Somos Primos

120th Issue Online

Editor: Mimi Lozano ©2000-9

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


November 19, 2009 
Rick Leal, President of the Hispanic Medal of Honor Society with astronauts 
 at the Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center
Click for more information.



Content Areas
United States 
Witness to Heritage
Honoring Hispanic Leadership
National Issues
Action Item
Bilingual/Bicultural Education
Military/Law Enforcement 
Patriots, American Revolution
Orange County,CA  
Los Angeles,CA
Northwestern US
Southwestern US   
East of Mississippi
Family History



Letters to the Editor : 

[]Tempus Fugit, congratulations for your first decade
God bless you and America,  Best wishes 
Jaime Gómez-González, M.D.,
148 Newcastle Drive
Jupiter, Florida 33458-3021
[]From El Paso, Texas - the Diamond City in the Desert and San Elizario, Texas where the First Thanksgiving of the American Southwest took place in 1598
Felicidades Mimi, eres un tesoro.. 
Connie Vasquez
[]I love reading Somos Primos every month. It is so informative and well done.
Thank You.  Elida Vela Barrera Vom Baur

[]Congratulations Mimi! 
What an enormous and valuable job you have done for all of us!! I wish I could have more pages in the magazine to be able to include some of the many incredible facts you provide in your Somos Primos.  Great job! Congratulations again my friend!!
Cordially, Silvia Ichar 
Publisher, PARA TODOS magazine

[]Loved the article on Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
Best Regards,  
Mildred Berrios-McMahan
Utuado, Puerto Rico

[]MANY THANKS! For publishing my letter. As always, your historical journal educate the World; as too the crucial positive developing input that Hispanic Americans had in making our Nation—a reality!
Willis Papillion

[]Hi Mimi.....I want to thank you so very much for  publishing the article on my dad that Jose Pena submitted on my behalf...I have recieved many calls and e-mails regarding the article.  I want to take this opportunity to tell you how much I appreciate your hard work and all that you do to keep us informed and up to date.  There is still a lot of work to be  done and with you in the forefront of things it's going to get done. May the Lord continue to bless you and your family.  Mere words of appreciation fall too short for expressing how much your hard work, support and generosity really means  to me .Thank you again.....
Love Irene Mendez-Tello  

[]Mimi, Thanks again for all you do.  You are one of the greatest assets that we descendants have in telling our  great story. One of these days, mainstream citizens of the U.S. will
understand the key contributions of our Spanish-Mexican ancestors in building this great place we call the U.S.A. 
Regards,  Joe Lopez

 Somos Primos Staff:   .
Mimi Lozano, Editor
Mercy Bautista Olvera
Bill Carmena
Lila Guzman
Granville Hough
John Inclan
Galal Kernahan
J.V. Martinez
Dorinda Moreno
Rafael Ojeda
Ángel Custodio Rebollo
Tony Santiago
John P. Schmal
Howard Shorr 

Contributors to issue  
Hon.Fredrick Aguirre, Esq. Clark Akatiff
Dan Arellano
Dr. Steve Arvizu
Mercy Bautista Olvera
Mildred Berrios-McMahan
Irene Blea, Ph.D.
Judge Edward F. Butler 
Roberto Calderon, Ph.D
Bill Carmena
Aimery Caron
Gus Chavez
Arlene Chumley 

Jack Cowan  
Sally DeFauw
Joel Escamilla
Julian Fernandez
Lori Frain
Gerald Frost
Eddie Garcia
Lino Garcia Jr. Ph.D.
Wanda Garcia
Jaime Gómez-González, M.D.
Ron Gonzales
George F. Haskins
Sergio Hernandez
Silvia Ichar
John Inclan
Rick Leal
José Antonio López
Estela Lopez Perez
Pat Lozano
Susan Laura Lugo, C.A.
Jan Mallet
Juan Marinez
Irene Mendez-Tello
Dorinda Moreno
Carlos Munoz, Ph.D.
Sylvia Navarro Tillotson 
Roland Nunez Salazar
Paul Nauta
Pedro J. Ojarzabal, Ph.D.
Rafael Ojeda
Pedro Olivares
Daniel Olivas
Felipe de Ortego y Gasca,PhD 
Gil Ortiz
Anita Palacios Collins
Willis Papillion
Roberto Perez Guadarrama
Richard D. Perry
Sara Puig Laas
Juan Ramos, Ph.D.
Angel Custodio Rebollo
José R. Reyna, Ph.D.
Susana Rinderle
Jose L. Robles De La Torre
Leo Romo
Norman Rozeff
Thomas Saenz
Viola R. Sadler
Benicio Sanchez Garcia 
Tony Santiago 
John P. Schmal
Ivonne Thompson
Thomas Turrey 
Ernesto Uribe

Ricardo Valverde
Connie Vasquez
Elida Vela Barrera Vom Baur
Margarita B. Velez
Henry Villalobos
Kirk Whisler 
George Yepes


SHHAR Board:  Bea Armenta Dever, Gloria Cortinas Oliver, Mimi Lozano Holtzman, Pat Lozano, 
Viola Rodriguez Sadler, John P. Schmal, Tomas Saenz, Cathy Trejo Luijt.



United in our Spanish Surnames Connections
Short Bios of José Antonio López , Mimi Lozano, Jose M. Pena
Letter and distribution of paper, United in our Spanish Surnames Connections
Creating Mexican American Identities: Multiple Voices, Shared Dreams
A Daughter's Perspective by Daisy Wanda Garcia
Hispanics Breaking Barriers, Part XII by Mercy Bautista-Olvera
Ensign Manuel Gonzalez, Navy pilot, first American WWII fatality 
First Texas Latina Supreme Court Justice, Judge Eva M. Guzman, a Wise Latina 
Mental Menudo, Los Angeles Group
Repatriation Video on YouTube
Task force for the Creation of a National Museum for the Latino Community 

United in our Spanish Surnames Connections
A Concept Paper  
José Antonio López, Mimi Lozano, and José M. Peña




1.  Introduction.  Our objective is to initiate a historic call to unite all those with Spanish-Surnames in the United States.  While the Spanish surname identifies our lineage as historically connected to Spain, countless of us have Anglo, Irish, German, French, Italian, and many other non-Hispanic names and bloodlines.  In short, we are a very large, inclusive assembly of U.S. citizens.  As will be evident in the contents below, it is critical that we now unify under one umbrella and confront the many wrongs committed historically and currently against our group.  This document identifies present problems, their scope, the need for unity, and goals.  

2.  Problems. 

    a. Background.  Recent events have turned the once-civil discourse of illegal immigration into a nasty combative issue.  In short, it seems that all Spanish-surnamed Americans in the U.S. have become easy targets for politicians, contentious talk radio hosts, TV commentators, and vigilante groups.  Fed by ignorance or ingrained biases, they are unwilling to accept the fact that not all citizens who speak Spanish are recent arrivals.  They conveniently ignore the historical migrations of other ethnic groups into this country, including their own ancestors.  Oversimplifying the debate, they conveniently lump all Spanish-surnamed people together.  Sadly, they are encouraged by our perceived passive nature and inability to speak with one voice.                                                                                                   

    b. Political.  The Judge Sotomayor Supreme Court nomination issue, its debate in the senate hearings, and the media discussions show that most Anglo American politicians take Hispanic citizens for granted.  For instance, it was disappointing to hear two Senators from a state with significant Spanish-surnamed constituents mockingly suggest that they were not concerned about a Hispanic voter backlash if they voted against the highly qualified nominee.  Both implied that the Hispanics in their state don’t count in such things and most do not bother to vote.  That dismissive attitude is the ultimate insult to this specific group of citizens who have been deprived of their civil rights in their state for generations.  Not realizing their potential power in getting things done, this “class apart” has yet to present a coordinated front to fight common challenges.   

    c. Educational.  Similar to the political issue above, school boards and state governments for generations perceive that Spanish-surnamed citizens are below normal in intelligence and are not interested in the educational system.  For example, in Texas, where Spanish-surnamed citizens comprise nearly 40% of the population and whose ancestors gave birth to the state, the educational status quo is disgraceful.      

    d. Social Justice.  Since the 1950s, our government has invited several ethnic groups arriving from other countries with open arms, especially if they demonstrated a hatred for communism.  Sadly, only several Spanish-speaking groups have been so privileged.  Thus, feeling welcome has made their transition into mainstream U.S. society much easier.  As such, guided by helpful media coverage, the general public tends to receive these select minorities with sympathy and compassion.  In contrast, the more recent groups most of whom speak Spanish and who are seeking freedom not from communism, but from famine and poverty, are not so well received.  It is important to note that the nation’s conscience is at issue here.  The poem by Emma Lazarus at the Statue of Liberty that has welcomed millions of European immigrants does not mention communism as a reason to enter this country.  It does invite all “tired, poor, huddled masses, homeless, and wretched refuse” which more aptly describe the plight of the “illegal” immigrant.       

    b. The illegal immigration issue has turned ugly.  Politicians, news pundits, and many others in the U.S. use it as their favorite scapegoat.   Influenced by often vitriolic attacks repeated again and again on television, a number of Hispanic men within the recent past have been viciously beaten to death because they spoke Spanish and/or because they “looked” like illegal aliens.  Hispanic women have been separated from their babies at birth, because they spoke an Indian dialect and were thus declared unfit to care for their children.  Integral families have been divided.  U.S. born children, who hardly speak Spanish, are summarily sent to other countries because their parents are deported.  Very recently, workers at a hotel in the Southwest were directed to “Anglicize” their Spanish names and to stop speaking Spanish.  The unpleasant acts occur in a part of the U.S. that was first settled by Spanish Mexican pioneers and possesses its distinct Hispanic and Indian culture.  Dozens of Hispanic drivers in Dallas, Texas, have been given citations because they didn’t speak English.  Millions of tax dollars are being paid to build a questionable wall on our southern border.  The list of examples of blatant discrimination continues to grow.  

    c. Other Factors.  The following critical issues are at the breaking point within the Hispanic community:  school dropout rates, childhood obesity, teen pregnancy, drug abuse, and gangs.   

3.  Reasons to Unite. 

    a. Ask ten Spanish-surnamed U.S. citizens today to explain their roots and you’re liable to get at least ten different responses.  The individual answer displays a deep pride in our most precious possession; our individual heritage.  The answers run the gamut.  Among the most used terms are these: Hispanic (or Hispano), Latino, Chicano, Mexican-American, Latin-American, and various other hyphenated Americans from different countries in “America”. Names include Argentinean, Bolivian, Chilean, Columbian, Cuban, Dominican, Filipino, Honduran, Panamanian, Peruvian, Puerto Rican, Salvadorian, and Venezuelan.  The list goes on.  Our racial differences are just as varied and just as complex.  These include the blending of Caucasian, Mongolian (Amerindian, Native American), Black, and Asian bloodlines.  

    b. As a group, we are descendants of people who came to this country through different paths; as the first pioneers (1600s to 1848) from Texas to California, the greatest majority having both European and indigenous blood.  Others came as immigrants from Mexico after 1848.  In fact, Spanish-surnamed U.S. citizens with a Mexico connection are by the far the largest sub-group of all.  In addition, many of those who come from the various countries in Central and South America and the Caribbean also possess the same Spanish and indigenous bloodlines as those in New Spain.  Other Hispanics (Latinos) came to this country when they married U.S. citizens.  Still, the “land of opportunity” continues to beckon those whose survival needs are so dire that they are willing to risk death to enter the country illegally looking for a better life.   

    c. Whichever way we arrived, “Spanish-surnamed Americans” are oddly enough bonded by our heritage.  We all have Spanish names, but as in the “coat of many colors”, our individual cultures are unique and our appearance differs significantly from one “Hispanic” or “Latino” to another.   As a result, the impressive tonic that runs through our veins adds yet more taste and body to the compelling soup.  While it is by nature a robust mixture, it has a certain fragile trait that tends to bring out the individuality of each group.  In a nutshell, that is what presents a dilemma to our apparently homogeneous group.  That is the reason why we are unable today to “speak with one voice” on issues of common impact to all Spanish-surnamed citizens throughout the nation.  That is why we need a united front.   

    d. Here is another sobering wake-up call.  Some Anglos in Texas are venting their anger today at illegal immigration, the Supreme Court nominee, and President Obama, the first Black President.  They join vigilante-type “Tea Parties” and stoke their paranoia by wildly screaming in coded phrases that they “want their country back” or that they want the “real” America back.  Several of these same Anglos are now inciting cessation.  Such mob mentality can easily trigger a dormant anti-Mexican hysteria from California to Texas.  Unprovoked hatred toward Spanish Mexican people in the Southwest has already been clearly demonstrated after the 1836 - 1848 era.  Reminders of the repulsive intolerance are still felt today.  That is why the majority of Spanish Americans are perennially entrapped in the lowest socio-economic, political, and educational rungs in the ladder.  It is this aspect that many other sister Hispanic groups who arrived later are unaware of.  As to seceding from the Union, Latinos have always been faithful, patriotic U.S. citizens.  They have shed too much red, white, and blue blood on the battlefield in the name of all their fellow Americans.  We are in the Union to stay!  Our only hope is that we can begin to re-educate the general public regarding the long-standing presence of Spanish-surnamed people in the U.S., especially the Southwest.  

4.  Projected Goals.  As a united family with common bonds, Spanish-surnamed citizens have to assume a direct role in mapping our future.  We must establish clear improvement goals, such as:   

    a. Raise the self-esteem of our youth;  

    b. Establish a clearinghouse to educate Spanish-surnamed citizens on issues that impact their lives and encourage them to vote in great numbers, regardless of political affiliation;  

    c. Motivate Spanish-surnamed students to stay in school, graduate from high school and college and become productive members of U.S. society; while not a cure-all, it’s clear that if we concentrate on educating Latino children and employing adult Latinos today, we’ll avoid future increases in crime, while at the same time reduce the jail population;  

    d. Improve the housing, health, and the civil rights of Spanish Americans citizens throughout the U.S.A,   

    e. Let the media know immediately when their articles and news stories contain errors or project negative images of Hispanics.  Let our elected representatives know that the only solution to the illegal immigration problem is immigration reform.  Above all, take every opportunity to educate others about Hispanics’ significant contributions in U.S. history.  If we don’t act, no one else is going to do it for us!   

    f. Continue to be proud of our individual roots of regional and country of origin.       

5.  Summary.  In sum, the illegal immigration has released an unwarranted attack on the Hispanic population in this country that must be confronted immediately.  While the issue is considered a “Mexican” problem, the violence is aimed directly at all citizens who “look” Mexican.  We must stop this knee-jerk reaction.  The need to educate those who are unfamiliar with the long history of Hispanics in the U.S. is obvious.      

    a. There will be those who will accuse us of being unpatriotic, but as mentioned above, the patriotism of Hispanics is beyond reproach.  We must stick together and do the right thing for the right reasons.   

    b. On the other hand, there will be those within the non-Mexican Hispanic community who believe that the rage is only directed at illegal Mexican immigrants and so there’s no reason for them to be concerned since it doesn’t affect them or their families.  They should be reminded that  Hispanic men have been attacked and murdered  because they looked Latino.  

    c. We must begin to speak with one voice.  The time to de-emphasize our regional or country-of-origin pride and reconcile our differences is now.    

    d. The task ahead will be difficult and risky.  To start, we will need to come up with a system heavily reliant on the internet and the public media to identify, process, and educate our people on those national, regional, state, or local issues that affect them.  Likewise, we must convince the general public that they can be part of the solution.  They must no longer stand idly by while violence is directed daily at their fellow citizens.     

    e. Equally important is the need to educate non-Spanish-surnamed citizens of our unique makeup.  With a united front, we will be better able to solve common problems, participate in forming shared goals, and defend ourselves from the anti-Hispanic sentiments and violence that is now being waged against all things Hispanic.  

6.  Bottom Line:  The need is urgent.  The time has come for us to join our voices, hearts, and minds together, and begin to methodically attack the growing intolerance against Hispanic citizens once and for all.  A coordinated effort by social agencies, churches, schools, business, and citizens is necessary.  A concerted media system providing timely information heavily dependent on the internet, the printed media, and radio/television is a must.  The question is how do we get there from here?  There is no time to build a new infra-structure to get the word out.  We must rely on current organizations that are already involved in seeking social justice, respect, acceptance and positive visibility for Spanish-speaking citizens.  As a minimum, we need to do the following things:  

    a. Develop a timely two-way system to clearly identify significant issues.

    b. Develop a method to clearly describe the issue (what happened and why it is important).

    c. Classify the issue (such as local, state, regional, or nationwide).

    d. Develop an equally quick way to inform the particular community so that they can respond in the most effective manner.

    e. Recommend ways that they can address the issue, such as, letter-writing and/or phone call/email campaigns to elected representatives, TV networks and stations, radio stations, newspapers, and community leaders, and

    f. Identify need to attend meetings, hearings, marches, rallies, etc, in support of or against pertinent issues affecting the national Spanish-speaking community.  

IMPORTANT POINTS:  Whatever approach we use, it must be with the goal of building respect for the history and contributions of our Spanish-surnamed ancestors.  We should each (l) become actively involved in our local community, and (2) do everything in our power to help eliminate the ignorance, suspicion and distrust that many have of all things Hispanic.    

RECOMMENDATION: That all who read this paper will commit themselves to influence any organization to which they belong, increasing their group’s understanding of the constant and continual contributions of Spanish-surnamed citizens and non-citizens to the welfare of the U.S.  

JOSE ANTONIO LOPEZ                     MIMI LOZANO                       JOSE M. PENA  

Short Bios (José Antonio López)

Mr. José Antonio (Joe) López was born and raised in Laredo, Texas. USAF Veteran. Served over 37 years in military/Federal Service. When he retired on January 1, 2000, he held a senior civilian management position at the U.S. Air Education/Training Command, Randolph AFB, TX.  

He is a direct descendant of Don Javier Uribe, one of the earliest families that settled in what is now South Texas in 1750. He is married to the former Cordelia Jean “Cordy” Dancause of Laredo.  He and his wife reside in Universal City, TX.  They have one daughter, Brenda Jo.   Mr. López has college degrees from Laredo Jr. College and Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, TX.  He earned a Master’s Degree in Education.

He is the author of two books:  “The Last Knight (Don Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara Uribe, A Texas Hero)”, and “Nights of Wailing, Days of Pain (Life in 1920s South Texas)”.  He presently conducts presentations throughout South Texas to teach students about the Spanish Mexican roots of Texas.  His hobbies are many; they include writing, jogging, and gardening.  He volunteers in his community.  (  )


Short Bio (Mimi Lozano)

Ms. Mimi Lozano was born in San Antonio, Texas.  Her family moved to California where she spent her formative years and received her education.  She received a bachelor’s degree in science and a Masters in Public and Recreation Administration from UCLA.  She is married to Win Holtzman.  They reside in California and have two married children: a son, Aury (M.D.), and daughter Tawn (Esq.) and six grandchildren.

She earned her California Teaching certification, (K-12). Using puppetry as the media, she produced/directed/mounted Hispanic folktales puppet plays as a teaching tool. She earned Spanish, special ESL and bilingual training certification, and was an Oral Language Specialist on three federal projects.

She co-founded the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research (SHHAR) in Orange County, CA, a recognized non-profit, all-volunteer organization whose purpose is helping Hispanics and Latinos research their family history.  From 1990 to 2000, Lozano served as the newsletter editor of Somos Primos for the organization. 
January 2000, Somos Primos went on online as a monthly publication dedicated to Hispanic heritage.  In 1995, Lozano was asked to serve on the US Senate Task Force on Hispanic Affairs, actively serving until 2003.  She was also named California’s 68th Assembly District’s 2006 Woman of the Year.   She is a member of LULAC.

Ms. Lozano helped form the Hispanic Heritage Committee of Orange County.  In 1999, she became a member of the Pepperdine University's Hispanic Council of Orange County.  In 2005, she helped organize a Hispanic heritage conference at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, DC and on the same year, was on the U.S. Army planning committee for the Pentagon’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.  ( ). 


Short Bio (José M. Peña)

Mr. José M. (Chema) Peña was born and raised in Laredo, Texas.  USAF Veteran.  As a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Agency for International Development, Peña was the first Mexican American to be Deputy Regional Inspector General and Acting Regional Inspector General and served in many world-wide assignments.  After he retired, he worked as an International Financial Consultant in several Latin American and Middle Eastern countries.  He also served as a Health Project Director in Guatemala; Consultant with the Organization of American States; specialist in internal auditing, programmatic, and financial studies, evaluate analysis, systems studies and special reviews.  He is a graduate of the University of Texas.  He holds two professional certificates and many awards. 

He is married to his wife, Pauline, and they had four children:  Jose M, IV, Jerry, Linda (now deceased), and Melissa.  For the last several years, Mr. Peña has devoted his life to teaching others about the fascinating beginnings of Texas history.   He is the author of the book, “Inherit the Dust from the Four Winds of Revilla”.  The book offers an insightful look at the 250-year historical perspective on the ancient city of Guerrero Viejo on the Lower Rio Grande, its people, and detailed discussion of land grants. (Email: )

 .                                                                                                   6


8719 Iliad                                                                                                                         Universal City, TX , 78148        
November 23, 2009

Dear Sirs, Mmes

By way of introduction, I am José Antonio López.  I retired as a federal employee in 2000 having served a total of over thirty-seven years of military and federal service.  As others within our Spanish-surnamed community in the U.S., I am concerned about the current negative U.S. media attention directed at Hispanics.  Together with the key assistance of Ms. Mimi Lozano, Editor of the Internet Periodical, Somos Primos, and Mr. José M. Peña, a Retired Foreign Services Officer, we have developed a concept paper (Encl 1).  It addresses and discusses issues of vital importance to all U.S. Spanish-surnamed citizens.  It also recommends specific actions that are needed immediately to avoid those issues from causing further damage.   

The need for unity is urgent.  These days, one cannot pick up a newspaper, tune in to the radio, or watch a television news program without bearing witness to the incessant negative reporting.  The sometimes bitter attacks against illegal immigrants have spilled over to all Hispanics in the country.  The situation seems to be worsening.  While such attacks may not be an orchestrated effort, the perceived passive reaction from the Hispanic (Latino) community to these assaults may be encouraging the blitz against our people.  Somehow, we need to energize interest within the community and defend ourselves.  An educated public is a strong public.   

While the three of us realize that achieving unity among the many diverse Spanish-affiliated groups will be difficult, we are steadfast in our belief that it can and must be done.  That is the purpose of our paper.   

To get the word out, we are asking a number of nationally-known organizations to help alert and inform the Spanish-speaking people that they serve.  That is the reason that you are getting a copy of this letter.  A maximum effort to reach every Spanish-surnamed household in the country is our goal.              

 In closing, we believe our paper makes a strong case for unity in these troubled times for the Spanish-surnamed U.S. community.  Regardless of our individual diversity, a strong union will make us into a true family.  Hopefully, you will help us make that possible.  If you have any questions, my phone number is AC 210.945.2503.  My email address is .  

                                                                                    Very Respectfully,  

                                                                                    JOSE ANTONIO LOPEZ

2 Enclosures  
1.  Concept Paper, United in our Spanish Surnames Connections  
2.  Short Bios


Editor:  Joe Lopez personally signed and sent the paper with the above cover letter to each of the organizations listed under the “National Hispanic Leadership Agenda” email listed in an email received from Juan and Diana Marinez.  He also sent copies to the U.S. Hispanic Congressional Caucus, the Texas House Mexican American Legislative Caucus, to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Department of Hispanic Affairs,  and each of the Texas Hispanic Genealogy and History Societies.  The total was about 40 addressees.  

Joe writes: "Now, let’s see what happens. Although the mailings represent an “end”, it’s actually a beginning of our truly grass-roots effort.  We started with a blank sheet of paper and ended up with a cogent, well-built paper.  To those who may say that we are “tilting at windmills”, we respond that at least we got up and got into the action."

This fruitful collaboration of three Tejanos, started with me congratulating Joe Lopez on his wonderful website at  which I applauded in the November issue.  The contact started a series of emails between the three of us, which finally jelled into the concept paper of United in our Spanish Surnames Connections. 

I hope the New Year, the new decade, will bring about the national unity of those that carry a Spanish surname in their personal and family heritage.  Please share the paper with any organization that you belong to, family groups, historical and genealogical societies.

We Hispanics with Southwest heritage have been so successful at assimilation, that we've become invisible.  Let us make ourselves known, by our own words and deeds.  Let us make it clear that we are proud Americans.




     Creating Mexican American Identities:

Multiple Voices, Shared Dreams  

The West Chicago City Museum with the aid of two grants, one from the History Channel and one from the Illinois Humanities Council has produced a traveling exhibit, Creating Mexican American Identities: Multiple Voices, Shared Dreams.   

There has never been a written history of Mexican immigration to West Chicago , so oral history was gathered, providing a framework for producing that account.  In addition, with photographs that were loaned or donated and research by the City Museum staff an immigrant story emerged.  The story begins with Mexican railroad workers and families in the colonias of boxcar camps on the west side of town and extends to present day Mexican Americans with leadership roles in the community.   

Although the exhibit tells a local immigrant story, it is one of great national significance, touching on issues such as the rights and dignity of workers, as seen in the 1962 strike of Campbell Soup Company’s mushroom farm workers. The importance of faith and family, social justice, the preservation and celebration of culture, and the importance of the oral tradition in a culture that is not dependent on the written word are all evident in the exhibit.  

By packaging this history in a traveling format, the Museum hopes to share the community's story of diversity with other communities to expand cultural understanding. Viewers are invited to rethink issues of immigration, identity formation and the ways local history is presented.  

This is a highly relevant subject for study and presentation to the broadest audience as Mexicans in DuPage County and Illinois make up the largest immigrant ethnic group, and Latinos in the United States are the fastest growing ethnic population.  

Creating Mexican American Identities: Multiple Voices, Shared Dreams is currently on display at the West Chicago City Museum until the end of February 2010, and will tour DuPage County , Chicagoland and other venues that find it of interest. Please contact Sally DeFauw at 630.231.3376 or for more info rmation or if you are interested in hosting the exhibit.  The Museum is located at 132 Main Street in West Chicago .




By Daisy Wanda Garcia

My father and mother, taken in the 1940s
Hector P. Garcia and Wanda F. Garcia 



Christmas is the end of the year.  Moreover, it is during this most holy of celebrations that we assess where we are now by reviewing the accomplishments of the past year.  One of my dreams is to publish these articles about my father and family in a book.  Since January 2007 until now, I have written one article each month for Somos Primos about my father, Dr. Hector P. Garcia.  The articles total 40 in numbers.  When the articles are ready to become a book, I believe that inspiration will guide me and the right people and opportunities will present themselves to help in this effort.  I wish all of the Somos Primos readers many blessings this season. 

Recently, a friend inquired about the private family life of the Hector and Wanda Garcia family.  She wanted to know about my parents through my eyes.  After much reflection, this is my belief.  To me our family life was like any middle class family.  The truth is that my family was my only frame of reference and I have no other comparison.  

Going to church on Sundays, Catholic schools, education and studying were part of the realities of the Garcia family life. Holidays were important to us and we created our own family rituals appropriate to each holiday.  We enjoyed joining our extended family, my aunt, Dr. Cleo and the uncles and aunts to celebrate the holidays as well.  For fifty years, we celebrated the holidays with family and friends in Corpus Christi, Texas. 

While my father was alive, I was fortunate to be in the company of men like LBJ, Ralph Yarborough, Lloyd Bentsen Jr., and Bill Clinton.  Also, I was propelled in the front seat of the Hispanic Civil Rights movement because of my father.  I met the giants of the movement Vicente Jimenez, Cris Aldrete, Gus Garcia, Dr. George I. Sanchez and Bob Sanchez. These men met with my father at our house on Ohio Street discussing strategy. School desegregation, school testing, organizing AGIF chapters were daily topics of conversation at our house.  I thought all this activity was what the average person experienced.   

I was fortunate to arrive on the scene early just after the end of WWII. I like to refer to myself as the first born of the Garcia family instead of the eldest.  Perhaps it is a bit of vanity on my part.  I was born in Naples Italy. My earliest memories of Italy were of a loving grandmother Aida great aunt Michelina and my mother’s siblings, Peppino, Manrico and Ruggero, surrounding me.     

They spent much time pointing to the light fixture and calling it “la fiamma”, the flame, to entertain me. The military transported the war brides in ships to the USA in the 1940’s.  So, Mama and I crossed the ocean together - destination, USA.  I have vague memories of the voyage from Italy to the USA.  I remember the nurses in their uniforms standing along the side of the ships cabin.  I was confused and lonely after being the center of attention in my grandmother’s house. 

Mama and I arrived in Corpus Christi, Texas to find my father in a hospital room. We arrived in a strange culture.   Papa had experienced a bad bout of kidney disease.  Mama and I lived with Papa’s brother J.A. Garcia Eventually, Papa was released from the hospital.  We moved out of uncle J.A.’s house to an apartment on Agnes Street owned by the Lozano family.  Henry and Rosita Lozano, Carmen Lozano, Tina, and Celso Guzman, the Leo Durans became our family’s first friends in Corpus Christi. Mama and I spent the evenings on the fire escape at the apartment waiting for Papa to return home.  It was at this apartment house the Lozano family befriended us.  Maxwell Dunne, owner of an ambulance service kept referring patients to Papa. Papa also worked with the VA treating veterans.   This is how Papa built up his medical practice and learned how the VA denied the veteran’s their benefits.  Papa did not have a car so he rode the bus.  At times, he would take me on the bus.  Later Papa bought a Frazier, so he took me on house calls.  This was my first exposure to poverty.  I saw families crammed into small one-room shacks.  Papa would treat them, waive his fees and give them the medicines. 

Time passed. The Garcia family moved into a house located at 634 Ohio Street. We welcomed a brother Hector Garcia Jr. into the fold.   Henry and his wife Rosita kept me while Mama recuperated in the hospital. I was two years old and happy to have a brother to boss around. We socialized with the Lozano and Guzman families. Carmen Lozano was Mama’s best friend. Mama enjoyed preparing dinners for her friends in her new house.   Later Papa’s sister Cleo and then brother Xico lived with us.  By then, Mama made friends and entertained them with canasta parties at her house.  Papa entertained his friends with poker parties at home and at his office. Among the culprits were Paul Montemayor, Dr Xico Garcia, and Henry Lozano.  

Hector and Wanda at their new home at 634 Ohio St., Corpus Christi, Texas 

Dinner party, Left to right, Carmen Lozano, Wanda F. Garcia, Mrs. Gabe Lozano, Matriarch of the Lozano family, Rosita Lozano and Henry Lozano, Dr. Hector P. Garcia.  Taken in the late 1940s.

One evening, we heard a knock on our front door.  Mama opened the door and was confronted by several men. 

They claimed to be plain-clothes men. They wanted to know where Papa was.  Mama said she did not know.  Apparently, I felt threaten by the men because I said, “Are you going to hurt my father?”  One answered no, they just wanted to know where he was. The second they left, Mama phoned Papa and warned him they were on their way to his office.  If anything further resulted from the police harassment, I did not know. 

Papa enjoyed traveling to Mexico on vacations.  Papa would pack us in his car and we would drive south to Mexico. By now, he had upgraded to a Mercury automobile, one of those white and orange models. We would drive to a resort called Taninul in Ciudad Valles, Mexico.  I remember how long the trips were; the mountains so tall that clouds covered their tips. Sometimes we drove through the clouds that rested on the road.  During that era, roads went up the mountains instead of through them. One evening on one of our trips, Papa came across an accident. A car had slammed into the side of the mountain. He stopped the car and went to assist the occupants.  There was a man and woman.  The woman was hurt. I remember seeing blood on her arms and she was groaning in pain.  We drove to the nearest town with a hospital.  Papa went in to treat the woman while Mama and I waited in the car for what seemed a long time.  After Papa emerged from the hospital, his comment was that they had few medical supplies in the hospital.  Eventually the mountain trips took their toll on the Mercury, because it malfunctioned while we were on the mountains.  Papa burned out the motor trying to negotiate the mountains and get us to safety.   

We vacationed in Taninul for many years.  Later after my sister Cecilia was born, she joined my parents and my brother and me on the trips. I saw much of Mexico during our trips and meet my Mexican relatives. Years later, Papa traveled with a cousin Santiago Castro, “Chago” to Mexico, and we did not travel to Mexico with him again.

To be continued:

                                                                                                                          1954 in Ciudad Valles, Mexico. 
                                            Daisy Wanda, Wanda F. Garcia, Adrianna & Hector P. Garcia jr.





Part XII


Mercy Bautista-Olvera  



This article is the 12th in a series “Hispanics Breaking Barriers” presenting the   contributions of Hispanics in United States government and leadership. Their contributions have improved not only the local community but the country as well.    Their struggles, stories, and accomplishments by example will illustrate to our youth and to future generations that everything and anything is possible.  

Joe Garcia: Director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity in the Energy Department (Confirmed October 21, 2009)  

Colonel Felix C. Vargas Jr.:  Chairman, U.S. Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs (Appointed) 

Elizabeth Montoya:  Chief of Staff for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (Appointed)  

Rafael Borras:  Under Secretary for Management in the Department of Homeland Security (Nominated)  

Sara Manzano-Diaz: Director of the Women's Bureau in the Department of Labor (Nominated)  


 Joe Garcia  

Joe Garcia has been confirmed to serve as Director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity in the Energy Department. He is the first Miami-Dade County resident to take-on a high profile position with the new administration in Washington .  

Joe Garcia was born on October 12, 1963 in Miami Beach , Florida . He is the son of Cuban exiles Jose Garcia Sr. and Carmen Garcia. In 1960, the couple immigrated to United States in search of freedom after the rise of communism in their homeland. Garcia’s parents taught him and his two brothers to love America and to believe in its great promise. He is married to Aileen Ugalde-Garcia, currently serving as General Counsel for the University of Miami . The couple has one daughter, Gabriela.  

In 1983, Joe Garcia graduated from Belen Jesuit Preparatory School in Miami , Florida .  In 1987, he earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science and Public Affairs from the University of Miami . In 1992, he earned a Jurist Degree from the University of Miami School of Law. As a law student, Garcia directed the Exodus Project, a non-profit international refugee resettlement program that reunited over 10,000 families at no cost to American taxpayers. He traveled to 17 countries to reunite the thousands of families that had been scattered throughout the world. The Exodus Project became the most successful private refugee resettlement program in American history with the reunification of over 10,000 families.  

Also in 1992, the late Governor Lawton Chiles appointed Garcia to the Florida Public Service Commission where he fought for lower utility bills for the people of Florida , and in 1998, Garcia's fellow commissioners elected him as Chairman of the Public Service Commission. In that post, Garcia worked across party lines to pass the largest energy rate cut in Florida 's history, saving Florida 's families more than $1 billion.   

In 2001, Garcia was named as the Executive Director of the Cuban American National Foundation, where he served as a tireless proponent of freedom and improved human rights conditions in Cuba and throughout the Americas . Under his leadership, the foundation became a moderate organization.  Joe doubled the foundation's funding of the island's internal opposition movement and helped lead the charge to save South Florida's iconic symbol of liberty, the Freedom Tower .  

In 2004, Garcia was named executive Vice President and Director of the Hispanic Project for New Democratic Network (NDN) the Hispanic Strategy Center , a policy research institute in Washington D.C. Joe continuously met with national leaders and made sure that the Democratic Party’s policies reflected the values of most Americans.    

Garcia has more than 20 years experience in the fields of Energy, Foreign Policy, and Human Rights. Garcia extended his career-long advocacy for the rights of immigrants to a national level working with members of Congress to bring about comprehensive immigration reform.   


Colonel Felix C. Vargas Jr.

Colonel Felix C. Vargas Jr., (Retired Army) elected as Chairman , U.S. Advisory Committee on Veterans Business Affairs.    

Felix C. Vargas Jr., graduated in 1967, from the University of Washington , in Seattle , Washington with Bachelors in Political Science and U.S. Army, Reserve Officers Training Corps Commission as a second Lieutenant. The program is designed as a college elective that focuses on leadership development, problem solving, strategies, planning and professional ethics. Colonel Vargas is a Distinguished Graduate of the National War College , Ft. McNair, Washington D.C.

Colonel Vargas served in the Vietnam War as a U.S. Army Ranger and Special Forces Officer.  

He also served as a career Foreign Service Officer in the U.S. Department of State. He served as a Political Officer in six countries, Mexico , Chile , El Salvador , Germany , Austria and Bosnia .  

During 1995-1997, Colonel Vargas served as the U.S. Political Advisor to the NATO Commander in MIND-North ( Tuzla ), with a follow-on-assignment as the Deputy Political adviser to the Stabilization Force, a NATO-led multinational force in Bosnia and Herzegovina force, which was tasked with upholding the Dayton Agreement SFOR ( Sarajevo ). Colonel Vargas held the NATO grade A-6, which is

equivalent to Major General in the U.S. Armed Forces. He advised NATO commanders on political developments with the presence and operations of the historic NATO-led playing a key role in starting up economic reconstruction and freedom of movement by civilians displaced by the war.  

Colonel Vargas has held senior positions in the State Department, Washington , D.C. He received two Superior Honor Awards from the State Department recognizing his achievements in El Salvador and Bosnia . The Supreme Allied Commander of NATO also presented him the NATO Achievement Award for his work in Bosnia .  

In May 2001, Colonel Felix C. Vargas retired after 30-years of service in the U.S. Army Reserve, at the rank of Colonel. He served in many command and staff positions in Washington , D.C. and Europe . He holds the U.S. Legion of Merit and several combat decorations, including two Bronze Stars, two Air Medals, Three Military campaign ribbons and several Vietnamese Awards.  

Colonel Felix C. Vargas is a leader in the U.S. Military Veteran Community, based in Pasco , Washington and with an office in Arlington , Virginia . He is a Senior Advisor to the American G.I. Forum of the United States. He works with Veteran Service Organizations, the U.S. Government, and the private sector. His goal is helping the newest generation of young soldiers with physical disabilities resulting from their service in Iraq and Afghanistan .  

“I welcome the opportunity to continue working with you in my new capacity to serve the interests of all our uniformed services, especially those brave men and women who serve in harm's way and our Veterans.” The meetings will focus on the issues of Access to Capital and Education and Training.  All our meetings are open to the public.  Again, I consider it an honor to work with you.” Colonel Felix C. Vargas stated.  


Photo of Elizabeth Montoya

Elizabeth A. Montoya

Elizabeth Ann (Liz) Montoya has served as the Chief of Staff for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management since April of 2009 in the Obama’s administration. Montoya plays a critical role in helping manage the Nation’s Human Resources agenda. Montoya served on the Obama-Biden Presidential Transition Team as an Advisor to the Department of Energy review team.  

Montoya has two adult children, David Montoya Jr., who owns a small business, Manzano Strategies, in Corrales , New Mexico and Elisa Diana Montoya, who is a Senior Advisor, White House Liaison at the Peace Corps. She also has two grandchildren, Megan and Benjamin.  

Montoya earned a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University ’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.   

In 1992, Montoya joined in the Clinton White House as member of the Personnel Transition Team. She served from 1994 to 1997 as the Associate Director of Presidential Personnel and Special Assistant to the President in the White House Office. In 1997, she became Deputy Chief of Staff under Energy Secretary Federico Peña at the U.S. Department of Energy.  

Montoya’s corporate experience began in 2001 with Resource Consultants, Inc., where she served as the Director of Federal Programs. Among her Chief responsibilities were leading client outreach programs and coordinating business development.  

In 2005, Montoya joined the Los Alamos Alliance, where she opened storefront offices in Los Alamos and Espanola , New Mexico , for Lockheed Martin and the team known as the Los Alamos Alliance, to work with community leaders on wide-ranging issues affecting the Department of Energy’s Los Alamos National Laboratory.  

Montoya's more recent private industry experience was with Sealaska Corporation, an Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act Corporation that is owned by more than 17,500 tribal shareholders. She served as Senior Advisor to the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Operating Officer in the areas of Human Resources, Corporate Strategic planning and Program Development. During her tenure with the corporation, Montoya designed a human resources comprehensive review of Sealaska's nine subsidiaries to affect a consistent human resources process throughout the organization. She also did private consulting in business development with small businesses in the southwest.  

“I am proud to announce the appointment of Liz Montoya. I am counting on Liz to help identify and implement the best in human resources management practices throughout government.”  Director of Office of Personnel John Berry said.  

In the November 9, 2009 issue of Hispanic Business Magazine, Elizabeth A. Montoya is named one of the100 Most Influential Hispanics.


Rafael Borras

Rafael Borras

Rafael Borras currently serves as a Vice President and Office Manager of Construction Services, for the United Research Services (URS) Corporation, a global engineering firm. He is nominated to serve in Under Secretary for Management in the Department of Homeland Security.  

Borras began his public sector career in 1982-1985 he served with the Metro Dade County Government, Florida, serving in the Office of the County Manager . He served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce; he also served as the Regional Administrator for the Mid-Atlantic Region of the U.S. General Services Administration. In addition, he served as Deputy City Manager for the Cities of Hartford, Connecticut, and New Rochelle , New York .

Borras has served in the International City/County in Management Association, and as Deputy City Manager and Commissioner of Human Services for the City of New Rochelle, New York. He served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Commerce Department, where he was responsible for the department’s finances, personnel, IT, acquisition and grants, including 375 employees and a $3.8 billion budget.

Borras has more than 25 years of experience in Budget and Financial Management, Procurement and Human Service, Information Technology, and Security Offices, preparing him well for overseeing the department’s finance, human capital.

"In his new role, Rafael will lead efforts to promote and establish greater efficiency and transparency while playing an integral role in unifying the Department and its many components," Department of Homeland Security Secretary Napolitano said.



Sara Manzano-Diaz  

Sara Manzano-Diaz, currently an Ambassador for the United States Hispanic Advocacy Association (USHAA); is an advisor on a host of issues influencing Latinos has been nominated as Director of the Women’s Bureau Department of Labor.

Sara Manzano-Diaz was born and raised in Harlem , New York City. She is married to Nelson Diaz.     

Sara Manzano-Diaz earned a Bachelors Degree in Public Relations and Communications from Boston University , she also earned a Law Degree from the Rutgers School of Law and in 2006, she obtained a Finance and Accounting Business Certificate from the University of Pennsylvania ’s Wharton School .

Manzano-Diaz has served as an Assistant Attorney General in New York and a Pro Se Attorney in the New York State Judiciary. She has served as Co-Chair of the Forum of Executive Women’s Mentoring Committee, which mentors young professional women as they begin their careers.  

She has served as Co-Chair of the Forum of Executive Women’s Mentoring Committee, which mentors young professional women as they begin their careers, she has also participated in “Madrinas,” a program that provides mentors for at-risk Latina girls to encourage them to finish high school and attend college.  

Manzano-Diaz was responsible for protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public by overseeing the licensure of approximately 1 million professionals. She is also a member of Gov. Rendell’s STEM Initiative Team that supports the development of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Education and Workforce development programs. Previously, she served as Deputy General Counsel for Civil Rights and Litigation at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, where she enforced Fair Housing, Civil Rights, and Anti-Discrimination Laws. While at HUD, she implemented a compliance agreement against the largest public housing authority in the country that resulted in the creation of 9,000 disabled housing units in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.  

Luis J. Diaz the President of USHAA & CEO stated, "We rejoice at the appointment of our esteemed colleague to this important position. Sara is a talented and committed professional that will serve our country well.”  

Manzano-Diaz has more than 25 years of federal, state, and judicial experience, including 16 years in Senior Management. Governor Edward G. Rendell appointed her as Deputy Secretary for Regulatory Programs at the Pennsylvania Department of State, and thereby making her the highest-ranking Latina in Pennsylvania state government.   

*Updates from Previous Articles*  

Arturo Valenzuela:  Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs in the State Department (Confirmed November 5, 2009)  
(See November 2009 issue of “Somos Primos” for complete biography)

Ignacia Moreno:  Assistant Attorney General for Environment and Natural Resources in the Justice Department (Confirmed November 5, 2009)
(See November 2009 issue of “Somos Primos” for complete biography) 




December 7, 1941, Pearl Harbor Attacked
Ensign Manuel Gonzalez, Navy pilot, first American WWII fatality 


On Sunday, December 7th, 1941 the Japanese launched a surprise attack against the U.S. Forces stationed at Pearl Harbor , Hawaii By planning this attack on a Sunday, the Japanese commander Admiral Nagumo, hoped to catch the entire fleet in port. As luck would have it, the Aircraft Carriers and one of the Battleships were not in port. (The USS Enterprise was returning from Wake Island , where it had just delivered some aircraft. The USS Lexington was ferrying aircraft to Midway, and the USS Saratoga and USS Colorado were undergoing repairs in the United States )    Jose M. Pena

Ensign Manuel Gonzalez, a Navy pilot from the aircraft carrier the USS Enterprise.  If you Google the USS Enterprise you will find that information buried in the details.  The fact is also recorded  in the book “Everything You Wanted to Know About World War II”.  Also, it is detailed in websites on the Pearl Harbor attack. 
Hon. Fredrick Aguirre, Esq.



First Texas Latina Supreme Court Justice

Judge Eva M. Guzman

A Wise Latina  


Mercy Bautista-Olvera  





Judge Eva M. Guzman  

On October 8, 2009, Houston , Texas , Governor Rick Perry appointed Judge Eva M. Guzman of Cypress , an unincorporated area of Harris County , to serve as Texas ’ Supreme Court Justice She replaces Houston 's Scott Brister, who stepped down from the Supreme Court to go into private practice. 

Eva Martinez-Guzman was born in 1961 in Chicago , Illinois but raised in Houston , Texas . She is the daughter of Mexican immigrants from Monterrey , Mexico Ubaldo Martinez and Micaela Pedraza-Martinez, her father worked as a Welder and her mom did odd jobs, working often as a domestic worker. She has four sisters and two brothers. Judge Guzman has been married to Houston Police Sergeant Antonio Guzman for twenty years; they have a 17-year-old daughter, Melanie Alexis.  

Eva was 13 years old when she began working nights in a drapery factory to help her family.

In 1979, she graduated from Stephen F. Austin High School in Houston , Texas . Guzman earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Houston . In 1989, she earned a Jurist Degree from South Texas College of Law.    

Guzman practiced Family and Civil Law for ten years before she was appointed as a Harris County Family Court judge by then-governor George Bush in 1999 to the 309th District Court, a family law bench.  

In 2001, Governor Rick Perry appointed Guzman to Texas 14th Court of Appeals, making her the first Latina to hold a position there as well. Judge Guzman disposed of more than 5,000 cases in her three years on the trial court bench.  She has ruled on more than 2,000 civil and criminal appeals and has authored hundreds of published opinions.  

Judge Guzman has received solid marks in judicial polls, she is an elected member of the American Law Institute, a former board member of the Garland Walker American Inns of Court, and she has been an adjunct faculty member of the University of Houston Law Center. She taught Civil Trial Advocacy this fall at the Law Center , marking her 10th year of teaching at the school.   

The Hispanic National Bar Association honored Guzman as “Latina Judge of the Year.” She has been named “Appellate Judge of the Year” by various groups during the course of her career. She has also been named Appellate Judge of the Year by P.O.L.I.C.E. Inc. and the Houston Police Officers Union. In addition, the Mexican American Bar Association of Texas Foundation named Guzman “2009 Judge of the Year.”  

Judge Guzman is an elected member of the American Law Institute and an appointed member of the Supreme Court of Texas Advisory Committee. She is a Senior Fellow of the American Leadership Forum Class XXII, and a Fellow of the Texas and Houston Bar Foundations. Judge Guzman is also a board member of the South Texas College of Law Alumni Association, Greater Houston Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, and Texas Executive Women.   

The Texas ’ Supreme Justice Appointment event took place at her Alma Matter Stephen F. Austin High School , a predominantly Latino school from which Guzman graduated. Guzman shared the podium with Governor Perry, the high court's Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson and Gerald Treece of South Texas College of Law. “This is a special day and this is a special place,” Judge Guzman said while surrounded by family and friends. “We chose this location because this is where my journey began. It is a strong reminder of the power of big dreams, hard work and good choices.” “My parents didn't have wealth, didn't have power, didn't have influence,” Judge Guzman told a gathering of students in the school library, however, she said, they taught her that ordinary people can do extraordinary things. ”I want all those of humble beginnings to know opportunities await,” she said.  

Texas Governor Perry states “Justice Guzman is known throughout legal circles as a strict constructionist with an unmatched work ethic, and has demonstrated a proven record of sound jurisprudence.” Perry further adds, “I am proud to appoint this principled, conservative judge as the first Hispanic woman on the Supreme Court of Texas.”  

“I am honored by this appointment and am grateful for the confidence Governor Perry has shown in me,” Judge Guzman said. “It has been a privilege to serve the citizens of this region over the last decade, and I look forward to serving all Texas citizens as a justice on the Texas Supreme Court.”  

