Somos Primos

JULY, 2009

Editor: Mimi Lozano ©2000-9

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

Lft to Rt: David Ramirez, Bill Luna, Dr. Rita Hernandez, Frank Corona
All three men are members of the Dr. Hector P. Garcia AMVETS Post #326

June 3, 2009, Chicago, Illinois 
Veterans Memorial School Campus Naming Ceremony
Click to article.

Content Areas

United States 
National Issues
Action Item
Hispanic Heritage Month
Bilingual Education


Anti-Spanish Legends

Military/Law Enforcement 
Patriots, American Revolution
Orange County,CA  
Los Angeles,CA

Southwestern US 


East of Mississippi
East Coast



Family History



"The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of the blessings. 
The inherent blessing of socialism is the equal sharing of misery. " 
- Winston Churchill 

  Letters to the Editor : 

Editor:  Wow . .   Just had to share this marvelous thank you letter from Joe Lopez.  It is really great to know that the goal of Somos Primos is being met.  

Mimi, hope all is well with you as it is with us.  Thank you for a great SOMOS PRIMOS issue for June 2009.  I thought you might be interested in including the attached article in the next issue.  

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

Joe's article is included, please click. . . 


You have a great newsletter, and I enjoy seeing the progress that Latinos are making
in the United States. I'm hoping that since the Pres. of the United States is part black
he may have a more enlightened view of migrant workers and permitting Mexican
families to become citizens.

Latinos are really making inroads in Tulsa. One area is becoming little Mexico. There
are many businesses, smaller shopping centers are becoming "Latinized" with
Salon' de bellizas, panaderias, etc cropping up all over Tulsa. Many auto repair shoppes
are also cropping up. I told my sons: You let a Mexican man be able to purchase a
pickup, he will find a lawn mower and start himself a "lawn care" business within a
few days. They have a great work ethic, as well as a good family ethic. We have Mexi-
can lawn care workers at this apartment complex. I sometimes speak with them 
(as best I can) in Spanish!! 

Keep in touch, Amiga
Vaya con Dios!
Annette Hixenbaugh  
Editor:  In this issue Annette is sharing information about early Mexican Inquisition, click.

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

Submissions to July Issue
Barbara Aiken
Judge Fredrick Aguirre

Joan Aleman
Armando Ayala, Ph.D.
Bill Betzen
Esther Bonilla Read
Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.

Blanche deLeon 
Jim Estrada
Eddie U Garcia
Wanda Garcia
Bill Carmena
Les Christie
Jack Cowan
Lino Garcia,Jr., Ph.D.
Ignacio Gomez
Imelda Gomez
Laura Gonzalez
Michael Gonzales
Galen D. Greaser
Jose Angel Gutierrez
Raymond Hall
Sergio Hernandez
Annette Hixenbaugh
Granville Hough, Ph.D.
Bernadette Inclan
John Inclan
Larry Kirkpatrick
Rick O. Leal
Joe Antonio Lopez
Cathy Lujit
Joe Martinez, Ph.D.
Juan Marinez

Lou Mattei
Rosa M Melendez
Dorinda Moreno
Carlos Munoz Jr
Deborah M Norman
Rafael Ojeda
Mercy Bautista Olvera
Amy and George Oliveras
Nancy Perdue
Reuben M Perez
Richard D. Perry
Lyman D. Platt, Ph.D.
Custodio Rebollo
Armando Rendon
Crispin Rendon
Dr. Cintli Rodriguez
Ben Romero
Tomas Saenz
Roland Nunez Salazar
Mary Schultz
Frank Sifuentes
Henry Solano
Jesse Thomas
Jesus Trevino
Ricardo Valverde

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


Chicago High School named after Dr. Hector P. Garcia 
A Message from Dr. Garcia, delivered by Daisy Wanda Garcia
Remembering Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara, Pres of the First Republic of Texas
Remembering Cesar Chavez and his Legacy
Hispanic population boom fuel rising U.S. diversity
Soliciting cards from White House
Hispanic Cultural Center Chief Brings Expertise to Smithsonian
Hall of Fame doesn't address Mexican American experience
Tejano Children of the Alamo

July 25-28th, 2009, Legacy of Valor,  NCLR 2009 national conference, in Chicago

Chicago High School named after Dr. Hector P. Garcia 

Veterans Memorial School Campus Naming Ceremony

Daisy Wanda Garcia



Daisy Wanda Garcia and Bill Luna, Commander
of the Dr. Hector P. Garcia, Post #326

Photo by Pat Parsons

I was invited by UNO to attend the dedication of the Veterans Memorial Complex on June 3, 2009. The high school section, third floor, was to be named after my father, Dr. Hector P. Garcia. This would be the first high school in the nation to be named after my father, so it was a very special event for me.  I flew to Chicago Illinois.  Prior to the dedication ceremony, UNO staff guided me on a tour of the schools. I was so impressed by the building and especially by the students.  Each classroom had an official greeter who met visitors as they entered the classroom. Originally the building had been a warehouse and converted into the three schools. The building includes two elementary schools and UNO’s first high school.  Each level has a different color scheme.  The students and faculty have a dress code.  

At the ceremony, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn dedicated UNO’s Veteran Memorial School Campus located in the Archer Heights Barrio.  In attendance were Martin Sandoval, State Senator; Dan Burke, State Representative, Christine Radogno, State Senator, Juan Rangel, UNO Director along with a crowd of 2000 onlookers.  Juan Rangel recognized Dr. Rita Hernandez and Bill Luna for their roles in making the event a reality.  

UNO named the elementary schools after local United States Veterans, SPC Daniel Zizumbo and PFC Omar E. Torres and the high school after Dr. Hector P. Garcia.  SPC Daniel Zizumbo grew up in Chicago’s south side and lost his life in an explosive attack on February 27, 2007 while stationed in Afghanistan.  PFC Omar E. Torres grew up in the Archer Heights community.  He lost his life in the line of duty on August 22, 2007 in Bagdad, Iraq. Lupe De Real, UNO Graduate Support Advisor was thrilled with the ceremony.  She said Naming schools after veterans say a lot because they fought for our country.  

Family members came to the front of the stand while UNO staff unveiled portraits of the veterans. After the public officials spoke, Governor Quinn pulled a symbolic lever and the curtain that covered the front of the building dropped to reveal the school and the UNO logo.  Next came a display of fireworks.  The Governor invited the crowd to converge on the UNO cafeteria for refreshments.  

The city of Chicago has a population of 1.5 million Hispanics spread out among many barrios. The campus will help alleviate the problems of overcrowding in schools that disproportionately affect Hispanic communities in Chicago. The schools will serve 1,800 students.  

In 1984, community leaders and local priests became involved in reforming Chicago schools.  The group formed UNO, the United Neighborhood Organization. UNO worked within Chicago's Hispanic neighborhoods by collaborating with parishes in working-class neighborhoods like South Chicago, Little Village and Back of the Yards. “Because we understand the vision and aspirations of our community, we have continuously positioned ourselves at the forefront of cutting-edge issues, and delivered real results through a combination of neighborhood base-building and pragmatic power politics.”[1] In 2004, UNO became involved in education advocacy and established the UNO Charter School Network. The guiding philosophy at the UNO Charter Schools is effective management is as essential to education as curriculum and pedagogy.  

[Editor: The three story school in Chicago is a renovated commercial warehouse, the first floor is for the primary children, second floor for the middle school, and the third, top floor is for the high school students.]

“While UNO's scope and audience has expanded over time, our mission has remained the same. 
For two decades, we have been challenging Hispanics to play active roles in the development 
of a vital American community.” [2] At UNO, administration holds both faculty and students to a high set of standards and evaluates 
them using those standards. The motto at UNO Charter School is, "Academic Success is not a hope, 
it is an expectation."

[1] UNO Web site:

[2] Ibid.


Wide hallways, lots of wood, glass, metal, and plastic, clean lines, open feeling.



Prepared for the occasion
 Daisy Wanda Garcia
June 3, 2009
Chicago, Illinois

Honored Guests, Thank you all for your hard work to make this event a reality.  A special thank you to Dr. Rita Hernandez, Bill Luna, and UNO for making this possible.  I am so grateful for the honor the citizens of Chicago are paying to my father,  Dr. Hector P. Garcia. 

When Rita asked me to say a few words today at the ceremonies, I began to wonder what message my father would want me to deliver to you today.  I had to go back in time to my memory bank of my father's speeches.  Since I was the first born of the Garcia children, I had the honor of traveling with my father to the American G.I. Forum conventions and to many special events.

One very special event took place in 1989. My father and I traveled to Washington DC For him to receive the Hispanic Heritage Award. In the hotel room, he asked to to hand out these packets of information to the attendees.  I protested that this was a formal event.  He said, "you do not understand.  These people have to listen to what I say for twenty minutes.  This gives us an opportunity of sharing information that I want to put in their hands. We need to take advantage of the situation. They will take this information with them, and it will touch people.  It will help change people.  That is what we are about." We went and I distributed the information as he briefly thanked them for the honor and then began to deliver a powerful message, which was at the time in response to a strong anti-immigrant movement. He spoke about the English Only Movement, an attempt to eliminate all  Bilingual Programs. The message lasted considerably more than the twenty minutes allotted to him.  I had plenty of time to distribute the packet of information that my Dad wanted delivered.  

So today, I am here to deliver a message from Dr. Garcia to you. My father believed that education was the key to advancement.  He believed that "Education Is Our Freedom And Freedom Should Be Everybody's Business." 

If Papa were here today, he would express concern about the high dropout rate of Mexican American youth. He would attribute the low academic performance to living in a culture that suppresses Mexican Americans and the performance issues resulting from Mexican Americans not knowing our history. Dr. Hector Said, "We are a lost people.  We do not know who we are, where we are going. We do not know our history, and a people without history have nothing." 

But most of all, he would challenge young people. He would say, "I challenge you to be better than you are."  We need to encourage youth to obtain the best education possible and be proud of their language, culture, and heritage.

It is clear our role is to help the younger generation understand who they are as they strive to accomplish their educational goals.  We need to understand and embrace our multi-cultural heritage with pride and grasp that we, of all racial groups have the blood of the old world and the new world within our veins.

Dr. Hector P. Garcia is a real American hero.  Today our youth lack real role models.  My father it that role model.  When more individuals, especially the youth, study his life and legacy, they will learn the true meaning of love for their fellow man and community. 

The naming of this high school after Dr. Hector is the first step.  Thank you to Dr. Rita Hernandez and Bill Luna for honoring my Papa in this way, a living structure, a constant reminder of the sacrifices and hope for each one of them to succeed, and succeed mightily.

Other measures we can take are to become more involved in ensuring that our history is included in the school textbooks, libraries and in curriculum. It is important to mentor our youth about the importance of preparing for the future and to do genealogical, family history research..

Now it is up to us to ensure that his legacy moves forward. 
In closing, as my Father would Say. Que Dios Los Bendiga. 

Editor: We need the facilities, discipline, and our history.

Remembering Don Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara 
President of the First Republic of Texas

Future Builders of Our Nation


Mimi, I thought I would share with you the following in response to your note, June 2009 issue of SOMOS PRIMOS, especially the sentence, With the excitement of all the political changes going on around the world, it becomes even more important for us to understand the past, and most importantly, our place in it.”  

We’re doing just that.  Specifically, I have taken my PowerPoint presentation on Don (Lt. Colonel) Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara on the road.  From November 2008 through May 2009, my wife Cordy and I have travelled to over 20 school campuses in about 10 cities in South Texas. During that period, we have visited and discussed Don Bernardo’s story with over 4,000 school children, ranging from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade.   

One of the reasons that I have taken this approach is that I believe that many of the descendants of the first Spanish-Mexican pioneers in Texas are unaware of their rich history.  My visits have proven my theory.  None of the students (or teachers) that I have visited with had ever heard of Don Bernardo, the President of the First Republic of Texas.  However, once they hear the presentation, they are very impressed and absolutely awed with his story.  I usually get two questions in some form or another from the teachers after the presentations: (l) “Why haven’t we ever heard of this Texas hero before?”, and (2) “Why aren’t we teaching this as part of Texas history?”  

Of course, those two questions are two of the reasons why many of us, including in large part, SOMOS PRIMOS, are trying to educate others of our rich history.  As I try to remind as many people as I can, Texas history does not start at the 1836 Battle of the Alamo.  Equally important, Native Americans, Tejanos, and Spanish-Mexicans in the U.S. Southwest were never “immigrants” to the U.S., since our ancestors were already here.  In other words, we “came with the real estate”.  Or, as Dan Arellano is proud to tell anyone, “We did not come to the United States; the United States came to us.”  

In summary, my presentation has been so positively received that I plan to repeat my visits next school year.  In my view, the more that Tejano descendants learn of their lost history and key role of their ancestors in building this great place we call Texas, the higher their self-esteem and sense of pride.  Hopefully, that will motivate Spanish-surnamed students to stay in school and become productive members of society.  Likewise, the more that others learn about pre-1836 Texas history, the more they will see that “Texas history without Tejanos is like a story with no beginning.”    

 Thank you.  “Viva Tejas!”                   
José Antonio López, Author


About The Author: 
Mr. Jose Antonio 

(Joe) Lopez was born and raised in
Laredo, Texas. USAF Veteran. 
Served over 37 years in Federal 

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. 

Mr. Lopez is a direct descendant of Don Javier Uribe, one of the earliest families that settled in South Texas in 1750. He is married to the former Cordelia Jean “Cordy” Dancause of Laredo. They have one daughter, Brenda Jo.

Mr. Lopez graduated from Martin High School in Laredo.  He has college degrees from Laredo Jr. College and Southwest Texas State University, San Marcos, TX. He earned a Master’s Degree in Education.

His hobbies are many; they include writing, poetry, genealogy, history, jogging, gardening, landscaping, cooking, archeology, and rock collecting. He volunteers at the Witte Museum in San Antonio and Olympia Elementary School, Universal City, TX.

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)” (www.TexasTejanos1920.comm )




Part VII


Mercy Bautista-Olvera




In the coming months this series “Hispanics Breaking Barriers” will present the   contributions of Hispanics in United States government and leadership. Their contributions have improved not only the local community but the country as well.   Sadly, they have not always received their due recognition. Their struggles, stories, and accomplishments will by example, illustrate to our youth and to future generations that everything and anything is possible.

Brigadier General (Ret) Jose Riojas: Assistant Secretary for Operations, Security and Preparedness, Department of Veterans Affairs (Confirmed)  

Rosa Gumataotao Rios: Managing Director of Investments for MacFarlane Partners  

Adolfo Carrión Jr:  Director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs (Confirmed)  

Gabriella Gomez: Assistant Secretary for Legislation and Congressional Affairs   for the Education Department (Confirmed)  

Francisco “Frank” J. Sanchez: Under Secretary for International Trade for the Commerce Department


   Brigadier General (Ret) Jose D. Riojas  

Brigadier General (Ret) Jose D. Riojas, nominated by President Obama and a West Point graduate and former Executive with the University of Texas at El Paso , took the oath of office as Assistant Secretary for Operations, Security and Preparedness, in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Riojas will coordinate the VA’s emergency management, preparedness, security, and law enforcement activities to ensure the Department can continue providing benefits and services to Veterans under all circumstances.    

Jose David Riojas was born in Kansas City , Missouri in 1955; he is the son of Joshua Riojas and Dorothy Elaine Riojas. He is married to Susan Marie Reinke-Riojas also a Veteran. The couple have a son Joshua, serving as an Army Captain at Fort Bragg, N. C., and a daughter Christina who will be Commissioned as an Army Captain and begin her service as an Army surgeon at Fort Gordon, GA.    

Brigadier General Riojas military career began after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point , New York , as a second Lieutenant in the Field Artillery. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army War College.  

Brigadier General Riojas has served as the Director of the Department of Homeland Security's Center of Excellence for Border Security and Immigration. He also has served as the Executive Director for the Center for Defense Systems Research, a Department of Defense research center headquartered in El Paso , Texas .  

In 1976, Brigadier General Riojas served in operational assignments throughout the world, including Korea , Germany and Southwest Asia and during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. 

Brigadier General Riojas served in the Political and Military Affairs with the U.S. Department of State, Arms Control and Disarmament Agency in Washington , D.C.   He served as the Senior Assistant Professor of Military Science at Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, and while with Pacific command, Brig. General Riojas served as Project Manager of the Extending the Littoral Battlespace, advanced Concepts Technology Demonstration.  

In the Pentagon, he served as Chief of Army Requirements and was the Army’s Representative at the Joint Requirements Oversight Panel as part of the Joint Requirements Oversight Council. During his last two years in the Pentagon, he served as Executive Officer to the Chief of Staff of the Army. He then served as the Assistant Division Commander for the 3rd Infantry Division (Mechanized), in Fort Stewart , Georgia .  

From 2004 to 2006, Brigadier General Riojas commanded Joint Task Force North (JTF-N), in Fort Bliss , Texas . As commander of JTF-N, Brigadier General Riojas area of responsibility to serve included Canada , Mexico and the 48 contiguous states. The command was comprised of Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines personnel from the active, reserve and National Guard components along with various representatives from the interagency community. JTF-N's mission was to provide Department of Defense resources throughout the continental United States in support of law enforcement agencies at the federal, state and local levels so that they could more effectively interdict  transnational threats such as terrorists, weapons of mass destruction, aliens from special interest countries and narco-terrorists, before they could affect the security of our homeland.     

Brigadier General Riojas 30-year served with assignments with the Department of State, as the Army’s representative on the Joint Requirements Oversight Panel, and executive officer to the Army Chief of Staff. He also served in five different army divisions and commanded at the battery, battalion, division artillery and task force levels.  

In May 6, 2009, Brigadier General Jose D. Riojas opening statement before the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans Affairs:  

“My life has been shaped by those who have worn the military uniforms of our nation. Family members who are Veterans, including my father, instilled in me a sense of patriotism and love of country, which caused me to want to serve and protect my country. I was fortunate to have worn the uniform of a Soldier for over thirty years.”  “During that time, I was awed by the sacrifice of countless men and women who performed remarkable feats during extraordinary conditions in peacetime and in combat those who have, are and will be serving our great nation. Veterans have served me well; I would consider it an honor to play even a small role in serving them and would consider it a highlight of my professional life.” Brig. Jose Riojas said.  

Brigadier General (Ret) Jose D. Riojas has earned many honors and awards. The Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit (3 awards) , Bronze Star Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal,  Korean Defense Service Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal (2 awards), Meritorious Service Medal (6 awards) Joint Commendation Medal,  Southwest Asia Service Medal,  Kuwait Liberation Medal, and the Airborne and Air Assault badges.




Rosa Gumataotao Rios  

Rosa Gumataotao Rios, Director of Investments for MacFarlane Partners, (one of the leading Real Estate investment management firms in the United States ) has been nominated by President Obama to serve as United States Treasurer. If confirmed by the Senate her name will become familiar to most Americans, her signature will appear on paper U.S. currency printed during her tenure. The treasurer also serves as one of the Treasury Department's principal advisers and spokespersons in the area of financial literacy and education. Rios is the sixth Latina that occupies this charge consecutively. If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Rios will be the third consecutive California Latina to hold the post, following Rosario Marin and Anna Escobedo Cabral. Rios was a member of the Obama’s Treasury/Federal Reserve Transition Team.  

Rosa Gumataotao Rios was born in 1966; she is the daughter of Mexican parents, Jose Gumataotao and Guadalupe Rios. She grew up in Hayward , California .  Rios graduated from Moreau Catholic High School . She lived in Castro Valley eventually moving to Fremont , California . She has a thirteen-year old son Joey and an eight-year old daughter.  

Rios earned a Bachelors Degree in Sociology and Romance Languages and Literature from Harvard University ; she is also a Fellow with the Royal Society for the Arts.  

During 2001 through 2003, Rios served as Oakland ’s Economic Development & Redevelopment director, managing a staff or nearly 100 tasked with facilities business opportunities in the city and revitalizing its downtown and neighborhood corridors. Rios also served as director of Economic Development for the City of Fremont, California, as Development Specialist for the city of San Leandro , California , and as Manager of the Union City California Redevelopment Agency.

Rios served to mobilize the Latino vote in Virginia during Obama’s Presidential campaign, she took a leave of absence from MacFarlane Partners (based in San Francisco , California ) to serve as a member of the incoming Obama Administration’s Treasury/Federal Reserve Transition Team.  

Rios served as Director of Economic Development for Fremont Development Specialist for San Leandro and Manager of the Union City 's Redevelopment Agency. She still serves as a trustee of the Alameda County Employees' Retirement Association and is a board member of the California Association of Local Economic Development and of Oakland 's Spanish-Speaking Unity Council.  

Rios served as a principal with Red River Associates, a consulting firm specializing in providing development, project management and executive management services for municipalities.  Rios served as a Trustee of the Alameda County in California Employees’ Retirement Association (ACERA) and she is a board member of the California Association of Local Economic Development (CALED).




Adolfo Carrión Jr.  

Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión Jr., was confirmed by the Senate to direct the new White House Office of Urban Affairs. Carrión said he would help coordinate urban policy in traditional areas such as education, health care and public safety. Nevertheless, he also said he would look to develop urban neighborhoods in environmentally thoughtful ways, such as by offering incentives for companies to locate in densely populated areas and improving mass transit. Carrión said he wants cities to become economic centers that can pull the country out of a recession and improve American competitiveness in a global market.  

Adolfo Carrión Jr. was born on March 6, 1961 in Manhattan , New York ; his family is of Puerto Rican descent. His parents are Adolfo Carrión Sr. and Elisa. His father is a Protestant Minister. Adolfo Carrión Jr., is married to Linda Baldwin, a lawyer; they have a son Adolfo James. Carrión has three daughters Raquel, Sara and Olivia with previous wife, Sandra Diaz-Carrión.  

Adolfo Carrión Jr., graduated from Harry S. Truman High School in the Bronx . He graduated from Kings College , a Christian Liberal Arts college in Westchester County , majoring in World Religions. He served as an Associate Pastor at a Bronx church for a while but decided to become a teacher. He served as a public school teacher in the West Bronx . Returning to college he earned his Master’s Degree in Urban Planning from Hunter College , he then worked at the Bronx office of the New York City Department of City Planning.  

Carrión worked with the Mayor of New York to prepare the annual executive budget submitted to the City Council.  

In 2006, urged on by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión Jr., played a major role of the Yankee Stadium Redevelopment and Park Improvements Project, which later gained approval from the New York City Council. Carrión along with his colleagues in the Council presented a vision for the redevelopment of the Yankee Stadium neighborhood. The plan was to incorporate details that will address the importance of area becoming a year round destination for tourism that will provide economic opportunities for residents.  He is also credited with anywhere from 1000’s of new affordable housing units in the Bronx and plentiful new parks and open space in the borough. 

Carrión served as Vice President and Treasurer for the National Association of Latino Elected, and Appointed Officials (NALEO) a national organization that offers training and technical assistance to enhance the leadership skills and political empowerment of Latino appointed and elected officials.  

On July 1, 2007, Adolfo Carrion was elected president (NALEO). As President, he announced an increase in efforts to help file naturalization papers for eligible legal permanent residents before impending fee increases take effect as part of NALEO’s “ya es hora” (it is time) campaign.  Carrión is the highest-ranking Latino  elected official in the State of New York .




Francisco “Frank” J. Sanchez

Francisco “Frank” J. Sánchez is President Obama’s nominee for under Secretary for International Trade at the Department of Commerce, if confirmed Sanchez will oversees four divisions and more than 1,000 employees in trade offices in 85 countries. Sánchez’ appointment requires confirmation by the U.S. Senate.  

Sanchez served as the National Chair of Latino/Hispanic Fundraising. Sánchez served as an advisor on Latin American policy for the Obama campaign. In this capacity, Sanchez served as Co-chair for the Obama Hispanic Leadership Council. The newly formed Council worked with the National Finance Team to increase the enthusiasm and fundraising efforts for the Obama Campaign in the Latino community. 

Frank Sánchez was born in Florida ; he graduated from Florida State University , where he received his undergraduate and law degrees. Mr. Sanchez received a B.A. at Florida State University . He also holds a Master's degree in Public Administration from the M.A. at Harvard University , John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a Jurist Degree at Florida State University .  

Sánchez practiced corporate and administrative law with Steel Hector and Davis in Miami before practicing law, he served in the administration of Florida Governor Bob Graham, as the first director of the state’s Caribbean Basin initiative Program. He has worked with several consulting companies on projects involving complex transactions, labor-management negotiations, litigation settlement, negotiation strategy, alliance management, facilitation and training.  

In 1999, he became a Special Assistant to the President of the United States working in the Office of the Special Envoy for the Americas . He worked with the National Security Council, the State Department and the U.S. Trade Representative on Western Hemisphere economic integration democracy.

President Clinton later appointed Mr. Sánchez as U.S. Assistant Secretary of Transportation where he developed aviation policy and oversaw international negotiations. Prior to his work in the federal government and before joining a Cambridge , Massachusetts based consulting company, he practiced corporate and administrative law with the firm of Steel, Hector and Davis in Miami , Florida .  

In 2000, Sanchez also served as the United States Assistant Secretary of Transportation in the Clinton administration, where he oversaw international negotiations.  He is a contributing author to “Negociación 2000” (Negotiation 2000), a collection of essays on negotiation published by McGraw-Hill. He has also taught negotiation at the Program of Instruction for Lawyers at Harvard Law School .  

At Cambridge Negotiation Strategies (CNS), Mr. Sánchez works with corporations and governments worldwide on complex transactions, labor-management negotiations, litigation settlement, negotiation strategy, alliance management facilitation and training.

Among his public-sector engagements, Mr. Sánchez headed a team in Medellin, Colombia as part of a "Teaching Tolerance" program; an initiative to break the cycle of violence plaguing the country. More than 300 teachers and community leaders were trained in conflict resolution techniques. He also advised the president of Ecuador in negotiations to settle the 56-year-old border dispute with
Peru .


Gabriella Cecilia Gomez  

Gabriella Cecilia Gomez has been confirmed by the Senate to serve as Assistant Secretary for Legislation and Congressional Affairs for the Education Department in the Obama’s administration. Previously Gomez served as Senior Education Policy Advisor for the House Committee on Education and Labor.  

At the Education Department, Gomez will be responsible for coordinating important legislation and prepping her department colleagues for meetings with Congress. Both tasks will be tall orders as the administration undertakes a reauthorization of the “No Child Left Behind” law.  

Gabriella Cecilia is 36 years old; she is the daughter of Octavio Gomez and Cecilia Gomez of California .  

Gomez studied Political Science at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles , but spent her final semester studying British politics as a Hansard scholar at the London School of Economics. During that semester, she also interned in the House of Commons with Graham Allen, a member of the Labor Party who spent a summer teaching at Loyola in 1993.  

Gomez graduated in 1995, and took a job teaching at St. Mathews High School in Downey , California . After a year of teaching, she earned a public policy fellowship from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), which is dedicated to helping obtain government jobs for young Latinos.  

In 2000, Gomez earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Harvard University , after graduation in June of 2001; Gomez served as Assistant Director for the legislation department at the American Federation of Teachers (AFT). She worked as a lobbyist on issues ranging from higher education and early childhood education to technical education and immigration. 

As a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) Alumni Gabriella Cecilia Gomez knew early only that, she wanted to be a part of the legislative process. Her first placement as a CHCI Public Policy Fellow was with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. Her second placement was with the Senate Education Committee on Labor and Human Resources. 

Gomez was currently serving as Senior Education Policy Advisor on the Committee on Education and Labor in the U.S. House of Representatives. Prior to her work on the Committee, Gabriella advocated on behalf of the American Federation of Teachers as the Assistant Director of the Department of Federal Legislation. She also served as a Legislative Assistant for Congressman Ciro Rodriguez (Texas-23), covering education, health and labor on the local and federal level and serving as the Congressman's liaison for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.   

Gomez worked for three years as the senior education policy adviser to Rep. George Miller (D-Calif.) the chairperson of the House Education and Labor Committee. She also spent five years at the American Federation of Teachers, where she lobbied Congress on education policy.  

Gomez served as Senior Education Policy Advisor for the House Committee on Education and Labor. She has served as Assistant Secretary for the Office of Legislative and Congressional Affairs at the Department of Education. In 2008, Gomez worked for Representative George Miller (D-Calif.) Gomez played a key role in the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, which decreased interest rates for student loans.



Latinos filling more high-level government jobs
By Richard S. Dunham, Hearst Newspapers
San Francisco Chronicle (June 14, 2009)


Judge Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court has focused national attention on her Latino heritage and the history-making nature of her selection.

But the bright spotlight on Sotomayor has obscured a highly significant shift in the ways of Washington: President Obama has selected far more Hispanics for his administration than any previous president in American history.

Latinos comprise 11 percent of the new president's first 300 nominees for senior administration positions requiring Senate confirmation, according to the White House.

That shatters the 5.5 percent mark set by former President George W. Bush during the first 18 months of his presidency, according to Office of Management and Budget statistics. Bush had broken the previous record held by his predecessor, Bill Clinton, who filled 4.5 percent of his confirmable positions with Hispanic nominees.

In addition to 33 positions requiring Senate confirmation, Obama has chosen 26 Latinos for White House staff jobs -more than any of his predecessors.

Obama's Latino wave is a stark reminder of the increasing clout of the nation's fast-growing and largest minority group. But it also reflects a Hispanic power shift from Texas to California. Of the top Latinos in the Obama administration, 21 have connections to the Golden State, while 14 boast Texas ties - a reversal from Bush and Clinton days.

Civil rights advocates hail the rapid increase in Latino employment in the West Wing and beyond.

Reflecting reality

"This is a new America," said Simon Rosenberg, CEO of the Democratic group NDN, which specializes in demographic and technological change. "America is going through one of the most profound demographic transformations in all of its history. The Obama administration is simply reflecting the emerging reality of America in the early 21st century."

But the record-setting pace of appointments reflects more than simple demographics. It also reflects the complexity of a president who proudly calls himself an American "mutt" - a biracial president, the son of an immigrant, a person who has experienced racism and benefited from affirmative action. And it demonstrates the growing political clout of a coveted and pivotal voting bloc that has trended strongly Democratic in the past two national elections.

"Very deliberately, they set out to pull in a very diverse administration," said Brent Wilkes, national executive director of the League of United Latin American Citizens.

But the administration remains sensitive to charges from some conservative commentators that it has elevated diversity over competence.

"None of these people have been chosen for their positions for any reason other than that they were the best person available for that position," said Luis Miranda, a senior White House aide.

Many of Bush's top Hispanic aides had worked for him during his six years as Texas governor, including Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Ambassador to Mexico Tony Garza and Assistant Commerce Secretary Israel Hernandez.

Clinton's Latino network included a group of Mexican Americans who worked with him in Texas during the 1972 George McGovern presidential campaign and others who assisted him in his rise to national prominence in neighboring Arkansas.

California shift

But Obama did not have a similar relationship with Texas. As a result, California - a state with 13.2 million Latinos - has become the state with the largest number of Hispanic appointees.

The president's personnel picks were the survivors of an arduous staffing process that began in the early days of the transition. Former Clinton Cabinet member Federico Pena, a Texas native who later became Denver mayor, and Frank Sanchez, who landed a top job at the Commerce Department, reached out to Latino groups and elected officials to seek candidates for administration positions.

But Obama made clear at a meeting with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus that he wasn't looking for political hacks.

"He said, 'I'm looking for excellence and I'm looking for diversity,' " said Rep. Charles Gonzalez, D-Texas, vice chairman of the Hispanic Caucus. "He didn't want just 'qualified' people. He wanted people who had distinguished themselves."

Some Latino groups say they will keep pushing until the entire federal workforce mirrors the national population.

"This is only the beginning," said Rafael Fantauzzi, president of the National Puerto Rican Coalition Inc. 

"Here's our goal: 15 percent of the population of the U.S. is Hispanic. We want our federal agencies to be 15 percent Hispanic.

"We are not yet satisfied."

Source:  National Institute for Latino Policy

Sent by Juan Marinez


Remembering Cesar Chavez and His Legacy

By Carlos Muñoz, Jr.



I had the privilege of knowing Cesar Chavez and speaking truth to power on the same platform with him several times during his lifetime.  My first contact with Cesar occurred when I was president of the United Mexican American Students at California State University in Los Angeles in 1968. We had organized a nonviolent protest against segregation and racism in the barrio high schools of East Los Angeles. Over 10,000 students marched in that historic protest. I was later indicted and imprisoned for "conspiracy to disturb the peace and quite of the neighborhoods" along with 12 other student and community civil rights activists. We each faced 66 years in prison if convicted.  After two years, the California Appellate Court found us innocent, thanks to the 1st Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Cesar was extremely busy dealing with his union's historic Delano Grape Strike at the time of our imprisonment, but he took time out to publicly defend us and send us a telegram expressing solidarity for our cause.

Cesar, like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., inspired members of my generation and me to organize the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement in the 1960's.  We called it the Chicano Movement.
Cesar rose from humble beginnings to become one of the world's best-known labor organizers and spokesman for the poor. He was born Cesar Estrada Chavez in 1927 in an adobe house in Arizona to poor Mexican American parents. At age 10, Cesar and his family moved to California to look for migrant work after the family lost their small farm. By the 8th grade, Cesar had to stop his schooling to work in the field's full time.  Child labor was commonplace during those years.        

Prior to his emergence as the founder of the United Farm workers of America in the1960s, not a single Mexican American leader had achieved national recognition. In fact, Mexicans and other Latinos did not exist in the nation's mind. We were the "invisible minority."        

I remember feeling proud when his portrait appeared on the front page of Time magazine's 1969 Fourth of July issue. The caption read "The Grapes of Wrath, 1969 -- Mexican Americans on the march." I was elated that our struggles for social justice, civil rights, and peace, were finally being discovered by the nation -- and, remarkably, on the Fourth of July.
I wrote him a letter congratulating him for being the first Latino ever to achieve the honor Time magazine had bestowed on him.  He responded a couple of weeks later and thanked me, but he went on to say that the men and women on the picket lines, and not he, deserved to be on the front cover of Time magazine. That was the kind of man he was. A man who, like the workers he led, was from the salt of the earth.    

Now, decades later, we have a Cesar Chavez Holiday in several states of the union.  But the struggle to make it a national holiday continues today.  The U.S. Congress has consistently resisted all our efforts over the years to pass the necessary legislation to establish it.  The Republicans have consistently led the opposition against it and a substantial number of Democrats have also opposed it in the past.  I am pleased that Senator Barack Obama called for a national holiday to honor Cesar during his presidential campaign. Hopefully, as President, he will keep his word to make it happen.    

Cesar's deeds as the founder and leader of the United Farm workers Union have become legendary.  All Americans should know about him and the history of the farm worker movement.       

Cesar, like the Rev. Martin Luther King, was a deeply religious man who also advocated nonviolence. He incorporated the tactics and strategies of the civil rights movement led by Dr. King.

Cesar once said that the "truest act of courage Š is to sacrifice ourselves for others in a totally nonviolent struggle for justice."        

In 1974, Cesar became the first recipient of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Award.  Andrew Young, one of Dr. King's right hand Lt.'s and the mayor of Atlanta, Georgia, at the time, called Cesar the "nonviolence heir to Dr. King".    

Cesar was one of the most modest and humble Latino leaders I have known.  It was extremely awkward for him to accept the well-deserved recognition he received during his lifetime. He did not consider himself the great man that he was.  In his mind, he was only the President of his union, with a self imposed salary of $5 a week, whose job it was to put bread and butter on the table of the farm workers.           

The work for farm workers' rights continues today. The health, safety and well-being of many farm workers and immigrant workers are once again under attack by the corporate interests that Chavez fought during his lifetime.  

While many of the farm workers may have won the same rights other American workers were granted by the National Labor Relations Act of 1935 -- such as the freedom to form a union and the power of collective bargaining -- many continue to be exposed to pesticides and other unhealthy working conditions as they toil to bring food to our table.  

Chavez was a labor leader who shunned the spotlight and remained dedicated to the rank and file of his union until his death in 1993.        

Many Latinos consider Cesar to be their hero. It is true that the farm worker movement he led was largely a Mexican American labor struggle.  But in point of fact, it included Asian, White, and African Americans, and other workers of other racial and ethnic groups.  The UFW represented and continues to represent, workers of diverse religious backgrounds: Catholics, Protestants, Baptists, Jews, and Muslims. The first member of the UFW to be killed during a strike in Delano, California, was 60-year-old Mexican American Catholic by the name of Juan De La Cruz.  The second one was a 24-year-old Arab-American Muslim by the name of NAGI DAIFFULAH,         

It is important for us to reflect and remember what Cesar Chavez stood for, as he himself stated it: "We do not belittle or underestimate our adversaries, for they are the rich and powerful and possess the land. Š We know that our cause is just, that history is a story of social revolution and that the poor shall inherit the land."        

Cesar Chavez was a hero to all Americans! 
National History Day, California winner is Marcos Diaz


Why the Census Matters


Although the U.S. is spending $14 billion on the 2010 census, many people will ignore the survey when they receive it. Only 67% of Americans completed and returned their data in 2000; the Census Bureau used methods such as sending workers to knock on doors to tally the rest. Nonetheless, undercounting and over-counting inevitably occur. For example, the bureau estimates that 1.84% of the country's African-Americans were left out of the 2000 count. State and local officials already are mobilizing residents to fill out the 2010 census. At stake is more than $300 billion a year in federal and state funds for schools, public transportation, hospitals, roads, and other services, all of which is allocated according to census figures.

"The census also determines how many Congressional seats a state has," says William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution, a nonpartisan. think tank. More representatives in Congress means greater influence for a state. The 2010 numbers will be used to redraw Congressional and local legislative district lines for the 2012 elections. The changes can be significant. After the 2000 census, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, and Texas got two new House seats each; both New York and Pennsylvania gave up two. Florida, Texas, and Oregon are some of the states expected to gain seats from the 2010 count, while Michigan, Illinois, and Louisiana are among the predicted losers.

Another effect of the upcoming tally: More than 1.4 million workers will be hired by the Census Bureau, temporarily making it one of the nation's biggest employers. Recently, the bureau has dealt with public gaffes and con-troversies ranging from a failed attempt to use electronic-counting devices to charges from Republicans that the White House wants to use the census for political gain. Still, the bureau's acting director, Thomas Mesenbourg, says, "We are poised to meet the enormous challenges in front of us."


Hispanic population boom fuels rising U.S. diversity

By Les Christie


NEW YORK ( -- The nation is becoming even more diverse: More than one third of its population belongs to a minority group, and Hispanics are the fastest-growing segment.

Nearly one in six residents, or 46.9 million people, are Hispanic, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The U.S. Census Bureau reported Thursday that the minority population reached an estimated 104.6 million -- or 34 percent of the nation's total population -- on July 1, 2008, compared to 31 percent when the Census was taken in 2000. Nearly one in six residents, or 46.9 million people, are Hispanic, the agency reported.

Even more telling for the future: 44 percent of children younger than 18 and 47 percent of children younger than the age of five are now from minority families.

The quickly expanding Latino population is having a healthy impact on the economy, according to Ken Gronbach, author of "The Age Curve: How to Profit from the Growing Demographic Trend."

"Latinos have saved our country," he said. "They represent 14 percent of the population but 25 percent of the live births. The United States is the only western industrialized nation with a fertility rate above the 2.2 percent replacement rate."

Growth of other minority groups is also outpacing that of the majority population. Asians, the second-fastest growing group, increased 2.7 percent year-over-year to 15.5 million. The African-American population rose 1.3 percent to 41.1 million.

Minority births, combined with high immigration levels, kept the nation's population growing dynamically, spurring the economy by adding to consumer demand.

They will also help to prop up the real-estate market once the economy begins to recover, according to Rakesh Kochhar, associate director of the Pew Hispanic Center. During the housing boom, minorities closed much of the homeownership gap, although the bust has worked to widen that again.

As it ages, the Baby Boom generation, the largest age cohort in U.S. history, will start to sell their castles as they look to downsize their empty nests. But the group that would be expected to buy those houses, Generation X, has about 9 million fewer members.

"There would be about 10 homes for every eight buyers," said Gronbach. "Xers simply do not have the critical mass to make up for the boomers' footprint."

Minorities will help take up that slack. They are relatively youthful and looking to house their families. The Hispanic population, for example, posted a median age of 27.7 years in 2008. That compared to 36.8 years for the total U.S. population -- which is a year-and-a-half older than the median age in 2000.

The number of 65-year-olds and older is nearing 39 million, or 12.8 percent of the population, up from 12.4 percent in 2000. The state with the oldest average residents is, not surprisingly, Florida: 17 percent of the retirement Mecca's population was 65 or older.

Latinos and other minority workers contribute to keeping the Social Security system solvent, according to Monique Morrissey, an economist for the Economic Policy Institute. The undocumented workers among them often pay more into the Social Security pool than they will take out in benefits.

Morrissey said estimates of deficits in the pool's finances were reduced last year when a Social Security advisory board's technical panel revised some unrealistically low assumptions it had made about Latino immigration.

"They took into account people without papers [paying into Social Security] but not accessing funds from there," she said. "That's bad for workers but very good for Social Security."

The most Latino county in the nation was Los Angeles, with 4.7 million people. Latinos accounted for nearly half the population there and increased 67,000 during the 12 months ended July 1, the most of any county. The Rio Grande border county of Starr, Texas, has the highest proportion of Latino residents: 98 percent.

California leads all states in the number of Latinos, with a population of 13.5 million, an increase of 313,000 in just one year. New Mexico, appropriately, has the highest percentage of Latinos: 45 percent.

New York State has the greatest number of African-Americans -- 3.5 million -- while the District of Columbia and Mississippi have the highest percentages, at 56 percent and 38 percent respectively. In terms of counties, Cook County, Ill. (Chicago) leads all others with 1.4 million African Americans, while Claiborne County, Miss., had the highest percentage at 84 percent.

More than 5 million Asians live in California, more than in any other state; Hawaii has the highest percentage of Asians at 54 percent. It's the only majority-Asian state in the nation.

Los Angeles County is home to 12.4 million Asians, the most of any county. Honolulu, with 58 percent, had the highest proportion.

More Pacific Islanders (283,000) and native Americans (739,000) lived in California than any other state.


Soliciting cards from White House


Dear Readers: I have received sever-al letters asking for the White House Greetings Office address where you can request a greeting from President and Mrs. Bush. The White House Greetings Office receives and processes all re-quests in accordance with longstanding guidelines. These strict guidelines must be followed in order to receive a card. Requests that don't comply will not be fulfilled. You need to be a U.S. citizen and include: 

o Name of honoree
o Form of address (Mr., Mrs., Ms., Miss)
o Date (month, day, year) of birthday, wedding or anniversary
o Requester's name and daytime phone number

The number of requests you can submit per day is limited. For birthdays and anniversaries, greetings will be mailed from the White House ap-proximately 14 days before the event. Wedding and baby's birth greetings will be sent after the event.

If you have problems making an on-line request, make your request by fax or mail.
You can select one of the following to make a request:

Baby's Birth Greeting - A baby birth card will be sent within a year of the birth. Make the request after the baby is born. 
Birthday Greeting - A birthday card will be sent to people celebrating their 80th (or greater) birthday. Make your request at least six weeks before the birthday.
Wedding Greeting
- A wedding card will be sent to couples after the event. Make your request after the wedding.
Anniversary Greeting
- An anniversary card will be sent to couples celebrating their 50th (or greater) wedding anniversary. Make your request at least six weeks before the anniversary. 

You can make your request at: /home, fax to 202-395-1232 or mail to:
The White House
Attn: Greetings Office
Washington, D.C. 20502-0039

CONTACt THE WRITER: Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, TX78279-5000; 
fax 210-HELOISE; e-mail


Hispanic Cultural Center Chief Brings Expertise to Smithsonian

By Jacqueline Trescott


Eduardo Diaz, executive director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, was appointed yesterday to lead the Smithsonian Latino Center.

Diaz replaces Pilar O'Leary, who resigned in February after an internal investigation showed that she violated ethics policies by trying to steer a contract to a friend and abusing her expense account. O'Leary was appointed director by then-Secretary Lawrence M. Small in 2005.

The Latino Center is not a museum, but a division with a $3 million budget that coordinates programs and exhibits on Latino culture that appear in numerous venues both inside and outside the Smithsonian.

Diaz's appointment is the first of several Smithsonian senior staff positions that G. Wayne Clough -- who took over the sprawling museum and research complex in July -- has to fill. The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden has had an interim director for almost two years, and the National Museum of African Art loses its director next month. A permanent chief executive for Smithsonian Enterprises, the business division of the institution, is expected to be named soon. Some other units, such as the general counsel and three undersecretary offices, are under acting administrators.

Diaz, 57, who grew up in El Paso and in San Bernadino, Calif., has led the Albuquerque facility, the largest Latino center in the country, since August 2005. The center, which has a $3.5 million annual budget, is part of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs. For 10 years, Diaz was the director of San Antonio's Office of Cultural Affairs. He has a law degree from the University of California at Davis and a bachelor's degree in Latin American studies from San Diego State University.

"Eduardo's experience, expertise and leadership skills will be invaluable as he expands the center's influence," Clough said in a statement.

Diaz was one of many officials who agreed with the findings of a 1994 report that criticized the Smithsonian's neglect of Latino culture. "It was a pretty scolding indictment of the institution," he recalled. Since then "I have been interested in the Smithsonian per se and more importantly what the Smithsonian was going to do to reflect the Latino experience."

The center, given the mandate of educating the public about Latino history, peoples and culture, has overseen the development of 300 projects since its founding in 1997.

Diaz favors a national Latino museum in Washington, an effort under study, particularly because he says many forgotten stories have to be told, as well as capturing the experiences of newer populations.

The center has a tremendous educational opportunity, he says, through virtual galleries and teaching materials, as well as exhibitions and programs throughout the country. "There is an incredibly rapid growth in the size and diversity of the Latino population," Diaz says. "The Smithsonian has a big task. . . . We have to get out and see what is happening that reflects our reality."

  Sent by Joe Martinez, Ph.D.


From: Barbara Aikens []
Sent: Monday, June 08, 2009 6:26 AM
To: Archives & Archivists (A&A) List

Chicano Movement Archives 

The Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution has a fairly large body of papers related to Chicano art.  Some of these are loan collections on microfilm, and others are original papers.  There are also numerous oral history interviews with Chicano artists. A guide has been published online to all of our Latino collections, which would include Chicano collections.

Important collections include: 
Tomas Ybarra-Frausto papers; Carlos Almarez papers, Philip Brookman papers; Florence Arquin papers; several collections that have substantial materials on Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo; among many many others. 

Barbara D. Aikens
Chief, Collections Processing
Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution

Roberto R. Calderón<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /



Hall of Fame doesn't address Mexican American experience
May 23, 2009


The national Baseball Hall of Fame has yet to devote an exhibition to the history of Mexican Americans in the sport.

One issue the national Baseball Hall of Fame doesn't yet address is the Mexican American baseball experience, a subject that has received a great deal of academic attention in Southern California in the last few years.

Although the Southland was a hotbed for Mexican baseball between the 1930s and late 1960s, little information had been collected until Terry Cannon of the Baseball Reliquary, a small nonprofit in Pasadena dedicated to exploring art and culture through baseball, pitched the theme to Cesar Caballero, the librarian at Cal State Los Angeles.

That led to "Latino Baseball History Project: The Mexican-American Experience," a collection of oral histories, photographs and artifacts later displayed at Cal State L.A., L.A. Trade Tech and more than half a dozen other libraries and museums, winning a prestigious national humanities prize along the way.

Portions of those exhibitions will be on display at Cal State San Bernardino's John M. Pfau Library this summer.

For more information on "Latino Baseball History Project: The Mexican-American Experience," contact JoAnn Oliver at (909) 537-5118 or at

-- Kevin Baxter

Part of the Latin baseball experience in Southern California included Mexican American teams like Ornelas Market, their team picture shown in this award-winning display.  (Carlos Chavez / Los Angeles Times)

Exhibition tells story of Latinos in major league baseball 
By Kevin Baxter, May 23, 2009

¡Viva Baseball!, which opens Saturday in Cooperstown, includes interviews with Latino members of the Baseball Hall of Fame as well as current All-Stars.  



Nicole Retzler
 Nicole Retzler installs artifacts of Latin American baseball at the National Baseball Hall of Fame for a new exhibit.
(National Baseball Hall of Fame)

When Juan Marichal came to this country to play baseball more than half a century ago, he remembers being a lonely, frightened teenager.

"It was a very difficult time," he said Friday. "When you come [to] a country where you didn't know the language, you didn't know the culture . . . it's tough, especially at that age."

At the time, only one Dominican player had reached the major leagues -- and he was discovered on a playground in New York City. But while Marichal was trying to find his way, he also was cracking open the door to what has become one of the greatest influxes of foreign-born talent in the history of U.S. sports.

Since 1980, four seasons after Marichal's Hall of Fame career ended, nearly 8% of all major leaguers have come from the Dominican Republic, a country with a population smaller than Los Angeles County's. And nearly one in every five players in the majors has come from Latin America.

"I never thought that some day we were going to be No. 1 [in] Latin players at the major league level," Marichal said.

What began as a trickle became a flood, changing everything about baseball, from the way players are scouted and signed to how the game is played.

That changing landscape is something the Hall of Fame has spent years exploring in preparation for today's opening of ¡Viva Baseball!, one of the largest and most ambitious exhibitions in the museum's history.

"There's no more relevant story in baseball in this era than the role of Latinos and the positive impact Latino baseball has had on Major League Baseball," said Jeff Idelson, president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. "When you look at . . . the last 20 or 30 years, you could argue convincingly that there's been no greater impact on baseball than from the Caribbean-basin countries."

Certainly no area outside the U.S. has produced more talent. Since 1980, Mexico, for example, has sent more players (72) to the major leagues than Canada (65), while Cuba (40) has produced nearly as many as Japan (46), though the Dominican Republic still beats them all (417).

"This is not merely a Major League Baseball story. This is a cultural story," said John Odell, the lead curator on the exhibit."There are some things you can measure. But there's another element that Latin players bring to the game. And it's passion. They bring a certain style to the game."

It's a story the museum tells in a groundbreaking way, using videotaped interviews with Latino members of the Hall of Fame as well as current All-Stars, who tell their stories in their native language. English subtitles are used. In fact, every display in ¡Viva Baseball! features English and Spanish.

"It's not only the sights and the feel and the flavor, but it's the sounds as well," Idelson said of the overall exhibit.

That is especially true in one four-minute multimedia presentation narrated in both languages by Hall of Fame Dodgers broadcaster Jaime Jarrin that takes viewers into the grandstands at a game in Venezuela.

A part of the exhibition is devoted to former Dodgers pitcher Fernando Valenzuela; artifacts from Campo las Palmas, the developmental baseball academy founded in 1987 in the Dominican Republic by Dodgers scout Ralph Avila; an interview with Angels outfielder Vladimir Guerrero; and the sombrero that Angels owner Arte Moreno gave Manager Mike Scioscia on the day Moreno became the first -- and still only -- Latino owner in major league history.

But the exhibition -- which will have a permanent home in the museum, joining installations on women's baseball and African American ballplayers -- doesn't ignore some of the darker chapters in the Latin American baseball story, such as charges of exploitation, the banning of dark-skinned Cubans and Puerto Ricans in the days before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, problems of racism and acculturation and current controversies involving drugs, signing bonuses and fraudulent birth certificates.

"We don't spend a lot of time on it, but we recognize that all is not sweetness and light," Odell said. "There are abuses that take place. If we didn't bring those issues up and say we recognize -- and everybody recognizes -- that these are issues, it would undermine our ability to say 'but there are good things that are taking place.' "

Marichal, still the only Dominican in the Hall of Fame, said the recognition is flattering and overdue.

"I think that's wonderful," he said of the exhibit, but "the Latin players deserved that a long time ago."


New exhibit focuses on Latino WWII veterans
Bobby Longoria, Daily Texan staff, June 16, 2009

Carson Werner/The Daily Texan 

Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, director of the U.S. Latino & Latina WWII Oral History Project and associate professor of journalism at UT, indexes a book for the oral history project.  Even though some Mexican-American soldiers felt they were a part of a brotherhood while serving in World War II, they faced civil unrest when they came back to the U.S., according to a new museum exhibit directed by UT faculty.

“They faced some of the same obstacles as before the war,” said Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, an associate professor in the School of Journalism and director of the project. “We know they had to fight to tear down some segregated institutions. They had to protest, write letters.”

The Latino and Latina World War II Oral History Project, created by the humanities program at UT, brings light to the oral and written accounts of Mexican-American veterans who fought in World War II. The exhibit will be on display at In Their Own Words Veterans Museum in Perham, Minn. until July 31.

Rivas-Rodriguez said the exhibit aims to educate citizens about the role that Mexican-Americans played in World War II.

