Somos Primos

MAY 2009
113th Issue Online

Editor: Mimi Lozano ©2000-9

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

America in Action
Orange County, California LULAC District 1. . . 59th Annual Convention
Swearing in of new officers, April 25, 2009.
Click to the article.




United States 
New: Witness to Heritage
National Issues
Action Item
Special Feature:
Journey of the Plumed Serpent
Bilingual/Bicultural Education

Anti-Spanish Legends
Military/Law Enforcement 
Patriots, Amer-Revolution
Orange County,CA  
Los Angeles,CA

Southwestern US   
East of Mississippi

Family History



"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil 
to one who is striking at the root."

 Henry David Thoreau



  Letters to the Editor : 

Mimi, Your Somos Primos always gives us new insight into our lives.  This issue (April 2009) especially shows a different perspective on our life in San Antonio.  Thank you for bringing that to us.
Charlotte Kahl
Old Spanish Mission Trail Assn

Hello Mimi!!
First let me reiterate my gratitude for all 
the selfless work and  time you have put into Somos Primos in order to make it the historically accurate and culturally sensitive Emagazine it has become. You should be distinctly proud for the fruit of your unceasing labors. 

Congratulations!! And congrats are also in order for the serendipidous  surprise to find out that you are related to the great  Dr. Garcia.  Finally, I want to wish you all the best to you and your familia for  Easter.


Thank you  for publishing the article on the San Fernando Church event circa 1940/41.  I shared it with all my family members, and it drew many of them to tears, remembering the days they lived long ago in San Antonio.  Although far away, San Antonio Texas is in our hearts forever!

Thanks again, Jaime Rendon Hernandez
Hi Mimi:
I just opened the SomosPrimos  newsletter for the April issue. My pride grows more and more with each issue of SomosPrimos I read, and Proud to say, I’m Proud of our Hispanic/Latino  Heritage. You have put together a prestigious SomosPrimos staff of dedicated  people. Each and everyone of us . .Thank You!


Querida Mimi,
Acabo de dar el primer repaso a SOMOS PRIMOS de abril y me ha encantado.  Especialmente  observo que cada vez tiene la pagina mas textos en español y eso creo que es interesante, conociendo la extensión que tiene el idioma en los Estados Unidos. Me gusta cada vez mas SOMOS PRIMOS y creo que estas dándole un inmpulso considerable. Ya sabes me tienes a tu disposición para colaborar incondicionalmente en todo cuanto pueda.

Esta tarde le daré una nueva lectura, ya que ahora tengo que salir para hacer algunas gestiones. Lástima que estemos a tantos kilometros de distancia, porque las ideas irian mejor de palabra, como nuestro refrán dice "hablando se entiende la gente".

Hasta pronto,   Angel Custodio Rebollo


 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 May Issue:
Hon. Fredrick Aguirre
George Aguirre
Linda Aguirre
Margie Aguirre
Dan Arellano
Armando A. Ayala, Ph.D.
Mercy Bautista Olvera
Teresa Botelho
Luis Brandtner
Henry J. Casso, Ph.D.
Jaime Cader
Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.
Bill Carmena
Sylvia Caravajal-Sutton
Gus Chavez
Katherine Cloer
Jim Estrada
Lorri Frain
James E. Garcia
Lino Garcia, Ph.D.
Tim Giago
Ron Godinez, Ph.D.
David E. Hayes-Bautista
Walter Herbeck
Sergio Hernandez
Monica Herrera Smith
Jean Hodgeson Nauman
Stanley Hordes, Ph.D.
Granville Hough, Ph.D.
John Inclan
Charlotte Kahl
Walter Karp
Cristina Kirklighter
Ignacio Koblischek
Susan Laura Lugo
Kayna Lyons
Juan Marinez
Eddie Martinez
Henrietta Martinez Christmas
JV Martinez, Ph.D.
Ramiro R.J. Molina
Dorinda Moreno
Jose Luis Morin
Miquel Mula Martinez
Paul Nauta
Paul Newfield III 

Roland Nunez Salazar
Rafael Ojeda
Felipe de Ortego y Gasca,Ph.D 
Yolanda Patino
Ruben M. Perez
Roberto Perez Guadarrama 
Robin Pogriben
Joseph Puentes
Sam Quito
Angel Custodio Rebollo
Jaime Rendon Hernandez
Susan Richards
Rudi R. Rodriguez
Rudy Rodriguez
Viola Rodriguez Sadler

Ben Romero
Robert Smith
Benicio Samuel Sanchez Garcia
Tom Saenz
Richard G. Santos
Tony Santiago
Vilma Santiago-Irizarry
Louis Serna
Frank Sifuentes 
Teresa Sitz
Gil Sperry
Ricardo Valverde
Connie Vasquez
Sylvia Villarreal Bisnar
Ted Vincent
Kirk Whisler
Liz/Larry Yaskiel


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



UCLA Professor Chon A. Noriega to Co-Host Latino Images in Film on TCM
Hispanics Breaking Barriers, Part V By Mercy Bautista-Olvera
The StoryCorps Mobile Booth 
5th Annual Texas Diversity & Leadership Conference & Exposition
Education is Our Freedom by Wanda Garcia
LULAC:  Emerging Paths to Partnerships in Science and Technology; 
Data to share in Celebrating el Cinco de Mayo



UCLA Professor Chon A. Noriega to Co-Host LATINO IMAGES IN FILM on TCM


This May, UCLA professor Chon Noriega, author of Shot in America: Television, the State, and the Rise of Chicano Cinema, will host RACE AND HOLLYWOOD: LATINO IMAGES IN FILM, a month-long showcase of 40 films airing on cable network Turner Classic Movies (TCM). He will join TCM's Robert Osborne in exploring how Hollywood has depicted Latino characters and culture in film.

Noriega is extremely proud to be participating in RACE AND HOLLYWOOD: LATINO IMAGES IN FILM, saying, "For the first time, viewers can see a significant part of the historical record for how Hollywood has portrayed Latinos as the focus of a feature film, not just as incidental stereotypes."

Noriega's personal interest in Latinos in film began when he was in college. "I was a graduate student in 1987-88 when a series of Latino-themed and produced films were released by studios: La Bamba, Born in East L.A., The Milagro Beanfield War and Stand and Deliver. There had never been anything like it. I started studying the press coverage as well as interviewing some of the producers. That led to my dissertation, which looked at the 20 years before, during which Chicano and other Latino filmmakers were trying to gain access to the industry."

TCM's Latino festival will take place Tuesday and Thursday nights throughout May. Each night's collection of films will be centered on a particular theme. Among the more contemporary films included are La Bamba (1987), The Milagro Beanfield War (1988), Stand and Deliver (1988), The Mambo Kings (1992) and Lone Star (1996).

Noriega considers La Bamba to be especially important. "It was the first box-office hit directed by a Latino filmmaker and starring most Latino actors," he says. "But the film also marked a shift in Hollywood portrayals, away from social problems and toward a depiction of families as part of the American way of life."

As the most influential Latino stars, Noriega cites such legendary performers as Carmen Miranda, Lupe Velez, Ricardo Montalban, Rita Moreno and Anthony Quinn, as well as such recent stars as Jimmy Smits, Edward James Olmos and Jennifer Lopez. "It is rare for any actor to break through," he points out, "but Latino actors have been much more limited in terms of the roles they have been able to play." 

Part of the issue has been Hollywood's reluctance to make films that accurately depict Latino experiences. "There are so few Hollywood films about Latinos," Noriega says. "Certainly Latino factor into action genres as what one scholar calls 'convenient villains,' but there have been relatively few films that focus on the Latino community as a setting for the story."

Noriega notes that Hollywood is feeling pressure to be more inclusive. "Interestingly, electoral politics and consumer power have led the way," he says. "These have had some impact on how Hollywood has broadened the portrayals of Latino characters in films. But there is still a lot of work to be done."

Sent by Kirk Whisler
Hispanic Marketing 101
Latino Print Network | 2777 Jefferson St. | Suite 200 | Carlsbad | CA | 92008 



Part V


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.

Jeffrey Morales: Assistant Secretary of Transportation in Clinton Administration

Dr. Eugene E. Garcia: Vice President for Education Partnerships    

Kenneth Trujillo: Assistant U.S. Attorney   

Thomas Soto:
Managing Partner and co-founder of Craton Equity Partners  

Xavier de Souza Briggs:
Associate Director for General Government Programs  


     Jeffrey Morales

Jeffrey Morales has been selected to work for the Department of Transportation President Obama’s Transition Team.   

Jeffrey Morales is married and has two children.

Morales spent nearly 15 years serving in various capacities in the nation’s capital prior to his two years in Chicago . Morales started his career as a legislative assistant to the chair of the Senate Transportation Appropriation Subcommittee. During this time, he helped draft the landmark Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991. (Public Law 102-240; ISTEA) A U.S. federal law that posed a major change to transportation planning and policy). It presented an overall intemodal approach to highway and transit funding with collaborative planning requirements, giving additional powers to metropolitan planning organizations.  

In 1996/97, Morales served as Director of the White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security, this gave out a blueprint for national aviation policy in the 21st century.  

In 2000, Governor Gray Davis appointed Jeff Morales as Director of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), He managed a $10 billion program and over 20,000 employees working to build, maintain and operate the largest state transportation system in the country. He helped with the expansion of the largest transportation program in the California ’s history, and through the development of new policies, greater efficiencies and innovative practices has helped re-establish the Department as a national leader.  

Morales served as Assistant Secretary of Transportation in the Clinton Administration. He served as senior staff member with Vice President Al Gore’s National Performance Review; the task force reinvented the federal government; saving taxpayers billions and produced dramatic improvements in the management of federal programs.



 Dr. Eugene E. Garcia

Dr. Eugene E. Garcia, Vice President for Education Partnerships has been selected to work for the Department of Education Team on President Obama’s Transition Team.  

Dr. Garcia earned a Bachelors Association degree in Psychology at the University of Utah , a Masters’ Degree in Child Development from the University of Kansas , a Post-Doctorate Psycholinguistics from the Harvard University and a PhD in Human Development from the University of Kansas .  

In 1993-1995, Dr. Garcia served as a Senior Officer and Director of the Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Languages Affairs in the U.S. Department of Education.   

In 1995-2001, Dr. Garcia served as Dean and Professor of the Graduate School of Education at the University of California , Berkeley .  

Dr. Garcia served as vice president for education partnerships at Arizona State University 's Mary Lou Fulton College of Education. He held the position of Dean at Arizona State University ’s College of Education . In May 2003, Dr. Garcia became Vice President for the University-School Partnerships by the President of Arizona State University (ASU) Dr. Michael Crow.  This role was to strengthen K-12 education in the state of Arizona by linking together the University and private sector for distribution of fiscal and human resources.     

Dr. Eugene Garcia has published books and articles on language teaching and bilingual development. He has also recently chaired the National Task Force on Early Childhood Education for Hispanics. In May 2003, he was given the additional role as Vice President for University-School Partnerships.  

Dr. Garcia was chairperson for the National Task Force on Early Childhood Education for Hispanics funded by the Foundation for Childe Development and the Mailman Family foundation. Dr. Garcia conducted research in the areas of effective schooling for linguistically and culturally diverse student populations funded by the National Science Foundation.  

Dr. Garcia has written extensively in the area of language teaching and bilingual development. His writings include “Hispanic Education in the United States .” “Raices y Alas,” (Roots and Wings) and Understanding and Meeting the Challenge of Student Diversity,” both published in 2001, and “Teaching and Learning in two Languages: Bilingualism and Schooling in the United States . (2005).  

Dr. Garcia was chairperson for the National Task Force on Early Childhood Education for Hispanics funded by the Foundation for Child Development and the Mailman Family Foundation. Dr. Garcia conducted research in the areas of effective schooling for linguistically and culturally diverse student populations funded by the National Science Foundation.  

Dr. Garcia has written books, “Hispanic Education in the United States ,”  ”Raíces y Alas,” (Roots and Wings) and “Understanding and Meeting the Challenge of Student Diversity,” both published in 2001. Another book,” Teaching and Learning in two Languages: Bilingualism and Schooling in the United States , ( New York , NY : Teachers’ College Press, 2005).



Kenneth I. Trujillo

Kenneth Trujillo has been selected to work with Security and Exchange commission Team for President Obama’s Presidential Transition Team, where he serves on the agency review team for the Securities and Exchange Commission.  

Ken and his wife, Laura Luna-Trujillo, have one daughter, Maya.  

Ken Trujillo received a Jurist Degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1986. He served as a board member of the city of Philadelphia Board of Pensions and the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, and the Board of Trustees of the University of the Arts.  

In 1997, Trujillo was named by Mayor Ed Rendell to serve as a member of the City of Philadelphia Police Corruption Task Force .  

His volunteer activities include serving on the boards of Community Legal Services Inc., Philadelphia Volunteers for the Indigent Program, and Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Philadelphia Inc. His most recent appointment was to Mayor John F. Street ’s Ethics Committee for his transition team.  

Trujillo is the former City Solicitor of Philadelphia and a former federal prosecutor. As City Solicitor, he represented the mayor, city council and all departments, agencies and commissions of the City of Philadelphia . Significant actions included implementation of the Neighborhood Transformation Initiative and the development of the Eagles new professional football stadium and the Phillies new Major League baseball stadium. Trujillo played a major role in the planning of the Republican National Convention in 2000.  

In 2003, Trujillo served on the Executive Committee of Governor Ed Rendell's Transition Team as counsel and shortly thereafter, Governor Rendell appointed Mr. Trujillo to the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Intergovernmental Cooperation.

In 2004, Mayor John F. Street appointed Trujillo to serve on the Ethics Committee of his transition team. In 2005, Governor Rendell appointed Mr. Trujillo Commissioner of the Delaware River Port Authority where he serves on the Finance Committee. Mr. Trujillo is an adjunct lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Also in 2005, the Mexican government presented Trujillo with the Ohtli Award, one of the highest awards given to non-Mexican citizens by the Mexican government.  

Trujillo served as the First vice Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer of the National Council of La Raza Board of Directors as well as on its Audit Committee.  Trujillo served on the Strategic Investment Fund for La Raza, Inc. board and   a member of the New American Alliance and its Finance Committee.   

A founding member of Trujillo , Rodriguez & Richards, LLC, his practice is now primarily in the areas of complex litigation and government relations. Trujillo represented U.S. business in Mexico , as well as Mexican companies doing business in the United States . He is president of the Board of Congreso de Latinos Unidos Inc. (Congress of United Latinos Inc) and past president of the Hispanic Bar Association of Pennsylvania.  

In May 2006, he Trujillo was appointed to the board of Philadelphia 2016, the organization seeking to bring the Olympics to Philadelphia .



 Thomas Soto  

Thomas Soto Managing Partner of Craton Equity Partners, one of southern California ’s largest clean technology investment funds has been selected to work with the Executive office of President Obama.  

Thomas Soto is 45 years old; he was born in Pomona , California , the son of Philip Soto (1926-1997) and Nell Soto (1927-2009) Thomas’ father Philip Soto served two terms in the State Assembly from 1962-1966. Thomas Soto’s father was one of the first two Latinos elected to the California State Legislature. In 1998, his mother Nell Soto was first elected to the Assembly and from 2000-2006 in the California Senate).  He has one sister Ana, and three brothers, Michael, Patrick, Philip, and another brother Robert, died in 2004.  

Thomas Soto has over 20 years experience in California working for and leading environmental groups such as the Coalition for Clean Air and the Mono Lake Committee. Thomas Soto promoted sound environmental and energy policies in response to climate change.   

President Clinton appointed Thomas Soto to the Border environment Cooperation Commission. This panel was established under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and oversaw the implementation of billions of dollars of environmental infrastructure to insure that the environmental impacts, of the NAFTA, could be managed.  

Soto is well known and is one of the leading environmental activists in the area of air quality and promoting more sound environmental policy. Especially for low income and overlooked communities. Soto also served for seven years as vice chairperson of the California State Board of Corrections and four years as a California State Coastal Commissioner, both as and appointee of former Democrat Governor Gray Davis.



 Xavier de Souza Briggs

Xavier N. de Souza Briggs, Associate Director for General Government Programs has been selected to work as Associate Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget for President Obama.  

Xavier Nevin de Souza Briggs was born in 1968 in Miami , Florida . He spent early part of his life in Nassau Bahamas , with roots in Brazil and Europe . His mother, Angela Aranha-Briggs, raised him. He is married to Cynthia Lowe-Briggs and lives in Massachusetts .  

Souza Briggs attended Belen Jesuit Preparatory Catholic School , earned a Rotary scholarship to study and community development in Brazil , Souza Briggs holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University , a Master's in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard and a B.S. in engineering from Stanford. 

From 1998-1999, Souza Briggs served as senior policy official at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban development.  

Souza Briggs’ work has received national awards: President’s Award of the American Planning Association for community development work in the south Bronx, the 2000 Best Article of the Year from the Journal of American  Planning Association for “In the Wake of Desegregation”, and the 1997 Dissertation Prize of the Association for Public Policy analysis and management. Souza Briggs is an American sociologist and planner, his work is known on Social Capital, and community building, and his concept of the “Geography of opportunity,” it addresses the consequences of race and class segregation for the well-being and life prospects of the disadvantaged.  

Souza Briggs was an Associate Professor of Sociology and Urban Planning in the Department of Urban studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).  Souza Briggs is a former faculty member of Harvard University ’s Kennedy School of Government. He has designed and led major leadership development, strategy, and other training programs for those in the public, private, and nonprofit/nongovernmental sectors. He has also consulted on urban strategy to leading national and international organizations, such as the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Center for American Progress, and the World Bank.  

Souza Briggs is the editor of the Geography of Opportunity: Race and Housing Choice in Metropolitan America (Brookings, 2005), which won the highest book award in planning. Another book “Democracy as Problem-Solving: Civic Capacity in Communities across the Globe”, It examines local policy innovation, and democratic governance in cities in Brazil , India , South Africa , and the U.S. A third book, Moving to Opportunity : The Story of an American Experiment to Fight Ghetto Poverty, is forthcoming summer 2009 (Oxford University Press). It presents a rethinking of anti-poverty policy, the role of housing in a larger opportunity agenda, and the lived experience and outlook of very low-income people in a major federal demonstration program. Souza Briggs is founder and director of The Community Problem-Solving Project @ MIT and Working Smarter in Community Development, two popular and innovative online resources for people and institutions worldwide.  

The community Problem-Solving Project @ MIT
Problem-Solving Project @ MIT

Working Smarter in Community Development



The StoryCorps MobileBooth 

StoryCorps , a national initiative to document everyday history and the unique stories of Americans, is in Salt Lake during the month of April as part of its cross-country tour.

The StoryCorps MobileBooth -- an Airstream trailer outfitted with a recording studio. 

StoryCorps is the largest multi-year oral history project ever undertaken. Since its launch in October 2003, StoryCorps has collected interviews in 100 towns in all 50 states -- over 23,000 stories in all. At the MobileBooth, interviews are conducted between two people who know and care about each other. A trained facilitator guides the participants through the interview process and handles the technical aspects of the recording. At the end of a 40-minute session, the participants walk away with a CD of their interview. With their permission, a second copy becomes part of an archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress for future generations to hear. Selected segments may air nationally on NPR's Morning Edition.

StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit project in partnership with NPR and the American Folklife Center (AFC) at the Library of Congress. 


The Fifth Annual Texas Diversity & Leadership Conference & Exposition
Report by Wanda Garcia


The Fifth Annual Texas Diversity & Leadership Conference & Exposition was held on April 22-24, 2009, at the Westin Galleria Hotel in Houston. The theme for the conference is “Wind of Change.” The expected attendance for the three day event is over 600 attendees. I was on a panel entitled Education and More Education.  
Other panelists were:  Veronica Ordaz Collazo, PH.D, Social Services Manager City of San Antonio Richard Farias, Superintendent Raul Yzaguirre School for Business.
Angeles M. Valenciano, Vicer President Business Development, Texas Diversity Council.

History: The National Diversity Council is a non-profit organization that champions diversity as a business necessity.  It began with the inception of the Texas Diversity Council in November 2004.  Eighteen months later, the National Diversity Council has established five state councils:  California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois and Texas.  Each state council has its own respective regional advisory councils.  Dennis Kennedy is the Chairman of the Board of the National Diversity Council.
Mission: The National Diversity Council strives to establish a corporate environment that utilizes the full potentials of each employee.

Vision: The National Diversity Council seeks to transform our diverse community into a truly inclusive environment where individuals are valued for their talent and able to reach their full potential.


Editor:  Below is the paper that Wanda delivered.


By Daisy Wanda Garcia


Before I begin, I would like to relay a story that was an epiphany in my life.  Texas Land Commissioner Garry Mauro brought in at risk kids so that we could mentor them.  I was working for the Texas General Land Office as a database administrator. Santos Moreno was assigned to me.  I had Santos by my side as I worked on the databases.  He stayed very quiet during this time. Finally, after 3 weeks, he commented, “So there are other jobs besides slinging hamburgers at McDonald.”

Hispanic students are falling behind educationally. At 21 percent, the national Latino high school dropout rate is more than twice the national average at 10 percent according to the PEW Hispanic Center. Only 68 percent graduate from high school within four years, and just 42.5 percent of those who graduated in 2007 enrolled in college or technical training.  The bulk of Hispanic youth is of Mexican origin. About 25 percent of Mexican-origin 16 to 19 year-olds have not finished high school and are not enrolled in any school.   What will be their future?
Many attribute the Mexican American high dropout rate to the Spanish language factor.  However, the high dropout rate continues today even when third generation Hispanics speak English and have lost the use of Spanish.
When we eliminate language as a cause, then other factors are contributing to these statistics. Before we can close the achievement gap, we must identify these causes.

My father, Dr. Hector P. Garcia felt he had a good self-identity because he was born in Mexico and not subjected to the suppression that Mexican Americans born in the USA receive.  Dr. Hector said, "We (Mexican Americans) live in a culture that suppresses us, and the English Only movement is a part of the greater plan to hold us back." He attributed the low academic performance of Latino children to this suppression.

The "melting pot" concept of everyone conforming to the Anglo American standard troubled my Papa. Papa was proud of his Mexican Heritage "I don’t want my culture and my pride and my language and everything melted down," he said. "You take me like I am because I think I’ve proved what I can do through my service to my country without having to be melted down."

On one occasion in 1989 when my Papa addressed the Hispanic Alumni at University of Texas Alumnus, he said, “We are a lost people. “We do not know who we are, where we are going.  We do not know our history and a people without history have nothing.”

Dr. Carlos Munoz realized the need for self-identity among Latinos in 1968, and decided to create Chicano Studies. He produced many books aimed at documenting our missing chapter in U.S. history.

Dr. Clotilde Garcia, my Aunt understood this need and was one of the first Latina activist to start researching family history.  She started the Spanish American Genealogical Association in the 60s and encouraged Hispanic youth to research their personal family history. Since then many groups have formed.

What are the causes of “suppression”? History books omit Hispanic contributions. Recently our valor and contributions were omitted from the documentary the “War”.  Some other causes of “suppression” are the “Wall between Texas and Mexico”, “Immigration issues”, and the “English Only” movement.   The Black Legend the presumed negative stereotype of Spaniards affects present day attitudes. The Black Legend instills the attitude among some activists to be anti Spanish and only take pride in Native American roots.

Mainstream cultures discount our language, our culture and our appearance. Many times I heard the comment from my peers, “I wished I was not born Mexican American.”

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

Some measures we as adults can take is to become more involved in ensuring that our history is included in the school text books. In addition, we should ensure educational materials about our Mexican American heroes are included in libraries and schools. It is important to mentor our youth about the importance of preparing for the future.

My father, Dr. Hector Garcia believed that education was the key to the advancement of our group. Therefore, he made the official motto of the AGIF    “Education is our Freedom and Freedom Should be Everybody’s Business.” The American GI Forum (AGIF) through their scholarship programs encourages education. The American AGIF scholarship programs help students financially.  Each AGIF chapter raises money for scholarships and the National AGIF matches the money. Then the scholarships are presented to deserving students. Ms. Alicia Rodriguez, National Chairwoman tells how the AGIF scholarship program helped her family.

   I received women's re-entry scholarships from the AGIF that helped me continue my education. I received my BA in education and MA in Education Administration. I currently work as the coordinator for the Community Learning Center in Ulysses helping adult students achieve their high school diploma.

  I have found this organization to be helpful in promoting education for our youth and women through scholarships and leadership trainings. The AGIF has been extremely instrumental in molding what I am today and serving as a positive role model for my family.

There are many success stories of AGIF youth who received scholarships.  Some of the AGIF youth success stories are:

x    Raul Yzaguirre, founder and President Emeritus of NCLR learned as a youth from Dr. Garcia the importance of education, leadership and accountability.  Raul is recognized across the country for his advocacy for Hispanics.
x    Antonio Morales, Jr.  was enrolled in AGIF when he was born.  He was head of the AGIF Youth. He is now the VP for Human Resources for SER the nation's largest on-stop employment trainer and provider in the nation.
x    Delia Garcia was involved as a youth and became the Chair of the AGIF youth while in High School.  Delia became the first Latina elected to the Kansas legislature, at the age of 26.  She is now serving her second term.
x    Dr. Susanna Garcia, Dr. Hector’s daughter got her doctorate and is a tenured professor at LSU. She was a recipient of AGIF scholarships.
x    Tony Canales, Dr. Hector’s nephew and Dr. Cleo’s son, is now considered one of the best lawyers in the USA. He was involved with the AGIF youth.
x    Carlos Truan, former Dean of the Texas Senate, received scholarships from the AGIF.

My role is to ensure that my father’s legacy and lessons are not forgotten.  I will continue his work that involves restoring pride in our heritage and culture and improving the status of Hispanics in this country.  This is the reason I am associated with the great online Emagazine which is dedicated to Hispanic Heritage.  I have been writing a monthly column since January 2007 for Somos Primos. I am sharing my father’s biography, his history, goals, and personal mission.  I invite you all to get online, absorb his dedication.  Let his life inspire and encourage all of us to go forward and lift our community through education and a promotion of our history.    



Emerging Paths to Partnerships in Science and Technology;
Life sustaining products, services and employment opportunities for Latinos
59th Annual Convention
LULAC, California District 1, Council No. 147 
Held at Abrazar Community Services and Education Center
7101 Wyoming St.  Westminster, CA 92683


Editor:  I was able to attend the afternoon session of the Convention.  I was touched by the wide range of ages of those involved, and especially because it appears that many of the participants, are the children and grandchildren of individuals who pioneered starting LULAC Councils.  

The theme was focused on exploring and collaborating on environmental issues which impact the Latino community because of the large number of Latinos that are employed in agriculture.  
Swearing in of new officers, left to right: Lupe Boyd Orange County Council, Cory Aguirre Placentia Council, Zeke Hernandez Santa Ana Council, George Casillas member of Placentia Council No. 174 voted in as Treasurer for District 1, Yvonne Duncan Gonzalez, president of Anaheim Council No. 2848, Lupe Gutierrez Anaheim Council, Robbie G. Munoz, the grandson of Hector Godinez, a new member of Placentia Council No. 174 and voted in as Deputy District 1. Director for Youth, Charlotte DeVaul Anaheim Council, Ricardo Mendoza Orange County Council. The oath was administered by Argentina Luevano, on the far right.

Guest speakers were Michael Marsh (standing in photo), Director of the Agricultural Worker Health Project (AWHP) of California rural Legal Assistance (CRLA).  Michael works from the Salinas office of CRLA, which has twenty-two offices through-out rural California.   Dr. Erualdo Romero Gonzalez, Assistant Professor in the Chicana and Chicano Studies Department at California State University, Fullerton.  His expertise is in the area of environmental health, special focus on Latino needs.  The discussion was centered on both the health problems associated with farm work, and employment opportunities for Latinos in alternate energy industries.

The meeting was conducted by District Director, Lola Gallardo, long time member.

Cory Anthony Aguirre and his wife Margie de la Torre Aguirre co-chaired the convention. The Host Council was Placentia, No. 174. I met them both many years ago. Cory, an Attorney, and his brother, Fredrick, a Superior Court Judge were taught service to their community, as children. Their father Alfred V. and mother Julia were dedicated members.

Judge Aguirre shared with me a memory, "I used to stand on a box and lead the pledge of allegiance to the American flag. I was eight."  


This meeting was of particular interest to me because Margie de la Torre Aguirre had completed a ten year historical project which was on display for the first time. As Chair of the California LULAC Heritage Committee, Margie had documented the growth of LULAC in California.  Using newspaper articles, minutes, reports, events, etc. Margie validated the historical facts of Latino activism and leadership.   Copies of this huge, 363 pages, spiral-bound work will soon be available. Margie's email is:

Thank you to Dr. Hector Ron Godinez (on the right) for sharing these photos.
Mel Jurado  Anaheim Council, on the left.  


Data to share in Celebrating el Cinco de Mayo

Cinco de Mayo celebrates the legendary Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, in which a Mexican force of 4,500 men faced 6,000 well-trained French soldiers. The battle lasted four hours and ended in a victory for the Mexican army under Gen. Ignacio Zaragoza. Along with Mexican Independence
Day on Sept. 16, Cinco de Mayo has become a time to celebrate Mexican heritage and culture.

29.2 million: Number of U.S. residents of Mexican origin in 2007. These residents constituted 10 percent of the nation's total population and 64 percent of the Hispanic population.

18.25 million: Number of people of Mexican origin who lived either in California (10.97 million) or Texas (7.28 million). People of Mexican origin made up more than one-quarter of the residents of these two states.

25.8: Median age of people in the United States of Mexican descent. This compares with 36.7 years for the population as a whole.

609,000: Number of Mexican-Americans who are U.S. military veterans.

1.3 million: Number of people of Mexican descent 25 and older with a bachelor's degree or higher. This includes about 362,000 who have a graduate degree.

37%: Among households where a householder was of Mexican origin, the percentage of married-couple families with own children younger than 18. For all households, the corresponding percentage was 21 percent.

4.1: Average size for families with a householder of Mexican origin. This compares to 3.2 people in all families.

14%: Percentage of employed civilians 16 and older of Mexican heritage who worked in managerial, professional or related occupations. In addition, 24 percent worked in service occupations; 20 percent in sales and office occupations; 18 percent in construction, extraction, maintenance and
repair occupations; and 19 percent in production, transportation and material moving occupations.

$39,742: Median household income in 2007 for households with a householder of Mexican origin.

22%: Poverty rate in 2007 for people of Mexican heritage.

68%: Percentage of civilians 16 and older of Mexican origin in the labor force. The percentage was 65 percent for the population as a whole. There were 13 million people of Mexican heritage in the labor force, comprising 9 percent of the total.

51%: Percentage of householders of Mexican origin who owned the home in which they lived.

Source for the preceding statements: 2007 American Community Survey

                             Trade With Mexico
$367.5 billion : The value of goods traded between the United States and Mexico in 2008. Mexico was our nation's third-leading trading partner, after Canada and China.
Source: Foreign Trade Statistics 

Number of firms owned by people of Mexican origin in 2002. They accounted for more than 44 percent of all Hispanic-owned firms. Among these Mexican-owned firms, 275,896 were in California and 235,735 in Texas. The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Riverside, Calif., combined statistical area had174,292.

$96.7 billion: Sales and receipts for firms owned by people of Mexican origin in 2002.

116,290: Number of firms owned by people of Mexican origin in the construction sector in 2002, which led all sectors.

Source for statements in this section: Hispanic-Owned Firms: 

                               Mexican Food
$100.4 million: Product shipment value of tamales and other Mexican food specialties (not frozen or canned) produced in the United States in 2002.
Source: 2002 Economic Census

$48.9 million: Product shipment value of frozen enchiladas produced in the United States in 2002. Frozen tortilla shipments were valued even higher, at $156 million.
Source: 2002 Economic Census

347: Number of U.S. tortilla manufacturing establishments in 2006. The establishments that produce this unleavened flat bread employed about 14,500 people. Tortillas, the principal food of the Aztecs, are known as the “bread of Mexico.” About one in three of these establishments was in Texas.
Source: County Business Patterns: 2006 .
The preceding data were collected from a variety of sources and may be subject to sampling variability and other sources of error. Facts for Features are customarily released about two months before an observance in order to accommodate magazine production timelines. Questions or comments should be directed to the Census Bureau’s Public Information Office: telephone: 301-763-3030; fax: 301-763-3762; or e-mail:

Sent by Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.




Witness to Heritage Hero
NCLR 2009 Conference in Chicago


We believe that president Obama's recent speech on education is a perfect time to  promote more awareness of the contributions of Spanish-heritage-Latinos to the founding and development of the United States.
WITNESS TO HERITAGE would like the youth to recognize the historic sacrifices of Latino leaders, in many fields, who have fought for them to be part of the system, to get an education, to succeed in life, to achieve the American dream.

If you or your organization would like to recommend someone to be honored by being nominated a Witness to Heritage Hero, please contact me.  

Our July Witnesses to Heritage Heroes are Dr. Rita Hernandez and Bill Luna.  Dr. Hernandez and Bill Luna will be honored at the 2009 NCLR Conference in Chicago.  A special event will be held at the LEGACY OF VALOR booth.   The LEGACY OF VALOR booth is mounted by the Hispanic Medal of Honor Society, and includes an outstanding panel on Dr. Hector P. Garcia.

After five years of effort, Rita and Bill were able to get a Chicago Board of Education to name a Chicago High School after Dr. Hector P. Garcia, the very first school outside of Texas named after Dr. Garcia.  

If you, or your organization would like to sponsor a Medal of Honor recipient or nominee to attend the NCLR conference, we would welcome financial support for their flight and room accommodations.   The whole cost for flight and accommodation need not be hosted by one organization.  The arrangements would be made directly, between your organization and the individual. 

We would post your sponsorship in the booth and include the information in any press releases.

As an educator and mentor of our youth for over 50 years, let me suggest that the opportunity to honor a living Medal of Honor recipient or nominee would be a memorable project for a youth group. 

Please send an email concerning your interest in supporting the LEGACY OF VALOR display by sponsoring outstanding individuals to be present in the booth to:
Dr. Henry J. Casso,

Editor: I am working with Dr. Casso, Project Uplift and Rick Leal, Hispanic Medal of Honor Society in the promotion of Witness to Heritage.  


The third of a series of five special public forums will be held in Las Vegas New Mexico co-hosted by the City of Las Vegas, Luna Community College and Highlands University.

The Forums are follow up to the Albuquerque Ruben Salaz presentation on his recent publication THE SANTA FE RING, self-published, 2009.

The First Forum was held in Sante Fe, New Mexico with presentations on the republished UNM 2009 work, THE TREE OF HATE.   The foreword to the new edition is by New Mexico's retired UNM Professor of History, Col. Robert Hemmerick y Valencia.  The second presentation by author Ruben Salaz, THE SANTA FE RING, How New Mexico land Grants changed ownership.

Attendees from throughout Northern New Mexico received the information well.  Interest was so high about land grants, it was decided to hold a Forum in Espanola, New Mexico, the end of the Camino Real.

The forum in Espanola was called THE HISPANOLA HISPANIC HISTORIC FORUM.  It was co-hosted by the City of Espanola and the Northern New Mexico College.  Attendance was excellent and one attendee wrote . . .  "I have been attending conferences, institutes and meetings for ten years, this was the finest, thanks" . . . 

May 16 the LAS VEGAS HISPANIC HISTORIC FORUM will be held at the Laveo Sanchez Lecture Hall, Highlands University, from 1-3:30.  Admission is free.

Dr. Robert Hemmerick will give an overview of the TREE OF HATE.  A special Land Grant Panel will be available with a major specially Power Point presentation being prepared by retired attorney Mike Scarborough addressing the U.S. Congree Treaty of Guadalupe GAO Report on New Mexico Land Grants and the Attorney General David King rebuttal to that Report, in which facts were left out. 

To attend, or for more information, contact:  
Dr. Henry J. Casso
Project Uplift
P.O. Box Drawer 30246
Albuquerque, New Mexico, 87110




Octomom Cartoon
Interactive Map Showing Immigration Data Since 1890 
Growth of Spanish language driving social evolution in U.S.
Number of illegal immigrants' children soars
Arrests of illegal immigrants trying to cross U.S.-Mexico border
El Mosquito Zumbador, new newspaper dealing with day labor problems
Study Shows Sharp Rise in Latino Federal Convicts
Health Information

Editor:  Thanks to Sergio Hernandez for sharing this great cartoon on a social issue that should challenge all of our moral and social attitudes.  The story attracted my interest, not only because Nadya lives in my county of Orange County, but also because she was married to Marcos Gutierrez between (1996-2008).  She has four daughters and ten sons.  By the ages of the children, although born with medical intervention and assistance, the first six children were born while married to Marcos Gutierrez.

Nadya Denise Doud-Suleman Gutierrez, also known as Octomom in the media, is an American woman who came to international attention when she gave birth to octuplets in January 2009.[1][2] The Suleman octuplets are only the second full set of octuplets to be born alive in the United States and, one week after their birth, surpassed the previous worldwide survival rate for a complete set of octuplets set by the Chukwu octuplets in 1998. The circumstances of their high order multiple birth have led to controversy in the field of assisted reproductive technology as well as an investigation by the Medical Board of California of the fertility specialist involved.[3] Public reaction turned negative when it was discovered that the single mother already had six other young children at home at the time and was not financially independent.

Suleman, who was unemployed and on public assistance programs at the time, conceived the octuplets and her six older children via in-vitro fertilization (IVF).[4]
Source: Wikipedia



Interactive Map Showing Immigration Data Since 1890


Interactive Map Showing Immigration Data Since 1890
Sent by Roberto Calderon

Growth of Spanish language driving social evolution in U.S.
By Fabiola Santiago

The United States is the world's second-largest Spanish-speaking country, surpassed in the number of Spanish speakers only by Mexico, and to measure the influence of Spanish in contemporary mainstream America one need only to channel-surf.

On public television, there's Gwyneth Paltrow on a ride through the Catalonian countryside in a convertible, showing off her considerable Spanish vocabulary to chef Mario Batali, who's not bad himself. Paltrow says she's made learning Spanish a priority for daughter Apple. She buys DVDs in Spanish, and ''Dora, la exploradora'' is Apple's favorite cartoon character. ''Per-r-r-r-fecto,'' Paltrow says, demonstrating her deftness at rolling her r.

On another channel, the preteen generation is also speaking Spanish in a joint movie production between Disney and a Spanish company. The American Cheetah Girls are in Barcelona and they're singing about ''a world united by music'' and speaking sporadic Spanish without any translation or subtitles for viewers. Ditto for the toddlers watching Handy Manny help his Spanish-speaking neighbors fix stuff with the help of his talking tools.

Is speaking Spanish, once vigorously shunned by English-only movements, becoming trendy in the United States?

''Something profound and historically significant is happening with the momentum of Spanish, and it's having an impact on the social and cultural fabric of the United States,'' says Eduardo Lago, executive director of the New York outpost of Instituto Cervantes, one of the most important cultural organizations in Spain.

Spanish is ''a fact of life,'' says Ana Roca, a Florida International University linguistics professor and a coordinator of next week's national ''Spanish in the United States Conference'' at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.

''You'll find a tremendous variety of Spanish being used in the United States today,'' Roca says. ``We used to never think of Spanish speakers in Georgia, North Carolina, but the demographics have changed, and the profile today is a lot more complicated than it used to be 25 years ago.''


At close to 40 million people, the tremendous growth of the Hispanic population -- the country's fastest-growing linguistic minority -- and the widespread use of their native tongue isn't lost on the Spanish Motherland.

Not only are the king and queen of Spain on an official visit to South Florida -- a region hailed by linguists as a showcase of the powerful presence of Spanish -- but the prestigious Instituto Cervantes has devoted a weighty 1,200-page book to the analysis of Spanish in the United States.
In the three months since Enciclopedia del español en los Estados Unidos was published by Santillana USA, the Doral-based division of the Spanish giant, the book has sold 9,000 copies, and a second printing is under way.

The reference book offers more than 80 articles on issues such as the vast literary and theatrical productions of Miami and New York, the regional linguistic differences between Cubans, Mexicans, Puerto Ricans and Dominicans, and the future of bilingual education and Spanglish. The book dissects speech patterns, gathers copious statistics on language, culture and economics, and lists the most important players in language and culture -- including Instituto Cervantes, established by the Spanish government in 1991 to promote Spanish with outposts in Albuquerque, Seattle and Chicago.

Gathering vast amounts of historical and statistical data involved some 70 collaborators across the country and in Spain, said coordinator Humberto López Morales, secretary general of Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española in Madrid.

''Our motivation was clear,'' López said. ``There was a lot of widespread information that was being published here and there in individual articles, but we wanted to both corroborate the facts through research and to collate it all in a tome where it could be easily accessed through the indexes.''
Certainly, Hollywood's embrace of Spanish fluency -- Woody Allen's Oscar-nominated Vicky Cristina Barcelona featured fast-paced Spanish dialogues between Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem -- has had an impact on the mainstream acceptance of Spanish. But some of the most significant recognition of the last decade has come from the publishing industry.

Spain's major publishers have outposts in Doral, and most major U.S. publishers now also publish books in Spanish. A hard sell many years ago, many prominent daily newspapers in Florida, Texas, New York and California publish Spanish-language editions in print and online. Add to this dozens of independent magazines and literary supplements published in Spanish all over the United States, with their print and online versions available worldwide.

''The literary production is tremendous,'' says Gerardo Piña Rosales, the New York-based director of Academia Norteamericana de la Lengua Española (ANLE), the American arm of the Spanish Academy, and author of various essays in the book.

The official recognition by Spain of U.S. Spanish speakers is quite meaningful in the academic world.

''It's an acknowledgement not only of what has been happening demographically, but of the cultural contributions U.S. Hispanics have been making for many, many years in literature, the media, film, documentary, dance, theater,'' says Uva de Aragón, a Miami poet, essayist and novelist who's also associate director of the Cuban Research Institute at FIU.

South Florida's vast Spanish-language culture is featured prominently in the enciclopedia. But consider these telling snippets about the prevalence of Spanish elsewhere: New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg takes weekly lessons in conversational Spanish from a Colombian tutor who comes to City Hall. More than 50 years after its Broadway premiere, West Side Story is returning in a bilingual production. Much of the singing and speaking is in Spanish. The musical was performed last December in Washington, D.C., to good reviews. One critic called Arthur Laurent's decision to translate dialogue and songs to Spanish ``a stroke of genius.''

Are the Spanish reconquering America?
''I wouldn't go so far,'' says Piña, and his colleagues agree.
The shortcomings are still many: Hispanics are worried that the new generation is not speaking Spanish well, or not speaking it at all. Americans don't consider speaking a second language important enough to devote funding to quality bilingual education.

''I don't subscribe to the view that English is overwhelming and that it will overpower Spanish and make people forget the mother tongue,'' Lago says. ``The momentum of Spanish is unstoppable, the numbers tell the story -- but I don't think a triumphant posture is appropriate.''

But what's certain, linguists says, is that a significant social evolution is taking place.
''The public needs to realize that Spanish was the first European language used in what is now the United States,'' Roca says. ``It was used in the 1500s, preceding the English-speaking colonizers who went to New England.. Before them, we had Spanish-speaking colonizers in Florida.''
As for the king and queen of Spain, they're reigning over the ''¡Viva España!'' theme of The Food Network's South Beach Wine & Food Festival, described by organizers as ``an unprecedented tribute to the wines and foods of Spain.''

The Enciclopedia del español en los Estados Unidos was presented to the king and queen last fall at the annual dinner the monarchy hosts to celebrate the Oct. 12 discovery of the Americas.
The queen, who spent a great deal of time looking through her copy during the dinner, asked who was responsible for the project. (It was Lago's idea after he received a copy of a similar encyclopedia about Spanish in the world, and the United States got ''a measly'' 10 pages -- but he wasn't at the dinner.)

Someone pointed at López, project coordinator. The queen applauded.  ''She dedicated an applause to me!'' López says. ``I couldn't have been a happier.'' But, he added, ``más le vale.''
Serves her well.

Spain may be the Motherland, but it's only the fourth-largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, he noted. ''The future of the language is in the United States,'' López said. ``It's No. 2 now, but without a doubt, in 10 to 15 years, it will be No. 1.'' 
Sent by Jaime Cader



Number of illegal immigrants' children soars, 
Pew Hispanic Center study finds
By Dianne Solis, The Dallas Morning News, April 15, 2009

The number of children born in the U.S. into families with at least one parent here illegally is growing, posing thorny policy questions for U.S. and Mexican officials. 

Texas is home to an estimated 1.4 million illegal immigrants. And the Dallas region has the nation's third-highest population of those born in Mexico. Mexicans represent nearly 60 percent of illegal immigr ants nationwide, according to the Pew study. 

A study released Tuesday by the Pew Hispanic Center showed that there were 4 million such children in 2008, up from 2.7 million five years earlier. All children born in this country are U.S. citizens, even if their parents are not. 

One of those 4 million children is Jorge Barraza, who lives in Mesquite with his mother. His father has been barred from re-entry into the U.S. because he came here illegally more than a decade ago. Jorge's parents have lived apart for more than a year. 

"We were people who took the initiative to do the right thing," said Jorge's mother, Yvette Medrano, in referring to her attempt to legalize her husband's immigration status. 
"We should have priority in any legalization," she said. "Anyone separated from a parent is in extreme hardship." 

The federal government maintains a different view. 
At Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency within the Department of Homeland Security, spokesman Carl Rusnok said, "We recognize that children are impacted by enforcement of the law. However, ultimately parents, who are in violation of the law, are responsible for the negative impact to their families." 

In January, at the request of a congressional committee, Homeland Security's inspector general found that more than 108,000 parents of U.S. citizens were deported over the decade ending in 2007. 

Changes to immigration law made in 1996 reduced defenses against removals for those who had substantial ties to the U.S., including spouses and children, the inspector general's report noted. 

Legalizing illegal immigrants still here could be among the topics discussed th is week as President Barack Obama visits Mexico for talks with Mexican President Felipe Calderón. 
The Pew study showed stabilization, rather than growth, in the size of what it terms "unauthorized immigrants" at about 11.9 million. In Texas, it estimates the population at 1.4 million – or 6 percent of the overall Texas population. 

That follows a March report by the Mexican census agency that net migration from Mexico had dropped by more than 50 percent in late 2008 from a year earlier. The Mexican government attributed the plunge to tough economic conditions worldwide. 

Sent by Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.




Arrests of illegal immigrants trying to cross U.S.-Mexico border

Arrests of illegal immigrants trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border have dropped to numbers last seen in the 1970s. Poor economic prospects and increased law enforcement in the United States both seem to be dissuading Mexicans from attempting covert border crossings.

El Mosquito Zumbador


New Spanish language day laborers' newspaper, El Mosquito Zumbador will be distributed to more than 40 day labor sites in San Diego County.  The newsletter is focused on the problems and activities related to day laborers. For more information, contact:

Juan A. Gallegos & Associates
Community & Public Relations
t 619.246.7550 f 858.750.6648

Sent by Gus Chavez



Study Shows Sharp Rise in Latino Federal Convicts
By Solomon Moore 
http://www.nytimes, February 19, 2009

LOS ANGELES - The sharp growth in illegal immigration and increased enforcement of immigration laws have dramatically altered the ethnic composition of offenders sentenced in federal courts. In 2007, Latinos accounted for 40 percent of all those convicted of federal crimes and one third of all federal prison inmates, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center, a non-partisan think tank.
Nearly half of all Latino offenders, or about 48 percent, were convicted of immigration crimes. Drug offenses were the second-most prevalent charge among Latino federal convicts, according to the
report, which was made public on Wednesday.
As the annual number of federal offenders more than doubled between 1991 and 2007, the number of Latino offenders sentenced in a given year nearly quadrupled, growing to 29,281 from 7,924. Latino convicts now represent the largest ethnic population in the federal prison system, although they make up only 13 percent of the United States population.
Of Latino federal offenders, 72 percent are not United States citizens and most were sentenced in courts from one of five states bordering Mexico. Undocumented federal prisoners are usually deported to their home countries after serving their sentences.
"The immigration system has essentially become criminalized at a huge cost to the criminal justice system, to courts, to judges, to prisons, and prosecutors, " said Lucas Guttentag, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union. "And the government has diverted the resources of the criminal justice system from violent crimes, financial skullduggery and other areas that have been the traditional area of the Justice Department."
Last month The New York Times reported that federal immigration prosecutions have increased over the last five years, doubling in the last fiscal year to reach more than 70,000 cases. Meanwhile other categories of federal prosecutions including gun trafficking, public corruption, organized crime and white-collar crime have declined over the past five years.
The federal justice system accounts for 200,000 or 8.6 percent of the total 2.3 million inmates in federal and state prisons and city and county jails. Nineteen percent of state prisoners and 16 percent of jail inmates were Latinos. African-Americans make up 39 percent of state prisoners and jail inmates while representing about 12 percent of the total national population.
Deborah Williams, an assistant federal defender in Phoenix, said that the large number of Latinos in the federal system, particularly those who are not citizens and have limited English proficiency, have dramatically changed federal prison culture.
"I have Anglo and Native American clients who tell me about being the only non-Spanish speaker in their pod," Ms. Williams said. "Ten years ago, it just wasn't that way. Everything is changing in there, including the language, the television shows they watch and a lot of times the guards don't speak the language. How do you safely guard people who may not understand your orders?"
A spokeswoman for the Bureau of Prisons, Tracy Billingsley, declined immediate comment on the Pew report.
"It's hard to understand whether we're seeing a policy change or just a growth in the total number of immigrants coming to this country," said Mark Hugo Lopez, a co-author of the study, who relied on United States Sentencing Commission statistics. The number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. increased from 3.9 million in 1992 to 11.9 million in 2008.
Under federal anti-illegal immigration programs like Operation Gatekeeper, which hired thousands of immigration enforcement officials along the southwest border, and Operation Streamline, which instituted a "zero tolerance policy" for illegal border crossings in the same region, immigration crimes have skyrocketed.
The large number of immigration crimes and low-level drug offenses account for the relatively light sentences that Latinos typically receive - about 46 months compared with 62 months for white inmates and 91 months for African-American prisoners.
Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company
Sent by Dr. Carlos Muñoz, Jr.



Last week we launched in Spanish.  This portal links to 56 sites with basic health information in Spanish.  Hispanic talking video guides will be added next month to provide a brief tour of the home page.

The Spanish version of is a work in progress.  Two links on the home page ("Fun for Kids" and "For Seniors") direct the user to inner pages that are empty of content.  
Charles Jackson
Sent by Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.



This is a Stand Down Call:  There will be no Rally!!!
Hello Tejano Monument Friends
Victory finally in sight for supporters of Tejano Monument on Capitol grounds 
Dr. Lino Garcia Corrects an article on David Crockett
Hispanic Affairs Delay Draws Fire
Report: Moraga Adobe threatened with development



There will be no rally!!!!!!  

Dr Andres Tijerina and I had a four hour meeting this morning and during the meeting he received a call from Renato Ramirez and Dr Cayetano Barrera. They informed us that the Tejano Monument bill has passed the House and last night it also passed in the Senate.  

                                             VICTORY IS AT HAND!!!  

Victory for our children and grandchildren who now will have a monument honoring their ancestors. Now when children visit the capital grounds there will be something else to be proud of. This victory is for everyone, and especially for this great State of Texas .

Congratulations to the Tejano Monument Committee For Never Giving Up

Y Que Vivan Los Tejanos

Dan Arellano



Hello Tejano Monument Friends,
We all had a long and joyous time Monday (04-20-09) at the Senate Hearing room E1.714.  All Tejano speakers were fantastic and the legislators seem to grasp our American Tejano memorial cause.  
QUE VIVA Los Valientes Tejano Vaqureos como Bernardo Guitierrez  de
Lara, JuanSeguin, Jose Antonio Navarro,  Jose F. Ruiz, Joseph Menchaca, Lorenzo de Zavala, Jose Carvajal and all other 
04-06-1813 and Texas Revolutionary war heroes. 

Long Live all American veterans of foreign wars including Tejano war veterans and heroes who proudly earned the American Congressional Medal of Honor and Distinguish Service Cross such as Jose Lopez, David Barkley, Lucian Adams, Rudolph Davila, Miguel Keith, Roy Benavides, Pedro Cano (check his story on Rio Grande Gaurdian web site) and all other TEJANO VALIENTES!

Photos from the Senate hearing pictures. If I missed any emails, please forward them.  Thank you all.
Sincerely American Tejano, 
Ramiro "R.J." Molina
Austin-Hebbronville, Texas

Comment by Walter Herbeck:

The hearing was scheduled for 3pm Monday,  The Senate was in session till about 6pm or so, it was worth the waiting.  Our speakers were impressive to say the least.  You could see that Senators in the room were very attentive and impressed all the way by how all our speaker expressed themselves.  
They knew that this Tejano Monument is past due.  
mas later,
Walter Herbeck


Victory finally in sight for supporters of Tejano Monument on Capitol grounds 

20 April 2009, by Julian Aguilar

AUSTIN, April 15 – The dream held by many Texans of Mexican descent to honor their legendary ancestors with a monument on the grounds of the State Capitol is closer to becoming a reality, lawmakers said Thursday.

“Without a doubt, this is it. The (State Preservation) board is having a meeting and I fully anticipate it will be the recommendation of the board (to approve the monument),” said Rep. Ismael “Kino” Flores, D-Palmview.







Cayetano Barrera of McAllen 
Chairs Tejano Monument, Inc. 
(Photo: RGG/Steve Taylor)

Flores has spearheaded an effort to honor the state’s Tejanos for almost 10 years. Since then, the issue has been the focus of several heated discussions concerning where the monument should be placed on the Capitol grounds.

Flores filed House Concurrent Resolution 139 this session that would instruct the preservation board to amend its rules and allow placement of the monument on the south lawn of the Capitol, where supporters of the project say it should be.

John Snead with the State Preservation Board told the House Committee on Culture, Recreation and Tourism on Wednesday that legislation would be needed to allow for the move following a restoration project the state undertook 
in the mid-1990s.

