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"I suppose, indeed, that in public life, a man whose political principles have any decided character and who has energy enough to give them effect must always expect to encounter political hostility from those of adverse principles."

 --Thomas Jefferson

Somos Primos

December 2011 
145th Online Issue

Editor: Mimi Lozano ©2000-2011

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

Marriage of Martin de Loyola to Princess Dona Beatriz and Don Juan Borja to Princess Lorenza. Cuzco school, 1718. Oil on canvas. Museo Pedro Osma, Lima, Peru. Photo: D. Giannoni.
Major exhibit:
  on view until January 29, 2012.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, in partnership with the 
Instituto Nacional de Antropología
e Historia, Mexico

Society of Hispanic Historical and
Ancestral Research   

P.O. 490, Midway City, CA 

Board Members: 
Bea Armenta Dever,
Virginia Gil, Gloria Cortinas Oliver
Graciela Lozano, Mimi Lozano, 
Carmen Meraz, Daniel Reyna
Letty Pena Rodella, Viola Rodriguez. Sadler, Tom Saenz, John P. Schmal


"A patriot must always be ready to defend his country against his government."
Edward Abbey 

"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." 
Abraham Lincoln

Somos Primos staff
Mimi Lozano, Editor
Mercy Bautista Olvera
Roberto Calderon, Ph,D.
Bill Carmena
Lila Guzman, Ph.D
John Inclan
Galal Kernahan
Juan Marinez
J.V. Martinez, Ph.D
Dorinda Moreno
Rafael Ojeda
Ángel Custodio Rebollo
Tony Santiago
John P. Schmal

Contributors to December
Elizabeth Aguilar
Jake Alarid
Dan Arellano
Ted Barker
Francisco Barragan
Mercy Bautista-Olvera
Tanya Bowers
Bert Colima
Jaime Cader
Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.
Sara Ines Calderon
Joey Cardenas
Bill Carmena
Bert Colima 
Jack Cowan
Harry Crosby
Tim Crump
Arturo Cuellar
Alex Diaz
Kathy Gallegos
Felipe de Ortego y Gasca
Darlene Elliott
Maria Embry
John W. Flores
Gerald Frost
Eumenes Fuguet Borregales
Dr. Lino Garcia, Jr.
Claudia Gómez
Michael Gonzales
Sylvia Gonzalez-Hohenshelt
Joaquin Gracida
Donna Graves
Roberto Guadarrama Perez
Dahlia Guajardo Palacios
Odell Harwell
Aron Heller
Reid Heller 
Walter Herbeck
Manuel Hernandez-Carmona
John Inclan
Arturo Jacobs
Galal Kernahan  
Lori Kretcher
Molly Long de Fernandez de Mesa
José Antonio López 
Gregorio Luke 
Juan Marinez
Elizabeth P. Martos
Cheryl McKnight,
Frank Mecham 
Alex Mendoza
Don Milligan 
Dr. María Robledo Montecel
Aurelio M. Montemayor
Dorinda Moreno
Rafael Ojeda
Guillermo Padilla Origel
Ricardo Palmerín Cordero
Jose M. Pena
J. Gilberto QuezadaArmando Rendon
Viola Rodriguez Sadler
William Ryan
Carmen Samora, PhD,
Richard G. Santos
Izzy Sanabria 
Joe Sanchez
Tony Santiago
Lenny TrujilloErnesto Uribe
Val Valdez Gibbons
Ricardo Valverde
Connie Vasquez
Dr. Albert Vela
Jesus Velazquez   
Albert Vigil
Kirk Whisler
Dr.Michael Zurowski

Letters to the Editor

Mimi-- As always. the latest SOMOS PRIMOS looks great. Beats me how you keep up with such a 
prodigious and unforgiving chore. Galal Kernahan

I am proud of Somos Primos Magazine
Thank you Mimi, you do a great job as magazine editor
Hugs and God bless, Joe Sanchez

THANK YOU! Wow. Top of the page and everything! I'll let you know how it goes!. Mimi, now that I've really looked into what it is you do, I am SO amazed and impressed with how much integrity your site has. It has such an important cause. It's a beautiful work, and so many people are contributing. Thank you for letting me be a part of it
Lori Kretcher

Mimi your magazine as fascinating as always. Are you preparing a successor?
Connie Vasquez

Wonderful as always....thanks for your efforts!!
Tim Crump

Hola Sra. Mimí.  
Envío esta información de la familia del Sr. Lic. Don Benito Juárez, les mando un afectuoso saludo a los colaboradores y lectores de SOMOS PRIMOS. 
Su amigo, Presidente de la Sociedad de Genealogía de Nuevo León
Tte. Cor. Ricardo Raúl Palmerín Cordero.

As popular as Somos Primos is getting to be as a go-to site for Hispanic heritage news, I am sure that most folks don’t realize how involved putting the web site together is.  So, Mimi, speaking for the many of us who don’t say it enough, Thank You and Mil Gracias!  Joe Lopez 


Alaska style "Merry Christmas" the Hallelujah Chorus
CHCI Receives $1 Million Gift
The Story of G.I. José by José Antonio López
Alonso S. Perales and the Development of Mexican-American Public Intellectuals
Julian Samora Legacy Project
Marisol A. Chalas, A Wise Latina, by Mercy Bautista-Olvera
Rise Of Young Latino Politicians In Texas by Sara Calderon
Laus Deo, Do you know what it means?
Honoring America's Veterans by Felipe de Ortego y Gasca
Alaska style Merry Christmas, the Hallelujah Chorus... 
This is a video from the small Yupiq Eskimo Village of Quinhagak, Alaska. It is first rate and really gives a very fine picture of life in an Alaska Eskimo village.  This was a school computer project intended for the other Yupiq villages in the area. Much to the villages shock, over a quarter of a million people have already seen the video. (As of 9/1/11 --over 600,000)!  Sent by 

CHCI Receives $1 Million GiftThe Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) has announced that Walmart will continue to fund its Latino leadership program with a $1 million grant. In 2009, CHCI also received a grant that allowed them to conduct not only a summer program but also to hold three internship sessions each year. This grant will allow the Congressional Internship Program to continue through 2015.  “CHCI is thrilled to continue its strong relationship with Walmart to benefit the ever-expanding Latino youth population and ensure more opportunities are provided for Latino undergraduates to access careers in public service and public policy,” said CHCI chairman Charles Gonzalez. Belinda Garza, director of federal government relations for Walmart, one of the program’s major sponsors, says she wishes to continue her support for future leaders. Visit  for details.  Compiled by Claudia Gómez, source: American Sabor Traveling Exhibit Launch

Latino Cultural Calendar 

First federal Thanksgiving proclamation was issued by President George Washington in 1789. 
"It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor."
On October 3, 1863,  Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a day of thanksgiving .
1905, Theodore Roosevelt issued a proclamation declaring November 12 as a day of thanksgiving. Thanksgiving Day did not actually become a national holiday until December 26, 1941, with House Joint Resolution 
41 (77th Congress, 1st Session) declaring the 4th Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day. The 1941 date is particularly interesting because December 7, 1941, the United States had been attacked by Japan, and entered World War II on December 8, 1941 by declaring war on Japan.

Editor: With so many citizens out of work, this information about our members of Congress seems timely.  I think these sums might include benefits. I could not find these specific amounts, but there is considerable information available online, such as: 
Salary of retired US Presidents .............$450,000 FOR LIFE
Salary of House/Senate members ..........$174,000 FOR LIFE
Salary of Speaker of the House .............$223,500 FOR LIFE
Salary of Majority/Minority Leaders .....$193,400FOR LIFE

Sent by Carol Floyd 


Second Volume, 4thissue

By Mercy Bautista-Olvera


  The 4th issue in the series “Hispanics Breaking Barriers” focuses on contributions  of Hispanic leadership in United States government. Their contributions have improved not only the local community but the country as well. Their struggles, stories, and accomplishments will by example; illustrate to our youth and to future generations that everything and anything is possible.  

Marina Garcia Marmolejo:  U.S. District Court Judge, Southern District of Texas   
Juan Verde: 
U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe and Eurasia  
Dr. Cynthia Telles:
 Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence
Albert Nájera: 
U.S. Marshal, Eastern District of California  
Jaime Areizaga-Soto:
 Senior Attorney Advisor, General Counsel, at the United States Agency for    
     International Development (USAID)


Marina Garcia Marmolejo

Marina Garcia Marmolejo is serving as U.S. District Court Judge in the Southern District of Texas, which stretches from Houston to Brownsville and west of Laredo .

Marina Garcia Marmolejo was born in 1971, in Nuevo Laredo , Tamaulipas , Mexico . She became a naturalized U.S. citizen. She is married to Wesley Boyd. The couple have two children; Natalia and Nicolas.  

In 1992, Marmolejo earned a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in English from the University of Incarnate Word . Between her studies from the University    Marmolejo served as a substitute teacher in the United Independent School District in Laredo,Texas . In 1996, she earned a Master’s of Arts Degree in International Relations from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio , Texas . She served as an Associate Editor on the St. Mary’s Law Review. She earned her Juris Doctorate Degree from St. Mary’s School of Law, completing each degree program with honors.    

From 1993 to 1996, she worked as a Research Assistant to Professor Raul M. Sanchez at St. Mary's University School of Law where she also worked as a Property tutor and a Student Attorney at the Criminal Justice Clinic.  

Marmolejo began her legal career as an assistant public defender, serving first in the Western District and later for Southern District. U.S. Representative Lloyd Doggett from Texas 25th District.  

From 1996 to 1999, she served as an Assistant Federal Public Defender, where she worked to ensure that the indigent and vulnerable defendants received their constitutional right to a fair trial; she appeared in 350 cases before Federal district courts in both the Southern and Western Districts of Texas .  

Marmolejo at age 29, prosecuted a complex public corruption case against several Laredo public officials and   family members. After a five-week trial in the defendants' hometown, the jury returned unanimous guilty verdicts.  

At age 31, the Executive Office of the Department of Justice, awarded Marina one of its most prestigious awards-the “Attorney General's Director's” Award for her work on several public corruption cases.  

In 2007, she helped open the San Antonio office of Thompson & Knight, where she served as counsel from 2007 to 2009. She then joined Diamond McCarthy LLP; and became a partner later that year.  

In 2009, Marmolejo served as a partner with Reid Davis LLP. Marmolejo often served with witnesses and clients in foreign countries in evaluating and preparing for U.S. litigation.  

In 2005, she received Recognition for Outstanding Service, from the Office of the Inspector General, Department of Homeland Security.  

In 2006, Marmolejo was recognized as an “Outstanding Prosecutorial Skills, Federal Bureau of Investigation.” In 2010, “Hispanic Business” magazine recognized Marmolejo as one of The 100 Influential’s-Thought Leaders. In 2011, the “League of United American Citizens” (LULAC) recognized Marmolejo with its “Tejano Achievers” award and “Nuevo Laredo Rotary Club” awarded her with the “Super Lawyers, Texas Rising Star.”  

She is licensed to practice law in Texas and is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. Marmolejo represents historic change in the diversity of the Texas Federal judiciary and is an inspiration to young Latinas in South Texas .  







     Juan Verde  

Juan Verde was appointed to serve as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe and Eurasia at the U.S. Department of Commerce by President Obama.  

Juan Verde was born in Spain . Juan Verde earned a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Political Science and International Relations from Tufts University , located at Medford/Somerville near Boston , Massachusetts, where he graduated with honors.  He earned a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Harvard University . Verde has also completed graduate business studies at Georgetown University .    

Verde worked as an International Trade Coordinator for the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he supervised a series of U.S. government trade missions and worked on international trade policy issues for the Clinton Administration.  

Verde served as Director for Latin America and the Iberian Peninsula for the Corporate Executive Board (CEB), a publicly traded strategy consulting and research firm serving more than 2,000 of the most prestigious corporations and financial institutions around the world.  Verde also served in the corporate world as a consultant to numerous business and political leaders in the United States , Europe, and Latin America . He specialized in growth strategies, international expansion, business development, human resources, and corporate strategies.  

Verde served as an entrepreneur, and as a business consultant. His career in the private sector included roles as founder, controlling shareholder, and CEO of several successful companies. Verde also founded the American Chamber of Commerce in the Canary Islands . He also served on the boards of several Spanish and North American companies. He was responsible for ushering U.S. companies such as Critical Solutions and GigaTrust into the European market, and drafting their strategic plans for the continent.  

Verde’s career and dedication to public administration and politics was launched in the Boston Mayor’s Office and the Boston City Council with his work as a Business and Legislative Aide.  

Verde has extensive experience in the political world, having worked on the political campaigns of Senator Ted Kennedy, President Bill Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, Senator John Kerry, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. In his political work, he has specialized in fundraising, and strategic issues relevant to the Hispanic community.    

In 2008, Verde served on President Obama’s Campaign Committee advising the campaign on the design of the overall electoral strategy, while focusing his work on attracting the Hispanic vote, and fundraising.  

Verde is also heavily involved in social issues.  He was the founder and CEO of the Climate Project Spain , the Spanish branch of former Vice President Al Gore’s climate change nonprofit.  He also served as president of the Fundación Biosfera (Biosphere Foundation), a nonprofit organization that promotes environmental values, sustainability, and the fight against climate change.     

In this capacity, he leads the Department of Commerce’s efforts to help solve trade policy and market access issues facing U.S. firms seeking to grow their business operations in Europe and Eurasia . He is responsible for developing and recommending policies and programs with respect to United States economic and commercial relations with 52 countries in Europe and Eurasia . Verde has modeled his Office into a one-stop shop for companies looking for export assistance.    







Dr. Cynthia A. Telles 


President Obama appointed Cynthia Telles to the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars.  

Cynthia Ann Telles was born in Texas. She is the daughter of Raymond L. Telles Jr. (1915-2011) and Delfina Navarro-Telles (1916-2010). Her father served in the Air Force in WWII. He completed 34 years of active and reserve duty. He retired in 1975, as a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force, and became a Political figure. Cynthia Telles is married to Robert M. Hertzberg Vice President at the International firm Mayer Brown LLP. She has three sons: Daniel, David, and Raymond.  

Telles received a Bachelor’s of Arts Degrees from Smith College and a Juris Doctorate Degree in Clinical Psychology from Boston University.  

She also served as Chairperson of the board of the National Coalition of Hispanic Health, and Human Service Organizations in Washington , D.C.  

Since 1986, Dr. Telles has been on the faculty of the University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry. She is currently the Director of the UCLA Neuropsychiatry Institute Spanish-Speaking Psychosocial Clinic where she is responsible for managing the clinical operations of this model psychiatric clinic, as well as the training program, research, and budget.  

During the Clinton Administration Dr. Telles served on the National Advisory Council, the Mental Health Task Force for the Carter Center in Atlanta , Georgia to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in the Department of Health and Human Services.  

Dr. Telles served on the Board of Directors of Sanwa Bank California for eight years. She has extensive public service experience having served as the City of Los Angeles Board of Library Commissioners for 13 years.  

Since 2003, Dr. Cynthia A. Telles has served on the boards of Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. She serves as chair of the Community Benefit Committee and also is a member of the Audit and Compliance Committee, and Executive Committee, and serves on the Executive Advisory Board of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Georgia, Inc.  

In 2006 and again in 2010, Dr. Telles was named by “Hispanic Business” Magazine as one of the Top ‘100 Most Influential Hispanics’ in the United States .  

She has published extensively in the area of mental health, particularly with respect to the assessment and treatment of Hispanic populations.  

"Cynthia just believes that nothing like this is being done, so let's do something," says Dr. George Paz, a psychiatrist who, like Telles, counsels largely impoverished Latino immigrants who may be suffering from serious mental illness, post-traumatic stress syndrome or difficulties in acculturation. "Without Cynthia, there would be no clinic.”  

Dr. Telles inherited the zeal for public service from her father Raymond L. Telles Jr. who in 1957, became the first Mexican-American Mayor in El Paso , Texas .  In 1961, former President John F. Kennedy named   him as Ambassador to Costa Rica . Former President Richard M. Nixon appointed Raymond L. Telles Jr., as Head of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, one of the few democrats to serve in the Nixon Administration.  

“My maternal great-grandmother Santos Elizondo served for public service as well. She ran an orphanage in the barrio; she set up a home for abused women and children. My maternal grandmother carried on the tradition of helping in the Latino community. As a girl, I remember going with my grandmother to work in the orphanage,” she further stated, "These were incredible women, they left a very important legacy in my family.”  


Albert Nájera

Albert Nájera, the former Sacramento Police Chief, is a certified SWAT Tactical Officer and Commander serving as a United States Federal Marshal for the Eastern District of California.  

Albert Nájera was born in Sacramento , California . In 1978, Nájera earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from California State University , Sacramento and earned his Master’s Degree in Management at California Polytechnic University , Pomona in California . He studied at the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy and at the Bramshill Police College in London .  

Nájera also oversaw security for the 2000 and 2004 U.S. Olympic Track and Field Trials at Sacramento State University .    

From 2003 and 2008, Nájera served as the Sacramento Police Chief, he oversaw a staff of 1,200 and a budget of about $130 million. Nájera became Sacramento ’s 43rd Police Chief.  

California Senator Barbara Boxer stated, “I am so pleased that the Senate has confirmed Albert Nájera as the next federal marshal for California ’s Eastern District. The Eastern District will be well served by Chief Nájera, who is a smart, experienced law enforcement official.”    

Nájera has traveled around the world to lead anti-terrorist and emergency operations training sessions. He also deployed to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to assist local law enforcement.  

With over 30 years of experience, former Sacramento Police Chief Albert Nájera joined Delegata as a General Manager with a wealth of knowledge in the public safety and government sectors.  He brings extensive leadership, management,

In addition delivering innovative solutions and leading organization transformation efforts.   

His leadership was recognized nationally and internationally when he was appointed to the National Advisory Committee of the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and asked to lead initiatives such as Public Safety Training for the Brazilian National Police and the South Africa Police Service.  

As Chief of Police from 2003 to 2008, Albert’s vision and leadership led to many successful initiatives to advance public safety in Sacramento . He managed a $30 Million dollar 911 communications center with linkages to remote public surveillance camera systems.  He also led the successful implementation of a Computer Aided Dispatch and Records Management solution that includes geospatial analysis and GPS components representing the Sacramento Police Department.  

Albert received the 2008 “Best of California ” Award for “Most Innovative Use of Technology” for the Automated Vehicle License Plate Recognition Program.  

U.S. Marshals work within the Justice Department as the law enforcement arm of the federal court system. They protect judges, attorneys, witnesses and jurors; secure courthouses; safeguard witnesses; transport prisoners; and execute court orders and civil and criminal processes.    

Nájera is the National President of the Hispanic American Command Police Officers Association, an active member of the local American Leadership Forum chapter and a member of numerous other police associations.  

aime Areizaga-Soto

President Obama and his Administration appointed Jaime Areizaga-Soto as Senior Attorney Advisor to the Office of the General Counsel at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). He is currently running to represent the 31st District in the Virginia State Senate.   

Jaime Areizaga-Soto was born in the U.S. Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. His mother served as an elementary school teacher, and his father served in the Korean War. He is fluent in Portuguese, French, and Spanish.  


Areizaga-Soto earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Science with honors from the Georgetown University 's School of Foreign Service, where his thesis analyzed the Cuban economy. He earned a Master’s Degree in Latin American Studies from Stanford University . He earned a Juris Doctorate Degree from Stanford University School of Law.  

Areizaga-Soto served as an attorney for over a decade, including eight years in the Global Project Finance Group of the Brazil office of Clifford Chance, the largest law firm in the world, structuring and negotiating cross-border project

finance transactions in Latin America for major United States and international companies.  

In 1998, Areizaga-Soto joined former President Carter as an international election observer in Venezuela and in 1996, he served as an election observer in Nicaragua .  

In 2007, President Bush appointed Areizaga-Soto as a White House Fellow, one of the most prestigious programs on leadership and public service. During the Fellowship, he served as policy advisor to Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson and to the Under-Secretary for International Affairs, David McCormick.  

Areizaga-Soto spent more than ten years in private practice, including Hogan & Hartson in Washington D.C.

Areizaga-Soto served as a U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel in the Judge Advocate General Corps of the District of Columbia National Guard.    

Areizaga-Soto served as the Principal Advisor for Latino Affairs to the 2009 Democratic candidate for Governor of Virginia, Sen. Creigh Deeds. 

During the 2010 and 2011, General Assembly sessions Areizaga-Soto served as the Policy Advisor to Virginia State Senator Mary Margaret Whipple (31st District) and worked closely with each of our 22 state Democratic Senators.  

Areizaga-Soto is very active in the community. He is the Vice President of the Democratic Latino Organization of Virginia (DLOV), Deputy Finance Chair of the Arlington County Democratic Committee (ACDC), Treasurer of the National Puerto Rican Coalition, Inc. (NPRC), board member of the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia (HBA-DC), and board member of the Asociación Líderes Hispanos. Areizaga-Soto was admitted to the practice of law in New York , and Washington , D.C. He is also is a member of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA).


The Story of G.I. José
By José Antonio López, Rio Grande Guardian 

SAN ANTONIO, Nov. 6 - Veterans Day is a federal holiday honoring U.S. military warriors. Its observance on November 11 is a numbers enthusiast delight, because it refers to the ending of World War I major hostilities at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. 

It was then that the peace agreement (Armistice) between the Allied Armies and the Central Powers (Germany) was signed. For the record, G.I. José (the Hispanic G.I. Joe) answered the call and has the medals to prove it. Private David Barkley Cantú (Laredo, Texas) received the Medal of Honor for his heroism in that war. Also, Private José P. Martinez (Taos, New Mexico) was the first Hispanic in WWII to win his Medal of Honor in 1943. The first U.S. troops to see action in the Pacific were Spanish-surnamed soldiers from the New Mexico National Guard posted in the Philippines. However, how long has G.I. José been a U.S. warrior veteran? To get that answer, we have to return to the very foundation of our nation when Texas and the Southwest were not even part of the U.S. 

General Bernardo Gálvez (the forgotten Lafayette) and his Spanish soldiers and French volunteers fought in a strong, determined alliance with General George Washington’s forces fighting for freedom against the far superior country of England. Even those familiar with Spanish involvement in the American Revolution, may not be aware of the size (over 7,000 soldiers) and scope of Gálvez’ theater of operations, which stretched a 1,000 miles from the Texas-Louisiana border to Florida. Additionally, Tejano vaquero citizen soldiers steered nearly 10,000 head of cattle from Tejas to feed U.S. soldiers. It was Gen. Gálvez who achieved key victories against the British in Mobile and Pensacola. If England didn’t have to fight General Galvez’ forces on the Gulf of Mexico, it is quite possible that they would have defeated the much weaker U.S. colonists. As such, one starts getting the big picture of G.I. Jose’s level of involvement in the defense of the U.S. right from the start of its independence.

Equally important a few years later, Colonel Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara and his battle-hardened Tejano soldiers living in exile in Louisiana provided critical assistance to the U.S. Tejano aid in the 1815 Battle of New Orleans was crucial to General Andrew Jackson’s victory against the British in this last battle of the War of 1812.

During the Spanish American War (1898-1901), Spanish-speaking U.S. infantry soldiers from Arizona, New Mexico, and Puerto Rico were vital in the U.S. victory. In WW II, General MacArthur honored Mexican American soldiers from Arizona and New Mexico as the most effective battle units he had ever commanded.

Oddly in the 21st Century, Hispanic veterans find themselves in the same boat as Hispanic civilians. They are largely invisible. Equally rejected in U.S. military history are Native Americans, Blacks, and contributions by women whose notable acts have been deliberately left out of the pages of U.S. history books. Members of these loyal groups can only wonder what it takes to be given fair and equal treatment in the writing and filming of U.S. historical events they helped create.

For example, in 2007 U.S. filmmaker Ken Burns showcased “The War”, a World War II program on PBS. Such epic presentations are nothing new and are a main staple of history aficionados throughout the country. As he presented yet another film with an all-white Anglo Saxon cast and perspective, Mr. Burns and his associates were expecting the typical applause from the general public. That was not be. For the first time ever, a group of concerned mostly Spanish-surnamed citizens said “¡Ya Basta!” (Enough!). Accordingly, they formed an alliance (Defend the Honor) that dared to declare war on the mainstream one-sided version of “The War.”

With all due respect to Mr. Burns and the many other respectful literary and cinema giants who have written books and produced films on U.S. military history, their reluctance to give credit where credit is due is unjustifiable. However, in their defense, their failing is due to how mainstream history is taught in elementary, secondary, college and university level classrooms.

The question is why is history taught in this Anglophile fashion? In a very real sense, U.S. history book pages contain a hidden anti-Spanish slant that began in 1600s Europe. Its aim: to disparage Spain, England’s chief European competitor in America. Accordingly, Spanish events are either distorted or left out of history books. Then, using this air-brush technique, U.S. mainstream historians continued to erase Hispanic veteran acts of heroism as if the events never happened.

In his book, “No Greater Love (The Lives and Times of Hispanic Soldiers)”, Major General Freddie Valenzuela clearly asks a related question. Why do the courageous exploits of Hispanic military men and women remain largely unsung, when in reality they stand among the most valiant; most wounded and killed of any ethnic group in the U.S. Army? He further asks why Hispanic soldiers lag so far behind when it comes to promotion to higher grades. Those are important questions that deal with the spiral of neglect so common in recording Hispanic efforts in U.S. history. Past discrimination against Hispanic veterans cannot be undone. Aside from that, the incidents below serve only as reminders of how unequal liberty in this country can be.

For example, WWII Medal of Honor winners Army Sergeants José M. López and Macario Garcia were denied the very freedoms they fought for overseas. In other words, they were expected to know their place when they returned home with their hard-won medals. Asking only for the same dignity given to Anglo customers, both were denied service in public establishments because the Texas restaurants did not serve Mexicans. Adding insult to injury, in Private Garcia’s case, the Anglo owner had him arrested by the police for refusing to leave the eatery.

Also in WWII, Private First Class Guy Gabaldón singlehandedly captured over 1,500 Japanese soldiers. The young soldier suffered two setbacks related to his heroic actions. First, his singularly distinctive act as a soldier of "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while engaged in an action against an enemy of the United States” was not enough. His nomination for the Medal of Honor was turned down. Secondly, his daring acts were the subject of a popular 1960 WWII movie “Hell to Eternity”. However, removing any reference that PFC Gabaldón was a Mexican American from Los Angeles, California; the hero’s roles as both child and adult in the movie were given to Anglo actors.

Likewise, the grieving family of Private Felix Longoria found themselves in the eye of a socio-political storm. While trying to bury the WWII hero in Three Rivers, Texas, the funeral director told the family that services could not be held in the only funeral home in town because “.. The whites would not like it.” Of some solace was the fact that then Senator Lyndon B. Johnson challenged the prevailing Anglo bigotry in Texas. He interceded on the family’s behalf. As a result, Private Longoria’s remains rest in Arlington National Cemetery.

Regardless of many undignified measures against them, Spanish-surnamed veterans have proven their gallantry in later wars, such as Korea, Vietnam and the current wars of today. In greater numbers, Hispana patriots pull their share of the load. In short, Hispanic instinctive patriotism has never wavered.

Through it all, Spanish-surnamed veterans continue to serve loyally. General Valenzuela answers his own question when he asks, “Why do they do it?” He responds that Hispanics are hard-wired to do their duty. Let’s hope that their days of anonymity in the higher ranks are over.

So, this Veterans Day, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the eleventh year of the 21st century (11/11/11/11), promise yourself that you will pray for and thank all veterans. Most importantly, do something very special. South Texas G.I. Josés and G.I. Josefinas desperately need our help. Write, email, and/or phone your elected senators and representatives. Tell them that the time for excuses is over. South Texas warrior veterans have earned the construction of a Veterans Hospital in the Rio Grande Valley. It is time to get it done!

Happy Veterans Day 2011!

Laredo native José Antonio López lives in San Antonio. He served in the U.S. Air Force between 1962 and 1966. An author, he contributes regularly to the Guardian.

Marisol A. Chalas

Marisol Chalas

A Wise Latina

Nominated By  Rafael Ojeda

Written By Mercy Bautista-Olvera


Marisol Chalas is the nation's first Latina National Guard Black Hawk pilot, The Black Hawk helicopter is a four-bladed, two engine, versatile Army fighting machine, and for Commander Marisol Chalas, it’s her pride and joy. Chalas has lived her life from the cockpit of this legendary helicopter. She is one of the few Latinas who is certified to fly a Black Hawk helicopter and has received recognition and numerous decorations.  

Marisol Altagracia Chalas was born in 1973, in Bani, Dominican Republic , her parents Napoleon Chalas and Dulce Metos-Chalas immigrated to the United States leaving their children behind with relatives including Marisol, who was about 5-years old. Her parents in search for a better life for their family settled in Boston , Massachusetts . At the age of nine Marisol and her three younger sisters; Cornelia, Tricia, and Jacqueline reunited with their parents in America . Her parents worked two jobs at a Hilton hotel, at guest services and housekeeping, while also splitting time at a local Massachusetts shoe factory.  

Chalas attended the local elementary and intermediate schools and graduated from Lynn Classical High School in Lynn , Massachusetts . She took the advice of her high school physics teacher to attend college because of her ability to solve math and logic problems. After graduating from high school, she landed a job at General Electric. 

Chalas attended Buzzards Bay Maritime Academy . She earned a Bachelor’s of Science, Marine Engineer Degree from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy , and a Professional Master’s in Business Administration (PMBA) from Georgia State University – J. Mack Robinson College of Business.  

She graduated as the best cadet in leadership, and received an academic merit for physical fitness from the Military Institute in Georgia . She also was recognized as the best in her class at the Ft. Rucker Army Aviation School .  

Since July 1990, Chalas continues to serve in the Army National Guard. She serves as an Aviation Readiness Officer for the United States Army Forces Command (FORSCOM).  Some of her duties are to review aviation maintenance. She also evaluates and analyzes over 1000 aircraft for readiness, assists in providing combat capable aircraft support for the Global War on Terrorist. She provides training, leadership and mentorship for the 8th Combat Aviation Brigade, 2nd Training Center , and to Cavalry Regiment maintenance officers.   

In 1999, Chalas served at the Fairfield , California Army National Guard, she served there until 2003. She also served at the Georgia Army National Guard in Atlanta . 

Chalas became Commander of an entire fleet of Army Reserve Black Hawk’s that included 16 pilots and 8 aircraft. In 2006, Chalas was on a six-month trip with the Hew Horizons Humanitarian missions (sponsored by the U.S. Army). She was able to help in the efforts to construct three rural schools and four clinics in and nearby Barahona , Dominican Republic . Chalas was given the chance to return home.  

“I served as a pilot and a translator on the ground for doctors and engineers. It was here where I experienced one of the most memorable flyovers of my life.” She further stated, "I still get goosebumps, when I flew over Bani, it was very emotional and moving, that's where I was born and went to elementary school. And I came back 15 years later as an American soldier to provide services to the Dominican Republic ."    

Since September 2007, Chalas has served as an Associate – Methods and Procedures Analyst for the Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., a public company; of over ten thousand employees.                                                                        

Chalas’ twenty-year aviation career in the U.S. Army Reserve and National Guard includes flying soldiers and equipment to and from the battlefield during Operation Iraqi Freedom, to flying four-star generals, ambassadors, and Congressmen. “Thanks to my persistence, I have touched the sky,” stated Chalas.  

She served in the National Guard for 18 years then transferred to the Reserves. Chalas has advice for women; "Take a step back, re-evaluate your life, and don't be afraid to rely on friends and mentors. Always reach out to people because you'll be surprised how many people are there to assist you.” “Reach back and remember where you came from," she further stated.  

Chalas has flown all over the world including to Kuwait , and the Dominican Republic as a Black Hawk Captain. Getting to that point, Chalas says was not easy. “I even had a pilot instructor that said, ‘Females, it takes them longer to learn,’ but again I used that as strength,” stated Chalas.  

“Project Mujer” magazine honored Marisol Chalas for her 20 years of service as one of the 100 Dominican Females who serve as a leading example for Latina women everywhere.   Chalas is on military leave of absence from Booz Allen, while serving as a Commander for Aviation Company 7-158th AVN for the US Army Reserves, while maintaining her aviation currency, which requires flying 48 hours every six months.

Chalas always remembers where she has been and how she got there and says mentoring is an invaluable resource. “To me, you can make a difference in someone’s life by just allowing them and just saying ‘you know I believe in you and I know you can do it’, simple words will create a leader out of someone,” Chalas further stated,  “Don’t be afraid to be persistent because it does pay off, and always ask for help, there’s always somebody out there who’s willing to help you. If you don’t ask, you never know.”  

Her parents are and continue to be her role models. "We learned very young that in order to be successful you have to work hard at it, nothing is handed to you," stated Chalas.



Dear Mimi,

Our daughter, Capri, has the collection of photos taken during the White House ceremony that saw Richard Tapia receive the National Medal of Science on Friday October 21 as well as photos taken during the gala held 24 hours after the WH ceremony and held in connection with it.  You might wish to contact Capri on the matter via e-mail ( 

If you wish commentary to go along with any photo, particularly on Tapia's accomplishments, I volunteer to provide my view.  Also to be noted is that since the Medal program was started in 1961, via JFK, roughly 245 have been so honored, none of them U.S.-born Hispanics.  I understand that the only other Hispanic, not US-born is Francisco Ayala a biologist and on the faculty of some UC campus.  That award was presented in 2001.  Thus, Tapia is the first U.S.-born Hispanic to receive the honor.  He was raised in East LA and his background and talents make for a beautiful account that hopefully would provide additional motivation to young Hispanics to pursue their formal education.



Soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meuse in France.


Previous version titled “Veteran’s Day: Pain and Promise” appeared in Newspaper Tree, November 10, 2008; Silver City Daily Press, November 11, 2008; La Prensa, San Antonio, Texas, November 11, 2007. Posted on Somos en Escritos: Latino Literary Online Magazine.  

By Felipe de Ortego y Gasca

Scholar in Residence, Chair, Department of Chicana/Chicano and Hemispheric Studies, Western New Mexico University; USMC, World War II, 1943-1946 (Platoon Sergeant); USAF, Korean and Viet Nam Conflicts, 1952-1962 (Active Duty: Captain; Major, USAFR)  

American soldiers of the 353rd Infantry near a church at Stenay, Meus in France. Foto taken on November 11, 1918, two minutes before the armistice ending World War I went into effect. --Department of Veterans Affairs.


ince the founding of the nation, some 48 million men and women have served in the U.S. military. More than half are alive today.  A small number of World War II veterans are still with us, though they are dying at the rate of about 1,000 a day.  

In the United States there are two days that honor American veterans: one is Memorial Day—the last Monday in May—and the other is Veteran’s Day —each year on November 11.  

Some sources indicate that Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic when, as decorations, flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.  

In May of 1966, President Lyndon Johnson officially declared Waterloo N.Y. as the official birthplace of Memorial Day. In December of 2000, Congress passed the “National Moment of Remembrance” resolution to remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day.  

Until 1968 when the Congress established the Uniform Holiday act and moved Memorial Day to the last Monday in May, the nation celebrated Decoration / Memorial Day on May 30th as a day of remembrance for Americans who died in battle.  

On January 19, 1999, efforts were made to restore Memorial Day back to May 30th instead of “the last Monday in May,” the traditional day of observance of Decoration / Memorial Day. The efforts were unsuccessful.

In the 20th century, the War of nations (World War I) ended on the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 and the day was proclaimed as Armistice Day in remembrance of the end of World War I and is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”

By Executive Order, in November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. The day was later renamed Veterans Day to honor those who have served in any of the armed forces during war.  

Each year on November 11, the nation celebrates that legacy and commemorates its contribution to the American character. In 2004 the U.S. Senate voted unanimously to name the city of Emporia , Kansas , as the official founding city of Veterans Day .  

When World War II ended in August of 1945, I was 19 years old and a Sergeant in the Marine Corps. I had survived the vagaries of that grueling war and, putting my uniform aside, went out into the world to make my “fortune” with the 16 million men and women who served in that effort.  

What that fortune would be, I had no idea. Thanks to the University of Pittsburgh (1948-1952) that fortune has turned out to be an academic career spanning almost six decades and a staggering production of  published words. All this with only one year of high school and no GED.  

What I knew at war’s end was that as a World War II veteran the promises of America strengthened my resolve to confront the challenges of the nation at mid-century. What I also knew was that as a veteran I was part of a legacy of military service stretching back to the foundations of the nation.  


n Veterans Day, in particular, I think about the youth of our nation fighting in brutal climes like Afghanistan and Iraq. I think about Willie Bains, a companion of my youth who went off to the European Theater during World War II and never came back. We should have grown old together and reveled in conversations about our children and grandchildren.  

On Veterans Day, especially, I think about the World War I veterans I used to see in my youth on the streets of San Antonio, Chicago, and Pittsburgh, hawking paper poppies (symbolic of Memorial Day) for donations.  

Inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields” (December 18, 1915) by Lt. Colonel John McCrae a Medical Doctor of the Canadian Army, Moina Michaels initiated the tradition of sporting poppies on Decoration/Memorial Day.  

I remember how many veterans of World War I in my youth were without limbs, how many of them were blind, how many of them had grown old before their time, had given up on life and the promises of their country—all this after having given themselves to America.  

Though they are less, today I see maimed and crippled veterans of World War II struggling to come to terms with the visions they still carry in their heads about that conflagration.  

And now in our nation there are veterans of Viet Nam and subsequent battles waiting for the largesse of the nation to heal them of their wounds, to succor them in their time of need.  

The nation has not served its veterans well, those who gave their full measure of devotion “to protect and defend.” This is not a panegyric to the nobility of war, for there is little nobility in the ravages of warfare. Memorial Day and Veterans Day should be a reminder to all of us that, despite our differences, regardless of color, religion, ethnicity, or gender, we should pay homage to our fellow Americans who have defended the ramparts of our democracy even though that democracy has at times disdained their service.  

Memorial Day and Veterans Day are flitting moments in the enduring cycle of nation-building. We have not yet formed “a more perfect union.” Ronald Reagan’s shining city on the hill still awaits us while the blood of our children is spent today on campaigns that remind us of Greek and Roman excursions into foreign lands in pursuit of empire.  

And what of the veterans of those campaigns? Those men and women who have sacrificed (and are sacrificing) so much in pursuit of an imperious chimera whose flight takes (has taken) us into perilous regions. What of their sacrifices? All the sacrifices of our veterans over the life of our nation create a collectivity of patriotism dedicated to the ideals of the nation rather than to the vagaries of its politics. For that reason we should honor our live and fallen veterans on Memorial Day and Veterans Day.  

Military Service and Info:
World War II, Korean Conflict, Early Vietnam Era

Sergeant, USMC, 1943-1946, (USMCR 1946-1950)
Adjutant, Cadet Corps, USAF Advanced ROTC, University of Pittsburgh, 1950-1952

2nd Lt/Major, USAFR, 1952-1962 (Active duty 1953-1962)
Texas Civil Air Patrol 1962-1965

Paid-up for Life Member of The American Legion



Rise Of Young Latino Politicians In Texas
by Sara Calderon, October 19, 2011 

It seems like every time you turn around in Texas these days, there’s another young, educated Latino professional with political aspirations who’s either running for office — or just won office. And while it would be easy to say anecdotally that more Latinos are being elected to office in Texas, the facts speak for themselves.

A look at the 2011 directory of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) shows that Texas has more Latino elected officials than any other state, more than 2,500, with California’s 1,306 making a not-so-close second. Interestingly, while young Latino politicians seem to be populating the state’s political scene ever quickly, women, or Latinas, don’t seem to be keeping pace — but that’s a story we’ll be telling you in the near future.

But why is this happening?

