Somos Primos

MARCH  2009
111th Issue Online

Editor: Mimi Lozano ©2000-9

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


Click for more information on the subject.



I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government 
from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.

Thomas Jefferson

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Content Areas
United States 
National Issues
Action Item
National Parks Service
Hispanic Heritage Month

Bilingual Education


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



  Letters to the Editor : 

Estimada Mimi,

Que trabajo tan soberbio el que mensualmente ustedes realizan. 
Pero ojo, Soberbio en el siguiente sentido: "que destaca entre las de su clase por sus cualidades excelentes"
Por un soberbio 2009 para todos!
Clemente Lozano 


 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 March Issue

Patricia Arredondo, Ph.D.
Dan Arellano
Ida Eblinger Kelley
Eva Booher
Jaime Cader
Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.
Bill Carmena
Sylvia Carvajal Sutton
Henry J. Casso, Ph.D.
Gus Chavez


Charlotte De Vaul
Joel Escamilla
Santiago Escobedo
Aurora Flores
Lorri Frain 
Angelita Galvan-Freeman
Lauro Garza Arzamendi
Sally Gidaro
Gilbert Gonzalez, Ph.D.
Rafael Jesus Gonzalez
Eddie Grijalva
Pat Grisotti
Mary Guerrero
Eva Maria Guerrero
Dr. Neo Gutierrez
Elsa Herbeck
Walter Herbeck
Elena Herrada
Granville Hough, Ph.D.
Kelsey Hustead
David James
Randy Jurado Ertll
John Inclan
Raul N. Longoria
Clemente Lozano
Juan Marinez
Mark Marquez
Elizabeth Martinez
Joe Martinez, Ph.D.
Seumas Milne

Joel Molina
Charles Montano
Dorinda Moreno
Carlos Munoz, Ph.D.
Paul Nauta
Rafael Ojeda
Felipe de Ortego y Gasca, Ph.D.
Ignacio Pena
Jose M. Pena
Robert Perez Guadarrama
Angel Custodio Rebollo
Crispin Rendon
Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Elena Rodriguez
Ben Romero
Alberto Ruiz
Louis F. Serna
Tomas Saenz
Carmen Samora
Sandy See
Margaret M. Sharon
Frank Sifuentes 
Robert R. Thonhoff
Val Valdez Gibbons
Jose Villarino
Sylvia Villarreal Bisnar
Irene Wainwright
Marc Wilson


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



Hispanics Breaking Barriers, Part III By Mercy Bautista-Olvera 
Born Again American Video
Telemundo Launches 2010 Census Campaign, 'Hazte Contar!'

In light of the present financial crisis, read what Thomas Jefferson said in

'I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around the banks will deprive the people of all property until their children wake-up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered




Part III


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.  

Mario J. Molina: Chemist and 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry recipient  

Tom Perez: Civil Rights Lawyer  

Maria Blanco: Executive Director on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity (Warren Institute)   

Michael Camuñez: Partner in O’Melveny's & Myers Los Angeles Ethics Commission  

Joan Magagna: Deputy Executive for National Disability Rights Network (NDRN)   



Dr.  Mario J. Molina  

Dr. Mario Molina has been selected by U.S. President-elect Barack Obama to form part of the Executive Office of the President Transition Team in Science and Technology. He was also an advisor to President-elect Obama campaign.  

Dr. Mario J. Molina was born in Mexico City on March 19, 1943; son of Roberto Pasquel Molina and Leonor Hénriquez de Molina, his father was a lawyer, he had
a private practice but also taught at the National University Autonoma of Mexico. Universidad Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM). Dr. Molina’s father served as Mexican ambassador to Ethiopia , Australia and the Philippines . Dr. Mario Molina married Luisa Tan-Molina, and then divorced. His only son Felipe works as a physician in Boston , Massachusetts . In 2006, Molina married his second wife Guadalupe Alvarez. 

Dr. Molina attended school in Mexico City , his aunt, Esther Molina, a role model and chemist in Mexico , she helped him with his chemistry sets in a room made as a laboratory in his home. Dr. Molina still remembers his excitement when he first glanced at paramecia and amoebae through a rather primitive toy microscope. Dr. Molina’s parents sent him to boarding school in Switzerland to study chemistry when he was 11years old. Dr. Molina went back to Mexico , attended school and in high school, he decided at that time to become a research chemist.  

In 1960, Dr. Molina enrolled in the chemical Engineering program at the Universidad Nacional Automata de Mexico (UNAM); he finished his undergraduate studies and earned a Chemical Engineer Degree from the university. In 1965, Dr. Molina   became an Assistant Professor at the same university and set up the first graduate program in chemical engineering.      

Dr. Molina also studied in Germany, enrolled at Albert Ludwigs Freiburg University in West Germany, he spent two years in kinetics of polymerizations; he also studied various basic subjects in order to broaden his background and to explore other research areas. Molina earned a postgraduate degree and a Ph.D. degree in Physical Chemistry from Freiburg University .  

In1968, Dr. Molina attended the University of California at Berkeley , to pursue his graduate studies in Physical Chemistry, where he joined the research group of Professor George C. Pimentel, his goal was to study molecular dynamics using chemical lasers. In 1972, Molina earned a PhD in Physical Chemistry from the University of Berkeley, later he was appointed as a member of the faculty at the University of Irvine, he taught courses, supervising graduate students, he also worked at the Irvine University as an Assistant Professor and then as an Associate Professor.  

In 1982, Dr. Molina joined the Molecular Physics and Chemistry Section at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The group investigated the peculiar chemistry that promoted by polar stratospheric clouds, some of which consist of ice crystals. They were able to show that chlorine-activation reactions take place very efficiently in the presence of ice under polar stratospheric conditions; thus, they provided a laboratory simulation of the chemical effects of clouds over the Antarctic.  

In 1989, Dr. Molina and his family moved to Massachusetts , he attended the Institute of Technology , (MIT) where he continued with research on global issues.

He contributed to our understanding of atmospheric chemistry and a profound impact on the global environment. Dr. Mario Molina eventually became a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Dr. Molina is one of the world's most knowledgeable experts on pollution and the effects of chemical pollution on the environment.  

In 1995, Dr. Molina received a Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in atmospheric chemistry and the effect of chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) on the depletion of the ozone layer. He shared the Nobel Prize with Frank Sherwood Rowland and Paul J. Crutzen. The Nobel was the first ever awarded for research into the effect of fabricated objects on the environment.   

In 2005, Dr. Molina moved from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to the University of California, San Diego, and then to Mexico City, where he created a new center for strategic studies in energy and environment. Molina’s earliest achievement consisted of explaining some features in the laser signals-that at first sight appeared to be noise as “relaxation oscillations.”  

Dr. Molina is a member of the Pontifical Academy of Science, the National Academy of Sciences, the Institute of Medicine and the national College of Mexico . He serves on the boards of several environmental organizations and also sits on a number of scientific committees including the U.S. President’s committee of advisers in Science and Technology. (1994-2000), also served in the Institutional Policy Committee, the Committee on Global Security and the Institutional Policy Committee, the Committee on Global Security and Sustainability of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and the Mario Molina Center . Dr. Mario Molina has also received many honorary degrees.



Tom Perez

Tom Perez was Secretary of the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation under Governor Martin O'Malley. Tom Perez has been selected to work with the Justice and Civil Rights Team for President Obama’s administration. He is a member of the Obama Transition Project's Agency Review Working Group responsible for the justice, health and human services, veterans affairs, and housing and urban development agencies.  

Tom Perez is the youngest of five he was born and raised in Buffalo, New York,   his parents, immigrants from the Dominican Republic Rafael Perezlara (1920-1974) and Grace Perezlara, (a combination of last name used by family at the time.) Perez  parents instilled in Tom and his sibling the importance of hard work, a sound education, and looking out for the less fortunate. (Perez’s father died when he was twelve years old). Tom’s three brothers are physicians and his sister is a clinical psychologist. Tom Perez married Ann Marie Staudenmaier, a public interest lawyer; they have two daughters Amalia and Susana and a son, Rafael.  As a career prosecutor at the United States Department of Justice, he prosecuted a number of the Department’s most profile cases, including a deadly crime spree in Texas involving a group of white supremacists.  

Perez attended Brown University , Harvard Law School , and the John F. Kennedy School of Government. Tom Perez is a nationally recognized Civil Rights lawyer and consumer advocate, President of the Montgomery County Council.  

In 2002, Perez became the first Hispanic elected to the Council. In 2004, on his third year on the Council, Perez was elected President, making him the highest Hispanic elected official in Maryland . Perez worked in a variety of Civil Rights positions at the Department of Justice; he served as Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights under Attorney General Janet Reno. Perez also served as Director of the Office for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under Secretary Donna Shalala, and a Special Counsel to Senator Edward Kennedy.  

In 2001-2007, Perez was assistant Professor of Law at the University Of Maryland School Of Law , and is an adjunct faculty member at the George Washington School of Public Health.



Maria Blanco  

Maria Blanco, Executive director of University of California at Berkeley School of Law's Warren Institute for Race, Ethnicity and Diversity. Blanco has been selected to work with the Department of Education Team in the Obama’s administration.  Blanco served as an advisor to the Obama campaign in California starting with the California primaries.

Maria Blanco was born in Mexico D.F., Blanco made her studies in United States ; she received her Bachelor's degree and a Jurist Doctorate from Berkeley Law School in California . She was a staff attorney for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  While a law professor of law at Golden Gate University ’s School of Law , soon after, she than joined the non-profit firm of Equal Rights Advocates in San Francisco , Blanco successfully litigated pivotal civil rights cases, such as Davis v. San Francisco Fire Department, which brought women for the first time into the San Francisco Fire Department.   

In 2001-2003 Blanco served as the National Senior counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), formed in 1968, a National nonprofit organization, their mission is to protect and promote the civil rights of the millions of Hispanics living in United States . Blanco made the passage of legislation that provided for in-state tuition for undocumented students who attend state universities and colleges.

In July 1, 2007, Blanco joined UC Berkeley Law School as the first Executive Director of the Chief Justice Earl Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity and Diversity (Warren Institute). Blanco is a Boalt alumna (’84) who brings more than 20 years of experience as a litigator and advocate for immigrant rights, women’s rights and racial justice.

Maria Blanco served as the executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area.  As Executive Director of the Lawyers’ Committee, Blanco oversaw litigation and policy work in the area of immigrant integration and rights, securing the right to vote and expanding the franchise and their Civil Rights.

She regularly contributes to national and local media on school integration and funding inequities, the importance of an independent judiciary and civil rights challenges. She launched initiatives to increase minority access to higher education, provide legal counsel for students in substandard schools, and convene African-American and Latino community leaders to discuss the impact of immigration reform.

Michael Camuñez

 City Ethics commissioner Michael Camuñez has been selected to work with the National Service Review team for the Obama administration.  

Michael Camuñez was born in 1960, son of Michael Christopher Camuñez and Mary Agnes Long-Camuñez. Camuñez a Harvard University and Law School graduate has worked as a Senior Policy advisor at the Corporation for National Service that provides grants and support for volunteer organizations. Camuñez   served as a founding architect of the national service program AmeriCorps and was part of the administration-wide Working group on Welfare Reform. A Commissioner partner in the litigation department of the Los Angeles office of O”Melveny & Myers LLP. He represents and counsels companies, boards, and officers in complex commercial litigation and in enforcement matters before the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission.    

From 1991-1993, Camuñez worked for the bi-partisan U.S. Commission on National and Community Service, serving as a Program Officer and director of the National Service Demonstration Program. In 1993-1995, he worked as Senior Policy advisor for the National Service in Clinton ’s Administration.      

In 2002, Camuñez was appointed to the state agency as a commissioner by then Governor Davis, and was reappointed by Governor Schwarzenegger in 2005. Since 2006, Camuñez Co-chaired the California Volunteers Commission with honorary Co-chair First Lady of California Maria Shriver, shaped policies to increase volunteer and community service throughout the state.  

Commissioner Camuñez is a member of the Board of Visitors of Stanford Law School, the Chancery Club of Los Angeles, the Pacific Council on International Policy, and is a Trustee of the Mexican-American Bar Foundation. He was also a founding board member of Democratic Leadership for the 21st Century in Los

Angeles, as well as an at-large California delegate to the 2000 Democratic National Convention.  

Camuñez has been recognized as a Southern California “Rising Star” in a survey conducted by Law & Politics Media Inc. published in Los Angles magazine and the Southern California edition of Super Lawyers (2004-2007). In 2005, California Lawyer recognized Camuñez as one of the state’s outstanding pro bono lawyers by conferring upon him its inaugural Angel Award.  

The Commission is committed to supporting and equipping an informed citizenry. Dedicated to upholding the public interest, the Commission shapes, administers and enforces City ethics, campaign finance and lobbying laws to ensure city elections and government decision-making are fair, open and accountable.



Joan Magagna


Deputy Executive Joan Magagna, Director for Legal Services at the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) has been selected to work with the Justice and Civil Rights for President Obama.  

Magagna was a Professor of Law; she received her Bachelor of Arts’ degree from the University of Wyoming , her Master of Arts from Georgetown University Graduate School and a Jurist Doctor degree from Georgetown University Law Center .  

Deputy Executive Magagna was a litigator in the Civil Rights Division of United States Department of Justice for 26 years, she managerial and staff work.

Deputy Executive Magagna handled suits on behalf of the United States under many different civil rights as in federal courts all across the country.    

Deputy Executive Magagna served as Chief of the Housing and Civil Enforcement Section from 1997-2003 and prior to that as Deputy Chief in both the Housing and Disability Rights Sections.  

The National Disability Rights Network is a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection and advocacy on behalf of individuals with disabilities.  


Great Video  . . .

Sent by Val Valdez Gibbons



Telemundo Launches 2010 Census Campaign, 'Hazte Contar!'
 Year-Long Pro-Social Campaign to Mobilize U.S. Hispanics for Census Participation 

    MIAMI, Feb. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Telemundo, a leading producer of innovative and high-quality content for Hispanics in the U.S. and around the world, announced today the launch of "Hazte Contar!" (Be Counted!), a national initiative designed to increase awareness of the 2010 Census among U.S. Hispanics and increase their participation in this significant national process. The company-wide, year-long campaign will kick off on-air on April 1, 2009, and encompass all of Telemundo's properties across its broadcast
(network and stations), cable and digital platforms.

    "Hazte Contar!" will create awareness among the U.S. Hispanic community about the Census process and promote community involvement as a means of gaining a more accurate representation of the U.S. Hispanic population. Telemundo is uniquely positioned to be the media company to get the word out on this important message to U.S. Hispanics of all ages and acculturations given its multiplatform portfolio and its ability to extend across the NBC
Universal family. 

    "The U.S. Census Bureau is required by the Constitution of the United States to conduct a count of the population which presents a historic opportunity to influence the future of our country. The 2010 Census will determine federal and state representation in government and determine what communities get billions of dollars in state and federal funding," said Don Browne, President, Telemundo.  "We are proud to launch this effort to make sure that our Hispanic community is fully engaged in this critically important process in order to ensure that the dramatic growth in our Hispanic population is fully and accurately reflected in the Census.  The mission of Telemundo is to inform, empower, inspire and entertain U.S. Hispanics and we believe "Hazte Contar!" is an essential part of that mission and will enable us to serve the greater interests of our U.S. Hispanic community."

    Telemundo will implement elements of the campaign through various news and entertainment programming on its broadcast network and its Latino-youth cable network mun2, including plans to incorporate this significant issue into the storyline of its original novelas. Both the network and stations will produce a series of public service announcements featuring Telemundo talent to supplement the on-air portion of the campaign. A large digital component will serve as the ultimate resource for information on the 2010 Census via . Telemundo will also utilize the  network's and stations' community affairs, promotions and sales resources to achieve the
goals of "Hazte Contar!" In addition, the network will partner with national Hispanic organizations to maximize awareness and visibility of the Census and "Hazte Contar!" at both local and national levels.

    According to the Census Bureau's 2007 American Community Survey, 45.4 million or 15.1% of the U.S. population is Hispanic, making it the largest and fastest growing ethnic group in the U.S.  Between 2010 and 2050 the U.S. Hispanic population is projected to nearly triple, resulting in one in three people in the U.S. being of Hispanic origin.  The economic clout of U.S. Hispanics will rise from $862 billion in 2007 to more than $1.2 trillion in 2012, accounting for 9.7% of all U.S. buying power.
    About Telemundo
    Telemundo, a U.S. Spanish-language television network, is the essential entertainment, news, and sports source for Hispanics and a leading international player in the entertainment industry with presence in more than 100 countries worldwide. Broadcasting unique national and local programming for the fastest-growing segment of the U.S. population, Telemundo reaches 93% of U.S. Hispanic viewers in 210 markets through its 16 owned-and-operated stations, 45 broadcast affiliates, and 800 cable affiliates. Telemundo is wholly owned by NBC Universal, one of the world's leading media and
entertainment companies.
SOURCE  Telemundo  02/03/2009
CONTACT:  Michelle Alban of Telemundo, +1-305-889-7585,; or Liane Ramirez Swierk of Goodman Media International, 1-212-576-2700, Ext. 249, /




A Class Apart, Daisy Wanda Garcia
Latino film maker recognized by state lawmakers for new PBS documentary
Nota by Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.
Comments by Eva Maria Guerrero and Dr. Henry J. Casso
Thanks to Defend the Honor Alert
PBS's American Experience Premieres A Class Apart
Citizenship of Babies Delivered by Midwives Near Border Questioned
In Rural California, Profanity Gets 'Bless Me, Ultima' Banned
Soldiers of the Fields: The Bracero Program Documentary
Identity in America: Are Perspectives Shifting?
U.S. Military Will Offer Path to Citizenship
U.S. Is Arms Bazaar for Mexican Cartels
Mexico Under Siege
Gun Control



Hernandez v. the State of Texas


Daisy Wanda Garcia



The month of February marked the premier of the PBS documentary, “A Class Apart” by filmmakers Carlos Sandoval and Peter Miller. This film documents the struggle of Mexican Americans to end Jim Crow-style discrimination.  

The documentary premiered in Texas cities,  San Antonio, Dallas and Austin.  The documentary premiered on Wednesday, February 11, 2009, in the Mexican American Cultural Arts Center in Austin , Texas
                                                          Wanda Garcia and Carlos Sandoval 

Carla Garcia Connolly and Ignacio Hernandez Covarr Ubias

Carla Garcia Connolly
the daughter of Gustavo Garcia, with her family daughter Erin, husband Jim Connolly, and the daughter of Carlos Cadena, and Ignacio Hernandez Covarr Ubias, the nephew of Pete Hernandez attended the premier.  After the film, Carlos Sandoval took questions from the audience.  A member of the audience asked Carlos Sandoval, what made him produce the documentary.  Carlos explained he was reading the New York Times when he saw an article noting the anniversary of the landmark decision                 “Hernandez vs. the State of Texas.”   This case was argued weeks before Brown vs. the Board of Education, yet less known. Carlos said that the law schools never mentioned the significance of this case while he was a student in law school. Thus, Carlos decided it was time to give the Supreme Court decision the recognition it deserved.  This is why the documentary was born.  

According to the documentary, Mexican American leaders were looking for the right case to challenge the Jim Crow-style discrimination against Mexican Americans. Then in 1951 in Edna , TX , a field hand named Pedro Hernández murdered his employer after exchanging insults. Hernandez’s mother begged Attorney Gustavo Garcia to defend her son, Pete. The mother argued that her son would not receive a fair trial. After deliberation, Garcia decided that this case might be what they were looking for. As the documentary put it, Garcia could not afford not to take the case.

The legal team consisted of Gustavo Garcia, Carlos Cadena and later John Herrera and James DeAnda. The team argued Hernandez was denied a trial by his peers since no Mexican American had served on a Jackson county jury in over 25 years. Hernandez’s guilt was never in question. The atmosphere in the small Texas town of Edna was so hostile that the legal team could not spend the night for fear of their lives.  Everyday they commuted from Houston to Edna. Discrimination and segregation was so entrenched in the community that the courthouse had segregated restrooms. When the lawyers tried to use a restroom, the janitor told them there was one downstairs with a bathroom sign that says “Colored Men, Hombres Aqui” – “Men Here.”  

The case was denied at all Texas appeals level.  Eventually the case would go to the U.S. Supreme court. A case before the U.S. Supreme Court would be an expensive undertaking, so the advocacy groups had to raise money. Much was riding on this case in terms of how the U.S. viewed the status of Mexican Americans.  In addition, this was the first time a group of Mexican American Lawyers argued a case before the Supreme Court.  

Dr. Hector Garcia fully supported this case.  The American G.I. Forum (AGIF), along with the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), was plaintiffs in the case. In addition to participating in the lawsuit, Dr. Hector on his weekly radio program on KCCT radio in Corpus Christi , TX , urged “la gente” to contribute money.  Mariana Tinoco, a long time AGIF member, remembers Dr. Hector Garcia “passing the hat” at AGIF conventions to collect money for the suit. Dr. Hector understood the significance of this case and the ramifications of losing it.

“They would come up to me and they would give you crumpled-up dollar bills and they’d give you coins. These were people who couldn’t afford it, but couldn’t afford not to,” recalled attorney Carlos Cadena, Gus Garcia’s partner in the case.[1]

According to Dr. Ramiro Casso, “Everyone dug deep into their pockets.”[2] LULAC raised money through its chapters across the Texas and the Midwest . Somehow, they raised the funds.

Gustavo Garcia presented a brilliant argument before the court.  Gustavo Garcia so impressed Chief Justice Earl Warren that he allowed Garcia an additional 16 minutes to finish his arguments. The U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren and the rest of the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of Hernandez. In its decision, Hernandez v. Texas (1954), the court ruled that Mexican Americans and all other racial groups in the United States had equal protection under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The ultimate impact of this ruling was that the 14th Amendment now protected all racial groups of the United States . The decision opened the door to activist groups such as AGIF and LULAC to sue school districts for maintaining separate school systems, challenge discrimination in employment and all sectors. In effect, this ruling was the end of school segregation and other Jim Crow laws.

Pedro Hernandez was granted a new trail.  Oralia Espinoza, daughter of Joe Espinoza, said as a child, she never understood why so many lawyers defended her father's killer. Later she came to understand that it was “bigger” than a murder case.[3]

The decade of the 1950’s was a man’s world. Women’s roles and participation in society was limited to the homes. Consequently, all our Mexican American leaders were males. Fifty years later, the daughters of Gustavo Garcia, Carlos Cadena and Hector P. Garcia stand together to honor our fathers. We their daughters and sons are carrying forward their legacy and the legacy of the Mexican American civil rights movement.

We as Mexican Americans owe a tremendous debt to the men who struggled to get us where we are today. Thank you Gus Garcia, Carlos Cadena, John Herrera, James DeAnda, Hector P. Garcia for opening the doors of opportunity for Mexican Americans and all Americans.  Que dios los bendiga.

1 A Class Apart,  PBS American Experience, produced by Carlos Sandoval & Peter Miller


[3] Chicano rights film premieres in S.A. , Elaine Ayala, San Antonio Express-News, 2/03/2009.



A Latino film maker was recognized by the Texas Legislature Thursday for a project that chronicles a Supreme Court case many say was one of the most significant for Mexican Americans' civil rights. Carlos Sandoval was congratulated in a House resolution for his film 'A Class Apart,' which debuts on PBS' The American Experience series Feb. 23.


Latino film maker recognized by state lawmakers for new PBS documentary
11 February 2009

Julian Aguilar

Film maker Carlos Sandoval was honored by state lawmakers on Tuesday. (Photo: RGG/Steve Taylor)

AUSTIN, February 11 - A Latino film maker was recognized by the Texas Legislature Thursday for a project that chronicles a Supreme Court case many say was one of the most significant for Mexican Americans’ civil rights.

Carlos Sandoval was congratulated in a House resolution for his film 'A Class Apart,' which tells the story of San Antonio attorneys Gustavo “Gus” Garcia and Carlos Cadena. The lawyers and their legal team challenged the status quo of the 1950s by arguing their Mexican American client Pete Hernandez was denied a jury of his peers during his murder trial in Jackson County, Texas.

“This is not just Latino history, this is not just legal history,” state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer said at a pre-screening of the film at the state Capitol Wednesday. “This is U.S. history.”

Martinez Fisher, D-San Antonio, chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, who sponsored the event at the capitol. Like several others now familiar with the film, Martinez Fischer said the case was overlooked and its relevance to the Hispanic civil rights movement was never fully realized.

Even Sandoval, himself an attorney who studied at the University of Chicago’s School of Law, said he only learned of the case by reading an article on its 50th anniversary.

“I was reading the NY Times on the subway, the editorial page, one Saturday afternoon,” he said. “I actually practiced law and I had taken constitutional law and I had never heard of this case … I found out more and more about it and the more I found out the more intriguing it became.”

Sandoval said he and his partner on the project, filmmaker Pete Miller, began work on the project in May 2004 and finished the piece just last month.

The film isn’t a Hollywood “trial” movie where a last-minute witness or undiscovered DNA evidence ultimately proves a defendant’s innocence. Hernandez, who witnesses said walked into a bar and shot his boss in the chest after an argument, was indeed guilty of the charge. But the film is instead a modest documentary that explains how a Mexican-American defense team argued before the United States Supreme Court that because Jackson County didn’t allow Mexican-American jurors, Hernandez was not provided with a jury of his peers and therefore was denied his constitutionally guaranteed rights. 

“The key issue for García was not whether Pete Hernandez shot Joe Espinosa; it was that like many Latino defendants before him, Hernandez’s fate would be decided by an all-Anglo jury,” explained film narrator Edward James Olmos.

The attorneys were eventually victorious and Hernandez was awarded a new trial. He was subsequently found guilty again but advocates say the fact the Court agreed that Mexican Americans as a group deserved protection under the Constitution’s Fourteenth Amendment was a landmark ruling that was as important as the historic Brown v. Board of Education.

“This case had the potential to be as important, and I have to underscore ‘potential,’” said Sandoval. “And the reason that it had potential to be even more important than Brown is that its language is not race-based, its language is group based. If this case had gotten the traction that it should have gotten then women’s rights would not have been an issue. The rights of the disabled (and) gay rights could have been handled by this case.”

In fact, Eddie Aldrete, a senior vice-president of International Bank of Commerce, said oral arguments in the Hernandez case were heard in the week leading up to oral arguments in the Brown decision, which might have contributed to the lack of attention the Hernandez case garnered.

Aldrete said IBC sponsored the pre-screening reception at the state Capitol but his involvement was also fueled by personal experience.

“My father (Cris Alderete) was the state chairman in 1954 of the American GI Forum,” he said. “LULAC and the GI Forum were both heavily involved in this. Dad went (to Washington D.C.) on behalf of the GI Forum (and) he was really there to help support and do research.”

Cris Aldrete was also mentioned and honored in the House resolution and identified as one of the key members of the Hernandez defense team.

Sandoval, whose father is Mexican American and mother is Puerto Rican, said the case not only shed light on the legal repercussions of being a Latino in the 1950s, but the overall treatment of Hispanics as well.

“Not only did no one know about this case but no one knew about the Mexican American civil rights movement after the Second World War,” he said. “Generally I think the country does not know of the sort of discrimination that existed against Mexican Americans throughout the Southwest in that period. Even I, who grew up in Southern California in the 1950s, experienced some of that but the extent of it was it was a complete apartheid system.

We had separate schools, separate cemeteries, (were) not able to eat in restaurants and the like. So yes, people do not know this story.”

Before the film explains the details surrounding the shooting and the subsequent trail, the film explores what some could consider were atrocities committed against Mexican and African Americans in Texas. Signs outside restaurants explained patrons had to be white, as proprietors likened Hispanics and African Americans to dogs.  A still shot showed what looked like Mexican field hands dead in a field with nooses around their necks while Anglo horsemen posed not too far behind from the corpses.

The film them moves steadily along and explains Hernandez v. Texas in a way that could leave some to wonder how things would have been different for minorities in Texas had the case been awarded with the attention some say it deserved.

'A Class Apart' debuts on PBS’ The American Experience series Feb. 23.

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



Last night we had the privilege of attending a preview secreening of Carlos Sandoval's documentary "A Class Apart" at the Latino Cultural Center in Dallas, Tejas.  The documentary is all of 48 minutes long, Sandoval said; and the project cost upwards of $630,000 to produce.  The 300 seats weren't all filled, perhaps 200 persons attended to view the mid-week screening and Q&A after.  Still, we came away glad for having made the 37-mile trek south to downtown Dallas and back to Denton.  (We got caught in a hellacious thunderstorm on the return trip.)  Carlos has been a subscriber of our modest efforts to promote Chicano history on this listserv list for the past few years and we've posted some of his queries in years past including a couple related to the research effort that went into making possible the current documentary.  We, all of us who comprise it, le damos tambien un saludo solidario a Carlos and all of his production team per the documentary for their important contribution to furthering our own community's and the nation's understanding of nuestra historia chicana.  We also thank the folks at the Rio Grande Guardian for their continued excellent work in reporting on matters of substance to Texas's greater Mexicano and Tejano communities, for what affects us is Texas's future writ large.  Adelante.

Roberto R. Calderón 
Historia Chicana [Historia]


When I forwarded the “ A Class Apart” information to a friend,  he in turn did the same. The story below is what he received in return. Please do read it as, I do believe so many of you can relate to the event. I would like to express my appreciation to Eva Maria Guerrero for taking the time and to giving me permission to pass on her family story. Juan Marinez 


Thanks for the notice about the PBS special about Mexican- Americans in the 1950's Rick. I will be sure to watch it and to invite my family to watch this documentary.
Just a few weeks ago I took my parents Alfonso and Fidela Jimenez to Cuero Texas to visit the graves of their parents.  Enroute, my mother casually mentioned / pointed out the site of a diner in Woodsborough Texas where she and my father once stopped for lunch in 1945.  They were traveling to Corpus Christi where they were to began their lives as a newly married couple. 
My heart broke as my mother mentioned with just a breath of resent that the diner had refused to serve them because they were Mexican-Americans.  My father had just returned from serving three years active duty in in the Army's (hoo ha) 473rd Infantry.  He served in Italy, Rome and Tunisia and I can only imagine the nightmares he was living through after serving his country in those combat zones.  Like many of our WWII veterans, my father still tears up when he is asked to recall his war experience.  He refused to speak of the war until he was about 70 years old.  It is painful today to listen to his recollections of war because, if I look closely at him, I can see in his eyes that he is back in those places of horror and isolation.  But those stories have to be told if only for the sake of avoiding the repetition of war.
I wonder today what effect that dastardly racist encounter in Woodsborough did for my young father's pride and self esteem.  A man, proud and safely home from war, with his bride in tow starting a new life.  How personally shattering and humiliating that must have been for both of them.  How paralyzing for their future as Americans.  My parents, as so many of their generation, The Greates Generation, thankfully were of strong spirit and moral fiber.  They addressed their issue to a local [then] start-up organization in Corpus Christi called the G.I Forum founded by a young Dr. Hector P. Garcia. My parents went on to lead their quiet lives and raised four children with love and disipline and taught us their values and ethics. 
My father just celebrated his 89th birthday and my mother will be 90 in April.  They are active in their church and they engage in the American process by voting at every election and watching the Superbowls as they come and go.  It is hard not to resent events and attitudes of the past that may have changed the course of my parents lives but I am grateful that they had and continue to have the courage to live their lives as people who count and as Americans who have done their duty.
I wanted to share this one instance of how civil rights not distributed equally puts our country to shame and why your job is so important.  Thanks Rick.  Love to Niki 

Eva Maria Guerrero 
Sent by Juan Marinez

In a message dated 1/28/2009 9:40:25 P.M. writes:

Dr. Gilda M Bloom-Leiva

Gilda, What a wonderful and inspirational gesture in writing your note of encouragement to Maggie Hernandezs' suggestion to further the informing of the documentary "We Serve Whites Only. No Spanish or Mexicans" provided by Armando Rendon. I will certainly encourage her. The social environment, administration and negative insults and treatment are not commonly known by our current generation.

I am one of the founding MALDEF Board members and personally knew each of the lawyers who argues the Hernandez Case in the historic Supreme Court arguments. The circumstances surrounding this case were motivating factors which cause a number of us to create the Mexican American Legal defense and Education Fund, modeled after and assisted by the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. Mention is made of the daughter of Dr. Hector Garcia, who because of situations such as this case ,were happening in Corpus Christi. He founded the American G.I. Forum, and we know of his and its courageous record. Armando needs to be commended for brining this information to our attention so that Maggie and you are considering actions you share with others, and who knows, how many others will be motivated bythe power of the written word and the shaping of the power of än idea". There is much to be said to our recognizing the works of each other, the informing one another, celebrating good ideas, documenting and publishing accomplishments so that we an motivate the generation of youth who come after us.

I notice one of the recipients of Armando's missive was Mimi Lozano, Publisher of Somos It is an emagazine which lat month received 2mil. hits in the US, Mexico and Spain. I am sure she will carry Armand's notice. Who knows what will come of it.

We have just witness the powerful up rise of DEFEND THE HONOR by Dr. Rivas-Rodriguez and Gus Chavez. I believe the awareness of the above case will add to that great cause and possibly cause others to inform. There exists today instruments and technology which enables all of us to communicate rapidly and wide spread. I congratulate you, Armando and Maggie for helping push the snow ball a little further up the hill. Today there are many more who are willing to provide that push so that we can all use of talents and skills, with experiences to improve life around us so that, wherever we are, we can leave a better place for our youth and those who come after us. Let all and each keep up the good work.

Thanks, Saludos!
Dr. Henry J. Casso 

Thanks to Defend the Honor who on Feb 3rd sent out information on the airing of  A Class Apart in various locations with the suggestion to view in groups and gatherings.  
Gus Chavez organized an event in San Diego:

Hernandez vs Texas
1954 Special Preview
PBS' The American Experience: 
"A Class Apart" Mexican American Lawyers Win U.S. Supreme Court Case

Welcome: Gus Chavez, Defend The Honor
Rachael Ortiz, Executive Director, Barrio Station
Overview: Gus Chavez
Preview: "A Class Apart" Mexican American Lawyers Win  U.S. Supreme Court Case
Discussion: Reaction to the PBS Latino Documentary

Closing Remark & Announcements 
Co-Sponsored by: Barrio Station, Defend The Honor, SDSU Chicana and Chicano Studies Department, Chicano Democratic Association, National Latino Research Center at Cal State University San Marcos, South Bay Forum, Centro Cultural de L Raza, Latino Political Association (LAPA), Pagasa-Tumainisha_Esperanza HOPE (PTE-HOPE) 


Sent by Defend the Honor: Here is a story that was published last week (Jan. 27, 2009)  in LatinoLA, about A Class Apart: PBS's American Experience premieres film showing challenge of Jim Crow-style discrimination against Mexican Americans, 2.23

A Class ApartIn 1951 in the town of Edna, Texas, a field hand named Pedro Hernández murdered his employer after exchanging words at a gritty cantina. From this seemingly unremarkable small-town murder emerged a landmark civil rights case that would forever change the lives and legal standing of tens of millions of Americans. A team of unknown Mexican American lawyers took the case, Hernández v. Texas, all the way to the Supreme Court, where they successfully challenged Jim Crow-style discrimination against Mexican Americans.

On Monday, February 23, PBS's American Experience premieres A Class Apart from the award-winning producers Carlos Sandoval (Farmingville), and Peter Miller (Sacco and Vanzetti, The Internationale). The one-hour film dramatically interweaves the story of its central characters -- activists and lawyers, returning veterans and ordinary citizens, murderer, and victim -- within the broader story of a civil rights movement that is still very much alive today.

The film begins with the little known history of Mexican Americans in the United States. In 1848, The Mexican-American War came to an end. For the United States, the victory meant ownership of large swaths of Mexican territory. The tens of thousands of residents living on the newly annexed land were offered American citizenship as part of the treaty to end the war. But as time evolved it soon became apparent that legal citizenship for Mexican Americans was one thing, equal treatment would be quite another.

"Life in the 1950s was very difficult for Hispanics," Wanda Garcia, a native of Corpus Christi, explains in the film. "We were considered second-rate, we were not considered intelligent. We were considered invisible."

In the first 100 years after gaining US citizenship, many Mexican Americans in Texas lost their land to unfamiliar American laws, or to swindlers. With the loss of their land came a loss of status, and within just two generations, many wealthy ranch owners had become farm workers. After the Civil War, increasing numbers of Southern whites moved to south Texas, bringing with them the rigid, racial social code of the Deep South, which they began to apply not just to Blacks, but to
Mexican Americans as well.

Widespread discrimination followed Latinos from schoolhouses and restaurants to courthouses and even to funeral parlors, many of which refused to prepare Mexican American bodies for burial. During World War II, more than 300,000 Mexican Americans served their country expecting to return home with the full citizenship rights they deserved. Instead, the returning veterans, many of them decorated war heroes, came back to face the same injustices they had experienced all their lives.

Latino lawyers and activists were making progress at state levels, but they knew that real change could only be achieved if Mexican Americans were recognized by the 14th amendment of the US Constitution -- something that could only be accomplished by bringing a case to the Supreme Court.

In his law office in San Antonio, a well-known attorney named Gus García listened to the desperate pleas of Pedro Hernández's mother, who traveled more than one-hundred-and-fifty miles to ask him to defend her son. García quickly realized that there was more to this case than murder; the real concern was not Hernández's guilt, but whether he could receive a fair trial with an all-Anglo jury deciding his fate.

García assembled a team of courageous attorneys who argued on behalf of
Hernández from his first trial at the Jackson County Courthouse in Texas all the way to Washington, DC. It would be the first time a Mexican American appeared before the Supreme Court.

The Hernández lawyers decided on a daring but risky legal strategy, arguing that Mexican Americans were "a class apart" and did not neatly fit into a legal structure that recognized only black and white Americans. As legal skirmishes unfolded, the lawyers emerged as brilliant, dedicated, humorous, and at times, terribly flawed men.

"They took a gamble," says University of California-Berkeley professor of law Ian Haney-López in the film. "They knew, on the up side, that they could win national recognition for the equality of Mexican Americans, but they knew, on the down side, that if they lost, they would establish at a national level the proposition that Mexican Americans could be treated as second class citizens."

The Hernández case struck a chord with Latinos across the country. When funds to try the case ran out, the Mexican American community donated to the cause in any way they could, despite limited resources.

"They would come up to me and they would give you crumpled-up dollar bills and they'd give you coins. These were people who couldn't afford it, but couldn't afford not to," recalled attorney Carlos Cadena, Gus García's partner in the case.

On January 11, 1954, García and Cadena faced the nine justices of the US Supreme Court. Cadena opened the argument. "Can Mexican Americans speak English?" one justice asked. "Are they citizens?" asked another. The lack of knowledge stunned Gus García, who stood up and delivered the argument of his life. Chief Justice Earl Warren allowed him to continue a full sixteen minutes past the allotted time, a concession a witness to the argument noted that had not been afforded to any other civil rights lawyer before Garcia, including the renowned NAACP attorney Thurgood Marshall.

On May 3, 1954, the US Supreme Court announced its ruling in the case of Hernández v. Texas. Pedro Hernández would receive a new trial - and would be judged by a true jury of his peers. The court's legal reasoning: Mexican Americans, as a group, were protected under the 14th Amendment, in keeping with the theory that they were indeed "a class apart."

"The Hernández v. Texas story is a powerful reminder of one of many unknown yet hard-fought moments in the Civil Rights Movement," says AMERICAN EXPERIENCE executive producer Mark Samels. "It's easy to forget how far the country has come in just fifty years, reshaping our democracy to include all Americans."

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is a production of WGBH Boston
Senior producer Sharon Grimberg
Executive producer Mark Samels
A Class Apart is a co-production of ITVS and LPB, in association with AMERICAN EXPERIENCE and PBS, with major funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and additional support from The Houston Endowment, The Horace and Amy Hagedorn Foundation, New York State Council for the Arts, Humanities Texas and the Funding Exchange/Paul Robeson Fund.

Exclusive corporate funding for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is provided by Liberty Mutual. Major funding is provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and by public television viewers.

AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is closed captioned for deaf and hard-of-hearing viewers, and described for people who are blind or visually impaired by the Media Access Group at WGBH. The descriptive narration is available on the SAP channel of stereo TVs and VCRs.

Television's most-watched history series, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE has been hailed as "peerless" (Wall Street Journal), "the most consistently enriching program on television" (Chicago Tribune), and "a beacon of intelligence and purpose" (Houston Chronicle). On air and online, the series brings to life the incredible characters and epic stories that have shaped America's past and present. Acclaimed by viewers and critics alike, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE documentaries have been honored with
every major broadcast award, including twenty-four Emmy Awards, four duPont-Columbia Awards, and fourteen George Foster Peabody Awards, one most recently for Two Days in October.

WGBH Boston is America's preeminent public broadcasting producer. More
than one-third of PBS's prime-time lineup and companion Web content as
well as many public radio favorites are produced by WGBH. The station
also is a pioneer in educational multimedia and in access technologies
for people with disabilities. For more information visit

For more information about AMERICAN EXPERIENCE and A Class Apart, visit 
Find this story online at

Gus Chavez & Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, Co-Founders, Defend the Honor


Citizenship of Babies Delivered by Midwives Near Border Questioned

By CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN, Associated Press Writer Christopher Sherman, Associated Press Writer 

AP – Anna Karen Ramirez, 19, poses with her passport at her home in Alamo, Texas, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2009.  …

ALAMO, Texas – The citizenship of hundreds, possibly thousands, of people who insist they are Americans is being called into question because they were delivered by midwives near the U.S.-Mexico border. The federal government's doubts have arisen as many people in the border region try to meet a June 1 deadline to obtain U.S. passports so they can freely cross from one country to the other.

The people delivered by midwives have documents such as birth certificates and medical records. But the agency that grants passports is challenging the credibility of those papers, citing a history of some midwives fraudulently registering Mexican-born babies as American.

The passport applications being questioned include those of children of Mexican women who crossed the border to give birth in the United States, and even employees of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency who were born on the border and now work to protect it.

The government has "effectively reduced to second-class citizenship status an entire swath of passport applicants based solely on their being of Mexican or Latino descent and having been delivered by midwives in nonhospital settings in Southwestern border states," according to a federal lawsuit against the State Department filed last year in the border town of McAllen, about 120 miles south of Corpus Christi.

Immigration attorneys and the American Civil Liberties Union hope to have the case certified as a class action because they believe thousands of people could be affected, with most still living near the border.

Since 1960, 75 Texas midwives have been convicted of fraudulently registering Mexican-born babies as American. At one point, the government assembled a list of nearly 250 "suspicious" midwives but never explained what made them suspicious.

State Department spokesman Andy Laine declined to comment because of the litigation. The agency also declined to release statistics on passport application refusals.

After June 1, anyone re-entering the United States from Mexico or Canada will have to show a passport, not just a driver's license and birth certificate, which are the only current requirements.

For families who have lived in the area for generations, the border is just a river in the middle of one community. Many people live on one side of the border and work on the other.

"Going back and forth is as natural for them ... as going across town is for the rest of us," said Lisa Graybill, legal director for the ACLU in Texas.

If the lawsuit is not resolved before June 1, families "will have to choose if you're going to live in Mexico or you're going to live in the U.S. You won't be able to cross," said Lisa Brodyaga, the immigration attorney who filed the lawsuit against the State Department.

Anna Karen Ramirez had to sue the State Department to get her passport, even though she had a birth certificate, medical records and receipts from her 1989 birth at a clinic in Hidalgo, just south of McAllen. She also had signatures of two police officers who witnessed the event.

Ramirez's parents lived in Mexico and raised their daughter there. But they decided to have their child in the United States.

With the deadline looming, and the State Department suspicious of her citizenship, the family met several times with U.S. consular officials to obtain a passport, but their request was refused.

Ramirez's father, Narciso, drives a taxi back and forth across the border every day. He said he was warned that the family's dogged pursuit of the matter could threaten the visa that allowed him to operate his cab.

Anna Ramirez sued, and while waiting, voted unchallenged in the U.S. presidential election. A month later, she received her passport but never got a clear statement of citizenship.

"Every 10 years she's going to have to prove she's a U.S. citizen" to renew her passport, said her attorney, Naomi Jiyoung Bang.

The State Department practices are "a holdover from an older, less-regulated world," said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for more restrictive immigration laws. "It's what happens when modern standards collide with old country practices."

Krikorian said the government cannot just believe everyone, nor can it turn down everyone delivered by a midwife.

Because Ramirez is young, her parents were able to find documents the government requested. The midwife who delivered her was still alive and able to testify. They could also afford to hire an attorney to help.

David Hernandez had a harder time locating evidence.

He was born in San Benito, Texas, in 1964, to a Mexican mother who was visiting friends when she went into labor. Hernandez was delivered by a midwife who appeared on the suspicious midwife list, though without a conviction. He returned to Mexico with his mother.

The two moved back to the U.S. a few years later. He attended schools in Texas and served in the Army.

In response to government requests, he collected mounds of documentation including papers from his military service, immunization and baptismal records, and witness affidavits. When he requested his school records, he was told that his elementary school papers no longer existed.

In April 2008, the government refused his passport application.

"I was born here," he said last fall when the ACLU took on the case. "I've lived and worked here and served in the Army. I feel betrayed, like my country is stabbing me in the back just because my mother didn't have the luxury of having me in a hospital." 


Dorinda Moreno



In Rural California, Profanity Gets 'Bless Me, Ultima' Banned

From: gus chavez <>

Friends, Please read the following story published in the L.A. Times. The book banning action taken against "Bless Me, Ultima" by Supt. Rick Fauss is an assault on Rudolfo Anaya, a tremendous Chicano/Latino author, and the community, especially young writers and students in our school systems. Kudos to all, especially the teachers and parents at Orestimba High School, who have spoken against the banning of the acclaimed novel. Over 61% of the students at this school and county are Latino.

This is a must read book and its banning should give warning to all of us that the attack against our community continues not only by the ICE raids, high unemployment, school drop-out rates but also by weak spine school superintendents like Rick Fauss. Please send you concerns to:

Superintendent Rick Fauss
Members of the Board of Trustees
Newman Crows Landing Unified School District
890 Main St.
Newman, CA 95360
Fax: (209) 862-0113

In Rural California, Profanity Gets 'Bless Me, Ultima' Banned
By Seema Mehta
Los Angeles Times, February 4, 2009

NEWMAN, CA - A Stanislaus County school board banned a celebrated but controversial
piece of Chicano literature from its high school classrooms this week because trustees and the superintendent believe "Bless Me, Ultima" contains too much profanity.

The Newman Crows Landing Board of Education voted 4 to 1 Monday night to strip the coming of-age novel by Rudolfo Anaya from the sophomore required reading list at Orestimba High  School. The district review of the book was prompted by a parent's complaint last year that it was "anti-Catholic" and sexually explicit.

But Supt. Rick Fauss said he had grown concerned by the amount of cursing in the 1972 novel that was spotlighted on former First Lady Laura Bush's must-read list and is also the literature selection for this year's state high school Academic Decathlon competition.

"There was excessive vulgarity or profanity used throughout the book," said Fauss, head of the nearly 2,700-student Newman Crows Landing Unified School District. "The context didn't ... make it acceptable." 

English teachers, some parents, the ACLU and the author were outraged. "What are these people afraid of?" asked Anaya, 71. "We have ample evidence throughout history of what happens when we start banning books, when we are afraid of ideas and discussion and analytical thinking.  The society will suffer."

"Bless Me, Ultima" tells the tale of a young boy, Antonio, growing up in 1940s New Mexico and his relationship with a curandera (folk healer) named Ultima. Antonio tries to meet the disparate expectations of his parents and reconcile his Roman Catholic faith with Native American mysticism.

The book has been removed from classrooms across the nation, including New Mexico, 
Colorado, Texas and elsewhere in California (the Laton Joint Unified School District in Fresno County in 1999), and was No. 75 on the American Library Association's list of top banned books in the 1990s.

But it is also a critically acclaimed piece of literature, is required reading in many English
courses (including in some L.A. Unified schools) and is enjoying renewed popularity: It was chosen by the National Endowment for the Arts as part of its "Big Read" program, in which various communities read the same book at the same time.

In California, the Department of Education recommends the novel for grades nine through 12, but cautions: "This book was published for an adult readership and thus contains mature content.  Before handing the text to a child, educators and parents should read the book and know the child."

In rural Newman, about 25 miles south of Modesto, "Bless Me, Ultima" has been part of the
sophomore curriculum at the district's only traditional high school for more than a decade, said Catherine Quittmeyer, chairwoman of Orestimba High School's English department. Four or five years ago, teachers decided to move it to the summer reading list for honors students and to keep it part of the classroom curriculum for other sophomores.

Now, the novel will remain in the library but will no longer be required reading. Teachers said the book helped them connect with their Latino students, who make up two-thirds 
of the district. "Those kids came alive" when they read the book, Quittmeyer said. "It wasn't a book by a dead white male. They understood the words, they understood the culture, they would be the ones we would turn to as experts. They felt so empowered by this book."

Senior Brittney Clark, 17, said the book has value for all teenagers. "You can relate to the kid because he's trying to figure out what he should do with his life without upsetting his parents," said Brittney, the daughter of a teacher.

The controversy began last summer when Nancy Corgiat, the mother of a sophomore, 
complained about the book to the superintendent. "She initially complained about the vulgar
language, the sexually explicit scenes and an anti-Catholic bias," Fauss said.

Corgiat, who declined to comment this week, reportedly told board members in January that the book's themes "undermine the conservative family values in our homes."

Fauss ordered the book removed in October, sparking criticism because he had not finished
reading it before making the decision. (He completed the book before a series of board meetings in January at which the book was discussed.) Fauss said he followed district policy, had two committees review the book and ultimately opted to remove it from the classroom. "It went through all the procedures as outlined in board policy and ended up with me," he said.

The board voted Monday to uphold Fauss' decision, and, according to three members, decided to cease discussing the matter with the media. "We're done with this," said trustee Barbara Alexander, who is a town librarian and supported the ban.

But the controversy may not be settled. An attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union said the group had not ruled out a lawsuit because it is concerned that the board's decision was not made on constitutional grounds. Although school districts have broad discretion to set curriculum, courts have ruled that removing books because one disagrees with them or to further a religion is not permissible. The parent's initial complaint involved religion, although Fauss insists that the book was banned solely because of profanity.

"It really comes down to the true motives of the board," said Andre Segura, an ACLU attorney in San Francisco. "If a school board bans the book because of some perceived conflict with the community's religious views or political or philosophical orthodoxy, that's impermissible."

Fauss said he was confident that the district would prevail. "We're not afraid of that; we know what our rights are," he said. "We have insurance; we'll fight it."

Richard Ackerman, head of the Pro-Family Law Center in Temecula, said the district had the right to decide what's best for its students, particularly in the "family values area." He added that because the book remains in the library, the district is on solid ground. "It's not censorship," he said. "It's simply a matter of determining curriculum, which is left to the school district."

There has been a run on the book at the school library, with a waiting list of students eager to check out the novel, and teachers bought extra copies in both English and Spanish.

Meanwhile, some teachers are worried about district plans to review all literature taught in the classroom. "Our biggest fear is what's next? If they're going to go after this book, what else?" asked Quittmeyer.  "Is 'Caged Bird' next, or 'Huck Finn'?"

Dr. Carlos Muñoz, Jr.



Soldiers of the Fields: 
The Bracero Program Documentary  


Gilbert G. Gonzalez and Vivian Price, Co-Directors, 
Adrian Salinas, Editor, Xochitl Gonzalez, Assistant Editor

Hidden within the historical accounts of minorities, workers and immigrants in American society is the story of the millions of Mexico’s men and women who experienced the temporary contract worker program known as the Bracero Program. Established to replace an alleged wartime labor shortage, the Program was in fact intended to undermine farmworker unionization. Soldiers shows how several million men, in one of the largest state managed migrations in history, were imported from 1942 to 1964 to work as cheap, controlled and disposable workers. The documentary features the men speaking of their experiences, some even moved to tears when discussing their painful exploitation, and addresses what to expect from a new temporary contract worker program. 
“They’d get us up at four in the morning…then a truck arrived to take us to the fields. They’d put a bucket of water at each end of the field trench and we couldn’t drink water until we finished hoeing the trench. And you couldn’t rest, if you did they’d get after you. And that was everyday.” Alfredo Gutierrez Castaneda, El Modena, California 
Soldiers also centers the voices of wives and families who were left behind as an untold number of villages were virtually emptied of men. Villages were forced to adjust as they supplied workers for the largest US agricultural corporations. As the villages emptied of men who left to be contracted (successfully or not), wives and families, not knowing if or when they would return or where they were going to work, were deeply distressed. Family separation became an ongoing periodic experience for many villages, and for many the separation became permanent. Many speak of wives/mothers crying at night, while attempting to hide their loneliness and sadness from their children. In contrast to the dramatic economic improvement the program promised, over the 22 years of the Bracero Program the economy and living standards of the villages remained virtually unchanged 

"We stayed with our families alone, with the animals, with the little that we had to work the fields instead of the men in order to survive. Well, we felt very sad and alone… we suffered a lot."  Hilaria Garcia G., Ciudad Juarez, Mexico
The trailer can be viewed at Your contribution will help provide the needed funds to complete the editing of the documentary. All contributions should be made out in checks payable to:
Fund for Labor Culture and History, I.D. No. 94 3371542 (501 ( c ) 3)
Send to: Fund for Labor Culture and History
224 Caselli Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94114
Sent by Dr. Gilbert Gonzalez




Identity in America: Are Perspectives Shifting?


February 11, 2009

blending cultureBlending cultures may be redefining what it means to be American
By Sonya Weakley

The number of Americans of more than one race is rapidly growing — a result, in part, of the growing population of diverse cultures. “For we know that our patchwork heritage is a strength, not a weakness.”
— President Barack Obama, January 20, 2009

WASHINGTON ( RushPRnews) 02/11/09-— Multicultural, plural, post-ethnic, post-racial. While these descriptors are widely debated among American scholars, writers, politicians and others, it is usually not debated that with the possible exception of the American Indian, to be American is to be, genealogically speaking, from somewhere else in the world.

“Everywhere immigrants have enriched and strengthened the fabric of American life.” — John F. Kennedy, A Nation of Immigrants, 1958

In addition, the heritage of individual Americans increasingly is from more than one part of the patchwork that is the fabric of America. Questions such as “Where are you from?” or “What is your background?” can draw complex responses as these individuals use words to identify themselves such as “multiracial,” “multiethnic” or “hybrid.”

IVC Inc.As a result of the mingling of many ethnicities, America may be evolving from a multicultural nation to a nation of multicultural people. According to the United States Census Bureau, by 2050, the total “minority” population, which includes everyone except non-Hispanic, single-race whites, is projected to be 235.7 million out of a total U.S. population of 439 million, or nearly 54 percent.

Accordingly, the number of Americans who identify themselves as being of two or more races is projected to more than triple, from 5.2 million in 2008 to 16.2 million in 2050. The Census Bureau started collecting multiracial information in 2000, when census respondents were for the first time given the option of identifying themselves in more than one category in the question on race.

The U.S. Office of Management and Budget decided in 1997 that “mark one or more races” should be included in the census based on “evidence of increasing numbers of children from interracial unions and the need to measure the increased diversity in the United States,” according to the Census Bureau.

The decision sparked debate in America on the social and political impact of creating so many categories of race, but it also brought the idea of multiracial identity to the country’s collective consciousness. With the election of President Obama, who is of mixed race, the question of race or ethnicity, how much it matters and what Americans think about it has become a popular topic for discussion.

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White man sitting with interracial child (AP Images)
The 2000 U.S. Census gave respondents the option of identifying themselves in more than one category of race for the first time.


For the month of February, is joining the discussion and exploring how the ever-increasing diversity of the U.S. population is affecting the way Americans identify themselves. Can Americans choose how and when to use ethnic heritage in describing themselves? If so, how do they decide which ethnicity to use? Can Americans choose not to be identified by any ethnicity or to use other social descriptors? Are all these choices part of being American?

A number of recent polls and other reports point to trends indicating shifts in American attitudes toward race and ethnicity that may be influencing how Americans think about their identities.

In an ABC News poll conducted December 19, 2008, to January 4, 2009, more than half the respondents who were black said they think of themselves first as American. That 51 percent is up from 46 percent in September 2008. Blacks age 50 and older call themselves American first by a margin of 2 to 1.

In an October 2008 poll by the American Anti-Defamation League, 66 percent of respondents see the growth in “minority” populations in the United States as an advantage in building a strong economy. In 1992, only 39 percent held that view.

In his September 2008 report titled “The Kerner Commission Report Plus Four Decades: What Has Changed? What Has Not?,” Reynolds Farley, a sociologist at the University of Michigan’s Population Studies Center, details a number of “pervasive changes in the racial attitudes and beliefs of whites” and cites the significant increase in interracial marriages as an example.

In 1968, when the Kerner Commission, established by President Johnson to investigate the causes of race riots, issued its report, about 1 percent of black married men had white spouses. In 2006, that proportion had increased to 14 percent, Farley reports.

He also notes that in the 1996 General Social Survey by the University of Chicago, 92 percent of white respondents said they would vote for a black presidential candidate if their party nominated a qualified one.


During February, will consider ideas and thoughts on race, ethnicity and identity through various elements, including pieces on the role of blogs in fueling the discussion and how public exhibits are introducing new ways of thinking, a review of American immigration history, a photo essay of people whose quotes provide food for thought, first-person documentation of personal experiences, videos of people who share their insights, interactive tools and more.

Come explore identity and diversity with

Sent by



U.S. Military Will Offer Path to Citizenship

February 15, 2009

U.S. Military Will Offer Path to Citizenship
Stretched thin in Afghanistan and Iraq, the American military will begin recruiting skilled immigrants who are living in this country with temporary visas, offering them the chance to become United States citizens in as little as six months.
Immigrants who are permanent residents, with documents commonly known as green cards, have long been eligible to enlist. But the new effort, for the first time since the Vietnam War, will open the armed forces to temporary immigrants if they have lived in the United States for a minimum of two years, according to military officials familiar with the plan.
Recruiters expect that the temporary immigrants will have more education, foreign language skills and professional expertise than many Americans who enlist, helping the military to fill shortages in medical care, language interpretation and field intelligence analysis.
"The American Army finds itself in a lot of different countries where cultural awareness is critical," said Lt. Gen. Benjamin C. Freakley, the top recruitment officer for the Army, which is leading the pilot program. "There will be some very talented folks in this group."
The program will begin small - limited to 1,000 enlistees nationwide in its first year, most for the Army and some for other branches. If the pilot program succeeds as Pentagon officials anticipate, it will expand for all branches of the military. For the Army, it could eventually provide as many as 14,000 volunteers a year, or about one in six recruits.
About 8,000 permanent immigrants with green cards join the armed forces annually, the Pentagon reports, and about 29,000 foreign-born people currently serving are not American citizens.
Although the Pentagon has had wartime authority to recruit immigrants since shortly after the Sept. 11 attacks, military officials have moved cautiously to lay the legal groundwork for the temporary immigrant program to avoid controversy within the ranks and among veterans over the prospect of large numbers of immigrants in the armed forces.
A preliminary Pentagon announcement of the program last year drew a stream of angry comments from officers and veterans on, a Web site they frequent.
Marty Justis, executive director of the national headquarters of the American Legion, the veterans' organization, said that while the group opposes "any great influx of immigrants" to the United States, it would not object to recruiting temporary immigrants as long as they passed tough background checks. But he said the immigrants' allegiance to the United States "must take precedence over and above any ties they may have with their native country."
The military does not allow illegal immigrants to enlist, and that policy would not change, officers said. Recruiting officials pointed out that volunteers with temporary visas would have already passed a security screening and would have shown that they had no criminal record.
"The Army will gain in its strength in human capital," General Freakley said, "and the immigrants will gain their citizenship and get on a ramp to the American dream."
In recent years, as American forces faced combat in two wars and recruiters struggled to meet their goals for the all-volunteer military, thousands of legal immigrants with temporary visas who tried to enlist were turned away because they lacked permanent green cards, recruiting officers said.
Recruiters' work became easier in the last few months as unemployment soared and more Americans sought to join the military. But the Pentagon, facing a new deployment of 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, still has difficulties in attracting doctors, specialized nurses and language experts.
Several types of temporary work visas require college or advanced degrees or professional expertise, and immigrants who are working as doctors and nurses in the United States have already been certified by American medical boards.
Military figures show that only 82 percent of about 80,000 Army recruits last year had high school diplomas. According to new figures, the Army provided waivers to 18 percent of active-duty recruits in the final four months of last year, allowing them to enlist despite medical conditions or criminal records.
Military officials want to attract immigrants who have native knowledge of languages and cultures that the Pentagon considers strategically vital. The program will also be open to students and refugees.
The Army's one-year pilot program will begin in New York City to recruit about 550 temporary immigrants who speak one or more of 35 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Igbo (a tongue spoken in Nigeria), Kurdish, Nepalese, Pashto, Russian and Tamil. Spanish speakers are not eligible. The Army's program will also include about 300 medical professionals to be recruited nationwide. Recruiting will start after Department of Homeland Security officials update an immigration rule in coming days.
Pentagon officials expect that the lure of accelerated citizenship will be powerful. Under a statute invoked in 2002 by the Bush administration, immigrants who serve in the military can apply to become citizens on the first day of active service, and they can take the oath in as little as six months.
For foreigners who come to work or study in the United States on temporary visas, the path to citizenship is uncertain and at best agonizingly long, often lasting more than a decade. The military also waives naturalization fees, which are at least $675.
To enlist, temporary immigrants will have to prove that they have lived in the United States for two years and have not been out of the country for longer than 90 days during that time. They will have to pass an English test.
Language experts will have to serve four years of active duty, and health care professionals will serve three years of active duty or six years in the Reserves. If the immigrants do not complete their service honorably, they could lose their citizenship.
Commenters who vented their suspicions of the program on said it could be used by terrorists to penetrate the armed forces.
At a street corner recruiting station in Bay Ridge in Brooklyn, Staff Sgt. Alejandro Campos of the Army said he had already fielded calls from temporary immigrants who heard rumors about the program.
"We're going to give people the opportunity to be part of the United States who are dying to be part of this country and they weren't able to before now," said Sergeant Campos, who was born in the Dominican Republic and became a United States citizen after he joined the Army.
Sergeant Campos said he saw how useful it was to have soldiers who were native Arabic speakers during two tours in Iraq.
"The first time around we didn't have soldier translators," he said. "But now that we have soldiers as translators, we are able to trust more, we are able to accomplish the mission with more accuracy."

Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company

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


U.S. Is Arms Bazaar for Mexican Cartels

February 26, 2009

U.S. Is Arms Bazaar for Mexican Cartels

PHOENIX - The Mexican agents who moved in on a safe house full of drug dealers last May were not prepared for the fire power that greeted them.
When the shooting was over, eight agents were dead. Among the guns the police recovered was an assault rifle traced back across the border to a dingy gun store here called X-Caliber Guns.

Now, the owner, George Iknadosian, will go on trial on charges he sold hundreds of weapons, mostly AK-47 rifles, to smugglers, knowing they would send them to a drug cartel in the western state of Sinaloa. The guns helped fuel the gang warfare in which more than 6,000 Mexicans died last year.

Mexican authorities have long complained that American gun dealers are arming the cartels. This case is the most prominent prosecution of an American gun dealer since the United States promised Mexico two years ago it would clamp down on the smuggling of weapons across the border. It also offers a rare glimpse of how weapons delivered to American gun dealers are being moved into Mexico and wielded in horrific crimes.
"We had a direct pipeline from Iknadosian to the Sinaloa cartel," said Thomas G. Mangan, a spokesman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in Phoenix.

Drug gangs seek out guns in the United States because the gun-control laws are far tougher in Mexico. Mexican civilians must get approval from the military to buy guns and they cannot own large-caliber rifles or high-powered pistols, which are considered military weapons.

The ease with which Mr. Iknadosian and two other men transported weapons to Mexico over a two-year period illustrates just how difficult it is to stop the illicit trade, law enforcement officials here say.

The gun laws in the United States allow the sale of multiple military-style rifles to American citizens without reporting the sales to the government, and the Mexicans search relatively few cars and trucks going south across their border.

What is more, the sheer volume of licensed dealers - more than 6,600 along the border alone, many of them operating out of their houses - makes policing them a tall order. Currently the A.T.F. has about 200 agents assigned to the task.

Smugglers routinely enlist Americans with clean criminal records to buy two or three rifles at a time, often from different shops, then transport them across the border in cars and trucks, often secreting them in door panels or under the hood, law enforcement officials here say. Some of the smuggled weapons are also bought from private individuals at gun shows, and the law requires no notification of the authorities in those cases.

"We can move against the most outrageous purveyors of arms to Mexico, but the characteristic of the arms trade is it's a 'parade of ants' - it's not any one big dealer, it's lots of individuals," said Arizona's attorney general, Terry Goddard, who is prosecuting Mr. Iknadosian. "That makes it very hard to detect because it's often below the radar."

The Mexican government began to clamp down on drug cartels in late 2006, unleashing a war that daily deposits dozens of bodies - often gruesomely tortured - on Mexico's streets. President Felipe Calderón has characterized the stream of smuggled weapons as one of the most significant threats to security in his country. The Mexican authorities say they seized 20,000 weapons from drug gangs in 2008, the majority bought in the United States.

The authorities in the United States say they do not know how many firearms are transported across the border each year, in part because the federal government does not track gun sales and traces only weapons used in crimes. But A.T.F. officials estimate 90 percent of the weapons recovered in Mexico come from dealers north of the border.
In 2007, the firearms agency traced 2,400 weapons seized in Mexico back to dealers in the United States, and 1,800 of those came from dealers operating in the four states along the border, with Texas first, followed by California, Arizona and New Mexico.

Mr. Iknadosian is accused of being one of those dealers. So brazen was his operation that the smugglers paid him in advance for the guns and the straw buyers merely filled out the required paperwork and carried the weapons off, according to A.T.F. investigative reports. The agency said Mr. Iknadosian also sold several guns to undercover agents who had explicitly informed him that they intended to resell them in Mexico.

Mr. Iknadosian, 47, will face trial on March 3 on charges including fraud, conspiracy and assisting a criminal syndicate. His lawyer, Thomas M. Baker, declined to comment on the charges, but said Mr. Iknadosian maintained his innocence. No one answered the telephone at Mr. Iknadosian's home in Glendale, Ariz.

A native of Egypt who spent much of his life in California, Mr. Iknadosian moved his gun-selling operation to Arizona in 2004, because the gun laws were more lenient, prosecutors said.

Over the two years leading up to his arrest last May, he sold more than 700 weapons of the kind currently sought by drug dealers in Mexico, including 515 AK-47 rifles and one .50 caliber rifle that can penetrate an engine block or bulletproof glass, the A.T.F. said.
Based on the store's records and the statements of some defendants, investigators estimate at least 600 of those weapons were smuggled to Mexico. So far, the Mexican authorities have seized seven of the Kalashnikov-style rifles from gunmen for the Beltrán Leyva cartel who had battled with the police.

The store was also said to be the source for a Colt .38-caliber pistol stuck in the belt of a reputed drug kingpin, Alfredo Beltrán Leyva, when he was arrested a year ago in the Sinaloan town of Culiacán. Also linked to the store was a diamond-studded handgun carried by another reputed mobster, Hugo David Castro, known as El Once, who was arrested in November on charges he took part in killing a state police chief in Sonora.
According to reports by A.T.F. investigators, Mr. Iknadosian sold more than 60 assault rifles in late 2007 and early 2008 to straw buyers working for two brothers - Hugo Miguel Gamez, 26, and Cesar Bojorguez Gamez, 27 - who then smuggled them into Mexico.
The brothers instructed the buyers to show up at X-Caliber Guns and to tell Mr. Iknadosian they were there to pick up guns for "Cesar" or "C," the A.T.F. said. Mr. Iknadosian then helped the buyers fill out the required federal form, called the F.B.I. to check their records and handed over the rifles. The straw buyers would then meet one of the brothers to deliver the merchandise. They were paid $100 a gun.

The Gamez brothers have pleaded guilty to a count of attempted fraud. Seven of the buyers arrested last May have pleaded guilty to lesser charges and have agreed to testify against Mr. Iknadosian, prosecutors said.

In one transaction, Mr. Iknadosian gave advice about how to buy weapons and smuggle them to a person who turned out to be an informant who was recording him, according to a transcript. He told the informant to break the sales up into batches and never to carry more than two weapons in a car.

"If you got pulled over, two is no biggie," Mr. Iknadosian is quoted as saying in the transcript. "Four is a question. Fifteen is, 'What are you doing?' "

Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company
Sent by Dr. Carlos Muñoz, Jr.



From the Los Angeles Times
Hundreds arrested in U.S. probe of Mexican drug cartel
Fifty arrests in California and elsewhere are the latest among 730 targeting the Sinaloa cartel in a 21-month investigation.
By Josh Meyer

February 26, 2009

Reporting from Washington - The Justice Department announced Wednesday that authorities had arrested more than 730 people across the country in a 21-month investigation targeting Mexico's Sinaloa drug cartel and its infiltration into U.S. cities.

The arrests, including 50 on Wednesday in California, Minnesota, Maryland and the nation's capital, come amid growing concern in Washington that Mexican crime organizations are out of control and threaten the stability of parts of Mexico and the safety of U.S. citizens.

The Homeland Security Department has developed a plan to send more agents and other resources, and possibly military support, to the U.S.-Mexico border if the drug violence continues to spill over and overwhelm the agents stationed there, a department official confirmed.

The Pentagon is looking into a larger role in bolstering counter-narcotics efforts. Adm. Dennis C. Blair, the director of national intelligence, told Congress on Wednesday that the corruptive influence and increasing violence of the cartels had undermined the Mexican government's ability to govern parts of its country.

A recent State Department travel advisory warned U.S. citizens about the perils of travel in Mexico, likening the shootouts between authorities and the cartels to "small-unit combat." The U.S. National Drug Intelligence Center believes that Mexican cartels maintain drug distribution networks or supply drugs to distributors in as many as 195 U.S. cities.

And on Wednesday, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee, said the recent surge in drug-related violence on the Southwest border "has turned some American communities and neighborhoods into the Wild West."

"A battle is building on the border, and U.S. citizens are getting caught in the crossfire," Smith said, calling on House Democrats to hold a hearing on drug-related violence on the border. "Congress must address the violence before more lives are lost."

U.S. Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr., in his first news conference since taking over as the nation's top law enforcement officer, offered this as proof of the creeping spread of the Sinaloa cartel in the United States: the seizure of more than $59 million in illegal drug proceeds and large amounts of narcotics, including more than 24,000 pounds of cocaine, 1,200 pounds of methamphetamine and 1.3 million ecstasy pills.

Authorities also seized more than $6.5 million in other assets, 149 vehicles, three aircraft, three maritime vessels and 169 weapons.

"The dimensions of what we are breaking up today had nationwide implications here" in the United States, Holder said.

Special Agent Michele Leonhart, acting administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, said the crackdown had denied at least $1 billion in drug revenue for the Sinaloa cartel, one of several syndicates fighting the Mexican government in a war that claimed the lives of more than 5,000 people in Mexico last year.

About 20 suspects have been arrested in Mexico as part of the crackdown, which has been coordinated by the DEA's Special Operations Division in close cooperation with Mexico and dozens of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies in the United States.

Holder and top DEA officials said most, if not all, of the senior members of the cartel remained at large.

Mexican authorities Wednesday extradited the former leader of a separate cartel accused of smuggling tons of marijuana and cocaine into the United States during the 1980s and 1990s.

The suspect, Miguel Caro Quintero, headed the so-called Sonora cartel and faces federal drug-trafficking charges in Arizona and Colorado. He is the brother of Rafael Caro Quintero, a kingpin who was convicted and sentenced in Mexico for the 1985 killing of a U.S. drug agent, Enrique Camarena.

Holder said he had met with Mexican Atty. Gen. Eduardo Medina Mora on Tuesday to discuss how the two countries could cooperate to dismantle drug-trafficking organizations and root out corrupt government officials on both sides of the border.

"International drug-trafficking organizations pose a sustained, serious threat. They are national security threats," Holder said. "They are lucrative, they are violent and they are operated with stunning planning and precision."

Some federal law enforcement officials said the results of the investigation were being announced, at least in part, to address growing accusations that some senior elements of the Mexican government are aiding Sinaloa drug dealers or selectively going after competitors, allowing factions of the Sinaloa cartel to grow. Major corruption arrests in Mexico recently showed that a Sinaloa faction had paid senior officials in the Mexican attorney general's office to notify it about impending enforcement actions.

A senior DEA official said top Mexican authorities were working closely with Washington to assess the damage from potential leaks from law enforcement officials, and to prevent them from happening.

Holder said the crackdown was considered one of the biggest binational successes against the Mexican cartels, but acknowledged that "this problem is one that will continue. This is an ongoing effort."

The investigation started with the arrests of some alleged Sinaloa cartel members in California's Imperial Valley and snowballed into as many as 160 inquiries in the U.S., Mexico and Canada, one senior DEA Special Operations official said.

One of its initial successes was the indictment of Victor Emilio Cazarez-Salazar, believed to be a leader in the Sinaloa cartel, DEA officials said. Cazarez-Salazar remains at large.

Holder and other officials said Wednesday that the Sinaloa cartel was responsible for bringing tons of cocaine, methamphetamine and marijuana into the United States through a sophisticated network of distribution and logistics cells in the country. It is also laundering millions of dollars in criminal proceeds, they said.

Those indicted in the cases have been charged with a variety of crimes, including engaging in a continuing criminal enterprise by violating various felony provisions of the federal Controlled Substances Act; conspiracy to import controlled substances; money laundering; and possession of an unregistered firearm.

Many of those in the United States were low-level operatives; some were illegal immigrants. At least several mid-level managers were believe to be in direct contact with leaders in Sinaloa, who also have been arrested, said the senior DEA Special Operations official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

Thomas A. Schweich, deputy assistant secretary of State for international law enforcement in the Bush administration, said he saw good news and bad news in the Justice Department's announcement.

"The bad news is that it shows that the cartels are everywhere, they are dangerous, and they are trafficking in everything," he said. "The good news is that it shows that there are now cooperative, cross-border efforts to fight them. The cartels know no borders in what they do, and it is important that we know no borders in order to defeat them."
Times staff writer Ken Ellingwood in Mexico City contributed to this report.



Forwarded from San Diego Times


In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.

China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated

Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million educated people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control: 56 million.

It has now been 12 months since gun owners in Australia were forced by new law to surrender 640,381 personal firearms to be destroyed by their own Government, a program costing Australia taxpayers more than $500 million dollars. The first year results are now in:

List of 7 items:
Australia-wide, homicides are up 3.2 percent.
Australia-wide, assaults are up 8.6 percent.
Australia-wide, armed robberies are up 44 percent (yes, 44 percent)!

In the state of Victoria alone, homicides with firearms are now up 300 percent. Note that while the law-abiding citizens turned them in, the criminals did not, and criminals still possess their guns!

While figures over the previous 25 years showed a steady decrease in armed robbery with firearms, this has changed drastically upward in the past 12 months, since criminals now are guaranteed that their prey is unarmed.

There has also been a dramatic increase in break-ins and assaults of the ELDERLY. Australian politicians are at a loss to explain how public safety has decreased, after such monumental effort, and expense was expended in successfully ridding Australian society of guns. The Australian experience and the other historical facts above prove it.

You won't see this data on the US evening news, or hear politicians disseminating this information.

Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws adversely affect only the law-abiding citizens.

Take note my fellow Americans, before it's too late!

The next time someone talks in favor of gun control, please remind them of this history lesson. With guns, we are 'citizens'. Without them, we are 'subjects'.

During WWII the Japanese decided not to invade America because they knew most Americans were ARMED!

If you value your freedom, please spread this anti-gun control message to all of your friends.

The purpose of fighting is to win. There is no possible victory in defense. The sword is more important than the shield, and skill is more important than either. The final weapon is the brain. All else is supplemental. SWITZERLAND ISSUES EVERY HOUSEHOLD A GUN! SWITZERLAND 'S GOVERNMENT TRAINS EVERY ADULT THEY ISSUE A RIFLE. SWITZERLAND HAS THE LOWEST GUN RELATED CRIME RATE OF ANY CIVILIZED COUNTRY IN THE WORLD! IT'S A NO BRAINER! DON'T LET OUR GOVERNMENT WASTE MILLIONS OF OUR TAX DOLLARS IN AN EFFORT TO MAKE ALL LAW ABIDING CITIZENS AN EASY TARGET. 



Will Latino Civil Rights be included in Proposed Civil Rights Oral History Project? 
La Nueva Raza Issue #10 – Spring 2009 has just been released!

Will Latino Civil Rights be included in 
Proposed Civil Rights Oral History Project? 


Dear Defenders of the Honor,

We have received word this week that there is legislation proposed to create a "Civil Rights Oral History Project," a joint effort between the Smithsonian Institution and the Library of Congress to collect oral histories of those involved in the Civil Rights Movement and preserve them for future generations. The legislation is co-sponsored by Senators Dianne Feinstein, Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn); Thad Cochran (R-Miss.); Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.); and Chuck Schumer (D-NY). 

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) and Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) have introduced a companion bill in the House. 

The bill would direct the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture to record - in audio and video -- firsthand stories from the Civil Rights Movement. 

We thank our elected officials for spearheading this important initiative at a time of important change being felt in the nation. Defend the Honor stands ready to assist in any way we can or are called upon to support by the sponsors of the Civil Rights Oral History Project. (This announcement comes in the same month that an important documentary on Mexican American civil rights, A Class Apart, is scheduled for viewing nationally on PBS.)

Of course, we expect that the Latino civil rights movement will be included in this important effort and that those stories are archived appropriately. It is crucial to record the civil rights history of all Americans, including the history of racism and exclusion experienced by our Latino elders throughout the country. Racism is still with us, as evidenced by the hate crimes against Latino immigrants. We have every hope that this important recording of our civil rights history might ameliorate some of the ugliness of racism. 

We recognize that there is one narrow view of "civil rights," that fails to recognize the very real discrimination against Latinos and their brilliant, steady and powerful efforts to battle racism. 

We expect that the Latino civil rights experience will be recognized and integrated into the language and regulations of any proposed legislation concerning the civil rights movement in the United States of America.

We call on all Senators and members of Congress to be explicit on the intent and nature of this proposed legislation so that all people are honored and respected for their struggle to gain full status granted to all Americans. This matter is far too important to be left to vague wording, and empty promises.

We also call on all Latino and Latina elected officials and organizations in the nation to voice their expectation for inclusion in the proposed legislation as presented by Senator Feinstein and her Senate co-sponsors along with similar legilation proposed by Congressman John Lewis and other co-sponsors in the House of Representatives. 

We have contacted Sen. Feinstein's office this week, but have not heard back as of this writing. Please communicate any more information you receive on this matter. Defend the Honor will pass along any substantive news on this issue.


Gus Chavez & Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, 
Co-Founders, Defend the Honor 
Austin | TX | 78712 


La Nueva Raza Issue #10 – Spring 2009 has just been released!


Click the link below to check it out!

We need help distributing! 
We need comadres and compadres to help spread the word!
Contact to have some issues sent to you!

In this issue:
Border Walls and Immigration Raids: Symptomatic of all the Failed Bush Policies
Inmigración y la Economía
Operativo Endgame: ¿El juego final de la Migra?
Bohemeo's Bringing Music, Art and Culture to Houston's East End
Historical Memory and Mexicanos in the U.S.: Setting the Record Straight
Our Streets Will Not Be Silenced!  ¡Las Calles No Se Callan!
Boycott Wells Fargo! ¡Boicotéa Wells Fargo!
PIÑATA PROTEST:  Keeping the Acordión Roots Alive with Tejano Punk
Patzin: Grandfather Tobacco
Shut Down the T. Don Hutto Family Prison!
FIRE Raids ICE Managment Meeting, Delivers Notice of Deportation to ICE
Familias Unidas Por La Esperanza: Luchando por Nuestras Familias
America's Soul Sickness & Permanent War: Obama's Rude Awakening
Relocate the Pure Casting Industrial Facility!
Poesía del Pueblo

Sent by Dorinda Moreno




A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary: Discover Our Shared Heritage
Mission 2000  Return to the Tumacacori National Historical Park home page.
New Mexico Cliff Dwellings Reopen After Fire
Wiki Links to National Parks

A National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary
American Southwest, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico Resource


Produced by the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places and the National Conference of State Historic Preservation Officers in partnership with the American Express Company and the National Park Foundation.

Colombus' voyages to the "New World" were just the beginning of the intermingling of peoples and cultures that formed our nation; this rich and varied history is reflected in the prehistoric and historic sites, buildings, structures, objects and districts found throughout the land. The National Register of Historic Places can guide you through our history with Discover Our Shared Heritage--a series of travel itineraries that explore our country's past through visiting places listed in the National Register of Historic Places which reflect major aspects of American history, such as exploration and settlement and cultural diversity.

The first explorers and settlers of the Southwest were American Indians; they gave the vast area much of its distinctive culture and learned how to live in its climate and geography. Some of the earliest and most expansive attempts at colonizing were made by the Spanish. Acoma, San Xavier del Bac, Fort Apache, Mesa Verde, Santa Fe, Hubbell Trading Post, Hovenweep, Kit Carson House, Taos, Barrio Libre, Fort Bowie, Tuzigoot, El Santuario de Chimayo; the names of the American Southwest evoke a starkly beautiful land of deserts, mountains and fertile valleys which is both very old and very new. Arizona and New Mexico, admitted to the Union in 1912, are two of the youngest states in the nation; yet Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado contain venerable adobe communities and ancient, long-abandoned prehistoric ruins collectively representing thousands of years of human habitation.

The earliest documented occupation of the American Southwest dates to before 9,000 B.C. While hunting and gathering activities predominated in the Great Basin and California, and bison hunting dominated the Plains, the peoples of the American Southwest established early agricultural communities and grew maize, beans and squash. They constantly experimented with a variety of irrigation techniques to overcome the hot dry climate. Changes in rainfall patterns led to their constructing complex communities which would eventually be abandoned when rainfall could not support the population. Spanish explorers of the American Southwest, beginning with Coronado's 1540-42 expedition, encountered both settled communities and deserted ruins.

Taos Pueblo
National Park Service photo

The Spanish, in making the American Southwest an outpost of their far-flung empire, brought change as religious orders, soldiers and colonists built missions, presidios (forts) and towns with distinctive central plazas and churches; Santa Fe was founded c. 1610, Albuquerque in 1706, Las Trampas in 1751, and Taos between 1780 and 1800. After the Southwest was brought into the orbit of the expansionist American nation, the Anglo influence was imprinted on the land in forts, trading posts, mining centers of silver, gold, and copper, cattle ranches, railroads and dams.

The American Southwest with its distinctive building traditions, its languages, religions, and foods, reflects the vitality of the Spanish, Mexican, Indian and Anglo cultures which formed its history and the Southwest we see today. This National Register of Historic Places Travel Itinerary will introduce you to prehistoric and historic sites, buildings, structures and districts associated with the long and colorful history of the American Southwest. The itinerary links National Parks with places listed in the National Register that illustrate early periods of Southwestern history. The 58 historic places highlighted in this itinerary can teach us about the contributions of the various people who settled in what became the United States of America. The itinerary includes a map showing the location of these historic places along with a brief description of their importance in our nation's past. Use this guide for locating interesting historic places in conjunction with your travel to our National Parks in the American Southwest. Visitors may be interested in Historic Hotels of America, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, located near some of the places featured in this itinerary.

Many of the sites in the American Southwest contain irreplaceable prehistoric and historic artifacts which are protected by Federal and state laws. In keeping with our responsibility to preserve these sites for future generations, visitors should be extremely careful not to disturb or remove any artifact found at these sites. Please visit Vanishing Treasures to learn more about the threats facing these artifacts.

For more information on historic places in the American Southwest contact:

Arizona Office of Historic Preservation
Arizona Office of Tourism
Colorado Historical Society
Colorado Tourism Office
New Mexico State Historic Preservation Division
New Mexico Department of Tourism
U.S. World Heritage Sites



Mission 2000  Return to the Tumacacori National Historical Park home page.


Mission 2000 is a searchable database of Spanish mission records of the Pimería Alta (southern Arizona and northern Sonora, Mexico) containing baptisms, marriages, and burials from the late seventeenth century to the mid-nineteenth century.  Names of persons associated with each event (i.e., priest, baptized, parents, godparents, husband, wife, witnesses, deceased, etc.) and personal information about each person are included. The ethnicity of names include O’odham, Yaqui, Apache, Seri, Opata, Yuma, Mexican, Spanish, Basque, Catalán, Gallego, Andalusian, Valencian, German, Swiss, Austrian, Bohemian, Italian, and others. Mission 2000 is an on-going project taken from the original mission records and updated weekly on the Internet.   As of the first of May, 2005 it contained 8090 events and 22,031 names of people and their known personal information. A majority of the present information comes from the Guevavi,  Tumacácori, Cocóspera and Suamca
Mission registers and the Tubac Presidio register, but watch for more information in the future from Arizpe, Átil, Bisanig, Caborca, Cieneguilla, Cucurpe, Cocóspera, Horcasitas, Magdalena, Oquitoa, Pitiquito, San Ignacio, Santa Ana, Tubutama, and Ures.

The search is based on names in the database.  If you do not find what you are interested in, try a different spelling, or type only the first few letters of the name.  Since ancient spellings varied greatly, a partial spelling will list all entries with those particular letters.  Each person listed in the results will have a Personal ID Number shown in blue.  Click on the number of the person you are interested in to see his or her specific personal information. Included with the personal information will be a listing of all Event ID Numbers, shown in blue, with which that person is associated.  Click on any of those numbers for a display of information concerning that particular event.

Misión 2000 es un base de datos en el que puede buscarse nombres contenidos en los registros de las misiones españolas de la Pimería Alta (al sur de Arizona, EEUU, y al norte de Sonora, México), en el cual hay bautismos, casamientos, y enterrados desde el último del siglo diesisiete hasta el mitad del siglo diesinueve.  Los nombres de las personas asociadas con cada evento (por ejemplo: sacerdotes, los bautizados, padres, padrinos, esposos, testigos, los muertos, etc.) e información personal de cada persona son incluidos. La etnicidad de los nombres incluye O’odham, Yaqui, Apache, Seri, Opata, Yuma, Mexicano, Español, Vasco, Catalán, Gallego, Andaluz, Valenciano, Tudesco, Suiza, Austriaco, Bohemio, Italiano, y otros.   Misión 2000 es un proyecto en progreso sacado de los documentos originales y revisado cada semana en el Internet. Hasta el primer día de mayo de 2005 contuvo 8090 eventos y 22,031 nombres de personas y su información
personal conocida. Al presente, el mayor parte de la información viene del registro de las misiones de Guevavi, Tumacácori, Cocóspera y Suamca y el Presidio de Tubac, pero en el futuro busca información de Arizpe, Átil, Bisanig, Caborca, Cieneguilla, Cucurpe, Cocóspera, Horcasitas, Magdalena, Oquitoa, Pitiquito, San Ignacio, Santa Ana, Tubutama, y Ures.

La busqueda es fijada en los nombres del base de datos.  Si Ud. no encuentra la persona en quien tiene interés, pruebe un otro deletreo, o marque solamente las dos o tres primeras letras del nombre.  Porque los deletreos antiguos variaron mucho, un deletreo parcial dará todos los nombres con esas letras particulares. Cada persona registrada en la resulta tendrá un número personal de identificación (Personal ID) enseñado en azul.  Marque el número de la persona con quien Ud. tiene interés a ver su información personal.  Incluido con la información personal será una lista de los números de eventos (Event ID), también enseñados en azul, en cual esa persona está asociada.  Marque cualquier número para un despliegue de información concerniente a ese evento particular.
  Return to the Tumacacori National Historical Park home page. 

Postcard of Puye Cave Dwellings Medium
N.M. Cliff Dwellings Reopen After Fire

By Margaret FosterOnline OnlyJan. 27, 2009 

Postcard of Puye Cave Dwellings, N.M. In the Tewa language, “puye” means “pueblo ruin where rabbits assemble or meet.” The site was named a National Historic Landmark in 1966.


A mile-long swath of cave rooms carved out of New Mexico's cliffs more than 750 years ago has reopened to the public.  

In 2000, the Cerro Grande fire spread across 45,000 acres and forced the closure of the Puye Cliff Dwellings National Historic Landmark. Last fall, the Santa Clara Pueblo, which owns and operates the site, started offering group tours of the cave ruins and an early 20th-century Harvey House. In May, the pueblo will reopen the landmark to the general public.

"We're thrilled. I don't think anybody was sure they would be able to open it again," says Steve Lewis, spokesperson for Santa Fe Convention and Visitors Bureau. "It's a very popular place. It's always a hit with visitors because it's a pretty remarkable ruin. It really speaks to the whole pueblo culture and the ancestral puebloans who live here today."

The 1,000 Tewa-speaking residents of Santa Clara Pueblo are descendants of the people who inhabited the cliff dwellings from 1250 until about 1580, when a drought forced them to abandon the cave rooms for their current location along the Rio Grande.

Tours of the Puye Cliff Dwellings begin at the Harvey House—the only one built on an Indian reservation. (The pueblo's development corporation renovated the hotel/restaurant, and transformed it into an interpretive center.) Then visitors can explore ruins of houses on top of the cliffs and hike along the cliff face for a glimpse of hundreds of cave rooms on two levels.

Lucretia Jenkins-Williams, Puye Operations Manager for the Santa Clara Development Corporation, said in a statement, "We have created a destination where people can experience the beautiful panoramic scenery of northern New Mexico, while learning of the ancient Pueblo people who called Puye Cliffs home."

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Wiki Links to National Parks


Acadia • American Samoa • Arches • Badlands • Big Bend • Biscayne • Black Canyon of the Gunnison • Bryce Canyon • Canyonlands • Capitol Reef • Carlsbad Caverns • Channel Islands • Congaree • Crater Lake • Cuyahoga Valley • Death Valley • Denali • Dry Tortugas • Everglades • Gates of the Arctic • Glacier • Glacier Bay • Grand Canyon • Grand Teton • Great Basin • Great Sand Dunes • Great Smoky Mountains • Guadalupe Mountains • Haleakala • Hawaii Volcanoes • Hot Springs • Isle Royale • Joshua Tree • Katmai • Kenai Fjords • Kings Canyon • Kobuk Valley • Lake Clark • Lassen Volcanic • Mammoth Cave • Mesa Verde • Mount Rainier • North Cascades • Olympic • Petrified Forest • Redwood • Rocky Mountain • Saguaro • Sequoia • Shenandoah • Theodore Roosevelt • Virgin Islands • Voyageurs • Wind Cave • Wrangell-St. Elias • Yellowstone • Yosemite • Zion


"Just as many of the lands that make up today's national parks were the spiritual homes for the indigenous tribes who lived there, they had a profound and often spiritual impact on the settlers who first saw them and on the visionaries who fought tirelessly to preserve them as the common
property of the American people," said Ken Burns.


Census of Agriculture Shows Growing Diversity in U.S. Farming
Latinos are the fastest growing market in the USA 


Latinos are the fastest growing market in the USA 
See full report at


WASHINGTON, Feb. 4, 2009 – The number of farms in the United States has grown 4 percent and the operators of those farms have become more diverse in the past five years, according to results of the 2007 Census of Agriculture released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). 

"The Census of Agriculture is a valuable tool that provides the general public with an accurate and comprehensive view of American agriculture. It's also a set of benchmarks against which this Department must measure and demonstrate its performance to agriculture and the taxpayer," said Secretary Tom Vilsack. 

" In the spirit of President Obama's call to make government more transparent, inclusive, and collaborative, I will be directing my team at USDA to review the findings of the 2007 Census and propose ambitious, measureable goals to make sure that the People's Department is hard at work for all the people – our diverse customers and the full diversity of agriculture." 

The 2007 Census counted 2,204,792 farms in the United States, a net increase of 75,810 farms. Nearly 300,000 new farms have begun operation since the last census in 2002. Compared to all farms nationwide, these new farms tend to have more diversified production, fewer acres, lower sales and younger operators who also work off-farm. 
In the past five years, U.S. farm operators have become more demographically diverse. The 2007 Census counted nearly 30 percent more women as principal farm operators. The count of Hispanic operators grew by 10 percent, and the counts of American Indian, Asian and Black farm operators increased as well. 

The latest census figures show a continuation in the trend towards more small and very large farms and fewer mid-sized operations. Between 2002 and 2007, the number of farms with sales of less than $2,500 increased by 74,000. The number of farms with sales of more than $500,000 grew by 46,000 during the same period. 

Census results show that the majority of U.S. farms are smaller operations. More than 36 percent are classified as residential/lifestyle farms, with sales of less than $250,000 and operators with a primary occupation other than farming. Another 21 percent are retirement farms, which have sales of less than $250,000 and operators who reported they are retired. 
In addition to looking at farm numbers, operator demographics and economic aspects of farming, the Census of Agriculture delves into numerous other areas, including organic, value-added, and specialty production, all of which are on the rise. 

The 2007 Census found that 57 percent of all farmers have internet access, up from 50 percent in 2002. For the first time in 2007, the census also looked at high-speed Internet access. Of those producers accessing the Internet, 58 percent reported having a high-speed connection. 

Other "firsts" in the 2007 Census include questions about on-farm energy generation, community-supported agriculture arrangements and historic barns. 

The Census of Agriculture, conducted every five years, is a complete count of the nation's farms and ranches and the people who operate them. It provides the only source of uniform, comprehensive agricultural data for every county in the nation. Census results are available online at

Contact:  Ellen Dougherty (202) 690-8122  Marci Hilt (202) 720-4623
Sent by Juan Marinez




Latinos are the fastest growing market in the USA 
See full report at


By the year 2010, experts predict that the number will swell to as many as 48 million, and by 2050, more than 87 million Hispanic people will be engaged in purchasing, consuming,and disposing of goods, and service in the US.

According to the latest US Census Bureau statistics, the Hispanic population brings $856 billion spending power to the marketplace.Ever since advisers and marketers have created a niche for the Hispanic consumer in the US, we are more responsive to the advertising.

The Hispanic market currently represents some $900 billion in spending power and is expected to grow to $1 trillion by the year 2010. With income and wealth growing, new windows of opportunity will develop to fill the gap between Latino consumers’ needs and existing products and services.

Studies has shown that female Hispanic consumer is highly cognizant of trends and styles and likes to shop for fashion,” relates Kim Kitchings, director of research and strategic planning for Cotton Incorporated.

They like to jump on a trend as it’s happening, rather than catching it when it’s phased through the mainstream. Hispanic women are very much into their appearance and how they comes across ,” shares Evan Gordon, president and founder of Hispanicity, a Chicago-based Hispanic marketing agency.

Research has shown that Hispanic women tend to spend extra time and money on clothing and accessories so she can be one of the sharpest dressed people out there, 40% of the of these women buy the latest fashion at the beginning of the season, they are willing to spend 15% more.

Exploring the attitudes of the Hispanic credit card users, their socioeconomic and characteristics, where they  consider credit cards generally useful. The industry and marketing strategies develop enhancements that appeal to changing customers needs, especially for the Hispanic market that is growing.

Traditionally, businesses have perceived the Hispanics as a low income group with little education and lacking credit cards. However, this perception may be changing, and for a good reason. Today, the Hispanic market numbers about 46 million in size with around $850 billion in spending power.

Carlos Villanueva
Asociacion Mundial de Mexicanos en el Exterior
Worldwide Association of Mexicans Abroad
150 N. Santa Anita Avenue. 3rd Floor
Arcadia CA 91006
Tel USA: (626)305-8477
Tel Mex: 52(55)5704-2010
Cel USA (213) 924-7038



CDC Disease Detective  Camp 
U.S. Department of Education, Hispanic Outreach & Resources
The Hispanic Development Fund
Latino Civil Rights Group Fights to Keep Desegregation Order on the Books
Can a Burro be a Genius?
Outstanding Dissertations Competition 2009
President Blandina Cardenas Cites Health Reasons for Resignation
Valley Leaders Saddened by Resignation of UTPA President
Mimi: The Austin American Statesman story about Francisco Cigarroa as the first Hispanic to head a large univ ersity system in the United States is not accurate. Manuel Pacheco, now 61, is retiring after a lengthy tenure since 1997 as President of the University of Missouri System (/The Current/, student newspaper, Monday, February 2, 2009).

Felipe de Ortego y Gasca



CDC Disease Detective Camp 

FREE!! The National Center for Health Marketing's Global Health Odyssey Museum is pleased to offer the 2009 CDC Disease Detective  Camp (DDC). DDC is an academic day camp for students who will be high school juniors and seniors during the 2009-2010 school year. Campers will take on the roles of disease detectives and learn how CDC safeguards the nation's health. The camp will be offered twice from June 22-26 and July 13-17. For more info and to apply to go . Deadline is April 20. 

FREE!! The American Legion sponsors a week-long summer leadership program called Boys State. This year's program will be held at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland from June 21-27. If you are a junior interested in a leadership opportunity see your guidance counselor right away for more information. 

University of Maryland Young Scholars Program targets rising juniors and seniors who have a strong academic record and a desire to excel to experience college life while earning three academic credits. 14 courses are offered for three weeks from July 12 - 31, 2009. Visit 

CITY YEAR, WASHINGTON DC (Americorps) - Graduating seniors who are not sure what they want to do after high school should consider applying for a paid community service position with City Year, Washington, DC., a group of 17-24 year olds committed to full-time service for ten months in the Washington, DC community. Benefits include: living stipend ($200 per week), health care coverage, free metro pass, and $4,725 educational scholarship. For more info: or email: or call: 
202-776-7780, Amanda Seligman. Recruitment open houses will be held once a month at their headquarters: 918 U Street, NW, 2nd floor, Washington, DC 20001. 


U.S. Department of Education, Hispanic Outreach & Resources




Because you are interested education issues pertaining to the Hispanic community, this message is to introduce you to some new and existing resources at the U.S. Department of Education.

New Secretary of Education 

Arne Duncan was nominated to be secretary of education by President-elect Barack Obama and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, 2009. In his first days as Secretary, Duncan expressed that he wants to get America back on track to being #1 in the world in education. To better serve our nation’s 80 million students the Department will focus on scaling up proven and innovative strategies for success, rather than act as a compliance-driven bureaucracy; the Administration will involve leaders and educators across America with fresh and proven ideas for improving education; and, the Department is committed to involving the business, neighborhood, and philanthropic communities. 

More immediately, the President has proposed an American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan (stimulus package) to jumpstart job creation and foster long-term economic growth. As part of the plan, certain needs will be addressed including equipping thousands of schools, community colleges, and public universities with 21st century classrooms, labs, and libraries. The Secretary is hopeful that the plan’s historic level of one-time education funding will not only save and create jobs but also lay the groundwork for a generation of education reform and progress. As he said yesterday in his remarks to the American Council on Education’s Annual Meeting: “Providing every child in America with a good education is both a moral imperative and an economic imperative.” 

Arne Duncan comes from Chicago where he ran the Chicago Public Schools for seven years. He grew up in his mother’s tutoring program on the South Side and later started a small school before he took over the 3rd largest school system in the country. In Chicago, he boosted test scores, lowered the dropout rate, and earned a national reputation as a reformer who can work with everyone – unions, business, nonprofits, and elected officials. 

To learn more about the Secretary, the Administration’s education agenda and policy developments, including the Recovery Plan, be sure to revisit the Department’s revised website - 

New Director, Hispanic Outreach and Communications

I am delighted to serve as the new Director for Hispanic Outreach and Communications at the Department of Education. In this capacity I will serve as the liaison to Hispanic associations, community groups, and business organizations to foster a two-way conversation about policies, legislation and other resources. As part of this effort, I aim to collaborate with organizations like yours to provide Hispanic and Spanish-speaking students and families with the information and resources to facilitate educational success. 

Please feel free to contact me with questions and to share your efforts. I look forward to working with all of you. 

My contact information is:           
Ida Eblinger Kelley
Director, Hispanic Outreach
Office of Communications and Outreach
US Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave, SW, 5E308
Washington, DC 20202 

Recursos en español

The Department produces materials for Spanish speakers. Recursos en español is a portal of Spanish language resources on topics of particular interest to the Hispanic community, such as special education, financial aid, adult education, and more. Answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) and publications are also available at the site. Please visit:  

800-USA-LEARN   The Information Resource Center offers bilingual specialists who answer hundreds of questions each week from parents, educators, students, and citizens across the country.  They are committed to excellence in customer service. 
Please call: 800-USA-LEARN / visit:




The Hispanic Development Fund


This is a very interesting, some of those organization who are interested in setting up a system to educate future Hispanics, might be interested in looking at the Kansas City model. Juan

The Hispanic Development Fund (HDF) has served the Greater Kansas City community since 1983. We currently have an Advisory Board of 10 individuals that meet on a monthly basis to select projects and funding levels. HDF has a current endowment of approximately $3 million that the Fund plans to grow to $4 million by 2010

Latino KC
Latino KC, is a local giving circle, is a group of philanthropic and civic-minded Latinos dedicated to making an impact to the well-being of the Kansas City Hispanic community that leverages the strength and power of a team beyond just the sum of the individuals.




Latino Civil Rights Group Fights to Keep Desegregation Order on the Books
Produced by Linda Lutton on Thursday, January 22, 2009


A hearing begins today to determine whether Chicago's 29-year-old school desegregation case should be thrown out. The consent decree orders Chicago Public Schools to create as many integrated schools as possible. A lesser-known provision also spells out services the district must provide to students who don't speak English proficiently. That's the main reason some are fighting to keep the decree in place.

Related: An End for Racially Integrated Schools? 
One of the groups that's pushing hardest to keep the consent decree around is the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, a Latino civil rights organization. 

Maldef attorney Ricardo Meza says the consent decree requires CPS to do this: 

MEZA: to basically treat English language learners in the same way that they treat the other students. That means students learning English are to be taught in equivalent facilities, with similar student-teacher ratios. And students are supposed to get materials and assistance in their native language until they make the transition to English. 

But Meza says that despite nearly three decades under the consent decree, MEZA: There are still problems with the program. We still have children that are taught on auditorium stages. We still have children taught in the hallways. We have children who don't have any reading material in the Spanish language. We have children taught by teachers who are not certified in bilingual education. 

People debate whether the consent decree has produced more equitable schools. But one thing is clear: it's created a lot of reports. A number of them document conditions Meza refers to. 

Kelly High School comes up regularly. 

There are about 52,000 English language learners in Chicago Public Schools—330 are here at Kelly, a school so overcrowded students come in three shifts. 

From a basement office, in what used to be the bomb shelter, Efrain Gonzalez runs Kelly's bilingual education program—one of the biggest high school programs in the city. Reports have found that Kelly's failed to provide kids the bilingual services they're entitled to. 

But Gonzalez says the reports don't take into account the sort of in-the-trenches decisions teachers have to make. Take a kid who needs an Information Technology class to graduate, Gonzalez says. Maybe the class meets at the same time as the bilingual American Literature class. 

GONZALEZ: So I need to decide—what will be better for the kid? To graduate from high school? Or to take this class? And sometimes what's better for the kid does not always agree with policy. 

Gonzalez says he has to think about the consent decree every day. 

GONZALEZ: It's like part of my job description to sit with lawyers from the federal government and sit here for hours and answer the same questions I answered last year. 

Gonzalez says he can't wait for the consent decree to come to an end, so teachers can determine what's right for kids, rather than lawyers. That's an opinion echoed by CPS's top attorneys. 

Meza, the Maldef attorney, counters that everybody has a boss they've got to answer to. Schools that provide services required under the consent decree have nothing to worry about. And the consent decree only reiterates state and federal bilingual education laws already on the books. It just provides one more place for civil rights groups like Maldef to take a complaint. 

MEZA: If the bilingual program has been so dismal while under the watchful eye of a federal judge, what will happen when we don't have it? 

Meza is concerned about losing another provision of the consent decree as well—the one that sets aside seats for minority students at the district's best schools. 

The federal judge who oversees the desegregation case asked for public comment on whether the decree should continue. Written testimony already submitted falls strongly on the side of keeping the decree. 

One concerned citizen offered this spin on an old adage: "If it ain't fixed, don't break it." 




What defines a genius? Many people still say Albert Einstein since that is the image that has been ingrained in us to symbolize a genius. Einstein was indeed a genius that I admire. However, the truth of the matter is that geniuses come in all forms, sizes, shapes, and colors. 

A burro can also be a genius.

That is the point that Victor Villasenor is trying to make in his book titled Burro Genius. But the book goes beyond that enticing title and makes a point that geniuses are not limited to a specific skin color and that they can also be poor. 

The story is really about Villasenor’s life experience while growing up as a Mexican American young kid in Oceanside, California . Incredibly, it took him forty two years to finally complete and finish the Burro Genius book. He continually kept revising it and in 2004 he decided to complete it and published it. He was not officially diagnosed with dyslexia until he was forty-four years old. 

This explains the trouble he had with reading and writing in school. But many of his teachers thought that he was ignorant and stupid and treated him as sub human. Villasenor has written a revealing and powerful book about how Mexican American students were abused and discriminated against. 

In his book he describes how in the 1940s schools did not allow Spanish to be spoken. If students did speak Spanish at school they were punished. Not just light punishment but through physical abuse such as slaps in the face. Imagine, being a small child and having one of your teachers beat you if you spoke Spanish? 

I remember when I had just arrived back to the United States when I was five years old in 1978. I did not speak English and cried and cried so very much since I missed my grandmother and family who had stayed back in El Salvador . The teachers hated that I cried and they placed Scotch tape on my mouth so that I would not cry and they would threaten me that they would call “La Migra” – immigration agents so that my family and I would get deported. 

Latino and African American students have historically encountered many barriers in obtaining a quality education in our public school systems. Many have been taught to be ashamed of their own culture and to reject it.

Latinos and African American students continue to have the highest school drop-out rates and the highest incarceration rates. There is a definite correlation between not being able to read or write and ending up in prison. 

Our next President of the United States must make education a top priority and must demand that drop-out rates among minorities must be reduced. 

We can no longer pretend that everything is o.k. while so many young children’s futures are destroyed. We also cannot expect that discrimination will all of a sudden disappear if Senator Barack Obama becomes our President. It will take time to make improvements in reducing discrimination throughout our great nation. 

Obama and Villasenor serve as great examples of how they have become successful through perseverance and education. Villasenor did have some luck that his family owned a ranch and did not depend on hand outs from anyone. They were a proud Latino family who would uplift Villasenor at home. However, at school, he was being tortured and stepped on by inhumane adults. 

Imagine children who are abused at school, in the streets, and at home by their own parents. What a cruel, painful, and unjust way to grow up. 

Villasenor makes us look into our soul. How can we live with ourselves when children are being mistreated at school and at home? 

It is no longer allowed to be physically punished but many educators continue to disrespect students who cannot learn certain subjects or those who cannot speak English. Words do hurt – especially if some teachers do scream or like to embarrass certain students in front of their classmates. 

Some teachers even encourage students not to come to school or to drop out. Luckily, they are the few but these few teachers can destroy a child’s self esteem and future. Fortunately most teachers are humane, their lives calling is teaching and helping children. 

Villasenor exposes the abuse he endured and how he survived it. He had a painful journey. He was made to feel less than others but Villasenor is a genius. He decided to overcome his weakness and he decided to write from his heart and soul. He has the courage to share his painful experiences. 

Burro Genius takes on a magical journey and we feel Villasenor’s struggle. I saw my nephews – I saw myself when I read Burro Genius. My little nephew Carlitos who is in fifth grade once told me that he is a genius and now I believe him. Believing in one’s self with stubbornness and discovering our hidden talents are the first steps in becoming a burro genius. 

It's o.k. to be a burro genius. 

Randy Jurado Ertll, executive director of El Centro de Accion Social in Pasadena . Contact:


Outstanding Dissertations Competition 2009


Dissertation Guidelines

The American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE) and Educational Testing Service (ETS) are proud to announce the Outstanding Dissertations Competition 2009. AAHHE and ETS recognize the significant need to increase the number of Hispanics receiving doctoral degrees, entering higher education on the tenure track, and eventually serving in faculty leadership and administrative roles.

Although the Hispanic population is the fastest growing population in the country, Hispanics are underrepresented in higher education in all areas: undergraduate, graduate, faculty and administration. Gains are being seen every year in the number of doctoral degrees conferred to Hispanics and in the number in full-time faculty positions, but the percentages are not climbing commensurate with the population's growth.

By developing this competition, AAHHE and ETS are providing an opportunity to spotlight top doctoral students and, at the same time, are rewarding excellence in Hispanic student performance at the doctoral level. The goals are to encourage greater numbers of prepared students to enter and successfully complete doctoral programs and to enhance the quality of the dissertations they write. 

If you have any questions about the Competition, please contact:
Dr. Patricia Arredondo
AAHHE Dissertation Chair
(414) 229-4503





President Blandina Cardenas Cites Health Reasons for Resignation


University of Texas-Pan American President Blandina Cárdenas has announced her resignation due to health reasons Tuesday. The resignation will be effective at the end of January. The Guardian has her statement in full. 

20 January 2009 

Dr. Blandina Cárdenas

EDINBURG, January 20 - University of Texas-Pan American President Blandina Cárdenas announced her resignation due to health reasons Tuesday. The resignation will be effective at the end of January.

Below is her statement in full:

January 20, 2009

Dear Colleagues and Friends of The University of Texas-Pan American:

In her inimitable style, Professor Emerita Marian Monta has always given me the best advice about leading UTPA. “We want you to kill for UTPA,” she said when I underwent surgery last year, “not die for it.” In light of the pressures of the last few months, I took some time after graduation in early December to reflect long and hard on her words, and I concluded that I need to take greater care of this somewhat battered, mended heart. UTPA needs an intensely focused, passionate President, not one who needs to take it easy.

In late December, I informed Interim Chancellor Kenneth Shine of my desire to retire from the University effective January 30th. I look forward to writing a bright new chapter in my life – and to taking it a little easy.

We have much reason to be optimistic about the future of UTPA and our community. A historic inauguration that is taking place in Washington today can take us to a new level of common purpose and shared destiny and broaden the perspectives of all Americans about the leadership potential that exists in every community. We have a brilliant and caring new Chancellor of the UT System who knows South Texas and will help our dedicated Board of Regents to select the right UTPA leader for the coming years.  My expectation is that these two powerful role models and your next President will inspire our students to public and community service and leadership as never before.

In the last four and one half years, you have demonstrated an inspiring dedication to making UTPA better on a daily basis.  I will tell your new University President that the leaders, students, faculty, staff and friends of UTPA are capable and willing to do extraordinary things if given the freedom and the encouragement to pursue them.  Indeed, in a very short period together we have accomplished far more than many resource-rich institutions have done in twice the time. In many cases, building on work begun before I came, we banded together, focused and accelerated our efforts. During this time, we have:

  • Increased the number of students receiving degrees on an annual basis from 2,024 to over 3,200, a 58% increase.
  • Increased graduate degrees awarded from 537 to 678, a 26% increase.
  • Increased the six-year graduation rate to 36.7%, above the 35% national average for peer institutions.
  • Awarded our 1000th engineering degree and our 100th doctorate.
  • Increased the number of nursing graduates by 95%, with stellar passing rates on the licensure exam.
  • Sent 159 UTPA students to medical school, 21 to dental school and countless more to doctoral programs at prestigious universities.
  • Increased the freshman to sophomore retention rate from 68% to 71.5%
  • Moved the sophomore retention rate from 53% to 56%.
  • Increased the number of undergraduate students publishing or presenting juried scholarly work from 39 in 2005 to 275 in 2008.
  • Significantly increased the number of master’s degree students writing theses.
  • Increased the number of internships from 200 in 2005 to 340 in 2008.
  • Increased Study Abroad opportunities.
  • Increased Financial Aid from $84 million to over $111 million.
  • Added our fourth Ph.D. Program, the Ph.D. In Rehabilitation Counseling.

Our Student Government Association, other student organizations and Student Support Services have created a robust and serious student engagement climate that has blossomed over the last four years.

  • Most UTPA divisions now have a student consultation process, and disciplined, conscientious participation by students is the norm rather than the exception.
  • Students play a major role in the process of tuition setting, strategic planning and stewardship.
  • Students lead impressive and highly professional initiatives on the environment, textbook-related costs and civic engagement.
  • More and more UTPA students are competing at state, regional and national levels and coming home with impressive victories.

You have given life to the concept of a “Learner-centered Research University.”  Faculty who are passionate about teaching and student development have reached new levels of scholarly productivity and are gaining national recognition.

  • The number of faculty publishing “most cited” articles is increasing rapidly.
  • Faculty scholarly productivity has increased 38% in the last four years, as measured by the number of articles, books and other scholarly work produced.
  • The number of faculty seeking research funding has increased from 63 in 2004 to 101 in 2008.
  • Collaborative and entrepreneurial work has grown substantially.
  • The North American Advanced Research and Education Initiative brings together more than 60 academic, corporate, public, private and civic, organizations in an effort of regional human and economic development.
  • Creative use of technology for instruction has increased three-fold, from 394 in 2004 to 972 today.

Wherever I go I will tell people of the extraordinarily intelligent and dedicated staff at UTPA. In the last four years, you’ve built new and modernized existing buildings, developed a shuttle service and enhanced our emergency response system. You’ve modernized UTPA’s technology infrastructure for both business and academic functions, developed and embraced business processes that decentralize authority and responsibility and improve service and support to students and faculty. You’ve brought exciting exhibits, speakers and events to campus and hugely strengthened our relationships with our P-16 partners, South Texas College and Texas State Technical College. You established our UTPA Transfer Center in McAllen. Our outreach and engagement of community is enhanced by HESTEC, FESTIBA and our excellent programs in COSERVE. GEAR-Up and other P-16 programs are stars. Our Starr County Upper Level Center is transforming lives. You help to tell the UTPA story and nurture relationships that bring much-needed support. The best physical plant team in the country has deflected the damage of hurricanes and made our campus even more beautiful.

I do not want to move on without recognizing some very special people. The UTPA Foundation, the International Women’s Board and the UTPA Alumni Association have been outstanding partners in our efforts to advance the University. I will always be grateful for their generosity of spirit, friendship and support. The Valley Legislative Delegation, and in particular Senator Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, have been stalwart supporters and good friends. And as many of you know, it would be difficult to exaggerate the tenacious attention and hard work that Congressman Ruben Hinojosa dedicates to UTPA and our students. 

I am particularly grateful for the extraordinary professionalism, caring and dedication of the staff of the Office of the President. The matters that come to this office range from the bizarre to the frightening to the sublime. Their dedication and competence allowed me to walk out of that office on most days with a smile. They made me look good and the job easy.

I am confident that the progress we have made will continue because we have expanded and deepened leadership in every division of the University. Indeed the great promise of UTPA lies in the emerging leaders who serve as Department Chairs, Deans and Directors. You are led by outstanding Vice Presidents who are first and foremost good human beings who care about you and the work you do together.  Their consistent willingness to work as a team to advance our shared mission has been exemplary. I hope they think we have also managed to have some fun along the way.

Thank you for four and one half beautiful years. Be good to each other as you have been to me. I wish you all the very best.

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


Valley Leaders Saddened by Resignation of UTPA President


Community, political and education leaders in the Rio Grande Valley have expressed sadness at the resignation of Dr. Blandina "Bambi" Cárdenas as president of the University of Texas-Pan American. "The unexpected retirement by Dr. Cárdenas as president of UTPA is a tremendous step backward for the Rio Grande Valley," said Dr. Shirely Reed, president of South Texas College. 

Valley leaders saddened by resignation of UTPA president
21 January 2009 Steve Taylor

Dr. Blandina Cárdenas speaks at a Future of the Region conference in Laredo last September. (File photo: RGG/Steve Taylor)

EDINBURG, January 21 - State Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa says some people at the University of Texas-Pan American might be pleased to learn that Dr. Blandina "Bambi" Cárdenas is retiring as its president.

“UT-Pan Am was going nowhere when Bambi Cárdenas got there. It was adrift. She has made some very necessary changes, modernizing the university and raising education standards. When you make changes people sometimes feel uncomfortable. Sometimes you step on a few toes. There was some reaction by the faculty to that,” Hinojosa, D-McAllen, told the Guardian in a phone interview on Tuesday afternoon.

Cárdenas, aged 64, has been president of UTPA for four and a half years. In a letter sent to elected officials and colleagues on Tuesday, Cárdenas said she wanted to leave her post as president at the end of January. Cárdenas underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery in September 2007 and she cited ill-health as the reason for her pending departure.

“In her inimitable style, Professor Emerita Marian Monta has always given me the best advice about leading UTPA. “We want you to kill for UTPA,” she said when I underwent surgery last year, “not die for it.” In light of the pressures of the last few months, I took some time after graduation in early December to reflect long and hard on her words, and I concluded that I need to take greater care of this somewhat battered, mended heart. UTPA needs an intensely focused, passionate President, not one who needs to take it easy,” Cárdenas said, in a statement issued Tuesday.

“I informed Interim Chancellor Kenneth Shine of my desire to retire from the University effective January 30th. I look forward to writing a bright new chapter in my life – and to taking it a little easy.”

Click here to read the full statement.

Last October, the UT System began an investigation into allegations of plagiarism by Cárdenas while she was a college student. The investigation was started after materials were sent anonymously to UT System administrators and news organizations. The materials claimed Cárdenas plagiarized her doctoral dissertation while studying at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The university said it would not investigate anonymous claims. With Cárdenas leaving UTPA, it is thought likely the UT System will drop its investigation.

Hinojosa said he did not want to discuss the plagiarism comments but rather focus on the “outstanding work” Cárdenas was doing at UTPA.

“Dr. Cárdenas' departure signals a significant loss for the University of Texas-Pan American and South Texas. Dr. Cárdenas set a standard for academic excellence and continuous pursuit of self-realization and personal enrichment. During her tenure, Dr. Cárdenas led UT-Pan American's efforts to further establish the university as a model institution of higher education, serving a highly diverse population and increasing the access to advanced degrees in South Texas,” Hinojosa said, in a news release.

“I wish Dr. Cárdenas the best in her future endeavors and congratulate her on her commitment to the South Texas community. She brought us a wealth of experience, perspective, and capacity for leadership. Dr. Cárdenas served as more than just president of UT-Pan American. In every way, she formed part of our culture, our community, and our everyday lives.”

Juanita Valdez-Cox, director of La Unión del Pueblo Entero, was equally fulsome in her praise. She said she was particularly pleased with the emphasis Cárdenas had placed in helping students from low-income families secure a college education. During Cárdenas’ tenure as president, UTPA increased financial aid to students from $84 million to over $111 million.

“In her short time at the university Dr. Cárdenas has done so much for low-income students. I saw a commercial she did with students when she announced that tuition would be free for students from families with a low income level. Those are the kinds of things that mark you down in history,” Valdez-Cox said.

Valdez-Cox said Cárdenas never forgot her roots as a border girl from Del Rio who worked as a migrant farm worker.

“Being a farm worker and coming through at that time was not easy for a woman. It has been such a difficult road to travel. And then for her to have made it so far… she was even in one of the administrations, working in Washington. She has accomplished so much,” Valdez-Cox said.

“When I saw the news in the Guardian it made me very, very sad. I hope that whatever medical problems there are, Dr. Cárdenas is able to take care of that and that she is with us for many years in another capacity. She has made a difference and we are going to miss her terribly. We want her to stay. Now that we have got her here we don’t want her to leave. We need her leadership. She can continue to make a difference in so many areas.”

Hidalgo County Judge J.D. Salinas said Cárdenas had played an “integral part” in preparing the future talent of Hidalgo County. He said that was crucial because the region’s dropout rate was about 50 percent.

“Dr. Cárdenas is going to be greatly missed. She was a great advocate for the community, she was one of those who was directly involved in making things happen. I hope that she continues to play a role in trying to make sure our future talent gets educated,” Salinas said, in a phone interview. Salinas said whoever tries to fill Cárdenas’ shoes at UTPA will have a difficult time.
Dr. Shirley Reed, president of South Texas College was equally saddened to learn of Cárdenas’ retirement.

“The unexpected retirement by Dr. Cárdenas as president of UTPA is a tremendous step backward for the Rio Grande Valley,” Reed said.

“Dr. Cárdenas is a valued friend and colleague. She did much to nurture the relationship and partnerships between UTPA and STC. Under her leadership, UTPA and STC were able to forge many successful partnerships and collaborations all focused on student success.”

Reed said she has “every confidence” in new UT-System Chancellor Dr. Francisco Cigarroa finding the right successor to continue Cardenas’ sterling work at UTPA.

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




Ayala Tapped by Governor to Improve California's Early Education 
January 23, 2009


Education executive and preschool advocate Celia Ayala has been appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to the California Early Learning Quality Improvement System Advisory Committee.

Ayala, 54, chief operating officer of Los Angeles Universal Preschool, has worked for more than 30 years as a teacher, administrator and advocate for the children of Southern California. She has sought to expand educational opportunities for children during early stages of life.

As part of the committee, Ayala, featured as one of Hispanic Business' 100 Most Influential Hispanics in 2008, will recommend a state Early Learning Quality Improvement System. This system will develop policy and a plan for improving the quality of early education programs throughout the state. For example, it will include a rating scale to help parents make educated decisions on preschool programs for their children.

The advisory panel will also assess and analyze California's existing early care and education infrastructure. Other issues that may be studied are teacher compensation and qualifications; and group size and ratios. The committee will offer an interim report to the Legislature and Schwarzenegger by Dec. 31, and will complete a final report one year later. The post does not require Senate confirmation and there is no salary.

