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"If all economists are laid end to end, they would not reach a conclusion." 
George Bernard Shaw

Somos Primos

146th Online Issue

Editor: Mimi Lozano ©2000-2012

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

The Real Reason the Mayan Calendar Never Got Finished
by Sergio Hernandez

Apocalypse Not Now
Click Real Mayan Apocalypse May Have Been Their Own Fault
The Mayan Calendar 2012 A New Beginning   
Mexico Plans Fun Times For the End of the World

Society of Hispanic Historical and
Ancestral Research   

P.O. 49, 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


"To remain silent when they should protest makes cowards of men."  Thomas Jefferson

Letters to the Editor

It is with great pleasure that I am letting you know that the Bernardo De Galvez Institute between Texas A&M University-San Antonio and the University of Malaga was signed on November 21,2011 at Malaga University. The Institute will be located on the campus of Texas A&M University-San Antonio.I was present for the signing. The first group of students arriving from San Antonio to Malaga will be arriving in May. What a great happening for our students and for our city.

In service of the Daughters of the American Revolution
Sylvia Carvajal Sutton
Spanish Task Force
Washington D. C.
San Antonio de Bexar Chapter
San Antonio,Texas

"Now about your website, you have created an awesome website along with many other websites included to yours.
The work you do sending them out yearly to all your subscribers with full of knowledge, education, history, including ancestors names along with there lands, plus lots of genealogy. How great is that!

I want you to know mimi & all your staff members whom works so hard with you. That you guys do a great job & always bring me smiles, to see your email ( ) in my box knowing I'm gonna get the full stories of knowledge & history. Always looking forward to your email.  
I want to thank you for all the hard work you do & put together to share with us.
I'm a very proud fan & subscriber of your. Adios.

Gracias por todo lo que haces Mimi
(Rosemary)---> Rosa Garcia Ordonez" 

"Thank you for your dedication to the honor, dignity and respect given to our ancestors.  Let their stories be told."
 Sincerely, Blanca Villalpando"

"I can not tell you how much I have enjoyed your online publications and much to my chagrin I accidentally deleted the last issue.  
The you service you have provided has been instrumental in my search for my family. Would it be too much to ask you to resend the latest issue  of Somosprimos?

Thank you! so much for considering this request.
Nancy L. Adamson"

"Dear Ms Lozano:  Thank you  for the holiday solicitation  and for you, Feliz
Navidad  y  felicidad en el ano 2012.  Keep your excellent message coming..

Ruben in Victoria TX"


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

Contributor to issue
Nancy L. Adamson  
Roy A. Archuleta
Dan Arellano
José Bacedoni
Francisco Barragan
Mercy Bautista-Olvera
Al Bermudez

Juana Bordas
Eddie AAA Calderon, Ph.D
Roberto R. Calderon, Ph.D.
Sara Ines Calderon
Bill Carmena
Rich Carroll
Sylvia Ann Carvajal Sutton
Gus Chavez
Tracie Cone
Sal DelValle
Maria Elizabeth Del Valle Embry 
Felipe De Ortego y Gasca
Maria Embry
Jose Antonio Esquibel
Jim Estrada
Carlos Ericksen-Mendoza
Ernesto Euribe
Jaimee Lynn Fletcher
Gerald Frost
James E. Garcia,
Rosa Garcia Ordonez 
Wanda Garcia
Claudia Gómez
Ron Gonzales

Sylvia Gonzalez-Hohenshelt 
Odell Harwell
Walter Herbeck
Manuel Manuel Hernandez-Carmona
Aury Lor Holtzman, M.D. 
John Inclan
Galal Kernahan
José Antonio López 
Francisco L. Lovato 
Mario Loyola 
Jan Mallet 
Juan Marinez 
Leroy Martinez
Paul Nauta
Roland Nuñez Salazar 
Rafael Ojeda
Elmer A. Ordonez
Ricardo Raúl Palmerín Cordero 
Anita Paul 
Richard Perry 
Alonso S. Perales
Christopher Perez 
Rueben M. Perez 

Ángel Custodio Rebollo
Jose Leon Robles de la Torre
Armando Rendon
Donna Roman Hernandez 
Ben Romero
Ruben Rosario
Tony Santiago 
Richard G. Santos 
Sister Mary Sevilla, CSJ, Ph.D. Antonio Saenz
Tom Saenz
Samuel Saenz
Michael A. Salinas
Joe Sanchez 
Elliot Spagat
Deniz Sonmez-Alpan
David Stabler
Robert Torres 
Ernesto Uribe
Dr Albert V. Vela 
Blanca Villalpando
Diana West 
Kirk Whisler
Lindsay Wise


Growth of Online Magazines Targeting Hispanic/Latino Readers       
     Christmas Lights
     Growth of Online Magazines Targeting Hispanic/Latino Readers
     DFW International
     Latino Journal
     Latin Connection
     Only 2 Hispanics Have Won in 33 Years of Kennedy Center Honors
Are Hispanics the First to Fight, Last to Be Promoted?
Hispanics Breaking Barriers
Dr. Dorina Alaniz-Thomas, Wise Latina
Catherine Sandoval, J.D., First Latina on California Public Utilities Commission
Alfredo Quinones portrait by Christopher Perez
The Foreign-Born With Science and Engineering Degrees
Quick Facts
Government Accountability Office
Hispanics Contribute to Increasing Diversity in Rural America
Mayan Calendar
6 Suggestions for Living Next Year
Extra news tidbits

Growth of Online Magazines Targeting Hispanic/Latino Readers
by Editor, Mimi

January 2012 is the beginning of Somos Primos 13th year online, as a monthly magazine.  After ten years as a print quarterly, on January 2000 the first online issue of was uploaded.  At that time there were very few websites dedicated to Hispanic/Latino issues, and none that I found, specifically on heritage and history.  Those online were primarily current happenings, and editorials on those events. 

Ahead of the movement in California, were brothers Patrick and Sal Osio who in 1997 started generating and publishing original editorial content and relevant information focused on issues of concern to the U.S. Hispanic/Latino population. .  

At about the same time that Somos Primos went online, Abelardo de la Pena started  In the beginning, LatinoLA's outreach was to post a calendar of LA activities, but gradually developed as forum of ideas, opinions and creativity that celebrates Latino and Latina voices, lives and souls.

Somos Primos has maintained a focus on heritage and history, with a global perspective on the contributions, presence, and on-going influence of those with Spanish ancestry, culture, and lineage.  Most exciting is to see the growing activism to protect, restore, and dramatically respect and acknowledge that presence. one of the oldest news publications targeting Latinos, was started by reporter Charlie Erickson more than 30 years ago,  It is now still distributed as a print weekly, but  also distributes as an online edition.  We are seeing many print magazines and newsletters including online editions, along with their published edition, giving readers a choice in receiving their news, either way, or both deliveries.  Charlie has received well-deserved recognition by many national organizations.  To read more about his dedication and continued effort to give visibility to the Latino presence, please got to: 

Blog sites are really opening the doors for individual expression. Memorias y Memories. My dear friend, Viola Rodriguez Sadler was way ahead of the curve.  She was the first person that I even heard use the term.  Her Blog is a delightful collection of memories past and present, an example of how all of us can share our past to benefit the present.   

Somos en escrito,  Armando Rendon, author of Chicano Manifesto started a blog a few years ago to encourage literary expression.   Somos en escrito, a Latino literary online magazine, invites American writers of Chicano, Mexican, Puerto Rican, Cuban and other Hispanic origin to submit manuscripts to .  His site has attracted involvement by published authors, as well as encouraged new writers. He is running a novel in serial form, Lipstick con Chorizo by Tommy Villalobos.

Below are just a very few examples of newsletters in different formats.  There are literally hundreds now with different missions.   Most have a specific target readership, such as:  in support of a site (i.e. Pio Pico House), a heritage organization (i.e. Los Californianos) a cause (i.e. El Soldado statute), a service group (i.e. LULAC), a think tank (i.e. Latino Policy), an agency (i.e. National Trust for Historic Preservation).  

Last year, I started receiving the new Latino Point of View, a blog with a nice banner. Editor Jimmy Franco Sr. "A Latino Point of View in Today's World" focuses on :  Anti-War/  Education/  Immigration/  Politics/  Social Issues/ and  The Arts. .  

DFW International has a broad, inclusive selection of articles, Latino activities, plus other cultural group happenings.

Recently Kirk organized and directed the very important  Jose Martin newspaper competition of  newspapers and magazines serving local Latino local communities. 
Latino Print Network represents more than 625 newspapers in the United States, with a combined circulation of 19 million plus. 

Latino Print Network is the oldest & largest Hispanic owned one stop advertising buy agency.

Kirk Whisler
Executive Editor
760-434-1223  distributes a helpful,  informative online newsletter, Marketing 101

Kirk includes a variety of  media related subjects, such as reviews of books and authors.



There are many newsletters now being distributed with a specific focus, such as  TEJANOS2010,  managed and subtained by Elsa Mendez Peña and Walter Centeno Herbeck Jr. 
whose purpose is to share Tejano information in genealogy, historical, cultural, arts, music, entertainment and other Tejano issues.
This is an interesting collaboration.  Go to this website and you can link to other online magazines focusing on Hispanic/Latino issues.

December 5th included issues from the following:
Vida de Oro, Revista Caminos, Latino Lubbock Magazine, Matraca 93, Edicion Digital, and The Journal on Latino Americans 
Adrian Perez, CEO
POP-9 Communications
(916) 550-0516
HispanicTips Latino News Summary 

This is like at least three newsletters rolled into one. 
It is very simply organized, with links to articles within each category. These are the categories: 
Cultura Essentials: Entertainment & Musica, Food, Additional Cultural News 
Business Essentials : Additional Business News 
Politics & Election 2012 
Health & Education, 
Additional News 
More Info: Clicks=Tips! Explained, How to Use This Summary, Other Ways to Help, About HispanicTips 


Adrian is also editor of  the Latino Journal below: 

Public policy and government from a Latino perspective

The Latino Journal
  Supports The American GI Forum of California
Latino Journal
1017 L Street, PMB 306
Sacramento, CA 95814
Ph:  916.752.4386
Fax:  480.287.9833  

I must confess that one of my very favorite newsletters,  is the fairly new  It is a little zany, light, with an underlying sense of humor, but carries a series cross-section of timely and important news. provides daily innovative and insightful news, critique, analysis and opinion from a Latino perspective in a 24-hour world.  The Editor invites us to Facebook or Twitter @TheNewsTaco.

Happily, it turns out that Editor Sara Ines Calderon is a cousin.  Being a Tejana too, I should not have been surprised. Sara's aunt, Rosa Farias Parachou, is my second cousin.  Two years ago, Rosa brought some home made chorizo burritos to the NCLR conference in San Antonio, still warm, for me to enjoy.  What a treat!!

Sara is a Stanford graduate, a professional reporter.  Her father is Roberto Calderon, Ph.D., Associate Professor at University of North Texas. Be sure and read this article on the Texas redistricting and what it will/can mean in the future:

Sara's comment on the article below: : "This year’s honorees include three whites, one Asian American and one African American. All are immensely worthy of the honor. Their lives and careers are testaments to how artists can enrich a nation’s soul. However, when the awards presentation is televised nationwide later in the year, Latinos tuning in will see no brown faces among those being honored, for the eighth year in a row."  

Only 2 Hispanics Have Won
In 33 Years of Kennedy Center Honors

Dec. 7, 2011
David Stabler 

The Kennedy Center Honors just announced this year's honorees: singers Barbara Cook and Neil Diamond, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, saxophonist Sonny Rollins and actress Meryl Streep. But in the awards' 33-year-history, only two of 165 recipients have been Hispanic, according to Felix Sanchez, on Huffington Post. They are Placido Domingo in 2000 and Chita Rivera in 2002.

Sanchez points out performers who have been overlooked, several of them now dead:
"During those 31 years, Latino artists, who are now deceased, like: Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, Ricardo Montalban, Raul Julia, Anthony Quinn, Fernando Llamas and Rita Hayworth were more than worthy recipients of this American Arts Award. Presently, Latino artists deserving of this national acknowledgement by the President and the nation's leaders include: Rita Moreno, Joan Baez, Carlos Santana, Gloria Estefan or Ruben Blades."
Sanchez continues: 
"This year marks the 50th anniversary of the film West Side Story. Rita Moreno, who turned 80 this year, won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in that film; Ms. Moreno is also a former Tony and Emmy award winner. Ms. Moreno is just one example of how easy it would have been to include a Latino honoree, had the executive producer wanted to honor her."
Source: (c) 2011 The Oregonian (Portland, Ore.)  Via



The report below was published in the Armed Forces JOURNAL International twenty years ago, in 1991.  The author, Ernesto Uribe was serving as the Executive Director of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute in Washington.  Ernesto was a graduate of the National War College, class of '81 with consequently an interest in the military.  

He wrote the article within his capacity of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.  The article attracted considerable attention at the Pentagon.  Ernesto was asked to brief several committees of an office of personnel in the Pentagon.  He was also asked to speak at Fort Bragg.

The article explained that at time less than 1% of Hispanic Officers attained the rank of Colonel (full bird) and how Hispanic officers were never selected to attend the advancement schools such as the National War College, Command and General Staff, and other schools for Army, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard mid-career officer that lead to advancement to flag rank.  The report did result in a growing number of Hispanic generals in our armed forces.  Policy changes were made, at some level, but no compiled data has been collected to reveal to what level of equity and impartiality has been achieved by Latinos in the military.

Twenty years ago Ernesto wrote: "The time has come for Hispanics to shift from medals on the chest to a rank on the shoulder."

Anyone interested in writing a paper, an article, a thesis?  Please contact me . .


Second Volume, 5thissue

By Mercy Bautista-Olvera  

The 5th 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.

Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa: 
Chief Judge of the Southern District of Texas    
Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers:
  Federal Judge, Northern California  
Catherine Cortez-Masto:  
Attorney General, Nevada
Judge Nelva Gonzales-Ramos:  Judge, Southern District of Texas  
Luis Fraga:
  President’s Advisory Commission member, Educational Excellence  


Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa

Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa is the Chief Judge of the Southern District of Texas.        

Ricardo H. Hinojosa was born in Rio Grande City , Texas . He is of Mexican descent.

In 1972, Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with honors from the University of Texas at Austin in Texas . In 1975, he earned a law degree from Harvard Law School .  

From 1976 to 1983, Hinojosa served as an attorney with the Ewers and Toothaker law firm in McAllen , Texas , and was a partner. He served as member of the Pan American University Board of Regents.     


In 1983, former President Reagan appointed Hinojosa to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas; where he served as Chief Judge. He was also an adjunct professor at the University of Texas School of Law.  

In 1986, Judge Hinojosa received the Distinguished Service Award from the Pan American University Alumni Association. In 2001, Judge Hinojosa received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Texas Ex-Students ’ Association.   

Since May of 2003, Hinojosa has been a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission. He also received a recess appointment as chair of the Commission by President George W. Bush on August 2, 2004.  

On October 24, 2011, Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa received the 29th Annual Edward J. Devitt Distinguished Service Award at the United States Supreme Court in Washington , D.C. The award is awarded to a judge who has achieved a distinguished career, someone who has made significant contributions to the administration of justice, the advancement of the rule of law, and the improvement of society.    

A three-panel committee chaired by Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, with members Judge Robert A. Katzmann 2nd Circuit,   and Judge Marvin E. Aspen of Northern District of Illinois, made the Devitt Award selection. Judge Sotomayor commended Hinojosa for his “highly noteworthy distinction as a dedicated federal jurist and committed public servant.” She further stated, “For over twenty-seven years, Chief Judge Ricardo H. Hinojosa has served with highly noteworthy distinction as a dedicated federal jurist and committed public servant, serving as a member of an impressive list of Judicial Conference committees, and advisory groups during his extensive judicial service.”     

Congressman Ruben Hinojosa of Texas 15th District stated, “It comes as no surprise to me that Chief Judge Ricardo Hinojosa was chosen by his peers to receive this outstanding recognition of his service to our judicial system. We are extremely fortunate in South Texas , to have a man of his caliber overseeing our federal court. I congratulate Judge Hinojosa on being honored for his accomplishments, and for his outstanding service to our country.”

Hinojosa said he is humbled to receive the honor. “I appreciate the fact that I’ve been selected, but I’m just grateful for having the opportunity to have served,” he further stated, “I have nominated people in the past, but have never been selected myself.”


Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers

Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers became the first Latina federal judge in Northern California history, filling the vacancy left by Republican Judge Vaughn Walker, who recently retired.

Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers was born in San Antonio , Texas . (Other biographies stated Houston , Texas ). Her parents are Mexican; Spanish was her parents’ first language. Her father served in the U.S. Army and went to college with assistance from the G.I. Bill. She is married to Mathew C. Rogers; he served as an advisor on President Obama’s Transition Team. The couple have three children; Christian, Maria, and Joshua.  


In 1987, Gonzalez-Rogers earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Politics from    Princeton University with honors, and in 1991, she earned a Law Degree from the University of Texas School of Law.  

She practiced law at Cooley LLP in San Francisco , California . From 1991 to 2003, she served as a real estate and business lawyer in San Francisco , California .  

From 2007 to 2008, she served as a pro tem Judge in Alameda County . She replaced Judge Carlos G. Ynostroza on the bench. In 2008, former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger nominated Gonzalez-Rogers to the Alameda bench as a Pro tem Judge.  

Gonzalez Rogers has been active in the La Raza Lawyers Association as a mentor to young lawyers. In 2010, she received a "Judge of the Year" award from the group.

Senator Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat and member of the Judiciary Committee, recommended Gonzalez-Rogers for the position to the Obama administration. She introduced her to the committee as a judge who is “prepared to hit the ground running.”  

Nearly two years after Sonia Sotomayor was sworn in as the first Latina justice on the Supreme Court, Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers, another Princeton alumna makes history in the U.S. legal system. On May 4, 2011, President Obama nominated Gonzalez-Rogers to a seat on the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. 

California Senator Diane Feinstein had high praise for Gonzalez-Rogers, calling her “an American success story” at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing July 13, 2011, Senator Feinstein stated, “Her path in life has been extraordinary, rising from modest beginnings to graduating from one of the best universities in the country, Princeton .” Feinstein further stated, “During school breaks and weekends she worked cleaning housing, and cutting grass to help pay her tuition. She took pride in the calloused hands she got doing that work.”  

On November 15, 2011, the senate confirmed Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers. She received her commission on November 21, 2011. Her husband, Matt Rogers, their children, mother, three sisters and other family members who made the trip from Gonzalez-Rogers’ home state of Texas , joined Gonzalez-Rogers. At the Confirmation Gonzalez-Rogers stated, her late father "would have been proud to witness these hearings and certainly was an inspiration to me."


Catherine Cortez- Masto

Catherine Cortez-Masto is the Attorney General of Nevada. The Nevada Attorney General election was held on November 2, 2010, she successfully was re-elected, and defended her position against Travis Barrick and Joel F. Hansen.

Catherine Cortez-Masto was born in Nevada . She is the daughter of Manuel and Joanna Cortez.  

She attended the University of Nevada at Reno . In 1986, she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree with a major in Finance. In 1990, she earned a Juris Degree from Gonzaga University School of Law in Spokane , Washington .  


She served as a Law Clerk for Judge Michael J. Wendell in the Eighth Judicial District Court.  In 1991, Cortez-Masto was admitted to the State Bar of Nevada. Cortez-Masto became an Associate Attorney in the Las Vegas law firm of Raleigh, Hunt & McGarry, P.C., where she remained until September 1995, practicing as a General Civil Litigator.  

In July 1998, Nevada ’s Governor Bob Miller appointed Cortez-Masto to be his Chief of Staff. As Chief of Staff, she supervised, managed the Governor's office, and was liaison between the Governor's office and the 23 members of the Governor's cabinet. Cortez-Masto also consulted with the Attorney General's office on legal issues involving potential conflicts with the Governor's office, state agencies, and assisted the Governor with preparation of the state budget. 

In January 2002, Cortez-Masto was appointed as Assistant County Manager for Clark County . She improved the protective services, foster care, and adoption services provided to children and families. She worked with the Department of Juvenile Justice Services, and created the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative to build a better legal system for juveniles that would ensure youth accountability and the use of appropriate community-based alternatives, without jeopardizing public safety or court appearance rates.  

In March of 2000, she began her career as an Assistant United States Attorney (AUSA). During her tenure as an AUSA, she prosecuted criminals for felony possession and distribution of drugs. She also protected the rights of victims from stalkers and batterers.  

In January 2007, Catherine Cortez-Masto began serving her first term as Nevada ’s Attorney General.  

In 2008, she created an advisory committee on victims of crime to address funding, resource and enforcement issues. The advisory committee successfully fought for state laws to authorize victims of sexual assault to seek a protective order.  

During the 2011, Legislative Session, the Attorney General’s office was involved in the successful passage of many key pieces of legislation. These bills passed by the Legislature, and signed into law by the Governor, which revises provisions expanding the lists of crimes against senior citizens that are subject to civil penalty.

While in office, Cortez-Masto has stressed the importance of educational outreach. She enjoys speaking to students in elementary, middle and high schools about safety, sexting, cyber-bullying, teen dating violence, and online predators.  

A lifelong advocate for women and children, Cortez-Masto has worked on behalf of Nevada 's families to strengthen state laws to prevent violence against women and protect children from sexual predators.


Judge Nelva Gonzales-Ramos

Judge Nelva Gonzales-Ramos was confirmed to serve as a Southern District of Texas Judge. She would serve a life term on the federal bench in Corpus Christi .  The Corpus Christi division of the Southern District of Texas includes 10 counties. She replaces longtime U.S. District Judge Hayden Head, who retired.  

Gonzales-Ramos grew up in Port Lavaca, Texas . Her mother Isabel Falcon-Gonzales is a widow. She grew up the youngest of six children born to parents who emigrated from Mexico and later became U.S. citizens. She is married to Oscar Ramos, the couple have one son; Christian.  


In 1987, Nelva Gonzales-Ramos received her Bachelor of Science Degree from   Southwest Texas State University , at San Marcos , Texas . In 1991, she earned a Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of Texas School of Law. In both cases, she graduated with honors.  

In 2001, Gonzales-Ramos, served as the 347th District Court Judge as a Corpus Christi city judge and a private civil attorney.    

Attorney Tony Canales, who served on the nomination committee that interviewed applicants stated, “[Gonzales] Ramos’ professional demeanor and academic record made her the committee’s top choice. She’s going to make an excellent federal judge. She had an excellent academic record; she had a good life experience and good trial experience. She’s very highly thought of by all the legal community.” Lawyers active in the Corpus Christi Bar Association consistently ranked her the best district judge,” stated Canales.    

District Judge Jose Longoria, a friend of Judge Gonzales-Ramos for 15 years, described her as even-keeled with a brilliant legal mind. "This couldn't have happened to a better person. I think we're going to be lucky.”  

“She's going to step right in, Judge Gonzales-Ramos has strong Texas roots,” Texas Senator Cornyn stated in a written statement.  “She has an outstanding educational background from Texas State University and the University of Texas School of Law, and her valuable experience as a civil litigation lawyer and State District Court judge will surely help her serve the Texas public well.”  

John Bell, an attorney and Democratic Party activist, hailed Judge Gonzales- Ramos as fair and thoughtful. He said he has presented cases in her court and was active in the party during her campaigns. “She’s a very thoughtful judge and listens very carefully to the arguments,” he said. “Lawyers on both sides of the aisle respect her findings. I think she’d be a great federal judge.”  

The confirmation of [Judge Gonzales] Ramos “represent [s] historic changes in the diversity of the Texas federal judiciary and they provide inspirational role models to young Latinas throughout Texas ,” stated Texas Representative Lloyd Doggett.






Luis Ricardo Fraga 

Luis Ricardo Fraga has been appointed by President Obama to serve as President’s Advisory Commission member, Educational Excellence for Hispanics.

Luis Ricardo Fraga was born in Corpus Christi , Texas . He is married to Charlene Aguilar; she is the Director of Undergraduate Education Initiatives at the University of Washington , they have three children.  Fraga received his Bachelor’s Degree with cum laude honors from Harvard University and his Masters, and Doctorate from Rice University .

He has been on the faculty at Stanford University , the University of Notre Dame, and the University of Oklahoma . His primary interests are urban politics, education politics, voting rights policy, and the politics of race and ethnicity. He is on the board of the Public Education Network (PEN). 


Fraga is an associate vice provost for Faculty Advancement, director of the Diversity Research Institute, Russell F. Stark University Professor, and professor of Political Science at the University of Washington. Since 2007, Fraga, served as a Professor of Political Science and Director of the Diversity Research Institute, at the University of Washington .   

He also served as a member of a special research committee of the National Association of Public Charter Schools (NAPCS). He has been an active member of the Transitions to College, and the Immigration, Education, and Citizenship working groups of the Social Science Research Council.   

The Educational Excellence Commission advises the President and the Secretary of Education on matters pertaining to educational attainment in the Hispanic community, including educational initiatives to improve opportunities and outcomes for Hispanics, increasing the participation of Hispanics in programs offered by the department of Education and other agencies, and establishing partnerships with various groups to meet the administration’s policy.

He has edited and published numerous journal articles and authored books on Latino politics, immigration, education, and the voting rights policy.    

White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics Director Juan Sepúlveda stated, “The Commission would chart ways to increase Hispanic educational attainment, which is important for the country’s economy. The Commission will identify ways to strengthen our country. Hispanic students have graduated at lower rates than the rest of the population for years, making America ’s progress impossible if they continue to lag behind.” He further stated, “Strengthening and improving educational excellence in this community isn’t just a Hispanic problem. It’s a challenge for our entire country.”

Members of this Advisory Commission appointed by President Obama represent a variety of sectors, including education, labor, research, corporate, and financial institutions, public, and private philanthropic organizations, and non-profit community-based organizations from the national, state, regional, and local levels.


Dr. Dorina Alaniz-Thomas

A Wise Latina

Nominated By Viola Sadler

 Written By Mercy Bautista-Olvera

Dorina Alaniz de Thomas, Ph.D. is a retired educator whose 
career extended from elementary to university levels as a 
bilingual teacher, professor, and school counselor.


Dorina Alaniz de Thomas, Ph.D. is a retired educator whose career extended from elementary to university levels as a bilingual teacher, professor, and school counselor.  

Dorina Alaniz was born in Kingsville , Texas . She is the daughter of Raul Martinez Alaniz. (1913-2006), and Alida Treviño-Alaniz (1916-1999). Her father Raul was a self-employed mechanic and sheet medalist for Corpus Christi Naval Base. He held both jobs for over 30 years. Her father was born in Corpus Christi , Texas and her mother Alida was born at El Dormido Ranch in South of Falfurrias, (Brooks County) Texas .  Dorina’s recalls her mother Alida as a trailblazer. “She accomplished a lot and contributed to the community, and her family against all odds. As a woman and Mexican American in a town that was controlled by Anglos, the King Ranch in particular. She balanced well.” Dorina has one older sister. She is married to Jesse Uresti Thomas. The couple have two sons; Oscar Javier, and Omar, and two daughters; Dorina Aliza (Crutchfield) and Jessica (Chobot).

As a third and fourth grader, she conducted the rhythm band at Kleberg Elementary, a school for Mexican Americans in the neighborhood. Her fondest memory related as a high school student is being member of the stage band, at the USO.  

In the 1960’s Alaniz-Thomas worked with migrant children traveling to Ohio     from the Rio Grande Valley . The children were denied to be in the musical program for many years. She taught them the scales "Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol, La, Ti,   Do," mixing these scales to form a melody or song and thus make it easy for them to sing English songs. This concept made it easy for them to be accepted in the program. She encouraged students to take part in the school’s musical program. Their parents were proud; the students were overwhelmed when they heard the applause from the audience for the first time.

In 1966, Alaniz-Thomas earned a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Elementary Education, and a minor in Biology from Texas A&T College in Kingsville , Texas . In 1972, she received a Master’s of Science Degree in Educational Psychology from Kingsville Texas . In 1980, she earned a Doctorate Degree in Major Educational Psychology, Minor Psychology of reading, and completed her dissertation: “Reading Achievement of Chicano Children, as a Function of Language Spoken and Language Preference.”  

In the early 1970’s her third child, a daughter, was born in Ann Arbor , Michigan  

In the late 1970’s, while she was a student in the Doctoral Program at the University of Michigan, Alaniz-Thomas was selected by the education department to write modules for the bilingual and migrant programs.  In addition, she was selected to go to Chicago to read and evaluate proposals from different cities planning to add bilingual education programs to their school district’s curriculum.

After completing the doctoral program at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor , she accepted a position as a professor and director of the Undergraduate Bilingual Educational Program at Western Illinois University in Macomb , Illinois . As part of her duties, she was flown to Chicago to monitor and evaluate students completing their last phase of the bilingual teaching program. She also taught two courses “Skills Needed to be a Bilingual Teacher” and “Latino Culture.”  

In 1980, the Thomas family moved back to Texas settling in Dallas, where she because a bilingual teacher for three years and a high school guidance counselor for the next twenty-one years until her retirement in 2005.  During this time, she and her husband raised their four children, two of which became successful in business – one became president of the business he co-founded, the third child; a bilingual teacher, and the youngest, a talent agent within the city of Chicago .   

During the three years as a bilingual teacher, she inspired her students to reach for the stars by convincing them that they could do what they thought were out of their comfort zone. She also worked with unwed mothers, and was a counselor for the Child Care Career Center of Skyline High School in Dallas .  In addition, she implemented the Allied Youth Program, introduced the teen Latina to Hispanic Women Network, and continued working with the migrant program, as well as ESOL students.  Moreover, she worked with students who participated in the Pass Team and those at Timberlake Rehabilitation Center where students with emotional and psychological problems were housed.   

During her thirty plus years in Dallas , she participated in numerous hobbies that include membership in the Town North Concert Band, the Czech Performing Band, and the Frohsinn Capella German Band, which has performed throughout Germany , Austria , and Texas . She also was a member of a mariachi group for her church for a number of years.  

About 1997, she became interested in finding out what ailment’s had caused her ancestors’ death.  She reviewed their death certificates and soon realized that by recording family names a family tree had been created. Genealogy was a subject she knew nothing about.  However, she sensed that if she wanted to search any further she would have to look for genealogy groups where she could learn the research skills needed.  

Such a group had to be focus on researching their ancestor’s south of the border and into Spain. Thus, she Co-founded the Hispanic Organization for Genealogy and Research for Dallas (HOGAR de Dallas) in 1998, which became a non-profit organization. She has served in numerous administrative positions including president of the organization for more than six years; presently she is president. Membership grew from members only from Dallas to memberships from all over the United States and Mexico . Alaniz-Thomas created and has maintained the organization’s web site:   

In 2009, she coordinated the 30th Texas State Genealogical and Historical Conference, the first to be held in the Dallas area.  From the knowledge that she acquired since the onset of the organizations, she researched 21 cemeteries, published two soft back books; “Ranch Cemeteries of South Texas, Brooks County ,” and “How to Research your Hispanic Ancestors: My Experience.”

In 1984, she was awarded the “Apple of the Month.” In 1990, Alaniz-Rogers was nominated for the “Greater East Dallas Chamber Community Service” Award for Education, and in 1994-1995, she won the “Outstanding Educator of the Year” by Dallas Independent School District Migrant Program.  

Dr. Dorina Alaniz-Thomas has inspired many students to continue to achieve even greater goals in education, and she continues to assist and inspire others throughout the United States and Mexico, in conducting family history research.



Catherine Sandoval, J.D., Law Professor
First Hispanic to serve on the powerful California Public Utilities Commission

Governor Jerry Brown appointed Santa Clara law professor Catherine Sandoval to the powerful California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), a state agency responsible for overseeing investor owned companies doing business in cable, electricity, gas, rail, telecommunications, transportation and water.

Commissioner Catherine Sandoval is considered an expert on telecommunications policy and worked for former Governor Gray Davis as Undersecretary of the Business, Transportation and Housing Agency.

She also worked for the Federal Communications Commission and briefly with Z Spanish Radio and has in-depth appreciation for Spanish language access.

The CPUC has been in existence for 100 years and is based in San Francisco, CA.

The Latino Legislative Caucus and numerous community based, trade and labor organizations urged the past two governors to appoint a Latino to the CPUC. Latinos make up almost 40% of the State's population.

The CPUC has no Latino executives and few Latino employees. Except for Latinos, the CPUC otherwise enjoys a diverse work force.

The CPUC has had three African American, one Asian female, several females and the balance White males who have served during the last 100 years. The Governor appoints the president and commissioners. Commissioner appointments must be confirmed by the State Senate.

California Latinos Lost Ground In Legislature. In the last five years the number of Latinos in Sacramento statewide offices went from 30 to 23, a net loss of seven members.

Despite the tremendous growth of California's Latino population which now nears 40%, the number of statewide officials of Latino background has slid while the State has gone more Democratic.

Just five years ago 30 constitutional and legislative seats were held by Latinos according the California Latino Legislative Directory published by the Latino Journal.

In 2011, there are only 23 members of the Legislature and no constitutional seats held by Latinos.

The new California Redistricting Commission has 14 seats and only three are Latino, or about 21%. It has five Asian and Pacific Islander (almost 38%) and two Black (14%). 

Latinos make up about 40% of the State's population, Asians 13% and Blacks 7%.
Source: December issue of the  Latino Journal 


Son of a Perez, Historical Hispanics by Christopher Perez

Chris is creating a series of poster to encourage our youth.  Contact him at or cell phone 818.331.4839.

The Foreign-Born with Science and Engineering Degrees: 2010
This brief, based on 2010 American Community Survey estimates, examines patterns of science and engineering educational attainment among the foreign-born population, with attainment of specific science and engineering degree types by place of birth and sex, as well as metropolitan statistical area. It also compares attainment of such degrees by the foreign-born and native-born populations.
In 2010, 48.5 million (28 percent) of the 170.7 million native-born population 25 and older and 9.1 million (27 percent) of the 33.6 million foreign-born population 25 and older had a bachelor's degree or higher.

Foreign-born residents represented 33 percent of all bachelor's degree holders in engineering fields, 27 percent in computers, mathematics and statistics; 24 percent in physical sciences; and 17 percent in biological, agricultural and environmental sciences.

Of the 4.2 million foreign-born science and engineering bachelor's degree holders in the U.S., 57 percent were born in Asia, 18 percent in Europe, 16 percent in Latin America and the Caribbean, 5 percent in Africa, 3 percent in Northern America and less than 1 percent in Oceania.

The majority (64 percent) of foreign-born residents with degrees in computers, mathematics and statistics were born in Asia, including 24 percent who were born in India and 14 percent who were born in China.

Overall, only 7 percent of foreign-born residents with science and engineering degrees had majored in psychology.

Of the 9.1 million foreign-born residents 25 and older with bachelor's degrees, 51 percent were female. However, only 37 percent of the 4.2 million foreign-born residents with science and engineering degrees were female.

Looking at areas with a foreign-born population greater than 100,000, the highest proportion of foreign-born residents with science and engineering degrees was in the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif. metro area (29 percent), followed by the Baltimore-Towson, Md. metro area (24 percent).

Internet address: 



QUICK FACTS !! by Rich Carroll   

November 2008 - August 2011                                      

Gallon of regular gasoline was $1.79 on average in the U.S/ today $3.59 > a 100.6% increase.

Number of food stamp recipients has risen 31,983,716 to 43,200,878 > a 35.1% jump.

Unemployment, from 2,600,000 to 6,400,000 > 146.2% 

American citizens living in poverty from 39,800,000 to 43,600,000 > 9.5% 

Number of unemployed, from 11,616,000 to 14,485,000 >  almost 25% 

National debt from 10.627 trillion to 14,278 trillion > up 34.4% 

* sources for the above facts: U.S. Energy Information Administration, Wall Street Journal, Bureau of Labor Statistics, US Dept of Labor, Standard & Poors/Case-Shiller, Federal Reserve, US Treasury, Heritage Foundation.

The national debt has accelerated at a rate more than 27 times as fast as during the rest of our nation's entire history


The first ever GAO (Government Accountability Office) audit of the Federal Reserve was carried out in the past few months.  

What was revealed in the audit was startling:  $16,000,000,000,000.00 had been secretly given out to US banks and corporations and foreign banks everywhere from France to Scotland. From the period between December 2007 and June 2010, the Federal Reserve had secretly bailed out many of the world’s banks, corporations, and governments. 

The Federal Reserve likes to refer to these secret bailouts as an all-inclusive loan program, but virtually none of the money has been returned and it was loaned out at 0% interest. Why the Federal Reserve had never been public about this or even informed the United States Congress about the $16 trillion dollar bailout is obvious - the American public would have been outraged to find out that the Federal Reserve bailed out foreign banks while Americans were struggling to find jobs.

To place $16 trillion into perspective, remember that GDP of the United States is only $14.12 trillion. The entire national debt of the United States government spanning its 200+ year history is "only" $14.5 trillion. The budget that is being debated so heavily in Congress and the Senate is "only" $3.5 trillion. Take all of the outrage and debate over the $1.5 trillion deficit into consideration, and swallow this Red pill: There was no debate about whether $16,000,000,000,000 would be given to failing banks and failing corporations around the world.

In late 2008, the TARP Bailout bill was passed and loans of $800 billion were given to failing banks and companies. That was a blatant lie considering the fact that Goldman Sachs alone received 814 billion dollars. As is turns out, the Federal Reserve donated $2.5 trillion to Citigroup, while Morgan Stanley received $2.04 trillion. The Royal Bank of Scotland and Deutsche Bank, a German bank, split about a trillion and numerous other banks received hefty chunks of the $16 trillion.

"This is a clear case of socialism for the rich and rugged, you’re-on-your-own individualism for everyone else." - Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

When you have conservative Republican stalwarts like Jim DeMint(R-SC) and Ron Paul(R-TX) as well as self identified Democratic socialists like Bernie Sanders all fighting against the Federal Reserve, you know that it is no longer an issue of Right versus Left. When you have every single member of the Republican Party in Congress and progressive Congressmen like Dennis Kucinich sponsoring a bill to audit the Federal Reserve, you realize that the Federal Reserve is an entity onto itself, which has no oversight and no accountability.

Americans should be swelled with anger and outrage at the abysmal state of affairs when an unelected group of bankers can create money out of thin air and give it out to megabanks and supercorporations like Halloween candy. If the Federal Reserve and the bankers who control it believe that they can continue to devalue the savings of Americans and continue to destroy the US economy, they will have to face the realization that their trillion dollar printing presses will eventually plunder the world economy.

The list of institutions that received the most money from the Federal Reserve can be found on page 131 of the GAO Audit and are as follows..