Demographics have obviously played a role in this new trend — Texas received four new congressional seats as the result of population growth, at least 70% of this growth from Latinos in the state — but demographics alone don’t begin to explain this particular change. We spoke to two young men that may be counted among this trend recently, former San Antonio City Councilman Philip Cortez (left), who has announced his candidacy for State Representative of District 117 and Austin State Rep. Eddie Rodriguez (right) and a few additional reasons that help account for these changes to Texas’ political landscape emerged.

For one, both Cortez, 33, and Rodriguez, 40, were adamant about the debt owed to everyone who came before them. Texas’ sketchy history with civil rights and discrimination is by no means a secret — people not yet eligible for Social Security can tell you stories about “No Mexicans” signs in restaurants — but both politicos have personal and professional experiences to back up their claims.

Citing their parents and politicians who came before them such as former congressman Henry B. Gonzalez, as well as countless other civil rights activists, both men said others had cleared political road for them. Personally for these two, the political mentorship and opportunities afforded to them both in the realms of education and politics would have been practically unheard of for Latinos in Texas even 30 years ago. But, at a cultural level, both noted that the expectation of being able to ascend levels of political power for Latinos across the state came about as a result of the work and struggle of many before them.

“There are people that did all of the legwork in the 60s, 70s and even early 80s that really paved the way for people my age that made it,” Rodriguez told NewsTaco. “There’s almost an expectation that, if you’re Latino and going to college, you can compete with any Anglo person — there’s no reason why you can’t. We have our parents to thank for that.”

Cortez, currently a doctoral student at the University of Texas at Austin, acknowledged the same for himself, but on a larger scale also pointed to the Castro brothers of San Antonio, who attended Harvard Law School, and now Julián is the mayor of his hometown while his brother Joaquín is a congressional candidate in Central Texas. “Educational opportunities have opened up for us,” Cortez said, referencing Texas’ historical struggles with such access, “It’s not a guarantee you’re going to get into these schools without the proper effort — but at least the doors are open.”

Of course neither these two, nor the Castro brothers, and not even the current crop of Latino political candidates — be they city council members, county supervisors, district attorneys, state reps or senators — are the first to come to political power. It’d be disingenuous at best, just as these two Latino politicos noted, to exclude those who paved the way for them. It was members of La Raza Unida, the first Latino mayors and congressman and state reps, voter registration campaigns, and even the solid tradition of Latino elected officials along the border who created the idea that, despite Texas’ spotty record on inclusion, Latinos had just as much a right as anybody else to be in public office.

Fast forward to today and, as Rodriguez points out, there were Latinos in their 20s who were elected to the state house. Opportunities to be elected to statewide office are enhanced by the large numbers of Latinos being elected to school boards, where they may then launch a political career. While this class of young Latino politicos grows, as a group, Rodriguez told us that finding a cohesive political voice becomes a build-the-airplane-while-you’re-flying-it kind of challenge. “Everything is happening in real time,” he told us.

But like everything else, there’s always more that can be done. Both Rodriguez and Cortez said that, as current political leaders following the paths laid down by others, what weighs heavily on their minds now is how to continue to create those opportunities. Teen pregnancy, high school dropout rates, college completion rates, building a diverse and sustainable economy with real jobs, political apathy, building up a Latino middle class in Texas — these are the issues that define their political agends.

“I want to provide a good example, to hope that one day some young girl or some young boy can see the things we’ve done and think, ‘I can do that, too,’” Cortez told us, with a small caveat, “But we still got a long way to go.”

[Photos By Texas House; Courtesy]


In Defense of My People: Alonso S. Perales and the Development of Mexican-American Public Intellectuals
Friday, January 13, 2012: 
The life and work of this civil rights leader will be high lighted in a conference and exhibition.

Alonso S. Perales (1898 - 1960) was a civil-rights lawyer, diplomat, political leader and soldier. One of the most influential Mexican Americans of his time, Perales saw himself as a defender of la raza, especially battling charges that Mexicans and Latin Americans were inferior and a social problem. He was one of the founders of LULAC (the League of United Latin American Citizens) in 1929 and helped write the LULAC constitution. He served as the organization's second president.

Perales was an intellectual who firmly believed in the law. He wrote about civil rights, religion and racial discrimination, which he argued "had the approval of the majority." His work includes the pamphlet Are We Good Neighbors? and the two-volume set, En defensa de mi raza. A member of the American Legion and the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, Perales was also a columnist for La Prensa and other Spanish-language newspapers. 

Conference Information:
Highlighting the recent acquisition of the Alonso S. Perales Papers by the University of Houston's M.D. Anderson Library, courtesy of the Perales Family and the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage Project, scholars will present their research on this trailblazing public intellectual at a day-long conference on Friday, January 13, 2012. 

Coming from prestigious institutions around the country and abroad, scholars will shed light on Perales' activism and defense of Latinos, including the chronology and history of Mexican American and Latino civil rights movements, the impact of religion on Latinos, the concept of "race," and individual versus community action to bring about social and political change. 

About the Exhibition:
The previously unavailable items in this collection shed light on Alonso S. Perales' leadership, ideas and writings. His legacy can now be studied from historical, ethical, religious, legal and humanistic perspectives. On view will be: 
Letters and correspondence with key political figures
Personal documents
Memorabilia, including photographs

For conference information, call 713-743-2078  For logistical information, call 713-743-3128

Preliminary Sponsors: ARTE PÚBLICO PRESS is the nation's largest and most established publisher of contemporary and recovered literature by U.S. Hispanic authors. Its imprint for children and young adults, Piñata Books, is dedicated to the realistic and authentic portrayal of the themes, languages, characters, and customs of Hispanic culture in the United States. Based at the University of Houston, Arte Público Press, Piñata Books, and the Recovering the U.S. Hispanic Literary Heritage project provide the most widely recognized and extensive showcase for Hispanic literary arts and creativity. For more information, please visit our website at

Sent by PReyes@Central.UH.EDU

Julian Samora Legacy Project 

Dear Colegas,  

The Julian Samora Legacy Project is very pleased to announce that the Julian Samora Papers are available online. Most of the scholarly papers from the Julian Samora Archive, housed at the Benson Latin American Collection, University of Texas at Austin, are scanned and available to be searched. Go to our website, and click on Search the Archives or click on the button on the homepage.  

We are building our search tables. Files in boxes 3 to 12 are content searchable. However, every file can be found by using the file title which can be located in the finder's guide, located just below Search the Archives. Type in the folder title and begin your search. Other files may pop up because key words are activated. Scroll down until you find the title you want.  

In addition to loading the papers, we have made other changes to our website. Please feel free to send us comments about our new look. Please, above all, search the papers for information concerning just about every major political activity involving Latinos post WWII.  

Carmen Samora, PhD,  Director
Julian Samora Legacy Project
1829 Sigma Chi Rd NE
MSC02 1680
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
(505) 350-4901 - Cell
(505)-277-0741 - Campus
(505) 243-6403 - Home




The Christian Foundation of OUR Nation
Where is Our John Wayne? by Dr. Lino Garcia, Jr., and José Antonio López
Preserving the Fabric of Our Nation by Senator John Cornyn, Texas
Your turn: A birthday prayer for California
Texas Heritage Effort by Joe Lopez

Do you know what it means? 

One detail that is seldom mentioned in Washington, D.C. is that there can never be a building of greater height than the Washington Monument. With all anti-Christmas sentiments and the uproar about removing the ten commandments, etc., this is worth a moment or two of your time. 

On the aluminum cap, atop the Washington Monument in Washington , D.C., are displayed two words: 
Laus Deo.
Most visitors to the monument are totally unaware that the words are even there, historic proof of the Christian faith of the founding fathers.  Sadly, many members of the US congress would ignore, deny, demean, and erase the Christian foundation and facts of history.  
These words have been there for many years; they are 555 feet, 5.125 inches high, perched atop the monument, facing skyward to the Father of our nation, overlooking the 69 square miles which comprise the District of Columbia, capital of the United States of America. 

Laus Deo !
 Two seemingly insignificant, unnoticed words. Out of sight and, one might think, out of mind, but very meaningfully placed at the highest point over what is the most powerful city in the most successful nation in the world.  

So, what do those two words, in Latin, composed of just four syllables and only seven letters, possibly mean? Very simply, they say 'Praise be to God!'  

Though construction of this giant obelisk began in 1848, when James Polk was President of the United States , it was not until 1888 that the monument was inaugurated and opened to the public. It took twenty-five years to finally cap the memorial with a tribute to the Father of our nation, Laus Deo  'Praise be to God!'

From atop this magnificent granite and marble structure, visitors may take in the beautiful panoramic view of the city with its division into four major segments. From that vantage point, one can also easily see the original plan of the designer, Pierre Charles l'Enfant ..... A perfect cross imposed upon the landscape, with the White House to the north. The Jefferson Memorial is to the south, the Capitol to the east and the Lincoln Memorial to the west.

A cross you ask? Why a cross? What about separation of church and state? Yes, a cross; separation of church and state was not, is not, in the Constitution. So, read on. How interesting and, no doubt, intended to carry a profound meaning for those who bother to notice.   Washington, D.C. should be a constant reminder that the United States is unique in world history, founded on the Christian divine principles of individual rights, and responsibilities, not royal or inherited rights and privileges.  

When the cornerstone of the Washington Monument was laid on July 4th, 1848 deposited within it were many items including the Holy Bible presented by the Bible Society. Praise be to God! Such was the discipline, the moral direction, and the spiritual mood given by the founder and first President of our unique democracy 'One Nation, Under God.' 

' Almighty God; We make our earnest prayer that Thou wilt keep the United States in Thy holy protection; that Thou wilt incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government; and entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another and for their fellow citizens of the United States at large. And finally that Thou wilt most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion, and without a humble imitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. Grant our supplication, we beseech Thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.'
   Laus Deo !

Editor: I received the above message from numerous readers, with some variation, but did not receive the name of the  author. Thank you. Let me boldly say  . . . .  A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS  . .  and GOD BLESS AMERICA. Mimi


Where is Our John Wayne?

An Essay

By Dr. Lino Garcia, Jr., and José Antonio López


One great historian once proclaimed: “If Spain had not existed, there would be no United States of America today”.  That simple statement may be true in many ways.  Using only the most rudimentary navigational technology and dead reckoning, our intrepid ancestors were the first to navigate and settle nearly the entire globe.  Yes, it was the Spanish who set the standard for exploration and adventure for other European nations to follow.   

The extraordinary daring of the Spanish to sail past the Pillars of Hercules (Rock of Gibraltar), which to countless generations from the age of antiquity meant “Nothing exists beyond”, was truly remarkable.  So significant were Spanish accomplishments in those early days that they were the admiration of all of Europe.  Attesting to Spain’s worldwide strength, the Spanish Mexican Dollar was used as legal tender in the U.S. itself until 1857.  It was then that the U.S. copied it and created its own dollar system.  Specifically, the dollar sign ($) we see today on U.S. currency, based on the Pillars of Hercules logo, is a Mexican contribution to our nation’s history.  

Hispanics, particularly Spanish Mexicans originating in Old Mexico have been part of U.S. history since its beginning.  In fact, Spanish and New Spain support of U.S. independence are truly examples of American Exceptionalism.  General Bernardo Gálvez (the forgotten Lafayette) provided key assistance to the young U.S. republic by leading a 7,000 man army along a 1,000 mile long battle line from Texas to Florida.  If the British did not have to face General Galvez, it is quite possible that England would have easily defeated the weaker U.S. colonists changing the history of our country forever.  

Yet, it appears that shortly thereafter in the recording of U.S. history, admiration for the Spanish contributions faded away.  For all they did during the age of discovery and their role in the earliest beginnings of our nation, Hispanics are basically forgotten.  Additionally, Spanish Mexicans have been virtually scratched off the pages of Texas history books.  In short, they have been given little credit in the early establishment of so many civilized institutions in Texas, such as land management, water rights, education, community property rights, and law.   

In contrast, the Anglo Saxon viewpoint continues to be held as the only method of teaching our nation’s history.  The story is well-known to every school child.  Because they are used to it, generations of Anglo Saxon students are taught that only their pioneer ancestors’ history matters in the U.S.  At the same time, generations of Spanish Mexican-descent U.S. citizens are likewise taught that their ancestor heroes and events are not worthy of pride, robbing them of U.S. history ownership.   

Based on the one-sided perspective of U.S. history, numerous popular heroes in film, books, and other media world reenact the roles of Anglo Saxon founding of our country.  One individual in particular exemplifies that virtue.  For over 50 years, John Wayne’s persona has been molded to embody and defend the Anglo Saxon ideals of freedom, liberty, and patriotism.   

The question is how can Mexican-descent Hispanics tell their story?  Why don’t they have advocates at local, state, and national levels to speak on their behalf?  They are 30 million strong and their numbers are increasing.  Where is the Spanish Mexican John Wayne (or Joan of Arc) voice to tell and defend their well-earned place in U.S history?     

Yet, it was not always that way.  For example, in 1783 General George Washington asked that General Gálvez stand to his right during the July 4th Parade celebrations, symbolizing Gálvez’ key role in the war of independence victory.  A U.S. Congress proclamation formally thanked Gálvez for his bulwark of support.  Also, President James Madison in 1811 welcomed New Spain’s Don Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara to Washington, DC, as a “fellow American”.  Madison similarly supported Mexico’s “Grito” for independence in 1810 as a chance to establish another “American” sister republic and trading partner.  However, when did today’s animosity toward Spanish Mexicans in U.S. history begin?     

The answer is three-fold.  First, the Anglo prejudice against Spanish Mexicans was stimulated by old hostilities created by anti-Hispanic bias in England commonly referred to as the Black Legend.  Second, as they laid their sight on Mexican land, Anglo leaders in the U.S. disapproved of the strong Spanish assimilation with the Native American population.  It must be noted that Anglo brutal intolerance toward Native Americans was a way of life in the U.S.  As a result, U.S. political leaders began a deliberate anti-Mexican (Native American) drive in their recently acquired territory of Texas and the Southwest.   

For example, on January 4, 1848, Senator John C. Calhoun addressed the Senate regarding the U.S. taking of Mexican land.  He complained that it would have been better if the U.S. Army had rid the region of its Spanish Mexican (Native American) race.  In other words, he and others in the U.S. believed that the half-white, half-brown Mexicans were not equal to Anglos.   

Third, with their unique culture and language, Spanish Mexican people and events do not fit the Anglo Saxon mold.  Even today, due to the illegal immigration debate most members of the general public do not realize that Mexican Hispanics have a long history in the U.S.  It is that lost history that we must now rediscover.  Below is a collage of people and events that Anglophile historians have seen fit to leave out of the history books.   

·       Lest we forget, this continent was first colonized by Hispanics.  Look at any pre-1845 North America map and two thirds of the land in the U.S. today is the Spanish Southwest.  Hispanic exploration went from sea to shining sea.  They were the first in Texas (1528), California (1542), New Mexico (1598), and St. Augustine, Florida (1565).  They were the first to explore the West Coast from California to Washington State and the East Coast from Florida to the Chesapeake Bay area.  However, where is our John Wane to tell this story?  

·       After the initial Spanish contact with the American Continent, many enterprising Spaniards financed their own excursions into the unknown.  Pánfilo Narváez was one such brave soul.  Cabeza de Vaca’s unique intrepid story is an adventure writer’s dream.  So is the follow-on story of Brother Mena’s incredible story of survival in 1554 after a shipwreck on the Texas coast.  However, where is the Hollywood movie?  Where’s our John Wayne to tell the story?  

·       There are other intrepid heroes, such as, Captain Alonso de León, Juan Bautista Chiapapria (Chapa), Los Bexareños and Isleños.  Also, those involved with building the Camino Real and Spanish Missions in the Tejas frontera are to be admired.  The travels of Fathers Morfi, Margil, Olivares, Terreros, and Francisco Hidalgo are truly inspiring, as are the Ramón Family, Manuela Sánchez, St. Denis, Gil Ybarbo, José de Escandón (Villas del Norte), and the Martin and Patricia de León family.  Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara was the first to achieve Texas independence (1813).  The Battle of Medina is unique in Texas history.  The Texas Historical Commission calls it the largest battle ever fought on Texas soil.  Over 800 Tejanos lost their lives for Texas freedom.  These stories are each worthy of Hollywood blockbuster movie sagas.  However, where are the films?  Where is our John Wayne to tell the story?  

·       As far as their loyalty, U.S. citizens of Spanish Mexican descent have proven their bravery on the battlefield and have the medals to prove it.  A total of forty three Hispanics have received the Medal of Honor beginning with the Civil War when three Hispanics were so honored with this distinction.  They have participated in every war fought by the U.S.  Even in recent conflicts like in the war in Iraq, nearly 30 Hispanic soldiers from South Texas have been killed in action.  What more does the U.S. expect from us?  Where are the mainstream library books detailing Hispanic bravery as integral parts of U.S. history?  Where are the Hollywood movies?  Where is our John Wayne to tell the story?  

Sadly, encouraged by an anti-Mexican frenzy led by far-right extremists in states such as Arizona and Texas, the illegal immigration issue is used as a whip to punish the entire Spanish Mexican culture in the Southwest.  They push for intolerant bills, such as, Voter ID, “Papers, please” legislation, English Only, ending Bilingual Ed and Mexican American studies, etc.  Far-right extremists expect all Hispanics in the U.S. to abandon their unique culture.  Where is our John Wayne to educate the general public through the media that Spanish Mexican-descent U.S. citizens originating in the Southwest are not immigrants to the U.S.?  Where is our John Wayne to firmly declare that speaking Spanish and preserving our centuries-old Spanish Mexican heritage in the Southwest must no longer be considered as sins of U.S. citizenship? 

Finally, it is indeed disappointing that U.S. citizens of Spanish Mexican-descent, numbering over 30 million strong and the largest segment under the Hispanic umbrella, do not have a consistent defender.  The need is urgent.  Could the Spanish Mexican John Wayne please step forward? 

Authors:  Brownsville native Dr. Lino García, Jr., is an 8th Generation Tejano and a Professor Emeritus of Spanish Literature at UTPA. He can be reached at: LGarcia@UTPA.Edu .

Laredo native Joe López is also an 8th Generation Tejano.  He and wife visit South Texas campuses where they teach students the rich history of early Texas. .




Preserving the Fabric of Our Nation

Last year on Veterans Day, I had the privilege of speaking at the National Museum of the Pacific War’s annual ceremony in Fredericksburg, Texas. In attendance were veterans and their family members representing virtually every major military conflict in the past seven decades, including the oldest member of the audience, U.S. Navy veteran Sam Sorenson – born in 1916. We were gathered in the museum’s Memorial Courtyard, a beautiful space spotted with large oak trees and surrounded by old limestone walls that hold more than 1,000 plaques honoring individuals, ships, and units that served in the Pacific during the Second World War. The program included a musical performance, the Presentation of the Colors and remarks by my good friend General Michael Hagee, 33rd Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, and current CEO & President of the Admiral Nimitz Foundation. After I delivered my remarks, I had the chance to meet many of the veterans in attendance.

As I took in the setting—the dedicated plaques and park benches, the memorials, the veterans and their families, and the many local residents who took the time to attend the ceremony—I was moved by the sense of community, pride and patriotism that marked the ceremony. As the event concluded and I made my way to the exit, one of the museum’s staffers reminded me of the new George H.W. Bush Gallery, which had been completed since my last visit to the museum. With a little time to spare, I gladly accepted the invitation to tour the new wing.

The gallery was exceptional. As the son of a World War II B-17 bomber pilot, I could have easily spent hours there, examining each carefully assembled exhibit in detail. One exhibit, however, caught my attention and stayed with me long after I’d left the museum. It was a battle-worn American flag, which, along with its incredible story, was donated to the museum by Marble Falls resident Pat Spain. In 1942, while serving in the U.S. Army on the island of Mindanao, Spain’s husband Paul and fellow soldiers Joe Victoria and Eddie Lindros were ordered to burn the U.S. flag at the Del Monte Airfield to prevent its capture by the approaching Japanese. Before they carried out their orders, however, the three soldiers removed the flag’s 48 stars and hid them in their clothing. Over the next 42 months, the men were transferred to several POW camps and eventually to Japan. All the while, they kept the stars hidden. As the war came to a close, the men began receiving parachute drops with food and aid, which signaled that their liberation was imminent. Spain, Victoria and Lindros wanted to make the U.S. troops feel welcome when they arrived, so they set out to sew the stars back together, using material from the parachutes and other scraps of fabric, an old pedal-driven sewing machine they managed to find, and a rusty nail, which they converted into a sewing needle. When the American troops arrived at the camp on September 7, 1945, their “new” flag was flying proudly over the camp.

Today, as we prepare to mark another Veterans Day, I’m reminded of the stars of the flag from Mindanao and the story of three brave service members who risked their lives preserving the very fabric of our nation. It is because of these men, and the generations of Americans who served before and after them, that we enjoy our freedoms, our way of life, and our safety. I hope we can show our gratitude and support to our veterans and the greater military community not just on Veterans Day but on every day of the year.

Senator John Cornyn, Texas
Photo courtesy of National Museum of the Pacific War. 

Sen. Cornyn serves on the Finance, Judiciary, Armed Services, and Budget Committees.  He served previously as Texas Attorney General, Texas Supreme Court Justice, and Bexar County District Judge.
Sent by Odell Harwell


by Galal Kernahan

Your turn: A birthday prayer for California

November 13th, 2011, ·  posted by  

Talk about troubled times! People don’t even seem to be speaking the same language! And that’s exactly how things were November 13, 1849, when the State of California was born.

It may be how things will feel nationwide that same day next year. It will fall just a week after the contentious 2012 General Elections for everything from Commander-in-Chief to dogcatcher.

Will the Nation survive? It may. I’m fairly certain California will.  I also believe prayer won’t hurt. Here’s why.

The most important ballots in California history were cast on a dreary day in 1849. In polling places from San Diego to Sacramento and beyond, the voting blessed our State’s Birth by ratifying our Original Constitution.

That plan of government had been deliberated, decided and printed in Spanish and in English. The winning margin was more than twelve-to-one (12,781 to 811).

In an effort to renew observance of our State’s unusual birth, the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research and Los Amigos of Orange County collaborated with scholars at the University of California, Irvine (1999), California State University, Fullerton (2000) and the Orange County Heritage Museum (2010). That helped reassure us we were getting our history right.

These days we have been suggesting to Orange County religious communities that they prayerfully remember our State’s Birth in services held before or on Sunday, November 13, 2011.

If any combination of things could lead to every-man-for-himself conflict, that mid-19th century human mix should have. Yet, forty-eight newcomers and oldtimers–bickering in two languages in a Monterey schoolhouse/jail–yammered out our California way to do the public’s business. . .in two languages! (In fact, the mother tongues of a couple of delegates included French and German).

Once or twice some were ready to step outside to settle differences. Yet, in the end, everyone chipped in for an all-night celebration. When they fired off a cannon 31 times, sleeping shorebirds round Monterey Bay exploded into the night sky. Some town folks all but joined them. It was advance celebration of California’s entry as the 31st State into the Union. . .providing voters approved what they had put together.

Did prayer have anything to do with it? Some strongly suspect it did. . . providing you subscribe to the belief any God worth praying to must be tuned to all frequencies. The language in which prayers are offered. . .English, Spanish, Hebrew, Latin, Arabic, whatever. . .can’t pose a problem. People are people. We share infinite numbers of ways to get things wrong whatever our race, culture or creed. Even atheists and agnostics can’t be uppity. Or dead sure of what they don’t believe.

Each session of California’s 1849 Constitutional Convention opened with prayer.
One day, Roman Catholic Father Ignacio Ramirez de Arrellano of the Carmel Mission San Carlos prayed in Spanish. The next, U.S. Pacific Squadron’s Congregational Chaplain Reverend Samuel H. Willey prayed in English. They launched a California tradition of opening Our State’s law-making deliberations by seeking guidance.

Recent sessions of the California Legislature were begun in the Assembly by Greek Orthodox Father Constantine Papademos and in State Senate by Jewish Rabbi Mona Alfi.

In March v. Chambers (1983), the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of opening legislative sessions with prayer. That decision does not appear to have been appealed any higher.

So what’s the outlook for today’s fractured, contentious politics?

California’s experience offers hope. But if you are ready to pray about it, please do.

“Like” OC Latino Link on Facebook to see more news, information and conversation. 


José Antonio “Joe” López responds to another article: 
Lingo Language of the West Article by Julie Carter

Julie, thanks for a great informative article giving credit for cowboy terminology to our vaquero ancestors.  Articles such as yours go far in education people about our long history in what is now the U.S.  It is especially timely, in this day when extremists are using the illegal immigration issue as a whip to punish the entire Spanish Mexican heritage in the Southwest.  Unfortunately, there are many folks that don’t realize that the Southwest is in New Spain, not New England.  In short, speaking Spanish or looking Mexican (Native American) must no longer be treated as sins of U.S. citizenship.  As we say in Spanish, “Aqui todavía estamos; y no nos vamos” (Here we still are and we’re not going anywhere). 

I only have one constructive suggestion.  Ref. your comment, A Spaniard by the name of Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca (that means head of a cow -- poor Nuñez!) …”.  In my view, poking fun at Cabeza de Vaca’s name is not warranted.  You may not know that the name has honorable beginnings.  It was formally bestowed by the Spanish Crown to Alvar’s family in the 13th Century due to one of his ancestor’s role in a key victory against the Muslims during Spain’s nearly 800-year long war.  (Martin Alhaja marked a narrow passage through a mountain range by placing a cow’s head at its entrance.)  That act assured victory to the Spanish Christian Army. 

Also, he was not just any ordinary “Spaniard”.  He and three of his ship-wreck mates lived among Texas Native American tribes for nearly eight years, a lot of it as a slave who endured much abuse.  He is the father of firsts in Texas.  He was the first doctor, merchant, geographer, botanist, and historian, to name a few.  He was also the first European to treat Native Americans as fellow human beings and became the first advocate for their rights.  Attesting to his intellect, creativity, and resourcefulness, he was able to write about his experiences in his Relación, a work that is still used by researchers and historians to this very day.

Thank you.

José Antonio “Joe” López (8th Generation Texan)

Co-Founder, Tejano Heritage Effort    

Julie, I’m Juan Marinez , I also support the very constructive comments by  Jose. I urge you heed the advice by Jose, to review the history of Spanish, Mexican America.  You will find great contribution to the whole of rural America and Agriculture as a whole. No, doubt the legacy of our ancestor to the vaquero is legendary and difficult to dispute. If you took a close look at water “acequias” will come to the forefront that goes back hundreds of years that came to Spain from North Africa during the period of Moorish Spain (800 hundred years) this system made none productive land in highly productive food producing areas in the whole of the west and beyond. The foods that came from Mexico like tomatoes, beans, squash and corn just to mention have made the world food secure, if not for this food products the world today would be the throws of food wars and mass starvation. I could go on but you get the meaning in terms of the contribution of our ancestors, as well as our present generations. Thank you for taking this comments in the manner in which they are intended. Juan  


THE WESTERNER, Sunday, November 13, 2011
Cowgirl Sass & Savvy,
Lingo language of the West
By Julie Carter

Cowboy lingo has always been my first language. I never thought to dissect, define or explain it. It always seemed pretty clear to me. 

Recently a few questions from someone who seriously wanted to be correct in his terminology but claimed only Eastern savvy sent me on a quest to learn why I knew what I knew. 

Here in the Southwest, just a few cow trails north of Mexico, we are quite familiar with the mixture of Spanish and English terms. I had just never seen them all in a list until Robert Smead published a book called Vocabulario Vaquero, Cowboy Talk. 

The book is a dictionary of sorts that diagrams the absorption of a large number of ranch-related words from Spanish into English. He contends it offers striking evidence of that particular heritage in the history of the American West and its cowboys. 

Many of the essential cowboy items of tack originated in the Spanish culture. The bozal, usually written and said as bosal, is the nose band of a headstall or hackamore, which is from the Spanish term jáquima. 

Cowboys still use and still say chaps. That is pronounced as “shaps” which stems from the original Spanish chaparreras, also pronounced with the “sh.” The first guy you hear say chaps with the ch sound as in chapped lips, see if he isn’t from New York City and check the origin of his salsa while you’re at it. 

Corral, lariat, latigo, cinch and 10-gallon hat all are words we throw around that have Spanish roots. Gallon in the hat doesn’t refer to capacity but to the braided decorations or galones that adorned it. What came first, tank or tanque?  Both hold water. 

A Spaniard by the name of Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca (that means head of a cow -- poor Nuñez!) erroneously gave the Spanish term búfalo to the bison because it looked like the Indian or African wild ox, and it stuck. 

After the words themselves comes the peculiar direct phrases used by the cowboy who is almost always free from the constraints of polite society or convention. These are covered in two other books written by Ramon Adams called Cowboy Lingo and Western Words. 

A cowboy’s slang usually strengthens rather that weakens his speech. The jargon of this individual among individuals is often picturesque, humorous and leaves you with no doubt how the man felt about the subject he was talking about. 

The cowboy squeezes the juice from language, molds it to suit his needs and is a genius at making a verb out of anything. The words “cowboy” and “rodeo” can be verbs and “try” is not.  

“He paid his entry fees knowing he better have enough try to cowboy up and rodeo tough.” 

There are phrases that cover situations like when someone talks a lot with their hands. “He couldn’t say ‘hell’ with his hands tied.” When riding a horse with a rough gait that pounds even the best of riders you will hear, “That buzzard bait would give a woodpecker a headache.” 

For a breed of mankind that has a reputation for being “men of few words,” the cowboy culture has their own entire dictionary of the West. It is filled with words from several nationalities, many occupations and all rolled into a “lingo” uniquely their own. 

Time to go catch the old cow-hocked, gotch-eared, ring-tailed cayuse, cinch up my kack and spend a little more daylight riding for the brand instead of for the grub line. 

Julie can be reached for comment at




Against Mexico -The Making of Heroes and Enemies
PBS Presents . . . Against Mexico -The Making of Heroes and Enemies
Explore reenactments of Texas flight for Freedom, probe images of heroes and enemies  Presented by Latino Public Broadcasting
Michelle Garcia
NALIPster's doc short Against Mexico airing now on

NALIP member Michelle Garcia's short documentary Against Mexico - the making of heroes and enemies is now live on The film explores the intersection of myth and history, its influence on public perceptions about 'heroes' and 'enemies' and its implications in current debates about who is entitled to claim the mantle of 'American.' Against Mexico was funded by Latino Public Broadcasting. Click here to watch the film online.

Through camp-side conversations we explore why U.S. born Latino men suit up to play the Mexican 'bad guy.' What inspires white men to fight them, now, nearly two centuries later? The men explain their personal quests behind recreating history, recreating war, and the experience of standing in the shoes of the 'enemy.' Their reflections reveal the powerful effect of myth and historical narrative in forming a man's ideals, prejudices and dreams and the function of an 'enemy' in the pursuit of recapturing glory. In Against Mexico we discover that some of the men who portray hero and enemy are mirror images of each other, with similar scars and their aspirations.

Source: the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP) with the generous assistance of Alex Mendoza & Associates (AMA)



Pete Magana                 April 14, 1928 - October 19, 2011
José Angel Cárdenas    October 16, 1930 - September 17, 2011
Joel C. Uribe                July 11, 1934 - October 27, 2011 
Harry Pachon                June 4, 1945 -  November 4, 2011 

Pete Magana 

April 14, 1928 - October 19, 2011


By Jake Alarid


My name is Jake Alarid, I am past National Commander

Of the American GI Forum of the U.S.     


The national commander of the American GI Forum, Albert Gonzales, has asked me to pass on his condolences to Angie and the Magaña Family.  He was unable to be here today.  He is in Washington DC getting training on his appointment, by the President of the United States, to the selective service commission.     

Family members, friends, veterans, members of the American GI Forum and all of you who have come to salute this great man, my friend Pete Magaña.  I have known Pete since the late sixties when I joined the GI Forum.  

My wife and I became friends with Pete and his wife Angie, and we have been friends ever since.  We got to know each other's families.  Like the Magañas, we attended state and national conferences. My wife and I visited Pete and Angie at their home.  One year we even helped them and other GI Forum members make tamales.  

When I met Pete he was the commander of the American GI Forum chapter in Oceanside.  He had been a member of the AGIF long before I met him.  Pete held positions in the chapter level, state level and national level of the AGIF.  In all his AGIF positions he brought experience, knowledge and leadership and sometimes a little humor to the organization.  But there is one title that everyone in the AGIF knew Pete by, and that was the chairman of the credentials committee. In this role he was persistent to have an accurate count of delegates at national conferences to determine, who was eligible to vote and how many votes each state had.  No matter how difficult the task, he did it with humor, like he enjoyed doing it.


He was an advocate for veterans and the under privileged. Many present here today can thank Pete for his advocacy and what he was able to do for the community.  He went before city councils, members of congress, state legislators and demanded fair and equal treatment for all.  Here in Oceanside, California the community is better off because of his community involvement, just ask the mayor and the superintendent of schools.


For Pete, being a member of the AGIF was, an involvement from the heart.  Thinking about his involvement, it captures the essence of why we do, what we do, and why so many of us who wear this little cap, do what we do and want to do.  Quite frankly Pete taught us the value of giving and sharing and he did it because of his love of the organization and his country.    

October 1951 with the 19th Infantry



He served this nation in time of crisis during the Korean War in the US Army. In spite of obstacles which he experienced, being a Mexican American, Pete exhibited his courage and valor fighting for his country.  At a veterans ceremony he told the story when his unit was caught in the fighting in the frozen chosen reservoir and in spite of being outnumbered by the enemy his unit fought gallantly which included hand to hand combat.  Not only was the enemy their attackers, but they were subjected to brutal weather, sub zero temperatures, inadequate clothing, malfunctioning of weapons due to the cold temperatures and lack of hot meals.  Many in his unit, friends of Pete, did not make it but hopefully today they are together somewhere as a band of brothers.


Pete eating snow. 1951

Aside from the AGIF, Pete was very much involved on other organizations where he served on boards with CEOs and executives from corporations.  These organizations included: ser, educational boards, civic organizations and others.  His involvement was, speaking in behalf of veterans and the underprivileged so they could have better services, jobs, training and opportunities.


Community based organization such as ser, LULAC, GI Forum and others can attribute to Pete's contributions to these organizations.  Their leaders can tell you and I can tell you, Pete made a difference.    


Pete and Angie built their home here in Oceanside and raised their family here.  In their community they acquired new friends and neighbors.  They took up the cause to help the underserved and Pete helped Angie started a women's GI Forum chapter.  They raised money and awarded scholarships to deserving students every year.  As true Forumeers they organized the community and engaged them in an effort to better themselves and their community, to enjoy and preserve the freedom that we enjoy in this nation. 


I am honored and privileged to have known Pete and his family and to have called Pete my true friend.  I am humbled to have been associated with a man, who offered and gave so much. 


Pete, as you travel over hill, over dale in that dusty trail we wish you buen viaje.


I want to thank the Magaña Family for letting me share a few memories


In behalf of the national commander of the American GI Forum of the united states, Albert Gonzales, the members of the American GI Forum, my wife and I, Pete Magaña, we salute you.


Jake Alarid

Past national commander

American GI Forum of the U.S.  




José Angel Cárdenas

October 16, 1930 - September 17, 2011

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of IDRA’s beloved Founder and Director Emeritus, Dr. José Angel Cárdenas. On behalf of everyone at IDRA, I offer my deepest condolences to Laura Tobin Cárdenas, José’s wife, and the entire Cárdenas family. Dr. Cárdenas died on Saturday, September 17, 2011, in San Antonio, Texas. He was 80.

I received word of his passing just after a group of civil rights and education leaders had gathered at IDRA to launch a new phase of work to increase school funding equity in Texas. For us, there is no more fitting tribute than to continue the work that Dr. Cárdenas pioneered and to carry forward his vision for an equitable, excellent education for every child.

With deep roots in Laredo, Texas, José always knew that having more than one language and culture (a Spanish-speaking left foot as he put it, having been taught in the U.S. Army that the left foot always comes first), is not a deficit, but a reservoir of strength. He then went on—as teacher, principal, superintendent, university professor, researcher and advocate—to dedicate his life’s work to fighting for an educational system that nurtured and recognized children’s strengths. He was a champion for all children and carried their concerns from the streets and the schools to the legislature and the courts.

Dr. Cárdenas, it has been the greatest privilege for all of us to have known and worked with you. Your presence, whether we knew you as Pepe, Joe, José, JC or Doc, will be profoundly missed. But you have lit a torch. Within all of us, it burns on.

Gracias por todo, José Angel Cárdenas. I will miss you. Que en paz descanses amigo, educador, defensor de niños y eterna inspiración.

Dr. María "Cuca" Robledo Montecel, President and CEO
Intercultural Development Research Association

September 19, 2011

Editor: For a beautiful biography on Dr. Cárdena's life, please go to a special edition of IDRA's October Newsletter at: 


Joel C. Uribe

July 11, 1934 - October 27, 2011

By José Antonio López  

It is with a great deal of sadness that I inform you of the passing of one of Tejano history’s greatest advocates and my cousin and mentor, Joel C. Uribe from Laredo.  Although not widely known outside the triangle of Laredo, Zapata, and Hebbronville, and the Lower Rio Grande area, Joel was an educator, rancher, bi-lingual author, playwright, and accomplished multi-talented musician.  He was a devoted son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, and teacher.  He was the consummate Tejano historian.  It was his passion.  Joel sincerely believed that his ancestry, especially in Texas and Central and Northern Mexico, was a valuable inheritance -- a gift.  He treasured it as such.  

Member of a distinguished South Texas family in San Ygnacio, he was taught to be proud of his Spanish Mexican roots at a very early age.  He wrote extensively about his heritage.  As the Blas Maria Uribe Family genealogist, he and his brother Jorge wrote the “Genealogia de la Familia Uribe” in 1987.  Because of its great wealth of many old Villas del Norte family names, the book quickly became a main resource for many genealogy enthusiasts.  Its popularity continues today.

Speaking Spanish with a fluid, rich, and polished style, Joel reminded me of the speech of our ancestors who first came to the Lower Rio Grande in 1747.  He had a big appetite for knowledge and it was one of the interests we shared.  Both of us were fans of our ancestor, Don José Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara Uribe.  His book, “The Sword and the Chalice” was published in 2009.  It presents the story of the birth of the Texas independence movement from a very unique perspective.  That is, the book covers the lives of two exceptional brothers – Don Bernardo (the Sword) and his brother José Antonio (the Chalice).  Don Bernardo was the first to achieve Texas independence in 1813.  He was its first president.  José Antonio, an ordained Catholic priest, expressed some of the very first Texas independence thought from the pulpit.  He suffered greatly for his support of freedom.  It is a must-read book for those who wish to learn more of what it must have been like living in the very early days of this great place we now call Texas.    

Education was another of Joel’s passions.  He spent most of his adult life as a teacher in elementary school.  He felt honored to have had a chance to influence and improve the lives of his students.  His support for teaching in the classroom continued throughout his life.  As a retired person, he often visited classrooms to share his knowledge with and inspire the younger generation.  Alexander the Great is quoted as saying “I am indebted to my father for living, but to my teacher for living well.”  Many Laredo citizens of today would agree with that statement.  They are indeed blessed to have had Joel as their teacher.

There is so much more to say about Joel.  The only way that I know of honoring his memory is to share with you the following homage that I wrote.  Because Spanish was his preferred language, I wrote it “en Español.”

Homenaje a Joel C. Uribe

Hijo, padre, maestro, y amigo.

Ser Uribe, su gozo más precioso en el mundo.

Vivió guiado por el buen ideal que obtuvo

  de sus padres, lleno de ternura, cariño, y amor.