“It was determined (in 1995) that the grounds should be reverted back to their historic nature and as a consequence four different monuments and features that had been added to the Capitol grounds were removed,” he said. “At that point the preservation board members amended their rules in the 1990s to say that there would be no further monuments placed on the historic grounds.”

In 2001 the legislature passed a resolution authored by Flores and state Sen. Mario Gallegos, D-Houston, that authorized the monument at the Capitol. Because of the State Preservation Board’s amended rules, however, 
the monument was slated to be placed on the northwest grounds of the complex. 

On Wednesday historian Dan Arellano (photo, far right >) told the committee that agreeing to have the statue placed on the lesser traversed, northern Capitol grounds would be the equivalent of willingly “sitting at the back of the bus.”

The concern, some say, stems from the fact that the southern grounds are still considered the main entrance to the Capitol and is the area where most tourists and visitors enter the historic complex.

“The south side, that’s the state Capitol, those are the historical grounds,” said Flores. “The south side is what is recognized as the State Capitol of Texas.”

The monument is a series of sculptures designed by Laredo sculpture-artist Armando Hinojosa that represent historical events involving Texas’ Tejanos, according to the McAllen-based non-profit group, The Tejano Monument, Inc.



The group’s chairman, Cayetano Barrera, a physician from McAllen, said after Wednesday’s hearing there was a greater sense that the wishes of Hispanic historians would come to fruition.

“I never lost hope. I think this is such a worthy monument and such an omission in our state’s history that it had to be placed in there,” he said. “I don’t think Texas can survive as a viable historical state without admitting that there were Tejanos here.”

And though Flores said the relationship between lawmakers and the State Preservation Board was always amicable, Barrera instead laid the blame for the delay squarely on the board’s shoulders.

“There were too many restrictions. They kept saying what they did not like about it but they would never say what we needed to do,” he said. “We kept having to revise it and revise it and revise it.”

Flores did agree, however, that any sort of recognition for the state’s Tejanos, more than 1,000 of which fought alongside the more commonly recognized Texas heroes at the Battle of the Alamo, was long overdue.

“You see (symbols of) a ranger, you see a fireman, you see children (at the Capitol), but we didn’t have anything that signified those Tejanos,” he said.

That said, however, Flores appeared confident that by next Spring the long-standing but unintentional policy of ignoring some of the state’s oldest and bravest pioneers would be a thing of the past.

“The money is raised, the perpetual care money is set aside and the funding is in place,” he said. “I would say that within the next year they will start moving stuff in.”

Barrera said the achievement would mark the end of a cultural fight no one anticipated would be so consuming.

“I did not plan to make this my life’s work but that is what it seems like,” he said. “It’s a situation whose time has come. There is no denying it anymore.”

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


Correcting an article on David Crockett

To: Evan Smith
"ESmith Texasmonthly"
February 28, 2009

Dear Mr. Smith:

I just finished reading the latest Texas Monthly magazine and found that the person who wrote the short introduction on David Crockett again has misinterpreted the true history of Texas. Allow me to point out some discrepancies in this short narrative:

1.) Crockett had ONLY been on Texas soil a mere few months before the Battle of the Alamo--hardly enough time to " found a new republic" as the narrative states.
Tejanos had been fighting for justice and to separate themselves, first from Spain in 1809 ( the De Las Casa Revolt to oust then Spanish Governor of Texas Manuel Salcedo in San Antonio, Texas) ; and again ( in 1813 at the Battle of Medina where close to 1,000 Tejanos perished in their attempts to separate from Spain and found a new republic); and then from Mexico in 1821.

So you see the attempts to find a new republic originated with the early settlers of Tejas- The Tejanos and certainly NOT with David Crockett.

2.) In addition to many other brave Texans, eleven Tejanos also died at the Battle of the Alamo. How about Juan Seguín who helped look after the dead at this battle and who buried many of them? Now , that is a true Texas Heroe. He was born in Texas with genealogy on Texas soil dating back many generations before 1836, and certainly not David Crockett, a recent arrival to Texas , who for all we know probably came to this state undocumented ( remember that it was Mexico and the Tejanos who ALLOWED northerners to come into Texas in 1824) : and the Tejanos had been living on Texas soil since 1528 when Pánfilo Narváez and Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca arrived on Texas soil on November 6, 1528, near Galveston Bay.

3.) Surely, surely your distinguished magazine can find some early Tejano or Tejanos to mentioned as being prominent in early Texas.

How about a.) Lorenzo de Zavala--patriot, statesman, first Vice President of the Republic of Texas, signer of the Declaration of Texas Independence, and early advocate of establishing a new republic, and the designer of the Lone Star Flag ( YES--Zavala designed our Texas flag). or b.) Antonio de Navarro, prominent Tejano from San Antonio, in whose " hacienda" Sam Houston stayed and both planned the rebellion leading to the Battle of the Alamo; and it was Navarro who introduced a bill to established the FIRST university in Texas offering to donate some of his vast holdings of land to do so? or c.) Juan Seguín- Colonel in the Texas Army of Volunteers whose efforts and that of hundreds of Tejanos helped defeat General Antonio de Santa Ana at the Battle of San Jacinto?
or d.) Blas Herrera, heroe of the Alamo and the Paul Revere of this battle?
or e.) Francisco Ruiz, from a prominent early Tejano family in San Antonio, and who served as Senator from his district in the newly created republic? or f.) hundreds of other Tejanos who fought for Texas Independence.

Sir, the world has changed, the demographics of Texas has changed dramatically, and we still have to contend with centuries old myths, old historical data, that only continues to misinformed the general public. In addition, the David Crockett story belongs in Hollywood, and is based on a certain cultural group's desire to bathe in some heroes, in some accomplishments that elevates them as a cultural group with the idea of creating a sub class of individuals whose role in the making of Texas is minimized. However, historical data tells a different story. With the emergence of a vocal and dynamic Tejano community, the Tejano story will be told. 

May I suggest the following scholarly books:

a.) Spanish Texas - 1519-present- Donald Chipman-UT-Austin Press- 1992- ISBN: 0-292-77659-4 .

b.) A History of Texas and The Texans-( From Pre-Historic to the Present) by:
T.R. Fehrenback - Da Capo Press- 2000 - ISBN: 0-306-80942-7

c.) Tejano Empire- by Andrés Tijerina- Texas A&M University-College Station- 1998- ISBN: 0-89096-834-9 

I can also provide you with names and phone numbers of scholarly individuals whose research on Tejanos have gained them prominence. 

Cordially yours,

Lino García,Jr., Ph.D
Professor Emeritus of Spanish Literature
University of Texas-Pan American
Edinburg, Texas 78541
( 956) 381-3441 office

Editor:  Dr. Garcia reports that Mr. Evan Smith responded positively, and has acted to be inclusive in articles dealing with Tejano History.


Hispanic Affairs Delay Draws Fire

By Jeff Jones
, Journal Staff Writer, Thursday, April 09, 2009

       Gov. Bill Richardson is catching serious heat from Hispanic activists as he considers whether to sign into law a bill to create a state Hispanic Affairs Department.
    Richardson has until Friday to act on the legislation. His spokesman, Gilbert Gallegos, said Wednesday the governor was undecided about the measure and had several reservations.
    "The governor is not going to be bullied into taking a position (on) signing or vetoing a bill," Gallegos said of the sometimes-scathing dispute over the bill. "The governor wants to rise above that kind of personal attack."
    One vocal critic is vowing to make it a national issue for the Democratic governor and former presidential candidate, who is Hispanic himself and runs a state with a Hispanic population of about 45 percent.
    "It is beyond ridiculous, and beyond comprehension, how this is even considered being vetoed," said state Hispano Round Table Chairman Ralph Arellanes, who earlier this week sent out a mass e-mail challenging the "credibility and loyalty" of the nation's lone Hispanic governor.
    Gallegos said the governor's top concern over Senate Bill 21 is that it contains no funding to start up the new agency.
    The Governor's Office also believes wording in the bill would allow the new agency unparalleled access to records from other state offices.
    He said Richardson has offered to meet with Hispanic leaders today to discuss the bill.
    The bill, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, would establish a Cabinet-level department focusing on Hispanic affairs.
    The state already has an Office of African American Affairs and a Cabinet-level Indian Affairs Department.
    Sanchez's bill originally contained a $700,000 state appropriation to pay for the startup of the Hispanic agency, but the money was cut by the cash-strapped state Legislature that adopted a no-growth state budget. Richardson dubbed 2009 "The Year of Fiscal Restraint" as he opened the annual state legislative session in January.
    Backers of the measure say they hope funding would come during better fiscal times, adding that Richardson's signing of the measure would be an important gesture of support to Hispanics across the state.
    Arellanes in an e-mail Tuesday to dozens of fellow activists, members of other Hispanic groups and media members notified them that Richardson was "leaning toward" a veto and promised to push criticism of the possible move into the national media.
    "So, what we have here at this point is the only sitting Hispanic governor in the nation, in the only Hispanic majority state in the country, strongly considering vetoing SB 21," wrote Arellanes, who also is northern New Mexico district director for the League of United Latin American Citizens.
    "Our collective voice must and shall be heard regarding the credibility and loyalty of Governor Richardson and whether he should continue to speak for the Hispano community on national affairs," Arellanes added. "This is a breaking point matter that we will latch onto with every (resource)."
    Gallegos said Richardson "agrees philosophically" with the goals behind the proposed Hispanic Affairs Department, such as addressing pay, education and health care disparities. But he said those are already among Richardson's top priorities.
    "I wouldn't say he's for or opposed, but he's raised the question: 'What would a Hispanic Department do differently than what we're already doing?' " Gallegos said.
    "(As for) the hope he would sign it and look for funding in the future, the governor questions whether that's responsible to do," Gallegos said.
    The bill says the new agency would have access to "all records, data and information of other state departments that are not specifically held confidential by law," which Gallegos said raises concerns.
    It also specifies which Hispanic groups would be represented on the agency's 10-member commission and would require the governor to choose commission members from lists provided by those groups — language that Gallegos called "overreaching."
Pablo Martinez, director of the state chapter of LULAC, credited Richardson with building ties with his group, but he agreed that Richardson could face significant backlash among Hispanics if he decides on a veto.
    "I deal with things a little more differently than Mr. Arellanes. But we do vehemently agree: There needs to be an Office of Hispanic Affairs," Martinez said.
"If it doesn't get passed, it could very well be interpreted as a slap in the face to the community."

 Juan Marinez



Report: Moraga Adobe threatened with development

Hello All:
Just as we have watched Boyd and others pour their life energy into a seemingly insurmountable fight over the Presidio, it looks like it's my (and perhaps your) turn.
The Moraga Adobe and surrounding 20 acres, which has stood as a discrete piece of property since the last of my Moraga family were forced out in 1885, has quietly been sold to developers who propose building 16 homes to encircle it. It's been for sale for three years; I never even knew about it.
As you may know, it was built in 1841 by Joaquin Moraga and supposed Indian laborers from the Presidio in 1841 on the grant he shared with his first cousin Juan Bernal. His son (and my GGGGrandpa  Jose de Jesus Moraga added two more rooms in 1848 and a few more were added for servants within the period of occupation by the Moragas.The Bernals constructed a place on the opposite end of the total grant.
It is the oldest intact adobe in Contra Costa, I believe, (the Alvarado Adobe is a reconstruction) and is on the National and State Historic sites registers.
My GGGrandmother Gomecinda was born there and her "x" was on the final forced sale in 1885 to that scoundrel of all time, Horace Carpentier. At age 12, she had the distinction of being whipped with a rifle butt by an Anglo-American squatter , so badly, that the neighboring communities were outraged and she won a civil suit award, though I doubt she saw a penny of it. The Adobe is also where the family was besieged by the squatters rifleros, and a ranch  hand was shot dead at the site during the attempted forced eviction.
This is the adobe where Joseph Lamson, who squatted in the nearby redwoods (that Joaquin basically gave up trying to protect and sold to Elam Brown), visited a fandango and left a detailed description of the evening, including physical and personal descriptions of my GGGGmother and father, Jose de Jesus and Maria de la Cruz Sibrian. My GGGrandmother was a toddler during that visit. So much has happened there, and IS documented. It's a truly valuable site of historic relevance to the period and beyond..
The adobe is in incredibly good condition compared to many missions and other sites, mostly because it was sheathed in wood, some   inside and all out. An outside staircase leads to attic and you can see the adobe walls and the original roofing brackets, and hand  cut wooden pegs that hold them in place. There is some cracking, and some ground collapse near the front door, but this has been an historic problem since a basement was excavated nearby to keep milk cool when it was operated as a dairy, ironically, by my GGGrandfather John Avila's family (he married Gomecinda). It currently has a shake roof, rather than tile.
The  house was basically saved and turned into an estate by the SoCal Irvine family. I always thought the place was safe as an estate, but I was wrong.
The adobe has a beautiful, nay commanding view of the valley. The surrounding 20 acres, thought mostly hilly, afford a glimpse of a working ranch and garden site. There is a golf course above, houses to the north, and the bulk of the open space is to the south, leading downhill toward Miramonte High School.
Behind the house is a courtyard or perhaps garden area of later times, build of adobe bricks but using concrete mortar. It's somewhat intact but the developer intends to demolish  it (pending historical review), as well as  a nearby barn that is 20th century vintage.
It is an ideal site for small events, living history, community garden, dog walks, nature walks, art exhibits, etc. It would be perfect for 4th grade history events, even overnighters, like the Petaluma Adobe. It's similar in situation as the Alviso Adobe but not quite as encircled by housing. The ad hoc group liked the idea of the field trip usage because it's during the week, rather than all weekend usage, but there is room for everything.
Nothing has been decided. A group of concerned locals, the Friends of the Moraga Adobe (which met last night), has quickly formed to try and get some kind of input going during the process. The site has yet to have a historic evaluation, but I am concerned about the integrity of the process because the developers represent big bucks no doubt. The fact that they even think they can do this to such a historic site is really troubling. A similar proposal was shot down in the 1970s. Because of the ancient spring nearby that caused the family to even construct the adobe there, there is a deep and similarly ancient landslide zone, apparently 90 feet deep underfoot, according to a neighbor who attended the meeting.
For the first time in my life, I was allowed to visit the Adobe last Thursday (with the group and the developer). Teenagers had broken through the windows and partied there, including spray painting graffiti on a few of the inside walls. The developer, seeking to protect it, put plywood over all the windows, which was promptly covered by new graffiti demanding access to the place by the cheeky juveniles! The house was dank and smelled of rats, in fact , a dead rat was in the bathtub.
Personally, I was so distressed by the sight I could barely contain my anger and sadness. I always thought I'd never see it. Instead, I saw what was presented SOMEWHAT as a rotting corpse of a house, that actually is in good condition if you strip away the added materials of the last 124 years. . Not only has the place been vandalized, but when I questioned the developer of his plans, I saw little inkling of respect for the integrity of the site beyond the single building itself. He was a friendly and accomodating man, but I don't think history is on his mind. I asked his where the nearest homes would be, and you could toss a softball and hit them from the front porch.
Any support, inquiries, etc. that you wish to offer at this time may be directed to the President of the Friends of the Moraga Adobe, Kent Long 
It is early in the process and Kent can't provide a detailed action plan, but I will keep you posted. At this time, the group is pursuing definitive info about the title and ownership. Of course, we are trying to figure out a pathway of preservation, via city, county, regional or other jurisdictional possession. this letter is just a part of the effort. Please forward this to others in LC; as you know we don't have a group email capacity until it has gone through procedural review, which is fine with me.
As there is an ancient spring, it's likely that there were animals and hunters at the site. And because there were Indian servants on the premises, it's likely that there is a burial spot somewhere on the property. Most of the Moraga family, including my direct kin, are buried over the hill at St. Mary's Cemetery in Oakland. I can't believe that there isn't archaeological heritage involved beyond the obvious.

Thanks, Primo Lance
Lance Beeson 
Sent by Lorri Frain



Journey of the Plumed Serpent 
by Eddie Martinez


  It is with great joy that I share the introduction to a marvelous work by artist Eddie Martinez. Eddie has applied his artistic talents to presenting the story of Mexico's earliest greatness with accuracy and respect in Journey of the Plumed Serpent, ©.  Eddie decided to mount the entire work of  Journey of the Plumed Serpent on his website.  

"I want to make the historic information available to everyone, as quickly and smoothly as possible.  We need to tell our own stories. We can't count on non-Hispanic. It is our history and we should be the ones that share it."  

We are blessed that Eddie is an artist with a passion for history.  




For more on “Journey of the Plumed Serpent” click on:

José-Luis (Joe) Gonzalez, painter, muralist, sculptor, restorer, and art administrator:
Mexico Pavilion:
“Return of Quetzalcóatl”:
William Douglas Lansford:
Eddie welcomes comments, write to:


Hispanic Online Activity Skyrockets
San Ildefonso Pueblo purchases trading post

Study: Hispanic Online Activity Skyrockets
By Rob Kuznia, April 17, 2009


The number of Hispanic people using the Internet skyrocketed last year, growing at nearly four times the rate of the rest of the American population. That is the conclusion of a study released Thursday by comScore, Inc., a leader in measuring the digital world.

The Hispanic online population reached a record 20.3 million visitors in February 2009,
representing 11 percent of the total U.S. online market, according to the study.

The total amount of time Latinos spent online increased 6.9 percent in 2009, or nearly 3.9 times faster than the total U.S. online population. The total pages consumed grew 6 percent, or 3.6 times faster than the total U.S. population.

However, evidence suggests Latinos on the whole are spending less time online than other users.Although they represent 11 percent of the total U.S. online audience, they account for just 9 percent of total time spent online.

This might have something to do with how the most frequent users seem to be teens.
Eighteen percent of the Latino visits went to sites categorized by the researchers as “communityteens.” This was followed by “Gaming Information” at 13 percent. Other entertainment- and leisure-related categories were heavily represented on the list, including Radio (13 percent), Multimedia (12 percent), Discussion/Chat (11 percent), Instant Messengers (11 percent) and Music (11 percent).

“It’s well known that the Hispanic Consumer Market is a growing and increasingly important segment to advertisers and marketers,” said Jack Flanagan, executive vice president of comScore Media Metrix, in a statement.

“Though U.S. Hispanics are less engaged Internet users on average, they do show a predilection for communication and entertainment online — high engagement activities that offer a potentially strong marketing opportunity.”

Received from Clips 4.20.09
Estrada Communications Group, Inc.
13729 Research Boulevard, Suite 610
Austin, TX  78750
Tel: 512.335.7776 / Fax: 512.335.2226



San Ildefonso Pueblo purchases trading post
Trading post gets face-lift
San Ildefonso Pueblo purchases trading post
Monday, February 16, 2009
Filed Under: Business 

San Ildefonso Pueblo in New Mexico has reopened and renovated an old trading post on the reservation. Cottonwood Trading Post began as Mr. Crow's about 30 years ago. It was sold to the late brother of former Interior secretary Bruce Babbitt before landing in the tribe's hands a couple of years ago.

The tribe cleaned up the interior and the post continues to offer traditional arts and crafts and ceremonial regalia. "We are trying to use the positive things that we have to create economic value," manager Cavan Gonzales told The Santa Fe New Mexican.

The tribe hopes to reconnect with some of the trading post's customers. We've been working our tails off to let people know this place is still here," said Leanna Martinez.

Trading post gets face-lift

Phaedra Haywood | The New Mexican  2/15/2009 - 2/16/09

Cottonwood Trading Post, once an enclave of Anglo ownership in the middle of San Ildefonso Pueblo, is back in the hands of the pueblo.

The Trading Post was opened about 30 years ago by Bill Crow. It sold Native American-made arts and crafts to tourists, and groceries to the people who live at the pueblo.

"Back then it used to be called Mr. Crow's," said Leanna Martinez, a young San Ildefonso Pueblo woman who works at the Trading Post. Martinez said she used to come to the trading post with her parents to buy sacks of candy from Crow. "I just remember he used to tease," she said. "It used to be a dark, old, wooden trading post."

Cavan Gonzales, 38, who manages the Trading Post, said his grandfather and Crow (both veterans of World War II) were friends. "It was a homestead to begin with," Gonzales said.

"We've been trying to find stories from people who remember how Mr. Crow came to be here," Martinez said.  About 15 or 20 years ago Crow sold the property to Joseph Babbitt (brother of former Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt) and his wife, Judith. Joseph Babbitt died about five years ago. His wife kept the trading post open for a few years, but later sold it to the pueblo and moved away.

The trading post was closed for about a year before the pueblo reopened it in August. It's still housed in the same adobe building, but most everything else has changed.

Cottonwood is no longer a dark rustic looking place, where groceries shared shelf space with pots and blankets.  What used to be the Crow's living room looks like something one would find a block off the Plaza in Santa Fe: all polished wood and high-end pottery and jewelry.

One of the former bedrooms has become the Maria Martinez room, an homage to the world-famous San Ildefonso Pueblo potter credited with reviving the distinctive black-on-black pottery the pueblo is known for today. A chart on the wall diagrams the late potter's family tree. Gonzales is her great-grandson. A glass case houses a Maria Martinez plate, on loan from a collector from Laguna Beach, Calif.

Gonzales said other pueblo residents own pieces of the coveted black pottery, "but those are their own." Cottonwood does sell pottery created by Maria Martinez's granddaughter and other family members.

The highly polished black pots etched with spiders and inlaid with turquoise and coral share shelf space with pots made by more than 30 other potters from San Ildefonso and other New Mexico Pueblos.

The trading post also sells jewelry, paintings, etchings, fetishes and kachina dolls, all made by Native Americans, all handpicked by Gonzales and Martinez.

The Cottonwood Trading Post also carries the ceremonial regalia used in the pueblo's dances and rituals.

"We are trying to use the positive things that we have to create economic value," said Gonzales. "The artists appreciate the attention that their work gets from tourists. And it keeps our culture alive. They are all beautiful and individual pieces, and they all need good homes. That's what I believe. You go with your heart, and you hope for the best."

The only thing the shop carries that isn't Native made is Pendleton blankets.

There isn't much drive-by traffic at the end of the dirt road where the trading post is located. But Leanna Martinez — who is 24 and has worked for the tribe in some capacity since she was 14 — said she's trying change that. "We've been working our tails off to let people know this place is still here," she said. She's working on a brochure that will be placed at other tourist destinations in Santa Fe and surrounding areas.

Gonzales said about 50 percent of the people who come into the trading post have been there before.

"It's totally different now," said Dick Keeffe, 79, a Santa Fe resident who stopped in last week with his wife and a friend visiting from New York City. "It's bigger and airier. More like a gallery. It used to be a real trading post. Well, it looked like one anyway."

Contact Phaedra Haywood at

Dorinda Moreno


Dream Act
Data of Importance to Parents
13-Year-Old Pilot Flies 3,671 Nautical Miles
Dropouts Cost CA Cities Millions
Hispanics Become More Prevalent on College Campuses


The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (The "DREAM Act") is a piece of proposed federal legislation that was introduced in the US Senate, and the US House of Representatives in March 26, 2009. This bill would provide certain immigrant students who graduate from US high schools, are of good moral character, arrived in the US as children, and have been in the country continuously for at least five years prior to the bill's enactment, the opportunity to earn conditional permanent residency. The students will obtain temporary residency for a lapse of six years. Within the six year period, a qualified student must attend college, and earn a two year degree, or serve in the military for two years in order to earn citizenship after the six years period. If student does not comply with either his/her college requirement or military service requirement, temporary residency will be taken away and student will be subjected to deportation.

Text Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Photo: 2008 National Council of La Raza, sent by Dorinda Moreno shown with OneDream students in 2008.
'School the Youth On Truth', Barrio Station and FuerzaMundial (Concilio Mujeres) Comadre y Compadre circle.




     --   Workers with a high school degree earned an average of $31,286 in 2007, 
while those with a bachelor's degree earned an average of $57,181.

       --   The race and Hispanic origin data show that 53 percent of Asians in the U.S. had a bachelor's degree or more education. For non-Hispanic whites, it was 33 percent; for blacks; it was 20 percent; and for Hispanics, it was 13 percent.
Current Population Survey (CPS) from 2008 Statistics
Sent by Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.



Breean and the Flying Farfans
13-Year-Old Pilot Flies 3,671 Nautical Miles


Breean Farfan isn't old enough to drive to the Compton airport from her home in Bellflower, but the flying Farfan piloted 31hours to Oshkosh, Wis. and back. She reached her lofty goal of flying to Wisconsin and attending the Experimental Aircraft Association's (EAA) Young Eagles Camp with some hard work and support from her family. 

The Bellflower teenager needed $7,000 to cover round-trip expenses. So three months earlier she started a fund raising campaign that included sending out hundreds of letters and press releases.

Dennis Lord, of the L.A.County Aviation Commission, says Breean Farfan “is well on her way” to attending the Air Force Academy.

"I would have never been able to do this flight without my family," said Breean, a member of the local EAA chapter. "My little brother did the envelope sealing and he got lots of paper cuts, but he never complained. He was happy to help. And my sister was the main one who gave me the courage and hope to keep going. She's my best friend."

The family raised over $5,000 and the camp waived her tuition. All she had to do now was fly the small Cessna 172 across seven states. "The hardest part of the flight was going over the Rocky Mountains because it's so bumpy and the air is not steady," said the young pilot. 

"At one point I would be flying straight and level, then I would have a cross wind and my plane would be turning to the right, but inside the cockpit I'm turning hard left… So that was a little challenging, but I had fun the whole time."

Breean has "extraordinary poise and a willingness to learn," said Dennis Lord, a  commissioner with the County of Los Angeles Aviation Commission and a member of the local EAA chapter. "She understands the techniques and concepts, which all translates to a very poised and confident person in the cockpit."

One of Breean's goals is to attend the U.S. Air Force Academy and one day pilot the stealth aircraft F-22 Raptor. Lord says he can help her achieve her goals, but he may have an entire
flock of flying Farfans under his wing. Breean's sister and two brothers want to follow in their big sister's footsteps, or should we say flight pattern.

One brother already has eight hours of flight time logged. Breean does have some advice for her siblings and all youngsters. "If you work hard on what you want, and stay
focused, and stay in school, you can do whatever you want," concluded the first flying Farfan. 

Dennis Lord, of the L.A. County Aviation Commission, says Breean Farfan “is well
on her way” to attending the Air Force Academy. Breean Farfan (at top) isn’t the only Flying Farfan. Just about the entire family flies, and one of her brothers has logged eight hours

Sent by Rafael Ojeda


Dropouts Cost CA Cities Millions
By Maureen Magee
Union-Tribune, April 12, 2009


SAN DIEGO, CA — Dropping out of school might seem like the easy way out for teenagers
who feel buried by bad grades and personal problems. But ditching out on school without a diploma passes along a multibillion-dollar burden to taxpayers, according to a report issued last week.

The California Dropout Research Project estimates that the teenagers who drop out of school in San Diego during an average year cost city taxpayers a total of more than $534 million over their lifetimes. Dropouts in Chula Vista cost nearly $137 million.

Compared with high school graduates, dropouts have higher rates of unemployment, lower
earnings, poorer health and higher mortality rates. They are also more likely to commit crimes, spend time in jail and rely on public assistance.

Based at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), the dropout project studied 17
cities. Statewide, 123,651 dropouts from 2006-07 will cost California $24 billion, the report estimates. Some 3,115 students dropped out of middle and high schools in the city of San Diego in 2006-07. San Diego’s high schools awarded diplomas to 10,763 students, which is more than three graduates for every dropout.

In Chula Vista, 797 students dropped out of middle and high schools during the 2006-07 school year. The city’s high schools graduated 3,331 students.

Received from Clips 4.20.09
Estrada Communications Group, Inc.
13729 Research Boulevard, Suite 610
Austin, TX  78750
Tel: 512.335.7776 / Fax: 512.335.2226



Hispanics Become More
Prevalent on College Campuses

Hispanic students comprised 12 percent of full-time college students (both undergraduate and graduate students) in 2007, up from 10 percent in 2006, according to U.S. Census Bureau tables released today. Hispanics comprise 15 percent of the nation's total population.
School Enrollment in the United States: 2007 contains eight detailed tables based on statistics collected in the October School Enrollment Supplement to the Current Population Survey. The national-level data are shown by characteristics such as age, sex, race, Hispanic origin, family income, type of college, employment status and vocational course enrollment.
Women continue their majority status, comprising 55 percent of undergraduates and 60 percent of graduate students. Other highlights:
In 2007, 53 percent of Hispanic 4-year-olds were enrolled in nursery school, up from 43 percent in 1997 and 21 percent in 1987.

In 2007, 27 percent of the population 3 or older were enrolled in classes from nursery school to graduate studies.

More than half (59 percent) of all 4-year-olds and 39 percent of 3-year-olds were enrolled in nursery school.

Students in grades one through 12 made up 64 percent of people 3 and older enrolled in school.

Students 35 or older comprised 15 percent of people enrolled in college. They made up 7 percent of the full-time college students and 36 percent of those attending part time.
Kirk Whisler
Hispanic Marketing 101

voice: (760) 434-1223
Latino Print Network overall: 760-434-7474



Let us Remember the Histories of those who have Preceded us
by Cristina Kirklighter


Recently, this essay was presented at the Conference on College Composition and Communication (a college affiliate of the National Council of Teachers of English). 
Cristina KirklighterI interviewed Felipe, Carlota Cardenas Dwyer, and Roseann Dueña Gonzalez who were early Chicano/a leaders of NCTE/CCCCs.   Dr. Felipe Ortego suggested that Somos Primos readers would enjoy reading it.


The year is 1967.  I am in 2nd grade at an all white, but not really all white, elementary school in Alexandria, Virginia, a school named after the confederate soldier, Stonewall Jackson, whose photograph hung in the front entranceway.  Alexandria is too close to D.C., so its rich Southern heritage needed to remain steadfast in the face of elementary school children with the last names of Schwartz, Martino, Martinez, or the growing number of biracial and bicultural children.  Like many children in the 2nd grade, I read Scott Foresman's Dick and Jane's friends' workbook entitled "More Friends Old and New," a workbook that I have kept to this day.  Dick and Jane were white and so were their friends and relatives.  I saw plenty of children and parents who resembled my Southern white father and his relatives, but none that resembled my brown-skinned immigrant mother and her relatives from Honduras.  Even in my class, many of my friends didn't look like Dick and Jane and the ones that did sometimes made disparaging remarks to the immigrant and ethnic children.  I also remember an immigrant child crying because she couldn't understand English, and the teacher angrily telling us that she didn't know what to do with her.

In the mid to late 60's while I was reading and answering questions about Dick and Jane's white friends in my workbooks, National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) African American, Chicano, Native American, and Asian American members understood that what I was reading did not speak to the experiences of many children like me.  A year after Dr. Nancy Larrick published her famous article in 1965 entitled, "The All-White World of Children's Books" in the Saturday Review of Literature, a small group of Chicano NCTE members formed the Chicano Teachers of English headed up by Felipe (Phillip) de Ortego y Gasca with Carlota Cárdenas Dwyer and Jose Carrasco joining him shortly afterwards in the late 60s.  If we go to the NCTE Centennial Celebration website which I would encourage all of you to visit and provide historical input on your own groups, you will see letters from Ernece Kelly to Nancy Pritchard (then NCTE Asst. Executive Secretary) stating that she would form a group of members to do the following:

" Assess the nature and breadth of the phenomenon of the continuing development of texts and tests which discriminate against cultural and racial groups

" Chart short- and long- range plans for acting on this two pronged problem of bias

" Involve themselves actively in the implementation of these plans on their local levels; this does not rule out members forming satellite groups to operate on  a national level

The NCTE Task Force on Racism and Bias in the Teaching of English and Textbook Review Committee subsequently published in November 1970 a report entitled "Searching for America." This important document is not on the NCTE Centennial Celebration website and should be, especially given its close alignment with the 1978 Guideline on Non-White Minorities in English and Language Arts Materials.  Let me read you some of the co-authors of this document to demonstrate how NCTE members of all races were working together for "Change":  Ernece Kelly, Jose Carrasco, Carlota Cárdenas Dwyer, James Lee Hill, Adolfo McGovert, Felipe Ortego, Montana Rickards, Alexander Boyd, Jeffery Chan, Frank Chin, Charles Evans, Sophia Nelson, and Antonio Valcarcel.  In November 1970, I was in an integrated DoD school in Germany.  These NCTE members made up of many races and cultures wanted me to open up new books.  They wanted me to see illustrations that represented my classmates and learn through these readings about their backgrounds.  They wanted to make me whole by bringing in the other half of my family. They wanted inclusion and fairness at many levels for children, young adults, and non-white academics. 

Today, I'm going to share with you my version of an NCTE Centennial Celebration that celebrates three early NCTE/CCCC Chicano and Chicana leaders who were and still are bravely committed to Latino/a education: Felipe de Ortego y Gasca, Carlotta Cárdenas Dwyer, and Roseann Dueña Gonzalez.  Certainly, there were others, such as Jose Carrasco, Kris Gutierrez, Tino Villanueva, Donald Castro, and Ralph Castillo.  Unfortunately, I was unable to interview these other individuals for this paper. 

Felipe Ortego, now 83 and still actively involved with his research and teaching at Western New Mexico University in Silver City, is originally from San Antonio, but traveled extensively in his early years since his father was a railroader.  His father was a Mexican immigrant, but his mother's family had deep roots in San Antonio that began in 1731.  He remembers some good natured ribbing from his Mexican relatives who claimed he wasn't really Mexican when he visited them in the summers.  At the University of New Mexico during the late 60's, where he was writing his dissertation in Chicano literature, none of his dissertation advisors knew anything about his topic. His first book, Backgrounds in Mexican American Literature (Univ of New Mexico 1971) was the first study in the field.  Felipe remembers the 1968 CCCCs when MLK was shot and Ernece Kelly rallied the Black Caucus and others to make changes at CCCCs and NCTE.  Shortly thereafter, Felipe along with Ernece Kelly and others, founded The Task Force of Racism and Bias.  In the April 1970 issue of College English, Richard Ohmann, the editor, published a Mexican American literature piece by a non-Chicano author named Gerald Haslam.  Ortego's article was rejected, and he wrote an eloquent letter to Ohmann in May 1970 that he later published entitled "Huevos con Chorizos: A Letter to Richard Ohmann."  This was during the time the Task Force was working on "Searching for America." Here are some quotes from his letter: "However, what really rankles is your comment that my piece on Chicano poetry is more than you want to publish on Chicano literature at this time since you've already accepted and plan to publish a piece on Mexican American Literature.  That's distressing since you wouldn't obviously, turn away, say, a piece on teaching Shakespeare because you already published a piece on that topic." Felipe says further down "Not to publish our expressions or to publish something about us by a non-Chicano is simply to perpetrate the worst features of racism and the colonial mentality that continues to permeate the country."  As Felipe pointed out in 1970 "there were only three Chicanos with Ph.D.'s in English teaching at the college level, and only a handful of M.A's teaching at both junior colleges and four year universities." 

Carlota Cárdenas Dwyer, also part of "Searching for America," joined NCTE,  in 1961 when she was an undergraduate junior.  Retired in San Antonio, she is heavily involved in her community.  She was asked to speak about the development of Chicano activism in literature and education (mainly textbooks) at San Antonio College.  Carlota grew up as a first generation Mexican American, and her family immigrated from Northern Mexico.  Her grandfather lived in Chicago, where he married his Mexican wife and started a family.   Carlota received her M.A. and Ph.D. from SUNY Stonybrook, and she also pursued a dissertation on Chicano literature situating it in American literature regionalism.  In the mid 70s, her dissertation committee knew nothing about Chicano literature, even Ruth Miller, one of her dissertation advisors and renown scholar in African American literature. While completing her dissertation, she also edited a collection with Tino Villanueva (now at Boston University) entitled Chicano Voices (Houghton Mifflin 1975).  Carlota worked closely with Roseann Dueña Gonzalez during the 70s on several initiatives, so I'll provide her biographical background and discuss some of their collaborations with Felipe.  Roseann was born in Phoenix, the last of four children, to Mexican immigrant parents.  Roseann's older siblings experienced the Americanization classes of the 1C program, where 60% of Latino/a children dropped out of school between 1919 and 1967.  Her mother immersed Roseann in English from an early age, so she wouldn't have to attend the 1C programs, and told Roseann she would be an English teacher one day.  Roseann received her M.A. from Arizona State and was recruited to the University of Arizona in 1973, where she received her Ph.D. in an interdisciplinary linguistics program.  During her Ph.D. studies and the heyday of Civil Rights, Spanish speakers, Navahos, and Asians felt their due process was denied in courts because they could not understand the legal proceedings.  A Tucson judge requested that she  study his courts, and, subsequently, her dissertation focused on assessing the oral/aural English proficiency of Spanish speakers in court settings.  Her research played a significant role in the signing by President Jimmy Carter of the Court Interpreter's Act, that mandated a certified court interpreter if language barriers were present.

The year is 1971.  Felipe, Carlota, and Roseann are at NCTE in Las Vegas experiencing an incredible renaissance right after "Searching for America" came out.  They were smart, educated, articulate Chicanos/as fully prepared along with Kris Gutierrez and others to educate teachers about Chicano/a literature and students through workshops, seminars, and presentations. It was the conference, where the Task Force had created the "Criteria on Teaching Materials in Reading and Literature" and newspapers were covering it.  Paul B. Dietrick's "Project Access: What Sort of Tests are We Looking For?" had just come out and testing biases became a part of the NCTE conversations. Testing organizations were taking notice, and Carlota in subsequent years served on the boards of the Educational Testing Service, College Board, ACT, and National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. Felipe remembers toting hotel luggage carts full of books with the Totinem Books' publisher.  As he recalls, Chicano/a books were coming out of garage presses.  NCTE had given them book space, so they could sell their books. Later in San Francisco, members of the Task Force of Racism and Bias took top publishers to a closed room and angrily told them of their cultural deficiencies in their textbooks and anthologies.  Some publishers and editors, such as Ed Farrell of Scott Foresman, began the process of inclusion.  Eventually, Carlota served as editor of the America Reads series of Scott Foresman, for the 1979 integrated editions grade 7 - 12.   Roseann put together a NCTE regional conference in Arizona, and Carlota remembers feeling that her Chicana and English teacher identities came together.  Not only did Felipe, Carlota, and Roseann experience validation through their work with NCTE and CCCC, but they knew that Latino/a children, young adults, and college students would find validation in the literature, textbooks, and tests that represented them. They wanted them to succeed in education through positive identities, and empower others through the sharing of knowledge. As we convene in this room, let us remember the histories of those who have preceded us.  They have made us who we are today.

Cristina Kirklighter
(361) 825-2263


The Inaugural Américo Paredes Literature and Letters Award
World War II and Mexican American Civil Rights by Richard Griswold Del Castillo 
     Book review of Griswold book: “Ok, We Fought, Now What?” by Katherine Cloer
Latinas in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia, Three-volume encyclopedia 
     Edited by Vicki L. Ruiz and Virginia Sánchez Korrol, 

Soccer's Story and a Futbol Fable: The Beautiful Game, A Beautiful Season 
     by Gil Sperry
Latino/a Rights and Justice in the United States: Perspectives and Approaches
     by Jose Luis Morin
JUNE 1st Deadline: 2009 ALLA Book Award



The Inaugural Américo Paredes Literature and Letters Award
HONORING: Ana Castillo
Poet, Novelist, Short Story Writer, and Essayist
Tuesday, May 5, 2009 - 5:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
AT&T Executive Education, Conference Center, Amphitheatre (Rm 204) 

For more information regarding this event, please call (512) 471-4557 or visit the CMAS web site at
Center for Mexican American Studies, The University of Texas at Austin
West Mall Building 5.102  1 University Station F9200  Austin, TX 78712
 (512) 471-4557  (512) 471-9639 Fax



“Ok, We Fought, Now What?”
Book Review of:  
Richard Griswold Del Castillo's 
World War II and Mexican American Civil Rights. 
2008  Austin: University of Texas Press.

by Katherine Cloer

Dr. Roberto R. Calderón, 5110 seminar 
February 19, 2009 

In the book entitled World War II and Mexican American Civil Rights, Richard Griswold Del Castillo writes about the effect World War II had on the Mexican American community. Griswold Del Castillo asserts that World War II was a watershed event for Mexican Americans. Following World War II, Mexican Americans were no longer content with second class citizenship. Mexican Americans served and died in the military disproportionately to their numbers. The military offered young men a chance at a better life, at the same time it opened their eyes to the injustices they were subject to at home. Griswold Del Castillo writes this book to illustrate how the United States government, and indeed society in general, dealt with Mexican Americans during and following the war and how Mexican Americans themselves began to forge their own identities and carve a socio political and economic identity; one that would not tolerate second-class citizenship. 

Griswold Del Castillo begins by providing background before the start of World War I. He describes how Mexicans (meaning all people of Mexican descent) were “assumed by white Americans to be members of a ragged race of inferiors provided by providence to do the region’s most unpleasant work.” (7) He maintains there was a caste system that existed that held people of Mexican heritage in a constant state of dependency and inferiority. Griswold Del Castillo argues that it was this point, around 1940-1941 that Mexicans born on American soil deduced they would have to decide their own fate. “Recognizing that life in the United States was what they would have to make of it, a growing minority were more interested than their parents had been in challenging the status quo through politics.” (18) 

Further on, Griswold Del Castillo illustrates how the Federal Government was forced to take notice of this growing segment of the population. “Three-and-one-half million people were suddenly ‘discovered’ and their wants made part of the national security agenda.” (19) World War II saw more Mexican Americans than any other ethnic groups serving in the military. He explains that though the war created opportunities, these were not distributed equally among the ethnic groups. The government’s weak attempt at intervention is illustrated through Executive Order 8802, which established the Committee on Fair Employment Practices, later dubbed the Fair Employment Practices Committee (FEPC). The FEPC was only able to expose unfair practices, not really make any pertinent changes. Politics saturated the FEPC, and only groups with strong economic or political power could bring any improvements to fruition. Finally, Griswold Del Castillo maintains that “The plight of the Mexican Americans (and any other minorities) was seen as a threat to wartime unity and efficiency, not as an issue of human rights. The war effort, not the group’s welfare was the ultimate justification for any policy initiatives.” (Griswold Del Castillo 32-33) The war created opportunities that tended not to filter down to the Mexican American, and outright racism that did. 

Griswold Del Castillo highlights this racism and the growing discontent within the Mexican American community. He presents the cases of Sleepy Lagoon and the Los Angeles Zoot Suit Riots to illustrate the hostility and unrest evident at this time. It is especially significant to note that Griswold Del Castillo emphasizes the role the media and Washington D.C. played in these affairs. The newspapers as well as Washington de-emphasized the racial aspect of these incidents, and instead portrayed the events as isolated “youth gone wrong” incidents. ”Those more familiar with the Mexican American situation did not accept the official explanation.” (47) The League of Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and George I. Sánchez, viewed these as racially centered attacks and began to gather forces to combat perceived injustices and unequal treatment. 

In chapter four, Griswold Del Castillo tackles the main thesis of the book, which is the manner in which Mexican Americans formed their identity coming out of World War II. America could no longer defend racism at home, while fighting it abroad. “”For all Americans, it became increasingly evident that this war, fought to eliminate racism abroad, also meant that discrimination at home was morally wrong.” (49) Mexican Americans came back from the war and were treated as badly as they had been prior. This was something they could no longer tolerate. Griswold Del Castillo raises the issue of a double consciousness here. The chapter concludes with a description of the how the various factions of Mexican Americans from Texas to California to New Mexico began to band together to form a more cohesive unit. Mexican Americans from all over began to see that they were in similar situations. “..after 1945, along with the belief in patriotism, formed a strong memory that could unite people who previously thought they had little in common. This became a core strength of the Mexican American civil rights struggle.” (73) 

Griswold Del Castillo also discusses the various leaders of the Mexican American civil rights movement. Political efficacy became a high priority for this new “Mexican American Generation”, following World War II. Leaders such as Luisa Moreno, George I. Sanchez, and LULAC began attacking labor practices as well as segregation in schools. “Thousands of Mexican Americans gained experience in demanding civil rights within the labor movement.” (94) This experience extended to other groups like LULAC and the GI Forum. Groups like the American Council for Spanish-speaking People, the Alianza Hispano-Americana, the Mexican Civic Committee, and various labor unions sprang up in defense of Mexican Americans. These groups demanded equal treatment and first-class citizenship rights. “But what was new, after 1945, was a recently solidified confidence in their right to equal treatment, especially since Mexican Americans had sacrificed for their country.” (105) Mexican Americans were taking leadership roles and changing the status of Mexican Americans. 

In the epilogue, Griswold Del Castillo and Steele both assert that there was a strong base for struggle within the labor movement, which extended to society in general. Following World War II, Mexican Americans asserted themselves and demanded social equality as well as political efficacy. They conclude by stating that it was these Mexican Americans who came of age in World War II that created the base to affect change in the 1960’s Chicano Movement. 

Griswold Del Castillo writes this book in tribute to and in order to finish the work begun by Richard Steele. The book is arranged chronologically and utilizes both primary and secondary sources. The appendix is especially helpful in providing primary documents to illustrate the Mexican American struggle for identity. The appendix provides first-hand accounts by Carlos Castañeda regarding the FEPC, as well as affidavits of accounts of discrimination in Texas during World War II. Through personal accounts as well as government initiatives and documents, Griswold Del Castillo successfully argues that although World War II was a watershed event for Mexican Americans, the struggle for civil rights did not begin there. He illustrates that struggle took place first through labor; ”The struggle for economic civil rights was expressed through countless strikes, conflicts with the police, deaths, slowdowns, formal complaints, and lawsuits.” (106) then through social and political groups, which formed to play an active role in deciding what a Mexican American would be defined as. “The emergence of the term ‘Mexican American’ in official discourse signaled a heightened expectation of inclusion in the American project, and this, in turn, would lead to more coordinated actions to achieve civil rights in the postwar era.” (ibid.) Following World War II, the notion of dual consciousness would not allow a Mexican American to accept second-class treatment any longer. 


A Look at Soccer's Story & A Futbol Fable:

The Beautiful Game, A Beautiful Season.  
Gil Sperry

San Diego Sports: Author Gil Sperry, Turns Chula Vista Kids Into Heroes
A Look at Soccer's Story & A Futbol Fable By Dan McLellan
     Feb 19th, 2009

A group of students at Valle Lindo Elementary in the Chula Vista’s Elementary School District may not be a likely source of inspiration for two Hollywood screenwriters. However that is exactly what has happened for 15 boys and 5 girls in grades 4 through 6, thanks to author Gil Sperry’s newest book Soccer’s Story & Futbol Fable: The Beautiful Game, A Beautiful Season.

Sperry’s new book is really three for the price of one in an easily read 105 pages. The first segment of his book gives a brief history of the game of soccer by quickly teaching how the game evolved around the globe in its various forms through the ages. The third segment serves as a valuable resource guide for those who are interested in coaching soccer. 

The guts of the book lie in the second segment, the inspiring true story of the Valle Lindo Eagles. The Eagles are a co-ed soccer team whose tale may become the subject of a major motion picture.

Sperry introduces this story with its conclusion: the Eagles playing in the championship game at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista. Therefore, the story of Sperry’s Eagles is far less about the outcome of any one game than it is about a journey that Sperry and his team went on together.

A glimpse of Sperry’s own history will better illuminate the story. In the fall of 1960, Sperry was exposed to organized soccer for the first time as a basketball player for Kenyon College in Ohio. Kenyon hired Bob Harrison as the new basketball head coach, a former NBA player who had won four championships with the then Minneapolis Lakers. The Kenyon team quickly learned that he had also been hired to coach a new sport, soccer. Harrison informed them that to continue to play basketball in the spring, they must first get conditioned by playing soccer in the fall.

Thanks to Coach Harrison, Sperry developed a love for soccer that has lasted a lifetime. In 1977, the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF) added women’s soccer as an official sport. Sperry received the position of “walk-on” coach for Miraleste High School of Rancho Palos Verdes School District. Sperry coached this new women’s soccer team to the first two (CIF) state titles. Sperry also coached championship-caliber teams at the college level and for the newly formed American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO). 

Eventually the responsibilities of life took Sperry away from soccer. In 2006, nearly a decade into his retirement from the business world, Sperry was looking for something positive to do with his time in retirement. Going back to his educational roots, he decided to take on a part-time job working in Chula Vista’s Elementary School District as a Physical Educational Specialist. This was a job that basically involved running exercises for students for two 25-minute periods per week.

In September 2006, Sperry was approached by Valle Lindo teacher Marissa Umpstead who had coached the Eagles co-ed soccer team the previous spring for their inaugural season. Sperry told her that he really was not interested in coaching again, but by December no other candidates had stepped forward. Reluctantly, Sperry accepted the position as an unpaid volunteer soccer coach.

In his role of Physical Educational Specialist, Sperry noticed that Valle Lindo did not offer a large talent pool to field a competitive soccer team. Many of the children were out of shape, lacked fundamental skills, and had no concept of team play. Umpstead and Principal Sabala tried to take the pressure off Sperry informing him there were no expectations for this second season.

Undeterred by the gloomy forecast, Sperry’s desire to win immediately took over and he set out to produce a competitive team. Shocked to discover that the previous championship “co-ed” team had no girls on it, Sperry introduced a new rule into the league that each team must have four girls on the roster and at least two on the field at all times.

With only a few short exercise periods, Sperry evaluated students on their soccer skills. Only three students’ skills showed potential and two of them were not even interested in trying out for the team. Sperry went ahead with tryouts and comprised a twenty member team including thirteen fourth and fifth graders and five girls.

This is where the real story begins. The beauty of Sperry’s writing lies in the story of his team struggling to overcome obstacles. Sperry treated the kids that comprised the Valle Lindo Eagles soccer team as true Olympic Heroes. The kids responded to that respect and in the process they did a lot more than win soccer games, they learned valuable life lessons.

Eagles Goalie Jenny Rodrigues
Copyright©2009, Inc.


Sperry’s book is so compelling that it has already sparked the interest of screenwriters Robert Conder and Steve Gehrke (Script Supervisor for The Dark Knight). Together they are collaborating on a screenplay which is currently titled The Beautiful Game, A Beautiful Season.

Soon Sperry’s book will be available through traditional sources. However, the first $10,000 in profits from direct purchases will fund the Chula Vista Youth Soccer League where the Valle Lindo Eagles compete. 

You can contact Sperry directly by e-mail at This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or by phone at (619) 887-9288.

Sports Subject : Soccer  
About the author: Dan McLellan is a San Diego native and Charger season ticket holder since 1993. He also has a weekly Charger podcast at
More by this author.

Latinas in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia
Three-volume encyclopedia 
Edited by historians Vicki L. Ruiz and Virginia Sánchez Korrol 


Here's an exciting new website posted to the Puerto Rican Studies Association listserv list.  The website as is stated below is based on the award-winning three-volume encyclopedia edited by historians Vicki L. Ruiz and Virginia Sánchez Korrol, Latinas in the United States: A Historical Encyclopedia (Bloomington: University of Indiana Press, 2006).  We congratulate all involved in this virtual scholarly project including website designer and producer Carlos A. Cruz.  Please be sure to circulate this notice far and wide as the material may be used in all kinds of educational settings including the "pre-collegiate and college audience," as stated in Virginia’s brief introduction cited in the original post.  Vicki has been a longtime subscriber to the Historia Chicana [Historia] listserv list.  Many others subscribed to this listserv list as we know also contributed multiple entries to the encyclopedia.  And as we’ve said before, if your campus or public libraries do not yet own a set of the three-volume printed encyclopedia be sure to direct them to purchase one promptly.  

This now virtual historical material (essays, photographs, etc.) may be accessed at:


Adelante, Roberto R. Calderón





Latino/a Rights and Justice in the United States: 
Perspectives and Approaches
By José Luis Morín

Second edition 

From the Foreword by Richard Delgado, University Professor, University of Seattle School of Law:  “Latino Rights and Justice in the United States brings history, theory, and case analysis to bear on the story of Latinos’ efforts to obtain fair treatment from the American judicial system.”

Praise for the previous edition:   “ . .. . a fine overview of a major phenomenon in contemporary American society.”  —D.O. Friedrichs, CHOICE 

“Latino/a Rights and Justice is an excellent primer on who Latino/as are in the United States, the discrimination they have faced, and some of the legal issues that they must address.”  —Kevin R. Johnson, Latino Studies

“ . .. . the book contributes to a better discourse and understanding of how Latinos have asserted their civil, constitutional, and human rights.”
—Juan Cartagena, CENTRO: Journal of the Center for Puerto Rican Studies

José Luis Morín is Interim Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Professor in the Latin American Latina/o Studies Department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
2009/ 376 pages / $40.00 paper / ISBN: 978-1-59460-406-5
Carolina Academic Press 1-800-489-7486
700 Kent Street, Durham, NC 27701
Order on line and save 10%: 




Association of Latina and Latino Anthropologists

American Anthropological Association

Nominations must be received by 1 June 2009.

Description of Prize

The Association of Latina and Latino Anthropologists (ALLA) invites nominations and submissions for the 2009 ALLA Book Award. The award will be for the best book published in 2008 that addresses an important anthropological concern related to US Latinas/os and their communities. The prize will be presented at the American Anthropological Association meeting to be held in Philadelphia, PA, 2-6 December 2009. There are no restrictions on the number of nominations per press. We will not consider translations, reprints, re-editions of previously published works, edited volumes, or multi-author collections of essays.

Nominations will be reviewed by a committee of ALLA members.

Procedure for Nominations

Publishers or authors wishing to submit books for consideration should send four copies of the book, one to each of the four committee members at the addresses below. All nominations must be received by 1 June 2009. For additional information, you may contact committee chair, Vilma Santiago-Irizarry,

Pablo González
2005 Alfreda Blvd
San Pablo, CA, 94806-4745 USA

Gilberto Rosas
Center for the Study of Race, Politics, and Culture
and Department of Anthropology
University of Chicago
5733 S. University Ave.
Chicago, IL 60637

Lynn Stephens
Dept of Anthropology
1218 University of Oregon
Eugene, OR, 97403-1215 USA

Vilma Santiago-Irizarry (chair)
Cornell University
265 McGraw Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853 USA

Vilma Santiago-Irizarry               Associate Professor
   265 McGraw Hall                        Anthropology
   Cornell University
   Ithaca, NY 14853     
   fax: (607)255-3747

Director,  Latino Studies Program|
434 Rockefeller Hall 607/255-3197
fax: 607/255-2433
Secretary and Section Co-Editor, AAA Society for Humanistic Anthropology Convenor-elect, AAA Section Assembly



Donaciano (Chano) Cadena Y su Conjunto by Tom Saenz
Who is Alex Ramon?
UCLA Launches world's top online archive of Mexican, Mexican-American recordings
Another Elder has fallen: Herminia "Tecihtzin" Acosta Enrique, presente!


