the 59th Coast Artillery Regiment, but we didn't know each other."

A third piece of the puzzle also was at Saturday night's party, Dr. Harry Levitt. He's part of the same weekly meetings of ex-POWs in Los Angeles. One day, maybe 10 or 15 years ago, Levitt turned up at a meeting and he and Corre recognized each other.

"The doctor operated on me," Corre said.

"You don't forget a face like that," Dr. Levitt said.

At Cabanatuan POW Camp in the Philippines, shrapnel in Corre's leg had become badly infected. "The foreign body had to come out," the doctor recalled. "We didn't have any anesthesia. We didn't have any tools."

"He got five guys to sit on me, and he cleaned it out with a toothbrush and soap," Corre said.

And how is Bill Sanchez doing at 90? He's active as a Southern California advocate for veterans' benefits and gives talks about the war, David said.

"I'm always amazed at his attitude and his physical abilities," said Peter Limon, 85, a longtime San Clemente resident now living in San Juan Capistrano. Limon has known Sanchez 20 years, seeing him at veterans' functions.

Contact the writer: or 949-492-5127


At the party

Among those who sang Happy Birthday were:

John Telles, 70: A native of East Los Angeles, he grew up to fly attack helicopters and fighter jets in Vietnam and then piloted Presidents Ford and Nixon at the White House aboard the presidential helicopter, Marine One. Sometimes Telles flew President Nixon between El Toro Marine Air Station and the Western White House in San Clemente.

Frederick P. Aguirre,61: An Orange County Superior Court judge, the Villa Park resident emceed Saturday's event. Four years ago he was co-authoring a book on Mexican-Americans' contributions to America in World War II. "One of them was Bill Sanchez. We got to know Bill and his family."

Bill Delfin, 87: Was an Army sergeant in the battle for Okinawa. He is from Bill Sanchez' town, Monterey Park, and has known him there since the end of the war.

After Corregidor

William Sanchez, Harry Corre and Dr. Harry Levitt survived brutal conditions and Japanese treatment of American prisoners in the Philippines. After incarceration at Cabanatuan in the Philippines, they were sent to different POW camps. Sanchez served out the war doing slave labor at Camp Niigata 5B in Japan, after transport aboard what were described as "hell ships."

Frederick Aguirre, O.C. judge and war historian: "He had to use his wits to survive those hellish conditions. He came back. He's here tonight with us."

To see the historic photo from the surrender of Malinta Tunnel and to learn more, see

Text Box:

William Sanchez, 90, of Monterey Park with 
his son David, 51, of Huntington Beach, at the father's birthday party Saturday night at El 
Zocalo Mexican Steak House in Santa Ana.

From left, Dr. Harry Levitt, William Sanchez and Harry Corre reminisce at Sanchez' birthday party Saturday. They share WWII memories as POWs from 1942 in the  Philippines.


John Telles, a retired Marine Corps colonel and a former pilot of President Nixon's helicopter, Marine One, going to and from the Western White House in San Clemente, confers with Peter Limon, a Pearl Harbor veteran and longtime San Clemente resident now residing in San Juan Capistrano. They were at a birthday party for WWII POW survivor William Sanchez.

Frederick P. Aguirre, an Orange County Superior Court judge, congratulates William Sanchez at a party honoring the WWII veteran's 90th birthday Saturday. Aguirre emceed the party.


Patriotism and remembering the sacrifices of POWs were the focus of William Sanchez' birthday party Saturday night in Santa Ana.






Peter Limon, left, a Pearl Harbor survivor, chats with Bill Delfin, a survivor of the battle for Okinawa, at Saturday's birthday party for Philippine campaign POW survivor William Sanchez.



Veterans from all over Southern California were among the guests at a party Saturday honoring the 90th birthday of William Sanchez, center.  

From left, Dr. Harry Levitt, William Sanchez and Harry Corre embrace Saturday night at a party honoring Sanchez' 90th birthday. They share POW memories from World War II in the Philippines.

William Sanchez embraces John Telles 

The crowd at William Sanchez' birthday party hears Mariachi music in a room decorated with American flags and a POW banner at El Zocalo Mexican Steak House in Santa Ana.
Sent by Ricardo Valverde West13rifa


Honoring our First American Patriots
 A Tribute & Exhibit

Royal Scandinavian Inn
400 Alisal Road
Solvang, CA 93464

Sunday, August 24, 2008 was be the first launching of the photo panel exhibit "Honoring Our First American Patriots".  This exhibit contains photos and factual information that covers the Civil War to the current conflict and individuals that served in the U.S. Military.

The U.S. Native Warrior ™ Projects mission is to honor not only these individuals but the Native Nations that  supported them.  The U.S. Native Warrior ™ glorifies the warrior not the war and hopes to unify all Native Nations in the pride and integrity that was displayed by these first American Heroes.

This exhibit will be traveling the nation and it is with great pride that we have the opportunity to launch this exhibit here on the Central Coast of California.  Please join us in this tribute in "Honoring Our First American Patriots".

Karen Evangelista
1065 Guadalupe St.
Guadalupe CA 93434
Media contact:     Gregg Nevarez, Producer/co-founder
U.S. Native Warrior Project  1-760-612-7099



This photo was taken by a soldier in Afghanistan of a helio rescue mission. The pilot is a PA National Guard guy who flies EMS choppers in civilian life.

Now how many people on the planet you reckon could set the ass end of a chopper down on the roof top of a shack, on a steep mountain cliff, and hold it there while soldiers load wounded men in the rear.

                                                                     God Bless our military. 


Pacific Spotlight: Sgt. Gabriel Nunez 

Title: Manga-reading martial artist
Location: Camp Courtney, Okinawa

Stars and Stripes, Pacific edition, Monday, August 11, 2008 

Gabriel, you’ve been reading Japanese manga since you were 13. How did that happen?

I had some Chinese friends in seventh and eighth grade who would bring "Dragon Ball Z" comics to school. We all liked the drawings but none of us could read Japanese, so I learned from my older brother’s Japanese textbooks after he had dropped out of that class.

That’s cool. And now you can read and speak the language? 

Yes. I graduated high school with honors in Japanese, and now I am fluent in both reading and writing. If I don’t know the word, I will look it up.

Why is manga so popular in Japan?

Because unlike Saturday morning cartoons in the States, manga has really strong character development and continuing story lines.

What is your favorite manga?

I like "One Piece." It’s a fantasy story line about the pirate era. The main character is seeking to be king of the whole sea, but there is so much to it. I’ve been reading it since I was 13.

Are the Japanese shocked when they realize you speak their language?

When I speak, a lot of Japanese assume I have memorized a few common phrases and speak English to me so that I do not embarrass myself. But when I start to read random things in Japanese, that’s when they become really surprised.

Any funny examples of this?

I went to a restaurant on Okinawa and the waiter started speaking English. She was struggling a little, so I did not want to be rude and stop her. But after a while I started speaking Japanese to help her, and she asked: "Why didn’t you just speak Japanese from the beginning?"

Have the Marines ever used your Japanese skills?

I was the 3rd Marine Division translator for Maj. Gen. Miller when we went to Camp Naha to speak to the Japanese Self-Defense Force. I was never utilized, but I did travel to serve that purpose just in case. I also went to a martial-arts conference in Japan with five Marines where I spent four days translating the martial-arts moves to them. That was a blast.

Do you get paid to speak Japanese?

Actually, the Marines pay me $650 extra a month for my Japanese and Spanish proficiency. That’s pretty nice, especially with two children.

You are also a black belt in mixed martial arts, right?

Yes, and I also teach Aki Goshen-jutsu and am a black belt in Aikido. I have been doing martial arts since I was 3.

Do you have any other hobbies? 

I also teach break dancing and capoeira at the youth center here on Saturdays.

Cool. Can you do the worm and the dolphin?

I’ve never heard of the dolphin. It’s probably called something else now. But I can do the worm, flares, cherry drops, windmills and other moves.

What’s your best move? Describe it. 

I like the windmill. It’s like a head spin, but you’re spinning at an angle on your head and shoulders.

Sounds like it defies physics. 

It actually looks like it, but it’s more about technique.

Know someone whose accomplishments, talents, job, hobby, volunteer work, awards or good deeds qualify them for 15 minutes of fame? How about someone whose claim to glory is a bit out of the ordinary — even, dare we say, oddball? Send the person’s name and contact information to:

Sent by Mercy Bautista Olvera



- Ultimate Sacrifice



 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…

Army Spc. Jose L. Mora 26, of Bell Gardens , Calif. , died on October 24, 2003 of wounds of a mortar attack. Assigned to C Company, 1st Battalion, 12th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Carson , Colo. ; killed Oct. 24, 2003 in an enemy mortar attack in Samaria , Iraq .

"He knew he had to make something of himself, please his parents and provide for his wife and family," said Lt. Col. John Powledge.

Mora, who worked his way up from a rifleman to a Bradley Fighting Vehicle driver to a Bradley gunner, had what it took to be an Army leader, said his first sergeant, Glenn Robinson. "Toward the end of every month he always had two questions for me," Robinson said. "He'd ask me how I was doing, and then with a smile on his face, he'd ask me when he was getting promoted." Army Spc. Jose L. Mora leaves behind his wife and three young children.

Army Pfc. Steven Acosta 19, of Calexico , Calif. , died Oct. 26, 2003 from a non-hostile gunshot wound in Baqubah , Iraq . Assigned to C Company, 3rd Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment, 4th Infantry Division, Fort Hood , Texas .

Steven Acosta was born in Blythe, into a family that spends their time together playing soccer, His older brother Gerardo was a Marine but Steven decided to enlist in the Army. The family lived in Mexicali , Mexico , before settling in Calexico, in1991. Steven Acosta graduated from Calexico High School in 2002. The second youngest of five brothers Steven was sentimental and outgoing, his brother said. Steven's friends would regularly gather at the Acosta home, bringing their guitars to play punk rock while Steven kept the beat on the drums, Gerardo Acosta said.  

California Governor Gray Davis expressed his condolences and honored Acosta as "a courageous American soldier, But as we grieve his passing, we find solace in the knowledge that he died for the noblest of causes - fighting for his country," he said in a statement. "As Californians, and as Americans, we are eternally grateful for his sacrifice."  

Photo of Sgt. Linda C. JimenezSGT Linda C. Jimenez 39, of Brooklyn , N.Y. , died on October 31, 2003. She fell while running to keep up with friends, fearing for her safety if she lost contact with them and injured on Oct. 8, 2003. She was taken to the 28th Combat Support Hospital and was later evacuated to Landstuhl Army Regional Medical Center . Subsequently, she was moved to WRAMC where she later died. This accident happened a few weeks after she was scheduled to have returned stateside according to her father, Angelo Cruz of Sun City West, AZ. Linda died of complications after a blood clot formed, went to her brain and caused a stroke.  Assigned to the 2nd Squadron Combat Support Aviation (Maintenance), 2nd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Polk , LA.   


Army Staff Sgt. Paul A. Velazquez 29, of San Diego , Calif. , died on November 2, 2003, in an attack on a CH-47 Chinook helicopter near Fallujah , Iraq . Assigned to III Corps Artillery at Fort Sill , Okla. ; killed Nov. 2 in an attack on a CH-47 Chinook helicopter near Fallujah , Iraq . Army Staff Sgt. Paul A. The insurgents shot down the helicopter, which was carrying soldiers to Baghdad from there they would have departed for leave.


Velazquez was planning to visit his wife in Oklahoma where his wife and baby lived, to see his baby daughter for the first time; he had recently re-enlisted for four more years, his father John said. Paul A. Velazquez was one of four children. He attended Mira Mesa High School . He was in the wresting team and the drama club. He joined the Army in 1992.

Army Spc. Genaro Acosta 26, of Fair Oaks , Calif. , died November 11, 2003 while on patrol when his Bradley Fighting Vehicle hit and detonated two improvised explosive devices in Taji , Iraq .  Assigned to 1st Battalion, 44th Air Defense Artillery Regiment, 4th Infantry Division (Mech), Fort Hood, Texas; The explosions that killed Spc. Genaro Acosta on Veterans Day destroyed even his wedding ring, but his gold cross that he always had on his neck was intact. “He was a very strong believer in God,” his brother Fernando said.

 The Avid Los Angeles Lakers fan “felt very strong about helping other people out,’ his brother Fernando said. He reenlisted this year despite his concern over the dangers because “He figured it was the right think go do.” “I know that he did not die in vain, he was proud of what he did,” said his widow Roxanne.


Army 1st Lt. Michael W. Vega 41, of Lathrop, Calif.; assigned to the 223rd Military Intelligence Company, 223rd Military Intelligence Battalion, Army National Guard, based in Sacramento, Calif.; died March 20. 2004 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center , in Washington , D.C. , from injuries sustained March 11 when his military vehicle rolled over in Diwaniyah , Iraq .


Vega was unconscious for nine days after the accident. His family decided to take him off life support, said his girlfriend Marisol. “He was riding o top of a humvee when it came under fire and the driver swerved, causing the overturn. “He was a military man all the way through, he always believed in what he was doing.”    

Michael W. Vega was born and raised in Vallejo , CA . He was the youngest of seven children. Michael Vega was on active duty in the Army in the early 1980’s. In 2002, he enlisted in the army National Guard, he spoke some Spanish, was attached to a group of Spanish speaking  soldiers in Iraq, he joked with his girlfriend that he would be fluent in Spanish by the time he came home. Army National Guard Lt. Alexys Scott met Vega when the two were in intelligence training at a base in Arizona, he described Vega as a dedicated student who had an upbeat attitude and studied when others chose to party in their time off. “He was always looking at the positive side of d difficult situation,” Scott said. “I never heard him complain; he would do the job.


Army Staff Sgt. Abraham D. Penamedina 32, of Los Angeles., died on April 27, 2004 when his patrol came under sniper fire in Baghdad . Assigned to Company B, 20th Engineer Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood , Texas .

 Pena Medina joined the Army in 1991 he was a cheerful man who loved country-western dancing, said a friend. Abraham D. Pena Medina attended Roosevelt High School in East Los Angeles , CA . He missed getting his high school diploma with his classmates; he had to report to Basic Training a day before graduation, said his friend Raul.  

"Staff Sgt. Pena was the best a man could be. He had integrity above reproach, courage and loyalty to his family and comrades. His sense of humor always brightened the day. He was always a friend through thick and thin. I will always remember the fun times and the help he gave me in my times of need.”    
said Scott Wilmot of Baumholder Germany .  

“Abraham was not only our brother, he was also like our dad, he helped my mom raise us and guide us. After our mom died he kept helping us, although he was the oldest, but he was always our mom’s baby,” said his sister Elvia. His sister wrote this poem and published in the Los Angeles Times on July 2008 as well as in the Whittier Daily News. He leaves behind his wife, son and three siblings, Elvia, Pascual and Araceli.

If tears could build a stairway
And memories were a lane
We would walk right up to Heaven
And bring you back again

No farewell words were spoken
No time to say goodbye

You were gone before we knew it
And only God knows why

Since you’ll never be forgotten
We pledge to you today
A hallowed place within our hearts
Is where you always stay”

Elvia of Los Angeles , CA


Army Cpl. Billy Gomez 25, of Perris , Calif. , died on October 27, 2004 at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center , when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device in Naka , Afghanistan of injuries sustained Oct. 20. Assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division (Light), Schofield Barracks, Hawaii .

Billy Gomez was the youngest of triplets. His brothers are also in the Army. Mark is a member of 2nd Battalion, 35th Infantry Regiment, serving on Kandahar Air Field in Afghanistan and Joey assigned to a unit on Fort Sil , Oklahoma . Gomez’ friend Ron from North Carolina said that Army Cpl. Billy Gomez was a devoted son sending most of his paycheck home to his parents.

Army Cpl. Billy Gomez was a Combat Medic. Army Spc.Visala Tui an American Samoa had worked with Cpl. Gomez for three years as combat medics, when Tui was called to help with casualties, he expected his best friend combat medic Army Cpl. Billy Gomez to already have the situation under control, when he got there he found that it was his best friend, one of the casualties.  The two medics, both members of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, they were attached to an anti-tank platoon for a mission that day. The explosion occurred near Naka , Afghanistan , an area known to have been a Taliban stronghold in northern Paktika province. During a Memorial service at the remote base in southeastern Afghanistan , his company gave their final respects to Army Cpl. Billy Gomez. Capt. Daniel Beard, commander of the battalion's Headquarters Company, called Gomez an “infantryman's best friend.” He said not only was Gomez proficient as a medic, but he was also a soldier with a can-do attitude.” However, for Visala Tui, the loss rings deeper. He lost a friend who he had built an incredible bond with over the last three years. The bond has only increased since they deployed to Afghanistan together in March. "My kids will always remember an Uncle Gomez, a person who helped their dad in the Army, a hero who fought for their freedom," Tui said. "They will hear stories about how brave he was, how tough he was, and how he inspired others to fight on. They will remember Billy Gomez because I will tell them.” 

Army Spc. Sergio R. Diaz Varela 21, of Lomita , Calif. , died on November 24, 2004 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his dismounted patrol in Ramadi , Iraq . He had been in Iraq only a few months. Assigned to 1st Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, Camp Howze . 

Sergio R. Diaz Varela was born in Guadalajara , Mexico . He came with his family to Lomita in the early 1990’s when he was 11 years old. Sergio Diaz joined the army with the intention to buy his mother a house in Guadalajara , his father was living in United States , he moved to United States with his father so he could learn English. As he got older, his neighbors describe him as quiet and hard working. They remembered that he always seemed to have his head in a schoolbook. Sergio also played basketball at Narbonne High school and found time to pick games with the younger children in the neighborhood; he would teach them to stay low as they dribbled, to bring the ball up and aim for the basket.

Varela joined the Army after earning his high school diploma. He enlisted as a legal immigrant; his neighbors said they hope the government will recognize him as a citizen now. Army Spc. Sergio R. Diaz Varela spent year training in Korea . Army Spc. Sergio R. Diaz Varela died the day after Thanksgiving, the Department of Defense said in a prepared statement released that afternoon. The officer who visited his father said Diaz had stepped out of his vehicle and was walking when the bomb went off, tearing through his hip and side. Diaz's body was flown to Guadalajara , Mexico for the burial.


Army Pfc. Joseph Cruz 22, of Whittier , Calif. , died on Oct. 16, 2005 in Bagram , Afghanistan , of non-combat related injuries sustained in an accident a day before at Organ-E , Afghanistan .  Assigned to the 1st Battalion, 508th Infantry Regiment, also known as the “Red Devils,” in Vicenza , Italy .

 Army Pfc. Joseph Cruz became a paratrooper, he was not afraid of parachuting out of moving planes.  

Joseph Cruz grew up in Whittier , California . “He liked alternative rock, skateboarding and video games.” Joseph graduated from Sierra Vista High School in 2001. “Joseph was taking online college courses and planned to get a job after the Army,” his stepfather Roberto said. “Joseph joined the Army after graduation, he was sent overseas to Vicenza , Italy . “In the beginning, he liked the Army. He had been to Afghanistan and Iraq already, and he was only 22 years, after Joseph saw a friend of his die in front of him, he did not want to go back, he lost enthusiasm for his mission,” said his sister Ana. In mid-September, he was able to visit his family and went on a cruise to Baja , Mexico , where he was having so much fun with the family.  

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.




Richard G. Santos


Please forgive me for stating this has been a most difficult article to write. It has been more difficult that some of my books such as translating the five versions of the Diary of the Expedition to Texas of the Second Marquis de San Miguel de Aguayo. It has almost been more demanding in detail than Santa Anna’s Campaign Against Texas and Alamo Countdown. And surprisingly, more soul-slicing that Silent Heritage dealing the Mexico City based Inquisition and the burning at the stake of some of my ancestors. What occurred in the Pacific Ocean 63 years ago has reverberated with the desperation, horror, terror and screams of the dying and surviving crewmen of the USS Indianapolis [CA-35]. 

On March 30, 1945 the USS Indianapolis had been damaged by a Japanese Kamikaze suicide plane during the landing at Okinawa. Patched as best possible, the heavy cruiser was dispatched to the Navy yard at San Francisco where she was repaired. The ship arrived on May 12 and was soon being repaired and refitted. Two months later, specifically on July 12, 1945, Captain Charles B McVay III was informed the ship was being assigned a special mission. For the next three days the ship took on provisions, ammunition and fuel as it prepared to take a special secret cargo to Tinian Island in the Pacific Theatre of Operations. The Indianapolis set sail on July 15th and 72 ½ hours later (July 21st) arrived at Pearl Harbor. The ship was refueled and new provisions were taken aboard. 

Pearsall, Texas native Seaman Basilio Perez must have been as curious as his fellow crew members at the special attention given to the ship’s cargo upon their arrival at Tinian Island on July 26. Army Air Corps officers and strange looking civilians were acting like stevedores overseeing and helping unload the secret cargo. Unknown to Perez and the other crewmen of the Indianapolis at the time, they had just delivered the key mechanism for the world’s first atomic bombs soon to be dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. 

Having delivered their precious secret cargo, the Indianapolis was refueled and re-supplied before setting sail for Leyte Island where they were expected to arrive July 31st. Unescorted and still under radio silence, the ship set off to its assigned position. At the same time, Captain Mochitsura Hashimoto commanding Japanese submarine I-58 was patrolling the waters between Tinian and Leyte Islands. At five minutes after midnight July 30, the first Japanese torpedo struck the Indianapolis. Other torpedoes followed shortly thereafter. Some U.S. seamen were instantly killed, others suffered burns of various degrees and since the Indianapolis was listing and about to sink, the order to abandon ship was issued.

Of the 1,196 men aboard the ship, 33 were U. S. marines and the remainder Naval personnel. Approximately 880 men jumped ship. Some had life preservers, many did not. Wooden crates used as potato bins and assorted pieces of furniture and other floating items soon became survival rafts. The yelling of men trying to communicate with their fellow crewmen soon filled the night. When possible they gathered in groups of three on up. Those who had suffered burns were already suffering excruciating pain. Others had swallowed oil or salt water and were beginning to show their effect. The worse was yet to come.

The fins of one, two three and soon what seemed hundreds of sharks appeared in and out of the waves by mid afternoon of the first day. The agonizing screams of men being bitten by sharks soon filled the air. Others were dragged under water before they made a sound. The waters began to churn bloody red as the survivors saw their friends and fellow crewmen falling victims to the men-eating sharks.

By the second day (August 1, 1945), those who had drunk salt water or oil were violently sick. The retching and coughing of the sick filled the air along with the screams of those being attacked by sharks. Some seamen were now hallucinating and convinced fresh water, food, ice cream and safety could be found on the Indianapolis below the water, they dove underwater never to be seen again. The desperation and terror of the survivors adrift in the sea infested man-eating sharks drove others temporarily or permanently insane. Adding to their desperation and frustration were the airplanes seen periodically flying high overhead. 

Because the Indianapolis had not yet been reported missing, no one was searching for the ship or survivors. It was not until the fourth day (August 3rd) that a small plane after flying high over the survivors circled back to take a look at the scene. Waving its wing to acknowledge seeing the survivors, the small PV-1 Ventura called base. Soon one other plane appeared and the survivors were finally reported to the nearest base. It was not until near midnight of the fifth day that rescue planes began to arrive. They were soon joined by ships of various sizes. Of the 1,196 crew of the Indianapolis and approximate 880 men who jumped into the sea, only 316 survived. 

At this time when the nation is experiencing an anti-Mexican, anti-immigrant, anti-Hispanic hysteria, and specifically in the 63rd anniversary of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, we pause to identify the U.S. Navy personnel of Hispanic ancestry. We begin with Winter Garden native Basilio Perez of Pearsall, Texas. From other communities throughout the nation we list Charles M. Acosta, Dante Adorante, Harold D. Allmarás (sic; Almaráz), Lorenzo Armenta, Raymond Barra, Concepción Bernacil, Paul Campana, Paul Candalino, Adolfo Celaya, José Cruz, Verlin Fortin, Vicente Frontino, Juan Gabrillo (Cabrillo?), Angel Galante, Ray Gonzalez, John G. Guerrero, Harold Guyon (Guion?), Ponciano Holden, Daniel López, Sam López, Robert Lucas, Clarence Machado, Sam Murillo, Baltazar Nieto, Mike Obledo, Ernest Ochóa, José Pacheco, Santos Peña, José Saenz, Alfred Salinas, Nuraldo Sámano, Alejandro Sanchez, Fernando Sanchez and Philip Silva. Others with Latin based surnames who may or may have not been Hispanic are Frank Spino (Espino? Espinosa?), Patrick P. Castaldo, Frank Centazzo, Frank Fantasia, Melvin Maas, Joseph Malena, John Olijar and Ralph Sordia. 

Because ethnicity and race are not cited in the U.S. Navy History reports that I used, I have no way of actually determining the race or ethnicity of the known or suspected Hispanic crewmen of the USS Indianapolis. However, as an historian, Tejano and native-born U.S. citizen, I sincerely extend our Muchisimas gracias to ALL CREW MEMBERS OF THE USS INDIANAPOLIS regardless of race, ethnicity or religious beliefs who played a little known but important role in bringing an end to World War II. 

In closing this most difficult article, we note Captain Charles Butler McVay III was court-martialed by the U. S. Navy. He was charged and found guilty of not zig-zagging the ship while in enemy waters thus leading to its sinking. As noted by Captain Hashimoto who sank the Indianapolis, it did not matter if the ship had zig-zagged or not. The ship did not have an escort or accompanying submarine spotters. Consequently the USS Indianapolis was doomed from the moment the ship appeared on the Japanese periscope. After a concentrated campaign and lobbying effort by the survivors, the late Captain McVay was exonerated in 2000. May he and the men who died during those horrific five days and the men who have left us since, Rest in Peace. We honor your memory on this 63rd anniversary of your ordeal.

Zavala County Sentinel – 6-7 August 2008. 

Richard G. Santos
Sent by Juan Marinez 

Philadelphia  Museum showcases minorities in WWII 

By Vernon Clark 
Inquirer Staff Writer 

The question stunned Althea Hankins, a Germantown family physician on a flight from California to Philadelphia.   "You're a Negro, aren't you?" asked an older white man. 
Taken aback by the outdated term, Hankins said, she replied, "Yes, I guess so." 

Hankins said the stranger on that 1999 trip then told her that he collected memorabilia, and showed her an old pamphlet bearing the headline "Negro soldiers party - 5801 Germantown Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania." 

"I told him, 'That's impossible. My practice is located there,' " Hankins said. But, of course, she was curious. So later that year, she had a wall removed that blocked the third floor of the building at Germantown Avenue and Price Street. She found a vintage ballroom with a wooden floor, hidden behind that partition for many years and clearly large enough to have hosted the soldiers' party. 

"I couldn't believe it. I decided that we had an opportunity here to do something totally different," Hankins said. What she did was launch the Aces Museum, a 3,000- square-foot facility spread over the second and third floors above her community medical practice. The museum - admission is free - tells the stories of black servicemen in World World II through photographs, military medals, and memorabilia that include historical uniforms and other artifacts. 

"It's a museum that includes all the ethnic groups that were underrepresented in the battle against fascism in World War II," Hankins said. Hankins said her late father, Tommy D. Hankins, who she said served four tours of duty in Europe and Japan during the war, was an inspiration for the project. 

She named the facility Aces because as a child growing up in Detroit, she said, she once asked her father whether it was true that whites called blacks "spades." Her father told her it was, and she replied: "Well, Daddy, if you had to be a spade, I know you were an ace." 

Solomon Williams, co - director of the museum, noted that individual rooms are devoted to Hispanic, Asian and Native American veterans of the war. Posters also honor minority recipients of the Medal of Honor. 

Williams said the ballroom, which has been outfitted with vintage tables and chairs and murals of black soldiers, harks back to the 1940s. 

"This is how it was," Williams said as he walked into the ballroom while jazz flowed from a period radio. The room also contains a piano from that era that was found inside the building. 

Researchers at the Germantown Historical Society identified the museum's ballroom as Parker Hall. "It was a nightclub. It was like a USO place" for black soldiers, said Iris Fairfax, an official with the Germantown Historical Society. 

Eugene Stackhouse, a past president of the society, said researchers found a few photographs of Parker Hall and an article about a serious fire there in 1903. The museum is also the headquarters for the Philadelphia chapter of the National Association of Black Veterans, an advocacy group. 

Since October, Hankins said, the museum has offered an educational program for children. The program, which features puppets and other play activities, "is exceeding our expectations. We've taken kids who were unruly, and now they say 'please' and 'thank you,' and they share." Hankins declined to say how much it cost to create the museum, other than that "I put my heart and soul and every penny I have into this building." 

Sent by Juan Marinez


Quick Relief of PTSD Anxiety
August 12th, 2008   (9 views )
By William Hageman | Chicago Tribune reporter
August 10, 2008


Jason Brown’s return home from a yearlong tour of duty in Iraq should have been happier. But there were nightmares, tension, the constant feeling of being on edge.

“I’d see things out of the corner of my eye, I’d see shadows,” says the 29-year-old Army reservist, an engineering technician, who came home to Peoria in July 2007. “I’d be suspicious of things; they were out of place. I didn’t sleep well.”

He was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, an all-too-common issue among returning military personnel, but one that’s not often acknowledged. PTSD can result in nightmares, sleeplessness, restlessness, anger, or an inability to trust others.

It can be triggered by any number of traumatic events, such as sexual or physical abuse, a violent crime, a dangerous event such as tornado or fire, or war.

These are proud military guys,” says Dr. Deborah Little, assistant professor of neurology and director of magnetic resonance research at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “You don’t talk about anxiety. That’s not part of the culture.”

Estimates of how many veterans suffer from PTSD range as high as 50 percent. What’s not disputed is that most of them are undiagnosed. Dr. Eugene Lipov refers to the growing problem as “the reverse surge.”

Lipov is the president and medical director of Advanced Pain Centers, with offices in Hoffman Estates and Westmont. He believes he has found a way to combat the feelings that come with PTSD through a seemingly simple injection that calms the section of the brain that becomes overactive in PTSD patients.

The treatment is called a stellate ganglion block, an injection of the local anesthetic bupivacaine around a group of nerves in the neck.

“The medication we’re using is the same numbing medication that has been used for decades for pregnant women during labor and delivery,” explains Dr. Jay Joshi, director of research at Advanced Pain Centers.

But using it against PTSD is a new idea. Lipov made another connection between the medication and the body’s reaction.

“I found that one part of the brain that works on hot flashes and PTSD is the same … the insular cortex,” he explains. The injection, he says, “reboots” the insular cortex.

“It resets the nerve system the way God built it,” he says.

Little, who is designing the clinical trials to test the safety and efficacy of the procedure, points out that the injection is not a treatment for PTSD; “it’s a treatment for anxiety that comes out of PTSD.”

So far, five patients have been treated. The first was the victim of an armed robbery, and a paper on the case will be published in the September issue of the Annals of Clinical Psychiatry.

The procedure itself takes only 5 or 10 minutes. One of its biggest benefits it that it works immediately, unlike antidepressant drugs and psychotherapy, the most commonly used treatments, which may not take effect for months.

Brown’s first injection was about two months ago.

“It had an immediate effect,” he says. “I noticed I wasn’t tense, I wasn’t looking around. I was just calm.”

“His sleeping was definitely better [after the first treatment">,” agrees his wife, Amanda, whom he married two days before he left for Iraq. “He didn’t have as many nightmares.”

The treatments do need to be repeated, though Lipov and Little say the time between them appears to get longer.

Brown returned for a second treatment at the end of July after he noticed some symptoms returning, thought to be triggered by 4th of July fireworks.

The hope is that eventually a large clinical trial would encompass 1,000 patients. Before that, though, Lipov is trying to raise the funds to continue current treatments (go to for more information).

“Once we do the [large"> study,” Little says, “it opens the door for it to be a clinical tool to be used in VA hospitals.”



High school re-named as Eastside Memorial High School.

The Daily Texan Online
Betty Zapata hugs fellow Johnston High School alumnus Johnny Limon, left, and brother Jesse Roland, right, after hearing the decision to rename their alma mater.

Johnston High School's campus in East Austin will re-open on Aug. 25 as Eastside Memorial High School.

The Austin Independent School District's Board of Trustees unanimously voted for the name after a month-long nomination process. The name is a compromise between Eastside High School and Memorial High School, two of the most popular suggestions among the community. The name pays homage to Johnston High School war veterans.

Of the 618 votes cast for the 206 nominated names, Cesar Chavez received 101 votes, followed by 55 for Memorial and 48 for Eastside. Willie Nelson, Sen. Barack Obama and Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo were also nominated.

Johnston High School students left for summer vacation in June knowing they would not return to the same school in the fall after the Texas Education Agency closed Johnston due to academically unacceptable ratings for the fourth year in a row.

"Whatever name we pick will probably disappoint some and excite others, but at the end of the day, it's going to be about supporting the students and supporting the school - whatever the name is," said Board President Mark Williams.

Board member Sam Guzman nominated the school's new name after receiving input from the public at community meetings throughout the summer.

Geneva Oliva, president of the Parent Teacher Student Association at the new high school and alumna of Johnston High School, attended the meeting with her daughter, Catalina Herrera, and her daughter's friend, Julissa Rodriguez, who will be seniors at Eastside Memorial.

Oliva, who attended the school along with her 10 brothers and sisters, spoke on behalf of naming the school Eastside but is happy with the compromise.

"We're all coming from the East Side, and it's all family," Oliva said. "It's a family affair."

Betty Zapata and her brothers Jesse and Richard Roland said they were pleased the school will remember Johnston High School war veterans, such as their brother, Jon Paul Roland.

Roland was the first Hispanic from Johnston High School killed in the Vietnam War. He enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps after graduating in 1963.

"He loved Jonston High School; he was devoted to Johnston High," Zapata said.

Dan Arellano, veteran and member of Tejanos in Action, a service group for veterans who were honorably discharged from military service, said he was hoping for Veterans Memorial but is also pleased with the compromise.

"There were so many veterans that came out of Johnston High School - 16 that were actually killed in Vietnam - that we decided we needed to honor all of them," Arellano said.

Dan Arellano

Patriots of the American Revolution

Father Virgil Remembered
September 13: 1779 Baton Rouge
Spanish Patriots, Peru During American Revolutionary War, 
(Ma  thru Me)
  Father Virgil Remembered

Fr. Virgil (center) with SBTHP Executive Director, Dr. Jarrell C. Jackman (left) and SBTHP Life Honorary Member and member of Los Soldados de Cuera, Jim Elwell Martinez (right) at Founding Day 2005.  

Father Virgil Cordano OFM was laid to rest at Old Mission Santa Barbara on May 30, 2008. He was a great friend of the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation and El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park, officiating at many events held at the Presidio over the years. He was born Dec. 3, 1918 and died May 22, 2008. Arriving in Santa Barbara in 1934, Father Virgil lived through the era of Pearl Chase and Thomas Storke as they rejuvenated the city. As a renowned teacher of theology, Father Virgil obtained a Doctorate from Catholic University in Washington DC. He taught at St. Anthony's Seminary for eighteen years. 


Fr. Virgil as Fr. Serra presides over the historic reenactment of the founding ceremony at El Presidio de Santa Barbara.  

His service to people of Santa Barbara was legend. Fr. Virgil became what Harriet Miller called "the heart and soul of Santa Barbara", meeting all sorts of people, from the Queen of England to the Dalai Lama. Serving over six decades as a Franciscan at the Old Mission, he represented the Franciscan Order in Santa Barbara for nearly a quarter of the time that the Franciscan Order has been at Old Mission Santa Barbara. 


Fr. Virgil leads mass in the Presidio Chapel at Una Noche de Las Posadas.

In fact he liked to say that he and Father Serra came here together... We know that Father Serra did come to the Presidio, so it was indeed fitting that Father Virgil would come there also .. as he very well did!

by Michael R. Hardwick, SBTHP Life Honorary Director 
and member of Los Soldados de



1779 Baton Rouge

Saturday September 13, 2008



For this program, guests are invited to come observe military life in the 1700s.  Guests will witness an American Revolutionary War Encampment featuring soldiers and militia of both the British and Spanish forces preparing for the Battle of Baton Rouge.  The sounds of flintlock muskets firing, the sights of militia drilling and the smell of the cook's fires preparing the days meals are just some of the activities to be experienced.

For more information contact: Audubon State Historic Site
11788 LA HWY 965
St. Francisville, LA 70775
225-635-3739 or 1-888-677-2838



By Granville Hough, Ph.D.