Sin más, su vida fue inunda de alegría.

Si una palabra bastaría, esa sería “devoción

  a su linda familia, hermanos, esposa, e hijos,

  y a su inmensa fe en nuestra santa religión.


Un ser único, de sobresaliente virtud

Con una rica y maravillosa inquietud.

Tenía un sólo credo – “Hay mucho que hacer

  y  no hay tiempo que perder”.


Talento y energía le sobraba.

A Joel, nada se le dificultaba.

Aunque apto en letras en español y el inglés,

   amaba más el idioma de Miguel Cervantes.


Autor, cantante, y compositor con talentos además.

Aún, no había límite que lo detuviera jamás.

Tremendo historiador de sus favoritos temas,

La historia Hispana Mexicana del sur de Tejas.


Profesor escolar, diestro, y erudito modelo.

Gran ejemplo a sus hijos y a muchos niños de su pueblo.

Con apretón de mano firme y segura,

Sus amigos confiaban en su sabiduría.


El pueblo de Laredo ha perdido un ilustre tesoro.

No de alhajas y dinero, pero de un ser insólito.


Por sus hechos, Joel ya se ahorró su reposo.

A los aquí presente, recuerden: el camino de la vida es corto. 

Caminémoslo como Joel Uribe,

  hijo, padre, y nuestro buen amigo, el Maestro. 

Adiós Primo.                                     

                                                            Octubre 27, 2011



Harry Pachon, shown in 1998, "pretty much invented the idea of the Latino think-tank, a colleague said.


June 4, 1945 -  November 4, 2011

From NALEO Co-Founder and Executive Director to Admired Professor at USC School of Policy, Planning and Development, November 8, 2011

– MALDEF mourns the recent passing of Professor Harry Pachon, the longtime leader of the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute (TRPI). Dr. Pachon had a lengthy and groundbreaking career as a leader in the effort to advance the rights of Latinos and other minorities in the United States.
He served as President of TRPI for nearly two decades, growing the organization into a nationally-renowned civic research organization and a leader in the areas of immigration, education policy, and Latino politics and policy. He was called on to testify before congressional committees and appointed Chairman of the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans in 1997. His work on behalf of Mexicans living in the United States earned him the Ohtli (humanitarian) Award from the Mexican government.

MALDEF President and General Counsel, Thomas A. Saenz, had the following to say of Dr. Pachon’s tremendous contributions:
"The entire nation -- and especially the 50 million Latinos in the United States -- has lost a true giant in civil rights advocacy. Through his leadership of NALEO and TRPI, Harry Pachon provided the academic and intellectual heft to move many an obstacle to equality and fairness. His extraordinary legacy will reverberate for many years to come, with positive effects nationwide."

Dr. Pachon was a founding board member and past Executive Director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials Educational Fund (NALEO), where he initiated an acclaimed U.S. citizenship project and the National Directory of Latino Elected Officials. The citizenship project has been replicated across the country on a multi-ethnic basis, and the Directory is now in its seventeenth year of publication.

Dr. Pachon authored over twenty articles and journals, and co-authored three books on U.S. Latino politics and political behavior. He held academic positions at Michigan State University, Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, City University of New York, and held the Kenan All Campus Chair at the Claremont Colleges. His final position was as Professor of Public Policy at the University of Southern California’s School of Policy, Planning and Development. He also served on the boards of several organizations, including the John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation, Southern California Public Radio and KPPC, and the Education Advisory Committee of the Rand Corporation.

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Erasing hate, Tattoos 
Drug Smuggling Ring Dismantled
2 Dead, 1 Wounded at Pot Farm
National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers 
17 tons of marijuana were seized in a raid on a cross-border tunnel
The Faces of Meth
Mexico Under Siege
Border Problems and Incidences
Newspaper article criticized by Hispanic Link founder, Charlie Erickson
What’s the Easiest Way to Legally Get to the U.S. from Mexico?
Lincoln Club of Orange County proposal provides path to legal residency
Iraqi Christian convert attacked in US over Holocaust poem
Detroit Prayer event puts Muslim community on Edge
83 victims, family seek $750M for ‘preventable’ Fort Hood tragedy

Erasing hate 
29 Oct 2011, AP 

ATLANTA — For years, Bryon Widner­ thrived on hate as a violent skinhead — a razor-carrying “enforcer” who helped organize other racist gangs around the United States. His hate was literally etched on his face in the form of tattoos with racist and violent themes.  But with the help of the Southern Poverty Law Centre — the nation’s leading monitor of hate and extremist activity — Widner left the white-power movement and endured nearly two years of excruciating laser­ treatments to remove the tell-tale tattoos so that he could start a new life with his wife and children.

In Erasing Hate, a one-hour documentary, Widner’s life within the white-power movement, the decision that led him and his wife to leave it, and the procedures he received are recounted. He now seeks to create a new life for himself and his family as he spreads the word against racist hate.

“This is a powerful story of human redemption,” said Joe Roy, the SPLC’s chief investigator, whose meeting with Widner led to the removal of his tattoos and, ultimately, the documentary. “Bryon, by his own admission, did horrible things in his life. But he made the decision to reject racism and leave behind his life of hate and violence.”

During his 16 years as a skinhead, Widner became known as a vicious brawler who would fight at the slightest provocation. Today, he says he’s haunted by the things he did.

“If I can prevent one other kid from making the same mistakes I did, if I can prevent one other family from having to go through the same crap that I put my family through, maybe I can redeem myself,” Widner said.

Widner gained notoriety within the movement for the tattoos covering his face and body. Eventually, he caught the attention of SPLC officials, including Roy, a former police detective who has spent 25 years monitoring hate and extremist movements for the SPLC.

“He was the pit bull of the movement,” Roy said. “He had a reputation of being an enforcer.”

In 2005, at a white-power music festival in Kentucky called Nordic Fest, Widner met his future wife, Julie­, who was also active in the white-power movement. Together, they began to see the hypocrisy of the skinhead culture and realised it was no place to raise a family. Despite death threats and harassment, they left the movement.

As Widner attempted to get his life on track, the tattoos that made him an intimidating force in skinhead circles became a liability as he searched for a job to support his family. Since he couldn’t afford to get his tattoos removed, it seemed his racist past would remain branded across his face.

Then he found an ally in a former enemy — the Southern Poverty Law Centre. After SPLC officials learnt of Widner’s struggle, Roy and Laurie Wood of the SPLC met with him.

The SPLC provided financial aid that allowed Widner to get the tattoos removed from his face and hands at Vanderbilt University Medical Centre in Nashville. Each treatment left Widner’s face badly blistered and swollen — a sort of penance­ for his violent past.  Part 2 (OC Register, Nov 8, 2011) included the fact that the cost for the removal was paid for by an anonymous donor, and cost  $35.000.00.

Editor: As I see the popularity for tattoos increasing among all youth, but specifically our Latino youth, I am concerned for the difficulties they will encounter due to their appearance and how it will impact their ability to support themselves and their future families.   There are companies and employers who are including in their job description, no visible tattoos.

Coincidentally, in the same edition of the OC Register (11/7/11) was a photo of a young woman Roxanne Agradano of Irvine who had just converted to the Muslim faith.  What caught my eye were the tatoos covering her hands.  I wondered if she too was trying to make a change in her life; covering up her body would be one way of doing it.

Arizona authorities have disrupted a Mexican durg cartel's distribution network, arresting dozens of smugglers in dismantling ar ring responsible for carrying more than $33 million worth of drugs through the state's western desert EVERY MONTH, official said Monday.  The ring is believed to be tied to the Sinaloa cartel and responsible for smuggling more than 3.3 million pounds of marijuana, 20,000 pounds of cocaine and 10,000 pounds of heroin into the U.S. through Arizona over the past years, according to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  OCRegister, 11/1/11

To keep up with Border problems and incidences, visit  The National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers (NAFBPO) extracts and condenses the material that follows from Mexican, Central and South American and U.S. on-line media sources on a daily basis.  Editor:  The rampant killings are shocking.  We really do not grasp the extent of the drug war destroying communities and murdering innocents. Few incidents make the US newspapers.  

The Faces of Meth. see the effects of using methamphetamines.  These pictures were originally taken in 2005, then the second and third pictures were taken from 2 months to six years later.  The amount of aging that happens to those using meth is amazing.

Two brothers shot dead at a medical marijuana processing site near the small farming community of Pixley became the fourth and fifth pot-related homicides this year in rural Tulare Co, CA. The killings Saturday night were the latest in what has become an increasingly dangerous occupation as growers come out of the Sierra Nevada and use of California's 1996 landmark ballot measure to grow marijuana on prime farmland by bundling together the permits of multiple people.  In Fresno county alone, the number of large farms rose to 121 in 2011, up from 37 in 2010.  Marijuana can sell for thousands of dollars a pound, making it by weight the most valuable cash crop in the state.  OCRegister, 11/1/11

Huge marijuana haul found in border tunnel.  An estimated 17 tons of marijuana were seized in a raid on a cross-border tunnel, authorities said Wednesday.  The tunnel discovered Tuesday stretched about 400 [four football fields] and linked warehouses in San Diego and Tijuana.

U.S. authorities seized about nine tons of marijuana inside a truck and at the warehouse in San Diego's Otay Mesa area, said Derek Benner, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent in charge of investigations in San Diego Mexican authorities recovered about eight tons south of the border.  OCRegister, 11/17/11


Mexico Under Siege

IBD Editorials

The helicopter crash Friday that killed Mexico's top Cabinet official, Jose Francisco Blake, couldn't have come at a worse time. Cartels are acquiring heavy arms to challenge the state and to move their war to the U.S.

In Mexico, Blake, the Interior Secretary, was the best hope of winning the war against the vicious cartels, who've killed as many as 86,000 people.

Blake, 45, had managed to crush the cartels and cut crime in his native Tijuana before he was asked to do the same for the country in the top Cabinet job in 2010.

He had some success — five of the top seven cartel capos were knocked off by the end of his watch.

But he's the second interior secretary killed in a helicopter crash since 2008, and that leaves a great sense of uneasiness. Mexico's currency fell on news of his death, the cause of which is still undetermined.

One thing is known: As Mexico fights, the cartels have been bulking up. They've expanded their firepower and extended their reach into the U.S. Addressing this issue should be a top U.S. policy priority. But as Mexico mourns, this war is going largely unnoticed in the U.S.

Increased firepower is just one element in this difficult war, but it's a sign of potentially worse to come.  Earlier this year, the Mexican press reported that cartels are moving to arm themselves with "monstruos," or homemade monster trucks. These armored assault vehicles are capable of carrying 20 cartel gunmen at 60 mph and hurling oil slicks or nails to evade pursuers. Last May, a monstruo battled police in Jalisco state.

Mexico's defense secretariat reported last week that the "Los Zetas" cartel is buying heavy armaments left over from the Central American wars of the 1980s, including "anti-armored-vehicle rockets," according to the reports. The Mexican cartels' other heavy firepower includes submarines, most of which are being built by their FARC allies hiding out from the Colombian army in safe havens like Ecuador. The subs are nominally for smuggling drugs, but convertible to combat purposes.

All of these are weapons of war. Their use goes well beyond criminal and moves toward the aim of actually challenging the state. If they succeed, Mexico's state apparatus will be unable to govern. That's the definition of a failed state, which the U.S. Department of Defense warned was possible in Mexico in its 2008 Joint Operating Environment report.

Two retired Mexican generals recently told the press that the government now controls only 50% to 60% of the country's territory. Bigger weapons mean the cartels will lunge for more.

Meanwhile, two U.S. officials — Phil Jordan, formerly director of El Paso's Drug Enforcement Administration's Intelligence Center, and Robert Plumlee, a former CIA contract pilot — told the El Paso Times last July that increased smuggling of military-grade weapons from Texas could disrupt Mexico's 2012 elections.

Analysts at at the foreign policy website Stratfor have noted that if the Mexican state goes down, the cartels it fights will move their violent operations to the U.S.

Already it's moving toward that. Mexican gunmen last Tuesday crossed the Rio Grande into the U.S. and fought a pitched battle with a SWAT team near Escobares, Texas. The only media reports were from locally based newspaper The Monitor.

Last September, Texas released a report by retired U.S. generals Barry McCaffrey and Robert Scales called "Texas Border Security: A Strategic Assessment," warning that cartels were creating a buffer zone in Texas border counties. "Criminality spawned in Mexico," they warned, "is spilling over into the United States."

That's war. If the U.S. doesn't step up its efforts to stop it, worse will come. Securing the border and helping Mexico ought to be of top importance. But right now, this war is invisible to Americans.



The title of a newspaper article criticized by Charlie Erickson

On Nov. 1, the tabloid Washington Examiner splashed this across
(Hispanic Link publisher Charlie Ericksen takes over from here.)

The editors who composed or approved those provocative words should turn in their press credentials and join the KKK, the Federation for American Immigration Reform or some other publicly identified hate group. The racist composite the Examiner created tells its readers to fear and hate 11 million U.S. immigrants.

The “illegal alien nun-killer” the headline paints is Carlos Martinelly-Montaño. It’s untrue. He is not here illegally. In January 2009, he was granted a Employment Authorization Document (EAD), a temporary work permit issued by Homeland Security.  Then he secured an identification card from the state of Virginia. His successful pursuit of a job was vetted by the e-verify process.

His parents brought Carlos undocumented to the United States from Bolivia when he was eight years old. He grew up in suburban northern Virginia and is the father of two small U.S. born children. His parents are now legal residents and he applied for legal residency four years ago. As a teenager, Carlos was twice arrested Guest Column for misdemeanor driving under the influence. He enrolled in and completed a program to deal with his serious alcoholism problem.

Then last year, at 22, he drove his Subaru into a highway guardrail while drunk and crashed head-on into a car occupied by three nuns. One of them, Sister Denise Mosier, 66, was killed. The Examiner chose to write a headline conjuring up a lusting, machete-wielding psycho chasing nuns through our tranquil communities, making readers’ flesh creep.

Carlos was charged with, and found guilty of, murder. This is the first time that a DUI case involving a fatality resulted in a murder conviction in Virginia. He faces up to 70 years in prison. The Examiner isn’t alone with Its front-loaded “illegal immigrant” headline. On top of the list of news outlets that have routinely depicted Martinelly-Montaño a criminal alien who just sneaked across our border are CBS News, Fox News, the Washington Post, CNN, USA Today, National Public Radio — the list goes on.

While Carlos’ punishment far exceeds the norm, even weighing the tragedy consequences of his act, this is not a plea for mercy.  The Benedictine sisters, along with Carlos’ family, already have done that. The Benedictine sisters also expressed dismay that this case has become politicized as a forum for debate on illegal immigration. As a journalist, I’ll feel better if media like the Examiner would stop fanning flames of hate and ethnic division and concentrate on journalistic ethics and telling the whole truth.

Hispanic Link, Vol. 29, Issue 19
1420 N St. NW
Washington, DC 20005
(202) 234-0280

What’s the Easiest Way to Legally Get to the U.S. from Mexico?

NY Times online on Nov 4, 2011

 Given the billions of dollars spent annually on border enforcement, not to mention the long lines at the various crossings, the most pleasant way to travel legally from Mexico to the United States might be on the border’s only hand-drawn ferry. Every day, six wide-backed Mexican men use ropes and cables to pull an ersatz barge, El Chalan, a distance of about 10 car lengths across the Rio Grande from Los Ebanos, Tex., to Gustavo Díaz Ordaz, Mexico, and vice versa. Sometimes passengers help out, too.  

The trip takes only a few minutes, but, especially on weekends, every ferry is full, which makes it feel as if the men are pulling the boat through cement. El Chalan — which roughly translates as “the Barge” in Spanish — is capable of carrying three cars and a dozen people at a time. When it occasionally lingers midriver, the ferry becomes the ultimate in-between: floating proof that what Americans call the border (a hard line to be defended), Mexicans more appropriately call la frontera, a bilingual frontier with a unique mingling of characteristics.  

Recently that cultural melding has become more serious. For longtime passengers like Martha Vásquez, who grew up across the river in Gustavo Díaz Ordaz before moving to Oklahoma, the barge has become the best, or only, option for safe passage. Drug cartels now run her home state, Tamaulipas, but their territorial battle has generally sidestepped the ferry crossing. American border-patrol agents are known to take their time with inspections, and strangers are easily noticed among the regulars making the trip back and forth. Still, everyone’s movements have become more calculated. These days, Vásquez relies on the first ride of the day so she can pick up her mother and return quickly. “We used to come all the time,” Vásquez said, standing at the sandy edge of Texas. “But right now I’m scared. Someone is on the other side waiting for us, but I’m still scared.”  

Every ferry that followed seemed to contain the same conflict between fear and family ties. After Vásquez departed, a truck driver — Mexico-born, Texas-residing — returned from a visit to his relatives. (“They’re like the mafia over there,” he said.) Clutching a cookbook he just borrowed, he explained that his sister’s neighbor was murdered the night before. Later, three brothers returned from visiting their father in Mexico for the first time in years. “Everyone said it wasn’t a good idea to go,” Emmanuel Lopez said. They went anyway, he explained, “because Grandma’s a little sick.”  

The privately run ferry arrived at this bend in the green river in 1950, and the original boat, a wooden contraption, survived until around 1980. It was replaced by the metal barge still in use today, with profits and costs shared between one family in Mexico and another in the United States.  

The workers say they don’t get paid much, and there have been a few close calls with cars moving too quickly, but their easy laughs suggest they enjoy pulling people together. After all, the six main laborers are related — two sets of three brothers, cousins all. The seventh and final crew member is Alejo Valdemar, a skinny, septuagenarian with the demeanor of a favorite uncle. For a decade, he has been the fare collector (10 pesos or $1 for pedestrians, 35 pesos or $3 for cars) who pats every child on the head and usually brings the conversation around to his wife, whom he described as “marvelous.”  

Valdemar married for the first time only four years ago, and when I visited the ferry, his excitement inspired good-natured gossip and laughs. Humor was actually the most common response to the area’s dark undercurrent. A regular named Juan Salinas — a big man in a San Antonio hat who had four children in America before being deported — saw one of the boat workers reading a newspaper and asked, “How many?” He meant how many dead, but he didn’t need to say it. “You have to watch TV for the bodies,” came the other worker’s quick reply, sparking laughter all around.  

Gabriel Soto, 50, the boatman with the most experience on the river (15 years), said that seeing friends like Salinas made the job worthwhile. Many regulars trust Soto with important tasks like carrying things across to family or friends. “They are always asking me to give their keys to someone or asking me to check on their houses,” he said. “On the river,” he added, “nothing changes.”  

Or at least that’s what he hoped. At the day’s end — as gusts eased the boat’s passage toward the Mexican side — I realized that there was a reason that Soto was carrying so many keys back and forth. His neighbors were fleeing. Their trips, and those of their family members, were becoming more infrequent. Things were changing; he just didn’t want to admit it.



Lincoln Club of Orange County proposal would provide path to legal residency

The Lincoln Club of Orange County broke with much of the Republican establishment today in announcing an immigration-reform proposal that would provide a path to legal residency for illegal immigrants.

Most of the Republican presidential field and many congressional Republicans have said the border must be better secured before addressing those now in the country illegally. Many grassroots Republican activists denounce any talk of legalizing illegal immigrants.

But with the Latino vote growing and many Latinos turned off by the GOP’s hardline on illegal immigration, the Lincoln Club wants to build a political bridge.
“Our hope is that this provides a starting point for Republicans and Latinos to find common ground on immigration solutions that respect the rule of law, secure our borders, and afford future immigrants and those who are already here a fair pathway to legal residency,” said Lincoln Club President Robert Loewen.

While the proposal includes a route to legal residency, it stops short of offering illegal immigrants a road to citizenship.

Some in the respected, 40-year-old group of GOP business people went so far as to blame Democrats for not reforming the system. Despite statements from President Barack Obama and many Democrats about the need for immigration reform, many Latinos have been leveling the same complaint against the Administration and Congress.

“Democrats who were in control of Congress for two years under President Obama did nothing to reform our broken immigration system, except to deport more than a million illegal immigrants,” Teresa Hernandez, chairwoman of the Lincoln Club’s Immigration Reform Subcommittee. “Republicans have an opportunity to be leaders on this issue by replacing our antiquated, quota-driven immigration system with a 21st century one that embraces the free-market demand for jobs.”

The Lincoln Club’s three-point plan calls for:
1) Increasing border security.
2) “Creating a guest worker program that allows both foreign workers and illegal immigrants already here to apply for temporary work permits, provided they pay certain fees and meet certain requirements such as proof of employment and passing a criminal background check.”
3) More help for employers in identifying legal workers.

Read more details of the plan in the Lincoln Club’s policy statement. 




In St. Louis, Missouri, a Star of David was carved into 
Alaa Alsaegh’s back

Iraqi Christian convert attacked in US over Holocaust poem

An Iraqi convert from Islam to Christianity was violently attacked in America over a poem he wrote about the Jewish Holocaust.

Alaa Alsaegh was targeted in St Louis, Missouri, because of his Arabic poem, “Tears at the Heart of the Holocaust”, which expresses pain over the loss of six million Jews at the hands of the Nazis.  

The attackers carved the Star of David on Alsaegh’s back with a knife while laughing as they recited his poem.

They had trapped the Iraqi immigrant using two cars as he was driving along in St Louis. One cut across and struck his car, forcing him to stop, while the other blocked his vehicle from behind.

Two attackers then got out of the cars, opened Alsaegh’s door and pointed a gun at him. They pushed his upper body down against the steering wheel, stabbed him and pulled off his shirt before carving the Jewish symbol on his back.

Alsaegh, who survived the ordeal, said that the assailants may have been Somali Muslims; they told him not to publish any more poems.  The FBI has opened an investigation into the incident, but no arrests have yet been made.

Editor: Where is the outrage? A US Christian pastor talks about burning a Koran and the news is published all over the world,  A young man in the US is tortured and mutilated, and no one hears about it.  Why? 



Detroit Prayer event puts Muslim community on Edge

(AP) — An area with one of the largest Muslim communities outside the Middle East is bracing itself for a 24-hour prayer rally by a group that counts Islam among the ills facing the U.S. The gathering in Detroit at Ford Field, the stadium where the Detroit Lions play, starts Friday evening and is designed to tackle issues such as the economy, racial strife, same-sex relationships and abortion. But the decade-old organization known as TheCall has said Detroit is a "microcosm of our national crisis" in all areas, including "the rising tide of the Islamic movement."

Leaders of TheCall believe a satanic spirit is shaping all parts of U.S. society, and it must be challenged through intensive Christian prayer and fasting. Such a demonic spirit has taken hold of specific areas, Detroit among them, organizers say. In the months ahead of their rallies, teams of local organizers often travel their communities performing a ritual called "divorcing Baal," the name of a demon spirit, to drive out the devil from each location.

"Our concern is that we are literally being demonized by the organizers of this group," said Dawud Walid, executive director of Council on American-Islamic Relations' Michigan chapter, which last week urged local mosques and Islamic schools to increase security. "And given the recent history of other groups that have come into Michigan ... we're concerned about this prayer vigil stoking up the flames of divisiveness in the community."

TheCall is the latest and largest of several groups or individuals to come to the Detroit area with a message that stirred up many of its estimated 150,000 to 200,000 Muslims. Recent visitors have included Florida pastor Terry Jones; members of the Westboro Baptist Church; and the Acts 17 Apologetics, missionaries who were arrested for disorderly conduct last year at Dearborn's Arab International Festival but were later acquitted.

As with many other Christian groups, TheCall and its adherents believe Jesus is the only path to salvation. While they consider all other religions false, they have a specific focus on Islam, largely in response to the Sept. 11 attacks, terrorism overseas and fear that Islam, which is also a proselytizing faith, will spread faster than Christianity.
TheCall is modeled partly on the Promise Keepers, the men's stadium prayer movement that was led in the 1990s by former University of Colorado football coach Bill McCartney. TheCall's first major rally was in September 2000 on the national Mall in Washington, drawing tens of thousands of young people to pray for a Christian revival in America. Co-founder Lou Engle has organized similar rallies in several cities, including a 2008 event at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium two days before Election Day to generate support for Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in California.

Theologically, Engle is part of a stream of Pentecostalism that is independent of any denomination and is intensely focused on the end times. Within these churches, some leaders are elevated to the position of apostle, or hearing directly from God.  Muslims aren't the only ones concerned about Friday's event. A coalition of Detroit clergy plans to march to the football stadium Friday and hold their own rally.

"We do not agree with the spread of a message of hate, but a message of peace and a message of love," the Rev. Charles Williams II, pastor of Historic King Solomon Church in Detroit, said Wednesday. "We love our Muslim brothers. We love those who are homosexual and we are not scared ... to stand up when the time calls for us to."

Engle declined interview requests from The Associated Press, and one of his representatives referred calls to Apostle Ellis Smith of Detroit's Jubilee City Church. Smith, who appeared with Engle and other Detroit-area clergy in promotional videos filmed at Ford Field, considers himself a point-person for TheCall in Detroit.

Smith told the AP that fears of the event taking on an anti-Muslim tone are overblown. He said attendees won't be "praying against Muslims," but rather "against terrorism that has its roots in Islam."  "We're dealing with extremism," he said. "We're against extremism when it comes to Christians."

Still, in a pre-event sermon he delivered Oct. 9 at a suburban church, Smith called Islam a "false," ''lame" and "perverse" religion. He said it was allowed to take root in Detroit because of the city's strong religious base. That's why TheCall event is "pivotal," he said.
"That's why I believe it's by divine appointment: Detroit is the most religious city in America," Smith said in the sermon, adding later, "What I'm saying to you is Detroit had to happen because we have to break these barriers that have hindered in so many ways."
The sermon was archived on the online sermon library

Smith on Thursday said he was offering his personal perspective that Islam is "a false religion, as many others are."
He said the main focus of Friday's gathering is "loving God, loving God's people."

Dawn Bethany, 43, said she is attending with about 70 others from Lansing's Epicenter of Worship, where she is the church's administrator. Bethany said she believes the event will be a "monumental spiritual experience," and "the negativity is a distraction from seeing who God is." God, she said, "is love."
Associated Press writer Corey Williams in Detroit and AP Religion Writer Rachel Zoll in New York contributed to this report.
Jeff Karoub can be reached at
Sent by Jaime Cader

83 victims, family members seek $750M for ‘preventable’ Fort Hood tragedy

By Associated Press, Published: November 10, 2011

WASHINGTON — Eighty-three victims and family members in the worst-ever mass shooting at a U.S. military installation are seeking $750 million in compensation from the Army, alleging that willful negligence enabled psychiatrist Maj. Nidal Hasan to carry out a terrorist attack at Fort Hood, Texas.

The administrative claims filed last week said the government had clear warnings that Hasan, who is scheduled to go on trial in March, posed a grave danger to the lives of soldiers and civilians.

The government bowed to political correctness and not only ignored the threat Hasan presented but actually promoted him to the rank of major five months before the massacre, according to the administrative claims against the Defense Department, the Justice Department and the FBI. Thirteen soldiers and civilians were killed and more than two dozen soldiers and civilians were injured in the Nov. 5, 2009, shooting spree.

Fifty-four relatives of eight of the murdered soldiers have filed claims. One civilian police officer and nine of the injured soldiers have filed claims along with 19 family members of those 10.

“It was unconscionable that Hasan was allowed to continue in the military and ultimately be in the position to perpetrate the only terror attack committed on U.S. soil since 9/11,” attorney Neal Sher, who represents the claimants, told The Associated Press.

“We’re aware claims have been filed, but we’re not going to comment on it,” Christopher Haug, chief of media relations for the public affairs office at Fort Hood, said Thursday. “They’ll be taken seriously and they’ll go through the legal process.”

Among the claimants is a civilian police officer who shot Hasan, Sgt. Kimberly Munley, who was hit in the leg and hand in an exchange of gunfire that has cut short her law enforcement career. She underwent a series of surgeries for her wounds and is on unpaid leave from her post as a civilian police officer with the Army.

“I brought this claim because I strongly believe this tragedy was totally preventable and that the Army swept under the rug what they knew about Hasan,” Munley said in a statement.

Munley and her partner, Sgt. Mark Todd, another civilian officer in Fort Hood’s police force, are credited with shooting Hasan, ending the violence.

Hasan, an American-born Muslim, faces the death penalty or life in prison without parole if convicted of 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder.

U.S. officials have said they believe Hasan’s attack was inspired by the radical U.S.-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and that the two men exchanged as many as 20 emails. Al-Awlaki was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in late September. His name has not yet been mentioned in any hearings in the criminal case against Hasan.

“It is a tragic irony that our government sought out and killed al-Awlaki, while Hasan was promoted in the Army which enabled him to carry out his murderous terror attack,” said Sher, who for many years ran the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations that hunted Nazi criminals living illegally in the United States. He also is a former executive director of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a pro-Israel lobbying group.

Evidence of Hasan’s radicalization to violent Islamist extremism was on full display to his superiors and colleagues during military medical training, according to a Senate report issued in February and included as an exhibit accompanying the claims.

In the events leading up to the shooting, an instructor and a colleague each referred to Hasan as a “ticking time bomb,” according to the report by Sens. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., and Susan Collins of Maine, the chairman and ranking Republican, respectively, on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

In classroom presentations, Hasan repeatedly spoke of violent Islamist extremism instead of medical subjects and justified suicide bombings, said the report, which concluded that Hasan’s superiors failed to discipline him, refer him to counterintelligence officials or seek to discharge him.


Letters to Senator Hutchison and Senator Cornyn by Jose Antonio López
The Story Of One Deported Latino Veteran by Sara Inés Calderón 
St. Athanasius School in Long Beach, California 
Valley Veterans Hospital Needed

Hi All, I just mailed the letter below to both Senator Hutchison and Senator Cornyn asking them to lead the funding of the much-needed Valley Veterans Hospital.  In my view, few other things are representative of the benign neglect and abandonment of South Texas by the powers that be than the lack of a Veterans Hospital in the Rio Grande Valley.   

In addition to the senators, I mailed copies of the letter to President Obama, Vice-President Biden, and Secretaries Rodham Clinton, Panetta, and Shinseki, Rep. Cuellar, Gov. Perry, the American Legion, VFW, and certain officials in the Valley.  I added a short note covering the following points:  

A veteran in Harlingen, Texas and surrounding area is more likely to be uninsured, unemployed, and/or underemployed.  Per capita income in South Texas is truly at the lowest levels in Texas.  Many area counties do not have civilian medical facilities either.  Seeking help for service-related health care, veterans have to travel to San Antonio -- a 10-hour round trip.  As a result, many economically-burdened veterans are forced to pass up on treatment of serious illness altogether.  That is unconscionable and unacceptable.   

For nearly 40 years, returning military men and women of South Texas have been promised a medical center.  To date, all they get is electioneering speeches, pledges, and finger pointing as to who is responsible for delaying its construction.  Our wounded warriors served gallantly.  They deserve only the best medical care in return for readily answering the call to duty.   

Waving the U.S. flag on Veterans Day is a precious tradition.  Let’s make sure that when we wave the flag next Veterans Day, the event will also be to celebrate the approval of funds for the groundbreaking of a Rio Grande Valley Veterans Hospital.  Moreover, let’s give new meaning to the phrase “Thank a Vet”, by using the new facility as a “Thank You” from a grateful nation.   

Please spread the word.  Join me and other patriots, such as Plácido Salazar.  Let our two senators and responsible officials hear our voices of support in unison.  La unión es la fuerza! 

Saludos,  Joe López

November 11, 2011

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison                         Senator John Cornyn  
284 Russell Senate Office Building 
            517 Hart Senate Office Building  
Washington DC 20510
                                Washington, D.C. 20510


Dear Senator Hutchison and Senator Cornyn:

On this glorious day honoring U.S. men and women warriors, I ask that you focus on the urgent need for a Rio Grande Valley Veterans Hospital.  No other ethnic minority group is more loyal to the cause of freedom than Spanish Mexican-descent citizen veterans from South Texas.  To this very day, they serve honorably and are returning home from current war zones in Afghanistan and Iraq.  

What kind of warriors come from the Rio Grande Valley?  Only the bravest!  I could write volumes of examples of their loyalty and courage in defense of the U.S.  However, I believe that the citation below for Medal of Honor Winner Sergeant Freddy Cantú González, Edinburg, Texas, speaks for itself.

Senators, please reflect on the last two sentences of the citation.  In memory of Sergeant González, I ask you to actively and vigorously back Representative Henry Cuellar’s bi-partisan HR 1318, South Texas Veterans Health Care Expansion Act.  The thousands of Rio Grande Valley veterans have earned the construction of a VA Hospital.  The matter has been studied enough.  No more excuses.  No more ifs, ands, or buts.  No more promises of support. Find the way to get it done this time. Thank you.         

Very Respectfully,  José Antonio López, USAF Veteran (1962-66)  

Citation to the Award of the Medal of Honor to Sergeant Alfredo Cantú González.  For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as platoon commander, 3d Platoon, Company A. On 31 January 1968, during the initial phase of Operation Hue City, Sgt. Gonzalez' unit was formed as a reaction force and deployed to Hue to relieve the pressure on the beleaguered city. While moving by truck convoy along Route No. 1, near the village of Lang Van Lrong, the marines received a heavy volume of enemy fire. Sgt. Gonzalez aggressively maneuvered the marines in his platoon, and directed their fire until the area was cleared of snipers. Immediately after crossing a river south of Hue, the column was again hit by intense enemy fire. One of the marines on top of a tank was wounded and fell to the ground in an exposed position. With complete disregard for his safety, Sgt. Gonzalez ran through the fire-swept area to the assistance of his injured comrade. He lifted him up and though receiving fragmentation wounds during the rescue, he carried the wounded marine to a covered position for treatment. Due to the increased volume and accuracy of enemy fire from a fortified machine gun bunker on the side of the road, the company was temporarily halted. Realizing the gravity of the situation, Sgt. Gonzalez exposed himself to the enemy fire and moved his platoon along the east side of a bordering rice paddy to a dike directly across from the bunker. Though fully aware of the danger involved, he moved to the fire-swept road and destroyed the hostile position with hand grenades. Although seriously wounded again on 3 February, he steadfastly refused medical treatment and continued to supervise his men and lead the attack. On 4 February, the enemy had again pinned the company down, inflicting heavy casualties with automatic weapons and rocket fire. Sgt. Gonzalez, utilizing a number of light antitank assault weapons, fearlessly moved from position to position firing numerous rounds at the heavily fortified enemy emplacements. He successfully knocked out a rocket position and suppressed much of the enemy fire before falling mortally wounded. The heroism, courage, and dynamic leadership displayed by Sgt. Gonzalez reflected great credit upon himself and the Marine Corps, and were in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Naval Service. He gallantly gave his life for his country.



The Story Of One 
Deported Latino Veteran

By Sara Inés Calderón 
November 11, 2011

Immigrants have served in the United States armed forces since the Revolutionary War, and one veteran we spoke to noted that, being an immigrant sometimes makes things a little bit more complicated. Hector Barajas served with the 82nd Airborne as a paratrooper, but now lives in Mexico, where he was deported a few years ago after he was deported.
Barajas doesn’t make excuses for the actions that led to his deportation, but working with the groupBanished Veterans, he and other deported veterans lobby to try to find a way to come back home — the U.S. He told NewsTaco his story.

Barajas’ story goes like this. He came to the U.S. when he was 5 or 6, grew up in Compton and joined the military right after high school, in 1995. He never became a citizen. One day he came home from Fort Bliss outside El Paso to visit his family in Compton; at the time he was in a military alcohol rehabilitation program, he was driving under the influence with some friends. One of them in the backseat thought he was being followed and shot a gun at the car behind them.

“Nobody got hurt,” Barajas told us. He pleaded guilty to the discharge of a firearm and was sentenced to three years in a California state prison. After Barajas said a bad lawyer fumbled his case, he found himself with a deportation hold about two years into his sentence.

Barajas meant to become a citizen, he started the application, but never followed up. He was eventually flown from California to Arizona, where he said he felt like he was in limbo. While in immigration custody he said he felt like he was “being considered an illegal immigrant. I never thought of myself as being an illegal immigrant.” Especially since, as a soldier, he was always attending ceremonies and exercises where his patriotism was praised.

“I was good enough to fight for the country, but all of a sudden, you’re disposable,” he said.

Nine months passed in the Arizona detention facility. One day, in the middle of the night, he was dropped off in Nogales, Sonora. He spent some time in Zacatecas with his grandparents, then tried to come home, was deported again, and has since been trying to find legal recourse to come home to Los Angeles to be with his parents and daughter. He currently works as a caregiver for the elderly in Rosarito, Baja California.

Banished Veterans has been a beacon of hope for him, he told us, about a dozen people work with the group. His dream for the group is to open up different chapters to help other veterans who find themselves in a similar situation. And while he takes responsibility for his actions, he longs to come back to the U.S., for a very simple reason.

“Why do I want to come back? I’m an American,” he told NewsTaco. “There are a lot of Americans that won’t put on a uniform to defend the country, to do what we did.”

St. Athanasius School in Long Beach, California 
Friends and family,  Help Decorate Our "Tree of Lights" . . .  Most of you may know that I am currently teaching 6th grade at St. Athanasius School in Long Beach. As you will read in the following letter, we are one of the poorest communities in the LA area so we have recently launched a project to help brighten the holidays for our students/families. Please read about our project and check out our website to perhaps participate in our project. If you would like to donate specifically to the 6th grade class, you may do so by following the directions in this email as well as posted on the website. Here is the direct link:

Thank you so much and God bless! Hayley Palacios  [An article on Haley is her October 2011]  
Each September children everywhere greet the new school year having eaten a full breakfast, dressed in new outfits and shoes, with a backpack filled with supplies. 
At St. Athanasius Catholic School most students rely on government provided breakfasts and lunches for their daily nutrition, many wear used or hand me down uniforms, and some are considered fortunate to have a notebook and a pencil to begin the school year.
At Christmas many children dream of beautiful Christmas trees surrounded with a multitude of toys, games, clothes, and electronic gadgets.  For the children of St. Athanasius Catholic School, most have not experienced a Christmas morning of gift giving as their families cannot afford one.
St. Athanasius parish in Long Beach, CA is one of the poorest parishes in the Los Angeles diocese, and also one of the poorest in the nation.  Last year, a couple of young teachers embarked on a mission to buy one gift for every student in their class, and to help provide a Christmas for some of the school’s poorest families.  Their success revealed a much larger need.
This year, the entire staff has joined together and expanded the program with the hope of buying one gift and one book for every student, plus provide a Christmas for the school’s neediest families.
Two weeks ago the teachers solicited toy and game wishes from the students.  One 8 year old in tattered sneakers asked for new shoes or a pair of bicycle shorts to wear under her school skirt.  With those wishes fulfilled immediately she was asked to make a fun wish, but it illuminated the perspective of these children and their needs.
Our mission for the month of November is to decorate our Tree of Lights, where a light represents one of our 186 children, an angel represents an entire class, and a present represents a family.   To decorate our tree: adopt a child or class, then purchase and deliver a gift(s) from our Wish List; make a cash donation to help first raise $15 per child to buy a gift and a book for all 186 children; and/or then adopt, or donate to a fund, to provide gifts and food (about $200 per family) for our neediest families.
Cash donations of any amount are graciously accepted either thru our web site:, or by check payable to St. Athanasius Tree of Love, and mailed to Development Team, St. Athanasius School, 5369 Linden, Long Beach, CA 90805.  To adopt a child or family directly contact the Development Team through our website for Wish List items and delivery instructions.  St. Athanasius Catholic School is a 501(C)(3) organization and all donations are tax deductible.  Any donation of $250 or greater will receive a letter for tax purposes.
Please help decorate our Tree of Lights and help make a child or family’s wish come true this Christmas.   Thank you!