In an interview, Judge Guzman stated, “There are days that you dream of all of your life and days you will remember for the rest of your life, today is both."  “One of my passions throughout my career has been education. I hope I am a role model and can inspire Latino kids and all kids to dream big, work hard and make good choices,” Judge Guzman said.  

“I congratulate Justice Guzman on this historic appointment, and I am confident that her service to the state of Texas will encourage young Latinas to pursue

opportunities to serve our beloved state with great pride and distinction as well.”
- Hope Andrade , Texas Secretary of State stated.  

Roger Townsend, a partner in the Houston office of Alexander Dubose & Townsend, who is a friend of Judge Guzman's, says she is an outstanding choice who will arrive at the court with no agenda. “I’ve had cases where she’s voted for plaintiffs and cases where she’s voted for the defense. She’s not going to be a predictable vote,” Townsend additional stated. “I think she’ll be kind of a moderate voice. She is extremely hard working. If you are talking a 1 to 10 scale, I’d give her a 10.”  

Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina, who was a law school classmate of Judge Guzman's, says she’ll be a welcome addition to the court. “I think it’s awesome, it’s exciting... she obviously has a tremendous amount of experience on an appellate court and a breadth of knowledge. She has analyzed every type of issue that we have analyzed before.” 

In Texas , the Governor’s nominee for a vacant seat does not have to be confirmed by the Texas Senate until it convenes again. Justice Guzman can start preparing for the 2010 elections, during which she will elected for a six-year term.  




MENTAL MENUDO, Los Angeles Group


Mimi, This is for your achives. We call this group The Mental Menudo"  A bunch of artist, writers & scientist get together informally about once a month to discuss art, science, education and social topics. Here is the last photo we  took recently. The meeting is open and held at each others home. Front row, kneeling and sitting, Jose (NFI) professor Cal St. LA, Mario Trillo, Artist/Photographer, Diane Velarde-Hernandez, Ret. educator, crafter, 
Gilbert "Magu" Lujan, Artist, Angel Guerrero, Artist, Michael Sedano, Ret.Educator, Writer, Blog author (www.readraza) Naiche Lujan (son of Magu) evironmentalist, Artist,

TOP ROW: Daniel Cano, professor, author, Paul Martinez,Artist, Andres Montoya, Artist, Mario Guerrero, educator, software developer, Manuel Urrutia, UCLA professor/ researcher in Physics and Serg Hernandez, Artist.
photo taken by: Gil Ortiz



Excellent REPATRIATION VIDEO . .  I was not aware that it was happening all over the United States, not just California and Texas.   I did not realize that it started as early as 1936, and . 
as late as 2 years ago, the expulsion of U.S. citizens.
11 minutes, 40 second  Introduced by California State Senator Dune 



Comments on the Task force 
for the Creation of a National Museum for the Latino Community


Dear Mimi,  

As I was reading about the appointees on the president’s task force for the creation of a national museum for the Latino I suddenly had a flash-back about the documentary of Ken Burns and the lack of the contributions of Mexican Americans.. Had it not been for Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez and Gus Chavez there would have been no Mexican Americans in his documentary. The majority of Latinos in this country are Mexican Americans but where I come from we call ourselves Tejanos.  

I can think of a lot of other people that would have been better qualified, and with all due respect to the members that were selected, Andres Tijerina Ph.D. comes to mind. Dr Tijerina is an author and historian that teaches Texas history and has written several books on Tejano and southwest history. What about Felix Almaraz Ph.D another well known author and historian or Gilberto Hinojosa Ph.D another author and historian. I could go on and on, but the fact remains that Mexican Americans, being that we are the majority, are also the most feared and have been blamed not only for the swine flue but for the loss of jobs as well. I also noticed that there was a Puerto Rican, a Cuban, a Peruvian, a Dominican but no Mexican Americans.  

A recent e-mail sent to me describes how a student whose parents had emigrated from Cuba , after being asked a question of Tejano history, responded that he did not know the answer because in Cuba they did not teach Tejano history. My point here is that these appointees don’t know the answer either.  If we allow this trend and lack of knowledge to continue, we will become what historian David J. Weber in his book says “Foreigners in Their Native Lands.”  

The Tejano contribution to this country goes back to 1776 when the then governor of Spanish Louisiana, Bernardo de Galvez, of whom Galveston is named after, requested that cattle be driven from Texas north to feed the armies of George Washington. Many of these Tejano vaqueros remained and fought under the leadership of Galvez. These trail drives over the Camino Real were 100 years before the so-called famous Chisholm and Goodnight trails. Had it not been for Galvez and his victories over the British at the Battle for New Orleans , Pensacola Florida and Mobile Alabama and for keeping the Mississippi River open for American supplies and ammunition to traverse, the outcome for the Americans would have been totally different.  

In 1860 during the American civil war approximately 9000 Tejanos would fight, half for the Union the other half for the Confederacy. While the United States was busy in their Civil War, Mexico was being invaded by Napoleons armies and of course we all have heard of Cinco de Mayo,” and Ignacio Zaragoza who was the general that led the troops that defeated the French at Puebla in 1862. But that is only half of the story. The real reason Tejanos celebrate ‘Cinco de Mayo,” in south Texas is because of Porfirio Zamora  from Palito Blanco in South Texas close to Alice Texas. Zamora would be recruited by Zaragoza and he in turn recruits 500 Tejanos to go and fight in his Mexican Army. And according to Dr Andres Tijerina, it was Porfirio Zamora that led the cavalry charge that defeated the French in Puebla in 1862. The surviving Tejanos upon their return to Texas started the celebrations in South Texas . They saw this as their victory and their contribution in defeating the French. Porfirio Zamora would be awarded the second highest Medal of Valor that Mexico has for the military for his heroic action at the Battle of Puebla. Porfirio Diaz after Benito Juarez died rode all the way to Alice Texas to seek the endorsement of Porfirio Zamora for his candidacy for president. Had it not been for the Mexican army defeating the French, which had plans to join the Confederate Army in Texas , we would all be whistling Dixie instead of singing the Star Spangled Banner.  

During WWII the population of the United States was approximately 180 million of which 10 million were Hispanics and of that number the overwhelming number were Mexican Americans. This small minority would provide approximately 5 hundred thousand combatants and again the majority of this number, were Mexican Americans. Mexican Americans were awarded 12 Medals of Honor and Puerto Ricans 3 making the Hispanic community the most decorated minority of all.  

During the war in Viet Nam we were only 4.5% of the population yet we suffered 23% of the casualties. And in today’s army according to Major General Alfred Valenzuela, in his book “No Greater Love,” 19% of the casualties are of Hispanic descent.  

Now do you honestly think that any of these appointees know or care of the history of Mexican Americans. Well, only time will tell.  

Right now in Texas we are fighting with the State Board of Education, who is dominated Anglos from east Texas that want even more of the scant history of our ancestors removed from the text books. I will keep you posted on the outcome.  

Dan Arellano


Discovering the LEGACY OF VALOR  
October 8-9th, 2009
Palo Alto Veterans' Medical Center, California
Photos curtsy of Thomas Turrey

As the Program Manager for Hispanic Heritage at the Veterans Hospital in Palo Alto, California I had the great privilege of attending The National Conference of La Raza in Chicago, Illinois, this past July. The event was held at the McCormick Center and I couldn’t wait to get started, so I signed-in, received my goody bag, name tag and off I went.  I then walked through the main concourse located upstairs by taking the escalators when I noticed this display surrounded by flags.  

Now these weren’t your ordinary flags at some exhibit in a convention to get the passerby’s attention; the flags represented here were American Flags, surrounded by military flags from the entire Department of Defense. Being a retired Army Veteran myself, this caught my attention right away as I waited anxiously taking the escalator up to the second floor.  My pace quickened once on level ground where I noticed two more flags strategically placed and these flags were the POW/MIA (Prisoner of War/Missing in Action).  My eyes were wide-open as I entered this exhibit with perfect lighting while all resting on a magnificent red carpet.


This display deserves the red carpet treatment as it holds all the flags I mentioned, with vintage uniforms dating back from the Civil War all the way to the Vietnam War.  

There were also billboards celebrating Latino heroes such as Presidential Medal of Freedom Award winner like Dr. Hector P. Garcia and former POW/MIA Commander Everett Alvarez.



The other billboards on display were of course the Legacy of Valor “Above and Beyond the Call of Duty” pictured with President Truman awarding Private First Class Silvestre Herrera the Medal of Honor.  More important than being awarded the Medal of Honor was how Private Herrera was recovering from the loss of both legs in an Army hospital, studying and receiving his United States Citizenship.  President Truman was not sure Private Herrera’s health would allow him to attend the ceremony, but determined as always, Silvestre wheeled himself across the White House lawn and received the Medal of Honor.


The second billboard for the Legacy of Valor is the tribute to all the “Hispanic Medal of Honor Recipients”.  This billboard at that time has pictures of all 42 Medal of Honor awardees, with the conflict they were in, their name, and date of action and place of birth. 

The criteria for the Medal of Honor are as follows:  Bestowed on a member of the United States Armed Forces who distinguishes themselves “conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of their own life and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States.” (Due to the nature of its criteria, the medal is often awarded posthumously)  







I learned about the Aztec Eagles and Fighter Squadron 201 and the men of the Mexican Expeditionary Air Force.  The elite unit of pilots flew combat missions during World War Two in order to free Luzon from the Japanese with the American 581st Fighter Group.   The Eagles flew over 60 missions, dropped 1038 bombs and fired over a million rounds of live ammo.  In all, the 201st squadron accumulated 1290 hours of combat missions during the last six months of the war. I was even able to meet the producer/director of the documentary “The Aztec Eagles Last Flight” Mr. Victor Mancilla who completed the film in 2006.

Now let me tell you my brain is on overload now, but I can’t get enough of this great history lesson as it has magnetically pulled me in and did not let me go….nor did I want to leave.  Leaving was definitely not a choice after I notice this man sitting in a chair by one of the displays and especially after I take another look and notice that he is actually wearing the Medal of Honor around his neck which is much scarred.  Later I know why he has these scars on his neck and face which cause him to speak in a very low meaningful tone because of the hand to hand combat he encountered with the North Koreans as he ran out of ammunition and fought to stay alive.

Hopefully as you are reading this I hope I was able to relay the feelings that I was going through, and this is only the beginning, because I was in complete “awe”.  I was blown away! I was on the verge of tears! It was truly heartfelt and this Exhibit hit me right in my soul.  I was surrounded by heroes and I was honored.

While still at the exhibit, I had a conversation with Mr. Rick Leal, the President of the Hispanic Medal of Honor Society, who made this display what it is today and is still adding to it.   Assisted by Rick Cochrane, these men who I now call “The Ricks” have paid meticulous attention to the details especially honoring “The Lost, but not Forgotten” which is the POW/MIA memorial off to one of the corners in this remarkable display.


I introduced myself to Mr. Leal by saying “Hello sir, my name is Tomas Turréy and I’m from the Veterans Hospital in Palo Alto, California where I am the Program Manager for Hispanic Heritage and I must commend you on such a wonderful display here.” His response was “Thank you very much; it is truly an honor just to be part of this display.” 

He was surprised when he found out where I was from and worked, and then I became even more surprised when I found out that he is from San Francisco.  This was too good to be true, because the wheels in my head began to turn as it now became a personal goal of mine to have the privilege of hosting this Exhibit at our own Veterans Hospital in Palo Alto.

This was a tremendous start to my visit at the NCLR, which made my day and basically the entire conference.  Both Mr. Leal and I had tremendous dialogue as we exchanged business cards and I could not wait to get back to California so I could start the planning of this event for Hispanic Heritage Month.

I waited about a week after the conference to contact Mr. Leal which was probably one of the longest weeks of my life as I was so excited to plan the arrival of this exhibit to our HealthCare System.  The first conversation I had with Mr. Leal was bittersweet as he was in the process of planning an event with San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsome to have the exhibit at City Hall.  I made it a point to congratulate him and wish him the best of luck with the Mayor as it would make some great headlines for this exhibit to be in Downtown San Francisco.  

Mr. Leal called me back and informed me that they were indeed having the Exhibit in San Francisco, but he really wanted to bring the exhibit to the Veterans Hospital in Palo Alto either before or after the City Hall event.  Well, as you can imagine I was very excited and now all we had to do was work out the details. 

We were able to host the exhibit at the Veterans Hospital for two days, October 8th and 9th.  What made this celebration of Hispanic Heritage month so special was that we were able to share this Exhibit with our Veterans who visit this hospital every day.  My committee began spreading the word and posting fliers in Palo Alto and our other location in Menlo Park.  Mrs. Mimi Lozano the editor of “Somos Primos” also had some friends of hers post fliers throughout the city of Palo Alto.




On the evening of October 7th we could not set-up the exhibit until 10 o’clock, as our auditorium is such a high demand that is was being used almost the entire night.  I wanted to make sure this display was ready to go first thing on the morning of the 8th, so whatever it would take to set this up, we were going to do.  We wanted everything to be so perfect that we didn’t finish until 2:30 am. 



Every minute we spent on the setting up of this display was well worth it, because as you are doing the actual set-up, an emotion comes over you that is un-describable and pulls you right at the strings of your heart.  To my surprise Mr. Leal brought more display items to Palo Alto that he didn’t have in Chicago.  One of those displays was the Navy ships named after the Medal Of Honor Awardees, which were illustrated on poster boards.


Our first presentation was on the afternoon of October 8th in which the staff of the hospital was able to attend including staff from Menlo Park and numerous patients from both Palo Alto and Menlo Park.  This would be the most heartfelt ceremony of both days as Vets entered the auditorium and overcome with tears as they were touched by the stories of these great men as Mr. Leal was able to personalize a tour for out PTSD patients.  There were Doctors on hand to provide some personal counseling to those Vets who needed it as they left the auditorium for a few minutes, but insisted on returning back to their groups quickly as possible.







The “Fiesta” began with a blessing from one of our VA Chaplains, Father James Stump, then a wonderful poem by committee member 
Heliana Ramirez, when after her poem she introduced me and I had to summarize everything that I have written up to this point in  just five minutes. Then I had the great pleasure of introducing our Director of the Hospital, Ms. Elizabeth (Lisa) Joyce Freeman.  Ms. Freeman offered some great words to me, the committee for Hispanic Heritage, the exhibit and most importantly Mr. Rick Leal and his staff for bringing together the Hispanic Medal of Honor Society.  She then introduced Mr. Leal and he escorted her over to the POW/MIA table to light the symbolic candle. 

A memorial was set up in Palo Alto for the POW/MIA just as it was in Chicago and everywhere else this exhibit travels.  We honor them by acknowledging their sacrifice with every item on the table and color representing something very special which is the color RED-for the blood they shed, WHITE-is for their purity, A LEMON-is for the bitterness, SALT-is for their tears and the CANDLE is for the light, so they can find their way home.




The comments were overflowing after the presentation from everyone as they were in complete admiration.  This exhibit has a special way of overcoming people with emotion and this was the case on this particular afternoon.  We then began to get ready for our evening presentation as we were going to present the exhibit to our Recreation Therapy and Blind Rehab patients.  The evening presentation was going to be even more special as we were going to have Troop 66, our local Boy Scouts who were going to present the colors and lead us in the Pledge of Allegiance.  During this presentation we were able to highlight some scenes from the “The Aztec Eagles Last Flight” introduced by producer/director Victor Mancilla.


The documentary went over so well that Vets in the audience were willing to purchase copies of the movie directly from Mr. Mancilla; unfortunately no copies were available but the Vets exchanged numbers with the director and was very impressed.  One particular Vet from Utah even informed me that he had two choices of Veteran Hospitals to attend and receive his therapy, which were Phoenix and Palo Alto.  He obviously chose Palo Alto but later told me that “it was meant for me to come to Palo Alto not only for my therapy, but to see this movie and I’m glad I made the right choice.”



October 9th arrives and we are still receiving laudatory comments from everyone we encounter.   There is one more presentation scheduled for the late morning and we have more patients coming in from Menlo Park again.  Prior to the arrival of patients we had a viewing of Master Sergeant Roy Benavidez Medal of Honor Ceremony with President Reagan.  Those in attendance were treated how the award ceremony is conducted by the Army Rifle Drill team and the George Washington Continental Army Band and concluding with the citation being read by President Reagan.



Mr. Leal is truly at his finest when presenting the Medal of Honor Society to his fellow Veterans as he explains each story as if it was the first time he spoke about it.  His passion is un-matched when it comes to this display that once he is finished there is a line of Veterans waiting to talk to him.  This was evident during this particular presentation as not only the staff once again was drawn to tears but Vets as well.  I know I keep saying that the comments were overwhelming, but they were as this was the last group of the day and people that had seen it the day before were back again as they wanted more information about the exhibit.



We started breaking down the exhibit later that day to get it ready for shipment to San Francisco City Hall and there was a silence among us as this showing came to an end.  I would like to think the silence was an appreciation for each other and a tremendous amount of respect for the men who have fallen in defense of the freedom for this great country.  What I marvel most is how they did it, they knew what the mission was and they were going to accomplish it no matter the cost.  They didn’t leave anybody behind and if they had to do it again, they would not hesitate!  Godspeed gentlemen…

 Hispanic Heritage Committee of the Palo Alto Veteran's Medical Center
From left to right: Chris Martinez, Marcia De Calisto, Heliana Ramirez, Diana Linaja, & Yndra Medina, Ms. Lisa Freeman, The Director of the Hospital, Rick Leal, Thomas Turrey, Kevin Miller, and Victor Mancilla, Film producer.   Sitting is Marisa Galvan.


Thomas Turrey
Program Manager 
Palo Alto Medical Center 
3801 Miranda Ave. Bldg. 4 
Palo Alto,CA 94304
Cell: 408-242-4188
Rick Leal
2128 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94ll4
Cell: 415-310-0138




November 19, Rick Leal visited NASA at the invitation of  Robert Lazaro, the Ethnic Director for NASA's Public Affairs Office.  Rick had contacted NASA, sharing his desire to celebrate the fact that two Latinos, Danny Olivas and Jose Hernandez, both of Mexican heritage and of California residency had recently both flown together on board a shuttle flight. NASA was quite receptive to Rick's plans to produce a panel honoring NASAs Latino Astronauts and has offered to supply needed visuals.  The targeted goal is for the unveiling of the Latino Astronauts panel during NCLRs national conference.

2010 the Legacy of Valor is scheduled to exhibit at:
National Council of La Raza, San Antonio, TX
State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 
San Francisco City Hall, CA
Palo Alto Veterans' Medal Center, Palo Alto, CA




Col. (Ret) Ernest A. Montemayor: Father of Hispanic Heritage Month 
          May 22, 1928 - July 16, 2009
Michael Kabotie: Famed Hopi artist
          1942 to October 23, 2009
Armando Ayala, Ph.D.: Creative and Tireless Educator
          August 16, 1929 to October 26, 2009
Bidal Aguero: Newspaper Publisher and Civil Rights Leader 
          July 23, 1949 to November 3, 2009
Rodrigo Escobar Restrepop:
Columbian Historian and Genealogist
José Cisneros: Iconic World-class El Paso artist
          1910 to November 14, 2009
Ramiro Cortez Gonzalez: A Saginaw, Michigan Mexican-American pillar
          January 5, 1946 to November 17, 2009  
Private First Class Alejandro R. Ruiz: Medal of Honor Recipient
          June 26, 1923 - November 20, 2009

Col. (Ret) Ernest A. Montemayor
Father of Hispanic Heritage Month
by Mimi Lozano

May 22, 1928 to July 16, 2009

Few people realize the role that Ernest A. Montemayor played in getting the United States Congress to proclaim and honor the contributions of Hispanics to the United States.  He quietly laid the foundation with historical facts, gathered over a life-time of dedication for Hispanic Heritage Month. 

Col. (Ret) Ernest A. Montemayor Sailor, Soldier, Airman, Father, Husband, Patriot and Genealogist was laid to rest July 16, 2009 at the age of 81. Although born in historic Philadelphia, PA, Ernest was raised in San Antonio. 

It was in his youth that Ernesto received information that shaped his life.  His mother and father divorced.  He lived with his mother, but was in need of direction and purpose. School held no interest to him.  His mother sensing the need for a male figure in Ernesto's life, sent him to spend time with his father in Monterrey, Mexico.  While walking the streets of Monterrey, Ernesto's father told Ernesto that his ancestor, a direct grandfather had founded the city of Monterrey, and that his heritage was one of immense bravery, worthy of pride and respect.  Ernesto had known nothing of his roots.  He told me that it turned him around, from a "bad boy" to a young man filled with hope for a future and a sense of real deep pride.  He wanted to learn about his ancestors.  Eventually, he wanted everyone to know the truth of the Hispanic presence and contributions.

With his mother's permission, he volunteered in the Navy.  He eventually served in the U.S. Navy, Army and Air force where he advanced through every rank from Private to Colonel (Mustang) during the periods of World War II, Korea and the Vietnam Wars.  While in the service he continued to pursue his role in helping Hispanics to understand our historical presence.  Although,  he was not a member of the the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon), he served as a weekly volunteer for seven years in an LDS Family History Center while on duty in Washington, D.C..  

It was while he was stationed in Washington, D.C. that he conceived of the idea to push for congressional recognition of the historical contributions of Hispanics.  With the help of long-time friend Gilbert Coronado, also an officer in the military, and a Tejano stationed in D.C.. the two started the process and persisted.  In 1968 Ernesto wrote a book "Yo Solo" about Spanish General Bernardo de Galvez actions in support of the American Revolution.  It was distributed at a reception following the passing of the Proclamation declaring Hispanic Heritage week. Twenty years later in 1988, the week was extended to a month of observation.

Although the proclamation was passed 40 years ago, it has been slow in finally reaching the level of public visibility observed this year.   After retirement, Col. Montemayor returned to San Antonio and focused his energies full time history and genealogy.  In 1990, he married the former Estela Ramirez in 1990. 

It was in San Antonio that I met Ernie, Ernesto, Montie for the second time.  I had communicated with him when I first started my family history research, in the early 1980s.  A cousin, Dena Chapa Rupert sent me an article about Hispanic family history researchers, George Ryskamp, Lyman Platt, Cleotilde Garcia, M.D. (Dr. Hector P. Garcia's sister), and Ernie.  I tracked each of them down, and communicated with each, including Ernie.  We met in Riverside, CA in the mid 1980s at a Hispanic Family History Conference organized by George Ryskamp, an attorney devoted to Hispanic research.  We stayed in touch, as Ernie promoted the concept of our ancestor's earliest  colonization in the Americas, and I began to understand the importance of validating our historic presence, I felt a kinship with his vision and drive.

Soon after Ernie and Estela's marriage, I was in San Antonio and was invited to their home.  It is difficult to describe the library that Ernie had compiled. There were books all over, not only in the house and every hallway, but his entire garage, every wall, top to bottom.  Not only were the shelves filled, but in the middle of the garage were storage units with books and thousands of hand-written index cards.  He could track and retrieve any bit of information that he needed.   Twenty years later, I am still awed by his commitment and dedication to make our history known.  He surely prepared himself for the task.

Ernie went into a partnership with George Farias, BorderlandsBooks in San Antonio, and slowly began to sell some books from his treasured collection.

He is survived by his wife of 18 ½ years, Estela, his daughter Rosalinda Chaney (Dean), his sons Miguel (Beverly), and Diego Duran (from a previous marriage) and his brother Arthur (Julie). He has four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.  He was Interned  July 20th in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery. 

I will always be grateful to Ernesto for his vision in promoting awareness of our Spanish/Mexican history.  We have a right to know the legacy of our ancestral past.  I am thankful that Ernie fought for that right.  



Michael Kabotie, 1942-Oct 23, 2009
Famed Hopi artist


Famed Hopi artist Michael Kabotie died Oct. 23 in Flagstaff, Ariz., from complications  due to the H1N1 flu. He was 67. According to his daughter, Meg Adakai, Kabotie had been ill weeks prior to his death.

"Michael Kabotie has been an active participant at the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture's Native Treasures Indian Arts Festival for the past five years," stated Shelby Tisdale, director of MIAC. "His wide range of work, from silver jewelry and kachina carvings to his large-scale colorful paintings, draw on the Hopi traditions he grew up with ... I will always remember his warm smile, his subtle way of teasing, his contagious sense of humor, and his gentle way of teaching the world about Hopi art and culture."

Son of artist Fred Kabotie (1900-1986), who was self-taught and among the very first students at the Santa Fe Indian School during the 1920s, Michael Kabotie was multi-talented in sculpture, painting, printmaking, and metalwork, as well as a writer and poet. In 1979, his book of poems, Migration Tears: Poems About Transitions, was published by the University of California/American Indian Studies.

Kabotie was a founding member of Artists Hopid (1973-1978), an organization dedicated to innovative interpretations of traditional Hopi art forms. In 2003, he was cited as an Arizona Living Treasure by the Arizona Indian Living Treasures Awards, Inc.; and just this year, he was the featured artist for the Heard Museum Guild Indian Fair & Market in Phoenix.

"Michael was a quiet man, with a deep respect for the traditions of his Hopi culture," said Heard Museum director Frank Goodyear, Jr. in a statement. "He made powerful images drawn from Hopi artistic traditions that are testimonies to his own creative excellence. His death leaves us deeply saddened."

Kabotie was born on the Second Mesa on the Hopi Reservation and was raised in the village of Shungopavi. He graduated from Haskell Indian School in Lawrence, Kan.

In 1967, according to his Web site, he underwent his Hopi manhood initiation into the Wuwutsim Society and was given his Hopi name, Lomawywesa, or Walking in Harmony.

Kabotie's work is represented in many public and private collections, including the Heard Museum, Museum of Humankind (London), and the Gallery Calumet-Neuzzinger (Germany).

Contact Douglas Fairfield at 986-3048 or
Sent by



Armando Ayala, Ph.D. 
Tireless Promoter of  Bilingual Education
August 16, 1929 to October 26, 2009


Please receive this sad news conveyed in this form.  On behalf of the Ayala family and close friends we would like for you to know that our dear Armando was recently taken peacefully in his sleep.  Known affectionately for his passionate e-mails as Dr. and with his Laredo nickname as "El Hueso",  he has been a friend to all
and an inspiration to children, parents, and community leaders in the education world and especially an icon to educators in the bilingual/multicultural movement.  

Details are available on-line through the Sacramento Bee Internet site @ (Obituary, Guest Book, and a developing Memorial Web site on via the
link . Our fallen warrior and my brother is gone, but not forgotten. "To be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord".  Your prayers, comments and contributions to the above sites are available to share in his celebration of life and memories.

Dr. Steven F. Arvizu



Bidal Aguero
Newspaper Publisher and Civil Rights Leader 


Hispanic Print Looses A Leader With the Passing Of Bidal Aguero
Sent by Editor of LPNnews, Kirk Whisler

LPN News is a news service with a variety of articles for Hispanic newspapers and magazines. All of the articles are free.LPN News es un servicio de noticias que proporciona varios artículos para las publicaciones hispanas. Todos los artículos son gratuitos. 

Bidal Aguero, the award winning publisher of the oldest Hispanic owned newspaper in Texas and a Lubbock civil rights leader, passed away on Tuesday, November 3, 2009.
Bidal Aguero was the founder of El Editor and had been publisher since 1977. El Editor serves the West Texas Communities of Lubbock and Midland. His publication won numerous editorial awards from the National Association of Hispanic Publications, an association that he was a proud and active member of.
Bidal Aguero was born on July 23, 1949, on the Goodnight Farm. His parents, Ignacio and Eulalia Aguero, were from around Karnes City, Texas. His grandfather was originally from the San Antonio area, while his grandmother came from Mexico.
The Agueros were originally migrant workers from the Temple and Tyler area, following the cotton crop around Texas, before settling on the Goodnight farm. Neither of them received much education, with Mrs. Aguero reaching the third grade. The family later moved to Lubbock, where they settled in the Guadalupe neighborhood area. Bidal's father started working for the city's sanitation department.
As a youth, Bidal experienced racial discrimination of the kind common to Texas in the 1950s and 1960s. Mexican Americans were banned from entering theaters, restaurants, and swimming pools. Even drinking fountains were off-limits, as fountains existed for whites and blacks, but none for Mexican Americans. Teachers often could not speak the language of the Mexican American students, so it was rare for students to graduate from high school.
Bidal attended school at North University Elementary School in Lubbock (present day Mahon Elementary). He later attended Matthews Junior High School and Lubbock High School. While at Matthews, Bidal won an election in the school band, but the band director gave the office to an Anglo student.
After being advised by his high school counselor to join the army or to be a mechanic, Bidal began attending classes at Texas Technological College (later Texas Tech University) in the fall of 1967. While there, he became active in college activities, joining a Mexican American student organization called Los Tertullianos. He became vice-president in 1970, and president in 1971. Los Tertullianos organized gatherings and seminars to encourage Mexican American students to be more active.
Bidal Aguero himself became more of an activist as a result of the 1970 Lubbock tornado. He volunteered as an emergency worker in the aftermath of the tornado. During this time, he observed that while the downtown and Lubbock Country Club areas received assistance, the Guadalupe neighborhood areas were neglected in terms of receiving relief. As a result, he left Los Tertullianos since they were more a social club. Instead, Aguero helped to found MECHA at Texas Tech, which was more activist.
Aguero graduated from Texas Tech in December 1972, with a B.A. in music education. After working for Learn-Education Talent Search for seven months, he helped found COMA (Commerciantes Organizacion Mexicano Americano), the Mexican-American Chamber of Commerce, in 1972. However, when Aguero left for the University of Wisconsin, COMA collapsed. Aguero returned with his Master's degree in December 1974, and started COMA up again in 1976.
Aguero was also heavily involved in local politics. He joined La Raza Unida Party and ran for local offices such as county commissioner. He participated in organizing protests for injustices done against Mexican Americans. Aguero was one of those who filed a lawsuit against the Lubbock Independent School District to change its method of electing school trustees. He traveled to the Middle East to meet with members of the Palestine Liberation Organization. After the end of the Raza Unida, he joined the Democratic Party.
Aguero worked in numerous local social service organizations such as Defensa, Inc., Chicanos Unidos-Campensions, and Llano Estacado Farmworkers of Tejas to help such groups as migrant workers. He also worked closely with governmental groups such as the South Plains Association of Governments, the State of Texas, and the City of Lubbock.
Bidal went into journalism more out of a desire to help facilitate community change than out of seeing it as a career. He was the author of several books, plays and screen plays including Pancho Claus (both the book and the play); La Muerte de una abelita; The Wondrous Santa Suit,and The West Texas Old Fashion Baptism (screenplay). An achieve of his work and writings is at Texas Tech University in their Southwest Special Collections Library. His favorite hobbies were fishing and watching the Dallas Cowboys.


Fallecimiento de Don Rodrigo Escobar Restrepop

Fecha: 2 de noviembre de 2009 

En este fin de semana, murió en la ciudad de Medellín, Don Rodrigo Escobar Restrepo, persona que dedicó toda su vida a la investigación genealógica, siendo, posiblemente, quien mejor conocia las raíces y los primeros descendientes de los conquistaroes y de las personas que poblaron la región de Antioquia.

Sus investigaciones quearon consignadas en la serie que sobe los apellidos antioqueños publicó el periódico El Colombiano, entre 2003 y 2005. Tambien es valioso sus comentarios y notas con que ilustró la publicación de las "Genealogías de Salamina" obra editada por el extinto Instituto Colombiana de Cultura Hispánica.

Para todas las personas que nos gustan las genealogías es una verdadera pérdida.
Acompañamos a sus familiares y amigos en esta pérdida y elevamos oraciones al Altísimo por su paz y tranquilidad eterna.

Luis Alvaro Gallo Martínez

Received from B. Samuel Sanchez Garcia
Cel. (81) 1667-2480

"Haz tu Arbol Genealogico...El Arbol mas Hermoso de la Creacion"
Por medio de la historia familiar descubrimos el árbol más hermoso de la creación: nuestro árbol genealógico. Sus numerosas raíces se remontan a la historia y sus ramas se extienden a través de la eternidad. La historia familiar es la expresión extensiva del amor eterno; nace de la abnegación y provee la oportunidad de asegurarse para siempre una unidad familiar”.
(Élder J. Richard Clarke, Liahona julio de 1989, pág.69) 


José Cisneros: Iconic El Paso artist dies
By Ramón Rentería / El Paso Times, 11/14/09

1910 to November 14, 2009

EL PASO -- José Cisneros, the modest, self-taught artist knighted by the king of Spain and celebrated in Texas, Mexico and across the United States, died Saturday, November 14, 2009.

Cisneros, regarded as a legend for his vivid pen-and-ink sketches died of natural causes at an El Paso foster-care home where he was admitted two weeks ago, according to his family.

Born in Villa Ocampo, Durango, in 1910, Cisneros had only a fifth-grade education but was revered as a historian with a sketch pad, an artist who illustrated more than 300 historical books and publications. Stories of the United States-Mexico border and the Southwest burst alive with Cisneros' touch and meticulous attention to detail. 

Often described as a world-class illustrator, Cisneros built an international reputation with pen-and-ink illustrations of Mexican, American and Spanish history. He was best known for detailed pen-and-ink drawings of horses and Spanish horsemen that he often described as his favorite subjects.

News of Cisneros' death triggered widespread tributes and condolences. The artist was so modest that he said he never had his work appraised.

"He was an El Paso treasure. We were hoping to celebrate his 100th birthday," El Paso gallery owner Adair Margo said. "He aspired to be a world-class illustrator and he became one."

Collectors of Cisneros' art include former President George W. Bush and his wife. Former first lady Laura Bush once described Cisneros as a friend and "a magnificent artist and important historian of the Southwest."

King Juan Carlos of Spain knighted Cisneros for contributing to the understanding of history through his art. In 2002, President Bush awarded Cisneros the National Humanities Medal for his work as an artist and historian. Cisneros also received the National Cowboy Hall of Fame Wrangler Award in 1985 for his book, "Riders Across the Centuries."

Bobby Byrd, owner of Cinco Puntos Press, published Cisneros' "El Ratoncito Pequeño / The Little Mouse," a nursery rhyme in Spanish and English.

"I always admired him and loved being around him," Byrd said. "He had this real traditional aesthetic and a precise way of going about himself. His craftsmanship was admirable -- delicate, traditional and very, very expressive.

Felix Almaráz Jr., a professor of history at the University of Texas at San Antonio and contributor to "Borderlands: The Heritage of the Lower Rio Grande Through the Art of José Cisneros" once said of the artist: "Cisneros finds little nuggets of information and then translates them into an artistic expression of high quality."

Timid about speaking in public, Cisneros was a devout Catholic who went to Mass daily. He counted the late El Paso artist Tom Lea among his friends and mentors. He often advised John Houser, creator of "The Equestrian" sculpture at El Paso International Airport.

Relatives said Cisneros received his last sacraments Friday at Loving Hands Foster Care in Central El Paso.

"We all told him we loved him and kissed him good-bye," his daughter Patricia Cisneros Pride said, adding that her father always taught the community to "value work, live every day, and to thank God for everything they have."

Ever modest about his legacy, Cisneros questioned in a recent interview with El Paso Times' Style magazine whether he deserved a lifetime of accolades.

"My work is what has given me the name that I have, but I don't think I deserve it because there have been a lot of great artists in El Paso who have been forgotten," he said. "There is no recognition of them and they were lost forever."

Cisneros taught himself to read and write. Displaced by the Mexican Revolution of 1910, his family eventually settled in El Paso-Juárez 

Venerated artist Jose Cisneros. (Times file photo)in 1925. 
West Side resident Andy Saenz worked with Cisneros at City Lines, a company where Cisneros once painted buses.

"It was an honor to know him," Saenz said, recalling a co-worker who shunned having a beer with the guys after work and instead rushed home to work overnight in his basement on the detailed pieces for which the artist is now known.

El Paso artist Bill Rakocy befriended Cisneros 30 years ago and admired his discipline and humanitarian traits.

"He was one of the most talented people I've ever known," Rakocy said.

John O. West, a retired University of Texas at El Paso professor and Cisneros' biographer, once described him as a giant in accurately depicting Southwestern history. "If we didn't have people like José, we'd forget our past. He tells the truth, yet he has a romantic attitude," West said once.

West and his wife, Lucy, escorted Cisneros to Spain in 1998, where he became the first recipient outside of the country to receive the prestigious Universidad de Alcalá Award.

"His legacy is the rich scholarship of Spanish influence on the Southwest," Lucy West said. "He was a classic gentleman, a very humble man."

Cisneros' work has hung in the governor's mansion in Austin, the Palace of the Governors Museum in Santa Fe and the Institute of Texan Cultures in San Antonio.

Cisneros is survived by daughters Magdalena Villarreal, Irene Cisneros Solla, Patricia Cisneros Pride and Rita Sillas; 10 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by his wife, Vicenta, and a daughter, Inez. Funeral services are pending.

Color-blind since birth, Cisneros continued to draw in recent years until his vision deteriorated to the point that he had trouble writing his name. He never lost or abandoned his passion for a lifetime of artistic and literary work that brought him widespread recognition over the years, fame that he often downplayed.

"I'll die with my pen on the paper," he once said.

Ramón Rentería may be reached at; 546-6146.
Times reporters Isabel A. Rodriguez, April Lopez and Zahira Torres contributed to this story.

About Cisneros, Age: 99.
Children: Five daughters.
Wife: Vicenta Cisneros, his wife of more than 55 years, died in 1994.
Highest level of formal education: Fifth grade at Lydia Patterson Institute.
Favorite piece of work: He considered all of his work his favorite.
Favorite subjects: Juan de Oñate and horse riders.
Artists he admired most: Tom Lea and Norman Rockwell.

Work's value: He never had entire collection appraised. He said he never really cared about the money. Collectors of his work include former president and first lady George W. and Laura Bush, former president and first lady George H.W. and Barbara Bush; UTEP; EPCC; various museums; New Mexico Governor's Mansion; and art collector J.P. Bryan.

Originals: About 12 originals are still in Cisneros' home.
Sent by Ivonne Thompson
In April 2010 he would have been 100 years old.


Ramiro Cortez Gonzalez:  
A Saginaw, Michigan Mexican-American pillar  
January 5, 1946 to November 17, 2009

“Ramiro was a Vietnam veteran who served in the U.S. Marine Corp and was a proud member of the American Legion Post #500 and the 40 and 8 Society. Some other organizations that were dear to him were the Lions Club, LULAC, Kiwanis Club, and the G.I. Forum”.   Ramiro's passion of culture, history, life and serving the community were just part of being Ramiro; always doing the best. His academic background, broad and arcane knowledge, leadership skills, and wide diverse interests made Ramiro be a model for all of us. Yes, he will be missed. 
View Ramiro's photo and obit: 
Gonzalez, Ramiro Cortez loving husband, father, grandfather and brother passed away on Tuesday, November 17, 2009. Age 63 years. He was born to the late J. Refugio and Maria Cortez Gonzalez in Saginaw on January 5, 1946. He is survived by Maria Estefana Gonzalez; his wife of 41 years. Surviving six children: Laura (Pete) Acosta, Enrique Gonzalez, Marisa Gonzalez, Silvia (Saul) Gonzalez, Cristina (Trevan) Gonzalez, and Armando Gonzalez; three brothers: Manuel (Nancy) Gonzalez, Gerardo (Helen) Gonzalez and Arturo (Irene) Gonzalez; one sister, Ana Espinoza. His in-laws loved him as a brother and he is survived by Lupe (Gerardo) Gonzalez, Clara Trevino, Maria Helen (Jose) Saucedo, Steve (Margarita) Gonzalez and Juan Gonzalez. Ramiro was a loving uncle to 43 nieces and nephews and was a doting grandfather to his six grandchildren. He was predeceased by his brother Gilberto Gonzalez. 

Ramiro was a Vietnam veteran who served in the U.S. Marine Corp and was a proud member of the American Legion Post #500 and the 40 and 8 Society. Some other organizations that were dear to him were the Lions Club, LULAC, Kiwanis Club, and the G.I. Forum. 

From a young age Ramiro was constantly active in community affairs and concerned for the welfare of the community at large. One of his proudest achievements was the establishment of the annual LULAC scholarship fund in 1979. He was an avid historian and compiled much of the research of the early Mexican Americans in Saginaw. 
Ramiro received degrees from Delta College, WMU and U of M where he did his doctoral work. His passion for community involvement and education was evident in his career path. He worked as a director of bilingual teaching training and as Executive Director of SER Jobs for Progress. He served on many boards and committees on a local, state and national level including: Buena Vista Township Trustee, Michigan State Board of Nursing and National LULAC Education Service Centers.
Ramiro was an energetic, humorous and a hands-on leader. He will truly be missed.  
His funeral was held November 20, 2009, burial is at the Mt. Olivet Cemetery. To share your thoughts and memories with Ramiro’s family go to    Sent by Leo Romo 



Private First Class Alejandro R. Ruiz
June 26, 1923 - November 20, 2009
Medal of Honor Recipient 

                           By: Tony (The Marine) Santiago  



On November 20, 2009, we lost one of our heroes,  Alejandro R. Ruiz. Ruiz was a Private First Class in the United States Army who was awarded the Medal of Honor, the United States' highest military decoration, for his actions on in Battle of Okinawa in the Ryukyu Islands during World War II. May he rest in peace.

                                               Early years  
Ruiz was born and raised in Loving, New Mexico and enlisted in the United States Army in the town of Carlsbad, New Mexico upon the outbreak of World War II. He was assigned to the U.S. 27th Infantry Division after completing basic training.

                                           World War II  
During World War II, the conquest of the Japanese island of Okinawa was considered vital for the Allied forces as a step towards an invasion of the Japanese mainland.  The invasion (codenamed ''Operation Iceberg'') was the largest amphibious operation of the Pacific war, and involved units of the U.S. Tenth Army, commanded by Lieutenant General Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr.  These consisted of III Amphibious Corps (1st and 6th Marine Divisions, with the 2nd Marine Division as an afloat reserve), and XXIV Corps (7th, 77th, 96th and 27th]] Infantry Divisions.  

On April 28, 1945, PFC Ruiz's unit was pinned down by machine gun fire coming from a camouflaged Japanese pillbox and was unable to advance to its assigned objective.  Ruiz, on his own initiative, charged the pillbox under a hail of machine gun fire. On his second attempt, he was able to neutralize the pillbox by killing all of its occupants.  For his actions he was awarded the Medal of Honor. On June 26, 1946, President Harry S. Truman presented Ruiz with the Medal of Honor in a ceremony held at the White House

.                                    Medal of Honor citation  

Rank and organization:

                  ''Private First Class, U.S. Army, 165th Infantry, 27th Infantry Division

                     Place and date: ''Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands, April 28, 1945                             Entered service at: Carlsbad, New Mexico

                                     Born: ''June 26, 1923, Loving, New Mexico 
G.O. No. 60, June 26, 1946. 


When his unit was stopped by a skillfully camouflaged enemy pillbox, he displayed conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty. His squad, suddenly brought under a hail of machinegun fire and a vicious grenade attack, was pinned down. Jumping to his feet, Pfc. Ruiz seized an automatic rifle and lunged through the flying grenades and rifle and automatic fire for the top of the emplacement. When an enemy soldier charged him, his rifle jammed. Undaunted, Pfc. Ruiz whirled on his assailant and clubbed him down. Then he ran back through bullets and grenades, seized more ammunition and another automatic rifle, and again made for the pillbox. Enemy fire now was concentrated on him, but he charged on, miraculously reaching the position, and in plain view he climbed to the top. Leaping from one opening to another, he sent burst after burst into the pillbox, killing 12 of the enemy and completely destroying the position. Pfc. Ruiz's heroic conduct, in the face of overwhelming odds, saved the lives of many comrades and eliminated an obstacle that long would have checked his unit's advance.


Ruiz resided in Visalia, California and actively participated in activities honoring Medal of Honor recipients. On November 20, 2009, Ruiz passed away. The town of Visalia has honored Ruiz by naming the "Alejandro R. Ruiz Sr. Park" after him, located at North Burke Street and Buena Vista Street.  

Awards and recognitions  

Among PFC Alejandro R. Ruiz' decorations and medals were the following:

*Medal of Honor  
*Purple Heart  
*American Campaign Medal  
*Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal  
*World War II Victory Medal  

Badges: *Combat Infantryman Badge

Thank you to Pedro Olivares for also notifying your editor.


Carlos Martin Herrera de la Garza
Mexican Historian and Genealogist 

Querida Mimi.
A continuacion te acompaño la informacion que he recibido de CARLOS MARTIN HERRERA DE LA GARZA, en la que me informa del fallecimiento de su madre y en ello encontrras todos los datos incluso el nombre de la señora y su edad. Yo recuerdo que hace no mucho tiempo publico en Somos Primos un estudio sobre el apellido De la Garza en la población mexicana de Burgos. Creo que con todo puedes hacer una pequena nota sobre este tema y quedarás perfectamente. Un besito,                                     Angel Custodio
  Esto es lo que me dijo Carlos: 
Estimado Amigo Ángel Custodio:
Agradezco de todo corazón los detalles de amor que tienes para mi
y pido disculpas a la autoridad de tu prestancia por mi inconstancia de no seguir el ritmo de tu presencia.
la semana pasada falleció mi madre que como todas las de nosotros han sido lo máximo
y no termino de llorar porque no hay manera que explique de donde viene el amor genuino del ser que nos dió la vida
La familia DE LA GARZA en Burgos,Tamaulipas preciende del último basión, al menos en este pueblo, de un persona que con su caracter daba continuidad a la tradición genética que caracteriza y da identidad a una raza de la especie humana que es ejemplo para la vocación de una mujer con tanto sentido de responsabilidad y compromiso ante su reproducción. 

Carlos Martín was a frequent submitter of outstanding historical and family history information. Below is a listing of his articles published in Somos Primos, from January 2004 to July 2008. I am glad to be able to point to Carlos Martin Herrera de la Garza valuable historical contributions to understanding the Hispanic presence in Mexico. 
Porfirio Diaz, El Dictador de Entresiglos, a James Creelman
Familia de Marcos Gonzalez Hidalgo
Guadalajara: Crónica Miscelánea de la Sancta Provincia de Xalísco
escrito por  Fray Antonio Tello, en 1653
Familia de doña Maria González Hidalgo y Treviño Maya
La Familia Vásquez Borrego del noreste de México
La Consumación de la Independencia  en el Nuevo Santander (hoy Tamaulipas, México)
Fray Juan Bautista de Mollinedo peregrino derrotero en la colonización del Nuevo Santander, actual Tamaulipas, México
La familia de don Justo Rufino de la Garza Treviño
Burgos, Tamaulipas (1859 -   )
Genealogía del apellido Cano en el noreste de México y sur de Texas
La Familia de doña Ana de Cuellar
La Espalda de Vidaurri
Emigración extremeña en tiempos de la Colonia
Tabla 1 Salidas de emigrantes extremeños, Decenio Personas,  1509-1519
Burgos, Tamaulipas, en busca de mis ancestros maternos  


María de Jesús de la Garza de la Garza.
mis lágrimas empañan la visión
y yo desde un rincón contemplo el maniquí
de aquella que yo amo.
por favor recibe de todo corazón mi respeto y abrazo.
es tu amigo que agradece la confianza
Carlos Martín


Few Latinos in leadership positions at California nonprofits
Land of Day Laborers, Farm Workers and Guest Workers
Immigrants in the Military, Eight Years After 9/11
I Speak Spanish: Sorry About That by Pilar Marrero 
Migrant Memories Surround the Days of the Dead
Intolerance, poor conditions scaring off migrant workers

Few Latinos in leadership positions at California nonprofits
By Joe Rodriguez


While Latinos make up more than a third of California's population, they are the least represented ethnic or racial group in nonprofit organizations throughout the state, according to a new report released today.

In the first study of its kind, the Urban Institute said Latinos lagged significantly behind whites, Asians and blacks in nonprofit leadership and employment.

"When you look at the Latino proportion of your state, there's still a lot of work to do," said lead researcher Carol de Vita, a demographer at the research institute based in Washington, D.C. Her team looked strictly at the numbers and not the causes and effects of Latino under-representation. "I don't think anyone has figured out what's going on."

The researchers' numbers look like this: 

While people of color are already the majority in California, they hold little more than a quarter of executive or board positions. Latinos, at 36 percent of the state's population, hold 6 percent of executive director positions and 9 percent of board seats. 

Asian-Americans, the state's second-largest minority at 12 percent, are also underrepresented, but less dramatically at 7.6 percent of board members. 

n The percentage of African-American board members — 6.2 percent — is about the same size as their share of the state population.

If there's good news, De Vita said, it's that California's nonprofits are more culturally diverse than the national average. For example, 28 percent of board members in California are minorities, compared with 14 percent for the nation.  The findings were old and frustrating news for Carmen Castellano, a Latina philanthropist.