Benito Machado. Sgt, Mil Discip Urbanas Cab de Huamalies, 1800. Leg 7288:XVII:22.
Juan Ventura Machin. Alf, Mil Discip Dragones de Arica, 1800. Leg 7288:II:36.
Manuel Miguel Machian. Sgt, Mil Discip de Dragones de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXIV:67.
José Antonio Magi. Sgt Major, Mil Urbanas Inf de Huamanga, 1800. Leg 7288:XV:5.
Miguel Francisco Mair. Comandante, Dragones prov de los fronteras de Tarma, 1800. Leg 7288:XXIX:3.
Agustin Maldonado. SubLt, Comp sueltas Mil Discip inf del partido de Chacao, Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:XXI:3.
Cayetano Maldonado. Comandante de Escuadrón, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Carabayllo, 1797. Leg 7287:VII:5.
Francisco Maldonado. Sgt, 2d Ckomp Inf Discip San Carlos de Quetalmahue, Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:VII:4.
Mariano Maldonado. Lt, Mil Discip Dragones de Querocotillo, Piura, 1795. Leg 7285:XXIII:11.
Valeriano Maldonado. Capt, Comp sueltas, Inf Partido de Calbuco, Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:V:1.
Nicolás Malpartida. Sgt, Mil Prov Inf de Huánuco, 1796. Leg 7286:V:36.
Jose Manuel Manrique. Sgt, Comp sueltas Mil Discip Inf de Ica, 1800. Leg 7288:XIX:17.
Juan Bautista Manrique. Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Inf de San Antonio de Cajamarca, 1797. Leg 7287:III:30.
Pedro Manrique. SubLt, Inf Real de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXII:50.
Tadeo Manrique. Sgt, Mil Urbanas Inf de Moquegua, 1797. Leg 7287:XXVI:34.
Felipe Manrique de Lara. Lt, Mil Discip Draones de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXIV:34.
Francisco Pio Manrique de Lara. Capt, Mil Discip de Dragones de Lima, 1796. Leg 7286:XI:53. 
Blas Mansilla. Lt, Mil Discip de Cab de Huaura, 1797. Leg 7287:XIX:9.
Francisco Mansilla. Lt, Comp Veteranos de la dotación de Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:XI:5.
Ignacio Mansilla. SubLt, Mil Prov Discip de Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:IX:67.
José Mansilla. Lt de Granaderos, Inf Real de Lima, 1801??. Leg 7288:XXII:30.
Juan Miguel Mansilla. SubLt, Comp sueltas Inf Partido Calbuco, Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:V:9.
Manuel Mansilla. Sgt, Mil Prov Discip de Cab del Valle de Chincha, 1797. Leg 7287:XII:36.
Mateo Mansilla. SubLt de Granaderos, Mil Prov Discip de Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:IX:58.
José Mansueto Mansilla. Capt, Mil Prov de Dragones de Carabayllo, 1800. Leg 7288:IV:13.
Luis Manterola. Lt Veterano, Mil Discip de Dragones de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXIV:28.
Norberto Manterola. Alf, Dragones de Buenos Aires, 1798. Leg 7258:V:56.
Gabriel Manzanares. Sgt, Mil Discip de Pardos y Morenos de Inf de Lambayeque, 1797. Leg 7287:XXIII:22.
Manuel Manzanares. SubLt, Mil Discip de Pardos y Morenos de Lambayeque, 1797. Leg 7287:XXIII:18.
Manuel Manzanares. Alf, Mil Discip Cab de Pardos de Ferreñafe, 1797. Leg 7287:XV:4.
Pedro Manzanares. Sgt, 1st Class, grad SubLt, Inf Real de Lima, 1790. Leg 7283:VIII:94.
Lorenzo Manzanaro. Capt, Bn Prov Mil Discip Española de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXIII:14.
Fernando Manzanillo. Alf, Mil Discip Dragones de Acari y Chala, 1796. Leg 7286:I:18.
Juan de Maradieque. Portaguión, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Huambos, Partido de Cajamarca, 1797. Leg 7287:XVII:24.
Valeriano Marchena. Sgt, Mil Discip Cab de Trujillo, Perú. 1800. Leg 7288:XXXI:25.
Joaquin Mariluz. Sgt, Inf, Real de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXII:95.
Francisco Marin. SubLt, Comp sueltas de Inf, Partido de Calbuco, Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:V:8.G
Gregorio Marin. Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas de San Antonio de Cajamarca, 1797. Leg 7287:III:32. 
Ignacio Marin. Sgt, Mil Discip Dragones de Arica, 1800. Leg 7288:II:57.
Joaquin Marin. Capt, Mil Discip de Dragones de Chota, 1797. Leg 7287:XIII:10.
Marcelino Marin. Lt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Celendin, Partido de Cajamkarca, 1797. Leg7287:IX:14.
Antonio Marina y Barcena. Cadet, Mil Prov Discip de Cab de Arequipa, 1797. Leg 7287:II:69.
José Mariño. SubLt, Mil Discip Inf Española de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXIII:46.
Juan de Dios Marquez. Alf, Mil Urbanas de Dragones de Palma, Partido de Jauja, 1800. Leg 7288:XXI:26.
Luis Marquez. Sgt, Mil Discip de Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:IX:105.
Tadeo Marquina. Sgt, Mil Discip de Inf de Cuzco, 1800. Leg 7286:XXIV:40. 
Tomás Martiarena. Capt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Inf de Abancay, 1792. Leg 7284:II:45.
Mariano Marticorena. Portaguion, Mil Urbanas de Dragones de Palma, Partido de Jauja, 1800. Leg 7288:XXI:29.
Bernardo Martin. Sgt, Mil Discip Dragones de Lima, 1788. Leg 7283:III:25.
Francisco Martin. Sgt, Inf Real de Lima, 1788. Leg 7283:II:106.
Ignacio Ramón de Martin y Echeverez. Sgt Major, Mil Urbanas de Inf de Andahuaylas, 1799. Leg 7286:XXII:3.
Miguel Martin Mellado. SubLt, Mil Discip de Inf de Cuzco, 1800. Leg 7286:XXIV:27.
Antonio Martinez. Portaestandarte, Mil Urbanas de Inf territories de Cab de Huancahamba y Chalaco, Piura, 1800. Leg 7286:XXVI:5.
Francisco Antonio Martinez. Col, Mil Discip Inf de Arequipa, 1800. Leg 7288:I:1.
Francisco Javier Martinez. Capt, Mil Discip Dragones de Lima, 1796. Leg 7286:XI:18.Gabriel Martinez. Lt, Mil Urbanas de Cab de los territorios de Huancabamba y Chalaco Piura, 1797. Leg 7287:XXIV:7.
Jeronimo Martinez. Sgt, Inf Real de Lima, 1796. Leg 7287:XXIV:90.
Antonio Martinez. Capt, Mil Discip Española de Lima, 1796. Leg 7286:X:28.
Maximiliano Martinez. Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Chota, 1797. Leg 7287:XIII:41.
Pedro Martinez. Alf, Mil Prov Discip Dragones del Valle de Majes, 1797. Leg 7287:XXV:23.
Tomás Martinez. SubLt, Mil Discip de Inf de Ica, 1800. Leg 7288:XIX:12.
Valentin Martinez. Cadet, Escuadroón de dragones de Pacasmayo, 1797. Leg 7287:XXX:8.
Manuel Martinez del Campo. Alf, Mil Prov Discip de Cab de Arequipa, 1797. Leg 7287:II:46.
Martin Martinez de la Concha y Jara. Capt-Commandante Mil Prov Discip ab de Cuzco, 1797. Leg 7287:X:4.
Ignacio Martinez de Coicochea. Alf, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Celedin, partido de Cajamarca, 1797. Leg 7287:IX:27.
Manuel Martinez Goicochea. Cadet, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Celedin, partido de Cajamarca, 1797. Leg 7287:IX:48.
Francisco Martinez Marañon. Capt, Mil Discip Dragones de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXIV:13.
Manuel Melchor Martinez Marañon. Cadet, Mil Discip Dragones de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXIV:75.
José María Martinez de Orihuela. Cadet, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Arequipa, 1800. Leg 7288:I:84.
Mariano Martinez de Orihuela. Cadet, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Arequipa, 1800. Leg 7288:I:83.
Juan José Martinez de Pinillos. Lt Col, Mil Discip Cab de Trujillo, Perú, 1800. Leg 7288:XXXI:2.
Gregorio Martinez de la Quintana. Col, Mil Inf Española San Juan de la Frontera de Chachapoyas, 1792. Leg 7284:VI:1.
Manuel Martinez Unamuzaga. Mil Discip Inf Española de Lima, 1796. Leg 7286:X:32.
Gregorio Martinez de Velasco. Cadet, Mil Discip Cab de Ica, 1800. Leg 7288:XX:44.
José Marzan. Lt, Inf Real de Lima, 1793. Leg 7284:IX:36.
Antonio Marro. Capt, Mil Urbanas Dragones de Palma, Partido de Juaja, 1800. Leg 7288:XXI:10.
Santiago Masa. Sgt Mayor, Mil Prov Urbanas Cab de Huanta, 1794. Leg 7285:III:2.
José Maseda y Losada. Capt, Mil Discip Inf Española de Lima, 1792. Leg 7284:VIII:16.
Francisco Masferrez. Lt, grad Capt, Mil Discip Dragones de Lima, 1794. Leg 7285:VII:7.
José María Masias y Sancho. Cadet, Mil Prov Discip Cab de Arequipa, 1797. Leg 7287:II:64.
Mariano José Masias y Sancho. Cadet, Mil Prov Discip Cab de Arequipa, 1797. Leg 7287:II:65.
Manuel de Mata. SubLt, Comp Veteranos de la dotación de Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:XI:8.
Domingo María Matallana y Matos. Col, Mil Urbanas Inf Moyobamba, 1797. Leg 7287:XXIX:1.
Mariano Mateus. Sgt, Mil Cab del partido de Santa, 1799. Leg 7286:XXIII:16.
Fermin Matos. Lt, Mil Discip Cab de Trujillo, 1800. Leg 7288:XXXI:11.
José Matos. Cadet, Inf, Real de Lima, 1795. Leg 7283:XVIII:4.
Juan de Matos. Alf, Mil Urbanas Dragones de Palma, Partido de Juaja, 1800. Leg 7288:XXI:23.
Antonio Matute. Ayudante Mayor grad Lt Col, Mil Discip Dragones de Lima, 1794. Leg 7285:VII:10.
Manuel Mayorga. Sgt de Granaderos, Mil Discip Inf Española de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXIII:50.
Manuel Mazarredo. Lt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Lambayeque, 1797. Leg 7287:XXII:17.
Juan Román Mazuelos. Lt, Mil Discip Dragones de Arica, 1800. Leg 7288:II:17.
Agustin de Medina. Lt, Mil Urbanas Cab San Pablo de Chalaquez, 1798. Leg 7287:XI:24.
Diego de Medina. Capt, Comp Mil Urbanas Inf de Anco, 1797. Leg 7287:I:3.
Francisco Medina. SubLt, Mil Urbanas Inf de Andahuaylas, 1799. Leg 7286:XXII:18.
Jorge Medina. Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Chota, 1797. Leg 7287:XIII:48.
José Medina. Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Chota, 1793. Leg 7284:XXVI:42.
Juan Jose Medina. Alf, Mil Urbanas Cab San Pablo de Chalaquez, 1798. Leg 7287:XI:29.
Lino Medina. Capt, Mil Urbanas Cab San Pablo de Chalaques, 1798. Leg 7287:XI:7.
Lorenzo Medina. Lt, Mil Urbanas Cab de San Pablo de Chalaquez, 1798. Leg 7287:XI:18.
Miguel Medina. Capt, Mil Urbanas Cab, San Pablo de Chalaquez, 1792. Leg 7284:XVIII:9.
Pedro José Medina. SubLt de bandera, Comp sueltas de Mil discip de Inf de Trujillo, Perú, 1800. Leg 7288:XXX:9.
Tadeo de Medina. Capt, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Huanta, 1800. Leg 7288:XVIII:8.
Cayetano Medina Urquizu. Sgt, Mil Urbanas Inf de Huamanga, 1800. Leg 7288:XV:26.
JoséMedinilla. SubLt, grad, Inf Real de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXII:86.
Antonio Medrano. Sgt, Mil Prov Cab Prov de Cañete, 1797. Leg 7287:VI:27.
José Medrano. Sgt, Mil Dragones Prov de la Fronteras de Tarma, 1797. Leg 7287:XXXV:45.
Tomás Medrano. Alf, Mil Prov Urbanas de Cab de Huánuco, 1797. Leg 7286:VI:22.
Patricio Mego. Sgt, Mil Urbanas Cab San Pablo de Chalaquez, 1798. Leg 7287:XI:53.
Alfonso Mejorada. Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Huánuco, 1796. Leg 7286:V:29.José Antonio Melendez. Capt, de la 6th Comp de Mil Españolas de Luya y Chillaos, Prov de Chachapoyas, 1792. Leg 7284:XX:5.
Marcelo Melendez. Capt, Mil Españolas de Cab de Luya y Chillaos, Prov de Chachapoyas, 1792. Leg 7284:XX:6.
Andrés Melendrez. Sgt, Mil Urbanas Inf de Andahuaylas, 1801. Leg 7286:XXII:20.
Eduardo Melendrez. Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Abancay, 1793. Leg 7284:II:33.
José Melgarejo. Lt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Inf de Urubamba, 1797.  Leg 7287:XXXVIII:12.
José María Mella. Cadet, Inf Real de Lima, 1795. Leg 7285:XVIII:5.
Luis Gonzaga Mella. Lt, Mil Prov Discip de Inf de Castro Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:IX:33.Francisco Cornelio de Mena. Portaguión, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Huambos, Partido de Cajamarca, 1797. Leg 7287:XVII:23.
Ignacio Mena. SubLt, Inf Real de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXII:68.
Manuel Menacho. Lt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Carabayllo, 1800. Leg 7288:IV:19.
Vicente Menacho. Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Abancay, 1793. Leg 7284:II:69.
Francisco Jenaro de Mendieta. Capt, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Abancay, 1793. Leg 7284:II:11.
Luis Agustin Mendieta. Capt, grad Lt Col, Mil Prov Urbanas de Inf de Abancay, 1793. Leg 7284:II:6.
Eugenio Mendive. Ayudante Mayor, Mil Prov Urbnas de Inf de Abancay, 1793. Leg 7284:II:2.
Agustin de Mendoza. Lt, Mil Urbanas Dragones de Moquegua, 1797. Leg 7287:XXVII:8.
Blas Antonio de Mendoza. Capt, Escuadrón de Cab de Mil Urbanas de Moquegua, 1800. Leg 7288:XXVII:4.
Cristóbal Mendoza. SubLt, Mil Discip de Inf de Cuzco, 1800. Leg 7286:XXIV:26.
Francisco Mendoza. Lt Col, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Abancay, 1793. Leg 7284:II:39.
Francisco de Paula Mendoza. SubLt de Bandera, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Abancay, 1793. Leg 7284:II:41.
José Carlos de Mendoza. Capt of the Army, Mil Urbanas Dragones de Moquegua, 1797. Leg 7287:XXVII:3.
José Casimiro de Mendoza. Ayudante Mayor Mil de Cab Urbanas de Moquegua, 1800. Leg 7288:XXVII:6.
Luis de Mendoza. Alf, Mil Urbanas Cab de Moquegua, 1800. Leg 7288:XXVII:11.
Martin Mendoza. Alf, Mil Prov Discip de Cab de Cuzco, 1797. Leg 7287:X:27.
Melchor Mendoza. Capt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Inf de Abancay, 1793. Leg 7284:II:48. Pablo Mendoza. Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Carabayllo, 1800. Leg 7288:IV:34.
Pedro Mendoza. SubLt de Bandera, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Abancay, 1793. Leg 7284:II:40. 
Pedro Mendoza. Comandante, Mil de Pardos Libres de Lima, 1796. Leg 7286:XII:55.
Pedro Mendoza. SubLt, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de San Antonio de Cajamarca, 1797. Leg 7287:III:25.
Santiago Mendoza. Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Huamboa, Partido de Cajamarca, 1797. Leg 7287:XVII:26.
Tiburcio de Mendoza. Col, Mil Urbanas Cab de Moquegua, 1800. Leg 7288:XXVII:1.
Vicente Mendoza. Lt de granaderos, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Abancay, 1793. Leg 7284:II:55.
Manuel Menendez. Alf, Mil Prov Urbanas Cab de Huanta, 1794. Leg 7285:III:22.
Pascual Menendez y Zapata. Cadet, Mil Urbanas Inf de Moquegua, 1797. Leg 7287:XXVI:41.
Andrés Meoño. Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Huambos Partido de Cajamarca, 1797. Leg 7287:XVII:32.
Francisco Jacinto Merceguer. Cadet, Comp Veteranas de la Dotación de Chiloe, 1798. Leg 7286:XV:15.
Pedro Merino. Sgt Mayor, Mil Prov Urbanas Cab de Huamalies, 1800. Leg 7288:XVII:5.
José Merino y Robredo. SubLt, Mil Discip Prov Discip Inf de San Miguel de Piura, 1800. Leg 7286:XXV:20.
Luis Mesa. Lt, Mil Discip Cab de los Valles de Palpa y Nasca, 1795. Leg 7285:XX:11.
Pablo Mesa. Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Abancay, 1793. Leg 7284:II:29.
Toribio Mesia Tafur. Capt, Mil Inf Española San Juan de la Frontera de Chachapoyas, 1792. Leg 7284:VI:10.
Bernardo Meza. Alf, Mil de Cab del partido de Santa, 1799. Leg 7286:XXIII:12.(to be continued.)


My Uncle's Resurrection
The Ancient World of My Creator Couple
Olympic Memories
A Yard Sale in Austin

Corpus Christi, Texas circa 1920

A True Story of Alfredo Franco 
by nephew, Norberto Franco-Cisneros


Night had come slowly
Neighbors brought pan dulce and café (Mexican sweet bread and coffee),
Tamales and frijoles boludos (unmashed beans) with tortillas de maiz, 
This was the custom, and so the wake began.

Five year-old Alfredo had been dead for two days
Alfredo had been laid on two crates 
The crates were draped with a white sheet 
A separate white sheet covered Alfredo’s body but not his face
Two candles on tall candle holders were lit on either side
Two small kerosene lamps flickered, casting elongated dancing shadows on
The somber room’s dark mood
A small alter filled with saint icons and penny candles sat on a lone shelf
A wooden Jesus on the cross next to a picture of Jesus, 
His hands clasped in prayer, resting on a rock looking heavenward,
Hung over Alfredo’s head 
Around the sparsely furnished room were wooden folding chairs that
Women sat on 
The men after paying their respects
Went outside to converse, some to imbibe
They did not sit on the chairs inside

Alfredito (a term of endearment for children) had pneumonia for two weeks
The doctor pronounced him dead on Wednesday at 10 A.M.
This was Friday night

My Grandmother, Maria Franco had spent the night at her sister’s home and|
When my Grandmother saw her lifeless son’s little body
Lying on those wooden crates, screamed, 
“He is here! He is not dead! No esta muerto!

I will not mourn for my child
I will not cry for my child
I will not look at my child!”
She pointed at the makeshift cadaver stage and shouted, 
“If HE wants him, HE can have him (referring to God) but
I do not give him up willingly. Take him or leave him to me!
Llevatelo o dejamelo!”

Her eyes stared fiercely at the picture of Jesus. 
Darting to her bedroom, she tore the sheet that covered the mirror. 
In those days, women covered all mirrors when there was a death in the family
She did not cry. Her face was flushed but resolute. Her fists tightly clenched.
Her dark, defiant eyes just stared at her reflection in the oval mirror.

“He is not dead! No esta muerto!”
She repeated it again and again and again,
In between her admonishments at her God,
She prayed.

 Countless minutes were lost, disappeared, gone to the wails and screams of
The mourners who shook their heads in sympathy The men
 continued eating the pan dulce and drinking café 
Some men enhanced their coffee with a little whiskey
While commiserating with Grandmother’s grief.
The women wailed continuously without end 
As is the tradition in Mexican wakes

Some more minutes went by and my Grandmother could be heard for blocks
Screaming obscenities at a God that seemed unfazed, and 
In between her tirades she prayed and was inconsolable,
Torn by the loss she would not relinquish

It seemed an eternity as my Mother recalls but
It actually had been a little while since her tirade began, 
Of course, nobody kept time, but unbeknownst to the gathering 
Suddenly, the five year old Alfredito bolted and sat upright.
He turned his head and looked around the room
My aunt screamed being the first to see him
Everybody in the room with mouths agape
Dropped their saucers of coffee and sweet bread onto the floor
The wailing stopped. Everyone was petrified and silence prevailed.

My Grandmother was the only one who did not seem surprised 
She darted from her bedroom and ran to Alfredito
Picked him up with a strong embrace, wrapped him in the sheet and
Making the sign of the cross on his forehead carried him to her bedroom
She also crossed herself with the sign of the cross as Catholics do
She said the rosary while cradling him and
Fed him a tea mixture meant to calm, soothe and heal and
Praying a special prayer only she knew,
She then gave him a full-body rub with an oiled, small palm leaf
A part of a ritual to rid him of any lingering bad spirits.

My uncle, recently awakened from the dead, 
Laughed out loud when she rubbed his armpits tickling him 
My Mother said in telling his story that the first words he uttered were,
“’Ama, am I ok?” and with the countenance of La Virgin Maria she said, 
“Si mijito, yes, my son, you are ok now,” and
She began to cry.


Every time my Mother told Uncle Alfredo’s story
I imagined that somewhere in the outer reaches of space
Great storms brewed, thunder roared and 
Lightning sheared the darkness of black matter and
There was an uneasy, fitful unrest in the heavens

There had been an enormous battle between
My Grandmother and her God and
My Grandmother had won.
It seems that even a God cannot stand between 
A Mother’s love and her children

For the rest of her life my Grandmother, with much humility,
Prayed and gave thanks to the God she battled
She praised him for HIS compassion and understanding and 
In the end, HIS great gift to her.
My Grandmother died several years later, a legend in the neighborhood.
My uncle lived to be 70 years old.

And this time, he stayed dead.



The Ancient World of My Creator Couple
By Roberto "Dr. Cintli" Rodriguez 

How many times have I spoken to friends who speak of a massive hurt that does not go away because of words left unspoken, because of never having reconciled with ones' parents, because of never having had that conversation? How many times have I heard friends speak highly of their parents and how many funerals have we all attended where the most beautiful of words flow freely but always spoken with a deep regret of never having told them so while they were alive?

Ten years ago, my family celebrated my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. At that time, many of my uncles and aunts on my mom's side of the family still lived. Now, she is the last of the GarciasŠthough there are many cousins. On my dad's side, he has a brother, and
also many cousins. My Dad is 85 and my mom is soon to be 80. Last week, they  completed 60 years of marriage. Due to health reasons, never did I ever believe that there would be a 50th anniversary, much less a 60th.

Last week, my wife and I were fortunate not simply to honor them, but also, to finally have that conversation with them. For me, it came in the form of presenting them my published dissertation which came in the mail last week.

It's difficult to capture in words their reaction. Perhaps at one time they saw me as a bright star at UCLA then life changed. I think they had wanted me to become an attorney. A generation later and years of being nationally syndicated probably meant less to them than seeing my dissertation dedicated to them. But it wasn't simply dedicated to
them; I had that conversation with them about how it was precisely their knowledge - shared with me when I was growing up - that formed the basis of my dissertation.

At five years old, it is they who taught me never to view myself as an lien they also tricked me into never losing my language (they told me that if I didn't eat chile, I would be remanded to the world of monolingualism.)

The morning after I presented my dissertation to them, I found that they had placed it on their altar. With tears in their eyes, they told me that they were but two burros that had produced a doctor of philosophy in the family.  Two doctors, I told them, reminding them that Patrisia had also received her doctorate. And yet, of course, I told them that they were
anything but burros. For me, they are Creator couple and they are wisdom keepers. It is through them that I received not simply the stories and the Huhuetlahtolli (the ancient word), but also, from whom I received the concept of a ceremonial discourse (Centeotzintli: Sacred maiz) of learning from ones' elders.  This conversation is what I have lived for, virtually my entire adult life. The past few years in cold Wisconsin, my greatest fear was that they would pass into spirit world before they could see me finish my doctorate before I could have that conversation with them.  This is what motivates me to write this today.
Patrisia and I once wrote that what are missing in our society are elder honoring ceremonies. I now understand this more than ever: To see their eyes, to feel their hands and to receive their blessings is beyond any words that I could possibly muster.
Perhaps that's why I write; to encourage that we all honor the elders in our midst - parents, grandparents, family, neighbors to honortheir life's journey to honor their stories and to do so while they can still know and understand that their lives have meant something.

One of Patrisia's friends told me once that universities teach you everything except how to be a good human being. And she is right; I learned that from my parents, who have but an elementary school education from Mexico. It was their example and their intellectual contributions that also provided me with my inspiration for relying on elder epistemology or elder knowledge (theirs) for my research. It was their contributions that also inspired me to develop my own diplomas - granted to them and several other elders - for contributing to my doctoral research on maiz.
Just as I had seen the eyes of the other elders in my life - when I presented them the diploma - I now have also seen my own parents' eyes. No more regrets. And no more thank yous are necessary.
(c) Column of the Americas 2008
Rodriguez cab be reached at: or 520-743-0376
Column of the Americas - PO BOX 85476 - Tucson, AZ 85754
Column of the Americas is archived at:

Sent by Dorinda Moreno


Olympic Memories

When  my sisters and I were growing up, a print of this Emmy Lou Packard painting hung in the living room. The Women's Marathon in the Olympics this August brought back memories of the picture.  The medal winners were a Romanian, a Kenyan and a Chinese.

Ted Vincent




By Jose M. Peña  [i]


Having been in Foreign Services for over 30 years, the family accumulated a huge inventory of nice things mostly overseas.  In fact, even after moving back to Texas , we continue to have in our two-car garage many items and unopened boxes.  We don’t even remember what they even contain.  So, we finally decided to have a “huge” Yard Sale and picked a Saturday as the best day.  Expecting it to be fun, it turned out to be a combination of a huge success and a near disaster.  It was --- an experience to remember.  

As the CEO of the Yard Sale, the experience taught me one important lesson: to heed the Oriental (or is it Mexican-American) Proverb: "He/She that controls the Yard Sale Signs controls the Yard Sale."  I don't know if there is such a proverb; if not, I am now minting it because it’s true.  

You really work your butt off to do a yard sale.  There were conflicts of interests within my committee (family members).  As CEO, my sole interest was to get rid of so much junk -- pardon me, stuff -- that had accumulated in the two car garage.  Wow, that place was full.  

On the Friday before the sale, I ran around like crazy and placed the Yard Sale signs in the most strategic places where people could see them.  Immediately after I finished putting the signs, someone stole two Yard Sales signs -- I guess they were thinking of the same proverb.  Anyway, I fooled them, because the next morning (Saturday) I got up at 5:45 AM and replaced them.  

We had set the time for 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Saturday.  So, the rest of the committee started helping to drag things out at 6:30 AM .   Just as we began, the first few customers arrived.  One had the gall to say:  "You are not ready yet."  I told him – in kind words, of course -- come back later.  That was useless advice, all of a sudden thousands and thousand and thousands of customers (ok, this is a slight exaggeration) --began to arrive.  It meant that the Yard Sale signs were working perfectly.  So, remembering the words of a great leader, I said: "…bring them on...."  

And, come they did.  You cannot imagine the number of people that kept coming.  The scene reminded me of an old movie -- "Born In East L.A. "   Cheech  Marin (???), a Mexican American, misplaces his wallet and documents, is caught by the Immigration Department  ("Migra"), and deported to Mexico .  Since the guy does not even speak Spanish, Mexico does not want him.  So, with and without Mexico ’s help, he tries to come back to the U.S. a number of times.  Each time, the Migra would pick him up and throw him out of the country.  At the end of the movie, he appears on the US/Mexican Border, on top of a hill -- all alone.  Three Border-Policemen, guarding the border, sees him at the top of the hill, laugh, and say: "oh, what the hell, it's him again, let's just pick him up and dump him out again." All of a sudden, thousands and thousands of people appear on the horizon behind the guy and start running into the U.S....  This is the size of humanity that seemed to rush to our Yard Sales.

Anyway, all kinds of things began to take place:  

Committee members placed some electrical wires in the wrong place. My wife stumbled and took a fall; luckily, she was laughing and was not hurt.  I did not see the same wires and my feet got tangled up and I took a real fall towards the cement stairs.  Flying through the air with the greatest of ease, my mind reacted and I saw the cement stairs straight ahead.  Somehow I did an acrobatic maneuver in mid-air – comparable to the best Olympiad – landed on my knees, and crashed the stairs with my arms.  I have three quarter-size scrapes on both legs, my wrist and rib hurt, and my sciatic nerve or Spinal Stennouses is acting up once again -- but I saved my head from hitting the cement stairs.  

People kept coming.  I had bought two clothing racks.  We never got to put the clothing on the racks.  Blown by the wind, those silly things kept falling down.  We lifted and propped them up.  They fell down.  We finally said: “…the hell with them.”   People would sift through clothing -- some guy or lady would embarrassingly show off an undergarment, etc.  

The electronic gear that had worked before, did not work properly when it should.  Some guy bid a lower price; he got it.  

People were buying and buying.  The big stuff (nice furniture, nice tables, a Marimba, Nicaraguan Rocking Chair, Egyptian paintings, Stereo Equipment, etc) went quickly.  People seemed interested in all kinds of stuff.  By 9:30 AM , the majority of the things had been sold.  

As the CEO of the Yard Sale, I delegated to other committee members the menial tasks (pricing, sales, cashiering, and dealing with the people).  I took charge of the important things: clean, load, help negotiate, and run errands.  It was why I began to clean the garage (my principal interest).  You cannot imagine the dirt and junk I began to find.  When my committee members were not looking, I kept dumping things in the trash can or the trash bags (don't say anything, but I got rid of many a thing this way).  I was caught dumping things in the trash bags about three times.   Committee members asked me: "what are your doing?" My response: "nottin."  Oh, I knew I was slipping a lie alright; but I did it with a straight face and the best of intentions.  

I also helped with some of the most difficult negotiations.  Here is one example where Client (C) wanted to buy a widget; Director of Sales (DS) wanted to sell; and Me -- I was the negotiator.  The sequence went like this:  C:  "How much for this widget?" Me: I relayed to the DS: "How much?"  DS: "$35."  Me to C: "Offer her $10."  C: Ok.  Me: "He says $10."  DS: No.  $30.  Me "Offer her $15." C: Ok.   DS: No, $25   Me:  "Hey, don't go.  Offer her $20.  He took the widget for $20.   Everyone came out happy with the deal.   C got the widget; DS got some money; and Me -- I got rid of some the stuff.  Ah!  Now you have seen the art and dynamics of negotiations, learned through life’s hard knocks, which is worth of remembering.   In more understandable words, the old Mexican Proverb still holds: “Mas Sabe El Diablo Por Viejo Que Por Diablo.”     

By 10:30 AM , the heat was so intense.  All my committee members were drained and tired.  Wife and son would escape to the coolness of the house.  Me, I was panting in the shade of the garage.  Then, suddenly, my daughter began to give things away.  I saw her doing this and I said "wow, that is really ingenious."  So, I myself began to implement that same concept.   We made a number of kids and people happy.  Later, my son would suggest giving some of the remaining things to the Goodwill or Salvation Army; as CEO, I was proud of that suggestion and patted my back for my ability to delegate authority.  

By 11;00 AM, the heat and sweat became unbearable.  Me, I was sweating so profusely that every part -- and I mean  e v e r y  part -- of my body must have shriveled with the loss of water.   

By about this time, a nephew came by and, seeing the success, offered me the Chairmanship to his mom's future Yard Sales.  That was indeed an honor.  It showed respect for my Chairmanship and Negotiation Abilities.  However, based on the experience and the pain in the Ace of the Yard Sales, the best I could do is to re- delegate the Chairmanship back to him.  

Mercifully, one member (my daughter) mentioned the words: "let's quit."  Others (my son) seconded that motion.  However, the motion never made it to the floor for a vote....  

Faster than Superman and more powerful than a rocket, the Chairman got into the car, ran around and pulled all the Yard Sale signs.  The flow of humanity stopped.  We never made it to 2:00 PM deadline.  Boy, we were all pooped.  When I went to Jack In The Box with my son, we both ordered some food and the guy asked me: "what would you like to drink."   My quick response was "Scotch and Water."  The guy looked at me as if I was crazy.  After that subliminal response, I remembered that it has been close to 25 years since I stopped drinking.   

Laugh all you want, but that newly minted Oriental or Mexican American proverb works:  "He/She that controls the Yard Sale Signs controls the Yard Sale."  Moreover, I am having the last laugh: I hid all the Yard Sale Signs in a safe place ….for the near future.....

[1]  Jose M. Peña is the author of “Inherit The Dust From the Four Winds of Revilla” and other articles.

[i]  Jose M. Peña is the author of “Inherit The Dust From the Four Winds of Revilla” and other articles.


Un Stradivarius by Vicente Riva Palacio 


by Vicente Riva Palacio, abridged by Luis Leal, translated by Ted Vincent

Although almost nothing of the prolific Vicente Riva Palacio has been available in English translation prior to this Somos Primos series, a number of his stories have been read in Spanish by many thousands of North Americans in high school and college Spanish classes that use the anthology of Riva Palacio titled "Cuentecitos." Compiled by professor Luis Leal, and first published in 1944, "Cuentecitos"has gone through many editions.

Professor Leal, now near a century old and retired in Santa Barbara, gave himself the difficult task of rewriting Vicente Riva Palacio so that the stories are readable by beginners in Spanish, and yet not so simplified that the tales lose the meaning. Leal states in his introduction to "Cuentecitos" that to keep the text simple the volume uses only 290 well known Spanish words - plus personal and place names. Leal was aided in his task by his vast knowledge of Latin American literature, having published many volumes on the subject.
Don Samuel es un señor muy rico. Tiene mucho dinero. Tiene una tienda. La tienda de=2 0don Samuel está en México. Es una 
de las tiendas más ricas de México. En México hay otras tiendas como la de don Samuel, pero no tan ricas.

En su tienda don Samuel tiene muchas cosas. Don Samuel tiene mucho dinero porque vende muchas cosas en su tienda. Como es un señor que tiene mucho dinero, también tiene muchos amigos. Algunos de sus amigos van a su tienda todos los días. Otros amigos van muy poco a la tienda. Pero tos=dos los días hay uno o dos amigos en su tienda. Algunas personas dicen que estos señores 
no son amigos de don Samuel, sino de su dinero. Pero nadie sabe la verdad.

Como don Samuel es un señor muy rico, todos los días muchas personas van a su tienda para tratar de venderle muchas cosas. Pero don Samuel les dice que él no tiene dinero.

Un día un señor va solo a la tienda de don Samuel. Cuando ve a este seC3or, don Samuel le dice:

-¿Qué desea ud.?

-Sólo deseo ver algunas cosas para una iglesia.

- Tengo todo lo que ud. desea. Yo vendo muchas cosas a todas las iglesias de 
México. ¿Desea ud. ver otras cosas también?

-No; sólo deseo ver algo para una iglesia. Tengo un tío muy rico en Guadalajara que desea algo para una iglesia.

-¿No le gustan estas cosas que tengo aquí?
El señor que está en la tienda de don Samuel y que desea las cosas para la iglesia de Guadalajara es músico. Como es músico no es rico ni tiene dinero. Tiene un traje muy viejo. Este señor no parece estar muy contento.

El músico tiene en la mano un violín. El violín está en una caja muy vieja. A don Samuel no le gusta mucho el traje del músico, pero no le dice nada porque desea venderle algo. Cuando ve la caja del violín en la mano del músico le dice:

¿Es ud. músico?

Sí señor.

A mí me gusta mucho la música. Siempre voy con mi familia a Chapultepec porque 
allí siempre hay música. ¿Le gusta a ud. la música de Chapultepec?

-Sí señor, me gusta mucho.

-A mí y mi esposa también nos gusta, pero a nuestros hijos no les gusta.

¿Tiene ud. hijos?

-No, señor, no temgo hijos.

Después de decir esto sobre la música, don Samuel le enseña al músico algunas cosas para las iglesias. Al músic o le gustan algunas de las cosas que le enseña don Samuel. Después de verlas muy bien y de decirle a don Samuel cuáles son las cosas que le gustan, pone algunas de ellas en una caja que tiene don Samuel en su tienda.
El músico necesita la caja porque tiene que mandar las coasa a Guadalajara. Después de algunos minutos le dice el músico a don Samuel.

-Deseo estas cosas, pero antes quiero escribirle a mi tío que está en Guadalajara porque no tengo dinero aquí para pagar ahora.

¿Va ud. a escribirle a su tío ahora?
Sí, señor, voy a escribirle ahora porque mi tío desea estas cosas para la iglesia de Guadalajara antes de cuatro o cinco días.
Muy bien. ¿ Desea ud. todas las cosas en esta caja?

Sí señor, mi tío va a pagarle por ellas.