"Research confirms the social and economic benefits of early education for children and families as well as society," Ayala said. "Children who attend effective preschool programs are better prepared for kindergarten. They have stronger language skills in the first years of elementary school, and they are less likely to repeat a grade or drop out of school. These benefits are especially evident for low-income children and English-language learners."

Since 2007, Ayala has served as chief operating officer of Los Angeles Universal Preschool. LAUP, created in 2004, is an independent, public benefit corporation dedicated to making voluntary, high-quality preschool available to every 4-year-old in Los Angeles County. It serves as a model for universal preschool systems statewide and across the nation.

Source: (c) 2009. All rights reserved.

Sent by Rafael Ojeda, Tacoma,WA



2009 Young Ambassadors Program 
Earliest chocolate use found in what is now US
Joe Cuba: The Father of New York Boogaloo has passed
National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation
"The Violin" by Francisco Vargas
22nd Solo Mujeres Annual Exhibition
Su Teatro among mayors' arts honorees
Ramos' win hits high note with Tejano fans
Unearthing Deep South Narratives from a Texas Graveyard 
Finding musical common ground.  What's in a name?
Young Latinas Have Webzine to Call Their Own 


ABOUT THE PROGRAM: Young Ambassadors is a national leadership development program for high school seniors with the aim to cultivate the next generation of Latino leaders in the arts and culture fields through one-on-one interaction with artists, curators, historians, and other museum and arts professionals.

Students with an interest and commitment to the arts (e.g. film, dance, design, music, visual, performing, and/or literary arts) are selected to travel to Washington, D.C. for a week-long arts enrichment and leadership seminar at the Smithsonian Institution. Conducted by world-renowned experts in their respective fields, the seminar encourages youth to examine Latino identity and embrace their own cultural heritage through first-hand observation of the Smithsonian's Latino collections, lectures, and other activities. Following the seminar, students return to museums and other cultural institutions in their local communities, including Smithsonian affiliated organizations, to participate in a four-week summer internship. This program is made possible by Ford Motor Company Fund.

FEES AND EXPENSES: Participation is underwritten by Ford Motor Company Fund and includes meals and accommodations for the duration of the one-week seminar, as well as the cost of round-trip travel to Washington, D.C., and a program stipend. Students selected are responsible for all expenses during the four-week internship, including transportation, accommodations, and meals.

PROGRAM STIPEND: Upon completion of the program, participants will receive $2,000 towards their higher education. Students that do not complete the seminar and four-week internship will not receive the program stipend.

ELIGIBILITY: Admission is competitive. To be eligible for the program, you must:
Be a high school senior graduating in 2009
Be a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident of the United States with a valid Social Security Number at the time of application
Have a minimum weighted cumulative grade point average (GPA) of 3.25 on a 4.0 scale
Be fluent in English
Commit to participate in the one-week seminar at the Smithsonian Institution and complete a four-week paid summer internship
Be enrolled full-time in a degree seeking program at a four-year accredited college or university (enrollment will be verified in the Fall 2009)

SELECTION: Up to twenty-four participants are selected through a competitive process, guided by a selection committee comprised of museum and arts professionals. The selection committee evaluates each application based on the following criteria:

1. Excellence in an arts discipline, including film, dance, design, music, visual, performing, or literary arts
2. Academic record
3. Leadership experience
4. Commitment to the arts
5. Community service

APPLICATION CONTENTS: The 2009 Young Ambassadors application includes:
A complete application form. The application includes an essay (250-750 words) on the topic of how Latino/Hispanic culture has influenced your art form, personal development, and long-term goals.  An example of work in film, design, music, visual, performing, or literary arts.  An unofficial transcript, which includes weighted cumulative grade point average.  One to two (1-2) letters of recommendation that have been completed by instructors, mentors, and/or advisors.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS: Complete and submit the online application form for the Young Ambassadors Program directly at (Search for Smithsonian Latino Center Young Ambassador Program) or by linking to the site from

Please note: the application does not recognize special characters or accent marks. Please do not use when filling out the application.

1. Each recommender should submit an online letter of recommendation.
2. Upload the digital media of your work in film, dance, design, music, visual, performing, or literary arts to the online application. If your work is not compatible with the Smithsonian online application, please send one (1) CD or DVD of your work. If your work is not compatible with digital media, please provide six copies of the work with your application. Please be sure to include a cover sheet with your name and location clearly identified.
3. Send any materials that cannot be uploaded to the online application to the Smithsonian Latino Center. Materials received after the deadline will not be considered by the selection committee.

DEADLINE: All application materials are due in the Smithsonian Latino Center office no later than 5 pm March 31, 2009.

Young Ambassadors Program
Smithsonian Latino Center
600 Maryland Avenue, SW
Suite 7042 MRC 512
Washington, DC 20024

January 15, 2009 Application available at 
March 31, 2009 Application deadline 
April, 2009 Application processing 
Mid-April, 2009 Selection committee convenes 
May 1, 2009 Selection process finalized 
June 21 - 27, 2009 Seminar 
July 6 - July 31, 2009 Internship 

NOTIFICATION: All applicants will be notified of their application status in May 2009.
INQUIRIES: For more information please visit the Smithsonian Latino Center online at , or contact Emily Key, Education Programs Manager at 202.633.1268 or email

Source: Prof. Carlos Navarro 
Rafael Jesús González
P. O. Box 5638
Berkeley, CA 94705 (English) (español) 


Earliest chocolate use found in what is now US

Earliest chocolate use found in what is now US
by Randolph E. Schmid, AP Science Writer, Feb 2, 2009

ETWASHINGTON – Chocolate for your sweetheart this Valentine's Day? Folks may be surprised to know how far back chocolate goes — perhaps 1,000 years in what is now the United States. Evidence of chocolate was been found in Pueblo Bonito in Chaco Canyon, N.M., the earliest indication of the tasty substance north of Mexico, Patricia L. Crown of the University of New Mexico and W. Jeffrey Hurst of the Hershey Center for Health and Nutrition report in Tuesday's issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Drinking chocolate was associated with a variety of rituals in ancient Central America, including weddings, but Crown said she is not sure of its exact uses in her area.
The discovery, dated to between A.D. 1000 and 1125, indicates trade was under way between the Chaco Canyon residents and cacao growers in Central America.
But the nearest cacao plantation would have been more than 1,000 miles away, so importing the material would have been a major undertaking, she said. Chocolate was probably something not consumed often, she said in a telephone interview.
It also probably tasted bitter compared with what is available today. Central Americans didn't sweeten their chocolate and sometimes mixed in hot peppers. Crown said honey might have been available in new Mexico but she didn't know if it was used.
The research was prompted by a discussion about cylinder jars, when Crown was told the Maya used the jars for drinking chocolate.
She had pieces of ceramic that appeared to come from similar jars, so she had them tested for residue. There was theobromine, an indication of chocolate.
"This illustrates the importance of collections in archaeology," Crown said, "that we can return to material with new techniques and find out new things. Every artifact has a story to tell."
Chocolate was used in rituals in Central America as early as 1500 B.C. and was even a form of currency among the Aztec.
The new research was supported by the National Science Foundation, National Geographic Society, University of New Mexico and the Hershey Technical Center.
Sent by John Inclan



Joe Cuba: The Father of New York Boogaloo has passed


The "Father of Boogaloo," Joe Cuba, passed away on Sunday, February 15, 2009 at 4 p.m. at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York. He was the most popular exponent of the boogaloo, a fused Latino and R&B rhythm that exploded onto the American top 40s charts during the turbulent 1960s & '70s. Hits such as "Bang Bang," "Push Push," "El Pito," "Ariñañara," and "Sock It To Me Baby," rocked the hit parades establishing Joe Cuba and his Sextet as the definitive sound of Latin New York during the '60s & '70s. The Joe Cuba Sextet's unusual instrumentation featured vibraphones replacing the traditional brass sound. His music was at the forefront of the Nuyroican movement of New York where the children of Puerto Rican emigrants, America's last citizens, took music, culture, arts and politics into their own hands. 

Joe Cuba's Sextet became popular in the New York Latino community precisely because it fused a bilingual mix of Afro-Caribbean genres blended with the popular urban rhythm & blues of its time creating a musical marriage between the Fania and Motown sound. His was the first musical introduction to Latin rhythms for many American aficionados. The lyrics to Cuba's repertoire mixed Spanish and English, becoming an important part of the emerging Nuyorican identity. 

"Joe Cuba's music validated the developing Nuyorican population whose language and music Cuba captured with his sound," underlines Giora Breil, CEO of Emusica, the company that now owns the Fania label and who has remastered many of the classics to a new generation of music lovers. "He led the urban tribe," pointed Breil, "into a united front of cultural warriors that were defining the social and political times they lived in."

Longtime manager and promoter Hector Maisonave recalls Cuba as "an innovator who crossed over into mainstream music at an early time. He was the soul of El Barrio. After Joe Cuba, El Barrio is just a street that crosses an avenue."

In 1962, Cuba recorded "To Be With You" with the vocals of Cheo Feliciano and Jimmy Sabater whose careers he spotlighted after the bands introductory appearance at the Stardust Ballroom prior to its summer stint in the Catskills.

Born in 1931 in the heart of Spanish Harlem, his Puerto Rican parents arrived in New York City in the 20s. Christened "Gilberto Miguel Calderón," Cuba was a "doo wopper" who played for J. Panama in 1950 when he was a young 19 year old before going on to play for La Alfarona X, where the young "congüerro/" percussionist replaced Sabu Martinez tapped to play with Xavier Cugat.

By 1965, the Sextet got their first crossover hit with the Latino and soul fusion of "El Pito" (I Never Go Back To Georgia), a tune Cuba recorded against the advice of the producer later to be "broken" by a DJ over WBLS FM in N.Y.. The Dizzy Gillespie "Never Go Back To Georgia" chant was taken from the intro to the seminal Afro-Cuban tune, "Manteca." Vocalist Jimmy Sabater later revealed that "none of us had ever been to Georgia." In fact, Cuba later comically described a conversation he had with the Governor of Georgia who called him demanding why he would record a song whose chorus negatively derided the still segregated Southern town. The quick thinking Joe Cuba replied, "Georgia is the name of my girl."

In 1967, Joe Cuba's band --–with no horns– scored a "hit" in the United States National Hit Parade List with the song "Bang Bang" - a tune that ushered in the Latin Boogaloo era. He also had a #1 hit, that year on the Billboard charts with the song "Sock It To Me Baby." The band's instrumentation included congas, timbales, an occasional bongo, bass, piano and vibraphone. "A bastard sound," is what Cuba called it pointing to the fans, the people, as the true creators of this music. "You don't go into a rehearsal and say 'Hey, let's invent a new sound, or dance.' They happen. The boogaloo came out of left field. " Joe Cuba recounts in Mary Kent's book:" Salsa Talks: A Musical History Uncovered. "It's the public that creates new dances and different things. The audience invents, the audience relates to what you are doing and then puts their thing into what you are playing," pointing to other artists such as Ricardo Ray or Hector Rivera as pioneers of the urban fused rhythm.

"I met Joe up in the Catskills in 1955," recalls nine time Grammy Award winner Eddie Palmieri. "When I later started La Perfecta," Palmieri muses, "we alternated on stages with Joe. He was full of life and had a great sense of humor, always laughing at his own jokes," chuckles the pianist. Palmieri pointed to Cuba's many musical contributions underlining the power and popularity of his small band and bilingual lyrics while providing a springboard for the harmonies and careers of Cheo Feliciano, Willie Torres and Jimmy Sabater. "He was Spanish Harlem personified," describes Palmieri recalling the "take no prisoners" attitude Cuba had when it came to dealing with those who reluctantly paid the musicians. Recalling their early recording days with the infamous Morris Levy, Palmieri cites the antics of Joe Cuba, Ismael Rivera and himself as the reason for Levy selling them as a Tico package to Fania label owner, Jerry Masucci.

Funny, irreverent and with a great humor for practical jokes, Joe Cuba, or Sonny as he was called by his closest friends, was raised in East Harlem. Stickball being the main sport for young boys of the neighborhood, Cuba's father organized a stickball club called the Devils. After Cuba broke a leg, he took up playing the conga and continued to practice between school and his free time. Eventually, he graduated from high school and joined a band.

"He was not afraid to experiment," said David Fernandez, arranger & musical director of Zon del Barrio who played with the legendary Cuba when he arrived in New York in 2002. 

By 1954, at the suggestion of his agent to change the band's name from the Jose Calderon Sextet to the Joe Cuba Sextet, the newly named Joe Cuba Sextet made their debut at the Stardust Ballroom. Charlie Palmieri was musical director of the sextet before his untimely 1988 death from a heart attack.

Since then, the Joe Cuba Sextet and band has been a staple of concerts and festivals that unite both Latinos, African-Americans and just plain music lovers in venues all over the world.

In 2003, the following CDs were released: 
* "Joe Cuba Sextet Vol I: Mardi Gras Music for Dancing"
* "Merengue Loco" and
* "Out of This World Cha Cha".

In 2004, Joe Cuba was named Grand Marshall of the Puerto Rican Day Parade celebrated in Yonkers, New York. Musician Willie Villegas who traveled with Joe for the past 15 years said, "It didn't matter where we played around the world Joe would always turn to me and say, To My Barrio…. With Love! " Joe Cuba is survived by his wife Maria Calderon, sons Mitchell and Cesar, daughter Lisa, and grandchildren Nicole and Alexis. 

Condolences can be sent directly to Joe Cuba's widow: Maria Calderon @

Source: Aurora Flores
Sent by Dorinda Moreno 



National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation.

Estimada Mimi, click the first link for the National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation.
Otro Orgullo Hispano in Mr Sanchez doing great things for our Hispanic Cultural.
Rafael Ojeda


"The Violin" by Francisco Vargas

Please take time to see the film called "The Violin" by Francisco Vargas.

A friend of mine from Apocalypto Gerardo Taracena is the Lead actor. The young Lead actor.  DVD can be found at Blockbuster. Pedro Olivares



22nd Solo Mujeres Annual Exhibition

"Future Landscapes Designed by Women"
"Paisajes del Futuro Diseñados por Mujeres"
February 20 - March 27, 2009


"Future landscapes Designed by Women" expresses how women envision our times yet to come, what landscapes are women designing and how women see themselves in these times of change. The exhibition will feature: installations, paintings, sculpture, mixed media, fiber art and video. 

The Solo Mujeres Exhibition at MCCLA has been serving Latina women artists for the last 22 years.  Exhibition Dates:    February 20 - March 27, 2009
MCCLA Galleries, 2868 Mission Street, San Francisco CA 94110 (415) 821 1155
Curator: Patricia Rodriguez
Artists selected for the Exhibition:
Jenny Badger Sultan
Isabel Barbuzza 
Bianca Ana Chavez
Maria Adela Diaz 
Amy M Ho
Kate Leffler
Ana de Orbegoso
Alejandra Palos
Anastasia Winter Schipani
Marsha Shaw
Zahava Sherez 
The Counter Narrative Society
Consuelo Jimenez Underwood
Linda Vallejo
Michelle Waters
Anais Ye 
Special Events related to Solo Mujeres
Cineastas de Granada, Films by Nicaraguan Women 
March 5, 2009 7pm $5-10 MCCLA Theater

The program will include short films by the students of Cineastas de Granada followed by the award winning documentary "De Niña a Madre" by Florence Jaugey.

Luna Negra
A night of women's live art
March 25, 2009 7-9pm $5 - $7 MCCLA Theater

Women artists from the Bay Area, Latin America, the Caribbean and beyond come together for one night of multidisciplinary performance art. One night where artists of traditional and contemporary expressions unite, driven by their common passion to share their unique voices and gifts with the world in celebration of women. Artists featured include Sandra Garcia Rivera (poet/vocalist), Lina G. Torio (vocalist/guitar), Ayla Davila (bassist/composer), Shefali Shah (dance), Gabriela Shiroma (dance), and more.

Book Release "Yolanda M. López"
by Karen Mary Dávalos
Friday, March 27, 7-9 pm $5 Main gallery
Ms Lopez's book is part of the series "A VER: Revisioning Art History" by UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center Press.
Artists talk: A conversation between Dr. Amalia Mesa Bains and Yolanda López

In this groundbreaking overview of Yolanda M. López's life and career, Karen Mary Davalos traces the artist's participation in Bay Area activism in the late 1960s and her subsequent training in conceptual practices. Davalos explores how López's experiences informed her art, which ranges from posters to portraiture and the highly influential Guadalupe series to later installations. López has consistently challenged predominant modes of Latino and Latina representation, proposing new models of gender, racial, and cultural identity. Yolanda M. López reveals the complexity of the artist's work over time and illuminates the importance of her contributions to Chicana/o art, Chicana feminism, conceptual art, and the politics of representation.

Dr. Amalia Mesa-Bains, director of the Department of Visual and Public Art, is an independent artist and cultural critic. Her works, primarily interpretations of traditional Chicano altars, resonate both in contemporary formal terms and in their ties to her community and history. As an author of scholarly articles and a nationally known lecturer on Latino art, she has enhanced understanding of multiculturalism and reflected major cultural and demographic shifts in the United States.

Dr. Amalia Mesa-Bains, has also written extensively on Chicano art and culture. Among her many awards is a 1992 Distinguished MacArthur Fellowship. She has served as a consultant for the Texas State Council on the Arts and the Arizona Commission on the Arts, and is a former Commissioner of Arts for the City of San Francisco. She holds a BA in painting from San Jose State University, an MA in interdisciplinary education from San Francisco State University, and an MA and Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the School of Clinical Psychology, Wright Institute in Berkeley.

More Info  (415) 821-1155
Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts (MCCLA) was established in 1977 by artists and community activists with a shared vision to promote, preserve and develop the Latino cultural arts that reflect the living tradition and experiences of the Chicano, Mexican, Central and South American, and the Caribbean people.
The Mission Cultural Center for Latino Arts | 2868 Mission St. | SF | CA | 94110 


Su Teatro among mayors' arts honorees
By John Moore 
Denver Post Theater Critic 


A scene from El Centro Su Teatro's recent world premiere staging of "Braided Sorrow," about the disappearance of female Mexican workers from American-owned factories. 
Su Teatro, Denver's only brown theater company, will be among the 2009 recipients of Mayor's Awards for Excellence in the Arts. In honoring Su Teatro, the Office of Cultural Affairs wrote: "Su Teatro was formed in 1972 in a classroom at the University of Colorado-Denver classroom and grew to become an important artistic arm of the Chicano self-identity and civil-rights movement. Su Teatro is the third oldest Chicano theater company in the United States, and has been recognized as a significant force in both the Chicano arts aesthetic and American Theater. Su Teatro's mission is to create produce and promote theater and other art that celebrates the experiences, history, language and heritage of Latinos in the U.S. and the Americas. "In 1989, Su Teatro emerged as the larger cultural arts center, El Centro Su Teatro. They expanded their offerings to include annual projects such as the XicanIndie FilmFest: Latino World Cinema, Neruda Poetry Festival, which includes the Barrio Slam competition, St. Cajetan's Reunification Project, Chicano Music Festival and Auction and a multi-tiered arts education program called the Cultural Arts Institute. "The organization is poised to expand once again with the purchase of a new space on Santa Fe Drive in Denver's historic Westside neighborhood. Though the organization continuously experiments with form and content, Su Teatro remains committed to education, social justice and community enrichment." The other 2009 honorees are Charles Burrell, Denver Young Artists Orchestra, and The Bloomsbury Review. The Mayor's Cultural Legacy Award will be presented to Noël Congdon. A free community reception and awards presentation will be held at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 18 at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House in the Denver Performing Arts Complex, 14th St. and Curtis St. Performances will include: Rocky Mountain Children's Choir, Sweet Edge Dance Company and Purnell Steen & Le Jazz Machine. 

More information on the 2009 awardees (copy from the Denver Office of Cultural Affairs): 

Dorinda Moreno


Ramos' win hits high note with Tejano fans
By Juan Castillo, February 9, 2009 a cool cat, El Gato Negro, Austin's Ruben Ramos strolled to the stage in Los Angeles Sunday to accept his Grammy award for best Tejano album for "Viva la Revolucion." 

Then, surveying the stage packed by his band members, Ramos joked that Mexican Americans love to travel in large numbers.

That bit of fun is reported on the Austin Tejano Music Coalition's Web site, which gives Ramos' win the full treatment. The news was the buzz, too, on Austin-based email lists, including the Las Comadres social network. 

Ramos beat "All That Jazz" by Austin-based Tortilla Factory, whose band leader, Tony "Ham" Guerrero, was profiled Sunday in a thought-provoking piece by American-Statesman writer Joe Gross. and his band were at forefront of La Onda Chicana, the Chicano music movement in the 1970s and '80s which blended traditional Mexican and German-influenced rancheras and polkas with jazz, funk, mambos and rock, creating a spicy caldo that was uniquely Texan.

"We were 'mericans, dude," said Guerrero, shown here with son Alfredo Antonio Guerrero. "I didn't grow up in Monterrey; I didn't grow up in Cuernavaca; I grew up in San Angelo with a bunch of damn rednecks. I talk like them, and I sound like them."

Sent by Dorinda Moreno 


Misunderstanding U.S. Hispanics?
Jesus Hernandez Cuellar 


When in 1984 I began working with U.S. Hispanics, I was not such a creature yet. To the best of my knowledge, I was simply a Cuban at that time. A friend of mine who had recently arrived from Mexico, felt the same. She saw herself as a Mexican. 

Going deeply into the heart of the community as a journalist, making new friends from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Colombia, Peru, Spain and other countries, I eventually became a member of this largest minority group in the United States. But over 20 years later, I still ask myself what a Hispanic or a Latino is. Is the Hispanic community a nationality? Is it a religious group? Is it a racial or ethnic group? Or as the romantic ones say, is it a sentiment?

If you are a professional trying to marketing something to Hispanics/Latinos, answers to these questions would pay off because there are over 43 million Hispanics/Latinos in the United States with a purchasing power of more than $800 billion a year. Almost 16 million U.S. Hispanics are on the Internet, a cyberpopulation that outpaces those of Mexico, Spain, Argentina and Colombia.

Obviously the Hispanic community is not a national group as it is made up by people from 20 nationalities. It is not a racial group since you can find White Hispanics, Black Hispanics, Asian Hispanics, and Indian Hispanics. Although they are mostly Catholics, they are not a religious group. You can also find other Christian Hispanics who are not Catholics, as well as Jewish Hispanics, Muslim Hispanics, Hispanics with African religious roots as Yorubas and Lucumies, and Hispanics practicing indigenous rituals as Mayans and Aztecas.

Of course, you have probably met Chicanos, New York Ricans, Cuban Americans or many other Hispanics born in the United States whose understanding of Latin roots may be different from Hispanics who immigrate to America. Do not take a Mexican American for a Mexican, because they are not alike. Stop thinking of a New York Rican as if he or she were a Puerto Rican. 

If you are not a Hispanic and this is confusing to you, you are not alone. In the early 80s a Los Angeles newspaper printed a story on U.S. Congressman Edward Roybal, a Mexican American politician. The paper said Roybal was a Puerto Rican. It was so annoying because we are talking about a Spanish-language newspaper and about a story written by a Mexican journalist.

Most experts say the Hispanic community is an ethnic group. According to the World Book Dictionary the word "ethnic" means "having to do with the various racial and cultural groups of people and the characteristics, language, and customs of each..." Not enough, but pretty close to what experts say about Hispanics. The dictionary reminds that the word has Latin roots after 'ethnicus' and Greek roots after 'ethnikós,' and that 'ethnos' means nation.

However, we find that most Mexicans have nothing to do with the African roots of Caribbean nations, while most Cubans have no relation with Mayan roots from Mexico and Central America, and most South Americans have nothing to do neither with African nor Mayan roots. But you can find a Mexican loving 'salsa' music; a Cuban enjoying 'fajitas,' a delicious Mexican food; both a Mexican and a Cuban reading books by Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez; and Mexicans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Central and South Americans watching movies made by Academy Award winner Pedro Almodovar, a Spanish filmmaker.

The point is that Hispanics coming from Latin America share a common language, Spanish; they share a common history as their countries were colonized for three centuries by Spain, a nation that left them a legacy of language, traditions that mixed with indigenous customs, a way to organize the society and do business, and a religion that was also a reference to understand the world. Spain also colonized Florida, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado and California. So those U.S. states had Spanish roots even before becoming Mexican states in the early 1820s, and before becoming American states in the late 1840s.

On the other hand, Hispanics of second and third generations use English as their first language and share traditions with Anglos, African Americans and Hispanic immigrants they live with, as part of the mainstream. They didn't grow up with "Chespirito" on their TV sets but with "I Love Lucy". They don't know Latin soap opera celebrities but they are pretty aware of what Andy Garcia, Antonio Banderas and Salma Hayek are doing in Hollywood.

Two decades after sitting for the first time in a Spanish-language newsroom in Los Angeles, I prefer to believe that the U.S. Hispanic community is a cultural group made up by several ethnicities. Not racially nor ethnically but culturally homogeneous, Hispanics along with Anglos, African Americans, American Indians and Asians are building up a new mainstream across the United States. Corporate America knows it, politicians know it. 

If you are non-Hispanic needing to learn how to deal with Hispanics, begin with a simple step used in 1976 by succesful businesswoman Tere Zubizarreta, founder of Zubi Advertising. It was a wise slogan for her company: "Erase Stereotypes."

But if you are a Hispanic taking for granted what you think Hispanics are, do two things: first, read this article once again; secondly, "erase stereotypes."

Sent by John Inclan




Cemeteries of Ambivalent Desire: 
Unearthing Deep South Narratives from a Texas Graveyard 


I am bringing a recent book to people’s attention, as it is a re-examination of a number of matters in which I have had recent scholarly interest. My UH colleague (Dept. of Modern and Classical Languages) Marie Theresa Hernandez recently published Cemeteries of Ambivalent Desire: Unearthing Deep South Narratives from a Texas Graveyard (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2008), an imprint of the UH Center for Mexican American Studies. 

She is trained as an anthropologist, was a social worker for many years, and writes like an angel. She uses the San Isidro Mexican cemetery in Sugar Land, Ft. Bend County, Texas, as the reference point, but the book is about subordination, sugar, Jim Crow/Jaime Crow Texas, Imperial Sugar, the Macario Garcia incident, Walter Winchell, the Aniceto Sanchez case, the Congressional Medal of Honor, the Pedro Hernandez case, post WWII-era lawyers such as Johnny Herrera and James DeAnda, and other cochinada. Her father, a mortician in this rural, now suburban Houston town, is still alive, and has seen a lot. He served as the translator in the 1950-51 Aniceto Sanchez case, which was a predecessor to Hernandez v. Texas.

Marie Theresa is not simply rooted in the past, as anyone reading her blog will discover, where she finds many other depradations and current cochinada: . I include her email address here, as I am certain you will want to contact her to tell her how much you love this fascinating book: . I intend to give some copies as Christmas gifts.  I urge everyone to read this wonderful book, available in fine bookstores everywhere. 

Michael A. Olivas
William B. Bates Distinguished Chair in Law and Director 
Institute for Higher Education Law and Governance 
University of Houston Law Center


Sent by Roberto Calderon, Ph.D. 


Finding musical common ground.  What's in a name?
Adam Pockross


In the case of Planet Siqueiros Peña — an evening of socially conscious traditional world music, contemporary musical styles and spoken word at the Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC) in Venice — a name tells a whole lot.

Planet Siqueiros Peña is itself the derivative of two other names: the revolutionary Mexican muralist David Alfaro Siqueiros combined with traditional South American musical venues called "Pe"as."

"The Peña phenomena emerged during the 1950s in South America, especially Chile and Argentina," says Martha Ramirez, one of the founders of the evening and a former student of Siqueiros, and 32-year member of the Mascarones Theatre Group, "These popular gatherings of rural folk musicians would come together in mountain villages playing their traditional rhythms and singing about their everyday life.

"Later, in times of repressive governments, poets and artists were not allowed to assemble. The Peñas moved into private homes where musicians discreetly shared with family and friends, their food and wine, interweaving their songs of despair and hope for change."

It is in that spirit, and the spirit of Siqueiros himself, that Planet Siqueiros Pe"a began.

"David Alfaro Siqueiros's commitment to change through monumental art inspired many young Chicanas and Chicanos of the 1970s," continues Ramirez. "In the traditional downtown Placita Olvera, one of Siqueiros's murals, America Tropical re-appeared under the whitewash that censored the mural, painted in 1930. It was like an apparition that symbolized for many muralists, the renaissance of art for social change."

One of these young muralists was Judith F. Baca, who co-founded SPARC in 1976 and is now its artistic director. In the center's "Backspace," Baca directs a creative digital mural lab where she oversees the UCLA/ SPARC Cesar Chavez Digital Mural Lab community partnership, which she also founded.

The lab serves as an inspirational backdrop to the Planet Siqueiros Peña, which kicks off its second season from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday, January 24th, at SPARC, 685 Venice Blvd.

The opening act calls itself, appropriately, the Santa Monica College Guitar Ensemble. Louise Quevedo, who has been going to Pe"as since she was a teenager, helped organize the trio of students from the Music Department.

"It's interesting because Edgar [Zaragoza] has a classical background, and then on the other hand we have Javier [Kistte], whose background is flamenco," says Quevedo. "And then myself, I have a background with Latin American folk styles. Together, we're learning to speak to each other in our different genres, through our instruments. We're learning the strengths of all the different styles. They're all beautiful but have different flavors. We're trying to find common ground musically."

Sounds like an emerging theme, no?

The headliners of the evening are The Lefteous Sisters, featuring Angi Neff, Ann Polhemus, Ericka Verba and Lisa Hornung, four friends who sing songs with meaning.

"The style of music that we enjoy singing and playing comes out of the folk tradition of purposeful songs that tell great stories, take us out of ourselves for a moment, ask questions of conscience and, hopefully, sound beautiful," says Angi Neff.

For the Planet Siqueiros Peña, the Sisters have come up with a special set list.

"We've come up with a set list of original and traditional songs (sung mostly in English) that not only reflect our current challenges as a people, but also revisit challenges and struggles of the past," says Neff. "We hope that the word 'folk' doesn't scare anyone away as it is a time-honored style that continues to tug at music lovers' hearts, generation after generation."

But when pressed as to why their music is inspirational, Neff deflects.

"I think the question is 'How has SPARC been inspirational to our music?'" she says. "This is a wonderful venue, created by lovers of rich, diverse cultures, and we have been inspired to come up with songs that beg to be sung in an art space and environment committed to social justice and human rights."

Information, (310) 822-9560, 


Young Latinas Have Webzine to Call Their Own 


February 2, 2009 
By Suzanne Batchelor, WeNews correspondent 

Four years ago two journalism students in Austin, Texas, decided that young U.S. Latinas need a magazine to call their own. Today they produce a Webzine and run workshops that train girls and teens to report, edit and keep asking questions.

AUSTIN, Texas (WOMENSENEWS)--Alicia Rascon and Laura Donnelly met as journalism students in a spring 2002 University of Texas-Austin class on Latino-Latina culture and the media.

Talking together, they knew what was missing: Latina teens and girls didn't have a magazine that was really about them.

"We had a stack of about 20 teen magazines and looked at all the covers," Rascon recalled. "There wasn't a single Latina on the cover. We didn't see Latina bylines."

"Most media for girls is not necessarily for all girls," added Donnelly, a native New Yorker of Cuban, Peruvian and Irish descent. "There were no youth-protagonists in films who were not like drug dealers, gang members. Even if you look at Jennifer Lopez, she's only played a Hispanic once or twice, and that was to be a maid."

Now, four years later, both women have graduated and are holding full-time jobs. On top of that they are also producing Latinitas, "Little Latinas," the only online media by and for Latina teens and girls. It reaches readers throughout the United States and as far away as Australia and Peru.

Although 17 million Latinas live in the United States, teen magazines showcase mostly whites, say Rascon and Donnelly.

To the extent the magazines did cover Latinas, they found an emphasis on teen pregnancy and drop-out rates.

"I wanted something deeper on why this is an issue and how do we overcome it," said Rascon. "When we decided the theme of the magazine, we decided it should be success-driven and empower the girls, highlight the positive things; how Latinas are being successful and accomplishing their goals."

New Content Monthly
Latinitas is actually two magazines on one Web site: one for high school teens, the other for those age 14 and under. New content is posted monthly.

"I've gotten e-mail from the only Latina in her school in Australia," said Rascon, a native of El Paso. "She said that kids were making fun of her and that we were the one place that made her feel great."

Putting out the magazine is a community-wide effort in Austin, a metro area that is about 35 percent Hispanic.

Working with the city school system and local philanthropies, the two entrepreneurs run six regular weekly after-school workshops--one at a high school, one at an elementary school and four in middle schools--where adult volunteers act as coaches for reporting and editing, Web design and photography. Other schools also invite the group to run occasional workshops.

"By the end of 2006, we anticipate we'll have served 1,000 girls through our direct programs," said Rascon.

Because many lower-income girls lack Internet access at home, Donnelly and Rascon are seeking advertisers and sponsors to add a print edition by late 2007. They say many Latina teens in their workshops want a magazine to take home and share with friends.

Rascon works in marketing at the Austin Children's Museum and Donnelly is a public relations freelancer. Neither has earned a penny from Latinitas, on which they each spend between 10 and 40 hours a week. Beginning in June 2007, both will begin receiving a stipend, Rascon said, but it won't be enough to let them to quit their other jobs. 

The project's annual budget of $50,000--raised from local corporations, individuals, fundraisers and earned income--mainly covers equipment costs. IBM has donated some laptop computers, locally-headquartered computer maker Dell donated $2,000 and Austin Energy contributed $10,000.

The founders hope to some day offer compensation, if only $10 an article, to their young writers.

Class Project
The two women started Latinitas as a college class project, launching a first edition in spring 2003, which they and other student volunteers wrote. Computer science major Angie Ayala volunteered as Web manager, a position she still holds.

A health article on smoking, a first-person account of battling a negative body image by a self-described borderline bulimic and a review of a local Mexican American rock band appeared in the first issue. Next came a "day in the life of a college Latina," by a first-generation college student.

After the first issue was launched without any publicity, a Nebraska elementary school teacher and a California college professor contacted Rascon and Donnelly, eager to share Latinitas with their students.

The founders then registered the site with search engines and began receiving e-mails from readers who said they were excited to find the magazine. They issued a round of press releases and Latinitas in August 2003 received its first news coverage, in the El Paso Times.

When the media class--along with free university Web-site hosting--ended, the class professor, Federico Subervi, donated $500 to purchase Web site hosting and domain names so Latinitas could continue.

Rascon and Donnelly continued the project as a nonprofit, volunteer effort while they completed college and worked other jobs.

Another Inspiration
Around that time they also had another inspiration: If they were serious about encouraging young Latinas, they should involve them in the editorial process. "Instead of being for Hispanic girls, we wanted it to be by and for them, to engage girls in developing media," said Rascon.

That's when they approached a Hispanic mother-daughter program sponsored by Austin's Junior League, part of the national organization that began in 1901 in New York City, when wealthy women raised money to aid Lower East Side immigrants. The Austin chapter knew that Hispanic girls were attending college at lower rates than non-Hispanics and wanted to support activities that would change that.

At that first workshop, Donnelly and Rascon assigned the girls to write newsletters about themselves and then had middle-schoolers interview those in high school about how they were preparing for college. "We collected that work and published a lot of it," said Donnelly. 

"They were echoing a lot of the same concerns we had," Rascon said. "All the girls on the teen magazine covers had straight, blond hair, blue eyes, and they knew they did not fit that mold. It really affirmed I wasn't the only one feeling this."

The pair began thinking about how to create a structure for engaging girls and teens in the production process. The Austin school district welcomed their offer to create a weekly after-school program for middle-school girls, who would learn about writing for the magazine along with Web design and photography.

"I'm 35 and Alicia is 27," said Donnelly. "I work with the girls but we still don't really know what their teen issues are. The nonprofit program allows us to get direct feedback from girls."

Latinitas still operates without a physical newsroom. Workshop students as well as readers around the country submit by e-mail to teen editors in workshops who mull over submissions. All the material then goes by e-mail to three-year volunteer managing editor Sandie Taylor, who works out of her home to ready it for publication.

Krystella Rangel, 16, last spring saw Latinitas publish her diary about her struggle to quit smoking. Recently, she wrote about her strategies for getting good grades. Among them: "Dodge class distractions" and "Ask questions without hesitation."

Suzanne Batchelor is a Texas-based independent journalist.
Women's eNews welcomes your comments. E-mail us at

For more information: Latinitas magazine:

Sent by Rafael Ojeda



Aztlan: US/Mexico Border Culture and Folklore, 4th Edition by Jose Villarino 
The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire by C.M. Mayo
Claiming Rights and Righting Wrongs in Texas: Mexican Workers by Emilio Zamora
Ancestral Voices of the Past: Curbelo Family by Robert Perez

A one of a kind textbook; Aztlan: US/Mexico Border Culture and Folklore, 4th Edition published by McGraw-Hill Inc. ISBN-13: 978-0-07-353851-8, Co-authored by professors José “Pepe” Villarino (San Diego State University) and Arturo Ramírez (Sonoma State University).. 

One of it's main features is bridging the gender gap. Of its 25 writers, 12 are women making this issue unique and one-of-a-kind an excellent choice for Women Studies and Chicana/Chicano Studies classes.


Forthcoming from Unbridled Books May 5, 2009

By C.M. Mayo

A novel based on the true story
They gave up their son... for what they believed to be his destiny.  "A lush, historical novel of Mexico during the brief, tragic, at times surreal reign of Emperor Maximilian and his court."

A fairytale based on the true but never before completely told story— the work of seven years of travel and research in archives as far flung as Vienna, Washington DC, and Mexico City— it begins, as it must, with, 
"Once upon a time..." read more


Claiming Rights and Righting Wrongs in Texas: Mexican Workers and Job Politics During World War II (Rio Grande/Rio Bravo) (Paperback)  by Emilio Zamora  

Foreword by Juan Gómez Quiñones


Claiming Rights and Righting Wrongs in Texas, Emilio Zamora traces the experiences of Mexican workers on the American home front during World War II as they moved from rural to urban areas and sought better-paying jobs in rapidly expanding industries.

Contending that discrimination undermined job opportunities, Zamora investigates the intervention by Mexico in the treatment of workers, the U.S. State Department’s response, and Texas’ emergence as a key site for negotiating the application of the Good Neighbor Policy. He examines the role of women workers, the evolving political struggle, the rise of the liberal-urban coalition, and the conservative tradition in Texas.

Zamora also looks closely at civil and labor rights–related efforts, implemented by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the Fair Employment Practice Committee.

EMILIO ZAMORA is an associate professor of history and associate of the Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin.

Number Fifteen: Rio Grande/Río Bravo—Borderlands Culture and Traditions

Claiming Rights and Righting Wrongs in Texas
978-1-60344-066-0 cloth $60.00x
978-1-60344-097-4 paper $27.95s
LC 2008024039. 6x9. 26 b&w photos. 336 pp. 8 tables. 2 apps. Bib. Index.
Mexican American History. Texas History. Labor HIstory. World War II.

Editorial Reviews

Product Description
In "Claiming Rights and Righting Wrongs in Texas", Emilio Zamora traces the experiences of Mexican workers on the American home front during World War II as they moved from rural to urban areas and sought better-paying jobs in rapidly expanding industries. Contending that discrimination undermined job opportunities, Zamora investigates the intervention by Mexico in the treatment of workers, the U.S. State Department's response, and Texas' emergence as a key site for negotiating the application of the Good Neighbor Policy. He examines the role of women workers, the evolving political struggle, the rise of the liberal-urban coalition, and the conservative tradition in Texas. Zamora also looks closely at civil and labor rights - related efforts, implemented by the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and the Fair Employment Practice Committee.

About the Author: EMILIO ZAMORA is an associate professor of history and associate of the Center for Mexican American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin
Sent by Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.



Ancestral Voices of the Past:  Curbelo Family
by Robert Perez


Ancestral Voices of the Past focuses on into the Curbelo family and their migration to San Antonio from the Canary Islands.  It also address La Quinta, which was their homestead, but after the Battle of Medina, in 1813, housed over 300 Tejano females for about two months.  

The book tells the story entitled, Buffalo for the King: A True, Documented Story of Spanish Colonial Texas during the Period of the American Revolution, excerpts taken from Robert H. Thonhoff's book.   Jose Antonio Curbelo, will be honored by the Daughter's of the American Revolution as Spanish Patriot contributing to the cause of the American Revolution.  He will be honored in a ceremony held at the Texas Cemetery in Austin, Texas on March 15, 2009.
Ruben writes, "I am currently writing another book which goes into Spanish Colonial times, my great-great Grandmother, Juana Navarro Vermendi Peres Alsbury and son, Alejo Peres/Perez.  (That is where the name was changed).  Both of them were living survivors of the Alamo and Alejo Peres is the last living survivor of the Alamo.   Hopefully, through the writings, Hispanic children will also learn of their rich heritage as I have. " 
Rueben M. Perez
13002 Prince Forest
San Antonio, Texas, 78230






This month featuring his grandfather Vicente Guerrero.


By Ted Vincent 2009

Barack Obama admires Abraham Lincoln. Mexico’s first black president, Vicente Guerrero WAS his nation’s Lincoln. In 1829 he issued Mexico’s presidential slavery abolition decree (which led a few years later to Texas slave holders taking Texas out of Mexico).

There are other correlations between the three presidents. Obama and Lincoln are known for building coalitons that are teams of rivals. Guerrero built one when he was Commander-in-Chief of the Mexican army during the last three years of Mexico’s exhaustive 1810-1821 war for independence from Spain. A key actions by Guerrero to end the war was his spread of letters to Mexican officers who had been hired to fight for Spain. He convinced. many that opportunity awaited if they switched sides, the list included the top Mexican general for Spain, Agustin Iturbide. Guerrero’s subsequent team of rivals brought victory. Thus, Guerrero was said by his followers to be "the father of the country," i.e Mexico’s Washington, as well as it’s Lincoln. He also created, with Iturbi de, the design for the flag.

After the war Guerrero had to be personable to win over influential Mexicans who looked upon him with disdain for having Afro-Indio roots, and for being a mule driver - the occupation of his father and uncles. In those years muleteers were very plentiful in Mexico, thanks in part to Spain’s reluctance to pay to create roads for carts and carriages. A history of the drivers describes them being considered unpleasant rowdies by the well-to-do, but welcomed in rural villages for bringing the news of the day, latest songs and the latest jokes about authority figures. Mule trains often convoyed contraband. From this profession came many a fighter for Mexico in the war with Spain.

Guerrero was a descendant of enslaved Africans brought to Mexico during colonial times. Part Indigenous, he was raised in an Indio barrio in the mountain town of Tixtla in the state that carries his name. During the 1810 war his knowledge of native languages helped the future president rise in rank. As Lincoln rose in politics mobilizing down-state Illinois farmers, and Obama networked Southside Chicagoans, Guerrero organized village communities for the war effort, often using a speech in which he praised the Indio political system of elected councils and chiefs, while asking for allegiance to the fight for "the bigger democracy" at the state level.

During his presidency, Guerrero was viewed with no little apprehension by politicians entrenched in the20social elite of Mexico City. But for a time he had to be tolerated. Guerrero came out of the war with an immense following, notable for the Indios he had recruited into the fight. One member of the elite with whom Guerrero did work closely was the brilliant but consumptive drug addict, Ignacio Esteva. In 1828 the two men created the first "People’s Party" in Mexico and its followers put Guerrero in the presidency in April 1829.

Guerrero shares with Obama and Lincoln a record for eloquent speech. A much quoted example is his first address to congress in which he declared, "If we succeeds in spreading the guarantees of the individual, if equality before the law destroys the efforts of power and gold, if the highest title between us is that of citizen, if the rewards we bestow are exclusively for talent and virtue, we have a republic, and she will be conserved by the universal suffrage of a people solid, free and happy."

Guerrero wanted his presidency to reflect the broad coalition built during the 1810 war. He alloweda number of convervatives in his cabinet and accepted as Vice President Anastacio Bustamante who had spent most of the independence war in the uniform of Spain. Radical supporters of Guerrero criticized the president’s cabinet and other choices, and in the manner that Barack Obama has questioning friends who are more racially oriented than he, so too did Guerrero have his. One was Isidorio Montesdeoca, an Afro-Filipino campesino who rose=2 0to the rank of general under Guerrero during the1810 war. He called Guerrero’s references to racial equality achieved by asking everyone be judged by his or her "merits and virtues" wishful thinking in a country where many powerful people didn’t believe blacks or Indios had merits and virtues. Moreover, argued Guerrero’s critics from the left, congress had made it near impossible to organize against racial injustice through their passage of Law #310 that, though ostensibly in the spirit of equality, prohibited mention of anyone’s race in any public document, or in the records of the parish church. One consequence of this law has been that knowledge of the racial attitude of the elite toward Guerrero’s African roots are relegated to private letters and anonymous pamphlets against "the black" and many a modern history identifies him merely as of "peasant"or "laboring class" background.

The political coalition Guerrero built fractured six months into his office, not from abandonment by the left, but by the right. His abolition of slavery, his promotion of a wider suffrage and his imposition of a stiff progressive tax code cost him most of his few upper class supporters - including two cabinet members. In 1830 the conservatives rebelled, and led by Vice President Bustamante, they drove Guerrero from the capital. Most of the president’s legislation was rescinded, but not the abolition of slavery, which had wide public support.

In a subsequent civil war Guerrero was captured and assassinated by Bustamante hirelings, who included an Italian sea captain who kidnapped the president in Acapulco harbor and delivered him to a Cuban mercenary in Huatulco, who passed him to the son of a Spaniard who had been a general for Spain in the independence war. At a mock trial in Oaxaca the first judge resigned during the opening day, claiming illness. Bustamante ordered execution but feared an uprising if it happened in the city of Oaxaca. Guerrero was taken to a small town, where the mayor had fled and the priest who was scheduled to conduct the last rights was also missing. In last words to the firing squad, Guerrero said that whatever he had done it was in the interest of Mexico.

The execution infuriated many, including moderates, and Bustamante had to make peace with Guerrero’s lieutenants, who controlled the Pacific region from Puerto Vallarta down past Acapulco to the black town of Cuijinicuilapa.. An unusual political accord granted the Guerreroistas autonomy on condition they never attack the capital. Over the years the close aid of Guerrero, the Afro-Acapulcan Juan Alvarez wrote and spread many diatribes against the elite, some of which are still in print today. In 1855 Alvarez broke the peace pact, marched on Mexico City, overthrew dictator Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna and became Mexico’s second black president. He included in his cabinet Benito Juarez, the pure-Zapotecan lawyer, who in his youth had campaigned for the election of Guerrero,20and who later served twelve years as president and champion of liberal causes..

Guerrero’s one offspring, Dolores, trained her children in the politics of her father, with whom she had been close. The intellectual contributions of her son Vicente are well known. Vicente was also a state governor under Juarez, as was brother Carlos. Dolores’s son Jose was a general, and daughter Javiera, though prohibited from holding office, was significant enough behind the scenes to warrant a large statue.. Generations of politicians and intellectuals poured from the family, including today’s prominent journalist Raymundo Riva Palacio. His writings include a 1987 anthology of his articles condemning the U.S. funding of the Contras against the Sandinista government of Nicaragua.

Today, the National Museum of History in Chapultepec Park honors only one family with its genealogical tree depicted on a wall, the family begun by Vicente Guerrero and his wife Guadalupe Hernandez.

Two other presidents of Mexico had known African heritage. Juan Almonte fought in the independence war and at the Alamo on the Mexican side. His brief presidency is noted for his treacherous act of handing the rule of Mexico to the Austrian Duke Maximilian in 1864. President Lazaro Cardenas, a key figure in the 1910 revolution, nationalized oil and issued wide spread land reform. A popular biography notes in the opening paragraph that Lazaro’s grandfather was "a mulato."

The original of Guerrero’s address to congress reads, "Si se lograron hacer efectivas las guarantias del individuo, si la igualdad ante la ley destruye los esfuerzos del poder y del oro, si el primero titulo entre nosotros es el de ciudadano, si las recompensas se otorgan exclusivamente al talento y a la virtud, tenemos republica, y ella se conservara por el unanime sufragio de un pueblo solidamente libre y dichoso."



The Black Legend, Part 8: Searching for America by Felipe de Ortego y Gasca 
March 28th: Espanola Convento: "The Price of Statehood" 
Seeing More Than Black & White by Elizabeth Martinez


From Somos Primos: 
A Website Dedicated to Hispanic Heritage and Diversity Issues, March 2009

y Felipe de Ortego y Gasca

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

[Searching for America--Number 8 in a series on La Leyenda Negra]



In 1968 on the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) at its national convention in Chicago approved a resolution by the membership to establish a Task Force on Racism and Bias in the Teaching of English as a memorial to the slain civil rights leader. I was fortunate to have been one of the founding members of the Task Force which included the NCTE Black caucus, the Chicano caucus, the Asian caucus, and the Native American caucus. Ernece Kelley was Chair of the Task Force. Our charge was to survey high school and college anthologies and readers (collections) of American literature for their content–to ascertain how inclusive they were vis-a-vis the minorities represented by the participating caucuses. Needless to say that inclusiveness was practically nil. The scathing Report of the Task Force published in 1972 entitled Searching for America gave all the anthologies F’s for inclusiveness. That was 1972.  

In the years from 1945–the end of World War II–to 1972, American minorities, including American Hispanics, went searching for America only to discover that in almost three decades the United States had paid little heed to its growing minority populations. The anthologies of American literature–the texts most likely to exert the most influence on Americans in the educational system–had relegated American minorities to invisibility. Despite the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, the public domain of American society seemed determined to keep its minority groups secret, notwithstanding the turmoil in the streets during the 60's.  

What emerged most evident in Searching for America was that there were really two Americas: White America and the “Other America”–the “non-white” America. In their search for America, American Hispanics ran straight into the discrimination most of them thought they had exorcized from the body politic of the United States by their loyalty and sacrifices to the nation during its time of peril.  

In 1948, the authorities of Three Rivers, Texas, refused to handle the funeral services for Felix Longoria (a native of the town) and to bury him in the municipal cemetery. During the war, Longoria had been killed in the Philippines and interred in a temporary ossuary there until the body could be transported to the United States. When that came to pass three years later, Longoria’s wife never imagined that her hero husband would not be buried with honors in the town’s cemetery.  

Despite the intervention of Dr. Hector P. Garcia, a physician from nearby Corpus Christi and founder of the American G.I. Forum–a Mexican American veteran’s organization–the community of Three Rivers was adamant in its refusal to bury Longoria in the town’s cemetery. Dr. Garcia turned to Senator Lyndon Johnson for help who immediately arranged for Longoria to be buried in Arlington Memorial Cemetery with full military honors.  

The Jim Crow laws south of the Mason-Dixon Line were as obdurate south of the Mexican-Dixon Line as they were south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Miscegenation laws singled out Mexican Americans as much as they singled out African Americans. The exclusionary practices of pre-war America in the Hispanic southwest remained as rigid in post-war America as they had been in the years leading up to and including the war years.  

At the end of World War II, American Hispanics returned to what they thought would be a grateful nation, particularly since as a group they had won more medals of honor than any other group and had distinguished themselves not only in battle but by their numbers in the armed forces. In 1945 estimates for the American Hispanic population vary from 3 to about 4 percent of the American population of 132 million. Of the 16 million Americans in uniform during World War II, the 1 million American Hispanics in the armed services consti­tute about 1/16th of the total. For a group comprising only 4 percent of the American population that’s a significant constituency. American Hispanics responded to the call of the nation as patriotic Americans.  

American Hispanics came home from the war, hung up their uniforms with their plastrons of medals, and went about looking for America and their place in it. Many of them went back to work at their old jobs in factories and mills, many went on to college under the G.I. Bill, and many strode to the horizon of American opportunity ready for the challenges of the future. Despite the largesse of the G.I. Bill, many Mexican American war veterans were discriminated against by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs by denying them medical services for combat wounds after they were discharged.  

What they were not prepared for was the status quo of discrimination engendered in large part by the Black Legend. To counter this discrimination Americans turned to the formation of Hispanic organizations. Perhaps what best characterized American Hispanic thought in the period from the end of World War II to the close of the 1950’s is that American Hispanics were divided about the promise of America, for a significant number of them lived under conditions that had changed little in almost a century. In fact, for many Mexican Americans conditions had grown worse in their transition from an agrarian people to an urban people. By 1960 statistics bore out that almost 80 percent of Mexican Americans lived in urban environments and were burdened with the additional problems of the urban crisis—principally poverty.  

 The mere fact of desegregation in 1954 did not eliminate the myriad educational problems confronting Mexican Americans. The truth of the matter is that just as the educational system of the United States failed to accomplish its objectives with Anglo American children, it failed miserably to reach Mexican American children (Felipe de Ortego y Gasca, “The Education of Mexican Americans,” New Mexico Review, Part I, September 1969; Part II, October 1969).  

The fault of American education a propos Mexican American children was its thoroughly lexocentric attitude toward instruction in any language but English. Thus, Spanish-speaking Mexican American children were further disadvantaged by their inability to deal effectively with the language of instruction (see Carl L. Rosen and Philip D. Ortego (Felipe de Ortego y Gasca), Issues in Language and Reading Instruction of Spanish-speaking Children, International Reading Association, 1969, Problems and Strategies in Teaching the Language Arts to Spanish Speaking Mexican American Children, U.S. Office of Education, 1969, “Language and Reading Problems of Spanish Speaking Children in the Southwest,” Journal of Reading Behavior, Winter 1969).  

In December of 1959 the editorial of Alianza Magazine asked: “Where do we go from here?” There was no question that Mexican Americans saw change as necessary for their amelioration, but the nature of that change was still dim and barely apprehended, although some Mexican Americans were observing closely the tactics of the Black Power Movement. Change was definitely in the air, for Mexican Americans had gone looking for America and had not found it. Perhaps what “did it” for Alianza Magazine was the Denver incident in 1957 in which Charlotte C. Rush, Patriotic Education Chairman of the Denver Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, decided that only “American boys” would carry the flag at the State Industrial School for Boys, saying “I wouldn’t want a Mexican to carry Old Glory, would you? (“Daughter of the American Revolution Slurs Mexicans,” Alianza, March 1957: 11).  

By 1960 Mexican Americans had taken up the gauntlet and were ready to challenge the spurious venom of the Black Legend.  



March 28th: Espanola Convento  

"The Price of Statehood" synopsis of the focus of the meeting



Opinion Piece

Recently I attended a public forum at the Bataan Memorial auditorium in Santa Fe, New Mexico focused on two books—the Black Legend and on The Santa Fe Ring.  Authors and historians were on hand to provide perspective on revelations contained within these books and to facilitate discussion with the audience.  The Black Legend (Legend) was a characterization given decedents of the Iberian Peninsula (i.e. Spain ).  It was rooted in historic animosities between the competing colonial and economic powers of England and Spain . France perpetuated the Legend as well, as did The Church of England to undermine its nemesis the Catholic Church.   Simply put, the Legend was a well orchestrated campaign to label people of Hispanic descent (and their institutions) as unnaturally evil, unmerciful, vile, instinctively inhumane and, therefore, not worthy of legitimacy or trust.  Of course the corollary to the message was that such people couldn’t possibly be deserving of humane treatment or respect because of who they are by nature.  The Legend took hold and spread throughout Europe like a wildfire largely because of illiteracy and the tendency then, as now, to obtain information through idle gossip, myth and story telling.  So when the Western Hemisphere opened up to European exploration and exploitation, those same anti-Hispanic sentiments perpetrated by the Legend crossed the ocean as well. This set the stage for the Mexican-American War and the notorious abuses that would followed. 


The Santa Fe Ring was part of a concerted effort, fully supported by the politicians at the time, including then territorial governor Vernon Prince, to take away the lands and protections that had been afforded by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo to the indigenous communities (Hispanic and Native American) of the American Southwest.  The Treaty was supposed to have ended the war sparked by the illegal occupation of The Alamo, in Texas , by a rogue band of U.S. citizens.  The Alamo belonged to a sovereign nation at the time— Mexico , and was situated on land that for over 200 years had been under Spanish rule.  The U.S. used the incident as an excuse to invade Mexico , resulting in the taking of the American Southwest from Mexico (over 51% of its land mass).  The “Manifest Destiny” doctrine of the U.S. , adopted in 1840, was the rational used for the taking of land from others.  It proclaimed that it was the patriotic duty, as a nation, to take that which we perceived to be our destiny as a nation to possess.  With this blatant act of national aggression as the backdrop, the abuses that those of Hispanic descent would be subjected to in the aftermath should be of no surprise. 


Copies of official government documents were displayed at the Santa Fe that would cause even the most skeptical individual to wince from the realization that the systematic theft and dismantling of Hispanic land grants was not a myth, but a hidden policy of our government at the time.  The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was thought to be a hindrance to national prosperity and statehood for the region.  This then became a key rationale for dismantling and dissolving entirely if possible, the land grant system promulgated under the Treaty.  Now enters the Santa Fe Ring into the picture—a group of attorneys, judges and politicians, from Washington, DC to New Mexico whose mission it was to swindle as much land as possible from Hispanic/Mexican New Mexicans, and otherwise enable the Treaty to be violated at will.  Many of those who were supposed to have been protected by the Treaty were direct descendents of Juan de Onate and the settlers he led into New Mexico in 1598—22 years before the Pilgrims set foot at Plymouth Rock.  But the likes of Thomas Catron, an attorney from Missouri , probably knew nothing of such history nor cared to know.  He was ring leader so to speak, of the Santa Fe Ring.  His goal was simply to swindle as much land as possible.  In the process he amassed over a million acres of New Mexico territory.  Local newspapers at the time assisted by not only failing to publish legal notices of pending challenges to land grant claims, but at times even falsely asserted such notices where published when, in act, that had never occurred.  Government surveyors and judges assisted by refusing to acknowledge legitimate claims, or accepting instead falsified claims and surveys as sufficient basis for dissolving communal ownership of land grants.  Spanish documents were summarily written off as lacking legal standing or authority.  Politicians similarly passed laws that would serve to protect thee thieves and scoundrels that were systematically rendering an entire population and their heirs economically-destitute for generations to come.  Of course we, in the U.S. , are not taught any of this history in our schools.  Instead we’re taught that the Spanish decimated entire civilizations of indigenous people, ala the Black Legend, while the English broke Thanksgiving bread with the Indians.  But this version of history does seem to contradict with the fact that the indigenous Native American communities existing in the areas occupied and controlled by the Spanish throughout the American Southwest still exist to this day.  But this is not the case with respect to those areas of the nation that were controlled and occupied at the onset by the English and French.  In those areas, entire Native American communities were uprooted their traditional lands.  The truth, it has been said, is difficult to accept.  But it is also said the truth will set you free.  And while knowing the truth about the past may not change the present, it will help us understand ourselves and others better.  It also helps us respond to those who perceive people of Hispanic descent as being poor by choice, i.e. lazy.  Perhaps our ancestors were naïve.  They were naïve to believe the U.S. would abide by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, or to believe in the benevolence of an occupying force whose view of the world was so vastly different from theirs.  Their values may have been rooted in the land, community and faith, but they then found themselves at the mercy of an occupying force subliminally influenced by the Black Legend, and by values firmly rooted in private ownership and the power and dominance that private wealth bestows.  And the rest is history.   

Charles “Chuck” Montano, (505) 690-6911
22 Monte Alto Road
Santa Fe , New Mexico 87508




Seeing More Than Black & White
(Latinos, racism, and the cultural divides)

by Elizabeth Martinez

A certain relish seems irresistible to this Latina as the mass media has been compelled to sit up, look south of the border, and take notice. Probably the Chiapas uprising and Mexico's recent political turmoil have won us no more than a brief day in the sun. Or even less: liberal Ted Koppel still hadn't noticed the historic assassination of presidential candidate Colosio three days afterward. But it's been sweet, anyway.

When Kissinger said years ago "nothing important ever happens in the south," he articulated a contemptuous indifference toward Latin America, its people and their culture which has long dominated U.S. institutions and attitudes. Mexico may be great for a vacation and some people like burritos but the usual image of Latin America combines incompetence with absurdity in loud colors. My parents, both Spanish teachers, endured decades of being told kids were better off learning French.

U.S. political culture is not only Anglo-dominated but also embraces an exceptionally stubborn national self-centeredness, with no global vision other than relations of domination. The U.S. refuses to see itself as one nation sitting on a continent with 20 others all speaking languages other than English and having the right not to be dominated.

Such arrogant indifference extends to Latinos within the U.S. The mass media complain, "people can't relate to Hispanics" - or Asians, they say. Such arrogant indifference has played an important role in invisibilizing La Raza (except where we become a serious nuisance or a handy scapegoat). It is one reason the U.S. harbors an exclusively white-on-Black concept of racism. It is one barrier to new thinking about racism which is crucial today. There are others.

