Somos Primos

JUNE 2009
114th Issue Online

Editor: Mimi Lozano ©2000-9

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

1956, Plaza Theatre, Laredo, Texas
A 55-year old photograph becomes a 
personnel Identification Project 



Content Areas

United States 
National Issues
Action Item
Bilingual/Bicultural Education
Hispanic Heritage Month

Anti-Spanish Legends

Military/Law Enforcement 
Patriots, American Revolution

Orange County,CA  
Los Angeles,CA

Northwestern US
Southwestern US 

East of Mississippi
East Coast

Family History

SHHAR Meetings 


The past is the cause of the present 
and the present will be the cause of the future.

Abraham Lincoln


  Letters to the Editor : 

Dear Ms. Mimi Lozano:
I have to thank you for your help, which gave me contact with Yorba relatives in California. Please, put my message on your portal,  we are cousins.
Again, Thank You.  

Miquel Mula

Mimi,  The May Somos Primos is Super!


I must tell you, Mimi, that you are doing a 
great service for the Hispanics/Latinos in 
this country.  You are bringing together issues, items of interest, information, etc.  Thanks from all of us out there.

Esther Bonilla Read

Editor: Don't miss Esther's story of her three brothers, each of whom served as National LULAC president.  

 Somos Primos Staff:   .

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

Contributors to this Issue
Rodolfo F. Acuna
Ernesto Apomayta Chambi
Dan Arellano
Dr. Armando Ayala
Mercy Bautista Olvera
Anna/Roberto Benavides
Arturo A. Bienedell
John Blackie
Esther Bonilla Read

Dr. R. Cabello-Argandona
Jaime Cader
Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.
Maria de La Luz Canales
Bill Carmena
Juan Castillo
Wendy Celaya
Gus Chavez
Abelardo de la Pena
Sara Duenas Flores
Jay Farias
Robert E. Fleming
Patty Fong
Gilda Garcia, Ph.D.
Gus Garcia 
Wanda Garcia
Henry Godines 
Pitin Guajardo
Lila Guzman
Walter/Elsa Herbeck
Sergio Hernandez
Monica Herrera Smith
Daniel Hogan Abrego
John Inclan
Rick Leal
Gladys Limon
Eddie Martinez
Juan Marinez
C.M. Mayo
Rosanne Miller 
Ann Minter
Dorinda Moreno
Miguel Mula
Dr. Carlos Munoz, Jr.
Nicolas/Laura Nanez
Paul Nauta
Paul Newfield III
Cindy Lo Buglio 
Gregorio Luke
Rafael Ojeda
Johnny Pena
Jose M. Pena
Andy Porras
Angel Custodio Rebollo Barroso
Ing. Clemente Rendon de la Garza
Crispin Rendon
Jose Leon Robles de la Torre
Cuautemoc Rocha
Tomas Saenz
Placido Salazar
Rueben Salaz 
Richard G. Santos
John P. Schmal 
Frank Sifuentes
Pat Trevino
Ricardo Valverde
Jamine Vargas
Ted Vincent
Jennifer Vo 


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



Hispanics Breaking Barriers, Part VI by Mercy Bautista-Olvera
Hispanic Appointments During the First 100 Days of the Obama Administration
A Day of Remembrance by Daisy Wanda Garcia
Carry On Dr. Garcia's Fight for Civil and Veterans' Rights
Famed civil rights leader Dr. Hector P. Garcia 
New Children's book: Dr. Hector P. Garcia: Fighting for Justice
Bonilla Brothers of Texas, each served as LULAC National President
Raul Castro: The personification of the American dream
Ethnic Studies 40Years Later: Race, Resistance and Relevance


Part VI


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.  

John Trasviña: President and General Counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and Immigration Professor at Stanford Law School

Alejandro Mayorkas: (pending approval) Director of the Department of Homeland Security Immigration Agency  

Jennifer Chacón: University of California Davis (UC Davis), Professor of Law

Michael Huerta: Group President of ACS Transportation Solutions

Dr. Jonathan D. Moreno: Professor of Medical Ethics, and the History and Sociology of Science

Nancy Sutley: Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles for Energy and Environment    




 John Trasviña 

John Trasviña the President and General Counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) and Immigration Professor at Stanford Law School, has been appointed by President Obama to serve as Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, Department of Housing and Urban Development.

John Trasviña was born in San Francisco , California . He is a graduate Stanford Law School and of Harvard University . Trasviña has devoted his legal career to public service in Civil Rights and Immigration policies.

In 1985, Trasviña began his career at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) in Washington D.C. as a legislative attorney.

From 1987-1993, Trasviña served as counsel to Senator Paul Simon on the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, the last three years as General Counsel and Staff Director to the Senate Subcommittee  on the Constitution.

In 1993, Trasviña served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs at the U.S. Department of justice. In the senate and in his previous post in the administration, Trasviña handled numerous policy areas, including Civil Rights, Immigration and Judicial Nominations.

In 1997, President Clinton appointed Trasviña as Special Counsel for Immigration Related Unfair Employment Practices; he led the only federal government office devoted solely to immigrant workplace rights and was the highest-ranking Latino attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice. In the same year, John Trasviña, was named by “Poder” magazine’s the “Poderosos 100,” as one of the  “100 Top Leaders of the Hispanic Community,” and “Hispanic Trends” identifies him as a “Mover and shaker.”

John Trasviña returned to California , becoming the Director of the Discrimination Research Center at Berkeley  

Trasviña is a member of the San Francisco Elections Commission, president of the Harvard Club of San Francisco, and a board member of the La Raza Lawyers Association, ( CORO ) of Northern California . CORO trains ethical, diverse civil leaders nationwide, empowers communities to gain experience in government, and business. He also served on the boards of the Latino Issues Forum and Campaign for College Opportunity and recently served as Chair of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA).

In 2008, Trasviña received the President’s Award from the Pasadena National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and won the 2006 Attorney of the Year Award from the Hispanic National Bar Association.  

Trasviña has served on the board of the League of Women Voters of San Francisco, and was the director and fund raising Chair of the Conference on Asian Pacific American Leadership (CAPAL) in Washington . D.C. “Mr. Trasviña has spent his life as an incredible advocate for the Latino community and demonstrated a commitment to justice and equal protection for all under the law,” said the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) National President, Rosa Rosales. “What is most fulfilling to me is my ability to use my Harvard degree in service to my community, my nation and people who are oppressed or marginalized,” said Trasviña.



Alejandro Mayorkas

Alejandro Mayorkas is President Obama’s pick to serve as Director of the Department of Homeland Security Immigration Agency. It adjudicates a broad range of immigration and naturalization issues and oversees international adoptions, asylum, refugee status and foreign student authorization.

(Additional biographical information can be found on April 2009 (112th issue on this website).

Jennifer Chacón

University of California Davis (UC Davis) Professor of Law, Jennifer Chacón served as a member of Obama’s Immigration Policy Advisory Group during his campaign. She was appointed to serve as an adviser on immigration on President Obama’s Transition Team.

Jennifer Chacón grew up in the border town of El Paso , Texas ; Professor Chacón has always been interested in issues of immigration and international law. 

Professor Chacón attended Stanford University , earning a Bachelors degree in International Relations. In 1995-98, she attended Yale Law School earning a Jurist degree in Law. After graduation, she served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Sidney R. Thomas, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

From 1999-2003, Professor Chacón then joined Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York City . In 2003, she accepted a fellowship at Yale Law School and worked to publish “Misery and Myopia: Understanding the Failures of U.S. Efforts to Stop Human Trafficking” (Fordham Law Review, 2006), the first of what would be several influential articles touching on Immigration, International Law, and Human Rights.

Professor Chacón served as a Professor on Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and Immigration Law at U.C. Davis.  In Chacon’s biography she says, “Identifying the conduct that is criminalized within a society and determining the manner in which the society chooses to protect its criminally accused and those convicted of crimes provides an interesting way to assess the nature and strength of that society’s commitment to democratic institutions”. “My research interests center upon the nexus of Criminal Law and Procedure and more general issues of Citizenship. I hope to contribute to the scholarship that both examines and advances the quest to build more perfect democracies, protective of the right of people”.   

In March 19, 2009, Professor Jennifer Chacón was honored with the Distinguished Teaching Award on the 30th Annual William and Sally Rutter Recognition Celebration for Scholarship, Donors and Recipients in the UC Davis Activities and Recreation Center . The award honors “law teachers who give stellar performances in the classroom.” Since joining the UC Davis law faculty in 2004, Professor Chacón has earned the reputation as an excellent teacher as well as scholar.  A committee, including a faculty member, alumni member, and current student, selected Professor Chacón for the honor.

Dr. Jonathan D. Moreno

Professor Jonathan E. Moreno Professor of Medical Ethics, and the History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania has been appointed as Director of Bioethics in the Department of Health and Human Services Team on the Obama’s Transition Team. He has been a senior staff member for two presidential ethics commissions and is past president of the American society for Bioethics and Humanities.

In 1973, Dr. Moreno received his Bachelor's degree from New York ’s Hofstra University , School of Law with highest honors in Philosophy and Psychology. He was a University Fellow at Washington University in St. Louis , receiving his Doctorate in Philosophy in 1977, and was a Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow in cooperation with the Aspen Institute for Humanistic Studies. In 1998, he received an honorary doctorate from Hofstra University in New York .

During 1994-95, Dr. Moreno was Senior Policy and Research Analyst for the President's Advisory Committee on Human Radiation Experiments. He has given invited testimony before both houses of congress. He has served as a member of the National Human Research Protections Advisory Committee, a senior consultant for the National Bioethics Advisory Commission, and has advised the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.

Dr. Moreno is an elected member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies and serves on the Institute's Board on Health Sciences Policies. He is a member of the Academies' Committee on Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures. Dr. Moreno served as Co-chair of the Committee on Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research. He is also a member of the Council on Accreditation of the Association for the Accreditation of Human Research Protection Programs. Dr. Moreno also served as President of the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities.  He is a Bioethics advisor for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a Faculty Affiliate of the Kennedy Institute of Ethics at Georgetown University , and a Fellow of the Hastings Center and the New York Academy of Medicine.

Dr. Moreno has written many books, his books include "Is There an Ethicist in the House ( Indiana University , Press, 2005), “Mind Wars: National Security and the Brain,” (Dana Press in 2006) and many others. Dr. Moreno has written more than 250 papers, reviews, and book chapters. He is also a member of several editorial boards.

He is a frequent guest on news and information programs and is often cited and quoted in major national publications, such as The Wall Street Journal, ABC World News Tonight, MSNBC News, CNN Crossfire and many others.

He has held full-time faculty appointments at Swarthmore College , the University of Texas at Austin , George Washington University and the SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn . He has also held appointments at the University of Pennsylvania Center for Bioethics, the Children's National Medical Center in Washington , DC , and has been a Special Expert in the Department of Clinical Bioethics at the Warren Magnuson Clinical Center of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda , Maryland .  



Michael Huerta

Michael Huerta the Group President of ACS Transportation Solutions, a company that provides technology solutions for collective revenue, enhancing safety and promoting security for the transportation industry was appointed to serve on Obama’s Transition Team.

Michael Huerta is originally from San Francisco , California . His parents are Solomon Huerta (1924-2000) and his mother Della Huerta.

Michael Huerta served as the Executive Director of the Port of San Francisco and Commissioner of the City of New York Department of Ports, International Trade and Commerce.

From 1993-1998, during the Clinton Administration, Huerta served in senior positions at the Department of Transportation (DOT), as Chief of Staff to Secretary Rodney E. Slater and as Associate Deputy Secretary of Transportation under Secretary of Transportation Federico Peña.


Nancy Sutley

Nancy Sutley, the Deputy Mayor for Energy and Environment for the city of Los Angeles , has been named the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), in Obama’s administration. Sutley recently served in the Energy and Natural Resources on the Obama’s Transition Team.

Nancy Helen Sutley was born on April 20, 1962, in Queens , New York .  Sutley is the daughter of Argentinean immigrants, Bruno Sutley and Sara Alicia Sutley.

Sutley earned her Bachelors degree in Government from Cornell University and Masters Degree in Public Policy from Harvard University .

In 1999-2003, Sutley served as Special Assistant to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). She served as Deputy Secretary for Policy, Intergovernmental Relations at California Environmental Protection Agency and Energy Advisor to Governor Gray Davis.

2005-present Sutley has been Los Angeles Deputy Mayor for Energy and Environment, and Mayor Villaraigosa’s appointment to the Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. She served as a Senior Advisor to the EPA Region 9 Administrator in the Clinton Administration.

In her new position, as Chair to the Council on Environmental Quality, she will advise the President and Vice President on national and international environmental law, oversee the efficiency of the federal agencies, and make sure they comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

Sutley has been instrumental in cleaning environmental initiatives in Los Angeles . Moving the Department of Water and Power to wind and solar energy and replacing diesel trucks at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in California . Sutley has played a big role by helping Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa retrofit hundreds of city buildings to make them more energy efficient and imposing stricter environmental standards on new commercial buildings.




National Hispanic Leadership Agenda 
(20- page report) 


Editor:  Below is data from the report.  Please do go to it and look at the fields in which vacancies are available.  The 16 departments surveyed in this report have a combined total of 205 vacancies which would be the logical place to start implementing a “Plan for Change and Improvement” and increasing the number of high-ranking Hispanics in the Obama Administration including Senior Executive Service level positions.

The all but total lack of Hispanic appointments to councils in the Executive Office of the President, as well as to Regulatory Agencies and Independent Agencies, is a great source of disappointment to NHLA and leaves very much room for improvement. NHLA respectfully urges the President to order a thorough review of all applications submitted to identify qualified Hispanic candidates for possible appointment to boards, commissions, and agencies, and to
request more applications if necessary.

The Sub-Cabinet

NHLA also commends the President for nominating 17 highly qualified Hispanics to Senate confirmation required sub-cabinet level positions at various departments –

Edward M. Avalos Under Secretary Marketing & Regulatory Services USDA  
Luis C. de Baca
Ambassador-at-Large Monitor Human Trafficking State  
Lorelei Boylan
Administrator Wage & Hour Division Labor  
Gabriella Gomez Asst Secretary Legislation/Congressional Affairs Education  
Sandra B. Henriquez
Asst Secretary HUD  
Mercedes Marquez
Asst Secretary Community Planning/Development HUD  
Kathy Martinez
Asst Secretary Disability Employment Policy Labor  
Alejandro Mayorkas
Director, Citizenship & Immigration Services DHS  
Victor M. Mendez
Administrator, Highway Administration Transportation  
Tom Perez
Asst Atty Gen for Civil Rights DOJ  
Brig Gen Jose Riojas Asst Secretary, Operations/ Security/ Preparedness Veteran’s Affairs Frank Sanchez Under Secretary International Trade Commerce  
Daniel Sepulveda Asst Secretary Congressional Affairs Office of USTR  
John Sepulveda Asst Secretary for Human Resources Veteran’s Affairs |
Peter Silva Asst Administrator for Water EPA  
John Trasvina Asst Secretary Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity HUD  
Ines Triay Asst Secretary Environmental Mgmt Energy

NHLA is extremely disappointed in both the number of Hispanics appointed to date and in that not one single Hispanic has been nominated for a sub-cabinet position that requires Senate qw1confirmation at four major departments including Interior, Treasury, Defense, and Health and Human Services.

High Level Staff Positions

Though Hispanics are severely under-represented at this level as well, NHLA commends the President for appointing 28 well qualified Hispanics to other high level positions throughout his Administration including the White House (17), Transportation, Labor, Homeland Security, State, Office Personnel Management, Peace Corps, and U.S. Trade Representative (3). They are:

Lizette Alvarado Office of Presidential Personnel White House  
Anthony Bernal
Director of Scheduling Dr. Jill Biden White House  
Xavier Briggs Assoc Director, Office Mgmt & Budget White House  
Alejandra Campoverdi Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff White House  
Carlos Elizondo Social Secretary for Vice President White House  
Kirsten Garcia Legislative Affairs White House  
Roberto Gonzalez Associate Counsel, Office of Legal Counsel White House  
Noerena Limon Staff Assistant, Presidential Personnel White House  
David Medina Deputy Chief of Staff Office of First Lady White House  
Luis Miranda Director Hispanic Communications White House  
Lizette Ocampo Staff Assistant, Legislative Affairs White House  
Carlos Odio Deputy Assoc Director, Political Affairs White House  
Michael Ortiz Legislative Affairs White House  
Dan Restrepo Western Hemispheric Advisor NSC White House  
Dag Vega Director of Communications White House  
Moises Vela, Jr. Director, Office of the Vice President White House  
Stephanie Valencia Office Public Liaison, Intergov’tal Affairs White House  
Lisa Garcia Intergov’tal Affrs/Public Liaison USTR Exec Office President  
Luis Jimenez Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Exec Office President  
Jennifer Urizar Office of the U.S. Trade Representative Exec Office President  
Elizabeth (Liz)Montoya Chief of Staff OPM  
Elisa Montoya Senior Advisor to the Director Peace Corp  
Esther Olavarria Deputy Asst Sec Policy Development DHS  
Laura Pena Special Asst Office White House Liaison State  
Oscar Ramirez Special Asst to the Secretary Labor  
William Ramos Director Intergovernmental Affairs Commerce  
Miguel Rodriguez Deputy Asst Secretary Legislative Affairs State  
Yasmin Yaver Office Governmental Affairs Transportation

Other Appointments

Additionally, the President has made four additional Hispanic appointments. Two have been appointed to the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, one to the President’s Advisory Council on Science& Technology, and one Judge. They are:

Noel Castellanos Faith-based Adv Council Member

Dr. Arturo Chavez Faith-based Adv Council Member

Mario Molina Adv Council Science & Tech Member

Marisa Demeo Judge DC Superior

The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), an ad hoc coalition of 29 national and state organizations, has released its report, "Hispanic Appointments During the First 100 Days of the Obama Administration." The 20-page report includes an Executive Summary and a grid on President Barack Obama's first 100 days. At last week's NHLA Board meeting, members voted to issue a "100 Days Plus" report every 30 days for the duration of the year. NHLA remains committed to working with the Obama Administration toward a truly representative government and reporting on the results to the Hispanic community. 



A Day of Remembrance
Daisy Wanda Garcia
May 15th, 2009



This week, Governor Rick Perry is expected to sign a bill that authorizes a day of remembrance in honor of Dr. Hector P. Garcia.  This Bill when signed by the Governor will designate the 3rd Wednesday in September that falls during Hispanic Heritage week as Dr. Hector P. Garcia Recognition Day. The bill encourages public agencies and schools to observe it with ceremonies, displays and exhibits that chronicle the life achievements of Dr. Garcia. This day of remembrance would have no time off for public sector employees and schools. Dr Garcia valued education and it would please him to know that children are not missing a day of school.  

The holiday came largely through the efforts of the Texas Hispanic Caucus and members of the American G.I. Forum. On the Senate Side, Texas Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa introduced the legislation in the Texas Senate and Representative Abel Herrero introduced the legislation in the Texas House.  "Whether you talk about individuals that needed medical attention without the resources to obtain it or veterans who had given their ultimate sacrifice in our country but were not given the burials they deserved, Dr. Garcia was always the voice and conscience even when it was not a popular choice," Herrero said.[1]  
I am deeply grateful to all those who worked so hard to make this day of remembrance a reality. Sadly, what has come to my attention is that many of our youth do not know about the life of Dr. Garcia or who he was.  Some have asked why he deserves this honor.  

Over fifty years before his death in 1996, my father worked tirelessly to improve the life of Veterans and Mexican Americans in the United States.  After WWII when Dr. Garcia moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, he found that the quality of life for Mexican Americans was below standard.  

Life in South Texas was bleak for Mexican Americans. Dr. Hector found that the majority of Mexican Americans lived in conditions having no running water, no sanitary facilities and in extreme poverty.  Schooling was non-existent or held in substandard segregated schools.  Whole families had to work to earn enough money to afford food and little else. Tuberculosis and diarrhea and infant       1910, Corpus Christi. Mary and Jeff Bell Library Kilgore postcard collection. mortality were 
high among the Mexican American population.  La Gente was too poor to afford medical care, so they died from serious illnesses. Dr. Hector often told about the time a little child came to his office seeking help for his mother. When he arrived at their house, the mother’s tubercular lung had burst and her blood had sprayed on her children.  

Dr. Hector set out to change these conditions. For the next 50 years, he systematically attacked the “causes of suppression” such as discrimination, segregation in housing and schools and hospitals, denying veterans their VA benefits. He educated la Gente[2] about the importance of hygiene, education, and voting on his weekly radio program on KCCT radio.  Dr. Hector attacked health problems by giving free medical care and medicines to the indigent. He held lectures about sanitation and nutrition.  Dr. Garcia held rallies to urge the youth to stay in school and pursue higher education. Also, Dr. Hector extended his medial care to inhabitants of the colonias along the Texas-Mexico border.  

Hospitals were segregated.  They maintained separate wards for Anglos and Mexicans. Usually Mexican American patients were in kept the hallway while there were empty Anglo hospital wards.  Dr. Hector got the hospital administrator on the phone and convinced him to move the patients in the white ward. He followed up his phone conversation with a letter.  This is how he single handedly desegregated Memorial Hospital in Corpus Christi, TX.  

In 1948 he began an investigation of conditions for migrant laborers in Mathis, Texas. He found the impoverished workers to be ill-clothed, malnourished, and diseased from lack of basic sanitation. Also about this time he found that the Veterans Administration was non responsive to veterans returning from service in WWII.  In many cases the veterans did not receive their benefits and services as promised by the G.I. Bill of rights. On March 26, 1948 he organized the American G.I. Forum to advocate for veterans. Soon the American G.I. Forum had chapters in 40 cities in Texas and later throughout the nation. Later he involved the American G.I. Forum in civil rights issues.


Hernandez vs. the State of Texas, which held that Mexican Americans had equal protection under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, opened the doors for Dr. Garcia to sue school districts that held separate school systems.  It took about thirty years of lawsuits to desegregate Corpus Christi ISD.  

So to answer the question why Dr. Hector deserves this honor. Dr. Hector Garcia served his country, community and the people for over fifty years of his life. He became the confident of presidents and elected officials and used his influence to improve the lives of all Americans.  President Ronald Reagan recognized Dr. Hector for his service to the nation by awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1986. He was the first Mexican American to receive this award.  

Hopefully, this “Day of Remembrance” will give my father visibility.  Dr. Hector P. Garcia is a real American Hero.  In this day our youth lacks real role models. When more individuals especially the youth know about Dr. Hector’s legacy, they will learn the true meaning of love for their fellow man and community service. Hopefully, Dr. Garcia, whose legacy was Education and Freedom, fought for equality and fair treatment for all Americans. One of his most profound statements became the American G.I. Forum’s motto, “Education is our freedom and freedom should be everybody’s business.”[3]

Now it is up to us to ensure that his legacy is carried forward. We can begin by making sure the day of remembrance is observed in our schools.

[1] Garcia holiday receives support, Jamie Powell, Corpus Christi Caller Times, January 17, 2009.

[2] An affection term for the Mexican American community.

[3] Insider, Paul Herrera, May 20, 2009



January 17, 1914 --- Born in Llera, Tamaulipas, Mexico.
1918 --- Family immigrates to Mercedes in South Texas.
1922 --- The infamous Texas Rangers raid his family's home.
1924 --- Anglos set fire to his father's and uncle's store.
1936 --- Graduates from the University of Texas.
1940 --- Graduates from University of Texas Medical School.
1942 --- Joins the United States Army and serves duty in World War II.
1945 --- Marries Wanda Fusillo whom he met while serving in Italy.
1946 --- Dr. Garcia is awarded the Bronze Medal with six stars for his service in the battlefields of North Africa and Italy.
1946 --- Is discharged from the U.S. Army with a rank of Major.
1946 --- Sets up medical practice in Corpus Christi.
1948 --- Organizes the American G.I. Forum for Mexican-American veterans.
1949 --- The "Felix Longoria Affair" propels the A.G.I.F. to national prominence.
1949 --- Dr. Garcia, his wife and daughters are denied service in a Three Rivers, Texas restaurant.
1950 --- Works to eliminate the exploitive "Bracero Program" and for Mexican-American labor reform.
1952 --- Works to eliminate "No Dogs or Mexicans Allowed" signs in Texas restaurants and to stop the practice of whipping Mexican school children for speaking Spanish.
1955 --- Works diligently for education reform for Mexican-Americans.
1960 --- Organizes the VIVA KENNEDY clubs throughout the nation.
1962 --- Appointed by President Kennedy to negotiate the Chamizal with the Mexican government and a defense treaty with the Fedrations of the West Indies.
1967 --- President Johnson appoints Dr. Garcia as an alternate Ambassador to the United Nations.
1968 --- President Johnson appoints Dr. Garcia to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
1984 --- President Reagan awards Dr. Garcia this nation's highest honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
1984 --- Pope John Paul II awards Dr. Garcia the Equestrian Order of Pope Gregory the Great.
July 26, 1996 --- Dr. Hector P. Garcia dies in Corpus Christi, Texas at age 82 and is eulogized at his funeral by President Bill Clinton.

1996 --- The City of Corpus Christi names one of its plaza's after Hector P. Garcia.
1996 --- A statue of Hector P. Garcia is erected on the campus of Texas A&M University.
1998 --- The United States Congress declares the A.G.I.F. "congressionally chartered."
1998 --- The Mexican Government awards the "Aztec Eagle", its highest honor to Dr. Garcia.

The above chronology was included in an article "A Mexican-American Fighter for Equality and Justice" compiled, prepared, and included on the home page of  La Voz de Aztlan. 

Extract from article published in the Texas Insider, written by AGIF State Commander Paul Herrera, in a letter to legislators:

Dr. Hector P. Garcia, whose legacy was Education and Freedom, is an  American hero who fought for equality and fair treatment for all Americans. One of his most profound statements became the American GI Forum’s motto, “Education is our freedom and freedom should be everybody’s business.”

Dr. Garcia, a veteran of WWII was born in Llera, Tamaulipas, in 1914. His family moved to Mercedes, Texas, when he was young. He attended the University of Texas and became a physician.
Garcia served in the Army, first as a combat soldier, earning a Bronze Star and six battle stars, later served as a combat doctor in World War II. Garcia settled in Corpus Christi with his wife Wanda.
He founded the American G.I. Forum in 1948 to help Hispanic soldiers with their GI Bill Benefits after returning home from World War II. Garcia and the American GI Forum gained national recognition when he secured full military burial honors in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington D.C. for Pvt. Felix Longoria of Three Rivers, Texas. Longoria, a Hispanic who was killed in the Philippines during the last days of World War II, was turned away from a local funeral home and segregated cemetery.
Garcia, adviser to Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Jimmy Carter served as the first Hispanic on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. He also served as an ambassador to the United Nations and represented the United States at many state events throughout South and Central America. He received the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 1984 from President Ronald Reagan. He died in July 26, 1996.
Dr. Garcia inspired many of our present and past representatives from south Texas to run and get elected to the State Legislature. He was a role model that inspired many Americans and will now have a day in Texas to be remembered and honored every year.
Article taken from Texas Insider -
URL to article:




What better way to honor Dr. Hector P. Garcia, than to carry-on his fight for CIVIL RIGHTS and for VETERANS’ RIGHTS.   Listening to ‘Dr. Hector’ on the radio, I learned at a very early age – attending a segregated school where we were severely punished and ridiculed by English-speaking teachers, that the manner we were being treated by racist teachers, was known as ‘discrimination’ and that it was a violation of our “CIVIL RIGHTS”.   If we have not learned this about the Founder of The American GI Forum – then we have a lot to learn about THE MAN and  HIS LEGACY.    

Civil Rights equality for us, did not happen by accident.  It was men such as Dr. Hector P. Garcia, my father Luz Salazar, Attorney Gus Garcia, Judge Albert Pena and others who dared to fight against a racist system – who made it easier for us to be able to attend previously denied educational facilities, secure previously denied job opportunities, previously denied promotions to reach supervisory positions and ownership of Mexican-American businesses – and so many other RIGHTS we now take for granted.  Those who did not live here at the time and are unfamiliar with this part of The United States of America – will never understand our reason why we must keep fighting, so that our future generations will never again suffer the degradation and humiliation some hate-filled people made us go through.  We must all strive to NEVER bring shame to his name – nor to this great CIVIL RIGHTS and VETERANS’ RIGHTS organization.  

Placido Salazar, 2nd Vice Commander of the American GI Forum of Texas   

Extract from:
Famed civil rights leader Dr. Hector P. Garcia 
is to have a Texas state holiday named in his honor.   
Steve Taylor, May 18, 2009

Under legislation authored by state Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, the third Wednesday of September will be a statewide day of remembrance for the founder of the American GI Forum and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

“Dr. Garcia provided medical care to the neglected and the poor. He answered the call to military service, earning a Bronze Star and six battle stars fighting for his democratic principles,” Hinojosa said. “Dr. Hector P. Garcia Day will remind us that serving our community is an act of selflessness and sacrifice.”

Hinojosa said he hopes the third Wednesday of September, which falls within national Hispanic Heritage Month, will be regularly observed by appropriate ceremonies and activities in public schools and other places.

Hinojosa’s Senate Bill 495 has now passed the House and the Senate and is on its way to Gov. Rick Perry’s desk to be signed into law. State Rep. Abel Herrero, D-Robstown, carried the bill in the House.

“By eroding the core of discrimination through emphasis on education and equality, Dr. Hector was masterful in empowering many to gain respect, opportunities, and inclusion,” Herrero said. “As a benefactor of his selfless endeavors, I am honored to be able to pay tribute to a truly amazing individual who has been an everlasting inspiration to all.’

Garcia first gained national recognition when he secured full military burial honors for Felix Longoria of Three Rivers after the Hispanic World War II hero was turned away from a local funeral home and segregated cemetery.

Garcia advised President John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Jimmy Carter and served as the first Hispanic on the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.  He was an alternate ambassador to the United Nations and received the nation's highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, in 1984 from President Ronald Reagan. He died in July, 1996.

Placido Salazar, state vice commander of the American GI Forum in Texas, . . said “Some people refer to Dr. Hector as the Mexican American equivalent of Martin Luther King. Each deserves to be honored in their own way. Hector Garcia was active in civil rights’ issues 20 years before MLK. Every American, regardless of their ethnicity, is better off for the work they both did,” Salazar said.

Corpus Christi state Reps. Solomon Ortiz, a Democrat, and Todd Hunter, a Republican, were co-sponsors of the Hinojosa-Herrero legislation.

“Dr. Garcia is a hero and role model for all Texans. He provided the spark that ignited the struggle for civil rights in the Mexican American community. I would not be where I am today without the leadership and efforts of Dr. Garcia,” Ortiz said.

“Dr. Garcia was a great friend and role model to all who knew him. It is a fitting tribute that the State of Texas recognizes his contributions in this manner,” Hunter said.

In 2007, Hinojosa passed legislation renaming a section of the Crosstown Expressway between I-37 and Highway 357 in Corpus Christi the Dr. Hector P. Garcia Memorial Highway.  “Dr. Hector is a national treasure and a hero in Texas and his memory will always be in the hearts and minds of the Corpus Christi community,” Hinojosa told the Guardian at the time.  

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


New children's picture book by Lila Guzman 

took 1st place place in category 8 in 
Oklahoma Writers' Federation, Inc. competition. 




The Ruben and Maria Bonilla Family of Texas
Three sons, each  served as LULAC National President 

written by sister Esther Bonilla Read

Ruben Bonilla, Tony Bonilla, Hillary Clinton and William Bonilla
Left to Right


Editor: Esther Bonilla Read casually mentioned in a letter that her three attorney brothers had each  served as LULAC National President at some time. I promptly requested an article to honor the Bonilla family.  All those involved with LULAC and other volunteer groups realize the hours and dedication that are reflected in achieving a position of national standing.

Maria Ramirez and Ruben Bonilla married in 1927 in Calvert, a small town in central Texas .  They raised eight children: Albert, William, Raquel, Benjamin, Tony, Esther, Ruben Jr., and Mary Helen.  William, Tony, Ruben and Mary Helen became attorneys.  The other four followed varied careers. 

Nightly, Ruben spoke to their children at the dinner table about how they were going to college.  I (Esther) didn’t even know what “college” meant.  Since we attended a school, which housed all twelve grades, I figured college would be a larger building so it could accommodate many more students.  Ruben and Maria worked hard - he at his service station and Maria as a housewife.  Their dream came true.  Below are brief summaries of the sons who became national presidents of LULAC.

William D. Bonilla became the National President of League of Latin American Citizens (LULAC) in 1964.  During his tenure Service, Employment and Redevelopment (SER), Jobs for Progress was established.  This organization served the needs of the unemployed and the underemployed.  William met with Sargent Shriver, Director of the Office of Economic Opportunity and Willard Wirtz, Secretary of Labor under President Lyndon B. Johnson to assist those folks who needed training so they could work to contribute to society.  In 1966 LULAC and the American G I. Forum united so their efforts could succeed in helping minorities enter the workforce. Many other issues in the 1960s had to be dealt with and made the organization more visible and stronger than it had ever been.

He and his wife, Sue have six children and numerous grandchildren.  His children are Mary Helen, teacher; David, attorney; Jon, attorney; Elizabeth, teacher; Suzanne, attorney; and Robert, legal assistant.  William lives a unique experience.  He, his son David, and his grandson Clay are the only three-generation attorneys working together in Corpus Christi , Texas .

Ruben Bonilla was thirty-three years of age when he was elected as the national president of LULAC (the League of Latin-American Citizens), and served from 1979-1981.  His tenure marked a rapid growth of LULAC chapters in the country and even on military bases in Heidelberg , Germany and in Okinawa .  Ruben encouraged the participation of young people in LULAC where they could make a difference.  He toured college campuses and spoke to many interested groups.

Ruben informed the nation about the fact that Latinos were younger, had a higher birth rate, a lower median age and a larger continuing immigration flow.  America was being transformed and was “becoming browner”.  And American leaders, especially Congress, had to deal with the needs of this special population.  To address these facts he met with national leaders, i.e., Presidents Carter and Reagan. 

He addressed the issue of police brutality against Latinos with success.  He worked with Gilbert Pompa of the Department of Justice as they held conferences across America on this subject of interest to Hispanics.  It has now become a standard that all presidents meet with the National President of LULAC.

After his presidency, Ruben went on to other leadership positions in the community, i.e., Chairman of the Port Authority of the Port of Corpus Christi .  He and his wife Rosie have four children, Patricia, an attorney; Ruben Jr., insurance; Bill, law student; and Lisa, college student.

Tony Bonilla was the third man in his family to hold office as national LULAC president, (1981-1983).   His tenure included meeting with editorial boards of several publications with the intention of showcasing Latino writers, actors, and creative folks.  He met with the representatives of The New York Times; Milwaukee Journal; the L.A. Times; the Readers Digest; television and movie producers i.e., Jack Valenti; the head of Columbia Studios; etc., all with the intention of promoting Latinos in the arts.

Tony also met with corporate officials from such groups as Budweiser, Coors, Miller Beer, Exxon, Texaco, Draft and other to support LULAC and to include Hispanics on their boards.  Many of these groups now award scholarships to graduating Hispanics.

He also extended a hand to the African-American community so they might work together on issues dealing with inequality.  Tony participated with LABOR leaders in planning and initiating a Solidarity Day March that involved all Civil Rights Groups; he spoke to 250,000 people from the front of the Nation’s Capital.  He participated with Mrs. Coretta King in planning and initiating the 20th anniversary on Washington .  Again he spoke before 300,000 thousand people in front of the Lincoln Memorial.

His travels also took him to Spain on the subject of the emerging political and economic power of Hispanics in the USA .

Tony and his wife Olga had four children: (Tessa, now deceased), Tony Jr., a teacher; Ted, an attorney; and Patricia, an attorney.




Raul Castro: The personification of the American dream
Former governor made mark despite racial hurdles
by Jack L. August Jr. - May. 3, 2009  Special for the Republic

In Tucson a few years back, I dined at the upscale Rocky Mountain Oyster Club with the robust and engaging Raul Castro, the 93-year-old former Arizona governor. The happy long-term result was a book; an interpretive memoir that, in a brief 150 pages, conveys Castro's unique and inspirational life story.
"Adversity Is My Angel: The Life and Career of Raul H. Castro" will be released early next month and, hopefully, students, scholars and the reading public will take time to learn about this humble and inspirational American. Castro's life and career serve as dual role models, not only for Mexican-Americans but for all Americans.
Some of Castro's earliest memories were of his mother sending him into the southern Arizona desert to collect cactus fruit to feed the family.
During his childhood, he experienced racial prejudice, demeaning comments and heard repeatedly that he would spend his life in the copper mines.
Each morning in 1926, for example, Castro, then in the fifth grade, walked four miles to and from school. He watched as the Douglas school system's bus picked up the Anglo children; the bus passed as his classmates waved. Castro, the 10-year-old boy, knew that situation was unjust.
Yet despite such a disadvantaged background, he secured an education and embarked on a remarkable career arc, beginning as a teacher, then a lawyer, then Pima County attorney, Superior Court judge of Pima County, governor of Arizona, and American ambassador to El Salvador, Bolivia and Argentina.
Throughout his professional career, he continued to experience instances of social and racial discrimination only to turn these unwelcome incidents into new sources of strength.
Born in Cananea, Sonora, on June 12, 1916, Castro and his family ultimately moved from Mexico to the Arizona side of the border in 1926 and later, in 1939, through a combination of grueling physical labor and self-denial he became an American citizen.
He struggled too; riding the rails for a year - he described himself as a "hobo" - and earning a living as an undefeated professional boxer. But education remained a central and unifying theme in Castro's life.
He graduated from Arizona State Teachers College in Flagstaff the same year he gained citizenship (1939). Then, after realizing no local school boards would hire a "Mexican" with a teaching degree, he found work in the U.S. State Department as a Foreign Service clerk at Agua Prieta on the Arizona-Sonora border.
Extremely bright and assertive, Castro pursued an American dream. He was accepted by the University of Arizona College of Law in 1947 and earned his juris doctor degree in 2 1/2 years. Immediately thereafter, he began practicing law in Tucson.

In 1951, he became deputy Pima County attorney and, in 1954, he was elected county attorney and served in that capacity until 1958. In that year he was elected as a Pima County Superior Court judge and earned a reputation as a man of keen mind and deep compassion.
Castro served on the Pima County bench for six years until 1964. His stature grew, and President Lyndon Johnson appointed him U.S. ambassador to El Salvador in 1964, where he served until 1968. LBJ said he needed Castro in Bolivia, so the president transferred him there where he served until 1969, when President Richard Nixon removed him and placed a Republican appointee in that critical ambassadorial slot.
Castro returned to Arizona to practice international law and enter Democratic Party politics. In 1970, he ran for governor against incumbent Jack Williams and lost by only 7,000 votes. Four years later, he won a spirited campaign for the governorship against Russell Williams, a relative of the powerful conservative owner of The Arizona Republic, Eugene Pulliam, thus becoming Arizona's first Hispanic governor.
In 1977, President Jimmy Carter selected Castro to be ambassador to Argentina, so he resigned the governorship and went to Buenos Aires, where he served until 1980.
Castro returned to Arizona, practiced law for two decades and recently retired to Nogales, Ariz. His life and career suggest that the adversity in his humble beginnings only hardened his resolve and strengthened his determination.
Former Arizona Governor Raul Castro. This naturalized citizen from Mexico, whose life work borders on astounding, should join the pantheon of American role models of the first order. Beyond that, his story suggests much about the human spirit, the ability to overcome institutional and personal prejudice, and the hopes inherent in the American dream.

Jack L. August Jr. is executive director of the Barry Goldwater Center for the Southwest and is the Visiting Scholar in Legal History with Snell & Wilmer LLP in Phoenix. He is co-author of "Adversity Is My Angel: The Life and Career of Raul H. Castro."

Sent by John Inclan

To hear former Arizona Governor Raul Castro's voice and comments, cut & paste:


Ethnic Studies 40Years Later: Race, Resistance and Relevance
October 7-10, 2009


CALL FOR PROPOSALS:  The College of Ethnic Studies (CoES) at San Francisco State University (SFSU) invites proposals for papers, panels, roundtable discussions, workshops and performances for a conference that marks the founding of The College and the emergence of the field of Ethnic Studies. The first College of Ethnic Studies, inaugurated in 1969, was accompanied by ethnic studies initiatives, programs, centers and departments at universities and colleges around the world.

This 40th anniversary of CoES presents an opportunity to examine contributions, developments, and challenges within the field of Ethnic Studies. For more information and directions for proposal submissions: 



Essays on Current Ignorance and Misconceptions of Hispanic History
    U.S. Declares War on Mexico 163 Years Ago by Richard G. Santos
    Cinco de Mayo: More than Mariachis and Margaritas by Andy Porras
    Click to: Historical Misconceptions, Propaganda and Untruths by Richard G. Santos
    Click to: From Real to Reel: Hispanics & the Eiconic Image in Film 
                   by Felipe de Ortego y Gasca
    Click to: La Guerra de Estados Unidos contra México 1846-1848
Ing. Clemente Rendón de la Garza



Richard G. Santos
International research historian, linguist and educator based in San Antonio.



On May 13, 1846, U. S. President James Polk declared war on Mexico. He justified the declaration stating “American blood (had been shed) on American soil”. Polk was referring to an incident that occurred on April 25 when a Mexican patrol out of Matamoros, Tamaulipas ran into U.S. scouts along the road from Corpus Christi to Matamoros. The short and militarily insignificant skirmish resulted in a few men killed from both sides and both retreated thereafter to their respective base. U. S. victories at the battles at Palo Alto (May 8) and Resaca de la Palmas (May 9) followed. Congress had not yet been informed of the two battles when Polk declared war on Mexico. The U.S. Army and Navy invaded Mexico at five points (Texas Gulf Coast via Tamaulipas, Texas middle Rio Grande via Coahuila, New Mexico, California and Port of Veracruz). The 21 month war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on February 2, 1848. Instead of acquiring all of Mexico (as had been the original intention), the US government bought the area now called the U. S. Southwest. 

Such is the history of the U.S.-Mexico War as known by the public as is so depicted in the U. S. history textbooks, movies and TV programs. All are written from the East Coast black and white worldview. Consequently, the ethnic minorities, history, culture and impact of the war and Treaty west of the Mississippi River are ignored. Moreover, the California Gold Rush, railroad expansion to the Pacific Coast and “Indian Wars” are unrealistically glorified with the negative impact ignored.

At the beginning of the war with Mexico the U.S. was determined to fulfill its self-perceived Manifest Destiny to “extend from the North Pole to the Isthmus of Panama and Atlantic to the Pacific oceans”. This political-geographic attitude and view was unquestionably documented in the 1876 book titled "One Hundred Years of Progress" by Charles Louis Flint website of book is: Most interesting are the maps (attachment) that depict the U. S. in 1776, 1876, and as it was expected to be in 1976. True to Manifest Destiny, by 1976 the southern border of the US is depicted at the Isthmus of Panama! Mexico and the nations of Central America were depicted as yet un-named states of the union. 

What the textbooks and media do not depict are the anti-war riots in key Northern cities, the many U.S. citizens who fled to Canada and thence Mexico to join the Mexican Army, the massive desertions of U.S. troops on the field and the strong anti-slavery opposition to the war. Congressman Abraham Lincoln of Illinois was among those who opposed the war as abolitionists saw it as expansion of slave territory. Also not depicted in the textbooks and media was the plight of recently arrived European immigrants who were drafted into the U.S. army as a sure means of citizenship. Many did not speak English or spoke it very poorly. 

Moreover, the plight of Catholic immigrants is also not depicted as the discrimination was so severe that many deserted as soon as possible and others (like the San Patricio Battalion) changed sides and fought against the U.S. 

Another group totally ignored were the anti-Jefferson, anti-slavery U. S. citizens and Catholics of the Trans-Mississippi and Louisiana Territory. Some had been followers of third U. S. Vice President Aaron Burr who so disagreed with Jefferson that he and his followers contemplated establishing a third North American Republic. Many settled in what is now Arkansas, the Red River (Texas-Oklahoma border area), or entered Texas and New Mexico as legal and illegal immigrants. Many were involved in the creation of the Republic of Texas but opposed U.S. annexation and the war with Mexico. In time the Burr Conspiracy became the Spanish Conspiracy and finally the Lone Star Conspiracy which existed until the late 1880’s. Their story and that of the once imagined third North American Republic was lost and waits to be rescued and told by scholars and the media sure to sensationalize their history.

In the meantime, we must contend with the short-lived sham Republic of Texas that sought annexation to the United States shortly after the fall of the Alamo on March 6, 1836 and before the April 21 1836 battle at San Jacinto. Not yet a recognized Republic, the U.S. rebuffed the offer on the grounds that the United States does not get involved on the internal affairs of a friendly nation. (si ahorita, sure guy). Although the political history of the Texas Revolution has not been written, you can get an insight as to how it came about by studying the Phony Florida War. That U.S. Secret Service led effort failed but succeeded in Texas and California, both of which declared independence and created short-lived sham republics. 

James Polk assumed the presidency of the U.S. determined to annex Texas. The Treaty of Annexation was signed in December 1845 and Polk ordered the U.S. Army and Navy to occupy Corpus Christi Bay. The skirmish of April 25, 1846 mentioned above was sufficient grounds to declare war against Mexico. The U.S. Army then moved into New Mexico and the U.S. Navy conducted its first amphibious landing by invading California. The 21 month war was so unpopular that the U.S. paid for the Mexican territory it had conquered and failed to follow up on the acquisition of all of Mexico and Central America. Nonetheless, the continental United States as it is now was created by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the war. Whereas Texas was not a part of the Treaty because it had been annexed beforehand, the Southwest and its Spanish-Mexican residents thus became U.S. citizens. The Native American cultures that predated Spanish settlement of the area were not declared citizens of the U.S. until the 20th Century. Greed, ethnocentricity, prejudices and ethnic-cultural discrimination led to the violation of the Texas Treaty of Annexation, Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and all Native American treaties. That also remains to be told in the history textbooks and media. Hopefully, the next generation of scholars from history to anthropology will begin to correct our current ignorance and misconceptions of history.

End ………………… Zavala County Sentinel 13-14 May 2009 …… end 

 “It is the destiny of the United Sates to extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean and from the North Pole to the Isthmus of Panama ”.  

Note section in white was expected to become part of the US by  1970.  Charles Louis Flint, ONE HUNDRED YEARS OF PROGRESS.

From: Richard G. Santos 
Sent: Monday, May 11, 2009 10:46 AM
To: Marinez, Juan

Subject: Mex War

As a side bar, I first did it in Mexico City during a presentaton to the Sociedad de Historia, Geografia y Estadistica. I next made it part of my presentation on Juan N. Seguin (Espia Tejano en la Comandancia Militar del Noreste)in Monterrey for the Sociedad Nuevoleonesa de Historia.

And as I used to tell my classes at Our Lady of the Lake, Trinity U, School of Aero Space Medicine and SW Tx:

Let us suppose I really, really like your house, property, furniture, belongings and everything you own. One day I do a home invasion, beat the you know what out of you, have you on the ground all bloody thinking you are about to die. I put a gun to your head and say: "See those items I have set aside? Well, it is about a third of what all I wanted and I
am gonna pay you $13 million for it.  Do you accept? Will you sell me one third of what I have conquered?"

Well, Mexico said yes and sold the southwest to the US.


Shared by Juan Marinez 
Dr. Armando Ayala 


Cinco de Mayo: More than Mariachis and Margaritas 
by Andy Porras


While most of America confuses May 5th as Mexican Independence Day, less know of the incredible connection between the Battle of Puebla, fought between Mexico and France, and the salvation of American, not Mexican independence. 

As with every great event, there’s always a story behind the headlines. Cinco de Mayo has more than its share. Mention Cinco to today’s young Latinos and you’re bound to get the same reaction when asking non-Latinos-party-time! But it’s not their fault. Not when there is next to nothing in school curriculums that even hints of a President Lincoln-Mexican President Benito Juarez connection during the Civil War.

Officially, Cinco de Mayo, or May 5, 1862, is when the Battle of Puebla shook the Americas. It was a victory of a ragtag Mexican Army against an elite French military machine. Except, it’s not the end of the story. 

Check the date, 1862- the U.S. Civil War was raging. The country was on a path of self-destruction, it seemed. While the North counted on vast industrial resources, the Southern rebs’ quest for secession tempered them with a fierce sprit of fighting, almost barbaric. 

President Lincoln could ill afford a nation divided. Benito Juarez’ troops were thought to be no match for the the Euro-warriors who had not tasted defeat in more half a century and were said to be “the premier army in the world.” Both leaders were desperate for a military miracle. 

Some historians claim that Napoleon III's (nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte) desire to occupy Mexico was fueled by his intense dislike for the United States and the Monroe Doctrine. (The Monroe Doctrine stated that the United States would oppose any European invasion into the Americas.) A French stronghold in Mexico would thwart the United States' growing power and strength.

Some writers, like Antonio Burciaga and John Shepler point out that Napoleon III shrewdly banked on the fact that the United States, in the midst of its own civil war, would not interfere in the events in Mexico.

“Under orders of their emperor, French troops arrived in Mexico with a dual purpose: to help the Confederacy win the war against the United States and to conquer Mexico.” writes Donald W Miles in his book, Cinco de Mayo- What is Everybody Celebrating?

Thus with state-of-the-art equipment and the French Foreign Legion at his disposal, Napoleon III planned a traditional military assault and victory at Puebla and then on to the Mexican capital, Mexico City. Once the capital had fallen into French hands, he believed the rest of the country would surrender. 

Then they would march north and keep their promise to the Rebels. It was quite a plan, except they didn’t count on Texas-born, Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza’s non-traditional battle skills and his passionate pleas to the Mexican soldiers, mostly Zapotec Indians.

“On the morning of May 5, 1862, French General Lorenz led some 4,000 French forces toward Puebla, believing that he would be welcomed with open arms and that the local clergy would shower them with magnolia blooms.” writes Shepler. “Instead, waiting for him was General Zaragoza with a much smaller force of 2,000 troops along with Puebla citizens who brought their own farm tools as weapons.”

The Texas general’s guerilla tactics included sending stampeding cattle into the French occupied areas near Puebla. Then the screaming and machete-weilding Zapotecs sliding down muddy hillsides completely baffled the brightly dressed French Dragoons. The numero-uno army in the world was no match for the inspired natives, who were growing weary of foreign warriors traversing across their lands.

Juarez’ people had risen to the task. Napoleon’s plans to help the South were crushed. On April 18, 1865, the Civil War ended with the surrender of the Confederate army. By then, 617,000 Americans, Union and Confederate, had died in the war.

In gratitude, the Lincolns invited the Juarez to Washington after the war. Maybe someday both countries will get their historical facts straight and celebrate Cinco together. Just like their forefathers did.

Shared by Walter Herbeck


Latino hate crime trial ends with 'not guilty' verdict
Letter of Appeal from MALDEF attorney, Gladys Limon
The Luis Ramirez Murder: A Violent Act of Injustice

Latino hate crime trial ends with 'not guilty' verdict 


POTTSVILLE, PA – A jury in Schuylkill County found the two defendants, Brandon Piekarsky and Derrick Donchak, accused of beating 25-year-old Luis Ramirez to death, not guilty.

“Tonight there is no justice in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. The jury's conclusion is an outrage. Luis Ramirez was brutally murdered. Witnesses testified that it was racially motivated as a result of hate and intolerance. In the week when Congress passed the Hate Crimes Act, this verdict underscores the importance of the passage of this Act. It is time for the Department of Justice to step in and bring justice to the Ramirez family and send a strong message that violence targeting immigrants will not be tolerated and will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” stated Henry Solano, MALDEF interim president and general counsel.



The Petition to:
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530

We respectfully request that the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice conduct a thorough and comprehensive federal investigation surrounding the brutal murder of Luis Ramirez in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania and to bring appropriate criminal charges against his assailants.

On July 14, 2008, Ramirez lost his life after he was knocked unconscious and severely beaten by a group of Shenandoah teenagers who yelled racial epithets throughout the fatal beating. Charging documents and eyewitness accounts indicate that Ramirez was punched and kicked in the body and head causing him to foam at the mouth, to sustain two skull fractures, and ultimately, to die.

While local officials initially failed to bring charges against the perpetrators and denied that race played a role in the attack, MALDEF intervened to pressure the local prosecutor to charge the defendants with a hate crime. Soon thereafter, the county district attorney filed murder and ethnic intimidation charges against the assailants.

A retired Philadelphia police officer testified at a preliminary hearing that she heard one of the defendants yell “Tell your [expletive] Mexican friends to get the [expletive] out of Shenandoah or you’ll be [expletive] laying next to him.” The defendant’s comments were directed at Ramirez’s friends who came to his aid after receiving a distress call from him on a cell phone during the beating.

On Friday, May 1, 2009, a jury in Schuylkill County found two of the defendants accused of beating the 25-year-old, father of two, guilty of simple assault. Despite the mounting evidence of a hate-driven and violent attack, the jury acquitted the defendants of third-degree murder and ethnic intimidation. The jury's conclusion is an outrage. Most shocking is the recent news article describing the Jury Foreman’s view that the trial appeared to be biased because of the racism and prejudice he noted among his fellow jurors. Luis Ramirez was brutally murdered and, even in death, Ramirez remains a victim of extreme racism which denies his family the justice they deserve.

The death of Luis Ramirez has repercussions beyond his family and community. The FBI Hate Crimes Statistics Report documents that hate crimes against Latinos have increased by 40% over the past several years. We must work aggressively to prevent hate crimes, and when they occur, prosecute and punish the perpetrators to the full extent of the law.

We respectfully request that the Civil Rights Division of the United States Department of Justice launch a full investigation into the horrible crime that occurred last July in Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. It is imperative that the Department of Justice step in and send a strong message that hate crimes of any kind will not be tolerated in our great nation.

For more information about the case, please go to:

A November 18, 2008 interview, emphasizes that the media itself has influenced the outcome by the neglect of public visibility to the death of not only Luis Ramirez in Pennsylvania, but also Marcelo Lucero, beaten to death in Long Island, New York. 