Después de decir esto el músico mira otra vez las cosas que tiene en la caja.
Unos cuantos minutos después le dice a don Samuel:

¿Puedo dejar este violín aquí en su tienda por uno o dos días?

Sí señor, puede dejarlo aquí en mi tienda.

¿Dónde lo puedo poner?
Debe tener mucho cuidado con mi violín. Es muy bueno y siempre tengo mucho cuidado con él porque es el único que tengo.
Sí, voy a tener mucho cuidado con él. En mi tienda nadie toca las cosas que no son suyas.

Don Samuel pone el violín en un lugar donde se puede ver y le dice al músico:
Allí está bien.

Sí, allí en ese lugar parece estar muy bien.
El músico deja su violín en la tienda de don Samuel. Don Samuel mira el violín y piensa: "Este violín es muy viejo y no parece ser muy bueno. Pero no le puedo decir a un señor tan bueno como ete que no deseo tenerlo aquí en la tienda por unos cuantos días. Después de todo, no me va a costar nada tener aquí esa caja tan vieja." Después de pensar esto, toma el violín, lo inspecciona con cuidado y lo pone nuevemente en su lugar.

Los días después, entre las muchas personas que van a la tienda do don Samuel, llega un señor un poco viejo. Es un señor muy rico y bien vestido que desea un reloj para su esposa. Don Samuel le enseña muchos relojes. Después de ver algunos,20el señor rico toma uno de ellos y le dice a don Samuel:

¿Cuánto desea ud. por este reloj?

Cincuenta pesos.

¿Cincuenta pesos? No,cincuenta pesos es mucho dinero.

El señor rico mira otras relojes, pero ninguno le gusta. Cuando mira los otros relojes, también ve al caja vieja del violín del músico. Como ve una caja tan vieja entre tantas cosas tan buenas, le pregunta a don Samuel:

¿También vende ud. violines? ¿Tan bueno es que está en una caja tan vieja?

Ese violín no es mí. Ese violín en esa caja tan antigua es de un músico.

¿Puede ud. enseñarmelo? A mí me gustan mucho los violines.

Don Samuel toma la caja y la pone en las manos del señor rico. Este saca el violín de la caja.

Después de mirarlo con mucho cuidado lo pone en la caja y dice:

-Este violón es un Stradivarius, y si ud. desea venderlo le pago ahora seiscientos por él.

Don Samuel no dice nada. No puede decir nada. No dice nada pero piensa mucho. Piensa en el dinero que puede ganar si le vende el violín del músico a este señor por seiscientos pesos. Pero el violín no es de él todavía y no lo puede vender. Piensa en pagarle al músico unos cuantos pesos por él El músico no es rico ni tiene dinero. El traje del músico es muy viejo y le puede pagar por el violín con un traje. Y si no desea un traje, le puede pagar hasta trscientos pesos. Si paga trescientos pesos por el violín y se lo vende al señor rico por seiscientos, gana trescientos pesos. Ganar trscientos pesos en un día no es nada malo. No todos sus amigos pueden ganar20trescientos pesos en un día. Después de pensar en esto por algunos minutos dice:

El violín no es mío, pero si ud. desea yo puedo hablar con el músico y preguntarle si desea venderlo.

¿Puede ud. ver a ese señor? Deseo tener un Stradivarius y puedo pagar mucho dinero por éste.

¿Y hasta cuánto puedo pagarle al músico por su violín?

Puede pagarle hasta mil pesos por él. Y yo le pago cincuenta pesos más para ud. Dentro de dos días deseo saber si el músico vende o no vende su violín, porque deseo ir a Veracruz y no puedo estar aquí en México más de tres días.
Cuando don Samuel ve que el señor rico quiere pagar mil pesos por el violín, no sabe que decir. Sólo piensa en los trescientos pesos o más que va a ganar. También piensa en el músico. Piensa que el músico no sabe que tiene un Stradivarius. Y ahora sólo desea ver al músico otra vez, para preguntarle si quiere vender el violín.

El señor rico se va de la tienda. Don Samuel, después de unos minutos, toma el violín con mucho cuidado y lo pone en la caja vieja. Después piensa otra vez en lo que va a ganar.

Al día siguiente el músico regresa a la tienda de don Samuel. Le dice que todavía no sabe nada de su tío en Guadalajara, pero que espera saber algo dentro de uno o dos días más. También le dice que quiere su violín. 

Don Samuel toma el violí n y lo pone en las manos del músico. Unos minutos después le dice:

Si no sabe ud. nada de su tío todavía, no hay cuidado, puede dejar aquí esas cosas unos días más. También quiero decirle que si desea vender su violón yo tengo un amigo a quien le gusta mucho la músico y desea tener un violón. 

¿Dice ud. que este violín es bueno?

Sí, señor, es muy bueno y no lo vendo.

Pero yo le pago muy bien. Le doy a ud. trescientos pesos por su violín.

¿Trescientos peso? Por trescientos pesos no lo vendo.

Le voy a dar los seiscientos pesos.

No, señor, no puedo vender mi violón.

Don Samuel, cuando ve que el músico no desea vender el violín por seiscientos pesos, le dice que le da seiscientos cincuenta pesos. El músico después de pensar un os cuantos minutos, dice:

¿Seiscientos cincuenta pesos por mi violín? Y no tengo dinero ni soy rico.

Este violín es todo lo que tengo y no lo puedo vender por seiscientos cincuenta pesos. Pero si ud. me do ochocientos pesos. ochocientos pesos ya es algo.
Don Samuel, antes de decir que sí, piensa por algunos minutos: " Le pago ochocientos pesos a este músico y lo vendo por mil al otro señor. Me gano doscientos pesos. También gano los cincuenta pesos más que me va a dar el señor. Ya son doscientos cincuenta pesos que gano. No está mal ganar todo esto en sólo un día. Ninguno de mis amigos puede ganar tanto dinero como yo en un día". 

Después de pensar en esto, le dice al músico: Aquí están los ochocientos pesos.
Don Samuel saca de una caja ochocientos pesos y se los da al músico. Este toma el dinero y dice: Ese dinero es todo lo que tengo. Para mí ochocientos pesos es mucho dinero. Pero ahora ya no tengo violín. Ya soy rico, pero ahora no soy músico.

El músico mira su violín por última vez y se va muy contento, sin pensar en pagar las cosas de su tío de Guadalajara con los ochocientos pesos. Don Samuel, como está tan contento tener el violín, tampoco le dice nada al músico sobre esto.

Don Samuel espera todo el día al señor rico que va a pagar mil pesos por el violín, pero el señor no vienen a la tienda.
Espera otro día y tampoco llega. Espera dos días más y tampoco. 

Des pués de esperar seis días, don Samuel ya no está muy contento y piensa que el señor de los mil pesos no va a llegar nunca.

Pero cuando piensa que tiene un Stradivarius, está contento porque dice que ninguno de sus amigos tiene un violín tan bueno. Cuando está solo en la tienda, don Samuel tima el violín en sus manos, lo inspecciona con mucho cuidado y dice: "No todos pueden tener un Stradivarius como yo. Yo no soy músico, pero me gusta tener un violín tan bueno como este. Y si deseo, puedo venderlo y ganar mucho dinero."

Un día llega a la tienda de don Samuel un músico que es amigo de él. Este músico sabe mucho de violines.

¿Qué piensa ud. de este violín?- le dice don Samuel, y toma la caja para enseñarle el Stradivarius a su amigo.

-El músico toma el violín en sus manos, lo inspecciona con mucho cuidado y le dice a don Samuel:

-Don Samuel, este violín es muy malo; no vale más de cinco pesos.

- Pero amigo mío, ¿qué dice ud? ¿que este violín es muy malo? ¿que no es un Stradivarius?

- Don Manuel, si este violín es un Stradivarius yo soy Paganini. Este violín no es un Stradivarius ni vale más de cinco peses- le dice el músico por última vez.

Desde ese día don Samuel ya no está tan contento como antes. Siempre piensa en los ochocientos pesos del violín. Ya no va a Chapultepec con su familia porque ya no le interesesa la música. Cuando ve los violines de los músicos piensa en sus ochocientos pesos. Pero siempre tiene el violín en su tienda. A todos sus amigos se lo enseña y les dice:

- Esta lección de música vala para mí ochocientos pesos.
Don Samuel is a very rich man. He has much money. He has a shop. The shop of Don Samuel is in Mexico. It is one of the wealthiest shops in Mexico. In Mexico there are other shops similar to that of Don Samuel, but none as rich.

In his shop don Samuel has many things. Don Samuel has much money because he sells many things in his shop. In that he is a gentleman with much money, he also has many friends. Some of his friends come to his shop every day. Other friends come to the shop rarely. But every day there are one or two friends in his shop. Some people say that these gentlemen are not friends of Don Samuel, only of his money. But nobody knows the truth. 

As Don Samuel is a very rich man, every day many persons come to his shop to try to sell him many things. But Don Samuel tells them that he doesn’t have the money.
One day, a gentleman came alone to the shop of don Samuel. When he saw this gentlemen, Don Samuel said to him.

"What would you like?

"I want only a few things for a c hurch."

"I have all that you would want. I sell many things to all the churches of Mexico. Would you like to see other things, too?"

"No, I only want a few things for a church. I have a very wealthy uncle in Guadalajara who wants something for a church."

"You would not like other things I have here?"

The gentleman who is in the shop of Don Samuel and who desires things for the church in Guadalajara is a musician. Being a musician he does not have much money. His clothing is very old. This man does not appear to be very content.
The musician has in his hand a violin. The violin is in a very old case. Don Samuel does not approve of the clothing of the musician, but he says nothing because he wants to sell him something. When he sees the violin case in the hand of the man, he says,

"You are a musician?"

"Yes Sir."

I like music very much. I always go with my family to Chapultepec because there is always music there. Do you like the music at Chapultepec?"

"Yes Sir. I like it very much."
"My wife and I like it, but my children don’t." 

Do you have children?"

"No, Sir, I do not have children."

After the discussion about music, Don Samuel shows the musician a few things for the church. The musici an likes some of the things shown by Don Samuel. After inspecting them very well, he tells Don Samuel which ones he likes, he puts some of them in a box that Don Samuel has in his shop.

The musician needs the box because he has to send the things to Guadalajara. After a few minutes, the musician says to Don Samuel.

"I want these things, but first I want to write to my uncle in Guadalajara, because I do not have money at the moment to pay now."

"You are going to write to your uncle?"

"Yes, Sir. I am going to write now because my uncle wants these things for the church in Guadalajara before four or five days."

"Very well. Do you want all the things in this box?"

"Yes Sir, my uncle is going to pay for them."

After saying this the musician looks again over the things he has in the box.

A few minutes later he says to Don Samuel

"Can I leave this violin here in your shop for one or two days?"

"Yes, Sir. You can leave it in my shop."

"Where should I put it?"


"You need to be very careful with my violin. It is very good and I always take good care of it, because it is the only thing I have."

"Yes, I will take very good care of it. In my shop nobody touches things that are not theirs." 

Don Samuel puts the violin in a place where one can keep an eye on it, and says to the musician. There, that is good."

"Yes, that is a very good place."

The musician leaves his violin in the shop of Don Samuel. Don Samuel looks at the violin and thinks, "This violin is very old and does not appear very good. But I couldn’t tell such a nice man that he couldn’t leave it a few days here at the shop. After all, it won’t cost me anything to have here this old box." After thinking this, he takes the violin and inspects it with care and puts it back in its place.


In the days that follow, among the many people that come to the shop of Don Samuel, is a gentlemen, who is a bit old, is very rich and well dressed, and who desires a watch for his wife. Don Samuel shows him many watches. After seeing some, the rich gentleman takes one of them and says to Don Samuel.

"How much do you want for this watch?"

"Fifty pesos."

"Fifty pesos? No, fifty pesos is much money."

The rich man looks at other watches, but likes none of them. While looking at the other watches, he sees the violin case of the musician. As he notices the old case, stuck among the many attractive things," he asks Don Samuel.
"Do you also sell violins? How pricey is this one in this old case?"

"This violin isn’t mine. This violin in the ancient case belongs to a musician."

"Can you show it to me? I very much like violins."

Don Samuel takes the case and puts it in the hands of the rich gentleman. He takes the violin from its case. 

After looking at it with much care, he puts it back in the case and says."

"This violin is a Stradivarius, and if you would like to sell it I will pay you now six hundred for it."

Don Samuel says nothing. He doesn’t need to say anything. He says nothing but he thinks a lot. He thinks of the money he could gain if he sold the violin of the musician to this gentleman for six hundred pesos. But the violin is not yet his and he can not sell it. He thinks of paying the musician a few pesos for it. The musician is not rich, nor does he have money. The clothing of the musician is very old and he probably can pay for the violin with a suit. And if he doesn’t want clothing, he could pay up to three hundred pesos. If he pays three hundred pesos for the violin and he sells it to the rich gentleman for six hundred, he has three hundred pesos profit. To gain three hundred pesos in one day is no small accomplishment. None of his friends can gain three hundred pesos in a day. After thinking in this manner a few minutes, he says.

"The violin is not mine, but if you want it I can speak with the musician and ask him if he wants to sell it."

"Can you see this gentleman? I very much want a Stradivarius and can pay much money for this."

"And how much can you pay the musician for his violin?"

"I can pay up to a thousand pesos for it. And there will be fifty pesos more for you. Within two days I want to know if the musician sells or will not sell his violin, but I need to go to Veracruz and I can not be here in Mexico City more than three days."

When Don Samuel hears that the rich gentleman wants to pay a thousand pesos for the violin, he doesn’t know what to say. But he thinks about the three hundred pesos, or more that he is going to gain. Also, he thinks of the musician. He thinks that the musician does not know he has a Stradivarius, and now wants only to see the musician again to ask him if he wants to sell the violin.

The rich gentleman leaves the shop. Don Samuel, after a few minutes, takes the violin with much care and puts it in the old case. Afterwards he thinks again about what he is going to gain.

The following day the musician returns to the shop of Don Samuel. He says that he still has not heard from his uncle in Guadalajara, but that he hopes to know something in one or two days more. Also he says that he wants his violin.

Don Samuel takes the violin and puts it in the ha nds of the musician. A few minutes later he tells him.
"If you still have not word from your uncle, don’t worry, you can leaves these things a few days more. Also if you think that you might want to sell your violin, I have a friend who likes music very much and wants a violin. 

Would you say that this violin is a good one?"

"Yes, sir, it is very good and it is not for sale."

"But I would pay you very well. I can give you three hundred pesos for your violin."

"Three hundred pesos? I won’t sell it for three hundred pesos."

"I will give you six hundred pesos."

"No, sir, I can not sell my violin."

Don Samuel, when he sees that the musician doesn’t want to sell the violin for six hundred pesos, says to him he can give six hundred and fifty pesos. The musician thinks for a few minutes and says,

"Six hundred fifty pesos for my violin? I have not money nor am I rich. 

This violin is all that I have and I am not going to sell it for six hundred fifty pesos. But if you would give me eight hundred pesos, eight hundred pesos, that is something."

Don Samuel, thinks a few minutes before saying yes. "If I pay eight hundred pesos to this musician and I sell it for a thousand to the other man, I gain two hundred pesos. Moreover, I gain the fifty pesos more that I will receive from the gentleman. Already, I am two hundred and fifty pesos ahead. It is not a bad to gain this sum in one day. None of my friends can gain such profit as I in one day" 

After thinking of this, he says yes to the musician, who takes the money and says. "This money is all that I have. For me eight hundred pesos is much money. But now I no longer have my violin. I have become rich, but now I am not a musician."

The musician looks at his violin for the last time and goes out contented, without thinking to use the eight hundred pesos to pay for the things for his uncle in Guadalajara. Don Samuel, being content to have the violin, says nothing to the musician about the matter.

Don Samuel waits all day for the rich gentleman to come a pay a thousand pesos for the violin, but the gentleman does not come to the shop. He waits another day, and he still doesn’t come. He waits two days more, with no result.

After waiting six days Don Samuel is no longer content and he concludes that the gentleman of the thousand pesos will never come.

But when he thinks that he has a Stradivarius, he is happy again because he knows that none of his friends have such a valuable violin. When he is alone in the shop, Don Samuel eyes the violin in his hands, inspecting it with much care, and says, "Not everybody can have a Stradivarius as I do. I am not a musician, but I am pleased to have a violin as go od as this. And if I want, I can sell it and gain much money."

One day a friend of Don Samuel who is a musician arrives at the shop. This musician knows a lot about violins.

"What do you think if this violin?" asks Don Samuel, taking the Stradivarius from its case and showing it to his friend.

The musician takes the violin in his hands, inspecting it carefully and says to Don Samuel,

"Don Samuel, this is a very bad violin, not worth more than five pesos."

"But my friend, how can you say that this violin is very bad. Isn’t this a Stradivarius?"

"Don Samuel, if this violin is a Stradivarius I am Paginini. This violin is not a Stradivarius, nor worth more than five pesos," says t he musician for the last time.

From this day, Don Samuel has not regained the contentment he had before. Always, his thoughts are drawn to the eight hundred pesos of the violin. He no longer goes to Chapultepec with his family, because he no longer has interest in music. When he sees the violins of the musicians he thinks of t he eight hundred pesos. But still he keeps the violin in the shop. And to all his friends he shows it and says,

"This music lesson cost me eight hundred pesos."

Condensed version omits a great many words, such as "ornaments" ( for the church, instead of merely things) "aristocratic" (for the rich gentleman), "legitimate" ( regarding the question of the alleged Stradivarius violin), and the fact that the "tienda" of Don Samuel is a jewelry store. Also, there is the omission in the abridgement of the Jewish identity given Don Samuel in the original. The fact is mentioned frequently, as in "the Jew" said this, "the Jew" thought carefully..

Considering the stereotype of the Jewish merchant as a schemer, the depiction of Don Samuel appears a blunt contrast to the sensitivity on ethnic matters shown in other works of Vicente Rive Palacio. One wonders if Luis Leal omitted the "judio" identity because the word was not in his list of 290 to be used, or could it have been a sensitivity to anti-Semitism, or perhaps both.

The references to Don Samuel taking the family to Chapultepec and enjoying the music are not in the original, which has no mention of Chapultepec. Otherwise, the basic story follows the complete original, which can be found with an internet google for "Un Stradivarius." or from a library that contains the Riva Palacio anthology, "Cuentos del General.".



Part 2 
“Volviendo a Nuestras Raices”


Used by permission

GONZALEZ, The third most popular surname in all of Spain and former Spanish colonies originated in Segovia. The "es" or "ez" added to a Spanish first name indicated "son of." In case, the son of Gonzalo. Gonzalvo comes from a German word meaning to combat with bare arms, that is without weapons.

The name rises to prominence as early as the mid 10th century. As one of the first Visigoth rulers, Count Fernan Gonzalez established the Kingdom of Castilla, as a country independent of Leon. Gonzalez was also the name of a 12th century saint. The Latin and Spanish derived meaning is, son of the good savior.

Among early explorers, we find in 1518 a Diego Gonzalez and Juan Gonzales Ponce de Leo: who entered Nueva Espana with Heman Cortes. Alonso Gonzalez de Portugal and Ruy Gonzalez joined in the Narvaez entrada of 1520. No indication that these men were related.  All were married.

Diego Gonzales married a Cuban native. Juan Gonzales married Francisca de Ordaz, one of eight Spanish women who accompanied the Cortes entrada. Alonso Gonzalez married Isabe Bolanos and became a merchant in Mexico City. Ruy Gonzalez was an alcalde ordinario of Mexico City for 1533 and served as a regidor from 1534 to 1550.        /

ANTONIO AURELIO GONZALEZ, a Corona, California resident traces his earliest roots to MARCOS GONZALEZ-HIDALGO, a colonizer born circa 1560, from Logrono, Spain. Marcos married Mariana Navarro circa 1585 in Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico. A study of surnames found that by the year 1600, 65 men bearing the Gonzales name were living in the northeastern part of Nueva Espana.

MARCOS GONZALEZ-HIDALGO managed a hacienda and also had a cart train in Saltillo Coahuila, Mexico. He had two sons, Marcos and Bernave. Bernave's son, Bernave, founded Hacienda de San Jose, today called Villa Juarez, within the jurisdiction of Cadereyta Jimenez, Nuevo Leon.                                      

Mr. Gonzales has been able to trace himself back to a Bernave Gonzalez-Hidalgo married to Josepha de Trevino in Cadereyta Jimenez, circa 1670. Since Bernave, the son of Marcos Gonzalez-Hidalgo had many children and had settled in Cadereyta, Mr. Gonzalez believes it is from that Marcos that he descends. Although he has not been able to find the documents to prove the connection to Marcos, Mr. Gonzales stated emphatically, "I will. Researching myancestors is a never ending delight."

In doing his family history, Mr. Gonzales expressed great personal insight. "I have developed strong feelings for my ancestors, a sense of belonging. Prior to this venture, I did not think of who I was. I have found my identity. I am very proud of my ancestors. They wrestled with and survived the frontier. I know it was their strong faith which strengthened them."

The gradual migration to California began in 1894 when Mr. Gonzalez' Grandfather Jose first crossed into Texas for work. Returning in 1906 to Mexico, Grandfather Jose married Aurelia Gauna in Monterrey, moved to Nuevo Laredo, then to Austin, Texas. Grandfather Jose bought a ranch outside of Stockdale, Texas in 1912, but died in 1918 during the influenza epidemic. Mr. Gonzalez parents Antonio Gonzalez and Francisca Frausto, married 1931 in San Antonio, Texas, and moved to California in 1946, after the second World War.

FAMILY RESEARCHER, Antonio Aurelio Gonzalez, a barber, stated proudly. "My family traditions helped me raise my sons, Antonio and Zachary. Both obtained university degrees and are married." Mr. Gonzalez is married to Dina Castro whose ancestors also came from Coahuila, Mexico.

FAMILY SURNAMES on Mr. Gonzalez's pedigree: Cantu, Villarreal, Mantolbo, De La Fuentes, Flores de Abrego, Perez, Garcia, Rodriguez.

Compiled by Mimi Lozano (c) 1992. Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research.  Published, Orange County Register’s Spanish language Excelsior November 11, 1992, second in the series called: “Volviendo a Nuestras Raices”. 

Editor: Tony Gonzalez is the father of Antonio Gonzalez, Executive Director of William C. Velasquez Institute and President of  Southwest voter Registration Education Project.


OC Register Seeking family stories for Hispanic Heritage Month
Sept 7th: Die de la Familia, Westminster
Nov 8: Honoring Mexican American Military 
California Healthy Marriage Coalition
Proposition 8, Definition of marriage
LULAC Tenth Annual Scholarship Awards Reception


Hispanic Heritage Month: Seeking family stories

What is the legacy of your family in Orange County?
The Orange County Register

Nearly all of Orange County's families came here from somewhere else, Latino families among them.

For Hispanic Heritage Month, which begins Sept. 15, the Orange County Register will publish in print and online the stories that our readers submit about their families.

Stories about immigrant parents and grandparents. About families with longtime ties to California and the Southwest. About Latinos born here and abroad, from Mexico to the Caribbean to Tierra del Fuego.

Here's what we ask:

Send a .jpg photo of the person or people you're writing about. Be sure to identify who is in the photo, where and when it was taken, to the best of your knowledge. And send along a photo of yourself.

Answer these questions:

Tell us the name of the family member or members you're writing about.

Where did they come from, and when? Where did they settle in Orange County, and why did they come here? Tell us what you know about them.

What challenges or obstacles did they face and overcome?

What is their legacy? What did you learn from their experience that you carry with you, to this day?

You can write long or short, from 250 words to 1,000.

Email Ron Gonzales, a Register editor, at If you have questions, please call 949-454-7334.

Ron Gonzales
Orange County Register
(949) 454-7334

Editor:  Dear Primos, this is a great opportunity to share our family story with the community.  Many of you were born here, or came while you were children.  You could prepare a story on your parents, or your children could prepare the story of their grandparents, or you.  Please, please, let us surprise the Register with an avalanche of wonderful families stories to be shared during Hispanic Heritage Month, 2008.  



SEPT 7TH:   

Dia de la Familia is hosted annually by the Westminster City Council, this “Day of the Family” provides  an opportunity for residents and surrounding communities to participate in a cultural celebration of family and friends. The event is held at Sigler Park, 7200 Plaza Street, on Sunday, September 7th at 1:00 p.m.

Entertainment Schedule

·      1:00 WELCOME

MC – Lupe Fisher



·      1:35-2:00 GUILLERMO AGUILAR (Solo)


·      3:00-5:00  DE NADA BAND

  NOV 8TH < save the date

Latino Advocates for Education hosting at Cal State University, Fullerton 
For more information, go to 

Marriage Education
California Healthy Marriage Coalition
OC Marriage & Orange County Marriage Resource Center

In Orange County $338 Million per year is spent to help repair the effects of divorce in Orange County.  Orange County is one of many counties throughout California benefiting from the Federal appropriation that funds the Health and Human Services - Administration for children and Families Healthy Marriage Demonstration Grants.

Through a wide variety of Marriage Education and Relationship Skills classes available at the California website,, thousands of people each year learn how to strengthen their marriages and families.  Over the past five years, the number of divorce filings in Orange County has fallen by 8.8% which saves local taxpayers $32.6 Million.  And it saves their kids from years of problems in school, problems with their peers, problems with substance abuse and early pregnancies, and numerous other difficulties that would complicate their lives and cause turmoil in the community. 


As a California resident, are you aware of 
Proposition 8
 on the ballot 
to maintain the current definition of marriage? 

Click for more information.



League of United Latin American Citizens

Westminster Council # 3017
Tenth Annual Scholarship Awards Reception
August 12, 2008

Abrazar Community Services & Education Center
7101 Wyoming St. Westminster , CA 92683

Steven Flores                           UC Berkeley                                 Business/Law
Mildred Jara                             UC Irvine                                         Economics
Ricardo Medrano                     CSU Long Beach                                  Biology
Fernanda Gallo Moreno        Chapman University               Physical Therapy
Joanna Gallo Moreno              CSU Long Beach                  Nutrition/Dietetics 

Laura Ponce                             University of the Pacific           Biology/Spanish
Maria Ponce                             CSU Fullerton                                      Spanish

Left to Right: Joanna Gallo Moreno, Steven Flores, Ricardo Medrano, Laura Ponce, Maria Ponce, Fernanda Gallo Moreno, Missing is Mildred Jara   Photo enhanced by Ignacio Pena

Seven students received scholarships, each recipients received a check just under $800.00. 

Among the guests were Tri Ta, City of Westminster Councilman, (left) congratulating the two Ponce sisters, each of whom was awarded a scholastic scholarship.  Sergio Contreras, is a Board member of the Westminster School District, and also a very active member of LULAC Council # 3017.  

Another special guests was Vera Marquez, who spoke concerning the 50 years during which  she has served in some capacity of LULAC, from local councils, to state, and national officer.  "I was a skinny little 16 year old.  I didn't know anything, but the leaders helped me along the way. 

Vera Marquez surprised Gloria Reyes, Director of the Abrazar with a California state medal recognizing the years in which Abrazar started within a little house to the current schedule of services that includes after school care, dental services, meals and activities for seniors, plus the new capacity now to transport those in need of transportation to doctor appointments, groceries, etc..


Here Gloria (standing), shares a photo album which traces the continuing expansion of services with Yolanda Moreno, mother of students Fernanda Gallo Moreno and Joanna Gallo Moreno. Vera Marquez is on the right.  

Scholarship funds are gathered by the sale of tamales at Westminster City events, such as the City wide July4th celebration, City summer concerts, and Dia de la Familia.

Lft to rt: Leonor Barajas, Cristina Villasenor, president, Nipps Barajas, Lupe Fisher, Gene Fisher, Robert Cerda, Serna, Sergio Contreras, Westminster School Board, Yolanda Moreno.

 LULAC Booth, July 4th Westminster City Festival 2008, California


Sept 4-11: Rafael Amargo, Tiempo Muerto
Sept 20: Pio Pico State Historic Park
"Los Pobladores" article now at Wikipedia
Reference List to Haciendas in Los Angeles

The Black/Brown Dialogues: “Lives at the Intersection”
Off the Streets and Onto the Rugby Pitch

Sent by Mª Ángeles O'Donnell Olson


Location: Pio Pico State Historic Park - Whittier, CA
6003 Pioneer Blvd, Whittier CA, 90606
For more information: (562) 695-1217 ex 104

                                                      6:00 - 8:00 p.m.                                                         

Bring your own chair or blanket.
Food and drinks available.
Sent by Robert Smith  Rsmith1022

Image:Mission San Gabriel 4-15-05 6611.JPG
Mission San Gabriel Arcangel in San Gabriel, California
Often referred to as the "Godmother of the Pueblo of Los Angeles,"

"Los Pobladores" article now at Wikipedia 

Hello Fellow Cousins:  
In our attempt to expand the history and knowledge of "The Los Pobladores" to the public, I have placed an article at "Wikipedia". I hope it will simply explain our heritage.

Thanks; Alfred "Ed Moch" Cota

V.P. LP 200

Table of contents



By Dan A. Joseffini

Lorri Frain  writes: "Here is a really neat web site regarding California old adobes, ranchos, and some missions."



There are more than forty-two adobes in Los Angeles County and vicinity.  Most are open for visits to the public on weekends. A few are private homes and are closed to the public.  Some are replica abodes.  I recommend that while driving between haciendas (adobes) envision how sparsely populated the area was when very few people lived in Los Angeles.  This will give you a geographic perceptive of the population at that time.  Adobes were positioned for logistical reasons of protection and transportation (like the Mission system) to be traveled in a one-day ride from each other.  They also had to be near water but not to close to a dry riverbank for fear of occasional flooding (Los Angeles River).  Adobes were mansions of their day only for the rich.  Like royalty relationships between the first hacienda families of California intertwine like a grape vine.  Visiting the adobes of Los Angeles will help give you a better understanding of the past.  Across the nation and the globe, California has special meaning to everyone.  Commemorate Her past and celebrate Her future by visiting these extraordinary adobes and learn more about the people who lived in them.



The Black/Brown Dialogues: “Lives at the Intersection”
Through September 7, 2008

Avenue 50 Studio, Inc. 131 No. Avenue 50. 
Highland Park, CA 90042. 323/258-1435. 

Avenue 50 Studio, Inc. Presents: Nathanial Bustion Continuing with our Black/Brown Dialogues: Melly Barragan · Nathaniel Bustion · Pamela Davis · Jan Jackson · Jacobo Ramirez · Oscar Sanabria · Curated by Dr. Gerda Govine Ituarte, Ed.D.

The Avenue 50 Studio is proud to present “Lives at the Intersection,” an exhibit featuring multi-media works of art by six Los Angeles artists.  The works are as diverse as the artists.  Many of us live at the intersection of bi-racial, bi-cultural, intra-cultural and immigrant realities.  Black/Brown relationships are stretched across a racialized domestic and international landscape sprinkled with preconceived stereotypes. Our exhibit focuses on a “value added” (strength and benefit) perspective regarding the spaces created at that intersection.  Each artist created a space for conscious dialogue exploring commonalities and possibilities. They capture moments shaped by their experiences and truth, and invite the audience to consider the multi-faceted opportunities.
Mely Barragán is one of the best contemporary artists in Mexico whose multi-media work has been exhibited in shows throughout Europe, Mexico, the U.S.: New York, Pasadena, San Diego; and Tijuana.  Selected sites include the San Diego Museum, Galeria H&H, Cornerhouse and Bronx River Art Center. Her work is original and creates thought-evoking, spirited and diverse dialogue.  Mely tackles women’s issues and even the street mechanics’ Muffler men from Tijuana.  She will create numerous installations for “Living at the Intersection.”

Nathaniel Bustion is a painter, sculptor, educator, philosopher and poet.  His work is universal and stretches across Africa, Asia, Europe, South America and North America.  The images he creates are extraordinary and holds your attention and takes your breath away.  Nathaniel is considered perhaps one of the most gifted African American artists who continue to create visions that transcend time and place touching one’s spirit and senses again and again.   

Pamela Davis, photographer, was born and raised in East Los Angeles.   She exhibited at Pomona’s Millard Sheets Gallery, Pasadena Art Walk, and One Colorado.  She attended Cal Arts and, Otis Art Institute.  Pamela was awarded Honorable Mention in the 2004 International Photography Awards.  Her photographs are beautiful and illuminates everyday sightings. Pamela’s work is a gift for viewers to behold and leads to endless discovery.

Jan L. Jackson is owner of Captured on Canvas Portrait and Design Studio.  She is a multi-media artist who prefers creating portraits working with oils.  Expressing movement and capturing “moments” is the heart of her creations. Pamela produces a range of images from women with flowing white summer dresses on the beach, weddings, and family togetherness.  Jan created artwork for “Lives at the Intersection.”

Jacobo Ramirez is an emerging artist who creates artwork using multi-media, woodcut, photography, acrylic, drawings, installation to make space for discourse across diverse peoplescapes and landscapes focused on solutions and different ways of being.  His work is grounded in observations and experiences  growing up in South Gate and attending UCLA.  He exhibited his work in group shows in Los Angeles.  Jacobo is producing some original artwork for “Living at the Intersection.”

Oscar Sanabria is a long-time East Los Angeles resident and descendent of Guatemala.  He exhibited locally and internationally at Tropico de Nopal, Pharmaka, San Francisco Art Institute, Self-Help Graphics and in Japan. He grew up and experienced diversity first-hand and was intrigued by the “other.”  The theme of identity is woven throughout Oscar’s work which is dramatic and thoughtful.  And, at the same time, his work startles and welcomes.

Sponsored by:  Myra Booker, Ph.D.; Sandy Bleifer, Artist; Lisa Boags, Documentary fillmaker (Tuskegee Airmen); Eleanor Brownn; Christina and James Cook, M.D.; Joann Edmond; Ruthie and Attorney Joe Hopkins (Publishers of the Pasadena San Gabriel Valley Journal); Lara Larramendi; Alex and Jaylene Moseley; Attorney Angela Oh; Rebecca S. Rojas, Ph.D.; Linda Rose, Ph.D. (Cerritos College); Shirley Spencer; Professor Jack Turman, Ph.D. (USC); Attorney Carolyn Williams; and COFAC.
The Black/Brown Dialogues:  Lives at the Intersection is 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.

Off the Streets and Onto the Rugby Pitch

Friendly Competition Has Fierce Effect on Lives of Troubled Kids
By Martin Bashir, July 18, 2008 

The city of Hawaiian Gardens, east of Los Angeles, sounds like a holiday resort. But few people come here on vacation. The population, which numbers just 15,000, has been plagued by gang violence and racial tension. 

Now, middle-school and high-school kids from one of the most dangerous suburbs in America are getting out of the gangs by playing a game that isn't American at all  rugby. And they say it's changing their lives. 

"It's an alternative to gangs," explained Jesse Ortiz, one of the players on the team. "Most of us would be dragged into gangs or influenced. Instead of being out there on the streets like the gangs are doing, we're here playing rugby." 

It's a way for these kids to meet on a level playing field. 

"It don't matter what race you are," said another teammate. "We're just here to play." 

A third member of the team agreed. "There's no race like black or Mexican. We're just one color: "green, rugby." 

Sport Has Saving Power 
So what's the allure of this full-contact sport? For one thing, getting a great hit on an opponent can be a rewarding sensation. 

"It feels good," said Antonio Gutierrez, one of the players. "It's the best feeling ever. I let a lot of my anger out  a lot." 

It was that anger that inspired Ernie Vargas, 56, a gang prevention coordinator, to introduce them to the new sport of rugby, a precursor to football that originated in the U.K. 

Vargas says gang membership in the city of Hawaiian Gardens starts early and is widespread. "You might have a neighbor. You might even have a brother, sister, cousin or relative" that is part of a gang, he said. "Some even maybe have parents or a step-father, mother, somebody that used to be involved in it." 

What does life in a gang membership look like for these young people? 

"It means you're going to back up your neighborhood," Vargas explained. "If I'm with three or four guys and we run into some other guys from another neighborhood, we're all committed to back each other up and fight. They could possibly be willing to be in a situation where they could die for it." 

Hawaiian Gardens was once mostly Latino but that began to change in the mid-'90s as more black families moved into the city's low-cost housing developments. The worst outbreak of violence occurred in 2005 when African Americans were randomly shot at, on the sidewalks. 

The British Import 
A year later, Vargas introduced after-school rugby training to the community. The kids had to overcome some cultural hurdles. After all, the rules of rugby are very different to those of football. Players can keep the ball moving even after they're tackled. They can only pass the ball back or sideways, and there are scrums and line-outs. 

The sport has proven popular among the kids.  "I think it's the camaraderie that you get, the togetherness that it brings," Vargas said. "Only rugby brings that. I've played football and basketball. You have an opponent. You play the game. The game's over. You shake hands  no social contact with the other team." 