Citigroup: $2.5 trillion ($2,500,000,000,000)
Morgan Stanley: $2.04 trillion ($2,040,000,000,000)
Merrill Lynch: $1.949 trillion ($1,949,000,000,000)
Bank of America: $1.344 trillion ($1,344,000,000,000)
Barclays PLC (United Kingdom): $868 billion ($868,000,000,000)
Bear Sterns: $853 billion ($853,000,000,000)
Goldman Sachs: $814 billion ($814,000,000,000)
Royal Bank of Scotland (UK): $541 billion ($541,000,000,000)
JP Morgan Chase: $391 billion ($391,000,000,000)
Deutsche Bank (Germany): $354 billion ($354,000,000,000)
UBS (Switzerland): $287 billion ($287,000,000,000)
Credit Suisse (Switzerland): $262 billion ($262,000,000,000)
Lehman Brothers: $183 billion ($183,000,000,000)
Bank of Scotland (United Kingdom): $181 billion ($181,000,000,000)
BNP Paribas (France): $175 billion ($175,000,000,000)
and many many more including banks in Belgium of all places

View the 266-page GAO audit of the Federal Reserve(July 21st, 2011):

FULL PDF on GAO server:
Senator Sander’s Article:


Hispanics Contribute to Increasing Diversity in Rural America

During a decade of diminished population growth across rural and small town America, Hispanic population growth
and geographic dispersion during 2000-2010 was a strong driver of demographic change, as it has been for at least two decades. According to census data released in 2011, just over 51 million people lived in U.S. non-metro counties in April 2010. Between April 2000 and 2010, the non-metro population added 2.2 million people, less than half that added
during the “rural rebound” of the 1990s. 

While the overall non-metro population grew 4.5 percent in the 2000s, the non-metro Hispanic population increased 45 percent. And Hispanic population growth was not confined to areas with large Hispanic concentrations in the Southwest. On a percentage basis, growth was significantly higher throughout much of the Southeast, Midwest, and Northwest, as it was during the 1990s.

Source: USDA, Economic Research Service using data from the 2010 Census of Population.



John Cromartie, 

Findings drawn from . . .ERS Atlas of Rural and Small-Town America, available at:


Color coding: 
blue  below -25
light blue -25 to 0
pale pink  0 to 25
pink   25 to 100
red  above 100

Sent by Juan Marinez 

Christmas Lights - Thank you Troops and Veterans - 
You Tube 2011   

For a quick history review, go to the LIFE magazine website . . . So much fun to see those marvelous photos.

Australian Shooter Magazine this week, which I quote: 
There has been an average of 160,000 troops in the Iraq Theater of operations during the past 22 months, and a total of 2112 deaths, that gives a firearm death rate of 60 per 100,000 soldiers. The firearm death rate in Washington , DC is 80.6 per 100,000 for the same period. 

State of the Union 
Officially reported in September: 1 in 3 Americans is living in poverty.  By race and ethnicity, Hispanics topped the list at 73 percent, followed by blacks, Asians and non-Hispanic whites.

View CBS video, SLAB CITY, California


Founders Day On the Alamo Grounds!
. Did you know The USS Navarro (APA 215) was a Haskell‐class attack transport that saw service with the US Navy World in War II and the Vietnam War.  The USS Navarro
was named after Navarro County, Texas (José Antonio Navarro). She was laid down June 27, 1944 as MCV hull 563 and launched by Permanente Metals Corporation of Richmond, California, October 3, 1944, and commissioned November 15, Comdr. F. E. Angrick in command.

Great New Word in Webster's Dictionary: 
Ineptocracy (n. In-ep-toc’-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the 
confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

2011 West Virginia University Marching Band Armed Forces Salute
Sent by Jan Mallet

This was filmed in Iraq at a USO tour of a US Marine Base. If you believe in God and country, play it and spread it around. Just click below. 
Sent by Sal DelValle




El Soldado, California State Capitol Museum
The Effort to Save Casa Maldonda Has Been Successful
The Future is Theirs
Southside Independent School District
Unveiling of the Tejano Monument
Rio Grande Guardian
A Final Report On the California State Birthday Project
Donations To the Following Organizations Go to Help Veterans, Their Families & Youth


"El Soldado," a small statue of a 1940s-era infantryman, stands across from the Capitol near the fountain between the Library and Courts building and the Legislative office building.

Officials moved the statue to its present location in 1975. In 1985, legislation sponsored by former state Assembly Member Richard Polanco ceded the state grounds to the memorial and authorized its expansion.

Since then, a group has been raising funds for a new memorial, which would include the names of the approximately 3,000 Latino soldiers from California who have died in the armed forces since World War I, as well as space for future Mexican Americans who may give their lives in war.  

The memorial will be funded through private contributions. Donations can be made online by clicking the "Donations" link or mailed to:

California Mexican American Veterans' Memorial
C/O/ California Department of Veterans Affairs
1227 O Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

WWII Mothers Inspire Latino Veterans Memorial 
October 1, 2011, Posted by admin 
A group of Mexican American women who had lost their sons in World War II, came together to raise funds for their statue by making and selling tamales and sponsoring bake sales. With no modern conveniences or ready-made ingredients, they started from scratch in their kitchens to prepare what they needed. Talk about labor-intensive fundraising.

El Soldado was given a place of honor at the entrance of a community park in Sacramento. It stood there until the statue was donated to the State of California, with the expectation that it become an official and permanent state memorial. In 1975, ‘El Soldado’ was moved to the State Capitol with little ceremony. Sadly, time and nature has not been kind to the statue. The memorial was never completed and rarely visited by the public – it has been dubbed ‘The Homeless Soldier’.

Fast forward sixty years. In April of this year, the State of California will officially present to the public a design and plan to beautify, enhance and restore ‘El Soldado’. Groundbreaking for the memorial is schedule for November 2011, with an official transfer of the memorial to the people of California in Spring 2012. Six decades later, the dream of the Society of Mexican Mothers will be realized.

By legislation, ‘El Soldado’ is designated an official state memorial, and maintains its original name (Mexican American) to historically reflect the name first given when it was dedicated as a local community memorial after World War II. Today, the state memorial honors not only Mexican American veterans, but all Latino veterans. The names of 43 Latino veterans, from across the nation, who are recipients of our nation’s highest military honor, the Medal of Honor, will be etched in granite to honor their sacrifice. The memorial will also recognize the service and contribution of Latinas who have served in the military.

At the entrance of the memorial, visitors will be greeted by a garden dedicated in memory of the Society of Mexican Mothers. These women, these mothers who would not wait for history to recognize the contribution of their children, remind us that they too, through their loved ones, served in the military, and are worthy of recognition as guardians of their children’s legacy. We are the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of a generation of World War II mothers who survived hard times, and who in the process inspire us today in our own hard times. “Finish our work”. 

Only private donations can be used to support California’s newest state memorial. If you wish to learn more about the memorial, make a donation, or view a short promotional video, see the memorial website: .

The Effort to save Casa Maldonado Has Been Successful.  
Sylvia Gonzalez writes:

A few months ago, I wrote about the San Antonio’s City Council’s plan to demolish Casa Maldonado also known as “The Pink Building” here in town.  I am very happy to report that after a successful struggle the building has been saved!  Here is a portion of the announcement from San Antonio’s Westside Historic Preservation Group:  

We won in our efforts to save and preserve Casa Maldonado!  Through our hard work we were able to stop efforts to demolish the Pink Building and 
build a strong community dialogue around issues of historic preservation in our Westside  start to build a new precedent for best practices in issues of economic development and historic preservation en nuestro Westside!
 At last week's AGA (Avenida Guadalupe Association) Board Meeting (Mon, Dec 5, 2011), representatives of the Mayor's office were present to inform the AGA Board that the Mayor's office is pledging $400,000 towards restoration of the building in its current location at 1312 Guadalupe St.  The District 5 City Council Office is pledging an additional $150,000 and AGA will be responsible for raising the remaining $100,000.
Reply To:  

View video and hear the heart-breaking words of a granddaughter writing of the demolition of the historic La Gloria building, and the erasing of the Latino community's history.


The Future is Theirs

By José Antonio López


Dear Mimi and Somos Primos:

My wife Cordy and I returned home in San Antonio, Texas, from another one of our mentoring trips to the Rio Grande Valley.  We are extremely pleased with the results.  During December 7 – 9, we visited with approximately 1,570 students at four different campuses that covered age groups from third grade at the elementary level to seniors in secondary school.  The campuses were Palmview High School in Mission, two elementary schools (Longoria and Ford) in Pharr, and Sauceda Middle School in Donna.  

We can confirm that the next generation of Spanish-surnamed U.S. citizens from South Texas is beautiful, smart, enthusiastic, and fearless.  They are ready for anything.  Equally important, with Mexican-descent U.S. citizen numbers increasing, there is a vast pool from which they can draw leaders to occupy positions of authority in local, state, and national levels in the future.      

We began with a full-day of presentations to about 600 students at Palmview High School.  Our host, Ms. Cynthia Rodriguez, school librarian, invited us after listening to our early Texas history presentation at a conference in Edinburg a few months ago.    All four sessions were packed with very polite students eager to learn about their lost history.  Students were very motivated and attentive.  We noticed many indications of a high school campus that works.  As we walked through the building, there were clusters of kids discussing lesson assignments, following lessons in the computer stations, and involved in similar activities.  ROTC members were impressive!  Their brass shined to perfection and their uniforms were impeccable.  Having been a high school ROTC cadet myself, I can attest to its value as a great motivator and a teamwork and discipline builder.   

A highlight of our visit at Palmview was a chat we had with a parent who beamed when she told us that she was awaiting her daughter’s return for Christmas vacation from her studies at Texas A&M.  She is attending college because she earned a scholarship to that prestigious state university.      

The next day for our morning sessions, we visited the Raul Longoria Elementary School in Pharr, Texas where we spoke to about 180 students.  Ms. Nadine Guajardo was a marvelous host.  The children had prepared for our visit and asked many good questions.   

After lunch, we visited with Ms. Angelina Marchese and about 120 students at the Henry Ford Elementary School.  She was also a terrific host.  Significantly, some of the children told us they knew about the Tejano Monument through the public announcements over a local television station.  

On Friday morning at the last stop in our itinerary, we had the pleasure of visiting with approximately 675 students at Dora Sauceda Middle School in Donna, Texas.  Mr. Ricardo Soria, school librarian, was awesome as our host.  Here again, students were motivated and quietly listened to the presentations.  They asked many excellent questions.   

Hallway walls at all schools were decorated with positive posters covering the standard topics – the need to maintain constructive habits; the importance of Character; and how students can help to make their campus a better place to be.  Interestingly, most of the posters were prepared by the students themselves.  That shows a sense of partnership.  They are made to feel that they are part of the solution to make their campus the very best.  

In summary, this trip was very rewarding as have been the previous ones.  In this day of unfair cheap shots by politicians attacking the work ethic and motivation of poor families, it is refreshing to see that the teachers and students with whom we visited prove the critics wrong.   

Under great stress due to budget crises and undue criticism, teachers are responding with great courage.  Rio Grande Valley students depend on the dedicated staff of supportive teachers, librarians, and support personnel.  Most especially, these students need abundant amounts of encouragement from parents and mentors.  That is why our parting words are always along the same lines – study hard, stay in school, and reach for the stars.  The future is theirs.

"Mr. Arellano, my congratulations! We need many more people like you who keep our Spanish
history alive! We must never allow our our descendancy, our history and where We Come From
to ever be forgotten....Thank you for sharing, Roy "Elroyo" Archuleta Sr." 



L to R:  Dr. Carl Scarbrough, Dan Arellano, Dr. Juan Antonio Jasso and Phil Chavez.  

Southside Independent School District Recognizes Dan Arellano, Battle of Medina Historian.  SISD Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Juan Antonio Jasso, and his staff recognized "Battle of Medina" historian for his efforts in sharing the importance of this factual event that occurred in 1813 on our very own grounds.  The "Battle of Medina" was re-enacted during SISD's annual Cardinal Fest by local actors.  Dr. Juan Antonio Jasso, Mr. Phil Chavez and Dr. Carl Scarbrough presented Mr. Dan Arellano with a poster in a frame that reads:  "Battle of Medina, August 18, 1813, 175th Anniversary", also listing some of the other battles fought in years past.

Unveiling of The Tejano Monument
Friends and colleagues,

The unveiling of our Tejano Monument is scheduled for Thursday March 29 at 10 AM at the Capital in Austin. The Tejano Genealogy Society in conjunction with the Tejano Monument Committee is working feverishly to put together a conference and a parade. We are planning to have the parade Saturday morning March 31 at 9AM; however we can not have a parade without participants and we realize that the day is fast approaching. We are working on permits and are trying to work with the city for the waiver of some of the costs involved. 

Our goal is to have different communities and groups that are interested in participating by sending a float from their community with a Tejano themed float. For example Losoya could send a float on the Battle of Medina, Casa Navarro House a float on Jose Antonio Navarro, Hebbronville Vaquero Days, Seguin Juan Seguin , Goliad Ignacio Zaragoza and so forth. If there is any interest we need to know ASAP so we can continue; however we will be having a conference. Our web site will be up soon for more information on the conference. The cost will be $50.00 per entry the conference will be free and at the capital.

Dan Arellano
President Tejano Genealogy Society


López: Tejanos and Mexicanos United (A Story of Kinship)
By José Antonio López

SAN ANTONIO, Nov. 29 - Unified by genetic links of a DNA chain that stretches from Texas to the very heart of Mexico, Spanish Mexicans and Native Americans of the U.S.-Mexico Borderlands share a solid bond of kinship. 

Our pioneer ancestors’ inspiring story is one of faith, bravery, and determination. It is these Mexican roots that gave rise to the Tejano people, the first citizens of Texas. 

Mexican families began settling Texas in 1699-1700. They first reached the newly opened San Juan Bautista Presidio and missions on the upper Rio Grande. The site, (now Guerrero, Coahuila, and Eagle Pass, Texas) became known as the “Gateway to Texas.”

In 1716, Spanish Mexicans nearly simultaneously settled East Texas, San Antonio, and La Bahia (Goliad). Then, in 1747, they established the Villas del Norte along the lower Rio Grande. Families from Monclova, Coahuila, Monterrey, Queretaro, Zacatecas, Veracruz, and places in between built the first communities “deep in the heart of Texas.”

There was never organized immigration of Spaniards (Españoles) directly from Spain to Texas. The few Españoles (Peninsulares) in mid-1700s Texas came via Mexico and were never slightly over ten percent of the population. There were other nationalities included, such as Italians and Frenchmen who had sworn allegiance to Spain. The majority of our ancestors in early Texas settlements were Creoles (white Spanish born in America), mestizos of both Spanish and Mexican (Native American) blood, Native Americans (Indios), mulattoes, and blacks. 

The Camino Real embraced the Mexican communities in the north (Texas) and those in the south. The Camino allowed families to communicate with, trade, and support each other in the Texas frontera. Marriages, christenings, and baptisms supplemented kinship. These unions further strengthened family bonds. The settlers became comadres and compadres, madrinas, and padrinos at a time when these endearing terms meant much more than they do today. 

Suddenly, in 1848 their family life was turned upside down. It was then that the U.S. subsumed over half of Mexico’s sovereign territory. The Rio Grande, then a local river settled on both sides by the same families, became a permanent Mason-Dixon Line, separating close-knit families. The anti-Mexican campaign was instant. Discrimination and intolerance came quickly. Their lifeline, the Camino Real, was sliced in two. Families in Monclova, Monterrey or Saltillo could no longer freely get on the Camino Real to visit their kin in Texas. Because Tejanos looked like the enemy, spoke Spanish like the enemy, and worshipped as Catholics like the enemy, the arriving Anglos treated Tejanos like the enemy. 

First, the Tejanos were physically abused and then ostracized. Finally, ethnic-cleansing drives pushed lots of them south. Some families found refuge on the northern side of the river. Still, many others were forced to cross the river to escape the brutality. Modern-day descendants of these displaced Tejano families now living in Mexico have not been repatriated back to Texas. 

Today, far-right extremists have revived the old anti-Mexican campaign. Mexican-looking citizens are treated with suspicion due to their Native American brown skin. As such, many parents withhold discussing their Mexican origins with their children. Others are afraid to speak Spanish in public, hoping to gain acceptance in mainstream Anglo society. 

As a young child growing up in Laredo, it was puzzling to me why some of our kin lived “en el otro lado” (the other side). We looked identical. Yet, they were often made uncomfortable by rude, aggressive customs agents at the bridge. My relatives’ only course was to yield. To do otherwise would lead to harsher treatment. What had they done, I often wondered, to be treated in such an undignified manner? Little did I know then that all our ancestors in Texas had once come from Mexico. They deserved respect, but they rarely received even the most basic human courtesy. The awkward situation has existed for generations. It is tolerated by families only because they want to maintain a shared heritage. 

For example, Arturo Garza Uribe from Matamoros, Tamaulipas, and I are cousins. That in itself is not unusual until you consider that our families have been divided by a political boundary since 1848. Nonetheless, at a recent family gathering we greeted each other as primos, with a firm hand shake and a hearty Mexican “abrazo,” just as our ancestors have done for many generations. We didn’t say adios, but rather, “Hasta luego.” 

U.S. citizens of Mexican-descent are by far the largest group under the Hispanic umbrella. They were once the majority in the Southwest and are poised to regain that distinction in a few years. Thus, contacts across the river will most certainly increase. An innate curiosity has put them in a quest to find their long-lost primos.

Ironically, the same ignorance regarding Mexican influence in early Texas causes two opposite outcomes. First, it encourages hateful far-right extremists who haven’t realized that Texas and the Southwest are in Old Mexico (New Spain), not in New England. Secondly, many Mexican-descent citizens themselves are unaware of their rich history in the U.S. Neither do they realize that learning of their roots will set them free from the long-standing injustice. After all, ignorance feeds intolerance; knowledge feeds understanding.

Simply, I wrote this article to inspire U.S. citizens of Mexican-descent, whether eighth-generation Tejano/Tejana or first or second generation. Don’t be demoralized by far-right insults. Push back. Stand up for your rights. You descend from Spanish Mexican pioneers with courage second to none. Don’t let the extremists use the illegal immigration issue to attack our heritage on this side of the border. For example, my cousin Arturo and I refuse to let a political line affect our family ties. Nor are we intimidated by the threat of a Berlin Wall-type fence along the Texas border. Tejano Mexican DNA strands across the Rio Grande have withstood the ordeal of bigotry for 170 years and have not broken. 

Finally, the Tejano Monument in Austin, Texas, will soon serve as a permanent reminder that it was Spanish Mexican pioneers who built this great place we call Texas. In short, their descendants in Texas and the Southwest still live here today. They never left. To sum it all: “¡Aquí todavía estamos, y no nos vamos!” 

Laredo native Joe López, a regular contributor to the Guardian, is an eighth Generation Tejano. A direct descendant of Don Javier Uribe, one of the earliest families that settled in what is now South Texas in 1750, López is the author of two books: “The Last Knight (Don Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara Uribe, A Texas Hero)”, and “Nights of Wailing, Days of Pain (Life in 1920s South Texas).” Lopez is also the founder of the Tejano Learning Center, LLC, and, a Web site dedicated to Spanish Mexican people and events in U.S. history that are mostly overlooked in mainstream history books. 


by Galal Kernahan

In trying to celebrate the "Golden State's Sesquicentennial" more than a dozen years ago, $2.9 million of taxpayers' money plus $2 million from corporate sponsors was wasted. Sesquicentennial license plates still seen on cars new then helped fund failed  events. All ended in fruitless stabs at finding out how and why to hold an observance. Festivities marking the 150th year since discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill began in 1998. 

They ended abruptly with cancellation of a $4.8 million dollar flotilla of schooners a  year later. The plan must have envisioned Gold Rush reeanactments. Some of us recall going to Alamitos Bay to welcome just arrived Tall Ships from Indonesia and Ecuador. 

U.S. Naval craft shepherded the foreign midshipmen over to Long Beach Harbor long before California's 150th State Birthday rolled round November 13, 1999.

Heading the Sesquicentennial Commission was California Historian Kevin Starr.  Darrell Issa, now a Congressman, and John Moorloch, an Orange County Supervisor, were among the gung-ho Sesquicentenniial Commission members. As awareness of the fiasco sank in, a fourth generation Californian and El Dorado County Supervisor said,

"The State needs to get out of the way and let the people be who they are."  Starr made a remarkable but little noticed public admission at a Channel Islands California State University symposium. He titled it "Confessions of a Recovering Mythoholic." He said he had been slow to recognize the noir (dark) side of the California story. Though he seemed to be 
referring to treatment of Native Americans in particular, what happened to people of Asian, African and Mexican descent during the Gold Rush was shameful. It appears the appointed Sesquicentennial planners had undergone mesmerizing golden visions that blurred gritty details. 

Starr went on to say that California will be the prime "testing ground" of our multicultural future. The big question will be, "Can we maintain our tradition of democracy. . .even as we accommodate other traditions and other cultures?"

If there was ever an encouraging example of that, it was the actual birth of the State of  California, November 13, 1849.

The only Sesquicentennial Observance conducted in remembrance of it was organized by and at the University of California, Irvine, with the collaboration of the Society for Hispanic Heritage and Ancestral Research and Los Amigos of Orange County. That public symposium took place on California's 150th State BIrthday, November 13, 1999. A Sesquicentennial Observance of Entry into the Union was held at California State University, Fullerton, September 9. 2000. A 161st Anniversary of California's State Birth took place at the Orange County Heritage Museum,

November 13, 2010.

Kevin Starr has been honored on many occasions, I have been present for only one. I wish  his self-deprecating candor in the aftermath of the Sesquicentennial debacle had been mentioned when Chapman University conferred on him a Doctor of Humane Letters, August 5, 2011. He truly merits humane letters recognition for owning up to misjudgment.. History teaches humility. In trying to do history myself, I bear that in mind,.

So far as I am concerned, any number of universities should have lined up to pay tribute to an accomplished historian who was willing to admit a blunder. There haven't been many. I mentioned this to Chapman's Wilkinson College Dean the night Starr was honored From the UCI, SHHAR and Los Amigos of Orange County beginnings of California State Birthday observances twelve years ago, the thought has been to celebrate the Human Rainbow. . . rather than Gold Fever. (In higher education these days, "gold fever" is usually called "development") Our theme has been CALIFORNIANS BUILT THIS STATE TOGETHER. THEY STILL DO. I suppose you might add it involves the Golden Rule. 

When Starr identified the challenge twelve year ago, it rang true. Can we maintain our tradition of democracy. . .even as we accomodate other traditions and other cultures?  The State of California demonstrated it could the day it was born. That is why in 2011 we informally suggested to local religious leaders of all faiths they help us infuse deeper meaning
into remembrance of our State's beginnings:

If any combination of things could lead to every man for himslf conflict, that mid-century California 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. Mother tongues of delegates also included French and German.

That plan of government was deliberated, decided, printed and voted on by Californians in Spanish and English. They signed the State's Birth Certificate by approving it 12,781 to 811 in a November 13, 1849 election.

Galal Kernahan, 619-C Avenida Sevilla, Laguna Woods, CA 92637 (949) 581-3625



And the Beat Goes On by Felipe de Ortego y Gasca



Erasing Historic Reality-Persistence of the Black Legend
Second series on La Leyenda Negra 

Number 19, October 2011

And the Beat Goes On
By Felipe de Ortego y Gasca
Scholar in Residence/Executive Committee, Department of Chicana/Chicano and Hemispheric Studies, Western New Mexico University; Professor Emeritus, Texas State University System-Sul Ross
 Hate-mongering towards American Latinos is not only shrill but has become incessant. Everyday there are media accounts of American Latinos being excoriated and/or physically assaulted publicly with impunity. All this in light of what USA Today (8-10-11) describes as “a shift so profound that it reveals an America that seemed unlikely a mere 20 years ago—one that will influence the nation for years to come. . . .” Half of the nation’s growth since 1990 has come from the explosion of the U.S. Hispanic population which according to USA Today “has spread far beyond traditional immigrant gateways . . . altering the American landscape” from the Pacific to the Atlantic, from the Rio Grande to the Great Lakes. 

The America of today may have seemed unlikely to non-Hispanic Americans 20 years ago. But American Hispanics —especially Mexican Americans—have been aware of this trend for some time. Verbal and physical assaults against American Latinos—especially Mexicans and Mexican Americans—continue despite forecasts by demographers like Stephen Murdoch that the American Latino population is growing exponentially such that by the year 2040 one out of every three Americans will be Latinos; and that by the year 2095 more than half of the nation’s population will be Latino. In the face of this demographic tsunami, the assaults against American Latinos persist. 

The growth of the nation’s population and its increasing diversity have influenced the membership of the U.S. Congress. That growth and diversity has also raised the level of anxieties in the Congress to fever pitch bringing out a xenophobia pitting group against group. When the nation was generally homogenized—that is, mostly white and protestant—xenophobic antagonisms were mostly soto voce. 

Today, however—driven by fear and xenophobia—those antagonisms are like barbed wire springing up between diverse groups, especially between whites and non-whites. When politics was thought to be the art of the possible, the American electorate—albeit reluctantly at times—made concessions for the sake of progress. Those concessions are today few and far between if at all present. 

At the moment, American Hispanics are concerned about redistricting. While redistricting has always been about politics, at this point in time of redistricting after the 2010 Census, American Latinos are especially wary about how they will fare in areas where their numbers have increased significantly. Their greatest fear is “gerrymandering.” The term gerrymander is one combining the word salamander and the name of Elbridge Gerry, the governor of Massachusetts. In 1812, Gerry signed into law a redistricting plan that was designed to benefit his political party. The term was first used in the Boston Gazette of March 26, 1812 to describe a district that the newspaper likened to the shape of a salamander. The newspaper referred to the district as a "Gerry"-mander.  

Despite their increase in the various states, American Latinos see themselves as pawns in the way Republicans, in particular, are drawing up district lines to benefit Republican incumbents. In Texas, the state legislature has taken its redistricting plan to a select federal court in an effort to get a favorable ruling for its redistricting plan which favors Republicans while inhibiting the demographic gains of Tejanos in the state. Per the 2010 Census, Tejanos stand to gain at least 2 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund) and LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens) are contesting these Republican ploys in Texas.  

In Sherman, Texas, the Tea Party filed a suit in federal court claiming that federal and state officials had to adjust Texas Census data to remove all the undocumented people before the state could conduct redistricting. These kinds of shenanigans are manifest everywhere that American Latinos have increased their numbers in the American population. Fortunately, in this instance, LULAC and MALDEF were successful in arguing for dismissal of the case.  

However, American Latinos are not the only group targeted for these kinds of actions and gerrymandering by Republicans (and Democrats in some places). Other targeted groups are African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Democrats. Republicans look to have a bigger advantage in this redistricting cycle than ever before because “he who draws the lines determines the winners.” At the moment Republicans have the edge in drawing the lines, and there is little doubt about how they will draw those lines. Republicans seem bent on eviscerating the nonwhite electorate in the United States. 
There is no doubt that Gerrymandering is dirty politics, perhaps because there are 435 House seats at stake. Despite a mantric call for greater transparency and public accountability, American politics seems mired in the traditional rut of politics-as-usual which will carry over to redistricting per the 2010 Census. The spirit of fair play has never been a virtue of American politics. To expect “fair play” in the current round of redistricting may be a velleity. Perhaps we should just accept the proposition that “all’s fair” in love, and war, and politics. But we should always be vigilant since vigilance is the price of freedom as the American Civil Liberties Union reminds us. 

But all is not doom and gloom. In a precedent-setting 9-2 decision in favor of day laborers, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court's decision in Comité de Jornaleros de Redondo Beach v. City of Redondo Beach, striking down the City of Redondo Beach's anti-solicitation ordinance as a "facially unconstitutional restriction on speech." Citing "well-established principles of First Amendment law," the en banc Ninth Circuit concluded that the city's "Ordinance fails to satisfy the narrow tailoring element of the Supreme Court's time, place and manner test" ( This decision sets a strong precedent on day laborer rights and stands as one in a line of successful cases brought by MALDEF on behalf of the rights of day laborers in the Ninth Circuit over the last dozen years. 

There’s a nativist streak in the American psyche that emerges periodically to unravel the constitutional gains of American society, moving the nation —in a sort of dance macabre of the American national zeitgeist, in other words: an American Nazi Party (with the word “Nazi” being short for “National”). What has kept this Nazi zeitgeist at bay in the United States has been the vigilance of Americans working to create “a more perfect union,” committed to the preservation and process of democracy as articulated in the American Constitution. 


Ulkulele Legend Dies At 103
Latino Literacy Pioneer Dies At 83
 MALDEF Mourns the Loss of Education Advocate, Paul Borbon Dies at 73
Computer Scientist, Federico R. Garcia Jr. Dies at 73

Published: Dec. 3, 2011  

Ukulele legend dies at 103

SLIDE SHOW:  Ukulele legend dies at 103  3 Photos »  

By: Deepa Bharath, The Orange County Register  

Ukulele legend Bill Tapia has played with all-time jazz greats including Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Billie Holiday and Fats Waller.  He toured until last the end of 2010.


Article Tab: Ukulele and jazz legend Bill Tapia died in his Westminster home Friday. He was 103. He is seen here performing at his 100th birthday celebration at the Warner Grand Theater in San Pedro.WESTMINSTER – Bill Tapia, ukulele and jazz legend believed to be the oldest performing musician to ever take the stage, died in his Westminster home Friday of natural causes. He was 103.

Tapia was born 1908 on New Year's Day in Honolulu. He bought his first ukulele when he was 7 from Manuel Nunes, one of the first and most reputed ukulele makers in Hawaii.

Ukulele and jazz legend Bill Tapia died in his Westminster home Friday. He was 103. He is seen here performing at his 100th birthday celebration at the Warner Grand Theater in San Pedro.


In a September 2008 interview with the Register, Tapia recalled dishing out 75 cents from his beat-up coffee can to buy it. Tapia said he grew up to the lilting sounds of the little instrument that was played on the narrow dusty lanes of Honolulu.

"It was in my blood," he said.

But after he mastered the ukulele at 12 and became drawn to life under the lights as a performer, he put the ukulele away and picked up the guitar and the banjo, the more popular instruments of the time.

During his career as a jazz guitarist, which spanned more than six decades, Tapia played with all-time greats, including Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby, Billy Holiday, Fats Waller and Charlie Barnett.

As a jazz man, with a guitar, Tapia performed pretty much everywhere – from houses of ill repute to swanky hotels, such as the Los Angeles Biltmore. He played for soldiers in World War I and in "blackout ballrooms" in World War II. He played radio and television shows, and, once, baseball legend Joe DiMaggio's bar in San Francisco.

"The ukulele looked like a toy compared to the guitar," Tapia said.

So, he put it away and never picked it up – until 55 years later when he moved from San Francisco to Orange County. It all started again when someone heard him play it at a music shop. Soon, people were asking him to play concerts and give them lessons.

His agent and publicist, Mark Taylor, said Tapia was a regular at the Oasis Senior Center in Newport Beach and played every Wednesday on the beach in San Onofre with a group of ukulele enthusiasts.

Taylor said Tapia is the oldest performing musician for whom he has ever worked.

"He was not just a novelty act," Taylor said. "He was a real musician. He had real jazz chops."

Tapia also delighted his fans with his colorful personality and his sartorial elegance, he said.

"We had booked a show in Arcadia two years ago and a 101-year-old woman walked up to him and said, 'I'm so happy to meet you because it's so hard to meet men my age these days,'" Taylor said.

Tapia was always impeccably dressed, whether he was on the stage or at home.

"He had his collection of suits, ties, jewelry and hats and he wore them," Taylor said. "He had the most unique sense of style."

What kept Tapia young was the music, he said.

"He was seldom without his ukulele – at home, in the car or the hotel room," Taylor said. "He toured even after he fell and broke his hip last year. He got some physical therapy and got back on the road."

Taylor recalled one instance where Tapia had a medical episode right before a show in Redding.

"He would not dream of canceling the show," he said. "We went from the emergency room straight to the show. He rehearsed for 10 minutes. And then he went out there and killed."

Tapia's last show was in Santa Barbara in November 2010, after which his health began to fail, Taylor said.

Tapia was given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hawaiian Academy of Recording Arts in May, but could not travel to Hawaii to receive it, he said.

A private funeral service will be held, but friends are planning a celebration of his life in mid-January in California and in Hawaii. The details of those celebrations are yet to be formalized.

Tapia is survived by his several grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.

Contact the writer: 714-796-7909 or
Sent by Ricardo Valverde

Jazz’s Bill Tapia, who helped revive Hawaii’s iconic ukulele, dies at 103 (in Westminster, CA)



Latino Literary Pioneer Piri Thomas Dies At 83 
October 28, 2011 

Last week the influential and acclaimed writer Piri Thomas died at home in Northern California at the age of 83. Most famous for his memoir “Down These Mean Streets,” the Cuban/Puerto Rican-American was known as a major figure in the Nuyorican literary movement.


Because of his childhood and adolescence which were set against the backdrop of racism, poverty, and violence, and his subsequent time spent in prison after wounding a police officer, Thomas’ memoir is often compared to that of Malcom X’s. Part of what separated his work though, was the fact that few other writers had described the urban Latino experience and the search for racial identity quite like Thomas did, leading him to inspire generations of Latino writers after him.  

Thomas also penned other novels, short stories, plays and books of poetry, and aside from writing, dedicated his life to educational outreach and activism.  Excerpt from Thomas’ Sermon From the Ghettos:

I was a child
running through dark ghetto streets
letting the sea of hatred and bigotry
wash over me.
I was too young to know.
But Momma filled my eyes
with the wondrous city,
where there was pity,
and all its pearly gates.
And oh, yeah, all the beautiful wisdoms
that flow from up there.

[Photo From Random House]



Admired leader well-known for increasing Latino parent engagement in education

LOS ANGELES, CA – MALDEF mourns the recent passing of Raul Borbón, visionary leader of Asociación de Padres de Pasadena Latinos por la Educación (APPLE), parent activist, and longtime advocate for improving equity and quality in the public education system.

Raul came to the United States over thirty years ago. He began his community involvement as a volunteer, teaching English and literacy classes in Pasadena Central Park, before becoming a community organizer working with Latinos in Northwest Pasadena. He was a member of the Instituto de Educación Popular en el Sur de California (IDEPSCA), where he participated in projects supporting day laborers in the Los Angeles and Pasadena areas and coordinated IDEPSCA’s family literacy project in East LA. He is well-known for being the visionary behind the IDEPSCA parent movement to influence school reform, APPLE.

Raul worked closely with MALDEF on its Parent School Partnership Program for seven years. He and his wife, Susana Zamorano, developed a strategy to ensure that hundreds of Latino parents were trained on the Parent School Partnership Program in Pasadena and were themselves staunch advocates for parent engagement. Many of those parents became leaders in their communities, serving on local school advisory and decision-making committees and successfully advocating on behalf of English learners.

While Raul's work was focused in Pasadena and the Pico Union area, he also influenced the field of parent engagement and social justice at large by sharing his strategies and best practices with others through his active participation in MALDEF's National Parent Alumni Network and the Parent Organization Network in Los Angeles. MALDEF honored Raul and Susana jointly at the 2007 Los Angeles Awards Gala with the MALDEF Parent Activists Leadership Award.

MALDEF's Vice President of Community Education, Gina Montoya, said:

"Raul was a teacher at heart. His devotion to providing people with needed educational programs and services, and his use of popular education to build capacity in the grassroots community that we serve, is, and always will be, an inspiration. His work with MALDEF's Parent School Partnership and Domestic Violence Prevention programs led to more positive outcomes, as did his guidance and mentorship to MALDEF's community education staff. We have lost an education rights champion and we are deeply saddened by his loss."

Raul also co-developed and piloted, Aprendamos, to increase academic achievement for students in kindergarten through third grade; and led the Central American Resource Center’s (CARECEN) parent and youth programs, where he developed a variety of programs critical to the overall success of Latinos.

His latest project, El Centro de Educación del Pueblo (CEP), trained leaders to become practitioners of popular education and honored the contributions of immigrant women in social movements. The mission of CEP is to create social, cultural, and educational change in the Latino community, particularly among immigrants, utilizing programs rooted in social justice that believe in an equitable multi-ethnic and multi-lingual society.

Two memorial services were held in December in honor of Raul Borbón:
Donations for the family or his last project El Centro de Educación del Pueblo (CEP) should go to CEP's fiscal sponsor: The Flintridge Center, 236 W. Mountain St., Suite 106, Pasadena, CA 91103.

In Memory of
Federico R. Garcia Jr.
October 30, 1938 - November 25, 2011
Born October 30, 1938, Federico Ricardo Garcia, Jr. entered the gates of heaven peacefully on November 25, 2011. Celebrating his 73rd birthday this year with his closest friends and surrounded by his loving family on Thanksgiving Day, Fred lived a wonderful life as a devoted family man and friend. Not only did he serve honorably in the U.S. Navy from 1955-1964, he spent his life in dedication to the service of his country retiring as a Computer Scientist from the U.S. Air Intelligence Agency Security Command with 40 years of distinguished civil service. He graduated from Martin High School in Laredo, TX and Texas A&I University in Kingsville, TX.

For the complete obituary and to view a video and a collection of 35 photos, please go to 

Sent by Walter Herbeck


"To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace in society."  Theodore Roosevelt 

Judge Signs off on Houston National Cemetery Settlement
Feds Seize 32 Tons of Marijuana
Al Bermudez, Correction Officer at Sing Sing Prison 
Border Security Meeting Held in Laredo Texas
Sealed Court Records Brings Calls for Investigation
70% Ethnicity Hate Crimes Are Against Hispanics
New Data on Marijuana and Other Drugs
Deceptive Charity Raked in Millions
Fraud on Many Levels and Within Many Agencies
Afghan Muslim Contractor Has Been Teaching Marines
Far Fewer Enter U.S. Illegally Form Mexico
Fake College Degrees

Judge signs off on Houston National Cemetery settlement

By: Lindsay Wise, Houston Chronicle 
October 20, 2011 

American Legion member Willie Beck discusses the federal lawsuit against the Houston National Cemetery and the VA.

Local veterans and volunteer groups had accused VA and cemetery officials of banning them from using religious speech - including the words Jesus and God - during services at the cemetery.

Photo: Chronicle, Mayra Beltran / HC 

A federal judge Wednesday authorized the settlement of a lawsuit over allegations of religious censorship at Houston National Cemetery. The parties reached agreement in the case through mediation last month, and Judge Lynn Hughes signed his consent Wednesday.

"This agreement preserves VA policy that families' wishes are paramount when their loved ones - our nation's heroes - are laid to rest," Steve Muro, VA's undersecretary for memorial affairs, said in a statement. "This agreement respects the important principle that the family's wishes for religious observances at the committal services must be honored, which VA has fought to protect from day one."

Under the settlement, VA agrees "not to ban, regulate or otherwise interfere with prayers, recitations, or words of religious expression absent family objection" and to let veterans' families hold services with any religious or secular content they desire.

VA also agrees not to edit or control private religious speech by speakers at VA-sponsored ceremonies or events and pledges to return a Bible, cross and Star of David to the cemetery's chapel, which must remain open and not be used for storage or referred to as a "meeting facility."

The Bible, cross and star will be placed "on an open shelf within, but to the side of, the chapel, where they would be accessible and available for use by families," the documents state.

Local members of Veterans of Foreign Wars District 4 and Houston National Memorial Ladies will resign their positions as official VA volunteers. As private citizens, they will then be free to provide their own texts of recitations to funeral homes so that veterans' families can decide if they would like these groups to provide any services at the cemetery.