By Tom Saenz

Chano Cadena was born in the rural town of Palito Blanco, Duval County, Texas in 1937.  Shortly thereafter his family moved to nearby Alice, Texas where he lived most of his life.  Alice is also my hometown and most likely we crossed paths at one time or another as we were growing up.    Later, in the mid 1950's when I was in my teens,  I do recall hearing the music of El Conjunto Cadena  on our home radio.  Our family having been migrant workers eventually settled in Grand Rapids, Michigan and in so doing we contributed in exporting  the music of El Conjunto de Chano Cadena to that area.

In recent years when I started researching my family genealogy and history, I traveled to Alice and surrounding areas and on one occasion I attended the annual Feria de Concepcion ( La Chona) held in Concepcion, Duval County,  Texas.  The Feria is generally a Friday-Sunday weekend event and it is attend by thousands of Primos who go there to meet and share with other Primos who have their roots in the Concepcion area.  The event serves well in bringing families together to share food, drinks, music and family stories.  Most of all, I think people go there to re-energize themselves for it is there where their ancestors first settled in the mid and late 1800's.  I guess one can say that Concepcion is the place where the "Mother Plant" is situated!

At night the Feria offers dances and on this Saturday night  the music was by non-other than El Conjunto de Chano Cadena.    Chano is a native of the area and he has the pulse of the people and community.  Chano's music is about the people of South Texas and while it is entertaining, it also tells the story of the Tejano Community.   I recently spoke with Chano Cadena and he told me that his music was in large part about "Los Piscadores" (farm workers who picked the crops).   Chano and his Conjunto played locally in the Alice and surrounding towns but he is well known throughout Texas.  When the farm workers ventured out of the area to follow the crops, Chano Cadena followed them to West Texas, and other states such as Florida, New Mexico, Colorado, California, Michigan, etc.  The piscadores were poor and suffering people and they looked up to Chano and his music to entertain them and at the same time bring them hope and comfort during struggling times.

In the year 2006 our Gonzalez family (maternal line) held their second Tomas Gonzalez Reunion in Alice,  Texas.  As chairman of the reunion Coordinating Committee, I recommend El Conjunto de Chano Cadena for the evening entertainment and dance.  Many of us at the Reunion had our origins in Concepcion and Alice areas and could well identify with Chano's music.  It was great listening  and dancing to the old rancheras, corridos, boleros, redobas, and  polkas that  were popular when we were growing up!  Chano felt right at home with folks at the Reunion and so were those present!  Chano was so honored to be with us and at the end of the event he gave me two of his popular CD's: "La Pajarera" and "Mi Mariquita Linda" -I will forever cherish them!

In my recent conversation with Chano Cadena he also related that he had formed his first Conjunto Cadena in 1954.  He went on to tell me that music talent has always been a family tradition.   He mentioned his son Omar who plays the drums and his brother Ernesto and his son Ernesto Jr.  At least  two other nephews have been a part of Chano's  Conjunto.  A popular addition to the conjunto has been Ruby Franco, vocalist.  While the composition of the Conjunto Cadena has gone through some changes over the years, the name has remained the same with Chano Cadena as the leader. 

Through the years many Conjuntos have come and gone but in the case of Chano Cadena, he has been persistent and loyal to his fans, having played his music for an estimated 55 years.  During these years he has recorded numerous songs including   rancheras, corridos, rodeobas, polkas, boleros, guapangos, valses, etc..  To this day, Chano and his Conjunto remain active and are still performing for the Tejano Community. 
I invite you to browse the official Conjunto Cadena website where you will find a wealth of information on Chano Cadena and his music:

Below please find a biography of Chano Cadena by his son, Omar Cadena.
Tom Saenz
Biography Of Chano Cadena
By Omar Cadena

Donaciano "Chano" Cadena was born on October 31, 1937, in Palito Blanco, TX on a ranch, a community 'muy chiquito' (very small), 14 miles south of  Alice.  The family would listen to phonograph records-78's of Narcisco Martinez and Lydia Mendoza, as well as tune in to Mexican radio stations from across the border. 

He began playing a toy accordion at about 10 years old. Immediately recognizing his son's talent, his father, Don Ignacio Cadena, sacrificed and bought him a real accordion and began taking him around the ranches to play for his neighbors.  They would walk miles to the ranches with his accordion in a pillow case.  Soon after, he was being taken around to the cantinas to play for the patrons who would pay him nickels and quarters. 

It was not until Chano  started going to school in Alice that he began to form a conjunto.  His first recordings were advertising jingles for a department store recorded with the Tejano music pioneer Armando Marroquin.  From then on, Chano recorded many times with Marroquin and his Ideal Record label as a session musicians. 

Shortly after Chano formed his own conjunto and his subsequent conjunto lineups, many other successful musicians such as Juan Sifuentes and Ruben Naranjo appeared on the Tejano Music arena.  In the late 1960's and early 70's, the conjunto reached its zenith in popularity and talent with a line-up featuring the vocal duo Tonio Vasquez and Fidel Cavazos. 

Over the years, Chano recorded for many regional labels like Nopal, Zarape, Sombrero, Lyra,
Norteño, ZAZ, Discolanda, Copa, Bego and El Pato.  The 80's and 90's brought another successful era as the conjunto recorded many successful albums with Beltran Garcia's Canasta label out of Kingsville, TX.
In 2001,  Chano was inducted into the Tejano R.O.O.T.S. Hall of Fame in Alice, TX, along with other contemporaries such as El Conjunto Bernal, Isidro Lopez and Ruben Vela.  In 2007, Chano was inducted into the Texas Conjunto Hall of Fame in San Benito, TX.   Chano continues to record and play to this day in and around South Texas. 
For more information on Chano Cadena and his Conjunto music, you can browse our website at:
Omar Cadena,
Chano's son


Who is Alex Ramon?

Alex Ramon is the star "Magical Zingmaster" in Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey presents Zing Zang Zoom. Alex has performed for millions of people in 14 countries around the world. He toured the globe for 2 1/2 years starring in Disney LIVE! Mickey's Magic Show as a principal Illusionist. By age 18 Alex had already received National Recognition for his talents and was a recipient of the coveted Lance Burton Award. He has been named "San Francisco Bay Area's Best Stage Magician." Currently, Alex Ramon performs hundreds of shows each year in "The Greatest Show on Earth" and is the only magician to ever be the featured performer in a Ringling Bros. Circus.

Find him on Facebook and MySpace, and go to



UCLA launches world's top online archive of Mexican, 
and Mexican-American recordings


The UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center announced today that the public can now access the Arhoolie Foundation's Strachwitz Frontera Collection of Mexican and Mexican American Recordings ( — the largest online digital archive of its kind.    

The archive includes more than 41,000 recordings and is a treasure trove of historical Spanish-language songs dating from the early 1900s to the 1950s.    

Joining UCLA in making the announcement were Los Tigres del Norte, the multiple Grammy Award–winning norteño group and major funders of the digitization of the Frontera Collection's 78 rpm recordings; the Arhoolie Foundation, whose president, Chris Strachwitz, collected the recordings; and the UCLA Library, which created and manages the online archive.    

"The Frontera Collection will be an invaluable resource for students, scholars and the public seeking to learn more about the Spanish-language musical heritage of North America," said Chon Noriega, director of the Chicano Studies Research Center and a film and television professor.    

Full-length versions of each song can be accessed from computers on the UCLA campus or by those accessing the campus network through its proxy server. However, due to copyright restrictions, only the first 50 seconds of each song will be accessible from computers off campus.  

In 2000, the Los Tigres del Norte Foundation donated $500,000 to UCLA to establish the Los Tigres del Norte Fund at the Chicano Studies Research Center . This fund provided major support to digitize about 30,000 78 rpm recordings made between approximately 1905 to 1955.  

"Los Tigres del Norte have not only made their own lasting contribution to popular culture, they have ensured that future generations will be able to appreciate and study the Spanish-language recordings made in the first half of the 20th century," Noriega said.    

Los Tigres del Norte bandleader Jorge Hernández said, "Los Tigres del Norte is very proud to have been a part of the preservation of so many historic recordings from our musical forebears.    

"This collection will provide the next generation of Mexican and Mexican American music artists with previously unimaginable access to our rich cultural history, and in doing so, will help them expand the appreciation of Spanish-language music even further in the future."    

Also in the archive are 45 rpm recordings dating from about 1955 to the 1990s, which the Arhoolie Foundation continues to digitize.    

The digitization process protects these rare and fragile recordings from being lost or damaged. It also allows the public easy access for the first time to the most popular and influential Spanish-language digital recordings of the 20th century.    

The Frontera Collection encompasses a vast array of musical and performance styles, including early corridos, boleros, sones, patriotic speeches and comedy skits.    

Among the collection's many gems are the first known recordings, in 1908, of the mariachi group Cuarteto Coculense in Mexico City ; the first recordings, in 1928, by Tejano music legend Lydia Mendoza and her family; and the first recordings, in 1937, by accordion pioneer Narciso Martinez.    

The singers and musicians who made these records helped popularize and preserve a number of traditions that constitute the roots of current Mexican and Mexican American music. Many of these records are one of a kind and were originally recorded by companies that no longer exist.    

Starting in the 1960s, Chris Strachwitz, president of the Arhoolie Foundation, scoured record stores, jukebox companies, radio stations and people's homes, largely in South Texas , to find records for the collection. Along the way, he also convinced record companies to sell him their 78 rpm records, which were no longer being recorded and were stored away in warehouses.  

"When I first heard Mexican ranchera music, I was just fascinated by these accordion players and their wonderful polkas," said Strachwitz, who initially ran across the music on a Santa Paula , Calif. , radio station in the late 1940s. "I couldn't understand the lyrics, but it had the same soulful feeling as other vernacular music."  

The collection includes records from such major labels as Victor, Columbia and Vocalion, as well as smaller, regional labels like Rio , Discos Universal, Ideal, Falcon and Orfeo.  Strachwitz and the late Guillermo Hernandez, a UCLA Spanish professor and noted corrido expert, introduced the vast collection to Los Tigres del Norte.    

Scholars throughout the nation are already using the archive for their research.   At UCLA, brothers Jorge and Luis Herrera, who also are pursuing musical careers, have used the archive both in their research and for their creative endeavors.    

Jorge, who is working on a doctorate in ethnomusicology, is writing his dissertation on how norteño and other traditional Mexican music styles changed when Mexican musicians crossed into the United States .    

Luis, who used the archive to complete his master's degree in Latin American studies at UCLA, said the brothers also have used the songs as a source of inspiration.    

"If it wasn't for the Frontera Collection, there's no way a common person could get their hands on this kind of music," said Luis, who belongs to the norteño band Los Hermanos Herrera. "It’s a little treasure chest of music that very few people know about."    

The Fund for Folk Culture, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Grammy Foundation, the Lucasfilm Foundation and others also provided funding for digitizing the Frontera Collection.  

To view a video on the Frontera Collection, visit

The UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center (CSRC), founded in 1969, supports faculty and students across the university and provides access to the community as well as scholars from around the world. Its research addresses the growing Chicano and Latino population, which now constitutes nearly one-third of California and one-half of Los Angeles but continues to have disproportionately low access to higher education. The CSRC houses a library and special collections archive, an academic press, research projects, community partnerships, two competitive grant/fellowship programs and the Los Tigres del Norte Fund. It is also the host of a new book series on Latino artists titled "A Ver: Revisioning Art History." For more information, visit

UCLA: Letisia Marquez,  

Rogers & Cowan: John Reilly,

Fonovisa: Iris Corral,


Sent by JV Martinez  
and Juan Marinez
March 26, 2009  



Another Elder has fallen: Herminia "Tecihtzin" 
Acosta Enrique, presente!

Sra. Herminia Acosta Enrique also known as Tecihtzin passed away March 9, 2009. Among many things Sra. Enrique was the founder of Ballet Folklorico and a co-founder of the Centro Cultural de la Raza.  A memorial service was held March 14 at Chicano Park in San Diego.

Herminia Acosta Enrique, presente!

From the San Diego Women's History Museum & Education Center website: Herminia Acosta Enrique (Tecihtzin), is best known as the founder of the Ballet Folklorico en Aztlan (1967), and co-founder of San Diego’s Centro Cultural de la Raza (1969). In reality, she is a life-long art and social justice activist, preserving and teaching dance and the arts while promoting dialogue among indigenous tribes of the Americas.

Since childhood in the 1920s, Enrique has designed costumes, composed plays, produced local musical theatre productions, and taught folklore. In 1978, she participated in the Smithsonian’s Folklife Program in storytelling sessions on Mexican folktales, myths, legends, superstitions, and was a facilitator of Mexican games. She has been a volunteer working as a Chicano Federation Board member, the National Health Systems Agency, the National Council on Aging, and numerous local and international theatrical, dance, and storytelling organizations.

Enrique is the author of Chia A Powerful Recuerdo, several pieces about Folkloric Dance, and numerous short plays, songs, and performance art works. She has been a frequent speaker in San Diego and San Antonio, Texas about Southwest folktales, traditional morality tales, and the history and symbolism of rituals. She has also been featured in videos (1980s) and taught Folkloric Dance at San Diego State’s Chicano Studies program (1970s). In libraries, schools, Old Town, theatres, the Sundance and the Centro, Herminia Enrique has been a role model. She has not only passed on cultural treasures to generations, but she has helped create a proud identity for thousands of children and adult Chicanas and Chicanos in San Diego for 35 years.

Sent by Dorinda Moreno





Vicente Riva Palacio series,  

Translation by Ted Vincent



Introduction:  In a case of one-upmanship, Vicente Riva Palacio, creates a fable that pre-dates the events of a fable passed off as factual in an official document in the archives of early colonial Mexico .



As even the best hunter may see the prey get away, despite much care and diligence, so it was that one summer morning the housekeeper of the Priest forgot to close the little door to the cage that kept prisoner a happy little sparrow whose singing was one of the delights for the humble inhabitants of the house of the Padre.

The little sparrow cautiously approached the door of the cage in bouncy steps, peeped softly and tilted its head to examine the exit, and reflected upon the probabilities for success should an attempt be made to flee.

The cage was in a sunny spot and it was a serene and beautiful day. It was a neighborhood of few streets, and a short distance away one could see a field covered with golden wheat that gently waved in the light puff of the morning breeze.

The circumstances were tempting, and the love of freedom overcame the prisoner, who sprung from his cage, yet just at the moment of flight the housekeeper appeared on the scene.

Since it had been a long time since the sparrow had exercised his wings in flight, he barely split the air and flailing about with ever less success he bumped into a roof shaking with terror at hearing the shouts of the housekeeper, announcing to the neighbors the clumsy flight path taken by the fugitive.

Finally, tired and without strength to continue, he landed in a wheat field, more from a fall than by plan. There, he remained a long time, he could not tell how long, because he wasn't carrying a watch. But one can assume it was more than two hours. 

He had saved himself, recovered his freedom, but he had a devouring hunger, because the labor had been extraordinary and he had launched the flight before taking his lunch.

While in truth he was in a wheat field, the ears were still tough and had spread not one grain to the ground, and the little sparrow, battered from the fall, could not began a new effort.

In vane he looked for some insect, for some miniscule seed dispensed from the plant, but he found nothing and the hunger pressed upon him more with each minute.

He began to sadly mutter to himself as he rested in the shade of a pretty thicket of wheat, perhaps the ripest one of the field, and such were the words of the little bird, 
and so intense her lament, that one of the ears of wheat said to her sisters.

The pain of this little animal moves me to compassion, and I want to assure you that if a light breeze should just shake my house, I am going to let drop, at the least, half of the grains that I guard, and in a way that such of these that I give will pass by the beak of this sparrow as if they were already stoned at the mill.

The air, as if it had heard these words with satisfaction, began to agitate, and a light breeze swept the field and came to crash into the caring ear, that inclined itself, and 
opening the doors of its granary it showered grains of rosy fresh wheat down upon the hungry little bird.

Later, after those that had fallen had passed to the belly of the animal, and he having been satisfied, he felt gratitude toward his benefactor and tried to remember something he had heard the Padre say, hoping to repeat 
it to his benefactor. 

The sparrow was young and had a good memory, and with a little work managed to find what he was after. 

He rose up on his feet, and taking an aire of solemnity, said to the ear a certain phrase from Genesis that the Lord had addressed 
to Abraham.

You are blessed. Go forth and multiply your seed as the stars in the heaven, as the sands on the coasts of the sea, and you will possess the promised land.

But, how could I do this? asked the ear. Because I have only one grain of wheat left, after those I have given you.

You will multiply your seed, repeated the bird, you will multiply your seed as the stars in the heavens as the sands on the coasts of the sea.

All the rest of the ears shook with the wind, laughing at the benedictions of the sparrow.

* * * 

In as much as all this happened in Spain in the year of our Lord of 1520, we can give one of the conquistadors of Mexico the last word, to terminate our story. 

In an account of the conquest of Mexico, made by Andres de Tapia, and titled An Account of Certain Things that Involved the Most Illustrious Senor D. Hernando Cortes, Marquis del Valle, who was Determined to Make Discovery from Land to Ocean Sea..., and which account was published by Don Joaquin Garcia Icazbalceta in the Collection of Documents for the History of Mexico, in the year 1866, in Volume II, page 592, one reads the following paragraph, with which I can close this narration.

The Marquis, having just taken Mexico (1521), was in Coyoacan, and he carried out the door a small amount of rice, within which were three grains of wheat, and he ordered a free black to plant them. The man took out 
one of the three but not the other two, as they were rotten. He went forth and brought forth forty-seven ears of wheat, of this there produced such an abundance that in the year 1539 I counted good wheat that I found in such an extreme amount that it compared to a whole Royal measure, and although the Marquis later brought wheat it was damp and did not produce. All that has come, though differentiated by the regions in which it was planted and appeared in each province, they are all from this grain.

Needless to say, this grain was the one that received the benedictions of the little bird, and I know that to this day it continues to fulfill the prophesy.. 

Como al mejor cazador se le va la liebre, a pesar de tan diligente y cuidadosa como era el ama del señor cura, una mañana de verano se olvidó de cerrar la puertecilla de la jaulita en que estaba prisionero un gorrioncito alegre y cantador, que hacía más de un ano formaba las delicias de los humildes habitantes de la casa cural.

El gorrioncillo se acercó cautelosamente hasta la puerta de la jaula, y dando saltitos y volviendo la cabeza y pianto suavemente, examinó la salida y se puso a reflexionar en las probabilidades de éxito que podía tener la fuga.

La jaula estaba en una solana: el día se presentaba sereno y hermoso; había en derredor de la casa pocas calles, y a corta distancia se veía el campo cubierto de dorados trigales, que ondulaban, mansamente al ligero soplo del vientecillo de la mañana.

Tentadoras eran las circunstancias, y el amor a la libertad decidió al prisíonero; salió fuera de la jaula y emprendió el vuelo en el momento mismo en que el ama aprecia en escena.

Como hacía tiempo que el pobre gorrión no ejercitaba sus alas en el vuelo, pensadamente hendía el aire, desfallecía a cada instante, tropezaba con los tejados y se estremecía de terror oyendo los gritos del ama, que decía a los vecinos el rumbo que seguía el fugitivo y la torpeza con que volaba. 

Por fin, cansado y sin poder ya continuar, cayó más bien que deteniéndose, de golpe en medio de un campo de trigo. Allí’ permaneció largo rato, que el no pudo saber cuanto tiempo fue, porque no llevaba reloj, pero es de suponer fueran mas de dos horas.

Se había salvado; había recobrado la libertad, pero tenia un hambre devoradora, porque el trabajo había sido extraordinario y emprendida la fuga antes de tomar el almuerzo.

Es verdad que estaba en un campo de trigo; pero las espigas, todavía recias, no se dejaban arrebatar ni un grano, y el gorrioncillo, maltrecho de la caída, no podía entrar todavía en lucha.

En vano buscó algún insectillo, alguna semillita desprendida de su planta; nada, no encontró nada, y el hambre le apretaba mas a cada momento.

Comenzó a quejarse tristemente, descansado a la sombra de una hermosa mata de trigo, quizás la mas sazonada de todo aquel campo; y tanto dijo el pajarito y tanto se lamento, que una de las espigas dijo a sus hermanas:

“Muéveme a compasión el dolor de este pobre animalito, y os aseguro que si un ligero vientecillo me ayuda a sacudir mi casa, voy a dejarle caer, por lo menos, la mitad de los granos que guardo; que tanto les dará a ellos pasar por el pico de este gorrión como por las piedras del molino.”

Como si el aire hubiese escuchado aquellas palabras con satisfacción, comenzó a agitarse, y una ráfaga más ligera que las otras vino a chocar en la espiga caritativa, que, inclinándose, abrió las puertas de sus trojes y regó en derredor del hambriento pajarillo granos de trigo sonrosados y frescos.

Más tardan ellos en caer que en pasar al buche del animal, que, una vez satisfecho, sintió la gratitud por aquel beneficio, y procuró recordar algo de los que había oído decir al señor cura, para repetírselo a su benefactor.

El gorrioncillo era joven, tenia buena memoria, y poco trabajo le costó hallar lo que buscaba.

Se alzo sobre sus patitas, y tomando un aire solemne, dijo a la espiga aquel palabra que el GENESIS refiere que el Señor dirigió a Abraham:

“Tu serás bendita; se multiplicará tu semilla como las estrellas del cielo, como las arenas en las costas del mar, y tu posteridad poseerá la tierra de promisión.”

“Pero, ¿Cómo podrá ser eso?” decía la espiga. “Porque no me ha quedado más que un solo grano de trigo, pues todos te los ha dado a ti.

“Se multiplicará tu semilla,” repetía el pajarito; “se multiplicara tu semilla como las estrellas del cielo, como las arenas en las costas de los mares.”

Y toda las demás espigas se mecían con el viento, riéndose de las bendiciones del gorrión.

* * *

Como todo esto pasaba en España el ano del Señor de 1520, le daremos la palabra, para terminar este cuento, a uno de los conquistadores de México.

En un relación sobre la conquista de México, hecha por Andrés de Tapia, y que titula “Relación de algunas cosas de las que acaecieron al mus ilustre señor D. Hernando Cortés, Marques del Valle, desde que se determinó a ir a descubrir en la tierra firma del mar Océano,”y cual relación fue publicada por don Joaquin Garcia Icazbalceta en la Colección de documentos para la Historia de México, el ano de 1866, en le tomo II, pagina 592, se lee el siguiente párrafo, con el que puedo cerrarse este narración.

“Al Marqués, acabando de ganar México (1521), estado en Coyoacán, le llevaron del puerto un poco de arroz; iban entre ellos tres granos de trigo; mandó a un negro horro que los sembrase; salió el uno, y comos los dos no salían, buscároslos y estaban podridos. El que salió llevó’cuarenta y siete espigas de trigo. De esto hay tanta abundancia, que el ano 1539 yo merqué buen trigo, digo extremado, a menos de real la hanega; y aunque después al Marqués le llevaron trigo, iba mareado y no nació. De este grano es todo, y has diferenciado por las tierras do se iba sembrando, y uno parece lo de cada provincia siendo todo deste grano.”

Inútil es decir que ese grano era el que había alcanzado las bendiciones del pajarito, y sé que hasta hoy sigue cumpliéndose la profecía.

(Joaquin Garcia Icazbalceta, 1824-1894, was a Mexican born historian of wealthy Spanish parents who collected and published works that supported the church against charges by reformers and protestants that during the conquest the role of priests toward the Indigenous was negative.






By 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  

[The Towers and the Wall--Number 10 in a series on La Leyenda Negra]



As a consequence of the catastrophic events of 9/11, American Hispanics have come into the firing line of Nativist suspicions and aspersions that have equated Mexican narco-trafficking with terrorism and by extension have created a web that has ensnared Mexican Americans. The upshot has been that Mexican Americans specifically have fallen into the orbit of racial profiling along the U.S.—Mexico border. That the planes that demolished the twin towers of New York on 9/11 were all Saudi Arabians has been transmogrified into “Mexicans” including Mexican Americans.  

This nativist animosity towards Hispanics in the Southwest has resulted in the construction of an 1800 mile-long wall between Mexico and the United States justified in the name of national security when no such wall is being constructed between Canada and the United States (Felipe de Ortego y Gasca, “Bridges Not Walls: The ‘Great Wall of China’ in the United States,” The National Hispanic Forum, July 14, 2007). The growing number of Hispanics in the Southwest has raised the anxiety levels of nativists to the point of slanderous defamations of Mexicans and Mexican Americans in the continuing fashion of the Black Legend.  

In a piece on “Fences and Neighbors,” Rick Toone characterized the U.S.—Mexico wall as “a shining symbol of American economic and environmental arrogance.” And in a article (Sunday, May 27, 2007; B01), Luis Alberto Urrea, Pulitzer Prize finalist, quotes the Mexican consul in Tucson calling the U.S.—Mexico wall “the politics of stupidity.” In the National Geographic (May 2007), Charles Bowden concludes that “Fences may make good neighbors, but the barriers dividing U.S. and Mexico are proving much more complicated.” One wonders: Why a wall between the United States and Mexico?  

In his poem “Mending Wall,” Robert Frost was not advocating that “Good fences make good neighbors.”  The reference is to a statement by his neighbor who believes in keeping the fence between his property and the persona in the poem in good repair. We assume the persona in the poem is Robert Frost whose opinion is: “Something there is that doesn’t love a wall.”  

In the current flap over building a wall between Mexico and the United States, it would be well to keep in mind Robert Frost’s injunction “something there is that doesn’t love a wall.” That “something” is that a wall is a barrier. Frost says:  

There where it is we do not need the wall:

He is all pine and I am apple orchard.

My apple trees will never get across

And eat the cones under his pines . . . .


While Mexican apple trees will never get across the border to eat the cones under American pines, a wall between the United States and Mexico is intended to keep Mongol hordes of Mexicans at bay, a consummation devoutly to be wished by Xenophobic Americans as Hamlet would have put it.  

In the case of a “wall” between the United States and Mexico, a wall is a manifestation of conflict, just as the Berlin Wall was a manifestation of conflict. Essentially, conflict is an interactive process or behavior. That’s why the Berlin Wall escalated the Cold War. And why a wall between the United States and Mexico will only escalate the enmity between the two countries.  

Ronald Reagan’s plea to Gorbachev to “tear down this wall”—referring to the Berlin Wall—is not what brought down the wall. On the contrary, it was Mikhail Gorbachev’s response that brought down the wall. Instead of escalating the cycle of conflict, the Soviet leader chose to ignore the rhetoric of conflict and for whatever reasons take the first step in repairing U.S.—Soviet relations. There is no doubt that the U.S.—Soviet conflict had developed mutually destructive patterns of interactive behavior, the consequences of which heralded Armageddon.  

When asked about the U.S.—Mexico wall in a 2006 visit to the United States, Mikhail Gorbachev responded that the United States seemed to be building the Great Wall of China between itself and Mexico (Midland Reporter-Telegram, 10/18/2006).  

In the current American rhetoric about controlling the nation’s borders the question looms large: Why on the one hand did the U.S. want the Berlin Wall torn down and on the other hand does it want to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico? There is no evading the possibility of racism and selective amnesia about the history of walls emanating from the Black Legend.  

The history and philosophy of walls takes us back to antiquity. Between the 8th and 5th centuries BC, the northern states of China began to build a wall along their northern border with Mongolia in an effort to stave off Mongol penetration. Over centuries and dynasties, “the great wall of China” came into being as a 4,000 mile fortification in defense of Chinese borders. In places, the wall was 25 feet high and 30 feet wide.  

In 122 AD the Roman emperor Hadrian built a wall across Britain to keep Romans safe from the hostile Picts. The wall stretched from the North Sea to the Irish Sea, 80 Roman miles long, 10 feet wide and 15 feet high. The wall is still there (N.S. Gill, Your Guide to Ancient/Classical History).  

In like fashion, in the 20th century the French built the “Maginot Line” as a walled fortification against German incursions. With the use of aeroplanes, the Germans simply flew over the Maginot Line. General George Patton called the Maginot Line a monument to man’s stupidity. Even the Berlin Wall was not impenetrable.  

While the Berlin Wall did function as the perimeter of a "prison" state, its principal objective was to keep out extra-territorial influences that were anathema to the state dictum of the Soviet Union. A U.S. wall on its border with Mexico has the same objectives--to keep out extra-territorial influences (the uninvited, the unwelcome, and the unwanted--Mexicans) that are deemed anathema to the apodictic values of the United States.  

Will a wall between the United States and Mexico help the United States in controlling its border with Mexico? The Harvard philosopher George Santayana put it well when he opined that those who do not learn the lessons of history are condemned to repeat it. 

What is that lesson here? 
That walls are no substitute for diplomacy.  

Those barriers are indeed complicated despite the facile rhetoric of Lou Dobbs and Jim Gilchrist, founder of the Minuteman Project (Felipe de Ortego y Gasca, “CNN and Lou Dobbs: Journalism or Jingoism,” posted on The Latino American Experience, Greenwood Press, January 18, 2008). Those barriers have their genesis in the historical conflict between Spain and England giving rise to the Black Legend, venomous defamation of the Spaniards by the English, perpetuated by the venomous defamation of Mexicans by Anglo Americans.  

American manifest destiny was fueled in part by the Black Legend. The vision of a United States from sea to shining sea was at the expense of Spain and its Hispanic progeny in the Hispanic Southwest. Manifestations of the Black Legend abound.  

A little known manifestation of the Black Legend occurred in the 1920’s in El Paso, Texas, where Zyklon-B (hydrocyanic acid used later in Hitler’s gas chambers) was used regularly as a vermin-control delousing agent on hundreds of thousands of “dirty, lousy people coming into this country from Mexico” (David Dorado Romo, Ringside Seat to a Revolution: An Underground Cultural History of El Paso and Juarez: 1893-1923, pp 240-243,Cinco Puntos Press, 2005). Eight decades later, the toll of that episode is still immeasurable. 




Nov 7: 13th Annual A Tribute to Mexican American Veterans, Fullerton, CA
Remains of a Hero Finally Return Home
Old Vet Takes Old Jeep on One last Mission
Voices of Valor
From Voices of Valor
New eMagazine Keeps Service members, Families in the Know








 Saturday, November 7, 2009

eynote Address by: 

Lt. General Ricardo S. Sanchez, (Ret.)

Posting of Colors – 10:00 a.m
California State University, Fullerton  
Titan Student Union
800 N. State College Blvd.


Sponsored by  Latino Advocates for Education, Inc. and California State University, Fullerton



Latino Advocates for Education, Inc.
P.O. Box 5846
Orange, CA 92863
(714) 225-2499

February 21, 2009

Dear Veteran,

On Saturday, November 7, 2009 our organization, Latino Advocates for Education, Inc. and California State University at Fullerton will host the 13th Annual Veterans Day Celebration: A Tribute to Mexican American Veterans. Colors will be posted at 10:00 a.m. It will be held inside the Pavilion of the Titan Student Union on the Fullerton campus. You and your family are cordially invited to attend. Admission and parking is free and the public is also invited to attend. Attached is our flyer.

The keynote will be delivered by Lt. General Richard S. Sanchez (born 1951), retired United States Army General who served as the V Corps Commander of Coalition Forces in Iraq from June 2003 to June 2004. He was the highest-ranking Hispanic in the United States Army when he retired on November 1, 2006. 

This year we will honor our Mexican American veterans of all of our wars, conflicts and peace time service since 1975. Therefore, we will recognize those men and women who served in the conflicts in Panama, Grenada, Kosovo, Bosnia, Somalia, Desert Storm, Desert Shield, and in our present wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. We will also honor those who served in peace time since 1975 and all active duty service men and women.

We have published 3 books: Undaunted Courage- Mexican American Patriots of World War II, a full color book profiling over 500 veterans and several Rosie the Riveters; Freedom is not Free-Mexican Americans in the Korean War, a full color book profiling 225 Korean War and 62 World War II veterans; and Strength and Honor-Mexican Americans in the Vietnam War, a full color book profiling 139 veterans.

This year we will produce a CD to document the patriotic service of our men and women who have served since 1975. Enclosed is the form which must be filled out and returned. Please also send us a service-related photograph. Everyone who provides the information and photograph will be given a free CD at the event. We will not use the information for private gain, but will only distribute it to schools, libraries, museums and other not for profit agencies. If you have a loved one or friend who should be recognized, please send this letter and form to that veteran. We need the completed form and photograph by September 1, 2009. Please contact us if you need additional information.

We look forward to honoring our patriots on November 7, 2009.

Very truly yours, Frederick P. Aguirre


P.O. BOX 5846
ORANGE, CA 92863
(714) 225-2499

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 Art Garcia


 Mercy Bautista-Olvera


Arthur Garcia in 1943  

Arthur (Art) Garcia turned 85 years old. He was born on April 6, 1924 in El Paso Texas; his father Jose Maria Garcia, was born in Durango, Mexico and his mother, Guadalupe Arrieta was born in Chihuahua, Mexico. Their families immigrated to El Paso in the early 1920’s. Here Jose Maria and Guadalupe met, fell in love and married. They had nine children, Art, Dolores, Jose, Carmen, Jesus, Irene, Alfonso and Jose, sadly to say Jose died at the age of 12 years old, eventually they named a later son Jose.  The six older children were born in El Paso , Texas . Eventually the Garcia family moved to Los Angeles , California . The younger children Alfonso and Jose were born in Los Angeles , California .  

Art attended Hollenbeck Junior High School , than Lincoln High School in the Lincoln Heights ' area of Los Angeles , leaving the school in 1941; His father Jose Maria was a good man, worked as a mechanic, provided for his family the best way he could, however, with the Depression at that time and a large family it was difficult for him. Art being the eldest decided to quit school and help his family.  Art was also a father figure for his brothers and sisters. He took a course at the Acetylene Welding Metropolitan Evening School .

In 1942, Art worked for the Super Cold Company in Los Angeles , California , coated tin cups. He also worked for the Richard Lowry Company in Los Angeles , California as a Shipping Clerk II Retail, sales and maintaining sales service files. Art also worked for a singing telegram for birthdays and anniversaries.  

Art joined the Army on March 6, 1943 Fort McArthur in California . He was assigned to AAF Basic Training, Military Policeman and Truck Driver. As PFC, Art Garcia served as a Military Policeman, served with the 1383rd. Military Policemen Company (Aviation) in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater of Operations in United States . He was deployed to Honolulu , Hawaii from December 31 1943 to January 14, 1946.  He assisted in the enforcement of military laws and regulations. Guarded enemy prisoners-of-war and performed duties as a Gate Guard. He also assisted civilian police in maintaining law and order while performing town patrol duty.  He earned the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, World War II Victory Medal and Lapel Button. Art Garcia was honorary discharged on January 18, 1946.  

Art Garcia received letters of Appreciation from President Harry Truman, Commanding General Army Air Forces and Cyril H. McGuire, Major Coast Artillery Corps.  

Art Garcia first met Teresa Carrillo in El Paso , Texas when they were children, her parents owned a bakery there, and Art usually saw her. Eventually both the Garcia’s’ and Carrillo’s migrated to California .  

After Art was discharged from the Army, once again he saw Teresa in February of 1946 in California after so many years. Art’s friend Manuel, who was also stationed in Hawaii and discharged from the Army, invited Art to go see “his girlfriend.” Teresa recognized Art right away; he asked her out after finding out that she was not his friend’s girlfriend after all. They dated for about a year, than married.  

Art worked for several years as a Carpenter, after his retirement he worked as a School Crossing Guard in Orange County .  















Art Garcia and Teresa had a double wedding ceremony; her sister Zenaida married Joseph Barrios Olvera and Art Garcia married Teresa Carrillo on June 8, 1947 in Los Angeles, California .    

Art and Teresa have two children Xavier, and Yolanda, Xavier married Cindy Gagne and Yolanda married Paul Lewanski. Art has four grandchildren Jan Paul, Greg, Derek and    Shannon. Art lost his wife Teresa on March 5, 1994 to cancer.  

Art is a favorite uncle to many nephews and nieces, he was always there for them, and he is kind and generous. Art is great communicator and storyteller. Art has a great sense of humor and makes both adults and children feel happy and comfortable. For many years Art and Teresa were frequent guests at Disneyland , dancing to live music was their true passion throughout their married years. Art loved dancing especially 1940’s dances as the Chattanooga Choo Choo, Pennsylvania 6-500 and many others. Art and Teresa favorite song was “At Last” by Glenn Miller.  



Art and Teresa (Terry) Garcia at a wedding             Son Xavier, grandson Derek and Art Garcia (1995) Reception (1980) 

Art is the kind of person that everyone admires; his honesty, integrity, gives us the sense of Art’s character. He is the kind of person who listens to conversations and makes the person talking to him feel like what they say is important.  He is a family man, with family values, who loves his family dearly.



Remains of Hero finally return home

The story of PFC Jose Ramon Sanchez
Tony (The Marine) Santiago

PFC. Jose Ramon Sanchez

One of the most dreaded moments in the life of every parent who has a son or daughter serving in combat is that one day an officer will show up to your door to inform you that your loved one has perished, but even more dreadful is to be informed that your loved one is MIA (Missing in Action) because you will live the anguish of having countless unanswered questions. Is he/she as still alive, captured, tortured? Did he/she suffer and will he/she return home someday. I just can’t imagine the suffering throughout the years that parents and loved ones have to endure under these circumstances. That was the case of Virginia and Peter Sanchez, mother and brother respectively of Marine PFC Jose Ramon Sanchez whose family waited for 41 years.

Early years

Joe Ramon Sanchez was born in Brooklyn on March 15, 1949. His parents had moved to New York City in the 1940s from Puerto Rico in search of a better life as did many other Puerto Rican families during what became known as the "Great Puerto Rican Migration". His family struggled and lived in the Gowanus Public Houses . In 1959, his mother had another child whom she named Peter, to whom Jose would become a father figure after the death of their father in 1961.

Jose was an exceptional teenager and role model to follow. He was a religious Catholic whose voice was loudest when it came to praying as an altar boy. Instead of becoming a gang member like many of the youth at the time, Jose was a member of the Boy Scouts. He also spent his time swimming, playing football, baseball, basketball, you name it at the local YMCA, he was an all around athlete and role model to his brother Peter.

If you think that things are tough for Hispanics now, in the 1960s it was even tougher. In New York there were restaurants with signs on their windows which read "No Dogs, No Puerto Ricans allowed". Yet, despite the fact that discrimination was rampant, Puerto Ricans, descendants of the great Taino Chief Agüeybaná, have never hesitated to serve their country and where among the first to fight in Vietnam in defense of democracy. On December 1967, Jose left his school and joined the United States Marine Corps.

Vietnam War

Jose received his basic training in Paris Island, S.C. and advanced training in Camp Lajuene in North Carolina. Jose, whose MOS was that of an 81 MM Motarman was sent to the Republic of Vietnam and he was assigned to Company D, 1st Battalion,
4th Marines, 3rd Marine Division.

On 6 June 1968, he was among a group of fellow Marines who comprised a patrol operating in the rugged jungle covered mountains southwest of Khe Sanh, Quang Tri Province, South Vietnam. Their mission was to block NVA troops and supplies from infiltrating toward Khe Sanh. The Marines engaged a communist force of unknown size in heavy combat. As the fierce firefight raged around them, the Marines, who were out numbered and rapidly running low on ammunition, requested an emergency extraction. A CH46A Sea Knight helicopter was sent for Sanchez and the rest of the patrol who were on Hill 672. As the helicopter gained altitude, it was immediately struck by intense and accurate enemy ground fire causing it to enter into a nose-low attitude and crash onto an east/west mountain ridgeline, roll down to the bottom of the hill and burst into flames. Within an hour and a half, a search and recovery (SAR) team was inserted into the crash site. The team members pulled the charred bodies of the aircrew and passengers from what was left of the burned out helicopter and placed them in body bags. Of the 12 of the 23 Marines aboard who were killed, 4 were reported as MIA/KIA, besides Sanchez the other three were L/Cpl. LaPlant, L/Cpl. Palacios and L/Cpl. Harper. Various attempts to recover the bodies of the four were made to no avail.

Heartbreaking News

Unaware of the events which occurred on June 6, the same day that Senator Robert Kennedy was assassinated, the Sanchez family received the dreaded knock on their door by a military representative with the delivery of the bad news and were notified that not only was Jose dead, but worse, that he was Missing and therefore wasn't coming home. The military decorations which were handed to his mother Virginia and brother Peter could not fill the void in the family which Jose had left. As a mother, Virginia suffered greatly and began a decades-long vigil for her lost boy. His named was inscribed in panel 59W 013 of the Vietnam War Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

In 2006, a team began excavating the site and recovered human remains and non-biological material evidence including La Plant's identification tag. While at the site, a Vietnamese citizen turned over to the team human remains the he claimed to have found amid the wreckage. In 2007, another team completed the excavation and recovered additional human remains, life support material and aircraft wreckage. On November 05, 2008, The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced that the remains of four U.S. servicemen, missing from the Vietnam War, were identified. The unexpected news reached the families just hours after President Obama’s election. The Sanchez family, who had been waiting to know any news in regard to Jose for 40 painful years, wept. Jose’s mother died five weeks later, almost as if she had been waiting for this moment in order to die in peace with her mind at ease.

The four men will share a single casket, side by side again, much as they were on Hill 672. It will hold a pressed Marines Corps dress uniform, along with a box engraved with their names and filled with their commingled remains. They will be buried this May at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. To PFC Jose Ramon Sanchez and his comrades - God Bless You - Rest in Peace.


I want to tell you how I found out about PFC. Jose Ramon Sanchez. A fellow Marine editor in Wikipedia sent me a copy of the New York Daily News with the news of the recovery of the remains. It took me about three weeks before I could gather the nerve to read it because I normally become emotionally involved when I read about the deaths of our youth, especially if they were Marines and in Vietnam.  While I was reading his story, there were some things that really struck a familiar tone with me. 1. He was born in March - the same month I was born (he was a year older then I), 2. His parents were from Puerto Rico and he was born in New York City - same as me, 3. His first name is Jose and his surname begins in "S" - My first name is really Jose (Jose Antonio) and my surname begins in "S", 4. He joined the United States Marine Corps _ I Joined the United States Marine Corps, 5. His MOS was 81 MM Mortarman - My MOS was 81 MM Mortarman, 6. He served in Vietnam War as a member of the 3rd Marine Division - I served in Veitman as a member of the 3rd Marine Division. We sure had a lot in common.
I then wrote to Larry Mcshane, the Daily News reporter who wrote the article, and asked him to provide me with a way to contact Peter Sanchez because I want to help in getting the government to honor Jose's memory by having his name inscribed in Puerto Rico's "El Monumento de la Recordacion", where the names of every Puerto Rican soldier, including those of Puerto Rican who have fallen in combat is inscribed. Mcshane provided me with Peter's phone number and I called him and we spoke for over an hour. I checked with the Government of Puerto Rico and as Suspected, they did not know about him. I then proceeded to inform the about Jose and provided them with the information. I expect to hear from them this week with the news that his name will inscribed and that Peter Sanchez will be invited to the inscription ceremonies.
Just want to share this with you,      
Tony Santiago
a.k.a.  Tony The Marine


Old vet takes old Jeep on one last mission

Sam Castillo drives 1948 Jeep cross country to say, 'Thanks.'

Article and photos, Orange County Register
Thursday, April 23, 2009



LAGUNA HILLS He crept over the Cajon Pass. Survived the Mojave Desert. And somehow, Sam Castillo, 69, has nursed, nudged and willed his 1948 Jeep half-way across America on a trip that might be called inspired madness or just plain inspired.

Whichever – he's on a mission. And not to be denied. Not yet anyway.

"If I don't do this, I'll always wonder why," the old veteran said Wednesday from Colorado after waving goodbye to family, friends and even the Laguna Hills mayor four days earlier.

To understand this trip, you must know two things:

One, these early flatfender Jeeps were designed by the Army to replace mules – not cruise America's superhighways. Sam's got no power steering; no power brakes; no heat; no air conditioning; no radio; little suspension and even less get-up-and-go. He's got a pillow for a seat cushion and a top speed of about 45 mph. And that's without the trailer.

"Are you a betting man?" Jeeps R Us owner Larie Tales, of Laguna Beach, said of Sam's plan to meet his son-in-law in Columbus, Ohio, en route to the nation's Capitol. "I'd bet any kind of money his son-in-law will never see him."

Tales says Sam did a nice job restoring his Jeep, but it's still a primitive vehicle – with vacuum windshield wipers that quit when going uphill; an engine that leaks oil; and a transmission transfer case that's pitted and rusted.

"I don't think the wheel bearings can take it," Tales said of the 5,000-mile round trip. "And if he breaks a differential, he's up the creek."

Told that Sam is also hauling a military trailer, Tales paused: "Amazing. He should get some kind of medal for nerve."

Now, the second thing you should know is this: Sam's got a history of taking on the improbable. And this time, he's inspired – like never before.



The idea for this trip was born five years ago.

Castillo was 64 and enjoying retirement. In the morning, he'd tend to his roses and fruit trees. At noon, he'd eat with Gypsy, his mixed Shih-Tzu and Chihuahua, and Lucas, his Maltese, and in the afternoon, he'd watch "The People's Court." A good life.

One day he heard about some younger veterans bicycling cross-country to launch a "Vietnam Veterans Day," and that's all he needed to hear. A week before the trip, he bought a bike and bike shorts. It was a few days before anyone had the heart to tell him his bike shorts were actually bike underwear. He didn't care.

"After the second or third day, I was able to touch my toes," he says. "I felt absolutely perfect."

See, there's a special place in Sam's heart for the military. He never saw action – he served in the Army from '57 to '61, between wars – but he's as patriotic as they come.

If you've ever watched a Veterans Day parade in Orange County, you've likely seen Sam chauffeuring some pilot or general in his old Willys Jeep.

Sam and his fellow cyclists were in Indiana when President Ronald Reagan died. Their plans fell through, but not before they'd visited several veterans' hospitals.

One Kansas veteran told Sam he was living on $25 a month – too little to visit relatives. A Denver veteran told him: "I'm sitting here, waiting to die. And the only thing I can tell you, son, is it's taking too damn long."

Sam never forgot.

"Someday," he vowed, "somehow, I'm going to do something to help them."

He began telling his wife, Marie, about his plans. "Sure, sure," she said.

And he kept fiddling with this old, steel nut he found on the Washington Mall that trip. First he kept it on his desk. Then his pocket.

"If I lost it, it would drive me crazy," he says.

So he put it on his key chain. It became a constant reminder of his promise to help – if only he knew how.


Sam knows a thing or two about helping others.

He's the guy who empties the trash after church functions. The guy who fills a neighbor's tire when it's flat. The guy who used to drive to the Tustin Marine base each Thanksgiving and bring home a few Marines for turkey dinner with the family. That's the way he was raised.

His father, Ray Castillo, of Placentia, often took food and clothes to the poor in Mexico. After Ray died, Sam carried on the tradition. One truckload turned to five, which turned into 10, sometimes 20 – every Christmas and every Easter.

For 30 years.


"He'll do the work nobody else wants to do," says Gwen Wieser, confirmation coordinator at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Laguna Woods. "His sincerity comes out in his actions."

For four years after his bike trip, Sam toyed with the idea of bringing portable CD players to the veterans he'd met. But parts break. Batteries die. CDs get lost. He didn't know what to do.

Then last year, while visiting his daughter Annescia Hite and her husband Jeff in Ohio, they came upon another idea over dinner. It was so simple, Sam practically kicked himself for not thinking of it before.

"I'm starting a pen pal program," he says, "where the American public can pick out a veteran and write them a note to thank them for serving our country."

That's it. That's why at age 69, he's driving a 1948 Jeep across America using a pillow for a seat cushion and a cot for a bed. He's stopping at veterans' hospitals along the way, starting a registry of veterans' names and asking everyday citizens to pitch in.

"People will help if you ask them," he said Wednesday after visiting a Trinidad, Colo., nursing home.

He's started a Web site, , where people can sign up to send a letter, a birthday card or even a box of cookies to a vet.

When Sam reaches the Capitol he'll knock on doors and see who answers. In his pocket will be that small steel nut he found outside the Capitol stairs – a reminder of the promise he made five years ago. And a reminder of his Uncle Danny, who was buried with shrapnel in his arm but never heard anyone say, "Thank you for your service."

What if no Congressional doors open? What if no one signs up to be a pen pal? What if his old Jeep doesn't even reach Ohio?

"I'll have the satisfaction of doing everything I knew how to do," he says. "I'll know I did my best."

Contact the writer: 714-796-6979 or
Sent by Ricardo Valverde




“Voices of Valor” 
Play Written by James E. Garcia, Directed by Pamela Sterling 
Presented in April by the New Carpa Theater Co. in Arizona

Inspired by the oral histories of Hispanic WWII veterans, their families and friends, as collected by the U.S. Latinos and Latinas World War II Oral History Project" created by Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, UT Austin and our American Latino veterans. 

The play recounts how American Latinos lived, fought and died during the global struggle for democracy, despite a legacy of discrimination in the United States. "Voices of Valor" recalls in vivid detail how the war served as a catalyst for the Hispanic community’s struggle for civil rights and social recognition in our nation. Inspired by the "U.S. Latinos and Latinas World War II Oral History Project" created by Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez at UT Austin and our American Latino veterans.  For information about the WWII project at UT Austin visit: 

Below is an excerpt from the play, Voices of Valor, about Arizona native Hector Santa Ana (a descendent of Gen. Antonio de Santa Ana (the guy who won at the Alamo).
Hector Santa Ana, Miami, AZ, pilot, U.S. Army Corps

Published in the Austin Chronicle. 

From 'Voices of Valor,' a Play by James E. Garcia


Hector Santa Anna, Miami, Ariz., pilot, U.S. Army Corps

My great, great uncle was (in Spanish) General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. (a quick beat, a wry smile) I'm not kidding. The one from the Alamo. (offhanded) And he also was president of Mexico three or four times, I lose track. So our family's "been in the history business" a long time.

Me? I was raised right here in Arizona. My father, Jose Maria Santa Anna, worked in the mines in the days of the great strikes. He was bilingual, so, of course, it was a natural thing for him to be a leader in the union. He could talk to the workers. He could talk to the gabachos

I was in high school when the war began. I was 17. My father didn't want me to go. At first, I listened. I decided to go to California to work the mines. One day, a friend of mine asked me to visit the local air base with him. That's when I knew, "This is what I'd like to do." That day, I joined the Army Air Corps, and right away the first thing they did was send me to Brooks Air Base in San Antonio, Texas. (quick beat) San Antonio – not the best place to be if you're a Santa Anna, I tell you right now. They must have thought I was returning to the scene of the crime. But there I am in the shadow of the Alamo, learning to fly B-17 bombers. I'm thinking to myself, maybe "if General Santa Anna had B-17s, history might have turned out differently."

After the war, I even worked for NASA. (chuckles) Can you imagine a Mexican on the moon? A Santa Anna on the moon. Let me tell you something, (in confidence, and smiling) if I had gone up there and walked around with those other guys, I'd like to think I would have figured out a way to sneak off, and with a big magic marker… I would have written on a moon rock, "Remember The Alamo."

Read pervious news articles about the play “Voices of Valor”:
Who They Are and What They Deserve By Belinda Acosta of the Austin Chronicle 

Play Give Voice to Latino WWII Vets By Juan Castillo of the Austin American-Statesman

Latino WWII Vets Share Their Stories by Yvonne Wingett of the Arizona Republic 

Read a review of “Voices of Valor” by Kyle Lawson
Premier of “Voices of Valor” puts end to myths By Kyle Lawson of the Arizona Republic 

*NOTE: This play is funded in part by the Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture and the Arizona Commission on the Arts

Information sent by James E. Garcia

New 'eMagazine' Keeps Servicemembers, Families in the Know
By Samantha L. Quigley
American Forces Press Service

 WASHINGTON, April 10, 2009 - All the support programs in the world won't do any good if no one knows about them, so the Defense Department's principal director for military community and family policy started the office's new "eMagazine."
"What I found when I came up here was they have great programs and so forth, but they didn't tell people what was available," said Arthur Myers, who assumed his post in January. "So we started with a weekly activity report. That had such great response I said, 'Let's do a magazine where we can show all of our activities.'"
The eMagazine made its debut April 1. Originally slated to be a quarterly publication, the new magazine got such a great response, Myers said, that he already has decided to adjust the production schedule. The next edition will publish June 1.
The content for each eMagazine will largely depend on the time of the year, he added.
"This is the Month of the Military Child, so you want to focus on that," Myers said. "As issues come up, that's what we decide to put on there."
With links to the office's programs and activities, the eMagazine will focus on different issues, including a new campaign for exceptional family members. It also will focus on areas of continuous interest to military members and their families.
For instance, this issue features a story on a new YMCA benefit for military personnel and their families who don't have convenient access to a military installation and the support systems they provide. In fact, that benefit spurred a reader to e-mail Myers and tell him of her experience. She said her husband won't recognize her when he returns from deployment. She's lost 25 pounds thanks to the free YMCA membership.
The publication also will feature articles that servicemembers and their families will find helpful in planning moves to new duty assignments.
Other content will come from reader feedback. For example, Myers said, the staff will consider what kinds of information servicemembers and their families are seeking from Military OneSource, a resource for overall life assistance, or what they're looking at on the military community and family policy office's Military Homefront Web page.
Each military departments will have a page, Myers said, with the hope that they'll help to ensure the right people receive the eMagazine. The potential distribution list includes all members of the military, including National Guardsmen and reservists, family, friends, retirees, and other interested parties.
The military community and family policy staff were skeptical about the original weekly updates, Myers said, but the staff is enthused about the eMagazine. In fact, he said, he occasionally has to figure out which pieces he's going to cut from one eMagazine and try to work into another. Myers said he doesn't want the eMagazine to be so big that people won't want to read it. But if it's readable, and if people ask for it to grow just a little, he said, he'd be perfectly happy.  "That way, you know you're successful," he said.
 From: American Forces Press Service  
Update your subscriptions, modify your password or e-mail address, or stop subscriptions at any time by clicking on your 'User Profile' page at You will need to use your e-mail address to log in. If you have questions or problems with the subscription service, please e-mail
Have another inquiry? Visit the online FAQ at for up-to-date information.
Get the help you, your family, and fellow servicemembers need, when you need it. Visit to learn more.