Vargas said this sport is different. "In rugby, you play the game, clap the other team off, shake hands. Then we sit down, have some water, coke or drink, and some pizza and chips, shake hands. Then the kids get around and talk to each other from other teams. The team who is hosting serves lunch." 

Game On 
In their first season, the Hawaiian Gardens Eagles played exhibition matches against other local teams, winning seven games and losing four. And then, in 2007, they joined the Southern California league. 

What is it like going from this small, relatively poor district to some of the more affluent places? 

"Very uncomfortable," Antonio explained, "because we live in the ghetto  honestly, we do  and we're going to them high-class neighborhoods." It wasn't easy leaving their home turf, but the team says that winning means respect. 

"On the way home," Antonio said, "we knew we had their respect. We came home with pride. I did, by just knowing that we beat them at their own sport." 

Mack Levao, 18, said, "Once we beat them, we felt like we can do anything. So we come over here. I don't want to say this is the ghetto, but it's a gang, you know one of the gang cities. We go over there and they think we're the ghetto-ass kids, that we're the bad people. And then when we beat them, we get their respect. They give us the props, you know, that we deserve. And it makes us feel good when we come back home." 

On Home Turf 
The sport also has a profound effect at home. "When I was younger, I got into a lot of problems," said Gonzalo Rios, 16, a rugby player who served time as a juvenile. "I went to jail, assault and battery. I don't know. I just didn't care." 

He credits rugby with helping him keep to the straight and narrow. "First of all, I could have been shot up. I could have gotten arrested again for some little thing. I mean, right now, I'm still on probation, but I'm doing real well." 

His teammate, Alvin Phan, agreed, "During the beginning of the year, my grades fell and because I wanted to play for this team, I achieved my first 3.0 ever, so that's a good thing. And it's also allowed me to take down my shell and talk to more people." 

This season, gang prevention coordinator Vargas decided to start a girls' team, too. And once again, at the top of the agenda is breaking down the barriers. 

"We don't see it as different races, we see, 'Oh that's my brother, that's my sister. We're all here to play rugby, we're all here to win,'" explained a member of the new girls squad. 

That means teamwork. She added, "So you can't say, 'I'm not going to pass the ball to her because she's black or I'm not going to do that because that person is Mexican.' It's just like everyone's the same on the team." 

The Payoff 
Last month, the Hawaiian Gardens Eagles had an end of season celebratory dinner. Parents and players were invited and the city council hosted the event. 

Incredibly, both of the boys teams Vargas started had finished the season undefeated  and the girls, in their very first season, won the championship outright. 

But more than a winning season, there's a winning strategy. It's a strategy that has enabled kids to run away from gang violence. And all of them wanted to acknowledge the contribution of Vargas, their coach and mentor. 

A member of the boys' team said, "Rugby has kept me out of the street. It kept me out of gangs. If it wasn't for Ernie and rugby, I probably would have been laying there somewhere. I probably would have been locked up, too." 

"Basically, Ernie saved my life," another player said. "All of us, all of us here. I mean, I don't live with my parents, but like, I'm still up here. I don't let any of that stuff bring me down. Ernie's just always there for us. We go eat together, do everything together. I love Ernie, man." 

Coach Vargas responds to the affection and appreciation his rugby players have for him with marked humbleness. "Well, I think, as a coach, I hope I've made a difference. I don't know," he said. "I'm just here for them. I'm glad I could be here." 

John Estrada, one of Vargas' players, summed up his experience playing rugby with the Hawaiian Gardens Eagles, saying, "It's a team sport and to be a team, you have to work together. When we work together, we're just like a family. And being a family, you can't hate each other, you have to love each other." 

Copyright © 2008 ABC News Internet Ventures

Sent by Willis Papillion


Heritage Discovery Center
Sept 20-21 Early San Diego Regional History Conference
Grants for Documentary Film, Video, Radio and New Media
Sept 5: School the Youth, on the Truth: One Dream 2009
California Healthy Marriages
Support Living Indian Museum
The Sutro Baths
Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana
Peña Andaluza en California

Heritage Discovery Center

                              September Update  

Times have been changing in the economic welfare of our state and our country. And as such, while the state is in flux, our progress towards opening the Museums is temporarily put on hold while the Department of Parks works through their setbacks.  However, here at the Discovery Center , this is now become the time for us to power ahead and further prepare for when the state is ready. Right now that means a focus on heavy networking with our Hispanic community and enhanced training and presentation and preservation on our herd of Wilbur-Cruce Colonial Spanish Horses as they carry with them the history of our heritage through the centuries.

These horses are a direct remnant of the horses of the Golden Age of Spain, which type is now wholly extinct in Spain . The Colonial Spanish horses are therefore a treasure chest of genetic wealth from a time long gone. In addition, they are capable and durable mounts for a wide variety of equine pursuits in North America , and their abilities have been vastly undervalued for most of the last century. These remarkable and beautiful horses are  from a genetic pool that has heavily influenced horse breeding throughout the world five centuries ago and now has the opportunity to bring back to our current breeds what has been lost throughout the ages.  Note the  color pattern on the stallion that Queen Isabel of France is mounted on. This is an example of genetics lost through years of breeding,  as it is now unfound in our modern-day Spanish Horse. Our Wilbur-Cruce horses carry the same color genetics as these age old paintings display on the royal horses, thus one of the many reasons to reach back to them.

Even before Roman times, the Iberian or Spanish horse was the envy of the world. The Greek poet Homer mentioned them in the Iliad, written around 1100 BC; the great Greek cavalry officer Xenophon, in 450 BC, praised "the gifted Iberian horse" for helping Athens defeat Sparta ; and in the third century BC, Hannibal used Iberian cavalry to defeat invading Romans many times. In 1066 AD, William the Conqueror rode an Iberian horse for his invasion of England . A Classical Master, the Duke of Newcastle, noted ‘Spanish Horses are the most intelligent, the most handsome and the most noble in all the world' and he found only one fault, that of ‘Having too good a memory; because it uses this to govern itself and to anticipate the will of the rider.'

M. de la Guérinière, praised as one of the supreme masters of classical equitation of all times, whose methods are applied unaltered at the Spanish Riding School, Vienna and may be seen there in daily use, declared; ‘the Spanish Horse is better than any other horse because of its agility, its resilience and the distension of its rhythmic movements ... the best of all horses for the manége, by reason of their agility, their strength and the natural cadence of their gait; and for war on a day of battle because of their courage and obedience

So we are currently working with Vaqueros and Classical Masters to help train our exceptional horses to better exhibit our past culture through them. Doma Vaquera , La Garrocha and Working Equitation is our primary focus to show that this is the original and true all-around-horse.

Doma Vaquera riding, prior to February 1983, was known in Spain as Doma Espanole de Compo, which literally means “cowboy riding.” Its origins date back centuries to when cattle roamed the rolling grasslands of Andalusia , Spain , and men riding horses had to tend to them. Today, the fenceless countryside of Spain is devoted to agriculture, and what few cattle remain are primarily those raised on the fighting bull ranches. On these ranches, as in many western states in the USA , cowboys still work the cattle on horseback—a big difference being that in Spain , they are not working placid domestic cattle, but aggressive fighting bulls.    

On these ranches, there are only two types of horses and cowboys—very good ones, and very dead ones. As opposed to Doma Vaquera, which simulates the actions of bullfighting, the workaday handling of cattle is celebrated in the art form of La Garrocha. The toppling of cattle from horseback for branding, injections, and so forth, is not done in Spain with a lariat, which is an American innovation, but with a long pole known as a garrocha. This jostling technique for downing cattle descends directly from the methods used by Spanish mounted warriors for unhorsing their enemies in ancient warfare. Just as the skill o f team roping is perfected and preserved in rodeo competitions in America , the skill of downing cattle is preserved in Spain with a competition known as Acosta y Derribo, which translates as “pursue and knock down.”  

Working Equitation - As the name implies, the recent addition of this all-inclusive discipline to the international stage pays tribute to those horses employed to perform a working role in everyday agricultural life.
Obedience (dressage), versatility (obstacle course) and speed (another, different obstacle course) are the three mandatory tests demonstrated in competition, although a fourth category, working cows, is included as an option where location and facilities allow. The discipline is a conceptual masterpiece, and a wonderful marriage between English and Western riding which encourages the perpetuation of national and cultural identities of the participants.

 It is practiced equally by boys and girls, men and women of all ages and at all levels, and the tack worn by the horse must compliment and be consistent with the style of dress adopted by each rider.

Honoring the discipline's roots, a great many riders choose to wear the costume of bullfighting picadors, with tight pants and bolero jackets for the men, and full-length riding culottes for girls and women, topped with black sombreros


What the training in these disciplines will do is educate through entertainment, who our ancestors were and how from the time they first sailed to the shores of the Americas and swam ashore with their faithful mounts they grew through the ages and became who we are today, all with the help of these treasured horses.  

And as all of this sounds wonderful and inspiring, and it is, we have to face our long-time immediate dilemma. For months now we have been requesting your help to feed these genetically endangered horses. Every month hay prices are dramatically rising because of the loss of growers. In January of this year you could find alfalfa hay for $180-$200 per ton. Now in September, just 8 months later, we’re hard pressed to find decent hay for less than $320 per ton. We feed 16 tons per month, that’s $5,100, which adds up to over $60,000 a year, and that’s without counting on the raise in prices. And this is JUST for hay, this does not include the thousands of dollars that go out every month for veterinarian visits, bedding, wormer, supplements housing, maintenance and training.  

This is a pivotal segment of your heritage, your family’s heritage, your state’s heritage and your countries heritage and it is in serious jeopardy of being lost forever. So, if you want to preserve the honor of  this noble equine heritage, then we need you to step up and become a part of this project. It simply cannot be done without your help and support.  So please see our website at, or simply follow this link: . You can also mail your tax-deductible donation to: PO Box 1286 Madera , Ca. 93638. For further information please contact Celeste Yantis at .Thank you for  assisting us with this rare and worthy cause.  Written by Celeste Yantis 


2008 Early San Diego Regional History Conference

September 20 at Mission San Diego de Alcalá
September 21 at Mission Trails Regional Park and
Cabrillo National Monument

Gain greater awareness of our beautiful region and rich history!

Sessions highlighting a variety of aspects of San Diego before 1848: 
" The lives of Kumeyaay, the Mission Indians, explorers and early San Diegans,
" Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo's crew in the 1500's,
" The region as the Kumeyaay and early immigrants found it, 
" Tour the Mission San Diego archeological dig with the lead archeologist, 
" Indigenous classical musicians and Californiano music, 
" Reconstructing the galleon San Salvador: Cabrillo's Ship of Discovery, 
" Engaging students in history-Exciting ways to teach history.

Informal conversations with presenters and descendents of the first San Diegans.
Prizes and gifts such as chocolate, goodie baskets, books. Local student artwork. 

When and Where: Registration at 7:30 am on Saturday, September 20, 2008, at Mission San Diego de Alcalá. Keynote speaker at 8:00 am. 
Sunday: At 9:00 am Mission Trails Park At 1:00 pm, Cabrillo National Monument.

Who should attend: All interested in the San Diego region (Southern to Baja California) and how the world affected San Diego then and now.  
Why attend?
To have fun and learn about our region and our diversity, 
To meet fascinating people-descendents of the first Americans and earliest immigrants-and connect with people and resources to enjoy San Diego. 

Sessions will be led by historians, archeologists, artists, musicians and other scholars. A fiesta with presenters and descendents of old San Diego residents will conclude Saturday activities. For more information, call Angela at 619-423-7248 or email  or Sally at .
Early Registration: $25 adult, $50 family. After 9/5/08, $35 adult, $60 family. Send check made out to Early San Diego Regional History Collaborative, 7431 Rainswept Lane; San Diego, CA 92119.
Name _____________________ Address _______________________________
Email _____________________ Phone #s___________________________ 8/3/08

One of our keynote speakers will be Dr. Joseph P. Sánchez, Superintendent, Petroglyph National Monument and head of the Spanish Colonial Research Center at the University of New Mexico.  He will also present a session the "The Catalonian Volunteers and the Establishment of San Diego, 1769-1771."  I hope you and your readers will join us at this second annual conference to focus on our antepasados.

Angela García-Sims, Ph.D.

Facilitator, Early San Diego Regional History Collaborative

Cellular:  619-709-2062 Land Phone:  619-423-7248


Grants for Documentary Film, Video, Radio and New Media

  The California Documentary Project, a joint program of the California Council for the Humanities and the Skirball Foundation, supports projects that document the California experience and explore issues of significance to Californians. Film and radio documentaries can apply for Production grants up to $80k or Research & Development grants up to $10k. Interactive web-based projects can apply for New Media grants up to $25k. Projects must approach the subject matter from the perspective of the humanities and enhance our understanding of California and its cultures, peoples and histories.

Please see for grant guidelines and a list of previously funded projects. For more info contact DEADLINE: October 1, 2008.



"School the Youth, on the Truth: One Dream 2009" 
Sept 5, 2008 
6-9 pm, Barrio Station, San Diego

One Dream 2009, Madrina and Padrino Circle, invite all to join with us in celebrating our 40 years of collective efforts, and who now introduce the young of our communities to the brave grouping of undocumented students, One Dream 2009, in their courage of duplicating their efforts across the nation in this crisis of the ICE redadas and the End Game which is bringing havoc to our communities and which we support in assisting in launcHing of this imperative national campaign.

Fuerza Mundial, Hitec Aztec Communications
"We Are The Ones We Have Been Waiting For!'
One Dream 2009

The "ONE DREAM 2009", students have launched an extensive campaign to negotiate with legislators of the US as well as with the ones of their Countries of origin, for reaching a positive agreement that will allow them to obtain: 
1) double citizenship; 
2) to properly achieve with their studies, 
3) to help their families to obtain citizenship in order to be reunited with them. 

We conclude this communication, sharing with you the conviction that all of us, especially our Youth, with our cultural duality, language and knowledge, possess the sensitivity that empowers us to be conscious of our responsibility to assume our role of Ambassadors of Peace towards the reconstruction of a visionary nation living in solidarity and harmony with our Sister Nations, banishing discrimination and racist interests from a corporate economy that needs the labor of our sister and brother laborers. 

To achieve it, it is vital to support the enthusiasm of our Youth as they fulfill such a historic role bestowed upon them, so that they can be instrumental in the birth of a society based on the ideals of justice, equality and respect for human dignity. 

In conclusion, we wish to convey our respectful, fraternal feelings, trusting that your answer will be favorable to inviting the presence and participation on your media forum.


Dorinda Moreno & Associates, 
1130 E. Clark Ave, #150-136, Orcutt, CA 93455, 805 934-3884

Board of Directors; Madrina-Padrino Circle
Partial list:
'Madinas' y 'Padrinos' mentors: Fuerza Mundial / We Are The Ones
Ernesto Nava Villa (the last living son of Pancho Villa)
Armando 'Dr. Chili' Ayala, Retired Educator, Innovator, Bilingual Studies
Enriqueta Vasquez, Author, Nurse, Health, 
Alfonso 'Luis' Diaz De Leon, Veterano, La Raza Unida Party
Dr. Robert Robinson, Salud, Black-Brown Unity
Gloria Vasquez Camarillo, La Raza Unida, Veterana
Maria Guardado, El Salvador, Sobreviviente de tortura's, Esquadrones de Muerte
Yolanda Miranda, Peace and Freedom Party
Jesse 'Warrior Woman' Garcia Peters, Red Wind, Lakota
Esteban Delgadillo, Advisor, Board of Directors, Fuerza Mundial; El Dorado Institute
Guadalupe 'Mazatzin" Casas Acosta, Maestro, Azteca Yolokalli
Georgia Boyd Quinones, Master Conflict Negotiator
Deyanira Garcia, Costa Rica/Dominicana, Rhode Island
Dolores Sanchez MSW, Ajijic, Jalisco
Virginia Lea PhD, Babatunde (Global Musician)
Sadie Williams (Building Alliances Coaching)
Patricia Lazalde, Semillas y Raizes, Artista
Gracia Molina de Pick, 50 year border activist, Retired educator, Author 'Benito Juarez', Mujeres de Mexico, and spokesperson for Fuerza Mundial 'We Are The Ones'

California Healthy Marriages Coalition


Kids thrive in families where their parents have a healthy marriage.  Sadly, most couples don't know what it takes to have a healthy marriage.  This can be devastating for their kids.  Plus, it costs taxpayers a bundle.  Each divorce is our country hits taxpayers with an extra social services burden of $30,000 per divorce.  Across America, the social cost of divorce is estimated to be $112 Billion each year. 

The United States Department of Health and Human Services has funded programs to help families and save communities from the much greater cost of family breakdown.  Funds were identified as funds for Children and Families Healthy Marriage Demonstration Grants.  For the results of marriage education programs in Orange County, click.

As a California resident are you aware of 
Proposition 8
on the ballot to maintain the current definition of marriage? 

Click for more information.


Support Living Indian Museum on Alcatraz & Golden Gate National Recreation Area

The National Park Service cares for special places saved by the American people so that
all may experience our heritage.  
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area [GGNRA] (that includes Alcatraz, Crissy Field and Fort Baker) is in the process of developing a General Plan, which is a vision of the park for the next generation. A Concept Paper has been submitted to GGNRA to propose a "Living Indian Museum System through Civic Engagement." In short, it is proposed that a Living Indian Museum System be established at GGNRA which consists of an "Alcatraz Island Intertribal Living Museum" and a
California Indian component. The California Indian component will have two sites, one in the Crissy Field/Presidio area dedicated to the Ohlone/Costanoan and a second in Fort Baker to honor the Coastal Miwok people. The key to the development of the museum system and
curriculum being, "Civic Engagement" or public involvement.    

July 30, 2008 is when the General Plan planners want to start to working on the next phase of the project, so right now is the time! We need to let the planners know how much the Indian community wants both an Intertribal presence for Alcatraz and a California Indian presence
for GGNRA. However they will continually accept input after that date. Please spread the word to every & any one who would be interested in supporting a Living Indian Museum System at the GGNRA. Please send emails of support to: goga_gmp@...

- The Living Indian Museum:
The Living Indian Museum celebrates "Living Indian Cultures" and embraces the culture as a whole, not just the "artifacts." Through Civic Engagement the Golden Gate National Recreation Area would work directly with Tribal and Community Museums to enable them to "Tell Their Own Story." The Living Indian Museum concept is an enlighten museum approach that accomplishes many positive things: address and counter 'institutional paternalism,'contributes to 'Indian cultural preservation' by empowering the Native communities to tell their own story, while providing the
visiting public with a superior first hand educational experience.
- Telling Their Own Story:  
The GGNRA through Civic Engagement   would enable Native communities to "Tell Their Own Story" by providing them with a space and expertise, thus creating a Living Museum. GGNRA
could suggest a thematic architecture, but ultimately it is up to the  Tribe to determine what subject matter and techniques they need to tell their story. Suggested themes could be: 1) Our Ancestors: Pre-Contact,  2) The Dark Cloud: Contact with Europe, 3) Survival and Adaptation,  4) We Are Still Here: The Living Culture. Tribes may choose any combination of themes, or select a single theme. The Tribe could use any combination of techniques to share their story such as
storytellers, living history demonstrations, hands on replicas, interpretive panels, real artifacts, audio-visuals or computers.
- A Living Indian Museum System:
There needs to be more than one Living Indian Museum at the GGNRA due to the diverse nature of the Native Bay Area, California and American Indian cultures; plus the profound significance Alcatraz Island has in the Indian world. The Living Indian Museum system would consist of two facilities (Alcatraz & California Indian Living Museum), with one facility containing two sites.  Each site would have multiple gallery areas to accommodate more than one exhibit at any one time. With the multiple gallery concept, it provides a chance for many Native communities to "Tell Their Own Story."

Ranger Jose Rivera
Alcatraz Island
Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Fort Mason, Building 201
San Francisco, CA 94123
Email: jose_rivera@...
Voice: 415-561-4912
Fax: 415-705-1050
 Sent by Dorinda Morena 



SAT. NOVEMBER 1st , 2008

2:00pm - 4:00pm  
Free Program


Guest Speaker: John Martini, noted author, historian, retired National Park Ranger at the Marin Headlands District of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Fort Point, Alcatraz, the National Maritime Museum, the Presidio of San Francisco, and a fourth- generation San Franciscan native, will share his fascinating research on The Sutro Baths.

For more information: California State Library Home Page: 
480 Winston Drive , San Francisco , CA 94132 Telephone: 415-731-4477  
Phone (415)682-2060   Fax   (415) 557-9325



The Grijalva, Yorba, Peralta, and Sepulveda Families

 by Diann Marsh, from Santa Ana, An Illustrated History, 
©1994 Heritage Publishing. Excerpt used with permission.

A Spanish land grant that lay entirely in what is now Orange County, the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana, became the location of the city of Santa Ana. The rancho was the home of two of the oldest families in California, the Yorbas and the Peraltas. Consisting of 62,516 acres, the rancho extended along the east bank of the Santa Ana River from the mountains to the sea. Settled early enough to provide homes for the third and fourth generations of the Yorbas and the Peraltas, it was eventually the location of at least 33 historic adobes. C. E. Roberts (W.P.A. Adobe project, 1936) considered it to be one of the very best examples of the California rancho.

The name is derived from two camp sites of the famed Portola expedition which passed through Orange County in July of 1769 on its way toward Monterey. Santiago stands for Saint James the Greater who was an apostle and the brother of St. John. July 29th is Saint James' Day. Santa Ana was named for Saint Anne, the mother of the Virgin Mary. Saint Anne's Day is on July 26. The rancho was known by various names before the American Commission decided on its official name in 1868. The petition of Yorba was for the "Paraje de Santiago", which meant Santiago Place. Sometimes the rancho was called just "Santiago" or Santa Ana de Santiago.

The Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana stretched northerly for 25 miles, from the ocean to the mountains. Its western boundary followed the southeast bank of the Santa Ana River. The property was bow-shaped, being two and a half miles wide at the ocean end and six and a half miles wide in the middle. The land comes to a rounded point on the north end. Located midway along the southern border of the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana, Red Hill is the point where three famous ranchos come together. From the top of Red Hill you can see lands that once belonged to the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana, the Rancho San Joaquin, and the Rancho Lomas De Santiago.


An adventuresome soldier from Sonora, Nueva Espania ("New Spain"), Juan Pablo Grijalva, and his son-in-law, Jose Antonio Yorba, are thought to have grazed cattle in the Santiago Creek area in the 1790s. (Before Mexico was established in 1820-21, Sonora was part of the Spanish territory called Nueva Espania. The Sonora area is now part of Mexico.) Grijalva is considered to have been in this area as early as 1784. He lived with his family in San Diego, but he is known to have built a house on the banks of the creek in 1796. It was probably used as a base for the Grijalva and Yorba cattle operation in what is now northern Orange County. In 1801 he filed a petition in San Diego, requesting a title to the land. His request read:

"The distance I ask is from the banks of the Santa Ana River toward Santiago, that portion which is along the high road embracing an extension of a little more than a league. The stream being above, from the highway to the house will be about a league and a half; from there to the mountains about three leagues; and toward the south I ask as far as Ranas (Cerritos de las Ranas) which will be about a league and a half."

Grijalva did not get title to the land in his lifetime but he did get grazing rights in 1801. A map filed with the claim shows three houses on the land located in what is now Olive, West Orange and in the El Modena-Villa Park area. The latter adobe is said to have been the adobe of Juan Pablo Grijalva and is considered to have been the first house constructed in the Santa Ana Valley. The foundation stones of the adobe can still be seen at Hoyt Hill, north of El Modena, above Santiago Creek. It is not thought that Grijalva actually lived full time in the adobe, since it is believed that he lived primarily in San Diego. Born in Sonora, Mexico in 1742, he enlisted in the army in 1763 and became a career soldier. He died in San Diego in 1806, four years before Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana was granted to his son-in-law, Yorba and Jose's cousin, Peralta.


Also with Portola in that important expedition of 1769, was a young corporal named Jose Antonio Yorba. He married Maria Josefa Grijalva in San Francisco on May 17, 1782. Their first three children were born in the Monterey area while Jose Antonio was in the army. In 1789 the family moved to San Diego after he had been assigned to the presidio there. Eleven more children were born to the family between 1789 and 1810. Juan Antonio retired from the army in 1797 and, with his father in-law, Juan Pablo Grijalva, he began grazing cattle on the land that was to become Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana. When Jose Antonio Yorba, along with his nephew, Juan Pablo Peralta, applied for their land grant they were required to get permission from Grijalva's widow, Maria Josefa. On July 1,1810, Governor Figueroa granted the 62,516 acres to Jose Antonio Yorba and Juan Pablo Peralta.  


Again, we have the relationships between the first families of California intertwined like a giant wisteria vine. Juan Pablo's father, Gabriel Peralta, married Maria del Carmen Grijalva in San Francisco in 1784. Juan Pablo, born on October 27, 1785, was named after his maternal grandfather, the aforementioned Juan Pablo Grijalva. A few years after Juan Pablo Peralta married Ana Gertrudes Arce on August 24,. 1804, he brought his young family to the Santa Ana Valley, settling along the south side of the Santa Ana River. The small settlement he built on a rise above the river was called Santa Ana Arriba. He and his uncle, Jose Antonio Yorba, were the first to construct an irrigation system using the water of the Santa Ana River. Although the Peralta family had gardens, vineyards, and fruit orchards for their own use, most of their income came from cattle raising.

The Yorba and Peralta families, along with the Indians, dwelt upon the lands and did not seem to mind the communal ownership. There were four informal divisions of the huge rancho. The Peraltas occupied the upper canyon while the Yorbas lived near Burruel Point at the mouth of Santiago Creek. Some of the Indians lived in the area of Upper Santiago Creek. The Mission, along with the Indians attached to it, occupied the coastal mesas. The small clusters of adobes were surrounded by gardens, vineyards and sections of tilled fields. Adobe walls were built and live willow brush fences planted to keep out the wild livestock that roamed the area.  


Don Bernardo Antonio Yorba is remembered most for his huge adobe he built in Santa Ana Canyon. It was said to have been one of the finest adobe homes in California. Bernardo, the third son of Jose Antonio Yorba I, was born August 4, 1801. He helped to develop the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana, but in 1834 received a grant of his own further up the Santa Ana Canyon, where he built a large adobe house. He named his ranch Rancho San Juan Cajon de Santa Ana and his new house San Antonio, after his favorite saint. The 13,328-acre grant contained some truly beautiful land. When traveling the Riverside Freeway through Santa Ana Canyon, look to the north to see the meandering Santa Ana River, the trees along the valley floor, and the hills and canyons which rise to the north.

This was once Don Bernardo's land.

The spacious two-story adobe housed not only the large Yorba family but also many retainers. Estimates of its size range from 50 to over 100 rooms. Approximately 20 of these rooms were occupied by artisans and tradesmen who worked at the rancho. There were, at one time: four woolcombers; two tanners; one butter-cheeseman who supervised the milking of 50 to 60 cows each day; one harness maker; two shoemakers; one jeweler; one plasterer; one carpenter; one major- domo; two errand boys; one sheep herder; one cook; one baker; two washerwomen; one woman who did the ironing; four seamstresses; one dressmaker; two gardeners; a schoolmaster and a man to make the wine.

Also, there were more than 100 "lesser" employees. Some of these persons lived at the ranch, while most of the Indian workers lived in a nearly village of their own. There were two orchards and some plots planted to wheat. It took an average of 10 steers a month to supply the needs of the people who lived on the ranch. The vineyards and crops were irrigated by water from ditches dug from the Santa Ana river.

Bernardo Antonio Yorba married Maria de Jesus Alvarado, the daughter of Xavier Alvarado of San Diego, on April 16, 1823. In the five years between her marriage and her death, Maria gave birth to one son and three daughters.

A year after Maria de Jesus died, Bernardo married 15-year-old Felipa Dominguez, daughter of Juana and Mariano Dominguez. As Bernardo expanded his home and his rancho thrived, the family grew by 12 more children. Sadly, Felipa died after having given birth to her twelfth child, Filepe, on September 8, 1851.

The next year Don Bernardo took Andrea Elizalde as his third wife. The marriage was conducted by proxy and the 22-year-old bride was 29 years younger than her new husband. He remained at his rancho while a friend traveled to Los Angeles to take the marriage vows at the Plaza Church.

Andrea, who was the daughter of Juana and Nicolas Elizalde, and Don Bernardo had four sons, Francis, Bernardo, Xavier, and Gregorio. In 1858, at the age of 57, Don Bernardo died, leaving behind a large and prosperous rancho, including approximately 37,000 acres of land and over $100,000 in assets. Eighteen years later, in 1875, his widow sold the square league she and her children had inherited for $3 an acre to John Bixby. Of the 20 children born to Don Bernardo and his three wives, most survived into adulthood, got married, and had families of their own.

There were hundreds of descendants of Don Bernardo. His influence was felt throughout Southern California.


C.E. Roberts, in the 1936 W.P.A. volume entitled Adobes, divides the adobe on the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana compounds into seven groups:

1. Grijalva Adobe
2. Olive or Old Santa Ana Group (7 buildings)
3. Peralta Group (9 buildings)
4. Fletcher Group (3 buildings) Represented by the T. D. Mott or Fletcher Adobe

5. Jose Antonio Yorba II Group (4 buildings) Represented by the Rodriguez Adobe 6. West Santa Ana Group (5 buildings) Jose Sepulveda (El Refugio)
7. Old Fairview Group (3 buildings) Gabe Allen Adobe

Much of the information about the adobes and the families that lived in them is lost in time. The actual location and physical appearance of many of the adobes is probably the biggest problem to solve because as each family decided where to settle, they simply picked a spot on the 62,516 acres of the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana not already occupied by one of their relatives and built their house and corrals. Probably the most interesting rancho was El Refugio, whose most well-known occupant was Jose Andres Sepulveda. The Bates Adobe, located north of Seventeenth and Bristol, has added significance because it was also the site of an Indian village. The Julian Chavez Adobe, of which we know very little, is shown on the map as being west of the Santa Ana River, and north of First Street, at approximately Fifth Street. The Rodriguez Adobe is important because it was located at a ford of the Santa Ana River and at the convergence of the important trails in the Santa Ana Valley.


Some of the most dramatic and exciting events of the rancho days happened at El Refugio, in what is now West Santa Ana. For those who picture the Santa Ana Valley as lifeless and deserted until William Spurgeon purchased the land for his new town in 1869, the legacy left by the Spanish ranchero owners comes as a surprise.

Domingo de La Resurreccion Yorba, born in March 1826, inherited El Refugio from his father, Jose Antonio Yorba II, after his death on January 19, 1849. Five years later, in 1854, Domingo sold his house and his interest in the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana to Jose Andres Sepulveda. the owner of Rancho San Joaquin. Terry Stephenson, in Shadows of Old Saddleback says "The Sepulveda ranch house, called El Refugio...was the gathering place for many a fiesta, many a rodeo, and many a fandango."

Jose Andres Sepulveda, who was living on the Rancho Bolsa de San Joaquin by 1836, seemed to leap from one adventure to another. He had a home in downtown Los Angeles, in addition

to homes on the San Joaquin (which became the Irvine Ranch) and, after 1854, at El Refugio. Saddleback Ancestors notes that Jose Andres became famous for the extravagance of his fiestas and the excellence of his race horses. Money from his productive ranch properties flowed into his hands but flowed out again almost as quickly, thanks to his penchant for gambling and unrivaled hospitality.

The eldest son among the 12 children of Don Francisco Sepulveda and his wife, Ramona Serrano, Jose Andres Sepulveda spent a great deal of time in Los Angeles, where he was involved politically for several years. By 1851 he was the owner of 102,000 acres of land in Los Angeles County, including his holdings in what is now Orange County. He became very prosperous as a result of the increased need for cattle during the gold rush days.

Don Jose's greatest love was horses and horse racing. He owned hundreds of horses and loved to ride. The race between an Australian mare, Black Swan, and Pico's stallion, Sarco, will go down in history as one of the most legendary races of Southern California. Held on March 1, 1852, the race inspired much excitement among early California residents and, according to Thomas D. Mott, almost everyone living between San Luis Obispo and San Diego attended. Black Swan won the nine-mile-long race, which took place in Los Angeles, by 75 yards.

Robert Glass Cleland notes in The Irvine Ranch that "the wagers included twenty-five thousand dollars in cash,...five hundred calves, and five hundred sheep."

After the race Don Jose bought Black Swan and took her to San Joaquin. Within a year the mare stepped on a nail, contracted lockjaw, and died.

Referring to Sepulveda's purchase of El Refugio, Cleland reports in The Irvine Ranch that "...In 1854 Jose Sepulveda paid Domingo Yorba, one of the largest claimants (to the Rancho Santiago de Santa Ana) $6,000 in cash, 100 heifers, 50 steers, and 50 fillies for his share of land and livestock...Domingo Yorba and his wife thus conveyed to Jose Sepulveda 'the land of the Rancho Santa Ana where they, the grantees, at present live to where the River of the said Rancho of Santa Ana runs, including the houses, corrals, and fences to them belonging."

By the time Jose Andres and Francisca moved to the adobe at El Refugio, they were the parents of at least 14 children, ranging in age from three to 27 years of age.



Life was not all fun and games for Don Jose. He had to spend considerable time and money proving his land claims before the courts. He went into debt, borrowing money at huge interest rates. The floods of 1861-62 were followed by the drought of 1863-64. The scorched hills and valleys of the Santa Ana Valley were covered with the corpses and bones of thousands of cattle. Even the great swamp, Cienega de las Ranas, was dry.

As a result of these circumstances Don Jose was unable to keep up the payments on his mortgage. He sold his vast holdings on the Rancho San Joaquin to James Irvine, Llewellyn Bixby and Thomas Flint. He kept the 1,000-acre El Refugio, however, spending time there with his horses and his memories. A fire in 1871 partially destroyed the old adobe home. In 1873 he gave El Refugio to his family and moved to Caborca, Sonora, Mexico. He died there on April 17, 1875. In 1876 Mort Hubbard tore down the last remnants of the great El Refugio adobe.

There appear to be no existing photographs of El Refugio. It has been described as el-shaped and quite pretentious. E.P. Stafford recalls, in the W. P. A. book, Pioneer Tales, that the Sepulveda family "lived in one of the adobe houses located about a quarter of a mile east of Bristol Street and about the same distance south of First Street. The main living room was on the north. There was an annex extending to the south which was used first for help and then as a storeroom and a harness and saddle room, and at last a room for horses."

The 1,000 acres upon which El Refugio sat was located west of Bristol and south of First Street; however, historians disagree as to the actual location of the adobe compound. Some accounts place the house at First and Sullivan streets while others claim the adobe and its compound were at Artesia and Myrtle streets. Artesia is now South Raitt. Three old streets upon which several pre-l900 houses survive are Daisy Avenue, Franklin Street, and Artesia (now Raitt) Street. A 1913 map shows them all ending at Myrtle Street. The adobe was supposed to have been on the south side of Myrtle. On the other hand, the southeast corner of First and Sullivan is the location of a General Electric pumping plant which could have been the site of the prolific spring shown on the early map.

© Santa Ana Historical Preservation Society  Designed by: Intotality, Inc.
Sent by Eva Booher 




Peña Andaluza en California
Promoting the Culture of Andalucia, Spain
http:// www. 


La Peña Andaluza en California is a registered California Non-Profit Organization founded in 1990 based in San Diego. Our goal is to promote the culture, arts, and way of life of the provinces of Andalucía, Spain. The Spanish Consulate in Los Angeles officially recognizes us. In addition, we are the only Organization in the USA recognized by the Government of Southern Spain, as being promoters of Andalusian Culture and traditions, in this country.

The flamenco group of the Peña Andaluza includes singers, dancers and guitarists and have been featured in the America´s Cup celebration in San Diego, the annual Cabrillo Festival, the Fort Guijarros Museum foundation annual Fiesta, Christmas on the Prado at Balboa Park, the Gala performance of the opera Carmen with Plácido Domingo, the reception in honor of The Infanta Cristina de Borbón, daughter of The King of Spain, the Horton Plaza Lyceum Theater, representing Spain in the, "Celebrate the Nation", program, presented by the San Diego Dance Alliance, the International Friendship Festival of El Cajon, The Parade of the Day of the Hispanidad, , The Rose Parade, Pasadena, United States International University, the Recital Poético, "Nights in the Gardens of Spain" with the San Diego Symphony Orchestra and Angel Romero, the Los Angeles "Grammy´s Festival 2001", the Las Fallas de Los Angeles, Marina del Rey, plus festivals in the City of Orange, Long Beach, Santa Monica, Carson, Huntington Beach, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Tijuana, Miami, and others.