Good-bye White Majority
In a society as thoroughly and violently racialized as the United States, white-Black relations have defined racism for centuries. Today the composition and culture of the U.S. are changing rapidly. We need to consider seriously whether we can afford to maintain an exclusively white/Black model of racism when the population will be 32 percent Latino, Asian/Pacific American and Native American - in short, neither Black nor white - by the year 2050. We are challenged to recognize that multi-colored racism is mushrooming, and then strategize how to resist it. We are challenged to move beyond a dualism comprised of two white supremacist inventions: Blackness and Whiteness.

At stake in those challenges is building a united anti-racist force strong enough to resist contemporary racist strategies of divide-and- conquer. Strong enough, in the long run, to help defeat racism itself. Doesn't an exclusively Black/white model of racism discourage the perception of common interests among people of color and thus impede a solidarity that can challenge white supremacy? Doesn't it encourage the isolation of African Americans from potential allies? Doesn't it advise all people of color to spend too much energy understanding our lives in relation to Whiteness, and thus freeze us in a defensive, often self- destructive mode?

No "Oppression Olympics"
For a Latina to talk about recognizing the multi-colored varieties of racism is not, and should not be, yet another round in the Oppression Olympics. We don't need more competition among different social groupings for that "Most Oppressed" gold. We don't need more comparisons of suffering between women and Blacks, the disabled and the gay, Latino teenagers and white seniors, or whatever. We don't need more surveys like the recent much publicized Harris Poll showing that different peoples of color are prejudiced toward each other - a poll patently designed to demonstrate that us coloreds are no better than white folk. (The survey never asked people about positive attitudes.)

Rather, we need greater knowledge, understanding, and openness to learning about each other's histories and present needs as a basis for working together. Nothing could seem more urgent in an era when increasing impoverishment encourages a self-imposed separatism among people of color as a desperate attempt at community survival. Nothing could seem more important as we search for new social change strategies in a time of ideological confusion.

My call to rethink concepts of racism in the U.S. today is being sounded elsewhere. Among academics, liberal foundation administrators, and activist-intellectuals, you can hear talk of the need for a new "racial paradigm" or model. But new thinking seems to proceed in fits and starts, as if dogged by a fear of stepping on toes, of feeling threatened, or of losing one's base. With a few notable exceptions, even our progressive scholars of color do not make the leap from perfunctorily saluting a vague multi-culturalism to serious analysis. We seem to have made little progress, if any, since Bob Blauner's 1972 book "Racial Oppression in America". Recognizing the limits of the white-Black axis, Blauner critiqued White America's ignorance of and indifference to the Chicano/a experience with racism.

Real opposition to new paradigms also exists. There are academics scrambling for one flavor of ethnic studies funds versus another. There are politicians who cultivate distrust of others to keep their own communities loyal. When we hear, for example, of Black/Latino friction, dismay should be quickly followed by investigation. In cities like Los Angeles and New York, it may turn out that political figures scrapping for patronage and payola have played a narrow nationalist game, whipping up economic anxiety and generating resentment that sets communities against each other.

So the goal here, in speaking about moving beyond a bi-polar concept of racism is to build stronger unity against white supremacy. The goal is to see our similarities of experience and needs. If that goal sounds naive, think about the hundreds of organizations formed by grassroots women of different colors coming together in recent years. Their growth is one of today's most energetic motions and it spans all ages. Think about the multicultural environmental justice movement. Think about the coalitions to save schools. Small rainbows of our own making are there, to brighten a long road through hellish times.

It is in such practice, through daily struggle together, that we are most likely to find the road to greater solidarity against a common enemy. But we also need a will to find it and ideas about where, including some new theory.

The West Goes East
Until very recently, Latino invisibility - like that of Native Americans and Asian/Pacific Americans - has been close to absolute in U.S. seats of power, major institutions, and the non-Latino public mind. Having lived on both the East and West Coasts for long periods, I feel qualified to pronounce: an especially myopic view of Latinos prevails in the East. This, despite such data as a 24.4 percent Latino population of New York City alone in 1991, or the fact that in 1990 more Puerto Ricans were killed by New York police under suspicious circumstances than any other ethnic group. Latino populations are growing rapidly in many eastern cities and the rural South, yet remain invisibile or stigmatized - usually both.

Eastern blinders persist. I've even heard that the need for a new racial paradigm is dismissed in New York as a California hangup. A black Puerto Rican friend in New York, when we talked about experiences of racism common to Black and brown, said "People here don't see Border Patrol brutality against Mexicans as a form of police repression," despite the fact that the Border Patrol is the largest and most uncontrolled police force in the U.S. It would seem that an old ignorance has combined with new immigrant bashing to sustain divisions today.

While the East (and most of the Midwest) usually remains myopic, the West Coast has barely begun to move away from its own denial. Less than two years ago in San Francisco, a city almost half Latino or Asian/Pacific American, a leading daily newspaper could publish a major series on contemporary racial issues and follow the exclusively Black-white paradigm. Although millions of TV viewers saw massive Latino participation in the April 1992 Los Angeles uprising, which included 18 out of 50 deaths and the majority of arrests, the mass media and most people labeled that event "a Black riot."

If the West Coast has more recognition of those who are neither Black nor white, it is mostly out of fear about the proximate demise of its white majority. A second, closely related reason is the relentless campaign by California Gov. Pete Wilson to scapegoat immigrants for economic problems and pass racist, unconstitutional laws attacking their health, education, and children's future. Wilson has almost single-handedly made the word "immigrant" mean Mexican or other Latino (and sometimes Asian). Who thinks of all the people coming from the former Soviet Union and other countries? The absolute racism of this has too often been successfully masked by reactionary anti- immigrant groups like FAIR blaming immigrants for the staggering African-American unemployment rate.

Wilson's immigrant bashing is likely to provide a model for other parts of the country. The five states with the highest immigration rates - California, Florida, New York, Illinois and Texas - all have a Governor up for re-election in 1994. Wilson tactics won't appear in every campaign but some of the five states will surely see intensified awareness and stigmatization of Latinos as well as Asian/Pacific Islanders.

As this suggests, what has been a regional issue mostly limited to western states is becoming a national issue. If you thought Latinos were just Messicans down at the border, wake up - they are all over North Carolina, Pennsylvania and 8th Avenue Manhattan now. A qualitative change is taking place. With the broader geographic spread of Latinos and Asian/Pacific Islanders has come a nationalization of racist practices and attitudes that were once regional. The west goes east, we could say.

Like the monster Hydra, racism is growing some ugly new heads. We will have to look at them closely.

The Roots Of Racism And Latinos
A bi-polar model of racism - racism as white on Black - has never really been accurate. Looking for the roots of racism in the U.S. we can begin with the genocide against American Indians which made possible the U.S. land base, crucial to white settlement and early capitalist growth. Soon came the massive enslavement of African people which facilitated that growth. As slave labor became economically critical, "blackness" became ideologically critical; it provided the very source of "whiteness" and the heart of racism. Franz Fanon would write, "colour is the most outward manifestation of race."

If Native Americans had been a crucial labor force during those same centuries, living and working in the white man's sphere, our racist ideology might have evolved differently. "The tawny," as Ben Franklin dubbed them, might have defined the opposite of what he called "the lovely white." But with Indians decimated and survivors moved to distant concentration camps, they became unlikely candidates for this function. Similarly, Mexicans were concentrated in the distant West; elsewhere Anglo fear of them or need for control was rare. They also did not provide the foundation for a definition of whiteness.

Some anti-racist left activists have put forth the idea that only African Americans experience racism as such and that the suffering of other people of color results from national minority rather than racial oppression. From this viewpoint, the exclusively white/Black model for racism is correct. Latinos, then, experience exploitation and repression for reasons of culture and nationality - not for their "race." (It should go without saying in

Does the distinction hold? This and other theoretical questions call for more analysis and more expertise than one article can offer. In the meantime, let's try out the idea that Latinos do suffer for their nationality and culture, especially language. They became part of the U.S. through the 1846-48 war on Mexico and thus a foreign population to be colonized. But as they were reduced to cheap or semi-slave labor, they quickly came to suffer for their "race" - meaning, as non-whites. In the Southwest of a super-racialized nation, the broad parallelism of race and class embraced Mexicans ferociously.

The bridge here might be a definition of racism as "the reduction of the cultural to the biological," in the words of French scholar Christian Delacampagne now working in Egypt. Or: "racism exists wherever it is claimed that a given social status is explained by a given natural characteristic." We know that line: Mexicans are just naturally lazy and have too many children, so they're poor and exploited.

The discrimination, oppression and hatred experienced by Native Americans, Mexicans, Asian/Pacific Islanders, and Arab Americans are forms of racism. Speaking only of Latinos, we have seen in California and the Southwest, especially along the border, almost 150 years of relentless repression which today includes Central Americans among its targets. That history reveals hundreds of lynchings between 1847 and 1935, the use of counter-insurgency armed forces beginning with the Texas Rangers, random torture and murder by Anglo ranchers, forced labor, rape by border lawmen, and the prevailing Anglo belief that a Mexican life doesn't equal a dog's in value.

But wait. If color is so key to racial definition, as Fanon and others say, perhaps people of Mexican background experience racism less than national minority oppression because they are not dark enough as a group. For White America, shades of skin color are crucial to defining worth. The influence of those shades has also been internalized by communities of color. Many Latinos can and often want to pass for whites; therefore White America may see them as less threatening than darker sisters and brothers.

Here we confront more of the complexity around us today, with questions like: What about the usually poor, very dark Mexican or Central American of strong Indian or African heritage? (Yes, folks, 200-300,000 Africans were brought to Mexico as slaves, which is far, far more than the Spaniards who came.) And what about the effects of accented speech or foreign name, characteristics that may instantly subvert "passing?"

What about those cases where a Mexican-American is never accepted, no matter how light-skinned, well-dressed or well-spoken? A Chicano lawyer friend coming home from a professional conference in suit, tie and briefcase found himself on a bus near San Diego that was suddenly stopped by the Border Patrol. An agent came on board and made a beeline through the all-white rows of passengers direct to my friend. "Your papers." The agent didn't believe Jose was coming from a U.S. conference and took him off the bus to await proof. Jose was lucky; too many Chicanos and Mexicans end up killed.

In a land where the national identity is white, having the "wrong" nationality becomes grounds for racist abuse. Who would draw a sharp line between today's national minority oppression in the form of immigrant- bashing, and racism?

None of this aims to equate the African American and Latino experiences; that isn't necessary even if it were accurate. Many reasons exist for the persistence of the white/Black paradigm of racism; they include numbers, history, and the psychology of whiteness. In particular they include centuries of slave revolts, a Civil War, and an ongoing resistance to racism that cracked this society wide open while the world watched. Nor has the misery imposed on Black people lessened in recent years. New thinking about racism can and should keep this experience at the center.

A Deadly Dualism
The exclusively white/Black concept of race and racism in the U.S. rests on a western, Protestant form of dualism woven into both race and gender relations from earliest times. In the dualist universe there is only black and white. A disdain, indeed fear, of mixture haunts the Yankee soul; there is no room for any kind of multi- faceted identity, any hybridism.

As a people, La Raza combines three sets of roots - indigenous, European and African - all in widely varying degrees. In short we represent a profoundly un-American concept:

Mexicans in the U.S. also defy the either-or, dualistic mind in that, on the one hand, we are a colonized people displaced from the ancestral homeland with roots in the present-day U.S. that go back centuries. Those ancestors didn't cross the border; the border crossed them. At the same time many of us have come to the U.S. more recently as "immigrants" seeking work. The complexity of Raza baffles and frustrates most Anglos; they want to put one neat label on us. It baffles many Latinos too, who often end up categorizing themselves racially as "Other" for lack of anything better. For that matter, the term "Latino" which I use here is a monumental simplification; it refers to 20-plus nationalities and a wide range of classes.

But we need to grapple with the complexity, for there is more to come. If anything, this nation will see more

A glimpse at the next century tells us how much we need to look beyond the white/Black model of race relations and racism. White/Black are real poles, central to the history of U.S. racism. We can neither ignore them nor stop there. But our effectiveness in fighting racism depends on seeing the changes taking place, trying to perceive the contours of the future. From the time of the Greeks to the present, racism around the world has had certain commonalties but no permanently fixed character. It is evolving again today, and we'd best labor to read the new faces of this Hydra-headed monster. Remember, for every head that Hydra lost it grew two more.

Sometimes the problem seems so clear. Last year I showed slides of Chicano history to a Oakland high school class with 47 African Americans and three Latino students. The images included lynchings and police beatings of Mexicans and other Latinos, and many years of resistance. At the end one Black student asked, "Seems like we have had a lot of experiences in common - so why can't Blacks and Mexicans get along better?" No answers, but there was the first step: asking the question.

Sent by Dorinda Moreno



The Hook Up: Navy Flight Officer Lieutenant Roy Lopez 
The Boys of Company E by Joe Olvera ©, 2007
Heroes in the War on terror: Sgt. Scott Montoya
First Junior enlisted soldier to receive full military honors at Arlington
Joe Rivera Memorial
Brutus, First K9 to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor
Veterans History Project, Library of Congress: Browse by Last Name
Indians in the War

The Hook Up: Navy Flight Officer Lieutenant Roy Lopez 

The Hook Up: Navy Flight Officer Lieutenant Roy Lopez 
themun2 HOOK UP video > 13 year old Latina flies cross-country video

Navy flight officer Roy Lopez is in charge of millions of dollars worth of equipment. He's also responsible for many lives when it comes to prepping pilots and jets for take-off. Future top gun pilot candidate Breean Farfan has dreams of one day soaring above the clouds. Roy’s mission: can he prep this young (17 year-old) future pilot for flight?

Sent by Rafael Ojeda


The Boys of Company E
by Joe Olvera ©, 2007


Well, he may have been prepared for defeat, but, the Boys of Company E had no choice. They too knew that to attempt the crossing was suicidal, but they were brave, they were Chicanos and, yes, they loved their United States of America enough to sacrifice their lives. The Army buried the story; now, finally, the group of men and their commander, Capt. Navarrete, are receiving their due.
Posted on October 5, 2007
It was a cold, freezing night – January 21, 1944. The treacherous Rapido River in southern Italy awaited them. They were the Boys of Company E, 2nd Battalion, 36th Infantry Division, U.S. 5th Army. They were boys mostly from Bowie High School, but their Commander Gabriel L. Navarrete, had graduated from Cathedral High School. Company E was known as an experienced intelligence gatherer and knowledgeable about evaluating the enemy’s strength.
The Boys from Company E were known as a rough and tough unit, one of the best in the U.S. Army. When Navarrete was ordered to lead a patrol across the Rapido River to reconnoiter, to determine the position of the enemy and to find a suitable crossing point to get vital information on the strength of the Germans, he received his seventh wound in action. However, he did return to report that in his opinion, crossing the Rapido River would be suicide.
He wasn’t alone. General Fred Walker, Commander of the 36th Infantry Division, was quoted as saying: “I do not know of a single case in military history where an attempt to cross a river that is incorporated in the main line of resistance has succeeded. So, I am prepared for defeat.”
Well, he may have been prepared for defeat, but, the Boys of Company E had no choice. They too knew that to attempt the crossing was suicidal, but they were brave, they were Chicanos and, yes, they loved their United States of America enough to sacrifice their lives. These brave boys turned men did not hesitate. They attempted the crossing under cover of night.
Roque Segura was the strongest swimmer in the unit. He volunteered to swim across the Rapido to set up a rope system that included small boats, which the men could then use to get to the other side. The freezing water made it very difficult, but Segura swam across the river time and time again to get as many troops across as possible. Other men followed, other men died. Segura was killed by enemy fire. Others died by that same violent upheaval created by the German Army. Many men died.
Before the crossing, however, when then-Captain Navarrete had reported his findings to Walker, the General only told him that he admired what he had accomplished and, word has it, would recommend Navarrete for the Medal of Honor. Navarrete, however, wasn’t having it. He knew that his men were going to be murdered, decimated by the eagerly awaiting Germans. Navarrete told Walker that if his men were sacrificed, despite the report, he would go gunning for justice. Walker did not heed Navarrete’s report, however, and ordered the crossing to proceed. The disastrous crossing claimed the lives of more than 1,700 men – including the 300 all-Chicano company from El Paso.
When Navarrete heard that his men had been sacrificed after all, he went gunning for whoever had ordered the fatal crossing. The Army wasn’t about to allow that to happen, so Navarrete was transferred out of Italy and to a stateside hospital to recover from his wounds. For years, then, the Boys of Company E languished in obscurity, prevented by the Army from talking about the fiasco. It was a total blunder for which the U. S. Army has not accounted. For years, they were the forgotten heroes of World War II, a war in which more Hispanics received Medals of Honor than any other ethnic group.
But, no more. Thanks to efforts of such stalwarts as Silvestre Reyes, U.S. Rep., D-El Paso, City Rep. Beto O’Rourke, and his wonderful staff person Diana Ramirez, Peter Brock, who works with Reyes, Santos Super Sanchez, Javier Diaz, Esther Perez, Julieta Olvera, Robert Navarrete, David Navarrete, Ricardo Palacios Jr., yours truly, and many others without whose help this couldn’t be possible, the Boys of Company E are on the verge of getting their due rewards, their long-awaited recognition.
Even as I write this, three representatives are in Washington, D.C., where they will be honored, feted, wined and dined by Reyes and his staff and by members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. They will receive a Resolution honoring their military service. However, only one of the three is an original member of the Company. Those few who remain are too ill to travel. But, Ricardo Palacios Sr. was healthy enough to go. His son, Ricardo Palacios Jr., is accompanying his elderly father. Another important member of this little party is David Navarrete, the son of Company E Commander, Gabriel L. Navarrete. After all these years, finally, acknowledgement of their bravery, of their fearlessness, of their love of country, love of city – El Paso – and love for each other. They were the rough and tumble guys of Company E. Recognition and honors have finally arrived. Thanks to everyone who made this happen.


Scott Montoya
Heroes' Archive: Heroes in the War on Terror 

Sgt. Scott Montoya

  • Hometown: West Covina, CA
  • Awarded: The Navy Cross



Small-arms fire rained down on the men of Company F, 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marines. Both Iraqi civilians and Marines were injured. Pinned down, with the injured needing assistance, Sgt. Scott C. Montoya rushed through enemy fire while "repeatedly exposing himself to fire-swept streets," according to his Navy Cross award citation.

Montoya received the U.S. military's second-highest award at Camp Pendleton for heroism stemming from his actions on April 8, 2003, two weeks into Operation Iraqi Freedom.

With his firearm in one hand engaging the enemy and a badly bleeding Marine in the other, he fought their way 500 yards to safety. He returned to the cross-fire again and dragged another - who'd been dazed by the concussion of a grenade blast - to a casualty collection point. In all, he rescued four injured Marines and one Iraqi civilian out of harm's way, according to his citation.

Montoya's "extraordinary heroism" arose out of the battle for Baghdad.

Montoya described it this way:

"I saw a hurt Marine and all my training came into play. It wasn't a cognitive thing; I just saw the situation and cared for my Marines."

Sgt. Jose N. Sanchez, a supply clerk with 2/23, has known Montoya for six years and wasn't surprised when he heard the news.

"The level he went - it's above and beyond the call of anyone, even a Marine," Sanchez said, adding: "What matters to him are his Marines, not the awards or the actions he took."

Montoya received the award in front of family, friends and the men of his unit. Orange County Sheriff Michael S. Carona was also present.

A deputy sheriff in Orange County, Montoya drew praise from many of his co-workers - including Carona.
"He is a complete warrior," Carona said.

"Whether as a Marine or as a law enforcement figure, he is always putting the community or the country above his own personal safety."

Carona alluded to Montoya's rapid response under fire.

"These things happen in the blink of a second, and an individual has to decide to be a hero or not. He decided to be one."

In the end, Montoya said, “It's just a medal.”

"Service before self is something I teach in the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program," continued Montoya, a MCMAP instructor for his unit. "I feel the award represents the character of the Corps."

Col. Geffery L. Cooper, the battalion's commanding officer during Operation Iraqi Freedom, said Montoya's award was well-deserved.

"It means a great deal to me that the Corps can recognize such Marines of valor in combat,” said Cooper. (Montoya) is a man of integrity and leadership, and his loyalty is unquestionable. He is a great example and advocate for all reservists.”

Excerpts from article written by Lance Cpl. Daniel J. Redding, The Scout, MCB Camp Pendleton

Sent by Rafael Ojeda





First Junior enlisted soldier to receive full military honors at Arlington

By Gina Cavallaro - Staff writer
Posted : Friday Jan 16, 2009 

Spc. Joseph Hernandez, who died Jan. 9 in Afghanistan, will become the first junior enlisted soldier to receive full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. Until Jan. 1, this was only accorded to officers, Medal of Honor recipients and enlisted members who reach the highest possible enlisted rank of E-9.

Hernandez, 24, of Hammond, Ind., was killed by a roadside bomb while on patrol in Jaldak.

Two other soldiers, Maj. Brian Mescall, 33, of Hopkinton, Mass., and Sgt. Jason Parsons, 24, of Lenoir, N.C., were also killed.

The soldiers were with 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, Hohenfels, Germany.

Hernandez’s service is scheduled for Jan. 23, and his military honors will include band, casket team, bugler, escort platoon and a firing party.

“His family opted to proceed without the caisson, in order to schedule the earliest possible date,” Kaitlin Horst, spokesperson for Arlington National Cemetery, said in an e-mail message.

The decision to make full honors available to all enlisted soldiers was made in December by Army Secretary Pete Geren, who said the honors will also apply to members of other services if requested and authorized.

Army assets that currently support military funeral honors at Arlington, he said, will be made available for those funerals.

The Army secretary is the executive agent for all matters concerning Arlington, considered the nation’s most hallowed military cemetery.

Under the new funeral honors policy, eligible enlisted soldiers will be those who were killed as a result of:

• Any action against an enemy of the United States.

• Any action with an opposing armed force of a foreign country in which the U.S. military is or has been engaged.

• Action while serving with friendly foreign forces engaged in armed combat against an opposing armed force in which the U.S. is not a belligerent party.

• An act of any such enemy of opposing armed forces.

• An act of any hostile foreign force.

• An international terrorist attack against the U.S. or a foreign nation friendly to the U.S., recognized as such an attack by the Army secretary.

• Military operations while serving outside the territory of the U.S. as part of a peacekeeping force.

• Action by friendly fire — that is, non-enemy weapons fire while directly engaged in armed conflict, unless the soldier’s death was the result of the soldier’s willful misconduct.

Enlisted soldiers killed in a combat zone or hostile-fire area as the result of non-hostile actions not noted above will continue to receive standard military funeral honors at Arlington, the policy states.

“Arlington National Cemetery is an expression of our nation’s reverence for those who served her in uniform, many making the ultimate sacrifice,” Geren said in a statement released following his memo. “Arlington and those honored there are part of our national heritage. This new policy provides a unified basis for all Army soldiers killed in action.”

• Staff writer William H. McMichael contributed to this story. 
Sent by Rafael Ojeda



Joe Rivera Memorial

JOE RIVERA MEMORIAL - 5:15 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. AFGE National President John Gage joins the Metropolitan Police Department Honor Guard, Washington, D.C. area law enforcement officers, AFGE Council of Prison Locals President Bryan Lowry, and union activists from all 50 states for a candlelight vigil to honor the service and sacrifice of Jose Rivera, a federal correctional officer who was killed in the line of duty at the United States Penitentiary in Atwater, Calif. on June 20, 2008. Location: National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, 
E Street, between 4th and 5th Streets NW.

Sent by Joe Martinez, Ph.D.




First K9 to receive the 
Congressional Medal of Honor
Brutus won the Congressional Medal of Honor last year from his tour in Iraq . His handler and four other soldiers were taken hostage by insurgents. Brutus and his handler communicate by sign language and he gave Brutus the signal that meant 'go away but come back and find me'.

The Iraqis paid no attention to Brutus. He came back later and quietly took out one guard at one door and another guard at another door. He then jumped against one of the doors repeatedly (the guys were being held in an old warehouse) until it opened.

He went in and untied his handler and they all escaped.
Sent by Sally Gidaro



Veterans History Project, Library of Congress: Browse by Last Name 

This is a great web site for our readers to check on their families or friend veterans names. Also if the names or not recorded, its a good reminder to submit their names and stories to this web site.

Another excellent site.  It can be searched by ethnic preference. Sent by Rafael Ojeda


Image of cover.

WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060


Indians in the War

Honor for Indian Heroism
Awards for Valor (Lists)
Ceremonial Dances in the Pacific, by Ernie Pyle
A Choctaw Leads the Guerrillas
An Empty Saddle
We Honor These Dead (Lists)
Navajo Code Talkers, by MT/Sgt. Murrey Marder
Indians Fought on Iwo Jima
Wounded in Action (Lists)
Indians Work for the Navy, by Lt. Frederick W. Sleight
To the Indian Veteran
Indian Women Work for Victory
Prisoners of War Released
A Family of Braves
Indian Service Employees in the War

The material in this pamphlet was collected for the 1945 Memorial Number of Indians at Work, before the magazine was discontinued because of the paper shortage. Many devoted workers spent much time and effort to get these stories, and the photographs which accompany the lists were loaned by the families of the boys whose names will be found here. We wish to express our gratitude to all of those who made this record possible.

The casualty lists and the lists of awards and decorations continue those begun in Indians at Work for May-June 1943 and carried on in the November-December 1943, May-June 1944, and September-October 1944 issues. They are not complete, and it is hoped that when the peace has come, the whole story of the Indian contribution to the victory may be gathered up into one volume.

Awards of the Purple Heart have not been indicated here because every soldier wounded in action against the enemy is entitled to the decoration, and the award should be taken for granted.

NOVEMBER 1945: United States Department of the Interior--Office of Indian Affairs
Chicago 54, Illinois, Haskell Printing Department  2-15-46--15,000




Rancheros y Vaqueros, South Texas Families, Part I, Vicente Flores
Ernest Jerry Garcia was accepted into the Sons of American Revolution
El Regimento de La Luisiana
Granaderos at Special Bernardo de Galvez Commemoration in Mexico City
Patriots of Peru During the American Revolutionary War by Granville Hough, Ph.D.


Editor: Rancheros y Vaqueros is the first in a series on Tejano patriots, men and women who have the right to consider their ancestors, themselves and their descendants,  Patriots of the American Revolution. 



Rancheros y Vaqueros, South Texas Families, Part I

Vicente Flores: Tejano Patriot
Sylvia Carvajal Sutton
Daughters of the American Revolution National Society
Spanish Task Force
Edited by Robert R. Thonhoff


Vicente Flores, whose full name was Vicente de la Trinidad Flores de Ábrego y Valdéz, was born on February 28, 1757, in the Villa de San Fernando de Béxar (now San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas), to Francisco Flores de Ábrego y Valdéz and Doña Francisca Álvares Travieso. According to Vicente’s baptismal record, his Godfather was Franciso Flores de Ábrego of the Spanish Province of Coahuila. Doña Francisca was the daughter of Vicente Álvares Travieso and María Ana Perdomo y Umpienes Curbelo, both of whom were immigrants from the Canary Islands. Thusly, Vicente Flores was a direct descendant of two of the fifteen Canary Island families who arrived in the Villa de San Fernando de Béxar on March 9, 1731, and established the first civil government in Texas on August 1, 1731.


By the 1770s, the San Antonio River Valley was filled out with ranches belonging to the missions of Béxar and La Bahía (now called Goliad) and to private individuals, some of whom were Canary Islanders, who had received them by royal land grant. Francisco Flores de Ábrego received a grant for a ranch that he called El Rancho de los Chayopines (Ranch of the Chayopín Indians) near present Floresville, Texas , which, incidentally, was named after this pioneer family. In 1758 Vicente Álvares Travieso, who was the longtime first alguacil mayor, or sheriff, of the Villa de San Fernando de Béxar, acquired El Rancho de las Mulas (Ranch of the Mules), on the west side of the Arroyo del Cíbolo near present Stockdale in Wilson County.  After the death of Vicente Álvares Travieso on January 25, 1779 , Doña María became the owner of his Rancho de las Mulas, which she renamed as El Rancho de San Vicente de las Mulas in honor of her late husband. In the meantime, Vicente Flores, who descends from both the Flores de Ábrego and Travieso familes and who married first María Antonia de las Fuentes and second Ursina Carmona from  Nacogdoches, eventually became the owner and/or operator of the two ranches. On these Béxar-La Bahía ranches grazed great numbers of cattle—progenitors of the venerable Texas longhorn—that provided the connection between Texas and the American Revolution, and Vicente Flores is an important part of that story.


Spain declared War on Great Britain on June 21, 1779, and King Carlos III commissioned General Bernardo de Gálvez (after whom Galveston, Texas, is named) to raise an army and conduct a campaign against the British along the Gulf Coast and the Mississippi River. Initially Gálvez raised a force of 1400 men that took to the field in August 1779 and defeated the British in battles at Manchac, Baton Rouge, and Natchez. 
In March 1780, with land and sea forces numbering over two thousand men, he captured Fort Charlotte at Mobile. The climax to the Gulf Coast campaign occurred the following year when Gálvez directed a two-pronged land and sea attack on Pensacola, the British capital of West Florida . Over 7000 men, including a part of the French Fleet under Comte De Grasse, were involved in the two-month-long siege of Pensacola before its capture on May 10, 1781 . In the meantime, Spanish forces took control of the Mississippi River, over which great amounts of money and military supplies were sent to the American colonists.


In order to help feed his troops, Gálvez sent an emissary, Francisco García, from New Orleans to San Antonio de Béxar in June 1779 with a letter to the new Governor of Texas, Domingo Cabello, both requesting and formally authorizing the first official cattle drives out of Texas.  Initially, two thousand head of Texas cattle from mission and private ranches in the Béxar-La Bahía region were trailed to Gálvez’s forces in Louisiana. From 1779 to 1782 some ten to fifteen thousand head of cattle were rounded up on these ranches and trailed along the Camino Real de los Tejas from La Bahía to Nacogdoches, Natchitoches, and thence to Opelousas for distribution to Spanish forces under Gálvez.


Spanish Texas rancheros and their vaqueros, many of whom were mission Indians, trailed these cattle. Soldiers from the Presidio San Antonio de Béxar, El Fuerte del Cíbolo, and Presidio La Bahía escorted the herds. Vicente Flores was one of the Tejano ranchers who both provided and trailed the Texas cattle in these first Texas cattle drives that helped win the American Revolution from which we gained the freedom and opportunity that Americans still enjoy—and defend—today.


Spanish documents verify that Vicente Flores was one of the top ten major cattle exporters from 1779 to 1786, credited with exporting 1,259 head of cattle during this period, most of them trailed from Texas to Louisiana between 1779 and 1782. One can only imagine the difficulties and hardships along the way through forests, across rivers and swamps, and against hostile Comanches and Apaches.


After the American Revolution, Vicente Flores, a true Tejano patriot, continued to live in San Antonio and on his ranches until his death in San Antonio de Béxar on February 27, 1815 , just one day before his 58th birthday. He was buried in the Campo Santo (Cemetery) of San Fernando that eventually became Milam Park and was later re-interred in San Fernando Cemetery Number One.


I feel greatly honored to be one of his descendants.


                                                            Sylvia Ann Carvajal Sutton

                                                             San Antonio, Texas


Author: Sylvia Ann Carvajal Sutton 

Edited: Robert H. Thonhoff



Baptismal Records, Archives of San Fernando Cathedral, San Antonio , Texas  

Chabot, Frederick C. With the Makers of San Antonio (San Antonio, Texas: Artes Graficas, 1937)

Jackson, Jack. (Los Mesteños: Spanish Ranching in Texas , 1721-1821 ( College Station , Texas : Texas A&M University Press, 1986)

Thonhoff, Robert H. El Fuerte del Cíbolo: Sentinel of the Béxar-La Bahía Ranches (Austin, Texas: Eakin Press, 1992).


Thonhoff, Robert H. The Texas Connection with the American Revolution (Austin, Texas: Eakin Press, 1981).


Thonhoff, Robert H. The Vital Contribution of Texas in the Winning of the American Revolution ( Karnes City , Texas : Privately published by Robert H. Thonhoff, 2006).


Weddle, Robert S. and Robert H. Thonhoff. Drama & Conflict: The Texas Saga of 1776 (Austin, Texas: Madrona Press)



Ernest Jerry Garcia was accepted into the Sons of American Revolution
A  M O N T H L Y  P U B L I C A T I O N  B Y  T H E
S A C R A M E N T O  C H A P T E R  O F  T H E  S O N S  O F
T H E  A M E R I C A N  R E V O L U T I O N
October 2005
Volume 37, Issue 8

[Ernest Jerry Garcia was accepted into the Sons of American Revolution on the basis of an early Spanish soldier who was among the first discoverers of San Francisco Bay on October 31, 1769.   Plus read his military service.]

Ernest Jerry Garcia was born on April 17, 1937, in San Gabriel, California, and spent his childhood in San Gabriel where he attended parochial and public schools. He joined the US Army after high school and later attended various colleges and universities, including the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA, where he learned Chinese Mandarin and German. Ernie also speaks Spanish.

He is married to Helen Turner, and they currently reside in Folsom, CA. Ernie has two adult children, Lynn Garcia and Dale Eric Garcia from a former marriage, and two adopted adult children, Gary Irvin Wilkes-Garcia and Karen Dean Garcia -Zick.
Ernie retired from the US Army as Chief Warrant Officer.

Throughout his Army career, Ernie was a Counterintelligence Officer serving throughout the United States, Europe, Southeast Asia, Far East, Central and South America. He is also retired from Federal civilian service, and now works as a consultant for US Government agencies on security matters.

Ernie’s hobbies include gardening, fiddling, genealogy, reading and studying early California history. He is seventh generation Californian with his Spanish ancestors being part of the first Spanish land expedition to California in 1769, and who were with the first discoverers of San Francisco Bay on October 31, 1769.

Ernie’s application to join the Sons of the American Revolution was approved on September 7, 2005. His patriot ancestor, Manual Valenzuela, was a Spanish soldier stationed at the Royal Presidio in Santa Barbara, California. The Company Roster was prepared on October 30, 1781.





El Regimento de La Luisiana
The Spanish Louisiana Regiment, 1781




Welcome to the official website of El Regimento de La Luisiana,
a unit of living historians dedicated to faithfully replicating the life & times of the Spanish soldiers which fought the British in the American Revolution, and which garrisoned Spain's North American colony of Louisiana for over thirty years.

In 2002, individuals who had long replicated soldiers of the unit on their own came together to form a cohesive, single unit.  Since that time, the unit has taken part in various events around Louisiana and the Gulf Coast of the United States, including the annual "Prelude to the Siege of Baton Rouge, 1779" in Vicksburg, Mississippi (site of Spanish Fort Nogales), the Bicentennial Ceremony of the Louisiana Purchase, and various other local events. Our unit is generally based in and around Louisiana, with members also located in Texas, Missouri, Maryland, Mississippi, and Florida as well.  Membership in our unit is open to individuals 16 years of age and older. Basic requirements for participating with our unit are mainly: 1) meeting the minimum uniform requirements, and 2) paying the yearly dues to the Brigade of the American Revolution in order to attend B.A.R. events.
Sent by Bill Carmena





Granaderos at Bernardo de Galvez Commemoration in Mexico City

To all,

Two new photo albums are now on display in our website, along with others that were posted earlier in the year.  One new album shows photos taken at a special Bernardo de Galvez commemoration in Mexico City.  The ceremony was sponsored by the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Telmo and other groups from Madrid and Macharaviaya.

Stateside participating groups included the Nat. Soc. of the Daughters of the American Revolution, and the San Antonio and Houston chapters of the Granaderos y Damas de Galvez .  I am writing a report of this important commemoration and will add it to our website in the near future.

The other new album shows photos of our Christmas Luncheon 2008.
Some of these photos were taken by my son, Sam; others, by Frank Galindo, and me. 
We'll post any other digital photos taken of this activity by anyone else in attendance.

To view the photos:
1. Click on the following hypertexted address to our website: 
2. Click on the "Media" tab, 
3. Click on the "Online Photo Albums" tab, 
4. Click on the photo album you desire to see.

Thanks for making 2008 a highly successful year!

Best regards,
Joel Escamilla, Governor, Founding Chapter


Granville Hough, Ph.D.

Part 17: (Surnames T through U.)


Santiago Tabara. Alf, Mil Discip Dragones de Querocotillo Piura, 1795. Leg 7285:XXIII:16.
Fernando Taboada. Lt,Mil Discip Cab de Huaura, 1797. Leg 7287:XIX:13.
Antonio Tafur. Capt, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Huánuco, 1796. Leg 7286:V:7.
Dámaso Tafur. Lt, Mil prov Urbanas Dragones de Chota, 1797. Leg 7287:XIII:14.
Francisco Tafur. Lt, Mil Inf Española de San Juan de la Frontera de Chachapoyas, 1792. Leg 7284:VI:15.
José Manuel Tafur. Cadet, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Chota, 1787. Leg 7287:XIII:57.
Juan José Tafur. Lt, Mil Prov urbanas Dragones de Chota, 1797. Leg 7287:XIII:13.
Justo Tafur de Cordoba. Lt, Mil Inf Española San Juan de la Frontera de Chachapoyas, 1792. Leg 7284:VI:16.
José Bernardo Tagle. Alf, Mil Discip Dragones de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXIV:49.
Pedro Tagle. Capt, Inf Real de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXII:15.
José Antonio Tagle Bracho. Sgt Mayor, Mil Discip Dragones de Arica, 1796. Leg 7286:II:4.
Buena Ventura Talavera. SubLt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Arequipa, 1800. Leg 7288:I:54.
Pedro José Talavera. Sgt, Comp sueltas Inf Española Mil Discip Inmemorial del Rey, 1792. Leg 7284:VII:7.
Bartolomé Tamayo. Lt, Mil Urbanas Inf de Moquegua, 1797. Leg 7287:XXVI:17.
José Joaquin Tamayo. Cadet, Mil Discip Dragones de Arica, 1800. Leg 7288:II:61.
Mateo Tamayo. Alf, Comp Mil Discip Pardos de Cab de Regimiento de Ferreñafe, 1797. Leg 7287:XV:3.
Bernandino Tanola. SubLt, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf Abancay, 1793. Leg 7284:II:65.
Martín Tapia. Alf, Mil Prov urbanas Cab de Huanta, 1798. Leg 7286:XVII:17.
Eusebio Tapia y Zuñiga. Alf, Mil Prov Discip Dragones del Valle de Majes, 1797. Leg 7287:XXV:27.
Miguel Taranco. Sgt, Mil Discip Dragones de Lima, 1796. Leg 7286:XI:66.
Ildefonso Tarraga. Lt, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Abancay, 1793. Leg 7284:II:17.
Carlos Tejada. Sgt, Mil Discip Cab Arequipa, 1792. Leg 7284:XIII:42.
Domingo Tejada. Sgt, Mil Urbanas Cab San Pablo Chalaquez, 1798. Leg 7287:XI:43.
José Tejada. Lt, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Celendín, Partido de Cajamarca, 1797. Leg 7287:IX:19.
Juan de Dios Tejada. Sgt, Mil Prov Discip de Cab de Arequipa, 1797. Leg 7287:II:57.
Mariano Tejada. Lt, Mil Urbanas Cab San Pablo de Chalaguez, 1797. Leg 7287:XI:23.
Mariano Ignacio Tejada. Mil Discip Inf de Cuzco, 1800. Leg 7286:XXIV:4.
Casimiro Tejeda. SubLt, Bn Prov Mil Discip Inf Española de Lima, 1792. Leg 7284:VIII:32.
Juan Bautista Tejeda. Sgt, Bn Prov Mil Discip Inf Española de Lima, 1794. Leg 7285:VIII:49.
Pascual Tejeda. Sgt, Mil Discip Cab de Trujillo, Perú, 1800. Leg 7288:XXXI:22.
Evaristo Tejeda y Salazar. Ayudante Mayor Mil Prov Discip Inf de Arequipa, 1800. Leg 7288:I:42.
Manuel Tejedo. Sgt 1st de la 7th Comp, Mil Españolas Cab de Luya y Chillaos, Prov de Chachapoyas, 1792. Leg 7284:XX:16.
Blas de Telleria. Lt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Carabayllo, 1797. Leg 7287:VII:17.
Juan Tello. Lt, Dos Coms sueltas de Mil urbanas de Inf de Anco, 1797. Leg 7287:I:5.
Manuel Tello. Sgt, Mil Discip Dragones de Lima, 1792. Leg 7284:XIX:15.
Martín Tello. Cadet, Inf Real de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXII:124.
Victorino Tenorio. Capt, Mil Prov Discip de Inf de Casttro, Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:IX:26.
José Terri. Ayudante. Mil Prov Urbanas Cab de Huamalies, 1800. Leg 7288:XVII:13.
Francisco Terrones. Sgt, Mil Prov de Dragones de Carabayllo, 1800. Leg 7288:IV:31.
Cipriano Teves. Ayudante Mayor, Mil Discip Cab de los Valles de Nasca 6 Palpa, 1797. Leg 7287:XXXI:17.
José Teves. Lt, Mil Discip Cab de los Valles de Palpa y Nasca, 1797. Leg 7287:XXXI:16.
Juan Evangelista Teves. Lt, Mil Discip Cab de los Valles de Palpa y Nasca, 1797. Leg 7287:XXXI:2.
Rafael Tiendas y Porras. SubLt, Bn Prov Mil Discip Inf Española de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXIII:49.
Gregorio Tinajero. Sgt, Mil Prov de Cab de Cuzco, 1797. Leg 7287:X:38.
José Tirado. SubLt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Inf de San Antonio de Cajamarca, 1797. Leg 7287:III:21.
Juan Tirado. Lt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de San Antonio de Cajamarca, 1797. Leg 7287:III:16.
Juan Antonio Tirado. Capt, Mil Discip de Cab de Huaura, 1797. Leg 7287:XIX:3.
Juan Pio Tirado. Lt, Mil Prov Discip inf de Arequipa, 1800. Leg 7288:I:33.
Manuel Tirado y Abril. Alf, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Arequipa, 1800. Leg 7288:I:52.
Pedro Tiznado. Sgt, Mil Urbanas Cab de San Pedro de Chalaquez, 1798. Leg 7287:XI:46.
Justo Toledo. Lt, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Urubamba, 1797. Leg 7287:XXXVIII:14.
Manuel de Toro. Lt, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Huambos, Partido Cajamarca, 1797. Leg 7287:XVII:12.
Benito de la Torre. Cadet Comp sueltas Mil Discip Inf de Ica, 1800. Leg 7288:XIX:23.
Diego de la Torre. Capt, sueltas Mil Discip Inf de Ica, 1800. Leg 7288:XIX:4.
Diego de la Torre. SubLt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:IX:62.
Felipe Antonio de la Torre. Capt, Mil Prov Discip Dragones del Valle de Majes, 1797. Leg 7287:XXV:5.
Gregorio de la Torre. Capt, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Chota, 1797. Leg 7287:XIII:8.
Jerónimo de la Torre. Alf, Mil Discip Cab de Trujillo, Perú, 1800. Leg 7288:XXXI:20.
José de la Torre. Lt, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Quispicanchi, Cuzco, 1798. Leg 7286:XX:12.
José Elias de la Torre. Portaguión, Mil Discip Dragones de Acari y Chala, 1796. Leg 7286:I:23.
Juan de la Torre. Sgt, Mil Discip Inf de Lambayeque, 1797. Leg 7287:XXII:29.
Miguel de la Torre. Sgt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:IX:102.
Nicolás de la Torre. Capt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Arequipa, 1792. Leg 7284:III:21.
Nicolás de la Torre. SubLt, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Abancay, 1793. Leg 7284:II:57.
Miguel de la Torre y Sanchez. Lt, Mil Discip Cab de Ferreñafe, 1797. Leg 7287:XIV:26.
Miguel Torrejon y Velasco. Col, Mil Discip Inf de Cuzco, 1800. Leg 7286:XXIV:1.
Agustín Vicente de Torres. Lt Col, grad Col, Inf Real de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXII:2.
Andrés Torres. Cadet, Mil Prov Urbanas Cab de Huanta, 1794. Leg 7285:III:45.
Aniceto Torres. Sgt, Mil Discip Cab Arnero de Chancay, 1800. Leg 7288:III:32.
Bartolomé Torres. SubLt, Mil Inf Española San Juan de la Frontera de Chachapoyas, 1792. Leg 7284:VI:22.
Enrique Torres. Sgt, Mil Discip Dragones de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXIV:68.
Eusebio Torres. Cadet, Mil Urbanas Cab de San pablo de Chalaquez, 1792. Leg 7284:XVIII:48.
Gervasio Torres. SubLt, Mil Inf Española San Juan de la Frontera de Chachapoyas, 1792. Leg 7284:VI:25.
Graciano de Torres. Capt, Mil Urbanas Dragones de Palma, Partido de Jauja, 1800. Leg 7288:XXI:9.
José Torres. Sgt, Mil Urbanas Cab de San Pablo Chalaquez, 1797. Leg 7287:XI:52.
José Antonio Torres. Cadet, Mil Prov Urbanas Cab de Huanta, 1794. Leg 7285:III:42.
José Gabriel Torres. Cadet, Mil Prov Urbanas Cab de Huanta, 1794. Leg 7285:III:41.
Manuel Torres. Sgt Mayor, Mil Prov Dragones de Chota, 1797. Leg 7287:XIII:4.
Manuel de Torres. SubLt de Granaderos, Inf Real de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXII:54.
Manuel Francisco Torres. Alf, Mil Discip Dragones de Lima, 1800. Leg 7289:XXIV:60. (It appears the Leg should be 7288.)
Marcelo Torres. Sgt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Castro Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:IX:87.
Martin Torres. Sgt, Mil Discip Dragones de Tumbez, Piura, 1795. Leg 7285:XXIII:25.
Nicolás Torres. Lt, Mil Inf Española San Juan de la Frontera de Chachapoyas, 1792. Leg 7284:VI:13.
Pedro Torres. Sgt, Mil Urbanas Dragones de Carabayllo, 1797. Leg 7287:VII:35.
Romualdo de Torres. Sgt, Mil Inf Española San Juan de la Frontera de Chachapoyas, 1792. Leg 7284:VI:31.
Santiago de Torres. Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Carabayll9o, 1797. Leg 7287:VII:38.
Juan de Torres y Arrendondo. Capt, Mil Discip Dragones de pueblo de Querocotillo, Piura, 1795. Leg 7285:XXIII:7.
Angel Torres y Mato. Capt actuartelado, Mil Discip Inf de Cuzco, 1800. Leg 7286:XXIV:8. (The duty of this officer is not clear, but it may have been something like billeting officer.)
Juan Capistrano Torrico. Lt, Bn Prov Mil Discip Inf Española de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXIII:11.
Pablo Travitazo. Sgt, Inf Real de Lima, 1788. Leg 7283:II:124.
Pedro Trecierra. Capt, Inf del Real Asiento de Paucartambo, 1798. Leg 7286:XIX:7.
Francisco Trelles Castro. Cadet, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Chota, 1797. Leg 7287:XIII:56.
Juan Trillo. Sgt, Mil Inf Española de San Juan de la Frontera Chachapoyas, 1792. Leg 7284:VI:36.
Domingo Tristan y Moscoso. Comandante, Mil Discip Dragones de Lima, 1792. Leg 7284:XIX:72. This may be the same person as the next entry for a Col, Mil Prov Discip de Dragones del Valle de Majes, 1797. Leg 7287:XXV:1.
José Joaquin Tristan y Murquiz. Lt Col, Mil Discip, Cab de Camaná, 1798. Leg 7286:XIV:2.
Ramón Troconiz. Capt, grad Lt Col, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Abancay, 1793. Leg 7284:II:44.
José Troncoso. Cadet, Mil Prov Urbanas Cab de Huanta, 1794. Leg 7285:III:40.
José Trujillo. Alf, Mil Prov de Cab del Valle de Chincha, 1797. Leg 7287:XII:30.
Juan Trujillo. Sgt Mayor, Mil Prov Discip de Cab del Valle de Chincha, 1797. Leg 7287:XII:3.
Juan Trujillo. Ayudante, Comp sueltas de Inf del partido de Carelmappu, Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:XIII:1.
Mariano Trujillo. Alf, Mil Prov de Cab de Huánuco, 1797. Leg 7286:VI:18.
Rudesindo Trujillo. Lt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Cab de Huánuco, 1797. Leg 7286:VI:13.
Marcos Trujillo y Ordoñez. Cadet, Inf Real de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXII:130.
Baltasar Tufiño. Lt, Bn Prov de Mil de Pardos Libres de Lima, 1796. Leg 7286:XII:27.

Lucas Ubalde. Lt, Mil Discip de Dragones de Caraveli, 1797. Leg 7287:VIII:13.
Juan de Ubillos. Sgt, Escuadrón Cab Mil Urbanas de los territorios de Huancabamba y Chalaco, Piura, 1800. Leg 7286:XXVI:9.
Leon Antonio Ubillos. Capt, Escuadrón Cab Mil Urbanas de los territorios de Huancabamba y Chalaco, Piura, 1800. Leg 7286:XXVI:2. 
José Mariano de Ugarte. Cadet, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Quispicanci, Cuzco, 1798. Leg 7286:XX:39.
Lorenzo Ugarte. Capt, Comandante, Mil Prov Discip de Dragones de Arica, 1795. Leg 7285:XI:3.
Francisco de Ugaz. Lt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Huambos, Partido de Cajamarca, 1787. Leg 7287:XVII:11.
Manuel Claudio Ullauri. SubLt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Arequipa, 1800. Leg 7288:I:44.
Antonio Ulloa. Sgt 1st Comp Sueltas de Mil Discip de Cab del Partido de Carelmapu, Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:XIV:3.
Gregorio Ulloa. Lt, Mil Urbanas de Inf de Huamanga, 1800. Leg 7288:XV:14.
Pedro Ulloa. Sgt 1st Comp sueltas Inf del Partido de Carelmapu, Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:XIII:11.
Feliciano Urbina. Lt, Mil Discip de Cab de Huaura, 1797. Leg 7287:XIX:8.
Gregorio Urbina. Alf, Mil Discip de Cab de Huaura, 1797. Leg 7287:XIX:16.
Rafael Urbina. Ayudante Mil Discip de Inf de Cuzco, 1792. Leg 7284:V:4.
Mateo Urdanegui. Lt, Mil Discip de la 8th Comp de Cab de Pardos Libres de Trujillo, 1797. Leg 7287:XXXVII:2.
Apolinar Ureta. Cadet, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Arequipa, 1800. Leg 7288:I:87.
Inocente Ureta. Sgt 1st Mil Dragones Prov de las fronteras de Tarma, 1800. Leg 7288:XXIX:46.
José Ureta. SubLt, grad, Inf Real de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXII:82.
Manuel Antonio Ureta. Cadet, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Arequipa, 1800. Leg 7288:I:92.
Mariano Ureta. Cadet, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Aarequipa, 1800. Leg 7288:I:91.
Antonio de Uria. Lt Col, Comp sueltas, Mil Discip Inf de Ica, 1800. Leg 7288:XIX:1.
José Antonio de Uria. Alf de Cab, Mil Discip Cab de Ica, 1797. Leg 7287:XX:35.
Alberto Urias Butron. Lt, Mil Discip Cab de Cumaná, 1795. Leg 7285:XII:18.
Andrés Uribe. Sgt 1st, Mil Discip de Cab de Huaura, 1797. Leg 7287:XIX:26.
Eusebio Uribe. Capt, Mil Prov Discip de Cab de Ica, 1795. Leg 7285:XV:7.
José Uribe. Sgt, 1st, Mil Prov Discip de Cab de Ica, 1795. Leg 7285:XV:46.
José Luis Uribe. Sgt, 1st Mil discip de Cab de Ica, 1800. Leg 7288:XX:37.
Martín Uriel. Sgt, 1st, Mil Discip de Dragones de Arica, 1796. Leg 7286:II:61.
Domingo Urquijo. Lt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Lambayeque, 1797. Leg 7287:XXII:16.
Juan de Urquizu. Lt, Veterano, grad Capt, Mil Discip de Dragones de Lima,1800, Leg 7288:XVIV:27.
Manuel Urzaiz. Sgt 1st de Granaderos, Inf Real de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXII:92.
Juan Francisco Urribarre. Cadet, Inf Real de Lma, 1800. Leg 7288:XXV:141.
José Urribarri. SubLt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Inf de Huanta, 1800. Leg 7288:XVIII:47.
Pedro Urribarri. Lt, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Huanta, 1800. Leg 7288:XVIII:28.
Ventura Urriola. Portaguión, Mil Discp Dragones de Lima, f1792. Leg 7284:XIX:65.
José Félix Urrunaga. Cadet, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Chota, 1797. Leg 7287:XIII:61.
José Manuel Urrunaga. Alf, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Chota, 1797. Leg 7287:XIII:34. 
Jose Manuel de Urrunaga. Col, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Chota, 1797. Leg 7287:XIII:1.
Anastasio Urrutta. Sgt, 1st, Mil Discip de Cab Arnero de Chancay, 1800. Leg 7288:III:29.
Tomás Utiniano. Capt, Mil Prov Urbanas Cab de Huamalies, 1800. Leg 7288:XVII:9.
Manuel Utrilla. Capt, Bn Prov de Milicias de Pardos Libres de Lima, 1796, Leg 7286:XII:20.
Esteban Uztariz. Sgt, Mil Prov Discip de Inf de Arequipa, 1800. Leg 7288:I:77.
(to be continued.) Compilation of  Hough's work

SURNAMES: Flores/Florez


Wednesday, August 25, 1993 *Excelsior*

Volviendo a Nuestras Raices
Conozca el Origen del Apellido


In the united States the surname Flores (flowers) is the 16th most popular surname among modern Hispanic families.  Known since the 1100s and extended throughout Spain during the reconquest.  No common ancestor of origin.  The given name Froyla or Fruela, were patronymic for Froylez or Frolaz from which Florez came.

The earliest Flores in Nueva Espana is Francisco Flores in Santo Domingo in 1510 who joined the 1520 Narvaez entrada into Mexico.  Francisco Flores was joined by another Flores, Cristoval on the Cortes entrada into Mexico City in 1521.  Both received land grants in and around Mexico City.

Expansion north brought a Pedro flores into Saltillo in 1605.  He became a prominent office-holder in the city of Saltillo.  He had 5 sons and one daughter, Pedro, Nicolas, Tomas, Diego, Juan and Clara. A Pedro Flores, (possibly the son) served as the city attorney in Monterrey in 1642, 1654, 1658, 1661, and 1663 and was appointed acting mayor by the city council in 1670.

There were many Flores in northeast Mexico and Mexas in the colonial period, particularly in San Antonio.  It is very popular in Texas today.  The largest concentration of the surname is in Los Angeles and Houston, most are of Mexican ancestry.

Vivica Scott of San Francisco traces a direct maternal line back to early grandparents from Nuevo Leon, Mexico, JOSE NICOLAS FLORES and Maria Isabel Saenz (married c.1755) through their son Jose Vicente Flores married (c.1780) to Maria Gertrudis Salinas.  

Son Leonardo Flores married Maria Teodora de la Pena, June 15, 1807 in Sabinas Hidalgo, Nuevo Leon.  Two of their children were daughters, Prima Feliciana Flores and Maria de Las Nieves Flores, whose children, first cousins, married one another.

Marriages between cousins was not encouraged, but not uncommon.  Isolation of communities and tight family clans in friendship over the generations with other families frequently brought young people together in marriages requiring church investigation of sanguinity through blood or marriage. Dispensations from the Catholic Church were required for the marriage to be allowed.  Why this couple was allowed to marry is unknown.  A case on file showed a young man's petition for marriage, listing 17 young ladies ineligible because of familial closeness.

Thus on Miss Scott's pedigree are two Flores grandmothers, sisters, Prima Feliciana Flores and Maria de Las Nieves Flores.  

Prima Feliciana Flores (married June 6, 1827) Jose Dionicio Chapa.  Their son Anestacio, married his first cousin Maria Teodora Sanchez, daughter of his aunt Maria de Las Nieves Flores and Juan Jose Sanchez.  

The son of the marriage of Anestacio Flores and Maria Teodora Sanchez was Alberto Chapa, born in Sabinas Hidalgo, April 7, 1879.  Alberto is Miss Scott's great, great, great grandfather.  "I wish I knew more.  Maybe someday the connection with the original Pedro Flores will be made."

Other Surnames on this line: Sanchez, Pena, Salinas, Saenz
Compiled by Mimi Lozano, member of the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research.





She's the One by Mark Marquez
Changemakers is an initiative of Ashoka: About Dorinda Moreno
Kiko El Callejero, Andaliego, Arrimado y Engrido by Frank Sifuentes
A Stab at Canicas con La Connie Munoz that made me See Stars by Frank Sifuentes
Joaquin Murrieta Ride by Ben Romero

"She's the One"

If only Mom were here to give her seal of approval.
By Mark Marquez, Estancia, New Mexico
March, 2007



Mom was a fixer. Whether it was as simple as sewing a button back on a pair of faded overalls for one of her eight children, or repairing a broken tractor on the farm she ran single-handedly while holding down a full-time job, there was nothing she couldn't fix. And that included people, too. I'd often come home from school in the afternoons to find her sitting with a stranger at the kitchen table, sipping the cup of coffee that was forever in her hand.

"Who's that, Mom?" I'd ask once they'd gone. Mom would always take off her glasses, rub her eyes and say the same thing: "Just someone with a problem, who needed to talk." That's exactly what I was now, only Mom couldn't fix this problem for me.

Oh, she'd tried. On my wedding day, in particular. I'd been so careful with my new suit that morning. I had wanted everything to go perfectly: to settle down and make Mom proud. But I'd had second thoughts lately. The whole thing was happening so fast. And then my fiancée was late to the ceremony.

"She's not the one, Mark," Mom told me, standing there in a fancy dress. "It's not too late to call this off."

"But Mom! What about all the food? All those people?"

"Don't you worry," she said. "I can fix all that. The important thing is, she's not the one."

I knew Mom was right. But I was young and headstrong, and so eager to start a family of my own. I convinced my mother, and myself, that these were just cold feet. I went through with the wedding. Mom died of complications from diabetes a year later. My wife and I spent the next nine years trying to save the marriage we should never have rushed.

Now I was divorced, and my ex-wife and two children had moved clear across the state. Meanwhile I was barely making ends meet working as a mechanic in a factory. That's when I met Louise. 

Louise had long blonde hair, soft eyes and a constant smile. Although what I first noticed about her was how easy she was to talk to. And we had plenty of time to talk, side by side, while I fixed the machines Louise worked on. It was the first time since Mom died that I'd found someone I could open up to. Louise was a great listener and, divorced with two kids herself, she really understood my problems.

Soon we were eating lunch together in the cafeteria. Louise knew money was tight for me and would pretend to make too much lunch for herself "by accident." Our conversations were continuing well past quitting time. It didn't take long for me to realize I was in love. I felt like the luckiest man alive when Louise said she was in love with me, too. 

Louise and I spent all of our free time together, and eventually I introduced her to my family. But whenever Louise talked about marriage, I'd get nervous and change the subject. After the divorce I lost a lot of confidence in myself and my decisions. I knew Louise and I were right for each other: I'd never been so happy. She was my best friend. We could finish each other's sentences! But marriage had gone so badly for me before.

Maybe I'm just not cut out for that kind of life,
I thought. I needed an objective opinion. From someone I could trust. Someone who knew me. Someone who was used to giving good advice. Someone like Mom. 

After Mom died one of my brothers and I took over the farm, but my mother's house was sold out of the family. I'd taken Louise to the farm many times, but she'd never seen the home I grew up in. One day I went to see the new homeowner about some hay baling that needed to be done on his portion of the property. I took Louise with me. We walked up to Mom's old front porch, and I knocked on the door. No answer. I promised Louise we would come back another time to look around inside. As we turned to leave, Louise stopped.  

"I've been here before," she said quietly, staring out across the field. 

"What?" I asked. 

"I've been here before! Or at least I have been in a dream. I was sitting right here, on these steps, and there was a woman with me—an older woman. She was wearing glasses and drinking a steaming cup of coffee." 

Louise said she'd had the dream a while back, right after we started dating. She hadn't thought about it again until now. "It was evening, and there was a nice breeze. The woman and I sat together for a long while." 

"Did she say anything to you?"  "That was the strange part," Louise replied. "She said, 'You're the one.  That's it. Otherwise we sat in silence." 

From that day on I didn't get that nervous feeling when I thought about a future with Louise. I knew as if the words had come straight from Mom's lips: "She's the one."

We've been married 13 years. And besides the four children we had between us when we met, we've got two more. We have a farm as well, and our own porch steps. Many times I've looked over at Louise sitting on those steps and realized how much like Mom she is. You see, Louise is a fixer, too. She single-handedly fixed one man's broken heart. Well, with a little help from an angel, who came to her in a dream and said those three little words that only I would understand. 