Protesters had called for the VA to fire Houston cemetery director Arleen Ocasio.  Director Ocasio requested and received a transfer to another position in the National Cemeteries Administration in Washington D.C.. 

View from inside a tunnel recently found in the northern border city of Tijuana, MX 
Extract:  Feds Seize 32 Tons of Marijuana From Underground U.S.-Mexico Border Tunnel
by Elliot Spagat,
November 30, 2011,  Associated Press, via OCRegister 

The latest secret passage -- equipped with a hydraulic lift, electric rail carts and a wooden staircase -- was discovered Tuesday on the U.S.-Mexico border, highlighting an emerging seasonal trend. For three years, authorities have found sophisticated tunnels shortly before the winter holidays in what officials speculate is an attempt by drug smugglers to take advantage of Mexico's fall marijuana harvest.

The discovery of the 600-yard tunnel resulted in seizures of 32 tons of marijuana, one of the largest pot busts in U.S. history. It linked warehouses in San Diego and Tijuana and was equipped with lighting and ventilation. Wooden planks lined the floor about 40 feet underground.

"This is an incredibly efficient tunnel designed to move a lot of narcotics," said Derek Benner, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's special agent in charge of investigations in San Diego said Wednesday.

Authorities recovered nearly 17 tons of marijuana at the warehouse in San Diego's Otay Mesa area, nearly 12 tons inside a truck in Los Angeles and about 4 tons in Mexico. Six people were charged in federal court in Southern California with conspiracy to distribute marijuana.

As U.S. authorities heighten enforcement on land, tunnels have become a major tack to smuggle enormous loads of marijuana. More than 70 passages have been found on the border since October 2008, surpassing the number of discoveries in the previous six years

"If they can't cross the border above ground, they attempt to tunnel underneath it," said Laura Duffy, the U.S. attorney in San Diego.

It's unclear whether cartels are building the tunnels in time for the winter holidays or if that's when authorities just happen to find them. Some U.S. authorities are inclined to think the cartels are timing construction for the fall harvest, based on their belief that this year's two major finds in San Diego and one last year in San Diego were discovered shortly after they were completed. Heightened activity around building and operating the tunnels drew suspicion and exposed smugglers to getting caught.

It takes roughly six months to a year to build a tunnel, authorities say. Workers use shovels and pickaxes to slowly dig through the soil, sleeping in the warehouse until the job is done. Sometimes they use pneumatic tools.

After last November's twin finds, U.S. authorities launched a campaign to alert Otay Mesa warehouse landlords to warning signs. Landlords were told to look for construction equipment, piles of dirt, sounds of jackhammers and the scent of unburned marijuana.

No arrests were made in Mexico in the latest find. U.S. authorities linked last November's twin discoveries to Mexico's Sinaloa cartel, headed by Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, that country's most-wanted drug lord. No link has been established to the Tuesday bust.


Al Bermudez, Correction Officer at Sing Sing Prison 

Al Bermudez, Prison Correction Officer 

Mimi, I am sending  you a little bit more on Al Bermudez bio and on Sing Sing. This way the reader will know a more of what Al went through while working at the notorious Sing Sing, Native American name for stone-on-stone. 

Sing-Sing Prison was completed in 1825. It is located in Ossining, NY, Westchester County. It’s approximately thirty minutes south of Indian Point Nuclear Energy Center and thirty minutes north of Historical Sleepy Hollow, Village of the Headless Horseman. 

Six-hundred-fourteen convicts were electrocuted there, the final electrocution in 1963. The total population may vary as a result of double bunking. During the 1990s it is believed the total population was 2,370, six-fourteen of those in housing block-B, (HBB). 

Many publicized criminals were housed at Sing-Sing, from former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s father, to David Berkowitz, (Son of Sam) Robert Chambers, (Preppie Killer) and many more. 

Many movies were also made at Sing-Sing, with celebrities like, James Cagney, Robert DeNiro, Goldie Hawn, Peter Falk, Billy Crystal, Charles Bronson, Michael Douglas, Woody Allen, Bruce Willis, and musicians who performed, like Joan Baez, Eddie Palmieri, B.B. King, Larry Harlow, Ossie Davis and others Babe Ruth, Mike Wallace and Geraldo Rivera, (aka Jerry Rivers). 

Thank you for sharing with our primos . . Joe Sanchez, author of: 
Latin Blues, A Tale of Police Omerta 
True Blue: A Tale of the Enemy Within                

Author of: 
Sing Sing State Prison, One Day, One Lifetime
Ruins of a Society and the Honorable
He is known for writing his first book, "Sing Sing State Prison, One Day, One Lifetime," featured in the Ossining Historical Society Museum and reviews from City of Lakes Lifestyle Magazine 2007, ECO Latino Magazine 2007, Dr. Phillips Lifestyle Magazine 2007, Longwood Lifestyle Magazine 2007, and other Central Florida publishing companies. His new book, "Ruins of a Society and the Honorable" published November 25, 2009, won the Literary Awards for Best 2009 Autobiography / Biography, by The Multicultural Literature Advocacy Group, Living in Color Literary Awards and recently received notability for her honorable mention in the book, Sonia Sotomayor, US Supreme Court Justice.
Al Bermudez summarizes the dangers of being a prison correction officer:

"During my career at Sing-Sing, and like many others, I sustained numerous injuries which included, 
but was not limited to the following: 
Post Concussive Brain Syndrome Chronic (2° close head injury) 
Post Concussive Syndrome Headaches 
Minimal Brain Damage (2° physical trauma) 
Closed Head Trauma 
Hearing Loss 
Tooth Loss 
Herniated Cervical Disc’s
Bulging Lumbar Disc’s 
Facial Reconstructive Surgery, etc. "

Joe speaks on protesting the film Fort Apache The Bronx in the 1970-80s.  
The facts before the movie and after... I'd like to call it: While the governor and president fiddled, the Bronx burned...
Border Security Meeting Held in Laredo, Texas 

Border Security Goal of Meeting

Border security meeting held in Laredo, Texas on November 28, 2011 was hosted by Congressman Cuellar. The goal was to bring border security law enforcement personnel, ranchers and landowners to discuss and find solutions to the challenges faced living in rural areas along the border.

Pictured from left to right :
Starr County Deputy Sheriff Eramos Rios
Texas Highway Patrol Captain (DPS) Orlando Alanis
Zapata County Sheriff Sigifredo “Sigi” Gonzalez
Webb County Sheriff Martin Cuellar
ICE Special Agent in Charge Jerry Robinette
Chief Border Patrol (Rio Grande Valley Sector)  
       Rosendo Hinojosa
Chief Border Patrol (Laredo Sector) Robert Harris
Congressman Henry Cuellar (TX-28)

Sent by Walter Herbeck

Sealed Court Records Brings Calls For Investigation
The Justice Department has sealed court records detailing the circumstances of a border patrol agent's murder by a Mexican drug cartel, including the fact U.S. agents were being hunted with U.S.-supplied weapons, distributed under the US government's Fast and Furious project. 

Case involved five non-US citizens hunting down Border Patrol agents with weapons provided by the Phoenix office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Two Romanian-built AK-47 assault rifles found at the scene were identified as having been bought in a Glendale, Ariz., gun shop and then allowed to "walk" into Mexico under Fast and Furious.

Ten Arizona sheriffs, led by National Sheriff of the Year Paul Babeu, currently president of the Arizona Sheriffs Association, have called for a special counsel to determine who should be held criminally accountable for Fast and Furious.

The murder of Border Patrol Agent Bryan Terry by Mexican drug cartels with weapons provided by the US government is a national disgrace.  

Information sent by Odell Harwell 


70% of Ethnicity Hate Crimes Are Against Hispanics
By: Deniz Sonmez-Alpan


Nearly 70% of victims of ethnicity-based hate crimes in 2010 were Hispanic, according to this year’s edition of the FBI’s annual Hate Crime Statistics Report.  There were 1,122 hate crimes reported to the FBI in 2010, and 747 of them were Hispanic. Only 45% of the ethnic-bias hate crimes were against Hispanics in 2009. The release of the FBI report has come when anti-illegal immigration legislation has been spreading to several states.

A total of 47.3% of hate crimes in 2010 were based on race, with 20% based on religion, 19.3% based on sexual orientation, 12.8% based on national origin, and a mere 0.6% based on disability. Of the 6,008 known offenders, 58.6% were white and 18.4% were black.

A “victim”, as defined in the report, can be an individual, a business, an institution, or society as a whole. “Almost a fourth of our 2010 civil rights caseload involved crimes motivated by a particular bias against the victim,” said Eric Thomas, civil rights chief in Washington, D.C. “We frequently worked these cases with state and local law enforcement to ensure that justice was done—whether at the state level or at the federal level.”

Far Fewer Enter U.S. Illegally From Mexico 
by Miriam Jordan, Wall St Journal (12/13/11)

Arrests of people trying to sneak into the U.S. from Mexico have plunged to the lowest level in four decades, the latest sign that illegal immigration is on the retreat even as legislatures, Congress and presidential candidates hotly debate the issue.

Arrests of migrants sneaking into the U.S plunge to lowest level in decades, indicating illegal immigration is on the retreat even as states, Congress and GOP presidential candidates hotly debate the issue. Miriam Jordan explains on The News Hub.

Behind the historic drop is a steep decline in the birthrate in Mexico and greater opportunities there relative to the weak U.S. economy. Stepped-up U.S. patrols along the border make it both riskier and more expensive for Mexicans to attempt to enter the country. 

Government crackdowns on U.S. employers who hire illegal workers also have discouraged immigrants. The Supreme Court agreed Monday to decide whether an Arizona statute targeting illegal immigrants interferes with U.S. law.

The decline in Mexican immigrants is being felt as far away as farms in Washington and Michigan, which weathered labor shortages during the recent apple harvest. 

A U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agent drove along the international border fence near Nogales, Ariz in September 2010. 

The U.S. arrested 340,252 migrants along the Mexico-U.S. border in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30—down 24% from the year before and the lowest level in 39 years, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a unit of the Department of Homeland Security. 

In the previous fiscal year, agents apprehended 447,731 illegal crossers in the Southwest, compared with 1.6 million in 2000, the peak year. The last time the border was this quiet was 1972, when agents caught 321,326 people.

Associated Press 
"We have reached the end of an era," said Dowell Myers, a demographer at the University of Southern California. "Even if immigration increases some after this recession, it won't rebound back to levels we saw in the early 2000s."

Rafael Garcia, a 40-year-old undocumented immigrant in Washington State, said he would discourage Mexican friends from attempting to enter the U.S. illegally, even though he has worked in vineyards, apple orchards and dairy farms in the country for two decades. 

"You have to be really desperate to come here now," said Mr. Garcia, who is married with three U.S.-born daughters. "It's so hard to get across, and then you have all these states passing laws to get rid of you." 

The dramatic decrease in border arrests—which the U.S. considers a key gauge of how many people try to enter illegally—is supported by figures that show a shrinking number of illegal immigrants already in the country.

In 2010, that undocumented population was estimated at 11 million by the independent Pew Hispanic Center, down 8% from its peak of 12 million in 2007.

Mexicans constitute about 60% of undocumented U.S. immigrants. "Current flows are as low as we have ever seen them," said Jeffrey Passel, a senior researcher at the Pew center. "More unauthorized Mexicans have been leaving than coming." 

At 150,000 last year, Mexican immigration to the U.S. was one-fifth of what it was in 2000, when 750,000 Mexicans flocked to the U.S., the majority of them illegally. All told, net immigration from Mexico is "essentially zero," said Mr. Passel.

Nearly 21,500 agents, about twice as many as in 2004, guard the Southwestern border. They are backed by hundreds of miles of fencing and high-tech surveillance, including thermal imaging and unmanned aerial systems.

Mexican drug cartels also may play a role in discouraging people. The cartels often ply the same routes to the U.S. that undocumented immigrants use, making those paths violent and dangerous. Some crossers have been forced to serve as drug carriers for cartels.

Some demographers say more undocumented Mexicans may be leaving the U.S. than arriving as a downturn in construction, hospitality and other industries makes low-skill jobs scarce. Thousands of illegal immigrants have lost their jobs after the U.S. has audited company payrolls to find undocumented workers.

"No one knows better than the migrants themselves about the state of the U.S. economy. They hear that their cousin, uncle and friends are without work," said Primitivo Rodriguez, a Mexican migration expert who formerly worked for the Mexican Human Rights Commission.

Back in Mexico, families have shrunk, providing less incentive for young people to leave. In 1970, each Mexican woman bore an average of 6.8 children. By 1990, that number was 3.4. Today, the birthrate is at replacement level, about 2.1. 

That "enormous demographic shift," coupled with a better economic climate in Mexico, is helping curb emigration, said Gordon Hanson, an international economist at the University of California, San Diego. 

To be sure, annual immigration to the U.S. from its neighbor has climbed and receded before. It dropped by one-third after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The annual influx of Mexicans averaged 550,000 between 2003 and 2006, according to Pew. It has since tumbled.

Still, illegal immigration remains a contentious political issue. More than one million people have been deported since President Barack Obama took office in 2009. Deportations hit a record 397,000 in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30. The president favors putting undocumented workers on the path to legalization. But as the 2012 election approaches, no immigration bill is expected to come before the House and Senate. 

The impasse has propelled several states, such as Arizona, Alabama and Georgia, to pass laws to curb illegal immigration. Supporters say undocumented workers are taking jobs from Americans at a time of high unemployment and burdening cash-strapped public governments.

Except for former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who said those in the U.S. more than 20 years should be able to earn legal status, top Republican presidential candidates oppose letting illegal immigrants remain in the U.S. 

Write to Miriam Jordan at  

Sent by Juan Marinez 


A Berkeley (Calif.) study of 350 patients showed that 66% use marijuana as a prescription drug substitute, with better symptom control and fewer side effects. Instead of using separate medication for pain, anti-anxiety, and sleep, they can use cannabis to control all the symptoms. 75% said they use cannabis for psychic disorders, including bipolar, PTSD, depression, and insomnia. Unlike some psychic drugs, the marijuana did not leave them feeling like "zombies." Internal Medicine News, 11/15/11, p. 11.

"Overdose deaths involving opioid pain relievers now exceed deaths from heroin and cocaine combined." Internal Medicine News, 11/15/11, p. 51.
Sent by Aury Lor Holtzman, M.D.


Deceptive Charity Raked in Millions 
The Orange County Register, a Southern California newspaper reporter watchdog reporter Teri Sforza keeps the local community aware of much misbehavior of local individuals and groups.  A December 3rd column focused on the amount of money that one organization spent on fund-raising activities versus the amount which went to the cause, helping burn victims after catastrophic fires. Historically this Santa Ana based non-profit has spent between 86 to 92 % and only 3% to the cause.  You can see the law suit and other documents at 


Fraud on Many Levels and Within Many Agencies

Woman sentenced in medical scam
by Vik Jolly

Called, "the largest medical fraud prosecution in the nation."
 $154 million scam

A woman who was a "capper"--one who illegally recruits healthy patients to undergo unnecessary and often dangerous surgeries so medical practices can earn health insurance payments--was sentenced today to a year in jail for her role in what prosecutors call "the largest medical fraud prosecution in the nation."

And 60-year-old Pancha Keophimone still faces a restitution hearing next year, when she will likely have to pay back ill-gotten gains from the $154 million scam that recruited thousands of phony patients from across the country.

Keophimone, who worked at the since-closed Unity Outpatient Surgery Center in Buena Park, pleaded guilty in August to a court offer of 56 felony counts including conspiracy, capping, insurance fraud, grand theft, tax evasion, and sentencing enhancements for aggravated white collar crime and loss exceeding $2.5 million. 

The Orange County District Attorney's office (OCDA) reports that Keophimone was technically sentenced to 12 years in state prison, but under the terms of her plea deal that was stayed pending completion of five years formal probation. Her restitution hearing is scheduled for May 18, 2012.

Keophimphone personally recruited 118 patients from 17 different states for 297 surgical procedures. This resulted in more than $8 million in billings to insurance companies for unnecessary surgical procedures.

Unity, whose cappers recruited a total of 2,841 healthy people, targeted businesses in 39 states with PPO insurance plans. The company transported the patients to Buena Park, scheduled the surgeries (usually on weekends) and coached the healthy on what to say to avoid raising suspicions. Patients were paid in cash or credits for cosmetic surgery after the procedures.

Nineteen defendants were originally charged and 13 were indicted in June 2008 by the Orange County Grand Jury, which examined 1,054 exhibits and heard testimony from 56 witnesses over 28 days. The indicted include an attorney, accountant, three doctors and other cappers. Among them are:

•Surgeon Dr. William Wilson Hampton, Jr., 56, of Seal Beach, who pleaded guilty in May 2009 to 47 felony counts including conspiracy, insurance fraud, and capping and was sentenced to 16 years in state prison. 

•Doctor Michael Chan, 65, of Cerritos, who pleaded guilty in August to 40 felony counts including conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, insurance fraud, aiding and abetting capping with white collar crime sentencing enhancements. Unity's formed medical director faces a sentence ranging from probation up to 28 years in state prison at his March 9. 2012, sentencing hearing in Santa Ana.

•Capper Sue Nanda, 43, of Costa Mesa, who pleaded guilty in February 2009 to 22 felony counts including conspiracy, capping, grand theft, filing false tax returns, failing to file tax returns, and making false and fraudulent statements. She was sentenced the following August to 10 years in state prison and ordered to pay more than $500,000 in restitution for personal and corporate back taxes. 

•Capper Maria DeJesus Licea Rosales, 44, pleaded guilty in August 2009 to 96 felony counts including conspiracy, capping, insurance fraud, grand theft, filing fraudulent tax returns, and sentencing enhancements for white collar crime and loss over $2.5 million. She was sentenced to eight years in state prison. 

•Capper Olga Lilia Toscano, 41, pleaded guilty in August 2009 to 98 felony counts including conspiracy, capping, insurance fraud, grand theft, tax evasion, and sentencing enhancements for aggravated white collar crime and loss exceeding $2.5 million. She was sentenced to eight years in state prison.

•Capper Ngoc Huynh, 51, pleaded guilty in August to 56 felony counts including conspiracy, capping, insurance fraud, grand theft, tax evasion, filing a false income tax return, and sentencing enhancements for aggravated white collar crime and loss exceeding $2.5 million. He faces a maximum of 45 years and eight months in state prison at his Jan. 6, 2012, sentencing in Santa Ana. Capper Thuy Huynh, 53, is also scheduled to be sentenced there that morning.

Six defendants pleaded guilty prior to the indictment and have been sentenced. Unity administrators Tam Vu Pham, 46, Huong Ngo, 45, and Lan Nguyen, 55, pleaded guilty to recruiting doctors and cappers for the scheme. Pham, the primary perpetrator, was sentenced to 12 years in state prison.  Yet to be tried are Roy Dickson, 63, and Andrew Harnen, 57, who are scheduled to go before a jury on Dec. 12 in Santa Ana. Mario Rosenberg, 64, faces a pre-trial hearing on Jan. 13, 2012.

The case was jointly investigated by the California Department of Insurance and Orange County District Attorney's Office with assistance from the California Franchise Tax Board. 


Health reform has ramped up anti-fraud efforts, but the almost $70 billion price tag that is paid out to fraudsters each year demonstrates that health fraud is still an enormous problem.
The National Healthcare Anti-Fraud Association estimates that approximately 3% of the $2.5 trillion in annual health-care spending is lost to fraud. According to Lou Saccoccio, NHCAA executive director, the government reports an even larger figure: 10% of total health-care expenditures or $225 billion, which includes not only intentional fraud, but the grayer area of mistake-driven waste and abuse.

The financial ramifications are staggering, and the trickle-down effect hurts subscribers—both individual and corporate--who are forced to pay higher premiums and more money out-of-pocket.

As providers necessarily cut back to save dollars, subscribers receive reduced benefits and coverage. In some cases, premium spikes may make-or-break a person’s ability to buy insurance.

Experts say that in some respects, the new health reform has made the public more vulnerable to falling victim to medical scams. Crooks prey on the confusion that comes from change and peddle fake medical plans door-to-door and discount medical cards disguised as insurance.

Read more: 



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Editor: I frequently watch American Greed on television.  Receiving this website shocked me into the reality of  a nation over-run by fakes and fraud ever ready to steal.  Observing the economic incompetence that we are observing in both the government and business suggests that our leaders should be questioned at every juncture.  We can not afford to go by what they say . .  we need to look at the RESULTS of their action. . .   the BIG PICTURE.     
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Afghan Muslim Contractor has been Teaching Marines 
Latrine directive another step on path 
to Islamification: "excretory etiquette"  
By: Diana West
Jewish World Review, Dec. 2, 2011 

Below is the lesson that an Afghan Muslim contractor has been teaching Marines before they deploy to Afghanistan, in accordance with an Islamic canonical hadith called "The Prohibition of Facing the Qiblah When Relieving Oneself." 
The Nov. 28 print edition of Marine Corps Times carries both an article and a lead editorial on what the paper is politely calling "excretory etiquette" regarding Marines and Mecca -- which, incidentally, is about 2,000 miles from Afghanistan. But this isn't just about etiquette. Given its Islamic religious derivation, the Marines' excretory instruction strikes me as a violation of religious freedom. Who is the U.S. Marine Corps to instruct American citizens to bring their personal hygiene practices into accord with Islamic law? The Corps in this case is acting as a vehicle of Islamic law, which comprehensively rules on all manner of personal habits, as well as on civil and legal affairs. 

Needless to say, the Marine Corps doesn't see it that way. Its spokesmen have contended narrowly that this lesson taught by a contractor (hired by the Corps) isn't "formal Marine Corps doctrine," as the Marine Corps Times editorial puts it. Formal or not, the editors also don't think this Marine Shariah (Islamic law) is a bad idea. Headlined "Respect differences," the editorial states: "Thing is, there's value to this sort of insight." Perhaps in the name of respecting "differences"? 

So "respecting differences" here means pee straight or die. That's the lesson the military wants to teach young Americans heading into the war zone -- again, inside the wire. The only way it knows to increase their safety while on their own bases or when "partnering" with Afghans is to school them in the practice of Islamic law. In effect, then, collaboration with the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan requires the United States of America to Islamify its infidel forces . . "Counseling Marines to aim east ultimately may head off trouble," the editorial concludes. 

The editorial refers to tensions between Muslims and infidels inside the wire. "Consider that in the last four years," the editorial continues, "nearly 60 coalition troops have been killed by their Afghan counterparts." 

Scatological or not, what we are talking about here is an untenable invasion of privacy of American citizens in uniform via religious dictate as taught by the U.S. Marine Corps.  

Sent by Odell Harwell


Battered Blue by Captain Donna Roman Hernandez (Ret.)
Donna Roman Hernandez Directors Bio
New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault


Authored by Captain Donna Roman Hernandez (Ret.)                 

We are all vulnerable to crime; it can strike anyone of us, including cops like me.  I survived ten years of child abuse and more than three decades of domestic violence within my home.  Then I was a silent witness to the abuse perpetrated upon me, my mother, brother and sister.  


I was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1957.  The youngest of three children, an older brother and an older sister.  My mother was also born in Newark, NJ. My father was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Both were first generation Americans.  My father's surname was Roman. My paternal grandparents were Cuban and Romanian.  My maternal grandparents were Italian. Hernandez is my husband's surname.  He was born in Cuba.

During my twenty-eight year law enforcement career my father tried to kill me twice; once by strangulation and the second time with a firearm.  He was a highly-decorated WWII Navy veteran and post-war Sheriff’s Officer.  We both had badges and guns; he slept with a handgun under his pillow and so did I.  I hung bells on my bedroom door to alert me if it was opened when I was sleeping.  

My father was careful where he inflicted his rages.  I hid my body bruises, scars, and belt and heal marks underneath my police uniform guarding when and how I changed into and out of my clothes in the police locker room.  I kept my family secret hidden.  

Most people wake up from their nightmares.   I was forced to live mine daily growing up facing a journey not meant for young children.  Parents are supposed to protect their children from dangers that threaten them, to ensure they can grow up in a safe environment surrounded by love and stability and to lead by example.  This is not what happened in our house.  On a regular basis I viewed examples of what not to be and mentally absorbed all of it.  

My father betrayed his family.  He ferociously preyed on all of us thriving on our vulnerability and compliance.  Violence was the oxygen that sustained him.  He dominated and controlled us.  His intentions were cruel and premeditated, his actions criminal.  I knew the odds were greater that I would be killed in my own home than as a cop working the streets.  

Our house didn’t have a spooky exterior children dare each other to approach.  It wasn’t surrounded by iron bars and walls – there were no hardened beds, cells or windows that were backed with steel to keep us there inside.  It had a white picket fence, a manicured lawn and garden filled with roses and an American flag displayed year round.                                 

To all I met I was just as free as they themselves were but that was because my shackled chains were invisible – no one ever saw or knew what kept me there.  Unbeknownst to all, my father was the gatekeeper and we were his prisoners.  He avoided detection and prosecution because we feared him.

I knew my father would kill my mother if we reported his actions to the police or child protective services so I stayed silent.  

Under the best of circumstances, it’s difficult to end a relationship with an intimate partner or family member.  Love, shared memories and a sense of commitment are bonds that are hard to break.  Many battered women want the violence and abuse to stop, but they don’t want the relationship to end.

I know this all too well.  I loved my father but hated his behavior.  We were biologically connected; however, DNA doesn’t make a family.  

During my law enforcement career I handled over 300 inquiries/incidents of domestic violence.  I arrested and prosecuted batters for the same acts I allowed my father to perpetrate upon me.  My police colleagues, peers and friends would never believe that I would allow this type of abuse to happen in my house for so many years.  

The generational and cultural cycle of domestic violence existed in my family for three generations.  I wasn’t fortunate to have grandparents to confront my father or to comfort me with unconditional love; they passed on when I was a toddler.  All my maternal and paternal relatives witnessed the abuse but no one stepped up or stepped in to stop him.  My mother created somewhat of a safe space for me whenever my father was out of the house.  

My quest had always been to live a normal life but how does this happen in a dysfunctional household with the ever-looming potential of lethal violence?   For me the fear of when the violence would happen was worse than the actual acts of violence.   I spent lots of time and energy protecting myself from facing what I’d been through.  Mentally and emotionally I played it down every way I could.  I knew I had to escape but I wasn’t leaving without my mother; my father psychologically and financially controlled her.  

My break through moment happened one Saturday afternoon when my father almost ended my life.  I arrived home from a Saturday college class at Rutgers University to a usual argument between my parents in the kitchen.  However, this argument sounded different than the others.  I heard my mother screaming that she had enough and was leaving.  She was leaving?                                               

Upon entering the kitchen, I saw my mother advance towards my father with a cleaver in hand. My police instincts kicked in, I intervened and separated them.  My mother dropped the knife and began wildly air punching at my father.  I pushed him into the wall, tried to hold him there, however, he reacted, grabbed me by my neck, lifted me off my feet, banged me onto the kitchen table, and channeled all his anger and hate into his destructive mallet-like hands and began strangling me.     

Our eyes met, I saw his bulging and felt mine doing the same.  I knew his intention was to kill me.  Ironically, I felt at peace, somewhat floating above my own body, ready to leave this life.  I saw my mother hitting him, defending me, trying to pull him off me and screaming “Stop, you’re going to kill her”.  Then I realized if he killed me, she would be next and this motivated me to survive.  

My police tactical training went into high gear.  For the first time in 35 years, I fought back punching, kicking and disabling him with all my will and desire to live.  One of my punches to his head successfully released me.  I fell off the table, staggered to my bedroom and retrieved my handgun as he barreled up the stairs.  We met at the 2nd floor landing.   I drew my revolver, cocked it, pointed it at his head and finally he knew looking down the barrel of my gun that I meant business.  I told him “No more, it’s over.  You will never touch me or my mother again” and he never did.   Finally, I would no longer accommodate myself to his brutality.   As I backed him down the stairs, my gun pointed at his head, he knew this was personal, daughter to father, victim to batterer; I was not taking his abuse any longer.  

A few days later Mom and I went to her doctor’s appointment vowing never to return to that house of horrors.  Several months prior I had safety planned, rented an apartment, furnished it, developed an escape plan for us and kept our new address confidential.   My mother hired an attorney and filed for divorce a few months shy of their 50th wedding anniversary.                                           

My early and constant exposure to physical and psychological violence had long-term effects on my life.  I thank God that my police training saved us from a certain death at my father’s hands.  A friend once told me “A wound can’t heal until the glass is removed” and she was right.  Counseling helped me deal with my own demons and to realize that I did nothing wrong and to let it go.  Forgiveness is an easy word to say; it falls quickly from our lips but living in forgiveness and moving on is another story.   

It wasn’t until my retirement from law enforcement that I came to terms with my own victimization.  Liberation came to me as an independent filmmaker when I self- produced and directed my 54-minute documentary memoir film, “The Ultimate Betrayal:  A Survivor’s Journey”.   

My personal story of victimization and survival has New Jersey roots but it speaks to the global widespread epidemics of child abuse and domestic violence that happens every minute of every day.   Now I honor my mother’s memory by speaking out and advocating for the silent and silenced victims of child abuse and domestic violence.                

About the Author:

Captain Donna Roman Hernandez (Ret.) served with both the Essex County Police and Caldwell Police Departments in New Jersey during her 28-year law enforcement career.  She is a 28-time award-winning independent Filmmaker, published Author, award-winning Public Speaker and the owner of Blue Force Films, a film/video production company based in New Jersey  that has produced twelve films (  

Donna is the Host of  “The Jersey Beat”, a broadband Blog Police Talk Radio Show.  In 2006 Donna was the first runner-up for the National Positive Force Award for police heroism being injured in the line of duty protecting a female victim of domestic violence.  

The Jersey Beat is a monthly blog talk radio show hosted by former Caldwell, New Jersey Police Captain Donna Roman Hernandez. The Show was created in collaboration with the Latino Officers Association of New Jersey and Florida and Latino Police Talk Radio. The Jersey Beat provides its listening audience with 'reality cop talk' from interesting and informative guests who are on the pulse and beat of the hot topics impacting the law enforcement profession. Listen LIVE or download the broadcasts anytime at .

Donna Roman Hernandez may be contacted at or 973-979-9207.



                         DONNA ROMAN HERNANDEZ,                

                                          DIRECTOR’S BIO  

Donna Roman Hernandez is a multi-award-winning independent film Director, Producer, Composer, Writer and the owner of Blue Force Films based in New Jersey .  Donna is a former Police Captain who served 28 years in law enforcement.  Her passion for story telling has resulted in the following independent films and Web Series.  

THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL:  A SURVIVOR’S JOURNEY is a 54-minute docu-memoir that exposes Donna’s 35-year family secret of physical abuse and emotional terrorism.  “THE ULTIMATE BETRAYAL” is a nine-time award-winning film and is distributed by Go Digital Media Group in Los Angeles .  

 FALLEN BLUE HEROES is a 46-minute documentary that honors and pays tribute to America ’s law enforcement Officers killed in the line of duty that have made the ultimate sacrifice.  It is a three-time award-winning documentary and is distributed by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund in Washington , D.C. and by  

 A CALL FOR VALOR is a 37-minute documentary about Irvington , New Jersey Police Sergeant Ken Hogan and his near-fatal encounter with an armed drug suspect who had a mission to kill Hogan.  Donna was awarded the Best NY Director Award for A Call for Valor by the New York International Film & Video Festival and is distributed by  

CLOSURE is a 28-minute documentary that explores how September 11th altered the lives of two NYPD Police Officer sisters after one of them perishes in the World Trade Center attacks.  CLOSURE won the Best Short Drama Award from the New York International Film & Video Festival in Los Angeles .  

NEWARK STREET PREACHERS is a 40-minute documentary that explores a faith-based community’s mission to stop the gang killings of inner-city youths in Newark , New Jersey .   NEWARK STREET PREACHERS won the Best Social Documentary Award from the New York International Film & Video Festival; was awarded the Best Short Documentary Award from the Urban Mediamakers Film Festival in Atlanta ; and was screened as the opening night film at the San Diego Black Film Festival.  

 STREET JUSTICE is a 5-minute documentary about a 15-year old Brooklyn , New York gang member and his personal redemption after he was shot 6 times, partially paralyzed, and left for dead.   STREET JUSTICE is a three time award-winning film and received a Visionary Award Honorable Mention from the Washington , DC International Film Festival.  

CROSSING BLOOD LINES (52-minute Web Series)  Family loyalties are challenged, alliances switched and blood lines are crossed when a murky family secret sparks betrayal between two New Jersey cop brothers and their mob boss cousin.   Crossing

Blood Lines has won three indie Web Series awards and Donna received a ‘Rising Star Award – Web Series’ from the New York International Film Festival.  

A FIRST IMPRESSION IS A LASTING ONE is a 120-minute training video for First responder/Patrol response to adult victims of sexual assault.  Donna directed and Co-produced this video in collaboration with the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault.    

Donna Roman Hernandez, Director                          Phone:  973-979-9207 
Email:               Website:



New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault

Video interview Part 1 - Natasha Sherman talks with the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault

The mission of the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault (NJCASA) is to promote the compassionate and just treatment of survivors and their loved ones; foster collaborative relationships between community systems; and affect attitudinal and behavioral changes in society as we work toward the elimination of sexual violence against all people.
24-hour Statewide Hotline: 800-601-7200

Sent by Joe Sanchez 

Mimi, please listen to The Jersey Beat Radio Show hosted by Donna Roman Hernandez. She served 25 years as a police officer, retiring as a captain. I listened to her last radio show November 25th  on Domestic violence concerning police officers and civilians. Donna also talks about her personal domestic violence which she and her mother suffered at the hands of her paternal father. 
It would be nice to have her story as a New Jersey police officer and radio show host, posted on Somos Primos magazine. Donna's e-mail is:


Burger Break: Burger King Pulls Little Spicy Mexican Ads

Burger Break: Burger King Pulls Little Spicy Mexican Ads
By Robb Walsh,  Apr. 14 2009 
Burger King has announced that it will withdraw its European advertising campaign for the Texican Whopper out of respect for the Mexican culture. The Mexican ambassador to Spain wrote a letter to the company complaining about the campaign, which features a tall Texas cowboy and a short Mexican wrestler in a lucha libre outfit. In the print ads, the wrestler wears a cape that resembles the Mexican flag. 

The Texican Whopper ads ran in Spain and Great Britain. The English language tagline was "A taste of Texas, with a little spicy Mexican." In Mexico City, one newspaper complained that the campaign depicted Mexicans as inferior, while another ran an editorial cartoon showing a wrestler eating a burger with a caption that humorously charged that the ads hit too close to home--a jab at the Mexican infatuation with fast food hamburgers and lucha libre wrestling. 

The Texan in the commercials is unshaven, keeps his horse in the living room, and can't open a jar of pickles without assistance from the Mexican. So far, no official protests have been filed complaining about the unfair stereotyping of Texans.  -Robb Walsh 

Sent by Michael A. Salinas
Director Visual Merchandising
Francesca’s Collections ®
713 864-1358 x:1220


Extract:  Pledge Will Support Congressional Interns 
Extract:  O.C.’s First International School Opens 
Extract: School Superintendent Gives Up $800,000 in Pay 
Education Inequities Hurting Latinos in City Schools
Focusing on the Needs of Latino Students (Academic Environment) 
Extract:  Pledge will support congressional interns 
By: Ron Gonzales, The Orange County Register, Oct 22, 2011

                What would you do if you won $266 million in California’s Mega Millions jackpot? The Cisneros started a foundation in 2010 that created two $1 million endowments at Jacki Cisneros’s alma mater, USC, for Latino journalisms students, and at Gilbert Cisneros’s alma mater, George Washington University, for Latino political science students after they won the jackpot.

               This endowment supports two Latino students in a congressional internship program. This endowment created a pledge of $700,000 that will provide support for two Latino students from California to participate in the institute’s Congressional Internship Program every year. The Cisneros generous gift is the largest contributions from an individual donor in the institute’s history.

               “We want to build a foundation of leaders for the future for the states,” said Gilbert Cisneros, “to gain experience on the Hill, and to either stay on the Hill and make a difference, or come back to the state and get involved here. Hispanics are already a majority in California. Our population is growing, and it’s time we start developing leaders to fill these roles, and let our voice be heard.

               In addition to the scholarships, the Cisneroses have partnered with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund to create the Frank Terrazas Scholarship program at El Rancho High school in their former hometown of Pico Rivera.


Extract:  O.C.’s first international school opens 
By: Jaimee Lynn Fletcher, The Orange County Register, Aug 28, 2011

People are constantly talking about competition in the job world, but it seems like no one knows just how to prepare for that. In Costa Mesa, however, an international school has just opened. The students there will be learning math in Mandarin, history in English and music in Spanish. Students can start as early as age 3 and by age 7 will be fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Spanish and English and will be able to read and write in all three languages.

Not only does the school teach the children other languages, but they also do art, music, community service activities and physical education. This school will help students be put on the right track to becoming trilingual and culturally well-rounded. “What a gift to be able to give our kids,” said parent Tara Boreyko. “I feel like we’re pioneers. It’s exciting.”

“Children’s brains are very different from ours,” says Talkington. “They’re like sponges. There’s no translating. They just hear it, and process it. Education really hasn’t made the radical transformation. Many young people…are not prepared for the new reality.”

The school has seventeen students enrolled and the parents hope that when it comes time for their children to find a job or a spot at a top college, that this type of education will give them an advantage.



Extract: School Superintendent Gives Up $800,000 in Pay 
By: Tracie Cone, The Orange County Register, Aug 29th, 2011


               A Fresno school superintendent, Larry Powel, is certainly not your average man. Until his term expires in 2015, Larry, who’s in charge of 195,000 students, will be working for only $31,000 a year! “How much do we need to keep accumulating?” asks Larry. “There’s no reason for me to keep stockpiling money.”

 Larry remembers city officials who secretly boosted their salaries by hundreds of thousands of dollars back in Bell. “It’s hard to believe that someone in the public trust would do that to the public. My wife and I asked ourselves, ‘What can we do that might restore confidence in government?’ ”

With that thought in mind, Larry asked the board to allow him to return $288,241 in salary and benefits for the next 3 ½ years. They agreed and he technically retired, and then got rehired to work for $31,000 a year. That’s $10,000 less than a first-year teacher and he’s not getting any benefits. Talk about giving back to your community.

Larry will still earn a six-figure retirement fund, but for the next three years he gets to steer the money he is giving up where he wants: to programs for kindergarten and preschool, the arts and a pet project that steers B and C students into college by teaching them how to take notes and develop strategy skills.



Education inequities hurting Latinos in city schools

San Diego Union Tribune 12/18/2011

By Dr. Alberto Ochoa

Over the past weeks, America’s Finest City was confronted with the unthinkable: the possible insolvency of San Diego city schools. Vested interests will debate the cause for this budget crisis – which was merely kicked down the road a bit by Sacramento’s budget maneuvering last week – and the options to address it. What needs to be considered foremost in this debate is the impact of the crisis upon the most vulnerable: our children.