Vindication: "I'm glad there's a study now that vindicates what we've been saying for a long time," she said. "It's a shame and needs to be corrected."

She and her husband, Alcario Castellano, became very popular after winning the richest single-ticket lottery in state history — $141 million in 2001. When they set up a charitable foundation for Latino education, art and leadership programs, they decided not to give any money to nonprofits with no Latinos on their boards.

"They need that to have some cultural competence," Carmen Castellano said, "an awareness of the problems of the Latino community, a knowledge of the culture. How would you know what appeals to them and what would work for them?"

Three of the nonprofits the couple initially rejected were local heavyweights: Tech Museum of Innovation, Children's Discovery Museum and the Cinequest film festival. 
Of these, the Children's Discovery Museum still doesn't have a single Latino on its board of trustees. "That's right, and I will say it's not for lack of trying," said Executive Director Marilee Jennings. "We have not been successful."

While the trustees include Vietnamese- and Indo-Americans, she explained, the museum has been unable to recruit well-connected Latinos who can raise $25,000 a year, a goal for all board members.

A few blocks away, the Tech Museum of Innovation has added a Latino board member, and museum President Peter Friess is searching for more. He said the Tech wants its board and staff to reflect California's racial and ethnic diversity and recently invited 60 Latinos from Apple, Hewlett-Packard and other high-tech companies to help hammer out a recruitment plan. 

Why the delay?  Why did it take so long? Friess said for a long time the Tech's highest priority was also a desperate one, raising enough money to stay open and limit taxpayer subsidies. 

After first denying a grant to Cinequest, the Castellanos wrote a $10,000 check after the film festival board added two Latinos.

De Vita of the Urban Institute made some personal observations about why Latino numbers are low: stiff competition for top Latino candidates and a reluctance to accept second choices, high fundraising requirements and relatively low numbers of Latino college students preparing for nonprofit careers.

"I don't think there's complacency," De Vita said. "In many cases, they just don't know who to ask. They just aren't familiar with the community."

Patricia Gardner, director of the Silicon Valley Council of Nonprofits, pointed to another possibility. She said most big charitable foundations are in the habit of writing big checks to large, established charities "that serve communities of color but aren't run by people of color." Gardner was also an adviser to the Urban Institute on the study. 

"When small nonprofits run by Latinos aren't getting the grants, then you're going to have these low numbers because they won't be able to grow," Gardner said.

Contact Joe Rodriguez at 408-920-5767.

Sent by Juan Ramos


Land of Day Laborers, Farm Workers and Guest Workers
Tuesday 10 November 2009
by: Text and photos by David Bacon, t r u t h o u t | Photo Essay


Oceanside, California - In Oceanside, Carlsbad, Del Mar and north San Diego County, immigrant day laborers wait by the side of the road, hoping a contractor will stop and offer them work. Alberto Juarez Martinez slings his jacket over his shoulder while he waits. His hands show the effect of a lifetime of manual work, plus arthritis suffered as a child in Zapata, Zacatecas. The hands of Beto, a migrant from Uruachi, Chihuahua, also show the effect of a lifetime of manual work. Juan Castillo, a migrant from Tehuacan, Puebla, waits with his friends in the parking lot of a market they've nicknamed La Gallinita, because of the rooster on the roof of the building.

Police in north county towns have started cruising by day labor sites in plainclothes, pretending to be contractors offering workers jobs, and then citing them and turning them over to immigration agents, even those with green cards. Many community organizations 
are protesting this practice.

Francisco Villa operates a lunch truck that visits the areas where migrant day laborers live on hillsides and under trees. Villa hands out leaflets advising workers of their rights and letting them know that they can find help from California Rural Legal Assistance. Across the street from Villa's truck, Zaragosa Brito and Andres Roman Diaz, two migrants from Arcelia, Guerrero, sit next to a fence where workers look for day labor, or get rides to the fields for farm work. The men sleep out in the open in the field behind the fence, and have worked on a local strawberry ranch, Rancho Diablo, for many years.

A few miles away, farm workers harvest 
marjoram and basil at Herb Thyme Farms 
in Oceanside. 

Harvesting marjoram means using a short knife 
that requires workers to work bend over double. 
Years of this labor can cause permanent damage to 
the spine.

One possible future for migrant 
farm laborers is visible in a crew 
of workers picking tomatoes on the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base. These are H2-A guest workers, recruited in Mexico by grower Harry Singh. On the base, the workers are hidden in the rows behind a barbed wire fence, and outside labor organizers or legal advisers can't gain access. At the end of the day, these guest workers are taken to a labor camp on Singh's 

ranch, where access is also restricted in order to keep them isolated from the surrounding community. H2-A guest workers can't leave their jobs without being deported back to Mexico. They fear that if they protest or even speak with legal aid, they won't be hired the following season. Singh used to be the only California grower importing H2-A workers, but now there are several. The number is growing.


Immigrants in the Military, Eight Years After 9/11


In time for Veterans Day, the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) is releasing a report entitled Essential to the Fight: Immigrants in the Military, Eight Years After 9/11. The author, Lieutenant Colonel Margaret Stock, is an attorney and Associate Professor at West Point. 

The report highlights the critical role immigrants are playing in today's military, noting "Without the contributions of immigrants, the military could not meet its recruiting goals and could not fill its need for foreign-language translators, interpreters and cultural experts."

From the report: 
"Immigrants have been eligible to enlist in the U.S. military since the Revolutionary War and have served in times of war with great distinction. Many have won the Congressional Medal of Honor, this nation's highest military decoration. It has long been an American tradition that service in the armed forces can lead to U.S. citizenship. 

As of June 30, 2009, there were 114,601 foreign-born individuals serving in the armed forces, representing 7.91 percent of the 1.4 million military personnel on active duty. 

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2009 alone, 10,505 members of the military were naturalized. Naturalizations of immigrants in the military are at their highest during times of war. "

To view the report in it entirety see: Essential to the Fight: Immigrants in the Military, Eight Years After 9/11:

Kirk Whisler
Hispanic Marketing 101
email:  web:  Podcast:
voice: (760) 434-1223  Latino Print Network overall: 760-434-7474



I Speak Spanish: Sorry About That by Pilar Marrero  
La Opinión (Los Angeles, United States), 27 October 2009

The issue of language and cultural identity continues to cause a stir in some corners of this country.  In Dallas, the police chief announced that they were investigating 39 traffic violations issued to drivers for the sole reason that they did not speak English. The fine was 204 dollars. At least six cops were involved in this type of ticketing over the span of three years, so the problem cannot be attributed to the obsession of one eager officer.
There is no law that says that it is illegal not to speak English (though, of course, it is highly recommended to do so), so Dallas officials did the right thing in bringing this problem to light as soon as they were aware of it and launching an investigation to try to figure out why it happened.
In Taos, New Mexico, another curious incident of a similar nature took place. An entrepreneurial hotelier purchased a rundown little inn with the intention of renovating and reviving it, and in the process he made a series of changes in the hotel's personnel management policies. As a part of these changes, he ordered some of his employees to Anglicize their Hispanic-sounding names. And so Martín became Martin, Marcos turned into Mark etc.
According to the hotel's manager, Larry Whitten, the employees that deal with customers at the front desk and over the phones should have names that average folks can understand and pronounce.
Whitten told a local paper that his order to change the names had "nothing to do with racism, just a desire to satisfy my guests, because people calling from all over America don't know the Spanish accents or the Spanish culture or the Spanish anything."
I had a good laugh when I came across this ridiculous statement. In what world does Mr. Whitten live? The people of the United States, according to him, don't know that there is such a thing as Latino culture and that many Latinos live right here in this very country? Really? Who are these people that are so unaware?
I understand, of course, that it can be a bit inconvenient when someone has a thick accent and you can't understand their English. I've called customer service many times and been put through to a kid in India that I can barely understand. All the same, I try to pick up on what he's saying, and I ask him to repeat himself if there's something I don't catch, because someone named Siddhartha has a right to work just the same as everybody else.
But these communication issues aside, a person's name is, well, an extremely personal thing. If my name is Pilar, how should I disguise it to better accommodate these people to whom Mr. Whitten refers, to these people who live in a parallel universe where all names come from the British Isles? Maybe I should change it to something like Pailar? Would that help anybody out?
Nonsense. If I have to interact with clients or work as an effective journalist, I must try hard to speak the best English I can and make myself clearly understood, but I shouldn't have to change my name; my name is part of my culture and my very identity.
It's obvious that in both the case of the Dallas police ticket frenzy and the debacle with the Taos hotel manager that the controversies were fueled, if not by overt racism, then at least by misguided attitudes and actions. What is strange to me is that the two kerfuffles took place in the Southwest, in Texas and New Mexico, and not in more homogenous states like Kansas or Idaho.
At any rate, as far as we Hispanics, Latinos, Latin Americans and Chicanos go, all these and all other possible identities that can be derived from the people of the world who speak Spanish or are bilingual have always been a part of this country, and this is true now more so than ever.
Translation: Ryan Croken. Ryan Croken is a freelance writer and editor based in Chicago. His essays and book reviews have appeared in The Philadelphia Inquirer, Z Magazine and He can be reached at

Sent by Dorinda Moreno



Migrant Memories Surround the Days of the Dead
Immigration News, 11/2/09, 


For Don Ines Antonio Resendiz, it was the winds of fate that whisked the young Mexican farmer to the United States. Like other residents of the small town of Cerrito in the Costa Grande region of Guerrero state, Resendiz’s livelihood was shattered when Hurricane Tara tore a path of destruction in November 1961. Stripped of crops and jobs, some residents
found relief in the Bracero Program of contract labor between Mexico and the United States.

Now 79 years old, Resendiz recently sat down with a Mexican reporter to tell his story. Recruited through the office of the municipal president, Resendiz and other willing hands were sent to the cotton and tomato fields of Hidalgo, Texas, where they earned one dollar per hour in eight-hour daily shifts. The jobs were assigned as renewable, 45-day contracts.

Resendiz recalled a hierarchy of labor selection in Texas, with workers from northern Mexico picked first and farm hands from Guerrero and Oaxaca selected last.

Decades after his bracero experience, Resendiz, received a social support payment from the Mexican government worth about $3,500. But like many other ex-braceros, the coconut grower does not consider the amount fair compensation for money that was supposed to be saved and returned to braceros upon their return to Mexico.

“I think it is difficult that the government would pay us the $10,000 that was sent to us from the United States,” Resendiz asserted. “The government is lying and doesn’t like to lose.”

Of the four men from Cerrito who enrolled in the Bracero Program, only Resendiz is left to recount his migrant memories to a new generation. Other former braceros from the neighboring towns of Tetitlan, Tenexpa, Nuxco, and San Pedro came home, Resendiz said, but some who decided to stay in the United States “still haven’t returned.”

Across the US-Mexico borderlands, the list grows of migrants who made their way to El Norte and never came back home. And some will never see their families again. With the Bracero Program a fading memory, many of today’s migrants undertake risky journeys without papers, even amidst the worst economic downturn to hit the US since the 1930s.

In the Paso del Norte border corridor, people of faith and human rights activists celebrate the traditional Days of the Dead celebration on November 1 and 2 by remembering migrants who died while trying to cross the border.

In El Paso, Texas, crosses with the names of perished migrants were posted this past weekend on the new border wall that divides the city from Mexico. As is customary, a mass in memory of migrants was scheduled for the fence between Rancho Anapra on the northwest edge of Ciudad Juarez and neighboring Sunland Park, New Mexico.

A growing tradition in the United States, Days of the Dead altars are now dedicated to migrants in different cities. At the well-attended annual celebration held at the West Side Community Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico, an altar this year contained the stories of deceased migrants. Viewed by crowds, the commemoration sat alongside another altar of photos erected in memory of the 11 women found murdered on the city’s outskirts last February as well as many others who are still missing from the Duke City.

According to El Diario de El Paso, the Mexican Consulate in El Paso has registered the deaths of 11 migrants in the El Paso sector during 2009. Nine of the victims were found in the deadly American Canal, while two were recovered in the nearby desert. Of the 11 victims, three remain unidentified. All men, the identified victims were from the Mexican states of Chihuahua, Baja California Sur, Jalisco, San Luis Potosi, and Veracruz.

Located in central Mexico and considered the third spot for migrant expulsion in the country, the state of Guanajuato is another place where the memories of deceased migrants strike popular resonance on Days of the Dead festivities, a time when Mexican families gather in cemeteries to honor those who have passed on to another world.

According to the state government agency Guanajuato Communities Abroad, 969 people from Guanajuato have died in the United States since 2006. The death toll includes 155 people who perished between the months of January and October of this year. Of the 2009 victims, six died while trying to cross the border, 26 succumbed to automobile accidents, 13 were slain in violent incidents, and 51 passed away from illnesses including heart
disease, cancer, strokes, diabetes, and respiratory problems.

Returning the bodies of loved ones home is a costly and time-consuming endeavor, with funeral costs alone ranging from three to five thousand dollars. Yet leaving the remains of the deceased north of the border is an unthinkable act for many families.

“The consolation is giving them burials here,” said Luis Vargas, Guanajuato state undersecretary of social development. “The people’s traditions are sacred- they want to have them in a community cemetery.”

Sources: El Diario de Juarez/El Universal, November 1, 2009. El Diario de El Paso, October 31 and November 1, 2009. Articles by Lorena Figueroa and Guadalupe Felix. La Jornada, (Guerrero edition), October 31, 2009. Article by Rodolfo Valadez.

Frontera NorteSur (FNS): on-line, U.S.-Mexico border news
Center for Latin American and Border Studies
New Mexico State University Las Cruces,New Mexico

For a free electronic subscription email: fnsnews@nmsu.ed
Sent by Dorinda Moreno
Walter Herbeck


Intolerance, poor conditions scaring off migrant workers

 Karen Bouffard / Detroit News Lansing Bureau

Lansing -- On a crisp September day, Noralba Perez and her 3-year-old daughter, Alondra, were warm and comfortable inside a two-bedroom mobile home adjoining an apple orchard at Glenn Lacross Farms in Cedar, near Traverse City.
The handful of trailers in the small migrant labor camp are dated and worn. But there are new cupboards inside, it's clean, everything works, and Perez has hung pretty flowered sheets on the windows. Little Alondra watched children's programs on TV while her mother talked to visitors.
"You have all you need," Perez said in Spanish as local migrant advocate Luke Altman translated. Before he leaves, he hands Perez a Spanish-language brochure about free vocational training they can receive through the nonprofit he works for, Telamon Corp.
 Lacross and his son, Ben, work hard to keep each of several migrant camps on their property up to code. But a series of Michigan Civil Rights Commission hearings held this summer revealed life is not so pleasant for workers who live in many of Michigan's migrant labor camps.
The commission heard testimony from scores of migrants who are among the 90,000 who flood the state annually to plant, pick fruit and help pack and process produce. The commission plans to report its finding at the Dec. 14 commission meeting, spokesman Harold Core said.
The hearings were prompted by complaints about cramped and unsanitary conditions at migrant camps, and increasing intolerance of migrants in local communities -- factors which could have long-term economic repercussions, according to Core.
Like the Perez family, many migrants return each year, either from Mexico or from other states. But conditions in camps have worsened as cutbacks at the state Department of Agriculture have reduced the number of sanitarians available to do inspections -- and as anti-immigration fervor has reached fever pitch in some communities. Some farmers are worried migrants will hesitate to return if things don't improve.
"If conditions slide too far, we will no longer be able to attract migrants to the state to do farm work," Core said. "We want to make sure we're able to attract people here. If people don't like the conditions here they'll stop coming and then farmers won't be able to do the work.
"Farmers have been saying the number of migrants coming to the states are dwindling."
Many migrants are afraid to complain, out of fear of repercussions from their employers or the community, advocates say.
Abel Sanchez, regional manager of Telamon Corp. and president of the Northwestern Michigan Migrant Resource Council, said intolerance is growing in Michigan communities.
"The State Police and county sheriff departments are doing racial profiling, and stopping them almost once a week," Sanchez said. "(Migrants) don't feel comfortable in this area when they go to the grocery store or to their kids' school."

Sent by Juan Marinez



A Reflection of the Changing
Latino Population in the Northeast
Alegre Research and Demographics


Below is an extraction of information from a very extensive study on Latino Leadership issues.
Latinos in Mercer County, 

Latino survey respondents identified Latino leadership issues as one of the top five most serious problems impacting the status of the Latino population in Mercer, New Jersey. Among the concerns identified were: lack of political representation and power; lack of progressive, efficient or productive political leadership; lack of visible leadership and advocates; limited pool of Latinos with extra time to devote to worthwhile projects or to provide leadership and mentoring, and who can only serve on so many boards or projects; a divided community and a lack of communication among Latinos; conflicts and internal struggles among different Latino groups, i.e. Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Dominicans—this challenges/discourages participation; lack of a proactive agenda for Latinos in Mercer County; lack of organizations that can voice concerns on behalf of Latinos; and lack of an organized constituency.

There was a high degree of consistency by Latino key informants interviewees regarding the lack of cohesiveness among Latino leaders in Trenton. The comments in this area were numerous. The following highlight some of the issues presented:

“ We have a scattered and divisive leadership and no vehicle by which people can come together effectively.” “There is so much talent and we have so much to offer—but it’s frustrating that we can’t get it together. There are a lot of people out there that don’t get involved because of the same frustration.” “Latinos aren’t really coming together at a county level or even at a city level. ‘One of our weaknesses is that we are growing in numbers but not in leadership.’” “Just within the last few years, I have seen 7 different organizations started to address Latino issues and they never get off the ground.” “The development of leadership is a very important issue—most don't have developed skills. We are mostly self-taught and OJT.” “One of the problems that we’re having with certain leadership in Trenton is they do not have the mentality of cultivating leadership.” “We need to forget regional, geographic, national differences to be able to work together and as "Latinos" for common goals. There’s a lot of dissension between the Puerto Ricans, Guatemalans and Mexicans and other Latinos.” “In the Latino community there are divisions even within the Latino subgroups. There divisions pending of what city they came from in their country of origin. There is a great need to bring the Latino community together because despite the differences many of the basic needs are the same.”

Among the Latino key informants interviewed, there was overwhelming agreement on the need for a Leadership Development Program that could develop leadership at all community levels (current and future leadership) and that would bring current leadership to the table to resolve differences and look at the development of a common agenda.

If the Latino community of Mercer is to move forward, its crisis of leadership must be addressed. The need to build skills and build cohesion is critical. For the community to progress, leadership must be defined in its broadest terms—from the block level, to the community, city and county levels. These may include building the leadership skills of parents to be better advocates within the educational system, local community people who want to address issues such as crime and trash, merchants who want to organize, to persons who want to serve on boards, commissions and even run for political office.

While many communities have leadership programs such as Leadership Trenton, the kind of Leadership program needed for the ongoing development of Latino leadership is very different in content and curriculum.

4.1. A Latino Leadership Development Model

Todos nos equivocamos pero solo los sabios lo reconocen.
Everyone makes mistakes but only the wise learn from them

Three years ago in Reading, PA, a study of the Latino population described it in terms very similar to those that describe Trenton today. Survey respondents indicated that Reading Latinos “generally lacked an understanding of the political process, lacked awareness of their power, did not have visible leaders and role models. The current leadership is seen as fragmented, with Latino groups and leaders seen as lacking unity and cohesion.” The study found that “Throughout the history of Latinos in Reading and Berks, Latino leaders and leadership efforts have come and gone. While some progress has been made there exists no community infrastructure that maintains and builds on past efforts of Latinos. The individuals who have emerged as community leaders over the years were a combination of grassroots and professional individuals who, for the most part, had little organizational, leadership and political experience or training.”3

In response to this need the Hispanic Center of Reading and Berks joined with the Center for Community Leadership and established the Berks Hispanic Leadership Institute. The curriculum design took into consideration the specific needs and cultural perspectives of the population. This first class brought together many local Latino leaders and other grassroots and professional individuals.

The group was diverse in terms of educational background, age and Latino subgroups. The program developed skills relating to becoming a more effective community, organizational and project leaders and dealt with community divisions and cultural barriers that affected their success as leaders. It helped create a level of understanding among the various Latino subgroups. In addition, each participant was required to develop and implement a project addressing an issue of concern in the community. Beginning in Fall 2001, the group met one Saturday a month for eight hours. In May 2003 the institute’s first graduating class received certificates at the Hispanic Center’s annual banquet.

Among the graduates were people of Puerto Rican, Dominican, Colombian, Mexican descent, and an African-American woman interested in working with the Latino population.

The projects implemented by program participants included:

Ø Domingo Jimenez and Ricardo Saad — Worked with local schools to get children involved in sports
        to improve their academics.

Ø Rev. Virgenmina Ortiz and Rev. Edgardo Rivera — Encouraged Latino clergy to get involved in
        community issues.

Ø Isamac Torres-Figueroa — Directed a voter registration drive in Reading.

Ø Jose Serrano Ayala — Founded American Legion Post 872, "The Borrinqueneers."

Ø Mary L. Rivera — Working to form local partnership with La Raza, a national Latino advocacy

Ø Josephine Torres-Boykins — Founded a business, A Small Business World.

Ø Juanita Morales-Kremer — Participated in a youth outreach program.

Ø Sunilda D. Tejada — Ran a class to help immigrants deal with the Bureau of Citizenship and 
        Immigration Services, formerly the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Ø Norma I. Montanez — Started a Parent Teacher Organization at Thomas Ford Elementary School.

Ø Swithen Ortiz — Served as a consultant on local political campaigns.

Ø Yvette Santiago — Conducted a comprehensive study on why more Latinos do not vote.

In addition, a group of students worked together to form the Organization for Latino Advocacy to promote Latino issues in Berks County: Raquel Lopez, Miguel Lopez, Logan S. Smith Jr., Maria E. Candelaria, Eliana J. Serrano, Yvonne L. Stroman, Luz M. Tassone, Margarita M. Caicedo, Guadalupe Rivera Rosalind Rodriguez.

The outcome of the Berks Hispanic Leadership Institute with a program consisting of 8 hours a month and a major community project include

Please go to the website and read the study's outcome.  The recommendations would be adaptable to any location. 

Sent by George F. Haskins, Editor
Lillian Escobar-Haskins, MHS – Researcher/Writer
Alegre Advertising-Research and Demographics
Lancaster, PA


Walmart Reaching Out to Latinos

This isn’t a joke.

Walmart is trying really hard to win the Latino dollar. Last year, Walmart was the number 3 advertiser in Spanish-Language Media in the U.S. Earlier this year they started opening ‘Supermercados de Walmart’, stores with a “new lay-out, signing and product assortment designed to make them even more relevant to local Hispanic customers.” And just in time for Dia de los Muertos, the Lady de Guadalupe coffin:




Dr. Rodolfo AcuÑa Awarded MALDEF Lifetime achievement award 
Becas/Scholarships for Latinos, regardless of status
Art seeks to do justice to courts' history

Dr. Rodolfo AcuÑa Awarded MALDEF Lifetime achievement award 


Dr. Rodolfo Acuña, Founder and Professor Emeritus of the Department of Chicano/a Studies was awarded the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund Lifetime Achievement Award at its 35th Annual MALDEF Awards Gala on Thursday, November 12, 2009. This award was the latest of many such honors bestowed upon Dr. Acuña throughout the country and throughout his career. Dr. Acuña was selected as one of the “100 Most Influential Educators of the 20th Century,” by Black Issues In Higher Education in part because of his scholar-activist approach. Last year, Dr. Acuña was honored with the National Hispanic Institute, Lifetime Achievement Award, in Austin, Texas, 2008. 

Congratulations Rudy!!

Thanks once again for the tremendous work you do in keeping us all in communication. 

Saludos, Gabriel Gutiérrez, Ph.D.
Associate Chair, Department of Chicano/a Studies
California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff Street
Northridge, CA 91330-8246

Sent by Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.


Becas/Scholarships for Latinos, regardless of status


The American Society of Hispanic Economists (ASHE)—a member of the Allied Social Science Association—is a professional association of economists and other social scientists who are concerned with the under-representation of Hispanic Americans in the economics profession and with the lack of research generated on Hispanic American economic and policy issues. Our primary goals include:
1. Promoting the vitality of Hispanics in the economics profession through education, service, and excellence;
2. Promoting rigorous research on economic and policy issues affecting U.S. Hispanic communities and the nation as a whole; and
3. Engaging more Hispanic Americans to effectively participate in the economics profession.
For more information about ASHE, please contact or visit our website at


Art seeks to do justice to courts' history  
October 15, 2009



Students' paintings reflecting significant Orange County cases adorn 
the new building of the 4th District Court of Appeal in Santa Ana.


The student artist who created this work, based on a graffiti case, says the painting symbolizes the good and bad of graffiti. The work itself makes the writing on the wall look beautiful. But the message, he said, is that in the end it is all washed away. (Alex Gallardo / Los Angeles Times / October 13, 2009)

The paintings are big, bold and unsigned -- each one newly hung on the walls of the recently opened courthouse as a testament to Orange County's history and promise.

The largest is a mural depicting Westminster vs. Mendez, the 1947 ruling originating in Orange County that put an end to segregated schools for Mexican children. It was painted by students from Otto A. Fischer School, which serves residents of juvenile hall.

The collaborative art at the new 4th District Court of Appeal building in Santa Ana was shown this week at a ceremony honoring those who helped bring to fruition the project involving students and courthouse officials.

At the reception, Sylvia Mendez, one of the three Mendez children depicted in the mural, met with Andrew K., the 18-year-old artist who helped design it.

In the mural, the Mendezes -- mother, father and three children -- stand proud, their gazes unflinching as they straddle the line between a well-kept school for whites and a deteriorating one for Mexicans.

"You made my mom look so beautiful," Mendez told the young artist. "Can you imagine?" she said of the artwork. "In an appellate court here in Orange County? This is awesome."

Sylvia Mendez stands next to the painting depicting the historic case 
involving her family that put an end to segregated schools for Mexican children.

The young man in a gray T-shirt and jeans smiled and shook her hand.  "Thank you," he said, then took a spot next to the mural so his parents and others could snap photographs. 

The works are the product of a prolonged effort by appellate Justice Eileen Moore, who three years ago was charged with acquiring art for the courthouse -- without a budget.

She tried getting donated art but was stymied by possible conflicts of interest with high-profile donors.

Later, she tried a court-sponsored art contest that yielded just three entries.

Then Moore approached the Orange County Department of Education. Working together, she and education officials developed a program that would have students create art based on issues raised and resolved in Orange County courts over the years.

Moore chose 50 cases that were then narrowed down and divided among schools. One case was chosen specifically to tap into the talents of a young graffiti artist at the Fischer school. 

A 2007 case, In re Alexander L., involved a defendant who was convicted of three acts of vandalism by graffiti for the benefit of a criminal street gang. 

The Court of Appeal affirmed the conviction but reversed the finding that the vandalism was committed for the benefit of a gang.

On canvas the case becomes a striking splash of bright blues, yellows and reds. Someone sprays the word "Graffiti" on a brick wall. The words "vandalize," "trespass," "time" and "regret" run in paint down steps and into a gutter. 

It may not be the most historically significant case in the bunch -- which include those of a homeless Vietnam veteran arrested for sleeping in a public area and of two men who sued the Angels over a Mother's Day giveaway -- but for Christian B., 17, the self-described former graffiti artist who helped design the work, the case and resulting artwork are powerful. 

The piece symbolizes the good and bad of graffiti, he said. The painting itself makes the writing on the wall look beautiful. But the message, he said, is that in the end it is all washed away.

For Moore, who invested a lot of her own time in this project, the courthouse art is about tearing down the wall between the community and the court. 

"People don't usually come to court unless they get some bad news by way of a lawsuit," she said.

"I think what these paintings mean is people will be coming to court because they feel part of the community and they want to come to see" the artwork, she said.

Sent by Ricardo Valverde



Department of Modern Languages and Literature
California State University, Bakersfield
24 DDH, 9001 Stockdale Highway
Bakersfield, California  93311-1002
(661) 654-2359  FAX  (661-654-2017

November 20, 2009

Progress Report  

To: Friends of the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures  


It has been five weeks since I held an informational meeting on campus to inform students and other interested parties about the possibility of a moratorium being placed on the Spanish B.A. and M.A. programs in the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures at California State University , Bakersfield . The response from those in attendance—faculty, students, alumni, community members, and representatives from various organizations was overwhelming and immediate. It confirmed my philosophy, embodied in the Apache saying, that, “It is better to have less thunder in the mouth, and more lightening in the fist.” To say the least, that preemptive action caught everyone by surprise.  

The meeting was followed by a petition drive, along with a great deal of media attention—television, radio, newspapers, Más magazine, blogs—and a flurry of letters addressed to CSUB President Mitchell. It also created a great deal of discussion and debate far beyond our campus, about the whole issue of program elimination.  

Last week, the CSU faculty union (California Faculty Association) asked Dr. Joanne Schmidt and me to attend the CSU Board of Trustees meeting in Long Beach yesterday to voice our concerns. Dr. Schmidt graciously yielded to me when they suggested that one of us speak before the trustees and the 23 CSU campus presidents.  

To paraphrase my talk, I began by reminding them that Kern County is César Chávez country, Dolores Huerta country, United Farm Workers country. I then emphasized the large percentage of Hispanic enrollments in the Kern High School District—schools in Bakersfield and surrounding towns like Arvin, Delano, McFarland, Shafter, Wasco. Hispanic enrollment at Arvin High School , for example, is 95%. These schools are our feeder schools, and to close any university program would deny most of these students access to the “comprehensive regional university” which CSUB purports to be.  

I told them about how quickly and fervently people circulated our petition; in one week, we got 1393 signatures, to be exact. I told them that the petition drive taught me that the people who signed the petition—farm workers, gardeners, waiters, maids, the most humble of people, truly value education, and we should learn from them.  

I concluded by telling them that a program such as our Spanish program could be easily dismantled by next year. But, it has taken the 40 years of this university’s existence to grow from 0 Spanish majors to 100 majors. If it takes forty years to rebuild the program, that will put us in the year 2050!  

After the talk in the boardroom (we were only allowed two and a half minutes), I spoke at the CFA rally outside, giving them a slightly longer version of the earlier talk.  

As for the current status of our program, Dr. Edwin Sasaki, Interim Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, called an emergency meeting with our department on Tuesday, October 27.  

At the meeting, Dr. Sasaki berated us for saying that he had announced a moratorium on the Spanish B.A. and M.A. programs, as well as faculty cuts. He stated that he had merely asked all departments to suggest solutions to the budget crisis. We were all we were all shocked by his demeanor, but we were respectful of the dignity of the centuries-old title of dean, and we did not contradict him.    

However, when he announced his departure from our meeting, I informed him that I wanted the department to remain for a few minutes. We then agreed that his behavior was hostile, rude, patronizing, and generally unbecoming of a dean. More importantly, we agreed that I had not made up the term “moratorium,” that I had not conceived of the idea of a moratorium, nor had I misrepresented any other statement that he had made during our October 6 meeting with him, including his statement that we would “end up being a one-man department in a few years.”  

Yet, in a meeting with a group of department chairs on the following day, he stated that no programs would be cut next year, and that no tenured or tenure-track faculty would be laid off.  

As of this date, then, it appears that our B.A. program will not be cut next year—i.e. no “moratorium.” However, the dean is pressuring us to suspend the M.A. program. We may be able to convince him that we can continue the program by keeping the number of graduate courses offered to one per quarter (M.A. students can also count up to four 400-level undergraduate courses toward the M.A). We plan to remind him that the nearest graduate programs are Northridge, Fresno , UCLA and Santa Barbara , and that one of the reasons that the establishment of CSUB by the CSU was approved was precisely because the nearest institutions of higher education were more than one hundred miles away.  

Yesterday we submitted our proposals for programmatic reductions to the dean, but he insists that there will be “work force reductions,” and that we have to tell him what we would like to do. Although we know which of our colleagues have to be cut, if cuts must be made, there are established contractual procedures based on the seniority system, and it is the duty of administrators to implement the policies.  

Again, I am truly grateful for your support. It was lightning fast.    

José R. Reyna, Ph.D.



Lorenzo and the Pirate by Lila and Rick Guzman
Anywhere, but L.A. by Daniel Olivas
Origins of LULAC: No Mexicans, Women, or Dogs Allowed by Cynthia E. Orozco
Rebellion in Chiapas: An Historical Reader by Mark L. Grover
Gardeners of Identity, Basques in the San Francisco Bay Area by Pedro J. Ojarzabal
Suzanna by Irene Blea
To the Line of Fire Mexican Texans and War I by Jose A. Ramirez
Lost Architecture of the Rio Grande Borderlands by W. Eugene George
Latino History and Culture, An Encyclopedia by Leonard, D. J., & Lugo-Lugo, C. R.
Historia de Alhaurín de la Torre en la Edad Moderna, 
      por José Manuel de Molina Bautista

Go to California for: 
Gardeners of Identity: Basques in San Francisco Bay Area by Pedro J. Oiarzabal. 

Hello, everyone. I'd like to do a little shameless self-promotion, if I may. "Lorenzo and the Pirate" is now available for pre-order. (Right in time for Christmas shopping, too.)

Lorenzo is off on his next adventure! This time, he sails the high seas with pirates. It is 1779. Eighteen-year-old Lorenzo Bannister boards a pirate ship to give medical aid and amputates the captain s leg to save his life. The British attack and sink the pirate ship, marooning Lorenzo and an amnesiac pirate on a deserted island.

Endorsed by Wesley Odom, Pensacola SAR, Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico, and our own Mimi Lozano.

To order from the publisher, go to: 
The book is also available from and other booksellers.

If you would like autographed/personalized copies, order directly from the authors at 2201 Double Creek Drive, Suite 5001, Round Rock, Texas 78664.

Lila Guzman, Ph.D.

Lorenzo and the Pirate by Lila and Rick Guzman
Hardcover $13.95  ISBN-10: 1933831154 ISBN-13: 978-1933831152
Lorenzo and the Pirate is the 4th  in a series of young adult history novels. 

Lorenzo's Secret Mission (Arte Público, 2001); 
Lorenzo's Revolutionary Quest
(Arte Público, 2003);
Lorenzo and the Turncoat (Arte Público, 2006); 
Lorenzo and the Pirate (Blooming Tree Press, 2009)

The Lorenzo novels focus on the Spanish contribution to the American Revolution. In Lorenzo's Secret Mission, readers meet fifteen-year-old Lorenzo Bannister, as he becomes drawn into the battle for colonial independence while delivering a message from his dying father.

For his next adventure (Lorenzo's Revolutionary Quest), Lorenzo, now sixteen, goes on a secret mission to drive cattle from the Province of Texas to Louisiana.

Lorenzo and the Turncoat (set in 1779) shows that history does indeed repeat itself. A powerful hurricane levels New Orleans in August 1779 as Bernardo de Gálvez prepares to attack the British in Baton Rouge. Lorenzo’s fiancée Eugenie is missing.

All the information in the "Lorenzo" series is based on fact. Spanish involvement in the American Revolution is rarely discussed in our history books.


Like the cities they describe, the stories in Anywhere But L.A. shift and slide and refuse to be pinned down. Daniel Olivas is an exciting writer, whose prose rings with humor, insight, and power."
-- Daniel Alarcón, author of Lost City Radio and War by Candlelight

"Funny yet touching, these skillfully rendered characters remind us of our own vulnerability. Individually, the stories are punchy and sharp; collectively, the stories create a colorful mural of a thriving Latino community." 
-- Kathleen de Azevedo, author of Samba Dreamers

"Daniel Olivas has mastered the knack of telling intricate tales that are natural, never labored, and a genuine pleasure to read."  
-- Manuel Ramos, author of The Ballad of Rocky Ruiz


Origins of LULAC: No Mexicans, Women, or Dogs Allowed

Book on the origins of LULAC by Cynthia E. Orozco, Ph.D.

Chair, History & Humanities Dept.

709 Mechem Drive
Ruidoso, NM 88345
(575) 257-2120 ext.383 - Main Campus #
(575) 257-9409 - Fax

Published by Austin: University of Texas Press, Nov. 2009

Sent by Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.


Rebellion in Chiapas: An Historical Reader
Editorial Reviews
From Library Journal
Few events in the past ten years have focused the interest of the world on Mexico like the unrest in the southern state of Chiapas. The revolutionary activities of the Zapatista Army for National Liberation have drawn attention to a 500-year struggle between the majority Mayan population and the Spanish and Mexican rulers of the region. Womack, a professor of Latin American history at Harvard and a prominent historian of 20th-century Mexico, has brought together a collection of readings and documents that illuminate this difficult and important struggle. Though some of the sources date from the 16th century, this collection concerns primarily the most recent conflict. Of great value is a 74-page introductory essay by Womack that traces the history of the conflict. This volume will be a welcome addition to most college and research libraries as well as many large public libraries.

Mark L. Grover, Brigham Young Univ. Lib., Provo, UT
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.



After 27 years of writing university textbooks Dr. Blea's first historical novel: Suzanna
Title: Suzanna
Setting: Northern New Mexico
Subject: 12 yr. old Hispanic is married off to an older man by her grandparents, has two children, must decide what to do with the children if she runs away. 

Pre-ordered by emailing or 

Dr. Blea lectures via contract on the subjects of writing and New Mexico history and cultures. Please note that Dr. Irene Blea has a new email address.  
Visit her on Facebook or on MySpace.


Author: Jose A. Ramirez, Ph.D, Faculty at Laredo Community College

To the Line of Fire Mexican Texans and War I

Publisher: Texas A&M Press

Sent by Juan Marinez





Lost Architecture of the Rio Grande Borderlands by W. Eugene George

Lost Architecture of the Rio Grande was the winner of  the Clotilde P. Garcia Tejano book prize which is awarded each year by the Genealogy Society of Austin for the best book on Tejano History.  

Text below from Barnes and Noble website:

Mexican settlers first came to the valley of the Rio Grande to establish their ranchos in the 1750s. Two centuries later the Great River, dammed in an international effort by the U.S. and Mexican governments to provide flood control and a more dependable water supply, inundated twelve settlements that had been built there. Under the waters of the new Falcón Reservoir lay homes, businesses, churches, and cemeteries abandoned by residents on both sides of the river when the floods of 1953 filled the 115,000-acre area two years ahead of schedule.

The Smithsonian Institution, the National Park Service, and the University of Texas at Austin conducted an initial survey of the communities lost to the Falcón Reservoir, but these studies were never completed or fully reported. When architect W. Eugene George came to the area in the 1960s, he found a way of life waiting to be preserved in words, photographs, and drawings.

Two subsequent recessions of the reservoir—in 1983-86 and again in 1996-98—gave George new access to one of the settlements, Guerrero Viejo in Mexico. Unfortunately, the receding lake waters also made the village accessible to looters. George's work, then, was crucial in documenting the indigenous architecture of these villages, both as it existed prior to the flooding and as it remained before it was despoiled by vandals' hands.

Lost Architecture of the Rio Grande Borderlands combines George's original 1975 Texas Historical Commission report with the information he gleaned during the two low-water periods. This handsome, extended photographic essay casts new light on the architecture and lives of the people of the Texas-Mexico borderlands.


After a distinguished career in academe and historic preservation, W. Eugene George became the inaugural Mary Ann Blocker Castleberry Endowed Professor of Architecture at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He lives in Austin and maintains an active architectural practice.




I am pleased to inform you about a new book that I thought you might like to know about: Leonard, D. J., and Lugo-Lugo, C. R. (2010). Latino History and Culture, An Encyclopedia. New York: M.E. Sharpe, Inc.

I was privileged to be involved as a writer on the project, but I'm recommending it more because, in reading through, it strikes me as a comprehensive, accurate, and valuable resource, with a decided social justice and community-oriented bent.

Saludos, Susana Rinderle
Burque, Nuevo México

      Extraído del libro "Historia de Alhaurín de la
      Torre en la Edad Moderna, 1489-1812", por
      José Manuel de Molina Bautista. Publicado 
      en Alhaurín de la Torre en Noviembre de 2005
       por su Excmo. Ayuntamiento. 
       ISBN 84-609-7905-91



1. Introducción
2. Preliminares del viaje
2.1 Familia Garrido-Maldonado
2.2 Familia Villatoro-Gómez
3. El viaje
4. La fundación de Nueva Iberia
5. Francisco Bouligny
6. Nueva Iberia hoy en día

Historia de Alhaurín de la Torre en la Edad Moderna, 1489-1812. Por José Manuel de Molina Bautista.

1. Introducción
El siglo XVIII fue en cuanto a relaciones internacionales como el siglo XVII, con frecuentes guerras, aunque en este caso eran relativamente más cortas y el enemigo principal ya no era Francia, sino Inglaterra. En una de aquellas alianzas borbónicas contra los ingleses se desarrolló la llamada Guerra de los Siete Años, finalizada por la Paz de París de 1763. En este tratado España cedió Florida a Inglaterra. Los franceses, que liquidaban sus posesiones en América del Norte puesto que habían cedido el Canadá a los ingleses, compensaron a España con la entrega de la Luisiana, un territorio que se extendía a lo largo del río Mississipi desde Nueva Orleáns hasta San Luis.
Así España se encontró con una vasta región que tenía que poblar cuando aún no había sido capaz de extender su dominio eficaz en otras regiones americanas como la Alta California o Tejas. Para ello y también para ofrecer algún tipo de resistencia a los ingleses, que controlaban la orilla izquierda del Mississipi en la llamada Florida Occidental, el rey Carlos III acogió positivamente la propuesta de los acadianos, colonos franceses expulsados del Canadá y reunidos en Francia, para que se les facilitara el transporte hasta Luisiana, para lo que fletaría distintos barcos que a lo largo de 1785 llevarán a estos pobladores hasta Nueva Orleáns.

For more on this topic:
Sent by Bill Carmena  JCarm1724@aol




Bianca Collins, Professional Actress
Santa Cruz River Band
Photo: Shopping in preparation for tamale making
Mezcla: Art & Writing from the Tumblewords Project
Los Texas Wranglers and Los T-Birds
Sacramento boy wins Mexican art contest
Trailer of documentary: The Rose, A Sense of Place, 



Bianca Collins, daughter of member Anita Palacios Collins, has been a professional actress for fourteen years.  She has worked with Paul Simon, Mark Anthony, and Ruben Blades on the Broadway workshop of The Capeman; played George Lopez’ daughter in his Christmas television movie, Naughty or Nice; and was the recurring mean girl, “Patti Perez,” on Nickelodeon’s Unfabulous  for three years.  

Her interest in acting began when she was three years old and saw her older brother auditioning for a community theatre production of Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. She insisted on asking the director for permission to sing on stage, the director obliged, and she auditioned with “Fwinkle Fwinkle Little Star” (she couldn’t pronounce her T’s yet). No role for a three year old, they wrote one in and she was hooked.  Three years later, she was sitting next to Paul Simon as he taught her a song that was to be part of the Broadway production of The Capeman.   

The following year she was cast in the Broadway Production of Annie, then toured the United States and Canada with the show for about nine months.  Her father, an officer in the Navy at the time, was transferred to Pt. Mugu, CA so she moved to Southern California and started her career in television.   

She taped national commercials, guest starred in episodics, and then co-starred in Disney’s television movie, Tiger Cruise, as “Tina Torres.”  She worked with the producer of Tiger Cruise again when she co-starred in the 2008 MTV television movie, American Mall.  In November of this year, she was a guest star in House and is currently taping a new TeenNick episodic, Gigantic, in which she will be the recurring character, “Lulu.”  

And, lest we forget to mention…she’s also attending USC full-time! Originally accepted into the theatre department at USC, she’s now a junior, majoring in sociology and minoring in screenwriting.

Sent by proud Mom, Anita Palacios Collins




Santa Cruz River Band Hear music samples | Watch video | Artist website

The Santa Cruz River Band is a beloved musical group from Tucson, Arizona. The band was formed in the late 1980s by musician Teodoro "Ted" Ramirez as a way to celebrate and present an authentic view of the Southwest. Ted had observed that many important contributions made by Indigenous people, Mexicans, Asians, and some European people were rarely recognized or celebrated. He sought to make the Santa Cruz River Band a cultural bridge that would span this obvious gap, using authentic music, poetry, oral history, stories, and legends from the American Southwest.

In 2002, Ramirez teamed up with Michael J. Ronstadt. These two beloved troubadours now form the core of the Santa Cruz River Band, joined by a number of recognized Southwest backing musicians. The group performs songs in many languages including English, Spanish, Welsh, and American Indian languages. They tour year-round in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe, offering an authentic representation of Southwestern music and culture and presenting their stories in a positive way to audiences of all ages.

Ted and Michael both have deep roots in the Southwest. Ted is an eighth-generation Arizonan; his family arrived in the area in 1752, during the Spanish period of Tucson's history. Michael is a member of a prestigious Southwestern musical family that most notably includes his sister Linda Ronstadt. Their family has been in Tucson since the late 1800s.



Photo by Sergio Hernandez




Dr. Felipe de Ortego y Gasca will be reading his entry “Life Among the Ruins” from Mezcla: Art & Writing from the Tumblewords Project.  Dr. Ortego is Scholar in Residence and Chair of the Department of Chicana/Chicano and Hemispheric Studies at Western New Mexico University in Silver City.

“Life Among the Ruins” is a philosophical piece about the mystery and wonder of the natural world. The piece was inspired by an observation in Indanapolis, Indiana, during the year Dr. Ortego was a Lilly Fellow for Community Leadership.

An accomplished writer of various genres (prose, poetry, fiction, drama, song), Dr. Ortego was identified in 1971 as “a brilliant new talent in fiction” with publication of his short story “The Coming of Zamora” in The Chicano: From Caricature to Self-Portrait, Mentor Books: New American Library).

His academic career spans almost six decades and a staggering output of published and performed works. His scholarly interests include works on Chaucer, Shake­speare, Milton, Johnson, Words-worth, Brownin­g, Melville, Steinbeck, et al. His work The Stamp of One Defect: A Study of Hamlet (1966) is considered one of the most provocative in a century of Hamlet inquiry. 

Sent by Dr. Felipe de Ortego y Gasca  



Los Texas Wranglers and Los T-Birds


Sent by Julian Fernandez



Sacramento boy wins Mexican art contest
By Stephen Magagnini, Nov. 10, 2009


Juan Misael Gonzalez-Montañez, a shy 8-year-old who loves to draw, has won his family of six its first-ever computer.  Juan, a third-grader at the Smythe Academy in North Sacramento, was one of 15 top winners in an international art competition sponsored by the Mexican government.

His award-winning crayon and watercolor picture shows the first flag of Mexican independence containing the image of La Virgen de Guadalupe, an important national and religious symbol in Mexico. The flag was raised by Father Miguel Hidalgo on Sept. 15, 1810. 

Hidalgo – with his now famous grito, or yell – rallied the town of Dolores to battle the Spaniards. "Hidalgo proclaimed the end of slavery in all Mexico, including California," said Carlos González Gutiérrez, the consul general of Mexico in Sacramento.

"Our independence was not achieved until 11 years later, after a long and bloody war, and Father Hidalgo was killed in less than a year," said González Gutiérrez.

Juan was the first Sacramento winner in the 13-year history of the competition. Este Es Mi Mexico – This Is My Mexico – was sponsored by the Mexican government for children 7 to 11.

This year's theme was the bicentennial of Mexican independence and centennial of the Mexican Revolution.

Other winning submissions depicted the revolution that began Nov. 20, 1910, to overthrow President Porfirio Díaz, who had ruled Mexico for more than 30 years.

Juan was one of 15 top winners out of 6,266 entries worldwide for the official 2010 Mexican calendar. The top 120 drawings – done by children as far away as Russia and Argentina – will be part of an exhibition at the History Gallery in the Museo del Caracol in Mexico City, where Juan was born.

"I draw 15 to 20 minutes a day," said Juan. "I like making the Mexican flag and stuff."

His sister Adriana, 13, added, "he also draws cars, superheroes, a lot of stuff." She called the winning picture "a good thing so I can remember about Mexican history, and I want to learn more about my Mexican culture."

It's also a good thing because the family – which includes Luis, 12, and Daniela, 15 – will finally get a computer, a $1,500 desktop, this week.

"I'll do my homework – math projects in pre-algebra – and check my grades," said Adriana. "Right now it's hard because I have to go to the library to use a computer and sometimes it's not open."

Juan could have chosen a digital camera, a drawing kit or school supplies, but he chose the computer.

"I want him to do his homework, mainly," said his dad, Daniel Gonzalez.  "It's beautiful," he said of his son's drawing, "I know he draws all the time but I never knew he submitted it."

Gonzalez said he came to Sacramento from Michoacán in 2000. Five years later, the family joined him. Gonzalez is now a cook in a local restaurant while Juan's mother, Maria Gonzalez Montañez, works at a plastics factory.