Homeloans information:
Check out the National Resource Directory at, a new web-based resource for wounded, ill and injured service members, veterans, their families, families of the fallen and those who support them from the Departments of Defense, Labor, and Veterans Affairs.
This service is provided to you at no charge by U.S. Department of Defense. Visit us on the web at
GovDelivery, Inc. sending on behalf of the U.S. Department of Defense · 380 Jackson Street, Suite 550 · St. Paul , MN 55101 · 1-800-439-1420

Sent by Rudy Rodriguez


Macharaviaya - Sede de los Galvez
Introducing Sylvia Ann Caravajal-Sutton
Spain's Patriots of Peru During the American Revolutionary War, #19, Final Segment

Macharaviaya - Sede de los Galvez
Sent by Paul Newfield III 



Introducing Sylvia Ann Carvajal-Sutton



Editor:  It gives me much pleasure to introduce Sylvia Carvajal Sutton.  She was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas and is a descendant of the founding families of San Antonio and Texas, and the Americas.  We are primas on many lines, which is really fun because Sylvia is a skilled genealogist and historian.  She has taken her early Spanish family lines in Texas back to the American Revolution, and is a Certified Genealogy Consultant National Society Daughters of The American Revolution.  She is the mother of two sons and three Grandchildren. 

Sylvia Ann Carvajal-Sutton received her B.S. and M.Ed degrees from Our Lady of the Lake University. She is a retired Educator and Principal from the San Antonio Independent School District. She is currently involved in researching the Spanish support of the American Revolution throughout the Spanish Borderlands. Mrs. Carvajal-Sutton holds the following positions and membership associations:

* Certified Genealogy Consultant National Society Daughters of The American Revolution; 
* Member, NSDAR Spanish Task Force in Washington D.C. 
* 12th Generation in the land now known as Texas 
* Member of the San Antonio de Bexar Chapter, National Society Daughters of the
      American Revolution (NSDAR), San Antonio, Texas 
* Board Member, National Archives representing the Texas Connection to the American  
      Revolution Association (TCARA) 
* Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Alamo Mission Chapter
* Member, Los Bexarenos 
* The Order of Granaderos y Damas de Galvez 
* Member of The Equestrian Order of The Holy Sephculre (order since 1099);
* Member of the San Antonio Conservation Society;
* Member of the San Antonio Genealogy and Historical Society;
* Assistance League of San Antonio.

Sylvia organizes world tours, including Spain at least 12 times.  Her traveling skill and experience started in 1968.  She was selected to be one of the tour guides for the San Antonio Convention Center for the 1968 Hemisfair. She gave tours in English and Spanish, and since then has taken at least two tour groups a year out of the Country.  Sylvia will be taking a group to Spain this year in November.  The June issue will have complete information.

Sylvia is also a very busy and frequent presenter.  She has presented to many DAR chapters in Texas including the, 100 year Celebration of the town of Edinburgh,Texas, She also spoke at the San Antonio de Bexar Chapter when they had a big event at the San Antonio Conservation Society Steaves Homestead. Recently, she spoke in Washington, D.C. to a committee of 20 who had been selected to become Certified Genealogy Consultants.     

Below in the outline of her presentation Outline.  Her topic is:
The NSDAR Spanish Task Force and the connection to The American Revolution.

A. History of the NSDAR Spanish Task Force
B. Objectives of the NSDAR Spanish Task Force
C. Map Study
D. Points in History
E. List of Approved Spanish Patriots
F. How your ancestral Spanish Patriot might be Approved
    1) Identification
     2) Documents: which ones and what to do with them
G. Sample of Mexico City files
H. Updates 
I. Reference Sources
J. NSDAR Spanish Task Force: Present and Future

If you would to like to invite Sylvia to speak to your group about acceptance into the NSDAR through your Spanish family heritage, she welcomes your contact.
Sylvia C. Sutton
9803 Carolwood
San Antonio,Texas, 78213 


by Granville Hough, Ph.D.

Final segment for the Patriots of the Viceroyalty of Peru 
During the American Revolutionary War

With special thanks to Dr. Hough who has shared his research generously.


Asensio Velazquez. Sgt, Mil Discip Cab Arequipa, 1792. Leg 7284:XIII:36.
Cayetano Velazquez. Lt, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Celendín, Partido de Cajamarca, 1797. Leg 7287:IX:17.
Enrique Velazquez. Sgt, Comp Vet de la Dotación de Chiloe, 1794. Leg 7285:II:14.
Felipe Velazquez. Sgt, 1st de la Comp de Tiabaya, Mil Discip Cab de Arequippa, 1792. Leg 7284:XIII:44.
Fermin Velazquez. Sgt, Comp Sueltas Inf partido de Calbuco, Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:V:14.
Francisco Velazquez. Sgt de la 4th Comp, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Celendín Partido de Cajamarca, 1797. Leg 7287:IX:34.
Francisco Velazquez. Lt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Castro,Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:IX:34.
Francisco Javier Velazquez. Lt, 1st Comp suelta Inf Discip San Carlos de Guapilacuy, Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:VIII:2.
Francisco Javier Velazquez. Sgt, Comp Vets de la Dotación de Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:XI:11.
José Velazquez. Lt, Mil Discip Dragones de Amotape, Piura, 1795. Leg 7285:XXIII:14.
José Velazquez. Cadet, Comp Vets de la dotación de Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:XI:12.
José María Mercedes Velazquez. Capt, Mil Prov Discip Cab del Valle de Chincha, 1797. Leg 7287:XII:7.
Juan Velazquez. Sgt, Mil Urbanas Inf de Moquegua, 1797. Leg 7287:XXVI:28. 
Juan Antonio Velazquez. Cadet, Comp Vets de la dotación de Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:XI:14.
Juan Bautista Velazquez. Lt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Celendín, Partido de Cajamarca, 1797. Leg 7287:IX:12.
Juan José Velazquez. Sgt, Comp Sueltas Inf, Partido de Calbuco, Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:V:11.
Antonio Velazquez y Loyola. Cadet, Bn Prov Mil Discip Inf Española de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXIII:81.
JoséVelazquez y Loyola. Cadet, Inf Real de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXII:132.
Nicolás Velez. Cadet, Mil Urbanas Inf de Moquegua, 1797. Leg 7287:XXVI:44.
Andrés Velez de Cordoba. Cadet, Mil Urbanas Inf de Moquegua, 1797. Leg 7287:XXVI:43.
Alfonso Velezmoro. Capt, grad Comandante, Mil Urbanas Cab San Pablo de Chalaquez, 1798. Leg 7287:XI:10.
Tomás Velezmoro. Capt, grad de Comandante, Mil Urbanas Cab San Pablo de Chalaquez, 1798. Leg 7287:XI:3.
José Velezmoro y Mieses. Dadet, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Cajamarca, 1797. Leg 7287:IV:38.
Juan Velezmoro y Mieses. Cadet, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Cajamarca, 1791. Leg 7284:I:44.
Matías Velis. Sgt, Mil Discip Cab de los valles de Palpa y Nasca, 1797. Leg 7287:XXXI:34.
Antonio Vera. Alf, Mil Prov Discip Dragones de Caraveli, 1796. Leg 7287:VIII:26.
Clemente Vera. Alf, Mil Prov Discip Cab del Cuzco, 1797. Leg 7287:X:28.
Federico Vera. Cadet, Momp Vet de la dotación de Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:XI:12.
Francisco Urbano Vera. Sgt, 1st, de Granaderos, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:IX:106.
Mariano Vera. Sgt, Mil Prov Discip Cab del Valle deChincha, 1797. Leg 7287:XII:34.
Pascual Vera. Sgt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Castro Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:IX:82.
Pedro de Vera. Capt, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Huambos Partido de Cajamarca, 1797. Leg 7287:XVII:9.
Gregorio Vera y Soto. Alf, Escuadrón Dragones de Pacasmayo, 1800. Leg 7288:XXVIII:5.
Manuel Verano. Lt, Mil Discip Cab de Hjaura, 1797. Leg 7287:XIX:10.
Manuel Verastegui. Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Cajamarca, 1792. Leg 7284:IV:40.
Manuel Leon de Verastegui. Capt, Comp Mil Discip Pardos de Cab del Regimiento de Ferreñafe, 1797. Leg 7287:XV:1.
Pablo Verdeguer y Ramos. Col, Comp sueltas, Mil Urbanas Inf de Anco, 1797. Leg 7287:I:1.
José Vergara. SubLt de Granaderos, Bn Prov Mil de Pardos Libes de Lima, 1796. Leg 7286:XII:37.
José Eusebio Vergara. Cadet, Inf Real de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXII:120.
Lucas de Vergara. Lt Col, Bn Prov Mil Discip Inf Española de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXIII:6.
Juan José Verger. Capt, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Cajamarca, 1797. Leg 7287:IV:4.
Luis Veyan. Cadet, Inf Real de Lima, 1790. Leg 7283:VIII:127.
Antonio Viana y Picoaga. Lt, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Quispicanchi, Cuzco, 1798. Leg 7286:XX:13.
Bernardo Vicuña. Portaguión, Mil Dragones Prov de las Fronteras de Tarma, 1800. Leg 7288:XXIX:34.
Manuel Vicuña. Sgt, Mil Discip Cab de los Valles de Palpa y Nasca, 1797. Leg 7287:XXXI:36.
Alberto Vidal. Lt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:IX:30.
Francisco Vidal. SubLt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:IX:56.
Juan de Dios Vidal. Lt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:IX:36.
Juan Vidalon. Capt, Mil Urbanas Inf de Huancavelica, 1801. Leg 7286:XVI:6.
Gregorio José Vidaurre. Lt Col, Mil Discip Cab de Ferreñafe, 1797. Leg 7287:XIV:2.
Romualdo Vidaurre. Col, Mil Discip Cab de Ferreñafe, 1797. Leg 7287:XIV:1.
José Vidurrezaga. Col, Mil Prov Inf de Huánuco, 1796. Leg 7286:V:2.
Dionisio Vilches. Lt, Mil Discip Cab de Arequipa, 1792. Leg 7284:XIII:19.
José Vilches. Sgt, Mil Discip Cab de Ferreñafe, 1797. Leg 7287:XIV:42.
Juan Vilches. Sgt, 1st de Granaderos, Inf Real de Lima, 1790. Leg 7283:VIII:98.
Pedro Vilela. Sgt, Mil Discip Dragones de la ciudad de Piura, 1795. Leg 7285:XXIII:23.
Vicencio Vilela. Alf, Escuadrones Cab Mil de los territorios de Huancabamba y Chalaco, Piura, 1797. Leg 7287:XXXIV:10.
Lorenzo Villa. Alf, Mil Discip Cab Arnero de Chancay, 1800. Leg 7288:III:20.
Santiago Villacorta. SubLt, Mil Inf Española de San Juan de la Frontera de Chachapoya, 1792. Leg 7284:VI:30.
Antonio Villaespesa. Sgt Mayor, Mil Urbanas de Inf de Huancavelica, 1800. Leg 7288:XVI:3.
José Antonio de Villaespesa. Cadet, Mil Urbanas de Inf de Huancavelica, 1800. Leg 7288:XVI:28.
Juan VillaFuerte. Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Quispicanchi, Cuzco, 1798. Leg 7286:XX:38.
Mariano de Villafuerte. Lt, Mil Discip de Inf de Cuzco, 1800. Leg7286:XXIV:29.
Marqués de Villafuerte. Col, Cab Mil Discip de Arnero, Chancay, 1800. Leg 7288:III:1.
Martin Mariano Villafuerte. Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Quispicanchi, Cuzzco, 1798. Leg 7286:XX:33.
José Villagomez. SubLt, Inf Real de Lima, 1796. Leg 7287:XXIV:9.
Mariano Villalba. Lt, Mil Urbanas Inf de Andahuaylas, 1799. Leg 7286:XXII:12.
José Hermenegildo Villalobos. Portaestandarte, Mil Discib Cab de Ferreñafe, 1797. Leg 7287:XIV:6.
Luis Villalobos. Alf, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Huambos, Partido de Cajamarca, 1797. Leg 7287:XVII:18.
Manuel Villalobos. Sgt, Mil Discip Cab Arnero de Chancay, 1800. Leg 7288:III:31.
Juan Antonio de Villalobos y Burga. Lt, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Huambos, Partido de Cajamarca, 1797. Leg 7287:XVII:15.
Domingo de Villanueva. Lt, Mil Prov Discip de Cab de Arequipa, 1797. Leg 7287:II:27.
José Villanueva. Sgt de Granaderos, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Chota, 1797. Leg 7287:XIII:42.
Marcelo Villanueva. Capt, Mil Prov urbanas de Inf de San Antonio de Cajamarca, 1797. Leg 7287:III:5.
Francisco Villar. SubLt, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Abancay, 1793. Leg 7284:II:58.
Francisco del Villar. Lt Col, Mil Discip Cab de Ica, 1797. Leg 7287:XX:2.
Juan del Villar. Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Celendín, Partido de Cajamarca, 1792. Leg 7284:XV:39.
Juan Bautista Villasaso. Lt, Mil Discip Dragones de Arica, 1795. Leg 7285:XI:32.
José Antonio Villavicencio. Cadet, Mil Prov Urbanas Cab de Huanta, 1794. Leg 7285:III:46.
Julián Ville. SubLt, Inf Real de Lima, 1793. Leg 7284:IX:70.
Alonso Villegas. Capt, Mil Urbanas Inf de Huancavelica, 1800. Leg 7288:XVI:5.
José Villegas. Capt, Mil Prov Discip Dragones del Valle de Majes, 1797. Leg 7287:XXV:9.
Julián Villegas. SubLt, Inf Real de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXII:59.
Justo Villegas. SubLt, Comp sueltas de Milicias Discip Cab de Calbuco, Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:VI:3.
Nicolás Villegas. SubLt, Comp sueltas Inf, Partido de Calbuco, Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:V:10.
Rafael Villegas. Lt, Mil Prov Discip If de Castro, Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:IX:46.
Ignacio Villena. Sgt, Mil Urbanas Cab San Pablo de Chalaquez, 1798. Leg 7287:XI:41.
Rafael Vitoria. Sgt, Mil Prov Urb Cab de Huanta, 1798. Leg 7286:XVII:26.
Alejo Vivanco. SubLt, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Huanta, 1800. Leg 7288:XVIII:51.
Antonio Vivanco. SubLt, Mil Prov Urbanas Inf de Huanta, 1800. Leg 7288:XVIII:50.
Silverio Vivanco. Lt, Mil Urbanas Inf de Huancavelica, 1800. Leg 7288:XVI:11.
Agustín Vivancos. Alf, Mil Discip Dragones de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXIV:55.
José Vivancos. Sgt, Mil prov Urbanas Cab de Huanta, 1798. Leg 7286:XVII:28.
Juan Vives Echevarria. Capt, grad Lt Col, Bn Prov Mil Discip Inf Española de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXIII:21.

Matías Yabar. Capt, Inf Real Asiento de Paucartambo, 1798; Leg 7286:XIX:8
Narciso Yabar. SubLt de Granaderos, Inf del Real Asiento de Paucartambo, 1798k Leg 7286:XIX:25.
Manuel Yanse. Cadet, Mil Prov Urbanas Cab de Huanta, 1798. Leg 7286:XVII:33.
Antonio Yañez. Portaestandarte, Mil Discip Cab de Camaná, 1798. Leg 7286:XIV:23.
José Félix Yañez. Cadet, Mil Discip Dragones de Arica, 1800. Leg 7288:II:64.
Manuel Yañez. Portaguión, Mil Discip Dragones de Arica, 1800. Leg 7288:II:39.
Cristóbal Yarza. Lt de granaderos Comp sueltas Mil Discip Inf de Trujillo, 1794. Leg 7286:X:8.
Ildefonso de Yepes. Capt, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Quispicanchi, Cuzco, 1798. Leg 7286:XX:8.

Gabriel Zabala. Sgt, Mil Discip Dragones de Arica, 1800. Leg 7288:II:55.
Juan José Zabala. Portaguión, Mil Discip Dragones de Arica, 1800. Leg 7286:II:38.
Manuel Zabala. Alf, Mil Prov Discip Cab del Valle de Chincha, 1797. Leg 7287:XII:23.
Pedro Zabala. Sgt, Mil Discip Dragones de Arica, 1800. Leg 7288:II:58.
Pedro José Zabala, Marqués de Valle Umbroso. Lt, Mil Discip Dragones de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXIV:43.
Juan Bautista Zafra. Sgt, 1st de Granaderos, Comp Sueltas Mil Discip Inf de Trujillo, Perú, 1800. Leg 7288:XXX:12.
Francisco Valdivia. Capt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Casro, Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:IX:4.
José Valdivia. Lt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Castro, Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:IX:43.
Pedro Valdivia. Lt, 2d Comp Ind Discip de San Carlos de Quetalmahue, Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:VII:2.
Francisco de Zaldua. Lt, Comp sueltas Mil Discip Inf de Ica, 1800. Leg 7288:XIX:9.
Carlos Zamalloa. Capt, Inf del Real Asiento de Paucartambo, 1798, Leg 7286:XIX:15.
Diego Zamalloa. Capt, Inf del Rea Asiento de Paucartambo, 1798. Leg 7286:XIX:13.
Manuel Zamalloa. Lt, Inf del Real Asiento de Paucartambo, 1798. Leg 7286:XIX:19.
Santiago Zamalloa. Lt, Inf del Real Asiento de Paucartambo, 1798. Leg 7286:XIX:21.
Manuel Zambrano. Cadet, Bn Prov Mil Discip Inf Española de Lima, 1794. Leg 7285:VIII:56.
José Antonio Zamora. Sgt, Escuadrón de Dragones de Pacasmayo, 1800. Leg 7288:XXVIII:7.
Manuel Samudio. Capt, Mil Discip de Pardos y Morenos de Inf de Lambayeque, 1797. Leg 7287:XXIII:4.
Antonio Zañartu. Capt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Cab de Huamalies, 1797. Leg 7287:XVI:9.
Buenaventura Zañartu del Fierro. Capt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Arequipa, 1800. Leg 7288:I:19.
Agustín Zapata. SubLt, Escuadrón de Cab de Mil Urbanas de Moquegua, 1800. Leg 7288:XXVII:9.
José Zapata. Lt, Inf Real de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXII:39.
Santiago Zapata. SubLt, Escuadrón de Cab de Mil Urbanas de Moquegua, 1800. Leg 7288:XXVII:10.
Francisco de Zarate. Comandante, Mil Discip de Dragones de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXIV:4.
Jacinto Zarate. Sgt, Inf del Lreal Asiento de Paucartambo, 1798. Leg 7286:XIX:30.
José de Zarate, Marqués de Montemira. Col, Brigadier, Mil Discip de Dragones de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXIV:1.
Lorenzo de Zarate. Alf, Mil Discip Dragones de Lima, 1792. Leg 7284:XIX:63.
Vicente Zarate. Sgt, Inf Real de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXII:104.
Lorenzo de Zarate Manrique de Lara. Cat, Mil Discip de Dragones de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXIV:18.
Cristóbal de Zavala. Col, Mil Prov Urbanas Cab de Huánuco, 1797. Leg 7286:VI:1.
Jorge Zavala. Alf, Mil Discip Cab de Camaná, 1795. Leg 7285:XII:25.
José Agustín Zavala. Cadet, Inf Real de Lima, 1800. Leg 7288:XXII:134.
Miguel Zavala. Sgt, Comp Sueltas de Mil Discip de Inf de Trujillo, Perú, 1800. Leg 7288:XXX:11.
Nicolás Zavala. Lt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Inf de Cajamarca, 1797. Leg 7287:IV:8.
Nicolás Zavaleta. Capt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Celendín, Partido de Cajamarca, 1797. Leg 7287:IX:6.
Manuel de Zendagorta. Lt, Mil Urbanas de Dragones de Palma, Partido de Jauja, 1800. Leg 7288:XXI:17.
Pedro Zoilo. Cadet, Inf Real de Lima, 1793. Leg 7284:IX:109.
Basilio Antonio Zorrilla. SubLt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Arequipa, 1800. Leg 7288:I:57.
Eugenio Zorrilla. Lt, Mil Discip de Cab de Ica, 1800. Leg 7288:XX:15.
Francisco Zorrilla. Lt, Mil Urbanas de Inf de Huancavelica, 1800. Leg 7288:XVI:9.
Pedro Zorrilla. Lt, Mil Urbanas de Inf de Huancavelica, 1800. Leg 7288:XVI:10.
Andrés Zuaznabar. Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Cab de Huanta, 1798. Leg 7286:XVII:32.
Anselmo Zuaznabar. Lt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Cab de Huanta, 1798. Leg 7286:XVII:11. 
Faustino Zuazo. Sgt, Comp Inf y Cab de Morenos Libres de Lima, 1800:Leg 7288:XXVI:3.
Mauricio Zuazo. Lt Col, Mil Discip Cab de Arnero de Chancay, 1800. Leg 7288:III:2.
Juan José Zubiate. Capt, Mil Inf Española de San Juan de la Frontera de Chachapoyas, 1792. Leg 7284:VI:6.
Bartolomé Zubiri. Alf, Mil Prov Discip de Cab de Arequipa, 1797. Leg 7287:II:47.
Bartolomé Zulueta. Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas Dragones de Huambos, Partido Cajamarca, 1797. Leg 7287:XVII:35.
José Martín Zulueta. Alf, Mil Prov Discip Cab d Arequipa, 1797. Leg 7287:II:40. 
Francisco Zumaran. Lt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Carabayllo, 1797. Leg 7287:VII:18.
Gregorio Zuñiga. Capt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Inf de Calca, 1797. Leg 7287:V:7.
Juan Isidro Zuñiga. Lt Col, Mil Prov Discip de Dragones del Valle de Majes, 1797. Leg 7287:XXV:1 bis.
Manuel Zuñiga. Sgt 1st Granaderos Mil Prov Discip de Dragones del Valle de Majes, 1797. Leg 7287:XXV:31. 
Miguel de Zuñiga. Capt de Granaderos, Mil Prov Urbanas de Dragones de Quispicanchi, Cuzco, 1798. Leg 7286:XX:6.
Miguel Zuñiga. Capt, Comp Sueltas Inf, Partido de Calbuco, Chiloe, 1800. Leg 7288:V:3.
Tomás Zuñiga. Sgt, Mil Prov Urbanas de Inf de Calca, 1797. Leg 7287:V:24.
Manuel José Zuñiga y Cea. Alf, Mil Prov Discip de Cab de Arequipa, 1797. Leg 7287:II:36.
Pedro Mariano de Zuzunaga. SubLt, Mil Prov Discip Inf de Arequipa, 1792. Leg 7284:III:58.

(end of patriots of the Viceroyalty of Peru during the American Revolutionary War.)



Wednesday, June 9, 1993 *EXCELSIOR*

Volviendo a Nuestras Raices



GARZA is the 21st most prevalent Hispanic surname in the United States, but very rare in Spain.  It appears that many GARZAS in the southwest rrace their roots to one Marcos Alonso GARZA who entered Nueva Espana from Spain in the late 1500's.  He married twice, first to Catalina martinez Guajardo, secondly to Juana de Trevino.

The GARZAS survived the harsh frontier and increased in great numbers.  Their success seemed to be attributed to two factors.  The women bore many children who survived to adulthood.  For example, Blas, son of Marcos Alonso married Beatriz Gonzalez Hidalgo.  She bore 17 children and managed to rear them all to adulthood.  In addition, histoiran Carl L. Duaine states, the GARZA men wounded in battle, did not die,  "No one seemed to be able to kill a de la GARZA.   Many were wounded but had a perfect survival rate . . . "

ALEJANDRO (Alex) GARZA of Sacramento, California suggests the knowledge of herbal remedies used by their native Indian ancestors contributed to the phenomenal GARZA'S frontier survival.

ALEX and his brother LES GARZA of Friendswood, Texas are researching together and have fully documented their line to great-great grandparents, AMBROCIO GARZA and Barbarita Garcia, married in Monterrey, Mexico, 1830.  Alex and Les were both born in Monterrey, as were their great grandparents, Sostenes Garza and Francisca Saenz, married 1850, and grandparents, Alonso GARZA and Andrea Morin.

Alex and Les' father, Aquiles GARZA and mother Aurora Gutierrez married in Monterrey, Mexico, February 1942.   Aquiles enlisted in the United States Army in 1944.  After the second World War, Aquiles found work through the Rio Grande Valley in the citrus industry.  Aurora remained in Monterrey with their four children.  By 1946, Aquiles was traveling back and forth to Mexico, learning English and taking college courses.  A job as traveling salesman for a Tennessee cosmetic company opened many door in the southwest.  Ultimately Aquiles brought Aurora and their 4 children to Corpus Christi.  Foure more children were born in Texas.  Aquiles became quite involved with community work.  he helped draft by-laws in the late 1940's for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) and was one of the first broadcasters for a Spanish radio station in the United States, KCCT in Corpus Christi.

Fourth son, Alejandro (Alex) GARZA, born in Monterrey, Mexico, but raised in the Rio Grande Valley was attracted by the inexpensive Junior College systems in California. He migrated in the early 1970's, attended Santa Ana College, then University of California, Irvine, graduating with a B.A. in Comparative Cultures.  Alex, father of four sons, is an editor with the Office of Statewide Health Planning and Development in Sacramento, California.  he is also family editor for "Los Garzas", distributed in California, Colorado, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Nuevo Leon.  Other surnames: Saenz, Gutierrez, Cedeno, Morin, Villarreal, Garcia, Cavazos, and Gonzalez.

Compiled by Mimi Lozano, Society of the Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research, 6-9-93.



Staying Awake
Tim Giago: An older brother who paved the way
Los Cuentos de Kiko


by Ben Romero

I recently started reading obituaries on a regular basis. It must be age-related. In the past few years I’ve attended more funerals than I’d like, and accepted the fact that we’re here for only a short time. Cemeteries and mortuaries in the Fresno, Madera, and Clovis area are beautiful and peaceful. But I did not always have a fondness for them.
At the age of ten, I hadn’t attended a wake since my grandfather’s death, three years earlier. Although I tried to act brave in front of my older brother, I was a bit scared walking into the funeral chapel. I knew that if Louie noted fear, he’d later have fun at my expense.
I was tired and it was past dark when we arrived. I dreaded the lengthy rosary that would keep us there longer than most kids can tolerate. The sadness was overwhelming and I wondered how I would cope if I lost a parent or sibling.
As we neared the casket, I felt a chill run down my spine. The young man looked very much alive. It was impolite to stare, but my eyes fixated on his chest. I imagined I saw it rising and falling. Could it be that he was asleep and not dead after-all?
“There’s nothing to fear,” my mother had said more than once. “We’re going to pray for him and his family.” But I had watched horror movies and late television programs where dead people came back to life and chased down anyone who did not run fast. What if I tripped or ran too slow?
As the rosary started, I glanced at my father. Surely, he would protect me from all harm. My sister, Marcella sat on the other side of Mom. She shot me a sideways glance that made me feel as if she was scared, too. I felt  more at ease. Then somewhere between the fourth and fifth string of Hail Mary’s, I dozed off. My sister poked my arm and I noticed my parents and Louie were shaking hands with people on the front pew. I quickly stood up and made my way up front, followed by my sister. I knew it was polite to express condolences. In Spanish it was called el pesame.
I hustled my way to the front row and started shaking hands with the bereaved, saying, “Peso mucho, peso mucho”, which translates to ‘I weigh a lot‘. What I should have said was, “Siento mucho”, which means ‘I am very sorry‘.
On the way home, Marcella got a big kick out of telling everybody what I had said in error. It must have been especially amusing because I was skinny as a rail. My brother teased me about falling asleep. “What would you have done if we’d left you there sleeping and gone home without you?” he asked.
“If I woke up and everybody was gone, I would have screamed!”
“But if you did that,” teased Marcella, “you might have woken up the dead.”
That sentence alone caused me to have an untold number of nightmares for weeks to come. And a lot of staying awake!

Ben Romero
Author of Chicken Beaks Book Series



Tim Giago: An older brother who paved the way


Tim Giago: An older brother who paved the way, March 30, 2009

My older brother Tony should have been the writer in our family. Tony died in 1991 from complications of a defective heart valve. He always blamed his heart condition on the rheumatic fever he had as a boy at Kyle on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

At the Holy Rosary Indian Mission Boarding School his best pal was "Snazzy" Trimble. Trimble and the Boy Scout Troupe nicknamed him "Batman," from the DC Comics. I was darned lucky they didn't name me "Robin." Later in life my cousin "Sonny" Torres named him "Tuna the Bass." It was the nickname he carried to his grave.

During the summer when all of the kids in the family were home from the boarding school at our house in Kyle we couldn't wait for nightfall because Tony would carefully blow out the kerosene lamps sit back on the bed and start telling us stories about faraway places, of
spooky monsters, and of heroes that came to rescue the maidens in distress. He told us stories about a great Lakota warrior astride a magnificent painted stallion, a warrior that could fell a mighty buffalo with a single arrow. My sisters and I would fall asleep with
the tales he created for our nighttime enjoyment nagging at the back of our minds.

When Tony was a baby he was riding in the car with my father, my mom and my mom's sister, my aunt Mary Tapio. He was sitting on Aunt Mary's lap when a gravel truck with an intoxicated driver smashed into the car. A sliver of glass wedged into his temple and he was rushed to the Indian hospital at Pine Ridge. A Catholic priest gave him the Last
Rites, but he survived. My father's left arm was shattered so badly that he could no longer play the violin, or fiddle as he called it, because he could not turn the arm far enough to run his fingers on neck of the violin. My father used to say, "The good Lord kept all of us from getting killed."

One year, I believe it was 1951; my brother and my cousins, "Red Tapio" and Sonny Torres were cast in a movie that was shooting up in the Black Hills. The movie was called "Tomahawk," and it starred Van Heflin, Rock Hudson, and Susan Ball. Of course Tony, Red and Sonny were the Indians.

Sonny said that the director told all of the Indian actors that they had to be sprayed with chocolate colored paint because it would make them more photogenic. "One morning they rushed me into a tent and told me to take my shirt off and they started to spray me with the
chocolate paint and we heard a shriek and some terrible cussing and discovered that we were in Susan Ball's tent and she was hysterical that they would have the nerve to paint me in her tent," Sonny said.

Sonny and Red were expert horsemen, but poor "Tuna" hadn't sat on a horse since he was about five. And that is where the troubles began. As Sonny tells it, "One day Tuna climbed off the horse to have a cigarette. He took the reins, laid them on the ground and then stood
on them to keep the horse from moving. He took a deep puff and just then the horse through its head back and it flipped Tuna up in the air and on to his back. The director and all of the other actors let out a roar."

"At the end of the day we would race our horses back to the actor's camp and when we got there we would wonder what happened to Tuna. Red and I would ride back up the trail and there he would be lying in a heap on the ground and this happened about three times," Sonny said with a chuckle.

Of course, all of the things that happened in this movie became fodder for Tony's memory banks and by the time he finished telling us stories about his great adventure in the movie, he was the star. We all knew what really happened, but it didn't really matter because we knew that this was his way of doing what he had always done; entertain and educate us.

Tony never had the opportunity to develop the background to be a writer. We were very poor and since he was the oldest son, he was expected to work and work he did. Although he was tiny and very frail, he worked side by side with my father baling hay, picking potatoes, topping beets, and one summer they even picked oranges in Arizona. His
chance at an education passed him by and in his own way I think he paved the way for me to get the opportunities that should have been his.

Tim Giago, an Oglala Lakota, was born, raised and educated on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. He was the founder and publisher of Indian Country Today, the Lakota Times, and the Lakota Journal. He is now the publisher of the Native Sun News and can be reached at
Monday, March 30, 2009



Los Cuentos de Kiko

Our resident Oral History Master Frank Moreno Sifuentes has another great grouping of Cuentos. Have a listen and spread the word: 
Los Cuentos de Kiko
===> "Aurora Of Golden Years" by Frank Moreno Sifuentes
===> "Eating" by Frank Moreno Sifuentes
===> "La Chaqueta" by Frank Moreno Sifuentes
===> "Letter To Tootsie" by Frank Moreno Sifuentes
===> "Me And The Law 1" by Frank Moreno Sifuentes
===> "Me And The Law 2" by Frank Moreno Sifuentes
===> "Michael Sedano" by Frank Moreno Sifuentes
===> "New Lottery Vigil 01" by Frank Moreno Sifuentes
===> "New Lottery Vigil 02" by Frank Moreno Sifuentes
===> "Se Trata De Dinero 01" by Frank Moreno Sifuentes
===> "Se Trata De Dinero 02" by Frank Moreno Sifuentes
===> "Se Trata De Dinero 03" by Frank Moreno Sifuentes
===> "Se Trata De La Lotteria" by Frank Moreno Sifuentes
===> "Smoking Cessation" by Frank Moreno Sifuentes
===> "Story Within A Story" by Frank Moreno Sifuentes
===> "Un Viejito Y Su Esposa" by Frank Moreno Sifuentes
===> "Letter to Betolin 01" by Frank Moreno Sifuentes
===> "Letter to Betolin 02" by Frank Moreno Sifuentes
===> "Se Trata De La Llanta" by Frank Moreno Sifuentes

Sent by Joseph Puentes



May 2: Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research Workshop
United Mexican American Veterans Association (UMAVA)  

The History of the City of Fountain Valley


SATURDAY MAY 2, WORKSHOP, 9:30-11:30 a.m.

Free Workshop on: 



674 S. YORBA, Orange, CA
Orange Multi-Regional Family History Center
Located in the back, northwest corner of the building

Viola has done hands on research in the records of Mexico and Texas.  She is a volunteer at the Anaheim Family History Center, and a very active data extractor in the world-wide digitizing project of the LDS Church.  

More about Viola research and traveling adventures can be found at her blog:

Friday, August 1, 2008: The Tarahumara of Chihuahua

I had read about this wonderful train ride that originated in Chihuahua, Chihuahua probably about fifteen or twenty years ago. I knew that was a trip I had to take, but other things in my life were going on, and that trip was placed in the backburner of my mind. Even in retirement, it seems other events took precedence, but early in 2007 I decided that if I didn't do that trip, I might not get to do it at all.

Excitedly, I searched for different tours, but the safest one for me was going with Elderhostel. They cater to able, active senior citizens. So, even though it was not the cheapest one of the tours, I signed on for the Copper Canyon trip in May 2007. I was really happy with the program from the very first night at the Davis Mountain Education Center in West Texas.

The train ride was nice, the scenery impressive, but I was especially intrigued by the Tarahumara Indians. The women weave these wonderful baskets using pine tree needles. The children sell trinkets to the tourists. Many of the men still wear their native dress even though the Mexicans in town wear modern dress.

I would love to make the trip again, but would like to have hubby and son accompany me next time. There are so many places yet to see and do. Reminds me of the Jack Nicholson/Morgan Freeman movie, The Bucket List. Thankfully, neither of us have gotten the medical news that we have only a short time to live.


United Mexican American Veterans Association 

UMAVA is a non-profit 501c(19) organization dedicated to providing valuable resources to veterans and their communities. Cordially invites members of all US Armed Forces.

UMAVA s committed to promoting understanding, appreciation and respect for the sacrifice and commitment given to the United States of America by the Mexican American Veteran by Honoring yesterday by collecting and preserving the past through photographs, stories and artifacts; appreciating today by making a positive difference in the lives of surviving veterans through recognition, camaraderie and solidarity; inspiring tomorrow through education and advocacy. read more

Price: $20.00 Individual and $30.00 YEARLY dues  
(714) 973-4771 or (714) 720-7940  
Age Suitability:
18 and up  
community, non-profit, military, veterans, family-oriented

UMAVA is a non-profit 501c(19) organization dedicated to providing valuable resources to veterans and their communities. Cordially invites members of all US Armed Forces.

UMAVA s committed to promoting understanding, appreciation and respect for the sacrifice and commitment given to the United States of America by the Mexican American Veteran by Honoring yesterday by collecting and preserving the past through photographs, stories and artifacts; appreciating today by making a positive difference in the lives of surviving veterans through recognition, camaraderie and solidarity; inspiring tomorrow through education and advocacy. Cordially invites all members of any branch of the US Armed Forces: Women/Men of any ethnic background, in Active Service, Reserves, National Guard or Honorably Discharged. Spouses and family members are welcomed. Tax-deductible contributions (ID #27-0143834) are greatly appreciated and may be mailed to: UMAVA, PO Box 1849, Santa Ana, CA 92702.

Event Website 
Sent by Ricardo Valverde


The History of the City of Fountain Valley


Fountain Valley at one time was mostly a big swamp. The abundance of wild game, which roamed the entire area due to the lush growth and plentiful water, made the area a sportsman's paradise.

Itinerant preachers found it a good place for tent revival meetings, and the area came to be nicknamed Gospel Swamp.

In the late 1700s, the area of Fountain Valley was part of the Rancho Las Bolsas Spanish land grant. The lower portion was in the Santa Ana River valley, filled with willows and tule pads. In the 1850s, Abel Stearns bought land including parts of present-day Huntington Beach, Westminster, Garden Grove and all of Fountain Valley. Stearns later sold off portions to other farmers.

In 1878, Roch Courreges arrived from San Francisco and leased the area of Fountain Valley, later purchasing the land. In the late 1870s, a severe drought caused the water level to lower to the point where rich farm land became available. Occasionally the area flooded from the natural springs, free-flowing artesian wells and the overflowing Santa Ana River. So city fathers decided to drain the flood plain. In 1903, the Talbert Drainage District, organized by Sam Talbert, was formed and $24,000 in bonds were voted to drain 15,000 acres. Huge ditches, some 15 feet deep, were cut on the east side of each half mile road from north to south.

One of the first men to clear the bottom lands of willows and tules was Bruce Wardlow of Long Beach. In 1896, he became one of the area's largest land owners. At the time, land sold for $5 an acre and land taxes were 50 cents and $1 an acre. Shortly after Wardlow and Mexican workers cleared the swampy area, other families followed, leaving their names emblazoned on the city's streets and schools.

While the farmers cleared the land, John Corbett opened a grocery store near the corner of present-day Talbert Road and Bushard Street. Fertile land allowed farmers to produce wheat, sugar beets, barley, beans, chili peppers, tomatoes and strawberries.

One of the most frustrating problems for turn-of-the-century residents was getting their mail delivered.

Bandits roamed the area, robbing and murdering those who carried the mail from the Santa Ana Post Office to the outlying communities. At one point, the Post Office refused to deliver the mail to Talbert, Fountain Valley's name at the time. But one petite woman refused to be intimidated. Mary Swift took it upon herself to deliver the mail. She declared to the postmaster, "I have the Lord in Heaven and a cat-o'-nine-tails in my hand.''

Because of its artesian wells and beautiful valley, Corbett in 1899 requested that the city be named Fountain Valley. However, when he sold his grocery store a few months later to Tom Talbert, Talbert reapplied with his own name. So until 1957 when the city was incorporated, it was called Talbert, California.

The post office, however, in 1907, reclassified the rural branch of the Santa Ana Post Office, which is why the city to this day has a Santa Ana ZIP Code.

Fountain Valley's first school opened in 1913. Previously, children attended a school with one teacher in Huntington Beach. Fountain Valley Elementary School consisted of one principal, who was also the superintendent, two teachers and 45 pupils. The school had an annual budget of $2,771.46. Overcrowding led to the building of a new school in 1920. In 1921, the city graduated its first senior class.

During this period, a few families of Japanese descent moved into the area, including the Masuda and Oka families. In the 1920s, two settlements were established: Colonia Juarez, near the corner of Ward Street and Warner Avenue, was settled by Mexican farm workers; and the Helm Tract, near the intersection of Talbert Road and Magnolia Street, was primarily made up of Caucasian families who worked on the nearby farms.

In the 1950s, the town had grown to a population of 1,200, so local leaders formed an incorporation committee, first headed by Tim Talbert and later by Robert Wardlow. When incorporation reached the ballot on June 4, 1957, 91 of 160 voters voted "yes,"' putting a new city on the map. The first City Council meeting was held June 13, 1957, at the home of Ed Hoffman on Slater Avenue. Jim Kanno, a 31-year-old agricultural engineer of Japanese descent, was elected the city's first mayor and was the first Japanese-American mayor in the United States. After the city was incorporated, the 9 square miles was renamed Fountain Valley.

In the 1960s real estate agents and developers came into the area and purchased the valuable land from the farmers. By the 1970s, the city's population had grown from 10,000 to 40,000. Fountain Valley was planned community and became a model for other cities.

For several years, the city's motto was, "A city where progress shows." But in the 1980s city leaders decided the community needed some marketing materials produced for distribution and wanted a new motto. Ray Kromer, now the city's manager, went out on the street, in parks and stores and asked the residents what it meant to them to live in the city. "I heard it over and over, 'well, it's such a nice place to live' " he said.

So in 1996, council members changed the motto to "A nice place to live.''

Sent by Ricardo Valverde



May 2: Frank Martinez - His Legacy and Influence
Report of the Southwest Oral History Association (SOHA) by Dr. Roberto Calderon
Eastside high schoolers get a lesson in oral history
"A Toda Madre" Group Exhibit 

Frank Martinez - His Legacy and Influence

Saturday, May 2, 2009
6:00 - 9:00 p.m.
San Fernando Museum of Art and History
519 So. Brand Blvd.
San Fernando, CA

Admission to the Museum is free.
Entrada al Museo es Gratis.

Refreshments will be served.

This exhibit features paintings and other art works by Frank Martinez and other artists who have been influenced by Frank Martinez's artistic style: including Lalo Garcia, Sergio Hernandez, Gilbert Lujan and many more.

This was a museum and cultural arts center that was created to promote two cultural arts in the historic San Fernando area: visual art, music, dance, drama, poetry.  Information, Wed-Sun, 11-3 p.m. 818-838-6360.

Sent by Frank Sifuentes
and Armando A. Ayala, Ph.D. ,



Report of the Southwest Oral History Association (SOHA) 
in Los Angeles, California, March 26-29, 2009 
by Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.

  I had the opportunity to present at the most recent conference held by the Southwest Oral History Association (SOHA) in Los Angeles, California, March 26-29, 2009.  The conference was titled “New Destinations in Oral History.”  Most of the sessions were held at the Doheny Memorial Library at the University of Southern California and the California African American Museum (CAAM), which is adjacent to the campus.  I was greatly pleased to have met younger Chican@ historians including Virginia R. Espino who recently completed her doctorate at the Arizona State University (having worked with Vicki L. Ruiz), and Miguel M. Chávez and Leonardo Melchor-Ruesga, both of whom are near to completing their dissertations at UCLA (and are working with Juan Gómez-Quiñones).  The program’s credits indicated that Virginia is currently affiliated with the UCLA Center for Oral History Research.  Leonardo Melchor-Ruesga teaches at East Los Angeles College and Cal State LA in Chicano Studies and is a filmmaker documenting the history of Mexicans in West Los Angeles.  Miguel M. Chávez is a Social Justice Educator at UCLA and is documenting the Chicano movement in West Los Angeles.


In my session I had the privilege and honor of having been a co-presenter with Kenneth C. Burt, Political Director at the California Federation of Teachers (and a former student of Carlos Muñoz's at UC Berkeley) as well as Francisco E. Balderrama, Professor of Chicano Studies and History at California State University at Los Angeles.  It was the first time I’d had the chance to meet them and better still share the same forum.  They delivered excellent presentations.  Chairing our session was Kaye Briegel, Co-Director, Virtual Oral-Aural History Archives, at the California State University at Long Beach.  Kaye was a great chair and it was a real treat to have finally met her and share a wonderful lunch and conversation.  Apparently, not many SOHA conference participants hail from Texas and have Texas topics to present, or at least they’ve not done so in the past.  Your participation is encouraged in the future if you fit the description.  The next SOHA conference will again take place in Los Angeles during spring 2011.


According to Miguel Juárez, who acted as the conference's Program Chair, this was the most racially diverse or inclusive SOHA Conference so far as he knew, both in terms of its participants and its programmatic content.  Others who attended seemed to agree.  Miguel added that he is scheduled to begin his doctorate in history at the UT El Paso History Department this next fall 2009.  Joining him in that effort will be another future Chicano Ph.D. and historian, David Dorado Romo.  Both Miguel and David have published books in Chicano history and are seasoned scholars and activists.  Both are native Paseños and are based there now.  Present too was Dionne Espinoza, a young scholar and colleague at the California State University at Los Angeles.  The Los Angeles Times carried an article on the conference that focused on a project that Dionne and others have been conducting on the oral history of five distinguished Chicanas from East L.A.  (See, Esmeralda Bermudez, “Students Get a Lesson in Oral History.  High schoolers film a documentary about five influential women on the Eastside,” Los Angeles Times, Sunday, March 29, 2009, A35.  The link to the article’s text and photos are provided below.)


Many others were in attendance of course; these are simply some brief notes. 


We wish our friends and colleagues that we met at the SOHA in Los Angeles all the best in their current and future endeavors.  As a result of this conference SOHA succeeded in expanding its paid membership.


Finally, we came across a new book in Chicano oral history.  I thank Robert Johnson of the Cal State Fullerton Center for Oral and Public History for making me aware of this new title.  See, Charlene Riggins and Miguel A. García, eds., Forgotten Patriots: Voices of World War II Mexican American Veterans of Southern California. Preface by Judge Frederick Aguirre.  Fullerton, CA: Center for Oral and Public History, 2007.  318pp.  Paperback: ISBN 978-0-930046-23-1.  Have your campus and public libraries purchase a copy.  The publication is part of the Multicultural Publication Series edited by Michi Nishimura and Walter Weglyn.  To order copies write to: Center for Oral and Public History, Cal State Fullerton, PO Box 6846, Fullerton, CA 92834-6846. 


The last time I was in southern California was 9 ½ years ago.  At one point I spent 20 years in California, for it offered me untold opportunities that weren’t as easily found then in my native Texas.  I will always consider California my second home after Tejas, on an equal basis that is. Going back after so long and engaging some significant part of it, to me at least, was every bit better than expected.  Adelante.


Roberto R. Calderón

Historia Chicana [Historia]




Eastside high schoolers get a lesson in oral history



Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times

Ofelia Esparza, 77, a renowned artist and altar-maker, is one of the five filmed for the project. An unedited version of the documentary was showcased at the Southwest Oral History Assn. conference at USC.

A small group from Roosevelt High volunteers in a 10-month program organized by Cal State L.A. to film a documentary about five influential women in the community.

Steve Barrios knows all about passing along stories. The kind of fleeting tales that zoom through cyberspace via MySpace and e-mail recounting the latest gossip on campus.

But not until recently did the 16-year-old discover a new kind of storytelling, the ancient form of oral history. The Roosevelt High School sophomore took part in a 10-month project organized by Cal State Los Angeles that pulled students off computers and put them face to face with five female activists from across the Eastside to conduct interviews and document their histories.

Their work will be part of a 20-minute video documentary that will be archived at the university and other institutions. It is also slated to debut at the college's film festival in May. On Saturday, Barrios and others for the first time showcased an unedited version of "Las Grandes de East Los Angeles and Boyle Heights: Women as Community Builders" at the Southwest Oral History Assn. conference at USC.

The event offered a four-day series of panels highlighting community groups often overlooked in history books.

Topics included Mexican surfers in Venice, Chicano activists on the Westside, Japanese Americans in the San Fernando Valley, and gays in Oceanside and Camp Pendleton.

Baby-faced with a head full of tight curls, Barrios stood out in a room full of librarians and historians, men and women armed with PhDs and master's degrees in the art of storytelling. He is one of three remaining members of about a dozen students originally recruited from Roosevelt in July to participate in the project. Most of the teenagers were distracted by social lives, sports schedules and "other things that seemed cooler than oral history," Barrios said.

He had always wanted to know more about his Boyle Heights neighborhood but didn't know where to start until he volunteered for the video project.

"I learned a lot about the legacy of a person," Barrios said. "About stuff I'm not gonna find in books or the computer, and that I want to tell my kids about one day."

The project, paid for by the California Council for the Humanities, was led by Dionne Espinoza, an associate professor of Chicano studies and liberal studies at Cal State L.A., and Claudia Rodriguez, a writer and performer. The two chose five influential women from the Eastside, an area that has gained national attention in the past for powerful grass-roots movements organized by women.

The list includes Juana Gutierrez with Mothers of East Los Angeles Santa Isabel, a decades-old group that fights for social and environmental justice in the area; Theresa Soriano, president of Casa del Mexicano, a Boyle Heights center that reaches out to immigrants; Ofelia Esparza, a renowned artist and altar-maker; Josefina Lopez, an acclaimed playwright and founder of a community theater house; and Susana Reynoso, an influential teacher at Roosevelt High School for 15 years.

"We really wanted to draw out how women are contributing to this community," said Espinoza, who hopes that, once the project wraps up in May, the idea will be picked up and continued by a community organization.

In a separate project, the Chicano Resource Center at the county's East Los Angeles Library is launching its own oral history program with a $10,000 media grant. It will recruit high school students from across the Eastside to interview more than 100 community elders about their lives and the area's history.

Students will be taught video skills and their work will be archived at the center.

Persuading students to participate in the Cal State-organized project, sans school credit, was no easy task. Espinoza and Rodriguez launched a MySpace page promoting the idea, did presentations on campus and incorporated video into the project, rather than using an old-fashioned voice recorder.

In the interviews, the students' bashful voices can be heard asking the influential women how they reached their goals, what obstacles they faced and why they chose to continue living on the Eastside after all these years.

"People take from the community, but you also have to give back," Lopez, the playwright, explains to the teenagers.

The experience made Frances Pacheco, 17, more curious about the past and, in a way, about her future.

"If I ever get to be someone important, I want to be like that," she said. "To go back to Boyle Heights and live there, give back and enjoy the memories."


ChimMaya Gallery
5283 East Beverly Boulevard
Los Angeles, California 90022  USA
(60 Fwy exit Atlantic south 2 Blks)
(323) 869-8881
Image: "Madonna Series" c2008-9 Maria Kilcha Kane

Sent by Dorinda Moreno




Reader from Spain desires to connect with Jose Antonio Yorba descendants
Santa Barbara's 227th Birthday Celebration, April 18, 2009


Editor: Reader from Spain desires to connect with Jose Antonio Yorba descendants.

Igualada,Catalonia (Spain) 25 de abril de 2009

Soy Miquel Mula, estoy casado con una mujer (Mª Teresa)que por parte materna es descendiente de los Jorba/Yorba, tronco del que también es Jose Antonio Yorba que debido a este parentesco común hace cerca de 4 años que estoy investigando los ancestros comunes de ambos, con el resultado sorprendente y ansiado del mismo.

Puedo y quiero adelantaros algo sobre dicho estudio:
Los padres de Jose Antonio Yorba eran, Pau/Pablo Jorba Brugués nacido en la casa familiar(Uds. dirian Rancho) de los Jorba del Valle de Sant Feliu, termino municipal de Castellolí, muy cerca del pueblo homónimo de Jorba , Cataluña , cuya capital de la comarca (county) és Igualada, lugar donde resido y desde donde os escribo.

Su madre fué Doña Rosa Ferran Carbó , nacida en San Sadurní de Subirats, zonz vinícola por exelencia, y dicho pueblo está a unos 20 kms. aprox. del anterior. 

Espero que nos pongamos en contacto, porque yo estoy terminando con todo el arbol de los ancestros de Jose Antonio y me gustaría que por fín se pusiera en claro
los origenes de nuestro hombre común.

Hasta pronto.
Miquel Mula Martinez -Avenida de Barcelona, 17, 
atico-Telf. 938035467-08700-Igualada(Barcelona)



Santa Barbara's 227th Birthday Celebration
Santa Barbara Mission, April 18, 2009


The Mission in Santa Barbara is one of the original 21 missions in California. It was founded in 1786 and still functions as a church today.

Juan Bautista Alvarado was  governor of California from 1836 till 1842. He was the leader of the Californian revolt against Mexican authority. Figueroa, the legitimate governor of the province, died in September, 1835, and Chico, a very obnoxious person in the eyes of Californians, was appointed in his stead by the Mexican government, his rule was so unpopular that he was forced to retire, upon which Alvarado in November 1836, rallied a force, including sundry adventurers from the United States, and other foreigners, seized Monterey, and sent the deputy, whom Chico had left, to Mexico. Independence was formally declared, and the legislature elected Alvarado governor ad interim. Southern California remained loyal for a time; but Alvarado, partly by a show of force, and partly through shrewd diplomacy, won over Santa Barbara and Los Angelos, and in January 1837, proclaimed the whole of California free and united. In June of the same year a Mexican commissioner was sent to negotiate with the revolted provinces, but the self-made governor, with characteristic address, won him over and sent him back to plead his (Alvarado's) cause. In the meantime the Mexican government had appointed a new and somewhat warlike governor for California, without consulting Alvarado, and hostilities forthwith began. A single " battle" took place at San Buena-ventura, in which one man was killed, the Mexican forces were routed, and Alvarado was soon recognized by the central government as governor of what was then designated as the "Department of California." For two years his jurisdiction was not seriously disputed, but in 1842 the Mexican government sent a new military representative, and Alvarado was deposed. He appeared subsequently as an intriguer of some ability, but never came to the front again in the character of a successful leader. The conquest by the United States followed in time to prevent further instances of the local tendency to revolution.

Source of information:
Reenactor of Governor Alvarado,  portrayed by Louis Lopez 

The Queen of Santa Barbara with her mother, Margarita Villa, cousins, aunt, her uncle.  