“[The exhibit] is about the Latino World War II experience, so it deals with Latinos, and it spans their childhood and some of the educational benefits they got out of the war,” Rivas-Rodriguez said.

The oral history project encourages volunteers to conduct interviews with veterans within their community, and is devoted to preserving the stories of those who participated in WWII. Lina Belar, executive director of the museum, said that the loss of many servicemen greatly impacted their communities.

“[The war] didn’t just affect those that went into battle, but the community that was left behind,” Belar said. “It has made a difference in a lot of peoples’ lives to go into the service, to go away from their community, to have different states of cultural imperative.”

Belar said she hopes the project breaks down barriers between citizens and veterans and sparks discussion about veterans’ war experiences. She said that the problems many veterans faced are due in part to their inability to freely communicate in an open forum.

“Very often, they have been so changed by their experiences — sometimes for the better, sometime for the worse — that they have a hard time communicating with those they spoke to originally,” Belar said.

Rivas-Rodriguez said that firsthand accounts of the war written by veterans are valuable to the project — but the oral accounts are especially important.

David B. Gracy, professor in the School of Information, helped the project archive all of the interviews.

“Oral history is something that happens after the event,” Gracy said. “[Documentation] is unchanging, whereas memories can change over time.”

Belar said that she hopes the project will help veterans come to terms with their experiences.

“A way to help that is to educate communities of the lives of veterans, so they are more sensitive to it,” she said. “[Veterans don’t] have to keep it to themselves — they are going to be able to have a forum. That’s the kind of cultural change that you hope will happen.”


Tejano Children of The Alamo


Hi Mimi:

            In the May issue of Somosprimos, Rudi Rodriquez, President/founder of Texas Tejano Organization wrote a well composed article of the Tejano Children of The Alamo.  He did an excellent job in relating history regarding the children and Tejanas who were in the Alamo during the siege and fall of the Alamo.   Little has ever been mention of the other brave women and children who were in the Alamo.   As a child growing up in San Antonio, reading the history books of the time or being taught Texas history, never in my wildest dreams did I realize there were others in the Alamo besides those mentioned in the history books that always mentioned Susanna Dickinson and child.  

            One woman and child that Rudi mentioned strikes a family lineage, Juana Navarro Veramendi Peres Alsbury and child Alejo De La Encarnacion Peres (Perez) who I happened to be a direct descendant of.   Unfortunately I grew up in a time and place that Rudi so elegantly states, “Tejanos have been marginalized as over all participants in the independence movement” and historians have simply left them out of the pages of history.  The following story is about my great grandfather, Alejo De La Encarnacion Perez and contains rare pictures of the last living survivor of the Alamo.  His mother, Juana Navarro Veramendi Perez Alsbury father was the Political Gefe of San Antonio in 1835.  She was adopted by the Governor of Texas, Juan Martin Veramendi, and half-sister to the wife of James Bowie.  She initially married Peres whose family dated back in San Antonio to Mateo Peres, one of the first Lieutenants of the Presidio of Bexar.  Juana Navarro remarried after the death of her first husband, also, Alejo Peres Sr., married Dr. Alsbury, a Texas hero. 

            We have a proud history that many of our ancestors have paid the price of freedom with their contributions or lives.  In our book, Ancestral Voices of the Past, Historian Robert H. Thonhoff states the following: “More lives were lost in the Battle of Medina on August 18, 1813, than were lost at the Alamo, Goliad, and San Jacinto combined during the Second Texas Revolution in 1835 – 1836.  Upwards of one thousand Tejanos gave their lives for the cause of human freedom, yet after nearly two hundred years they remain largely unknown, unsung, and unhonored.  If Tejanos of today would but do their genealogical homework as Rueben M. Perez had done with this work, most would find that their Tejano ancestors were affected profoundly during these turbulent and confused times of revolution.  Present Tejano descendants would thereby learn the names and the roles of their Tejano ancestors and would acquire a feeling a pride, gratitude, and citizenship that perhaps they never experienced before.” 

             Each of us needs to take pride in our proud heritage and what our families did to help make this great nation.   The stories of our families need to be told to the next generation so they will not suffer from a generation gap of their proud history.  Thanks Mimi for all that you do for us by telling our stories.  Enjoy the story of Alejo Encarnacion Perez, the youngest child in the Alamo and last survivor of the Battle of the Alamo.                                                                        Rueben M. Perez

                                                                           Proud Tejano Descendant

July 25-28th 2009, 
National Council of La Raza 
Chicago, Illinois

Hispanic Medal of Honor Society Booth



Marching to a Latin beat in concert for the troops
Immigration files offer hidden history of America
Reuniting Families Act Helps Immigrants Who Play By the Rules
Response to a Letter sent by a citizen to an elected official
Journalist serve the Disempowered
Experts Untie the Immigration and Unemployment Knot: 
Research Reveals Disconnect Along Geographic, Ethnic, and Racial Lines

Marching to a Latin beat in 'Concert for the Troops'

By Reed Johnson



This week, mun2 is continuing its examination of how Latinos are affecting U.S. military culture and vice versa by airing "Concert for the Troops."

Mun2's 'Concert for the Troops' reflects the growing presence of Latinos in the U.S. armed forces.
During several of America's 20th century wars, the sight of Bob Hope rallying U.S. troops became practically as familiar a symbol of the military as Old Glory flapping in the breeze. Today, U.S. men and women of a new generation serving under arms, many of them Latinos, are being regaled by performers named Frankie J, Baby Bash and Paula DeAnda, some of whom are as likely to be singing and joking in Spanish as in English.

For the last few years, the growing presence of Latinos in the U.S. military has become a focus of Universal City-based mun2 (pronounced moon-dose), a lifestyle cable network targeted at bilingual Latinos ages 18 to 34. A mun2 news special, "For My Country: Latinos in the Military," which investigated the patriotic, as well as some of the harsh socio-economic, reasons why many young Latinos choose military service, won a Peabody Award in 2007.

This week, mun2 is continuing its examination of how Latinos are affecting U.S. military culture and vice versa by airing "Concert for the Troops," which airs at 6 p.m. today. The concert was staged live before an invited audience of U.S. Army troops, both Latinos and non-Latinos, a number of whom have done tours of combat duty, as well as some of their spouses and significant others.
Taped in April at the Conga Room in downtown Los Angeles, the concert's highlights are performances by the three aforementioned artists, who pumped up the flag-waving, high-spirited crowd with musical numbers and praise for the soldiers.

"Being the fact that I am Latino, I wanted to reach out to the Latino military personnel and be a supporter at the same time," said Frankie J, a.k.a. Francisco Javier Bautista, who was born in Tijuana and raised in San Diego, during an interview at the taping. "Coming from my Mexican roots, I feel that it's very important to show that love and appreciation toward our military people . . . who are of Latin descent."

Flavio Morales, vice president of programming for mun2, said the main idea behind the concert was simply to honor Latino soldiers and acknowledge their decades-long service. Mun2, part of the Telemundo Group, a division of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment, reaches 29 million households.

"This is something that's handed down for generations," he said. "There's a long history of military service. Then you also have a lot of Latinos that are seeking a better life, and whether it's the GI Bill or whether it's immigration issues, gaining citizenship through military service -- that is also something that they seek."

Morales said his wife's cousin, Marine Lance Cpl. Victor A. González, 19, of Watsonville, was killed in Iraq's Anbar province in October 2004. His parents, illegal immigrants from Zacatecas, Mexico, received U.S. citizenship after their son's death.

Assessing the relative participation of Latinos in the military depends partly on the index being used. A 2006 report on "Population Representation in the Military Services," issued by the Defense Department, determined that "with 11 percent of active duty enlisted members counted as Hispanic, this group remained underrepresented relative to the growing comparable civilian population (17 percent)."

However, a 2003 study by the Pew Hispanic Center noted that one reason Latinos may be proportionally underrepresented is because many young Latinos lack the necessary immigration status to enlist. Statistics compiled by the Pew Hispanic Center and the Heritage Foundation indicate that Latino military enrollment has grown considerably since September 2001.

The way that popular culture depicts the role of Latinos in the military sometimes provokes controversy. In 2007, documentary maker Ken Burns was criticized by Latino advocates for initially not including narratives of Latino soldiers in his seven-part documentary about World War II, "The War." Burns subsequently agreed to incorporate narratives of Latinos and Native Americans.

"Who's doing the stories, who's writing the textbooks?" Morales said. "We've all seen the war movies. If there is no person of color, it's as if they don't exist."

In a written statement, Col. David Glover, diversity officer with the U.S. Army Accessions Command, said that, "by partnering with media outlets, such as mun2, that are a natural fit with our Latino youth, the Army is able to communicate" the opportunities it offers to young men and women.

"We take pride in our inclusive environment where the diverse perspectives, backgrounds and experiences of our soldiers add to our strength and our ability to defend our nation," he wrote.

Among those attending the concert taping were actor Jon Voight and Bob Archuleta, L.A. County commissioner of military and veterans affairs. A veteran himself, with two sons serving in the military, Archuleta said he believes that "pride of country" is mainly what drives Latinos to serve the U.S. armed forces.

"If you turned a clock back," he said, "there are grandfathers and fathers who served, from World War II, Korea, Vietnam era, and now of course the younger children that are serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, serving all over the world, doing the job that needs to get done.",0,7909457.story
Sent by Armando Rendon



Immigration files offer hidden history of America
Andrea Stone


WASHINGTON — The federal government is opening the immigration files of millions of refugees, war brides, "enemy aliens" and other foreign nationals in the USA in the first half of the 20th century. A gold mine for historians, genealogists, scholars and descendants, the files include private details on such public figures as Spanish artist Salvador Dali as well as family heirlooms confiscated from Chinese laborers.

"Individually, these files represent the story of just one immigrant," says Gregory Smith of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service, "but as a collection, they document the story of American immigration ... with its many wonders and its many blemishes."

The immigration service signed an agreement Wednesday to transfer at least 21 million files to National Archives facilities near San Francisco and Kansas City. A searchable index is at The files were compiled under the Alien Registration Act of 1940. They include photos, visa applications, birth certificates, personal letters and transcripts of interrogations of celebrities and unknowns.

Documents in Guerino DeMarco's creased brown file show the gardener was arrested in 1942 and held for three months at New York's Ellis Island after visiting his mother in Italy. Another Italian, Raffaele Annunziata, registered when he arrived from Salerno in 1948. Like others, he certified that he and his kin were not "idiots," "imbeciles," "feeble-minded" or "insane," and that he was not a "professional beggar" or "anarchist."

French crooner Maurice Chevalier, a 1930s Hollywood star who spent World War II in Europe, applied for re-entry in 1949. He wrote that he would live with his son on a farm in Alabama. The application apparently was turned down. The actor did not return until the mid-1950s, after suspicions that he collaborated with the Nazis and later harbored communist sympathies had dissipated. Dali lived in the USA during World War II. His thick file contains many forms he filled out over the years. The surrealist artist, best known for the melting timepieces in his painting The Persistence of Memory, apparently couldn't remember his height. Various documents list him as 5 feet 4 inches tall, 5-7, 5-8 and 5-10.

A bad memory could mean deportation for thousands under the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the nation's first race-based immigration law.

For 60 years, strict quotas forced Chinese immigrants to endure lengthy interrogations. Some came under false identities as "paper sons" of Chinese Americans. Jennie Lew, a San Francisco documentary maker whose father claimed such kinship, says the files and artifacts, once "a source of fear and torment," hold special meaning. "This opens an important and hidden chapter in our history," Lew says.

Sent by

Post-WWII Immigration Files to be Opened to Public

Kansas City, Mo.  Millions of files containing detailed information about U.S. immigrants - including their spouses' names, as well as personal photographs and letters - will soon become available to the public through a federal facility in suburban Kansas City.

Preservationists had worried that the documents providing an important picture of immigration after 1944 would be lost because the government could have destroyed them after 75 years.  But a deal signed this month preserves all 53 million files.  6/16/09


Reuniting Families Act Helps Immigrants Who Play By the Rules


Although many people associate comprehensive immigration reform solely with issues of legalization and deportation of undocumented immigrants, the truth is that millions of legal immigrants are also victims of our broken immigration system—a system that has been floundering for the last 20 years.

This week, Congressman Mike Honda will reinforce that point when he introduces the House version of The Reuniting Families Act of 2009, a bill that would end lengthy wait times for U.S. citizens and permanent residents separated from their foreign-born loved ones. The Asian American Justice Center, a leader on family immigration issues, estimates that 5.8 million people—a yearly average of 20,000 people—are currently in immigration processing backlogs, kept from the family members by arbitrary caps, processing delays, and an outdated system. Some family members—like those from China, the Philippines and India—wait up to 5, 10 or 20 years before they are reunited with their loved ones.

Congressman Honda’s bill is a companion to a similar bill introduced last month by Senators Menendez, Schumer, Gillibrand, and Kennedy. Both bills propose common sense changes to current procedures, including:

Authorizing the use of family-based and employment-based visas previously allocated by Congress which remain unused:
Allowing current and future green card holders to reunite with their spouses and minor children immediately, rather than wait five years or more to bring loved ones together. 

Increasing the percentage of people from any country who may be given green cards each year. This adjustment would not change overall visa numbers. 

Allowing orphans, widows and widowers whose parent or spouse dies before the immigration process is completed to become legal residents if qualified. 

Promoting family unity by allowing more people to use the system: The bill gives the Attorney General greater flexibility to address numerous hardships, including family separation, caused by a provision that bars individuals who had been unlawfully present in the United States from utilizing our legal immigration system. 

Recognizing the sacrifices that certain World War II Filipino veterans made for this country by allowing their children to become legal residents regardless of any numerical limits that apply to the Philippines. 

The Honda bill would also ends discrimination in immigration law, allowing same-sex partners to reunite under specified conditions by including provisions of a bill championed by Senator Leahy and others. This provision adds another layer of opportunity or complication to immigration reform, depending on one’s point of view.

While Honda’s Reuniting Families Act would make a difference on its own, it is generally a very modest proposal to clean up, rather than expand, the current immigration system. Thus, its real strength lies in promoting a debate over the role of the family in immigration reform. Honda said in a statement:

The Reuniting Families Act should be at the heart of comprehensive immigration reform, seeking to fix our broken immigration system while taking into account the current economic climate. By providing American workers with a vital social safety net-that is, their family—we help make our communities stronger and more resilient. The benefits here cannot be overstated. American workers with families by their side are happier, healthier and more able to succeed than those distanced from loved ones for years on end.

Having strong champions for family reunification increases the chances that family issues will have an important seat at the table during comprehensive immigration reform. In turn, this ensures that more voices are heard in the debate and makes sure that legal immigrants and their families are not discounted in the decisions Congress makes about how to divvy up the immigration pie. The failure of the 2007 Senate bill, in which family issues were essentially pitted against other immigration reforms—winner take all style—reminds us all that family issues matter to the American public.




Dear Ms. Bautista-Olvera:
Thank you for contacting me regarding your support for S. 1038, a bill to improve agricultural job opportunities, benefits, and security for aliens in the U.S. I appreciate you sharing your thoughts with me and providing me this opportunity to share my views on the matter.
S. 1038 would reform the H-2A seasonal worker program, provide farmers with the stable, legal workforce they deserve, and offer a pathway to citizenship for hard-working, law-abiding immigrants already employed on American farms. The AgJOBS bill is a two-part bill. The first part would create a five-year pilot program to identify undocumented agricultural workers and legalize the immigration status for those who have been working in the United States for the past two years or more. The second part would reform the H-2A visa system to provide farmers and growers with a legal path to bring guest workers to the United States to harvest their crops. 
Senator Dianne Feinstein of California re-introduced the legislation on May 14, 2009 in order to provide much-needed relief to the nation's ongoing agriculture labor shortage.  
Should this or any similar legislation come before the full House for a vote, I will take your concerns into consideration.  
Hearing from the constituents I serve has always been vital to addressing the needs of the 38th District. Please visit my website at www.Napolitano.House.Gov to stay informed of my work.  I urge you to contact me or my staff again if you need assistance in any way.  You can reach my office in Washington, D.C. at (202) 225-5256 or my office in Santa Fe Springs at (562) 801-2134. Thank you again for taking the time to share your thoughts, and I trust you will continue to keep me informed on issues of concern to you.


Slump Disrupts Migration
By William Booth


ANDOCUTIN, GUANAJUATO — There are hundreds of sleepy little towns in Mexico just like this one. The old church is restored, but there is no priest. The roads are newly paved, but there are no cars. The homes are tidy, but there are no families inside. The doors are locked with chains. “They are all empty. You see the streets? You don’t see anybody. Because everybody is gone, and I don’t know if they are ever coming back,” said Elias Calderón, 68, a retired steelworker who spent his work life in Chicago and returned to the town of his birth. No one is leaving Andocutin on the traditional trek north to the United States, because they say there is no work for them there. Nor is anyone coming back home.

Here in the heart of Mexico, there is stark evidence that well-worn patterns of migration — the annual movement of Mexicans back and forth to the U.S. — have been disrupted by the global economic slump, even as the journey north has been made more difficult by tighter border controls and the recent outbreak of swine flu in Mexico.

For the first time in a generation, since officials began to tally accurate records, the Mexican government reports a dramatic, sustained decline in the number of Mexican migrants going to the U.S. The most recent count found that 186,000 fewer Mexicans left for other countries in 2008, compared with the previous year, a precipitous 22 percent drop, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Geography. For years, Mexico’s poor have always left hardscrabble farm towns such as Andocutin to venture north for work. Calderón went, just as his father and grandfather did. It was a rite of passage for a teenager to take his first trip. During Christmas and holidays, the men came back, often as proud providers, carrying billfolds of cash and driving pickup trucks with U.S. plates. “Life was
pretty good back then,” Calderón said. Andocutin has always survived on the two-way flow of migrant workers. For better or worse, it is the economic model for much of rural Mexico: leave, work, send money home. There are now a record 12.7 million Mexican immigrants living in the U.S.; one in three immigrants are now from Mexico, and half of them are undocumented. Remittances they send home are the lifeblood of Andocutin.

Now fewer people are leaving and even fewer are coming back. There is no work for Mexicans up north, people in Andocutin said, and there is certainly nothing for them to come home to. “There is clearly a slowdown of Mexican migration to the United States,” said Ernesto Rodríguez Chávez, a demographer at the National Institute of Migration in Mexico City. “If the trend continues, and we think it will, there will be even fewer Mexicans going to the United States this year.” The reason, experts said, is that work is far harder to find north of the border, especially in construction, manufacturing and the unskilled-service industry, three sectors in which Mexican immigrants, many illegal, play an outsized role. 

Experts and immigrants said those already in the United States are mostly staying put and hoping for an economic turnaround. “They have complex social networks; they know how the economy is going,” said Fernando Robledo Martínez, director of the Institute of Migration in the state of Zacatecas. “We don’t have any evidence of a massive return of migrants.” Luis Vega Tirado, 47, who has a degree in architecture and works in construction, said, “People have the dream of coming back someday.” But more and more, he said, it is just a dream.  Vega said, “We stay because we have some way to live.” He and his wife have jobs. But those with few opportunities, Vega said, will wait out the recession and then go north. In the warm, dry hill country around Andocutin in the central state of Guanajuato, a place of cactus, corn and blue skies, residents said the statistics mirror their realities. “All my family left to go to the United States, and I’m the only one that stayed here,” said Nelson Ayala Guerrero, 32, an underemployed agricultural engineer who was hanging out at one of the few small stores still open in Andocutin. “I stayed in school, and all of my family helped pay for my studies so I didn’t need to migrate. My six brothers migrated, three of them without papers. I tried to get my tourist visa to go, and they told me that I wasn’t a candidate. 

And now with the crisis, it is impossible.” The decrease in Mexican migration has also been documented by the U.S. Border Patrol, which reports that arrests of illegal immigrants have plummeted by 27 percent, to levels not seen since
the 1970s. From October 2008 through May, the Border Patrol detained 354,959 people,
compared with 486,735 in the same period a year earlier. Soup kitchens and shelters along the Mexican side of the border report a similar drop. Francisco Pellizzari, a Catholic priest at the Center for Migrant Assistance in Nuevo Laredo, said: “In April of last year, we helped 1,211 people at the center. This year in April, we saw 641 clients.” While the number of people passing through his shelter decreased, Pellizzari said prices charged
by immigrant smugglers, known as coyotes, have increased, perhaps reflecting the difficulty of sneaking into the United States. “The going rate for a coyote is $2,000 from Nuevo Laredo to San Antonio, and $3,500 to go all the way to Houston. Last year, the fare was $1,500 maximum to either city.”

Although the reasons for fewer border crossings into the United States are clear, it is less certain why Mexican immigrants already there are not returning home. “I’ve been saying that there would be an exodus of people. But it hasn’t happened,” said Bernardo Villaseñor García, president of the Mexican Civic Society of Illinois in Chicago. In Andocutin, Alma Rosa Chávez Torres, 43, works at the Civil Registry, where she documents births, marriages and deaths. The town’s population now stands at around 1,300, down from
more than 5,000 in 1995. 

Chávez has an explanation for why more of her neighbors haven’t returned during the recession in the United States. The trend, she says, is that now “the whole family goes. Not just the men.” And so coming and going is no longer an option, Chávez said. Marisela Chávez and her husband came back last year from Lincoln, Calif., a town outside Sacramento. “There was nothing for us anymore,” Chávez said. “We lived in the States for 15 years, but we decided to return because it’s pretty hard. We submitted papers to regularize our situation, but we lost the case,” she said. “We bought a house in California, but we have bad luck, because the interest rate was variable instead of fixed,” she said. “The house cost $380,000, and when they reappraised it, they told us that the price now was $200,000. The monthly payments at the beginning were $2,000, but after the crisis, they were $4,000.”

Chávez spoke through a gaping hole in the house she and her family had been building bit by bit with money they had made in the United States. Now that money was gone, and the house stood half-constructed, with dirt floors and bare stucco and without windows, inside doors or appliances. “My husband now works in the fields, but it’s very bad because the seeds and the fertilizer are very expensive,” Chávez said. “He already harvested a crop of tomatoes and sold it, but they haven’t paid us yet.” Calderón, the retired steelworker, said: “The problem here is that there is no work, no nothing, so people have to leave. That’s why the little people go to the United States. But they can’t come back, because the trip now is so expensive and so hard.” So “they get stuck,” Calderón said. “You see the effects of the economic crisis here, because the kids aren’t as well-fed and their clothes are not so good,” said Refugio Morales Ramírez, 44, principal of the elementary school with 97 students, down from more than 250 in the 1990s. Morales said that many young children
are being cared for by their grandparents, who depend on remittances. But the cash transfers are down. The Bank of Mexico reports that for the first time in a decade,
the remittances dropped, by 3.6 percent in 2008, to $25 billion. After oil revenue and tourism, remittances are the third-largest source of foreign revenue in Mexico.

“Fifteen years ago, the men were the ones that left, but now you see the whole family leaving,” said Ayala, the agricultural engineer. “My town is getting older, because all the young people are leaving.” And they are not coming back, even for visits during the holidays, when they would traditionally come home loaded with gifts and cash. “It used to be in December that nine of every 10 cars had American license plates. Now there aren’t any,” Ayala said. Asked how he felt, he didn’t hesitate. “Lonely,” he said.

Source: Jim Estrada
Estrada Communications Group, Inc.
13729 Research Boulevard, Suite 610
Austin, TX  78750
Tel: 512.335.7776 / Fax: 512.335.2226

This weekly summary of news articles (and related private and public sector initiatives) related to the U.S. Hispanic Consumer Market (HCM) and Latino communities is provided at no charge to ECG network members and clients.  These clips are distributed for research and/or educational purposes only and are intended to demonstrate the range of news coverage related to Latinos in the U.S.  Previous copies are available at:


Journalists serve the disempowered

By Roberto Rodriguez


When one of my students, Grecia Ramirez, a talented writer, artist and photographer, wrote a story for the Tucson Citizen a couple of months ago, she indicated that she would like to become a journalist upon graduation. One reader cynically questioned why anyone - with newspapers closing nationwide would want to enter the journalism profession.

The truth is, the death of the newspaper industry has been incorrectly prognosticated more than once. The advent of radio and television surely spelled its doom, just as the Internet nowadays purportedly also spells its doom.

Yet even if newspapers were dying, it's not the medium that's important. What is
important and what is needed at a time of information overload is hard-nosed watchdog journalism and the ability to critically analyze the world around us. I say this having recently taught a class on the History of Red-Brown Journalism & Communications at the University of Arizona, and I also say this having written since 1972.

My students accomplished many things in this historic class, including creating a newspaper: El Coraje: La Nueva Generacion (coraje translates to outrage and courage). They did this after having met the original writers of Tucson's El Coraje Newspaper from the 1960s, including Salomon Baldenegro, Cecilia Cruz, Guadalupe Castillo and Congressman Raúl Grijalva.

They also mounted a historic exhibit at the university's main library on the topic of the class. While it coincided with the 200-year celebration of Latino journalism in this country, it also included an overview of Mesoamerican codices - books that show that people of Mexican/Central American descent have actually been writing for several thousand years.

What they also found in their research is that contrary to what many historians
say, both men and women were writers in ancient times, and both were publishers, editors and writers during the 1800s and early 1900s.

Many women were journalists in the classic sense of the word, but many were also
revolutionaries. And they are not nameless. Some include: Juana Gutierrez, Estela Ramirez and Teresita Urrea. All wrote in both countries prior to and during the Mexican Revolution of 1910.

Adela Sloss-Vento wrote about civil rights in Texas during the 1920s. Arizonan
Rebecca Munoz Gutierrez wrote in the 1930s and 1940s for The Mexican Voice. So
did her husband, Felix Gutierrez Sr.

What they found is that whenever groups of people have felt disempowered, marginalized and voiceless, they have created their own media - to tell their own stories and narratives.

Historically, this has meant the creation of alternative media. However, today virtually everyone feels powerless or alienated by the large multinational media corporations. That is what has been fueling the explosion of the Internet a belief that only the powerful have voices. The Internet seemingly equalizes this inequity.

Regardless of the medium, it is certain that civil society will always need journalists such as Grecia Ramirez, either to pursue the truth, to keep government and corporations in check, to document history or for the purposes of keeping memories alive.

Amazingly, my students overwhelmingly wanted not an electronic newspaper, but one they could hold in their hands. Perhaps it's because of a sense of permanence that Web sites, blogs, instant messaging and texting cannot provide.

The exhibit has been extended through the summer as it is being documented, digitized, etc. Any questions, please write/call. If you would like a copy of El Corjae: La Nueva Generacion, please contact me at: Rodriguez at

Or write: Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez, Research Associate
MASRC-UA   Cesar Chavez Bldg Room 214
PO BOX 210023   Tucson AZ 85721

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


27 key things to remember about Hispanic print 
The Freedom Forum Journalist Memorial




7 things to remember about the POWER of Hispanic Print:

94% of the readers of Hispanic Print say their newspaper is the BEST or a GOOD source of local news.

The average age for the readers of Hispanic newspapers is 33.5 - identical to Univision!
Hispanic Print generated $1.57 BILLION in ad revenue in 2007 o up from $151 MILLION in 1990!

In the USA today only 24% of the households are a married couple with kids; it's 36% for Hispanics overall; Hispanic Print delivers 63%.

Hispanic newspapers employed 10,735 people and Hispanic magazines another 5,010
Foreign born readers of Hispanic newspapers are the most likely to become citizens.
94% of the readers of Hispanic Print say their newspaper is the BEST or a GOOD source for shopping information

3 things to remember about the FREQUENCY of Hispanic Print:

There's 30 daily Hispanic newspapers - up from 14 in 1990 There's 378 weekly Hispanic newspapers - up from 152 in 1990 There's 521 Hispanic magazines - up from 177 in 1990.

7 things to remember about the REACH of Hispanic Print:

54% of the USA's Hispanic households use one or more Hispanic newspaper weekly
The combined circulation of local Hispanic newspapers and magazines is 17 million
This is reflective for over 600 Hispanic newspapers and local magazines
146 of these publications, with a combined circulation of 4.4 million, are bilingual - evolving as their audience evolves
Hispanic publications are widely used in 44 states; 108 DMAs; 163 MSAs
In Southern California alone there's 128 Hispanic newspapers and 88 local magazines
The 172 Hispanic newspapers and local magazines have a combined circulation of 9.8 million

6 great Podcasts to subscribe to (all FREE):
Ad Age Video (3 minutes daily)
Hispanic Marketing 101 (5-10 minutes weekly)
Fitz & Jen (Editor & Publisher (10 minutes weekly)
Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies (40 minutes monthly)
LatinCast (5-15 minutes weekly)
Harvard Business IdeaCast (10 minutes weekly)
2 things to remember about Zip Codes:
There's over 43,000 zip codes in the USA
59% of all Hispanics live in only 1,147 of these zip
codes with over 2,500 Hispanic households

1 great Newsletter to subscribe to (FREE): 
Hispanic Marketing 101, sign UP at

1 Finally Thing To Remember: 
Call up your local Hispanic newspaper or call Latino Print Network


The Freedom Forum Journalists Memorial


The Journalists Memorial, located in the Newseum in Washington, D.C., pays tribute to reporters, photographers and broadcasters who have died reporting the news. The names of 1,843 individuals from around the world are etched on the glass panels of the soaring, two-story structure. The memorial is rededicated each year to add the names of journalists who lost their lives on the job in the preceding year. Adjoining the memorial are photographs of hundreds of those journalists, and electronic kiosks containing data on every honoree.    Browse by name, location, organization, and year. The list for individuals in Mexico who died for their involvement in covering the news was 50.

News Organization: XHIJ-TV
Died 1988
Location: MEXICO
Bio: An anchorwoman for her Juarez station, she was shot July 23 by police in a case the government called mistaken identity. Police say they fired at least 47 times into the Chrysler New Yorker in which she was riding, mistaking it for another car allegedly carrying drug dealers.

News Organization: LA PRENSA
Died 1997
Location: MEXICO
Bio: Ambushed and killed July 15 by a man who fired 16 shots from an automatic weapon into his body. The 29-year-old editor of the newspaper La Prensa was killed in the small Mexican border town of San Luis Rio Colorado. Flores Gonzales had received death threats after printing stories about corruption and drug trafficking. A local drug lord was implicated in his murder.

The website includes victims from all nations.

News Organization: EL MUNDO
Died 1987
Location: COLOMBIA
Bio: Killed Aug. 25 after his name turned up on a "hit list" circulated by right-wing Colombian death squads. He was a human rights activist.

News Organization: VOZ DE LA SELVA
Died 2000
Location: COLOMBIA
Bio: Killed in a volley of pistol shots fired at point-blank range early on the morning of Dec. 13 as he was saying goodbye to his wife outside their home in Florencia. Abad, 36, was director of Voz de la Selva, an affiliate in the national Caracol radio network and taught journalism at Florencia University. He had been investigating the brutal murder of a fellow radio journalist.

News Organization: CADENA CAPRILES
Died 2006
Bio: The photographer, who worked for the Cadena Capriles newspaper chain, was fatally shot near an anti-crime demonstration he went to cover after completing an earlier assignment. As he and his driver neared the scene of the demonstration, a man on a motorcycle approached and told the driver to leave. The driver refused. When they reached the protest scene, the photographer was getting out of the car when he was shot four times by the motorcyclist, who had followed them. He died hours later in a hospital.

Sent by Bill Carmena


Murderers of Luis Ramirez get sentenced 6 and 7 months

American-Mexican Anti-discrimination alliance
Lawmakers want Medal of Honor for Mexican native
Experts untie the immigrations and unemployment knot
Choosing right affordable quality healthcare available in Baja California
Women Immigrants Change America (and Themselves)
Criminal Justice reform CURE-NY Citizens united for the rehabilitation of errants
Family History Program to help Incarcerated 
Immigration files to become part of National Archives

Murderers of Luis Ramirez get sentenced 6 and 7 months

6/17/2009  writes:

Today, the Schuylkill County Court issued sentencing orders for Brandon Pierkarsky and Derrick Donchak, who were recently acquitted of third-degree murder and aggravated assault, respectively, last month. Pierkarsky was convicted of simple assault and sentenced to six months in county jail. Donchak was convicted of simple assault was sentenced to seven months in a county jail. Both are eligible for parole after serving these minimum sentences.

Following the hearing, national civil rights leaders joined MALDEF in a national media call to call upon the Department of Justice to intervene and file federal hate crime charges against the defendants. Given similar tragic crimes, including the recent shooting at the Holocaust museum in Washington D.C., the group called upon the U.S. Senate for a swift passage of the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009. The bill strengthens existing federal hate crime laws by authorizing the Department of Justice to assist local authorities in investigating and prosecuting certain bias-motivated crimes. The bill would also provide authority for the federal government to prosecute some violent bias-motivated crimes as well.  

Sent by Henry Solano, Interim President and General Counsel, 
Help by contacting, MALDEF 

Editor:  My question, how can you have a case of simple assault when the victim dies and the attackers (seven of them) walk away without a mark. 

Abstract from Latina Magazine

Judge William Baldwin acknowledged the brutality of the attack and the seemingly light sentences that he was handing down to the teens, but he noted that he could only pass a sentence in keeping with the charges the boys were found guilty of. "This wasn't any fight, this was a group of young athletes ganging up on one person. That's not a street fight," Baldwin said, refuting the defense use of the term "street fight" to describe the beating that left Luis Ramirez in a coma for two days before he passed away. "You picked out a guy who wasn't one of you and beat the pulp out of him."

The Governor of Pennsylvania, Ed Rendell, has since sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder recommending that he pursue civil rights charges in the case. "The evidence suggests that Mr. Ramirez was targeted, beaten and killed because he was Mexican," Rendell said. "Such lawlessness and violence hurts not only the victim of the attack but also our towns and communities that are torn apart by such bigotry and intolerance."

Ramirez's fiancée and the mother of his two children, Crystal Dillman, stood bravely before the court, filled mainly with supporters of the teen killers and read a statement, saying, "He was my one and only love, and they took him away from me, and they took my children's father."

Gladys Limon, staff attorney for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund pointed out the frightening 40% rise in hate crimes against Latinos between 2003-2007 saying and called on Congress to strengthen hate crime laws. "The failure to hold these defendants responsible for their atrocious crimes denies justice not just to the Ramirez family," Limon began, "but also to the entire community by failing to deter similar crimes in the future."

Pa. governor seeks fed charges in immigrant death
May 29, 2009

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (rehn-DEL') wants the Department of Justice to file federal charges against two teenagers in the fatal beating of a Mexican immigrant.

Rendell calls the 2008 attack on 25-year-old Luis Ramirez "senseless and cowardly."
In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder on Friday, Rendell urges the Department of Justice to pursue civil rights charges against the white teenagers from Shenandoah (shen-uhn-DOH'-uh), a small blue-collar town.

Earlier this month, a Schuylkill (SKOO'-kul) County jury acquitted the 17-year-old and 19-year-old of charges including murder and ethnic intimidation but convicted them of simple assault.  Two other teens have pleaded guilty in connection with the attack.




AMADA is a new organization.

Our Mission is to prevent and stop the hate, defamation, xenophobia, bigotry and discrimination against individuals of Mexican ancestry and Latinos in general by using all the legal means available in order to protect people’s human and civil rights.


AMADA’s immediate objectives are to:

Educate the population at large to eliminate the anti-Mexican sentiment. Inform minorities, particularly the Mexican community about their constitutional and human rights. Disseminate legitimate studies previously done and link our readers or targets with other organizations that are producing and disseminating excellent studies Publish studies that will show the societal impact of immigrants, specifically the immigrant Mexican community in the United States; and to conduct original research


AMADA's Long-term Objectives

-- Empower immigrants to help themselves. 

-- Promote civic engagement and public policy formulation in the United States, emphasizing the importance of civic participation, education, and leadership development.

-- To promote leadership and community mobilization skills among Latin Americans in the United States so they can address issues of defamation in their own communities. [Latin Americans include but is not limited to: Mexican Americans, Americans of Mexican descent, Chicanos, Hispanics, Latinos, Pochos, Coconatas, Cholos, Tejanos, Paisanos, and all subgroups that identify with the above mentioned.]

Thank you,  Laura
Laura Gonzalez, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist
Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Research Institute
1179 Grant St. Suite # 1
Indiana, PA 15701 

Editor:  Laura will be sending more information about AMADA, its activities and structure.



Lawmakers want Medal of Honor for Mexican native
By Andrew Kreighbaum

AUSTIN -- Texas legislators want Congress to right a wrong that they say was caused by bigotry -- denial of the Medal of Honor to an American war hero with roots in Mexico.

Marcelino Serna served valiantly in World War I and returned to Texas a military legend, but his advocates say he was bypassed for Americas highest military decoration because of his heritage and the fact that he spoke little English.

State Rep. Joe Pickett, D-El Paso, last week presented a resolution on Sernas case to the Texas House Committee on Defense and Veterans Affairs. The resolution would ask Congress to reconsider a Medal of Honor for Serna, who died in 1992 at age 95.

The resolution has already cleared the state Senate and the House committee. It needs final approval from the full House to be presented to Congress.

Serna spoke almost no English when he enlisted in the Army. After three weeks of training, the Army shipped him across the Atlantic.

Can you imagine that? A native of Chihuahua, Mexico, then Colorado, sent to England, Pickett said.

When Army officers realized that Serna was a Mexican national, they offered him the chance to return home. A friend translated his answer -- a firm no. Serna decided he would stay and fight for the United States.

He carried out his duties with uncommon valor. Army records stated that Serna killed three dozen enemy soldiers and captured nearly the same number.

Serna received a medal for bravery from the French government, the Croix de Guerre, the British Medal of Honor, the Italian Cross of Merit and two Purple Hearts, among other awards. But the U.S. Medal of Honor, the rarest and most prestigious military decoration, eluded him.

After being discharged in 1919, Serna settled in El Paso and became a U.S. citizen five years later. 

Brought to you by the
Sent by Rick Leal 


Experts Untie the Immigration and Unemployment Knot: 
Research Reveals Disconnect Along Geographic, Ethnic, and Racial Lines

Today, May 19, 2009 , the Immigration Policy Center (IPC) released two installments of a three-part report, Untying the Knot, which seeks to debunk the frequently misrepresented relationship between immigration and unemployment. The reports, prepared by Rob Paral and Associates, examined data from the Census Bureau



Choosing Right
Affordable quality health care
available in Baja California


 The Connection

 By Patrick 

In response to a recent column discussing the attractiveness of Tijuana’s medical services to many San Diegans and others from Southern California, a reader commented that it was wrong to promote a service at the expense of local doctors. Another declared medical care in Mexico was not at par with local standards and people were at risk by going to Mexico. And of course the presently popular warning that one risks one’s their very life crossing into war-torn Tijuana.

The biggest promoter for seeking medical services in Tijuana, and indeed all of Baja California, is the high cost of medical services for millions of Southern Californians, especially the seven million who lack coverage of any type.

Even the 17 million who are covered often face harsh limits such as high deductibles and co-payments for services and medications. Those costs themselves sometimes keep people from seeking services.

The un- and underinsured who turn to medical services in Baja, with Tijuana being the central point, are finding prices 40 percent to 80 percent less than those in Southern California.

Among the insurers seeking these patients as customers is Blue Shield’s Access Baja HMO Health Plan. It requires clients live within 50 miles of the border and covers most of San Diego and Imperial counties.

In Baja, just like in California, the quality of medical treatment is dependent on the quality of the medical practitioners. Blue Shield investigates and contracts with medical providers in Tijuana, Tecate and Mexicali to assure the quality of health care along with the contractual obligation on costs and co-payments charged to members of the program.

HMOs offering services to state residents are governed by the California Knox Keene Act of 1975. The act was amended in 1998 requiring HMOs offering services out of the country be licensed and regulated by the state of California. In 1998 a number of Mexican medical facilities applied for such a license, but only one was actually granted.

The company, SIMNSA, is thriving. It owns its own medical facilities and has on its staff about 200 physicians covering more than 50 specialties. It has its own dental, vision and complete lab services and contracts with leading area hospitals for inpatient care as needed.

SIMNSA is the only out-of-country HMO licensed to sell group insurance in California where the insured members can only obtain the service in Tijuana or the SIMNSA facilities in Tecate and Mexicali. Every year SIMNSA undergoes a state audit on services, complaints, costs, etc. Like Blue Shield, SIMNSA also is also restricted to offering the insurance within 50 miles of the border.

Separately, insurers Aetna and Health Net have made deals with SIMNSA. Since SIMNSA is the owner and operator of its own facilities in Baja, both Aetna and Health Net offer medical group insurance within the 50-mile restricted region offered to companies with a high percentage of Hispanics employees.

The savings can be significant. For example, a group premium covering a family of four can cost $1,000 a month. The SIMNSA premium is around $400, with no deductible and in most cases no co-pay.

Delta Dental offers dental group insurance on a 50-50 coverage and co-pay. A crown in California is around $800. At Denti Center in Tijuana, a Delta Dental approved source, the cost is $400. The amount that Delta Dental pays thus covers the entire bill, saving the insured $400.

At Excel Hospital in Tijuana, cardiovascular surgery is performed by Dr. Jose Hernandez, renowned on both sides of the border for his skills. An open-heart surgery that can cost up to $100,000 in California costs around $20,000 in his state-of-the-art hospital.

Similar high-percentage savings are realized on many other treatments, for example, such as weight loss, plastic surgery and hair transplant. As always, care must be exercised in choosing the right doctor, regardless the side of the border.

Patrick Osio Jr. can be reached at The veteran consultant has participated on writing scripts for documentaries on Baja California real estate, medical services, and retirement information at




Women Immigrants Change America (and Themselves)


New America Media this week released a historic poll on women immigrants to America that shows how the face of immigration is changing. A majority of immigrants are now women, mothers and workers, stewards of their households. This is the major finding of the poll conducted by Bendixen & Associates and released at a forum discussion and news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.

During the presentation of the poll results, Sergio Bendixen defined it as "looking into the souls of millions of people in an attempt to understand what motivates them and the challenges they face." The poll has considered their demographics, reasons to migrate and their will to overcome obstacles to keep their family together.

The result shows that women immigrants' main challenges are helping their children succeed and keeping their families together. The obstacles are formidable. 79% of Latin Americans, 73% of Vietnamese, 70% of Korean and 63% of Chinese acknowledged speaking little or no English. They also confront anti-immigrant discrimination, lack of health care and low-paying employment.

Bendixen said that this is something that shakes the perception that immigration is always about economics and dollars. In fact, many of the women start out in low-paying jobs even though they may have held professional positions in their home countries. In the United States they might work as a hotel maid, waitress, house cleaner and textile worker.
These results indicate that women may be putting devotion to the well-being of their families ahead of personal job status and pride in choosing to emigrate.

"Immigrants change America and America changes immigrants," said Angela Kelley, Vice President for Immigration Policy at the Center for American Progress. "Their biggest challenge is how to make their children succeed. … And this is why this poll is so important. What it shows is the common ground between immigrants and the American society."

Migration is a process to try and keep the family together. Kelley said rarely do all the members of a family leave at the same time. “I’ve never met a family who came intact." And that is their “greatest point of shame: they had to leave their children behind,” said Kelley.

Asked about their income during the first year of working in the United States, 67 percent reported salaries under the poverty line. "This is just another sacrifice women make when they come to America," Bendixen said.

Another hurdle is discrimination. 82% of Latin American women said that discrimination is "a major problem." During the panel discussion, moderator and Executive Vice President of the National Organization for Women Olga Vives emphasized that the poll shows "it's not just a perception, there's real hostility."

Panelists agreed that both the kind of jobs Latinos have, the exposure they have at them and news media coverage of immigration are key to this issue of discrimination and hostility.

For Kelley, media coverage frames immigrants as criminals and is driven by “cable news networks on the right.” She also emphasized the uptick in hate groups during the last few years, having "immigrants in their eyeballs."

Though the poll results showed that discrimination rates is less of a problem for Asian immigrants than for Latinos, Karen Narasaki, President and Executive Director of the Asian American Justice Center said the results "might have underestimated the issue," if women polled within this community gave different responses to the questions. "When we ask them if they have been discriminated, they say no, but if we ask if they have been treated differently at work, for example, then the response is different," Narasaki added.

Language is the other big issue. A total of 64 percent of those polled said they spoke "little or no English." “As a nation, we don't have a policy of integration, but if immigrants are becoming professionals and getting better jobs, it's only because they are improving their language capabilities," Kelley said.

Narasaki pointed out that it is not only difficult to learn a second language as an adult, but that most of these classes are oversubscribed, with some two-year waiting lists. According to the study, 63% of Latin American and 68% of Chinese women have attended English-language classes.

But when immigrants cannot go beyond basic language skills, it becomes an obstacle. According to the poll, 40% of immigrant women from Latin America and significant percentages from other regions do not have health insurance. Most are unaware of public health programs that could help their children receive medical assistance.

The aspirations of immigrant women are remarkably similar as 90 percent of Vietnamese, Arab, and Latin American women all said they want to become U.S. citizens. However, there are disparities in legal status among the ethnic groups. Asians, for example, naturalize faster because immigration laws allow them to bring in more relatives. Only 46 percent of Latino women polled are U.S. citizens. The increased cost to obtain citizenship has made the prospect of becoming an American more even difficult, especially in a recession.

"This reminds us that immigration is an economic issue. You cannot have 7 million workers in the shadows," Kelley said. Most times, naturalization process is delayed because of the costs of applying for it.

Among other findings the poll showed that their roles change within their households. The overwhelming majority—Latin American (81%), Chinese (71%), Vietnamese (68%), African (66%) and Arabic (53%)—said they had become more assertive at home and in public after coming to the United States.

"We cannot assume that they are submissive back in their countries. They come from smaller towns where you are very close to your family, they want to make sure everyone is okay. And when they get here, they also want to make sure they have a better living. Sometimes they face domestic violence, but that also happens here in the United States," said Silvia Henriquez, Executive Director for the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health.

Kelley also concluded that one of the important things about the survey is that immigrants share the same traditional values as the rest of Americans. “It’s not necessarily known,” said Kelley. She felt that the survey was very important for this very reason -- to help Americans understand that immigrants share the same values and commitment to building families.

"Families are the safety net of Americans in times of recession," said Sandy Close, Executive Director of New America Media. "It's not just about jobs, houses or meals. It's about the family."

Related Articles: NAM Poll: Women Immigrants Keeping Families Together
Family, Work and Progress -- Latina Immigrants Speak


Text: Cristina Fernandez-Pereda


Criminal Justice Reform



CURE-NY invites you to the Summer 2009 edition of its Newsletter. 
Please find it at 

There, you’ll find: 

1.       A report on the Rockefeller Drug Laws,

2.       A reminder of the Second Chance Act,

3.       A note on a new effort regarding Merit Time,

4.       An appeal regarding Life Without Parole, and

5.       A report on minority juvenile justice.

Amy and George Oliveras,

Editor: This is an inspiring website, concerning efforts being made to help incarcerated youth.

oes not condone crime, but seeks measured justice combined with healing for victims as well as offenders.  
Recognizes that today's inmates are tomorrow's neighbors. CURE-NY therefore works to improve the productivity and civility of inmates, including the increased use of prisons for education, training, treatment, and general rehabilitation.

orks for anti-crime measures that will save human-resources and taxpayer money, both in New York and nationally.  
orks to strengthen family bonds of inmates, as families are the core of a civil society. Works to educate the public, public officials, and interested organizations regarding the best options available in issues that have an impact on the criminal justice and socialization systems.
orks to mobilize public opinion in favor of needed reforms of the criminal justice system, so as to achieve its crime-reduction, rehabilitation, and civilization goals.


Find a selection of over 50 free courses, high school and college, and their URLs

Find Major (free) Online Education Resources, sources offering hundreds of quality courses; and learn how to download courses.

And a Secure Online Education System, that should be attractive to correctional facilities.

See also Group Collaboration and CLEP/ACE for info on facilitators and possible college credits.

See also a 10 minute video "Education Reduces Recidivism" on  YouTube    (double-click "YouTube" on left)

Sent by Amy and George Oliveras


Incarcerated Trees
By Kelly Burgess



Ann Zundel thinks family history programs can work miracles in the lives of fractured families. She sees it nearly every day: tough men moved to tears by their discoveries of ancestors who overcame incredible hardships to survive. Men who barely have a place in their present families who find a sense of self from the past. Men who use their newfound knowledge of that past to build a bridge to the future with their own children.

Zundel is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) and was working as a volunteer at the Mesa Regional Family History Center in Mesa, Arizona, when she fielded an unusual request.

“My husband was serving in the prison ministries in Florence, teaching a class, and he happened to mention that I was involved in family history,” says Zundel. “The inmates in his class were very taken by that and asked him, rather timidly, if I would consider teaching a class on family history in the prison.”

Ann Zundel said no. The thought of getting involved with the prison terrified her. Then, the more she thought about it, the more she got up the nerve to give it a try. Now, after helping hundreds of inmates research their family histories, Zundel is trying to get an official family history program established in the Arizona State Prison at Florence. It’s a bit of an uphill battle, says Zundel, because prison officials are leery of new programs. And rightfully so. There’s a lot involved in setting up something like this in a prison. It’s not just about finding space and getting donations of equipment and reference materials. There’s also the very real issue of security and a host of societal issues regarding the role and accessibility of educational and rehabilitative activities in the lives of prisoners.

In spite of the difficulties Zundel has encountered, she persists because she is convinced that giving inmates access to genealogical research can bring families of the incarcerated together in a way that is unique and very powerful.

Those who work to help children maintain ties with their incarcerated parents would agree. Ann Adalist-Estrin is director of the National Resource Center on Children and Families of the Incarcerate (NRCCFI). She hasn’t studied family history programs specifically—mainly because they’re so rare—but she has learned a lot from 30 years of working with children of the incarcerated.

“One thing I hear from kids I work with is that there are many feelings generated by having a parent in prison, and one of them is a feeling of being disconnected from their past,” says Adalist-Estrin. “They also get a feeling that they are defined by their father’s or mother’s incarceration. Knowing more about their family history can give them a much fuller context for who they are.”

One barrier Adalist-Estrin sees is the idea among some groups that children with incarcerated parents should not have contact with that parent, the idea being that a bad citizen can’t be a good parent. But, she points out, children love and want to be involved with their parents regardless of what negative choices that parent may have made. The solution is not separation, but programs that build family ties.

Research done by the Pittsburgh Child Guidance Foundation bears this out. The foundation conducted a two-year study as the initial phase of a six-year initiative to mobilize community support for children of prisoners. What they discovered, says executive director Claire Walker, is that there are many obstacles standing in the way of communication between children and their incarcerated parents.

“What I like about the idea of genealogical research is that this is a way of communicating the real bonds that tie generations together,” says Walker. “Everyone brings something into this. You become, as the parent, the vessel of transmission to the child’s past.”

Greg Sampson, who asked that his real name not be used to protect his family’s privacy, is a living example of the potential of prison genealogical research programs. Sampson was an inmate in Florence prison, serving a three-year sentence for a parole violation, when “Sister” Zundel, as he calls her, came to his ward to introduce a family history class. He became fascinated with the idea of building a family tree.

“I had a lot of spare time, so I began contacting my family members and asking them what they knew about our past,” says Sampson. “To my great surprise, these contacts and my research went far beyond just helping me establish a consensus about our ancestors. Having this project helped me restore relationships that I had lost with these family members due to my incarceration and gave me something to talk about with them besides my incarceration.”

By the time he was released, Sampson was so taken with his research that he relocated to Utah to be closer to the resources offered there by the LDS Church. Sampson is now a changed man, truly contrite, and a productive member of society. He was able to start a successful business, and he continues with his genealogical research. He credits that research with knitting back together the family ties that had unraveled because of the bad decisions he made in the past. His work researching his family’s history not only brought him back together with his extended family—it helped his children see him in a new light.

“There’s a family spirit that wasn’t there previously,” says Sampson. “We realized that we can learn lessons from the past, and we can overcome adversity and make positive changes and move on from what we are to what we have the potential to be. This has given our lives meaning and given us a sense of identity.”

Kelly Burgess is a Pennsylvania-based freelance writer.


Immigration files to become part of National Archives

By Anna Gorman


The 'A-files' include interview transcripts, health records, photographs, marriage licenses and recordings. The first batch will include 135,000 people born before 1909 and who arrived after 1900.

Historical government files that chronicle the lives of immigrants in the U.S. will become part of the National Archives instead of being destroyed, officials announced Wednesday.

The files could reveal the untold stories of millions of immigrants, including scores of Jews who fled Europe after World War II and Chinese who came to the U.S. as part of the diaspora. The "alien registration files," or A-files, document both legal and illegal
immigrants' interaction with the government through registration forms, interview transcripts, health records, photographs, marriage licenses and recordings.

"The files are incredibly rich," said Cynthia Fox, a deputy director at the National Archives. "These will allow people to trace back to place of birth where their family actually originated. . . . This will be their whole story, not just a piece of their story."