Juan was honored Sept. 15 on the steps of the Capitol before 5,000 Mexican Americans celebrating Hidalgo's call to arms 200 years ago, the consul general said.  But Juan doesn't plan to become an artist. "I want to be a cook like my dad," he said. 

Sent by Dorinda Moreno



Trailer of documentary: The Rose, A Sense of Place

The Rose, A Sense of Place, 
Trailer of documentary, Rose Marine Theater in Fort Worth

Sent by Roberto R. Calderón, Ph.D.


Troncoso: Why is Texas Library Association ignoring Latino authors?
José Martí Publishing Awards 

We encourage support of SOMOS en escrito, as an avenue for writers, poets, and novelists to share their creativeness.  The website edited by Armando Rendon, Esq is at: 


Troncoso: Why is Texas Library Association ignoring Latino authors?
by Steve Taylor, November 3, 2009, November 4, 2009 

Sergio Troncoso was a featured writer at the Texas Book Festival in Austin this past weekend. (Photo: RGG/Steve Taylor) 

AUSTIN, Nov. 3 - An award-winning author who was born and raised in Ysleta, Texas, and who now lives in New York wants to know what the Texas Library Association has against Latino writers.

Sergio Troncoso, author of The Last Tortilla and Other Stories, and The Nature of Truth: A Novel, was one of the featured writers at the Texas Book Festival this past weekend.

While walking through the exhibitor tents he came across the Texas Library Association’s booth. He picked up the TLA’s list of recommended books for young adults. He was shocked to find only three books out of 68 on the list were either written by a Latino author or were about Latinos.

“It was shocking to me to see only three books by Latino authors or about Latino subjects. This is in a state where if we are not the majority in student population we are pretty close to it. I thought it was terrible,” Troncoso told the Guardian.

To read the list Troncoso is referring go to: 

Troncoso said he needs to find out how the TLA list is compiled. “Our community right now has great young adult writers, Benjamin Saenz, for example, who has published two young adults novels to great acclaim and won major awards for them. Then there is Victor Martinez, author of Parrot in the Oven, which won the National Book Award for young adult fiction. There are so many names out there,” Troncoso said.

“It is not about being a Latino name and being happy with it. This is about high quality literature by writers who also happen to be Latino. There need not be a compromise any more between quality and having a good Latino story out there as well.”

The list Troncoso is referring to is called the TAYSHAS. It is compiled by the Young Adult Round Table of the Texas Library Association.

Troncoso said he knows there are some excellent librarians around the state. He cited Carol Brey-Casiano, currently director of the El Paso Public Library and immediate past-president of the American Library Association.

“Carol has readings in the El Paso Public Library promoting Latino literature all the time. She would have many books to recommend to this list. Why they do not make it, I do not know. I want to know. They (TLA) have to defend this list,” Troncoso said. “I want to know why only five percent are about or by Latinos in a place where you should be appealing to that Latino student who walks into your library and wants a book that reflects his or her life.”

Troncoso said that a quick scan of the Tayshas list shows one book about a Massachusetts boarding school for rich kids and another about Australian teenage life. That’s well and good, he said, but why almost no books about Latinos. “It’s incomprehensible,” he said.

Troncoso said he has already spoken to Saenz about the list and said Saenz was not surprised Latinos were not featured prominently. 

So annoyed was Troncoso that when he got back to New York he blogged about the TLA list. Click here to read the blog.

“When I saw that list it seemed like I was going back to the 1950s. We are beyond that,” Troncoso said. “For me this is not about literary affirmative action. The quality is there. The great writers are there. I would never sacrifice quality of putting up a Latino surname. I don’t think you have to do that anymore.”

Troncoso said he does not see himself as an activist. He said, rather, he was a serious writer that has a point to make. “For me, it is not just about entertaining people. I want to change peoples’ minds. I do not know why people (in Texas) are being so placid about this. Maybe they are not and I have not heard about it. There needs to be a lot more activism, but intelligent activism,” he said.

Maribel Castro is president-elect of the TLA. She has served as a committee member on the Texas Lone Star Committee (which is the middle school book list and little sister to the TAYSHAS committee, the high school list). She said she is one of the thousands of hardworking librarians that volunteer their time to work on this and other literacy projects for the people of Texas. 

Castro said she found Troncoso’s blog “interesting but disconcerting.” 

She said she agrees with Troncoso that “we need more Latino literature in book lists and awards.” She said there is a tremendous opportunity to do something about it right now. The process to submit titles to TLA’s reading lists is not secretive or obscure; it's wide open to anyone who wishes to have a title considered for the list,” Castro said.
The nomination form is available at: 

Castro said the book discussions for the Lone Star and TAYSHAS committees are open to the public. Any librarian who serves young adults through either a public or school library can apply to be on one of these two committees, she said. 

“Serving on the Lone Star Committee has been one of the most memorable and rewarding experiences of my career as a school librarian,” Castro said.

Castro said that having served for three years on the Lone Star Committee she can vouch for the "open-mindedness and good will" of the members of these two selection committees. "Many of us on the committees serve majority Latino populations in our schools and schools districts and have a clear understanding of the literary interests and taste of these young adults,” she said.

Castro said that while, as one colleague put it, no student has ever come to her to ask for Hispanic-themed books, “we strive to give our students quality and diverse reads, which of course includes materials written by Latino authors.”

Castro said multicultural literature titles from publishers both small and large are sought. All titles submitted to the selection committees are thoughtfully considered, and its members conscientiously strive to create a list that is inclusive of diverse cultural/ethnic backgrounds, varied teen topics and interests, and genres, she said.

“The committee, through a vigorous review process, evaluates hundreds of books nominated. We believe exposing teens to topics, not only about their communities but outside of their communities – like Australian teenagers and boarding schools – is not a bad thing. Inherently, it matters not where you come from or where you go to school. We all have many things in common despite socioeconomic and geographic boundaries,” Castro said.

Castro added that the TLA has been on the “leading edge” in supporting multiculturalism and Latino programming, literature, and services for decades. 

“From creating the pilot program for statewide Dìa de los Niños/Dìa de los libros celebrations to conducting multitudes of programs and workshops on Latino literature, authors, services, and other resources and programming, TLA has worked tirelessly to promote Latino and multicultural literacy,” Castro said.

© Copyright of the Rio Grande Guardian,, Melinda Barrera, Publisher. All rights reserved.

Sent by Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.


The National Association of Hispanic Publications' 
2010 José Martí Publishing Awards 
José Martí Publishing Awards Newsletter


The National Association of Hispanic Publications' José Martí Publishing Awards have grown over the past 23 years to be the most important awards for Hispanic newspapers, magazines, and now websites.
The 68 individual categories are broken down in six categories: 
Overall Excellence Awards
Outstanding Editorial Section Awards
Editorial Writing Awards
Design Awards
Photo & Cartoon Awards
Marketing Awards
Awards Deadline: Must be postmarked by December 24, 2009
The 2010 NAHP Convention in Albuquerque, NM

For more information please phone Abraham Larrando, 760-434-7474 x171 
or Kirk Whisler, 760-434-1223.   



Send a Christmas greeting to Our Men
After 58-year search, former Marine finds heroic Hispanic pilot by Sara Puig Laas
Retired General Sanchez talks on patriotism in Southern California
Images of Valor: U.S. Latinos and Latinas of World War II, traveling exhibition
The Enemy Within: the story of Supercop Joe Sanchez, by Tony Santiago 


Say THANKS in support of our troops.  An easy way to show you care.  Send one or a dozen postcards. No cost:  
Sent by  Gerald Frost Telger6



After 58-year search, former Marine 
finds heroic Hispanic pilot with roots in Laredo, Edward Ochoa 
by Sara Puig Laas

For:  Release via Somos Primos   One-time Rights
Sara Puig Laas
4823 Bob Wire Road, Spicewood, TX  78669
H:  512-264-0005    C:  512-925-1147


For 58 years, William “Buddy” Hixon searched for the lone Marine pilot who had saved his life and that of 41 other Marines in 1951 during the Korean War.

It was a story in three parts: a fierce battle; a long quest to find a mysterious, unknown pilot; and finally, a chance to say, “Thank You” to that hero, Marine pilot Edward Ochoa — who grew up in Laredo. 


It was April 23, 1951, and Hixon was a machine gunner in Charlie Company, 7th Marines. They were assigned to hold a position called Objective 44, about 1,000 yards northeast of Horseshoe Ridge. It was a narrow saddle of land connecting two ridges that had a deep valley between them.

When the battle started the day before, there had been 235 Marines in Charlie Company. It was the biggest fight since the war began in June of 1950, and the enemy — thousands of troops from the communist People’s Republic of China — had attacked in waves all night.

By the light of occasional flares, the Marines could see Chinese machine guns on the opposite ridge just thirty yards away. The Americans fired in the dark toward the smell of approaching enemy soldiers.

“The Chinese soldiers’ diet contained a lot of garlic,” says Hixon.  “We learned to tell how close they were and when to shoot.” When daylight came, enemy bodies lay as close as three feet away.

By then, some Marines had been sent to guard the left flank; the rest were dead or wounded. Of the original 235, only 42 were left to face the hordes of Communist troops. The odds of surviving the day were small to none.

The Marines’ 5th Regiment was supposed to be on the right flank, however, and Hixon walked along the ridge to look for them.

Then, about 8 a.m., he heard the plane.  It was the unmistakable sound of an F4-U Corsair, flying up the valley toward the saddle on the left.

“I stood at the top of the ridge and waved my Browning Automatic Rifle,” says Hixon.  “The Corsair was just a few yards away, level with me. The pilot was wearing a helmet, but his goggles were pushed up, and we made eye contact. When he passed, he gave me a ‘thumbs up’ and smiled.  He was the most beautiful sight I had ever seen in my 22 years of living.”

Hixon continues, “The pilot flew to the saddle connecting the two ridges, pulled the Corsair almost straight up, and dived toward the Chinese. The plane had three machine guns in each wing. By his second run, we could tell he had only 50-caliber ammo — no bombs, rockets, or napalm. The Marine pilot made one strafing run after another. After he ran out of ammo he made three more runs.  He flew so low to the ground that we couldn’t see him, but we could hear the Chinese screaming.”

The Marine pilot’s daring and bravery had saved 42 Marines by buying them precious time to regroup. “Without that Corsair pilot, we would never have made it out alive,” says Hixon.


            After his honorable discharge from the Marine Corps in March of 1953, Buddy HIxon began to build a life in Kentucky. He married Lou, and they reared three daughters.

But the memory of the Corsair pilot stayed in his mind like a photograph in an album. As he watched his girls grow up, he would think about how blessed he was to be there for them — and how he longed to say, “Thank You” in person to the Marine pilot whose smiling face still haunted him.

            Hixon scoured history books, Leatherneck Magazine, and Marine Corps records. He attended Marine reunions, always asking, always searching for clues that could lead him to the mystery pilot. From one book, Hixon learned that the Marine Corsair VMF-214 Black Sheep Squadron had flown from the USS Sicily in support of 7th Marines.

            In 2008, Hixon had a stroke of good luck. At a Marine reunion he met Philadelphia University Professor Bob Wagner, former crewmember in a Korean Conflict Antisubmarine Squadron. Wagner helped him locate a source for the April 23 Deck Logs of the escort carrier USS Sicily.

But the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) reported that the Black Sheep Squadron was not on the USS Sicily at the time. Thankfully, it was “bad news, good news.”

The NARA also sent along a Historical Diary stating that the squadron had been based at the time in Pusan, Korea. The log listed all flights the squadron made on April 23, 1951.

Working with Hixon’s maps, coordinates, a spreadsheet, and the Historical Diary, Wagner and Hixon determined that only three sorties came near Objective 44 ridge on April 23. 

One flight was not launched until 11:30 a.m.  Too late. Another would have arrived about 6:15 a.m. Too early. The third would have been in the area at 8:03 and had the closest coordinates. Right time, right place.

At long last, Hixon could read his pilot’s name:  Major Ochoa, Commanding Officer of Squadron VMF-214. More research turned up his first name:  Edward.

But where, among 300 million Americans, could Edward Ochoa be?

Searching the internet produced hundreds of Edward Ochoas. Then Col. Walter Ford, publisher of Leatherneck Magazine, suggested Hixon call its Airwing Section.

“We have a record of him,” the pleasant female voice said, “but Col. Ochoa has not contacted the Marine Corps Association since 1996.”

Hixon was trembling as he wrote down the information. Now 80, he had to wait a whole day to calm his emotions before he could take the next step.

On March 28, 2009, after 58 years of searching, Hixon picked up his phone and dialed Col. Edward Ochoa’s number in Harbor City, California.


            A woman’s voice answered. Hixon asked, “Is this the home of Edward Ochoa and was he a pilot during the Korean War?”

            “Yes,” she said, “but my husband passed away last year on September 11, 2008.”

            For Hixon, it was a bittersweet moment. He had finally found his hero, but it was six months too late to thank him in person.

Hixon shared his story with Edward Ochoa’s widow, Lisa.

In turn, Lisa told him that Ed Ochoa was originally from Laredo, born in 1920.  He was one of eight brothers, and six of them — Louis, Albert, Fred, Ed, Peter and Rod — served in WWII.

Ed and his three youngest brothers — Rod, Art, and Richard — also saw military duty during the Korean Conflict.

After active duty, Ed Ochoa remained with the Marine Reserves, eventually retiring as a full colonel.

Edward Ochoa was an honor graduate of Martin High School’s first class in 1937. He earned an engineering degree from the University of Texas after World War II and put it to work for Douglas Aircraft as a Safety Engineer and Crash Analyst in California. In 1969, he married Lisa Rodriguez and helped rear her two children, Leon Rodriguez and Marlyn Rodriguez Dinon.

When Hixon finally hung up the phone at his home in Kentucky, he decided that he would still keep his promise to say, “Thank you” in person. 

In August, 2009, he and Lou and their daughter Kelly traveled to California for an emotional reunion with Ed Ochoa’s family at the home of his nephew Phil Ochoa, also formerly of Laredo. 

Hixon recounted the events of April 23, 1951 for twenty-one assembled members of the Ochoa family. The group included Richard Ochoa of El Paso, the last surviving Ochoa brother.

Although his relatives knew that Ed Ochoa had been awarded a Distinguished Flying Cross during WWII, none of them were aware of his heroic efforts on that April day in Korea.

Buddy Hixon told them, “I regret that my long search ended without being able to thank Col. Ochoa in person for saving the lives of 42 Marines so long ago.”

“Don’t worry,” said stepson Leon Rodriguez.  “My dad was a Marine to the end. I know what he would have said: ‘I was just doing my job.’ ”

Hixon thinks Edward Ochoa did much more. At a Marine reunion in Buffalo, New York in September, Hixon found four more of the forty-two Marines whose lives were saved by Ochoa at Objective 44 in Korea.  They are working on a recommendation to the Commandant of the Marine Corps that a Medal of Honor be awarded posthumously to Col. Ochoa for his exceptional valor.

Hixon says, “I know it will be difficult, but we feel we must pursue it.  There are recipients who saved a few; Edward Ochoa saved 42 of his fellow Marines from almost certain death.”

                                                - 30 -       




Retired General Sanchez talks on patriotism 
November 7, 2009
The former commander of coalition forces visits Fullerton. 

Retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, once the highest-ranking Latino in the U.S. Army, shakes hands with ROTC Cadet Susan Mejia at Cal State Fullerton. Sanchez had just signed his book, "Wiser in Battle: A Soldier's Story," for her. 

"When you deploy to war, you have to say goodbye to the person you will never be again," says retired Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, speaking to a group of ROTC cadets at Cal State Fullerton. FULLERTON Ricardo S. Sanchez readily admits he signed on with the military to get away from the poverty of southern Texas' Star County, a plot on the map that perennially tops the list of the United States' poorest areas. 

A few decades later, Sanchez had worked his way to becoming a three-star lieutenant general in the U.S. Army, commanding nearly 180,000 personnel from 36 different countries during Operation Iraqi Freedom. 

Students, veterans and ROTC members listened intently on Thursday as Sanchez talked about his rise through the military and the glass ceilings he encountered because of his race.  He also lectured them on leadership, stressing the importance of treating everyone with respect and, especially, always doing the right thing. 

Leadership, he stressed, is "about values, common sense and taking care of people. 
"You have to trust your instincts, because they're right," he told his audience. "Never leave the moral high ground. You're going to be tested immediately upon stating your service to the country or a profession. … Be ready to stand any heat that will come at you for doing what is right. You can't falter." 

Sanchez said he got some of that heat when he notified Pentagon brass that some soldiers needed more training before they shipped out to Iraq. But he felt much better when his troops arrived in the Middle East a month later. 

He retired in 2006 after he was replaced following the Abu Ghraib prisoner-abuse scandal. The San Antonio resident has made headlines for criticizing the handling of the Iraq war, calling it "flawed." 

Sanchez, 58, now frequently tours the country, signing books and speaking to veterans' groups, among others. When he travels, airport security guards often recognize him, many of them having served in the military under his command. 

Sanchez's parents are Mexican-American and all four of his grandparents were from Mexico. He grew up in an area he described as "98 percent Hispanic," joking the "five gringos" who graduated high school with him spoke Spanish perfectly. 

That's why, he said, it was a jolt to join the military governed by a "lily-white" command. Sanchez is one of three Latinos to earn the rank of lieutenant general in the U.S. Army. 
At one point in his career, one of Sanchez's commanders admitted that he didn't want Sanchez on his staff because he hadn't had good experiences with Latinos. Sanchez said he was proud to have changed the commander's mind. 

ROTC Cadet Susan Mejia - a Latina herself - came to hear the general speak. 
"You don't see a lot of Hispanic officers in the Army," she said. She smiled as she clutched Sanchez's book, "Wiser in Battle: A Soldier's Story," about the retired general's 33-year military career. Inside the book, in large, bold strokes, Sanchez inscribed: "Thank you for your willingness to answer the call of duty." 

"We have that responsibility. … It's a duty," Sanchez said later, to "help wherever we can. If you can change one life or encourage one person to continue their education, it makes a difference." 

Sanchez was the man in charge in December 2003 when soldiers found former dictator Saddam Hussein hiding in a one-man shelter.  After following lead after lead, "you're not quite sure you've done it," Sanchez recalled. 

He described how Hussein was flown into Baghdad in the middle of the night, then placed in a holding cell with a one-way window.  Military crews followed procedures rehearsed weeks before to ensure Hussein's Geneva Convention rights were honored, Sanchez said.
Hussein's onetime lieutenants - including his captured second-in-command Tariq Aziz - were paraded in front of the cell and asked to identify him. Within hours, DNA tests conclusively identified the man with the unkempt beard. 

"He was incredulous when we brought him in," Sanchez said of the laterexecuted dictator. "He said, 'Do you know who I am? I'm the president of Iraq. Why are you treating me this way?' " 

Sanchez came to Fullerton at the request of Orange County Superior Court Judge Frederick P. Aguirre, who wanted the retired general to spend a few days at the Cal State Fullerton campus. Aguirre is involved with Latino Advocates for Education, a group that for years has held ceremonies honoring Latino veterans. The organization sponsored Sanchez's trip to Fullerton. The general did not charge for the speeches he gave. 

"In my opinion, he's the equivalent of Colin Powell," Aguirre said. "Here's a Mexican-American the country should honor and recognize for his achievements and patriotism." 

Sanchez will deliver the keynote address at the 13th annual Veterans Day celebration at Cal State Fullerton. The event begins at 10 a.m. today in the Titan Student Union, 800 N. State College Blvd. 

CONTACT THE WRITER:  7 1 4-704-3796 or  


Images of Valor: U.S. Latinos and Latinas of World War II, traveling exhibition

"Images of Valor: U.S. Latinos and Latinas of WW II," a traveling exhibit from Texas Humanities in Austin which is based on the U.S. Latino and Latina WWII Oral History Project. The exhibit includes photographs of Latino and Latina WWII veterans taken during and after the war, as well as oral histories and reflections of their experiences. The exhibit conveys the stories of men and women whose contributions to the war effort and to society were unfortunately under-appreciated at the time.

For more information:  

U.S. Latino & Latina WWII Oral History Project
School of Journalism
University of Texas at Austin
1 University Station A1000
Austin, TX 78712
Telephone: 512.471.1924


The Enemy Within

the story of Supercop Joe Sanchez

By: Tony (The Marine) Santiago  




The majority of the police officers who serve our cities, towns and counties are good law abiding men and women that we can look up to, as heroes. However, we also often hear in the evening news about the police officers who believe that they are above the law and are witnesses all to the abuses that some of them  commit against the defenseless illegal immigrant or the petty criminal who is unarmed and surrenders, expecting simply to be read his Miranda rights and hauled off to the nearest county jail, upon viewing the televised videos presented in the news. Yet, many of these officers are seldom charged for their crimes and often the only punishment that those who are accused receive is a minor and limited suspension from their jobs.  I am sure that you as I,  have asked yourself, why is it that some of these officers who are so cruel can get away with the things that they do. Well they do get away with it, however that is not the worst of it, the most amazing thing of all is that there are many corrupt officers within the police forces who are associated with the worst criminal elements known to society and the fact that they are  officers of the law makes them worse then your common street criminal. In many cases the corruption and criminal acts committed by these officers are known by other fellow officers, who would rather keep quite and look the other way instead of doing something about it. There is a code of silence within the police force similar to the Mafia “Omerta”, known as the “Blue Wall of silence” or the “Blue Code of Silence“. A police officer who reports the criminal acts of another officer is considered a traitor by his fellow officers and often has to go through hell as a result of his honest acts.  

I recently had the honor and pleasure of making the acquaintance of a highly decorated former NYPD police officer who had the guts to do the right thing, even though it meant the end of the career which he so much loved. That man is Jose “Joe” Sanchez Picon. Sanchez discovered the corrupt activities of his Captain and Lieutenant and he refused to be dragged down to their level. Instead he decided to do something about it, only to be betrayed by his own Department of Internal Affairs, who instead of taking action against his superiors helped to frame him of criminal acts which he did not commit. Sanchez was acquitted, but lost his job. He wrote two great books about the events that happened to him. He also tells of the many good cops he worked with, be they white, Latinos and blacks he doesn’t discriminate. I highly recommend the books and hope that someday one of our Latino movie producers will make a film of them. You can purchase the books at They are “Latin Blues, A Tale of Police Omerta From The NYPD",  ISBN 1601790007 and "True Blue: A Tale of the Enemy Within", ISBN 978-1-60179-012-5 . Here is the biography which I wrote in Wikipedia about Joe Sanchez, enjoy:


                                         Joe Sánchez

                           By Tony (The Marine) Santiago


                                               Joe Sánchez

Joe Sánchez  (born: January 16, 1947), is a highly decorated former New York City police officer and author whose books give an insight as to the corruption within the department. Upon exposing the illegal acts committed by some high ranking officers, he was betrayed by the Internal Affairs Division and arrested on the false allegations of committing various crimes in a case which was highly publized by the news media. He was found guilty for the assault charge, a conviction which was overturned. His case exposed the existence of a code of silence among police officers known as the "Blue Wall of Silence".

                                               Early years  

Sanchez (birth name: Jose Manuel Sánchez Picon) a native of Santurce, Puerto Rico, was one of five siblings born to Jose Sánchez and Clotilde Picon. In the early 1950s his parents migrated to New York City in search of a better life and settled in Manhattan. Sánchez' parents divorced and his mother remarried and the family moved to the South Bronx. There Sanchez received his primary and secondary education. Sanchez decided that he would enlist in the United States Armed Forces upon his graduation from Theodore Roosevelt High School.    

                                         Military service  

Sánchez attempted to enlist, but was not accepted by any of the four military branches. He then signed up for the selective service and in 1965, Sánchez was drafted into the United States Army, at the age of 18. On January 16, 1967, his twentieth birthday, he found himself with Company D, 2nd Battalion, 7th Cavalry of the 1st Air Cavalry Division (Mobile) (after being transferred from A Company, 5/7) deployed near the village of Phantiet in South Vietnam. On that day, his unit was engaged in a firefight with the Viet Cong. Sánchez and three of his comrades were seriously wounded by the shrapnel of an enemy grenade during that firefight. Sanchez was awarded the Army Commendation and Purple Heart Medals. After he recovered from his wounds, he was discharged from the Army and he returned to New York. There he met a young girl by the name of Lorraine Pfaus whom he married. He worked in various jobs among them as a Taxi and Ambulance driver. In various occasions Sánchez applied to become a police officer in the New York Police Department, but was not accepted. He then opted to apply to take the entrance examination as a police candidate in the New York Port Authority and was accepted. Sánchez served in the NYPA from January 1971-October 1973, during which time Sánchez discovered that his application for the NYPD had not been accepted once more because of a technicality. He opted to take his case before the board and was finally accepted as a police candidate in the NYPD.  

                              New York Police Department  

Sánchez graduated from the New York Police Academy after six months of training and was assigned to the 90th Precinct in Brooklyn. The 90th Precinct is located in northern Brooklyn in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. It is primarily a residential and commercial area consisting of factories, warehouses, one and two family private homes as well as numerous apartment buildings. The five primary commercial strips are Graham Avenue, Grand Street, Lee Avenue, Havemeyer Street and Broadway.  During his years as a police officer, he learned that there were good police officers and as well as corrupt ones. He also noticed that the illegal acts committed by some of his fellow officers were often ignored and seldom reported by others, including some of his superiors who believed in a code of silence known amongst them as the "Blue Wall of silence" in which reporting another officer's errors, misconduct, or crimes is regarded as a betrayal. He served in various precincts before being transferred to the 30th Precinct. The 30th Precinct is primarily residential, containing a commercial area on Broadway. The neighborhoods in the precinct are known as Hamilton Heights, Sugar Hill and West Harlem.

                                  The Blue Code of Silence  

Sánchez discovered that his Lieutenant was receiving payments and sexual favors in exchange for protection by accident, after he gave a routine traffic summons to the brother of a powerful businessman. The businessman cited him to his office and asked if he would be interested in providing protection for his drivers, same as his (Sánchez') Lieutenant and Captain were doing, and made a monetary offer to Sánchez. He reported the situation to Internal Affairs Division, who in turn "wired" him, which in this case means that he was connected to a recording device, with the supposed intention of gathering proof of his accusations. Unknown to Sánchez was the fact that those who wired him were friends of his Lieutenant. Sánchez returned to the businessman and gathered enough information to implicate his Lieutenant and Captain on corruption charges, however upon learning of the situation his Lieutenant had him transferred to another precinct.  

It 1983, Sánchez participated in a drug bust which ended his career as a police officer. In October of 1983, Sánchez was framed by some members of the police force involving the drug bust and was indicted by a Special and Extraordinary Grand Jury in Manhattan for one count of Burglary in the First Degree; one count of Grand Larceny in the first Degree; one count of Grand Larceny in the second Degree; six counts of Grand larceny in the Third Degree; and, one count of assault in the Third Degree. The witnesses against Sánchez were drug dealers involved in the drug bust who were promised to have their indictments dropped if they agreed to testify against him. After a lengthily trial, he was exonerated of the charges and applied for reinstatement in the NYPD. In 1988, after an administrative "snafu" sent his appeal for reinstatement to two different Supreme Court justices, one ruled that he be rehired and the other upheld his dismissal. The latter prevailed.  

                                       Corrections officer  

Sánchez worked for Holmes Security as a night supervisor for 3 years, until he started to work as a letter carrier in Haverstraw, New York. In 1989, he joined the New York State Department of Corrections who welcomed him on the job. As a corrections officer he came into contact with many of the inmates he once arrested as a police officer in Washington Heights. He first worked at Sing Sing Correctional Facility, a maximum security prison  in the Village of Ossining, Town of Ossining, New York. There he was assaulted and one inmate tried to set him up on false allegations that he had mistreated him. The Department of Corrections knew what was going on and supported him.  Sánchez, purchased a house in Catskill, New York, and transferred to Coxsackie State Prison. While at Coxsackie State Prison, he was involved in many dangerous situations involving fights between inmates. There was one particular incident, which almost cost him his life, he came to the aid of an inmate which was being stabbed by another. None of the other correction officers, who witnessed what was going on, came to his aid until it was almost over. This experience led him to consider retirement.  

                                            Later years  

Sánchez, retired and moved with his family to Florida. He continues to be active in various organizations, among them the North East Florida NYPD 10-13 Chapter; the Latino Officers Association Florida; the Purple Heart Chapter 0808, Flagler County Flagler Beach, Fl., the First Cavalry Division Association; 5/7 Cavalry Association, the 7th Cavalry Association and the Association of Retired Hispanic Police (ARHP) NYPD in New York. He is quoted as saying:  

"What I tell young cops I come in contact with... they have one of the greatest jobs in the world, and to stay honest, for once you lose a job for being dishonest, it will stay with you until you die"  

                                      Written works

Sánchez together with Mo Dhania is the author of the following books:  

*"Latin Blues, A Tale of Police Omerta From The NYPD", Publisher: The Old Kings Road Press (2006), ISBN 1601790007 

*"True Blue: A Tale of the Enemy Within", Publisher: Old King Road Press, ISBN 978-1-60179-012-5  

Military decorations  
Among Sánchez' military decorations and awards are the following:  
*Army Commendation Medal  
*Purple Heart  
*Army Good Conduct Medal  
*National Defense Service Medal  
*Vietnam Service Medal  
*Vietnam Campaign Medal

*Combat Infantryman Badge  
*Rifle Sharpshooters Badge





SAR President General Ed Butler Sends Letter to the Texas Education Agency
Annual Order of Granaderos y Damas de Galvez Conference
Flags used by Spanish military forces in America
Genealogical Repot on George Washington's Ancestry by John inclan

SAR President General Ed Butler 
Sends Letter to the Texas Education Agency


Compatriots, Today (11/23)I sent the following message to the Texas Education Agency at  

I encourage each member of the TXSSAR to go online and file your complaint. 
Pass this on to all members of the TXSSAR

Fraternally, Ed Butler 

Dear Text book Committee,

As President General of the National Society, Sons of the American Revolution, I speak for over 28,000 members, some 2,600 of whom live here in Texas.

I am appalled at the state of our current American history text books, and understand that there are proposals that would inhibit our youth from discovering their true heritage.

A full coverage of the American Revolutionary War should be provided so that our youth can better understand the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. Many of our Hispanic youth feel disenfranchised. They should be taught about the contributions of Spain to the American Revolution, including the efforts of Gen. Bernardo Galvez, for whom Galveston is named. They should also be told of the Texas long horn cattle that were herded from the San Antonio area to Galvez army in Louisiana.

Our text books should: 
1) Encourage American Patriotism;
2) Honor our Founding Fathers and our American traditions; 
3) Honor our Veterans and our proud heritage; 
4) And promote the values of the American Free Enterprise System.

I would be delighted to make a presentation to your committee.


Judge Edward F. Butler, Sr.
President General
National Society Sons of the American Revolution

San Antonio, TX

TCARA Members:
Judge Butler was among the first of the Sons of the American Revolution to support a resolution to help sponsor TCARA, made while I was President of the San Antonio SAR Chapter. He also pledged his support to extend the "Texas and Galvez story" throughout the SAR while campaigning for National President of SAR and he is keeping that pledge. We owe a debt of gratitude to Judge Butler for his National effort toward reviving this forgotten but extremely important Texan and American  history. Please take advantage of this opportunity to let the Texas Education Agency know that you support the inclusion of the Texas and Galvez contribution to American Independence.
Jack Cowan


Annual Order of Granaderos y Damas de Galvez Conference


Some guests arrived in decorated horse-drawn buggys. 

Robert Flores, Treasurer and RoseMarie Lapenta, Secretary of the Granaderos de Galvez Founding Chapter of San Antonio hosted the Annual Order of Granaderos y Damas de Galvez Conference held September 19-20th at the Historic Menger Hotel in San Antonio, established in 1859


Robert Garcia and Yolanda Kirkpatrick, members of Los Bexarenos Genealogical Society in San Antonio display books primarily printed by Paso de la Conquista on Spanish Colonial and early Tejano history. Jack Cowen, on the far right was founder of the Texas Connection the American Revolution, and Governor of the San Antonio Chapter of the Granaderos..
Information sent by Roland Nuñez Salazar
Member - Houston Chapter
Order of Granaderos y Damas de Gálvez
(Cell) 281 220-7153

Joel Escamilla, Governor
Texas Chapters of the Granaderos de Galvez




Flags used by Spanish military forces in America


Michael Bunn
, of the Old Capitol Museum of Mississippi History, asked about the flags used by Spanish military forces in America, specifically De Soto ca. 1540 and Gálvez ca. 1780. I received the following information from Spanish vexillologist Eduardo Panizo:

An image of this flag exists in the Spanish Archivo General de Indias, in the city of Seville. It is a battalion flag of the Regimiento de Infanteria de Luisiana 1779-1781. This was the flag used by this regiment, commanded by Bernardo de Gálvez, at the battle of Pensacola on May 8th 1781, where the Spanish Army defeated the British one.

José Carlos Alegría, 16 July 2000

I suppose this may shed some additional light on the origin of the state flags of Florida and Alabama. This white square flag features the traditional red burgundy cross used by the Spanish army, cornered by four identical coats-of-arms, and over all the latin writing Honor et Fidélitas, meaning Honour and Loyalty.

José Carlos Alegría, 6 September 2000

Sent by Bill Carmena


Genealogical Report on George Washington's Ancestry 
by John inclan


GEORGE WASHINGTON, 1ST PRESIDENT OF THE USA, was born on 22 Feb 1732, Westmoreland County, Virginia; d. 14 Dec 1799, Mount Vernon, Virginia; m. MARTHA DANDRIDGE CUSTIS, 06 Jan 1759, at the Custis Plantation New Kent county, Virginia; b. 02 Jun 1731, New Kent County, Virginia; d. 22 May 1802, Mount Vernon, Virginia.

George was the son of Captain AGUSTINE WASHINGTON & MARY BALL .

Note: Mr. & Mrs. Agustine Warner II are ancestors of the current Queen of England, Elizabeth II. 

Mildred Reade, (above) was the daughter of Colonel George Reade and Elizabeth Martiau.

Col. George Reade was the son of Robert Reade and Mildred Windebank

Mildred Windebank was the daughter of Francis Dymoke.

Francis Dymoke was the daughter of Edward Dymoke, 16th Lord of Schrivelsby and Lady Anne Tailboy. Lord Dymoke was the son of Robert Dymoke, 15th Lord of Schrivelsh and Lady Jane Sparrow. Lord Robert was the son of Thomas Dymoke, 14th Lord of Schrivelsh and Lady Margaret de Welles. Margaret de Welles was the Daughter of Lionel de Welles, 6th Baron Welles and Baroness Jane Waterton. Baron Lionel was the son of Sir Eon de Welles and Lady Maude de Greystroke. Sir Eon de Welles was the son of John de Welles, 5th Baron Welles and Baroness Margaret de Mowbray. 

Margaret de Mowbray was the daughter of John de Mowbray, 4th Baron Mowbray and Baroness Elizabeth de Segrave. Elizabeth de Segrave was the daughter of John de Sebrave, 4th Lord of Segrave and Margaret, Duchess of Norfork. Margaret was the daughter of Thomas de Brotherton, 1st Earl of Norfork and Lady Alice Hayes. Thomas was the son of Edward I, King of England, (descendent of El Cid) and his 2nd wife, Marguerite of France, Queen Consort of England.

Major Lawrence was the son of COL. JOHN WASHINGTON & ANN POPE 1658, (daughter of NATHANIEL POPE and LUCY) 

John Washington was the son of Reverend LAWRENCE WASHINGTON & AMPHYLIS TWIGDON. 

.Rev. Lawrence was the son of MARGARET BUTLER & LAWRENCE WASHINGTON. 

Margaret Butler was the daughter of WILLIAM BUTLER & MARGARET GREEKE. 

William was the son of MARGARET SUTTON & JOHN BUTLER. .

Margaret was the daughter of Sir JOHN SUTTON & Lady CHARROL SUTTON. 

Sir John was the son of Lady JOYCE de TIPTOFT & Sir EDMUND SUTTON. 

Lady Joyce was the daughter of Lady JOYCE CHERLETON & JOHN DE TIPTOFT, 1ST BARON of TIPTOFT..

Lady Joyce Cherleton was the daughter of EDWARD CHERLETON, 5TH BARON OF CHERETON & Lady ELEANOR HOLAND, (daughter of Sir THOMAS de HOLAND and Lady ALICE FITZALAN).

Note ELEANOR HOLAND was a descendent of King Edward I of England by his second marriage. Her father Thomas de Holand, 2nd Earl of Kent m Lady Alice FitzAlan. 
He was the son of Lady Joan Plantagenet, Princess of Wales m Thomas Holand, 6th Earl of Kent. She was the daughter of Edmund of Woodstock, 3rd Earl of Kent m. Lady Margaret Wake.  He was the son of Edward I, King of England 2st wife, Marguerite of France, Queen Consort of England.  

Baron Edward Cherleton was the son of Lady JOAN de STAFFORD & JOHN CHERLETON, 2ND BARON OF CHERLETON 1360. He died 13 Jul 1374.


Baroness Margaret was the daughter of Lady MARGARET de CLARE & HUGH de AUDLEY, 2ND BARON OF AUDLEY ( son of Sir HUGH DE AUDLEY and Lady ISOLT DE MORTIMER).

Lady Margaret was the daughter of Princess JOAN PLANTAGENT OF ARCE & GILBERT DE CLARE, 7TH EARL OF HERTFORD (son of Sir RICHARD DE CLARE and Lady MAUD de LACY. 

Princess Joan was the daughter ELEANOR OF CASTILE, Queen of England & EDWARD I, KING OF ENGLAND (son of HENRY III, King of England and ELEANOR of PROVENCE). 

Eleanor was the daughter of SAINT FERNANDO III, KING OF CASTILE & LEON & JEANNE OF DAMMARTIN, Countess of Ponthieu (daughter of SIMON II, Count of Dammartin, Aumale & Ponthieu and Marie (Jeanne), Countess of Ponthieu) 

King Fernando was the son of QUEEN OF CASTILE BERENGARIA & ALFONSO IX, KING OF LEON (son of FERDINAND II, King of Leon and his Queen URRACA of PORTUGAL) .

Queen Berengaria was the daughter of ALFONSO VIII, KING OF CASTILE & ELEANOR OF ENGLAND, QUEEN OF CASTILE (daughter of HENRY II, King of England and ELEANOR of AQUITAINE) .

King Alfonso was the son of BLANCHE OF NAVARRE, QUEEN CONSORT OF CASTILE & SANCHO III, KING OF CASTILE (son of ALFONSO VII, King of Castile and his Queen BERENGUELA of Barcelona)..

Notes for Blanche of Navarre & Sancho III, King of Castile: It is from this union that the descendents of Charlemagne first enter this line. Source - Pedigrees of Emperor Charlemagne.


Garcia Ramirez was the son of ELVIRA Rodriguez, also known as CRISTINA, & RAMIRO SANCHEZ II, COUNT OF MONCON, (son of GARCIA V, King of Navarre and CONSTANZA de Maranon) 

Elvira, A.K.A. Cristina was the daughter of Don RODRIGO DIAZ de VIVAR, known as EL CID & JIMENA de GORMAZ (daughter of DIEGO RODRIGUEZ de OVEIDO and CRISTINA FERNANDEZ). 


Burke's Presidential Families of the United States.

Pedigrees of Some of the Emperor Charlemagne's Descendants, Compiled by Marcellus Donald Alexander R. von Redlich, Vol I. 

Pedigrees of Some of the Emperor Charlemagne's Descendants, by J. Orton Buck & Tomothy Field Beard, Vol II. 

Ackerman, Diane, The Real George Washington 

Hallam, Elizabeth, General editor, The Plantagenet Encyclopedia. 

Kinnaird, Clark, George Washington, The Pictorial Biography . Bonanza Book. New York. 

Moncreiffe , Sir Iain of That ILK, BT, Royal Highness Ancestry of the Royal Child 


Un Apellido: Garcia by Angel Custodio Rebollo
Frank Garcia, We Give Thanks Foundation
How the adventurous Italian Schiapapría family became Nuevo León's 'Chapas' by 
      Dr. Lino García Jr.


por Angel Custodio Rebollo



El apellido García es, según el Instituto Nacional de Estadística, el mas extendido por nuestro País, pues lo tienen como primer apellido  l.466.204 personas y como segundo, 1.491.212. Como dato complementario, diremos que son 83.024 los que se apellidan, García y García. En la provincia de Huelva, son 14.547 habitantes los que lo llevan como primero y 14.398, como segundo y los que sus dos apellidos son García, lo poseen solo 580.

El origen de este apellido parte del nombre propio “García”, pero hay dudas de donde procede, unos creen que es de origen vasco, de las zonas de Hartze y Hortza,  pues Menéndez Pidal dice en uno de sus escritos que el nombre vasco García es ya citado en el año 789 en Castilla, donde al parecer lo introdujo la reina Jimena de León, antes princesa Navarra, quien llamó a uno de sus hijos con el nombre de García.

Ante la invasión árabe, hubo muchas familias de la zona norte del País que nos ocupa, que huyeran en desbandada y los niños quedaron olvidados hasta de sus nombres.  Fue entonces cuando muchos de ellos eligieron el García, tanto que se llegó a decir que “Quien no tenía nombre, García se ponía”

La proliferación fue muy grande y hay García no solo en España, porque está muy extendido por toda América. Tengo referencias  de una familia en Chile, apellidada García, que es originaria de Cartagena y con una gran descendencia.

Los árabes también utilizaron este nombre, y tenemos a Abu Amir Ahmad Inb García, poeta que sirvió el Emir de la Taifa de Denia y otro Ibn García, también poeta y escritor en prosa, procedente del Califato de Córdoba.

Pero no solo personas se denominan García: En México, existe una población, que se llama García, a la que recuerdo haber mencionado hace unos años.

Y como colofón a los García, tenemos el escrito clásico que se estudia actualmente en todas las escuelas comerciales y de mercadotecnia, titulado “Mensaje a García”, que lo escribió Herbert Hubbert en 1899, cuando necesitando un pequeño articulo para publicarlo en su revista local, decidió dar forma a una discusión que había tenido con su hijo sobre un héroe en la guerra de Cuba, entre España y los Estados Unidos. De este escrito se han publicado más de cuarenta millones de ejemplares.



Editor:  I had to share this information about FRANK GARCIA, a restaurateur in Southern California.  Although dealing with health issues, for 23 years Frank Garcia, owner of La Casa Garcia, at 531 W. Chapman Ave in Anaheim, California has been serving a free Thanksgiving meal, all with the help of family and friends. 
Volunteers the first year were 200; volunteers expected this year is 1,500.  
People served the first year were 3,000; people expected this year is 15,000.  
For more information, go to 
The January issue of Somos Primos will include the complete story.

P.S. I have Garcia paternal and maternal grandmothers. 



How the adventurous Italian Schiapapría family became Nuevo León's 'Chapas'.

Dr. Lino García Jr.
October 31, 2009 


Part 1 of 2 - THE EARLY YEARS:

When Pánfilo Narváez and Álvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca landed on Texas soil in 1528, they paved the way for other explorers. One such adventurer and historian was an Italian named Juan Bautista Chapa (1631-1695), an Italian whose original surname was "Schiapapría" or "Chiapapría." He later changed it to "Chapa," perhaps so people in the New World could pronounce it better.

He was born to Bartolomé Schiapapría and Bastestina Badi in la Villa de Arbisola, in Genoa, Italy. He had two brothers, Nicolás and Franco. Nicolás became a religious brother in Spain, and Franco passed away early in life, leaving Juan Bautista the sole heir to his parents’ land. This he donated to an uncle named Juan Schiapapría, and then set sail for New Spain. He arrived in Monterrey during the last few weeks in the year 1650.

Many other Italians had arrived in the "Nuevo Reino de León" during those early years of conquest and colonization, and we have evidence of such names and surnames as Cavassos, Cavassoni (Cavazos); Juseppe Cantú (Cantú); Treminio (Treviño). These and other Italians became prominent players in the affairs of Nuevo León during the 17th Century.

After Juan Bautista Chapa arrived in the Kingdom of Nuevo León, he served as secretary to the cabildo (city) of Cadereyta, Nuevo León. He also served as secretary to Capt. Alonso de León, who later became known as the Explorer of Texas. He also served under de León in various skirmishes against the Indians of the area, and in de León’s attempt to oust the French from Texas in 1686.

Upon his arrival in Nuevo León, he was granted land to build his home and raise cattle. In the year 1653, he married Doña Beatriz Treviño de Olivares, daughter of the prominent and wealthy Juan de Olivares, an eminent Nuevo León soldier, miner and property owner who resided in what is now known as the Villa de Marín.

Juan Bautista Chapa traveled in high places within the politics of the times in Nuevo León. He served various governors and other distinguished administrators, was secretary to Gov. Don Martín de Zavala, Lt. Governor Don Roque V. de Buitrago, and Gov. Don León de Alza, all of which gave him access and allowed him to participate in many areas of government businesses. He also was administrator of the estate of Gov. Don Nicolás de Azcárraga, with whom he enjoyed an excellent friendship.

In 1686, the Viceroy Marqués de la Laguna organized one of several expeditions into Texas in which Chapa served as secretary to Captain Alonso de León, with whom he had developed a strong friendship during his years in Cadereyta. Capt. de León later was named governor and captain of Coahuila, and we know that Chapa followed him as his personal secretary. Chapa also participated in the second and third expeditions into Texas, and in one of his chronicles he admits to having reached the river they called Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe. He also chronicled that he participated in the discovery of the Bahía de Espíritu Santo.

Part 2 of 2 – The Later Years.
November 1, 2009

Italian settler to Nuevo León Juan Bautista Chapa (1631-1695) was a highly cultured individual now considered to be the author, along with Alonso de León and Fernando Sánchez de Zamora, of the Historia de Nuevo León: con noticias sobre Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Texas y Nuevo México - 1690 (The History of Nuevo León (Northern México): With Information on Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Texas and New Mexico – 1690.

This vast literature includes information on the journeys and incidents, along with descriptions of the area now known as Texas and is a valuable piece of history that indicates and supports how vast was the adventure these explorers and historians accomplished.

In it he informs the reader how he and Capt. Alonso de León would deposit, along any lake or river, male and female animals that were left behind so they could wander and eventually reproduce, creating by these acts a large number of wild horses, sheep and other species later found and identified by later explorers and settlers of Texas.

He and his wife, Doña Beatriz Treviño de Olivares, had four sons, Nicolás, Juan Bautista, Gaspar and José María, and two daughters, Doña María and Doña Juana. All of his sons served in the military.

Cuervo de Valdés, then governor of Nuevo León, bestowed on Chapa a great amount of land that connected to well-known municipalities such as General Treviño, Parás and Agualeguas. José María Chapa, his son, was the founder of the municipality of General Treviño, a fact that reveals the prominence and important service Juan Bautista Chapa provided the Spanish Crown throughout his long years in Nuevo León.

In 1688 he served as attorney general for the city of Monterrey, and throughout his years of service to Nuevo León , Coahuila and Texas, he was never considered a foreigner in his adopted land.

Brownsville native Dr. Lino García Jr. is Professor Emeritus of Spanish Literature at UTPA. He can be reached at (956) 383-3441, or by email at

Sent by Eddie Garcia





Dinero isn't Dinner by Margarita B. Velez
Amarillo Had a Snowstorm by Viola Rodriguez Sadler



                    Margarita B. Velez



            Mispronounced words and different accents punctuate our conversation, and make life interesting.  Whenever I hear a slip of the tongue, it reminds me of my own experiences, and makes me smile.  It’s also a good way to start a conversation. 

            Mama’s only sister speaks English with a pronounced accent.  Tia Luz is a petite shy woman who boosts my ego, and brings joy to my life.

            A favorite memory is from the day when she was visiting, and I sauntered in wearing a bright yellow dress.  Looking up, Tía Luz exclaimed, “Ay mija, que bonita te ves en jello.”  The vision of me squiggling in lemon gelatin made me smile.  But, I knew that her compliment meant that I looked good in the “yellow” dress.  Another time she said, “Margie es muy esmart.”  Her words are etched in my mind, and still give me encouragement.

            My friend, Mike lived in Central America when his father served with the Foreign Service.  At a formal dinner, Mike tells of trying out his high-school Spanish with a diplomat’s daughter while her mother eyed them closely.  Mike said something that caused the young lady to blush, and he fumbled for the Spanish word for “embarrass.” 

“Perdone que la embaracé, Señorita.”  Mike said with confidence.  The mother gasped in horror, and the young lady stiffened as fat tears spilled from her blazing eyes.  In trying to apologize for embarrassing the girl, Mike instead had apologized getting her pregnant!  It took a lot of diplomacy on his father’s part to explain Mike’s faux pas.