Photos sent by Bob Smith, descendant of many Early California families.


New Mexico youtube video entitled Somos Primos
Lineage Society for Descendants of Early Settlers of Spanish and Mexican Land Grants
Western Paintings
Migrations of Jewish People Through History - Including the New World by Louis Serna
Trementina, New Mexico website by Henrietta Martinez Christmas
190th Anniversary Postmark of the La Joya Land Grant
Letter to New Mexico from Walt Whitman, The Spanish element in our Nationality
Diversity will be celebrated: Annual First Thanksgiving re-enactment a highlight
Thomas Gilcrease and His Western Museum
New Spain, the Frontiers of Faith by Stanley Hordes, Ph.D.
Southwest's Mexican Roots, Untold Stores by David E. Hayes-Bautista
Spanish Cordillera was Forerunner of the Pony Express by Richard G. Santos
Editor: The City of Santa Fe, New Mexico in its celebration of its 400 year history has produced a youtube video.  In emphasizing their family connections to Mexico, they have borrowed from Somos Primos with its title and its theme of  Somos Primos . .   Congratulations to Santa Fe leadership for spreading our mission message, we are cousins.


Lineage Society for Descendants of Early Settlers 
of Spanish and Mexican Land Grants
August 20, 2008
The following announcement was written by the Early Settlers of Spanish and Mexican Land Grants:

HOUSTON, TEXAS - Organizers announced today the formation of a lineage society for Early Settlers of Spanish and Mexican Land Grants (ESSMLG). This is the first national lineage society that recognizes and preserves the contributions of the Spanish / Latino culture in the early settlement of the United States. Even before Jamestown was founded and the Pilgrims landed, Texas and the southwestern U.S. were being explored. By the 1600s there was a rich Spanish culture in place. The early settlers of the southwestern U.S. included such diverse groups as Spaniards, Canary Islanders, French, Irish, English, Scots, Jewish, German, Dutch, Portuguese, and Native Americans from both sides of the present day U.S.-Mexico border. Much of the early history of this area is barely taught in schools where the curriculum emphasizes the early English settlement of the eastern U.S.

The mission of ESSMLG is to research, preserve, and promote the lost history, heritage, and culture of the early settlers on Spanish and Mexican grants in land now part of the United States of America. It is the first national lineage society formed:

- to recognize the important contributions of those early settlers from whom our Spanish-speaking culture evolved,
- with a board-certified genealogist confirming all member applications meet accepted genealogical standards,
- with a DNA component for ground-breaking scholarly research and to link family groups,
- and with an all-digital research library.

The official launch of ESSMLG will be at the 29th Annual Texas State Hispanic Genealogical and Historical Conference in Nacogdoches, Texas on 28-31 August 2008 (see  for more information).

Membership in ESSMLG is open to all who have established their lineage to a person who received or was associated with a Spanish or Mexican land grant in an area that is now part of the United States of America, prior to the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848. Descendant and Junior Descendant (under age 18) membership categories are available. Supporting members are limited, non-voting individuals, businesses, or companies who wish to invest in the success and future of the ESSMLG.

Lineages Verified By Board-Certified Genealogist
ESSMLG is the first lineage society formed with a board-certified genealogist verifying the lineages of member applications before approval.

Database And Digital Library
The society administers a database of fully-substantiated lineages of early settlers to assist people in locating their ancestors and documenting their family history. The database includes traditional genealogical records as well as DNA profiles of selected members to confirm and support family links.

In addition to preserving family historical documents in our all-digital research library, the society supports the preservation of historical records from Mexico and in American counties where land grants were made by the Spanish and Mexican governments. This digital library will be available online to members in the future.

All documents used as proof in lineage society applications are digitized and available through our digital library. The society actively seeks documents related to the early settlers from both sides of the present day U.S.-Mexico border and supports the preservation of historical records from Mexico and in American counties where land grants were made by the Spanish and Mexican governments.

DNA Project
The goal of the DNA project is to investigate the roots of the original settlers on lands granted by the Spanish and Mexican governments in Texas and other parts of the U.S. The DNA signatures will be compared to others to confirm ethnic origins suggested by traditional genealogical research.

As the DNA database grows it will be used to help determine a person's probable ancestry by finding matches within the database when a documented genealogy is difficult to confirm with a paper trail. This DNA project is not limited to any particular surname, all descendants of ESSMLG are invited to participate.

ESSMLG offers a group rate for DNA testing at Family Tree DNA. We accept results from other testing companies and add them to our database for members who may have tested at other laboratories. The society provides DNA scholarships for key lineage links. The DNA Director approves scholarships based on current project needs.

Early Settlers of Spanish and Mexican Land Grants is a Domestic Nonprofit Corporation organized under the laws of the State of Texas. The organizing board consists of members of well-known Hispanic families who are descendants of early settlers of Spanish and Mexican land grants in the southwest Texas area.

Carolyn Ybarra is the President of the Board of Directors. Ybarra holds a Ph.D. in anthropology from Stanford University. She is a professional genealogist and principal of Family Research Services, who conducts historical research on movement across the United States by land and sea. Dr. Ybarra is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists, and teaches memoir writing and family history. She has attended the Samford Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research. She is active in several nonprofits supporting individuals with developmental disabilities, and has lectured on genetically-inherited conditions. Her Ybarra and Garza ancestors settled in the Rio Grande Valley by the mid-19th century.

Dee Dee King, Certified Genealogist, is the Executive Director and Registrar for the society. King is a professional researcher, publisher, and lecturer specializing in forensic genealogy services and kinship determination in heirship matters. She has edited and published 86 genealogical products on CD-ROM. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists (APG) and was founding president of the Lone Star Chapter APG. She has completed Samford's Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research Advanced Methodology and Analysis Course.

Debbie Parker Wayne is the DNA Director and Webmaster for the society. Wayne is a professional genealogist who spent over 25 years in the computer industry and has been doing genealogical research for more than eighteen years. She has been interested in DNA research since the beginning of the Human Genome Project and has closely studied the use of DNA in genealogical research. She is a member of the Association of Professional Genealogists and an officer in the Lone Star Chapter APG. She has completed several courses at Samford's Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research, including the Advanced Methodology and Analysis course and the Advanced Library Research: Law Libraries and Government Documents course.  is the Web address for the ESSMLG Web site.  contains contact information for the society and directors.

About Other Entities

Board for Certification of Genealogists® is a registered service mark, and the following are service marks for the Board for Certification of Genealogists ( Certified Genealogist, CG, and Certified Genealogical Lecturer, CGL. These service marks are used under license by associates who meet prescribed genealogical competency standards.

The Association of Professional Genealogists (, established in 1979, represents over 1,800 genealogists and others involved in genealogy-related businesses. The organization also supports the preservation and accessibility of records useful to the fields of genealogy, local, and social history. Its members represent all fifty states, Canada, and twenty-six other countries.

The Samford Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR) ( provides an educational forum for the discovery, critical evaluation, and use of genealogical sources and methodology through intensive study led by nationally prominent genealogical educators. The institute is academically and professionally oriented and is cosponsored by the Board for Certification of Genealogists.

Family Tree DNA ( and other cooperative ventures, including the National Geographic Society's Genographic Project and, now comprise the largest non-medical DNA testing program in the world. Family Tree DNA was founded in 2000 by Mr. Bennett Greenspan, an entrepreneur and life-long genealogy enthusiast, turning a hobby into a full-time vocation. His effort and innovation created the burgeoning field now known as genetic genealogy. With over 200,000 records, Family Tree DNA has the largest database of its kind in the world.

Sent by Lorri Frain



Western Paintings




"Migrations of Jewish People Through History - 
Including the New World"
Louis Serna

Just a reminder that I will be doing another lecture / PowerPoint presentation on the subject of "Migrations of Jewish People Through History - Including the New World".

Dr. Otero of the Olive Tree Sephardic Center at 2621 Cagua NE, Albuquerque, NM, has kindly invited me to speak to the congregation at 7:00 PM on Friday, May 1st. (Cross streets are one block west of San Pedro & Menaul)  The public is invited and the presentation is free. 
I will cover the period of the earliest migrations of the Jews from the Fertile Crescent in the Middle East, in the period of Pre-4000 BC and how, over the next 2000 years, they populated Spain and other European countries. During the period of King Solomon's reign in 1200 BC, he built a huge navy known in the Bible as the "Navy of Tharshish"... during this time he and the Phoenician King Hiram joined forces and their navies sailed out of the Mediterranean to great distances, including to the New World, the southwest, and New Mexico..! I cover all the evidence of the sailings and why there are so many artifacts found in the United States, clearly indicating, that those Middle Easterner visitors were here long before Columbus or the Spanish in 1492 and 1519..! There is much more to show the obvious connection of the Jews to the Spanish of New Mexico.  
This is the third in a series of presentations on this subject that I have done in Albuquerque over the past several months. I will be doing a fourth presentation for the Israeli Independence Day Celebration, Sephardic Awareness Conference on May 16, at 2:00 PM. More information to follow on this presentation.
I hope to see you on May 1st.  
Louis Serna



Trementina, New Mexico

Henrietta Martinez Christmas


Editor: Recommended website:
Wonderful resource for New Mexico researchers in the late period.
The evolution of Trementina is somewhat complex in that various obstacles kept stepping in the way to the folks who eventually settled here.  The water was being contaminated by the wool-washing and the pickling of railroad ties in the Las Vegas area. Water was unfit to drink and scum was left on plants which were affected after irrigation.  The usage of communal land was being fenced off and the land grants were being sold to outsiders.  Making a living became quite difficult as they could not grow enough crops nor raise their sheep and cattle on such little land.   Their conversion to Presbyterianism was also a roadblock to their happiness at Los Valles. 
Trementina sits on what would be considered public domain. So when these settlers from Los Valles couldn’t make a living there, they drove their sheep east following the river and started grazing in this area.  As this practice continued year after year, the men started bringing their families, and soon a village emerged. 
In the meantime, in the village of La Aguila, a Miss Blake and Evangelist Teofilo Tafaya would come during Christmas.  Miss Blake taught at La Aguila, but that would soon end. In July 1901, she opened the first Trementina school.  She was not alone as these pioneers had come from Los Valles de San Agustin and had built a school there.  Four of the founding members had been ordained in Los Valles in 1887; they were Pablo Madrid, Noberto Jaramillo, Abran Salzar and Romulo Blea.   All four lived long lives and were the mainstays of their families.  Miss Blake felt they strengthened the Protestant movement.  Later a younger member, Cecilio Valverde made a difference in this community. 
La Aguila:  the Francis Ray Mission was opened in 1889.  This small town was situated on the Antonio Ortiz Grant. Due to the sale of land, La Aguila became deserted rather quickly after the turn of the century.  Miss Blake came to La Aguila in 1887, the school was closed in 1902.  She was asked to divide her time between here and Trementina; never returning to La Aguila. 
Homes and buildings: Flagstone is so plentiful in Trementina that you are never without building material.  All the homes are flagstone with plastered mud inside and out. The corrals, outhouses, dispensas, churches, etc are all built the same. Wood is plentiful on the mesas and were used for vigas, latillas, and poles around corrals.  A bell for the church was a gift and from the crate they made a desk for Miss Blake.   The Jaramillos were excellent stonemasons and could put a home up in three days.
Church: The church was built by Reverend Jose Emiterio Cruz, he was a master carpenter and builder. He had previous dealing with Miss Blake in Buena Vista.  The church seated 150 and was started with $300.  The church was also the schoolhouse.  In 1916 the church/schoolhouse burned down. Because it was built from flagstone, large portions were reusable.   This second reconstruction was done and soon the church was dedicated to Santiago and Juana Blea. 
Medical care: In those days, medical care most heavily relied on the mother or curandera of the day to remedy the ailments.  Miss Blake taught the Trementina folks about sanitation and hygiene, basic first aid and mid-wife duties.  Malaria and tuberculosis were constant scourges. In October 1905 the small town was hit by diphtheria.  A doctor was sent for in Las Vegas and he came and administered anti-toxin to 36 persons; Miss Blake would also catch this dreaded disease, but recovered. 
In 1910 typhoid fever broke out, the folks began boiling their water.  Later a community well would be constructed with a windmill.  They understood why this was important and kept the well under good repair.  
Infirmary: A two-bed hospital was erected across from the church.  Now folks were more readily treated and communicable diseases were isolated. Doctor’s traveled here to treat the seriously ill. 
Mission house:  This is where Miss Blake eventually lived.  It consisted of a fellowship hall, audience or parlor room, 2 classrooms and a kitchen. Again Reverend Jose Emiterio Cruz was asked to return and help with the construction. 
Laundry: Trementina can boast that at one time there was a community laundry.  
Schooling:  Almost all the children of Trementina attended school at one time or another. The class room was one roomed and taught by Miss Blake.  By March 1902, 40 kids were enrolled. Very early in their childhoods, these kids learned English and maintained their native language of Spanish.  Around 1919, a community school had been built about 4 miles from town.  Here the upper classes were maintained to 8th grade.  The school children would graduate from here and then move on to high school in Albuquerque or Santa Fe, respectively, Menaul or Allison-James. 
Gym and saloon:  Although some records mention a gym, it was never built.  As for the saloon, none was ever built in the town, but one old-timer mentions a man living on the mesa who sold moonshine. 
Location:  Trementina is east of Las Vegas on NM 104/65, probably around 50 miles.  When one drives east from Las Vegas, you can see the mesas and the vast open land.  These landscapes were home to the buffalo, Comanche and Apaches.  The elevation drops about 1000 feet and you are now in a more dry desert part of New Mexico.  
WWI and WWII:  Many of the Trementina boys enlisted and served their country well.  Some did not return but many did.  After WWII, the town became somewhat sparsely populated as these men who returned took their families to the cities to make a living.
First Settlers:  First Settled about 1870.  Sheep ranchers grazed in the area from other settlements near Los Valles de San Agustin, Chaperito and La Liendre.  The first settlers were Presbyterians running from religious persecution.  They had fled two other settlements, Los Valles de San Agustin and La Aguila.  They eventually built a prospering community, church and schools within Trementina.
Census:  Look in San Miguel County starting around 1880.  Trementina Precinct 48.
Ghost Town:  Trementina has been a ghost town since the Korean War.  After WWII, several families left to the city to make a living.  The ranchers and farmers that stayed behind left descendants that still live in outlying areas.  
Ancestors:  If you have ancestors in Trementina, they probably came from Chaperito, Los Valles de San Agustin, Anton Chico, San Miguel del Bado or Las Vegas.  These are located within San Miguel County.  
Church Records:  Visit the Catholic Church of Chaperito- San Isidro; Nuestra Dolores - Las Vegas, Anton Chico and San Miguel del Bado churches.  The Spanish Presbyterian Church located in Las Vegas also has records.  
Cemeteries:  there are at least a few cemeteries within the area.  One is Presbyterian and located over the hill from Trementina, the other is in the opposite direction and is Catholic.  Other nearby cemeteries are at Arroyo de Las Conchas and Variadero.
Post Office:  In 1901 the post office was established, the first postmaster was Martin Gurule.
We are starting to gather death records and obituaries from prior Trementina Descendants.  They will be added to as we come upon them.  Records and Obituaries
Send mail to with questions or comments about this web site.
Copyright © 2000 Henrietta Martinez Christmas
Last modified: January 28, 2009






On May 25th, 1819, Carlos Gavaldó (Gabaldón), attorney and a resident of Nuestra Señora de los Dolores de Sebilleta in the name at the request of all the residents of that place, petitioned Miquel (Miguel) Aragón, Alcalde Mayor of the Jurisdiction of Belén, for a Land Grant.


On May 29th, 1819, Don Facundo Melgares, the Spanish Governor for the Province of Nuevo Méjico, acting for Carlos IV, King of Spain, issued the grant called “Sevilleta de la Joya” and directed the Alcalde Mayor to place the parties in possession, designate their boundaries and return the completed documents for recordation.


The USPS will honor the 190th Anniversary of the issuance of the Sevilleta de la Joya Land Grant with a Special Pictorial Postmark. The La Joya Post Office will be using the Special Pictorial Postmark on all outgoing mail on May 29, 2009.


Anyone wishing to obtain this postmark should affix a stamp to any envelope or postcard with at least the minimum First-Class Mail® postage (44¢ for envelopes and 28¢ for postcards) and addressed to themselves or others.  Place the envelope/s (SASE) and/or postcard/s in a larger envelope and address it to: Pictorial Postmark, La Joya Post Office, La Joya, NM 87028-9998.  Requests must be postmarked no later than 30 days following the requested pictorial postmark date.   Do not seal the SASE, but tuck in the flap.  Customers can also send stamped envelopes and postcards without addresses for postmark, as long as they supply a larger envelope with adequate postage and their return address.


La Joya Postal Clerk, Sarah Rivera de Córdova, who is a direct descendant of at least 7 Sevilleta de la Joya Grantees, suggests sending a No. 10 business size envelope with a small sized stamp to leave room for the 2-inch high by 4-inch long pictorial postmark before May 29th, 2009.  All requests received before May 29th, would be sent out on the 29th of May.  For further information, you can call the La Joya Post Office at (505) 861-5708 during office hours of M-F 8:30am to 3:00pm & Sat. 8:30am to 12:00 noon.

Sent by Sam Quito


Letter to New Mexico from Walt Whitman




   [Our friends at Santa Fé, New Mexico, have just finish'd their long drawn out anniversary of the 333d year of the settlement of their city by the Spanish. The good, gray Walt Whitman was asked to write them a poem in commemoration. Instead he wrote them a letter as follows: -- Philadelphia Press, August 5, 1883.]


   CAMDEN, NEW JERSEY, July 20, 1883.

To Messrs. Griffin, Martinez, Prince, and other Gentlemen at Santa Fé:


   DEAR SIRS: -- Your kind invitation to visit you and deliver a poem for the 333d Anniversary of founding Santa Fé has reach'd me so late that I have to decline, with sincere regret. But I will say a few words off hand.


   We Americans have yet to really learn our own antecedents, and sort them, to unify them. They will be found ampler than has been supposed, and in widely different sources. Thus far, impress'd by New England writers and schoolmasters, we tacitly abandon ourselves to the notion that our United States have been fashion'd from the British Islands only, and essentially form a second England only -- which is a very great mistake. Many leading traits for our future national personality, and some of the best ones, will certainly prove to have originated from other than British stock. As it is, the British and German, valuable as they are in the concrete, already threaten excess. Or rather, I should say, they have certainly reach'd that excess. To-day, something outside of them, and to counterbalance them, is seriously needed.


   The seething materialistic and business vortices of the United States, in their present devouring relations, controlling and belittling everything else, are, in my opinion, but a vast and indispensable stage in the new world's development, and are certainly to be follow'd by something entirely different -- at least by immense modifications. Character, literature, a society worthy the name, are yet to be establish'd, through a nationality of noblest spiritual, heroic and democratic attributes -- not one of which at present definitely exists -- entirely different from the past, though unerringly founded on it, and to justify it.


   To that composite American identity of the future, Spanish character will supply some of the most needed parts. No stock shows a grander historic retrospect -- grander in religiousness and loyalty, or for patriotism, courage, decorum, gravity and honor. (It is time to dismiss utterly the illusion-compound, half raw-head-and-bloody-bones and half Mysteries-of-Udolpho, inherited from the English writers of the past 200 years. It is time to realize -- for it is certainly true -- that there will not be found any more cruelty, tyranny, superstition, &c., in the résumé of past Spanish history than in the corresponding résumé of Anglo-Norman history. Nay, I think there will not be found so much.


   Then another point, relating to American ethnology, past and to come, I will here touch upon at a venture. As to our aboriginal or Indian population -- the Aztec in the South, and many a tribe in the North and West -- I know it seems to be agreed that they must gradually dwindle as time rolls on, and in a few generations more leave only a reminiscence, a blank. But I am not at all clear about that. As America, from its many far-back sources and current supplies, develops, adapts, entwines, faithfully identifies its own -- are we to see it cheerfully accepting and using all the contributions of foreign lands from the whole outside globe -- and then rejecting the only ones distinctively its own -- the autochthonic ones?


   As to the Spanish stock of our Southwest, it is certain to me that we do not begin to appreciate the splendor and sterling value of its race element. Who knows but that element, like the course of some subterranean river, dipping invisibly for a hundred or two years, is now to emerge in broadest flow and permanent action?


   If I might assume to do so, I would like to send you the most cordial, heartfelt congratulations of your American fellow-countrymen here. You have more friends in the Northern and Atlantic regions than you suppose, and they are deeply interested in the development of the great Southwestern interior, and in what your festival would arouse to public attention. Very respectfully, &c.,


Luis Brandtner




Diversity will be celebrated: 
Annual First Thanksgiving re-enactment a highlight

By Darren Meritz / El Paso Times, 4/20/2009 



Dancers Aurora Vasquez, left, and Mykl Rodriguez performed during the 2007 First Thanksgiving celebration. The celebration this weekend will include panel discussions about Spanish exploration of the El Paso region. (Times file photo)
EL PASO -- San Elizario again is preparing to recreate the arrival of Spanish settlers to the American Southwest but this year will offer El Pasoans a glimpse at the broad swath of cultures that have settled and lived in the Lower Valley over the years.
Organizers with the El Paso Mission Trail Association are making a fervent push this year to frame the First Thanksgiving as a celebration of the diverse culture and ethnicities that have found a place in San Elizario history.
The theme for the First Thanksgiving is "A Tapestry of Cultures: the Illumination of Colors."
The two-day festival this weekend at the San Elizario Plaza includes a slate of speakers Friday and a dance presentation and music, followed by panel discussions Saturday, the historic re-enactment of controversial explorer Don Juan de Oñate's passage through El Paso, and then a celebration including music, food, art and dance.
The First Thanksgiving is intended to highlight the contributions the Spanish brought to the Americas instead of focusing on divisive elements of Oñate's storied history in El Paso and throughout the Southwest, said Connie Vasquez, a board member of the El Paso Mission Trail Association.
The Spanish can be credited for bringing horsemanship, language, religion and science to the Southwest in large part because of Oñate's exploration, Vasquez said.
"We haven't had a conference before, so most people didn't understand why this celebration of Don Juan de Oñate is important," she said.
Oñate has been regarded as a complex historical figure. Despite his travels through El Paso, he was considered by some accounts to be a tyrant who subjected the Native Americans in New Mexico to violence and torture.
Vasquez said the First Thanksgiving this year would emphasize reconciliation.
This year, several indigenous groups, including the Mansos, the Piros, the Tara humara and the Apaches, will make presentations alongside representatives from Western cultures who have been rooted in the Lower Valley since Oñate first caravaned through the El Paso region in 1598.
The First Thanksgiving celebration this year also includes a two-day conference, where scholars and other historical experts will discuss the influences of the American Southwest.
Folded into this year's conference and celebration will be presentations from the Turkish American Center of El Paso and of Club España, which will examine the United Nations' Alliance of Nations, an effort to foster healing and tolerance among peoples.
Efrain Mendoza, president of the El Paso Mission Trail Association, said the First Thanksgiving celebration is designed to illustrate the various perspectives on the long history of the El Paso region.
"We have a wonderful mix of cultures here, and that's where the conference comes from," he said.
"I think it's going to evolve into a cultural celebration, rather than a First Thanksgiving celebration, involving the whole community."
Darren Meritz may be reached at; 546-6127.

Sent by Connie Vasquez who writes:

During my down time in El Paso, as a member of the El Paso Mission Trail I helped organize this conference. With the contacts I have made, I got the Houston Turkish Consulate to send me a representative from El Paso and initiate El Paso as one of the communitties that will participate in the UN initiatve Alliance of Civilizations....spearheaded by Turkey and Spain. And I also got the Thanksgiving Center of Dallas, Texas who I went to, in one of our visits, to send the Executive Director who has become a personal friend since then, to come to El Paso and see the celebration since they are the National Thanksgiving Center of the Country and they were not aware of our historical significance.. My Mom is hosting her since I am in Moyock.

Maybe next year one of our international groups can attend the celebration which will always be the last weekend in April.....

This is the first time that the Piro, Manso and Lipan Apache representatives of Texas are highlighted together with the Tarahumara Raramuri tribe of Chihuahua, The Tiguas declined our invitation, they are still not ready to let go of the bitterness of the conquest 400 years ago in our area....since the Spaniards arrived in 1598 to the banks of the Rio Grande..

I just wanted to say that not only the visitors benefit but us ELOs and interpreters can take advantage of meeting so many people throughout the country and use those contacts to better our communities. 


From the Diamond in the Desert and the First Thanksgiving of the Southwest.......El Paso and San Elizario, Texas USA.......

Travel Tours

Travel with us for edu-taining adventures like no other! Educated travelers relish 
having the scholarly expertise, field experience, and personal knowledge of Arizona State Museum archaeologists and historians at their disposal.

Example of a day trip:
Sunday, November 8, 2009

Southern Arizona's Ranching Heritage Learning Expedition, hosted by Arizona State Museum's Office of Ethnohistorical Research
Travel with ASM ethnohistorians Diana Hadley, Michael Brescia, and Dale Brenneman and guest scholar, restoration ecologist Conor Flynn, for a day-long exploration of southern Arizona's ranching heritage. Visit four historic sites (Empire Ranch, Babocómari Ranch, Audubon-Whittell Research Ranch, WildEarth Guardians' State Land Restoration Project) and learn about the history of cattle ranching in southern Arizona, current efforts to preserve our ranching heritage, and the implementation of new methods to maintain/restore healthy ecological function to grasslands and watersheds. $150, $120 ASM members

Learn about:

  • the land-management practices of the Native Americans who occupied the land at the time the Europeans arrived
  • the varieties of livestock that traveled northward with Spanish and Mexican missionaries and settlers
  • the large tracts of rangeland issued through Spanish and Mexican land grants
  • the implications of Spanish water law for landowners today
  • the range management practices of Spanish and Mexican ranchers
  • the lives of southern Arizona’s early homesteaders and pioneer ranchers
  • the variety of range management strategies being practiced today
  • how ranchers have adapted to recent years of severe drought and how they plan to deal with climate change


Site sent by Monica Herrera Smith




How Creek Indian number 1501 repaid a debt
by Walter Karp


August 1902 a twelve-year-old farm boy named Thomas Gilcrease, being one-eighth Creek Indian on his mother’s side, received a 160-acre allotment in the land of the Creek Nation, one of the Five Civilized Tribes, which occupied what yet remained of Indian Territory in America. Not long before, by act of Congress, the Creeks had ceased to be a self-governing tribe. By 1907 Indian Territory had become the eastern half of the new state of Oklahoma, and forty-two oil rigs were pumping high-grade petroleum out from under Tom Gilcrease’s land, which, by sheer good fortune, sat atop one of the greatest oil strikes in American history, Oklahoma’s fabulous Glenn Pool. Some thirty-two years after that, Thomas Gilcrease, wealthy oilman, began collecting paintings, sketches, artifacts, weapons, costumes, maps, books, and manuscripts bearing on the American West and the American Indian. He went at it so swiftly, so avidly, and so recklessly that in 1954 the city of Tulsa had to take over his incomparable collection in order to shield it from his creditors. Thomas Gilcrease’s lucky Indian allotment had acted on him like some long-delayed time bomb, one whose powerful force and curious timing were very much on my mind when I visited the Gilcrease Museum, which nestles on a well-landscaped hill three miles northwest of downtown Tulsa, self-styled “Oil Capital of the World.”

Like downtown Tulsa, the museum’s modern, low-slung building is handsome, brand-new, and a trifle impersonal, but a few yards to one side of it stands an old stone house that Tom Gilcrease lived in, on and off, for nearly fifty years. Lodged in the hillside itself is Gilcrease’s tomb, which also contains the remains of his mother, who lived on the hilltop until her death in 1935, and those of his father, who was murdered in his country store one night back in 1913. Both house and tomb are powerful reminders that the Gilcrease Museum, despite its modern building and its municipal status, is the highly personal handiwork of a single man. The staff people refer to him as Mr. Gilcrease as though he were still sitting on the stone house’s porch, feeding his birds, looking out on the Osage Hills in the distance, and grumbling over “gawkers” who came to his hilltop museum without comprehending the treasures he had laid before them.

At heart it is the American Indian whom the Gilcrease honors. 
And what treasures are on display in the museum’s broad, spacious galleries! There are the incomparable Indian portraits of George Catlin and the delicate genre scenes of Alfred Jacob Miller, the first white artists to lay eyes on the central Rocky Mountains; the breathless panoramas of Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran; the gaunt, galloping horsemen of Frederic Remington; and the brave, feckless Montana cowhands of Charles Russell, the “cowboy artist.” Connoisseurs have called the Gilcrease Museum America’s finest repository of the art of the Old West, and visitors have no cause to doubt them.

In this great repository a splendid array of trappers, settlers, soldiers, and cowboys passes in review, but at heart it is the American Indian whom the Gilcrease Museum honors, though not in a partisan or sentimental way. In the art of the museum Indians are simply there, inescapable protagonists in the turbulent story of the West. They were noble Romans to the painters of the 1820s and heroic primitives to Catlin in the 1830s. In bloodier decades they appeared as heathen barbarians, stealthy hunters, and mortal enemies and finally as a race broken by defeat yet still disturbing, anomalous, and not a little unearthly. American Indians had been something, not nothing. That is the message, tacit and subliminal, that the Gilcrease Museum conveys and surely was meant to convey, for more than anything else the hilltop museum on the outskirts of Tulsa is one man’s private act of restitution—and, to judge by his life, perhaps an act of repentance as well.

One-eighth Indian by birth, Thomas Gilcrease was much more than that by upbringing. His parents had seen to that when they settled in the Creek Nation subdivision of Indian Territory in 1890, the year Tom Gilcrease was born. The eldest of fourteen children, he lived as other children of Indian Territory lived: farming, hunting, and intermittently attending rude Indian schools “whenever I could go,” as he later put it. His childhood was harsh and toilsome: “When I was four my father taught me how to build fires, carry water and feed the livestock. At the age of six I was taken to the corn fields where I hoed. When the work in the field was done for the day, I would return to the house and help my mother churn, wash the clothes and cook. I might have been in the way some but I helped her. When 1 reached my eighth birthday I was given the opportunity to plow, plant and harvest. …”

He toiled in a fast-dying world. In 1896 the Five Civilized Tribes were ordered by Congress to compile a roll of their members in preparation for dividing the tribal land into individual holdings and consigning the tribes themselves to oblivion. At the age of nine the slightly built, sandy-haired Tom Gilcrease, who bore no physical resemblance to the American Indian, became part of the Creek Nation with membership roll number 1505, a lucky number, indeed, rather like the winning ticket in a lottery. Tom Gilcrease was eleven years old when Creek Indian full bloods rose up angrily to demand independence for the dying Creek Nation on the eve of the division of its land. He was fifteen when the desperate leaders of the Five Civilized Tribes called upon the United States to establish Indian Territory as the state of Sequoyah instead of turning it into eastern Oklahoma. Petitions, protests, calls for defiance all proved vain, as usual.

“Young Gilcrease saw his people thus disintegrate,” the Tulsa Daily World was to report in 1946. “He dreamed about giving the Indian a chance to retrieve his latent race pride.” That is how the great collector remembered his youth four decades later, but in fact, Thomas Gilcrease grew more and more estranged from American Indians during those years of disintegration, and it was the Glenn Pool oil royalties he gained as Creek Indian number 1505 that allowed him to go his own way.

That did not happen all at once. With his first royalties in hand, the seventeen-year-old Gilcrease sent himself for a term to Bacone Indian School in nearby Muskogee. There he met, and in 1908 married, a fellow student named Belle Harlow, a member of the Osage tribe, whose oil-rich lands just north of the Creeks were by 1921 to make the Usages the richest ethnic group, per capita, in the world. The affluent young couple settled in Osage country, and Tom Gilcrease took up ranching, though not without casting eager glances at nearby Tulsa, where wildcatters and lease brokers, shysters and sharpers made millions, lost millions, and talked millions night and day in the lobbies of the boom town’s brand-new hotels. “The fervor for wealth … began to take hold of Tom Gilcrease,” noted his friend and biographer, a Tulsa lawyer named David Randolph Milsten, now in his eighty-seventh year. The ambitious young man tried his hand at banking and then began dabbling in oil leases on his own. A month after his father’s murder—as if to wipe off that sordid stain—Gilcrease bought the stone house and the fine hilltop property and turned the future museum site into a beautiful park-like estate.

With his first oil royalties, young Gilcrease sent himself to school. 
The farm boy from Indian Territory became a polished man of the world. The cowboy regalia he had worn as a rancher gave way to natty double-breasted suits, and his quarter horses to smart little roadsters and later to a chauffeur-driven Packard, as befitted the president of the Gilcrease Oil Company. Drawn to Old World culture, he spent nearly half a year touring the Mediterranean from Algiers to Athens with his own personal guide. He scoured the art galleries of New York City so avidly that his wife would fall back exhausted and return to their hotel room alone. She was to recall this four decades later, perhaps because such episodes perfectly epitomized her marriage to a gifted, ambitious man who was leaving her behind in every way—they divorced in 1924—just as he was leaving behind all the rusticities of the now-defunct Indian Territory.

Oil-rich Oklahoma Indians were producing national laughingstocks during the 1920s. The nation’s newspapers carried countless stories of such figures of fun as the Creek Indian woman who spent a fortune buying blooded cattle only to slaughter a prize bull when she happened to want some beef. Americans chuckled over the Creek Indian from Muskogee who took a seven-hundred-mile taxicab ride to see the Chicago stockyards and another Creek Indian who reportedly bought two phonographs because he owned two records. If Thomas Gilcrease felt ashamed of such folly and ignorance or grew angry over the mockery they inspired, he gave no outward sign of it in the 1920s. The opposite may well have been true during those booming, acquisitive years. Of this there is no direct evidence, because a veil hangs over the business activities of the Gilcrease Oil Company and its millionaire president. Nevertheless, there are those who believe—so I was told—that were the veil parted, there would be seen the figure of Creek tribal member number 1505 among those who practiced sharply on Indians with oil leases to sell.

Then, in 1927, Tom Gilcrease fell furiously in love with an eighteen-year-old beauty named Norma Des Cygne Smallwood and joined the ranks of the oil-rich laughingstocks. Norma Smallwood was not only a beauty but a celebrated beauty queen, Miss America 1926 and a former Miss Tulsa as well. Standing behind her was her ambitious, pushing mother, author of a little book called Magic Power—Beauty. The two together had the unmistakable air of adventurers about them. As David Milsten remarked to me in his careful lawyerly way, “There was not that much reason for Norma to marry Tom Gilcrease without the presence of wealth.”

Age apart, Gilcrease was a difficult man, self-absorbed, secretive, and painfully sparing with words. His wit was keen but sardonic, as when he described a bullfight in Madrid as “bulls, matadors, picadors & horses all mixed up together. They all got the worst of it.” His temper was sharp and caustic. When someone asked him, “How did you get your money?” Gilcrease curtly replied, “I didn’t get it; it came to me.” He was, says Milsten, a withdrawn and puzzling figure who “often lived in an imaginary country of his own.” As the Texas historian J. Frank Dobie was to say of Gilcrease, “The longer I knew him, the more he gave me the impression of having made not only long journeys to lone places on this earth but of longer voyages into deep and lone places within himself.” Altogether he was an uncomfortable sort of person, evidently made attractive to a reigning beauty and her ubiquitous mother by three million dollars in personal assets and an outwardly meek and gentle manner.

In 1927 Tom Gilcrease fell furiously in love with a beauty queen. 
The danger signals went unheeded. Gilcrease was far too infatuated with the teen-aged beauty whom all America, as it were, had chosen to honor. He was infatuated, too, with Pygmalion-like visions of their happy future state: he and Norma living part of each year in Europe steeping themselves in Old World culture and strenuous programs of self-improvement, Norma’s especially. In September 1928 the two were married in Tulsa; nine months later a daughter was born to them, and shortly thereafter the Gilcrease family took up residence in a large, luxurious Paris flat.

The situation held the elements of farce. For his own self-improvement Gilcrease found an informal tutor—and lifelong adviser—in Dr. Robert Lee Humber of North Carolina, who taught him French history while the two men walked through Paris streets, gardens, parks, and palaces. Norma’s program was far more onerous: French lessons from eight to nine-thirty; Spanish lessons from ten to eleven-thirty; art lessons after lunch, “with English studies added in the evening,” she recalled, which ended “around the first of June in 1930,” when she threw over her studies and soon enough much else in her marriage to Gilcrease. While she toured the Continent with her mother, Gilcrease was scourged by jealousy: Who were the two men who assisted her and her mother when their car broke down en route to Geneva? Why, on her return to America, did she have cocktails with the ship’s captain?

From Paris Gilcrease wrote Norma pathetic lovelorn letters, piling question on pleading question: “Do I please you? If so in what manner? Do I displease you? If so, in what manner? Can I do anything to make you happier? If so what is it?” And so on and on, quite in vain. Norma’s response, says Milsten, was “complete indifference.” The couple began living apart for long months at a stretch. Gilcrease stayed mainly in Paris, where he opened an investment company on the Champs Elysées. Norma lived in the stone house on the hilltop, a voluptuous grass widow attended by her mother, who encouraged her daughter to spend lavishly, throw parties, have fun. Gilcrease tried to remove the author of Magic Power—Beauty from his property, but he failed even there. Marriage to the former Miss America became a nightmare of private betrayal and public humiliation. Finally, in October 1933, Gilcrease filed for divorce from his wife on grounds of “extreme cruelty and gross neglect of duty,” with his mother-in-law as a secondary defendant. Norma counter-sued, and the stage was set for a bitter struggle. The Gilcrease divorce trial lasted from April 17 until May 2, 1934; eighty-four witnesses were called to the stand, private detectives included. The whole proceeding was “more sordid than anything you can imagine,” says Milsten, and the local papers, eager to follow the career of Miss Tulsa, reported it in detail.

Gilcrease won his divorce and custody of his daughter, but it was the most wretched of victories. He felt himself degraded and disgraced. “My name has been dragged through the courts,” he told his Indian gardener, to whom he spoke more freely than to almost anyone else. When a local preacher denounced him for refusing to donate ten thousand dollars for his church fund, Gilcrease could only conclude that Tulsans, in the aftermath of the sordid trial, regarded him as little more than a wealthy dupe. The whole wrenching Smallwood episode, which took up seven years of his life, “left Tom a very bitter man,” says Milsten. “It left him a mental recluse. I don’t think he had any real happiness after that.”

It also left Thomas Gilcrease, to all intents and purposes, an Indian. Aggrieved and unhappy himself, he began identifying strongly with the griefs and wrongs of American Indians, almost as though Miss America’s betrayal of Tom Gilcrease somehow epitomized America’s betrayal of Indians. He began to look to his fractional Indian heritage for personal solace and strength. Drawing close to nature, the Paris boulevardier took delight in his birds, in his wilderness cabin in Wyoming, and in loving recollection of the old half-tamed Indian Territory. The sharp-witted Tulsa oilman grew attached to magical thinking, mythic tales, and the dream side of life in general. It was this “Indian” side of Gilcrease that was to impress J. Frank Dobie most in later years. “I’ve hardly known another human being,” said Dobie, “who had the mysteries and beyonds deep inside himself that Tom Gilcrease had.” In letters to friends Gilcrease took to signing himself “Injun Tom,” only half-jokingly, if that.

The divorce left Gilcrease bitter—and, essentially, an Indian. 
In 1939 Gilcrease began collecting the art of the American West, but it was not a hobby. It was a personal mission, for a grand visionary scheme had taken hold of his mind. He would turn the hilltop property into “a home for deserving boys and girls who are descendants of members of any of the Indian tribes,” to quote the charter of the Thomas Gilcrease Foundation. There Indian children would enjoy comfort, good treatment, and beautiful landscaped surroundings. NEW CHILDREN’S PARADISE REALITY SOON, the Tulsa Tribune was to report in 1943. To lift their spirits, the children would have access to a library whose unique collection of books and documents—as yet ungathered—would show the West and the Indian to them in a fresh, new light. They would have access to a museum that would show them through the powerful medium of art what their ancestors had been and done and suffered. The hilltop was to be, in Milsten’s words, a “haven of perfectibility” or, perhaps more accurately, an experimental hospital for the mending of broken Indian hearts. There was to be no racial bitterness; Gilcrease was bitter enough himself. Everyone in the Western saga who stood for justice and equity would find a place in the future museum: John Smith, Roger Williams, William Penn, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Diego Columbus, son of the admiral, whose 1519 letter to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V calling for better treatment of Indian slaves sits proudly on display in the museum’s documents room, alongside a rare certified copy of the Declaration of Independence.

Like a man who has found the lost key to happiness, Gilcrease plunged into his visionary enterprise with all-consuming zeal. Milsten recalls hearing a business associate of Gilcrease’s tell him that the man “constantly studied catalogues, talked with art dealers by long distance telephone, visited every museum in every city where he traveled, inspected collections whenever they were advertised.” With an Indian artist named Woody Crumbo as his adviser and companion he scoured the countryside by car. “If they heard that someone or a gallery had a fine collection of Indian paintings or sculpture depicting the pioneer West,” said Milsten, “off they would go; distance was not an object and time was not of the essence.” Gilcrease came and went as he pleased, beholden to no one, exalted by his mission.

“His one interest in life is the assembling of material that will serve to inspire the Indians of the present day,” a New York rare-books dealer reported in Harper’s magazine. And New York’s art dealers gladly flung wide their doors to this “Oklahoma Indian”—as they thought of him—who was so determined to buy what almost nobody else wanted at all: old Spanish colonial documents, the works of forgotten Western genre painters, watercolor sketches done by humble illustrators attached to nineteenth-century surveying expeditions. Ducal doors in England opened wide for Gilcrease, too, after he had acquired from an English family its magnificent collection of Catlins. At the Duke of Northumberland’s ancestral castle the duke tried to sell Gilcrease a portrait of Joseph Brant, the Mohican war chief. At Eaton Hall the Duke of Westminster was taken aback by his bespectacled “Indian” visitor. The duke later told his friend Philip Robinson that he “had not expected to see a person so sweet and gentle and charming as Tom Gilcrease but had rather envisioned a Red Indian Chief complete with feathered headdress.”

Gilcrease spent and acquired at a feverish pace. He bought up whole collections from private hobbyists. He bought up the entire contents of artists’ studios as well as the work of the famed art colony at Taos, New Mexico, which hearkened back to the turn of the century. As if to set off the “Westernness” of his collection he also bought costly masterpieces by the most “Eastern” of American artists: John Singleton Copley, Thomas Sully, John Singer Sargent, Thomas Eakins, Winslow Homer. The oilman could scarcely keep pace with the collector, recalled Lester Whipple, Gilcrease’s chief business factotum. “There was hardly a day when he did not discuss methods of extricating funds from his oil interests to pay for his acquisitions.” But if his associates were worried, Gilcrease was not. “He would spend $250,000 with the same ease that he would part with a $5 bill—if he had the funds,” said Whipple, “and many times when he was not sure if his canoe would make it to shore.” In time his new hilltop “children’s paradise” was forced to close down, sad victim of the tangle of laws, rules, and regulations involved in boarding and educating Indian children. That did not deter Gilcrease either. The general public still needed “some new thoughts” about Indians, as he put it to a reporter from Life, so he went right on collecting. In the space of ten years Gilcrease acquired some four thousand paintings, ten thousand historic artifacts, and twenty thousand extremely rare books, maps, and documents. When the Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art—still the museum’s legal name—opened its doors on May 2, 1949, it was already the finest museum of its kind in America. ‘The best collection of art and literature ever assembled on the American frontier and the Indian,” said Life.

The question for Tulsa voters: Did they want a great museum free? 
Then, in mid-1953, Gilcrease telephoned his old friend Dr. Humber and told him that his glorious collecting spree had been badly snagged. He owed the art dealers 2.25 million dollars and “certain creditors were exerting an unrelenting pressure upon him for payment,” recalled Humber. If necessary, he could return the unpaid-for artwork, or he could sell his collection outright, but Gilcrease was determined to do neither. As he struggled to straighten out his neglected oil business, however, his financial situation grew steadily worse. Asked at one point to come up with a mere ten thousand dollars overnight or face imminent court action, Gilcrease was so short of funds he had to call on his friends for the money. By an irony that could not have been lost on the self-conscious Gilcrease, he had become yet another in the long roster of feckless oil-rich Indians from the old oil-rich Indian Territory. Nevertheless, if Gilcrease had not spent well, he had spent wisely.

In the spring of 1954 his friends and admirers organized a rescue mission. Calling themselves the Keep Gilcrease Museum for Tulsa Committee, they came up with a plan and persuaded the city fathers to go along. A proposition was to be put before the voters of Tulsa. If they passed a bond issue to pay off Gilcrease’s art debts, he would turn over the museum to Tulsa gratis. In addition, he would pay back the entire 2.25 million dollars from his producing oil wells in East Texas. So the question for the voters was to be, Did they want to acquire a museum for nothing? An affirmative answer was not very forbidding, but the committee was taking no chances, for no citizenry anywhere had ever voted to accept or reject a museum.

Committee members campaigned for the Gilcrease Museum as if it were a candidate for high office. They made speeches all over the county and secured supporting editorials and favorable news reports. They distributed a brochure that carried eminent endorsements for the Gilcrease Museum: Life magazine—“worth millions”; Time—“a veritable ‘Who’s Who’ of Western Art” Inez Robb, the nationally syndicated columnist and a resident of Tulsa—“If Tulsa lets it go, the city will, within a few years, want to blow its brains out.” The city wanted its brains intact. In August 1954 it went to the polls and voted 8,905 to 3,188 in favor of making Gilcrease a municipal museum by paying off Tom Gilcrease’s debts. Today in Tulsa countless road signs proudly indicate the way to the hilltop museum.

At this point Tom Gilcrease had nearly eight more years to live, but they were anticlimactic years, tinged not a little with melancholy. The museum had been saved, but it was no longer his. The terms of his debt to Tulsa were easy, but his great collecting days were over. Still, Gilcrease did what he could for the museum that stood so tantalizingly close to his house. At the age of sixty-five he took up archeology and began going on amateur digs, searching for Indian arrowheads, blades, and relics to bring back to the museum in further payment of his inexhaustible debt to “his people.” He called himself a “tired old Indian,” and when he died on May 6, 1962, Indians joined with a Methodist minister in presiding over his funeral service. After the Christian obsequies were over, a Pueblo Indian chief sang a sacred song and said a prayer before the hundreds of people gathered in the hot sun on the hilltop lawn. Then the chief shot an arrow into the Western sky to protect the dead man’s spirit on its way to the happy hunting ground. Present at the scene was a young boy unversed in Indian lore but deeply versed in American helpfulness. He raced down the hill to retrieve the arrow and proudly brought it back to the mourners on the hilltop. That cultural mix-up shattered the spell, but it provided a wonderfully apt memorial to the late Thomas Gilcrease, a strange amalgam of Tulsa oilman, modern philanthropist, and Creek Indian.

Walter Karp’s account of the great 1959 quiz-show scandals appeared in the May/June 1989 issue.

TO PLAN A TRIP: Easily reached from all the major nearby expressways, the Gilcrease Museum (1400 North 25 West Avenue, Tulsa, OK 74127/Tel: 918-582-3122) is open every day of the year but Christmas. The hours are 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. on weekdays and 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. on Sundays and holidays, with a free public tour daily at 2:00 P.M. The suggested museum admission is three dollars for adults, five dollars per family.

New Spain, The Frontiers of Faith
Essay by Stanley Hordes, Ph.D.


For most Americans in the Southwest, the real history of the region begins with the arrival of Anglo pioneers who moved westward in the mid-nineteenth century, spreading "civilization" to a virgin frontier. While there might be some acknowledgement that Indians and Mexicans already inhabited the Southwest, they, like the mountains and rivers, would be regarded as natural obstacles to hinder the progress of these "settlers."

In contrast to this popular notion of history, the human settlement of the Southwest predates the nineteenth-century pioneers by centuries. Native Americans trace their roots back several thousand years, during which time some groups evolved from nomadic bands of hunters and gatherers to sophisticated agricultural societies. The first European settlement in what is now the Southwest occurred in 1540, a full three hundred years before the "Westward Movement" that has become ingrained in our consciousness. 

Over the course of the succeeding three centuries, Spaniards would migrate to the vast reaches of the northern frontier of New Spain as missionaries, soldiers, merchants, farmers, and ranchers, and they would plant the seeds of a rich Hispanic culture in this part of the New World.

The Spaniards who followed in the wake of Christopher Columbus were a diverse lot. Some came to the Indies in search of adventure and wealth, in anticipation of discovering El Dorado, C’bola, Quivira, or other mythical kingdoms so vividly described in the romantic tales of Renaissance literature. Others had nobler ends, such as the Catholic missionaries, who found in the Indians a fertile ground for the conversion of souls to Christianity. Still others-the majority of the immigrants-left their native Spain for the Americas to seek their fortune as farmers, soldiers, miners, merchants, craftsmen, and bureaucrats.

Anglo-American perceptions of Spanish activities in the New World historically have tended to reflect a negative, "Black Legend" image, maintaining that the Spanish conquerors and settlers were unusually cruel to the Indians. This image was frequently reinforced in England and the Protestant countries of Europe by the publication of travel narratives with engraved illustrations that emphasized scenes of torture, maimings, and hangings. It is important to remember, however, that these countries were engaged in a religious war with Spain-a war that Spain financed in part by riches imported from the New World. Since these countries dominated the publishing trade, their interpretations of Spanish cruelties circulated widely and evolved finally into "documentation" that later generations would accept as fact.

While it is true that some individual Spaniards were cruel and tyrannical, there is reliable evidence to demonstrate that, as a whole, the Spaniards were no more nor less cruel than other nations in their dealings with indigenous Americans. Their system of administration was much more efficient, and many of the leaders were devoutly certain that they brought the wonderful gifts of salvation and Hispanic culture, which would readily convert the natives into true believers of the faith and loyal subjects of the crown. Bernal Díaz, for instance, reports that Cortés frequently had to be dissuaded from setting up crosses and baptizing villages after a brief colloquy with the caciques, or chiefs. The priests recognized what Cortés found difficult to understand, that Spanish Catholicism and European civilization could not instantly supplant the heritage of centuries.

From their initial bases established in the Caribbean, Spanish explorers and conquistadores expanded the realms of the King of Spain to the mainland of South, Central, and North America through the early years of the sixteenth century. In 1519, Fernando Cortés set out from Cuba to explore the coastline of Central Mexico. From the Indians who lived along the coast, he learned of a mighty and powerful nation, whose capital was located several days travel to the west, on an island in a large lake. A shrewd diplomat and military commander, Cortés was able to assemble a formidable army composed of both Spanish and Indian troops, and he achieved entry into the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlán in November of 1519. Temporarily ousted during La Noche Triste (the Sad Night) of the following year, Cortés regrouped his forces and conquered the city on August 13, 1521. Mexico City has served as the capital of the Viceroyalty of New Spain and the Republic of Mexico (established in 1821) ever since.

Within decades of the conquest of Mexico, Cortés and other conquistadores fanned out in all directions to establish Spanish hegemony over distant regions of the viceroyalty, from Central America in the south, to as far north as the present state of Kansas. The soldiers who followed their commanders into these dangerous and remote corners were motivated in large part by the hope of discovering the mythical kingdoms described in romantic literature. When Francisco Vásquez de Coronado explored northward in 1540, he came in the hopes of discovering "un nuevo México"—a New Mexico—perhaps even richer and more magnificent than the Mexico discovered and conquered by Fernando Cortés twenty-one years earlier. Much to his disappointment, he found not another Mexico, but only a group of Indians settled in pueblos, or towns, living a sedentary life based largely on agriculture. After exploring as far west as the Grand Canyon, and as far east as Oklahoma and Kansas, the expedition returned to Mexico. Although there was no "New" Mexico in the north, the name continued to apply to the region for the succeeding 450 years. By the mid-sixteenth century, the age of the conquistadores had come to an end in New Spain. Fearful of the tremendous power and authority that the conquerors had amassed during the initial years of the Spanish enterprise, the Crown embarked on a campaign to replace them with its own administrators and bureaucrats, ranging from the viceroy in Mexico City, to scores of lower level corregidores scattered throughout the hinterlands. Even the mighty Fernando Cortés found himself spending many of his last years fighting battles in the courts, the object of numerous civil suits.

The Spanish were very much used to administering conquered territories, based on centuries-long experience accumulated during la reconquista, the reconquest of the Iberian Peninsula from the Moors. For hundreds of years Spanish soldiers and bureaucrats had developed institutions designed for the effective administration of the frontier. But the existence of the Indians added a new element into the proven formula. Were they to be considered as beasts of burden to serve the conquering Spanish as spoils of conquest, or as rational human beings, with rights to be protected and with souls to be converted to Christianity? To a great extent the latter philosophy prevailed, and a myriad of laws were passed to protect the rights of Indians from the usurpation of their land and labor. But as is often the case in frontier administration, the law was often honored more in its breach than in its observance. The institution of the encomienda, for example, was designed to entrust the Indians to the care of Spaniards for their religious education, in return for a specified, limited amount of tribute, paid either in labor or in goods. In many cases, however, the system deteriorated into a simple system of forced labor, without either the limits or the religious education. With regard to other legal protections for the Indians, however, such as land and water rights, enforcement tended to be stronger. In certain regions, such as Oaxaca, Indians effectively utilized the Spanish system of justice to maintain the integrity of their own lands.

One of the strongest forces for the protection and religious training of the Indians was the Catholic missionary. From the very beginning of Spanish colonization of the Indies through the late eighteenth century, thousands of priests representing Dominicans, Franciscans, Jesuits, Augustinians, and other orders labored to convert the natives to Christianity. One of the most notable among these was Fray Bartolomé de las Casas, whose untiring efforts in the early sixteenth century served as the catalyst for the reform laws cited above.