On Wednesday, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services began transferring the documents for preservation by archivists during a signing ceremony at the National Archives in Washington. The immigration agency maintains about 53 million A-files and will transfer them beginning 100 years after an individual's birth date.

The first group to be archived is composed of 135,000 people who were born before 1909 and arrived after 1900, including Spanish painter Salvador Dali and French performer Maurice Chevalier. The first files are expected to be available to the public starting next summer.

In the past, A-files were considered "temporary records" and could have been discarded 75 years from the date of last action. Now, they will become permanent records to be housed in either San Bruno, Calif., or Kansas City, Mo.

The A-files, which began in 1944, may include registration forms with a person's name, address, physical description, employer, where and when they arrived, and whether they came as a passenger, crew member or a stowaway. They may also include transcripts from deportation proceedings, tapes from interviews and affidavits from neighbors.

"Individually, A-files represent the story of one immigrant," said Gregory B. Smith, associate director of the citizenship agency. "But as a collection, they document the story of American immigration from the mid-20th into the 21st century."

Smith said the files showed how the government interacted with Japanese in internment camps, Chinese who adjusted their immigration status after the Chinese Exclusion Act was repealed and people who petitioned for their relatives under the Immigration Act of 1924.

UC Davis immigration law professor Bill O. Hing said he thought the files of his parents, who immigrated from China, would be among the first to be transferred into the archives. He tracked down the files years ago and read about how his parents entered the U.S., including the transcript of an interview where his father was caught in a lie.

Hing said the files were a great opportunity for historians and people interested in immigration policy.

"It really gives you rich details as to how the laws were implemented and some of the unintended consequences," he said. "Because you can actually see the faces of the people who are actually affected by the laws, it makes a difference.",0,
Copyright © 2009, The Los Angeles Times

Sent by Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.
Dorinda Moreno

Set up a Dia de los Muertos Altar
Hold a Community Sing with Mariachi for Gringos by Gil Sperry
Request a Hispanic Heritage Month Proclamation
Request your local PBS station acknowledge Hispanic Heritage Month
Model for a Veterans Day Ceremony and Posting a Website


Offerings 16x20 Acrylic on Canvas
by Sergio Hernandez


Consider holding a community sing along . . This book can help make it very easy.

Mariachi for Gringos


Request a Hispanic Heritage Month Proclamation 


Now is the time to start preparing to request a proclamation from your city council to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month.  

SHHAR Board member, Cathy Trejo Luijt, recommends the following sequence for approaching your city council, as developed by the City of Los Angeles.

General Guidelines for City of Los Angeles Special Awards (Worksheet)

1. You may nominate a person, business or organization. Include their address, city, and phone number. (E-mail address, if available)

2. Please write a letter to the Councilmember as to why they deserve the special award.

3. Please indicate if the special award is: Appreciation, Recognition or Congratulations.

4. Please mail the letter to the correct Councilmember/District. Maps are available online at the City of Los Angeles website. For example, find Interactive City Maps (ZIMAS)

5. Address the letter to the City of Los Angeles, (Downtown City Hall) Council District address. (See City of Los Angeles website)

6. Please indicate the exact wording you want on the certificate.

7. If you have a special event in mind, please plan ahead.

Develop a brief paragraph to include in the letter to the Councilmember.  Be sure to 
include the exact wording you want on the certificate in the letter to the Councilmember.


Request your local PBS station acknowledge Hispanic Heritage Month


Below is a letter by Rafael Ojeda, which was sent to his local PBS station.

Estimado Tony Gomez,
Thank you for all that you are doing at Seattle PBS for our Latino community.
I wanted to share the link below about the Colorado PBS on People of Color especially the accomplishments of our WW II Latino and Latina Veterans. I would like to suggest to see if KCTS can get a copy and broadcast during our 2009 HHM celebrations and maybe have this and other hour long Latino documentaries shown in the upstairs conference room at the
Seattle center like our Filipinos Veterans are doing this Sunday for their Philippine Independent Celebrations.

I think that we have various documentaries on our Civil Right movements and Latinos and Latinas stories from our NW that our young people should know about. I will be willing to assist for any of these presentations. 

You and Enrique Cerna keep up the great work. 
Mil Gracias.
Rafael Ojeda
Tacoma, Washington

Editor: Please be prepared to respond to the National Parks series.  Once again, the PBS annual special will be aired in September, impacting on Hispanic Heritage Month, it does give us an opportunity to respond  . . . .   if we are invisible in PBS programming???  

PBS has announced that it will debut the new Ken Burns documentary series, THE NATIONAL PARKS: AMERICA’S BEST IDEA, Sunday, September 27-Friday, October 2, 2009. 

As part of an expanded PBS premiere strategy, episode one, “The Scripture of Nature,” will air multiple times throughout its premiere date on Sunday, September 27, including that evening at 8:00 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings for daytime broadcasts). From Sunday, September 27-Friday, October 2, PBS will debut a new episode of the film each night at 8:00 p.m., with episodes immediately repeating on the same night they premiere. THE NATIONAL PARKS will be available in high definition with surround sound.

PBS will stage marathon viewings on the weekend following the film’s debut. The series also will be rebroadcast on PBS World Channel following the original broadcast. The full six-part series will rebroadcast on PBS weekly in early 2010. A Web page dedicated to THE NATIONAL PARKS has been launched at Each episode will begin streaming the day after its broadcast premiere on that Web site and will remain available for a week after the final episode has broadcast.

Accompanying the series will be a companion book, written by Dayton Duncan and introduced by Ken Burns, which will be published by Alfred A. Knopf. This book (and the DVD) is now available for pre-order. For more info: National Parks: America's Best Idea.

Sent by Armando Rendon


Model for a Veterans Day Ceremony and Posting a Website


The City of Irwindale, California is located in the heart of the San Gabriel Valley, 20 miles east of Downtown Los Angeles.  In celebration of their 50th Anniversary, their first annual Veteran's Day ceremony was held in 2007.  

In addition, a website was mounted of Irwindale veterans.  It can be viewed at: .  
Photos and the ranks and some historical information is included.


Sunday, November 11, 2007


Master of Ceremony………………….. Robert Griego, City Manager
Presentation of Colors……………..... Amvets Post #113
Pledge of Allegiance………………….. Amvets Post #113
National Anthem………………………. Loretta Corpis
Invocation……………………………….. David “Chico” Fuentes,

Mayor Pro Tem
Introduction of Speakers……………. Robert Griego, City Manager
Mayor…………………………………… Unveiling of Irwindale’s Heroes
Banner Program
Irwindale City Council
Veterans……………………………….. Tony Cruz Aguilera (Robert J. Morago on his behalf), Gilbert Lopez, & David F. Martinez

Veterans Roll Call …………………….. Mayor and City Council
Honoring of Deceased Veterans….. “Taps” by Bobby Loya
Closing Remarks……………………… H. Manuel Ortiz, Mayor
Retiring of Colors……………………… Amvets Post #113




Anthony Tovar aims to prove that Inner-city schools can be winners
Synopsis of Mendez v. Westminster, et al. (1946) by Judge Fredrick P. Aguirre
Cardenas: Time to force Texas' borderlands into providing more doctoral programs

Part Coach, Part Cheerleader, Sunset High Principal Anthony Tovar Aims to Prove That Inner-City Schools Can Be Winners

By Megan Feldman
Photos by Mark Graham



Sunset High School Principal Anthony Tovar uses the sort of hands-on motivational methods he developed as a former coach to drive his students in academics.


Sunset High School Principal Anthony Tovar is welcomed back to school by student Gladys Morales after undergoing surgery.


Veteran Sunset science teacher Cynthia Hall says one big difference between Tovar’s and previous administrations is that Tovar and his staff leave their offices to connect with kids and teachers in classrooms and hallways.

One of the administrators he hired to bring change to Sunset was Jonathan Parker, assistant principal in charge of math.

Beth Pumpelly, who helps coordinate limited-English-proficiency classes, says Tovar has inspired teamwork among the teaching staff.


Anthony Tovar Sr. and his wife, Nina, didn’t get their own high school diplomas, but they pushed their four kids through college.



To get the kids to learn, sometimes you have to teach the parents how to do their own jobs better. That’s the task Tovar assigned Nora Garcia, Sunset’s community liaison.


Parent Ester Morones speaks at one of Garcia’s parenting classes.

Sent by Bill Betzen




Synopsis of Mendez v. Westminster, et al. (1946) 
By Judge Fredrick P. Aguirre


Superior Court of California County of Orange
64 Fed. Supp., 544 (1947) 161, Fed. Rptr., 2nd, 774 

On March 2, 1945, Gonzalo Mendez, William Guzman, Frank Palmino, Thomas Estrada and Lorenzo Ramirez filed suit against the Westminster, Garden Grove, Santa Ana and El Modena School Districts in Orange County, California. The lawsuit, entitled Mendez vs. Westminster, et a., challenged the policy of the school districts which segregated Mexican-American school children from Anglo-American school children in separate schools.

David C. Marcus, an attorney from Los Angeles, represented the Plaintiffs. Federal District Judge Paul McCormick ruled that segregation on the basis of race or ancestry was a violation of California State law which did not allow segregation of Mexican-American students. Therefore, it was a violation of the students' right to equal protection of California law under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The school districts appealed the decision to the 9th Circuit, Federal Court of Appeal. Amicus Curiae briefs, friend of the court briefs, were submitted by the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) by Thurgood Marshall (later Supreme Court Justice), the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union [A.L. Wirin and Carey McWilliams]), JACL (Japanese American Citizens League), and the AJC (American Jewish Congress).

The 9th Circuit, by a 7-0 decision, upheld Judge McCormick's decision. 

The Court stated:

"By enforcing the segregation of school children of Mexican descent against their will and contrary to the laws of California, respondents (the school districts) have violated the federal law as provided in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Federal Constitution by depriving them of liberty and property without due process of law and by denying to them the equal protection of the laws."

The school districts elected not to appeal Mendez to the U.S. Supreme Court, which would have been the next legal step. Therefore, Mendez set a local precedent, not a national standard. That would take place 7 years later in 1954 in Brown vs. Board of Education (Topeka, Kansas).

But what did Mendez do :

1.     Caused the desegregation of public schools in the Southwest for Mexican-American students.

2.     Caused the California Legislature, through Governor Earl Warren, to repeal the rest of the segregation laws on the books regarding forced segregation of Asian and Native American children in separate public schools.

3.     Caused cities and counties across the Southwest to end practices of segregation in public facilities like parks, pools, theaters, then private places like restaurants, motels, theaters.

4.     Set the stage for Brown v. Board of Education where Supreme Court Justice Earl Warren would lead the Supreme Court, through the strong legal and moral arguments of the same legal teams that participated in the Mendez case, to end segregation in public schools for the entire nation.


Cárdenas: It's time to 'force' Texas 
into providing border region with more doctoral programs

By Steve Taylor


Dr. Blandina “Bambi” Cárdenas speaks at a meeting of the 
North American Advanced Manufacturing Research 
and Education Initiative in Laredo

LAREDO, June 9 - South Texas and the border region must exert its political and economic muscle to “force” the state of Texas into increasing higher educational opportunities, says Dr. Blandina “Bambi” Cárdenas.

In a hard-hitting speech before an audience of economic development, business and academic leaders, the former president of the University of Texas-Pan American said it was “unsatisfactory and unacceptable” that the region has just a handful of doctoral programs.

“If you draw a line from, let’s say, Marfa, around San Antonio and south to Corpus Christi, we have less than a handful of doctoral programs in that region. Less than a handful,” Cárdenas said.

“I would suggest that we have less than ten doctoral programs in all of those institutions put together. We cannot support and create a 21st Century economic development effort if we are lacking those doctoral programs.”

Cárdenas gave her remarks at a reception at La Posada hosted by the North American Advanced Manufacturing Research and Education Initiative (NAAMREI).

Cárdenas said it would take the South Texas region’s combined “political, strategic and economic acumen to force - and I will say force - the Coordinating Board and force the Texas Legislature to put the resources behind the institutional capacity that it will take to build those doctoral programs.”

Cárdenas said higher education is the “R&D and human development operation” of a successful economy. She went on to list what the region currently has and what it lacks. It has one engineering program, no medical school, no law school and a handful of doctoral programs in education, she said. “That is unsatisfactory and unacceptable. We cannot continue to grow this economy with that kind of vision,” she said.

The way to address these deficiencies, Cárdenas said, is to develop a strategic plan based on the region’s educational needs for the next 25 years. “We can do it because we have got the brain power. If we come together we’ve got enough votes. But the agenda has to be set,” she said.

After four and a half years as president of UTPA, Cárdenas retired in January, citing health issues. “As you can see, old educators, like old soldiers, don’t just fade away,” Cárdenas said, to cheers from the audience.

NAAMREI’s leadership team had gathered for their quarter meeting. The group honored Cárdenas with its first ever Leadership Award.

Cárdenas said she was not going to let the opportunity pass without doing “just a little bit of preaching.” She spoke a little about the difficulties she had faced growing up in Del Rio. “There were a whole lot of people standing in the way who thought Mexicanos from the barrios of San Felipe shouldn’t be showing that kind of leadership,” she said.

Having been all over the world and having mixed with lots of so-called important people, Cárdenas said she was in no doubt about the richness of character and intelligence found in border communities.

“I have long been convinced that the people of our region, even those that were not born here, are particularly gifted,” she said. The talents of those living in other parts of the country and the world in no way surpass the “human capital, the intelligence, the brain power, the values power, the soul power, and the gut power of our people of South Texas,” Cárdenas said, to a cheering audience.

The only thing standing in the way of that power being realized is the articulation of an educational system, Cárdenas said. “We are far from the educational system that we need.”

In her remarks about NAAMREI, Cárdenas said her vision for the group came about after she attended a meeting of university presidents with state Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo. Zaffirini had said, “Don’t forget about Laredo,” Cárdenas explained. That thought resonated and it dawned on Cárdenas that South Texas educational institutions do not have to wait for the blessing of UT-Austin or UT-San Antonio in order to start collaborating and building intellectual capacity.

Cárdenas implored NAAMREI’s members not to let the group die, even if the funding dries up. The group got off the ground with a $5 million grant under the WIRED project developed by the Department of Labor.

“Don’t let it die. If the funding goes away, it doesn’t matter; keep it going because it is important and because it adds value. Find more funding to keep it together,” Cárdenas said.

Federal funding was not everything, Cárdenas said, citing the formation of the League of United Latin American Citizens in El Paso in 1929. She pointed out LULAC did not have an expense account, a telephone or a fax machine when it started. They simply “fought for what was right,” she said.

Regardless of whether there is a formal organization or not, economic development groups across South Texas have to come together and design and define what their strategic educational needs are in order to make economic progress, Cárdenas said.

“I’ll be right there prodding you and if you don’t do it I’ll come back and haunt you from wherever I am,” Cárdenas said, to great cheers.

She concluded her remarks by saying: “Let’s raise our expectations continuously, let’s raise our vision of what is possible for our region. And, let’s not accept that we have to do without because there is nowhere, and I have read it all, there is nowhere in the Bible that says that South Texas isn’t entitled to a high quality educational program and until I read it in the Bible I am not going to believe it.”


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




1) Bell Labs Fellowships for Under Represented Minorities

2) Student Inventors Scholarships 

3) Student Video Scholarships 

4) Coca-Cola Two Year College Scholarships 

5) Holocaust Remembrance Scholarships  

6) Ayn Rand Essay Scholarships 

7) Brand Essay Competition

8) Gates Millennium Scholarships (major) 

9) Xerox Scholarships for Students 

10) Sports Scholarships and Internships 

11) National Assoc. of Black Journalists Scholarships

12) Saul T. Wilson Scholarships (Veterinary) 

13) Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund 

14) FinAid: The Smart Students Guide to Financial Aid scholarships) 

15) Presidential Freedom Scholarships

16) Microsoft Scholarship Program

17) WiredScholar Free Scholarship Search

18) Hope Scholarships & Lifetime Credits  

19) William Randolph Hearst Endowed Scholarship for Minority Students 

20) Multiple List of Minority Scholarships 

21) Guaranteed Scholarships

22) BOEING scholarships (soma e HBCU connects) 
23) Easley National Scholarship Program 
24) Maryland Artists Scholarships 
26) Jacki Tuckfield Memorial Graduate Business Scholarship (for AA students in South Florida ) 
27) Historically Black College & University Scholarships 
28) Actuarial Scholarships for Minority Students 
29) International Students Scholarships & Aid Help 
30) College Board Scholarship Search 
31) Burger King Scholarship Program 
32) Siemens Westinghouse Competition http://www.siemens-foundationorg/ 
33) GE and LuLac Scholarship Funds 
34) CollegeNet's Scholarship Database 
35) Union Sponsored Scholarships & Aid http://www.aflcioorg/scholarships/scholar.htm 
36) Federal Scholarships & Aid Gateways 25 Scholarship Gateways from Black Excel 25scholarships.htm 
37) Scholarship & Financial Aid Help 
38) Scholarship Links (Ed Finance Group) A
39) FAFSA On The Web (Your Key Aid Form &Info)
40) Aid &Resources For Re-Entry Students
41) Scholarships and Fellowships 
42) Scholarships for Study in Paralegal Studies
43) HBCU Packard Sit Abroad Scholarships (for study around
the world) 
44) Scholarship and Fellowship Opportunities 
45) INROADS internships
46) NA AC P Scholarships 
47) Black Alliance for Educational Options Scholarships
48) ScienceNet Scholarship Listing 
49) Graduate Fellowships For Minorities Nationwide 
51) The Roothbert Scholarship Fund
Rosa MMelendez
Region 10, Regional Director
Community Relations Service
U.S. Department of Justice
915 Second Ave; Suite 1808
Seattle, WA 98174-1010
206-220-6700 Phone
206-220-6706 Fax
The Community Relations Service (CRS) is the Department's "peacemaker" for community conflicts and tensions arising from differences of race, color, and national origin. Its services are provided to local officials and leaders by trained federal mediators on a voluntary and cost-free basis. The kinds of assistance available from CRS include mediation of disputes and conflicts, training in conflict resolution skills, and help in developing ways to prevent and resolve conflicts. Contact your CRS regional office for help in your community.



Reaching for the Dream On the Border of Texas and Mexico, an exceptional school
National Association for Chicana Chicano Studies Newsletter

Reaching for the Dream
On the Border of Texas and Mexico, an exceptional school
By Eddy Ramirez


At Hidalgo High School, all 810 students are Hispanic. Half of them come from families with parents who never finished high school and now struggle in a border town where the poverty hovers at 38 percent. Despite these barriers Hidalgo High has 94 percent graduation outperform similar schools in the state. In the2005-06 academic year, every student took two Advanced Placement courses and 44 percent passed at least one exam with a score of 3 or higher. "We never use poverty as an excuse," says Edward Blaha, Hidalgo's principal. The school is an example of how education can integrate a community into the mainstream national culture.
Not surprisingly, while students can choose from as many as 16 AP classes, the courses with the highest success rates are AP Spanish Language and AP Spanish Literature. "But just because you know Spanish doesn't mean you can pass the tests," says Beatriz Solis, a Spanish teacher at Hidalgo. Solis says native Spanish speakers in her class have trouble writing using formal language and proper grammar. And students struggle even more with the tougher AP Spanish Literature test.
For some Hidalgo students, the AP Spanish courses are a gateway to other college-level coursework. Sandra Valeria Martinez, who is ranked No. 2 in her junior class, passed the two AP Spanish tests last year. She is now taking AP classes in three other subjects, one is an AP English class that is taught by a professor from South Texas College. Sandra wants to go to a four-year college like her older brother, Ezau, a Hidalgo grad who is studying criminal justice at the University of Texas-Pan American. "I used to think we'd be lost in high school," Sandra says.
A four-year, $800,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ushered in a new era. That money has allowed the school, in partnership with local and state colleges, to offer students up to 60 hours of free college credits on the high school campus. The class of 2010 could grauate with high school diplomas as well as with two-year associate degrees. "By exposing them to the vocabulary and expectations of college," Blaha says, "that might make these kids say, You know what, I think I can do this" and give them the desire to go back for their bachelor's."
Working on deficiencies. But Hidalgo High still has room to improve. In 2006, the school failed to bring enough English learners to grade-level proficiency in math. Under the No Child Left Behind law, the school could face serious consequences if it continues to fall short. Blaha and his staff also know that they need more support from parents. The school has made outreach a centerpiece of its college-readiness campaign. Every week, the school invites parents to classes that teach them discipline tips and strategies to help their children with schoolwork.
The meetings, which are held in Spanish, draw about 80 parents. Sandra Martinez, who shares her daughter's name, says the school has made it easier for parents like her, who grew up with little education in a culture different from that of their children, to encourage their kids to pursue college. Martinez is taking computer and English classes through the high school's parental outreach program. Seeing her mother study has motivated 17-year-old Sandra. Her mother says: "Sometimes [she] tells me, 'Mom, I can't wait when the two of us are in college together.'"
Sent by Granville Hough, Ph.D.


National Association for Chicana Chicano Studies Newsletter


Please click on the link below in order to access the Spring/post-conference
NACCS Newsletter, May 2009, Issue 38, Number 2.
Have a great summer, Castañeda, NACCS Newsletter Editor

Sent by Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.



Enriqueta Vasquez and the Chicano Movement: El Grito del Norte Writings

Enriqueta Vasquez and the Chicano Movement: 
El Grito del Norte Writings (Hispanic Civil Rights)

by Enriqueta Vasquez


As a teenager, long before Enriqueta Vasquez became a writer and activist, she wrote her first letter to complain against the injustice she saw around her while growing up in the Southwest. Why was she, a Mexican American, not allowed to eat in local restaurants, while her brothers were fighting to preserve their country's principles of freedom and democracy? Why were Mexican Americans good enough to fight and die for their country but not good enough to be treated as equals at home? And so began Enriqueta Vasquez's life-long fight for justice. Highlighting the involvement of women in the Chicano Movement, this anthology combines for the first time in one volume the columns written by Enriqueta Vasquez from 1968-1972 for the path-breaking Chicano newspaper, El Grito del Norte. Enriqueta Vasquez's columns written during the peak of the civil rights movement provided a platform for her fierce but hopeful voice of protest. In her column, entitled Despierten Hermanos! [Awaken, Brothers and Sisters!], she used both anger and humor in her efforts to stir her fellow Chicanos to action. Drawing upon her own experiences as a Chicana, she wrote about such issues as racism, sexism, imperialism, and poverty, issues that remain pressing today. With introductory and concluding essays by editors Lorena Oropeza and Dionne Espinoza, this collection of 44 of Vasquez's original articles arranged thematically into six chapters seeks to inform and inspire a new generation. Each is annotated to clarify references to people and events, and the editors have included English-language translations of any essays that appeared originally in Spanish. The text is complemented by six drawings by activist and artistRini Templeton that originally appeared in El Grito del Norte. The volume includes a foreword by John Nichols and a preface by Enriqueta Vasquez.


"Born during the civil rights era, the Chicano movement fashioned a new, empowered identity for Mexican-Americans. Vasquez was at the center of this movement, and her columns in El Grito del Norte (The Shout from the North) offered a new voice and purpose for those involved. In these essays, collected for the first time, she examines the liberal ideologies of the time — feminism, socialism, environmentalism, pacifism — paving the way for Chicano thought. A central tension lies between putting women's needs and Mexican-American needs first. Though these are difficult questions to answer, Vasquez's writing remains simple and folksy, and she often relies on her personal life to provide examples. By the end, the essays, though often repetitive, offer a great window into both Chicanismo and the development of identity politics in the 20th century. The two essays written by Chicano scholars and the editors of the book, effectively use history and cultural theory to support the columns and bring them to life." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Book News Annotation:

Between 1968 and 1972, the New Mexico newspaper El Grito del Norte published columns by Chicana activist Enriqueta Vasquez, under the heading �Despierten Hermanos! (Awaken Brothers and Sisters!), in which she wrote about racism, sexism, imperialism, discrimination, poverty, and other issues of concern to the Chicano movement of the era. This anthology collects all 44 of those columns, together with a reflection on the Grito columns by Vasquez herself, an introductory essay describing Vasquez's life and times, and a concluding essay that considers the impact of her work in El Grito del Norte
Annotation �2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

Book News Annotation:

Between 1968 and 1972, the New Mexico newspaper El Grito del Norte published columns by Chicana activist Enriqueta Vasquez, under the heading �Despierten Hermanos! (Awaken Brothers and Sisters!), in which she wrote about racism, sexism, imperialism, discrimination, poverty, and other issues of concern to the Chicano movement of the era. This anthology collects all 44 of those columns, together with a reflection on the Grito columns by Vasquez herself, an introductory essay describing Vasquez's life and times, and a concluding essay that considers the impact of her work in El Grito del Norte Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

ISBN13: 9781558854796    ISBN10: 1558854797



Need A Quality Portrait?
Arts consortium raises double its expected fund-raising goal
Mummy in the Closet: The Return of Eva Peron 

Need A
Quality Portrait?

Ricardo Montalban
Ignacio Gomez 
has over 250 satisfied clients.  

Call Ignacio Gomez at 818-243-2838


Arts consortium raises double its expected fund-raising goal




PHOENIX -- Advocates for Latino Arts and Culture Consortium, Inc. (ALAC) announced today that donors contributed or pledged more than $41,000 combined, more than twice as much as expected, during the organization’s first major fund-raiser May 28.


“We expected a good turnout, but the amazing success of last week’s event far exceeded our expectations,” said ErLinda Tórres, a dance choreographer and president of the board of ALAC, a Valley-based non-profit arts consortium. “What this response says to me is that the time has come to realize our dream of building a Latino cultural center in Phoenix.”


Tórres said last week’s fund-raiser is the first in a series of such events planned for 2009-2010. The arts consortium eventually expects to raise at least $10 million to fund the construction of a state-of-the-art, multidisciplinary arts and cultural facility. Several cities nationwide, including San Antonio, Austin, San Jose and Albuquerque, all communities with substantial and growing Latino populations, have built Latino cultural centers in recent years.


While the construction of a Latino cultural center in Phoenix likely is years away, Tórres said the ALAC Board of Directors intends to open a facility in partnership with the City of Phoenix in a downtown location in the coming months. Final negotiations with the City of Phoenix for a space on Adams Street near Second Avenue are underway, and some of the money raised last week will help finance the opening of the site, said Tórres.


“Our site is designed to help us establish a presence and visibility in the community. What better place to do that than right in the heart of the city,” said Tórres. “It also will give us a place where we can begin to show the Valley and the nation what our future permanent center will have to offer.”


More than 350 Latino and non-Latino community leaders, artists, elected officials and business people attended the ALAC fund-raiser last week. The keynote speaker for the event was Henry R. Muñoz III, founding chairman of the board of The Alameda National Center of Latino Arts and Culture in San Antonio.

Tórres said 23 contributors donated at least $1,000 each during last week’s event. Others officially pledged to contribute to the organization during the May 28 event. In exchange, each of the $1,000 donors will be recognized with by having their names inscribed on a plaque identifying them as a founding donor to be prominently displayed in the cultural center.     Page 1 of 2





  • ALAC is 501© (3) Non-profit organization with the mission to preserve, promote and create Latino arts and culture. The broad goal of ALAC is to create the Valley’s first Latino Cultural Center to educate and enrich the lives of all Arizonans.
  • ALAC, founded in 2007, is non-profit coalition of Latino artists of all disciplines and more than a dozen Latino and non-Latino art organizations (see for a full listing) that are working hard to create a cultural center in Phoenix.
  • Latinos are estimated to make up about 35 to 40 percent of the total Phoenix Valley population, according to recent U.S. Census figures.
  • Latinos in the Phoenix Valley spend nearly $120 million annually on arts and cultural events, according to a 2008 study by the Metro Phoenix Partnership for Arts and Culture.
  • The ALAC Community Fund-raiser host Committee members are: co-chairs Raul Yzaguirre, ASU presidential professor of practice and executive director of the ASU Center for Community Development and Civil Rights; Mary Rose Wilcox, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors; Ben Miranda, Arizona House of Representatives; and Michael Nowakowski, Phoenix City Council. The ALAC advisory members in attendance included Pete Garcia, The Victoria Foundation; Richard Miranda, Arizona Senate; Laura Pastor, South Mountain Community College; Tio Tachias, consultant; Roberto Reveles, community activist; Tony Banegas, Arizona Community Foundation and Honorary Consul for Honduras; Ruben Alvarez, Molera-Alvarez Group; and Yolanda Kizer, Casa Fenix, Luis Ibarra, Friendly House, and Luz Sarmina, Valle del Sol Inc.
  • To learn more about ALAC, visit


CONTACTS:  James E. Garcia of Creative Vistas Media,; Ruben Hernandez, Concepts Consulting Group, 602.943.3944; ALAC Board President Linda Torres, 602.793.1293 (cell), ALAC Board Member Trino Sandoval, 602.525.1469 (cell).

Advocates for Latin@ Arts & Culture Consortium, Inc.,
 5555 N. 7th Street, #134-500, Phoenix, AZ. 85014, 


"Mummy in the Closet: The Return of Eva Peron." 
(By Marc Laibson) By Chris Klimek 


In the 1970s, Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote a musical about the beloved Argentine icon Eva Peron, but his version might have been overly preoccupied with the relatively dull early part of her life -- you know, before she died.
Turns out that when Peron succumbed to cancer at the martyrdom-enabling age of 33, her role in steering her country's future was just beginning.
Her husband, Juan Peron, had her body mummified and planned to put it in an opulent mausoleum, one that remained incomplete when his government was overthrown in 1955. The architects of the coup feared that Evita's corpse might be trenchant enough a symbol to rally the people against them. So they hid her. For years. Eventually, a colonel in the junta fell in love with Evita (her mummy, that is) and claimed she was carrying his child. Understandably, his bosses took the mummy back. More puzzling, they stashed it in a closet for a couple of years before getting the
Vatican to help them smuggle the body to Italy.
At this point, the tale gets a little weird. "It feels like a story Monty Python could have told," says Mariano Caligaris, director of a dark musical comedy recounting Evita's posthumous exploits that has its world premiere at GALA Hispanic Theatre next week.
"Mummy in the Closet: The Return of Eva Peron" attempts a tonal balancing act similar to that of Stephen Sondheim's "Assassins." Like that tuneful profile of president-killers, "Mummy" aims to be a whimsical, if macabre, retelling of tragic events. There is even a zombie number.
The creators of "Mummy" insist that the show is still more historically accurate than Webber's, which, they note, never played Buenos Aires. "They'd burn the theater," says GALA artistic director
Hugo Medrano.
GALA commissioned Venezuelan playwright Gustavo Ott and Argentine composer Mariano Vales to write the book and music, respectively. (They penned the lyrics together.) While Medrano acknowledges that the story comes from a "a very surreal time" in Latin American history, he
says it resonates on a deeper level than it would were its humor mere Pythonesque silliness.
"It's an ideological play, without being political," he says. "It's about how this kind of perversity starts to develop immediately after the fall of Peron," eventually giving rise to the Dirty War of 1976-83, wherein at least 10,000 suspected opponents of the military regime were "disappeared": abducted, tortured and murdered.
"You could say that Evita's mummy is the first 'disappeared,' " Caligaris says. The choice of a non-Argentine playwright was a deliberate one, Medrano says, to bring a measure of objectivity to the tale. Otherwise, the entire creative team -- including choreographer Carina Losano, who
taught Madonna to tango for the movie "Evita," and four of the nine cast members -- hails from Argentina, where original musical productions are rare. The plan is to eventually bring the show to
Buenos Aires, where several of its songs and scenes were presented as works-in-progress earlier this year.
But Ott and Caligaris maintain that the show isn't written for Argentines and that familiarity with Latin American history is not a prerequisite. "I don't want people to have to read a book to
understand the play," Caligaris says.
Conceived of and composed by Mariano Vales (Argentina) 
Book by Directed by Gustavo Ott (Venezuela) Mariano Caligaris (Argentina) 
Choreography by Carina Losano (Argentina)
Mummy in the Closet: The Return of Eva Peron was performed in the GALA Hispanic Theatre,
3333 14th St. NW.  during the moth of June.  800-494-8497.
 Dorinda Moreno

Art Exhibition
''Malaquias and Maceo Montoya:
Dos Vistas un Camino al Rumbo de la Humanidad''

Mexican American Cultural Center
600 River Street, Austin, TX

In conjunction with the Center for Mexican American Studies (CMAS) the Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC) will be hosting the exhibition "Malaquias and Maceo Montoya: Dos Vistas un Camino al Rumbo de la Humanidad." The exhibit opened June 20, 2009 and will be available for viewing through August 29, 2009.

A reception for the exhibition is scheduled for August 20, 2009 at the MACC.

Malaquias Montoya, a California-raised Chicano artist will be showcasing his newest body of work that highlights the detrimental effects of globalization and war on national communities and their cultures. Malaquias’ paintings, drawings and prints convey the universal story of the consequences of power and war. This exhibition allows the viewer to peek into the lives of those whose culture and daily life have been depleted or destroyed by corporate globalization and tragedies of war.

Maceo Montoya’s approach is more intimate, and includes striking portraits that reveal highly personal immigrant experiences. Maceo’s work depicts the daily lives of a select group: the Mexican immigrants of Northern California. His acrylic paintings are meditations on the quiet day-to-day struggle to make a home in a foreign and oftentimes resistant place. His images of men and women immersed in the vast landscapes of the agriculture valley depict solitude and loneliness but also a determined and spiritual fortitude.

Malaquias and Maceo Montoya: Dos Vistas un Camino al Rumbo de la Humanidad is the first comprehensive exhibition of the artwork of Malaquias and Maceo Montoya.

For more information, contact Herlinda Zamora (exhibit coordinator) at (512) 478-6222 or
Or visit the website:

Sent by the Center for Mexican American Studies




Ted Vincent, 1936 - June 14, 2009 

In December 2006, we start a new series by Ted Vincent, translations of some of the literary works of  Mexican writer, Vicente Riva Palacio, considered Mexico's 19th century social commentator.  On June 15th, I received a sad message from Ted's good friend, 
Dr. Carlos Munoz, that Ted had suffered a heart attack May 29th and sadly, unexpected complications resulted in his death, a great loss to the community.    

Since, I have virtually no background in the area of Spanish/Mexican literature, I was delighted to receive the selections that Ted so kindly prepared over the years and shared for Somos Primos readers.  I found the variety of works by Riva Palacio fascinating, from fables, to satire, to historical, tragedies and humor, Ted selected a variety which illuminated the traditions and attitudes of Mexico's people.  I learned so much, and I am sure others felt the same. 

Ted Vincent graduated from Manual Arts High School, LACC, UCLA and UC Berkeley, receiving his MA at the latter. He taught a specialized course in "Black Power Origins" at UC Berkeley from 1968 to 1972, and at UCLA 1972-1975. His research for these classes was the basis for his books "Black Power and the Garvey Movement" "Voices of a Black Nation: Political Journalism of the Harlem Renaissance," and "Keep Cool: The Black Activists who Built the Jazz Age." Since 1990 he has lived much of the time in Mexico where he became intrigued with the nation’s multi-cultural and multi-ethnic composition. On this theme Vincent produced "The Legacy of Vicente Guerrero,"and has contributed articles to "Somos Primos," "La Opinion," and other journals, while lecturing throughout California, and in Mexico, Cuba, Chicago, New York, Seattle, and Anchorage, Alaska. 

Fascination with the literature of 19th Century Mexico led Vincent to collect works by Vicente Riva Palacio, Manuel Payno, Ignacio Altamirano and others. Earlier, he collected for the Biblioteca Nacional in Managua, Nicaragua, over seven hundred clippings from Latin American newspapers pertaining to the 1927-1934 struggles of Augusto Sandino; and for the Universidad Veracruzana in Xalapa, he compiled a bibliography of the holdings on Veracruz at the Bancroft Library. From research for his sports history, "Mudville’s Revenge," Vincent amassed data now in the Baseball Hall of Fame Library, and Basketball Hall of Fame Library. 

Dr. Carlos Munoz writes: 

Dear Friends, it is with sadness that I forward this brief announcement about the passing of my friend and colleague, Ted Vincent.  Over the years we have shared our passion and work about the African Diaspora in Mexico. More recently, I enjoyed working with Ted when we both served as scholar consultants to the Oakland Museum's current exhibit on the "African Presence in Mexico".  

Ted was a Berkeley fixture and will be deeply missed. He was a frequent contributor to the Daily Planet, and has recently been translating contributions to the mixed race heritage publication Somos Primos.   

May he rest in peace.  Carlos

He is survived by his three children Mimi, Teo, and Rickey; grandchildren David, Marcus, and Gary, one great-grandchild Kaden and many god-children; his wife Selma, and ex-wife Toni Vincent.  Family services and a public Memorial are pending.





Posted on Historia, June 8, 2009; posted on Somos Primos, July 2009

By Felipe de Ortego y Gasca

Scholar in Residence and Chair of the Department of Chicana/Chicano and Hemispheric Studies, Western New Mexico University; Professor Emeritus, Texas State University System—Sul Ross  



espite the obvious—that the earth is a world of diversity—human beings tend to look in others for the characteristics they “see” in themselves, thinking, perhaps, that as human beings we all share the same characteristics. To be sure, while there are certain genetic commonalities among human beings, there are differences that increase the divide between human groups. For example, though Americans share many commonalities with the English, there are sufficient differences that enable people to tell us apart. It’s this difficulty to decompartmentalize ourselves from our experiences and background that lead us to think that all people think like we do. In other words, that Spaniards think like Americans, that Iraqis think like Americans. Here we are treading perilously the terrain of cultural and linguist determinism and imperialism. We are unable to see others from their perspective of language and culture. Though many of us have grown up as Latinos in the United States we are not part of a homogeneous species of Americans. There is no such generic American. Like the rest of the world, as Americans we are like snowflakes—no two alike. Add to that our unique sentient experiences and our ethnic affiliations and the diversity of human beings nos asalta los ojos—is awesome.  

In 1992 just before the first Iraqi war I wrote a piece on “Cross-Cultural Communication: Information Theory and the Grammar of Conflict” in which I explained why both Secretary of State James Baker and Iraqi Prime Minister Tariq Aziz considered their efforts a failure to sort out the differences between Iraq and the United States at the Geneva Conference of January 9, 1991. The obstacles in resolving the conflict between Iraq and the United Nations—principally the United States—grew out of grammars of conflict that differentiate one group from another. Messages between culturally and linguistically different groups are not understood inherently sui generis at transliteral face value. Those messages are products of evolutionary single-source information systems that create varying states of consciousness and conceptualization. That Secretary of State James Baker did not hear the message he had hoped for from Iraqi Minister Tariq Aziz at the Geneva Conference reflects the states of consciousness engendered by the language of Americans. Iraqi Prime Minister Tariq Aziz also expressed disappointment that he had not heard the message he had hoped for at the Geneva Conference. Cross cultural conflict arising out of single-source information systems requires a transcendence of expectations based on knowledge of cross-cultural communication.  

Secretary Baker’s uncertainty about Minister Aziz’ message was not because of faulty messages but because Secretary Baker’s single-source information system was making few allowances for error, miscue, or “entropy”—a state of disorder emanating from failed expectations—in his dealing with Minister Aziz’ single-source information system. All too often when embarking on cross-cultural communication, assumptions about cultural universals inhibit or deter success in transmitting the meanings of messages from one culture to another, the prime assumption being that the way one culture processes information must be the way the other culture processes information also, ergo understanding is mutual.  

In information theory, “noise” is anything that weakens, distorts or diminishes the clarity or reception of a signal—the message. In messages between culturally and/or linguistically different groups of people, culture and language contribute to the “noise” of a message—that is, language and culture are screens through which messages are filtered en route to their destination, also screened and filtered in their reception by those for whom the message is intended. Little wonder that cross-cultural communication requires considerable effort when messages are dually screened and filtered. Add to that effort the factor of translation and the task looms large, not impossible—just formidable. That means, among other things, that cross-cultural communication requires work.  

Cultures are large symbolic terrains that require considerable familiarity with their landscapes in order to traverse them successfully. A cultural Baedeker or map helps.  But it’s important to bear in mind that the map is not the territory as Alfred Korzybski pointed out, that a mark on a piece of paper is no substitute for what the map represents. Consequently, a translation of marks on a document sent from one culture to another is not a substitute for what the marks on a document represent in the language of the culture transmitting it. For example, in English the word “tree” is the transliteration of the Spanish word “arbol.” But as a transliteration the word “tree” is simply a symbol in English “approximating” a meaning for the Spanish symbol “arbol.” A translation is not a surety for understanding a message from another culture. Transliterations are therefore insubstantial in deciphering the lexical symbols of other cultures. In as much as translations are all we have to work with oftentimes in cross-cultural communications, we must use them cautiously.  

Faced with this dilemma of cross-cultural communication some years ago when I was a faculty member of the School of Social Work at San Jose State University (1974-75), I organized and taught a course on “Language, Culture, and Behavior” for social work students working in non-mainstream ethnic communities still preserving their distinctive languages and cultures. My thoughts on the matter are encapsulated in the piece that appears in “Language, Culture, and Behavior: Implications for Social Work Education” (Ortego, 1975). Suffice to say that the mind contains an infrastructure of conceptual knowledge that determines the outcome of information processing and leads it to “conclusions” consonant with the design and architecture of that infrastructure. The overall disposition of the mind to apprehend objects in a particular way, to select and give form to what is seen, plays an important role in perception and judgment. What we see is as much the product of incoming visual data as it is of previous knowledge organized per rules of the mind’s infrastructure.  

Perception is related in significant ways to the whole general culture and social structure of  the perceiver, and depends on the selection and organization of cues according to past experience and expectations. The perceiver sees a structured object or environment in the way his or her past experience and habits determine. What is perceived involves both the perceiver’s contribution and the contribution of the “stimulus.” In physics there is the contention that the observer affects the outcome of observation by the mere act of observation. In like fashion, Einstein reasoned that we see what the language lets us see. R.C. Lewontin put it this way:


Science, like other productive activities, like the state, the family, sport, is a social institution completely integrated into and influenced by the structure of all our other social institutions. The problem that science deals with, the ideas that it uses in investigating those problems, even the so-called scientific results that come out of scientific investigation, are all deeply influenced by predispositions that derive from the society in which we live. Scientists do not begin life as scientists, after all, but as social beings immersed in a family, a state, a productive structure, and they view nature through a lens that has been molded by their social experience (3, emphasis mine).


“Social experience” is the operational phrase here. As human beings—and perhaps in all life—we are the products of our social (ambient) experiences. In other words, growing up as a Mexican American in the United States conditions (molds) my perceptions and judgments about life. That conditioning is not absolute; it is however sometimes pretty intractable. I certainly can’t view life from an Anglo perspective. The differences in behavior manifested by various groups may be in large part due to differences in their respective cultural traditions. Our behavior is conditioned significantly by our culture and by our home language. The inseparability of language and culture in our evolution is a given. I’m not talking here only about the Spanish language and Mexican culture. That tenet holds for the English language and American culture as well. In Faustian America the din of cultures is clarion clear. But everywhere in the United States there are many Americans who are in denial about the cultural mosaic of the country and its linguistic sonata.

That denial is particularly evident in the current brouhaha over the appointment of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court of the United States.  Much has been made of the following comment in a 2001 speech she made at Berkeley, California:

Whether born from experience or inherent physiological or cultural differences, a possibility I abhor less or discount less than my colleague Judge Cedarbaum, our gender and national origins may and will make a difference in our judging. Justice [Sandra Day] O’Connor has often been cited as saying that a wise old man and wise old woman will reach the same conclusion in deciding cases…I am also not so sure that I agree with the statement. First, as Professor [Martha] Minnow has noted, there can never be a universal definition of wise. Second, I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.

Out of context these remarks have been rendered as “infamous” contextually phrased that a "wise Latina woman would often reach a better conclusion than a white male.” The essence of Sonia Sotomayor’s remark is not that a wise Latina woman would often reach a better conclusion than a white male but that she would hope “that a wise Latina Woman with the richness of her experience would reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.” The expression is not absolute but conditional. Because of this remark, Sonia Sotomayor has been called a racist by mean-spirited opponents to her nomination whose vision of America is a vision of America as a nation of assimilated citizens hewing to one fundamental ideology.  In a recent Newsweek piece Jonathan Alter put it this way:

. . . replacing an ideology-driven White House with a data-driven one is a big improvement. But Obama’s faith in data and in his ability to reach the “right” policy answer will not be enough for success. That’s because every expert opinion is the product of the biases and backgrounds of the experts (21, emphasis mine).

Our gender, backgrounds, and social experiences born of the national origins of our cultural group do make a difference in our judgments, in the way we look at life. I cannot erase from my life experiences the segregated schools I was forced to attend in San Antonio in the 1930’s. It is part of who I am. Someone who has not attended and experienced segregated schools cannot fully know what that experience really is. Empathy helps to approximate some understanding. However, with due respect to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, a wise old man and wise old woman may reach the same conclusion in deciding cases not because of wisdom or age but because they may both share the same legal training. If Justice O’Connor’s contention were true, then what accounts for such division on the Supreme Court in decisions that are rendered by 5 to 4 judgments? Why in their wisdom do the Supreme Court Justices not reach the same conclusions? Because they are who they are—products of their social experiences.  

One hears much these days about the Constitutional tradition of the United States as a country of laws. Indeed the United States is a country of laws—oftentimes bad laws as was the case when African Americans were segregated by the Supreme Court ruling of Plessy vs. Ferguson in 1896. Or the myriad Jim Crow laws that endured in this country with the weight of law until the 1960’s. Or the laws that forbade Spanish-speaking Americans from speaking Spanish in the schools and in the workplace. Laws that perpetuated the inequality of non-white Americans in their search for America. Therefore I too”would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experience would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white man who hasn’t lived that life. “  


merican literature in all its genres is full of stereotypes, defamations, distortions, slanders, and libels about Latino Americans by non-Latino writers who have not lived the Latino life in the United States (see Backgrounds of Mexican American Literature, Ortego, 1971).  Writers like Florence Kluckhohn, William Madsen, Celia Heller, and Athur Rubel, to name a few, have branded Latino Americans as fatalists, not goal-oriented, not future-oriented, deficient in behavior, etc., a brand accepted as gospel by many non-Latino Americans (see La Leyenda Negra/The Black Legend, Ortego, 2008-2009). The explanation here is simply that non-Latino writers and researchers approach the study of Latino Americans and their cultures from an already biased position. In a piece I authored with Marta Sotomayor (Chicanos and Concepts of Culture, 1974), we explained that “an outsider cannot hope to really understand a culture unless he [or she] is part of that culture, for cultural nuances may escape his [her] attention entirely, not to mention the subtle and intricate nuances of language engendered by that culture (6).  

In an outsider’s view of Mexican American culture, William Madsen wrote in 1964 that “the Mexican American does not suffer undue anxiety because of his propensity to sin. Instead of blaming himself for his error, he frequently attributes it to adverse circumstances” (16). The already existing stereotypes about Mexican Americans are further reinforced by these pernicious expositions of Mexican American culture by an outsider—that they are a promiscuous people given to pecant excesses because of easy exculpability.  These characterizations of Mexicans/Mexican Americans by non-Latino Americans sprang up early after the end of the U.S. War against Mexico (1846-4848) the result of which the United States annexed more than half of Mexico’s territory which now makes up the states of California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas and parts of Wyoming, Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.

As early as 1840, however, in Two Years Before the Mast, Richard Henry Dana described the Mexicans of San Francisco as “an idle thriftless people who could make nothing for themselves” (59). And in 1852 Colonel James Monroe reported to Washington that


The New Mexicans are thoroughly debased and totally incapable of self-government, and there is no latent quality about them that can ever make them respectable. They have more Indian blood than Spanish, and in some respects are below the Pueblo Indians, for they are not as honest or as industrious (104).  

Four years later W.W.H. Davis, United States Attorney for the Territory of New Mexico, wrote a propos of his experiences with Mexican Americans that “they possess the cunning and deceit of the Indian, the politeness and the spirit of revenge of the Spaniard, and the imaginative temperament and fiery impulses of the Moor.” He described them as smart and quick but lacking the “stability and character and tenderness of intellect that give such vast superiority to the Anglo-Saxon race over every other people.” He ascribed to them the “cruelty, bigotry, and superstition of the Spaniard, a marked characteristic from earliest times.” Moreover, he saw these traits as “constitutional and innate in the race.” In a moment of kindness, though, Davis suggested that the fault laid no doubt on their spiritual teachers, the Spaniards, who never taught them that beautiful doctrine which teaches us to love our neighbors as ourselves” (85-86). Another outsider’s view of Latino Americans and their cultures.  

In 1992 by way of advertising an undergraduate course on Chaucer, I created a flyer with the pertinent information about the course but added that the course would explain how Chaucer was a Chicano. The course registered 124 students. My explanation about how Chaucer was a Chicano focused on Chaucer’s language—a mixture of French and the English that was emerging in 13th century England. No one calls Chaucer’s language Frenglish but many are quick to call the language of Chicanos “Spanglish”—a derogatory term for the mixture of Spanish and English used by many Latino Americans (see “Spanglish,” Ortego, 2008). The point of citing my Chaucer class is to explain that my approach to Chaucer (about whom I’m the author of published pieces) is from the point of view of a Chicano. In my undergraduate English classes at Pitt and graduate classes at the University of Texas (Texas Western College) I learned about the canonical Chaucer of gold standard English literature. And in my doctoral classes in British renaissance studies at the University of New Mexico I learned about the Chaucer of history. While I respect and explain to my students the varying historical approaches to Chaucer, I’m aware that my personal approach to Chaucer is influenced by my social experiences as a Mexican American by heritage and a Chicano by ideological choice. I know that who I am as a result of my social experiences influences my interactions with the world. I can no more stop being Mexican American than President Barack Obama can stop being black. I am not a brown thermo-fax copy of whites, though that has been the plan of American colonialism—boil all the foreignness out of Latinos in the great American “melting pot” then turn them loose to pursue the American dream (Ortego, 1994).  

In 2005 I wrote:

The shadow of an angry god is covering the American landscape, a shadow engendered more by malice than mischief, made stronger by frightened xenophobes. This shadow is not a recent phenomenon. Nor is it group-specific. In the Americas it’s the historical shadow of apprehension and desperation brought into being when two worlds made contact with each other. It’s the shadow of fear of the “other” (Ortego 2005).


That situation still persists made shriller by the calumnious rhetoric surrounding the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. There is indeed a growing movement of Catonists in the American Republic who fear Latino immigrants and what they augur for America’s future. Catonists are pessimistic about that future. Cato was a senator in the Roman Republic during the Punic Wars with Carthage in the third century BC. He was an "anti-intellectual monumentalist" who fed Roman fears of encroachment by decadent foreigners whose alien values, he contended, would disrupt the Roman political tradition and the organization of the nation. And though the Roman Empire was a multicultural enterprise, Cato was a Roman supremacist who believed that Rome was for the Romans. It was not multi-culturalism that destroyed Rome, which Samuel Huntington believed will destroy the United States; it was the excesses of its leaders who believed that because of the power they wielded they were supreme, even deities. Diversity does not lead to disintegration no matter what Catonists like Samuel Huntington believed. Catonists have a single-minded view of America’s future and what the United States should be instead of a populist view of America which includes all of our visions for America’s future.  

The inflammatory rhetoric of Hispanophobic Republicans in particular is imperiling the party’s already diminishing image among Latino Americans who are beginning to view the Republican Party as nemesis. Bad strategy considering that U.S. Census projections indicate that by the year 2040 one out of every three Americans will be Hispanic. This is not a demographic growth fueled by immigration but by fertility and motility. That’s a big population to disaffect. Better to begin understanding that population and its social experiences in the United States.


Alter, Jonathan. “The President’s ‘Whiz Kids’ A Misplaced faith in the meritocracy,” Newsweek, June 1, 2009.  

Dana, Richard Henry. Two Years Before the Mast. Bantam, 1959.  

Davis, W. W. H.  El Gringo: Or, New Mexico and Her People. New York: Harper, 1857.  

Lewontin, R. C.  Biology as Ideology. New York: Harper, 1991.  

Madsen, William. The Mexican-Americans of South Texas. New York: Holt, Rinehart andWinston, 1964.  

Monroe, James (Colonel). Congressional Globe, 32nd Congress, 2nd Session, January 10, 1853, Appendix.  

Ortego, Philip D. Backgrounds of Mexican American Literature, diss., University of New Mexico, 1971.  

Ortego y Gasca, Felipe and Marta Sotomayor. Chicanos and Concept of Culture.  San Jose, CA: Marfel Publications, 1974.  

Ortego y Gasca, Felipe de. “Language, Culture and Behavior: Implications for Social Work Education” in Chicano Content and Social Work Education edited by Marta Sotomayor and Felipe de Ortego y Gasca, New York: Council on Social Work Education, 1975.  