Luis Ramirez, like all generations of immigrants, came to this country with great sacrifice and courage, seeking to fulfill a basic human need, to work for a better life. Only 25 years old, his life was taken prematurely and violently by a group of young people, whose crime, according to witnesses, was motivated by Luis' national origin.?

Take a moment to send a message of condolence to the family of Luis Ramirez today. We need safe and tolerant communities and joining in this effort adds your voice to the growing chorus that is leading to a better America.

Luis Ramirez was born and raised in Guanajuato, Mexico, where he lived with his mother, Elisa Zavala, grandmother, sister, and brother. Ms. Zavala tells that Luis was extraordinarily hardworking and ambitious from a very young age. According to her, Luis worked as a boy to pay for his studies and also to help with household expenses. Ms. Zavala recounts that Luis was so committed to helping her economically that, on occasion, he offered her his small piggy-bank savings. When he grew older, Luis worked 15 hours a day as a supervisor at a local clothes factory. With his earnings, he helped build a home for his family. Luis' ambition was too large for the small economic opportunities in his community. He regularly told his mother that there were better working opportunities "in the north," and that he could realize his dream of providing a better life for his family by going to the United States. His mother finally gave in and reluctantly allowed Luis to pursue the American dream. ?

Take a moment to send a message of condolence to the family of Luis Ramirez today. We need safe and tolerant communities and joining in this effort adds your voice to the growing chorus that is leading to a better America.

Luis, at age 19, arrived in Pennsylvania after making the long journey. He worked two jobs at all times, whether in a factory, construction, or agricultural fields, so that he could support himself and his family in Mexico. After a few years, he met and fell in love with Crystal Dillman. According to Crystal, what most impressed her about Luis was how respectful and hardworking he was. During their three-year relationship, they had two beautiful children together and planned to marry.

On the night of July 12, 2009, however, Luis Ramirez encountered a group of high school football players who told him to "go back to Mexico" and shortly thereafter began their brutal assault on Luis. The beating ended after Luis was knocked to the ground, kicked and stomped on by the four assailants, and then kicked in the head, which fractured his skull. As they fled, one of the assailants yelled a warning to Luis' friend, who had responded to Luis' distress call, "tell your [expletive] Mexican friends to get the [expletive] out of Shenandoah or you'll be [expletive] laying next to him." ???

The assailants deprived Luis Ramirez not only of his American dream, but of his right to be a son, a husband, a father - of his right to live.

Thank you for your continued support of our petition to the DOJ. While our voices are being heard loud and clear in Washington, Shenandoah, and across the country, we must keep bringing attention to this particular situation and related efforts to demonstrate that such conduct is not and should not be accepted or tolerated.


Gladys Limon

PS. Help us reach our goal of delivering 50,000 petitions to the Department of Justice. Double your Impact by telling 5 more friends and stand up for Luis Ramirez and justice today.  

To participate in the petition or send letters of condolences, go to:

Please consider writing a letter directly to the Department of Justice, at:

950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530


The Luis Ramirez Murder: A Violent Act of Injustice


Three things immediately shock the conscious soul upon learning about the murder of Luis Ramirez. The simple manner in which he died is the first of those.

First:  Ramirez, a father of three, was beaten to death in the streets of Pennsylvania by as many as seven young men who were at the end of a night of drinking. The motive? Judging by the slurs heaped upon him along with the many blows to his body: apparently nothing more than being out at night while Mexican. The teens who ganged up on Ramirez came upon him walking with a young woman, reportedly his girlfriend's sister. Obviously bringing threat, they asked him what he was doing out at that time of day. Then they set upon him. In the end it was a final hard kick to the skull which left the 25-year-old father convulsing on the concrete with fatal brain damage.

The police arrived shortly after the attack but rather than jump into hot pursuit of the white criminals, they chose instead to search Latino eyewitnesses for weapons, claiming that following the guilty parties simply wasn't their "priority." Ramirez's attackers weren't arrested for another two weeks, even though eyewitnesses at the scene knew who they were without a doubt.

The second stomach-churner is the jury's decision to exonerate Ramirez's killers from the charges of third-degree murder, aggravated assault, reckless endangerment, and ethnic intimidation, leaving to stand only the reduced charge of simple assault. This, despite the testimony of Eileen Burke, a retired police officer at the scene. Burke testified that at the end, the murderers yelled to Ramirez' girlfriend "You effin bitch, tell your effin Mexican friends get the eff out of Shenandoah or you're gonna be laying effin next to him." This, despite two of the accused men themselves admitting to yelling "go home you Mexican [expletive]" at the scene of the crime.

Yet somehow, in the face of these facts, the all-white jury ruled there was no evidence of "ethnic intimidation." According to a CNN report, town residents were quick to explain and downplay the actions of this violent group of "star students and football players" as "just an alcohol-fueled confrontation among kids." They furthered their argument by reciting "a litany of attacks allegedly perpetrated by Latinos against Anglos." Perhaps they could have saved time and breath by saying The spics had it coming.

The third, overarching, shocking reality thrown into sharp relief by the murder of Luis Ramirez is how easily an environment of violently xenophobic rhetoric and targeted hate has normalized a modern-day lynching to the point that it is absorbed and diluted with barely a blip into the everyday news cycle and into public consciousness. How effortlessly a subhuman category of being is constructed and subsequently reviled. How a verdict has been passed on just how to deal with this synthesized Creature, and how effective that virulent messaging has been evidenced in a death like this one and in a pattern that plays out in various towns, cities, and states across the country. Seemingly unconnected cells of hatred hammer the dominant culture's sentence down upon a targeted group, and the system nods and winks when all is done.

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

Editor:  Recommend viewing several MALDEF videos on Hate crimes



Chicana activist speaks to Orange County, California audience
Farm Workers’ Rights, 70 Years Overdue

Chicana activist speaks to Orange County, California audience

Community groups gather around Elizabeth "Betita" Martinez in Orange.  

By Alejandra Molina, OC Register, March 12, 2009  


ORANGE, CA - Elizabeth "Betita" Martinez, a Chicana writer and activist, spoke to a full house Wednesday night, highlighting the progress that women of color have made over the years and emphasizing the importance of building bridges between diverse communities.  


About 100 people gathered at the Teamsters 952 Union Hall  in Orange to hear Martinez speak about her book, "500 Years of Chicana Women's History." The event was held to celebrate Women's International Day, March 8, and to unite community groups and labor unions, such as Santa Ana-based El Centro Cultural de Mexico  and the Service Employees International Union 721,  which represents Orange County workers.  

Throughout the discussion, Martinez  answered questions from the audience and touched on how to help young Chicanas succeed. "We need to find new ways to educate our own people and our own community about how to move forward," Martinez said. "One of the most important ways to do that, is to set an example yourself in your own community of being a fighter for justice and for dignity ... and in the process of that, organizing others. A single example can start the ball rolling."

She also praised Hilda Solis and briefly touched on the Obama presidency, saying it was "the result of years of work by people in the civil rights movement."  

"She's a legend for women's rights, for organizing labor groups," said Barbary Liddy, political coordinator with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters. "To me she was the best person to have here tonight because of her history with organizing and her history of working so hard for the rights of people — the rights of workers that aren't paid very well."  

Liddy said Martinez' presence in Orange County is important.

"We have really been working very hard at changing the face of Orange County — to be so conservative and narrow-minded — we want to open it up. It (Orange County) is diverse but we want the diversity to projectile not just from a certain group of people. We want everyone to have the piece of the pie."  

Martinez recently wrote an article in Z magazine  highlighting the efforts of female domestic workers to earn labor rights.


Contact the writer: or 949-454-7360


Sent by Ricardo Valverde


Farm Workers’ Rights, 70 Years Overdue
Editorial, April 6, 2009

It is more than bank failures and rising unemployment that give these troubled times echoes of the 1930s. An unfinished labor battle from the New Deal is being waged again.

The goal is to win basic rights that farm and domestic workers were denied more than 70 years ago, when the Roosevelt administration won major reforms protecting other workers in areas like overtime and disability pay, days of rest and union organizing.

That inequality is a perverse holdover from the Jim Crow era. Segregationist Southern Democrats in Congress could not abide giving African-Americans, who then made up most of the farm and domestic labor force, an equal footing in the workplace with whites. President Roosevelt’s compromise simply wrote workers in those industries out of the New Deal.

They were thus sidelined from the labor movement, with predictable results. Though the Dixiecrats have all long since died or repented, the injustice they spawned has never been corrected. Poverty, brutal working conditions and legally sanctioned discrimination persist for new generations of laborers, who are now mostly Latino immigrants.

In New York, advocates are pressing for passage of the Farm workers Fair Labor Practices Act, which would give these workers the rights that others have long taken for granted, as well as seek badly needed improvements in safety and sanitary conditions in the fields. Domestic workers, meanwhile, are seeking a “Bill of Rights” in Albany covering things like overtime pay, cost-of-living raises and health benefits.

A separate effort begun last week seeks to end these stubbornly lingering injustices for workers in all states by fixing federal law. It was announced on Cesar Chavez’s birthday by old lions of his movement, including Jerry Cohen, who as general counsel of the United Farm Workers helped win passage of a landmark 1975 California law that secured unprecedented rights for the state’s farm workers. The campaign has been joined by a growing number of labor groups and immigrant advocates, like Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles and the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, which represents migrant workers in the Midwest and North Carolina.

In both campaigns, advocates are counting on a changed political landscape to help their cause. But even with Democrats controlling the New York Legislature, the farm worker bill has languished. It faces fierce opposition from growers and has been eclipsed by the entropy and fiscal crises of Gov. David Paterson’s Albany. In Washington, labor advocates are preoccupied by different battles, like the fight for the pro-union Employee Free Choice Act. Other long-sought immigration reforms have taken a back seat to the budget and health care.

But farm workers are used to long, hard slogs and pitiless heat and cold, with justice as their distant but inevitable destination. The advocates see President Obama and Governor Paterson as ideal candidates to take them there, and are not about to give up. “Any just national labor law reform must include farm workers and domestics,” Mr. Cohen wrote to Labor Secretary Hilda Solis, stating an obvious and compelling truth. “If not now, when?”
Sent by Juan Marinez




Last Prince of the Mexican Empire by C.M. Mayo
César Chávez: A Triumph of Spirit, R. Griswold del Castillo and Richard A. Garcia
A Tramp Across the Continent Charles F. Lummis
Cinco de Mayo: An Illustrated History by Dr. Roberto Cabello-Argandoña

Description of book:  Who knew that Mexico once had a half-American prince? Or that this little boy’s future was hotly debated not just in Mexico but in Washington D.C. and in every court in Europe? Set in the mid-19th century when Maximilian von Habsburg was Emperor of Mexico, THE LAST PRINCE OF THE MEXICAN EMPIRE is based on the true and never before completely told story about a half-American, half-Mexican boy who, as in a fairytale, became a prince and then a pawn in the struggle-to-the-death over Mexico's destiny.
"Epic in scope...impressively researched...Mayo's reanimation of a crucial period in Mexican history should satisfy history buffs and those in the mood for an engaging story brimming with majestic ambition." Publishers Weekly

"A rich historical novel...Mayo comfortably blends fiction with fact while illuminating a dark corner of North American history." Booklist

Author bio: C.M. Mayo is the author of The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire, an historical novel based on the true story which will be published by Unbridled Books this May; Miraculous Air: Journey of a Thousand Miles through Baja California, the Other Mexico, a travel memoir published by Milkweed Editions in 2007; and Sky Over El Nido, which won the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction. A long-time resident of Mexico City and an avid translator of Mexican poetry and fiction, she is also the editor of an anthology of Mexican writing, Mexico: A Traveler's Literary Companion, which Mexican poet and critic David Huerta has called "one of the outstanding contemporary works on this country."
Excerpt from epilogue:
Once upon a time or, I should say, more years ago that I would like to count, I was invited to a lunch in Mexico City. There in the dining room was an unusually handsome antique portrait of a youth— perhaps English?— cradling a rifle. The scenery included a nopal cactus and, upon a hill in the background, as in a Renaissance portrait...

Was that Chapultepec Castle?

Yes, my hostess told me as our bowl of salad came out in the arms of the muchacha.

And who was the boy?

Agustín de Iturbide y Green, the Prince of Mexico.

I had never heard of him. This bothered me, for I was not only recently married to a Mexican, but I considered myself well-educated. I realize now that we supposedly well-educated Americans, who may be able to recite every this-and-that about Europe, rarely open our minds to the rich complexities of our southern neighbor and this, in part, because we are lulled into an illusion that we "know" Mexico. Our media drench us with images: the wet-back; the bandido and the bull-fighter and the mariachi; the narco-trafficker; the corrupt official with his Rolex, his yacht, his weekends in Vegas; the pobres in their sombreros and huaraches; the ubiquitous unibrowed Frida, and those sugar-sand beaches bereft of people other than, perhaps, long-limbed blondes in bikinis.

A prince! This meant an aristocracy, a theater for power: social, political, financial, economic, military. Certainly, revolutions have erupted in opposition to the idea, but it can be said that, for many people, a monarch and, by extension, the royal family, serve as a focal point for the identity and unity of a nation. To most Americans and Mexicans today, this idea is absurd. But as I write these lines, the Belgians still have their king and the United Kingdom its queen.

These days, usually, one can satisfy one’s idle curiosity with an Internet search, but back then, a search yielded nothing.

A few months later, half way through reading Jasper Ridley’s Maximilian and Juárez, I came upon the chapter, "Alice Iturbide." My surprise at finding my own countrywoman at the apex of this long ago Mexican aristocracy, both antagonist and victim, motivated and blinded by who knew what medley of ambition, avarice, love, borrowed patriotism or naiveté, so intrigued me, I knew at once that I wanted to explore and expand it into a novel.

Writing a book is like climbing a mountain: one step at a time gets you to the summit, though perhaps, once, twice, or a hundred times, one might have to overnight in heavy weather, or retrace a dead-end route and begin anew. In my case, before reaching much of any altitude at all, I fell, to use a Mexican expression, into an eggplant patch.

The eggplant patch was my initial reading of the main works on the period. In these, the story of the little prince is either erroneously or so faintly told as to be— well, it wasn’t anything to hang a novel on. Ridley, for example, claims that Alice had first married Agustín Gerónimo, eldest son of the Emperor Iturbide, and then, after his death, married the second son, Angel. In my later researches, I found no evidence for this supposed first marriage and in fact, as ample documentation in the Iturbide Family Archives in the Library of Congress shows, the three traveled together from Paris to New York where, after many years of ill-health, Agustín Gerónimo died in December 1866. (There, for anyone who wants to see them, are the microfiche of bills from New York’s Clarendon Hotel, one Dr John Metcalfe, and for the conveyance of Agustín Gerónimo’s remains to Philadelphia, where they were interred in the family crypt in St John the Evangelist.)

The best-known work on the Second Empire, and the first based on research into Maximilian’s archive in Austria’s Haus-, Hof-, und Staatsarchive, Egon César Conte Corti’s Maximilian und Charlotte, offers an accurate account of the Iturbides’s tangle with Maximilian in the sum of a single page. Maximiliano íntimo: El Emperor Maximiliano y su corte, one of the indispensable eyewitness memoirs, by Maximilian’s secretary, José Luis Blasio, similarly relegates the Iturbides to the briefest of mentions, and further, claims that "the little Agustín, then five years old, was the son of Angel de Iturbide, who had passed away, and an American woman." Three strikes there: the child was only two and a half years old, Angel was quite alive enough to have signed Maximilian’s contract, and — poor Alice! She did not even rate a mention of her name. Two more examples: Sara Yorke Stevenson’s Maximilian in Mexico: A Woman’s Reminiscences of the French Intervention 1862-1867, a magnificent tome in all other respects, relegates the Iturbide affair to— I found this astonishing— a snippet of a footnote, apropos of Maximilian’s flight from Chapultepec to Orizaba in late 1866. I read and I read, but in these works about Maximilian, the Second Empire, and the French Intervention, whether a memoir or based on original research, when it came to the Iturbides, it was always the same: mystifying errors and vagueness.

Why, precisely, Maximilian would want to take custody of the Iturbide grandsons and why Alice, her husband, and his siblings would agree, at least initially, were questions I could not begin to address when the Iturbides themselves remained obscure.

I knew there were archives on the Emperor Agustín de Iturbide in both Georgetown University and the Library of Congress, but I was still in Mexico City. So my first path out of the bramble was an unlikely one and I found it thanks to Mexican historian Eduardo Turrent, who granted me access to the Banco de México’s Matías Romero archive. During the French Intervention, Romero, one of Mexico’s great statesmen, served as the Mexican Republic’s Minister to Washington, where he lobbied, gathering money and arms, against Maximilian. In Romero’s archive, among countless treasures, I found several letters from Angel de Iturbide, anxiously requesting that he and his family be permitted to return to Mexico. These were dated August, 1867, some two months after Maximilian’s execution, and sent from "Rosedale, near Georgetown, D.C."

Rosedale, Georgetown, D.C.: that was my lead. When I went to Washington, in addition to delving into those archives at Georgetown University and the Library of Congress, I went to the Washington Historical Society Library, Georgetown Public Library’s Peabody Room, and the Washingtoniana Division of the Martin Luther King Library. Alice’s family turned out to be an old and prominent family on both sides. It gave me a start to realize, after several visits to the Washington Historical Society Library, that it was Alice’s lace-capped grandmother, Rebecca Plater Forrest, whose portrait graced the vestibule. Over on Massachusetts Avenue, in stately Anderson House, the Society of the Cincinnati had the records of Agustín de Iturbide y Green’s membership, descended as he was from the Revolutionary war hero, General Uriah Forrest. And in the library of the Daughters of the American Revolution headquarters, I found a copy of his grandmother, Ann Forrest Green’s, diary for 1861. And about Rosedale, which crowns the knoll just behind the National Cathedral, I came upon numerous newspaper clippings, some dating back to the 1930s and including interviews with Alice’s family members. Also of enormous help was Washington DC historian Louise Mann-Kenney’s Rosedale: The Eighteenth Century Country Estate of General Uriah Forrest, and a personal visit to Rosedale one snow-dusted February day.

The biggest trove of information about Alice and her son, however, I found in an unlikely place, for, as far as I can determine, they had no association with it during their lifetimes: Catholic University’s archives, also in Washington DC. As the rest of Agustín de Iturbide y Green’s life is the subject of my next book, suffice it to say, his career in the Mexican calvary ended in 1890 when, for having written a letter to a newspaper criticizing President Porfirio Díaz, he was court-martialed and imprisoned for a year. On his release, he and his mother returned to Washington. In 1892, when she returned alone to Mexico City to conclude some business, she died suddenly of an infection to the foot turned septic. Soon another bout of inopportune truth-telling resulted in Agustín’s expulsion from Washington’s exclusive Metropolitan Club, though many of the members considered this so grossly unfair that, years later, there was attempt, without his cooperation, to reinstall him as a member. And so the one-time Prince of Mexico, orphaned, socially ruined, and plagued by chronic tuberculosis of the bone, made his living as a translator for the Franciscan Brothers and later, as professor of French and Spanish at Georgetown. He nonetheless made a happy marriage which lasted a decade, until his death in 1925. The Catholic University archive, donated by his widow, Louis Kearney de Iturbide, contains his personal papers, scrapbooks, photographs, and her handwritten memoir, as well as many Washington area newspaper clippings, among them, one dated 1939, "Memory of Imperial Fame: Princeling’s Widow Refreshes Lost History," that shows that same portrait I had seen in Mexico City. It turned out that, on a visit to Mexico, Mrs. Iturbide had given it to her hostess and it had then been handed down in the family.

Why, having done so much original research, did I write the story as fiction? I wanted to tell it true, which means, of course, getting the facts as straight as possible but also, and this was the most interesting to me, telling an emotional truth. Why did Alice, Angel, Pepa, Maximilian and Charlotte do what they did? Who encouraged and supported them, and who criticized, intimidated and frustrated them— and for what motives? The answer is not only in historical and political analysis, but in their hearts, and the hearts of others can only be experienced with the imagination, that is, through fiction.

How much is fiction and how much is fact? We will never really know. All I can say is that I have done my utmost to render the facts and the contexts as accurately as possible. All the characters are based on real people with the exceptions of Lupe, Chole, the bandits, the palace nannies Olivia and Tere, the murdered Count Villavaso, and the prince’s bodyguard, though in all these instances, real people did fulfill these or very similar roles, and I undertook extensive research into the sociology of the time and place to portray them, if imaginatively, as accurately as I could.

A last word about research. There is no end to it. This may be true of any period, but it is especially true of Mexico in the 1860s, for Maximilian’s presence there makes no sense without an understanding of both the Mexican and the international context— the American, Austrian, Belgian, French, Prussian, Russian, Italian, English, and so on. The histories, memoirs, and documents themselves reveal only scraps and, at best, patched-together swaths of the wider story, and many as these may be, precious few have been translated. To give one of many examples, L’Intervention Française au Mexique, the monumental three volume memoir by Col. Charles Blanchot, General Bazaine’s aide-de-camp, has not yet been translated into Spanish, German, or English. In 2008— more than 130 years after the fall of the Second Mexican Empire— Austrian historian Konrad Ratz, working from previously untranslated German documents, published Tras las huellas de un desconocido (In the Footsteps of an Unknown), with major new information about Maximilian’s early education; his governorship of Lombardy-Venetia; his last doctor, Samuel Basch; Prince and Princess Salm-Salm; and the shadowy Father Fischer. I had already finished and placed my manuscript; Ratz’s was the last new research I could utilize for this novel. No doubt more wonders are forthcoming. There are more archives I might have looked into. I could also try digging a hole to China. After these several year’s work, with a great sigh, I simply declared, "pencils down."


Photo of the Last prince of the Mexican Empire: Agustín de Iturbide y Green (1863-1925), can be viewed at with other photos and historical data available at the site.




“César Chávez: A Triumph of Spirit,” 
a biography of Chávez co-written by 
Richard Griswold del Castillo and Richard A. Garcia


Included in the biography is a A Letter from Cesar Chavez - 
Extract from The New York Review of Books

In 1969, four years into a five-year grape strike, Chávez testified before Congress that if illegal workers were removed from California, “at least from the strike fields, we would win the strike overnight,” said Jorge Mariscal, who teaches Chicano studies at UC San Diego. “There is no question that in the early days, they had a strike going on. The growers were bringing in undocumented people to break the strike, so of course they had to be against that,” said Mariscal, who cited the quote in a book he wrote about the Chicano movement, “Brown-Eyed Children of the Sun.”

Anti-illegal-immigration activists have often referred to actions the union took at the border in protest of strikebreakers as justification for staging border watches.

During strikes against growers in the 1960s and early 1970s, it was common for growers to bring in workers from Mexico as scabs. In 1974, during a strike against citrus growers in Yuma, Ariz., UFW members stationed themselves at the Arizona-Mexico border.

“The UFW protested the inactivity of the (Immigration and Naturalization Service) and then began stopping Mexican undocumented workers at the border, trying to convince them not to scab,” reads a passage from “César Chávez: A Triumph of Spirit,” a biography of
Chávez co-written by Richard Griswold del Castillo, a professor of  Chicano studies at San Diego State University. Some strikebreakers did turn back, but there were also violent confrontations, according to the book.

Sent by Dorinda Moreno




A Tramp Across the Continent

Charles F. Lummis

Article contributed by
Robert E. Fleming, University of New Mexico

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Works and Events 1892 - 1922

Charles F. Lummis's A Tramp Across the Continent is the story of the author's walk from Cleveland, Ohio, to Los Angeles, California, between September 1884 and February 1885. Originally published as a series of weekly columns in the Los Angeles Daily Times , the account was revised into book form in 1891-1892 while the author recovered from a serious illness.

While the book covers the entire walk, most of its pages are devoted to southern Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Lummis conveys to his audience his own sense of wonder at encountering for the first time the wonders of the American Southwest--prehistoric Indian ruins, contemporary Native Americans, Mexican Americans, and the flora, fauna, and spectacular landscape of a region that was little known to readers of his day.

But the book is more than a simple guidebook. Lummis, a Harvard-educated New Englander, shows the prejudices he had to overcome. In doing so, he hoped to create a sympathetic attitude toward cultures and customs other than their own in his Anglo-American readers.

Published 08 January 2001 Citation: Fleming, Robert E.. "A Tramp Across the Continent". The Literary Encyclopedia. 8 January 2001. , accessed 19 May 2009.



CINCO DE MAYO: An Illustrated History

Dr. Roberto Cabello-Argandoña



Dr. Roberto Cabello-Argandoña has written extensively about Latino issues and information and the Battle Puebla of Cinco de Mayo of 1862. In this battle, Mexican irregular forces defeated well-trained and superior French Imperial forces. The Battle of Puebla emboldened the Mexican resistance, which eventually expelled the invaders.

Dr. Cabello-Argandoña earned his law degree from the University of Chile, B.A. in Political Science, M.P.A., Masters in Management (Business) and M.I.S., Masters in Information Systems from UCLA, and a Ph. D. from USC.

He is the author of the book entitled CINCO DE MAYO: An Illustrated History. Nuestra Historia Series. 208 pgs. ISBN: 978-1-888205-05-3 Floricanto Press, 2008. It covers the political crisis in Mexico and the United States, itself in the midst of a civil war, and the somber prospects of foreign invasion in Mexico by three major world powers, Spain, Britain and France.

It presents an illustrated narrative probing the historical, political and international factors that led to the Battle of Puebla of 1862 from pre-Independence to the War of In dependence, international conflicts, War of Reform and the subsequent political and economic crisis of Mexico. It examines the question of the foreign debt, the allied invasion in Mexico in 1861, the subsequent departure of the Spanish and British forces and the extent of the French Intervention. It provides a most detailed account of the forces and activities of the French and Mexican sides, during the last three days before, the day of and the day after the battle itself. Examines also the inspiring history of a triumphant Chicano general, Ignacio Zaragoza, (1829-1862), born in a period of international conflicts and forced to flee from his home as a youth because of the American settler's revolt in Texas in 1836.

It includes nine patriotic poems (Spanish-English parallel text) written in California between 1864 and 1865 commemorating CINCO DE MAYO and published for the first time in monographic form.  

"This is an amazingly interesting work of historical narrative on Cinco de Mayo dating from 1861, California 1864-1865, and its geopolitical ramifications; ably introduced with a compilation of illustrations from the period." Cabello-Argandoña has been writing about the French Intervention in Mexico for many years. His main preoccupation has constantly been to bring to light the main historical lessons from a failed foreign occupation, the ever presence of enemies within and without, and the resiliency of the Mexican people and their boundless yearns for freedom and respect.

On May 2nd and May 3rd, the Mexican Cultural Institute in Los Angeles, hosted lectures by Dr. Cabello-Argandoña. The following pertinent topics were discussed in relationship to the Battle of Puebla:

1. Mexico was heavily indebted to European multinational bankers from France, Spain, and England.

2. The Government of Juarez in Mexico signed a moratorium of debt repayment to its European creditors.

3. Spain, England and France broke diplomatic relations with Mexico. 

4. America, the main backer of the Monroe Doctrine, was in a bitter civil war. 

5. Napoleon the III of France wanted Europe to challenge America's hegemony of Latin America and open new markets for European goods.

6. Napoleon the III convinced Austria to support an invasion force by
offering to appoint as Emperor of Mexico, Maximilian of Hapsburg, and the younger brother of Emperor Frantz Joseph of Austria.

7. Soon, Spain, England, and France sent their ships to occupy Mexico.

8. A dispute arose among the allies, and soon the English and Spanish forces left Mexico back to their home country.

9. The French General Lorencez crossed with his forces the Valley of Mexico to Puebla --like Cortez in 1519 and the American Army in 1847 before him--where he engaged the Mexican army, led by Ignacio Zaragoza.

10. The French were soundly defeated at the Battle of Puebla on May the 5th of 1862.

11. Mexican Americans in the American Southwest began forming clubs as early as 1863 to oppose the French invasion and to support President Juárez and Mexico. They began fundraising efforts and gathering at festivities and poetry readings on the Cinco de Mayo. These events gradually became enormously important in coalescing the sense of culture and national identity for all Latinos in the United States.

Author's website
Source: Abelardo de la Pena 
Sent by Dorinda Moreno


Lumina Foundation for Education
The 'Herrera Dynasty': 6 talented siblings, all accepted to UCLA
Southwest Airlines &
HACU Open Travel Program for College Students
Universities asked to establish more Center for Mexican American Studies programs
University of Princeton to launch new Latino studies program
Multiracial Pupils to Be Counted in A New Way
The Value of a Bachelor's Degree


The 'Herrera Dynasty': 
6 talented siblings, all accepted to UCLA
By  Letisia Marquez, 4/13/2009 



It's a major accomplishment for one high school student to get into UCLA. But the six Herrera siblings were able to do something that is a true rarity: Since 2000, they have all been accepted to UCLA. 
The youngest of the family — Rebeca Isabel — recently found out that she'll be attending UCLA in the fall. "Once I got accepted, it was a bit of a relief," said Rebeca, 17, who, like her five brothers, is a class valedictorian, a top high school athlete and a talented musician who plays in a popular Mexican norteño band with her siblings.  
She said she never felt pressure from her family to get into UCLA. Nevertheless, she didn't want to be the one to break a family tradition that began in 2000, when her oldest sibling, Jorge Andres, 27, was accepted to UCLA. Jorge has since earned a bachelor's degree in Chicano studies and a master's in ethnomusicology and is currently working on a doctorate in ethnomusicology.
Jorge says that, like his siblings, he's been a UCLA fan since the day he was born. His uncle Andres Herrera, now an Oxnard, Calif., city councilman, played defensive back for the Bruins in the 1960s. He was a member of the football team that won the Rose Bowl in 1966 — and the Herreras have followed UCLA sports teams ever since.
But the siblings also chose UCLA because they grew up in Fillmore, a city in Ventura County, and wanted to stay close to home and family.
"We do everything together," said Luis Albino, 25, who has a bachelor's in ethnomusicology and a master's in Latin American studies. "We go to the gym together, the movies, and we work out together."
Said their mother, Oralia: "They'll even clean the yard together and pull weeds. Our neighbors say that we really do everything together."
Donning cowboy hats and leather jackets, the Herrera siblings also play together as Hermanos Herrera several times a week at Southern California dance halls, cultural events and colleges.
Like UCLA, Mexican music is in their blood.
Before Jorge Andres was even born, his father, also named Jorge, had a small harp made for him in Tijuana, Mexico.
By the time each child turned 3, Jorge Herrera had begun teaching them how to hold a harp or guitar and strum a few chords.
The father also played with his own brothers in Conjunto Hueyapan, a group featuring jarocho string music from the tropical Mexican state of Veracruz. The group continues to perform occasionally.
"We just idolized my father growing up," Luis said. "We used to go the performances and watch him and wanted to be just like him."
The younger Jorge recalled that Hermanos Herrera first played together when four of them opened for the Grammy–winning band Los Lobos at the Ventura Theater in 1988. The brothers were between 2 and 7 years old.
"Juan Pablo was dressed like us on stage, and he could barely stand up on his own," Jorge said.
The siblings have recorded six CDs in two Mexican musical styles — norteño, a northern Mexican style that features the accordion and saxophone, and huasteco, a fusion of indigenous and Spanish musical styles native to Veracruz.
Accolades have already come their way. Last year, Hermanos Herrera received a lifetime achievement award at the largest huasteco festival, held in Amatlan, Veracruz. A mural in the town honoring huasteco music includes a portrait of the band.
Steve Loza, a UCLA professor of ethnomusicology who has taught most of the Herreras, calls the siblings part of the "Herrera dynasty." He recalled their father's jarocho band performing at UCLA and noted that the Herreras' uncles, an aunt and several cousins also have attended UCLA.
"They are incredibly musically talented," Loza said. "They learned from so young and can switch easily from huasteco to norteño."
The Herreras also are a testament to the growing number of second- and third-generation Chicanos who retain their Mexican cultural roots.
"When I was growing up, it was unheard of for a young Chicano to play in a mariachi or norteño group," Loza, 56, said. "There was a lot of discrimination and this pressure to assimilate to so-called mainstream culture."
"Those attitudes have been changing," he added.
The Herreras credit their parents with their academic and musical success, saying they kept the siblings focused in school while encouraging them to pursue their sports and musical interests.
The system has certainly worked. In addition to Jorge's and Luis' academic accomplishments, Miguel Antonio, 23, earned a bachelor's in international development studies; Juan Pablo, 21, is a senior majoring in Latin American studies who plans to graduate in June; and Jose Marcelino, 19 is a sophomore who plans to major in economics and Latin American studies.
"You set the bars high and you don't accept anything lower than that," said their father. "The question was never whether they would go to college but where they would go to college."



Lumina Foundation for Education


At Lumina Foundation for Education, we have embraced a single, specific goal that will help us address the economic and social trends that cloud our nation’s futue. Our “big goal” is this: to increase the percentage of Americans with high-quality degrees and credentials from 39 percent to 60 percent by the year 2025.
132-page report recently issued by the Lumina Foundation for Education, Inc.  See, Dewayne Matthews, et al., A Stronger Nation through Higher Education: How and Why Americans Must Meet a "Big Goal" for College Attainment (Indianapolis, Indiana: Lumina Foundation for Education, Inc., February 2009).  After a short introduction the remainder of the report provides a state-by-state and county-by-county exposition of all levels of education.  A state-level pie chart of the breakdown of educational levels is provided in each case.  The report ranks counties within states from first to last in the level of each county's residents that have attained, or not, a two- and four-year college education. I have copied the report's first three pages of text below.  For further detailed reference and a complete copy of the report please consult the PDF copy that's attached.  / February 2009 © Lumina Foundation for Education, Inc.

Basically, the report concludes that college attainment levels are rising in nearly every industrial and post-industrial nation in the world except the United States.

Current demographic and economic trends.  More than 30 percent of white, non-Hispanic American adults have at least four years of college,  but only 18 percent of African Americans  

Roberto R. Calderon, Ph.D.


Southwest Airlines and HACU Announce 
5th Annual Education Travel Award Program

Applications are due Friday, June 5, 2009.

“Lánzate/Take Off”


Dallas – April 13, 2009 – Southwest Airlines, in conjunction with the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU), announced today the opening of “Dándole Alas a Tu Éxito/Giving Flight to Your Success,” its annual education travel award program.  This program starts today with online applications at<
> accepted through June 5, 2009.  A panel of judges comprised of college professors and education advocates from coast to coast will gather in the summer to select the students who will receive free travel to their colleges and universities.
Each student is eligible to receive from one to four tickets which the student or an immediate family member can use in the Fall to travel to/from a college or university.  The travel tickets are awarded to undergraduate and graduate Hispanic students with socio-economic need who journey away from home to pursue higher education.  All of the participants must submit an essay explaining why they deserve the travel award and what inspires them to pursue a college degree.  To view the criteria for the 2009 award program, please click here.
"For more than twenty years, HACU has dedicated efforts to ensure Hispanic success in higher education," said Antonio Flores, President and CEO of HACU, the only national education organization for Hispanic-Serving Institutions. "HACU is proud to partner with Southwest Airlines, for the fifth year, on the ‘Dándole Alas a Tu Éxito/Giving Flight to Your Success’ travel award program. During these difficult economic times, these travel awards are essential to many students currently enrolled in college."  Travel Award Recipient Elizabeth Haro
With more than 1,000 applicants in the last four years, “Lánzate/Take Off” is a successful educational program that serves underprivileged students, providing free travel for them and their families to maximize their potential and create opportunities for growth.
“The 'Lánzate/Take Off' travel award allows a student to go home during Christmas break or allows a parent to see their child at graduation,” said Christine Ortega, Southwest Airlines Corporate Community Affairs Manager.  “This contact removes barriers and gives each student more confidence to pursue their dreams of higher education without worrying about the family’s economic hardships,” says Ortega.
HACU, which has its national headquarters in San Antonio, Texas, represents approximately 450 colleges and universities, including Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), which collectively serve more than two-thirds of all Hispanic higher education students in the United States and Puerto Rico.  HACU’s international membership includes leading higher education institutions in Latin America and Europe.
After nearly 38 years of service, Southwest Airlines continues to offer the best value in airline travel, allowing Customers the opportunity to travel nonstop throughout the country at a very low fare. Southwest does not charge fees for the first or second checked bag, or for snacks or changes in travel itineraries.  Since 1987, the airline has maintained the lowest ratio of customer complaints to enplanements as published in the Department of Transportation’s Air Travel Consumer Report.  Southwest Airlines (NYSE: LUV), the nation's largest carrier in terms of domestic passengers enplaned, currently serves 65 cities in 33 states. Based in Dallas, Southwest currently operates more than 3,300 flights a day and has more than 35,000 employees systemwide.
Sent by Gilda Garcia




Universities asked to establish more 
Center for Mexican American Studies programs 


AUSTIN, April 18 - The House version of the state budget includes a provision asking Texas’ 40 public universities to consider setting up centers that study the history and culture of Mexican Americans.

The provision was added as an amendment by state Rep. Roberto Alonzo, D-Dallas, during Friday evening’s marathon debate on the $178.4 billion state budget for 2010-11. Alonzo’s amendment won unanimous approval.

“We have centers for Mexican American studies at UT-Austin, UT-Arlington, the University of Houston and other universities and they have been a very positive experience,” Alonzo said, in an exclusive interview with the Guardian after his amendment was accepted. “I would like all 40 public universities to look at setting up such centers.”

Alonzo said such centers study the history, culture, economics and politics of Mexican Americans. He said such centers will help the state prepare for the rapidly changing demographics that are sweeping the state.

By 2020, the Texas Hispanic population is expected to outnumber the Anglo population, according to the State Demographer’s office. Comptroller Susan Combs produced a report on the state demographer’s projections. Between 2000 and 2040 the Hispanic population will triple in Texas’ urban areas, from 5.9 million to 17.2 million. In rural areas, the Hispanic population is expected to double, from 777,000 to 1.6 million, Combs reported.

In 1980, the Hispanic population of Texas was just under 3 million. By 2040, there will be 18.8 million Hispanics in Texas. This projection indicates that the Hispanic population will grow by 530 percent from 1980 to 2040. These changes are being driven both by high immigration rates and high birth rates, Combs reported.

“These centers for the study of Mexican American life are important because of the big and continuous change in the demographics of the state of Texas,” Alonzo said. “A center teaches students, all students, the history the culture, the economics, the politics of Mexican Americans. The rest of the state needs to know. Mexican Americans need to know.

Alonzo pointed out that Mexican Americans have shaped the history of Texas. He said if that were not the case, the Colorado River would be the Red River, San Antonio would be St. Anthony, and Amarillo would be Yellow.

“We were part of Mexico. After the1848 war, the decision was made that Mexicans that live here could keep their Spanish language, their culture, their heritage and their lands. The reality is many people today do not know this. These centers will help with the change and manage the change that is coming,” Alonzo said.

Alonzo then proceeded to take out his state legislator ID card. The front of the ID was in English and the back was in Spanish.

Texas’ public universities will not be forced to introduce centers focusing on Mexican American studies. He said in his experience forcing universities to do things does not work.

“I just want to bring it to their attention. There have been studies at UT-Arlington which show that students are happy to be there because of the Center for Mexican American Studies. I have seen how well it works. I have been part of it. I think it would be a very positive experience for all the universities that set up a program like this,” Alonzo said.

In 2003, Alonzo succeeded in getting every community college in Texas that has a high or fast growing Hispanic population to set up Mexican American Studies centers. This came about through a request from Richland College in Dallas. “They came to me to ask if the legislature could help set up a center. It had bipartisan support and I worked with then-Rep. Fred Hill, R-Dallas,” he explained.

Earlier this year, Alonzo won a top award from the National Association of Chicano Studies at the group’s state convention in San Antonio.


University to launch new Latino studies program Princeton 
Extracts from article By Hyung Lee, Staff Writer

The University approved a new Program in Latino Studies at a faculty meeting on Monday, more than 10 years after the idea was conceived. The certificate program will be launched in the 2009-10 academic year.
“Latinos offer us a way to understand social change ... and rethink the contours of race,” said sociology and Wilson School professor Marta Tienda, who will direct the program. Tienda noted that “Latinos predate formation of the American nation” and represent an increasing segment of the American population.

The idea for the Latino Studies program stemmed from the discussions of a committee composed of students, graduate students and various faculty members. Students continued to play an important role throughout the development of the program, Tienda explained.

Courses that satisfy the program certificate will be offered by the departments of sociology, English, politics and Spanish and Portuguese languages and cultures, as well as the Wilson School and the Center for African American Studies.

An interdisciplinary approach is crucial to Latino Studies, Tienda said, explaining that she does not think it would be a positive development for the program to evolve into its own department.
“You cannot study the Latino population from any particular department,” she said. “The Latino population will offer a lens through which we view our social change … It’s not an entity unto itself.”
Though Hernandez said he was not aware of the specifics of the new program, he added that he supports it “wholeheartedly.”

“I’m thrilled,” Hernandez said. “There will come a time when no self-respecting university will not have a Latino Studies program.”
SENT by Jose M. Pena
and Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.


Multiracial Pupils to Be Counted in A New Way
By Michael Alison Chandler and Maria Glod
Washington Post, March 23, 2009
Source: Estrada Communications Group, Inc.  3.24.09


WASHINGTON, DC — Public schools in the Washington region and elsewhere are abandoning
their check-one-box approach to gathering information about race and ethnicity in an effort to
develop a more accurate portrait of classrooms transformed by immigration and interracial
marriage. Next year, they will begin a separate count of students who are of more than one race.
For many families in the District, Montgomery and other local counties that have felt forced to
deny a part of their children’s heritage, the new way of counting, mandated by the federal
government, represents a long-awaited acknowledgment of their identity: Enrollment forms will
allow students to identify as both white and American Indian, for example, or black and Asian.
But changing labels will make it harder to monitor progress of groups that have trailed in school,
including black and Latino students.

Racial and ethnic information, collected when children register for school, can inform school
board decisions on reading programs, discipline procedures or admissions policies for gifted
classes. The government looks at test scores of [non-white] groups to help determine whether
schools make the grade under the No Child Left Behind law. In an increasingly data-driven
culture, educators also scrutinize such test scores and enrollment figures to pick programs meant
to narrow achievement gaps and equalize academic opportunity.

Under the new policy, the count of Latino students is expected to grow as the non-Hispanic black
and white counts diminish. Many will fall into a new group called “two or more races.” In
schools with diverse populations, especially in such immigrant destinations as the Washington
region, there are likely to be notable demographic shifts, at least on paper. That could shake up
how educational challenges are measured and reroute funding for reforms.

“This will make our whole education system look different, and nobody will know whether we
are going forward or backward,” said Gary Orfield, co-director of the Civil Rights Project at the
University of California in Los Angeles. Along with the National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and other groups, the Civil Rights Project has raised
concerns about how the Education Department will handle the new data.

For decades, students have been counted in one of five racial and ethnic groups: American Indian
or Alaska native; Asian or Pacific Islander; Hispanic; non-Hispanic black; or non-Hispanic
white. The categories date to the 1960s and were standardized in 1977 to promote affirmative
action and monitor discrimination in housing, employment, voting rights and education.
Starting in 2010, under Education Department rules approved two years ago to comply with a
government-wide policy shift, parents will be able to check all boxes that apply in a two-step
questionnaire with reshaped categories. First, they will indicate whether a student is of Hispanic
or Latino origin, or not. (The two terms will encompass one group.) Then they will identify a
student as one or more of the following: American Indian or Alaska native; Asian; black or
African American; native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander; or white.

The change is mandatory for new students, but the government is urging schools to apply it to
all. The U.S. Census reached a similar point in 2000, when 6.8 million people, or 2 percent of the
population, were counted for the first time as multiracial. The share was 4 percent for people
under 18.

The Montgomery County school system and others in Maryland already have begun asking
families for updated racial and ethnic information.

In the Fairfax County community of Reston, Lake Anne Elementary School reflects the
evolution of a country now led by a president born to a white Kansan mother and a black Kenyan
father. Julian Bryant, a second-grader at Lake Anne, has a white mother and black father. Elena
Castrence, also in second grade, inherited her father’s Filipino traditions along with those of her
white mother. And Giselle Walter, in third grade, claims Latino, Russian and Irish heritage.
“I want my kids to know they are biracial,” said Julian’s mother, Shelley Bryant. “We say, ‘You
are a mixture.’ We put up his hands and say, ‘See? Daddy is a little darker. Mommy is a little
lighter. We took a mixture of Mommy and Daddy and made you.’ “

How such students have been counted varies from place to place. Many Virginia schools have
allowed parents to select “other.” But in Maryland and the District, families like the Bryants until
now have been forced to choose black or white.

Such choices can be difficult. Charles Guo, a senior at Thomas Jefferson High School for
Science and Technology in Fairfax County, said he feels closely connected to his Mexican-born
mother because he grew up with her extended family. But he also looks like his Chinese-born
father and tends to identify with Asian Americans at school.

The Fairfax school system, the region’s largest, began counting multiracial students in 1994 at
the urging of parents. Today, about 10,000 Fairfax students — or 6 percent of the 169,000 — are
multiracial. The share is 14 percent at Lake Anne Elementary.

Fairfax Superintendent Jack D. Dale said racial analysis of test scores has helped uncover groups
of struggling students. A few years ago, officials found that black students in Fairfax lagged
those in less-affluent Richmond and Norfolk on state tests. But an increasingly diverse school
system needs a more sophisticated snapshot, he said.

“The racial categories have lost their meaning,” Dale said. He pointed out that the black or
African American group could include a student born in Virginia or Nigeria, while the white
group includes students of Middle Eastern descent.

As the counting process changes, so will the way the data are assembled and reported. Only
summarized information is reported to the federal government. All students who indicate
Hispanic or Latino ethnicity will be counted in that group, regardless of their race. All non-
Hispanic students identified with more than one race will be joined in the category of “two or
more races.”

Many civil rights advocates agree that it’s necessary to document the growing number of
multiracial students, but they say these categories will mask valuable information about race that
could be used to analyze educational challenges some groups face. They say it would be more
accurate to report the data in detail, with racial and ethnic combinations.

“If we don’t know that some multiracial, Hispanic and black students are doing worse,” said
Melissa Herman, a sociologist at Dartmouth College, “we can conveniently ignore that they are
doing worse.”

Education Department officials have said the new rules strike a balance, providing more details
about students without creating an overly cumbersome reporting system.

The No Child Left Behind law, signed in 2002, spotlights the test scores of racial and ethnic
groups. Sometimes, whether schools meet standards hangs on the performance of a few students.
Relabeling students could make a difference.

The new rules will give states flexibility to use existing racial and ethnic categories for No Child
Left Behind, creating a double-coding for certain students: A student could be counted as black
for some purposes and Hispanic for others. But a Virginia education official said the state will
use only the new racial and ethnic categories. An informal poll by the Education Department
found that so far, 15 states are planning to use the new categories for No Child Left Behind; most
are still deciding.

The 2005 National Assessment of Educational Progress tried out the new rules. The Civil Rights
Project found that the share of Hispanic students grew significantly compared with the share
under the old system and that test score averages fluctuated. In eighth-grade reading, the
proficiency rate in many states rose for Hispanic and white students and dipped for black

As educators sort through confusion, many families look forward to making a clear statement.
Mary Ann Dawedeit, a Montgomery mother, said that for nearly two decades she has had to
choose whether to identify her three sons as black, like their father, or white, like her. “It will
feel good to more accurately say what your kids are,” she said.
“You have to honor both parents’ backgrounds. It’s hard to check one box.”



The Value of a Bachelor's Degree


The U.S. Census Bureau announced today that workers with a bachelor's degree earned about $26,000 more on average than workers with a high school diploma, according to new figures that outline 2008 educational trends and achievement levels.

The tables also show that in 2008, 29 percent of adults 25 and older had a bachelor's degree, and 87 percent had completed high school. That compares with 24 percent of adults who had a bachelor's degree, and 83 percent who had completed high school in 1998.

Educational Attainment in the United States: 2008 is a series of tables containing data by characteristics such as age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, marital status, occupation, industry, nativity, citizenship status and period of entry. The tabulations also include historical data on mean earnings by educational attainment, sex, race and Hispanic origin.

In 2008, 29.4 million women and 28.4 million men 25 and older had a bachelor's degree or higher. Women had a larger share of high school diplomas, as well as associate, bachelor's and master's degrees. More men than women had a professional or doctoral degree.

Other highlights:
  • Workers with a high school degree earned an average of $31,286 in 2007, while those with a bachelor's degree earned an average of $57,181.
  • The race and Hispanic origin data show that 53 percent of Asians in the U.S. had a bachelor's degree or more education. For non-Hispanic whites, it was 33 percent; for blacks; it was 20 percent; and for Hispanics, it was 13 percent.
  • Among younger adults (age 25-29), 88 percent had completed high school, and 31 percent had completed college. Among adults 75 and over, 73 percent had completed high school and 17 percent had completed college.
The data in Educational Attainment in the United States: 2008 are from the Current Population Survey's Annual Social and Economic supplement, which is conducted in February, March and April at about 100,000 addresses nationwide. To see more findings

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




Our Beautiful Language  
Johnny Peña, Houston, Texas


How many times have we heard one of our own people, or we ourselves say “I don’t want them to grow up speaking English with a Spanish accent”?  As a result of this idea those children never learned to speak the language of their ancestors.  Spanish is an immensely beautiful language and yet how many times have we been reluctant to display our ability to speak it.  Even from childhood, I was always fascinated when I went to a movie and listened to some heavily accented Spanish or Mexican actor like Ricardo Montalban or Fernando Lamas speaking English with a vocabulary that was second to none.  On the other hand, how many times have we heard someone speak impeccable Spanish and left us tremendously envious?  Many New Mexicans my age, and older, spoke our own New Mexico Spanish before we spoke English, so we are naturally blessed with an accent that is very unique to New Mexico.  This is an accent that only a New Mexican or someone who lived in New Mexico can detect.  To me my accent is something I am extremely proud of and wear it like a badge of honor, for all to see.


From the language of our grandparents, what ever happened to “Buenos dias le de Dios Don Adolfo, or Doña Victoriana, como amanecio (may God give you a good day Don Adolfo, or Doña Victoriana, how did you receive the dawning)?  The respectful titles of “Don” and “Doña” were common place among our grandparents and today, even among older New Mexican.  However this form of greeting is very seldom used anymore.  My grandmother, on my mother’s side, Doña Victoriana Marquez de Otero, a very loving and gentle woman, showed surprise by saying “Alabo los dulces nombres! (I praise the sacred names).”  I really didn’t know the language and either didn’t have access to a Spanish dictionary or was too lazy to look up any of these words.  I would laugh thinking, why would she say “Al agua los dulces nombres (To the water with the sweet names),” a statement that makes no sense.  Another very common saying was “Dios no castiga con palos ni azotes (God does not punish with clubbings or beatings).  Dios mio, que paso (Mi heavens, what happened), was a very common question used by our elders when something unusual happened.  Ese huevo quiere sal (That guy wants something), a very unusual saying, was the way my father referred to someone who was hinting for a favor.   My step grandfather, on my father’s side, Don Lizardo Salazar, always referred to me as “que hombre tan bien parado (what a tall and proud standing man)’.  At the time I didn’t know what that meant, but I dearly loved to hear him say it.


Because people had more time available to them, they had more time to think and compose poems (Versos).  What ever happened to all those Versos that we as children used to hear and ignore because we didn’t understand the richness they brought to our lives.  My Father used to recite several Versos that he had learned over the years.  Probably the one he recited most was

“El Verso de Luperto Gonzales”

You soy Luperto Gonzales y me tratan de ladron.

Me siguio la policia de Albuquerque al Cabezon.

Al pasar por la angostura, el Pajaro Azul me espio,

Me hizo levatar la manos y ai mismo me mato.


Luperto Gonzales was from San Mateo and father of one of my father’s Compadres.  At his present age of 97 years, my Father doesn’t remember who composed the Verso.  


After I grew up and traveled throughout Latin America I ran across numerous other very descriptive sayings.  Hearing and learning these sayings merely re-enforced my love and admiration for this wonderful language my forefathers gave me.  As I grew older, I soon

realized that I was able to think in two languages, what a fascinating feeling.  There is, however, one problem, which I have never been able to master and that is to calculate in

Spanish.  Because I learned math in English, that is the language I calculate in.    


The world is definitely changing and our offspring must keep up with these changes.  We New Mexicans, however, do have one advantage unlike Hispanics from Texas, Arizona,

California and Colorado.  We were blessed with forefathers who insisted on making our state officially bilingual-Spanish/English.  We should feel honored that we’ve managed to maintain this blessing, in spite of the constant barrage of outside pressures.  The only other place, in the United States, that is officially bilingual Spanish-English is Miami, Florida.  Not the State of Florida, only the City of Miami.  The Cuban Americans have proudly held on to their Heritage and our beautiful Language. 


The young New Mexican, man or woman, that speaks English and Spanish not only propagates our ancestry but is respected for his uncommon knowledge of his ancestral

tongue.  Much to my surprise, I have found over the years that non-Hispanics respected me more if I openly carried conversations in both languages, and was not ashamed of it.    


Of major importance, in this day and time, is the fact that the world is no longer as large as it was 60 years ago, when I was a boy.  At one time in our lives we saw Latin America and Spain as places we would like to go visit but, we thought they had no real value in the way of commerce.  Spain and the Latin American countries are rapidly becoming industrialized and the need to “communicate” with them is of vital importance.  People in those countries are trying to learn English, but because they are trying to learn English does not justify us not trying to learn & perfect our Spanish.  Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula have two key and important languages, Spanish and Portuguese.  Individuals that speak Spanish have the basics of Portuguese and that language is relatively easy to learn. 


My aspirations of seeing my grandchildren speaking Spanish may hopefully come to fruition, in an English speaking environment.  I believe that for each language a person speaks, he is another person.  The greatest gift I can give my children and grand-children is the language and history of our ancestors, for it is as rich as is the history of United States.  Can we, New Mexicans, keep this Cultural Pride alive and moving, without losing our allegiance to the United States of America?  Without a doubt, that is very easy because we New Mexican love our country as much as we love our Heritage.  My grandfather used to say “Como es posible que sepas a donde vas si no sabes de donde vienes?” 