The missionaries, most notably the Jesuits and Franciscans, also served to advance new Spain's frontier northward into Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California. Often accompanied by military presidios and civilian settlements, the missions served to indoctrinate Native American populations in the ways of Spanish culture. One of the most successful missionaries in this regard was the Jesuit father, Eusebio Francisco Kino. During the course of his missionary work with the Pimas and Papagos of Northern Sonora and Arizona, Father Kino introduced the Indians to cattle ranching and the cultivation of wheat, traditions that lasted long after Kino and the Jesuits had left the region.

New Spain remained among the realms of the Spanish Crown until 1821, when Mexico achieved its independence. During the three hundred years of Spanish administration, Iberian culture, law, and religion were superimposed on the native population of the region. But rather than becoming a mirror image of the mother country, New Spain drew upon a multitude of ethnic sources in developing its unique character. Many Mexicans today see themselves as a raza cósmica, or cosmic race, a blend of Indian, European, and Black races and cultural traditions. This rich heritage has left its mark as well on those parts of the United States that were once part of New Spain and Mexico. The Hispanic influence ranges from the names of such prominent metropolitan centers as Los Angeles and San Francisco, to cowboy terms, such as lariat (la reata) and chaps (chaparreras), to the living Hispanic culture that thrives in many areas of the Southwest today.   


Justly recognized as one of the cultural treasures of the Southwest, the Gilcrease Museum (Tulsa, Oklahoma) houses an immense inventory of art, artifacts, and documents relating to the North and South American continents. Thomas Gilcrease did not collect things, it is said; he collected stories, and these stories concerned the human striving to develop the habitable areas of the Western Hemisphere.

This Hispanic Documents Collection constitutes a small, but invaluable, chapter of that story, narrating the first consistent efforts of Europeans to accommodate the New World to their understanding of what the world should be. Written between the years 1512 and 1857, with the majority dating from the 16th and 17th centuries, these documents recreate Spanish concerns and patterns of life in the Indies and the Viceroyalty of New Spain. The Hispanic papers include 125 documents known as the "Conway Collection," and an additional 150 documents acquired separately.

In collaboration with the Gilcrease Museum, and with the able assistance of Dr. Stanly M. Hordes, consulting historian, and Mr. Thomas C. Brayshaw, Assistant Director of the Gilcrease, the Texas Humanities Resource Center has organized an exhibition of photographs and texts drawn from the Hispanic Documents Collection to tell the story of the Spanish enterprise in New Spain. This exhibition and its supporting resources are designed to be used anywhere and everywhere people are concerned with learning more about the personal, political, and philosophical impact of Columbus' voyage of discovery.

This project is made possible by a grant from NATIONAL 

Humanities Programs in Libraries.

Signed Letter from Jesuit Missionary Eusebio Francisco Kino Pimería, 1698, Document No. 218.

"Ferdinandus Sotto Crudeliter in Florida." Theodore De Bry, Admiranda Narratio. Frankfort am Main, 1590.

Plano de Tenuxtlitan [Tenochtitlán], Mexico (1545). Alonso de Santa Cruz Mapas Españoles de América, Siglos XV-XVII Madrid, 1951.

First Official Decree Issued by Fernando Cortés, the day after the conquest of Tenochtitlán. Tenochtitlán, August 14, 1521. [Signature Page.] Document No. 130.


Alexander, Michael, ed. Discovering the New World: Based on the Works of Theodore De Bry. London: London Editions, 1976.

[A fascinating selection of texts and engravings from the books illustrated and published by Theodore De Bry, the best-skilled and most popular purveyor of New World images. His work strongly influenced the European perception of the Americas in the late 16th and 17th centuries.]

Bannon, John Francis. The Spanish Borderlands Frontier, 1513–1821. Albuquerque: The Univ. of New Mexico Press, 1974.

[One of the best syntheses of the history of the Spanish Borderlands, updating the classic 1921 overview by Herbert Eugene Bolton. Highly readable style.]

Bolton, Herbert Eugene. Coronado, Knight of Pueblos and Plains. Albuquerque: The Univ. of New Mexico Press, 1949.

[A classic account of the 1540 expedition of Francisco Vazquez de Coronado to Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas in search of the mythical cities of Cibola and Quivira, much loved for its narrative power. Although presently out of print, the book is well worth searching for.]

D’az del Castillo, Bernal. The Conquest of New Spain. Trans. J. M. Cohen. Harmondsworth, Eng.: Penguin Books, 1963.

[An exciting account of the conquest of Mexico from the perspective of a foot-soldier in the army of Fernando Cortés. Writing many years after the event, Diaz captures the drama, romance, and intrigue of the campaign, and brings the conquest alive for modern readers.]

Elliott, J. H. The Old World and the New: 1492–1650. London: Cambridge Univ. Press, 1970.

[Offers a unique and intriguing view of the discovery and conquest of the New World, examining the impact of the Americas on Europe in the sixteenth century.]

Hanke Lewis. The Spanish Struggle for Justice in the Conquest of America. Boston: Little, Brown, 1965.

[By the foremost scholar on Bartolomé de las Casas, this classic work details the efforts of the 16th–century priest to reform royal policy toward Indian labor in Mexico and the Caribbean.]

John, Elizabeth A. H. Storms Brewed in Other Men’s Worlds: The Confrontation of Indians, Spanish, and French in the Southwest, 1540–1795. Lincoln: The Univ of Nebraska Press, 1975.

[An excellent detailed account of the interactions among the various ethnic groups and European Powers in the Spanish Borderlands, with a strong emphasis on Texas.]

Leonard, Irving A. Books of the Brave. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard Univ. Press, 1949.

[This fascinating book, unfortunately no longer in print, gives an account of the types of books read by the conquerors, the printed books imported to the New World, and the different kinds of people who purchased and collected these books. Reading was not restricted to the upper classes.]

Lopez de Gomara, Francisco. Cortés, the Life of the Conqueror, by his Secretary. Trans. and ed., Lesley Byrd Simpson. Berkeley: The Univ. of California Press, 1964.

[The political shrewdness and religious devotion of the conqueror are made abundantly apparent in this account of the conquest, which is told from the perspective of Cortés.]

Meyer, Michael C., and William L. Sherman. The Course of Mexican History. 3rd ed. New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 1987.

[A superb overview of the history of Mexico, with special attention to the colonial period. Material drawn from the most recent scholarship, ensuring the most sophisticated and up-to-date interpretation.]

Powell, Philip Wayne. Tree of Hate: Propaganda and Prejudices Affecting United States Relations with the Hispanic World. New York and London: Basic Books, 1971.

[Intriguing and provocative book analyzing the origins of anti-Hispanic, “Black Legend” attitudes maintained by Anglo-American culture and their manifestation in the Americas.]

Weber, David J. Foreigners in Their Native Land; Historical Roots of the Mexican Americans. Albuquerque: The Univ. of New Mexico Press, 1973.

[Excellent series of edited essays analyzing the image and status of Hispanos in the Southwest Borderlands under Anglo rule. Concentrates on the nineteenth century.]

Southwest’s Mexican Roots: Untold Stories David E. Hayes-Bautista
Exclusive to EGP

Part one of four of an occasional series of columns exploring the long ignored history of Mexicans in the Southwest and the U.S. This series examines the role Mexicans in California played in the Civil War and the 1864 reelection of Abraham Lincoln.Thanks to overwhelming Latino support in last November’s election, on Jan. 20, Barack Hussein Obama placed his hand upon the bible used by Abraham Lincoln for his inauguration, and took the oath of office as this nation’s 44th president. What few people know is that, nearly 150 years ago, Latinos were also vigorously involved in assuring Lincoln’s re-election to the presidency in 1864 so that he could see the Civil War to its end, spread freedom to all, and bequeath a bible for President Obama to use.

"The first year of the American Civil War was disastrous and disheartening for the supporters of freedom and democracy. Confederate troops bent on continuing slavery and tyranny had beaten the Union forces in nearly every major battle. "The French emperor Napoleon III took advantage of the Confederacy’s victories to send his troops into Mexico to depose a democratic president, Benito Juarez, and impose his puppet emperor, Maximilian of Austria. For a while, it looked as if slavery and tyranny would characterize the North American land mass. But suddenly, like a ray of lightning in a night storm, on May 5, 1862, hope lit up the sky at the gates of Puebla.

The outgunned and out-manned Mexican army, fighting to preserve freedom and democracy, decisively beat back the army of slavery and tyranny, throwing the mighty French army back to its base on the coast. Bursting with joy, Mexicans in California immediately celebrated the first major victory of freedom and democracy by commemorating the battle
of the Cinco de Mayo. And Mexican enthusiasm was needed. After its sluggish start, the Civil War had devolved into a
stalemated series of see-saw battles, the Union forces winning some, and the Confederate forces winning others, over
the following three years. 

In the middle of this bloody stalemated battle against slavery and tyranny, Lincoln’s first term as president was coming to an end, and he had to convince the American electorate to let him continue the war to its conclusion. "is was not going to be easy. Across the land, Lincoln’s authority was weak. Certainly, the Confederacy did not recognize him, calling Jefferson Davis its legitimate president. In the North and in the West—including California—supporters of the Confederacy, called Copperheads, did not lose any opportunity to stir up dissent. Even worse, a “Peace Party” had formed. Weary of four years of war, unwilling to extend the hand of liberty to the enslaved, this new party headed
by former U.S. General McClelland, challenged Lincoln’s prosecution of the seemingly endless, bloody war. Make
peace now! "ey exclaimed. Let the south go, let them keep their slaves, it’s none of our business. "eir simplistic slogans
appealed to a war-weary American public.

Lincoln was in trouble, under pressure to cease his efforts…. But he enjoyed the support of Mexicans in California, who opposed slavery with all their fiber, who had insisted California join the union as a free state. Concerned about the future of the Union without Lincoln as president, early in October in 1864, a large group of Mexicans and other Latinos met in San Francisco, at the Terpsichore Hall on Pacific and Stockton Streets, to discuss how they could support their embattled candidate, Abraham Lincoln. A young firebrand who had just moved  to San Francisco from Los Angeles, Francisco P. Ramirez, exhorted the crowd to organize its efforts, as did the Mexican Consul, Jose Maria Vigil and a
number of other orators. 

Speaking in the Spanish language common to California for nearly a century at that point, the speakers urged those Latinos present, the “Children of the Americas,” hailing from California, Mexico, Central America and South America, to become involved in this very important election that could decide the future of the United States.

Acting on the old Spanish dicho, “La union hace la fuerza” the Latinos present Mexicans, Lincoln and Obama, UCLA Professor Hayes-Bautista decided to form a new organization to support Lincoln and his fight for freedom: the “Club Unionista Hispano-Americano de Lincoln y Johnson” (Andrew Johnson was his vice-presidential candidate). 

"The editor of La Voz de Mejico, one of the many Spanish-language newspapers of 19th century in California, exhorted those Latinos who were naturalized citizens of the US to vote for Lincoln, and urged those immigrant Latinos who were not yet naturalized become so in order to defend freedom and democracy in the upcoming election. To drive the
point home that America’s battles were also Latino battles, the editor of La Voz de Mejico pointed out that: “nuestro destino se halla identificado con nuestro pais adoptivo—la causa de launion es la misma que Mejico sostiene” (our destiny is the same as that of our adopted country—the cause of the Union is the same that Mexico supports)

David E. Hayes-Bautista is Professor of Medicine and Director of the Center for the Study of Latino Health and Culture at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. His most recent book is La Nueva California: Latinos in the Golden State (University of California Press, 2004) 

Article above published in Eastside Sun Founded in 1945
©2009 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.
FEBRUARY 12, 2009
Spanish version also published.



Richard G. Santos


The Spanish Colonial Government distributed mail via the Cordillera relay system, a mail distribution system that was the forerunner of the later Pony Express. Mail from Spain to Mexico City would take 3 to 6 months (depending on season, hurricanes, storms, pirates, etc). Personal correspondence was checked by both the government and Inquisition at the aduana (custom house) at the Port of Veracruz while illegal mail, merchandise, banned books and items entered via Port of Tampico which did not have a custom house. Edicts, government documents and Papal Bulls or any Religious correspondence or documents were sent to the Viceroy in Mexico City to be printed or hand copied for distribution. The usual (non-emergency) mail was distribution from Mexico City throughout New Spain including communities in Texas and New Mexico. It took about one to three month for the mail to be delivered depending on the nature of the material (urgent, regular, and personal). Consequently, a hand written personal letter or any Church or State document might take from six to nine months before reaching its destination on the Spanish North American frontier.

If the mail or packet was of TREASURY matters the document was forwarded by the Viceroy to the Intendecias. Texas was under the Intendencia de San Luis Potosi. If MILITARY in nature, the document would be sent to the Comandancia Militar de la Nueva España in Mexico City or the Comandancia de las Provincias Internas. Texas was under the Interior Military Commandancy located first at Arispe and later Parral, Chihuahua. If a document was POLITICAL in nature (sans treasury, military or religious) the Viceregal office would send the document (printed or handwritten) to each Provincial Governor. If RELIGIOUS in nature, the Viceregal office would send the document to (1) Archdioceses of New Spain and (2) The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition. Both were located in Mexico City. The Archdioceses would then distribute their edicts and Papal Bulls to the dioceses. Texas was under The Diocese of Linares located at Monterrey, Nuevo Leon. The Archdiocese also sent material to the Colleges of the respective religious Missionary Orders. The missions of Texas were under the Franciscan Colleges of Zacatecas and Queretaro). The dioceses would also distribute the religious edicts and Papal Bulls to the parishes while the Colleges would distribute their copies to the missions.

Whether personal, printed or hand-copied political or religious correspondence, the mail was distributed via La Cordillera. Like its successor the Pony Express, La Cordillera was composed of single horseback riders working in relays from rest stations, camps sites and/or small outposts. Thus the mail was distributed to governors, townships, churches, missions or individuals. Using Los Caminos Real, the relay mailmen to and from Texas started in Mexico City, travelled via Queretaro, San Luis Potosi, Saltillo, Monclova and Guerrero to Bexar. From San Fernando (later San Antonio) de Bexar, documents and correspondence would be distributed to Goliad, Nacogdoches and back to Bexar. Correspondence heading to present Zacatecas, Chihuahua and New Mexico veered north, northeast at San Luis Potosi. Likewise, correspondence heading to Laredo and the missions and communities of the Lower Rio Grande veered from Saltillo, Coahuila to Monterrey, Nuevo Leon and then to the aforementioned communities and missions. Government documents either printed or hand copied, were signed and dated by the receiving official to attest the item had been received. A letter of acknowledgment would usually be sent back to the source in Mexico City, San Luis Potosi or the Comandancia Militar at Arispe or Parral, Chihuahua. Acknowledgments of having received religious documents or correspondence was sent to the Dioceses at Monterrey, Nuevo Leon or the Franciscan Missionary Colleges at Queretaro or Zacatecas. It should be noted that Edicts by and instructions issued by the Spanish Crown or Patriarch of the Indies for the Catholic Church in the New World were not always well received. One example is King Fernando VII’s Edict imposing a ten percent annual income tax. Another is the Patriarch’s reminder that Catholics were not to eat meat on Fridays. In both instances, as in many others, the Governors would read the document, place it over their head, make the sign of the cross and state “I comply but will not obey” (cumplo pero no obedezco). Hence the communities, parish churches and/or missions never received whatever law, instruction or material was not deemed acceptable by the provincial governors.

Along Los Caminos Reales from Mexico City to Texas and New Mexico, the mailmen of La Cordillera had to traverse immense deserts, semi arid areas, La Sierra Madre Oriental, hostile Native Americans, wild game and the weather. All this occurred during the Little Ice Age (Richard G. Santos article on January 7-8-2009, Little Ice Age, and the Alamo, in winter garden History) with its colder and wetter climate than the present. Only topographical and geophysical indentations and traces remain today of the many lakes, ponds, watering holes, marshes, swamps, swollen rivers and creeks which existed in Texas during the Little Ice Age. We know these sites today as floodplains, flood prone sites, trickles of water on a wide river beds and seasonal creeks which tend to be dry gullies but come to life during and after a heavy rain storm.

The Spanish soldados de cuera (leather jacket soldiers) were the militia of the Spanish frontier. Locally born, expert horsemen, wearing jackets of tanned skin so thick that arrows were repelled, the soldados de cuera borrowed much from the nomadic hostile Native Americans and were able to live off the land while on patrol along the cordillera (mail route) of the Caminos Real or during a military expedition. Small outposts, frequently nothing more than a camp site usually 15 miles apart, also served as relay points where one courier transferred his mail packets to another rider. The rider would wait at the campsite or outpost until he was given the mail packets going back to where he had started. From the day in 1519 when Hernan Cortes set foot on North America to the day Texas gained its independence from Mexico in 1836 and New Mexico which was occupied by the US Army in 1846, the cordillera mail distribution system was a functional and effective mail distribution system that served the empire well. Hostile Native Americans wanting horses and or weapons, snakes and wild game (such as bears, cougars and jabalinas), as well as the inclement weather and geography of the Little Ice Age were the greatest danger to interruptions of the cordillera. Not known to carry currency, gold or silver, they were rarely assaulted by highwaymen or bandidos. However, each carried an escopeta (musket), espada ancha (small broad sword), a hand held leather shield, machete or large knife, a side dagger and a lasso. They carried carne seca (dry meat jerky) which could be eaten dry or scrambled with eggs to make machacado (dry meat mixed with turkey or bird eggs) with chile del monte (a wild hot pepper commonly called  piquin) fresh off the bush when in season or dehydrated and carried in a pouch. In the 16th and early 17the century Spanish horsemen used the leather adraga to protect the horse’s neck, flanks, rump and rider’s legs. By the latter part of the 17th to 19th century the riders dropped the clumsy and heavy adraga replacing it with chaparreras to protect their legs. Dropping the protective heavy leather adraga  provided the soldados de cuera and cordillera mail distributors a greater galloping speed. 

Both the cordillera mail distribution system and the local militia soldados de cuera came to an end when Texas gained independence from Mexico in 1836 and New Mexico being occupied by the US Army in 1846. Incidentally, the last Postmaster of Spanish and Mexican Texas was historic personality Don Erasmo Seguin, a native resident of San Antonio de Bexar. The famed Pony Express of US history and western movie fame in time replaced the cordillera mail distribution system. Never written about with names never recorded and long forgotten, the cordillera and its mail distribution riders are a silent but important page in Texas and New Mexico history.

   End ………………….. end …………………. End …………………. End

 Zavala County Sentinel ……… 25-26 February 2009





The African Presence in Mexico, from Yanga to the Presence 
AfroMexicano's role in the Mexican Revolution
Inaugura UNAM Festival Oaxaca Negra

Oakland Museum of California 
The African Presence in Mexico, 
                      from Yanga to the Presence 
                             May 9 - August 23

This exhibition explores the overlooked history of African contributions to Mexican culture. In 1609 Yanga, an African leader, founded the first free African township in the Americas -almost a century after Africans first arrived in Mexico. Africans have continued to contribute their artistic, culinary, musical, and cultural traditions to Mexican culture


Image concept & design: Angelina Villanueva. Courtesy National Museum of Mexican Art Chicago.
Sent by Jaime Cader
and Dorinda Moreno


"The exhibition invites Mexican-Americans and African-Americans to look at their identities in light of their shared histories in Mexico and the United States," says Cultural Arts Developer Evelyn Orantes, co-curator, with Chief Curator of Art Philip Linhares, of the Oakland installation.

"African Presence in México also allows Americans to better understand the complexity of race issues in the U.S. and Mexico," she said. The Spanish first brought Africans to Mexico in 1519 to labor in the agrarian and silver industries.  

In January 1609, Yanga, a runaway slave elder, led the cimarrones to successful resistance against a special army sent by the Spanish Crown to crush their actions. After several cimarrón victories the Spanish acquiesced to the slaves' demand for land and freedom. Yanga founded the first free African township in the Americas, San Lorenzo de los Negros, near Veracruz. It was renamed in his honor in the 1930s.

Slavery in Mexico was abolished in 1810 by Jose María Morelos y Pavón, leader of the Mexican War of Independence. As a mulatto (Spanish and African), Morelos was directly affected by Mexico's prejudices. Racial mixes were seen as undesirable by a society that aspired to purity of race and blood; i.e., Spanish only.

Mexico's caste system is evident in18th-century pictorial images that depict racial stereotypes via clothing, profession, or behavior. Several of these "caste paintings" are in The African Presence in México. The black population and its mixed-race members refuted such art through sabotage and protest.

In 1992, as part of the 500th anniversary of the arrival (encuentro) of the Spanish in the Americas, the Mexican government officially acknowledged that the African culture represented la tercera raiz (the third root) of Mexican culture, with the Spanish and indigenous peoples.

The bilingual exhibition features paintings, prints, movie posters, photographs, sculpture, costumes, masks, and musical instruments. "It's a fascinating hybrid---a visual arts exhibition based on a cultural history," says co-curator Orantes.

An ad hoc group from the museum's African-American and Latino advisory councils, local artists, academics, and community members was created for the The African Presence in México exhibition. The representatives have helped identify community issues and interests for educational programs and performances to accompany the show. All programs are included with museum admission except June 14, which is free.

Saturday, May 9, 12- 4 p.m.
The African Presence in México Community Opening
. Cascada de Flores performs "The Tree and the Donkey Who Wanted to Sing," a story that embraces the diversity of indigenous, Spanish, and African roots in traditional Mexican music and dance. Enjoy the rhythms of Africa as Diamano Coura jams with Cascada de Flores and a slide presentation with co-curator Cesáreo Moreno.

Sunday, May 17, 2- 4 p.m.
Art and Constructs of Race: Casta Paintings and Contemporary Conversations about Identity.
Art historian Charlene Villaseñor Black discusses the social and historical relevance of the caste paintings in the exhibition. Testimonials from UC Berkeley's Afro-Latino Working group, spoken word, and poetry address identity, culture, and stereotypes.

Saturday, May 23, 2-5 p.m.
2 p.m. Curator Tour
. Tour the exhibition with Chief Curator of Art Philip Linhares.
3 p.m. Scholars Café. An in-depth dialogue about the scholarship involved in the making of The African Presence in Mexico with scholars Carlos Munoz, Jr., Ted Vincent, Betita Martinez, and radio host Chuy Varela.

Sunday, May 24, 2 p.m.
Join a museum docent tour and learn more about the exhibition. Friday, June 5, 7 p.m. Confound, Confront, and Connect: A Discussion of the Work of Photographer Tony Gleaton. Gleaton talks about his photographs in the exhibition and his experiences documenting Afro-Mexican communities. Part of OMCA's First Fridays After Five.

AfroMexicano's role in the Mexican Revolution

Nota: Here's another part of the thread that Dorinda Moreno is sharing on the matter of Afromexicanos.  There's a new book by folklorist Raymond A. Hall, An Ethnographic Study of Afro Mexicans in Mexico's Gulf Coast,  Foodways , Festivals, and Dance (Edwin Mellen Press, 2008).  The following is the response by Hall to the developing project of hosting a conference in San Antonio on the AfroMexicano's role in the Mexican Revolution, a query  originally launched by Antonia I. Castañeda.  Enjoy.

 Roberto R. Calderon
 Historia Chicana [Historia]


An Ethnographic Study of Afro-Mexicans in Mexico’s Gulf Coast: Fishing, Festivals, and Foodways
 by Raymond Hall, Ph.D.

Description: One of only a few studies using ethnographic research to document, analyze, and present the traditional culture of Afro-Mexicans in Tamiahua, Veracruz, Mexico.

“Scholars of the Black Atlantic, historians, anthropologists, and  sociologists . . . owe Dr. Hall a tremendous debt of gratitude for compiling this authoritative collection of research.”
 – Prof. George White, Jr., CUNY

 “. . . an intriguing study of various aspects of Afro-Mexican folk culture.  . . . The author’s descriptions and analysis are developed from firsthand experiences within the communities. They make for compelling reading. His ethnic representation of La Danza del Papaleto . . . is even stronger. The section features vibrant descriptions of the dance tradition, and interesting conclusions that are especially relevant to important issues about culture and identity.”
 – Prof. Gregory Hansen, Arkansas State University

 Table of Contents
 List of Figures
 List of Tables
 1. Africans in Tamiahua
 2. Let the Archives Speak
 3. Black Self-Identity without a Color Line
 4. Rituals Dance and Festivals
 5. Foodways
 6. Summary
 Appendix A
 Appendix B
 ISBN10:  0-7734-4929-9   ISBN13:  978-0-7734-4929-9    Pages:  140    Year:  2008

 From: dorinda moreno []
 Sent: Tuesday, March 24, 2009 2:28 PM
 Subject: Dynamic exchange: Afromexicans: "an Ethnographic Study of Afro Mexicans in Mexico's Gulf Coast, Foodways , Festivals, and Dance.

 Estimable amigo Ray,
One of the welcomed byproducts of developing the cyber networks  bridging the contributions of our sisters and brothers across the globe by promoting the development of these imperative projects as you have so profoundly described-- and strengthening the knowledge for the future generations. This, complimenting the guiding of future scholars towards bringing needed support to all who may benefit from these works of dedication for being better informed in bringing survival support to all the peoples making up our continent and relatives on our mother earth. This, is our mutual reward.

 Thank you for adding to this dynamic discussion that already has inspired much welcomed feedback. Indeed, I would appreciate keeping contact and helping further this important area of work, and congratulate you on your book entitled, "an Ethnographic Study of Afro Mexicans in Mexico's Gulf Coast, Foodways , Festivals, and Dance.

 Please let's keep in close contact, and all receiving this info, please add to your book lists...

 Sincerely, dorinda moreno

On 3/24/09, Ray Hall wrote:

Dear Dra. Dorinda Moreno,

Please allow me to introduce myself and explain that I am very interested in your upcoming project.  My name is Raymond A. Hall and I am an assistant professor in a newly formed Africana and Black Studies Program here at
Central Washington University, Ellensburg, WA.  At one point I lived for more than ten years in the area of Tuxpan and Tamiahua Veracruz where I gained an interest in the African Heritage of the area.  I actually taught in a prep school in Poza Rica Veracruz called, Colegio Makarenko.  As a Vietnam veteran I was informed by a recent arrival from the states at that time that I could attend college at the expense of the US government.  I left Mexico and returned to the states and eventually received a Ph.D. from the folklore Institute at Indiana University, Bloomington.  I utilized my
experiences in Mexico and grassroot knowledge I had acquired as a community member to produce my Dissertation.  I have just recently published a book through Edwin Mellon Press entitled, "an Ethnographic Study of AfroMexicans in Mexico's Gulf Coast, Foodways , Festivals, and Dance.

Because I have received so much support from the communities over the past years I created a Study Abroad Program in the area that I have been conducting during the summers since I received my Ph.D. in 1999.  Each year
we continue to collect oral histories as part of the project focus either for folk medicines, folk tales, foodways, work habits, and general folk ways.  To be brief, I would feel it a  great honor to be included with the names of any scholars doing work on the African heritage in Mexico.   Thank you very much for your time.

Dr. Raymond A. Hall
Assistant Professor
Africana and Black Studies Program
Central Washington University
L&L Building, 400 E. University Way
Ellensburg, WA 98926
Dorinda Moreno

Inaugura UNAM Festival Oaxaca Negra

El Programa Universitario México Nación Multicultural organiza actividades con las que intenta recuperar la tradición y cultura negra de la población en la zona oaxaqueña.
México.- Gracias al Programa Universitario México Nación Multicultural (PUMC) de la UNAM se inauguró el festival Oaxaca Negra, que tiene como finalidad retomar a influencia de la población negra en la Costa Chica.
El proyecto surgió en respuesta a las peticiones de los pobladores de la región, quienes manifestaban un gran interés porque se reconociera la “tercer raíz” étnica de los pobladores de la región.
El festival tendrá una duración de 19 días, arrancó el día de hoy con una exposición sobre la esclavitud que podrá visitarse en el Museo del palacio Municipal, además de conferencias, mesas redondas, espectáculos de música y danza.
El director del PUMC, José del Val Blanco indicó que la actividad se llevó a cabo gracias a la cooperación de diversas instancias académicas como la ENAH y la UAM. También indicó que espera que la festividad, si bien fue organizada por la UNAM, en las posteriores ediciones cuente con mayor colaboración del pueblo oaxaqueño.

Sent by Jaime Cader


The North American Indian
My Life in Ruins
Tiguas to Lawmakers: Respect Our Tradition 

The North American Indian 

Edward S. Curtis, a professional photographer in Seattle, devoted his life to documenting what he perceived to be a vanishing race. His monumental work, The North American Indian was published between 1907 and 1930 and contained over 2000 photogravures in its volumes and portfolios. 

It presented an extensive ethnographical study of numerous tribes, and the photographs of Curtis remain memorable icons of the American Indian. Although the Smithsonian Libraries owns a complete set of Curtis’ publication, only a small portion of the photogravures has been digitized. 

To learn more about the Smithsonian and photography, visit: THE BIGGER PICTURE.
22 photos | 5,601 views   

Items are from between 28 Jun 2007 & 04 Sep 2008. 

Description: This image was taken c. 1907-1930.

Creator/Photographer: Edward S. Curtis
Birth Date: 1868   Death Date: 1952
Medium: Photogravure
Culture: American Indian
Date: Prior to 1930
Persistent URL:
Repository: Smithsonian Institution Libraries

Sent by Dorinda Moreno


My Life in Ruins

By Robin Pogrebin 
Published: April 21, 2009



Even as arts groups around the country are cutting back because of declining endowments and donations, a new foundation to support the work of American Indian, Native Hawaiian and Alaska Native artists is being established with an initial $10 million from the Ford Foundation.
Stuart Isett for The New York Times
Walter Echo-Hawk, chairman of a new cultural foundation.
Called the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, the organization, formally opened on Tuesday, says it will be the first permanently endowed national foundation of its kind.
“We needed our own endowment for native arts and culture in this country in the coming century,” said Elizabeth Theobald Richards, the program officer at Ford who has overseen the project and is a Cherokee. “The indigenous peoples of this country have an incredible wealth of cultural heritage and cultural expression that very few people know about. And it’s also incredibly under-funded.”
The foundation has been in the works since 2007, when it obtained incorporation papers and established charity status. Only now has the organization hired a president and staff and begun the grant-making process.
The new foundation will provide direct grants to artists and arts organizations, support native arts leadership and team up with other native-led efforts to increase financial support for indigenous arts and cultures.
“Arts and culture and traditional languages and religions have been the glue that held Native Americans together — often in the face of great adversity,” said Walter Echo-Hawk, chairman and creator of the foundation, in a telephone interview.
“For many years the government policy was to assimilate native people into mainstream society and essentially stamp out attributes of native culture,” he added. “It’s a testament to the tenacity of our people that we have any native cultures or religions left in the United States. We are seeing a remarkable cultural renaissance in the tribal communities. But the support of the arts has been almost nil. It’s been very difficult for Indian tribes to also support their own arts and cultures.”
The organization is to be based in Portland, Ore., and recently selected Tara Lulani Arquette, a Native Hawaiian, as its president and chief executive. With 20 years of experience leading organizations and advocating on behalf of native groups, Ms. Arquette has served for the last four years as chief executive and executive director of the Native Hawaiian Hospitality Association, a private, nonprofit organization that works with the tourism industry.
“In a sense, it’s part of our quest for self-determination and restoring our sovereignty,” Ms. Arquette said in an telephone interview.
She acknowledged the challenge of starting a new foundation in the current economic downturn. “The mission of the foundation can’t be accomplished in one year or even five years,” Ms. Arquette said. “But there is a sense of urgency. Our elders — our wisdom keepers — are passing away in large numbers.”
The foundation, which will start with an annual operating budget of $500,000 and a staff of four, hopes to provide about $4 million in grants and program services over the next five years.
In establishing the new organization, the Ford Foundation reached out across the Native American world.
A leadership circle was made up of four advisers from different tribes — Mr. Echo-Hawk (Pawnee), Joy Harjo (Creek Muskogee), Jayne Fawcett (Mohegan) and Elizabeth Woody (Navajo/Warm Springs/Wasco/Yakama). All five members of the foundation’s board of directors are Native Americans.
The Ford Foundation made an initial $5 million contribution to endow the new foundation permanently, with an additional $5 million promised if new partners brought $3 million more to the table. The Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians, based near Sacramento, then made a grant of $1.5 million, while announcing a challenge to other tribal nations to match its gift. Once the challenge is met, Rumsey has promised an additional $1.5 million, which would bring the tribes’ contribution to $4.5 million.
The Ford Foundation has supported similar efforts to bolster native arts and culture in the past. “The community has the need,” Ms. Richards said. “But I really feel the country has the need.”
W. Richard West Jr., the founding director emeritus of the Smithsonian’s American Indian Museum and a Ford trustee, said: “There need to be agencies and institutions that support native contemporary art and artists. For the most part, those agencies and institutions don’t exist.”
“We never separate art and life,” added Mr. West, a member of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. “Art is part of our everyday life.”
The foundation hopes to begin making grants at the end of this year or early next year, Mr. Echo-Hawk said.
The foundation’s goal is to establish a permanent endowment of about $20 million over the next five years or so, he said, and to increase that figure over time.
“Culture, even though it is central to our identity, is the last to be nurtured,” Mr. Echo-Hawk said. “There is a need to inject resources into the perpetuation of these profound and beautiful art forms.”
Sent by Rafael Ojeda

Tiguas to Lawmakers: Respect Our Tradition 
Julian Aguilar, Tiguas to Lawmakers: Respect Our Tradition 
Rio Grande Guardian  3.25.09
Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo Lt. Gov. Carlos Hisa. (File photo: RGG/Steve Taylor)

AUSTIN, March 25 – A high-ranking Tigua official on Wednesday said the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo’s practice of not allowing women to vote in tribal elections should not affect legislation aimed at allowing the  tribe to re-open a casino in Texas. “It’s not an issue or a concern here on our pueblo and it shouldn’t be n issue,” said Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo Lt. Gov. Carlos Hisa.

“It (allowing women to vote) would be going against tradition and our way of life. Our government and our system is complicated. It’s a form of government that has been in existence since before the United States was even created.”

State Rep. Norma Chávez, D-El Paso, has filed a series of bills that would allow the Tigua Native Americans to re-open Speaking Rock casino in southeast El Paso and offer poker and bingo games without being prosecuted for violation of the state’s gaming laws. The casino was in operation from 1993 to 2001. Chávez’s bills are scheduled for committee hearings next week.

The voting issue surfaced during a recent trip to the capitol by Tigua officials when Rep. Valinda Bolton, D-Austin, became concerned that female tribe members did not cast a ballot in tribal elections.

Elizabeth Hartman, Bolton’s chief of staff, said the representative was not giving interviews concerning the Tigua women but did confirm some of the female tribe members would be meeting with Bolton next week before the hearings. Chávez also confirmed the visit and said it would afford the female Tiguas the chance to “tell them (lawmakers) how their structure is and how they feel they participate.”

Chávez said the issue speaks directly to the tribe’s sovereignty and should not have an affect concerning the effort to re-open Speaking Rock.

“This is just an issue that came up and it goes back to the sovereignty of the Ysleta Del Sur Pueblo and their right to govern, their issue of sovereignty and their issue of independence in their political and religious structure,” she said. “And it is not relevant to the issue of gaming.”

She added that female Tiguas were twice offered voting rights but refused them. Hisa said the women denied the opportunity because “it would go against the tradition” of the tribe. He added that he wished Bolton would have visited the pueblo and studied the tribe’s way of operating before making her comments.

“It doesn’t make us less of a people because of someone’s opinion,” he said. “I take it as an insult. She should’ve taken the time to meet with me.” Hisa added that the Tiguas have the utmost respect for the women of the tribe. “We are a maternal society where they have a lot of authority,” he said. “She’s trying to liberate these women and let them open their eyes and they don’t need it.”

Chávez reiterated her position that, as a state lawmaker, it was not her position to inject her personal belief onto a sovereign nation. But as a Hispanic female, she added, she would support the female Tiguas should they desire the right to vote.

“She (Bolton) and I had some initial conversation and I explained to her that … I didn’t have the right to impose my political beliefs on Native American women, however, I’d be the first one to back them up in their efforts if they desired to participate in the election of their leaders.”

Chávez said she has spoken with other House members who agree that the Tiguas are sovereign, should be allowed to govern as they choose and the issue of gaming is separate from the Tiguas’ personal beliefs as to the role of the female tribe members.

“Most of the members that I’ve talked to have said they are a sovereign nation, we don’t impose our laws (and) they aren’t subject to the taxation of the State of Texas on their reservations,” said Chávez. “They are under an entirely different political structure.

During a press briefing last month, Chávez, Hisa and other tribe officials stood side by side with El Paso Reps. Joe Pickett, Joseph Moody, Inocente “Chente” Quintanilla and Marisa Marquez, all of whom expressed their support for Chávez’s bills. Hisa and Ysleta Del Sur Gov. Frank Paiz said that when Speaking Rock was open, the tribe was
able to pay of a $3 million debt, generate an economic growth of more than $600 million for the greater El Paso area and eliminate almost completely its unemployment rate.

Chávez’s Tigua-related bills include a defense to prosecution bill for players that gamble on lands federally recognized as Indian tribal lands and a House joint resolution that would put the issue on a November ballot for the voters to decide on.
© Copyright of the Rio Grande Guardian, 
Barrera, Publisher. All rights reserved.

Sent by Dorinda Moreno


The poorly understood ballgame of pre-Columbian times.


Recently, an article appeared in newspapers
written by Jeremy Schwartz of the Mexico City Bureau.  In it we read of athletes in Villahermosa, Veracruz filing into a field carrying a different assortment of tools: tree trunks, gourds, dried palm fronds, and balls made of woven cornstalk.  The girls do not wear jerseys or spandex; rather, they were brilliant white dresses embroidered with purple and
red flowers.  What is being reenacted are the ancient sports that go back 4,000 years.  According to Alida Zurita Bocanegra, president of the Mexican Association of Traditional and Autochthonous Games and Sports, “globalization is permeating us, and that is why it is so important at this moment to revive the roots that give us identity.”

The sports mentioned in the article are Uarhukua, also called the Purepecha ballgame. The Purepecha are the Tarascans Natives that live by the lake of Patzcuaro in the Janitzio Isle in the state of Michoacan. Their language is totally different from the Aztec náhuatl normally associated with over 200 tribal nations ranging from the Mohawks of the eastern seaboard, to northern U.S. and Canada, to the Southwest and Mexico and parts of Central America.  The sport referred to here is played with wooden sticks and tightly wrapped cloth or wooden ball. This game is at least 3,400 years old.  Another ancient sport is called Corozo.

This is played with dried palm leaves that are used as a combination of lacrosse and field hockey stick. Played in the southern part of the state of Tabasco by the Chontal Native people.  A Xek Chote is a child’s game in southern Mexico in which players race to dig up a green vegetable called Chote by hurling a sharpened stick into the ground.  Rarajipame or Rarjiparo is played by the Tarahumara Natives in the remote mountains of Chihuahua.  Players race extremely long distances, sometimes over several days while kicking a ball.  La Pitarra is a board game similar to chess and backgammon originally played by the Otomi Natives of Queretaro.  A national championship of games of mental dexterity is played annually.  Pash Pash is a children’s game in which players hit the ball made of dried corn leaves, trying not to hit the ground. This was originally played by the Mames, an autochthonous people from the state of Chiapas.

Finally, the king of the pre-Columbian sports is what is normally referred to as the ballgame currently. This game was known as far back as the Olmecs, the Mayans and the Astecs. The playing field was called “taste” in the state of Sinaloa, also as “pasa-juego” with the Mixteca, derived from the Aztec tlachtli or with the Maya Pokyaho pok-tat-pok  and with the Zapotec Taladzl. At the forefront of the playing field it was called Chichi while the dividing line was Analco. Although not mentioned in the article, its real name is Ulamatzin. This comes from the word Ulli which refers to rubber. Ulama refer to play with the ball which ultimately should be seen in a symbolic level. Thus, Ulamatzin means “the
honorable rubber ball game.” Many devious and bias interpretations have been made by archeologists, Latin-American scholars, anthropologists and in short academia.

Descriptively, it was a friendly but difficult game played in a court in which a nine pound ball is moved with the hip or thigh that ultimately went into a an elevated ring that hung vertically.. It has aspects of soccer, volleyball and basketball
although the ball does not touch the ground. You must be in excellent conditioning due to the heavy ball that can bruise you strictly on with weight. Natives declare that not everyone can hit the ball. You can try to teach twenty athletes and only five will qualify. Mario Huante, a player with a team from Tirindaro, Michocan is quick to point out “Foreigners
say they invented hockey, but we have been playing this game for 3,000 years.”

While the article is interesting, it does not go into its cultural and symbolic pre-Columbian significance.  Without taking much more space, I will say that the game was a ceremony, a ritual which taught a lesson in astronomy, philosophy, and cosmology. The court is the universe; the ball is the essence of energy as a sphere. The players can be representative of
astronomical planets e.g. the sun, the moon, Venus etc. It is the not so much a battle but the changing of the energies, moving from sunlight to darkness as represented by the sun and the moon. It is not so much that the sun is doing battle with the moon but merely it is exchange of energy.

One ceases for a short period only to continue the cycle. From this understanding they created the most accurate calendars in the world. They were so advanced in understanding astronomical cycles that they had a Sun calendar, a moon calendar, a Venusian calendar and a Martian calendar. They could predict astronomical events centuries into
the future. They were the first to invent and use the zero in a positional form.  Without this higher mathematics is not possible.

Documentation in pre-Columbian codices is abundant: the Borgia, the Nuttal, in sculpture, paintings and even the post-Conquest Tira de Peregrinación.  Unfortunately, clerics and inquisitional censors interpreted in their own manner, thinking of perhaps the barbaric roman human sacrifice spectacle in the coliseum. For more detailed information, see an article entitled Ulamatzin contained in our Mexican anthology (Antología del pensamiento mexicano). This can be located from our Educational Materials-Mexican Series-books. You can also preview the Table of Contents under Abstracts Books.

Today, Hichols, Mayans, Tarahumaras, Tarascans, Otomies and many more native groups make up the living mosaic of Mexico.  Marcelino Chan, a teacher in a Mayan village in Campeche sums it up by saying, “These games bring together all the peoples. Mexico lives because we keep on living.”

Sent by Dorinda Moreno





First Luso-Americans & Emergence of the Sephardic Elite of NY by Teresa Botelho
Signs of Judaism


First Luso-Americans & Emergence of New York's Sephardic Elite 
Teresa Botelho


Identifying the first Portuguese documented presence in what came to be the United States is a hazardous enterprise where the frequently impossible certification leads to hypotheses which, attractive though they may be, cannot be asserted with any reasonable degree of confidence. Putting aside the passing visits of explorers on the American shores, the first presence may have been that of Miguel Cortereal, a brother of the Gaspar Cortereal who brought Newfoundland into the orbit of European settlement in 1501. A highly disputed interpretation[1] of a Portuguese coat of arms dated from 1511, found in Massachusetts, on which the Latin inscription “Miguel Cortereal V Dei Hic Dux Ind” could be read, would claim that the said Miguel, shipwrecked on his voyage to Newfoundland in 1502, may have found his way to Assonet Neck, where he became chief of the Wampanoag “by the will of God, Chief of the Indians.”

Other sources identify a Matthias de Sousa as having arrived in the Maryland colony in 1634[2], and an unnamed Portuguese woman married to a Dutch sailor appears in the narrative of the French Jesuit priest Father Isaac Joques who arrived in New Amsterdam in 1643, where he met her, after being held captive by a Native American tribe.[3]

Much stronger evidence is found of the first group immigration in 1654 to what was to be New York. The story of their arrival in New Amsterdam is well documented, but the mechanisms which make it relevant in both Portuguese-American and Jewish-American narratives deserve some discussion. How these 23 individuals (who arrived penniless from Recife in that occasion and with few exceptions did not stay in the Dutch colony for more that ten years) came to be perceived not only as the founding fathers of Jewish America but of the Jewish elite which dominated the social and religious life of the community long after Portuguese was dropped from the liturgy and the Sephadim could claim to represent the majority of American Jews, is the process I shall attempt to analyze.

Many of the details of the first 23 Portuguese Jews in New Amsterdam is known, thanks to the dramatic circumstances of their arrival, but it can be argued that their experience before their departure from Brazil is equally relevant to understand their view of what to expect and what to demand of their North American new home. Their collective perceptions were necessarily shaped by the experience of living in the Dutch colony of Pernanbuco, under much freer circumstances then they could find anywhere else with the exception of Amsterdam itself. First of all, there was the fact that the Dutch West Indies Company, founded in 1621 with the aim of capturing as much of the West Indies trade as possible, included a number of Portuguese and Spanish Jewish shareholders, guaranteeing a somewhat more sympathetic approach of the company directors towards complaints of harassment at the hands of local officials made by Jewish settlers in the Dutch colonies. Before Pernanbuco and Recife were conquered by the Dutch in 1630, they had already issued a pledge of religious tolerance, promising that “The liberty of Spaniards, Portuguese and natives, whether they be Roman Catholics or Jews, will be respected” adding “No one will be permitted to molest them or subject them to inquiries in matters of conscience or in their private homes; and no one should dare to disquiet or disturb them or cause them any hardship- under the penalty of arbitrary punishments or, depending upon circumstances, of severe or exemplary reproof”[4]. This gesture greatly encouraged many Conversos to actively conspire with the Dutch Expeditionary Force towards the defeat of the Portuguese. Many of these Portuguese New Christians who during the previous administration had hidden their religious allegiance, felt free, under the Dutch dispensation, to return to their faith openly. They and the new Sephardic immigrants from Amsterdam who soon arrived, prospered sufficiently to establish two congregations, and to attract two rabbis from Amsterdam, one of them the renowned Portuguese scholar Isaac Aboab da Fonseca, born in Castro D’Aire in 1605, member of the Rabbinical College of Amsterdam and one of the earlier poets to write in Hebrew in the New World.[5]

The experience of life in Recife, especially during the seven year administration of Johan Maurits, Duke of Nassau, though far from free of harassment, fostered a degree of tranquility and self-confidence that would be an important factor in the resettlement of all the several groups into which the community would split after the exile from Brazil. Regardless of the efforts of the Calvinist Church, or of the local authorities (and the Duke of Nassau, enlightened as his rule may have been, was a Calvinist who saw his duty to convince both Catholics and Jews of the error of their ways) the community, which according to some scholars rose to up to 1,500 (one third of the white population), came to enjoy almost all political rights of citizenship, confirmed, by the States General in 1645, by means of a directive to the Supreme Council in Brazil, known by the Jewish population of the colony as Patenta Onrosa. There, answering a petition by the Amsterdam Parnasim, on behalf of their Brazilian brethren, the Brazilian Dutch authorities are told “to favour and be of service to the aforementioned Jewish Nation ...without making or observing...any greater or lesser distinction between them and those native-born.”[6]

In these circumstances, it is easy to imagine the panic of the community during the nine years of the Portuguese siege of Pernambuco and its active participation in the defense of the colony. The fate of all those who had so actively co-operated with the Dutch and so enthusiastically reassumed their Jewish identities seemed to be sealed if the Portuguese reconquered Permanbuco. The story of Isaac de Castro,[7] a young inhabitant of Recife who had been caught by the Portuguese authorities in 1644, in Bahia, the capital of Portuguese Brazil, from where he was dispatched to Lisbon, to face an ecclesiastical trial which condemned him to death, a sentence executed in 1647, must have been known by the community which had dwindled to about 600 when the Dutch surrendered. The terror of what was expected to happen, probably explains the affection with which the Portuguese commander of the expedition, General Francisco Barreto de Menezes is remembered by most Jewish testimonies and historians. The General is reported to have been generous in victory, granting full pardon to all who had engaged in rebellion against the crown, and to have heeded the request of the Dutch authorities to allow the Jews the same amount of time granted the Dutch who wished to leave the territory. David Franco Mendes, one of the leaders of the Brazilian Jewish community, describes the events in his diary:

“And it came to pass that in the year 1645, the Portuguese came back, and from the Hollanders took their lands by force. And God had compassion on His people, and gave it favor and grace in the eyes of the mighty ruler, Barreto, who should be favourably remembered, and he caused it to be proclaimed throughout his Army that every one of his soldiers should be careful not to wrong or persecute any of the children of Israel”

The community was also told by the General, according to Mendes that “They could sell their houses and goods at an adequate price and in the most advantageous manner. And he gave permission to our brethren initiated into the covenant of Abraham (who now number more than six hundred souls) to return to our country here. And he commanded that if there were not enough Dutch ships in the harbor, as many Portuguese ships within his dominion should be given them until a sufficient number should be obtained.” [8]

Of the sixteen ships that left the colony with its Jewish population, most were aimed at Amsterdam, or the Dutch possession of Curaçao. One group, through pure chance, ended up where they did not particularly want to go, the northern Dutch outpost of New Amsterdam. The schooner that carried them was intercepted by a Spanish privateer and forced to drop anchor in Spanish ruled Jamaica, all passengers were despoiled of  most of their possessions and sent on their way as best they could. For the twenty three in question the nearest available ship turned out to be a French barque, the St.Charles, heading for New Amsterdam where it arrived early in the Autumn of  1654. What is known about them comes mainly through the records of the Court of Burgomasters and Scepens which heard the petition of the French captain asking that what was left of their possessions  be publicly sold by order of the Court to settle the balance of their fee. The records refer to six families, four headed by men- Abraão Israel Dias (de Piza), David Israel Faro, Moisés Lumbroso and Asser Levy- and two by women, probably widows- Judica Mercado and Rachel Nunes. Once the case was settled, the group was able to start, however precariously, their new life.

Their situation was far from stable; the cantankerous Peter Stuyvesant, who lacked the subtlety of the Duke of Nassau and objected to any settlers who were not members of  the Dutch Reformed Church (he had equally harassed  Lutherans and Quakers who had settled in the Colony), attempted to evict this new plague. Addressing the headquarters of the Dutch West Indies Company, he asked “that the deceitful not allowed further to infect and trouble this new colony, to the detraction of your worships and the dissatisfaction of your worships’ most affectionate subjects”.

            As had already happened before, help came from the influential Portuguese Jews residing in Amsterdam. Whether the people in the North Atlantic outpost managed to contact them to ask for help or whether the initiative came though the individuals who were shareholders in the company  is not known and is perhaps irrelevant. What seems more important is the fact that the immigrants knew they were not powerless, and remembered, from their previous experience, how local officials were often reprimanded for disobeying company policy. So, a petition was sent to the Board, signed by “the merchants of the Portuguese nation residing in the city of Amsterdam” which reminded the Company of the sacrifices made by the Portuguese Jews on behalf of the Dutch during the fight for Pernanbuco, of their loyalty to the Dutch and of the fact that “they can not go to Spain or Portugal because of the Inquisition” and asked “how can your Honours forbid transportation to this Portuguese Nation who reside here and have been settled here well on to about sixty years, many also being born here and confirmed burghers, and this to a land that needs people for its increase?” The request that “your Honours be pleased not to exclude but to grant the Jewish nation passage to and residence in that country” was clearly seen as reasonable by the Company. About two months later, the original 23 were joined by a second group, sailing directly from Amsterdam with the obvious consent of the West Indies Company. That this group included people of substance who were prepared to stay, is indicated by the tax rolls, by fact that from then on, the  several petitions to the Board of the Company were signed by them (and not by the first newcomers) and by the evidence that they brought with them a Torah scroll, an indication that at least in intentions, the basis of a practicing religious congregation was already envisaged. This second group included five more families and seems to have been headed by Abraão de Lucena, the first of a distinguished Portuguese family who would come to settle in Georgia later on and who was probably a recent escapee from Portugal, as he is reported to have barely spoken Dutch. Other heads of family were Salvador De Andrada, Jacob Cohen Henriques (this family would resurface later under the more germanised version of Hendrickses), José Da Costa and David Ferera, thought by some sources to have been of Italian rather than Portuguese origin.

            The arrival of these new settlers stirred the Governor to address the company again requesting a change of policy, a request explicitly denied by the Company that wrote back to its troublesome official that “ having considered the matter, we observe that this would be somewhat unreasonable and unfair, especially because of the considerable loss sustained by this nation (the Portuguese Jews) in the taking of Brazil, as also because of the large amount of capital which they still have invested in the shares of this company” and directing that “they may live and remain there, provided the poor among them shall not become a burden to the company or to the community, but be supported by their own nation.”[10]

            Life under the stewardship of governor Stuyvesant was far from free of restrictions; evading the Company’s directives, he forbade the tiny community from trading with the Indians, buying homes or business premises, engaging in retail trade, voting, holding office or serving in the militia, rights and duties which, by then, were guaranteed in the Netherlands. The evidence seems to indicate that individual members of the community did not take these restrictions passively- In 1655, Salvador D’Andrada bought a house, defying the Governor’s injunction[11]; Asser Levy, who had served with the defence of Pernambuco, sued for his right to serve in the militia and was  awarded that right (by 1657 he was taking part in the campaign against the Swedes in the South Delaware River). However, the unwillingness to let Jews enter retailing had an unexpected positive effect. On the one hand, it directed the efforts of the most enterprising members of the community towards wholesale and later towards international trade (namely with Surinam, Barbados and Curaçao, where many former members of the Pernanbuco community had settled) while, on the other hand it encouraged partnerships with other merchants. The same Asser Levy mentioned above formed a business partnership with a non-Jew merchant, which must have been lucrative enough, since when he died he left an estate of £53 in cash, plus lands and a large inventory of goods. Abraão Lucena, on the other hand, prospered as a fur merchant, the result of his persistence in demanding that trade with the Indians should be open, a position the Dutch West Indies Company came to accept, and the Henriques and Ferera families were active in the tobacco trade with the English colony of Maryland .

            The pattern emerging in these first years of settlement seems to be one of self-assertion and persistence on the part of the community and reluctant step by step concessions on the part of the Governor. This raises the question of the sudden dwindling of the community in the years before the British conquest of New Amsterdam. It is known that by 1663 many members of the community had left, either to Amsterdam or to Caribbean Dutch possessions and that the Tora scroll had been returned to the Netherlands. Several explanations have been proposed to make sense of this retreat, from the fear of the advancing British to the neglect of the outpost on the part of the Dutch West Indies Company. It seems probable, especially in the case of those engaged in trade with neighbouring colonies, that the passage in the 1660s of the Trade and Navigation Laws which jeopardised trade with English settlements may have been a  major factor in their loss of interest in the outpost. By the time the town falls to the British in 1664, of the original 50 immigrants (of a total population of about 1000) only the Levy family is known to have remained, as documented by the fact that its head, Asser, took the oath of allegiance to the English crown and was allowed to go on with his business as usual.