Ortego y Gasca, Felipe de. “Cross-Cultural Communication: Information Theory and the Grammar of Conflict,” American Issues Forum, Texas Woman’s University, Denton, Texas, January 17, 1992.  

Ortego y Gasca, Felipe de. “Myth America: Velleities and Realities of the American Ethos,” Journal of Big Bend Studies, January 1994.  

Ortego y Gasca, Felipe de. “Mexican Americans and the Insurgency Politics of Resistance: An Overview of American Immigration and English Only Initiatives,” Hispanic Vista Weekly Digest, April 25, 2005.  

Ortego y Gasca, Felipe de. “Spanglish,” Newspaper Tree, April 11, 2008; posted on Hispanic Trending, April 11, 2008. Discussed on National Public Radio’s Way With Words with Martha Barnette and Grant Barrett, April 11, 2008 (posts 213); Posted on American Mosaic Online: The Latino American Experience, hosted by Ilan Stavans, Greenwood Press, May 23, 2008.

Ortego y Gasca, Felipe de. “La Leyenda Negra/The Black Legend: Historical distortion, Defamation, slander, Libel, and Stereotyping of Hispanics” (Series of Articles), Somos Primos  (a website dedicated to Hispanic Heritage and Diversity Issues by the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research.


U.S. Soldier, Spc. Erik Oropeza Receives Army's Distinguished Service Cross
A Soldier's Diary
Army Sgt Raul Moncada, 29, Madera; killed by roadside by near Baghdad
Veterans News and Information "Aid and Attendance"
Marching to a Latin beat in 'Concert for the Troops'
The Vietnam war tidbits... from Las Culturas
War casualties
U.S. House bill: HR 666 IH The Military Roll of Valor Act

U.S. Soldier, Spc. Erik Oropeza 

Recently Awarded the Army's Distinguished Service Cross.
The Army's second-highest decoration for VALOR

Acting in a different theater of war





On his fifth Memorial Day holiday as a U.S. soldier, Spc. Erik Oropeza had much to reflect on.  Only 22, he has felt the earth shudder from mortar and bomb blasts, faced down enemies who outnumbered and outgunned him, and seen good friends die. While others took Monday off to enjoy picnics with their families, Oropeza's thoughts were with the men who stood with him through the test of combat.

"I don't celebrate Memorial Day like other people do," he said. "It's a sad day for me."

This year, Oropeza was awarded the Army's second-highest decoration for valor. And now the quiet young soldier has a new role: helping to train those headed for combat.

Oropeza spends his days at the National Training Center at Ft. Irwin pretending to be an Iraqi or Afghan soldier. But it was the experience of real combat that prepared him for the job, he said, a job he hopes will help other men and women carry out their missions and stay alive.
The son of Mexican immigrants, Oropeza grew up in Boyle Heights, where his earliest struggles were with gang members who stole his lunch money. He was the first in his family to join the Army. Inspired by war movies and moved by a call to duty after watching TV coverage of the conflict in Iraq, he enlisted after graduating from Roosevelt High School in 2004.

Assigned to an infantry regiment based at Ft. Lewis, Wash., he landed in Iraq in April 2007, part of the troop surge to arrest the bloodshed in Baghdad.

His platoon was assigned to support an Iraqi police station on a major supply route north of the capital, near the city of Taji. The police compound was attacked almost daily by insurgents taking cover in nearby palm groves. On Oropeza's first day, a mortar round slammed to the ground about 30 feet from him, seriously injuring two other soldiers.

He recalled how the force of the blast "just dropped my heart." But his unit quickly grew accustomed to the gunshots and explosions. It bothered them, he said, only when they were trying to sleep.

Although trained as a rifleman, Oropeza learned to tackle any job handed to him in Iraq. When a driver was injured in a mortar strike, Oropeza was assigned to take his place at the wheel of a 20-ton armored Stryker troop carrier.

On the morning of May 22, 2007, he was driving the first of two Strykers on patrol when they were ambushed. Staff Sgt. Thomas Lee got permission from the platoon sergeant in the other vehicle to turn down a dirt road and flank the attacking gunmen.

"Just be careful," said Sgt. 1st Class Kim Mendez.

As Oropeza eased the Stryker down the road, he could see men armed with Kalashnikovs popping up from behind berms and weaving between palm trees. When Lee spotted a concrete tower covered with netting, he ordered Oropeza to stop and reverse a bit, thinking it might be hiding a sniper. As Oropeza reversed, a bomb made of 13 155-mm artillery shells erupted through the floor of the vehicle.

"I don't remember the blast, just a white light and a bunch of smoke and debris," Oropeza said softly.

The Stryker's radio and electronic systems went dead, and the blast blew open all the hatches. He hoisted himself out of the driver's cab, ran around the side and dived into the passenger section.

"I could hear bullets whizzing by and hitting the Stryker," he said.

Oropeza grabbed a carbine that was lying on top of the truck and started firing back at five gunmen. He had no idea whether there was a grenade in the attached launcher, but he pulled the trigger and ducked for cover. There was an ear-piercing bang. Then quiet.

Oropeza turned to the wounded. Staff Sgt. Kristopher Higdon and Pvt. Robert Worthington were killed instantly. Of the three survivors, Lee was in the gravest condition. Oropeza found the staff sergeant lying inside the blast hole, staring up at him. He was missing a leg and his face was turning a pale blue.

Oropeza grabbed hold of Lee's bleeding stump and secured a tourniquet around it as tightly as he could. He then waved from a hatch, hoping to catch the attention of his platoon sergeant and a medic about 100 yards away. No response.

"I remember just seeing this dirt road and thinking, I know for a fact if I go down this road, these guys are going to kill me," Oropeza said. "But I knew if I didn't get the medic, Sgt. Lee was going to die. So I picked up a magazine and came out shooting."

Oropeza ran through a barrage of gunfire, shooting back over his shoulder Rambo-style. The commotion caught the attention of the other soldiers, who were in a firefight on the main road. They provided welcome cover fire. When he reached them and described the casualties, a helicopter was called in to evacuate the injured.

When the fight was over, the surviving soldiers were given two days off for a memorial service for Higdon and Worthington.

Then they were back in the fight for another 12 months.

Army officials say Oropeza's actions that day prevented his vehicle from being overrun and saved the lives of his wounded crew members. In February, he became the 21st soldier to receive the Distinguished Service Cross since the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. His former commanders flew in from Germany for the ceremony at Ft. Irwin. Lee also made a surprise appearance.

Oropeza, who wears a bracelet engraved with the names of those he could not save, is uncomfortable with the fuss. He says he was just doing his job.

In his new assignment, he says he is glad to be close to home. In March he married his high school sweetheart, Erica. When he gets out of the Army, they plan to open a sports bar together. Until then, he says, his priority is to "keep on doing my job, preparing these guys that are going over there."

At the base in the Mojave Desert, the military has re-created slices of Iraq and Afghanistan, with bustling villages, hidden tunnels and simulated ambushes to test brigades before they deploy.

When members of the North Carolina National Guard passed through recently en route to Iraq, Oropeza put on Marine desert camouflage, one of the uniforms used by Iraqi soldiers, and joined them on patrols through a village dubbed Abar Layla.

Although he is all too familiar with actual combat, Oropeza says it can feel startlingly real when a pyrotechnics team sets off an explosion, fake blood spurts from painted-on wounds, and actors scream. So much so that rather than hang back like an inexperienced and underequipped Iraqi might do, Oropeza sets off again in pursuit of his foes.

Sent by: Mercy Bautista Olvera


A soldier's diary


Anthony Acevedo was one of the 350 U.S. soldiers held at am Elster, a Nazi slave camp during World War II.  It was Tony Acevedo, a U.S. medic who kept a diary inside Berga cataloguing the deaths and atrocities. As a result of Acevedo's diary, being made known and its information coming into public awareness, that Acevedo was profiled in November by CNN.  This lead to a whole series of events which the Pentagon decided to hold to honor the memory of the soldiers who died in Elster, and to recognize those men still living.  A major event was held in Florida.
Go to this site and scroll through some entries of the former medic's log.

Editor:  A very, very touching bit of unknown history.
In transferring the information over, I lost the name of the submitter.  PLEASE LET ME KNOW, so we can thank you for your participation in sharing with Somos Primos readers. .


Army Sgt. Raul Moncada, 29, Madera; 
killed by roadside bomb near Baghdad
By Esmeralda Bermudez


A sergeant, Moncada was killed April 13 when a roadside bomb exploded near his vehicle near Baghdad. He was assigned to the 563rd Military Police Company, 91st Military Police Battalion, 10th Sustainment Brigade, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) at Ft. Drum, N.Y.

A graduate of in California's Central Valley, Madera High School he was on his second tour of duty in Iraq. 

After a 10-year military career, he had planned to return in July to Madera, where he hoped to buy a home and settle down with his girlfriend, Tina, who is due to give birth that month to a daughter to be named Mia, his family said. Another daughter, Priscila, 6, from a previous relationship, lives with her mother in the Bay Area.

Moncada served in the Marines for six years, then took a one-year break, later returning to enroll in the Army’s military police program. His job was to train the Iraqi police.





"Aid and Attendance"


Regardless of your personal status, consider passing this along to all veterans, families of veterans or individuals with veterans in their family.

"Aid and Attendance" is an underutilized special monthly pension benefit offered by the Veterans Administration for veterans and surviving spouses who require in-home care or live in nursing homes.

To qualify, a veteran (includes the surviving spouse) must have served at least 90 days of active military service, one day of which is during a period of war, and must be discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.

The veteran's benefit is $18,234 annually (paid monthly) and increases to $21,615 if a veteran has one dependent. The surviving spouse alone is $11,715 annually. 

For more information, call 1-800-827-1000
Visit  (type "Aid and Attendance" in the search block), or contact your local VA office.  Apply on-line at  


FYI for all.........  A little-known veterans' benefit 
Published: February 8, 2009 
A little-known veterans' benefit for long-term care expenses is available to wartime veterans and their spouses. But the benefit is being overlooked by thousands of families, industry observers say.'%20Aid%20and%20

The Special Pension for Veterans' Aid and Attendance pays up to $1,644 a month, $19,736 annually, toward assisted living, nursing homes or in-home care for veterans 65 and older who served at least 90 days and one day during wartime — stateside or overseas. Veterans and their spouses can receive up to $23,396 annually and spouses of deceased veterans, $12,681.

Yet, an estimated $22 billion a year goes unclaimed, said Don Soard, a volunteer with Operation Veteran Aid in Oklahoma City. In 2007, only 134,000 seniors nationwide received the benefit, which was established in 1952.

"Literally hundreds of thousands don't even know about it," Soard said. "Due to incomplete information, many disqualify themselves on income or assets or find the paperwork too burdensome." 

Streamlined process: Soard helps families complete the necessary forms, so that approval comes in four to six months. The process is streamlined for vets who are blind or have memory issues and widows with medical needs, he said. Most applicants qualify and payments are retroactive, Soard said. The few who are denied on excessive liquid assets can seek financial advice to qualify, he said.

Soard started his volunteer mission two years ago, following the deaths of two family members who served in WWII.  "If they'd known about this benefit, they'd have a much better quality of life in later years," he said. "Without it, many vets are forced to go on Medicaid."

Oklahoma is one of nine states where the welfare program doesn't cover assisted living costs. Assisted living often can be an alternative to a nursing home when 24-hour skilled care is not an absolute need, said Willie Ferguson, executive director of Legend at Rivendell in Oklahoma City ..

"But if someone just has Social Security and a small pension, it's not enough to live here," Ferguson said.  According to a 2008 MetLife survey, assisted living in Oklahoma averages $2,346 a month, while nursing homes cost $153 a day for a private room.

Of 73 Legend residents, nine receive the veterans' special pension, including Tom Bowen, 77, of Moore ..  "Until I toured this operation, I had no idea the benefit was available," said Bowen, a retired engineer technician from the Federal Aviation Administration who served stateside during the Korean Conflict.

Bowen recently moved into the Legend facility following several mini strokes and a diagnosis of short-term memory loss.  "It's been pretty hard trying to handle expenses on my own and being able to replace savings," said Marie Bowen, his wife of 57 years. Finding a nearby facility and learning about the special veterans' pension has been a godsend, she said.

DE Oppresso Liber
Mel Smith, Secretary
Special Forces Association
PO Box 41436
Fayetteville, NC 28309-1436 

Telephone (910) 485-5433 Fax (910) 485-1041

Sent by Jack Cowan


Marching to a Latin beat in 'Concert for the Troops'

During several of America's 20th century wars, the sight of Bob Hope rallying U.S. troops became practically as familiar a symbol of the military as Old Glory flapping in the breeze. Today, U.S. men and women of a new generation serving under arms, many of them Latinos, are being regaled by performers named Frankie J, Baby Bash and Paula DeAnda, some of whom are as likely to be singing and joking in Spanish as in English.

For the last few years, the growing presence of Latinos in the U.S. military has become a focus of Universal City-based mun2 (pronounced moon-dose), a lifestyle cable network targeted at bilingual Latinos ages 18 to 34. A mun2 news special, "For My Country: Latinos in the Military," which investigated the patriotic, as well as some of the harsh socio-economic, reasons why many young Latinos choose military service, won a Peabody Award in 2007.

This week, mun2 is continuing its examination of how Latinos are affecting U.S. military culture and vice versa by airing "Concert for the Troops," which airs at 6 p.m. today. The concert was staged live before an invited audience of U.S. Army troops, both Latinos and non-Latinos, a number of whom have done tours of combat duty, as well as some of their spouses and significant others.

Taped in April at the Conga Room in downtown Los Angeles, the concert's highlights are performances by the three aforementioned artists, who pumped up the flag-waving, high-spirited crowd with musical numbers and praise for the soldiers.

"Being the fact that I am Latino, I wanted to reach out to the Latino military personnel and be a supporter at the same time," said Frankie J, a.k.a. Francisco Javier Bautista, who was born in Tijuana and raised in San Diego, during an interview at the taping. "Coming from my Mexican roots, I feel that it's very important to show that love and appreciation toward our military people . . . who are of Latin descent."

Flavio Morales, vice president of programming for mun2, said the main idea behind the concert was simply to honor Latino soldiers and acknowledge their decades-long service. Mun2, part of the Telemundo Group, a division of NBC Universal Cable Entertainment, reaches 29 million households.

"This is something that's handed down for generations," he said. "There's a long history of military service. Then you also have a lot of Latinos that are seeking a better life, and whether it's the GI Bill or whether it's immigration issues, gaining citizenship through military service -- that is also something that they seek."

Morales said his wife's cousin, Marine Lance Cpl. Victor A. González, 19, of Watsonville, was killed in Iraq's Anbar province in October 2004. His parents, illegal immigrants from Zacatecas, Mexico, received U.S. citizenship after their son's death.

Assessing the relative participation of Latinos in the military depends partly on the index being used. A 2006 report on "Population Representation in the Military Services," issued by the Defense Department, determined that "with 11 percent of active duty enlisted members counted as Hispanic, this group remained underrepresented relative to the growing comparable civilian population (17 percent)."

However, a 2003 study by the Pew Hispanic Center noted that one reason Latinos may be proportionally underrepresented is because many young Latinos lack the necessary immigration status to enlist. Statistics compiled by the Pew Hispanic Center and the Heritage Foundation indicate that Latino military enrollment
has grown considerably since September 2001.

The way that popular culture depicts the role of Latinos in the military sometimes provokes controversy. In 2007, documentary maker Ken Burns was criticized by Latino advocates for initially not including narratives of Latino soldiers in his seven-part documentary about World War II, "The War." Burns subsequently agreed to incorporate narratives of Latinos and Native Americans.

"Who's doing the stories, who's writing the textbooks?" Morales said. "We've all seen the war movies. If there is no person of color, it's as if they don't exist."

In a written statement, Col. David Glover, diversity officer with the U.S. Army Accessions Command, said that, "by partnering with media outlets, such as mun2, that are a natural fit with our Latino youth, the Army is able to communicate" the opportunities it offers to young men and women.

"We take pride in our inclusive environment where the diverse perspectives, backgrounds and experiences of our soldiers add to our strength and our ability to defend our nation," he wrote.

Among those attending the concert taping were actor Jon Voight and Bob Archuleta, L.A. County commissioner of military and veterans affairs. A veteran himself, with two sons serving in the military, Archuleta said he believes that "pride of country" is mainly what drives Latinos to serve the U.S. armed forces.

"If you turned a clock back," he said, "there are grandfathers and fathers who served, from World War II, Korea, Vietnam era, and now of course the younger children that are serving in Iraq, Afghanistan, serving all over the world, doing the job that needs to get done."



USS Pvt Joe P Martinez


USS Pvt Joe P Martinez was the original name of the ship a MC hull 2245, which was later recommissioned as the USNS Pvt Jose F Valdez. You can read more on the links below.



The Vietnam War tidbits . . . from Las Culturas

  • Precise figures are not available for Hispanic participation in Vietnam.
  • Prior to the full-scale escalation of the Vietnam War, Special Forces Advisor, Sergeant First Class Isaac Camacho's fire base was overrun by Viet Cong in November 1963. After an intense firefight, Camacho was taken prisoner. He is most likely the first Hispanic POW of the Vietnam era. Remarkably, Camacho escaped his captors after 20 months and made his way to freedom. He was awarded the Silver and Bronze Stars in September 1965 and later promoted to Captain, U.S. Army.
  • Lieutenant Commander Everett Alvarez, Jr. (then Lieutenant JG) was the first American pilot taken as a prisoner of war and remained a prisoner longer than anyone else, eight and a half years.
  • On April 30, 1975, Master Sergeant Juan J. Valdez climbed aboard the last U.S. helicopter to depart the roof of the U.S. Embassy in Saigon. The U.S. presence in Vietnam, which spanned 18 years, ended. Valdez' presence gave credence to the Hispanic theme of participation in America's wars: "First in...last to leave." 


War casualties


* In and around Iraq: 4,314 * In and around Afghanistan: 622 * Other locations: 67 

The complete article can be viewed at:,0,5778758.story  

Visit at
Sent by Mercy Bautista Olvera

U.S. House bill: HR 666 IH The Military Roll of Valor Act  

Rafael Ojeda


Sons of the American Revolution 
Revolutionary War Graves Committee
Patriots of the American Revolution

Participants Serving through Spain, 1778-1783

Granville Hough, Ph.D. 

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Wednesday, July 21, 1993 *EXCELSIOR *  

Volviendo a Nuestras Raices






LOPEZ, the 6th most common surname among modern  Hispanic families in the United States and the 5th most popular in Spain. It is patronymic deriving its origin from the Latin "lupo," lupe, lope,| meaning wolf. The very popular Lupe, used for both men and women as a first name does not originate from wolf.   Lupe as a first name comes from Guadalupe which is Arabic in root.       i

Of the men who accompanied Cortes in 1521, the second most frequent surname was Lopez, twenty! two men named Lopez, twenty four men named Femandez. A survey of surname frequency in the 17th century in northeastern Nuevo Espana placed Lopez in 6th place, which interestingly 300 years| later still holds. 

Lopez men came to Nueva Espana from all parts of Spain, Jaen, Cordoba, Salamanca, Asturias, and | Seville. Most, however, came from Seville. The background and occupations varied from Jeronimo| Lopez, Hidalgo as occupation, to Pedro Lopez, Physician to Martin Lopez, a ship's carpenter.

No one played a bigger part in the conquest of Tenochtitlan, save Cortes, then did Martin Lopez. Lopez was 26 years old when he arrived in the Indies in 1516. He spent a year in Cuba before joining the 1519 entrada with Cortes. The son of a Spanish carpenter, he was taken on as ship's carpenter. Although not the position Martin had wanted, it was his skill and knowledge that played a key role in the success of the conquest. It was he that fashioned a kind of wooden mobile fortress armed with guns and small cannons by which the small army escaped out of the Aztec capitol. It was he who devised the strategy for fighting against the 1,000 war canoes which made up the Aztec navy.|

From a base high in the mountains with the Tlaxcala nation, Martin directed the building of 13 brigantines from scratch, improvising with found materials. Ship's riggings and sails which had 1 saved from their ocean voyage were used. After testing their sea worthiness the ships were dismantled. On Christmas day and with the help of 2,000 Tlaxcalan Indians, the traveling navy began its descent. Ship pieces were carried the 60-mile four-day trek over the 11,000 foot mountain! pass.

The city Texcoco was captured easily. Martin Lopez directed the construction of dry docks inside the city and lock and dams, from the lake to the city. On April 28, 1521, after a solemn mass, a salute was fired and the prefabricated vessels entered the water. The small vessels with no wind for their sails were almost surrounded by Aztec canoes, when a miraculous wind suddenly filled the ships' sails and gave them the victory. Martin Lopez's carpenter skills and creative brilliance had succeeded in capturing Tenochtitlan. Martin Lopez, son of Cristobal Diaz Nances and Estefania | Rodriguez was rewarded with part of an encomienda and several land grants. He also received three | different coats of arms, dated 21 December 1539, 15 May 1550, and 20 May 1551. His first wife, Ines Ramirez of Seville, died before 1529, and in 1533 in Seville, he married Juana Hemandez. He fathered 10 children, 5 boys.

By Mimi Lozano, member of the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research.





The Basement by Esther Bonilla Read
En La Vecidad de las Ormigas Rojas Furiosas by Frank Sifuentes
TUNAS By Ben Romero


The Basement

By Esther Bonilla Read

Spanish was the language spoken in my home.  I managed to learn some English from my older brothers and sister as they went to school and brought the new language to me.  Nonetheless, the models for most of the English I learned to speak came from school, primarily from the teachers and some from my classmates.
The school was a two-story brick building.  It included a basement, which housed the lower grades, the cafeteria, and the bathroom facilities for all students in the building.  The first floor was for the intermediate grades and the administration, and the second floor was designated as the floor for the high school.

This was the only school with which I was acquainted; thus all terms used by the teachers and students became not only authoritative but also, indelibly marked in my mind.  For example, it did not seem strange to me that we hung our coats and sweaters in a large closet known as a "cloak room".  I never thought to consider what a cloak was and if anyone did indeed ever see one in there.  Also, when nature called, the students asked if they could go to the "basement".  Hence, I (when it was necessary) also asked if I could go to the "Basement".  The teacher always let us go.

When I was a bit older, my brother took my mother, sister and me to Waco, Texas, the largest city near our small community, to shop for clothes.  After shopping a while on the second floor at Cox's, my mother, who spoke little English, asked me to find us a cuarto de baño (a bathroom).  I asked a saleswoman if she could tell me where the basement was, and she told me to go to the elevator and push the button marked "B".  When we got to the basement I looked all around for the cuarto de baño and could not find one.  I approached a saleslady and told her that I needed to find a bathroom.  She told me to go back up to the second floor.  Upon arriving on the second floor I looked but couldn't find it.  I asked yet another saleslady where the basement was and she, also, directed me to the elevator button marked "B". 
Somehow I knew I was not communicating.  I told her that I needed a bathroom and hadn't been able to find it in the basement.  She showed me the bathroom and told me that the basement was simply a floor where one could find bargains.
Thus it was then that I found out that a basement is a subterranean floor, which may or may not house a bathroom!

Published by TABE (Texas Association for Bilingual Education) Won Award in 1988 
Copyright © 2000 Esther Bonilla Read All rights reserved. 


En La Vecidad de las Ormigas Rojas Furiosas

 por: Frank M. Sifuentes, cuentista
Note: This cuento is highly fictionalized without the named changed.


LasOrmiga Rojas de la Calle Siete y Chicon, were Texas-size critters that stung with enough venom to make a cowboy cry when the ants crawled into their boots.
Even Luis (viz) Lopez  - the leading Musketeer of East 7th & Comal: the toughest of The Three Musketeers, including myself and Victor Sanchez - ended up weeping a storm after the rough and ready ormigotas got up into his pant legs and stung without mercy on his thighs: With a triple whammy: HERE cabroncito is what you get for dragging your knees around our universe and whacking us down into the ground  with boards and no no muchachito..'bas a ver.
Zaz, zas, sting sting hay se va… aaaHHHaaay aahay!!! me picaroon las orgmias …me duele..!!! amaaaaa!  Viz empeso a chillar from the top of his lungs, as he rushed into his house.
I really felt sorry for my fellow musketeer but couldn't help thinking 'that's what he gets for beating me playing marbles all the time, just because he have big thumbs and can cut wood like a man at age 10.
The worse part WAS THAT the marble belonged to my brother Benny, who deserved pity because no matter where he stashed his cigar box of marbles, I could find them. And take a handful or two with hopes and the pipe dream of getting as good as Viz..
No way!! and Viz knew he'd remain best marble shooter de la Calle Siete y Chicon. .
Hi'jole pobre de mi for being so self deluded, when Louie's shots had been to slip the marbles out through this thumb and forefinger to blast the center of the ring aiming at getting triple action and knocking out MY brother Ben's favorite aggies.
I learned to escape the potential wrath & shame my three year older brother if he found.
I became a real fregaO making myself disappear long enough ..…es dicer que me iba y no volvia hasta que Benny 'taba en el spirito de un Boy Scout..To Serve the family of man.
It was the best of all worlds for me because my suffering big brother did everything possible to be a good older brother who had inherited the mantle from our dying daddy to show me more than a little about  the work enthic, pride & honor: with the two finger salute.
Viz..was a lucky boy. He had a father who was old already;yet tough as barbed wire. Don Luis swung a sharp ax and down came the cedar threes that were available for free beyond city limits.
In the thickest wooded areas of cedar. Para calentar, pa' pasar las noches en el campo.
Durmiendo en la tierra como los cowboy hacian.
Viz's father was master of three tools: la hacha, la pika y pala!
Don Luis reigned as the best in the heart of Texas when he started working for the public cemeteries.
 One day in early l942 when WWII had begun to rage big time in the Pacific's war with Japon, just after they won the battle of Bataan...Me and Viz were having a struggle to the victory playing
marbles.  We started in my front yard drawing a circle and placing 40 canicas(15 ea.) as targets. Luis had wipped me out once already and I had returned with Benny's marble box he had hidden on the window seal in the kitchen window.
We ended up in front's of Louie's yard which was flat and smoothedout, much to Viz's advantage.
There were red ants mounds in our backyard; however Luis' yard haa huge oneZ:  the one that made us feel that it went directly to China onthe other side, as Miss Grimes our science teacher Zavala Elementary had taught.
Luis was well on his way to putting all of 'my' marbles in his pantalones de pechera, as we crawled on our knees throughout his front yard, and surely becoming intrusive in the universe de las ormigas...AND it was at this time at least three ormigas had crawled up his pant legs, and like I said before made him scream bloody murder!  
When Vix did not come out because he was extracting the pity of his 'ama y 'apa, I proceeded to gather the remaining canics, putting them in Benny cigar box, feeling relieved that he would see PERHAPS same amount of marbles as before.
I walked back outside and saw a Western Union boy had arrived in the Lopez'front porch..the first time i had been seen around 7th and Comal.
He was delivering a telegram to the Lopez family. And Don Luis opened it and handed it to Louis to read 'Que dice, mi'jo??
Dice que mataron a Elias en Bataan, he told them. not believing what he had just read!
Dona Lopez would not believe it either..but when it sunk in good she started whailingand chorros of lagrimas started coming down her face.
Don Luis was stunned and remained in a stoic trans. He pulled Luis, Jr. towards him and sat him of his lap..and said 'Tovia te duelen los piquitazos de las ormigas mi'jo, giving him caricias as he would a baby.
They pictured the situation of the 7th and Chicon mound hill that maintained the most thriving of colonies of ormigas.
And he grew angry..and then said,vamos "Viz' a condenar esas ormigas hijas de la tiznada.."
He went and siffoned gas from his truck and added oil.
Then Louie and Don Luis went to the ant hill of the colony that went all the way to China ... and probably Japan, too!
Senor Lopez poured the lethal mixture into the ant hole and added some around
to put a match to it. And as he stood watching it, his look conveyed a look of
revenge..while we tried to imagine the kind of hell had been created in the kingdom
for las ormigaz that had bored through the center of the earth, and who knows met
by a bigger colony from China or even Japan!



By Ben Romero



We started by sizing each other up. His father had apparently started working in construction with my dad. They arrived late in the afternoon in a pick-up truck and our dads started talking in the front yard. The kid was husky and blonde with a buzz haircut. He wore no shirt, and neither did I through most of the summer. I was eight and figured he was about seven.

“Wow! Look at all those tunas on your cactus plants,” he said, pointing to the field next to our house. We lived in Nambé, New Mexico.

“Tuna? I don’t see no tuna.”

“Right there! See all those cactus pears? They’re called tunas.”

Wouldn’t you know it? The only Spanish word the kid knew happened to be one that I was unfamiliar with. I associated tuna with fish. Living in a Catholic family, we often had tuna sandwiches on Fridays. 

Evening shadows were growing long. The sun started sinking over the horizon. The boy and I could tell our fathers were going to continue talking for a long time.

“Come on,” he said, grabbing a long sharp stick. “I’m gonna pick us some tunas.”

The only time I had tasted cactus pears was when my mother had picked them. I’d never tangled with the prickles. I’d learned to respect the various spiky cacti that grew in that field through unintentional contact. 

I stayed at arm’s length from the boy as he fumbled with the cactus plant. Using the sharp stick, he was soon able to detach a plump, purple cactus pear. I strained my eyes in the waning daylight to see how he handled it. 

“The good stuff is on the inside,” he said, expertly holding the cactus pear between thumb and forefinger. 

He seemed to have a need to educate me. 

“You’ve got to peel back the skin to get to the tasty round circles. The skin has tiny bristles,” he explained.

As he held up his prize and started walking away from the cactus, his waist touched one of the prickly arms and he jerked his body back, causing the tuna to roll into his palm. He quickly dropped it and shook his hand. He then proceeded to rub his bare stomach with the same hand. Don’t ask me why.

Sounds from his lips reminded me of the noise people make when they bite into a spicy green chile. It was all sucked-in air and saliva as he twisted in spasms.

“Let’s go by the porch light,” I commanded.

My mother came out when she saw us swatting at moths and flying ants around the light, trying to see the prickles on the boy’s hands and stomach. 

“What’s wrong with him?” asked Mom, careful to communicate with me in English as a sign of respect for the blond boy.

“He’s got picas on his pansa.”

Mom’s gaze told me she needed further explanation.

“He was trying to get a fish off of the entrañas (cactus) and got picas all over his hands. He rubbed his mano (hand) on his pansa (belly).”

Mom half-smiled, the way she often did when she thought I was making things up. “Fish? How did a fish get on the cactus?”

“Not the fish from the river. The ones that grow on the nopales.”

“You mean the tunas? Those aren’t fish. Those are cactus pears.”

“Yeah, that’s what I meant. The tuna pears.”

In the meantime, the kid was going into a frenzy trying to get the tiny prickles off his bare tummy. Under the naked porch light bulb, we saw little pink spots sprout like ant bites. The kid wouldn’t stay still, and the more he rubbed his hands on his belly, the more welts appeared.

“I’ll get the tweezers,” Mom said. 

Thirty years later, our yard in Madera Ranchos, California had large cactus plants. They were filled with tasty nopales in late Spring, and plump cactus pears in the fall. These plants were descendants of cacti from the Ben Hayes Ranch in Madera, where my wife’s family had worked for many years when she was a child. A cutting from the original plants had gone with us to every home we’d owned. I’d never eaten nopales until I married Evelyn. They did not look appetizing, but it did not take long to develop a taste for them.

One fall, the tunas were so plentiful, I decided to pick some and enjoy the tender sweetness. I’d seen the high price people were paying for them at supermarkets that cater to the Hispanic community.

Using a paring knife and a pair of tongs, I took my time and picked and peeled dozens of them. True to memory, they tasted great. But unfortunately, some of the tiny bristles clung to the fruit.

The inside of my mouth, especially the left cheek, began to swell. I felt with my tongue for prickles, but was unable to ease the discomfort. Soon, the side of my tongue was full of tiny bristles, as well.

“What’s the matter?” asked my wife.

“I got some picas,” I said, feeling embarrassed.

She shook her head. “I’ll get the tweezers.”



August 1: Next SHHAR meeting
Historical Society president making his own history in Dana Point
NARA is closing the archives in Laguna Niguel

No SHHAR meeting in July (building closed for July 4th)

Subject of August 1st  SHHAR Meeting will be: 

History and Genealogy of the Slaves of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico

click for more on the August meeting



Historical Society president making his own history in Dana Point


Tuesday, April 28, 2009


If it has anything to do with history, Carlos Olvera is interested. And the Dana Point resident has a perfect role – president of the Dana Point Historical Society.  Here is a closer look:


Q. What is your full-time profession?

A. I am a retired vice president of engineering, a registered professional engineer and currently a consultant for family research.

Q. When did you become interested in history?

A. While doing family genealogy and learning of my great-great-grandfather serving in the Civil War.

Q. What's your favorite period in history and why?

A. The Civil War, where my great-great-grandfather and several great-granduncles served.

Q. What have you learned about Dana Point history that shocked you?

A. It was more interesting than a shock. In an 1888 Los Angeles Times article, I found a legend connected with the cave located at the water's edge of the Dana Point Headlands. When the old mission was sacked by pirates, they carried off a dark-eyed senorita. Before the pirates left the roadstead, her lover assisted her to escape from the vessel and they fled to this cave for safety. A dreaded diablito, in the form of an octopus who was then said to live in the cave, proceeded to devour them. Years afterward, their bones were found in this cave!

Q. Why do we need history in our lives?

A. In studying history, we learn that those before us did the best they could with what they had at the time. Different people with different assets may have made a change in history. But we cannot fault them for that, but rather learn from the history they made.

Q. What's your favorite place in Dana Point?

A. The hide-drogher statue on the blufftop walk between Amber Lantern and Violet Lantern. It was placed there by the Dana Point Historical Society to honor hide droghers (drogher meaning to carry) who brought the cow hides from Mission San Juan Capistrano and threw them off the cliff to the tall ship Pilgrim below during the mid-1830s.

Q. Is there anything else special about it?

A. At this location, you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Dana Point Harbor and the ocean beyond. I am also a retired Navy commander, having served in submarines, and relish the calming view.

Q. If you could meet anyone dead or alive, who would it be and why?

A. My great-great-grandfathers, as these men were in the middle of history-making events and a part of settling this great land. Just to hear their stories would be inspiring. I have compiled their histories, but to hear their version I am sure would be different.

Q. Any volunteering?

A. Charter member of the Dana Point Planning Commission and former chair; foreperson of the Orange County grand jury; current president of the Orange County Grand Jurors Association; and past and current president of the Dana Point Historical Society. I was the organizer of the first Dana Point Parade under cityhood and organizer of the 20-year celebration of cityhood. Also, I was the Chamber of Commerce's Dana Point Citizen of the Year for 2007 and the Dana Point Festival of Whales parade grand marshal in 2006.

Q. What is your main goal to achieve in 2009?

A. As president of the Dana Point Historical Society, I hope to have a permanent home for the Dana Point Heritage Museum. I founded the first museum in 1992, and we have bounced from location to location due to increasing rents and are currently in storage. Hopefully, with the support of civic leaders and residents, this may come to be. Then we can proudly display our very large and interesting collection for all to enjoy.

Q. You are in tune with your family's history …

A. As a young man, my father would tell me all his little childhood stories of growing up in Mexico, where his father was involved with then-President Madero during the revolutions of that period. These stories would last about two minutes over several decades. I came to the realization that I could never remember all these tidbits and pass them on to my grandchildren. That motivated me to publish my father's family history, "Los Olvera: Journey to America."



Carlos Olvera

Age: 66

Hero/mentor: father, Manuel Olvera, who immigrated to the United States from Mexico in 1919 at age 18

Family: married to Georgelean Nielsen Olvera for 26 years; four children; 15 grandchildren

Hobbies/spare time: antique cars and genealogy

Education: Graduated from Brigham Young University in 1972 with a BS in mechanical engineering after six years in the Navy aboard submarines.

Other service: Vietnam vet and, after college, joined the Naval Reserve and served in naval intelligence for 16 years, retiring as a commander.



Send story ideas to 
Sent by Ricardo Valverde


NARA is closing the archives in Laguna Niguel


In case you may not have heard, NARA is closing the archives in Laguna Niguel:

 Susan M. Roe
President, California State Genealogical Alliance



July 12, 2009: Video Murals Under the Stars with Gregorio Luke
July 24, 2009:
Marine Corps League Detachment Installation Dinner
Obituary: Adolfo "Rudy" Vargas
Logo Design Contest
Sal Castro, Pioneer of Chicano movement speaks at Salinas library

Gregorio Luke at the Ford Theater - 
Life Size Murals of Rufino Tamayo
July 12 8:30 pm or call  323-461-3673
Full price $30.  child price $12

Watch a Life & Times Video murals under the stars Presentation by Gregorio Luke. 
The visual and the verbal merge into an exhilarating multimedia tour of Mexico's history with Latin American art expert and former Director of the Museum of Latin American Arts  



Marine Corps League Detachment Installation Dinner


July 24, 2009

Invitation: Marine Corps League Detachment Installation Dinner

PFC Eugene A. Obregon (MOH) Marine Corps League Detachment will be installed as an official detachment of the Marine Corps League.  Please join our detachment in celebrating this very special event by bringing your entire family and friends.  Guest of honor will include Mrs. Virginia Lacara, the late Eugene A. Obregon’s sister.

Price: $22 Per person, includes Dinner and entertainment
Time 1845-2100

Location: Stevens Steak House
5332 E Stevens Place
Commerce, CA 90040
RSVP: Marty Cervantes
562 365-4122 
Approved Commandant Dan Zepeda 6/8/09

PfC Obregon's War Department Citation reads as follows:
For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving with Company G, Third Battalion, Fifth Marines, First Marine Division (Reinforced), in action against enemy aggressor forces at Seoul , Korea , on 26 September 1950.  While serving as an ammunition carrier of a machine gun squad in a Marine rifle company which was temporarily pinned down by hostile fire, Private First Class Obregon observed a fellow Marine fall wounded in the line of fire. Armed only with a pistol, he unhesitatingly dashed from his covered position to the side of the casualty. 

Firing his pistol with one hand as he ran, he grasped his comrade by the arm with his other hand and, despite great peril to himself, dragged him to the side of the road. Still under enemy fire, he was bandaging the man's wounds when hostile troops of approximately platoon strength began advancing toward his position. 

Quickly seizing the wounded Marine's carbine, he placed his own body as a shield in front of him and lay there firing accurately and effectively into the hostile group until he himself was fatally wounded by enemy gunfire. By his courageous fighting spirit, fortitude and loyal devotion to duty, Private First Class Obregon enabled his fellow Marines to rescue the wounded man and aided essentially in repelling the attack, thereby sustaining and enhancing the highest traditions of the United States Naval Service. He gallantly gave his
life for his country.

In addition to the Medal of Honor, Private First Class Obregon was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, and Korean Service Medal with three Bronze Stars




OBITUARY: Adolfo "Rudy" Vargas

Dear Friends, It is with sadness that I pass on the news about the death of an old friend of mine, Rudy Vargas. May he rest in peace. Carlos Munoz, Jr.

Dear Friends, I am deeply saddened to report that my long time friend Rudy Vargas passed away today. We are all in shock on losing such a courageous fighter for justice, media activist, colleague and friend. He will be greatly missed by so many of us. Jesus Trevino

OBITUARY: Adolfo "Rudy" Vargas of Diamond Bar
June 4, 2009
Contact: Luís Torres
 (626) 577-5664 

 Chicano filmmaker, community activist and educator Adolfo "Rudy" Vargas died Thursday of complications following emergency surgery to combat a serious staph infection, his family reported. Vargas died at University of California, Irvine Medical Center some fifteen hours following surgery.

 Vargas, known to his friends and family as "Rudy" and "Bugs," retired recently from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona where he was on the staff of the Instructional and Information Technology Learning department. He had been a member of that staff, popular among faculty and students, for twenty years.

 He was known there as a compassionate, patient, jovial advisor to students learning to use the latest media technology. Karen Brzoska is associate director of the I&IT Learning department at Cal Poly. She worked closely with Vargas for twenty years.

 "I think what strikes me most about him was his compassion," Brzoska says. "His concern for others and the way he would reach out to people -- colleagues and students." She adds, "He was not only quick with a smile, but he was anxious to engage everyone in conversation -- always genuinely asking, 'How are you? How's your family?' It was such a pleasure to know him and work with him."

Vargas was born and raised in East Los Angeles. He graduated from Garfield High School in 1960. During his days as a student at California State University, Los Angeles (known then as Los Angeles State College), he advocated for the creation of a Chicano studies department and helped organize protest demonstrations against the War in Vietnam. After graduating from Cal State in 1969 he became coordinator of the newly-created Educational Opportunity Program on the campus, a program that helped poor and minority group students gain access to higher education.

 After leaving that position at Cal State he earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from UCLA's School of Film and Television in 1977. He then worked on a series of projects for film and television, combining his commitment to social change with his skills in the mass media. He was a producer for the public television series "Infinity Factory" in the 1970s, a sort of "Sesame Street" for mathematics. The goal of the series was to encourage minority students to excel in math and science. 

 Vargas also worked on the public television series "Realidades," which examined social and cultural issues in the Latino community nationwide. Vargas worked as a producer in 1979 for the public affairs series "El Espejo" at Los Angeles public television station KLCS. He produced an award-winning film on bilingual education, "Una Nación Bilingue," which combined documentary footage with dramatic sequences to examine the use of bilingual education in the public schools.

 "Rudy was a dedicated media artist and a passionate advocate for social justice," said Jesús Salvador Treviño, a veteran film and television director and longtime friend of Vargas'. Treviño said, "I've lost a great friend and the Chicano community has lost a champion in the struggle for dignity and justice. Rudy was one of the most personable, likeable guys you could ever meet."

 Adolfo Vargas also spent a year working with a team of filmmakers who were collaborated on projects with the famed El Teatro Campesino in San Juan Bautista, California. That was in 1974. El Teatro Campesino, The Farmworkers Theater was founded by playwright and director Luis Valdez who went on to direct the feature film "La Bamba." Valdez observed, "Losing an old friend and a great compañero in the Chicano Movement makes this a tragic and sad day for all of us."

 Another longtime friend, David Sandoval, described Vargas as, "the kind of friend who was always quick with a laugh and was willing to give you the proverbial shirt off his back." Sandoval, a resident of Altadena, recently retired as the Director of the Educational Opportunity Program at Cal State Los Angeles. He had worked with Vargas on media projects and education endeavors. "We've lost a great comrade in the struggle for justice," said Sandoval.

 Luis Torres, a reporter for KNX Newsradio for 28 years and a longtime friend of Vargas' said, "I've lost a good friend and the Chicano community has lost a stalwart soldier for social change." Torres is a resident of Pasadena.

Vargas is survived by his wife of 26 years, Julene, his mother, five children, eight grandchildren, three brothers and three sisters. He was a resident of Diamond Bar.

 Funeral services are scheduled for Tuesday at Saint Denis Church in Diamond Bar. Viewing is at nine o'clock, followed by a memorial service at ten o'clock.

 In lieu of flowers, the Vargas family asks that donations be made to Xela Aid, a non-profit organization that runs schools in the highlands of Guatemala. Vargas was a board member of that organization and produced a documentary film about one of the schools. That school is named after his youngest daughter, Raquel. Xela Aid can be contacted at P.O. Box 923, Malibu, CA 90265. Its website is

Sent by Dorinda Moreno



Obituary:  Rudy Vargas


Diamond Bar man remembered as gracious
Claudia S. Palma, Staff Writer, Created: 06/08/2009                           
"Rudy loved and cherished his family by cooking meals, and just saying `I love you'," Vargas' son-in-law Mark Hart said. "He never went a day without showing his love."
Vargas - more commonly known to his friends and family as "Rudy" and "Bugs" - was a filmmaker, educator and activist.

The Diamond Bar resident and former Cal Poly Pomona employee died June 4. He was 67.
Vargas graduated from Garfield High School in East Los Angeles, an unincorporated section of Los Angeles County of which he was a native. He served in the armed forces before attending Los Angeles State College, which is now Cal State L.A. While in college, his activism really started.  "Rudy came of age professionally and personally in the cauldron of the Chicano movement," longtime friend Luis Torres said. Vargas advocated for the creation of a Chicano studies department and organized protests and demonstrations against the Vietnam War and for Chicano rights.

"It drove his perspective. He was very active in the movement and the human-rights effort in general," Torres said. "It was his optimism and compassion that drove everything that he did." After graduating, Vargas served as coordinator of the Educational Opportunity Program on the college campus. The program helped poor and minority group students gain access to higher education. Vargas later earned a master of fine arts degree from UCLA's School of Film and Television.

He worked on various film and television projects, including educational shows and documentaries. During this time, he was able to inject his passion for social change into many projects. "Rudy was a dedicated media artist and a passionate advocate for
social justice," said Jesus Salvador Trevino, a veteran film and television director and longtime friend.  "I've lost a great friend and the Chicano community has lost a champion in the struggle for dignity and justice. Rudy was one of the most personable, likeable guys you could ever meet."

Vargas retired in December after working for 17 years at Cal Poly Pomona as the MediaVision executive producer of the Instructional and Information Technology Learning Department.  Karen Brzoska, associate director of the department, remembers Vargas
as a compassionate and caring advisor.  "His concern for others and the way he would reach out to people - colleagues and students," Brzoska said. "He was not only quick with a
smile, but he was anxious to engage everyone in conversation. It was such a pleasure to know him and work with him."

Hart remembered how Vargas had the unique ability to bring people together and make a difference in many lives. "He added a human touch to everything he did," Torres said. "He was a mentor to the students at Cal Poly just by example. He showed that being concerned and compassionate was the way to go."

Vargas is survived by his mother, his wife of 26 years, Julene, five children, eight grandchildren, three brothers and three sisters. "Even as he's gone, he's still bringing people together," Hart said. "He taught us all how to have compassion and love each other, and we
will miss him dearly."

Sent by Dorinda Moreno




  LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes is having a logo design contest, winner will receive a $1,000 prize.  Please feel free to circulate this flyer to any talented art student you know.

Send to

Sent by Cathy Lujit


Morin Memorial Square

The recent Memorial Day services that were held in East Los Angeles took place at the area known as Morin Memorial Square, however, a festering controversy lingers. There is actually a concerted effort being made to eradicate the name of Raul Morin and replace it with, the name All Wars Memorial. This has caused no little resentment from friends and family of Raul Morin. Besides having authored "Among the Valiant", a chronicle of the Mexican-America recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor, Morin was a devoted activist and spoke out against racism, police brutality, political inequities and a host of other problems that have plagued the community, Alongside of the opponents of a name change, several members of the local American GI Forum were there to lend support to the retention of Morin Memorial Square. 

Readers who wish to contact Eddie Morin can do so at: 


Sal Castro, Pioneer of Chicano movement speaks at Salinas library 
Aug 21-23:  21st Century Chicano Activist Reunion

Obituary: Roberto Martinez, Long Time Activist for Mexican Migrants Rights
Obituary: Del Amo, Hollywood Movie Star
Obituary: Daniel Munoz, founder of La Prensa San Diego
Obituary:  Francisca Flores, Planting the seeds of journalism:
Edward Beal and the U.S. Camel Corps 

Sal Castro, Pioneer of Chicano movement speaks at Salinas library

By Marc Cabrera 
Herald Staff Writer, 05/12/2009 

Call him one of the forefathers of the Chicano movement. Sal Castro's life and work is a living, breathing testament to Mexican-American civil rights.

More than 40 years after he led and protected East Los Angeles high school students through dramatic walkouts for equal rights, Castro's message is as powerful as ever, in person and on the television screen.

Castro will speak at 5 p.m. Thursday at Cesar Chavez Library in Salinas. The film "Walkout," based on Castro and the East L.A. walkouts of 1968, will be screened as part of the library's new "Movies in the Chavez" film series.

At the time of the walkouts, East Los Angeles students were growing more frustrated with inequalities in their school district, ranging from disciplinary punishment for speaking Spanish in class to lack of culturally relevant subject matter in the curriculum, particularly
where Mexican-American history was concerned.

Castro was a young teacher who helped organize students to walk out and protest, as well as protecting them from riot police. When the protests turned violent, Castro was arrested and charged with disturbing the peace, among other crimes, along with 12 other organizers, dubbed the "Chicano 13."

The subsequent protests and sit-ins led to Castro's name being cleared and eventual school code reform in favor of the Chicano students.

Elizabeth Martinez, director of the Salinas Public Libraries, was a librarian at East Los Angeles Public Library during the protests and worked with Castro and organizers during the walkouts.

"It was what was going on at the time. It was this urgency of the Chicano movement," said Martinez, who invited Castro to speak at the Salinas library."We had an East L.A. library, but it could have been in Siberia. It didn't reflect anything of the community, whether it was a Spanish book or Spanish-speaking programs. Nada."

Soon after the walkouts, the library started a Chicano history resource center, the first of its kind. Eventually, with funding, the area became a full room, and is now one of the biggest in the country.  That response to the needs of the community was a result of Castro and the students, she said. "He stood up for students and the community when there were no voices," she said. "Subsequently, all of his students became future voices."

Among the student protestors/organizers was Antonio Villaraigosa, the current Los Angeles Mayor. Moctesuma Esparza, owner of Maya Cinemas in Salinas and a producer of "Walkout," was also an organizer.  Esparza is depicted in the film by Bodie Olmos, son of the film's director, Edward James Olmos.

Even 40-plus years after the East L.A. walkouts, the struggles resonate with Mexican-American communities like Salinas, where immigrant community members are still under represented in civic leadership.

"His story is a part of history that not enough people know about," said Garland Thompson Jr., project manager and digital arts lab adviser for the libraries. "It's important. He's somebody our community in Salinas should definitely know about. It's important for
the people in Salinas to hear about what he did, to help them with their struggles."

Martinez said Castro's continued work on the lecture circuit is important because not enough documentation exists of his role and others in the Chicano movement.

"I'm really glad he still goes around and talks to students everywhere about knowing who they are and where they come from," she said. "I'm glad it's happening (here). He's a Chicano legend."

Marc Cabrera can be reached at 646-4345 or

If you go
· The film "Walkout," based on the story of Sal Castro and the East
Los Angeles walkouts of 1968, will screen at 5 p.m. Thursday at Cesar
Chavez Library, 615 Williams Road, Salinas. Castro will speak about
the film and his experiences during the walkouts. The event is free.
For more info, call 758-7454.



---- --------------------------------------------------

We invite you to attend.  The last time we gathered was in San Antonio, Texas, December 1989.  If you cannot attend pass on our web page and this letter to others.  If you cannot attend, send us video/DVD clip with narrative about your role in the Chicano movement so we can hear, see, listen and about your efforts.      

Por la Causa

Jose Angel Gutierrez
Founder, La Raza Unida Party


Chicano activists and those who supported the Chicano movement from around the world will gather this summer to celebrate the impact of the Chicano movement.  

Our purpose in meeting has several purposes:
• To celebrate nearly half a century later many of the participants of the Chicano struggles and events since the 1960s.
• To revisit, retell, relive events and episodes of years past.
To listen and learn from experts, once participants, their analyses of significant
   milestones of the Chicano movement.
• To eat, drink, laugh, dance, and be happy with each other.
• To meet and greet those interested in carrying forth. the Chicano/Mexicano struggle for
  equality and justice.

• To pass the torch of struggle for continued group ascendency.
• To exchange information about our present lives. 
• To remember, reflect, and eulogize those departed from our ranks.
• To view documentaries and films about the Chicano movement.
• To socialize and rejoice about our civil rights struggle.


Roberto Martinez dies at 72; 
longtime advocate for Mexican migrants' rights


Email Picture

Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times

Migrant advocate Roberto Martinez, who became a full-time activist in the late 1970s, stands near a border fence with cardboard crosses to honor those who perished entering the United States.

The former director of the American Friends Service Committee in San Diego cataloged alleged abuses by border agents and testified before Congress about the effect of the crackdown.

By Anna Gorman
6:58 PM PDT, May 22, 2009

Roberto Martinez, an advocate for migrants' rights at the U.S.-Mexico border, died Wednesday morning at his daughter's home in Chula Vista. He was 72.

Martinez died of complications from diabetes, friends said. He suffered three strokes over the last several weeks.

He is best known as the former director of the American Friends Service Committee in San Diego. He retired from the Quaker social action organization in 2001 and later moved to Murrieta.

Martinez appeared at dozens of marches, demonstrations and forums, speaking on behalf of migrants trying to cross the border. He cataloged alleged abuses by border agents and filed regular complaints against U.S. Customs and Border Protection. He testified before Congress about the effect of the crackdown at the border.