Dropout Rate Reaches 28 Percent
Senator Iris Martinez writes the foreword to from The Barrio to the Board
Hispanic Education Endowment Fund: 18th Annual Apple of Gold Celebration
Stand and Deliver' Movie Quotes by Jaime Escalante
Intercultural Development Research Association    
Gilbert G. Gonzalez Collection, 1864-2001 
Focusing on the Needs of Latino Students by Manuel Hernandez-Carmona 
Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior by Amy Chua

   Dropout Rate Reaches 28%          May 2, 2011 

The National Council of La Raza recently released a study that indicated a Hispanic dropout rate of 28 percent.


The report also included strategy recommendations to improve the opportunities of young Latinos and the social barriers they face as they enter the job market. According to the study, only “58% of Latinos complete high school when compared with 78 percent of non-Hispanic whites.”

These figures correspond significantly with unemployment rates because 40 percent of Latinos age 25 and up without high school diplomas are unemployed or only have a temporary job. New jobs are forecasted to require at least some university education, thus indicating the sad reality that Latinos will continue to be concentrated in low-paying labor jobs.

La Raza report places an emphasis on the importance of establishing educational programs focused on Latinos between the ages of 16 and 24 who dropped out and are not working.

“Keeping in mind that Hispanics are going to represent a very important segment in the future labor force, it’s crucial to reengage these young people in their training, educate them, to be able to place these kids, who now are at risk of social exclusion, on the road to quality employment and economic stability,” said Simon Lopez, NCLR’s  director for Workforce and Leadership Development.

Other factors that contribute to the increased dropout rates of Latinos include language barriers, immigration status of their families, low-incomes and over representation in the juvenile justice system.

The NCLR report stresses the importance of addressing the increased dropout rates and high unemployment rates immediately because of the repercussions it will have to the economy in the future.

References:  Latino Fox News
Source: NewsTaco, 11/11/11

The Education News is a publication of the League of United Latin American Citizens, founded in 1929 and currently headed by National President Margaret MoranWritten and Edited by: Michael Castro, LULAC National Intern,, Amaris Kinne, Education Policy Fellow, & Iris Chavez, Deputy Director for Education Policy,




Robert Renteria's story needs to be heard. Young people are living in neighborhoods with more violence than ever before and gangs havebecome a routine part of the environment. For some of our young people, survival is all they know.  We have to show them that there is more. We have to encourage them to look beyond, and have a sense of the future and look to where they want to be 10 or 20 years from now. Robert clearly illustrates that life is full of choices, and the choices you make will determine which way you go. 

From the Barrio to the Board Room shows young people that others who were just like them, with similar experiences, have made something positive happen in their lives. How did we do this? Both Robert and I were able to disconnect from our environment to a certain degree so that we could not only continue to survive within it, but also look toward the future. Our personal experiences gave us the upper hand in dealing with gangs, violence, drug and alcohol abuse and our youth dropping out of school. We are committed to our community because we recognize that many of these young men and women need role models and individuals who can nurture and mentor them.

This is the message that Robert and I have in common. We've been there, yet here we are. We made it out from the Barrio and our kids can do the same. But the Barrio should stay with us as a reminder of who we are. I always say that you can take me out of the Barrio but you can't take the Barrio out of me. I also say that although I am the first Latina in the State Senate, I won't be the last!

When I visit schools I tell young people that education is the most precious gift that you can give yourself and your community. By becoming educated, you can understand the social injustice and economic issues that exist out there. What you capture in the classroom is something that nobody can ever take away from you.  And you can choose to make it a positive experience!

A book like Robert's can make a difference and change the course of someone's life because it is a story that hits home. From the Barrio tells you that it does not matter where you are born, what community you grow up in, or where in society you may be; what matters is you and what you want to do with your life. Everything that Robert has shared-the words, his commitment and his philosophy-is a reality. He is living proof that a kid from the Barrio can make it, and his story will change lives.


-The Honorable Iris Y. Martinez

Illinois State Senator

For more information, please contact Corey Michael Blake at 224.475.0392 or

Hispanic Education Endowment Fund: 18th Annual Apple of Gold Celebration
By Yobany Banks-McKay
On Thursday Oct 20th, HEEF celebrated 18 years of progress for the Orange County Hispanic Education Endowment Fund. The Apple of Gold Awards Celebration honors teachers in the following categories: Excellence in High School Teaching, Excellence in K-12 Leadership and Excellence in Post Secondary Leadership. 

This year the honorees were Yamila Castro from Anaheim Union High School District for Excellence in High School Teaching. Lucinda Nares Pueblos for Excellence in K-12 Leadership and Professor John Dombrink for excellence in Post Secondary Leadership. The teachers and students are an inspiration to all of us as they speak of their stories of overcoming challenges posed in the everyday lives of our Latino youth in the school system. HEEF allows students who may not be able to afford a higher level education an opportunity to advance in their education and more importantly in the workforce once they graduate. To date, more than 1,250 scholarships have been awarded to college-bound youth. These scholarships support specific college majors and professional school as well as private K-12 education. Students are completing not only the bachelor’s degree but also advanced degrees and professional school.

NHBWA is proud to be among the HEEF partnership organizations that allow us to provide annual scholarships to deserving young Latinas. Congratulations to all awardees and scholarship recipients as together we will improve opportunities for all Hispanic youth in our community!

Source: NHBWA November 2011 News Brief
National Hispanic Business Women Association
2024 N. Broadway STE 100
Santa Ana, CA 92706

Stand and Deliver' Movie Quotes by Jaime Escalante
Students will rise to the level of expectation.

Did you know that neither the Greeks nor the Romans were capable of using the concept of zero? It was your ancestors, the Mayans, who first contemplated the zero. The absence of value. True story.

 There will be no free rides, no excuses. You already have two strikes against you: your name and your complexion. Because of these two strikes, there are some people in this world who will assume that you know less than you do. Math is the great equalizer... When you go for a job, the person giving you that job will not want to hear your problems; ergo,  neither do I. You're going to work harder here than you've ever worked anywhere else. And the only thing I ask from you is ganas. Desire.
You don't count how many times you are on the floor. You count how many times you get up.

We are all concerned about the future of American education. But as I tell my students, you do not enter the future -- you create the future. The future is created through hard work.

'Stand and Deliver' is a 1988 American drama film. The film is a dramatization based on a true story of a dedicated high school mathematics teacher Jaime Escalante. Edward James Olmos portrayed Escalante in the film and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor.[1]

Jaime Escalante, the East Los Angeles mathematics teacher whose story inspired the movie Stand and Deliver, died from bladder cancer at his son's home on March 30, 2010.[ 
Intercultural Development Research Association    

The Intercultural Development Research Association is an independent, private non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening public schools to work for all children. We are committed to the IDRA valuing philosophy, respecting the knowledge and skills of the individuals we work with and build on the strengths of the students and parents in their schools.

IDRA's professional staff members…

  • Are fluent and literate in English and Spanish.
  • Have many years of classroom, administrative, and community engagement experience.
  • Have graduate degrees – master's and doctorates – from respected universities.
  • Are skilled trainers, accustomed to designing and implementing top-notch workshops.

Through its history IDRA has been a vocal advocate for the right of every student to equality of educational opportunity. IDRA was founded in 1973 by Dr. José A. Cárdenas and, today, is directed by Dr. María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel. IDRA fulfills its mission through professional development, research and evaluation, policy and leadership development, and programs and materials development.

IDRA's vision: IDRA is a vanguard leadership development and research team working with people to create self-renewing schools that value and empower all children, families and communities.

Episode 11 Video Aurelio Montemayor


(April 20, 2007) The underlying assumptions we have about our students have a dramatic affect on our ability to teach. The same holds true among adults. Even with the best of intentions, educators struggle to work with families without realizing that their own deficit assumptions are creating the barriers. Aurelio Montemayor, M.Ed., director of the IDRA Texas Parent Information and Resource Center, illustrates the contrast between the valuing and deficit models of thinking and acting, and he provides examples of schools that are valuing families as partners in children’s education. Aurelio is interviewed by Josie Danini Cortez, M.A., an IDRA senior education associate. Listen to this podcast.

Aurelio M. Montemayor

Senior Education Associate

Intercultural Development Research Association


5815 Callaghan Road, Suite 101

San Antonio, Texas 78228

210.444.1710 ph. •  210.444.1714 fax


Connect with us online!

• Twitter: @IDRAedu     

• Facebook:

• LinkedIn:  

Check out IDRA Classnotes Podcasts at 

Also sign up for Graduation for All, our monthly e-letter (English/Spanish), and IDRA eNews, for occasional news updates

Dr. Jose Angel Cardenas, founder of IDRA passed away September 17, 2011. Go to to the October IDRA Newsletter,  VOL XXXVIII, NO. IX October 2011 dedicated In Memoriam to Dr. Cardenas    


Gilbert G. Gonzalez Collection, 1864-2001 
Quantity:  87 Boxes; 43.5 Linear Feet
Collection Guide (63pp.) - 18,800 words, Language: English and Spanish 

Abstract: The Gilbert G. Gonzalez Collection consists of journal articles, book chapters, personal notes, newspaper articles, lesson plans, Mexican consulate records, bibliographic entries and citations, handwritten research notes, marginal notes and numerous yellow “Post It” notes in paginations. Primary and secondary source materials in this collection are in English and in Spanish. There are no translations provided for the materials in the Spanish language.

Repository:  Arizona State University Libraries Chicano Research Collection
Arizona State University Libraries
P.O. Box 871006
Tempe, AZ 85287-1006
Phone: 480 965 4932
Fax: 480 965 776

Biographical Note
Dr. Gilbert G. Gonzalez, Professor Emeritus and Historian, University of California-Irvine, Chicano/Latino Studies and former Professor of Social Sciences and Director of the Labor and Studies Program at the same university, is one of eight children born to Mexican immigrant parents. Raised and educated in southern California, Dr. Gonzalez received his Ph.D. in United States history from UCLA in 1974. In 1971, Professor Gonzalez was affiliated with the Program in Comparative Culture at the University of California-Irvine, where his interests in ethnic studies, U.S.-Mexico agricultural labor relations, Mexican consuls and public policy, segregation of Mexican children in the southwestern states, and Mexican immigration established themselves and took root. His authoritative works have been required readings for graduate students in departments of history and sociology throughout the southwestern United States. Considered by his peers as “one of the preeminent scholars of Chicano history and transborder studies”, Dr. Gonzalez’s path-breaking work over a 30-year period explains that Mexican migration since the late nineteenth century is the social and political consequence of United States’ economic domination over Mexico. This is the theme that drives the scholarship of Dr. Gilbert G. Gonzalez, a most prolific historian and author. Currently, Dr. Gonzalez and a colleague, Vivian Price, are completing the film documentary, “Soldiers of the Fields: Forgotten But Not Silenced,” a historical perspective of the lives, struggles and sacrifices of the men and women of the U.S.-Mexico Bracero Program, one that brought approximately 4.8 million Mexican agricultural workers into the United States over a twenty-two year period, from 1942 to 1964.

Scope and Content Note
The Gilbert G. Gonzalez Collection consists of journal articles, book chapters, personal notes, newspaper articles, lesson plans, Mexican consulate records, bibliographic entries and citations, handwritten research notes, marginal notes and numerous yellow “Post It” notes in paginations. Primary and secondary source materials in this collection are in English and in Spanish. There are no translations provided for the materials in the Spanish language.

The Personal Papers and Writings series extends from 1970 to 2001 and includes Professor Gonzalez’s 1974 UCLA dissertation, The System of Public Education and Its Function Within the Chicano Communities, 1920-1930, with several drafts of this manuscript included; handwritten research notes and drafts of manuscripts which became his noted publications, such as Progressive Education: a Marxist Interpretation ( c. 1982); Chicano Education in the Era of Segregation (c. 1990); Labor and Community: Mexican Citrus Worker Villages in a Southern California County, 1900-1950 (c. 1994); Mexican Consuls and Labor Organizing: Imperial Politics in the American Southwest ( c. 1999); and preliminary notes for, and correspondence with, the publisher of Culture of Empire: American Writers, Mexico and Mexican Immigration, 1880-1930 ( c. 2003).

The Los Angeles Schools series includes research notes taken from the Los Angeles School Journal (1920s); Los Angeles School Education Bulletin (1920s); Los Angeles School District Publications (1920s and 1930s); and Los Angeles School Board of Education Minutes (1950s). Dr. Gonzalez’s personal handwritten notes are available in long hand and are readable. This series includes materials compiled and prepared by Dr. Gonzalez for use in his Mexican American and Chicano studies courses and workshops offered at the University of California at Irvine (1970s).

The Chicano Studies, University of California at Irvine series offers primary source materials such as annual reports, correspondence and minority and academic personnel employment statistics produced by the Chicano/Latino Faculty Association and the Affirmative Action Committee at the University of California at Irvine, where Dr. Gonzalez held memberships (1980s and 1990s). Also included in this series are Dr. Gonzalez’s lesson plans used in his Chicano studies courses. 

The Manuscript Materials series contains numerous photocopies of selected book chapters from scholarly publications, articles published in trade periodicals, contemporary southwest monographs, and articles from the Spanish-language Mexican newspaper, La Opinión, published in Los Angeles in the 1940s. Themes such as the history of Mexico (1860s to 1890s); Mexican social life and customs (1900 to 1920s); the education of Mexican children in the southwest (1920s); the plight of Mexican agricultural laborers and Japanese growers in southern California (1930s); agricultural labor strikes and unionism (1930s and 1940s); and intelligence test scores of Mexican children (1940s and 1950s). Included in this series are numerous undated 5x7 and 3x5 index cards that bear Dr. Gonzalez’s handwritten notes on miscellaneous topics of interest relating to the state of U.S.-Mexico history and thought, Mexican immigration, and Mexican culture and labor.

Sent by Roberto Calderon, 


 Focusing on the Needs of Latino Students (Content Standards)
by Manuel Hernandez-Carmona

Focusing on the needs of Latino students is making an alignment with the content standards (C.S.) and grade level expectations of each state and school community.  Although there are different versions, the core values of the book Christians call Bible are the same.  Much like those who interpret the Bible, it is the responsibility of state and city school communities to align their content standards with the specific school needs assessment to which they serve. The alignment does not only come in words but in principle. The New York City Board of Education serves a multi-ethnic and diverse school community of millions of students which spread out in five different boroughs. The Department of Education in Puerto Rico serves primarily Puerto Rican students in seventy-eight municipalities organized in twenty-eight mega school districts. Two different school communities with diverse and unique academic interests but both adhere to content standards and grade level expectations.

            The content standards provide an academic platform, and school districts and teachers make the interpretation and adjust accordingly. When the C.S. do not meet the expectations of school communities, the results are not only reflected in city and statewide testing but put a strangle hold on student achievement. How can an English teacher from Chicago teach Shakespeare to a recently arrived seventeen year old immigrant from Guatemala? This is the story in hundreds of school districts in cities across America. Thousands of immigrant children who are not only threatened to be deported but lack reading and the mathematical skills needed to pass city and statewide examinations.  Knowing the Spanish language at home is not always a guarantee for these students to take what may seem an obviously easy course since the Spanish spoken at home is usually different from the “Castellano” taught at the school. Content Standards must provide for the diverse academic needs assessment of each community. Ever since No Child Left Behind was created in 2001, the school population in most districts across America has changed drastically. The Latino population continues to surge, but the Law has stagnated and must be changed!

 Because NCLB has not advanced, Latino students continue to have retention and suspension/expulsion rates that are higher than those of Whites, but lower than those of Blacks. Regardless of the lower numbers of drop outs, Latino students still have higher high school dropout rates and lower high school completion rates than White or Black students. The role of culturally competent teachers has been part of the remarkable strides that have been made in educating Latino students. Research shows that talented and dedicated teachers are the single biggest contributor to the educational development of these children especially in areas where role models are far and few between.

 Focusing on the needs of Latino students is making an academic difference to help improve the quality of Latino children. The 21st century has focused America’s eyes on terror, war and the economy. The empowerment of children in America is focusing towards the improvement of the education of Latino children and all American children as well. 

(The author is an associate for Souder, Betances and Associates, an English Staff Development Specialist for the Department of Education in Puerto Rico and a professor at the University of Phoenix, Puerto Rico Campus)




(Erin Patrice O'Brien for The Wall Street Journal) 
Amy Chua with her daughters, Louisa and Sophia,
 at their home in New Haven, Connecticut.

Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior 
By Amy Chua
January 8, 2011 

Do better parents produce better students? Most research says absolutely yes!!! Chinese parents believe their children are the best, expect their children to be the best and work towards their children being the best! Their children usually respond by being the best!!!

Can a regimen of no playdates, no TV, no computer games and hours of music practice create happy kids? And what happens when they fight back?  A lot of people wonder how Chinese parents raise such stereotypically successful kids. They wonder what these parents do to produce so many math whizzes and music prodigies, what it's like inside the family, and whether they could do it too. Well, I can tell them, because I've done it. 

Here are some things my daughters, Sophia and Louisa, were never allowed to do:
attend a sleepover, have a playdate, be in a school play, complain about not being in a school, play watch TV, or play computer games, choose their own extracurricular activities, get any grade less than an A, not be the No. 1 student in every subject except gym and drama play any instrument other than the piano or violin,  not play the piano or violin. 

I'm using the term "Chinese mother" loosely. I know some Korean, Indian, Jamaican, Irish and Ghanaian parents who qualify too. Conversely, I know some mothers of Chinese heritage, almost always born in the West, who are not Chinese mothers, by choice or otherwise. I'm also using the term "Western parents" loosely. Western parents come in all varieties. 

All the same, even when Western parents think they're being strict, they usually don't come close to being Chinese mothers. For example, my Western friends who consider themselves strict make their children practice their instruments 30 minutes every day. An hour at most. For a Chinese mother, the first hour is the easy part. It's hours two and three that get tough.

Despite our squeamishness about cultural stereotypes, there are tons of studies out there showing marked and quantifiable differences between Chinese and Westerners when it comes to parenting. 

In one study of 50 Western American mothers and 48 Chinese immigrant mothers, almost 70% of the Western mothers said either that "stressing academic success is not good for children" or that "parents need to foster the idea that learning is fun." By contrast, roughly 0% of the Chinese mothers felt the same way. Instead, the vast majority of the Chinese mothers said that they believe their children can be "the best" students, that "academic achievement reflects successful parenting," and that if children did not excel at school then there was "a problem" and parents "were not doing their job." Other studies indicate that compared to Western parents, Chinese parents spend approximately 10 times as long every day drilling academic activities with their children. By contrast, Western kids are more likely to participate in sports teams.

What Chinese parents understand is that nothing is fun until you're good at it. To get good at anything you have to work, and children on their own never want to work, which is why it is crucial to override their preferences. This often requires fortitude on the part of the parents because the child will resist; things are always hardest at the beginning, which is where Western parents tend to give up. But if done properly, the Chinese strategy produces a virtuous circle. 

Tenacious practice, practice, practice is crucial for excellence; rote repetition is underrated in America. Once a child starts to excel at something-whether it's math, piano, pitching or ballet-he or she gets praise, admiration and satisfaction. This builds confidence and makes the once not-fun activity fun. This in turn makes it easier for the parent to get the child to work even more.

Chinese parents can get away with things that Western parents can't. Once when I was young-maybe more than once-when I was extremely disrespectful to my mother, my father angrily called me "garbage" in our native Hokkien dialect. It worked really well. I felt terrible and deeply ashamed of what I had done. But it didn't damage my self-esteem or anything like that. I knew exactly how highly he thought of me. I didn't actually think I was worthless or feel like a piece of garbage.

As an adult, I once did the same thing to Sophia, calling her garbage in English when she acted extremely disrespectfully toward me. When I mentioned that I had done this at a dinner party, I was immediately ostracized. One guest named Marcy got so upset she broke down in tears and had to leave early. My friend Susan, the host, tried to rehabilitate me with the remaining guests.

The fact is that Chinese parents can do things that would seem unimaginable-even legally actionable-to Westerners. Chinese mothers can say to their daughters, "Hey fatty-lose some weight." By contrast, Western parents have to tiptoe around the issue, talking in terms of "health" and never ever mentioning the f-word, and their kids still end up in therapy for eating disorders and negative self-image. (I also once heard a Western father toast his adult daughter by calling her "beautiful and incredibly competent." She later told me that made her feel like garbage.) 

Chinese parents can order their kids to get straight As. Western parents can only ask their kids to try their best. Chinese parents can say, "You're lazy. All your classmates are getting ahead of you." By contrast, Western parents have to struggle with their own conflicted feelings about achievement, and try to persuade themselves that they're not disappointed about how their kids turned out.

I've thought long and hard about how Chinese parents can get away with what they do. I think there are three big differences between the Chinese and Western parental mind-sets.
First, I've noticed that Western parents are extremely anxious about their children's self-esteem. 

They worry about how their children will feel if they fail at something, and they constantly try to reassure their children about how good they are notwithstanding a mediocre performance on a test or at a recital. In other words, Western parents are concerned about their children's psyches. 

Chinese parents aren't. They assume strength, not fragility, and as a result they behave very differently.

For example, if a child comes home with an A-minus on a test, a Western parent will most likely praise the child. The Chinese mother will gasp in horror and ask what went wrong. If the child comes home with a B on the test, some Western parents will still praise the child. Other Western parents will sit their child down and express disapproval, but they will be careful not to make their child feel inadequate or insecure, and they will not call their child "stupid," "worthless" or "a disgrace." Privately, the Western parents may worry that their child does not test well or have aptitude in the subject or that there is something wrong with the curriculum and possibly the whole school. If the child's grades do not improve, they may eventually schedule a meeting with the school principal to challenge the way the subject is being taught or to call into question the teacher's credentials.

If a Chinese child gets a B-which would never happen-there would first be a screaming, hair-tearing explosion. The devastated Chinese mother would then get dozens, maybe hundreds of practice tests and work through them with her child for as long as it takes to get the grade up to an A. 

Chua family 
From Ms. Chua's album: 'Mean me with Lulu in hotel room... with score taped to TV!

Chinese parents demand perfect grades because they believe that their child can get them. If their child doesn't get them, the Chinese parent assumes it's because the child didn't work hard enough. That's why the solution to substandard performance is always to excoriate, punish and shame the child. The Chinese parent believes that their child will be strong enough to take the shaming and to improve from it. (And when Chinese kids do excel, there is plenty of ego-inflating parental praise lavished in the privacy of the home.)

Second, Chinese parents believe that their kids owe them everything. The reason for this is a little unclear, but it's probably a combination of Confucian filial piety and the fact that the parents have sacrificed and done so much for their children. (And it's true that Chinese mothers get in the trenches, putting in long grueling hours personally tutoring, training, interrogating and spying on their kids.) Anyway, the understanding is that Chinese children must spend their lives repaying their parents by obeying them and making them proud. 

By contrast, I don't think most Westerners have the same view of children being permanently indebted to their parents. My husband, Jed, actually has the opposite view. "Children don't choose their parents," he once said to me. "They don't even choose to be born. It's parents who foist life on their kids, so it's the parents' responsibility to provide for them. Kids don't owe their parents anything. Their duty will be to their own kids." This strikes me as a terrible deal for the Western parent.

Third, Chinese parents believe that they know what is best for their children and therefore override all of their children's own desires and preferences. That's why Chinese daughters can't have boyfriends in high school and why Chinese kids can't go to sleepaway camp. It's also why no Chinese kid would ever dare say to their mother, "I got a part in the school play! I'm Villager Number Six. I'll have to stay after school for rehearsal every day from 3:00 to 7:00, and I'll also need a ride on weekends." God help any Chinese kid who tried that one.

Don't get me wrong: It's not that Chinese parents don't care about their children. Just the opposite. They would give up anything for their children. It's just an entirely different parenting model.

Here's a story in favor of coercion, Chinese-style. Lulu was about 7, still playing two instruments, and working on a piano piece called "The Little White Donkey" by the French composer Jacques Ibert. The piece is really cute-you can just imagine a little donkey ambling along a country road with its master-but it's also incredibly difficult for young players because the two hands have to keep schizophrenically different rhythms.

Lulu couldn't do it. We worked on it nonstop for a week, drilling each of her hands separately, over and over. But whenever we tried putting the hands together, one always morphed into the other, and everything fell apart. Finally, the day before her lesson, Lulu announced in exasperation that she was giving up and stomped off.

"Get back to the piano now," I ordered.

"You can't make me."

"Oh yes, I can."

Back at the piano, Lulu made me pay. She punched, thrashed and kicked. She grabbed the music score and tore it to shreds. I taped the score back together and encased it in a plastic shield so that it could never be destroyed again. Then I hauled Lulu's dollhouse to the car and told her I'd donate it to the Salvation Army piece by piece if she didn't have "The Little White Donkey" perfect by the next day. When Lulu said, "I thought you were going to the Salvation Army, why are you still here?" I threatened her with no lunch, no dinner, no Christmas or Hanukkah presents, no birthday parties for two, three, four years. When she still kept playing it wrong, I told her she was purposely working herself into a frenzy because she was secretly afraid she couldn't do it. I told her to stop being lazy, cowardly, self-indulgent and pathetic.

Jed took me aside. He told me to stop insulting Lulu-which I wasn't even doing, I was just motivating her-and that he didn't think threatening Lulu was helpful. Also, he said, maybe Lulu really just couldn't do the technique-perhaps she didn't have the coordination yet-had I considered that possibility? 

"You just don't believe in her," I accused.

"That's ridiculous," Jed said scornfully. "Of course I do."

"Sophia could play the piece when she was this age."

"But Lulu and Sophia are different people," Jed pointed out.

Chua family 
Sophia playing at Carnegie Hall in 2007 

"Oh no, not this," I said, rolling my eyes. "Everyone is special in their special own way," I mimicked sarcastically. "Even losers are special in their own special way. Well don't worry, you don't have to lift a finger. I'm willing to put in as long as it takes, and I'm happy to be the one hated. And you can be the one they adore because you make them pancakes and take them to Yankees games."

I rolled up my sleeves and went back to Lulu. I used every weapon and tactic I could think of. We worked right through dinner into the night, and I wouldn't let Lulu get up, not for water, not even to go to the bathroom. The house became a war zone, and I lost my voice yelling, but still there seemed to be only negative progress, and even I began to have doubts.

Then, out of the blue, Lulu did it. Her hands suddenly came together-her right and left hands each doing their own imperturbable thing-just like that.

Lulu realized it the same time I did. I held my breath. She tried it tentatively again. Then she played it more confidently and faster, and still the rhythm held. A moment later, she was beaming.

"Mommy, look-it's easy!" 




Izzy Sanabria, Why they call him Mr. Sanabria
40 Years Since The BIRTH of SALSA by Izzy Sanabria 
American Sabor’s traveling exhibition
Own a piece of Salsa History, Posters 
Gregorio Luke Triumphs in Mexico's Bellas Artes
East L.A. speaks from its heart
In South Texas Happiness can be Found on the Grill  by Richard G. Santos
First Annual Lloronathon Launches In Phoenix 

Izzy Sanabria 
Graphic Artist, Writer, Actor, Emcee-Comedian

Official Master of Ceremonies & Original Member
of The FANIA ALL STARS since 1971 

In 1978, the prestigious GQ (Gentlemen’s Quarterly) magazine published a profile of Izzy Sanabria in which it stated: Known as "Mr. Salsa" because he almost single- handedly popularized the term "Salsa" (during the 1970s) which the world now recognizes as the name for New York’s Latin Music.

Sanabria is something of a Puerto Rican Toulouse Lautrec as well. His bold colorful posters plastered throughout the walls of New York documented and immortalized Salsa’s (subculture) events in much the same way Lautrec’s posters immortalized the Moulin Rouge in Paris. Izzy's album cover designs and illustrations also set new standards of quality in Latin music packaging and provided the world with its first visual imagery of Salsa.

In 1973, Sanabria branched out AS host of a Latino version of the “Soul Train" TV Show, appropriately called “Salsa" on New Yorks Channel 41. That same year, by combining all his talents, he started publishing Latin NY magazine. Written in English, it became the single most influential magazine in the Latin commu-
nity and the ultimate word on Salsa music world-wide. 

From 1973 until 1985, Latin NY reflected the vibrant energies of an emerging new Latino subculture with its own unique fashions, music, dances and lifestyles. A generation that grew into adulthood influenced and inspired by the contents of Latin NY.

In 1975, Izzy presented The Latin NY Music Awards (the first Salsa Awards) which brought international attention and recognition to the music and its creators. 
These awards were not only important for the Latino and music community, but they also forced NARRAS to create and include a Separate Latin Music Category in the Grammy Awards competition.


The Awards received greater mainstream press coverage than was ever given to any Latin music event. This coverage aroused a tremendous curiosity and interest in Salsa especially from members of the international press. In turn, they exposed Salsa to the world an set off the world-wide salsa Explosion.

Journalists from throughout Europe (Italy Holland, France, Germany, England, etc.) and as far away as Japan, came to interview Sanabria, Salsa's most visible and articulate spokesman and to document this new Latino phenomena of high energy rhythmic music.

This world-wide attention established Latin NY as the primary source for information on Salsa and Sanabria 
a central figure as Salsa’s spokesman, earning him 
the title of “Mr. Salsa". It also provided Sanabria with opportunities to further develop his talents and skills. Consequently, he acquired direct experience in literally all the media arts; as performer and artist, in front and behind the camera, and including radio, television and print production. 

Sanabria is a multi-talented artist who regards the world as his canvas. Besides being an artist, writer, actor, dancer, photographer, publisher, philosopher 
and visionary, he is also a versatile stand-up comedian. Sanabria’s brand of bi-lingual humor have made him one of the community’s favorite master of ceremonies. 

As the official emcee of the Fania All-Stars (the world’s greatest exponents of Salsa), Izzy has traveled throughout South America, Europe and as far as Africa and Japan always adding little bits of humor to his presentations. In Japan, to everyone’s surprise, he actually emceed in perfect Japanese (by using Spanish phonetics).

Sanabria has performed in some of the world’s most prestigious concert halls such as New York’s Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, Avery Fisher Hall and at the Hollywood Palladium.. Izzy has also appeared in several films, stage productions and numerous television shows.

Izzy Sanabria is a multi-talented individualist that played a major role in promoting New York’s Latino music and culture during the 1970s. He has been often quoted and recognized for his efforts by numerous mainstream publications, including: The New York Times, The Village Voice, New York Daily News, Show Business and Gentlemen’s Quarterly. 

For his numerous and, valuable contributions to Latin music, on April 5, 2000, Izzy Sanabria received a long overdue recognition from his peers, when he was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame. 

Izzy Sanabria 
40 Years Since The BIRTH of SALSA. . . .  Does Anyone Really Care? by Izzy Sanabria    

For the majority of Latinos struggling to provide a better life for their families, Salsa music is of little concern and certainly not at the top of their list of priorities. So what's so important and why should they care that August 26, 2011 marked the 40th anniversary of the event many consider to be the birth of Salsa?
Why? If for no other reason, it should provide us all with a sense of Pride. Why? Because Salsa is our greatest cultural art form being embraced today by people of all ages and nationalities around the world. I dare say that Salsa is perhaps our greatest contribution to world culture.
In fact, Salsa dancing has created a world-wide industry that is booming. Salsa Clubs and dance studios continue to spring up to meet the demands of the 100s of thousands wanting to learn how to dance Salsa. This growing interest has also led to the growth of local Salsa bands throughout European, African and even Asian countries. They sound like and even dress-up to look like 1970s Latinos. The question is: How did this 1970s urban NY Latino music acquire such a growing audience?  "The Latin NY Salsa Explosion"  is a film in progress that addresses that question and provides some answers. If you'd like to see it, contact me (at: and I will send you a copy.
Salsa and the 1970s Latino Cultural Renaissance in New York City.
Starting in the late 60s and into the 70s, Latinos had a major cultural impact on New York City. It was a new generation of English speaking Puerto Rican baby boomers that created a Renaissance in all the arts and even had their own media voice (Latin NY magazine). They expressed their presence in poetry,   their clothes, lifestyles and of course their most popular art form - their music! 
The new Latino lifestyle started emerging in the 1960s with Latin Soul music (The Boogaloo) in places like the St George Hotel in Brooklyn. In the 1970s, it was the world famous Cheetah Discotheque which became the showplace of these young Latinos and they gathered by the tens of thousands every Sunday in Central Park. Their immense presence literally Latinized the park as well as the City itself with a new look and a new sound.

August 26 1971 The Fania All Stars perform at the Cheetah
This was no ordinary performance, it was an explosion of energy no one had ever felt / experienced before. This incredible event was captured on film and released the following year as "Our Latin Thing." A few years later, it would have a greater impact than when originally released. Ironically, while many consider this night as the birth of Salsa, there is no mention of the word Salsa in the movie. 
In 1973, Latin NY magazine was launched from the Cheetah. The Fania All Stars' concert at Yankee Stadium draws 44,000 screaming fans. Later that year I hosted a TV Show called Salsa! 
1975: The Spark that Ignited the Salsa Explosion!
Its fire fanned by the Newyorican fervor, the Salsa scene was bursting at the seams. Like dynamite waiting for a spark to ignite it, Salsa was ready to explode. The spark came in the form of Latin NYs First Salsa Awards in May 1975. This
event received greater (pre and post) mass media coverage than was ever given to any Latin music event at that time and thus gave Salsa its biggest push and momentum. 
The coverage by mainstream media such as The N.Y. Times, created an incredible worldwide avalanche of interest in Salsa. What made the awards (by American media standards) a “News Worthy” event was our intense public criticism of NARAS for ignoring 17 years of repeated requests to give Latin music its own separate category in the Grammys. 
Though ignored by local Spanish media, the rest of the world took notice. From Europe (Holland, Germany, France, Italy, England, etc.) and as far away as Japan, journalists and TV camera crews came to New York to comment on and document Salsa; what they perceived as a new phenomena of high energy rhythmic Latino urban music, its dancing and its lifestyles. 
For more detailed information visit: And join me on FaceBook. 



American Sabor’s traveling exhibition

SAN FRANCISCO —American Sabor’s traveling exhibition has made the sixth floor of the Main Library here as the second stop of its 13 city nationwide tour that will go on through 2015. The music exhibition, which includes the likes of Selena, Rubén Blades, Los Tigres del Norte, Celia Cruz, Santana and Richie Valens, will remain on display until Nov. 13 before moving to Dallas, where it will be featured starting in March of next year.

The U.S. tour is part of a three-month presentation that was launched at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. and concluded at the end of Hispanic Heritage Month. It was put together by the Smithsonian Institution, Seattle’s Experience Music Project and the Ford Foundation.

One of its most ear-catching features is a 12-minute film capturing the mambo era of the late ’50s and mid ’60s at New York City’s Palladium Ballroom, opening a window to when mambo brought people together and revealing how music was instrumental in breaking down racial barriers.

By revisiting musicians such as Machito and the  rivalry between Tito Puente and Tito Rodríguez, museum visitors see how a blend of Afro-American and Caribbean-inspired rhythm made its way into the cultural fabric of the United States.

The exhibit spotlights other memorable elements. There is a jukebox and additional audio media reintroducing popular musicians of the era and providing differing Latin genres.

The exhibit’s layout allows free movement. It zooms in on diverse regions, among them Los Angeles, San Antonio, Miami, San Francisco and New York, allowing visitors to get a vibe of every section separately for a unique experience. Entering the San Antonio section, for instance, they meet musicians influenced by the “Tex-Mex” musical style, with Selena beaming as its most illustrious star.

The Miami exhibit features such artists as Celia Cruz, Gloria Estefan and Albita — reminding us how Florida whose keys edge 90 miles from Cuba, serves as the doorway to the Caribbean. Its Los Angeles section introduces the greatest multi-formity of musicians. With the likes of Richie Valens, Alice Bag, Los Lobos and Quetzal, the section covers a broad taste, from punk to rock and everything in between.

The section dedicated to San Francisco includes Carlos Santana, who blended the Caribbean drumbeat and rhythm section with a modern electric guitar and West Coast rock sound. An example was in his 1970 rendition of Tito Puente’s “Oye como va.” The music that grew out of these Latino expressions became a staple of the times. From the civil rights movement to the anti-war efforts of the ’60s that took place by the bay came the growth of Latin Rock.

A cradle of diversity with their influx of different races, places such as the Mission District and North Beach, saw a cacophony of cultures harmonize. The result reflects a variety of genres sounds and rhythms.

Another example of such diversity is also seen in Los Tigres del Norte—a band that became famous by singing corridos of the immigrant’s plight. The traveling exhibit accomplishes a lot with very little. Each section is small and spaced out allowing aficionados to enjoy each section individually. It doesn’t try to provide an excess of information and like the music inspired by Latin rhythm, you are free to move. 

The traveling exhibition date:

American Sabor Traveling Exhibit Launched
Contact: Michelle Torres-Carmona, 202.633.3143,

08/27/2011 11/13/2011 San Francisco Public Library

03/24/2012 06/17/2012 Dallas Latino Cultural Center

07/07/2012 10/14/2012 Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, Chicago

10/27/2012 01/20/2013 Charlotte, N.C., Museum of History

05/25/2013 08/18/2013 Los Angeles Plaza de Cultura y Artes

09/07/2013 12/01/2013 American Jazz Museum, Kansas City

For a whole collection of posters created by Izzy Sanabria, go to: 





Elena Poniatowska, one of Mexico's greatest authors affirmed "Gregorio Luke gives the most extraordinary lectures that can be seen on earth. I have never seen anything more instructive or moving than his presentations on Mexico's great artists, which he makes even greater with his words."

Gregorio Luke presented his Murals Under the Stars lectures at Mexico's most prestigious venue, el Palacio de Bellas Artes. A large screen was placed at the center of the Palacio and the murals of Jose Clemente Orozco, Diego Rivera and David Alfaro Siqueiros were projected life size. The presentations held October 14th, 15th and 16th were attended by more than 8,000 people.

Mr. Luke has delivered his Murals Under the Stars lectures in the U. S., Italy, Australia, China and Latin America. This is the first time that he has presented the series in Mexico City.
Gregorio Luke, a native of Mexico City, served as cultural attaché of Mexico in Los Angeles, first secretary of the embassy of Mexico in Washington and director of the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach.  During the past five years, he has dedicated himself to presenting lectures around the globe.  In addition to his lecture series, Mr. Luke has established a non-profit, Arts in Communities and Schools (ARCoS,) that will bring his multimedia shows to low-income communities across the United States and Latin America. 



East L.A. speaks from its heart

The distinctive accent is heard in a cluster of neighborhoods. Its roots might be in Mexico, but it transcends race and ethnicity. And the sing-song style is GO-ween to new places.

By Hector Becerra, Los Angeles Times

Frances Flores, 61, was born in Boyle Heights to a Japanese mother and a German-English father and was raised by a Mexican American woman. "I sound like a Mexican American," she says. (Gary Friedman, Los Angeles Times / October 19, 2011)

The moment Carmen Fought laid eyes on the man in the hallway of a Pomona courthouse, she was certain he was white. Then his lips parted, and Fought did an about-face.

Now she was sure he was Mexican American, probably from East Los Angeles or Boyle Heights.

The tell-tale signs: the drawn-out vowels in the first syllables of his words.

"Together" became "TWO-gether" instead of "tuh-GE-ther."

"Going" sounded like "GO-ween."

Fought, a linguistics professor at Pitzer College, sidled up to the man for some detective work.

"So — is your family originally from California?" she asked.

"Oh, you're asking because you think I'm Mexican," the man said with a smile. "You think I'm Mexican because I sound like a homeboy."

Fought, it turned out, was half-right. The man was of European descent, but he was born in East L.A.