Sent by Rueben Salaz


Hispanic Farm Numbers 2007
Las Culturas 
The Latino Heritage Museum (LHM)

Hispanic Farm Numbers 2007

55,570 farms & ranches with Hispanic principal operators
10 percent more than 2002 (50,592)
66,671 farms and ranches with at least one Hispanic operator 
(up to 3 operators counted per farm)
Source: 2007 census Agriculture data release, United states Department of Agriculture 

SENT BY Juan Marinez

Michigan State Extension,Assist to the Director

Rm 11, Agriculture Hall voice: 517-353-9772



Las Culturas 
This is an AMAZING website . .  with links to a great variety of sites.







Sent by Rafael Ojeda



The Latino Heritage Museum (LHM)


Over thirty–five years ago, responding to the growing demands for recognition by many Hispanic organizations, a Joint Resolution was approved on September 17, 1968 by the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, 90th Congress.

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress  assembled, That the President is hereby authorized and requested to issue annually a proclamation designating the week including September 15 and 16 as "National Hispanic Heritage Week"

The time period was selected to tie in with the celebrations of Mexican Independence Day and other Latin American Independence Day celebrations commemorated in our country during September 15 and 16.

Twenty years after the first resolution was passed, congress expanded Hispanic Heritage Week to Hispanic Heritage Month on August 17, 1988 .

It took over 400 years for the U. S. government to recognize the contributions of Latinos/Hispanics in America . Every American should know that the oldest, continuously inhabited city in the United States is St. Augustine, Florida (founded in 1565), and that Hispanic culture had a firm root in the Southeast and Southwest of what became the United States before the English arrived at Jamestown and before the Pilgrims dropped anchor in Massachusetts Bay. If, indeed, every American was taught these facts, he or she is unlikely to be taught much more about the Hispanic contribution to American civilization, however; it’s just not a part of today’s classrooms and textbooks. It is never brought home that Spanish, Hispanicized Africans and Native Americans and their mixed-blood descendants provided the basis for the development of much of American agriculture, mining, transportation grid, city planning, architecture and even law in the Southeast and Southwest. For example, such concepts as the right of women to inherit and own property, homestead rights, and the rights of adopted children to be treated the same as genetic offspring are examples of originally Hispanic legal principles that touch us today in the very heart of our existence: our families. Likewise, the Hispanic background of the United States helps us to understand the important role that Latinos have played throughout the 20th century in the development of this nation.

Hispanics have risen to great heights and established their mark on behalf of U.S. society in many fields of endeavor. There are literally too many distinctive landmarks of Hispanic progress during the past century to note.

The Latino Heritage Museum (LHM) takes on this task to research, document and educate Americans, Latinos/Hispanics and the world of these great accomplishments.

LHM realize the importance of this lost or forgotten history and showcases many surprising facts about the contributions of Latinos in the field of science, aerospace, communication medicine, and engineering. It also presents pioneers such as those who were the first in politics, education, entertainment, sports, media, cinema, and literature.

We celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month September 15 - October 15 to honor these achievements. The information LHM share is not just for Latinos but for everyone. It’s time that we as Americans understand that it took many different cultures to make this nation great. And as true Americans we celebrate Hispanic Heritage everyday!  Website set up 2008.

The Latino Heritage Museum (LHM) is an inspirational tribute to Latinos, Hispanic Scientists, inventors, and pioneers in the field of science, aerospace, communications, medicine, and business, sports, politics and arts/entertainment.  

LHM is a touring multimedia presentation, which consists of a museum containing over 100 authentic artifacts. The museum consists of a collection of the most significant Hispanic memorabilia collectibles, rare items, photographs, personal letters and autographs of Latino pioneers from around the world. LHM is a pioneer, the first of its kind, there’s no other museum like it.

The website has a list of Famous Firsts by Hispanic Americans, with links to website information for the individual.


  • Member of U.S. Congress: Joseph Marion Hernández, 1822, delegate from the Florida territory.
  • U.S. Representative: Romualdo Pacheco, a representative from California, was elected in 1876 by a one-vote margin. He served for four months before his opponent succeeded in contesting the results. In 1879 he was again elected to Congress, where he served for two terms.
  • U.S. Senator: Octaviano Larrazolo was elected in 1928 to finish the term of New Mexico senator Andieus Jones, who had died in office. He served for six months before falling ill and stepping down; he died in 1930. The first Hispanic senator to serve an entire term (and then some) was Dennis Chávez, of New Mexico, who served from 1935 through 1962.
  • Administrator of the Federal Aviation Agency: General Elwood "Pete" Quesada helped create this agency to manage the growing aviation field and improve airline safety. He served in this position from 1958 to 1961. The agency became the Federal Aviation Administration in 1966.
  • U.S. Treasurer: Romana Acosta Bañuelos, 1971–1974.
  • U.S. cabinet member: Lauro F. Cavazos, 1988–1990, Secretary of Education.
  • U.S. Surgeon General: Antonia Coello Novello, 1990–1993. She was also the first woman ever to hold the position.
  • U.S. Secretary of Transportation: Federico Peña, 1993.
  • U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Henry Cisneros, 1993.
  • U.S. Attorney General: Alberto Gonzales, 2005.
  • Democrat to run for President: Bill Richardson, 2008. Though he eventually lost the nomination to Barack Obama, Richardson made history by entering the race.


  • Flying ace: Col. Manuel J. Fernández, Jr., who flew 125 combat missions in the Korean War.
  •  Medal of Honor recipient: Philip Bazaar, a Chilean member of the U.S. Navy, for bravery during the Civil War. He received his Congressional Medal of Honor in 1865.
  • Admiral, U.S. Navy: David G. Farragut. In 1866, he became the first U.S. naval officer ever to be awarded the rank of admiral. The first Hispanic American to become a four-star admiral was Horacio Rivero of Puerto Rico, in 1964.
  • General, U.S. Army: Richard E. Cavazos, 1976. In 1982, he became the army's first Hispanic four-star general.
  • Secretary of the Navy: Edward Hidalgo, 1979.

Science and Medicine

  • The first female Hispanic astronaut was Ellen Ochoa, whose first of four shuttle missions was in 1991.
  • Nobel Prize in Physics: Luiz Walter Alvarez, 1968, for discoveries about subatomic particles. Later, he and his son proposed the now-accepted theory that the mass dinosaur extinction was caused by a meteor impact.
  • Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine: Severo Ochoa, 1959, for the synthesis of ribonucleic acid (RNA).


  • Novel in English, written and published in U.S.: María Amparo Ruiz de Burton, Who Would Have Thought It? (1872). She's better known for her 1885 second novel, The Squatter and the Don.
  • Pulitzer Prize for Fiction: Oscar Hijuelos, 1990, for his novel The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love.
  • Pulitzer Prize for Drama: Nilo Cruz, 2003, for his play Anna in the Tropics.


  • Opera diva: Lucrezia Bori, who debuted at the Metropolitan Opera in 1912.
  • Rock star: Richie Valens, 1958.
  • Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee: Carlos Santana, 1998.


  • Oscar, Best Actor: José Ferrer, 1950, Cyrano de Bergerac.

  • Oscar, Best Supporting Actress: Rita Moreno, 1961, West Side Story.
  • Oscar, Best Supporting Actor: Anthony Quinn, 1952, Viva Zapata!.
  • Hollywood director: Raoul Walsh, 1914, The Life of General Villa.
  • Matinee idol: Ramón Navarro, 1923, The Prisoner of Zenda.
  • Leading lady: Dolores del Río, 1925, Joanne.


  • Tony, Best Director: José Quintero, 1973.
  • Tony, Best Supporting Actress: Rita Moreno, 1975, The Ritz. In 1977, Moreno became the first Hispanic American (and the second person ever) to have won an Oscar, a Grammy, a Tony, and an Emmy, picking up the last of those for her performance as guest host on The Muppet Show.


  • Star of a network television show: Desi Arnaz, 1952, I Love Lucy.
  •  Broadcaster of the Year: Geraldo Rivera, 1971.


  • Major league player: Esteban Bellán, 1871, Troy Haymakers.
  • World Series player: Adolfo “Dolf” Luque, 1919, relief pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds, against the infamous “Black Sox.” (He later pitched for the New York Giants in the 1933 Series and was credited with the win in the final game.)
  • All-Star Game player: Alfonso “Chico” Carrasquel, 1951, starting shortstop for the American League.
  • Rookie of the Year: Luis Aparicio, 1956, shortstop, Chicago White Sox.
  • No-hitter: Juan Marichal, June 15, 1963, for the San Francisco Giants, against the Houston Colt .45s.

  • Hall of Fame inductee: Roberto Clemente, 1973. He was also the first Hispanic player to serve on the Players Association Board and to reach 3,000 hits
  • Team owner: Arturo “Arte” Moreno bought the Anaheim Angels in 2003, becoming the first Hispanic owner of any major U.S. sports franchise. In 2005, he renamed it the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.


  • NFL player: Ignacio “Lou” Molinet, 1927.
  • NFL draft pick: Joe Aguirre, 1941.
  • Starting NFL quarterback: Tom Flores, 1960.
  • #1 NFL draft pick: Jim Plunkett, 1971.
  • Football Hall of Fame inductee: Tom Fears, 1970. He also became the first Hispanic American head coach in 1967.

Other Sports

  • Grand Slam championship winner: Richard “Pancho” González, 1948.
  • LPGA Hall of Fame inductee: Nancy López, 1987. In 1978, she became the first player to have won the the Rookie of the Year Award, Player of the Year Award, and Vare Trophy in the same season.
  • Heavyweight boxing champ: John Ruiz, 2001, defeating Evander Holyfield.
  • NHL 1st-round draft pick: Scott Gomez, 1998.

Other Hispanic-American Firsts

  • Supermodel: Christy Turlington.
  • Labor leader: Juan Gómez, 1883. The first female Hispanic labor leader of note was Lucy González Parsons, 1886.
  • Entertainer on the cover of TIME magazine: Joan Baez, 1962.
Sent by Juan Marinez


Cannibal and the Headhunters 
June 7th: Gregorio Luke at the Ford: Life-size Murals of Diego Rivera
UCLA Frontera Library, audio clips of hundreds of popular Frontera songs  
Dr. Robert Gumbiner, Founder left $25 million for Museum of Latin American Art
Enlared Conexion
Musica de la Raza - Aztlan to El Barrio Radio Show
NPR . Journalist writes about Hispanic Current Culture
Chicano music: Tony “Ham” Guerrero and Tortilla Factory
The Rose, A Sense of Place 
The Official Mexican and Mexican American Fine Art Museum of Texas
La Peña Cultural Center Celebrates its 34th Anniversary
Laredo's Julia Vera in Harrison Ford Movie
Mayborn Literary Non Fiction Conference

Cannibal and the Headhunters 


From left to right Yo Yo Jaramillo, Scar Lopez,  Frankie "Cannibal" Lopez and Bobby "Rabbit" Jaramillo. Frankie (Cannibal) formed the group in 1964. It was said that at a Gig Frankie forgot the some of the words and ad libed Nan Na na na na na etc. the rest was history. Manager Eddie Davis got Cannibal and the Headhunters  a spot on Hulabaloo where they were spotted by a Beetle Member who insisted they come along on the  second tour of the US. They toured with the Beetles in 1965 starting at Shea Stadium and ending at the Hollywood Bowl. They were known as one hit wonders but their career has been a long one with the one and only surviving member (Scar Lopez) reforming the group and performing.  

Sent by artist, Sergio Hernandez




Gregorio Luke at the Ford: Life-size Murals of Diego Rivera

Sunday June 7
Sun. June 7 at 8:30 p.m.

FORD Amphitheatre 
2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East
Hollywood, CA 90068

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 Art, Gregorio Luke.

If you have not attended a multi-media presentation by Gregorio Luke, you have missed the experience of being overwhelmed by the beauty, passion, and history of Mexico's great muralists.  The June 7th presentation will be at the open-air Ford theater in Los Angeles.  

To get a feeling for Gregorio's dramatic presentation, click to this website and click on the Life and Times video.



Gregorio Luke
3000 E. 2nd Street
Long Beach, California 90803
Choose between 50 sec. samples or full recordings, listed by artist.  You'll have to register but it's fairly painless -- just turn down the "special" offers.
Sent by Jose M. Pena  



Robert Gumbiner, Founder 
left $25 million for Museum of Latin American Art
March 3rd, 2009


In his will-enacted gift, he specified that only the earnings of the endowment were to be used to defray the museum's operating expenses and that of those earnings, 10 percent be reinvested in the endowment.

In addition to the endowment, Gumbiner left an undisclosed aomunt to the endowment of the Robert Gumbiner Foundation. At least half of the earnings from that foundation's endowment will also be used to support the museum.

The money generated by both endowments intends to provide the museum with 35 to 40 percent of its operating costs, which are currently $3.6 million per year.  
"From the museum's perspective, it's a very generous gift from Dr. Gumbiner," said Mike Deovlet, co-chairman of the museum board and president of the Gumbiner Foundation. "It stabilize their finances for the long term. It ensures his legacy and his vision will be around for a while to come. It's great for the museum and for the city of Long Beach."

Gumbiner also left his entire Latin American art collection to his foundation, which has an agreement with MoLAA to care for and display the art in perpetuity.

The museum has been without a president or executive director for more than nine months. Last May, Robert Myers abruptly resigned after serving as president for less than a year.

The museum must still raise the remainder of its operating budget every year. With that challenge in mind, the museum is planning several fundraising events for 2009, the first of which is a gala on April 25.

Individuals and corporations who would like to support MoLAA and/or participate in the gala are encouraged to contact Wendy Celaya at 562-216-4137 or

628 Alamitos Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90802
Phone 562.437.1689   Fax 562.437.7043

Dr. Robert Gumbiner, founder of the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, left the museum $25 million to establish a new endowment. Gumbiner died Jan. 20 at the age of 85. You can read his obituary in the Register here.


enlared conexion


CONEXIO´N • December 18, 2008 enlared 15

Founders of wanted to create a site where teachers, students and others interested in Latino culture could find what they needed.  The result, says latinoteca .com co-founder Nicolás Kannellos, has been a well-received portal where Latinos and non-Latinos can find accurate information about Hispanic history and culture.

“We wanted to make this information available to the public,” Kannellos says of the Web site’s roots as a research project by professors at the University of Houston and its publishing house, Arte Público Press.

The Web site, he says, was a natural extension of the work he and others at the university did over the years, calling the site “an electronic hub for Latino cultural resources.” launched in September and contains free, downloadable texts, audio recordings, videos and other materials. There are sections for teachers and students, scholars and researchers, and authors and artists.

Kannellos says information is carefully screened before it’s posted on the Web site. “We explore the Web for correct, Latino cultural information. There’s a lot of inaccurate information out there,” says Kannellos, a professor of Spanish at the University of Houston and founding publisher of the acclaimed literary journal The Americas Review.

Some of the material on is historical information on art, history, journalism, literature and music about Latinos in the United States.

Kannellos says plans for the site include teaming up with a cultural organization dedicated to Latino history and art and expanding to include a film database.

For more, visit  History & culture online.Web site serves as database for Latino resources.

Sent by Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.




St. Isidore the Farmer
   (b. 1070 – d. 1130)
Feast day: May 15th  
Spanish saint and patron saint of farmers and farmworkers

St. Maria, Farmwife
Feast day: September 14th
Spanish saint and farmwife


St. Isidore the Farmer was born in Madrid, Spain, about the year 1110. He came from a poor and humble family, and worked as a farm hand on a large estate. He was prayerful and devoted to the Mass and the Holy Eucharist. He loved the good earth and he was known to be careful in his farming practices and honest in his work. Together with his wife St. Maria, they led a pious life, ever charitable and willing to help neighbors in distress and the poor who passed by their doorstep.  For more on St. Isidore, visit our website for more about St. Isidore and his wife Maria. You can also order prayer cards, the St. Isidore Novena, and other items useful for rural life celebrations and events.   

Editor:  St Isidore's Feastday was first inserted into the calendar for the United States in the year 1947.  The patron saint of farmers and farm-workers, honoring the farm workers, the land and the fruits of their labor.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Corrales Pageant Honors Patron Saint of Farming

By Aurelio Sanchez
Journal Staff Writer
          The mystery of the uniquely New Mexican pageant play, "Los Matachines," has continued unabated for hundreds of years, as it was again Sunday in Corrales to honor San Ysidro, the patron saint of farming.
        Los Matachines de Bernalillo acted out a ritual dance in Corrales that is said to represent the victory of good over evil.
        Different versions of the pageant are played out in New Mexico villages and pueblos every year, its mystery bolstered by uncertain New World beginnings altered by New World adaptations.
        "There are so many different versions all over New Mexico because they weren't recorded," said Charles Aguilar, a violin player in the Bernalillo matachines.
        The Bernalillo parish, the mother church for San Ysidro de Corrales, has continued the matachines tradition for more than 300 years, Aguilar said. Sunday's fiesta honored San Ysidro, the patron saint of farming, and parishioners carried his santo from the old church to the new one as part of the feast day observance.
        "People remembered what they saw and heard, and then they imitated it in their own versions," he said.
        Even the term "matachines" evokes wonder. The word matachin comes from 16th century French and Spanish, and can be translated to mean "clowning," or "trickery," generally referring to the men who dance as a group.
        Meanwhile, on Sunday as onlookers watched from both sides of Corrales Road, parallel rows of colorfully costumed soldiers formed a rough square, as they danced in place to the rhythmic cadence of guitar and violin music, the soldiers shaking gourd rattles in one hand and waving in the other hand a three-pronged wand, called a palma. Only the eyes of the soldiers were visible, as dark masks and scarves covered their faces under elaborate colorful headdresses.
        Inside the square of dancers, two main characters vied in mortal combat: El Toro, a malevolent bull, dressed in a headdress topped with bull's horns, representing evil, charging a whip-bearing character representing good, who repressed evil with a well-aimed crack of his whip.
        Told that the whip lashes sounded and looked real, Paul Chavez, who played the bull, said he was quick enough to avoid most of the lashes, but he attested to their authenticity.
        "I've got the welts to prove it."
        One story says it commemorates the casting off of more than 800 years of Muslim Moorish rule by the Spanish in the early 16th century.
        Another version casts a female lead character, La Malinche, as an Aztec paramour of Spanish Conquistador Hernán Cortés, who helped Cortés defeat Montezuma and conquer the Aztecs.
        In the version staged by the Bernalillo matachines Sunday, La Malinche represents purity and charity in the form of two young girls dressed in white.
        "I do it for God," 11-year-old Danielle Archuleta said, explaining why she wanted to play La Malinche, as her mother Lee Ann Archuleta and aunt, Josette Lopez, looked on proudly.
        "It's a big honor because she is doing it for God," Archuleta said, adding that another of her daughters has played the role, as she herself did when she was a little girl.


"Musica de la Raza - Aztlan to El Barrio"  Radio Show

Dear Ms. Lozano
I'd like to let you know about my radio show of the music of the Mexican and Mexican-American people, "Musica de la Raza - Aztlan to El Barrio" on, KBCS 91.3 FM, Saturdays 5-7 a.m.  You can listen to two weeks' worth of podcasts of the show at 
This is a rare program solely dedicated to Mexican, Mexican-American and Chicano music. I play everything from traditional music of Mexico to Mexican film music to Juan Arvizu, mariachi, Tejano conjunto and everything in between such as Bostich, Fussible, Los Delinquentes, Chicano oldies such as Cannibal and the Headhunters and much more.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
The link is  and the program again is Musica de la Raza - Aztlan to El Barrio, Saturdays 5-7 a.m. on KBCS 91.3 FM.
Sincerely, Patty Fong, DJ
Musica de la Raza - Aztlan to El Barrio
Saturdays 5-7 a.m.   KBCS 91.3 FM,



NPR . Journalist writes about Hispanic Current Culture


Chicano music
Tony “Ham” Guerrero and Tortilla Factory. 

While information regarding its origins and development in the Southwest is featured in our, we would like to provide more detail and bring it up to date focusing on Tony “Ham” Guerrero and Tortilla Factory. 

Tony is old school as a 64 year old leader of the band Tortilla Factory.  He believes in “la onda Chicana”, the Texas version of 1960’s Chicano consciousness that his music represents.  His revitalized Tortilla Factory has recently been nominated to receive a Grammy award for Best Tejano Album. His current sound is not the Tejano sound of Conjunto, the peppy and folksy music or the slick, post Selena radio pop in Spanish. In it there is what Joe Gross describes as “a juggernaut of heavy, almost psychedelic Latin funk that Guerrero thinks defined the band.” It wasn’t a two, three minute radio friendly song, states Guerrero. While the album starts with a traditional folkloric song, it adds complex rhythms, “jazz funk” in the middle, a mambo...

The fusion of jazz, Latin music, funk and rock with African American lead singer Bobby Butler brought about Little Joe Hernández’s band La Familia came to embody “la onda Chicana.” According to retired professor of Anthropology and Ethnomusicology Manuel Peña, what distinguishes Tortilla Factory from Santana was the way they blended the polka ranchera (of Tejano-Texas German roots) with funk bands like Tower of Power. “That, says Peña, was a brilliant stroke that was uniquely Tejano.” Prof. Peña has documented Mexican American music in award winning books e.g. The Texas Mexican Conjunto and
The Mexican American Orquesta.  He further enumerates—“La Familia, Tortilla Factory, Latin Breed and Jimmy Edwards (band) were the epitome of being Chicano in the 1970’s. It was one of the most exciting, progressive regional music styles anywhere.”

According to Guerrero, the roots of this Tejano style began with Beto Villa who is the founder of the Orquesta Tejana, a Latin-tinged big band music in 1947. “Villa studied the Mariachis, the sound of the trumpets, the violins. They blended that with the German polkas which the Mexican people in south Texas  embraced and loved.” There is no one “Tejano” music any more any more than there is one kind of Mexican American who lives in Texas. Guerrero who was born in 1944 in San Angelo, Texas, was raised by his grandparents who started him with trumpet lessons when he was 8 years old.

After High School, he went to the well-regarded Berklee School of Jazz in Boston. By 1968, he had joined Little Joe Hernandez and the Latinaires where he became the de facto musical director. Bobby Butler an Arkansas native, known latter as “el Charro Negro”, fell in love with Mexican music while working alongside migrant workers. He was to later join
the Latinaires where his rendition of “La Enorme Distancia” was floored everyone. Guerrero saw him as the Chicano Nat King Cole. After the band was changed to Little Joe y La Familia and after its breakup years later, Guerrero sought to start his own group that could incorporate big band chops with then electric funk, one that could blend soul and Chicano music.

He brought in Butler, cut some demos and the rest is history. The band hit the road playing in “the taco circuit,’ from Brownsville to San Jose and recorded about 20 albums. Royalties were scarce and the band never registered its songs with a publisher.  After Tortilla Factory reached its natural end in 1986, Guerrero moved his family to Austin, Texas where he played jazz and salsa at Club Islas. Burned out, he had little good to say about major label interest in Tejano in the late 1980’s. “They took anyone that was available.”

With his health declining, a diabetic and failing kidney, Guerrero no longer plays the trumpet, limiting his creative activities to singing. When Tortilla Factory pianist Tony “Toke” Gutiérrez was terminally ill with a brain tumor, Guerrero contacted Butler for a reunion gig in 2006 to raise money for Gutiérrez. That gig planted the seed for “All That Jazz” which was subsequently nominated for a Grammy. Tortilla Factory is back with Guerrero’s version of a musically sophisticated Tejano. And the diversity among Chicanos and their music continues in their evolutionary path.

Happy and Insightful Reading,

Arnoldo Carlos Vento, PhD
Executive Officer 
Sent by Dorinda Moreno



The Rose, A Sense of Place, 
Trailer of documentary, Rose Marine Theater in Fort Worth
Sent by Roberto R. Calderón, Ph.D. 



The Official Mexican and Mexican American
Fine Art Museum of Texas



Mexic-Arte Museum's 25th Anniversary Exhibition
featuring the Permanent Collection, May 1 - August 2, 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2:00 PM
Jesse Herrera, "Celebration of the Patron Saint of San Miguel Tzinacapan, Puebla." (gallery talk)
Austin photographer will speak on his travels to Puebla, Mexico, over a period of eight years, to document San Miguel Tzinacapan's celebration of their patron saint.

Saturday, July 11, 2:00 PM
Sam Coronado, "Claiming Space, Creating Opportunity: The Serie Project and Mexic-Arte Museum's Promotion of Latino Artists." (gallery talk)
Talk will be about Sam's role in founding Mexic-Arte Museum, the development of the Serie Project, and the special relationship between the print center and the museum.

Saturday, July 18, 2:00 PM
Sylvia Orozco, "History of Mexic-Arte Museum." (gallery talk)
Founder and Executive Director, Sylvia Orozco, will talk about the beginning
of Mexic-Arte Museum and highlights of twenty-five years.

(512) 480-9373
419 Congress Avenue, Austin, TX 78701, (512) 480-9373

All Sundays during A Legacy of Change are FREE to the public.


A local cultural center with a national reputation and a global vision

La Peña Cultural Center Celebrates its 34th Anniversary


La Peña along with muralists, musicians, writers, composers, spoken word artists, and community activists will come together on June 6 and 13, 2009 to celebrate its 34th birthday.  This June La Peña is proud to unveil three commissioned portable murals and a work in progress of a Suite of music about La Peña that share these reasons to celebrate.

There are plenty of reasons to celebrate: 
  • Another World is Possible:  La Peña makes that dream become a reality in small and large ways; a place where artists who are in Diaspora can call home, a place to preserve and pass on diverse cultural traditions; and organize to improve lives in our community and abroad.
  • Celebrating Life and Community:  La Peña is a kaleidoscope of our diverse communities.  "Generation after generation, community after community, La Peña continues to be a vibrant community center, promoting cultural understanding and social justice through the arts" says Nadine Ghammache, Lebanese-American member of the staff collective
  • Filling the Gaps:  La Peña is committed to filling gaps left by the devastated economy and a government that does not provide the quality of public education needed in today's world. La Peña continues to provide programming that is affordable and relevant to the pressing issues of today, and to involve community in thought, art and action.  Over 250 students each week take low cost and free workshops in Latin American music and dance, popular theater and hip hop.  Evening programs explore issues from environmental justice to the war in Iraq, offering opportunities to reflect, discuss, envision and to act.
  • Surviving and thriving during this economic recession:  La Peña has thrived over the past 34 years despite numerous odds, including the Bush years and the bust.  La Peña continues because of grass roots support and because of the progressive art that emanates from our stage!

Murals Unveiling & Open House
Saturday June 06, 09 o FREE Donations Accepted. 3-5pm: murals viewing. 6pm: concert
Join us for a reception & unveiling of portable murals commissioned by La Peña from Bay Area  muralists Ray Patlán, Juana Alicia Montoya, Tirso Gonzalez, and Susie Lundy. Starting at 6pm we will have performances by youth and adult students of La Peña's classes including Latin jazz, Afro-Peruvian music, Puerto Rican bomba, accordion, guitar, and theater. More details:

Musical Suite: La Peña - Ayer, Hoy y P'alante
Saturday June 13 o $12 adv. $14 dr.  7pm: art installation viewing. 8pm: concert
Come celebrate our anniversary with a work in progress performance of La Peña - Ayer, Hoy y P'alante, an original suite of music about La Peña by Wayne Wallace with libretto by Aya de Leon and performed by the La Peña International Orchestra.  This work received the prestigious Creative Work Fund grant and integrates La Peña oral histories into a contemporary musical suite about La Peña and the social and cultural movements that make up this community. The La Peña International Orchestra features Wayne Wallace, Aya de Leon, Lichi Fuentes, Hector Lugo, Josh Jones, Ayla Davila, Donna Viscuso, Valerie Troutt and DJ Wonway Posibul. Come early and enjoy an oral history art installation: Creating Home Away from Home, an exhibit of items & objects by ex-political prisoners & exiles from Chile.  More details:

For More Information Please Contact La Peña at 510-849-2568. Fernando ext. 15, Paul ext. 17 or Nadine ext. 12





When do pride and admiration for someone become overwhelming?  I found out yesterday when I viewed  on opening day Harrison Ford's new movie, "Crossing Over," a gut-wrenching account of man's interconnectedness to man, or the lack thereof. And my source of pride and admiration: Laredo's gift to Hollywood, Julia Vera, who is in 5 full frontal camera shots in two scenes with megastar Ford. Her time on camera altogether, maybe 3 minutes, or so, but that's all she needed to show she was powerful, in command, an  outstanding complete artist to the nth degree.

My special pride in her performance? I was Julia's first dance teacher when she was in my dance class at Christen Jr. HS in Laredo, when I started my teaching career. She was in my very first performing dance group in Laredo, in a school assembly.  And now, look at her...

But let's backtrack for a moment.  About the film: an MGM release at the end of February, Ford shares star status with Ashley Judd, Alicia Braga (Sonia's niece), and Ray Liotta. The subject is super-important, and definitely pulls the heartstrings. The lady sitting next to me at the movie theater cried through the entire movie.  The subject is one not far from most of us, immigrants from around the world who enter L.A. every day, full of hope and visions of a better life.  But they have little notion of what that life may cost.  The desperate situations of the immigrants test the humanity of immigration enforcement officers, Harrison Ford being one of them in the film. Written and directed by Wayne Kramer, the film explores the allure of the American dream and the reality that immigrants find--and create--in the 21st century in L.A.  The desperation to become legal in this country places incredible stress on an overloaded American system. The very realistic film is full of drama, thuggish violence and profanity. It's reminiscent of movie hits  "Crash" and "Babel." In the film there are many stories that interweave, showing us different characters, each with a more desperate situation than the other one.

If you want to get a good feel of the L.A. geography, you will appreciate the aerial photography from neighborhood to neighborhood.

Harrison Ford plays a truly big-hearted sensitive lonely man, who works for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). In the film he becomes concerned with a little boy, Juan,  who is left behind in L.A. when his mother is caught  working in a factory and is caught in an ICE raid. Alice Braga plays the kid's mother, Julia Vera plays the kid's grandmother, who lives in Tijuana, across from San Diego, Calif. For sure, the film stresses the urgency of an important national problem.

Julia Vera, btw, has over 60 Hollywood movie, tv, and commercial production credits, all listed in ( Go there and you will be impressed.

Maybe it's a timely coincidence that  as the subject of immigration is treated in Julia's latest film, she has just recently in real life been named Chairperson of the International  Institute of Los Angeles, an important organization helping to find solutions since 1914 to the problems of real-life newly-arrived immigrants. Julia's volunteer, non-paid work , furthers the institute which has worked with hundreds of thousands of immigrants and other low-income people to enable them to overcome the barriers that they face in becoming successful and contributing members in their new society. Says Julia:We bring a smile of hope to the faces of children in our childcare centers, we offer reassurance to seniors who join in the weekly dances at our senior center, and we extend a hand up to refugees and immigrants who begin their first jobs with our help. We have changed thousands of lives by giving our participants a new beginning. We help families become self-sufficient, and we promote cross-cultural understanding. To accomplish all this we employ over 200 dedicated, multicultural staff to provide childcare, senior services, nutrition services, and employment services from over 25 centers and offices in southern and central California."

So who is Julia Vera? Born in Laredo, she moved to L.A. in 1965 with her husband and four children. She had her fifth child in  California.  She started as a census taker, while she kept all her kids in school, busy with classes, baseball, football, and  cheerleading. In 1990 she joined Comision Femenil and was elcted national president of the organizaiton dedicated to the Latina woman and her family, addressing issues of health, education, participation in the political arena, and in business.  Julia has also been involved in political campaigns of many of her friends, making phone calls, waling the precinct, knocking on doors and distributing flyers.

In 1992 she was hired by UCLA through Dr. Patsy Mendoza, ex-Laredoan, in the Latino Outreach program. (Neo Note: KSmall world. Patsy was my replacement teacher at Christen when I left Laredo to teach in L.A.)

In 1998 Julia decided to dedicate herself to acting. She joined the Screen Actors Guild, and thereby gets to vote for the Academy Awards. After realizing that she had to miss work for auditions, she decided to give up her job and go for broke in show business.  She had never looked back.

She says, "Being bilingual is a plus. All of my commercials and some of the tv shows and movies have required me to speak Spanish. I have traveled to different parts of the world through this wonderful work. Now I am also busy with  my work as chairperson of  the International Institute. I trust God, and I do good. "

But let's jump over to Mexico's gift to Hollywood, sultry Salma Hayek, who's really cashing in these days as producer of "Ugly Betty" in its American version. Of course, most recently you may have seen her on tv news breastfeeding a starving baby in Sierra Leone, Africa. At any rate, Salma's big day in February was Valentine's Day, when she decided to marry her new baby's father, French financier Francois Henri Pinault, in a civil ceremony in Paris.And their daughter's name, what else but Valentina!

But to end with more local goodies. I got a call from Betty Kramer, daughter of my mentor Mrs. Estela Zamora Kramer, of San Antonio. First Latino UT Chancellor  Dr. Francisco Cigarroa's name came up because Betty's mom was Dr. Cigarroa's swimming teacher in Laredo when he was a kid known as "Kiko." The conversation with Betty was particularly well-timed since the day before her call Dr. Cigarroa was at the Lulacs Noche Mexicana where he was named Sr. Int'l 2009, ending my same title in 2008. But about Mrs. Kramer's importance in my life:  she was responsible for getting Mr. J.W. Nixon, LISD Supt., and Mr. Fernando Pena, Christen principal, to give me permission to teach dance when I was 19 in 1955 and a new teacher at Christen.  What a lady Mrs. Kramer is! I was the first male dance teacher in Laredo, so everybody was very nervous about me. Imagine, this past Dec. in my 40th annual dance workshop for Laredo dancers   taught by Ani Vera, 9 of 30 workshop dancers were  guys!

And a note from Norma Adamo in Laredo: Jennie Leyendecker Reed, Irma Mireles, and I went to La Posada for George O. Jackson's photo exhibit. We had a great time with wine, all you can eat food, music by Jerry Quintero, and the gracious hostess was Gayle Aker Rodriguez of 201 Gallery. George and his brothers, lots of beautiful Laredo people, including Evan Quiros, all there.

And for a closing thought: it was bound to happen. There had to be a Gutierrez somewhere in the messy  picture. OctuMom Nadya Suleman's ex-husband's name: Marcos Gutierrez. And no, he's not the father of the 14 kids.

. Mrs. Kramer was the Laredo teacher that established the tradition of great line dancing in LISD, as in The Golden Spurs and The Silver Roses. One year she brought to LA The Golden Spurs, and in one weekend they danced at BevHillsHS, Disneyland, Universal Studios, and at a Dodger game at Dodger Stadium.       

Time for, as Norma Adamo puts it: TAN TAN !

(Dr. Neo Gutierrez is a Ph.D. in Dance and Related Fine Arts, Laredo Sr. Int'l 2008, MHS Tiger Legend 2004, Sr. Int'l de Beverly Hills 1997.( Contact neodance )

Sent by Elsa Herbeck




Mayborn Literary Non Fiction Conference


The Mayborn Literary Non Fiction Conference and pachanga for the written word will be held for the fifth year this July 24-26 in  Grapevine, Texas. Keynote speakers will Alma Guillermoprieto, Ira Glass and Paul Theroux. Several sessions will be focused on the voices of the vulnerable and effective ways that they can be heard through story-telling. The ambience of the conference is especially warm with chats that spill past midnight among the young scribes and the older writers who still have much to learn.

And there are scholarships for minority students! Here is a release on the scholarships and a link to the event:  

Mil gracias, Dianne Solis

Sent by Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.






Letter in 
Vicente Riva Palacio's newspaper, 
La Orquesta, 
June 31, 1867
Translation to English 
by Ted Vincent


The context in which Vicente Riva Palacio published an 1867 letter from Victor Hugo to President Benito Juarez was that Mexico had just won the five year war to stop the attempt Arch-Duke Maximilian to establish a joint French/Austrian Empire outpost in the New World. Mexican president Juarez now had a decision to make. Should he execute or spare the life of the captured Emperor. He was inclined to execution, believing it would send a message to Europe to never again try conquest in the Americas.

For Victor Hugo, (1802-1885, author of Les Miserables and AHunchback of Notre Dame,  abolition of the death penalty had long been a cause., and he wrote to President Juarez to ask that the usurper be spared. But Juarez had already held a quick trial and the judges had voted for execution. Mariano Riva Palacio, father of Vicente Riva Palacio, had been the lead defense attorney for Maximilian, and had hoped for a genuine judicial proceeding in which he could acknowledge the guilt of the foreign invasion while explaining circumstances for saving the imprisoned Emperor's life. The quick trial angered Mariano and also his son Vicente. Although both had stood with Juarez and against Maximilian during the war. 

Vicente Riva Palacio had acted upon his feelings about the death penalty while a General in the army fighting Maximilian. His troops captured a group of French soldiers, and General Riva Palacio did not execute the prisoners, even though swift use of the firing squad against all battle field captives was the official policy of Maximilian, and the Mexican side had been barely more humane. Vicente Riva Palacio's saving of prisoners was, no doubt, in the spirit that led him to pen the popular war time song, Adios Mama Carlotta that envisioned a peace between the warring nations achieved Awithout hatred nor rancor.

In his Mexico City newspaper La Orquesta Vicente Riva Palacio published a copy that had been made of most of the Victor Hugo letter to Juarez . It will be noted that Hugo twice refers John Brown, the Kansas abolitionist whose failed attempt at a slave insurrection is considered a catalyst for Southern Secession and the subsequent civil war and abolition of slavery in the United States. 
Introdution by Riva Palacio to letter from Victor Hugo to Senor Juarez

Along with the many throw away packets of periodicals which we receive we found a letter from the celebrated French poet, friend of humanity and of democracy and constant enemy of tyranny. The poet sees the wide scope of the great questi ons that agitate the earth, and apostle and defender of human 
life, he does not lose the opportunity to 
bring an end for ever to the blade of the executioner and the horror of the scaffold. 

One hears his voice throughout the civilized world, and his advice, if not always followed, is none-the-less admired, because he evokes the grandeur and elevation of men above their human weaknesses, Victor Hugo wrote a letter the 20th of June. Maximilian had faced the firing squad the day before in Queretaro, and so the voice and its profound counsel would have not been heard by the President of the Republic. 

Perhaps the end had been fated from the beginning for the one for whom he interceded. An identical fate occurred with the letter from Garibaldi, the two arrived too late. The letter to us began.

The letter, beginning with the sender’s preface to Riva Palacio.

The author of Hernani, Victor Hugo, has just written to Juarez, president of the Republic of Mexico, a letter which has been published in France, in an English journal, and that we copy and send on, shortening it by a few paragraphs...

The Letter from Hugo

To the President of the Mexican Republic, Juarez - You have been the equal of John Brown. America today has two heroes, 
John Brown and you. John Brown because 
he brought death to slavery, you because 
you kept freedom alive.

Mexico has been saved by a principal and by a man, and that man is you.

On one side two Empires ( France and Austria), on the other a man, a man with only a handful of men, thrown aside from city to city, town to town, ranch to ranch, woods to woods, pursued, nomadic, ...without money, nor bread, nor powder, nor cannons. The usurpation proceeded with all its legions of force. Right was stripped and abandoned. 
Yet you accepted the challenge of combat, 
and battle waged for five years. 

You had for your defenders impassable swamps, waters full of alligators, poisoness vegetation, the yellow fever of the hot country, the sandy ground without water, without grasses, where horses died of thirst and hunger...... In the war against the giants, your projectile has been the rugged 




And one day, after five years of smoke and dust and blindness, the cloud dissipated and one saw two Empires had fallen to ruin. No more of monarchy, nor armies, no more than .this enormous usurpation in ruin And over this horrible swirl one man was still 
standing, Juarez, and at the side of this man liberty.

All that you have done, Juarez, in truth is great, yet that which you have yet to do is greater still.

Listen, citizen President of the Republic of Mexico. You have just demonstrated the power of democracy, now you will show its beauty.

After the ray you bring the dawn. To the barbarians you show civilization, to the despots, principles.

Give to the kings who lord over the people the humiliation of a surprise and complete defeat by giving them mercy.

It is a basic principle that protection be 
given our enemy. The grandeur of principles consists in ignoring all else. Men don't have names before they have principles. Humanity is a human collective, man represented through the his humanity. The principles 
know nothing of nobody, neither nor more than if they scratched themselves out. In their stupid anguish they know no more than this. Human life is inviolable. Oh, venerable impartiality is the truth! Oh, the beauty of 
right without distinction is the righteous 
path. Precisely, it is on those who warrant death legally where you ought to abjure the right.

The grandiose destruction of the scaffold, is more important than seeing to culpability.

That the violator of basic principles will be saved by a principle. That he has been shamed. That the violator of right has been saved by a right. Stripping away the false inviolability of the crown, and put yourself 
in the true light, that of the inviolability of humanity. That will give him the shock of knowing what really is sacred, and it is that very stance that led him to no longer be Emperor....


Never have you been presented an occasion more magnificent.

Juarez, give civilization a giant step forward. Abolish over the earth the death penalty. The world will see that this is a prodigious step. The nation is at that moment for the annihilation of the assassin usurper. Reflect that he is a man, Think about it, and tell yourself:

“You are the people as are the others. See it.

“This will be, Juarez, your second victory. The first over the usurpation - is sovereignty. The second, to pardon the usurper - is sublime.




.”Above the monarchial laws that flow with drops of blood, shine the law of light, and the coming of the most sacred page in the supreme book, that one sees from the Republices, honor to this order from God, 
 No mataras (do not kill).

These four syllables contain the obligation.

You ought to follow them.

The usurper will be saved, and the liberator will have done it. For 8 years, since Decemb er 2, 1859, without more right than would have any other man, I have followed the world in the name of democracy, and I had asked the United States for the life of John Brown. I was not obeyed. I ask Mexico for the life of Maximilian. Will I be rewarded?

“Yes. It can be said that at this hour it is already done.

Maximilian will owe his life to Juarez.

Victor Hugo

Hauteville House, 20 of June 1867

Introduccion de Riva Palacio a Una Carta de Victor Hugo al Sn. Juarez 

Entra las muchas tiras de periódicos que recibimos con la correspondencia del paquete encontramos una carta del célebre poeta francés, del amigo de la humanidad y de la democracia, del enemigo constante de la tiranía. Desde el destierro ve el filósofo y el postra las grandes cuestiones que los hombres agitan en la tierra, y apóstol y defensor de la vida humana no pierde oportunidad en destruir para siempre el hacha del verdugo y el horror de los patíbulos. 

Su voz se hace escuchar en todo el mundo civilizado, y sus consejos, si no son siempre seguidos, son sí admirados, porque envuelven la grandeza y la elevación suprema sobre todas las debilidades de los hombres, Victor Hugo escribía su carta el 20 de Junio. El día anterior Maximiliano había sido fusilado en Querétaro; así su voz y sus profundos consejos no han podido ser escuchados por el Presidente de la Republica. 

Quizás ha sido una fatalidad pare el principie por quien intercedía. Una cosa idéntica ha pasado con la carta de Garibaldi; las dos llegaron demasiado tarde. En cuanto al hecho triste que tuvo lugar en Querétaro, nos permitiremos en uno de estos días contestar al célebre poeta francés para que tenga el debido conocimiento de circunstancias especiales que é ignora, y que casi hicieron indispensable que Maximiliano tuviese un fin funesto. - La carta dice así: 

“El autor de Hernán, Victor Hugo, acaba de dirijir á Juarez, presidente de la Republica de México, la carta que se ha publicado en francés en un diario inglés, y que á continuación menos algunas párrafos que hemos creído de nuestro, deber el suprimir:

La Carta

“Al Presidente de la Republica mexicana, Juarez – Vos habéis igualado a John Brown. La América actual tiene dos héroes, John Brown y vos. John Brown por quien ha murió la esclavitud, vos por quien ha vivido la libertad.

México se ha salvado por un principio y por un hombre: ese hombre sois vos.

De una parte dos imperios, de la otra un hombre’un hombre con solo un puñado de hombres desterrados de ciudad en ciudad, de pueblo en pueblo, de rancho en rancho,, de bosque en bosque, persuigido,.(con) ni dinero, ni pan, ni polvora, ni canones... Aquí la usurpación llamadose legitimidad. Alli el derecho llamado bandido. La usurpacion precidida de todas las legiones de la fuerza. El derecho solo, desnudo y abandonado. Vos que sois el derecho habeis recogido el guante y acepiado el combate. La batalla de uno contra todos has durado cinco anos. 

Vos habeis tenido por defensores los pantanos intransitable, los torrentes lleno de caimanes’ las vegetaciones mórbidas; el vómito prieto de las tierras caliente; las soledades de sal, los arenales sin agua yh sin yerbas, donde los caballos mueren de sed y hambre; la grande y severa mesa de Anahuac, que como la Castilla se defiende por sus desnudo; los temblores de los volcanes, desde el Colima hasta el Nevado de Toluca. Vos habeis llamado en vustrro auxilio á vuestras barreras, naturales á la aspereza de los cordilleras, á las altas murallas basáticas, y á las colosales rocas de pórfido. Vos habeis hecho la guerrs de los gigantes, yh vustros proyectiles has sido las montanas.

Y un dia, después de conco anos de humo, de polvo y de ceguedad, la nube se ha disipado, y entonces se han visto dos imperios caidos en tierra. Nada de monarquia, nada de ejercitos; nada, mas que la enormidad de la usurpacion en ruina, y sobre este horroso derrumbamiento un hombre en pié: Juarez, y al lado de este hombre la libertad.

Todo esto vos lo habeis hecho, Juarez y en verdad es grande’pero lo que os resta que hacer is mas grande todavía.

Escuchad, ciudadano Presidente de la Republica mexicana: Vos acabais de demostrar el power de la democracia; ahora mostrad su belleza.

Después del rayo mostrad la aurora. A los barbados mostrad la civilización; á los déspotas los principios.

Dad á los reyes delante del pueblo la humillación del asombre; vencidios, sobre todo, por la piedad.

Los principios se afirman por la proteccion de nuestro enemigo. La grandeza de los principios constante en ignorarlo todo. Los hombres no tienen nombre delante de los principios. Los hombres es el hombre colectivo, al hombre representando á la humanidad. Los principios no conocen á nadie, ni á nada mas que a si raiamos. En su augusta estupidez no sabes mas que esta. La vida humana es inviolable. ¡Oh venerable imparcialidad de la verdad! ¡Oh hermosura del derecho sin discernimiento, ocupado solo de ser el derecho! Precisamente delante de los que had merecido legalmente la muerte, es donde debe abjurarse de las vías de hecho,.

La grandiosa destrucción del cadalso debe hacerse delante de los culpables.

Que el violador de los principios sea salvado por un principio. Que tenga esta docta u esta vergüenza. Que el perseguidor del derecho sea salvado por el derecho. Despojándolo de la falsa inviolabilidad de la corona, voz lo poneis delante de la verdaders inviolabilidad humana. Que se quede asombrado: que el lado por el cual es sagrado, es precisamente por el lado por el cual no es emperador.

Que este principe que no advinaba que era un hombre, sepa que hay en el una miseria, el rey, y un majestad, el hombre.

Jamas se os ha presentado una ocasión mas magnifica.

Juarez, haced que la civilización de un paso inmenso. Abolid sobre toda la tierra la pena de muerte. Que el momento de aniquilar a su asesino vencido, reflexiona que es un hombre, lo suenta, y le dice: 

Tu eras del pueblo como los otras - Vete.

Esta será, Juarez, vuestra segunda victoria. La primera, vencer la usurpación, - Es soberbia: La segunda, perdonar al usurpador, - Es sublima.

Si… á estos principios á quienes obedecen los jueces, á estos jueces á quienes obedecen los verdugos, á éstos verdugos obedecidas por la muerte, mostradles abrir se perdona á la cabeza de un emperador.

Sobre todos los códigos monárquicos de donde manan las gotas de sangre, abrid la ley de luz, y en medio de la mas santa pagina del libre supremo, que se vea el dede de la Republica, sobre esta orden de Dios: No matarás.

Estés cuarto afilabas contienen el deber.

El deber vos lo haréis.

¡El usurpador será salado, y el libertador no ha podido serlo! Hace 8 anos al 2 de Diciembre de 1859 sin mas derecho que el que tiene cualquiera hombre, he tomado la palabra en nombre de la democracia, y he pedido á los Estados-Unidos la vida de John Brown. No la he obtenido. Hay pido á México la vida de Maximiliano. ¡La obtendré!

Si. Puede ser que a esta hora esté ya concedida.

Maximiliano deberá la vida a Juarez - Victor Hugo

Hauteville House, 20 Junio de 1867.

Riva Palacio and Benito Juarez had once been quit e close. A strain in the relations between Riva Palacio and Juarez was caused by the execution of Maximilian and was evidenced in Vicente’s 1871 independence day oration (see Somos Primos, 9/07) in which he laments that advocates of causes for progress all to often take paths which lead them to entwine with the spirit of reaction.

The above abridged letter has a few additional cuts made for this issue of Somos Primos.


From Real to Reel: Hispanics & the Eiconic Image in Film--# 11 La Leyenda Negra
USA Laws which were directed at its Spanish Speaking Citizens, 1845-1898, Part I



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  

[From Real to Reel: Hispanics and the Eiconic Image in Film--Number 11 in a series on La Leyenda Negra]  

In The Image (1967), Kenneth Boulding coined the term “eiconic” referring to a “chronologically fixed image”–a sort of frozen snapshot we have in our minds of people. That eiconic image keeps us from seeing people as developmental entities. That’s why we still see in our mind’s eye  the American Indian, for example, with a war bonnet, robed in animal furs, and wearing moccasins even though American Indians do not dress that way today.  

That 18th century snapshot of the American Indian is a visceral stereotype. Via these visceral stereotypes, the Black Legend fixes in the mind an eiconic image of Hispanics frozen in time as part of an “infra-reality,” that is, an interior reality inconsistent with external reality.  

That eiconic image was at work in 1967 when a Texas publisher asked me to contribute a story for an anthology of Texas stories. I submitted the short story “Chicago Blues” about a Chicano musician in the early post-World War II years. The story had won a major European award juried by Richard Wright. The pub­lisher sent the story back to me explaining that he was expecting a story along the lines of J. Frank Dobie’s “The Straw Man”–a piece that caricatured Tejanos (Mexican Texans) as simple peasants dressed in poplin and wearing huaraches.  

Until the advent of motion pictures (film) in the early 20th century, the primacy of print to diffuse information and eiconic images was paramount. In its diffusion of celluloid images and sub-textual public values, film surpassed the power of print to reach mass audiences. Omar Khayam, the Persian poet wrote: The moving finger having writ moves on / and all your piety and wit / cannot cancel half a line of it. Today, the power of the motion picture camera (now video camera also) to convey a visual reality–however true or false–has become the dominant medium in shaping public values. The motion picture captures eiconic images of people frozen in frames. And all our piety and wit cannot cancel half a line of it.  

Unfortunately, in the case of American Hispanics the public values transmitted by film and video are as laden with stereotypes as their print cohorts. From the begining of silent films to the first “talkies” in 1927 (The Jazz Singer) the images of Hispanics in American films simply perpetuated the perniciously eiconic stereo­types extant in American society engendered by the Black Legend. Non-Hispanic film audiences could now see on “the silver screen” the stereotyped images of Hispanics they could theretofore only imagine from the printed page. They could now see Hispanics in poverty-strewn villages, lazing in the sun, uncivilized, half-naked or else see them as mustachioed bandits surrounded by hot-blooded señoritas of easy virtue and loose morals (Luis Reyes and Peter Rubie, Hispanics in Hollywood: A Celebration of 100 Years in Film and Television, 2000, 3).

According to Reyes and Rubie, “Bandits and sleepy Mexican towns” were standard features in silent West­erns in which the vicious greaser image came into being. Bronco Billy and the Greaser and The Greaser’s Revenge (both 1914), for example, confirmed “the Mexican as an evil and sinister villain” (6). Reyes and Rubie contend that the problem of Hollywood movies with Latino subjects or characters has been the ignorance of film makers about Latinos and their history and culture (18). For example, “the battle of the Alamo in 1836 . . . left deep seated prejudices between Anglo Americans and Mexicans that are still reflected over 100 years later in such movies as Man of Conquest (1939), The Last Command (1955) and John Wayne’s The Alamo (1960)” ( 5). Films reflected the low esteem in which Hispanics were held by the non-Hispanic public. With few exceptions, Hispanics were rigidly typecast in films as gardeners or gangsters, as maids or madames. In the main, “Hispanic women have usually been relegated to some version of the stout mamacita, the sexy spitfire, and the suffering mother or girlfriend” (313)  

Like films, television was no better. “Although Hispanics have been featured on various series since televi­sion began, there have been few Hispanic star or character-driven vehicles” (Reyes and Rubie, 312). Though the George Lopez Show is an exception, its characterizations of Hispanics are stereo­typed with buffoonery and antics for comedic effect at the expense of Hispanics. To counter this trend, Hispanic actors organized Nosotros, to improve the images of Hispanics in American films and television.  

While it’s true that people should be able to laugh at themselves in comic situations, Reyes and Rubie conclude that “accepting unchallenged stereotyped portrayals in the movies is a form of passive racism.” That Hollywood’s bottom-dollar mentality “masks” that passive racism; that “the insidiousness of racism is not so much the overt acts of [fascism], but the moral cowardice of those who avoid speaking out against off-the-cuff offensive remarks.” For Reyes and Rubie there is “a fine line between the artistic tyranny of ‘politi­cal correctness’ and being sensitive to perpetuating a stereotype” (2).  

The most notable television shows that parlayed Hispanic stereotypes to success were The Cisco Kid and the Zorro series. Both employed unabashed stereotypes of Hispanics, not to mention that few Hispanics played the lead role. After a 38 year hiatus, Luis Valdez directed the 1994 version of The Cisco Kid with Jimmy Smits and Cheech Marin without the gratuitous stereotypes. While this was a formidable leap forward for Hispanics in films and television, the eiconic images of Hispanics in these media still abound.  