Supporters praised him for his tireless fight for accountability by government agencies. Critics said he was too quick to blame the federal government for anything that happened along the border and too credulous regarding migrants who stood to gain from alleging abuse.

During the course of his work, friends said, Martinez was arrested and received death threats. His views were attacked in the media, and his family was targeted by hate groups.

Martinez was born in San Diego to Mexican American parents in January 1937. His confrontations with the Border Patrol dated to the 1950s, when he was a youth in San Diego and said agents tried to deport him.

His activism began about two decades later when he demanded action by police and school officials after three Latino children in his neighborhood were beaten by white youths.

"I learned that by organizing and taking a stand and not backing off, you could accomplish something," he told The Times in 2001.

Martinez, who earned an associate's degree in graphic arts at San Diego City College, worked as a technical illustrator and as an engineer at an aircraft company before turning to full-time advocacy in the late 1970s.

Christian Ramirez, national coordinator for the American Friends Service Committee, said this week that he lost a mentor and friend who had a keen sense of justice and a deep commitment to human rights.

"It's going to be a terrible loss, not only for the service committee, but for the whole border community," he said. "Voices like his are urgently needed at the border."

Martinez is survived by his wife, Yolanda, nine children, 23 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

A viewing will be held at Humphrey Mortuary in Chula Vista at 5 p.m. Tuesday. A Mass will be said at the St. Jude Shrine of the West Church in San Diego at 10 a.m. Wednesday, and he will be buried at the Holy Cross Cemetery in San Diego.



Obituary: Jane Del Amo


Memorial Service held, June 19th for Jane (Jane Randolph) del Amo

DEL AMO, Jane Wife of deceased Jaime del Amo, also known as Jane Randolph, Queen of the B Movies until 1949, best known for starring in the original "Cat People". My Mother passed away in Switzerland on May 4, 2009, (please see the LA Times Sunday, May 24, 2009 obituary I wrote, and Thursday, May 28th obituary by Valerie J. Nelson). For a variety of reasons, it is only now that I am inviting family and friends to attend a Memorial Service and Commemoration of Jane del Amo's Life at the Westwood Presbyterian Church, 10822 Wilshire Blvd., on Friday, June 19, 2009, at 2 p.m. The ceremony will be officiated by Reverend Charles Orr, my Mother's Pastor, the one she chose for this occasion. It will be followed by a reception at the Church's Hoffman Hall, with light refreshments, so that we may spend some time together reminiscing about this wonderful lady, my Mother, your friend. For further information, you may email me at, please writing in the subject JdACdA.

Jane Del Amo

DEL AMO, Jane Wife of deceased Jaime del Amo, also known as Jane Randolph, Queen of the B movies until 1949 - best known for starring in the original "Cat People" October 30, 1915-May 4, 2009 She is survived by her only daughter, Cristina del Amo. 

My mother passed away in Switzerland on May 4, 2009. Up until the end, she led a full life socially, and strived to do as much as possible physically: although frail, she took her daily walks, did her exercises, and generally kept as active as possible. Her failing eye sight made it difficult at times for her to pursue three of her passions: reading the daily newspapers and painting her wonderful landscapes, not to mention writing her newsy letters. Luckily there was the phone! Recently, she fell and broke her hip, was operated on at the Saanen Hospital, and (as one person described to me) "held court looking beautiful for her many visitors from her bed there". Saanen is the village next to the village of Gstaad, where she lived part of the year in her Chalet Jacriamo, so named after herself (Jane), myself (Cristina) and our family name (del Amo). Characteristically, for those of us who knew her well, after her hip operation, she got up without calling the nurse, and fell, breaking her other hip. She did come out of the operation for a short while, and then passed on peacefully, having previously requested that no extreme measures for reanimation or life support be used. At the time, unfortunately, I was here in California, and for various reasons have had to remain here. 

The above description I received from her care giver Mr. Bryan Peters. He also described to me how the Saanen Hospital prepared my mother's body for him to view before taking to the mortuary: they had made her face look beautiful, he said radiant, and carefully combed her hair, putting flowers all around her face, and an orchid on her heart. I am forever thankful to him for sharing all of this with me. 

My mother was born in Youngstown, Ohio, daughter of Cora and George Roemer, a famous designer of steel mills, many of her lovely warm family initially also involved in various aspects of that industry. My mother soon showed the independent spirit which characterized her entire life, by learning to drive at an early age, (illegally sitting on her father's lap!), and as she often told me, daydreaming in class of being a pilot. However, she expressed this spirit in two other ways: first by becoming a famous actress, and then marrying one of the scions of Spain and California, Jaime del Amo, adopted son of Gregorio del Amo and his wife, Susana Dominguez, of the Rancho San Pedro, the first land grant in California by the King of Spain. She married my father, Jaime del Amo, in 1949. They moved to Spain, although they came back to the United States, and particularly to California, on a regular basis, for pleasure and business. Pleasure before business! Even if during those years my father did preside over the land sales of his share of the Dominguez Land Grant, which would set the basis for the building of the del Amo Shopping Center, at the time the first large shopping center in the world. This sale set the basis for us to move to Switzerland, which I consider my home of the heart. 

My mother lived an extraordinary life by any standards, going on Safari in the 1950's, and bringing back not only trophies of the many wild animals she shot, but an extraordinary film record she herself took. The most memorable piece, to me seeing it as a little girl, was the sequence showing the elephant she had shot being gutted and native men actually disappearing inside the viscera! Fear not, the rest of the reels are magnificent color images of her in that wonderful African wilderness, definitely for the family archives, maybe even for other ones too. 

My mother also attended and/or hosted wondrous socialite parties, soirees, luncheons and other gatherings of the International Jet Set, be it in Badrutt's Palace Hotel in Saint Moritz, Switzerland, where she and I skied, or other places of equal stature all over the world. She also had many notables as guests in her various homes, such as Pricess Soraya at L'Oiseau Bleu, in Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, in the South of France, in her early days after leaving Iran. I have wonderful pictures of the two of them, dressed in the formal Spanish dresses, during La Feria de Sevilla, in Spain. They remained close friends until Soraya's death. Despite this constant immersion in the International Jet Set, and also into the various high realms of various countries (for example, we were shown around Iran, she and I, circa 1963, by Ahmed Shafiq, husband of the Sha's twin sister Ashraff, and I did play with the children of the Duque de Alba, Carlos being now the current Duque de Alba!), my Mother also spent time in less socially lofty echelons, and was equally charming and at ease. 

Recounting her life will take various forms, one of them being my book. She was well loved and respected everywhere, and is missed by all. I had accompanied my mother a while back to choose the space at the Pierce Brothers Westwood Memorial Park, the Mortuary, where she wished her ashes to be placed here in California, as well as to her Sunday service, at the Westwood Presbyterian Church, where she wished Reverend Orr to celebrate her memorial service within the Congregation she so loved and respected. Due to the fact that she died in Switzerland, this funeral and depositing of her ashes has not yet been able to occur, but is pending. This explains the tardiness of this obituary, and my decision, as her only daughter, to not only write this obituary, but to suggest the following: that wherever we may find ourselves, tomorrow, Monday May 25th, Memorial Day, we take some time, in each of our own special chosen way, to spiritually connect in remembering and honoring this wonderful woman, your friend, my mother. Jane del Amo. For anyone wishing to reach me, you may email me at, please writing JdACdA in Subject.



Obituary: Daniel Munoz
Born: November 9, 1927 ~ Died: May 31, 2009


San Diego and the greater Southwest mourn the loss of Dniel Lopez Sr, founder of La Prensa San Diego.  By Daniel H. Muñoz, Jr.

Daniel L. Muñoz, Publisher, La Prensa San Diego, passed away at the age of 81 on Sunday morning, May 31, 2009.   June 5, 2009 

As the eldest son who followed in his father’s footsteps at La Prensa, it is my responsibility to write this obituary. It is one of the hardest things I have had to do in my life, yet at the same time, I am pleased that I can share with you, the readers, the story of his life,
the life of a great man.

Life is but a journey. The early years of ones life are pre-determined based on culture, social, and economical standing, so it was for my dad.

Born to Fred and Helen Muñoz in San Fernando, CA, he was raised literally on the wrong side of the railroad tracks that dissected the city. The San Fernando elementary and high school that Dan attended were segregated schools. Though he had above average intelligence, was a good athlete, starring on the track and basketball team, once graduated from high school there was no hope of college for him.

His father, Fred Muñoz, was an uneducated man who supported the family through odd jobs, picking oranges, and on the weekends performing with his band, entertaining at dances and quinceañeras picking up a few extra dollars. Dan learned how to play the guitar, mandolin, and violin.He joined his Dad, uncles, and older brother Elias as a member of the family band.

After graduating from high school, Dan took a look around and quickly realized that he didn’t want to spend the rest of his life picking fruit or working at odd jobs as his dad had done. In 1945, there was only one accessible route to a better life and that was through the

With World War II still in progress, Dan had to make a decision, either wait and be drafted into the Army or volunteer with the Navy. He chose the Navy. Up to that point his life resembled that of hundreds of thousands of other Mexican-Americans who had lived a
segregated life, with little hope or opportunity to realize the American dream of a better life.

The Navy was a part of the journey in his life that would change him, where he would start to break the mold that determined the lives of his buddies who grew up with him in the barrio. It didn’t take his superiors long to recognize his intelligence, sending him to train at
Radio Code and Teletype school. He was given top-secret clearance, and sent to work in Hawaii under the Commander-in-Chief of the entire Pacific fleet.

In 1949 he married Lydia Hinojos of Bakersfield, CA, with whom he would stay married to for the next 60 years and have six children — Phyllis, Daniel Jr., Priscella, Ruben, Gabriel, and Angela.

Dan would spend 24 years in the Navy serving during World War II, Korean War and in Vietnam; much of the time serving with Staff Command. He retired at the highest grade afforded a high school graduate – Chief Warrant Officer.

One of the great benefits of serving in the military was the G.I. Bill, which in those days would pay for the education of military veterans. Dan enrolled at Mesa College in 1968, where he received his AA degree. He then went on to the University of California at San
Diego where he received his Bachelor’s degree majoring in Sociology. He then enrolled at the United States International University, receiving his Masters in Social-Political Sciences. At each level he would graduate at the head of his class.

At this point in his life, Dan had control over the direction of his life. He was an anomaly — at a time when most men his age were looking to settle down, he was becoming active. In his 40s and graduating from college with a lifetime of experiences, he knew the pains of
discrimination experienced as a young person. He knew what is was like to be deprived of opportunities as a young man, and even in the military he saw the discrimination in the ranks, where very few officers were of color.

At UCSD he was a part of the fight for a Third College, as noted in Jorge Mariscal’s 2005 book, Brown-Eyed Children of the Sun, “In March of 1969, student activists from the newly-formed Mexican American Youth Association/Black Student Council coalition would dive directly into the struggle over higher education by intervening in the UCSD
administration’s plans for a new third college.” Third College would later become known as the Thurgood Marshall College and would change the direction of education at UCSD.

In 1975, Dan became a professor with San Diego Mesa College where he taught courses in sociology, political science and Chicano-Latino urban politics as a part of the first Chicano Studies program with the College.

In the 1970’s, the emerging Chicano Movement was moving forward in the Southwest and was taking root in San Diego. The Chicano Movement at the time brought into focus for both the majority community and to the Mexican-American/Chicano community the need to become politically involved in action that would give the community a voice to address
and rectify long standing historical issues.

Dan joined the Chicano movement and became politically involved and was a leading voice in the call for “change and self determination.” His political activism led him to become the first Mexican-American to be appointed by then San Diego Mayor Frank Curran as liaison to the Chicano community; a position that he served in from1971-73.

As a political science major and Chicano studies professor, Dan believed that political action and involvement was what was required to bring about change to the Chicano community. As a student of history he understood that with each passing year the Chicano
community was growing and if political awareness could be created, the community could become a major political force.

To foster that movement into political action he organized and founded many groups including; the Chicano Democratic Association (CDA) where he served as its president for many years. During his tenure with the CDA he was selected to serve by the Bob Moretti campaign for Governor of California as one of its campaign managers. Later he founded the
Spanish Speaking Political Association (SSPA), also serving as its first president. In later years he became a member and board member of the Mexican American Foundation, and a corporate sponsor for the Latino Business Association of San Diego and Los Angeles.

While involved in electorate politics, Dan began to understand the power structure co-opting political change, including Mexican-American politicians and organizations he founded and brought forth. He witnessed the Mexican-American population exploding, but instead of going forward as he had envisioned, the community was going backward;
socially, economically, and politically.

It became clear to him that those in power cared very little about the Mexican-American community. Little substantial political progress was being made. The news and information being received by the community was being “filtered and manipulated,” and defined by those in political power. It was during that time that Dan made a personal and political decision that would ultimately lead to a major change in his life and that of the community.

To counter news and information that he saw as being “filtered and manipulated” by the power structure, he started publishing at his own expense a small newsletter entitled Tezozomoc Speaks, or “Tezzy” as it became known. The newsletter was mailed to activists, politicians, and persons in the community who were involved in the political process. The newsletter with its biting criticism and analysis of issues affecting the community, and accusations of lack of accountability from both Anglo and Mexican-American politicians created wide spread interest, reaction, comments, and controversy within the political arena.

After publishing Tezozomoc Speaks for a year Dan then made the decision in 1976 to found and begin publishing a weekly newspaper (again with his own finances), La Prensa San Diego. The stated objective for La Prensa San Diego according to Dan Muñoz was... “to
view the news and events through a Hispanic/Chicano perspective,” or as he always stated; “through our brown eyes.”

The original idea for the newspaper was to create a community newspaper. The community did come together, contributing resources, everything from desks and typewriters to layout tables. An office was rented at 1950 Fifth Avenue and all the donated equipment was set-up. With this, in the tradition of all good Mexican-American/Chicano efforts, a party was held. It was a grand party with food, music, and hundreds of supporters and friends wishing all well.

After the party was over it was time to publish the first newspaper.  Dan and the volunteers who worked at the newspaper were not journalists, but community activist who wanted to create change in the community. Not being a typically trained journalist gave the paper the
freedom to define who they were and what they represented.

When La Prensa San Diego first started publication it was to join a very select number of Mexican-American/Hispanic newspapers in the United States. La Prensa San Diego was only one of about 40 Mexican-American newspapers in the entire United States.

The first ten years of publication were difficult at best. Because there were only a handful of newspapers, no Mexican-American television stations, no Spanish language radio stations, the marketing to this community was non-existent. Advertising was limited to
affirmative action outreach and special holiday orientated advertising.

In order to survive the early years it took personal sacrifice to keep the paper up and running every week. Dan and Lydia, his wife, made the personal sacrifice. For Dan the most important thing for him was to ensure that the paper continued to be published and provide a voice. It was his sacrifice, his vision, his political acumen that allowed this newspaper to survive and grow.

In the ‘70s, there was one elected Hispanic in the state Assembly and only one elected Hispanic in San Diego County. Hispanics were not registered to vote, and if they were they did not vote. Dan was one of the first Hispanics to run for public office, running for the school board. He worked with Peter Chacon who went on to become the first elected Hispanic from San Diego to the Assembly. Change came but it came slowly.

Every week, 52 weeks a year Dan would write his editorial defining the political reality as he saw it, providing a guiding light for the community, and he stuck to his principles. Every week he would put his opinions out there for the community to read; some disagreed with him, most agreed with him or understood his point of view, and almost all respected him.

He understood that he was in the political arena and that politics was about choosing sides, the side he chose was to stand with the Mexican-American community. For this he was called a radical by the power structure, and he was radical in that he represented a
perspective that had never before been heard.

Dan Muñoz believed in the Mexican-American community and his editorials reflected this. La Prensa San Diego did not make a lot of money compared to some of the other publications. At the same time, it was never about the money for Dan, it was about providing a voice for the community. This is what sustained the paper and him throughout. It was the knowledge that thousands of readers each week appreciated the paper and looked forward to the paper. Every week they knew that La Prensa would be out and that it represented their best interest. It spoke to them and it spoke about them. These things they did not get anywhere else.

The core of the paper was politics and it was about dissecting the issues in relation to the Hispanic community. When it came to candidate endorsements he supported the candidate who he believed would best represent the Hispanic community. These choices at times
were difficult and often went against conventional wisdom. He did not pick candidates based on color, he chose the candidate that would represent the community. This was the guiding light that Dan strived to provide the community. Often this would lead to endorsements that surprised some.

In his editorials he would challenge conventional wisdom, he would ask you to think about the issues, he would provide solutions, he would make you prove your point or position, he did not accept status quo.  This way he hoped that the community would grow. And the community has grown.

Dan Muñoz’ life journey started out predetermined by circumstance of birth, but by sheer will he changed the course of his life. He made himself a better man, a better person, a better husband and father. Equally as important he had the vision and the will power to provide a voice and change to a community.

Daniel Lopez Muñoz’ life journey has come to an end, it was time. He lived a good life, he was a proud man, and he left the world a better place because he was part of it.

Daniel Munoz is survived by his wife of sixty years, Lydia Hinojos and six children, grandchildren and great grandchildren- daughter Phyllis and husband Donne, their children Carissa and Justin; son Daniel and his wife Veronika, parents to Mathias, Annemarie, Genevieve; son Ruben father of Leah, Marlena, and Timothy; daughter Priscella and husband Kevin, children Robert, Angela, Randa, Danny and Jennifer; son Gabriel and wife Teresa, children Andrea, Ruben, Liliana, two step children Stephanie and Ana Maria; daughter Angela and Charlie, children Annalysa and Maricela. Great grandchildren Kalaia, Mia, Mariah. Dan is also survived by his brother Fred, and sisters Gloria, Delia and

A memorial service, celebrating the life of Daniel Muñoz will be held Saturday, June 20, 10:00 AM at Our Mother of Confidence, 3131 Governor Drive, San Diego.

I want to thank Herman Baca and Gracia Molina de Pick for historical perspective and background information.

Dorinda Moreno


Planting the seeds of journalism: Francisca Flores is an article about a dear friend, Francisca Flores who died in the late l990's. She and I worked on publishing REGENERACION. We published 10 issues before turning it over to Students -mostly women - at CalStateLA.  In l972 she was invited to attend a conference organized by the Department of Labor to focus on employment of Chicanas -other than the sewing factories, etc. - and she desperately wanted to attend.

Luckily I was Community Relations Secretary for the Quaker's American Friends Service Committee and obtained funding for her plane trip and stay. And guess what? 
She came back with a $30,000 grant to start Chicana Serivice Action Center, which is still operating.   I gladly give myself a pat on the back for this. Much later when Francis retired they honored her at a French Restaurant on Sunset Blvd. And she invited me to sit next to her. Can you see me in a room filled with women. What a lucky man! 

Un abrazo, Frank Sifuentes

Planting the seeds of journalism
by Grecia Ramirez, Tucson Citizen

Flores' role in founding the Mexican American Political Association has rarely been acknowledged by historians. Francisca Flores was a feminist, journalist and organizer in the 1960s and '70s, when the Chicano movement was dominated by men.

She created the Regeneracion publication, named after Ricardo Flores Magon's revolutionary newspaper that preceded the Mexican Revolution of 1910. It focused on women's issues within the movement.

Flores wrote for a variety of Chicana/o journals and magazines such as Carta Editorial, and she assisted Carey McWilliams with "North of Mexico."

During the 1950s and 1960s, she organized underground screenings of the controversial film "Salt of the Earth" and, like many activists of the era, she became a victim of McCarthyism.

She also started/co-founded organizations including Chicana Service Action Center.

Flores was born in Los Angeles in 1913, and grew up in the barrios of San Diego during the Mexican Revolution.  She contracted tuberculosis at age 15 and spent more than 10 years in a sanitarium, where she met veterans of the Mexican Revolution.

She and some Mexican women started Las Hermanas de la Revolucion Mexicana; they met to discuss politics. There, she became very conscious of how women were treated. She would later tell her nephew Guillermo, "I knew that men didn't take us seriously. They only wanted us to make tortillas. They couldn't accept that we had our own ideas."

Flores believed in full equality for women and advocated for a more critical view on gender issues within the Chicano movement. "Women must learn to say what they think and feel, and be free to state it without apologizing or prefacing every statement to reassure men that they are not competing with them," Flores said.

Her Regeneracion not only presented issues that many Chicanas/os were experiencing, but also laid out the framework for Chicana feminism.

She demanded more educational, working and legal opportunities, reproductive rights, and child care services. In an article titled "Justice," Francisca criticized the women's liberation movement for marginalizing women of color.

Because of the little interest shown in Chicana issues, Flores started Comision Feminil Mexicana, which grew to serve generations of Chicanas with limited resources.

In the '70s, for example, CFM helped a group of Chicanas file and win sterilization suits against a California hospital. CFM also established the Chicana Service Action Center in Los Angeles.

Flores' role in founding the Mexican American Political Association has rarely been acknowledged by historians.

She also was very involved in the Democratic Party. In 1942, she became active in the Sleepy Lagoon Defense Committee, supporting a group of Mexican-Americans wrongly accused of murder.

While she fought for equal opportunities for Mexicans living in the U.S., she also believed it was very important to support the Raza in Mexico.

"We are the hope for this country," she said. "We are also the hope for America, not the country but the hemisphere."

Writer Frank Sifuentes, her colleague, wrote: "What Francisca did was really major, because she formally brought the 'better half' into play. It is little wonder that in politics Latinas have prevailed, and this can be traced back to her."

Said multimedia artist-writer Harry Gamboa, who also worked with Flores, "Through my discussions with her, I was able to receive a focused viewpoint that was decidedly different than what was being promulgated on the streets and took into consideration various humanistic ideals and more advanced viewpoints regarding the role of women in society."

Flores worked all her life to open opportunities and services for Chicanas and Chicanos. She did not tolerate injustices against them. Because of this, Flores is a major part of Chicana/Chicano history and a major though unheralded figure in the history of U.S. journalism.

Grecia Ramirez is an aspiring journalist and University of Arizona sophomore majoring in Mexican American Studies. E-mail: 

Note: I am very proud to say that Grecia is one of my students in my History of Red-Brown Journalism at the University of Arizona. Her work, along with the work of my other students, will be showcased at a student symposium on May 5 at the U of A. Additionally, one of her other pieces -- on Teresita Urrea, a healer, journalist and revolutionary in Mexico and Arizona during the 1800s -- is featured in a new 24-page publication: El Coraje: La Nueva Generacion. The publication is a tribute to the original Coraje newspaper of the 1960s. For more info on this publication, contact me at: Roberto Dr.
Cintli Rodriguez - PO BOX 85476 - Tucson, AZ 85754 - or 520-626-0824

Thanks & Sincerely
Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez
Column of the Americas
PO BOX 85476, Tucson, AZ 85754



Edward Beal and the U.S. Camel Corps




In March 1853, President Millard Fillmore appointed Edward Beale Superintendent of Indian Affairs for California and Nevada. He became a hero to the Indians by creating Sebastian Indian Reservation in Tejon Pass, to protect certain Indian tribes from settlers and other hostile Indians. In 1854 he also convinced the U.S. Army to create Fort Tejon, to further protect the Indians. The governor of California, John Bigler, appointed him brigadier general in the state militia, to give him additional authority with the U.S. Army in their dealings with the Indians.

Beale resigned his federal position in 1856. During the three years he was at the reservation, he began acquiring prop-erty south of Bakersfield, extending up to the top of the mountains at Tejon Pass. In 1855 he acquired an 80-square-mile property he called Rancho la Liebre, and built an adobe home. Over the next 10 years he continued to acquire property here, including Rancho el Tejon and Rancho de Castac, and his holdings totaled 495 square miles. He became wealthy in wool and farm produce.


In the early 1850s, Major Henry C. Wayne suggested to Senator Jefferson Davis of Mississippi that camels may be better than Army horses and mules in the arid Southwest. In 1856, Davis was Secretary of War, and ordered Major Wayne to sail on the USS Supply to purchase camels in the Middle East. A year later, new Secretary of War John B. Floyd continued the camel experiment. He was also receptive to Beale's request to survey a proposed wagon route from Fort Defiance, New Mexico Territory, to California, along the 35th Parallel. (Beale was still referred to as lieutenant.)

However, Floyd then demanded that Beale join Major Wayne and his camels at Camp Verde, Texas. He explained that Major Wayne was to perform an overland experiment with some of the 34 camels that he had brought back from Egypt. Beale was angry at first, but then agreed to go to Texas. (Some references say Major Wayne had poor luck in finding healthy camels in Tunis, Malta, Greece and Turkey; that there were two trips to collect a total of 75 camels; and that Beale was an Army lieutenant.)

The U.S. Camel Corps set out in June 1857 with 25 camels acting as pack animals, leaving the remainder in Texas. Covering as much as 20 miles a day, they traveled for five months a distance of almost 800 miles to Fort Tejon, California. They arrived after California's largest earthquake, but because of the state's sparse population in 1857, the only fatalities were two people near the fort. (Fort Tejon is adjacent to the culprit San Andreas Fault.)

The route Beale chose, as he traveled with the camels through New Mexico, Arizona, and California's Mojave Desert, was later termed "Beale's Road." It closely parallels part of present-day Interstate 40 and historic Route 66. The camels fared much better than the horses and mules. Beale wrote that he became convinced of the camels' toughness, that they could carry much heavier loads than mules, and that they did not require as much water as the horses and mules.

Because the Civil War was looming, Washington lost in-terest in the camel experiment. Also, many soldiers com-plained that the camels deliberately spit at them, and smelled bad, so the camel corps disbanded temporarily. Some camels were let loose. For years, camel sightings were referred to as "red ghosts" of the desert; the last reported sighting was near the Salton Sea in 1941. Most of the Army's camels stayed on Beale's ranch and his neighbor Samuel Bishop's ranch, where they reproduced to about 35 in number. The Army retrieved some in 1862; these were sent to the new Drum Barracks in Wilmington. In 1864 all the camels in California, except four kept by Beale, were herded by Army personnel to Benicia Arsenal and sold at auction. When Beale's ranch was sold by his son in 1912, the camels were given to the Los Angeles Zoo, where the last one died in 1934 at age 77.

Source: California Historian, Winter 2005


Forgotten Injustice chronicles mass deportation of Mexican immigrants in the 1930s 
New Mexico History Museum debuts


Forgotten Injustice 
chronicles mass deportation of Mexican immigrants in the 1930s 

By Lou Mattei


Vicente Serrano's documentary A Forgotten Injustice tells how in the 1930s, the Hoover administration deported millions of Mexican-American citizens.

The Hoover administration, while racist, also reasoned that is was cheaper to deport Mexicans than other groups of immigrants because of the relative proximity of the border.
With the economy in a rut and anxieties about national security festering in the nether regions of America’s social conscience, it’s minorities—immigrants, outsiders, heathens, you name it—who now, as in the past, bear the brunt of the backlash. Tolerance sounds swell so long as the Dow cries kowabunga. But when fat cats go belly up and “real Americans” fill unemployment lines, fear takes over.

Vicente Serrano’s documentary A Forgotten Injustice chronicles our ability to turn against our brothers and sisters during times of social panic. The film tells the hidden history of the mass deportation of more than 2 million Mexican immigrants in the 1930s. More than 60 percent of those given the boot were U.S. citizens who ended up living in Mexico as illegal aliens.

Serrano’s own grandmother was deported from Los Angeles in the 1930s and ended up living in Mexico for 70 years as an illegal alien. It was her story that, six years ago, inspired the Chicago-based, Emmy-winning Telemundo journalist to start working on A Forgotten Injustice.

“When I learned about the magnitude of the injustices of the ’30s. I felt a responsibility to tell the story of my grandma, her brother and the more than 1 million people,” says Serrano. “I always wondered why my grandmother’s stories ended with tears.”

The historical saga behind Serrano’s film stems from World War I, when American businessmen sent teams to Mexico to recruit replacements for the farmers and factory workers drafted into the army. At the time nobody bothered with documentation or official papers. By 1930, programs like these (called reenganches) helped balloon the population of Mexican-Americans to 3.5 million.

When the Great Depression hit, President Herbert Hoover came up with a plan to deport Mexicans under the banner “American jobs for real Americans.” The reasoning, besides overt racism, was that it was cheaper to deport Mexicans than other groups of immigrants because of the proximity of the border.

But when Los Angeles County opened up a deportation office to carry out President Hoover’s plan, it faced a serious jurisdiction problem: Only the federal government is allowed to enforce immigration laws. So the term “repatriation” was coined to gloss over a dubious legal situation—and to try to dupe more than 1 million citizens born and raised in the United States into feeling like they were returning home to a country they’d never been to before.

To make these deportations seem voluntary, the government told recalcitrant Mexican-Americans that they were going to be cut off from federal aid at a time when nearly 20 percent of the country relied upon it. Violence and intimidation put muscle behind the threat of expulsion.

Raymond Rodriguez, co-author of Decade of Betrayal: Mexican Repatriation in the 1930s, says in the film: “Groups of vigilante-type individuals would come onto a Mexican labor camp and say, ‘If you guys aren’t out of here in the morning, we’re burning you out.’ So people left. Or, in other instances, people would be forced to leave by the sheriff coming to your place, putting a gun to your head and saying, ‘If you don’t leave, you’re dying.’ “

According to Francisco Balderrama, the other author of Decade of Betrayal, “If you think about the forceful tactics of the county agencies, the forceful tactics of those employers like U.S. Steel, Ford Motor Company, Southern Pacific Railroad, or the forceful tactics that one reads in the press … without any distinction made in terms of citizenship or legal status, it was coercion, plain and simple.”

Civic groups like the L.A. Chamber of Commerce celebrated that “many Mexicans are absolutely terrorized and are ready to do anything to get out of Los Angeles.”

On the other side of the border, muralist Diego Rivera was fronting a push by the Mexican government to reclaim the population that America was trying to expel. His hope was that “repatriates” would return with personal and social virtues acquired by living in the United States. In reality, “repatriates” came back poorer to a country—and in many cases a language—they didn’t know.

Amazingly, during World War II, when draft letters showed up at these expatriates’ homes, many were eager for the opportunity to serve.

“To me that was so strange and sad because they wanted me to defend the U.S. after they had kicked me out and sent me to Mexico,” says Jose Lopez in the film. He was repatriated from Detroit, Mich., in 1931, but was still willing to serve. “Naturally, I would have done it with pride, I think. But then they told me that I was too small, and they didn’t accept me.”

Behind the “repatriation” campaign lurks a specious interpretation of the Constitution. Lawmakers exploited the vague language on citizenship in the 14th amendment to validate the repatriation of undocumented immigrants—including those who would be considered legal citizens today. It’s the same ambiguity exploited today by nativists who see “anchor babies” as weapons in an us-versus-them conflict of immigration.

But Serrano’s story may have found an opening. In April, A Forgotten Injustice was featured at the Chicago Latino Film Festival. And Serrano has been screening the film as often as possible, holding Q&A sessions afterward, where he’s often greeted by emotional survivors.

“I think that is another beautiful experience of working on A Forgotten Injustice,” Serrano says, “creating an opportunity to organize and engage people in healthier debates about social justice, immigration, civil rights … I hope this film brings people with different views to a common place and serious debate about the issues.”

Following its 2003 investigation into the “repatriation” campaigns of the 1930s, the California State Senate apologized for the state’s role in the illegal deportations and, in 2007, passed a resolution requiring its history to be taught in public schools. A similar measure was approved by the Illinois State Senate in March and is currently under consideration in the House. But a bill to fund an investigation into this period, introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006 by now-Labor Secretary Hilda Solis and co-sponsored by Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, among others, went nowhere.

“I believe that people that don’t know their history are condemned to repeat it,” says Serrano. “Every time there is an economic crisis, society looks for a ‘bad guy’ or a scapegoat. It happened in the 1930s, and it can happen today if we don’t do anything to avoid committing the same mistakes. Just listen to some of the hate language used today: invasion, massive deportations, ‘American’ jobs. … It is the same language used in the 1930s. Obviously the times are different, and probably the context is different as well, but the outcome can be the same.”  

Lou Mattei, a graduate of Ohio State University, is a former intern at In These Times and an associate editor at What's Happening! Community Newspapers on Chicago's North Shore.


New Mexico History Museum debuts


The New Mexico History Museum, which opens today, attempts to make all voices and experiences heard, presenting a distinct cultural mosaic.

By Judith Fein

May 22, 2009

Deep in the bowels of the Conservation Laboratory on Museum Hill in Santa Fe, Rebecca Tinkham uses a thin bamboo skewer to remove more than 20,000 flyspecks from one of the oldest textiles in New Mexico: a devotional medallion that arrived in the late 16th century with Juan de Oñate, the explorer, conquistador and colonial governor.


On a nearby table, Conor McMahon polishes a 56-piece Tiffany silver set made in 1917 for the USS New Mexico. One dessert plate is adorned with an image of Kit Carson and a wagon train; a humidor depicts the Taos Pueblo so realistically that cracks in the adobe walls appear in the silver.


Then McMahon inspects a rare, brown yucca fiber sock from 800 AD; it's the only one ever found in Chaco Canyon, part of the homeland of the Pueblo, Hopi and Navajo peoples.

Tinkham, a textile conservator, meticulously puts the final green patch on a little boy's wool suit from the 19th century; the backside and knees were worn through by the little tyke, and one can almost feel his presence in the clothes.

The conservators were finishing work on artifacts that will be part of the core exhibit in the New Mexico History Museum that opens today in downtown Santa Fe, an expansion of its next-door neighbor, the Palace of the Governors.

A flamenco outfit from Olinda Rodriguez, a professiona singer and dancer who was involved with the Santa Fe Fiesta, dates to the late 1930s and is on exhibit at the New Mexico History Museum.

The museum has a history of its own: The 96,000-square-foot facility has been 20 years in the making, carries a price tag of $44 million that was funded by federal, state and private donations and draws on thousands of years of human occupation in New Mexico.

Frances Levine, the museum director, saw her task as figuring out how to tell the countless tales from people who inhabited the land. Her expert team conducted more than 30 town hall meetings all over the state to get input from residents about which stories and artifacts they deemed important.

Through diaries, letters, maps, eyewitness accounts, oral histories and artifacts, museum visitors will learn the perspectives of the Native Americans, Mexicans, Spaniards, Easterners, outlaws, scientists, artists, railroad workers and legions of others who created the unique culture of New Mexico.

Levine does not shy away from controversy or history's darker incidents. The story of the World War II Japanese internment camp in Santa Fe is told through the drawings of a guard named Harold West and the words of Japanese internees and Justice Department officials.

The reasons for the Pueblo Revolt of 1680 against the Spanish colonizers are dealt with. The U.S. government's brutal forced marches of Apaches and Navajos from their homelands to reservations is front and center. Visitors can listen to audiotapes of people who are involved in ongoing land and water disputes and can then form their own opinions.

Guests can "spend a whole day here or do 400 years in 40 minutes," says Kate Nelson, the museum's marketing manager. Levine adds that "the museum is for streakers, strollers and scholars."

The interactive experience includes petroglyph hand prints; you place your hand on one and it triggers audio vignettes about the Hopi emergence, the San Juan Cloud Dance or the Navajo Bird and Sheep Songs. As you walk through history, you are accompanied by Depression-era tunes, mid-19th century banjo and piano music, sound clips about J. Robert Oppenheimer and Enrico Fermi at Los Alamos (where the atomic bomb was developed), video and audio clips about the New Mexico National Guard and the Bataan Death March in the Philippines, the observations of the late Taos artist Helen Blumenschein and the stories of ranchers and miners.

For more low-tech, hands-on experiences, you can flip through albums with images culled from the 800,000 photographs in the archives. Or you can write your own New Mexico experiences for posterity. If you get tired of the exhibits, there's a patio where you can have a snack, relax and look out over the courtyard of the Palace of the Governors and the rooftops of historic downtown Santa Fe.

Besides the core exhibit, a temporary show called "Fashioning New Mexico" will run for 11 months. It's all about the clothes that people wore to go to war, seduce the opposite sex, attend baptisms, proms or native ceremonies. The exhibit includes items from underwear to flapper dresses and is enhanced by furniture, portraits, weaponry and other props that correspond to the sartorial era depicted.

Fashionistas can drool over wedding dresses, ball gowns with bustles, evening apparel and jewelry that the women of New Mexico wore to the opera, theater or parties. Then, if they wish, visitors can "dress up" in period clothes via computer.

"There's something for everyone in the museum," director Levine says. "I think of it as a gateway to experiencing New Mexico. It should inspire you to visit other museums, buy books, visit national parks.""



Where: 113 Lincoln Ave., Santa Fe, N.M., 87501

Summer hours: Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, through Labor Day.

Ticket prices: $6 for New Mexico residents, $9 for out-of-state visitors. Children 16 and under free. Free, 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday evening. Good for admission to both the museum and Palace of the Governors.

Contact: (505) 476-5200;

    Sent Ricardo Valverde


History and Genealogy of the Slaves of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
Ethnographic Study, Afro-Mexicans in Mexico’s Gulf Coast: Fishing/Festivals/Foods
Former Mayor Al Ramirez, friend to African Americans in Rio Grande Valley


Slave Presentation Press Release Information

History and Genealogy of the Slaves of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico

Saturday, August 1, 2009
9:30 AM to 10:30 AM
674 S. Yorba, Orange, CA  
Hosted by the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research
For information, contact:



Guest speaker PowerPoint presentation  

Dahlia Rose Guajardo will give an informative presentation on Afro-Mexicans of Monterrey, Mexico.

Many Hispanic family history researchers are surprised when they first encounter a baptism or marriage record of a mulatto ancestor. “Something must be wrong!” is the first thought. No one ever said anything about that. Well maybe something was said but who listens? This is your chance to learn more about Afro-Mexican roots, slavery, slave owners and the records available. 

Dahlia Rose Guajardo, a student at California State University Northridge, joined with a team of family history researchers including her aunt Dahlia Guajardo Palacios, Tony Vincent Garcia, Crispin Rendon and Eusebio Benavidez and gleaned hundreds of legal documents related to slavery from thousands of legal documents spanning the period of 1596 to 1821. The team translated them into English and expanded the research to include Monterrey slave marriage and baptism records. Whether your ancestors were slaves, slave owners or you just like Mexican history, come learn about this regional historical experience that had counterparts throughout Mexico.  

There will be an hour of networking time after the presentation. The audience will be encouraged to break into smaller regional family history groups.



An Ethnographic Study of Afro-Mexicans in Mexico’s Gulf Coast: Fishing,Festivals, and Foodways
By Raymond Hall


Description:  One of only a few studies using ethnographic research to document, analyze,
 and present the traditional culture of Afro-Mexicans in Tamiahua, Veracruz, Mexico.

 Reviews:  “Scholars of the Black Atlantic, historians, anthropologists, and  sociologists . . . owe Dr. Hall a tremendous debt of gratitude for compiling  this authoritative collection of research.” – Prof. George White, Jr., CUNY  “. . . an intriguing study of various aspects of Afro-Mexican folk culture.   . . . The author’s descriptions and analysis are developed from firsthand  experiences within the communities. They make for compelling reading. His
 ethnic representation of La Danza del Papaleto . . . is even stronger. The  section features vibrant descriptions of the dance tradition, and  interesting conclusions that are especially relevant to important issues  about culture and identity.” – Prof. Gregory Hansen, Arkansas State  University

ISBN10: 0-7734-4929-9 ISBN13: 978-0-7734-4929-9 Pages: 140 Year:  2008

Sent by Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.



Former Edinburg Mayor Al Ramirez, 
was a great friend to African Americans 
in the Rio Grande Valley

by Steve Taylor, 27 April 2009


AUSTIN, April 27 - Dr. Beverly Ashley-Fridie, an adjunct professor at the University of Texas-Pan American, has just been honored by the City of Edinburg for her “leadership, unyielding energy, and deep involvement in the community.”

Fridie told the Guardian on Sunday that she could not let the death last week of former Edinburg Mayor Al Ramirez pass by without paying her respects.

“I can't hold my peace when thinking about Mr. Ramirez, a man that has made such a large contribution to the many people of Edinburg and the Rio Grande Valley,” Fridie said.

“I wanted to let his family know what a great man he was and when I saw the video tribute by Rep. Aaron Peña on the Guardian and I knew I had to comment. He was inspirational for all of us, particularly in the African American community.”

Ramirez served as Edinburg’s first Hispanic mayor from 1963 to 1967. He died of heart failure last Wednesday aged 86. Fridie plans to attend his funeral Monday. “The man was just awesome. He was a walking example of what we have to do in terms of helping others and making sure our community can be the best it can be,” Fridie said.

When she was working on her dissertation for her PhD in educational leadership, Fridie sought the views and memories of Al Ramirez. The dissertation, completed three years ago, is called Another Shade of Brown and chronicles the impact the landmark 1954 education
desegregation lawsuit, Brown v. Board of Education, had on Mexican and African American education in Edinburg. Ramirez was an educator and administrator for the Edinburg school board before and after desegregation.

“Mine is the first historical dissertation on any kind of education for Mexican Americans in the Rio Grande Valley,” Fridie said. “Al Ramirez sat with me and spoke about the old days for six hours. I have a whole section on him. About him becoming the first Hispanic mayor,
it is all taped, written. I am sitting on a goldmine of history and information.”

Fridie said she has become a keen historian in recent years and, thanks in part to Al Ramirez, has delved in depth into the history of Mexican American education and how it relates to that of African Americans. “I have a wealth of information, data, and papers. Al
Ramirez was instrumental in helping me with that,” Fridie said.

UTPA professors and citizens of Edinburg who have read Fridie’s 400-plus page dissertation have encouraged her to turn it into a book. She said she is working on the project and will be meeting with professors next week.

Fridie said the people of the Valley need to know that “race was not an issue for Al Ramirez.” She recalls that he would always attend the Juneteenth celebrations at the Rest Lawn Cemetery, a cemetery for African Americans in Edinburg.

“Mr. Ramirez never missed a Juneteenth Celebration at the cemetery. It is because of him that we were inspired to gather support for the Melissa Dotson Betts elementary school, the only school named for an African American educator in the Rio Grande Valley,” Fridie said.

Betts taught in Edinburg schools for about 30 years, during the days of segregation, including the George Washington Carver School. For much of the time, Fridie said, she taught K thru 8th grade. There were no high schools for African Americans in those days and so those who wanted a high school education had to leave the Valley.

“On one occasion, Al Ramirez told me that Ms. Betts was the only African American teacher for 30 years in the Edinburg school district and she received no recognition. She received half the salary of everybody else. Any time she was listed in the school board minutes they listed her ethnicity as ‘Colored.’ And she taught in a dilapidated building, with no supplies, no tap water and no food,” Fridie said.

Through her research, Fridie learned that African Americans, Hispanics and Whites could ride the Edinburg school bus together but they were dropped off at three different schools. “The segregation went on beyond Brown v. Board of Education, beyond 1954. The Texas governor said at the time he did not care what the law was, that the Supreme Court could not tell Texas what to do,” she said.

Later, Fridie said, McAllen built a high school for African Americans and so, eventually, did Edinburg. “They did it because blacks were good athletes. I have that documented in the school board minutes,” she said.

Fridie said Ramirez would challenge the community to work together at the Juneteenth celebrations. “Mr. Ramirez was a very caring and giving man and not only did he care about his community, he cared about the people that were in it. He challenged us to be better people. In the African American community he was the person we always went to He had this diplomatic manner about himself,” Fridie said.

One of the challenges Ramirez set the community was to buy books for the school library and have an insert added honoring Melissa Betts.

“He said we should get donations in order to get books in her name. After he gave us that challenge I went away and thought about it and I said, forget books, she deserves a school,” Fridie said. “I did not know her at the time but as an educator I was intrigued by Ms. Betts.
She was as educated as I was.”

Fridie said that with the help of Ramirez, the African American community in Edinburg rallied the school district. They were told the school board would never honor an African American teacher by naming a school for her but they were wrong. The school board voted unanimously to do so and the dedication for the Melissa D. Betts Elementary School took place on Aug. 28, 1999, ten years after the legendary teacher died.

“We told the board, forget the color of her skin; look at her accomplishments. She received all kinds of accolades,” Fridie recalled. “Today, I think everybody needs to know about Al Ramirez and his connection with Ms. Betts.”

Fridie said Al Ramirez’s death has given her even more determination to complete her book about education.

“Al Ramirez has motivated me,” Fridie added. “He has touched and inspired so many people and their endeavors. I really want to go on record that he was very much a friend to the African American community and he will be truly missed.”

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

Sent by Dorinda Moreno


Tribute to Johnny Cash
People's Paths home page 

Tribute to Johnny Cash
By Vincent Schilling, Today correspondent
Story Published: Apr 26, 2009, Updated: Apr 24, 2009 

Cash, who believed he was of Cherokee descent, created the album in response to Native musician Peter Lafarge’s poem “As Long as the Grass Shall Grow,” based on the forcible relocation of the Seneca Nation after the construction of the Kinzua Dam in the 60s.

Michael Bucher and Joanne Shenandoah, in conjunction with Hondo Mesa Records have recently released “Bitter Tears – Sacred Ground,” a tribute to the 1964 album “Bitter tears: Ballads of the American Indian” by legendary country artist Johnny Cash.

Joanne Shenandoah expresses the meaning behind ‘Bitter Tears – Sacred Ground’. I would like to share with you the liner notes my husband Doug George Kanentiio and I put together which illustrates beautifully the meaning behind our new recording.”

The contributions of Native nations to the formation of the United States are barely known, or acknowledged by most Americans, but life as we live it would not be possible without extracting from the indigenous peoples inventions such as corn, canoes, cotton and chocolate, with democracy thrown in.

The idea of a “union of colonies” along the Atlantic seaboard was suggested by the leaders of the Haudenosaunee (Six Nations Iroquois) Confederacy in 1744, and again a decade later. However, without an effective model in Europe, they embraced the Native concepts of freedom, democracy and women’s rights.

Treaties were signed between the infant United States and the Haudenosaunee, which committed the Americans to respect Native lands. In the early 1960s the U.S. breached these treaties when the Army Corps of Engineers decided to build a massive hydroelectric dam on the Allegheny Seneca Territory in southwestern New York. Peter Lafarge, a Native poet and musician, was moved by the forcible relocation of the Seneca’s to write “As Long As the Grass Shall Grow,” a ballad of such power that it caused Johnny Cash to record his historic “Bitter Tears” album.

Released at the height of the folk music revival in the U.S., it was blacklisted by commercial broadcasting outlets and faded from the stores. Yet it has endured among indigenous people and remains popular across Indian country.

Cash’s album has long been a subject of controversy by mainstream media because of its graphic portrayals of the hardships faced by Indians. The album was removed from stores soon after its release, but has since remained popular in Indian country.

Cash, who believed he was of Cherokee descent, created the album in response to Native musician Peter Lafarge’s poem “As Long as the Grass Shall Grow,” based on the forcible relocation of the Seneca Nation after the construction of the Kinzua Dam in the 60s.

The controversy surrounding the album, the attention paid to struggles of American Indians and an admiration for Cash is what prompted Shenandoah and Bucher to create “Bitter Tears – Sacred Ground.”

“I grew up listening to Johnny Cash,” Bucher said. “Joanne and her husband came up with the concept of the album. When they asked me to be a part of it, I was honored. The whole process was a blast. It was painless and a great time. We recorded 13 songs in five days. We had set aside seven days. We were not sure we were going to get it done in time. We worked a 14 hour day for five days, but we got it done.”

“As Long as the Grass Shall Grow,” the first track of the album, is performed by Shenandoah, a Grammy and Nammy winner. She approaches the song with respect and confidence and her ability is impressive, as always.

Nammy-winning artist Bucher then comes to bat with a fantastic rendition of “Apache Tears.” His voice is appealing and forthright, with tonal qualities that do not fade but stay in your mind well after
the song is complete.

“The Ballad of Ira Hayes,” regarding the Pima Indian, a young marine who raised the flag at Iwo Jima yet died in poverty, is flawlessly performed by Bucher. The way Bucher sings it reminds us why the song originally rose to the number three spot on country music charts in the first place.

While the first half of the album is Bucher and Shenandoah’s take on Cash’s album, the second half is a mixture of songs written mostly by Shenandoah and Bucher. Though the artists step away from the original album, “Bitter Tears” stays on course with Cash’s original theme. They have created songs that continue to deliver a similar, coherent message.

“Riding Free,” a song written and performed by Shenandoah in honor of the Dann sisters, two Western Shoshone women who filed an urgent action request with the United Nations against racial discrimination, is beautifully performed and heartfelt.

On the ninth track, Bucher introduces his first original song of the album, “Sacred Ground.” Bucher discussed the meaning behind the song.

“Sacred Ground goes back to my family history and fighting for sacred sites. It does not matter what part of the country you are from, or what your heritage is, everyone has sacred ground.”

The track, “Don’t Forget About Me,” is off Bucher’s “Seven” album.  Shenandoah sings words written by Floyd Red Crow Westerman on “They Didn’t Listen.” She ends the album with “America,” which embraces a concept of unity and people coming together regardless of ethnic background.

For Shenandoah, the album illustrates an artist that continues to deliver beautiful music. For Bucher, a new artist to the music world, the listener is left eager to see what is coming next.

unee, which committed the Americans to respect Native lands. In the early 1960s the U.S. breached these treaties when the Army Corps of Engineers decided to build a massive hydroelectric dam on the Allegheny Seneca Territory in southwestern New York. Peter Lafarge, a
Native poet and musician, was moved by the forcible relocation of the Seneca’s to write “As Long As the Grass Shall Grow,” a ballad of such power that it caused Johnny Cash to record his historic “Bitter Tears” album.

Released at the height of the folk music revival in the U.S., it was blacklisted by commercial broadcasting outlets and faded from the stores. Yet it has endured among indigenous people and remains popular across Indian country.

Cash’s album has long been a subject of controversy by mainstream media because of its graphic portrayals of the hardships faced by Indians. The album was removed from stores soon after its release, but has since remained popular in Indian country.

Dorinda Moreno 



People's Paths home page 

 "The People's Paths home page  Paths to NAIIP Indian Tribes & Nations
Outstanding site, set up regionally.

Sent by Rafael Ojeda



Aztec temple promises to yield one of antiquity’s great treasures
Guardians of the Past

Aztec temple promises to yield one of antiquity’s great treasures

Nancy Durrant and Ben Hoyle

Archaeologists working amid the smog and din of Mexico City may be on the verge of unlocking an extraordinary time capsule.  New exciting discovery in Mexico: an untouched tomb of an Aztec Huey Tlatoani or Emperor...
The leaders of a team exploring a site opened up by earthquake damage believe that they have found the first tomb of an Aztec ruler. If they are right the site may yield one of the great treasures of antiquity, the sort of haul that fires the imagination of people far beyond academic circles.  
None of the finds has been put on public display but Britain will get an early preview. Fourteen gold objects from the site will feature in the British Museum’s exhibition on Moctezuma II, the last great Aztec ruler. These could prove to be the early pickings of a much richer harvest. Colin McEwan, head of the British Museum’s Americas section, said: “There is no question that this has the potential to be a once-in-a-generation find”.  
The dig is in the middle of what was the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlan. Near by stands the Catedral Metropolitana de la Asunción de María, which was built from the stones of Moctezuma’s Templo Mayor, which was destroyed by the Spanish in 1521. The temple’s ruins were subsequently lost for nearly five centuries and discovered only by accident in 1978. Colonial buildings built around it made further exploration difficult but an earthquake in 1985 cleared the way for the present dig.  
The new finds appear to be offerings left at the entrance to a tomb. Among them is a fearsome stone sculpture of Tlaltecuhtli, goddess of the Earth. Dr Lorenzo López Luján, who discovered it, thinks that it is a capstone to a burial chamber. When archaeologists moved the sculpture in 2007 they found four containers filled with more than 3,000 items, including animal skeletons, a fire god sculpture, blocks of incense and wooden masks.  
Next to this they detected what looks like an entrance. Electronic checks indicate that there is an anomaly beyond it, which Dr López Luján believes is a royal tomb, although some suggest it may be the equivalent of an ancient Greek bothro, where offerings to the underworld were placed.  
Gold was not especially significant for the Aztecs in religious terms but it was associated with the nobility, another hint that there is a ruler behind the entrance. It won’t be Moctezuma, who was killed in 1520, but it could be his predecessor, Ahuitzotl, who ruled from 1486 to 1502.
The archaeologists found several plaster seals, which means that the site has not been looted. Between the seals there are several offerings blocking the entrance, including the skeleton of a dog, an animal that traditionally led the dead to the afterlife. “This is a good signal that under these offerings we will find a royal tomb,” Dr López Luján said. “In more than 30 years of excavating this site this is totally new.”
Just how rich a seam they have hit will become clear over the next year, probably within months.  
Moctezuma: Aztec Ruler runs from September 24 to January 24, 2010. To book tickets visit

Sent by Juan Marinez



Guardians of the Past

By Deborah M. Norman


Volunteer stewards are playing an increasingly important role in protecting archaeological sites.