The Peña Andaluza is associated with the Federation of Houses of Spain in the State of California, the San Diego-Alcala Sister City Society, Museum Foundation, the Balboa Park. The Chamber of Commerce of San Diego, The Academy of Spanish Fine Arts of San Diego, and The City of El Cajon 

We encourage you to contact us for any information regarding Andalucía, Spain. Including cultural events, music and dance performances and in general any subject area related to Southern Spain.

We celebrate more than twenty cultural activities a year.

Best wishes. 
Charo Monge R. President
1628 Fern Street San Diego, Ca 92102 
Ph. (619) 234-7897 
Fax (619) 231-1942

Event Examples: 

Viva Mexico (Homage to the Mexican Tradition)
An entertaining exploration of the colorful tradition and rich culture of Mexico, where the horse has played an integral role for centuries. Admire the skill of the Mexican equestrian women of the Escaramusa Team and the Mexican Charros, as they perform with Pure Spanish Horses. We are honored to have riders from as far away as San Francisco and Las Vegas featured in our grand exhibition of dancing P.R.E. horses and live music. Professional singers on horseback pay tribute to the Pure Spanish Horse. Assist in the selection of Señorita Feria del Caballo Español 2008! These beautiful girls are competing for the Grand Prize, representing our show at the largest equine event in the world, SICAB 2008, in Seville, Spain in November.

Viva Feria (Enjoy with the Entire Family)
An unforgettable and fabulous evening of family-oriented events that continue to highlight the majesty of the magnificent and noble Pure Spanish Horse. Watch tomorrow's generation of horse enthusiasts, young riders (ages 7 to 17), demonstrate their horsemanship skills. Dance to live music by professional artists. Other events include Alta Escuela exhibitions by well-known California trainers, performances by a traditional Mexican dance group, and the second round of Señorita Feria 2008. 

El Caballo Rey De Reyes (King of Kings)
This final celebratory party will make you and your family feel like royalty as we share our passion and admiration for the elegance and nobility of the Pure Spanish Horse. Notable personalities from the P.R.E. Horse World and Guests of Honor join us from the United States and abroad, including Central America and Spain. Tonight we recognize the prizes won by participating breeders. The entertainment includes traditional Flamenco music accompanied by a wonderful Flamenco dance group, the final selection and coronation of Señorita Feria del Caballo Español 2008, and an amazing presentation of cobras, which are groups of mares tied together at the neck and shown by one handler.

Also on Sunday evening, we will be hosting the Hon. Don Ezequiel Peña, who will perform with his beautiful Spanish Horses. The California P.R.E. Horse Breeders invite you to join us in honoring Don Ezequiel Peña for his outstanding contribution in promoting the Pure Spanish Horse, and to recognize him as the Feria del Caballo Español Ambassador of the Pure Spanish Horse in the Americas. In turn, Don Peña will represent Feria del Caballo Español 2008 in November at SICAB 2008.

©2008 Feria del Caballo Español
Site Design:

Sent by the Honorable Maria Angeles O'Donnell Olson


Arthur Chin
Arthur Chin
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
October 23, 1913 - September 3, 1997

Arthur Chin 
Place of birth Portland, Oregon 
Allegiance Canton Provincial Air Force, National Revolutionary Army 
Rank Major 
Battles/wars Second Sino-Japanese War 
Awards Distinguished Flying Cross 
Major Arthur Chin (Chinese: ???; pinyin: Chén Ruìtián; Cantonese: Chin Shui-Tin; October 23, 1913 - September 3, 1997) was an American pilot and a Second Sino-Japanese War fighter ace.

Chin was born in Portland, Oregon to a Chinese father of Cantonese origin and a Caucasian mother of Peruvian background. Motivated by the Japanese invasion of China, Chin enrolled in flight school in 1932. Along with 15 other Chinese Americans, he left for China and joined the Guangdong Provincial Air Force as the first and original group of American volunteer combat aviators, and ultimately integrated into the central government's air force under the KMT. After completion of additional aerial-gunnery training in Munich Germany, he returned to China for combat duty in which successfully destroyed nine enemy aircraft between 1937-1939. In 1939, while flying a Gloster Gladiator, the fighter in which he scored most of his aerial kills, he was hit by enemy fire and forced to bail out of his burning aircraft, and although he parachuted to safety, he suffered serious burn injuries. Nevertheless, after several years of surgery and recovery, he returned to China in 1944 to fly supplies over the Himalayas, a route known as the "Hump".

Chin is now recognized as America's first ace in World War II. A half-century after the war ended, the U.S. government recognized Chin as an American veteran by awarding him the Distinguished Flying Cross. About a month after Arthur Chin died, on October 4, 1997, he was immortalized at the Hall of Fame of the American Airpower Heritage Museum in Midland, Texas as the first American ace, and an officially recognized Chinese American World War II hero.

On January 29, 2008 Congressman, Representive David Wu (D-Oregon) introduced House Resolution 5220 to name a United States Post Office in Beaverton, Oregon after Major Arthur Chin as the "Major Arthur Chin Post Office Building", it was unanimously approved House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. President Bush signed it into law on May 7, 2008 ? [1] [2] [3]

Sent by Rafael Ojeda 


Sept 5-6th: 6th National Convention of Mexicans Abroad 
Sept 6: 3rd
Perea Encuentro de Medicina Tradicional

6th National Convention of Mexicans Abroad Organizations
September 5th - 6th. Las Vegas Nevada

More Info: Rafael Abdo Call us today!  626-305-8477

Clik on the image below and visit our website



3rd Annual Doña Predicanda Perea Encuentro de Medicina Tradicional 
Saturday, September 6, 2008
Westside Community Center at 1250 Isleta Blvd., SW, 
Albuquerque, NM 87105
(505) 452-9208
Greetings Amigos y Amigas,

Saludos from all of us at Kalpulli Izkalli. We are a grassroots, intergenerational, resource and action center that has been working in the South Valley in helping to transform the health and environment of our community, since 1996. Our programs include a donation based traditional medicine clinic, the Topakal (House of our Medicine) run by a collective of women, Promotoras Tradicionales, who promote community healing and empowerment thru traditional healing practices. In 2008, the Promotoras Tradicionales began an apprenticeship program. In appreciation of the many blessings handed down to us by our elders, at this year's Encuentro, we will be honoring young apprentices and healers with our theme, Passing on the Knowledge to the Next Generation.

The gathering will include Aztec and Native American ceremonial leaders and dancers conducting Blessing / Healing Ceremonies in honor of local community healers, Mexican healers, Native American Healers and young and apprenticing healers, as well as talking circles to "pass on the knowledge to our next generation." There will be more than 30 healers from New Mexico and Mexico offering therapeutic massages, sobadas tradicionales, limpias (spiritual cleansings), Reiki (energy healing), acupuncture, Earth baths, and other healing modalities. High blood pressure screenings, diabetes screenings, a Children's tent with fun activities, information booths, talking circles and informational presentations, and food and entertainment by local talent will be a part of the festivities on that day.

If you are interested in providing any additional support other than listed above, we truly appreciate your time and commitment. You can donate on line at If you would like more information or have any questions please contact us at 505-452-9208 or at

Thank you again for making all this possible and know that it is more than an act of charity, but an expression of the belief that together we CAN make a difference. With our deepest gratitude we thank you in advance and appreciate your generosity. Know that this work has touched the lives of hundreds of women, children, and families in our community.  If you would like more information or have any questions please contact us at 505-452-9208 or at




Floyd Red Crow Westerman
Native environmental hero: Jesus Leon Santos
Man recalls time at Indian School in 1920 
Lost Connection
Who's Pushing Dope to Destroy Indigenous Youth?
to Indigenous Mexico, Jalisco: a Land Forgotten 

Honoring Floyd Red Crow Westerman:  In December we lost our longtime friend. IFH hosted a memorial dinner with over 400 people attended in memory and honor of Floyd and all of his contributions to the Bay Area Indian Community. 

Contact us at 510-835-1955 or
Intertribal Friendship House • 523 International Blvd • Oakland • CA • 94606 files/2008/05/2008-goldman
Photo credit: Will Parrinello and Jim Iacona

Native environmental hero: Jesus Leon Santos
Recipient 2008 Goldman Environmental Prize for sustainable development  

Rick Kearns / Indian Country Today , July 25, 2008

Jesus Leon Santos of Nochixtlan, Oaxaca, Mexico, and an indigenous farmer, used ancient Mixteca traditions to conserve more than 4,000 acres of farmland, prevent massive soil erosion, increase local farm productivity, create more economic growth and plant 2 million trees. He was awarded the $150,000 Goldman Environmental Prize for sustainable development for 2008. 

NOCHIXTLAN, Oaxaca - In one of the most barren regions in the world, an indigenous farmer using ancient Mixteca traditions helped to conserve more than 4,000 acres of farmland, prevent massive soil erosion, increase local farm productivity, create more economic growth and, among other things, plant 2 million trees.  

For these efforts and others, Jesus Leon Santos of Nochixtlan, Oaxaca, Mexico, was awarded the $150,000 Goldman Environmental Prize for sustainable development for 2008.  

The prize, awarded each year in April, was started in 1990 by philanthropists Richard N. and Rhoda H. Goldman to annually honor grass-roots environmental heroes from Africa, Asia, Europe, islands and island nations, North America, and South and Central America. It recognizes individuals for sustained and significant efforts to protect and enhance the natural environment, often at great personal risk. Each winner receives an award of $150,000, the largest award in the world for grass-roots environmentalists. Santos was this year's winner for North America.  

''Jesus Leon Santos leads an unprecedented land renewal and economic development program that employs ancient indigenous agricultural practices to transform this barren, highly eroded area into rich, arable land,'' according to the Goldman Award press statement. ''With his organization, the Center for Integral Small Farmer Development in the Mixteca [CEDICAM], Leon has united the area's small farmers. Together, they have planted more than one million native-variety trees, built hundreds of miles of ditches to retain water and prevent soil eroding, and adapted traditional Mixteca indigenous practices to restore the regional ecosystem.''  

In a series of presentations he has made in the U.S., Central America and the Caribbean since the award, Santos has recounted the circumstances leading to the environmental disaster of Mixteca - known as one of the most severely eroded areas on the planet, according to the United Nations - and how he and a group of Mixteca neighbors began the process that lead to this achievement.  

''It was 25 years ago when we realized we were experiencing a severe ecological crisis that was causing poverty, malnutrition and migration,'' Santos recalled. ''We regret that our ancestors left our lands so deteriorated. The Mixteca region was severely damaged by the exploitation of our natural resources that came with the colonizers.''  

According to natural history sources, Santos' home region looked very different before the Spaniards arrived.  

The Mixteca Alta region of Oaxaca - named for one of the indigenous peoples who live in that region - had originally been the home of oak forests and shrublands as well as large fields of corn, beans, squash, chiles, tomatoes, potatoes and various fruit trees. By the time Santos was born in 1966, much of the region had been damaged by huge goat farms, first introduced to the area by the Spanish colonizers, and, later, tequila processing plants, among other industries. This area, according to Santos, ''was a desert, with no water, nor plants, nor trees, nor anything.''  

Further damage was done to the area by the adoption of modern farming procedures that required large amounts of chemical fertilizers. The growing of chemical-intensive varieties of corn in the 1980s depleted the soil even more and Mixteca farmers found their yields dropping as well. On top of these difficulties, the farmers suffered even more economic hardships as local maize prices fell as a result of the North American Free Trade Agreement. With cheaper corn coming from the north, their local prices were pushed down and the farmers could no longer afford the new fertilizer and pesticides that the new varieties demanded. The migration out of the area increased as well, along with the amount of land falling into disuse and more erosion. The loss of arable topsoil and other nutrients led, according to the Goldman press release, to erosion of about 83 percent of all the land in Mixteca, with 1.235 million acres considered severely eroded.  

Meanwhile, government officials kept pushing the newer techniques. Santos however, knew enough to look back to his Mixteca ancestors for answers to questions about how to prevent the loss of soil and water, as well as how to detoxify the area and the diet of the community. He started with trees that have been grown in the area for centuries.  

In the early 1980s, Santos and a group of local Mixtec farmers banded together to form CEDICAM, a democratic organization devoted to reforesting the area and stopping the erosion. They started with the planting of local varieties of trees, mainly the native ocote pines.  

''The trees prevent erosion, aid water filtration into the ground, provide carbon capture and green areas, contribute organic material to the soil and provide more sustainable, cleaner-burning wood to residents who cook on open fires, '' stated the Goldman release.  

As more farmers heard about their neighbor's successes with the trees, more orders came in and within a few years CEDICAM started a nursery. Not long afterwards, several community-run nurseries bloomed. A few decades later, by 2007, local farmers were planting up to 200,000 trees a year. CEDICAM is now also teaching communities more sustainable ways of using firewood and wood-saving stoves, helping to protect the local environment as well as reducing the workload of local women who had to travel some distance to collect firewood.  

The tree plantings were part of the anti-erosion strategy, but Santos realized they needed to do more. He found ancient terraced agricultural systems in his area and saw another part of the answer. Santos and his allies helped communities rebuild these ancient terraces, which impede erosion and enhance production. Santos pioneered the building of contour ditches, retention walls and terraces to catch rainfall and prevent erosion.  

Along with native trees and traditional farming methods, Santos has reintroduced local seed varieties and natural compost fertilizers to his neighbors. He is also involved in promoting local foods and a traditional indigenous diet.  

In a brief phone interview with Indian Country Today, Santos said that with the Goldman Prize money CEDICAM will expand its tree-growing and rainwater retention programs for the 400 families now collaborating with his organization. Santos also explained that CEDICAM had just built a community school to help disseminate the information it has been gathering and will continue with its education outreach to many different regions in Mexico. He also noted that while the Mexican government has not provided any assistance to their projects, now it is sending experts to their region to look at what they are doing. At the end of the phone conversation, Santos wanted to send the following message to ICT's many American Indian readers.  

''It gives me great pleasure to talk to you,'' he said. ''The indigenous people have so much to share with this planet. We are an important part of this earth. We have been the guardians, and it is an important role with which we must continue. ... We cannot let this responsibility fall into other hands. We must not let the corporations take these resources because this is the legacy for all people, not just a few.'' 

 Dorinda Moreno

Man recalls time at Indian School in 1920 
By Patricia Ecker, Sun Staff Writer, 
August 3, 2008 

John Crampton, 89, a member of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, walks around the buildinGs that were once the site of the Mt. Pleasant Indian Industrial School. Crampton recalled his experiences being taught discipline and hard work at the school, saying if he had not been at the school he would have likely starved to death. 
Sun Photograph by Ryan Evon

John Crampton, member of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians, still remembers the days when he attended the Mt. Pleasant Indian Industrial School at age 6. 
Eighty-three years later, as he walked the grounds of the former school, he reminisced about the fond memories of his childhood. 
"That was the big boy's dormitory," Crampton said. "Over there was a deer pen. 

"The buildings for the teachers and staff was over there." 

The Mt. Pleasant Indian Industrial School was in operation from 1893 to 1933. 

An excerpt from an Oct. 1, 1889 report from the Commissioner of Indian Affairs shows what the U.S. government's mindset was like at the time: "The Indians must conform to the white man's ways,' peaceably if they will, forcibly if they must," the report stated. 

The removal of Native American children from their families and communities was the U.S. government's intentional plan to assimilate the Indians into white Euro-American society during the period between 1880 and 1920s, according to Alice Littlefield's research on the Bureau of Indian Affairs' Boarding Schools: "Theories of Resistance and Social Reproductions." 

Crampton pointed to and explained about the old, boarded-up, brick buildings that still stand on property of what is now the Mt. Pleasant Center. 

"The sidewalk is still here," Crampton said. "I imagine these trees were here when I was here. 

"The girls were on the other side of the school from the boys. We had an ice house, a stable, a gym, and I learned how to swim in the creek just north of here," he said. 

Crampton has fond memories of having friends, being fed regularly and wearing clean clothes. "If it wasn't for this school, I would've starved to death," Crampton said. "I liked the uniforms. 

"They were warm." 

Tens of thousands of Native children from Michigan and other states attended the federally run school in Mt. Pleasant, according to the Ziibiwing Center of Anishinabe Culture and Lifeways documents. Saginaw Chippewa Tribal member Carole Tally said both her parents were sent to the Indian school in Mt. Pleasant. 

"It was a very depressing time for the family," Tally said. "They just came in, and took the kids." 

She said in the community of her mother, Nellie Ashmun, they were scared when they saw white people coming around because they thought, "They're coming to take them away." 

"My dad, he had to be sent away (as a young child)," Tally said. "He had negative feelings about his (boarding school) experience. 

"He used to be a basket maker, and they wouldn't let him do it anymore." 

Tally said she asked her father, Homer Willis, if he knew how to "speak Indian." 

"He said, no, we weren't allowed to speak it." 

In 1991, Crampton and about 12 other elders, who attended the Mt. Pleasant Indian Industrial School, gathered for a reunion to talk about their experiences which were facilitated by Paul Johnson of the Michigan Education Association. 

On the recording, Johnson facilitated a shared discussion with the elders from Ojibwa, Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi communities about their experiences living at the school. 

Anita Heard, research center coordinator, said she has heard stories of boarding school students who came from poor families or left with family members who could not care for the children. 

Albert Spruce was 9 years old when he went to the Indian school. On the tape, he said he was Chippewa and he graduated from the school in 1929. 

"I liked the school," Spruce said. "I liked the environment with water and plumbing. 

"We didn't have this up north. And we had a good balanced diet," he said. 

Several elders including, Gertrude King, Lillian Nagake Shorten, and Elizabeth Johnson Cummings said that they liked the school. The former students said that discipline was firm, but that learning it has helped them with their lives. 

"Most of these people here, weren't lazy because they learned to work there," Spruce said. 

Crampton's wife, Anna, said her husband recalls his times at the school among the best in his whole life. 

"We used to march into Mt. Pleasant church every Sunday," Crampton said. "If the weather was real bad, we wouldn't go." 

The school, at peak enrollment, had about 150 girls and 175 boys representing the Chippewa, Ottawa, and Potawatomi tribes, Mt. Pleasant Center history documents said. 

Crampton said he learned how to cut hair at the school, along with learning "the three Rs." "In 1926, they made Indians citizens," Crampton said. "But it didn't make any difference to me, I was still an Indian." 

According to official documents at Ziibiwing, "The establishment of the school in 1893 and it's closing in 1933 were the result of shifts in federal Indian policy changes in education, philosophy and changes in the U. S. economy." 

The Indian boarding school era historically has been blamed for the decimation of Native American culture and their disconnection with tradition, heritage, and most especially, the languages of Native American people. 

About 50 boys and girls in attendance at the school when it closed were labeled orphaned and housed in dormitories and placed into public schools, according to the Isabella County newspaper. 

In January of 1934, the transfer of the Mt. Pleasant Indian school was complete and the facility became a state hospital, according to the Isabella County newspaper. 

The original Indian Industrial School Chapel and Indian Cemetery were designated as historical landmarks in 1987, by the State of Michigan Historical Commission. 

In June, the Canadian Prime Minister apologized to the Indigenous population who were taken from their homes and placed in boarding schools where many were abused during the country's official attempt to "kill the Indian in the child." 

Sent by Dorinda Moreno





Donna S. Morales and John P. Schmal

My name is Donna Morales and I am a Mexican-American woman born and bred in America 's heartland, Kansas City . I am as American as apple pie and my family is proud to be American. It's almost hard to believe that a hundred years ago my family was still living in Mexico , speaking the Spanish language and working as laborers in the mines of northern Zacatecas and on the haciendas of Aguascalientes and Jalisco. But, like most American families, we came from another place and we adapted to our new environment.  

But each morning, when I wake up, I look into the mirror and I realize that I have inherited a unique legacy. When I look at my reflection, I see a person who has Indian features and I realize that, somewhere in my background, my ancestors were the indigenous inhabitants of Mexico . But I do not speak an indigenous language, nor do I practice any Indian customs. My family has become very American and we embrace the culture and traditions of the United States because that is the only way we know.

But, when I look in the mirror, I realize that Mexican Americans have inherited a special legacy that makes them unique from many other American citizens. While the ancestors of many Americans came to the United States fifty, one hundred, or two hundred years ago from England, France, Germany, Africa, Japan, Ireland, China, Syria, Lebanon, Rumania, Norway, Finland, Italy, or Russia, Mexican Americans have lived on this continent - North America - for many thousands of years.

It is important to understand that our Mexican-American heritage is very multi-dimensional. Although most of us carry Spanish surnames and practice the Christian religion that was given to our ancestors by the Spanish missionaries, our genetic heritage tells a different story. Mexican Americans are the face of Native America. When you look at our hair and gaze into our faces, you can see the nomadic hunters who crossed the Bering Strait 20,000 years ago.

Mexican Americans are proud because we know that North America has been our home for thousands of years. Whoever came to the Western Hemisphere after 1492 found us waiting on the shores of North America . And wherever we may live in North America, whether it be Zacatecas, Jalisco, Kansas, Illinois, Texas or California, we know that our ancestors traveled through at one time or another in the last 20,000 years.

In November 1990, John Schmal and I met at an appraisal firm in Koreatown, just west of Downtown Los Angeles. It was John's thirst for historical information and my pride in and curiosity about my Mexican ancestry that led us on a journey of discovery. In time, I would begin to understand that I did, indeed, have indigenous ancestors and I would understand why that connection was severed centuries ago by the events taking place in Mexico .

I carry the surname that my father's family brought to America from Aguascalientes . The surname Morales is derived from moral, the Spanish word for mulberry tree, specifically the Black European Mulberry. The suffix "es" or "ez" in Spanish denotes "son of." So I presume that a person who was called Morales in Medieval Spain may have been a person who dwelt near a mulberry tree.

It has been said that the surname Morales originated in Santander in northwest Spain sometime around the Eleventh Century. For many years, I wondered to myself, "When did my first Morales ancestor come to Mexico from Spain . And from what part of Spain did he come from?" I had thought that it would be very interesting to find out that some distant Morales ancestor had left some part of Spain , perhaps in the hopes of coming to Mexico to make his fortune. Since most of us Mexican-Americans carry Spanish surnames that would be a logical presumption.

However, our family history research has determined that my earliest Morales ancestors on my direct paternal line were actually Indians from the town of Lagos de Moreno in the northern highlands of Jalisco. My great-great-great-great-great-great-grandparents, Miguel Morales and María de la Cruz, were Indian peasants who were raising their family during the last two decades of the Seventeenth Century in the Spanish colonial province of Nueva Galicia. And it is likely that the Spanish padre of their parish, at some point, gave Miguel the surname Morales. María's surname, de la Cruz (of the cross), was a surname frequently given by parish priests to their newly-converted Indian parishioners.

I can say very proudly that several of my ancestors were among the first Spanish settlers in the city of Aguascalientes in the late 1590s and early 1600s. I do have Spanish blood running through my veins, and through my father, I am descended from the famous Ruiz de Esparza family that left Pamplona in northern Spain for Mexico in 1593.

But I am also proud of the fact that the vast majority of my ancestors were indigenous people living in the states of Jalisco, Zacatecas, and Aguascalientes . However, I cannot trace myself to any one indigenous tribe because I am descended from many of the tribes that lived in Nueva Galicia four centuries ago.

When the Spaniards came to Zacatecas and Jalisco, a social transformation took place. The ravages of disease killed large numbers of Indians. The Spaniards, with their superior military tactics, easily overwhelmed the tribes that resisted. The great loss of life from disease or war caused a social chaos among the various indigenous groups.

Through this social chaos, existing social structures disappeared and knowledge of the past disappeared. The cultural link that was usually handed down from parents to child was severed. A new religion, Christianity, replaced the old religions. And a new language - Spanish - became the language of the subdued tribes.

Because the Indians were now God-fearing Christians, they no longer felt pride in or reverence for their old cultures. So, the names of my ancestors were changed. In many parts of Mexico , indigenous people - after being Christianized and Hispanicized - assumed Christian given names and Spanish surnames. This was considered a necessary part of their indoctrination into the new religion and a rejection of the old pagan religions they formerly adhered to. If one had chosen to keep his indigenous name, it would have been construed as an attempt to retain his former culture and religion.

To help with the social and religious transformation, the Spanish authorities brought peaceful sedentary Christianized Indians from other parts of Mexico into the region. These "civilized" Indians were given the task of helping their Indian brethren to adapt to the new Christian way of life under Spanish tutelage. These Indians groups - the Tlaxcalans, the Mexica, and the Purépecha, among others - had all undergone the same experience several decades earlier. In most cases, their loyalty to Spain and the Roman Catholic Church was well rewarded, and they were given special privileges that most other Indians did not have.

According to the historians, a great many Indian tribes inhabited the regions of Jalisco and Zacatecas. Some were peaceful agricultural people; others were warlike and uncompromising warriors determined to protect their native soil from trespassers. Collectively, most of these Indians were called Chichimecas, a derogatory term meaning "the sons of dogs," originally given to them by the Aztec Indians.

But, having studied the history of the Jalisco and Zacatecas, I now realize that my Indian ancestors were the Cazcanes, Tecuexes, Guamares, Zacatecos, and Guachichile Indians, among others. These tribes put up a terrific resistance to Spain 's intrusion in the Sixteenth Century. The Mixtón Rebellion of 1540-41 pitted the Cazcanes and other Indian groups against the Spaniards. The Mixtón War was followed by a forty-year conflict, the Chichimeca War (1550-1590), in which the Guachichiles, Zacatecos and other groups made countless hit and run attacks against Spanish and sedentary Indian settlements and caravans.

But these wars did not represent a pure case of Spaniard versus Indian. In reality, the Spanish military employed many of their Christian Indian allies in their campaigns against the "uncivilized" Indians who had not yet submitted. The late historian and author John Wayne Powell discussed - in great detail - the Spaniards' use of Indian allies in various capacities: "as fighters, as burden bearers, as interpreters, as scouts, as emissaries." This use of Indians as soldiers and scouts led to enormous and wide-ranging migration and resettlement patterns throughout Jalisco, Zacatecas and many other parts of Mexico .

Dr. Powell wrote, "the pacified natives of New Spain played significant and often indispensable roles in subjugating and civilizing the Chichimeca country." In addition, the discovery of silver brought many Indians from southern Mexico into this area, seeking mining jobs (usually carrying ore). And, so, Dr. Powell continues, "This use of native allies... led eventually to a virtual disappearance of the nomadic tribes as they were absorbed into the northward-moving Tarascans, Aztecs, Cholultecans, Otomíes, Tlaxcalans, Cazcanes, and others... within a few decades of the general pacification at the end of the century the Guachichiles, Zacatecos, Guamares, and other tribes or nations were disappearing as distinguishable entities in the Gran Chichimeca."

As the Seventeenth Century dawned, Dr. Powell explains, "the Sixteenth-century land of war thus became fully Mexican in its mixture." And, thus it came to pass that my ancestors, while appearing to be Indian in physical appearance, became Christian Mexicans, subjects of the Spanish king and his authorized representatives.

This unique and remarkable assimilation was repeated across many parts of Mexico over a period of three centuries. It had varying degrees of success, but very few indigenous groups were able to avoid some level of assimilation. In the southern states of Chiapas , Yucatan , and Oaxaca , Christianity prevailed, but so did the cultures and languages of several indigenous groups, and even today, many of these states contain individuals who speak Indian languages.

But, for most of us Mexican Americans, the connection to our indigenous ancestors has been severed or - if not totally severed - contains only small elements of former Indian cultures. As a result, the journey through time for Mexican Americans has been a long an interesting one. We have gone from Indian warriors to Indian peasants, from Indian peasants to Mexican citizens, from Mexican citizens to Americans. From generation to generation, the cultural elements have evolved, but the image of Native America remains.

© Copyright 2006, Donna S. Morales and John P. Schmal. All Rights Reserved. Donna Morales and John Schmal are the authors of “The Indigenous Roots of a Mexican-American Family,” available at They are also authors of “Mexican-American Genealogical Research: Following the Paper Trail to Mexico ,” which contains a chapter about researching indigenous roots in Mexico . This book is also available through  


Donna S. Morales and John P. Schmal, “My Family Through Time: The Story of a Mexican-American Family.” Los Angeles , California , 2000.

Philip Wayne Powell, “Soldiers Indians and Silver: North America 's First Frontier War." Tempe , Arizona : Center for Latin American Studies, Arizona State University 1975.

Who's Pushing Dope to Destroy Indigenous Youth?
By Karakwine and MNN Staff


MNN. Aug. 4, 2008. Drug abuse in Indigenous communities is not random. Someone wants us to be pacified and to push us to have a total social breakdown. They want our brains, morals and ambition destroyed. They want our Indigenous youth to be criminalized and minimized. Drug abuse creates misfits and society dropouts who are supposed to be discarded and discredited. It stops us from campaigning for our social and political rights. The colonists want us to shut up. They don't want to acknowledge their obligation to us. They don't want to admit they are on stolen land.

It's an old strategy: Going back to the 1830s Britain was the world's major drug trafficker. The Europeans were jealous of the Chinese. They had so many beautiful items like silk, porcelain, spices, etc. Britain only had wool to trade, which the Chinese did not need. The Europeans had to get silver to trade with China. They also had tobacco from Turtle Island. To increase demand for tobacco they cut it with opium from India. Before long, huge numbers around the trading ports in Canton [the modern city of Guangzhou] were addicted. Silver began draining out of China and ruining the economy.

The Chinese emperor passed a law forbidding the import of opium. They wrote to Queen Victoria asking her to control her nationals and stop the illegal trade. The Chinese announced all opium would be seized and burned. U.S. traders ignored the ban and brought in a shipment to Canton. It was confiscated and burned in public.

The Americans got the British to declare war on China. The "Opium War" was to defend the "right" of drug dealers. The Chinese were not warlike. They did not have a big army to defend themselves from the British. The British won the war and forced the Chinese to give them a lot of land around Hong Kong. This has since been returned to them. China was forced to make opium legal along with unrestricted propagation of Christianity. The affect was devastating.

A lot of research was done on how a few were able to defeat a population of  millions through drugs. In the end the Chinese regained their independence. We Indigenous People of Turtle Island are in the midst of this same kind of struggle. Shouldn't we ask why is the U.S. in Afghanistan? It is the source of over 90% of the world's opium! Does somebody want the whole world to be stoned!

In the 1940's, British writer Aldous Huxley, who wrote "Brave New World", went to the U.S. He recruited Allen Watts who became the guru of a nationwide Zen Buddhist cult in California in the 1950s and 1960s. He founded the "Pacifica Foundation" which sponsored two radio stations that pushed the "Liverpool sound". This was the British imported "hard" rock twang of the Rolling Stones, the Beatles and the Animals. They also 
pioneered "acid rock" and eventually "psychotic punk rock".

In 1943 LSD was developed by Albert Hoffman, a chemist at Sandoz A.B. - a Swiss pharmaceutical owned by banker, S.G. Warburg. [He's a Federal Reserve shareholder]. British and U.S. intelligence were directly involved.

The book "Aquarian Conspiracy" described how new age philosophy was blended 
with the promotion of the drug culture. "The introduction of major psychedelics in the 1960s was largely attributable by the Central Intelligence Agency CIA's investigation for possible military use". It was codenamed "MK Ultra".

In the 1960s kids in the U.S. were protesting against the Vietnam War. The U.S. establishment did not know what to do. On May 4, 1970, the National Guard shot four kids at Kent State University in Ohio. They were protesting against the U.S. invasion of Cambodia ordered by President Nixon. The shooting was meant to quell the demonstrations against the war. It didn't work.

To divert the youth, a humongous drug movement was started. The 1968 mega concert at Woodstock in Sullivan County New York was part of the drug and "free love" movement sponsored by companies like Capitol Records. In New York City the "Ed Sullivan Show" displayed these groups nationwide to promote the drug culture.

For the U.S. to continue its warmongering it had to corrupt and destroy its opposition, the youth. According to recently released CIA documents, Allen Dulles, the then head of the CIA, purchased over 100 million doses of LSD - most of which flooded the streets of the USA during the late 1960s. [].

The plan is for every instinct for survival to be controlled by drugs. The drugs produced naturally by the body are being replaced by drugs being manufactured by the multi-national corporations.

Today, as a result of 911, the climate of fear has been promoted over the U.S. and Canada. The kids are told that fear can be shut out by going into this false artificial world created by drugs, pills and music. The kids lose touch with reality and are not able to understand or cope with social abuse.

Today multi-national corporations and pharmaceuticals have control of recording companies, music, radio stations, television programming, films, mainstream news [msn] and advertising [almost total mind control]. A common theme is U.S. based "ghetto rap". They are producing these themes for the vulnerable minds of the young people to confuse and control them. The kids learn to switch into rap and drug culture talk. Computers, games and cell phones are programmed to take them into this world.

It is normal for people to react when there's a problem. Often they blame people improperly like their fathers, mothers, girlfriends, boyfriends or people around them. The drugs divert them so their critical thinking doesn't develop to a level where they can understand complex issues. Drugs create a rift between older generations and young people and to break up families. When people are emotionally hurt by broken families, they can't think straight. This leaves them insecure, paranoid and open to manipulation by big business.

Drugs have replaced the residential school program as a means of committing genocide. The difference is that they've persuaded our youth to commit the crimes on themselves. Anyone who wants to get out of it can if they are determined. Elders are there to counsel them. While they are off the drugs they start talking to them and get them back into reality and with their families. After treatment they need help and support and to occupy 

It's an uphill battle for these counselors. Drugs are being flooded into Indigenous communities to stop people from thinking or asking questions. The colonists want to be able to lure us into giving up everything we have. In the majority of cases the youth experiment with drugs and then reject it. They get on with their lives. The oldest and the youngest are not involved. Those escaping it are able to stay in school. They are taught to deal with enticement from other kids and dealers. In any society the youth in between are vulnerable. Many of our elders know there's hope for this generation.

Marijuana is many times more powerful than it was in the 1960s. Other drugs are even more dangerous. Some, like chrystal meth, cause brain damage after one shot. The teachers and medical personnel get children on Ritalin and other drugs. Some parents use it to shoot up. It's vicious! Those Indigenous people who are bringing drugs into our communities have been colonized into wanting power and control over us. Thus, the push for more powerful drugs onto our people!

For this plan to be effective, they need to keep us idle and spaced out.  Some government or police agents or medical personnel who say they are fighting drugs are actually promoting drugs. The whole dirty business keeps a few people rich. In some cases the dealers are co-opt to become "snitches" in exchange for protection. They purportedly supply information on us and are free to provide drugs to the community to weaken and destroy us. They're never busted when there's a "crack down" or a raid! Why?

There are people in every Indigenous community who are fighting it. The battle will be won. We have the power to say "no" when somebody offers us drugs. We have to finish school and get a job. We all have to help our communities. Our indigenous youth are smart, dignified, respectful of elders and not prone to act without thinking. We are not "terrorists". We are builders. Our young people are relearning our languages, ceremonies and carrying them on. We are defenders of Turtle Island. That's who we are!

Karakwine and MNN Staff Contact
Mohawk Nation News

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Syrian Jews settlement patterns in
Mexico, United States and Latin America America 

September 9-11, 2008

Mount Sinai Social Center and the Maguen David Center
Mexico City

The conference will focus on the history of Syrian Jews in Syria, their emigration and settlement patterns in Mexico, Argentina, the United States and the rest of Latin America, as well as culture, and religion. Tourist side trips of the community are also being planned. 

"The Congress offers a unique academic opportunity to understand the cultural heritage 
of the Syrian Jews and their descendants in different American settings. The encounter promises to be rich on ideas and will provide a global focus on local experiences," said Dr. Liz Hamui, conference organizer. 

Sponsored by Banque Safdie, the Congress is organized by Alianza Monte Sinaí (Damascus and Lebanese Jewish community); Comunidad Maguén David (Aleppan Jewish community); Universidad Hebraica (Higher Education Institution of the Jewish Community in Mexico); Jewish Culture Program at the Universidad Iberoamericana (Program that fosters the development of Jewish culture at the Iberoamericana University; and the Sephardic Latin American Federation. 