The pervasive casting of non-Hispanics as Hispanics has lessened today, providing Hispanic actors more opportunities for non-typecast roles. Until the civil rights era many Hispanic characters in film had been played by non-Hispanics. In Viva Zapata, for example, Marlon Brando played the key role of Zapata while Anthony Quinn played the role of the brother. In Villa Rides, Yul Brynner played the part of Pancho Villa. In The Milagro Beanfield War a number of Hispanics appeared in supporting roles, but the only American Hispanic (U.S.) actor was Freddy Fender. In a number of television shows there are references to (phantom) Hispanics with Hispanic surnames who do not appear on screen. And non-Mexican Hispanic actors are cast as Mexicans or Mexican Americans. In the TV series Empire (1962-64), Charles Bronson played Paul Moreno, a Mexican American ranch hand.  

Combating the effects of the Black Legend has been a steep incline for Hispanics in the United States. What is most evident about that struggle is that progress for Hispanics is not a matter of largesse oblige but of nous même oblige, collective efforts to overcome the obstacles in the wake of the Black Legend.


USA Laws which were directed at its Spanish Speaking Citizens, 
1845-1898, Part I


The annexation of Texas in 1845 was the immediate cause of the war.  Other  factors lending up to the war was America's ambition to acquire New Mexico and California (Manifest Destiny), and the desire to extend slave-holding territory.  (Note: There is no doubt special legislation is needed to counter all the anti Hispanic Legislation which the Municipal, Country, State and Federal Governments have enacted for the past 150 years or more).

1861, During the 1860s, Tiburcio Vásquez, Joaquín Murieta, and others are branded as bandits for resisting the seizure of American Hispanic lands in California.

1865: Under provisions of the 1862 Homestead Act, Land speculators acquire American Hispanic land by using squatters to claim the land illegally. This land was obtained illegally with the aid and might of the U.S. Government against their own American Hispanic citizens. 

The "Tejanos" (American Hispanics in Texas) suffered outright repression from the Texas Rangers, who were known as the "Hispanic's Ku Klu Klan". 

1850 California: The new comers grew jealous of the experienced Mexican-Californio miners, and In 1850, the new legislature (with the might of the Federal U.S. Government) enacted a burdensome "Foreigner Miner's Tax" of $20.00 per month. This new tax was aimed at the American Hispanics and the Spanish speaking Californios, enforced by volunteer armed new comers. Many of our mining terms, like bonanza and placer are Spanish in origin by the way. 

Up to the at least the 1940s, Southwest Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico and California: Birth certificates for American Hispanics did not indicate they were American born. A new born of American Hispanic origin (those who had been here for centuries included), was *born in Mexico* or *Mexican* instead of American. 
1850, four thousand Hispanic miners gather in Sonora, California, to protest the Foreign Miners' Tax, which was enacted to drive them from gold fields. Many Hispanics could not afford the extra taxation and left. 

1851 California counties with the highest Hispanic populations were taxed at a rate five times greater than any other region in the state. Many Hispanics could not afford another extra tax, and left. 

1854, the takeover of American Hispanic lands: The Surveyor of General Claims Office is established in New Mexico (includes Arizona) but cannot process claims fast enough to prevent the takeover. Loss of over 75% of Hispanics lands from illegal or legal offical means. A violation of the TGH. 

1855 Laws are enacted in California to prohibit many cultural pastimes of the American Hispanic population. 

1855 California. Soon the Anglos dominated the state legislature, enacting the tax and laws like the 1855 Greaser Act, which defined vagrants as (quote) "all persons who [were] commonly known as 'Greasers' or the issue of Spanish or Indian blood." The "Greaser" Act. A anti-vagrancy act by the State Legislature Excludes "Diggers" (Indians) but includes persons of mixed Spanish and Indian blood or "Greasers". 

This Law was intended to keep Hispanics from owning the mines, and provided 
another justification for expropriation of American Hispanic lands.This racist epithet is all too well known to date, which started with ordinary people, and made law in the California State Legislature 1855. 

1855, California The anti-Catholic Know-Nothings organize and hold a state convention in Sacramento. 

1855, California, The Legislature refuses to provide funds for translation of state laws into Spanish despite the fact that 1) The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidaldo provides for the protection and guarantee of the conquered Spanish speaking Americans, 2) the majority of the State's inhabitants are of Spanish speaking extraction. 

1857, California: Former delegate to the State Constitutional Convention Manuel Dominguez is barred from testifying for the defense in The People vs. Elyea because he is a mestizo. (Note: using mestizo was a way to separate Hispanics and keep them from uniting, this was and still used today in the southwest. Many whites considered Hispanics from the acquired western states as "inferior to Indians and Africans because they were racially mixed, a hybrid race that represented the worst nightmare of what might become of the white race if they let down their racial guard".) 

1855 Anglo businessmen attempt to run American (Hispanics) teamsters (wagon-drivers) out of south Texas, violating the guarantees offered by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. 

1857, Anglo businessmen try to push American Hispanic teamsters out of south Texas, violating the guarantees of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. 

1858, Miners and settlers move into Colorado in search of silver, forcing more Hispanic Americans from their land.

1800s - 1900s the western U.S. lynchings of American Hispanics were common on a daily basis. 

1862, The Supreme Court rules in favor of Daly City "squatters". The Homestead Act is passed in Congress, allowing squatters in the southwest to settle and claim American Hispanic lands. This was common in California and the southwest. 

1863 Arizona: Anglo segment was becoming numerical dominant. Anglo Arizonans were, for the most part, preoccupied with controlling the large American Hispanic population politically. 

1889 Northern Arizona: The 1889 Taylor Grazing Act: this law enacted was responsible for the elimination of the sheep industry in Concho, Arizona whose owners were primarily Spanish speaking sheep herders and Native Americans.. Concho, once a thriving Spanish speaking community , with the loss of the sheep industry left Concho and vicinity, in an almost helpless condition, and started its decline and loss of population. . 

Southwest, Arizona, New Mexico: 75% of American Hispanics lost their land in the late 1800s and beginning of the 1900s through illegal and "legal" methods. The "legal" methods land was lost is due to the language. The Character (language) of the Southwest was/is Spanish, however land owners were not permitted to argue their case in the Spanish language. All lawyers in the S.W. at that time were Spanish speaking. The U.S. Government brought in English speaking lawyers for the landowners and hence ended up with the land owned by the Spanish speaking landowners. 

1848: Land had been the basis of the California socio-economic system. With the loss of land after the U.S. conquest undermined that system. The protections provided by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo were ignored by the U.S. 
Holders of Spanish and Mexican land grants, most of whom were American Hispanics, were required to seek legal confirmation of their titles. 
The federal government placed the burden of proof on the landowners instead of automatically accepting all titles and then handling challenges on an individual 
basis. In direct contradiction to the protection by the TGH. 

1883 (May 12) Phoenix, Arizona: Phoenix merchants signed an agreement to receive Mexican currency only at the rates of: dollars, 80 cents; halves, 40 cents; quarters, 20 cents. 

Late 1800s, Northern Arizona (New Mexico at the time), my ancestor Marcos Padilla Baca was the Justice of the Peace when the first English speakers entered the region. The American Hispanics helped the interlopers with shelter and food, and were soon repayed by enacting laws which would put American Hispanics and Native Americans out of business. 

1884 Texas, there were daily lynchings of Hispanic Americans in the area around Fort Davis, Texas; many Anglos voiced the opinion that the lynchings should continue until no Hispanics remained in the area. Lynchings were a tool of racial oppression elsewhere in the Southwest as well; in California, lynching of Hispanics became so common that in the Hispanic community, American democracy became known as "linchocracia." 
(From Vernellia R. Randall Professor of Law, and Luis Angel Toro).

1898 Morenci - Clifton, Arizona: There was a prospect of trouble between American Hispanics and Anglos at Clifton and Morenci. The outbreak of racial conflicts was based on the sympathy of the Hispanics towards Spain in her troubles abroad. 


In his Living History Newsletters Rick Collins writes, " Most Americans are not aware of the role of Spain in the settling of the New World, nor are they cognizant of the important contributions of Spain to the defeat of the British during the American Revolution. In his book, Entrada, Bernard Fontana suggests an underlying prejudice toward Hispanics as cause of part of that ignorance. Certainly the Leyenda Negra, or "Black Legend", so strongly touted by the Protestant governments of the Old World helped suppress Spain's contribution to American history.

If you know of laws, et that discriminate against Hispanics, please provide the information here

Sent by Wanda Garcia




My Tio "Pete"  by Sergio Hernandez
Library of Congress Veterans Oral History Project
U.S. Postal Service for Purple Heart Stamp Ceremony, May 18th
Lawmakers want Medal of Honor for Mexican Native 
Lt General Elwood "Pete" Quesada, WW II pilot 
Lt General Leo Marquez, Deputy Chief of Staff, Air Force
Lt. Gen. David M. Rodriguez, Senior Commander in Afghanistan
Hispanics in the U.S. Military
Concepcion Sandoval , a WWII Rosie the Riveter
Secretary Shinseki Announces $215 Million in Projects for Rural Veterans

Army Air Corp, Staff Sgt.

My Tio Eliseo "Pete" Villalobos
 Sergio Hernandez 




This is a portrait I painted of my Tio when he flew aboard a B24 Liberator during WWII.  My Uncle "Pete" saw lots of combat with 13th Air Force, 307th Bomb Group fighting in the South Pacific. Eliseo Villalobos, was brought up in the Boyle Height and graduate of Roosevelt High in East Los Angeles in 


Library of Congress Veterans Oral History Project

Examples of the oral histories being collected.  

Aceves, Frank Ibanez -- Electrician's Mate Second Class, Navy Veteran
Vietnam War - United States Naval Training Center (USNTC), San Diego, Camp Pendleton, Coronado and Alameda, California; Midway Island; Vietnam
View Digital Collection
Acevedo, Joseph Walter -- Torpedoman's Mate Third Class, Navy Veteran
World War II - San Diego Naval Training Station, California; New Guinea; Australia
View Digital Collection
Acosta, Paul E. -- Sergeant, Marine Corps Veteran
Vietnam War - Camp Pendleton, California; Vietnam
View Digital Collection
Aguirre, Reyner Aceves -- Seaman Second Class, Navy Veteran
World War II - Pearl Harbor, Hawaii
View Digital Collection
Alcon, Raymond Joseph -- Lance Corporal, Marine Corps Veteran
Persian Gulf War - Camp Pendleton, California
View Digital Collection
Alegria, Roberto Antonio -- Sergeant, Marine Corps Veteran
Persian Gulf War - California; Texas; South Carolina; Okinawa, Japan; Philippines; Saudi Arabia; Kuwait City, Kuwait; Iraq
Alexander, Kenneth Raymond -- E-8, Army Veteran
Afghanistan and Iraq Wars - Kuwait; Iraq; Afghanistan
Alfaro, Trinidad -- Specialist Four, Army Veteran
Vietnam War - Southern Vietnam
Alier, Jr., Louie -- Master Sergeant, Air Force Veteran
Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War - Luke Air Force Base (AFB), Davis-Monthan AFB, and Williams AFB, Arizona; Thailand; Vietnam; Clark Air Force Base (AFB (Philippines); Panama; Guam (Mariana Islands); Guyana; California; Colorado; Japan; McChord AFB, Washington; Spain; Saudi Arabia
View Digital Collection
Almarez, George Joseph -- Petty Officer Third Class, Navy Veteran
Afghanistan and Iraq Wars - Persian Gulf; Iraq
Almedina, Elvia S. Ramirez -- Staff Sergeant, Air Force Veteran
Persian Gulf War - Lackland Air Force Base, Texas; Grissom Air Force, Indiana; Klein Brogel, Belgium
View Digital Collection
Alvarado, Benjamin -- Private, Army Veteran
World War II - Camp Fannin (basic training) and Camp Howze, Texas; England; France; Germany
View Digital Collection




U.S. Postal Service for Purple Heart Stamp Ceremony, May 18th


WASHINGTON, May 18 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ --
Today, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, L. Tammy Duckworth , spoke at a U.S. Postal Service ceremony announcing the reissue of the Purple Heart stamp. Hundreds of people attended the morning event at the Washington Convention Center.

"This stamp is a tribute to our nation's wounded Veterans and a reminder of our society's commitment to care for them when the war is over," Assistant Secretary L. Tammy Duckworth said. "Many people who are severely wounded have their initial fears of a life destroyed replaced by the understanding that they can do just about anything."

This is the fifth issue of the Purple Heart definitive postage stamp. The Purple Heart stamp was first issued on May 20, 2003, at Mount Vernon, Va. The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President of the United States to members of the U.S. Military who have been wounded in combat or to the next of kin of those killed in action.

Assistant Secretary L. Tammy Duckworth is a recipient of the Purple Heart for wounds she sustained while serving in Iraq with the United States Army. In 2004, her aircraft was ambushed and a rocket-propelled grenade struck the Black Hawk helicopter she was co-piloting during a mission north of Bagdad.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Sent by Rafael Ojeda


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



WW II pilot 
Lt General Elwood "Pete" Quesada



September 2008, I received from the FAA this web site honoring WW II pilot Lt General Elwood "Pete" Quesada during the occasion of naming the FAA Auditorium in his Honor.

Rafael Ojeda

Retired Aug. 1, 1987.  


Lieutenant General Leo Marquez is deputy chief of staff for logistics and engineering, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Washington, D.C.

General Marquez was born in 1932, in Peralta, N.M., and graduated from Belen (N.M.) High School in 1949. He received a bachelor of science degree in zoology from New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, in 1954, and a master of science degree in business administration from The George Washington University, Washington, D.C., in 1967. The general completed Air Command and Staff College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Ala., in 1967 and attended the advanced management program for executives, Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh, in 1976. In 1978 he was named a distinguished alumnus from New Mexico State University.

He was awarded a commission through the Air Force Reserve Officer's Training Corps program upon graduation from New Mexico State University and entered active duty as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force in November 1954.

After completing pilot training in January 1956 at Greenville Air Force Base, Miss., and the basic instructor course at Craig Air Force Base, Ala., he returned to Greenville as a flight instructor in T-33s. While there he also completed the instructor pilot instrument school at Moody Air Force Base, Ga. In September 1958 he began the interceptor pilot course at Moody Air Force Base, flying F-86D's. Upon graduation in May 1959, he was assigned to the 525th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron, Bitburg Air Base, Germany, where he flew F-102s until January 1962.

He returned to the United States to attend the aircraft maintenance officer course at Chanute Air Force Base, Ill. Following completion in mid-1962, he was assigned to the 325th Fighter-Interceptor Wing at McChord Air Force Base, Wash., as a maintenance officer. In 1964 he become commander of the 325th Organizational Maintenance Squadron at McChord.

General Marquez entered the Air Command and Staff College in August 1966. Following graduation as a distinguished graduate in August 1967, he was assigned to the 3rd Tactical Fighter Wing, Bien Hoa Air Base, Republic of Vietnam, as maintenance control officer.

In August 1968 General Marquez was selected for exchange duty with the Canadian Forces in Ottawa, Canada, and served as system manager for the CF-100, CF-101, CF-104, T-33 and BOMARC missile. In August 1970 he transferred to Headquarters Tactical Air Command, Langley Air Force Base, Va., as the F-111 logistics project officer in the Directorate of Maintenance Engineering, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Logistics. In 1972 he was reassigned within the directorate as chief, Fighter Reconnaissance Branch.

General Marquez was chief of the F-111 System Management Division in the Directorate of Materiel Management at the Sacramento Air Logistics Center, McClellan Air Force Base, Calif., from June 1973 to July 1975. He then was assigned as director of materiel management at Warner Robins Air Logistics Center, Robins Air Force Base, Ga., from July 1975 to August 1977.

The general transferred to Air Force headquarters in September 1977 as deputy director of maintenance engineering and supply, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Systems and Logistics. He was assigned as deputy director of logistics plans, programs and transportation, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Logistics and Engineering, in April 1978. The Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Systems and Logistics, became the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, Logistics and Engineering, in July 1978.

In June 1979 he become deputy chief of staff for plans and programs at Headquarters Air Force Logistics Command, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio. General Marquez served as commander of Ogden Air Logistics Center, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, from July 1981 to July 1983. He assumed his present duties in August 1983.

His military decorations and awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with oak leaf cluster, Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal and Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster. He was selected as Air Force Logistics Command Systems Manager of the year in 1974. In 1977 he was the recipient of the Air Force Association's Executive Management Award.

He was promoted to lieutenant general Aug. 1, 1983, with same date of rank.

(Current as of October 1983)

Sent by Rafael Ojeda




Lt. Gen. David M. Rodriguez, 
left, will be a Senior Commander Afghanistan



Lt. Gen. David M. Rodriguez, left, will be a senior commander in Afghanistan.

WASHINGTON -- Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is expected to bolster the U.S. military leadership in Afghanistan by appointing a three-star general to Kabul, according to senior defense officials. The move underscores growing concern in the military over the course of the conflict and marks the first time since the seven-year war began that the U.S. will have two senior commanders there.

The appointment of Lt. Gen. David M. Rodriguez, who holds the military's second-highest rank, hasn't been announced publicly, and his exact role in Kabul is still being discussed. He was chosen by Mr. Gates last year to be his personal military assistant after a widely praised tour as a division commander in eastern Afghanistan.

The decision by Mr. Gates to move Gen. Rodriguez back to Afghanistan is the latest in a series of moves by the Pentagon leadership to play a more hands-on role in the Afghanistan war, after a year of rising violence and increasingly vocal criticism of the campaign plan within the military and on Capitol Hill. An internal task-force agenda reviewed by The Wall Street Journal detailed the growing concern.

Last month, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, quietly assigned his top staff officer, Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal, to head the task force with the aim of improving the effectiveness of the Afghan strategy. Such strategic planning is usually left to commanders in the region.

The appointment of Gen. Rodriguez and the creation of the task force are both efforts "to ensure that the Pentagon is on a war footing," said a military official familiar with the recent moves.

For more from this article, go to

Sent by Rafael Ojeda




By John P. Schmal  



Hispanics in the Military (2001)  
At the end of September 2001 the Pew Hispanic Center reported that there were 109,487 Hispanics in the enlisted ranks, and they made up 9.49 percent of the active duty enlisted force. In contrast, Hispanics made up 13.35 percent of the civilian labor force 18 to 44 years old, the typical age range for enlisted service.  The Center’s statistics illustrated “significant variations in the extent of Hispanic representation among the armed services from a high of 13.99 percent in the Marine Corps to a low of 5.57 percent in the Air Force.”  

Hispanics in the Military (2007)  
More recent statistics from the Pew Hispanic Center have indicated an increase in the number of Hispanics on active duty in the military to 122,255 in 2007.  This Hispanic military population represented 11.06 percent of the total military of 1,105,470.  In the same year, the Heritage Foundation estimated that Hispanics and Latinos represented 12.93 percent of total recruits.  

In contrast to the military statistics, the entire population of Hispanics/Latinos, as estimated by the American Community Survey of 2005-2007, stood at 44,019,880, or 14.7 percent of the entire resident population. The 122,255 active-duty Hispanics in 2007 included 16,721 foreign-born soldiers.  

Hispanic Casualties (2001-2009)  
Hispanic Americans have also made up a portion of the casualties that American forces have experienced in Iraq and Afghanistan . Between October 7, 2001 to May 2, 2009, 53 military service members who classified themselves as Hispanics or Latinos died in the service of their country, representing 7.8 percent of military deaths. During the same period, 147 Hispanics have been wounded in action, representing 5.2 percent of all wounded service members.  

In a Congressional Research Service report dated March 25, 2009, Information Research Specialist Hannah Fischer reported that the total Hispanic/Latino military deaths in both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom up to February 28, 2009, was 450 individuals, representing 10.6 percent of all military deaths (4,245).  

Hispanic Military Officers

The Pew Hispanic Center report in 2003 lamented the small percentage of Hispanics among military officers and generals. For several years, Lieutenant-General Ricardo Sanchez, who commanded coalition troops for a year beginning June 2003, had been the highest ranking Hispanic in the military. He had been one of just eight Hispanics ever to rise to the rank of general in the Army by 2003. At the time of his retirement in 2006 – after 33 years in the military – only three Hispanic generals were left on active duty.  

Since General Sanchez retired, there has been a small amount of progress toward greater representation, but legislators have been taking steps to accelerate the process. According to the Defense Manpower Data Center, as of March 31, 2008, the 13 Hispanic flag and general officers in the armed forces at that time represented only 1.3 percent of the 963 flag and general officers.  In contrast, there were 54 African-American flag officers and general officers (including one four-star general) and 883 Caucasian flag and general officers.  

In response to this problem, the House Armed Services Committee (HASC) approved two amendments in the defense authorization bill to increase diversity representation within the senior officer corps of the U.S. Armed Forces, and expand Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) Units.  Once enacted, the newly established Senior Military Diversity Commission would be mandated to study policies that provide opportunities for the advancement of minority members of the Armed Forces.  Special emphasis was placed on developing and maintaining a diverse leadership at the general and flag officer positions.

Total serving in the United States Military: 1,412,529
Of that, total officers: 224,488

 38 generals/admirals
146 - lieutenant generals/vice admiral
284 - major general - rear admiral
455 - brigadier generals - rear admirals

Celebrating Commitment to Honor and Duty

In 2007, Bruce E. Phillips, in this article, “Top Hispanics in the U.S. Military: Celebrating Commitment to Honor, Duty and Country” (Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology, January 18, 2007), paid tribute to several of the highest rank Hispanic in the military, including:  

  • Major General Thomas A. Benes, Director, Strategy and Plans Division, U.S. Marine Corps
  • Major General William D. Catto, Commanding General, Marine Corps Systems Command
  • Brigadier General Jimmie C. Jackson Jr., Deputy Commander, Combined Air Operations Center , Allied Command Operations (NATO)
  • Brigadier General Robert Marrero-Corletto, Assistant Adjutant General (Army), Puerto Rico Army National Guard
  • Rear Admiral George E. Mayer, Commander, Naval Safety Center
  • Brigadier General Joseph V. Medina, Commanding General, Marine Corps Base Camp S.D. Butler , and Deputy Commander, Marine Corps Bases, Japan
  • Brigadier General Roque C. Nido-Lanausse, Deputy Adjutant General, Puerto Rico Army National Guard
  • Brigadier General Joseph Reynes Jr., Commander, 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, South Korea
  • Major General Charles G. Rodriguez, Adjutant General, Texas National Guard
  • Rear Admiral William D. Rodriguez, Chief Engineer, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command
  • Brigadier General Angela Salinas, Chief of Staff, Marine Corps Recruiting Command


Hispanic Representation Among Military Recruits

Each year, the Department of Defense is required by Congress to publish statistics on the social representation of the armed forces in terms of such characteristics as race, ethnicity, marital status, and age. One of the chief goals of the Congress is that the diversity in the armed forces should be proportional to the diversity in the general population. However, in a 2009 research publication, the Rand National Research Institute echoed the observations of earlier years by stating that “Hispanics are underrepresented among military recruits.” In 2007, Hispanics made up 17.0 percent of the U.S. population between the ages of 18 and 40, but only 11.4 percent of Army enlistment contracts and 15 percent of Navy enlistment contracts.”    

The Rand report indicated that “the under-representation of Hispanics is puzzling, considering that survey data on young people’s attitudes toward the military consistently indicate that Hispanic youth are more likely than other groups to express a positive attitude toward the military.” As an example of this attitude, it was pointed out that in a “December 2007 poll of American youth ages 18 to 24 conducted by the Department of Defense, 12.6 percent of Hispanic respondents stated they were probably or definitely going to join the military, compared with 10.1 percent of black respondents and 6.6 percent of white respondents” (Defense Human Resources Activity, 2008).  


Asch, Beth J.; Buck, Christopher; Klerman, Jacob Alex; Kleykamp, Meredith and Loughran, David S, “Military Enlistment of Hispanic Youth Obstacles and Opportunities,” (Rand National Research Institute, 2009)  

Department of Defense Personnel and Procurement Statistics, “Personnel & Procurement Reports and Data Files, Military Casualty Information.”  

Fischer, Hannah, United States Military Casualty Statistics: Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom,” Congressional Research Service, March 25, 2009.  

Pew Hispanic Center Fact Sheet, “Hispanics in the Military, March 27, 2003,” Online:  

Pew Hispanic Center , “Statistical Portrait of Hispanics in the United States , 2007.”  

Phillips, Bruce E., “Top Hispanics in the U.S. Military: Celebrating Commitment to Honor, Duty and Country,” Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology, January 18, 2007.  

U.S. Census Bureau, “2005-2007 American Community Survey 3-Year Estimates.”




Concepcion Sandoval, a WWII Rosie the Riveter  


Concepcion Sandoval, 92, of San Bernardino, passed away at home on May 14, 2009, surrounded by her loving family. She was a homemaker in her later years, but was proud of her work as a "Rosie the Riveter" during the WWII war effort. She was preceded in death by her husband, Bonifacio and her brothers, Fred and Jesus Gomez and Inez Gallardo. She is survived by her children, Robert Sandoval and Virginia Villanueva; granddaughters, Christina Vill anueva and Cathy Villanueva-Connor; two sisters, Ida Fajardo and Emelia Acosta; & four brothers, Armando Gomez, Frank Gomez, Augustine Gallardo and Jose Gallardo. A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Bernardine Catholic Church on Tuesday, May 19, 2009, at 9:30 A.M. Interment will follow at Mt. View Cemetery. Mt. View Mortuary (909) 882-2943  

Source: The Sun, San Bernardino newspaper
Sent by Ann Minter



Sec. Shinseki Announces $215 Million in Projects for Rural Veterans


WASHINGTON (May 21, 2009) - The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has provided $215 million in competitive funding to improve services specifically designed for Veterans in rural and highly rural areas.  "This funding signals a substantial expansion of services addressing the health care needs of our rural Veterans," Secretary of Veterans Affairs
Eric Shinseki said. "These funds will allow VA to establish new outpatient clinics, expand collaborations with federal and community partners, accelerate the use of telemedicine deployment, explore innovative uses of technology, and fund pilot programs." 

The new funding is part of an ambitious VA program to improve access and quality of health care -- both physical and mental -- for Veterans in geographically rural areas, with an emphasis on the use of the latest technologies, recruitment and retention of a well-educated and trained health care workforce, and collaborations with non-VA rural health community partners. 

To view and download VA news release, please visit the following
Internet address:

Sent by Rafael Ojeda


Spain & the American Revolution, An Illustrated Story by Eddie Martinez
The 288th Pensacola Anniversary Celebration, Fort George on Palafox St.
Plans for Celebrations of Spain's earliest colonies in Florida


Spain & The American Revolution

An Illustrated Story

 By Eddie Martinez


I first began developing my presentation on the accounts of Hispanics in the Military early in 2005 after being invited by Mimi Lozano to join the participant team of Somos Primos’ 2005 Hispanic Heritage Activities, sponsored by the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington D.C.  

Bernardo de Gálvez - This segment of the American Revolutionary War is based on the accounts of Spain and Gálvez in aiding George Washington in the American Revolution. Spain’s Support Vital to U.S. Independence 
By Dr. Thomas E. Chávez:

“One of the more important figures to assist the Colonies' struggle for independence was Bernardo de Gálvez. He helped the cause through diplomatic, financial and military exploits against Great Britain in the Mississippi River Valley, the Gulf Coast, including the Floridas, Louisiana and in the Gulf of  Mexico. From 1776, when he became governor of Louisiana, until 1783 when the American Revolution ended, Gálvez's patience, audacity, appreciation of frontier people, diplomatic knowledge and military skill greatly contributed to the eventual British defeat.”

“Gálvez succeeded in supplying the successful campaigns of George Rogers Clark, who fought the British foe in the trans-Allegheny regions.”

New Spain’s Viceroy José de Gálvez appointed his nephew, Bernardo de Gálvez to Governor of Spanish Louisiana. Gálvez’s first act of defiance against the British was to order vaqueros and presidio soldiers to drive large herds of Texas cattle, horses, and military supplies to New Orleans.

Lorenzo’s Secret Mission, based on a true story by Lila and Rick Guzmán:  

“Colonel De Gálvez drew me [Lorenzo, Tejano] and Calderón away from the others. ‘Lt. Calderón is the special envoy sent by King Carlos to make certain the  supplies reach the Americans. I have assigned him the additional duty of escorting you on a particular service. I wish you to deliver a letter.’

                        He handed me a sealed envelope. ‘Give this to His Excellency, General      George Washington, commander in chief of the Continental Army.’ “

                        “I climbed into the flatboat. Spanish soldiers loosened the ropes and gave   the flatboat a hard shove. I waved to Eugenie and she waved back. The day I’d             looked forward to for so long had finally arrived, but as I watched Eugenie grow             smaller and smaller, I realized New Orleans was a city I could learn to love.             Leaving her behind left me with a sense of loss.

                        The flatboats turned the first bend in the river and she disappeared from       view.”

After Spain officially declared war on England, General Gálvez’s Louisiana Regiment immediately engaged British forces along the Mississippi River, winning every battle he fought. As the war for independence continued, Bernardo de Gálvez military forces grew with militia patriots from Spain, Ireland, Mayorca, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Hispañola, Venezuela (as well as other South America troops), and Mexico. From Louisiana his recruits included Frenchmen, Acadians, Germans, Canary Islanders, Indians, and Blacks, both slave and free. One of his top generals was Major General Gerónimo Girón, a direct descendant of the Aztec Emperor Moctezuma II.


The Spanish Frontier in North America By Professor David J. Weber – “Pensacola Bay”:

“Gálvez’s own naval commander had refused to risk running his vessels aground on the sandbar at the bay’s entrance and exposing them to enemy fire from shore. Gálvez had disagreed and had ended the stalemate by flamboyantly leading two ships and two gunboats into the harbor through enemy fire and shaming his own naval officers into following him. For this feat, Carlos III honored Gálvez with the title, the conde de Gálvez. ‘To perpetuate in your posterity the memory of the heroic action in which you, alone, forced your entry      into [Pensacola] bay,’ Carlos III wrote to Gálvez, ‘you may put as a Seal in your             coat of Arms . . . the Motto: ‘I ALONE.’ (Yo Solo)

With East and West Florida restored to the empire and settlements firmly planted along the California coast from San Diego to San Francisco, the Spanish frontiers in North America had become transcontinental.”

Author and historian, Robert H. Thonhoff – “Honoring Gálvez”:  

“In 1789, Spain’s first ambassador to the United States of America, Diego de Gardoqui, stood at the side of George Washington during his inaugural parade in New York City, then our nations capital. Ambassador Gardoqui positioned the Spanish brigantine, the Galveztown, which served as Gálvez’s flagship during the Gulf Coast campaign, in New York Harbor, the only foreign warship thus honored.” President Ronald Reagan - Benardo de Gálvez”:

“Few Americans are aware that Bernardo de Galvez was the Spanish governor of the Louisiana territory that encompassed 13 of our present states. They are also unaware that long before any formal declaration of war, General Galvez sent gunpowder, rifles, bullets, blankets, medicine and other supplies to the armies of General George Washington and General George Rogers Clark.  Once Spain entered the war against Great Britain in 1779, this dashing young officer raised an army in New Orleans and drove the British out of the Gulf of Mexico. General Galvez captured five British forts in the Lower Mississippi           Valley. They repelled a British and Indian attack in St. Louis, Missouri and captured the British fort of St. Joseph in present-day Niles, Michigan. With reinforcements from Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, General Galvez captured Mobile and Pensacola, the capital of the British colony of West Florida. At Pensacola, Galvez commanded a multinational army of over 7,000 black and white soldiers.  These men were born in Spain, Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Hispanola, and other Spanish colonies such as Venezuela. The city was defended by a British and Indian army of 2,500 soldiers and British warship.

An American historian called the siege of Pensacola "a decisive factor in the outcome of the Revolution and one of the most brilliantly executed battles of  the war." Another historian stated that General Galvez' campaign broke the British will to fight. This battle ended in May 1781, just five months before the final battle of the war at Yorktown.

General Bernardo de Galvez and his contributions have been remembered even to this day with statues and even a city named in his honor, Galveston, Texas.

United States history textbooks seldom mention the important contributions by our "forgotten allies," Spain and Hispanic America, during the American Revolution. They also forget that they helped in the establishment and growth of the first democracy in the modern world. The neglect in reporting Hispanic contributions extends to all periods of American history. Textbooks also fail to mention the role of 10,000 Hispanic soldiers who fought on both sides of   the Civil War.”

Books on Spain, Bernardo de Gálvez & the American Revolution:  

Spain and the Independence of the United States, An Intrinsic Gift By Thomas E. Chávez, (University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, 2002)  

Lorenzo’s Secret Mission and Lorenzo’s Revolutionary Quest By Lila and Rick Guzmán, (Piñata Books - Arte Público Press, University of Houston, Texas, Copyright © 2001 & 2003)  

The Spanish Frontier in North America By David J. Weber, (Yale University Press, New Haven and London Copyright © 1992)  

The Vital Contribution of Texas in the Winning of the American Revolution and

The Vital Contributions of Spain In the Winning of the American Revolution

(Spanish) Vital Contribución De España En el Triunfo de la Revolución Americana

By Robert H. Thonhoff, (Copyright © 2000 by Robert H. Thonhoff, Karnes City, Texas) 
America USA - Bernardo de Galvez Hispanics in the American Revolution 1775-1783: 


Battle of Pensacola 
The 288th Anniversary Celebration, Fort George on Palafox St.


"Pensacola was first settled by the Spanish in 1539. Tristan de Luna had founded a colony in 1559 which lasted for two years. . . . 

At a time when Spain was outfitting one of their best for an invasion of Pensacola, the British counterpart was busy fussing over lack of funds and no quality workers for his Forts. He was also asking for a "transfer" out of the place. The Spaniard, Gov. Gen. Bernardo Galvez y Gallardo, conde de Galvez, had just completed a very successful campaign against the English in New Orleans, Natchez, and Baton Rouge. Indeed, this leader showed his brilliance from the outset of this campaign. As Galvez had his 14 ships ready to attack at Baton Rouge (1779), a great storm struck sinking most of his ships and destroying their provisions. Undaunted, he recovered cannon from the sunken ships, built a shore battery, and attacked the fort. He succeeded where lesser leaders would have confessed failure." 
by Frank Howard © October 22, 1995


Photos by

Sent by Paul "Skip" Newfield III




Plans for Celebrations of Spain's earliest colonies in Florida

2011: Replica of Galvez's ship the "Galveztown" will be in Florida
2013: 500th Anniversary of Ponce de Leon 
2015: 450th Anniversary of St Augustine and its founder Aviles will be in 2015.

Sent by Rafael OJeda



Wednesday, May 26, 1993 *EXCELSIOR *  
Volviendo a Nuestras Raices



Both Hemandez and Femandez is a variant of Fernando which means "daring in peace." In the United States, Hemandez is the 5th most popular name and Femandez is the 11th most popular name. Many, many Hemandez and Fernandez were in Nueva Espana in the early 1500-1600'g serving in numerous capacities.

Concha Poblano DE MARA traces a direct maternal line back to MANUEL HERNANDEZ, born 1741 in Santa Maria de Abajo, Jalisco, Mexico. Manuel married Josefa Cervantes. They raised their family on the Hernandez ancestral land grant. The next five direct-line generations were all born in Santa Maria de Abajo, Jalisco, living on the hacienda as farmers and ranchers.

Son, Jose Maria Hemandez, born 1767, married Petra Gutierrez. Grandson, Antonio Hemandez, born 1787, married Guadalupe Diaz.

Great grandson, Rito Hernandez, born 1815, married Ines Jaime.  Great-great grandson, Jose Hernndez, born 1840, married Ignacia Ortiz.

Jose Hemandez and Ignacia Ortiz had 8 children, all born in Jalisco. In the late 1800's, when the children had all grown, the entire extended family decided to migrate together to Southern California. Much free publicity was given in travel books to the growing towns of Anaheim, Sani Ana and Orange. Santa Fe and Southern Pacific railroads were competing, fares greatly reduced. Land auctions, subdivisions, promotions all added to tremendous growth in Orange County. The city of Orange was praised as "especially adapted to orchards." The Hernandez clan came and purchased homes on the north side of the city of Orange on Cypress Street. Most were able to f work in the growing orchards and agricultural industry.

One of the Hernandez' 8 children was Micaela Hernandez She and her husband, Teodocio Poblano had come directly to Orange County with the extended Hernandez family. In 1917, their son, Marcos Poblano, married Tomasa Gonzales. The young couple moved to Arizona for work in the copper mines and there raised a family of 6 children.

Concha Poblano, granddaughter of Micaela Hernandez, was the fourth child born to Marcos Poblano and Tomasa in Arizona. Eventually the family moved back to Orange County where Concha met and married native Californian Steve DeMara on August 3, 1940. Steve's roots in Southern California go back 200 years to an early Spanish soldier coming from Sonora, Mexico.

Concha and Steve purchased their home in the city of Orange. After World War II, Steve worked I for the Post Office in Orange, retiring in 1981. They raised two daughters who graduated from Orange High School, now married and living in Corona.  

Other surnames on this line: Pablano, Villalobo, Gonzales, Morales, Coto, Gomez, Rendon.Compiled by Mimi Lozano, member of the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research.


Mother, Are You Still Watching Us? by Esther Bonilla Read
Mary Helen Berlanga by Esther Bonilla Read
The Bean Contest en la Escuela Zavala

Mother, Are You Still Watching Us? 
by Esther Bonilla Read


A friend and I were discussing how some habits are so very hard to break. Even good ones. Her mother had taught her to fold clothes a certain way and even though she is middle-aged, she still folds them the way her mother taught her because she wants to please her mother who has long been deceased.

Her story amazed me. And I told her that I, too, had this funny feeling every time I wiped anything (other than a clean dish) with a clean cup towel. I always seem to wait to hear my deceased mother's voice, "Don't you clean that with my white cup towel! I am watching you." We both laughed.

After our mother died I didn't want to change some things. That way I suppose I felt that I could hold on to her just a little bit longer. Finally, I had to take some action. I asked my sister, "Can you go with me to the bank to close mother's safety deposit box?"

"I'll meet you there." We set a time and a date.

I decided on a box type briefcase not because of a vast amount of valuables, but because my mother kept things in little boxes as some elderly women are wont to do.

Square little boxes. Rectangular boxes. Odd shaped, small receptacles. Etc. That way I could just pack everything and close that chapter of our lives.

* * * *

On the appointed day I take the day off from the school where I work and arrive at the bank, briefcase and all and wait by the large glass backdoor. The security man looks me over. No big deal. I wait some more shifting from foot to foot. Other folks in the bank look my way. I look at my watch and then I look out the large, clean glass windows. The security man looks me over, again. No big deal.

I think about my sister. I begin pacing. Back and forth by the back door. Big mistake. A second security guard comes up. He looks me over. Two security guards are now stationed near me. (Oh, great they think I am going to rob the bank-pull a heist. That's why I'm carrying the big briefcase.) I stop pacing. Big mistake. I look at my watch again. Wrong action. Now they think I am going to make my move. (Where, they wonder is my "piece"?)

I am having thoughts of my younger sister. Not good thoughts. Then I remember we are there to bring closure to this part of our mother's life. My mind is muddled, what with the two security guards surrounding me. I look out the glass doors toward the parking lot. My face feels flushed. An armored truck arrives. More men with guns step out of the truck. I look for my sister. Now everyone looks at me and my briefcase. I feel as though they are going to surround me with their guns, slam my body up against the wall and say, "Hands up and against the wall!" like they do in TOP COPS.

Finally, my sister arrives. "Gee, I'm sorry I'm late. A client walked in just as I was walking out. You look sick. I know this is a sad moment, but you really look bad. You okay?"

"I'm all right." I mumble other things to her, but she doesn't hear me. It's just as well. Limply I hold on to my enormous briefcase, and we walk into the main bank and leave all of the armed security people behind us.

I think, "Mother, are you still watching us?"

San Antonio Express, November 7, 1999 

Copyright © 2000 Esther Bonilla Read All rights reserved.




Mary Helen Berlanga
Esther Bonilla Read



It was cold that November Saturday morning in 1947 when Daddy woke me up from a deep sleep and a warm bed in which I lay covered in blankets and quilts.   In Central Texas , the temperature moved south in the winter months unlike other parts of the state where the weather fluctuated like a person’s moods.

            “I have a surprise for you,” he promised.

            I swung my legs to the floor and rubbed my eyes for it was still black outside.  Daddy smiled and led me to the dining room where he had a fire burning in a heater.  Not far from the heater sat a woman- I later learned was called a midwife- and in her lap was a crying baby girl.  I rubbed my eyes again.  Was I seeing right? 

            “You have a new baby sister,” Daddy said.

            A little sister who could play dolls with me.  My heart jumped with joy. And I smiled at the thought.  ‘A little sister,’ I whispered in awe.

            Mother named her Maria Elena but we renamed her Mary Helen as was the habit in Central Texas .  Spanish names were always changed to English names. 

            She grew into a darling little girl with green eyes, long pigtails with blond wisps at the end of each braid, and a friendly smile.  A beautiful child, the last of eight children born to Mexican immigrants Maria and Ruben Bonilla who were already in their forties, yet were thrilled to have another child.

            I didn’t really get to play dolls with her very much because by the time she was old enough to play dolls I was in high school and left for college by the time she was six.  Instead, I made her some of the clothes she proudly wore.

            As a child and youngster Mary Helen witnessed first hand the efforts of her older brothers William, Tony, and Ruben as they fought for the rights of minorities.  She thought, perhaps, one day her time would come to contribute to the cause of the under-represented, and the opportunity presented itself.

            Mary Helen became an attorney, married David Berlanga and had four children, Christina, Monica, David, and Cathy.  Then she found her calling.  While still in her thirties she was elected to the State Board of Education of Texas.  She became aware of the history books and how they downplayed the contributions of Hispanics/Latinos.  Although Spain established permanent settlements in this country before any other European country, the Hispanics were a postscript, almost an afterthought in the history books. 

            Mary Helen saw it as her moral duty to “fix this”, to give the proper credit to the appropriate folks, in this case, the Hispanics.  And the books didn’t tell students that there were Tejanos (citizens in Texas of Mexican descent) who died in the Alamo along with Travis, Crockett and Bowie.  That misled the Mexican American citizens, too.  So she set out to convince book publishers to get the truth out, not to rewrite history but to write accurate history.

            Mary Helen lost her beloved husband David Berlanga in 2009; he had backed her in all her efforts.  He is helping her in spirit and in her memory as she continues battling to right the wrongs in the history books, to make the books inclusive, not exclusive of the roles Hispanics/Latinos played and continue playing in the history of this country.


Esther Bonilla Read   



by Frank Sifuentes



By the time Carmen and I were in the 6th Grade, Miss Durham was our homeroom teacher.
She dedicated herself to teaching us penmanship; and left little doubt she was among the very best in the entire l9th Century.

Seeing her handwriting on a black board using white chalk was like witnessing perfection. 
Miss Durham just started writing without ever losing a steady motion: and with extra pretty capital letters!

The entire class had to become sufficiently Anglicized, for surely we were considered the most likely to succeed in the Anglo society: because having the ability to speak, read and write in English was -indeed! -  our passport to Americana USA.

Yep! We no longer were those 'mesinkin' children. We had been morphed into American Citizens with universal rights as full-fledged participants in the American Dream.

How we were viewed by classmates who did not finish Zavala is another matter. They saw us as induced, inducted and sworn into becoming like 'bolios, posteros, gabachos,
gringos for all we knew. With a whole bunch of songs under our belt from Americana.

Little did anyone know we still had a long way to go.

First and most 'torturous' for me: We HAD to get a passing Grade in Miss Durham's Penmanship Class before Graduating to Allan Jr. High where we got the privilege of getting education in a more universal setting.

The following story is fictionalized, yet it is based on what
really happened when my sister Carmen and I were in the 6th grade.

circa 1944-45 Austin, Texas USA

Carmen and I always got to sit next to each other. And it made me feel secure because she was known as the smartest student that had ever been to Zavala. 

I had it made. The reason we sat next to each other is because they thought we were twins being we were in the same Grade.

By the time we were in the 6th grade destined to graduate from Zavala Elementary School, the major consideration was whether we were prepared for Allan Jr. High, Austin's only middle school. 

The Zavala School Administration and teachers remained uncertain about us: because though we were well versed in English, they were worried because we almost always spoke Spanish in the hallways, bathrooms, and most of all outside in the play grounds during recess and lunch break.

This created the impression we had not learned much English. And since they dearly loved being educators concerned for our future, they feared it would not be long before we dropped out.

Therefore they put their creativity into the ultimate test by devising a Bean Contest.

They gave each of us a little sack with an exact number of beans inside a bag of Bull Durham tobacco, donated by chain smokers no doubt.

The idea was that each time we heard someone speak Spanish anywhere in the boundaries of the school we would be able to demand they gave us a bean.

They made a chart with all our names on it. And it had lines for each week for those who got gold stars for having more beans than the week before. 

Mike Arredondo remembered demanded a bean from Jesse Solis and he laughed in his face and called him a bolio. And made him so mad he had to clobber him.

When Jesse walked away he said "Le'boy a dicer a mi hermano que me pegaste'.  Mike had already decided he was going to be a U.S. Marine.

And when the teachers and administrators saw we were being motivated to hear Spanish and that there were all kinds of disputes occurring, they cancelled the contest and confiscated the beans.

Someone planted the beans in the back of the school, motivated I guess by the story of Jack and the Bean Stalk.

And when the plants started to grow they sent the janitor to dig them out with a hoe: Dashing dreams of Jack & The Bean Stalk at Zavala Elementary School.


June 6: Researching in the Mexican states of Jalisco, Zacatecas and Aguascalientes
June 6: 14th Annual Rancho Days Fiesta 
June 6: The World War II art of Henry Godines


Researching in the Mexican states 
Jalisco, Zacatecas and Aguascalientes

Saturday, June 6th
9:30-11:30 am


Orange Family History Center
674 S. Yorba, Orange, CA
Free, everyone welcomed

John P. Schmal will conduct a seminar that will educate researchers on the availability of records in the Mexican states of Jalisco, Zacatecas and Aguascalientes and discuss the contents of such records. Research techniques for tracing families back several generations will be discussed. The discussion will include the valuable resources of the International Genealogical Index and the Record Search Pilot database, both of which can be searched from the comfort of your home.

The Mexican states of Jalisco, Zacatecas and Aguascalientes contain a wealth of information for family history researchers.  Together, the three states take up 157,531 square kilometers (60,823 square miles) and are divided into 192 municipios.

The Family History Library has microfilmed church, civil, census, diocese and notarial records for approximately 260 separate locations in all three states. The result is that 26,135 rolls of microfilm from these states ranging from 1590 to the present day are available to American researchers through the resources of this library.

John Schmal is an historian, genealogist, and lecturer. He has degrees in History (Loyola-Marymount University) and Geography (St. Cloud State University) and is a board member of the Society of Hispanic Historical Ancestral Research (SHHAR).

Mr.Schmal has authored the following books:
Mexican-American Genealogical Research: Following the Paper Trail to Mexico (2002)
The Indigenous Roots of a Mexican-American Family (2004)
A Mexican-American Family of California: In the Service of Three Flags (2004)
The Dominguez Family: A Mexican-American Journey (Nov 2004)
Naturalizations of Mexican-Americans : Extracts  (2006)
A website of Schmal's ESSAYS AND RESEARCH ON INDIGENOUS MEXICO can be found at:

For more information about the June 6th meeting, please contact:
Mimi Lozano

The Indigenous Roots of a Mexican-American Family (2004)


Mexican Americans Finding Their Roots: Utilizing Local Resources

by John P. Schmal


Several million Americans have ancestors from the states of Jalisco, Zacatecas and Aguascalientes . This is not surprising when we consider that large numbers of Mexican immigrants from these states were moving to the United States during the first three decades of the Twentieth Century. Oral interviews and statistical data had indicated that these three states were among the five central Mexican states that fed large numbers of railroad workers to help build, maintain and expand the railroad industry in the United States . And, more often than not, the railroad workers would bring their families to join them after spending some time in the U.S.  

Immigrants arriving in the U.S. during the 1950s and 1960s also came from Zacatecas and Jalisco.  And, in recent decades, immigrants from these states continued to arrive in the U.S.   For many sons of Zacatecas, Jalisco and Aguascalientes , there is a sense of pride in having ancestors from these lands. Jalisco, in particular, has been an important cultural center for several centuries and is easily one of the most famous Mexican states.  

But Jalisco , Aguascalientes and Zacatecas are a good distance from most parts of the United States .  The City of Zacatecas is about 1,229 miles (1,978 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles , California , and the cities of Aguascalientes and Guadalajara are even farther away.  As a result, anyone who would like to research their family history might expect to spend many weeks and dollars in the pursuit of his or her roots, traveling to various towns to visit local churches or municipios.  

A Local Resource  
What many people do not know is that there is a local resource that is available to Americans in any part of the country.  The Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City Utah ) holds copies of many of the church and civil records for all three states. And, in addition to holding these records, the Library has developed important databases that assist genealogists in tracing their Mexican roots.  

Many years ago, Mormon missionaries visited many of the churches and municipio registries and asked for permission to make copies of their records.  The churches and municipios allowed their records to be copied and made available to a wide audience through the library. And these records are available to people of any religion at any Family History Center in the country (or the world)  

Family History Centers  
Family History Centers (FHCs) are branches of the Family History Library. There are over 4,500 centers in 88 countries and approximately 1,800 in the United States . Each FHC is a free resource available to any patron who has an interest in pursuing his or her roots. From these centers, patrons can order a roll of microfilm for $6.05. This roll of film will arrive at the library and be available for analysis and copying for one month.  A patron also has the option of requesting the film to be made part of the center’s permanent collection for an additional fee.  


The FHC owns 4,149 rolls of microfilm for the State of Zacatecas . Zacatecas is the eighth largest state of Mexico and is divided into 57 municipios.  The Library actually has the civil registration for nearly all of Zacatecas’ municipios. Furthermore, the FHL has parish registries for 84 of Zacatecas’ parishes.  

In all, eleven towns in the State of Zacatecas have church records going back to the 1600s, while another sixteen churches have records reaching back into the 1700s. For the most part, the baptism and marriage records of the Zacatecas churches in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century are remarkably detailed. With some exceptions, starting around 1800, the baptism records listed the child’s parents, as well as their abuelos paternos and abuelos maternos. Civil registration officially began in 1859, and beginning around 1885, most Zacatecas municipio records are very detailed.   

I have been researching the records of Aguascalientes for almost two decades. I have found that the records of La Ciudad, as well as those of outlying areas like Calvillo, can be filled with an extraordinary amount of detail.  The church records in La Ciudad de Aguascalientes begin in 1616 and continue up to the present. In all, the Library owns 631 rolls of microfilm for the two Catholic churches in the capital city.  In addition, the Library also owns another 460 rolls for the civil records spanning from 1859 to 1961.  

The one major drawback to research in La Ciudad is that it has been a large population center since the 1700s. As a result, there are a lot of baptisms and marriages to look at.  The good news, however, is that many records from Aguascalientes are contained in the Library’s online databases which serve as excellent aides in genealogical research (the International Genealogical Index).  In all, the FHL owns 2,219 rolls of microfilm for Aguascalientes .  

Jalisco is slightly larger than Zacatecas but, through time, has been inhabited by many more people (because of a more favorable climate). For the state of Jalisco alone, the Family History Library owns 19,597 rolls of microfilm, covering roughly 200 cities, municipios and villas. The Family History Library has the civil registration for most of the 124 municipios in Jalisco.  

The Library also owns copies of the parish records for 180 parishes located in every part of the State. Of the Jalisco churches, 46 have registers going back to the 1600s and another 37 have records stretching back to the 1700s. Like Zacatecas, Jalisco’s church records become very detailed around 1800.  And, some parishes started using indexes around 1850, a practice that enhances the researcher’s abilities.  

Guadalajara , the second largest city in Mexico and – some say – the cultural center of Mexico , was originally founded in 1542 and became a point of attraction for migrants in the early 1600s as the city became the economic powerhouse of colonial Mexico . Although some records for Guadalajara are available from the earliest days of its founding, the first church records commence in 1599.  Today, the FHL owns an impressive 3,400 rolls of microfilm from 14 Guadalajara churches and the municipio’s registry archives.  

The Family History Library Catalog  
Anyone who is interested in checking for the availability of records from any given location in Jalisco, Zacatecas and Aguascalientes can begin their search from this website:  

As an example, to search for the records available for Nochistlan, Zacatecas, one would enter “Nochistlan” in the “place” field and “Zacatecas” in the “part of” field.  You will then receive two options:  

México, Zacatecas, Nochistlán  
México, Zacatecas, Nochistlán de Mejia  

Sometimes the name of the municipio and the city will be different. Once you have resolved those issues, you can complete your search, looking for church, civil or census records. To see what years the individual microfilms contain, you will need to press “View Film Notes.”

The International Genealogical Index  
Some of the records contained on the FHL’s microfilms have been summarized in short extracts that are contained in several databases. You can enter your own searches at this link:  

For Jalisco researchers, the best bet many be to go to the “International Genealogical Index” link (the fourth option), where you can search on individual states.  It takes time to become skilled in the use of this database, but over time, it can be a valuable resource for any researcher.




14th Annual Rancho Days Fiesta on June 6, 2009

Heritage Hill Historical Park
25151 Serrano Road
Lake Forest, CA  92630
(corner of Lake Forest and Serrano Road)
11AM to 3PM


Rancho Days Fiesta offers fun for the entire family to celebrate the colorful history of Saddleback Valley.  Meet Early Californian "Maria Grijalva Yorba and listen to songs of Old California and Early Mexico (I'll be performing on the keyboard and doing storytelling in the Serrano Adobe on June 6, 2009 from 11am to 3pm.)
Tour the parks historical buildings.  Watch weavers and blacksmiths at work. There will be dancing, music, dancing horses and lots more.
Event fee:  $4 per adult, $3 children under 12.
Take care....Frances Rios 

Santa Ana Artwalk  
The World War II art of Henry Godines
June 6, 2009  
Exhibit will run through July 1, 2009  


Santora Building, Studio del Sotano, Unit B-11  
(basement galleries and studios)  
2nd St. and Broadway Santa Ana, Ca.

first Saturday of every month of the year  

7pm till 10pm - Free to the public

Parking, 3rd Street and Broadway parking structure for $2.00  
For more information call Jennifer Hieger @ (949) 394-5699



Marian Wagstaff, Educator
Anything But Mexican Revised by Rodolfo F. Acuña

Marian Wagstaff, Educator
Integrated Compton school's faculty in 1940s
By Elaine Woo, May 24, 2009


Marian Wagstaff, a far-sighted educator who turned a Compton school into a model of racial harmony and integrated its faculty years before the court rulings and civil rights protests of the 1950s and '60s, died April 26 at a nursing home in Santa Cruz. She was 97.