The articles of the Treaty of Breda which guaranteed full rights of worship, trade, individual property and inheritance to all the inhabitants of the former New Amsterdam, the Naturalization Act of 1740 and the continuous activity of the Inquisition in Portugal, particularly violent in the early eighteenth century, reinvigorated the almost vanishing Portuguese Jewish presence in New York, a much more attractive destination than Massachussets, for example, which was at the time still applying its rigid religious restrictions against the Baptists and the Quakers. From London, a particularly distinguished number of newcomers came to settle in New York, among them the family of David Mendes Machado who would become a rabbi of the New York Congregation, after leaving Lisbon in particularly daring circumstances in 1732 with the Nunes family, headed by Dr. Samuel Nunes, an eminent physician who would become his father in law[12] and the Seixas clan, which would become one of the most eminent New York Portuguese families. Isaac Mendes Seixas, son of  Abraham Mendes Seixas, a member of the governing board of the London Sephardic community, arrived in New York, a man of twenty one, in 1730. One of his seven children, Moses, would be one of the founders of the Bank of Rhode Island, president of the Newport community, and Grandmaster of the Grand Lodge of the Masonic Order. Another of his sons, Gershom, would train under the scholar Joseph Pinto in the absence of a rabbinical college in the US and became the first American born rabbi to officiate at the New York Shearith Israel Synagogue, which had been inaugurated in 1729, in Mill Street, and would be the only Jewish place of worship in New York for 100 years, where the Portuguese language and the Sephardic services were dominant, so much so that Gershom Mendes Seixas hesitated to accept the post, claiming insufficient knowledge of Portuguese.

The story of the first American born rabbi is also interesting for another reason, namely the way in which his career exemplifies the style of interfaith relations the Jewish elite would embrace. Besides being one of the clergy invited to the inauguration of President George Washington, an honour he greatly deserved, after having led the community out of New York[13] when, during the War of Independence the city was occupied by the British troops, he also served for 30 years as a trustee of what was then Columbia College, an institution associated with the Church of England, with virtually no Jewish students, and was elected in 1789 by the New York State Legislature to serve as a member of the first Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York. His nephew, Benjamin Seixas, one of the wealthiest bankers of New York, would be a co-founder of the New York Stock Exchange, president of Mount Sinai Hospital, member of the Union Club and a colonel on the Governor’s honorary staff.  

New York also attracted other powerful Portuguese families like the Lazarus, who would become wealthy sugar refiners and would, in the nineteenth century, produce such formidable women as Amelia Tobias Lazarus, whose salon was regularly attended by Edith Wharton and Emma, the poet, the da Silva Solis, whose patriarch, Jacob Silva Solis, claimed to be a descendent from the famous Isabel de Solis, who in the 15th century is said to have ruled both Sultan Suley Hassan and the Sultanate of Granada.[14] Jacob, who arrived in New York in 1803, is reputed to have refused to take up the Portuguese Embassador’s suggestion that he return to Portugal and inherit the family title and lands (of which he was the sole heir) in exchange for a conversion. Also from London came the Cardozo family, whose descendent Benjamin Cardozo, a disciple of Oliver Wendell Holmes, would become the first Jewish member of the Supreme Court.

The circumstances that allowed the formation of this elite, which already in the early 1730 represented a minority sensibility within the increasingly Askenazim and German speaking New York community, are to be found in a unique cluster of circumstances: first, the characteristics of the historic experiences of these immigrants, who had a collective memory of independence and assertiveness, which served them well both under the Dutch and English rule. Secondly, their own personal circumstances- far from being destitute and uneducated, as most German speaking Askenakim tended to be until the arrival of the “intellectual immigration” caused by the defeat of the nationalist Central European uprisings of 1848, many of these Sephardic immigrants came from relatively well-off-backgrounds and had had time to put their affairs together in the relative safe havens of Amsterdam and London, before they set sail for North America. They were also well connected and, as with other minority religious groups in the New World, such as the Quakers or French Hugenots, they used their extended networks to increase the opportunities international trade offered. Thirdly, there were local considerations- the terms of the Breda treaty and the easy relationship established with the British authorities, namely in the application of the Naturalisation Act of 1740 which was applied in New York with less hesitation than in other British colonies (even tolerant Rhode Island denied Aaron Lopez his request, claiming there were already too many citizens in Newport), and the political position taken by the New York community during the War on Independence, squarely on the side of the revolutionary cause, a position which gave its individual members a good standing in the post-revolutionary years, unlike what happened in other states where prominent families who aligned themselves with the Royalist cause (as was the case of the Lucenas of Georgia) suffered the consequences of their choices.

Lastly, there is the issue of the Sephardic dominance in the only New York Synagogue, which imposed its Portuguese and Spanish ways on all the newcomers, even those of a different tradition. The monopoly of the Shearith Israel synagogue came to an end in 1825 when the B’nai Jeshurun synagogue was founded by Dutch, German and Polish Jews, signalling that the Askenazim were becoming confident enough not to measure their success in their new country in terms of their proximity to the old Portuguese families. By then the control of the old elites was beginning to wane. Soon there would be fortunes carrying German surnames like Seligman or Gugenheim rivalling their own and the winds of reform would split religious life, driving the modernising and rational- minded  to the new reform temple Emanu-el, opened in 1868 on the newly gentrified Fifth Avenue. As their social and religious dominance was ending, the congregation moved uptown to more fashionable grounds. But inside the walls of the new Shearith Israel, an exact replica of the old Mill Street synagogue was built, with its Portuguese “bancas” and records, a nostalgic monument to past glories and to the early American story of its founders.




Bethencourt, Cardozo de  1925 “Notes on the sanish and Portuguese Jews in the United States, Guyana and the Dutch and British West Indies During the Seventeenth and Eighteenth  Century” Proceedings of the American Jewish Historical Society Nº 29 pp. 7-38

Birmingham, Stephen 1971 The Grandees: America’s Sephardic Elite. Nova Iorque: Harper and Row

Chyet, Stanley 1958/1998 “The Political Rights of the Jews in the United States 1776-1840” rpd. American Jewish History Vol.6 Part I. Nova Iorque: Routledge pp. 14-74

Faber, Eli 1992  A Time for Planting: The First Migration 1654-1820. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press

Grinstein, Hyman B. 1945 The Rise of the Jewish Community of New York 1654-1860. Filadélfia: The Jewish Publication Society of America

Hershkowitz, Leo 1976 “Some Aspects of the New York Jewish Merchant and Community, 1654-1820” American Jewish Historical Quarterly Vol. LXVI Nº1 pp. 10-34

Hünhner, Leon  1905  “Naturalization of Jews in New York under the Act of 1740” Proceedings of the American Jewish Historical Society  Nº 13 pp.1-5

Kaplan, Yosej 1982 “The Curaçao and Amsterdam Jewish Communities in the 17th and 18th Centuries” American Jewish Historical Society Vol. LXXII Nº 2 pp. 193-211

Kayserling, M. 1897 “Isaac Aboab, the First Jewish Author in America” Proceedings of the American Jewish Historical Society  Nº 5 pp. 125-129

Marcus, Jacob B. 1970 The Colonial American Jew  Vol. I   Detroit: Wayne University Press

Philips, N. Taylor  1893  “Family History of the Revered David Mendez Machado” Proceedings of the American Jewish Historical Society  Nº 1 pp. 45-61

______________    1896 “The Levy and Seixas Families of Newport and New York” Proceedings of the American Jewish Historical Society  Nº 4 pp. 189-214

Pap, Leo 1964  “Portuguese Pioneers and Early immigrants in North America” Actas do V Colóquio Internacional de Estudos Luso-Brasileiros. Coimbra  pp. 401-408

Pool, David de Sola  1952  Portraits Etched in Stone: Early Jewish Settlers 1682-1831. Nova Iorque: Columbia University Press

Stern. Malcolm H. 1992 “Portuguese Sephardim in the Americas”  American Jewish Archives Vol. XLIV Nº 1  pp. 141-178

Yerushalmi, Yosef Hayim 1982 “Between Amsterdam and New Amsterdam: The Place of Curaçao and the Caribbean in Early Modern Jewish History” American Jewish History  Vol. LXXII Nº2 pp. 172-191

[1] This interpretation put forward by Prof. Edmund B. Delabare in 1926 has been contested, among others, by Samuel Eliot Morrison (1971)  in The European Discovery of America: The Northern Voyages A.D. 500-1600. New York: Oxford University Press

[2] Mentioned by Leo Pap (1964) in “Portuguese Pioneers and Early Immigrants in North America” p.403

[3] Father Isaac’s meeting with the Portuguese woman is mentioned by John J. Birch (1936) in The Saint of the Wilderness, St. Isaac Joques, New York: Benzinger pp.172-173

[4] Article Ten of the States General Decisions, taken in the Hague, October 13, 1629, published in a Portuguese translation  as “Atas da Assembleia Geral” in Revista do Instituto Histórico e Geográfico Brasileiro, 1884 Nº 31 pp.172-238

[5] His poem about the Portuguese conquest of Pernambuco, mentioned by M. Kayserling in 1897 as being in its manuscript form of the theological association Ez Chajim of Amsterdam was given by its author the somewhat long title “A memorial of the wonders of God and of the great kindness which He in His compassion and His great mercy showed to the House of Israel in Brazil, when there came over them the hosts of Portugal to destroy and to exterminate all that is called Israel, children and women in one day.” Kayserling, 1897: 126-127

[6] Quoted by Yosef Hayim Yerushalami 1982: 183

[7] Isaac was the son of Portuguese conversos who had settled in France. He is said to have studied Philosophy and Medicine at the University of Bordeaux where he lived as a Catholic, before moving to Amsterdam and from there to Recife. When detained in Bahia he claimed  a different identity and to have gone to Bahia to escape a murder charge in Recife. Witnesses at his trial testified to the contrary, claiming that he had been sent to Bahia by the Recife Jewish community to establish contact with secret Jews of the province. He was 23 years old when he was burned alive in Lisbon on December 15, 1647

[8] Translation of David Franco Mendes “Toledot Gedolei Yisrael” in Há-Measef. Königsberg. 1784-85 quoted in Birmingham, 1971: 52-53

[9] Peter Stuyvesant, Manhattan, to the Amsterdam Chamber of Directors, September 22, 1654, repr. The Jew in the American World: A Source Book. Ed. Jacob Rader Marcus 1996 Detroit: Wayne State University Press pp. 29-30

[10] The West India Company to Peter Stuyvesant, April 26, 1655 repr. . The Jew in the American World: A Source Book. Ed. Jacob Rader Marcus 1996 Detroit: Wayne State University Press p.32

[11] He was refused his deeds to the sale, which the local authorities declared invalid.

[12] According to Phillips (1893) they escaped during a large dinner party held in the Nunes’s mansion on the banks of the Tagus, to which had been invited the captain of an English brigantine anchored at some distance in the river. Invited to visit the brigantine to take refreshments, the families, the two inquisition spies which had been posted with the family after the doctor’s first trial, and a number of guests repaired to the vessel that set sail, carrying the whole party to London.

[13] The community and the Sacred Texts were taken to Philadelphia, in 1776, to return seven years later when the British troops withdrew.

[14] Isabel is said to have been captured as a slave, and to have become the Sultan’s concubine, under the rather fanciful name of “Zoraya the Morning Star”. 

Sent by John Inclan



Signs of Judaism


Signs of Judaism.(see Llorente, "Histoire de l'Inquisition," i. 153, iv. Supplement, 6; "Boletin Acad. Hist." xxii. 181 et seq.; "R. E. J." xi. 96 et seq., xxxvii. 266 et seq.).

A law was issued, indicating 37 signs by which backsliding Maranos might be recognized. These signs were enumerated as follows:

If they celebrate the Sabbath, wear a clean shirt or better garments, spread a clean tablecloth, light no fire, eat the food ["ani"] which has been cooked overnight in the oven, or perform no work on that day; if they eat meat during Lent; if they take neither meat nor drink on the Day of Atonement, go barefoot, or ask forgiveness of another on that day; if they celebrate the Passover with unleavened bread, or eat bitter herbs; if on the Feast of Tabernacles they use green branches or send fruit as gifts to friends; if they marry according to Jewish customs or take Jewish names; if they circumcise their boys or observe the "hadas" [a Babylonian superstition], that is, celebrate the seventh night after the birth of a child by filling a vessel with water, throwing in gold, silver, pearls, and grain, and then bathing the child while certain prayers are recited; if they throw a piece of dough in the stove before baking; if they wash their hands before praying, bless a cup of wine before meals and pass it round among the people at table; if they pronounce blessings while slaughtering poultry, cover the blood with earth, separate the veins from meat, soak the flesh in water before cooking, and cleanse it from blood; if they eat no pork, hare, rabbits, or eels; if, soon after baptizing a child, they wash with water the spot touched by the oil; give Old Testament names to their children, or bless the children by the laying on of hands; if the women do not attend church within forty days after confinement; if the dying turn toward the wall; if they wash a corpse with warm water; if they recite the Psalms without adding at the end: "Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost," etc.

 Sent by Rafael Ojeda


Attendance of three Historic Events during March 2009 by Sylvia Villarreal Bisnar
Family History of Pasqual Leo Buquor & Maria Jesus Delgado, Sylvia Villarreal Bisnar
May 2: "La Batalla de la Angostura" also known as "The Battle of Buena Vista". 
Getting State Recognition of Battle of Medina is Historian’s Quest, Dan Arellano
Founding Families from Canary Islands settlers of  Villa of San Fernando 
    by Ruben M. Perez
Old Spanish Trail Centennial Association
Preserving the Voices of Austin and Travis County Mexican American Elderly Residents
Tejano Children of the Alamo
Dallas State Fair Stories Wanted 

Attendance of three Historic Events during March 2009

Sylvia Villarreal Bisnar



Left to right, Stephanie, Pete and Cecile Gomez (Rene's daughter and family) SAR Member Tom Green, Rene Villarreal, my brother, and Sylvia Villarreal Bisnar, and unknown SAR member.

The first week in March 2009 was an incredible experience for me in San Antonio.  
A 9th generation San Antonian, being a part of the three historic celebrations that took 
place in Texas during this week were memorable and I was proud to be a part of it. 

             First, on March 8th was the Canary Islanders Luncheon and Re-enactment of the arrival of the 16 families who came to settle this part of New Spain .  The luncheon was held at the Marriott Hotel and gave everyone an opportunity to meet their distant cousins.  

I am proud to say that I descend from eight of these families -- Juan Leal-Goraz, Juan Leal, Juan Curbelo, Vicente Alvarez Travieso, Francisco de Arocha, Joseph Leal, Juan Leal and Mariana Meleano Delgado. 

            Members of the CIDA dressed in period costume and re-enacted the arrival, introducing themselves as they presented themselves to the citizens of San Antonio de Bejar.

                 Sylvia Villarreal Bisnar and brother Rene Villarreal

The second memorable event that I attended while in Texas during the first week of March was Texas Ranger Cross Dedication sponsored by the Former Texas Rangers Association honoring my second great-grandfather, P. L. Buquor.  


I was so proud to be able to take part of this event and without the help of Shirley Grammer of the Former Texas Rangers Association it would not have happened.  She made all the arrangements, including printing a program.  Several dignitaries from the association and Floresville attended and spoke a few words about my ancestor.  Over 73 of “my cousins” attended.  It was overwhelming and made me so proud. "I was proud to hear my ancestor's names mentioned." 

PL Buquor came to Texas in 1836 at the age of 15.  He was a member of the Army of the Republic of Texas, a Texas Ranger and fought in many of the famous battles during the revolution.  He fought in the Mexican-American War and was a Captain in the Civil War.  When he retired from fighting, he began civil service and held many offices in San Antonio, including Mayor of San Antonio.  P.L. Buquor, at the age of 20 married Maria de Jesus Delgado, a descendant of the Canary Islanders who settled in San Antonio in 1731.  He passed away at the age of 80 in Floresville where he made his home during his later years. He was such a hero and we are all very proud of him.  


Sylvia Villarreal Bisnar and brother Rene Villarreal

The third memorable event I attended while in Texas was the Dedication Ceremony honoring the Texans who contributed to winning the American Revolution on Sunday, March 15, 2009 at the Texas State Cemetery.  The TSDAR build a monument and inscribed all the names of the patriots, including my two:  Jose Antonio Curbelo, a Canary Island Descendant, and Jose de la Baume.  Jose Antonio Curbelo was a rancher and during the American Revolution drove several hundred head of Texas longhorn cattle to General Bernardo de Galvez in Louisiana in order that he may feed his troops.  Because of this, Gen. Galvez was instrumental in winning the War for Independence .  Jose de la Baume came from France with the Marquis de Lafayette to fight in the American Revolution and was present when Gen Corwallis surrendered at Yorktown .  After the War for Independence , he was second in command and built Ft. Miro (now Monroe ) in Louisiana .  After 1805, he settled in San Antonio and died at the age of 103. 


The Texas Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution put on a wonderful show with flags and parade.  The Sons of the American Revolution were in costume of the period and made a an impressive showing when they paraded toward the front of the gathering of several hundred attendees.  

We, as descendants of the patriots honored, were given red carnations to wear with our name tags and were seated in a special section.  We felt to proud to be honored in this special way.  The DAR, dressed in all their dignatary, spoke of our patriots in such a respectful manner that it made my heart swell with pride.  And, again, I was happy to share this celebration with my brother, Rene Villarreal, the only remaining member of my immediate family.

Gloria Vidal Garcia and Mary Jane Garcia Scarboro, descendants of de la Baume.


Shirley Grammar of the Former Texas Rangers Assn, Sylvia Villarreal Bisnar, and Becky Garza, descendant and master of ceremonies. 

Author of 
Family History of Pasqual Leo Buquor and Maria Jesus Delgado

Our ancestors were brave men and women of whom we should be proud. They were explorers, builders, soldiers, patriots, ground breakers, founders of towns, leaders of men and just plain citizens. I found that most our ancestors were early settlers of this great country. They have been traced to the Huguenots in the 16th century France. 

Our roots: The Acadians (PL Buquor's ancestors) were prosecuted for their religious beliefs and traveled to settle in Acadia (Nova Scotia) in the 17th Century and eventually settled in Louisiana, now known as "Cajuns".

The Canary Islanders (Maria Jesus Delgado's ancestors) were sent by King Phillip V of Spain to settle in San Antonio in 1731. Her ancestors were part of the original fifteen families settled in San Antonio and of those that built the San Fernando Cathedral in 1738. 

Sylvia has devoted twenty seven years collecting information which has finally become a written document. She has enjoyed this journey and hope that you will too.

Book is for SALE - Soft bound $50.00 plus $8.00 for shipping (209 pages)
Hard bound is $75.00 plus $10.00 for shipping (209 pages)

Send check/money order to Sylvia Villarreal Bisnar, 6192 Kodiak East, Fort Mohave, AZ 86416.   You may contact her with any questions by e-mail at or 
1-562-400-1320 (cell) 1-928-768-1474 home (Sylvia will be on vacation June 1-Aug 31)

Name ______________________Address______________________
Phone ______________  e-mail address: ________________________________
Soft bound $50.00 ea ______ Shipping $8.00 ea. Total: ________
Hard bound $75.00 ea ______ Shipping $10.00 ea. Total: ________


"La Batalla de la Angostura" 
also known as "The Battle of Buena Vista" 


Los Bexarenos
May 2, 2009, 9:30 am
Speaker: Reynaldo Rodriguez Cortez
"La Batalla de la Angostura" also known as "The Battle of Buena Vista". 
(Presentation in Spanish)
Our speaker for the May meeting will be Sr. Reynaldo Rodriguez Cortes who will give a respentation on "La Batalla de la Angostura' also known as the Battle of Buena Vista where American forces led by Gen.Zachary Taylor were met by Mexican forces led by Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna near Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico.
Sr. Rodriguez Cortes is an architect by profession and a resident of Saltillo. He was President of the Mexican Association of Planification (2002-2206). He is presently the Technical Secretary of the Board of Trustees for the Museo de la Angostura in Saltillo (2002 to present). He is a native of Sabinas, Coahuila, Mexico. He has a passion for the history of Coahuila and Texas because his father was born here in Bexar County in 1914. With the help of Los Bexarenos Genealogical Society he was able to locate his father's baptismal record at San Juan Church here in San Antonio.
Note: The Los Bexareños Library at the Casa Navarro Historical Site is now closed due to relocation. The Library will be closed until a new location can be found. We will announce any change in status.

Help for the beginning genealogists. The Society assists individuals in getting started with genealogical research through beginner's workshops. Beginners also receive assistance from the more experienced members of the Society. Currently we are offering assistance by appointment only and on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of the month between the hours of 10:00am and 2:00pm at the following location:
The San Antonio Genealogical & Historical Society
911 Melissa Drive, San Antonio, TX 78213
Contact one of the following individuals by email or phone to schedule an
appointment: Dennis Moreno 210-647-5607
Yolanda Patino 210-434-3530
Meetings are normally held at 9:30 a.m. every first Saturday of the month on the first floor, Main Auditorium, of the San Antonio Public Library, 600 Soledad Street, San Antonio, Texas. Visitors are always welcome to attend. Membership is not required. Speakers at the meetings are people with a passion for history, professional historians, genealogists,
archaeologists and researchers.


Getting state recognition of the Battle of Medina is historian’s quest 

By Steve Taylor, Guardian News, April 21, 2009   
Sent by Dan Arellano

AUSTIN, April 15 - When historian Dan Arellano first tried to explain that Texas’ battle for independence from Mexico did not start at the Alamo he struggled to get heard. Now he is paid to do so. On a visit to the state Capitol on Tuesday, Arellano offered a couple of examples of how the Establishment in Texas is now paying attention to his work. 

Firstly, he was contacted by Texas Monthly about participating in a feature about the state’s long forgotten battlefields. Secondly, the person that put Texas Monthly writer Gary Cartwright in touch with him was none other than Texas State Historian Jesús F. de la Teja.

Arellano explained to Cartwright what happened at the Battle of Medina for a feature called Ghosts of War. It is in the April edition of Texas Monthly.

“It’s amazing the changes that are happening in this state. When I started I practically had to beg to get someone to allow me to tell the story of the Battle of Medina. Now I get paid to come and speak about it. It pays the bills,” said Arellano, whose day job, when he has time, is selling real estate in Austin.

Arellano was at the state Capitol to offer his support to House Concurrent Resolution 139, authored by state Rep. Kino Flores, D-Palmview, which seeks to have a Tejano Monument erected on the south lawn of the Capitol grounds. The efforts to get the monument approved by the Legislature and the State Preservation Board has taken many years but based upon the testimony heard by the House Committee on Culture, Recreation and Tourism on Tuesday, it looks as though it may finally happen.

Arellano is hoping for similar success in his individual quest. He wants the Battle of Medina to be included in Texas school history books and April 6, 1813 to be recognized by the state just as much as March 2, 1836 is.

As every Texas schoolchild knows, the Battle of the Alamo took place on March 2, 1836. Far fewer people know about the Battle of Medina, which took place on April 6, 1813. Arellano’s mission is to put that right.

“The history books are forgetting to tell us that Texas history does not begin with the arrival of Stephen F. Austin and the struggle for freedom did not begin with Davy Crockett and the Alamo. The struggle began way before they got here,” Arellano said.

In his book, “Tejano Roots, a Family Legend,” Arellano refers to the Battle of Medina as being “the Mother of All Wars” in Texas. “About 1,000 Tejanos fought against the Mexican Army in the battle, along with 300 Anglos and 200 Indians,” Arellano said. “Yet the battle has been largely swept under the proverbial rug of history.”

The story is personal for Arellano because an ancestor on his father’s side, Francisco Arellano, fought for the loyalists. By 1832, he had deserted the Mexican Army and joined the Tejanos. Arellano has his ancestor’s sword.

Arellano said the actual beginning of the struggle to “free Texas from tyranny” began in 1812 when 130-plus men took part in the Gutierrez-Magee Expedition, crossing the Sabine from Louisiana in a rebel movement against Spanish rule. 

Arellano said he is pleased to have the support of de la Teja as he pushes the cause of having April 6, 1813, officially recognized by the state of Texas. For the past three years he and others have stood in front of the Spanish Governor’s Palace in downtown San Antonio on April 6. “The attendance is getting bigger each year,” he said.

The next move, Arellano said, is to send a letter to Gov. Rick Perry asking for his support and to get a state legislator to file a bill recognizing the Battle of Medina’s significance in the struggle for independence from Mexico. 

“It has taken 14 years to get to this point. Eight years of research, two years to write the book and four years promoting it,” he said. “But it is paying off. The story I am telling is the way Texas history actually happened, not what is in the textbooks and now, 2.3 million Texas Monthly readers are going to know the story. I am excited about what is going to happen. We are taking this statewide.”

One of Arellano’s upcoming speaking engagements will be at the Kenedy Ranch. He said most interest in his book comes from the people of San Antonio and those living south of the city.

“The book does real well south of San Antonio. That’s the line, that’s the traditional line. You drive down to San Antonio and it is totally different to Austin. It’s like being in another world. The Valley is another world,” he explained. 

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

Sent by Dan Arellano


These are historically accurate sunglasses. Don't fire until you see the whites of their eyes.

Where's the battle? Someone ask Dan

Viva Tejanos

How much am I bid for this painting 
on the wall?

One Espanol, one Tejano





By Rueben M. Perez


The Canary Islanders entered the Presidio de San Antonio de Bejar, an hour before noon, March 9, 1731.  They would establish the Plaza de Las Islas, now known Main Plaza.  Their homes would be situated around the Plaza and close to the Presidio.  All together, there were sixteen families and 56 people, some males who were unattached bachelors.  Juan Curbelo, was the second to the oldest, being of 50 years old, Juan Leal Goraz was 54 years old.  Most were very young, as follows: 24 were between the ages of 1 month to 15 years old, 10 between 16 to 19 years old, 14 were 20 to 30 years old, and 8 were over 30.  Given this youthful age, their determination to establish a new life in the New World would be one of survival.  Most were from the Islands of Lanzarote, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Palma, Fuerteventura, and the Grand Canary.

            After stopping briefly in Havana Cuba, they landed in Vera Cruz on June 19, 1730.  The families from the Canary Islands would start their arduous and adventurous journey to San Antonio.  A military guard would accompany them along the way.  A few would die during the trip from the Islands: Juan Granadillo, Lucus Delgado (who died in Havana, Cuba), and Juan Cabrera.  Two young men who left the Islands before the rest of the families while in Mexico, asked Juan Curbelo’s permission to marry his daughters.  The older Curbelo girl, Maria Ana Curbelo, married Vicente Travieso, and her sister, Juana, married Francisco Arocha.  Both of these two families were to play an important role in San Antonio and the Texas Revolution.  Before arriving in San Antonio, two more marriage in the group of Canary Islanders would occur and a baby would be born during the trip.   Numerous stops along the way were made to replenish the supplies or rest for the night.




After a year of traveling, the weary Canary Islanders (by order of King Philip V), they began to lay out a villa (village), choosing a site on the west side of the Plaza de Las Islas (present Main Plaza) for the church and a site on the east side for the Casas Reales (government buildings).  On July 9, the captain of the Presidio, Juan Antonio De Almazan, read to the islanders the decree of the viceroy naming them and their descendents “Hijos Dalgos”, persons of nobility.  The heads of the 16 families who settled in San Antonio were: Juan Leal Goraz, Juan Curbelo, Juan Leal, Antonio Santos, Jose Padron, Manuel De Nis, Vicente Alvarez Travieso, Salvador Rodriquez, Jose Leal, Juan Delgado, Jose Cabrera, Juan Rodriquez Granados, Francisco de Arocha, Antonio Rodriquez, Lorenzo and Martin de Armas, and Felipe and Jose Perez.

*Historical Marker # 5029000702 Main Plaza, NW Corner of the Bexar County Courthouse lawn



FIRST FAMILY: Juan Leal Goraz, age 54; Vincente Leal, age 18; and Bernardo Leal, age 13.

SECOND FAMILY: Juan Curbelo, age 50; wife, Garcia Perdomo y Umpienes, age 46; Joseph Curbelo, age 25; JuanFrancisco Curbelo, age 9, and Maria Curbrelo, age 13.

THIRD FAMILY: Juan Leal, age 30; wife, Garcia de Acosta, age 30; Manuel Leal, age 12; Miguel Leal, age 10, Domingo Leal, age 7; Maria Leal, age 6; and Pedro Leal, age 3.

FOURTH FAMILY: Antonio Santos, age 50; wife Isabel Rodriquez, age, 34; Miguel Santos, age 17; Catharina Santos, age 12; Maria Santos, age 7, Josepha Santos, age 2

FIFTH FAMILY: Joseph Padron, age 22; wife Maria Francisca Sanabria, age 22.

SIXTH FAMILY: Manuel der Niz (Nistrasa) age 50; wife, Sebastiana de la Pena, age 42.

SEVENTH FAMILY: Vicente Travieso, age 25; and wife, Maria Ana Curbelo, age 18.

EIGHTH FAMILY: Salvador Rodriquez, age 42; and wife Maria Perez, age 42; Patricio Rodriquez, age 15.

NINTH FAMILIY: Francisco (de) Arocha, age 27; and wife, Juana Curbelo, age 14.

TENTH FAMILY: Antonio Rodriguez, age 18; wife, Josfa de Niz, age 19.

ELEVENTH FAMILY: Joseph Leal, age 22; wife, Ana Santos, age 15.

TWELFTH FAMILY: Juan Delgado, age 19; wife, Catharina Leal, age 16.

THIRTEENTH FAMILY: Joseph Cabrera, age 15; Marcos (de) Cabrera, age 6; Ana Cabrera, age 13.

FOURTEENTH FAMILY: Maria Rodriguez-Robiana de Bethencourt, age 27; Pedro Rodriguez Granadilla, age 13; Manue Francisco Rodriguez (Granado) age 3; Josefa Rodriguez Granadillo, age 10, Paula Rodriguez Granadillo (alsoknownas Pabla Rodriguez, age 10; Maria Rodriguez Granadillo, age 5; Juan de Acuna (Rodriguez Granadillo), age 1 month.

FIFTEENTH FAMILY: Mariana Meleano (also known as Maria Meleano), age30; Francisco Delgado, age 16; Dominga Delgado, age 2; Leonor Delgado, age 4.

SIXTEENTH FAMILY- FOUR SINGLE MEN: Phelip Perez, age 20; Joseph Antonio Perez, age 19; Martin Lorenzo de Armas, age 20; Ignacio Lorenzo de Armas, age 22.



            The island of Lanazrote, along with the other islands are surrounded by water and made up from volcanic soil that little produce could be grown.  The land being arid made survival difficult.  Don Bartolome wrote to the King and recommended families be transplanted to the New World.  John Ogden Leal, former Bexar County archivist, wrote, “ Thus, the noble pilgrims of Texas, the Canary Islander families and their descendants, founded the City of San Antonio, Texas, in 1731, by Royal Decree of His Majesty, King Phillip5th, First King of the Royal Bourbon family of Spain”. 

            A list of the families was compiled after the families arrived in Mexico and traveled to Cuatitlan on November 1730.  Upon their arrival at the Presidio of San Antonio de Bexar on March 9, 1731, Captain Jose Antonio de Almazan, Captain of the presidio read the list again, reading out loud, the names of the heads of the families.

            After they arrived, the Title of Nobility were bestowed to the male Canary Islanders of San Antonio, Texas and their descendants in perpetuum (forever) in law 6, book IV of the summary of the Laws of the Indies.  Thus, they were to enjoy the honors and prerogatives of the noblemen and knights of the kingdom of the Castle according to the laws and privileges of Spain.  With that, the males could carry the title of “Don”.

12*Leal, John Ogden, Canary Island Families and Other Early Land Owners Around Plaza De Las Islas/Main Plaza, Known As the Villa of San Fernando, Now San Antonio, Tex., Sept. 20, 1991.



            Not often mentioned about the people of the Canary Islanders settlers, especially inhabitants of the islands of Lanzarote and Fuerteventura are they were suffering and dying from extreme weather conditions.  During the decade between 1720 and 1730, the worst decade of drought and hurricanes in the history of the Islands was recorded.  The decree issued by the King to emigrate and settle in the New World, promising the settlers with provisions, food, and seed for crops was timely and came at an appropriate time for the Islanders.

*Larry Yaskiel, collated, Lanzarote’s Water Culture Over the Centuries: A Burning Sun, North East Trade Winds and Severe Drought, Lancelot, Winter 2009, Issue 111, pp.35 – 36.

            The founding families on their arrival, started to work immediate in establishment of the settlement of the Villa of San Fernando.  They had to survive in the new land.  The first tasks would be planting crops, building houses, and following the plan of distribution of land.   Juan Antonio Perez De Almazan responsibility would be to assist the newly arrived Canary Islanders by providing provisions, carrying out the plan for placement of houses, and assisting in the establishment of the first municipal government in the state.  He presided at the first election held on August 1, 1731 to elect alcaldes (mayor). 



            On Sunday March 8, 2009, the descendents of the founding families of San Antonio from the Canary Islands attended a 278th Anniversary Mass held at the San Fernando Cathedral.  San Fernando Cathedral was original built by the Canary Island families in 1738 and is listed on the National Register of Historical Places as the oldest Cathedral in the United States.   Following the mass, a re-enactment by the San Antonio Founding Heritage was held in the Plaza de las Islas (Main Plaza in front of San Fernando Cathedral). 


The Canary Islands Descendants Association held an anniversary luncheon at the Radisson Hotel Market Square.  Presiding at the luncheon was Dorothy Perez, President.  Other officers for 2009 included: 
1st Vice-President, Robert Benavides, 2nd Vice-President, Armandina Sifuentes, 3rd Vice-President, David Smith, Secretary, Alicia Burger, Treasurer, Estella Quintero, Publicity, Karen Tanguma, Chaplin, Rosie Anguiano and Custodian of Records, J.J. Zavala.  

Dorothy Perez, Perez, President
Robert Benavides, 1st Vice-President                 


At 3:00 p.m. at the front of San Fernando, the Ceremony of the Alfombras was held, centuries old tradition.   Friends of the Canary Islands, in partnership with Main Plaza Conservancy, San Fernando Cathedral, the Canary Island Descendants Association and San Antonio’s Founding Heritage presented this traditional folk art from the Canary Islands.  
“La Alfombra” is a multi-colored tapestry that is made of sand and laid on the ground, spanning the front of San Fernando Cathedral.  The sand tapestry or carpet is made with naturally colored volcanic sand brought over from El Teide in the Canary Islands, which is the tallest mountain in Spain.  Domingo Gonzalez, Director of El Grupo de Alfombristas and his group of artisans from La Orotava in Tenerife laid the beautiful artwork carpet.   The Ceremonial Procession was lead by Most Reverend, Archbishop of San Antonio, Jose H. Gomez and followed by the Pastoral Staff of San Fernando Cathedral to conclude the festivities of the week.


Old Spanish Trail Centennial Association


The purpose of the newly formed Old Spanish Trail Centennial Celebration Association is to locate, revitalize and preserve the roadway, businesses and historic sites of the original Old Spanish Trail auto highway. We see the OST100 task as linking business and civic groups with funding sources already in existence to help with the types of projects proposed; not adding to overextended public and private entities. 

OST 100 will be following the lead of the founders of the OST who involved greatly diverse interests in building and beautifying the original roadway. Initially we have had to introduce OST100 purposes into road, park and business projects already in design or even construction phases. We assure all that this is not to set any precedent of requesting change in the late stages of projects. OST Centennial celebrations for the San Antonio corridor are scheduled for 2024 and 2029. This gives OST100 time to be involved in early stages of renovations or new development. Our growing list of supporters from civic groups and private organizations will allow us to bring new funding sources to projects.

OST100 has the advantage of being able to use the rise and fall of the economic cycle to our advantage. Learning from the history of the original OST Association who saw delays in plans during the Great World War, delays in engineering while funding was sought and then a halt to development and beautification upon completing of paving at the onset of the great depression, we from OST100 will use slow economic times to prepare to be ready to obtain funding as the economic cycle upturns. We have identified three existing original OST sites. All were creatively funded from private and civic organizations. Balcones Creek Park stone enhancements and the adjoining Kendal/Bexar County line stone work on the Boerne Stage Road built with donations to the OST Beautification Department, City Hall 0-Mile Stone donated by the San Antonio Federation of Women's Clubs, and the Fredericksburg Road/Vance Jackson OST bench put in place and later refurbished by the Alamo Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. Many more private property gateways were installed and still exist in underdeveloped OST corridors throughout the county. Future beautification, trail markings, landscaping and enhancements can again be funded from similar sources. Descendants of the original founders will be used in ceremonial capacities unless they happen to own property or a business on the OST. In that case we will be providing access to various renovation funding sources. Fortunately the San Antonio corridor of the OST passes through many economic empowerment and neighborhood commercial revitalization zones. OST100 will be an asset to these areas by giving added purpose for economic generation.

Our last three monthly meeting minutes are posted in the NEWS section of included economic development funding sources, historic funding generators and park development funding. Our request to each of you is to let us know of your plans for any changes within the Bexar County OST corridor. We would like to be involved from the outset, bringing with us success stories from others with similar projects and our growing list of possible funding sources. Thank you for your present involvement with OST100. We look forward to working with you throughout this decade of preparations for the OST Centennial as Bexar County takes the lead in bringing together the many cities and counties across the eight gulf and border states to celebrate the tremendous achievement of those early road building pioneers.

Charlotte Kahl
Co-Chair OST100 (with Marianna Jones)
(210) 735-3503


Preserving the Voices of Austin and Travis County Mexican American Elderly Residents
An Oral History Project 

The Austin History Center presents the Mexican American Oral History Project, a three part series beginning with an oral history workshop, continuing with a month long oral history preservation campaign, and culminating in a panel discussion with four elderly Mexican American citizens of Austin. Oral history is a tool that grants an opportunity to those voices that have been hidden or silenced to be heard. It allows multiple witnesses to an event or a time period to give their account so that we can better understand the “fabric of our community”. The Mexican American Oral History Project will ensure that the voices of our Mexican American elderly in Austin and Travis County are captured and that their history and memories are preserved for future generations. The project is free and open to the public. For more information please call 512- 974-7498 or visit <> .

"Oral history interviews offer the opportunity to record events that have shaped our community but that were never written down. Researchers in future years can use these interviews to fill in voids in recorded history." -- Gus Garcia, former Mayor of Austin

Oral History Month Long Campaign, May 1 - 31
A full month of conducting oral history interviews with Mexican American elderly (65 and older) who live in Austin and Travis County. Interviews will be conducted by workshop participants and other volunteers.

Memorias Mexicano Americano en Austin y el Condado de Travis Panel Discussion
May 14, 7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. at the Mexican American Cultural Center, 600 River Street

A panel discussion featuring the oral histories of four elderly Mexican American citizens of Austin, Richard Moya, Gabriel Gutierrez, Jr., Toni Arredondo, and Benita Jimenez Dominguez. The discussion will be moderated by Danny Camacho and videotaped by Ramon Galindo.

Kanya Lyons
Public Information Specialist
Austin Public Library



Tejano Children of The Alamo

San Antonio - The month of April is the time Texans celebrate the 1836 final Battle of San Jacinto, General Sam Houston and Texas Independence. Also, Travis,Crockett and Bowie are honored as the leading Battle of the Alamo heroes. Plus, defenders from the states of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Virginia along with men from the countries of England, Germany and Scotland have also long been accorded the role of heroes of Texas independence. 

Yet, very little is known about the role that native Tejanos played in the revolution and their accomplishments and contributions to the Texas revolution. Further, it has been championed that only one Anglo woman and her small daughter survived the Battle of the Alamo. Further, Tejanos have been marginalized as over all participants in the independence movement. Additionally past historians and the media have traditionally blurred the identity of Tejanos by referring to them as Hispanic Texans, Latinos, Mexicans and Mexican-Texans not simply, "Tejanos". 

The short definition of Tejanos is that beginning in the 1690's, they are descendants of the first Spanish, Mexican and indigenous families on the Texas frontier. It should be importantly noted, that for one hundred thirty years prior to the creation of the Republic of Mexico, Tejanos had their own capital and laws, created the first towns, ranches and culture in Texas that gave them self-identity and rule. Accordingly, Texas, a research, publishing and communications firm, whose mission is to tell about the true story and lives of Tejanos and Tejanas, is proud to champion these forgotten heroes in Texas history. Therefore, we are pleased to identify the Tejano children who enter the Alamo and survived the battle. 

It is very important to understand Tejanas like their male counter parts entered the Alamo in February of 1836 with full knowledge of the impending danger and the reason to pay the ultimate price for Texas independence. Just as important, is that they brought their children into the Alamo. Anna Esparza, wife of Alamo defender Gregorio Esparza, perhaps spoke some of the most elegant words of the period upon hearing her husband decision to defend the Alamo, "Well if you are to go, I will also go, and the whole family too!" As a result, their three sons, Enrique, Manuel, Francisco and daughter Maria entered the Alamo with them and survived the siege and final battle. 

Later in life, Enrique Esparza, gave one of the most detailed accounts of the fateful days of the siege and the final assault  and outcome. Most of the dozen or so Tejano children who survived the battle of the Alamo were related to Tejano defenders. Other Tejano children survivors were Juan Losoya, Maria Losoya and the Salinas sisters. 

These children suffered witnessing the terror and horror of battle as their fathers, uncles and brothers fought and died trying to combat a superior Mexican regular army of thousands to make Texas free and independent.
Juana Navarro Alsbury entered the Alamo with Jim Bowie who was a family member by marriage. She and her sister Gertrudis Navarro cared and nursed him throughout the assault and final battle of the Alamo. Also, Juana had her eleven month old baby son, Alejo, Perez, Jr. by a previous marriage to Alejo Perez. Alejo, Jr., can truly be known as the “Baby of the Alamo” as he was the youngest infant at the Alamo. 

Many of the other surviving Tejanas also had their small children as well and understood the price to be paid  for Texas independence.  We welcome the opportunity to provide more information on the true lives and legacies of Tejano children  during this period of Texas history. It was once said "Texas history can never be complete without the story of the Tejanos being told" said Rudi Rodriguez, Founder/President of Texas 


Texas was formed in 2003 and has published books, created exhibits, produced documentaries and plays and has launched a stunning website Also,it has started the official Texas "Tejano Heritage Month" festivities along with other activitiesthat help to educate, elevate and celebrate the Hispanic experience in Texas history.

Viva Tejano Texas!!!, 

Rudi R. Rodriguez



State Fair Stories Wanted
Now Taking Research Requests

DHS is currently collecting memories of the 1936 Centennial and State Fairs in the 40s, 50s and 60s. If you have stories you would like to share, please email them to or mail them to:
The Dallas Historical Society
ATTN: Dealey Campbell
P.O. Box 150038
Dallas, Texas 75315-0038
The stories collected will help DHS teach students about the history of the State Fair and the fairgrounds. We are especially interested in memories of the Centennial Exposition and events leading up to the integration of the State Fair in the early 1960s.

Dallas family researchers, please note: You may contact Susan Richards, Researcher, at 214-239-8141 or  to schedule a research appointment at their new research location.  Due to Hall of State renovations, the G.B. Dealey Research Library is currently closed.




Spanish Consul and Education Attache Tour Historic Canarian Sites in Louisiana
St. Bernard Parish


Baton Rouge, Louisiana, March 6, 2009.  


In photo, left to right:
Jose Antonio Morales, 
Bill Carmena, and  
Maria Morales Morales

Mr. Antonio Matarredona, Education Advisor for the Spanish Education Project at Louisiana State University, aided by several members of the Canary Islanders Heritage Society, hosted a tour of local sites that date to the Spanish Period in Louisiana. The sites included the Galveztown and Valenzuela settlements in Ascension Parish and a historic neighborhood of Baton Rouge known as Spanish Town.  Special guests for the day included the Hon. Daniel Chamorro, Spanish Consul of Spain in New Orleans , Mr. Gonzalo González de Lara, Education Attaché of the Consulate of Spain in Miami, and Col. Thomas Ryan, Historian of the Louisiana National Guard.  Mr. William Hyland, Historian of St. Bernard Parish, accompanied the guests to Baton Rouge. 


          The first stop on the tour was a visit to the Louisiana State Museum located in Baton Rouge near the State Capitol.  Mr. John Sykes, the Educational Manager of the State Museum, welcomed the tour group and escorted them to a conference room where they could have coffee and hear introductory presentations by the participating members of the Canary Islanders Heritage Society of Louisiana.  The speakers and commentators included John and Janelle Hickey, Joan Alemán, Jean Nauman, William Carmena, and Paul Newfield.


          John Hickey gave an overview of the history of the Galveztown and Valenzuela settlements.  Joan Alemán and Jean Nauman showed slides that highlighted various projects undertaken by the Canary Islanders Heritage Society to preserve, teach, and celebrate their Canarian heritage in Louisiana. 


          Following the presentations, Mr. Sykes led the group on a walking tour of the famous and colorful neighborhood of Baton Rouge called Spanish Town , which dates to 1805. The area was first settled by the Canary Islanders who abandoned Galveztown after Spanish Louisiana was transferred to France then to the U.S.A.   As Mr. Sykes escorted the group, he reviewed the history of Spanish Town and pointed out historical houses that still exist today.  Unfortunately, none of the original homes of the Canary Islanders have survived.


         The group then traveled to the site of Galveztown, a former Canary Islanders’ settlement located in East Ascension Parish, at the confluence of the Amite River and Bayou Manchac.  At this site, the group walked through the general area where the Villa de Gálvez had been located in late eighteenth century; however, today nothing remains of the town, not the old military fort, nor the church, not even the large cemetery.  A small section of the Galveztown site is currently being tested by Dr. Rob Mann, Southeast Regional Archaeologist at Louisiana State University , who is teaching excavation techniques to a class of adult students, some of whom are descendants of the Canary Islanders.  The students are examining soil samples at the site and uncovering interesting artifacts such as ceramics, glass, and pieces of brick that date to the Spanish Period. 


          After leaving the Galveztown site, the tour group took a lunch break at a restaurant in the town of Gonzales and then headed for the west side of the Mississippi River to Donaldsonville.  They stopped at the Ascension Catholic Church to view the monument dedicated in 2000 by the Canary Islanders Heritage Society of Louisiana in honor of their Canarian ancestors.  The tour group stood silently as Paul Newfield read a tribute that he had written in the year 2000 titled “They Came in Ships”, a sentimental salute to the brave Canary Islanders who left their homeland in eighteenth century and immigrated to Louisiana .


          The group continued their tour on the west side of the Mississippi River following the banks of Bayou Lafourche to the vicinity where, in 1779, the Spanish Governor of Louisiana , Don Bernardo de Galvez, placed Canarian families in lots along the bayou.  He named the settlement Valenzuela. 


          As an intact settlement, Valenzuela lasted longer than did Galveztown; nevertheless, in the Valenzuela site today, as in Galveztown, there is no visible marker in the terrain that can be traced back to the first Canary Islanders who lived there.  However, in Louisiana today, their descendants and their Spanish surnames abound on both sides of the Mississippi River.

               By Jean Hodgeson Nauman
Canary Islanders Heritage Society of Louisiana

Surnames of Bill Carmena's ancestors who came to Louisiana in 1779 at the Canary Islanders settlement of Galveztown (in present day Ascension Parish, Louisiana near the town of Galvez),are: Morales, Viera, Masias, and Sanchez.
Anyone interested in sharing genealogical date with Bill Carmena's may contact him at


St. Bernard Parish

St. Bernard Parish has a unique story to tell of the Canary Islanders, Spanish colonists from the Canary Islands who arrived in St. Bernard Parish in the 1720s and over many generations, and through great difficulties, they have succeeded in preserving their heritage and their language. Visit the Los Isleños website,, or drive the San Bernardo Scenic Byway for a closer look. 

The Battle of New Orleans where the nation was defended against the British in 1815 is reenacted each year at the Chalmette Battlefield. You can tour the National Historical Park and Preserve site throughout the year for more on our historic ties. Click here for more info.



MexGenWeb. . WorldGenWeb Project
Registros parroquiales : antigua Diócesis de Michoacán, 1670-1915



Accepting Volunteers
Teresa Sitz


Do you possess mad genealogical skills that you'd like to share with the rest of the world? Do you dream of being a genealogy superhero? If so, do we have a place for you!

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A MexicoGenWeb Volunteer State Coordinator is something of a national treasure. A Volunteer State Coordinator salvages the fragile past by helping others connect the threads of their family histories.

My son's great-great-great grandmother, Maria Molina, a Tarahumara native, 
June 1897, Chihuahua, Mexico.

How I Became Involved In 2003 I began searching for my father's long lost family in Texas. TexGenWeb, the Texas counterpart to MexicoGenWeb, was an inestimable help to me. Through the TexGenWeb project I was able to locate and contact dozens of aunts and uncles and cousins whom I had never met before. In 2006 we had our first family reunion and family members who had not seen each other in decades were reunited.

The success with my Texas family inspired me to search for the family of our adopted son who is of Mexican heritage. After years of searching I found that my son's people came out of Chihuahua, Mexico, through El Paso, settling in Los Angeles County, California. We have met my son's grandparents and cousins and this reunion has added a great deal to all of our lives. It was my gratitude to the MexicoGenWeb project that moved me to volunteer to be the coordinator of the State of Chihuahua, and then a co-coordinator of Mexico with my partner Rosanna Parra.                                                            Volunteer State Coordinator, Teresa Sitz 

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Registros parroquiales : antigua Diócesis de Michoacán, 1670-1915

Notes Microfilme de manuscritos en el Archivo Histórico del Museo Casa de Morelos, antes Archivo del Arzobispado de Michoacán.
Marriage indexes, marriage dispensations, and confirmation statistics and eclesiastical orders from the old Diocese of Michoacan, Mexico. Text in old Spanish.
La diócesis de Michoacán fué erigida el 8 de agosto de 1536 por la bula "Illius fulciti praesidio". La bula de erección de la diócesis de Michoacán dice que tendría por cabecera la ciudad de Michoacán, que en aquellos días se le daba tal título a Tzintzuntzan. Don Vasco trasladó la sede a Pátzcuaro, acto que fue aprobado por el Papa Julio III en 1554. Por las fiestas del Apóstol San Pedro del año 1580 el tercer Obispo de Michoacán don Juan de Medina Rincón, O.S.A., cambió la sede del obispado de Michoacán a la ciudad de Valladolid, hoy Morelia, donde permanece hasta nuestros días. El Papa Pío IX decretó a través de la bula "Catholicae Romanae Ecclesiae", la creación de la Provincia Eclesiástica de Michoacán y elevó la antigua diócesis de Michoacán a Arquidiócesis, dándole como diócesis sufragáneas León, Querétaro, San Luis Potosí y Zamora. El Sr. Arzobispo don Leopoldo Ruiz Flores gestionó ante la Santa Sede el permiso para cambiar el nombre de Arquidiócesis de Michoacán por Arquidiócesis de Morelia, el cual se obtuvo favorablemente el 22 de noviembre de 1924. Desde entonces se le conoce como Arquidiócesis de Morelia.
En la Arquidiócesis de Morelia, la Curia Diocesana consta de tres ramos: Administrativo, Pastoral y Tribunal Eclesiástico (o Judicial). La Curia Administrativa se le conoce mejor por "Mitra". La Mitra Arquidiocesana consta de aquellos organismos y personas que ayudan al Obispo en el gobierno de toda la Diócesis en lo relativo a la administración de la Diócesis.
El territorio que abarcaba la Diócesis de Michoacán incluían parroquias del sur de Tamaulipas, algunas parroquias del Obispado de Linares-Monterrey, Obispado de Guadalajara, Obispado de San Luis Potosí y de los obispados de Chilapa, León y Zamora.



Latin American & Caribbean Cultural Heritage Archives Roundtable, 
    Society of American Archivists,
Research in Cuban Archives
Sgt. Felix Perez, Red, white and blue, through and through

Latin American & Caribbean Cultural Heritage Archives Roundtable, 
Society of American Archivists
The Latin American & Caribbean Cultural Heritage Archives Roundtable, Society of American Archivists, seeks articles, news stories, blurbs about upcoming events, editorials, photographs, and/or other content suggestions for its second newsletter. LACCHA's first newsletter can be found at: .  Its content includes information about LACCHA's formation and activities, as well as the following feature articles:
  • "TEAM México within the InterPARES Project:  Seeking for knowledge useful for the preservation of digital records" by Alicia Barnard, Records and archives consultant, member of TEAM México, InterPARES Project,
  • "From the early Founders to the present:  Los Bexarenos Genealogical and Historical Society" by Rafael Castillo, Vice-President of Los Bexarenos Genealogical and Historical Society and Professor of Humanities and Literature, Palo Alto College,
  • "Searching for Latina/o archives in Michigan" by Lois Moreno, Research assistant, Julian Samora Research Institute, Ph.D. Student, Michigan State University
  • "Report on the 2008 International Oral History Conference in Guadalajara, Mexico" by T-Kay Sangwand, Graduate Student, UCLA, Department of Information Studies and Latin American Studies, with a specialization in Archival Studies
  • "Preserving Hispanic History and Memory" by Felipe de Ortego y Gasca, Scholar-in-residence, Western New Mexico University's Professor Emeritus, Texas State University System-Sul Ross
The deadline for content for the upcoming issue is June 1, 2009, with extensions for those who commit to contribute content with the editor before the deadline.  We invite submissions of all types related to LACCHA's mission to:  "serve as a forum for discussing and advising on issues related to the management and preservation of archival materials originating from the Latin American and Caribbean area and housed in U.S. repositories, and also those created by diaspora groups who come from these regions and are living in the United States."  LACCHA presently has about 65 members and is growing.  SAA topped the 5,500 members mark at the end of 2008!