Changemakers is an initiative of Ashoka
About Dorinda Moreno


This is how Dorinda is a Changemaker:

From my beginnings born to a Mescalero Apache father and Mexican mother, who began as farm laborers in the 40-50's, and resettled in San Francisco where together they developed a circle of extended famiies with people from throughout Mexico, Central & South America and the world. As a close family unit, our parent's lived in service to the community and being our brothers keeper. As a youth and then young mother, attended SF State, became involved with Alcatraz and the founding of a native-Chicano university, DQU (D-Quetzalcoatl University) which today is 40 years. I have served for the duration in service to its ideals as inspired by Richard Oakes, Mohawk leader of the Alcatraz Occupation/Indians of All Tribes/As Long As the Grass Shall Grow. Also, instituted La Raza, Native, Women studies and curriculum, publications, theatre, and numerous project for social change, youth leadership development, indigenous history and rights, global friendship circles, anti-war, in respect for our Mother Earth and All Our Relations. 

The place for which Dorinda feels a fondness or connection:
New Mexico is the Land of Enchantment of my father and mother who joined two families, villages, honoring living in harmony. Though at times, the land is harsh, its lessons teach one to be strong in survival. Grandfather helped tame the land for the green chile, and red for tamales and chile con carne. Where big skies, fluffy clouds, and wonderful sunsets, compliment the summer rains bringing the most clean of aroma's from the rich red soil that offers the pottery and colors for dying wool, and the paints for the artifacts made by one's hand. The gift of a wonderful double rainbow, after a good rain. Here the paisano, known to most as the road runner, is the New Mexico official bird-- which makes its way onto our souls for holding sacred the legends of the ancestors. 

The change Dorinda passionately wants to happen:
The peace, harmony and respect that comes from work that happens when humanity receives the dally lessons presented from adversity, and who struggle together toward resolve: our gifts are received from the elders who have passed down the crafts of those before them, and that technology has slowly threatened by diminishing, and which we must protect from being withered away. These, must be preserved by those who work in maintaining the respect for the knowledge and imperativeness of traditions, ethics, and the values of being one with nature, the land, and the seasons. We use all modern technologies in restoring the gifts of the past from the traditions and gifts of wisdom of the wise ones for passing to the new generations. By all artistic and academic means necessary. Aho! 

I am a teacher, communicator, theatrist, poet, writer, novelist, cultural worker, grassroots internet'worker', convenor of elders, intergenerational mentor & guide, sister, mother, great grandmother, and friend. Have several publications that have been turned into performing arts themes and integrated into theatre sketches, and yet plan developing a play on the too brief life of leader and brave warrior of the Alcatraz Occupation, Richard Oakes, with his daughter Fawn Oakes, son, Richard Jr., and widow, Annie Oakes. Am mentor to the beloved elder, Norma Knight, Pomo, (Elders Caravan to Chiapas; respected God-mother of DQ University & 30-year member of Board of Directors.) Also, I aspire in developing a Cultural Commission that is recognized globally as the connect of Indigenous Artists, Educators, Activists, everywhere in the Four Directions, for uniting the Global family of humankind, to walk together in dignity in respect of the wise ones who have left us their gifts of knowledge. 


Kiko El Callejero, Andaliego, Arrimado y Engrido Pa' Cabarla de Fregar
by Frank Sifuentes


The title I am giving in writing this story essay of my life is a daunting one. However,
it nevertheless describes what became the pattern of my existence from the time
our father -Benito Cazarez Sifuentes - died in late March 1938: Over 70 years ago.

Amazingly, I remember vividly my father's velorio: his wake.  His coffin was placed next to Western side of la sala, the living room of Mamagrande's home with his head to the South. And by late evening a large number of relatives and friends had come to offer their condolences and to join our family in grieving over his tragic death.

And all Carmen, Ben and the rest his offspring could do was experience the trauma of the loss of his precious life. The curtains of our incessant play were closed, indeed.

I recall the pity many of the mourners heaped on me, when they first saw me. Some of them picked me up to express affection by pressing a few pennies in my right palm. It only added to my astonishment over the entire occurrence.

Why, I had to wonder, are folks giving me pennies, as if I was being rewarded for losing
my father.. so to speak! (The same thing happened the next say when funeral hearst arrived
and his body was placed in it to be taken to the cementery.)

Since we were still at the age of la lampara, the coal fuel lamp, the entire experience became mystical.

The night before the women had been in mourning agony, particularly Mamagrande, Juanita and our mother Clotilde, who was in total despair, not knowing what was going to happen to her -and to us, her five children: Ben, Jr. 9, Carmen, 7, me, 6, Juanita, 4, and Mary, 2.

The men had gathered in front and were passing whiskey bottles around and smoking cigarettes. Whether, they were imbibing alcohol to remember or to forget, I obviously cannot say.

The saying - el dicho - que los hombres no deben de llorar (that men are not supposed to cry) was in full play. And surely it remained clear that a man cannot weaken.  I may even be able to claim that I remember being carried to be put into the black limosine, to be with mama, Ben and Carmen to ride behide our father being transport to his place of burial.

Of course my right hand was filled with pennies and I had more of them in my pocket: a sort
of mini-bonanza for having become orphaned of my dad. Surely it was bound to become a
source of guilt in my life, never fully erased

Benny was sitting on our mom's left and Carmen was on his right. They both were crying
uncontrollably, with mama in agony, as the limo descended via the narrow alley, filled with
stones and bumps, ever slowly until it reach the smooth and still relatively Eastern road
of La Calle Ancha, with the contrast of smoothness accelerating speed toward the cemetery.

The burial was very well attended since we had a large extended family, who also had many friends. And because our father was known as a caring and generous person. I remember how amazed some friends of the family were, and noted they had never seen so many cars lined up ready to follow the hearse with our father's corpse. In fact, when I heard the this amazement expressed I looked up the hill of East 9th and was unable to the the end of the line of cars; so I took off running and saw how the cars extended to the other side of Lydia. It has been long indeed considering that from Mamagrande's house to Lydia was well over two city blocks.

I remember best that Tio Tono had picked me up to sit me on his lap, while the on the spot funeral services were being conducted. No one could have provided me with most comfort uncle Tony. His eyes and his facial features were much like our father's. And to this day I vividly recalled his stoic stone face, with large tears streaming down his cheeks.

Most of all I recall seeing how totally distressed mama had become, and almost imagine her wanting to throw herself on dad's coffin, as the expression of a real desire to be buried with him: as I later say women in Italian movies. (Mama, remained frank about this, telling us freely that she literally wanted to die. She also related the story of how she could not stop crying, until one night our father appeared to her in a dream in which she could see him as clearly as in real life: and that he told her to stop crying, and assured her he would always be watching over us. Something I literally believed all my life: what better
way to express a feeling of profound gratitude for the wonderful life we the Sifuentes have had; and namely that we all have had a long life: Ben is 80. Carmen will be 78 in March, and I will be 77 in late May. Juanita will be 76 in March and Mary -the baby -will turn 74. And we had 20 off-spring: plus 47 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.

The days that followed the burial, remained tearful because Mama and Mamagrande Juanita could not stop grieving.  As if was, it had only been the year before that Papagrande Antonio died And now both she and Mama were forced to face life without a husband provider.

Carmen and Ben were still in shock and in grief. For Carmen had been my dad's Princess and Ben had been passed the mantle of the man in the family, at age 9., a few hours before our father died.

"Take care of Kiko" were the last words he had heard from my father's mouth. And I have to wish he had not taken it so literally; for his own clear need to pursue happiness.
It was totally unfair to him. Most of all because as his three year younger brother I became destined to become a callejero, arrimabo and in a concrete manner, a free spirit.

Therefore, when our father was - in a manner of speaking - was still warm in his grave, I was already wandering off, all the way to the French Legion remains, on the corner of 9th and Lydia: an area where I would not have been able to hear my father's whistle announcing that if we did not show up immediately there were nalgadas to be had. (a spanking)

From that moment on mama - when she saw I was no where near - would ask: "Donde esta Kiko?" and then tell Benny to go looking for me. 

In terms of my love for freedom I have to say that Ben was never able to convince me that he had become the father of our family, not that I ever became defiant and literally challenge him: It simply became silent knowledge.

I had already surveyed the area surrounding our home on East 9th, that was bordered by
La Calle Ancha to the West, los montes and a creek to the North, a row of homes to the South.

I had been on friendly bases with the Zapata boys - Pulga and Bugey - and was a good frined of Tony botello. I recall being invited to be with them inside their homes, at which time I discover how each home had it own unique scent.

The Botellos owned a model A Ford with they kept parked driveway of their home. And we were allowed to have fun playing inside of it, like pretending to be driving it.  Someone released the handle to its breaks and I have to suspect it may have been me. I was on the right seat of the car. And has easy access to open it a bail out, when we
got alarmed because the Model A started rolling backwards.

I was able to see that it rolled all the way back the right side of the house belonging to
the Zapatas; and that it did not stop until it landed in the gully where the creek was. Tony Botello and another of our playmates remained inside for the joy ride of their lives.  
Fortunately, they remained unharmed and the car did not have visible damage.

Come to think of it, our cousin Tony Garcia was the other one in the car.  Tony was a little over a year older therefore an ideal playmate, having logged around 20% more days on Earth, and already familiar with our Tio Meme's playfulness: With a specialty in playing cowboys and Indians. Plus performing in the role of a gangster as if it came from real experience: Especially wonderful was his intensely dramatic way of dying from a couple of bullets in his belly: which filled me and Tony with glee, particularly because of the anticipation of his surprising recovery.. at which point he grabbed both of us pelted us with soft socks.

Tony was being raised by our dad and Mamagrande. And he surely became my permanent
sidekick. We became as inseparable as any two boys can become. Fortunately for me, Tony
was a sweet and gentle soul.

The picture of the area where 9th St. dead-ended remains intact in my mind. Mainly because I had the opportunity over the many years to visit there: Where I saw the foundation of the room below Mamagrande's house.

Seeing how small it was -what? 15 by 15 feet?  How did mama and daddy fit all fives of us, and their large bed into that little bitty space.

I know the Alvarez who lived directly across us in a large quasi Victorian house, where
la Senora Alvarez starred down at us, sitting on her rocker on the porch. 

Senor Alvarez worked for a company that made furniture. And we always saw him much
the way we saw furniture delivery men in movies: because he also seemed compelled
not to acknowledge us. Maybe, it was because of the tragedy our family had experienced.

They had three daughters who it seemed were compelled to ignore us.

I recall how when I entered into the constant state of being encanicado, I had a crush on
the youngest one.

Much later -during our high school days, I had the opportunity to attend a dance
sponsered no doubt by a church group. And she was there, among the girls waiting
for some handsome and charming boy to ask for a dance.

The chance I had been waiting for had come.

And since I had already become a real chiflado al la ballroom champeon, no less: The
prospect of it being a piece of cake began to bloom.

It would not have suprised me if she had said no, since she had been so unavailable as
a neighborhood playmate.

However, we had a dance together. She followed me with ease,although there was no
chance of making my cheek to cheek move of a Tejano enamorado.

Senorita Alvarez had to have been impressed with my leading role performance; however,
I did not have any class: since as soon as the dance was over, I headed back to my spot
leaving her on the dance floor.

And therefore gave her the opportunity to scold me.

Pendejo! If I had only taken her back to her seat, I might have had the opportunity to
converse with her and learn some of the mysteries of her family.

As I look back, it strikes me as if we belonged -not only to separate classes - but there
was also a huge cultural chasm: With a name like Alwarez they surely must have been moors.

Amazing how these kinds of experiences remain in our subconscious.
I recall having a dream when I was already well into my middle age, in which I entered and
spent a good while exploring the home of the Alvarez, and of course getting into a lot
of trouble, as a result.

What is really fascinating is that that entire block of East 9th is now fully into the hands
of the heirs of Manifest Destiny, but not without a fight on the part of the Guadalupe
Neighborhood Association, led by my brother Ben.  The last holdout had been the heirs of the Alvarez family.


By: Pancho del Rancho de A.T.
AKA Frank Sifuentes


From La Balentina, Mexican song of the Revolucion

When I was getting close to 15 years old, I was stretching out and growing thinner:
Overcoming my image as Porky the Pig. But best of all the testosterone was kicking in
big time!

However, it had not been a vintage year in terms of canicas and the romanic department:
Miserable is more like it.. because never was my heart more readily set to go aflutter under
Cupid's magical spell.  In short, I had become a hopeless romantic, filled with a desperate - and unrealistic - desire to have one of the many chulas de East Austin to love, who would love me in return.

Unfortunately I was the antithesis of what las chulas were looking for. Since it was already
obvious my face was becoming a pimple-making machine; and that my early childhood
gordura had not fully disappeared.

In those days being 'fat' was associated with being funny. However, I no longer liked
being called Porky. En otras palabras tenia complejos galore when it came to being
able to approach the super chulas my heart yearned for.

However I had a real forte since I had become a smooth talker on Alexander Graham Bell's
contribution to the communication arts.

I had fallen for a girl named Connie Munoz who had actually become a hero in my mind.

For I had seen her engage in the fight with two other girls on a dirt street just South
of Allan Jr. High in our final days as students there.

She was taller and clearly more matona than her two opponents put together, for she
had mastered the art of pulling hair and scratching up a storm. 

Connie first flattened one of them and calmly went after the other with the efficiency of
a professional wrestler. And I had not realized how exciting it was to see women fighting.
And it of course resulted in her getting expelled.

Shortly after I became a one person boycotter of that school, first by playing hookey
for two weeks, so that when the truant officer came to our house to inform mama I
had not been showing up..I got on my knees and begged her to let me drop out, so that
I could go to work Pobre Mama, almost had no choice.

I naturally was unable to find a job; however now had all the time in world to call
girls as a budding 'telephonic lover'. And somehow had gotten Connie Munos' number.

Connie's usefulness in the world had increased, because she now spent her time at home taking care of her younger brothers and sisters. And after having seen her do battle I knew she had them under control.

She had no idea who I was but welcomed my amorous intentions, if for no other reason because taking care of her siblings must have been a drag.

I finally got up enough nerve to ask her to meet me at the Capital Theater where
they were showing Gone With the Wind. And to my surprise she accepted.

But like a big pendejo I told her to meet me inside in the lobby. . which was a dead give away revealing I didn't have enough coins for the two of us...a hell of a way to endear myself!

Sure enough she showed up and immediately saw I was still a mocoso who was not only chubby but also not as tall as she was.  We walked in like two strangers who ended up sitting next to each other.  Of course the drama of Gone With the Wind made it easy.

The funny part was that after the scene in which Atlanta was buring the movie stopped.
And I thought that it was was over and got up to leave, and Connie follwed suit. And she
immediately headed for the bus stop to take the Oil Mill bus home without even saying good-bye.

I didn't have a nickle left for the bus, so I had to walk home.

Sometime later during a dark night on Santa Maria St. I was visiting the home of Janie Martinez who was a super carinosa and as lovely as can be: with light -almost blond - hair and green eyes.  And she was stacked like a movie star to boot.

Janie was a fully developed women, for she was more than a year older and the apple of the eye of many East Austin boys. She and her entire family - parents included - had accepted me as a friend.  After all I had become a lively wizard of the English language, which they found entertaining.

One night I was happily conversing with Janie, when a guy I had known for a long time by the name of Rudy Herrera came to visit her. And she immediately expressed her delight.

Rudy had been a star basketball player at Allan and was a key member of the Pan Am Aces softball team who won the city championship the following year 

Needless to say Rudy had his pick of la chulas. For he was thin and also had green penetrating eyes and had become a master of his fate. 

And before long, he was making out with Janie like the heroes in hot movies made out with the girl. 

I of course saw no future in staying there, so I walked outside into the darkness. And sat on
the stone wall in front of the Martinez abode: starring at the Milk Way and listening to the sounds of dog barking at a distance to the east.

To say I was feeling forlorn would be a understatement.

However, before too long I was approached by two batos locos. One whose name was Martin Cruz and the other Hector Estrada.

Martin was what we in those days called Un Maton. And he gladly dressed to look the part.

H even wore a thick leather jacket. So that as soon as he walked up to me, he pulled a
Dick Tracy gun and said with a tough dude tone of voice: Me dicen que andas chingando con la Connie.. something I could vehemently deny!

Then he put his hand on his gun and clicked it, before putting it back in his jacket.

However, he quickly pulled out his filero and pressed the push button that gave it a smart click.  And then he put it's point ever so slightly on my throat, which of course made me pull back.

At which point he folded the knife back and put it into his pocket and then said to his side kick Hector: Dale un chingaso con la manopla!

Sure enough Hector pulled out his Brass Knuckles, placing it on his right hand: Then he gave me a short right hook in the jaw. And I fell back and hit the ground ,seeing more stars than I had seen in the Milky Way.

However, instead of feeling frightened and defeated, I went into a rage.. big time. I was so angry with Martin and Hector I was ready to strangle them both at the same time.

And I ran into the night shouting every obscenity I had ever learned, having been a good listener to stories told by World War II Vets who came back with a ton of English curse words, that were more than a match to life long Spanish curse words.

I kept shouting as I amost ran completely around the block. But if Martin el Maton and Hector heard me it had only been cause for getting a big patada for having antagonized me.
Finally feeling exhausted and instilled with a bitter sense of futility, I went home and went to bed.

I was so intent on revenge that in my imagination I found all kind of ways to destroy them: I hanged them on the highest Oak Tree; threw them in a pit of hungry voracious alligators, and even boiled them in oil.

The really funny thing was that a little over a year later Martin Cruz became one of the stars of a touch football team I was a member of: The Black Squad, which was made up of all the locos de La Calle Ancha I had been handing around with. Martin did not even remember who I was and was really friendly with me.

I even nick-named him Star because he was the one who caught more passes from Louis 'Bobby Lane" Lopez than anyone.

tirilin tiriin tirinO..este cuento ya se acabO
pancho de rancho ancho y ajeno yque?


by Ben Romero


The young, disheveled poverty-stricken man pushed his way into the cantina, drew a large revolver from his waistband and said, “Murders of Rosita, say your prayers in hell!” A volley of gunshots left three ruffians sprawled on the blood-stained wood planks of the 19th century California establishment.

I watched a movie of Joaquin Murrieta when I was thirteen years old and it made a great impression on me. It was about a Mexican peasant mining for gold in California during the gold rush. A group of bad men jumped his claim, stealing his gold and beating him senseless before raping and killing his young wife. In his vengeance, he killed his attackers and became an outlaw. At the same time, he championed the poor, acting as a western Robin Hood. In time he was tracked down by Captain Love and the California Rangers, who killed and decapitated him. By this time he was a legend. The head of Joaquin Murrieta was supposedly pickled in a jar as proof of his capture. His right hand man, Manuel Garcia, also known as Three Finger Jack, was killed along with Murrieta. His hand was hacked off by Captain Love and placed in a separate jar.

In 1980 I read about a group of caballeros who made a spiritual and historical journey retracing the steps of the famous Mexican outlaw. Their pilgrimage was from Madera, California to Arroyo Cantua, located in Cantua Creek, California. In my heart I longed to someday make the three day horseback journey.

In 2003 the opportunity presented itself and I knew I had to participate or regret it for the rest of my life. I met a man at a social fundraiser who captivated my interest when he mentioned he owned two Arabian racehorses. 

Having once owned an Arabian mare, I remarked that I would very much like to ride a racehorse someday. He was pleasant and invited my wife and me to visit his ranch and share a barbeque with his family. Thinking he was just being polite, I almost declined. But when he mentioned he was the director of corporate sponsors and media chair for The Joaquin Murrieta Ride, I knew I had to get to know this man.

“It’s fate,” I told my wife on the drive home. “I’ve been wanting to make the ride for over twenty years and now I may have a chance.”

My wife tried to reason with me. “Aren’t you forgetting something?” she asked. “You no longer have a horse. Besides, the journey is at the end of July when the temperature is triple digits.”

“I don’t care about the heat. It will make the ride more authentic. The man owns horses. That means he must know someone who can loan or rent me a mount. Trust me, this is going to happen.”

On July 25, 2003, the 24th annual event began. We started gathering at dawn at a location on Avenue 17 in Madera and when the signal was given, paraded out on horseback, two by two to the sound of joyful Mexican music. Men, women, and children dressed in fine, colorful Mexican garb and western apparel filed out the gate and onto the dusty road towards Firebaugh - the first leg of the sixty mile journey. Two lead men carried American and Mexican flags, side by side, followed by beautiful señoritas on white horses. Many children, several on ponies - others on spirited horses, held their place in the parade. News photographers took pictures while relatives of group members made videos. Somewhere in the middle of the procession, wearing a black hat and wide smile, and mounted on a large chestnut gelding rode someone I hardly recognized. It was me.

By 10:00 AM the temperature was nearing ninety. 

Two trucks pulled up alongside the group of riders. One was towing water tanks, the other porta-potties. As each rider took a turn giving his mount a few minutes of water time, volunteers offered us bottled water and soft drinks from coolers. Sweat trickled from under my hat and dust clung to my throat. I surveyed the faces of my fellow riders and saw great pride and joy. Our leaders urged the group to pick up the pace for the next two hours so we could enjoy a long leisurely lunch in a shaded area.

By noon our group had doubled in numbers. Latecomers had joined us from side roads, some had galloped from our staging area to catch up. We were spread out for a mile. From out of the corner of my eye, two youngsters of about fifteen joined the group. One was dark and heavyset, wearing a floppy black hat, long sleeved shirt, and riding a short, round, black horse. The other was lean, light-skinned, wearing a t-shirt and straw hat, and riding a tall mule. As they drew near, I heard floppy hat ask mule boy, “So, did you get her name?”

“Yes. I heard someone call her Blanca. Or maybe that’s just her nickname because she’s huera (blonde). What makes you think she‘ll notice you?”

“Why shouldn’t she notice me?” asked floppy hat. “I noticed her, didn’t I?”

“I’m your friend, so don’t take this wrong. I don’t think you should build up your hopes,” answered mule boy. “She may have too much class.”

Floppy hat straightened up in the saddle. His feet nearly dragged the ground on his short horse. “She’s got class all right. That’s why she’ll notice me. I’m going to talk to her when we stop for lunch. You’ll see.”

Temperatures were nearing triple digits when we reached the designated lunch site. After watering our mounts again, dismounting and securing the animals, everyone’s attention turned to the food. This group knows how to picnic. Tables were set by the time we arrived. Beans, tortillas, barbeque beef, salsa and any other Mexican food imaginable found its way onto my plate. Ice cold watermelon completed the meal. 

Afterwards, I sat on the grass, legs crossed with my back against a fence post, lowered my hat over my eyes and dozed off to the sound of children playing. I wondered what it might have been like to run from the law after trying to find justice in a harsh land. According to legend, Joaquin became a bandit after pleading with authorities for justice. His brother had been lynched by the same men who raped and killed his wife. He was told by local authorities that in California it was not illegal to rape a Mexican woman, or to kill a Mexican. In fact, a fee was imposed on foreigners working the mines to dissuade them from competing with “real” Americans. Joaquin formed a gang of bandits who killed scores of miners, stole huge amounts of gold, rustled livestock, and formed a hideout in the San Joaquin Valley. After three years of banditry, he met his end on July 25, 1853 at Arroyo Cantua.

Three more hours of riding in harsh summer heat got our group to the Firebaugh Fair Grounds, where we were to enjoy a great dinner and camp for the night. With everyone looking tired, I envisioned a very quiet evening. I was mistaken. After rubbing down the horses we had dinner in festive fashion: loud music, children playing, people laughing. As evening shadows arrived, lights in the livestock area were turned on and everyone moved to the bleachers to watch the show. For the next couple of hours, many riders took turns displaying great feats of horsemanship. Caballeros dressed in their finest outfits paraded the grounds mounted on beautiful stallions with braided manes and tails. Teenage girls held barrel races and jumping contests - using horses they‘d ridden all day. It was the most entertaining Mexican rodeo I’d ever attended.

As I leaned back watching three young girls race their horses, floppy hat and mule boy ran up the bleachers and sat a couple of rows behind me. 

“There she is!” exclaimed mule boy. “Wave to her and see if she notices you. You said you would talk to her at lunch. I think you‘re chicken.”

Standing up, floppy hat answered, “Let’s move close to the rail. She’s been hanging around with those other girls so I didn’t get a chance to talk to her yet. Come on.”

Watching them, I realized they were talking about a cute young girl of about fourteen. She rode a lean white mare that I’d noticed, not because of its appearance, but because of its speed. That little animal had stamina that lasted all day and into the night. As the girl got near the rail of the bleachers, mule boy decided to help his friend.

“Hey, Blanca,” he called. “My friend wants to talk to you.”

The girl turned to him and yelled back, “My name is not Blanca, Pendejo. That’s my horse’s name.” With that, she wheeled her horse around and galloped back to her group of friends.

Floppy hat socked his friend in the shoulder and the two of them ran off into the darkness, laughing.

As people started retreating to their tents for the night, my wife arrived to pick me up. She’d driven fifty miles after work to get me. “I’ll bring you back in the morning, in time for breakfast.”

We had just built a new swimming pool at home and wanted to take a night-time swim together. At that moment the thought of taking a dip sounded wonderful. I fell asleep in the car before we were halfway to the house. I slept like a baby that night and had to force my eyes to open when the alarm sounded at 5:00 AM. Every bone in my body ached as I rolled out of bed and into the shower. My poor wife had to drive me back to the group. Thank God it was a Saturday and she could go back home and get more rest.

The second day of riding seemed hotter than the first. The number of riders dwindled, but those of us who continued had great conversations and enjoyed every mile. The water truck found us every two hours and we stopped for another nutritious meal at noon. The afternoon sun was so hot, my hands burned. I put on a pair of gloves and kept my long sleeved shirt buttoned. At 3:00 we reached a ranch owned by one of the members and he turned on a six inch irrigation hose as we passed one of his orchards. As he held onto the hose, we rode in a single file to let our horses get a good spray. None of them seemed to mind. By mid-afternoon we’d reached our next campsite.

Our final destination was a church located just five miles from our camp. Morning Mass was held outside, and many horsemen remained mounted during the ceremony. My wife and children arrived shortly before the service and we huddled together in the shade. 

My wife brought large chocolate bars to give to children, and handed them out before it got too hot. Some candies found their way to adults as well. I was pleased to see floppy hat take a candy bar and walk it over to the young girl with the white mare. They shared it and stayed together throughout the mass. Nearby, mule boy stood alone next to his animal. With a melting chocolate bar in his hand, he kept peering over at his friend. To the amusement of many, the mule suddenly grabbed the candy out of the boy’s hand with his teeth.

After mass, the group gathered at another location not far from a landmark known as Three Rocks, where tireless riders once again displayed their horseman skills. Trophies were awarded to the best riders and to the most beautiful animals. The young girl and her white mare were among the winners. Afterwards, names of all riders were announced and a keepsake plaque was issued to each of us. 

On the way home I thought about Joaquin Murrieta robbing the rich, floppy hat stealing the young girl‘s heart, and the mule stealing his master’s candy bar. 

Ben Romero
Author of Chicken Beaks Book Series


March 7th, "Hack your Hispanic Family Tree using Google" by Crispin Rendon
April 4th: Cesar Chavez, “Viva la Causa” Documentary to be viewed
Heart of the Orange Student Project Needs Donations for Books

Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research Presents

Saturday March 7th
"Hack your Hispanic Family Tree using Google"
presented by Crispin Rendon 

Orange Multi-Regional Family History Center
674 S. Yorba
City of Orange, CA 
No cost, no membership required 


Researchers, researchers come and learn how to get the speediest and most efficient results in your Google searches.  Crispin Rendon will guide us through a live internet connection presentation on all the features Google has to offer.

We will see the use of commands for effective searches, including "AND, OR, " ", *, -, +, ~, .., site:, filetype: and how they can be used together with keywords to find what you are looking for. We will cover and use other google tools like Language Translation, Google Books and online library, Google News Archive, Google Blog Search,Google Images, Google Alerts, Google Maps, Google Earth, Google Toolbar and Google Home Page and 
if time permits, more, Crispin will pull out more strategies for researching online.

For more information, please call Mimi at 714-894-8161

Documentary on Cesar Chavez, “Viva la Causa” to be viewed on Saturday,
April 4th at the Yost in downtown Santa Ana.  This will be open & free to the public.  For more information, contact Charlotte DeVaul


Viva la Causa in Production
New Teaching Tolerance Film Set for September Release 

In September, SPLC's Teaching Tolerance program will unveil a new documentary film and teaching kit, Viva la Causa, that focuses on one of the seminal events in the march for human rights — the grape strike and boycott led by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta in the 1960s. Viva la Causa will show how thousands of people from across the nation joined in a battle for justice for the most exploited people in our country — the workers who put food on our tables. 

Like all of our Teaching Tolerance products, the film and kit will be distributed free to classrooms across the nation and will inspire millions of children for years to come.

The film could not be timelier.

Today, as in the 1960s, employers routinely exploit migrant laborers and immigrants of color, underpaying them and leaving them to toil in often unsafe and unsanitary work environments. The nation's debate over immigration has been polluted by racism, distortions and propaganda. The ranks of hate groups are swelling with an anti-immigrant tide, and hate crimes against Latinos are increasing.

"Viva la Causa will help counter this burgeoning anti-Latino sentiment by sharing one of the nation's great movements for social justice with millions of schoolchildren across the U.S., reminding them that they, too, can choose respect over bigotry," said SPLC President Richard Cohen.

The new documentary film will chronicle how Chavez, Huerta and their colleagues, inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., created a mass movement to improve the lives of some of the most exploited people in the country — farmworkers who labored for meager wages under appalling conditions in the fields of California. Chavez and Huerta guided a non-violent strike for fair wages that became a movement for social justice.

In an effort to bring attention to the movement and show his dedication to nonviolence, Chavez starved himself for 25 days in 1968. Thousands of farmworkers came to see him every day. Robert Kennedy, the junior senator from New York, arrived to celebrate the end of the fast with Chavez and show his support for workers' rights. Huerta shared the stage with Kennedy the night he won California's presidential primary. Later that night, he was shot and killed in a California hotel.

Kennedy's support sent a message to the nation. People from all walks of life encountered — and some became — organizers at grocery stores, asking shoppers to join in a national boycott of California grapes so that those who harvested them might not live in dire poverty, subject to raw exploitation.

Families, rich and poor, joined in la causa and heeded its call. En masse, they stopped buying California grapes. And on a hot summer day in 1970, farmworkers won a hard-fought, historic victory. On July 29, 1970, California's growers recognized the workers' union and increased wages to $1.80 an hour.

The film, offered in English and Spanish, will feature interviews with Chavez's family and Dolores Huerta, as well as farmworker families, students and others who served as "foot soldiers," breathing life into the movement. It will remind today's students that they are inheritors of la causa, and that they, too, possess the power to change the world.

The new film is the sixth produced by the SPLC's Teaching Tolerance project. Four of our past documentaries have been nominated for Academy Awards®. Two have won Oscars®, another won an Emmy®. We plan to distribute 50,000 copies of the new film within two years of its release.

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Southern Poverty Law Center
400 Washington Ave.
Montgomery, AL 36104




Heart of the Orange Student Project Needs Donations for Books


Recently, twenty five students at Cesar Chavez High School in Santa Ana were asked to identify a female role model other than a relative.   "The results were shocking," says Rigo Maldonado, the OC Human Relations staff person heading up the Heart of the Orange Mural Project at the school. "Twenty-two students couldn't identify a single female role model. Three students named a Latina singer and one student named Paris Hilton."  

With the help of a small grant from the city of Santa Ana , OC Human Relations has developed the "Heart of Orange" mural project to introduce students to art and positive female role models in their communities.  The program will include guest speakers and field trips to historic sites in Southern California.

Maldonado wants to give each of the 25 students their own copy of the book, "500 Years of Chicana Women's History" by Elizabeth "Betita" Martinez to compliment the "Heart of the Orange" curriculum.

Your $25 donation can help these students gain a new perspective on role models! You can send a check for $25 to cover the cost of one book to: OC Human Relations , 1300 S. Grand Ave. Bldg. B, Santa Ana, CA   92705 .  Please designate your donation for the: Heart of the Orange." We will acknowledge your donation by putting your name on the inside cover of each book you help us purchase.  We encourage you to add a note of inspiration which we can also include in the book.  

For more information, please contact Barbara Hunt at (714) 834-7181




Army Distinguished Service Cross Awarded to Los Angeles Native,  Erik Oropeza
March 7: Exhibition: Women Artists on Immigration: Crossing Borders, Confronting
LA Board of Education votes names high School after Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez
Nati Cano y Los Camperos, Dorinda Moreno, Continuing legacy
March 26-29, 2009: New Destinations in Oral History
Project One- wants to speak at your school! 
Passing of Juan Rafael Santos, Champion of Myriad Causes

Army Distinguished Service Cross Awarded to Los Angeles Native
Specialist Erik Oropeza


On Feb. 13, 2009 at Fort Irwin, CA Specialist Erik Oropeza,  A Troop, 1st Squadron, 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. Spc. Oropeza, a native of Los Angeles and a 2004 graduate of Roosevelt High School, Los Angeles, was awarded the second highest military decoration that can be awarded to a member of the United States Army.

Spc. Erik Oropeza was being awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for demonstrating the highest degree of courage and fortitude while engaged in combat operations near Taji, Iraq, May 22, 2007. His actions following an ambush were responsible for preventing his vehicle and crew from being overrun by an enemy force. Spc. Oropeza, while under enemy fire, defended severely wounded crew members and defeated a five-man enemy ground-assault force. His actions and disregard for his own life saved the lives of three Soldiers of his Stryker vehicle crew. 

The Distinguished Service Cross(DSC) is the second highest military decoration that can be awarded to a member of the United States Army for extreme gallantry and risk of life in actual combat with an armed enemy force. Actions that merit the Distinguished Service Cross must be above those required for all other U.S. combat decorations but not meeting the criteria for the Medal of Honor. The Distinguished Service Cross is equivalent to the Navy Cross (Navy and Marine Corps) and the Air Force Cross (Air Force).

Spc. Erik Oropeza was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross on Feb. 13 at 10 a.m. by Lt. Gen. Joseph F. Peterson, deputy commanding general/chief of staff, United States Army Forces Command. Maj. Gen. Mark Hertling, 1st Armored Division commander, will also attend the ceremony. Hertling served as the division commander over 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment during Spc. Oropeza’s tour of duty in Iraq.

 Spc. Erik Oropeza and his parents, Celina Rodriguez and Marco Andrade, both of Los Angeles, were available for interviews before and after the ceremony.

CONTACT: Kelsey Hustead,760-380-3078
National Training Center and Fort Irwin, CA 92310 

Sent by


WOMEN ARTISTS ON IMMIGRATION: Crossing Borders, Confronting
Final Day
March 7, 2009


WHAT: A visual conversation by 40 women artists from California that examines our cultural, personal and political identities. A full color catalog accompanies the exhibition

The exhibit opened February 27 and will close on Saturday, March 7, 12:30 to 2 PM. Hosted by Southern California WCA in celebration of International Women's Day

WHERE: Korean Cultural Center Art Gallery, 5505 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles, 90036. For gallery hours and information, visit or phone 323-936-7141

JUROR: Alma Ruiz, curator at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
ORGANIZERS: Women's Caucus for Art and the Korean Cultural Center of Los Angeles

OVERVIEW: WOMEN ARTISTS ON IMMIGRATION examines social, political and cultural issues related to the dynamic topic of immigration. Each subtopic -Crossing Borders, Confronting Barriers, Bridging Identities - is amplified in the diverse perspectives of the contemporary works. Together, they inspire an ongoing dialogue about our cultural, political and personal identities. A full color catalogue accompanies the exhibition.

"Passport" by Yvonne Beatty, "Me and Dad" by Gilda Davidian, "Dirndl" by Alexia Kuzner, "A Two-Sided Border Story" by Lynn Elliott Letterman, "Immigration USA" by Linda Vallejo. ALSO ON VIEW: Selected immigration posters from the Center for the Study of Political Graphics.

Mariana Barnes, Yvonne Beatty, Alejandra Chaverri, Ching-Ching Cheng, Gilda Davidian, Cosette Dudley, Dwora Fried, Shelley Gazin, Elizabeth Gomez, Becky Guttin, Jennifer Maria Harris, Trudi Chamoff Hauptman, Judy Johnson-Williams, Niku Kashef, Arzu Arda Kosar and Gul Cagin, Patricia Krebs, Alexia Kutzner, Li 'n Lee, Lynn Elliott Letterman, Viviana Lombrozo, Poli Marichal, Michelle Montjoy, Carol Nye, Amparo J. Ochoa, Priscilla Otani, Lark (Larisa Pilinsky), Sinan Leong Revell, Patricia Rodriguez, Sandy Rodriguez, Ann Storc, Yuriko Takata, Luz Tapia, Tate Sisters, Linda Vallejo, Alicia Villegas, Sama Wareh, Sarah Wilkinson, Holly Wong.

MORE: The exhibition opens during the College Art Association conference
and WCA 2009 Art & Activism Confab in Los Angeles. It is part of The
Feminist Art Project and made possible, in part, by a grant from the Los
Angeles County Arts Commission

About the Women's Caucus for Art
The Women's Caucus for Art (WCA) is the leading national organization for women in the visual arts. Founded in 1972, it has 27 chapters including 6 in California and is an affiliate society of the College Art Association. Visit <>

About the Korean Cultural Center
The Korean Cultural Center of Los Angeles (KCCLA) is the largest facility outside of Korea that provides insights into the rich cultural heritage of Korea through sponsored events, films and educational programs. Visit <>

Sent by Dorinda Moreno




Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez


Los Angeles – The Los Angeles Board of Education voted unanimously Tuesday to name the first high school to be built in more than 85 years in East Los Angeles after two Mexican American civil rights leaders Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez.

The Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez Learning Center is scheduled to open in Fall 2009 and will be located in Boyle Heights. 

“Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez paved the way for a more just educational system by combating segregation and discrimination,” said Board President Mónica García. “Their courage and struggle signifies the important role Latinos played in the fight for civil rights for all Americans. By naming this school after the Mendez family, we hope to preserve this legacy for future generations.” 

The story of the Mendezes courageous fight against prejudice and segregation in public schools on behalf of their children dates back to 1943. It was that year the children of Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez were denied entry into 17th Street School in Westminster, California because they were Mexican American. The Mendez v. Westminster School Dist. is a landmark desegregation case that successfully ended segregation in California and is a precursor to later court cases including Brown v. the Board of Education. 

Sandra Duran Mendez, daughter, and Johanna Mendez-Lizardo, granddaughter of the Mendezes, were both present at the LAUSD Board meeting where they shed tears of joy and thanked everyone for the honor.

“On behalf of the Mendez family, we thank Inner City Struggle, the Boyle Heights Learning Collaborative, LAUSD Board President Mónica García, and all those that supported the naming of this school, especially the community and students. 

We also would like to thank and acknowledge the other families that helped win this case: Ramirez, Estrada, Palomino and Guzman. It is important for families and students to know that we can change obstacles encountered along the way to success. ¡Muchisimas Gracias!”

Board members also received letters of support for naming the school after Felicitas and Gonzalo Mendez from elected officials, teachers, community members and organizations in Boyle Heights. “The Mendez name serves as a reminder that we are all part of a legacy of struggle and that change is possible,” said Lester Garcia, Executive Director of the Boyle Heights Learning Collaborative. 

“Opening the new high school in East Los Angeles is important to relieve overcrowding at Roosevelt High School and helps increase graduation rates,” said Klayber Sanchez, a 9th grade student at Roosevelt High School, and a member of United Students. “Naming the new high school after people who have fought and struggled for their community is symbolic to students of this community.”

The new campus will feature two small learning communities that will house 1,025 seats and 38 classrooms, providing relief from overcrowding at Roosevelt High School. Amenities will include: classrooms and science labs, a library, a multipurpose room, food service facilities, a parent center, underground parking, a competition gym and outdoor physical education facilities. In addition, campus structures are planned to permit after-hours community access to the gym and athletic field. 

Sent by Sylvia Mendez 


Nati Cano y Los Camperos, Dorinda Moreno,
Continuing legacy: Mariachi, Ballet Folkforico y Marimba


In l973, I published an anthology, La Mujer En Pie de Lucha, in Mexico City. Upon my return the beloved Francisca Flores, Comision Femenil Mexicana/Chicana Service Action Center, Regeneracion, a devotee of Ricardo Flores Magon, held a reception for a book signing at La Fonda, with Nati Cano y Los Camperos, and I never had a picture of such a memorable occasion.

Finally, 36 years later, I had occasion to see Nati at the Guadalupe Cultural Center, 3rd Annual concert of Los Camperos de Nati Cano, and take a picture worth waiting for thanks to Judge Rogelio Flores (who also performed the wedding nuptials for grandson's wedding), Present, Ricardo Gabaldon and Michelle Beltran, celebrating baby Izelic Paloma's first birthday.

Parents, grandparents, and great grand, present at the Royal Theatre, thanks to Marge, Joe, Karen, Talaugan family... Izelic dressed in her turquoise folklorico dress, a replica gifted by her tia Lela Gabaldon, maestra de danza, for her preparation as the future generation danzante for the Righetti H.S. Ballet Folkorico y Marimba Band, who wait in the wing-- the continuation of cultural legacies.

Expect seeing more of Izelic...

Dorinda Moreno




Southwest Oral History Association 2009 Conference
Los Angeles, CA
March 26-29, 2009

Co-Sponsored by:  LA as Subject
USC Doheny Memorial Library
California African American Museum
USC Libraries, Special Collections
UCLA Center for Oral History Research
UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center 
Historical Society of Long Beach
Southwest Oral History Association 2008 Conference Committees

Registration and overview of conference: 

Individual $25  Student  $15  Institutional $50-150   Friendship $15 Donation to SOHA
(Membership includes newsletter, directory, voting privileges) 
If you have questions, please contact:  
Miguel Juarez  >                    
We encourage registration on-line through the SOHA website, for a small fee.
Or make checks payable to SOHA.  
Send to SOHA c/o Tom Walsh, 285 West Bruce Ave., Gilbert, AZ 85233     



Project One- wants to speak at your school! 

Editor: Even though the date for the event is passed, I thought the concept and contacts are important for youth leaders.

Dear Everyone,

I hope you all had a good weekend. This past Saturday we had another incredible and informative Project One Music and Dialogue session, which featured legendary Hip Hop artist 2Mex, singer and song writer Noelle Scaggs and Grammy Award winning producers and song writers Harold Lilly Jr and KC Porter. This distinguished panel shared with our youth, knowledge on the music industry and personal stories regarding there music experiences and song writing process. Also, the youth participating were full of energy, ideas, solutions, hope and musical talent. In fact, one of this week's participants, who displayed her dedication to making her dream come true, went home with a gift from one of our product sponsors, a brand new Luna acoustic guitar! Project One is a free event for youth ages 14 – 18 to express and discuss deep social and political issues, but more importantly, how to process that information and turn it into a positive piece of musical art. 

We would like to put the call out to all high school teachers and youth organizations in east, northeast, or downtown LA, Eagle Rock, Glendale,Pasadena or Burbank areas, if you would like our Project One team to visit and present Project One at your school, class or organization. Please call immediately the Project One hot line to schedule a visit before February 13 at (213) 874 7615. This weeks Music and Dialogue session features Hip Hop artist Bambu, Latina singer Claudia Gonzales of CAVA, and Grammy Award winning song writer JB Eckl. 

This weeks Music and Dialogue Saturday February 14, 2009
Autry National Center, 4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, CA, 90027-1462

Please spread the word to any teachers or youth organizers.  Blessings,  Fidel Rodriguez

Project One: one love. one mic. one song.  Calling on L.A. County youth ages 14-18 -- Rappers, Mcees, Singers, Songwriters, Poets, Beat Makers, and Musicians -- We Want Your Songs!

Project: One aims to promote social justice through music and encourage LA County youth to promote peace and speak out against and learn about racism, classism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia and overall hatred towards others.

Project: One, a county-wide search for musically talented youth, ages 14-18.
Who: Calling on all Rappers, Mcees, Singers, Songwriters, Poets, Beat Makers, and Musicians.
When: Phase 1: "Music and Dialogue" sessions, where youth learn the power of using knowledge and life's experience into the music they produce. Event hosted by Human Relations Specialists and professional recording artists and producers. You must attend at least one Phase 1 session to apply and qualify for Phase 2. All sessions are FREE.

This weeks Music and Dialogue session February 14, 2009
*10AM - 1PM / 9AM Registration

Autry National Center
4700 Western Heritage Way
Los Angeles, CA, 90027-1462
Artists: CAVA, Bambu and JB Eckl

How: For info on Phase 2 and 3, locations, attending and to rsvp for Phase 1 call (213) 974-7615 or email: Also log onto:,, or zerohour Los Angeles as a friend on Facebook.  

Project One is an initiative of zerohour: No Haters Here!
Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations,  Oneness Power 106  
DIVINE FORCES MEDIA, Latino 96.3  Luna Guitars  Jarritos  KPFK

Contact Fidel Rodriguez 
Sent by Dorinda Moreno  


Passing of Juan Rafael Santos, Champion of Myriad Causes

By Emily Spence
5 February, 2009


The tremendous activist and writer Juan Rafael Santos, I just learned, died last month. So, I write this commemoration in both grief and celebration of his life.

I deeply admired, respected and valued Juan, and recall many of our conversations over the past few years, which were evidence of his full breadth of being. As such, they included topics as ranging as the plight of lepers in Trinidad, nuclear disarmament, globalization of industry, climate change, the Masai of E. Africa, his sense of fierce protection towards all harmed people, the foundations of spirituality, the development of ethics in young children, heart wrenching works of art, the positive kinds of cultural universalities that all of humankind expresses, overpopulation, his health problems, his employment, his tenderness towards several colleagues and friends, his unyielding efforts to support indigenous native and Chicano causes, the worsening economic and environmental collapses; his enthusiasm over the insights of Russell Means, William Kötke and others; the roots of his moral indignation, compassion and courage to carry onward despite periods of despair; and other matters far too numerous to mention.

Often I reflected on his strong sense of duty to provide outstanding service to others on a continual basis, his profound sensitivity towards all forms of life and life as an integrated wholeness, his seemingly bottomless caring for the Earth, itself; his many tireless humanitarian activities and intense compositions, including the last writing of his that I'd read -- "The Lessons Of Gaza In A Time Of Collapse And Rebirth" -- that can be obtained through an online search. Indeed, one could relish all of his various forms of outreach as a consistent theme ran through every single one of them pointing to his immense love of the world, undeniable need to relentlessly "speak truth to power," persistent backing of just actions, and unswerving desire to improve the quality of life for all...

I'm weeping as I gather my thoughts on him together in this farewell message. Yet despite my sorrow and wish that I could have told him one more time that I cherish him, I realize that his stance STILL means so much to many of us. Indeed, it can continue to serve to rally many people, even ones who did not know him, onward as we collectively struggle against losing hope in the face of great suffering in the world and concerning which we are forced to bear witness again and again as we try to provide whatever modest relief as we can manage to muster while confronting huge daunting global and smaller scale problems as exist in these troubling times. As such, he can continue to provide the example of goodness that he so thoroughly expressed in his living as his spirit can carry on through others -- the persons who, like him, offer their utmost best efforts to try to improve the quality of life on a grand sweeping scale.

Meanwhile, there is so much about him that is memorable, such as his involvement with South Central Farm, a cause about which he was so passionate that, when I urged and pleaded with him to leave LA due to the looming water shortage and other factors, he, alternately hopeful and gloomy, told me that he had to stay where he was to try to make this farming venture and other ones in which he was engaged "work" since so many people, in fundamental and critical ways, depend on them. Certainly, he never quit whenever an activity got dauntingly hard, but simply exerted himself all the more in response.

In the end, I will always remember Juan for his unswerving ethical resolve and dedication to provide all that he, humanly, could in the areas of human rights and environmental well-being. Even when it sharply pained him to type articles because of a severe longstanding back injury, he carried onward due to caring ever so much more about his causes than his own distress. This was always the case whether some personal trouble was brought about by a physical problem or due to his compassionate sensitivity and for which he sometimes used anger to mask.

So as I try to sum him up (a task that can never be completed) and make sense of his life, I realize that I will sorely feel his absence more and more with the passage of time, but will strive all the harder, by right actions, to make up for the gaping hole that his death has produced. All the same, no one, it would seem, can quite fill it. Such was the largeness of his being.

If you wish to know more about Juan's life and passing, you can find it on at least two pages at:,
and his web site,

At the third listing, one can contribute and read memorial statements, as well as gain access to a wealth of Juan's writings and other affirmative material. Farewell to a dear friend, an individual who can easily serve as a standard for humanitarian and environmental activism, and, in the final reckoning, a successful champion of myriad causes. You were treasured and you will be missed.  
Dorinda Moreno 



"Lachryma Montis," the home of Gen. M. G. Vallejo 
Watsonville activist Luis Alejo to receive inaugural Tony Hill Award
California State Library SUTRO San Francisco
Early California Population Project

Flap over cut vine at park home

Officials say trellis at Gen. Vallejo house posed safety risk; descendant cries foul


"Lachryma Montis," the home of Gen. M. G. Vallejo. The former general built the home, now part of Sonoma State Historic Park , in 1851.  By Bob Norberg, The Press Democrat
Published: Monday, December 1, 2008 

The removal of a grapevine at the home of Gen. Mariano Vallejo, a popular stop at Sonoma State Historic Park , has left a descendant of the general fuming.

Grape arbor in gardens adjoining Gen. Vallejo's home.
Photo: Courtesy Lachryma Montis collection. 

The Bancroft Library, University of California

The Tokay vine was cut down a month ago behind 
Vallejo 's house, where it had been growing on a trellis for at least the past 50 years.
"There was no reason to remove it," said Martha Vallejo-McGettigan of Napa , his great-great-granddaughter. "I was appalled when I heard about it."
Park officials said, however, the vine wasn't there during Vallejo 's 35-year stay at the home and didn't fit in with the historical interpretation.
It also was being held up by a trellis that was failing, and the roots were pushing up the walkway, said Mary Pass , superintendent of California State Parks' Diablo Vista district.
"It was held up by wooden supports, and we had to figure out some way to shore it up," Pass said. "It was a safety issue."
Vallejo built the house in 1851 on land he acquired a half-mile from the Sonoma Plaza .
A winemaker, he had 3,000 vines and converted the barracks building, which at one time housed both Mexican and U.S. troops, into a winery in 1860.

Pass said Flame Tokay were the most likely grapes that Vallejo had planted on the property. The vine at the back of the house was not in a picture taken in 1934, but did appear in a 1951 photo.
"We had a cultural landscape report done on the whole landscape of the Vallejo home. . . . We are interpreting it to the 1880s to 1890s," Pass said. "The vine on the back side was not in the report, not considered a contributing factor to that time period."
Pass said they don't know if the vine was from Vallejo 's original vineyard, but they will use clippings from it to re-establish a vineyard when a cultural landscape plan is drawn up.
But Vallejo-McGettigan, 61, said the vine helped explain how important grape-growing and winemaking are to Vallejo 's story.

She said the vine was very old, measuring more than 7 inches in diameter, and was included in the docents' visitor tours.
"It doesn't matter that it wasn't exactly there," Vallejo-McGettigan said. "It was an important living artifact."
You can reach Staff Writer Bob Norberg at 521-5206
Sent by Lorri Frain


Watsonville activist Luis Alejo to receive inaugural Tony Hill Award
by Wallace Baine

Luis Alejo is the face of the new Watsonville. (Shmuel Thaler/Sentinel)
The Santa Cruz Sentinel, February 11, 2009


Those who knew him best say that the late Santa Cruz community activist Tony Hill would have been elated to witness the election of the first African-American president in American history. But Hill, famously always focused on the local, may have been just as pleased at another development on Election Night 2008.
It was that night that lawyer and community activist Luis Alejo was elected to the Watsonville City Council.  Hill, who died of a heart attack in August 2007, had counseled Alejo in the art of community activism and agitation.
"I consider him a mentor, someone I try to emulate," said Alejo of Hill. "Very few people in north Santa Cruz County do what Tony did, to come down to South County, reach out to Watsonville, make relationships and always be around when needed. He was a bridge-builder."
So when the time came to choose a recipient of the first ever Tony Hill Community Service Award, it made sense to look to the other side of that north-south bridge. And there stood Luis Alejo.
Alejo will be on hand to receive the inaugural Tony Hill Award on Thursday night at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium during the 25th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Convocation, an event, hosted by UC Santa Cruz, that Hill was instrumental in establishing. As part of the award, UCSC will give a cash gift in Alejo's name to the nonprofit of his choice.
"Luis Alejo is an example of the best of America," said George Ow Jr., who was part of the award's selection committee, which also included Hill's widow Melanie Stern-Hill and daughter Tara Kemp. "Luis is brilliant and hard-working and took advantage of his educational opportunities. He also has loyalty to his roots and has come back to help Watsonville become a better place." 

Alejo's Obama-like life story has been held up as an inspiration for young people. A graduate of Watsonville High, Alejo followed an educational path that led him to undergraduate work at UC Berkeley, a law degree at UC Davis and a master's of education at Harvard University. After his formal studies, he returned to Watsonville, where he worked providing legal aid to low-income people.
"The thing that I'm most proud of when it comes to Luis is that he's a doer," said longtime Watsonville community activist, and Alejo friend, Daniel Dodge. "He went to Harvard and did all these amazing things. And when he came back here, he didn't take a high-paying job. He went to work with people less fortunate because that's where his values are."
Alejo worked with California Rural Legal Assistance upon returning to Watsonville in 2003. He has served on a number of local governmental boards before his election to the City Council. Currently, he works as a staff attorney with Monterey County Superior Court.
Long before he went off to college, Alejo helped found the Brown Berets, the sometimes controversial youth activist group, and led the Berets in the Peace and Unity March against gang violence, which has become an annual tradition. He's also shown a taste for the confrontational, having filed litigation against the Pajaro Valley Unified School District for violations of the Brown Act, and speaking out in school board meetings and other public forums. He also has been a regular contributor to the Sentinel's editorial pages.
"He is feared by some in the community," said Dodge, "because they like how things were in the good old days. And he doesn't represent the good old days. He represents change."
"He's absolutely fearless when it comes to speaking truth to power," said teacher Jenn Laskin, an Alejo ally and activist in the Brown Berets. "He has a sense of justice that he was born with. Luis carries that legacy in his blood."
Alejo's grandfather was an activist with the United Farm Workers union in the era of Cesar Chavez.
Alejo said the decision to come back to Watsonville after his education was reached before he even left.
"That decision was made when I was 19," he said. "At the time, Watsonville was having a major problem with local kids going off to pursue higher education and not coming back. It was a brain drain in Watsonville. I've always believed that to make meaningful, long-lasting change, who is better to do it than people born and raised here?"
One of those young people Alejo has actively helped follow his path is Watsonville High School graduate Magge Rodriguez, 19, now a freshman at UCLA. Alejo helped her land the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
"I met him during the summer between the fifth and sixth grades," said Rodriguez, who says she plans to pursue a law degree and return to Watsonville. "He's been a great inspiration and a mentor for me and my family.
"He helped me out in so many ways, from guiding me through the application process to helping my family. He's a great mentor who's always taught me to keep fighting for what I believe in."


California State Library SUTRO San Francisco

California State Library SUTRO San Francisco
480 Winston Drive, San Francisco, CA 94132

Revised hours of operations, go to:     
Joel Molina, Special Programs Student Assistant.



Welcome to the site of 
The Huntington's Early California Population Project


The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108 Tel: 626-405-2100

The Early California Population Project (ECPP) provides public access to all the information contained in California's historic mission registers, records that are of unique and vital importance to the study of California, the American Southwest, and colonial America.

Within the baptism, marriage, and burial records of each of the California missions sits an extraordinary wealth of unique information on the Indians, soldiers, and settlers of Alta California from 1769 - 1850.

What will users be able to do with the information stored in this database?

• Community historians can study in greater detail the individuals and families who settled California’s first presidios and pueblos

• Anthropologists and ethnohistorians can examine the settlement patterns of Indians in Alta California and their movement to the missions
•Historical demographers can bring greater detail to their attempts to understand the pace and magnitude of Indian population decline in Alta California
•Scholars of religion can study the practice and administration of Catholicism in the California missions and the lives of California’s Franciscans
•Social historians can study the structure and growth of the missions and the secular communities of Spanish and Mexican California
•Genealogists can more easily trace and identify the people who lived in California from 1769 to 1850
•Historians of colonial America can more easily incorporate regions and peoples beyond the eastern seaboard into the narrative of our country’s early history, and
•Scholars can attain an increased awareness of the tremendous diversity that has long characterized the people of the Golden State and the American Southwest

Pat Grisotti



Every Child Matters by Elena Rodriguez


In Elena's story Every Child Matters, Elena shares her passion about the harsh conditions faced by Idaho's youngest members of the farm worker community.

After learning to use the different software programs to create my first digital story, my next project is collecting the stories of other Latinos living up north with the help of the Idaho Council on Humanities. 

Una prima, Elena Rodriguez 


Wickenburg Hispanic Pioneer Families
March 14: Crypto Jews of New Mexico
Hero Street, USA (Book)
The Julian Samora Legacy Project
Mexicans in Tempe by Santos C.  Vega  (Book)
Ricardo and Enrique Flores Magón, founders of the Mexican Liberal Party

Wickenburg Hispanic Pioneer Families

Nuestras Memorias – Our Memories
Jamax Publishers Press is pleased to announce the first pictorial history of the early Hispanic settlers in the northern reaches of the great Sonora Desert. "Wickenburg Hispanic Pioneer Families – Nuestras Memorias" celebrates Wickenburg’s rich cultural heritage with photographs of and anecdotes about the first Mexican pioneers that helped tame this desert mining town, as well as their descendants that still live there today.   

The Spanish vaquero cast the mold for today’s American cowboy. Literally meaning cow man, the vaquero knew how to manage large herds of cattle over huge tracks of land from the saddle of his horse, 200 years before the cowboy came on the scene. These master horsemen used the subtlest of nudges to direct their steeds instead of the rough yank on today’s leverage bit. They finely-tuned their clothes and techniques so well, their imprint remains in ranching today.

These cowboy traditions started in the Middle Ages with the Spanish. In the New World, cabelleros (Spanish gentleman) owned haciendas (ranches) where vaqueros worked for them. Anglo-European colonists, who managed their cattle on foot in small, fenced-in spaces, had no inkling about the Hispanics’ concept of ranching. 

The vaqueros introduced the darle vuelta (dally welter), and they branded their cattle as required by a branding ordinance established in 1529 in Mexico City. The vaqueros wore a sombrero (ten gallon hat) and chaparreras (chaps) for protection from the elements. And the fashion of their pointy boots with the high heels allowed them to slip a foot into the stirrups with ease and then anchor it with the heel.
The vaqueros excelled at tossing la reata (lariat) and used their Chihuahua spurs to direct their horses when the bawling of the cattle would drown out a verbal command. They had a remuda (stable of horses) from which to choose their mounts at the start of the day. Take all these trademark pieces of regalia or techniques away, and the American cowboy would have no get-up, from the top of his head right down to tip of his toes, including the giddy-up in-between.

For a review, see a low-res pdf of 36 double-page spreads (72 pages) from the 160 page book.  .  

Jamax produces distinctive four-color regional outdoor guides and custom publications with state-of-the-art equipment for the travel industry and specialized outdoors guides.

US $25.00.  Sent by David James 



March 14, at 2:00 PM.  "Crypto Jews of New Mexico"


If you ever wondered whether you had Jewish or other Middle East origins or just want to know more about the subject, I welcome you and invite you to attend. I will be presenting at the Wells Fargo Auditorium, of the National Hispanic Cultural Center on Saturday, March 14, at 2:00 PM. I will be accompanied by Emma Moya, noted Hispanic Jew researcher. The lecture is part of the "La Resolana" Series, hosted by Carlos Vasquez, History & Literary Arts Director, and will be about one hour in length. Admission is free.


The subject of the lecture will be "Crypto Jews of New Mexico".  We will be speaking on the topic of the early history of the Hebrew / Jewish people and their migrations to Spain and the Inquisition that followed. We will also speak about the Inquisition in Mexico / New Mexico and the resulting "hidden Jews" experience in New Mexico.  

Louis F. Serna

505-291-0261 H

505-610-3657 C



Hero Street USA


After he routed Pancho Villa's army in June 1915 on the plains of Central Mexico, victorious Gen. Alvaro Obregon wrote:
"I have run after Victory
and I won her
but when I found myself beside her
I felt despair.
The glows of her insignia
illuminated everything,
the ashes of the dead,
the suffering of the living."  


Ashes of the dead and suffering of the living triggered an exodus from Mexico to the United States that forever changed both countries. Before the horrors of the Mexican Revolution, fewer than 10,000 Mexicans emigrated to the United States . Then came the bloody Revolution triggering an exodus that saw close to one million Mexicans flee to the United States between 1910 and 1920.