Her death was due to old age, said a friend, Wini Jackson.

Wagstaff, who was white, became principal of Willowbrook Junior High School in 1945, as World War II ended and the demographics of Compton began to change. She integrated the faculty, hiring the school's first black teacher in 1949, and created a camp in the San Bernardino Mountains to promote interracial cooperation that eventually drew students from schools across Los Angeles County.

She left Willowbrook in 1952 to teach at Cal State L.A., where she trained new teachers for two decades and perpetuated the philosophy of all races and ethnicities working together that she called "the Willowbrook Way."

"At Willowbrook she created a cocoon that was a beacon to the future," said Adrian Dove, past president of the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations, who graduated from Willowbrook in 1950. "We didn't know that everybody didn't just get along."

Dove helped organize a tribute dinner at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in 1999 that was attended by several hundred graduates of Centennial High School, where Willowbrook students matriculated.

Although Wagstaff never worked at Centennial, she influenced generations of its students, including Dove, through the Willowbrook teachers who later joined the Centennial faculty.

One of those teachers was John Redfud, who had taught in Louisiana before moving to Los Angeles to earn his master's degree at USC in the 1940s.

Despite his qualifications, he could not find a teaching job in Los Angeles until Wagstaff hired him at Willowbrook in the early 1950s. A charismatic teacher who was known for his high expectations and inspirational tactics, Redfud went on to help open Centennial High.

Another of Wagstaff's hires, Aaron Wade, went from Willowbrook and Centennial to become superintendent of the Compton school district.

"I didn't hire black teachers. I hired the best teachers," Wagstaff said in The Times in 1999. "I would only hire those teachers who loved children and who were great teachers. That was all that mattered to me."

Wagstaff was born April 23, 1912, in San Francisco. Her father, Harry Alexander Cavassa, was an Italian immigrant who ran a successful pharmacy and was known for his progressive views.

After graduating from San Francisco State, she taught in a one-room schoolhouse in South San Francisco for 10 years, until she moved to Southern California in 1943 to become Willowbrook's assistant principal. By then she had earned a master's degree at Stanford University. She earned a doctorate at Stanford in 1958.

She married Wendell Wagstaff, a civil engineer, in 1940. He died in 1998. They had no children.

During her seven-year tenure as Willowbrook principal, Wagstaff hired four black teachers. Dove recalled that some white teachers and students left the school in protest, but that most stayed.

Wagstaff created an array of clubs and other activities to strengthen relations within the diversifying student body.

She had Japanese American students recently released from World War II relocation camps going to dances with the sons and daughters of Dust Bowl refugees, Mexican migrants and black war veterans.

Her embrace of multiculturalism preceded Brown vs. Board of Education, the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision outlawing school segregation, and the civil rights protests of Rosa Parks and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

"She was blatantly going against the grain," Dove said, recalling that Wagstaff began integrating Willowbrook's faculty soon after an incident at Fremont High School in South-Central Los Angeles, where two black students were hung in effigy in 1948.

In 1951 and again in 1952, Willowbrook was one of 40 schools nationwide to be honored by the Freedoms Foundation in Valley Forge, Pa., for teaching what the foundation called the American way of life.

To Wagstaff, that meant looking beyond skin color to bring Americans together.

On the way to Valley Forge in 1952, she stopped for lunch at a restaurant in Washington, D.C., with two of her student body presidents -- Joyce Ewing, who was black, and Eddie Martinez, a Latino -- and their local hostess, a distinguished African American woman. They were refused service by the white-run establishment.

The African American woman looked pained, Martinez recalled. But Wagstaff "just smiled, reached over and grabbed her friend and said, 'Come, dear, we'll find another restaurant.' She was way above it," said Martinez, an artist who has created works for Disney theme parks.

"She represented a better way . . . to not look at people superficially but as human beings," Martinez said in an interview Friday. "That's what I learned from her."

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. June 27 at a site to be determined on the Cal State L.A. campus. For more information, contact Warner Davis at (760) 721-5297 or Vic Pierce at,0,2140994.story


Anything But Mexican Revised

Our elected officials became elected officials because there were poor Mexicans 
and then Latinos to justify them

By Rodolfo F. Acuña
Published on LatinoLA: April 4, 2009


The 32nd Congressional District race is hard to watch. I have been active in politics for nearly fifty years. Unless you have lived through this period, it is impossible to appreciate how painful the struggle for political representation has been. Edward R. Roybal was not elected to the Los Angeles City Council until 1949 where he served until 1962 when he was elected to Congress. It was not until 1985 that Mexican Americans again won representation in the city council.

All through this period, liberal Democratic Party leaders gerrymandered Mexican Americans - splitting up communities in the eastside. The left-leaning California Democratic Council during the sixties justified keeping Mexicans without representation - excusing that it kept progressives such as Rep. George Brown, Jr. in office. Brown was not a Mexican, they said, but he was against the Vietnam War. It was an "Anything But Mexican" mindset that a few Mexican Americans bought into.

Slowly this was turned around by the grace of the Voter Right Act and the Mexican American Legal Defense & Education Fund. It was one office at a time. The reasons were obvious; the basis of equality was political representation. No one can deny that there was a qualitative difference with Richard Alatorre's election to the city council in 1985. Almost overnight the number of city workers triples --- which was important in maintaining stable families by providing livable wages and healthcare.

Our justification for working for Mexican American candidates was that through life experiences they knew the needs of the unrepresented Mexican American communities, and that role models were needed for Latino youth - confronted with the problems usual to the poor. It was an argument that many of us used to support Barrack Obama over formidable candidates such as Hillary Clinton.

These early victories paved the way for politicos such as the late California Assemblyman Marco Firebaugh who in his short years became a giant in promoting Latino interests in higher education. Marco always listened and understood the necessity for all Mexican origin people having a higher education. It was not their battle it was his.

In recent years, the community has returned or reverted to the 1960 mindset, forgetting the sacrifices of the past when George Brown represented an eastside district, and the disenfranchisement of the Latino mass was justified because he was against the war --- like there were no Mexicans against the war.

In this decade Latino elected officials conflicted with MALDEF that wanted one of more additional Latino congressional seats. The reason for the bargain was that it would protect the Democratic Party majority. I could understand this if the Latino community lacked effective and progressive leadership that was insensitive to other communities.

But I ask myself, wasn't this why we as a community pushed to have Mexican American city council persons, county supervisors, and mayors? Is the present representation enough? Is it more deserving and entitled to speak for all Latinos?

Let's get real. "In a 2005 editorial that appeared in the Los Angeles Times, UC Chancellor Robert J. Birgeneau described an atmosphere of "alienation, mistrust, and division" that permeates UC campuses as a result of dwindling numbers of underrepresented minority students."

Who has been hurt by Proposition 209 (1996)? Not whites and not Asians. This is something that Marco Firebaugh understood.

Watching the 32nd Congressional District race is painful because I know the Mexican American candidate. In my opinion one of the priority issues of the next decade will be immigration. Today there are thousands of undocumented students who have been here since they were toddlers. The few that make it through college do it the old fashion way - they earn it. But once they graduate, they cannot find employment because they lack a green card.

I know Gil Cedillo. You would be hard put to name a Latino politico who has worked harder for those without papers. I know that he will not bargain away the interests of these students because he has taken on Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and defended the rights of immigrant and working families.

In the next decade, the community will need a congressional representative who prioritizes the interests of people who cannot vote. In the early 1960s Dr. Ernesto Galarza told me that it was not that labor leaders and politicos did not care about farm workers; the problem was that farm workers ranked low on their priority list. So their interests were never addressed because they were bargained away before they could get to them.

I already mentioned the college level where most blacks and Latinos attend community college; at the state college level they are about 20 percent; more than 50 percent lower at the community colleges. The funding reflects this caste; the UC's getting twice as much per student as the state university that in turn get twice as much as the community colleges.

In the forty-five years I have been in high education there have been few legislators of any color who understood this. Even when there were only fifty students of Mexican decent at San Fernando Valley State College (1960) politicos excused the gap. Gil Cedillo ranks just below Marco Firebaugh in his commitment and his accessibility.

Just like the number of Mexican American elected officials, the gains we have made in higher education came piece by piece - one trench at a time.

This is not taking anything away from the Asian or Chinese communities. They have made tremendous strides; they today rank higher in numbers than the white student population at the UC's. But having been born and raised in Los Angeles I know that the great majority of residents of the 32nd are working class Latinos.

I am no politico. Just a poor professor earning about half the salary of my elected brethren. But I have been fortunate to have lived through the struggles of yesterday. I know that our elected officials became elected officials because there were poor Mexicans and then Latinos to justify them; just like I have written twenty-one books because there are brown skinned people in need. If the poor weren't there I would be just another hack reading my notes to spoiled kids - drinking my Merlot.

Read Acuña at

Sent by Dr. Carlos Muñoz, Jr.


El Soldado: A meaningful memorial for our fallen heroes of war
General Mariano G. Vallejo
USS Mariano G. Vallejo
Native Soil: Across the Centuries in California by Jennifer Vo and John P. Schmal
Charles (Charlie) Samarron

Roberto Martinez; Latino activist had 'keen sense of justice' 

El Soldado: A meaningful memorial for our fallen heroes of war
The Memorial Mexican American Veterans Memorial Committee 


The Latino Journal E-News, Public Policy and Government from a Latino Perspective, Editor: Adrian Perez, Publisher of Latino Journal  
Issue No. 40, May 18, 2009 

From the American Revolution through the recent war in Iraq and Afganistan, Latinos/Hispanics/Mexican Americans/Puerto Ricans have been involved in each major American conflict. Yet, few efforts have been made to acknowledge the contributions made by these brave soldiers. Of the 40,000 books written about the Civil War, only one covered the contributions made by the 10,000 Latino soldiers who served on the Blue and Gray sides. In fact, even the Public Broadcast System's (PBS) special on World War II shown last year completely ignored the contributions made by Latino soldiers who fought the Germans and Japanese. Now, in California, there is an effort to acknowledge those brave soldiers through a new memorial to compliment the lone soldier known only as "El Soldado."

El Soldado was erected in 1952 by a group of Mexican American women who had lost their sons in World War II. They commissioned the sculpture and erection of a small statue of a 1940s-era infantryman, standing on a pedestal across from the Capitol near the fountain between the Library and Courts building and the Legislative office building. The plaque at the foot of the pedestal reads: "In memory of the American Servicemen of Hispanic descent and all others who sacrificed their lives to protect the freedoms we enjoy."

In 1975, state officials moved the memorial to its current location northeast of the fountain, facing the west steps of the state's capitol building. In 1985, legislation sponsored by former state Assembly Member Richard Polanco ceded the state grounds to the memorial and authorized its expansion. Although funding for the new memorial has been raised, little has been done until now.

"Last year, through new legislation, a committee was created to enhance the memorial," says Rosario Marin, former Secretary of the Treasury and now Chairperson of the California Mexican American Veteran's Memorial Committee. "Through this memorial we will honor, in a dignified way, the contributions made by Mexican American veterans to this country."

The California Mexican American Veterans Memorial Committee was established in 2008 with committee members appointed by the Governor and legislative leaders. Its intent is to raise $1.3 million over the next year to design and build a new memorial that will include the names of over 3,000 Latino soldiers from California who have died in the armed forces since World War I. Former Secretary of the Treasury Marin is one of several prominent Latinos on the Committee.

"We have a website where people can make contributions toward the memorial, and they can make a donation," says Marin. "These are the people who given with their lives the opportunities many of us enjoy, so I'm deeply honored to be Chair of this Committee because if it wasn't for our veterans, someone like me couldn't have had the honor of becoming Secretary of the Treasury."

The Latino Journal is proud to work with the California Mexican American Memorial Committee in supporting their efforts to build the new memorial. In addition to promoting their efforts, the Latino Journal is also producing a 20-minute video to help the Committee in its endeavors of raising funds for the Memorial. We encourage all of our readers to take time and make a tax-deductible contribution to this worthy effort.

For more information, visit the Mexican American Veterans Memorial Committee. 

Sent by Rafael Ojeda  
Tacoma, Washington


General Mariano G. Vallejo (1808-1890)
By Zoeth Skinner Eldredge (1846-1915)


Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, born in Monterey July 7, 1808; died in Sonoma January 18, 1890; married in San Diego March 6, 1832, Francisca Benicia Carrillo, one of the most beautiful of the handsome daughters of Don Joaquin Carrillo and Maria Ignacía Lopez his wife. 

Vallejo entered the military service as cadet of the Monterey company January 8, 1824. He was made Alférez (ensign) July 30, 1827; lieutenant June 22, 1835; captain July 9, 1838; lieutenant-colonel of cavalry May 2, 1842. In 1838 he was made comandante-general of California; and previous to that had been made comandante militar del Frontera del Norte, with headquarters at Sonoma. A commission as colonel of cavalry was sent him September 9, 1846. 

The life of young Vallejo at Monterey was not different from other boys of his class. With young Castro, Alvarado, Estrada, and the rest he went to school to the soldier schoolmasters and as he grew older his desire for knowledge craved other works than the lives of the saints and the doctrina Christiana. Governor Sola took much interest in the boys and helped them to obtain a few books of a more secular nature, and as they grew older they made use of their opportunities in procuring from visiting ship-masters such books as could be had which they carefully concealed from the vigilant eyes of the padres ever on guard to confiscate and destroy books of heretical tendency. 

In 1830 Vallejo was assigned to the San Francisco company of which he was made comandante in 1831. He made several campaigns against the Indians and in 1834 was sent as comisionado to secularize the mission of San Francisco Solano. He was a member of the territorial diputacion in 1827, and for several years thereafter, and in 1834 was granted the Petaluma rancho. 

In 1835 Vallejo was instructed to lay out a pueblo at the Solano mission, was made director of colonization at the north and was authorized to issue grants of land to settlers; the scheme being to prevent, by Spanish colonization, further extension of the Russian establishment of Ross. Vallejo laid out the pueblo and gave it the Indian name of the valley, Sonoma—Valley of the Moon. He labored very earnestly to establish his pueblo and succeeded in attracting a number of families to it. He transferred the San Francisco company to Sonoma and also organized a company of about fifty Indians whom he drilled in the manual of arms. After the neglect of the Mexican government to pay its soldiers had caused the presidial companies to disband, Vallejo supported his military establishment for several years at his own expense. In 1834 he took the preliminary steps for establishing a civil government at San Francisco and on January 1, 1835, turned over to the ayuntamiento the control of civil affairs of that pueblo. He was untiring in his efforts to settle and develop the northern frontier and through his wise management and influence with the Indian chiefs the peace of the frontier was rarely broken. In the rising of Alvarado and Castro against Gutierrez he took no active part, though his sympathies were with his nephew, Alvarado, and he accepted office under the government formed by him. He was now (1837) the foremost man in California as he was one of the richest. Over the hills of his princely estate of Petaluma roamed ten thousand cattle, four to six thousand horses, and many thousand sheep. He occupied a baronial castle on the plaza at Sonoma, where he entertained all who came with most royal hospitality and few travelers of note came to California without visiting him. At Petaluma he had a great ranch house called La Hacienda and on his home farm, Lachryma Montis (Tear of the Mountain), he built, about 1849, a modern frame house where he spent the later years of his life. 

Vallejo’s attitude towards the Russians at Fort Ross and Bodega was firm and dignified. He maintained that the Russians were on California soil and he notified the Russian manager, Rotchef, that while the use of the port of Bodega by the Russians was tolerated, if he permitted foreigners to land and enter the country in defiance of law he must not be surprised if he found Mexican troops stationed there. 

Vallejo also objected to Sutter’s establishing an independent principality in the Sacramento valley and his assumption of authority to wage war upon the natives, to grant passports, and to exercise other prerogatives of sovereignty. This made Sutter very angry and he announced that if he were interfered with he would not only defend himself but would declare the independence of California from the Mexican rule. 

We have seen... the ineffectual attempts of Vallejo to revive the military establishment of California. He had cause to be dissatisfied with the administration of Alvarado, who, giving himself up to luxurious ease and dissipation had largely left the management of affairs to the politicians that surrounded him. Juan Bautista Alvarado was a young man of excellent ability, fairly well educated for his time, of handsome person and courteous manners, and of great popularity and influence with all classes. He was born in Monterey February 14, 1809, and was son of José Francisco Alvarado and María Josefa Vallejo, and his grandfather, Juan Bautista Alvarado, was a soldier of Portolá’s expedition, 1769. Alvarado’s marriage to Doña Martina Castro, daughter of Francisco María Castro, at the mission of Santa Clara August 24, 1839, was a notable event and was attended by all the great in social and political life. Alvarado, who was then governor, was ill at Monterey and was represented by his half-brother, José Antonio Estrada, who as his proxy, stood at the altar with the bride. The governor was at this time thirty years of age, and of most distinguished appearance; but already the habit of excessive drinking was upon him and it soon became so confirmed that he was frequently unable, through “illness,” to perform his official duties. 

Disappointed in his expectation of reform in the government and in ’the failure of what he considered necessary measures for the national defence, Vallejo wrote the supreme government in 1841 giving his opinion of Alvarado’s rule, stating his belief that the country was going to ruin, and asking to be relieved of his command. He recommended that the offices of governor and comandante-general be united in one person. Later in December of that year he pointed out to the minister of war the illness of California and suggested the remedy that should be applied. California as a country was nowhere excelled in natural advantages of climate, soil, and harbors, and it had all the elements of a grand prosperity, needing only an energetic population and wise regulations. The land was capable of every product for the welfare of a happy and prosperous people yet they imported most of the articles they consumed. A man free from ties of relationship with the people should be placed at the head of affairs and invested with both civil and military authority; a force of at least two hundred men should be sent in charge of competent officers; the fort at San Francisco should be rebuilt and, a custom-house established there; a colony of Mexican artisans and farmers should be sent to the country to counterbalance the influx of foreigners; and many other recommendations were made. 

The result of Vallejo’s dispatches was the appointment of Micheltorena to the offices of governor and comandante-general. Having been instrumental in bringing Micheltorena into California Vallejo stood his friend and fed his army, and also loaned him several thousand dollars in money. For this assistance Micheltorena, having no funds with which to pay Vallejo, granted him, in June 1844, the Rancho Nacional Soscol, in what is now part of Solano County. 

In the rising against Micheltorena Vallejo took no part, but he made an indignant protest against Sutter’s arming foreigners and Indians against his country. He advised Micheltorena that he was well esteemed by the Californians and would be still more highly thought of if he would send his cholos away. He would not take an active part against the governor, but to avoid sending him reinforcements and defend a band of convicts whose presence he deemed a curse to California, he disbanded his Sonoma forces November 28, 1844, and so notified the governor, saying he could no longer support them at his own expense as he had been doing. 

Always friendly to the immigrants Vallejo exceeded his authority in protecting them, and in this and in openly advocating the cause of the United States, his great influence was always used for the American cause notwithstanding the treatment he received. One can hardly conceive a more ungrateful return for the kindness to immigrants and help to Americans than to be seized and confined in a dismal prison by these same immigrants and kept there long after the United States authorities had taken possession and the United States flag was flying over his prison house. On September 15, 1846, he wrote Larkin: “I left the Sacramento half dead and arrived here (Sonoma) almost without life, but am now much better. *** The political change has cost a great deal to my person and mind and likewise to my property. I have lost more than one thousand live horned cattle, six hundred tame horses, and many other things of value which were taken from my house here and at Petaluma., My wheat crops are entirely lost for the cattle ate them up in the field and I assure you that two hundred fanegas [about 25,000 bushels] of sowing, in good condition as mine was is a considerable loss. All is lost and the a only hope for making it up is to work again.” 

That Vallejo’s services to the American cause were appreciated by some of the officers is shown by a letter from Captain Montgomery of the Portsmouth dated, September 25, 1846. 

The Captain sends hearty thanks for the service you have rendered as well as for the prompt and sincere manner in which you were pleased to tender your assistance to the government of the United States in the recent emergency, and to your associates whose ready obedience to your call has done much towards allaying natural prejudices and unfriendly suspicions among the various classes comprising the society of California, and for hastening arrangements for the establishment of peace, order, and good government in the country. 
I quote these letters because they represent the character of the man far better than any words of mine can, and how did the United States requite the services of this man? By passing laws which by their action deprived him of all his property and changed his condition from that of the richest man in California to one of comparative poverty. The land commission confirmed his grant of Rancho Nacional Soscol. The government carried it to the district-court which confirmed the action of the land commission. The government appealed the case to the supreme court which rejected the claim on the ground that the Mexican government gave away its land in California but could not sell government land for food furnished its soldiers. A most astounding decision. In 1863 Congress by special act permitted the holders of Vallejo titles to buy their land at a dollar and a quarter an acre. His great rancho of Petaluma, ten leagues, to which he added five leagues more by purchase—sixty-six thousand acres—nothing remains but the little home farm and residence, Lachryma Montis. This is the possession and home of his two youngest daughters and the spring which gives it its name supplies the town of Sonoma with water, and the daughters with a small income. The claim to the Petaluma rancho was not confirmed until 1875, after General Vallejo tired of fighting squatters and lawyers had given up his right to the land. 

On December 22, 1846, Vallejo deeded to Robert Semple an undivided half of a tract of five square miles of the Soscol rancho, on the straits of Carquines, for a new city to be built which was to be the great seaport and commercial city of the bay of San Francisco. The town was to be, named Francisca, in honor of Vallejo’s wife, Doña Francisca Benicia Carrillo. Thomas O. Larkin became interested in the venture and took over the greater part of Vallejo’s interest. The attempt to appropriate the name as well as the commercial supremacy of San Francisco was frustrated by an order of Alcalde Washington A. Bartlett requiring the name San Francisco substituted for Yerba Buena on all public documents. Doctor Semple was very indignant at this action and spluttered over it in the Californian which he had removed from Monterey to San Francisco. To prevent confusion the name of Francisca was changed to Benicia, the second name of Señora Vallejo. The site for the city was a beautiful one, but trade did not leave San Francisco, though General Persifer F. Smith removed the army headquarters to the city on the strait. The attempt was made to have Benicia named capital of California and General Vallejo made most generous offers to the legislature of land and money if they would move the capital thither. 

Vallejo was a member of the constitutional convention and he applied himself to the work of creating a state with energy and diligence. In common with the other Californians in the convention he endeavored to protect the interests of the natives of the country. The seal of California caused much discussion. Major R. S. Garnett made a design which was accepted, but the members insisted upon the addition of various features. At last when all was agreed the bear emblem was brought forward. Some of the California members were very angry and protested against the bear being used. General Vallejo said that if the bear was put on the seal it should be represented as under the control of a vaquero with a lasso around its neck. 

Bayard Taylor says, writing of the convention: 

“One of the most intelligent and influential of the Californians is General Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, whom I had the pleasure of meeting several times during my stay in Monterey. As military commandant during the governorship of Alvarado, he exercised almost supreme sway over the country. He is a man of forty-five years of age, tall and of a commanding presence; his head is large, forehead high and ample, and eyes dark, with a grave, dignified expression. He is better acquainted with our institutions and laws than any other native Californian." 

Thomes says: (1843) “The next morning, when all hands were called I was again dispatched to Señora Abarono’s (Briones) rancho for milk, as General M. G. Vallejo was on board and it was necessary to give him a feast, he owning half a million acres of land, and fifty thousand head of cattle, so it was reported. He was a very gentlemanly Mexican, and quite affable to us boys, often giving us a silver dollar for pulling him on board the ship and on shore.” William Kelly says: I waited on the general, (at his Sonoma house in 1850) who is an enormously rich man, and was received with the greatest courtesy and hospitality. He is a fine, handsome man, in the prime of life, of superior attainments and great natural talent: the only native Californian in the senate. His lady is also possessed of unusual personal attractions and of that easy dignity and cordiality of manner so peculiarly characteristic of Spanish ladies. His house is a fine one superbly furnished and wanting in nothing that comfort or luxury requires. 

In common with most Californians General Vallejo was most careless and improvident when money was plenty, and while he realized large sums from the sale of lands and cattle, his later years were passed in comparative poverty. The town of Vallejo was named for him and a street in San Francisco bears his name. He, had sixteen children, of whom ten lived to maturity. One daughter married John B. Frisbie, captain of company H, Stevenson’s regiment, and another married his brother Levi. One married Arpad Harasthy and the two younger daughters married Don Ricardo de Empáron and James H. Cutter. 

In: The Beginnings of San Francisco : From the Expedition of Anza, 1774, to the City Charter of April 15, 1850 : with Biographical and Other Notes, by Zoeth Skinner Eldredge. San Francisco : Z.S. Eldredge, 1912. pp. 348-357 

Sent by Rafael Ojeda


USS Mariano G. Vallejo


USS Mariano G. Vallejo (SSBN-658)
, a Benjamin Franklin-class ballistic missile submarine, was named for Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, a key proponent of California statehood.

The contract to build her was awarded to Mare Island Naval Shipyard on 8 August 1963 and her keel was laid down on 7 July 1964. She was launched on 23 October 1965 sponsored by Miss Patricia O.V. McGettigan, and commissioned on 16 December 1966, with Commander Douglas B. Guthe commanding the Blue Crew and Commander John K. Nunneley commanding the Gold Crew.

27 years of deterrent patrols go here

Mariano G. Vallejo was decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on 9 March 1995. Ex-Mariano G. Vallejo entered the Nuclear Powered Ship and Submarine Recycling Program in Bremerton, Washington, on 1 October 1994 and on 22 December 1995 ceased to exist. Her sail was preserved and is slated to become part of a memorial at Mare Island.

Sent by Rafael Ojeda



Native Soil: Across the Centuries in California

By Jennifer Vo and John P. Schmal




On May 12, 1752, the young couple Clemente de Balenzuela (Valenzuela) and Manuela Mendes brought their newborn son to Purísima Concepción Church in Álamos , Sonora .  In accordance with Roman Catholic doctrine, Father Pedro Gabriel de Aragon baptized their infant child, giving him the Christian name, Pedro Gabriel.  

Following the ceremony, Father Pedro quietly went to his small church office and opened the church’s baptismal book. Taking pen in hand, he recorded the baptism of his namesake, listing the parents and the child’s godmother, Ana María de Aragon, as witnesses to the ceremony.  With this event 257 years ago, the story of my family begins.  

I am Jennifer Vo, an eleventh-generation Mexican-American Californian, and Pedro Valenzuela is my ancestor. Although Pedro was born in Alamos, he would die many years later in Los Angeles , California , some 800 miles to the northwest. In the late 1770s the young Pedro Gabriel Valenzuela enlisted in the military. For a poor young man of mixed Indian and Spanish heritage living in the northern reaches of the Spanish Empire, joining the military provided him with an opportunity to improve his position and enhance his social status. Traveling to far-away lands in the service of Spain would bring even greater benefits – as well as greater risks.  

In 1780, when Captain Fernando Javier Rivera y Moncada passed through Álamos looking for recruits for a new expedition to the north, Pedro signed up. However, he had one thing to do before taking part in the preparations for the expedition. On January 29, 1781, Pedro – now 29 years old – married 15-year-old Dolores Parra. Three months later, Pedro Gabriel Valenzuela and María Dolores Parra departed from Álamos in what eventually became known as the Expedition of 1781.  It was a risk-filled journey of nearly 1,000 miles through hostile Indian territory . The ultimate destination, the San Gabriel Mission of present-day Los Angeles , was located in an area inhabited by indigenous tribes whose loyalty to Spain was not a certainty.  

In fact, Captain Rivera and several other soldiers on this expedition would eventually be attacked and killed by Yuma Indians. However, on July 14, 1781, Pedro Gabriel Valenzuela and María Dolores Parra, traveling with another part of the expedition, arrived safely at the San Gabriel Mission.  Although they were childless at the time of their arrival in San Gabriel , Pedro and María Dolores would eventually have a total of twelve children.  

For the next 17 years, Pedro served as a Spanish soldier in California . He would serve at San Gabriel , San Diego and eventually at the Santa Barbara Presidio. Pedro Gabriel Valenzuela was one of several of my ancestors who traveled to California in 1781. As a Californian living in the Los Angeles of today, I have great appreciation for the fact that several of my ancestors took part in the expedition that led to the founding of Los Angeles and laid a foundation for the settlement of California .  

However, as a person of Native American origins, I also realize the implications of that expedition on the indigenous peoples of this area, especially the Tataviam, the Tongva and my own ancestors, the Chumash.  But I also have Native American heritage through Pedro Gabriel Valenzuela and several of my other soldier ancestors, most of whom were Indians and mestizos from Sonora and Sinaloa.  Pedro Gabriel Valenzuela’s marriage record in 1781 described him as a mestizo, which implies a person of both Spanish and Native origins.  

In 1798, Pedro Valenzuela retired from the military and moved with his wife Dolores to Los Angeles , where Dolores continued to have children until 1806. Pedro and Dolores’ son, Antonio María Valenzuela, was only 12 at the time of their move to Los Angeles , but within a few years, he too would enlist and follow in his father’s footsteps, eventually serving in San Diego and at other presidios. Dolores died in 1811, followed in 1827 by Pedro Gabriel. By this time, the next generation of soldiers was carrying on their duties within California . From 1781 to 1848, many of my ancestors served in the garrisons at the presidios spread across the California coastline.  

In January 1822, news of Mexican Independence arrived and Antonio María Valenzuela and my soldier ancestors took an oath of allegiance to the new government that had taken over in Mexico City in August 1821.  My ancestors went from being Spanish soldiers to Mexican soldiers. Nothing else changed. They were still Californians and they were still defending their native soil. Many generations later my family still lives in California . However, our status changed considerably over time.  

In 1848, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo handed California over to the United States . My family became American citizens, but even more importantly, we remained Californians and this place was our home. And now, as Californians over the last two centuries, we have watched as new people entered California :  Anglo-Americans, Chinese, Italians, Japanese, African Americans, Armenians, Koreans, new waves of Mexican immigrants, and many others. In many parts of the state, persons of Mexican descent – and many Native Americans – were considered foreigners. By the 1870s we had lost political representation.  In some areas, my people were actually despised. Between 1848 and 1860, at least 163 Mexicans were lynched in California alone (William D. Carrigan, Journal of Social History, Winter 2003).  

Two important characteristics have run through my family for hundreds of years.  One is pride and the other is tenacity.  When Pedro Gabriel took on the life of a frontier soldier, he was taking on an extraordinary responsibility for himself and his family, with the knowledge that he would probably never return to Sonora . Pride and tenacity have played a significant role in the choices my ancestors made over the years.  

In 1863, during the American Civil War, five Olivas boys from the Santa Barbara area enlisted in the First California Native Cavalry Battalion. The five Olivas soldiers were brothers and cousins of my direct ancestor, Maria Antonia Olivas, and all six were great-grandchildren of Pedro Gabriel Valenzuela and grandchildren of Antonio María Valenzuela.  These young volunteers represented the next generation of soldiers in my family. One of them would die of consumption in 1864, but the rest were mustered out in April 1866 and returned to civilian life as veterans of the Union Army.  

My family saw its first casualties in action during World War II. My great granduncle, Luciano P. Ortega, was killed during the campaign in the Philippines on October 20, 1944. Luciano’s nephew – and my grandmother’s cousin – Chello Ortega, died seven months later during the two-and-a-half-month battle for Okinawa . Today, a plaque in Santa Paula pays tribute to their sacrifice.  

No sooner was World War II over than the United States became embroiled in the Korean conflict five years later.  By the time the Korean War had ended, my three uncles – Raymond, Donald (Danny) and Simon Melendez – had enlisted. For two of my uncles, the Korean War would mark the beginning of long military careers.  

My family’s service in defending California ’s shore began on Pedro Gabriel Valenzuela’s watch in 1781 at the San Gabriel Mission and continues up to this day. My sister, Amanda, is a Petty Officer Third Class in the U.S. Navy and, at the time of this writing, is en route to Somalia . Two hundred and twenty-seven years after Pedro began his service in California , my sister Amanda continues this proud tradition. As Mexican-American Californians, my family and I are keenly aware of the fact that some people look at Mexican-Americans and think of us as foreigners and newcomers.  And some very naïve individuals believe that we Mexican Americans are not patriotic. Nothing could be farther from the truth, and the Department of Defense, in a 1989 publication, “Hispanics in America ’s Defense,” provided a wealth of details about the contributions of Mexican Americans and other Hispanics to America ’s military from the earliest days of the republic to Vietnam . The news from Iraq and Afghanistan over the last eight years has confirmed that this dedication and sacrifice continues among Latino Americans.  

Copyright 2009 by Jennifer Vo and John P. Schmal. All rights under applicable law are hereby reserved.  

Research Credits: Jennifer Vo, Sarah Basulto-Evans, John P. Schmal and Robert Lopez. Edited by Jennifer Vo

About Jennifer Vo and John P. Schmal:

Jennifer Vo operates her own online editorial business,, which provides high quality, reliable editorial and proofreading services. Jennifer Vo and John Schmal published “A Mexican-American Family of California : In the Service of Three Flags” with Heritage Books in 2004.  




Charles (Charlie) Samarron 


It is with great respect, carino and sorrow that I share with you the news of the passing of Charles (Charlie) Samarron, my first Chicano mentor and friend in San Diego for the past 46 years. We first met in 1963 when I was just 19 years old and had finished a year in the U.S. Navy when I made contact with Charlie, then the Chairman of the San Diego Chapter of the American G.I. Forum. I made contact with him because in Sonora, Texas, I had been a member of the American Jr. G.I. Forum and being so far from home, he in reality became my connection to the community. I became the youngest member of the AGIF in San Diego and through its membership I met many outstanding leaders and military veterans from California and other states with AGIF chapters. Charlie's tenure included holding the San Diego and State Chairmanship of the AGIF.
As I recall my experiences under Charlie's leadership, I think of AGIF leaders like Dr. Hector Garcia (Founder) , Augustine (Teen) Flores, Steve Campos, Tony Gallegos, Vicente Ximenes, Luis Tellez, U.S. Senator Joseph Montoya, Larry Amaya, Eulalio Porras, Jose Rameriz, Richard Resendez, David Sierra, Chris Alderete, Ed Idar, Armando Rodriguez and from my hometown of Sonora, visionaries like Pete Gomez, Ralph Gonzalez, Pedro Galindo, Lalo Gonzales and Challo Martinez.  There so many other past and present leaders whose names I recall but are too many to mention in this tribute to Charlie.  Their combined knowledge, respect and fight for our civil rights as demonstrated in major forums and workshops at local, state and national AGIF conventions as well as in numerous vocal pickets and demonstrations served as a major foundation to the political and education struggles later encountered by our community.
Thanks to Charlie Samarron's mentorship, I was privileged to attend and participate in many of the AGIF gatherings during the sixties and early seventies.  His work and unselfish devotion to defending our honor and interests in the nation served as a major guide to my own personal and political development. I cherish having known many of the veteranos from San Diego who were members of the San Diego AGIF. Gracias Charlie.  Companero y fellow Tejano nos vemos despues.
Gus Chavez
Defend The Honor
Now let me share some of Charlie's personal information mentioned in his obituary dated May 14, 2009.  
Charles Guerra Samarron, born July 16, 1922, passed away peacefully at the age of 86 in his home on May 9, 2009, alongside his loving family after a long battle with vascular disease. Charlie was born in San Antonio, TX, to mother Elisa Leos and adoptive father Ines Samarron. He was raised in San Angelo, TX, with his sister, Hope, and brothers, Mike and Joe. After his graduation from San Angelo High School, he enlisted in the CCC in 1940, followed by the Marine Corps from 1942-46. He battled in the South Pacific on islands such as Iwo Jima and Saipan, and returned as a highly decorated soldier.
He later resided in San Diego, working at the Federal Civil Service where he spent 30 years as a Deputy Equal Employment Officer for the Navy. He also worked as an Aviation tech, as well as a production controller for many years, until he retired from North Island Naval Base in 1975. After retiring, he was a highly active member in the community and various organizations. His involvements included everything from being a Boy Scout leader and baseball coach to backing the Chicano civil rights movements - where he was appointed Chairman of the American GI Forum.
He was also affiliated with the Chicano Federation, VFW Don Diego Post, MAAC Project, and Operation SER. He proudly served as foreman for San Diego County Grand Jury one year, and acquired employment with the State at E.D.D. where he loved helping people find employment and direction in life.
In 1973, fate would have it to meet the love of his life, Rosa Maria Ochoa, where they would happily be married for 35 years and raise three boys. His passion for life, love, and happiness was expressed with friends and family through Latin music and dancing. He devoted most of his time to his children's upbringing to ensure a better life than he had.
He was well respected and admired by many communities for his admirable and political contributions. He received numerous awards and notoriety for his achievements and services throughout the years. Charles is survived by his beloved wife Rosa Maria, Carlos Alfredo, Roberto Luis, and Oscar Antonio Samarron. He will be deeply missed and loved as a husband, father, friend, and companion that will continuously inspire those that knew him. As once quoted by the late Carlos George Montalvo (Charles' brother-in-law), "I'm not afraid of tomorrow, for I have seen yesterday and I love today." You will be forever missed, but never forgotten. May you Rest in Peace, Charlie. We will reunite again someday.
We encourage family and friends to join our Rosary Services on Thursday, May 14th, at 6 p.m. at the Community Mortuary, 855 Broadway, Chula Vista 91911. There will be a Burial Service on May 26th where Mass will be held at 11 a.m. at Corpus Christi, 450 Corral Canyon Rd., Bonita, 91902. Following Mass, a Military Service will be held in his honor at 1:00 p.m. at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in Point Loma.

" He was one of the greats. And we're fortunate to have known him."

Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, Ph.D. 
Associate Professor of Journalism
UT School of Journalism
1 University Station A1000
Austin, Tx. 78712

Photo/bio that is on page 271 in Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez book "A Legacy Greater Than Words - Stories of U.S. Latinos & Latinas of the World War II Generation."  Internet search his name in: The U.S. Latino & Latina WWII Oral History Project


Roberto Martinez; Latino activist had 'keen sense of justice' 
Helped immigrants fight discrimination 
By Norma de la Vega 
Enlace Staff Writer, Blanca Gonzalez Union-Tribune Staff Writer 
May 21, 2009


When Roberto Martinez was growing up in San Diego, he was harassed by law enforcement and threatened with deportation, even though he was a fifth-generation Mexican-American. 

He was a native English speaker who didn't learn Spanish until he was an adult, and the injustices he saw in the local immigrant community spurred him to a life of activism for human rights. 

Mr. Martinez, considered a pioneer in defending immigrants against discrimination and racial intolerance, died yesterday at home after a long illness. He was 72. 

After working more than 20 years at a factory that manufactured airplane engines and rising through the ranks to become a supervisor, Mr. Martinez left the job in 1977 to work in the Latino community. He eventually became director of the American Friends Service Committee in San Diego. 

“He never sought to be a public figure or a leader, but he had a keen sense of justice,” said Christian Ramirez, national coordinator of the American Friends group, a Quaker-sponsored human-rights organization. 

“He was a pioneer in defending immigrants in a very difficult era, when that cause enjoyed no political or economic support.” 

“He was a warrior for human rights,” said David Valladolid, a local activist and president of the Parent Institute for Quality Education. “And the best part was the humility and modesty with which he handled his entire life.” 

Mr. Ramirez, who grew up in Sherman Heights, was stopped many times by immigration authorities in the 1950s because of his Latino appearance. “When you grow up in a time and place with a lot of oppression, you don't question it, you accept it, you resign yourself to it, you feel as if it were natural,” he said in a recent interview. 

In the 1970s, however, Mr. Martinez realized that “something must be done” after two Latino boys knocked on his door and told him they had been attacked at school by white youths armed with baseball bats and wooden clubs. 

He reported the attack and demanded better protection from school authorities and law enforcement. From then on, immigrants began to seek his help in cases of police abuse. 

When Mr. Martinez left his factory job, he began working for the Roman Catholic Diocese in San Diego. He later worked with the Chicano Federation and in 1983 was chosen to head a border project for the American Friends Service Committee. 

Critics said he exaggerated claims and sought to create tensions, but many people in the region revered him. 

“He always said his work was almost like a ministry,” Ramirez said. “It was a calling for him.” 

Mr. Martinez's work had risks. In 1991, a man from Point Loma was sentenced to more than three years in prison for mailing threatening letters to Mr. Martinez and to Morris Dees, a civil rights attorney and head of the Southern Poverty Law Center. 

“He's the one who started getting attention for the deaths from Operation Gatekeeper,” longtime friend and fellow immigration-rights activist Enrique Morones said in reference to the federal push in the 1990s to strengthen border fences in San Diego. Opponents say the move pushed illegal crossings east into harsh terrain, where many people died. 

“He changed his life to get involved,” Morones said. “He was a quiet leader who never sought the limelight. He's the one who inspired a lot of us.” 

Mr. Martinez was the first U.S. citizen honored by Human Rights Watch when the international group gave him an award in 1992. He was one of about a dozen activists who were named “human rights monitors” around the world. 

Roberto Martinez was born Jan. 21, 1937, in San Diego to John and Mary Martinez. He grew up poor, the youngest son of a carpet-layer and a homemaker. 

He attended San Diego High School. Although Mr. Martinez dropped out, he later completed his education and earned a commercial art degree at San Diego City College. 
He and his first wife, Mary Alice, were married 24 years and had five children before divorcing. He would later attribute the divorce to his work. 
He married the former Yolanda Gonzales in 1983 and raised her four children as his own. They also raised a niece and nephew. 

Mr. Martinez is survived by his wife, Yolanda; five children, John of Florida, Yolanda Lewis of Lakeside, Robert of North Hollywood, Linda of Lakeside and David of Santee; four stepchildren, Carmen Matthews of San Diego, Andrea Moreno of Spring Valley, Monica Morales of Chula Vista and Peter Gonzales of Las Vegas; a niece and nephew he raised, Yvonne Gonzalez of Las Vegas and Miguel Gonzalez of Chula Vista; a sister, Maryann Real of Santee; a brother, Charles of El Cajon; 23 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. 

Blanca Gonzalez: (760) 737-7576; 
Norma de la Vega: (619) 293-1386; 
Blanca Gonzalez: (760) 737-7576; 

Sent by Gus Chavez

Second article by Anna Gorman, L.A. Times, May 22 2009

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.  The complete article can be viewed at:,0,2019165.story 

Sent by Mercy Bautista Olvera





Congratulations to Estela LeVario-Gutierrez 
First Hispanic Washoe County School Board



Editor:  Going through files, I came across a package, post-dated 2005 from Cindy LoBuglio, newspaper clippings from the Reno Gazette-Journal. The newspaper clippings were an interesting assortment of articles reflecting a growing Hispanic presence in Nevada, of active and involved Latinos in the Reno community.  Sadly I had misplaced the package among my papers.  However, it prompted me to look at the current situation.

Entering Hispanic in the search window, I linked to 21 articles.  What a pleasure to read on the top of the second page, the link to a story of Estela LeVario-Gutierrez being sworn in as the First Hispanic member of the Washoe County School Board.  Surely an indication of serious involvement by Latinos in their community.  

  1. First Hispanic member joins Washoe County School Board Wednesday Sep 10, 2008 Estela LeVario-Gutierrez was sworn in Tuesday as the first Hispanic member of the Washoe County School Board, replacing the late Lezlie Porter. LeVario-Gutierrez, 44, was chosen fro...
    Cyndi Loza

  2. Hispanic group vows to lobby for immigrants Friday Aug 29, 2008 The new Nevada Hispanic Services immigration policy statement pledges the organization will advocate for immigrants in legal proceedings, lobby for immigration law reform and offe...

  3. Sparks Chamber to mark merger Wednesday Aug 13, 2008 The Sparks Chamber of Commerce, which recently combined with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Northern Nevada, plans a merger celebration on Thursday in Reno. The merger ann...

  4. Colleges start new Hispanic programs Thursday Aug 7, 2008 As a newly enrolled Truckee Meadows Community College student, Carmen Chavez took advantage of a special program meant to guide first-generation college students. The advice from t...
    Steve Timko

  5. Chambers merge in Sparks Tuesday Aug 5, 2008 The Sparks Chamber of Commerce has absorbed the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Northern Nevada in a move that could increase the Sparks Chamber's membership by more than 200, ...

  6. Hispanics support candidate McCain Sunday Jul 20, 2008

    By Ellie Lopez-Bowlan SPECIAL TO THE RENO GAZETTE-JOURNAL The next presidential election is heading in a direction that will affirm that many Hispanics will vote for a Republican candidate. While...

  7. Event honors Hispanic high school, college graduates Friday May 9, 2008 Reno students, educators and families chanted "Si, se puede" Thursday as they commemorated Hispanic high school and college graduates. The phrase, Spanish for "Yes, i...
    Cyndi Loza

  8. Hispanic event celebrates 700 area graduates Thursday May 8, 2008

    More than 700 graduates from Washoe County schools, Truckee Meadows Community College and the University of Nevada, Reno have been invited to participate at 6 p.m. in the ballroom of the Joe Crowle...

  9. Adelante event recognizes Hispanics Saturday May 3, 2008 Community outreach to Hispanic youths in the Reno-Sparks area is important to developing future leaders, event organizers and honorees said Friday at the 16th annual Adelante Awa...

  10. Nevada grows more diverse Thursday May 1, 2008 The growth of Nevada's Hispanic population continues to outpace the growth of non-Hispanic whites, according to U.S. Census Bureau data being released today. While Nevada'...
    Steve Timko



Unique Military Funeral In Arizona
Re-burials from an old Tucson cemetery: Courts Complex/National Cemetery Article 
Technology & Invention in Latin America and the Southwestern United States
Letter of Rebuttal by Daniel Hogan Abrego

Unique Military Funeral In Arizona



(Sierra Vista) – On Saturday, May 16th, a military funeral will be held at the Southern Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery in Sierra Vista, Arizona during a special ceremony for 58 soldiers who served in Arizona in the U.S. Army from 1862 to 1881, all of whom died between 1860-1880.

Originally buried in a military cemetery that served Tucson’s Fort Lowell during the Civil and Indian Wars, the remains were uncovered two years ago when work began on a new county courts complex in downtown Tucson.

The soldier’s remains  will be buried in a specially built late 19th century style military cemetery on an acre of land within the Southern Arizona Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery. (See photograph above.) The “cemetery within a cemetery” has a stone and iron wall similar to the old cemetery found within nearby Fort Huachuca, and flies a 35 star American flag of the period immediately following the Civil War. The U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs has provided period headstones for the troopers and a monument describing what life was like for soldiers in Arizona during the Indian Wars has been placed by local Boy Scouts.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, Frank Salvas, Jr., Director, State Cemetery Grants Service of the VA, and Col. Joey Strickland, Director of the Arizona Department of Veterans Services will be in attendance at Saturday’s ceremonies

Sent by Monica Herrera Smith




Re-burials from an old Tucson cemetery: 
Courts Complex/National Cemetery Article 

The following article about the Joint Courts Complex reclamation of human remains from the former downtown National Cemetery by the Statistical Research, Inc is from Los Descendientes newsletter, written by Fred McAnnich, with some re-editing by Monica Herrera Smith,
On March 12, 2009, we participated in a meeting for those having an interest in the repatriation of human remains discovered at the Joint Courts/National Cemetery site.  This meeting took place in the Arizona State Museum at the University of Arizona.  Present were State Repatriation Coordinator John H. Madson, and Roger Anyon of the Pima County Cultural Resources and Historic Preservation Office.   Among others besides ourselves were representatives of Native American tribes and AZ Department of Veteran's Services.  Excavations at the site ended on September 12, 2008.
Among the issues discussed were plans for transfer for burial of 64 remains from the military section of the National Cemetery to the Veteran's Memorial Cemetery at Sierra Vista on May 16th.  Also discussed were plans for the transfer of 41 Native American remains of various tribes and plans for late-spring re-interment of the majority of the remains in a special section of All Faiths Cemetery at Tucson's far east side.  Los Descendientes discussed the arrangements for DNA analysis to determine whether the remains of an Hispanic male discovered in the civilian section of the National Cemetery (Burial 28544) were those of Lt. Col. Jose Maria Martinez, who died with 3 arrow points embedded in his skeletal remains from wounds inflicted by Coyotero Apaches in 1862.   Of further note, is that he was Commander of the Tucson Presidio from 1836-1838.  It was agreed by the committee to have this person re interred at the Los Descendientes plot at Holy Hope cemetery whether or not his identity could be determined. 
Statistical Research, Inc. has completed its assessment of the racial/cultural nature of all the human remains recovered from the civilian section of the former National Cemetery.  The number of individuals found and studied is a total of 1,137.  Included in this total are the remains of 47 individuals recovered in 1953.  These were found when Tucson Newspapers made an addition to their building on North Stone Avenue. 
The largest group consists of 595 remains which were judged to be of of "Indeterminate" racial/cultural make up.  The second largest group of 246 were classified as Hispanic.  Using Statistical Research's terminology; the identifies are as follow:  

595- Indeterminate racial/cultural make up
246- Hispanic
107- Euroamerican
140- Multiple (Biological Indeterminate plus Catholic)
  35- Multiple (Native American
    6- Multiple (Euroamerican plus Religious affinity)
    3- Apache
    3- Yaqui
    1- AfricanAmerican
Using St. Augustine Cathedral burial records and census records from 1860, 2864, and 1870; one could estimate that 800 of the 1,137 individual remains recovered should be listed as Hispanic (including Mexican Americans).  How is the Hispanic discrepancy explained as per Statistical Research?  The explanation is that they could only use accepted scientific and cultural studies to make the final determination.  These identify Hispanic skeletal characteristics, Hispanic Catholic burial practices, and Hispanic Catholic funerary artifacts.  If one or more of these are not clearly evident, remains are assigned to a category such as "Indeterminate".
In 1884, military remains were removed and reburied at Fort Lowell, before final burial in 1892 in San Francisco.  However, an additional 64 military burials were discovered still here in the military section of the National Cemetery.   Also note that these included 4 Confederate soldiers who died 
at the battle of Picacho Peak.  The last Battle of the Civil War. The National Cemetery was the only one utilized in Tucson during the years 1862 -1875.  Many prominent Tucsonans were buried during this time period.   Unfortunately, as of this date, not one single person has been identified of the 1,137 individuals buried in the civilian section of the National Cemetery.


Impacto, Influencia, Cambio  Science, Technology, 
and Invention in Latin America and the Southwestern United States




Diego de Almagro
the amazon

Michael Blakeman
science, technology & invention in the rio grande

Jorge Chavez
highlights in aviation

Amalia Celia Figueredo de Pietra
highlights in aviation

Alberto Santos-Dumont
highlights in aviation

Amadeo Flores
science, technology & invention in the rio grande

Miguel Garcia Granados
highlights in aviation

Dagoberto Godoy
highlights in aviation

Daniel Hagedorn
highlights in aviation

Arnold Herrera
science, technology & invention in the rio grande

Donald Lopez
highlights in aviation

Anesia Pinheiro Machado
highlights in aviation

Berta Moraleda
highlights in aviation


Rita Morales
science, technology & invention in the rio grande

National Aeronautic and Space Administration
meet dr.ellen ochoa

Dr. Ellen Ochoa
meet dr.ellen ochoa

Victor Ochoa
inventor & revolutionary victor ochoa

Francisco de Orrellana
the amazon

Augustin Parla
highlights in aviation

Vincente Pinzon
the amazon

Francisco Pizzaro
the amazon

Gonzalo Pizarro
the amazon

Jose Isabel Quiroz Garcia
science, technology & invention in the rio grande

Nena Russom
science, technology & invention in the rio grande

Francisco Sarabia
highlights in aviation

Dolores Venegas
science, technology & invention in the rio grande

Clemente Zamarripa
science, technology & invention in the rio grande 

Sent by Rafael Ojeda



Daniel Hogan Abrego


Dear Mimi,

I write this rebuttal in response to David E Hays-Bautisita'a article in the May issue of Somos Primos about the Southwest's Mexican Roots.
[Thank you Dan . .  these are all good questions to post.  I will include in the June issue, under the Southwest section, in the category of a Letter of Rebuttal.  
I actually do try to stay away from partisan issues, but it is very hard because our history is being brought in through the confrontational and emotional issues of immigration. 
Just as African-American and Indigenous historical incidences have been the subject 
for political action, the status of Hispanic/Latino is now entering into that area of attention.  I think we need to welcome the visibility, and work towards unity of understanding.  . .  What really happened.?   What is the true history of our presence.
I thank both you and Dr. David Hayes-Bautista for turning our attention to the Civil 
War and how it should touch our understanding of the present.]
Full text of letter from Daniel Hogan Abrego:

As with many articles that appear in Somos Primos, this article has a political agenda, and further is full of historical half-truths, embellishments, and simplistic reasoning.
Mr. David E Hays-Bautista, as with many people, believes that the US Civil War was fought over slavery and that it was a simple good v. evil conflict. Mr. Hays-Bautista and others have fallen into this simplistic view and have also fallen for the propaganda of what some historians call "The Lincoln Cult".

If this simple view is true, then I ask him and the rest of his supporters to ponder these facts of the Civil War.

1. If the US was such a great place for escaped slaves and the Union states were against slavery, then why did the Underground RR have to go all the way to Canada?

2. Why did thousands of blacks voluntarily enlist as soldiers, not servants, in the Confederacy?

3. Why did Lincoln fire General Charles Fremont when he wanted to enlist blacks in the Union army in 1861?

4. Why did Lincoln allow the state of West Virginia to seceed from Virginia if he was aganst secession?

5. Why did the Emancipation Proclamation only pertain to slaves in states under rebellion, and not the slave states still in the Union?

The answer to these questions is that the CW was not about slavery and the Confederate soldier was not fighting to keep slaves. There were political and economic issues that were far more of the cause than slavery.

I believe Latinos would have been more sympathetic to the Confederacy which was fighting a tyrannical government. Lincoln suspended all constitutional rights, arrested entire state legislatures, threatened to arrest supreme court justices, nationalized the RR and telegraph services, deported persons who were against his policies, censored and arrested the press, and did not free a single slave.
Would Latinos support such a government?