The East L.A. accent is not as well-known as some other Southern California styles of speech — the Valley Girl accent or the surfer dude patois. But it is a distinct, instantly recognizable way of talking, associated with a part of L.A. famous as a melting pot of Mexicans, Japanese, Jews, Armenians and other ethnic groups.

The accent — also known as Chicano English — crosses racial and ethnic lines and inspires a certain pride even in those who have long since left the neighborhoods where it prevails, most notably East L.A., Boyle Heights, Lincoln Heights, El Sereno and City Terrace.

It is also an object of scholarly attention. Researchers say that as Mexican immigrants spread across the country, they probably are creating regional versions of Chicano English.

The East L.A. accent is marked by a higher vowel sound at the end of words, so that "talking" is often pronounced "talk-een."

Many speakers pronounce the "eh" sound before the letter L as an "ah" — as in "ash" — so that elevator becomes "alavator" and L.A. becomes "all-ay."

In a slightly Canadian-sounding twist, some people will add "ey" to the end of a sentence, in a vaguely questioning tone: "Someone's on the phone for you, ey."

The word "barely" is often used to indicate that something just happened, as in: "I barely got out of the hospital."

Some linguists believe that aspects of Mexican American speech, particularly a sing-song quality, can be traced to Nahuatl, a group of indigenous tongues still spoken in parts of Mexico.

What makes the East L.A. accent especially interesting to linguists is that it's been adapted by people of different races and cultures.

Thus, the "white" man, whom Fought met while both were doing jury duty in Pomona.

"There is no genetic component. It's not like you talk that way because you're Mexican," Fought said. "You talk that way because that's where you grew up, and in that area, that's how a lot of people spoke."

Fought has been studying the East L.A. accent since 1994 and wrote the definitive text on the subject, "Chicano English in Context."

She developed an exercise for her students to show how complex accents can be. The students listened to Mexican Americans from the Eastside speaking English and were asked to guess if the people also spoke Spanish. Students could not reliably tell. Fought said the exercise showed that a person can sound like a Latino even if he is not a Spanish speaker.

Walt Wolfram, a linguist at North Carolina State University, has been studying accents of American-born children of Latino immigrants in that state. He has detected similarities to Chicano English, but with a decidedly southern tint.

William T Fujioka, chief executive officer of Los Angeles County, grew up in East L.A. and neighboring Montebello, and traces of the old neighborhood linger in his speech.

"People say, 'Oh, you grew up in the Eastside,'" said Fujioka, 57. "There's just some inflections, some use of slang. I don't know, I guess some mannerisms. If you're talking to a bunch of friends, you're calling them 'homes' or saying things like watcha! [look] You'll just be talking and it'll slip out."

"The cadence too," he said. "If you're with certain people, the cadence, it's almost like music."

Fujioka recalled how a teacher from his childhood, whose last name was Chitwood, bristled when students pronounced the "ch" as "sh."

As Fujioka tells the story, the principal said, "They can't help it" and explained that many Mexican Americans pronounce "ch" that way. Linguists say that's true, especially for first-generation Mexican Americans.

The teacher wasn't buying it, Fujioka said, perhaps because Japanese American children, himself included, also used the offending pronunciation.

The East L.A. mode of expression can be as much a persona as an accent. It goes beyond pronunciation to include choice of words, use of slang, even body language.

For many, it is a badge of authenticity and a lifelong source of pride.

"It's about identity. You wear it like a shield," said actor Edward James Olmos. "I want people to know where I'm coming from. You use that accent, and you use it very strongly. I use it with pride and self-esteem."

For some who hear it, the accent can lead to assumptions, not always positive, about the speaker's social class or educational level.

On television and in movies, Mexican American accents are often associated with negative or cartoonish depictions of characters.

In the 2006 dystopian comedy "Idiocracy," one character melds two classic L.A. speaking styles, those of East L.A. and the surfer dude, when he exclaims, "Heeeey, how's it hang, ese?'"

Cheech Marin drew on Chicano English in providing the voice for Ramone, the talking 1959 Chevy Impala low-rider in Pixar's "Cars."

Olmos used the accent in depicting Jaime Escalante in the 1988 film "Stand and Deliver," just as the Bolivian-born teacher used it to inspire and cajole his East L.A. students into showing ganas, or effort.

For the role of Gaff in the cult classic "Blade Runner," Olmos helped develop a fictitious street language that incorporated bits of several tongues, including Hungarian, German and French — but not Spanish.

Still, the character's tone and rhythm — along with his flamboyant clothes and fedora, hinting at a Zoot Suiter — were reminiscent of East L.A. To Olmos, they imbued Gaff with street cred.

"Of course the Eastside was put in there. Of course. Are you kidding?" he said.

City Councilman Jose Huizar, who grew up in Boyle Heights, said that after he left the neighborhood, he could recognize people from the Eastside by their speech.

As a student at UC Berkeley and then Princeton, he became self-conscious about the accent. People asked questions that usually nibbled around the edges. But he knew they wanted to know where he was from, he said.

He wondered whether the accent might not be a hindrance, a barrier to his ambitions.

"I honestly thought about taking courses to get rid of my accent," he recalled. "I thought, 'One day, I'm going to be a professional and this accent is not part of that.'"

More than 20 years later, he no longer worries about that. His accent has receded, as accents often do when someone moves geographically and socially. But traces of it burble up sometimes.

"When I'm hanging out with guys I grew up with in the 'hood, yeah, that's part of the language that we use. You relax a little bit and may retreat into that comfort zone where you say things a certain way," he said. "I don't apologize for it. This is who I am. I don't need no stinkin' get-rid-of-my-accent classes!"

Frances Flores, 61, rarely thought about her accent. She was born in Boyle Heights to a Japanese mother and a German-English father. Left behind by her parents, she was raised by a Mexican American woman. She grew up watching Spanish-language movies starring Mexican icons like Pedro Infante and Maria Felix at the old Million Dollar Theater, and dancing in the ballet folklorico.

Sometimes, in a snippet of her own speech on a voice mail, she'll hear the residue of those childhood influences.

"I'm like, 'Is that me? Is that what I sound like? I sound like a Mexican American,'" Flores said with a laugh. "People always ask me what nationality I am. They see that I look Asian, but then they hear the way I talk, so they're confused."

She's not. "I think wherever you were brought up, that's who you are.",0,987605.story  October 24, 2011

Copyright © 2011, Los Angeles Times



 by Richard G. Santos

Happiness in South Texas and Winter Garden area are fajitas grilled over mesquite with flour tortillas warmed on the side accompanied by freshly boiled pinto beans with ham hocks, bacon or ham, cilantro, onions, garlic cloves and serrano peppers.  Happiness is also a bowl of true Texas chile con carne spicy hot enough to benefit the ice cream industry, bringing tears to a visitor’s eyes as he/she recall their deceased relatives and topped with chopped onions and crushed saltine crackers.  On Sundays happiness is barbacoa de pozo (not prepared in an electric broiler) served on hand-made corn tortillas with chopped onions, cilantro, chilepiquin or serrano peppers de amor (a mordidas, bitable whole peppers). Happiness Sunday afternoon or early evening is a cup of home made chocolate with pan dulce of your choice.

            In winter, happiness in South Texas and Winter Garden area is several dozens of home made tamales of pork, beef or fried pinto beans served and accompanied with freshly boiled pinto beans and a hot salsa. Happiness can also be found in a bowl of fresh beef or chicken caldo with bite size pieces of yellow zucchini, small red potatoes, a cabbage cut in quarters, green squash, baby carrots, peas, whole kernel corn or quartered corn on the cob with a quarter cup of Spanish rice added to taste served with corn tortillas. Happiness on a cold day can also be found in pork chops or small steaks smothered in a hot salsa accompanied by crushed pinto beans fried in bacon grease or olive oil with corn or flour tortillas.

            Across the tracks or Main street, happiness can be found in pork loin sliced to make large steaks with salt, pepper, seasoning, sliced onions, seedless tomato slices, seedless sliced bell pepper strips, sliced serrano peppers rolled, tied and cooked in a hot oven.  Happiness can also be found in chicken breast prepared the same way with or without the serrano peppers.  An alternative to happiness on the other side of the tracks is chicken cut into quarters, floured and fried in oil, served with mashed potatoes topped with cream gravy with young green peas or whole kernel corn.  Happiness on a cold day is found in a roast cooked with celery, quartered potatoes, onions and carrots in a cast iron dutch oven, served with hot home made biscuits.  Baked meatloaf topped with tomato ketchup and cooked macaroni with Velveeta cheese sauce brings back memories of childhood happiness.  For some happiness can be found in cooked sauerkraut served with a hearty homemade wurst sausage.  On a Sunday afternoon fresh apple pie topped with ice cream brings happiness to both sides of the tracks. Early morning breakfast happiness can be found in pancakes topped with strawberries or maple syrup, accompanied on a cold day with bacon and eggs to taste.  Fried ham steak with red-eye gravy and biscuits bring back memories of happiness at breakfast.

For children and grandchildren of the Depression Era parents and grandparents on both sides of the track, happiness can be found in scrambled eggs cooked with bite size pieces of wieners accompanied by buttered toast and a glass of milk or juice.  On one side of the tracks happiness can be found in a bowl of fideo with onions and cilantro to taste or the dish is promoted to fideo loco if fresh pinto beans and cooked ground beef is added.  On the other side of the tracks happiness can be found in a plate of cooked spaghetti smothered in a tomato sauce with handmade meat balls, topped with a sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese and served with garlic bread.  Regardless of ethnic, racial and socio-economic background, in a restaurant on either side of the tracks early morning happiness is found in diced potato and egg tacos with or without bacon, or in an egg with diced potato and chorizo tacos, as well as bean and cheese taco with or without bacon accompanied by salsa or chilepiquin brought from home. The equally popular sausage and biscuit with or without cream gravy can also bring a smile.  Happiness at mid-day can also be found in a polish sausage wrapped in a flour tortilla.

Happy childhood memories can be found in a slice of bologna with mayonnaise with or without a freshly sliced onion ring.  Post World War II happy memories can be found in scrambled eggs with spam prepared at home.  For others, happy childhood memories can be found in the simple and ever popular peanut butter and jelly sandwich or taco, with a cold glass of milk.  Childhood happy memories in New Mexico can be found in a homemade sopapilla stuffed with homemade guacamole or fried beans for breakfast or venison for lunch or supper. Others relive happy childhood memories at the sight of ripened mesquite pods, orange, grapefruit, peach, pecan or persimmon laden trees.  Fond childhood memories are also relived in freshly cut red or yellow watermelon and off-the-field cantaloupes.

In conclusion, all items mentioned above and many more, bring happiness when shared with relatives or friends. The items can also bring back cherished “back home” childhood memories for those away from their home town, farm or ranch..  Most frequently, I have witnessed lengthily discussions and conversations of such memories as well as the comparison of restaurant cooking and how it does not compare with “mother’s recipes” as recalled by a person.  For instance, do you remember your first pizza, the Chicago red hots sold by cart pushing vendors, or the cart pushing taco vendors in the Mexican border towns?  Or was it your first lox and bagel, or Chinese sweet and sour pork or lemon chicken?  Chances are you will also recall who was with you that first time you tasted that delicacy.  Ah, the aromas of the home, the barrio, the neighborhood.  Ah, the taste, place, year and your companion when you first shared a dish that became a special memory. That is happiness of the mind and soul my friends.  Provecho, bon appetite, enjoy.  

Zavala County Sentinel …………………. 19 – 20 October 2011  

Sent by Juan Marinez 


First Annual Lloronathon Launches In Phoenix
What is the Lloronathon?
The Lloronathon is an afternoon gathering of all things La Llorona. Stories, art, performance, dance, and Llorona-chisme. We all have heard stories about her while we were growing up. It varies from region to region, state to state, and with a variety of bodies of water.

On Saturday, October 29 in Phoenix, Arizona the First Annual Lloronathon will be held at South Mountain Community College. Organizer Joe Ray told NewsTaco that the premise was to celebrate what can be characterized as a Latino boogeyman — La Llorona — with stories, chismes and more. Here's our interview with him.

People who grew up near a river see it pertaining to them via the river. Stories were told about La Llorona roaming near the river. The same with lakes, oceans, canals, etc. It varies with where you grew up. One friend told me she grew up knowing La Llorona roamed the canal banks in the Tempe/Mesa area next to Phoenix. That’s where she grew up. Obviously, her parents wanted her to stay away from the canals as a kid.

Also, La Llorona has been vilified through the ages. This presents an opportunity for a different point of view. One story which I will read is called A Letter to La Llorona, which is a letter written by Amira de La Garza. It is a letter written with a look back at youth and misunderstanding. She makes peace with La Llorona, to which Amira writes “You don’t need a name. You are every one of us.”

Plus, there are four artists who will be doing a live painting the entire afternoon. A fun project which will be inspired by the stories being told. The 4 artists are Monica Crespo, Veronica Verdugo, Lalo Cota, and myself.

How did it come about?
Liz Warren, Director of the Storytelling Institute at South Mountain Community College, and I were talking about doing a joint project. I’m an artist and a writer, plus I love stories. Liz and I have known each other for more than 20 years and share many of the interests. I originally posted a Llorona story on her storytelling blog and after that we began talking about it. It was a natural fit for the Storytelling Institute. We set up a blog for dialogue and to collect stories about La Llorona called La Lloronasphere.

Can anyone participate or just the invited guests?
We have some great storytellers who are scheduled but are open to anyone coming in and sharing stories with us. Plus, I encourage people to send me their Llorona stories to, some are more comfortable doing this as opposed to getting up in front of an audience. Also, there will be an area where people can create art via painting, drawing or writing a story here as well.

Why did you want to set this up?
I’ve never been to a Lloronathon before and felt it was time. Plus, I like the name.

I enjoy collaborating with artists of different disciplines, ages and backgrounds. This was a perfect opportunity. Plus, this is an opportunity for groups, individuals and organizations of different backgrounds and purposes to get together, share stories, share art and share memories with one another. The stories that we share as people are what bring us together and promote understanding.

What are your hopes for the future?
Grow and expand it! It would be great to get sponsorship and funding for this to have it become an annual event and have certain aspects of it travel to other states where La Llorona is rumored to have been hanging around. I was in Mexico a couple weeks ago for a three-day fiesta of art, culture and biodiversity and I mentioned it to folks there who thought it was a great idea to include the following year down there. I’m really excited about that possibility.

Plus, developing an online community and looking at publishing something, which Liz and I have been speaking about. I want to see this become an educational part of Latino culture. It would be great to have this aspect of our legends, beliefs and literature be something that is explored wider by Latinos all over, and by those who interact and reach out to us.

Llorona2.0, I think this is a good start. 
Juan Marinez 


Periódicos en Español—Hispanic American Newspapers Online
Latino Quote of the Day is posted by Bobby Gonzalez
Where are all the Latinos in the Media by Sara Inés Calderón 
Update for Oct-Nov 2011 of Somos en escrito by Armando Rendon

Periódicos en Español—Hispanic American Newspapers Online 

GenealogyBank has the largest collection of Hispanic American newspapers to explore Latino family ancestry online. Our extensive Hispanic American collection currently contains over 360 newspaper titles. This is an essential newspaper archive for genealogists, supplementing the other newspapers on our genealogy website and helping to make it one of the most comprehensive resources for Hispanic genealogical research online.

The oldest surviving Hispanic newspaper is
El Misisipi, first published in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1808. A masthead in Spanish from an 1808 issue of El Misisipi is featured below. The newspapers in GenealogyBank’s Hispanic American newspapers archive are a virtual goldmine to genealogists, providing a terrific resource for researching your Hispanic genealogy. You can easily search in every Hispanic newspaper issue online to find birth, marriage and obituary announcements, news reports about events that affected your Hispanic ancestors—even the vintage advertisements can be a helpful genealogical resource.

Here is a Hispanic American death notice in Spanish printed by the
Bejareño (San Antonio, Texas) newspaper on 17 May 1856, page 2.

Here is a birth announcement en español printed by the Cronista del Valle (Brownsville, Texas) newspaper on 20 April 1925, page 1.
And here is a Latino marriage announcement in Spanish printed by the Amigo del Hogar (Indiana Harbour, Indiana) newspaper on 23 June 1929, page 1.

Did your Hispanic American family run a business? Look for their ads in the local Latino newspapers to get a glimpse into the lives they led. The following Hispanic newspaper ads were printed by the Cronista del Valle (Brownsville, Texas) newspaper on 20 April 1925, page 5.

As these Latino birth, death and marriage announcements have shown, the Hispanic American newspapers in GenealogyBank’s historical newspaper archives are important to genealogists because of their editorial focus on covering the cultural, social, religious and personal news that was of high interest to the Hispanic American community.

Latino newspapers are also good at providing specific historical information that can aid in tracing your Hispanic family tree. These Hispanic newspapers tend to be especially good at covering community news and events, giving genealogists the opportunity to find information about their Hispanic ancestors interacting with their neighbors and participating at the local level—stories that don’t appear in censuses and other government records, providing personal details about your ancestors’ lives.
José Martí

Latino Quote of The Day by Jose Marti  
Jose Marti (1853-1895) Cuban poet, philosopher and patriot.

"The struggles waged by nations are weak only when they lack support in the hearts of their women."

Latino Quote of the Day is curated by Bobby Gonzalez.  Bobby González is a nationally known multicultural motivational speaker, storyteller and poet. Born and raised in  the South Bronx, New York City, he grew up in a bicultural environment. Bobby draws on his Native American (Taino) and Latino (Puerto Rican) roots to offer a unique repertoire of discourses, readings and performances that celebrates his indigenous heritage.  
For more info on Bobby, visit



Sara Inés Calderón 
NewsTaco, November 8, 2011

I remember when I was a young girl dreaming about being a reporter, I used to pretend to be Rachel from “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” because she was the only reporter I knew of. As I grew up, though, and began scouring bylines looking for Latino voices, I realized that I may as well still look up to Rachel, because the number of Latino journalists out there was few and far between.

And although more than 20 years have passed since I was running around pretending to be a pretend journalist, not much has changed if you consider newsroom diversity.

News Taco emerged in a large part due to the dearth of Latino journalists, Latino perspective or Latino reportage available in the mainstream media. And, based on the rapid growth and enthusiastic response from our readership, it seems we’re really onto something.

It’s gotten so bad, actually, that in January a bunch of online organizations — major ones like AOL, Salon, TPM, Yahoo and HuffPo — refused to complete a survey of newsroom diversity. The only window into this world were some staff photos from HuffPo, which showed almost no people of color. When I was laid off from my corporate journalism gig, there were several other Spanish speaking Latinos who went with me, so it’s no wonder that the American Society of Newspaper Editors reports that racial and ethnic minorities account for less than 13% of newsroom employees.

Note, that’s employees, not reporters.

So you might ask yourself, why does this matter? Isn’t the news just the news and so it doesn’t matter who reports it? Well, the truth is, it’s not that simple. News is generated by people, and people search for news based on their experience of the world. For example, I read somewhere once that the vast majority of people quoted in the media tend to be white because interviews often take place over the phone.

If you’re sitting in an office all day waiting for the phone to ring, it’s likely that other people sitting in their offices calling you are white. In a world where 1 in 6 of us are Latino, how do you get those Latino voices into the paper when, institutionally, they have not had access to jobs, promotion, marketing, education and a myriad of other resources to help them appear in the media?

And what about people who don’t speak English? People who work from home? People doing advocacy or important work in their communities without a spokesperson? I can tell you from experience that sometimes the best stories happen when you’re having a casual conversation with someone face-to-face, which in my experience is a context much more comfortable for most people, than when you’re waiting by the phone for a spokesperson to call you back with a canned response.

Including Latinos as creators of news is not just a “feel good” gesture that looks dandy on the diversity literature for your particular corporation. It’s much more important than that. Fox has launched a Latino news machine, as has The Huffington Post, and Univisión is set to launch an English service as well. Are all of these sites doing this work because they want to please some invisible PC police, or do they want to make money, to be relevant in the future, to sustain the business model that employs so many people?

Unfortunately, the most important part — the hiring and core inclusion of Latinos as reporters and creators of news — seems to be the last thing they consider as they fight for their own futures as our news outlets.
Follow Sara Inés Calderón on Twitter @SaraChicaD.

[Incidentally, News Taco is looking for an intern, email for more information.]



Update for Oct-Nov 2011 of Somos en escrito by Armando Rendon
Update for Oct-Nov 2011 of Somos en escrito, the Latino/a online literary magazine

Somos en escrito, the Latino/a online literary magazine, made history this past publishing period by printing the first chapter of Lipstick con Chorizo, the  first novel by author Tommy Villalobos, who lives in Loma Rica, Yuba County, California, to kick off our publishing it in serial form—think of Charles Dickens without the pence per word. Another new author, Hugo César Garcia, has given us a peak athis new novel, Ratos, with a chapter extract.

Two poems introduce a pair of new poets, Marcelo Hernandez Castillo, with Folklore 1: The Cow Eye, and Adriana Martinez-Chavez with Mujer, joining an internationally known poet, Teresinka Pereira, with Canción para apurar el mes
de octubre.

Then, Jim Estrada, a communications guru, comments in an insightful essay on a number of issues regarding why so many U.S. Americans are opposed to comprehensive immigration reform and what is at the root of the anti-immigration mania that seems to grip the nation.

Finally, the Editor sends out a call for readers who may be interested in writing reviews of any of the many books being published by American Latino and Latina writers.

Please delve into Somos en escrito, and spread the word about our magazine. Below are short abstracts of the articles mentioned above.

Lipstick con Chorizo – A novel in serial form
By Tommy Villalobos

Chapter 1
The sun, which is such an agreeable fixture in and around Southern California, had to work overtime this day to get through the haze and onto the streets of East Los Angeles. On such days, East Los seemed to sit on a remote planet 200 hundred light years away from Mother Earth. The sun took on the appearance of an overripe tangerine in an off-blue sky, sharing its rationed light with the Lydia Telliz palace (for it was an impressive dwelling). It was High Noon of a June day.

The KKK’s Border watch -- Extract from a new novel, Ratos By Hugo César Garcia

Chapter 3
Diego stayed in touch with Pete and found out the date Dodge and the KKK were to start patrolling the border. Pucho was pleased with the first edition of “El Pais” for many of his friends and colleagues in the Argentinean colony were impressed with its content. Grudgingly, he agreed to boost the payment to $50 for the follow-up story in San Diego.

Folklore 1: The Cow Eye By Marcelo Hernandez Castillo

You said the aspens
are tongues stroking
the sun down the middle,
which means you
are on your period
as you slip into your long pajamas.

            We turned
            on each other, became like
            the creatures of my seldom
            childhood, …

Canción para apurar el mes de octubre Por Teresinka Pereira
Aquí las hojas amarillas
se oscurecen abandonadas en el patio,
se desnudan los árboles
y las ardillas, las tortugas,
los conejos, los venados, los zorrillos…

Mujer Por Adriana Martinez-Chavez

Cántaros de miel,
Vientre incubador de vida,

Why Anti-Immigrant Proponents Focus on Latinos By Jim Estrada
Immigration is an issue in the United States that could greatly influence the election of our nation’s next president. Not because an estimated 10-million undocumented Latino immigrants can’t vote, but because the registered voters who are part of the 40-million U.S.-born and naturalized Latinos can! Why are so many U.S. Americans opposed to comprehensive immigration reform? What is the root of their anti-immigration mania that seems to grip our nation?

Se Necesitan: Escritores de Reseñas — Wanted: Book Reviewers

Books by Latina and Latino writers on all kinds of topics and genres are being published everyday but they’re not always getting proper reviews and enough exposure. Somos en escrito aims to focus more attention on our writers, but we need some of our readers to become reviewers. Send a note, listing your areas of interest and background,
sort of a mini-resume. You often get to read books before they’re in bookstores, and have a hand in helping give a book a boost, if it’s deserving; plus the copy is free.

Cada día se publican libros por escritores Latinas o Latinos tratando de una variedad de temas y géneros, pero usualmente no se les ofrece críticas apropiadas ni bastante publicidad. Somos en escrito intenta enfocar su atención a nuestros escritores, pero necesitamos que algunos de nuestros lectores se conviertan en críticos de esos libros. Comuníquese con, incluyendo sus intereses y experiencias, como un mini-resumen. Estos críticos, frecuentemente tienen la oportunidad de leer los libros antes de que lleguen a las librerías, y así podrá ayudar que el libro, si lo merece, tenga un buen éxito; además la copia es gratis.

Armando Rendón, Editor



News for All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the American Media,
        Juan Gonzalez and Joe Torres
Before the End, After the Beginning by Dagoberto Gilb
Sol, Sombra y la Tierra by Adelina Ortiz de Hill
Why Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata Wore Cananas by Marco Portales 
Terror on the Border by  J. Gilberto Quezada
Invisible & Voiceless, the Struggle of Mexican Americans for Recognition,
          Justice and Equality by Martha Caso
I am Grey Eyes, A Story of Old Florida by William Ryan
The Legacy of  Piri Thomas  By Manuel Hernandez Carmona 
Trespassers On Our Own Land: Structured as an oral history of the Juan P. Valdez
          family and of the land grants of Northern New Mexico by Mike Scarborough 
The Enemy We Need by Dr. Michael Zurowski
Scarborough The Enemy We Need by Dr. Michael Zurowski
Aleph by Paulo Coelho
The Tejano Diaspora: Mexican Americanism and Ethnic Politics in Texas and Wisconsin
          by Marc S. Rodriguez
Bernardo de Galvez in Louisiana, 1776-1784 by John Caughey
Indigenous Quotient/Stalking Words: American Indian Heritage as Future
          by Juan Gómez-Quiñones
Sleepy Lagoon by Mark A. Weitz 
Moon Warrior’s Dream by Jesus Velazquez   


News for All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the American Media
by Juan Gonzalez and Joe Torres

The book focuses on the role the mainstream media has played in the perpetuating racism in America, according to the authors and reviews. It goes on to reveal how black, Asian, Latino and Native-American journalists first emerged and challenged media’s responsibility in this arena to current day efforts to privatize the internet.

"News for All People" comes as the battle in Washington D.C. over the control of the internet and net neutrality is brewing. In the book Gonzalez and Torres look ahead in explaining how changes or limitations placed on the internet will affect communities of color and access to information.

"One of the things that we’ve uncovered is that this fundamental debate that is constantly occurring is: does our nation need a centralized system of news and information, or does it need a decentralized, autonomous system? And which serves democracy best?" said González said during an interview on Democracy Now! about the book. "It turns out that in those periods of time when the government has opted for a decentralized or autonomous system, democracy has had a better opportunity to flourish, racial minorities have been able to be heard more often and to establish their own press. In those periods of the nation’s history when policies have fostered centralized news and information, that’s when dissident voices, racial minorities, marginalized groups in society are excluded from the media system." 

Gonzalez, who also wrote “Harvest of Empire: A History of Latinos in America,” is a former president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Torres, senior advisor for government and external affairs for Free Press, is a former deputy director of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. While in those roles the two men decided to pursue the questions that led to the book.

Highlights from the Democracy Now! interview with the authors:
•The book identifies five major periods in history where Congress stepped in and rewrote the rules of the media system including the development of the early Post Office, the telegraph, the radio, television (and cable) and internet.

•Unsung heroes of journalism in the book include radio host Pedro Gonzalez who hosted the morning show Los Madrugadores in Los Angeles; Ora Eddleman Reed, whose family owned the Twin Territories magazine in Oklahoma, a publication focused on native American literature and who went on to become one of the first Native American broadcasters in the country; and John Rollin Ridge, a Cherokee, who founded the Sacramento Bee before selling it to John McClatchy but who is never mentioned as the original founder of the newspaper.

•Before the Civil War there were nearly 100 Hispanic newspapers in the U.S.. For example, the city of New Orleans had 25 Spanish-language newspapers.

•Traces the historically negative verbiage about Native Americans in the founding U.S. newspapers and finds similar treatment of other communities of color throughout the centuries in American media.

•Outlines the current battles over the internet and the privatization of it and the potential affect on communities of color.
Book Review by Elizabeth Aguilera 




The pieces in BEFORE THE END, AFTER THE BEGINNING come in the wake of a stroke Gilb suffered at his home in Austin, Texas, in 2009, and a majority of the stories were written over many months of recovery. The result is a powerful and triumphant collection that tackles common themes of mortality and identity and describes the American experience in a raw, authentic vernacular unique to Gilb.These ten stories take readers throughout the American West and Southwest, from Los Angeles and Albuquerque to El Paso and Austin. Gilb covers territory familiar to some of his earlier work.

Gilb’s fiction recently appeared in the NEW YORKER and HARPER’S at the same time. He is the only Mexican American writer whose fiction as well as nonfiction has appeared in the NEW YORKER. He founded Centro Victoria, based at the University of Houston-Victoria, which is becoming the leading think thank for Latino Arts and Culture. He staffed the center with his protégés, as Gilb is also responsible for getting many of his former students published. He also edited HECHO EN TEJAS: An Anthology of Texas Mexican Literature. Centro Victoria created a booklet of lesson plans titled MADE IN TEXAS for high school teachers based on that anthology. Gilb also started the literary journal of Mexican American fiction and poetry titled HUISACHE, possibly the only one of its kind in the country.

“My father was a pachuco back in the day, and mother barely stopped using a tortilla for her only eating utensil”
From the story “Cheap”

"You were born. Until you die, the rest is on you. I'm just doing my job." From the story “Blessing”

More info: (713) 867-8943 We will also be visiting Houston and Dallas.

Sent by Roberto Calderon 

Sol, Sombra y la Tierra by Adelina Ortiz de Hill 

Adelina Ortiz de Hill  is cited in: Icons of Latino America: Latino Contributions to American Culture, edited by Roger Bruns. 2 vols., 593 p. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2008. ISBN: 978-0-313-34086-4. --Claire Ortiz Hill This book is written in English. It is divided into three parts entitled: 
La Ventura Brava --A Challenge; (pp. 1-26); 
La Alza y Bajo de Dominios --The Rise and Fall of Dominions (pp. 27-38); 
and El Camino Real --The Royal Road (pp. 39-118). 


Part 1 starts in 409 AD and is subdivided into sections entitled: The Scene and a Royal Dynasty;A Dynasty; A Passage to Know a World; Cultures and Clashes;. It spells out complex historical inter-relationships in Europe. The tone of the book is set in the prologue, where the author writes: My choice of the term prologue... is a conscious attempt to begin a dialogue on the events that perpetuated myths and the legends that affect us today.... My stance... will be to cover some of the events that led to my being here and what defines me as an American in today's world. My family history and that of my ancestors (antepasados) is complicated by the black legend (la leyenda negra) and the defensive posture of those who have justified their history as Manifest Destiny, often leaving the truth to myth and legend.... It is a survey of events offering a personal surmise on the unique identity of the people of northern New Mexico. It begins in Spain at the time of its entrance on the world stage as a global power. The focus will then shift to Mexico, a new republic attempting to maintain a vast frontier. Finally to New Mexico, the territoral home of some of Europe's earliest settlers (pp. ix-x)  Adelina Ortiz de Hill, P.O. Box 45, Santa Fe NM, 87504....

Sent by Jose M. Pena  


Why Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata Wore Cananas by Marco Portales 

A Mexican Revolution Photo History, 100 Years Later!
2010 marks the 100th anniversary of the Mexican Revolution, which lasted from 1910 to 1928, when President Álvaro Obregón was killed. To provide a brief, visual text for students and communities, I have written a nonfiction narrative complemented by 80 pictures of the revolution taken by different photographers. My 110-page photographic history should sell extremely well because many U.S. citizens want to know what happened 100 years ago when Mexicans from all stations in life sought to escape an interminable civil war.

By relying on scholarly interpretations, pictures available in the public domain on the internet, and on photographs housed in the John David Wheelan Collection of the Cushing Library at Texas A&M University, where I teach, my narrative and photographs allow readers to learn how events in Mexico have continued to affect the United States. The U.S. Library of Congress has informed me several pictures I use are in the public domain and do not require special permission for their use.

My narrative explains why Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata were unable to establish a new government following triumphant separate marches with their troops into Mexico City. In late November, 1914 Zapata took possession of the capital with 30,000 campesino soldiers, followed in early December by Pancho Villa’s entry with his own 40,000 División del Norte soldiers. Having defeated the forces of President Porfirio Diaz and General Victoriano Huerta, the two revolutionary generals had effectively won the revolution.

Villa and Zapata met for the first time and only known time in their lives that December. They implicitly faced the challenge of creating a new government. Due to a lack of education, each general then learned his counterpart could not form the kind of government for which they had been fighting four long, exhausting years. The goal of the government they desired was to redistribute land back to the people, one that would provide basic freedoms to the Mexican people.

My pictorial interpretation of the Mexican Revolution clarifies why PanchoVilla and Emiliano Zapata had little choice but to endorse Eulalio Gutierrez, who had been named provisional president of Mexico on November 1, 1914 in Aguascalientes. Feeling manipulated by Villa’s troops, two months later Gutierrez moved his administration to San Luis Potosí. There he declared Villa and Carranza traitors of the revolution, but in July Gutierrez resigned the presidency.

The revolution spun out of control in the months after the December meetings of Villa and Zapata in Mexico City. Obregón then teamed up with Carranza to defeat the forces of the two victorious rebel generals. These developments extended the Mexican Revolution another five long years--culminating with Zapata’s assassination in 1919, and Villa’s surrender to Obregón on July 28, 1920. My photo history documents events of the revolution, beginning with the Magón brothers in 1905 and ending with Obregon’s assassination in 1928.

Sent by Roberto Calderon, Ph.D. 

My grandfather was Anselmo Vidales Torres. He is pictured with Villa and Zapata on the infamous picture of Dec. 6, 1914. 
Anselmo is standing beind the Mexican Presidential Chair with the white or light Tres Equis Texas style hat. Anselmo was a Morse Code decoder and or telegraph interceptor for Pancho Villa. The Ciudad Juarez and the "Trojan Horse Train" had lots to do with my grandfather. Pancho Villa, Pascual Orozco and Franciso y Madero were at the site when Gen. Juan Navarro surrender. Madero gave Gen Juan Navarro amnesty and Gen. Navarro went into El Paso, TX. Pancho Villa wanted him dead because Navarro had in the past killed Villa's men.  

Pedro Olivares

Terror on the Border by  J. Gilberto Quezada 
My name is J. Gilberto Quezada and my novel, "Terror on the Border," is now available online at, Barnes & Noble, and Books-A-Million.  It is a contemporary and multicultural work of adult fiction, a compelling fast-paced story filled with 404 pages of drama, adventure, suspense, humor, and mystery that progesses to an unexpected ending.  My two protagonists are Whitaker Saxon, a public school administrator, and his lovely wife, Sylvia Brent Saxon, an attorney and councilwoman, Latinos with an interesting Spanish-European ancestral and genealogical heritage.
Their lavish and complacent lifestyle is suddenly interrupted forever by unforeseen events, in many more ways than they can handle:  a multi-billion dollar drug cartel headed by the enigmatic Cobra, his right hand man-the Scorpion, and the venerated Santa Muerte (the Holy Death), the grotesque and frightful patron saint of the Mexican Mafia; the moral and ethical depravation of school politics governed by a kleptocratic school board; the tragic death of a sixteen-year-old Latino boy tasered by four Anglo police officers causes an international uproar and the biggest demonstration in South Texas, with Sylvia's dogged investigation into the murder case, followed by the federal court trial of the 21st century; and a Texas gubernatorial race of enormous historical significance if Sylvia, the first Latina woman, wins the election.  The story takes place from March through December of the same year.
Learning from my own experiences growing up in the Barrio de la Azteca in the 1950s, provided me with the insights to develop some of the characters and plots for my novel.  The story takes place in Santa Dolores, Texas, a city I created from a cultural, social, and historical mixture of Laredo (my hometown) and San Antonio, and located it along the Rio Grande and across from Nueva Santa Dolores, Tamaulipas.
The hotly debated immigration issue in Arizona, and in other states, and the violent Mexican drug cartel bloody battles along the United States-Mexico border, are of special interest and concern at the local, state, and national levels.  These two topics evoke strong emotional feelings and also stir a social, political, and economic reality that is currently beleaguering our country today and for years to come.  The immigration and the Mexican drug cartel problems, which are spilling over into the Unted States, are not going to go away anytime soon; they are just going to get worse.  And that is why I feel that what makes "Terror on the Border," unique and sets it completely apart is that it is the first adult fiction in the publishing market that tells the story of the murderous Mexican Mafia and the immigration issue, and of the lives that are affected by it on both sides of the border.
I hope you will enjoy reading my new novel.
Cordially yours, J. Gilberto Quezada 



Invisible & Voiceless, the Struggle of Mexican Americans for Recognition, Justice and Equality  by Martha Caso

INVISIBLE & VOICELESS: The Struggle of Mexican Americans for Recognition, Justice, and Equality
traces the vicious history of the European conquest of the Americas and examines its pervasive impact on Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants today. Author Martha Caso sheds light on events often ignored or glossed over by history textbooks, from the holocaust and enslavement of native peoples at the hands of European conquerors to the Mexican-American War of 1848 to modern efforts by extremists to fan the flames of racism and xenophobia.
The reverberations of the European invasion still echo today, and it is impossible to understand the current issues of poverty and racism without understanding their origins. Historically, Mexican Americans have wielded very little social and political power, and recent xenophobic laws only serve to stoke the fires of hatred and antagonism and further erode their rights. INVISIBLE & VOICELESS offers Mexican Americans an opportunity to learn more about their history and their relationship with the United States and Mexico.

Caso's hope is that once they understand their past, Mexican Americans will find their collective voice and stand up for their rights-that they will cease to be invisible and voiceless in America.

Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: (February 22, 2011)

Sent by
Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.

I am Grey Eyes, A Story of Old Florida
by William Ryan

20 May 1767 Grey Eyes, a Seminole Indian, and some 25 Indian boys drive a herd of Spanish cattle from Colerain, Georgia to New Smyrna, a distance of about 106 miles. 

Thus begins the story of Old Kings Road and the dramatic series of events affecting the history of Florida, as viewed thru the eyes of Grey Eyes, a most unusual Indian.

Historic events are intertwined into a readable story that is partly historic fiction, but mostly fact. The great cattle drive, the Minorcan settlers, a terrible Florida war, and a black slave uprising all mix into a little known part of Florida’s early history. The little known story of the Black Seminoles is told here along with the events that shaped Florida along Old Kings Road.

Author and historian William Ryan is webmaster for the Flagler County Public Library’s Flagler Memories group, and is active in Flagler County Florida historical societies. He also wrote “The Search for Old Kings Road” from which much of this novel is taken.

Grey Eyes will lead you thru a violent part of Florida History that brought many of the Florida Seminoles into Mexico. This is a little known part of Florida’s rich, and often violent past.  
ISBN: 978-1-60585-645-2





The Legacy of  Piri Thomas By Manuel Hernandez Carmona 
Piri Thomas was born Juan Pedro Tomás, of Puerto Rican and Cuban parents in New York City's Spanish Harlem in 1928. His parents wanted him to assimilate from childbirth and named him John Peter Thomas, but his mother could never pronounce Peter correctly and called him Piri. It was a struggle for survival, identity, and respect from an early age. Growing up in the mean street environment of poverty, prejudice and racism of the years immediately before, during and after World War II made a dent in young Piri’s upbringing and as a consequence served seven years of horrendous imprisonment. With incarceration came an encounter with his roots, and he rose above his violent background of drugs and gang warfare and promised to use his street education and prison know-how to touch youth and turn them away from a life of crime. In 1967, with a grant from the Rabinowitz  Foundation, his career as an author was propelled with the exhilarating autobiography, Down These Mean Streets. After more than 40 years of being continuously in print, it is now considered a classic in Latino/a literature in the United States. The literature of Piri Thomas centers on issues such as education, language, culture and racism, and it also speaks out on social concerns such as poverty injustice and assimilation.