For Latino educators, our fear is the options adopted by the school board will further exacerbate inequities within our public school system. Our fears are validated by the recent discussions on the redistribution of Title I funds to schools most in need.

Many do not realize that, today, Latino students comprise 46 percent of the total student population in San Diego Unified – 61,000 strong. Within five years, they will become the numerical majority. Addressing the prevailing academic achievement gap between Latino students and their white counterparts is evolving from a moral imperative to an economic one. We are risking the future viability of the greater San Diego region if we don’t come to grips with our changing demographics.

Some maintain the academic achievement of Latino students has substantially improved over the past 10 years. The truth is that, despite incremental gains, the most recent test data shows that 58 percent of Latino students still do not perform at grade level in English; while 49 percent do not perform at grade level in math.

One of four 10th-grade Latino students is not passing the English high school exit exam. One of five is not passing the math exit exam. Latino students are disproportionately dropping out of high school. Of those who do graduate, less than one-third successfully complete the required courses to enter the UC and CSU systems. Many who enroll in community college must take English and math remedial courses.

The instinctive reaction to these tragic statistics is to blame the child and the parent. An honest and candid assessment mandates that we direct our attention to the institutionalized inequities within our public schools that prevent any attempt to close the academic achievement gap.

For example, today, almost 59,00 Latino students (41 percent) are concentrated in the lowest performing schools in San Diego Unified, those ranked in the bottom 30 percent statewide. More than 4,700 Latino students are attending schools that were ranked in the lowest tenth percent 10 years ago, and which still retain that designation to this day.

This inequity goes back many years. In 1967, a class-action lawsuit challenged the treatment of students in our inner-city schools. The court found that 23 schools were racially isolated and ordered San Diego Unified to integrate them and address the academic achievement gap that prevailed. Yet 33 years later, 15 of the original 23 schools remain racially isolated and rank in the bottom 30 percent – affecting more than 7,700 Latino students who attend them.

Due to recent major cuts in busing, Latino students who were able to attend high-performing schools now have less access and fewer choices for a better education.

Furthermore, teachers in San Diego’s worst performing schools (where Latino students are congregated) have significantly fewer years of experience than their counterparts in the best-performing schools. This inequity persists, in large part, because of the labor agreement between the teachers union and the school district. Compounding this problem is the continuing underrepresentation of Latinos as classroom teachers and school administrators.

What are the solutions? A rigorous, biliterate curriculum that starts in kindergarten ensuring Latino students become academically proficient in both English and Spanish. An intensive effort to engage Latino parents in our schools and directly in their children’s education. Addressing elements of the teacher union’s labor agreement that prevent putting the best, most experienced teachers in our low-performing schools. Redirecting needed resources to the lowest performing schools.

Our fear is that these and other solutions will be casualties from the escalating budget crisis in San Diego Unified. Now, more than ever, we must ask ourselves: How do we make our public school system more responsive to our increasingly diverse student population while becoming more cost-effective and efficient given its diminishing resources. If we don’t, the most vulnerable will suffer – our children.

Dr. Alberto Ochoa is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Policy Studies in the Language and Cross-cultural Studies Department at San Diego State University. He is co-founder of the Parent institute for Quality Education (PIQE) and co-chair for the Superintendent's Latino Advisory Committee for the San Diego Unified School District.

Sent by Gus Chavez 

Focusing on the Needs of Latino Students (Academic Environment) 
by Manuel Hernandez-Carmona

Focusing on the needs of Latino students is creating the appropriate academic environment and allowing students not only to learn from what is taught , but it is nurturing a constructive learning scenario that will enable students to learn, achieve and succeed at the same time. Although there are different varieties, the essential values of the traditional classroom are the same. Today, technology and communications have provided a gateway and a bridge towards academic development. Smart Boards, computers and interactive classrooms are providing students with new waves of understanding and learning. Creating the appropriate academic environment is focusing on the student as a human being and accepting his/her culture as important as the one taught through language and literature.

The teaching of English in the United States is intrinsically tied to the teaching of the American culture. The teaching of culture demands behavioral changes and a consciousness and tolerance of the cultural influences affecting one’s own. Inconspicuously, an English as a second language teacher is fostering and affecting the concept development of culture in the second language learner. Therefore, a suitable academic environment is a must in the transition of the first language to fully grasp and cross the bridge to the learning of a second language. This is not the case in most educational settings across America. 

The Bilingual Education Act, Title VII of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1968 was the first signature legislation that acknowledged the needs of Limited English Speaking Ability (LESA) students. It brought awareness and identity to those Latinos who made America their home. Schools celebrated holidays like Cinco de Mayo, and other nationalities represented within the school community were recognized. Internationally recognized Hispanic American poets were brought to the classroom to speak and read to students. Reading was an interactive experience connected to the experiences of the recently arrived teen. Today, Bilingual Programs have been shut down, and English Only methodologies are once more being pursued by those who are interested in closing the doors to Latinos and other immigrants who have migrated to the United States of America. 

The study of literature is the only situation to which students have to discover issues that are relevant to their interests. Culturally relevant literature combines the language, history and the cultural expression of the Latino/a experience that allows students to make sense of these issues and make language their own by making personal connections with their lives and background information. Focusing on the needs of Latino students is generating the appropriate academic environment and allowing students to improve educational outcomes, and to provide them with a mirror of themselves, their past, present and future. After the connection is made, students will automatically shift gears and become lifelong readers. The reading of the classics will become much more meaningful and significant once they walk across the bridge that links them to themselves.

(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)


The Mayan Calendar, 2012 A New Beginning 
Latino Nerds Are Like Other Nerds, but Different
Mariachis Struggle in Mexico Despite U.N. Heritage Nod
Mexican Transplant Becomes U.S. Holiday Icon
Madre Del Sol/Mother Of the Sun:Our Lady of Guadalupe-the Play
The Santero
Josefina Lopez Celebrates 20 Years of Successful Plays With Two New Books

There has been so much conjecture about the year 2012 . .  will it be catastrophic . .? 
 Is it the end of humanity?  
 This is Juana Bordas perspective:

Mayan Calendar 

According to the Mayan calendar, 2012 is the end of the fifth world.

Since the Mayans were incredible mathematicians and astronomers...

what's up with that?

Salsa Dancing 

MayaOn the 2012 winter solstice, the earth will be aligned with the center of the Milky Way for the first time in 26,000 years. How we interpret this cosmic event - whether it is an end or a beginning - says more about our civilization than about the ancient Mayans. 


The Mayans believed that time was a spiral and each time the circle was complete a new and higher one started.


So what in your life has come to a completion - what are you ready to let go of? And as 2012 approaches - what new fresh, innovative (OK, bucket list stuff) do you want to bring into your life?


We can use the birth and energy of the new calendar year - not to mention the 2012 Mayan spiral - to set goals. First, it might be propitious to take a deeper and more reflective look at our lives. Get ready as it were for "this great cosmic shift." We can decide to live the next year in celebration that we are here at this time in history. Yes! We have made it through a cycle of time!  

Do What you Always Wanted To Do...
In Two - Oh - One - Two!
In 2-0-1-2

Here are 6 suggestions for living next year from a

COSMIC perspective and for getting ready for 2012.

Milky Way 

Just let it go! I am in a new chapter of my life as a Latino elder! To start anew I have to let go of some old commitments and baggage! You just can't keep squeeeezing in more stuff. (What are two things you can to let go of to make room for some new beginnings and adventure?)


It's Now or Never: If this really was the last year of your life - if the Mayan calendar prophesy is an end and not a beginning - what are 3 things you would do? (Write these down and start planning. List the steps you need to take to make these happen!)


All you need is Love: Who are your fellow celebrants on your life path? How can you show them how much you care?   (Make a weekly plan 

Juana Bordas Shortened Pic

Happy Holidays - Here's to 2012 

A year of transformation and new beginnings! 


Juana Bordas is president of Mestiza Leadership International, and award winning author of Salsa, Soul, and Spirit: Leadership for a Multicultural Age.

Latino Nerds are like Other Nerds, but Different 
by Eres Nerd

Latinos are part of United States of America.  This standard is not based upon documented status or the ability to speak inglés.  It is not based upon the ability to bleach one’s hair a lighter shade of blonde.  No, Latinos are part of the nation because we have produced something more profound — Latino nerds.

A nerd is typically a smart individual that is very much into a specific subject and that subject tends to be nontraditional.  There are Star Wards nerds, technology nerds;  Dr. Who nerds; comic book nerds; anime nerds; literature nerds;  freestyle nerds;  poetry nerds; gaming nerds;  Lucha Libre nerds,  nerds vs. geek nerds;  Tejano nerds and film nerds.


Latino nerds are into both American and Latino popular culture. 

A Latino nerd can usually discuss both whether “Han Shot First” and the awesomeness of El Santo Luchador movies.  They discuss which “Star Trek” series had the most Latinos (Chakoty and Torres on “Star Trek Voyager”) and whether “Sábado Gigante” was better than “Siempre en Domingo” (Answer: the latter was best because they would take the show on the road).  Still, the world of Latino nerds is so vast some would rather discuss adopting Linux as an operating system verse using Windows.

Like many nerds, Latino nerds were the smart kids in school.  Your author is a Latino nerd — big surprise there.  My revelation that I was a Latino nerd occurred in grade school when they started pooling kids in different groups: the smart kids; the average kids; and the cholos.  As part of the smart kids group, I was told by the cholitos, “Eres un nerd.”   The cholos were my friends, so it was both a sign of ridicule and respect. These groups tended to be static. A smart kid could go down into another group, but climbing into the smart group was difficult.

As Latino nerds entered high school they were given great responsibility — academic events.  The jocks had football or basketball, the Latino nerds had Academic Decathlon, Odyssey of the Mind, or the high school quiz show.  The stakes were even higher when competing against the white nerds from the rich schools.  A victory against them was a triumph for your barrio and the cholos.  A defeat made you try harder the next time by reading one more book, learning one more math formula and playing another game of trivial pursuit. But, Latino nerds weren’t all school work.  We had time for marching band and selling chocolate bar for the trips.

All this cross-pollination with other Latino nerds created the fascination and obsession with nerd topics.  One learned how to speak Nerd Talk with a Latino accent. This was important since after high school, Latino nerds ventured to college, where there few of them but a great number of other ethnic nerds.  But since nerd talk is universal, the gap between cultures was bridged with nerdy discussions of computers, gaming, science fiction, and life.

Latino nerds are everywhere, but nowhere. Latino nerds are doctors, lawyers, engineers, teachers, writers and politicians.  Many have adopted the costume of the work professional wearing the dark Brooks Brothers suit or the sensible pumps.  A few have become fashion forward wearing the latest Manolo Blahnik shoes and reading Vogue for the season’s latest trends.  Some have evolved into the Hot Latino Nerd and some still wear plastic eyeglasses from Gual-Mart.

It‘s a universal truth that a nerd won’t reveal themselves unless they are comfortable showing their true nature, usually in the presence of another nerd. If you want confirmation about a Latino nerd for friendship or love, well, just say something nerdy or forward them something like this:   Video of a Nerdy Latino Band . . .—-but-different/
Sent by Sara Ines Calderon, editor of



Mariachis struggle in Mexico despite U.N. heritage nod 
November 30, 2011 LA TIMES

REPORTING FROM MEXICO CITY -- Like most of the mariachi musicians milling about Plaza Garibaldi this early morning waiting for work, Juan Ramon Ramirez had his hands in his pockets, not on the strings of his vihuela.
It was cold, and there weren't many customers out looking for a song. Not even just a few days after Mexico's most well-known musical tradition got a dose of good news.

Mariachi music -- who hasn't ever heard that spirited strumming? -- now belongs to the world's list of "Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity," as declared this week by the United Nations.

Ramirez, 62, had heard about the U.N. designation and it sounded good to him. "I hope it turns into more work," he said, not appearing very hopeful. "Well, it could turn into more work." Minutes passed, and no one approached to commission a ringing rendition of "Cielito Lindo" or "El Rey." "Let's hope this gets fixed," the musician said.

UNESCO, the U.N. educational and cultural agency, added mariachi and 18 other demonstrations of intangible world heritage to its list during a meeting in Bali, Indonesia. The additions include Chinese shadow puppetry and French horseback riding, which is intangibly vital for the world because it "emphasizes harmonious relations between humans and horses," the agency said.

UNESCO also added 11 demonstrations of intangible world heritage that, in its phrasing, are in Need of Urgent Safeguarding. These include Yaokwa, the "Enawene Nawe people's ritual for the maintenance of social and cosmic order," in the Brazilian Amazon, and a "circular breathing" singing technique from Mongolia.
But was mariachi placed on the wrong list? Could it be considered in Need of Urgent Safeguarding?

You might think so after a night at Plaza Garibaldi, or any plaza, it might seem, where mariachis traditionally gather and busk for work. Mariachis everywhere are having a tough time.

In Los Angeles, home to the world's second largest population of Mexicans, mariachis are feeling pushed out of the traditional Mariachi Plaza east of downtown due to the looming threat of development and gentrification.

In Guadalajara, the historic birthplace of mariachi, the musicians at the Plaza de los Mariachis complain of a declining clientele due to security fears and a lack of support from the local government (link in Spanish).

The city is the capital of Jalisco state in western Mexico, and it means business when it often proclaims itself the "cradle" of Mexican culture. Tequila, the highly tangible alcoholic spirit, is also from there.

Here in Mexico City, Plaza Garibaldi north of downtown has been completely remodeled in the last two years, with a new plaza floor and a new tequila museum. Local mariachis, however, say the imposing museum structure is unwelcoming and "doesn't have a point." The remodeling also kept customers away for months at a time, and since the project was finished, they haven't quite come back.

That's how mariachi David Figueroa put it. The 66-year-old guitar player said the fixes to the plaza are largely cosmetic. He's played in Plaza Garibaldi, he said, since 1957. His workload suffered once the city started cleaning up the area, and it hasn't fully recovered since. 

Attempts at integrating mariachis into established unions have also produced poor results for the musicians, Figueroa added.

"What we really need is a good restaurant with good food where you can go listen to good music," Figueroa said. "They don't help us at all."

Indeed, mariachi's addition to the UNESCO list will probably mean little to the musicians who gather at places like Garibaldi. (The full-band price for a song, 150 pesos or about $11, has not changed since the Sunday news of the UNESCO list, several musicians acknowledged.)

Here, drunken revelers show up to hire bands or trios for whatever song they might want, in just about any genre. Few make much of a distinction between the traditional mariachis -- with their form-fitting suits and wide-brimmed sombreros -- and newer additions to the plaza who play popular nortenos from Mexico's north or jarocho from the tropical eastern coast.

"Now they think they own the plaza!" Figueroa huffed. "But here, the tradition of Plaza Garibaldi has always been mariachi. It's not norteno, not jarocho, not trio, it's mariachi."

A song wafted over the chilly night air from nearby. The men shivered.

"Hopefully the patrimony [list] will mean people will respect mariachis more," said viola player Antonio Hernandez, 55. "We only charge what you're supposed to charge."

-- Daniel Hernandez

Sent by Water Herbeck 

Mexican Transplant 
Becomes U.S. Holiday Icon

By Jim Estrada (803 words)


Each year, the celebration that begins with Thanksgiving Day and runs through New Year’s Day is a time for counting our blessings, demonstrating our love and humanity towards one another, praying for world peace, and putting an end to the inhumanities visited upon our fellow human beings.  These are times for reflection and the search for spiritual peace.  

However, in recent years immigration has reflected less than positive sentiments among many of our fellow U.S. Americans.  There are those who cite the growing negative influence Latinos are having on “their” society, “their” economy and “their” culture.  These attitudes prompted me to share the many contributions Latinos are making to our nation’s economic, social and cultural evolution.  

In addition to low cost labor, we have imported many things from Latin America throughout the history of our young nation.  One of them has come to symbolize the holiday season we celebrate each year: the cuetlaxochitl (kweh • tlah • SOH • cheel)— a plant native to Mexico, Central America and the modern U.S. Southwest.  To many, it is seen only in its foil-wrapped, potted state in late Fall as it trumpets the onset of the holidays, but in its natural state it grows up to 10 feet tall.  

This icon of the holiday season was once part of the botanical gardens that existed throughout the pre-Colombian Aztec Empire. In that era, flowers and plants were cultivated for their beauty, as well as for medicinal and aesthetic purposes. The Mechicas (whose culture is the foundation of the Aztec civilization) used the cuetlaxochitl to cure fevers and to dye clothing and artifacts.  

Today, as a result of Spanish influence and Christian teachings, most Latinos know the plant as the flor de la nochebuena (flower of the Holy Night), because it leaves turn into a flame-red color during the Christmas season.  

In the United States, this Mexican native has a different history and name; here its history began with Joel Robert Poinsett, the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico in the 1820s.  He reportedly visited a church while in Mexico in which the parishioners had adorned the Nativity scene with local exotic red plants that produced a very elegant and uncommon appearance.  The Ambassador was so impressed with its foliage that he had cuttings of the plant transported across the border to his South Carolina hothouses, from which he commercially introduced the Mexican transplant to U.S. retailers and consumers.  

The poinsettia has become one of the most recognized icons of the holiday season in the USA. Yet, the cuetlaxochitl is still associated with Christmas throughout Mexico and Latin America — as well as in a substantial number of Latino homes throughout the United States.  Who could have imagined that a shrubby, pre-Colombian plant with reddish leaves (that really aren’t flowers) would someday become the second, most popular, colorful plant sold in the entire country — trailing only the rose?  

The avocado (aguacate), chile pepper (chile), chocolate (chocolate), corn (maíze), peanut (cacahuate), potato (papa), tomato (tomate), along with the ubiquitous taco, tequila and tortilla — are among the many other imports from Latin America that have been readily adopted by a substantial number of U.S. households as a way of enriching the quality of their lives.  If such indigenous transplants can be so easily welcomed and adopted by U.S. Americans, why are we (as several recently enacted state laws clearly demonstrate) so adamantly opposed to allowing the people who discovered, cultivated and refined many of these valued resources to contribute to our nation’s bounty?  

As we begin to countdown the shopping days left before Christmas, let’s think about the real meaning of the holiday season and what it is we should be celebrating.  When you look at the assortment of poinsettias with which you decorate your homes during the holidays, remember they are one of many transplants that are enhancing the quality of our lives.  

True, Latinos did not cross the Atlantic Ocean on seafaring vessels; their ancestors were residents of the modern North American continent long before the British set foot on it.  True, they did not design the political and social systems of the USA, but they — like many of the natural transplants from their respective motherlands — have contributed to the health, wealth and cultural evolution of this great nation.  

On behalf of the 40 million native-born and naturalized U.S. Latino citizens — and the estimated 10-to-12 million undocumented immigrants — we extend to you a ¡Feliz navidad y prospero año nuevo!  

Jim Estrada is the founder of Estrada Communications Group of Austin, TX.  The former TV journalist and corporate executive is an expert in Marketing and Public Relations.  He attended San Diego State University, Boston College, and The Harvard School of Business and currently serves on the board of the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, the Advisory Council of the University of Texas Libraries and co-chairs development efforts for the VOCES Oral History Project, a project of the UT School of Journalism.  His complete collections of essays can be read at:


See following “public domain” .jpg files of cuetlaxochitl:


By Felipe de Ortego y Gasca
Scholar in Residence, Western New Mexico University; Professor Emeritus, Texas State University System-Sul Ross

In the Fall of 1980 I had no idea that (and how) my life would connect with Our Lady of Guadalupe. I was then Professor of Intercultural Stu-dies and Director of the Institute for Intercultural Studies and Research at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas, where I lived in my early life until I was ten in 1936. 

Late in the Fall of 1980, Father Virgilio Elizondo, founder of the Mexican American Cultural Center in San Antonio and aide to Arch-Bishop Patrick Flores, approached me about a project he had in mind-would I be interested in developing a script about Our lady of Guadalupe to commemorate the 450th anniversary of her appearance to Juan Diego in Tepeyac, Mexico, on December 12th of 1531? Of course, I said, knowing the significance of Our Lady of Guadalupe in the lives of Mexicans and Mexican Americans.
In 1531, Our Lady of Guadalupe, sometimes cal-led Tonantzin, appeared to Juan Diego, Indio (convert), four times, instructing him to deliver a message to Bishop Zumarraga to build a church on the site at Tepeyac where she appeared. Since then Mexicans and their progeny have been celebrating the appearance of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Accounts of that appearance have varied over the years. 

Surprised, Juan Diego listened to the charge of Tonantzin that he ask the Bishop to build a church on the site where she stood. Dutifully, Juan Diego related the message to the skeptical Bishop who explained that he needed a sign of some sort from the lady in blue in order to carry out her request. Upon hearing Juan Diego's account of his conversation with the bishop, La Virgin de Guadalupe instructed Juan Die-go to gather some roses from nearby which he did, placing them in the fold of his tilma.

Carrying the roses to the Bishop, Juan Diego is greeted by Bishop Zumarraga with words of incredulity: "Roses, roses in December-this is the sign?" 

The Bishop was expecting something more ethereal, failing to realize that roses do not bloom in the mountain heights of Mexico in December. Taken aback, Juan Diego dropped the hold on his tilma and the roses fell to the floor whereupon the bishop and those attending him dropped to their knees. Startled by the actions of the clerics, Juan Diego could not see the image of the Virgin of Guadalupe which was etched on the surface of his tilma where the roses had been. That was the sign. The Bishop promptly built a cathedral to honor the lady in blue, and from that time on the Madonna of Tepeyac has become the national religious symbol of Mexico, The tilma is on display at the Basilica in Tepeyac.

Father Elizondo's request did not seem daunting. In fact, I was excited by the prospect. Since my undergraduate days at the University of Pittsburgh I had engaged in theater activities as actor, playwright and director with scores of acting roles to my credits. In 1968, with George Fellows and Mark Medoff (Tony Award author of Children of a Lesser God), I had collaborated on Elsinore, a musical version of Hamlet which attracted the attention of Joseph Papp but which he did not produce. I was inspired and honored by Virgilio's request.

While I knew a lot about Mexico, I knew relatively little about Our Lady of Guadalupe other than what I had learned about her at home while I was growing up. I knew she was the patron saint of Mexi-co and that Mexicans of all faiths acknowledge Guadalupe as the patron saint of Mexico. In our home, when I was growing up, my mother kept a home altar for la Virgin de Guadalupe. The altar kept us reverential when we were in its presence. Her picture hung prominently on the wall above the altar, next to the picture of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Guadalupe 

got us through the hard times of the Depression.

As a Marine during World War II, the picture of Guadalupe in my wallet kept me confident that she would keep me from harms way. Even later, as a grown man I clung to that childhood belief in Guadalupe. For years I've kept a statuette of the Virgin in my home.
By the Spring of 1981, I had drafted an outline of a play which came to fruition as Madre del Sol / Mother of the Sun, incorporating the conflict between Cortez and Moctezuma and ending with "the roses in December" moment when Juan Diego drops his tilma full of roses to reveal the image of Guadalupe etched in his tilma.
Getting that far in the play involved a couple of trips to Mexico City archives and considerable research at a number of university libraries. I came to know Guadalupe (Tlequahtlacupeuh) well, and was anxious to get on with the project which would have its premier in the Fall of 1981, closing on December 12, the day commemorating her appearance to Juan Diego in 1531. Over the years, Guadalupe has acquired many names, including Our Lady of Tepeyac, the Lady in Blue, and Madre del Sol (She of the sunlight -the name that most appealed to me. 

Perhaps the most creative element of Madre del Sol was the use of English, Spanish, and Nahuatl in a trilingual presentation of the drama. I was familiar with the bilingual literary production of Chicanos, using English and Spanish intrasententially (codeswitching), but the thought of using Nahuatl in the script kept challenging me chimerically. More challenging still was the operational question of how to use these three languages in a way that did not impede comprehension of the story. Most Chicano writers were adept in the binary construction of embedded English and Spanish sentences, the poet Alurista among them. I was conscious about placing responsibility on the audience for interpreting the meaning of "trinary" utterances. I remembered how frustrating it was to read Ezra Pound's "omnary" works, without help, using words and expressions from a variety of languages, expecting the reader to ferret out meaning.

It turned out that the use of Spanish, English, and Nahuatl was easy when the necessary information for decoding the message was in the preceding or follow-ing dialog. For example: Como te llamas? I am called Tonantzin hueneli. For its premier, Madre del Sol was linguistically weighted with 60 percent English, 30 percent Spanish, and 10 percent Nahuatl (all percentages are mas or menos). A number of enthusiasts were skeptical. 
Production of the play transmogrified it into a blend of the creative vision of the playwright and the staging vision of the director. I have never faltered in my admiration and proclamation that the success of Madre del Sol was due to Ozzie Rodriguez's directorial genius which created a "spectacle" of Madre del Sol. To achieve that spectacle, Ozzie brought George Cisneros (Henry's brother) into the production to create the music using musical instruments most likely used in 1531.

The play opened with an overflowing audience for an 8 week run at Assumption Seminary in San Antonio on October 12th-dia de la raza. Bishop Flores presented the play to the audience. Ozzie and I were overwhelmed by the responses to the play, especially from those in the audience who said they knew neither Spanish nor Nahuatl but understood the play in its entirety. 

In a conversation with John Igo, drama critic for the San Antonio Express News, who gave the play a rave review, he assured me that indeed Ozzie's genius magnified the play but that did not diminish my role as playwright, explaining that "No words, no play!" Madre del Sol was an act of genuine collaboration. 

We didn't keep track of how many people saw the play during its San Antonio run. Needless to say, we were all saddened at the end of its run. But unknown to us, a number of Bishops came to see the play, among them the Bishop of Mexico City who beseeched us to mount the play in Mexico City. In February of 1982, the company of Madre del Sol, Ozzie and I, and a sizeable production crew soared to Mexico City for a two-weak run at the Teatro Antonio Casso in Tlatelolco. Preparing for the Mexico City production, I re-weighted the play with 60 percent Spanish, 30 percent English, keeping the 10 percent in Nahuatl. Mrs. Lopez Portillo, wife of the Mexican president, presented the play to the audience. 

The logistics of getting Madre del Sol to Mexico City were made possible by Henry Cisneros, then Mayor of San Antonio. 

The reception of Madre del Sol in Mexico City was equally astonishing. We heard members of the Mexican audiences telling each other that although they knew neither English nor Nahuatl, they under-stood the play in its entirety. That was both comforting and reassuring, knowing that the trilingual presentation of the play worked as I had hoped. 
In Mexico City it was Ozzie who pulled the production together, surpassing its San Antonio success. The highlight of the Mexico City production was, of course, all of us (cast, crew, Ozzie and me) getting to the Basilica to view Juan Diego's tilma with the figure of Guadalupe. Our two weeks in Mexico City passed all too quickly. While we were there the President of Mexico devalued the peso. We added souvenirs to the freight of Madre del Sol's return trip to San Antonio. 

On the flight back to San Antonio, Ozzie and I agreed to a staging of the novel Quinqas: King of the Vagabonds by Jorge Amado, the Brazilian novelist. The adaptation was staged at Incarnate Word College of San Antonio in May of 1982. I wrote the script and lyrics and collaborated on the music. Again, Ozzie's directorial genius carried the day. 
That summer I left Our lady of the Lake University to take up the duties as Chairman of the Hispanic 

Foundation in Washington, DC. Ozzie came to like San Antonio and stayed on for a while. 
Those two collaborations with Ozzie Rodriguez have been highlights of my theatrical work. But what I qvell at is the success of Jesse Borrego who was a member of the cast of both Madre del Sol and Quinqas. Jesse went on to star in the television production of Fame and since then has had a phenomenal career as a film actor starring in such films as Tecumseh. 

But the story of Madre del Sol doesn't end there. 

In 1983, Ozzie arranged for a production of Madre del Sol in Dallas, Texas, sponsored by the Meadows Foundation and the National Conference of Christians and Jews. The last I heard, Ozzie had mounted a production of Madre del Sol at the La Mama Theater in 1984. Unfortunately, Ozzie and I did not maintain tighter contact after 1983.
As we approach the 500th anniversary in 2031of Guadalupe's appearance to Juan Diego on that felicitous day of 1531, I wonder about the celebratory homage of the 500th Anniversary. Perhaps roses will bloom where least expected-and in December.

Copyright © 2008 by the author. All rights reserved. 

The Santero 
by Leroy Martinez

The Mighty Word leapt down from Heaven Wisdom 18:14-15
"For a while all things were in quiet silence, and the night was in the midst of her course. Thy almighty word leapt down from thy royal throne as a fierce conqueror into the land of destruction."

Quotation refers to God's coming from Heaven to kill the first-born of the Egyptians, but later it was also chosen to indicate the coming of the Messiah, named Jesus. And so my art is shared to show the Saint Maker honoring God.
With Christmas Memory of Jesus born on earth,  Leroy Martinez

Sent by Leroy

Josefina Lopez Celebrates 20 Years of Successful Plays With Two New Books

Josefina Lopez, the author of Real Women Have Curves, the movie that launched America Ferrarra's career, celebrates her 20th anniversary of her award winning hit play by having her plays published in two volumes titled REAL WOMEN HAVE CURVES & Other Plays and DETAINED IN THE DESERT & Other Plays. We sat down with her to ask her a few questions.

Interviewed and sent by Kirk Whisler  
Latino Print Network | 3445 Catalina Dr. | Carlsbad | CA | 92010

As a playwright why is it important that your plays be published?
Since plays can only be seen by a small number of people because it's live theater, I wanted more people to enjoy my stories. I've written more than 15 plays and screenplays and I want people to know that I've written many more works besides Real Women Have Curves. I would also like my other works to be taught in High Schools and universities so I wanted to make them accessible to academia. I have been writing plays since I was 11 so these two volumes contain my most powerful and successful works. They are all about the Latino experience and or explore the value and power of women. I am very proud of my work and hope that especially young women all over the U.S. discover my work and that it speaks to them. I remember how inspired I was when I read Luis Valdez when I was 17 and felt his work spoke directly to me.

Which play is your favorite?
My plays are like my children and I love all of them equally. Even though Real Women Have Curves is my most successful play to date, all of my plays are an aspect of me, and my evolution into becoming a woman and a conscious human being. I like all of them, even the ones that are flawed here and there because they capture me at my most vulnerable.

Is it true you are working on the musical version of Real Women Have Curves for Broadway?
Yes. I have the libretto almost ready and the composer is now working on the music. A Broadway producer is working with us to get the libretto and the music ready to be seen by potential investors. This new version of Real Women Have Curves will take place in the present and will deal with the Dream Act. I have a great opportunity right now with this new work to address a lot of the injustices concerning immigration.

What are you working on now?
I am always working on so many projects at once because sometimes things take too long to come to fruition. I am mostly focusing on writing plays and fiction right now. I am working on my next novel The Ave Maria Bed and Breakfast and a few plays that I will be presenting at my new theater CASA 0101. One plays is called Remembering Boyle Heights, which will celebrate the multi-cultural community of Boyle Heights in the 40s, and another is A Cat Named Mercy, which deals with the ridiculousness of Health Care in the U.S. 

For more about Josefina go to or get her books at 

History of Medicinal Uses of Marijuana by Mimi Lozano 
Mexico’s Fox Endorses Portugal’s Drug War Strategy: Legalize It!

My son Aury L. Holtzman, M.D. has been a practicing Family Physician for 30 years.   As a history buff, he has developed a special interest in the history of the medicinal uses of marijuana.  He found that ancient practice and ancient documents revealed that as early as the 3rd millennium in China and 1st millennium in Indian, cannabis was being used for a variety of  health problems. 

From 1629, when marijuana was introduced in New England, until the invention of the cotton gin and similar machinery, hemp was a major crop in the United states.  And as it's utility for clothing and the like diminished, the resilient marijuana plan appeared in a new form - as a medicine for a wide variety of ailments.  It was first recognized in 1850 by the United States Pharmacopaeia, the highly selective drug reference manual.

In fact, tincture of cannabis was produced by the leading pharmaceutical companies in the late 1800s, including Parke-Davis, Lilly and Squibb.  A German firm even marketed cannabis cigarettes for use in combating asthma. In fact, for the early immigrants to the United States from eastern Europe, cannabis had traditionally played a major role in their folklore for centuries.

Extract:  Marijuana Conviction: A History of Marijuana Prohibition in the United States by Richard J. Bonnie; Charles H. Whitebread II 

Among the first Americans to adopt the practice were the blacks in the South, and some reports claim that as early as colonial times slaves smoked the hemp plant, having been familiar with it in Africa.  At any rate, it is clear that the first users of marijuana - that is, the first people to smoke cannabis for mostly recreational purposes - were members of minority groups.

The first cities to perceive the use of marijuana as a problem were the Texas border towns, like el Paso, and New Orleans.  A 1917 Department of Agriculture investigation noted that El Paso passed a city ordinance banning the sale and possession of marijuana in 1914.  the town at that time was characterized as a "hot bed of marihuana fiends,"  and consumption of the drug was attributed not only to Mexicans, but also to "Negroes, prostitutes, pimps and a criminal class of whites."  Similarly, marijuana first appeared to be used in New Orleans around 1910 by blacks, and early fears were that the vice would spread to the white schoolchildren.    Reefer Madness, pg. 29-30

When marijuana first started to become a social problem in the United States, members of Congress made definitive judgments that were not supported by reliable evidence. Laws were passed, based on definitions known to be unscientific. The interest of the authors in the legal history of marijuana began in 1969 when a young college student was sentenced under Virginia law to a mandatory 20-year sentence for the possession of a small amount of marijuana.

Extract: Reefer Madness, a History of Marijuana by Larry "Ratso" Sloman


For the first 162 years of America's existence, marijuana was totally legal and hemp was a common crop. But during the 1930s, the U.S. government and the media began spreading outrageous lies about marijuana, which led to its prohibition. Some headlines made about marijuana in the 1930s were: "Marijuana: The assassin of youth." "Marijuana: The devil's weed with roots in hell." "Marijuana makes fiends of boys in 30 days." "If the hideous monster Frankenstein came face to face with the monster marijuana, he would drop dead of fright." In 1936, the liquor industry funded the infamous movie titled Reefer Madness. This movie depicts a man going insane from smoking marijuana, and then killing his entire family with an ax. This campaign of lies, as well as other evidence, have led many to believe there may have been a hidden agenda behind Marijuana Prohibition. 

Shortly before marijuana was banned by The Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, new technologies were developed that made hemp a potential competitor with the newly-founded synthetic fiber and plastics industries. Hemp's potential for producing paper also posed a threat to the timber industry (see New Billion-Dollar Crop). Evidence suggests that commercial interests having much to lose from hemp competition helped propagate reefer madness hysteria, and used their influence to lobby for Marijuana Prohibition. It is not known for certain if special interests conspired to destroy the hemp industry via Marijuana Prohibition, but enough evidence exists to raise the possibility. 

After Alcohol Prohibition ended in 1933, funding for the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (now the Drug Enforcement Administration) was reduced. The FBN's own director, Harry J. Anslinger, then became a leading advocate of Marijuana Prohibition. In 1937 Anslinger testified before Congress in favor of Marijuana Prohibition by saying: "Marijuana is the most violence causing drug in the history of mankind." "Most marijuana smokers are Negroes, Hispanics, Filipinos and entertainers. Their Satanic music, jazz and swing, result from marijuana usage. This marijuana causes white women to seek sexual relations with Negroes." Marijuana Prohibition is founded on lies and rooted in racism, prejudice, and ignorance. Just as politicians believed Harry J. Anslinger to be a marijuana expert in 1937, many people still believe law enforcement officials are marijuana experts. In reality, law enforcement officials have no expert knowledge of marijuana's medical or health effects, but they do represent an industry that receives billions of tax dollars to enforce Marijuana Prohibition. 


California appears to have been the first state to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes.  Below are a list of the16 states and the year that their state's medical marijuana laws were enacted.  The District of Columbia approved medical legalization in 2010. 
California 1996
Alaska 1998
Oregon 1998
Washington 1998
Maine 1999
Colorado 2000
Hawaii 2000
Nevada 2000
Montana 2004
Vermont 2004
Rhode Island 2006
New Mexico 2007
Michigan 2008
Arizona 2010
New Jersey 2010
Delaware 2011
Dr. Aury L. Holtzman has compiled this amazing list of health problems and diseases which have responded favorably to cannabis.
Dr. Holtzman has processed thousands of patients in his 30 years of practice, reinforcing his conviction that cannabis, in all its varieties, is an invaluable herb, whose potential is still not understood.  
Alcohol Abuse
Alzheimer's Disease
Ankylosing Spondylitis
Anorexia Nervosa
Anxiety Depression
Back/Neck/Knee Pain
Bell Palsy
Bipolar Disorder
Bulimia Nervosa
Burning, Tingling Numb Feet
Cancer/Chemo Therapy
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome 
Celiac Disease
Cerebral Palsy
Cervical Spondylosis 
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome 
Chronic kidney Disease/Renal Failure
Cirrhosis of the Liver 
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
Crohn's Disease
Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome
Diverticulosis/Diverticulitis  Disease
Dumping Syndrome
Dysmenorrhea/Menstrual Cramps 
Epilepsy/Seizures Disorders
Essential Tremor Syndrome
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
Gastrointestinal Diseases
Hepatitis B and C
High Blood Pressure
Huntington's Disease
Inflammatory Skin Disease
Interstitial Cystitis 
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Lyme Disease
Mental Disorders
Meniere's Disease 
Migraines/Cluster Headaches
Morton Neuroma 
Motion Sickness
Muscle Spasms
Multiple Sclerosis
Nausea Dependence
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Opioid Dependence
Osgood-Schlatter Disease
Pain Control/Chronic
Panic Disorder
Parkinson Disease
Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome 
Plantar Fasciitis 
Polyarteritis Nodosa
Post-Meningitis Syndrome
Post-Concussion Syndrome
Psoriasis/Psoriatic Arthritis 
Radiation/Chemo side effects
Raynaud Phenomenon
Restless Leg Syndrome
Rheumatism Arthritis
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
Seizure Disorders
Shin Splints
Sickle Cell
Skin Tumors
Sleep Disorders
Spinal Stenosis
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)
Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ)
Tension Headaches
Trigeminal Neuralgia
Ulcerative Colitis
Weight control

Compiled by
 Aury Lor Holtzman, M.D. (c) 2012

For further information, Dr. Holtzman recommends the Marijuana Medical Handbook, Practical Guide to the Therapeutic Uses of Marijuana by Dale Gieringer, Ph.D., Ed Rosenthal, and Gregory T. Carter, M.D.  published 2008 by Quick American, Oakland, CA.  Copies can be purchased at Dr. Holtzman's office, Huntington Professional Medical Tower, Huntington Beach, CA 

Mexico’s Fox Endorses Portugal’s Drug War Strategy: Legalize It!
By Claudia Gómez
Source:  Hispanic Link News Service
1420 ‘N’ Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20005-2895
Phone (202) 234-0280
Publisher: Carlos Ericksen-Mendoza

Former Mexico President Vicente Fox is advancing his crusade against illicit drugs and the cartels that make billions spreading their manufacture and sale with an approach that promotes legalization. Best known for ending 71 years of Partido Revolucionario Institucional (PRI) rule, Fox now travels the United States giving interviews and speeches opposing the prohibition of drugs.