            Tía Ester was riding the bus when a seatmate asked for the time.  Tía was about to tell her it was 8:30, but didn’t know the English word for half past the hour.  Silently she remembered that “media” means “stocking” and “half” in Spanish.  My aunt declared, “It’s eight and stocking.”  Her companion looked perplexed.  Tía Ester had picked the wrong word.  My aunt extended her wrist, and let the woman read the time for herself.  She remembers her companion’s warm smile of understanding.

            As a young boy, my father was working for a non-Spanish speaker.  Papa was learning to speak English, but didn’t yet know the word for money.  When he went to ask for his pay, Papa struggled for the term, but couldn’t come up with it.  Dinero…dinner…” He decided to anglicize the word and said, “I want my dinner.”

            The kindly woman brought him a sandwich.  Papa ate it, and asked for his “dinner” again.  The woman brought him another sandwich.  Papa polished off the second serving with much less enthusiasm, and asked for his “dinner” again.  The confused woman questioned him about his insatiable hunger.  Papa was frustrated but undaunted.  He decided not to say “dinner” again. 

In Spanish he requested “mi dinero” and rubbed his thumb over his fingers in the familiar gesture meaning money.  Finally the woman’s face lit up, and she rushed for her purse.  Papa chuckled when he told how the woman hurriedly paid him, and sent him on his way.

At a PTA installation ceremony in front of a large crowd, I once said, “leadersheep” instead of leadership.  When snickers rose from the audience, my face turned red.  Looking at the crowd I hesitated, and then remembered my father’s experience.  I cleared my throat, smiled, pronounced the word properly, and went on with my speech.

            Laughing at our mistakes helps us to overcome embarrassment, and we can learn from the experience.  Sometimes if I stumble with “ch” and “sh,” and mispronounce “share” or “ Charlotte ” you might hear me say, “The taco slipped out,” just before I let out a chuckle.


 From “Stories from the Barrio and Other ‘Hoods” by Margarita B. Velez.  Margarita Velez an author from El Paso , Texas also wrote “Border Buster,” a novel about corruption and drug dealing on both sides of U.S./Mexico border.  “Stories…” is $20.00 and “Border Buster” is $29.95 with tax, shipping and handling included.  Contact the author at for a signed copy or buy through 

Editor: Sometimes "the taco slips out with me too.  Overall, what I have observed is a feeling of inadequacy on my part in pronouncing new words.  During a conversation, I know the word which would best describe what I am trying to convey, but I not sure of the pronunciation, so I opt for another word in public.  At home, I ask!!


Amarillo Had a Snowstorm
by Viola Rodriguez Sadler

Hubby brought to my attention today (March 28, 2009) that Amarillo had a blizzard this week-end. The snowstorm brought more than 10 inches of snow to parts of the Texas panhandle. You can see a slide show of the snow storm at the newspaper website.

This brought some memories of how I got to Amarillo to begin my teaching career in the first place. I was fresh out of the University of Texas with a life-time teaching credential and a bachelor’s degree in Education with a major in English and minor in Spanish.

The education recruiters who came to Austin that summer of 1962 were looking for native speakers to teach foreign languages. I don’t remember going to too many interviews, but I had narrowed my choices to either Deer Park of Dallas or Amarillo, way up north in the Texas panhandle.

Somehow the Amarillo job sounded more exotic since it was so far from home. In the months before going to Amarillo I had to buy a car and find my way to that far off city. The farthest north I had driven was San Antonio. I had driven to Laredo and even to Monterrey, Mexico, but I was going to drive into unknown territory. That sounded both scary and exciting to this sheltered, naïve girl.

I knew that Tío Miguel had been to northern Texas, so I asked his advice on how to get to Amarillo. He gave me some instructions, although I do not remember just what he said. Mom was to be my navigator and little brother was along to give moral support.

I guess we had a map of Texas with us, but I mainly remembered the sequence of towns we were to cross on the way to Amarillo. I don’t remember the number designations of the highways where we traveled. I remember that most of the towns had directional signs to either the next town or toward a larger city. I mainly guided myself by watching for those signs. My mom was not the best navigator (I can say that now that she is no longer here to deny it).

At that time the highways were mainly two lanes. The lanes were divided by a single white line, but sometimes there was also the yellow line. The yellow line was sometimes solid, sometimes broken and sometimes on one side of the white line and other times on the other side of the white line. I quickly figured out that the yellow line was to guide the driver when it was safe to pass, especially in the hill country.

It took us pretty much the whole day to get to Amarillo. We had packed food, and stopped only to get gas and the potty stops were only at gas stations in those days. There were no fast food places yet, and no rest areas--how did we do it, then?

When we got to Amarillo we went to the school district office, and the school secretary helped us find a place to stay. It was a small rental apartment in the back of a house in the north side of town. All three of us slept there for a couple of nights. While Mom and brother were still with me we found the local Woolworth and bought a couple of plates, forks, spoons, and I don’t remember what else. I might have even bought a skillet or pan.

Then it was time for them to leave. I drove Mom and brother to the Greyhound (or was it Trailways?) bus station. I stayed there until it was time for their bus to depart for Robstown. That’s when it really hit me! I was alone in a strange city, starting a position I was not experienced with, and I had to rely on no one but me!

I watched the bus pulling out of the depot and waved at my kid brother who was sitting by the window. I was trying to control my emotion of the moment, but when I saw my eight-year old brother crying as he waved good-bye, I began to cry, too. I walked to my car, sat there, and, knowing there was no reason for inhibition, just bawled out loud.

I did not stay in that apartment that was behind a house. When we had our teacher orientation the next day, the French teacher and I decided we should share rent on an apartment. When I went to pick up my things at the first apartment, I paid the lady for the couple of nights and settled for my teaching assignment at Tascosa High School. I think she might have asked for $10 for both nights.

And that brings me back to the snowstorm in Amarillo. Four or five months after the school year began I experienced my first snow. I recall the morning after we'd had a snowfall in the evening. I went from window to window to window in our small apartment. I was in awe of the beauty of that white blanket. It was a joyful new experience for me. Yes, this year was when I experienced a lot of firsts. Snow was just one.



Networking Strategies for Family History Research 
Photos go online offering glimpse into old O.C.  
Presentation by John P. Schmal:  History and Heritage of Indigenous Mexico

     Networking Strategies for Family History Research

If you have decided that 2010 is the year that you are going to finally start researching your family lines, this is a fun meeting not to miss.  The board members of the Society of Hispanic Heritage and Ancestral Research,  SHHAR will be sharing internet websites that they have found of particular value.  Viola Rodriguez Sadler will share her Blog, Memorias-Memories which beautifully connects the past to the present.             >>NO COST<<

December 5th, 9:30-11:30 AM
Orange Family History Center
674 S. Yorba, Orange  92863-6471



Photos go online offering glimpse into old O.C.

First American Corporation has posted a sample of its vast photo collection online.
By DOUG IRVING, The Orange County Register, Monday, October 26, 2009  



SANTA ANA – A treasure trove of old photographs that show Orange County as a place of starched collars, bathing bloomers and wide-open spaces has gone digital, a black-and-white birthday gift from The First American Corporation.

The online photo album represents just a tiny fraction of the 12,452 photographs that the Santa Ana-based business-information company has amassed over the years. But it does offer a glimpse into the past of Orange County communities, from Anaheim to Yorba Linda.

An early photo, posted on First American's Website, shows Huntington Beach Photo courtesy of First American Corporation.

Wreckage due to the Long Beach 1933 earthquake.


The photos are at  .  First American posted them in celebration of its own 120th birthday, and the 120th anniversary of the creation of 
Orange County itself.


Presentation by John P. Schmal  
History and Heritage of Indigenous Mexico, viewed from the perspective of language


November 7th SHHAR meeting, Orange Family History Center
 LtoR: Viola Rodriguez Sadler, John P. Schmal, Adelena 
Photo by Pat Lozano


John P. Schmal, historian, genealogist, author presented an outstanding study on the History and Heritage of Indigenous Mexico, viewed from the perspective of language.  Schmal's presentation was enhanced with a power point presentation: "Indigenous Mexico: An Introduction to Mexico's Remarkable Diversity".  El Instituto Nacional de Lenguas Indígenas (INALI) recognizes 364 language variants in México.

You may view the entire presentation 

Schmal has done extensive research on the indigenous tribes of Mexico.  You will find a whole series of his studies at:


Dec 5th: Eugene A. Obregon Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial Monument
Tikkun Olam - To Repair the World by George Yepes 


      You’re Invited, December 5th, 2009 

The Obregon CMH Foundation invites you to the unveiling of the “Wall of Honor” on Saturday, December 5, 2009 @ 11am PST at El Pueblo’s Father Serra Park in Los Angeles, CA. Please feel free to share this invite with your individual networks! 

For any additional questions on event sponsorship or to RSVP, please contact or (213) 236-3751. 


TOWN LOS ANGELES - City crews last week began digging at El Pueblo Memorial to Pay Tribute to East L.A. Native and Other War Heroes
by Richard Guzmán
Published: Friday, October 30, 2009

Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument to build a $1 million memorial that will pay tribute to soldiers whose feats of bravery earned them the Congressional Medal of Honor. Ultimately, it will bestow 
a special tribute on a man from East Los Angeles.

On Monday, Oct. 26, earth movers began excavating a three-foot deep, 30-foot long trench at Father Serra Park, at the corner of Los Angeles and Alameda Streets, across the street from Olvera Street. The memorial, called the Wall of Honor, will contain the names of all Congressional Medal of Honor recipients since the award’s creation by President Abraham Lincoln in 1862. About 3,000 names will be inscribed.

The wall is part of the Eugene A. Obregon Congressional Medal of Honor Memorial Monument. In addition to recognizing Obregon, who saved a fellow soldier during the Korean War, it will also honor the 40 Latino recipients of the medal, said William Douglas Lansford, a WWII and Korean War veteran and founder of the Eugene A. Obregon CMH Memorial Foundation, the monument builders.

The wall will be unveiled in December. Lansford said the final piece of the memorial will be a 20-foot tall structure. Bronze figures will depict Obregon and a fellow soldier, Bert M. Johnson.

Question of Approvals:
Obregon was a 19-year-old Marine who, in a battle against a North Korean platoon, saved the life of Johnson before being shot and killed himself. He received the Medal of Honor posthumously.

Lansford said he hopes the larger part of the memorial will open next ear. However, that timeline may be ambitious, said Cynthia Ruiz, president of the city’s Board of Public Works, who has worked with the nonprofit to facilitate the process.

While the foundation has been working on the memorial for more than 10 years, it still needs to raise the bulk of the $1 million for the final phase of the project. Only about $60,000 has been secured, paying for the wall and some flags that have been erected.

Although work has begun, some have questioned whether the project has received the proper approvals. In a letter to Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Jean Bruce Poole and Frank Damon, co-presidents of the El Pueblo Park Association, an organization formed in 1982 to promote El Pueblo, said the project apparently has not received a green light from the department’s Board of Commissioners. They also asked if an Environmental Impact Report was prepared and if the project meets conditions set forth by the California Environmental Quality Act.

Ruiz said the current phase of construction is allowed, and that the future, larger memorial will require an EIR.  “The final phase is a much bigger footprint,” she said.

The Obregon Foundation has gone before the commission several times, and received approval for the project about eight years ago, she said.

Officials with El Pueblo did not return calls for comment. David Louie, a member of the board of commissioners, would only say that the project has not received a final approval from the commission.

Worth the Wait: 
Lansford, who watched as the digging started last week, said building the monument has been a long and difficult task, but is well worth it to honor men who fought for their country.

“We’ve been working on this for years… and are going to get this done because they need to be recognized for their sacrifices,” he said. “People should understand that Latinos have contributed substantially, including their lives and limbs, to the welfare of this country.”

Huizar, whose 14th District includes El Pueblo, is a strong supporter of the monument.

“It’s easy for us in our day-to-day lives to forget the sacrifices that brave men and women have made to protect our freedoms as Americans,” he said via email. “This memorial will be a physical reminder of those sacrifices and a tribute to true heroes of our society.”

Even before the monument, Obregon’s achievements earned him several honors. He was the first Marine to have a ship in the Navy named after him; the SS Pfc. Eugene A. Obregon, which transports supplies for the military.

Heroic Actions: 
A July 2001 issue of Leatherneck Magazine of the Marines provides the details of Obregon’s heroic actions.

While serving as an ammunition carrier for a machine gun squad, Obregon saw fellow Marine Johnson get shot. He ran to his aid and tried to pull him to safety while firing back at Korean troops with a pistol.

As Korean troops approached, he picked up Johnson’s machine gun. As he positioned his body to shield Johnson’s, he began to fire again.

When he ran out of bullets Obregon pulled a grenade and threw it at the enemy. At that point he was shot and killed.

According to the article, before Obregon died, other Marines at the scene said they saw him say something to Johnson. After Johnson regained his health, he said that Obregon told him, “‘Bert, if we’re going down, we’ll go down fighting like Marines.’”

Contact Richard Guzmán at
Sent by Mercy Bautista Olvera  



Tikkun Olam - To Repair the World 
by George Yepes  1997 Acrylic, 36' x 36'.
White Memorial Medical Plaza, 
Cesar Chavez Ave between State and Boyle tikkun_olam.html

An example from the George Yepes Signature "Chingon" Guitar series, Robert Rodriquez collectionGreat variety of artistic expressions, candles, greeting cards, acrylic on paper, gift sets, specialty items, custom guitars, serigraphs-etchings, new works, paintings, murals, sketches.  

Artist Yepes'  biography includes a very well compiled family history and personal biography going back to his grandparents in Mexico.  Please go to the site for George Yepes' detailed history and many family photos.

Among some of the family surnames are: Duenas, Garcia, Loreto,  Rico, Villafana,

1904 – Josefa Rico Villafana (George Yepes’ maternal Grandmother) was born on March 28, in Autlan, Jalisco.

1918 – Salvador Duenas Yepes (George Yepes' father) was born on December 6, in Jacona, Michoacan, Mexico.

George grew up in the Fisher Street house; in City Terrace Park in general; and in East Los Angeles at large. At Our Lady of Soledad Grammar School, from 1st grade through 8th grade, he was elected class president. At the Maravilla Housing Projects and Belvedere Park, he garnered All City and All County Championships in Football, Basketball, and Baseball. Every year at Bishop Mora Salesian High, he was elected class president, his last 3 years he ran un-opposed, senior year he was elected Student Body President. At Salesian he was the outside linebacker at 135 lbs., but would sweat down to 118 lbs to box as a Bantamweight 35 – 0, 32 knockouts. In his neighborhood, as a juvenile, he was shot twice, and stabbed three times, all before his 18th birthday. All of his juvenile activities stopped in 1974 when he began to pursue dual majors in Art and Business at California State University Los Angeles. Also in 1974, he was able to join the Public Art Center.

Back in the summer of 1966, at the age of ten, while playing in the Brannick Street dead end behind City Terrace Park, George had found a blue steal rusted briefcase full of oil paints. By 1970 he begun his professional career as a painter, then muralist.
Called "The City's Preeminent Badass Muralist" (L.A. New Times - June 2000), and named a "Treasure of Los Angeles" in 1997 by Mayor Richard Riordan and the Los Angeles City Council, painter George Yepes takes no prisoners.
Born in Tijuana, raised in East L.A., and formed by a hard street life of poverty, gang violence, and womanizing, this painter rises above and beyond the Chicano genre by calling on classical master works from Velasquez to Titian for inspiration. Self-taught, with a refined renaissance bent; from religious iconography to erotica George Yepes brings a confidence and knowledge of his craft that calls to mind the great Mexican Muralists. Imbued with a contemporary street sense, his paintings and murals combine the best of both worlds where bravado meets classical standards. This is a painter who could have challenged the old greats in the salon, or kicked their asses in the back alley.
One of the more prolific painters in the Chicano Mural Movement of the late 70's, Yepes gained his early reputation as a ferocious painter when he painted with notables from Carlos Almaraz and Frank Romero to Gilbert "Magu" Lujan. He then became an instrumental partner in the mural group "East Los Streetscapers" until he decided that group painting wasn't suited to his temperament or pace. With grand scale and furious momentum Yepes has painted over 800,000 square feet of eloquent social, historical, and sacred images onto the facades of everything from churches, hospitals and freeway overpasses to album covers. His album cover for Los Lobos titled La Pistola y el Corazon has won numerous awards, and is in many museum collections. (Sean Penn and Madonna bought the original painting for a record-breaking sum in 1989.) His 28 murals are landmarks in Los Angeles, as are the 21 murals his Academia de Arte Yepes students have painted. The Academia is his free mural painting academy through which Yepes has taught nearly 1500 low-income students over the last decade. His mural painting concepts and designs continue to be studied by graduate students and scholars across the United States.

Shared by George Yepes



Gardeners of Identity: Basques in San Francisco Bay Area 


Reno, NV — November 5, 2009 — The Center for Basque Studies is proud to announce 
the publication of Gardeners of Identity: Basques in San Francisco Bay Area by Pedro J. Oiarzabal. The book uses historical archive research and voluminous interviews to trace the history of San Francisco’s Basque population from the city’s prehistory to the present.

The publication of Gardeners of Identity: Basques in the San Francisco Bay Area (ISBN 978-1-877802-88-1, 368 pages, illustrations, $29.95) is the fourth in the Center for Basque Studies’ Migration and Diaspora Studies series. The Center, at the University of Nevada, Reno, is the world’s foremost publisher of Basque-related topics in the English language. For more information or to order review copies of Gardeners of Identity, contact: 
Daniel Montero, Center for Basque Studies Publications Coordinator at the University of Nevada, Reno ( Phone: +1-775-682-5587

Sincerely, Pedro J. Oiarzabal, PhD
Euskalidentity Kultur Elkartea
Check my profile hub @   




A Cuban family's lucky ticket - to California


Richard Arche's grandfather won $56,000 in the Irish Sweepstakes, and a start here.
By RICHARD ARCHE, The Orange County Register, Thursday, September 17, 2009

My family came to California thanks to my grandfather and a winning Irish Sweepstakes ticket he had bought in 1964.

Before the Cuban Revolution of the late 1950s, my grandfather's family had long owned and operated a successful sugar refinery in Cuba. 

Richard Arche, right, with his wife, Rene, left, and daughter, Richelle, center. Richard Arche, son of Cuban immigrants, was born in Miami. 
Photo: courtesy of Richard Arche.

My grandfather told me that his father's customers had included Joseph Kennedy, President John F. Kennedy's father. Arche´ family legend had it that the Kennedys were using the sugar for a bootlegging operation. My grandfather had also told me that his customers also included the Bacardi family, who used the sugar for their rum. 

The Arché family's sugar refinery and operation were taken over by Castro after he rose to power. 

Many members of our family came to the United States in the late 1950s and early 1960s, including my grandfather, Carlos (Charles); grandmother, Maria; my father, mother, and brother; and my father's three brothers and their families. Like many refugees, they all left Cuba with little more than a change of clothes.

I am the first member of my family to be born in the United States. I was born in Miami in September 1959, the second of three children born to Henry and Haydee Arché. My older brother, Enrique, was born in Havana before the family fled to the United States; my younger sister Gina was also born in Miami. 

Although the family had been financially secure in Cuba, they were struggling to get by in the United States. 

However, my grandfather still liked to bet on the horses, and in 1964 one of his wagers resulted in a payoff that would better the lives of the whole family. 

He had bought a $3 Irish Sweepstakes ticket from a woman who had been selling them door-to-door. His horse, Lionhearted, finished second in the derby at Dublin, resulting in a $56,000 payoff. He learned of the windfall via a telegram from Dublin. 

Although at the time it was illegal per U.S. laws to receive sweepstakes or lottery winnings via the mail, and possessing a sweeps ticket was a misdemeanor in Florida, my grandfather risked a potential jail term or penalty and cashed in his ticket. He was even highlighted in a front-page article in the Miami Herald's Sunday, June 28, 1964 issue.

My grandfather's $3 wager proved to be the jump-start to security in their newly adopted country for the entire Arché family. 

My grandfather eventually moved himself and my grandmother, along with my immediate family and another aunt and uncle, to Los Angeles, where he invested his winnings (minus what he owed to the IRS) in real estate. 

While my grandparents never achieved the same level of financial security they had enjoyed in Cuba, they were comfortable here in California. My grandfather died in 1977, and my grandmother outlived him by almost 15 years, during which time she was able to enjoy traveling around the world thanks to how my grandfather had invested his winnings. 

Her proudest moment, nevertheless, was the day she achieved her U.S. citizenship, and she was forever grateful to the United States for the new opportunities she and my grandfather had been given. 

As for my parents and siblings, our lives in California can be credited to that single $3 wager on the Irish Sweepstakes — without it, we probably would never have left Florida.

Sent by Ron Gonzales 


Juana Briones Heritage Foundation


Dear Friends,

It has been awhile since I have sent out a message to the "Juana Briones Heritage Foundation" list .  As many of you will know, the Foundation is no longer in existence.  Unable to raise the funds necessary to purchase the Juana Briones House, and the house facing court ordered demolition, the foundation used its modest funds to establish a state historical marker near Juana's home. Thinking that the house would be no more after 2007, we measured, drew and photographed every inch of it in May of 2007. 

There have been some interesting and significant developments in the cause of saving from demolition the oldest dwelling in the Mid Peninsula (Palo Alto, Stanford, Los Altos, Menlo Park).

1. The house, though neglected and imprisoned, remains, and there is no immediate prospect of demolition.  

2.  The house stands because a small group of people provided the money to retain the services of a leading preservationist attorney, Susan Brant-Hawley, and her efforts have convinced the court that the building cannot be demolished without going through appropriate Environmental review.  You might wish to give a present to Juana, by sending a contribution to the Brandt-Hawley Law Group at POB 1659, Glen Ellen, CA 95442.   Mark it Juana Briones.    

3.  Jeanne McDonnell's scholarly work, "Juana Briones of 19th Century California," has been published and is available in most public libraries and through the University of Arizona Press.    One of her greatest achievements was the discovery was a true photograph of Juana Briones which had lain in the Bolinas archive for all these years.    Thank you Jeanne. 

4.  The community of concern regarding Juana's Casa continues to grow.  Professor Al Camarillo does not let this issue die.  He knows that this house it is of great symbolic and actual significance to the history of Spanish speaking people in California. Though his offices and those of the Stanford Archivist, a collection of original documents and ephemera of the efforts to save the Juana Briones House is in process of being established.  It is this writer’s hope that the University will be the ultimate savior of this house.  It is only logical that a great University would act to preserve the historical legacy of its geographical setting.  

5. We continue to make alliances with Historical Preservationists, Chicano activists, Feminist and Progressive political movements. We have held public demonstrations and will continue to do so though out the coming year.  Specifically we propose a festive demonstration in support of La Casa de Juana on the weekend of her birthday, March 12, 2010.  Put Sunday, March 14th on your calendar. It will be held at the Juana Briones Park, on Arastradero Rd, Palo Alto.    Join us for a joyous occasion with Mariachi, dancing, singing and cake. 

6.  Some among us are trying to contact wealthy people who live in the Mid-Peninsula with the hope that some of them would see the historic opportunity to make a lasting contribution to the history of our region, by funding the salvation of La Casa de Juana Briones.

7. Please know that these are individual efforts.  We are not a foundation, any monies you might send to support the cause are gifts, and cannot be claimed as income tax deductions.  If you would like to contribute in a manner that allows for tax deduction you can do so though the local historical organization, Palo Alto Stanford Heritage at PAST, P.O .Box 302 Palo Alto, CA 94302. and indicate the check is for Juana Briones.  

A few of us have been meeting informally and we will meet again, Saturday December 12. I you wish to attend, please contact me and I will provide details.

Miracles Happen.  Viva Juana y su casa.  

Clark Akatiff




Vida En El Valle, interview with René Aguilera

Joaquin,  I am featured in today's Sacramento Bee edition of it's bi-lingual newspaper "Vida En El Valle" that is inserted in the Sacramento Bee, Fresno Bee and Modesto Bee targeted to Spanish-Surname subscribers and in many tacqueria's all over the Central Valley.  While I was at UC Davis in a Chicano Studies Class that Adaljiza Sosa-Ridell taught - I learned that once I graduated from UC Davis that it was important for all of us to go back and serve our community in as many ways as possible.   . . . . René Aguilera

ROSEVILLE -- Durante los últimos 20 años, René Aguilera ha sido uno de las personalidades más destacadas dentro de la comunidad latina en la región.

La labor que ha desarrollado va desde miembro de la Junta Directiva del Distrito Escolar de Roseville hasta la protección de los derechos civiles de los ciudadanos.

Su carrera al servicio de la comunidad la inició en 1986 como camarógrafo para la cadena Univisión en Sacramento en donde tuvo la oportunidad de conocer de cerca las necesidades de la comunidad latina y de ahí surgió su idea de ayudar a "su gente."

"Gracias a la gran cantidad de reportajes que se cubrían sobre los latino fue que poco a poco me fui dando cuenta de los problemas que enfrenta nuestra gente y esa fue mi motivación para trabajar en pro de su bienestar," comentó Aguilera, quien actualmente funge como coordinador de Caltrans en donde participa dentro del programa de derechos civiles.

Orgullos de sus raíces mexicanas, Aguilera se ha desarrollado en todas las áreas de la comunidad como el ámbito educativo, social, empresarial y de defensa de los más necesitados.

During the last 20 years, René Aguilera has been one of the Sacramento region's leading figures in the Latino community.

His efforts range from serving on the Roseville School District board to helping protect residents' civil rights.

His community service career began in 1986 as a cameraman with the Univisión television station in Sacramento, where he had the opportunity to see up-close the needs of the Latino communities. That is when he came up with the idea of helping "my people."

"Thanks to the large amount of reports on Latinos, little by little I became aware of the problems that our people encountered. That was my motivation to work for their well-being," said Aguilera, who currently works for Caltrans.

Was there a point where you felt proud to be an American./ ¿Había un momento dónde te sentiste orgullo de ser americano?

"In 1976 as a 15 year old, I boarded an airplane for the first time in my life and was part of a group of high school students that went on a life-changing trip. It was the (U.S.) Bicentennial and we celebrated being Americans by visiting Washington D.C., Philadelphia, New York City, Virginia and Maryland. I was very proud to be an American and after this trip I felt destined to serve my community in some way as a public servant as they did."

"En 1976, cuando tenía 15 años, subí por primera vez a un avión y fue un viaje con un grupo de estudiantes de secundaria que íbamos a la celebración del Bicentenario de América libre y celebramos el hecho de ser americanos. Visitamos Washington DC, Filadelfia, Nueva York, Virginia y Maryland. Yo estaba muy orgulloso de ser estadounidense y después de este viaje me sentía destinado a servir a mi comunidad, de alguna manera como un servidor público."

What was learning English like for you./ ¿Cómo fue la experiencia de aprender inglés?

"My parents who were from the great state of Chihuahua, México spoke Spanish at home so I did as well. I have two older brothers and sisters and they were my role models and my examples of learning to read and write in English and to earn good grades. My parents had to leave México in their teens for better economic conditions and luckily they came to Roseville in Placer County because the public schools teach you how to write and speak English and Spanish."

"Mis padres, que eran del gran estado de Chihuahua, México, hablaban español en casa y así fue como lo aprendí. Tengo dos hermanos mayores y fueron mis modelos a seguir y mis ejemplos de aprender a leer y escribir en Inglés y obtener buenas calificaciones. Mis padres tuvieron que salir de México en su adolescencia en busca de mejores condiciones económicas y por suerte llegaron a Roseville, California, en el condado de Placer en donde en las escuelas públicas se enseñaba cómo escribir y hablar inglés y español."

What makes you proud of being in the United States?./ ¿Qué te hace sentir orgullo de estar en los Estados Unidos?

"I took a 3-week vacation this summer in Europe and visited five different countries in Austria, Hungary, England, and Greece and what me proud was to say to my fellow foreigners that I was from America -- a true melting pot of people from all walks of life. Everyone I met in Europe asked me about America and how I liked living there and I told them that America is truly a land of opportunity."

"Este verano estuve en Europa por 3 semanas y visité 4 países, Austria, Hungría, Inglaterra y Grecia, y lo que me llenaba de orgullo era decir a mis colegas extranjeros que era de los Estados Unidos -- el cual es un verdadero crisol de gente de todo el mundo. Toda la gente que conocí en Europa me preguntaba acerca de los Estados Unidos y si me gustaba vivir aquí y yo les contestaba que los Estados Unidos es realmente una tierra de oportunidades."

What makes you sad about living in the United States./ ¿Qué te hace sentir triste de vivir en los Estados Unidos?

"What makes me sad about living in the United States is how many people live in poverty or that are homeless. In Placer County luckily there are a coalition of churches that are creating a place called The Gathering Inn, where the homeless, including familes, get picked up everyday at 3:30 p.m. and taken to a church gym for shelter at night. It makes me very sad that even most families are living from paycheck to paycheck."

"Lo que me pone triste de los Estados Unidos es el número de personas que viven en la pobreza o que carecen de un hogar. En el Condado de Placer por suerte hay una coalición de iglesias que están financiando un lugar llamado "The Gathering Inn" el cual alberga a personas sin hogar, incluyendo familias que son recogidas diariamente a las 3:30 p.m. de una iglesia para llevarlas a pasar la noche en el albergue. Me entristece ver a todas estas familias que viven de cheque en cheque."

Do you feel you have been accepted 100 percent here in the United States?/ ¿Piensas que te han aceptado 100 por ciento aquí en los Estados Unidos?

"My dad worked at the Southern Pacific Railroad for 42 years in Roseville and my mother was a Placer County migrant director, so their work ethic made me realize that in order to be accepted you need to be able to feel proud about what you do. That gave me lots of love and affection and gave me the self-confidence to do well in school and try to make a difference. I feel I have been accepted 100 percent in the U.S. because I adapt to everyone's likes and dislikes."

"Mi papá trabajaba en el Ferrocarril del Pacífico Sur durante 42 años en Roseville, y mi madre era directora de Servicios Migratorios del Condado de Placer por lo que su ética de trabajo me hizo darme cuenta de que para ser aceptado tiene que ser capaz de sentirte orgulloso de lo que haces. Eso me dio mucho amor y cariño y además la confianza para hacerlo bien en la escuela y tratar de hacer una diferencia. Siento que he sido aceptado el 100 por ciento en los Estados Unidos porque me he sabido adaptar a todos."

What is the worst stereotype that non-Latinos in the U.S. have about Latinos?/ ¿Qué es el peor estereotipo que los no latinos tiene en los Estados Unidos sobre los latinos?

"The worst stereotype that non-Latinos in the U.S. have about Latinos is in regards to immigration or immigrants entering the United States. When Lou Dobbs or Rush Limbaugh say immigrants are over-running America and taking the jobs that are available, and draining the country's resources that is simply wrong. I also dislike it when an anti-immigrant bafoon states that immigrants are allegedly taking away the American cultural and political unity, and that Latinos are not entitled to constitutional rights. The worst stereotype is when people that are not educated say all Latinos are here illegally when in fact most Latinos are here in the U.S. legally working hard, paying taxes and providing for their families."

"El peor estereotipo de los latinos en los Estados Unidos es acerca del tema de la inmigración. Cuando Lou Dobbs y Rush Limbaugh dicen que los inmigrantes están invadiendo el país, tomando los trabajos que están disponibles y que agotan los recursos del país eso es completamente falso. También me disgusta cuando algún racista dice que los inmigrantes vienen a quitarle al país la unidad cultural y política, y que los latinos no tienen derecho a los derechos constitucionales. El peor estereotipo es cuando las personas que no están educados dicen que todos los latinos están aquí ilegalmente, cuando en realidad la mayoría de los latinos aquí viven legalmente, trabajan muy duro, pagan sus impuestos y mantienen a sus familias."

What is the worst stereotype that Mexicans have about non-Latinos in the U.S.?/ ¿Qué es el peor estereotipo que mexicanos tiene sobre los no latinos en los Estados Unidos?

"The worst stereotype that Mexicans have about non-Latinos in the U.S. is that some are racists because they are in powerful positions like law enforcement officers and that they racial-profile against Mexicans. Of course, this is not always true but the media seems to always portray Mexicans as getting arrested as part of drug cartels like on the TV show 'Cops.'"

"Nuestro peor estereotipo que los mexicanos tenemos sobre los no latinos es que algunos son racistas, porque están en posiciones de poder, como oficiales de la ley y que el perfil racial contra los mexicanos. Por supuesto, esto no siempre es cierto, pero los medios de comunicación parece que siempre representan a los mexicanos como las personas que son arrestadas o como miembros de los cárteles de la droga como en el programa de TV 'Cops.'"

What was the best advice your parents gave you about growing up in the U.S./ ¿Qué fue la mejor sugerencia que tus padres te dieron?

"My dad always told me, "I was lucky." He also said "that no one could ever take you education away from you" and that he did not want me "to be a statistic and drop out of high school." I think back to his advice and I really am lucky because I am a product of my environment thanks to growing in a stable place and because of my cultural background. My mom always said "to stay involved in your community" and that is why as I was growing up in Roseville, I was fortunate enough to not be involved in gangs or do drugs or hung out with the wrong people."

"Mi papá siempre dijo, "Tuve suerte." También decía que "nadie puede tomar la educación lejos de mi" y que él no quería ser una "estadística más de la deserción escolar." Ahora vuelvo a pensar en su consejo y realmente soy afortunado porque yo soy producto de mi entorno, gracias al crecimiento en un lugar establede mi formación cultural. Mi mamá siempre decía que "siempre estuviera involucrado en mi comunidad." Tuve la suerte de no ser involucrados en pandillas o consumir drogas o estar con la gente equivocada."

When you've gone back to visit México, have you been treated any differently by Mexican because you've lived in the U.S. your entire life?/ ¿Cuándo ha ido a México, te han tratado diferente porque naciste aquí o porque has vivido la mayor parte de tu vida aquí?

"I visited Mexico last year as I visited Baja California and other than people saying "eres del otro lado" or eres "americano" I did not any different. They understand I can go freely with my passport between countries. They ask me questions about living in the U.S. my entire life and tell me how lucky I am."

"La última vez que visité México fue el año pasado y visité Baja California y la gente me decía "eres del otro lado" o "eres americano." Ellos entienden que puedo viajar libremente con mi pasaporte entre los dos países. Me hacen preguntas sobre la vida en los Estados Unidos durante toda mi vida y me dicen lo afortunado que soy."

Was a higher education ever important in your family as you were growing up?/ ¿Fue importante ir al colegio para tu familia cuando eras más joven?

"My parents preached to us from an early age that we were going to college. Luckily for me, my older brothers were also student body president at Roseville High School as was I and they also graduated from the University of California, Davis as did I so it was ingrained in my head: I was going to to college! My parents had only an elementary education back in Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México and started working very young but they were a great example to us because they learned English by going to the Roseville Adult School and they both earned their GED."

"Mis padres nos dijo desde una edad temprana que nosotros íbamos ir a la universidad. Afortunadamente para mí, mi hermano mayor también pertenece al cuerpo estudiantil de Roseville High School y también se graduó de la Universidad de Calfornia en Davis al igual que yo. Mis padres tenían sólo la educación primaria cuando llegaron de Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, México, y comenzaron a trabajar desde muy jóvenes, pero siempre fueron un gran ejemplo para nosotros; ellos aprendieron inglés en la escuela de adultos de Roseville y ambos obtuvieron su diploma de preparatoria."

"Back in the 60s, when I was in elementary school and in the 70s while in junior high and high school, most of my friends were from my area neighborhood. Interestingly enough, we just had my 30th high school reunion and at least 150 of my classmates showed up and many are still my friends and still live in and around Roseville. Many of them stated they have watched my political and public service career blossom and that they always vote for me."

"En los años 60, cuando yo estaba en la escuela primaria y en los años 70 en la Secundaria y Bachillerato, la mayoría de mis amigos eran del barrio de mi zona. Curiosamente, acabamos de tener nuestra reunión número 30 de ex alumnos y por lo menos 150 de mis compañeros se presentaron y muchos siguen siendo mis amigos y muchos aún viven en Roseville. Muchos de ellos me dijeron que han estado al tanto de cómo mi carrera política y pública ha ido creciendo y me reafirmaron su voto."

What do you prefer to call yours? Latino, Mexican-American, Chicano?/ ¿Prefieres latino, méxicoamericano, chicano?

"In the early 60s and 70s I preferred Mexican-American and in the 80s while at UC Davis Chicano. Now I prefer Latino because we are not just Mexicans in the U.S. as a community. Latinos are El Salvadoran, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Cuban etc. and we all bring a different taste of our cultural backgrounds to U.S. We are starting a new non-profit to better serve Latinos in Placer County and we are calling it the Latino Leadership Council."

"A principios de los 60 y 70 prefería ser llamado mexicano-estadounidense y en los años 80, mientras estaba en UC Davis me gustaba que me dijeran chicano. Ahora prefiero latino porque ahora no solo somos mexicanos en los Estados Unidos. Ahora los latinos son salvadoreños, puertorriqueños, dominicanos, cubanos, etc, y todos traen el sabor de nuestros diferentes orígenes culturales al país. Estamos comenzando una nueva era para servir mejor a los latinos en el condado de Placer y lo hemos llamado El Consejo de Liderazgo Latino."

Dorinda Moreno




Mestizo Institute of Culture & Arts in Salt Lake City 
On 11/11/09, Roberto Rodriguez wrote to Readers of Column of the Americas

There's an amazing development taking place at the moment -- a cross-country bike-ride by Terry Hurst of Salt Lake City to raise money to purchase a building for $5 million dollars. The money will go towards the Mestizo Institute of Culture & Arts in SLC.
Terry and his wife Ruby Chacon operate Mestizo in SLC since 2003. Hurst has thus far biked some 1200 miles and is currently in the state of Washington. They have raised a little more than $12,000 at the moment. Please read the following story and followup. The story will take you to a website to show you how you can contribute.
The website for the story is:
The website for the bike-ride is:
 Miles for Mestizo: Artist and writer pedals for $5 million goal By Ben Fulton
Salt Lake City writer Terry Hurst is 1,200 miles into the first leg of his bicycle tour to raise funds for a community arts and culture center on Salt Lake City's west side.
Hurst, who is co-founder of Mestizo Institute of Culture & Arts along with his wife, artist Ruby Chacón, knows how much money he needs to raise, even if at certain times he doesn't know where he is.
"I'm in some small town right now," he said from his cell phone this week from Tenino, Wash. "I'm just trying to find a sign telling me where I am."
Pretty humble words coming from someone trying to pull off the Herculean task of raising $5 million for land, building design and construction.
Here's the fundraising plan: bike the nation, befriend the masses and generate publicity sufficient enough for 5 million people to purchase one pixel each on The more pixels that you purchase, the more advertising space you receive. Bulk pixel purchases can receive custom promotional spots. The single largest purchase will win a custom painting by Chacón.
Donna Davies, a grant writer for the University of California at Davis and friend of Chacón, is donating her skills to the effort. She's impressed that Hurst's effort is not your usual cross-country fundraiser. Instead, as she terms it, he's drawing a "philosophically aligned network" of people to the cause. "This is a very balls-out effort," said Davies, who is helping the Salt Lake biker arrange for lodging and food. "It builds this mosaic of friends for the arts throughout the country."
Hurst and Chacón have raised $12,000, with $4,990,000 to go. At this rate, the 43-year-old Salt Lake City artist will be on his bicycle at least another 43 years. What seems an impossible long-term goal is made more manageable, he says, by the notion that the price of one pixel is just a dollar. Then again, that requires reaching millions of people through a simple bike ride.
"The naysayers could be right that we'll never raise this money," Hurst said. "But I think we're better off living in a world acting and believing that our idea is right, as opposed to theirs, where nothing is possible."
Hurst and Chacón established the nonprofit Mestizo Institute in 2003, then in June 2008 anchored its activities at their Mestizo Coffeehouse, 631 W. North Temple, Salt Lake City.
The nonprofit's various programs, which include art lessons and activities for youth, have caught on so quickly that the institute has already outgrown the space, Chacón said. A dedicated facility has always been a part of the couple's long-term vision for the institute. "Except for places sponsoring sports and recreation, there really hasn't been a space of gathering west of [Salt Lake City's] railroad tracks for a long time," Chacón said.
Hurst, who holds a bachelor's degree in literature and master's in film from the University of Utah, doesn't need incredulous stares, cynics' remarks or other buzz killers. He started his fundraising journey Sept. 20 with 50 Facebook friends. Now he has 800 such contacts.
Given time, Hurst's litany of inspired phrases buttressing his effort might be just as long. 
He mocks pessimists: "Every once in a while people have to do something to show other people that anything is possible. Apathy helps no one."
He employs humility: "If I can do this, anyone can do this." He channels campaign slogans: "We are the people we've been waiting for, and we don't have to wait for other people to do this when we can do it ourselves."
Once, or if, the community center becomes reality, Davies thinks it could be a national working model for minority and low-income youth projects centered on art.
After Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia, Hurst plans to head south to San Diego, then east and all the way down the Florida peninsula to Miami. After that he'll hit the East Coast -- all the locations it takes until the money is raised, one Internet pixel at a time.
Before this pilgrimage, back home in Salt Lake City he rarely biked. He's now lost more than 10 pounds, and he misses his wife and their 17-year-old son.
"The hardest part is being away from my family and people I love," he said. "I'm a very social person. This has been the most solitude I've had in years."
Thanks & Sincerely
Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez
Column of the Americas
PO BOX 85476
Tucson, AZ 85754
Sent by Dorinda Moreno






2009 De Colores Leadership Award Recipients


Law Professor Laura Gomez among 2009 De Colores Leadership Award Recipients
Laura Gomez, professor, Law and American Studies, received the Leadership Award in Writing at the De Colores’ 17th annual Hispanic Culture Festival. De Colores recognized 12 individuals and one organization for contributing to improving New Mexico communities with their leadership and talents. One UNM partnership and three UNM students were among those honored.

Gomez has lectured widely and published numerous articles, book chapters, and op-ed commentaries, as well as two books focusing on the intersection of law, politics and social stratification of the disenfranchised. In Misconceiving Mothers: Legislators, Prosecutors and the Politics of Prenatal Drug Exposure (1997), she documented the career of the “crack baby”/”crack mother” social problem in the media and public policy. In her 2007 book, Manifest Destinies: The Making of the Mexican American Race, she examines how law and racial ideology intersected to create new racial groups and to re-structure the turn-of-the-twentieth century racial order in the Southwest and the nation. 

A UNM community partner, Celebra la Ciencia, also received an award, the Leadership Award in Education. Celebra la Ciencia began eight years ago as a community project to bring science awareness to Latino families through a series of community festivals. It has created bilingual science family events at various science centers and museums throughout Albuquerque. Celebra la Ciencia community partners include the Albuquerque Public Schools, ENLACE New Mexico, STEM Education Outreach Programs at UNM and New Mexico MESA. 

Student Leadership Awards were presented to three college and one high school student: 

Damien Flores: College Leadership Award 
Flores is a UNM senior, majoring in English. Other awards he has earned include the 2008 Lena Todd Award for creative non-fiction from the UNM English Department; “Poet of the Year” in 2007 and 2008 by the NM Hispano Entertainer’s Association; the 2008 and 2009 ABQ-Slams City Champion. He was a member of four ABQ Poetry Slam Teams as well as the ‘06 & ‘08 National Champion UNM Slam Teams. He has written two books, “A Novena of Mud” and “El Cuento de Juana Henrieta.” His work has been anthologized in numerous national publications and is currently Poet-in-Residence at Albuquerque High School.

Andrea Robles: College Leadership Award 
Robles is a UNM junior pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Nursing. An Albuquerque High School graduate, Andrea has returned to her school as an ENLACE Mentor to inspire and assist students in realizing their potential for higher education. As a first generation college student, she has made the Dean’s List at UNM and has served as a cheer coach for girls age six and under. Andrea is not only a mentor to students, but also a genuine role model for those around her.

Jessica Martinez: College Leadership Award 
Martinez is a sophomore at UNM double majoring in Political Science and Spanish with an emphasis in International Relations. Jessica has been the National Youth President of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) for three years. She is the youngest member on LULAC’s National Board. She is a member and past council president of LULAC Youth Council 53 and has also previously held the position of New Mexico LULAC Youth State Director. She has been a statewide, local and national youth leader. Recently, Martinez was ranked number 10 on the list of Top Latinos Under the Age of 25. 

De Colores Inc. is an all-volunteer organization that celebrates Latino culture, achievements and leadership each year during National Hispanic Heritage Month. De Colores will be announcing student scholarship and cash award essay and poster art winners in November. 

This year’s De Colores sponsors included APS, UNM, Intel, Youth Development, Inc, and the Atrisco Heritage Foundation.  Media Contact: Carolyn Gonzales, (505) 277-5920; e-mail:


Cherokee Nation
Cherokee Legend of the Cherokee Indian youth's rite of Passage?
National American Indian Heritage Month Resources
What's Your Tribe?  Find out through DNA 
Mexico's full-blooded Indigenous people
Cahokia Mound Savages? Who knew?
Coleccion de Lenguas Indigenas Biblioteca
Boy's recovery from flesh-eating bacteria could lead to Indian saint canonization 
Role of women in pre-Columbian Native American societies.

Editor: A really enjoyed this site.  Not only do you hear beautiful, peace music, but a very clear narrator invites the reader to an understanding of the Cherokee history, culture and philosophy of unity and brotherhood.  Included is information on Chief Rogers, History Library, Religion, Storytelling, Music/Art Events, Prophecy, Cherokee Medicine, Photo Galleries, Learn the Cherokee Language, and Media Articles.

Sent by John Inclan




National American Indian Heritage Month Resources 

Sent by Rafael Ojeda


Editor:  I know nothing about the company, but it is FASCINATING what is being done.  Do check it out.

Sample DNA Tribes Results: Discovering your genetic ancestry is quick and easy with our home DNA testing kit. DNA is collected by lightly brushing inside your cheek and then returned by mail for lab processing.

Example Results with Commentary: Example results with commentary on how results can be interpreted are available for African-American, Caucasian, Chippewa/Ojibwa and Hispanic sample profiles (Updated March 12, 2008):


Mexico's full-blooded Indigenous people

On 11/7/09, Henry Villalobos <> wrote:
Today, Mexico has more traditional full-blooded Indigenous (Native Americans) people than any other country in the Americas. In Mexico, there are over 20 million full-blooded Native people, and they are aware that they are needed in the United States to work in the hot fields to put food on the tables of all of the Americans. Most Americans are not aware that full-blooded Native people from Mexico are working in the hot fields in California.
Today, the Native people from Mexico are called "Mexicans", "Hispanic", "Immigrants", etc. It is unfair to put those labels on full-blooded Indigenous people from North America Mexico. Most of the Native people working in the fields do not speak Spanish nor English, they only speak their Native languages. (In 1984, I told some Native people from Mexico, that they are Native Americans, and also showed them the Map to prove that Mexico is North America.) Some of the full-blooded Native people who are working in the fields are the Mixteca, Amuzgo, Zapotec, Yaqui, Cocopa, Pima, Opata.
In 1995, Daniel Nazaroff, who owns 130 acres of vineyards near Madera, said "Before I used to just have Mexicans (Mixed-Bloods) here." "Then, slowly, it changed and now just about all of them are from Oaxaca. You hear them talking and you realize, that's not Mexican they're speaking." (In 1984, my Mixteca brothers told me that I will always have a home in Oaxaca.)
Today, the office of the California Attorney General and the U.S.Government needs to investigate the U.F.W. and the treatment of the full-blooded Native people who work in those hot fields in California.
By: Henry Guzman Villalobos (Azteca-Mexica-Yaqui Native American) President and C.E.O., of Aztecs of North America, Inc., A California Non-Profit Corporation, (510) 247-9553, (510) 690-5748,
Sent by Dorinda Moreno, Fuerza Mundial


Cahokia Mound Savages? Who knew?