Assimilation comes in different forms and different colors. In Piri Thomas'
short story "The Konk", a young pre-adolescent boy straightens his hair to be accepted by friends and family, but once he meets their standards, he is faced with hostility and rejection. In many ways, “The Konk” is the story of Piri’s life.  In the process of assimilation and belonging, Latinos are faced with situations of race, identity and culture.  As a result of his lifelong battle with assimilation, Piri fought for recognition and acceptance with a vibrant and powerful voice which his readers and audiences connected with when he read at schools, colleges and community centers. In Down These Mean Streets, Piri Thomas made El Barrio a household word to multitudes of non-Spanish-speaking readers. A front-page review in the New York Times book review section May 21, 1967 stated: "It claims our attention and emotional response because of the honesty and pain of a life led in outlaw, fringe status, where the dream is always to escape." Nearly 45 years later, Down These Mean Streets continues to thrill and influence readers of all likes and ages. Savior, Savior Hold My Hand also received wide critical acclaim, as did Seven Long Times, a narrative of one man's experience in New York's degrading penal system. Stories from El Barrio, a collection of short stories, are for young people of all ages.

Piri's extensive travel in Puerto Rico, Nicaragua, Cuba, Mexico, Europe, and the United States gave him a vision to expand and recreate with the understanding that his struggles were universal. His eye-opening experiences have contributed to an inimitable perspective on peace and justice. During the later years of his memorable life, Piri dedicated much of his time to visit young juvenile delinquents in maximum security detention centers. He believed in the power of poetry to restore and heal lives.  He read poetry and spoke to troubled teens directly with no holds barred because it was a familiar territory which he knew from actual personal experience.

In Jonathan Robinson’s PBS documentary, Every Child is Born a Poet, on Piri Thomas’ lifetime work, his work is genuinely and graphically portrayed in and out of the classroom, churches and community centers and into the prison cells where he spent time to heal and later to go back to and impart by what grace he had received to others. Although during the 20th century, his work was viewed as a major literary breakthrough for Nuyorican literature, his worldwide literary outreach lifted his voice beyond the influential Nuyorican literary discourse, and today is recognized by literary critics as one of the forefathers of the Hispanic/Latino/a literary movement in the United States. His untimely death catapults the discussion and study of the life and literary legacy of a man who was only stopped by death itself. Preachers, priests and psychologists have made internal healing a necessary process for all those interested in burying past experiences, but Piri Thomas was the embodiment of the healing process itself because he not only exposed who he was for others  but allowed people to make a connection through him to help them walk forward with their lives. Piri Thomas passed away, but his legacy will live for generations to come.
(The author is an associate at Souder, Betances and Associates, an English Staff Developer at the Department of Education and a professor at the University of Phoenix, Puerto Rico Campus) 


Trespassers On Our Own Land: Structured as an oral history of the Juan P. Valdez family and of the land grants of Northern New Mexico by  Mike Scarborough  

Juan P. Valdez was born May 25, 1938 in Canjilón, New Mexico, the second of Amarante and Philomena Valdez' seven children. Juan's father took him out of school after the third grade to help with the raising of crops and tending of livestock necessary to support the family. After having been continuously denied grazing permits by the U. S. Forest Service it was necessary for Juan to sneak his family's cattle on and off the forest pastures on a daily basis. While in his mid-twenties Juan met Reies López Tijerina, a charismatic former preacher who was traveling from village to village in Northern New Mexico speaking out about how the United States had stolen hundreds of thousands of acres of grant lands that were supposed to have been protected by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo. Juan was the first of eight members of Tijerina's Alianza to enter the Rio Arriba County courthouse on June 5, 1967 in a failed attempt to arrest the local district attorney, Alfonso Sanchez. Ironically, the judge in the courthouse that day was J. M. Scarborough, the father of Mike Scarborough who would wind up assisting Juan in the telling of his family history. Trespassers On Our Own Land is the history of the Valdez family from the time Spain granted Juan Bautista Valdez, Juan's great, great, great-grandfather an interest in a land grant located around the present village of Cañones, New Mexico.

Mike Scarborough grew up in Española, sixty miles south of where Juan grew up. After having spent eight years in the United States Air Force, Mike returned to New Mexico, attended college and law school, and practiced law in the area for twenty-five years. Some years ago he was asked by his good friend, Juan Valdez, to help write Juan's family history. Mike recently completed a five year study of Juan's family history and the period during the late 1800s and early 1900s when the United States government chose to claim ownership of million of acres of then existing land grants and to deny the settlers who had lived on them for over eighty years their legitimate right to use the land. Trespassers on Our Own Land is the result of his research.

BARNES & NOBLE | Trespassers On Our Own Land: Structured as an oral history of the Juan P. Valdez family and of the land grants

Sent by Juan Marinez



The novel is set in Los Angeles in the late 1980s. There are two protagonists, cousins, both in the history department at a leading privately funded university in the city. Their lives intertwine when, at various stages of the story, they have romantic relationships with the same woman, called Pamela, who is employed on the same campus. The novel also portrays the lives of the two men until each, in his individual way, reaches a crisis point and shows how each deals to this. 

The first cousin, decidedly the poorer one, is Harry de la Vega, who has an attraction/repulsion complex towards the second, called Lance, and towards his family (his family name being Sampson de la Vega). The family's Spanish colonial heritage and the lure of Lance's wealth provide the attraction side of the equation. The repulsion side is the result of the failure of Harry's attempts to be accepted by these relatives. 

As regards this obsession, there are two subplots the results of which Harry concludes he is being persecuted by Lance and which transforms that preoccupation into a visceral hostility. 

The central character in the first one is Luiza Gomez, a Cuban-born sociologist, who is Harry's ex-flame of three years before. Having been spurned by him prior to the events of the novel, she sets herself on exacting her revenge. She hatches a plot whereby by lobbying three fellow academics on a hiring committee, she succeeds in having him fail in his attempt to obtain a one year extension as a lecturer. 

The central figure of the second subplot is Leonora Craxi, a long-time departmental secretary of the history department. Because of her reputation as a gossip and at the urging of Lance, she is removed from her position. But because she knows too much about too many people in authority, she is transferred to another office on the same campus. A combination of two aspects of campus politics concurrently occurring during the same time period propels her new boss to confide to her information about a member of staff which she wrongly identifies as Lance. Because of her loose tongue, this information spreads amongst the support staff amongst whom Pamela figures and Harry becomes a recipient of this as well. 

The third aspect of the novel is the road taken by Pamela, the woman mentioned in the first paragraph, in her search for emotional fulfillment. In the beginning of the story, we find her in a relationship with Lance. His lack of emotional commitment, however, and Harry's declared interest draws her to him. Eventually, this leads to an engagement and marriage. 

What will Harry do regarding Lance and his perceived persecution? How will he emotionally handle his failure to remain teaching at the university? Will he seek employment elsewhere? Or will he try to scheme his way back on to the campus? And supposing he does -what, theoretically, could be his options? How about Leonora Craxi? Will she end up unscathed by her actions or will her life be drawn further into the rivalries of her superiors? How does Pamela figure in the complex web of campus rivalries? Will this somehow affect her feelings towards her home environment or will she simply carry on unaffected, regardless ? And privileged and handsome Lance? What will he do, now that he has lost Pamela? Will it affect his life as an academic? Or will he simply dismiss the whole episode? Will Harry and he clash again? If so, will there be a fight to the finish? Or will there be a reconciliation at the end of the story? How will Pamela figure in all this? 

Yours most sincerely, Dr. Michael Zurowski,
Montreal, Canada

Paulo Coelho's

His new book is a poetic journey to self-discovery, review by by Marcela Álvarez

bookland, when stumbling upon the word "Aleph", the first thing that comes to mind is Jorge Luis Borges. The Argentinean author penned a short story book with a similar name, The Aleph, published in 1945.  Fast-forward to 2011: international best-selling author Paulo Coelho pays homage to his literary idol with Aleph (Vintage Español), one of the most anticipated books of 2011.



As with his previous books, Aleph draws from Coelho's personal experience. It is the result of a journey of self-discovery, a turning point in Coelho's life that helped him emerge from the "vice of solitude" and the disconnection from his spiritual side. According to the author, it took him four years of research and only three weeks to write it.


To those unfamiliar with the term, "Aleph"  is the first letter in the Hebrew alphabet. In the Kabbalah tradition, ithas esoteric and mystical meanings that relates to the origin, and all the energy, of the universe. As described in the book, "Aleph" is a place where time and space meet.


Contrary to Borges's story, where the main subject is a fictionalized version of the author, in Coelho's Aleph the main character is the author himself. This is an autobiographical book.


Between March and July 2006, during a personal pilgrimage throughAfrica, Europe and Asia aboard the Trans-Siberia railway, the protagonist (Paulo) encounters a personal revelation. He meets Hial, a gifted violinist and real life character whose names has been changed for privacy reasons. Deep-sea conversations lead Paulo to discover that five hundred years ago, in a different life, he loved Hial.  He also meets Yao, his translator. His publishers tagged along with him too. Guided by subtle signs, eventually Paulo finds a new meaning to his life.


The story blends all the ingredients mostly associated with Coelho: the universe, spiritual growth, love, friendship, betrayal, forgiveness, redemption, mysticism and magic words. This book will be enjoyed by those who believe in past and future lives and reincarnation. 


With an active and solid presence on the Internet and social media platforms (he has over 2.3 million followers on Twitters) Paulo Coelho changed the publishing industry years ago when he started to give his books for free, on line, in countries where they were not available.

About the author

Paulo Coelho was born in 1947 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  He left a successful career as a songwriter to pursue his longtime dream of writing full-time. Since his first book, Hell Archives (1982), Coelho has been writing extensively, producing a novel every two years. Among his books are The Pilgrimage, The Fifth Mountain, Brida, The Valkyries, Veronika Decides to Die, The Zahir, Eleven Minutes, The Witch of Portobello, The Winner Stands Alone. He has sold a reported 100 million books in more than 150 countries and in 67 languages. His opus magnum, The Alchemist has been on the New York Times best-seller list for over 5 years. He lives in Geneva, Switzerland. 

Sent by |  Editor: LPN News 
Latino Print Network | 3445 Catalina Dr. | Carlsbad | CA | 92010



The Tejano Diaspora: Mexican Americanism and Ethnic Politics in Texas and Wisconsin by Marc S. Rodriguez

Each spring during the 1960s and 1970s, a quarter million farm workers left Texas to travel across the nation, from the Midwest to California, to harvest America's agricultural products. During this migration of people, labor, and ideas, Tejanos established settlements in nearly all the places they traveled to for work, influencing concepts of Mexican Americanism in Texas, California, Wisconsin, Michigan, and elsewhere. In The Tejano Diaspora, Marc Simon Rodriguez examines how Chicano political and social movements developed at both ends of the migratory labor network that flowed between Crystal City, Texas, and Wisconsin during this period.

Rodriguez argues that translocal Mexican American activism gained ground as young people, activists, and politicians united across the migrant stream. Crystal City, well known as a flash point of 1960s-era Mexican Americanism, was a classic migrant sending community, with over 80 percent of the population migrating each year in pursuit of farm work. Wisconsin, which had a long tradition of progressive labor politics, provided a testing ground for activism and ideas for young movement leaders. By providing a view of the Chicano movement beyond the Southwest, Rodriguez reveals an emergent ethnic identity, discovers an overlooked youth movement, and interrogates the meanings of American citizenship.

About the Author:  Marc Simon Rodriguez is assistant professor of history and law and a fellow of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

Rodriquez reveals an emergent ethnic identity, discovers an overlooked youth movement, and interrogates the meanings of American citizenship.  --Pluma Fronteriza Blog

"No extant work portrays and documents the links between the migrant phenomenon and political activism in Texas and the Midwest so thoroughly as The Tejano Diaspora. This original and important story is one of the finest scholarly studies to date of the Chicano movement."  --Dionicio Valdés, Michigan State University

"The Tejano Diaspora is a first-rate piece of civil rights history. It is among the best works on the experiences of the Mexican Americans of South Texas and the Midwest in the postwar civil rights era."  --Zaragosa Vargas, author of Labor Rights Are Civil Rights: Mexican American Workers in Twentieth-Century America. 

Marc S. Rodriguez
Assistant Professor of History
University of Notre Dame
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Concurrent Assistant Professor, Law School
Concurrent Assistant Professor, American Studies
Fellow, Institute for Latino Studies
Fellow, Kroc Center for Peace Studies
Campus Office: 471 Decio Hall

Sent by Juan Marinez marinezj@ANR.MSU.EDU


Bernardo de Galvez in Louisiana, 1776-1784 
by John Caughey (Author), Jack Holmes (Foreword) 

(Louisiana Parish Histories Series) [Paperback] 
Search inside this book, first published in 1934. 

Sent by Jack Cowan  


Indigenous Quotient/Stalking Words: American Indian Heritage as Future 
by Juan Gómez-Quiñones
Literary Nonfiction. Native American Studies. Latino/Latina Studies. Philosophy. In INDIGENOUS QUOTIENT/STALKING WORDS, Gómez-Quiñones argues for readers to connect to the intellectual traditions of an ever-present American Indigenous civilization. With this new consciousness of lndigeneity, readers can better understand the intellectual and cultural heritage of all peoples in the Western hemisphere as a continuation of millennia of history and civilization. As such, Gómez-Quiñones demonstrates that Indigenous history is U.S. and Western hemisphere history and vice versa. A critical understanding of this is a necessary requirement for any useful understanding of the history of culture, politics, and economics in the Western hemisphere. Finally, Gómez-Quiñones's essays demonstrate the necessity of the fundamental Indigenous "belief in the interdependence of all life and life sources." This depicts the historic and present responsibility all humans have to each other and their environment.

Publisher: Aztlan Libre Press  PubDate: 11/27/2011
ISBN: 9780984441525  Binding: PAPERBACK  Price: $18.00, Pages: 120

About the author: Juan Gómez-Quiñones is an award-winning educator, author, community activist, editor, poet, and for over forty years, one of the foremost Chicano historians and scholars in the U.S. He has a Ph.D. in History from the University of California Los Angeles, where he has taught since 1974. Gómez- Quiñones has been active in higher education, cultural activities, and Chicano Studies efforts since 1969. He specializes in the fields of political, labor, intellectual, and cultural history. Among his over thirty published writings that include articles and monographs, are the books: Mexican American Labor: 1790-1990; The Roots of Chicano Politics: 1600-1940; Chicano Politics: 1940- 1990; and a collection of poetry, 5th and Grande Vista.

Juan Gómez-Quiñones circa 1970s  Small Press Distribution 

Nota: Juan Gómez-Quiñones has just published a new book. Aztlán Libre Press in San Antonio is the publisher. We are awaiting further notice from Juan Tejeda who together Anisa Onofre are the publishers of the still recently established independent Chican@ publishing house. May there be many more. The title of the new book is Indigenous Quotient/Stalking Words: American Indian Heritage as Future. Celebramos su llegada y esperamos ustedes también.

We learn a few vital facts about the person who’s our mentor and friend Juan Gómez-Quiñones when we go online and Google his name. Juan was born on January 28, 1940. Here’s the quote from his Wikipedia entry: He is “an American historian, professor of history, poet, and activist. He is best known for his work in the field of Chicana/o history. As a co-editor of the Plan de Santa Bárbara, an educational manifesto for the implementation of Chicano studies programs in universities nationwide, he was an influential figure in the development of the field.” 

The short biographical note continues: “Gómez-Quiñones was born in the City of Parral, Chihuahua, México, and raised in East Los Angeles. He graduated from Cantwell Sacred Heart of Mary School, a Catholic high school in Montebello, California. He subsequently attended the University of California, Los Angeles, earning his Bachelor’s degree in literature, his Master of Arts in Latin American studies, and his Doctorate of Philosophy in history. His 1972 dissertation was titled “Social Change and Intellectual Discontent: The Growth of Mexican Nationalism, 1890-1911.”

Además, “He was the founding co-editor of Aztlán, a journal of Chicano studies. He began teaching at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1969, and has held his post for the past forty years. He has served as the director of UCLA’s Chicano Studies Research Center, as well as on the board of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.”

Here’s an abbreviated bibliography of his work as listed in his Wikipedia entry:
· Gómez-Quiñones, Juan (1973). Sembradores, Ricardo Flores Magon y el Partido Liberal Mexicano: A Eulogy and Critique. Los Angeles: Aztlán Publications. LCCN F1234.F668. 
· Gómez-Quiñones, Juan (1974). 5th and Grande Vista : Poems, 1960-1973. Staten Island: Editorial Mensaje. LCCN PS3557.O46 F5. 
· Gómez-Quiñones, Juan; translated by Roberto Gómez Ciriza (1977). Las ideas políticas de Ricardo Flores Magón. México: Ediciones Era. 
· Gómez-Quiñones, Juan (1978). Mexican Students Por La Raza: The Chicano Student Movement in Southern California, 1967-1977. Santa Bárbara: Editorial La Causa. 
· Gómez-Quiñones, Juan (1981). Porfirio Díaz, los intelectuales y la revolución. México: El Caballito. ISBN 9686011110. 
· Gómez-Quiñones, Juan (1982). Development of the Mexican Working Class North of the Río Bravo: Work and Culture among Laborers and Artisans, 1600-1900. Los Angeles: Chicano Studies Research Center Publications, University of California, Los Angeles. ISBN 0895510553. 
· Gómez-Quiñones, Juan (1990). Chicano Politics: Reality and Promise, 1940-1990. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. ISBN 0826312047. 
· Gómez-Quiñones, Juan (1994). Roots of Chicano Politics, 1600-1940. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. ISBN 0826314716. 
· Gómez-Quiñones, Juan (1994). Mexican American Labor, 1790-1990. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press. ISBN 0585259429.

The online Dictionary of Literary Biography at the site Book Rags lists Gómez-Quiñones’s birthdate as February 28, 1942 instead of January. These online sources have to be verified against otherwise solidly credible sources. Having said so, the Book Rags entry adds these additional biographical notes: “Born to Juan Gómez Duarte and Dolores Quiñones in Parral, Chihuahua, Mexico, Gómez-Quiñones was raised in the "white fence barrio" of Los Angeles, as he terms it. He declares in a love poem, however, "Yo nunca he salido de mi tierra" (I have never left my homeland). He holds a B.A. in English (1964), an M.A. in Latin American studies (1966), and a Ph.D. in history (1970), all from the University of California, Los Angeles, where he has also been a professor since 1969. His community and political activities date back to his work with the United Farm Workers and the United Mexican American Students (now MECHA, Movimiento Estudiantil de Chicanos de Aztlán [Student Movement of Chicanos of Aztlán]), and include such positions as chairman of the East Los Angeles Poor People's March Contingent (1968), director of Chicano Legal Defense (1968-1969), co-organizer of the Chicano Council of Higher Education (1969-1970), member of the National Broadcasting Company Mexican American Advisory Committee (1969), member of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Urban Coalition (1970-1972), director of the UCLA Chicano Studies Center (1974-1987), and member of the Board of Trustees of the California State Universities and Colleges (1976-1984).” 

Finally, immediately following is the advance notice posted on the Small Press Distribution Web site including a copy of the new book’s cover albeit in miniature. Adelante. 
Roberto R. Calderón, Historia Chicana [Historia]
Sources: Wikipedia, see:   (accessed 11.6.11); and, Book Rags, Dictionary of Literary Biography, see:


"The Sleepy Lagoon Case: Race Discrimination and Mexican American Rights" by Attorney and author MARK A. WEITZ

What began as a neighborhood party during the summer of 1942 led to the largest mass murder trial in California’s history. After young Jose Diaz was found murdered near Los Angeles’ Sleepy Lagoon reservoir, 600 Mexican Americans were rounded up by the police, 24 were indicted, and 17 were convicted. But thanks to the efforts of crusading lawyers, Hollywood celebrities, and Mexican Americans throughout the nation, all 17 convictions were thrown out in an appellate decision that cited lack of evidence, coerced testimony, deprivation of the right to counsel, and judicial misconduct. (University of Kansas Press)

Sponsored by the Charles F. Riddell Fund for Undergraduate Education  
Source: Dorinda Moreno 

Moon Warrior’s Dream by Jesus Velazquez   
It is a self published short story about 8,000 words 32 pages. The book is called Moon Warrior’s Dream. 
The story is about Natayo an adventurous boy from a tribe of food gathers. Almost every night he has the same recurring nightmare. Unable to go back to sleep he goes to his favorite place, the ridge that overlooks the villages. He enjoys the stream that flows endlessly through the neighboring villages and he enjoys the stars and especially the moon. For weeks he notices something strange heading towards his friend Yanyan's village. A herd of buffalo maybe deer he doesn't pay much attention to it. Then one day he sees some men from Yanyan's village bloodied and badly hurt. Their village has been attacked by the Pume' a small tribe of ruthless, barbaric nomads. He also learns they have taken several young women away including Yanyan. Because the villagers are afraid of the Pume' no one goes looking for them, no one that is... except Natayo .But before he sets out he learns the truth about something that will change his life forever.

It will be available in paperback and eBook format at in December. The ISBN# is 978-0615553399.

My name is Jesus Velazquez I was born in Caguas Puerto Rico and raised in Paterson, New Jersey. I was a co host and dj for an internet radio show on and on 88.7 fm. I am also a composer and a music producer. I am currently working on several literary projects in different genres.

Thank you, Jesus Velazquez  
(973) 220-2511


Latino soldiers
 Cebu, Phillipines, WW II



2011 Veterans Day, Celebration by Daisy Wanda Garcia
Interesting Veterans Statistics off the Vietnam Memorial Wall
Call for Photos for the Vietnam War Memorial.
New resources for veterans
Navajo Code Talkers
War Forged Lasting Friendships : Pearl Harbor:
Lieutenant Colonel Mercedes O. Cubria  by Tony Santiago
Introducing Author John W. Flores
Two Air Force Special Operations Command combat controllers recognized
Korean War Project 

By Daisy Wanda Garcia


Photo, left to right: Wanda Garcia, Michelle Hess, Caleigh Sanders, Penny Farias, mother of John Farias.   Justin Saunders, Jason Hess, and  Cindy McKee. 



In September, Rosemary Chavarria and James McCucheon, counselors at the John H. Wood Charter School , invited me to address the students at the Veterans Day ceremonies about the work of my father, Dr. Hector P. Garcia and his relationship to Martin Luther King, Jr.
Finally, the day arrived. On Friday, November 11, 2011, I drove to San Marcos Texas to participate in the Veterans Day celebration at the John H. Wood Charter School located within the Hays County Juvenile Detention Center . I was apprehensive about speaking because I developed laryngitis.  But I hoped for the best.
I arrived two hours early the day of the ceremony. Rosemary and James so graciously invited me to join the faculty for lunch. This provided me with the opportunity to visit and converse with the faculty. The counselors really impressed me and gave me insight about the program.  Their remarks projected caring and concern for the students.
The theme of the Veterans Day Celebration was “Service to our country and community”.   Rosemary showed me the poetry, drawings and posters the students prepared in anticipation of our visit.  Rosemary kept telling me how excited the students were to have guest speakers; but I had no idea how much until I saw the students in line in the hall. They kept waving and smiling at me-big smiles on their faces. 
Another honoree besides my father was Lance Cpl. John Farias. Mrs. Penny Farias, his mother attended. Pastor Michelle Hess of Vision Church in New Braunfels , Texas arrived accompanied by her daughter, son, and son-in-law.
At the ceremony, one of the students led the pledge of allegiance and another sang “The Star Spangled Banner”. Another student gave a short history of Veteran's Day. Several students wrote and presented poems. One young man sang a song that he wrote in honor of our soldiers.
Pastor Hess sang “American Soldier” and the “ Battle Hymn of the Republic”. Rosemary Chavarria wrote and recited a poem entitled “He Said Yes”. Rosemary announced that the winning poems of the Slam poetry contest would be published in Somos Primos. 
Penny Farias (mother of John Farias) gave a moving speech about her son and his dedication and love for his country. Lance Cpl. John Farias attended Canyon High School in New Braunfels Texas , graduated and later joined the Marines.  He died on June 28, 2011 while serving in Operation Enduring Freedom.  The day of the funeral in New Braunfels , Texas , the whole community turned out to honor Cpl. Farias. Mrs. Farias was a hard act to follow.  But when the time came for me to speak, my voice returned.  It was as if my father was speaking through me. I spoke about my father, Dr. Hector P. Garcia. I discussed his military service, his work in ending discrimination and his role in the Longoria Affair.  The students were very interested about the telegram Dr. King sent to my father and asked many questions. I reminded the students that Dr. Garcia and Dr. King’s legacy is evident today.  I offered as proof  the contrast in the treatment of Cpl. Farias by the New Braunfels community  compared to what happened in Three Rivers when Pvt. Felix Longoria’ family was refused the use of the funeral home in 1949. 
After the speeches, students presented their drawings and certificates to the honorees and a wristband that says HCJC Veni,Vidi,Vici ( I came, I saw, I conquered ).
I departed the facility with optimism and gratitude for the sacrifices of the previous generations and veterans who made possible our great liberties of today.  Thank you Rosemary, James, and the entire faculty of John H. Wood Charter School for giving me this opportunity.  More import, thank you for your tireless efforts to help these students.  These students are the future of our country.


Interesting Veterans Statistics off the Vietnam Memorial Wall
A little history most people will never know.
"Carved on these walls is the story of America , of a continuing quest to preserve both Democracy and decency, and to protect a national treasure that we call the American dream." ~President George Bush

SOMETHING to think about - Most of the surviving Parents are now Deceased.

There are 58,267 names now listed on that polished black wall, including those added in 2010.

The names are arranged in the order in which they were taken from us by date and within each date the names are alphabetized. It is hard to believe it is 36 years since the last casualties.

Beginning at the apex on panel 1E and going out to the end of the East wall, appearing to recede into the earth (numbered 70E - May 25, 1968), then resuming at the end of the West wall, as the wall emerges from the earth (numbered 70W - continuing May 25, 1968) and ending with a date in 1975. Thus the war's beginning and end meet. The war is complete, coming full circle, yet broken by the earth that bounds the angle's open side and contained within the earth itself.

The first known casualty was Richard B. Fitzgibbon, of North Weymouth , Mass. Listed by the U.S. Department of Defense as having been killed on June 8, 1956. His name is listed on the Wall with that of his son, Marine Corps Lance Cpl. Richard B. Fitzgibbon III, who was killed on Sept. 7, 1965.

· There are three sets of fathers and sons on the Wall.

· 39,996 on the Wall were just 22 or younger.

· 8,283 were just 19 years old.

The largest age group, 33,103 were 18 years old.

· 12 soldiers on the Wall were 17 years old.

· 5 soldiers on the Wall were 16 years old.

· One soldier, PFC Dan Bullock was 15 years old.

· 997 soldiers were killed on their first day in Vietnam ..

· 1,448 soldiers were killed on their last day in Vietnam ..

· 31 sets of brothers are on the Wall.

· Thirty one sets of parents lost two of their sons.

· 54 soldiers on attended Thomas Edison High School in Philadelphia . I wonder why so many from one school.

· 8 Women are on the Wall. Nursing the wounded.

· 244 soldiers were awarded the Medal of Honor during the Vietnam War; 153 of them are on the Wall.

· Beallsville , Ohio with a population of 475 lost 6 of her sons.

· West Virginia had the highest casualty rate per capita in the nation. There are 711 West Virginians on the Wall.

· The Marines of Morenci - They led some of the scrappiest high school football and basketball teams that the little Arizona copper town of Morenci (pop. 5,058) had ever known and cheered. They enjoyed roaring beer busts. In quieter moments, they rode horses along the Coronado Trail, stalked deer in the Apache National Forest . And in the patriotic camaraderie typical of Morenci's mining families, the nine graduates of Morenci High enlisted as a group in the Marine Corps. Their service began on Independence Day, 1966. Only 3 returned home.

· The Buddies of Midvale - LeRoy Tafoya, Jimmy Martinez, Tom Gonzales were all boyhood friends and lived on three consecutive streets in Midvale, Utah on Fifth, Sixth and Seventh avenues. They lived only a few yards apart. They played ball at the adjacent sandlot ball field. And they all went to Vietnam . In a span of 16 dark days in late 1967, all three would be killed. LeRoy was killed on Wednesday, Nov. 22, the fourth anniversary of John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Jimmy died less than 24 hours later on Thanksgiving Day. Tom was shot dead assaulting the enemy on Dec. 7, Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day.

· The most casualty deaths for a single day was on January 31, 1968 ~ 245 deaths.
· The most casualty deaths for a single month was May 1968 - 2,415 casualties were incurred.

For most Americans who read this they will only see the numbers that the Vietnam War created. To those of us who survived the war, and to the families of those who did not, we see the faces, we feel the pain that these numbers created. We are, until we too pass away, haunted with these numbers, because they were our friends, fathers, husbands, wives, sons and daughters. There are no noble wars, just noble warriors.

Walter Herbeck

Information on how to submit photos for the Call for Photos for the Vietnam War Memorial.

New resources for veterans
WASHINGTON — Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today announced a new partnership with Microsoft Corp. to provide veterans with vouchers for no-cost training and certifications that can lead to important industry-recognized credentials. The voucher program will serve veterans in five communities with the highest number of returning post-9/11 era veterans: Seattle, Wash.; San Diego, Calif., Houston, Texas; Northern Virginia; and Jacksonville, Fla. 

VETS News Release: Contact Name: David Roberts Phone Number: (202) 693-5945 Release Number: 11-1640-NAT
A great resource of our Veterans and their families and caregivers: State Veterans Benefits Directories

Sent by Rafael Ojeda

Historian chronicles South Texas soldier's fight for equality 
by Neal Morton 
The Monitor, November 8, 2011 

McALLEN — A University of Texas historian lamented what he described as Mexican-Americans’ glaring absence from school history lessons, despite the sacrifices they made with the nation’s armed forces.

Kicking off a week of Veterans Day lectures, hosted by the Center for Mexican-American Studies at South Texas College, author and historian Emilio Zamora on Monday highlighted the writings of José de la Luz Saenz, who likely provided the only written account of a Mexican-American soldier in World War I.

Zamora, who will release an English translation of Luz Saenz’s book next year, said the South Texas native joined the U.S. military to be able to fight for equality when he returned home.

“They’re sacrificing not necessarily for the flag and country (but) for what that represents … for what’s behind the American flag,” Zamora said.

Luz Saenz was “fighting for the principals in our Constitution, for democracy and justice and equality … making those sacrifices so (he) can come back and argue for equal rights,” Zamora added.

After his service in the 90th Division of the 360th Infantry Regiment, Luz Saenz continued his work as a teacher and worked for a time in La Joya, Edinburg and McAllen schools.

He also became a leading civil rights leader in Texas and helped end the segregation of Hispanic students in the public school system.

“You may ask yourself: ‘Why is it that I have never heard of this man?’” Zamora said. “It says a whole lot about our education, our curriculum at the public schools and even the universities. Our history hasn’t really been told.

“Our children should be told this. It’s unfair,” he added. “We should be very angry.”

Though many in the crowded audience attended Zamora’s lecture for class credit, several said they agreed with his condemnation of the state’s history curriculum.

Jen Guerra, 47, appeared at the event with her daughter, who went for a sociology class, and the McAllen mother said she was disappointed in Texas schools, too.

“My children went to Rio Grande Valley schools (and) they know very little history about our region, about how the border crossed us,” Guerra said. “They learn a lot about Anglo presidents and kings.

“Why don’t we ever hear about leaders like Jose Saenz?” she asked.

Guerra planned to attend the other STC Veterans Day events this week, including showings of the award-winning documentary The Longoria Affair and a Thursday presentation about Latinas who served in World War II.

Neal Morton covers education and general assignments for The Monitor
He can be reached at or at (956) 683-4472.

Follow Neal Morton on Twitter: @nealtmorton 

Sent by Juan Marinez 


Navajo Code Talkers
In addition to the Congressional Gold medal which was awarded to the original 29 Navajo Code Talkers, the Congressional Silver Medal was also awarded to about 200 of the 400 other Navajo Code Talkers.  I think that Joe Morris and the other Native Warriors received the Presidential Gold medal not the Medal of Honor for the original 29 Code talker.  (there are 24 MOH recipients). The other combat medal that President Bush awarded to the other Navajo Code talkers was the Silver Star Medal. The second web site has a lot of Native history.


War Forged Lasting Friendships : Pearl Harbor: 

When the Japanese attacked, the patriotic went to war. But after the war, Latinos in Santa Ana and elsewhere found that a soldier's uniform still couldn't get them into a restaurant or school.
December 07, 1989 Lily Eng, Times Staff Writer, Orange County 
On Dec. 7, 1941, the day Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, Manuel Esqueda remembers sitting in Santa Ana's old State Theater balcony--the seating area where Latinos were allowed--and wondering whether he would go to war.

"You knew at that point that you could die in a war, but I knew I had to go," said Esqueda, then a 22-year-old steelworker. "The segregation wouldn't stop me from joining. I knew I was going to fight for my country."

1 ridiculously huge coupon a day. It's like doing O.C. at 90% off! was one of hundreds of Latinos from Santa Ana who marched off to fight for their country. Yet, in their own city, Latinos were largely segregated. As the harvesters of Orange County's booming orange, bean, and walnut crops, they lived mostly in the city's three major barrios: Artesia, Logan and Delhi.

"We were treated a bit better than a pooch," said Esqueda, who grew up in the Delhi barrio and now is a 67-year-old retired bank manager.

These veterans remember well that Pearl Harbor Day, the town they left behind and the trauma of war. And many returned home to Santa Ana, again confronting bigotry despite their military service. But they remained here, and watched the town change and grew old.

Through the years, these men have forged a lasting friendship. It is a friendship that has continuously brought them together through the passing years for weddings, bowling leagues, golf tournaments, simple phone conversations, and, at times, funerals.

In the 1940s, Santa Ana was a farm community where 15% of the population was Latino. Everyone knew just about everyone in the barrios. There was little fear of crime. Doors were left open at night. The children played together and were bused to the "Mexican" schools.

Movie houses, schools and restaurants were segregated, Latinos and blacks separated from Anglos.

Barbershop owner Robert Benitez, now 68, remembers being cuffed behind the ears if his teachers caught him speaking Spanish in school. He and his brothers, Richard, 75, and Raul, 67, lived in the West 2nd Street Barrio.

"The bus would come along and pick up all the little Mexicans. They didn't want us to mix with the white children," Benitez said.

But when the United States declared war, Benitez and his two brothers felt a duty to go.

"We were born and raised here. We didn't know another country. We didn't love another country. You just love your own," said Benitez, who joined the Navy to become a gunner's mate a year after the attack on Pearl Harbor.


  Lieutenant Colonel Mercedes O. Cubria

  By: Tony "The Marine" Santiago

Did I ever tell you about Lieutenant Colonel Mercedes O. Cubria a.k.a. "La Tia"? Well if I didn't, then I will tell you about her now.  

Lieutenant Colonel Mercedes O. Cubria a.k.a. "La Tia" (The Aunt) (1903-1980) was the first Cuban born female officer in the U.S Army. She served in the Women's Army Corps during World War II. On July 3, 1943, the WAC bill, which established the Women’s Army Corps as integral part of the Army of the United States, was signed into law (Public Law 78-110) becoming effective on September 1, 1943. She served in the Korean War as a member in the U.S. Army. Cubria was recalled into service during the Cuban Missile Crisis. She was posthumously inducted into the Military Intelligence Corps Hall of Fame in 1988.

Early years: Cubria was born in Guantanamo, Cuba, however at a young age her family moved to the United States. She received her primary and secondary education in her new homeland and at times worked as a nurse and a rancher.

Military service: In 1943, Cubria enlisted in the Women's Army Corps after the United States entered World War II. After receiveing her basic military training, she was sent to England where she received training in cryptography. She was commissioned with the rank of Lieutenant, making her the first Cuban born female officer in the United States Military, and assigned to the 385th Signal Company. She was later reassigned to the 322d Signal Company and worked on secret codes and in gathering information on the Axis Powers. On July 3, 1943, the WAC bill, which established the Women’s Army Corps as integral part of the Army of the United States, was signed into law (Public Law 78-110) becoming effective on September 1, 1943, therefore Cubria and her comrades in arms were since members of the regular Army.  

After World War II ended, she was promoted to the rank of Captain. Cubria was assigned to the U.S. Army Caribbean at Quarry Heights in the Panama Canal Zone, becoming the first woman to serve in this theater. When the United States entered the Korean War, she was promoted to the rank of Major and sent to Japan where she continued to work in military intelligence. She was medically discharged in 1953 and awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious achievement in ground operations against the enemy.  

In 1962, the U.S. Army recalled her to service as a result of the Cuban Missile Crisis. She worked debriefing the Cuban refugees and defectors fleeing the communist regime in Cuba. She also helped the refugees find jobs and places to live. She became known as the "Tia" by those whom she helped.  Her work with the refugees added significantly to the intelligence being collected by the Army and the Central Intelligence Agency. Cubria was awarded the Legion of Merit and continued to serve for the next 11 years.    

 Legacy: Cubria was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel and in 1973, at the age of 70, retired once more from the military. She was awarded a second Legion of Merit upon her retirement. Merecedes Cubria died in 1980 in her home in Miami, Florida.  

In 1988, she was posthumously inducted into the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame. The Military Intelligence Hall of Fame is a Hall of Fame established by the Military Intelligence Corps of the United States Army in 1988 to honor soldiers and civilians who have made exceptional contributions to Military Intelligence. The Hall is administered by the United States Army Intelligence Center at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.  

Awards and decorations
Among Lt. Col. Cubria's military decorations were the following:  
*Legion of Merit w/ bronze service star device  
*Bronze Star Medal  
*Army Good Conduct Medal  
*Women's Army Corps Service Medal  
*American Campaign Medal  
*European-African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal  
*World War II Victory Medal  
*National Defense Service Medal  
*Korean Service Medal  
*Army Service Ribbon  

*Army Overseas Service Ribbon


December 31, 2010
Some years ago, never-mind how many, I was literally a farm boy just a year out of school, high on the dreams of youth -- adventures drawn out like road maps leading to a golden world of action, mysteries, and manhood glories.

Never a studious type, and rather skinny, my high school days were mostly spent daydreaming -- going out with girls I secretly liked, or imagining beating-up bullies that I avoided in real life, or sometimes I would manage to skip out and go fishing on a clear, sunny spring day.

So when that first semester of college as a pre-med student took me down rather suddenly and mercilessly, I was just as rapidly out-of-favor at home. The Vietnam War had only been over a couple of years, so the Marines and Army for me were out of the question.

A naive kid from the Texas prairie, I thought the U.S. Coast Guard would be just the place for me -- though I couldn't swim and was afraid of deep water (but that would change quickly, painfully). The recruiter showed me pictures of Coast Guard sailors on the beach helping attractive, bikini-clad young women with various minor emergencies. Those guys in the pictures wore T-shirts, bell-bottom blue jeans, smiled broadly, wore fairly long hair, and had great tans. That was the perfect job for me.

I couldn't wait, and signed up for four years active duty just as quick as the recruiter could get the pen out of his pocket. And I went through eight weeks of boot camp at the old Training Center on Government Island in San Francisco Bay across from Alameda, California.