“I don’t think anybody is going to eradicate drugs from the face of the Earth,” Fox told Hispanic Link News Service and other attending journalists during a recent briefing at the Cato Institute in Washington, D.C. “Mexico has to get out of this
trap, the sooner the better. The cost is too much.”

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 22.6 million U.S. residents age 12 and older used illicit drugs in 2010. This has caused an inevitable problem for Mexico, which stands trapped between one of the largest drug producers in the world, Colombia, and one of its most profitable drug markets, the United States.

As a model, Fox uses Portugal, where the consumption of  all drugs, including marijuana, heroin, cocaine and LSD, has
been legal since 2001. “The end result is a 25 percent decrease in drug consumption, so we might have an answer there,”
he says, urging that the United States address the crisis by separating the health problem created by consumption of drugs and the crime and violence associated with its distribution in the black market.  

Some 12,000 people were killed last year alone as a result of the drug cartels operating in Mexico, creating the image that Mexico is rapidly deteriorating.

“Everybody is just asking, what’s going on with those Mexicans? What’s happening with them? Are they drinking too much tequila? Why the killings?,” he noted.

Not only does Fox say it would be beneficial to legalize the consumption of drugs, he states that legalizing production and distribution would benefit both the United States and its neighbor Mexico. Portugal, Amsterdam and Mexico decriminalized the personal possession of narcotics early in the 21st century. However, billions of dollars are still in the hands of criminal gangs operating internationally.

Fox proposes that the United Nations work vigorously with countries all over the world to initiate an effective global reform. Acknowledging its participation in stimulating treaties among a number of nations that are helping fight the
trafficking of drugs, Fox says the United States should not wait for the world, but rather go ahead of the wave. “Always, in every human action, there are leaders. There are people who go ahead, who see problems before the rest, make decisions before the rest.”

In his Washington presentation, he made reference to California’s Proposition 19 on the state ballot in 2010, which would have legalized the consumption of marijuana. It failed, 46.5%- 53.5%. Calling it a shame that the proposition lost, he said, “It would have been a great benefit to California, the United States and Mexico. It would have been a first step.”

While unwise, drug use is still an individual choice, just like alcohol, sex or gay marriage, he said, comparing today’s gang violence associated with illegal drugs to that which occurred in this country during Prohibition. “Prohibition didn’t work in the Garden of Eden. Adam ate the apple.” “When I was in government, things were not as bad as they are now. There is a growing cost in not resolving this problem, in not finding a form of truce, a way to avoid the brutal violence that is hurting Mexico,” he said, concluding that every major reformation effort has its time and the resolution must
come sooner rather than later because “Mexico is paying the price.”




Los Verbos SER y ESTAR by Eddie AAA Calderón, PhD.
Centro Victoria releases its first literary magazine,
Letras Latinas Launches Latino/a Poetry Now at Harvard?
Syndic Literary Journal
Iberoamericana Editorial Vervuert

Los Verbos SER y ESTAR

By Eddie AAA Calderón, PhD.

I would like to greet you all Un Prospero Año Nuevo!

As a sequel to my Spanish-speaking exposure background, I have been to the Spanish speaking countries of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, México, Panama, Perú, Spain, Uruguay, and Venezuela.                    

One thing nice about the Spanish language is that its native speakers understand each others no matter what Spanish speaking countries they come from. The only distinctive differences, which also are not unusual in other shared languages such as the English language in particular, are colloquial and idiomatic expressions that differ from country to country. For example in Chile the word pololear is used to describe dating a woman and having a love relationship. In Uruguay it is called dragonear. In Chile a boyfriend is called pololo; a girlfriend, polola.
In Spain and the rest of the Spanish-speaking world, they are called novio and novia. When a Chilean man tells a woman, quisiera pololear contigo, it means that he would like to be her boyfriend. In another example, to err in Castillian Spanish means equivocarse which is standard in all Spanish –speaking countries. To  Chilean Spanish, however, it is  meterse la pata or, literally speaking, to put one’s foot in one’s mouth.

And with these distinctive Iberian characteristics  also goes the unique usage of the word to be  which means  ser and estar in Spanish. The Portuguese language has also two words for the verb to be. No other languages in the world have dual words for this verb.

When I began to learn Spanish  in the Philippines, my teachers in the last two years of high school stated that the verb ser referred to things permanent and estar for non-permanent objects. I find problems with these definitions as there are no permanent things in life. For example in speaking of a profession one can elect to change it. This is true also when beauty, appearance, texture, colour, measurement/size, and others mentioned below are involved.  I have since formulated my own rules after observing the extensive use of the verbs ser and  estar in everyday Spanish usage both in reading, writing, and conversation.
Let me conjugate the verb ser  in the present tense: Yo soy, tu eres, el/ella/usted es; Nosotros somos, vosotros sois, ellos/ellas/ustedes son. (Please be reminded once again that the word  vosotros  is only used in Spain. In Latin America the word used is ustedes.)
As a general rule, the verb  ser is used when we speak of (1) quality, beauty, colour, goodness, economic standing; (2) texture; (3) size, length and width; (4) what a material is made of, (5) profession; (6) positive/comparative/superlative descriptions; (7) origin, nationality, and possession; (8) age and intelligence attributes; (9) contents; and (10) truth and falsehood.
1. For quality, beauty, colour or appearance, economic description, we say Maria Elena es una mujer buena or Mary Ellen is a good woman; La mujer es una encantadora or the woman is such a beauty or so beautiful;  La manzana es amarilla or the apple is yellow; Mi vicino es muy rico. My neighbour is very rich.

2. For texture, we say: La cascara de limon es brusca or the lemon’s rind is rough; La puerta de hierro es muy herrumbrosa. The iron gate is very rusty.
3. For size, we say: El hombre es muy grande. The man is very big. For describing the length and width of a place or street, we say: La calle es muy ancha or the street is very wide.

4. For what a material or a thing is made of, we say: La mesa es de madera or the table is made of wood; El anillo es de oro. The ring is made of gold.

5. When we talk of profession, we say: Onofre es un abogado. Jeffrey is a lawyer.

6. For positive, comparative and superlative descriptions, we say: Guillermo es alto. William is tall. Comparatively, we can say Ignacio es mas alto que Enrique. Ignatius is taller than Henry. Superlatively, we say Alejandro es mas alto de todos muchachos en su escuela. Alex is the tallest in his school.

7. For origin, nationality, and possesion, we say: Soy de Madrid or I am from Madrid; Somos Filipinos or we are Filipinos; and el secreto tuyo es también lo mio or your secret is also my secret.

8. For age and intelligence we say: La mujer es joven or the woman is young. Adan es muy intelligente. Adam is very intelligent.

9. To describe contents, we say: La historia suya es lleno de maravilla or your tale is full of wonder; Mis sentimientos por y para ti son repletos de  amor, or my sentiments are ladened with love for only you.

10. Truth and falsehood. We can say, El reportaje de la guerra es (no es) la verdad. The report of the war is (is not) true.

Now for the verb estar, we conjugate it in the present tense as: Estoy, estás, está; Estámos, estáis, están.

The verb estar is used to describe (1) feelings including happiness, anger, sadness; (2) to describe other state of mind and affairs; (3) to use as a gerund (is coming, is sleeping); (4) to describe marital status; (5) temperature; (6) to be in agreement or disagreement; (7) to indicate distance; (8) location; (9) absence or presence.
1. For feelings, we say: Mi hermana está feliz or my sister is happy; Estámos muy enojados(as) or we are very angry. Estás muy triste or YOU are very sad.
2. To describe other state of mind and affairs, we can express Estoy tranquilo or I am quiet. Ella está muy apurada. She is very much in a hurry. Ellos están ocupados or they are busy. Tu estás de apuros or you are in trouble and estámos deordenados or we are unorganised or disorganised. 

3. As a gerund we say: Estámos buscandote or we are looking for you.
4. For marital status, we say: Están  casados(as). They are married. Estoy soltero(a), separado(a) o divorciado(a). I am single, separated or divorced.

5. For temperature, we say: El Agua está caliente. The water is hot.

6. To be in agreement with someone, we say: Estámos de acuerdo con vosotros o con ustedes. We agree with you or we are in agreement with you.

7. For describing distance, we say: La casa tuya está  muy lejos de la escuela. Your house is very far from school.

8. For location, we say: La ciudad de Manila está en Filipinas. Manila is in the Philippines. Tu estás siempre en mi corazón, or you are always in my heart.

9. To indicate absence or presence, we say El está ausente/presente en la clase de fisica hoy. She is absent/present in the physics class today.

                                     Hasta Entonces Mis Primos!

The first picture on the left was taken in Buenos Aires in late August of 1970 with an Argentinean woman of German ancestry. She along with another woman were assigned to me by the Buenos Aires Junior Chamber of Commerce (B.A. JAYCEES) as  my tour guides during my stay in that city. The two female guides were members of the B.A. JAYCEES. I too was a member of the Minneapolis JAYCEES. When the Minneapolis organization learnt that I was traveling around the world in 1970, the President of our  organization wrote to the  JAYCEES of the countries I was visiting  that I was their ambassador of goodwill and gave me the letter to indicate that assignment.
I could have stayed in the homes of the JAYCEES members while traveling.  I thought, however, that I needed all the time to visit planned places on my own so I did not take advantage of the opportunity. There was also a JAYCEES chapter in Manila, but I have my relatives there. I later decided to stay in the homes of the JAYCEES members in Brazil and Argentina during my last travel journey.  I stayed with my adopted Chilean relatives in Santiago de Chile and in Bogotá, Colombia with my best friend and his family I met at the University of Minnesota.

The second picture on the right was with the Indios Colorados of Santo Domingo in Ecuador in 1968. It was during my 4 month stay in Chile that also took me to Peru and Panama.


Centro Victoria releases its first literary magazine, seeks to challenge ethnic, social stereotypes
Story by Gheni Platenburg
Originally published December 12, 2011, updated December 13, 2011 

Centro Victoria, the nonprofit Center for Mexican American Literature and Culture at the University of Houston-Victoria, seeks to challenge ethnic, gender and social stereotypes through the release of its first literary magazine, Huizache. 

The magazine, an anthology of poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction literary works with a primarily Latino focus, was released in November.

"People have the misconception that there are not very many Mexican-American writers out there, and there are," said Diana Lopez, editor of the magazine. "We are going to do our part to change that perception." 

Lopez said the idea to do the annual magazine emerged in Fall 2010.

The magazine is named after the huizache tree, otherwise known as the sweet acacia or weesatch.

The native Texas tree grows to about 20-feet tall and blooms bright, orange-gold flowers in the spring. 

Like the invisible yet ubiquitous huizache tree, the magazine seeks to publish works by minorities who have traditionally been ignored in the literary realm. 

"A lot of farmers think of (the huizache) as a weed, so they try to get rid of it and then clear them from their fields, but it keeps coming back," said Lopez. "We thought it was a good metaphor for minority voices because sometimes they get kind of mowed over, but they refuse to be silenced." 

"They're not represented enough in the school system. There are some writers there, but it is not really proportional to the population," Lopez said about the few minority writers that are discussed in classrooms. "It's like they filled the quota. After reading them, it ends there." 

However, Huizache features Latino and other minority authors from all over the country.

The first issue's cover was designed by famed Chicano artist César A. Martínez and includes works by Sherman Alexie, Sasha Pimentel-Chacon, Sandra Cisneros, Hettie Jones, Juan Felipe Herrera, Aracelis Girmay and Rene Perez III.

"The mission of Centro Victoria is something I can get behind," said author Rene Perez III, whose fictional short story "Letting Go a Dream" appears in the magazine. "I was eager to be a part of it, and now I'm glad that I am."

The Corpus Christi native's submission, which details the struggles of a mother who has to decide what to do with a car left behind by her son who is in prison, is part of the fairly new writer's soon-to-be-released new book, "Along These Highways."

"I hope I get people to thinking and feeling more," said Perez, 26, who primarily writes stories with settings in South Texas. 

So far, Huizache has garnered attention from near and far, receiving a write-up in the renowned Poets & Writers magazine and having been added to the New York Public Library's collection.

Additionally, the magazine was showcased at the second annual Flor de Nopal Literary Festival in Austin the first weekend in December and will be presented at the prestigious Association of Writers & Writing Programs in Chicago in February. 

In addition to getting Chicano studies professors to use "Huizache" in their curriculums, Lopez said Centro Victoria also hopes to publish the magazine biannually. 

"Little by little, the word is getting out," said Lopez.

Sent by Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.

Letras Latinas Launches Latino/a Poetry Now at Harvard?
Letras Latinas, the Institute’s literary program, in collaboration with the Poetry Society of America, launched “Latino/a Poetry Now,” a multi-year initiative in five parts. Installment one featured Rosa Alcalá, who teaches at UTEP’s bilingual MFA program, Eduardo C. Corral, the first Latino/a poet to win the Yale Younger Poets Award, and Aracelis Girmay, recent recipient of an NEA poetry fellowship. The event and colloquium, moderated by Francisco Aragón, took place on the evening of November 8 at Harvard University. Installment two is slated for next March at Georgetown University. For more information, including the full slate of readings and poets, visit Letras Latinas Blog: .
Source: FW:ILS December 2011 Newsletter

HISTORY: LeRoy Chatfield founded the original Syndic in San Francisco and published it 1958-1960. Fifty years later in 2010, Chatfield revived his Syndic Literary Journal and publishes it online at:

PUBLISHER: LeRoy Chatfield is an online publisher. His publications include:  “Easy Essays” & “Dialogue” & “Farmworker Movement Documentation Project“;   and his most recent publication “Syndic Literary Journal

FINANCES: Syndic Literary Journal is a labor of love without payroll. Website tech costs, web hosting fees and other out-of-pocket expenses are currently paid by the publisher.


We would like to inform you about our recent publications and do hope that you will find something of interest.  
For more information about Iberoamericana Editorial Vervuert and all our publications, you may visit our website at .

For your order, please contact our distributors Silvermine International Books LLC (Norwalk, CT, USA, ), Hermes Enterprise (LaSalle, Ontario, Canada, or directly one of our branches in Spain or Germany.

1. Spanish-Language Literature: History and Criticism
2. History
3. Cultural Studies / History of the culture
4. Linguistics
5. Our journal Iberoamericana


The Unforgiving by Ernesto Uribe
Billy the Kid and Other Plays by Rudolfo Anaya
War Along the Border by Arnoldo de Leon

In May 1916 a force of United States Marines landed in Santo Domingo to supposedly quell a rebellion by Dominican General Desiderio Arias against elected President Juan Isidro Jimenez.   When Arias retreated into the interior of the country, the Marines remained to  apparently protect the U.S. Legation, but soon became the military force behind the United States Government of Occupation that would remain in the country for eight years.  This Marine presence was opposed by many patriotic Dominican citizens who fought the invaders until the occupation ended in 1924.  This guerrilla war does not appear in U.S. history books because the real nature of events was disguised by the occupying forces by simply calling the insurgents "bandits."

Author Ernesto Uribe, while serving as counselor for public affairs with the U.S. in Santo Domingo for four years (1984-88), Foreign Service Officer-Ret. Ernesto researched the U.S. Marine occupation of the Island that lasted from 1916 until 1924.

During his stay he traveled throughout the country and visited many sites that U.S. Marine troops had actually occupied and listened to accounts by local resident with memory of the events.

He currently lives in Northern Virginia and makes ample use of the Library of Congress and the National Archives in Washington, D.C. for material and documentation for his writing.

THE UNFORGIVING is set in the Dominican Republic during the heyday of direct U.S. military intervention in the Caribbean. There are military actions, betrayals, intrigue, good humor and romantic encounters between an American Marine captain and the beautiful daughter of the wealthiest Dominican on the island. The novel takes place immediately after the end of the First World War and depicts the impact of an occupying military force of Americans in the affairs of a small nation. At issue is the conflict between the rights of small farmers and powerful landowners. Marine officers and men find themselves in a critical position between peasants lending support to guerrilla insurgents and ruthless sugar   barons. This insightful book examines the unwelcome and unexpected role of American Marines trying to resolve an age-old problem of exploitation of the weak and helpless by the rich and powerful. 

THE UNFORGIVING can be ordered in hardback or paperback from:, Barns &, or by calling Xlibris Publishing: 1-888-795-4274. 

For the fastest delivery and where you can still pay by check, contact: George Farias, Tel: 210-401-915, Borderlands Book Store, P.O. Box 28497, San Antonio, TX 78228, , Website: 

Editor:  What I have particularly appreciated about Ernesto's historical novels is they are  presented with sensitively to both sides of the conflict. There are good guys and bad guys on both sides and their emotions and attitudes are developed to make sense.   Even if you don't agree with the actions of the characters, it is reasonable.  The two main characters, career Marines, Captain Hart and Sergeant Ramirez are old fashion heroes, with admirable characters and values. . . . very entertaining reading for learning history.  The horrors of war were quite graphic, sadly realizing that most of us are swept up by the politics of the time, helplessly carried along by world events.   

I agree somewhat with W.N. Auden that "Political history is far too criminal and pathological to be a fit subject of study for the young.  Children should acquire their heroes and villains from fiction."  Perhaps that is why history in our US textbooks has been so distorted.  I guess that is why I appreciate Ernesto's work.  He includes facts and heroism of individuals on both sides of the conflict, and leaves you to judge the United States.   



Seven plays by the master of Chicano storytelling

While award-winning author Rudolfo Anaya is known primarily as a novelist, his genius is also evident in dramatic works performed regularly in his native New Mexico and throughout the world. Billy the Kid and Other Plays collects seven of these works and offers them together for the first time.

Like his novels, many of Anaya’s plays are built from the folklore of the Southwest. This volume opens with The Season of La Llorona, in which Anaya fuses the Mexican legend of the dreaded “crying woman” with that of La Malinche, mistress and adviser to Hernán Cortés. Southwestern lore also shapes the title play, which provides a Mexican American perspective on the Kid—or Bilito, as he is known in New Mexico—along with keen insight into the slipperiness of history. The Farolitos of Christmas and Matachines uncover both the sweet and the sinister in stories behind seasonal New Mexican rituals.

Other plays here address loss of the old ways—farming, connection to the land, the primacy of family—while showing the power of change. The mystery Who Killed Don José? uses the murder of a wealthy sheep rancher to look at political corruption and modernization. Ay, Compadre! and Angie address aging and death, though with refreshing humor and optimism.

Elegant and poetic, intense and funny, these are the plays Anaya considers his best. The author tells how each originated, while Cecilia J. Aragón and Robert Con Davis-Undiano offer critical analysis and performance history. Both Anaya fans and readers new to his work will find this collection a rich trove, as will community theaters and scholars in Chicano literature and drama.


University of Oklahoma Press
Paperback, List Price: $24.95
Editor:  I've really enjoyed reading these seven plays, each one very different from another.   I like reading plays because within an hour and a half reading, characters are developed by their action and dialogue, a dramatic conflict takes place and a solution develops which change the characters.  Anaya's plays are a delight, tying the traditions and history of the past to current expressions of Southwest heritage.  I really hope that local groups will perform these plays in their communities.  They are entertaining, but culturally insightful. 



War along the Border: The Mexican Revolution and Tejano Communities 
(University of Houston Series in Mexican American Studies, Sponsored by the Cente) 
Published by Texas A&M University Press.

Arnoldo De Leon Ph.D. (Editor), professor of history at Angelo State University Sonia Hernandez (Contributor), Thomas H. Kreneck (Contributor), Gerald Horne (Contributor), Margaret Stevens (Contributor), George T. Diaz (Contributor), Juanita Luna Lawhn (Contributor), Trinidad Gonzales (Contributor), Paul Hart (Contributor), Roberto R. Trevino (Contributor), Dr. Miguel Antonio Levario PhD (Contributor), Raul Ramos (Contributor), Tatcho Mindiola PhD (Contributor), Richard Ribb (Contributor), John Eusebio Klingemann (Contributor)

This title has not yet been released. Hardcover. January 13, 2012You may pre-order it now. Sold by   

In 1910 Francisco Madero, in exile in San Antonio, Texas, launched a revolution that changed the face of Mexico. The conflict also unleashed violence and instigated political actions that kept that nation unsettled for more than a decade. As in other major uprisings around the world, the revolution’s effects were not contained within the borders of the embattled country. Indeed, the Mexican Revolution touched communities on the Texas side of the Rio Grande from Brownsville to El Paso. Fleeing refugees swelled the populations of South Texas towns and villages and introduced nationalist activity as exiles and refugees sought to extend moral, financial, and even military aid to those they supported in Mexico. Raiders from Mexico clashed with Texas ranchers over livestock and property, and bystanders as well as partisans died in the conflict.  One hundred years later, Mexico celebrated the memory of the revolution, and scholars in Mexico and the United States sought to understand the effects of the violence on their own communities.

Latino soldiers
 Cebu, Phillipines, WW II


New York Police Department Chief of Patrol Nicholas Estavillo
Congressional Gold Medal sought for WW II Philippines Bataan March POWs 
Actual Footage of Msgt. Frank Lovato
First Session of Veteran's Court in Santa, Maria, California
A True Story of a Man Who Started the Eastern Airlines

Nicholas Estavillo

New York Police Department Chief of Patrol Nicholas Estavillo (Ret.), is a former member of the New York Police Department who in 2002 became the first Puerto Rican and the first Hispanic in the history of the NYPD to reach the three-star rank of Chief of Patrol.[1]   Years of service 1968 - 2007 
If you were to meet Nickolas Estavillo, you would find him to be a mild mannered man. Yet this Marine  Vietnam combat veteran and retired NYPD chief of patrol, was a warrior in his own right. It takes more than muscles to  be a real tough cop. It takes using common sense, honesty, loyalty, and caring for others. For these qualities, I give Nick Estavillo an A+.  . . .   Joe Sanchez

Early years: 
Estavillo was born March 13, 1945 and raised in the sector Hato Rey, a section of San Juan the capital of Puerto Rico.[1] There he received his primary education at El Colegio del Espiritu Santo. In 1954, when he was 9 years old, he moved to New York City with his mother. They lived in the borough of Brooklyn, where he attended St. Peter’s School.[1] Estavillo graduated from Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School and was awarded the Puerto Rican Leadership Scholarship, making it possible for him to attend St. Francis College.[2]

Estavillo enlisted in the United States Marine Corps during the Vietnam War and was a member of the 3rd Force, Recon Co. of the Marines Recon Force.[1] The Marine Recon Force is a valuable asset to the Marine Air-Ground Task Force when the MEF Commander is faced with uncertainty in the battlefield. The unit provides timely intelligence to command and control for battlespace shaping, allowing the MAGTF to act, and react, to changes in the battlefield.[3] After three years of service (1964–1967) which included a tour of duty in Vietnam, Estavillo was honorably discharged with the rank of sergeant. He continued his education at the New York Institute of Technology where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice.[2]

Career in the NYPDIn 1968, Estavillo applied to become an officer in the New York Police Department and graduated from the New York Police Academy after six months of training. His first assignment as a Police Officer was at the 19th Precinct located at East 67th Street in the Upper East Side of New York. 

The population density of the 19th Precinct is one of the highest in the United States, with residents estimated at 217,063. [4]

In 1988, Estavillo graduated from the FBI National Academy at Quantico, Virginia. Back with the NYPD, he rose in rank throughout the years and served as Precinct Patrol Sergeant and Precinct Lieutenant/Platoon Commander at the 24th Precinct. As Captain, he served as Commanding Officer of the 34th Precinct covering the Manhattan neighborhoods of Washington Heights and Inwood.[5] By 1993 he was promoted to Inspector and Deputy Chief, Commanding Officer Fifth Division, covering the Upper West Side of Manhattan. In 1995 he was promoted to two star Assistant Chief and designated Commanding Officer, Patrol Borough Manhattan North which includes the neighborhoods and 12 precincts north of 59th Street in Manhattan. There he served until promotion to Chief of Patrol in 2002.The majority of the population in that district are of Hispanic origin.[6]

NYPD Chief of PatrolIn 2002, Estavillo was promoted to Chief of Patrol, thus becoming the first Hispanic to reach the executive level of three stars Chief at N.Y.P.D.[2] More than 20,000 Police Officers and 4,000 Civilian support staff of the N.Y.P.D. Patrol Services Bureau were under his supervision.[2]

The duties of a Chief of Patrol include the coordination and deployment of the Department's eight Patrol Boroughs which include 76 Precinct Commands. The Patrol Chief is also in charge of the Special Operations Division, which includes the Emergency Services Unit, Mounted Unit, Aviation Unit, Harbor Unit and Canine Unit. Estavillo managed the resources to combat crime and support counter terrorism strategies; provided supervision to direct, observe and evaluate performance, equipment and training of personnel.[2] Estavillo retired in 2007 from the NYPD.

[edit] LegacyIn 2003, Estavillo was named National Grand Marshal of the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City.[7] In 2006, he was the recipient of the Leadership Award, given during the Law Enforcement Explorer Awards ceremonies.[8]

Estavillo is the father of four children and has five grandchildren.[1] He is a member of the New York State Association of Chiefs of Police, the American Academy of Professional Law Enforcement, the N.Y.P.D. Marine Corps Association, the Marine Force Recon Association, the F.B.I. National Academy Associates, the N.Y.P.D. Hispanic Society and serves as advisor to the Association of Retired Hispanic Police.[2]

Military decorations Among Estavillo's military decorations and awards are the following:
Combat Action Ribbon
Navy Presidential Unit Citation
National Defense Service Medal
Vietnam Service Medal with bronze service star
Vietnam Gallantry Cross unit citation
Vietnam Campaign Medal

Naval Parachutist Badge
Vietnamese Parachutist Badge

Written by Tony "the Marine" Santiago


Congressional Gold Medal sought for WW II Philippines Bataan March POWs 

S.2004 -- To grant the Congressional Gold Medal to the troops who defended Bataan during World War II. 
112th CONGRESS 1st Session
December 15, 2011
Mr. UDALL of New Mexico (for himself, Mr. BINGAMAN, Mr. INOUYE, and Ms. LANDRIEU) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
A BILL: To grant the Congressional Gold Medal to the troops who defended Bataan during World War II.  Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
Congress makes the following findings:
(1) Within hours after the attacks on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, the Imperial Japanese forces launched an attack on the Philippines, cutting off vital lines of communication to United States and Filipino troops assigned to the United States Army Forces in the Far East under the command of General Douglas MacArthur.
(2) On December 8th, 1941, the 200th Coast Artillery Regiment, successors to the New Mexico National Guardsmen who made up part of the famed `Rough Riders' of the Spanish-American War, were the `first to fire'.
(3) Despite being cut off from supply lines and reinforcements, the United States and Philippine Forces quickly executed a plan to delay the Japanese invasion and defend the Philippines against the Japanese invasion.
(4) By April 1942, troops from the United States and the Philippines had bravely and staunchly fought off enemy attacks in Bataan for more than 4 months under strenuous conditions that resulted in widespread starvation and disease.
(5) By maintaining their position and engaging the enemy for as long as they did, the troops at Bataan were able to redefine the momentum of the war, delaying the Japanese timetable to take control of the southeast Pacific for needed war materials. Because of the Bataan defenders' heroic actions, United States and Allied forces throughout the Pacific had time to regroup and prepare for the successful liberation of the Pacific and the Philippines.
(6) On April 9, 1942, Major General Edward King, his troops suffering from starvation and a lack of supplies, surrendered the soldiers from the United States and the Philippines into enemy hands.
(7) Over the next week, troops from the United States and the Philippines were taken prisoner and forced to march 65 miles without any food, water, or medical care in what came to be known as the `Bataan Death March'.
(8) During this forced march, thousands of soldiers died, either from starvation, lack of medical care, sheer exhaustion, or abuse by their captors.
(9) Conditions at the prisoner of war camps were appalling, leading to increased disease and malnutrition among the prisoners.
(10) The prisoners at Camp O'Donnell would die at a rate of nearly 400 per day because of its poor conditions.
(11) On June 6, 1942, the prisoners from the United States were transferred to Camp Cabanatuan, north of Camp O'Donnell.
(12) Nearly 26,000 of the 50,000 Filipino Prisoners of War died at Camp O'Donnell, and survivors were gradually paroled from September through December 1942.
(13) Between September of 1942 and December of 1944, American prisoners of war who survived the horrific death march were shipped north for forced labor aboard `hell ships' and succumbed in great numbers because of the abysmal conditions. Many of the ships were mistakenly targeted by allied Naval forces because the Japanese military convoys were not properly labeled as carrying prisoners of war. The sinking of the Arisan Maru alone, claimed nearly 1,800 American lives.
(14) The prisoners who remained in the camps suffered from continued mistreatment, malnutrition, lack of medical care, and horrific conditions until they were liberated in 1945.
(15) The veterans of Bataan represented the best of America and the Philippines. They hailed from diverse locales across both countries and represented a true diversity of Americans.
(16) Over the subsequent decades, these prisoners formed support groups, were honored in local and State memorials, and told their story to all people of the United States.
(17) The United States Navy has continued to honor their history and stories by naming 2 ships after the battle including 1 ship still in service, USS Bataan (LHD-5), in memory of their valor and honorable resistance against Imperial Japanese forces.
(18) Many of the survivors of Bataan have now passed away, and those who remain continue to tell their story.
(19) The people of the United States and the Philippines are forever indebted to these men for--
(A) the courage and tenacity they demonstrated during the first 4 months of World War II fighting against enemy soldiers; and
(B) the perseverance they demonstrated during 3 years of capture, imprisonment, and atrocious conditions, while maintaining dignity, honor, patriotism, and loyalty.
(a) Award Authorized- The Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate shall make appropriate arrangements for the award, on behalf of the Congress, of a single gold medal of appropriate design in honor of the troops from the United States and the Philippines who defended Bataan and were subsequently prisoners of war, collectively, in recognition of their personal sacrifice and service to their country during World War II.
(b) Design and Striking- For purposes of the award under subsection (a), the Secretary of the Treasury (hereafter in this Act referred to as the `Secretary') shall strike the gold medal with suitable emblems, devices, and inscriptions, to be determined by the Secretary.
(c) Smithsonian Institution-
(1) IN GENERAL- Following the award of the gold medal in honor of the defenders and prisoners of war at Bataan under subsection (a), the gold medal shall be given to the Smithsonian Institution, where it shall be displayed as appropriate and made available for research.
(2) SENSE OF THE CONGRESS- It is the sense of the Congress that the Smithsonian Institution should make the gold medal received under paragraph (1) available for display at other locations, particularly such locations as are associated with the prisoners of war at Bataan.
(a) Striking of Duplicates- Under such regulations as the Secretary may prescribe, the Secretary may strike duplicates in bronze of the gold medal struck under section 2.
(b) Selling of Duplicates- The Secretary may sell such duplicates under subsection (a) at a price sufficient to cover the costs of such duplicates, including labor, materials, dies, use of machinery, and overhead expenses.
Medals struck pursuant to this Act are National medals for purposes of chapter 51 of title 31, United States Code.
(a) Authorization of Appropriations- There is authorized to be charged against the United States Mint Public Enterprise Fund, an amount not to exceed $30,000 to pay for the cost of the medal authorized under section 2.
a States Mint Public Enterprise Fund.
Please visit:
and kindly join us in an online petition urging the members of the U.S. Senate & House of Representatives to co-sponsor S.2004 introduced by Sen Tom Udall on December 15, 2011 and H.R. 3712 introduced by Rep Heinrich on December 16, 2011 that seek to grant the Congressional Gold Medal to the troops who defended Bataan during World War II.    

Sent by Rafael Ojeda and  Maria Embry 

More information. . .  

Hello SURVIVOR reader and supporter:

Please clink on this Youtube link below to view a short 10 minute video I put together with actual footage of Msgt. Frank Lovato relating his experiences. Hear Frank play God Bless America and the Prisoners Song (I wish I had wings like an Angel..). Listen to his famous grand daughter, Demi Lovato sing the National Anthem on Thanksgiving Day at Dallas Cowboy Stadium with early photos of Frank and the great drawings of former POW and artist Ben Steele. Thank you again for keeping this story alive for future generations to experience, honor, and learn. Please share with everyone. Your comments on YouTube following your viewing would be greatly appreciated. 

Happy Holidays to you, your family and your friends. Together we can make anything happen.

Siempre, Francisco
Francisco L. Lovato
Del Oro Press
18313 Starduster Dr.
Nevada City, CA 95959
530-615-9202 First Session of Veterans' Court
in Santa Maria, California 

Superior Court Judge Rogelio Flores
Veterans' Court in Santa Maria

Before a large crowd of Veterans' groups, like the VFW, American Legion, American GI Forum, and Vietnam Veterans of America, the Veterans Court, in an official ceremony, was inaugurated at the Veterans' Memorial Building in Santa Maria yesterday, November 22, 2011. 

The long-term effort to offer jail alternatives for Veterans in the Santa Maria area was the result of over two years and hundreds of hours of work. This was achieved through a collaborative effort of the District Attorney's office, Public Defender, Superior Court, County Probation and Veterans' organizations. 
Superior Court Judge Rogelio Flores was a leading proponent of the Veterans Court. He was chosen to lead and hold court for those Veterans with the option of getting help instead of spending time in jail. 
We are very fortunate to have had Judge Flores favoring and working on this Veterans' Court program, and now to preside over it, as he has a heart and mind infused with a passion for justice, especially for Veterans. 
The Santa Maria program, unlike other area programs, is available to any Veteran, not just those who have seen combat. 
We are very appreciative to all those who tirelessly worked to bring this program to Santa Maria, and especially to Judge Flores and the collaborative work of the departments and organizations involved. 

Thank you, from the AGIF/CA Veterans. 
Willie Galvan, State 
CommanderAmerican GI Forum of California

Read Full Story: Santa Maria Times

Sent by Wanda Garcia


A True Story of a Man Who Started the Eastern Airlines
It happened every Friday evening, almost without fail, when the sun resembled a giant orange and was starting to dip into the blue ocean.

Old Ed came strolling along the beach to his favorite pier.. Clutched in his bony hand was a bucket of shrimp. Ed walks out to the end of the pier, where it seems he almost has the world to himself. The glow of the sun is a golden bronze now. 

Everybody's gone, except for a few joggers on the beach.  Standing out on the end of the pier, Ed is alone with his thoughts...and his bucket of shrimp. 
Before long, however, he is no longer alone. Up in the sky a thousand white dots come screeching and squawking, winging their way toward that lanky frame standing there on the end of the pier. 
Before long, dozens of seagulls have enveloped him, their wings fluttering and flapping wildly. Ed stands there tossing shrimp to the hungry birds.  As he does, if you listen closely, you can hear him say with a smile, 'Thank you.  Thank you.'
In a few short minutes the bucket is empty.  But Ed doesn't leave. 

He stands there lost in thought, as though transported to another time and place.   
When he finally turns around and begins to walk back toward the beach, a few of the birds hop along the pier with him until he gets to the stairs, and then they, too, fly away.  And old Ed quietly makes his way down to the end of the beach and on home. 

If you were sitting there on the pier with your fishing line in the water, Ed might seem like 'a funny old duck,' as my dad used to say.  Or, 'a guy who's a sandwich shy of a picnic,' as my kids might say.   To onlookers, he's just another old codger, lost in his own weird world, feeding the seagulls with a bucket full of shrimp. 
To the onlooker, rituals can look either very strange or very empty. They can seem altogether unimportant .... maybe even a lot of nonsense. 

Old folks often do strange things,
at least in the eyes of Boomers and Busters. 

Most of them would probably write Old Ed off, down there in Florida . That's too bad. They'd do well to know him better. 

His full name:  Eddie Rickenbacker.  He was a famous hero back in World War II.  On one of his flying missions across the Pacific, he and his seven-member crew went down.  Miraculously, all of the men survived, crawled out of their plane, and climbed into a life raft. 

Captain Rickenbacker and his crew floated for days on the rough waters of the Pacific. They fought the sun. They fought sharks.  Most of all, they fought hunger.  By the eighth day their rations ran out. No food.  No water.  They were hundreds of miles from land and no one knew where they were. 
They needed a miracle. That afternoon they had a simple devotional service and prayed for a miracle. They tried to nap.  Eddie leaned back and pulled his military cap over his nose. Time dragged.  All he could hear was the slap of the waves against the raft.. 
Suddenly, Eddie felt something land on the top of his cap.
It was a seagull! 
Old Ed would later describe how he sat perfectly still, planning his next move.  With a flash of his hand and a squawk from the gull, he managed to grab it and wring its neck..  He tore the feathers off, and he and his starving crew made a meal - a very slight meal for eight men - of it.  Then they used the intestines for bait..  With it, they caught fish, which gave them food and more bait......and the cycle continued.  With that simple survival technique, they were able to endure the rigors of the sea until they were found and rescued (after 24 days at sea...).   

Eddie Rickenbacker lived many years beyond that ordeal, but he never forgot the sacrifice of that first life-saving seagull..  And he never stopped saying, 'Thank you.'  That's why almost every Friday night he would walk to the end of the pier with a bucket full of shrimp and a heart full of gratitude. 

Reference: (Max Lucado, "In The Eye of the Storm",
pp..221, 225-226)

PS:  Eddie started Eastern Airlines.
The purpose of life is to discover your gift.
The meaning of life is to give your gift away.
sent by Gerald Frost


A Comparison of CEOs of National Veterans Organizations with Other groups
As you open your pockets in 2012 for the next natural disaster, please keep these facts in mind:

American Legion National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
Veterans of Foreign Wars National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
Disabled American Veterans National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.  
Military Order of Purple Hearts National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary
Vietnam Veterans Association National Commander receives a $0.00 zero salary.
IN CONSTRAST : UNICEF CEO Caryl M. Stern receives $1,200,000 per year plus all expenses including a Rolls Royce .
Less than 5 cents of your dollar donated to UNICEF goes to the cause.

American Red Cross President/CEO Marsha J. Evans salary for the year was $651,957 plus expenses
United Way President Brian Gallagher base salary  $375,000 plus numerous expense benefits.


New Facebook Site Dedicated to the Galvez Film Project
November 5, 2011, The Grass Fight Battle Reenactment:  San Antonio, Texas
October 29, 2011, Battle of Concepción Reenactment, San Antonio, Texas

New Facebook site dedicated to the Galvez Film Project 


Battle of Concepción Reenactment 
October 29, 2011 
San Antonio, Texas

The Battle of Concepción was the first major armed conflict of the Texas Revolution. It took place on October 28, 1835 on the grounds of Concepción Mission outside of San Antonio. Rebel Texans, led by James Fannin and Jim Bowie, fought off a vicious assault by the Mexican Army and drove them back into San Antonio. The victory was a huge one for the morale of the Texans and led to the subsequent capture of the town of San Antonio.

Battle Reenactment: November 5, 2011, San Antonio, Texas

Primer Batallon de Mexico
Founder Martin R Vasquez, far right in Colonel hat
Sent by Roland Nunez Salazar, far left with flag 
Others pictured include Edward Teniente, John Scott Mathy, Randal Hankla, David Martin & Adam Dominguez.