In fact, many Latinos in the SW joined the Confederacy due to realizing they were dealing with an oppressive administration.

Further, Mr. Hays-Bautista tries to link UCLA, "Mexicans", Lincoln, and Obama into some kind of coalition that likens Obama as being Lincolnesque. And therefore as in the Civil War, "Mexicans" should support Obama in these troublesome times.  If Obama plans to do as Lincoln did in the Civil War, then I don't think most US citizens as well as Mr. Bautista's "Mexicans" will put up with such tyranny.

Daniel Hogan Abrego
For information on the Civil War, please contact the CIVIL WAR RE-ENACTMENT SOCIETY,  a non-profit educational organization of Central California, est. 1978.



William Goyens, Melungeon Becomes Texas Millionaire

Gowen Research Foundation Newsletter
Volume 1, No. 4  December 1989


William Goyens, believed to be a son of William Goings and Elizabeth Goings, was born in 1794 in North Carolina of a "free colored" father and a "white" mother.  He rose above the constrictions imposed by his dark skin to become an adventurer, a soldier, a pirate, an interpreter, a diplomat and a Texas millionaire and philanthropist.

Early in his life, he became aware of the stigma of a dark-colored skin in slave-holding North Carolina, and he went to the district judge and re-quested a certificate from the court establishing that he was "free colored," the best he could do in North Carolina.  He carefully guarded this treasured document and carried it with him wherever he went for the rest of his life, presenting it upon occasions to prove that he was not a run-away slave.

William Goyens learned in his early years in North Carolina that slavery was forbidden in the Spanish province of Coahuila y Tejas and concluded that his destiny lay there.  He was aware that making his way across several slave states from North Carolina to Texas would be hazardous with his dark complexion, so he "became a Cherokee" and moved freely with the tribesmen toward the southwest.  In 1814, "William Goyens of the Cherokee Nation" gave power of attorney to John Lowery to collect money due him.

When the British Navy showed up at the mouth of the Mississippi in December 1814 with 50 ships and 10,000 men under Maj.-Gen. Edward Packinham, William Goyens an-swered the call for volunteers.

When Gen. Andrew Jackson assembled his forces, William Goyens served in three different units in the Battle of New Orleans, ac-cording to "War of 1812 Veterans in Texas" by Mary Smith Foy.  He was a private in the company commanded by Capt. James B. Moore.  When his fellow soldiers resented "serving with a nigger," he transferred to Capt. Jacob Short's company of U.S. Mounted Rangers.  When that became intolerable, he was became a member of Capt. Samuel Judy's company of Mounted Illinois Militia.

After the British withdrew following the death of Packinham and their defeat in the Battle of Chalmette, William Goyen affiliated with Jean Lafitte and his Barataria Bay pirates to avoid the threat of slavery, accord-ing to historian R. B. Blake.  He jumped ship in Galveston Bay and made his way in 1821 to Nacogdoches, his original destination, according to "Monument to a Black Man" by Daniel James Kubiak.

There his color proved to be an asset.  When the Mexicans and Anglos there staged an up-rising in the Guiterrez-Magee-Long revolt, the Spanish army came down hard.  Nacogdoches had been nearly obliterated by the Spanish reaction, according to "People and Places in Texas Past" by June Ray-field Welch.  Stephen F. Austin wrote that when he passed through the town in 1821, Nacogdoches had only five houses and a church left standing.  The home of William Goyens whom the Spanish commander regarded as neither Mexican nor Anglo was preserved.

William Goyens who fluently spoke Spanish, Cherokee and several Indian dialects was used by the Spanish, the Mexicans and later the Texans to maintain peace with the Indians who trusted him as well.  Goyens became a negotiator as well as an interpreter.

He became a large property owner in Nacogdoches, opened an inn, a blacksmith shop, a gunsmith shop, a wagon factory and operated a freight line, hauling goods from Natchitoches, Louisiana to Nacogdoches.  On a trip to Natchitoches in 1826, he was seized as a runaway slave by William English who planned to sell him in the Louisiana slave auction.  He offered William English more money for his freedom than he would bring in the slave market and posted bond to guarantee payment.  Upon return to Texas he retained attorney [later senator] Thomas Jefferson Rusk to represent him in court.  When his North Carolina certificate was produced as evidence, he won the case and was successful in getting his obligations to English declared null and void.  Having had a taste of victory in the courtroom, he be-came a constant litigant, being involved in over three dozens lawsuits during the next decade.

On May 7, 1826 he bought a lot in Nacogdoches from Pierre Mayniel for 70 pesos, and this became the first in a long string of real estate transactions recorded in his name in Nacogdoches.  He was recorded as a blacksmith in the 1828 census of Nacogdoches.  He was appointed by the Mexican government as an Indian agent to deal with the Cherokees, and upon occasions he negotiated with other tribes.  He was trusted by the Indians and the Mexicans and Anglo-Ameri-cans in East Texas, as well.

A flood of Anglos from the southern states began to flow into Mexican Texas, many bringing their slaves with them, and the practice was gradually tolerated by the government.  As further protection against being again labeled as a run-away slave, Goyens became a slave owner himself.  On January 3, 1829, he bought Jerry, 26-year-old slave from John Durst for 700 pesos.

In the Mexican census of 1828 the household of William Goyens was recorded:

 "Goyens, William 43, single blacksmith
   Linse, Jususa  20, agreg. single
   Linse, Maria  26, widow
    Manuel 10, her son"

On June 1, 1829, he was enumerated in the district "from Attoyac to Nacogdoches:"

 "Goyens, William  44, single, blacksmith
   Lindsey, Jesus   21, single
   Lindsey, Mary,    27, widow
    Manuel  11, her son [Henry]"

On June 30, 1830, he was recorded in the district "from Attoyac to Trinity River" and reported three slaves:

 "Goyens,  William     34, single, blacksmith,
    Maria Petra,    32, Catholic
    Henry, her son   11
    Sallie, slave    30
    Luiza, her daughter    6
    Juliana, her daughter   3"

In that year he was recorded as a Catholic, a requirement of every land owner in Texas.  On January 18, 1831, William Goyens appeared on a "List of Foreigners living in Nacogdoches."

On June 30, 1831, the enumerator recorded him "in the district from Attoyac to the Trinity:

 "Goyens,  William   36, single, blacksmith,
    Ma. Polly   35, with him, Catholic
    Henry    13, child of hers
    Sexo, slave  32
    Luisa      7, her child
    Juliana      4, her child
    Eli       1, her child"

In 1832 William Goyens, at age 38, proposed marriage to Mary "Polly" Pate Sibley, a white widow who was born in Georgia in 1795, also age 38.  Her brothers came from Georgia to block her marriage to a black man, but then consented when they learned that she was marrying a "Melungeon" rather than a Negro, according to Benjamin Lundy.  She had one son, Henry Sibley, by her first marriage who visited Nacogdoches frequently from Louisiana.  In the Mexican cen-sus, married women were listed by their maiden names.  In 1832, the household was recorded as:

 "Goyens, William  38, single, blacksmith, Catholic
    Maria Mose 37, single, aggreg.
    Henry   14, her son
    Ma. Lera  34, slave
    Ma. Luisa    7, her daughter
    Ma. Juliana   5, her daughter
    Ma. Ylalla   3, her daughter
    Jose Juan      6/12, her son

In 1833, the family remained static:

 "Goyens, William  39, single, blacksmith, Catholic
    Maria Mose 38, single, aggreg.
    Henry   15, her son
    Ma. Sarah  35, slave
    Ma. Luisa    8, her daughter
    Ma. Juliana   6, her daughter
    Ma. Ylalla   4, her daughter
    Jose Juan    1, her son"

In 1833, "Leonardo Goyens, blacksmith" [unidentified] was enumerated, according to "Nacogdoches--Gateway to Texas, a Biographical Directory, 1773-1849" by Carolyn Reeves Ericson.  His enumeration read:

 "Goyens, Leonardo  31 blacksmith, single
    Ranu   31, aggregated
    Maria   16, her daughter
    Sally   14, her daughter
    Thomas  12, her son
    Priscilla  10, her daughter
    Pole [Polly?]   8
    Leonardo,    4, her son
    Malinda    2, her daughter"

In 1834, the household of William Goyens was recorded as:
 "Goyens,  William  40, single, blacksmith, Catholic
   Mose, Maria   39, single
    Henry   16, her son
    Ma. Laura 35, slave
    Ma. Luisa    9, her daughter
    Ma. Juliana   7, her daughter
    Ma. Ellala   5, her daughter
    Jose Juan    2, her son"

In 1835, in the last Mexican census, the enumeration read:

 "Goyens,  William  40, married, blacksmith
   Pate,  Marie   39, married
   Goyens,  Henry   16, her son
   Calare, Robert     5,
    Sallie   30, negro slave
    Juliana      8
     Haire     6
    John     4
    James   30, negro"
    Jose Juan    2, her son"

In 1836, during the Texas Revolution, William Goyens was given the important task of keeping the Cherokees on friendly terms with the Texans.  And a friend of his, Sam Houston, who also had lived with the Cherokees earlier, be-came general of the Texas Army.  On May 10, 1837 he was referred to as an Indian agent in official Texas records.

Following the Revolution, Williams Goyens purchased land with a large promontory located four miles west of Nacogdoches which became known as Goyens' Hill.  There he constructed a large, two-story mansion, with a sawmill and a grist-mill located on Moral Creek, just west of his home.

He appeared in the 1837 Nacogdoches County tax roll as the owner of 1,270 acres of land valued at $7,247.  He bought a quarter league December 20, 1838 from William Gann, according to "Nacogdoches County Families."

In the 1840 tax assessment of Nacogdoches County he paid a poll tax and an advalorem tax on 5,000 acres of land, city property in Nacogdoches, nine slaves, 30 head of cattle and a silver watch.  The Republic of Texas made no allowance for a free Negro to vote nor to own land, producing additional evidence that William Goyens was not regarded as a Negro.

On April 12, 1845, William Goyens "of Nacogdoches County" gave a deed to Charles Chevalier for 1,107 acres [1/4 league] out of the John Walker League, according to adjoining Cherokee County Deed Book I, page 36.  Consideration was $1 per acre for the land which lay east of the Neches River.

On August 4, 1845, he deeded 100 acres to Mary Comb for $100, according to Nacogdoches County Deed Book I, page 76.  On November 19, 1845, he deeded 1/4 league to Thomas Jefferson Rusk, his attorney, upon payment of 1,000, ac-cording to Deed Book I, page 103.

He appeared on the advalorem tax list of Nacogdoches County in 1845.  Although his skin was dark, he appeared on the 1846 polltax list of the county.  The polltax of $1 applied to every white male resident of Texas over 21 and to women who were heads of households within the state, according to "Poll Lists for 1846, Republic of Texas" by Marion Day Mullins.  Thirty-seven of the state's 254 counties had been organized by 1846.

William Goyens deeded a house and lot in Nacogdoches to Alexander Toost "for $100 and compliance with bond," as evidenced in Deed Book I, page 308.  He made a deed to Matthew Mosely August 24, 1848 for 100 acres of land ac-cording to Deed Book K, page 45.  On December 12, 1848, he deeded land to Joseph Campbell at a price of $1.50 per acre, according to Deed Book K, page 45.

He was enumerated in the 1850 U.S. federal census, page 158 as the head of Household 344-344:

 "Goyan, William 55, born in North Carolina, farmer,
         12,000 real estate
    Polly  55, born in Georgia, illiterate
 Collier, Robert  31, born in Texas, farmer, $320 real
 Darlin, Lewis  47, born in Delaware, farmer"

On October 4, 1851, William Goyens deeded 50 acres to Harrison Morrow for $75, according to Nacogdoches County Deed Book M, page 259.  His charitable nature was revealed in his gift of "two cows and calves" to Arena Paasche and children," widow of D. R. Paasche in 1852, according to Nacogdoches County Deed Book K, page 690.

On March 15, 1853, he deeded to Jesse P. Bruton a tract of land for $1,712, according to Nacogdoches County Deed Book L, page 71.  On June 24, 1854 he gave a deed to Jose Mariano Acosta, Jr. to 50 acres for $50, according to Deed Book L, page 199.  Upon payment of $500, he transferred land to Eli Willingham May 24, 1855, according to Deed Book L, page 634.

Arnold Barrett received from William Goyens a "labor and 20 acres" for $500 on November 12, 1855, according to Deed Book M, page 32.  On January 1, 1856, he sold 100 acres to Alexander Moyers for $150, according to Deed Book M, page 256.  On January 17, 1856, he deeded to Thomas Collins 100 acres of land for $150, according to Deed Book M, page 357.  This land came from the original grant to Juan I. Acosta.

William Goyens sold 100 acres located eight miles southwest of Nacogdoches near Alazan Creek to Alexander Myers at $1.50 per acre on January 17, 1856.  On the same day, he sold 100 acres to Thomas J. Collins at the same price.

Shortly before his death, William Goyens owned 3,818 acres in Nacogdoches County and 9,056 acres in neighboring Houston, Cherokee and Angelina counties.  He died June 20, 1856, soon after the death of his wife.  They were buried in a cemetery near the junction of the Aylitos Creek with the Moral.

In 1967, the value of his real estate was estimated at $1,863,450, ac-cording to Diane Elizabeth Prince who documented his life as her thesis at Stephen F. Austin University.

No children were born to William Goyens and Mary "Polly" Pate Sibley Goyens.  Henry Sibley had died in March 1849.  His two daughters, Henrietta S. Sibley and Martha S. Sibley became the heirs to the estate of William Goyens and Mary "Polly" Pate Sibley Goyens.  Henry C. Hancock, a Nacogdoches lawyer was appointed administrator of the estate at the time of the death of William Goyens.

On August 6, 1857, the heirs of Matthew Moseley received 120 acres of land from the estate in compliance with a title bond, as recorded in Deed Book M, page 53.  On September 2, 1857, Jesse P. Bruboul received 1,071 acres of land located three miles west of Nacogdoches upon payment of $2.34 per acre, according to Deed Book M, page 598.  This land was part of the headright of Henry Sibley.

Additional data on this outstanding man is provided in "Diary of Adolphus Sterne," "Memoirs" by Benjamin Lunday and "Writings of Sam Houston."

Historians have recorded his exploits for over 150 years, always crediting his accomplishments to a Negro.  The Texas Historical Commission sought to honor him in 1936 by erecting a monument at his gravesite.  On it was inscribed:

"William Goyens, born a slave [error] in South Carolina [error], escaped [error] to Texas in 1821.  Ren-dered valuable assistance to the Army of Texas, 1836; interpreter for the Houston-Forbes Treaty with the Cherokees, 1836. Acquired wealth and was noted for his charity.  Died in his home on Goyen's Hill, 1856.  His skin was black; his heart true blue."




Book: Seeing Indians -A Study of Race, Nation, and Power in El Salvador
San Ildefonso Pueblo purchases trading post

"Seeing Indians -A Study of Race, Nation, and Power in El Salvador"
Review of book about El Salvador's Indians

                                                           by Jaime Cader


I recently read the book "Seeing Indians -A Study of Race, Nation, and Power in El Salvador" (published 2005, University of New Mexico Press) by Virginia Q. Tilley.  In writing about this book, I want readers to know that I will have some Spanish in this article, so it will be helpful for them to know Spanish.
I learned a great deal in reading Tilley's book.  Her book has information about international influences in El Salvador, ie. writers from Mexico and other countries, organizations like UNESCO, etc.  Concerning the writers, Tilley goes into detail how they have emphasized "mestizaje" over Indigenous communities and how eventually the general Salvadoran population has come to believe that Indians no longer exist in El Salvador.  I want to mention that Tilley's research and presentation is good, however as a person of Salvadoran descent, growing up I was not exposed to the notion that there are no Indians left in the country of my parents.
Tilley says that writers having a different point of view have been marginalized.  One writer which she does not mention in her book is Miguel Angel Espino.  In his book "Mitología de Cuzcatlan" [first edition 1919] he states the following: "...demostrado está, somos indios.  De los cinco litros que tenemos, una copa de sangre española canta en nosotros; la demas fibra es americana... Tan vasta población [de los indígenas] fue bien capaz de absorber la poca sangre española.  La poca herencia blanca que nos quedó no implicaba iguales rutas.  La españolización de América fue un mito; el resultado de eso lo veo yo en el movimiento libertario del continente.  América no marchó con España, sencillamente, por la heterogeneidad de tendencias, de fines, de orientaciones, en dos palabras, de almas."
I also want to state my observation on a comment by Tilley.  On page 226 Tilley makes reference to Salvadoran historian Rudolfo Baron Castro's book  "La Población de El Salvador."  Tilley describes " image from two photos representing his [Baron Castro's] contemporary national ideal, offered under the title "Young creoles of El Salvador.""  This author (Cader) met Baron Castro many years ago and he assisted me in my own research.  I have two editions of his book, his first 1942 edition and his 2002 edition.  In neither of these editions can it be seen that Baron Castro is presenting the young creoles as a contemporary national ideal.  The pages around these photographs concern birth rates, death rates, and births out of wedlock.
Tilley, however, presents the predicament of El Salvador's Indians well, -with respect to how they have had to deal with international and domestic influences.  Two of these tendencies originated in the Mexican writers Manuel Gamio and Jose Vasconcelos.  Salvadoran Indians have also had to deal with the international paradigm that has been given to the country -that of the Guatemalan Mayan Indians, etc.  Tilley in addition mentions that the Guatemalan Indigenous movement has had Mayan intellectuals as leaders, whereas the Salvadoran one was disadvantaged by not having Indigenous intellectuals.
With respect to the two Mexican writers, Tilley states, "Thus in the writings of these two prominent theorists, Gamio and Vasconcelos, we see examples of two versions of mestizaje, both deploying ideas of racial mixing yet grounded antithetical precepts.  Gamio's indo-mestizaje called for (at least rhetorical) celebration of Indian blood as a dignified element of the national racial stock, and set the terms for celebrating or at least accepting indigenous communities as politically innocuous ethnic groups.  Vasconcelo's latino-mestizaje disparaged and rejected Indians, admitting them into la Raza only on terms of their effective ethnic disappearance through complete assimilation to latino norms.  Indo-mestizaje was rooted in biological and anthropological theories of race, rejecting racism in the interest of justice, social welfare, and national unity.  Latino-mestizaje was rooted in a global geostrategic competition with the Anglo-Saxons, adopting racist thoughts while rejecting internal racial division.  Both doctrines took their political urgency from an understanding that racial fusion was essential to the integration of Latin American states, and that the unassimilated Indian was a drag on Latin America's racial-cultural competition with the Saxon United States.  But one made some ideological room for indigenous peoples as living ethnic communities; the other did not.  Both models played out in the mestizaje that took hold in El Salvador."
Concerning Indigenous peoples and "The Left", Tilley comments on page 226, "In the 1960's and 1970's, indigenous issues seemed briefly to have been absorbed by leftist classed-based movements, as indigenous communities allied with (or were said to have allied with) leftist popular or guerilla movements.  The more explicitly Marxist movements deliberately contributed to this impression, as they tended to claim representative authority over an ethnically undifferentiated "peasantry" or "masses" and to dismiss specifically indigenous-ethnic concerns (like dress, language, and cosmology) as false consciousness or colonial vestiges, mere impediments to class solidarity... But over the years, many leftist alliances had begun to ring hallow to indigenous communities."
In the book "Seeing Indians," other authors (such as the Salvadoran Alberto Masferrer), historical events, and issues are presented.  One such episode is the 1932 massacre of Indians in Western El Salvador which is detailed and analyzed in a chapter.  Thus many different things can be learned from this book, I have only mentioned some of the major themes so that others can get an idea of what "Seeing Indians" is about.  I highly recommend this book for those interested in El Salvador's history and its Indigenous communities, -and for those interested in Latin America in general.
 Notes for the two photographs, each one in a separate attachment:
1) Painting depicting a religious procession in honor of the Virgin Mary during the month of May in the Indigenous town of Panchimalco near the capital of San Salvador.  Participants in this procession carry large palm leaves that are decorated with flowers.  Painting by Lucía Cañas.

2) Photograph of stylized Mayan artwork that I purchased in El Salvador in 1978.  The artist that painted these designs told me that he got his ideas from drawings that can be found in editions of the Popol Vuh (a Mayan cosmology book).



San Ildefonso Pueblo purchases trading post
February 16, 2009



San Ildefonso Pueblo in New Mexico has reopened and renovated an old trading post on the reservation.  Cottonwood Trading Post began as Mr. Crow's about 30 years ago. It was sold to the late brother of former Interior secretary Bruce Babbitt before landing in the tribe's hands a couple of years ago.

The tribe cleaned up the interior and the post continues to offer traditional arts and crafts and ceremonial regalia. "We are trying to use the positive things that we have to create economic value," manager Cavan Gonzales told The Santa Fe New Mexican.

The tribe hopes to reconnect with some of the trading post's customers. We've been working our tails off to let people know this place is still here," said Leanna Martinez.

Trading post gets face-lift
                   Phaedra Haywood | The New Mexican, 2/15/2009 - 2/16/09

Cottonwood Trading Post, once an enclave of Anglo ownership 
in the middle of San Ildefonso Pueblo, is back in the hands of the pueblo.

The Trading Post was opened about 30 years ago by Bill Crow. It sold Native American-made arts and crafts to tourists, and groceries to the people who live at the pueblo.  "Back then it used to be called Mr. Crow's," said Leanna Martinez, a young San Ildefonso Pueblo woman who works at the Trading Post. Martinez said she used to come to the trading post with her parents to buy sacks of candy from Crow. "I just remember he used to tease," she said. "It used to be a dark, old, wooden trading post."

Cavan Gonzales, 38, who manages the Trading Post, said his grandfather and Crow (both veterans of World War II) were friends. "It was a homestead to begin with," Gonzales said.

"We've been trying to find stories from people who remember how Mr. Crow came to be here," Martinez said.
About 15 or 20 years ago Crow sold the property to Joseph Babbitt (brother of former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt) and his wife, Judith. Joseph Babbitt died about five years ago. His wife kept the trading post open for a few years, but later sold it to the pueblo and moved away.

The trading post was closed for about a year before the pueblo reopened it in August. It's still housed in the same adobe building, but most everything else has changed.

Cottonwood is no longer a dark rustic looking place, where groceries shared shelf space with pots and blankets.

What used to be the Crow's living room looks like something one would find a block off the Plaza in Santa Fe: all polished wood and high-end pottery and jewelry.

One of the former bedrooms has become the Maria Martinez room, an homage to the world-famous San Ildefonso Pueblo potter credited with reviving the distinctive black-on-black pottery the pueblo is known for today. A chart on the wall diagrams the late potter's family tree. Gonzales is her great-grandson. A glass case houses a Maria Martinez plate, on loan from a collector from Laguna Beach, Calif.

Gonzales said other pueblo residents own pieces of the coveted black pottery, "but those are their own."

Cottonwood does sell pottery created by Maria Martinez's granddaughter and other family members. The highly polished black pots etched with spiders and inlaid with turquoise and coral share shelf space with pots made by more than 30 other potters from San Ildefonso and other New Mexico Pueblos.

The trading post also sells jewelry, paintings, etchings, fetishes and kachina dolls, all made by Native Americans, all handpicked by Gonzales and Martinez. The Cottonwood Trading Post also carries the ceremonial regalia used in the pueblo's dances and rituals.

"We are trying to use the positive things that we have to create economic value," said Gonzales. "The artists appreciate the attention that their work gets from tourists. And it keeps our culture alive. They are all beautiful and individual pieces, and they all need good homes. That's what I believe. You go with your heart, and you hope for the best."

The only thing the shop carries that isn't Native made is Pendleton blankets. There isn't much drive-by traffic at the end of the dirt road where the trading post is located. But Leanna Martinez — who is 24 and has worked for the tribe in some capacity since she was 14 — said she's trying change that. "We've been working our tails off to let people know this place is still here," she said. She's working on a brochure that will be placed at other tourist destinations in Santa Fe and surrounding areas.

Gonzales said about 50 percent of the people who come into the trading post have been there before.

"It's totally different now," said Dick Keeffe, 79, a Santa Fe resident who stopped in last week with his wife and a friend visiting from New York City. "It's bigger and airier. More like a gallery. It used to be a real trading post. Well, it looked like one anyway."

Contact Phaedra Haywood at

Sent by Dorinda Moreno


Aztec Family History Lineage
Researchers Sound Aztec 'Whistle of Death'
Aztec Music, Reconstructed

Aztec Family History Lineage


Fernando or Hernando (de) Alvarado Tezozómoc was a colonial Nahua noble. A son of Diego de Alvarado Huanitzin (governor of Tenochtitlan) and Francisca de Moctezuma (a daughter of Moctezuma II), Tezozómoc worked as an interpreter for the Real Audiencia. Today he is known for the Crónica Mexicayotl, a Nahuatl-language history.

Huehue Tezozomoctli
Chimalpilli I
Ruler of Ecatepec
Ruler of Tenochtitlan
Ruler of Ecatepec
Tezozomoctli Acolnahuacatl
Moctezuma II
Ruler of Tenochtitlan
Ruler of Ecatepec
Don Diego de Alvarado Huanitzin
Ruler of Ecatepec and Tenochtitlan
Doña Francisca de Moctezuma
Don Hernando de Alvarado


[edit] Importance: Fernando de Alvarado Tezozomoc was also a chronicler of some note, pertaining to a group of mestizo chroniclers with Fernando de Alva Ixtlilxochitl, Fernando Alvarado Tezozomoc, Diego Muñoz Camargo and Domingo San Anton y Muñon Chimalpaín.

[edit] References: Romero Galván, José Rubén (2003) (in Spanish). Los privilegios perdidos: Hernando Alvarado Tezozómoc, su tiempo, su nobleza, y su Crónica mexicana'. Mexico City: UNAM. ISBN 9703206905. OCLC 54477363. 

Sent by John Inclan




Researchers Sound Aztec 'Whistle of Death'
By Julie Watson, Associated Press, 29 June 2008
Live Science


MEXICO CITY (AP) - Scientists were fascinated by the ghostly find: a human skeleton buried in an Aztec temple with a clay, skull-shaped whistle in each bony hand.

But no one blew into the noisemakers for nearly 15 years. When someone finally did, the shrill, windy screech made the spine tingle.  If death had a sound, this was it.

Roberto Velazquez believes the Aztecs played this mournful wail from the so-called Whistles of Death before they were sacrificed to the gods.

The 66-year-old mechanical engineer has devoted his career to recreating the sounds of his pre-Columbian ancestors, producing hundreds of replicas of whistles, flutes and wind instruments unearthed in Mexico's ruins.

For years, many archaeologists who uncovered ancient noisemakers dismissed them as toys. Museums relegated them to warehouses. But while most studies and exhibits of ancient cultures focus on how they looked, Velazquez said the noisemakers provide a rare glimpse into how they sounded.

"We've been looking at our ancient culture as if they were deaf and mute,'' he said. "But I think all of this is tied closely to what they did, how they thought.''

Velazquez is part of a growing field of study that includes archaeologists, musicians and historians. Medical doctors are interested too, believing the Aztecs may have used sound to treat illnesses.

Noisemakers made of clay, turkey feathers, sugar cane, frog skins and other natural materials were an integral part of pre-Columbian life, found at nearly every Mayan site.

The Aztecs sounded the low, foghorn hum of conch shells at the start of ceremonies and possibly during wars to communicate strategies. Hunters likely used animal-shaped ocarinas to produce throaty grunts that lured deer.

The modern-day archaeologists who came up with the term Whistles of Death believe they were meant to help the deceased journey into the underworld, while tribes are said to have emitted terrifying sounds to fend off enemies, much like high-tech crowd-control devices available today.

Experts also believe pre-Columbian tribes used some of the instruments to send the human brain into a dream state and treat certain illnesses. The ancient whistles could guide research into how rhythmic sounds alter heart rates and states of consciousness.

Among Velazquez's replicas are those that emit a strange cacophony so strong that their frequency nears the maximum range of human hearing.

Chronicles by Spanish priests from the 1500s described the Aztec and Mayan sounds as sad and doleful, although these may have been only what was played in their presence.

"My experience is that at least some pre-Hispanic sounds are more destructive than positive, others are highly trance-evocative,'' said Arnd Adje Both, an expert in pre-Hispanic music archaeology who was the first to blow the Whistles of Death found in the Aztec skeleton's hands. "Surely, sounds were used in all kind of cults, such as sacrificial ones, but also in healing ceremonies.''

Sounds still play an important role in Mexican society. A cow bell announces the arrival of the garbage truck outside Mexico City homes. A trilling, tuneless flute heralds the knife sharpener's arrival. A whistle emitting cat meows says the lottery ticket seller is here.

But pre-Columbian instruments often end up in a warehouse, Velazquez said, "and I'm talking about museums around the world doing this, not just here.''

That's changing, said Tomas Barrientos, director of the archaeology department at Del Valle University of Guatemala.

"Ten years ago, nothing was known about this,'' he said. "But with the opening up of museum collections and people's private collections, it's an area of research that is growing in importance.''

Velazquez meticulously researches each noisemaker before replicating it. He travels across Mexico to examine newly unearthed wind instruments, some dating back to 400 B.C. and shaped like animals or deities. He studies reliefs and scans 500-year-old Spanish chronicles.

But making replicas is only part of the work. Then he has to figure out how to play them. He'll blow into some holes and plug others, or press the instrument to his lips and flutter his tongue. Sometimes he puts the noisemaker inside his mouth and blows, fluctuating the air from his lungs.

He experimented with one frog-shaped whistle for a year before discovering its inner croak.

Renowned archaeologist Paul Healy, who made an important discovery of Mayan instruments in Belize in the 1980s, said many of the originals still work.

"A couple of these instruments we found were broken, which was great because we could actually see the construction of them, the actual technology of building a sound chamber out of paper-thin clay,'' he said.

Still, their exact sounds will likely remain a mystery.

"When you blow into them, you still can get notes from them, so you could figure out what the range was,'' Healy said. "But what we don't have is sheet music to give us a more accurate picture

Sent by John Inclan


Monday, May. 27, 1940
Aztec Music, Reconstructed


Thousands of years ago, somewhere on the warm seacoasts of the North American continent, an Indian picked up a sea snail's shell, blew a tentative toot. He had a horn. Perhaps he did not catch on at once, but his horn was tuned naturally to a pentatonic (five-note) scale. The Indian and his friends contrived other instruments to thump and tootle with the snail's shell. By the time the Aztec civilization was at its height, and the Spaniards arrived in Mexico, the Indians were playing teponaxtles (wooden cylinders, with tongues inside producing two different notes), huehuetls (tree-trunk drums), pipes and flutes of clay, rattles and rasps of many materials. All the Aztec instruments of definite pitch were tuned to the five-note sea shell's scale. As early Spanish chroniclers noted, the Aztecs played and sang ballads, war songs, dance rituals. But no one ever wrote down a note of their music. 

Last week Manhattan audiences heard something which might have been Aztec music. As a side show of the exhibit of Mexican art at the Museum of Modern Art (see p. 57), a program of Mexican music was worked out by Mexico's swart, amiable, unruly-locked Composer-Conductor Carlos Chavez. A collection of ancient instruments in the Mexican National Museum, and such tomes of conquistador times as the Codex Florentinus (a compilation of Indian folklore, with many a crude illustration-see cut), were all the proof Composer Chavez could give that his fanciful reconstruction called Xochi-pili-Macuilxochitl after the Aztec god of music, the dance, flowers, love-was the real stuff. But it really sounded like an Aztec jam session. Flutes and pipes shrilled and wailed, a trombone (subbing for the snail shell) neighed an angular melody, to the spine-tingling thump-and-throb of drums, gourds, rattles. Xochipili-Macuil-xochitl sounded almost as primitive as Stravinsky. 

Carlos Chavez, 40, has been Mexico's No. 1 musician ever since he wrote a ballet in 1921 for radical, art-loving Secretary of 

Education Jose Vasconcelos. In 1928 he began building the Orquesta Sinfonica de Mexico for the Mexico City musicians' union, made it a crack 90 man outfit-now subsidized by the Government-to whose free concerts workers flock. On his musically illiterate audiences Chavez has ceaselessly experimented, discovering that where the simplicities of Haydn leave peasants cold, the complexities of Stravinsky roll them in the aisles. 

For the Modern Museum concerts, Carlos Chavez aimed to capsule Mexico's Indo-Spanish music in a 90-minute program. He trained a pickup, 23 piece Manhattan orchestra, reinforced with a few Mexican guitarists and including five men to bang the tablefuls of kitchenware in the percussion section. Conductor Chavez, with a precise, clean beat and an extraordinarily contented look, led off with three concerts last week, then turned the orchestra over to his assistant, Eduardo Hernandez Moncada, who will lead the same program twice daily until May 29.

Click to Print Find this article at:,9171,884120,00.html 




Sonny Estrada tours the Breed Street Shul in Boyle Heights, which in May 1948 became the first site in L.A. to erect the flag of the newly established state of Israel. Estrada converted to Judaism about eight years ago.  Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

Event unearths the deep Jewish roots of Boyle Heights
Hector Becerra,0,3791849.story 

At Fiesta Shalom, Latinos and Jews unite to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Israeli statehood in what was once the biggest Jewish enclave outside of New York.
On a sunny Sunday when men with 10-gallon vaquero hats mingled with men wearing yarmulkes, Sonny Estrada, his wife Susan Miller and their 9-year-old daughter Eliana stepped into the aging synagogue in Boyle Heights as unwitting symbols.

The Mexican-American-Jewish family was celebrating the 61st anniversary of Israel's independence outside the Breed Street Shul -- while also honoring Jewish and Latino bonds in a part of town that once was home to the largest Jewish community outside New York.

As a teenager, Estrada used to accompany his gardener father to tend the yards of West Los Angeles homes that often belonged to Jewish families. When Estrada and Miller married 19 years ago, they exchanged vows in English, Hebrew and Spanish. About eight years ago, Estrada converted to Judaism.

Though they had never stepped foot in the Breed Street synagogue, it seemed only natural that they should come to Sunday's celebration.

Miller, 51, cried when she entered the old shul, whose ornate and colorful stained glass windows were pocked with holes. The altar and cracked wooden floors were dusty.

"To think, people were married here, they were mitzvahed here," Miller said. "It's a treasure that needs to be restored."

Stephen Sass, president of the Jewish Historical Society of Southern California, said raising awareness about the need for restoration was one of the goals of the celebration known as Fiesta Shalom. The event was organized by the historical group, the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles and other organizations.

Much work has already been done on the synagogue, which last held services in 1996. The goal, Sass and others said, is to reopen the shul as a cultural and social service center for the working-class neighborhood. About $5 million for repairs is still needed.

"I hope that this event will bring people to decide that this shul needs to be reconstructed and renovated," said Jacob Dayan, Israel's consul general in Los Angeles. "We need to preserve it."

Because of its delicate state and earthquake-prone location, the synagogue is closed, with a tall chain-link fence blocking the entrance. On Sunday, workers tried to cover the barbed wire with blue and white bunting -- the colors of the Israeli flag -- because a descendant of a Holocaust survivor said the razor-sharp wire resembled Nazi concentration camps.

The event was not without snags. The Chicano rock band Quetzal, which was to be a featured performer, canceled, citing opposition to the Israeli government's policies toward the Palestinians.

But otherwise, the scene on Breed Street was festive. Mariachis strummed guitars and played trumpets, and a jazz band of Mexican American and Jewish teens jammed on a stage.

Jewish and Latino revelers carried tiny Israeli flags, and a long line formed to tour the old synagogue, which in May 1948 became the first place in Los Angeles to raise the flag of the newly established Jewish state.

From the turn of the 20th century until World War II, Boyle Heights served as the hub of Southern California's Jewish community. Kosher delis, bakeries and other Jewish businesses dominated Brooklyn Avenue -- now Cesar Chavez Avenue. In the 1950s, the Eastside neighborhood's Jewish population began to decline, with many leaving for West Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley.

Though many businesses in Boyle Heights are still Jewish-owned, it is believed that only a few Jewish residents remain. But many Jewish social service efforts -- including Koreh L.A., a literacy program created by the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles -- predominantly serve Latinos.

Lucy Delgado, an 85-year-old Mexican American who has lived in Boyle Heights since birth, said she had friends of many cultures when she was growing up in the neighborhood that is now almost entirely Latino. She recalled a rabbi inviting her into the Breed Street Shul, and marveling at the chandeliers. Like many people who streamed through the synagogue Sunday, Delgado was saddened by its current state.

So was Brenda Mandelbaum, 68, whose father, Mendel Friedman, had once been a rabbi and president of the shul. She had not stepped into the structure since about 1951, when she last lived in Boyle Heights.

"I was a little surprised to see the way it is," she said as she walked out of the synagogue. "It's a shame, because it was beautiful."

As Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa -- wearing a yarmulke -- stood inside the dimly lit shul Sunday, an exuberant Eli Boyer shook his hand.

"I was bar mitzvahed here a few years ago," the 89-year-old jokingly told the mayor.

Looking at the time-worn synagogue, Boyer later remarked: "To tell you the truth, I think it looked better when I was here."

Outside, Abraham "Adolfo" Finkelstein, 83, walked between festival booths. Unlike most of the Jewish residents at Fiesta Shalom, Finkelstein actually lives in Boyle Heights. He moved in 20 years ago, after losing his apartment in the Fairfax district.

A Mexican man let him rent a place for $200 a month. Four months later, when an elderly Jewish man died on Bridge Street, Finkelstein bought his duplex, for $75,000. Finkelstein, who sold belts, watches and other wares at an outdoor swap meet in El Monte for 20 years, said he took the good with the bad living in Boyle Heights.

He said he missed having a place to worship with other Jews.  But after so many years, he said, he learned to cope.  
"My synagogue," he said, "is my house."

Sent by Mercy Bautista Olvera




55-Year Old Photograph Becomes a Personnel Identification Project
June 20th: Spanish American Genealogical Association Lecture
What is the Tejano Land Grant Movement ?
Marc Cisneros, College President, Chief Executive Officer, Texas A & M
Johnston High 16 Honored
Julian Limon Fernandez, Premier Conjunto



By Jose M. Pena and Others[1]  



Introduction.  Out of nowhere a picture taken sometime in 1956 appeared in an e-mail that was being circulated around the Internet.  There they were – about sixty-seven (67) young people sitting on the stairs of what former residents of Laredo , Texas quickly identified as being their old Plaza Theatre.



Mimi: As you might recall, this was a team effort designed to identify as many people as possible that appeared in a 55 year old photograph.  There were about 67 people in that photo.  Because of that great team and network effort, we were able to identify 61 of them.  We were also able to write some interesting stories.  Jose M. Pena

But, who were these people?  And, what was the story behind this photo?   What was its significance at the time it was taken?  Why was the photo even taken?  The only notation on the e-mail had been “…see if you can find me? “   The e-mail had been sent by Walter Herbeck Jr.  

That exciting photo, full of young and beautiful people, posing for a photograph, and the enigmatic notation quickly turned into a most challenging identification project.  It lasted three months and there were a number of people who made special efforts in the entire process.  We want to extend a very special thank-you to Nicolas and Laura Nañez and Maria de La Luz Canales for their exceptional memory and their ability to remember so many people from 55 years back and furnish the group with some fabulous stories.  Equaling these excellent contributions were those of Walter Herbeck Jr, Cuauhtemoc Rocha, Juan Castillo, Anna and Roberto Benavides, and Guadalupe (Pitin) Guajardo.  Jose M. Peña and Mimi Lozano, the Editor of Somos Primos, played a role in guiding and encouraging the group and putting the story together.   

To identify each person, two numbering systems were developed; one served to identify them, the other to corroborate the number of people.  The concept of “networking” was used to the fullest.   Many long distance telephone calls were made.  E-mails went back and forth.  People who had lost contact for many years were -- all of a sudden -- communicating with each other all over again.  Sometimes things moved faster than anticipated; other times it seemed like an eternity.  Nevertheless, a great deal of interest and participation was generated.  There were instances when one person would remember someone, make a call, and identify one or more persons.   

Finding the Answers.  Little by little the identification of people began to take place, until the point of diminishing returns had been reached.  After all, 55-years is a long time, people forget, and once that point was reached, it was difficult to identify anyone else.   Despite this difficulty, the “research group” finally pieced together the story over the picture from different sources.   

This is what happened.  At the time of the picture, the Laredo Theatre Group owned and operated a number of movie houses (Plaza, Tivoli , Royal, Rialto , Azteca, El Mexico ) and drive-in theatres (La Fiesta, Border Town , and El Rancho).  Mr. George Spence was the General Manager for all the theatres.  Except for the children, everyone in the picture was an employee of the Laredo Theatre Group and worked in different capacities and different theatres.  They were managers, projectionists, cashiers, ticket clerks, ushers, guards, janitors, and others.  Each year, the company required all personnel to donate a certain portion of their salary/hourly wages, depending on their earnings, to a charitable organization (like the United Way , March of Dimes, and others).  It was then that the employees, as a group, would pose for a picture, which would then be published in the Laredo Morning Times.  The amount given to the Charitable Organization was a significant amount for those times.  

Identification of People.  This answers the question as to why the photo was taken.  But, who were the people in the photo?  We were able to identify 61 (of 67) people – many of whom are now deceased (marked with an * ).   Here is the photo all over again with the names of the people below (read by rows 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, etc):  

Row 1.  1.1. Alberto Esparza  (Martin High School (MHS) 1958)*;  2. George Garcia;  3. Jesus Rivera,  4. Julian Jimenez,  5. Roberto (Bob) Ibarra; 1.6 Gregorio Juarez  

Row 2.  1. Ofelia Mann (read her story later on)*; 2 Mary Silva; 3. Eulalio Rocha Sr.; 4. Homero Canales (MHS 1958), attended Texas A&M, a lawyer in Alice , Texas ; 5. Manuel Martinez (MHS 1960), lives in California ; 6 Annita Haynes Villareal, 7. Dorotea Rodriguez; 8. Nicolas Nañez (read his story later on); 9. Carmela Rodriguez (now Salazar); 10. Laura Paz Nañez; 11 (read her story later on). Pedro Villareal; son of Annita Villareal #2.6; 12 Mr. Louis Lykes, Manager of the Theatres.  

Row 3.  1. Rosendo Ancira Sr.; 2 Filemon Mendoza; 3 Bertha Sanchez; 4 little girl Magdalena Mendoza (daughter of #3.6 Alicia Mendoza) & Martha Mendiola; 5. Teresa Castillo, 6. Alicia Mendoza; 7. Benita Martinez; 8. Maria de La Luz Paz Canales; 3.9 N/A.

Row 4.  1. Pancho Mendoza (now very sick); 2.N/A; 3. Irma Cantu; 4. Martha Mendiola; 5. Andrea Martinez; 6. Josefina Martinez; 7. Guadalupe Mireles; 8. Socorro Flores, 9 Dora Ramos  

Row 5.  1 Mr. George Spence (was Manager of the Laredo Theatre Group)*; 2. Walter L. Herbeck Jr (MHS 1958, read his story later on); 3.  Felipe Mendoza (a Projectionist);  5.3.1 Sofia Villareal (Tivoli Cashier); 5.4 Fidel Cantu (graduate of St. Augustine in 1956)*; 5 Aurora Espericueta; 6. Dora Haynes., 7 Maria Luisa Cuellar  8  Hortencia Herrera; 9.  Minerva Villareal.  

Row 6.  1 Ramon Villafranca; 2. Chiqui Villareal (Projectionist of Tivoli ); 3. Juan Peña; 4 Jose Vasquez (Projectionist)*; 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8, 6.9 were not available.

Row 7.  1. Aaron Dominguez (MHS 1958, USAF, Retired in Laredo); 2 N/A; 3. Agapito Rios; 4 Antonio (Tony) Cantu; 5. Guadalupe Pitin Guajardo (MHS 1956, Retired from Laredo Independent School District); 6. Humberto (Beto) Guerra, 7.7, 7.8, 7.9, 7.10, 7.11  not available  

Note:  Somewhere in the last two rows (6 & 7) are the following: Ruben Davila, Sammy Arredondo, Jimmy Orfila, Humberto Guerra, Aaron Villafranca, Agapito Rios, and Tony Cantu.  It was difficult to identify their exact location.  

It is unfortunate that not everyone in the picture was identified.  If anyone recognizes any of the missing (N/A), please contact Walter Herbeck Jr at   If you, as a reader, see a friend in the photo, please share this article with him/her.   

Besides learning the names of the 61 people, we were also fortunate to recover the following stories from such a long time ago:  

Reminisces of Nick and Laura Nañez.  Nick and Laura have vivid memories of those times.  Nick started working for the Theatre Group in 1949.  He remembers that he worked as an Usher and guided the people to their seats with a flashlight.  Working 9 hours a day, he was paid just $2.00 a day for his effort.  Nick joined the U.S. Army and participated in the Korean Conflict.  Assigned to the artillery (cannons) division, the constant firing and incoming barrages left his hearing somewhat impaired.   

After his return to Laredo , Mr. George Spence told Nick (and Pancho Mendoza #4.1) that the movie industry was expanding in Laredo and that he wanted them to be his assistants.   They readily accepted.   Nick was given three jobs – Usher, part-time Janitor, and Concession Supplier, i.e., he bought and supplied the candy and popcorn to all the Concession stands.  At the same time, Nick continued his education at the Laredo Junior College.  Nick remembers how tough this was.  However, the job gave him other added incentives.  It was around this time that Nick met Laura Paz; they fell in love and after a short period of courting got married.  They now have six grown children and five grandchildren.  Their lives have been exemplary.   Nick worked for the Theatre Group over 25 years.

Nick also remembers that the 67 people working for the Laredo Theatre Group were always full of energy and fun.  However, many were high school students and usually ran out of money before they got their weekly pay.  To help their financial situation, Mr. Spence would deposit $100 into a Loan Fund Special Account at the beginning of each year.  Whenever the workers needed some financial help, they would come to a member of a “Committee” and ask for a loan (usually $2 to $10).   The Committee would meet and evaluate the request and either lend or deny the amount.  The worker would pay back the loan in proportionate weekly amounts plus a 50 Cent extra weekly charge that was meant as interest payment.  The workers used the Loan Fund extensively because they knew that the generations would be used for the huge “Party Time” at the end of each year.  

When Nick, Laura, and Jose M. Pena reminisced over the phone, they remembered that while going to Laredo Junior College, Jose had many different friends, including Nick, Laura, and Maria de La Luz Paz (now Canales) who were cashiers, ticket collectors, and ushers of various theatres.  Knowing how broke Peña usually was and his other interest there, they would let him into the theatre to see free movies many times.   Although always grateful, these friends lost contact for close to 50 years.  When he identified them on the photo, some mutual friend of the two parties reconnected them and gave each other the phone numbers.  They have rekindled their old friendship.  

Reminisces of Walter Herbeck Jr..  Walter is #5.2 in the picture.  He is a well-known personality in Laredo.  Showing the early business and leadership acumen that has been his trademark throughout his life, Walter, in 1954, found a way of making money and at the same time helping friends.  He remembers that the Theatre Ushers were given the task of having to change movie posters.  Many did not like this task; so, they contracted Walter to change the movie posters at the Tivoli Theatre.  The 6 Ushers would each pay Walter .25 cents each per week (about $1.50 total), free movies, and popcorn.  For Walter, that was a terrific deal.  Today, he has some nice memories from this experience; but, he has one very serious regrets -- that he did not keep some of those old classic movie posters that he discarded at the time.  These classic posters would be worth a fortune in today’s world of memorabilia.   

In 1955, Walter started work as a part-time Usher.  Pancho Mendoza, an Assistant Manager at the Time, hired him to work at the Royal Theater.  When the old Rialto Theater reopened, Walter was hired first as its night manager and then given part-time job at the Border Town Drive-In Theatre.    

From these jobs, Walter moved on to marrying and having a very nice Career with the Civil Service.  He married Elsa Peña, sold a Gulf Service Station that he owned, and moved to San Antonio where he worked for 30 years at Kelly Air Force Base.  At the beginning, he worked as a Computer Operator; then, his career progressed, and he eventually retired as a Transportation Officer for a Directorate at Kelly AFB.   Walter has been inducted with the MHS 56 Basketball State Champs into the prestigious group known as “The Tiger Legends.”  He is now organizing an Internet Group known as the “Once a Tiger, Always a Tiger.”  He has many fond memories of the Plaza Group.    

Walter also recalled a number of his friends.  There is Guadalupe Pitin Guajardo, (# 7.5); they are cousins and have been exceptional friends for more than 50 years.  It was Pitin that helped us identify Jorge Garcia (#1.2) who, for some reason, had been exceptionally hard to identify.   

One good friend, Leonard Anderson, who worked at the Border Town Drive-In Theatre, and now lives in Houston , Texas , forgot the picture event and wound up not being included in the photograph.  

During our conversation, Walter also regrettably informed that Pancho Mendoza is now very sick.  His son, Jerry married Walter’s niece.  They both live in Laredo .  

In sum, Walter graduated from Martin High School in 1958 and has lived in San Antonio , Texas for over 40 years and, as mentioned earlier, is a retiree from Kelly Air Force Base.  He is married to Elsa Peña (MHS 1959) who is currently a substitute teacher in Laredo Independent District.  They spend a great deal of time in Laredo and enjoy meeting old friends and relatives.  In his usual optimistic manner, Walter likes to say his farewells by saying “….Mas later…”  

Reminisces of Cuauhtemoc (Temo) Rocha.  Although Cuauhtemoc is not in the picture, he made many calls to different persons trying to identify people.  After a number of calls to Nick, they got around to exchanging addresses.  Although Rocha now lives in California , he has owned a Laredo home, since 1966, which is located on Tilden Avenue .  Rocha’s house is caddy-corner and just around the Logan Avenue home where Nick and Laura have lived since the late 1950’s.  Without knowing it, they have been neighbors all this time and only found each other as a result of the photo.  

When Cuauhtemoc Rocha saw the picture of Ofelia Mann (#2.1), he remembered that he had known her and her family since 1948.  After one of the 1955 High School Class Reunion, Rocha got a pamphlet that was being circulated and which contained the telephone number of Ofelia’s daughter (Alice Mann Cano).  Somehow, Rocha kept the pamphlet and dug the information out after seeing the photo.  Alice now lives in San Antonio; so, she was surprised when Rocha called her.  She explained that Ofelia Mann had six children in her married life.  Two were lost in an automobile accident and the youngest son was killed in Vietnam.  Ofelia herself died in 2005 at the age of 89 surrounded by the love of the remaining children and grand children.  To Rocha, it was a sad ending of a nice long friendship.  

Concluding Remarks.  As the reader may surmise, the identification project lasted a long three months and took the “research group” into an amazing journey to a place and time that now seems so long ago.  It was a unique experience which showed that time never stands still.  Life has been good to some, not the best to others.  Many things have changed.  Some of our old friends in that picture married; some with each other, had children, and have lived a happy life.  Others have moved on or moved away and no longer return to Laredo as much as before.  And, then, there are those of our friends who are now forever gone.  

Whatever father time and the course of destiny brought to the life of each person in that photo, there will always be that right moment in time when all sat on the stairs of the old El Plaza Theatre, as a group, stared into that camera, someone said “cheese,” and most smiled.  The camera clicked, the flash bulb exploded, and the photographer captured the youthful faces and optimistic spirits of 67 young people who are now shown in a 55-year old photograph that will forever serve as a beautiful reminder of the way things were.  To all of you in the photo, thanks for the fabulous memories.

[1]  Jose was assisted in writing this article by Walter and Elsa Herbeck, Cuautemoc Rocha, Juan Castillo, Anna and Roberto Benavides, Nicolas and Laura Nañez, Maria de La Luz Canales, and Pitin Guajardo.  Jose M. Pena has written several article for Somos Primos and is the author of a history book called “Inherit The Dust From The Four Winds of Revilla.”

All of you that contributed to this project and article, un fuerte abrazo and thanks.
Regards, Jose M. Pena

Editor:  For more Laredo connections and memories, go to, a delightful website mounted by Temo Rocha and Luis F. Ramirez, photos, postcards, stories.



Spanish American Genealogical Association Lecture
Saturday, June 20th, 2 pm



Dr. Clotilde P. Garcia Public Library
5930 Brookhampton
Corpus Christi, Texas

Guest of Honor, Historian, Author

Joel René Escobar y Sáenz 

Mr. Escobar will speak on the original 95 South Texas families represented in the Seasbury papers and will discuss his new book, Balli Family History.

For more information, please contact Sara Duenas Flores


What is the Tejano Land Grant Movement ?


We Are The Sleeping Giant Wake Up Now Before Your Legacy Is Lost Forever

"We are looking for dedicated individuals who still believe that justice is not only for the rich and powerful, but also for your average down to earth folks."  Pat Trevino

This is a political movement that seeks to recover mineral royalties held in escrow accounts declared for the "Unknown Heirs" of the original settlers of Texas who lost their lands to squatters. During the discovery of oil in the late 1900's, squatters were unable to claim a clear title to lands which legally belonged to Tejanos. Thus, oil companies were required to establish escrow accounts for the unknown heirs of these "porcions" (portions of land).

It was not until the mid 1920 & 30's that Tejanos realized they could legally make claims to these escrow accounts. Unfortunately, the legal representation has been costly and they have hit one road block after another, and always it becomes more costly. As Tejanos get closer to their goals what begins to happen is that their accounts are sold from one bank to another and then another making it impossible to trace.  That is why a political movement is necessary if anything is to get done.

Please help us to seek justice for the descendants and heirs of the first inhabitants and original settlers of Texas. Most Tejanos now live throughout the United States and their legacy remains unresolved.  We Are The Sleeping Giant Wake Up Now Before Your Legacy Is Lost Forever 

Pat Trevino Tejano Land Grant Movement now has it's own Social Network! You will be able to post your blogs, start discussions on our forums, create groups, events, and much much more! 