Clay Johnston distributed propane in Arizona for 25 years before retiring to a hamlet up the road from Bloomfield, in the northwestern corner of his home state of New Mexico. There the tall, gray-haired retiree spends much of his time outdoors, hunting and fishing in the mountains and streams of the San Juan Basin.

About five years ago, an ad in the newspaper caught Johnston's eye: The New Mexico Site Steward Program (NMSSP) was looking for volunteers to monitor archaeological sites on land administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Johnston applied, and now includes "site steward" in his outdoorsman's repertoire. Every six weeks, he covers 80 to 100 miles in the back country in one day, looking for signs of vandalism or looting, and on occasion even finding a new site.

Johnston is part of a new movement in American archaeology: the towing reliance of government archaeologists on local volunteers to help monitor the millions of sites on state, federal, and sometimes private land. Stewards both report on natural damage to sites and alert officials to looting. As members of a local community, they are more likely to hear about recently looted sites than archaeologists are.

The volunteer movement came into its own after the passage of the Archaeological Resources Protection Act (ARPA) in 1979. The legislation defined what sites are to be protected and legislated criminal penalties for looting. But public lands agencies-the BLM, Forest Service, and National Park Service-lacked resources to enforce ARPA's provisions, and soon turned to the concept of partnership with volunteer site stewards.

Texas organized the first program in 1984, followed by Arizona in 1986 and New Mexico in 1987. Today, volunteers monitor archaeological sites on BLM, Forest Service, and Park Service lands in California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah.
Johnston is typical of stewards in that he is responsible for a patch of land that he knows particularly well. His sites are 30 miles from his home, and include rock art, the remnants of a ninteenth-century school, and a seventeenth-century Navajo pueblito. So far, 'he has not come across a looter moving dirt. "Most of the time, I see damage caused by the weather," he says.

Nevertheless, his region's archaeological treasures face more than natural deterioration. I accompanied Johnston and several other stewards on a recent NMSSP field trip, during which program director Tom Whitson showed us a shocking scene: a rock panel of centuries-old palm prints-each shattered with a single, well-aimed bullet. "That happened a year ago last summer," Johnston told me. Whitson said, "Even though we had read the steward reports-even though we were steeled for it, it was like being hit in the stomach."
Bloomfield, New Mexico, is a small crossroads near the Four Corners, where Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona converge. On BLM lands just outside of town, archaeology, commerce, Native American traditions, and public recreation mesh in a sometimes uneasy partnership.

To the Navajo, this land is known as Dinetah-the homeland; and to archae-| ologists, it holds valuable | information on Navajo cultural origins. Recent findings show Navajo culture formed much earlier than
previously thought. Key to this altered view is new tree-ring dating of pueblitos-some 200 small but spectacular masonry structures built atop boulders and mesas in the Dinetah. Pueblitos were once viewed as proof Navajo culture evolved through Puebloan influence in the seventeenth century. The new, later dates show Navajos designed pueblitos to thwart Ute raids hundreds of years after their distinctive culture had formed elsewhere in the region. 

Archaeologist Jim Copeland arrived here in 1991 from the Navajo Nation Historic Preservation Department in Window Rock, Arizona. He immediately became interested in protecting the cultural resources of the Dinetah, and helped develop the NMSSP program, administered by the San Juan County Museum Association at Salmon Ruins inBloomfield with a BLM grant.

Now Whitson oversees 38 site stewards who monitor 96 of the most important 10,000 known Puebloan, Navajo, Spanish colonial, and post-1848 Euro-American sites in the 1,000-square-mile area. An estimated quarter million additional sites in northwestern New Mexico remain to be documented. Copeland figures every dollar the agency invests in a site steward is doubled in terms of the value of the work performed.

Whitson, aided by his wife, Kathy, an archaeologist for the Carson National 'Forest in Bloomfield, finesses a micro budget to recruit and train new stewards, maintain a website, publish a quarterly newsletter, maintain site records, and prepare quarterly reports for the BLM. Whitson also distributes educational materials and alerts stewards to special training opportunities.

Last spring I met Whitson and Cope-land at the Salmon Ruins museum, where they were conducting a day-long training for five new site stewards, all of whom live and work in the Bloomfield area. Throughout the session, they stressed the importance of a low profile. No guns, no gadgets, no car chases. "Never confront anyone, regardless of what they are doing," Copeland advises. "If someone asks, say you are sightseeing. If you see shovel marks, footprints, or cigarette butts near a looted or vandalized site, leave the evidence for law enforcement."

The next day, I went out with the Whitsons and Rena Martin, an experienced steward, to view Martin's sites. The three kept up a running patter of archaeological shop talk as we bounced over dirt roads roughened by recent gully-washing rains. Martin is Navajo, and is presently documenting the clan knowledge of Navajo-speaking elders.

One of her sites is a rock-art panel where a looter began digging a trench directly below. "People dig holes in front of rock art because they think the panels are treasure maps," Whitson told me. Site stewards backfilled the hole, and Martin monitors the site to make sure looters don't return.

The ancient sites in the area are also attracting New Age spiritualists. "People believe there is power in the paint on pic-tographs, and they will sand it off," Kathy Whitson told me. Martin said they will also remove structural stones from pueblitos ' and arrange them to make prayer circles.

The most visible site in the Dinetah is Ch'ool'ii, a knob-tipped escarpment that looms from every horizon. Navajo tradi-tionalists regularly visit this sacred mesa top, where Changing Woman, avatar of the earth and the seasons, emerged from a piece of turquoise. They leave barely traceable gifts like bits of stone, but Martin said Ch'oo'lii has begun to draw visitors who tap its spiritual power in ways disruptive to Navajo devotions. "One group made a medicine wheel-type feature on the small knob top," Martin told me. "Some bring nontraditional offerings and leave them in inappropriate ways." Navajo offerings at this sacred site are traditionally sand-size grains of stone or pollen, and herbs. Soon blown away by the wind, they are invisible and blend in to the landscape. Offerings left by non-Navajo violate this concept. On her visits to sites she knows have been disrupted by this kind of activity, Martin brings Navajo traditionalists to ceremonially purify the site and lets them remove the new rock alignments like the medicine wheel and the non-Navajo offerings. "I never remove anything myself," she says. Afterward, Changing Woman is at peace once more.

Stewards aren't just protecting sites: some are actively engaged in helping archaeologists locate new ones. Some four hundred miles west of Bloomfield is Perry Mesa, within the Agua Fria National Monument in central Arizona. Here an ancient story is unfolding under the direction of Museum of Northern Arizona archaeologist David Wilcox, aided by site stewards on the ground and even in the air.

Wilcox thinks the people of Perry Mesa belonged to the defensive "Verde Confed-eracy," whose members communicated by smoke signals among promontory sites scattered throughout central Arizona. His challenge is to locate as many of these remote lookouts as possible. Many are on private land, inaccessible on foot, or in rugged terrain.

Here Steward Joe Vogel's special exper-tise come in handy. A pilot, Vogel has a knack for spotting nearly invisible sites from the air, and has added some 300 sites to the inventory in central Arizona. Using Vogel's coordinates, local ground crews, including Arizona site stewards who regularly hike together and volunteers from local Arizona Archaeological Society chapters, go in with Wilcox to view and record the sites.

Vogel is lean and tanned, and wears c baseball cap to shade his eyes while flying. He retired to Arizona in 1987 from Rochester, New York, where he worked to Eastman Kodak. He has logged hundred of hours over central Arizona mapping sites from his 1958 Beechcraft Bonanza and 1967 Citabria.  Vogel also photographs new sites from the air with a telephoto lens, and provide Wilcox with a map pinpointing the locations. He typically spends eight hours after a flight documenting his finds.

Last May I flew with Vogel to a string of sites on the western perimeter of tl Verde Confederacy. Even with an empty stomach, I felt waves of nausea as 1 looped to find the best viewing angle for a site in the Juniper Mountains, but Vogel was unfazed. "From east to we you might not see it," he said. "From w< to east, it pops right out. Holy smokes look at that!" he exclaimed. An irregular stone rectangle, indistinguishable seconds before from the surrounding rock, has suddenly appeared on a razor-back ridge at 6,900 feet. From here/depending on the height of the original walls, the inhabitants could have commanded a view in every direction. 

This is the payoff for Vogel: he loves challenging flying, loves the thrill of dis-covery and pulling details from a difficult landscape that he has made uniquely his own. Aerial site stewardship has provided a reason to do all of these things, to the great benefit of Arizona archaeology.

Vogel is a member of the Arizona Site Steward Program (ASSP), one of the most robust in the nation with 850 stewards. ASSP monitors 1,700 sites, with 100,000 total sites in its database. Arizona's program is organized and budgeted through the State Historic Preservation Office, and the program is funded by lottery dollars through the Arizona Heritage Fund.

ASSP program director Mary Estes is an avocational historian who has headed the program since 1991. She told me that ASSP stewards in the past year logged nearly 24,000 hours in some 13,000 site visits. The program, often consulted as a national model, received three national awards in 2005, including one from the Society of American Archaeology
In addition to individuals, Estes has attracted several groups to the ASSP, including nuns who live in Sonoita, Arizona. The Cistercian sisters of Santa Rita Abbey monitor land they purchased from the Forest Service. ASSP trained the sisters, and they report regularly on their sites.

The nation's oldest steward program is in Texas, one of the states with the least public-owned land. Unlike Arizona and New Mexico, which have vast tracts of public land, Texas is 90 percent privately owned. Stewards here help private land owners identify and document sites, and acquire State Archaeological Landmark status. They also document private collections, give public talks, and help with emergency salvage work. According to Texas State Archaeologist Pat Mercado-AlIinger, the Texas Historical Commisions three full-time regional archaeologists coordinate the work of 115 volunteer site stewards-including marine specialists-throughout the state.

Enrique Madrid is a native of Redford, Texas, with roots that go back more than a century in this small town on the Rio Grande. A teacher for Outward Bound and a part-time postmaster, he is one of THC's longest-serving stewards and is responsible for sites in Presidio and Brewster counties, an area of 10,000 square miles, roughly the size of Vermont. In addition to his regular steward duties, Madrid often advises film crews attracted to the stark beauty of the Big Bend country. Most recently, he worked with the crew of the Tommy Lee Jones movie The Three Burials of Melquia-des Estrada (2005). "I worked with their producers to protect the archaeological sites while they were here," he told me in a telephone interview. "I helped them get permission from land owners and advised them to steer clear of older structures in building.

Madrid contends that the ancients have not disappeared from the Big Bend and that their descendants are still in the area. He cites a study published in 2000 by researchers at Sul Ross University and Texas A&M, showing that 91 percent of mitochondrial DNA in the town of Ojinaga, across the Rio Grande from Redford, is Native American. "Not only are the sites here, but the gene pool is still here," Madrid says.

For Madrid, archaeological site stew-ardship is about protecting more than the evidence of particular cultures; it is about preserving the record of shared human experience-an enterprise of particular importance on the international border.

"Texas and Mexico have the same prehistory," says Madrid. "It's a shared identity that as a steward I'm trying to protect. A lot of people don't think history has anything to do with reality, but history is the identity of a people, which is an essential part of being human."

In a very real sense, America's ancient landscape is its last frontier. Between development and the worsening problem of looting, we are rapidly losing our physical connection to the past.

If archaeologists are ever going to be able to persuade the public that the archaeological record is worth preserving, they will have to do a better job of reaching out to the community at large.

And there are communities that are interested. Near Tucson, an entire sub-urban neighborhood organized to protect Los Morteros, the site of a Hohokam ball-court village occupied from A.D. 850 to 1300. Residents bordering Los Morteros informally monitored the site for years before the county and the nonprofit Archaeological Conservancy acquired the land. Thirty local residents were then trained as ASSP stewards, and continue to look after the site.

Site stewards are perhaps the most effective ambassadors for American archaeology. The good news is that their numbers are growing every year. 
DEBORAH M. NORMAN is a freelancer writer based in Corrales, New Mexico.


De Apellido: Almonte
The Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art





Have poco tiempo mencioné en un pequeño articulo en este periódico a los Almonte, una familia, al parecer criptojudía, que procedente de la población del mismo nombre en nuestra provincia, se estableció en Sevilla, en principio protegida por el Duque de Medina Sidonia y llegaron a alcanzar importante notoriedad entre la sociedad hispalense del siglo XVI.

Todo lo inició Diego García Domonte, hijo de los Señores de Pazo da Veiga en Lugo, y que cuando finalizó la guerra de Granada, adonde había venido a luchar al lado de los Reyes Católicos, decidió residir definitivamente en Andalucía, montando negocios de bodegas de vinos y aceites en Almonte, con la base económica que le había facilitado su padre. A poco de estar en nuestras tierras, cambió su apellido Domonte por el de Almonte,

Aquí conoció a una almonteña, Leonor Calvo, con la que contrajo matrimonio, del que nació un hijo varón.

Dada la gran importancia que adquirió Sevilla para los negocios,  después del Descubrimiento de América, decidió la familia marchar a la capital hispalense y establecerse para exportar sus productos a la Indias, con lo que muy pronto acumularon una importante fortuna., logrando con ello formar parte de la sociedad sevillana.

Paulatinamente fue aumentando la familia y se fueron repartiendo el trabajo unos permaneciendo en Sevilla y otros realizando frecuentes viajes a  Panamá y Perú donde tenían base de operaciones. Tuvieron varios socios, principalmente el moguereño Juan de la Barrera e incluso participaron en los negocios de perlas de Rodrigo de Gibraleón..

Los Almonte adquirieron mucha importancia en los negocios con el Nuevo Mundo y como la familia era ya muy numerosa,(algunos matrimonios tenían hasta 13 hijos), se repartieron el trabajo, estando unos en Sevilla, otros en Perú  y en Panamá, aunque siempre había mas de uno navegando.

Resultaron muy buenos políticos y fundaron poblaciones, defendiéndolas cuando eran atacadas por los piratas o tribus hostiles, por lo que también adquirieron compromisos militares.

Al final los Almonte ingresaron en la nobleza, aunque eso no impidió que alguno fuera condenado por la Inquisición, aunque solo fuera en efigie.

                            Custodio Rebollo


Publicado en Odiel Información. Huelva el 2 de junio de 2009




Editor:  Below are the annotated first pages of a catalog, highly recommended by Annette Hixenbaugh, sharing from Tennessee.  These pages deal with famous cases of the early Mexican Inquisition.   






Fourth of July at the Alamo
About the TX GenWeb Project
New Guide to Spanish and Mexican Land Grants in South Texas
Canary Islands Descendent Association
Archivist John Leal took pride in Predecessors, Descendant of Earliest settlers
Uresti and Mora Family Nacogdoches County, Texas
Seeking Historic sites for Preservation
30th Texas State Hispanic
Genealogical and Historical Conference
San Antonio Family contributes to the war effort the Carrola Boys
Juan Bautista Chapa (Schiapapria) 1631-1695 Texas Explorer/Historian of Texas
Obituary: Aurora Bertha Garza- Rubio




A non-profit civic/patriotic organization founded in 1975





You and your organization

Are invited to attend and participate in

The 25th Annual

Independence Day Patriotic Ceremony

Sponsored by

The Granaderos & Damas de Gálvez

At the hallowed grounds of the

Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery

1520 Harry Wurzbach Road

San Antonio TX   78209 ,

10:00 to 11:00 a.m.,

On Saturday,

 July 4, 2009


The ceremony is a public celebration of our country’s founding.  It begins with a symbolic “shot heard ‘round the world.” A solemn procession to the cemetery’s flag circle follows as local civic-patriotic organizations present floral tributes honoring our founding patriots who gave us the precious gift of freedom and all soldiers who have lost their lives that we may continue to live free. 


The program features Mark Collins as Gen. George Washington on horseback, a roll call of the thirteen colonies (with musket volleys and fife & drum music), and a special program by David Hall with pealing interludes from his replica of the Liberty Bell.  The ceremony closes with a 21-gun salute to the nation by the Military Services Detachment of the Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery , and the playing of taps by Ray Gutierrez, Texas Commander, Bugles Across America.


Groups participating in the wreath-laying procession will line-up behind the flag circle at 9:30 a.m., and will be acknowledged from the podium as they reach the flag circle. 


Please RSVP regarding your organization’s participation in the procession and wreath-laying by June 25 at the email address or telephone number shown below. 


Jack Cowan, Governor 

Granaderos y Damas de Gálvez

Founding Chapter



About the TXGenWeb Project


A proud part of the USGenWeb

The TXGenWeb Project is a grass-roots all volunteer genealogical/historical effort.   Each county webpage is commercial free and contains useful tips, online databases particular to that area, volunteer lookups, surname queries, descriptions of local libraries, historical background information, contact information, and much more.  
All information is free.

For more about the TXGenWeb Project, or more information on volunteering, contact the TXGenWeb State Coordinator, Shirley Cullum.

Sent by Tomas Saenz




New Guide to Spanish and Mexican Land Grants in South Texas
Written and compiled by Galen D. Greaser


The Texas General Land Office has recently published a new guide on the subject of Spanish and Mexican land grants in South Texas that may be of interest to some of the readers of your newsletter. You can find information about the "New Guide" on our website at   

Cordially, Galen D. Greaser
Translator, Spanish Collection 
Archives and Records Division
Texas General Land Office
512-463-5270  1-800-998-4456 (option 2)

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Organized July 20, 1731

Join Us for the Anniversary Luncheon
August 1, 2009, at 12:30 P.M.
Radisson Hotel Market Square, 502 West Durango

Introduction of Speaker: Robert H. Thonhoff, Texas Author and Historian
Featured Speaker: Dr. Light T. Cummins
Educator, Historian, Author, and State Historian of Texas, 2009
“The Isleno Heritage in the History of the American South and Southwest”

Entertainment by: Los Inocentes
Price per person: $25.00, Reservations only, RSVP by July 27, 2009 to 
Dorothy Perez 112 Logswood, Universal City, Texas 78148
Check Payable to CIDA, 210-658-3184





[Bexar County Archives, Roll 73, # 0754, Translations, 1822. Dec. 20. ]

Don Ygnacio Lara. 
Don Eustaquio Sierra. 
Don Guillermo Lara. 
Don Bernardino Ruis. 
Don Damian Cordova. 
Don Antonio Huizar. 
Don Juan Valderas.
D. Luis Romero. 
D. Salvador Bermudes. 
D. Julian Sierra, (one vote). D. Julian Reyes. (11 votes). 
D. Felipe Casillas. (one vote). 
D. Rafael Sanches. 
D. Felipe Alvarado. 
D. Antonio Garcia. 
D. Vicente Cordova. 
* D. Vernardino Ruis. 
D. Tomas de Leon.

All of the persons have given their vote, as it appears, voluntarily, without any advice, 
with the formalities that correspond as Your Excellency. requires.

Hidalgo of Texas
Ex-Bexar County Archivist

Mission San Jose, (Texas), Dec. 20, 1822.
Tomas de Leon,  (rubric).


Archivist takes pride in predecessors 
Descendant of settlers traces his roots every day

By Nancy Perdue


John Leal is carrying on his family tradition that molded San Antonio. Every workday he retraces nine generations of his roots as he pre-serves Bexar County's past.  Leal. 57, is the county archivist. He also happens to be related to one of the 56 Canary Islanders who settled San Antonio in 1731.

As archivist, he keeps the records that enable historians, genealogists and archaeologists to recreate pictures of yesteryear as they try to understand life as it is today. "This is part of my life," Leal said, explaining that his ancestor, Juan Leal, served as San Antonio's first mayor.

The documents in the archivist's care date back to the days when his ancestors settled here. They are stored in the basement, of the Bexar County Courthouse, the site where Juan Leal built his home when he arrived in San Antonio.

"You can't put a price on these," Leal said of the land deeds, marriage licenses and assorted documents that chronicle the area's history. "These arc one of .a kind and cannot be replaced. But since I'm a descendant. I take more interest in taking care of them."
The county pays Leal $1.194 a month to maintain the archives, which also include papers relating to early activities at San Fernando Cathedral, documents pertinent to the lives of James Bowie and Davy Crockctt and Lyndon Johnson's marriage license.
As a labor of love. Leal translated the cathedral records from Spanish to English before he became the archivist in 1981. lie spent five years of his own time translating the documents because he wanted to learn more about Juan Leal and the other Canary Islanders who helped to build the cathedral.

Leal said 40 of the Canary Islanders were buried in the old church. "This gives me a feeling of pride." He said. "My ancestors started such a beautiful city, and I don't want to let it die."


URESTI & MORA Family, Nacogdoches County, Texas
Eddie U. Garcia

INOCENCIO URESTI (also family history of Emily Carmen Mora and Maria Garcia) 

- 1st Marriage: Inocencio URESTI (1853-1934) married on 22 July 1875 at St. Mary’s
Catholic Church in Victoria, Victoria County, Texas, Emily Carmen MORA (d. July1889). Before marriage, Inocencio participated in a cattle drive to Kansas City. He was the son of Jose Guadalupe URESTI and Maria Francisca GARCIA (married on 16 Nov 1835 in Matamoros, Nuevo Leon, Mexico). His grandparents were from Nueva España, below the Rio Grande: Jose Ramon URESTE and Gregoria MOYA, (m. 23 Dec 1795), also Simon GARCIA and Maria Rafaela RIVAS. In contrast, Emily’s birth in Nacogdoches County, Texas, had ancestors from there and Louisiana, then in Texas Territory under the Spanish government and Mexico. 

According to Nacogdoches County Census records (while part of Mexico, 1832-1835, also US Texas Census) Emily’s father, Jose Emidio MORA, (b. 1831), in Texas and Maria Isadora PANTALEON (1833-1870) was born in Louisiana. The MORA grandparents, Juan MORA in 1800 and Maria Carmel YBARRO in 1812, were both born in Texas. A family member has indicated that YBARBO, was a descendant of Antonio Gil YBARBO (1729-1809) and the "Father of East Texas" for the Founding of Nacogdoches, was born in Louisiana. The great-grandfather, Mariano MORA was also born in Louisiana about 1773 and his wife, Trinidad PROSELA, was born in Texas. 

1876-1887 children of URESTI and MORA: Manuel Mora U (+ Carmen …. & Lena LOPEZ); Hilario “Eli” (+ Josefina GONZALEZ ¹; Jose Ramon (died within 3 years); Inocencio Jr. (+ Magdelena GONZALEZ ¹); Vidal (+ Antonia GONZALEZ ¹); Maria Guadalupe (+ Julius HENSON); Francisco, a single man. (¹ Josefina, Magdelena, and Antonia GONZALEZ, from Nursery, were sisters.) URESTI RANCH - - The original URESTI Ranch consisted of 20 acres in Spring Creek, Victoria County, Texas where Inocencio and a few of his siblings were born. The Nursery, Texas ranch, 442 8/10 acres, about 10 miles NW of Victoria, was purchased by Jose Guadalupe URESTE on 17 July 1854, for $500 from Francisco Santiago De LEON, Sylvestre's son and grandson of Empresario Martin De LEON who was adopted by his Uncle, Fernando De LEON. Guadalupe’s livestock brand was U bar V (U-V). Widow, Francisca conveyed to Inocencio, half of the ranch. His brand was bar U (-U) brand. The other half of the ranch was vested to Florencio URESTI. Another brother, Julian URESTI, who relocated to San Diego, Texas, accepted cash for his vested interest, ¼ of ranch. The ranch was part of the Sylvestre De LEON Grant Estate. Before the purchase, Francisco Santiago De LEON baptized Inocencio URESTI on 27 Feb 1854. In 1856, Francisco Santiago became Inocencio’s brother-in-law upon marrying his first wife, Matilde URESTE, the mother of his 6 children. 

- 2nd Marriage: Inocencio URESTI, born 27 Dec 1853 in Spring Creek, Texas; died in Nursery, Texas; married on 9 Dec 1889 at St. Francis de Paula Catholic Church, San Diego, Duval County, Texas, (2) Maria GARCIA. She was born on 17 May 1871 in San Diego; died on 17 June 1955, San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. Maria was the daughter of Jose Maria GARCIA and Maria Matiana PEREZ (married, 17 Apr 1844 in Mier, Tamaulipas, Mexico). Her grandparents were Jose Remigio GARCIA and Maria Isabel FLORES, also Jose de Jesus PEREZ and Maria Inez GONZALEZ. The grave site of Inocencio URESTI and Maria GARCIA is located at Victoria, Texas Evergreen Cemetery, near a statue honoring Martin De LEON, the founder of the Victoria Colony. 

1892-1911 children of URESTI and GARCIA: Amando (+ Isabel DeLEON, a descendant of Martin DeLEON); Eloisa (d. abt 1900); Alberto (d. 1913); Maclovia (+ Jacobo ALVARADO); Enrique (+ Carmen HERNANDEZ); Gilberto (d. 1912); Eduardo (+ Guadalupe ORTIZ, had 75th marriage rite); Samuel (+ Fela CAVAZOS); Sofia¹ (+ Arturo A GARCIA, also a Julian FLORES descendant); All of Inocencio’s 64 grandchildren were born between 1897 to 1960. Before Amando was born, Inocencio URESTI, was appointed in Victoria to served as School Board member of Spring Creek, No. 5, for Victoria’s School District from 1 Sep 1892 to 3 Aug 1896. A brother, Julian URESTI, was also School Board Trustee in his community, shared in-laws and their children were double cousins. (¹ Sofia U GARCIA, 1911-2007, and double cousin, Gregoria URESTI, 1875-1978, daughter of Julian URESTI, lived longer than their siblings.) Gregoria also became the last resident of a 2 story home. "The Uresti House" in San Diego, Texas that was purchased by Duval County, then restored as a Historical Landmark, which is now a museum. 

The URESTI brothers, Julian and Inocencio, married GARCIA sisters, who were the great-granddaughters of Jose Julian FLORES. Julian and son Ventura FLORES were granted the San Diego Land Grant by the Spanish government in early 1800’s; then the Republic of Mexico on 22 July 1831 granted the perfected grant of 39,680 acres. (location, Duval and Jim Wells Counties;) Julian FLORES (+ Maria Teresa RAMIREZ) was the grantee of “San Diego de Arriba” and Jose Ventura FLORES was the grantee of San Diego de Abajo”. 640 acres, 320 acres from each track, was surveyed and set aside for the township of San Diego for the public's benefit (church, school, parks, city lots, etc.). This took place after a County of Nueces Court Decree³ on 11 Dec 1860 "confirming title of eight leagues of land called San Diego". [³ No. 590 Case of Ventura's daughter - Trinidad FLORES y PEREZ vs, The State of Texas, Texas General Land Office, San Patricio file No. 1-423. The Court Decreee is the Title Deed.] 

Eddie U Garcia – (760) 252-3588 – 

deed dates 


Francisco DeLeon

Guadalupe Uresti
Records:   URESTI & MORA Family, mostly 1CENSUS                 

26 July 1860 Federal Census; Nacogdoches County, TX, P. 118:  MORA 
 Midio Mora, 29; Isadora Mora ¹, 27; Benita, 7; Carmel, 5; Nucora (?), 1; 
July 17, 1854  

442  8/10 acres

Sylestor De Leon Grant   

1860 Federal Census; Victoria County, Texas:  URESTA  
Guad (Guadalupe) - Head, 45; Francisco - Wife, 40; Guad, 15;  Martiana, (Equia), 14; Julian (F) [Equia], 11; Librara, (Benavides & Venavides), 9;                    Patoriammand, 8; Inocencio, 7; Romaldo, 3; Florenecio, 1; 


November 22, 1870 

Guadalupe Uresti 


Francisca Garcia Uresti  

(Same acreage as above)

24 Oct 1870 Federal Census; Nacogdoches County, Texas, P. 34:  MORA
Emidio, 40; Benita, 16; Carmela 14; Tomasa, 7; Gillermo, 5; Mariano, 4

4 June 1880 Federal Census; Victoria County, Texas, P. 15:  URESTI
Enicentio - Head, 26; Emma - Wife, 22; Manuel, 3; Ely, 2; Joseph, 2/12     

Inocencio URESTI, appointment; Served as School Trustee of Spring Creek,  No 5, of the Victoria, TX District - from September 1, 1892 to August 3, 1896.         

April 23, 1888

Brother, Julian Uresti

(San Diego, Duval County)


Florencio Uresti

¼ int. to be inherited

 28 June 1900 Federal Cencus; Victoria County, Texas, P. 15:   URISTI      
 Inocencio  - Head, 45; Maria - Wife, 27;  Hiario, 22; 
Inocencio, 18,  Vidal 17;  Guadalupe,  14; Amando 7, 
Louisa, 4;  Alberto 3; Maclovia, 1;

10 Apr 1930 Federal Census; Victoria County, Texas, P. 5:  URESTI                                                Inocencio - Head, 75; Mary - Wife, 59; Sam 21; Sofaes (Sofia), 18;                        

September 19, 1895  -----

Francisca Garcia Uresti  

Frorencio Uresti 
Inocencio Uresti



January 28, 1898  
deed to each other
Florencio Uresti 
Inocencio Uresti 

221  2/10 acres


Brand   -   Guadalupe’s:   U-V

Brand   -   Inocencio’s:    -U


1832, 1833, 1834, 1835 Census of Nacogdoches County, Texas:  The Census was taken during the Republic of Mexico, established in 1821, and before Texas annexation to USA 
in 1845.  (Republic of Texas:  1836-1845)   The early Census referenced 1782 as the first date to the Census Year for Nacogdoches County. 
1832 Census Record of Nacogdoches 
Juan MORA                                      - 32
Maria Carmel YBARBO, wife         - 20
Jose Emigio, son                              -    

 - - - - - 
Mariano MORA                                - 59    
Ma. Trinidad PROSELA, wife         - 51 
Mariano MORA, Gr. son                  - 15 -        
1833 Census Record of Nacogdoches 
Juan MORA                                     - 33 
Maria Carmel YBARBO, wife        - 21 
Jose, son                                          -   2
(not readable - child)                       -   1
- - - - - 
Mariano MORA                                - 60  
Ma. Trinidad PROSELA, wife          - 53 
Mariano MORA, Gr. son                   - 16        
6/30/1834 Census Record of Nacogdoches
Juan MORA                                       - 33 
Maria Carmel YBARBO, wife          - 22
Jose Emidio MORA, son                -   3
Jose Marias         (child)                   -    
- - - - -  
Mariano MORA                                - 61
Trinidad PROSELA, wife                 - 53
Mariano MORA, Grandson               - 17 
1835 Census Record of Nacogdoches 
Juan MORA                                       - 34  
Maria Carmel YBARBO, 2 wife        - 23 
Emidio MORA        (his children)         -   4   
Jose Matias MORA                           -   2    
- - - - -  
Mariano MORA                                 - 57
Trinidad PROSELA, wife                  - 48
Mariano MORA, Grandson, aggregated - 18 
Maria Leone                                       - 12       

Federal Census, Nacogdoches, TX
Maryanna  MORA (M)  - 80   [Louisiana b.] 
Trinidad MORA    (F)   - 61   [Texas birth]  
Ymidio MORA            - 20   [Texas birth] 
Jose MORA                   - 18   [Texas birth] 
Tilesprano Rosales      - 10   [Louisiana b.]
Fed. Census, Nacogdoches, TX:
Midio Mora       - 29      
Isadora Mora ¹   - 27    
Benita                 -  7 
Carmel                -  5 
Nucora           (?) - 1

¹ Some Census Years from 1850-1880 included Mortality Schedules.  Persons who Died during the Year ending 1st June,  1870 in Nacogdoches County, Texas, P. 259:   Ysidora MORA, 37, died Feb 1870.  This document states that Maria  Isadora PANTALEON was born in Louisiana.  The PANTALEON name was provided by a family member.    

Boundaries of East Texas had extended into Louisiana

² Antonio Gil YBARBO (1729-1809) was an ancestor of Maria Carmen YBARBO.
The Founder of Nacogdoches was born in Texas Province.  The Spanish Government sent the family to Louisiana in 1725.  YBARBO held the appointed rank  
Lieutenant Governor.  


Mortality Schedules
Can be found in Ancestry

Catalog Index: Mortality
in fiche - LDS Family Centers

His biography is in The Handbook of Texas Online.  
IBARVO, ANTONIO GIL (1729-1809). Antonio Gil Ibarvo, Spanish lieutenant governor and commander of the militia in Nacogdoches in the late eighteenth century, the son of Mathieu Antonio and Juana (Hernández) Ibarvo, was born at Los Adaes, Louisiana (then the province of Texas), in 1729. His parents were colonists sent by the Spanish government from the province of Andalusia, Spain, to the province of Texas in 1725. The family name, variously given as Ybarvo, y'Barbo, and y Barvo, is now commonly spelled Ybarbo, even by members of the family. Antonio Ibarvo married Maria Padilla; the couple settled on Lobanillo Creek in an area that is now in Sabine County and called their place Rancho Lobanillo.  

Eddie U Garcia – (760) 252-3588



30th Texas State Hispanic
Genealogical and Historical Conference
SEPTEMBER 24-27, 2009



Hosted by the Hispanic Organization for Genealogy And Research of Dallas 
Conference Registrar, Jesse Thomas, 1822 Gross Road, Dallas, Texas 75228.  Make check payable to: HOGAR de Dallas Conference – non-refundable after August 3, 2009. Address any questions to Registrar e-mail: or (214) 324-3677- Attn: Jesse Thomas.

Or Michael Gonzales, 817/923-2530 

De Leon Reunion 
Victoria, Texas in 2011

Planning has begun for a reunion for the descendants of Don Martin and Patricia de la Garza de Leon to be held in Victoria, Texas in 2011. Visit this site for updates. This site will remain live until May 2011.  

We are looking for descendants of Don Martin and Dona Patricia de la Garza de Leon founders of Victoria, Texas. We are calling de Leons to come home to Victoria, in 2011 to participate in a family reunion. 

The homecoming date is the week end of April 9, 2011, in honor of Don Martin's original land grant April 13, 1824. Follow and participate in the planning on line at: or my mail or telephone by contacting Blanche de Leon, PO BOX 469, Victoria, Texas 77902, or on line, .
Please spread the word by forwarding this newly created website to all to which it may apply.
For those that do not have web access, please contact me and I will send them a hardcopy notification to Save the date.
Please visit the site and do not be shy about forwarding me new information, suggestions or photos to be applied to the site. You can communicate to me via the BLOG posting or privately by utilizing the web link under contacts. Enjoy!




Rueben M. Perez


Augustine Carrola was born in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico after his father had immigrated to Mexico from Italy and married his mother, Librada. Augustine and his mother would immigrate to the United States when he was two years old. He would later married Jesusa Casillas, born in Elmendorf, Texas, whose family was one of the original 16 Canary Island families that settled San Antonio in 1731. They had eight sons and three daughters. Augustine Carrola owned a grocery store at 410 Old Sequin Road in San Antonio and a farm in La Vernia, Texas. Augustine was an entrepreneur and had started several business adventures to pay the bills for such a large family he had. 

Augustine and Jesusa Carrola had eleven children, eight boys and three girls. The Carrola boys were young adults during World War II and each contributed to the war effort in some capacity. One can imagine the family thoughts and prayers for their love ones during the turbulent times of the war. Following the war, they all returned home and picked up with their lives. One brother would make a lifetime career of the Army. Three of the Carrola boys joined the San Antonio Fire Department and retired after serving. Those that served in the Fire Department: are Edward, Lee Joseph, and Rudy Carrola.

Fernando (Nando) Carrola: born on May 14, 1906, served during World War II as a Tech 5 with an Engineer Battalion in the US Army working with heavy equipment. 

Augustine (Pele) Carrola: born October 5, 1907, served in the US Army during the war, made a career of the service and retired as a recruiter.

Victor (Butch) Carrola: born on January 23, 1913. He participated in the war effort by serving in the Civilian Conservation Corps what was known as - (“Tree Army”).

Ernest Carrola: born on February 22, 1915 and served as Spec 2 in the US Navy in the Pacific during World War II.

Marcus (Mark) Carrola: born November 14, 1919: served in the US Army, 1938 – 1939. Mark went on later to manage the San Antonio Missions in 1947 and retired from Pearl Brewery.

Edward (Ed) Carrola: January 1, 1922. He served in the US Navy and was aboard the USS Arizona when Pearl Harbor was bombed. Edward was an underwater welder during the war and served on the USS Marblehead. He received the Bronze Medal for his achievements during the war. 

Lee Joseph (Lee): born on April 28, 1924. He served during World War II in the US Army, 2nd Armored division at the Battle of the Bulge. He received the Purple Heart for his military service. 

Rudolpho Thomas (Rudy) Carrola: born on September 22, 1926 and served in the US Navy. He was aboard the Attack Transport USS Hamblin and was in the Philippines and the invasion and occupation of Japan. 

Fernando Nando Carrola
US Army

Augustine (Pele) Carrola  
US Army 

Victor (Butch) Carrola 
Civilian Conservation Corp 

Ernest Carrola
US Navy

Marcus (Mark) Carrola 
US Army



Edward (Ed) Carrola
  US Navy

Lee Joseph (Lee) Carrola 
US Army

Rudolph Thomas (Rudy) Carrola
  US Navy








Dr. Lino García,Jr


There were certain other explorers who arrived in what is now Texas following Pánfilo Narváez’ and Alvar Cabeza de Vaca’s landing on Texas soil in 1528. One such explorer and historian was an Italian named Juan Bautista Chapa, whose original surname was

“ Schiapapría” , and who later changed it to “ Chapa”, perhaps so people in the Monterrey area could pronounce it better. 

He was born the son of Bartolomé Schiapapría and Bastestina Badi in “ la Villa de Arbisola” on the banks of 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 which he donated to an uncle named Juan Schiapapría. Thereafter, Juan Bautista Chapa migrated to New Spain arriving in Monterrey during the last few weeks of the year 1650. Many other Italians had also arrived in the “ Nuevo Reino de León” during those early times of conquest and colonization, and we have evidence of such surnames as: “ Cavassos o Cavassoni Cavazos; “Juseppe Cantú”  “Cantú”; “Tremiño ”  “Treviño” and other Italians who became prominent in the affairs of Nuevo León during the seventeenth 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 Captain Alonso de León who was later 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, a beautiful lady who was a member of a prominent and noble family of Nuevo León. She was the daughter of Juan de Olivares, an eminent soldier, miner, and prominent owner of properties who resided in what is now known as the “Villa de Marín”. Juan Bautista Chapa traveled within high places in the politics of the times of Nuevo León, and served various governors, and other distinguished administrators. He was secretary to Governor Don Martín de Zavala, and to the Lt. Governor 2.)

Don Roque V. de Buitrago, and to Governor Don León de Alza giving him access and participating in many areas of governmental businesses. He was also administrator of the estate of Governor Don Nicolás de Azcárraga with whom he enjoyed an excellent friendship . 

In the year 1686, Viceroy Marqués de la Laguna organized one of several expeditions into Texas in which Juan Bautista Chapa served as secretary to Captain Alonso de León, with whom he had developed a strong friendship throughout the years in Cadereyta. Later Captain de León was named governor and Captain of Coahuila, and we know that Juan Bautista Chapa followed him as his personal secretary. Juan Bautista Chapa also participated in the second and third expeditions into Texas, and in one of his chronicles he himself 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” 

He was a highly cultured individual and is considered to be the author, along with Alonso de León and Fernando Sánchez de Zamora, of the “ HISTORIA DE NUEVO LEON: CON NOTICIAS SOBRE COAHUILA, TAMAULIPAS, TEXAS Y NUEVO MEXICO” -1690 (The History of Texas and Northwestern México ( Nuevo León) : With Notes on Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Texas and New México) – 1690. This vast literature of that time includes valuable information describing the journeys, the incidents, the description of the area now known as Texas. It is a valuable piece of history indicating and supporting the great adventure that these explorers and chroniclers accomplished.

He and his wife Doña Beatriz Treviño 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, the then Governor of Nuevo León, bestowed on Juan Bautista Chapa a great amount of land connecting to well known municipalities such as: General Treviño, Parás, Agualeguas. José María Chapa, his son , was the founder of the municipality of General Treviño. This fact reveals 3.) the prominence and great service that Juan Bautista Chapa gave to 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. 

By the year 1691, Juan Bautista Chapa had reached the age of sixty years, and was still hoping to rejoin other expeditions into Texas that were proposed. However, there is no record that he, in fact, participated in these excursions. A widower by now, he lived his last years in Cerralvo and in Monterrey, where his off-springs resided and were involved in certain commercial enterprises.

In 1694 his son Gaspar died at the age of 20 , and this event plus Chapa’s ailments weakened him, and brought about his demise on April 20, 1695 at the age of 64. He passed into history as one of the earliest explorers, historians, and soldiers, but not without first leaving a great heritage throughout Northern México and South Texas. Juan Bautista Chapa is truly the genealogical patriarch of all the Chapa families of this area. Decades later , his great-great granddaughter María Clara Chapa married Captain Diego Longoria Valdés de Zaldívar, joining together by matrimony two of the most prominent families in Northern México and South Texas- EXPLORERS, HISTORIANS, CONQUISTADORS, SPANISH GRANTEE FAMILIES, AND CATTLE / LAND BARONS. This author, Dr. Lino García, Jr., vía his mother, Doña Felipa López Longoria Chapa, is a direct and proud descendant of these two illustrious families of Northern México and South Texas. 

Brownsville Native Dr. Lino García,Jr., is Professor Emeritus of Spanish Literature at UTPA. He can be reached at: (956) 383-3441 or at: LGarcia@UTPA.Edu 

Next month: 


Obituary: Aurora Bertha Garza-Rubio
August 14,1920
June 1, 2009


On June 1, 2009, a beloved wife, mother, grandmother and sister went into the arms of our Lord. She was a ninth generation Texan born to Juan B. Garza (deceased) and Beatriz Guerra (deceased,) raised on El Palo Blanco Ranch, an old family ranch near Hebbronville, Texas. As a child her family pet was a coyote and she loved to cook wild game and other delicious dishes. Her mother passed away when she was 12 and she 
subsequently took care of her siblings. Beginning her profession at a young age, a school teacher at various south-Texas ranches, she later received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Art and Elementary Education at Texas A&I University, Kingsville, Texas. After moving to San Antonio she met and married the love of her life, Jesús Ramiro Rubio, and would have completed 58 years of marriage this July. They moved to Eagle Pass and raised their three children. 

She began a long career of more than 35 years in the Eagle Pass I.S.D. as a first grade teacher, Head Start and Early Childhood Programs as well as the first coordinator of the Bilingual Program. Mrs. Rubio loved and was loved by so many students as well as the community. She was an active member in the community, holding offices in the Delta Kappa Gamma teachers sorority, TSTA and Teacher’s Reading Association. Also she was a member of the Pan-American Round Table and a member of Our Lady of  Refuge Catholic Church Alter Society and was a devout church member. 

Aurora was an amazing woman who fought a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease for more than 18 years. She loved life and lived it to the fullest. The family expresses deep appreciation to Lupita Ramirez, Araceli Solano, Rose-Mary Ramirez and Becky Ruiz who always treated her with great love and therefore extended her life. A sincere thank you to all the Christus Santa Rosa Hospice for their dedication to her.

Mrs. Rubio is survived by her husband Jesús Ramiro Rubio; children,  Jesús R.”Corky” Rubio (Carla,) Maria Elia “Lily” Juve (Val), Helena Dolores Tacke (Joe); grandchildren: Alma Rosa Bontly, Pauline Aurora Rubio, Maria-Alexandra Rubio, Justin Thomas Souza, Carolina Isabel Rubio and Emily Eugenia Juve; siblings: Nelia (deceased), Olivero 
(deceased), Ramiro, Raymundo, Beatriz and many nieces, nephews and friends.

In lieu of flowers a donation may be made to the charity of your choice or to the Aurora B. Rubio Education Fund. An account has been established at Acct. # 551008318, First National Bank of Eagle Pass, 675 South Bibb Ave.  Eagle Pass, Texas 78852

June 3 Rosary at Barrera Mortuary, Eagle Pass, Tx., 7:00, pm.  June 4 Mass and Burial at Our Lady of Refuge in Eagle Pass, Tx. 11:00am .  June 7 Memorial Mass St. Anthony of Padua, 3:00pm 102 Lorenz, San Antonio, Texas 78209

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Cemeteries of Bexar County, Texas - Volume 6
Abstractions from the gravestones of the International Order of Odd Fellows Cemetery (augmented with interment records), Voges Cemetery, Vogel Cemetery, Barney Williams Cemetery, Espada Cemetery, St. Paul Lutheran Church Cemetery, Old German Lutheran Cemetery (augmented by interment records), Panteon de Guadalupe (augmented by interment records, obituaries and Texas death records), San Pedro Cemetery, and Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament Convent Cemetery. Full name index. Women are indexed by both maiden names and married names, if known. Soft cover.  Price $20

San Antonio, Texas. Sexton Burial Records 1879-1891
Provides the names, burial date, age, birthplace, marital status, race, and gender of the 4,162 persons buried by the San Antonio city sexton between 1879 and 1891 Most, but not all, of the records also provide the grave locations. Those buried are listed in alphabetical order. Price $18

Shipping and handling cost is $4 for the first book: $2 each for additional books

OTHER publications by the San Antonio Genealogical & Historical Society

Bexar County. Texas. Voter Registration 1865- & 1867-1869: Soft cover. Includes length of residence in county & state, place of birth and, if applicable, naturalization info. Price $12

1890 Tax Rolls of Bexar County. Texas: Soft cover. Taxpayers and the real and personal property they were taxed on. Listed in alphabetical order. Price $21

Excerpts From the San Antonio Daily Lisht of 1890: Soft cover. Activities of people living in Bexar County in 1890. Surname index. Price $21

San Antonio. Texas. Newspaper Abstracts 1848-1865: Soft cover. Abstractions from seven San Antonio newspapers published 1848-1865. Alphabetical order. Price $19

Cemeteries of Bexar County. Texas -Volume 1: Soft cover. Gravestone abstracts from 39 family, church, community cemeteries Maps, full & maiden name indexes. Price $19

Cemeteries of Bexar County. Texas - Volume 2: Soft cover. Gravestone abstracts from 17 family, church, community cemeteries. Maps, full & maiden name indexes. Price $21

Cemeteries of Bexar County. Texas - Volume 3: Soft cover. Gravestone abstracts from 42 family, church, community cemeteries, GPS, full & maiden name indexes. Price $16

Cemeteries of Bexar County. Texas - Volume 4: Soft cover. Gravestone abstracts from 25 family, church, city, community cemeteries, GPS, full & maiden name indexes.  $19

Cemeteries of Bexar County. Texas - Volume 5: Soft cover. Gravestone abstracts from 17 family, church, city, community cemeteries, GPS, full & maiden name indexes. $21

St Joseph Society Cemetery: Soft cover. Illustrated with 16 pages of photographs. Full & maiden name indexes. Information from this cemetery is included in Cemeteries of Bexar County, Texas, Vol. 2 but the illustrations arc not Price $10

Index to Naturalization Records of Bexar County. Texas: Soft cover. Names, ages, country of origin of the people who made Declarations of Intention and/or were naturalized in Bexar County through 1906. Also provides dates and the location of the records. $24

Wills and Inventories of Bexar County. Texas. 1742-1899: Soft cover. Abstracts listed in alphabetical order by legator. Other names in the wills indexed. Price $18

Bexar County. Texas. Marriage Books A-D2.1837 - Aug. 24.1866: Soft cover. Grooms in alphabetical order, brides indexed. Includes marriage date, license number and volume and page number. Price $13

All the Marriase Books Listed Below have soft cavers and list witnesses, officiants, parental consents, license numbers and include bride & groom surname indexes

Bexar County. Texas. Marriage Books E-F. Aug. 27.1866-Mav 29.1879;   Price $22 Bexar County. Texas. Marriage Books G-H. May 31.1879-June 3.1885:    Price $18 Bexar County. Texas. Marriage Books I-J. June 6.1885-Mav 3.1890:      Price $19 Bexar County. Texas. Marriage Books K-L. April 13.1890-Feb. 29.1894:  Price $20 Bexar County. Texas. Marriage Books M-N. Feb. 25.1894-Nov. 16.1897: Price $19 Bexar County. Texas. Marriage Books O.P.O. Nov. 11.1897-Mav 12.1902:  $24

Bexar County. Texas. Marriage Books R. S & T - Mav4902-Januarv 1905: Soft cover. Brides & grooms in alphabetical order. Includes marriage dates, license numbers, volume and page numbers, footnotes. Price $20


Digging into history
Pensacola-Celebrating 450 Years
Louisiana Cultural Vistas

Digging into history


Group searching for artifacts from lost village of Galveztown in Ascension Parish
By Greg Langley,   Mar 15, 2009 

lenn Cambre, in straw hat and suspenders, leads his small dog on a leash as he walks along his property bordering the Amite River off La. 42 in Ascension Parish. He pauses and looks across the field in front of three white-painted houses. It’s maybe as long as two football fields end-to-end and in the middle, tiny red flags sprout like poppies.

They outline a 500-foot by 500-foot grid where members of an LSU Union leisure class are digging archaeological shovel test pits (STPs). This unassuming grassy field, dotted with a few pecan trees and pines and cut through by a U-shaped drive, is the site of a lost village: Galveztown.

“We don’t have any aboveground evidence of the site, but we do have historical documents that are pretty clear in showing us that the village was in this particular section. This is section 17 of Township 8 South  Range 3 East. When the Americans came in one of the first things that they did was to start surveying their new territory. These surveys note the fact that in this area, Galveztown was located,” said Rob Mann, LSU professor and Southeast Regional Archaeologist and the leader of the dig.

The village in question was a Spanish-sponsored settlement that dates to the period of the American Revolution. It didn’t last, partly because the reason for its existence vanished after the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. But that’s not all.

“They had lots of problems including flooding, hurricanes and crop failures and epidemic diseases. By 1820 or so, we get a sense from the documents that there’s not much left of the village. By 1830 it’s pretty clear that Galveztown is gone. So really you have a village that was here from about 1779, late 1778-1779, to about 1820. So from an archaeological perspective, it’s a nice little time capsule because there’s nothing before really — there was probably some Native America occupation of the area — but after that we don’t have any historic occupation. So when we find stuff that dates to the right time period, we can be fairly certain that we’re finding evidence of the Spanish Colonial village here,” Mann said.

“One of the things that leads us to this area is that when we look at the historic maps of the village as it was planned and as it was actually put into place, it appears that closer to the river and closer to the Spanish fort which was also built here is where most of the occupation took place,” Mann said.

That a fort and a village were built in this seemingly remote site seems illogical today, but given the political situation in Louisiana in the late 18th century, it was perfectly logical, Mann said.

“The way that this settlement gets started is actually an interesting process. There are Isleño or Canary Islander (Spanish) folks coming to New Orleans. They’re coming in 1778. He (Spanish Gov. Bernardo de Galvez) knows he has these settlers and soldiers, so they’re used both as colonists and soldiers to garrison this fort. They’re bringing their families with them as well.

“He (Galvez) knows that he’s got to find places for them, so he’s out scouting in the winter of 1778 for someplace to place these Isleños folks. At this area, at the confluence of the Amite and Bayou Manchac, he finds a little community of British Tory refugees and some French folks and maybe some other folks. The British had just been kicked out of their settlement in Canewood in Livingston Parish by American Revolutionaries. So you’ve got some patriots — the war is just getting started on the east coast but already out here, in 1778, you’ve got some American patriots moving against some British loyalists, some Tories, and driving them out of British West Florida and driving them into Spanish Louisiana. They’re kind of huddled here, not quite sure where they are, and Galvez finds them and he says, ‘I’ll grant you asylum if you allow me to lay out the village of Galveztown and also a condition of it is that we’re going to put our fort here.’

“And they say, ‘OK, that’s fine,’ and in deference to him they name the village Galveztown,” Mann said. “This area is important for a couple of reasons. One, this was high ground. The Native Americans told Galvez that this was the high ground in the area. And it’s where Bayou Manchac flows into the Amite River. In this part of the 18th century, Bayou Manchac and the Amite River form an international boundary. We’re on the Spanish side of that boundary here at Galveztown. North of Bayou Manchac and the Amite River was British territory. So geopolitically, this is a very strategic area.”

“One of the things that leads us to this area is that when we look at the historic maps of the village as it was planned and as it was actually put into place, it appears that closer to the river and closer to the Spanish fort which was also built here is where most of the occupation took place. We’re kinda maximizing or trying to maximize our effort here where we think there is pretty good chance (of finding artifacts),” Mann said.

There are 15 students in the leisure class, although not all are present this day. The students range in age from college-age to middle-age, and they fan out over the field bearing marked plastic baggies into which they will deposit their finds. They are here to do the grunge work, shoveling and digging out the dirt in the roughly 1-foot by 1-foot by 18-inch-deep test pits, wielding shovels and trowels and then sifting the soil through wood-framed screens to extract any artifacts. This is the second year the class has dug in this field, a section nearer the highway was pocked with STPs last year but the filled-in holes in that part are all but invisible now.