The following speakers will present:

Joelle Bahloul, Indiana University
Kumiko Yayama Bar Yosef, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Margalit Bejarano, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Susana Brauner, University of Argentina
Esther Charabati, National Autonomous University of Mexico
Evelyn Dean, Indiana University
Daniel Fainstein, Hebraic University, Mexico
Jane Gerber, City University of New York
Liz Hamui Halabe, National Autonomous University of Mexico
Linda Hanono, Metropolitan Autonomous University.
Yaron Harel, Bar Ilán University
Paulette Kershenovich, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Jeffrey Lesser, Emory Institute. Atlanta
Judit Bokser Liwerant, National Autonomous University of Mexico
Abraham Marcus, University of Texas in Austin
Carlos Martínez Assad, National Autonomous University of Mexico
Raquel Mizrahi, Universidad de Sao Paulo, Brasil
Raanan Rein, Tel Aviv University
Sarina Roffé, Touro College, New York
Silvia Hamui Sutton, Iberoamerican University
Jacobo Sefami, California University at Irvine
Reeva Simon, Yeshiva University
Batia Siebzehner, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Zvi Zohar, Bar Ilán University 

For more information about the congress and to register, please visit: or email 



Robert H. Thonhoff, Local historian honored with living memoria
Sept 3: Noche De Fiesta 
Sept 6:
Texas Tejano Breakfast at Alamo Plaza
Sept  12-14th:
17th Annu
al Narciso Martinez Conjunto Festival
Creepy Creatures and Other Cucuys
Commentary: The Tejano Monument Project by Dan Arellano
The Battle of Medina, Historical Seminar
Battle of Medina Location Research
Judge Robert H. Thonhoff, Local historian honored with living memorial dedication

Karnes County's The Countywide,
The Countywide is a weekly newspaper, serving all of Karnes County Texas, including the communities of Kenedy, Karnes City, Runge and Falls City 


Karnes City resident Judge Robert H. Thonhoff (right photo) stands with family members at the conclusion of a special ceremony dedicating a living memorial in his honor. Thonhoff was surprised by the event which was hosted by the Texas Connection to the American Revolution Association on Saturday morning at the Karnes County Courthouse in Karnes City. A tree and plaque were dedicated with hundreds of visitors in attendance including many guest speakers who honored Thonhoff with words of appreciation for his work in keeping Texas history alive through the writing and research of many books and articles documenting Texas history. 

Go to the site and go to page 12 for more photos from this event. "It was a complete surprise," Thonhoff said. He thought he was on his way to brunch at the Menger Hotel in San Antonio when his car was suddenly diverted to the front of the Karnes County Courthouse. Thonhoff said he wasn’t sure what was going on, but he saw many familiar faces. He said he was indeed honored by the special event.   Photos by Joe Baker

The Granaderos de Galvez Fife and Drum group  performed at the start of the ceremony.

The Living Memorial Plaque stands before the tree in front of the courthouse reading, "This tree dedicated to Judge Robert H. Thonhoff, savior of Texan and American history. Author of the Texas Connection with the American Revolution and numerous books on Texas history, educator, judge and veteran of the U. S. Army Air Corps. A true Texas and American patriot. July, 2008, The Texas Connection to the American Revolution Association (TCARA)."

Editor:  The event was a well kept secret from Judge Thonhoff.  He sent the above article: 

"Hi, Jack and TCARA Members! Thought you might enjoy this newspaper coverage by our local newspaper, THE COUNTYWIDE, about the exceedingly nice Living Memorial Dedication Ceremony that TCARA presented for me at the Karnes County Courthouse on Saturday, July 26, 2008. Words are inadequate to describe the feelings I have had about the great honor that you all bestowed upon me. Thanks to all who had a hand in it."    --Robert Thonhoff

Forwarded by TCARA President, Jack  Cowan




Celebrating Commitment to the Community

Noche De Fiesta - September 3 

The South Texas Civil Rights Project
McAllen Chamber of Commerce, 1200 Ash
(north of Business 83, just east of Archer Park)
Reception 6:30 p.m.  Awards 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: $30

Please join us in honoring:

Ramón Ayala
The Legendary musician, accordionist and songwriter, who has defined much of modern norteño music with his distinctive playing and lyrics, for his example of generosity and care for Texas and Mexican communities in need. Known in the world of Tejano music as the 'King of Accordion', nominated for two Latin Grammy awards at a ceremony in Los Angeles, 'Best Norteno Album' for his recent CD 'Dos Grandes Del Norte'. Ayala, has played in public for about 30 years, has more than 75 album recordings to his credit and is currently engaged in making a film about his life.

Apart from playing the accordion, Ramon Ayala works as a bicycle maker and is well known for his voluntary work with disabled and abused children. His unstinting philanthropic work is motivated by the fact that his two brothers were both disabled, and he recently commented that "If someone fills a child with love, what is that child going to give? Love, of course. And that's what the world needs". Since the 1960’s he has quietly donated, volunteered and given back to his community through his generous humanitarian endeavors. 

Ed Krueger
We are pleased to award Rev. Ed Krueger the Emma Tenayuca Award for his passionate commitment to social justice and humanitarian concerns. In 1979 Ed founded the Comite de Apoyo, Inc., and the Committee for the Health, Education, and Empowerment of Women Workers. Rev. Ed Krueger’s life has been enriched with work that has been challenging, life-giving, and faith-filled. While taking part in the farm worker strike in the Rio Grande Valley, that took place from1966 to 1970, Texas Rangers accosted Ed and held him just inches from a passing train. 

This incident was the focal point of a lawsuit filed in 1967 by the Texas Council of Churches and unions against Captain Allee, and the Texas Rangers for showing bias against labor in general, Mexican farm workers in particular, and other persons of Mexican heritage. The case was won in the U.S. Supreme Court which found five Texas laws unconstitutional. Rev. Krueger also worked with Cesar Chavez in California in the early 1970s. 

Sister Marian Strohmeyer 
For her commitment to providing sanctuary for refugees and health care to the Valley residents in most need. Sister Marian Strohmeyer responded to refugees from Central America by opening Casa Merced on her family’s McAllen property. For the next twelve years, more than 4000 refugees were sheltered in Casa Merced. She also became involved in the first sanctuary trial, held in Brownsville, where Stacey Merkt was the defendant at the time when several Valley activists were part of the Underground Railroad for refugees. After being on the Texas State Board of Health for three years, she become aware of the needs of HIV and AIDS patients. In 1989, Comfort House was born. In 1999, she co-founded Hope Family Health Center, which provides counseling and primary health care.
For more information call (956) 787-8171 

Sent by Virginia Gause  vgause@UTPA.EDU

"The work of the Texas Civil Rights Project is critical in the struggle to bring about justice and equality in Texas ." --César Chávez to Host 2008 Texas Tejano Breakfast 

Saturday, September 6th


Texas, a San Antonio-based research, publishing, and communications firm, in conjunction with the Alamo Legacy & Missions Association (ALMA), a San Antonio-based, non-profit organization that provides living history reenactments to educate youth and adults about Texas history, are proud to announce today that the 2008 Texas Tejano Breakfast will be held on Saturday, September 6th, 2008 from 9:00-11:00a.m. at Historic Alamo Plaza! The event is free and open to the public.
The Breakfast, which will feature food, music, contests, exhibits and living history reenactors, will be the official kick-off event in celebration of Tejano Heritage Month as designated by the State of Texas and will be followed by numerous celebrations throughout the city over the next several weeks.

"We are proud and excited to be holding our Texas Tejano Breakfast at historic Alamo Plaza," says Texas President and Founder Rudi R. Rodriguez. "The backdrop of our stage is going to literally be the Alamo and we could not be happier about that. We invite everyone to come out for some great free tacos, lots of fun and to learn about Tejano heritage and legacy."

More information about including a calendar of the month's celebratory events can be found at or by calling
Eric Moreno (210) 673-3584



September 12, 2008

10th Year Anniversary CELEBRATION of “Taquachito Nights” 
at the 17th Annual Narciso Martinez Conjunto Festival

WHO: The Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center
WHAT: 17th Annual Narciso Martinez Conjunto Festival
WHEN: Friday September 12, 2008 7:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Saturday September 13, 2008 4:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Sunday September 14, 2008 4:00 pm to 10:00 pm
WHERE: 225 E. Stenger Street, San Benito, Texas 

The Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center preserves, promotes and develops the rich cultural heritage of the “Mexicano” community through programs in the visual arts, music, theater, dance and literature.

This year marks a special milestone for the Center as it celebrates the 10th year anniversary of the release of the Festival’s CD “Taquachito Nights.” The caliber of this festival garnered national attention and in 1998 the Smithsonian Institution’s Folkway Recordings label produced the CD, “Taquachito Nights” 

This year will feature a reunion of the 1998 musical line-up which included Gilberto Perez, Ernesto Guerra, Ricardo Guzman, Freddy Gonzalez, Martin Zapata, Los Fantasmas del Valle, Beto Martinez and Conjunto Aztlan. Two deceased conjunto greats will be represented by their offspring and family: Valerio Longoria will be represented by his son, Flavio Longoria and Tony de la Rosa will be represented by his nephews, Los D Boyz.

Other featured bands this year will include some Festival regulars Conjunto Heritage Taller of San Antonio, Juan Lugo y su Conjunto and Los Angeles del Sur. Highlighting the Festival will be two conjunto legends - Oscar Hernandez and the TUFF Band and the headliner, Esteban Jordan y Su Rio Jordan.

The three-day celebration includes live music, dancing, food and beverage for the entire family. General admission is $2.00 each day; children under 12 receive free admission. 

NMCAC invites interested parties to join the three-day Conjunto celebration as volunteers, food or crafts vendors. For more information on booth rentals call Yolanda Lopez at (956) 571-3325.   For all other information on the Narciso Martinez Conjunto Festival contact Rogelio Nuñez at (956) 367-0335.  Email:

Sent by Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.


chalice1 Creepy Creatures and Other Cucuys

By Xavier Garza 


The Brownsville Heritage Complex, located in historic downtown Brownsville,  invites the public to view the exhibit Creepy Creatures and  Other Cucuys by Xavier  Garza. The opening reception will be held on Thursday, September 18, 2008  at  6:30  p.m.  with a presentation  by  artist/author Xavier Garza. The exhibit features artwork depicted  in his  first book Creepy Creatures and Other Cucuys. 

A prolific writer and artist, Xavier Garza's stories have been published in such magazines and newspapers as El Mañana, The Monitor, TABE, The Corpus Christi Times, Mesquite Review  and the Milwaukee Spanish Journal. He has been included in the Anthologies "Aztlanahuac Project: Cantos al Sexto Sol" (Wings Press 2002), "Penn English" (Penn. State 2001) and "Once Upon a Cuento," (Curbstone  Press 2003). Arte Publico Press  published his first book, "Creepy Creatures and other Cucuys,"  in May of 2004. Xavier  Garza  released  "The Man in the Silver Mask: A Lucha Libre Cuento," a  children's book published by Cinco Puntos Press in April  of  2005. "El Chupacabras, Alias El Big Bird,"  another  children's book was also published by   Arte Publico Press in  early  2005.

Receiving  his BFA  at UTPA in Edinburg in 1994, Xavier Garza has exhibited his artwork in various venues such as Talento Bilingue de Houston, Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center  in San Antonio, Nuestra Palabra de Houston and Mexican Consulates in the Rio Grande  Valley and El Paso.

He has  also  worked with  The Institute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio, Mexic-Arte in Austin, Gallista Gallery in San Antonio, Coronado Studios in  Austin,  and The Ice House in Dallas.  Xavier  Garza and his work were  featured in the books, "Contemporary  Chicana/Chicano Art: Artists, Works, Culture and Education," produced by the University of Arizona in 2003 and "Chicano Art for the Millennium," published by  Bilingual Review Press in 2004.   

Born and  raised  in the  Rio Grande Valley,  Xavier  Garza  has  has made San Antonio his home since August of 2000.  The BHA will be sponsoring a  book reading with  Mr. Garza at the Children's Museum of Brownsille on Saturday, September  20,  2008 at 10 a.m . Mr. Garza will also be conducting a hands-on  artist  workshop  at  the  Urban Center  at Gonzalez Park on  Saturday, September 20, 2008 at 2 p.m. The artist workshop is being held in conjunction with Brownsville Parks and Recreation Department and the Urban Center at Gonzalez Park. 

Both events are free to the public. The exhibit  will  be  on  view  through  October 31, 2008  and is  included  with  the  cost  of  $2  general  admission  to   the Brownsville Heritage  Museum.  Admission  is  free  for  BHA members.

Sent by Norman Rozeff


El Editor: Posted on 07-17-2008 


Guest Commentator

Texas history does not begin with the arrival of Stephen F. Austin; and there were not six flags over Texas, there were seven. Unfortunately our history continues 
to be concealed, excluded and sometimes outright distorted. 

I was asked to speak at the history center, here in Austin. They wanted to know how the Mexican American Community felt about the exclusion of Hispanics from Ken Burns WWII Documentary. I told them that if I ever got to meet Mr. Burns that I would shake his hand and thank him for single-handedly doing what no Hispanic has ever been able to do and that was to unite the Hispanic Community. However, I was disappointed that he did not even mention one of the most highly decorated veterans of WWII. A movie was even made after this 19 year old Marine called “From Hell to Eternity,” starring a tall, blond, blue-eyed Anglo American. It portrayed how this heroic Marine went night after night capturing Japanese soldiers and on one night alone, capturing over 800 Japanese soldiers; eventually capturing more than 1500 enemy soldiers. 

I remember seeing this movie as a young man and thinking, wow, these Anglos are really courageous, only to discover, fifty years later, that Hollywood chose to distort the truth. This Marine was not a tall blond blue-eyed Anglo after all, but a short Chicano from East L A. He was one of us, an American of Mexican descent named Guy Gabaldon. 

By the 1800s the community had forged a regional identity. In those days there were no Hispanics, no Mexican Americans, no Latinos and no Chicanos; this place was called Tejas and the people called themselves Tejanos; and it was this Tejano community that arose in insurrection in 1811 in the Casas Revolt and it was a continuous affair with the Gutierrez-Magee Revolution of 1812, the four month siege of the presidio in Goliad, the Battle of Rosillo, the Battle of Alazan leading up to the biggest and bloodiest struggle for freedom ever fought on Texas soil; The “Battle of Medina.” Over a thousand Tejanos were killed in this battle and its aftermath that to this day remain unknown and unrecognized for their ultimate sacrifice. 

After a year of bloody fighting on April 6th 1813 Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara, flying the Emerald Green Flag, the 7th flag of Texas, read the first Declaration of Independence. 

These were our ancestors, but do not look for any monuments at the State Capital grounds in Austin honoring our Tejano Heroes. 

The Tejano Monument Inc is a non-profit organization that was created in 2001 for the purpose of planning and constructing a monument to be placed on the front lawn of the Capitol in Austin; and after seven years reached its goal of 1.6 million dollars. 

The last step needed was for Governor Rick Perry to call a formal meeting with the State Board of Preservation, who has decided that the monument will be placed in the back N.E. corner of the grounds where there has never been any traffic and no one will ever see it. 

We are outraged at this callous and indifferent attitude of the members of the State Board of Preservation and demand a place of honor on the front lawn of the Capitol Grounds. 

Mr. Arellano is based in Austin, Texas.
Sent by Dan Arellano


The Alamo Chapter
Held August 23, 2008

“An Overview of Sources for Studying Early Texas” – Jesus “Frank” de la Teja, PhD,
Professor of History at Texas State University and Texas State Historian

"Historical Setting for the Battle of Medina" – Robert H. Thonhoff, author/historian of
“Forgotten Battlefield of the First Texas Revolution” and several other Texas history books.

Historical Art Display associated with Gutierrez de Lara and that era – Jesus Moron,
historian artist, biographer of Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara, Publisher of La Gazeta de Texas 1813.

“What was it all about? – The first Texas Declaration of Independence and Constitution”
– RobertM. Benavides, Historical Events Chair, Alamo Chapter, Sons of the Republic of Texas.

“The Political Rise and Fall of the First Republic of Texas” – Richard G. Santos, Former
Bexar County Archivist, Texas & Mexican historian, and author of several history books.

“Tejanos at the Battle of Medina” – Dan Arellano, historian/author of Tejano Roots.
Seminar Break – 15 minutes. Refreshments courtesy of the Atascosa DAR

“A Documented List of Leaders and Participants in the Battle of Medina” – Tom Green,
SAR, SRT, KSJ, historian and historical flags specialist.

“Eyewitness Account of the Battle of Medina from the Rebel Side”– Robert M. Benavides, Alamo Chapter, Sons of the Republic of Texas.

“The Roads to the Battle of Medina, An Archeologist’s View” – Bruce Moses, UTSA Center for Archeological Research.

“Property Confiscated from the Rebels” – Alfred Rodriguez, Bexar County Archivist

Genealogy Displays of battle participants and descendant family names – Sons of the
American Revolution and Los Béjareños Genealogical Society.

Seminar Coordinator: Bob Benavides, (210) 279-4973;

Battle of Medina Location Research

Battle Site Research led by Dan Arellano, author, "Tejano Roots A Family Legend". August 24, 2008, 
Photos by Erlinda Cortez Dimas.
For more information contact:

View Album
 Play slideshow


Iberville Museum Plaquemine, Louisiana
Sought:  pioneering Hispanic families in mid-Michigan
Provincial Press Catalog
Louisiana Endowment: Humanities Louisiana Cultural Vistas

Iberville Museum 
Plaquemine, Louisiana


Due to overwhelming response, the Iberville Museum Association has agreed to extend the Spanish of Iberville exhibit through mid-September.  The exhibit was a success from the start, with 250 visitors on its opening day, and continues to draw people from across the state, and neighboring states as well.  Over 400 people visited the exhibit in July.   “We have seen guests from as close as Addis and White Castle to as far away as Hazelhurst Mississippi” museum Director/Curator Beth Cardinal said. “I have greeted people from 24 towns and cities around Louisiana, 6 other states, and even England and Australia. It has been a wonderful experience to visit with these people, and to see their response to this exhibit.”  

          On Sunday, August 24, Reverand Rafeal Juantorena, who spoke at the exhibit opening ceremony on July 4th, will be the celebrant at an 11 A.M. mass at St. John the Evangelist Church.  The Mass will be celebrated in both English and Spanish.  

At 2 PM members of Los Islenos Heritage and Cultural Society of St. Bernard will provide an interperative presentation.  

At 2:30 PM Bill Menary, Ph.D. will speak on Spanish Settlement of Louisiana and the Galvez Expedition.  This program is funded under a grant from the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, the state affiliate of the National Endowment of the Humanities.  Events at the museum are free and open to the public.  

Further information on this event is available at 225-687-7197.
Sent by Bill Carmena


The museum has artifacts and photographs of life in the parish around the early 1900's. There are two permanent exhibits: Iberville at War and Turning with the Century. Iberville at War is an exhibit exploring America's wars and the parish's participation. The exhibit features a Norden Bombsight from World War II as well as bayonets from the American Revolution. Turning with the Century explores life in Iberville Parish in the early 1900's. This exhibit features a wedding ensemble from 1900 t hand carved cypress models of early boat transportation along the bayou. Traveling exhibits have included Mardi Gras costumes, Native American art, culture, and music of the area, parish art shows, and Black history awareness. The museum will be featuring a Smithsonian traveling S.I.T.E.S. exhibit Yesterday's Tomorrows January 22 - March 19, 2005.

Listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1966, the "Old City Hall" is now serving as the parish museum. Built in 1848, the building served as the fourth courthouse for the Parish of Iberville. The original plans for this Greek Revival building were drawn by the famous New Orleans architect, James Gallier. The building is a single story, brick and plaster structure with four Doric columns that set off two huge cypress doors. The building served as the parish seat of government for 57 years until 1906, when a new courthouse was built. The building was occupied at City Hall until 1985. At that time is was recognized as the second-oldest structure in Louisiana still being used as the seat of local government. After several other occupants, the building remained vacant for a number of years until restoration began in 1995. Over $200,000 was spent in the restoration an now the building is serving the people of Iberville Parish for a third century as the Iberville Museum.

Staff: Charlene J. Fletcher, Director
Phone: 225-687-7197  Fax: 225-687-3060  Email:

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 701, Plaquemine, LA 70765
Street Address: 57735 Main Street, Plaquemine, LA 70764
Museum Hours: Tuesday-Saturday and by appointment
Admissions: Children (6-12) $1.00 Adults (13 & older) $2.00 School groups of 20 or more students are half price, teachers free.



P R O V I N C I A L  P R E S S

1238 Red Fox Ln.     
Ville Platte, Louisiana  70586-
Books for Research in Family & Local History

Editor:  These are the first items in a very extensive catalog, a really valuable resource.  

L O U I S I A N A    L E G A J O S
A Catalogue of Records in Spain for Research in the Colonial Mississippi Valley
and on the Gulf Coast by Roscoe P. Hill. Preface by J. Franklin Jameson ~ Foreword by Winston De Ville Remarks on Research by Donald E. Pusch

Originally published by the Carnegie Institution of Washington in 1916, under the title Descriptive Catalogue of the Documents Relating to the History of the United States in the Papeles Procedentes de Cuba Deposited in the Archivo General de Indias at Seville, this classic volume remains the standard guide to tens of thousands of records relating to early American families – French, Spanish, Anglo-American, German, African-American, Native-American, and others. Often referred to as “The Cuban Papers,” these rich documents have little to do with Cuba genealogically. They are, in fact, a primary source of reference for any research in the colonial Mississippi Valley and on the Gulf Coast. Major research centers hold microfilm copies of many of these legajos (bundles of records). Houston’s Clayton Genealogical Library now (as of September 2003) has the largest collection in the world outside Spain – more than 1,900 reels of microfilm. Hill’s book is the most important single reference volume for Louisiana research during the last half of the eighteenth century.

Reprint, September 2003. 647 pages, 8½ x 11, enlarged type. Index. Wrappers. Item no. LL2. $87.50.  Long out-of-print, now available in a one–volume limited edition ~

Marriage Contracts of Colonial Louisiana: 1736 ~ 1803 
Winston De VilleEdited by the Reverend Donald J. Hébert With contributions by Jane Guillory Bulliard and Jacqueline Olivier Vidrine Introduction by Robert de Berardinis

Marriage contracts are quintessentially valuable for genealogical research. When the initial collection of these colonial marriage contracts was published in 1960, it was hailed by reviewers as a milestone in reference works relating to the Mississippi Valley and the Gulf Coast. Now, after many years of being out-of-print, the first five volumes published for colonial Louisiana studies are available by arrangement with Hébert Publications. The special imprint of collated volumes is limited to seventy-five copies in a first edition. Covering the posts of Opelousas, Natchitoches, Pointe Coupée, Avoyelles, and Attakapas, the one-alphabet index contains approximately 2,000 names of early Louisiana pioneers. Principal parties appear alphabetically.

Of the data gathered in this book, Dr. Hans W. Baade, Professor of Civil Law, The University of Texas, wrote (1980): “…historians and genealogists are becoming increasingly aware of the potential of marriage contracts for research in family and population history. To a considerable extent, this awareness is due to the pioneering efforts of Winston De Ville.” 

First edtion, limited to seventy-five copies, August 2003. 256 pages, 8½ x 11. Wrappers. Item no. MC8. $48.50.

Mississippi Naturalizations, 1798 ~ 1906: T h e  I n d e x
Foreword by Winston De Ville
Fellow, American Society of Genealogists

Originally published in 1942 by the Works Projects Administration, under the ægis of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service, this comprehensive index had, until now, been virtually unknown, rarely used by genealogists. World War II halted much of the WPA’s work, and severely restricted those projects in progress at the time. Thus, only a very small number of copies were made available over a half-century ago – a few went to libraries; virtually none went to individual collectors. The publisher had access only to a xerographic ‘copy of a copy’ for this reprint; the pages are legible, but far from attractive graphically.

This important work covers the entire state of Mississippi, arranged alphabetically under each county. An additional comprehensive index of approximately 5,000 names in one alphabet adds facility to reference research. As naturalization papers offer genealogists some of the most valuable data on individuals who settled in America – places of origin, ages, allegiances, and other useful information – this index immediately becomes a “first reference” for any research in the Gulf South. Reprint, 2003. 258 pages, 8½ x 11. Item no. MN1. $43.50.

Winston De Ville. 
The earliest extant ecclesiastical records for the first families of Acadia. Originally published in 1963; now in it’s third printing. Reprint. 35 pages. Item no. A1. $16.00.

THE ACADIAN COAST IN 1779: Settlers of Cabannocey and La Fourche in the Spanish Province of Louisiana During the American Revolution. Winston De Ville. Preface by Barbara Dumesnil de la Houssaye, State Regent, Louisiana Society, Daughters of the American Revolution. Introduction by Kathleen M. Stagg. A supplement to the author’s Louisiana Soldiers in the American Revolution; see Item no. L1. Vital evidence for Revolutionary service. 41 pages. Item no. A2. $16.00.

ACADIAN FAMILIES IN 1686. Benjamin Sulte. Translated and edited by Winston De Ville. This ancient enumeration lists most of the best-known names of Acadian origin, relationships, ages, amounts of property, and places of residence. 27 pages. Item no. A3. $16.00.

Sent by Bill Carmena



Information sought 
on pioneering Hispanic families in mid-Michigan

by Mike Rocha | The Saginaw News 
Friday August 01, 2008

A Carrollton Township resident is trying to assemble a banquet to honor Hispanic senior citizens who paved the way for their children and grandchildren decades ago when they trekked north from Mexico searching for a better life.

Elaine Del Valle is inviting Hispanics to attend a Sunday meeting at the Mexican American Council, 1537 S. Washington in Saginaw, to share family stories and help plan the fall banquet. Del Valle also encourages participants to bring old photos.  

Del Valle's dining room table is covered with books, documents and photos of her family's history, from Mexico and Texas to Michigan. She has spent countless hours doing research at the Public Libraries of Saginaw and its genealogy department.

As a young girl in the 1940s, she moved from San Antonio with her parents and siblings to Michigan and eventually settled near Saginaw.  "We want to wake up the people about all of the history we have here," Del Valle said. "We want to celebrate and recognize our senior citizens, to hear about their homeland in Mexico and Texas, and to hear what their children have become."

Eventually all of this will lead to an October banquet -- "Los Pioneros" -- to recognize those senior citizens who were pioneers for the Hispanic people in mid- Michigan. No date is set yet, but the banquet will take place during the month-long Hispanic Heritage Month, from mid-September to mid-October.

"We also want to recognize those who were the first to settle here," said Del Valle, 70, a retired case manager for the Saginaw County Commission on Aging. "They paved the way for us to better our lives. They wanted us to get an education. "They sacrificed a lot for us."

Del Valle said she wants to set up various committees for the banquet. To participate, call her at 752-4449.   Sent by Juan Marinez


Los Niños Heroes de Chapultepec  
Olimpiadas en Beijing
Historia de Los Altos de Jalisco
Las Villas del Norte
Goseascohea Family Tree
La Familia de la Garza Falcón
Art in Peril
Indigenous Jalisco: A Land Forgotten
New John Schmal Files 

Los Niños
Heroes de Chapultepec

Chapultepec ’s Teenage Military Cadets


Mercy Bautista-Olvera  


Mexican-American War/Los Niños Héroes de Chapultepec (Heroic boys of Chapultepec )  The Mexican-American war in Mexico referred as La Intervención Norteamericana, in United States as (“The North American Intervention.”)        

Each year on September 13, Mexico celebrate El Dia de los Niños Héroes de Chapultepec (the day of the Heroic Heroes of Chapultepec) a day when Los Niños Héroes are recognized for their valor. Many cadets were killed. In brief, there were also the Prisoners of War, with the same honor, the school Director Monterde, Francisco Molina, Mariano Covarrubias, Bartolomé Diaz, Ignacio Molina, Laurent, Antonio Sierra, Justino Garza, Lorenzo Pérez Castro, Agustin Camarena, Ignacio Ortiz and Estéban Zamora, Manuel Rosas, Ramón Rodriguez Arrangoitia, Carlos Bejarano, Isidro Hernández, Santiago Hernandez, Ignacio Burgos, Joaquin Moreno, Ignacio Valle, Francisco Lazo, Sebastián

Trejo, Luis Delgado, Ruperto Pérez de León, Castulo Garcia, Feliciano Contreras, Francisco Morelos, Gabino Montes,  Miguel Miramón. Luciano Becerra, Adolfo Unda, Manuel Diaz, Francisco Morel, Vicente Herrera, who, among others, are remembered its valor and heroism. Mexico is grateful for all the men who fought during the Mexican-American War, including the Irish. (Read below Unique Facts and Trends.)  

In order to understand this article we have to go back to Mexican history during the Mexican-American War:

In January 1846, to increase pressure on Mexico to negotiate, President James, K. Polk sent troops under General Zachary Taylor into the area between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande territory, claimed by both the United States and Mexico . President Polk sent Minister John Slidell, served as an agent to talk to the Mexican government, but he was not an honest person, on his return to Washington , he made seemed worse than it really was, exaggeration on his part.

May 1846. In having been revoked by the Mexican government, Polk regarded this treatment of his diplomat as an insult and an "ample cause of war", and he prepared to ask Congress for a declaration of war.  

Though thousands of Spanish and Mexican documents showed that Texas ' western boundary had traditionally been the Nueces River , Polk backed Texans' claims that their western border was the Rio Grande . Since Texas claimed the river all the way to its source, their stand implied that half of present-day New Mexico and Colorado was rightfully theirs. The Mexican government found this unacceptable and refused the United States ' offer of about $40,000,000 for New Mexico and California .

Antonio Lopez de Santana commanded in the Mexican War but not successful, United States took advantage of Mexico 's continuing internal turmoil in the Mexican-American war. As the supreme commander of Mexican forces, much of the blame for their crushing defeat fell on Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana 's shoulders, his defeats at Buena Vista, Cerro Gordo, and Puebla and the loss of Mexico City sent him into exile. He returned and ruled in 1853 as dictator until the revolution of Ayutla again drove him into exile (1855) and brought Benito Juárez to the fore. After several attempts, he was allowed to return to Mexico .  

On May 13, 1846, United States President James Knox Polk declared war against Mexico wanted Alta California and New Mexico . The intervention on United States counted with many battles, one of them the one from Veracruz , Mexico , The battalion of Chapultepec pertaining to the last part from this campaign. On September 13, 1847, United States forces took over El Castillo de Chapultepec, where at that time was called El Colegio Militar, (The Military College) Young men there were studying to make a career in the Army. Juan de Barrera, Juan Escutia, Agustín Melgar, Fernando Montes de Oca, Vicente

Suárez and Francisco Márquez, they were teenagers between 13 and 17 years old. During this confrontation, the American Troops stormed Chapultepec Castle ; at the time was a military academy, in an attempt to take over Mexico City .  The cadets fought with valor against the American troops.  

U.S. troops scale the walls of Chapultepec Castle .


Juan Escutia, the last survivor from the six cadets wrapped his country’s Mexican Flag around him, and jump from a large mural above the stairway depicts his jump from the roof to prevent it from being taken prisoner by the enemy.

Note: There is a controversy that it could have been Fernando Montes de Oca, who wrapped his country’s Mexican Flag and jump to his death, both cadets bodies were found close to each other.


The message to Congress on May 11, 1846 stated that Mexico had “invaded our territory and shed American blood upon the American soil.” A joint session of Congress approved the declaration of war, with southern Democrats in strong support because they saw the annexation of Mexico as an opportunity to increase the number of slave states. Sixty-seven Whigs voted against the war on a key slavery amendment,  but on the final passage only 14 Whigs voted No, including Reps.

Abraham Lincoln opposed the resulting war, which he thought a contest Polk provoked as a vote-getting device, and he hoped his arguments against the war would make his reputation in the United States House of Representatives. Lincoln contended that the disputed territory between the Nueces River and the Rio Grande only belonged to Texas where her jurisdiction had been clearly established, and he did not think it extended to the Rio Grande . "It is a fact, that the United States Army, in marching to the Rio Grande , marched into a peaceful Mexican settlement, and frightened the inhabitants away from their homes and their growing crops," Lincoln said. In his "Spot" resolutions of 1847, he called on Polk for proof of the president's insistence that the war began when Mexicans shed American blood on American soil "That soil was not ours; and Congress did not annex or attempt to annex it." Lincoln voted for a resolution that declared the war unnecessary and accused Polk of violating the Constitution in commencing it. John Quincy Adams was against this war as well.   Although President Paredes issuance of a manifest on May 23 sometimes considered the declaration of war, Mexico officially declared war by Congress on July 7.

General Ulysses S. Grant's views about the war: President Ulysses S. Grant was a young army officer, he had served in Mexico under General Zachary Taylor, recalled in his Memoirs, published in 1885, that:

"Generally, the officers of the army were indifferent whether the annexation was consummated or not; but not so all of them. For myself, I was bitterly opposed to the measure, and to this day regard the war, which resulted, as one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation. It was an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies, in not considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territory."  


United States-- 13,780 dead, many more wounded. 
Mexico--   One figure put Mexican casualties at approximately 25,000.


President Harry S. Truman, U.S.   Ambassador to Mexico , Walter Thurston, placing a Wreath at the site of Truman laid a wreath on the Los Niños Héroes Monument and then stood for a few moments of silent reverence. Contemporary Mexican cadets, stood at rigid attention

On March 5, 1947, President Harry S. Truman visited Mexico . He nnounced that he wanted to make a stop at Mexico City 's historic Chapultepec Castle . As the motorcade came to a halt by a grove of trees, Truman stepped out of his black Lincoln and walked over to a stone monument reading Niños Héroes ("Heroic Children"). Harry S. Truman knew about combat as a captain of artillery in World War I.   Miguel Aleman, the president of Mexico , hailed President Truman as "The new champion of solidarity and understanding among the American republics." Asked by American reporters why he had gone to the monument to Los Niños Héroes de Chapultepec, Truman said, “Brave men don’t belong to any one country. I respect bravery wherever I see it.”


Ninos Heroes

Los Niños Héroes de Chapultepec Monument


On the summit of the highest hill in Chapultepec Park , you find the Castillo de Chapultepec ( Chapultepec Castle ) whose story is rarely reported in American history books. The castle was once the home of Emperor Maxmilian and his wife Carlota and still has furnishings from the era of their reign. After the Revolution, the castle became a military academy for young men. In 1847, during the American-Mexican War, the American army assaulted the castle, which was bravely defended by the young cadets, most of whom died. One gallant youth leapt to his death wrapped in the Mexican flag to avoid capture. These young men were later to become known as the Niños Héroes, or Young Heroes. At the end of the Mexican-American War, Mexico was defeated and it lost half of his then territory, surface similar to his present size, the states of California , New Mexico , Arizona , Nevada , Colorado and Utah .


1. This war featured the first major amphibious landing by U.S. forces in history.

2. The defeat of Mexico was the first time an enemy force occupied the capitol of the nation. The French would also occupy Mexico City in the 1860's.

3. Despite early popularity at home, the war was marked by the growth of a loud anti-war movement, which included such noted Americans as Ralph Waldo Emerson, former president John Quincy Adams and Henry David Thoreau. The center of anti-war sentiment gravitated around New England , and was directly connected to the movement to abolish slavery. Texas became a slave state upon entry into the Union .

 4. One interesting aspect of the war involves the fate of U.S. Army deserters of Irish origin who joined the Mexican Army as the Batallón San Patricio (Saint Patrick's Battalion). This group of Catholic Irish immigrants rebelled at the abusive treatment by Protestant, American-born officers and at the treatment of the Catholic Mexican population by the U.S. Army. At this time in American history, Catholics were an ill-treated minority, and the Irish were an unwanted ethnic group in the United States . In September 1847, the U.S. Army hanged sixteen surviving members of the San Patricios as traitors. To this day, they are considered heroes in Mexico .

5. In Mexico , a special day is remembered to celebrate the bravery of the teenaged military cadets at the military academy at Chapultepec Castle , which was attacked by General Winfield Scott's army on September 13, 1847. "Dia de Los Niños Heroes de Chapultepec" ("day of the boy heroes of Chapultepec ), is commemorated every year on the anniversary of the battle.

Ordered to retreat by their Commandant, these young cadets joined the fight- the boy heroes who are honored every year are the four teenaged cadets (Francisco Marquez, the youngest, was thirteen years old!) and their lieutenant squadron leader, Juan de la Barrera, (the oldest, age 20), who lost their lives in that battle.

150 Years of Occupation
by Bandino




Olimpiadas en Beijing


Ganan Paola y Tatiana medalla de bronce para México

Por: Notimex

Las clavadistas mexicanas Paola Espinoza y Tatiana Ortiz amarraron medalla de bronce en la última ronda después de levantarse de un mal comienzo en la plataforma sincronizada de los Juegos Olímpicos de Pekín 2008.  

La pareja china de Wang Xin y Chen Roulin conquistó el oro con 363,54 puntos en cinco clavados, la plata fue para las australianas Briony Cole y Melissa Wu con 335,16 unidades y el bronce para Paola y Tatiana con 330,06 puntos.

Las mexicanas tuvieron un arranque complicado por fallas en la ejecución de sus primeros dos saltos y cayeron al último lugar entre los ocho países participantes porque recibieron la peor calificación en dos ocasiones. 48.60 unidades cada uno.

"Estaban nerviosas y eso les afectó en los dos primeros clavados, en la salida y en la confianza", declaró la entrenadora de Paola y Tatiana, la china Ma Jin.Con las saltadores chinas Xin y Ruolin en primer lugar y dominando, Paola y Tatiana se levantaron en los saltos de ejecución libre y remontaron posiciones aunque ha sido hasta el último salto cuando se definió que subieran al podio.