The exodus changed the face of America. Today, Hispanics are the largest minority population in the United States. The Mexican exodus -- and its implications -- are at the heart of the new book Hero Street U.S.A. by Marc Wilson and published by the University of Oklahoma Press .

Hero Street U.S.A.
tells the story of Mexican families who fled their country to work for the Chicago and Rock Island Railroad in Silvis, Illinois. The railroad, desperately in need of labor during World War I, recruited Mexicans and gave them housing -- wheel-less boxcars -- in the 900-acre Rock Island rail yard in Silvis.

In those boxcars, hundreds of children were born -- including eight sons who would be killed in action fighting for the United States in World War II and Korea .

Hero Street U.S.A. chronicles the Mexican families' near-starvation in Mexico, their desperate escapes to the United States, and their lives in the prairie boxcar community where they deal with vicious labor disputes; desperate survival efforts during the Great Depression. The book then recounts the heroism as the sons of the Mexican aliens volunteered to fight for America after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor .

Until Dec. 7, 1941, the residents of Little Mexico in Silvis rarely strayed far from home. The old people -- those Mexican natives who'd fled the "ashes of the dead" spoke only Spanish -- wanted only food and shelter for their families, and a few dollars to send back home to friends and family still in Mexico . But their children -- U.S. citizens by birth -- wanted more. They found the outbreak of war as a door of opportunity to prove their patriotism and gain access to the American Dream.

More than 80 men from the Silvis Mexican-American community volunteered for service in World War II. Six of them never returned home:

Tony Pompa, who lied about his age, when into the Army at age 16. He died in Italy when his bomber was shot down in January 1941.

Combat engineer Frank Sandoval, who bought himself a new suit when he graduated high school at age 21, was killed by Japanese gunfire while he was helping build the Ledo Road in Burma in June 1944.

Paratrooper Willie Sandoval was shot to death during a night patrol along the Belgium-German border in October 1944.

Sgt. Claro Solis, who volunteered in hopes he could earn a gold star for this mother, died in January 1945 during the Battle of the Bulge.

Paratrooper Peter Masias was killed when he parachuted into Germany in March 1944.
Private Joseph Sandoval, brother of the slain Frank Sandoval, was killed in Germany in one of the last battles of World War II.

Then -- in the "forgotten war," the Korean conflict -- two more sons of Silvis' Little Mexico were killed -- Johnny Munos and Joe Gomez -- both in 1951.

Hero Street U.S.A. profiles each of the eight fallen soldiers -- and tells the stories of their parents' desperate flights to the United States during the Mexican Revolution.
The story doesn't end with the battle deaths.

The Mexican-American soldiers had found equality and camaraderie while serving in the U.S. military. But when they returned to Silvis they found that little had changed -- they were still largely treated as second-class citizens.

Mexican-American veterans attempted to join the local Silvis Veterans of Foreign Wars post -- but were blackballed and told to create their own Mexican-American post.
And the street where the Mexican families had moved to from the rail yard remained the only unpaved street in Silvis. "We were treated like dogs," said the father of one of the slain heroes.

Hero Street U.S.A. tells the story of how the residents of Little Mexico organized citizen- and voter-registration drives -- and how they gain political power that resulted in a Mexican-American being elected to the city council, and then as mayor of Silvis.
Today, there is a park and a monument built to honor the eight men heroes from Little Mexico. And the street was finally paved -- and formally renamed Hero Street U.S.A. , probably the single block in America with the most U.S. combat deaths.



Extract from the book:  HERO STREET, USA by Marc Wilson
University of Oklahoma Press,

For author interview, please contact: Sandy See, Publicist, 405-325-3200 or


The Julian Samora Legacy Project 


Dear JSLP Friends and Supporters,
Ken Martinez has written another bill in support of funding JSLP. House Bill 650 was written to request recurring funds, thus embedding JSLP at UNM. This year it is most important that you write in support of the bill. I am sending you a suggested letter and the list of each of the members of the House Education Committee. Please take a moment to cut and paste the letter at the bottom of this message and send it to each committee member. Endorsements from other states carry significant sway and will demonstrate and reinforce my point that Julian’s legacy is of national importance. So if you live outside of Nm, please participate. I am sending my own letter to the committee with a recap of our accomplishments in the two years since we received state funds.
The bill is currently in the Education Committee and may be heard soon. Please make time to send your support in the next few days. When it goes to the House Finance Committee, I will send you a list of their names and email addresses, along with a suggested letter.  Thank you so much for your continued support of the Project and for taking a few minutes of your busy day to send this message out.


Editor:  Carmen has notified Somos Primos that the Bill passed the Education Committee, but must still pass another oversight level.  Approval of the Bill will have to be passed by March 21st.  No action after that will be effective.

Dear New Mexico House Education Committee Member,
I am writing in support of HB 650 and urge you to pass this bill. Julian Samora, as a pioneering scholar and advocate active from the 1940s to the 1990s, was committed to training Mexican American scholars and professionals. Samora was responsible for the largest and most significant cohort of Latino academics produced by any individual. Samora was the first Mexican American to earn a Ph.D. in sociology and was the author of the first book length study of undocumented Mexican immigration, Los Mojados: The Wetback Story. 

The Julian Samora Legacy Project (JSLP) has made UNM a part of a consortium of prestigious institutions (University of Notre Dame, University of Texas at Austin, Michigan State University, and the National Council of La Raza). Graduate and undergraduate students at UNM receive access to resources and scholars from other institutions benefitting their own professional and academic development and elevating UNM’s place as a research institute and nexus of activity on Critical Race Theory, educational pedagogy, interdisciplinary work, mentorship/leadership modules and Ethnic Studies. JSLP’s presence on the campus advances the prestige of the university, supports our students, and engages our faculty as researchers and mentors.
Thank you,

Below is the list of the NM House Education Committee with contact info.

Rick Miera-Chair:
Rhonda S. King-Vice Chair: Capitol Phone# 505.986.4438
Nora Espinosa:
Mary Helen Garcia:
Thomas A. Garcia:
Karen E. Giannini:
Jimmie C. Hall:
Dianne Miller Hamilton:
Dennis J. Roch:
Sheryl Williams Stapleton:
Jack E. Thomas:

Carmen Samora, Samora Legacy Project
908 Fruit Avenue NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102
(505) 243-6403  (505) 350-4901- Cell


Mexicans in Tempe by Santos C.  Vega 

Dear residents and friends of Tempe.  
Dear friends,
You are among the first to be informed that the book "Mexicans in Tempe" will be out after Feb. 23rd. Book Signings are planned, with the first scheduled for March 20, 7:00 Barnes and Noble, Tempe Market Place. However, books will be sold at book parties and on-line at   or by mail to Abrazo enterprises, 4138 W. Augusta Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85051-5748.  Lisa and Jess have agreed to make a book party at their home, Santiago Moratto, Armando Ramirez, and Rosie Guaderrama also want to schedule a book party.  I am looking for two or three more persons that will agree to make a book party in their home.  We will toast the wonderful residents of Tempe, celebrate in round robin discussions, and books will be on sale. The book sells for $21.99.   The price was set by Arcadia Publishing Company.  I am going to order the number of books I will need to have enough for all of you who wish to purchase one from me at a book party. Email me back and let me know how many books to order for you. Lisa and Jess already ordered five because they are ordering for family, as well; Rudy and Rachel Arroyo want six, or you can order one book now and buy more later, the books are that wonderful, believe me. The book is a photographs and text history of Tempe based on early pioneer Mexican families, and is generational in presenting heritage, celebrations, traditions, sports, education, work, military, and remembrances. It's been a long time coming, and finally it is here. 
Thanks and all kindness to you.  Santos C.  Vega 


Ricardo and Enrique Flores Magón, 
Founders of the Mexican Liberal Party


Many great Mexicans have lived in El Paso attracted by the warm hospitality of the border community. This is the case of Ricardo Flores Magón, who lived for several months in 1906 in a small apartment in the heart of El Segundo Barrio. This place was located a few blocks from where the Centro de los Trabajadores Agrícolas Fronterizos is now located. His brief stay in El Paso was enough to leave us his revolutionary example and his vision of a system free of oppression end exploitation.

Ricardo Flores Magón was born in San Antonio Eloxochitlán, Oaxaca, in 1873, to a poor family. His parents were Teodoro Flores and Margarita Magón. He attended elementary and high school then went on to Law School in 1893. But he did not become an attorney, instead he became a journalist with "El Demócrata", an opposition newspaper. In 1900, along with his brother Jesús, he founded "Regeneración", a very radical and antigovernment paper that ended him in jail. After he was released from jail in 1902, he joined another opposition newspaper, "El Hijo del Ahuizóte." He was arrested again and in 1904, he was forced to escape to San Antonio, Texas, where he start to publish "Regeneración" again with the help of his brother Enrique. The persecution continues and they fled to St. Louis, Missouri in 1905, and continue publishing their newspaper. In this city, they founded the Mexican Liberal Party in 1906. In January of 1911, they directed the uprising of Baja California, and seized the towns of Mexicali and Tijuana. Francisco I. Madero, leader of the revolutionary movement against the Porfirio Díaz' dictatorship, attempted to bring the "Magonistas" to his side, but Ricardo Flores Magón, leader of the rebels, rejected him arguing that Madero was part of a "revolution of the rich."

A manifesto signed by Ricardo Flores Magón and Librado Rivera, addressed to all the anarchists of the world in 1918, was used by the North American government as a excuse to jail both. Librado was sentenced to 15 years in prison, while Ricardo Flores Magón was sentenced to 20 years. He was sent to the prison at McNeil Island, in the State of Washington. He got very ill and was moved to the federal prison of Leavenworth, Kansas, where he died in 1922.

Ricardo wrote two revolutionary plays: "Tierra y Libertad" ("Land and Freedom") and "Verdugos y Víctimas" (Executioners and Victims), works of very intensive social criticism and impressive realism. He wrote many essays, fiction and reports.

Ricardo Flores Magón
Post Office Box 7
Leavenworth, Kansas
May 9, 1921

Mr. Harry Weinberger
Counselor at Law
New York City

My Dear Mr. Weinberger:

Your letter of the 25th of last April and a copy of Mr. Daugherty's letter to you received. You want me to furnish you with data regarding the sentence which ended on January 19, 1914; but in order for you to judge whether I have been the victim of a conspiracy bent on keeping in bondage the Mexican peon, or not, I am going to furnish you with an abstract of the persecution I have suffered ever since I took refuge in this country. I must, before going any further, beg your pardon for my keeping your attention from other business undoubtedly more important than mine.

After years, many years, of an unequal struggle in the press and the political clubs of the City of Mexico against the cruel despotism of Porfirio Diaz; after having suffered repeated incarcerations for my political beliefs ever since I was 17 years old, and having almost miraculously escaped death at the hands of hired assassins on several occasions in that dark period of the Mexican history when the practice of the government was to silence truth's voice with the firing squad, or the dagger, or the poison; after the judiciary, by judicial decree of June 30, 1903, forbade me not only to write for my own journals but to contribute for theirs as well, having my printing plants successively sequestrated by the government and my life being in peril, I decided to come to this country, which I knew to be the land of the free and the Home of the brave, to resume my work of enlightenment of the Mexican masses.

The 11th day of January, 1904, saw me set my foot on this land, almost penniless, for all that I had possessed had been sequestrated by the Mexican Government, but rich in illusion and hopes of social and political justice. Regeneracion made its reappearance on American soil in November, 1904. On the following December, a ruffian sent by Diaz entered my domicile, and would have stabbed me in the back had it not been for the quick intervention of my brother, Enrique, who happened to be near by. Enrique threw the ruffian out of the house, and showing that this brutal assault on my person had been prepared by certain authorities, and the possible failure of the ruffian's attempt foreseen, at the falling of the latter on the sidewalk a swarm of agents of the public peace invaded the premises. Enrique was made a prisoner and jailed, and finally condemned to pay a fine for disturbing the peace. Embolden by the protection he enjoyed, the ruffian again forced his entrance into my house. This time I telephoned the police; the man was arrested, and I was summoned to appear in court the following day early in the morning. When I arrived at the police court the man had already been released....

Being my life was so lightly regarded by those who claim to have been empowered with authority to safeguard human interests and life, I decided to move southward, and in February, 1905, Regeneracion resumed publication at St. Louis, Mo. In October, same year, trouble broke loose against me. A Mexican Government official, by the name of Manuel Esperon y de la Flor, who maintained the worst type of slavery in the district under his command, for he used to kill men, women and children as feudal lords used to do, was chosen by Diaz to come and file against me a complaint for what he deems to be a slanderous article which had been printed in Regeneracion, and dealing with the despotism he displayed on the unfortunate inhabitants of the district under his control. A charge of criminal libel was preferred and I was thrown into jail with my brother, Enrique, and Juan Sarabia. Everything in the newspaper office was sequestrated—printing plant, typewriter machines, books, furniture and so on—and sold before a trial had taken place. A detail that illustrates the connivance between the Mexican and American authorities to persecute one, may be seen in the fact that the postmaster at St. Louis called me to his office with the apparent purpose of getting from me some information as to the financial status of the newspaper, but in reality to let a Pinkerton detective see me, that he might identify me later. The detective was already in the postmaster's office when I arrived there in compliance to his summons. This same detective led the officers who arrested me. After months of languishing in a cell, I got released on bail, to find that the second-class privilege of Regeneracion had been canceled by the Postmaster General on the flimsy pretext that more than half of the regular issues of the newspaper circulated in Mexico, and that extradition papers were being prepared in Mexico to ask my delivery to the Mexican authorities. I paid my bondsman the amount of my bail, and on March, 1905, I took refuge in Canada, for I was certain that death awaited me in Mexico. At that time, the mere asking by Diaz for a man he wanted was enough to spirit a man across the line to be shot. While in Toronto, Ontario, Regeneracion was being published in St. Louis. The Diaz agents found at least my whereabouts. I was informed of their intentions and evaded arrest by moving to Montreal, Quebec. Few hours after my having left Toronto, the police called at my abandoned domicile. I ignore until today how could Diaz throw the Canadian authorities against me.

While in Montreal, my Mexican Comrades in Mexico were planning an uprising to overthrow the savage despotism of Porfirio Diaz. I secretly moved to the Mexican frontier on September, 1906, to participate in the generous movement. My presence in El Paso, Texas, though kept strictly unknown, was discovered by American and Mexican sleuths, who on the 20th of October, same year, assaulted the room where I had to confer with some of my Comrades. Antonio I. Villarreal, now Minister of Agriculture in Obregon's cabinet, and Juan Sarabia, were arrested. I escaped. A price was put on my head. A $25,000 reward was offered for my capture, and hundreds of thousands of leaflets bearing my picture and a description of my personal features were circulated throughout the Southwest, and fixed in post offices and conspicuous places with the temptive reward. I succeeded, however, in evading arrest until August 23, 1907, when, with Librado Rivera and Antonio I. Villarreal, I was made prisoner in Los Angeles, Cal., without the formality of a warrant.

The intention of the persecutors was to send us across the border, this being the reason of their actions without a warrant, as they had done on Manuel Sarabia on June of the same year. Sarabia was one of my associates. Without a warrant he was arrested at Douglas, Ariz., by American authorities, and in the dead of night delivered to Mexican rurales, who took him to the Mexican side. The whole Douglas population arose against such a crime, and the unrest which it produced was so intense that Sarabia was sent back to the United States three or four days later, where he was immediately released. We avoided being kidnaped into Mexico by voicing in the street the intentions of our captors. A big crowd gathered, and it was necessary for our abductors to take us to the police station, and to rapidly manufacture a charge against us. Our lawyer, Job Harriman, got an affidavit, which I think was sent to the Department of Justice, wherein it is alleged that one Furlong, head of a St. Louis detective's agency, confessed that he was in the employment of the Mexican Government and paid by it, and that it was his purpose to kidnap us across the Mexican border.

Charge after charge was preferred against us, ranging in importance from resisting an officer to robbery and murder. All these charges were successfully fought by Harriman, but in the meantime our persecutors were forging documents, training witnesses and so forth, until at length they finally charged us with having broken the neutrality laws by giving material assistance to patriots to rise in arms against Porfirio Diaz. The forged documents and trained witnesses were examined by the United States Commissioner at Los Angeles, and as a result we were, after more than 20 months' incarceration in the county jail, sent to Tombstone, Ariz., to be tried. The mere reading of the depositions made by the government witnesses before the United States Commissioner at Los Angeles, and then before the judge of our trial at Tombstone, shows that they committed perjury in either place, or in both. Experts for the defense proved that the exhibited documents were gross forgeries. We were, however, sentenced to 18 months' imprisonment, which we served in Yuma and Florence, Ariz., being released on August 1, 1910, after three years spent behind prison bars.

Regeneracion appeared again in September of the same year, this time in Los Angeles. Cal. On June, 1911, I was arrested with my brother, Enrique, Librado Rivera, and Anselmo L. Figueroa, charged with having violated the neutrality laws by sending men, arms and ammunition to those fighting in Mexico against that form of chattel slavery known as peonage, which has been the curse of four-fifths of the Mexican population, as everybody knows. Jack Mosby, one of the prospected witnesses for the prosecution, said on the stand that the United States District Attorney had promised him all kinds of benefits if he perjured against us. Fake testimony was introduced by the prosecution, as proven by affidavits sworn by its witnesses after the trial was over, affidavits which must be on file in the Department of Justice, as they were sent there in 1912. In June, 1912, after a year of fighting the case, we were sent to McNeil Island to serve the 23 months' imprisonment 
to which we were condemned, having been released on January 19, 1914. Figueroa died shortly afterward as a result of' his imprisonment. 

On February 18, 1917, I was arrested with my brother Enrique, for having published in Regeneracion articles against the treachery committed by Carranza, then President of Mexico, against the workers, and for having written that the Mexicans who at the time were being assassinated by Texas rangers deserved justice rather than bullets. I got a sentence of one year and one day, for I was expected to live only a few more months, having been taken from a hospital bed to be tried. Enrique got three years. We appealed and finally succeeded in getting bond, under which we were released pending the appeal. 

On the 21st of March. 1918, I was arrested with Rivera for having published in Regeneracion the Manifesto for which I was given 20 years' imprisonment and Rivera 15. The wording and meaning of the Manifesto were construed as seditious by the prosecution, that is, as aiming at the insubordination and revolt of the military and naval forces of the United States. Any sensible person who happened to read the Manifesto would not draw such a conclusion, for in reality the Manifesto is only an exposition of facts and a fair warning to all mankind of the evils those facts might produce. In one of its paragraphs it is clearly stated that no one can make a revolution on account of it being a social phenomenon. The Manifesto was aimed at the prevention of the evils a revolution carries itself—the revolution being regarded from a scientific standpoint as a world-wide inevitable result of the unsettled conditions of the world. The Manifesto does not refer in the least to the policies of the American Government in the last war, nor gives aid and comfort to its enemies. It is neither pro-German nor pro-Ally, and does not single out the United States in its brief review of the world conditions. It was enough, however, to secure for me a life term behind prison bars. The persecution, this time, was exceedingly severe. My poor wife, Maria, was incarcerated during five months, and is now free on bond awaiting trial for having notified my friends of my arrest, that they should assist me in my legal defense. 

After reading this extremely long and dreadfully tedious statement of facts, how could any person believe that I have rightfully been prosecuted and in no way persecuted? In each case, and in defiance of the law, bail has been fixed at enormous rates so as to prevent me making use of the privilege. As to the veracity of my assertions, my honor as a life-long fighter for justice is hereby solemnly pledged. 

Mr. Daugherty says I am a dangerous man because of the doctrines I assert and practice. Now, then, the doctrines I assert and practice are the anarchist doctrines, and I challenge all fair-minded men and women the world over to prove to me that the anarchist doctrines are detrimental to the human race. Anarchism strives for the establishment of a social order based on brotherhood and love, as against the actual form of society, founded on violence, hatred and rivalry of one class against the other, and of members of one class among themselves. Anarchism aims at establishing peace forever among all the races of the earth by the suppression of this fountain of all evils—the right of private property. If this is not a beautiful ideal, what is it? No one thinks that the peoples of the civilized world are living under ideal conditions. Every conscientious person feels himself shocked at the sight of this continual strife of men against man, of this unending deceiving of one another. Material success is the goal that lures men and women the world over, and to achieve it no vileness is too vile, no baseness is too base, to deter its worshippers from coveting it. The results of this universal madness are appalling; virtue is trampled upon by crime, and artfulness takes the place of honesty. Sincerity is only a word, or at the most, a mask under which fraud grins. There is no courage to uphold the convictions. Frankness has disappeared and deceit forms the slippery plan on which man meets man in his social and political intercourse. "Everything for success" is the motto, and the noble face of the earth is desecrated with the blood of the contending beasts . . . Such are the conditions under which we civilized men live, conditions which breed all sorts of moral and material torture, alas! And all sorts of moral and material degradation. At the correction of all these unwholesome influences and the anarchist doctrines aim, and a man who sustains these doctrines of brotherhood and love can never be called dangerous bv any sensible, decent person. 

Mr. Daugherty agrees on my being sick, but he thinks that I can be taken care of in my sickness in prison as well as it could be done on the outside. Environment is all-important in the treatment of diseases, and no one would ever imagine that a prison cell is the ideal environment for a sick man, and much less when the presence in prison of such a man is owing to his having been faithful to truth and justice. The government officials have always said that there are not in the United States persons kept in captivity on account of their beliefs, but Mr. Daugherty says in his letter to you: "He, in no manner, evinces any evidence of repentance, but on the contrary, rather prides himself upon his defiance of the law.... I am of the opinion, therefore, that until he indicates a different spirit than that expressed in his letter to Mrs. Branstetter, he should at least serve until August 15, 1925." The quoted paragraphs, and the part of Mr. Daugherty's letter in which he says I am regarded dangerous on account of my doctrines, are the best evidence that there are persons kept in prison owing to their social and political beliefs. If I believed that it is not persecution, but prosecution, that has been exerted against me; if I believed that the law under which I was given a life term in prison was a good law, I would be set free, according to Mr. Daugherty. That law was undoubtedly a good law but to a few persons, those who had something to gain with its enactment. As for the masses, the law was a bad one, for thanks to it thousands of young American men lost their lives in Europe, many thousands more were maimed or otherwise incapacitated to earn a livelihood, and thanks to it the colossal European carnage, where scores of millions of men were either slain or maimed for life, received momentous impulse and bred the tremendous financial crises which is threatening to plunge the world into chaos. However, as I have stated before, I did not violate this law with the issuance of the Manifesto of March 16, 1918. 

As for the matter of repentance to which Mr. Daugherty gives so much importance, I sincerely state that my conscience does not reproach me with having done wrong, and therefore, to repent of what I am convinced is right would be a crime on my part, a crime that my conscience would never pardon me. He who commits an anti-social act may repent, and it is desired that he repents, but it is not fair to exact a vow of repentance from him who all he wishes is to secure freedom, justice and well-being for all his fellow men regardless of race and creed. If some one ever convinces me that it is just that children starve, and that young women have to choose of two infernos one—prostitution or starvation; if there is a person who could drive out of my brain the idea of not being honorable to kill within oneself that elementary instinct of sympathy which prompts every sociable animal to stand by the members of its species, and that it is monstrous that man, the most intelligent of beasts, has to wield the weapons of fraud and deceit if he wants to achieve success; if the idea that man must be the wolf of man enters my brain, then I shall repent. But as this will never be, my fate is sealed. I have to die in prison, branded as a felon. Darkness is already enshrouding me as though anxious of anticipating for me the eternal shadows into which the dead sink. I accept my fate with manly resignation, convinced that some day, long perhaps after Mr. Daugherty and myself have breathed our last, and of what we have been there only remained his name exquisitely carved in a marble flag upon his grave in a fashionable cemetery, and mine, only a number, 14596, roughly scraped in some plebeian stone in the prison graveyard, justice shall be done me. 

With many thanks for the activity you have shown on my behalf, I remain, sincerely yours, 

Ricardo Flores Magon

Post Office Box 7
Leavenworth, Kansas
November 25, 1922 

Raul Palma,
Dear brother:

The autopsy or careful examination of Ricardo's body in order to know the real cause of his death, seems to me imperative, not only to satisfy his numerous friends' just doubts, but to make light, much light in this black crime committed against our beloved one. 

Before Ricardo's cadaver none of the criminals in the plot to kill him can not deny now that he was right to the last moment. Magon was very sick. He made often strong appeals for an impartial examination of his body, but he was not heard. His calls were answered with deep disdain by his hangman. He died alone in his cell. The telegram addressed to you was made by Warden Biddle's order not withstanding my protests. My telegram was not allowed as it was written by me. 

All medical attention was denied to Ricardo, even medicines. And when on last June 1st., 
I did dare to write a letter to Gus Telstch telling him of Magon's very serious condition in regard to his health, that letter was kept in the Warden's office and I was severely punished with the indefinite suspension of my mailing privileges. I could not write nor receive any letters during four months and a half. This was done by Warden Biddle instead of Ricardo's examination, with which he could prove that I was a felon and a liar. At the time it happened that the Warden found in my possession one of Ricardo's letters. Magon was called at the Warden's office and was threatened by the same Warden to punish him and even to cut away all his good time—seven years—if he dared to show me any of his letters, or to tell to any of his friends that he, (Ricardo) was not receiving careful attention by the prison physician. —My letter to Telstch was written as follows:

"June 1st., 1922. My dear Teltsch: Your letter of May 8th. was gladly received. As I told you in my former letter of April 5th., that Ricardo was sick in the hospital, it happened that he was there during three days with the purpose of making a complete examination of his health and they found that he is enjoying a very good health. This surprised me because the facts are very different. Actually you could not recognize him, he is the shadow of that Ricardo whom you saw years ago. Besides his blindness he suffers some other sickness. Since 1916, during his last trial in Los Angeles, Ricardo was sent to the federal hospital by the judge's orders because since then he was suffering with Diabetes. After his sentence he was released on bond and during this time Magon was under the care of a specialist paid by the group "Regeneracion." And when in 1918 he was sentenced to 20 and one more years in the last charge, he was very sick. The prison physician of McNeil Island made an analysis of his urine and found much sugar in it. During his imprisonment in McNeil Ricardo was under strict diet for fifteen months. Then he was transferred to Leavenworth but during his confinement in this penitentiary he has never been cured not even under any diet. Yet "he is enjoying very good health." Diabetes is hard to cure. It is considered incurable by some physicians. —"We are living under the most cruel tyranny. Things are not so bad after all. Liberty is tyranny's daughter. Who knows if in this very moment the process of this beloved phenomena is developing in tyranny's womb!" 

The 21st. (Nov.) I held the following conversation in Warden's office. Warden: "Did you ever know that Magon had such disease, (heart disease) before?" Rivera: "He always complained of strong pains in his heart but could not explain the character of the disease." Warden: "I never knew that." Rivera: "He complained very often that he was very sick." My original telegram to you was written as follows: "Ricardo Flores Magon died this morning at five o'clock from heart disease according to prison physician Yoke." The Warden objected about the name Yoke. When I told him that that was the name of the disease mentioned by Yoke before him (Warden) and me. He did not allow me to mention Yoke in my telegram, as fearing to reveal certain compromise between themselves. 

I am going to write to Mr. Weinberger. My love for all of you. 
Librado Rivera  

Posted by: "Carlos Callejo"
Sent by Dorinda Moreno



Fifty Years of African Impact on Cuba:  Click to Caribbean/Cuba section 



Cuando veo en la televisión a esa pobre gente que en pateras intentan llegar a nuestras costas de Huelva, viene a mi recuerdo lo que sería a partir del siglo XV el tráfico de esclavos africanos para América.

Aunque ya había comercio de esclavos negros que llevaban desde la parte norte de África para los mercados asiáticos, por esta parte de Europa la primacía la tienen los portugueses, ya que en 1432 el navegante portugués Gil Eanes trajo la primera remesa de esclavos africanos y desde entonces uno de los importantes negocios fue para ellos el trafico de personas que hacían primero entre África y la Península y también con las islas Madeira y Azores, ampliándolo después a Brasil.

Era tal la importancia que adquirió este comercio, que se creó por el jesuita Antonio Vieira, la Compañía General de Comercio de Brasil, dedicada a este degradante tráfico.

Le siguieron otras nuevas asociaciones porque el negocio era muy “lucrativo”, como la Compañía del Estado de Maranhao en 1679, la de la Costa de África en 1723, y otras más de Pernambuco y Paraibas.

Procuraban llevar hombres y mujeres fuertes que capturaban en zonas africanas cercanas a la costa, y en condiciones infrahumanas los transportaban hacinados en las bodegas hasta el recién descubierto Nuevo Mundo,  con el agravante que a los que no resistían la dureza del viaje, cuando los veían muy enfermos e inservibles, los arrojaban al mar.

Los gobiernos de España, Francia, Holanda y especialmente Inglaterra, se beneficiaron mucho de este comercio de seres humanos.

El primer esclavo negro que pisó territorio americano fue Estevanico, que iba al servicio del Capitán Andrés Dorantes, de Gibraleón y que partió con la expedición de Pánfilo de Narváez. Hay que tener en cuenta que el Duque de Bejar tenía en Gibraleón un importante mercado y al ser el padre del Capitán Dorantes el administrador de los bienes del Duque, tendría facilidad para conseguir que uno de los mejores esclavos fuera para su hijo.

Pero fue Inglaterra la primera que convirtió este  tráfico en comercio de estado, comenzando en el reinado de Elizabeth I, la Reina Virgen , y  el primer comerciante de “esta mercancía” y por cuya heroicidad fue premiado con un titulo nobiliario, fue John Hawkins.

                       Ángel  Custodio Rebollo

   Publicado en Odiel Información de Huelva, el 18 de febrero de 2009





Hace unos días, en una investigación sobre Sebastián Álvarez, que recurrió, por haber sido rechazado para ingresar en la Universidad de Nueva España, por “castizo”, me llamó la atención esta expresión y al fin pude averiguar que era el vocablo utilizado para designar a un tipo de mestizo en la América colonial. Se llamaba castizo a la unión de un castellano con una mestiza, y se deriva de la palabra casta.

Yo siempre había creído que la mezcla de raza blanca e india era el mestizo y nada más, pero encontré que hay muchísimas mas designaciones. Por ejemplo, la mezcla de indio con negra, se llama zambo; la de castellano con negra, es mulato y la de mulata con blanco, morisco.

Cuando la unión era entre indio con mestiza, se llamaba coyote ó cholo y el español con coyote, era harnizo. Al mulato con india, se le denominaba chino, al chino con india, se decía que era cambujo y el cambujo con india, era un sambaigo.

Si un albino se mezclaba con blanca y uno de ellos tenía un abuelo o bisabuelo negro, se decía que era un salta atrás. Pero cuando un salta atrás se unía a una mulata, se denominaba lobo.

Hay mas denominaciones, como la mezcla de zambaigo con loba, se le llamaba campa mulato y un campa mulato con una cambuja, tente en el aire.

Pero estas denominaciones, en muchos casos fueron utilizadas por poco tiempo, porque  se desarrollaron unas denominaciones generalizadas que abarcaban a varias de las mencionadas anteriormente y en el lenguaje popular eran mestizos, mulatos, pardos, criollos ó zambos y pocas más.

Aunque ya lo hemos dicho alguna vez, el padre del mestizaje es considerado que fue Gonzalo Guerrero, arcabucero, natural de Palos según unos historiadores y de Niebla, según otros, que en 1511, cuando iba desde Panamá a Cuba, su barco naufragó y con otros 12 compañeros estuvo en un bote a la deriva, hasta que fueron apresados por los indígenas.

Gonzalo se enamoró de Aixchel y se integró en la tribu, de tal forma que cuando vinieron los castellanos a rescatarlo dijo: “aquí soy el jefe, me he casado y tengo tres hijos, ¿Cómo me recibirían en Castilla con las orejas horadadas y la cara labrada?”

Murió en Puerto Caballos (Honduras) en 1536 luchando contra las tropas al mando de Pedro de Alvarado.                                     

Ángel  Custodio Rebollo

Publicado en Odiel Información de Huelva, el 24 de febrero de 2009  




Mexican Cycles

Festival Images by George O. Jackson de Llano

September 26, 2007 through April 20, 2008


A scene from the Carnival festival of the Huastecan Nahuas. February 1993. Huautla, Hidalgo, Mexico. Photo courtesy of George O. Jackson de Llano.

Organized by the Mexico-North Research Network, Mexican Cycles celebrates Mexico’s cultural diversity and the creativity of the members of its Indigenous communities by exploring the annual cycle of their religious festivals as captured in the images of the Mexican-American photographer George O. Jackson de Llano. Based in Austin, Texas, Jackson de Llano is widely regarded as among the most accomplished photographers of Mexican ceremonial life today. Between 1990 and 2001, he photographed the religious festivals of Indigenous communities from across Mexico. The result is an unparalleled record of these festivals at the turn of the 21st century and of the complex interaction of Indigenous and European religious traditions out of which they emerged.

The National Museum of Natural History received federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center, to install this exhibition.


Sent by Jose M. Pena



Excerpt: 'Massive Funeral Complex' Unearthed 
Prehistoric village is found near San Pedro River, Arizona
Andean Crops Cultivated Almost 10,000 Years Ago by Michael Abrams
13,000-year-old set of tools unearthed at Colorado home

Excerpt: 'Massive Funeral Complex' Unearthed

By Miguel Angel Gutierrez, 
Reuters posted: Mexico City (Feb. 11)

Archeologists have found a mass grave in Mexico City with four dozen human skeletons laid out in neat lines . . .

The 13-by-32-foot burial site differs from other conquest-era graves because of the reverential way the bodies were buried, following Christian customs of the time, unlike thousands of contemporary graves at other Aztec cities where bodies were thrown in at random.

"It is a mass grave, but they were very carefully buried," Guilliem said. The burials were likely ordered by Spanish overlords but carried out by Aztecs since most of the artifacts found around the bodies, such as copper necklaces and bone buttons, are from pre-Hispanic cultures, he said.

The skeletons of two children, a teenager, and an old person wearing a ring that could signify higher status, were found along with 45 young adults in the tomb. The scientists expect to find at least 50 more bodies as excavations continue at the massive Tlatelolco complex, home to 67 ancient structures, including massive pyramids. 

"The discovery is filling us with more questions than answers at this point," Guilliem said.
Writing by Mica Rosenberg; Editing by Eric Walsh.
Sent by Dorinda Moreno

Editor:  Could it be that the reverence was given to these bodies because they were sacrificed by the Aztecs to Aztec gods.  Or, since they suggest that they were "following Christian customs" could they been early converts to the Christian faith that died, fighting on the side of the Spanish, and were buried by other Christians??


Prehistoric village is found near San Pedro River, Arizona
By Ted Morris, January 20, 2009 


The construction of the fence along the U.S.-Mexico border in 2007 led to the discovery of a prehistoric village east of the San Pedro River. Some of those findings were presented Thursday evening to the Tubac/Santa Cruz County Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society.

"The San Pedro is a special place," said archaeologist Maren Hopkins, 27, the project director. She said the village was probably the biggest data-recovery project that she has directed. Hopkins has been digging for 10 years in many places in Arizona, New Mexico and Mexico.

Evidence found at the "Upper San Pedro Village" indicates that it was a crossroads, or a type of
"gateway community," said Hopkins, who works for Northland Research Inc., which has offices in Flagstaff, Tempe and Tucson.

"It's sort of an area that's on the periphery of a lot of other areas that we do understand," Hopkins
said. "It's a peripheral site to the Tucson Basin ... it's peripheral to all these areas. So these people were kind of a mix of people. It was frontier then, just like it is now."

The village is believed to have existed from around A.D. 700 to 1200, Hopkins said, based on ceramics analysis. There appear to be some Hohokam characteristics, but it is uncertain who lived
there.  Archaeologists found: 23 pit houses, 14 possible pit houses, 97 thermal pits, a number of storage pits, five dog burials and 69 human burials. As is customary in this region, the human remains have been repatriated to the Tohono O'Odham Indian Reservation.

There was an interesting artifact found at the site that Hopkins had not seen before. She calls it a "stone jaw bone." It has a serrated edge, and she believes that it was used for scraping animal hides. Several of these implements were found at the site, which also yielded "more deer bone than
I've ever seen in my life," she said.

Northland was contracted to do archaeological work for the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers and the U.S. Department Homeland Security so that they could comply with federal archaeological laws. In
October 2007, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff pushed ahead with the fence, winning federal court approval of the waiving of environmental restrictions.

"It is a sensitive subject," Hopkins said of the border politics. She told the Tubac archaeology society how complicated her work was, because of the numerous government and private agencies involved. Those included ranchers on the U.S. and Mexico side, the U.S. Bureau of Land
Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife and the Arizona National Guard, just to name a few.

She described how one time "the No. 2 guy" from Homeland Security flew to the San Pedro River archaeological site in a Black Hawk helicopter and asked the scientists, "Are you OK?" Some of the nearby Mexican ranchers were delivering tacos, which the archaeologists had become accustomed to. The Homeland Security official asked, "Are they bugging you?" The archaeologists answered, "No."

Hopkins said there was genuine concern for archaeologists' safety when they were working in another site along the border. She was referring to the violent smuggling corridor of Altar Valley,
Ariz. Overall, the archaeologists dealt with multiple jurisdictions and a lot of curious people.
" ... we just had people around us all the time," she said.

Mexican archaeologists were among the interested parties, and their American counterparts are collaborating with them, Hopkins said. One restriction posed by the U.S. government was that the
archaeologists could only dig 5 feet deep, because that was as far as they were digging for the fence's footers. Below that depth, "The archaeology, I guarantee, keeps going," Hopkins said. 

On another axis, the archaeologists were allowed to dig to a limit of 60 feet wide. That dimension
related to President Theodore Roosevelt's 60-foot-wide easement running the length of the U.S.-Mexico border from California to Texas. The "Roosevelt Reservation" was created "for the purpose of homeland security," Hopkins said.

This "stripping" method of archaeology, done mainly by backhoe, extended for 0.3 miles and excavated 7,500 tons of soil from 0.75 acres. The site has been reburied. Hopkins has not been back for many months. "There's a fence there now," she said. 

(Ted Morris works for The International' s sister newspapers Sierra Vista Herald and Bisbee Daily
Review. He can be reached at (520) 515-4614 or by e-mail at cityeditor@svherald .com.)

Dorinda Moreno




Andean Crops Cultivated Almost 10,000 Years Ago by Michael Abrams

January 15, 2008

Archaeologists have long thought that people in the Old World were planting, watering, weeding, and harvesting for a good 5,000 years before anyone in the New World did such things. But fresh evidence, in the form of Peruvian squash seeds, indicates that farming in the New and Old Worlds was nearly concurrent. In a paper  the journal Science published last June, Tom Dillehay,

An anthropological archaeologist at Vanderbilt University, revealed that the squash seeds he found in the ruins of what may have been ancient storage bins on the lower western slopes of the Andes in northern Peru are almost 10,000 years old. "I don't want to play the early button game," he said, "but the temporal gap between the Old and New World, in terms of a first pulse toward civilization, is beginning to close."

The seeds aren't the only things that support the argument. Dillehay also found evidence of cotton and peanut farming and what seem to be garden hoes; nearby are irrigation canals. What puzzles him is why the ancients of the Nanchoc Valley would make the switch to farming from hunting and gathering when a walk of just an hour and a half would bring them to a forest filled with nutritious foods. Some clues point to contact with outsiders and the
exchange of foods and other products. The squash is not native to the area, and tools made from exotic cherts and jaspers from the highlands can be found in the same ruins. But there are also other factors, including the need for more food, both to feed a growing population and to use for ceremonies and other gatherings. "The general pattern," Dillehay says, "is
that there's a technological, socioeconomic cultural package that indicates something unique and interesting took place."


13,000-year-old set of tools unearthed at Colorado home

Landscapers in Boulder, Colorado last May stumbled onto a cache of more than 83 ancient tools buried by the Clovis people - ice age hunter-gathers who remain a puzzle to anthropologists.  The home's owner, Patrick Mahaffy, thought they were only a century or two old before contacting researchers at the University of Colorado-Boulder.

"My jaw just dropped," said CU anthropologist Douglas Bamforth, who is leading a study of the find.  "Boulder is a densely populated area.  And in the midst of all that to find this cache."  

The cache is one of only a handful of Clovis-age artifacts uncovered in North American, Bamforth said.  The tools reveal an unexpected level of sophistication, he said, describing the design as "unnecessarily complicated," artistic and utilitarian at the same time.

What researchers found on the tools also was significant.  Biochemical analysis of blood and other protein residue revealed the tools were used to butcher camels, horses, sheep and bears.  That proves that the Clovis people ate more than just woolly mammoth meat for dinner, something scientists were unable to confirm before.

The cache was buried 18 inches deep and was packed in a hole the size of a large shoe box.  the tools were most likely wrapped in a skin that deteriorated over time, Mahaffy said.

The Orange County Register, Feb 27, 2009




Marranos on the Moradas
Secret Jews and Penitentes 
Southwestern United States 
Norman Simms



Two groups were persecuted over four hundred years in what is now the southwestern United States, each dissimulating and disguising who they truly were. Both now declare their true identities, yet raise hostility. The Penitentes are a lay Catholic brotherhood that practiced bloody rites of self-flagellation and crucifixion, but claim this is a misrepresentation and that they are a community and charitable organization. 

Marranos, an ambiguous and complicated population of Sephardic descendants, claim to be anousim. Both peoples have a complex, shared history. This book disentangles the web, redefines the terms, and creates new contexts in which these groups are viewed with respect and sympathy without idealizing or slandering them. It uses rabbinics, literary analyses, psychohistory, and cultural anthropology to consolidate a history of mentalities.

ISBN 978-1-934843-32-1  520 pp. cloth  $79.00
Publication Date: December, 2008
Academic Studies Press                                                                      
28 Montfern Ave, Brighton MA 02135
(617)782-6290, (857)540-3856

Sent by Angelita Galvan-Freeman


2009 Clotilde P. Garcia Tejano Book Prize
March 7th: Trinidad Coy, Alamo Defender by Robert Garcia
March 9th:  P. L. Buquor and the Texas Rangers Association
March 21: Nights of Wailing, Days of Spain by Jose Antonio Lopez
March 28th: Hispanic Genealogical Seminar with George & Peggy Ryskamp.
March 28th: Cortina, Defending the Mexican Name in Texas
In 2004 Henry Martinez started a family history project
April 4th and April 5th: Celebrating the First Texas Republic
Battle of Medina and the April Edition of Texas Monthly
Renato Ramirez, Banker Assists Others 
Manifest Destinies: Where Mexican Americans Fit in the Early 21st Century Racial Order
The Mercurio Martinez Papers
Gone To Texas Pioneer Certificate
Hablas Valluco? Area Lingo a way of life for some, Confusing to others. 

 2009 Clotilde P. Garcia Tejano Book Prize  


The 2009 Texas State Hispanic Genealogy Conference will be held September 24-27, 2009 in Addison , TX at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 14315 Midway Rd. in Addison , TX.75001.  The Texas State Genealogical Conference “Celebrating Tejano Heritage,” has issued a call for entries of published books from the years 2008 - 2009 for its third annual competition.  The goal of the Clotilde P. Garcia Tejano Book Prize is to give Tejano Heritage books greater recognition from historians, scholars, academicians, film, television, and multimedia communities.    

This competition focuses on Tejano Heritage and will facilitate these published books into the spotlight and bring attention to Tejano Heritage, history and contributions.  A panel of judges will determine the winner.      

NOTIFICATION AND DEADLINES: We will notify each entry of the receipt of their package as indicated on your application form.  Deadline submissions must be postmarked by the close of business on April 30th, 2009.  Please note that judges will read and consider submissions on an ongoing basis, comparing early entries with later submissions.  The winner and two commendation awards will be presented at the Saturday Awards Banquet September 26, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. in Addison , TX in the Crown Plaza Hotel.  The Tejano Book Prize winner will be awarded a cash prize of $1000.00.

If you have a submission for the Book Prize please fill out the forms that are attached to this email. We are requesting four copies of each submission for our panel of judges.

For more information and an entry application contact, contact chairperson: 
Mary Guerrero, 512-644-6908


Trinidad Coy, Alamo Defender  by Robert Garcia 


Los Bexarenos March meeting
Date: March 7, 2009   9:30 am
San Antonio Public Library, 600 Soledad Street
The March presentation will be on Trinidad de los Santos Coy, a former soldier at the Presidio de San Antonio and a spy for the Alamo during the Battle of the Alamo in 1836.  The presentation demonstrates the importance of family legends and how they can eventually be accepted by the historians.  
“Late on February 22, 1836, the day before Santa Anna’s entry into San Antonio, Trinidad was on the lookout for General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna and his army near the Medina River when he was captured by the troops of General Joaquin Ramirez y Sesma.” (From a manuscript submitted to The Handbook of Texas by Robert Thonhoff)             
For the past 17 years, Mr. Garcia has been an active member of Los Bexarenos Genealogical Society and has served at various times as Director and Treasurer for the organization, and twice as President.  Mr. Garcia was the Chairman of the 2003 State Hispanic Genealogical Conference that was held here in San Antonio and was attended by over 300 genealogists, many of them from across the country and from Mexico.  
Mr. Garcia is the author of several books including, Tejano Participants in the Texas Revolution of 1835-1837; The Coy Family, Ancestors and Descendants of Jose Segundo de los Santos Coy, a Presidial soldier who married Maria Luisa Teresa de Rosas; Descendants of the Alferez, Francisco Hernandez, Soldier of the Presidio de Tejas de Bexar 1718; and Ancestors and Descendants of  Francisco Xavier Chavez, Indian Interpreter and Scout at the Presidio de Bexar 1785.                                        

For more information: Yolanda Patino   210-434-3530
Sent by Elsa Herbeck



P. L. Buquor and the Texas Rangers Association

Monday, March 9, 2009
        11:00 a.m
        Canary Islanders Cemetery
        Floresville, Texas
(Business Loop 181 right behind Gorzell's Auto Parts)


Although PL Buquor was not a Canary Islander, he was married to one -- Maria de Jesus Delgado. The Texas Rangers Association will be honoring P. L. Buquor with a Ceremony and Texas Ranger Cross at his gravesite. 
It is my hope that many descendants of P. L. Buquor and Maria de Jesus Delgado will attend. Photos will be taken. We will then retire for lunch at a local restaurant. 
Please email me or phone me at 562.400.1320 if you plan to attend so we can have an idea of how many people will be there. 

Thank you. Sincerely, Sylvia Villarreal Bisnar
2nd Great-granddaughter of P. L. Buquor



Tejano family life in the 1920's  by Jose Antonio Lopez


Villa San Agustin de Laredo Genealogical Society  
Saturday, March 21, 2009 
2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m 
Library Branch, 1937 E. Bustamante St. Laredo

For more information contact E. Gutierrez - 763-7415 or Bibi Garza Gongora - 723-8419
Sent by Jose M. Pena


Nuestros Antepasados
An Hispanic Genealogical Seminar with Professors George and Peggy Ryskamp.

March 28, 2009 
from 9 a.m. through 3 p.m.  
111 East Pecan Street, San Antonio, Texas  78205
Crown Plaza Hotel 

Schedule of Events:  
9-12 pm– Executive Salon 4: World renown George Ryskamp presents a seminar for the advanced genealogist.  Author of numerous books on Hispanic Ancestry, such as, Finding Your Hispanic Roots, A Student’s Guide to Mexican American Genealogy, and Tracing Your Hispanic Heritage, Mr. Ryskamp will share his vast research expertise with seminar participants.                                
9-12 pm– Executive Salon 5: Peggy Ryskamp will present a seminar for the novice genealogists. This seminar will introduce the fundamentals of genealogy and guide the student to go beyond their immediate family and provide aids to find their family roots.

12-1 p.m. Lunch is included in the price of the seminar and will be served in the San Antonio Ballroom. 
1-3 pm  A town hall meeting with both presenters and all participants will follow lunch in the San Antonio Ballroom. 
Admission $50.00 per person.
Please mail this form and your checks to: Los Bexareños
Before March 21, 2009, please circle your session preferences.                           

Attn.: Seminar
P.O. Box  1935
San Antonio, Texas  78297
Out of Town visitors can reserve rooms at $129.00 per night with code “LBJ.”
Phone 210-354-2800 fax 210-362-6444

Los Bexareños publications will be on sale, cash or checks only.  
For more information call Santiago Escobedo @ (210) 260-2253

Editor:  George and Peggy Ryskamp laid the foundation and lead the way for all Americans tracing their Spanish heritage family research. The first books, manuals and conferences were prepared by the Ryskamps. I will forever be grateful to both of them for getting me started.  I attended a conference organized by George and Peggy in Riverside, California about 25 years ago.  It changed my life, started me on a life time adventure. They inspired, encouraged, and directed . . .  and are still doing it.  
Thank you George.  Thank your Peggy.




March 28
Tejano Genealogy Society of Austin
TGSA Luncheon and Book Signing: Dr. Jerry Thompson

The Tejano Genealogy Society of Austin invites you to a luncheon featuring Dr. Jerry Thompson who will speak about, sell, and sign copies of his book---CORTINA, DEFENDING THE MEXICAN NAME IN TEXAS.  
Nuevo Leon Restaurant,  1501 E. 6th St.  Austin, Texas
Luncheon 11:30 AM –12:30
Speaker & Book signing 12:30 – 3:00
Attendees will have to pay for their own meals and any liquour.   
There will be free chips and drinks.

Sent by Jose M. Pena



In 2004 Henry Martinez started a family history project


Remembering the Trinity Portland Cement Company in West Dallas
Who: Ledbetter Neighborhood Association and friends
What: Dedication of memorial and cemetery
When: Thursday, February 19 at 10am
Where: Parking lot of Wal-Mart at Cockrell Hill and I-30 
Media Contact: Alberto Ruiz (214) 868-6920

Effort to preserve a family's history becomes a community treasure
In 2004 Henry Martinez started a family history project,
now it's a lasting testimony to the Mexican-American Experience in Oak Cliff.
Dallas, TX - February 19, 2009 - Henry Martinez, 79 year old, WWII veteran and native of West Dallas' grew up in the Ledbetter neighborhood of Oak Cliff in Dallas.  In 2004, he began an effort to preserve his family's history by creating the Ledbetter Neighborhood Association. The association held regular monthly meetings with friends and family and participated in food drives and community building activities.

For Henry it all started with El Camposanto de Cemento Grande de la Compania Trinity Portland, or the Trinity Portland Cement Company Cemetery in West Dallas, and for over a decade it has been his passion. The tiny cemetery has about 200 graves, including those of his mother, sister and two brothers -- one of whom was a World War II soldier. "Its sacred ground," said Martinez, 79. He still has photographs and documents and tells stories about relatives who immigrated to Texas from Guanajuato during the Mexican Revolution.

"I just couldn't help but try and preserve the cemetery," he said. With hard work and persistence, the cemetery now dawns a custom made rot-iron arched gate. "I could not have made this happen without my family and members of the Ledbetter Neighborhood Association" Martinez recalls. Especially, with the support and assistance of Oak Cliff attorney Domingo Garcia who donated funds for the cemetery's entrance gate and pro-bono legal services to properly install the new monument in the Wal-Mart parking lot near Taco Cabana on Cockrell Hill and I-30."Hispanics in Dallas have a long history but it is not well documented" said Garcia. "This small granite monument gives a sense of history to present and future generations," he concluded.

Filling in the missing chapters of the Mexican-American experience is a race against time as waves of immigrants from the early 1900s age and local history is lost with their passing. Many projects rely on oral histories to piece together places like "little Mexico" and El Camposanto. Some, like Martinez's cemetery are small gestures, while others are sophisticated, such as a new series by the University of North Texas Press that aims to document Mexican-American history. These projects are of grand value for those who believe that Mexican-American history isn't fully explored in textbooks.

"My parents were invited to work at the Trinity Portland Concrete Company in the early 1900's", said Henry Martinez, the youngest child of parents from Guanajuato, Mexico. As a product of the segregationist south, the family experienced social and labor discrimination. Nonetheless, the family persevered and not only adapted but they found a special way to commemorate their humble beginnings.

On Thursday, February 19 at 10am in the parking lot of the Wal-Mart at Cockrell Hill and I-30 (near Taco Cabana), a tour of the Cemetery, monument and historic elementary school that still stands will be lead by Henry Martinez along with Ledbetter Neighborhood Association members and friends.



April 4th and April 5th: 
Tejano Declaration of 

Celebrating the First Texas Republic 


The public is invited to attend the third annual reenactment of the “Tejano Declaration of Independence ,” to be celebrated at two locations this year. On Saturday April 4th 2009 at 2 P.M. at the Mexican American Cultural Center 600 River St. in Austin and in San Antonio on Sunday April 5th at 2 P.M. in front of the Spanish Governors Palace 105 Plaza de Armas.

On April 6th 1813, after a year of bloody warfare and having driven all Spaniards out of Texas , Jose Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara Uribe, leader of the revolution declared that Texas was free and independent of Spanish rule.  

Maclovio Perez, a well known TV personality from San Antonio will emcee the events. Scheduled to speak will be scholars of Texas History, Dr Andres Tijerina, author of several books on Texas history. Dr Gilberto Hinojosa, author and historian from The University of Incarnate Word, and Dr J. Frank de la Teja, the official state historian appointed by the Governor. Also LULAC National President Rosa Rosales, Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez Associate Journalism Professor, the University of Texas . Also special guest, Robert Thonhoff past president of the Texas State Historical Association, with authors Joe Lopez and Dan Arellano.  

Join us as we celebrate “The First Texas Republic.”  

For more information: Dan Arellano




Battle of Medina and the April Edition of Texas Monthly


The Tejano Genealogy Society of Austin is proud to announce that one of our own members, Dan Arellano will be in the April Edition of Texas Monthly. Texas Monthly has a readership of approximately 2.3 million readers which means that the First Texas Republic and the “Battle of Medina” a part of Texas history will finally receive the recognition it deserves.

Texas is a very large and diverse state that proudly boasts that we were a Republic before we became a state in this great union, but the facts are that we were a Republic on two different occasions, that we have three written Declarations of Independence with three written Constituents and that we have had seven sovereign flags that have flown over Texas, not six.  

Many Mexican-Americans have sacrificed their lives defending freedom and democracy. Over a thousand Tejanos were killed in one battle alone in defense of these causes, but this conflict was not on foreign soil. Not on the beaches in Normandy, not in Korea or Viet Nam, although Tejanos were there, but much closer to home, in South Texas, less than twenty miles from San Antonio. The “Battle of Medina,” …the forgotten history of the Tejanos, these first sons and daughters of Texas , unknown and unrecognized for their ultimate sacrifice.  

This battle was between the Republican Army of the North consisting of nine hundred Tejanos, three hundred Americans, and three hundred Native Americans against a Spanish Army led by Juaquin de Arredondo. A little known fact is that the Tejano leader Colonel Miguel Menchaca, in the heat of battle, had been ordered to withdraw his men, whereas it is said that he responded “Tejanos do not withdraw,” and plunged back into the foray. Out of the 1500 that set out to fight only 100 would survive. After the battle another 327 Tejanos would be executed in San Antonio and another 100 would be slain as they fled towards Louisiana , making it the bloodiest struggle for freedom ever fought on Texas soil.

Geneva Sanchez, President  
Genealogy Society of Austin  
Information contact Dan Arellano 512-826-7569,  



Renato Ramirez, Banker Assists Others 
by Joe Rutland, Laredo Morning Times

[Big story on my cousin in LMT Today, January 20, 2009, Dr. Neo Gutierrez, 
Message: Hi from LA ... Renato Ramirez,featured in a big story in LMT today, is my primo hermano ! His father and my mom were bro/sis. He lives in Zapata, Tx., 50 miles south of Laredo. Also, he is the main provider for the orphanage in Guerrero, Mx., across the Rio Grande from Zapata.

At a young age, Renato Ramirez learned about the strength of having a charitable, philanthropic heart. It is something that has transcended his life from youth to successful educator and South Texas banker. Ramirez, president and CEO of IBC-Zapata, believes he received a giving spirit from his family genetics. 

"My father was very generous although not wealthy," Ramirez said Monday. "I feel extremely fortunate that I've had such good luck financially and believe it's my role to give some of it back." 

Among his philanthropic activities are: 
Making donations to the Zapata Boys and Girls Club 
Supporting the Harmony Science Academy-Laredo 
Making donations to Sacred Heart Orphanage and an orphanage in Ciudad Mier, Mexico 
Supporting the Institute of Interfaith Dialog in Houston & Texas Civil Rights Project, Austin 
Establishing scholarships at Laredo Community College & Texas A&M International Univ 

Ramirez, who has been with IBC for more than 25 years, said IBC-Zapata includes branches in Beeville, Kingsville, Alice, Zapata, Roma, Freer, Hebbronville and Rio Grande City. "I have defined myself as pro-education, pro-children," Ramirez said. 

Harmony in school, life 

Ramirez was influential in establishing the Harmony Science Academy-Laredo, a college preparatory charter school. "I bought that building and we cleaned it up," he said of its location on San Francisco Avenue. 

"Harmony Academy approached me about retrofitting the school. We did it in 116 days. In the process, I ended up putting in $500,000 for cost overruns. I didn't mind. 

I believe in what they do to help children focus on high achievers. "They focus on discipline, math, science, technology ... I think that has been left behind a lot," Ramirez said. 

Harmony Science academies were established by the Houston-based Cosmos Foundation, a nonprofit created in 1999 and funded in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Michael and Susan Dell Foundation. 

According to its Web site, "The primary purpose of the Cosmos Foundation is to organize and operate exclusively for charitable, educational, scientific and literary purposes."  Being involved with The Cosmos Foundation also led Ramirez into discussions with the Institute of Interfaith Dialog. 

Crossing religious paths 

Through Cosmos and Harmony, Ramirez found his paths crossing those of other religious beliefs, including Christianity, Buddhism, Judaism, Hinduism and Islam.  "Up until a year ago, I had not met anyone of the Islamic religion," Ramirez said.  "It's quite different than what others represented them to be in the mainstream media." 

He started reading material about Islam and said he was surprised. "I read that Islam recognizes Allah as their God and that, to them, Jesus was a prophet," Ramirez said.  
The IID is a group of highly educated Turkish Muslims, some of whom operate Cosmos and run some 19 charter schools across Texas. 

Civil rights for all 

From his perspective, Ramirez said the Texas Civil Rights Project steps in where people can't defend themselves. "For instance, migrant workers here in the Valley get roughed up and are forced into slavery or prostitution," he said. "The Civil Rights Project has a lot of guts. I liked what they were doing and contributed to their cause, helping to build offices in Pharr and El Paso. 

"When there are civil rights violated by bullies at a local level, somebody has to take on those bullies. It doesn't matter whether they are Democrats or Republicans." 

Ramirez was introduced to the TCRP by State Rep. Richard Raymond, D-Laredo. Jim Harrington, executive director of the Texas Civil Rights Project, said Monday he made contact with Ramirez a few years ago "because we became aware of his charitable activity and wanted to see if what we did appealed to him. 

"He's helped support us for a number of years now," he said. Harrington said the thing that stands out most about Ramirez is that he's a very wealthy, successful person. "I think he's willing to put his financial support to where his heart is," he said. 

"He's moved to help people out with a wide range of charitable activity.  You don't see it happen very often out of people like him that have accumulated financial success over a number of years. "He tends to share his wealth with those who need it the most. 

Our appeal to him has been toward helping abused and neglected immigrant women, as well as support our student leadership project at our Civil Rights Dinner." 

What fulfills Ramirez most through his charitable acts? He looks back upon his time as a college educator and banker for perspective.  "First of all, spending many years in education and watching kids grow and learn is worthwhile," he said.  "It's the same thing as a banker ... watching as people grow and become successful gives me an incredible amount of pleasure." 

Joe Rutland can be reached at 728-2529 or  
Sent by Jose M. Pena 



9th Annual Commemorative Lecture in Mexican American History

“Manifest Destinies: Where Mexican Americans Fit in the Early 21st Century Racial Order”
Dr. Laura E. Gómez

 Editor: Although this event is passed, I thought Dr.Gómez' topic research of particular interest at this time. 