There was an interesting article in Salon on August 6 about a new book called Cahokia: Ancient America's Great City on the Mississippi by an archaeologist named Timothy Pauketat.
According to Pauketat, Cahokia wasn't just a random collection of mounds but, rather, at least in the twelfth century, a city of 20,000 people, the largest in what is now the United States. (It would take 600 years for another U.S. city to surpass it. That would be colonial Philadelphia.) Its suburbs, of sorts, stretched across the river, a nice twist on the modern St. Louis/East St. Louis divide.
About two-thirds of Cahokia's original 120 mounds still exist. Earlier archaeologists hypothesized that such an impressive city could not possibly have been built by Native Americans - the most obvious candidates - and must have been constructed by a mysterious, now-defunct tribe of people of European or African origin known as the "Mound Builders" or even visitors from outer space. (This was a popular theory about Mayan and Incan ruins as well.)
But Pauketat has definitive proof that the ancient Cahokians were indeed human beings, in the form of Mound 72.
Some archaeologists might pussyfoot around this question more than Pauketat does, but it also seems clear that political and religious power in Cahokia revolved around another ancient tradition. Cahokians performed human sacrifice, as part of some kind of theatrical, community-wide ceremony, on a startlingly large scale unknown in North America above the valley of Mexico. Simultaneous burials of as many as 53 young women (quite possibly selected for their beauty) have been uncovered beneath Cahokia's mounds, and in some cases victims were evidently clubbed to death on the edge of a burial pit, and then fell into it. A few of them weren't dead yet when they went into the pit - skeletons have been found with their phalanges, or finger bones, digging into the layer of sand beneath them.
These women, Pauketat hypothesizes, came from mostly female agrarian villages surrounding Cahokia. (Which raises even more questions, most notably: Where did all the men go?) Further investigation into the contents of Mound 72 revealed more corpses, 250 in all, including some men. At the very top of the pile were two men, one wrapped in a beaded cloak in the shape of a thunderbird. It's not clear exactly who he was, but all signs point to him being a Very Important Cahokian and that the other bodies were somehow related to him and his cohort.  - Aimee Levitt


Coleccion de Lenguas Indigenas Biblioteca 
Publica del Estado de Jalisco "Juan Jose Arreola"

Editor:  Site in Spanish which includes a whole collection of essays and data on indigenous languages.  I was not able to capture an example, but do check it out.  So much information.

Sent by Estela Lopez Perez


Cherokee Legend
Do you know the legend of the Cherokee Indian youth's rite of Passage?

His father takes him into the forest, blindfolds him an leaves him alone. He is required to sit on a stump the whole night and not remove the blindfold until the rays of the morning sun shine through it. He cannot cry out for help to anyone. 

Once he survives the night, he is a MAN. He cannot tell the other boys of this experience, because each lad must come into manhood on his own.

The boy is naturally terrified. He can hear all kinds of noises. Wild beasts must surely be all around him . Maybe even some human might do him harm. The wind blew the grass and earth, and shook his stump, but he sat stoically, never removing the blindfold. It would be the only way he could become a man!

Finally, after a horrific night the sun appeared and he removed his blindfold.


It was then that he discovered his father sitting on the stump next to him. 
He had been at watch the entire night, protecting his son from harm.

We, too, are never alone. 
Even when we don't know it, God is watching over us, Sitting on the stump beside us. 
When trouble comes, all we have to do is reach out to Him. 

Moral of the story:
Just because you can't see God,
Doesn't mean He is not there.
"For we walk by faith, not by sight." 

Sent by Jan Mallet


Boy's recovery from flesh-eating bacteria 
could lead to American Indian saint canonization

Tacoma, WA - Monday, October 19, 2009 


Finkbonner family prayed when Jake had flesh-eating bacteria KIE RELYEA
Last updated: October 11th, 2009 07:15 AM (PDT) FERNDALE - His face was scarred by the flesh-eating bacteria that had invaded his body, her face by smallpox that killed her immediate family. They are both American Indians and both Catholics. And if the Vatican decrees that Jake Finkbonner's survival is a miracle that can be attributed to Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha's help, they also will be bound by the canonization of the first American Indian saint in the Catholic Church. Elsa Finkbonner certainly believes her 9-year-old son's victory over necrotizing fasciitis is miraculous. "There is no doubt in my mind that he is a miracle. He had everything going against him. There was a whole grocery list of things that should have happened against him, and he defied all of them," said Finkbonner, a Sandy Point resident. What the Vatican will decide is whether Jake's recovery is a miracle that is beyond the explanation of medicine and that can be attributed to the intercession on his behalf by Blessed Kateri, who was born to an Algonquin mother and Mohawk father in 1656 near what is today Auriesville, N.Y. When she was 4, smallpox killed her parents and her brother, scarred her face and damaged her eyesight. She was baptized into the faith in 1676, a conversion that led to persecution by tribal members, according to reports. In 1679, she took a vow of chastity. She died on April 17, 1680, near what is today Montreal, Canada, and eyewitnesses claimed that her scars disappeared soon after.

Known as the Lily of the Mohawks, she was beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1980, becoming the first American Indian to be so honored. More than three centuries after her death, Jake was fighting for his life after falling and bumping his mouth in the closing moments of a basketball game on Feb. 11, 2006. Necrotizing fasciitis, or Strep A, invaded his body and bloodstream through that small cut, and the aggressive bacteria raced across his cheeks, eyelids, scalp and chest as doctors worked desperately to stop its spread. To save him, each day they surgically removed his damaged flesh. And every day for two weeks, they put the boy, who was then in kindergarten, in a hyperbaric chamber at Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle to deliver oxygen to his body to help quell the infection's progression. As Jake laid near death, the Rev. Tim Sauer advised his mom and dad, Donny, to pray to Blessed Kateri, who is the patroness for American Indians, for her intercession. That is akin to asking Blessed Kateri to pray to God to perform a miracle on Jake's behalf. 

The boy is of Lummi descent. Sauer was at that time pastor of three Catholic churches in Whatcom County: St. Joseph in Ferndale, where he baptized Jake and where the deeply faithful Finkbonners attend, St. Anne in Blaine and St. Joachim on the Lummi Reservation. Parishioners also were urged to ask Blessed Kateri for her help. Some months after Jake recovered in 2006, Sauer sent a letter to the Archbishop in Seattle about a possible miraculous occurrence. "Basically, I just put it in their hands," said Sauer, who is now the pastor at St. Bridget Church in Seattle. "His survival ... was an extraordinary event." St. Bridget is five minutes from Seattle Children's hospital, where Jake spent nine weeks and Sauer spent much time with the Finkbonners during those terrible days when doctors prepared the family several times for the boy's impending death. But he survived, though he bears the scars from that vicious battle. They are on his face and neck, across his scalp from ear to ear, and across his chest from shoulder to shoulder. Although he has undergone 27 surgeries and more are on the way, the fourth-grader at Assumption Catholic School in Bellingham is otherwise healthy. 

Since Sauer wrote the letter, investigators from the Catholic Church have interviewed people including the priest, Jake's family and others who testified that they prayed for her intercession. Elsa Finkbonner submitted information in 2006 about what happened to her son, along with requests for his medical records that were sent along. She also informed Jake's doctors of the process. The family was interviewed on numerous occasions starting in 2007. Sauer said he submitted testimony four times, twice in writing and twice orally. Sauer said there isn't much he's allowed to say about the process, which the Catholic Church keeps confidential to protect against undue influence. 

Representatives from the Archdiocese of Seattle could not be reached for comment despite repeated attempts. Sauer said the investigation has concluded and the information sent to the Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome. 

Blessed Kateri needs one more miracle that can be attributed to her intercession to be declared a saint. Neither Finkbonner nor Sauer know when the Vatican will make that decision. In an Aug. 13 Canwest News Service story, Monsignor Paul Lenz said that evidence of a miracle, gathered over two years, was sent to Rome in July. Lenz did not say what the miracle was, though stories in Catholic publications dating back to 2006 note that Jake's survival and recovery would be presented as evidence in Blessed Kateri's canonization process. If she is declared a saint, it means that she will be among those who stand before the presence of God and who serve as examples for Catholics, according to Sauer. "They're the heroes, if you will, of the church and its history, for us to look up to and emulate. They are people who lived their Christian faith in an exemplary way, which is what a saint is, that ought to be mediated on and imitated," he said. "We do not worship them. They do not replace God or Jesus," Sauer added. No matter the decision, the Finkbonners said they already have their answer. "Whether they attribute his healing to Blessed Kateri or not, that's up to the church, that's up to the Vatican," Elsa Finkbonner said. "But it doesn't take anybody to tell Donny and I what happened to him was, in fact, a miracle." 

Originally published: October 9th, 2009 05:14 PM (PDT)


Role of women in pre-Columbian Native American societies.


Rarely do Pre-Columbian studies or texts focus much attention or detail on the role of Women in Ancient America: their role in society; their labors; their place in family...This site will mainly focus on societies right before the arrival of the Europeans - Aztec, Mayan, Andean (Inka and others), and briefly North America.  It will focus on women's role in the Maya and Aztec civilizations of Mesoamerica, the Inca culture from South America, and North American in generals --

Sent by Juan Marinez


Mysterious ruins may help explain Mayan collapse
U. of Michigan to Review Policies on Returning Indian Remains


Mysterious ruins may help explain Mayan collapse


Bolonchen Regional Archaeological Project: This is one of the exceptionally well preserved buildings discovered at Kiuic. This building dates to the Late/Terminal Classic (A.D. 800-1000) and is part of the later major royal Palace discovered at the site. 

What's this?
By Dan Vergano, USA TODAY
Ringing two abandoned pyramids are nine palaces "frozen in time" that may help unravel the mystery of the ancient Maya, reports an archaeological team.  Hidden in the hilly jungle, the ancient site of Kiuic (KIE-yuk) was one of dozens of ancient Maya centers abandoned in the Puuc region of Mexico's Yucatan about 10 centuries ago. The latest discoveries from the site may capture the moment of departure.
"The people just walked away and left everything in place," says archaeologist George Bey of Millsaps College in Jackson Miss., co-director of the Labna-Kiuic Regional Archaeological Project. "Until now, we had little evidence from the actual moment of abandonment, it's a frozen moment in time."
The ancient, or "classic" Maya were part of a Central American civilization best known for stepped pyramids, beautiful carvings and murals and the widespread abandonment of cities around 900 A.D. in southern Mexico, Guatemala, Belize and El Salvador. They headed for the northern Yucatan, where Spanish conquistadors met their descendants in the 1500s (6 million modern Maya still live in Central America today).
Past work by the team, led by Bey and Tomas Gallareta of Mexico's National Institute of Archaeology and History, shows the Maya had inhabited the Puuc region since 500 B.C. So why they headed for the coast with their brethren is just part of the mystery of the Maya collapse.
New clues may come from Kiuic, where the archaeologists explored two pyramids and, most intriguingly, plantation palaces on the ridges ringing the center. Of particular interst: a hilltop complex nicknamed "Stairway to Heaven" by Gallareta (that's "Escalera al Cieloa" for Spanish-speaking Led Zeppelin fans) because of a long staircase leading from Kiuic to a central plaza nearly a mile away.
Both the pyramids and the palaces look like latter-day additions to Kiuic, built in the 9th century, just as Maya centers farther south were being abandoned. "The influx of wealth (at Kiuic) may spring from immigration," Bey says, as Maya headed north. One pyramid was built atop what was originally a palace, allowing the rulers of Kiuic to simultaneously celebrate their forebears and move to fancier digs in the hills.
When the team started exploring the hilltop palaces, five vaulted homes to the south of the hilltop plaza and four to the north, the archaeologists found tools, stone knives and axes, corn-grinder stones called metates (muh-TAH-taze) and pots still sitting in place. "It was completely unexpected," Bey says. "It looks like they just turned the metates on their sides and left things waiting for them to come back."
"Their finds look very interesting and promising," says archaeologist Takeshi Inomata of the University of Arizona, who is not part of the project. "If it indeed represents rapid abandonment, it provides important implications about the social circumstance at that time and promises detailed data on the way people lived."
Inomata is part of a team exploring Aguateca, an abandoned Maya center in Guatemala renowned for its preservation. "I should add that the identification of rapid abandonment is not easy. There are other types of deposits — particularly ritual deposits — that result in very similar kinds of artifact assemblages," Inomata cautions, by email.
Bey and colleagues presented some of their findings earlier this year at the Society for American Archaeology meeting in Atlanta. The team hopes to publish its results and dig further at Kiuic to prove their finding of rapid abandonment there. "I think you could compare it to Pompeii, where people locked their doors and fled, taking some things but leaving others," Bey says.
So far, what drove people to leave the site remains a mystery, as it is for the rest of the ancient Maya. The only sign of warfare is a collection of spear points found in the central plaza of Kiuic. There are signs that construction halted there — a stucco-floored plaza sits half-complete, for example. "Drought seems more likely, that would halt construction," Bey says.
Having climbed the "Stairway to Heaven" a few times, Bey can answer one minor mystery, however. Why weren't the palace sites looted as so many other Maya sites have been? "The hills are a good climb," he says. "People just didn't bother to climb the hills to search the rooms."



U. of Michigan to Review Policies on Returning Indian Remains

By David N. Goodman
Detroit, Michigan (AP) 11-09


Facing criticism for still holding the remains of about 1,400 Native Americans in its archaeological collection, the University of Michigan will be reviewing its policies on how to properly deal with Indian bones and artifacts.

A committee charged with looking at the legal, ethical and scientific concerns involved will meet for the first time next week and “will hear all sides of the story,” said Stephen Forrest, vice president for research at the Ann Arbor school.

“We want to have a very balanced approach,” he said Friday. “We are actively seeking to understand all the aspects of the problem.”

At issue is the conflicting interests of researchers and museums in studying and teaching about earlier human cultures and that of native peoples to have their religions and ancestral remains respected.

Under the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act passed by Congress in 1990, federally supported institutions must catalog the remains and burial items they hold and return them, when requested, to groups that have a “cultural affiliation” to them.

The issue in the Michigan case is remains which the school says have no clear affiliation to present-day tribes. Forrest said the law compels the school to retain such remains until the government issues clearer guidelines or it gets specific clearance from U.S. Interior Department.

Forrest said the goal of the committee – 10 professors and one graduate student – is to properly balance Indian rights and research goals while awaiting new federal guidelines.

It’s long past time to do the right thing, said Fred R. Harrington Jr., a representative of the Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians.

“The law is really clear” when it comes to what institutions are supposed to do about materials whose tribal ties aren’t immediately known, said Harrington, whose tribe is based in Harbor Springs, near Petoskey in the northern Lower Peninsula.

“They’re supposed to consult with the tribes about affiliation. The university never did this.”  Forrest said the school has complied with the law in the past and intends to keep doing so.

The Little Traverse Bay group and the Bay Mills Indian Community near Sault Ste. Marie in the eastern Upper Peninsula sent separate letters to the university protesting its continued holding of Indian remains.

“To the University of Michigan, the contemporary identification, cataloging and examination of the human remains and cultural artifacts of indigenous people may constitute an academic exercise,” Bay Mills executive council President Jeffrey D. Parker wrote to Forrest. “To the Bay Mills Indian Community, these activities are unwelcome and insensitive intrusions upon our ancestors which require our active intervention to ameliorate.”

A group representing Native American graduate students at the University of Michigan expressed hope the committee’s appointment would lead to the return of remains and artifacts to Indian tribes.

“While we’re disappointed that it’s taken 19 years for the research community at the U of M to get serious about what this law asks of them, we feel grateful to be part of a responsible process being developed now,” said Veronica Pasfield, co-chair of the Native Grad Caucus.

Thousands of remains of uncertain affiliation have been turned over to tribes by institutions nationwide, including Michigan State, Stanford and Yale universities; Minnesota’s public university system; the American Museum of Natural History in New York; and the Field Museum in Chicago, the caucus said in a Feb. 15 letter to Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman. 

Federal repatriation law Web site:
U-M statement:
Michigan tribal coalition on repatriation:
Sent by Carlos Munoz, 





Sephardic Cuba, Your Family Tree
Exiles of the Heart: Two Sephardic Women from Egypt Share of Loss & Connections
DNA Research of Dr. Wesley Sutton: No “Crypto-Jews” in New Mexico 
The Jewish Genealogy Blog


Sephardic Cuba, Your Family Tree 

Lots of information by webmaster Gustavo del Toro who was born in Guantanamo, Cuba and immigrated to the USA in 1976.

Exiles of the Heart: 
Two Sephardic Women from Egypt Shared Their Stories of Loss and Connection 
as part of the ASF Books and Authors Series in November


Jews can trace their presence in Egypt back more than 3,000 years. In 1948 there were 80,000 Jews in Egypt; today, less than 100. Jean Naggar's book Sipping From the Nile: My Exodus From Egypt is a fascinating look at a forgotten world. Naggar was born in Alexandria and grew up in Cairo in a world of wealth and sophistication. Having left at the age of 18, her childhood memories open a window into a little-known time and place. 

One of New York's leading literary agents with a lifetime of experience encouraging authors, Jean applied pen to paper herself and recorded her memories of an exotic and happy childhood as a young Jewish girl brought up in Egypt and educated in England, whose happy life was torn apart by the Suez crisis of 1956. Jean and her family left Egypt in 1957. 

Joyce Zonana's book Dream Homes: From Cairo to Katrina, an Exile's Journey is one of seeking memories and constructing identity. She left Cairo with her family at 18 months, following the Arab-Israeli war of 1948. 

Joyce Zonana is an Associate Professor of English at Borough of Manhattan Community College, City University of New York. She has taught at the University of Oklahoma, the University of New Orleans, RowanUniversity, and Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science. 

Her essays and articles have appeared in numerous scholarly and literary journals, including Tulsa Studies in Women's Literature, Signs, Meridians, Victorian Poetry, and the Hudson Review. She currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. 






DNA: No “Crypto-Jews” in New Mexico 
Research of Dr. Wesley Sutton by
Rubén Sálaz M.


DNA: No “Crypto-Jews” in NM:  Dr. Wesley Sutton, whose advanced degrees are in Molecular Biology and Physical Anthropology, visited Albuquerque in August, ’09. He presented his already published findings of his DNA project regarding the Y (male) chromosome of “Spanish Americans.” His article, “Toward Resolution of the Debate Regarding Purported Crypto-Jews in a Spanish-American Population:  Evidence from the Y Chromosome,” was published in the professional journal, ANNALS OF HUMAN BIOLOGY, Jan.-Feb., 2006.
As some readers might know, the Y chromosome is found only in males (and contains some 600 markers). Dr. Sutton’s scientific investigation was intended to compare the DNA of the Y (male) chromosome found in “Spanish American” (their choice of ethnic labels) males (139 of them)  around New Mexico and southern Colorado with the DNA of males from (European) Iberia (Spain and Portugal). Here is a synopsis of his findings:
Spanish American males:  66.2% of the sample population had the (European ancestry) M9 marker;  9.8% had the (Middle East ancestry) M304 marker, and 6.8% had the (North African ancestry) M123 marker. Interestingly, only 2.2% of the sample population showed Native American ancestry (though it must be pointed out the Y chromosome is only about five percent of the genome).
European Spanish and Portuguese males:  64.6% of the sample population had the (European ancestry) M9 marker;  10.3% had the (Middle East ancestry) M304 marker, and 13.5% had the (North African ancestry) M123 marker.
As is readily apparent, Spanish-American males have about the same proportion of European ancestry as their Spanish and Portuguese counterparts. Spaniards (European) had a higher proportion of North African ancestry but about the same Middle Eastern ancestry as Spanish-Americans.
Jews are originally a people from the Middle East but there is no “Jewish marker” to identify them so they are necessarily part of the Middle East grouping. Middle East countries include Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Iran, and now Israel (said to be the original Jewish homeland). Spanish Americans showed a 9.8% ancestry from the Middle East, an area that includes all of the above mentioned countries. It is logical to assume the 9.8% Middle East ancestry proportion could be spread around all the countries named above. It would not be logical to assume the entire percentage came solely from the Jewish homeland. Indeed, ancestry might very well be more Arabic than Jewish.
Dr. Sutton concludes:  For all markers investigated, Spanish-American males are statistically highly different from Jewish populations. DNA proves Spanish-American males from New Mexico and Southern Colorado have no significant tie to “crypto-Jew” ancestry.
With the “crypto-Jew” myth exploded, it would be interesting for Chicano Studies departments at the university level to test Hispano DNA for Native American ancestry. Many Chicano Studies departments have operated under the premise that “Hispanics are more Indian than Spanish” and it would be interesting to see what DNA shows. It might also be worthwhile to identify and test the “genízaro” (de-tribalized Indian; acculturated Native American) population, if it can be isolated enough for testing.



The Jewish Genealogy Blog
September 21, 2009
New Mexico: Rare genetic condition

This story may have general implications for those of Jewish ancestry, and particularly those with Hispanic and/or known Converso or Sephardic ancestry.
While researching a a recent posting on genealogy and health issues for the Genealogy Blog, this 2004 New York Times article popped up.

In 1598, Joyce Gonzalez’s great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather followed the famous conquistador Juan de Oñate from Spain to Mexico, then north on the Camino Real, the Royal Road to Santa Fe.
Mary Ann Chavez and her brother, above, are among the family members who suffer from oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy. In the 1800s, one of Mary Ann Chavez’s distant relatives, possibly a French fur trapper and trader from Quebec, also made his way into northern New Mexico. Mrs. Chavez and Mrs. Gonzalez, though not related, share a Hispanic heritage and a fascination with genealogy.
They also share the burden of having forebears with genetic diseases that, like the remote mountain villages in this region, have remained largely hidden from medical diagnosis and treatment. Now, thanks to the efforts of patient advocates and the work of a clinic here at the University of New Mexico Medical School, these illnesses are finally being confronted and studied.
“We call it the family curse,” said Mrs. Chavez, 73, “and you don’t know you’ve got it until you’re 40 or 50 when your eyelids start to droop, and you begin to have trouble swallowing and get muscle weakness.”
The illness is called oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy, or OPMD, and the largest group of Americans affected are Hispanics living in northern New Mexico. They are descendants of the wandering French-Canadian or, perhaps, early Spanish colonists. Mrs. Chavez’s son, her brother and innumerable aunts, uncles and cousins have all inherited the disease.
The family names referenced in the article are confirmed Sephardic names, listed in Pere Bonnin's Sangre Judia and on Oñate himself is considered to be of Converso ancestry, according to researchers, and most of the settlers in his expeditions were of similar background.
Considering that the geographical area covering this genetic disorder is northern New Mexico, where there is a very high percentage of the familias viejos ("old families"), it is possible that there is a Jewish element to this. I'm also wondering if southern Colorado, also a hotbed of Converso ancestry, has a population with this condition as well.
The fact that it has been found in Spain, Israel, France and England - all destinations populated by Sephardim and Conversos leads me to these suppositions. Tracing the Tribe is trying to find more information and will post when it is discovered.
Meanwhile, this is a fascinating story. Aren't newspaper archives wonderful resources? I'm amazed that I haven't seen this story before. If either of these conditions sound familiar or you know people who may have these symptoms, checking with a doctor seems a reasonable idea.
The genetic mutation OPMD was first identified by Canadian researchers in Quebec, which has the largest OPMD population in North America. The defective gene is thought to have been introduced by three French sisters who came to Canada in 1648. It is now found in 29 countries, in addition to those listed above.
Mrs. Gonzalez’s disease is cavernous angioma, also called CCM, for cerebral cavernous malformation. It is caused by abnormal blood vessels that form raspberrylike clusters in the brain and spinal cord. If these angiomas bleed or press against structures in the central nervous system, they can produce seizures, neurological deficits, hemorrhages and headaches.
Cavernous angiomas occur sporadically in the general population, but 20 percent are inheritable, and the disease is found at a much higher rate in Mexican-American families, particularly in northern New Mexico. Like OPMD, it is an autosomal dominant disease, meaning that each child of an affected parent has a 50 percent chance of inheriting it.
According to the story, the gene CCM1 seems to be found only in Mexican-Americans. Gonzalez persuaded nine relatives to undergo genetic testing; five tested positive for the CCM1 gene and all had angiomas in their brainstems.
“The Hispanic families that have lived here for 300 or 400 years — we’re practically all cousins,” she said. That led her to trace the genealogies of four other Hispanic families with histories of cerebral cavernous malformation. She held a complex genealogical chart whose five converging family trees pointed to Gerónimo Márquez, the 16th-century patriarch of her family. “He could be the guy that brought it for all of us,” she said.

A volunteer support group, Angioma Alliance, is headed by Dr. Connie Lee who estimates that tens of thousands of Hispanics carry the CCM1 gene. For CCM patients, genetic testing and MRI tests have improved diagnosis and monitoring, with treatments including medication for seizures and headaches, and neurosurgery for angiomas that can be accessed.
For those with OPMD, treatments include so-called sling procedures in which the eyelid is drawn up to a normal position and suspended from a muscle in the forehead. Swallowing difficulties may be treated with esophageal dilation, or Botox injections to relax the swallowing muscles.
Another physician from the University of New Mexico Medical School is quoted and says that because Mexican-Americans live all over the US, health professionals and patients - especially those in the Southwest - need to be aware of symptoms such as seizures, recurrent headaches or strokelike symptoms, and individuals need to tell their doctors about angiomas or cavernous malformation. In the case of OPMD, she says that droopy eyelids and swallowing trouble may be more than just a family trait.
If these symptoms are in your family, check with your doctor.
Google Blogs Alert for: Hispanic genealogy



Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project
National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies Conference
New Opera about José Antonio Navarro, Friends of Casa Navarro
Tejano Land Grant Movement
Memories of the art of sheep Carding
A Link to the Past—Historian Harbert Davenport by Norman Rozeff   Recommendations by Jose M. Pena for Texas State School System Hosted the 5th Annual Tejano Vigil in The Alamo Shrine
The Broader Picture of the Battle at the Medina by Richard G. Santos 
Why was the Battle of Medina fought? by Joe Lopez

Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage
For guidelines and application, download:
Deadline: March 1, 2010

Research Grants
Call for Proposals


The Hispanic History of Texas Project recovers, preserves, disseminates and studies documents related to the participation in and contributions of Hispanics to the history of Texas. With funding from The Houston Endowment, the project is pleased to offer support for research in this field. 

Scholars and advanced graduate students are encouraged to apply for a stipend of up to $4,500 for research work in one of the following areas:
1) · Identification, location, recovery and/or study of Hispanic texts documents, books,
       periodicals, archives, photos, etc. produced before 1960 and relating to the over-all
       project mission.
2) · Bibliographic indexing and cataloging of data. 
3) · Study of recovered Hispanic primary documents, manuscripts, publications, or other
4) · Identification, evaluation, acquisition, classification and preservation of archival
       materials in private, public and/or institutional collections that meet the
       aforementioned criteria.

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
(713) 743-3128 § (713) 743-3142 Fax


February 25-27, 2010
2010 National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies 
  "Pasado, Presente, y Futuro: Forty Years of Chicana and Chicano Studies in Texas"

Hosted by The Center for Mexican American Studies, University of Texas at Austin 


The year 2010 marks the 40th anniversary of the formal establishment of Mexican American Studies in the academy in Texas. Since the early 1970s, many approaches have been developed and employed in the field of Chicana and Chicano Studies, some focusing on political economy, others on cultural studies, some focusing on the specificity of the Tejano experience, others focusing on how Texas fits into the larger experience of Mexican Americans in the United States and linkages to Mexico and Latin America. Chicana and Chicano Studies in Texas has drawn from many intellectual approaches and fields, and struggled to expand the definition of the academy, activism, and intellectual life.
The goal of the 2010 NACCS-Tejas Foco Regional Conference is to examine questions around a "Texas School" of Chicana and Chicano Studies. We invite scholars of Chicana and Chicano Studies, members of NACCS, and the general public to submit proposals for papers, panels, or performances that engage the question of whether there is (or is not) a Texas-based approach to Chicana and Chicano Studies.  Submissions may look at the past, present, and future of Chicana and Chicano Studies in Texas to outline such a "Texas School" of thought or may call into question the very idea of such a proposition.  The conference will also consider whether there is more than one school of thought within Texas.

Proposals for papers, panels, or performances should include a 250-word abstract (maximum length) and must include full contact information. Paper proposals can come from individuals or co-authors. Panel proposals must list all participants who have agreed to serve on the panel. Performance proposals must provide technical requirements. The deadline for submissions is January 8, 2010.

Proposals must be submitted by e-mail attachment:  Luis Guevara at
For more information regarding this event or other CMAS programming, please call 512-471-4557 or visit the CMAS website at


Friends of Casa Navarro
Preserving the Past and Protecting the Future

In 1841, José Antonio Navarro was imprisoned and sentenced to death in Mexico City. He was later sent to the brutal dungeon prison at San Juan de Ulúa in Vera Cruz. This was one of the most dreaded prisons in the world, a prison of “a living death” from which no one left alive!

A Navarro Opera is being written about Navarro’s imprisonment. It will be a children’s opera that travels to elementary schools. This is an Opera in the Schools program developed by the San Antonio Opera Guild and UTSA Lyric Theater. The Friends are partners in this innovative program! To support this project - contact: Sylvia Navarro Tillotson:; (972) 841-1018
Casa Navarro. dedicated to enhancing the profile, legacy, and accomplishments of Jose Antonio Navarro and to support the operation and maintenance of the Casa Navarro State Historic Site in San Antonio, TX.  Casa Navarro Historic Site is open to the public every Wednesday through Sunday, 10AM to 4PM. For Weddings, Receptions, and any Private Events, contact Jose Zapata, 210-226-4801.


Tejano Land Grant Movement

We Are The Sleeping Giant Wake Up Now Before Your Legacy Is Lost Forever

Memories of the art of sheep carding


Your e-mail really brought some fond memories, especially the art of Carding. Like yourself, I remember my mother patiently using those long forgotten "Cardas" to card the wool. Just like you say, after carding the wool and cleaning it, my mother and sisters would hand-sew blankets with different designs. I think my blanket is somewhere in the many unopened boxes I still have. Where did that art and skill go? It certainly seems like it is very much in use in the country where the movie was taken? Thanks for the memories.
Jose M.

Thanks, Israel.

I have made a hard copy of the article for my files. Raising sheep in the South Texas/Northern Mexico brush country was never such a great idea.. most of the wool was left on the chaparral thorns and branches and the little that was clipped off the sheep was full of sticker burrs (cadillos) and thorns.  Still sheep herding was a tradition brought over from the Mother Country and remained in the old Guerrero settlement into the first part of the 20th century. 

When I was a five or six year old little boy back in the early 1940s (during WWII) I remember my grandmother Jovita Cuellar Uribe would still buy raw wool ( or perhaps given to her) in old Guerrero that she would take to her home in Laredo to clean by carding it with fine brushes -- check out this youtube presentation:  

I remember Mama Jovita washing the dirty raw wool by hand and carding it to remove all the stickers, thorns, crap, etc and brush out all the tangles. She would have to clean and card it several times until she could use it to make blankets, but I remember her using it mostly for stuffing in homemade, hand needled colchas. 

I still remember playing with strands of the carded wool and running it through my fingers like it was yesterday... funny how some things stick in your mind or come back when you're an old fart. 


Here is another good article by Givens of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times.
The only thing he fails to mention is that this sheep and goat raising was begun by the Hispanic farmers and ranchers of South Texas.  The transition from this type of ranching to cattle ranching to farming is an interesting one. Anglos and Mexicans and the Making of Texas is a very good source if you are interested.

Rise and fall of the sheep and wool era in South Texas
By Murphy Givens

Wool dealer William Headen (the firm retained the name of his father) was at the corner of Chaparral and Schatzel (where Sonja’s Restaurant is today) in the 1870s. The firm of M. Headen & Son was one of the many wool dealers concentrated on Chaparral when Corpus Christi was one of the world’s great wool markets.

Like the cowboy and vaquero, the shepherd was at home in South Texas. Flocks of sheep grazed the range from Corpus Christi to Laredo, making this one of the top wool-producing places in the country. Carretas loaded with wool, from as far away as Mexico, rolled into Corpus Christi, one of the world’s great wool markets.

The sheep era began about 1850 when W. W. Chapman, an Army officer, was transferred to Corpus Christi to head the Army’s new 8th Military District depot. Chapman realized that the area’s rich grassla nds made ideal sheep country. He set up a sheep camp on Santa Gertrudis Creek and brought in purebred Merinos from Pennsylvania.

The Merino, unmatched for the quality of its wool, was too delicate for this climate. While Mexican sheep could take the heat, they had a coarse wool. Chapman figured that fine-wooled Merinos bred with tough Mexican sheep would produce a hardy breed with a fine fleece. Merino cross-breeds became the golden fleece of South Texas.

James Bryden, a sheepman from Scotland, was among immigrants attracted here by Henry Kinney’s land promotion efforts. Chapman hired Bryden to handle his sheep. In payment for watching the flock, Bryden was given part of the natural increase and a share in the wool profits. Bryden grazed the sheep along Santa Gertrudis Creek.

The following year, in 1853, Richard King bought 15,000 acres to begin his ranch near the Chapman sheep camp. King purchased 10 Merino bucks and 42 Mexican ewes; within a decade, he had some 40,000 sheep. His main sheep camp was called Borregas.

Other sheepmen besides Bryden were among immigrants attracted by Kinney’s land-selling promotion in the 1850s — Joseph Almond of Newcastle-on-Tyne, the Adams’ family, George Reynolds, the Wrights, these became sheep ranchers in the Nueces Valley. Corpus Christi in 1856 suffered a blow when the city’s top employer, the Army, moved its depot headquarters to San Antonio. Kinney’s immigrants were forced to find new jobs. George Reynolds worked cutting hay for the Army; when the Army left, he went to work on King Ranch, then began his own sheep ranch.

Other immigrants turned to raising sheep, something they knew from England and Scotland. This was the beginning of the sheep era. The cattle kingdom began about the same time, and in almost the same place, along Santa Gertrudis Creek and in the well-watered Nueces Valley, and for the same reason: necessity. For decades, Corpus Christi’s economy depended on Merino cross-breeds and longhorn steers. The wealth of South Texas walked on four legs.

Maria von Blucher wrote in a letter to her parents in Germany (“Maria von Blucher’s Corpus Christi”) — “Sheep are the best business here, better than cattle. Mrs. Chapman (her friend and the widow of the late W.W. Chapman) has grown rich by keeping sheep, going halves with somebody.”

By the end of the 1850s, quality wool was shipped from Corpus Christi to world markets. When the Civil War began in 1861, the Confederacy bought Texas wool to make uniforms for Confederate soldiers. When Texas ports were bottled up by the blockade, wool was moved down the Cotton Road to ships waiting at Baghdad.

Word spread that South Texas was sheep country; sheepherders came here from all over to make their fortunes by tending sheep on shares. John Buckley came to Duval County from Ontario, Canada, to raise sheep. He became the patriarch of the William F. Buckley family. Oscar Edgerly came here from New York to tend sheep for William Headen, one of Corpus Christi’s wealthy wool merchants.

Edgerly recorded the routines of a sheepherder in his diary. He stayed busy moving the sheep and setting up new camps. When the sheep ate all the grass near watering places, they were driven out in search of greener pastures, then brought back for water. He once moved the flock to San Fernando Creek and Richard King rode up and told him to move. Oscar moved up the creek; King told him to move again.

“As I thought I was not on his lands, I did not move,” Edgerly wrote. “I stayed there until the grass gave out, then took them up on the Aqua Dulce.”

Edgerly’s daily tasks were taking the sheep to water or grass, cooking meals, watching for coyotes and other predators. It was said that sheep, unlike cattle, had to be “lived with.”

It was a lonely life. Robert Adams went to work when he was 16 in 1863 tending sheep near Casa Blanca. He wrote that — “I never saw a house for a year, and was not inside a house for over two years. I did most of my own cooking for f our years, and had nothing to eat but meat. I had no bread and didn’t know what a vegetable looked like. I didn’t see people sometimes for two or three months.”

After the war, there were 1.2 million sheep in Nueces County. It had more “fleecies” than any other county in the country. Tax rolls for Laredo’s Webb County in 1878 recorded that that county had 8,000 cattle and 239,000 sheep, so many sheep that one cowman said he was afraid to ride through the place wearing a wool shirt.

In shearing season (April-June and August-September), big two-wheeled ox-carts loaded with bags of wool came to Corpus Christi to sell to the wool merchants on Chaparral. Sheepmen came all the way from Mexico to sell their wool here.

Chaparral would be crowded with ox-carts at the wool-buying emporiums: David Hirsch, Ed Buckley, Perry Doddrige, William Headen, John Woessner, and Uriah Lott, before he began building railroads.

Norwick Gussett, the town’s richest wool merchant, was a former muleskinner in the Mexican War. In 1873, he purchased three million pounds of wool. Gussett’s store, topped with a rooster weathervane, was called “la tienda del gallo.” Doddridge’s place had the symbol of a ram, hence “la tienda del borrego.”

The Weekly Democratic Statesman in Austin reported on May 24, 1877 — “Corpus Christi is controlling a large wool trade. It is thought that four to five million pounds will be handled this year.”

Sheepmen returning to Mexico after selling their wool clip in Corpus Christi carried back merchandise for sell, so they made a profit coming and going.

These returning sheepmen were often targeted by bandits. One strategem of the sheepmen, it was said, was to drill holes in the wooden axles of their ox-carts. The holes were packed with silver dollars, then sealed with wooden pegs.

Three things happening almost at the same time brought the colorful and lucrative sheep era to an end. A parasite decimated the flocks. In 1884, Grover Cleveland was elected president and he lowered the tariff on cheap Australian wool, a devastating blow to Texas sheepmen. The other was the end of the open range; sheepmen needed free grass and when cattle ranchers began to fence their pastures, the days of the sheepmen were numbered. The convergence of all three factors brought the sheep era to a close. Sheepmen became cattlemen almost overnight.

In an ironic postscript, during World War II Corpus Christi, this once-great wool market, received millions of pounds of Australian wool, stored here for the duration of the war. Perhaps there was an old sheepman still alive who remembered how the cheap Australian wool imports had don e so much to bring the sheep and wool era to an end in South Texas.


A Link to the Past—Historian Harbert Davenport


                                                           Norman Rozeff                                          

                                                              © June 2009



He was born at the right time and in the right state, and was therefore perfectly situated to record the history of Texas pioneers and much more.  Of course, there was one other element necessary. Was he interested and capable of doing so? He was and, if you excuse the pun, the rest is history.

Harbert Davenport was born in Eastland, Texas on October 19, 1882. Olney, Texas in 1904 saw his marriage to Elizabeth Pettit, a Missouri native. They were to have two sons, Harbert Jr. and Wortham. They moved several times before, in 1908, Harbert received his LL.B from the University of Texas. After practicing in Anahuac, the family took up permanent residency in Brownsville in the year 1912. Here Harbert became a law associate of Judge James B. Wells, Jr. Wells, of course, was the county's most famous and accomplished attorney and the longtime " political boss" of Cameron County too.

Davenport was an early Woodrow Wilson supporter and knew something of Valley politics because he had written "a detailed account of the Independent party's resort to election fraud in the 1912 Brownsville election, their misuse of the city police force and their effort to gerrymander the election precincts of Cameron County."

In 1915 the infamous Plan of San Diego had become common knowledge in the Valley. While viewing a dance Pablo Falcon, a deputy constable working for the Brownsville government, was shot and killed. Davenport later characterized it as "the raiders' first victim." Harbert prided himself on his close connections with the Tejanos in Brownsville and rural Cameron County. He later wrote to his sometime law partner, J.T. Canales, that had Falcon not been murdered he "would have undoubtedly warned me of the trouble brought about by the Plan of San Diego." When the Pizana Ranch attack by authorities took place in August 1915 they, in a justification effort, tried to portray it as a major skirmish however a critical Davenport claimed the incident didn't even deserve the term "fight'. Davenport was more grounded in the realities of the situation. He would later record: "During these troubles, one good citizen—a lawyer who held high places in the judiciary of Texas—suggested to me that we ought to compel all Mexicans resident on the Border to go across the river until the troubles were over, and then go out and shoot all that were left. The mere fact that a larger proportion of those he proposed to exile were born here and were the children of parents who were born here, and that they would be no safer on the Mexican side of the river than he or any member of his family, simply did not register."

In World War I  he had served as a second lieutenant in the army air corps. Upon his return he set up his own law practice. A thorough researcher and investigator he became "recognized as an authority on southwestern land and water law and on Spanish and Mexican law as applied to Texas." He had already commenced documenting history with his "History of the Supreme Court of Texas" in 1917. Unlike his former associate Wells, Harbert was not one to become engaged in seeking  political power.

In 1918 he authored (with Jim Wells) the first of numerous articles he would submit to the Southwestern Historical Quarterly. It was titled The First Europeans in Texas 1528-1536. During 1923 he went on to edit the SWJ article on the expedition of Panfilo de Narvaez.

This journal is published by the Texas State Historical Association. Davenport was to become a fellow of the association in 1929 and serve as its president 1939-42. With his scholarly background he was a natural to serve as a Brownsville School Board member 1924-32.

In the 1920s Davenport operated a satellite office in Harlingen together with J.T. Canales. It was on the second floor of the Water District office, Jackson at Commerce. In the decade to follow he used his legal skills to represent the Good Government League of Hidalgo County in an effort to break the boss rule in that county. Who better then to write about a political power, this time in Cameron County? Davenport did so in 1933 with his "The Life of James B. Wells." In 1950 he would add to the subject with an oral history interview.

When in 1949 he composed "Notes on Early Steam-boating on the Rio Grande" for the SWQ he was the first to detail this neglected subject.

This same decade saw him conduct in-depth research on Fannin's command and the men of Goliad, the 1836 campaign there, and the massacre. He was later honored by being asked to present the address at the dedication of the Texas War of Independence monument at La Bahia, Goliad.

After the age of 60 Davenport seems to have found the time and energy to increase his history work. Together with his associate J.T. Canales, Davenport, concerned about retaining the important water rights of the Valley, generated in 1949 "The Texas Law of Flowing Water with Special Reference to Irrigation from the Lower Rio Grande." He followed this up in 1953 with "Development of the Texas Laws of Water."

Other contributions made by Davenport include these articles: Angel of Goliad (Panchita Alavez); Santa Anna; Prisoner of Mata—The Ladies Lojero; Conference on the Revolution of Mexico 1810-1943; General Jose Maria Jesus Carabajal; and Analysis of Porciones 80 and 81. In researching his classic book The King Ranch, Tom Lea used Davenport as a confirmation and clarification source.

For many years Harbert contributed to civic organizations of the area and as a veteran was active in the American Legion. After a long and productive life Harbert Davenport died at age 74 on February 23, 1957. He is buried in the Buena Vista Cemetery, Brownsville. His wife Elizabeth also had taken up history causes and made contributions to the Brownsville community. She was to die in 1965 at age 82 and be buried alongside her husband.

The Valley was fortunate to have both contribute much to preserving and explaining our heritage.


Recommendations by Jose M. Pena for Texas State School System

Thanks for asking me to provide my ideas related to text and reference books that you should be recommending for the Texas School System.  I have modified the list with books recommended by Joe Lopez.  We hope the following ideas and reasons will help:
1.  Texas Books -- either text or reference books -- should include histories of the time when the 23 original settlements were established by Jose de Escandon and when the Land Grants (both Porciones and Large Land Grants) were awarded.  There are multiple reasons why this history is important; one principal one is that many land grants and porciones originated there and were later transferred to Texas after the U.S./Mexican War.   Here are some books that delve into these areas:
(a)  New Guide To Spanish &Mexican Land Grants in South Texas by Texas General Land Office
(b)  Inherit the Dust From the Four Winds of Revilla by Jose M. Pena
(c)  Our Catholic Heritage, 7 Volumes
(d) Jose Escandon and the Founding of Nuevo Santander
(e)  Jose Escandon, Colonoizer of Nuevo Santander
(f)  The Kingdom of Zapata
(g)  This one has a long title by Florence Johnson Scott: Historical Heritage of the Lower Rio
      Grande:  A Historical Record of Spanish Exploration, Subjugation, and Colonization of the Rio
      Grande Valley........etc.
2.  The text and Reference books need to discuss the historical efforts being made between 1810 and 1821 in the South West.  They are interrelated.   Mexico was trying to become independent from Spain.  Texas was trying to become independent from the central government of Mexico.  During this period, Jose Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara proclaimed the first April 6, 1813 Constitution of Texas, the Battle of Medina took place, and Mexico became independent.  Books that come to mind:
(a) Dan Arellano's Book on the Battle of Medina
(b)  Joe Lopez Book on Jose Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara
(c)  My book, Inherit the Dust from the Four Winds of Revilla
(d)  The Development of Early Mexican Land Policy By Ricki Janicek
3.  Text and Reference Books need to also delve into battles of the Alamo, San Jacinto, and the 1836 decision by Texas to secede from Mexico.  The Texas Constitution of 1836 -- and particularly General Provision 8 is important.  Also important is the legal difference of border recognition -- Mexico recognized the Nueces as its border and Texas (and U.S.) recognized the Rio Grande.
My book, deals with those.
Some of Andres Tijerina deal in this area
4.  The U.S. and Mexican War of 1846 to 1848 is essential and Text and Reference Books must discuss the following:
(a)  The unprovoked invasion by the U.S. against territorial grounds of Mexico --
(b)  The negotiations and signing of The Original Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo for following reasons: 
      (i)  First, the condition in which the Treaty was signed; for instance, the treaty was signed
           under duress while the U.S. had all its forces surrounding and inside Mexico City. 
      (ii)  Second, Mexico was represented by an Interim President -- Santa Anna had already fled
            to Colombia. 
      (iii) Third, the Interim Mexican Government did a decent job of negotiating the First Unedited
            Treaty of Guadalupe including Article VIII and Article X.
(c)  The issuance of the Second (and edited) Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo now becomes relevant because:
Once Mexico and the U.S. had negotiated and approved the Original Treaty of Guadalupe, President Polk and the U.S. Senate changed and modified the terms of a negotiated treaty unilaterally.  In fact, President Polk and the U.S. Senate changed Article VIII and Eliminated a most important Article X dealing with Land Grants.  In sum, this is the reason why the original -- and the edited -- Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo must be presented in two parts.
(d)  Once Mexico saw the modified version of the Treaty of Guadalupe, Mexico did not like the changes that were being imposed.  This is why Mexico and the U.S. Signed the Protocolo de Queretaro.  But, guess what, President Polk did not show the Protocolo de Queretaro to the U.S.  At a later date, the Senate discovered the "Secret" Protocolo de Queretaro and there was a political mess in the U.S.
At least two books get into that:  
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: A Legacy of Conflict by Richard Griswold del Castillo
My Book:  Inherit the Dust From the Four Winds of Revilla
5.  The Creation of the Miller and Border Commission and effects on Land Grants.  Two books:
New Guide to Spanish and Mexican Land Grants in South Texas by the Texas General Land Office
My Book:  Inherit the Dust....
6.  The Text and Reference Books need to discuss the Mexican Revolution, the confiscation of lands on both sides of the border ( Mexico confiscated land of rich U.S. Hacendandos and many land grants within Texas had been stolen, confiscated, etc.  Books need to include discussion on The Bucarelli Agreements, because:
Both countries recognized their role in confiscating and seizing land grants on both sides of the border.  As a result of the Bucarelli Agreements, the U.S. recognized the Post Revolution Government of Alvaro Obregon and commissions were set up to sort out the debts of each country.   Two Books deal with that subject:
The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo: A Legacy of Conflict by Richard Griswold del Castillo
My Book:  Inherit the Dust From the Four Winds of Revilla
7.  The period when Lazaro Cardenas was President of Mexico needs to be taught.  This is when Mexico confiscated the Oil Companies using the provisions of Article 26 of the Mexican Constitution of 1917.  The U.S.  broke diplomatic relations with Mexico.  My book deals with that era.
8.  When Manuel Avila Camacho became President of Mexico, World War II loomed close by.  The U.S. and Mexico signed the 1941 Treaty on Final Settlement of Certain Claims.
This 1941 Treaty is extremely important because under its terms, Mexico and the U.S. agreed to exchange all land grant debts and Mexico agreed to pay the U.S. $40 million.  In other words, the U.S. agreed to pay all debts owed by Mexico for the confiscation of land from the U.S. Hacendados and the Oil Companies.  In turn, Mexico agreed to pay the U.S. $40 million and pay all 433 claims (totalling $193 Million) emanating from land grants confiscated, stolen, etc within Texas.
The U.S. paid its debt to U.S. Citizens within 8 years.  Mexico has never paid its debt.
The U.S. Courts have heard the case of the Associacion de Reclamantes at least twice. 
As far as I know, only my book covers the 1941 Treaty of Final Settlement of Certain Claims and the Court case against Mexico. 
9.  Issues related to Mineral Rights -- as they relate to Land Grants and Porciones that were confiscated and stolen -- are extremely hard to address.  I am still trying to do some research on this subject.  But, to my knowledge, four documents merely touch on the subject and I have not seen court cases:
(a)  The Texas Constitution of 1866
(b)  The Amended Texas Constitution of 1869
(c)  The Amended Texas Constitution of 1876
(d)  New Guide to Spanish & Mexican Land Grants in South Texas by Texas General Land Office 
Sylvia, this is it for now.  If you need any more information or clarification, please let me know.  I hope this is a helpful summation of things that should be included in the curriculum in the State of Texas.
If anyone else wants to add to this list, please feel free and send it to Sylvia Garcia copy to me.  Thanks.
My cousin/friend, Joe Lopez, recommends the following books:
 Quote:  Sylvia, I vote the straight ballot on Chema’s outstanding lineup and comments.  I have some write-in candidates for books, though:

(1)  Chipman’s Book, “Spanish Texas, 1519-1821”

(2) Chipman’s Book, “Explorers and Settlers of Spanish Texas”

(3) Thonhoff’s Book, “The Texas Connection with the American Revolution”

(4) Tijerina’s Book, “Tejano Empire”

(5) Tijerina’s Book, “Tejanos and Texas under the Mexican Flag, 1821-1836

  So much to say, so little time.  Please keep up the good work.  One day, the stories that these books tell will be considered as part of the seamless telling of Texas history from 1519 to the present.  