Thank you very much,
Noah Lenstra
LACCHA Newsletter editor, 2008-2009


The Los Angeles Times and other newspapers across the land on 14 April 2009 had lead headlines: “Obama lifts all limits on relatives’ Cuba visits,” “The U. S. also drops restrictions on money transfers by families,” “Cuba policy shift could be big for U. S. firms,” “Loosening of the U. S. embargo raises possibilities for telecom, air travel, and
other industries.”

For those of us interested in the Spanish Archives stored in Havana and other cities, this is the opportunity we have long awaited. Perhaps we can follow the paths ancestors took as they discovered and settled the Cuban land, which was such a vital part of New Spain. Our citizens of Cuban ancestry will be interested in many aspects of that history, but my own interest is in the period of the American Revolutionary War, when Cuban soldiers and sailors fought British at Mobile and Pensacola, and joined other Spanish in Central America, on the frontiers of present-day Southwestern United States, and in the Philippines during that war. There are no historical or genealogical research categories mentioned
directly, but these should come under the general category of humanitarian endeavors. It should also be possible to hire relatives who are interested in research, as funds can now be sent to them for such work. It was a great day for those interested in the history of their people. Let us hope that the Archives have been carefully preserved, can still be read, and can soon be transcribed to microfilm and computer formats.

By Granville W. Hough, author and researcher.

Sgt. Felix Perez


Red, white and blue, through and through
By Jeff Passan, Mar 16, 2009


MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – The flag traveled around the world and through the deserts of Afghanistan and Iraq. Sgt. Felix Perez brought it from home as a reminder and an amulet. The flag never left his Army backpack.  It accompanied Perez to Dolphin Stadium on Tuesday night. He needed some luck for his team, the United States, in its must-win World Baseball Classic game against Puerto Rico. Perez wore a Team USA hat and a Team USA hoodie, and his little sister, Jessica, draped his flag across her shoulders. The United States’ 6-5 come-from-behind victory in the ninth inning sent them into a frenzy. She danced around. He sat in his motorized wheelchair and roared.
On the way out, the 27-year-old Perez placed the flag in his lap and leaned over to a security guard manning Gate G. He was hoping some players from Team USA might sign it. The security guard led Perez and his sister to the U.S. clubhouse, and the flag went inside.  “The next thing I know,” Perez said, “I’m getting called to come back in there.”
And so began the coolest 30 minutes of Felix Perez’s life. On an evening when he felt especially proud to be an American – when a group of his sporting heroes wearing his country’s name across their chests banded together to win a game they had no business winning – Perez found himself surrounded by them, doused with celebratory Miller Lites, with the American flag that was with him during the worst moment of his life passed around the room and signed by every player on the team.
“Everybody,” Perez said.  Then they handed him a ball filled with signatures. “Everybody,” Perez said.
The half-hour went too fast. Jimmy Rollins, who scored the winning run, wanted to chat more. David Wright, who drove it in, couldn’t hear enough about how the New York Mets are Perez’s favorite team. Almost half the team surrounded Perez for a photograph, the flag draped around his torso, a smile on every face, and none brighter than his.
“I’m just happy to see him happy,” Jessica said.  It’s been four years since Perez returned from the Middle East, where he spent four years. He enlisted after his 17th birthday and was in Afghanistan by the time he turned 20. He doesn’t like to talk about his injury. Some wounds don’t heal.
Perez played ball growing up in North Bergen, N.J., and still loves watching the sport. He attended Team USA’s first WBC game here, an 11-1 mercy-rule loss to Puerto Rico. When the Americans beat the Netherlands to stay alive, Perez woke up at 9 the next morning, called the box office and bought three tickets.
The stadium, practically empty at first pitch, filled to 13,224 by game’s end. It deserved more eyes. Puerto Rico scored in the sixth inning to break a 3-3 tie and tacked on an insurance run in the ninth for a two-run lead. The Americans, about to get bumped from the second straight WBC before the semifinals, needed something divine. Shane Victorino singled to right field. Brian Roberts singled to center. And then Roberts, who had joined Team USA just two days earlier to replace the injured Dustin Pedroia, stole second base – even though coaches laid down the hold sign. Roberts hadn’t quite learned the signs yet.
A walk to Rollins, and another to Kevin Youkilis, and the U.S. had cut the deficit to one run. Wright laced a 2-1 pitch from Fernando Cabrera down the right-field line, and out charged all of Team USA, from the bench and the bullpen, in a bull rush to home plate, then to greet Wright. His teammates kept pushing Wright, joyous and unbridled shoves, until he fell down and they buried his face in the dirt. “I never thought that we’d be dog piling in March,” Wright said.
No one did. The malaise that clouded the previous games involving Team USA seemed infectious. For every Felix Perez, there were dozens, sometimes hundreds, of fans rooting for the opposing team. Every WBC game thus far, even the ones in Florida, felt like it was on the road.
Not even that dampened the Americans’ enthusiasm. They play Venezuela on Wednesday to determine seeding in Los Angeles, where they’ll face either Korea or the winner of Wednesday’s Japan-Cuba knockout game – and perhaps with a few more supporters who can appreciate what Team USA accomplished Tuesday.
“That was the greatest game I’ve ever been a part of,” catcher Brian McCann said. “Ever.”  Same went for Perez. He said he would rather Team USA win the WBC than the Mets win a World Series. “We’re the U.S.,” Perez said. “This is our game. … This is the world. You’re representing your country. What is more honorable than representing your country?”
Team USA’s manager, Davey Johnson, grew up an Army brat, his father a prisoner-of-war in World War II. “There is nothing more honorable,” he said. Wright was raised near Naval Station Norfolk, one of the largest military bases in the country.
“When you see those guys and get a chance to see how much it means to them, that makes it extra special,” he said. “They take a lot of pride in that red, white and blue, and to have USA across your chest and have supporters like that – that’s what this tournament means.”
Outside the clubhouse, Perez started moving toward the stadium exit. His dad, Felix, had called. He was wondering where Perez and Jessica had gone. They were headed back to the car, Jessica said. They had a pretty amazing souvenir.
A minute later, Rollins walked by and spotted Perez.  All right, baby,” he said. “Keep a smile on your face.”  Hey,” Perez said, “as long as you keep swinging the bat, I’ll be happy.”  Perez lifted his right arm as high as he could to wave goodbye. He wasn’t sure he’d see these guys again. He said he might fly to Los Angeles for the finals. He doesn’t know.
Perez moved his hands onto the flag. It’s a struggle, but he wanted to touch his prize. He plans on hanging it next to his other American flag, the one his friends in the 82nd Airborne sent to him when he was injured. The old flag’s traveling days are over. Sgt. Felix Perez brought it to his home Tuesday night as a reminder and an amulet. The flag never will leave his heart.
Sent by Mercy Bautista Olvera



Granaderos y Damas de Galvez Participate in Greeting Spanish Ship 
History of Spanish Ship, Juan Sebastián de Elcano
Palos - Monumento en Santa María de la Rábida
ecel Centros, Centros que Inegran la Cecel
Certificaciones de Armas. Tomo I.

On Sunday April 5, 2009, the Granaderos y Damas de Galvez of Houston, traveled to Galveston to welcome the arrival of a very famous Spanish ship. We were in full traditional uniform for the ceremonies/homage. There were several Spanish government officials present. We are honored to have the Consulate of Spain, Houston as an active member of the Granaderos y Damas de Galvez.  It was a fantastic opportunity for our youth to see in person how amazing this stuff is! We enjoyed a black tie dinner and other events in the evening.

Here is some background on the schooner and who it was named after:  Juan Sebastian de Elcano Spain's 370 Foot Topsail schooner was launched in 1927 for the then Royal Spanish Navy. She is named after the Spanish seafarer Juan Sebastian de Elcano. and has circumnavigated the world six times. This four masts schooner is the official training ship for the Spanish Navy.

Juan Sebastián de Elcano

Celebrated navigator, he was the first to sail around the world. He was born in Guetaria, Gipuzkoa in 1487 and died in the Pacific in 1526. Accustomed since childhood to the life of the sea and net and deep sea fishing, he later refined his maritime experience with the maritime commerce of contraband in the ports of France. His enterprising and adventurous character made him participate in the expedition that cardinal Cisneros organized against Algeria in 1509. 

Upon his return, he went to Seville, where he came to form part of the crew that accompanied Magellan in his voyage to connect Spain with the so-called East Indies or Far East. In the fleet, composed of five ships and crewed by 265 men, corresponded at first to Elcano the post of master of the vessel Concepcion. The expedition set sail in Sanlucar de Barrameda the 20th of September, 1519, and, after having put in at the Canaries, made for the Brazilian coast, which they skirted in the southern direction, until they arrived at the mouth of river which was called San Julian (March of 1520), where they stopped for the winter. 

Here, Magellen had to face the opposition of Juan de Cartagena, who, followed by other captains and numerous crew men, refused to go further and declared an open rebellion. The mutineers entrusted to Elcano the military command of the ship San Antonio. The differences resolved violently, Elcano was able to return with the previous charge to the ship Concepcion, at whose hand he would cross the anxiously looked for Estrecho (later said by Magellen) in November of that year and penetrated the immense waters of the Pacific ocean. 

After countless vicissitudes and later after having stopped at various islands, they put into port at the Philippine archipelago in the spring of 1521, where the genial leader of the expedition would encounter a violent death on the island of Mactan, near Cebu, on April 27, 1521. With Magellen gone, Duarte Barbosa, his brother-in-law, and the pilot Juan Serrao, both Portuguese, took command of the fleet. Within a few days, they were treacherously killed by the king of the island of Cebu, who had invited them to a banquet. They were replaced by Juan Carvalho, also Portuguese, in the Victoria, and Gonzalo Gomez de Espinosa in the Trinidad, since the Concepcion, now inservisable, had to be abandoned in the island of Bohol, Elcano went then to the Victoria, with the same position he occupied on the Concepcion. 

Reduced to two ships and 150 men, the expedition dedicated itself subsequently to investigating the various islands of the Philipine archipelago, until, guided by indigenous pilots, they finally arrived to the famous island of Spices, or the Molucas. On November 8, 1521, they reached the island of Tidore, where, aided by Almanzor, sultan of Tidore, they founded a commercial center, loading clove, nutmeg, and other precious goods. Well informed of the presence of the Portuguese in those waters, the leaders of the expedition determined that, while the Trinidad, under the hand of Gomez de Espinosa, sailed for the isthmus of Panama, the Victoria would try to regain Spain by the same route the Portuguese had followed. 

Leaving the Molucas on December 21, 1521, with a crew that was made up of 47 Europeans and 13 natives, the Victoria could finally leave the turbulent waters of the island, thanks to the skill of two indigenous pilots. Meanwhile, Elcano had become the captain of the expedition, replacing Carvalho in the port of Caldera de Mindanao. Setting course for the island of Timor, they stopped at various islands, when they re-supplied with pepper, wood and other goods. 

They arrived at the island of Timor, known for the abundance of white sandal wood, on January 26, 1522. Elcano immediately began bargaining with the natives to acquire supplies. The demands of these obliged him later to choose more expedient methods, taking prisoner one of the leaders and demanding supplies in return for his freedom. 
The vessel Victoria was anchored in the port of Batutaria, place of the seaboard of the island of Timor, about one and a half months, in which time they received news of the neighboring islands of the archipelago of the Sonda, from Java, from the peninsula of Malaca and even from China. They left that place on the 11th of February, 1522. The 6th of May that same year they turned the point of Buena Esperanza and, at last, after many vicissitudes and dangers of sea and man (Portuguese, in this case), they arrived with their battered ship at the port of Sanlucar de Barrameda the 6th of December, 1522. 

Of the 239 men that left Sevilla in five ships only 17 returned in one ship; but this glorious voyage, of the most scientific importance in the panoramic of the discovery of the world, placed in the realm of reality the dream of Columbus of connecting Europe with East Asia by the Western route, proving in an empirical way the theory that the world is round (on their arrival, Elcano and the mariners would see with surprise that they had lost a day in the log they carried of the record of such a long journey). However, the balance of the circumnavigation of Magellen and Elcano was nearly null from the economic and political points of view, leaving better demonstrated that the route to the lands of silk, ivory and spices was not the western, because of this it was impossible to establish by it the adequate counterpart to the indo-Portuguese route through the point of Buena Esperanza. 

After two days, Elcano and the crew of the Victoria marched to Sevilla, where they went to prostrate before Nuestra Senora de la Antigua to give thanks for their happy arrival. Juan Sebastian de Elcano was later received by the emperor Carlos V, who, among other things that he gave to the crew of the surviving ship, he granted to the native of Geutaria a pension of 500 ducados and the coat of arms with the legend: "primus circumdedisti me". 

We later see Elcano in Valladolid, where, as fruit of a romance he had with Maria de Vidaurreta, a daughter was born to him. He was very persecuted without knowing for certain why, although he suspected that it was for romantic reasons; the result of which, he obtained from Carlos V the ability to be accompanied by two armed men at all times. 
He later presented himself at the juntas of Badajoz and Yelbes, convened with the purpose to put to rest the dispute the between Castilla and Portugal over the possession of the Molucas. But Elcano was not a man that could live far from the sea for long. So, he went to Portugalete, to enlist in the armada that under the command of Loaysa had to set sail again to the Molucas the 24th of July, 1525. This expedition, in which the man of Guetaria displayed the position of second in command, suffered in like manner numerous set backs, ending up as well to lose the vessel in which Elcano traveled. The death of the commander Loaysa on the 30th of July, 1526 left Elcano in command of the expedition, although for a short time, as he died consumed by the scurvy in waters of the Pacific on August 4, 1526, after having given the testament, in which he dedicated an emotive recollection to his place of birth.

Roland Nuñez Salazar 
Board of Director/Membership & Public Events Coordinator 
Institute of Hispanic Culture, Houston, Inc.  Arte, cultura y tradiciones Latinos 
(Cell) 281 220-7153

Member - Houston Chapter, Order of Granaderos & Damas de Bernardo de Gálvez  (Cell) 281 220-7153

L to R - Mrs Margie Renazco, Hon. Antonio Renazco, 
Captain name not obtained
 His Excellency Consulato Miguel F.  Mazarambroz,  Spain Consulate for Houston, Texas

Hon. Antonio Renazco, Consul of Colombia/Houston, 
Ship tour Guide/Officer and ladies names not obtained

Mrs Doug McCleod & Doug McCleod both of Galveston, Tx 
and myself Roland Nunez Salazar of Houston Chapter - 
Granaderos y Damas de Galvez.


L to R -  Doug McCleod, Christina Girard, Priest, Hon. Antonio Renazco, Roland Nunez Salazar. 
all of us are from Houston except Doug & the priest.

Viva Espana y viva Galvez!


Palos - Monumento en Santa María de la Rábida


Este Monumento fue alzado en La Rábida, para conmemorar en 1892 el Cuarto Centenario del Descubrimiento de America. Hace unos cincuenta años, la esfera metalica que lo coronaba, fue alcanzada por un rayo y materialmente lo destruyó, ya que la parte que
quedó en pié, hubo que demolerla.

Posteriormente se ha construido uno nuevo, pero actualmente está en reparación, para retocar las partes que estan deterioradas. La foto que acompañamos fue obtenida alrededor de 1910 y fue publicada en un pequeño libro titulado "Portfolio Fotografico de España.- Huelva".






En una de mis columnas de hace aproximadamente un mes, me refería a que no encontraba ninguna población en América Latina que tuviera el nombre de algún pueblo de los que hoy componen la provincia de Huelva, siendo desde este lugar de donde partieron las tres carabelas  el 3 de agosto de 1492.

Sin embargo y debido a que los judíos que se vieron forzados por la influencia de la Inquisición a convertirse al cristianismo, fueron obligados a cambiar sus apellidos, bien por nombres de flores, aves o por el de las ciudades donde vivían y muchos de ellos, como seguían hostigados por las autoridades, decidieron marchar al Nuevo Mundo y establecerse en él con sus familias.

Esto hizo que actualmente encontremos en aquellos países apellidos que nos traen el recuerdo que vivieron sus ancestros entre nosotros, lo que se pone de manifiesto cuando leemos un libro, periódico o revista, especialmente de América Central o del Sur. Así hemos encontrado apellidos como; Cartaya, Ayamonte, Cortegana,o Lepe, entre otros.

Pero si,  hay apellidos que me han llamado mas la atención, como Gibraleón, especialmente de la familia  que se estableció en Sevilla y que llegaron a formar parte de la élite de su época de la sociedad sevillana, por la importancia económica de sus negocios en América, donde se estableció Rodrigo de Gibraleón, junto con Juan de la Barrera, teniendo ambos una concesión real para una pesquería de perlas en Panamá y que dieron nombre a una isla que actualmente existe y que se conserva como Isla Gibraleón..

Otras de las familias que también tenían negocios entre Sevilla y América, fueron los Almonte, con muy buenos resultados y formando también parte de la aristocracia sevillana de la época, pero esta familia fue perseguida por los inquisidores, hasta que el progenitor de todos ellos que se había retirado a La Palma del Condado, fue condenado después de muerto a ser quemado en la hoguera, lo que se cumplió en el quemadero de Tablada en 1524.

Hay también un héroe de la aviación chilena, en cuyo honor se le dio el nombre de su apellido a una isla en el estrecho de Magallanes, y se conserva con la denominación de Isla de Aracena.

                                    Custodio Rebollo

  Publicado el 28 de abril de 2009 en Odiel Información de Huelva (España)






Documento sin titulo < Lots of good reference sites here
Sent by Bill Carmena,




Certificaciones de Armas. Tomo I.

Ediciones ZAC2 se complace en anunciarles que ya está disponible el primer tomo de la colección "Certificaciones de Armas" de Doña Margarita Zabala Menéndez. Obra indispensable para el estudio de la Heráldica Hispana, donde el lector podrá encontrar los extractos de las Certificaciones de Armas, la genealogía del títular, un árbol genealógico anexo para facilitar la consulta de datos, la descripción de las armas y el dibujo de las mismas, todo ello acompañado de 24 láminas a color con 53 ilustraciones de los dibujos originales.

La utilidad de la obra es indiscutible ya que gracias a ella podremos abordar facetas de la Heráldica hasta ahora inaccesibles, como por ejemplo, detallar el perfil del solicitante de armas, estudiar las descripciones heráldicas y el vocabulario utilizado en ellas, figuras más comunes, diseño, uso de ornamentos exteriores, etc...

Esta impresionante colección se compone de los extractos de Certificaciones de Armas de Don Antonio de Mendoza y Sotomayor (Rey de Armas de los Reyes Católicos y del Emperador), Don Diego Barreiro (1643-1666), Don Jerónimo de Villa (1612-1643), Don Juan Francisco de Hita
y Rada (1639-1650), Don Pedro de Salazar y Girón (1658-1670), Don Francisco de Zazo y Ulloa (1715-1727), Don Francisco de Zazo y Rosillo (1727-1763), Don Manuel Antonio Brochero de Montalvo Guzmán y Zarzuela (1753-1773), Don Ramón de Zazo y Ortega (1753-1789), Don Gabriel Ortiz de Cagiguera y Salvi (1792-1802), Don Juan Félix de Rújula y Jimeno (1774-1806), Don Pascual de la Rúa y Ruiz de Naveda (1771- c.1810), Don Manuel Joaquín de Medina (1795-1814), Don Julián de Zazo y Muñoz de Ortega (1815-1834), Don Manuel Pérez Dávila (1812-1837), Don Antonio de Zazo y Muñoz de Ortega (1792-1815), Don Nicolás de Zazo y Muñoz de Ortega
(1809-¿?), Don Francisco Doroteo de la Carrera y Gómez (1815-1843), Don Joaquín Marín y Rubio (1839-1855), Don Antonio de Rújula y Busel (1814-1861), Don Pablo Lavergne y Duru (1836-1861), Don Juan José Vilar y Psayla (1861-1894), Don Félix Martínez de Azcoitia y Zamora (1822-1896), Don José de Rújula y Escobal (1862-1909), Don Luis Vilar y Vilar (1866-1916), Don Luis Vilar y Pascual (1857-1893), Don Félix de Rújula y Martín-Crespo (1862-1930), Don Julio de Yepes y Rosales (1930-1955), Don José de Rújula y Ochotorena, Marqués de Ciadoncha, (1908-1961), Don Juan Félix de Rújula y Vaca, Marqués de Ciadoncha, (1919-1978).

Ediciones ZAC2 presenta al lector un libro con un formato muy cuidado: papel de 115 gr., cubierta de 335 gr. con solapa de 55 mm., láminas en cuatricomía, y unas medidas de 170 mm. x 240 mm.  La primera edición está numerada y sólo se han impreso 500 ejemplares que el lector podrá

Para más información (PVP, ver interior del libro, pedidos, etc...) pueden consultar la página:

Reciban un cordial saludo.

Ignacio Koblischek.
Ediciones ZAC2

Nota: Ediciones ZAC2 tiene firmado un contrato de exclusividad con Doña
Margarita Zabala Menéndez para la comercialización de esta obra.





Ancestral Voices of the Past, Curbelo Family of Lanzarote by Rueben M. Perez
Reconnecting with the Past, 1731-2009
FamilySearch alcanzaron un hito monumental
Hacienda-Ingenio de San Mateo, "testigo mudo del sacrificio"
Valencia, "sinónimo de heroísmo y sacrificio"
Millions of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro Civil Registration Records, Digitally Searchable 


Reconnecting with the Past

A Procession of Canary Island Descendants in San Fernando Cathedral, wearing the costumes and bearing the flags of the native isles of their ancestors commemorating the founding of San Antonio.

Lancelot Magazine, March, 2009.

El Grupo LANCELOT se creó en agosto de 1981 y tiene en la Isla de Lanzarote su ámbito básico de actuación, si bien también distribuye sus productos en Gran Canaria, Tenerife y Fuerteventura, así como suscripciones y pedidos en toda la Península, Unión Europea y América del Norte y del Sur.

Elabora periódicamente tres productos informativos: Lancelot, semanario de información general; English Edition, en lengua inglesa con periodicidad trimestral; e Insel Rundschau, en lengua alemana con periodicidad mensual.

From: "Liz Larry" <
Date: March 25, 2009 8:48:43 AM CDT
To: "Carrie Perez"
Subject: Matias Curbelo
Dear Rueben,
                     I told an official of the Lanzarote Cabildo about your book and he was very excited as he is a member of the Curbelo family. His name is Matias Curbelo.

We would like to give a copy of your book, if you kindly agree, and will be glad to pay for it. It would be nice if you and your family could sign a copy dedicated to Matias Curbelo of Lanzrote.
Please let us know when your excerpt from Lancelot of Water Culture of Lanzarote will appear on the web site.
Very best wishes from Liz and Larry Yaskiel



FamilySearch alcanzaron un hito monumental

Se ha indexado el registro número 250 millones por medio de voluntarios
Un esfuerzo increíble acelera el acceso a información genealógica en línea.

SALT LAKE CITY— Los voluntarios de FamilySearch alcanzaron un hito monumental esta semana al transcribir el registro 250 millones de su colección histórica. La increíble iniciativa en línea comenzó en enero de 2006 con unos pocos miles de voluntarios que han crecido para ser la mayor iniciativa web de este tipo con más de 100.000 voluntarios mundialmente. El registro 250 millones fue parte de la indexación del proyecto del Registro Civil de Nicaragua de, uno de los 45 proyectos en línea que están siendo indexados por voluntarios. El registro fue extraído por 3 voluntarios distintos ubicados en Nicaragua, Guatemala y Honduras.

FamilySearch administra la colección más grande del mundo de registros genealógicos: 2,5 millones de rollos de microfilm y millones más de imágenes digitales de más de 100 países de todo el mundo. 

Por décadas, FamilySearch ha permitido al público el acceso gratuito a su colección por medio de los más de 4500 centros de historia familiar en todo el mundo. En el año 2005 comenzó a mejorar el proceso de acceso a su colección mediante la conversión de los microfilms en imágenes digitales que pueden ser buscadas en línea. El siguiente paso era crear una herramienta en línea por la que voluntarios de todo el mundo pudieran analizar las imágenes y extraer datos relevantes que puedan ser publicados en línea en la forma de un índice enlazado con cada imagen. FamilySearch Indexing es esa herramienta.

“Lo que hace de este registro número 250 millones un hito aún más impresionante es que cada registro se indexó por lo menos dos veces para asegurar su exactitud”, reportó Paul Nauta, gerente de Asuntos Públicos de FamilySearch. “El resultado es un asombroso índice en línea que puede utilizarse para búsquedas por gente de todo el mundo” agregó Nauta.

El proceso de control de calidad único significa que cada documento es transcripto por dos diferentes indexadores. En el caso del registro número 250 millones, estos dos indexadores viven en Nicaragua y en Guatemala. Cualquier discrepancia en alguno de las dos transcripciones se envía a un tercer voluntario – un árbitro- quien efectúa las correcciones necesarias entre las dos extracciones. En este caso, el árbitro se encontraba en Honduras. “Tres voluntarios, tres países, un objetivo común: proveer acceso a los registros genealógicos del múndo de una manera más rápida y más económica.” – dijo Nauta.

En el año 2006, los voluntarios de FamilySearch indexaron un total de 11 millones de registros. “Hoy, gracias al crecimiento en los números de voluntarios, están transcribiendo aproximadamente un millón de nombres por día. A este paso esperamos llegar a los 500 millones mucho más rápido que a la marca de 250 millones” agregó Nauta.

Hoy, decenas de miles de voluntarios, jóvenes y mayores, ingresan a las 24 horas del día, 7 días por semana, de todas partes del mundo para ayudar a transcribir los registros genealógicos del mundo. Algunos donan unos pocos minutos al mes, otros, horas diarias. Algunos lo hacen a modo de “beneficio para el futuro” porque se han beneficiado personalmente durante años en su investigación por medio de las colecciones de FamilySearch. Otros ayudan porque les gusta la idea de que unos pocos momentos de donación ayudan a preservar información histórica y hacerla disponible para el público. 

Una vez completados los índices quedan disponibles en línea para el público por medio de o alguno de los centros de historia familiar de FamilySearch.

FamilySearch siempre tiene más de 35 proyectos de indexación en línea en curso, muchos de ellos internacionales. “Los voluntarios usualmente tienen preferencia por cierto tipo de proyecto más que por algún otro,” dijo Paul Starkey, el gerente de proyectos de FamilySearch Indexing. “Por ejemplo, si usted tuvo antepasados de España, podría estar motivado a ayudar a indexar los registros de España de la Iglesia Católica porque podrían facilitarle su búsqueda personal una vez que se completen y publiquen los índices en línea.” 

Todos los interesados en ser voluntarios o ver cuáles son los proyectos que están siendo indexados actualmente, puede hacerlo a través de 

Contacto para la prensa:

Paul Nauta
FamilySearch Public Affairs Manager


Hacienda-Ingenio de San Mateo, "testigo mudo del sacrificio"

Diario El Carabobeño
Artículo publicado el: 08/04/09

Historia y Tradición
Hacienda-Ingenio de San Mateo, "testigo mudo del sacrificio"
Eumenes Fuguet Borregales (*)

En la carretera nacional que conduce de La Victoria a San Mateo, se encuentra la hacienda-ingenio de San Mateo conocida como "ingenio Bolívar", allí el valeroso prócer neogranadino Antonio Ricaurte (1786-1814) sacrificó su vida y salvó la Patria; histórico lugar reconstruido y convertido el año 1964 en Museo Histórico Nacional, propiedad de la familia Bolívar desde 1593 hasta 1877, fecha de venta por parte de Anacleto Clemente, hijo de María Antonia Bolívar hermana del Libertador. Esta histórica hacienda cambió de dueños en varias oportunidades hasta que en 1924 el presidente Juan Vicente Gómez la adquirió al señor Francisco Rodríguez Zumbado por la cantidad de cuatrocientos cincuenta mil bolívares para el Acervo de la Nación, decretándola el 14 de septiembre de 1924 Museo Histórico Militar, abierta al público a partir del 1ro de diciembre de ese año. Simón Bolívar y Castro conocido como "Simón el Mozo", nacido en la isla de Santo Domingo en 1569, cuarto abuelo del Libertador y primer Bolívar nacido en América hijo de Simón Bolívar "el viejo", luego de haber obtenido una "encomienda" el 17 de septiembre de 1593 para los indios Quiriquires en los fértiles Valles de Aragua, consolidó económicamente la hacienda, desarrollando el cultivo de la caña de azúcar con su correspondiente ingenio, molino de agua y hornos para la producción de la panela.

Simón "el Mozo" al enviudar ingresa a la vida sacerdotal cumpliendo actividades en Valencia. La encomienda es una institución socio-económica, mediante la cual, un grupo de individuos debía retribuir a otros en trabajo, especie o por otro medio en base al disfrute de un bien. En el complejo histórico se observa en la colina la Casa alta, sector conocido como la "colina del sacrificio" donde ocurrió la inmolación de Ricaurte; en la parte restaurada funciona un museo con armas y uniformes de la época emancipadora, como también una importante galería de pinturas. En la parte baja se encuentra el ingenio y en su cercanía el molino y los hornos del ingenio convertido en el Museo de la Caña.

A finales de 1802 el futuro Libertador y su joven esposa María Teresa Rodríguez del Toro disfrutaron algunos días en la acogedora hacienda atendidos por la servidumbre, y entre ella figuraba la Negra Matea. Esa hacienda será testigo mudo de dos combates ejecutados en el funesto año de 1814; la Primera Batalla de San Mateo llevada a cabo el 28 de febrero, cuando el Libertador cerca de la propiedad con tres mil soldados resiste durante diez horas la acometida de seis mil efectivos del ejército de Boves, optando éste último retirarse a Villa de Cura al resultar herido en una pierna. La Segunda Batalla ocurre el 25 de marzo, ya Boves recuperado de la herida con un efectivo de ocho mil combatientes e informado de la existencia de las armas y pólvora depositadas en la Casa Alta al resguardo del capitán Antonio Ricaurte, planifica el asalto a la hacienda, donde se encontraban heridos y enfermos de la lucha independentista, como también niños, mujeres y ancianos de pueblos cercanos huyendo de la cruel lucha. Bolívar encontrándose en la parte baja con mil quinientos soldados defendiendo a toda costa la posición, al analizar la crítica situación de enfrentarse a un enemigo numéricamente superior, diría a sus soldados inmediatos que: "mis valientes, si el sacrificio de la Patria impone morir en la lucha, seré el primero". El capitán Ricaurte conocido desde joven por su impetuosidad y valor como "el chispero", al observar la proximidad de los realistas desde las colinas cercanas hacia la Casa Alta al mando de José Francisco Morales, se acercó a la cocina y le pidió un tizón a la señora Petrona esposa de Vicente Malavé mayordomo de la hacienda; de inmediato ordenó desalojar a los enfermos, heridos y personal civil cercano y la poca tropa disponible, inmolándose para evitar que el valioso material bélico cayera en manos enemigas; inexplicablemente se salvaron de la explosión la mesa del comedor y un retablo con la figura de Santa Bárbara. Gracias a la digna y patriótica acción de Ricaurte, las fuerzas republicanas con la balanza de la victoria a su favor, pudieron asumir después de nueve horas de combate la iniciativa, y a sangre y fuego mediante un contra ataque obligaron a los realistas retirarse de San Mateo. María Antonia y su fiel Matea soportaron estoicamente el desarrollo de las acciones. El Libertador visitaría su hacienda en forma breve los años 1818, 1821 y 1827. En la población de San Mateo se encuentra la iglesia de la Virgen de Belén, la cual data de 1620, en ella se encuentra una lámpara donada por Don Vicente Bolívar y una campana y un cuadro de la coronación de la Virgen de Belén donados por Doña Concepción.

En junio de 1826, Bolívar le escribe a María Antonia pidiéndole gastar tres mil pesos en la reparación de la Casa Alta. El monumento recordatorio del sacrificio de Ricaurte fue donado por el gobierno de Colombia, erigida en julio de 1911 centenario de la declaración de la Independencia, obra del venezolano Lorenzo González. La población de San Mateo se ufana de ser capital del municipio Simón Bolívar. Visitar la hacienda de San Mateo es conocer el sacrificio de los prohombres alfareros de libertades.

(*) Gral. de Bgda.

Artículo enviado desde la página web del Diario El Carabobeño
Sent by Roberto Perez Guadarrama


Valencia, "sinónimo de heroísmo y sacrificio"

Artículo publicado el: 01/04/09

Diario El Carabobeño

Historia y Tradición
Valencia, "sinónimo de heroísmo y sacrificio"
Eumenes Fuguet Borregales (*)

Durante el desarrollo de la Venezuela heroica, Valencia fue verdadera encrucijada de honor y gloria, aportó cuotas de ingente participación con resonancia de eternidad; en su génesis de libertad sufrió tres sitios, y de ellos, uno fue ejecutado por el "Siempre Precursor", mientras que los otros dos lo ejecutaron fuerzas realistas. Primer Sitio: El 11 de julio de 1811 surge la primera protesta armada contra la declaración de la Independencia, la cual decidió a enviar desde Caracas al marqués Del Toro para sofocar la rebelión; Del Toro llegó hasta Mariara fracasando en su intento, ante lo cual se designa a Miranda el 21 de julio para la operación, que se materializa el 13 de agosto al mediodía en punto, en cuya victoria coloca en la Plaza Mayor de Valencia la misma bandera tricolor diseñada por su intelecto patriótico; esta oportunidad constituye la primera vez que nuestra enseña se colocaba en un combate terrestre.

Segundo Sitio:
El Libertador había mandado a construir, el 8 de febrero de 1814, una ciudadela con fosos y parapetos, para defender la ciudad contra los inminentes ataques realistas; el general Rafael Urdaneta procede de San Carlos y ocupa Valencia el 19 de marzo. El 26 de marzo, día del memorable combate que Bolívar sostuvo en San Mateo contra Boves, le envía a Urdaneta un categórico mensaje: "Defenderéis a Valencia, ciudadano general, hasta morir, porque estando en ella todos los elementos de guerra, perdiéndola se perdería la República"; orden espartana de quien la enviaba, y de quien al cumplirla haría escribir una de las páginas más gloriosas del proceso emancipador. El "siempre leal", con apenas doscientos ochenta soldados, esperó el ataque iniciado el día 28 con la acometida de más de tres mil efectivos de José Ceballos y Sebastián de la Calzada. Los sitiadores pedían la rendición, Urdaneta con fuerza moral contestaba: "La boca de mis cañones llevarán la respuesta", durante siete días de verdadera proeza y resistencia ante fuerzas superiores que no daban tregua. Durante la epopeya en estos momentos aciagos debieron consumir carne de burros, mulas y otros animales; para calmar la sed chupaban limones agrios que partían sus labios. En esta acción épica se destacaron las heroínas María Josefa Zabaleta y Ángela Lamas, cargando agua para los sitiados y enfriar los cañones; las dos valientes se esmeraron en atender a heridos y ayudar diligentemente en cuanto podían. El arzobispo de Caracas, Narciso Coll y Pradt, encontrándose de paso con un grupo de sacerdotes, prefirió quedarse en Valencia para socorrer a los heridos. En la contingencia bélica, algunos prelados murieron, otros heridos y varios prisioneros. El comandante militar de Valencia era el coronel Juan de Escalona y el gobernador Francisco Espejo: al tenerse noticia de la retirada de Boves al ser derrotado por Mariño en Bocachica el 31 de marzo y aproximarse a Valencia el día 2 de abril en la tarde, Ceballos opta por retirarse el día 3 en horas de la mañana hacia Tocuyito. El mismo día 3, Bolívar entra a Valencia, manifestando admiración por el valor y desempeño de la tropa y de los valencianos. Tercer Sitio. Movilizándose desde La Victoria Boves al frente de tres mil ochocientos soldados, acomete contra los defensores de La Cabrera logrando alcanzar los alrededores de Valencia el 17 de julio; instala su cuartel general en El Morro para iniciar sus atrocidades a partir del 19, asesinando a los heridos y enfermos convalecientes en el hospital. El coronel Escalona como comandante militar y Francisco Espejo como gobernador, mostraban precarias condiciones para defender a la inerme población. El 24, Boves se movilizó hacia Puerto Cabello, dejando al mando a Francisco Tomás Morales, quien continuaba con su delirio de eliminar a la población. El asturiano Boves regresa el 6 de julio, tratando de ingresar a la débil ciudadela. El 10 ofrece capitulación a Escalona precedida de una solemne misa y juramento ante el Santísimo; los jefes inmediatos recomiendan a Escalona desistir de la capitulación, pero ante la crisis y en espera del cumplimiento aceptaron los puntos acordados, pero Boves se ensaña de nuevo obviando el compromiso, sacia su crueldad asesinando a partir del día 11 a unas setecientas personas, entre militares y civiles; de éstos últimos podemos mencionar a Pedro Manuel López, padre del caraqueño y jefe realista Narciso López Urriola; igualmente, Francisco Espejo. Fueron ajusticiados dos coroneles, tres comandantes, seis capitanes, cuatro tenientes, seis subtenientes y cientos de soldados. Durante la noche, Miguel Ignacio Malpica (el suizo) le preparó a Boves un baile con finos platos preparados por las damas valencianas en espera de calmar el instinto criminal, pero, sin contemplaciones, el feroz asturiano continuó su venganza al son de la danza del "Piquirico", la cual impulsaba a sus huestes a cometer abusos y asesinatos, acción que repetía en el oriente de Venezuela. Escalona y Miguel Peña con mejor suerte pudieron escapar; la ciudad quedó desolada y las casas destruidas por la acción durante veinte días, era la cuota de sacrificio de esta noble ciudad. Recordamos unas palabras del distinguido doctor, escritor, humanista y académico Guillermo Mujica Sevilla, Cronista de la Ciudad: "He buscado en Valencia y he encontrado la historia".

(*) General de Brigada

Artículo enviado desde la página web del Diario El Carabobeño
Sent by Roberto Perez Guadarrama



FamilySearch Publishes Its First Online Portuguese Collection

Millions of Brazil, Rio de Janeiro Civil Registration Records 
Now Digitally Searchable on the Web

SALT LAKE CITY—FamilySearch added the Brazil, Rio de Janeiro Civil Registration to its online collection—about 4.5 million new digital images. The free collection contains searchable digital images of the original birth, marriage, and death records from all of the municipalities in the state of Rio de Janeiro from 1889 to 2006. The new digital images can be searched for free at (click Search Records, and then click Record Search pilot).
The published records cover births up to 1930, marriages to 1950, and deaths up to 2006. There are an estimated 18 million names in the free online digital collection. FamilySearch continues to film civil registration records in Rio de Janeiro and will update the collection as applicable.
Prior to now, the Rio de Janeiro Civil Registration records were only available in archive offices in Brazil or on microfilm through one of FamilySearch’s family history centers worldwide. FamilySearch digitized the collection—over 2,500 microfilms, spanning 117 years of vital records—and published them online for free public access.
“Now instead of ordering some of the films and traveling to a local family history center to use it, researchers worldwide can search any of the 2,500 films digitally and freely online from the comfort of their home,” said Paul Nauta, FamilySearch public affairs manager. “Family history enthusiasts with Rio de Janeiro ancestors have just been handed a big-time free gift,” added Nauta.
FamilySearch’s online digital image viewer makes it easy to search the historical documents. Patrons can quickly navigate from a Rio de Janeiro municipality down to individual towns. Simply click on a town, and the images are typically divided up by birth, marriage, death, and a year range—making it very convenient to comb through the original records for that town during a specific period in search of a Brazilian ancestor from Rio de Janeiro. Digital images can also be printed or saved electronically.
“Civil registrations (Registros Civis) are the vital records made by the Brazilian government and are an excellent source of accurate information on names, dates, and vital events,” said Lynn Turner, FamilySearch collection manager records specialist for Latin America. “The new digital image collection online is extremely important for those doing genealogical research in Rio de Janeiro because they document critical events in a person’s life and cover such a large percentage of the population—and they are freely accessible to anyone with Internet access,” concluded Turner.
Civil records were kept for all the population, including the Catholics and the non-Catholics. There was a large infusion of non-Catholics in Brazil after the 1880s. The civil registration records are an important public record of this section of the population as well.
FamilySearch has the largest collection of Brazilian vital records outside of Brazil. Currently these records are available to the public on microfilm through FamilySearch’s 4,500 family history centers worldwide or affiliate public libraries. FamilySearch plans to continue expanding online access to its Brazil collections. Pernambuco and Paranã will be the next state civil registrations added to the collection.
Contact for news media:
Paul Nauta,  FamilySearch Public Affairs Manager 



Christopher Columbus's True Family Origin & Ethnic Heritage  by Luis Brandtner
Civil War Photo Collection

Christopher Columbus's True Family Origin


The mystery of Christopher Columbus's true family origin and ethnic heritage appears to have been finally resolved. Alfonso Enseñat de Villalonga, a Spanish historian, has determined that Columbus's birth name was Pietro (Pedro) Scotto, the scion of a prosperous Scottish immigrant merchant family living in the independent city-state of Genoa now a city in Italy.


Columbus would later adopt the surname of a pirate by the name of Vincenzo Colombo (Colón) with whom he was briefly associated in order to protect his Scotto family in Genoa. Later in Portugal and then on his arrival in Spain in 1485 he was known as Pedro Colón according to historical documents examined by Enseñat.


While awaiting a final decision on his petition to sail westward under the Spanish flag Columbus  joined a lay religious order and took the name Cristóbal and so by 1492 was known officially as Cristóbal Colón at the Spanish court.


The revelation of his true family heritage is important for several reasons not the least of which is that his heritage had been "officially" and fraudulently sequestered first by the Italian government and then by Italian Americans.


The "official" version of Columbus's origin and heritage has long been treated with skepticism by historians because the details of his claimed family of origin had inconsistencies and discrepancies. Forged documents concerning some of those details had been found and exposed.


As a result there have been numerous attempts over the years to explain Columbus's true family heritage. These disparate theories have concluded variously that he was Portuguese, Corsican, Mallorcan, Catalan, Galician and even Jewish. A more recent theory postulated a Croatian origin.


But all of these theories were flawed. They all contained heavy doses of speculation motivated by patriotic nationalist sentiments. None of these explanations of Columbus's family origins were credible or satisfactory from an academic or historical perspective.


Enseñat's discoveries have changed all of that. Enseñat had earlier written about his historical discoveries but his articles and books had remained the concern and interest of only a limited circle of historians and academics. It was not until further research and new documentary discoveries culminating in the recent publication of his book "Cristóbal Colón. Orígenes, formación y primeros viajes" that his theory and explanation of Columbus's true family origin and heritage gained worldwide attention and acceptance.


A news article appeared in the Spanish newspaper ABC on March 8, 2009, followed by articles in other major Spanish newspapers such as El País. Within a few hours of its initial appearance in Spain the story went viral appearing in newspapers all over the world. The story spread across Europe and America and to such unlikely places as India.


Alfonso Enseñat de Villalonga's explanation of Columbus's family origin has the virtue of tying up a whole host of loose ends that historians had been until now unable to explain. It has the virtue of affirming Columbus's well documented Genoese origin while at the same time demolishing the fraudulent family ties promoted by the government of Italy, family ties that made Columbus and his brothers the unlikely sons of a lowly Genoese wool weaver and sometime bartender.


Columbus was a trained and skilled navigator and his brother Bartholomew, who accompanied him to America, was a skilled mapmaker. These were skills that required an education generally available only to a prosperous merchant family or to the lower nobility and not to a family of poor and uneducated wool weavers.  


1)     Colón se llamaba Pedro Scotto

Al final de un túnel tan largo alumbra (y sorprende) la revelación de una genealogía coherente de Cristóbal Colón, resultado del minucioso trabajo historiográfico de Alfonso Enseñat de Villalonga en el que se revelan de forma documentada tanto su cuna como su trayectoria hasta los viajes que le llevaron al Descubrimiento de América.


2) Según Historiador Español Cristóbal Colón se llamaba "Pedro Scotto"

El gran navegante Cristóbal Colón, el conquistador de América, cuyos orígenes siguen siendo objeto de investigaciones, se llamaba en realidad "Pedro Scotto" y era genovés, afirmó el historiador español Alfonso Enseñat de Villalonga citado el domingo por el diario español ABC.


3) Christopher Columbus was actually a Scotsman called Pedro Scotto, historian says

The 15th century explorer who opened up the American continents to Europe was actually called Pedro Scotto - not Christopher Columbus - and his family originally hailed from Scotland, a Spanish historian has claimed.



Click on the individual picture. it will tell you about that picture.
Great collection

Sent by Bill Carmena



"Haz tu Arbol Genealogico...El Arbol mas Hermoso de la Creacion"
Record Search Pilot adds 16 million records
Which Genealogy Database Site Is Worth Your Money
Contribute to the Encyclopedia of Genealogy
Lineage Society for Descendants of Early Settlers of Spanish and Mexican Land Grants
Find family histories or genealogies


"Haz tu Arbol Genealogico...
El Arbol mas Hermoso de la Creacion"

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

Benicio Samuel Sanchez Garcia



7 April 2009  
FamilySearch added over 16 million new indexed records and almost 500,000 new digital images 
this week to its Record Search pilot (see chart below).   

Seven new states were added to the 1920 U.S. Census index (Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, and Massachusetts). Four counties (Clay Crittendon, Desha, and Monroe) of Arkansas marriages have also been published and includes the indexes and the images. The Arkansas records date from 1837 to 1957. Many thanks to our good friends at the Arkansas Genealogical Society and other FamilySearch Indexing volunteers who help make these priceless collections more readily available online.

See the chart below for more details. The new records can be searched for free at 
(Click Search Records, then Record Search pilot).

Collection Name

Indexed Records

Digital Images


1920 US Census


Updated —7 new indexed states (Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, and Massachusetts)

Mexico, Chihuahua Church Records



Arkansas Marriages



New —4 counties (Clay, Crittendon, Desha, and Monroe). Result of joint initiative with the Arkansas Genealogical Society.

30 March 2009 – A new image collection, Mexico, Chihuahua, Catholic Church Records, 1622 – 1958 has just been added.


8 April 2009

There are many new, upcoming, and completed indexing projects to report in this update. There are 12 new projects (see Current Projects chart below). These include three Belgian and two Argentina projects. The New York 1892 State Census project will be of great interest to many people. FamilySearch could not do all of these great initiatives without the great time and effort contributed by so many terrific volunteers. Thank you for your continued support.

Current FamilySearch Indexing Projects, Record Language, and Percent Completion

Argentina, Buenos Aires 1855 Census



Argentina Censo 1869–Catamarca y La Rioja



Argentina Censo 1869–Corrientes y Entre Rios



Arkansas County Marriages V



España, Lugo–Registros Parroquiales [Part 1]



España, ÁvilaRegistros Parroquiales



Italy, Trento Baptism Records, 1784-1924



Mexico Censo de 1930Sinaloa



Mexico Censo de 1930Sonora



Mexico Censo de 1930–Tabasco



Mexico Censo de 1930Tamaulipas



Nevada1920 US Federal Census



New Mexico1920 US Federal Census



New York 1892 State Census



Nicaragua, Managua Civil Records



Perú, LimaRegistros Civiles



Ukraine Kyiv 1840-1842



Venezuela Mérida Registros Parroquiales



(*This percentage refers to a specific portion of a larger project.)

 Upcoming Indexing Projects

Look for the following projects coming in the near future (Note: These projects are currently being created. Dates when indexing is scheduled to begin will vary.)

·         Brazil, Pernambuco Civil Register 1900-1920

·         Brazil, Rio de Janeiro Marriages 1900-10

·         Chicago Archdiocese Cemetery Records 1 (1864-1989)

·         Freedmen Marriages

·         Jamaica, Trelawny Births

·         Peru, Lima Civil Register Index 1910-1930

 Recently Completed Projects

(Note: Recently completed projects have been removed from the available online indexing batches and will now go through a final completion check process in preparation for future publication.)

·         Argentina 1869 Census–Cordoba y San Luis

·         Arkansas Marriages III

·         Nayarit–Censo de Mexico de 1930  

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. FamilySearch is a nonprofit organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 4,500 family history centers in 70 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Sent by Paul Nauta


Which Genealogy Database Site Is Worth Your Money?

Posted by Diane

Q. How do subscription genealogy Web sites, such as, and Footnote, compare? In today's economy I want to get the most value for my money, and I can only subscribe to one.

A. When people ask us which genealogy data site is the best, our answer is “The one that has the records you need is the right one for you.”

Think about what records you’d use most, and then see which sites have them. If you’re a beginner, you’ll probably want US census and immigration records. WWI draft cards are helpful, since virtually every man born from 1872 to 1900 (and living in the US in 1917 and 1918) registered.

Newspapers and city directories can fill gaps between censuses. Did your ancestors serve in the military? See which sites have records for wars they fought in.

Also check database sites coverage of places your ancestors lived—particularly if you've progressed to international research—as well as nationalities and ethnic groups they belonged to, such as American Indian or African-American records.

Databases in major sites are way too numerous to list them all. Here’s an overview and links to learn more about each site. Make sure you verify whether a collection of interest covers the right area and time period. Sometimes a site has, say, naturalization records from certain areas or years.
  • This site has the advantage when it comes to amount of content. Major databases include US census images and indexes, passenger and border-crossing lists for US ports, WWI and WWII draft registration cards, passport applications, newspapers, and family and local histories.
To see what might be useful, go to the catalog and run a keyword search on a place your ancestors lived or a type of record. Note that database names vary—a birth index might be called “Smith County Vital Records,” “Birth Certificates, Smith County” or something else. The US deluxe membership costs $155.40 per year, $50.85 for three months or $19.95 for one month
  • The Generations Network has neglected this site, instead devoting resources to (which has records). Subscriptions range from $69.99 to $199.99, but you'll probably get more value elsewhere.
  • Footnote: This site focuses on US records, with many records from the National Archives. Civil War content is strong, including Southern Claims Commission records, the 1860 census, and ongoing scanning of Civil War soldiers’ service records and widows’ pension records. You’ll also find Revolutionary War records, naturalizations, small-town newspapers, WWII photos and more.
Subscriptions run $69.95 per year (there’s a $10 off deal this month) or $11.95 per month. Or, for most collections, you can purchase a record for $1.95. Click here to see a content listing.
  • World Vital Records: This site excels at partnering with other sites (many of them free) to aggregate content in one place. That includes Ellis Island passenger lists and immigration indexes from the Immigrant Ships Transcribers Guild and the National Archives, small-town newspapers, yearbooks, family histories, and UK censuses. Click the green View All Databases button at the top left of the home page, then select a country or record type.
The US subscription is 39.96 per year or 5.95 for a month. The World subscription is 119.40 per year or 14.95 for a month.
  • Major collections at this UK site include British censuses, military records and outbound passenger lists (many immigrants traveled through British ports, even if they didn’t live in Britain). Click here to see a database list.
Subscriptions range from around $21.50 for 30 days to $129 for a year. You also can pay as you go by purchasing credits (60 for $10 or 280 for $36; they’re good for a limited time) and exchanging them for record views.
  • Genline: Here, you can search virtually all Swedish church records. Its flexibility helps the budget-conscious—subscriptions range from one day ($9) to a year ($245).
For links to even more genealogy database sites, see Cyndi's List.

If you can’t fulfill all your research needs at one site, consider monthly subscriptions to multiple sites. Need only one or two collections from a site? See if you can get the information free. Many libraries offer HeritageQuest Online (federal censuses, family and local histories), NewsBank (newspapers) and ProQuest Historical Newpapers free to patrons both on-site and remotely from home.

Your library may offer on-site access to Ancestry Library Edition, a version of At a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Family History Center, you can use World Vital Records, Footnote and others. Of course, FamilySearch is adding to its record search pilot all the time, and that’s free from any computer connected to the Internet.

Readers, what genealogy database(s) would you recommend? Click Comments to tell us. See the March 2009 Family Tree Magazine for more money-saving genealogy advice.


Contribute to the Encyclopedia of Genealogy

Everyone is invited to contribute public domain information to the Encyclopedia of Genealogy.

While anyone can view all the information in this encyclopedia without registration, you must register before you can edit or add new information to the Encyclopedia of Genealogy. Registration is free, and there are no obligations. Your e-mail address is not shared with other organizations nor will you receive unwanted junk mail messages as a result of registering here. The requirement to register was added only to reduce the possibility of someone "spamming" the encyclopedia and other inappropriate conduct.

You must have the required access before the Encyclopedia of Genealogy will allow you to edit pages. You can register at any time by clicking on Register in the menu to the right.

NOTE: You can always read all articles without registering. The only advantage to registering is that you can then add new articles or update existing articles. If you do not plan to contribute to the Encyclopedia of Genealogy, there is no advantage to registering.

Sent by Lorri Frain



Lineage Society for Descendants of Early Settlers 
of Spanish and Mexican Land Grants

The following announcement was written by the Early Settlers of Spanish and Mexican Land Grants:

HOUSTON, TEXAS - Organizers announced today the formation of a lineage society for Early Settlers of Spanish and Mexican Land Grants (ESSMLG). This is the first national lineage society that recognizes and preserves the contributions of the Spanish / Latino culture in the early settlement of the United States. Even before Jamestowne was founded and the Pilgrims landed, Texas and the southwestern U.S. were being explored. By the 1600s there was a rich Spanish culture in place. The early settlers of the southwestern U.S. included such diverse groups as Spaniards, Canary Islanders, French, Irish, English, Scots, Jewish, German, Dutch, Portuguese, and Native Americans from both sides of the present day U.S.-Mexico border. Much of the early history of this area is barely taught in schools where the curriculum emphasizes the early English settlement of the eastern U.S.

The mission of ESSMLG is to research, preserve, and promote the lost history, heritage, and culture of the early settlers on Spanish and Mexican grants in land now part of the United States of America. It is the first national lineage society formed:

- to recognize the important contributions of those early settlers from whom our Spanish-speaking culture evolved,

- with a board-certified genealogist confirming all member applications meet accepted genealogical standards,

- with a DNA component for ground-breaking scholarly research and to link family groups,

- and with an all-digital research library.

The official launch of ESSMLG will be at the 29th Annual Texas State Hispanic Genealogical and Historical Conference in Nacogdoches, Texas on 28-31 August 2008 (see