Beginning in October 1835, Texans laid siege to the town of Bexar (San Antonio). The last engagement before the Texans stormed the town came on November 26. On that day, scout Erastus "Deaf" Smith rode into the Texan encampment with the news that Mexican cavalry with pack animals were approaching the town to bring reinforcements to General Martín Perfecto de Cos at the Alamo.

The Texans were eager to stop the reinforcements, and had high hopes that the pack animals were carrying silver coins -- back pay for the Mexican troops. General Edward Burleson sent 40 cavalry under James Bowie and 100 infantry under William H. Jack to stop the reinforcements and seize the supply train.

The two cavalry forces skirmished west of town, with Cos sending infantry to the aid of the supply train. The Texas forces pushed the Mexican troops into the town and seized the supply train of 40 pack animals. The casualties numbered four Texans wounded, three Mexicans dead and 14 wounded.

When the Texans opened the booty carried by the animals, they discovered not silver coins but grass, intended to feed the army animals.

The siege of Bexar came to an end a little over a week later, when on December 5, 1835, the Texas volunteers entered the town and began the house-to-house fighting that resulted in the surrender of Cos on December 9. 

Roland Nuñez Salazar
(Cell) 281 220-7153


Volviendo a Nuestras Raices
Conozca El Origen Del Apellido by Mimi Lozano
Wednesday, December 16, 1992  EXCELSIOR 

SHHAR'S first Surname article appeared in the Spanish language newspaper, the Excelsior, Santa Ana, CA on November 4, 1992. 

In the United States, ZAMORA is the 128th most popular surname among modern Hispanic families.  Exact origin of the name is unknown, but believed to be based on the Arabic word for music, "zanr". Descriptive identification was an early source of surnames.  ZAMORA is the name of a province in northern Spain. 

Early records gives Zamora as place of origin for Alvaro de Zamora, arriving in New Spain from Cuba in 1519.  Alvaro was part of the capture of Tenochtillan and also the entrada into Tututepec.  Evidencing a special talent for language, he soon was supporting himself as one of only 3 interpreters for the Audiencia.  Ultimately, receiving the encomienda de Mazatlan and several estancias for his services as interpreter.  On February 15th, 1563 Alvaro de Zamora was awarded a coat of arms.

RUDOLFO ZAMORA, of Huntington Beach has traced his lines back to a Sargento Major, DIEGO DE ZAMORA, and Magdelena Maria (last name unknown) in 1676 in the town of San Juan Tianguismanacio, Puebla, In 1696, Diego married Josepha Francisca Esteban and soon moved north to Parras, Coahuila.  From this marriage, a daughter, Antonia Zamora, is the line from which Mr. Zamora descends. 

Antonia Zamora married Mauricio Ortega.  Their son, Santiago Ortega de Zamora, born July 12, 1772 took the Zamora name when he married Maria Dolores Morales in January 22, 17.  Taking a mother's surname, or even a grandmother's name was not entirely unusual in Mexico.  However, for the family researcher, the search is much more challenging.  It took Mr. Zamora many dedicated hours to discover that his line was through a grandmother generations back, and not a grandfather.

Juan Zamora and Cecelia Montalva de Zamora are Mr. Zamora's immediate grandparents.  They married in Monterrey, Nuevo Leon where Mr. Zamora's father, Elijio was born in 1899, the first of 13 children.

The family moved to Poteet, Texas, raising strawberries, living a quiet, humble life on a small farm.  Elijio fulfilled his role as the eldest son with humility and love.  He started working at a very early age in the fields to help his family.  Throughout his life he gave generously, from the little that he had, to his family.  Never leaving projects half-way, Elijio always completed everything he started.  He was a noble self-made man.

Prior to his marriage, Elijio worked in the physically demanding job of a furnace stroker in a gold smelter.  He married his bride, Paula Lopez in San Antonio, November 11, 1926.  After marriage he worked in a potato chip factory.  The depression forced him to look for other work. In 1938-39 he attempted to feed his family as a train porter.  In 1940, Elijio and his family followed the crops into Michigan.

Missing the Texas barrios, Elijio enjoyed the opportunity of hearing missionary priests teaching in Spanish and would frequently take young Rodolfo.  One incident Mr. Zamora said he would never forget was "the priest giving a sermon of how the devil would use his pitch fork to turn those poor souls around while in hell.  My Dad developed a loud cough to attempt to break the cycle of the sermon. After trying that several times without success, he grabbed my hand, mumbling as we left, what garbage to be using in front of grown men."

"My father had tenacity of purpose.  He wanted my sister, Sally, and me to get an education, so we wouldn't have to work physically as hard as he did.  He wanted me to be an engineer.  I remember in Jr. High taking as an elective a typing course.  He flatly told me that taking typing was not for a man to learn.  I should have taken another drafting class."

Elijio moved his family back to San Antonio during the second world war, in 1944.  He died a tragic early death, suffering a heart attack at 43 years old, while working in an industrial laundry.

Mr. Zamora, married and the father of two sons and a daughter, fulfilled his father's desires.  Graduating with advanced engineering degrees, he went on to successfully start two companies, ChemResin in Santa Ana and then Ruvenco in Newport Beach.

"I learned from my father, to set a goal and not to give up.  I used his strength of character in doing my family research, and experienced an indescribable  excitement, like to other feeling, a joy, a complete joy in discovering the records of my ancestors."

Other surnames on Rodolfo Zamora's pedigree are: Ortega, Lopez, Cortez, Montalvo, De la Cruz, Mata, Cardenas.

Compiled by Mimi Lozano (c) 1992, member of the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research, translated into Spanish and published in the EXCELSIOR, a Spanish language weekly in Santa Ana, California. Somos Primos welcomes mini-family histories, especially based on a direct line pedigree.  These questions below may be helpful in preparing  an article to share with Somos Primos.   The outline was used in preparing the Excelsior series.  SHHAR Board members (lots of retired teachers) will gladly help you in preparing and/or finising up your article.  Please don't feel hesitant about participating.  The Board will supply item number one below: 



The first direct ancestor that entered into the Americas on my surname of interest was (name)__________________________ 

my__________________ father/grandfather/gggg-grandfather .

He came in (year)__________from ______________________.

He came with/for/to __________________________________

and settled in _____________________________________.

The family stayed for ___years working in/as ____________________.

Eventually _________________ my____________________

moved the family to ____________where my ___________was born.

I was born in ______ date _______________ and brought up in ___

I was number __of__children, __boys and __girls. We had ________for pets.

I married my wife (before) (after) (during) my educational pursuits

My wife's family lines are from ___________________________'

We have __children, __boys and __girls. Our favorite family activities are:

Please expand on the following or add some other personal comments:

One of the things I most admire about my __________ is:

A humorous/touching/contribution/noteworthy characteristic of my ________ is:

I believe that family tradition, attitude, or inherent talents have made it easy for me to:

I have always tried to excel because:

Oral family stories that give me pride in who I am.  I would like to stress the importance of:



Biography of Amando Saenz by Samuel, Tomas and Antonio Saenz
The Ghosts of Christmas Past by Daisy Wanda Garcia
Msgt. Frank N. Lovato by Francisco Lovato
It Started with a Burnt Tortilla by Ben Romero


Chapter I of V

 Childhood and Early Life (1931-1944)
Family Heritage
Childhood training at El Rancho
Amando's First Business Venture

Written By: Samuel Saenz 10/28/2011
Co-Edited By: Tomas and Antonio Saenz 



 Amando was born in Alice, Texas to Samuel and Santos Saenz on October 28, 1931. He was the first born in a family of fourteen. This is the story of Amando.s life and it is presented to him on his eightieth birthday. We the brothers and sisters of Amando are thankful for his life. We honor and glorify his dedication and loyalty to the Saenz family. During his teenage years and in later years, he played an important family leadership role and showed us the way to a better life. He demonstrated fearless courage and determination to support his brothers and sisters in time of need. Through hard work and achievements he broke barriers and ascended from poverty into the American mainstream life. During his early life he was handicapped for not knowing the English language. His primary language was Spanish and his formal education was only to the 2nd grade. During his early adult life he developed a head tumor resulting in the lost of one eye. He was a depression era baby and grew up without much economic resources. These limitations did not keep him from moving forward in life. Through his own originality and visionary drive he leaped forward to solve family hardships and economic problems. After completing the task of helping his brothers and sisters, he went on to fulfill his life.s dreams and raise his own personal family. He crossed many bridges and faced great challenges in life and eventually became a successful businessman. This written life story of Amando is dedicated primarily for his younger brothers and sisters and to all his immediate family members. The purpose for documenting his life story is to highlight his historical achievements and to honor him while he is still alive. Furthermore, this document serves as testimony to all his family and future generations so that they may also know what he was all about.

This biography contains information primarily provided and written by Samuel Saenz Jr, who was an eye witness to Amando's early life. In addition, recognition is given to all of Amando.s brothers and sisters who contributed their input to his life's story.
Family Heritage

Amando's Hispanic parents were originally from the Ranchos around Concepcion, Texas. They came from large families with roots that date back prior to the Mexican American war. Their primary language was Spanish and they grew up in the traditional Hispanic culture with little or no English reading and writing skills. Amando‟s parents married during the depression era and growth opportunities were very limited in the farming community where they grew up. In the pursuit of a better life Amando‟s father sold off a small parcel of inherited land and moved to the nearby town of Alice, Texas where he found a job and worked at the Texas Highway Department for fifteen years.

Childhood training at El Rancho

It was in the small town of Alice, Texas where Amando first started his work career and early development. His first important life development experience came at the age of five when his parents would occasionally allow him to stay with his grandmother ( Mama Maria) and his uncles (Tios) Tomas, Leonides, Salvador and Zaragosa Gonzalez at a place called EL Rancho in Santa Cruz, Texas. The Rancho visits for him and later on for his other brothers were not for recreation, but for family work and discipline training. Amando grew up in a depression environment where he was exposed to the life reality that if you do not work, you do not eat. His grandmother and uncles managed El Rancho at a time when money was extremely scarce and hard work was the rule of the day. As a child growing up in this environment Amando was expected to participate in daily ranch duties, such as, cutting wood, feeding the chickens and live stock, running errands, and assisting his uncles during planting and harvest season. The only cash crop option was cotton and it was considered very important. Amando‟s grandmother had a small wooden box with a religious saint in her bedroom. Every year before harvest time she would go out into the field and cut a small branch containing green cotton balls and she placed them inside the box with the religious saint. This was her way of asking the Lord for His blessing of the crop.

The uncles (Tios) were mostly single and there were no children around at that time. The Tios spoke only Spanish and they adhered to the traditional Hispanic cultural values passed on through generations of Spanish/Mexican rule in Texas. They were very fond of Amando and they taught him how to work, ride horses and participate in every day Rancho life activity. The uncles always spoke very highly of Amando and they were very impressed with his character development. He was considered adventurous, fearless, and a person with his own mind. This was quite in contrast to his younger brother Samuel jr. who was considered to be timid, and afraid. However, the Tios would often honor Samuel jr. by telling him that he had other noble characteristics. Page 7 of 44

Amando‟s bond with his uncles was a life time experience that prepared him for the future. Throughout his career, he never forgot to call them up and to visit with them whenever possible.

Amando’s First Business Venture

Amando grew up in Alice where he attended two years (K-2) of Elementary school before World War II started. He dropped out of school on or about the 2nd grade and he never finished elementary school. By this time the Saenz family had grown considerably. Armed with the Rancho work experience and what his parents had taught him, Amando started to develop independent thoughts to work and make money at the young age of seven or eight years. He became restless and was not content to just go to school as he saw the family lived in poverty. The income from his dad was not enough to support the brothers and sisters. In those days, government assistance programs did not exist.

Although he was only a child, Amando had already done some agriculture work picking cotton, tomatoes, and other vegetables at the Rancho. This was not enough for him and he wanted something different. Sooner rather than later, he came up with the idea to start a small business by constructing a shoe shine box to go out on the streets and make money shining shoes. His mother advised him not to do that because his father would never approve of him being out in the streets alone. He did not listen and went ahead and constructed his shoe shine box. When his dad came home from work he broke up the shoe shine box and Amando got a belt spanking (Fajada) on top of that. Several months went by and he could not resist the temptation to construct another shoe shine box. This time before he could be stopped, he started to bring in money daily and giving it all to his mother. With the support of his mother they managed to convince the father that Amando‟s work and income was productive and beneficial to the family. He was very effective in proving his point and he became a shoe shine boy who would roam the streets of Alice making a buck. Amando got his wings and permission from his parents and as a child he learned the good and bad secrets of survival in the streets

During the early years of World War II, when Amando was approximately 9 years old, he was a fearless raggedy shoe shine boy ready for action. He would at times skip school and go to work shining shoes. On weekend nights he would hit the bars and brought in good money. It was not long afterwards, that his younger brother, Samuel Jr., was also able to convince his parents that he too should shine shoes. The two oldest brothers partnered up to provide security for each other and increase the household income.

During the critical early years of the war, the government ordered total mobilization. This significantly impacted the city of Alice, Texas, because it was the gateway from the Rio Grande Valley to San Antonio, the military induction center. It did not take Amando long to learn that on certain days of the week a caravan of Greyhound buses would stop at the Grey hound station for several hours. The buses were loaded with young drafted Hispanics and this was a chance to make a buck. The boys were in the pursuit of making money at the penny level which for these times provided an income to buy food for the rest of the family. On one occasion, the two brothers skipped school and waited for the buses to arrive. While shining shoes at the bus station they moved quickly to do their work. Samuel recollects that it was a painful and sad episode watching these young soldiers crying and weeping while they departed from their parents to go to war. The soldiers were obviously afraid of being shipped off to fight a foreign war.

This was an exciting time for the young brothers to see and experience the real world.

The Naval bases in Corpus Christi and Kingsville were saturated with thousands of sailors and on weekends they would swarm over to our small city looking for the night life and girls. The sailors were their favorite customers because they would pay up to 10 cents for a standard 3 cent shoe shine. Since the two brothers knew where the all the dance halls, bars, and suspected business ladies were located, they would also be paid 25 cents for the escort. At this young age, the boys knew very little about the birds and bees. However, they quickly learned that the sailors were willing to pay extra money for the girls and they were happy to help out. It was during these times that Amando also learned how to smoke by picking up cigarette butts.

Amando was a money maker and he developed a family ethics and an honor code of his own which was passed on to the rest of the family members. The money made by the two brothers was not for their personal use. Amando turned in 100% of the income to his mother for family support and not a penny was given to his father.

Amando was the first in the family to learn to speak English. He quickly developed a technique on how to do business with the sailors. He was a very competitive individual. Often times he would set up shoe shine competitions with other local shoe shine boys as they were shining the soldier‟s shoe. The sailors liked that, as they were usually half drunk and it was a form of entertainment. Five or six would gather around and judge the contest to determine who would be the prize winner. Needless to say Amando would win most of the time as he used a light cloth that generated a pleasant loud popping sound which was music to the sailor‟s ears. Most of the sailors were from out of state and were new to the Hispanic culture. They knew the boys only spoke limited broken English and they usually addressed the shoe shine boys as "Pancho". The sailors would confront the boys and ask them "where are the girls".

In addition to the sailor business Amando and Samuel Jr. also did business with the Afro American community. Amando would occasionally venture over the rail road tracks and take Samuel along for the visit. In the line of shining shoes, they visited the bars and restaurants in that community. There was one special restaurant bar named "LOTS CAFÉ" where a lot of action would take place on weekends. They observe folks dance and sing the blues while they shined shoes. They witnessed lots of brawls and adult behavior which was inappropriate for their age bracket, but they had enough street savvy to know what was happening. One thing they knew for sure was that this restaurant bar had a well know reputation throughout the city for the best hamburger in Texas. 

In today‟s world it may seem impossible and unbelievable that small children playing the role of shoe shine boys would be exposed to the night life of the adult world. The only explanation for this is that perhaps the bar owners and the security authority were understanding and sympathetic of the poor trying to make money. These events took place over seventy years ago when Law enforcement was different and many crimes of today were non-existent.

Above Picture of the original family house on Beckham Street, Alice, Texas. It was there were eight of the fourteen children of Samuel and Santos Saenz were born and raised. This is a modern day picture of the house after it was re-modeled in the early 1950s. It was sold to Johnny Bernal, an old friend from the community, in 1956. The house had three bedrooms ands a kitchen. a bathroom was added during the re-modeling and this was after the city of Alice finally brought the sewer lines to that part of the town (El Barrio del Alto).

"One of Amando's favorite pass times during his early years was to go watch Western movies at the then popular Realto Theater".  This picture was taken from the Cinema Treasures

Opened as the Alice Theatre in 1948 seating 712. It got the Rialto name during a later remodel. A beat up fairly large triangle shaped marquee adorns the front of the two story building. “Rialto” was spelled out in Art Deco fashion lighted with neon. On the front of the marquee there is still a big “A”.   The Rialto has been totally neglected since its closing. The entire underside of the marquee is falling off in pieces. The entire front of the building was done in a mixture of colors, from white to yellow to green to multi color bricks on the street level. I am sure in its days though that it did a great job of serving the almost 20,000 people of Alice with the best in motion pictures.




     Daisy Wanda Garcia

From L to R: Daisy Wanda Garcia, Cecilia Akers, Wanda F. Garcia, Dr Hector P. Garcia
Christmas 1998

Christmas 1998

At this time of the year, it is customary to reflect on the past and on how our lives changed.  For over fifty years of my life, I would make an annual pilgrimage to Corpus Christi to spend the Christmas holydays with my family.  I looked forward to these visits because it was an opportunity to connect with family and with my roots.  Family, friends and back-to-back events would fill the holidays.  Papa was in rare form showering us with treats and goodies.  Mama would decorate the house with her gorgeous ornaments and tree. Dr, Cleo had the entire family over to her house on Christmas Eve for more festivities. Garcias from Mexico , the Valley and Corpus Christi would come to Dr. Cleo’s house.  Dr. Cleo, my aunt and Dr. Hector, my father, would recite the old family legends and talk about the Garcia curse. Years later, Yolanda and Tony Canales carried on the tradition and then Barbara Canales. On Christmas day, Mama would cook her delicious turkey with sides. The preparation of the Christmas meal and the setting of the table was a ritual.  I would provide the Yule log desert.  We would stuff until we could no longer move.  

I never dreamed the Garcia family Christmas celebrations would end. It was such a part of my core.  Our first Christmas without Papa in 1996 was bleak with no turkey, cake, or confections.  The gifts, cookies and treats from well-wishers stopped coming as well.  We were faced with the sad reality that the gifts were meant for Papa and we were the collateral beneficiaries. Four years later Mama moved to San Antonio .  Though we got together for Christmas, something was missing.  The celebrations were not like the past Garcia family Christmas.  When my mother died in 2008, Christmas with my family ended.  

Today’s catchword is “live in the now”. My dogs Donna and Shirley are great teachers.  I notice they enjoy and savor each moment of the day.  I am learning from them how to live in the moment-in the now. It took many years to heal from my loss and grief over past Christmas. When I tried to relive the past, nothing could or would take the place of those Christmas memories. I now realize that you cannot live on memories.  Life goes on!  

Now I celebrate Christmas with my friends …my extended family.  I take parts of the traditions from my past and incorporate them into new traditions.  The trees go up and the ornaments and wreaths.  We enjoy the Christmas feasts at friends’ homes.  

I have learned that there are no guarantees in life that people, places and things will be around forever. I am coming to grips with my own mortality through the aging of my body and my friends. Circumstances change and the only constant we have in life is change. I am learning to accept change, to trust in the future and treasure every moment because all we can depend on is the now.    My wishes to all of you for a blessed and happy New Year.



Msgt. Frank N. Lovato by Francisco Lovato
Editor:  Francisco is the son of Msgt. Frank N. Lovato, author of SURVIVOR, recounting the incredible story of one man's survival through the horrific Baatan Death March.  Francisco wrote sharing a very unusual accident stateside that took his father's life a few years ago and was currently under litigation. . 
I sent by condolences and commented:  "I met your Dad at a NCLR conference.  He was a very strong man."  Francesco response touched me . .   I call it a character portrait.  Just two paragraph, but with those two paragraphs, you know the heart of Frank Lovato.  
"Thank you Mimi. He was strong in so many ways. As he was strong he was gentle, kind, compassionate and loved life. Every second was cherished as a gift. Every person was an angel even the people who were not living to their potential of being good or were troubled and suffering. Each were valued. He knew this life was a grand gift. He saw the humor in everything.. the sometimes absurdity of it all. He could laugh at anything.

Over the years his neighborhood deteriorated around him and my Mom. Their humble home, with it's country rose hedge, and American flag at full mast, was a beacon of hope to the petty criminals, prostitutes, people down on their luck or opportunity. He always had a honest smile and greeting for everyone who walked by as he hand watered his roses and small lawn.No one ever vandalized or disrespected them or their home. The neighborhood is now a safe and, albeit humble, place to live.
Bless you Mimi for all that you do to raise the awareness of  your readers. Thank you.
The correspondence: 

On Thu, Dec 8, 2011, wrote:
Dear Francisco . . .  Please accept by delayed condolences.  What a strange series of a very unfortunate accident.  I met your Dad at a NCLR conference.  He was a very strong man.
God bless, Mimi
In a message dated 12/8/2011 2:14:25 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, writes:
Dear Reader of SURVIVOR,
Because of legal concerns, I was not able earlier to disclose the details of the untimely passing of SURVIVOR Msgt. Frank N. Lovato.
Dad died of complications following a freak accident that occurred ironically on April 9th 2010 - Bataan Day! He was struck by two sliding automatic doors at the USAF Safety Center at Kirtland Air Force Base. The irony continues as the parent company of the door manufacturer is Sanwa Corporation, Japan! The mechanical failure of a faulty sensor in the door frame prevented the door from "seeing" him in the door opening. The impact of the two doors closing was sufficient enough to fracture his shoulder and hip. He died of complications 11 days later at the VA hospital in Albuquerque.

Msgt. Frank Lovato was proudly in his Air Force uniform when the accident happened. Earlier that day at the State Capital in Santa Fe, he had made an emotional presentation to a group of veterans and civilians about the Death March, Bataan and the POW camps. He played God Bless America on his harmonica for the last time (on this earth) to an appreciative audience. It was 68 years to the day that he had incurred multiple wounds from a Japanese made mortar round during the retreat to the tip of Bataan - you could still see dark fragments in his left leg that were never removed.

Frank was a man of service to his family, countrymen, and peace..he lived it every hour of his life in compassionate deed and action. He had no animosity toward the Japanese people. Remember in the latter chapters of his book how he reached out to the Japanese children and civilians who came to the camp following the Nagasaki bomb that ended the war? He always encouraged talking through a problem before fighting but if you must defend your family and country, then do so with a strong military and leadership.
To all my former customers and readers, I offer additional limited 1st edition books to you at a discount price of $15.00. I can ship direct for Christmas. Contact me direct via email for the discount. My website cart can only do orders at full price. I will sign them to whom ever you choose.
God Bless you and your family and God Bless America.
Respectfully, Francisco
Francisco L. Lovato
Del Oro Press
18313 Starduster Dr.
Nevada City, CA 95959




A typical Sunday morning at my household includes a hearty breakfast of eggs, chili, fried potatoes, tortillas, pan dulce, and hot coffee. Mexican music in the background and the Sunday newspaper at my side completes the perfect picture.

Guess what? Some Sundays are not typical. Today started off wrong, probably because I insisted on sleeping in until eight. By the time I got downstairs, my wife was relaxing at the table, reading the newspaper. Not wanting to bother her for breakfast, I decided to make my own.

I studied my plate when I set it at the table and was satisfied that it looked almost as good as when my wife prepares it, but something was missing - Oh, the tortilla! I left it heating on a burner. I looked up at it, and there it was, ablaze. Although I turned off the burner and smothered the flames, the smoke alarms went off in every room.

I ran to open some windows. My wife peered up at me, eyes over her reading glasses, and shook her head with the playful smile she reserves for times like this. My nineteen-year-old daughter never stirred from her room, as I’d expected. By now I should know it takes more than an alarm to get her out of bed.

A few bites into my breakfast, the phone rang. It was my twenty-seven-year-old son asking to talk to his mother - unusual for a Sunday. I handed over the phone and saw my wife’s eyes open wide with surprise. I knew this had to be good.

“You’re where?

“You did what?

“You didn’t!

“You did?



“Are you joking?”

“Okay. Yes, yes, yes, I won’t tell. I love you!”

Before the phone was away from my wife’s ear, my daughter was out of her room in her pajamas. Girl talk has an invisible magnet that brings them out of hiding.

“What happened?” She asked.

“I burned a tortilla on the stove,” I answered.

“No, not that. What’s up with Gabe?”

My wife’s eyes were filled with surprise. Her words were almost inaudible. “He proposed.”

“That rascal! Why didn’t he tell me first?”

“He said they’re in England,” continued my wife. “He told her he was taking her on a surprise weekend trip to Canada, so she’d better pack her passport. But instead he bought tickets to England so they could visit Big Ben.”

I looked at my daughter. “Hey, how come the smoke alarm didn’t get your attention, but your radar ears picked up on Mom’s conversation?”

“I don’t know. It’s a girl thing. When’s the big day? Never mind, I‘ll look it up on Facebook. No wonder he wasn‘t answering my texts.”

After church, my wife and I spent the day celebrating at home and talking to our other four grown children. Many questions remained unanswered.

Aren’t we supposed to accompany him to ask her father for the bride’s hand in marriage?

Is there a cultural difference?

Aren’t Portuguese wedding traditions similar to Mexican?

I love Sundays, but now I realize that typical Sundays are over-rated. I’ll take a burnt tortilla anytime.


Ben Romero
author of Chicken Beaks: Growing up Hispanic (Trafford Press) 




Family Search Records Update
Three Genealogy Powerhouses Join Forces to Publish 1940 US Census

FamilySearch Adds 18 Million Records from 12 Countries

21 New United States Collections Added  

1 December 2011


FamilySearch added over 18 million records from Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Haiti, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Peru, South Africa, Spain, the United States, and Venezuela. Have ancestors from the Lone Star State? Browse a massive new collection of Texas death records. View all the new records now at  

             FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer-driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch has been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

Collection Records Images Comments
Mexico, Baja California and Baja California Sur, Civil Registration, 1860–2004 0 69,595 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Mexico, Chiapas, Civil Registration, 1861–1990 0 2,976 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Mexico, Guanajuato, Civil Registration, 1862–1930 0 14,139,21 New browsable image collection.
Mexico, México Estado, Civil Registration, 1861–1941 0 8,133 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Mexico, Yucatán, Catholic Church Records, 1543–1977 0 578 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Peru, Civil Registration, 1874–1996 0 130,192 Added browsable images to existing collection.
Spain, Diocese of Avila, Catholic Church Records, 1502–1975 11,073 0 Added index records to existing collection.
Spain, Municipal Records 0 41,061 Added browsable images to existing collection.
U.S., California, Los Angeles Passenger Lists, 1907–1948 0 120,267 New browsable image collection.
U.S., California, San Joaquin, County Public Library Obituary Index, 1850–1991 0 167,323 New browsable image collection.
U.S., Tennessee County Marriages, 1790–1950 291,912 232,610 Added index records to existing collection.
U.S., Texas, Coleman County Records, 1849–2008 0 37,489 New browsable image collection.
U.S., Texas, Concho County Records, 1849–2008 0 46,411 New browsable image collection.
U.S., Texas, Death Index, 1903–2000 7,255,830 0 New index collection.
U.S., Texas, Naturalization Records, 1906–1989 0 91,013 New browsable image collection.
U.S., Texas, Nolan County, Civil Court Minutes and Case Files, 1881–1938 0 44,297 New browsable image collection.
United States, Muster Rolls of the Marine Corps, 1798–1892 0 56,678 New browsable image collection.
United States, National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers, 1866–1938 155,623 468 Added index records to existing collection.
United States, World War II Draft Registration Cards, 1942 1,376 2,767 Added records for California.
Venezuela, Catholic Church Records, 1577–1995 0 1,953,946 New browsable image collection. 
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Three Genealogy Powerhouses Join Forces to Publish 1940 US Census
SALT LAKE CITY—Three leading genealogy organizations,, FamilySearch International, and, announced today they are joining forces to launch the 1940 US Census Community Project. The ambitious project aims to engage online volunteers to quickly publish a searchable, high quality name index to the 1940 US Census after it is released in April 2012 by the National Archives and Record Administration of the United States (NARA). The highly anticipated 1940 US Census is expected to be the most popular US record collection released to date. Its completion will allow anyone to search the record collection by name for free online. Learn more about this exciting initiative or how to volunteer at

The 1940 US Census Community Project is also receiving additional support from leading societal organizations like the Federation of Genealogical Societies, National Genealogical Society, and Ohio Genealogical Society.

The population of the US in 1940 was approximately 130 million. NARA’s census images will not have a searchable index. The goal of the 1940 US Census Community Project is to create a high quality index online linked to the complete set of census images as soon as possible. The index will allow the public to easily search every person found in the census and view digital images of the original census pages. The collection will be available online for free to the general public at,, and, the sponsors of the community project. This new collection will open access to family history research like never before for this period in the US.

“The 1940 Census is attractive to both new and experienced researchers because most people in the US can remember a relative that was living in 1940. It will do more to connect living memory with historical records and families than any other collection previously made available,” said David Rencher, Chief Genealogical Officer for FamilySearch.

The collaborative project will also pool the collective resources, know-how, and marketing reach of, FamilySearch, and to engage and coordinate the volunteer workforce needed to deliver the ambitious project. Additionally, and will make substantial financial contributions to make the 1940 US Census online name index possible and work with nonprofit FamilySearch to bring additional new records collections online—making even more highly valued family history resources available to the entire genealogical community. launched in 2009 with a focus on making family history research simple and affordable. was recently awarded the opportunity to host the 1940 census for the National Archives as part of a separate project. Its involvement with the collaborative 1940 US Census project reiterates its commitment to the genealogy community and leadership in the space.

“As a forward thinking company, we understand the critical importance the 1940 Census will have on US family history research. We are proud to be a primary sponsor of this community initiative, giving us another opportunity to take a leading role in the genealogy industry. We’d like to encourage and thank volunteers in advance for their essential contribution to this project,” said Matthew Monahan, CEO of’s parent company, Inflection.

FamilySearch has developed an impressive global online community of volunteers over the past 5 years to help create free indexes to millions of the world’s historic records. The scope and size of the 1940 US Census Community Project will require tens of thousands of additional volunteers. is one of a series of leading family history websites owned by the online publisher, brightsolid, which hosts over a billion records across its genealogy brands. The company, which has been at the cutting edge of online family history since 2002, has a wealth of genealogy experience, including the recently digitized historic newspaper archive for the British Library (, which is set to digitize up to 40 million pages over the next 10 years.

“By supporting this ground-breaking initiative, we hope to capture the imagination of the public to bring millions of people together to create this remarkable document of, and tribute to, the Greatest Generation. At brightsolid we are committed to making family history accessible for all and believe access to these records will transform the family history market in the US,” said Chris van der Kuyl, CEO of’s parent company, brightsolid.

About is a leading family history website that makes discovering family history simple and affordable. The company has assembled more than 1.5 billion U.S. and international historical records in a single location, including vital, census, newspaper, immigration, military, and more. is free to try for seven days, allowing anyone to explore the benefits of membership without risk or obligation. is owned and operated by Inflection, a fast-growing data commerce company, chosen by the National Archives to host the 1940 Census. Find more information at

About FamilySearch

FamilySearch International is the largest genealogy organization in the world. FamilySearch is a nonprofit, volunteer–driven organization sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Millions of people use FamilySearch records, resources, and services to learn more about their family history. To help in this great pursuit, FamilySearch and its predecessor organizations have been actively gathering, preserving, and sharing genealogical records worldwide for over 100 years. Patrons may access FamilySearch services and resources free online at or through over 4,600 family history centers in 132 countries, including the main Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. 

About brightsolid and

Since 1994, brightsolid group has been delivering online innovation and pioneering the expansion of the genealogy market with leading family history websites including the findmypast global network, ScotlandsPeople, GenesReunited, and, together servicing over 18 million registered customers worldwide. The sites connect people via their innovative family tree software and deliver access to over a billion records dating as far back as 1200. Family historians can search for their ancestors among global collections, relating primarily to people with UK and Irish ancestry, of military records, census, migration, occupation directories, newspapers, as well as birth, marriage and death records.

Media Contacts:

Paul Nauta
FamilySearch Public Affairs

Julie Hill



Carolynne Bull-Edwards

Josh Taylor


Genetic Makeup of Hispanic/Latino Americans

Genetic makeup of Hispanic/Latino Americans influenced by 
Native American, European and African-American ancestries

Published: Monday, May 3, 2010 - 15:01 in Paleontology & Archaeology

A new study from researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center found that the imprint of European colonialism and imperialism is evident in the genetic makeup of today's Hispanic/Latino American populations. Scientists discovered that Europeans, Native Americans, as well as West Africans brought to the U.S. and Latin America by the trans-Atlantic slave trade, have influenced the genes of  the current Hispanic/Latino populations. However, a large variation in genes among individuals within each population were still found to exist. "It's naïve oo think that the Hispanic/Latino populations have the same genetic makeup, even though the populations are described under one general category," says Harry Ostrer, MD, professor of Pediatrics, Pathology and Medicine and director of the Human Genetics Program at NYU Langone Medical Center. "Through sophisticated tests, we have determined that the genetic makeup Hispanic/Latino individuals vary between and within communities."

The study, published in the May 3 online issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, tested the genetic makeup of 100 individuals of  Hispanic/Latino background in the New York tri-state area, including Dominicans, Columbians and Ecuadorians, as well as Mexicans and Puerto Ricans, the two largest Hispanic/Latino ethnic groups in the United States. Currently, 
Hispanic/Latino Americans comprise 15.4% of the total United States population, r 46.9 million people, and account for the largest ethnic minority in the United States.

"It is important to quantify the relative contributions of ancestry in relation of disease outcome in the Hispanic/Latino population," says study co-author Christopher Velez, a medical student at NYU School of Medicine. "This ethnically appropriate genetic research will be critical to the understanding of disease onset and severity in the United States and in Latin America. It will allow for he development of appropriate genetic tests for this population." Through their analysis of the entire genome, the researchers found evidence of a significant sex bias consistent with the disproportionate contribution of European male and Native American female ancestry to present day populations. 

The scientists also found that the patterns of genes in the Hispanic/Latino populations were impacted by proximity to the African slave trade. In fact, Puerto Ricans, Dominicans and Columbians from the Caribbean coast had higher proportions of African ancestry, while Mexicans and Ecuadorians showed the  lowest level of African ancestry and the highest Native American ancestry.

European migrant contributors were mostly from the Iberian Peninsula and Northern Europe. Evidence was also found for Middle Eastern and North African ancestry, reflecting the Moorish and Jewish (as well as European) origins of the Iberian populations at the time of colonization of the New World. The Native Americans that most influenced the Hispanic/Latino populations were primarily from local indigenous populations.

Source: NYU Langone Medical Center / New York University School of Medicine 

Source: iwapgh@AOL.COM


January 14, SHHAR Monthly Meeting, 9-12 am
SHHAR 2012 Calendar of Speakers
January 11, 2012 Hispanic Voice Town Hall Tour
Clases de Musica Para Ninos  Y Ninas
Mexican Mission Churches

Westminster Gazette Article Mar. 24, 1938 / Mexican Hoover School / Méndez


January 14th, 2012 
How to Organize Your Genealogy records into Family Heirloom Books. 

Orange Multi-Regional Family History Center
674 S. Yorba St.  Orange, 92863-6471

9:00-10:00 Learning Traditional Spanish Language Songs
Hands-on Computer Assistance for Genealogical Research 
10:00-10:15 Group gathers, introductions, announcements
  Speaker and/or Special Workshop 

A great way to start out the New Year.  Get some practical help from Letty Rodella, a retired educator and teacher trainer, who has spent 42 years in education. Her love of genealogy started 11 years ago and her research now covers the present and moves back in history to her ancestors of the early 1500s.  She will share how she organized 500 years of family history into several books, explaining the content of each chapter within a book, and showing how it all ties together.

SHHAR meetings and activities are open to everyone.  There is no cost and no membership requirement.  We are a self-help group, sharing what we know and promoting a more fact-based history of the Hispanic presence.  We meet at an LDS Family History Center, a hands-on media library with books, maps, films, microfiche, computers and access to family history websites, which usually require a fee, but are free at the Orange FHC.   

SHHAR members are frequent presenters for local and out of state groups.  In addition, the group often mounts family history displays for community events.  The SHHAR board is planning to broaden its community outreach in 2012 to include  choir and dance activities.  The goal is to prepare selections of historically based entertainment, with a focus on the early California time period.   Frances Rios, well-known performing pianist and teacher will be guiding the choir group.  Dancers and Early California re-enactors, Ruth and Richard Duree, will be teaching dances reflective of the transitional time period in California, during the 1800s.  Rehearsals will be held at the Orange Family History Center.  If you are interested in participating in our music outreach, please call Mimi  714-894-8161.  Everyone is welcomed.  


Below is the calendar of presenters for 2012.  
You may want to copy the schedule and challenge yourself to make some of the meetings.

All SHHAR monthly meetings are held at the Orange Family History Center, 674 S. Yorba ST., Orange, CA

Learning Traditional Spanish Language Songs
Hands-on Computer Assistance for Genealogical Research 
Welcome and Introductions
  Speaker and/or Special Workshop 

JANUARY 14th - How to Organize Your Genealogy records into Family Heirloom Books. Letty Rodella is a retired educator, having spent 42 years in education. Her love of genealogy started 11 years ago and her research now covers the present and moves back in history to her ancestors of the early 1500s.  She will share how she organized 500 years of family history into several books, explaining the content of each chapter within a book, and showing how it all ties together.  

FEBRUARY 11TH  - Ron Gonzalez, Orange County Register staff writer- Hispanic Heritage Month-World War II Theme plus other efforts to promote Hispanic Heritage Month activities .                                       

MARCH  10th - John Schmal, author of several books and genealogy researcher, will make a presentation on Beginning Genealogy (Need brief description).  John is also a long time member of the SHHAR Board of Directors and is affiliated with many researchers in the genealogy filed.  

1.   APRIL 14Th  - "Teaching Mariachi music"- Maestro Gabriel B. Zavala is the founder and CEO of Rhythmo Inc. He and his family have dedicated their lives to giving back to the community, by sharing their music.

MAY 12th - Viola Sadler, Retired teacher and long time member of SHHAR will make a presentation onUsing Marriage Dispensations in your Research." Records of marriage dispensations can reveal a few generations of your lineage and why you are related to the same ancestors several times. Learn to appreciate the phrase "Somos Primos" (we are cousins) more clearly, and understand the reasons our ancestors married cousins.  

JUNE 9th - Henry Marquez, genealogy researcher and former member of the SHHAR Board of Directors, will share his research on his lineage to some of the Royal Families of Europe.  