Su tercer salto, tres vueltas y media adentro con 3.2 grados de dificultad, mandó a la dupla mexicana del octavo al tercer sitio, sólo por debajo de China y de Australia y arriba de Canadá, en las posiciones.

Las distancias en la puntuación se redujeron al mínimo en el cuarto salto, 3.5 media atrás con 3.3 grados de dificultad para Tatiana y Paola, porque Australia estaba a menos de dos puntos de las mexicanas.

Todas ejecutaron el salto de dos vueltas y media al frente con un giro, de 3,4 grados de dificultad, y fueron las australianas las que se lograron la máxima calificación con 87.72 puntos, por 83.64 de las mexicanas y 80.58 unidades de las unidades.

Las canadienses Meaghan Benfeito y Roseline Filion estaban en cuarto lugar y fue su último salto, que recibió una calificación 73.44 fue en los hechos el que le dio a México un puesto en el podio.

Y las australianas se llevaron la plata y dejaron a México con el bronce en la última ejecución al sacarles una ventaja de 5.10 unidades en la clasificación.

El bronce de plataforma sincronizada en Pekín representa la medalla 52 en la historia de México en Juegos Olímpicos y la décima en la disciplina de los clavados, donde se han ganado una de oro, cuatro de plata y cinco de bronce.

Los clavados han igualado al atletismo como el segundo deporte que más medallas olímpicas le ha dado a México, con diez cada uno, en tanto que el  boxeo le ha dado doce medallas a México.


Darán a clavadista mexicana auto, beca y 500 mil pesos
Por: El Universal/México, DF.

La clavadista olímpica Tatiana Ortiz Galicia, además de la medalla de bronce en Beijing, se hizo acreedora a 500 mil pesos y a un auto que le obsequiará el gobierno del estado de México, de acuerdo al compromiso asumido por el Ejecutivo estatal, Enrique Peña Nieto.

Adicionalmente, el alcalde de Naucalpan, José Luis Durán Reveles, le ofreció 10 mil pesos y una beca mensual permanente por 2 mil pesos.

Tatiana, quien logró medalla de bronce junto con Paola Espinosa en clavados sincronizados, es oriunda de la colonia Jardines de San Mateo, desde donde partía a los 8 años de edad rumbo a la alberca del Deportivo Chapultepec.

"Mis papás se aventaban todo el recorrido desde Naucalpan hasta Mariano Escobedo, cuando yo era una niña para ir a entrenar", afirmó la clavadista, quien obtuvo el primer lugar en Centroamericanos y medalla de plata en los juegos Panamericanos.


Pasan mexicanas eliminatoria en Tiro con Arco
Por: Notimex

Las arqueras mexicanas Aida Román y Mariana Avitia ganaron sus respectivas eliminatorias de la especialidad dentro de los Juegos Olímpicos  Beijing 2008, que se realiza en el Campo Verde de Tiro con Arco. En la eliminatoria seis de la ronda de dieciseisavos, Aida Román sumó 111 flechas para superar a la ucraniana Victoria Koval, que terminó con 105, y así avanzar a los octavos de final.  En la siguiente eliminatoria, Mariana Avitia sumó 110 flechas contra 109 de la polaca Malgorzata Cwienczek, que totalizó 109. 

Resultados de la ronda de dieciseisavos de final de tiro con arco: -
Eliminatoria Seis: 1. Aida Román (MEX) 111 2. Victoria Koval (UCR) 105 Eliminatoria Siete: 1. Mariana Avitia (MEX) 110 2. Malgorzata Cwienczek (MOLACA)
Sent by Mercy Bautista-Olvera






Actuación magistral la de María Espinoza


Simplemente una actuación magistral fue la que tuvo esta noche la mexicana María del Rosario Espinoza y en cada uno de sus tres combates previos a la final hizo vibrar a cada rincón de México y más cuando a 17 segundos de la última etapa del combate definitivo tiró la patada que le valió el oro. 

El camino que tuvo la sinaloense para apoderarse del metal áureo tuvo que ser con el alma triunfante, ya que desde las tribunas contó con el apoyo de una veintena de nacionales, quienes corearon en todo momento el nombre de la taekwondoín, que compitió en la categoría de +67 kilogramos.

Sobre el tatami de la Universidad de Ciencia y Tecnología de Pekín, la sinaloense demostró su condición de ser la mejor del mundo, ya que sólo le faltaba este metal para ver cumplido su sueño y de esta manera convertirse en la mejor atleta del país.
Primero eliminó a la tunecina Khaoula Ben Hamza, luego siguió la sueca Karolina Kedzierska y para rematar tocó el turno a la británica Sarah Stevenson, quien ya estaba estudiada y sólo era cuestión de repetirle la misma dosis.

En los primeros dos minutos del combate, María del Rosario Espinoza escuchó cómo un grupo de mexicanos en el escenario pekinés la hizo sentirse como en casa y si antes la gente local se había entregado a ella, ahora las cosas fueron diferentes, porque ya estaba en la final.

Una patada dio en el blanco de la noruega Nina Solheim, a quien la desesperación parecía invadirla, porque su deseo era pegar primero y de ahí comenzar a fraguar el duelo.

Para la segunda parte, Pedro Gato, el metodólogo del conjunto nacional desde las tribunas alentó a la mexicana, "vamos, vamos a la derecha, así, guarda distancia!", dijo entre el aliento de las ganas de estar en el tatami y ser parte del duelo.
Sin embargo, fue hasta los dos minutos finales cuando la sinaloense entró en calor, dejó atrás ese momento de análisis de la rival -en el momento del combate, porque antes la estudió varias veces a través del video- y primero dos puntos y luego un compás de espera.

Eran los últimos segundos y las gradas estaban que ardían, se llenaban de júbilo al sentir tan cerca el tacto del oro y en ese momento dos pancartas, que permanecían escondidas, salieron de las entrañas de la "monumental" porra: "-Vamos Sinaloa!" y "Chayo", en español y también en chino.

Aquellas frases fueron la arenga para la originaria de La Brecha, una localidad sinaloense que vio como la pequeña María se daba de patadas con sus amigos en el patio trasero de la casa.

La cuenta regresiva comenzó, los últimos segundos de aliento son los más angustiantes y María del Rosario Espinoza sólo trataba de aguantar, tenía el "match" en su poder y sin perder la concentración y tranquilidad dio un vistazo al reloj, la pelea estaba por culminar y sólo hay que esperar.

Y cuando se escuchó la señal final, ella simplemente sonrió y abrazó a su contrincante, había terminado la contienda y tenía el metal en sus manos, el símbolo que la convierte en la mejor deportista mexicana en la historia, con el título panamericano en Río de Janeiro 2007 y mundial en el mismo año.

Y ahora el oro olímpico, que además la convierte en la segunda mujer en obtener la máxima distinción olímpica. La primera fue Soraya Jiménez, quien en Sydney 2000 hizo vibrar a México como ahora lo hizo la sinaloense.

Sent by Mercy Bautista Olvera

Historia de Los Altos de Jalisco
Hola a todos.

Solo quería decirles que acaba de finalizar nuestra conferencia de HISTORIA DE LOS ALTOS DE JALISCO y fue un gran éxito. Tuvimos la asistencia de 73 personas, entre ellas 7 miembros de Nuestros Ranchos y muchos más futuros miembros, así como cronistas de casi todos los municipios de la región de Los Altos, invitados especiales, y por supuesto al Dr. Don Mariano Gonzalez Leal y su familia.

Entre lo más destacado se encuentra la excelente conferencia, única en su clase, que nos ofreció Don Mariano Gonzalez donde nos platico desde los orígenes de nuestros ancestros españoles y la formación de su sociedad desde antes de que vinieran a la Nueva España, hasta los mitos de sefarditas y franceses alteños. También les platico que el Dr. Mariano nos deleitó las mentes y nos despertó aun más la ansiedad al darnos la noticia de la próxima publicación de sus nuevos tomos de RETOÑOS DE ESPAÑA EN LA NUEVA GALICIA, VOLUMENES I-VII que saldrán a la venta a fines de este año. Don Mariano, además de honrarnos con su muy grata presencia a esta primera conferencia de Nuestros Ranchos en Los Altos de Jalisco, nos concedió el honor de utilizar esta reunión para presentar oficialmente sus nuevas publicaciones genealógicas, tan esperadas por todos nosotros.

Después de la conferencia pasamos a una convivencia familiar aquí mismo en Valle de Guadalupe, donde el ambiente que se respiraba era tan placentero como el de una reunión entre amigos. Aquí aprovechamos la ocasión para convivir con Don Mariano y con algunos de los cronistas de municipios alteños como Encarnación de Díaz, San Juan de los Lagos, Tepatitlán, Valle de Guadalupe, Cañadas de Obregón, Acatic, Mexticacán y Capilla de Guadalupe, entre otros. Se aprovechó este espacio para hablar con los cronistas de sus publicaciones, además de la convivencia entre estos y miembros de Nuestros Ranchos donde se dio el intercambio de información genealógica.

Pero más importante, se dio comienzo a una relación más estrecha entre el Dr. Mariano Gonzalez Leal, los autores de libros de historia alteña y los cronistas de la región con miembros de Nuestros Ranchos y personas interesadas en la investigación genealógica, dando lugar al intercambio de ideas que nos sirvió de mecha para planear la realización de futuros eventos como este y fomentar el conocimiento de nuestro pasado genealógico.

Cuando esté listo el video de la conferencia se les hará saber para que los que estén interesados lo puedan tener, así como las fotos del evento.  Hasta luego y que estén todos muy bien.

Saludos, Ricardo

Benicio Samuel Sanchez Garcia
Presidente de la Sociedad Genealogica del Norte de Mexico
Cel: 04481-1667-2480

  Las villas del norte
Prof. Israel Cavazos Garza

Si de las villas del centro hemos dicho que las familias fundadoras procedían, en su casi totalidad, de Nuevo León; podría afirmarse que todas las de las villas del norte fueron reclutadas en el Nuevo Reino.

El lugar o villa de Mier recibió 38 familias en su fundación, "todos los más de la villa de Cerralvo". Sáenz, Gutiérrez, Vela, Chapa, Hinojosa, Guerra, Salinas, Del Bosque, Ramírez, Bazán, Barreta, no dan lugar a duda a esta afirmación. Es importante advertir que gran parte de las tierras de Mier, llamado en lo antiguo el Paso del Cántaro, ya para 1734 era de don José Félix de Almandos, vecino de Higueras, quien las vendió a don Prudencio Basterra, y fueron más tarde de don Manuel de Aldaco, de México. Manuel de Hinojosa las pobló antes de 1740 y Blas María de la Garza Falcón estableció también
  allí su rancho ganadero; según lo declaró José Florencio de Chapa, quien de igual modo llevó a ese lugar su familia y sus ganados.

En caso semejante está Revilla (Ciudad Guerrero), fundada con 58 familias provenientes del Nuevo Reino de León. Serna, Villarreal, Adame, Mendiola, Dávila, Canales, Benavides, Gutiérrez y Vela fueron los apellidos predominantes. Este lugar ya estaba poblado años antes de la llegada de Escandón. En 1745 se estableció allí Nicolás de la Garza , a cuyo ejemplo pasaron también a poblar el capitán Francisco Báez de Benavides con cinco hermanos suyos, en tierras que pertenecían a Vicente Guerra. Hay referencia a entradas anteriores, como la de Juan García, "en tiempos del gobernador Arriaga", esto es, en los años de 1724 o 1725.

Por lo que hace a la villa de Burgos, el capitán Antonio Leal y Guerra condujo 30 familias de Nuevo León. Las trasladó desde Santander, a donde las había llevado Ladrón de Guevara. Otra vez los apellidos característicos: Tijerina, Leal Iglesias, De León, Treviño, Zamora, Cantú, Selvera, Molina, Botello, Ochoa, Ballí.

De San Fernando, pudiera decirse en tono festivo que es una "sucursal" de Cadereyta. De allí "y de otras partes del Nuevo Reino", llegaron las 43 familias fundadoras: Sánchez de Zamora, Santos Coy, Villarreal, Hinojosa, Caballero, Flores, Alanís, Montemayor, Cantú, Galván y otras. Así lo testificó Nicolás Iglesias, que fue quien las condujo; corroborando la referencia el testimonio de Cayetano Caballero.

La villa de Camargo recibió también de Nuevo León las 40 familias que le dieron origen. Éstas fueron acaudilladas por Blas María de la Garza Falcón , figura también muy destacada en esa época. Por cuanto a Reynosa, fue el capitán Carlos Cantú quien acompañó a las 40 familias neoleonenses pioneras. En 1757 el padrón registraba 20 más, procedentes también de Nuevo León y de los hijos de los primeros vecinos que ya se habían casado. Cadereyta, el Pilón, Salinas y Pesquería Grande aportaron el mayor número.

La jurisdicción del Nuevo Santander fue señalada hasta el Nueces. El proyecto de Escandón consideraba la fundación de poblaciones entre este río y el Bravo. Ya hemos visto que con ese rumbo iban las familias que llevaba Pedro González de Paredes. Con esa misma dirección iba Tomás Sánchez, nacido en Ciénega de Flores. Sánchez recorrió el Nueces en busca de sitio adecuado, pero decidió, a la postre, asentarse con diez familias en la ribera norte del Bravo, en el paso de Jacinto. Saldívar, García, Treviño, Sánchez, Díaz, Salinas y otras, fueron las que dieron origen, en 1755, a la villa que Escandón llamó San Agustín de Laredo (actual Laredo, Texas). Otro lugar; la hacienda de Dolores, "al otro lado del río Grande", había sido establecido cinco años antes por José Vázquez Borrego, con familias procedentes, como él, de San Francisco de Coahuila.

El éxodo de Nuevo León de estas familias pioneras se repitió al ser ordenada la fundación de otras tres villas, propuestas por Tienda de Cuervo y por Agustín de la Cámara Alta. Estas nuevas villas fueron: Cruillas, San Carlos y Croix (Casas). En el Archivo Municipal de Monterrey existe la comisión dada por Escandón a Joaquín Galván, para reclutar treinta familias par la fundación de Cruillas, y otra dada al capitán Luis Fuentes para la de San Carlos.





John Inclan Database  Subject: Goseascohea Family Tree

Found data you compiled re Don Jose Manuel de Goseascohea & Dona Ma. Francisca Xaviera de la Garza y de la Garza.  Very interested & impressed & thrilled to have this info!  They were my GGGG grandparents & their daug, Estefana, was my GGG grandmother.  Her dau, Ma. Refugio Cavazos, married Don Antonio Oliveira (came to US from Portugal in 1824) & they had 7 children; their son, Antonio, was my G grandfather.  Noted your spelling of name left out 2nd "i" & children were not listed.  Last yr Crispin Rendon prepared a "chapter" for me for  "Descendants of Don Antonio Oliveira & Dona Ma. de Refugio Cavazos" & I would like to add this to data you compiled but not sure how to do it.  Is there software I can purchase to make it easier?  Thought about cutting & pasting but numbers would have to be changed??? 

Also found data you compiled re Capitan Blas Maria de la Garza Falcon (#386) & probably overlooked but didn't find info re above.  I do have a genealogical listing of sorts which was prepared for an Oliveira family reunion in 1987 but have not attempted to confirm any of the data.  Listing begins with Capitan Marcos Alonzo Garza Y Arcon & Dona Juana de Trevino & just lists their children's names without additional data except for direct ances to Ma. Refugio Cavazos & even that data is sketchy. 

Would appreciate any suggestions/assistance you can give me as I've only been doing research since last yr & am still learning. 

Thank you, Helen Wallace



La Familia de la Garza Falcón
La familia de la Garza Falcón tuvo una participación muy prominente en la exploración, la pacificación de los indios y la colonización de las provincias de Nuevo León, Coahuila, Texas, y Nuevo Santander (Tamaulipas). Dado a que fueron muchos los integrantes de esta familia y sus actividades estuvieron muy relacionadas, preferimos presentar sus biografías en una sola página para su mejor entendimiento.

Blas de la Garza Falcón ( ? - 1736). Gobernador de Coahuila en dos ocasiones (1723-1729 y 1733-1735). En 1725 efectuó una campaña contra las partidas de bárbaros que merodeaban la provincia de Coahuila. En 1735 por ordenes de el Virrey el arzobispo de Vizarrón, junto con el capitán del presidio de San Juan Bautista Don Joseph de Ecay Múzquiz, recorrieron las márgenes del río Grande para encontrar un paraje donde establecer un presidio. Partió de Monclova el 12 de diciembre del mismo año hasta el presidio de San Juan Bautista, de donde siguió hasta el río San Diego. Acampados en ese sitio, dio ordenes al capitán Miguel de la Garza Falcón (hijo suyo) de seguir explorando río arriba. El 17 de enero mandó al Virrey el derrotero seguido y solicitó que el presidio fuera fundado en el río San Diego. Poco después falleció. En sus ausencias, dejaba a cargo de la gobernatura de Coahuila a su hermano o hijo, Clemente de la Garza Falcón, que a su muerte fue también gobernador.

Clemente de la Garza Falcón ( ?-? ). Hijo o hermano de Blas de la Garza Falcón, sustituía e este en sus ausencias durante sus campañas de exploración. A la muerte de este, fue gobernador de la provincia de Coahuila. Durante su gobernatura concedió permiso para la fundación de la misión de San Francisco Vizarrón de los Pausanes para poblarla con indios, situándola contigua a la del Dulce Nombre de Jesús de los Peyotes. Debido a los ataques de los indios, Clemente practicó una visita a los presidios y las misiones de su jurisdicción. Del resultado de la visita, el 18 de marzo de 1738 rindió un informe al Virrey.

A raíz del decreto de la fundación del presidio de Sacramento, el capitán del presidio (Miguel de la Garza Falcón) tuvo facultades para mercedar tierras. En 1740, cuando Clemente ya no era gobernador de Coahuila, solicitó una merced de tierras, argumentando que descendía de los primeros fundadores del Nuevo Reyno de León y que "hallándose avecindado en el real presidio de Santa Rosa con casa, mujer e hijos a quienes me es preciso fomentar, pues es el número tan considerable que son doce, los seis de armas tomar..." Miguel le mercedó el 2 de diciembre de 1740 a Clemente un ojo de agua, dos sitios de ganado mayor y otros tantos de menor en la banda derecha del río Sabinas. En la margen izquierda le mercedó cincuenta sitios de ganado mayor. En ese paraje se estableció la estancia de San Juan de Sabinas, precursora de la actual villa del mismo nombre.

La mitad del vasto latifundio, incluido el casco de la estancia y el derecho al agua fue vendida por los herederos de Clemente al capitán de milicias Don Ignacio Elizondo, y posteriormente la otra mitad fue enajenada en 1814 al capitán Melchor Sánchez Navarro. En 1829 la parte de Elizondo también pasó a poder del capitán Sánchez Navarro.

Miguel de la Garza Falcón (1699-1753). Hijo del General Blas de la Garza Falcón y de Doña Beatriz de Villarreal, nacio en Pesquería Nuevo León, y fue bautizado en Monterrey el día 8 de octubre de 1699. Soldado, explorador y colonizador, sirvió por 20 años como alférez y teniente bajo el mando de su padre.

En 1735, partiendo de Monclova, acompañó a su padre que siendo gobernador recibió ordenes de explorar el río Grande junto con José Antonio de Ecay Múzquiz con el propósito de encontrar un lugar donde situar el presidio de Santa Rosa María del Sacramento. Viajando río arriba, la partida localizó un sitio como a 20 leguas de San Juan Bautista, donde acamparon. Miguel recibió ordenes de explorar 50 leguas más, río arriba, pero por lo difícil del terreno y una nevada, solamente pudieron avanzar 20 leguas en tres días, hasta un lugar llamado la Santa Cruz de Mayo, donde unos Españoles desconocidos habían puesto una gran cruz de madera. Regresó y a los tres días llegó al campamento donde se encontraba su padre. Se otorgó permiso para que el presidio se situara en el río San Diego, y el general Garza Falcón fue nombrado comandante, pero a su muerte en 1736, Miguel fue nombrado comandante por el Virrey "como remuneración de sus servicios, y , por concurrir en su persona los requisitos de
 valor, experiencia militar y manejo de las armas en la disciplina de aquellos parajes y demás circunstancias que se requieren para dicho empleo, le confiero facultad para que reclute el expresado número de soldados los que ha de procurar, en cuanto pueda, que sean del Saltillo y Monterrey, por ser los mas ideoneos para el efecto, con los cuales y sus cabos, subalternos e indios amigos pasará a la expresada construcción del presidio de Sacramento....". En 1739 el presidio fue trasladado al Valle de Santa Rosa (Múzquiz, Coahuila), y existe en el Archivo General de la Nación un manuscrito de 1743 donde Miguel propone que el presidio sea trasladado 100 leguas mas al norte, en la región de San Sabá.

En 1747 formó parte en la expedición que exploró hacia el sur de la boca del río Grande con el propósito de colonizar el Nuevo Santander (Tamaulipas). El mismo año, acompañó al gobernador Pedro de Rábago y Terán en la exploración del Big Bend y la Junta de los Ríos en el norte de Coahuila. Es probable que haya sido una de las personas que más exploraron el río Grande.

En 1753 el Virrey Juan Antonio Vizarrón nombrá a Miguel como juez comisionado y capitán interino del presidio de San Francisco Javier de Gigedo en el río San Gabriel en Texas, donde investigó la muerte de Fray Juan José de Ganzabal.

Se casó con una mujer de la que no se conoce su nombre, y tuvo tres hijos. Murió el 26 de agosto de 1753 en una peste que infectó al presidio. El poblado de Falcón, Texas, fue nombrado así en su honor, y existe un paso en el río Grande, cercano a Nuevo Laredo que se llama el paso de Don Miguel, o el paso de Garza.

Blas María de la Garza Falcón (1712-1767). Nacido en Real de la Salinas, Nuevo León, en 1712, hijo del General Blas de la Garza Falcón y Doña Beatriz de Villarreal, hermano menor de Miguel, pasó su niñez en la hacienda Pesquería Chica, cercana a Monterrey. El 4 de enero de 1731 contrajo matrimonio con Doña Catarina Gómez de Castro, hija del capitán Antonio Gómez de Castro y Nicolasa Baes de Treviño, en el poblado minero de Boca de Leones (Villaldama Nuevo León), con quien tuvo dos hijos y una hija (Juan José, José Antonio y María Gertrudis). Después de la muerte de Doña Catarina, se casó con Doña Josefa de los Santos Coy, hija de Nicolás de los Santos Coy, alcalde de Cerralvo, y Doña Ana María Guerra, sin haber procreado más hijos.

A la edad de 22 años era el capitán del presidio de San Gregorio de Cerralvo en Nuevo León. En 1747 José Escandón, colonizador del Nuevo Santander (Tamaulipas), eligió a Blas María para explorar el sur del río Grande, para lo que Blas María llevó un contingente de cincuenta hombres desde el presidio de Cerralvo hasta la boca del río. De acuerdo al plan de Escandón de establecer siete poblaciones a las orillas del río, Revilla, Camargo, Mier, Dolores, Reynosa, Laredo, y Vedoya, en marzo de 1749, Blas María arregló que cuarenta familias de Nuevo León se llevaran a las orillas del río Grande, fundando así Camargo, con un presidio para los soldados y la misión de San Agustín de Laredo para los indios. Escandón lo nombró capitán y justicia de la nueva población. Para 1752 Blas María había establecido un rancho llamado Carnestolendas donde ahora se encuentra la ciudad de Río Grande, Texas, en la parte norte del río.

Después de varios intentos de colonizar en la región del río Nueces, Escandón dio esa asignación a Blas María. Para 1766, había establecido una ranchería en el lugar conocido como Santa Petronila, a 5 leguas del río Nueces, en lo que ahora es el condado Nueces en Texas a donde llevó a su familia. Esta ranchería sirvió como posta para los viajeros, y como campo para los soldados del presidio de Nuestra Señora de Loreto que patrullaban cuidando la costa y la isla Blanca (isla Del Padre) de posibles incursiones de Ingleses o Franceses.

En 1767 Blas María de la Garza Falcón regresó a Camargo donde falleció y fue enterrado en la capilla familiar de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. Después de su muerte, las tierras fueron distribuidas entre los colonizadores, y en reconocimiento a sus servicios, su familia recibió tierras que se extendían desde el río Grande hasta el río Nueces, en la parte sur de Texas.

Alejo de la Garza Falcón (¿1719? - ?). Fue parte de la familia de la Garza Falcón, probablemente nacido en Monterrey, Nuevo León alderredor de 1719. Fue teniente de la parte de la guarnición del presidio de San Sabá que se asignó a la población de San Fernando de Austria (Zaragoza, Coahuila) en 1769, para su protección durante la campaña que el Comandante Manuel Rodríguez hacia contra los indios en la Junta de los Ríos y el Paso del Norte. Al quedar definitivamente suprimido el presidio de San Sabá en 1770, estas tropas permanecieron en San Fernando.

En mayo de 1773, los indios apaches Mezcaleros atacaron el poblado de San José, a 10 leguas al sudoeste de San Fernando. Al siguiente día el teniente Alejo de la Garza Falcón salió en su persecución con 50 hombres, a los que después se les unieron otras tropas de San Juan Bautista. La tropa alcanzó a los Mezcaleros al norte del río Grande, en las cercanías de la boca del río Pecos, y los atacó en su campamento al amanecer del día 6 de junio. Alejo de la Garza Falcón formó el centro del ataque con sesenta hombres. Los indios sufrieron numerosas bajas, se rescataron tres cautivos que habían hecho en San José, y se recuperaron 200 caballos y mulas que habían sido robados en cinco ataques hechos en Coahuila.

Alejo continuó participando en la defensa contra los indios que seguían amenazando las poblaciones de Coahuila, y unos años después, fue enviado al nuevo presidio de San Vicente (a las orillas del río grande en la región del Big Bend), donde en 1775 y 1776 participó a la cabeza de las tropas del presidio en la larga campaña organizada por Jacobo de Ugarte y Loyola. El 22 de diciembre de 1775, una patrulla de soldados presidiales fue atacada por los indios apaches Lipanes en el río del Diablo, donde perdieron 3 hombres. El 24 de diciembre, Alejo recibió ordenes de Ugarte para perseguir con una fuerza de 100 hombre a los indios hostiles. Los buscó por las márgenes del río Grande y del río del Diablo, encontrando solamente rastros. Pasó algunos día buscándolos pero se habían dispersado en su huida, y solamente encontró y capturó a un hombre y una mujer apaches lipiyanos, que habían huido de un ataque del comandante Manuel Muñoz, muy al oriente del lugar. Alejo de la Garza Falcón regresó
 al presidio de Aguaverde a reportarse con Ugarte.

El encabezado del reporte de Alejo de la Garza Falcón dice "derrotero que yo, Don Alejo de la Garza Falcón, teniente y habilitado del real presidio de San Sabá, hago de las novedades y demás ocurrencias que se deban advertir en la estación, de la mariscada que de orden del señor gobernador hago yo contra los enemigos, por las cabeceras del río de San Pedro o por donde tiraren las huellas de dichos enemigos, con cien hombres de cuera y trece auxiliares, cuyo tenor de dicho derrotero es el siguiente, desde hoy 26 de diciembre de 1775"

María Getrudis de la Garza Falcón (1734 - 1789). Hija de Blas María de la Garza Falcón y Doña Catarina Gómez de Castro, nació en Cerralvo, Nuevo León, en 1734. Fue dueña de una gran cantidad de tierras en el la provincia de Texas.

En 1749 cuando su padre fundó la población de Camargo, Nuevo León, las tierras fueron comunitarias por unos años. En 1750, la familia se mudó a Camargo, y en 1754 se casó con su primo José Salvador de la Garza también residente de Camargo, hijo del capitán Adrian de la Garza y María de Elizondo. La pareja tuvo 3 hijos.

Cuando se efectúo la fundación, las tierras de Camargo fueron comunitarias con el propósito de que los colonizadores no se dispersaran, pero en 1767 se mercedó la tierra a los pobladores y en ese reparto José Salvador recibió tierras al norte del río Grande. Posteriormente la familia se mudo río abajo a un lugar cercano a Reynosa. En 1772, José Salvador solicitó más tierras y en 1781 le fue concedida una extensión considerable río abajo conocida como Potrero del Espíritu Santo, donde estableció una ranchería llamada Rancho Viejo (a 8 Km. al poniente de Brownsville, Texas, en la carretera 77 se encuentra una marca histórica).

Después de la muerte de José Salvador, María Getrudis heredó las tierras y el ganado, que luego pasaron por otros descendientes. La propiedad legal de estas tierras ha estado en litigios a raíz de la separación de Texas de México.

Doña María Getrudis falleció en 1789. En su testamento fechado el 18 de agosto de 1789, pidió ser enterrada en la capilla de Guadalupe en Camargo al lado de su padre.

José Antonio de la Garza Falcón (1739 - 1797). Soldado y funcionario público, nació en Cerralvo, Nuevo León, hijo del capitán Blas María de la Garza Falcón y Doña Catarina Gómez de Castro. Creció en Cerralvo y Camargo, y se incorporó a las fuerzas de la compañía presidial de Camargo, donde posteriormente fue teniente de la caballería.

Después de la muerte de su padre en 1767, José Antonio fue nombrado capitán y justicia de Camargo y su jurisdicción que se extendía hasta Matamoros en Nuevo Santander y río Nueces en Texas. En 1767 fue encomendado para asignar las tierras que se repartieron entre 111 colonizadores de Camargo.

En 1766 José Antonio recibió varias ordenes de investigar los rumores que había de que los Ingleses estaban preparándose para establecerse en la parte baja de Texas. Ese año recorrió la costa desde el río Grande hasta la bahía de Corpus Cristy (es muy probable que este nombre fue dado por él o su padre, que poseían el cercano rancho de Santa Petronila) y la Isla del Padre.

Se casó el 12 de abril de 1773 con Doña Leonor Méndez, hija de Bartolomé Méndez y Francisca González. Tuvieron dos hijas, una llamada Guadalupe que se casó con el Alcalde y teniente Blas de la Garza (1772-1820) en Matamoros. José Antonio falleció en Camargo en 1797 y fue enterrado en la capilla familiar de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe.

Bibliografía: The Hand Book of Texas online (; Coahuila y Texas en la época Colonial, Vito Alessio Robles; Archivo general de la Nación, varios documentos, Ramo de Provincias Internas; Movimientos de resistencia y rebeliones indígenas en el norte de México (1680 - 1821), José Luis Mirafuentes Galván.

Benicio Samuel Sanchez Garcia
Presidente de la Sociedad Genealogica del Norte de Mexico
Cel: 04481-1667-2480




Exploring Colonial Mexico:


Colonial church collapses. July 2008

The Mission of San José is one of the oldest structures in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, built around 1785.

Hit by unusual amounts of rain last week, after Hurricane Dolly hit the Gulf Coast on Wednesday, the church collapsed after its ancient adobe walls became soaked.

Church superintendent Jesus Castillo Martinez reported that the church's front and side walls are now rubble, and although some of the church's religious images and paintings were saved, others were lost or remain buried in the rubble. Fortunately, the centuries-old church was empty at the time of the collapse over the weekend and no injuries have been reported.


A dispute between archeologists over a newly discovered, potentially large and important Maya city, located in the "southern cone" of the state of Yucatan, threatens to cut off funding for the project. This could preclude further investigation and more importantly, adequate security for the uncovered monuments, which include a number of carved Maya stelae - invaluable works of art and documentation that would be at high risk of theft at the hands of international art robbers.

  • San Miguel de Allende, May 2008

The epidemic of art thefts in Mexico continues. On May 21, 2008 thieves broke into the sacristy of the church of Santa Ana in this popular tourist town where they cut seven colonial paintings from their frames. Although details of the stolen art works are not currently available, they were listed with INAH, and local authorities are vigorously investigating the theft with the hope of recovering the missing paintings.

Licenciado Ignacio Reyes Retana Pérez Gil of the "Amigos de San Miguel" condemned the loss and called for greater security measures in local churches.

The church of Santa Ana, located next to the public library in San Miguel, was founded in the 17th century as part of a convent and college for cloistered nuns.

  • TEPEMAZALCO. November 2007. As we reported earlier, the colonial painting of the Expulsion from the Garden of Eden, stolen several years ago and found in the collection of a US art museum, was recently returned to Mexico. Now restored by INAH, the painting will shortly be put on display in Pachuca, the state capital of Hidalgo, before being returned to the church at nearby Tepemazalco (Hidalgo).
  • LIGHTNING STRIKES ! On July 1st 2007 a lightning bolt struck the thatched roof of the newly restored, historic Santuario de Santa Maria Acapulco. The roof of the famous indigenous mission in San Luis Potosí was consumed in flames and the church interior was completely burned out, a devastating loss to the community and Mexican colonial art. It was noted that the facade statues of St. Francis and St. Michael vanquishing the devil were destroyed, with only the devils surviving the holocaust!
  • ROBBERIES IN TLAXCALA. In March and May of 2007 colonial religious images were stolen from the parish church at Tepeyanco. These included figures of San Jose, San Martin de Porres and the Virgin of Guadalupe. Theft of religious art in Tlaxcala has risen alarmingly in recent months. Art works have also been stolen this year from nearby churches at Tlaxco, Zitlaltepec, Texcalac and San Lorenzo Tlacualoyan.
  • In a new Initiative, INAH has established telephone numbers for the public to report thefts of art and archeological artifacts in Mexico. It is hoped that the timely reporting of these robberies will discourage thieves and illicit art dealers, and hamper the sale of stolen objects. In the field of religious art, INAH noted that signed paintings, sculptures and statues, especially of the Virgin and archangels, are the most frequently targeted by thieves.
  • INAH, the Mexican national institute of archeology and history, recently announced that it would document and post pictures of its holdings on the internet by the end of the year, in an attempt to deter thieves. While this only represents a fraction of Mexico's vast artistic and cultural patrimony, it is a good start in the enormous task of documenting all of the nation's artistic and archeological treasures.
  • In a recent report, the Mexican Attorney General estimated that during the last 6 years upwards of 1000 art works and archeological pieces have been stolen in Mexico, with fewer than 10% being recovered.
  • A timely and beautifully illustrated new book, "Museum of the Missing", from Canadian publisher Madison Press Books, documents and exposes in an entertaining manner the shady world of international art robbery and its colorful cast of characters, especially in relation to well known stolen paintings.
  • The Cocom Codex, an entertaining recent novel by Nelson Reed, author of The Caste War of Yucatan, also illuminates the shady, often violent world of illicit trafficking in prehispanic artifacts.


  • Professional thieves took advantage of the recent upheaval in the city of Oaxaca (resulting from the teachers strike and occupation of the zócalo, or main plaza), to remove a historic 16th century work of religious art from La Compañía, the Jesuit church located adjacent to the zócalo.
  • According to Jorge Villa de Aguinaga, the resident priest, the missing retablo with its valuable painting of Nuestra Señora del Pópolo, was taken July 26 from the church workshop, where it was being restored.
    The portrait of the Virgin was reputedly originally commissioned by St. Francis Borgia, the superior of the Order, in the 1570s especially for the Jesuits in Oaxaca. It disappeared following the expulsion of the Order from Mexico in 1767, only to reappear in the nearby church of San Felipe Neri.
    The robbers appear to have known exactly what they wanted since other works of art being restored remained untouched. Officials of INAH and the Attorney General have been notified.

    This was not the first robbery at La Compañía. Valuable silver crosses and candelabra as well as offering boxes have been stolen recently. La Compañía is not the only victim. In the past two years alone, more than 25 churches in Oaxaca have lost valuable religious art and objects to thieves. The widely venerated Virgin of La Soledad in the city of Oaxaca was stripped of much of her priceless jewelry, and 6 million pesos was stolen from the pilgrimage church of the Virgin of Juquila. In the illegal traffic in sacred art, nothing is sacred.

    Further to our recent story on the controversial removal of colonial art works from the church of La Natividad Tamazulapan, in the Mixteca Alta area of northern Oaxaca, the objects in question - three canvases and a small retablo - are currently on display in Mexico City as part of the exhibition, Imágenes de los Naturales en el Arte de la Nueva España. Siglos XVI-XVIII, sponsored by Fomento Cultural Banamex A.C. It is to be hoped that the art works will be safely and speedily returned to Tamazulapan at the conclusion of the exhibit. Check out our page on Tamazulapan.


  • During a recent conference in Mexico City (Encuentro Internacional para el Combate al Tráfico Ilícito de Bienes Culturales), the heads of several concerned national agencies met to discuss the recent increase in the theft of both archeological artifacts and colonial religious art. In addition to meeting the demands of local and national collectors, this trade feeds an illicit international market for stolen art that now rivals drug trafficking in its extent and lucrative value.
  • Among the initiatives proposed to deal with this epidemic was tighter enforcement of existing laws (Ley Federal sobre Monumentos y Zonas Arqueológicos, Artísticos e Históricos (1972) expediting the cataloguing of art works under existing programs (Programa Nacional de Prevención de Tráfico Ilícito de Bienes Culturales Muebles) and adopting advanced registration programs like those currently implemented in Europe. New measures involved the active participation of Interpol in this increasingly international traffic.