Dear Colleagues,
Dr. Laura E. Gómez, Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Faculty Development at the University of New Mexico School of Law, and Professor of American Studies, will honor us with her presence on Monday, February 2, 2009, by delivering the 9th Annual Commemorative Lecture in Mexican American History at the Lyceum in the University Union from 5-6 p.m. The lecture and book-signing reception immediately following are free and open to the public. Dr. Gómez's lecture is titled, “Manifest Destinies: Where Mexican Americans Fit in the Early 21st Century Racial Order.” Dr. Gómez's most recent book is Manifest Destinies: The Making of the Mexican American Race (New York University Press, 2007). In her book Dr. Gómez "examines how law and racial ideology intersected to create new racial groups and to restructure the turn-of-the-century racial order in the U.S."
The Commemorative Lecture Series in Mexican American History recalls the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo on February 2, 1848. This year marks the 160th anniversary of this historical event. The lecture and reception are sponsored by the Mexican American Studies Minor, which is administratively located in the Department of History, College of Arts & Sciences.
Prior to moving to the University of New Mexico she taught on the faculty of the UCLA School of Law for 12 years. Prior to the public lecture and book-signing reception, Dr. Gómez will present an informal talk in the Department of History Library (2nd floor, Wooten Hall) from 3:30-4:30 p.m., on Monday, February 2, 2009. The informal plática is intended for any and all graduate and undergraduate students who may be interested in participating, and for faculty who may want to meet Dr. Gómez and get to know her and her work in a more informal setting. Help us invite your students and any interested others to this pre-lecture plática.
The public reception is from 6-7 p.m. and will occur in the area immediately outside of the Lyceum following her lecture. Anyone interested in having dinner with Dr. Gómez once the reception is ended, please join us for dinner at a yet to be determined local eatery for food and conversation.  If anyone has any questions they may contact any one of the three members of the lecture series committee in the Department of History, Drs. Denis Paz, Aaron Navarro, and yours truly, for specific details. Mil gracias!
Sincerely, Roberto R. Calderón, Ph.D.Associate Professor, 
Department of History,  University of North Texas
 enton, Texas 76203-0650   Tel. 940.369.8929
“Laura E. Gómez is the author of two books including Manifest Destinies: The Making of the Mexican American Race (New York: New York University Press, 2007), and Misconceiving Mothers: Prosecutors and the Politics of Prenatal Drug Exposure (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1997).  Professor Gómez has lectured widely and has published numerous articles (including a 2000 article in Law & Society Review), book chapters, and op-ed commentaries. Additional journals in which Professor Gómez has published include the UCLA Chicano-Latino Law Review, UCLA Law Review, and Latin American Perspectives. She is past Associate Editor of the Law & Society Review and a current Member of the Editorial Board for Studies in Law, Politics and Society and past Editorial Board Member of SIGNS. She has also been a reviewer for the American Review of Sociology, Law and Social Inquiry, and Journal of Legal History.  She is the President-Elect (Nov. 2008-May 2009) and future President (June 2009-May 2011) for the Law and Society Association. Before joining the UNM faculty in 2005, Dr. Gómez spent 12 years as Professor of Law at UCLA (with a joint appointment in the Sociology Department).  She was a co-founder and the first co-director (with Jerry Kang) of UCLA’s Critical Race Studies Program, the first specialized program of study on race and law in any U.S. law school.  Born in Roswell, but raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico, she holds a master’s and doctorate in Sociology and a law degree from Stanford University.



The Mercurio Martinez Papers

[Don Mercurio Martinez family were our neighbors in the old barrio of La Azteca en Laredo. Texas.. Mercurio Jr. is my age, so we were friend in our teenage years. In fact in met his wife Rosa at our home because my sister Frieda is a friend of Rosa. So we are still see each as old friends. I send out the article sometime ago around 2006. I still have in file.  I hope you enjoy the article written by Luis Uribe, I believe??  Walter L. Herbeck Jr. 
Sent by Elsa Herbeck]

The Mercurio Martinez Papers

Mercurio Martinez, school teacher, rancher, legal researcher, public spirited citizen, and authority on the history and genealogy of Zapata County, Texas, was born in San Ygnacio, Zapata County, Texas on October 27, 1876, and died in 1965. He descended from Spanish-Mexican pioneers who had settled on the banks of the Rio Grande in the mid-eighteenth century.

Don Mercurio's great-great grandfather, Bartome Martinez was one of the original settlers of Revilla, Tamaulipas in 1750. He served as Alcalde of this frontier ranching settlement for 30 years. Revilla, the town of origin for many Zapata county families, was renamed Guerrero in honor of General Vicente Guerrero after Mexico achieved independence from Spain in 1821.

Luis Uribe, another of Don Mercurio's great-great grandfathers, was one of the founding settlers of Laredo but moved from there to Revilla about 1755. A third ancestor, Juan Jose Gutierrez, was the owner of San Jose Ranch, an extensive holding on the banks of the Rio Grande near Revilla. Don Juan Jose had three daughters, each of whom either married or mothered a successful south Texas pioneer. Mercurio Martinez was descended from the families established by all three of Don Juan Jose's daughters.

Viviana Gutierrez married Jesus Trevino, an ambitious young man who had migrated to Guerrero from Marin, Nuevo Leon. Between 1830 and 1832, Don Jesus Trevino purchased lands on the north bank of the Rio Grande from the heirs of Jose Vasquez Borrego. The Borrego Grant was made in 1750, but the area had remained sparsely settled partly because of Indian raids and the fact that Borrego and his heirs also had enormous holdings in Coahuila where they spent most of their time. Jesus Trevino became acquainted with Jose Maria Marfil Vidaurri, the grandson of Jose Vasquez Borrego, when Don Jose Maria came to Guerrero in 1828 in order to clear the title to the Borrego lands located in what was to become Zapata County, Texas. The titles to these lands had been lost or destroyed during the Mexican War for Independence, but the claim of the Borrego heirs was declared valid by the Guerrero city council, of which Trevino's father-in-law, Juan Jose Gutierrez, was a member.

Jesus Trevino moved his family to Texas and established the settlement of San Ygnacio in 1830. His holdings of approximately 125,000 acres included the entire San Ygnacio sub-division of the Borrego Grant.

Another of the Gutierrez daughters, Ignacia, married Jose Dionicio Uribe, the son of Luis Uribe. She was widowed early and moved across the river with her young sons. One of these sons, Blas Maria Uribe, married Juliana Trevino, who was his third cousin and the daughter of Jesus Trevino and Viviana. Don Blas Maria eventually acquired more than half of his father-in-law's holdings and became a highly successful rancher and merchant. His daughter, Maria de Jesus Uribe, was Don Mercurio's mother.

The third daughter of Juan Jose Gutierrez married Antonio Martinez, son of Don Bartome, the original Alcade of Revilla. Their son, Cosme Martinez was born in Revilla in 1811. He married Magdalena Gonzales in 1829 and the couple remained in Tamaulipas while their children were growing up. However, in 1859, Don Cosme purchased one quarter of the Dolores subdivision of the Borrego Grant and, together with his children and their families, established the small settlement of Dolores. Rancho Dolores was located near the river a short distance from the ruins of the hacienda de Dolores which had been established by Jose Vasquez Borrego in 1750, but abandoned by 1814.

One of Cosme's seven children, Proceso Martinez, had moved to Nuevo Laredo as a young man. Proceso helped his father establish the settlement of Dolores in 1859, but moved to Laredo during the American Civil War. There he prospered while running a store and operating a ferry boat. In 1869, however, he married his distant cousin Maria de Jesus Uribe, and settled in San Ygnacio. He was a storekeeper there and was also active in long-distance trade along the border. Among his contributions were the introduction of the first steel plow, kerosene lanterns, corn planting machines and cotton cultivation to the San Ygnacio community. He was also active in local politics.

Mercurio Martinez was one of six children born to Don Proceso and Maria de Jesus. He grew up in San Ygnacio where he attended the local school, helped his father in the mercantile business, and assisted in tending the family crops and herds. His mother died when he was ten years old, and his father did not remarry.

At the age of 12, Mercurio began to study guitar and violin. Within three years, he was frequently employed as a musician at dances, weddings, and other local fiestas. Music remained an avocation throughout his long life, and he wrote numerous "corridos" or ballads which were based on historically significant events in the Zapata County area.
In July, 1894, young Mercurio left home to work as the assistant foreman of a group of 300 cotton pickers employed in the fields near Hearne, Texas. He returned home in December and assisted in his father's various enterprises until August 1895. He then enrolled at St. Edward's College in Austin, Texas, where he studied business and telegraphy. In addition, he continued his study of music during his college years (1895-1898). While in college, Mercurio received some financial aid from A. M. Bruni, an Italian immigrant who had achieved wealth and power in Laredo.

Mercurio graduated from St. Edward's in June 1898, with a degree of Master of Accounts which is equivalent to a B. S. degree in Business Administration. At the age of 22, he returned to Zapata County where he passed the examination for a teaching certificate. Between 1898 and 1907, Mercurio taught school in the Dolores settlement where many of his paternal kinsmen lived. According to autobiographical accounts, he moved to the county seat of Zapata in 1908 in response to a written petition from local parents that he come there as a teacher.

Before this move, however, tragedy entered his life. Although not mentioned in any of Mercurio's accounts of his own life, some of the genealogical records he compiled show that his first wife, Maria Christina Uribe, died about 1907 and that an infant daughter soon followed her mother to the grave. Nearly 30 years were to pass before Mercurio Martinez was blessed with the two children who brought joy to his old age.

Upon moving to the town of Zapata in 1908, Martinez was appointed principal of the local schools by County Judge A. P. Spohn. He served as principal and teacher from 1908 until 1911 when he resigned to become Zapata County treasurer and the administrator of the County School Depository. Martinez held this position through 1916. By this time he had married his second wife, Guadalupe Uribe, a sister of his first wife, she was nearly 15 years his senior. No children were born of this marriage.

In 1917, Martinez was appointed Sanitary Inspector of Zapata County by the State Health Department. During his two years term, he actively attempted to reduce conditions which led to the spread of contagious diseases. From 1919 until 1921, he devoted his time to farming and ranching. Although he continued to supervise his lands and rental properties throughout his life, Martinez accepted a position with the Laredo law firm of Hicks, Hicks, Dickson and Bobbitt in 1921 and moved to Laredo.

This firm changed names several times during Martinez's tenure as the active partners changed. Martinez's duties included work as bookkeeper, cashier, auditor, translator, interpreter, abstracter, and investigator. His knowledge of kinship networks and histories of land ownership in Zapata County was an especially valuable asset to the firm. He also served as a Notary Public and remained active in politics, primarily as a supporter for various candidates among the Zapata County electorate.

The second Mrs. Martinez died in 1935. Two years later, Mercurio married Cristina Trevino, originally of Guerrero, Tamulipas. His only son, Mercurio Martinez, Jr., was born to this marriage in 1937. A daughter, Rosa, was born a few years later.

Mercurio Martinez retired from the Laredo law firm in 1942 at the age of 66 but continued to work with local lawyers on occasional cases having to do with land ownership. Interests in the history of the region his forbearers had pioneered led him to cooperate with Virgil Lott of Roma, Texas, in writing a county history, The Kingdom of Zapata, which was published in 1953. Active participation in the work of the Laredo Historical Society and the Texas State Historical Association occupied some of his time.

One of the great achievements of Mercurio's long and vigorous life was his role in the salvation of the community of San Ygnacio. The decision to build the great Falcon Dam in 1949 marked the doom of the ancient towns along the river south of Laredo. Guerrero in Mexico and Zapata, Lopeno, Falcon and other communities in Zapata County, Texas, were to be lost forever under the waters of a reservoir which would bring life to dry soils farther down the valley. The lands, the old stone homes, the churches, the places familiar to six generations of men and women, and even the cemeteries where the ancestors lay buried were to be inundated by the waters of the river which had beckoned the first pioneers. Men fought this fate and were accused of blocking progress. In the long-run "progress" won, and the dam was built. What this meant to the people of the region is clear in their words which describe the filling of the reservoir. Among them it is known as the Great Flood.
San Ygnacio, then a community of about one thousand, was far enough upstream from the dam to be spared submersion in a watery grave; however, the town-site had been condemned as part of the federally administered area around the new lake. Bull-dozers rather than water were destined to destroy the last remnants of an ancient heritage. The community united, and in April, 1951, the 75-year-old Don Mercurio Martinez was appointed chairman of the "Committee for the Preservation of San Ygnacio." He communicated the passion of his people to the lawyers who worked with him and the other committee members. A petition was drafted in eloquent language befitting the circumstances and signed by the people of San Ygnacio. Through the good will of men like Congressmen Lloyd Bentsen and Senators Tom Connally and Lyndon B. Johnson, the order to destroy San Ygnacio was rescinded.

With this victory behind him, Don Mercurio turned to the task of helping the stricken people of the towns whose doom remained sealed. He worked as a key agent of the International Boundary and Water Commission in contacting the many citizens of Zapata County who were resettled on higher ground. His notes reveal that he attempted to convey their requests to the authorities.

When this work was completed, Don Mercurio retired again to the maintenance of his scattered farms and ranches and the administration of his numerous rental properties in Laredo, San Ygnacio, and New Zapata. He corresponded frequently with those of his tenants who worked part of the year as crop-pickers in the north, as well as with his children who went away to college. He located Zapata County landmarks for his associates in historical societies and wrote accounts of family history so that these things would not be lost to time. Assisting friends and relatives in the preparation of wills and other legal documents and taking people on tours of San Ygnacio occupied many hours. During the tours he pointed with pride to the stone houses with ancient beams which had been floated down the Rio Grande from New Mexico so very long before when his grandparents were young.

At last he was in his late eighties and must not have had much energy left for his papers. Very few are dated past 1963, when he was 87 years old. Yet, even in 1965, the year of his death, he was still planning and dreaming. His last papers are the plans for the construction of a small dam on one of his ranches in Zapata County. They are dated 1965.

Mercurio Martinez, 1876-1965, as revealed in his papers, was a complex and fascinating man. His autobiographical accounts, written in stilted legal English, reveal only parts of the framework of his life. Since his prose in Spanish flows with great freedom it is regrettable that he did not leave the story of his life in his mother tongue. He was a man of two worlds. That which is revealed about him in the papers written in English conveys primarily the legal mind, the businessman with expertise in accounting, the efficient face presented to the larger society in which he lived. In the relatively few documents preserved in Spanish, he is a different man. His "corridas" are songs of the heart as it wonders about man's destiny. It is hard to believe that the beautiful Spanish ballad of the doomed Zapata was written by the same man who wrote the official notes in English on the property holdings and expectations of Zapata residents for the International Boundary and Water Commission. With very few exceptions, it was only in the Spanish language.



Gone To Texas Pioneer Certificate

[Mimi, I thought you might be interested in this being we have so many member from Texas. My cousin sent it to me.
Ignacio "Nacho" Pena  Ipena777]
The Texas State Genealogical Society (TSGS) will issue Gone to Texas Pioneer Certificates to applicants who are direct descendants of settlers that resided in Texas prior to 1886. Eventually the information submitted will be published. In addition to receiving a Pioneer Certificate, applicants will be helping to p reserve the history of our ancestral pioneers.

ELIGIBILITY: To qualify for a Pioneer Certificate, the applicant does not have to be a TSGS Individual Member. The applicant must prove direct descent from a person who was in Texas prior to 1886.
The applicant need not be a resident of Texas nor have ever lived in Texas. A separate certificate may be issued for each ancestor proven. A payment of $15.00 will be required for each certificate issued. (Fee is not refundable.)

INSTRUCTIONS: There are four steps involved to complete an acceptable application.
1. Complete fill in the application.
2. Fill in the line of descent chart enclosed.
3. Send a copy of your acceptable source of proof. DO NOT SEND ORIGINALS
4. Send a check for $15.00 made payable to TEXAS STATE GENEALOGICAL
SOCIETY, to address shown below. (Fee is not refundable.)
Step 1: Fill in the application giving all of the requested information. We plan to build the
files in Gone to Texas Pioneers, and with that thought in mind, we hope you will
furnish us with as much information as you can.
Step 2: Fill in the attached line of descent chart.
Step 3: Attach one copy (at least one is required but please attach all you have) of original
document per generation as proof of linage. Acceptable items of proof are:
A. Copy of census page that shows year, county, volume or enumeration district,
and page number.
B. Copy of land records or plat book.
C. Birth record – need certificate, church record, Bible entry, etc.
D. Death record – death certificate, mortuary records, tombstone or cemetery
records and name of cemetery.
E. Copy of marriage record.
F. Copy of tax records.
G. Immigration or naturalization records.
H. Obituaries, newspaper clippings, family histories, county histories, published genealogies, personal papers, diaries, letters or journals.  NOTE: Biographical statements in printed county histories are not acceptable as the ONLY proof of the date of entry into a county.

c/o Wanda L. Donaldson
3219 Meadow Oaks Drive
Temple, TX 76502-1752


Hablas Valluco?

Area Lingo a way of life for some, Confusing to others. 

Nota: Extendemos gracias a Jaime T. Chahin who sent this way back in December 2007 and I had not come across it until today while processing old email files.  With that said, I noticed that this very short four-page dictionary of Valley-speak, or Valluco, as it's called in the attached pdf file does not have attribution.  That is, no single or set of authors is identified although it is noted that a group of persons were asked for their opinion on this set of dictionary terms for Valley-speak.  I had never heard the term Valluco myself, but I can readily see why it might be called by this term.  I have copied and pasted the very brief introduction to this Valluco mini-diccionario and I hope that all of you enjoy reading and learning from it as I'm sure others have already.  Mil gracias y vamos adelante!

Roberto R. Calderón

Historia Chicana [Historia]

Valley lingo, or Tex-Mex, or Spanglish, or Valluco, is engrained in the local culture. It’s not just used by the poor and uneducated; it is a common language spoken by all who live in the Rio Grande Valley. Valluco is a mixture of Spanish and English which forms a hybrid language that has been spoken in the Valley for generations. Spanish is spoken in many dialects throughout the world; there are at least 20 dialects to date. In South America, indigenous languages are often combined with Spanish. The same can be said in Hawaii, where Samoan and Tongan are spoken with English. And though the people who were polled to compile this list believe that one should learn proper English and Spanish, they feel that Valluco is part of what makes the Valley unique. The following is a list of colloquialisms that are most often used by Rio Grande Valley residents (Note: words are followed by English translation and in proper Spanish, in some cases, with examples ):

– conceited; engreido

La Wyfa – wife; esposa

Pisto – shot of alcohol / drink; trago

Sangre de chango – iodine; yodo

Menso – idiot; idiota

Mochate – share; compartir  Ex. "You bought pizza? Mochate con un slice"

Cuete – drunk; borracho   Ex. "Kiko se puso bien cuete"

Destrampado – drunk; borracho

Hasta al hood – drunk; borracho

Pedo – usually means drunk; borracho… but there are several different ways to use this term, for example:
"Estoy bien pedo" (I’m real drunk)
"No hay pedo" (There’s no problem)
"Quieres pedo?" (Are you looking for trouble?)
"Puro pedo" (That’s a lie)
"Hasle pedo" (Make a move on him/her)
"Que tanto pedo" (There’s a lot of commotion)
"Tirar un pedo (to pass gas)
"Es mucho pedo" (It’s too much of a hassle) 

Iscreen –
ice cream; helado

Chiflado/a – spoiled; malcriado/a

Chamorro – calves; pantorrilla

Chanclas – flip-flops; sandalias

El papel – newspaper; periodico

Rata – thief; ladron

No te aguites – Don’t feel embarrassed; avergonzar

Vistas – movie theater; cine

Tickete – ticket; boleto

Guajolote – turkey; pavo

Turnio – cross-eyed; bizco

Simon – yes; si

Ex. "Did you bring lunch, today? Si’mon"

Chansa – chance; opportunidad

Ex. "Dale chansa" (Give him a chance)

Sonso – silly; bobo

Ex. If someone runs into a glass siding door, the response would be "sonso!"

Vironga – beer; cerveza

Ex. "Traime una vironga" (bring me a beer)

Frajo/Cigaro – cigarette; cigarillo

Ex. "Mochate con un frajo" (May I have a cigarette)

Guines (wee-nés) – franks, hot dog; salchicha

Cay’ke – cake; pastel

Troca – truck; camioneta

Mapear – to mop; trapiar

Encuerado – naked; desnudo

Codo – short for the Spanish word "codicioso," means stingy, greedy

Watcha – look ; mira

Hay te watcho – see you later; hasta luego

Calar – to try something; probar

Chamba – job; trabajo

Horquia – clothespin; pinza para tender ropa

Blanquillos – eggs; huevos

Biles – bills; cuentas

Ex. "Ya me voy para pagar los biles"

Parquear – to park; estacionar

Ex. "No hay room para parquear" (there is nowhere to park)

Safado – off his or her rocker; loco(a)

Ex. "The Martinez boy is safado"

Soflamero(a) - one who is melodramatic; melodramatico

Catos – punches; puňetazos

Ex. "Te voy a meter catos" (I’m going to punch you)

Bien de aquellas – cool; excelente

Ex. "Your new car has spinners, ta bien de aquellas"

Chillon(a) – crybaby; lloron(a)

Chillando – to cry; llorando

Feriar mi cheque – cash my check; cobrar

El bote – jail; carcel

La Pinta – jail; carcel

Escuelin – school; escuela

Lonche – lunch; almuerzo

Ranfla – car; auto

Canton – house; casa

Chante – my house, my turf

Chones – underwear; calzones

Cachucha – baseball cap; gorra

Sacatines – socks; calcetines

Flacucho(a) – super skinny, comes from the word flaco.

Gordiflon(a) – super fat; comes from the word gordo.

Nalgada – to spank; dar una zurra

Comelon – one who eats a lot, gloton

Triliado(a) – thrilled; emocionado

Cuates – twins; gemelos, gemelas

Papelera – drama queen

Pistiar – to drink alcohol

Ex. "My with wife said that I can’t go pistiar with you guys no more"

Porriar – to party

Ex. "My wife is out of town! Vamos a porriar"

Ese – dude, man.

Ex. Eh, ese, where did you get those Stacey’s from? 

Vato – similar to "dude"

Cholo(a) – low class, gangster

Buey – (pronounced "whey") dude, friend; see "te sales" below for use in a sentence.

Pachuco(a) - another term for cholo; also called ‘chuco for short.

Cuartito – a small room. In the valley, it means the "utility room" or a "tool shed." Nearly every household has a cuartito or, at least, its equivalent.

La regas – to botch something

Ex. "You ate your carnalito’s birthday cake before the party, ese? La regas."

Te sales – similar to la regas.

Ex. "You stole $10 from your mom’s purse, buey? Te sales."

Sale – to leave; depart.

Ex. "I’m tired of this party, Sale!"

A todo dar – awesome.

Ex. "It was real hot yesterday, but I jumped in my little brother’s pool and it felt a todo dar, ese"

Ruco(a) – boy / girl; chico(a)

Vato – guy; chico.

El Bos – the bus; autobus.

Ex. "How did you get here? Response: Me vine en el bos."

Me das ride – give me a ride

Tirar a la leon – toss aside; to ignore something

Chimuelo(a) – missing teeth

Chamaco(a) – young boy / girl; chico(a)

Carnalito(a) / Carnal(a) – little brother or sister; brother / sister

Chale – whatever, or forget that

Ex. "You want me to mow the lawn for $10? Chale, ese! I’ll do it for $20."

Chismolero(a) – one who gossips; chismoso

Comadriando – women hanging out; gossiping

Primo – it means cousin, but can be used regarding a close friend as well

Ex. "Hey, primo, you got $5 you can lend me?"

Mano – short for hermano, but also used among friends; proper Spanish word for hand

Cornflays – cornflakes; cereal


Postostes – Post Toasties; cereal

Me caes peseta / me caes gordo – you annoy me

Mi / La jefita – my mother; jefa means female boss

Chongo – in Mexico and South Texas, it means ponytail

Sas! – a thump, similar to English words "Pow!" & "Bam!"

Ex. "He was walking in the kitchen and then, Sas! He ran into the screen door."

Palo – A sudden collision, similar to the term Sas!

"Juanito was walking down the street and then, Palo! The viejio Hernandez ran over him with his truck."

Jale – (several definitions)

"Tengo que ir al jale" (I need to go to work)

"Que es ese jale" (What’s that thing?)

"Puro jale" (a lot of jive / all work)

Chota – the police

Hasle – the verb, to do.

"Hasle call on the telephone"

"Hasle change al channel"

"Hasle un tattoo de la Virgin Mary"

Te aventaste – you did a great job; Bravo!

Beepiar – to beep; to page someone’s beeper (back in the day of "beepers")

Cherife – the sheriff

Se le callo la garra – going too far; to act up

Ex. "I gave Jose $20 to go to the Carnival and I expected change, but se le callo la garra, and he spent it all!

Saca la daga – job well done

Ex. "Pepito painted my ride, ese, y se saca la daga."

Cantar – to call someone out; incite an altercation

Ex. "Meme was mad at Chito y se las canto"

Te Bañas – literally means to bathe; parting phrase

"Orale, Chon, I’ll see you tomorrow. Eh, te bañas"

Borlote – commotion

Pasiguate – settle down

La migra – Border patrol

Pichioniar – to make out

Po’pe – wedgie

Fantocha – show off; ostentatious

Kool Lay – Kool-Aid

El H-E-B (el ay-shee-bee) – H.E.B. grocery store

Ex. "Where did you get those fajitas? En el H-E-B"


Donas – donuts

Piscar – to work in the fields

Bicks – Vick’s vapor rub ("vapo-rüb")

Welo(a) – short for abuelo(a); means grandpa and grandma

Bien arregladito – nice and tidy

Ex. "He’s got his room bien arregladito"

Hay que chula – how pretty

Churritos – curls

Chacheton – one with chubby cheeks

Patas – means paw or animal foot but incorrectly referred to as human feet; correct: pie(s).

Jambon(a) – a thief; ladron. Also see rata (rat).

El Cucuy – most Mexican children have been scared by the legend of El Cucuy, which pretty much means ghost or entity you’d rather not see when the lights are off. Note: very effective with those 8 years of age and under.

Chavalon(a) – small boy / girl; niño(a).

Wino/(a) – similar to the English synonym for alcoholics

Rines – rims on a car

Neta – for real; really

Milagros! – that’s surprising; similar to Spanish word milagro (miracle).

Ex. "Neta? Hector wants to go out tonight? Milagros! He never likes to go out."

Muncho – means mucho, a substantial number of people add "n" in the middle.

Pipa – smoking pipe; reference to plumbing pipes

N’ombre – reluctant to abide

Ex. "Can you pass the remote to the TV? N’ombre, you always put it on Lifetime"

Palomilla – the whole family; the whole gang

Ralea – the whole family; all the children

Esquina – to give support, especially in a quarrel

Ex. "Hey, vato, Chino and his brothers are coming over here to start pedo, me tiras esquina or what?

Pones gorro – meaning "you’re annoying"

Juega la fria – meaning "play it cool"

Ex. "Hey dude, juega la fria, I don’t want to get arrested"

Cojer – to engage in sexual intercourse

Mamon – a pacifier, also used to describe a person who acts foolishly; a kiss-up

Ex. "Do you know Rene? That guy is a mamon!"

Camote – friend; also used to describe a person who is always by your side. Literal translation (English): Sweet potato

Camarada – friend, pal; amigo

Ex. "You and Pepe are real camotes/camaradas? No?

No mames – meaning "stop lying" or "stop messing around"; Literal Translation (English ): "don’t suck."

Bronca – a problem which is sought to be resolved by a physical altercation

Ex. "Why are you looking at me? Trais bronca?"

Te meto la pompa andar – meaning "I am going to put a beating on you;" usually in response to the preceding phrase.

La cagas – a phrase used to express dislike for another’s actions; similar to Te Sales and La Regas (above).

Ex. "Why did you do that, dude? La cagas."






Louisiana Division 


Rex receiving the keys to the city at Gallier Hall,
Lundi Gras, sometime early in the twentieth century 
(John N. Teunisson Collection) 

Louisiana Division 


The Louisiana Division is a reference division which collects resources relating to the study of Louisiana and its citizens and to the city of New Orleans and New Orleanians. Other areas of concentration are the Mississippi River, the Gulf of Mexico, and the South. Included within the Division's collections are books by or about Louisianians; city, regional, and state documents; manuscripts, maps, newspapers, periodicals, microfilms, photographs, slides, motion pictures, sound recordings, video tapes, postcards, and ephemera of every sort.

The Louisiana Division also houses the City Archives, the official repository for the records of New Orleans municipal government (1769-present), and holds on deposit the pre-1927 records of the civil courts and the pre-1932 records of the criminal courts of Orleans Parish. 

Special Collections maintained by the Division are the Rare Vertical File, the Carnival Collection, the Louisiana Photograph Collection, the Map Collection, the Menu Collection, the Postcard Collection, the Manuscript Collection, and the Rare Book Collection. 

The Division's extensive Genealogy Collection contains books, periodicals and microfilms with emphasis on New Orleans, Louisiana, the Southeast United States, Nova Scotia, France, and Spain. 

Louisiana Biography/Obituary Index
Guide to Genealogical Materials
Digging Up Roots in the Mud Files
NOVA Transcriptions of City Archives Records
Index to Deaths in the Daily Picayune, 1837-1857
Index to the Justices of the Peace Marriage Records, 1846-1880
New Orleans Newspaper Marriage Index, 1837-1857
Passenger Arrivals at the Port of New Orleans
Naturalization Records in New Orleans
Birth Records for New Orleans
Hints on Using the 1850 Census
Hints on Using the 1860-1920 Censuses
New Orleans City Directories
African-American Genealogical Sources


To insure timely access to non-microfilmed original materials, researchers should contact the archivist before visiting the Library:

Irene Wainwright, Archivist |  504 596-2610 


Louisiana History: Old and New Place Names
genealogy, history and culture 
Louisiana History: Old and New Place Names
There are many references in the early Louisiana records to place names that have changed or some that remain the same but aren't incorporated areas.  This page will provide the old and new names or a description of the old and current location.
Other Files:
Genealogy Reports; Surname Reports; Militia Rosters;  Census Records; Acadian Exiles & Prisoners;  Genealogy/History Books & Music CDs; Ship Records 

Sent by Bill Carmena


Old New
First Acadian Coast St. James Parish
Second Acadian Coast Ascension Parish
Ainse de la Graise "Greazy Bend" [L'Anse a la Graisse] and Nuevo Madrid - located on the shores of the Mississippi River about 12 leagues below the mouth of the Ohio River New Madrid, Missouri
Arkansas Post - Poste de Arkansea

at Quapaw Indians Village of Osotouy, near mouth of Arkansas River at Mississippi River. Moved several times because of flooding. Named Fort Carlos III under Spanish Rule. In 1862, the Confederates constructed a massive earthen fortification at the site known as Fort Hindman. The Union Army destroyed Fort Hindman in January 1863, ensuring control of the Arkansas River.

State of Arkansas - original site about 9 miles south of Gillett, Arkansas.
Attakapas Post Current parishes of St. Martin, St. Mary, Lafayette, Vermilion & Iberia
Baillou [bayou] aux Canes near Nementau [Mermentau]

Founded in 1779 by Galvez to settle a group of Canary Islanders. It never managed to have it's own church and was soon abandoned.

South of New Orleans on the shores of Lake Salvador and near Barataria Bay. There is also a Bayou and a passage of the same name.
Bayou des Ecores Thompson's Creek
Bayou Goula

Mugulasha Indian village captured by Bayougoulas. In 1699 Bienville here found Tonti’s letter of 1686 to LaSalle. Father Paul Du Ru built first chapel in Louisiana near village in 1700

Part of White Castle in Iberville Parish
Bayougoula Village [also Tabiscana]

Bayougoula Village, 1713. Settled by Canadians and French; later by Germans, Acadians, Spaniards. Here in 1730 Governor Perrier organized expedition against Natchez Indians. Early cattle raising center. French records referred to area as Tabiscana

Bayou Queue de Tortue [Bayou of line of turtles] Part of the Mermentau River Watershed. Begins near Lafayette  and is the natural border separating Lafayette Parish and Acadia Parish to the West and Vermilion Parish to the South.  Was first settled by the Attakapas Indians and named after Chief Celestine de la Tortue - see the Indian Chiefs in SW LA records page at The Queue de Tortue Indian Village was near present-day Rayne, LA.
Beau Bassin Area in North Lafayette Parish between Bayous Vermilion and Carencro
Bluffs of Walnut Hills Vicksburg, MS
Boré Plantation


Audubon Park



Repatriation of Mexican Community in Detroit

Yesterday I sent out some scans of a short history of immigrant struggles from the LA Committee To Defend the Foreign born and got this response from Elena Herada in Detroit that deserves sharing

Dear Rosalio;
Thank you for sending this important information. When our little group in Detroit began researching the story of the repatriation of our families during the Depression, we could find very little information. We could find less about who fought it, what some of the discussions were, who tried to stand up against the attacks, etc.

Thus began our journey of oral history in the Mexican community in Detroit. When i ask people to share their stories now, we do have people who call and ask to be interviewed, unlike the wall of silence we originally hit when we asked about this dark period. Our families were under such attack that they separated themselves from other Mexicans, moving away and losing their lifeline to community. When we began to record our history, we had to hold "Spanish for Chicanos" classes to be able to communicate sufficiently with the elders and those who had not returned to the US during the repatriation. That's when we began to piece together our history, thus, ourselves.
We had no idea what kind of spiritual and cultural massacre our elders had endured. That was our inheritance, but we did not know any of it. It's better now, but we have a long way to go.
We have a pretty different history in the midwest.

Since that time, we meet regularly to gather documents and information, hold meetings and gatherings in the communities around the state and ask for people to do these oral histories in their own families. We had a lot of discussion on where the materials would be kept. I was afraid that if there was ever a fire in my little old rasquache house in Detroit, i would lose ours and everyone else's original documents and histories we had written and recorded.
So it ended up in the Detroit Public library in the Burton Historical Collection.

The reason i take your important time to mention this is because it seemed to me at first that there was no record of resistance in Detroit. Mexicans like my family were displaced by freeways three times. My grandfather was certain the bulldozers followed him no matter where he went to avoid demolition. No one from the Catholic Church fought the deportations of the new and vulnerable community of auto workers and their families. Only Diego Rivera fought the battle and the people who joined with him in the Liga Obrera (for which we have named our Centro Obrero) ended up getting harrassed by the government and accused of communist activity. We learned much later why our community acts so conservative and hid from all census takers, etc. We had no idea why we act like we do. We could not even get our parents to fill out financial aid forms when we finally, in the 1970s got access to the University.

Future generations, like the current explosion of NAFTA babies come to claim their inheritance and it would be awful for them to think we did nothing in our own defense. Not much is written about the battles waged endlessly to defend our communities from bulldozers, discrimination, the fight for bilingual education, for inclusion in the most basic rights and services. That's why we urge people to record their own stories and donate copies of their stuff to the Detroit Public Library, where we can take our place in the official record of those who built Detroit.

We have been here for a long time, relatively speaking. 1920s. In the auto plants, in the beet fields, in the steel mills, in the orchards. And we are still invisible to the historic record.

Thank you again for your amazing and important work!!!
Elena Herrada
Sent by Rosalio Munoz



Select by Parish


La-Cemeteries presents this unique one stop resource covering more than 6,100 cemeteries.  The most comprehensive data available for all 64 of Louisiana's parishes is presented in an engaging format.

Send any comments to
Sent by Bill Carmena





is seeking funds for their 2009 year for:
● The César E. Chávez Social Justice March/Excellence Awards 
● Hispanic Excellence Scholarship
● Cinco de Mayo Celebration 

The Mission of the committee: 

Sustain the legacy of César E. Chávez, founder of the United Farm Workers. His tireless commitment inspired countless migrant farm workers and other community members to join the movement for social change.

Advance the educational goals of Hispanic youth pursuing a college education, by raising $100,000 to endow a fund in order to award ten annual $1,000 scholarships a year. The Committee is just $15,000 away from reaching its goal. With your support it can be done! “Sí Sé Puede!”

Honor organizations and distinguished individuals who have enhanced the Hispanic community. 

The Committee to Honor César E. Chávez invites you to purchase a sponsorship level with marketing benefits at three high profile Hispanic community events for one price. We offer five sponsorship levels for your consideration. All proceeds will go directly to the César Chávez Fund.

In 2009, the Committee shall host the annual Hispanic Excellence Scholarship Gala, award six $1,000 scholarships, host the annual Social Justice March/ Excellence Awards, and Cinco de Mayo Celebration. The Committee shall also present the GRCC Foundation with a check toward the scholarship endowment fund.  For more information, please contact us.

Lupe Ramos-Montigny, Chairperson Edward Sosa, Sponsorships Omar Cuevas, Sponsorships
(616) 234-4039 (616) 856-1330

Sent by Tomas Saenz




Extraordinary Woman Award 


February 8, 2009

Dear Friends:  

We are writing to invite you participate in  Extraordinary Woman Award event, which will be held on Sunday march 8th 2009 at the Radisson Hotel in 2081 Post Road, Warwick, R.I. at 6:00pm .  

The Extraordinary Woman Award was initiated in March 2001 with the goal of recognizing the outstanding work that women perform in different areas of our community contributing every day to the improvement of the state of Rhode Island .  This event is unique, because it involves women from different ethnic origins, regardless of economic status, creed or religion.  

We have chosen to celebrate this event on March 8th of every year, because this date also commemorates International Women’s Day.  We considered this a very important and historical date, because from the beginning of humanity, women have been limited to assume caregivers roles, as a result, women have been perceived as playing a “secondary” role in the development of our society.  

This is our 9th year of recognizing women’s achievements in all areas of social life, including Education, Professional and Business Development, Community Involvement, Cultural Enrichment, Health, Politics, Communications, Exceptional Mother and Extraordinary woman for the Future. We would be honored if you join us in this year’s celebration.  If you choose to participate as a sponsor, we will grant you a space in our adbook for greetings.  

Our Guest Speaker, this year will be the Senate President of Rhode Island, Honorable Teresa Paiva-Weed.  The women we will be recognizing this year are: Grace Gonzalez, Ida valentine, Rosa Quiñones Crowley, Denise Barge, Jenny Rosario, Julianne Jennings,Carmen Tavarez, Teresa Paiva-Weed and Stephanie Montilla.  

The event include a dinner, the cost is $40.00 per person. Also you could purchase a table ($400.00 for ten places. Please call 401- 383-9253 for more information. Thank you in advance for supporting the Extraordinary Woman Award.

Rosa Decastillo,
Sandra Lake, Director

Sent by Dorinda Moreno  



16th Century Hacienda Galindo 
Rebautizarán avenida en honor a Israel Cavazos
Don Antonio de Vedia y Dona Teresa Javiera de Pinto hijos
En homenaje a Enriqueta Ochoa
Martyrs of the Religious Persecution during the Mexican Revolution († 1916-37)
Nuevo Santander

16th Century Hacienda Galindo

Legend states that the 16th century Hacienda Galindo was a gift from Hernan Cortes to "la Malinche", Doña Marina, as thanks for being his advisor and interpreter during the conquest of Mexico.

In 1524 la Malinche and her husband, Juan Jaramillo, lived in the region of San Juan del Rio. Cortes suggested to Jaramillo that he build a ranch for his wife. Although she passed away shortly afterward, the family preserved the Mayorazgo de la Llave until 1582, when the property was divided marking the beginning of the Hacienda de Galindo. Although the Mayorazgo de la Llave was gradually reduced in size over the years, the Hacienda de Galindo grew to become the most important in the region during the 18th and 19th centuries. On the 6,107 hectares bulls, cattle and sheep were raised.

During the Revolution the Hacienda de Galindo suffered the distribution of its lands leaving only the construction which became a privately owned museum endowed with magnificent works of art. However, the history of de Galindo as a hacienda had come to an end.

Acquired by a hotel chain in 1971, the monumental task of restoration began to convert the property into a luxury hotel.  As of 1997 the Hacienda Galindo forms part of the Fiesta Americana hotel chain, which refurbished the installations. Today this is a remarkable destination to live and enjoy history.


Sent by John Inclan 
For more photos and information, go to:




Rebautizarán avenida en honor a Israel Cavazos



La alcaldesa Cristina Díaz Salazar, señaló que el cambio de nombre de la avenida, que abarca desde la Colonia Rincón de la Sierra hasta los límites con Apodaca, se realizará el 2 de enero, día en que Cavazos Garza cumple 82 años de vida.
Guadalupe, NL.- Ayer, el municipio de Guadalupe aprobó cambiar el nombre de la Avenida México y rebautizarla como Avenida Maestro Israel Cavazos Garza.
La alcaldesa Cristina Díaz Salazar, señaló que el cambio de nombre de la avenida, que abarca desde la Colonia Rincón de la Sierra hasta los límites con Apodaca, se realizará el 2 de enero, día en que Cavazos Garza cumple 82 años de vida.
La alcaldesa explicó que el reconocimiento a Israel Cavazos Garza ocurre porque con su prolífica trayectoria como historiador, llevó el nombre de Guadalupe a un nivel internacional.
“La Avenida México llevará el nombre de un ilustre guadalupense, el maestro Israel Cavazos Garza, que ha puesto muy en alto a nuestro municipio con reconocimientos a nivel internacional”, expresó la funcionaria.
“Ha recibido la condecoración de la Orden de Isabel la Católica, del Rey Felipe en España, además de reconocimiento de universidades de Francia, Estados Unidos, América del sur, Portugal; es un hombre sabio”, afirmó.
La munícipe agregó que una vez que se publique el cambio de nombre en la Gaceta Municipal y el Diario Oficial del Estado, la Dirección de Vialidad deberá cambiar toda la nomenclatura para colocar la nueva con el nombre de Maestro Israel Cavazos Garza.
Source:  Multimedios TV Canal 12, Monterrey, Nuevo Leon, Mexico
Sent by:  Manuel Quinones, Jr


Don Antonio de Vedia y Dona Teresa Javiera de Pinto Hijos
Compiled by John Inclan



1)      Captain-Alcalde Vicente Vedia y Pinto, de Castilla, Espana se caso con Dona Maria-Severiana Trinidad Flores de Valdez,  02 Dec 1799, Iglesia San Carlos, Vallecillo, Nuevo Leon Mexico, hija de Don Jose Manuel Flores de Valdez y Ramon de Burgos y Dona Maria Josefa Mendiola Chapa.



i) Jose-Vicente-Saturnino Vedia-Flores, b. 01 Dec 1801, Vallecillo


ii) Isabel-del-Carmen-Aprocopia Vedia-y-Flores-de-Valdez, b. 11 Jul 1805, Vallecillo


iii) Jose-Patricio Vedia-Flores, b. 19 Mar 1807 Vallecillo,  caso 12 Sep 1829 Vallecillo, con Maria-de-Jesus Lozano-Ruiz, hija de Don Juan Angel Lozano-Rodriguez y Dona Maria Ramona Ruiz-Rodriguez.

Hijos, Jose-Ramon, Jose-Sipriano, Jose-Vicente, Jose-Sabas , Cresencio ,

Jose-Angel, y Maria-de-Jesus .


iv) Jose-Manuel-Thorivio Vedia-Flores, b. 19 Apr 1809 Vallecillo


v) Jose-Juan-Luis Vedia-Flores, b. 24 Jun 1812 Vallecillo


vi) Maria-del-Carmen Vedia-Flores, b. 18 Nov 1814 Vallecillo, caso 12 Nov 1832 en Vallecillo,  con Don Jose-Guadalupe Elizondo-de-los-Santos, hijo de Don Marciano Elizondo y Dona Maria Salome de los Santos Coy.

Hijos: Maria-Carlota, y Jose-Marcimiano.


vii) Maria-de-los-Dolores-Matiana Vedia-Flores, 02 Mar 1817 Vallecillo, caso

05 Sep 1833, Vallecillo, con Don Jose Carlos Elizondo de los Santos Coy,

hijo de Don Marciano Elizondo y Dona Maria Salome de los Santos Coy.

Hijos: Jose-de-Jesus, Maria-Micaela, Maria-Guadalupe, Jose-Carlos-Ascencio,

Y Jose-Prisciliano-Silvestre.


2)      Don Santiago Vedia-y-Pinto de Monterrey, se caso 04 Feb 1801 Vallecillo, con Maria-Petra de-la-Santos-Cantu, hija de Capitan Juan-Eduardo de-los-Santos

Y Dona Maria-Petra Cantu.

Hijos: Domingo-Antonio y Maria-de-los-Dolores


Compilar: John Inclan-Canales




En homenaje a Enriqueta Ochoa 
24 de ene, 2009  

Torreon, Coahuila, Mexico is honoring poet Enriqueta Ochoa this month. Enriqueta Ochoa is one of the most popular poets in Mexico. She passed away on January 12, 2008. I am also sending her Obituary.   . . .   Mercy Bautista Olvera 


El Icocult Laguna presentará un libro dedicado a Enriqueta Ochoa.

TORREÓN, COAH.- Como una ofrenda verbal para la fallecida escritora lagunera Enriqueta Ochoa, el Instituto Coahuilense de Cultura Laguna y escritores de la región se unieron para confeccionar el libro Coral para Enriqueta Ochoa. Este material será presentado el próximo 27 de enero de 2009 a las 8:00 de la noche, en las instalaciones del Icocult Laguna con entrada libre.

Enriqueta Ochoa murió a principios de diciembre de 2008 en la Ciudad de México a los 80 años de edad y algunos meses antes había recibido un especial homenaje nacional organizado en el Distrito Federal.

El Fondo de Cultura Económica publicó su obra completa en un libro titulado Poesía Reunida, lo que constituye sin duda el hito bibliográfico más importante que un lagunero haya marcado en la historia de las letras mexicanas.

Tras la muerte de Enriqueta se han realizado diversos homenajes a los cuales se une el Icocult Laguna con la publicación de este libro que aunque es pequeño en dimensiones el título Coral para Enriqueta Ochoa contiene textos que evidencian el respeto, la admiración y el afecto que varios escritores de La Laguna tienen por la autora de Retorno de Electra.

Cabe mencionar que la compilación, el prólogo y el cuidado de la edición de Coral para Enriqueta Ochoa estuvieron a cargo del reconocido escritor lagunero Jaime Muñoz Vargas, asesor del área literaria en el Icocult Laguna.

Fallece la poetisa mexicana Enriqueta Ochoa

01/12/2008 20:36

Dejó terminado un "Diccionario de imágenes poéticas", que sería publicado por el Conaculta y el Instituto Veracruzano de la Cultura .

México.-La poetisa Enriqueta Ochoa (Coahuila, 1928) falleció esta tarde, víctima de una trombosis intestinal, informó su yerno, el también escritor Alejandro Sandoval Avila.

La autora de libros como "Las urgencias de un Dios" (1950) dejó de existir alrededor de las 16:00 horas, en su casa, donde la acompañaba su única hija, la poetisa Marianne Toussaint.

Sus restos serán velados esta noche en una agencia funeraria de Félix Cuevas y cremados este martes.

"Fue una muerte prácticamente sin dolor. Su salud estaba muy deteriorada pues padecía males cardiacos y renales", explicó Alejandro Sandoval, quien le dio a Enriqueta Ochoa tres nietas: Alejandra, Ana Sofía y Julia.

La poetisa dejó terminado un libro en el que trabajó durante 15 años. Se trata de un Diccionario de imágenes poéticas, que sería editado por el Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes (Conaculta) y el Instituto Veracruzano de la Cultura (IVEC).

"Es un libro terminado, una idea muy interesante y agradable porque trata sobre la manera cómo los poetas del siglo XX abordaron diversos elementos y objetos, como el agua, el fuego, etcétera", señaló Sandoval.

Enriqueta Ochoa, perteneció a una generación de mujeres poetas como Rosario Castellanos, Dolores Castro y Pita Amor. Apenas el pasado mes de mayo, con motivo de su cumpleaños número 80, la escritora recibió un homenaje en el Palacio de Bellas Artes, donde algunos de sus amigos destacaron el valor de su obra y su voz singular.

En esa misma ceremonia, el Instituto Nacional de Bellas Artes (INBA), a través de su Coordinación Nacional de Literatura, le otorgó la Medalla de Bellas Artes, como reconocimiento a su trayectoria literaria y su influencia sobre las nuevas generaciones de poetas mexicanos.

Enriqueta Ochoa combinó las letras con el trabajo docente, el periodismo y la promoción cultural. Entre sus obras literarias están "Los himnos del ciego" (1968), "Las vírgenes terrestres" (1969), "Cartas para el hermano" (1969), "Retorno de Electra" (1973), "Bajo el oro pequeño de los trigos" (1984), "Canción a Moisés" (1984) y "Enriqueta Ochoa de bolsillo" (1990).

Fue profesora en la Universidad Veracruzana, la Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México, la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México y en la escuela de la Sociedad General de Escritores de México (SOGEM). Además, impulsó talleres literarios para el INBA en Aguascalientes , Torreón, Tlaxcala y diversos espacios del Distrito Federal.

Miembro del Sistema Nacional de Creadores de Arte desde 1999, el Consejo Nacional para la Cultura y las Artes y el gobierno de Coahuila crearon en 1994 el "Premio Nacional de Poesía Enriqueta Ochoa". Su obra forma parte de las principales antologías de autores mexicanos y han sido traducidos al francés, inglés, japonés y alemán.

"Creo que Enriqueta se fue con la seguridad de que había cumplido", concluyó Alejandro Sandoval.

Sent by Mercy Bautista-Olvera



Martyrs of the Religious Persecution during the Mexican Revolution [I] ~ († 1916-37)

Go to the site for more information.                  
30 January 1915 in Guadalajara, Jalisco (Mexico) 
1.  DAVID GALVÁN BERMÚDEZ *  priest of the archdiocese of Guadalajara
     born: 29 January 1881 in Guadalajara, Jalisco (Mexico)
15 August 1926 in Chalchihuites, Zacatecas (Mexico)
2. LUIS BATIS SÁINZ **    priest of the diocese of Durango
    born: 13 September 1870 in Miguel Auza 
    (a.k.a. San Miguel del Mezquital), Zacatecas (Mexico)
3. MANUEL MORALES **  layperson of the diocese of Durango; married
    born: 08 February 1898 in Mesillas, Zacatecas (Mexico)

4. DAVID ROLDÁN LARA **   young layperson of the diocese of Durango
    born: 02 March 1902 in Chalchihuites, Zacatecas (Mexico)

5. SALVADOR LARA PUENTE **  young layperson of the diocese of Durango
    born: 13 August 1905 in Berlín, Durango (Mexico)
17 January 1927 in Tecototlán, Jalisco (Mexico)   
6.  JENARO SÁNCHEZ DELGADILLO *   priest of the archdiocese of Guadalajara
     born: 19 September 1886 in Agualele, Jalisco (Mexico)    
06 February 1927 in Durango City, Durango (Mexico)   
7.   MATEO CORREA MAGALLANES **  priest of the diocese of Durango
      born: 23 July 1866 in Tepechitlán, Zacatecas (Mexico)    
30 March 1927 in San Julián, Jalisco (Mexico)
8.   JULIO ÁLVAREZ MENDOZA * priest of the archdiocese of Guadalajara
      born: 20 December 1866 in Guadalajara, Jalisco (Mexico)   
11 April 1927 in San José Vidal, Vista Hermosa, Morelia (Mexico)
9.  DAVID URIBE VELASCO ***  priest of the diocese of Chilpancingo
     born:  29 December 1889 in Buenavista de Cuéllar, Guerrero (Mexico)
13 April 1927 in Tototlán, Jalisco (Mexico)
10.  SABAS REYES SALAZAR * priest of the archdiocese of Guadalajara
       born: 05 December 1883 in Cocula, Jalisco (Mexico)   
21 April 1927 in Yahualica, Jalisco (Mexico)
11.   ROMÁN ADAME ROSALES *  priest of the archdiocese of Guadalajara
        born: 27 February 1859 in Teocaltiche, Jalisco (Mexico)
25 May 1927 in Colotlán, Jalisco (Mexico)
12.   CRISTÓBAL MAGALLANES JARA *  priest of the archdiocese of Guadalajara
        born: 30 July 1869 in La Sementera, Totatiche, Jalisco (Mexico)

13.   AGUSTÍN CALOCA CORTÉS * priest of the archdiocese of Guadalajara
        born: 05 May 1898 in Teúl de González Ortega, Zacatecas (Mexico)   
21 June 1927 in Zapotlanejo, Jalisco (Mexico)
14.   JOSÉ ISABEL FLORES VARELA * priest of the archdiocese of Guadalajara
        born: 28 November 1866 in Teúl de González Ortega, Zacatecas (Mexico)
26 June 1927 in Quila, Jalisco (Mexico)
15.  JOSÉ MARÍA ROBLES HURTADO * priest of the archdiocese of Guadalajara;
      founder, Hermanas del Corazón de Jesús Sacramentado
      born: 03 May 1888 in Mascota, Jalisco (Mexico)   
07 August 1927 in Colima City, Colima (Mexico) 
16.  MIGUEL DE LA MORA y DE LA MORA ***** priest of the diocese of Colima
       born: 19 June 1878 in Tecalitlán, Jalisco (Mexico)   
28 October 1927 in Ejutla, Jalisco (Mexico) 
17.   RODRIGO AGUILAR ALEMÁN *  priest of the archdiocese of Guadalajara
        born: 13 February 1875 in Sayula, Jalisco (Mexico)   
12 November 1927 in Tulimán, Guerrero (Mexico) 
18.   MARGARITO FLORES GARCÍA *** priest of the diocese of Chilpancingo
        born: 22 February 1899 in Taxco, Guerrero (Mexico)
22 November 1927 in Teocaltitán, Jalisco (Mexico)  
19.  PEDRO ESQUEDA RAMÍREZ * priest of the archdiocese of Guadalajara
       born: 29 April  1887 in San Juan de los Lagos, Jalisco (Mexico)   
05 February 1928 in Valtierrilla, Guanajuato (Mexico) 
20.  JESÚS MÉNDEZ MONTOYA ****  priest of the diocese of Morelia
       born: 10 June 1880 in Tarímbaro, Michoacán (Mexico)
25 February 1928 in Agua Caliente, Tequila, Jalisco (Mexico) 
21.  TORIBIO ROMO GONZÁLEZ * priest of the archdiocese of Guadalajara
       born: 16 April 1900 in Jalostotilán, Jalisco (Mexico)   
01 July 1928 in Las Cruces, Cuquío, Jalisco (Mexico)
22.   JUSTINO ORONA MADRIGAL * priest of the archdiocese of Guadalajara;
        founder, Hermanas Clarisas del Sagrado Corazón
        born: 14 April 1877 in Cuyucapán, Atoyac, Jalisco (Mexico)

23.   ATILANO CRUZ ALVARADO * priest of the archdiocese of Guadalajara
        born: 05 October 1901 in Ahuetita de Abajo, Teocaltiche, Jalisco (Mexico)  
05 October 1928 in Tepatitlán, Jalisco (Mexico) 
24.   TRANQUILINO UBIARCO ROBLES *  priest of the archdiocese of Guadalajara
        born: 08 July 1899 in Zapotlán el Grande (a.k.a. Ciudad Guzmán), Jalisco (Mexico)
11 February 1937 in Chihuáhua City, Chihuáhua (Mexico) 
25.   PEDRO DE JESÚS MALDONADO LUCERO  priest of the archdiocese of Chihuáhua
        born: 15 June 1892 in Chihuáhua City, Chihuáhua (Mexico)
competent diocese: Guadalajara
CCS protocol number: 1407 (* formerly prot. no. 117;
 **  formerly prot. no. 1255;
*** formerly prot. no. 1256;
**** formerly prot. no. 1257;
***** formerly prot. no. 1258)
type of cause: martyrdom  
                opening of diocesan inquiry: 22 August 1960
                closing of diocesan inquiry:
                decree on validity of diocesan inquiry: 24 May 1991
                consignment of Positio to CCS:
                session of historical consulters:
                meeting of theological consulters:
                congregation of CCS cardinals and bishops: 
                promulgation of decree on martyrdom: 07 March 1992
                beatification: 22 November 1992
                    opening of diocesan inquiry on miracle for canonization:
                    closing of diocesan inquiry on miracle for canonization:
                    decree on validity of inquiry on miracle:
                    session of medical consultors:
                    meeting of theological consultors:
                    congregation of CCS cardinals and bishops:
                    promulgation of decree on miracle:
                canonization: 21 May 2000
petitioner: Oficina de las Causas de Beatificación de Guadalajara, Calle Garibaldi 770,
Col. Centro, Guadalajara, Jal., 44100 , MEXICO
[Martyrs of Mexico (2): Miguel Flores de la Cruz and Andrés Galindo]|
Sent by Bill Carmena

The Hagiography Circle is a body of young scholars bound by a common interest in “re-telling” the lives of contemporary models of holiness who, within the past seven years, have dedicated some of their time to reading, translating, and reflecting on biographies sent to us by promoters of beatification and canonization causes.


     This generosity has enabled us to establish a collection of hundreds of biographies in English, Italian, Spanish, French, German, Polish, Latin, Chinese, Hungarian, and other languages, as well as thousands of photographs of these models of holiness.


     This website is the result of years of research and collaboration between the members of the Hagiography Circle with the Congregation of the Causes of Saints and the petitioners of beatification and canonization causes. In establishing this website, we would like to share with our visitors the fruits of our labor and contemplation.



Having been in Nueva España for almost 150 years, it was not until the new province of Nuevo Santander came into being that our ancestors firmly planted their roots, nurtured them and cultivated them into a lasting legacy. A brief review of how and why Nuevo Santander came into being is thus necessary since it played such an important role in the history of so many South Texas families.

In the early 1700’s those areas that today comprise the Mexican state of Tamaulipas and South Texas were still the domain of native Indian tribes. Spain had not yet attempted to settle those areas, but the English and French had a well known interest in establishing a presence in lands that Spain claimed as her own. The extension of Spanish settlements into northern Mexico and Texas was thus prompted by a desire to halt English and French encroachments into Spanish territory and by a need to populate those regions to stop the Indian raids into the more populated regions of New Spain. The man chosen to head the colonization effort was Lieutenant Captain General Jose de Escandon, a native of the province of Santander in Spain and a man with a distinguished military career in New Spain.

Escandon received his appointment in September 1746, with orders to map the region and submit a proposal for entering the region and a plan for subjugating the natives. Escandon first initiated a detailed exploration of the region by dispatching seven different expeditions to survey the region and record their observations. Each expedition started from a different point within New Spain and all were to converge at the mouth of the Rio Grande. The starting points for the seven expeditions were Tampico, Villa de Valles (modern day Ciudad Valles), Queretaro, Linares (in Nuevo Leon), Cerralvo (in Nuevo Leon), Monclova (in Coahuila), and the presidio of La Bahia (near modern day Goliad, Texas). The Cerralvo group, under the command of Blas Maria de la Garza Falcon, departed Cerralvo on January 21, 1747, and reached the mouth of the Rio Grande a few days before the Queretaro group arrived on February 24, 1747. The remaining groups arrived later, except for the La Bahia group which for some unexplained reason ended up at el Paso del Cantaro (near modern day Roma, Texas) and sent their report to Escandon.

After the initial expeditions, almost two years passed in making ready for one of the greatest colonization efforts ever undertaken in the New World. The initial caravan was headed by Escandon and left Queretaro in December 1748; it was comprised of 750 soldiers and 2500 colonizers. The caravan picked up additional colonizers as it traveled northward to San Luis Potosi and then onward to Tula. Settlements established by this caravan were:

Villa de Llera de Canales (modern day Llera, Tamaulipas, to the south of Ciudad Victoria) (website), was founded on December 25, 1748. Escandon named it in honor of his wife Josefa de Llera y Ballas (he subsequently added de Canales in honor of a general named Servando Canales). Left in charge of 44 families and 11 soldiers was Capt. Jose de Escajadilla. 

San Fernando de Güemes (modern day Güemez, Tamaulipas, north of Ciudad Victoria) was established on January 1, 1749. Escandon named it in honor of the Viceroy Juan Francisco de Guemes Horcasitas Aguayo, the Count of Revillagigedo. Forty families and six soldiers remained there under the charge of Capt. Felipe Téllez Girón. 

San Antonio de Padilla (modern day Padilla, Tamaulipas) was established about 10 leagues northeast of San Fernando de Güemes on January 6, 1749. Escandon named it in honor of Doña Maria Padilla, the wife of the Count of Revillagigedo. Placed under the command of Capt. Gregorio de la Paz, it was comprised of 30 families and 11 soldiers. The settlers were from Rio Blanco, Linares and Hidalgo. 

Villa de Santander de los Cinco Señores (modern day Jimenez, Tamaulipas) (website) was established on February 17, 1749, and made the capital of the new colony of Nuevo Santander. Left in charge of 60 families and 12 soldiers was Capt. Guevara. Escandon named it after his home province of Santander in Spain. He also built his own home here and made the villa the capital of the new province of Nuevo Santander. This villa was the future birthplace of my father-in-law Mauro Alcala and the birthplace of several generations of his ancestors. It is quite probable they were descended from one of the original settlers, Jose de Alcala and his wife Maria Guadalupe, but I have not yet made that connection. In his inspection tour of 1757, Don Jose Tienda de Cuervo noted that Jose de Alcala had a hacienda of major livestock about 1½ leagues from the villa, had six children, all arms and ten horses. 