JULY 14th- Nancy Ellen Carlberg, professional genealogist, will help us on "Overcoming the Dead-ends" on genealogy research. If you have hit the brick wall in your research, send Nancy the information you have, along with pedigree charts and the places you have already tried. Nancy will try to help you and use your situation as part -4515.of the presentation. Please send the material to her mailing address: 1782 Beacon Ave, Anaheim, CA 92804  

AUGUST 11th -Annual Board meeting 12:00 noon  

SEPTEMBER 8TH  - Mimi Lozno ,"Discovering the Sephardic Connection, from the earliest Biblical roots to the current DNA findings". Mimi has been editor of Somos Primos since its first issue, 22 years ago, first as a print quarterly, 1990 through 1999, and then as a monthly on the web, 2000-20120.  Her discovery of a possible Jewish connection fascinates her.  Was her grandmother, a hidden Jew?  

OCTOBER 13TH  - "Writing Your Family History"  Tom Saenz, retired school administrator and member of the SHHAR Board of Directors,  will share his experiences in researching his paternal and maternal genealogy and in writing his family history.  His presentation will include specific ideas and suggestions for compiling needed information to write your family genealogy and history.  Sample copies of family books will be on shared.   Mr. Saenz' ancestors are from Northern Mexico and South Texas, some of which were recipients of Spanish and Mexican Land Grants.  

NOVEMBER 10TH- Jerry Martinez, historian and author will make a presentation on his newest book, "Timely Conquest" where he will discuss the conquest of New Mexico by the American Westward movement (Manifest Destiny).  From a New Mexican Hispanic point of view, he will specifically address the implications of the conquest on the society of that era including things such as government, religion, education, language and culture, etc.  Mr. Martinez also wrote "Leche de Coyote" the book that inspired him to write "Timely Conquest.  


For additional information or questions contact Mimi Lozano at:  714-894-8161

The 2012 Hispanic Voice Town Hall Tour
January 11, 2012  6:30-8:30 PM
Orange County Register, Hoiles Auditorium


Hispanics are coming together to unveil their roadmap for the future of America. On January 11, 2012 - this will launch the 2012 Hispanic Voice Town Hall Tour across America that will invite city and community leaders and will be an open forum for Hispanics to express their voice, concerns and solutions for our community and how we can best contribute to the future of America. The Town Hall Tour is a non-partisan initiative that will run through the 2012 elections and serve to help Hispanics understand why we must be more mindful of their voting responsibilities. Hispanics must become more knowledgeable about why they matter as a growing community and more importantly, why they must enable themselves if Hispanic voices are to be heard and taken seriously.   

January 11, 2012 - 6:30 - 8:30 PM
Hoiles Auditorium located at The Orange County Register
625 N. Grand Ave., Santa Ana CA 92701.
Registration is free, but attendance is limited.
Registration to be completed online only at: 

Clases de Musica Para Niños y Niñas
Todos los
Lunes de 6:30 a 8:30 P.M

Rhythmo Mariachi Academy
329 W. Cerritos Ave. Anaheim, CA 92805

Desde Los 6 años 
en Adelante $50.00 
Dolares Mensuales

714 778- 4356 
Celular 714 504-1807 Estudio 714 772-1185




ORANGE COUNTY CA (1776 – 1960s)

By Dr Albert V Vela

November 24, 2011

All rights reserved © 2011 

 From The Story of a Parish, p. 232


The founding of Mexican Mission Churches in Southern California was a response by the Catholic Church to the challenge of the “Mexican Problem.” By and by Irish bishops in California developed institutions meant for the Anglo American parishioners after the 1850s. Archbishop John L Cantwell was an exception to this trend (see On the Move: A History of the Hispanic Church in the United States (rev. ed. 2006) by Moisés Sandoval).  

From The Story of a Parish, p. 141

Moisés also credits Fr Patrick Browne, pastor of St Boniface Church (1918-1937) in Anaheim, for reaching out to Mexican American Catholics by building four “chapels” (missions) during his tenure (p. 58). Speaking generally, Moisés posits, “Other bishops and clergy, however, acted as if they were not aware that Hispanics were an ever-larger part of their flock” (p. 58). He describes the Archbishop of San Francisco (1915-1935), Edward Hanna, as “openly hostile.”  

Moisés finds that Hanna preferred limited immigration from Mexico because they “drain our charities; they and their children become a large portion of our jail population, affect the health of our community, create a problem in our labor camps, require special attention in our schools and are of low mentality, diminish the percentage of our white population and remain foreign” (p. 59). 

The Diocese of San Diego was established in 1936 with Charles Buddy becoming its first Bishop. The Diocese included Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. In responding to the religious practices of Mexican Americans, the Bishop complained to the Apostolate Delegate writing, “we have indulged and tolerated their customs which would not hurt the cause of religion. But some of their customs we could not permit because they are a scandal and could easily weaken the faith of the people. For example, girls dancing in the church on the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and dances held before processions of the Most Blessed Sacrament” (p. 82). As for canceling several outdoor processions, he told the Cardinal Prefect of the Propagation of the Faith, “After all, this is America, and we must protect the faith of our own people,” (p. 82). (Source: The American Catholic Church, Vol. II (1987), Jay P Dolan (gen. editor)

Historically speaking, it’s clear that conflict existed between the “foreign” bishops and the religious practices of Mexican Americans in Southern California from 1850-1980.  Relations improved after Bishop Timothy Manning was named Archbishop of Los Angeles (1970-1985). The policy of assimilation of Mexican Americans changed to one of appreciating their faith and religious practices. For information about the difficult relations between Católicos Por La Raza and Cardinal James Francis McIntyre, read Católicos: Resistance and Affirmation in Chicano Catholic History (2006) by Mario T. García.  

Mexican Immigration into Orange County: Early 1900s. Significant numbers of Mexican families immigrated into Orange County following the Revolution of 1910 and successive Revolutions of the 1920s. They sought stable and peaceful circumstances, a freedom from civil strife, violence and destruction.  As far as numbers, as many as 150,000 Mexicans lived in Los Angeles (Weber, 1970, p. 234).  Montrose (1961) notes that between 1920-1930, Anaheim experienced an increase of 348% in the Mexican population, and that by 1930 they constituted 14% of the population of Orange County (p. 145).  

More of Mexicans started arriving in the middle 1920s due to the religious persecution of Catholic priests by the governments of Presidents álvaro Obregón and Plutarco Elías Calles.   

Devout lay Catholics launched a defense of their priests in the Cristero movement in 1927-29 (Deck, 1989, p. 64).  Bishop John J Cantwell welcomed the exiled priests and religious into the Diocese of Los Angeles-San Diego. Some found their homes in the Mexican Missions of Orange County including St Isidore in Los Alamitos and Our Lady of Guadalupe in the Delhi Barrio. Some of the Mexican priests accepted martyrdom including Fr Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez, SJ, known simply as Fr Pro. This Jesuit priest exclaimed, “Viva Cristo Rey/Long Live Christ the King” the moment the soldiers fired their rifles (Parsons, 1987, pp 49-52).


Original in San Juan Capistrano: The Jewel of the Missions (1922), p. 209  

San Juan Capistrano Mission was the third Mission founded by the Franciscan Fathers in Southern California.  Father President, Padre Saint Junípero Serra, founded Capistrano in 1776 located between Missions San Diego and San Gabriel. Saint Serra celebrated the first high Mass on All Saints Day, November 1, 1776.  

When the missions were secularized in the 1830s, Governor Pío Pico sold Juan Capistrano Mission and its properties (buildings, gardens, orchards, vineyards, burial grounds) to Don Juan Forster and James McKinley for $710.00.  

Eventually Don Juan became the sole owner and lived there for 20 years. In 1853 Bishop Sadoc Alemany challenged the title before the U.S. Land Commission. With President Abraham Lincoln’s signature, the Mission and its properties were returned to the Catholic Church on March 18, 1865.  

In the interim the Mission was virtually abandoned by the Indians who left to find work in the surrounding ranchos and in Los Angeles. The second Bishop of Monterey, the Rt Rev Thaddeus Amat, visited Capistrano four times from 1862 – 1872. Secular priests performed religious services during this time and into the present. Fr Krekelberg (2009) relates that the Mission was without a resident priest for 20 years (p. 203). Further on he writes that priests from Santa Ana and Anaheim visited Capistrano on occasion.  

From 1910 to the present resident priests have ministered its parishioners. The most illustrious of these priests is Father St John O’Sullivan who served 23 years (1910 – 1933). During his tenure many restoration projects were initiated with the help of the Landmarks Club. In 2003 the US Conference of Bishops designated the Mission as a National Shrine.  


From Orange County History Series, Volume Three (1939), p. 70

Don Bernardo Yorba’s Adobe Chapel / St Anthony Church.
In 1858 Don Bernardo Yorba, owner of a large estate in the Santa Ana Canyon, deeded property to Bishop Sadoc Alemany for the construction of a church to be named St Anthony and a house for a priest. Don Bernardo left in his will funds for the construction of these projects and a cemetery. The church was to serve the spiritual needs of “several individuals, residents of the ranches named ‘Santa Ana’ and ‘San Antonio’” (see The Story of a Parish (1961) by Fr Donald Montrose, pp 6-7).  

Following his retirement from military service, Don José Yorba and his nephew, Juan Pablo Peralta, were granted land in the Santa Ana Canyon in 1810. Don José had accompanied the Portolá expedition into Alta California in 1769.   

In an article in the Orange County Historical Series, Volume 3 (1939, Alfonso Yorba’s cousin, Doña Felipa Yorba de Domínguez, describes the adobe chapel built by her grandfather, Don Bernardo: “It was a long building, with the sacristy and padre’s room in back of the altar. On the south side. . ., near the sacristy was another room or win, in which lived a family who took care of the property. . . The church was a fine building for its day . . .Whenever the padre came for a wedding or church fiesta, the corridor was gaily decorated with paper streamers, flowers, and ribbons. . . Rosita de Locke, your cousin, has on her rancho a very old statue of San Antonio, the patron saint of this rancho and chapel. It is a woodcarving similar to those in the old adobe chapel, but it was not made here at the rancho by my grandfather’s santero but comes from one of the missions” (pp 72-73).  

Alfonso Yorba refers to the September 1899 Catholic Directory and Parish Gazeteer for the Diocese of Los Angeles and Monterey to point out that the parishioners of San Antonio Church numbered 265. He lists among the Spanish and Mexican California families the following: “Acevedo, Aguilar, álvarez, Alviso, Andrade, Arballo, Colima, Cruz, Dávila, Domínguez, García, de la Guerra, López, Márquez, Moreno, Peralta, Reyes, de los Reyes, Romero, Ruiz, Sánchez, Sepúlveda, Valenzuela, and Yorba” (p. 74).  

According to Yorba, the chapel records were held by St Boniface Church in Anaheim. This author was told by the present archivist at St Boniface that they are not there. Nor are they in the Archives of the Diocese of Orange located at the Cathedral Church, San Juan Capistrano.


From Blessed Sacrament Church: Golden Jubilee 1947-1997, p. 15  

St Isidore's, Los Alamitos. “Timeline” (no date). Notes taken from the Diocese of Orange Archives by Rev Wm Krekelberg, Archivist. The notes below refer to Bishop John J Cantwell and the churches of St Isidore (Los Alamitos) and St Anthony, Long Beach.          

1918 Jan 24

"Fr James A Reardon, Pastor St Anthony's Long Bch. Writes Bishop John J Cantwell, Bishop of Monterey-Los Angeles: 'I went to Los Alamitos on Tuesday, and made arrangements for the Holy Sacrifice to be offered here. . . beginning Sunday next. There are a number of Mexicans there, and about half a dozen splendid Irish-Americans, who are most anxious for a church. Once [sic] of these Catholic men is the Mayor of the town, the other the Justice of the Peace and Postmaster. Also the Sugar Company (there is a large factory there), is anxious to help because a church there will mean keeping their employees on the ground constantly. The company has offered us two choice lots, on the Boulevard. Altogether, the outlook seems very favorable to me'" (p. 1).            

"Note: Regarding Father Francis Woodcutter and his work with the Mexican people, Father Reardon states in his letter: ‘His zeal is marvelous and he is absolutely without guile, and I am positive he will 'make good' on the necessary work’ (p. 2).  

Unless otherwise noted, the information for the early Mexican churches founded in Orange County is described below based on The Story of a Parish: Its Priests and Its People, 1860-1960 (1961). The author is Fr Donald Montrose.  

St Isidore’s, Los Alamitos. Founded in 1921 by Fr Patrick Browne, pastor of St Boniface. Serviced by priests from St Anthony's in Long Beach and later by St Boniface. In 1941 Archbishop Cantwell invited the Columban Fathers to take over St Isidore Mission Church. The Story of a Parish states, "Father [Patrick Browne] loved the Mexican people, spoke their language and often visited their homes. He built four little mission churches for them" (p. 142).  

Another source, Mexican Americans and the Catholic Church, 1900-1965 (1994), says this about Fr Browne. For 11 years he had a ministry to migrant Mexican agricultural workers in Salinas (1907-1918) “where he had learned Spanish [which] made him sensitive” to the need of “provid[ing] better care for Mexican Catholics in California” (p. 164). Fr Browne died in 1937.  

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Stanton. Founded in 1922. Built by Fr Browne. Taken over by the Columban Father Missionaries in 1941.  


From Blessed Sacrament Church: Golden Jubilee 1947-1007, p. 15


Our Lady of Lourdes, Manzanillo, Garden Grove. Two blocks S/E of 17th St / Verano and Juárez Streets (now 16th St). Probably built in 1924. Taken over by Columban Fathers. Fr McNally was assigned to work with CYO. In 1950 taken over by St Columban's Church, Garden Grove. Served by Columban Fathers until 1953.


 Our Lady of Guadalupe from OCMAHS 2006 Calendar  

Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Jolla, Placentia. Built in 1925. Probably ministered by  priests from St Boniface, Anaheim and St Mary’s in Fullerton.





From Blessed Sacrament Church: Golden Jubilee, p. a5


Sagrado Corazón/Sacred Heart, Independencia, Anaheim. (on Harcourt St, a block north of Katella Ave). I believe it now functions as a community center. Cared for by priests from St Isidore's  (Fathers García & López). Later served by Fathers J McFadden, R Ross and Kevin McNally. Church erected by Fr Browne in 1926. In 1960 it was served by St Justin Martyr Parish, Anaheim.  

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Santa Ana, on west 3rd Street near Bristol. Ca. 1920s. Served by Spanish Augustinian priests. Catholics living in the Artesia Barrio attended this church.  

Barrio of Wintersburg. No church erected here. I imagine the Mexican community was too small. Most went to Mass at Blessed Sacrament Church. Some may have gone to the Church of Saints Simon and Jude, Huntington Beach.  

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Santa Ana. 1922. 3rd & Grand Streets. Served by Spanish Augustinian priests. 




Our Lady of Guadalupe Delhi Barrio Santa Ana CA Photo by Al Vela Oct 12, 2010  

Our Lady of Guadalupe, Delhi (Gloryetta), south Santa Ana. 1922. Attended by priests from Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Santa Ana, 1925-27. Pastored by Fr José Origel who arrived from Michoacán, Mexico in 1920s.




 Fr José Origel & Altar Boys Our Lady of Guadalupe Delhi Louie Holguín Far Right  




 La Purísima Church El Modena 1959 2nd Annual Fiesta City of Orange Library Collections  

La Purísima Church, El Modena. 1924. Fr Origel attended La Purísima from 1927 to 1950s. Louis Holguín who grew up in Delhi remembers accompanying Fr Origel to El Modena where he helped Fr José as an Altar Boy. The Trinitarian Fathers took over the parish attended the bracero work camps in Orange County in 1957 (pg 232).




Moved to Talbert/Fountain Valley in Early 1950s  

Blessed Sacrament Mission Church, Colonia Juárez, Talbert (Fountain Valley). 1951/52. Currently used by Holy Spirit Parish.

Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Habra. 1929.  Permission given in 1928 by Fr Murphy, pastor of Saint Mary's, Fullerton, to build mission church. Built in 1929 in "Campo Corona." Property donated by Mrs Jovita Moreno. Cost $125 for materials and mostly donated labor. Destroyed by fire in 1944. A new church was built in 1947. Source: booklet (1971), "Dedication of the Guadalupe Park Building," authored by Alfred Zúñiga, La Habra; librarian at California State University, Fullerton.  


 First Church Burned & Rebuilt in 1896; from The Story of a Parish, p. 49  

La Logan Barrio, Santa Ana. St Joseph's on North Minter Street was a skip and a hop from this barrio only four blocks west from Logan Street. Mexican American families attended this Church and its school. Tillie Valdivia Rivera (Mater Dei HS classmate ’56, Santa Ana, CA) informs me that Our Lady of the Pillar was her mom’s parish as well as those living living in the Artesia Barrio (email of November 23, 2011). This barrio and the Campos Colorado and Corona of La Habra are most likely the oldest ones in Orange County, ca. 1900s.  

Barrio of Santa Anita, Santa Ana. Ca. 1900s.  A fairly good size Mexican Barrio on the west side of the Santa Ana River and bounded by First Street on the south and Harbor Blvd on the west. Mexicans could choose to go for church services at Our Lady of the Pillar, Manzanillo’s Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Blessed Sacrament, St Joseph's, St Anne's. Third Street, Harbor Boulevard, Main Street, and Seventeenth Street were readily accessible routes to reach these churches all within five miles.    


Westminster Blvd ca. Early 1920s  



 Old Japanese Methodist Church used by Blessed Sacrament Church Parishioners. Rectory 1947 on Right  

Blessed Sacrament Church, Westminster Barrio. Attended by priests from St Isidore’s, Los Alamitos in 1937.  Fathers John McFadden and Robert Ross were ministering in Los Angeles prior to 1940, and in 1941 the Columban Fathers accepted Archbishop Cantwell’s offer to take over the Mexican Parish of St Isidore in Los Alamitos where Fr John was its pastor.   

Thus it is that Fathers John McFadden and Robert Ross were the first of the Columbans to minister to the Westminster Mexican Barrio Catholics from their headquarters in Los Alamitos. They also took charge of the Mexican Mission churches of St Isidore, Our Lady of Guadalupe in Stanton, Sagrado Corazón, Independencia (Anaheim), and Our Lady of Lourdes, Manzanillo (Garden Grove).  

When Fr John left in 1948 to do missionary work in Buenos Aires, Fr Ross replaced him as pastor, a term he served for 11 years (1948-1959). In all he served about 20 years in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles.  

In 1942 the Diocese of Los Angeles bought the Japanese Methodist Church on Olive Street in Westminster from grocery store owner, Mr. E.J. Menard. Two Masses were held here each Sunday from 1942 to 1951. It was a small church holding no more than 100 persons. Portuguese families, dairy owners in the surrounding areas, were a leading force for this small mission church.  

Fr Joe Murrin arrived in 1945 and Fr Kevin McNally in 1948. Arriving in 1949 were Fathers Thomas McCormack, F Ruddy, and Ernest Speckhart. Father Phil Donoghue came the following year in 1950. The status of the Mission churched changed to Parish in 1947.  

The priests moved into their new rectory in 1947 erected next to the Japanese Methodist Church. Parishioners built the new Blessed Sacrament Church in 1950 and held their first Christmas Mass there that same year.  

A contingent of three Columban Sisters resided at St Isidore’s in 1947. With the opening of a new convent in the Barrio, Sisters Margaret Mary, Mary Vincent and Mary Therese relocated here. Sisters Mary Berchmans and Mary Majella joined them by 1948 along with Sr. Mary Lelia and Sr Mary Thaddeus. These sisters did the teaching at the new Parish school built in 1948. The first graduation ceremonies took place in 1949.



South Olive St Westminster Barrio ca. Late 1930s, Early 1940s



Our Lady of the Pillar Church, West Sixth Street, Santa Ana. Established 1964. Did not start as a Mexican Mission Church.  

NOTE: The author is writing a book on the Barrio of Westminster. He would appreciate receiving photos from 1920-1960s. He’s been researching for this book since attending the Annual Olive Street Reunion held in 2005. You can reach him at 860.267.1508 or  

With gratitude. He thanks many who contributed to this article

among whom are Frank “Kiko” Mendoza, Angie Quezada Hartzler,

Gonzalo Méndez Jr, Tillie Valdivia Rivera, Clara “Sandy” Sánchez,

Louie Holguín, Roisin McAree, Robert Castillo, Ricardo Valverde,

Lloyd & Doris Thomas, Robert Torres, Isabel Vela, Henry “Kiki”

Zúñiga, María González Girard Lupe V Fisher, Sal Vela Jr, Eddie

Espinoza, Eleanor Alarcón López, Sal Vela Sr, Danny Gómez, Tom

             Saenz. . .



Westminster Gazette Article Mar. 24, 1938 / Mexican Hoover School / Méndez
Hi Mimi,
This article and comments were sent to Robert Torres Jr. and he in turn sent it to me. I could not determine who the original sender was. Interesting information!  More on Westminster.   Tom

From Robert Torres  wrote:
Westminster Gazette Article Mar. 24, 1938 / Mexican Hoover School / Méndez
Monday, November 21, 2011, 1:36

Subject: Westminster Gazette Article Mar 24 1938 / Mexican Hoover School / Méndez

Estimados Amigos
While at this year's Olive Street Reunion, Westminster (so well organized w/food, prizes & entertainment), I learned from Rick Valverde that Lloyd "Curly" Thomas (publisher, Wsmtr Herald) had info from an old newspaper about the old Mexican Hoover School. The article Lloyd graciously gave me stated, "A large crowd gathered at the Americanization school building Monday evening and the building was dedicated. It was named the Herbert Hoover School." 

The caption where this news item is found reads: "IT HAPPENED IN '29." Although I can't read the page number, I suspect it's from page 1.

One need not wonder whom the School Board sought to Americanize. The only ethnic group that lived in the Westminster barrio, the location of the Hoover School, were families of Mexican heritage. This is the obvious group the Board saw as a challenge to Americanize in the 1920s, the second or third generation daughters and sons of Mexican immigrants.

One method that School Boards used was to have these students learn English by prohibiting them to use Spanish, their dominant language. Joe Arganda, now in his 80s, remembers bitterly how his teacher at Hoover made him wash his mouth with soap for speaking Spanish! Boards of Education also implemented a vocational education curriculum designed to keep Mexican American students in the lower socioeconomic stratum. As Dr Gilbert González of the University of California at Irvine points out in Chicano Education in the era of Segregation (1990), "Americanization tended to preserve the political and economic subordination of the Mexican community" (p. 30). 

There exists a panoramic picture of the school children standing in front of the Westminster Main School (also known as the 17th Street School) taken ca. 1927/1928. Predominantly composed of Anglo students, it shows a small number of boys and girls of Mexican heritage and some Japanese students. According to Strum (2010), Gonzalo Méndez Sr and about 10 fourth and fifth grade classmates of Mexican ancestry were transferred from the Main School to the segregated Hoover School in 1928 or 1929. Gonzalo recalled that "their English was good" (page 37) which meant that they understood their English instructors. 

This "Mexican" school would eventually house 152 Mexican or Mexican American students. (see Méndez v. Westminster (2010) by Philippa Strum, page 35.) 

Someone may ask why Boards of Education in the Westminster, Santa Ana, El Modena, and Garden Grove involved in the Méndez case chose to Americanize second and third generation children of Mexican descent by segregating them. A reading of the transcripts of the Méndez et al. vs Westminster et al. case and González and Strum's books provide some cogent answers. 

Suffice it to say that at the turn of the 20th Century, there was intense anti-Mexican sentiment by the dominant Anglo society in Southern California. For Mexicans and Mexican Americans living in Orange County 1900-1940s, it meant being relegated to segregated neighborhoods known as barrios or colonias, sitting in theatre balconies, picking the crop in every season, miseducation, and learning that when asked, it was best to refer to oneself as "Spanish" because "Mexican" meant an inferior culture. The word "Spanish" carried a nicer, more acceptable flavor or feeling tone. Being made to feel inferior was a nasty, unacceptable experience. 



Extract: Apocalypse Not Now
Art review: 'Contested Visions in the Spanish Colonial World,' LACMA
Extract: Activist’s 60-year fight for justice
Hiding the Lockheed Plant during World War II
Extract: Apocalypse Not Now
By: Sandy Siegel, UCLA Magazine, January 2012, pgs 8-9


Better start getting your affairs in order because according to the Mayan Calendar, the world is going to end on December 21, 2012. However, Ed Krupp, director of Griffith Observatory since 1974, says, "the Maya calendar business is just sort of a little footnote on really what's been decades of interest in ancient astronomy."

Krupp has studied stone circles and other prehistoric monuments along with astronomy and says, "The great thing about astronomy is that you actually can predict some things and I can predict that [the doomsday story] is going to go nuts in 2012." Krupp says  fortunately for all of us, the claim that the winter solstice sun will align with the center of the Milky Way, wreaking global havoc, is "just totally untrue." 

According to Krupp, it looks like we have a little while longer before the end of the world. Still, you always want to make sure to have your affairs in order because you never know. You just never know.




Art review: 'Contested Visions in the Spanish Colonial World,' LACMA



Click here to find out more!
In 1910 a California company produced a tourist postcard showing a flatbed railroad car rumbling across the sun-drenched Golden State, hauling just two strawberries. Each fruit was roughly the size of a pachyderm. The picture is an early example of what soon became a flood of promotional images that cast the place as an exotic but industrious region of unimaginable wonders.

Mars always needs women, but early 20th century California needed to attract people too. A picture of gargantuan strawberries might not be taken literally by the postcard's bemused recipient, but the enticing enthusiasm of its message was clear.

Although the "big berries" pitch today appears quaint, it was hardly unprecedented. Not by a long shot. About 125 years before, similar representations were made in Ecuador.

At the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, a large and engrossing new show includes four big canvases painted in 1783 by Vicente Albán. Just a few of the 181 rarely traveled works assembled for "Contested Visions in the Spanish Colonial World," Albán's paintings overflow with arresting super-abundance. Guavas are as big as your head. Plantains swell to the size of baseball bats. Pineapples are gigantic and, yes, strawberries are big enough to make a meal for the whole family.

Not unlike the modern postcard, these colonial canvases were surely designed to reach the folks back home -- meaning, in this case, Spain or elsewhere in Europe. Since an 18th century European would need to be told what exotic South American wonder he was ogling, an elaborately painted cartouche contains an alphabetized key labeling each fruit. In good Enlightenment-era fashion, natural history and precise classification were prized.
Sometimes the colossal fruits are piled on the ground, surrounded by green tropical lushness. Mostly, though, they're displayed atop baroque stone pedestals. A giant guava in the fertile jungle becomes the functional equivalent of a heroic warrior commemorated by a bronze sculpture in an important civic plaza, or perhaps a religious saint's statue venerated in a church. Ecuador, then in the late stages of the Spanish Viceroyalty of Peru that stretched along the Pacific coast, gobbling up what once had been the powerful Inca empire, is cast as a prosperous New World Eden.

Albán's paintings, however, don't just display fruit. Also shown are Amerindians, lavishly dressed in indigenous or colonial costumes. They offer up nature's super-abundance, smiling and gesturing benignly. These embellished figures belie the equivalence to slavery that many endured in service to Catholic Spain's imperial ambitions, just as many had to their Inca overlords. Like the fruits, the people are also catalogued within the cartouche, as if their distance from European humanity was simply assumed.

The exhibition is filled with remarkable works whose undeniable beauty mixes with inescapable strangeness. (Ponder a painting that shows an Indian praying at the barred gate of a cloistered Capuchin nun.) The magnificent show, organized by LACMA curator Ilona Katzew, is the first in the U.S. to chart the roles assumed by and for indigenous peoples within colonial Latin American art.

Its only drawback is the absence of a catalog. A handsome companion book has been published, complete with 12 scholarly essays. But it doesn't include an exhibition checklist, while many of the show's works -- including Albán's -- are not discussed. That's a shame.

The viceroyalties of Mexico and Peru spanned most of three centuries and covered huge territories, starting in the Southern United States and reaching all the way into Argentina. Dominated by the Aztec and Inca empires when European colonization began, these vast regions also were home to scores of indigenous groups. Each had its own cultural traditions.

Neither were the conquerors monolithic in outlook, habit or alliances. New Spain's history is rich and complex. That makes for sometimes difficult navigation within the show, but "rich" and "complex" also describe the art.

The exhibition's six sections open with Aztec and Inca sculptures and textiles, principally from the powerful ancient cities of Tenochtitlan and Cuzco. They range from monumental to miniature.

A looming, 15th century terra cotta "Eagle Warrior," its life-size figure adorned in a ferocious costume crowned by the yawning beak of a screaming bird, once guarded the Aztec capital's main temple. (It was also seen at the Getty Villa last year in "The Aztec Pantheon and the Art of Empire.") The magnificent avian imagery echoes against the brilliantly colored feathered-tunics installed nearby, made a world away for earlier Peruvian burial sites.

Aztec and Inca ceremonial art sets up the impending clash with the Catholicism of invading Spanish armies, surveyed in the show's second section. Pictures of St. Augustine and St. John the Evangelist, sacred to the conquerors, are composed from iridescent feathers, sacred to the conquered. Celestial carvings on a stone baptismal font, repurposed from an Aztec sacrificial basin, assume new religious meanings. Old Peruvian textile patterns filter into new liturgical garments.
Paintings dominate the rest of the show. The preponderance of paintings demonstrates how thoroughly a European idiom came to prevail in New Spain. Even the uniquely Asian tradition of painted folding screens, unknown in Europe, came to the region by way of Spain's colony in the Philippines. Dazzling screens display extravagant personifications of four continents, Hernán Cortés' dramatic defeat of Moctezuma, a lavish map of Mexico City and, from LACMA's own collection, a sumptuous Indian wedding ceremony at a Catholic church.

Images compare the Aztec and Inca empires with ancient Greece and Rome, establishing an indigenous classical pedigree for New Spain. Indians are portrayed as deeply pious or irredeemably heathen -- or maybe both, as in that fellow praying at a Capuchin nun's door. Different ostentatious rituals performed by pre-Hispanic and post-conquest societies are fused together. Finally, Europe's aristocratic tradition of noble heraldry was merged with Indian motifs, as in an Inca genealogy painted by Marcos Chillitupa Chávez.
Unanswered is the question of why sculptures apparently did not play a role similar to paintings for Amerindians. Colonial sculpture is essentially absent, except for one impressive, monumental carved relief of Santiago Matamoros -- St. James the Moor-killer. Like this relief, Spanish Colonial paintings are Baroque emblems. Ideas crystallize in recurring patterns.

That's very different from European Baroque paintings, in which artists cranked up eye-popping illusions of the world as a theatrical stage for the enactment of salvation. Europeans needed to combat the barren iconoclasm of the Protestant Reformation, but that type of pictorial theater didn't matter in Mexico and Peru, since Protestantism hardly existed. European Baroque paintings elaborated space, but colonial Baroque paintings elaborated surfaces.

Sumptuous embellishment is eye-popping in its own way. It generates a visual pageantry appropriate to a mark of honor. Images tend to be frontal, residing in shallow space -- whether a colossal vision of the Virgin and Child surrounded by tiny Andes mountain villagers; a full-length formal portrait of Moctezuma II; the bloody martyrdom of a preternaturally serene saint with spears thrust through his chest and a blade in his skull; the stormy battle for control of the Aztec empire; the opulent wedding of two Spanish generations into Inca royalty, and more.

This ecstatic emphasis on surface even makes colonial paintings feel circumstantially modern. Orthodox subject matter is one thing, but delirious adornment is quite another.

"Contested Visions in the Spanish Colonial World," Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, (323) 857-6000, through Jan. 29. Closed Wednesdays. 


Lupe Anguiano 
and Gloria Steinem. 
Photo by Reed Hutchinson

Extract: Activist’s 60-year fight for justice
By: Catherine Saillant, Los AngelesTimes Staff Writer, March 19,2007
March 12, 2007, 7:30-8:30 pm, Korn Hall, UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Lupe Anguiano has been a quiet rebel for six decades by organizing grape boycotts, helping welfare mothers find work, and help found a powerful women’s political group.

Lupe was a nun for 15 years, but decided to leave when her political activism as a Roman Catholic nun put her at odds with Los Angeles church leaders. “It took me a year to decide to actually leave,” she said. “I had taken perpetual vows and was very close to the Lord. But I decided I could still do as a civilian what I would have done as a nun.”

Lupe Anguiano has been a quiet rebel for six decades by organizing grape boycotts, helping welfare mothers find work, and help found a powerful women’s political group.

               Lupe was a nun for 15 years, but decided to leave when her political activism as a Roman Catholic nun put her at odds with Los Angeles church leaders. “It took me a year to decide to actually leave,” she said. “I had taken perpetual vows and was very close to the Lord. But I decided I could still do as a civilian what I would have done as a nun.”

               When the California Assn. of Realtors set out to reverse the law just made which banned racial discrimination by landlords because Latinos and blacks were being kept out of some Los Angeles neighborhoods, she joined the picket lines and wrote letters to newspapers. The archbishop at that time wanted the nuns to stay out of the fight and wrote Lupe a letter instructing her to stop her activities. One day, her mother superior entered her room.

               “She said, ‘Sister, you are not obeying the rules. You are not obeying the cardinal. Why are you staying?’ ” Lupe recalled. “And I thought, ‘You are right! Why am I staying?’ ” That night Lupe wrote a letter to the pope, asking to be released from her vows. It took a year, but she left the church in good standing.

               Lupe’s little-known story was recognized last week in a tribute at UCLA. The university announced the opening of her archives at the Chicano Studies Research Center as part of the school’s new Mujeres Initiative. The program seeks to preserve and make accessible to scholars the history of Latinas in the United States.

               “She is not going to take ‘no’ for an answer.” Cisneros said- the mayor at the time when Lupe wanted the city’s support. “She never raises her voice, but there is a core of steel that is irreducible. She just wears you down with sweetness.”

Sent By: Sister Mary Sevilla, CSJ, Ph.D.



Hiding the Lockheed Plant during World War II

During WW II Lockheed (unbelievable 1940s pictures). During World War II the Army Corps of Engineers needed to hide the Lockheed Burbank Aircraft Plant to protect it from a possible Japanese air attack. They covered it with camouflage netting to make it look like a rural subdivision from the air.



The person that provided these pictures said she got an interesting story about someone's mother who worked at Lockheed, and she as a younger child, remembers all this. She says that to this day, these are the first pictures of it she's seen.  

Another person who lived in the area talked about as being a boy, watching it all be set up like a movie studio production. They had fake houses, trees, etc. and moved parked cars around so it looked like a residential area from the skies overhead.

?I lived in North Long Beach during World War II, I was 13 years old. (1940) The Long Beach airport was near Lakewood, CA. There was a large Boeing Plant there. If you would drive down Carson St. going south you could drive under the camouflage netting.?  Ed Pollard 



I am 85 and had much of my pilot training in Calif. I have been under this net and have seen it from the air. During preflight training I rode a bus under the net and was very surprised as I didn't know it was there.. It was strong enough to walk on and they hired people to ride bicycles and move around as if they lived there to make it look authentic.
Warren Holmgreen Jr

Sent by Ernesto Euribe 


A First Latino applicants outnumbered White applicants at California State University
Riding from the Heart Documentary Awarded Grant 
"The Lost Dutchman's Mine" and the Peralta family
California State University saw a first for Latino this year. 
Latino applicants outnumbered White applicants by 33.3 percent to 31.2 percent.  
TacoNews, December 9, 2011.
NALIP member Robin Rosenthal's documentary Escaramuza: Riding from the Heart has been awarded a Living Cultures Grant from The Alliance for California Traditional Arts. 

Escaramuza tells the story of Escaramuza Charra Las Azaleas, a team of eight, first generation Mexican American horsewomen from California. Striving to preserve their inherited cultural tradition and strengthen their Mexican identity, they embark on a quest to represent the United States at the National Charro Championships in Mexico, amidst unprecedented drug violence across the border, and challenges to their way of life at home. 
"The Lost Dutchman's Mine" and the Peralta family

Here is something to study, a Miquel and Pedro Peralta, wrote maps on stone about a gold mine. The Family was from Sonora Mx. Keep clicking around the web site and see all the info it is so interesting. I had heard about this Gold mine but did not know it was a Peralta's find? Must have been a son of the original Gabriel Peralta who was a soldier on the Anza Expedition?  I will look if I have them in my data base. Nice reading always learning something in this wonderful life of Genealogy! 

The articles in the links are stories about gold mining in Superstition Mountain - "The Lost Dutchman's Mine". Peralta was one of the first to mine the gold in the 1840's - 1850's. 


Feds: Seattle welfare recipient lives in million dollar home
Feds: Seattle welfare recipient lives in million dollar home
by Chris Ingalls/King 5 News 
December 2, 2011 

SEATTLE -- She lives in a beautiful waterfront home on Seattle’s Lake Washington. Yet, she's on welfare assistance.

This week federal agents moved in to put a stop to it. They raided her south Lake Washington home armed with a search warrant.  KING 5 News is not naming the woman or her husband because they have not been criminally charged.

Search warrant documents unsealed Friday in federal court reveal that she received more than $1,200 a month in public housing vouchers, plus monthly cash from the federal and state government for a disability, as well as food stamps.

Property records show the woman lives in a 2,500 square-foot home, with gardens and a boat dock, that is valued at $1.2 million.

Records show she has received welfare benefits while living in the plush home since 2003. Records also show she truthfully provided her address when she applied for benefits. 

How could the government allow housing subsidy dollars to someone who openly lives in one of Seattle’s most desirable neighborhoods?

A federal official spoke to KING 5 News on condition of anonymity. He says the housing voucher program provides coupons that help low-income people pay their rent. He says it allows people to get out of housing projects and move into the place of their choosing. However, he says a “flaw” is that the program doesn’t analyze where people are living, even if it is at a ritzy address that should raise a red flag.

Court records show the couple gave money to charities and traveled around the world to exotic places like Turkey, Tel Aviv and resort towns in Mexico.