Marc Cisneros
College President, Chief Executive Officer
Texas A & M


Over the course of his lifetime, Marc Cisneros has navigated a lot of terrain. Cisneros began life among the cowhands in the dusty ranchlands of South Texas, knuckled his way through the jungles of Vietnam, became an Army general, and ended up establishing policy among the halls of academia. His accomplishments have made Cisneros a favorite South Texas son. On the outskirts of his hometown of Premont, Texas, a sign proudly announces that it is the home of retired three-star Lieutenant General Marc Cisneros. His success reminds South Texans—Hispanics in particular—of their unlimited potential. "He has made a positive impact," Premont middle school principal Luis A. Canales told the San Antonio Express-News. "He is Mexicano, and that affects all of South Texas." 

Over the course of his lifetime, Marc Cisneros has navigated a lot of terrain. Cisneros began life among the cowhands in the dusty ranchlands of South Texas, knuckled his way through the jungles of Vietnam, became an Army general, and ended up establishing policy among the halls of academia. His accomplishments have made Cisneros a favorite South Texas son. On the outskirts of his hometown of Premont, Texas, a sign proudly announces that it is the home of retired three-star Lieutenant General Marc Cisneros. His success reminds South Texans—Hispanics in particular—of their unlimited potential. "He has made a positive impact," Premont middle school principal Luis A. Canales told the San Antonio Express-News. "He is Mexicano, and that affects all of South Texas." 

A tenth generation South Texan, Marc Anthony Cisneros was born April 5, 1939, in Brownsville, Texas, to Antonio and Herlinda (Canales) Cisneros. He was raised in the cattle country of Premont, Texas, not far from the Mexican border. Cisneros comes from a family with a history of public service. His great uncle, J.T. Canales, was a leading Texas Mexican-American political leader, who helped found the League of United Latin American Citizens. Growing up, Cisneros learned to speak both English and Spanish. Like many Texan boys, Cisneros was involved with ranching and was active with the Future Farmers of America. He graduated from San Antonio's Central Catholic High School and entered St. Mary's University, also in San Antonio, as a member of the Army's Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC). In 1961, Cisneros received a bachelor's degree in business administration and planned to attend law school. Instead, the Army commissioned him a second lieutenant and he spent the next 30 years in uniform.

Read more:


Johnston High 16 Honored


The East Austin Lions Club along with the Greater Southwest Austin Optimist Club, the Tejano Genealogy Society of Austin, The Tejanos in Action, and the Eastside Memorial P.T.S.A. in a solemn ceremony, will be honoring the Johnston High 16.

This ceremony will take place at the former Johnston High School now known as   Eastside Memorial High School 1012 Arthur Stiles Road on Tuesday May 26 at 6 P.M. Join us as we honor these young men that sacrificed their lives while in service to their country.

Dan Arellano, Chairman

Pete “log” Aguilar  
Gene Beltran  
Joe Raymond Cano   
Wiley Guerrero 
Matt Hernandez    
Rudy Lopez
Booker T. Lofton
Joe Montez




Walter Moore
Joe B. Moreno 
Joe “Karate Joe” Rodriguez 
Toby Rodriguez  
Johnny Roland  
Henry Terrazas   
Alex Quiroz  
Sam “Semia” Ybarra



Julian Limon Fernandez

" Austin 's Premier Conjunto" 
Written by Mayor Gus Garcia



Born in Austin , Texas by way of Chicago . His parents, Juan y Aniceta, were visiting family in Austin on January 9, 1956 when Julian was born. Soon the family went back to Chicago where Julian spent his toddler years. When he was around five years old the family would frequently go to Maxwell Street 's open Flea Market where Julian and his brother Juan (Sonny) used to enjoy the sounds of the Negro bands. Without knowing these would be the pioneers of modern Chicago Blues in the likes of Corky Siegel, Muddy Waters, Otis Spann, Little Walter, James Cotton, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Howlin' Wolf, Sam Lay, Bonnie Lee, Shirley Johnson, and, of course, Big Time Sarah, plus many more. Julian especially liked the way the Negro ladies sang and moved. This was a spiritual awakening for Julian and Sonny.

You see, without them knowing, they had music in their blood. Julian's grandfather, Antonio Fernández, was a musician in Mexico . He would often tour throughout Mexico playing accordion with Los Montañes del Alamo. This was a very popular and unique Conjunto being that they had wooden flutes, clarinets, saxophones and brass instruments plus percussion. Sometimes they would travel with 15 musicians and sometimes with 5 musicians. Julian 
also had another ace in the hole; his grandfather on 
his mom's side, Manuel L. Limón "Pops," was a true inspiration to Julian's career.   


Manuel was also a famous musician. He played with the likes of Perez Prado, E.R. Flores y Su Orquesta, Fred Salas y Los Latinos, The Nash Hernandez Orchestra, Sonora Royale and was one of the founders of Austin 's Mariachi Estrella. Manuel was recognized as Austin 's oldest Mariachi by the City of Austin 's Mexi-Arte Museum.

With this much talent flowing in his blood, Julian, in his teenage years wanted to expand as a musician. He had already won awards in the UIL competitions but knew he could do more. At the age of 13, Julian was asked to play in a Sonora with Henry Galarza where he started to experiment with rhythms and tempos, especially cumbias. 
Soon he had the only tropical Conjunto in Austin in 1974. While a junior in high school he formed "La Costa Tropical." It consisted of an electric organ, electric bass, electric guitar, drums and percussion, which were usually his brothers and sisters.

They were the first Tropical Conjunto in Central Texas and business was great. However, he had one problem; most of his Tejano musician friends turned against him because of the music he was playing. Back then you had to play Chicano style cumbias. The true Chicano drummers didn't know how to play tropical rhythms but the local chicas loved that moving beat. Thanks to Rigo Tovar, Renacimiento74, Los Tam Y Tex, Perla del Mar, Caribe Tropical, Aniceto Molina and a few more. Tropical was on it's way to Texas and the whole world.

After high school Julian went into the Air Force and was asked (ordered) by the base commander to be in The Band of the Midwest at Chanute AFB in Rantoul , IL . There Julian started a combo with black, white, Puerto Rican and Hispanic musicians. They were called Los Alas de Plata (The Silver Wings). They played what is now called Latino Rock. They played in Chicago and Champaign , IL , Iowa , Michigan and Ohio . Not bad for some fly guys.

After the Air Force, Julian went back to Texas where he formed Invasion 78.


He had also written several songs primarily tropical and romantico while in the Air Force and decided to experiment with them with his new group. Julian wasn't that good at in speaking Spanish but his mother was always beside him making sure he used proper Spanish in his songs. Julian would then take the songs to "Pops" and get his opinion on them. 

If "Pops" heard that it needed more on the music Julian and "Pops" would stay up most of the night until Julian got it right. 
After a while the conjunto was doing really well, being that they didn't have any competition for business.

Joe Lopez Sr. of Joey Records in San Antonio had heard about Invasion 78 and the ruckus they were making in Austin . Some of the groups that Joey Records was recording were getting back to him saying that Invasion 78 had a large following. Soon, after hearing this from the grupos, Joey called Julian and setup an interview just to meet Julian. Joey was very impressed that a Chicano was into and actually had a fan base in Tropical. Of course this was rare because most of the Tropical groups were from Mexico and mainly Mexicans playing it.


After the Air Force, Julian went back to Texas where he formed Invasion 78. He had also written several songs primarily tropical and romantico while in the Air Force and decided to experiment with them with his new group. Julian wasn't that good at in speaking Spanish but his mother was always beside him making sure he used proper Spanish in his songs. Julian would then take the songs to "Pops" and get his opinion on them. If "Pops" heard that it needed more on the music Julian and "Pops" would stay up most of the night until Julian got it right. 

After a while the conjunto was doing really well, being that they didn't have any competition for business.

Joe Lopez Sr. of Joey Records in San Antonio had heard about Invasion 78 and the ruckus they were making in Austin . Some of the groups that Joey Records was recording were getting back to him saying that Invasion 78 had a large following. Soon, after hearing this from the grupos, Joey called Julian and setup an interview just to meet Julian. Joey was very impressed that a Chicano was into and actually had a fan base in Tropical. Of course this was rare because most of the Tropical groups were from Mexico and mainly Mexicans playing it.

Julian went on and recorded with Joey Records. The album did very well with the media release but Julian decided not to release it to the public. "It wasn't the right time," Julian said. People just couldn't figure out why this was so, why Julian asked not to be released. What happened was, Austin Chicano bands and orchestras had united together to blackball Invasion 78 as well as any tropical group coming into town. Wherever Julian had a gig a Tejano group would go to the club owners and would offer to play for less. Julian was so upset, taking it personal he decided to take his music beyond Texas

Julian still played the weddings, sweet 15s, private parties and personal events but he didn't play any clubs in Austin . He asked Joey if he could release his album in parts of Mexico and Chicago . Joey saw where Julian was taking this and did exactly that. Invasion 78 was a big hit in Monterrey , D.F, La Tierra Caliente (Guerrero), and Cuernavaca . On top of the charts at "La Rancherita de Monterrey" and WOJO in Chicago . Austin's Chaparral Club and Macario's, San Antonio's Randy's Ballroom, Houston's Pan American Ballroom, Waco's Mutualista Club, Dallas' Lujan Ballroom and Ft. Worth's Guy and Dolls were the only Texas venues that Invasion 78 performed. They were the only ones that didn't allow themselves to be bullied by the Chicano Bands. Soon after the smaller clubs realized they too could benefit from Invasion 78. With the help of Napoleon Colombo, José Garcia Sr., Victor "Tavo" Balderas and other local radio DJs it was time to bring Tropical into the mainstream and smaller clubs.


Nowadays there are many tropical/gruperos/romantico/norteño bands in Austin and surrounding towns. And most of them don't even have a clue Julian opened the doors for them. The sacrifices, sabotages, negative energy and prejudices he had to endure. Julian was threatened and alienated by close friends and musicians. They wanted Julian to stop playing that "wetback" music. Julian and his Conjunto Tropical, Invasion 78, brought a diverse live music to Austin , which today is stronger than ever and is being played on all Hispanic radio stations in Austin

Sadly, in 1983 while traveling to Houston from Dallas two of Julian's musicians decided to ride with family members instead of traveling in the band bus. The next morning Julian was awaken by DPS troopers and told that his two musicians, along with three of their relatives had run off the highway and over a bridge; no one survived the crash. DPS said alcohol was to blame.

Julian was devastated and took the news hard. The folks back home thought the bus had crashed and killed all the members. Julian called home and Napoleon, his friend at an Austin radio station, to give him the actual incident report. It was broadcasted in Texas , throughout Mexico and in Chicago . The support from fans and all the folks was overwhelming to Julian. He then decided to end Invasion 78 as a group, to honor the deceased and their families.

However, Julian had made a promise to Oklahoma City to play at a concert. Oklahoma City was honoring Invasion 78 for the contribution their music brought to the Hispanic community. In December 1984, Julian formed Invasion with new members. The reception was overwhelming to Julian and his brothers. People were waiting in line around the convention center, just to get a glimpse of Julian and his brothers. After the concert Julian, Freddy and Hector stayed to sign autographs and take pictures with the locals and students of the University of Oklahoma . Julian's close friend and fellow musician, a Tejano Legend, Shorty Ortiz of Shorty y Los Corvettes had accompanied Julian to Oklahoma City and wouldn't have believed it if he hadn't seen it with his own eyes. All those folks cheering and yelling for Invasion 78 as they were driving into the building at the Myriad Convention Center .

Two years later, Julian was invited by a friend Paco Rodriguez to sit in on the drums. That's all it took to revive Julian's soul. Music was still a big force in Julian's life. He then was asked to play with one the Chicano bandleaders that had blackballed him in the earlier years. Julian held no remorse and went to play with the Tejano Legend, Alfonso Ramos.
Alfonso really likes the excitement that Julian puts into his playing. Soon they became great friends and continue to stay in touch. Alfonso still has a big influence in Julian's music selection. After playing for Alfonso Ramos, Julian was approached by José Maria De Leon Hernandez (Little Joe). He asked Julian to help his brother, Rocky, with his new band Milagro. Rocky had just suffered a brain aneurysm and was getting back on his feet. It too was a great experience and Julian enjoyed opening for Little Joe and sometimes sitting in with Joe. While traveling with the Milagro band Julian met a lot of new groups that were making an impact on a new Tejano scene. New groups like Emilio Navaira y su Grupo Rio, Selena y Los Dinos, Shelly Lares, La Sombra, Grupo Fama, Gary Hobbs and the Hot Sauce Band and Fandango U.S.A.

A true pioneer and legend in broadcasting, Marcelo Tafoya, invited Julian to join his radio station KRGT 92.1FM in Hutto , Texas . Julian accepted and started his new career in radio broadcasting. Julian's show became one of the hottest on the airwaves. Julian was approached and asked to help book bands at "Dance Across Texas." Julian, knowing most of the bands personally, accepted. There Julian brought Emilio, Shelly, Selena, David Lee, Roberto Pulido, Alfonso Ramos with Sunny and the Sunliners, Agustin with Joe Bravo, Gary Hobbs and Fandango U.S.A.

Everyone was happy because all the bands were making great money in a town that wasn't strong for live Tejano music. After about a year, a religious outfit from California bought the radio station and all the staff lost their jobs.

Then, Julian gets a call from Mr. Fatz. He said to Julian that KTXZ 1560AM was going to hire him as program director and he asked Julian to join him. Julian took him up on the offer! Things were going well until Julian was approached by several of his peers who were demanding a cut of Julian's Dance Across Texas money. Julian asked them, "what money?" They replied, "from the gate". Julian told them, "Hey, I'm doing this for free! I don't get anything from Dance Across Texas but free passes that the radio station gives away." Julian then said, "I do this for the bands because I used to be one of them and I know the struggle to make decent pay playing music. It's that simple!" Soon after that Julian was told that he could either be a radio DJ or a booking agent, not both. Julian decided neither and he walked away from the radio station and booking at Dance Across Texas .

Julian tried hard to be a part of the work force of America , landing jobs here and there. Feeling that there was more he could do, time would pass and his life would feel meaningless. Then a friend out of the past, Roberto Cantu, who knew Julian back from the Invasion 78 days, asked him if he could help with his new conjunto. Julian told Robert that he could help while they found a full-time drummer. Within a week of rehearsals they were asked to play for a Sweet 15 in Cotulla , Texas . They accepted and in October 2000 the conjunto went to play their first gig. They didn't even have a name yet. Most people knew them as El Conjunto that Julian plays in. The Conjunto finally, after about a month, wanted Julian in the conjunto permanently and asked him to stay. Julian accepted and that's when it all started. Being that Julian was the one getting the gigs, they all voted and made Julian the leader of the Conjunto. He didn't want to be the leader at first, he had mixed feelings about managing the conjunto but came to terms with the past.  

So the first thing on Julian's slate was naming the Conjunto. First they said "Impulso"; then they said "La Cura". A couple of days later Julian wakes up in the middle of the night, wakes his wife, Dianne, and says "Los Texas Wranglers." She said WHAT? "Los Texas Wranglers." She told Julian to go back to bed. The next morning Julian calls the musicians and tells them the name of the band is going to be "Los Texas Wranglers". Lionel Guerra Jr. on accordion, Amador Salazar, vocals and electric bass, Julian on drums and Roberto Cantu, vocals and bajo sexto, are now "Los Texas Wranglers." yeehaa!!!

As many bands do, Los Texas Wranglers would play free at church Jamaicas , for family and friends and just about for anyone that would listen to them. Julian invested some money in a low budget recording project that sounded okay for promotions but felt it wasn't good enough for mainstream media. Things started to look up for Los Texas Wranglers. Then, Julian heard that a national rep for Wrangler Hats was going to be in town; Unfortunately Julian had to be in Chicago at that same time. Julian put a promo package together and told his musicians to go and introduce themselves and give the gentleman the promo package. This gentleman was impressed in the way the band members presented themselves, that he too told them to give Julian a message. The message was in a sealed envelope. Julian received it when he returned from Chicago . He read it out loud to the guys and said "Looks like we're in." Julian and The Wrangler Hat Company came to terms and now they are an official sponsor of Los Texas Wranglers. 

Los Texas Wranglers were starting to get better gigs. With the help of the Wrangler Hat Company, Los Texas Wranglers also started to get quick recognition. During a Diez y Seiz de Septiembre celebration at Plaza Saltillo Mayor Gus Garcia introduced Los Texas Wranglers as " Austin 's Premier Conjunto." From that point on that title stuck.

Julian would run into the Mayor every now and then, knowing that Johnny Degollado is the Mayor's favorite conjunto, Julian would ask who's your premier conjunto Mayor? The Mayor would smile and tell Julian to keep up the good work and "Keep It Conjunto".

Julian and Lionel asked a local restaurant owner if they could perform at her restaurant. She suggested Sunday nights. It was the only night she could give them; they accepted the offer. They played 28 consecutive weeks for $150.00 a night plus a free enchilada plate per musician. People would come and check them out. Los Texas Wranglers were getting better paying gigs and folks started supporting them. Now they had a fan base. Julian has always had the ability to read a crowd and with that knowledge Los Texas Wranglers started to woo people.


Somehow the conjunto sounded like more than just a conjunto. That was Julian's strategy; he didn't want to sound like other conjuntos. Once again he had innovated a style that was unique and can be set apart from the mainstream Conjunto or Tejano. His musicians didn't even know that was happening, they just knew they liked it. 

Los Texas Wranglers started traveling out of Texas and were playing just about every week. This was taking its toll on some of the musicians. Some couldn't and didn't want to travel anymore; they didn't want to perform every weekend. Julian asked them "Isn't this what you all wanted?" They replied "yes, but we didn't think we would actually be doing it!" Julian asked who wanted to go on with the group. Amador said he would continue. With that being said, Julian started to look for other musicians. It just so happened that a friend from the past, Sonny Trujillo wasn't playing with a group and Julian decided to call him up on. Sonny accepted. Then, Julian asked Tim Torres to come into the band full-time. Tim said yes and the band was complete and within 3 days the Conjunto was off and running. Without breaking a stride Julian managed to keep Los Texas Wranglers on track.  

From the corner of Washington State to the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, this photo is recognized around the U.S.A, Thanks to Wranglers Hats, Budweiser and Crumrine Gold and Silversmiths, Los Texas Wranglers are well on their way. "It's not supposed to happen this way! You first have to be recorded by a big record label and if you're lucky five or ten years down the road you may get an endorsement or sponsorship from a national or international company, right?" How was it that Julian was able to do this and not even have a big time record label? Well, it takes commitment and faith; Julian was and still is committed and believes in his projects.


I'd like to say this about Julian - he is a humble, generous, friendly, and loveable person. He has so much history; his talent and his music have really influenced a lot of people and musicians. He thinks nothing of his talent as a musician and as a bandleader. 

Julian has often been heard saying, "There is no such thing as bad music just misunderstood musicians." 

Julian is working on getting all his original music published and recorded. He feels now is the best time to do it simply because he has faith in his current conjunto to express what he feels in every one of his songs. He has songs that he has been holding on to for almost 30 years.

Julian has so much more to give to the music world that it may take two life times before we finally get it. He has such great compositions that it's hard to believe that most of his life has been a struggle just to get heard and excepted. If he didn't have those obstacles can you imagine the electricity this town would have?  


Julian is a true innovator and has made his mark in this world. It's a shame that this may be the last time this town gets a chance to see and hear a true legend in the making in Texas music.

Siempre Amigos




Celebrating Catholic sisters
Canary Islands Locales and their Associated Louisiana Families

Celebrating Catholic sisters

Museum Center exhibit tells a story of contributions and creativity

By Lauren Bishop • • May 11, 2009

Sisters of Charity Barbara Hagedorn (left) and Judith Metz helped assemble the local portion of Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America, which will make its national debut at the Cincinnati Museum Center on Saturday.  The Enquirer/Amie Dworecki

Since they first arrived in America almost 300 years ago, they have built and led schools, hospitals, orphanages and other social institutions that have served millions of Americans, even during times when most women had few professional opportunities. A new touring exhibit making its national premiere at the Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal on Saturday, "Women & Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America," will share the story of Catholic sisters' contributions from the Civil War through Hurricane Katrina. The exhibit, the first of its kind, runs through Aug. 30 before moving to museums across the country over the next three years.

“With artifacts, first-person accounts, photos and videos, the exhibit also will show that sisters were shaped by American culture - in good ways and in bad - as much as they helped to shape it, says Sister Helen Garvey of the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Dubuque, Iowa. She headed the nine-member history committee of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious.

African-American sisters once had to form their own congregations, some religious communities once owned slaves and others were not always gentle or compassionate in their discipline, Sister Garvey says.

"We're telling the strengths and weaknesses, the successes and the failures," Sister Garvey says”.

A History of Service: 
The St. Joseph infant incubator was developed by Sister Pulcheria Wuellner. 

The first medical license given to a woman in New Mexico was Sister Mary de Sales Leheney. 

In 2005, about one in six hospital patients in the U.S. were treated in a Catholic facility. 

During the Civil War, the Sisters of the Holy Cross staffed the first U.S. Navy hospital ship, the USS Red Rover. 

More than 600 sisters from 21 different religious communities nursed both Union and Confederate soldiers alike during the Civil War. 

In the founding days of Alcoholics Anonymous, Sister Ignatia Gavin of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine successfully advocated that alcoholism should be treated as a medical condition. 

Catholic sisters established the nation's largest private school system, educating millions of young Americans. 

More than 110 U.S. colleges and universities were founded by Catholic sisters. 

Since 1980, at least nine American sisters have been martyred while working for social justice and human rights overseas. 

Since 1995, numerous congregations have participated as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) at the United Nations, focusing on global issues such as climate change, human trafficking, and poverty.


{The Silver Spring, Md.-based Leadership Conference of Women Religious, which represents 95 percent of Catholic sisters in the U.S., began planning the exhibit in 2004 to celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2006. The conference raised $4 million for the exhibit from dozens of donors.}

Sent by Juan marinez




Compiled by: Paul Newfield III
3016 45th Street
Metairie, La. USA 70001


This compilation is a finding aid to help document the islands and villages from which our Canarian ancestors came. The present work is a refinement and expansion of two earlier articles:

"Some Canary Island Locales and Their Associated Louisiana Families (Based upon Diocese of Baton Rouge's published records, volume 2)", by Paul Newfield III, published in Louisiana Genealogical Register (the quarterly of the Louisiana Historical Society), v.35, #1 (March 1988), pp.23-26, and,

"More Canary Islands Locales and Their Associated Louisiana Families (From the Archdiocese of New Orleans Sacramental Records, volumes 3 & 4)", by Paul Newfield III, published in 'L'Heritage' (the quarterly of the St. Bernard Genealogical Society), v.13, #50 (April 1990), pp.118.

The scope of this article is limited, and it should NOT be taken as a complete listing of Canarian family names. In each of my earlier articles I began with the seven major islands of the Canarian archipelago, listing their particular towns and villages. Then, using the geographic data from the published sacramental records of the Diocese of Baton Rouge and from the Archdiocese of New Orleans, I assigned those family names to the respective islands and/or villages. In attributing a certain family name to a certain island or village, I have been very careful to provide at least one specific citation to that effect. Those books are cited as "BR 2" (1770-1803), "SRNO 3" (1772-1783), and "SRNO 4" (1784-1790) respectively (see References).

This compilation covers most of the settlement areas in Louisiana where the newly arrived Isleños established themselves: New Orleans, Barataria (in Jefferson Parish), Terre aux Boeufs (Tierra de Bueyes in St. Bernard Parish), Valenzuela (along Bayou La Fourche in Assumption and Ascension Parishes), and Galveztown (in Ascension Parish). The three source books for this report do not cover the area of New Iberia, where some Isleños may have settled in c.1779, along with the Malagueños from southern Spain. Consequently, that area is NOT addressed by this report.

A further note: In compiling these lists, I disregarded any entry from the published sacramental records that gave no specific geographic information other than the words "... of the Canary Islands". Consequently, this listing will NOT include all Canary Islands families who came to Louisiana. It lists ONLY those that have been specifically associated with any particular island, town or village.

Use your computer's Control - F function to quickly find any name (surnames only). After locating the respective name(s), you should consult the original record as cited.


The Canarian archepelago consists of two governmental provinces, La provincia de Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the west, and La provincia de Las Palmas in the east, each with its own governmental administration. The same division applies also to ecclastical administration, with the Western Islands' Diocese of San Cristobal de La Laguna (est. 1819), and the Eastern Islands' Diocese of the Canary Islands (est. 1406).

  La Provincia de Santa Cruz La Provincia de Las Palmas

("the Western islands")

("the Eastern Islands")

  Tenerife Gran Canaria
  La Gomera Fuerteventura
  La Palma Lanzarote
  El Hierro (Graciosa)

THE ISLAND OF TENERIFE   (of "the Western Islands")

Alegria (BR 2:725), Alfonso (SRNO 4:6), Beatriz (BR 2:701), Buas (SRNO 3:158), Correo (SRNO 4:65), Cruz (BR 2:179), De Aguilar (SRNO 4:74), De Chavez (BR 2:179), De Horta [Horta, Orta] (BR 2:571, SRNO 3:158), De La Encarnacion (SRNO 3:101), De Leon [= De Lion] (SRNO 4:259), Delgado (SRNO 4:86), Del... [Del Tosaru?] (SRNO 3:235), De Ramos [= see Ramos], Dias de Leon (SRNO 4:259), Diaz (BR 2:506, SRNO 4:98), Domingues/Dominguez (BR 2:709, SRNO 3:101), Escano [= Escana] (BR 2:545), Francisco (BR 2:298), Franques (SRNO 4:203), Garcia (BR 2:585), Garcia Raymundo (SRNO 4:260), Gonzales (BR 2:175, SRNO 3:145), Gonzales Ruis (SRNO 3:147), Hernandez (BR 2:379, SRNO 3:158, SRNO 4:162), Horta [= Orta] (BR 2:571), Jaqeau [sic] (BR 2:522), Jorge (BR 2:641), Leon (SRNO 4:259), Llares (SRNO 4:193), Lopez (BR 2:506), Milan (BR 2:545), Mora (BR 2:571), Morera (BR 2:379), Orta [Horta] (BR 2:571, SRNO 3:158), Paes [= Pais] (BR 2:577), Pereira (SRNO 3:235), Perez (BR 2:19), Pino (BR 2:592), Querido (SRNO 4:162), Rabelo (BR 2:175), Ramos (SRNO 4:259), Ramos Dias De Leon (SRNO 4:259), Raymundo (SRNO 4:260), Rodriguez (BR 2:641, SRNO 4:270), Rodriguez de Chavez (BR 2:210), Roquera (BR 2:701), Ruiz (BR 2:382), Torres [de Torres] (BR 2:701), Ximinez (BR 2:329).

Arico: Garcia (SRNO 3:138).

Candelaria in Canaria: Marrero (BR 2:287).

Deico: Francisca (BR 2:612), Rabelo (BR 2:175).

La Fuente de La Guancha: Perez (SRNO 3:236, identified in the Louisiana records simply as "La Guancha").

Garachico: Francisca (BR 2:585, written as "Garchigo"in the Louisiana records), Perez (BR 2:585, written as "Garchigo"in the Louisiana records).

Guia de Isora: NB: There is also a "Guia" on Gran Canaria; for a listing of those names, see the section under Gran Canaria's "Guia".

Icod de los Vinos: Alfonso (SRNO 3:3), Berme[*]a [= Bermeja ?] (SRNO 3:214), Colorado (SRNO 3:61), Del Amparo (SRNO 3:3), Gonzales (SRNO 4:151), Hernandez (SRNO 3:158), Lorenzo (SRNO 3:158), Mesa (SRNO 4:209), Moler (SRNO 3:214), Ximenes (SRNO 4:151).
NB: Written as "Lico de los Vinos" or "Yco" in some Louisiana records.

La Laguna: Cabrera (SRNO 3:41), De Mora (SRNO 4:259), De Roxas (SRNO 3:94), De Sosa (SRNO 3:96), Gonzales (SRNO 3:145), Machado (SRNO 3:145), Merias or Mexias (SRNO 3:101), Peres Sanches [or Perez Sanchez] (SRNO 3:235), Qui[h?]ola (SRNO 3:235), Rodriguez (BR 2:642), Roxas (SRNO 3:94).

Laguete, Tenerife: Alamo (BR 2:31), Diez (BR 2:7).

La Matanza (Matanzas): De Aguiar [= De Aguilar ?] (SRNO 4:74), del Carmen (BR 2:234), del Carmen Perez (BR 2:726), Francisco (BR 2:726), Perez (BR 2:726).

Villa de Orizaba: Escobar (BR 2:276, 586), la Tosca (BR 2:276, 586).

La Orotava: Agustina (BR 2:179), Escobar (SRNO 4:116), Garcia (SRNO 4:140), Gonzales (SRNO 3:144), Guerra (SRNO 3:144), Herrera (SRNO 4:207), La Tosca (SRNO 4:116), Martel (SRNO 3:202), Melo (SRNO 4:207), Rodriguez (SRNO 3:202), Romano (BR 2:178©179).

Puerto de la Cruz: NB: See the notation below, under "Puerto de la Luz" on the island of Gran Canaria.

Realejo ( the Louisiana records written as "Realeso"; I have assigned this group to Realejo, Tenerife.)  De Mora [=Mora] (SRNO 4:90, written simply as "Realeso" in the Louisiana records).

Realejo de Abajo (Abaxo): Gonzales (BR 2:328), Gonzales Llano [ or Llanos] (SRNO 4:150), de Orta (BR 2:328), Rivero (BR 2:328), Rodriguez (BR 2:328).

San Juan de la Rambla: Carbo (BR 2:175), Gonzales Corvo (SRNO 3:146), Guzman (SRNO 3:153), Labrador (SRNO 3:170), Ruiz [= Ruis] (BR 2:175, SRNO 3:146).

Santa Cruz de Tenerife: Acosta (BR 2:3), Aguiar (SRNO 3:2), Arbedo (SRNO 4:134), Barrero (SRNO 3:219), Camber (BR 2:386), Casalta (SRNO 3:221), Cruz (SRNO 4:191), Debra (BR 2:287), De Fevrey (SRNO 3:128, called "of the place of Los [Aglos?] in Santa Cruz de Tenerife"), De La Encarnacion (SRNO 3:304), De Leon (SRNO 3:120, SRNO 4:191 [see also Leon]), De Ramos [= Ramos] (SRNO 3:252), Diaz [= Diez] (BR 2:241, 329, SRNO 4:98), Diepa (SRNO 4:99), Dominguez (BR 2:244, SRNO 3:282), Esmeraldo [= Esmeralda] (SRNO 3:120), Espinosa [= see Gusman Espinosa], Fleitas (SRNO 4:127), Francisca (BR 2:322), Francisco (SRNO 4:134), Franquer [= Franquez] (BR 2:244), Garcia (SRNO 3:138), Gonzales (BR 2:322, SRNO 3:146, SRNO 4:150), Gonzales Llano (SRNO 4:150), Gusman Espinosa (SRNO 4:157©158), Hernandez (SRNO 3:158), Jorge (BR 2:322, 642, SRNO 4:169), Leon (SRNO 4:191), Lleno (SRNO 4:150), Marrero (BR 2:287), Mayor (BR 2:532), Megron [perhaps = Negron!] (SRNO 4:99), Melian (SRNO 4:157©158), Morrino (SRNO 3:219), Neda (SRNO 3:221), Negron [= see Megron, above], Nobello (BR 2:386), Pereira (BR 2:3), Ramos (SRNO 3:252), Rodrigues/Rodriguez (SRNO 3:2), Sanchez (SRNO 3:269), Suarez (SRNO 3:282, SRNO 4:292), Viera (BR 2:718), Zamora (SRNO 3:304).  NB: There is also a "Santa Cruz de la Palma". Some of the names listed above may possibly be from the island of La Palma.

Saurel: Lopez (BR 2:242), Perez (BR 2:242).

Sauzal: Estevez (BR 2:278), Garcia (BR 2:278).

Tacoronte: Angel (BR 2:19), Dias De Leon (SRNO 4:259), Ramos (SRNO 4:259).

Taganana: De La Guerra (SRNO 3:264), Fernandez (SRNO 4:124), Gutierrez (SRNO 4:158), Hernandez (SRNO 3:158), Rodriguez (SRNO 3:261, written as "Tagana on the Island of Tenerife"; also SRNO 4:268), Romo (SRNO 3:264), Sanches (SRNO 4:268).



Aguilar (SRNO 3:2), De Guia [= see Perdomo De Guia], de la Cruz (BR 2:304, SRNO 4:139), De La Paz (SRNO 3:80), Del Christo (SRNO 4:79), Dominquez (BR 2:245), Fernandez de Mora (SRNO 3:80), De Gamez (SRNO 3:303), Garcia (BR 2:304, SRNO 4:139), Hernandez (BR 2:701), Menesa (SRNO 4:209), de Morales (BR 2:701), Perdomo De Guia (SRNO 4:79), Plasencia (BR 2:15), Truxillo (BR 2:709), Xerez (SRNO 3:303).

Agulo: Quevedo (SRNO 4:257, written as "Agulo in the Canary Islands").

Chipude (Chipide), Gomera: Cruz/de la Cruz (BR 2:210), de la Ho [= de la O] (BR 2:287, 699), Martin (BR 2:323), Martinez (BR 2:287), Morales (BR 2:210).

Valle Hermosa: De San Ramon (SRNO 4:95), Fernandes (SRNO 4:95), Truxillo (SRNO 4:95).

Village Gomera: Dominguez (BR 2:709), Truxillo (BR 2:709). NB: Possibly the town of San Sebastian de la Gomera.


De Bores Corales (SRNO 3:75), De Paes (SRNO 4:234), Hernandez (SRNO 3:75), Ortega de Medina Zurit (SRNO 4:231), Patric[es?] (SRNO 4:231), Plazeres (SRNO 4:251).

NB: The names "Palma", "Palmas", "La Palma" and "Las Palmas" have great potential for confusion. This island is named "La Palma", and the major city of Gran Canaria is named "Las Palmas". For additional listings, the reader should consult the section for the Island of Gran Canaria.

The Town of Los Llanos: Rodriguez (SRNO 3:262; in the Louisiana records, simply called "Los Llanos in the Canaries", without any further elaboration as to its location).

Santa Cruz de La Palma: De Armas y Arsila (SRNO 3:74), De Salizar (SRNO 3:74).In SRNO 3, the editor opines that these people are from Mallorca, but I am not convinced that he is correct.

NB: As above, the name "Santa Cruz" has a potential for confusion, since "Santa Cruz de Palma" is a city on the Island of La Palma, while "Santa Cruz de Tenerife" is a city on Tenerife. The reader should refer to the appropriate listings under the Tenerife section.

THE ISLAND OF EL HIERRO   NB: No records seen from this island.

THE ISLAND OF GRAN CANARIA (of "the Eastern Islands")

De Orbal (SRNO 3:270), De Tolentino (SRNO 3:97), Gutierres (SRNO 3:234), Hernandes (SRNO 3:158), Herrera (SRNO 3:159), Lopez (SRNO 3:194), Marrera [= Marrero ?] (SRNO 3:158), Martel (SRNO 3:202), Martin (BR 2:699), Masias (SRNO 3:270), Monzon (SRNO 4:217), Ortiz (SRNO 3:253), Padilla (BR 2:699), Perasa (SRNO 3:234), Perez (BR 2:239), Ramirez (SRNO 3:194), Ravero [= Rabelo, Ravelo] (SRNO 3:253), Romero (SRNO 4:271), Sanabria (SRNO 4:278), Sanchez (SRNO 4:278), Suares (SRNO 3:159, SRNO 4:217), Tilano (BR 2:699), de Villanueva [= de Villanueva Barrosa] (BR 2:239, 709).

Aldea de San Nicolas: Cabral (SRNO 3:40).

Aguimes: Acosta (BR 2:2), Agular (BR 2:586, SRNO 4:292), Aleman [= De Aleman] (BR 2:14, SRNO 3:74, SRNO 4:5, 292), Alvarade [= see also De Sena] (SRNO 3:95), Artiles (SRNO 3:42), Bermudez (BR 2:82), Betancur (SRNO 4:29), Biera [= also see Viera] (SRNO 3:24), de Buensuceso [= de Buensuceso Viera] (BR 2:615), Callao [= Collado ?] (SRNO 3:42), Cavallera/Cavalleri/Cavellero (BR 2:242, SRNO 4:258), Cazorla (SRNO 3:251), Cestoponaca (SRNO 3:236), Collado (BR 2:195), De Aleman [= Aleman] (BR 2:14, SRNO 3:74, SRNO 4:5, 292), De Campos (SRNO 3:76), de la Cruz (BR 2:499), De Leon [= see Leon], Delgado (SRNO 4:87), De Ojeda (SRNO 3:24), De Rios (SRNO 3:93), De Sena (SRNO 3:95), Diaz (BR 2:7), Espino (SRNO 4:117), Estevan (BR 2:718), Flores (SRNO 3:235), Fuertes (BR 2:592), Geneira [= Genera] (BR 2:16 304), Gomez (SRNO 4:279), Gonzales (BR 2:328, SRNO 4:149), Gonzales Cerpas (SRNO 4:151), Hernandez (BR 2:175, SRNO 4:270), Idalgo [= Hidalgo, Ydalgo] (BR 2:82, 718), Leon [= De Leon] (BR 2:328, SRNO 4:191), Lopes/Lopez (SRNO 3:194, SRNO 4:194), Macha (BR 2:176), Mallor [= Myer, Maior in SRNO 4] (BR 2:330), Martin (BR 2:328), Mata (SRNO 3:204), Mendez (BR 2:328, SRNO 4:149), Monroy (SRNO 3:215), Morales (BR 2:176, SRNO 4:218), Neremes (SRNO 3:93), [Oje?]da (SRNO 3:275), Ortega (BR 2:328, SRNO 4:149), Ortiz (BR 2:592), Pereira (BR 2:29, SRNO 4:242), Perez (BR 2:240, SRNO 3:235), Quintana (BR 2:611), Ramirez (BR 2:82, SRNO 3:251, SRNO 4:194, 258), Ramos (BR 2:239), Rodriguez (BR 2:328, SRNO 3:215, SRNO 4:191, 218, 242), Romera/Romero (BR 2:207, 239, SRNO 4:270), Ruano Sanchez (SRNO 4:279), Sanchez (BR 2:330, 378, SRNO 4:279), Santa Ana (SRNO 4:280), Santos [= de los Santos ?] (BR 2:328), Seballos [= Zevallos] (SRNO 3:275), Suares/Suarez (BR 2:175, SRNO 3:303, SRNO 4:29, 292), Suarez [o Aleman] (BR 2:586), Sudres (SRNO 3:204), Viera [= Biera] (BR 2:304; SRNO 4:311), Ximenez (SRNO 3:303).  NB: Sometimes written as "Aguime" or "Guimes" in the Louisiana records.

Aguimes, and late of Telde: Pereira (BR 2:289), Suarez (BR 2:289).

Aguimes, Las Palmas, Canary Islands: Gidalga [= Hidalgo, Ydalgo] (BR 2:7), Diaz (BR 2:31).

Artenara: Sanchez (BR 2:713), Sanchez Tuxan (BR 2:713), Tuxan (BR 2:713), Vega [= de Vega] (BR 2:713).

Carrizal (El Carrizal, Villa de Carizal): Morales [=Moralez] (BR 2:176), Ramirez (BR 2:82), Viera (BR 2:176, SRNO 4:310).

Guia: Aleman (BR 2:195), Casadas/Cassada [= Quesada] (SRNO 3:49, written as "the town of [Guie?]"), Collado (BR 2:611), Medina (BR 2:615), Monte de Oca (BR 2:615), Ramos (SRNO 4:287), Silva (SRNO 4:287). NB: Besides the "Guia" on Gran Canaria, and there is also a smaller town of "Guia de Isora" on Tenerife.

Ingenio: Genera (BR 2:15, 210), Hernandez (SRNO 4:162, written as "Yno(c/e)nio" in the Louisiana records), Hidalgo (BR 2:242, written as Ygenia in the Louisiana records), Suarez (BR 2:506, written as Yngenio in the Louisiana records).

Juan Grande: Bordona (SRNO 3:121), Espinos (SRNO 3:121), Grande (SRNO 3:121), Quintana (BR 2:611).

The City of Las Palmas: Mirelez (SRNO 4:270), Pino (BR 2:592), Quintero [= Quirino] (BR 2:282), Romero (SRNO 4:270), Ruiz (BR 2:282), Santana (BR 2:592), Suarez (SRNO 4:270), Tilano (BR 2:176). NB: Also see those entries identified as being on the Island of La Palma, as noted above. The Louisiana records have a variety of ways of writing the name of this city, viz: 'City of Palma', 'Ciudad de Palma, Gran Canaria', and 'Palma de Canaria'.

Puerto de la Luz: De Marte [= Marte] (SRNO 3:202, written as "Puerto de la [Luz?] in the Canaries").  NB: As an alternative source for this group, consider the possibility of "Puerto de la Cruz" on the Island of Tenerife.

Tamisas: Monrroy (SRNO 4:214).

Telde: Angel de Quintana (BR 2:195), Baldino (SRNO 3:13), Berde [= Verde ?] (SRNO 4:25), Caballos [= Ceballos, Cavallos, Saballos, Zaballos, Zevallos] (BR 2:181, written as "Selde"; BR 2:328), Cerdena (BR 2:181), De Jesus (BR 2:673, SRNO 4:293), De La Encarnacion (SRNO 3:282), De Morales [= see Morales], Denis (BR 2:203), Figueroa (SRNO 3:225), Hernandez (SRNO 4:162), Masias (BR 2:718, written as "Ferde" in the Louisiana records), Martel (SRNO 3:269), Mason [= Monzon ?] (BR 2:195), Mayor (SRNO 3:207), Melian (SRNO 4:207), Morales (SRNO 3:217, SRNO 4:207), Morrina (BR 2:203), Navarro (SRNO 3:217), Ojeda [= Ojea] (SRNO 3:225), Orgaz (BR 2:718, written as "Ferde" in the Louisiana records), Quintana (BR 2:195), Romero (SRNO 3:263), Sanchez (SRNO 3:269, SRNO 4:25), Suarez/Suares (BR 2:203, SRNO 3:282, SRNO 4:292, 293), Verde [= try Berde].

Tirajana (Tiraxana): De la Paz [or Lopez] (BR 2:506), Del Pino (SRNO 3:87), Diaz (BR 2:242, SRNO 4:98), Espino (SRNO 4:117), Gonzales (BR 2:330), Gonzales Siverio (BR 2:514), Hernandez [??] (SRNO 3:87), La Paz [= see de la Paz], Lopez [or de la Paz] (BR 2:506, SRNO 3:194, SRNO 4:117, 194), Pino [= del Pino] (BR 2:592), Quintero (BR 2:506), Rodrigues (SRNO 4:292), Suarez (BR 2:242, SRNO 4:98, 117, 194, 292), Viera (SRNO 4:310).

Valsequillo (near Telde): Biera [=Viera] (BR 2:82), Macias [=Masias] (BR 2:82, SRNO 4:280), Sanchez (BR 2:82, SRNO 4:280).  In the Louisiana records, this town is sometimes written as Balsequillo.

THE ISLAND OF FUERTEVENTURA : Acosta (SRNO 4:1), Amau (SRNO 4:8), De Leon (SRNO 3:84; written as "Fort Bentura" in the Louisiana records), Deppe [= Diepa, Dieppe] (BR 2:236, written as "Fuente Bentura" in the Louisiana records), Rodriguez (BR 2:641, written in the Louisiana records as "Fuente Bentura").

Puerto de Lasaras: Lopez (BR 2:305, written as "Puerto de Lasarcas" in the Louisiana records).


THE ISLET OF GRACIOSA: Betancour (SRNO 4:29; in the Louisiana records, the place is written as "Graceiuse" but not further identified; besides the Islet of Graciosa in the Canary Islands, there is also an island called Graciosa in Portugal's Azores Islands. The family name Betancour is associated with both the Canaries and the Azores).


These 'unresolved locales' appear in the Louisiana records, but I have been unable to locate them on any map. These Canarian place names may have been mis-understood and mis-written by the Louisiana scribes, or they may have been mis-read by present-day reporters. Or, they might be ancient names no longer in use. If anyone can shed any light on the actual locations of these places, please let me know.

Aquinas (...might this be Aguimes, on Gran Canaria?) 
Lopez (BR 2:506), Machado (BR 2:329), Perez (BR 2:329).

Canaria: Tilano (BR 2:699).

The city of Canary in the Canary Islands (Probably Las Palmas de Gran Canaria ??) Rosales (SRNO 4:273).

The city of the Canaries (Possibly Las Palmas de Gran Canaria)Almeyda (SRNO 3:4), Amara (SRNO 3:4), Quintero (SRNO 3:250), Sanchez (SRNO 4:280).

El Cavo (This locale may have a Tenerife connection): Correo (SRNO 4:65).

Colobinos in the Canary Islands (May have a Fuerteventura connection): Mendez (SRNO 4:1).

Ferde (see Telde, on Gran Canaria)

Fes: Angel Quintana (BR 2:611), Quintana (BR 2:611), Monzon (BR 2:611).

Goya: Ramos (BR 2:673), Silva [= Silba] (BR 2:673).

Puerto de Santa Maria (not further identified): Vellido (SRNO 3:293), Zanches (SRNO 3:293).

Tira[*] in the Canary Islands (...might this be Tirajana, on Gran Canaria?): Gil (SRNO 4:142).

El Valle: Morales (BR 2:699).

Valle de los Nueves: Bermudez (BR 2:82).

Villa de los Caballeros: Alvarez (BR 2:304), Garcia / Garcia y Alvarez (BR 2:304).

Villa Vieja, Cuidad de Rodrigo, Spain: Ramos (BR 2:239), Viera (BR 2:239).

The coast of Yraqua in the Canaries: Benites (SRNO 3:20), Ramos (SRNO 3:20).


Anon, Diocese of Baton Rouge Catholic Church Records: 1770-1803, Volume 2, (Baton Rouge, La.: Diocese of Baton Rouge, 1980), 727 pages, cited herein as "BR 2".

Bourquard, Shirley Chaisson, Early Settlers on the Delta: families of St. Bernard, Plaquemines and Orleans Parishes, Louisiana (Arabi, Louisiana: by the author, 1988), ___ pages.

Forsyth, Alice D., "Notes on Some of the Canary Islanders Who Settled in Louisiana", in L'Heritage, volume 1, number 4 (September 1978), pp.268-276.

Forsyth, Alice D., "The Fourth Part of White Marriages of the City of Galveztown, 1786", in L'Heritage volume 2, number 5 (January 1979), pp.657.

Newfield, Paul III, "Some Canary Island Locales and Their Associated Louisiana Families (Based upon Diocese of Baton Rouge's published records, volume 2)", in Louisiana Genealogical Register, v.35, #1 (March 1988), pp.23-26.

Newfield, Paul III, "More Canary Islands Locales and Their Associated Louisiana Families (From the Archdiocese of New Orleans Sacramental Records, volumes 3 & 4)", in L'Heritage, v.13, #50 (April 1990), pp.118 - 125.

Woods, Rev. Msgr. Earl C., editor, and Dr. Charles E. Nolan, associate editor, Sacramental Records of the Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Volume 3, 1772-1783, (New Orleans: Archdiocese of New Orleans, 1989), 306 pages, cited herein as "SRNO 3".

Woods, Rev. Msgr. Earl C., editor, and Dr. Charles E. Nolan, associate editor, Sacramental Records of the Roman Catholic Church of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, Volume 4, 1784-1790, (New Orleans: Archdiocese of New Orleans, 1989), 327 pages, cited herein as "SRNO 4".

NOTE: I have continued the use of some of the symbols employed in SRNO: 
[, , , , , , ] spelling uncertain due to deterioration or handwriting
[ * ] page deteriorated, information lost;
[ a/b ] letter(s) uncertain, two most probable variations.


Plans under way for 450th Anniversary of the founding of St. Augustine, Florida
Exceptional Renaissance Armor & Portraits, First Time at the National Gallery of Art 

Plans under way for 450th Anniversary 
of the founding of St. Augustine, Florida

St. Augustine was found September 8, 1565

Welcome to the web pages of the 450 Corps, a citizen organization formed to begin planning for the 450th Anniversary of St. Augustine's founding to be celebrated in 2015. 
Its mission is to generate community interest, ideas for anniversary programs and projects, and potential sponsorships. The 450 Corps is designed to fold into a Federal 450th Commission, now making its way through Congress. We are a Florida non-profit corporation with Federal 501.c.3 status for tax-deductible contributions.

Sent by Rafael Ojeda



Exceptional Renaissance Armor and Portraits 
on View Together for the First Time at the National Gallery of Art 


WASHINGTON, DC.- Armor from the renowned Spanish Royal Armory in Madrid will be paired for the first time with portraits by masters such as Peter Paul Rubens, Alonso Sánchez Coello, Anthony van Dyck, and Diego Velázquez depicting emperors and kings wearing the same armor in The Art of Power: Royal Armor and Portraits from Imperial Spain at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, June 28 through November 1, 2009, the sole venue worldwide. 

This unprecedented exhibition, which explores how armor was used to cultivate the image of royal power in late15th- to 18th-century Spain, highlights some 75 armors and paintings, in addition to magnificent tapestries and works on paper that depict armor worn in the courtly, chivalric context of parades, pageants, and jousting tournaments and occasionally, battles. 

"Armor in the Renaissance was an artistic symbol of martial and sovereign power. Paired with court portraits that exude a sense of gravity and formality, the armor on view will reinforce the power of the sitter," said Earl A. Powell III, director, National Gallery of Art. "We are grateful to the Patrimonio Nacional of Spain for extraordinary loans from their collections, as well as to the museums who graciously agreed to lend works to be shown with the sumptuous armor from the Royal Armory." 

The Royal Armory in Madrid, formed at a time when the Spanish Crown was at the height of its international power, is the oldest and one of the finest and largest collections of armor in the world, having great historical, artistic, and symbolic significance. Created largely by King Philip II (reigned 1556–1598) who acquired the armor belonging to his father Emperor Charles V (reigned 1519–1556), it contains not only the personal armor of the Spanish monarchs, but also military trophies and diplomatic and family gifts. The exhibition will examine the significance of the Armory as a key element in the development of court portraiture in Spain from the 16th to the 18th centuries. 

The Art of Power will include several full suits of armor, helmets, shields, and equestrian armor dating from the reign of Emperor Maximilian I (1508–1519) to those of Emperor Charles V and his successors Philip II, Philip III (1598–1621) and Philip IV (1621–1665), all of whom were members of the Habsburg dynasty that ruled much of Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. While sometimes worn in battle, most of the armor in the exhibition was created for use in pageantry. 

Suits of armor were unique objects of great monetary and symbolic value. Much more costly than paintings by the leading artists of the day, they featured complex iconography and designs that expressed the ruler's strength and power, often by comparing him to heroic figures from ancient history, mythology, or the Bible. 

The exhibition opens with a work of art that combines armor and portraiture in a single object: a parade helmet by Filippo Negroli that is also a portrait of Charles V. The helmet portrays the emperor with stylized blond curls and the symbol of the Golden Fleece on the collar, reflecting Charles V's status as grand master of the prestigious chivalric order. 

The next gallery features works of art and armor belonging to Charles V's immediate predecessors: his grandfather, Emperor Maximilian I, and his father, Philip the Handsome (1478–1506). Emperor Maximilian I promoted chivalric ideals by establishing rules for chivalric games and festivities and he laid the foundations for the symbolic decoration of armor. An outstanding example of Maximilian I's equestrian parade armor (c. 1540) by Kolman Helmschmid, features superb decoration drawn from the biblical tradition (scenes from the story of Samson) and classical mythology (scenes from the Labors of Hercules)—two essential pillars of the Renaissance chivalric ideal. 

The Triumphal Arch of Maximilian (1515; 1799 edition), a collaborative effort by Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) and his workshop, is comprises 42 woodcuts and 2 etchings. The work represents the Habsburg genealogy and historical scenes celebrating major events in Maximilian's life, including the military campaigns and dynastic marriages with which means he put together his empire. With the marriage of Philip the Handsome to the daughter of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile, Spain became part of the Hapsburg Empire. The Portrait of Philip the Handsome (c. 1495–1506) by the anonymous Master of the Joseph Sequence—is the first known portrait of an armor-clad king of Spain. 

The Magazine of Troops in Barcelona (c. 1554) is one of three large tapestries in the exhibition that depict armor in use. Woven in the workshop of Willem de Pannemaker from designs by Pieter Coecke van Aelst and Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen, the tapestry shows Charles V reviewing his troops before their departure for battle against the Ottoman Turks from whom he captured the port city of Tunis in North Africa. 

The "Mask" Garniture of Emperor Charles V (1539), made by the Milanese armorers Filippo Negroli and his brothers, is the only known suit of armor signed by Filippo and belongs to the best preserved Italian garniture (full set of armor) of the first half of the 16th century. Negroli was the key figure in the development of armor in the all´antica style, which was inspired by ancient Roman armor, mythology, and classical history. 

Royal armor was often adorned with images of saints and the Virgin and Child to underscore the role of the ruler as the ideal Christian soldier and defender of the Catholic faith. In addition, the Helmet (Burgonet) of Emperor Charles V (1545), by Filippo and Francesco Negroli alludes to Ottoman Turkey, Charles V's principal enemy in the Mediterranean, with a symbolic image of an Ottoman Turk, hands bound. 

Emperor Charles V and and his son King Philip II reigned at a time of splendor in Spanish history, when court portraits in luxury armor became an established type that conveyed the idea of royal power of the Spanish Hapsburg dynasty. 

Juan Pantoja de la Cruz's Portrait of Charles V (1602) is a full-length portrait in armor bearing the symbols of the subject's imperial majesty—the baton of command, the sword, and insignia of the Order of the Golden Fleece. The definitive copy of a lost original by Titian, this painting depicts Charles in the armor he wore at the Battle of Mühlberg (1547) in which he defeated German princes. The portrait is exhibited alongside the actual armor depicted, created in 1544 by Charles' favorite armorer, Desiderius Helmschmid. 