Regards, Jose M. Pena 
Hosted the 5th Annual Tejano Vigil in The Alamo Shrine

     (San Antonio, Texas) September 8, 2009 - 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 they will host the 5th Annual Tejano Vigil inside the Alamo shrine on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2009 beginning at 7:00pm.  

     This very solemn and reverential ceremony continues to grow in size and  circumstance. Past speakers include Gen. Alfred A. Valenzuela, LTG Charles  G. Rodriguez, State Rep. Joe Farias and Chief Justice Alma L. Lopez. Created to bring awareness of Tejano settlers' contributions to Texas history to the public. The Tejano Vigil is just one of the many projects developed and promoted by Texas in celebration of Tejano Heritage Month, the month of September, as designated this year by the honorable Gov. Rick Perry. 

     "We are proud to once again hold this event inside one of the most  sacred landmarks in our state, the Alamo Shrine," says Rudi R. Rodriguez, Founder  
of Texas "The sacrifices made by our Tejano ancestors during the fight for independence should never be forgotten. This event and the partnerships that it has fostered will go a long way in making sure that this history and their legacies will be remembered for generations to come."  
The Tejano Vigil is just one of many events taking place throughout the State of Texas in honor of Tejano Heritage Month. Texas and its Tejano Heritage Month Partner the Alamo Legacy & Missions Association (ALMA) are proud to have collaborated this year with the Alamo, EPI Electrical Enclosures Inc. and the Daughters of the Republic of Texas on this year's Tejano Vigil. Please see attached Fact Sheet for additional  information on the Tejano Vigil.  
About is a San Antonio-based research and publishing company dedicated to bringing awareness of Tejano history to the public by designing and developing print materials, electronic media and historical exhibits that tell the stories of the state's first pioneers.
More information about including a calendar of the month's celebratory events can be found at or by calling 210.673.3584.
Viva Tejano Texas!!!
Rudi R. Rodriguez
(210) 673-3584 


By Richard G. Santos

It is very simple to state, without a shadow of a doubt that on August 18, 1813 a Spanish Military force under the command of Brigadier General Joaquin de Arredondo defeated a same size so-called “rebel” force. Although the exact site of the first and main encounter is unknown, it is known it occurred along the Camino Real de Laredo north of present day Pleasanton, near Lemming, south of Bexar County and the Medina River. It is also known that as the “rebels” fled from the battle site they were chased and cut down by the Spaniards in numerous encounters. It is also known that many of the “rebels” who returned to their homes and families at San Fernando de Bexar (now San Antonio) were arrested and executed. It is also known that many “rebels” did not stop at Bexar but were fleeing toward Louisiana via Nacogdoches and that Spanish Colonel Ignacio Elizondo executed all he captured. Finally, it is also known that Antonio Lopez de Santa Anan was a young cadet in the Spanish force. There is no question about these facts, although unfortunately, the propaganda of history and culture has blurred and outright overcame the truth with ignorance, prejudices and misconceptions.
Much to the chagrin of the misinformed, Rev. Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla never favored, supported or declared independence from Spain. The Grito de Dolores through which he initiated the uprising on September 16, 1810 made that point loud and clear. It said “Viva Fernando VII, Viva America, Viva La Religion”. That is, “Long Live (Spanish King) Fernando VII, Lone Live America, Lone Live (The Roman Catholic) Religion.” The Native American volunteers in his rebel force added “Muerte a los Gachupinos” (death to the European-born Spaniards). Fellow rebel Ignacio Rayon and the Allende brothers were among the first to break away from Hidalgo because they favored independence from Spain.
Meanwhile, mulatto priest Jose Maria Morelos y Pavon did not join the Hidalgo uprising and started his own pro-independence uprising AFTER the execution of Hidalgo. Finally, in his confession (a hand written copy of which is on file at San Fernando Cathedral in San Antonio, Texas), Hidalgo urged his followers to lay down their arms and remain loyal to Spanish King Fernando VII. Other copies of the signed confession can be found at numerous Mexican archival collections.
              Enter the City Council of San Antonio. Although Texas Governor Salcedo tried to suppress any and all information regarding the Hidalgo Uprising, it did not take long for traveling merchants and the riders of the postal cordillera to spread the news. Consequently, by December 1810, the City Council was secretly plotting the overthrow of the Spanish Governor of Texas. Militia Captain Juan Bautista de las Casas was encouraged and authorized by the City Council to arrest Governor Salcedo so that San Antonio could be seen as neutral and not involved with either side. The overthrow occurred January 22, 1811. However, their choice of de las Casas backfired as he promoted himself to “generalismo” and contacted pro-Hidalgo rebel Mariano Jimenez at Tamaulipas pledging the support and assistance of Texas. The City Council quickly moved to remove de las Casas and accomplished this in March of the same year. Not knowing what position to take, the City Council sent emissaries (spies, really) to the Spanish forces and the Hidalgo forces. Much to their surprise, they discovered the Hidalgo uprising was not doing well. More important, the Aldama brothers arrived at San Antonio saying they were on their way to the United States to negotiate the selling of Texas in exchange for funds, arms, munitions and provisions. In the trial of de las Casas, it was recorded the Aldama brothers wore brightly colored “French uniforms” which further alarmed and disgusted the indecisive residents of San Antonio and its City Council. Consequently, the City Council contacted pro-Spanish royalists in Coahuila and arranged the ambush at Norias de Bajan that resulted in the capture and eventual execution of Hidalgo.
              Enter Jose Bernardo Maximilian Gutierrez de Lara. Following the capture of Hidalgo and his senior staff officers, Gutierrez de Lara made his way to Washington D.C. Without documentation or portfolio, he introduced himself as a follower and emissary of Hidalgo. He was quickly told that the “U.S. Government does not interfere with the internal affairs of a foreign friendly nation”. However, he was advised to go to New Orleans and meet with businessman William Shaler. He was assured Shaler would help him get volunteers, weapons, munitions and provisions. What he was not told was that Shaler at that time was the head of the U. S. Secret Service (forerunner of the CIA). 
              With Shaler’s benevolent assistance, Gutierrez de Lara formed the Republican Army of the North but had to share command with U. S. volunteer Augustus Magee. The Republican Army invaded Texas via Nacogdoches in November1812. It was while laying siege to Goliad early the next year that Magee reportedly committed suicide. Shaler and many U.S. volunteers suspected foul play. The Republican Army then marched towards Bexar and defeated a small Spanish force at the end of March 1813 along the Camino Real del Espiritu Santo (Goliad) at some unknown site near the Rosillo Creek in Bexar County. 
The victorious Republican Army entered Bexar on April1, 1813 and accepted the surrender of Texas and Bexar. Governor Salcedo and the City Council were jailed at the abandoned mission San Antonio de Valero (now known as The Alamo).
              On April 6, 1813, Jose Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara declared Texas “free, sovereign and independent from European Spain and all other foreign powers”.
It was the phrase “all other foreign powers” that alienated Shaler as the U.S. quickly sought to replace Gutierrez de Lara with someone willing to sell or surrender Texas to the U.S. The government chose Jose Alvarez de Toledo a supposed Spanish-born rebel residing in Baltimore. In the meantime, the Republican Army defeated a royalist force from Coahuila commanded by Colonel Ignacio Elizondo in June 1813 that was approaching Bexar from the west via the Camino Real de los Tejas. It was at that time that under the urging of Shaler, the U. S. volunteers demanded they be allowed to elect the commanding officer. They elected Alvarez de Toledo and Gutierrez de Lara retreated to New Orleans. It is interesting to note that up to that time, the Republican Army composed of Native Americans, U.S. volunteers; Tejanos, Tamaulipecos and Coahuilences had acted in unison without ethnic divisions. One of Alvarez de Toledo’s first acts upon assuming command was to divide the army along ethnic lines.
              It was this ethnically divided Republican Army of the North that battled the Spanish force under General Arredondo in what became known as the Battle at the Medina on August 18, 1813. The Spaniards won and whatever number of rebels survived managed to get to New Orleans where they joined the U.S. Army under the command of General Andrew Jackson. Many thus participated in the famous Battle of New Orleans. Thereafter, many moved to Galveston Island where they joined the force of the French pirate but also a U.S. and Spanish double agent Jean Lafitte. It was at Galveston Island that many joined Spanish-born Francisco Xavier Mina in the invasion of the Port of Tampico. The rebels were quickly defeated as if the Spaniards had previous knowledge of the planned invasion. Only a handful of Tejano rebels managed to make their way back to Texas and Louisiana but did not return until after Mexico gained its independence in 1821. In the meantime, supposed rebel Jose Alvarez de Toledo who had replaced Gutierrez de Lara by choice of the United States returned to Spain. He received a pension for life for loyal services to the Crown!
              And so it is that the broader and well documented facts, regarding the Battle at the Medina, have remained unknown and unappreciated! Myth, legends, political propaganda, prejudices and ignorance has suppressed the truth.
Zavala County Sentinel …………… 26-27 August 2009



Why was the Battle of Medina fought?
By Joe Lopez 
Express-News Guest Voices  


Every school child in Texas knows about the deaths of 189 men at the 1836 Battle of the Alamo, but the 1813 Battle of Medina, where more than 800 Tejanos from Bexar died for the same principles of equality, freedom, liberty and justice for all, is all but forgotten.

The Texas Historical Commission calls it the greatest battle ever fought on Texas soil. More Texas patriots died there than in all the 1836 battles combined. And it happened on this date 196 years ago.

Why was the Battle of Medina fought? The spark that led to Texas independence began on Sept. 16, 1810, when Don Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara answered Father Miguel Hidalgo’s call for independence from Spanish colonial rule.

So impressed was the warrior priest, he appointed Don Bernardo as a lieutenant colonel in the Mexican Republican Army. Knowing Tejanos were fiercely independent, Hidalgo also named Don Bernardo as the chief general of the Army of the North (Texas Army).

After building his army with Tejanos, Native Americans and Anglo volunteers, Don Bernardo quickly won five battles and occupied the regional capital of San Fernando (San Antonio). He became president of the First Republic of Texas and on April 6, 1813, signed Texas’ first Declaration of Independence.

Don Bernardo’s hope of complete victory over Spanish forces vanished quickly when he was betrayed by members of his military staff. Due to that and his taking responsibility for the brutal killing of the Spanish governor and some of his officers, Don Bernardo was relieved of command and forced into exile in Louisiana.

Under a different commander, the Tejano Army was outmaneuvered at the Battle of Medina by an experienced Spanish general on a hot August afternoon. The Tejanos were encircled and defeated about 20 miles south of San Antonio, bringing an end to the First Republic of Texas.

As a warning to future rebels, the Spaniards left the Tejanos’ bodies on the battlefield where they stayed for nearly nine years. In 1821, after Mexico’s independence from Spain, the bones were gathered by a military escort and buried.

No one knows exactly where the mass grave is located, nor the exact location of the battle. These forgotten patriots first showed the way to Texas liberty, yet their sacrifice is rarely mentioned in mainstream Texas history books.

So, pause today for a moment and remember. Look to the south and imagine the battle action within earshot of San Antonio. Listen for the distant sound of bugles, bullets, cannon fire, cavalry charges, and the agony of the first brave defenders of Texas independence, our Tejano ancestors.

Joe Lopez is a local author and speaker on early Texas history (




History of the Cajuns: Canary Island Settlers of Louisiana
Canary Islanders Heritage Society of Louisiana, established in 1996
Festival invites attendees to discover aspects of Hispanic culture in Lorain
History of Louisiana by Charles Gayarréa
Louisiana State Archives
Diocese of Baton Rouge

History of the Cajuns: Canary Island Settlers of Louisiana
1778-1783 ... The Canary Island Migration 


The Canary Islands are a collection of 7 islands about 100 miles west of the coast of Morocco. Spaniards conquered the area and migrated to the island in the 15th and 16th century. By the 18th century, the islands were controlled by nobles. The main product of the islands was the production of orchil, a lichen that produces a violet dye. When the orchil crop was low, which happened periodically, the workers practically starved to death and didn't receive much help from the nobles. After a failed revolt in 1762, a group of 300 from the island of Gomera migrated to Louisiana. [German Hernandez Rodriquez, "La aportacion de la isla de la Gomera al poblamiento de la Luisiana, 1777-1778," IV Coloquio de historia canario-americana (1980) (2 vols.; Salamanca, 1982), II, p. 227-245] 

Since the late 1600s, Spain had encouraged the Canary Islanders to move to the Caribbean colonies. After Spain acquired Louisiana in 1762, it recognized the need to populate the territory. When the Revolutionary War brought the English in conflict with the American colonies, Spain recognized the danger from possible English hostilities in Louisiana. On August 15, 1777, Spain ordered a second battalion be formed in Louisiana. It looked to the Canary Islands for 700 recruits. It tried to get married recruits so that they could not only defend the area, but also populate it. [Din, p. 15] 
The recruits were required to be from 17 to 36 years old, healthy, without vices, and at least 5' 1/2" tall. Butchers, gypsies, mulattoes, and executioners were not permited to sign up. Though it wasn't in a written agreement, they understand that they were going to stay in Louisiana permanently. The recruits were to receive 45 reales upon signing up and 45 more upon arrival in New Orleans. They also got 1/2 peso a day while waiting to leave. People were also paid for finding these recruits; in fact, they were paid according to the height of the recruits. The payment was: 15 reales if at least 5' 1/2", 30 reales if at least 5' 2", and 45 reales if at least 5' 3". [Din, p. 16] 
Five of the island sent recruits to Louisiana: Tenerife (about 45%), Gran Canaria (almost 40%), Gomera, La Palma, and Lanzarote. The 700 recruits brought their families, bringing the total number of immigrants to 2,373. The following ships brought the Islenos to Louisiana:
Santisimo Sacramento - 264 passengers - departed July 10, 1778 
La Victoria - 292 passengers - departed October 22, 1778 
San Ignacio de Loyola - 423 passengers - departed October 29, 1778 
San Juan Nepomuceno - 202 passengers - departed December 9, 1778 
Santa Faz - 406 passengers - departed February 17, 1779 
El Sagrado Corazon de Jesus - 423 passengers - June 5, 1779 
Another ship with the last group of 100 recruits (and their families) were delayed because of the war between England and Spain. They had to stay over in Cuba for the duration, where a number of them died. They finally arrived in 1783 
The St. Bernard (LA) USGenWeb site has a page with the ship lists of the Canary Island immigrants. 

Passenger lists of the ships bringing the Canary Islanders can be found in Din's The Canary Islanders of Louisiana (available from LSU Press). When they arrived, they primarily settled in four areas: Valenzuela, Nueva Iberia, Galveztown, and Terre-aux-Boeuf (San Bernards de Galvez).  The history of these areas is included on the site. 

Sent by Bill Carmena




Canary Islanders Heritage Society of Louisiana, established in 1996


Where are the Canary Islands?
The Canary Islands are an archipelago of seven islands, covering 2,808 square miles, and constituting an autonomous region and two provinces of Spain. They are located in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of northwest Africa, about a hundred miles west of Morocco. Tenerife, La Palma, La Gomera, and El Hierro islands are part of the Santa Cruz de Tenerife province. Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, and Fuerteventura are part of Las Palmas province. The islands are of
volcanic origin and rise to 12,162 feet at Mt. Teide, the highest point in Spain. About 1.6 million people live in the Canaries. With their warm climate and fine beaches, the Canaries are a popular tourist center.
Who were the Canary Islanders who came to Lower Louisiana in the 18th century?

The history of the Canary Islanders in Spanish Colonial Louisiana began in 1778 when 700 men were recruited to increase the size of the Louisiana Regiment. The Spanish Crown had held Louisiana since 1762, and foresaw the possibility of an invasion by Great Britain. Spain looked to the Canary Islands for the recruits. They initially tried to get single men, but ultimately settled
for married recruits so that they could defend the area and also populate it. These recruits had to be “17 to 36 years old, healthy, without vices, and more than five feet tall”. In fact, recruiters were paid extra for every half-inch their recruits stood over five feet.

Though it wasn’t in a written agreement, these men understood that they would be staying in Louisiana permanently. By the summer of 1779, 352 families and 100 single men had arrived in the Louisiana Territory where Governor Bernardo de Galvez settled them in four locations he
considered to be major invasion routes planned by the enemy: Barataria (57), Valenzuela (113), Galveztown (114) and San Bernardo (68).

The married men were formed into militia units led by Galvez in his conquest and occupation of British territory on the lower Mississippi River. By these actions Spain supported the Americans in their revolution against Great Britain, Spain’s historical enemy. At the end of 1783, a total of 2,363 men, women, and children from the Canary Islands had been sent to Colonial Louisiana. Living conditions were difficult in a flat, wet, undeveloped land vastly different from their volcanic homeland.

Over two hundred years have passed since the arrival of the Canary Islanders in Louisiana. Today their Hispanic surnames still abound in Louisiana as well as in other states, and their scattered descendants still treasure the unique heritage of their ancestors from the Canary Islands.

Meetings are held at 11:00 a.m. on the 2nd Saturday of the month at the Louisiana State Archives Building on Essen Lane unless otherwise notified. Membership in the Society is only $15/year. Please join us! Phone (225) 755-0422 Email:
Sent by Bill Carmena



Festival invites attendees to discover  aspects of Hispanic culture in Lorain
by Rona Proudfoot

LORAIN, Ohio  — Last year, in an effort to ramp up awareness of National Hispanic Heritage Month, members of the Latino community staged the first ever Latino Fest at Lorain’s Lakeview Park.  In its infancy, organizers weren’t expecting a big turnout. But boy, were they surprised. 
“We were a little bit surprised with the tremendous turnout,” said Richard Romero, one of the organizers. “We thought maybe a few hundred people would come. We had thousands show up.”
He expects the same for this year’s festival, noon to 8 p.m. Sunday at Lakeview.  
e says the festival is a celebration of Hispanic culture, music, food and art. It’s held as part of a month long period honoring Hispanic heritage, designated from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.
On Sunday, Latin soul singer Justo Saborit is the feature act, with performances at 3 and 6 p.m. Also performing are two of Lorain’s own dance troupes, Alma de Mexico and Raices Latinas, as well as La Isla del Encanto, Mariachi Mexico and Voices de la Calle from the Cleveland area.
Also on display will be photography by Joseph Carrion and examples of Mexican and Puerto Rican artwork.
Food — Puerto Rican pastelillos, rice and beans and roast pork sandwiches, and Mexican tacos and burritos — will be available for purchase from the Puerto Rican Home and Mexican Mutual Club.
The festival is as much for non-Latinos as for Mexicans, Puerto Ricans and other Hispanic groups, Romero said. Besides food and entertainment, festival attendees can pick up a little information about the contributions Hispanics have made here in the United States.  “We put together a program booklet,” Romero said. “It’s a ‘Did you know?’ of highlights of Hispanic history.”
Among those highlights? Hispanics have won more congressional medals of honor than any other ethnic group, Romero said.
“There’s some famous movie stars people would have never guessed are Hispanic,” such as Rita Hayworth and TV’s “Wonder Woman” Lynda Carter, Romero said.
“You tell people, and they say, ‘Wow, I didn’t know that,’ ” he said. Cesar Chavez, one of the greatest labor leaders in the country, was Mexican American, Romero said. He worked hard to make sure people were being treated fairly.”
Another big hero to a lot of Puerto Ricans is baseball player Roberto Clemente. He’s remembered less for his playing than for what he did in the off season, Romero said.
“He started baseball camps and sent food to people in poorer countries,” Romero said. Clemente died in an airplane crash as he was taking food to victims of an earthquake in Nicaragua.
National Hispanic History Month itself has an interesting story, according to Romero. The observance was first authorized as a week by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1968 and was changed to month-long celebration in 1988. It starts in the middle of the month because Sept. 15 marks the independence day for five Latin American countries — Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Mexico celebrates its independence Sept. 16, and Chile, Sept. 18.
“We want to take the time to recognize our culture and the contributions we make,” said Romero, who wears a number of hats, most of them relating to his Puerto Rican culture. He’s vice president of the Ohio Commission on Hispanic-Latino Affairs, CEO of the Lorain County Multicultural Business Center and president of the Latino Media Network.
He’s been to Puerto Rico more than a dozen times, most recently for his brother Robert’s wedding in July.  
Joel Arrendondo, Lorain City Council president as well as president of Mexican Mutual, called the festival “a long time coming.”
“We’ve had the Hispanic Heritage Month for a number of years, and thanks to Richard Romero and (festival coordinator) Mary Santiago, we were able to get this off the ground last year,” he said. “It was very well received. The performances and the venue were great, and the community at large came out, not just the Hispanic community.”
Romero agreed.  Attendance is “a big mix of people, and that’s how I want it,” he said. “It’s an event where Latinos and non-Latinos can enjoy each other’s company and share their pride.”
Natalie Rodriquez, who was crowned queen of the 2008 International Festival, went to last year’s Latino Fest and is looking forward to Sunday.
“Having the opportunity to celebrate my Mexican culture is very important to me and my family,” she said. “The International Festival gives Lorain a chance to celebrate the multitude of cultures here, and the Latino Fest gives the Hispanic community of Lorain a chance to celebrate. It’s full of great entertainment and of course all the great food that comes from the Hispanic culture.”
Romero agreed. “What I hope they walk away is a sense of what a beautiful culture the Hispanic community has to offer,” Romero said. “The music, the colors, the costumes — it’s good food, good music, good people, and it’s alive and well in Lorain County.”
Contact Rona Proudfoot at 329-7124 or



History of Louisiana by Charles Gayarréa


History of Louisiana by Charles Gayarréa in the edition published by William J. Widdleton, New York, 1867.  The text is in the public domain





Louisiana's history is as diverse as the ingredients that comprise the gumbo for which she is so well known.
Native American tribes such as the Bayougoulas and the Houmas were the first to leave their cultural imprints upon this land. They were followed by the French, Spanish, and English, each of which brought a distinct European influence to Louisiana. These influences can still be seen today in the architecture, language, cuisine, music, law, and government that is so uniquely Louisiana. But there are others who have shaped Louisiana's historical and cultural landscape the past three hundred years. Without the added contributions of peoples such as the African-Americans, the Germans, the Hungarians, and the Italians, the drama of Louisiana history would be an unfinished.

Through war, scandal, political intrigue, and economic uncertainty, Louisiana has evolved from a backwater colonial outpost to become a modern, prosperous state, whose blend of European romanticism and American pragmatism make her the most unique of these fifty United States.

The Louisiana State Archives, a division of the Louisiana Secretary of State's office, is mandated to identify, to collect, to preserve, to maintain, and to make available those records and artifacts that enhance our endeavors to understand the dynamics and nuances of our state's remarkable history.

Created by the State Legislature in 1956 as the official repository for the state's historical records, the State Archives has called many places home since its conception. The "first" State Archives was located in Peabody Hall at LSU, a dilapidated structure slated for demolition by the State Fire Marshal's office. This was home for the state's official records until 1966 when the State Archives relocated to a former warehouse on Choctaw Boulevard in the industrial section of Baton Rouge. This facility was likewise not suitable for the proper preservation of the state's documentary heritage. In the early 1980's, following an extensive lobbying campaign, the legislature funded construction of a new State Archives building on Essen Lane. In August, 1987, this state of the art facility was officially opened. Designed by architect John Desmond, the building has been hailed as one of the foremost archival facilities in the nation.

Sent by Bill Carmena



Department of the Archives


The Department of the Archives of the Diocese of Baton Rouge is the repository of the sacramental records of the Catholic churches within the diocesan territory. Civil parishes included in the Diocese are: Ascension, Assumption, East Baton Rouge, East Feliciana, Iberville, Livingston, Pointe Coupée, St. Helena, St. James, Tangipahoa, West Baton Rouge and West Feliciana.

The Department has published abstracts of its holdings of sacramental records. To date Volumes 1a through 22 have been published and are available for purchase. These books contain records of baptisms, marriages and burials dating back to the early records of the Parish of St. Charles-aux-Mines, Grand Pré in Acadia (1707-1748). There are many records of the Louisiana colonial period including those of St. Francis of Pointe Coupée (1722-1769). Volumes 1a through 22 contain all extant records from throughout the diocesan territory through 1900. In each volume the abstracts are listed in alphabetical order by surname. Volume 1b is the first volume to contain records of those without surnames. 

Sent by Bill Carmena



Alegre Research

 Alegre Research is focused on Latino community studies in the Mid-Atlantic states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To date, at this site, published studies on Latino communities can be found for the cities of:  Reading, PA; the Lehigh Valley, which includes Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton, PA; Mercer County, NJ including Trenton, Princeton and the surrounding areas; and most recently Lancaster County, PA. All have significant Latino populations. In addition to the demographic information they contain, each study offers a brief history of how the communities came to be. For example, in 1947 there were only 33 Latinos in Lancaster County. Today there are more than 33,000. Each community is historically unique and differs demographically.  All of the studies can be accessed free of charge online at



Acatzingo, Puebla Baptismal Font
Personajes en la Historia de Mexico por Jose Leon Robles De La Torre
     Manuel Gómez Pedraza  and Valentin Gomez Farias
The Genealogy of Mexico
Baseball Historian: o Béisbol
La Sociedad de Genealogía de Marín, Nuevo León, México

Acatzingo, Puebla Baptismal Font


Acatzingo, in the state of Puebla, enjoys a remarkable artistic colonial heritage. In addition to its grand and colorful parish church, a treasure house of barroco poblano architecture as well as superb baroque paintings and retablos, it is also home to one of the great early Franciscan monasteries in the region.

Girded with battlements, this formidable 16th century "fortress" church of San Juan Evangelista boasts one of the finest and most intriguing sculpted baptismal fonts in Mexico. Set prominently in the middle of the nave instead of in the baptistry, and rimmed by the Franciscan knotted cord, the font stands atop a stylized, feathered base, possibly of pre hispanic origin.

The date 1574, or 4 Rabbit, is inscribed on the base in Aztec pictorial glyphs. The town coat of arms, also portrayed in indigenous style, is emblazoned on the other side, incorporating eagles or ducks, and reeds - a reference to Acatzingo's place name: Where Reeds Grow.

Painted at one time, the basin is boldly sculpted with winged Angels of the Apocalypse who seem ready to take flight. Flanking a relief of the Sacrament, the angels point upward to the Latin words of the Benediction of Baptism inscribed around the rim, the beginning and end of which are visible.

Exploring Colonial 
Mexico©The Espadaña Press Web site 








Manuel Gómez Pedraza

General de División don Manuel Gómez Pedraza, Presidente de México número siete.

Datos tomados del Tomo II, Libro 12 de mi obra inédita: "La Independencia y los Presidentes de México", referente al General de División don Manuel Gómez Pedraza, séptimo Presidente de México.

Su nacimiento, unos escritores dicen que fue en Soto La Marina, Tamaulipas, pero la realidad es que vió su primera luz en Querétaro, Qro., según aparece en el Tomo 16 de las Memorias de la Academia Mexicana de la Historia, correspondiente a la Real de Madrid en documento juramentado por Gómez Pedraza en su matrimonio del día 16 de febrero de 1823, donde "declaró en nombre de Dios y de la Santa Cruz, ser natural de Querétaro, Qro., de donde salí para España como Diputado a Cortés, hijo legítimo de don Juan Antonio Gómez Pedraza y de la Sra. doña María Úrsula Rodríguez y Salinas, de edad 34 años y jefe político superior y Capitán General de este partido de México, casó con Juliana de Azcarate Vera de Villavicencio".

Sus primeros estudios los hizo en su tierra natal de donde pasó al colegio de San Ildefonso en México, para estudiar la carrera de Letras y poco tiempo después se dedicó a la carrera de las armas y fue muy amigo de don Guillermo Prieto. Se dió de alta en el ejército virreinal en 1810 cuando sonó fuerte el Grito de Dolores por el Cura Hidalgo. Y don Manuel Gómez Pedraza se encontraba en la Hacienda de la Familia cerca de Río Verde y de allí se unió al ejército de Calleja para combatir a los insurgentes.

A los 21 años de edad, y por su preparación, recibió el grado de Capitán, teniendo su primer combate en Guanajuato al lado de Calleja en noviembre de 1810. En 1812, Gómez Pedraza asistió, al lado de Calleja, a combatir a Morenos en el sitio de Cuautla a la cabeza del Batallón Fieles del Potosí. Después en enero de 1813 asistió al combate en Peña Colorada, cerca de Celaya.

El 17 de octubre de 1824, en un combate contra los insurgentes, Gómez Pedraza perdió su caballo y él fue gravemente herido en una ingle. También fue condecorado por el Emperador Iturbide con la Gran Cruz de la Orden de Guadalupe.

El 7 de enero de 1825 fue nombrado Ministro de Guerra y Marina por el Presidente don Guadalupe Victoria, donde permaneció hasta 1828. Con un intervalo del 27 de septiembre al dos de noviembre de 1825 en que desempeñó la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores e Interiores.

El Partido Masón Escocés, llevó a la Presidencia de la República a Gómez Pedraza, pero con el conflicto de los partidarios de Guerrero, Gómez Peraza renunció y no ascendió a la Presidencia desterrándose a Francia, permaneciendo por algún tiempo en Europa, de donde regresó a México, embarcandose en Burdeos en 1830, llegando a Veracruz, donde no pudo permanecer y de allí se reembarcó a Nueva Orleans donde permaneció por algún tiempo, regresando nuevamente a México por Veracruz a donde llegó el 5 de noviembre de 1832 y el 22 de diciembre de ese mismo año tomó la Presidencia de México hasta el 31 de marzo de 1833, en que dejó el poder.

En la madrugada del 14 de mayo de 1851 repentinamente dejó de existir el General de División don Manuel Gómez Pedraza y fue sepultado en el viejo panteón de San Fernando de la capital de la República.

El 17 de octubre de 1824, en un combate contra los insurgentes, Gómez Pedraza perdió su caballo y él fue gravemente herido en una ingle. También fue condecorado por el Emperador Iturbide con la Gran Cruz de la Orden de Guadalupe.

El 7 de enero de 1825 fue nombrado Ministro de Guerra y Marina por el Presidente don Guadalupe Victoria, donde permaneció hasta 1828. Con un intervalo del 27 de septiembre al dos de noviembre de 1825 en que desempeñó la Secretaría de Relaciones Exteriores e Interiores.

El Partido Masón Escocés, llevó a la Presidencia de la República a Gómez Pedraza, pero con el conflicto de los partidarios de Guerrero, Gómez Peraza renunció y no ascendió a la Presidencia desterrándose a Francia, permaneciendo por algún tiempo en Europa, de donde regresó a México, embarcandose en Burdeos en 1830, llegando a Veracruz, donde no pudo permanecer y de allí se reembarcó a Nueva Orleans donde permaneció por algún tiempo, regresando nuevamente a México por Veracruz a donde llegó el 5 de noviembre de 1832 y el 22 de diciembre de ese mismo año tomó la Presidencia de México hasta el 31 de marzo de 1833, en que dejó el poder.

En la madrugada del 14 de mayo de 1851 repentinamente dejó de existir el General de División don Manuel Gómez Pedraza y fue sepultado en el viejo panteón de San Fernando de la capital de la República.




Valentín Gómez Farías

Datos del Tomo II, Libro 13 de mi obra inédita: "La Independencia y los Presidentes de México", correspondientes al Dr. don Valentín Gómez Farías, octavo Presidente de México. Nacido en la ciudad de Guadalajara, Jal., el miércoles 14 de febrero de 1781, y su nombre completo es: José María Valentín Gómez Martínez, según aparece en su acta de nacimiento No. 34, folio 38 frente, siendo hijo legítimo de don José José Lugardo Gómez de la Vara y de María Josefa Martínez y Farías. Su padre era comerciante en granos y cereales, que le permitían vivir holgadamente.

Sus estudios: su padre le puso un profesor particular para que le enseñara su primaria y poco tiempo después ingresó al Seminario de Guadalajara, Jal., donde por el año de 1800 estudiaba Filosofía y Letras, siendo compañero de don Juan de Dios Cañedo y de don Anastasio Bustamante. En 1801, dejó el Seminario para ingresar a la Real Universidad de Guadalajara para estudiar medicina hasta terminar la carrera y recibir su título en 1808 de doctor en Medicina. Al año siguiente, se trasladó a la Ciudad de México, permaneciendo allá hasta 1816 en que trasladó su residencia definitiva a la ciudad de Aguascalientes, partido 13 y Municipio de Zacatecas, donde además de ejercer su profesión de México, se dedicó a la política y entre sus pacientes se encontraba la señorita Isabel López, de la que se enamoró y contrajeron matrimonio el día tres de octubre de 1817, según consta en acta firmada en la Villa de Aguascalientes, Zacs.

En 1820 fue nombrado Regidor del Ayuntamiento.

El 17 de noviembre de 1821, después de la entrada del Ejército Trigarante a la Ciudad de México, la Regencia convocó a elecciones para el Congreso General, resultando electo, por Zacatecas, el Dr. Gómez Farías en mayo de 1825, fue electo Senador de la República por Zacatecas, su tierra adoptiva y duró 1827 y 1828 y en esas fechas dirigió los periódicos "El Imparcial" y "El Águila".

El 20 de noviembre de 1832, resultó electo Gobernador de Zacatecas don Francisco García Salinas, y como subteniente de Gobernador el Dr. don Valentín Gómez Farías. En las elecciones de 1833, el General don Antonio López de Santa Anna resultó electo Presidente de México y como vicepresidente el Dr. Gómez Farías y en cuya administración tuvo alternancia en la Presidencia de la República.

El 27 de enero de 1835, el Congreso desconoció a Gómez Farías como vicepresidente de la República, saliendo al destierro, estableciéndose en Nueva Orleáns, U. S. A. donde se reunió la "Junta Anfictiónica", para recobrar el Gobierno de México, participando activamente Gómez Farías, don José Antonio Mejía y don Lorenzo de Zavala. Gómez Farías regresó a la patria el 19 de febrero de 1838.

El Dr. Valentín Gómez Farías, después de algunos años, el cinco de julio de 1858 falleció en la Ciudad de México y sus restos fueron depositados en la Rotonda de los Hombres Ilustres del Panteón de Dolores de la ciudad capital. En 1956, yo visité su tumba y tomé una fotografía que figura en mi obra citada al principio.

Sent by Mercy Bautista-Olvera




The Genealogy of Mexico


Editor: Amazing website for researching Mexican heritage, compiled with valuable information and sources for additional study. I strongly suggest that you GO, GO, GO to it!!  




Baseball Historian: o Béisbol


Although there is some dispute about exactly when and where béisbol started in Mexico, baseball has a long and colorful history in Mexico with historians placing its origin there as early as the 1840’s. Today, baseball flourishes in Mexico with a 16-team Summer League and an 8-team Winter League. Approximately 100 native Mexicans have played in the major leagues in the United States, including Fernando Valenzuela, Vinny Castilla, Ismael Valdéz, and Esteban Loaiza. The first Mexican native to play in Major League Baseball in the United States was Baldomero “Melo” Almada, who debuted with the Boston Red Sox on September 8, 1933.
The Liga Mexicana de Béisbol was founded in 1925 with six teams playing all their games in Mexico City. In the 1930s and 1940s, African-Americans from the United States—who were still barred from Major League Baseball until Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947--played alongside Mexicans and Cubans in the Mexican League. This arrangement benefited the African-American players through higher salaries and better conditions than in the Negro Leagues in the United States, and helped the Mexican League gain status and revenue from increasing the caliber of their ballplayers. In 1937, legendary Negro Leagues’ stars Satchel Paige and James “Cool Papa Bell” left the Pittsburgh Crawfords to play in Latin America. After playing a year in Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic, Paige and Bell joined the Mexican League. In 1940, Bell won the Triple Crown, hitting .437, with 12 home runs, and 79 RBIs. The next year, fellow Negro Leaguer Josh Gibson hit .374, and set Mexican League records with 33 home runs and 124 RBIs in only 103 games. His home run mark almost tripled the existing Mexican record and stood until 1960 when the Mexican League had a longer season.
In the 1940s, multi-millionaire Jorge Pasquel attempted to turn the Mexican League into a first-rate rival to the Major Leagues in the United States. In 1946, Pasquel traveled north of the border to pursue the top players in the Negro and Major Leagues. Although he was reportedly turned down by Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio, Pasquel signed up close to twenty white major leaguers, including such well known names as Mickey Owen and Sal Maglie, and a number of Negro League players. Ultimately, Pasquel’s dream faded, as financial realities led to decreased salaries and his high-priced foreign stars returned home.
Currently, 16 teams divided into North and South Divisions play in the Liga Mexicana in a summer season, which ends in a 7-game championship series between the winners of the two divisions. Since 1967, the league has been sanctioned as an “AAA” minor league. In the winter, eight teams play in the Liga Mexicana de Pacifico, whose winner advances to the Caribbean Series against other Latin American winners.
In 1957, baseball in Mexico got a big boost when a little league team in Mexico won the Little League World Series in Williamsport. 12-year old Angel Macias won the championship for the Mexicans by throwing a perfect game against a team from La Mesa, California.
The El Sálon de la Fama, the Mexican Professional Baseball Hall of Fame, has enshrined 167 into its Hall of Immortals, consisting of 138 Mexicans, 16 Cubans, 12 from the United States, and one Puerto Rican. Distinguished players include Major League Baseball stars Roy Campanella and Monte Irvin, who played in the Mexican League in the 1940s. Nicknamed “El Bambino Mexicano,” or the Mexican Babe Ruth, Hector Espino was inducted in the Mexican Hall of Fame in 1988, after playing with San Luis Potosi, Monterrey, and Tampico from 1962 to 1984. His 453 home runs remained the record until Nelson Barrera surpassed him in 2001. Espino still holds the all-time records in many offensive categories.
In international competition, the Mexican national team failed to advance beyond the second round of the World Baseball Classic in 2006. But its second-round 2-1 victory over the United States before a heavy pro-USA crowd of 38,284 in Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California, proved to be a big highlight to Mexicans as the win prevented its bigger rival from moving on to the semi-finals. Mexican teams have won the Caribbean Series against other Latin countries six times, most recently in 2005 when Venados de Mazatlán won in its home town.

Official Site of Mexico’s Summer League (Liga de Mexicana)
Official Site of Pacific League of Mexico
Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame

Available for Purchase
"Viva Baseball! A book about Latin Major Leaguers" by Samuel O. Regalado
"Baseball's First Mexican-American Star: The Amazing Story of Leo Najo," by Noe Torres
Players Born in Mexico
Name Birthdate Birthplace First Game
Juan Acevedo 5/5/1970 Ciudad Juarez 4/30/1995
Cy Acosta 11/22/1946 El Sabino 6/4/1972
Mel Almada 2/7/1913 Huatabampo 9/8/1933
Gabe Alvarez 3/6/1974 Navojoa 6/22/1998
Tavo Alvarez 11/25/1971 Ciudad Obregon 8/21/1995
Victor Alvarez 11/8/1976 Culiacan 7/30/2002
Ruben Amaro 1/6/1936 Veracruz 6/29/1958
Alfredo Amezaga 1/16/1978 Ciudad Obregon 5/24/2002
Bobby Avila 4/2/1924 Veracruz 4/30/1949
Luis Ayala 1/12/1978 Los Mochis 3/31/2003
Salome Barojas 6/16/1957 Cordoba 4/11/1982
German Barranca 10/19/1956 Veracruz 9/2/1979
Francisco Barrios 6/10/1953 Hermosillo 8/18/1974
Rigo Beltran 11/13/1969 Tijuana 6/2/1997
Andres Berumen 4/5/1971 Tijuana 4/27/1995
Jorge Campillo 8/10/1978 Tijuana 5/20/2005
Matias Carrillo 2/24/1963 Los Mochis 5/23/1991
Vinny Castilla 7/4/1967 Oaxaca 9/1/1991
Juan Castro 6/20/1972 Los Mochis 9/2/1995
Jose Cecena 8/20/1963 Ciudad Obregon 4/6/1988
Juan Cerros 9/25/1976 Monterrey 9/8/2003
Francisco Cordova 4/26/1972 Veracruz 4/2/1996
David Cortes 10/15/1973 Mexicali 8/30/1999
Humberto Cota 2/7/1979 San Luis Rio Colorado 9/9/2001
Jorge de la Rosa 4/5/1981 Monterrey 8/14/2004
Miguel del Toro 6/22/1972 Ciudad Obregon 4/6/1999
Elmer Dessens 1/13/1971 Hermosillo 6/24/1996
Erubiel Durazo 1/23/1974 Hermosillo 7/26/1999
Narciso Elvira 10/29/1967 Tlalixcoyan 9/9/1990
Chico Escarrega 12/27/1949 Los Mochis 4/26/1982
Frank Estrada 2/12/1948 Navojoa 9/14/1971
Hector Fajardo 11/16/1970 Sahuayo 8/10/1991
Jesse Flores 11/2/1914 Guadalajara 4/16/1942
Chico Garcia 12/24/1924 Veracruz 4/24/1954
Karim Garcia 10/29/1975 Ciudad Obregon 9/2/1995
Luis Garcia 9/22/1975 Hermosillo 4/10/2002
Daniel Garibay 2/14/1973 Maneadero 4/9/2000
Benji Gil 10/6/1972 Tijuana 4/5/1993
Geronimo Gil 8/7/1975 Oaxaca 9/8/2001
Chile Gomez 5/23/1909 Mazatlan 7/27/1935
Luis Gomez 8/19/1951 Guadalajara 4/28/1974
Edgar Gonzalez 2/23/1983 San Nicolas de los Garza 6/1/2003
Bob Greenwood 3/13/1928 Cananea 4/21/1954
Rudy Hernandez 10/18/1951 Empalme 9/6/1972
Bobby Herrera 7/26/1926 Nuevo Laredo 4/19/1951
Teddy Higuera 11/9/1958 Los Mochis 4/23/1985
German Jimenez 12/5/1962 Santiago 6/28/1988
Houston Jimenez 10/30/1957 Mexico City 6/13/1983
Max Leon 2/4/1950 Pozo Hondo 7/18/1973
Esteban Loaiza 12/31/1971 Tijuana 4/29/1995
Aurelio Lopez 9/21/1948 Tecamachalco 9/1/1974
Carlos Lopez 9/27/1948 Mazatlan 9/17/1976
Rodrigo Lopez 12/14/1975 Tlalnepantla 4/29/2000
Memo Luna 6/25/1930 Tacubaya 4/20/1954
Ever Magallanes 11/6/1965 Chihuahua 5/17/1991
Isidro Marquez 5/15/1965 Navojoa 4/26/1995
Mario Mendoza 12/26/1950 Chihuahua 4/26/1974
Sid Monge 4/11/1951 Agua Prieta 9/12/1975
Felipe Montemayor 2/7/1928 Monterrey 4/14/1953
Andres Mora 5/25/1955 Rio Bravo 4/13/1976
Angel Moreno 6/6/1955 Veracruz 8/15/1981
Noe Munoz 11/11/1967 Escatepec 4/30/1995
Miguel Ojeda 1/29/1975 Sonora 5/17/2003
Jorge Orta 11/26/1950 Mazatlan 4/15/1972
Antonio Osuna 4/12/1973 Sinaloa 4/25/1995
Vicente Palacios 7/19/1963 Manlio Fabio Altamirano 9/4/1987
Jose Pena 12/3/1942 Ciudad Juarez 6/1/1969
Oliver Perez 8/15/1981 Culiacan 6/16/2002
Tony Perezchica 4/20/1966 Mexicali 9/7/1988
Horacio Pina 3/12/1945 Matamoros 8/14/1968
Miguel Puente 5/8/1948 San Luis Potosi 5/3/1970
Alfonso Pulido 1/23/1957 Tierra Blanca 9/5/1983
Roberto Ramirez 8/17/1972 Vega de Alatorre 6/12/1998
Dennys Reyes 4/19/1977 Higuera De Zaragoza 7/13/1997
Armando Reynoso 5/1/1966 San Luis Potosi 8/11/1991
Ricardo Rincon 4/13/1970 Cuitlahuac 4/3/1997
Luis Rivera 6/21/1978 Chihuahua 4/4/2000
Oscar Robles 4/9/1976 Tijuana 5/10/2005
Sergio Robles 4/16/1946 Magdalena de Kino 8/27/1972
Aurelio Rodriguez 12/28/1947 Cananea 9/1/1967
Carlos Rodriguez 11/1/1967 Mexico City 6/16/1991
Rosario Rodriguez 7/8/1969 Los Mochis 9/1/1989
Enrique Romo 7/15/1947 Santa Rosalia 4/7/1977
Vicente Romo 4/12/1943 Santa Rosalia 4/11/1968
Jorge Rubio 4/23/1945 Mexicali 4/21/1966
Celerino Sanchez 2/3/1944 El Guayabal 6/13/1972
Jose Silva 12/19/1973 Tijuana 9/10/1996
Marcelino Solis 7/19/1930 Real de Catorce 7/16/1958
Jose Tolentino 6/3/1961 Mexico City 7/28/1991
Hector Torres 9/16/1945 Monterrey 4/10/1968
Alex Trevino 8/26/1957 Monterrey 9/11/1978
Bobby Trevino 8/15/1943 Monterrey 5/22/1968
Ismael Valdez 8/21/1973 Ciudad Victoria 6/15/1994
Mario Valdez 11/19/1974 Ciudad Obregon 6/15/1997
Benny Valenzuela 6/2/1933 Los Mochis 4/27/1958
Fernando Valenzuela 11/1/1960 Navojoa 9/15/1980
Guillermo Velasquez 4/23/1968 Mexicali 9/14/1992
Oscar Villarreal 11/22/1981 Nuevo San Nicolas de los Garza 3/31/2003




La Sociedad de Genealogía de Marín, Nuevo León, México

La Sociedad de Genealogía de Marín, Nuevo León, México esta buscando a todos los descendientes de las familias originarias de Marín. Nos encantaría ponernos en contacto con cualquier persona interesada en conocer sus raíces, y desde luego les agradec... eríamos cualquier información que puedan proporcionarnos sobre sus familiares, ya que queremos volver a crear una base de datos de la genealogía de nuestros ancestros y sus descendientes. Hace ya dos años que falleció nuestro querido primo y amigo, José González. En honor a él y atendiendo a sus deseos, queremos continuar con el trabajo que el inició con tanta ilusión y esfuerzo.

On August 8, 2009 a group us met in Marin and discussed the possibility of re-creating the database of the Genealogy of Marin's ancestors and descendants. 
Back in 1999 the work was started with numerous genealogists and families contributing their family trees and photos to this project. We want to repeat this endeavor.
All interested parties should contact us with their information.
Two years ago we lost our primo/friend Jose Gonzalez. 
We want to continue the work he started.




Cuban, with a detour in Mission Viejo
Association of Puerto Ricans in San Antonio, Texas
General Santa Anna in Saint Thomas By Aimery Caron
Contacts For Caribbean researchers
Digital Library of the Caribbean

Cuban, with a detour in Mission Viejo

For The Orange County Register, October 09, 2009 

EDITOR'S NOTE: Does your family have a story about coming to this country? The starting point isn't important – your people could be from Mexico or France or Vietnam or anyplace – we want to read it. Please send your tale (1,200 words or less) to Andre Mouchard at with the words "Coming to America" in the subject field. We don't pay, but we often publish.

I was born in Havana, Cuba. My family left Cuba on Valentine's Day, Feb. 14, 1961. I know the date because it is stamped on a passport, and forever in my memory.

It cost $21.60 for the half-fare for children to fly the ninety miles from Havana to Miami. It's not lost on me that I can easily spend more than that to feed my family at McDonald's, and that the distance is about roughly from here to San Diego.

We didn't tell anyone in Cuba that we were leaving. There were no goodbyes. My mother never saw her own mother again.

My dad left Cuba months earlier and was just waiting until my mother could get visas for the five girls.

My brother left Cuba as an unaccompanied minor on Dec. 26, 1960 — one of the original Pedro Pan kids taken in by Father Bryan O. Walsh in Miami.

So it was my mom, and us girls, and 13 suitcases on that midnight flight.


Back then, in early 1961, Cubans would still go to the airport to greet other arriving exiles.

I remember being oh-so-tired and happy when we landed. I remember seeing my dad on the other side of the customs counter and not being allowed to go to him. I remember that he and my brother were yelling directions to my mother: "Ask for 3! Ask for 3!" I later found out that it was for the length of the visa. I remember the cheering and clapping when we finally made it through customs.