The days started before dawn, the running never ended, and we dropped like sacks of sand on our racks when the time came for lights out. And I managed to graduate at the top of my class of about 100 young men, so I got to choose between going to the National Honor Guard training in Washington, D.C., serving as a seaman apprentice at a radio station in Ketchikan, Alaska, or being assigned to a Coast Guard Base in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Because my uncle was a prominent doctor in New Orleans, and had been for 30-odd years at that time -- and was a bachelor who loved to party -- the choice was easy to make. Hey, I was 19 years old and ready for action at all times. Especially booze and parties and good looking women. I would find out that a young, poor sailor in the midst of my uncle's high class crowd had almost no chance of even being noticed by the debutante set of rich, beautiful, captivating, young women. The good old standard alternative would prove to always be a six pack of Dixie beer on a Saturday night, and watching a movie.

After graduating from boot camp, I flew directly to New Orleans from San Francisco, and reported for duty with high hopes of beaches, women, blue jeans and sun tans -- fun-filled days of high adventure and nights of drunken laughter and dancing in the old French Quarter.

The first thing the officer-in-charge did was hand me a mop and a bucket and said: "Flores, follow me ... you scum-bag." He gave me a grand tour of all the toilets (they're called "heads" in the military) in the large brick barracks building.

For the next several months I was part of a group called "transient company". This was made up of misfits and medical cases (most were waiting for discharge, or psychiatric evaluation). Why I got that duty was a question that I couldn't find an answer for -- and I tried everything to get transferred to someplace with action. Never mind the babes -- too much to ask for.
Why didn't I go to the Honor Guard training? I kicked myself for months while scrubbing the showers, toilets and sinks in those lonely barracks.

Finally, I was granted my wish. After almost six months swabbing decks with the bad boys of the Coast Guard, I finally got off that miserable base and went to U.S. Coast Guard Station New Canal, a three-boat lighthouse functioning primarily as a search-and-rescue unit on the massive Lake Pontchartrain, and surrounding rivers and swamps -- thousands of square miles in an area lousy with alligators, boats and heavy drinkers. I soon found out that Station New Canal was the busiest SAR station in the entire country. 

Several of the guys in upper-echelon positions at the small station were ex-Marine Corps, Army and Navy -- and had served a tour or two in Vietnam. They were happy in the Coast Guard, certain to never see the kind of crazy violence they'd been in during Vietnam. But Station New Canal sometimes made them wish they'd stayed out of the military entirely. My world was defined by that station for four years, and I learned a lot about life and the big city in that time. Not just any city, but the Crescent City -- named that because from the air the Mississippi River turns around New Orleans in the shape of a big capital "C."

Or so goes one story. There was both drama and humor -- sometimes at the same time. Like when a pilot crashed his twin-engine turboprop into the lake on approach to the municipal airport runway and several people were killed. Nothing funny about that, but a couple of days later we found out why the pilot crashed -- he and his wife were arguing and that made him lose control of the plane. Dark SAR station humor, to be sure. Nobody won that argument. And there was the local corruption -- the mobster element that was always mixed with Louisiana law enforcement to make for some colorful situations.

Like the time I paid a fellow sailor to borrow his classic Mercedes for the weekend so I could drive down to Grand Isle, about 100 miles south on the coast, to spend the weekend at the Tarpon Rodeo. On that bright summer morning, taking the helm of a fast and very cool car, I had a six pack of beer in the passenger seat and a foot made of lead. This was a bad combination, and about halfway down to Grand Isle, in the middle of the vast marshland, I was stopped in a little speed trap town of Golden Meadow.

The cop asked for a license, or a form of photo I.D., and I didn't have any. Since I knew my own identity, it seemed redundant to carry a driver's license or my military ID. The open beer in the seat next to me didn't help my case. He threw me in the slammer and said: "I never saw a sailor with enough money to get a car like that!" The sheriff there at the small jail wore diamond rings on his fingers, the first tip-off that he might be involved in some type of shady behavior. As it turned out, my uncle was the doctor for a mafia figure who spent a lot of time on Grand Isle and that person also knew the sheriff of Golden Meadow.

When I called the motel at Grand Isle to say I'd been arrested for stealing a car and wouldn't be there to meet my uncle, Dr. Flores, the girl who answered the phone hung up with me and immediately called her daddy -- the big mafia guy -- who called the sheriff. Within a few minutes, I was on the road again. I found out how South Louisiana worked -- the hard way. There are too many stories to tell in the space of a small column, but it is good to remember those days even for a little while.

The Station New Canal was created in the early 19th Century, and withstood many hurricanes over the decades, and finally in the late 1990s, it was boarded up and the light turned off -- for the first time. The U.S. government sold it, and built a much larger station a couple of miles to the west -- still the busiest SAR station in the country.

I drove to the old station a few years ago before Katrina totally destroyed it, just to stop by and see it, surprised that it had been closed, and sitting there I could almost hear my old chief cursing at me -- as he always did. I looked around and it was only the lake's endless wind, roaring in anger that time had stolen the last light of New Canal. 

Email this page to friendsRSS feed © 2010 John Flores. All opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of 
Albuquerque, NM

From "
John W. Flores (March 28, 1958 - ) was born in Dallas, Texas and grew up on a family farm near Fort Worth. John is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated American journalist, biographer and short-story writer, and a recipient of the U.S. Navy Meritorious Public Service Award, signed by Marine Corps Commandant James T. Conway. He was named as recipient of a Texas Senate Resolution (SR 168) for his years of research and writing as a journalist for Texas daily newspapers, and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson honored him with two citations for his work as a writer in New Mexico. He received a national award for writing from the U.S. Department of Veterans Services in September 2010. In October 2010 he received the Louisiana Veterans Honor Medal from Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Lane Carson. In 1997 his work for a Texas newspaper won two Associated Press Managing Editors first place awards.

He graduated from Alvarado High School May 28, 1976 and enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard for four years active duty as a search-and-rescue crewman based out of Naval Air Station New Orleans (Group New Orleans). It was during this early
period of his life that Flores began writing, as a contributor to the Base New Orleans newspaper. Upon completion of active duty, Flores attended the University of Texas at Austin where he acted as press aide to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen, and as a
staff writer for Texas General Land Office Commissioner Garry Mauro, working in the Land Management Division. He would later work for several Texas newspapers, including the Killeen Daily Herald, Corpus Christi Caller-Times, The Monitor (McAllen), and The Dallas Morning News. In New Mexico he worked for the Albuquerque Journal, where he received his first journalism award in 2001. The same year, he was hired by South Texas oilman Lucien Flournoy, based in Alice, Texas, to write his memoirs. 

Flores and his wife, Rowena, spent more than a year with Mr. Flournoy while completing the manuscript. Flores interviewed President Jimmy Carter, former Houston Mayor Bill White, and many other notable people, for the book, titled: "Flournoy: A Legendary Wildcatter".

The first book Flores published was "When The River Dreams: The Life of Marine Sgt. Freddy Gonzalez", in fall 2006. This work led to several awards including a Texas Senate resolution (SR 168) in summer 2006, sponsored by Senator Juan
Hinojosa, D-Mission, and signed by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst; the U.S. Navy Meritorious Public Service Award, signed and delivered by Marine Corps Commandant James T. Conway in an Aug. 2009 ceremony held by the commanding officer of the 4th Recon Battalion in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Flores was also presented a citation by Governor Bill Richardson, in September 2010, for placing  second nationally in a writing contest held by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 

In summer 2009, he was honored by Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez for his work, and Chavez designated June 29, 2009 as "John Flores Day in Albuquerque" in his mayoral proclamation. In October 2010 Flores was presented the Louisiana Veterans Honor Medal for his service in the U.S. Coast Guard.

A new edition of the Freddy Gonzalez story, titled "Fields of Honor", is expected to be published by Texas Tech University Press in 2011. Flores was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in fall 1996 for a series of articles written for the Corsicana Daily Sun. His series resulted in several first place awards from the Associated Press Managing Editors (APME), in 1997, including the  Community Service Award. He interviewed then-Governor George W. Bush for one of the stories. He was voted by the National Press Club board of governors as a new member in 2010 for his work as a writer.

A recent November email from John shares another honor:  

" Not long ago I was nominated by the Texas Exes, the alumni association at my old alma mater, U.T. Austin, for the "distinguished alumnus award 2011". This is for my work over the years as a writer and political work as well that has come about as a result of my work. This is after years of struggling as a writer! Living practically in a tent, low wages, long hours. Maybe that's why I closely identify with Cesar Chavez and always have. Also, I have a facebook account and it has info and photos on it. This is "Johnboy Flores". Also, Google has a lot of info and bio stuff.  I love reading Somos Primos. Keep up the great work. Hope you had a happy New Year!

John Flores  
Albuquerque, NM




HURLBURT FIELD, Fla. -- Two Air Force Special Operations Command combat controllers were presented military decorations here Oct. 27 by the Air Force chief of staff for exhibiting extraordinary heroism in combat.  Staff Sgt. Robert Gutierrez Jr. was presented the Air Force Cross and Tech. Sgt. Ismael Villegas was presented the Silver Star by Gen. Norton Schwartz in a joint ceremony.
 The Air Force Cross is the service's highest award and is second only to the Medal of Honor. The Silver Star is awarded for valor, to include risk of life during engagement with the enemy.

Both Airmen received their awards for gallant actions during combat operations in 2009 that directly contributed to saving the lives of their teammates and decimating enemy forces. Gutierrez and Villegas were both assigned to the 21st Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Field, N.C., when they deployed in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2009, although the two medals are not related to the same operation. Freedom Hangar was a sea of berets as more than 1,000 gathered to watch Schwartz present the Airmen their awards.

Air Force News


Korean War Project     (Online since 1/15/94)
Ted Barker:         PH: 214.320.0342 

We don’t have anything specific I can point you to.  However, we have had a burning issue with how Latino and Filipinos are represented in the official casualty databases.  For starters, most Filipinos are officially listed as of today from the Virgin Islands in all government databases. 

Sometime years ago, PI was changed to VI in the databases, so dozens of Filipinos are officially Virgin Islanders.  We have corrected probably 95 percent of these errors, but these cannot and will not be corrected officially. So we are the only outfit that has the correct information. Many families have commented that we have honored their families by taking the time to correct these errors.

Latinos from Puerto Rico also have a major problem in the official databases.  It has been customary in military usage to use a hypen in Puerto Rican and other Latino names, such as Medal of Honor recipient Fernando Luis Garcia-Ledesma. 

Of course the 1930 Census cites him as Fernando L Garcia Y Ledesma, but the hypen was added by mainlanders to replace the Y. I know this is an oversimplification of the hypen and “Y” issue, but it is what it is.

The issue we have is the government dropped the Garcia-Ledesma and his Medal of Honor citation cites Fernando L. Garcia. Small detail? Perhaps. But not to us or his family. My opinion is this disrespects his heritage and heroism. But perhaps that is just me.

Hundreds of Puerto Rican names are mismanaged officially. First name becomes last name, middle name becomes last name, and all sorts of combinations. Nobody in government will listen to us. A group is attempting to create a Wall of Remembrance in Washington using all the incorrect names, and we have no input into that mess.  


Korean War Project Newsletter July 27 2011 Volume 13, 2
From: Hal and Ted Barker:
For: Maria Elizabeth Del Valle Embry

Table of Contents:
1. Editorial
2. This Mailing List (Join or Leave)
3. Our Newsletter
4. Bookstore | Film
5. Membership
6. Website Update
7. US Air Force History
8. US Marine Corps History
9. US Army History
10. US Coast Guard History
11. US Navy History
12. 2nd Infantry Division - Korean War Alliance
13.7th, 24th, 25th Infantry Division Records - Update
14. Agent Orange | Blue | Monuron in Korea in the news
15. Thank You to our Sponsors | Donors/Members

1. Editorial
July 27th 1953 marks the enactment of the truce to end the three years of war in Korea. The truce had been a long time coming. The steps in the process resulted in stretching the war for such a long time. For those who were in the middle of the fierce fighting of 1953, it could not come quickly enough.  The toll of the last months of the war was steep in life and limb.

The same date also marks the beginning of a very unsettled truce that has reached across many decades. Violence and intrigue have been commonplace.  The period from 1966-1969 became known as the "2nd Korean War". Incidents that have threatened the fragile truce have continued to include two of the more well-known: the "Blue House Raid of January 1968" and the "Tree Trimming Incident of August of 1976" The tunneling episodes, dating from 1968 through 1990 plus many dozens more, serious
incidents have shown how fragile the truce has been.

Most recently, two major incidents almost brought the two Korea's to the brink of all-out war while the whole world anxiously awaited the outcome.  The rebuilding of what has become The Republic of Korea commenced shortly after the end of hostilities. The ROK has become a vibrant social and economic engine on the world stage. Each year, veterans who served in Korea during the Fifties or later, make the journey to South Korea as part of personal quests to more fully understand their individual roles in the war or as peace-keepers.

Hal and Ted Barker

2. This Mailing List (going to 44,000 + persons)
We began sending this newsletter mailing in December of 1998. The first issue went to just over 2000 persons. This list is a private list for our visitors and members. A person may join or leave the list at will. It is compiled from our Guest Book and comprises public service messages of general interest to veterans and families.  To join or leave the list: email to: Ted Barker Place: Subscribe or Unsubscribe in the subject line. Consider forwarding the Newsletter to your friends by email or print.  Word of mouth is how we grow. Thanks to all who have made this newsletter and the website possible!

3. Our Newsletter
The Memorial Day 2011 version of our newsletter reached many thousands of people who had not received copies in several years. It has taken the better part of two months to reply to those who wrote back to us. Here is a big "Thank You" for all who wrote or called. How and why did the last news get to you? We had to remove any references to web page or email address links. Those important tools seemed to have caused the service providers to block our content from our audience.

4. Bookstore | Film. . .  The following list contains very interesting books received since the fall of 2010.
a) Hollywood Through My Eyes: The Lives and Loves of a Golden Age Siren by Monica Lewis with Dan Lamanna 
Yes, the Hollywood bombshell and celebrated singer, Monica Lewis, who so loved her American GI's, Sailors and Marines, has published her memoir.  This wonderful backward look features photos of her tours of Korea and hospitals, most never seen by the public. A must read! Reviews are by Robert Wagner, Debbie Reynolds, Elmore Leonard, Liz Smith, Rex Reed and Ginny Mancini, all of whom were personal friends of the author. Cable Publishing, 14090 E. Keinenen Rd, Brule, WI 54820
Coffee Table Version, Hardback: $24.95  Kindle: $19.95  Turner Classic Movies Link on the web ISBN: 978-1-934980-88-0

b) The Lucifer Patch: Flying with the 'Lucky 13th' Korea 1955-56 by Bertram Brent 
The author describes his tour with the 13th Helicopter Company which was stationed at Uijongbu, Korea. He narrates his personal history from an early fascination with helicopters through his interesting tour. The book is filled with photographs.
Bertram hails from Independence, Arkansas but has lived in Ashville, Alabama, 
Self-Published and sold by the author. Order:  Bertram Brent  PO Box 338  Ashville, AL 35953 ISBN: 978-0-615-33147-8

c) Command Influence: A Story of Korea and the politics of injustice by Robert A. Shaines 
The book can be purchased from: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kindle EBooks and Outskirts Press Bookstore.
From the author: 'I have just had my book published about the 75th Air Depot Wing and the 543rd Ammo Supply Sqdn, Pusan. It is the story of the Court-Martial of George C. Schreiber, Robert Toth and Thomas Kinder and the Korean War in 1952-1953.' 
'The story should be of interest to all Korean War veterans, their families and veterans of the 75th. I would love to hear from and get feedback from my readers.' Published by Outskirts Press Cost: $26.95 paperback. Author Shaines was a young Air Force Judge Advocate who took up the challenge of writing this book to shine a light and to clear his conscience.

(d) Korea: Shuffling To A Different Drummer by Ira 'Ike' Hessler, Korean War Project member 
From the author: A realistic off-beat story from the Korean War. A forgotten war fought by soldiers unable to forget. 
The author grew up in Seattle and was ready to join the Navy when his father hatched a plan to get him into the Army Security Agency. He joined in March of 1952 and things changed.  This easy narrative follows him to Korea where he wound up with the 2nd Engineer Bn of the Second Infantry Division. He dedicates this book to his friend, Sgt. Pak, a young Korean attached to his Battalion.  Self-Published Order: Ira Hessler 63084 Strawberry Rd  Coos Bay, Or 97420-6285

(e) Battle Songs, A Story of the Korean War in Four Movements by Paul G. Zolbrod 
The author hails from Western Pennsylvania and is a Korean War Veteran. His book is an interesting novel revolving around four young draftee's in the early fifties. This is a complex book that has many contrasts of the experiences of each man in war and at home during a time far different from the modern 21st Century. The author has published quite often during his thirty year career teaching at Allegheny College. Published by iUniverse Price: $15.95 paperback Order: 1-800-288-4677 Also on the web.

(f) On the Sea of Purple Hearts My Story of the Forgotten War - Korea by George G. 'Pat' Patrick
The author was a Seaman First Class upon the USS Tawakoni (ATF-114), a minesweeper operating off the coastal waters of Korea during the war. 'The most dangerous game of the day!, Minesweeping Korea's Coast'. George dedicates his book to the two Patrick brothers, Pat and Jimmy as well as all Naval Personnel who lost their lives while performing coastal duties. The book follows the ship and sister ships, recording the accidents, sinking's and loss of life of those brave men. 
Published by Cozzen Publications, Claremont, NC 910-326-3608 231 Fishing Creek Ln Hubert, NC 28539

(g) Korea: The Last Memoir by Robert Compton Miller 
The author pens a personal narrative of his time spent in Korea during the last year of the war, a young 19 year old. He was with Baker Company, 32nd Infantry Regiment of the 7th Infantry Division. His unit fought on Triangle Hill, Old Baldy and the myriad small outposts that most infantrymen will recall from that last year of the war. He pulls no punches describing the events and conditions. 
ISBN: 978-1-4535-2214-1 Published by XLibris and obtained from the author on his website or direct mail. 
30915 County Road 435 Sorrento, FL 32776

(h) A Moment In Time A Korean War P.O.W. Survivor's Story by William W. Smith as told to Charlotte Smith
The author is from Rockingham, North Carolina, and from a farming family in the produce business. The book centers on his experience in Korea and his capture and imprisonment in 1950. He and his wife spent many hours going over the painful experience of the harsh treatment and internment. The work to create the book was often raw with emotion. The intent was to depict the conditions of a POW in the Korean War and it was hard for him to relate the details to his wife.  Published by Gazelle Press:. PO Box 191540 Mobile, AL 36619 800-367-8203 Cost: $17.00 includes postage  
Also order from author: W.W. Smith 1825 Melview Rd Quincy, IL 62305

(i) Korean War Project Member, Robert L. Hanson has another book out. His first book has been featured on the Bookstore for several years. Originally titled 'The Boys of Korea, The 625th Field Artillery Battalion', that first book has been re-titled to: 
'The Boys of Fifty; The 625th Field Artillery Battalion' Price: $25.00 and carried by Lulu Press, an online bookseller. 

The new book is titled: 'The Guns of Korea; The U.S. Army Field Artillery Battalions in the Korean War'. 
by Robert Hanson, MSGT 625th FAB HQ Battery, 40th Infantry Division Price: $45.00 This book is over 600 pages and has been reviewed as a handy reference for historians and veterans. Bob indicated that each chapter on a specific battalion has a list of casualties included. Those sections are called, 'All Gave Some ... Some Gave All'. We have not seen the book, just been advised by Bob of the release. If it is as good as his first book, everyone will be pleased. Both books are available at Lulu Press, on the Internet. Bob also is selling them directly. Contact; Robert L. Hanson  10777 Pointed Oak Lane  San Diego, CA 92131-2604

(j) Dog Tags The History, Personal Stories, Cultural Impact, and Future of Military Identification by Ginger Cucolo 
Ginger just let us know of the release of her book which may be purchases as eBook or paperback. Check prices at the outlets mentioned below.  Background: The 100 year anniversary of the official use of military personal identity tags, affectionately known as Dog Tags, recently passed without fanfare. Interestingly, though, we are in a war where the Dog Tag is once again a highly personal item to warriors in every service and their families. Each Dog Tag carries its own human interest story, and is much more than a piece of metal with words and numbers imprinted on it. Receiving it, hanging it around the neck, and feeling it is at once a silent statement of commitment. The tag itself individualizes the human being who wears it within a huge and faceless organization.  Outskirts Press - eBook or paperback  Amazon - Paperback or Kindle  Barnes and Noble - Paperback
Contact the Korean War Project for email and Ginger's website link.

5. Membership/ Sponsors
Consider supporting the mission of the Korean War Project by donations in the form of Membership/Sponsorship. Visit our Membership page where you may select how to help out. On that page is a link to our PayPal account. You may choose online or
regular surface mail to support our efforts. Our Pledge Drive is an ongoing process. Many of our previous donors no
longer can assist. We are recruiting from those who have not participated, so if you can, jump on in, it will be appreciated.

The site is free for all to use and those who participate help to ensure that we remain online whether the donation is $1.00 or more! For those persons or groups who cannot participate, we certainly understand. Donations/Memberships are tax deductible, if you use long form IRS reports. Our EIN: 75-2695041 501(c) (3)  Postal Address  Korean War Project PO Box 180190
Dallas, TX 75218

6. Website Update
Hal has spent the past couple of months updating how the entire website works. He has gone over graphic design, back room program code, and addition of new content. His continues to plug away on changes and additions of recently acquired military unit records. The new site search tool has helped visitors, as well as the two of us, to find resources on the site, not easily discovered otherwise. Look for the 'Google Site Search' block on the main website page, top right, just under the 'I Remember Korea' graphic. Questions can always be directed to either of us.

Part of our process is to identify broken web page links or any type of error message that may come from programming code that we have created. Please alert us to error you may encounter. Note: from time to time the web server will be unavailable. Severe
weather can force us to shut off the telephone line to prevent damage. There are also times when the server will hang up and has to be re-started.

7. US Air Force History
US Air Force in Korea, the full book by Robert F. Futrell, is now available as a link from the Korean War Project. You may find the link at the bottom center of the main page of the website. The book is in Adobe PDF format. We hope you enjoy it. Be sure to visit the Air Force section of our Reference Department for many other reading items.

8. US Marine Corps History
We alerted readers about our project to place unit diaries and command reports for the USMC online. They are titled 'Marin Corps Unit Files'. This is a work in progress. More units will be represented each month as they are made ready. 
We previously posted the 'Marines in the War Commemorative Series' online. That series of Adobe PDF files has been hugely popular as downloads from our website.

A brand new online offering is the DVD based 'The Sea Services in the Korean War'. This had previously been accessible only as DVD. The files are now in Adobe PDF format and linked by clicking the on-screen menu. This file contains the full 'Marine Corps Operations in Korea' plus the United States Naval Operations - Korea, and 'The Sea War in Korea'. 
There are 13 other files that are available to include the history of Marine Helicopters in two parts. 
Start reviewing from the bottom center of the main website page. Continue to our Reference section, sub-section Marines and Marines - History Division.

9. US Army History
The Center for Military History created a series of books and pamphlets over the years. Some have been available as online downloads for several years. Hal actually assisted the CMH in 1995-96 by scanning the maps for two of the books. New versions of the series have been created by staff at CMH in Adobe PDF format. These are far superior to previous online editions. The KWP is now offering the 5 volume series and several other related books or pamphlets totaling 11 in all.
Titles include 'Ebb and Flow', 'Years of Stalemate', 'Black Soldier - White Army', 'South to the Naktong, North to The Yalu', 
Start your review from the bottom center of the main website page. Continue to our Reference section, sub-section Army and Army - Center of Military History.

10. US Coast Guard History
We previously covered the Coast Guard in our April 2007 newsletter with chronology and articles by Scott T. Price. Updates to old links are being repaired. The excellent article by Mr. Price is now available, online, as part of 'The Sea Service in the Korean War' DVD discussed in the USMC history topic. The article is in Adobe PDF format. Click the link in the US
Marine Corps - History section.

11. US Navy History
The full 'History of United State Naval Operations - Korea' and 'The Sea War in Korea' are part of 'The Sea Services in the Korean War' DVD, previously discussed. The large Adobe PDF file is full of the maps, narrative of operations and wonderful bibliographic notes. A large gallery of photographs is part of this collection. Be sure to navigate to our Reference Department for the sub-section for Navy. There are many great links to other resources from Seebee's to Sea Tugs.

12. 2nd Infantry Division - Korean War Alliance
This great fraternal reunion association had it's very last reunion in New Orleans this past April. Hal attended as a guest speaker. He was able to visit with many of the men he has met since 1979. During the business meeting, the Board of Directors voted to forward all the Division records they had amassed to the Korean War Project. Those include over 17,000 awards, General Orders, unit diaries and command reports.

The Korean War Project sends a very big 'Thank You' to the entire membership. It will take considerable time to convert these valuable records into internet usable format. The association also awarded the Korean War Project a substantial cash donation to assist with the continuation of our work.

Ralph and Carolyn Hockley met with us on July 16th to deliver the donation and the record files. We spent several enjoyable hours as the Hockley's showed us how they utilized the Division files. Both Hockley's will be taking time off from the many years of work for the Alliance. We shall be thinking of Carolyn as she gets ready for scheduled surgery on her back.

13. 7th, 24th, 25th Infantry Division Records - Update
The KWP just received word from the Department of the Army that all the records we had requested via FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) are on the way to us by FEDEX. The 13 CD's are supposed to contain unit diaries and command summary reports. When they have been examined, organized and catalogued, notice will be posted on the website and in the next
newsletter. We do not know if and when other major commands will be converted to digital format as this group has been.

14. Agent Orange | Blue | Monuron in Korea in the news
We have reported to our readers since November of 1999 of the use of toxic agents in South Korea. Our first inquiry was actually in June of1995. At that time neither of us had any idea of toxic defoliant use in South Korea, along the DMZ or elsewhere. Our DMZ Veterans Center has recorded many messages since 1997 about questions related to these chemicals. After the news stories of November 1999, this issue became much clearer. We created an Agent Orange Registry about the time the VA began to accept physical examinations for possible symptoms.

Documents similar to the CY 1968 file and the Senator Glenn letter began to be used by veterans to establish claims for possible chemical intoxication and diseases related to those admitted to have been used. Dates and places and mode of use continue to create controversy. This has not been helpful.

Jump forward to May 22nd 2011, about midnight in Texas. The phone started ringing, call after call from Seoul. Quotes from the Agent Orange Registry on the KWP were in the news in South Korea, TV, print. An Arizona vet, Steve House had made the news with his recounting of burial of toxic chemicals at Camp Carroll.

That story has been getting a full vetting by joint task forces comprised of USFK and Korean organizations and governmental agencies.  Many other investigations are ongoing in South Korea at other locations. Several hundred media stories have been aired or printed with no conclusions at this time. Getting this issue out in the open and under the bright light of media
examination can only help to settle the thousands upon thousands of questions by civilian and military who may have been affected while living or serving in Korea.  Use Google to query this string: Agent Orange in Korea.

15. Thank You to our Sponsors | Donors/Members
Thanks to all who have made this newsletter and the website possible! Visit the following page to see the names of those involved.;  Donors:

Hal and Ted Barker   Korean War Project Newsletter July 27 2011



Re-enactment of the Battle of Medina in Losoya  
Battle of Medina: The Empire Strikes Back
Resources for the Celebration for the War of 1812
Historical Twin City Celebration

Hats reflect the diversity of people involved in the battle.

The reenactment of the Battle of Medina in Losoya was a huge success with well over 800 students, teachers and parents in the schools football stadium. I had a total of 29 re-enactors on the field including the Superintendent of Schools; Dr Juan Jaso who dressed as a Tejano, who I may add, died a glorious death. It was a lot of fun but also educational. There were a lot of comments from both students and teachers especially when they were informed that there school was on sacred ground and had been part of the killing field. Our ancestors fought to the last man at the Battle of Medina. So determined to achieve victory that they chose to fight to the death than live under the yoke of tyranny. Plans are already underway for next year’s event.  

Click on the URL below to view a selection of  a 142 photos taken during the reenactment. 

Dan Arellano
President Tejano Genealogy Society



In the early 1810s revolution racked Spain’s New World colonies, including Texas. Between 1811 and 1813 San Antonio was consumed by revolution and counter-revolution, which eventually resulted in the brutal murder of the Spanish governor. Afterward, the Republican Army of the North occupied San Antonio; a mix of Tejano rebels, Anglo American filibusters, and Texas Indians. In the spring of 1813, this force drove the Spanish army out of San Antonio. 

On April 6, 1813 leaders of the Republican Army declared Texas independence. They wrote a constitution and formed a representative government, both firsts in Texas.
By early August 1813 the Spanish army was marching back to San Antonio. Not wanting to do battle in the streets of their hometown, Tejano rebels convinced their commander to meet the enemy south of the city. Near the Medina River, the republicans were drawn into a trap. The rebels chased a small Spanish scouting party through the sandy oak groves of southern Bexar/northern Atascosa counties right into the main body of the king’s army. Spanish artillery opened up and decimated the rebels. Still the republicans put up a fierce fight. Realizing they had been ambushed the republicans fled the battlefield and ran back to San Antonio. Hundreds of rebels were killed, as they were unable to out run Spanish cavalry. When given orders to retreat, Miguel Menchaca, commander of the Tejano rebels, yelled at his superiors, “Tejanos do not withdraw!” He turned his horse and charged back into the fight, where he fell with his men.

When the Spanish army reached San Antonio, the Bexareños paid a terrible price. 300 men that survived the battle were publicly shot in Military Plaza. Their severed heads were displayed as a warning to other rebels. The women of San Antonio fared not much better. 500 women were forced to perform hard labor and many were sexually assaulted by Spanish soldiers.

The Battle of Medina put an end to the first constitutional government in Texas, but not the spirit of independence. Independence would have to wait 23 years for another generation of freedom-loving Texans and Tejanos… 

Viva Tejas libre!
Sent by Dan Arellano

· It is the biggest battle ever fought on Texas soil
· Over 1,000 Tejanos were killed at this one battle alone
· More Texans died at this battle than died during the entire War of Texas Independence, 1835-1836
· Many in the Republican Army were killed on land that is now Southside ISD property
· Serving in the Spanish army at this battle was a 19-year old lieutenant, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna
· 55 Spanish soldiers that were killed in the battle are buried in a mass grave at El Carmen Cemetery
Data researched and compiled by 7th grade Pre-AP Texas History students of Julius L. Matthey Middle School; Michelle Hickman, Principal. 

Resources for the Celebration for the War of 1812
Estimada MImi,
You may want to give a heads up on many of the celebration for the War of 1812. From NY to New Orleans many of the Tall Ships from around the world will be sailing in for these celebrations.  Spain, Mexico and many of the Central and South American Countries will be showcasing their Tall Ships.


Historical Twin City Celebration

October 7, 2011 marked the Historical sister city celebration between Pensacola, Florida with Mayor, Ashton Hayward and Macharaviaya, Spain with Mayor, Antonio Campos. 

The cities have joined hands to commemorate one of the most important battles of the American Revolution fought at Ft. George in Pensacola on May 8 1781.  

Bernardo de Galvez  being at the head of the Spanish troops steered the troops into the bay to defeat the British. Macharaviaya is the hometown of Galvez.

Many events were scheduled such as a wreath laying ceremony at Ft. George, tours of local museums and landmarks. 

The two cities will be joining hands in many future cultural and educational endeavors.

Molly Long de Fernandez de Mesa
Spanish Task Force Chairman NSDAR




Building la Familia de Abraham Gonzales

Dear Friends and Family,

I have taken a plunge into the blogging world to see if I can build on the information I already have on our Gonzales and and Ayala ancestors. See the link below to introduce you to the 2 blog sites I have set up to attract some dialog on finding more of our ancestors through the wonders of the Internet world. Your feedback through these blogs would be appreciated. When you get to the site, scroll down to the Gonzales and Ayala blogspots and follow the links to our sites.  

This is my first attempt at setting up a blogging site so there are many improvements to be added to them as I gain experience.

Michael Gonzales
La Familia es Para Siempre  

Building la Familia de Abraham Gonzales

The Gonzales Familia I am building is principally from Zacatecas, México.  The oldest members of that family to my knowledge are Abraham Gonzales and his wife, Benancia Medina.  Their children are four sons: Luciano, Victor, José María and Octaviano.  The records of their children indicate that they came from Jeréz and Fresnillo, Zacatecas, México.  Luciano was married to Dominga Mejía, José María was unmarried, Victor was married to Luísa Ayala and Octaviano was married to Epimenia Herrada.

One thing to keep in mind that the Gonzales name as spelled out in Mexican baptismal records was GONZÁLEZ.  For purposes of this blog, consider both spellings as correct.  I have borne the name of GONZALES all of my life, as have my 4 siblings, and I would rather not have to spell it with a Z at the end because that requires a written accent mark over the A; an extra step I would rather avoid.  As the familia crossed the border into the USA in about 1914-1915, it is certain that the border officials changed the Z to S for ease of writing the Gonzales name, as phonetically, S and Z are very similar. Uncle Julio, Victor's son, managed to preserve the correct spelling of GONZÁLEZ for his family.

I welcome any discussion on this Gonzales familia.


Floating on the Border by Belinda Acosta
Laredo Memories of Omar Alvarez and others 
John W. Flores,  University of Texas, Austin, 2011 Distinguished Alumnus Award 
What Exactly is a Pocho? by Victor Landa   

Floating on the Border
By Belinda Acosta, June 20, 2011

Belinda Acosta currently lives in Austin and writes “TV Eye” for The Austin Chronicle.  [Photo Courtesy Of Belinda Acosta, her parents circa 1958]

Kingsville - Omar Alvarez
I am forwarding this email (as is) to the few who I know will be interested in the subject. The Omar Alvarez story was sent to me by Israel Yzaguirre who lives in San Antonio and his family is originally from the Hebbronville area and surrounding towns. I'm limiting distribution to just a few who I know will be interested in the subject. 
After reading Omar's story I am glad that I grew up in Laredo/Zapata where "we" the Mexican-Americans ran the town and controlled the politics (even if they were a bunch of crooks) and never experienced any racial discrimination in our schools. That's what happens when the Mexican-American students make up 90+% of the student body. 
Because we never experienced what Omar Alvarez went through... I can only imagine how it must have felt to be in that situation... and I don't think I would have liked it. It's an interesting short biography that in many ways is similar to what we all experienced growing up.
Cheers, Ernesto Uribe
Hi All:
You all have to read the contents of this e-mail.  Ernesto Uribe sent out an article on the early life and type of discrimination that Omar Alvarez had living in Kingsville.  He got two responses after readers read the article.  As you read the response of Arturo Jacobs, think also in terms as if I had been a co-writer; Arthur is my cousin and our treatment in Laredo -- where Mexican-Americans accounted for 90% of the population -- was most decent even in those early days.    Anyway, Thanks Ernesto, Arthur, and Israel for this excellent e-mail.  Jose M. Pena
From Israel Yzaguirre: 
LOL, yeah, you missed some interesting times.  In Kingsville, the Kleberg's [King Ranch] had a hand in everything.  They were the George Parr of Kleberg County without the benefits that some Hispanics got in Duval County. The Cavazo's got ahead because their parents were in with the Kleberg leadership. 