In the hopes that Philip would succeed him as Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V arranged for his son to undertake a three-year-long trip from Spain to Belgium, Italy, Austria, and Germany while still a prince in order to familiarize him with the territories that might fall under his command. The trip culminated with the meeting of the Diet of Augsburg to elect the next emperor (Charles' brother Ferdinand was ultimately selected). For that occasion, Charles commissioned for Philip an elaborate set of armor from Desiderius Helmschmid, which is recorded in a painting by the Spanish artist Sanchez Coello. Another set of armor known as the Flower-pattern armor (c. 1550) is depicted by Velázquez in Portrait of Juan Francisco de Pimentel, Tenth Count of Benavente (1648), a member of the upper nobility. 

Philip II wore the "Burgundy Cross" Armor (1551) created by his favorite armorer, Wolfgang Grosschedel of Bavaria, at the battle of St. Quentin in 1557 against the French—Philip's first major victory as king of Spain. This armor is part of a field garniture with supplementary pieces for jousting and equestrian armor with the same decoration. Its most distinctive feature is the repeating pattern based on the x-shaped cross on which St. Andrew was crucified. The cross, one of the heraldic emblems of the House of Burgundy which was closely linked to the Spanish Crown, is flanked by the insignia of the Golden Fleece. The Burgundy Cross armor is also seen in the full-length Portrait of Philip II (c. 1557) by Anthonius Mor. More than a century later it was chosen for Juan Carreño de Miranda's portrait of Philip's great grandson, Charles II in Armor (1681). 

The supreme commander of the Spanish Armada and viceroy of Sicily, Emmanuel Philibert of Savoy, (c. 1624), depicted in a portrait by Van Dyck, was the grandson of Philip II, nephew of Philip III, and cousin of Philip IV. The painting reflects with extraordinary precision one of his most prized suits of armor, made in 1606 by the so-called Master of the Castle, which is exhibited with the painting. 

The production of armor declined in the 17th century because of the widespread use of firearms and declining popularity of jousting tournaments and pageants. Gradually, armor became disassociated from the rulers for whom it had been made. Instead of projecting an image of royal power, the armor in the collection of the Royal Armory became a resource for artists seeking elegant models for the armor they depicted in paintings of non-royal subjects. In his painting of an Old Testament scene from the Book of Judges, Jael and Sisera (c.1630), Pedro Núñez del Valle drew inspiration from two suits of armor in the Royal Armory, one that had been made for Charles V by Desiderius Helmschmid and another by the Italian armorer Bartolomeo Campi, both of which are on view. Campi's Roman-style armor of Guiobaldo della Rovere, Duke of Urbino (1546) exemplifies the Renaissance taste for armor all´antica and is the only complete surviving suit of its kind in the world. This renowned muscle-plated armor was made for the Duke of Urbino who presented it as a gift to Philip II. 

The Hapsburg line in Spain ended in 1700 with the death of Philip IV's son and successor in 1700. As the French House of Bourbon assumed the Spanish throne, the exhibition concludes with a portrait of a Bourbon king. Anton Raphael Mengs' Portrait of Charles III in Armor (c. 1761) depicts him as commander-in-chief. Dressed in armor and a general's sash, he holds the baton of command in his right hand, and wears a sword hanging from his belt and the symbol of the Golden Fleece around his neck. The painting is the last to portray a king of Spain in armor. 

Sent by Crispin Rendon  


Mexican genomes show wide diversity
Personajes en la Historia de Mexico
A Nation Emerges: Sixty-five Years of Photography in Mexico
Reconocen el trabajo de Elena Poniatowska 
Termina faena de Manuel Capetillo
Carlos Cantu del Rio y de la Cerda
La Guerra de Estados Unidos contra México 1846-1848

Mexican genomes show wide diversity 
By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, AP Science Writer Randolph E. Schmid, Ap Science Writer, May 11


WASHINGTON – The most detailed look yet at the genetics of Mexicans is showing significant diversity, a finding that could help point the way to customized drugs and identification of people prone to certain diseases.

Researchers led by Dr. Gerardo Jimenez-Sanchez studied the genes of 300 mestizos — people of mixed Indian and European background — from six states in Mexico, and one Indian population.

They found significant differences between the mestizos and such groups as Europeans, Africans and Asians, the researchers report in Tuesday's edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

A more detailed gene mapping could help doctors determine an individual's risk of developing certain diseases as well as help them find treatments that will work better for one person or another.

"It is not possible today to say genetic variation is responsible for the unique H1N1 influenza mortality rate in Mexico. However, knowledge of genomic variability in the Mexican population can allow the identification of genetic variations that confer susceptibility to common diseases, including infections such as the flu," Jimenez-Sanchez, of Mexico's National Institute of Genomic Medicine, said in a statement.

The study was formally presented at the presidential residence in Mexico City Monday. At the presentation, Mexican President Felipe Calderon praised the work as a step toward making medical diagnoses more accurate, fighting illness more efficiently, and preventing common diseases.

"The results of this study will improve and accelerate the medical research of hundreds of Mexican scientists, and that will contribute, for example, to identifying genetic risk markers in order to develop treatments and prevention for diseases like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, cancer and some kinds of infections," Calderon said.

Using mathematical analysis, the researchers produced a map of the genetics of the different groups. They found that the mestizo genome includes variations that stretch from Indian to European.

The mestizos studied were from Sonora, Zacatecas, Guanajuato, Guerrero, Veracruz and Yucatan. In addition the research included 30 Zapotecos from Oaxaca.

They found genomes closer to Europeans in northern states and closer to American Indians in southern areas. Indications of African ancestry were low in most areas, though a few individuals had high levels of African genes. Mestizos from Yucatan were the only ones with a detectable Maya influence.




Shared by Mercy Bautista Olvera






Veamos cómo se perdió el territorio de México en sus distintas fechas desde la Nueva España hasta la República.

Fragmentos y datos del tomo I, libro 4º. de mi obra inédita: "La Independencia y los Presidentes de México". Este libro trata de cómo se perdió el territorio nacional en las distintas épocas de la historia, empezando con la "Bula del Papa Alejandro VI, dividiendo el mundo en dos partes entre España y Portugal. 1º. Se perdió el territorio de la Louisiana en 1800. 2º. Pérdida de las dos Floridas en 1819. 3º. Independencia de Cuba en 1821. 4º. Capitanía de Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua y Costa Rica en 1823-24. 5º. Pérdida del territorio de Texas en 1836. 6º. Pérdida de Nevada, Utah, parte de Colorado, Alta California, Arizona y Nuevo México en 1848. 7º. Derechos sobre el territorio de Oregon, en 1846. y 8º. La Mesilla, en 1853.

 Expliquemos, en orden cronológico, la pérdida del territorio nacional El Papa

Alejandro VI, en Bula fechada en 1493, dividió el mundo en dos partes entre España

y Portugal a cien leguas al oeste de Las Canarias y al año siguiente se trasladó la

línea 360 leguas, quedando la sentencia de que el que se opusiera sería

excomulgado, quedando una línea divisoria desde el Polo Ártico al Polo Antártico.

2º. En febrero de 1763 se firmó el Tratado en el que Francia cedió a España el territorio de la Louisiana entre el Missisipe y las Montañas Rocosas, novecientas mil millas cuadradas, que comprendían once estados y parte de dos más y cuyo territorio fue devuelto por España a Francia por medio de tratados bélicos.

3º. Con el Tratado de 1819, Nueva España pierde las dos Floridas, la del Norte y la del Sur y los derechos sobre el territorio de Oregon. 4º. En 1821 Cuba y Puerto Rico se independizan de la Nueva España, logrando Cuba su independencia para constituirse en República.

La Capitanía de Guatemala, junto con Yucatán y Belice, Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua y Costa Rica, se separan de México el 1º. de julio de 1824, quedando imprecisa por muchos años su línea divisoria.

Belice o Balice, que pertenecía a la Nueva España, fue reclamada por muchos años por la Gran Bretaña. Pertenecía a la Capitanía de Yucatán.

En 1836, se independizó el territorio de Texas, lo que veremos en el artículo correspondiente cuando lleguemos con esta serie de artículos, a los gobiernos de esa época.

7º. Con los Tratados de Guadalupe Hidalgo de fecha dos de febrero de 1848, se perdió toda la parte Norte de México, Baja California, Arizona, Nuevo México, etc., lo que veremos cuando lleguemos a esas fechas.

8º. El territorio o franja de La Mesilla, se perdió por Tratado firmado en 1853, inevitablemente, porque por esa parte pasaba el ferrocarril Gadsen Pacific de los Estados Unidos. Se verá en su oportunidad.


Portada del tomo I, de mi obra inédita "La Independencia y los Presidentes de México". Las fotos que aparecen son parte de los cinco libritos de la Independencia de México.

Con motivo de que se preparan las fiestas del bicentenario de la Independencia de México y el Centenario de la Revolución Mexicana, con este artículo doy comienzo a una serie de publicaciones, transcribiendo algunos párrafos de mi obra inédita "La Independencia y los Presidentes de México" que consta de 69 libritos, con 6 mil 190 cuartillas, 70 documentos y 655 fotografías, recopiladas en 13 tomos.

El tomo I, que comprende cinco libritos sobre la Independencia de México, comienza a partir del año de 1800 cuando surgieron los primeros brotes de la Independencia. Contiene, entre otros, los siguientes personajes:

Libro primero Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, en la época de los Reyes de España Carlos IV, y Fernando VII. Siendo virreyes en la Nueva España don Félix Berenguer de Marquina, don Pedro Garibay, don Francisco Javier de Lizama y Beaumont y don Francisco Javier Venegas. Los personajes de la Independencia eran, don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla a la cabeza, capitán Ignacio Allende Unzaga, Cap. Juan Aldama, Cap. Mariano Abasolo, doña Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez, esposa del corregidor de Querétaro don Miguel Domínguez, don Mariano Hidalgo, Víctor Rosales y su familia, don Juan Ruiz de Apodaca.

Libro dos, el cura don José María Morelos y Pavón, continuador de la Independencia de México a la muerte de Hidalgo, con los Galeana, don Mariano Matamoros, López Rayón, don Albino García, don José Antonio Torres, Lic. don Andrés Quintana Roo, doña Leona Vicario, don Félix Ma. Calleja, Virrey de la Nueva España. Murieron: don Mariano Matamoros, don Hermenegildo Galeana, don Miguel Bravo, Constitución de Apatzingán Rosains, Guerrero, Victoria.

Libro 3º.- A la muerte de Morelos, el movimiento de Independencia lo continuó don Francisco López Rayón, don Francisco Javier Mina, y otros.

Libro 1º.- Orígenes de la perdición del territorio mexicano bula del Papa Alejandro VI, territorio de la Luisiana, 1800; Las Floridas en 1819; Cuba en 1821; La Capitanía de Guatemala que comprendía El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua y Costa Rica, en 1823; territorio de Texas en 1836; Nevada, Utah, parte de Colorado, Alta California, Arizona y Nuevo México en 1848 Derechos Sobre Territorio de Oregón en 1846; La Mesilla en 1853.

Libro 5º.- Don Agustín de Iturbide, Plan de Ayala, Ejército Trigarante, Tratados de Córdova, Destitución del Virrey Apodaca, don Juan O'Donoju Junta Provisional

Gubernativa Primera Regencia, Capitanías desde Yucatán, de Chiapas y Guatemala, Bolívar escribe a Iturbide, don José Dávila en Veracruz, Iturbide, Primer Emperador de México, Junta Instituyente, Abdicación de Iturbide y Constitución de 1824.

El Siglo de Torreon:

Sent by Mercy Bautista-Olvera





A Nation Emerges: Sixty-five Years of Photography in Mexico


Nota: This is an excellent source of early photographic images of Mexico (as noted below). Represented are over 600 such images from the collections of the Getty Research Library at the Getty Institute. Our thanks to our friends the librararians and archivists who inhabit the REFORMA listserv list for providing this excellent tip to this precious source of Mexican imagery. If you have time visit the site and see images of Mexicans and things Mexican you've never seen before. Included are some of the earliest photographic images taken in Mexico. The supporting text provides a brief but concise history of the development of photography in Mexico. Adelante.

Roberto R. Calderón 
Historia Chicana [Historia]

The Getty Research Library at the Getty Institute has over 600 digitized images of Mexico from its special collections by Mexican, American, and European photographers in a multitude of photographic formats. The earliest is from 1857, and these photographic images document the history of the nation from different perspectives. To get acquainted with a timeline of Mexico starting in 1810 and going through 1923, visitors should click on "Chronology" on the right hand side of the page. Throughout the chronology are photos and brief descriptions that can be viewed in more depth if users click on "View Full Record", beneath the photo. An extremely helpful and interesting glossary of terms and names can be viewed if visitors click on "Glossary" on the right hand side of the page. The "Glossary" contains the definitions of particular types of photographic images, or processes, as well as explanations of the many ethnic groups that inhabited Mexico at one time or another. Another very interesting section to peruse is of the "Photographers", which is also accessible on the right hand side of the page. With three-dozen photographers to read about including Wilhelm Kahlo, Frida Kahlo's father, visitors will find that some photographers made postcards from the images taken of the revolution in northern Mexico.

From The Scout Report, Copyright Internet Scout Project 1994-2009.
Robin Imperial
REFORMA National Treasurer
Washington, D.C.




Reconocen el trabajo de Elena Poniatowska



México, df.- La periodista y autora mexicana Elena Poniatowska recibirá hoy el Premio "Escritora Galega Universal", en reconocimiento a su excelencia literaria y compromiso ético que la convierten en un referente para la defensa de la dignidad nacional y humana de su país.


Elena Poniatowska

Invitada. La escritora y periodista mexicana Elena Poniatowska posó para los medios ayer en Santiago de Compostela, donde es invitada especial por la Asociación de escritores en lengua gallega. EFE

El galardón que concede la Asociación de Escritores en Lingua Galega (AELG) le será entregado en el Salón Nobre do Pazo de Fonseca, de Santiago de Compostela, informaron los organizadores a través de su página web.

Luego de la ceremonia de entrega, que representa la actividad principal de la escritora en su visita a España, Poniatowska dictará el ocho de mayo la conferencia "La literatura que viene de la calle" que, a decir de ella misma, se trata de un género portador de una memoria colectiva que mantiene y nutre al ser humano.

"Es -dijo- una literatura siempre política y esencial, puesto que da la palabra a aquellos que están condenados a permanecer en silencio".

Poniatowska se suma a la lista de galardonados por la Asociación de Escritores en Lingua Galega, entre los que destacan el escritor palestino Mahmoud Darwish y la poeta cubana Nancy Morejón.

MÁS DE ELLA Nacida el 19 de mayo en París, Francia, Elena Poniatowska es hija del príncipe Jean Joseph Evremond Sperry Poniatowski (descendiente directo del rey Estanislao II Poniatowski de Polonia) y de María de los Dolores (Paula) Amor Escandón, ciudadana mexicana de ascendencia francesa.

Su amplia y destacada producción literaria ha tenido gran influencia en amplios sectores intelectuales de México, lo que le ha valido importantes reconocimientos tanto en México como en el extranjero. Entre los más recientes se encuentran el Internacional de Novela Rómulo Gallegos, 2007, por su novela El tren pasa primero; así como el Internacional Stratich de Martin en 2008 y el Nacional de la Asociación de Radiodifusores Polonia, también del año pasado.

De entre sus obras destacan Hasta no verte; Jesús mío; Querido Diego, te abraza Quiela; Nada, nadie; Las voces del temblor; Juan Soriano, niño de mil años; y Jardín de Francia.

Algunos datos sobre Elena Poniatowska:

Periodista y narradora, nacida en París, Francia, el 19 de mayo de 1933. Radica en México desde 1942.

Fue becaria del Centro Mexicano de Escritores, de 1957 a 1958; ingresó al Sistema Nacional de Creadores Artísticos, como creador emérito, en 1994.

Ha recibido múltiples premios entre los que pueden citarse: Premio Mazatlán, 1970, por Hasta no verte Jesús mío, Premio Xavier Villaurrutia, 1970, Por La noche de Tlatelolco. Premio Nacional de Periodismo (fue la primer mujer que recibió esta distinción) por sus entrevistas, (1978).

Sent by Mercy Bautista Olvera




Termina faena de Manuel Capetillo

:: Espectáculos
mié 06 de may, 2009  

 El actor y torero falleció ayer en un pueblo de Nayarit a los 83 años.


Manuel Capetillo

Como novillero, Capetillo debutó en la Monumental Plaza México el 8 de agosto de 1948, en una temporada de novilladas en la que con Paco Ortiz, Rafael Rodríguez y Jesús Córdoba formaron la famosa cuadrilla de los tres mosqueteros (que eran cuatro).

GUADALAJARA, JAL.- El actor y torero Manuel Capetillo falleció ayer por la mañana a los 83 años en un pueblito de Nayarit, a causa de un paro respiratorio, confirmó su hijo, el actor y cantante Eduardo Capetillo, sin dar mayores detalles.

Los restos del también cantante, escritor, compositor y charro están siendo velados en las capillas El Carmen, de la capital de Jalisco. El progenitor de los Capetillo: Guillermo, Manuel y Eduardo, quienes también han incursionado en la actuación, nació en la ciudad de Guadalajara, Jalisco, el 15 de abril de 1926.

De acuerdo con el programa de espectáculos Ventaneando, luego de su muerte corrían dos versiones sobre las causas de su fallecimiento; la primera que se le reventó una úlcera y broncoaspiró, y la segunda que tuvo una intoxicación, viniendo luego la pérdida; la realidad es que se intoxicó y comenzó a tener mucho vómito, luego broncoaspiró.

El cuerpo del actor arribó a la sala funeraria a las 5:45 de la tarde de ayer, hora en la que aún no se encontraba ningún familiar, ya que tanto sus hijos, nueras, nietos, viuda y demás familiares salieron a las 17:00 horas de la Ciudad de México con rumbo a la Perla Tapatía. Su primo Guillermo García de la Cadena Capetillo, fue el primero en llegar a la funeraria, el mismo que pidió a los representantes de los medios de comunicación que manejaran con mucho respeto la cobertura del sepelio.

Los encargados de la capilla funeraria añadieron que aún no tenían indicaciones sobre si el cuerpo de Manuel Capetillo, será cremado o recibirá el entierro tradicional.

En el cine, Capetillo fue considerado uno de los galanes de su tiempo y participó en películas de corte ranchero en la década de 1960 como La Gitana y el Charro, El Ojo de Vidrio y El As de Oros, por mencionar algunas.

En la televisión participó en telenovelas como Abrázame muy Fuerte y recientemente realizó una participación especial en el melodrama En Nombre del Amor, en la cual dio vida a un viejo amor de “Rufi”, personaje de Magda Guzmán.

Hace dos años recibió un homenaje en el marco del 40 aniversario de la Plaza de Toros el Nuevo Progreso, y con sus más de 80 años a cuestas dio una emotiva vuelta al ruedo.    

Su pasión, la fiesta brava

Como novillero, Capetillo debutó en la Monumental Plaza México el 8 de agosto de 1948, en una temporada de novilladas en la que con Paco Ortiz, Rafael Rodríguez y Jesús Córdoba formaron la famosa cuadrilla de los tres mosqueteros (que eran cuatro).

Tomó la alternativa el 24 de diciembre de ese año en la plaza Colón de Querétaro, de manos de Luis Procuna y con Rafael Rodríguez como testigo con toros de La Punta.

En esa corrida, el sexto toro, “Calle Baja”, le atravesó el muslo izquierdo.

Confirmó el doctorado en la Plaza México el 23 de enero de 1949, de manos de Luis Castro “El Soldado” y como testigo Antonio Velázquez, con el toro “Muñeco” y al sexto “Avellano”, del mismo hierro, le cortó el rabo.

Además, en la Monumental de Las Ventas de Madrid, el 15 de enero de 1952, de manos de Paco Muñoz y como testigo Antonio Ordóñez.

Su historia está plagada de soberbias faenas, entre otras, la de “Tabachín” de Valparaíso y cornadas graves en México y España, entre la que destacada la sufrida en la Plaza México, por el toro “Camisero” de La Laguna que lo tuvo al borde de la muerte, pues le lesionó la pleura.

Source: El Siglo de Torreon:

Sent by Mercy Bautista-Olvera




Carlos CANTU DEL RIO Y DE LA CERDA1 was born in 1651.2

Hola Maria Rosa,
Tengo algo sobre Carlos Cantu que incluye a Felipe pero no casdo aqui. Mi linia viene de Maria Cantu, hermanana de Felipe. Esta familia se une con los De Leon (Perez),Cavazos, Elizondo y finalmente Perez/Gonzalez para mi. Te mando tres generaciones y ojala en algo de sirva!  Suerte! Tomas Saenz

First Generation

1. Carlos CANTU DEL RIO Y DE LA CERDA1 was born in 1651.2

Carlos CANTU DEL RIO Y DE LA CERDA and Maria Teresa DE LEON were married about 1675.3 Maria Teresa DE LEON1,3, daughter of Capt. Alonso PEREZ DE LEON and Josefa HIDALGO -LEAL GONZALEZ, was born about 1651 in Cadereyta , Nuevo Leon, Mexico.2

Carlos CANTU DEL RIO Y DE LA CERDA and Maria Teresa DE LEON had the following children:

+2 i. Maria CANTU DE LEON.
3 ii. Lucia CANTU PEREZ (DE LEON)2 was born (date unknown).
4 iii. Bernardo CANTU PEREZ (DE LEON)2 was born (date unknown).
5 iv. Felipe CANTU PEREZ (DE LEON)2 died in 1705.
6 v. Antonio CANTU PEREZ (DE LEON)2 was born (date unknown).
7 vi. Carlos CANTU PEREZ (DE LEON)2 was born in 1674. He died in 1720 at the age of 46.
8 vii. Miguel CANTU PEREZ (DE LEON)2 was born in 1681.
9 viii. Santiago CANTU PEREZ (DE LEON)2 was born in 1682.
10 ix. Josefa CANTU PEREZ (DE LEON)2 was born in 1683.
11 x. Maria Teresa CANTU PEREZ (CANTU)2 was born in 1693.
12 xi. 1704) CANTU PEREZ (DE LEON)2 was born (date unknown).
13 xii. Maria Tomasa CANTU PEREZ (CANTU)2 was born in 1690.

Second Generation

2. Maria CANTU DE LEON4 (Carlos-1) was born in 1683.1

Maria CANTU DE LEON and Capt. Juan GONZALEZ HIDALGO were married.1,4 Capt. Juan GONZALEZ HIDALGO4–5, son of Bernabe GONZALEZ HIDALGO GUTIERREZ and Josefa TREVINIO Y MAYA, was born in 1681.1

Capt. Juan GONZALEZ HIDALGO and Maria CANTU DE LEON had the following children:

14 i. Joseph GONZALEZ HIDALGO was born in 1703.1
15 ii. Salvdor GONZALEZ HIDALGO1 was born in 1708 in Cadereita , Nuevo Leon, Mexioco.
16 iii. Maria Francisca GONZALEZ HIDALGO1 was born in 1709.
+17 iv. Rosa Maria GONZALEZ CANTU.
18 v. Santiago Tadeo GONZALEZ HIDALGO celebrated her bas mitzvah in 1713.1
19 vi. Leonarda GONZALEZ HIDALGO1 was born (date unknown).
20 vii. Juan Dios GONZALEZ HIDALGO1 was born (date unknown).

Third Generation

17. Rosa Maria GONZALEZ CANTU4 (Maria Cantu De Leon-2, Carlos-1) was born in Cadereita Jimenez, Nuevo Leon, Mexioco. She died in Monterrey, N.L., Mexico.

Rosa Maria GONZALEZ CANTU and Francisco Javier DE LA GARZA OCHOA were married on 1 Nov 1727 in Cadereita , Nuevo Leon, Mexioco.6 Francisco Javier DE LA GARZA OCHOA7, son of Francisco DE LA GARZA GARCIA and Gertrudis OCHOA DE ELIZALDE, was baptized on 12 Apr 1705 in Monterrey , N.L. Mexico.6

Francisco Javier DE LA GARZA OCHOA and Rosa Maria GONZALEZ CANTU had the following children:

+21 i. Maria Gertrudis DE LA GARZA GONZALEZ.
22 ii. Maria Ana Dominga DE LA GARZA GONZALEZ6 was born (date unknown).

Rosa Maria GONZALEZ CANTU and Juan Bautista CAVAZOS FERNADEZ were married on 20 Jul 1738 in Cadereita Jimenez, Nuevo Leon, Mexioco.4 Juan Bautista CAVAZOS FERNADEZ8, son of Juan CAVAZOS RODRIGUEZ DE MONTEMAYOR and Jacinta FERNADEZ DE CASTRO, was born in 1710 in Monterrey, N.L., Mexico.4 He died on 1 Jun 1784 at the age of 74 in Monterrey, N.L., Mexico.4

Juan Bautista CAVAZOS FERNADEZ and Rosa Maria GONZALEZ CANTU had the following children:

23 i. Jose Fernando CAVAZOS GONZALEZ4 was born in Monterrey, N.L., Mexico. He died in Monterrey, N.L., Mexico.
24 ii. Fellipe CAVAZOS GONZALEZ4 was born in Monterrey, N.L., Mexico.
25 iii. Tomas CAVAZOS GONZALEZ4 was born in Monterrey, N.L., Mexico. He died in Monterrey, N.L., Mexico.
26 iv. Francisco CAVAZOS GONZALEZ4 was born (date unknown).
27 v. Maria Rosallia CAVAZOS GONZALEZ4 was born in Monterrey, N.L., Mexico.
28 vi. Juan de Nepomuceno CAVAZOS GONZALEZ4 was born on 17 Feb 1738 in Sagrario Metro., Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
29 vii. Juana Maria CAVAZOS GONZALEZ4 was born on 8 Jul 1742 in Sagrario Metro., Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
30 viii. Joseph Dimas CAVAZOS GONZALEZ was born on 22 Sep 1743 in Sagrario Metro., Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
31 ix. Maria Brigida CAVAZOS GONZALEZ4 was born on 31 May 1745 in Sagrario Metro., Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.
32 x. Jose Patricio CAVAZOS GONZALEZ4 was born in 1757 in Monterrey, N.L., Mexico.




La Guerra de Estados Unidos contra México 1846-1848
Ing. Clemente Rendón de la Garza
Cronista Municipal de Matamoros
Sent by Jay Farias


          Hace 163 años que se inició una injusta Guerra de un pais poderoso en contra de un país débil. Las dos primeras batallas se realizaron los dias 8 y 9 de mayo de 1846, en terrenos del fundo legal de Matamoros que comprendía territorio en ambos lados del rio Bravo y Grande. Estas Batallas son conocidas en la historia como Palo Alto y Resaca de Guerrero, Resaca de la Palma o simplemente  Resaca. En esa época Tamaulipas era un Estado Mexicano que tenía como límite al norte, el rio de las Nueces.

          Trataré de explicar este doloroso  proceso en forma objetiva.

I).- Antecedentes.-


          Las exploraciones españolas en el período inmediato al descubrimiento de América por los Europeos, reconfirmaron a España como soberana de un vasto territorio que incluía la mayor parte de América del Norte, América del Centro y América del Sur.

          La conquista de la parte de América del Norte conocida como la Nueva España, fue un proceso que inició con la exploración de la costa de ese enorme mar  conocido como el Golfo de México. Hubo exploraciones marítimas de un gran número de navegantes: Cristobal Colón, a partir de 1492, en las Bahamas y Cuba, que son una de las puertas para entrar al Golfo; Americo Vespucio en 1497; Juan Ponce de León, en la península de La Florida en 1513; Francisco Hernández de Córdoba, en la península de Yucatán, en 1517;  Juan de Grijalba en 1518; Alonso Alvarez de Pineda, en la costa desde la Florida hasta el Pánuco en 1519; Francisco de Garay, Diego de Camargo y Pánfilo Narváez, en 1520 y Hernán Cortés en el período 1519-1521, en que consumó la caida del Imperio Azteca y la conquista de la Nueva España, dandole al Emperador Carlos I de España y V de Alemania,  territorios de tan grandes dimensiones que jamas había soñado.

          Las exploraciones por tierra permitieron conocer detalladamente la geografía de cada región, asi como a sus moradores nativos con sus hábitos y costumbres. Las exploraciones terrestres en el noreste de la Nueva España, fueron las siguientes: Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca en 1528; Francisco Vásquez de Coronado en 1539;  Hernando de Soto y Luis de Moscoso en 1539; fray Marcos de Mena y un grupo de náufragos en 1554; fray Agustín Rodríguez y Francisco Sánchez Chamuscado en 1681; Gaspar Castaño de Sosa en 1590; Alonso de León en 1687-1690 y un gran número de frailes franciscanos que fundaron misiones en los siglos XVII y XVIII.

          Transcurrieron más de 200 años de exploraciones y fundaciónes de misiones para propagar el evangelio en el noreste de la Nueva España. Fue en el año 1747 que se inició la empresa colonizadora de la provincia del Nuevo Santander, por orden del virrey Juan Francisco de Güemes y Horcasitas, conde de Revillagigedo, quien comisionó a don José de Escandón y Helguera para que realizara la colonización, previa exploración. El territorio de la provincia del Nuevo Santander estaba comprendido entre los ríos Pánuco y Nueces, abarcando desde la costa del Golfo hasta los límites del Nuevo Reino de León y la provincia de Coahuila y Tejas. Escandón fundó 22 villas en un período de siete años.

          Cuando México se independizó de España en 1821, el territorio de la Nueva España en el noreste, llegaba hasta el río Sabinas, que es el lindero con Louisiana y hasta el río Rojo, que es el lindero con Oklahoma. En el  norte y noroeste  el límite de México era la latitud 42 grados (paralelo 42).

          El Imperio mexicano de Agustín de Iturbide autorizó en 1823, la solicitud de Moisés Austin y su hijo Stephen para  llevar trescientas familias y colonizar la provincia de Tejas. En 1824 se constituyó la República Mexicana; el primer Presidente Guadalipe Victoria rebocó la autorización de Iturbide, emitiendo un Decreto para la Colonización, que consideraba ilegal la inmigración no autorizada, sin embargo la intromisión Anglo-Americana continuó en contra de la ley promulgada por el gobierno Mexicano.

      La provincia del Nuevo Santander conservó el mismo nombre hasta 1824, cuando la constitucion de México le dió un nuevo nombre: Estado de Tamaulipas, el cual, igual que el Nuevo Santander, llegaba hasta el río Nueces. La provincia de los Tejas, pasó a formar parte del estado de Coahuila y Texas.

    En 1829, el gobierno de México comisionó al heroe de la Independencia Gral. Manuel de Mier y Terán para que encabezara una expedición que sería la encargada de reconocer y fijar los límites entre México y Louisiana , la cual ya formaba parte de los Estados Unidos. El general Mier y Terán fue acompañado por un grupo de científicos entre los cuales estaba el sabio suizo Jean Louis Berlandier; llevaban la comisión de hacer reconocimientos geográfícos y topográficos, asi como la Flora y la Fauna. El general Mier y Terán se percató que la intromisión Anglo-americana aumentaba cada día y que si no se tenía un ejército de regular tamaño, no se podría impedir esa invasión pacífica. México era un país muy joven que había sido saqueado en trescientos años del Virreinato y después de la guerra de independencia, había quedado en una alarmante miseria; por lo tanto no tenía recursos para sostener a un ejército que frenara la inmigración ilegal. El pundonoroso general Manuel de Mier y Terán, ante la desesperación e impotencia por no poder proteger los territorios septentrionales de México, se suicidó en Padilla, Tamaulipas porque sabía que la provincia de los Tejas se perdería tarde o temprano.

II).- La República de Texas (1836-1845)

          El general Antonio López de Santa Anna, reasumió la Presidencia de la República Mexicana, por segunda ocasión, pero al poco tiempo se retiró del Poder Ejecutivo. Después emprendió una expedición militar a la provincia de Texas para expulsar a los inmigrantes ilegales,  a pesar de haber tenido algunos triunfos miltares, cometió varios errores que le llevaron a la derrota en San Jacinto, en donde fue aprehendido; después fue obligado a firmar unos tratados en el pueblo de Velasco, en los cuales, supuestamente, Santa Ana reconocía la independencia de Texas. Dichos tratados en ninguna cláusula mencionan que Santa Anna reconociera la independencia de Texas, aunado al hecho de que no tenía ninguna personalidad jurídica para hacerlo. Además en Derecho Internacional no tienen validez los acuerdos que se firman cuando una de las partes se encuentra en calidad de prisionero; mucho menos validez tendrán acuerdos incógnitos como los “Tratados ‘secretos’ de Velasco”. Sin embargo se impuso la voluntad de los vencedores: Texas se convirtió en República.

          En los mapas de la República de Texas se puede apreciar que dicha República tenía como límite al sur el río Nueces y al poniente, aproximadamente,  hasta el meridiano 99 grados de longitud poniente. Hasta hoy no se conocen ‘mapas secretos’ de la República de Texas, pero si se conocen mapas que ‘a posteriori’ tratan de justificar lo injustificable.          

Texas fue una República solo 9 años, a  fines de 1845 se cumplió con el plan original: Texas se anexó a los Estados Unidos, como un estado más. El hambre insasiable y la política expansionista del presidente Polk, quién lo declaró en el discurso de toma de posesión, quería más territorios. Refiriéndose esa política expansionista de Polk, el diputado Federal (Federal Representative) Abraham Lincoln declaró, en 1847, “esta política me recuerda a aquel granjero que decía: ‘yo no quiero adquirir todas las tierras, solamente quiero las que van colindando con las mias’ ”.

III).- Inicia la Guerra

      El Presidente Polk envió, sin autorización del Congreso, un poderoso ejército a posesionarse de la parte norte del estado Mexicano de Tamaulipas, conocida como la franja del Nueces, que es el territorio comprendido entre el Rio Bravo y el Rio Nueces, argumentando que era parte del estado de Texas, lo cual estaba muy lejos de ser verdad. Lo que realmente venía a hacer el ejército comandado por Zacarías Taylor, era  provocar al ejército Mexicano y poder tener un pretexto para declarar la guerra a México. Taylor declaró “Mi marcha es un agresión a México...Pero un soldado debe obedecer ordenes”. El pretexto se dió muy pronto: cuando el General Anastacio Torrejón dió una “tunda” a una patrulla del ejército de Taylor en el rancho “Carricitos”, al norte del río Bravo, por andarse metiendo en territorio mexicano. Para el presidente Polk ese fue su motivo aparente para presentarse ante el Congreso; el 11 de mayo de 1846 declaró: “Ha sido derramada sangre americana en territorio americano” (*) por consiguiente había  ‘casus belli’ para que los Estados Unidos  declararan la guerra a México. El joven Woodrow Wilson escribió, en su ‘History of the American People’, calificando la guerra contra México de “agresión inexcusable”.

 (*) A menos que Polk se hubiera referido a que residentes del Continete llamado América habían sido muertos en la parte norte del Continente: Norteamérica, de otra manera las declaraciones vertidas eran falsas ya que esta escaramuza se efectuó en territorio de Tamaulipas. Por otro lado, los mexicanos también somos ‘americanos’ y ‘norteamericanos’.

          Aunque tuvo una fuerte oposición, el presidente Polk logró el 13 de mayo de 1846, que el Congreso declarara la guerra a México, ¡después de que se habían realizado las batallas de Palo Alto y Resaca de Guerrero!, sin que Polk tuviera conocimiento (oficial) de ello, ya que las comunicaciones de esa época eran lentas y deficientes. A menos de que tuviera buen cálculo y estimara que ya había pasado lo que tenía que pasar. Se dice que desde febrero estaba preparando el mensaje que habría de presentar al Congreso... en su momento. Cuanta razón tiene el historiador chihuahuense José Fuentes Mares cuando afirma: “La histoia de México se ha escrito en Washington...a priori’  **”.                                                            

 (**) Antes que suceda.

          México no declaró la guerra a los Estados Unidos; en el decreto del Congreso de fecha 2 de julio de 1846, que fue publicado el 7 de julio, exponía: “El Gobierno, en uso de la natural defensa de la Nación, repelerá la agresión que los Estados Unidos de América han iniciado y sostienen contra la República Mexicana, habiendola invadido y hostilizado en varios de los departamentos de su territorio”. El manifiesto del presidente Mariano Paredes de abril 23 de 1846, claramente señala que él no decreta la Guerra al Gobierno de los Estados Unidos, porque esa es función del Congreso de la Nación y añade: “desde este dia comienza la guerra defensiva, y serán defendidos esforzadamente cuantos puntos de nuestro territorio fueren invadidos o atacados”.

          Las batallas de Palo Alto y Resaca de Guerrero de los dias 8 y 9 de mayo de 1846, en territorio tamaulipeco, marcaron el inicio de la guerra de los Estados Unidos contra México. Taylor continuó su avance por Camargo, Monterrey, Saltillo y La Angostura. Winfield Scott desembarcó en el puerto de Veracruz con un poderoso ejército y derrotó a los mexicanos en Cerro Gordo, Jalapa, Puebla, Churubusco, Padierna, Molino del Rey y Chapultepec. Finalmente se apoderaron de la Ciudad de México el 14 de septiembre de 1847. Con la fuerza ‘legal’ que dan los cañones y el ejército; ya lo había dicho Cicerón: “Las leyes guardan silencio cuando suenan las armas”. El representante de los Estados Unidos ‘convenció’ a los representantes de México a firmar los tratados de Guadalupe Hidalgo, el 2 de febrero de 1848. Se habla de una “compra” con una “indemnización” ridícula de 15 Millones de pesos ¡por 210 Millones de Hectáreas (500 Millones de acres)!. Sin embargo, el Presidente Polk se sintió insatisfecho porque tambíen quería anexarse la península de Baja California y el Itsmo de Tehuantepec y algunos congresistas hablaban de “Todo México”.

     El General Taylor inició la invasión reclamando la ‘franja del Nueces’, la cual es una porción relativamente pequeña. Con el tratado de Guadalupe, México perdió mas de la mitad de su territorio. Con esta acción recuerdo el ranchero aquel que fue llevado a la cárcel. Cuando preguntó al Juez la causa de su detención, el Juez le dijo: “te robaste una vaca”. Inmediatamente el ranchero contestó: “no señor Juez, yo me encontré un mecatito, que en la otra punta haya venido amarrada una vaca es, más bién, suerte”. Taylor se “encontró” el mecatito llamado ‘franja del Nueces’, que en la otra punta haya venido una vaca llamada: Nuevo México, Arizona, California, Nevada,  Colorado (***) y Utah, fue más bién cosa de suerte.

 (***) para demostar los origenes hispanos de estos inmensos territorios, no necesitamos mas argumento que los nombres en español de ellos.

          Aunque en los tratados de Guadalupe Hidalgo se reconocía a los propietarios originales, después de la guerra vino la invasión de los especuladores, que realizaron transacciones fraudulentas e injustas. Con argumentos tales como: “me vendes (muy barato) o le compro a tu viuda”, o asesinando a los propietarios originales para apropiarse de los documentos oficiales que los acreditaban como propietarios, aplicaban la misma técnica de Polk, solo que en pequeña escala. Fue asi como los grandes ranchos de los De la Garza, los Hinojosa, los Ballí, los García, los De León, los Treviño, los Benavides, los Sáenz, los Solis y tantos otros mexicanos, pasaron a ser parte de los Ranchos de los Kennedy, los King, los Stillman y otros ‘Neotejanos’ que no le hacían honor al nombre de Tejas que en lengua Caddo significa ‘amigos’ o ‘aliados’.

          La  Batalla de Palo Alto se conoce como la Batalla de los Presidentes, no porque allí se hubieran enfrentado los Presidentes Polk y Paredes, sino porque en ella participaron Zacarías Taylor y Ulises Grant en el ejército Americano y Mariano Arista, Rómulo Diaz de la Vega y Félix Zuloaga en el ejército Mexicano. Los cinco militares llegaron a ser Presidentes de sus respectivas Repúblicas, algún tiempo después.

IV).- Reflexiones

          En el sitio del parque Nacional de Palo Alto podemos observar que los lugares de referencia, alrededor del parque y su historia: Palo Alto, camino Paredes, Los Fresnos, Resaca de Guerrero, Resaca de la Palma, Frontón de Santa Isabel, Brazos de Santiago, Isla del Padre Ballí, Laguna Madre, tanques del Ramireño, Río Grande ó Río Bravo, Carricitos, el Longoreño y otros lugares, son toponimia en español desde sus inicios hasta nuestros dias, por lo que su origen es dificil de explicar en lengua inglesa o sajona.

          El cinco de diciembre de 1998, dentro de los festejos del Sesquicentenario de la fundación de Brownsville, se inauguró la primera etapa de las instalaciones que conformarián el centro de información y museo en sitio, del lugar en donde inició la guerra de los Estados Unidos contra México. Dado que se incurrió en la descortesía de no invitar a ningún orador mexicano, ni se le rindieron homenajes a la bandera mexicana, la ceremonia del 5 de diciembre mueve a reflexionar. Las autoriades e invitados que estaban presentes eran las siguientes: el Diputado Federal Solomón Ortiz, el alcalde de Brownsville H. González, el Juez federal Filemón Vela, el Juez del Condado Gilberto Hinojosa, el presidente de los festejos del sesquicentenario Agustín Celaya, el superintendente del parque David Vela, Fausto Yturria, la señora Mary Yturria, Yolanda González, Alfonso Gómez Arguelles y muchos otros amigos que se preocupan para que se hable con la verdad. Creo que ninguno de ellos tenga antecedentes genealógicos con los primeros pobladores de las trece colonias originales que establecieron los ingleses. Pensando en la cantidad de personas  (aproximadamente 20 millones) de ascendencia mexicana ó española que viven en los estados fronterizos del sur de los Estados Unidos, me pregunto:¿será la reconquista de los territorios perdidos?;  ¿será justicia divina?;  ¿será la venganza de Moctezuma?...  ¡Vaya usted a saber!.

     Lo que si podemos saber es que en la actualidad los gobiernos y los habitantes de México y los Estados Unidos somos amigos que nos respetamos y nos ayudamos. Si la Historia y la Geografía nos pusieron de vecinos, no seamos ‘vecinos distantes’ y vamos conviviendo como entes civilizados, ahora que estamos viviendo en el inicio del siglo veintiuno.


V).-    Inauguración del Centro de Visitantes del Parque Nacional en el 

          Campo  de  batalla  Palo Alto.


          El 24 de enero de 2004 se inaugurarón las modernas instalaciones del Museo en sitio de la batalla de Palo Alto, en el Parque Nacional del mismo nombre. Se invitó a las autoridades municipales de Matamoros a participar en el evento. El Presidente Municipal de Matamoros Ing. Mario Zolezzi dijo que no le interesaba participar en ese evento porque los mexicanos no tenemos nada que celebrar allí, pero pidió al Secretario de Educación y Cultura, Profr. Arturo Sarabia, que asistiera sin representación oficial. A mi se me pidió que no asistiera como Cronista de la Ciudad de Matamoros, por lo que asistí en mi carácter de Past Presidente de la organización Binacional “Los Caminos del Rio”. En ese evento hubo alrededor de 300 personas, entre los que destacaban el Gobernador de Texas Rick Perry; el representante del Presidente de los EEUU George Bush, Daniel Garza; el Alcalde de Brownsville Eddie Treviño; el Presidente de la Comisión Histórica de Texas, John L. Nau III; El cordinador estatal del Servicio Nacional de Parques, David Vela; el representante de la dependencia Nacional de Parques, Steve Martin y muchas otras personalidades.

          Solamente yo pude participar en el programa de inauguración como mexicano. El mensaje que me tocó exponer, en la ceremonia de inauguración aparecía en el programa como “A View from México”, que más o menos quiere decir: “El punto de vista  de México”, desde luego que no es un mensaje oficial, sino estrictamente mi punto de vista, pero eso si con mucho amor a mi patria que es México y su Historia y tratando de interpretrar lo que pensamos la mayoría de los mexicanos. Reproduzco dicho mensaje íntegro, a continuación:


          “Estamos reunidos en este sitio histórico, para rendir tributo a los soldados-héroes que murieron en este lugar hace casi 158 años, en el cumplimiento de su deber. Para los mexicanos no es fácil acudir a un lugar que nos trae recuerdos tan tristes. A pesar del tiempo transcurrido, la herida sigue doliendo, sobre todo duele mas cuando no se dice la verdad o no se comentan con imparcialidad los acontecimientos aqui sucedidos. Por ello, los mexicanos que nos aventuramos a venir a este sitio, deseamos que se diga la verdad histórica, que se recuerde con respeto a los héroes mexicanos que participaron en esta guerra, que se muestre a México, a los Estados Unidos y a todo el Mundo que en este lugar en donde hubo una guerra, hoy vivimos en PAZ.

          El sentimiento de los mexicanos de ayer y el sentimiento de los mexicanos de hoy, es el mismo: fuimos despojados de la mitad de nuestro territorio, mediante la imposición de la voluntad del más fuerte. Esa fue una guerra injusta por la superioridad técnica militar y económica de los Estados Unidos.

          Si en el pasado fuimos agredidos por el Destino Manifiesto, en la actualidad estamos unidos por el destino evidente, que es el resultado de nuestro proceso de desarrollo histórico: tenemos un origen y una historia común y tendremos un brillante futuro compartido.

          Yo invito a las autoridades, al servicio Nacional de parques, a la Comisión histórica de Texas, a las Universidades e Instituciones de enseñanza, a los historiadores, a los ciudadanos y a todos los que nos interesa concocer el pasado de nuestros pueblos, a que nos comportemos como adultos, con madurez y responsabilidad, a que hablemos de nuestra história con la verdad. Vivimos tiempos de decadencia de los valores morales y no queremos que esta decadencia llegue a nuestras familias ni a nuestros pueblos, por lo cual debemos de hablar de nuestro pasado y de nuetras raices, apegandonos a la justicia y a la verdad. Nuestra historia, apasionante y dolorosa, es un proceso irreversible; despues de 158 años no tiene sentido tratar de cambiarla. Por respeto a los héroes muertos y por responsabilidad con los ciudadanos vivos, digamos la verdadera historia para que nos sirva de verdadera lección.

Matamoros y Brownsville son Ciudades hermanas, oficialmente, desde 1994, aunque en la práctica han sido hermanas desde siempre. Contribuyamos para que los habitantes de las dos naciones del  valle de la desembocadura del rio Bravo y Grande nos comportemos como ciudadanos hermanos y que las poblaciones gemelas sean ciudades hermanas de hecho.

 Hemos sido, somos y seguiremos siendo Amigos de la Frontera”.


Clemente Rendón de la Garza

Past Presidente de Los Caminos del Rio

Enero 24 de 2004. Brownsville, Texas.


          Cuando terminé de leer este mensaje, ante unas 300 personas, el Gobernador de Texas Rick Perry, a cuyas espaldas estaba colocado el podium, volteó y me dijo “Very well done”, saludandome de mano; desde luego que fue por cortesía, porque no entendió lo que dije en español. Cuando mi amigo, el profesor de Historia de la Universidad de Texas en Brownsville, Dr. Anthony Knopp, leyó la traducción de este mensaje en inglés, algunos amigos que estaban entre el público me comentaron que el Gobernador Perry hizo varios gestos. Quizá se sintió incomodo, porque la verdad incomoda a algunas personas. A pesar de que hay muchos matices en la verdad, ya que como escribió el poeta español, Ramón de Campoamor: “en este mundo traidor/ nada es verdad ni mentira/ todo es según el color/ del cristal con que se mira”. La historia debe ser  imparcial, objetiva y verdadera, pero no debe ser tamizada o filtrada a través de ningún color, porque entonces se convertiría en historia distorsionada, perdiendo su escencia y caracterizticas  “Sine qua non”,  para convertirse en cuento increíble o relato irreal.

          El Presidente Municipal Mario Zolezzi me felicitó por el mensaje expresado y me dijo: ‘que bueno que asististe.’. El Profr. Arturo Sarabia me dio la razón, ya que le argumentaba, tenemos que asistir a estos eventos, porque si no lo hacemos perdemos por omisión y si no exponemos nuestro punto de vista, no lo sabrán o fingirán que no lo saben.

          Conozcamos nuestra verdadera Historia para evitar que nos sigan contando cuentos, no podemos cambiar la Historia porque es un proceso irreversible, pero si podemos cambiar o desmentir el contenido de la Historia que ha sido escrita con parcialidad, falsedad, mala fé o ignorancia.

          México tiene una hermosa historia, estudiémosla para conocer nuestros   origenes y así amemos más a nuestra patría. Analicemos la historia para que nos sirva de maestra de la vida y faro de los tiempos. Que las experiencias de nuestros antepasados nos sean útiles para no volver a cometer los errores del pasado, pero, sobre todo, para imitar sus buenas acciones y aciertos, en el presente y en el futuro.    

Ing. Clemente Rendón de la Garza
Cronista Municipal de Matamoros



John U. Sepúlveda and Dr. Antonia Pantoja

Puerto Ricans inducted into Hunter’s Hall of Fame


Mercy Bautista-Olvera



In April 2001, John U. Sepúlveda and Dr. Antonia Pantoja were honored by Hunter College . Mr. Sepúlveda and Dr. Antonia Pantoja were inducted into Hunter's Hall of Fame. This consists of alumni honored for their Outstanding Professional Achievements. The ceremony took place at the Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers.    

 John U. Sepúlveda

 John Sepúlveda was born in New York City . He is married to Awilda Rodriguez-Sepúlveda; the couple lives in Chantilly Virginia .  

Sepúlveda, earned his Bachelors degree from Hunter College in 1977, and two Master’s degrees in Political Science from Yale University , he also taught Political Science at Yale University and Hunter College .  

Sepúlveda served as Deputy Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), he was nominated by former President Bill Clinton and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in October 1998; this appointment made him the highest-ranking City University of New York (CUNY) graduate in the executive branch.  He was the first Hispanic to serve as Deputy Director of the agency and as such devoted his expertise to increasing diversity within Office of Personnel Management (OPM) and throughout the federal government. Sepúlveda has also held a director position within the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, overseeing a program that built and renovated hospitals across the U.S. , including several in New York City .  

Sepúlveda served as Director of the Department of Housing and Industry Outreach at the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, known as Freddie Mac, in McLean , Virginia . He was in charge of several initiatives that reach out to minority and immigrant organizations to promote home ownership, affordable housing and community development.  Sepúlveda served on education program involving the National Urban League and five historically black colleges that aimed to build awareness of credit issues and alleviate credit problems that can interfere with the ability to purchase a home.  

In May 20, 2009, John U. Sepúlveda took the oath of office to serve as Assistant Secretary for human Resources and Administration for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) agency in the President Obama’s administration.  

antonia pantoja




 Dr. Antonia Pantoja


                 19212002                             Presidential Medal of Freedom


Dr. Antonia Pantoja was born out of wedlock in San Juan, Puerto Rico on September 13, 1921, raised by her grandparents; she received her primary and secondary education, eventually with the financial help given to her by her wealthy neighbors Dr. Pantoja further her education.     

Dr. Pantoja graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a Teaching Certificate, she taught disadvantage students for two years after graduating in 1942, she felt frustrated by social and cultural expectations as her mother married and whose husband was not working due to a disability, yearning for a new life Dr. Pantoja migrated to New York City in 1944.  

Dr. Antonia Pantoja won a scholarship to Hunter College in Manhattan , New York , where she received a Bachelors Degree in Social Science in 1952, a Masters Degree of Social Work from Columbia University ’s New York school of Social Work . In 1973, Dr. Pantoja received a PhD from the Union Graduate School , Yellow Springs , Ohio .  

In 1957, Pantoja founded the Puerto Rican Forum (originally the Hispanic American Youth Association) which served as an incubator for organizations and programs promoting economic self-sufficiency. The organization is now known as the National Puerto Rican Forum in The Bronx.  

In 1974, Dr. Pantoja joined the faculty at San Diego State University ’s School of Social Work with her partner and colleague. Wilhelmina Perry, the independent Graduate School for Community Development in San Diego, California which trained activists to analyze and build solutions to community problems. 

After 1984, Dr. Pantoja moved to Puerto Rico, there she established “Producir,” (to produce in Spanish) an organization focused on economic development to small businesses, and Provivienda, which works to develop housing for the needy, eventually coming back to the states.  

In 1991, Dr. Pantoja received the John W. Gardner Leadership Award from the Independent Sector. That same year, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) felt privileged to bestow the Graciela Olivarez Award to Dr. Pantoja, for her pioneering efforts on behalf of all Latinos. NCLR is dedicated to keeping the memory of Dr. Pantoja and other great Latinos of the past and present alive so that they may assume their rightful place in American history.  

In 1998, Dr. Pantoja returned to New York , she dedicated her life to education and community development in New York City and Puerto Rico .  She had been the driving force behind the development of two financial investment and credit corporations in Puerto Rico : Provivienda, Inc., a not-for-profit housing development and management corporation, and Producir, Inc., a rural community development corporation that was included in a 1998 CNN program entitled "Fields of Dreams."

Dr. Pantoja became an educator, social worker, feminist civil Rights Leader. She is best known for founding in 1961 an organization called ASPIRA, (Spanish verb for aspire) a network of clubs for Puerto Rican youth that builds pride and identity through education in Puerto Rican culture and history, and in so doing encourages them to pursue a college degree.  ASPIRA now has chapters in six states ( Connecticut , Florida , Illinois , New Jersey , New York , and Pennsylvania ) and Puerto Rico . In 1996, this work in ASPIRA led to her Medal of Freedom, the highest honor bestowed an American civilian. President Bill Clinton recognized her many contributions, Dr. Pantoja became the first Puerto Rican woman to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government to civilians. 

Dr. Pantoja is credited as well with conceiving and establishing in Washington , D.C. , a research center and clearinghouse of literature, art, and other information that led to the creation of Universidad Boricua, which later became Boricua College in Brooklyn , New York .  She also provided the leadership for the creation of the Puerto Rican Forum, an employment and training program with offices in New York City and Chicago .  

Dr. Pantoja was the author of several articles on community development, cultural pluralism, social politics, women’s issues and racism, and the subject of many documentaries, newspaper, magazine articles and journal articles.  

Arte Publico published Dr. Pantoja’s autobiography “Memoirs of a Visionary,” she was working on her second book on the history of Aspira. In the process of initiating a collection on the history and contributions of Puerto Ricans to the City of New York, she succumbed to illness. Dr. Antonia Pantoja died of cancer in Manhattan, New York, survived by her longtime