  • The wave of robberies of religious art continues, especially in areas near the capital: Mexico State, Hidalgo, Puebla and Tlaxcala.
  • Recent heists include the brazen seizure last month of two colonial paintings of the Virgin Mary from the 17th century church of San Felipe Zacatepec in the state of Mexico. These were especially revered by the residents, who had recently returned with the images from a pilgrimage to the shrine of Guadalupe in Mexico City.
  • The Bad News. The area northeast of Mexico City came under attack from art thieves again in June. Following the robbery at Tlachihualpan, which we featured earlier, we are sad to report another theft of colonial religious images, this time from the church of San Agustín Zapotlan, another village near Zempoala in the state of Hidalgo:
  • "On May 15th, the day after a funeral had been held there, attended by out of towners, the sacristan, Germán Castillo Vargas, arrived at the church in the morning to find the locks forced and the door ajar. Clothing that had adorned two of the saints, St. Augustine and John the Baptist, lay in a heap by the door and the statues were missing. In addition, an 18th century painting of the Virgin of Guadalupe was gone, hastily cut from its frame. To add insult to injury, the box for donations to the cult of Virgin had also been emptied."

  • The Good News. Officials of the Mexican agencies INAH, CONACULTA AND UNAM-IIE announced the long overdue establishment of the National Catalog of Sacred Art, a comprehensive archive designed to register religious art and objects of value in Mexico's churches. While the compilation of this register promises to be a mammoth task, the 15 million peso funding of the program should make the work of art thieves more difficult.
  • Security in the churches themselves is an even more pressing problem, and a regional initiative of "shared responsibity"was launched by INAH in Morelos, an area targeted by art robbers, to recruit and train local residents in the conservation and protection of religious art. (see our story on Pazulco, below)
  • Other initiatives are under way to raise consciousness in officialdom to help stem the tide of theft, including publication of the Manual of Prevention (see report below.)
  • Robbery at Chimalhuacan. On May 6th the 16th century Dominican church of San Vicente in Chimalhuacan, near Mexico City, fell victim to a daring robbery. Best known as the church where the noted 17th century Mexican poet Sor Juana de la Cruz was baptized in1671, it was broken into at night by thieves, who stole an early colonial painting and several religious images. The missing painting of Souls in Purgatory dates from the 16th century and was hung above the ancient stone font in which Sor Juana was baptized. Colonial statues of the Virgin of the Rosary, the Virgin of El Carmen and St. Anthony of Padua were also taken.
  • The art works were registered and Interpol and the Mexican Customs have been alerted. This area, to the east of Mexico City, has been the scene of numerous art robberies by organized gangs in recent years, nevertheless, no security or alarm system was in place at this historic site.

    Look for our forthcoming feature on this historic colonial church.

  • Another robbery has been reported at Santo Tomas Atzingo, near Chimal. The victim of earlier art thefts, the church was robbed May 10th of an 18th century painting of the Virgin of Guadalupe, as well as a portrait of Ignatius Loyola, the Jesuit founder.
  • Communities in the area of northern Morelos, a scenic region rich in colonial churches and monasteries close to Mexico City, are on alert following a string of robberies of colonial art - the most recent from the church of Pazulco, near the great Augustinian priory of Yecapixtla. Missing art works include a 16th century painting of the Virgin of Guadalupe and a gilded statue of St. Anthony of Padua. Following the robbery, officials from INAH and other conservation agencies met with residents and provided copies of a newly compiled document, the Manual of Prevention, designed to raise consciousness and inform locals on how best to protect valuable religious art and artifacts against the current epidemic of organized robberies in Mexico.
  • Montezuma's Headdress. On his forthcoming visit to Vienna, Mexican President Vicente Fox is expected to press the Austrian government for the return of Emperor Montezuma's plumed "penacho" or ceremonial headress, long held by the Austrian National Museum of Ethnology and currently on exhibit there.
  • Acting on a tip from an art dealer in nearby Chapala, a missing painting of the Mass of St Gregory, by the eminent Mexican baroque painter Cristobal de Villalpando, stolen in 2004 from the colonial Art Museum of Antigua, Guatemala, was recently found in the possession of a Mexican national in Guadalajara.
  • See our recent page on the theft and recovery of the sculpture of St. Francis from Tochimilco in Puebla.
  • Mushrooming art thefts are also closely connected to networks of organized crime and drug traffickers. The authorities are finally waking up to the dimensions of the problem, especially following the recent 20th anniversary of the great robbery at the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City
  • Some churches, especially those near Mexico City have installed alarm systems. One such alarm, at San Miguel Atlautla, helped catch a thief who broke into the church late at nightand was about to make off with collection money and religious images. The alerted citizens, angry at this act of sacrilege, beat the robber and would have lynched him but for the timely arrival of the police. Nevertheless, such events might act as a deterrent to would be thieves.



    By John P. Schmal


    Jalisco is La Madre Patria for millions of Mexican Americans. Many of these sons and daughters of Jalisco know little to nothing about Jalisco’s cultural past and their own indigenous roots. But for many centuries up to the 1530s, Jalisco was a patchwork of many small autonomous nations speaking a wide variety of languages.  The pre-Hispanic Jalisco of the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries gave birth to many of the cultural traditions of present-day Jalisco.  Most of these traditions, over time, have evolved into new traditions that blended elements of Spanish, Mexica, Otomí and indigenous Jalisco culture.  By indigenous Jalisco culture, I mean the culture of the Coras, Cocas, Caxcanes, Tecuexes, Guachichiles and others that that inhabited this area in the centuries leading up to the 1530s. The Spaniards, Mexica, Tlaxcalans and Purépecha who moved to Jalisco after 1530 were all newcomers.

    When people think of “Indigenous Mexico,” they usually think Aztec and Mayan. The Jalisco Indians were neither.  However, many of the Jalisco indigenous peoples did speak languages related to and perhaps derived from Náhuatl, the mother tongue of the Aztecs and Tlaxcalans.  It is believed that the Cocas, Tecuexes, Caxcanes probably have a common relationship with the Aztecs that goes back well over a thousand years. The fact that some of these indigenous languages of Jalisco have disappeared complicates any studies that might have been able to explain that relationship.

    The modern state of Jalisco consists of 31,152 square miles (80,684 square kilometers) located in the west central portion of the Mexican Republic . However, the Jalisco of colonial Mexico was not an individual political entity but part of the Spanish province of Nueva Galicia , which embraced some 180,000 kilometers ranging from the Pacific Ocean to the foothills of the Sierra Madre Occidental .

    Besides the present-day state of Jalisco, Nueva Galicia also included the states of Aguascalientes , Zacatecas, Nayarit, and the northwest corner of San Luis Potosí . Across this broad range of territory, a wide array of indigenous groups lived before 1522 (the first year of contact with Spanish explorers). Domingo Lázaro de Arregui, in his Descripción de la Nueva Galicia - published in 1621 - wrote that 72 languages were spoken in the Spanish colonial province of Nueva Galicia. But, according to the author Eric van Young, “the extensive and deep-running mestizaje of the area has meant that at any time much beyond the close of the colonial period the history of the native peoples has been progressively interwoven with (or submerged in) that of non-native groups.”

    As the Spaniards and their Indian allies from the south made their way into Nueva Galicia early in the Sixteenth Century, they encountered large numbers of nomadic Chichimeca Indians. Philip Wayne Powell - whose Soldiers, Indians, and Silver: North America 's First Frontier War is the definitive source of information relating to the Chichimeca Indians - referred to Chichimeca as “an all-inclusive epithet” that had “a spiteful connotation.”  The Spaniards borrowed this designation from their Aztec allies and started to refer to the large stretch Chichimeca territory as La Gran Chichimeca.

    Alfredo Moreno González, in his book Santa Maria de Los Lagos, explains that the word Chichimeca has been subject to various interpretations over the years. Some of these suggestions included “linaje de perros” (of dog lineage), “perros altaneros” (arrogant dogs), or “chupadores de sangre” (blood-suckers). In any case, it was apparent that the Mexican Indians of the south did not hold their northern counterparts in high regard. However, in time, they learned to both fear and respect many of these Indians as brave and courageous defenders of their ancestral homelands.

    Once Guzmán had consolidated his conquests, he ordered all of the conquered Indians of Jalisco to be distributed among Spanish encomiendas. The individual receiving the encomienda, known as the encomendero, received free labor and tribute from the Indians, in return for which the subjects were commended to the encomendero's care. It was the duty of the encomendero to Christianize, educate and feed the natives under their care. However, as might be expected, such human institutions were prone to abuse and misuse and, as a result, some Indians were reduced to slave labor. Guzmán was arrested and imprisoned in 1536 Two years later, he was returned to Spain in chains to stand trial. He remained in prison until his death in 1550. In spite of Guzmán’s removal and imprisonment, his reign of terror had set into motion institutions that led to the widespread displacement of the indigenous people of Jalisco.

    The second factor was the Mixtón Rebellion of 1541-1542. This indigenous uprising was a desperate attempt by the Cazcanes Indians to drive the Spaniards out of Nueva Galicia . In response to the desperate situation, Viceroy Mendoza assembled a force of 450 Spaniards and some 30,000 Aztec and Tlaxcalan supporting troops. In a series of short sieges and assaults, Mendoza gradually suffocated the uprising. The aftermath of this defeat, according to Peter Gerhard, led to thousands of deaths. In addition, he writes, “thousands were driven off in chains to the mines, and many of the survivors (mostly women and children) were transported from their homelands to work on Spanish farms and haciendas.” Fortunately, some of these people were allowed to return home a decade later, while others died before seeing their homeland again.

    The third factor influencing Jalisco's evolution was the complex set of relationships that the Spaniards enjoyed with their Indian allies. As the frontier moved outward from the center, the military would seek to form alliances with friendly Indian groups. Then, in 1550, the Chichimeca War had begun. This guerrilla war, which continued until the last decade of the century, was primarily fought by Chichimeca Indians defending their lands in Zacatecas, Guanajuato , Aguascalientes , and northern Jalisco.

    The Chichimeca conflict forced the Spaniards to rely heavily upon their Christian Indian allies. The result of this dependence upon indigenous allies as soldados (soldiers) and pobladores (settlers) led to enormous and wide-ranging migration and resettlement patterns that would transform the geographic nature of the indigenous peoples of Nueva Galicia . In describing this phenomenon, Mr. Powell noted that the “Indians formed the bulk of the fighting forces against the Chichimeca warriors; As fighters, as burden bearers, as interpreters, as scouts, as emissaries, the pacified natives of New Spain played significant and often indispensable roles in subjugating and civilizing the Chichimeca country.”

    By the middle of the Sixteenth Century, the Tarascans, Aztecs, Cholultecans, Otomíes, Tlaxcalans, and the Cazcanes had all joined forces with the Spanish military. By the time the Chichimeca War had begun, the Tarascans and Otomíes, in particular, had already developed “considerable experience in warfare alongside the Spaniards.”  As a result, explains Mr. Powell, “they were the first important auxiliaries employed for entradas against the Chichimecas.”

    The employment of Tarascans, Mexicans, and Tlaxcalans for the purpose of “defensive colonization” also encouraged a gradual assimilation of the Chichimecas. In the 1590s Náhuatl-speaking colonists from Tlaxcala and the Valley of Mexico settled in some parts of Jalisco to serve, as Mr. Gerhard writes, “as a frontier militia and a civilizing influence.”  As the Indians of Jalisco made peace and settled down to work for Spanish employers, they were absorbed into the more dominant Indian groups that had come from the south. By the early Seventeenth Century, writes Mr. Powell, most of the Chichimeca Indians had disappeared as distinguishable cultural entities.

    The fourth cause of depopulation and displacement of the Jalisco Indians was contagious disease. The physical isolation of the Indians in the Americas is the primary reason for which disease caused such havoc with the Native American populations. This physical isolation resulted in a natural quarantine from the rest of the planet and from a wide assortment of communicable diseases. When smallpox first ravaged through Mexico in 1520, no Indian had immunity to the disease.

    During the first century of the conquest, the Mexican Indians suffered through 19 major epidemics. They were exposed to smallpox, chicken pox, diphtheria, influenza, scarlet fever, measles, typhoid, mumps, influenza, and cocoliztli (a hemorrhagic disease). Peter Gerhard has estimated the total native population of Nueva Galicia in 1520 at 855,000 persons. However, in the next two decades, the populous coastal region north of Banderas Bay witnessed the greatest population decline.  The Spanish invasion, according to Mr. Gerhard, “was swiftly followed by famine, further violence and dislocation, and epidemic disease.”

    By the late 1530s, the population of the Pacific coastal plain and foothills from Acaponeta to Pufiricación had declined by more than half. Subsequently, Indians from the highland areas were transported to work in the cacao plantations. When their numbers declined, the Spaniards turned to African slaves. By 1560, Mr. Gerhard wrote, the 320,000 indigenous people who occupied the entire tierra caliente in 1520 had dropped to a mere 20,000. A plague in 1545-1548 is believed to have killed off more than half of the surviving Indians of the highland regions. In spite of these epidemics, several areas of Jalisco were less affected by contagious disease. By 1550, it is believed that there were an estimated 220,000 Indians living throughout all of Nueva Galicia .

    The author José Ramirez Flores, in his work, Lenguas Indígenas de Jalisco, has gone to great lengths in reconstructing the linguistic map of the Jalisco of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries. It must be remembered that, although Jalisco first came under Spanish control in the 1520s, certain sections of the state remained isolated and under Amerindian control until late in the Sixteenth Century. The diversity of Jalisco's early indigenous population can be understood more clearly by exploring individual tribes or regions of the state. The following paragraphs are designed to provide the reader with some basic knowledge of several of the indigenous groups of Jalisco:

    The Cazcanes. The Cazcanes (Caxcanes) lived in the northern section of the state. They were a partly nomadic people, whose principal religious and population centers were at Teul, Tlaltenango, Juchipila, and Teocaltiche. According to Señor Flores, the languages of the Caxcanes Indians were widely spoken in the northcentral portion of Jalisco along the “Three-Fingers Border Zone” with Zacatecas. It is believed that the Caxcanes language was spoken at Teocaltiche, Ameca, Huejúcar, and across the border in Nochistlán, Zacatecas.

    According to Mr. Powell, the Caxcanes were "the heart and the center of the Indian rebellion in 1541 and 1542." After the Mixtón Rebellion, the Cazcanes became allies of the Spaniards. For this reason, they suffered attacks by the Zacatecas and Guachichiles during the Chichimeca War. As a cultural group, the Caxcanes ceased to exist during the Nineteenth Century. The only person who has published detailed materials relating to the Caxcanes is the archaeologist, Dr. Phil C. Weigand.

    Cocas. The Coca Indians inhabited portions of central Jalisco, in the vicinity of Guadalajara and Lake Chapala . When the Spaniards first entered this area, some of the Coca Indians, guided by their leader Tzitlali, moved away to a small valley surrounded by high mountains, a place they named “Cocolan.”  Because the Cocas were peaceful people, the Spaniards, for the most part, left them alone. José Ramírez Flores lists Cuyutlán, San Marcos , Tlajomulco, Toluquilla and Poncitlán as towns in which the Coca language was spoken.

    Many historians believe that the word mariachi originated in the language of the Cocas. Some of the traditions surrounding mariachi are certainly derived from the Coca culture and the five-stringed musical instrument called vihuela was a creation of the Cocas. The late Carolyn Baus de Czitrom studied the Cocas extensively and published a remarkable work about their traditions and way of life. In her landmark work, Tecuexes y Cocas: Dos Grupos de la Region Jalisco en el Siglo XVI, Dr. Baus de Czitrom described the Cocas as a very peaceful and cooperative people (“Los cocas era gente dócil, buena y amiga de los españoles”), which she based largely on the accounts of Tello and Ornelas.

    The Coras. The Coras inhabited an area that is now located in present-day Nayarit as well as the northwestern fringes of Jalisco. Today, the Coras, numbering up to 15,000 people, continue to survive, primarily in Nayarit and Jalisco. The Cora Indians have been studied by several historians and archaeologists. One of the most interesting works about the Cora is Catherine Palmer Finerty's In a Village Far From Home: My Life Among the Cora Indians of the Sierra Madre ( Tucson : University of Arizona Press , 2000).

    Cuyutecos. The Cuyutecos - speaking the Nahua language of the Aztecs - settled in southwestern Jalisco, inhabiting Atenquillo, Talpa, Mascota, Mixtlán, Atengo, and Tecolotlán. The population of this area - largely depleted by the epidemics of the Sixteenth Century - was partially repopulated by Spaniards and Indian settlers from Guadalajara and other parts of Mexico . It is believed the Cuyuteco language may have been a late introduction into Jalisco. Other Nahua languages were spoken in such southern Jalisco towns as Tuxpan and Zapotlán.

    Guachichiles. The Guachichiles, of all the Chichimeca Indians, occupied the most extensive territory. The Guachichile Indians - so well known for their fierce resistance towards the Spaniards in the Chichimeca War (1550-1590) - inhabited the areas near Lagos de Moreno, Arandas, Ayo el Chico, and Tepatitlán in the Los Altos region of northeastern Jalisco. Considered both warlike and brave, the Guachichiles also roamed through a large section of the present-day state of Zacatecas.

    The name of "Guachichile" that the Mexicans gave them meant "heads painted of red," a reference to the red dye that they used to pain their bodies, faces and hair. Although the main home of the Guachichile Indians lay in Zacatecas, they had a significant representation in the Los Altos area of Jalisco. After the end of the Chichimeca War, the Guachichiles were very quickly assimilated and Christianized and no longer exist as a distinguishable cultural entity.

    Huicholes. Some historians believe that the Huichol Indians are descended from the nomadic Guachichiles, having moved westward and settled down to an agrarian lifestyle, inhabited a small area in northwestern Jalisco, adjacent to the border with Nayarit. The Huicholes, seeking to avoid confrontation with the Spaniards, became very isolated and thus we able to survive as a people and a culture.

    The isolation of the Huicholes - now occupying parts of northwestern Jalisco and Nayarit - has served them well for their aboriginal culture has survived with relatively few major modifications since the period of first contact with Western culture. Even today, the Huichol Indians of Jalisco and Nayarit currently inhabit an isolated region of the Sierra Madre Occidental . Their language was spoken in the northern stretches of the Three-Fingers Region of Northern Jalisco, in particular Huejuquilla, Tuxpan and Colotlán.

    The survival of the Huichol has intrigued historians and archaeologists alike. The art, history, culture, language and religion of the Huichol have been the subject of at least a dozen books. Carl Lumholtz, in Symbolism of the Huichol Indians: A Nation of Shamans (Oakland, California: B.I. Finson, 1988), made observations about the religion of the Huichol. Stacy B. Schaefer and Peter T. Furst edited People of the Peyote: Huichol Indian History, Religion and Survival (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1996), discussed the history, culture and language of these fascinating people in great detail.

    Otomíes. The Otomíes were a Chichimeca nation primarily occupying Querétaro and Jilotepec. However, early on, the Otomíes allied themselves with the Spaniards and Mexica Indians. As a result, writes Mr. Powell, Otomí settlers were “issued a grant of privileges” and were “supplied with tools for breaking land.”  For their allegiance, they were exempted from tribute and given a certain amount of autonomy in their towns. During the 1550s, Luis de Velasco (the second Viceroy of Nueva España) used Otomí militia against the Chichimecas. The strategic placement of Otomí settlements in Nueva Galicia made their language dominant near Zapotitlán, Juchitlán, Autlán, and other towns near Jalisco's southern border with Colima.

    Purépecha Indians (Tarascans). The Purépecha Indians - also referred to as the Tarascans and Porhé - inhabited many parts of present-day Michoacán and boasted a powerful empire that rivaled the Aztec Empire during the Fifteenth and early Sixteenth Centuries. As recently as 1990, the Purépecha numbered 120,000 speakers. This language, classified as an isolated language, was spoken along the southern fringes of southern Jalisco, adjacent to the border with Colima.

    Tecuexes. The Tecuexes Indians occupied a considerable area of Jalisco north of Guadalajara and western Los Altos , including Mexticacan, Jalostotitlán, Tepatitlán, Yahualica, Juchitlán, and Tonalán. The Tecuexes also occupied the central region near Tequila, Amatltán, Cuquío, and Epatan. The Tecuexes were studied extensively by Dr. Baus de Czitrom, who reported that the Spaniards considered them to be brave and bold warriors (“los Tecuexes eran valientes y audaces guerreros”). Like the Caxcanes, the Tecuexes suffered in the aftermath of the Mixtón Rebellion.  Although they no longer exist as a cultural group, many present-day Jaliscans are descended from the Tecuexes.

    Tepehuanes. In pre-Hispanic times, the Tepehuán Indians inhabited a wide swath of territory that stretch through sections of present-day Jalisco, Nayarit , Durango and Chihuahua . However, their territory was gradually encroached upon by the Spaniards and indigenous migrants from central Mexico . After they were crushed in their rebellion of 1616-1619, the Tepehuán moved to hiding places in the Sierra Madre to avoid Spanish retaliation.

    Today, the Tepehuán retain elements of their old culture. At the time of the Spanish contact, the Tepehuanes language was spoken in “Three Fingers Region” of northwestern Jalisco in such towns as Tepee, Mezquital and Colotlán. The Tepehuanes language and culture are no longer found in Jalisco, but more than 25,000 Tepehuanes still reside in southern Chihuahua and southeastern Durango .

    The revolt of 1616 was described in great detail by Charlotte M. Gradie's The Tepehuán Revolt of 1616: Militarism, Evangelism and Colonialism in Seventeenth Century Nueva Vizcaya ( Salt Lake City : University of Utah Press , 2000).

    The indigenous nations of Sixteenth Century Jalisco experienced such enormous upheaval in the space of mere decades that it has been difficult for historians to reconstruct the original homes of some native groups. Peter Gerhard, in The Northern Frontier of New Spain, has done a spectacular job of exploring the specific history of each colonial jurisdiction. Anyone who studies Mr. Gerhard's work comes to realize that each jurisdiction, and each community within each jurisdiction, has experienced a unique set of circumstances that set it apart from all other jurisdictions. A brief discussion of some of the individual districts of Jalisco follows:

    Tequila (North central Jalisco). The indigenous name for this community is believed to have been Tecuallan (which, over time, evolved to its present form). The inhabitants of this area were Tecuexe farmers, most of who lived in the Barranca. North of the Río Grande were the Huicholes, who were the traditional enemies of the Tecuexes. Although Guzmán and his forces passed through this area in 1530, the natives of this area offered stiff resistance to Spanish incursions into their lands. The Huicholes north of the Río Grande raided the Tecuexes settlements in the south before 1550. According to Gerhard, “the Indians [of this jurisdiction] remained hostile and uncontrolled until after the Chichimec war when an Augustinian friar began their conversion.”

    Lagos de Moreno ( Northeastern Los Altos ). The author Alfredo Moreno González tells us that the Native American village occupying this area was Pechititán. According to Mr. Gerhard, “most if not all of the region was occupied at contact by Chichimec hunters-gatherers, probably Guachichiles, with a sprinkling of Guamares in the east.”  It is also believed that Tecuexes occupied the region southwest of Lagos . When Pedro Almíndez Chirinos traveled through here in March 1530 with a force of fifty Spaniards and 500 Tarascan and Tlaxcalan allies, the inhabitants gave him a peaceful reception.

    Jalostotitlán ( Los Altos ). This area was part of the Tecuexe nation. The surrounding areas were densely populated with farmers.

    San Juan de Los Lagos and Encarnación de Díaz ( Northern Los Altos ). The indigenous people of these districts were called "Chichimecas blancos" because of the limestone pigments they used to color their bodies and faces. The indigenous name for San Juan was Mezquititlán.

    La Barca (East central Jalisco). La Barca and the shores of Lake Chapala were the sites of three indigenous nations: Poncitlán and Cuitzeo - which ran along the shores of Lake Chapala - and Coinan, north of the lake. The people of these three chiefdoms spoke the Coca language. Guzman's forces traveled through here in 1530, laying waste to much of the region. By 1585, both Coca and Náhuatl were spoken at Ocotlán, although Gerhard tells us that the latter “was a recent introduction.”

    Tlaxmulco ( Central Jalisco ). Before the contact, the Tarascans held this area. However, they were later driven out by a tribe from Tonalán. At the time of contact, there were two communities of Coca speakers: Tlaxmulco and Coyotlan. The natives here submitted to Guzmán and were enlisted to fight with his army in the conquest of the west coast. After the Mixtón Rebellion, Cazcanes migrated to this area.

    Tonalá / Tonallan ( Central Jalisco ). At contact, the region east of here had a female ruler. Although the ruling class in this region was Coca speakers, the majority of the inhabitants were Tecuexes. Coca was the language at Tlaquepaque , while Tzalatitlan was a Tecuexe community. In March 1530, Nuño de Guzmán arrived in Tonalán and defeated the Tecuexes in battle.

    San Cristóbal de la Barranca (North central Jalisco). Several native states existed in this area, most notably Atlemaxaque, Tequixixtlan, Cuauhtlan, Ichcatlan, Quilitlan, and Epatlan. By 1550, some of the communities were under Spanish control, while the "Tezoles" (possibly a Huichol group) remained "unconquered." Nine pueblos in this area around that time boasted a total population of 5,594. After the typhus epidemic of 1580, only 1,440 Indians survived. The migration of Tecuexes into this area led historians to classify Tecuexe as the dominant language of the area.

    Colotlán ( Northern Jalisco ). Colotlán can be found in Jalisco's northerly "Three-Fingers" boundary area with Zacatecas. This heavily wooded section of the Sierra Madre Occidental remained beyond Spanish control until after the end of the Chichimeca War. It is believed that Indians of Cazcán and Tepecanos origin lived in this area. However, this zone became "a refuge for numerous groups fleeing from the Spaniards." Tepehuanes Indians - close relatives to the Tepecanos - are believed to have migrated here following their rebellion in Durango in 1617-1618.

    Cuquío (North central Jalisco). When the European explorers reached Cuquío in north central Jalisco they described it as a densely populated region of farmers. The dominant indigenous language in this region was Tecuexe. Guzmán's lieutenant, Almíndez Chirinos, ravaged this area in February 1530, and in 1540-41, the Indians in this area were among the insurgents taking part in the Mixtón Rebellion.

    Tepatitlán ( Los Altos , Eastern Jalisco ). Tecuexes inhabited this area of stepped plateaus descending from a range of mountains, just east of Guadalajara . In the south, the people spoke Coca. This area was invaded by Guzmán and in 1541 submitted to Viceroy Mendoza.

    Guadalajara . When the Spanish arrived in the vicinity of present-day Guadalajara in 1530, they found about one thousand dispersed farmers belonging to the Tecuexes and Cocas. But after the Mixtón Rebellion of the early 1540s, whole communities of Cazcanes were moved south to the plains near Guadalajara .

    Purificación (Westernmost part of Jalisco). The rugged terrain of this large colonial jurisdiction is believed to have been inhabited by primitive farmers, hunters, and fisherman who occupied some fifty autonomous communities. Both disease and war ravaged this area, which came under Spanish control by about 1560.

    Tepec and Chimaltitlán ( Northern Jalisco ). The region surrounding Tepec and Chimaltitlán remained a stronghold of indigenous defiance. Sometime around 1550, Gerhard writes that the Indians in this area were described as "uncontrollable and savage." The indigenous inhabitants drove out Spanish miners working the silver deposits around the same time. A wide range of languages was spoken in this area: Tepehuán at Chimaltitlán and Tepic , Huichol in Tuxpan and Santa Catarina, and Cazcán to the east (near the border with Zacatecas).  

    The Indigenous Jalisco of the Sixteenth Century is long gone but the descendants of its inhabitants continue to live in the area. Today they speak Spanish and they practice traditions that have changed from those of their ancestors, but, whether they know it or not, they are the living representatives of a land forgotten.  

    Copyright © 2008 by John P. Schmal. All Rights Reserved.

     Dedication: This article is dedicated to my friends, Kathy Camacho Sullivan, Pat Lozano and Teddy (Santoyo) Whitefeather, who are daughters of Jalisco’s indigenous people.

    Primary Sources:

    Carolyn Baus de Czitrom, Tecuexes y Cocas: Dos Grupos de la Region Jalisco en el Siglo XVI. Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, Departamento de Investigaciones Históricas, No. 112. México: Serie Etnohistoria, 1982.

    José Ramírez Flores, Lenguas Indígenas de Jalisco. Guadalajara : Unidad Editorial, 1980.

    Peter Gerhard, The North Frontier of New Spain . Princeton , New Jersey : Princeton University Press, 1982.

    Afredo Moreno González, Santa Maria de Los Lagos. Lagos de Moreno: D.R.H. Ayuntamiento de Los Lagos de Moreno, 1999.

    José María Muriá, Breve Historia de Jalisco. Mexico : Fondo de Cultura Económica, 1994.

    Philip Wayne Powell, Soldiers Indians and Silver: North America 's First Frontier War. Tempe , Arizona : Center for Latin American Studies, Arizona State University , 1975.

    Eric Van Young, "The Indigenous Peoples of Western Mexico from the Spanish Invasion to the Present: The Center-West as Cultural Region and Natural Environment," in Richard E. W. Adams and Murdo J. MacLeod, The Cambridge History of the Native Peoples of the Americas, Volume II: Mesoamerica, Part 2. Cambridge , U.K. : Cambridge University Press, 2000, pp. 136-186.

     Phil C. Weigand, “Considerations on the Archaeology and Ethnohistory of the Mexicaneros, Tequales, Coreas, Huicholes, and Caxcanes of Nayarit, Jalisco, and Zacatecas,” in William J. Folan (edited), Contributions to the Archaeology and Ethnohistory of Greater Mesoamerica. Carbondale , Illinois : Center for Archaeological Investigations, Southern Illinois University Press, 1985.


    OVERVIEW ESSAY: Indigenous Roots in Mexico

    Campeche: On the Edge of the Mayan World
    Oaxaca: A Land of Diversity
    The Mixtecs and Zapotecs: Two Enduring Cultures of Oaxaca

    Indigenous Baja: Living on the Edge of Existence

    Indigenous Jalisco: Living in a New Era

    The Caxanes of Nochistlán: Defenders of their Homeland


    Puerto Rico archeological find mired in politics
    Names on the Vietnam Memorial Wall from Puerto Rico
    Puerto Rico archeological find mired in politics
    By Frances Robles
    U.S. archaeologist Nathan Mountjoy sits next to stones etched with ancient petroglyphs and graves that reveal unusual burial methods in Ponce, Puerto Rico. The archaeological find, one of the best-preserved pre-Columbian sites found in the Caribbean, form a large plaza measuring some 130 feet by 160 feet that could have been used for ball games or ceremonial rites, officials said.

    SAN JUAN -- The lady carved on the ancient rock is squatting, with frog-like legs sticking out to each side. Her decapitated head is dangling to the right.

    That's how she had been, perfectly preserved, for up to 800 years, until the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers came upon her last year while building a $375 million dam to control flooding in southern Puerto Rico.

    She was buried again last week with the hope that some day specialists will study her and Puerto Rican children will visit and learn about the lives of the Taino Indians who created her. But archaeologists and government officals first had to settle a raging debate about who should have control over her and other artifacts sent to Georgia for analysis.

    The ancient petroglyph of the woman was found on a five-acre site in Jácana, a spot along the Portugues River in the city of Ponce, on Puerto Rico's southern coast. Among the largest and most significant ever unearthed in the Caribbean, archaeologists said, the site includes plazas used for ceremony or sport, a burial ground, residences and a midden mound -- a pile of ritual trash.

    The finding sheds new light on the lifestyle and activities of a people extinct for nearly 500 years.  Experts say the site -- parts of it unearthed from six feet of soil -- had been used at least twice, the first time by pre-Taino peoples as far back as 600 AD, then again by the Tainos sometime between 1200 and 1500 AD. ''It was thrilling, a once-in-a- lifetime thing,'' said David McCullough, an Army Corps archaeologist. ``Just amazing.''

    But like all things on this politically charged island, the discovery got caught up in a sovereignty debate: If an archaeological site rich in historic and cultural value is discovered in a federal construction site in Puerto Rico, a commonwealth of the United States, who should be in charge of it?

    After months of finger-pointing and accusations of officially sanctioned plundering, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers poured $2 million into preserving the site. Plans to put a rock dump over it were changed, and the unearthed discovery was reburied with the aspiration that archaeologists will eventually return to dedicate the 10 or 20 years needed to thoroughly study the finding.

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers promises the collection sent to Georgia will be returned to Puerto Rico. Some 75 boxes of skeletons, ceramics, small petroglyphs and rocks were sent via Federal Express in two double-boxed shipments for analysis.

    ''The site is a significant contribution to our understanding of what Indians were doing,'' McCullough said. ``The thing that makes it unique is that the petroglyphs are so finely done. We originally were supposed to be there six weeks. It wound up taking four months.''

    McCullough said the corps had an inkling that the site was there since the mid 1980s but had never done much testing. They started digging in earnest last year while building a dam and lake to protect the region from floods, and realized the site had significant value.

    The corps found a ball court with four walls lined by tall stones, where they believe the Tainos either danced or played games. Three were covered in petroglyphs, among the best experts had ever seen. Some of the figures were carved upside down, which none of the archaeologists had ever seen before. Discoveries included a jade-colored amulet and the remains of a guinea pig, likely the feast of a tribal chief.

    ''The size of the ball court is bigger than just about anything else in the Caribbean,'' McCullough said.  Archaeologists believe as many as 400 people are buried there.

    But in its quest to build the dam and use the location as a dumping ground for rocks, critics say the corps quickly hired a private archaeological firm to mitigate -- a hurried process of saving what can be conserved so a project can go forward. The company sent 125 cubic feet of artifacts in two shipments to its facility in Georgia for analysis, a move allegedly made without consulting Puerto Rican authorities, which locals felt violated the law.

    But the question became: Whose law applied? U.S. law says such artifacts found by the corps must be warehoused in a federally approved curating facility. No such place exists in Puerto Rico. And Puerto Rican law says historical artifacts belong to the people of Puerto Rico.

    ''In Puerto Rico, everything that has to do with our past is sentimental, and Puerto Ricans take it to heart,'' said Marisol Rodríguez, an archaeologist at the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture. ``There's a feeling that you're taking something that's mine. It's about our national identity, regardless of the island's political status.''

    Rodríguez is pleased that the site has been preserved but acknowledges she was furious at how it was originally excavated with heavy machinery.  ''I was so angry. I was indignant,'' she said. ``I could not believe that a place of such importance was being treated with such disrespect.''  New South Associates, the firm hired to do the digging, says it excavated about 5 percent of the site for study.

    ''It was in the newspaper that we raped and pillaged the site, because it all got caught up in local politics,'' said archaeologist Chris Espenshade, New South's lead investigator on the project. ``We are required to take the artifacts to a federally approved curating facility. That played into the idea that we were stealing Puerto Rican cultural patrimony away and never bringing it back. There's no question these things should be available for Puerto Rican scholars without them having to travel to go see it.  ``It's a bad situation.''

    What's left of the site will remain beside a five-year dam construction project, which will continue as planned. It may be vulnerable to floods, archaeologists acknowledged, but they note that it lasted that way underground for hundreds of years.

    ''It's not the best way to preserve it, but it's better than the alternative: to destroy it,'' Espenshade said. ``The Corps could have destroyed it, but they took the highly unusual step to preserve it.''

    Sent by Dorinda Moreno 
    and Juan Marinez


    List of names on the Vietnam Memorial Wall 
    from Puerto Rico, sorted by town 

    ? - ORTIZ-RODRIGUEZ, ANGEL (Army/SGT) 16E 047 
    ARROYO - CRUZ, CARLOS RAFAEL (Air Force/MAJ) 32E 091 
    BOQUERON - PENA, JOSE MANUEL (Army/1LT) 46W 019 
    CABO ROJO - GOMEZ-RIVERA, JUAN (Army/SP4) 50E 047 
    COMERIO - COLON-DIAZ, JUAN (Army/SFC) 09W 103 
    JUNCOS - DE JESUS-ROSA, RAUL (Army/CPL) 09W 078 
    MOCA - ROSA-SEIN, ROSARIO (Army/SP4) 10E 001 
    PONCE - MOREU-LEON, MARIO (Army/SGT) 31E 050 
    PONCE - VEGA-LOPEZ, CARLOS (Army/SP4) 38W 080 


    Sent by Rafael Ojeda