Comments by Arturo Jacobs below the story of Omar:


Omar Alvarez

Omar Alvarez is born at 6:00 pm June 10, 1943 at Kleberg County Hospital, according to Court Records.
My first memories of Kingsville are of living in a small house on the corner of Yoakum and Eighth with my older brother Gaston, and my Parents ( Marina & G. S. ) We were just a normal Family trying to survive in South Texas. My Dad worked for the Railroad, like most of the Men in Kingsville did. He followed his two older Brothers Adan and Sam, he would finally retire 43 years later in Houston, Texas, having being with MoPac all those years, some good and some bad.
By 1949 the Family had grown. I now had two younger sisters Norma Linda and Pearl. So my Dad was forced to add a couple more rooms to the house. I can remember the four of us sleeping in the same room, with Gaston and I sharing the same bed....not sure about the Girls.
As I recall it stayed that way until 1957 when we built the " Big House " as we called it. But I am getting ahead of myself, more on that later.
I don't remember Gaston starting school, but a year later I was to join him at Lamar Elementary
This was very unusual as all the " Mexican Kids " went to Austin Elementary on the other side of town , with the Anglos at Lamar. Somehow my parents knew that we lived within the Lamar district, and were bound and determined to send us to Lamar; they had quite a battle on their hands. Gaston and I were subjected to several tests before being enrolled. We were tested on our English reading and speaking abilities by Mrs. Blackman, the school principal. Luckily My Parents had brought us up speaking English, only to learn Spanish later. Little did my Parents know the burden Gaston and I would carry from then on thru High School.
I can still remember my first day of school sitting somewhere near the back and the students coming in: Carlton, Larry, Tom, Anne, Tommy, Gerald, Mike, Fred, and a few others whose names I can't recall. For most of the next 12 years most of these kids would remain my closest friends. Mrs. Babbs, Miss Lill, Mrs. Halberdier, Mrs. Gwinn , and of course Coach Gillette would be our Teachers and Mentors those crucial young years , and Mrs. Blackman in her own way would help shape us into what we would later become.
In the Third Grade two boys, Manuel and Leo, were now in Lamar, how were we to know we would become lifetime Friends.
Those were good years: The pledge of Allegiance every morning before class started, the Mayday celebrations , dancing around the Maypole , and of course the Christmas pageant. I can see all of us crowded into the hallway and staircase all decorated with Holly and Wreaths and singing Carols..........those were the Days........
By fifth grade we were all starting to shape our lives Manuel and I in the Band, Leo on the basketball court, and Mike, Larry, on the Football field. Anne was, and still is, our Queen.
Anne was elected to Queen of our Mayday Festival
With Mike, Larry, Tom, and myself as members of her Court , I can see all of us in our suits and gowns walking down that red carpet in front of all the parents and guests.
We were all happy go lucky kids with no known prejudices that was soon to change, Jr. High was our next step.
Once again, a new Jr. High had been built and of course most of " The Mexican Kids " were assigned to the new Gillette Jr. High. The Lamar group was to go on to Memorial Jr. High, A tough rivalry instantaneously existed between the two schools.
It would be a new experience for us all.
By this time I began to see that I was caught in the middle, the Mexican Community did not accept me because I spoke English and went to Lamar, then Memorial; on the other side the Anglos seemed to accept me but only to a point. As long as I knew the boundaries, everything would be okay. Don't get too close, or even think about asking an Anglo girl for a date. I would end up missing most of the school sponsored Dances and events because the Mexican girls would not go out with me and the Anglo girls were not allowed to go out with me.
Kingsville was growing the College and Naval Base and the Celanse Plant were bringing in new people to the area. We were now in the mid -fifties, Rock n' Roll, the Cold War, bomb shelters, TV, Dial phones, Radar ovens, Life was good.
Dad was now thinking of building us a new home with 3 bedrooms and two bathrooms and an attached garage, with central air and heat!!!!!
Dad ended up building what I remember as the first brick home on our side of town. His older brother and wife now had a prosperous business going " The Little Flower Shop " it would grow to become the largest floral business in town.
Kingsville was divided in thirds: Anglo, Mexican, and Negro. Main Street had J C Penny, Terry -Ferris, El Nuevo Mundo, Anthony's, Fergusson's Jewelry, Harrell's Drugstore, Raglands, Gafford's Grocery, and Flato's Hardware, and of course the Rex, Rialto, and the new Texas theaters.
On Richard Street we had Martinez Grocery, Solis Grocery, a Shoe shop, and several other small businesses serving the Mexican community.
On the Negro side a young entrepreneur was building his empire, Mr. Andrews had a small barbershop, which would grow to 8-10 chairs in the 50's and 60's, a shoeshine stand that you had to make reservations for, and he later added a Dry Cleaning business across the street. Most of the College and Navel base, and eventually the High School, were his clientele.
At that time the Negros were only allowed in the Rialto Theater and were confined to the balcony,  with their own bathrooms upstairs. Anglos and Mexicans could sit downstairs, or in the Rex and Texas wherever they pleased. By this time my Father was working part time for the Rialto and Texas theaters, also giving me odd jobs around the theaters making 15 cents an hour! This also allowed me free entry to all the movies, which I enjoyed for the rest of my time in Kingsville.
Then of course there was The Ranch, it was in it's heyday with people from all over the World coming into Kingsville for their Annual Sales. The Rockefellers, Du Ponts, Sheiks from Arabia, and many more Rich and Famous including Hollywood stars Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, etc.
I had gone to school with both Tres and Tio of The Ranch, they were really down to earth kids just like the rest of us. The Brothers Cavazos ( my cousins ) from The Ranch were on their way to fame and fortune, Dick to the Army to retire as a three or four Star General , and Larry to an Educational life that would include President of Texas Tech and finally as Sectary of Education under the Reagan Administration. While Bobby would go on to football and ranching, spending two years with the Chicago Bears.
My Mother would finish her Education at A&I by going to Saturday classes and getting her degree in teaching and getting a job at The Laureles Division of The Ranch. She was teaching 5th grade thru 9th grade in one room, with possibly 10 students in the entire class. Those students that would continue their education would then go to High School in Corpus Christi. The rest, which was also most , would quit and go to work on The Ranch. At that time we had a lot of relatives working for The Ranch, the Silvas, Cavazos, Quintanilla, Trevino, and Alaniz from the Kennedy Ranch in Sarita. Our Families were all related by Marriage or blood.
My Jr. High years would go by quickly, meeting new friends and really getting to know how to play Drums. As my brother was a year ahead of me, I also got to know his friends and teachers. Gaston would go on to be President of his Class through out JR. and High School. I had to contend with being his "little brother", and being asked all the time why can't you be more like Gaston ? I presume I was rebelling so I never got the accolades he got, but I made my own name and got by. Sandra, Pat, Susan, Shirley, Gloria, Nadia, Danny, Dennis, were all names I will never forget from Jr. High.
Also about that time I met a man who would change my life Jimmy Dodd: Professional photographer. I would become his lackey or gofer for the next six or seven years. Everyone in the State either knew Jimmy or had heard of him. His notoriety came from his photos and, or his size. He was a small man in height but a very Heavy round man, always with his camera in his hand. He took pictures of Governors, Presidents, and Famous people like Will Rogers.
As the local photographer for the Police he was also present at most car accidents and the few homicides in Kleberg County. As one of his gofers I was also present. We got to meet all the "New  Rock n' Roll" stars as he went to most concerts as a news photographer , I had my picture taken with most of them backstage : Chuck Berry , Little Richard , The Coasters , The Platters , Ricky Nelson , Jimmy Clanton , and many many more ....... No,  never with Elvis.
With my High School years approaching and getting a little older I started seeing Kingsville in a different light. I never had a car of my own but some of my friends did. There were two Drive-in theaters, about four major drive-in restaurants, and several local restaurants: Cheatem's, Mac's Chicken Shack, El Jardin, The Rainbow Café, and downtown Cain's next to the Rialto. Sure I went to all of these, C&M's, Skee's,  Helen's, but my favorite and home was Young's Root Beer stand............there were also some clubs I was too young for but somehow or another I managed to get into. The more famous were The Rendezvous, The Javalina and of course the very famous Hilltop. Yes Kingsville did have a life after dark................
By the time I got into High School Integration was a word everyone knew. It was 1959, and Negros were going to be at King Hi, for the better or worse. We never had an incident the whole time I was there that I became aware of, The only impact I remember was in Sports, a young man named James " Preacher " Pilot, was to change Brahma football and King Hi forever. In 1960 we went to the State Championship Football game in northwest Texas, Breckenridge as I recall, we had rocks thrown at us, were verbally abused , and almost not allowed in the Stadium because we had Negros on our team and in the Band. Unfortunately we lost the game but we came back a Proud Bunch for we had defeated Racism at it's best.
I remember one other time we were headed for a football game in Edinburgh I believe, when we stopped for Supper at a restaurant. As we all entered and placed our orders and just having a good time, Mr. Gregg stood up and announced we were all to go back to our buses immediately. He then went from bus to bus to explain and took a vote. It seems our Negro band members were not welcome. They could order take their food back to the bus or into the Kitchen, but were not allowed to sit in the dining room.
Did we want that to happen and go back and get our food or did we want to forfeit supper and leave the restaurant? To a man, we all voted to leave and not pay for the food that had been ordered and was being prepared...........the football stadium sold a lot of hot dogs and hamburgers that night.!
We were all pushing the envelope by that time as teenagers will do at times. So I was trying to date an Anglo girl, as a couple of my friends were already doing on the sly. Of course the girl I liked was a very popular majorette whom I had first met in Jr. Hi and we were close friends. This was not to happen. I was approached by 4 or 5 Anglo boys and told to back off or suffer the consequences. I never dated her but we spent a lot of time together on school functions and group outings to Corpus for Buccaneer days, etc. I never got over that girl, we were to meet for a final time 40 years later at our High School reunion and danced and laughed together in front of the same people we couldn't in high school. She died three months later of cancer.......
One of my friends would run off to Mexico and marry his Anglo girlfriend and another, being an all State athlete, would date openly an Anglo girl......without any trouble. As for my self I had to date a girl on the sly and could never take her out in public, even her Mother forbid us to see each other.........Susan B. you know who you are.
My hi school years are filled with memories the football games, the Basketball games with my best friend as the " star " player. Skipping class and going to Moore's pool hall in "Colored " Town and of course the Band trips to compete with the best of the best. Also on Saturday nights going into " Colored " Town to buy liquor from the local Bootlegger, he never asked for ID, just give him the ten bucks and he was happy........
I imagine that the best time I ever had was in forming my own rock Band. It did not start out that way, I was asked if I would play drums for a group of guys starting a band. Eventually I became the leader and  " The Shades " were born. We would go on to play for Proms, Military clubs, and events around town. Now I didn't have to sneak in any of the local clubs we were Musicians. My claim to fame was promoting a Conway Tweety concert at Jones Auditorium and having Conway invite us to his home in Arkansas once we graduated. Tommy, Danny Mc, and myself packed up and took up his offer the following summer. Conway remembered us and took us in for a few days and even got us a couple of gigs while we were there.
Shortly there after my Father was transferred to Houston, my Mother quit teaching at The Ranch and the whole Family left Kingsville for good.
I will never forget growing up and living in Kingsville the best small town in Texas.
In the era of computers and e-mail, the class of "61" still keeps in touch with each other and reminisce about of our days in Kingsville, even though we may not all remember it as I do.................  

From Arturo Jacobs:
    I very much enjoyed reading Omar's story!  As I read line by line, I "drifted" back to my upbringing in Laredo, with a Mexican mother and a Lebanese/English father, who spoke Spanish as fluently and without a hint of accent, as if it had been his language of birth (it was not). How similar many of my experiences of youth to Omar's, and yet so very different!  As an adult in later years, like you, I considered myself one of the most lucky guys in the world to have been born and raised in Laredo, with Spanish as my first language. Elementary, junior-high and high school years - especially high school - were great, enjoyable years.
    In my class of 1952, and all through high school, Mexican-Americans like me made up at least 90% of my class.  Most of the "anglos" spoke Spanish.  In class, it was all English. During breaks and other non-class time, we spoke mostly Spanish with close friends.  Unlike Omar, we never had any blacks at Martin High.  I don't know how others would have reacted to blacks, had they been in school with us.  Me - I would have treated them with respect and friendship.  One of the very strongest lessons our father "preached" to my 2 brothers, sister and me again, and again, and again, since we were little kids was to treat all races as equals, and that every human being deserved to have the necessities of life.  This is what we taught our own children.
    Unlike Omar, I never had any incidents of personal discrimination in my younger days.  As you know, Laredo was controlled by "us", as you say.  Even the Raynonds, Jacamans, Richters, Jacobs (me), etc. were "coyotes", with a dominant mix of Mexican blood and and Mexican-American upbringing.  I remember, when I went to the Army, buddies from the South and East would ask if I had ever been humiliated by discrimination, and they were surprised by my negative answer.  I did have an incident of personal discrimination with my wife and her mother many years ago in some hick West-Texas town.  We were driving back to Laredo from Denver, as I recall, and we stopped for dinner at some hick restaurant.  The waitress took her time to take our order, after which other people who came in later ordered, got served, and left.  We were never served!  My mother-in-law, among the 3 of us, "looked more Mexican-American"!  We just walked out and left (my wife and her mother did not want me to raise a ruckus).
    I have to confess that I was naive and ignorant about the hellish discrimination going on in towns all around me during all my school years.  I did not become aware until years later of what Omar experienced in Kingsville and many Mexican Americans and blacks also experienced in Cotulla, Pearsall, Carrizo Springs, Dilley, etc etc - all on the other side of the railraod tracks for schools, restaurants, movie houses, etc.  Wow, we were really lucky in Laredo!
    By the way, Omar mentions the Cavazos of the King Ranch in his story.  My mother-in-law's oldest sister, Basilia Zarate, was married and lived in Brownsville, all her 101 years of life, to Amadeo Cavazos, one of the King Ranch's Cavazos brothers.  We spent much time with Tia Basilia and Tio Amadeo, during our visits to Brownsville, as our 3 kids were growing up.  Tia Basilia cooked up a wicked menudo every time we visited, in my honor.
    Unlike Omar, I was much more attracted to Mexican music - and Caribbean and Central/South-American music (like Carlos Gardel's tangos) - than American music.  In fact, 3 of us, best-of-friends, formed a "raggedy trio" and played guitars and sang - during high school and college.  Of course, we were only good enough to entertain ourselves and have "sing-alongs" with friends and family - never made, show-biz, of course!  We were interested and much enjoyed Elvis, Johnnie Rae, etc also, but the Latin influences were stronger.  Nevertheless, I now love all kinds of music (except rap).  Hearing good music is one of my greatest pleasures in life.  I have about 2,800 songs in my i-pod.
    Again, I enjoyed reading  Omar's story very much.  Thanks for sharing!

Arturo story kinda hit a nerve. His story about living in Laredo  is almost the same  as my story.  A family with a German last name, with the Mexican culture up bringing, with Spanish as our first language.  I can relate to his story on how we were raised with love , respect and proud people but humble.  My parents, my two grandmother and all mi Tios, Tias were part of our lives . Thank God that I was born and raised in Laredo, Tx.
Mas later, Walter



John W. Flores,  University of Texas, Austin, 2011 Dstinguished Alumnus Award

December 31, 2010
Some years ago, never-mind how many, I was literally a farm boy just a year out of school, high on the dreams of youth -- adventures drawn out like road maps leading to a golden world of action, mysteries, and manhood glories.

Never a studious type, and rather skinny, my high school days were mostly spent daydreaming -- going out with girls I secretly liked, or imagining beating-up bullies that I avoided in real life, or sometimes I would manage to skip out and go fishing on a clear, sunny spring day.

So when that first semester of college as a pre-med student took me down rather suddenly and mercilessly, I was just as rapidly out-of-favor at home. The Vietnam War had only been over a couple of years, so the Marines and Army for me were out of the question.

A naive kid from the Texas prairie, I thought the U.S. Coast Guard would be just the place for me -- though I couldn't swim and was afraid of deep water (but that would change quickly, painfully). The recruiter showed me pictures of Coast Guard sailors on the beach helping attractive, bikini-clad young women with various minor emergencies. Those guys in the pictures wore T-shirts, bell-bottom blue jeans, smiled broadly, wore fairly long hair, and had great tans. That was the perfect job for me.

I couldn't wait, and signed up for four years active duty just as quick as the recruiter could get the pen out of his pocket. And I went through eight weeks of boot camp at the old Training Center on Government Island in San Francisco Bay across from Alameda, California.

The days started before dawn, the running never ended, and we dropped like sacks of sand on our racks when the time came for lights out. And I managed to graduate at the top of my class of about 100 young men, so I got to choose between going to the National Honor Guard training in Washington, D.C., serving as a seaman apprentice at a radio station in Ketchikan, Alaska, or being assigned to a Coast Guard Base in New Orleans, Louisiana.

Because my uncle was a prominent doctor in New Orleans, and had been for 30-odd years at that time -- and was a bachelor who loved to party -- the choice was easy to make. Hey, I was 19 years old and ready for action at all times. Especially booze and parties and good looking women. I would find out that a young, poor sailor in the midst of my uncle's high class crowd had almost no chance of even being noticed by the debutante set of rich, beautiful, captivating, young women. The good old standard alternative would prove to always be a six pack of Dixie beer on a Saturday night, and watching a movie.

After graduating from boot camp, I flew directly to New Orleans from San Francisco, and reported for duty with high hopes of beaches, women, blue jeans and sun tans -- fun-filled days of high adventure and nights of drunken laughter and dancing in the old French Quarter.

The first thing the officer-in-charge did was hand me a mop and a bucket and said: "Flores, follow me ... you scum-bag." He gave me a grand tour of all the toilets (they're called "heads" in the military) in the large brick barracks building.

For the next several months I was part of a group called "transient company". This was made up of misfits and medical cases (most were waiting for discharge, or psychiatric evaluation). Why I got that duty was a question that I couldn't find an answer for -- and I tried everything to get transferred to someplace with action. Never mind the babes -- too much to ask for.
Why didn't I go to the Honor Guard training? I kicked myself for months while scrubbing the showers, toilets and sinks in those lonely barracks.

Finally, I was granted my wish. After almost six months swabbing decks with the bad boys of the Coast Guard, I finally got off that miserable base and went to U.S. Coast Guard Station New Canal, a three-boat lighthouse functioning primarily as a search-and-rescue unit on the massive Lake Pontchartrain, and surrounding rivers and swamps -- thousands of square miles in an area lousy with alligators, boats and heavy drinkers. I soon found out that Station New Canal was the busiest SAR station in the entire country. 

Several of the guys in upper-echelon positions at the small station were ex-Marine Corps, Army and Navy -- and had served a tour or two in Vietnam. They were happy in the Coast Guard, certain to never see the kind of crazy violence they'd been in during Vietnam. But Station New Canal sometimes made them wish they'd stayed out of the military entirely. My world was defined by that station for four years, and I learned a lot about life and the big city in that time. Not just any city, but the Crescent City -- named that because from the air the Mississippi River turns around New Orleans in the shape of a big capital "C."

Or so goes one story. There was both drama and humor -- sometimes at the same time. Like when a pilot crashed his twin-engine turboprop into the lake on approach to the municipal airport runway and several people were killed. Nothing funny about that, but a couple of days later we found out why the pilot crashed -- he and his wife were arguing and that made him lose control of the plane. Dark SAR station humor, to be sure. Nobody won that argument. And there was the local corruption -- the mobster element that was always mixed with Louisiana law enforcement to make for some colorful situations.

Like the time I paid a fellow sailor to borrow his classic Mercedes for the weekend so I could drive down to Grand Isle, about 100 miles south on the coast, to spend the weekend at the Tarpon Rodeo. On that bright summer morning, taking the helm of a fast and very cool car, I had a six pack of beer in the passenger seat and a foot made of lead. This was a bad combination, and about halfway down to Grand Isle, in the middle of the vast marshland, I was stopped in a little speed trap town of Golden Meadow.

The cop asked for a license, or a form of photo I.D., and I didn't have any. Since I knew my own identity, it seemed redundant to carry a driver's license or my military ID. The open beer in the seat next to me didn't help my case. He threw me in the slammer and said: "I never saw a sailor with enough money to get a car like that!" The sheriff there at the small jail wore diamond rings on his fingers, the first tip-off that he might be involved in some type of shady behavior. As it turned out, my uncle was the doctor for a mafia figure who spent a lot of time on Grand Isle and that person also knew the sheriff of Golden Meadow.

When I called the motel at Grand Isle to say I'd been arrested for stealing a car and wouldn't be there to meet my uncle, Dr. Flores, the girl who answered the phone hung up with me and immediately called her daddy -- the big mafia guy -- who called the sheriff. Within a few minutes, I was on the road again. I found out how South Louisiana worked -- the hard way. There are too many stories to tell in the space of a small column, but it is good to remember those days even for a little while.

The Station New Canal was created in the early 19th Century, and withstood many hurricanes over the decades, and finally in the late 1990s, it was boarded up and the light turned off -- for the first time. The U.S. government sold it, and built a much larger station a couple of miles to the west -- still the busiest SAR station in the country.

I drove to the old station a few years ago before Katrina totally destroyed it, just to stop by and see it, surprised that it had been closed, and sitting there I could almost hear my old chief cursing at me -- as he always did. I looked around and it was only the lake's endless wind, roaring in anger that time had stolen the last light of New Canal. 

Email this page to friendsRSS feed © 2010 John Flores. All opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily reflect those of 
Albuquerque, NM

From "
John W. Flores (March 28, 1958 - ) was born in Dallas, Texas and grew up on a family farm near Fort Worth. He is a Pulitzer Prize-nominated American journalist, biographer and short-story writer, and a recipient of the U.S. Navy Meritorious Public Service Award, signed by Marine Corps Commandant James T. Conway. He was named as recipient of a Texas Senate Resolution (SR 168) for his years of research and writing as a journalist for Texas daily newspapers, and New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson honored him with two citations for his work as a writer in New Mexico. He received a national award for writing from the U.S. Department of Veterans Services in September 2010. In October 2010 he received the Louisiana Veterans Honor Medal from Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Lane Carson. In 1997 his work for a Texas newspaper won two Associated Press Managing Editors first place awards.

He graduated from Alvarado High School May 28, 1976 and enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard for four years active duty as a search-and-rescue crewman based out of Naval Air Station New Orleans (Group New Orleans). It was during this early period of his life that Flores began writing, as a contributor to the Base New Orleans newspaper. Upon completion of active duty, Flores attended the University of Texas at Austin where he acted as press aide to U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen, and as a staff writer for Texas General Land Office Commissioner Garry Mauro, working in the Land Management Division. He would later work for several Texas newspapers, including the Killeen Daily Herald, Corpus Christi Caller-Times, The Monitor (McAllen), and The Dallas Morning News. In New Mexico he worked for the Albuquerque Journal, where he received his first journalism award in 2001. The same year, he was hired by South Texas oilman Lucien Flournoy, based in Alice, Texas, to write his memoirs. 

Flores and his wife, Rowena, spent more than a year with Mr. Flournoy while completing the manuscript. Flores interviewed President Jimmy Carter, former Houston Mayor Bill White, and many other notable people, for the book, titled: "Flournoy: A Legendary Wildcatter".

The first book Flores published was "When The River Dreams: The Life of Marine Sgt. Freddy Gonzalez", in fall 2006. This work led to several awards including a Texas Senate resolution (SR 168) in summer 2006, sponsored by Senator Juan
Hinojosa, D-Mission, and signed by Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst; the U.S. Navy Meritorious Public Service Award, signed and delivered by Marine Corps Commandant James T. Conway in an Aug. 2009 ceremony held by the commanding officer of the 4th Recon Battalion in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Flores was also presented a citation by Governor Bill Richardson, in September 2010, for placing  second nationally in a writing contest held by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. 

In summer 2009, he was honored by Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chavez for his work, and Chavez designated June 29, 2009 as "John Flores Day in Albuquerque" in his mayoral proclamation. In October 2010 Flores was presented the Louisiana Veterans Honor Medal for his service in the U.S. Coast Guard.

A new edition of the Freddy Gonzalez story, titled "Fields of Honor", is expected to be published by Texas Tech University Press in 2011. Flores was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in fall 1996 for a series of articles written for the Corsicana Daily Sun. His series resulted in several first place awards from the Associated Press Managing Editors (APME), in 1997, including the  Community Service Award. He interviewed then-Governor George W. Bush for one of the stories. He was voted by the National Press Club board of governors as a new member in 2010 for his work as a writer.

A recent November email from John shares another honor:  

"Not long ago I was nominated by the Texas Exes, the alumni association at my old alma mater, U.T. Austin, for the "distinguished alumnus award 2011". This is for my work over the years as a writer and political work as well that has come about as a result of my work. This is after years of struggling as a writer! Living practically in a tent, low wages, long hours. Maybe that's why I closely identify with Cesar Chavez and always have. Also, I have a facebook account and it has info and photos on it. This is "Johnboy Flores". Also, Google has a lot of info and bio stuff.  I love reading Somos Primos. Keep up the great work. Hope you had a happy New Year!

John Flores  
Albuquerque, NM



What Exactly is a Pocho? by Victor Landa


Pocho used to be defined by what it wasn’t. But that was a long time ago. I bring it up as an answer to a question posed by one of our readers, and also to clear some confusion about who pochos are and what their place is in the vast Latino community. We’ve written about this before, but it’s a question that has no easy answer.

It’s complicated.

Pocho, by my reckoning, used to be one thing but now it’s another. To be a pocho used to mean that you weren’t a legitimate Latino – and I use the word Latino in a very broad sense (I understand the whole Latinos-don’t-speak-Latin thing, but I use the term for a more utilitarian reason: it suits my purpose).

I first heard the word when I was in the fourth grade. My family had moved from Laredo, Texas to Nuevo Laredo, Mexico and I had gone from third grade in an American public school to the fourth grade in an all-boy Mexican private school.

I stood out because I was different.

I didn’t talk like the Mexican kids, I carried myself differently, I didn’t say some things the way they did. I was a pocho because I wasn’t a “real” Mexican; I was from the “other side” and not to be trusted. The word was hurled at me as an accusation and a taunt.

I was as much of a hot-head as a fourth grader could be, so I answered the taunts with swinging fists.

I got my butt kicked very soundly the first time, and most of the many other times as well. My problem was that I kept getting up; bruised and battered I kept getting up. It was a yard in a boy’s school and those were the rules. Staying down would have marked me forever.

I spent most of that year in after school detention. So I hated the word.

By the end of fourth grade the fights had stopped. The aggressors just got tired, I think. Either that or they realized how futile it was to teach a lesson to a dumb pocho who didn’t know his place.

When I left the school 5 years later I had great friends and wonderful memories, but I still hated the word. Something inside me recoiled every time I heard it.

For many Mexican-Americans of a certain age the word “pocho” is loaded with blatant condescension. It meant you were not good enough and you would never be. It meant that you were one of those Latinos who didn’t speak good Spanish; you were “agringado.” But it also meant that you were not a legitimate American either. You weren’t allowed to speak Spanish at school, your name was changed to Joe or Mary, and you understood that you were not like the rest.

To the gingos you were a Mexican, to the Mexicans you were a pocho. You were defined by what you weren’t.

Fast forward 40 years, through civil rights battles and economic hardships.

My grandfather was appointed to a special board in the early 1960’s that oversaw the expenditures of a multi million dollar bond for San Antonio schools. He wanted a library built at Storm elementary, deep in the Latino west side of the city. But the plan all along was to spend the money only on the affluent north side schools – my grandfather was out numbered and out gunned, so he resigned in protest.

My mother was a Junior LULAC-er and on a summer day she and her friends took a rip to New Braunfels, Texas, just north of San Antonio, to spend the day at Landa Park (incredible irony that she would one day marry a man by that name). But they were refused entrance because they were Mexican.

My grandfather became a successful business man and my mother graduated from college with a degree in nursing at a time when it was rare for a Latina to go to college.

Those are pocho stories. But so is this:

Not too long ago I heard a young Latina refer to herself as a pocha with a sense of pride that I had never associated with the word. And it astounded me. It made perfect sense. The decades of lucha had changed the definition of what we weren’t.

The dreams and goals of all those people of all those generations-on the battlefields, in the workplaces, in the courts and protest lines-have finally begun to be realized. Pocho kids now graduate from Ivy League schools, and get elected to public office. They teach in colleges and universities, run successful businesses and raise good families. Pochos contribute to their society and have a definite sense of who they are, regardless of what people south of the border think and regardless of what those north of it don’t understand.

What I heard in the voice of that young Latina was the result of generations of pochos that kept getting up and moving forward. Recent Latino arrivals to the U.S. would not understand, and we can’t blame them for that. How can they know if no one has told them?

A pocho is Latino and American, a person who is at once both and neither, who can choose to speak English or Spanish or none of the above and refuse to be belittled by the choice. But here’s the greatest source of pride: a pocho is the end of a long journey, and also the promise of the journey to come.

What is a pocho? Yo soy pocho, ¿y qué?

Follow Victor Landa on Twitter: @vlanda
[Photo by .Mahadeva]


Periódicos en Español—Hispanic American Newspapers Online
Maria Embry shares strategies for researching in Ellis Island records
16 Ways to Leave a Legacy by Sharon DeBartolo Carmack 
Family Tree Magazine 10 Electronic Newsletter Ideas 11 November 2011 Update 

Periódicos en Español—Hispanic American Newspapers Online
GenealogyBank has the largest collection of Hispanic American newspapers to explore Latino family ancestry online. Our extensive Hispanic American collection currently contains over 360 newspaper titles. This is an essential newspaper archive for genealogists, supplementing the other newspapers on our genealogy website and helping to make it one of the most comprehensive resources for Hispanic genealogical research online. 

Maria Embry shares strategies for researching in Ellis Island records
Maria is a Filipino researcher, whose interest has exapanded. 
1st visit:  then, open a free account for your convenience then do this (Short cut tips) visit: will display these selections:
Which Ellis Island Search Form Should I use?
Overview of the various forms presented here
Ellis Island Database (Preferred Form)
Searching the Ellis Island Database in One Step -- gold form
Ellis Island Database (Original Form)
Searching the Ellis Island Database in One Step -- white form
Missing Manifests
Direct Access to Ellis Island Manifest in One Step
(I selected #2 the gold form) I ignored all fields, except ethnicity, select Mexican, then press the search button be patient, screen is sometimes slow, but this will bring you automatically to the official Ellis Island website ( )
Mexican ehtnicity will give you 35,855 names (some names are incomplete) choosing "scanned manifest" button will show the image & give you much more info not given @ passenger record or text manifest; you will also find errors in transcription 
1st 50 out of the 35,855 names (1892 to 1924 arrivals @ Ellis Island)





 Ship image
, Beatrice de Regil
, C.Baker de Regil
, Emilie M.
New York
, Fran
Troy, N.Y.
, Jose Ferrer Molina
, Nurse to Strube
, Servant
(De Dominicis), Achille
(De Dominicis), Elena
(De Dominicis), Luigi
(Edme) Klerian, Eugene
Mexico, Mexico
(T. Widow) Garza, Francisca
Linares, Mexico
... de Blanco, Roguel
Veracruz, Mexico
... la Pena, Ernesto
...abago, Thomas
...abolla, Jose
Mexico, Mexico
17, Roberto
Mexico City, Mexico
...apdevielle, Henry R.
New York
...areno, Rudolf
...aret, David
...arino, Adolpho
22 Canton, Ana
Merida, Mexico
23 Canton, Maria J.
Merida, Mexico
...des, Jose
New York
...dio, Angel
Monterrey, Mexico
...don, Esther
Paris, France
...ents, Marcilina
28, Jose
Pt... Mexico, Mexico
...f..., Marie
...fy, Manuel
Mexico, Mexico
...ixas, ...ancesa
Havana, Cuba
...laga, Fore
Giersen, Germany
...laga, Rolle...
London, England
...lety, Aida
Barcelona, Barcelona
...lety, Teresa
Barcelona, Barcelona
...mas, Silbito Ev...nation
...ndez, Gaudensia
Mexico City, Mexico
...Ocadio, Reyes
...on, Albert
Paris, France
...on, Marcelle
Paris, France
...ordoba, Gustavo
...orman, Elena L.
New York, N. Y.
...orno, Jesus
...oynes, W. T.
...pardo, Jose Tarfar
...rdinault, Frank
...rravan, Mrs V
...s, Angela
Barcelona, Barcelona
...ssunor, Eurigue
...uza, Alphonsa
the next 50
.vas, Francis 21 1899 1920 view view view view view 52 ...y, Juan Mexico, Mexico 25 1891 1916 view view view view view 53 ...zaez, Ser..ino 38 1886 1924 view view view view view 54 ...zema, Victor 34 1885 1919 view view view view view 55 .igo, Luis 34 1886 1920 view view view view view 56 A de Diaz, Rosa Mexico 18 1899 1917 view view view view view 57 A de Garay, Agustina Mexico 37 1874 1911 view view view view view 58 A. de Arriola, Virginia Guadalajara, Mexico 50 1871 1921 view view view view view 59 A. De Azpilcueta, Maria Vera Cruz, Mexico 55 1863 1918 view view view view view 60 A. Encinas, Francisco Mexico, Mexico 37 1886 1923 view view view view view 61 A. Perez, Trinidad Tulanino, Mexico 56 1868 1924 view view view view view 62 A..., Pol... London, England 16 1898 1914 view view view view view 63 A..., Ra... Mexico City 0 1903 1903 view view view view view 64 A...dano, Genoro 23 1897 1920 view view view view view 65 A...ellsno, Edwardo 29 1892 1921 view view view view view 66 Abad, Damian Tampico, Mexico 19 1901 1920 view view view view view 67 Abad, Felicia Barcelona, Spain 46 1874 1920 view view view view view 68 Abadi, Mauricio Caracas, Venezuela 35 1888 1923 view view view view view 69 Abandono, Gerero V. 23 1896 1919 view view view view view 70 Abannza, America Vera Cruz, Mexico 20 1893 1913 view view view view view 71 Abannza, Domingo Vera Cruz, Mexico 73 1840 1913 view view view view view 72 Abannza, Margareta Vera Cruz, Mexico 22 1891 1913 view view view view view 73 Abarca, Aorora Paris, France 36 1872 1908 view view view view view 74 Abarca, Vicente Paris, France 40 1868 1908 view view view view view 75 Abarca, Vicente G. Mexico 40 1867 1907 view view view view view 76 Abarea, Aurora Mexico 24 1883 1907 view view view view view 77 Abarea, Mrs P. Camitan, Chiapas 28 1877 1905 view view view view view 78 Abarea, Pedro Camitan, Chiapas 40 1865 1905 view view view view view 79 Abaroa, Enrique Puebla, Mexico 22 1900 1922 view view view view view 80 Abaroa, Humberto Puebla, Mexico 21 1902 1923 view view view view view 81 Abascal, Agustin Cordoba, Mexico 24 1889 1913 view view view view view 82 Abascal, Emilio Pueblo, Mexico 19 1904 1923 view view view view view 83 Abascal, Rosa B. New York, New York 19 1905 1924 view view view view view 84 Abascal, Soledad Mexico City, Mexico 60 1854 1914 view view view view view 85 Abaseal, Alfredo 29 1866 1895 view view view view view 86 Abaseal, Delfina 26 1869 1895 view view view view view 87 Abaunza, America Vera Cruz, Mexico 17 1895 1912 view view view view view 88 Abaunza, Domingo Vera Cruz, Mexico 33 1880 1913 view view view view view 89 Abaunza, Domingo Vera Cruz, Mexico 72 1840 1912 view view view view view 90 Abaunza, Domingo New Orleans, U.S.A. 39 1880 1919 view view view view view 91 Abaunza, Domingo Vera Cruz, Mexico 43 1880 1923 view view view view view 92 Abaunza, Dominguez Vera Cruz, Mexico 43 1880 1923 view view view view view 93 Abaunza, Francisco Vera Cruz, Mexico 23 1889 1912 view view view view view 94 Abaunza, Manuel Vera Cruz, Mexico 27 1885 1912 view view view view view 95 Abaunza, Margarita Vera Cruz, Mexico 19 1893 1912 view view view view view 96 Abaunza, Winifred New Orleans, U.S.A. 26 1893 1919 view view view view view 97 Abbadie, Eugene 30 1865 1895 view view view view view 98 Abbadie, Francoise 26 1869 1895 view view view view view 99 Abbadie, Henriette 22 1873 1895 view view view view view 100 Abbadie, Marie 19 1876 1895 view view view view
Example of doing a research:  select # 58 A. de Arriola, Virginia, then click "scanned manifest" button when you get to the image choose the magnifier button to make it readable.  not much info on this particular page but now we know that Virginia was passenger #20, so go back & choose previous page which shows also husband (?)- passenger #19 to be lawyer Juvencio Arriola, nationality Mexico (but be careful on these notation since the records is a "ditto; do" of previous passenger, some data are incorrect, some are better than others because it would show birthplace, dates, occupation, names of relatives, etc)
now, if you want to post annotation for this particular person, hit the annotation button additional tips when you are @ Ellis Island official website additional search tools will bring you to same short cut page, but best to keep this website handy:  getting familiar w/ both websites will speed up your research not easy for me now as I have not done these for the last few years.  Also you could check the database by ship names.  good luck!!!

I really would like to encourage people to work on the Ellis Island database because of all the projects that the Ellis Foundation are doing. The Ellis Foundation provides a free website for those volunteering their research.  I invite you to go to my website at  

Many other ethnicities are listed, such as: 
Brazilian Passenger records 22092
Colombian Passenger records 24428
Ecuadoran Passenger records 5436
Guatemalan Passenger records 2384 & many others.




16 Ways to Leave a Legacy 
By Sharon DeBartolo Carmack 

Pass down your family history with one of these 16 legacy projects. You've spent years digging up data and stories to breathe life into the grandparents and great-grandparents who've made your existence — and your children's — possible. But what are you doing to ensure your family's legacy will be around after you're gone?

Here's something else to ponder: What if a long-ago relative started climbing your family tree, but all his efforts got pitched because he didn't take measures to ensure his opus would outlast him? 

What are you doing to ensure your family history treasures survive you? Here are 16 ways to leave a legacy.
Don't let your family's story fade away: The tools in our Ultimate Genealogy Keepsakes Collection, available only in November, will help you make sure your family's legacy is passed on to future generations. See what's included at 

1. Start scrapbooking. Only your imagination limits the scrapbooks you can create. There's the standard heritage album, but also consider these five themes:

• Family reunion scrapbooks 

• School scrapbooks with yearbook pages and include memorabilia .

• Cemetery scrapbooks with grave marker photos, plus death certificates and obituaries.

• Immigration and migration scrapbooks with maps, passenger lists, passports and naturalization records.

• House scrapbooks with deeds, pictures and information on the people who lived in each house.

2. Assemble an album. Photo albums are a natural legacy project. Just be sure to identify the photos with names, dates and places. 

3. Transcribe diaries and letters. Are you one of the lucky genealogists who's inherited an ancestor's diary or letters? Not only do you need to think about preserving them for the future, but you also should consider ways to make them accessible to other family members. 

4. Put your family history into words. Try one of these projects:

• Family history book 

• Essays: Compile a collection of essays on topics such as your own experiences or memories of relatives.

• Articles: Genealogical society journals and newsletters are good places to publish your research results or tell other researchers about a brick wall you've conquered.

• Letters: Whether you mail them or not, compose letters to the youngest members of your family to tell them what life was like when you were growing up. 

5. Tombstone rubbings. Your descendants will find rubbings of their ancestors' headstones more intriguing than photos. But remember, if the headstone is cracked or seems unstable, don't attempt to make a rubbing. And always ask the cemetery superintendent or caretaker if rubbings are allowed. 

6. Know your needlework heirlooms. If you've inherited a family tree sampler, make sure you're displaying it in archival materials away from sunlight, or storing it in acid-free materials. You also can create your own family tree sampler or quilt using patterns from your local craft store.

7. Write your life story. Let your descendants know all about you with one of these projects:
• Journal or diary 

• Research journal: Keep track of your searches and the results, but also report your joys, frustrations and feelings about the search for your ancestors. 

• Memoir or autobiography: A memoir focuses on one aspect or part of your life, such as your college years, the 1970s or your military service. An autobiography details your whole life.

8. Get 'em talking on tape. Never leave for a family reunion or relative's house without a tape recorder or video camera. You don't have to plan a formal session. Impromptu talks work just as well.

9. Inventory ancestral artifacts. Now's a good time to create an inventory of your family artifacts, even those in your relatives' possession. Photograph each item and record the following information:

• how the item came into the possession of its current owner
• the owner's name and address
• a description of the item
• family stories associated with it
• the date it was made or acquired
• its provenance—that is, the heirloom's history

10. Display family photos. As you collect photos of your ancestors, frame their faces for a family tree wall display. 

11. Electrify your research. Digitally preserving your family history is an easy way to share it with family members who live near and far. Compile scanned photographs and documents along with family stories, and create a family Web site or make a CD-ROM scrapbook. 

12. Feast on family food heritage. Gather family recipes to create a book, CD or Web site for your kin who like to cook. Along with each recipe, include a photo of the dish and the cook who's most famous for it

13. Create a family newsletter. Do you send an annual holiday letter summarizing your kids' and spouse's activities for the past year? File each one with your family history research, or keep a notebook of letters that you've written and received from others. 

14. Save the dates. Buy a special calendar to record ancestral events, such as births, marriages and deaths. 

15. Rerun yesterday's news. Create your own family newspaper—The Thompson Gazette, The Wilson Observer, The O'Reilly Times—and fill it with clippings you've found about your ancestors, including obituaries, news articles, marriage and birth announcements. Publish you paper annually as a holiday tradition.

16. Give the gift of well-being. By writing a family health history, you can help your loved ones stay well while sharing genealogical facts. 


10 Electronic Newsletter Ideas 

Need inspiration for creating a family e-newsletter? Try these 10 tips. Family Reunions
Do you remember any family reunions from your childhood? I can recall long tables loaded with pies and covered dishes, and someone appointed to shoo away the flies. Writing about a long-ago family reunion will probably inspire someone in your family to start planning a future one. 

I love asking my aunts about their parents and grandparents, and every time I get off the phone I jot down my notes in my genealogy software. My aunts remember things that happened long before my birth and I cherish their memories. Aunt Lu's story of her grandmother making ambrosia salad and leaving it on the screened-in back porch in winter paints a picture of a woman I never knew. 

Black Sheep Ancestors
We all have one—the horse thief, Army deserter or no-account scoundrel. Instead of hiding them, write a profile about that ancestor and all the facts and rumors you've ever heard. 

When We Were Kids
Ask your oldest relatives to write about their childhoods—their memories will show your children a society they probably can't even imagine. 

Poetry Nook
Save space in your newsletter for budding poets and writers. It doesn't matter if the poem or essay isn't about genealogy or the family—it's a way to honor their talents. Imagine how wonderful it will be twenty or thirty years from now to go back and read their words. 

World War II Memories
Whenever my mom visits my brother Mark, he asks her to tell him stories about World War II—what it was like on an everyday basis, what it was like for Dad to leave his family and go to war, or how ration books worked. We baby boomers want to know more about life during World War II, so start interviewing those who experienced it. 

Guess Who?
If your newsletter is formatted to include photos, add several baby pictures and have a contest to see who can correctly identify all the photos. 

Slice of Life
My dad loved butter and radish sandwiches. It's something about him that I'll always remember. I wish I knew quirks like that about all my relatives. Your older relatives may know little "slice of life" tidbits about your ancestors—write them up and make them a part of your family's written history. 

Newly Found Cousins
Your electronic newsletter is the place to note the names and e-mails of cousins you meet on the Internet. It's amazing how many distant family members are online—and even more amazing that we're meeting so many of them. 

Family Web Pages
If several of your family members have Web sites, highlight one in each issue. Describe what their site contains, such as photos, a family tree, historical accounts or Civil War regimental information. This might encourage other family members to publish their own Web pages. 

Learn ways to share photos with family and friends in our webinar download Photo-Sharing 101: Learn How to Organize, Archive and Share Family Memories, available from  11 November 2011  Update 
Collection Records Images Comments
Chile, Santiago, Cementerio General, 1821–2006 0 65,853 New browsable image collection.
Colombia, Catholic Church Records, 1600–2008 0 9,710 Added