I remember wishing my dad a happy birthday and thinking how very old 50 was. I can only imagine the relief that was in his heart that day as the eight of us were reunited.

That was 48 years ago. All my family's memories of Cuba, B.C. (Before Castro) are happy ones. We still maintain many of our Cuban traditions and love all things Cuban, particularly the music and the food.

I am the youngest of six.

My parents, Luz and Rodolfo Verdés were married for 60 years. My dad, Papi, passed away in December of 1999. Before he died, he asked me to return his ashes to his hometown of Pinar del Rio.

"Wait," he said, "until Cuba is free." I will keep my promise to him one day. But, as of today, I am still waiting.

I don't know if it is because we spent the first few years in exile talking about when we would return to our home in Cuba. I don't know if it is that we left home and family and beloved places without much warning or planning. But not a day goes by that I'm not aware of a longing for the land of my birth. I fill it with the music and the food, and of course, I scrapbook, and I write.

I am happy to be connected to an amazing Cuban community online. Before anything else that I am, I am first and foremost Cuban. And I celebrate that every day. My immediate family has since grown to over 40 people who all consider themselves to be Cuban-Americans. My children, nieces and nephews who were all born here in the U.S. are also proud of their Cuban heritage.


My sisters Miriam, Alina and I started school in Miami in the fall of '61. We spoke a tiny bit of English that we had learned back in Cuba.

We looked different. We dressed different. Our food was different. Yet there were so many of us experiencing the same things. At that time, there were so many Cuban exiles in Miami.

But time passed and we realized we would not be returning to Cuba. So we assimilated. We moved to California. We grew up. We married. We had families of our own.

In our homes we have tokens of our heritage. We drink café Cubano. We pay extra close attention to anything having to do with Cuba on the news. Practically the first thing we tell people we meet is that we're Cuban-Americans. We say it by way of explanation. We leave this part unsaid, but implied — "That's why we're different."

We are different.

We are proud U.S. citizens. We value freedom in a way many born here in the U.S. do not. We value family in a way someone who has never been separated from theirs would not. We pass our heritage on to our children so proudly. We love our culture. We love our food. We love our homeland. We love the USA.

We are no longer dreaming of the day we will return to Cuba.

And yet, we still have an intense desire to see real freedom come to our homeland.

But to this day, when we encounter other Cubans wherever we are, there's always a sweet recognition. Then comes the interview:

"Where are you from? How long have you been here? Do you still have family there?"

"Havana. 48 years. Yes."




Association of Puerto Ricans in San Antonio” or “APRISA”


Do you live in or near San Antonio, Texas?  We invite you to join us for Puerto Rican Mixers almost every month.  Also, you can join our new Organization  by the name “Association of Puerto Ricans in San Antonio” or “APRISA” for short.  or call Migdalia at 210-497-5559.        
Do you live in or near San Antonio, Texas?  We invite you to join us for Puerto Rican Mixers almost every month.  Also, you can join our new Organization  by the name Association of Puerto Ricans in San Anto­nio” or “APRISA” for short.   
I love being Puerto Rican… and you?  Have you ever stopped to think whether or not your are proud to be Puerto Rican?  What is it that makes that so special?  What are your reasons to have that “Orgullo Bo­ricua”?   Read what others have said and share with us your own reasons.    I love being Puerto here.  . .  Orgullo Boricua  
We invite you to join our “BoricuaFirst page” on Facebook.  Please click on the banner. is a website dedicated to all things Puerto Rican…  We hope you visit us and enjoy the contents.  We are also looking for Boricuas that would like to contribute to the site with articles, refranes, etc.   Our email is     Please visit us...

Trivia Boricua
The first Mother’s Day in Puerto Rico was celebrated in Yauco in 1915…
When Puerto Rico hosted the Miss Universe contest in 1972, it was the first country from Latin America to host this contest…
Do you know other trivia from Puerto Rico?  Share them with us and read more on our website.  Puerto Rico Trivia   
  What is your favorite “refran”?  Remember those that our parents and “abuelos” used to say?  “Mas vale pajaro en mano que cientos volando”; “El que no tiene dinga, tiene mandinga”; :Todo lo prieto no es morcilla”...   To view some of our “refranes y dichos” please click here.
Puerto Rican food is delicious.  Regardless of what is your favorite one: Arroz con Habichuelas, Mofongo, Arroz con Gandules, Chuletas de Cerdo,  Sancocho, Lechón asado, etc. We are looking for the best Puerto Rican Restaurant in the whole World.  Some of the suggestions so far are: La Bom­bonera in San Juan, Big Ed in Long Beach and La Marginal in San Antonio.  So what do you think?  What is the best?  Let us know by emailing us at  Puerto Rican Restaurant




By Aimery Caron


Throughout his storied career, Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna (1794-1876) had many opportunities to flaunt his presence in the Caribbean. These opportunities, however, unlike his flamboyant soldiering, originated in disgrace and humiliation, as Santa Anna sought refuge in the Caribbean archipelago not once, not twice but on five separate occasions of political exile. True to his penchant for drama and hyperbole, Santa Anna’s exiles spanned a 22-year period as turbulent as any in Mexican history.

Cuba, Jamaica, the coastal city of Carthagena, Colombia, the island of Santo Domingo (now the Dominican Republic) and the Bahamas were major destinations and safe harbors for Santa Anna during his frequent banishments. Curiously, though, few outside the Caribbean recall that Santa Anna also considered St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, his home during his fourth exile from 1858 to 1866 when the island was still part of the Danish West Indies.1 Santa Anna’s main residence burned down in 1986, but its site perches on a hill overlooking picturesque Charlotte Amalie harbor in St. Thomas, and today it has a guest house still known to locals and visitors as “Villa Santana.” 

This article, “General Santa Anna in Saint Thomas” by Aimery Caron, reveals new information about the Caribbean life and lifestyle of the ill-fated General and, using original sources, describes where and how he made his home in St. Thomas for eight years.

About the Author: Aimery Caron is a Caribbean historian with special interests in the U.S. Virgin Islands and the French West Indies. Born in France, he relocated to St. Thomas in the 1950s with his parents and has made the island his home ever since. Dr. Caron served as French Consul for the U.S. Virgin Islands for 17 years, and retired from the University of the Virgin Islands as Professor emeritus (chemistry). He has translated, authored and published several monographs on Caribbean history, is proud to be a long-standing member of L’Associété d’Histoire de la Guadeloupe, is a founding member of the nonprofit Caribbean Genealogy Library in St. Thomas ( and continues to actively serve as a member of its Board of Directors and volunteer librarian.


1 The Danish West Indies (St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix and their surrounding cays and lesser islands) were sold by Denmark to the United States in 1917 for $25 million. Today this island group remains an unincorporated U.S. Territory. The U.S. Virgin Islands is located in the Caribbean Sea approximately 60 miles east of Puerto Rico and about 1,100 miles southeast of Miami, Florida

Link to the article: 
The link to Caribbean Genealogy Library's web site home page is:

Sent by Susan Laura Lugo


Contacts For Caribbean researchers: 


Al Cohen’s Plaza, Raphune Hill
Bldg 3, Bay 603
St Thomas, VI 00804-0366
340-714-2136  Newsletter online

Susan Laura Lugo, C.A.
Territorial Coordinator for Archives
Government of the Virgin Islands
DPNR/Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums
5424 Store Tvaer Gade
St. Thomas, VI  00802-6947


Digital Library of the Caribbean


The Digital Library of the Caribbean (dLOC) is a cooperative digital library for resources from and about the Caribbean and circum-Caribbean. dLOC provides access to digitized versions of Caribbean cultural, historical and research materials currently held in archives, libraries, and private collections.

Collections include newspapers, photographs, archives of Caribbean leaders and governments, official historical documents, and historic and contemporary maps. Future collections will feature numeric data for local ecosystems, oral and popular histories, travel accounts, literature, and musical expressions. The study of Caribbean culture is incomplete without an understanding of the various languages spoken in the region. dLOC is committed to building a collection of resources for teachers and students of Caribbean linguistics.

An interesting, searchable website.  
For example, search for the word "canarias"... 






Desde hace mucho tiempo, aparecen en los medios de comunicación escritos de quienes aseguran que Cristóbal Colón no descubrió América, que antes lo hicieron otros. Pero si así sucedió, el primero que lo hizo de forma oficial, aunque creyó que era la India, fue Don Cristóbal y ese reconocimiento no se lo quita nadie, porque fue y volvió cuatro veces

Esta mañana, leía un artículo que decía que los Templarios, los Caballeros de la Orden del Temple, iban y venían a América, en el siglo XIII, como hoy lo hacemos nosotros en el puente aéreo de Madrid a Barcelona, aunque ahora vamos y volvemos en el día.. La verdad es que, está de moda y se ha hablado tanto, últimamente, sobre los Templarios, que me he visto obligado a repasar su historia, aun cuando sea a grandes rasgos y parcialmente.

Todo empezó, cuando en 1118 el francés Hugo de Payne, caballero con una gran formación cristiana y hábil en el manejo de las armas, decidió liderar a otros caballeros para crear un grupo que protegiese a los peregrinos que eran asaltados cuando iban camino de Jerusalén. 

Fundaron la Orden de los Caballeros del Templo de Jerusalén, pronto contaron con el apoyo del rey Balduino I de Jerusalem y posteriormente con el reconocimiento de la Iglesia. Fueron adquiriendo un poder que los hacia disponer de grandes cantidades de dinero, lo que hacia muy apetitosos para las coronas reinantes en Europa, ya que ellos les facilitaban los prestamos, lo que permitía a los caballeros del Templo influir en los gobiernos de las naciones e incluso en la Iglesia.

Dicen algunos historiadores, que los Templarios salían desde el puerto de La Rochelle con sus naves rumbo a América, en el siglo XII y XIII, y regresaban cargados de plata, en cantidades tan grandes que superaban la producción de este metal en Europa, en aquellos tiempos.

También, Jacques de Mathieu, historiador residente en Argentina, afirma que en mapas franceses de 1865 se detalla la existencia de un fuerte en la Patagonia, en la zona de Rio Negro, que asegura perteneció a los Templarios.

Pero todo acabó cuando Felipe IV de Francia, consiguió que el Papa Clemente, que debía el pontificado al apoyo del monarca, diera una orden para que la Inquisición arrestase al Gran Comandante  Jacques de Molay y 140 caballeros, que posteriormente fueron  quemados públicamente, sometiéndolos antes a un secuestro real de sus bienes, que era lo que Felipe perseguía.

La Orden Templaria, fue suprimida por el Papa Clemente V en 1312, aunque algunos países dieron acogida a quienes lo quisieron, refundándola con diferentes nombres; en Portugal fue la Orden de Cristo, en Finlandia la de San Andrés y en España, la de Montesa, aunque muchos se refugiaron en los Hospitalarios.

                               Ángel  Custodio Rebollo


El Dia de los Muertos celebrated in Germany
Asunto: Fallecimiento de Don Rodrigo Escobar Restrepop
International Men's Global Website
Emigracion Forzosa, El Winnipeg por Angel Custodio Rebollo
Monumento al zancudo caído, "único en el mundo"
Luis Xavier Grisanti // Venezuela Canaria
Homenaje a Don Pedro Grases

El Dia de los Muertos celebrated in Germany



Editor:  So interesting . Here is information about El Dia de los Muertos celebrated in Germany.   

Estimada Dorinda, 

Estaremos recordando como cada año a los queridos amigos y familiares que se encaminaron al Mictlan.Con el permiso del señor dador de la vida, daremos nuestras ofrendas a todos los que en vida nos acompañaron.

Desde Berlín donde ya tenemos esta tradición fundada por el alma conquistadora de Rodrigo Ortega, acompañaremos en nuestros recuerdos a todos los que sean adelantado al viaje eterno.

Esta ofrenda dedicada a la gente de teatro y de las artes como fue Humberto Proaño, Atahualpa del Chopo, Mariano Leyva, Andrés Segura, José Guadalupe Salcedo, Enrique Buenaventura, Augusto Boal, Jorge Reyes, Mercedes Sosa y muchos mas que en la larga lista los estaremos recordando con cariño. Para todos ellos flor y canto desde Berlín.

Te mando muchos saludos Mario. Che

10/30/09, Mario Vazquez
Sent by Dorinda Moreno


International Men's Day global website


On November 19th an International Men's Day was held.

International Men's Day global website. 
International Men's Day began on November 19th 1999 in Trinidad and Tobago and was supported by the United Nations. The event received wide support from men's groups in USA, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. Speaking on behalf of UNESCO, Ms. Ingeborg Breines, Director of Women and Culture of Peace said, “This is an excellent idea and would give some gender balance.” She added that her organisation was looking forward to cooperating with organisers of IMD. 
Objectives of International Men's Day include a focus on men's and boy's health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive male role models. It is an occasion for men to highlight discrimination against them and to celebrate their achievements and contributions, in particular for their contributions to community, family, marriage, and child care. The November IMD is a significant date as it interfaces the popular 'Movember' charity event and also with Universal Children's Day on Nov 20 with which IMD forms a 48 hour celebration of men and children respectively, and of the special relationships they share.
The ability to sacrifice your needs on behalf of others is fundamental to manhood as is honour. Manhood rites of passage the world over recognise the importance of sacrifice in the development of Manhood. Men make sacrifices everyday in their place of work, in their role as husbands and fathers, for their families, for their friends, for their communities and for their nation. International Men’s Day is an opportunity for people everywhere of goodwill to appreciate and celebrate the men in their lives and the contribution they make to society for the greater good of all.
During the past ten years methods of commemorating International Men's Day have included public seminars, classroom activities at schools, radio and television programs, Church observances, and peaceful displays and marches. The manner of observing this annual day is optional; any organizations are welcome to host their own events and any appropriate forums can be used. Early pioneers of IMD reminded that the day is not intended to compete against International Woman's Day, but is for the purpose of highlighting men's experiences. Each year a different theme is highlighted, such as peace in 2002, men’s health in 2003, sacrifice in 2008, and positive male role models in 2009. In consultation with organizers from other nations the following broad objectives of IMD are observed:
Celebrate manhood and the wonderful positive and valuable contributions our men, young men, and boys make to our communities and to our societies

Promote and Support gender equality, encouraging men to address responsibly and positively the challenges facing them in society.

Demonstrate strength of character and courage in meeting the challenges that men face in society and in contributing to building stronger and better communities, where people can be safe and grow to reach their full potential.

Highlighting positive male role models, not just movie stars and sports men but everyday, working class men who are living decent, honest lives.    

International Men's Day is celebrated in Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, Australia, India, United States, New Zealand, Pakistan, Haiti, Singapore, Malta, South Africa, China, and the United Kingdom. Join us on November 19 in celebrating the contribution men make to those around them, to their family and friends, their work place and the community, the nations and the world.
Sent Diane A. Sears, Managing Editor for IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD

POR Angel Custodio Rebollo



       A principios del pasado mes de septiembre, la Presidenta de Chile, Michelle Bachelet encabezó los actos conmemorativos de la llegada a Valparaíso en 1939 del barco “Winnipeg”, con 2365 españoles que victimas de la guerra civil tuvieron que salir precipitadamente de España.

       Pero el problema es que después de huir de España, tuvieron que hacerlo además de Francia, por el temor a que estallase la guerra mundial, algo que también sucedió.

       El gobierno chileno, había designado como cónsul especial al poeta y escritor Pablo Neruda y este con los pocos medios económicos que tenía fletó un barco de solo 5.000 toneladas, que como carguero hacia viajes a Äfrica con mercancías, el viejo “Winnipeg” y con él enviaron  a los 2365 refugiados que salieron del puerto de Trompeloup, en Francia.

       El gobierno de Chile había autorizado el viaje, pero con la condición que solo embarcasen expatriados de profesiones que fueran necesarias en ese momento en Chile, como pescadores, agricultores, carpinteros, fontaneros y de otras profesiones, pero evitando que fueran intelectuales o políticos, que pudieran crear algún conflicto diplomático.

       Pablo Neruda dirigió personalmente el embarque y a los pasajeros, al entrar en el Winnipeg les entregaron una colchoneta, una almohada, una manta y un neceser de higiene personal. A los niños les dieron también una libreta y lápices de colores, para entretenimiento durante el viaje.

       Aunque había muy pocos medios y la organización hubo que hacerla precipitadamente, todo estuvo muy organizado y los refugiados comprendieron todos los problemas que un barco viejo y pequeño, que iba muy sobrecargado, les daría durante la travesía.

       Sabemos que los pasajeros venían de todas las regiones españolas, pero al ir con un pasaporte colectivo solo se conservan los nombres, pero no el lugar de procedencia de cada uno.

       Todos fueron muy bien acogidos por el gobierno y la población chilena y actualmente muchos de ellos y sus descendientes están integrados en Chile.

Para quien quiera consultar los nombres de los 2365 refugiados del Winnipeg, existe la página web, “,” atendida por el hijo de uno de los españoles que iba en el barco de la esperanza.

                            Ángel Custodio  Rebollo



(Publicado en Odiel Información de Huelva en octubre)



Monumento al zancudo caído, "único en el mundo"

Artículo publicado el: 04/11/09  Diario El Carabobeño

Historia y Tradición: Monumento al zancudo caído, "único en el mundo"
Eumenes Fuguet Borregales (*) 

En la población de Morón, capital del municipio Juan José Mora del estado Carabobo, se encuentra el "Monumento al zancudo caído", construido en 1955 por iniciativa del Club de Leones de Valencia, recordando que en ese sitio se inició el 2 de diciembre de 1945, la titánica lucha contra el paludismo, considerada la principal causa de muerte en el país. Recordemos que María Teresa Rodríguez del Toro, la joven esposa del futuro Libertador, fallece el 22 de enero de 1803 de fiebre amarilla. Bolívar con Rafael Urdaneta y el prócer neogranadino Atanasio Girardot, tienen que suspender el sitio a la fortaleza de Puerto Cabello iniciado el 17 de agosto de 1813 hasta mediados de septiembre, debido a las muertes por la fiebre amarilla; Páez tuvo que retirar el cerco en Puerto Cabello el 26 de mayo de 1823 y movilizarse a Valencia, porque su ejército "estaba siendo diezmado por la peste de calenturas, degenerado en vomito prieto". Acción que reinicia el 7 de octubre hasta lograr la rendición del general Sebastián de la Calzada el 8 de noviembre, último combate de la guerra de independencia. Antes de la lucha contra el paludismo la esperanza de vida del venezolano estaba en los cuarenta y siete años, mejorando considerablemente a partir de 1950 al llegar casi los sesenta; es importante resaltar que desde 1962 en Venezuela no se registra ni una sola defunción por paludismo, es uno de los males traídos al Nuevo Mundo por los europeos o por los negros esclavos a partir de 1528. Fue el eminente doctor trujillano Arnoldo Gabaldón (1909-1990), quien viene a obtener los primeros éxitos en este combate contra el paludismo que ocasionaba no menos de diez mil muertes al año; convierte a Venezuela en el primer país en organizar una campaña a escala nacional contra la malaria con resultados por demás exitosos. El Dr. Gabaldón inicia en 1936 la estrategia para erradicar este mal del país, como fundador de la Dirección Especial de Malariología adscrita al ministerio de Sanidad y Asistencia Social; igualmente funda en Maracay la Escuela de Malariología y Saneamiento Ambiental, donde se han capacitado hasta la presente fecha innumerables profesionales malariólogos nacionales y extranjeros. Gracias a las investigaciones y coordinaciones realizadas por el Dr. Gabaldón, relacionadas con el la lucha antimalárica, el Congreso Nacional sanciona en 1936 la Ley de Defensa contra el Paludismo. En 1944 se traslada a Washington como participante de la V Conferencia Panamericana de Directores Nacionales de Sanidad, se relaciona con el general James Simmons, quien le informa de un polvillo blanco empleado con fines militares y que ligado con kerosén, ofrecía un buen efecto sobre el trasmisor del paludismo; el polvo sería el D.D.T (Dicloro-Difenil-Tricloetano). Gabaldón realiza las diligencias necesarias para traer al país el referido componente ansioso de utilizarlo en la lucha antimalárica., a tal fin los entes gubernamentales y estadales brindan el apoyo necesario; el Presidente (gobernador) de Carabobo era el Dr. Enrique Tejera. El distinguido doctor valenciano Pedro Rafael Guerra Méndez (1866-1946), adelantó campañas antimaláricas y en sus escritos sobre el paludismo, se refería como el principal agente de mortalidad en Carabobo. El profesor Alexis Coello Cronista Oficial del municipio Juan José Mora, en su excelente obra "Morón auge y caída del Paludismo en Venezuela", patrocinado por la ilustre Cámara Municipal, editado en 2005, nos ilustra con gran acierto en forma didáctica y documental, sobre el flagelo que sufrió el país a causa del zancudo transmisor del paludismo y pormenores de la lucha iniciada en Morón, por ser la zona con un elevado índice de mortalidad; vecina a Puerto Cabello donde el eminente Dr. Gabaldón ejercía la medicina antes de 1936, conocedor del aspecto sanitario de la región costera. El 2 de diciembre de 1945, inicia en forma experimental su labor, utilizando el D.D.T en un rancho propiedad de Melecio Castillo, empleando un pequeño ejército de rociadores o dedetizadores con su característico uniforme gris y casco de aluminio en forma de hongo, que pronto se desplazarían en mulas, a pie o en vehículos rústicos. Recorrieron gran parte del territorio nacional, fumigando casa por casa, caseríos, aldeas, pueblos y ciudades; marcando cada casa rociada; dignos del permanente agradecimiento nacional; algunos de ellos fallecieron en cumplimiento de su loable actividad. Acompañaron a Gabaldón en el histórico primer rociado distinguidas personalidades del área gubernamental y sanitaristas. El Dr. Gabaldón logró ganar la gran batalla del siglo XX, esta vez contra el paludismo. El inédito monumento al "zancudo caído" colocado donde estaba el primer rancho rociado, es de metal colocado yacente sobre una base de piedra redonda. 

(*) Gral. de Bgda.
Sent by Roberto Pérez Guadarrama


Luis Xavier Grisanti // Venezuela Canaria

Re: Venezuela Canaria, Diario El Universal, Viernes 14 de Agosto de 2.009



No menos importantes fueron los herreros, artesanos, campesinos...

Los venezolanos no hemos ponderado en toda su magnitud la gran contribución que han realizado los inmigrantes de las Islas Canarias al desarrollo social, económico y cultural del país. Como un aporte fundamental al conocimiento de la hermandad canario-venezolana, el profesor de Historia de América de la Universidad de La Laguna, Manuel Hernández González, acaba de publicar una obra esencial de 601 páginas intitulada Los canarios en la Venezuela colonial 1670-1810 (bid&co. Editor), para cuyo bautizo visitó nuestro país.

La obra del profesor Hernández es un estudio erudito sobre el rol determinante que jugaron los miles de hombres y mujeres isleños en la fundación de pueblos y en la formación misma del gentilicio venezolano, no sólo por su aporte a la Independencia, sino por su mística de trabajo y su dedicación al cultivo de la tierra y al progreso productivo.

El auge agropecuario (cacao, añil, ganado, café, trigo, etc.) que formó la generación de los libertadores tuvo un altísimo componente canario. Entre los firmantes del Acta de Independencia, 17 eran hijos de canarios, 5 nietos y un nacional isleño. Hijos o nietos de canarios fueron Francisco de Miranda, José María Vargas, Andrés Bello, José Félix Ribas, Carlos Soublette, Luis López Méndez, Miguel José Sanz y León Febres Cordero, entre otros.

No menos importantes fueron los miles de herreros, artesanos, campesinos, arrieros, pulperos, mercaderes, bodegueros, canastilleros, abogados, médicos y presbíteros que desde Perijá a la Península de Paria y desde Guayana y los Llanos a los Valles del Tuy y Coro, dieron lo mejor de sí para configurar una cultura nacional aderezada al trabajo fecundo, el bien común, la solidaridad y la libertad.
Sent by  Roberto Pérez Guadarrama



Artículo publicado el: 16/09/09
Diario El Carabobeño

Homenaje a Don Pedro Grases
Eumenes Fuguet B. (*)


El 17 de septiembre se conmemora el primer centenario del natalicio del doctor Pedro Grases, de dilatada y beneficiosa trayectoria en investigación documental, bibliográfica e histórica; sus aportes a la filología que permitió ahondar el legado "bellista" y la docencia, logran enaltecer aún más su preclaro nombre. Con este venezolano-catalán nacido en Villafranca del Penedés, provincia de Barcelona-España, se cumple el viejo axioma de que: "nadie es profeta en su tierra". A los dieciséis años escribe en periódicos y revistas de su región natal. Luego de obtener doctorado en Filosofía y Letras y Derecho; ejerce en Barcelona el profesorado de estas materias y el idioma árabe entre 1931 y 1936. Amenazas de muerte y la guerra civil española, obligan su exilio en Francia. De allí decide dirigirse a Venezuela en busca de nuevos horizontes, zarpa en el navío Simón Bolívar de bandera holandesa; llega a La Guaira el 17 de agosto de 1937 acompañado de su extraordinaria esposa Doña Asunción Galofre, su compañera durante toda la vida por casi setenta años, y de sus pequeños hijos Pedro Juan y José Pablo; en Caracas nacieron María Asunción y Manuel.

Su vida venezolana se inicia en Maracay con familiares de su esposa, y al residenciarse en Caracas se dedica al comercio con la firma Bloohm; al conocer al Dr. Ernesto López Ministro de Educación, éste lo invita a dar clases de gramática y literatura en los liceos Fermín Toro y Andrés Bello, clases que alternaba en el Colegio América. El recién fundado Instituto Pedagógico Nacional lo recibe para ejercer la docencia y a emplear nuevas ideas en el Liceo de Aplicación. Para profundizar sus investigaciones sobre grandes personajes militares y civiles de hispanoamérica, recorre bibliotecas nacionales, archivos, el Palacio de las Academias y las principales bibliotecas del mundo; con fructífero resultado logra rescatar y divulgar al continente americano, la egregia personalidad de Don Andrés Bello a quien califica como "el humanista de América"; a Don Simón Rodríguez también logra elevar su sitial. En la Universidad Central de Venezuela, funda la Escuela de Humanidades de la U.C.V y su Escuela de Bibliotecología.

Concluidos sus estudios por una beca otorgada por la Fundación Rockefeller y profesorados en Norteamérica en 1946, le proponen quedarse como profesor titular de la prestigiosa universidad de Harvard, apetitosa oferta que rechaza para regresar al país que lo encandiló para siempre por su paisaje físico y humano, que lo adoptó como su hijo al nacionalizarlo en los años cincuenta. Su casa con el nombre de Villafranca Nro 9 ubicada en la urbanización La Castellana donde vivió por más de cincuenta años, convertida en un centro obligado de tertulia los sábados por parte de estudiantes, profesores, académicos e intelectuales de la época, ávidos por actualizar los conocimientos humanísticos. Don Pedro realizó interesantes estudios y escritos sobre la imprenta en nuestro país, de allí su obra "Orígenes de la Imprenta en Venezuela", y su ensayo sobre Valentín Espinal a quien consideraba el mejor impresor del siglo XIX.

La erudición y tantas obras le permiten ingresar como Individuo de Número de la Academia Nacional de la Lengua y de la Academia Nacional de la Historia; designado igualmente académico de corporaciones intelectuales de América y Europa. En vida fue el máximo conocedor de Andrés Bello en América, de allí que no se podía separar el binomio Grases-Bello; Grases Investigó con entusiasmo los archivos del Libertador, Sucre; Urdaneta, Roscio, Juan Vicente González, Baralt y Fermín Toro entre tantos personajes de la Venezuela heroica y republicana. Tuvo la suerte y honra en 1975 de tener acceso en Inglaterra y traer a Venezuela, el DOCUMENTO ORIGINAL MANUSCRITO LEIDO POR BOLÍVAR EN EL CONGRESO DE ANGOSTURA EL 15 de FEBRERO DE 1819; escrito por el capitán Jacinto Martel secretario y amanuense del Libertador; celosamente guardado en casa de descendientes del coronel y comerciante James Hamilton, quien lo había traducido al inglés y entregado a familiares antes de morir en Angostura en 1840.

Documento considerado la máxima pieza de los escritos del Padre de la Patria; las hojas tenían las observaciones y correcciones realizadas por el abogado Manuel Palacio Fajardo (1784-1819). Don Pedro fue Director y Asesor de la Casa de Bello fundada bajo su tutela, ubicada al lado del Ministerio de Educación. Profesor titular de las universidades Andrés Bello y Metropolitana. Fue Secretario de la Comisión de las obras completas de Bello presidida por el Dr. Caldera. Junto al sacerdote Pedro Pablo Barnola se dedicó a fondo en analizar las negociaciones de los dos Tratados firmados el 26 de noviembre de 1820 en Santa Ana por Bolívar y Morillo; poseía gran capacidad analítica para comparar documentos que esclarecen los hechos. Funda en el 2002 la "Fundación Grases" presidida por María su hija y Carlos Maldonado Bourgoin, ilustre historiador y crítico de Arte.

Su valiosa biblioteca fue donada en vida a la Universidad Metropolitana. Formador de insignes educadores, con una envidiable cosecha epistolar de cuarenta mil cartas escritas de su puño y letra, más de dos mil entradas bibliohemerográficas y una producción de ciento setenta y nueve libros y folletos, fallece en Caracas el 15 de agosto del 2004.

Cuanta deuda tenemos con su legado resumido en la brillante ejecutoria docente e investigativa, ingente en dimensión y espiritualidad. El Amherst College en EE.UU. instituyó en 1983 el prestigioso "Premio Pedro Grases de Excelencia en Hispanismo". Uslar Pietri dijo: La historia de la investigación en el país se divide en antes y después de Grases". En palabras del Dr. Guillermo orón:"Es Pedro Grases el primer bibliógrafo venezolano del siglo XX".

Don Pedro Grases.Honrar.honra.
Gral. de bgda

Artículo enviado desde la página web del Diario El Carabobeño

Sent by Roberto Perez Guadarrama





La presencia histórica del hispano en Estados Unidos: 
don Bernardo de Gálvez

Justo S. Alarcón
Biblioteca Virtual Miguel D. Cervantes

Included is the introduction to a ten chapter study:



     Este primer y breve ensayo será simplemente un perfil de lo que podría haber sido un proyecto de investigación a largo metraje. Se trata, pues, de presentar sucintamente una visión esquematizada sobre la importancia que ha tenido el hispano y todo lo hispánico en el desarrollo de la historia de Estados Unidos a través de más de cuatrocientos años. Se impondría asimismo, además de un estudio del pasado y del presente, una proyección hacia un futuro, a corto o largo plazo, de lo que será el hispano y lo hispánico en este país. Parafraseando a don José Ortega y Gasset, podríamos decir que «quizás el verdadero profeta no sea el que intuye el futuro, sino el que indaga en el pasado», refiriéndose con ello al hecho de que en el desarrollo de la historia hubo y hay ciertos eventos y factores tan determinantes que se convierten en parámetros y rieles sobre los que se encarrilan los futuros eventos.

No cabe duda de que en este país la existencia de la lengua española y la de unos veinte millones de hispanos es un hecho indiscutible. Este doble fenómeno del pasado y del presente, y que continuará en movimiento creciente en el porvenir, no podría explicarse solamente con decir que «en los últimos años ha habido una oleada de inmigración, legal o ilegal, a Estados Unidos procedente de países de habla hispana por razones políticas, económicas, etc.». Cierto, pero es que la presencia hispana aquí tiene también otros antecedentes muy lejanos y muy diferentes a otros pueblos y a otras razas que coexisten en esta nación, y que hay que explicar de manera muy distinta a la generalmente proyectada.

Con el nacimiento y la expansión del imperio español, digamos a partir de 1492, España se lanzó al exterior con un ardor característico de los caballeros andantes y de los místicos. Consigo llevaban lo que caracterizaba en aquel tiempo a la Edad Media, al Renacimiento y, posteriormente, al Barroco. Las épicas y el misticismo acompañaban a estos intrépidos guerreros y misioneros. La Cruz y la Espada fueron los dos grandes símbolos de la doble conquista que se llevó a cabo.

Esta aventura gigantesca se periodiza en tres momentos históricos progresivos: el descubrimiento, la exploración y la colonización. No hay que olvidar que tanto el sureste y como todo el sur y el suroeste de lo que hoy es Estados Unidos se consideraba entonces, y habrá que considerarlo ahora, como «la periferia» del antiguo imperio español en Las Américas. Los centros de máxima actividad se hallaban en las sedes de los dos virreinatos más importantes de aquella época, entre ellos el de México. De esos centros radiaba la autoridad y la larga cadena de las colonias. El suroeste, por ejemplo, distaba mucho de la capital mexicana, sede el Virreinato de México. Por tanto, la fuerza que irradiaba del centro se iba perdiendo y debilitando poco a poco, a medida que se abrían las distancias. Nos referimos, claro está, al sureste y al suroeste de lo que hoy es Estados Unidos.

El primer descubridor europeo oficial de Estados Unidos, don Juan Ponce de León, salió de Puerto Rico hacia la Florida en 1513. Esto ocurrió seis años antes de que Hernán Cortés entrara en México (1519), y ciento siete años antes de que la embarcación inglesa Mayflower anclara en la Nueva Inglaterra (1620). A partir de ese año, cientos y miles de descubridores, exploradores y colonizadores hispanos visitaron y/o se quedaron por estas tierras estadounidenses.

Son numerosas las épicas y las gestas llevadas a cabo por estas tierras durante más de trescientos años, desde Ponce de León en 1513 hasta 1848, cuando, con el Tratado de Guadalupe Hidalgo, México tuvo que ceder todo el territorio de lo que hoy es el suroeste de Estados Unidos. No hay más que pensar en Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca (1528) que, con sus compañeros, cruzó durante ocho años y medio casi todo el sur y el suroeste de Estados Unidos, asimilándose y aculturándose a los «naturales». Vázquez de Coronado (1540) que, con su numeroso séquito, exploró el Gran Cañón y viajó hasta Quivira, Kansas. Fray Marcos de Niza (1539) que, ya septuagenario, desde la capital mexicana cruzó con Estebanico los desiertos de Sinaloa, Sonora, Arizona y Nuevo México en busca de las siete ciudades de Cíbola. Don Juan de Oñate que, con gran número de gente y acopio de toda clase de ganado y semillas, salió de Guadalajara encaminándose hacia El Norte, cruzando El Paso del Norte (1589), y adentrándose hasta llegar a Nuevo México. Don Juan Bautista de Anza, sonorense de nacimiento y residente en Tubac, Arizona, que con unas veinte familias salió de la capital mexicana atravesando desiertos y subiendo por las escarpadas Montañas Rocosas para comenzar la construcción de la ciudad de San Francisco (1775). Fray Junípero Serra, el gran misionero que, además de fundar un rosario de misiones a lo largo de la Alta California, comenzadas en 1767, abrió el famoso Camino Real de dicho estado. Éstos y otros muchos emprendedores echaron las bases de la exploración y el fundamento de la colonización hispana que perduraría a través de los años y de los siglos en este país. La presencia hispánica de esta primera época fue, pues, larga, duradera y profunda.

Estos puntales históricos son muy importantes porque, a causa de su falta de conocimiento por parte de la ciudadanía de esta nación, se originan muchos malentendidos y estereotipos procedentes de la presente cultura dominante. Expresándolo en palabras que reflejan la evidencia histórico-cultural en forma más clara y nítida, podría decirse que el hispano, aunque cruza la frontera hoy día pidiendo trabajo humildemente, en realidad vuelve a un territorio que le perteneció y pertenecía jurídica, política, geográfica, económica y culturalmente por más de trescientos años (1513-1848). No ocurrió así con el resto de los múltiples grupos de inmigrantes venidos a este país. Parentéticamente, y para aclarar posibles malentendidos en los lectores, será necesario decir aquí que en este pequeño ensayo, como el título mismo indica, no es nuestro propósito hablar de la historia y de las muchas contribuciones de otros grupos y de otras «minorías» radicadas en Estados Unidos, en particular de la nativa. Hecha esta aclaración parentética, podemos ya continuar con nuestra dilucidación histórico-cultural.

La organización social hispana en esos tiempos lejanos, y no tan lejanos, comenzó a florecer bajo dos sistemas diferentes, si bien complementarios: las misiones y las villas o ciudades. Las primeras, dirigidas exclusivamente por religiosos jesuitas y franciscanos, tenían como objeto primordial el bien espiritual y económico de los «naturales» o nativos. Alrededor del convento y de la iglesia se desarrollaron huertas y ranchos en donde se cosechaban hortalizas y se criaban gran variedad de ganados que los mismos misioneros traían de México, y que eran desconocidos en estas regiones. También se daban clases a los niños no sólo de religión, sino también de lenguas, lectura, artesanía, música, etc. Los adultos, tanto hombres como mujeres, asimismo recibían, entre otras, clases de artesanía y agricultura, cocina y bordado, respectivamente. Pero quizás lo más importante fue la enseñanza por parte de los misioneros y el aprendizaje por parte de los indios sobre los nuevos métodos de siembra, regadío y recolección de productos agrícolas, que eran ajenos a estas regiones. Lo mismo se puede decir de los nuevos métodos de cría de animales domésticos, nunca vistos antes. Todo esto contribuía a que los «naturales» tuvieran una dieta o régimen alimenticio más variado y una autosuficiencia económica mayor.

El segundo sistema de organización, o sea, el civil, comenzó un poco más tarde que el de las misiones, y fue eminentemente socio-político. Empiezan a construirse ciudades. Como se puede constatar históricamente, se echó cimiento a una cadena de pequeñas ciudades desde la Florida hasta California: San Agustín; la reconstrucción de Nueva Orleáns; Galveston (en honor a don Bernardo de Gálvez); Santa Fe; San Antonio (en honor a don Antonio de Valero); Alburquerque (en honor al marqués de Alburquerque); Los Ángeles; San Francisco, y otras muchas ciudades de menor importancia esparcidas a lo largo de estos extensos territorios.

A partir de lo someramente dicho hasta aquí, las preguntas afloran. ¿Qué le pasó al hispano de la Gran Florida? ¿Qué le ocurrió a la Gran Luisiana ? Y ¿qué fue de Texas y del resto del suroeste hispánico? Para los estudiosos de la historia -y no precisamente para el gran público- son bien conocidos los tratados firmados entre España y Estados Unidos (pérdida para España de la Gran Florida), entre Francia y Estados Unidos (pérdida indirecta para España de la Gran Luisiana ), entre México y Estados Unidos (pérdida para México de todo el Suroeste). Sin entrar en detalles, la explicación global y radical recae en/y es debido a tres vertientes: por una parte, a que el Destino Manifiesto angloamericano inspiró al naciente imperio a que se extendiera del Atlántico al Pacífico y de norte a sur. Por otra parte, también fue debido a la decadencia y agotamiento del viejo imperio español. Y, por fin, a la desorganización y debilidad de la recién independiente colonia mexicana.

A partir, pues, de 1848, aunque la mayor parte de los hispanos se quedó a vivir en estos mismos territorios -bajo una nueva hegemonía, ciertamente- tanto la vida religiosa como la civil cambiaron de manos y de estilo. De un lado, la Iglesia católica (angloamericana) se acaparó de las misiones y de las parroquias hispanas y, de otro, la vida social, económica y política pasó del régimen establecido por los muchos gobernadores hispanos al poder del angloamericano. Si nos fijamos en California, para mostrar solamente un ejemplo, notamos un fenómeno sumamente interesante. Desde 1767 hasta 1848 (= 81 años) hubo 15 gobernadores hispanos. Después de este período, que sepamos, no volvió a haber ni un solo gobernador de nombre hispano. La pregunta que se presenta de inmediato es la siguiente: ¿por qué? La respuesta simple y sencilla es: porque México perdió y Estados Unidos ganó. Pero es que esta respuesta no satisface completamente. Luego seguimos: ¿es que los hispanos de California, pongamos por ejemplo, no eran ni podían ser ya dirigentes buenos y capaces o verdaderos ciudadanos en el país de los nuevos conquistadores? Sí, lo eran. Luego, ¿por qué si antes California había tenido quince gobernadores hispanos, ahora, después de ciento cincuenta años, no pudieron tener ni uno solo? Respuesta general: es que el hispano -en su propio territorio, pero que ahora pasó a ser ciudadano de otro país nuevamente constituido- no encajaba en la nueva cultura dominante y hegemónica.

Lo que sigue, a partir de 1848, es ya «otra historia». Una historia de «ciudadanía de segunda» clase. El hispano de este «segundo capítulo histórico» tiene una vivencia precaria, es decir, simplemente existe. No tiene el liderazgo político ni el poder económico para determinar, dirigir y controlar, ni siquiera a corto plazo, el futuro y destino de este país ni el propio, como entidad cultural destacable y respetable. Aunque hubo, y también hay, algunos nombres distinguidos e influyentes, éstos no fueron ni son suficientes en cantidad ni en calidad para imprimir una dirección clara y una marca indeleble hispanas para que la masa seguidora pudiera y pueda influir, configurar y transformar substancialmente la cultura dominante. Pero para poder analizar y explicar este fenómeno, que hemos denominado como «el segundo capítulo histórico» del hispano, se necesitaría un estudio largo y serio, lo cual nos está vedado aquí, por falta de espacio.

Para concluir, y lanzando una mirada hacia el futuro un tanto lejano, quisiéramos terminar este breve ensayo con la fórmula de don José Ortega y Gasset que habíamos parafraseado al encabezar nuestro ensayo: «quizás el verdadero profeta no sea el que intuye el futuro, sino el que indaga en el pasado». Y bien, el pasado del hispano (1513-1848), como nos dice la historia, fue un pasado más bien glorioso. El presente, que se está convirtiendo rápidamente en otro segundo pasado no tan lejano (1848-2000), se podría caracterizar por un período de mera sobrevivencia, o de simple existencia. ¿Qué nos espera para el futuro, el «tercer capítulo histórico» que corresponderá al tercer centenario de este país? Para poder «profetizar» el futuro del hispano, es necesario partir de una conciencia clara del pasado (1513-1848) y del presente, que se extiende hacia atrás, hasta 1848. Si consideráramos sola y exclusivamente lo que va de 1848 hasta nuestros días, el futuro a largo plazo del hispano no se ve muy halagüeño. Pero si mezclamos e integramos los «dos capítulos históricos» mencionados hasta aquí (1513-1848 y 1848-2000), la argamasa del crisol cultural resultante será una riqueza imperecedera para el tercer centenario de este país.

El ingrediente más fuerte que se viene perfilando desde hace un cuarto de siglo es el demográfico. El ciudadano de cultura y origen hispánicos está creciendo en una proporción mucho mayor que la del grupo dominante. Este crecimiento es, a la vez, inquietante y esperanzador. «Inquietante» para la cultura dominante, y «esperanzador» para el futuro del hispano. Este porvenir, que pudiera ser halagüeño para el hispano, viene nublado, sin embargo, por un velo gris. Es que la creciente cantidad demográfica, sin la calidad de un elevado espíritu soñador y de una cultura fuerte y bien fundamentada, no basta. Es necesario también una base de tipo polivalente compuesto de un desarrollo económico, político, pedagógico y valorativo paralelo y concomitante al fenómeno demográfico. Pero esto todavía no aparece nítidamente delineado en el horizonte. 

Sent by Bill Carmena



New home page for
The Joy of Helping Family Researchers on the Internet
Archivo General de India in Seville, Spain
Paying for assistance in family research
Finding Your Immigrant Ancestors in Passenger Arrival Records
The Crowley Imaging Company

New home page for


Te invitamos a visitar este portal y deseamos que te sea de utilidad.
Benicio Samuel Sánchez García 

esidente de la Sociedad Genealógica del Norte de México



The Joy of Helping Family Researchers on the Internet


Hi Somos Primos
I'm searching for Maximiliano Hernandez who was a doctor in New York in the late 50s early 60s. I'm also interested in finding family members.
Please email me back if Somos Primos can help me finding information.
God Bless . . .  *Arlene*

Hi . . we don't really focus on current connections, but historical ones.
Let me suggest that you check the white pages website.
Click here: Free People Search | WhitePages
Also, you could contact the New York State Medical Board.
You might want to look at old telephone directories. Many libraries maintain old city telephone directories.

Best wishes . . Mimi


On Thu, Jul 9, 2009 at 5:11 PM, <> wrote:

This is a search in the Record Pilot of the LDS Church. There were 12 hits and the parents names are included for Maximiliano Hernandez in San Luis Potosi.

If this doesn't help, I would do the same search, but in Monterrey, Mexico.

Good luck . . . Mimi


In a message dated 7/9/2009 6:15:23 P.M. Pacific Daylight Time, writes:
You're the best..I'll always remember you.
Thank you so much for your help. I'll let you know if I find him :)


On Thu, Jul 9, 2009 at 7:52 PM, <> wrote: 

Hi Arlene . . There are Family History Centers all over the world. They are staffed with volunteers. They can help you in your research. Use of the centers are FREE. 

You can locate a center close to you by going to the home page Look about in the middle of the page in the middle.
Enter your state and then scroll down to the city. They usually include a phone number. 

I've added your email to receive notification when the new issue of Somos Primos is available online. It is a service that will help keep us connected. If you prefer not to be notified, just let me know.

Best wishes . . . Mimi


My search is over...I found Maximiliano Hernandez MD... 
He passed away 9 years ago :( 

However I found my 4 brothers and 2 sisters!!! and all this time I was told I had no siblings....God is great!!! 

Thank you Again for your help and kindness


Archivo General de India in Seville, Spain


Power Point on 'The mother Load" of New World Genealogy sent to me by my friend Jesse in Madrid . Wish they had all this technology available when I was there in 1962 . Enjoy . 

Bill Carmena



Paying for assistance in family research


Editor:  I am frequently asked for recommendations by family researchers seeking professional help.  The following websites were sent to me.  I do not know anything about their services and costs.
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Finding Your Immigrant Ancestors in Passenger Arrival Records 

Whether it’s around the corner or across the country, relocating to a new home is a memorable event in our lives. There are always trials and tribulations that come with moving, but when we compare it to what many of our immigrant ancestors went through, not being able to find the can opener for a few weeks pales in comparison.

For many, leaving home meant saying goodbye to family members, knowing that they would never see some of them again. In some cases, parents left their children for extended periods to get established in their new home and raise the necessary funds to send for them. Embarking on a sometimes hazardous voyage, moving to a foreign land, and beginning life anew requires a special kind of courage.

Passenger arrival records are highly valued by family historians not only for the information they may include, but also for what they represent–that decision by an immigrant to leave the old world behind and thus, set a new course for themselves and their descendants. The trick is in locating the records. Here are some tips to help find the arrival record for your immigrant ancestor.

Search Multiple Ports of Entry
Many a search has been thrown by the inherited story that an ancestor came through Ellis Island. While close to 22 million immigrants did pass through the famous immigration station, many arrived through other U.S. ports, and through Canada, which was often a cheaper route.

Some may have even entered the U.S. more than once. Janos Szucs arrived in the U.S. twice, once through Baltimore in July of 1902, and then again in October of that same year, through Ellis Island. This is a good reminder not to overlook other matches once you do locate an ancestor. You may find that he or she made several trips too.

You can search all of the passenger arrival records that are available at through the Immigration Collection page 



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Newest free online records


18 November 2009

More free online records for The states of Texas, Ohio, and Iowa were added to the U.S. 1920 Census at FamilySearch’s Record Search pilot. Spanish researchers will enjoy new civil registration images for the provinces of Cadiz, Granada, Malaga, Spain, from 1837–1870. Over 500,000 new digital images were added to the Brazil Catholic Church Records Collection. These birth, marriage, and death records are from the states of Bahia, Menas Gerais, Paraná, Pará, Pernambuco, and Sao Paolo. Over 400,000 Massachusetts marriage records were added for the period 1906 to 1915, and Catholic baptismal records were added for the Distrito Federal of Mexico.  

See the chart below for a list of all the newly added collections.  

These collections can be searched for free at the Record Search pilot (click Search Records, and then click Record Search pilot).  

None of this would be possible without the great contributions of many online FamilySearch volunteers. These individuals donate the time and talent needed to make these collections freely available to FamilySearch patrons. Find out more about volunteering at Thank you!   

Collection Name

Indexed Records

Digital Images


Brazil Catholic Church Records, 1805–1979




Digital images only; update to ongoing project.

Massachusetts Marriage Records, 1842–1915





New index and image collection. This update contains marriage records for the period 19061915.

Mexico, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records





New index and images for baptismal records; part of an ongoing project.

Spain Municipal Records, 1837–1870




New digital image collection; part of an ongoing project.

United States 1920 Federal Census




Added indexes for Texas, Ohio, and Iowa

 Sent by Paul Nauta




12/30/2009 04:49 PM