John Hickey, one of the students in the class, is actually an amateur historian who has written about Galveztown and who helped lead Mann to this site. “John and I have been kind of working this project up for three or four years,” Mann said. This day Hickey makes a typical find in an STP and brings his discovery to Mann for further identification.

Mann holds the pebble-sized artifact in the palm of his hand and explains that it is a tiny pottery sherd, one that reveals a great deal about the site. It’s “faience.”

“This little piece, although it looks fairly insignificant, is really important because it is a kind of pottery made in France, and it’s made in the early 18th century but not in the 19th century, or it’s not being imported to Louisiana, so we know that this particular pottery must date to between 1779 and 1800 or so,” Mann explains, then points to another pebble-sized pottery bit Hickey has unearthed.

“This is a little later. This is British creamware. I say later, but it was made at about the same time, 1780s, 1760s on,” Mann explains.

“This stuff, this British stuff, becomes so popular around 1800 that the French stuff gets pushed out of the market. Faience is a great 18th century marker.”

This is more than just an abstract dig seeking academic data, Mann said. Part of that has to do with the students doing the digging.

“This year on our project, we have several descendants of Isleños families who lived here at Galveztown. That’s really important as well so that people can connect back to their history. There is a Canary Islander historical society in Baton Rouge, and I have actually given presentations there. Some members of that society are students on this project,” Mann said.

One of those Isleños descendants is John Hickey’s wife, Janelle.

“I was born on Section 19,” Janelle Hickey said. “My Canary Island connection is from the Gonzales (family) — Gonzales Cabo.” Like many of the Spanish families from Galveztown, the Gonzales family relocated to Baton Rouge after the village failed.

“When Galveztown kind of breaks apart in the 18-teens, 1820s, one of the places that some of the folks go as they leave Galveztown is to Spanish Town in Baton Rouge. Spanish Town was actually laid out for refugees from Galveztown. That’s where it gets its name ‘Spanish Town,’ Mann said.

In fact, Jannell Hicks said her ancestor once owned the land where the present State Capitol is located. But they came back to Galveztown. “When he died, his wife and children were at Galveztown,” she said.

There are 15 students in Mann’s class this semester — Jeanne Bergeron, Kathy Henderson, Hickey, David Hulbert, Alisa Janney, Patricia Mayeaux, Virginia McAnelly, Pamela Melder, Linda Dabdoub Potter, Angelle Stahl, Althea Rasti, Joan Aleman, Myrna Arroyo, Patricia Comeaux and Beverly Nuschler.

Bergeron is from Baton Rouge. She is a retired nurse and also an Isleños descendant. “We did find that we have an Acosta (ancestor) and that is our connection,” Bergeron said as she used her gloved hands to push dirt around in a sifter.

But not all the leisure class diggers have a genetic link to the village settlers.

“Most of these people who are taking this class don’t get anything out of it except the excitement of archaeology,” Mann said. Like Melder, who came to the class in a roundabout way.

“A friend of mine told me that if you wanted to do belly dancing, it was cheaper to do through the LSU Union than a private class,” Melder said. “So I went through the catalog, and as I was looking I found this class and I thought ‘well that’s better than belly dancing.’”

This is Melder’s second year on the dig. She liked last year so much that she came back again. “Last year we found some really interesting pieces of pottery and we found the bottom of a champagne bottle, which is kind of cool,” she said, and “we found a hog tooth.”

Even though she doesn’t have an Isleños connection, Henderson, an IT worker in the Livingston Parish Clerk of Court’s Office, wanted to learn more about local history. “I tracked my Babins all the way to Nova Scotia. Searching my ancestors, I read a lot of local history,” Henderson said. The Galveztown dig is her way of getting to know more about Louisiana history in a very up-close way.

Archaeology is enough to keep Potter coming out to kneel and dig and sift and pick through the dirt. “I’ve always been interested in archaeology,” said Potter, who works at the LSU Health Sciences Center. Potter is descended from Italian crusaders who stayed in Palestine to guard the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem where she grew up. “They would dig up Roman coins in the backyard,” she said. She loved the idea of finding the past in the ground and when she and her husband temporarily relocated to New Mexico after Hurricane Katrina, she was able to participate in some digs there. She was hooked and when she returned to Louisiana and heard about the Galveztown project, she joined. Her motivation? “I keep thinking maybe I’ll find something.”

Mann knows they will find artifacts because they already have found many things. “We’re looking for those kinds of things out here: trash pits, refuse pits. In the 18th century and until modern sanitary movements in the late 19th century, people would just deposit the trash out of the closest opening, so out the window, out the front door, out the back door. You get what we call a sheet wash of trash around the house or sheet midden — midden just means a refuse pile — and we can look at those middens and see what people were throwing out on a daily basis.

“Bones, broken bottles, broken plates. And that is what we find. We don’t anticipate finding whole artifacts necessarily but what we’re looking for and what we’re really interested in is what those bits of everyday life can tell us about what it was like to live here in the 18th century,” Mann said.

Once the survey is done, Mann will collect all the information and plot out the “artifacts distribution” according to their location on the grid. “If we can use all this information to actually pinpoint some structures on the ground, then we have some 18th century maps that we can go back to and we might eventually be able to, even down to the level of the individual houses, say this must have been the house of so-and-so,” Mann said. And maybe a larger project will ensue.

“Last year in this part of the site,” Mann said as he gestured toward La. 42, “we found a concentration of brick and some burned soil and ash that might indicate that it was near a hearth, near a chimney. If we find things like that, we can go back and dig larger areas. Real excavations.”

As Mann succinctly puts it, the diggers have one deep motivation: “We want to find more.”


Louisiana Cultural Vistas


An Archeological Dig Uncovers Fragments of Life at a Spanish Outpost in 18th Century Louisiana   by Mary Ann Sternberg  Louisiana Cultural Vistas - Spring 2009 (54 pages)

Louisiana Endowment for the Arts Tables of Contents for back issues of LVC magazine 

Sent by Joan Alemán



York valedictorian a working immigrant mother
Families of Las Floridas: Finding your Florida Pioneer

York Valedictorian A Working Immigrant Mother

By: Claudia Cruz


Somewhere between working as a cleaning lady, raising two daughters and becoming
a grandmother, Gloria Cecilia Velasco earned two degrees at York College, New York – and gave the valedictorian address to boot.

Velasco, along with more than 800 graduates, felt the warmth of their families, friends, college professors, administrators, and elected officials – including keynote speaker Governor David Paterson, Senator Charles Schumer, Congressmember Anthony Weiner, Borough President Helen Marshall and Councilmember Leroy Comrie – all gathered, despite the rain and clouds, to celebrate the 39th York College commencement ceremony on Friday, May 29.

“Don’t forget where you came from, don’t forget the family that stood up for you and don’t forget the classmates who hooked you up when you weren’t prepared,” said Governor
Paterson, to cheers and applause.

The gloomy economy didn’t keep the elected official from striking a sunny tone with graduates about to enter a bad job market. “It may be hard but try to find a job you really love,” said Schumer, who added that a $2,500 tuition tax deduction available starting in the
2010 tax year could help ease the financial burden for families whose income fell below $200,000. Both the graduates and their parents cheered at the comment for the senator.

During the ceremony, honorary degrees were given to MacArthur Genius Grant recipient Majora Carter, founder of Sustainable South Bronx and the rooftop garden program, and Irving Burgie, the composer of the song “Day-O,” popularized by Harry Belafonte. For his acceptance speech, Burgie led the crowd in singing the timeless classic.

But, it was York College’s star this year, Gloria Cecilia Velasco, the first occupational therapy major to be named valedictorian, who stole the show.

Velasco, a mother of two daughters and also a grandmother, not only graduated from a dual degree program – Velasco received both her Bachelor of Science and Master of Science this year – but she achieved a 3.97 grade point average to confer her the honor of
graduating summa cum laude.

Born in Colombia, at age 12 Velasco moved with her family to Australia where she remained for 20 years.  After she married and had her children, she decided to let the sea wind take her and her family around the world, and in 1994 they arrived in New York City. Fifteen years later, she stood before 832 of her peers underneath a white tent in the Jamaica campus.

In her speech to her classmates, Velasco, who shared a list of odd jobs she had held as
a student that included a stint as a cleaning lady, spoke about the difficult path towards graduation, and the moments she felt she “bit off much more than she could chew.” However, Velasco said that she persevered because “I am a York student and we York students don’t give up so easily.”

Finding that her time at York taught her not just about her chosen career as an occupational therapist, but also about the lives of the countless other determined and driven York students, Velasco said that despite her accomplishments, “I am very typical and not exceptional at all.”

“We all have exceptional stories to tell from far away lands,” she said about the diverse and mostly immigrant student population. “That’s what York College does. It makes
the miraculous routine.” – Additional reporting by Tracey Melendez

Dorinda Moreno


Pensacola-Celebrating 450 Years


In 1559, Spanish explorer, Don Tristan de Luna de Arellano anded on the shores of what is now Pensacola, Florida. De Luna’s expedition left from Mexico and found its way to the naturally protected waters of what is now Pensacola Bay.  What happened shortly thereafter played a vital role in American history; thus, the Pensacola Bay Area is celebrating 450 years of history in 2009.

Many do not know, however, Pensacola predates St. Augustine (1565) and Jamestown, VA (1607). Several months after the settlement was established in 1559, a hurricane destroyed the supplies, and the group struggled to survive. De Luna returned to his native Spain.

Stay informed about key events for the 450th celebration
and subscribe to the Celebrate Pensacola eNewsletter. 

To view some videos of the Elcano coming into Pensacola Bay 
Pensacola Bay Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

Celebrate's photostream

Sent by Bill Carmena





Families of "Las Floridas ": Finding your Florida Pioneer
Eduardo Ramos Garcia

Source: Raices de la Perla, Winter/Spring 2005
Publication of the Cuban Genealogy Club of Miami Florida, Inc.


While many of the following families' descendants immigrated to Cuba and other areas, some did remain in Florida, leaving their mark in the state's history through the Spanish and British periods, and finally, the American annexation. Most of the information concerning those who chose to settle in Cuba was taken from the volumes of the Historia de Familias Cubanas (HFC) written by Francisco Xavier de Santa Cruz y Mallen, el Conde de San Juan de Jaruco. However, data concerning a few of the surnames was also found in Genealogias Habaneras (GH), by Rafael Nieto y Cortadellas and the remainder, offered to the CGC by members Hilda Pomares, Teresa Sardinas, Martha Ibanez Zervoudakis and Nicolas de Cardenas. The information secured from the HFC and GH books note the volume and page number after the listing of the descendant surnames (DS). Please note the descendant surnames may also have their own chapter in the HFC volumes. Be sure to check them for additional clues or surnames in your search for a Florida Pioneer! Consider, as well, that these descendant surnames may only represent one line of that family and not everyone bearing this name. If you are lucky enough to find an ancestor among these early Floridians, we would greatly appreciate hearing from you and your progress towards your certification! Should any of you have data regarding additional surnames or find any errors or discrepancies, please feel free to contact us and remember to include your sources, as well. Your input is always welcomed.

1. ALVAREZ de GODOY: Pedro Alvarez de Godoy, m. 1619 to Petronila Canizares de Osorio. DS: Trimino Caraveo, Lugo-Medina, Fernandez de Zaldivar, Gonzalez-Carvajal, Bueno del Castillo, Soto-Lino & Prados. HFC: Vols. IV, p. 347-348; VI, p. 351. 

2. ARANDA: Pedro Aranda Avellanada, m. 1680 in La Habana to Josefa de Estrada y Velazquez de Cuellar. Their children were born in San Agustin. DS:
Garro Bolivar, Beltran de Santa Cruz, Cardenas, Santa Cruz, Mendinueta, Penalver, Barreto and Hernandez de la Rosa. HFC: Vols. I, pp. 62-63; II, p. 10-11; III, p. 59; IV, p. 262.

3. ARRIETA: Prudencio de Arrieta, m. before 1580 to Ana Gomez de Lara y Rodriguez. DS: Olivares, de las Alas, Calvo de la Puerta, Lorenzo, Redo Barroto, Pita de Figueroa, Valero y Guzman, Arancibia, Franco and Viamonte y Navarra. HFC: Vols. IV, p. 113-114;
V, pp. 285-286.

4. AYALA: Juan Francisco Ayala y Escobar, m. 1669 to Magdalena Diaz-Mexia y Sanchez. DS: Gomez de Algarin, Eligio de la Puente, Aparicio, del OImo, Rivero, Martorell, Baro Chavez, Lopez de Gamarra, Garcia deAyaleto and Coppinger. HFC: Vol. I, p. 215; II, pp. 54, 57, 62; VIII, p. 218; V, p. 87.

5. CASTANEDA: Gaspar Castaneda y Rodriguez, b. 1704 in San Agustin, m. 1731 in San Agustin to Sebastiana de Vargas. DS: Sanchez, Garcia, Aguilar and Miranda. Cathedral Parish Records of St. Augustine, Florida. Genealogical files of Martha Ibanez Zervoudakis.

6. CORDERO-MACIAS: Juan Cordero-Macias y Ruiz de Maldonado, m. before 1700 to Ana Flores Amados. DS: Gonzalez-Osorio, Hita-Salazar, Villas, Sanchez de la Rosa, Gonzalez-Guevara, Gutierrez-Reina and Perez-Auber. HFC: Vol. VII, p. 119-124. 7

7. ELIGIO de la PUENTE: Antonio Nicolas Eligio de la Puente, b. in La Habana and m. 1719 in San Agustin to Agustina Clara Regidor. Their children were born in San Agustin. DS: Lopez-Villaverde, Pourmego de Mega, Alfaro, Sanchez-Casahonda, Lopez de Toledo, Rodriguez-Alfran, Peris-Puig, Martinez-Parreno, Alvarez-Lebrun, del Rio, Alvarez-Urrutia, Morales (Redo de Morales), Mur, Colas, Salazar-Sanchez de Carmona. HFC: Vol. V. p. 32, 87-92.

8. ESCOBEDO (Morales y Fiallo): Andres Morales m. to Leonor Fiallo. (Their children bear the surname Escobedo and were born in San Agustin.) DS:
Serrano, Ortiz, de la Guardia, Paredes-Mesa, Rivas, Garcia del Castillo, Garcia de Candias, Garcia-Garcia de Lagos, Perez-Molina, Santiago-Salazar, Velazquez de la Parra, Maniller, Azpeitia, Paton, Milian, Bello-Benut, Palacios, de la Parra, Orbeita, Disdier, Azcarate, Ruiz and Galceran. HFC: Vol. VII, p. 144-150.

9. ENTRALGO: Juan Bautista Entralgo e Hijuelos, m. c. 1800 to Felicitas Almanza y Perez. DS: Coppinger, Lastres, Avalos, Alacan, Vianello, Lorenzo, Borges and Moreno. HFC; Vols. P. 110; IX, p. 171. GH: Vol. I, pp. 222, 227.

10. FLORENCIA: Mateo Luis de Florencia, m. before 1600 to Luisa de los Angeles. DS: Alderete, Ruiz-Canizares, Arguelles, Bustos, Gomez-Pinto, Ruiz-del Moral, Crisostomo, Diaz-D'Avila, Arransate, Aranguren, Estevez-Carabuena, Cardenas, Salvador, Ascencio, Aguilar, Suarez, Rodriguez-Alfran, Mora, Leon, Roldan, Garcia de Lara, Pacheco-Salgado, Pedroso, Garcia-Barrera, Monleon, Silvera, del Pino, Diaz-L6pez, Rodriguez-Acosta, de la Paz, Remirez de Estenoz, Perez de Villarreal, Zayas-Bazan, Nunez del Castillo, Montalvo, Herrera, Seidel, Loinaz, Quintana, Lombillo, and Zequeira. HFC: Vols. II, p. 53, 314-325; V, p. 250; IX, p. 78-89. 7. ELIGIO de la PUENTE: Antonio Nicolas Eligio de la Puente, b. in La Habana and m. 1719 in San Agustin to Agustina Clara Regidor. Their children were born in San Agustin. DS: Lopez-Villaverde, Pourmego de Mega, Alfaro, Sanchez-Casahonda, Lopez de Toledo, Rodriguez-Alfran, Peris-Puig, Martinez-Parreno, Alvarez-Lebrun, del Rio, Alvarez-Urrutia, Morales (Redo de Morales), Mur, Colas, Salazar-Sanchez de Carmona. HFC: Vol. V. p. 32, 87-92.

11. GARCIA de TOVAR: Nicolas Garcia de Tovar, b. c. 1665 in Mexico, m. 1686 in San Agustin to Maria Dominguez de Viana y Arias, b. in San Agustin in 1665. DS: Basurto (Basulto?), Velazquez, Miranda-Romero. Cathedral Parish Records of St. Augustine, Florida. Genealogical files of Martha Ibanez Zervoudakis. 

12. GONZALEZ-OSORIO: Manuel Gonzalez, m. before 1690 to Claudia Osorio y Lopez de Cabrera. This surname has lines from two brothers who both lived in San Agustin.
a. Tomas Gonzalez-Osorio m. before 1704 in San Agustin to Francisca Rodriguez. DS: Escobar. b. Luis Gonzalez-Osorio m. 1715 in San Agustin to Juana de Guevara. DS: Cordero-Macias, Mallen, del Prado and Vizcaino. HFC: Vols. II, p. 262; V, p. 68-69; VII, p. 67.

13. GUEVARA (Ladron de Guevara): Juan Manuel Ladron de Guevara y Rosa, m. 1693 in San Agustin to Josefa Dominguez de Viana y Arias de Hechavarria. DS: Gonzalez de Osorio, del Pino, Gonzalez-Hernandez, de las Hijuelas and Molina. HFC: Vol. IX, p. 167-168.

14. HERRERA: Juan Maria Herrera, m. after 1800 to Maria del Rosario Carter. DS: Cantero and Garcia-Castro. HFC: Vols. II, p. 218-219; III, p. 300.

15. HITA-SALAZAR: Pablo Hita y Salazar, Governor General of San Agustin in 1675, m. to Juana Davila. This surname has lines from three brothers. 
Tomas de Hita-Salazar y Davila, b. in Veracruz, Mexico; m. 1691 in San Agustin to Lorenza de los Rios Enriquez y de la Vera. DS: Leon-Rivera, Florencia, Eligio de la Puente, and Seco.
b. Juan de Hita-Salazar y Davila, m. 1681 in San Agustin to Antonia Menendez-Marquez y Ruiz-Mexia, born 1666 in San Agustin.
c. Pedro de Hita-Salazar y Davila m. 1689 in San Agustin to Catalina Gertrudis de Leon y Arguelles, San Agustin. DS: Benedit-Horruitiner, Sandoval, de Fuentes, de Arguelles, de la Torre, Lozano, Campos, Pren, and Almirante. HFC: Vols. II, p. 272; VII, pp.121, 209; VIII, p. 11; IX, p. 84. Genealogical files of Teresa Sardinas and Nicolas de Cardenas. "Genealogia de Pablo Hita y Salazar" an unpublished study by Alvaro A. Garcia-Castro.

16. HORRUITINER (Benedit-Horruitiner): Pedro Benedit-Horruitiner, m. 1637 in San Agustin to Maria Ruiz de Canizares. DS: Leon, Primo de Rivera, Perez de Acal, Hita-Salazar, Mendez-Marquez, Martinez-Lemus, Ximenez de Guzman, Ancona, Lopez-Ameno, Lopez del Castillo, Bravo, Badell, Ganivet, Simon, Haille, Carrejas, Catasus, Illas, Larrea, Lanz, Lopez de Villavicencio, Miranda, Orta, Lopez-Cuervo, Norris, Ziburu, Marquez-Sterling, Garcia-Barrera, Cabello, Riera, Teixeira, Ordaz, Bassave, Gonzalez de la Torre, Molto, Fuero, Ochoa, Diehl, Rasco, Montoro, Canosa, Kohly, Crespo, Cardona, Nodarse, Erice, Borbon, Valdes-Fauli, Garcia-Menocal, Bacallao, Gutierrez de la Solana, Campos, Tagle, Angueira, Callejas, Pietri, Millan, Rodon, Portuondo, Bernaldez, Figueroa, Aguero, Navarro, Herrera, Caballero, Vidal. HFC: Vols. II, p. 179-180; III, pp. 73, 177-178; V, p. 4; VI, p. 175; VII, pp. 76, 206-219; VIII, p. 51. GH: II, p. 339. Genealogical files of Nicolas de Cardenas.

17. JUNCO, del: Bartolome Lopez de Gavira, m. 1598 to Maria del Junco. (Two of their children took the maternal surname of del Junco.) DS: Sevilla-Guerrero, Salinas, Lopez de Tapia, Amador, Villegas, Montero, Rodriguez de Aguilar, Velasco, Rodriguez del Junco, Rodriguez de Alpizar, Ribeiro-Netto (Rivero-Nieto), Pereda, Diaz-Coello, Dejado-Villate, Rossie, Diaz-Vigot, Lugo, Fernandez del Campo, Morales, Barroso, Vazquez, Macias, Munoz de Baena, Herrera, Folch, Cordero, Valverde, Anicourt, Saint-Maxent, Arango, Garcia-Menocal, Escanes, Rodriguez-Morejon, Morejon, Gener,,LaMadrid, Fuentes, Unzueta, Ortiz, Gomez-Pastrana, Zapatin, Campos, Hernandez-Otero, Sanchez-Hill, Fernandez-Oliva, Mir, Aranda, Morales-Bejar, Pique, Andre, del Portillo, Turbiano, Lopez-Vasconcellos, Gobel, Astray, Montenegro, Andreu, Bolivar, Fonts, Bulle, Forcade and O'Farrill. HFC: Vols. I, p. 83; III, p. 345; VII, p. 219.

18. LETURIONDO: Domingo de Leturiondo y Jonlus de Arteaga, b. Azpeitia, Guipuzcoa, Spain, m. in 1648 to Maria Solana y Perez, b. San Agustin. DS: Chagaray (Echagaray), Espinosa, Leyva, Hernandez-de los Reyes, Morales, Garcia-Gonzalez, Gonzalez de Roxas, Rodriguez-de los Reyes, Hernandez-del Portal, Treto, Lanier, Herrada, Garcia-Hurtado de Mendoza, Rodriguez-Vidal, Perez-Gonzalez, Hidalgo-Gato, Pombrol, Gomara, Pomares and Fraga. Genealogical files of Hilda Pomares and Nicolas de Cardenas.

19. MENENDEZ-MARQUEZ (Menendez deAviles).  Pedro Menendez-Marquez m. before 1600 to Mayor Arango. DS: Suarez de Gongora, Lujan, Melendez, Cardenas, Perez-Morera, Aguirre, Hita-Salazar, Romo de Uriza, Benedit-Horruitiner, Diaz-Mexia, Melo, Sanchez de Uriza and Rodriguez-Roso. HFC: Vol. II, p. 268-274.

20. MIRANDA-RIVERO: Pedro Joseph Nolasco Miranda y Rivero, b. 1773 in La Habana, m. 1807 in San Agustin to Maria del Rosario Sanchez y Castaneda*b. 1784 in San Agustin. DS: de la Maza, Villaverde.Robiou (Robion) de Mareuil and Miranda. Cathedral Parish Records of St. Augustine, Florida. Genealogical files of Martha Ibanez Zervoudakis.

21. MIRANDA-ROMERO: Antonio Matias Miranda y Romero, b. 1697 in Sevilla, Spain; d. 1745 in San Agustin; m. 1724 in San Agustin to Antonia Garcia de Tovar y Dominguez de Viana, b. 1707 in San Agustin. DS: , Sanchez, Almanza, Diaz, Dias, Lorente, Sinck, Torres, Solana and Millares. Cathedral Parish Records of St. Augustine, Florida. Genealogical files of Martha Ibanez Zervoudakis. 

22. NIETO de CARJAVAL: Bernardo Nieto de Carvajal y Paz de Alarcon, m. 1687 in San Agustin to Maria Gertrudis Naranjo de la Cruz y Hernandez de la Cruz. DS: Medina, Trabuda, Escobedo-Cabrera, Florencia, Arteaga and Marquez. HFC: Vol. VII, pp. 146, 227-230.

23. PEREZ de AYALA: Francisco Perez de Ayala, b. in San Agustin, m. 1718 to Agustina Zayas-Bazan. HFC: Vol. IV, p. 416.

24. PONCE de LEON: Nicolas Ponce de Leon, m. in Sevilla, Spain to Estefania D'Avila y Mendez. Their children were born in San Agustin. (Note it is unknown whether or not this family is related to that of the conquistador, Juan Ponce de Leon, the discov-erer of Florida and Governor General of Puerto Rico. Should anyone have information confirming this rela-tionship, the CGC would greatly appreciate your find-ings.) DS: Sigarroa, Disidio, Cazoria Torregrosa, Rodriguez-Roso, Quintero (Gonzalez de Berrejis), Fernandez-Lopez, Rodriguez del Tore, Lopez de Mera, Crisostomo de Lara, Alvarez-Franco, Rueda, Gomez-Pinto, Armenteros, de los Reyes, del Pueyo, Anaya, Benedit-Horruitiner, Rivas, Gaztelumendi and Santa Cruz. HFC: Vol. I, p. 265-274.

25. REPILADO: Juan Jose Repilado y Avero, b. in San Agustin, m. 1780 to Rosa Ramos y Ferrer, b. Santiago de Cuba. DS: Barcelo, Portuondo, Justiz, Tejada, Palacios-Saldurtun, Valiente, Vinent and Duany. HFC: Vols. I, p. 302; II, p. 240, IV, p. 151; VI, p. 218; IX, p. 331.

26. REYES, de los: Gaspar de los Reyes, m. 1621 in San Agustin to Maria Rica. DS: Arritola, Solana, Car, Garcia-Melendez, Nieto de Carvajal, Moyano de Salas and Escobedo-Cabrera. HFC; Vo/s. VII, pp. 121, 145; VIII, p. 304-305.

27. RUIZ de CABEZA: Martin Ruiz de Cabeza, m. to Manuela de Arango. DS: Ruiz de Pastrana and Diaz-Pimienta. HFC: Vol. IV, p. 139.

28. SAAVEDRA (Gonzalez de Saavedra): Rafael Gonzalez de Saavedra y Espinosa, m. before 1790 to Maria Luisa Gonzalez y Montes de Oca, b. in San Agustin. HFC: Vol. IV, p. 289-290

29. SANCHEZ-HILL: Bernardino Sanchez y Espinosa, b. in La Habana, m. 1799 in San Agustin to Maria-Antonia Hill, b. in South Carolina, USA. DS: Manduley, Valiente, Marquez. HFC; Vols. VII, p. 234; IX, p. 183, 187. Genealogical files of Nicolas de Cardenas

30. SOLANA: Alonso Solana, m. 1644 in San Agustin to Maria Antonia Francisca Perez Arica (Rica). (DS): Interiondo (Leturiondo?), Martin-Quintero, Romero, Angel , de los Reyes, Fuentes, de las Nieves, Miranda, del OImo, Perez-Cabrera, Salas, Fernandez de la Paz, Barba, Santiago, Escalona, Castro, de la Cruz-Gonzalez, Cabrera, Monzon, Diaz-Marrero, Gomez-Quevedo, Espinosa-de los Reyes, Biedma, Reyes-Gavilan, Enriquez de Camargo, Rodriguez-Escalona, Fernandez-Castro, de los Rios Enriquez, Florencia, Fernandez-Urrutia, Enriquez de Camargo, de los Reyes-Ximenez and Cordero-Macias. HFC: Vols. VII, pp.121, 330; VIII, p. 303-308. GH: Vol. I, p. 89. Genealogical files of Nicolas de Cardenas

31. TORRES-AYALA: Laureano Torres-Ayala y Quadros, b. in Sevilla and m. in La Habana, 1687, to Catalina Gertrudis Bayona y Chacon. Their children were born in San Agustin. DS: Chacon, Herrera-Berrio, O'Farrill, Guma, Garcia-Palacios, Ocejo, Pulido, Cardenas, Menendez, Roca de Togores, Zaidivar, Beltran de Santa Cruz, Arango, Montalvo . HFC; Vol. I, pp. 35-36, 72, 371. Genealogical files of Nicolas de Cardenas

32. VILLAVERDE: Andres de Villaverde, m. before 1733 to Luisa de Leon y Florencia. DS: Rodriguez-Paton, Castilla, Menendez-Marquez, Benedit-Horruitiner and Herrera. HFC; Vo/s. /, p. 10; VIII, p. 330-332.

33. YERA: Lorenzo de Yera y Mendiola, b. 1601 in San Agustin, m. to Ana Consuegra y Morales, b. in Puerto Principe (Camaguey), Cuba. DS: Sarduy, Rodriguez de Arciniega, Martin de San Remo, Grana, Blanco, Santa Maria, Mesa, Gonzalez de Avila, Farto de Aguiar, Laredo, Pelaez, Mora, Cruz-Prieto and Gil. Genealogical files of Nicolas de Cardenas.

Although the overwhelming majority of Cuban families whose ancestors can be traced to Florida did originate in Saint Augustine, there were others whose ancestors are found in Pensacola, Florida, as follows:

1. DOMINGUEZ: Juan Jose Dominguez y Galvez y Aguilar, m. in La Habana c.1800 to Maria Gertrudis Otero y.Roso. Their children were born in Pensacola. DS; Granados, Plazaola, Castro-Palomino, Angulo, Ruiz, Gamba and Patron. HFC; Vols. II, p. 121-123;
VII, p. 91. Genealogical files of Nicolas de Cardenas.

2. SAINT-MAXENT: Prior to one branch's move to Florida, this particular family's early origins are found in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. Francisco Maximiliano Saint-Maxent m. 1805 in Pensacola to Maria Irene Felicitas Folch y del Junco. DS:
Chappotin, O'Farrill, Garcia de Lavin, Broch, Cantera, Justiniani, Cardenas and Fernandez de Velasco. HFC: Vols. II, p. 78, III, p. 346; IV, p. 335-336. 

3. SALAZAR: Diego de Salazar, m. before 1800 to Maria Josefa Hernandez. This surname has lines from two brothers both born in Pensacola.
a. Jose Salazar y Hernandez m. before 1855 to Irene Salome Hidalgo-Gato y Tellez. DS: Vega
b. Ramon Salazar y Hernandez m. to Maria Ramona Rodriguez de Morejon. HFC: Vol. VIII, p. 288.

4. LARIN: Miguel Larin, c. 1800 to Maria de la Concepcion Caneda. DS: Remirez de Estenoz. Their daughter, Micaela was born in Pensacola. HFC: Vol. IV, p. 322.

Another great source for Spanish colonial Florida surnames is found in the book Censos, Padrones y Matriculas de la Poblacion de Cuba Siglos 16, 17 y 18, by Peter E. Carr, who provides a padron of floridanos who emigrated from the peninsula during the first exodus, arriving in Cuba in 1763. The padron categorizes the list by race and family groups. In addition to most of the families mentioned above, some of the surnames our esteemed friend, Peter Carr, includes are: Izquierdo, Ronquillo, Grogan, Clos, Vilches, Picle, Cuestas, Jaramo, de los Santos, Calistero, Manresa, Rondon, Manaca, Monrroy (Monroy), Chez, Abrantes, Ortega, Quintana, Brito, Lozano, Zevallos (Cevallos), Boza, Perdomo, Flores, Trillana, Betancur (Betancourt/Bethencourt), Ventura, Ramos, Corral, Febles, Ferrera, Monson, Blanco, Gallardo, Gonzalez de Arocha, Delgado, Montes de Oca, Infante, Duran, Tovar, Navarro, Magro, Arriola, Millares, Zerpa, Farias, Llerendo, Orozco, Acevedo, Grajales, Mellar, Carvallo, Garcia-Ceiba, Briza, Ronquillo, Aldana, Cantal, Santoyo, Urrutia, Barrera, Caballero, Aleman, Frias, Salamanca, Alcantara, Callejas, Yanez, Cardoso, Jordana, Contrera, Abero and Barrabi.





Personajes en la Historia de Mexico: 
    Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
    Don José María Morelos y Pavón
Miracle at Metepec (Maguey Hill)
Juan Nepomuceno Almonte






El cura don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, dio el Grito de Independencia en el pueblo de Dolores, Hidalgo en 1810.

Hidalgo inició la Independencia de México en 1810. Su nombre completo era: José, Miguel, Gregorio, Antonio, Ignacio Hidalgo y Costilla, nacido el ocho de mayo de 1753, en la jurisdicción de Pénjamo, Gto., siendo hijo de don Cristóbal Hidalgo y Costilla y de su esposa doña Ana María Gallega. Fue bautizado el 16 de mayo de 1753 en la capilla de Cuitzeo de los Naranjos, Gto., según consta en el acta de nacimiento que figura en el libro I, tomo I, de mi obra "La Independencia y los Presidentes de México", inédita.

Estudió en el Seminario del Colegio de San Nicolás, en Valladolid, hoy Morelia, Mich., hasta ordenarse sacerdote. Estuvo de párroco en varios lugares y entre ellos Colima, pasando después a San Felipe Torres Mochas, cercano a Dolores, Hidalgo.

Desde el año de 1800 hasta el 1809, participó en los Brotes de Independencia que se rebelaban contra el Gobierno Colonial del Virreinato y por tal motivo tenían reuniones secretas en Querétaro, en la Casa del Corregidor don Miguel Domínguez, con la participación muy activa de doña Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez, esposa del Corregidor y fue ella quien mandó un propio con recado para el cura Hidalgo diciéndole que habían sido descubiertos, por lo que se aceleró el inicio del Grito de Independencia.

En Dolores, Hidalgo, el cura don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla Gallaga, juntamente con el capitán don Ignacio Allende, don Mariano Abasolo, don Juan Aldama y otros, liberaron a los presos del lugar y acudieron junto con Hidalgo y la iglesia de San Miguel Allende y a las horas del amanecer, replicaron las campanas del templo, donde se reunió el pueblo en la mañana del 16 de septiembre de 1810 y al grito de Viva América, Viva Fernando Séptimo, pertrechados con machetes, palos, rifles, flechas, etc., emprendieron la marcha rumbo a la libertad, pasando por el poblado de Atotonilco, donde el cura Hidalgo cogió un óleo con la Virgen de Guadalupe, como bandera en la lucha iniciada... llegaron a San Miguel el Grande, luego rumbo a Guadalajara y después a Valladolid, teniendo fuertes enfrentamientos con las fuerzas del Gobierno Virreinal.

Batalla del Monte de las Cruces. El Virrey Venegas, al enterarse de la proximidad de los ejércitos de Hidalgo, mandó sus fuerzas al mando de don Torcuato Trujillo para enfrentarse a Hidalgo en cruenta batalla el 28 de octubre.

El 11 de enero de 1811, Hidalgo abandona Guadalajara con rumbo a Zapotlanejo, para enfrentarse poco después a las fuerzas virreinales en sangrienta batalla del Puente de Calderón, donde se le mermaron hombres y armamento, por lo que emprendió la marcha hacia el norte, pasando por Aguascalientes y Zacatecas, con rumbo a la frontera para comprar armas. Penetraron a territorio coahuilense, pero ya Hidalgo sólo era figura sin mando, porque el que llevaba la dirigencia era el capitán don Ignacio Allende, al que se había unido el capitán Elizondo con algunos recursos y tropas de su mando, pero sólo le guiaba la traición que consumó contra los jefes insurgentes, en Acatita de Baján, Coah., haciendo prisionero a Hidalgo y demás jefes que fueron trasladados, unos a Durango y otros a Chihuahua, donde estuvo preso Hidalgo y después de un juicio fue fusilado y enviado su cadáver y su cabeza decapitada junto con las de Allende, Aldama y Jiménez, fueron colgadas, una en cada esquina de la Alhóndiga de Granaditas en la ciudad de Guanajuato, donde permanecieron cerca de diez años, hasta ser rescatadas por los Insurgentes que dominaron Guanajuato.






Don José María Morelos y Pavón, continuador de la Independencia de México a la muerte del Cura Hidalgo.

Siguiendo textos de mi obra inédita "La Independencia y los Presidentes de México". Toca ahora al Siervo de la Nación don José María Morelos y Pavón, continuador de la Independencia de México a la muerte del Cura Hidalgo.

Don José María Morelos y Pavón nació en Valladolid (actual Morelia), el día 30 de septiembre de 1765, siendo hijo de don Manuel Morelos y de su esposa doña Juana María Pérez y Pavón, según acta de nacimiento que figura en el libro de bautismo de Valladolid, página 114.

A la muerte de Hidalgo, el señor Cura Morelos y Pavón, continuó al frente de los ejércitos Insurgentes junto con otros jefes como don Mariano Matamoros, los Galeana don José Juan y don Hermenegildo que estaban en su hacienda de Tecpan (ahora Tecpan de Galeana), don Francisco López Rayón, don Albino García, don José Antonio Torres el Lic. don Andrés Quintana Roo, doña Leona Vicario y otros más.

Todos los grupos de Insurgentes libraron cruenta batalla contra las fuerzas virreinales y muchos perdieron la vida como ocurrió con el cura don Mariano Matamoros.

Morelos se hacía fuerte en las tierras del sur y en la sierra de Guerrero, donde en cuevas acuñaba las famosas monedas Insurgentes "SUD", para pagar los gastos de la guerra.

Las fuerzas de Calleja sitiaron la ciudad de Cuautla, donde se encontraba Morelos con su gente. El sitio duró 72 días en que Morelos decidió romper el sitio porque ya carecía de víveres y parque, acto que ocurrió el uno de mayo de 1812.

Toma de Oaxaca. Morelos reorganizó sus fuerzas y se dirigió a tomar la ciudad de Oaxaca, con algunos de sus jefes como los Galeana, los Bravo, Matamoros, Vicente Guerrero, Guadalupe Victoria y don Manuel de Mier y Terán que fue nombrado jefe de artillería el 19 de noviembre de 1812, tomando la ciudad derrotando a los realistas que huyeron dejando armas, municiones y víveres en poder de los Insurgentes. En Oaxaca se presentó ante Morelos el Lic. Andrés Quintana Roo y doña Leona Vicario que empezaron a colaborar en el periódico "El Correo del Sur".

Morelos se sentía fuerte y con sus escasas armas sitió y tomó el Fuerte de San Diego.

Morelos sufrió la pérdida de don Mariano Matamoros, quien fue hecho prisionero y fusilado en la ciudad de Morelia, en cuyo lugar, 46 años después fue develada una placa que dice:

"Por haber defendido la Independencia de México, fue fusilado en este lugar el día cinco de febrero de 1814 don Mariano Matamoros, por orden del Gobierno Español, el benemérito ciudadano don Mariano Matamoros. La Junta Patriótica de 1860".

Morelos participó en la Constitución de Apatzingán de 1814 y fue declarado "Siervo de la Nación" y Generalísimo. Participó en el sitio de Cóporo.

Morelos fue hecho prisionero y enjuiciado por la Santa Inquisición. En el proceso declaró tener dos hijos, Juan Nepomuceno Almonte y José Ortiz, fuera de matrimonio, porque nunca fue casado. La Inquisición lo degradó el 28 de noviembre de 1815, trasladado de la Ciudad de México a San Cristóbal Ecatepec, el dos de diciembre de 1815, a las ocho de la mañana, y luego en el tosco palacio, a las tres de la tarde se le dio de comer y pasado luego a unas tapias fue fusilado y su cadáver a las cuatro de la tarde fue sepultado en el Cementerio de la Capilla, de donde posteriormente fue exhumado y trasladado su cadáver a la Ciudad de México. Años después depositados sus restos en la Columna de la Independencia.

Del tomo I, libro 3º. de mi obra inédita "La Independencia y los Presidentes de México", tomo los siguientes datos:

Después del fusilamiento de Morelos, se vio en serios problemas la lucha de la Independencia de México. Los diversos jefes insurgentes, aceptaron la guía de don Francisco López Rayón, que unido a sus hermanos Ignacio y Ramón y otros como don Nicolás Bravo, don Manuel de Mier y Terán, don José Sotero Castañeda, don Pedro Moreno y la fuerza y bríos que les inyectó don Francisco Javier Mina, pudieron resistir los embates realistas de Liñán, Bustamente y otros.

El 15 de diciembre de 1815 llega Rayón a la Hacienda de San Francisco, a tiempo de que El Congreso se disolvía bajo las órdenes de don Nicolás Bravo. Por otra parte, Manuel de Mier y Terán se retiró con rumbo diferente, porque los señores Guadalupe Victoria y Vicente Guerrero lo repudiaban.

En septiembre de 1816, don Francisco López Rayón abandonó el Fuerte de Cóporo y se dirigió al Fuerte de Jaujillo. Pronto la mala suerte abatió a don Francisco López Rayón, perdiendo la vida.

Don Francisco Javier Mina, soldado español que simpatizaban con la causa de la Independencia de México, partió de Londres, el 16 de mayo con siete buques de guerra y 200 hombres con rumbo a las costas de la Nueva España, llegando a Nueva York desde donde lanzó un manifiesto dando a conocer el motivo de su viaje y esperando apoyos para la lucha que vendría, partiendo para las playas mexicanas, llegando a Altamira, de donde se internó a la República Mexicana con 308 hombres mal armados pero ávidos de la Independencia de los españoles.

Por otra parte, las autoridades virreinales sabiendo las divisiones, envidas y traiciones que había entre los insurgentes, por cuestiones de mandos, ofrecieron indulto a los que quisieran aceptarlos. Don Pedro Moreno no aceptó ese beneficio. Mina se dirigió a la Hacienda del Jaral donde derrotan a Castañón el siete de julio de 1817, resguardada con tres cañones y más de cinco mil soldados realistas. Liñán atacó a Mina, quien decidió dirigirse a León, sin poderlo tomar por las fuerzas superiores que lo defendían.

Los realistas atacan a fuego de cañón el Fuerte del Sombrero, que tuvieron que abandonar los insurgentes con grandes pérdidas, y Mina que había salido previamente con cincuenta hombres en busca de víveres, no pudo regresar porque ya estaba en poder de los realistas.

Mina llegó al Fuerte de Jaujillo en octubre de 1815 el 26 de octubre de ese mes fue atacado Mina. Pedro Moreno murió en combate. Mina fue aprehendido y atado lo llevaron ante Orrantia, quien enfurecido le dio dos golpes de sable en el rostro, y el 27 de octubre lo fusilaron por la espalda como traidor. La cabeza de Pedro Moreno fue clavada en la punta de una lanza para su exhibición.

En noviembre de 1817 cayó el Fuerte de Jaujillo, y prisioneros don Ignacio López Rayón y don Nicolás Bravo. El seis de marzo de 1818, se indultaron varios jefes insurgentes. El escritor don José Ma. Liceaga, se retiró a su hacienda de La Laja, Guanajuato.

Así pasaba su peor momento la Insurgencia de México: envidias, indultos, muertes, etc.

Source:  El Siglo de Torreon
Sent by Mercy Bautista-Olvera




Miracle at Metepec (Maguey Hill)


San Diego de Metepec
This modest 18th century church, located 5 kms NW of the city of Tlaxcala, near Ocotelulco, marks the site of a 17th century miracle, the first to be authentically documented in post conquest Mexico.  Complementing the unique documentation, a remarkable altarpiece inside the church features a series of painted reliefs that illustrate the miracle, which involved the Franciscan saint San Diego de Alcalá and, significantly, a native artist and a local Indian woman.

The Church
The church was built in the 1740s and 1750s, either on the site of the miracle, or more likely replacing an earlier mission dedicated to St. Gregory and a former visita of the main Franciscan monastery of San Francisco de Tlaxcala. The west doorway and surmounting choir window are fashioned from the local brownstone. The archway of the baroque doorway is carved with vines and bears a tiny image of the Christ Child. A diminutive statue of San Diego de Alcalá, holding a basket and a foliated cross, stands in a niche above the ornamental choir window flanked by a pair of awkwardly carved, rampant lions and outlying heraldic escutcheons.

The Miracle
According to the contemporary document *, one day in 1611 a convalescent itinerant Indian painter lodged in the family house of a young Tlaxcalan woman named María Jacoba, who was paralysed in the legs and unable to walk.  During his recovery the painter was instructed in a dream by San Diego de Alcalá, the recently canonized Spanish Franciscan brother and healer, to whom the artist had prayed, to paint his image on the entry of the family chapel, which was duly done.  Then one day, when Maria was grinding corn inside the house, she heard the voice of the saint summoning her to rise and walk outside, which she did. The miracle caused a sensation and the church was re-dedicated to San Diego the healer.  In time the new church was built and the costly retablo created to celebrate the the miracle and accommodate the pilgrims who came in hopes of relieving their own ills.

The Main Retablo
Filling the apse and dated 1773, this extraordinarily rich, carved and gilded Churrigueresque style altarpiece is a masterpiece of late baroque design and workmanship.

Set in complex mixtlinear frames, four large lateral panels of polychrome reliefs with accompanying inscriptions relate the story of the miracle:

The first panel shows the saint ministering to the recumbent Indian painter lying in his bed. Also present is a foliated or vineclad cross, a traditional attribute of San Diego de Alcalá. At the time of the miracle, only 25 years after his canonization, San Diego enjoyed high visibility and popular devotion. The humble healer was promoted by the Franciscans to enhance their prestige, especially among the native peoples to whom they ministered. 
In the second panel San Diego appears outside the room in which Maria is grinding corn in a metate. She is dressed in a huipil and a pile of tortillas lies beside her. 
The third panel shows the saint raising Maria to her feet. 
In the fourth panel the saint and Maria stand side by side with an orange tree growing between them. Part of the legend records that San Diego ordered that an orange tree growing outside the native compound be preserved in his honor and never chopped down, a detail that explains the presence of the tree in the relief. 

Other art works at Metepec:

Richard D. Perry
Exploring Colonial Mexico 


Juan Nepomuceno Almonte




Investigando  sobre el apellido Almonte y su repercusión en América, me encontré con Brígida Almonte, que en la época de la independencia de los países hispanoamericanos vivía en México y que muy bien pudo ser descendiente de aquellos almonteños que establecieron negocios con las Indias y se quedaron a vivir por aquellas tierras.

Por circunstancias que mas adelante explicaremos, el apellido de esta mujer pasa a ser un misterio, ya que hay quien dice que era Montes ó algún otro, pero la verdad es que su estirpe se siguió llamando Almonte.

Nuestro personaje esta ligado a la vida de uno de los considerados héroes mexicanos que tanto contribuyeron a su independencia; el sacerdote José Maria Morelos y Pavón, que desempeñaba el curato de Curácuaro.

Conoció a Brígida Almonte en su parroquia cuando él tenía  36/37 años mientras que ella no pasaba de los 16. Era una mujer esbelta, de una belleza singular con unos hermosos ojos negros y desde el principio Morelos quedó prendado de ella. La atracción fue reciproca y el 15 de mayo de 1802 nació un niño al que bautizaron con el nombre de Juan Nepomuceno Almonte. Por razones obvias, han desaparecido los documentos de nacimiento y todos los relativos a Brígida, que murió al nacer su hijo.

Juan Nepomuceno Almonte, seguía a su padre, convertido en un importante cura revolucionario, en todas las batallas por la independencia de su País y pronto comenzó a destacar como político y estratega. Fue nombrado general por el general López de Santa Ana, participando en la independencia tejana. De hecho la descripción de la batalla de El Álamo, se debe a Almonte por las notas que recogió en su diario.

Por los servicios distinguidos prestados durante la batalla de San Jacinto, el general Almonte fue nombrado Secretario de Guerra y posteriormente embajador de México en los Estados Unidos.

El general siempre quiso tener una monarquía en México y junto con el arzobispo de México, colaboró para llevar a Maximiliano al País azteca y éste, le nombró embajador en  Inglaterra, España y Francia,  desde donde no pudo volver a México, ya que murió en Paris un domingo de marzo de 1869.

                                         Custodio Rebollo


Publicado en Odiel Información, Huelva el 3 de junio de 2009



Puerto Rico Gets a Little Richer With New Quarter from U.S. Mint
El Incendio en la Marina de Matanzas - 1845

Puerto Rico Gets a Little Richer 

With New Quarter from U.S. Mint


Attention quarter collectors: It's time to make room in your displays for the latest 25-cent piece.
With the recent completion of a 10-year mission to roll out new quarters for each of the 50 states, the U.S. Mint is poised to release the first of five quarters commemorating the U.S. territories, starting with Puerto Rico.
The new quarter will be available on Monday at your corner bank, but the official celebration will be on Thursday in the city of San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The back of the new coin features a historic sentry box and a hibiscus flower with the inscriptions, PUERTO RICO and Isla del Encanto, which means "Isle of Enchantment."
The sentry box is emblematic of the U.S. commonwealth's trademark stone fortifications, built by the Spaniards in the early 16th century to protect against foreign invaders. The odiferous flower is ubiquitous across the island.
Thursday's event will be followed by four others, roughly eight weeks apart, in Guam, American Samoa, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Northern Mariana Islands.
Attending Thursday's bash will be Ed Moy, director of the U.S. Mint, who told that he loves a good quarter-commemoration party.
"Since I've been Mint director, I've been to dozen -- they are a lot of fun," he said. "They pull out all the stops."
The party is open to the public and will feature a Spanish guitar performance and a coin exchange. Best of all, every child under 18 will receive a shiny new quarter.
Also attending the party will be Puerto Rican Gov. Luis Fortuno and his wife, First Lady Luce Vela Gutierrez.
The "2009 District of Columbia and U.S. Territories Program" began earlier this year with the D.C. quarter, inscribed with a rendering of Duke Ellington at his piano. The program came about due to the success of the "50 States Quarters Program" that ran from 1999 to 2008.
The quarters were released in the order states were admitted into the Union, beginning with Delaware and ending with Hawaii.
Explorer Christopher Columbus arrived on the island in 1493, and it soon became a Spanish colony. The stone-wall fortresses helped the Spaniards successfully fend off the French, Dutch and English. But in 1898, the island was ceded to the United States at the end of the Spanish-American War. In 1917, its residents became U.S. citizens.
On July 3, 1950, Congress passed a law authorizing Puerto Rico to draft its own constitution, and it officially became a United States commonwealth on July 25, 1952.
The design decision was made by a committee appointed by former Puerto Rican Gov. Aníbal Acevedo-Vilá, who was replaced by Fortuno in January.
The U.S. Mint produced the renderings, which were proposed to the commonwealth, and then given final clearance by then-U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson on July 31.
The public and media are invited to join United States Mint Director Ed Moy at the launch of the commemorative quarter honoring the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico--the Isla del Encanto--at San Juan's La Arcada in Paseo La Princesa, at 11:00 a.m., Thursday, April 2.

Source: (c) 2009. All rights reserved.
 Sent by Rafael Ojeda



El Incendio en la Marina de Matanzas -

Source: Raices de la Perla, Summer/Fall 2008
Publication of the Cuban Genealogy Club of Miami Florida, Inc.
Eduardo Ramos, President


primero en el periodico La Aurora de Matanzas, el 26 de junio de 1845, y de nuevo en el Diario de La Marina el 4 de julio de 1845. La Aurora de Matanzas despues fue conocido como La Aurora del Yumurf; el Yumuri es el no que atraviesa la ciudad. - Copiado tal como escrito.

Estracto pormenor o relacion de las casas que arraso el incendio del 26 del corriente en la Marina de Matanzas. En la Aurora de ayer, hallamos la siguiente narracion de los edificios reajo a cenizas el ultimo y terrible incendio ocurrido en aquella ciudad.

Calle de Contreras
Numero 1, casa baja, madera, de dona
Catalina Guiteras, deposito de frutos.
Numero 2, idem baja, idem, de la misma senora, tabaqueria y barberia.
Nums. 3 y 4, bajas, de madera, con accesorias, Da.
Serafina Acosta, la fonda El Ciervo de Oro.
Num. 5, de alto, madera,
Guillermo Jenkes, merceria y cafe.
Num. 6, de alto, madera, de Don Angel
Bruzon, taller de carpinteria.
Num. 7, de alto, mamposteria, de Don Isidor
e Garcia, baratillo de ropas.
Num. 5, de baja, madera, de Don Simon
Jimeno, vivienda.

Al Otro Frente
Num. 168, de baja, idem, tres accesorias, de D.
Bartolome de la Mata, viviendas. 
Num. 172, de baja, idem, del mismo Sr. de la Mata, baratillo de ropas de los herederos del difunto
Num. 173, de alto, idem, de Don Jose
Baro, tabaqueria y zapateria.
Num. 174, de baja, idem, de Mrs. Glob, vecina de La Habana, vivienda.
Num. 175, de baja, idem, de dona
Agustina Verrier, sastreria y barberia.
Num. 176, de alto, idem, de D. Daniel
Congdon, vivienda.
Num. 177, de alto, idem, de D. Jose
Dehogues, almacen de frutos.
Num. 178, de alto, idem, del mismo senor, deposito de los vapores.