Nuestra Señora de Loreto (modern day Burgos, Tamaulipas) (website) was founded a few days later with Capt. Jose Antonio Leal in charge of 30 colonists and 8 soldiers. 
After the caravan was joined by a group of colonizers from Nuevo Leon led by Capt. Nicolas Merino, Escandon left this caravan and traveled northward to the point where the San Juan River enters the Rio Grande. Arriving there, Escandon discovered that the Cerralvo caravan was already there, busily establishing a settlement:

Nuestra Señora de Santa Ana de Camargo (modern day Camargo, Tamaulipas) was officially founded on March 5, 1749. Capt. Blas Maria de la Garza Falcon was in charge of 40 families, mainly from Nuevo Leon, and a few soldiers. Among the initial settlers were Diego Longoria and his family, including sons Matias, Vicente and Pedro. Camargo was the key settlement in our family history as many of our Longoria ancestors were among the initial settlers of Camargo. One branch of these Longorias, comprised of three sons of Matias Longoria, eventually resettled to a new settlement further down the Rio Grande. This new settlement became modern day Matamoros, across the river from Brownsville. It was in Brownsville that one descendant (Maria Lydia Garza Longoria) of that Matias Longoria branch became joined in 1939 with the Alcala family through her marriage with Mauro Alcala, whose family had arrived from Jimenez about 20 years earlier. And in 1968, another Longoria descendant (myself), this time from the Pedro Longoria branch, joined forever in holy matrimony with one of the Alcala descendants (Maria Minerva Alcala), further strengthening the ties between the two families and sprouting the Longoria-Alcala branch. 

Before departing Camargo, Escandon authorized the establishment of a mission further upriver on the Rio Grande. This mission was to be called San Agustin de Laredo. Escandon then continued down the Rio Grande some 12 leagues from Camargo, where he encountered another settlement that had been already started by another caravan from Nuevo Leon:
Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe de Reynosa (modern day Reynosa, Tamaulipas) was officially founded on March 14, 1749, and was under the command of Capt. Carlos Cantu, with 40 families, mainly from Nuevo Leon, and 11 soldiers. 

Escandon then departed the northernmost settlements and returned to resume the colonization efforts in the southern part of the new colony of Nuevo Santander.

Probably before Escandon could rejoin them, the remaining caravan that had started out from Queretaro founded the villa of San Fernando de la Llave (modern day San Fernando, Tamaulipas) (website) on March 19, 1749. Initially consisting of 40 families and 11 soldiers, it was joined by an additional 30 families soon thereafter. The settlers were from Cadereyta, Nuevo Leon, and were led by Fernando Sanchez Zamora. 

After being rejoined by Escandon, Nuestra Señora de Las Caldas de Altamira (modern day Altamira, just north of Tampico, Tamaulipas) was founded on May 2, 1749. Escandon named it in honor of the viceroy Juan Rodriguez de Albuerne, Marques de Altamira. Capt. Juan Francisco Barberena was left in command. 

The villa of San Juan Bautista de Horcasitas (previously known as Magiscatzin, but now modern day Gonzalez, Tamaulipas) (website) was founded on May 11, 1749, and placed under the command of Capt. Jose Antonio de Oyervides. 

The villa of Santa Barbara (modern day Ocampo, Tamaulipas), a short distance southwest of the first settlement of Llera, was founded on May 19, 1749. 

The villa of Real de los Infantes (modern day Bustamente, about 13 leagues north of Tula, Tamaulipas) was founded on May 29, 1749. Jacinto de Salazar initially petitioned Escandon to found this settlement after discovering mineral deposits in the area. 
Escandon then returned to Queretaro to report on the colonization effort. Shortly thereafter, on October 23, 1749, an official decree was signed in Spain making Jose de Escandon a Knight of Santiago and giving him the title of Count of Sierra Gorda.

In 1750, inspection tours of the existing settlements were begun. During his tour through Reynosa in July 1750, Escandon was petitioned by Miguel Martinez (the great-great-great-great-grandfather of Ana Treviño, wife of Eugenio Longoria, through her maternal grandfather’s branch) to start a new settlement about 20 leagues upstream from Camargo. Three months later, the governor received a similar request from Vicente Guerra, who stated that 26 families were already at the location.

Jose Vasquez Borrego, owner of a large hacienda in Coahuila, also made a similar request to start a new settlement, to be located on the left bank (the Texas side) of the Rio Grande even further upstream from the site requested by Martinez and Guerra.

Soon after Escandon’s inspection tour, the last 7 of the 19 new settlements were established:
After approving Borrego’s request, Nuestra Senora de Dolores (modern day Dolores, a few miles north of San Ygnacio, Texas) was founded on August 22, 1750, with 13 families. The founder of this settlement, Jose Vasquez Borrego, was the great-great-great-great-grandfather of Ana Treviño, the wife of Eugenio Longoria, through her maternal grandfather’s line. 

The villa of Soto la Marina (website) was founded on September 3, 1750. Originally located near an arroyo with good water, the site was moved to its present location in 1810 after a yellow fever epidemic decimated the population. 

The villa of Santa Maria de Aguayo (modern day Ciudad Victoria, the capital of Tamaulipas) (website) was founded on October 6, 1750. In 1825, it became the capital city of Tamaulipas and its name was changed to Victoria to honor the first president of Mexico, Don Guadalupe Victoria. 

After approving Guerra’s request, San Ignacio de Loyola de Revilla (referred to as Revilla, it became modern day Guerrero, Tamaulipas) was officially founded on October 10, 1750. The initial settlers were from Coahuila. 

The villa of Escandon (modern day Xicoténcatl, Tamaulipas) (website) was founded on March 15, 1751, with approximately 100 families under the command of Capt. Nicolas Alvarez. Initially named after Escandon himself, the name was subsequently changed to honor the Tlaxcalteca hero, Felipe Santiago Xicoténcatl. 

At this point the colonization effort slowed. But several noteworthy settlements were founded in the subsequent years. The next settlement to be officially founded was located about halfway between Camargo and Revilla, near a crossing on the Rio Grande named “El Paso del Cantaro”. The site had actually been the location of a ranch since 1734 and had initially been placed in the jurisdiction of Camargo by Escandon. Finally, in 1752, Escandon approved the official establishment of a separate settlement there.

La Purisima Concepcion de Mier (modern day Mier, Tamaulipas) was officially founded on March 6, 1752 and placed under the command of Capt. Jose Florencio Chapa. The settlement which had existed there prior to that time had been under the jurisdiction of Camargo. Many of the families living in Mier had close ties with those living in Camargo. 
Santo Domingo de Hoyos (modern day Hidalgo, Tamaulipas) was founded on May 19, 1752. Under the command of Capt. Domingo de Unzaga, it was settled initially by 180 settlers. 

Santillana (modern day Abasolo, Tamaulipas) (website) was founded on October 26, 1752. It initially had 18 families. 

There were several other settlements that had been made over the years by individuals without the proper authorization. Subsequent to 1752, some of these were approved by Escandon and were elevated in status to official settlements. In 1754, while Escandon was in Revilla, he was again approached by Jose Vasquez Borrego, who requested permission for Tomas Tadeo Sanchez to establish another settlement on the left bank (the Texas side) of the Rio Grande.

After Escandon gave his consent, the settlement of San Agustin de Laredo (modern day Laredo, Texas) (website) was officially founded on May 15, 1755. The founder, Tomas Tadeo Sanchez, was the great-great-great-grandfather of Ana Trevino Vidaurri, wife of Eugenio Longoria Villarreal, through her maternal grandfather’s line. 

The final two settlements, inhabited since before Escandon received his appointment, were located in the extreme southwestern corner of Nuevo Santander. They were not quite the frontier outposts that the other Escandon settlements were, but they apparently had never been officially recognized.

The settlement of Palmillas was officially recognized in 1756. 
The settlement of Jaumave (website) claims it was established by Escandon on May 19, 1744; however, this date is before Escandon received his appointment and before he initiated the colonization of Nuevo Santander. When it actually received official status is unclear.

The Longoria-Alcala family has roots in many of the original Escandon settlements, most notably Camargo, Jimenez, Dolores, Laredo, Revilla, Mier and Reynosa. Of these, the settlement with the most roots is Camargo.

Thanks to Raul N. Longoria 
Copyright © 2001.  Raul N. Longoria.  All rights reserved. 



Nobility ?
Surname Origins


PHOTOS < many 



Second Symposium of Critical Practices in Caribbean Cultural Studies
Fifty Years of African Impact on Cuba: By David González López



Rethinking the Mangrove:
Second Symposium of Critical Practices in Caribbean Cultural Studies
October 15-17, 2009


Dear colleague:
You are invited to submit a paper/panel proposal for an upcoming Caribbean Cultural 
Studies Conference at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez. The trilingual CFP follows 
and poster versions of it are attached. Please forward this information to interested 
faculty, graduate students, artists, cultural workers, organizers an other contributors to 
the field of Caribbean Cultural Studies.

Rethinking the Mangrove:
Second Symposium of Critical Practices in Caribbean Cultural Studies
October 15-17, 2009
University of Puerto Rico–Mayagüez
"Rethinking the Mangrove" is an invitation to reconceptualize Caribbeanness beyond the 
limitations of nation, language and culture, focusing on the crosscurrents that traverse the 
multiple and overlapping spaces and subjectivities of the Caribbean. The roots of the 
mangrove, which hang above the water, evoke a Caribbean alternative to an ethno-
linguistically monolithic ideal of identity symbolized by the terrestrial root. This 
conference solicits papers and panels in English, Spanish and French from across 
humanistic and scientific disciplines that explore notions of "Caribbeanness," 
"Antillanismo" or "Antillanité" or any of its many aspects.
We invite paper and panel proposals in the following areas:
• Cultural theory of the anglophone, francophone and hispanophone Caribbean
• Caribbean anthropologies, histories and/or literatures
• Gender and sexuality in Caribbean cultural studies
• Caribbean diasporas and migrations
• Cultural policies in the Caribbean
• Caribbean popular culture
• Ecologies of the Caribbean archipelago
• (Post)foundational voices of Caribbean cultural studies
• (Counter)national discourses of the Caribbean
• Colonialism, neocolonialism and postcolonialism in the Caribbean
• Caribbean integration initiatives (political, economic, cultural) 
• Atlantic studies and the Caribbean
• Discourses of race in the Caribbean
• Historical legacies of slavery in the Caribbean
• Afrodiasporic cultures and identities in the Caribbean
• Transcaribbean cultural expression
• Latin American/Latino cultures and the Caribbean
• Visual arts in the Caribbean
To submit paper or panel proposals please visit our website at

Please send your proposals by March 31, 2009
Queries may be addressed to
Please forward widely



Fifty Years of African Impact on Cuba: By David González López


TEMAS no. 56: 29-37, octubre-diciembre de 2008.

Fifty Years of African Impact on Cuba:
By David González López

Amílcar Cabral Chair. University of Havana.
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.

Any accurate characterization of post-1958 Cuban society would have to include its extraordinary interaction with Africa. And this not only as a consequence of the strong contrast with respect to the republican decades prior to the of the revolution's rise to to power -when official policies as well as the vested interests of the dominant social strata ignored and despised a continent that had made an enormous demographic and cultural contribution to Cuba. This is also due to the considerable renewed impact that the African continent has had on Cubans ever since, which has contributed to the formation of our present national and revolutionary profile in many ways.1

It is a well-known fact that in the almost four centuries of slave trade, Cuba experienced a strong human influx. The society built around slavery used blacks not only as a working instrument, but also -as Europe had also done- to construct in them the image of "the other" which would contribute to the strengthening of the white ego of the dominant classes, by attributing to Africans every defect and vice of which Europeans -and, to a lesser extent, their creole offspring- supposed themselves to be free by mere racial determinism. This did not prevent either the mixture of various colours nor the increasing closeness and, finally, the cultural fusion which occurred to create a new creole and racially-mixed reality. In certain cases it even produced the opposite effect and promoted this trend, due to the expectations and curiosities that the construct of the black myth would awaken.

The cultural fusion was to find its highest expression in the integration and convergence of ideals in our independence struggles of the 19th century which were to constitute -along the lines in which the Guinean revolutionary Amilcar Cabral defined this phenomenon a century later- the organized political expression of the culture of a struggling people, because it represented, on the one hand, a product or an act of culture and, on the other, a factor that would in turn produce, generate culture.

Nevertheless, with the frustration of the independence struggle following the US intervention in a war which creoles of different races, united, were already winning by far, the liberation ideals were also frustrated, starting out with those of building a republic of full racial equality. The so-called "little war" of 1912 signified a warning that blacks should accept their subordinate position, and everything black or emanating from some however far-away African origin would again become an object of rejection, contempt or mockery on the part of the dominant society. This was in spite, for instance, of its increasingly undeniable presence in the arts, literature and, most of all, music, and of the growing popularity -irrespective of racial barriers- of religious elements of African origin.

Although it is true that Africa practically did not exist as an independent political entity in the first half of the 20th century, it is also a fact that during the years of the frustrated republic formal diplomatic relations were established only with Ethiopia and, at a very late stage, with Egypt. Other developments closer to the grassroots cannot be overlooked, such as the return of a certain number of emancipated slaves to Africa, the popularity of Panafricanist ideas of the Garvey brand -with a greater influence, it is true, among Anglo-Caribbean immigrants- or meaningful albeit punctual events such as the mobilization of -mostly black and mulatto- intellectuals, led by historian José Luciano Franco, in reaction to the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935.

The increasingly North-Americanized dominant culture reduced the image of Africa to what Tarzan films offered. A great many cultural contributions of African origin, such as the most popular forms of music, were despised or whitewashed by official culture or even simply banned, as happened most obviously in the case of many religious manifestations of the same roots, while overt and covert instances of racial discrimination tended to proliferate.

The policies which the triumphant revolutionary power began to implement after January 1959 would soon point in the direction of a redistribution of national wealth and, consequently, a remodelling of social -including racial- relations. The ambitious programs which were immediately put into effect, specifically in areas such as education, health, housing, employment, sports, etc., were to benefit, firstly, the poorest families, among which the black and mulato strata were over-represented in relation to their real demographic weight on the island. As for ethical principles, the new regime promoted the idea of a society directed by relations of solidarity among individuals, instead of the increasing mercantilization which had been the norm in pre-revolutionary society.

Those efforts in the sphere of internal policies were to find a perfect complement in the external projection of the revolutionary government. This was particularly in the inflexible defence of the principle of sovereign equality among nations, the extension of a constant and multi-faceted solidarity with underdeveloped countries, together with support for national liberation movements throughout the world. The deeply-rooted antagonism which successive US governments maintained toward Cuba had to do with the new Cuban project in internal policies as well as in its international actions, for which Africa would provide a privileged scenario for the following half century.

Many Cuban experts believe that one should not speak of a specifically post-1958 Cuban policy for Africa, arguing that what really exists is a wider policy encompassing the whole of the underdeveloped world. This has been expressed, for instance, in Cuba's active participation Non Aligned Countries Movement-which is now chaired by Cuba for the second time since its inception in 1961.

Nevertheless, there are a number of reasons to support the view that there is a clear and precise Cuban policy for Africa. Firstly, there is the declared perception of the revolutionary leadership with respect to the role that Africans and their descendents have played throughout our history and, beyond, the coincidence in time and ideals of the triumph of the Cuban revolution and the first wave of African independence. Even though the proclamation of the Cuban process as the opening of the second wave of Latin-American liberation clearly defined the major terrain of action and association of the new government, the latter could not avoid contemplating with enormous interest the events occurring at the time -and which would become massive after 1960- in Africa. It was towards Africa, more particularly towards the Congo, that Che Guevara and a group of Cuban combatants moved a few years later to put internationalist ideals to the test, before departing for the Latin-American highlands of Bolivia.

When reviewing almost half a century of bonds established by revolutionary Cuba with Africa, several salient features emerge to characterize its African policy, among them three which have primary importance:

* Its coherence: that is, the correspondence which exists between Cuba's official discourse and its concrete actions, or what is "said" and what is "done" throughout an extensive period of time; * * Its immutability: meaning the permanence of its basic principles throughout the years and in spite of certain adjustments and changes; * * Its adaptability: in other words, its capacity to operate in the changing scenarios and conditions that have affected Africa, Cuba and the world at large. * The praxis of Cuban foreign policy is predicated on its solidarity with the underdeveloped world, and even with humble social strata in the wealthy countries. The absence of profit or political, economic or other type of conditionalities when extending its solidarity has been one and the same for every region of the world. Nevertheless, the arguments which substantiate Cuban assistance to Africa have been clearly singled out by high Cuban officials. President Fidel Castro himself has argued in favour of "Cubans' duty to compensate" Africa as a result of the crucial role played by Africans and their descendents in every independence and revolutionary war in the country, in their contribution to the construction of the Cuban nation and in the creation of wealth that successive generations of Cubans of various races have enjoyed. Therefore, years before African demands for compensation for centuries of slavery which they suffered began to gain momentum, Cuba -a small island which had not been among the colonial powers which extracted benefits from the extreme exploitation of African slaves- adopted a vanguard position with respect to that issue , setting an example which -up to now- no former metropolitan power has dared to follow.

Strikingly enough, the altruistic nature of Cuba's African policy was an element that awakened a particular antagonism in the neo-conservative government of Ronald Reagan through most of the 1980s. The Reagan administration's "roll-back" strategists did not challenge the Cuban commitment of only taking from Angola "the remains of our deceased" once a peace agreement was signed on the grounds that this could have been a lie; quite the opposite. They argued that it was precisely because Cuba did not have any national interests (one must read mines, factories, firms, railroads, etc.) to protect in Angola, its military presence in that country was "illegitimate" and therefore "subversive" vis-à-vis the established international order.

By contrast, a few years earlier, in one of the brief moments of rationality in the White House, during the Carter administration, the US representative to the UN, Andrew Young, publicly expressed the view that Cuban troops provided a "stabilizing" factor in Angola.

Cuba never offered Africa leftovers, but shared what it had, even when not in great abundance. One first instance that was to set a precedent occurred in 1963, when practically half of the six thousand doctors the small island-state had in 1959 had emigrated. It was a moment when the revolutionary government had just began to implement ambitious plans to extend health services to regions of the country which lacked them since day one. At the very moment, recently independent Algeria -suddenly abandoned by almost all French specialized medical personnel- requested Cuban help. Cuba did not hesitate to immediately dispatch a health brigade which offered its vital services free of charge.

The praxis of supporting peoples in their just independence struggles was frequently costly because to a certain extent it antagonized certain European powers with which Cuba hoped to have good relations as a balance against US hostility. For instance, this happened with France and Spain as a consequence of Cuban support to Algerian patriots and solidarity with the Saharawi combatants. There have even been cases in which revolutionary Cuba has overlooked fairly essential aspects of its foreign policy when its close relationship with Africa required it to do so. One example was manifested when (countering its longstanding policy of not breaking off relations under any circumstance with any country whatsoever, thus rejecting the use of the same weapon that the US had used against Cuba when promoting the isolation of the revolutionary government in Latin America) Cuba severed diplomatic relations with Israel to join a concerted move by African nations to condemn the occupation of African territory -the Sinai peninsula- by Zionist troops in the Arab-Israeli war of 1973.

Twenty-one years later, in response to a request by the African National Congress, and taking into account the very special merits of the case, the Cuban government (which had consistently refused to take part in international operations of ballot observation, considering that this was solely the right and duty of the country which organizes the electoral process) agreed to send a group of Cuban experts to joint the UN Observer Mission in South Africa (UNOMSA) to supervise the first free elections in that country.

During its first decades, Cuban cooperation was, of course, more intense with a group of countries whose governments had greater political affinities with their Cuban counterpart. Nevertheless, since the final years of the 20th century a trend towards close cooperation with the whole continent became more apparent. At present there are very few African countries which have never received Cuban experts on their soil or returning nationals trained in Cuba.

Even the exit from power of African governments in countries which had a longstanding relationship of cooperation with Cuba did not mean the cessation of the flow of assistance: it usually continued without any hiccups (these were the cases of the People's Republic of Congo in the mid-1960s, Guinea-Bissau in 1980 and 1999 or Zambia, Cape Verde and São Tomé e Príncipe in the 1990s) or was re-established after a brief period of readjustments (as in Ethiopia).

Until the later half of the 1970s, Cuban cooperation was extended free of charge to recipient countries, including travel costs to and from Africa for Cuban experts. But its growing popularity made the number of requesting countries enormously increase, and this led to a variant that was implemented as of 1977: recipient countries with the financial capability to compensate at least part of the costs -and Angola was at that time the only case due to its extraordinary incomes from oil production- would make that contribution in order to allow Cuba to extend its assistance to other countries which were not able to pay.(2) The new arrangement, however, was short-lived, because as soon as the Reagan administration took power in early 1981, the intensified war devastated Angola's economy and Cuba returned to the old practice of paying practically the total costs of the missions of cooperation.

During the years elapsed since then, and as the African wars gradually receded and Cuban cooperation expanded to other beneficiaries with greater financial capacity, other cost-sharing arrangements were tried out. For instance, at the South Summit of the Group of 77 held in Havana in 2000, several African countries with relatively solvent economies committed their support for a fund which would allow for three thousand additional Cuban doctors to serve in Africa. In general, in every case, the costs of the assistance continued to be very low for the recipient countries. In the field of health, until early August 2008, there were 1886 Cuban experts in thirty African countries, only 660 of which -slightly over one third- were involved in the so-called compensated cooperation missions, for a total of ten African countries -one third of the recipient countries [4]- but in three of the latter (Angola, Ethiopia and Nigeria) we can find both variants of cooperation.

We have dwelled more on the sphere of health because it constitutes the most emblematic sector of cooperation with Africa, to the extent that it overshadows other areas of cooperation that have a huge importance. Generally speaking, towards 1998, which was a period in which Cuba continued to experience considerable economic limitations following the abrupt disappearance of its major trading partners with the changes occurred in the so-called Eastern bloc countries, some 2 809 Cuban experts were working in 84 countries of four continents, most of them (1 157) in Africa. Up to the year 2000, a total of 38 805 Cuban civilian cooperation personnel had worked abroad in the years of the Revolution, 76 771 of them (or 55%) in Africa.[5].

In 2004, Cuba had established relations of cooperation with 51 African countries, taken part in 46 bilateral intergovernmental commissions of collaboration with them and in only one year had reached the record figure of 22 sessions of said commissions. On that same year, it managed to undertake 86 projects in 31 African countries.6

Many Western academics usually wonder and speculate about the economic cost of Cuban assistance to Africa. Total figures vary according to the pattern of calculations. A 1992 study estimated the total cost of Cuban cooperation with the whole of the Third World from 1963 to 1989 at an approximate figure around US$ 1,5 and 2 billion per year.8 Any one of those two figures represent a very high percentage of the Cuban GDP. Even during the critical years of the Special Period, between 1990 and 1998, the island-state made donations valued around US$ 22,3 million.9

Cuba's close political bonds with Africa are also evident in the fact that the country has diplomatic relations with 53 of the 54 countries that make up that continent, [10] with embassies in thirty of them [11] and hosts diplomatic missions at the highest level of twenty-two African nations in Havana.[12] This is an unprecedented fact not only for a Latin American country, but also for the immense majority of non-African countries of the world.

Cuban cooperation -a reflection of the historic national struggle to uphold its sovereignty vis-à-vis the hegemonic trends of successive US governments- has been totally de-linked from any political, ideological or economic condition. The reluctance to impose a particular "model" on recipient countries was obvious in the introduction of the curricula for thousands of -mostly African- foreign students on the Isle of Youth. Instead of including normal disciplines such as Cuban geography or history, it covered the need for the students to improve their proficiency in the official languages of their respective countries, together with lectures on the geography, history, etc., of their own nations, delivered by teachers of their own nationalities.

According to what we have been able to verify in polls undertaken by the Centre for Studies on Africa and the Middle East (CEAMO) among African graduates of diverse generations and countries- the majority of the former students feel deeply indebted to and identified with Cuba, its culture and its policies. There are even cases, such as that of the Ethiopians who graduated in Cuba, and who define themselves as "Ethio-Cubans" to underline their sympathies with respect to Cuba.

The functioning of the schools in the Isle of Youth represented a unique experience in the solidarity extended to Africa by any extra-continental country, as well as the interaction of large numbers of young Africans of either sex and diverse national origins with the Cuban population in a given area of the Cuban archipelago[12], even if that presence has been significantly maintained at centres of learning throughout the country in the most recent decades. One can not overlook the fact that between 1961 and 2007 no less than 30,719 students from 42 countries of sub-Saharan Africa have graduated in Cuba, 17,906 of them in intermediate levels and 12,813 in higher education, while another 5 850 have received training from Cuban experts during this period. [14]

Cuban-African educational cooperation gained momentum with the experience of the Isle of Youth, beginning with the transportation to Cuba of hundreds of Namibian children who had been orphaned as a consequence of a South African attack on the Cassinga refugee camp in southern Angola. The Luanda government lacked conditions to care for them at that juncture. Later on, one or several high schools, technical institutes or teachers' training colleges were opened on the Isle of Youth for each of about a dozen African countries, where several thousand youths were trained. Many of them remained long years in Cuba, where they studied at secondary as well as university levels. Some even undertook post-graduate courses.

Cuban solidarity efforts with Africa has resulted in numerous contingents of African graduates in Cuba, among which it is not rare to find nowadays political leaders, ministers, businesspeople and other figures of national or even international stature in each country, as is the case of the Tanzanian Salim Ahmed Salim, who once held the post of Secretary-General of the Organization of African Unity (OAU). The literacy program Yo sí puedo, designed by Cuban experts, is being implemented in five countries of sub-Saharan Africa [15], where over 73,000 people have graduated and over 7000 are attending classes. By simplifying the learning process, particularly when applied to very complex languages, and by shortening the required time for learning to read and write, this method significantly lowers the cost of literacy campaigns and makes the eradication of illiteracy accessible even to very poor countries with high levels of non-literate population.

In many nations of sub-Saharan Africa, a handful of Cuban experts can have an immediate impact on the social sphere. This has become apparent in the growing number of countries that have adopted the Integral Health Program (PIS, according to its Spanish acronym), designed and implemented first in Cuba. There are twenty-three countries that have followed suit [16], amounting to half of all those belonging to sub-Saharan Africa. There the Cuban medical presence quickly modifies the infant or maternal mortality indexes. The implementation of PIS allowed for the extension of health coverage to over 48 million people, almost 20% of the total combined population of those countries. The 5463 Cuban health experts applying PIS in Africa achieved, since they first arrived, over 42 million examinations. They undertook over six million field visits, attended to 600,000 births and 1.7 million surgical activities, administered over five million vaccines and saved over one million lives, or slightly over 2% of the population in their sphere of action

The Gambia offers one of the most dramatic examples, since the country counted barely on eighteen Gambian doctors -for a population of 1.8 million people- and twenty of other nationalities, practically all of them concentrated in the capital, until the arrival of the first Cuban medical brigade of 35 members. PIS went into full swing in The Gambia since June 1999 with 158 doctors and other Cuban health personnel. But, in general, the work of Cuban doctors had an immediate impact on -among other indicators- infant mortality, which dropped dramatically, from 121 per thousand live births in 1998 to 61 in 2001 [17]. By the year 2002, PIS had already extended to seven provinces, providing health coverage to 98% of the country's population, with the presence of 246 Cuban health specialists, among them 193 doctors [18].

In this same sphere of health, the free ophthalmologic services of Operación Milagro (Operation Miracle) have also been recently extended to sub-Saharan Africa. Thanks to this, at a specialized clinic recently opened in Mali, 6247 patients from that country and 1065 Angolans have recovered their eyesight.

Cuban cooperation has two essential objectives which distinguish it from the type of assistance practiced by other countries: it avoids the brain drain once the foreign students have graduated in Cuba and, simultaneously, develops conditions to make that assistance unnecessary in the future. This has been constantly shown in both civilian and military cooperation, in which, for instance, the presence of Cuban troops has always been accompanied by the training of local forces. Intense medical cooperation made possible, from the first years of its implementation, the training of local health personnel and ultimately the opening of medical schools in which the teaching staff as well as the students alternate their classroom activities with the health services that they provide to the general population, just as it is Cuba.

Returning to the paradigmatic Gambian example, the creation of a small medical school with assistance from the World Health Organization (WHO) made it possible to begin the career training in that specialization of thirty young students. In other cases, they go to medical schools in Cuba: thus, although in August 2008 there were 167 Cuban health experts in Equatorial Guinea, around that same date twenty young Equato-guineans were studying at the Latin American Medical School (ELAM, according to its Spanish acronym); Mali, with 122 Cuban experts in the same sphere, had 51 students at ELAM.

The same can be said of education. The dispatch of Cuban teachers to Africa was undertaken simultaneously (or replaced by) programs for training local teachers in the recipient country. An important achievement in line with this policy was -again- the opening of a teachers' training college, exclusively for Zimbabwean students, on the Isle of Youth.

In 1975, the bonds of solidarity between Cuba and Africa experienced a spectacular increase. Angola's independence, obtained on November 11 of that year represented a watershed of a sort in terms of human exchanges with the continent, since at a given moment after that date one might have found over 50,000 Cubans in internationalist civilian or military missions in Africa at a given moment.[19]

The dominant world media emphasized, ever since, the Cuban military presence, around which they made a great fuss, ignoring the civilian aspect of Cuban cooperation and overlooking two basic elements of military cooperation. The first element is that the very important presence of Cuban combat troops in Angola and a couple of years later also in Ethiopia did not come out of the blue as something unprecedented.

As early as 1963, Cuba had sent combat troops to recently-independent Algeria (a presence that did not awaken much attention in world media at the time) in circumstances that were comparable to the later cases of Angola and Ethiopia. What changed the most was probably the scale of the operation, because the main objective continued to be the same: helping to repel an aggression from abroad against the territory of the recipient nation.

The second aspect is that Cuban civilian cooperation in Africa has been more constant and permanent, and extended to a larger number of countries and areas than its military counterpart. Although from early on, Cuban civilian cooperation programs aimed at a wide variety of objectives (agricultural assistance, road construction, airports, housing, factories, or, what is more difficult yet, reconstructing them after the ravages of war), those in greatest demand were the ones related to social spheres in which Cuba experienced outstanding progress from the very first years of the Revolution: health, education and, later on, sports.

This type of cooperation with the Third World had its starting point in the agreement signed between Cuba and the Republic of Guinea in 1960 [20]. The exchange of Cuban teachers and African students occurred shortly after the dispatch of the first health experts. The first brigades of Cuban collaborators worked in Algeria, Guinea and Tanzania. In the mid-1960s Cuban teachers could be found anywhere from Mali to Congo (Brazzaville). Not long afterwards, the first student interns arrived in Cuba, from Guinea, Congo (Brazzaville) and, later on, Angola [21].

Among the features which have distinguished Cuban cooperation with Africa from the cooperation extended by other countries of the world, we have already underlined its adaptability to local conditions, expressed in the modest way of living of Cuban technicians and specialists and the high level of integration and acceptance that they achieve among the local population. This capacity to adapt was put to a hard test in the difficult years of the so-called Special Period, when Cuba underwent a dramatic collapse of about 40% of its production.

In contrast to developments in Eastern Europe at the time -late 1980s and early 1990s-, when African and other foreign students saw their grants being cancelled overnight, in Cuba the curricula were gradually extinguished as each group of students graduated and returned home. On the Isle of Youth and at other places where they studied in Cuba, thousands of young Africans shared with the local population the shortages and limitations of basic products until they finished their courses. In some cases, such as that of the Zimbabwean Teachers' Training College, the project was re-based in the students' country of origin, where it continued to operate with Cuban teachers, a less expensive solution.

Since the mid-1990s, even though the difficult conditions of the Special Period continued to be felt in Cuba, collaboration with Africa experienced a new upturn and only a few years afterwards reached unprecedented levels. This striking development reaffirmed the solid base on which Cuban bonds with Africa stand.

One important and peculiar characteristic of these links has to do with the exceptional cases of the presence of military advisers and combat troops on African soil and it reveals clear, precise and permanent principles in its implementation. One of the most significant features is that military assistance has always been extended in answer to the request of a legally established government or a liberation movement recognized by the African continental organization -the OAU at the time.

It must be borne in mind that, between 1960 and 1963 (the year in which the OAU was founded) African countries stood divided basically in two groups: the Casablanca Group (composed of a small number of countries whose governments displayed more progressive or radical policies), and the Brazzaville Group, where the majority of less radical or openly neo-colonial governments could be found. It only seemed natural that young Revolutionary Cuba would feel an inclination towards the former group (which included by Kwame Nkrumah's Ghana, Sékou Touré's Guinea, Gamal Abdel Nasser's Egypt and Modibo Keita's Mali).

Through those governments, Havana made contact with diverse national liberation movements, such as the ones organized by the freedom fighters of Algeria, South Africa and the Portuguese colonies among others. Nevertheless, when the OAU was founded and the precedent groups were disbanded, Cuban policy always took firmly and clearly into account the positions of that organization and extended a strong support to the unity efforts of the continent in the framework of the Third World and the de-colonizing and anti-apartheid struggles.

Cuban official discourse always expressed admiration and respect for the OAU, and frequently Cuban leaders lauded -in spite of its shortcomings- the absence, within this organization, of extra-continental and former colonial powers, in contrast with the case of the Organization of American States, in which the US presence turned the regional organization into a sort of ministry of colonies for Washington.

Another reason of admiration for the Cuban leadership was the unflinching support that the OAU extended to African liberation movements and the firm postures that it adopted vis-à-vis matters touching upon issues of sovereignty, non-intervention in the internal affairs of nations and other principles of international law. Shortly after the foundation of the OAU, and with the blessing of its Liberation Committee, Cuba began to extend active support to the patriots grouped in the Partido Africano para a Independência de Guinea e Cabo Verde (PAIGC) in Guinea-Bissau. By 1973, the extension of liberated territory to practically the whole country and the operation of a virtual struggling state in those areas determined the unprecedented development of its admission as full member of the United Nations.

Again, we must bear in mind that, when Cuba has sent troops to Africa at the request of a legally established government, the role of those contingents has been strictly limited to the defence of the country and not to be dragged into internal struggles nor counter-insurgency missions. When the aggression or threat of aggression has ceased, or when the recipient country would request it, Cuban troops have punctually returned home.

Ethiopia is a case in point, as Cuban troops defended the territorial integrity of the country against the Somali invasion, but were never caught in the complex web of civil conflicts to fight against internal rebel movements which later on took power and formed a government that today maintains excellent relations with Cuba and highly values the military support it extended to the Ethiopian nation in the past.

The historical links of solidarity that Cuba maintained with the Movimento Popular para a Libertação de Angola (MPLA) are paradigmatic. Although in Angola two other anti-colonial movements existed, MPLA was not only the closest to Cuba from an ideological viewpoint, but also the one that undoubtedly counted on the greatest amount of internal support and therefore was the most interested in competing with its two political adversaries in the ballot box and not on the battlefield.

But those adversaries, the Frente Nacional de Libertação de Angola (FNLA), militarily supported by Mobutu's Zaire, and the União Nacional para a Independência Total de Angola (UNITA), with considerable South African backing, also knew this, and that is why they made the Alvor Agreements inoperable and opted for a military outcome. Thirty three years later and hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths after November 11 1975, Angolan independence date, the multi-party elections held in Angola in October 2008 confirmed the MPLA in power with well over 80% of the popular vote, leaving tiny figures of votes going to the moribund FNLA and UNITA.

Cuban troops remained in Angola for fifteen years and only clashed with UNITA forces when these attacked Cuban contingents or fought alongside invading South African forces. During that decade and a half, the Cuban government permanently expressed its disposition to repatriate its military contingents as soon as South Africa evacuated southern Angola and offered solemn guarantees of never again attacking its territory.

Cuba never linked the presence of its troops to other extraneous matters (such as the independence of Namibia and/or the elimination of the apartheid system in South Africa), even though at one point during the most crucial stage of the war in the days of heroic resistance of its forces alongside Angolan troops in Cuito Cuanavale, the highest Cuban leadership declared the country's disposition to have its troops remain in Angola to safeguard its independence, if it were necessary, until the very demise of apartheid.

It was in fact the US government of Ronald Reagan which established, as a condition for granting Namibia its independence, the withdrawal of Cuban troops from Angola. However, the apartheid regime had become so weak in the final stage of the war, that the Agreements of South-West Africa, negotiated by Angola, South Africa, Cuba and the US, and finally signed in December 1988, opened the way for the speedy independence of Namibia and the beginning of substantive internal negotiations in South Africa even before the total withdrawal of Cuban troops. Slightly five years after the signing of the agreements, the 1994 general elections in South Africa marked the final collapse of the apartheid regime and the access to power of the African National Congress (ANC).

One final characteristic of Cuban policy for Africa that has been very seldom considered abroad has to do with the degree of internal support that said policy has enjoyed, among the Cuban population at large. Beyond the education around principles of solidarity and selflessness that the leading forces of the Cuban state have strived to convey to their citizens, a strong campaign was launched in every sphere of Cuban society to endow Cubans with a deeper knowledge of that continent.

During these years, Africa has occupied a place in the Cuban much more in accordance with what it deserves than in any other printed, radio or televised media in any other place of our sub-continent. Since the 1960s, African history emerged as an independent discipline in Cuban universities, and ever since, the number of institutions involved in the study or promotion of that continent have multiplied: just to mention two of them, CEAMO and the House of Africa of the Historian of the City of Havana.

>From very early on, Cubans have had a privileged access to the ideas of the greatest personalities of African politics, such as Amilcar Cabral, or African arts, such as South African singer Miriam Makeba or the National Ballet of Guinea, or even the best samples of African cinema. The installation in Havana of a Park of African Founding Fathers, to honour the founders of those young nations -an indispensable stopover for high level African visitors- is an unprecedented initiative in the world. The amount of literary works of that continent published in Cuba, most of them in first translations to Spanish, do not find an equal in any other Latin American country and even in many of the so-called First World. This explains why such outstanding personalities, such as Nobel Prize winners Wole Soyinka and Nadine Gordimer, to mention only two, manifest such a complete solidarity with Cuba.

Still much more could be achieved, it is true, but what has been done to the present time is indeed impressive, as well as its results in the familiarization that Cubans have acquired with respect to Africa. Furthermore, the practical bonds that developed between Cubans and Africans already constitute a crucial element of people-to-people contact. Almost half a million Cubans have lived in Africa for extended periods, in civilian or military missions of cooperation, an extraordinary figure and an unprecedented one for a non-African country of only eleven million inhabitants which never was a colonial power. Equally astounding is the figure of over 30,000 Africans graduated in Cuba during these five decades -counting only those of sub-Saharan Africa, because if we add those of North Africa, the total figure would approach 40,000.

Some people in the world wonder: What has Africa provided Cuba with during these past five decades? What has Cuba obtained or expected to obtain from Africa? Not much in the economic sphere, although there is a significant fact that the contribution of those countries that can pay for compensated medical services has allowed Cuba to extend assistance, free of charge, to others who cannot, and this has gradually increased the number of African beneficiaries of assistance in the field of health.

Because these are not rich countries, or have small scale economies, decisions such as those taken by Ethiopia when cancelling a Cuban debt for US$ 2.5 million [22], or the donations of Equatorial Guinea to the Latin American Medical School in Havana or, more recently, its contribution of ¤ 2 million for recovery after hurricanes Gustav and Ike affected Cuba in 2008 [23], to mention only a few cases, are particularly appreciated in Havana.

Similarly, in spite of the fact that our economies are generally not complementary, there have been outstanding instances of experiments to increase bilateral trade. One of them was the barter exchange -early in the difficult 1990s- that was agreed to with Uganda, to receive Cuban drugs and other products in exchange for black beans: this agreement highlighted mutual confidence between the two countries, due to the fact that Ugandans did not consume nor had any experience in the cultivation of that type of beans.

The most evident asset that Africa has given Cuba in these past decades has been its enormous and increasingly constant and generalized solidarity, a contribution that is crucial for a country that suffers constant threats from the largest world power by far. Africa is probably the continent whose representatives vote in a firmer way in favor of Cuba in international fora, even if the majority experiments strong US pressures and frequently pays the cost of that solidarity in the form of some suspended credit or other facility.

Furthermore, cooperation with Africa has allowed Cuban technicians and professionals to learn to work in very difficult conditions of living and labor, and to be exposed to the roots and extreme consequences of colonial and neo-colonial exploitation. This constitutes a valuable contribution to the professional and political formation of the younger generation of doctors, teachers and other Cuban personnel, that thus to become better trained to confront difficulties when they return home and to put into practice the creativity which has been enriched by praxis during their sometimes-demanding African experiences.

Perhaps most importantly, Africa made it possible for Cubans to test the depth of their internationalist commitment and of their human values, as well as their spirit of solidarity, of sharing with other peoples and individuals in need.

In the late 1980s and the early 1990s Cubans experienced the profound and shocking unpleasantness of the collapse of the European socialist camp, the dismemberment of the Soviet Union and the severe consequences of both facts on the spheres of the economy and everyday life. Meanwhile, events around that same date were developing in Southern Africa which allowed for an important moral compensation, for we were able to contemplate the fruits of a longstanding effort of our military presence in Angola and we acknowledged ourselves as agents of a radical change in the course of history in a far-away region of the world.

>From the early 1960s and until 1989, 2289 Cuban men and women lost their lives while on military missions, and another 204 while on civilian missions in Africa. [24] Most of them -1426- were victims of diseases or accidents. All of them voluntarily opted to accomplish their internationalist duties, more pressing in the case of Africa, because they died convinced of the crucial role that Africans played -also at a very high risk for their lives- in the construction, consolidation and defence of our nation.

Africa has become an important passage in personal and family history, at the same time as national history. The African experience has allowed Cubans, once again, to close ranks around what has been, and still is, a monumental scale national project based on the recognition of the strength of moral values that have forever placed Cuba on the history books of other regions of the world.


1. The main ideas put forth in this text gradually developed through individual or collective works drafted mostly since the first half of the 1980s at the Centre for Studies on Africa and the Middle East (CEAMO), in particular: David González & Armando Entralgo, «Cuban Policy Toward Africa», in W. Smith & E. Morales, eds., Subject to Solution: Problems in Cuban-US Relations, Lynne Rienner, Inc., Boulder & London, 1988, pp. 47-57; «Cuban Policy for Africa», in Jorge Domínguez & Rafael Hernández, eds., US-Cuban Relations in the 1990s, Westview Press, Boulder, San Francisco & London, 1989, pp. 141-53; «Southern Africa and Its Conflicts: The African Policy of the Cuban Government», in L. A. Swatuck & T. Shaw, eds., Prospects for Peace and Development in Southern Africa in the 1990s, Centre for African Studies, Dalhousie University, University Press of America, New York & London, 1991, pp. 117-32; «Cuba and Africa: Thirty Years of Solidarity», in J. Erisman & J. Kirk, eds., Cuban Foreign Policy Confronts a New International Order, Lynne Rienner, Inc., Boulder & London, 1991, pp. 93-105; «Cuba et l'.Afrique: Quel Avenir?», Aujourd.hui l'.Afrique, n. 42, París, September 1991, pp. 16-19.

2. Edith Felipe, «La ayuda económica de Cuba al Tercer mundo: evaluación preliminar (1963-1989)», Boletín de Información sobre Economía Cubana, v. I, n. 2, CIEM, Havana, February 1992.

3. Angola (342 experts), Botswana (53), Burkina Faso (9), Burundi (8), Cape Verde (37), Eritrea (50), Ethiopia (11), Gabon (29), Ghana (185), Gambia (138), Guinea (12), Guinea-Bissau (35), Ecuatorial Guinea (167), Lesotho (12), Mali (122), Mozambique (126), Namibia (146), Niger (1), Nigeria (5), Rwanda

(31), São Tomé e Príncipe (9), Seychelles (22), Sierra Leone (4), South Africa (144), Sudan (1), Swaziland (20), Tanzania (13), Uganda (5), Djibouti (16) and Zimbabwe (133). These figures, as well as the others referred to cooperation and container in the present article were taken from the data summary of the Ministry of Foreign Relations (MINREX) on Cuban cooperation with countries of Sub-Saharan Africa for the month of August of 2008, except the cases in which a different source is indicated.

4. Angola (312), Cape Verde (37), Ethiopia (3), Mozambique (126), Nigeria (1), São Tomé e Príncipe (9), Seychelles (22), South Africa (144), Sudan (1) and Uganda (5).

5. Hedelberto López Blanch, «Cuba y África están eternamente unidas», Granma, Havana, 20 July 2008, p. 7.

6. «Cuba abre al mundo su corazón solidario», Weekly Publiction of the José Martí National Library, a. 1, n. 1, Havana, 9 January 2004.

7. Edith Felipe, op. cit.

8. Ivette García González, «Esencias, principios y práctica de la política exterior de Cuba», available on the net, in

9. «Cuba y la cooperación internacional en ciencia y tecnología»,available in

10. Morocco is the only exception.

11. Angola, Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Democartic Republic of Congo, Ecuatorial Guinea, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Libya, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, and the opening of several more is being considered.

12. Angola, Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Democratic Saharaui Arab Republic, Djibouti, Ecuatorial Guinea, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Libya, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

13. There were also schools of Nicaraguan and Corean students, but due to their volume and national diversity the African schools were the ones that left the deepenst imprint on that island.

14. Hedelberto López Blanch, op cit.

15. , Ecuatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Mozambique, Nigeria and Tanzania. Conditions are being prepared for the program to begin in another four: Angola, Namibia, Sierra Leone and Swaziland.

16. Botswana, Burundi, Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Ecuatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Mali, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zimbabwe continue to implement the program. It was implemented for some time in Chad and Liberia, but it was suspended due to various difficulties.

17. Patricia Grogg, «Ayuda cubana reduce mortalidad infantil en dos países», Asheville Global Report Online/ Noticias en Español, n. 84, Asheville, 24-30 August 2000.

18. «Cuba y la cooperación.», op. cit.

19. Ivette García González, op. cit., p. 6.

20. Eugenio Espinosa, «La cooperación internacional en las relaciones internacionales de Cuba», available on the web in

21. «Cuba y la cooperaciónŠ», op. cit., p. 5.

22. David González, «Civilian Cooperation Between Cuba and Ethiopia (Summary)», in Muestra fotográfica y evento académico preparados en el marco de las jornadas de celebración por la amistad entre Etiopía y Cuba, bilingual Spanish-Amharic publication, AAU Printing Press, Addis Abeba, 2007, p. 34.

23. «Gobierno de Guinea Ecuatorial dona a Cuba dos millones de euros», Granma, Havana, 28 October 2008, p. 4.

24. «Total de caídos durante el cumplimiento de misiones militares y civiles, así como las causas de su muerte», Bohemia, v. 81, n. 50, Havana, 15 December 1989, p. 33.

© 2008  Sent by Dorinda Moreno


Los Carmenas
Bartolome Ruiz de Estrada 

Los Carmena



Aparentemente, toda la familia viene de Toledo (España), de un pueblo llamado Añover de Tajo. En este momento, la familia está dispersa por medio mundo, ya que se puede encontrar gente con nuestro apellido a lo largo de todo el continente americano, además de en España. 

Los Carmena más antiguos

El Carmena más antiguo del que se ha encontrado registro es Domingo Carmena, bautizado el 10 de febrero de 1516, e hijo de Antón Carmena.

Por las mismas fechas se tiene constancia de que un tal Diego Carmena completó la primera vuelta al mundo en barco, a bordo del Victoria, en la expedición que comandó Juan Sebastián Elcano.

En cuanto a la emigración a América, consta la existencia de Romualdo Carmena, nacido en Añover el 6 de febrero de 1763, bautizado por monseñor Carmena del Águila. Se casó el 13 de febrero de 1797, en San Gabriel, en el actual estado de Louisiana en Estados Unidos, con Josefa Morales, cuyos padres eran de Carrizal (Islas Canarias). Aún hoy hay una buena presencia de los Carmena en Louisiana, especialmente en la ciudad de Baton Rouge.

En 1785 nace en Argés el famoso guerrillero Ambrosio Carmena, alias "El Pellejero", que tuvo su centro de operaciones en los Montes de Toledo.

También hemos encontrado alguna referencia en México, en particular en el año 1874, en el que Jorge Carmena y señora compraron una hacienda en San Vicente Zacualpan, en Morelos. Al parecer, vivían en la calle San Agustín, 5, en la capital mexicana.

De poco después datan las obras de Luis Carmena y Millán, Jefe de administración militar y crítico taurino y musical español, nació y murió en Madrid (1845-1903), uno de los principales escritores sobre el arte taurino, sus obras son todavía hoy de consulta frecuente (ejemplo), con obras también como crítico musical.

En 1914 hay constancia de que Justo Carmena Ruiz era socio del ateneo de Madrid. Este Justo Carmena Ruiz, médico militar, con domicilio en el cuartel de la Guardia Civil situado en la calle de la Batalla del Salado, es el mismo que destacó por su participación heroica en el desastre del Barranco del Lobo, en la Guerra de África, y que fue no sólo condecorado, sino que una calle de Madrid recibió su nombre. De Justo Carmena fue hijo Francisco Carmena, que tuvo a mi padre, José Carmena. Del ateneo era también socio Fructuoso Carmena Pellicer.

Los Carmena en el mundo

Camille Carmena y Robert TenienteMucha de esta información ha sido recopilada por Lena Carmena, que escribió la documentación en 1963, y me ha llegado gracias a Camille Carmena (en la foto, con su marido Robert Teniente), que sigue viviendo en el sur de Estados Unidos, como Romualdo. El padre de Camille, Charlie Carmena, tiene su propia granja (Carmena Quarter Horses) en Central, Louisiana, con su propio sitio web. La hermana de Camille, Mary Catherine, tiene su propia granja en el sur de Texas.

También de Louisiana (de Baton Rouge), es la doctora Ursula Bogan Carmena, cuya empresa se dedica a evaluación de aptitudes. La nota por el fallecimiento de Janie Carmena da cuenta de muchos de los nombres de la familia por allí. También esta lista de enterrados en un cementerio de la ciudad.

El otro punto que ha sido destino de los Carmena de forma generalizada ha sido la República Argentina, de manera más reciente. Nos ha escrito por ejemplo, Sonia y su padre Alberto me contaron que que Pedro Carmena emigró a Tucumán en 1915 con sus cinco hijos, entre ellos Salomón Carmena, padre de Alberto, padre de Sonia. Pedro Carmena fue anarquista. En palabras del propio Alberto: "Yo soy Médico nutricionista y he vivido ralizando trabajos de investigación en USA, Francia, Alemania, Suiza, Cuba, México, Panamá y Venezuela. En 1986 regresé a la Argentina porque estaba exilado durante la dictadura militar. Ahora vivo en Rosario y estoy retirado como investigador, aunque sigo ejerciendo mi profesión y dando clases en la Universidad. Me casé en 1958 con Zulema Guadalupe Manrique con la que tuvimos tres hijos. Adrián que es ingeniero y vive en la ciudad de Santa Fe. está casado. Tiene un hijo Joaquín que es mi único nieto. Sonia es arquitecta y vive aquí en Rosario y Mariano que es licenciado en computación y vive en Buenos Aires. Está casado pero no tienen hijos.En 1974 me volví a casar con Dora Arpones, que es médica siquiatra con la que tuve una niña, María Fernanda que estudia Sicología". Alberto no me lo menciona en sus emails, pero parece que es un escritor con alguna importancia.

El resto de la familia de Salomón Carmena se estableció en Tafí Viejo, en la provincia de Tucumán.

También me cuenta que ha conocido otras personas con apellido Carmena, por ejemplo, cerca de Rosario, cuyo abuelo era un primo de Salomón y también procedente de Añover de Tajo. También me cuenta que conoció en Venezuela a Rafael Carmena, famoso y premiado médico cuyo padre parece que también nació en Añover de Tajo.

Curiosamente, recientemente me ha escrito Cristina Carmena, de Tafí Viejo. Me cuenta que su abuelo Demófilo Carmena viajó a la Argentina con sus hermanos Salomón, Perfecto y Moisés, y se instaló en Tafí Viejo, de lo que deduzco que Demófilo es hermano de Salomón, mencionado arriba. Parece que la familia de Demófilo y Salomón tenía una refinería de aceite en Añover.

Entre otras personas que me han escrito se encuentra Sebastián Carmena de Buenos Aires.

Algunos Carmenas con alguna relevancia pública

En la actualidad, hay una serie de personas de más o menos relevancia pública cuyo apellido es Carmena. Posiblemente la que tiene una presencia en medios más habitual es la jueza Manuela Carmena, y podemos mencionar más gente:

- Antonio Carmena, madrileño profesional de la danza que pasea su arte por medio mundo.

- José M. Carmena, de Valencia, es un investigador en los campos de bioingeniería y bielectrónica realizando su labor en los EEUU, en la Universidad de Berkeley. Incluso con algún experimento notable.

- Marcos Carmena, que ha dirigido algún departamento en empresas de telecomunicaciones en España, y particularmente en Colt Telecom. Y que ha participado en los comités de Mundo Internet.

- En el mismo sector trabaja Jesús Carmena, Director Territorial de Castilla y León de Telefónica Móviles.

- Ernesto José Carmena Riesco se ha destacado como escéptico.

- Fernando Carmena tiene un interesante libro sobre el Parque Natural de Ordesa y Monte Perdido

- Luis Carmena es el director general para España de la empresa Hella.

- Miguel Carmena Laredo, originario de Zaragoza, que se ordenó sacerdote en México e ha impartido conferencias en México de forma habitual, y que tiene un libro llamado "Ética para Pancho".

- Miguel Carmena Zamorano, que juega al fútbol de defensa en el Sporting de Gijón.

- Y yo mismo (modestamente), Juanjo Carmena Ayuso, que llevo muchos años en Microsoft España y es relativamente fácil encontrarme en Google.

Sent by Bill Carmena





Bartolomé Ruiz “de Estrada”, para algunos historiadores, y “de Andrade” para otros, nació en Moguer hacia 1483, estaba casado con Bartola Martín, también de Moguer, y participó activamente en unión de Francisco Pizarro en la conquista peruana,

Acompañó a Cristóbal Colon en 1498 como grumete o paje, por su corta edad, en el descubrimiento de Paria.

En 1516 estaba con su barco en la Antigua y acompañó a Balboa en la fundación de Acia.

Su unico hijo Martín Yañez de Estrada y su hermano Bartolomé Díaz, acompañaron al piloto moguereño desde 1523, cuando Bartolomé Ruiz se asoció con Francisco Pizarro, Diego de Almagro y el clérigo Hernando de Luque, para efectuar una primera exploración en el sur de Panamá, expedición que fue un fracaso.

Reunieron dinero y fuerza suficiente para construir dos nuevos barcos que fueron terminados en 1525 y Francisco Pizarro, con el piloto Hernán Peñate, emprendieron el camino, quedando en Panamá Almagro y Ruiz, que posteriormente le salieron al encuentro, lo que sucedió después de muchas vicisitudes, ya que Pizarro había encontrado a unos indios flecheros y les atacaban constantemente, por lo que se veían obligados a desviarse de la ruta prevista

Pizarro estaba enfrentado a los otros capitanes y cuando discutía en la Isla del Gallo,, trazó una línea en la playa con su espada y dijo que quien quisiera seguirle que cruzase la raya, lo que hicieron solo trece, entre ellos Bartolomé Ruiz de Estrada.

Cuando por fin, en 1527, Pizarro y Ruiz, llegaron al golfo de Guayaquil, y sabiendo la riqueza que contenían aquellas tierras, el conquistador decidió volver a Panamá y después a Castilla, donde firmó en 1529 unas capitulaciones con Carlos V en las que destacaba la ayuda del piloto de Moguer, nombrándole Hidalgo y Caballero de la Espuela Dorada, además Piloto Mayor del Mar del Sur, con un salario de 75.000 maravedíes anuales., no quedando muy contento por ello, ya que esperaba mayor reconocimiento.

Cuando supo que el Inca Atahualpa había sido apresado en Cajamarca, arribó al puerto con tres navíos, pero repentinamente se sintió enfermo y con fiebre, y murió a los 50 años de edad el que estaba considerado el mayor conocedor de la navegación por aquellos mares.

Angel Custodio Rebollo

Publicado en Odiel Información de Huelva, el 3 de febrero de 2009


How I traced my Arzamendi family back to Spain or “Lauro’s Golden Apple” 
Auditioning as a Toreador by Jose M. Pena
Find a City Anywhere in the World
Use of the Basque Language in Warfare

The seeds of Latin America's rebirth were sown in Cuba 
Historia y tradición, 20 de febrero de 1859, "La Revolución Federal"

How I traced my Arzamendi family back to Spain or “Lauro’s Golden Apple”

By Lauro Garza Arzamendi




Lauro at the Archives of Arrasate, Spain holding documents from 1591 A.D. establishing the Arzamendi family as Hidalgos in Guipuscoa, Spain. 

The mythological symbol of the “golden apple” in many cultures of the world represents immortality. An unlikely candidate to be a hero receives a divine mandate that cannot be disobeyed to retrieve the “golden apple or apples”. The quest for the "Golden Apple" consisted of the Divine Commission, The Labors, and The Victorious Return. The individual attains heroic status because of the hardships, and impossible obstacles that must be overcome, these in Roman and Greek mythology are called the labors. The triumph occurs when the hero returns from his dangerous and impossible mission with the “golden apple”. This mission and all of its labors were a result of my oath to give my grandfather Luis Arzamendi earthly immortality instead ignominy. As long as cyberspace exists he will be known, only when mankind ceases to live will the internet fade. My labors brought back from Spain the impossible “Golden Apple” to my late grandfather Luis Arzamendi. We stood in the graveyard in November 2006 with my Aunt Victoria Martinez, the monument to my grandparents stood before us in the false Autumn of South Texas. 

“What do we know about my grandfather Luis Arzamendi?”, I enquired. “Looking pensively at the graves of our relatives my Aunt replied, “Nothing”. A sense of honor and a repressed anger rose up in me, “Everyone deserves to be remembered!” was not only my statement, but it was an oath to do whatever was necessary to bring honor to my grandfather.  So many times as a child I would go with my Abuelas and Tias to the "panteons", cemeteries, to remember and honor our ancestors. Respect, honor, and loyalty are virtues intrinsic to the Hispanic culture and they are the forces responsible for its continuation for more than 500 years in Nuevo Santander. I believe it is the reason why more Congressional Medals of Honor have been awarded to Hispanics than any other ethnic group.  

My childhood in Rio Grande City, and McAllen, Texas was spent in close relationship with my extended family. My father, Lauro Enrique Garza Barrera was a descendant of Spanish Land Grantees and the founders of Mier and Camargo, Mexico. They also held Spanish land grants and were colonizers of Roma, Los Saenz, and Starr County, Texas. All these places were located in the ancient Spanish colony of Nuevo Santander. My mother, Delia Canales Arzamendi, was a descendant of the powerful Canales clan, also Spanish land grantees from Monterey, and Mier, Mexico and Starr County, Texas. The Canales were influential merchants, generals, and governors of Tamualipas, Mexico. The Barrera Guerras, a merchant family, were a highly respected family in Mier where streets are named after my great grandfather and great uncle for their heroic deaths in the Mexican revolution. 
The descendants of the Garzas, Barreras, Guerras, Canales, and others who came as colonizers of Nuevo Santander nurtured me in my infancy and childhood with ancestral memories and fascinating anecdotes of individuals and events in the colonization and establishment of Nuevo Santander. Not only did I grow up hearing the fairy tales of Hans Christian Anderson, I also heard stories of the Mexican Revolution my Barrera Guerra and Canales relatives had experienced.  

In the midst of all my childhood there was a great mystery; my mother's father, Luis Arzamendi and the Arzamendi family. My grandfather, Luis Arzamendi and the Arzamendis were hardly ever mentioned. Decades passed without a personal knowledge of my grandfather's family, until I determined to find out the truth. The search for the Arzamendi surname is not an easy one as it is a rare name, it is not even found in the list of the 50,000 most common names of the United States.  

Just ahead was a fabulous adventure of great personal fulfillment. Whenever we make a righteous moral decision despite the conflicts, God rewards us with good fortune. My decision destined me to recover a lost heritage of the Arzamendis with more than 100 years of Spanish and Mexican military service as generals, colonels, majors and captains. My investigation proved that my Arzamendi ancestors were involved as military officers in the battles of the Mexican Independence from Spain, the French invasion of Mexico, the Mexican-American War, and the Mexican Revolution. Some also served in prestigious government positions, including banking and border customs and as other high level managers. Many Americans dream of going to Europe finding their roots and a family castle. My labor of three years was to result in a wonderful reunion with Arzamendi relatives in Spain and finding the castle! 


Larry and his wife Linda Olsen Garza are founders of Heavenly Vision Ministries, a Christian humanitarian aid non- profit corporation. Previous to this he worked for Exxon and she worked on the NASA space station project. Their adventures have taken them to 47 nations of the globe. Lauro is the ninth generation of Spanish land grantees born in Starr County, Texas. Three of his four family lines are descended from the founders of the cities of Monterrey, Camargo, Mier, Mexico as well as Los Saenz, and Rio Grande City, Texas. Lauro’s great uncle was General Arzamendi who died in combat