Calle de Gelabert
Num. 1, alto, madera, de los Sres. D. Juan Francisco Acosta, D. Juan de
Michelena y Jose Dehogues, cafe de la Marina, y un almacen por mayor.
Num. 2, alto, madera, de los mismos Sres., almacen de frutos.
Num. 3, alto, idem, de
Fernando Deville, vivienda y almacen.
Num. 4, baja, idem, del mismo, libreria y baratillo en general.
Num. 5, baja, idem, de D.
Jacinto Azanza, deposito de maiz.
Num. 6, alto, idem, (en pleito de acreedores) almacen de tasajo & c.
Num. 7, de alto, mamposteria, de Don
Vicente de Junco, vivienda y almacen.
Num. 8, mamposteria y de alto de madera, de D. Bartolome de la Mata, vivienda y almacen.

En el numero 9 de D. Guillermo Jenkes se corto el fuego por esta parte alta de la ciudad a la cual de les destruyeron los techos; los mismo se ejecuto con la casa del otro frente numero 172 de la propiedad o administracion de D. Jaime Camps.

Calle de Ayllon (La Marina)
Num. 8, alto, de madera, de los Sres. D. Juan Francisco Acosta, D. Juan de Michelena y Jose Dehogues, almacen.
Num. 9, alto, de Juan Acosta, almacen de frutos.
Num. 10, baja de D. Jose Dehogues, almacen de frutos.
Num. 11, alto, del mismo senor, almacen idem.
Num. 12, de alto, madera, de Dona Catalina Guiteras, almacen de idem.
Num. 13, baja, idem, de la misma senora, en composicion de suelos & c.
Num. 14, baja, idem, de D. Santiago
Bayley, cafe de rustan. Aqui en lo interior, entre el juego de bolos y el fondo del Ciervo de Oro, comenzo el fuego: era una callejuela de lindero con hacinamiento de hojarasca y basuras de obra.
Num. 15, alto idem, del mismo senor Bayley, cerveceria.
Num. 16, alto idem, de D. Domingo
Madan, confiteria y cantina.
Num. 17, bajo idem, con dos accesorias de D.
Joaquin Madan; un amolador de navajas y un bodegon con cantina.

Calle de la Magdalena
Num. 4, baja, de mamposteria de dona
Josefa de Jimeno, con dos accesorias viviendas.
Num. 5, ciudadela, madera, de D.
Venancio Sanchez.

Al Otro Frente
Num. 11, baja de mamposteria, de D. Bartolome de la Mata, vivienda.
Num. 12, baja idem, del mismo senor, idem.
Num. 13, baja idem, del mismo senor: aqui se quemaron los instrumentos y libreria del Ingeniero Sr. de Carrera; perdio cerca de 3000 pesos en este precioso caudal de su estudio.
Num. 14, cfcja, madera, del mismo senor de la Mata, vivienda.
Num. 15, baja mamposteria, de D.
Juan Felipe Sarria.
Num. 16, baja, idem, del mismo Sr. idem.
Num. 17, baja, idem, del mismo Sr. idem.
Num 18, baja, madera, tres accesorias de dona Rosal
ia Badia de Gaunaurd; carpinteria, zapateria y viviendas.

Calle del Manzano
Num. 192, baja, mamposteria, de D.
Edmundo Depestre; se quemo el interior y se salvo el exterior, sin efectos. 
Num. 193, baja madera, dos accesorias de D.
Joaquin Madan, viviendas.

En el 189 de D. Luis Lavallet, se corto el fuego el fuego en la cocina que prendio por tres puntos, y fue precise casi arruinar la casa. Esta heroica maniobra salvo la parte baja del barrio del Ojo de Agua; pues ardiendo la morada del espresado Sr. de Lavalett, infaliblemente se prendia la casa de la senora viuda de Gaunaurd y se generalizaba el incendio por las orillas del Yumuri.

No regulamos ni graduamos las perdidas de propietanos e inquilinos, porque una comision del Gobierno esta encargada de esa parte, y nos remitimos y sometemos a su juicio.

Con esto creo haber cumplido mi oferta de dar a Yds. Sres Editores de la Aurora un estracto de los libros del padron general de esta ciudad que tengo a mi cargo por la contrata del alumbrado y bomberos, y puedo afirmar que esta noticia es exacta y arreglada a la revista de establecimientos que hacemos todos los meces para tirar los recibos de la contribucion municipal de luz, bomberos y serenos.

Me repito de Vds., como atento S.S.Q.S.M. Miguel Escalada

Resumen: casas de alto: 19; casas bajas: 25; cuidadelas: 1 -Total: 45.




Juan Sebastian de Elcano 
Fernando de Noronha
Felipe IV, Rey de Espana 

Juan Sebastián de Elcano



Spains 370 Foot Topsail schooner was launched in 1927 for the then Royal Spanish Navy. She is named after the Spanish seafarer Juan Sebastian de Elcano. and has circumnavigated the world six times. This four masted schooner is the official training ship for the Spanish Navy.

Celebrated navigator, Juan Sebastian de Elcano was the first to sail around the world. He was born in Guetaria, Gipuzkoa in 1487 and died in the Pacific in 1526. Accustomed since childhood to the life of the sea and net and deep sea fishing, he later refined his maritime experience with the maritime commerce of contraband in the ports of France. His enterprising and adventurous character made him participate in the expedition that cardenal Cisneros organized against Algeria in 1509.
Upon his return, he went to Seville, where he came to form part of the crew that accompanied Magellan in his voyage to connect Spain with the so-called East Indies or Far East. In the fleet, composed of five ships and crewed by 265 men, corresponded at first to Elcano the post of master of the vessel Concepcion. The expedition set sail in Sanlucar de Barrameda the 20th of September, 1519, and, after having put in at the Canaries, made for the Brazilian coast, which they skirted in the southern direction, until they arrived at the mouth of river which was called San Julian (March of 1520), where they stopped for the winter.
Here, Magellen had to face the opposition of Juan de Cartagena, who, followed by other captains and numerous crew men, refused to go further and declared an open rebellion. The mutineers entrusted to Elcano the military command of the ship San Antonio. The differences resolved violently, Elcano was able to return with the previous charge to the ship Concepcion, at whose hand he would cross the anxiously looked for Estrecho (later said by Magellen) in November of that year and penetrated the immense waters of the Pacific ocean.
After countless vicissitudes and later after having stopped at various islands, they put into port at the Philipine archipelego in the spring of 1521, where the genial leader of the expedition would encounter a violent death on the island of Mactan, near Cebu, on April 27, 1521. With Magellen gone, Duarte Barbosa, his brother-in-law, and the pilot Juan Serrao, both Portuguese, took command of the fleet. Within a few days, they were treacherously killed by the king of the island of Cebu, who had invited them to a banquet. They were replaced by Juan Carvalho, also Portuguese, in the Victoria, and Gonzalo Gomez de Espinosa in the Trinidad, since the Concepcion, now inservable, had to be abandoned in the island of Bohol, Elcano went then to the Victoria, with the same position he occupied on the Concepcion.
Reduced to two ships and 150 men, the expedition dedicated itself subsequently to investigating the various islands of the Philipine archipelago, until, guided by indigenous pilots, they finally arrived to the famous island of Spices, or the Molucas. On November 8, 1521, they reached the island of Tidore, where, aided by Almanzor, sultan of Tidore, they founded a commercial center, loading clove, nutmeg, and other precious goods. Well informed of the presence of the Portuguese in those waters, the leaders of the expedition determined that, while the Trinidad, under the hand of Gomez de Espinosa, sailed for the isthmus of Panama, the Victoria would try to regain Spain by the same route the Portuguese had followed.
Leaving the Molucas on December 21, 1521, with a crew that was made up of 47 Europeans and 13 natives, the Victoria could finally leave the turbulent waters of the island, thanks to the skill of two indigenous pilots. Meanwhile, Elcano had become the captain of the expedition, replacing Carvalho in the port of Caldera de Mindanao. Setting course for the island of Timor, they stopped at various islands, when they resupplied with pepper, wood and other goods.
They arrived at the island of Timor, known for the abundance of white sandle wood, on January 26, 1522. Elcano immediately began bargaining with the natives to adquire supplies. The demands of these obliged him later to choose more expediant methods, taking prisoner one of the leaders and demanding supplies in return for his freedom.
The vessel Victoria was anchored in the port of Batutaria, place of the seaboard of the island of Timor, about one and a half months, in which time they received news of the neighboring islands of the archipelago of the Sonda, from Java, from the peninsula of Malaca and even from China. They left that place on the 11th of February, 1522. The 6th of May that same year they turned the point of Buena Esperanza and, at last, after many vicissitudes and dangers of sea and man (Portuguese, in this case), they arrived with their battered ship at the port of Sanlucar de Barrameda the 6th of December, 1522.
Of the 239 men that left Sevilla in five ships only 17 returned in one ship; but this glorious voyage, of the most scientific importance in the panoramic of the discovery of the world, placed in the realm of reality the dream of Columbus of connecting Europe with East Asia by the Western route, proving in an empirical way the theory that the world is round (on their arrival, Elcano and the mariners would see with surprise that they had lost a day in the log they carried of the record of such a long journey). However, the balance of the circumnavigation of Magellen and Elcano was nearly null from the economic and politcal points of view, leaving better demonstrated that the route to the lands of silk, ivory and spices was not the western, because of this it was impossible to establish by it the adequate counterpart to the indo-portuguese route through the point of Buena Esperanza.
After two days, Elcano and the crew of the Victoria marched to Sevilla, where they went to prostrate before Nuestra Senora de la Antigua to give thanks for their happy arrival.
Juan Sebastian de Elcano was later recieved by the emperor Carlos V, who, among other things that he gave to the crew of the surviving ship, he granted to the native of Geutaria a pension of 500 ducados and the coat of arms with the legend: "primus circumdedisti me".
We later see Elcano in Valladolid, where, as fruit of a romance he had with Maria de Vidaurreta, a daughter was born to him. He was very persecuted without knowing for certain why, although he suspected that it was for romantic reasons; the result of which, he obtained from Carlos V the ability to be accompanied by two armed men at all times.
He later presented himself at the juntas of Badajoz and Yelbes, convenied with the purpose to put to rest the dispute the between Castilla and Portugal over the possession of the Molucas. But Elcano was not a man that could live far from the sea for long. So, he went to Portugalete, to enlist in the armada that under the command of Loaysa had to set sail again to the Molucas the 24th of July, 1525. This expedition, in which the man of Guetaria displayed the position of second in command, suffered in like manner numerous set backs, ending up as well to lose the vessel in which Elcano traveled. The death of the commander Loaysa on the 30th of July, 1526 left Elcano in command of the expedition, although for a short time, as he died consumed by the scurvy in waters of the Pacific on August 4, 1526, after having given the testament, in which he dedicated an emotive recollection to his place of birth.
Roland Nuñez Salazar
Board of Director/Membership & Public Events Coordinator
Institute of Hispanic Culture Houston, Inc. (Cell) 281 220-7153







Con motivo del terrible accidente aéreo de hace unos días  del avión de Air France, todos los periódicos del mundo han aireado el nombre de la Isla de Fernando de Noronha, como punto de referencia para situar el lugar de caída del Airbus y sede de las operaciones de rescate.

La Isla de Fernando de Noronha esta situada en el nordeste de Brasil y pertenece a un grupo de 21 islas, de las que solo está habitada ésta, que tiene solo 17 metros cuadrados de superficie.

Fernando de Noronha fue un judío converso natural de Asturias, que representaba en la Península Ibérica al banquero Fugger y tenía negocios tanto en Castilla como en Portugal.

En una expedición patrocinada por Noronha y sus socios, dirigida por Gonzalo Coelho, fue descubierta la Isla el 24 de julio de 1503, comprobando que tenía una gran riqueza en palos de Brasil. A su solicitud el rey Manuel I de Portugal le concedió la explotación de esta riqueza, que les produjo muy importantes beneficios, ya que solo en 1506 extrajeron de esta tierra veinte mil quintales de palo de Brasil.

Con motivo del descubrimiento, el rey portugués concedió a Fernando de Noronha la Capitanía Marítima de la isla, que en principio se la denominaba Sâo Joâo de Quaresma.

Regresó a Portugal y construyó en sociedad con Marchioni, Morelli, y Martins, la nave “Bretâo”, que regresó a Lisboa en julio de 1511 con una gran cantidad de palo de Brasil, animales exóticos y 40 esclavas.

En 1532. Juan III de Portugal  nombró hidalgo de armas a Fernando de Norornhe.

La isla está declarada desde el 2002, Patrimonio de la Humanidad por la UNESCO y actualmente esta dedicada a un  turismo muy especializado, ya que toda la isla se considera ausente de polución y es un verdadero paraíso para los buceadores, pues en sus aguas se entrecruzan las barracudas, rayas, tortugas, delfines y un gran numero de coloridos peces exóticos, que se refugian en el fondo de coral.

Los alojamientos son muy simples, para no dañar al medio ambiente, pero todos los que la visitan reconocen que el suprimir algunas comodidades merece la pena, por la belleza salvaje y natural del entorno.

                                     Angel  Custodio Rebollo


Publicado en Odiel Información el 9 de junio de 2009






Ayer, leyendo un pequeño relato del gran historiador Antonio Dominguez Ortiz, publicado en Archivo Hispalense en 1956, sobre el suplicio que sufrió Don Juan de Benavides en tiempos de Felipe IV,  nos enteramos un poco de cómo las gastaba aquel rey.

El relato comienza: “El 21 de febrero d 1572, en una parroquia de Ubeda, fue bautizado un niño con el nombre de Juan Encubierto, hijo de padres desconocidos….”

Pero el niño, como es natural, tenía padres y era el fruto de los amores clandestinos de Manuel de Benavides, marqués de Jabalquinto y una doncella hidalga de Úbeda. Posteriormente fue reconocido, aunque el marqués se casó con otra señora.

Tanto los abuelos, como el padre, habían o pertenecían a la Marina Española y por lógica, Juan desde pequeño fue encauzado para ingresar en la Armada

Sirvió en las galeras de Portugal y en 1615 ya era Almirante, llegando a ser General de Flota, destinándolo a proteger a los barcos que iban y venían de Indias con metales preciosos y todo tipo de mercancías.

En 1628, la poderosa armada holandesa esperó que Benavides y sus barcos partieran para Castilla con importante cargamento de plata y lo esperaron en las Antillas al acecho de tan significativo botín. Los holandeses fueron al encuentro de Benavides en aguas cubanas y aunque seis  barcos lograron adelantarse y llegar a La Habana, el resto de la flota compuesto de tres galeones y once mercantes al verse cercados por los neerlandeses, buscaron refugio en la bahía de Matanzas y allí, sin dar tiempo a tirar la plata, saquearon los barcos y después los hundieron, huyendo las tripulaciones castellanas sin apenas luchar.

Tan pronto llegó el General a Sevilla, fue preso y hubo de soportar un largo juicio en el que a él, todos  le culparon de todo, siendo el texto final de la sentencia; “… este hombre por las culpas que tubo en la perdida de la flota que se llevó el enemigo en 1628 de que fue general. Mándalo degollar por ello. Quien tal hace, que tal pague.”

 El 18 de mayo de 1634, en la plaza San Francisco de Sevilla, fue degollado públicamente Juan de Benavides.

                                     Ángel Custodio Rebollo

Publicado en Odiel Información, Huelva el 10 de junio de 2009


La investigación historica
Filipino American Resources

La investigación historica



Al realizar una investigación histórica, a los que nos entusiasma esa parcela, nos encontramos con múltiples dificultades. La primera es la falta de documentos de épocas lejanas y también de las actuales, porque en España sufrimos una guerra civil en el 36 donde desaparecieron muchos documentos, unos porque los quemaron y otros porque fueron fruto del robo descarado o la manipulación.

Por mi ascendencia familiar por línea materna, siempre me he inclinado en conocer datos y cosas relativos a San Juan del Puerto, y muy especialmente lo que hicieron los sanjuaneros en la época del Descubrimiento, ya que el foco principal de donde partió todo, Moguer, Palos y Huelva, se encuentran a escasos kilómetros de San Juan y por lógica aquí tuvo que existir mucho movimiento de gente que fueron y vinieron a América.

Hoy he centrado mis pesquisas en los clérigos, religiosos, frailes, etc., que emprendieron la gran aventura y encuentro poca cosa relativa a nuestro pueblo, y no hay duda que de San Juan partieron muchos destinados a evangelizar el Nuevo Mundo, pero cuando emprendemos la búsqueda de datos, nos encontramos con una gran dificultad  y es que muchos de los religiosos que partieron de aquí, no lo hicieron directamente, ya que lo hacían desde los conventos, y los mas  importantes estaban en Moguer, Trigueros y principalmente en Sevilla, por lo que en los datos que se localizan figuran como de estas poblaciones, hasta que casualmente tropiezas con una referencia que la dirige a San Juan.

Otro dificultad que encontramos es cuando recurrimos a Internet. Hoy en día, casi todas las investigaciones pasan a través de Google, bien para buscar nuevos datos o pistas que te conduzcan hacia ello o para corroborar algunos de los que posees o tienes duda,  y ahí hay otro inconveniente, ya que cuando pedimos a Google datos sobre San Juan del Puerto, encontramos cerca de un millón y medio de entradas, pero de ellas un escaso porcentaje se refieren a nuestro San Juan, porque la mayoría corresponden a San Juan de Puerto……..Rico.

Me ocurrió cuando investigue unos datos sobre Rodrigo García Barbosa, el sanjuanero que llegó a ser Chantre de la Catedral de México. Solo encontré datos en libros españoles y algunos que me consiguió un amigo americano, pero de Google logré bien poquito.

Otro inconveniente que encuentra el investigador cuando quiere conocer algún pormenor que corresponde a algún religioso, es que las entidades católicas, parece que no están mucho por la labor, aunque de aquella época son los que conservan una mayor información, y a veces, después de insistir una y otra vez, consigues que te faciliten alguna particularidad, aunque  otras, lo tienes que dejar porque resulta imposible obtener la información a pesar de tu insistencia..

También ha existido una especie de escamoteo por parte de historiadores de las poblaciones que hay a nuestro alrededor, que escriben sobre personajes de San Juan, adjudicándoselos a su pueblo, lo que hace que con el tiempo, se tergiverse el dato y figure como de otro lugar.

Por mi parte, sigo buscando información sobre aquel fraile llamado  Escobedo que pudo ser el que alrededor del año 1500,  fundara en La Florida la Misión de San Juan del Puerto, o quizás lo hizo Fray Francisco Pareja. La verdad es que solo obtengo teorías, pero pocos datos fehacientes, que lo confirmen.

Y esta es a grandes rasgos la labor que las personas a las que nos gusta experimentar con la labor de la investigación  histórica y nos compromete con los destinatarios finales, los lectores.

                                 Ángel Custodio Rebollo Barroso.


Publicado en la Revista Fiestas de San Juan del Puerto. 2009


Filipino American Resources


Wonderful resource for searching on Filipino history. General Information on both 
Local Filipino American History and National Filipino American History, including 
Books, Videos, and Journals
Other Resources:  
Compiled by Lemieux Library
Rafael Ojeda


Locating and Searching City Directories on 
Latest Status of LDS Digitizing of Records
Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation research
Tracing Your Hispanic Heritage in the Americas
The National Security Archive, The George Washington University


Commander of the Royal Presidio of San Antonio de Bexar
© By John D. Inclan
Edited by Bernadette Inclan


Mexico became a country when it gained independence from Spain in 1821. However, for almost three hundred years it is New Spain and its citizen's Spanish subjects. In 1835, the Mexican State of Tejas declares independence from the new nation of Mexico. Nonetheless, to this day, Spanish roots are deeply entrenched in the histories and composition of both Mexico and Texas. The political, military and powerful elite families from New Spain begin this history and this story.

Much data and legends exist on the Oil tycoons and the cattle barons of Texas. Nevertheless, these men are mere latecomers in Texas history. Under the leadership of the Silver Magnate, Governor Juan de Onate, Spanish Colonization of what is now the United States began in 1598. Nine years before the English established the first settlement at Jamestown and twenty-two years before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, this early trailblazer used his immense wealth to finance an entire entrada into New Mexico. This expedition included his son, Cristobal de Onate, then eight-years old and a commissioned lieutenant governor and captain general, the two Zaldivar brothers, Juan and Vicente, and Onate's nephews. Ten Franciscan priests carrying crosses fronted 400 men, many with their families. The encumbered cortege entered New Mexico, via El Paso, with two luxury coaches, belonging to Onate, eighty-three wagons and seven thousand heads of livestock. Dressed in full armor plate, these first Europeans that settle New Mexico shape the destiny of what is now the American Southwest. Eighty-two years later, the descendents of these colonies flee the Albuquerque area in what history calls the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. The refugees settle in El Paso and Monterrey, Mexico. The families of Duran y Chavez of El Paso, and, generations later, San Antonio, Texas, and the De Las Casas of Monterrey, New Spain, are portrayals in this flight. Of these two families, later generation ally by marriage to the Urrutia family. In addition, through the intricate web of allied families of Monterrey one finds numerous descendents of the Onate-Zaldivar family in the genealogy of the Captain's descendents of the lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas.

By the late 1600's, Florida, Texas and the Southwest belonged to the vast empire of Spain. Jose de Urrutia and Diego Ramon, governor of Coahulia, New Spain from 1691 to 1698, exemplify the "movers and shakers" of this new land. These two influential men and their families settled in the region of Coahulia.

Captain Jose de Urrutia was born in the province of Guipuzcoa, Spain, on or about 1678. He and his brother Toribio came to the Americas before 1691. Little information exists on their early years in and about New Spain, but by 1691, Jose; a mere youth, accompanies Don Domingo Teran de los Rios, into an expedition into Texas. Teran had been in the Spanish service in Peru for twenty years. In 1681, he came to Mexico as a deputy of the consulate of Seville. Because of his successes in quelling Indian disturbances, his instructions included establishing seven missions among the Tejas Indians. At this time the Spanish military established a garrison near the Neches River, a boundary stream forming the county lines in what is now East Texas and the Louisiana border.

In the winter of 1693, the Tejas Indians turned hostile which forced the garrison into a tortuous withdrawal from Texas. It was on this fateful date that Jose de Urrutia met with an accident on the San Marcos River, (but which scholars now believe to have been either the Colorado River or the Navidad River). The San Marcos River flows southeast for seventy-five miles, forming the boundary between Gonzales and Caldwell counties, before reaching its mouth on the Guadalupe River, two miles west of Gonzales. Forced to remain among the friendly Kanohatinos, Tohos, and Xarames Indians that inhabited this area, Captain Jose and four soldiers remained for an extended period. He soon gained the respect of these tribes by quickly learning their languages and becoming intimately acquainted with their customs. This earned him the title of "captain general" and soon afterwards, he oversaw the activities of all the nations hostile to the Apaches Indians. Under his leadership, he conducted several extensive campaigns against the fierce and hostile Apache.

By the early 1700's a band of "nomadic hunter and gatherers", the Comanche, began migrating south and they showed up in the Texas panhandle and in New Mexico. It was this migration that would drive the Apaches out of the High Plains. Only after their arrival on the Plains did the tribe come to be known as Comanche, a name derived from the Ute word Komantcia, meaning "enemy". This fact alone tells the reader a great deal about these warriors. Like the Spaniards, the Comanche were a new addition to Texas. They came from Wyoming and had once been part of the Shoshone Indians. (The Comanche and the Shoshone share a common language). Historical data says that the Comanche acquired their first horses around 1680. It is interesting to note that in an ironic twist of fate, the Spaniards, in an earlier century, introduced the horse into the Americas. Once the Comanche had horses they learned to use them, thereby enabling this nomadic tribe to be more mobile in hunting and in warfare. As their migration continued, the Comanche used their skill with horses to strike swiftly and overcome their opponents. The numerous accounts of the depredations and murders inflicted by the Comanche on the local Indian population as well as on the Spanish featured prominently in the every day life of the settlers of San Antonio and its missions. The Comanche have distinguished themselves as the finest light cavalry in the world with the exception of the Cheyenne Indians, which out classed them. Even today, one can well imagine the Indian war cries that terrified my early ancestors.

By his own statement, Captain Jose claims to have lived amongst the Indians for seven years. When Captain Jose rejoined his countrymen remains unknown, but by 1696, he had returned to New Spain. There he held a prominent military position with the Spanish government.

To promote trade with the local Indians and the Spanish of New Spain, in 1714 a French cavalier, Lieutenant Louis Juchereau de Saint Denis, established a trading post that grew into the town of Natchitoches, Louisiana. It was a short time later that several overland highways met at Natchitoches, including the Natchez Trace from the east and the Camino Real (The King's Highway) from New Spain. Natchitoches, recognized as the oldest permanent settlement in Louisiana, plays a major role in the histories of both Texas and Louisiana, and given notoriety by the filming of the movie "Steel Magnolias". St. Denis presented himself to the Indians of East Texas and revealed his plan to go into Mexico. The Indians asked St. Denis if he would seek their beloved "captain general". This illustrates how completely Captain Jose endeared himself to the Indians. St. Denis did go to Mexico and found himself under a "pleasant house arrest" while Spanish officials awaited instructions from Mexico City on what to do with "a foreigner bearing goods banned by Spanish mercantile restrictions." The Spanish Crown enacted an order prohibiting entry of foreign traders or their merchandise into any Spanish territory. St. Denis, however, used this occasion to court and wins a promise of marriage to the Dona Maria Manuela de Sanchez Navarro. The beautiful Manuela, as referenced in numerous accounts, is the granddaughter of Dona Feliciana Camacho y Botello, and the step granddaughter of Major Diego Ramon. The union guaranteed St. Denis a successful outcome with the Spanish Viceroy, who later appointed him conductor of supplies for the planned Ramon expedition to Texas. In 1721, St. Denis became the commander of Fort St. Jean Baptiste, located near the mouth of Bayou Amulet. When Manuela died, April 16, 1758, the annals of Natchitoches record that she was the wealthiest woman in Louisiana. Northwestern State University of Louisiana now occupies the property of her estate. Throughout the parishes of Louisiana, the genealogist can find the descendants of the union between St. Denis and Sanchez Captain

Jose married twice. The first occurred on January 7, 1697 to Dona Antonia Ramon. Dona Antonia was the daughter of Governor Don Diego Ramon and the Dona Feliciana Camacho y Botello. The marriage ceremony performed at the parish church, Santiago Apostol, in the silver mining town of Monclova, in the state of Coahulia in Mexico. Captain Jose and Antonia had one daughter, Antonia, who later married Don Luis Antonio Menchaca. The Menchacas settled in San Antonio, and in 1753, Don Luis earned the appointment and title of the commander of San Antonio de Bexar. They left their own unique mark in Texas history.

After the death of his first wife during childbirth, Don Jose married the Dona Rosa Flores y Valdez; the daughter of Don Juan Flores y Valdez and Dona Josefa de Hoyos y3e la Garza Falcon. Dona Rosa's families are descendents of the original Conquistadors of Coahulia and Nuevo Leon in New Spain. This marriage most likely took place in Saltillo. From the union they had four daughters and six sons, including a son named Turbico de Urrutia, who would later succeed him as captain of the presidio de Bexar. Their children, Rosa Micaela, married Don Pedro Jose de Godoy; Cathalina, married Don Jose de Plaza; Juana married Don Ignacio Gonzalez de Inclan. When widowed, her second marriage was to Don Pedro Mariano de Ocon y Trillo; Ana Gertrudis Josefina, married Don Antonio Nicolas de Trevino Gutierrez; Captain Toribio de Urrutia, married Dona Ana Maria de Farias y Flores de Abrego and Dona Maria Josefa Flores de Valdez; Joaquin married Dona Maria Josefa Hemandez Longoria; Pedro married Dona Gertrudis Flores y Valdez; Manuel died young and never married; Ignacio Cayetano married Dona Rosa Sanchez Navarro y Gomez; Miguel married Dona Clara Cantu.

On March 1, 1700, the new Governor of Coahulia was D6n Francisco Cuervo de Valdez a knight of the Order of Santiago. (He would later serve as the Governor of New Mexico). To help establish the Mission San Francisco Solano, Cuervo de Valdez commissioned Don Jose's father-in-law, Major Diego Ramon, now the former Governor, the commander of the presidio de San Juan Bautista del Rio Grande. Major Ramon commissioned other frontiersmen and together they enter the regions of Texas. This mission, the predecessor of the Alamo, was later relocated and renamed.

On July 23, 1733, Don Jose now had forty years experience with the Indians of Coahuila, Nuevo Leon, and Texas. He earned the commission as the Captain and commander of the presidio of San Antonio de Bexar. This post suited him well, for Don Jose was the most knowledgeable on Indian affairs of all the New World Spaniards. His new residence was the old Comandancia that today is known as the Spanish Governors' Palace in San Antonio, Texas. Of note: The Governor never resided there. This building always served as an administrative office or for official ceremonies.

From 1734 to 1738, a succession of Apache raids resulted in a great loss of lives and livestock. Situated in a volatile area, the inhabitants of Bexar lived in constant fear and some families moved into the boundaries of the city. The situation worsen to the point that in the winter of 1739 Captain Jose led a campaign against the Apache Indians in the San Saba region (now known as located in the Texas "Hill Country" and boasts the title "Pecan Capital of the World"). He reached in this campaign the same point that years earlier another Spaniard by the name of Don Juan Antonio Bustillo y Ceballos had reached in 1732. This campaign momentarily defeated the Apache and brought a short period of peace and stability to the area. It would not be long after that the Apache and the Spanish would find themselves warring with the Comanche. In 1743, the first report of the Comanche was sent to the viceroy.

Captain Jose's many connections in Coahulia, Nuevo Leon, and New Spain's capital city Mexico (Mexico City) are acknowledged by the fact that he was a friend and confidant to the powerful Marquis of San Miguel de Aguayo, Don Joseph Ramon de Azior y Virto de Vera and that he had a business venture with the merchant, Don Juan de Angulo of Mexico City. On September 25, 1735, Captain Jose and Juan drafted a contract or a power of attorney (POA) where Jose had the authority to collect 350 pesos a year from 40 of his men's salaries. Juan in turn would supply them with their necessary needs. This POA document, of particular interest to a genealogist, contains the roster of the soldiers that were garrison in San Antonio. An enthusiast can find housed in the Spanish Archives Collection at the Bexar County Courthouse a copy of the POA.

The San Fernando Catholic Church records of February 18, 1738 note that Captain Jose gave 100 pesos towards the construction of San Fernando Church. This church was named after the thirteenth century Spanish monarch, Ferdinand III. At eighteen years of age, the young king led his army to defeat the Moors and reestablished Christianity worship in Castile, Spain. In 1671, Pope Clement X canonized King Ferdinand III a saint. When founded in 1731, San Fernando church was the first Christian church west of the Mississippi River. The secular clergy administered the sacred rites under the jurisdiction of the diocese of Guadalajara, in New Spain. The monastic Franciscans administered prior spiritual care from the local mission, San Antonio de Valero. This new parish served the religious and civic events for the civilian and military populations. It became known as San Fernando Cathedral in later times.

Captain Jose's property included holdings in Coahulia as well as in Texas. In San Antonio, Texas, Captain Jose and his family received a Royal Land Grant from the King of Spain. The land grants included water rights that went with the land and was measured by the number of days in which water could be used. The water was derived from the San Antonio River and one day of water was equivalent to 117 acres. (Even by today's standards, this is quite a track of land). This grant was near what is now Military Plaza, between Houston and Commerce Street in San Antonio. A son-in-law, Don Ignacio Gonzalez de Inclan, a native of Milan, Italy, (a duchy under Spanish domain) a soldier and cashier under the Captain's command owned the property across the street from the Comandancia. On June 10, 1739, Don Ignacio received his land grant (Spanish Deed #704 Bexar County Courthouse) located on the northwest comer of West Commerce and Flores streets. His widow, Dona Juana de Urrutia would later sell this property to Don Diego Ramon Jr. This land with its adobe house would later pass to a kinsmen, D6n Luis Mariano Menchaca. Upon his death, the property passed to his widow, Dona Maria Concepcion de Estrada, and on her will of March 21, 1815, she bequest the property to her son, Don Jose Maria Rodriguez. On her will was a clause which provided "one day of water" to be sold to defray her burial expense and the balance to be applied for masses to be said for her and her deceased husbands souls. This one story adobe landmark stood for two centuries before giving way for a commercial building that stands there today. The site remains as an abandoned five and dime store.

The Captain's last will and testament is dated July 4, 1740, San Antonio, Texas. His will was witness by the Notary Public and Secretary, D6n Francisco Joseph de Arocha, and father-in-law to his granddaughter, Dona Maria Ignacia de Urrutia. He died in San Antonio on July 16, 1741. As mentioned previously, his son, Turbico de Urrutia succeeded him as commander. The sons and daughters of the Urrutia and Ramon clans married and settled in Coahulia and Nuevo Leon, Mexico, Texas and Louisiana. Later Generations also contributed in shaping the new Republic of Texas.

The flags from Spain, Mexico, the Republic of Texas and the Unites States have flown successively over Texas. Likewise, the intricate web of allied families of Coahulia and Nuevo Leon, found in Texas, comprise an interwoven community that irrefutably credits the Spanish conquests in providing the Hispanic origins.

ReferencesBames, Thomas C, Nayor, Thomas H., and Polzae, Charles W. Northern New Spain A Research Guide. Tucson, Arizona The University of Arizona Press, 1981.

Chabot, Frederick C. With the Makers of San Antonio. San Antonio, Texas Artes Graficas Publishers 1970

Chipman, Donald E. Spanish Texas, 1519-1821. Austin, Texas, University of Texas Press, 1992.

De Zavala, Adina. History and Legends of the Alamo and other Missions. Houston, Texas Arte Publico Press, University of Houston . 1996

Foster, William C. Spanish Expeditions into Texas 1689-1768. Austin, Texas, University of Texas Press, 1995

Gonzalez de la Garza, Rodolfo. Mil Familias III. 1998Hogan, Paul. Great River The Rio Grande in North American History. New York, Rinehart & Company, Inc. 1954




The National Security Archive, The George Washington University 

This looks like a great site to look back in history. 
Get on their mailing list . I did . Enjoy . 
Bill Carmena 


Locating and Searching City Directories on 
Latest Status of LDS Digitizing of Records
Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation research
Tracing Your Hispanic Heritage in the Americas

Locating and Searching City Directories on 


Locating and Searching City Directories on 
City directories can often be found in local libraries, or in larger libraries or archives with genealogical collections. They’re usually available for research on microfilm, but a growing number of directories are making their way online. has a huge collection of directories on its website and at the end of May more than a thousand new directories were added to the site.

You can locate directories for your area of interest by using the Card Catalog. Use the filters to narrow your search to the collection of Directories and Member Lists and by location using the geographic filters. You can add a city name in the keyword box to further narrow the search, but keep in mind that some directories covered entire counties, like this directory of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, 1869–70.

You’ll find many individual directories, but the collection that was updated in May is one database that contains directories more than 12,000 directories and registers from many locations. It can be found here. You can search the collection as a whole or you can browse to individual directories by selecting a state from the list at the bottom of the page, then the location and year.

It’s a good idea to browse the collection to see what’s available, and then if you want to zero in on a name, you can go back to the main search and specify the location and year of the directory you want to search along with the surname. It’s a good idea to only enter the surname you’re seeking. 


Latest Status of LDS Digitizing of Records 


4 June 2009  

The following four new indexing projects were added this week:
Jamaica, Trelawny Births, 1878–1930
Mexico, Censo de 1930Mexico
Rhode Island—1920 U.S. Federal Census
Vermont—1920 U.S. Federal Census

Please forward this update to individuals and organizations you know that might be interested in helping index any of these new projects. Volunteers can register and start immediately at

Recently Completed Projects

(Note: Recently completed projects have been removed from the available online indexing batches and will now go through a final completion check process in preparation for future publication.·         
Mexico, Censo de 1930Sinaloa
North Dakota—1920 U.S. Federal Census
Arkansas County Marriages V, 1837–1957

Fa Family Search Indexing Projects, Record Language, and Percent Completion  

Argentina, Buenos Aires 1855 Census



Argentina Censo 1869—Corrientes y Entre Rios



Argentina Censo 1869—Jujuy Salta Tucuman



Italy, Trento Baptism Records, 1784–1924



Jamaica, Trelawny Births, 1878–1930



Mexico, Censo de 1930Mexico



Mexico, Censo de 1930Tamaulipas



Mexico, Censo de 1930Yucatan



Mississippi—1920 U.S. Federal Census



New York 1905 State Census



Nicaragua, Managua Civil Records, 1879–Present



Peru, LimaRegistros Civiles, 1910–1930



Spain, Avila, Moraleja de Matacabras, 15401904



Spain, LugoRegistros Parroquiales [Part 1], 15301930



Venezuela, Mérida Registros Parroquiales. 1654–1992



(*Percentage refers to a specific portion of a larger project.)

 FamilySearch Partner Projects, Record Language, and Percent Completion

(These projects are administered with the help of a third party, FamilySearch affiliate. See for more information.)

Paul Nauta 
FamilySearch Public Affairs Manager




From the SMGF "How to get Involved" page:



Thank you for your interest in the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation research project! For nearly ten years we have collected DNA samples and pedigree information from generous volunteers around the world. We have recently reached our original collection goal of 100,000 participants and we have now transitioned into the next phase of our project. This next phase consists of targeting specific populations and lineages which are under-represented in the current data, continuing the analysis of samples already collected, and developing applications for genetic genealogy research.

To fully focus our efforts on these objectives SMGF is changing the way we collect samples. SMGF will no longer collect new samples directly through our website. Instead, sample collecting will be handled by affiliate organizations, freeing SMGF resources previously dedicated to sample collecting to support data analysis and innovation. Please click on the links below to learn how to contribute your DNA to SMGF and other ways you can get involved and support our study.

Become an SMGF participant

SMGF is affiliated with GeneTree (, another organization that shares similar goals and objectives. By purchasing a DNA test from GeneTree, you will:
* Receive a personalized DNA report to assist you in your ancestral and genealogical research
* Be able to use this information to access the genetic genealogy applications and tools developed by SMGF
* Have the option to contribute your genetic and genealogical data to SMGF, becoming part of our online database(s) and ongoing research projects.

Additionally, a portion of the DNA test purchase price will be donated to SMGF to support genetic-genealogy research.

If you already have a DNA test report and are not interested in additional testing at this time, you can create a free GeneTree account at and manually enter your DNA profile to gain access to genetic-genealogy research applications developed by SMGF, and to search for genetic matches in the SMGF database.

SMGF’s Future Work

SMGF’s next phase includes focus on research and innovation, with continued analysis of the data we have gathered over the past ten years.

* Our ongoing research efforts, including collaborations with leading scientists from around the world, will move the basic science of genetic-genealogy forward by increasing the knowledge of recent and ancient human history.
* We are developing user-friendly tools to aid both seasoned genealogists and newcomers to the field of genetic genealogy. These tools will help interpret personal DNA results in simple and meaningful ways and encourage making connections with genetic cousins and others who might be researching the same family lines.
* We continue our analysis of the DNA and family histories previously donated to us by generous participants, including Y chromosome analysis, mtDNA sequencing, and the addition of genealogically relevant autosomal DNA markers.

Previous SMGF Participants

Thanks to all of our participants for your generous contributions to our research. Those who have already donated DNA and genealogy still have opportunities to support our project and learn more about your personal genetic ancestry.

* We continue our analysis of the DNA and family histories previously donated to us, including Y chromosome analysis and mtDNA sequencing. These results are posted to our online databases in an anonymous form. Please register on our site to be notified of database updates.
* Please be aware that it may take an extended period of time for your data to be posted in the SMGF online databases. As a non-profit organization the rate at which we test donated samples is limited by our resources. Additionally, we do not always process samples in the order they were received, but rather according to research needs. Please be assured that all samples are important to us and we are completing the DNA testing as quickly as our funding and research priorities allow. We appreciate your patience as we continue the DNA testing process.

* You can purchase your personal SMGF DNA test results at a significantly discounted price of $49.50 through Simply sign up for a free GeneTree account and then place an order to "unlock" your DNA profile(s). In cases where SMGF has not yet generated DNA test results, an unlock request will expedite this testing.
* If you already have a DNA test report from a previous test, you are welcome to add that profile to your GeneTree account and take advantage of the extra tools and scientific explanations offered there.

Other Areas of Interest
Reaching the 100,000 participants milestone was just one of the objectives of our project. We are still working to enhance our dataset by actively seeking participants for our database with ancestry from a number of countries and lineages (listed below). If you have genealogical information linking you to one of these areas or have connections that could facilitate collections in these areas please contact SMGF at

We appreciate your support throughout all the years we have been in operation and hope that you can find helpful information about your ancestry through our online resources. We look forward to making new and exciting contributions to the field of genetic genealogy, and we realize that all of SMGF’s past and future successes are made possible by the generosity of our study participants. Thank you.

If you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us:



Lyman D. Platt, Ph.D. President, IGHL

This information was syllabus materials presented in 1993
at the 9th "Buscando Nuestras Raices Conference" 
hosted by the 
Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research
in Orange County, California



From the early days of the conquest of the Americas until the period of national independence, the keeping of genealogies was customary among those who desired to belong to religious orders, to obtain positions in government, or to advance in the military, guilds, and other closed groups. Among the Native Americans it was also customary to keep these genealogies and many of these have been preserved but are not known in the "white" culture, which today includes the mestizo offspring of the Spaniard and the Indian ancestors. Some of these are becoming known in limited circles; others will remain hidden for the future.

The independence era brought about a rejection of the system that had existed and the individuals who had risen to power in it. Many of the early leaders of the national period were of humble origins and their claims to leadership were based on personal powers and abilities rather than on social connections and long genealogies. It has only been within the last one hundred years that a renewed interest in discovering the past has been fostered. Over 3,500 Hispanic genealogies are now in print from this later period.  Tens of thousands of pedigrees exist for the earlier period. Only research will connect the two periods.

There are over 260,000 Hispanic surnames that trace back to Spain. Today, only 60,000 of these exist in the living population, and only 35,000 of them are extant in the United States.

As genealogy is a study of family units, it stands to reason that the home of the nuclear family and the homes of children and grandchildren of the nuclear couple, should contain the most extensive materials available pertaining to the family's genealogy and history.

The best place to begin all genealogical investigations is with the older family members and relatives, and if these are deceased, at the place(s) where they lived. From this research it is usually possible to get some names, dates, and

family traditions or stories, some of which may extend back as much as five generations. Invariably much of this information will be found in no other place and when it is lost it is gone forever. Even though an ancestor may have been dead for twenty to fifty years, it is still a good policy to go to where they lived and find out what still exists in the minds of others about them and their family.

Almost every family has something of value to give to the diligent researcher. Care should be taken in the approach that is used, however. Many individuals, in an effort to obtain information, and before establishing trustworthy relationships with newly-met or little-known relatives, have asked questions which are too personal, or asked to borrow pictures, letters, documents, etc., that are very valuable to the owner. A previously established rapport through letters, phone calls, or visits, many times provides treasures of information that otherwise would have remained hidden, and then destroyed or throw away at the death of that individual. Even kinship is not a pre-requisite to success in this area, if proper deference to and respect for age is cultivated.

A careful investigation will uncover some, if not all, of the following types of genealogical and family history material:

vital records    
church records
picture albums
citizenship papers
legal papers
military documents
school records
work records
newspaper clippings
family histories  

If these materials are unavailable in the home in question, then the homes of friends, neighbors, and relatives should be visited, as should local libraries, archives, and museums.

Further information on this area of research can be found in the following publications:

Platt, Lyman De. Genealogical Historical Guide to Latin America. Detroit, Michigan, 1978.   Spanish edition: Una Guia Genealogico- Historica de Latinoamerica. Ramona, California, 1978. In Chapter 1 of this book, entitled 

"Research Standards," there is a section on Family Sources which identifies and describes these sources.

Ryskamp,George R. Tracing Your Hispanic Heritage. Riverside, California, 1984. Section I of this book, entitled "Techniques and Principles" includes several areas of interest to family research.

Smith, Jessie Camey,ed. Ethnic Genealogy. Westport, Connecticut and London, England, 1983.

In Chapter 10 of this book, entitled "Hispanic-American Records and Research, by Dr. Lyman De Platt, there are studies of family records in California and Arizona to trace the family into Mexico.

The conquest of Latin America brought with it the soldier and the priest, both of which proceeded to spread Catholicism with great fervor. Protected by the crown, the Catholic dominion became complete over much of the two continents. Missions were normally the first organization of the church among the Indian nations. These were run by the different religious orders such as the Dominicans, Jesuits, and so forth. Many of these missions later developed into parishes (sometimes called doctrinas) which are the smallest regular division within the Catholic Church. Even though these may have been sub-divided into vice-parishes and isolated chapelries, the parish headquarters was the main center of activity and was usually where the priest resided and kept the parish archive. Among the Spanish population, the parish was the main organization.

Parishes have always been under a diocese or archdiocese as they are today. In remote parts of the viceroyalty, prefecturates (which were very rudimentary dioceses) or apostolic vicarages (which had a very nearly complete diocesan structure), were organized in the early ecclesiastical development of the area. As an area developed it became a regularly established diocese and a bishop was assigned to oversee its general affairs.

In the first years of the conquest, the new dioceses were suffragan (dependent on and owing allegiance to) Seville.  Many times these new diocesan boundaries were poorly defined. The system of ecclesiastical administration that is known today began to function with the formation of the first archbishopric.                            

Five books were ordered to be kept by the parish priests of the Catholic Church: 1) baptism, 2) confirmation, 3) marriage, 4) burial, and 5) "statuanimarum" or padrones, or parish censuses.

Civil registration is the recording of the vital statistics (birth, marriage, death, divorce, annulment, adoption, recognition of illegitimate and natural-born children by their fathers, and naturalization) of those people who complied with the civil law in these matters. The above-listed data are recorded in books kept on the municipal level of government. Besides their value to genealogists and family historians, they also provide for the administrative and legal needs of those seeking rights to inheritances, citizenship, eligibility for school attendance and military service, and for entitlements to benefits and allowances provided by the government.

The civil census records of Latin America are one of its richest archival treasures. Most of these have been cataloged in IGHL Research Series, Volume 13, Latin American Census Records.

After the records already mentioned, the notarial records are the most informative and important. Everything of a public or legal nature pertaining to individuals that was ever recorded usually found its way into the notarial books. These books (called protocolos) included the following types of documents, which have been kept in their Spanish spellings to preserve the integrity of their meanings: aceptaciones, agregaciones, ajustes, almonedas, apartamientos, aplicaciones, aprendizes, aprobaciones, arrendamientos, asientos, autos, cambios, capellanias, capital (bienes), capitulaciones matrimoniales, cartas de dote, cartas de examen, cartas de pago, censos, certificaciones, cesiones, codicilos, companias, compra-ventas de bienes raices y otras propiedades, compromisos, conciertos, concordias, contratos, consentimientos, consignaciones, convenios, curadurias, cuentas, declaraciones, defensorias, dejaciones, demandas, depositos, discernimientos, donaciones, dotaciones, dotes, emancipaciones, encabezamientos, esperas, fianzas, filiaciones de hijos naturales, finiquitos, foros, fundaciones, garantfas, hipotecas, idoneidades,  indemnidades,  indignidades,  informaciones,  inventarios, juramentos, lastos, liberaciones, libertades, libramientos, libranzas, licencias, liqui-daciones, manicipaciones, mayorazgos, mejoras, memorias, minoraciones, nombramientos, obligaciones, pagos, particiones, pedimentos, perdones, permutas, poderes, posesiones, posturas, prohibiciones, prohijaciones, promesas, prorrogaciones, protestas, quejas of a variety of things, ratificaciones, recepciones,  recibos,  reclamaciones,  reconocimientos,  rendiciones, 

renunciaciones repudiaciones, requerimientos, resguardos, retenciones, retrocesiones, revalidaciones, revocaciones, salarios, seguros, servicios, senalamientos, soldadas, solicitudes, subrogaciones, sustituciones, tasaciones, testamentos, traducciones, transaciones, traspasos, tutelas, ventas, and vinculos.

Of all the records best suited to genealogical and historical research in Latin America, those that deal with land are found in more assorted places than any other and are called by a variety of names: tierras, tierras y aguas, capellanias, mayorazgos, vinculos, memorias, obras pias, encomiendas, and so forth.

The chaplaincy records (capellanias) were formed by donations to the Catholic Church during the colonial period. Wealthy individuals would bequeath their property to the custody of the church which would assign a chaplain to administer the estate from year to year, taking some of the profits to pay his salary, to say masses in behalf of the deceased benefactor, and to provide other Christian services. These records exist in many civil and ecclesiastical archives.

The mayorazgos and vinculos are hereditary land registers, usually passed from father to oldest son. The encomiendas were one of the first land records created in Latin America. The tierras y aguas are land and water rights, containing original grants and titles. These include decrees, grants, official correspondence, and visitas describing the land and water useage in the specific area. Finally, there are land records in the modem land offices (Registro de la Propiedad), in municipal archives, and in some other federal agencies like the Secretaria de Agricultura. These records begin about 1760 and include land buying and selling, wills, property divisions, and so forth.

There was no standing army as such in Latin America until the mid-1700s. During the early colonial period, the major military efforts consisted of protection provided by militia units conscripted from the estates of various Spanish settlements.

There were four main groups of military personnel included in the designation of "military." These groups were: 1) veteran Spanish soldiers assigned for short duration throughout the island; 2) veteran Spanish troops assigned permanently to a given area; 3) provincial militia units; and 4) urban militia units.

Microfilms 1,156,334 through 1,156,342 at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City contains service records for Spanish military men from 1793-1800. An index to these records is available in: Patronato Nacional de Archive

Historicos. Catalogo XXII del Archivo de Simancas, Secretaria de Guerra (siglo XVIII, Ho/as de Servicios de America. Valladolid, Spain: Patronato, 1958.

Other military records, including troop lists, commissions, conscriptions, regimental register sheets, and petitions of soldiers for permission to marry, can be found throughout the archival systems of Spain, and Latin America.

In the Archive Hist6rico Nacional of Spain, there is a section called "Ordenes Militares" for the military orders of Santiago, Calatrava, Alcantara, Montesa, Malta, Carlos III., and Temple. Many of these records have been published, especially those parts of the sections of petitions to enter the various Orders, and petitions to marry.

Various publications are important to the study of the military in Spain and Latin America.

Lohmann Villena, Guillermo. Los Americanos en las Ordenes Militares, 2529-1900. Vol. 1 (Santiago); Vol. 2 (Calatrava, Alcantara, Montesa, Carlos III., y Malta). Madrid, 1948.

These volumes contain biographical notes on the ancestors of the military men being studied, to the third and fourth generations.

Ocerin, Enrfque de. Indice de los Expedientes Matrimoniales de Militares y Marinos que se conservan en el Archivo General Militar de Segovia, 1761-1865.

Vol. 1, Madrid, 1959.

The Archivo General Militar de Segovia consists not only of the personal records of thousands of Spaniards dedicated to the service, but also of their civil counterparts, as well as many of Hispanic origin in America. The many documents comprising the 67,397 bundles of the Archive contain service records, sacramental register copies, many of which have been destroyed in their originals due to the wars; coats of arms imprinted on passports; military orders, advancements, and many other types of records.

There are many other records besides the ones mentioned previously, that have value in doing genealogy or family research. However, the ones listed above are those that should be researched first.



Music from the 40s
45 lessons life taught me                 



This is worth the time to read…enjoy!

Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, 
of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. 
It is the  most-requested column I've ever  written."


 1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
 2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
 3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
 4. Your job won't take care of you when you are  sick. Your friends and parents 
     will. Stay in touch.
 5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
 6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
 7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
 8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it.
 9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
 10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
 11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present. 
 12. It's OK to let your children see you cry.
 13. Don't compare your life to others.You have no idea what their journey is
 14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
 15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. Don't worry; God never blinks.
 16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind. 
 17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful.
 18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.
 19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you
      and no one else. 
 20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an
 21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it
      for a special occasion. Today is special.
 22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
 23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
 24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
 25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you. 
 26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words 'In 5 years, will this matter?
 27. Always choose life.
 28. Forgive everyone everything.
 29. What other people think of you is none of your business.
 30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
 31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change. 
 32. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does. 
 33. Believe in miracles. 
 34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or
       didn't do.
 35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now. 
 36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
 37. Your children get only one childhood.
 38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
 39. Get outside every day. Miracles are  waiting everywhere.
 40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours
 41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have  all you need.
 42. The best is yet to come.
 43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.
 44. Yield.
 45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but  it's still a gift."

Sent by Mary Schultz





12/30/2009 04:49 PM