Where We Come From, an Archuleta Roy A. Book 
Domínguez de Mendoza portfolio
New Play, American Pastorela: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Ethnic Studies But Were Afraid To Ask. 
Where We Come From
an Archuleta Roy A. Book 
SPAIN – AMERICA. An Introduction
Don Juan de Onate began his journey from Nueva Spania which is now Mexico on January  1598 with 129 soldiers, ages mid teens to 60 and Onate himself was age 43, married to Isabel de Tolsa Cortez Moctezuma; Onate a moul (wealthy man) was paying for the journey and besides the soldiers included their wives and families, including babies.  The total was some 500 people, some servants, some packers, some Mestizos and some Mulattos, Indians and a few slaves.  He brought some 7,000 head of stock including horses and mares for breeding, 83 wagons loaded with supplies, steel farming equipment and many sacks of carne seca (dried meat) and perhaps the principle source of food as they traveled north to Colonize Nuevo Mejico what is now (New Mexico). Their stock included 150 mares, 1,000 goats, 2,000 sheep and 1,000 cows.  Before The Onate expedition, the only animal in what is now America were the Bison and today horses run wild in many states, thanks to the Onate Expedition. 
Onate agreed with the Viceroy—Luis de Velasco of Nueva Spania to colonize the territory of New Mexico and he would become the Governador Adelantado y Capitan General (Governor and Captain General) and would be for life with an annual salary of 6000 Ducados (antique money of gold from Spain).  Onate established a new route arriving at the Rio Conchos and the Rio Grande junction west of El Paso where they rested for a week and gave thanks with a celebration among  friendly Indians (mansos) they run into and who shared in the celebration and exchange of gifts and Thanksgiving, and where Onate made a formal declaration asserting King Phillip II, and the Crown of Spain as legal claim to Nuevo Mejico. Onate then moved his people and his herds north to San Juan Bautista (the first Capital) arriving on July 11, 1598.  He later reestablished the Capital to San Gabriel in 1600; in the year 1610, Onate’s successor, Don Pedro de Peralta established the new State Capital at Santa Fe where Colonists had already settlements as early as 1608.
The Spanish Explorers, the Conquistadores that ventured into the New World, those that sacrificed by putting their life at the hands of the Capitan Adelantado and to those that established colonies and settlements are not given much credit, but we owe them much gratitude, for if it had not been for them, we may not be here. SPAIN’s long history has proven it to be a mature Nation with diverse kingdoms that have come and gone, leaving their bits and pieces of culture and influence.  Although Spain does not get much credit in America, they left a tremendous LAND MARK, with the Spanish names of villages, towns, cities, mountains, rivers, arroyos, trails, land grants, Church Missions and the great number of names like Archuleta, Bargas, Carbajal, Chavez, Peres, Leon, Martinez and many more.  These are Historical names and people that no one can ever take away from us because they are too deep rooted in our ancestors and where we come from…


Domínguez de Mendoza portfolio
The long-delayed manuscript comprising the missing volume of the Coronado Cuarto Centennial Publications titled Juan Domínguez de Mendoza: Soldier and Frontiersman of the Spanish Southwest, 1627-1693 The book is expected to be available in 2012.
 by France V. Scholes, Eleanor B. Adams, Marc Simmons and José Antonio Esquibel is in preparation for publication by the University of New Mexico Press. 

On January 8, 1940, France V. Scholes of the UNM History Department signed a memorandum of agreement with George P. Hammond, editor of the Coronado Cuarto Centennial Publications series, for a book that was slated to be Volume 7. The focus of the book was on the fifty-one documents uncovered by Scholes in the Biblioteca Nacional de Madrid regarding the military service of Maese de Campo Juan Domínguez de Mendoza, spanning forty years in New Mexico. For a variety of reasons, the book was never completed, although Eleanor B. Adams was paid by Scholes to translate most of the documents.
Marc Simmons eventually acquired the Scholes-Adams material and when he and I met in 2000 we began our collaboration, working to organize and augment the manuscript. Although it took us ten years to complete, the manuscript is better for the extra time and attention.

The Domínguez de Mendoza portfolio represents a remarkable account of one man’s military service to the crown in frontier New Mexico during the seventeenth century. The fifty-one documents are augmented by additional records related to Domínguez de Mendoza and the events of his time. The forthcoming book provides the most comprehensive account of a single individual that lived in New Mexico in the 1600s and offers valuable insight into a variety of aspects of New Mexico history for an era that is lacking in documentation.

If interested, you can read my blog for status updates on the book and other projects of mine at <> , or on Facebook you can search for my author’s page, Jose Antonio Esquibel Author, where you’ll also find a link to my Goodreads Web page in the lefthand column of the page.

New Play: 
American Pastorela: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Ethnic Studies But Were Afraid To Ask. 
Ethnic studies controversy in Tucson schools inspires holiday satire
Contact: James E. Garcia, 623-252-2772, Photos available upon request.

PHOENIX, AZ - The ongoing controversy over the Arizona Attorney General's claim that the teaching of Mexican American studies in the Tucson Unified School District is illegal was the inspiration for an annual holiday satire produced by New Carpa Theater Co.

The show opened Dec. 9. Its full title is American Pastorela: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Ethnic Studies But Were Afraid To Ask. Garcia said it follows the travails of the Hernandez family, who "learn of the birth of Christ from an I-Pod wearing faith healer and decide to walk from Sonora to Phoenix to catch the light rail to Bethlehem." 

Garcia added: "Lucky for the Hernandez's, President Reagan gave the entire family amnesty, so hoofing it to Phoenix isn't as crazy as it sounds. I know that makes no sense, but that's part of what makes it funny."

The play's cast of 25 perform more than 50 roles, including failed Arizona Senate candidate Olivia Cortes, the Star Wars creatureChewbacca, Gov. Jan Brewer, Che Guevara, Spiderman, Shakira, and State Attorney General Tom Horne and State Schools Superintendent John Huppenthal (Horne and Huppenthal form a "anti-superhero" team named Horney and Hoopy").

"I write about issues that move me, and the absurdity of a law specifically created to shut down a program that helps teach Latino kids to be proud of their heritage was not only outrageous but ripe for lampooning," said James Garcia, New Carpa's producing artistic director and the play's author.

A Phoenix-based writer, Garcia also has taught ethnic studies and Latino public policy classes at Arizona State University. Founded in 2002, New Carpa produces Latino and multi-cultural theater. This is the sixth year the company has staged American Pastorela, which Garcia said is updated annually based on current events.

"Does this play make a political statement? Absolutely. Is it funny? We think it's really funny," said Garcia. "It's an in-your-face satire in the same vein as The Daily Show and Saturday Night Live. Okay, I'll be honest, it's funnier than SNL and almost as funny as The Daily Show."  The play was directed by Alex Sanchez Vega, a local actor and filmmaker. This is his first major directing job.  The play is intended for general audiences. 

Sent by James E. Garcia,


A Story of Colonization and Imperialism

A Story of Colonization and Imperialism
Washington – The Hispanic heritage is often linked with the U.S. southwestern border states, but a new mobile museum highlights the origins of another wave of immigrants who arrived in the United States at the beginning of the 20th century with the industrial revolution and left its mark in northern cities like Detroit.

The Museo del Norte (Museum of the North) wants to be "a museum that's different from those that are in Albuquerque, New Mexico , or Texas. It's a museum that tells the story of those who left for the (U.S.) North from the Caribbean or South America, but also from (elsewhere) within the United States, because it's a special story," Maria Cotera, the guiding force behind the project, told Efe.

Cotera, an associate professor who heads the Latina/o Studies Program in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts at the University of Michigan, wants to capture that other story.

"The history of immigration to work in industry is very particular, it's immigration within the United States in many cases," which she says was very painful for many Mexicans who, after the Great Depression , "were deported to Mexico (although they were) U.S. citizens, and that is not known."

"This is not a story of colonization and imperialism, like happened in the southern region. It's a story that's particularly about immigration, because these people did not make themselves Americans through imperialism, but through globalization, through the industrial revolution."

Born in Austin, Texas, to Mexican parents who emigrated in the 1960s to the United States to study, Cotera said that the immigrants of the north "feel that they are not included and not to include them does not represent reality."

Cotera goes every year with her students to the Mexican neighborhood of Southwest Detroit to get closer to the reality of the subject that they are studying.

There, she met activist Helena Herrada, with whom she warned about the "lack of understanding" of the migration phenomenon in this area, both among Americans as well as among the new immigrants.

"The recently arrived Mexicans didn't understand the history of the immigrants from Michigan," Cotera said. "In many cases, the long-term Mexicans could not speak Spanish. They understand it but cannot speak it."

She said that in Detroit the Mexican community had always harbored the desire to have a museum and in 2005 a project was presented but it was unable to move forward due to budgetary constraints.

But now they are planning to create a mobile facility in which they will display letters, photographs and other items that they hope to bring to different parts of the state with concentrations of Latinos.

But the museum will also be a "living" one, since it will have a scanner so that people who come to it and want to can share their family photos and documents to help add their part to the story.

Read more:




In Defense of My People: January 13, 2012 Conference
Lest We Forget the Women of the Alamo
General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, Order Book by Richard Santos
Unveiling of our Tejano Monument
San Augustine Church of Laredo Records
Interviews with Members of Houston's Mexican Community
William Barret Travis' Letter Comes Back to The Alamo!
In Defense of My People: January 13, 2012 Conference
Alonso S. Perales and the Development of Mexican-American Public Intellectuals

University of Houston
M.D. Anderson Library
Elizabeth D. Rockwell Pavilion, 2nd level
Friday, January 13, 2012   9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Free and open to the public with registration. Breakfast and a light lunch will be provided; reception to follow.
Please register by Thursday, January 5, 2012. Click here to register online. Click here to download a PDF to return via fax, email or mail. 

Conference Information: 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. 

Highlighting the recent acquisition of the Alonso S. Perales Papers by the University of Houston's M.D. Anderson Library, scholars will present their research drawn from the archives of this trailblazing public intellectual. 

For more information, go to:

Browse 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, Manuscripts, Personal documents, Memorabilia, including photographs.   Contact: For more information, call 713-743-3128

Sponsors: This program is made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas, the state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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


Rueben M. Perez


            The following is a presentation made on November 16, 2011 at the Joseph and Susanna Dickinson Hanning Museum in Austin, Texas.  The presenters were Rueben M. Perez and his sister Dorothy M. Perez. 


            When I was in fifth grade elementary school we had classes in Texas History.  For a young person it was pretty exciting learning about Texas History and the Battle of the Alamo.   However, I felt something was wrong and the picture of the stories that I heard at home was different from what the teacher and the books were saying.  My mother and I would pick my father up from work at the Post Office directly across the street from the Alamo.  He would always say, over there is where your great great grandmother and great grandfather were during the Battle of the Alamo.  Yet, that was not what I was hearing at school.  They would only talk about Susanna Dickinson and her daughter as survivors of the Alamo and in passing mention there were Mexican women and children.  It was not until much later in life that I would know whom those other women and children of the Alamo and come to appreciate my heritage even more.  

            Today, history is in the making being at the Joseph and Susanna Dickinson Hanning Museum and having the opportunity to recognize all of the women and children who were involve in the Battle of the Alamo.  One of the women is our great great grandmother, Juana Navarro Veramendi Peres Alsbury.  Little has ever been mentioned as to who she really was.  To provide a quick background on Juana, her grandfather was from Corsica.  Her father, Angel Navarro was in the Spanish Army and later responsible for saving the Spanish Archives, signing the Bexar Remonstrance to separate Texas from Coahuila, proclaimed independence from Spain as Politico Jefe (mayor), and was Politico Jefe up to December 1835 prior to the fall of the Alamo.  The history books failed to recognize the Governor of Texas, Juan Martin Veramendi had legally adopted Juana and that her stepsister Ursula Veramendi was the wife of James Bowie.  Nor was it ever mention that her great uncle, Francisco Ruiz was one of the only two native Texans to sign the Declaration of Independence of Texas and her uncle, Jose Antonio Navarro, was the only man to sign the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution.  All together, there were six family members in the Alamo, Juana Navarro, baby Alejo E. Peres, sister, Gertrudis, Juana’s husband who left, Dr. Horace Alsbury, brother-in-law James Bowie, and Manual Peres, Mexican Army and brother in law to Juana.  As we honor and tell the story of Juana, we must not forget the other brave women and children of the Alamo.


            From the little Villa of San Fernando and the Royal Presidio of San Antonio de Bexar, Province of Texas, the New Philippines the words “Remember the Alamo” was heard around the world.   The call for independence was once again heard, as it was earlier in the Texas connection to Mexico’s Independence.  One of the biggest battles that took place on Texas soil was the Battle of Medina when Spanish Royalist forces under Joaquin de Arredondo defeated the Republican Army of the North south of San Antonio on August 18th, 1813.  Over 1,800 Spanish troops fought Colonel Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara Republican Army of 1,500.  With the exception of a few who escape, those not killed on the battlefield were captured and returned to Bexar and executed daily at Military Plaza in San Antonio.  The remaining bodies lay on the battlefield without a burial for 9 years.  More lives were lost in this battle than was during the entire battle of Texas Independence.

            Little is ever mention about the over 300 women who were rounded up in Bexar accused of having relatives supporting the rebel cause.  They were imprisoned, humiliated, and enslaved in La Quinta for 54 days.  Many suffered daily lashes, forced to work making tortillas for the soldiers while their children were in the streets begging for food.  The price was steep for the women who lost their husbands in the battle or captured and executed.  Many families fled and later had their homes confiscated for not being loyal to the Spanish Crown. 

            Twenty-three years later, this scenario was to be repeated. Brave men and women would help forge the history of Texas at the Battle of the Alamo.  We must tell their stories, become their voices and remember their heroic efforts.  Our brave patriots made supreme sacrifices during the trying and turbulent times in our state’s history. Many of our ancestors played an important role in the quest for Independence of Texas from which we gain freedom and opportunity that we still enjoy in our country today.   Yet after 175 years the brave women and children remain largely unknown, unsung, and unhonored.  Those who fought and died at the Alamo have become legendary heroes and the siege and Battle of the Alamo means many things to many people, for those of us who are direct descendants, that page in history becomes more meaningful. 

            During the first Alamo Descendant Association meeting in 1995, inside of the Alamo Chapel, the grandson of Alejo Perez, the youngest survivor and the last to die in 1918 stepped up to the podium to give the opening prayer.  With tears in his eyes, his voice quivering and unable to conclude the prayer, this person had been born just early enough to know as a child his grandfather, an Alamo survivor.  The distance of time seemed suddenly much shorter, as there stood a person who knew someone who had been in the 1836 battle.  It was as close as most of us would ever be to the people and the event.  This person was our father. 

            Families have since been bonded together to honor their ancestors, the brave patriots who left their blood or legacy at the Alamo on that cold Sabbath morning, March 6th, 1836.

            One hundred seventy five years ago the fall of the Alamo ends in tragedy with 189 brave defenders lying dead after the siege and fall of the Alamo.  After thirteen days in February 23rd to Sunday March 6th the final massacre within the walls ended.  The story of the Alamo remained in the minds and hearts of all of us and for those who survival the ordeal to tell of their experiences.  Only a few on the Texas side would remember the sound of the bugle, the deguello, “death without mercy” and live to tell about it.   Frightened, scared and facing the unknown, their lives would be changed on that fateful day.  We must not forget the Alamo defenders or the women and children who survived.  Their stories will be told and we will honor those who came before us, for we are the voices of our ancestors.

            On this special occasion we would like to take the time to celebrate and respectfully honor the women and children of the Alamo.  The brave and gallant women who sustain enormous trauma, stress, and for those who had lost their husbands in the supreme sacrifice made for Independence.

             There were women and children, a dozen or so of them.  To this day, no one knows exactly just how many or who they were all were.  What we do know is that their lives were all changed.

 Let us take a moment to remember and honor the brave women and children of the Alamo.


PETRA GONZALES                                                CONCEPCION CHARLI LOSOYA    
ALEJO PERES           
24 years old  
22 years old          
15 months old
33 years old
  8 years old                                 
  3 years old  
  5 years old  
10 years old  
57 years old  
20 years old  
20 years old  
11 months old  
and three daughters              
50 years old  

                  The past is always with us; we must not let it escape.  The stories of our brave ancestors must be recorded, told and re-told for future generations.  Lest we forget those who forged our history.  We are the voices of our ancestors.  Let neither their names, nor their life stories remain locked in the tombs of the archives.  Honor them; respect them, for they are the brave souls who preceded us, gave us the freedom and the life we enjoy today.  Their voices can no longer be heard, for they are gone in the annals of history.  As we move forward in time, we take this moment to remember those who went before us.  We are now the voices of the past.  We must continue to tell their stories about their lives, their accomplishments and let their stories be told to future generations.  We honor and memorialize Texas brave and notable men, women, and children of the Alamo.  On this special occasion, we will honor a noted Tejana woman and Alamo survivor, Juana Navarro Veramendi Peres Alsbury.  As we do, she will represent all of the brave women whose lives encumbered the rich heritage and history of our State.

            Her family came from afar, over the dusty trails of Texas to carve a place in the history of San Antonio and Texas.  Juana Navarro was born on December 28, 1812 in Villa de San Fernando de Bexar to the parents of Jose de los Angel Navarro and Concepcion Cervantes Peres.  The time was during a period of unrest for the settlers of New Spain and the Provincial of Texas.   The American colonies won their independence from the British, now the Spanish Colonies were seeking their freedom and independence from Spain.   Shortly after Juana’s birth, storm clouds gathered.  Her father, Angel Navarro was in the Spanish Army but later discharged for taking the revolutionary side of independence.  Shortly after Juana’s birth, the Battle of Medina occurred south of San Antonio on August 18, 1813.  The lives of Texas residents would become chaotic, a schism would divide their loyalty, but they would continue the quest for freedom. 

            The changing winds, storms and the quest for freedom in the new world ravaged the citizens of Bexar.  Many fled before the Battle of Medina and later returned to find their homes and property confiscated.  Juana was five years old when her father separated from her mother who was no longer able to care for the children.  He took Juana to live at the Veramendi Palace, home of Juan Martin Veramendi, Governor of the Province of Texas and Maria Josefa Navarro Veramendi.  They adopted Juana as their own and she would grow up with her stepsister, Ursula Navarro Veramendi.   The Veramendi’s Palace backed up on the banks of the San Antonio River and many stately guests and dignitaries would be entertained at the Veramendi’s home where Juana grew up with Ursula.  The aristocratic Spanish, Mexican officials held formal events at the Palace, along with newly arrived Texans.  One noted visitor to the Veramendi Palace would capture the eye of Juana’s stepsister, Ursula, and he would be James Bowie.

            The childhood and adolescent life for the girls was good as they grew up.  As children, they would play on the back porch of the Governor’s Palace, and cool off in the San Antonio River during the extreme heat. 

            Fredrick Chabot said, “If the walls of the Veramendi Palace had ears, and the walls of the Veramendi House had also a mouth to talk, both could tell stories of romance, war, battles, politics and death that would fill volumes of Texas Tales”. 

            Both Ursula and Juana would fall in love and marry their loves; Ursula Veramendi married James Bowie and Juana, married Alejo Peres both in San Fernando Church.  Juana’s marriage certificate read, Dona Maria Juana de Beramendi, adopted daughter of Don Juan de Beramendi and Dona Maria Josefa Navarro.  One can imagine the many nights the girls whispered in each other ears about their love ones.  Later a child would be given to Juana, his name Alejo De La Encarnacion Peres.

            The storm clouds would again ravage the land and the people, this time, not in war, but Cholera.  The days ahead of Juana would be the most difficult she ever experienced in her life, tragedy would strike the Veramendi family.   Juana lost her adopted parents, stepsister, Ursula, and later her husband due to Cholera. 

            In October 1835, Juana with little Alejo, less than a year old would witness the Siege of Bexar; Texas had begun the struggle for independence.   This time the foe was not Spain, but the Republic of Mexico.   Juana married her second husband Dr. Horace Arlington Alsbury following the Siege of Bexar in January 1836.   The winter storm clouds gather as the air turned colder, further turmoil would mount and the Battle of the Alamo would occur soon.

            Tension mounted throughout the state, word had spread that Santa Anna has started his invasion of Texas in February 1835.  On February 13, 1836, Santa Anna’s army was delayed by a snowstorm in northern Coahuila.  Residents of Bexar were again frightened of what laid ahead of them.  Dr. Alsbury, Juana’s husband, would leave his new family entrusting them to James Bowie as the Mexican Army entered Bexar.  He departed for Gonzales to warn the settlers of Gonzales and to seek reinforcements for the Alamo. Dr. Horace Alsbury was the interpreter and spy assigned to capture Santa Anna under Capt. John York’s Company of the Texas Republican Army.   James Bowie would take Juana, baby Alejo, and sister, Gertrudes to the Alamo for protection.

            The time is drawing near, drums beating from a distance, men marching to the cadence, weary after a long trip.  The Mexican troops finally entered Bexar.  This battle was the one the world would remember forever, a battle that would be written up in the annals of time and reach all over the world and remembered in our hearts, “REMEMBER THE ALAMO”.   James Bowie, brother-in-law would take Juana, along with baby Alejo, and Gertrudis, sister to the Officer’s Quarter in the Northwest sector of the Alamo perimeter.

             The nights and days move slowly from February 23rd to that dreadful day.  The people of Bexar were all in a panic. The Mexican troops were upon them, as they would see the campfires of the troops glowing in the cold night air.  The soldiers on both sides tense, their honor at stake, their lives on the line and all knew what was ahead.

The following is an actual account of Juana’s interview in her own words, as recorded by John S. Ford.

Juana to John Ford:  “ Colonel Bowie was very sick with typhoid fever. A couple of soldiers carried him away, he said, Sister, do not be afraid, I leave you with Col. Travis, Col. Crockett, and other friends.  They are gentlemen, and will treat you kindly.  I saw him two or three times and the last time was three days before the fall of the Alamo.

            “ I do not know who nursed him after he left our quarters, there were people in the Alamo I did not see.  My sister and I were in a building over there, we saw little of the fighting, I peeped out and saw the surging columns of Santa Anna assaulting the Alamo on every side, I could hear the noise of the conflict- the roar of the artillery, the rattle of the small arm – the shouts of the combatants, the groans of the dying, and the moans of the wounded.

            The fighting stop, I realized the Texians had been overwhelmed in numbers.

             “I asked my sister, Gertrudes to open the door, when she did, she was greeted by offensive language by the soldiers.  The tore her shaw from her shoulders.  I had my baby up against my chest, thinking to myself that he would become motherless soon.

The soldiers shouted to Gertrudes, YOUR MONEY AND YOUR HUSBAND, she told them, “I HAVE NEITHER MONEY NOR HUSBAND”. 

            Juana went on to say “A sick man came up to me, I think his name was Mitchell, he was trying to protect me when the soldiers bayoneted him at my side.  After that a young Mexican who the soldiers were after, seized me by the arm, trying to protect himself.   His grasp was broken when four or five bayonets plunged into his body and many balls entered his lifeless corpse.  The soldiers broke open my trunk and took money and clothes, also the watches of Col. Travis and others.

Juana continued:   “A Mexican soldier came over and excitedly inquired:

 “How did you come here?” “What are you doing here any how?” “Where is the entrance to the fort?” Stand here by this cannon, I am sending for President Santa Anna.  Soon, another officer came up and asked, “What are you doing here?”

 “A officer ordered us to remain here, and he would have us sent to the President”

At that moment, the officer said: “President!  The devil.  Don’t you see they are about to fire that cannon? Leave.”  They were moving away when they heard a voice calling –“Sister.” as he approached her, he said, “Don’t you know your own brother-in-law?”

Juana said: “It was Manual Peres, my first husband’s brother, I told him, “ I am so excited and distressed that I scarcely know anything” “ he placed us in charge of a black woman belonging to Col. Bowie, and we went to our father’s house in safety.

 Juana finished her interview with Ford: “ To my best remembrance, I heard firing at the Alamo to twelve o’clock that day.”

            Juana witnessed Texas going from the Republic of Mexico to the Republic of Texas.  Tensions continued between both countries.  Again Juana would face further hardships when, Dr. Alsbury was captured at the Bexar County Courthouse during the Woll’s Invasion and imprisoned in Mexico.  She and Alejo, along with 150 family members traveled to Candelia, Coahuila, Mexico to await their loves ones release from Perote Prison.  Dr. Alsbury was released from prison and around 1847 was killed during the Mexican-American War.  Juana went to live at San Juan Mission with Alejo.  He married Maria Antonio Rodriguez and joined the Confederacy and later married a second time and had grandchildren from both marriages.

            Life had taken its toll on Juana, as it did on so many others brave and heroic women of Texas who helped forge the way and stand behind their principles.  She had lived life as princess, endured the turbulent times of Texas history, and was now reduced to a frugal existence in her later years.   Her only son, the youngest baby, became the last living survivor of the Alamo. 

          Her life would come to an end on July 23, 1888, unknown to mankind as to where she rests today, known only to her son who buried her at the Rancho de la Laguna Redonda.  The death notice was in the personal journal of Juana’s son, Alejo E. Perez, and is written in his hand and reads. 

Juana Navarro y Alsbury

The 23rd day of July of 1888, died at 4:30 in the afternoon at the age of 78 years at the Rancho de la Laguna Redonda where she is buried.  Alejo E. Perez

            We pay honored and tribute to all of the brave men, women, and children who were in the Alamo and help forged Texas history. 



Display recognizing women of the Alamo on the left side and Juana Navarro on the right 

Presenters Rueben Perez and Dorothy Perez far right.  
In the middle is Crystal Sasse Ragsdale, author
of Women and Children of the Alamo.


A quilt that has been put together by the Joseph and Susanna Dickinson Hannig Museum with names of some of the descendants who were in the Alamo.  Dorothy Perez points out the names of Juana Navarro Alsbury and great, great grandfather Alejo E. Perez while staff Jeanne Henry and docent observes.



General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, Order Book
By Richard Santos
Last Saturday’s the San Antonio Express-News newspaper carried a front page article on the sale of a particular historical document.  General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna; Order Book had just been sold at auction for $183,500.  A flood of memories assailed my mind as I read the article. In 1966 I was a part time student at St. Mary’s University majoring in History and English. I was also serving as the first Archivist of Bexar County in the Office of the County Clerk of Bexar County.  I indexed, catalogued, microfilmed and developed the filing, preservation and retrieval system still used today, for the county’s historical documents, dating from the late 1600’s to 1850. 
            One day retired U.S. Army Colonel Edward Stolle came to my office and offered to sell me Santa Anna’s Order Book of his field commands during the Texas Revolution of 1835 – 1836.  Since I could not afford the asking price, I recommended him to friend Robert Davis of Waco. Davis owned Texian Press which published books on Texas history and culture. Texian Press also published a historical journal called Texana in which several of my articles had already appeared.  Davis bought the document with the understanding that I would do the translation and Texian Press would publish the book. Santa Anna’s Campaign Against Texas – an annotated translation of the field commands 1835-1836 released in 1968 thus became my first book.
            Many considered the book controversial as it was the first work on both sides of the border based on original documentation. Among the most controversial issues going against the mythological John Wayne version of the Battle at the Alamo were (1) number of Mexican soldiers, (2) number of Alamo Defenders, (3) number of Mexican casualties, (4) number of Alamo Defender survivors and (5) execution of David Crockett and five other defenders.
            Although the book sold out in one year, it remained controversial until it became required reading ten years later at West Point and the U. S. Military College of War.  Consequently, the 1981 reprint was better received and it also sold out in two years. Many books have been published ever since and Santa Anna’s Campaign always appears in the writer’s bibliography as a resource.
End …………………. End ………………….. end …………………. End
Zavala County Sentinel ………… 23 – 24 November 2011



 Unveiling of our Tejano Monument
Friends and colleagues,

The unveiling of our Tejano Monument is scheduled for Thursday March 29 at 10 AM at the Capital in Austin. The Tejano Genealogy Society in conjunction with the Tejano Monument Committee is working feverishly to put together a conference and a parade. We are planning to have the parade Saturday morning March 31 at 9AM; however we can not have a parade without participants and we realize that the day is fast approaching. We are working on permits and are trying to work with the city for the waiver of some of the costs involved. 

Our goal is to have different communities and groups that are interested in participating by sending a float from their community with a Tejano themed float. For example Losoya could send a float on the Battle of Medina, Casa Navarro House a float on Jose Antonio Navarro, Hebbronville Vaquero Days, Seguin Juan Seguin , Goliad Ignacio Zaragoza and so forth. If there is any interest we need to know ASAP so we can continue; however we will be having a conference. Our web site will be up soon for more information on the conference. The cost will be $50.00 per entry the conference will be free and at the capital.
  1. Thursday March 29, 10 AM the official unveiling
  2. Friday March 30, 9AM- 3 PM at the State Capital Free Historical sessions by scholars of Tejano History
  3. Friday March 30. Banquet. Texas Exes Student Center UT Austin                                                                                         
  4. Saturday March 31, 9 AM Tejano Parade on So Congress Ave.

    Here’s how you can help.
          1. Make a monetary donation
          2. Sell or buy tickets to the banquet
           3. Participate in the parade sponsor a float. Floats must be Tejano themed eg. Juan Seguin, Jose Antonio Navarro, Hector
               P. Garcia, Battle of Medina etc.

          4 .Descendents of old families and Ranchos
          5. Hispanic Genealogy Societies sponsor a float on descendents  
             For More Information visit our web site nosotroslostejanos

Dan Arellano
President Tejano Genealogy Society

San Augustine Church of Laredo Records

The Laredo Public Library has acquired baptism and marriage records of San Augustine Church of Laredo.
These records are on microfilm and are copies of original documents. All of these documents are handwritten. There is no comprehensive index to the records.

San Augustine Church Baptism records, 1789-1919
San Augustine Church Marriage records, 1846-1916

These records can be viewed on microfilm at the Laredo Public Library. For more information call Joe Moreno, Laredo Public Library, at phone number 795-2400, ext. 2237.

Sent: TEJANOS2010


Interviews with Members of Houston's Mexican Community
Historia Chicana
5 December 2011

Nota: The most recent issue of the magazine Houston History 9:1 (Fall 2011): 1-57, contains several articles and dozens of photographs depicting the history of Mexican Americans in the Bayou City. The special issue of Houston History is edited by Ms. Natalie Garza, who began her work toward this issue by conducting interviews with members of Houston's Mexican community under the auspices of Center for Public History's project, Oral History of Houston, where she is the Oral History Director. The special issue bears the title Houston: Nuestra Historia. We thank our colega and longtime Houstonian and member of the faculty at the University of Houston, Dr. Tatcho Mindiola, Jr., for having sent us a copy of the latest special issue of the journal.

To order your copy or copies of the printed edition of this special issue of Houston History you may write, e-mail or call to the following address: Houston History, University of Houston, Center for Public History, 547 Agnes Hall
Houston, Texas 77204-3007   Tel. 713.743.3123   E-mail: 
Houston History on the Web:

Houston: Nuestra Historia, Letter from the Editor
Houston History Magazine
December 2, 2011 /
By Natalie Garza

Two years ago I began conducting interviews for the University of Houston's Oral History of Houston project under the Center for Public History. Ernesto Valdés, the director of the project at the time, asked me to interview people in Magnolia Park, a historic neighborhood on the verge of celebrating its centennial anniversary and populated in large part by Mexican Americans. I am not a native Houstonian, and my only knowledge of Mexican American history in the city came from Arnoldo De León's book, Ethnicity in the Sunbelt. These interviews served as my introduction to the Mexican American experience in Houston and contributed immeasurably to my personal and educational growth.

Houston is not traditionally associated with a great history of Mexican and Mexican American political activism or deep cultural traditions. However, this history offers a fascinating and inspiring demonstration of the longtime presence of Mexican Americans in Houston; well established cultural traditions that include music, festivals, art, and food; struggles against injustice; differences in approaches between grassroots and well-connected political sectors; and community leadership. The efforts of Mexican Americans continue, and the culture is constantly evolving with the influx of new migrants from throughout Mexico and now various countries in Latin America. It became evident to me while conducting interviews of people in the Mexican American community that the omission of Houston in Mexican American history and the omission of Mexican Americans in Houston history is a disservice to our knowledge base and to the realities of our society.

Many of the interviews I conducted gravitated towards issues of politics in some form or another, and I heard some stories repeated from person to person without prompting them. For example, the Joe Campos Torres case came up repeatedly in interviews. People almost without exception also made note of Ben Reyes with a combined sense of what could have been and a respect for what was accomplished. The major "firsts" achieved by Mexican Americans in Houston politics stood out as another commonality of these recollections: the first Mexican American elected in a citywide campaign (Leonel Castillo, Controller), the first Mexican American Justice of the Peace (Judge Armando Rodriguez), and the first Mexican American police officer (Raul C. Martinez).

The story behind Raul Martinez's entrance into the police academy begins with the exclusion of Mexican Americans from law enforcement based on claims that they did not meet the height requirements. So when community leaders identified a couple of tall Mexicans interested in joining the academy, they pressured city officials to allow them to apply. Raul C. Martinez was one of these young men and stood over six feet tall. This story forms part of the collective memory of Mexican Americans in Houston. It is a story of discrimination and exclusion, but also a source of pride in breaking barriers through cooperative work and deliberateness poured into achieving each of these firsts. The city recently witnessed another first, the election of the first Mexican American Sherriff in Harris County, Adrian Garcia in 2008.

Doing interviews is an incredibly personal and rewarding experience. Through the process, people invite you into their lives and share intimate stories that strung together define their lives and their roles in society. As a result of the connections made during interviews, people often invited me to events so that I could truly understand the community they described. This is how I came to sit in on a sing-a-long of Mexican classics led by Judge Armando Rodriguez for Mexican and Mexican American seniors at a community center. I also had the privilege of attending an opening brunch for Fiestas Patrias, which I discovered included a who's who of Mexican American community leaders and consequently an event where politicians introduced themselves to gain support of Mexican Americans. One summer I received an invitation to Christmas in July at Ripley House that included my first glimpse of Pancho Claus. I went on tours of Ripley House and the Denver Harbor Clinic, gaining an appreciation for the various services offered to the community. As a result of the oral history interviews, I learned about Macario Ramirez's altars created for Dia de los Muertos in his store on 19th Street. It is also how I found myself attending two days of bingo with the abuelitos group at Our Lady of Guadalupe and a follow-up invitation to have Carmen Ramirez's nopalitos at the church breakfast the following Sunday. Together these events along with the personal narratives collected in the interviews create the story of my Mexican American experience in Houston.

During that first summer of doing interviews, Ernesto and I often sat to debrief, which for him involved reminiscing and contextualizing the story. Ernie, as he was known by his friends, was a long-time activist who both witnessed and participated in much of the history I collected. For me, these conversations provided an opportunity to reflect with appreciation on the accomplishments of Houston's Mexican American community past and present and to discuss the complexities of culture, identity, and political maneuvering. Ernesto died in 2010. For him, this issue was a long time coming-as it is for the community reflected in its pages.

Sent by Roberto R. Calderón, Historia Chicana [Historia]

Willam Barret Travis' Letter Comes Back to The Alamo!
After 175 years a letter written by William Barret Travis was on display in the Alamo shrine where it was originally penned. The letter was written February 21, 1836, just three days before Travis wrote his famous “Victory or Death” letter. And of course the Alamo fell March 6, 1836 and Travis and 188 other defenders died.
Travis's letter was part of the Texana collection of Robert (Bob) E. Davis of Waco that is up for a once-in-a-generation auction. In the 1960s, I met Bob through my friend and publisher Ed Eakin of Eakin Press. Davis owned Texian Press and in 1966 published the translated book The Diary of William Barret Travis, August 30, 1833 – June 26, 1834. My copy of that book was given to me by Guy Cade Jackson Jr., County Judge, of Houston.
The Texas & Western Autograph & Artifact Auction by RRAuction and in addition to two Travis letters, the auction includes General Santa Anna's “Field's Commands” notebook and his exceptional battlefield map. Bob Livingston, vice-president of marketing for RRAuction allowed the documents to be on display in the shrine November 5 & 6 in honor of DRT 120th anniversary and to recognize the fine care DRT has taken of the Alamo for 106 years. DRT director of marketing, Tony Caridi arranged this major display.

Gerard Rickhoff, County Clerk of Bexar County has initiated a program to translate all the old Bexar County documents that are in Spanish into English. In addition he allowed the DBA (Doing Business As) for “The Alamo” to be assigned over to The Daughters of the Republic of Texas. We did the official transfer on October 28, 2011 at the courthouse.

Source: DRT newsletter announcing the 120th birthday of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, Vol. 1, #4
Sent by Walter Herbeck, TEJANO2010



Extract: Mexico Plans Fun Times For the End of World
Sebastian Pérez Salinas por María Elena Laborde y Pérez Treviño
Noticia de las Compañías Presidiales de Cavallería de las Provincias de Coahuila y  
       Texas por Tte. Corl. Ricardo Raúl Palmerín Cordero. 
Personajes en la Historia de Mexico Por Jose Leon Robles de la Torre  
       Abelardo Rodriguez Lujan
       Lazaro Cardenas        
The Warrior Saint

Extract: Mexico Plans Fun Times For the End of World
By: The Associated Press, December 23, 2011, Orange County Register
Most people think that the end of the world would be a time of panic and preparation. However, to the Maya people, they are having a celebration. "For us, it is a message of hope," said Yeanet Zaldo, a tourism spokeswoman for the Caribbean state of Quintana Roo, home to Cancun. "People who still live in Mayan villages will host rites and burn incense for us to go back in time and try to understand the Mayan wisdom." 

The Mayan civilization, which reached its height from 300 A.D. to 900 A.D., had a talent for astronomy. Its Long Count calendar begins in 3,114 B.C., marking time in roughly 494-year periods known as Baktuns. Thirteen was a sacred number for the Mayans, and the 13th Baktun ends on the date we know as December 21, 2012.

"If anybody thinks it's going to be the end of the world, then they better stay home," said Channell, who runs Maya Sites Travel Services. "...because hotel rooms in the region are probably going to be full."



Fragmento del libro 
"El General Manuel Pérez Treviño y Esther González, Mi Nopalera" 
de María Elena Laborde y Pérez Treviño


Sebastián Pérez Salinas (circa 1945)

Nació el 20 de enero de 1885, desde joven destacó por su destreza para manejar las armas, tenía vista de lince, su puntería era envidiable sin importar si tiraba con una pistola o con una carabina; esas dotes aunadas a que conocía la región como la palma de su mano, y que montaba a caballo como solamente los indios sabían hacerlo, lo sacaron del anonimato.
Don Gregorio Díaz, de Gigedo, Coahuila, hijo de Leonardo Díaz Rodríguez y de Trinidad Salinas Faz, casado con María de Jesús Madero Elizondo, hermana de Don Evaristo, recomienda a Sebastián Pérez Salinas, como la persona idónea para velar por la seguridad de Francisco Y. Madero. "Sebastián, te quiero en mi lucha"; fueron las palabras que pronunció el que años después sería Presidente de la República Mexicana, al estrechar la mano del hombre cabal que en ese entonces era soltero, de 26 años de edad, en cuyas manos ponía su vida y la del reducido grupo que lo acompañaba.

Llegaron de San Antonio, Texas, Francisco Y. Madero, su hermano Raúl, el periodista Paulino Martínez, los hermanos Rubén y Octavio Morales, Arturo Lazo de la Vega, Onésimo Espinoza, Julio Peña, Francisco Flores, Roque González Garza, José Díaz y Rafael Aguilar Olmos, según un folleto publicado después por este último.

Por varios días estuvieron escondidos, en el rancho "Bowls", localizado a cinco millas al sur de Eagle Pass, Texas; Sebastián había dejado salir información de que pasarían a México por esa ciudad fronteriza; con satisfacción recibe retroalimentación de sus espías de que el camino que realmente pensaba tomar hacia México está libre de federales. Salieron hacia el Río Bravo, acampando esa noche en "El Indio", rancho en donde vivían los Pérez Salinas, era territorio texano.

En la madrugada del 20 de noviembre de 1910, a la una de la mañana empezó el movimiento en el campamento. El rocío matinal hacía que ésta fuera más fría que lo que hubieran deseado. Después de tomar huevos revueltos con frijoles y tortillas de harina recién hechas, desayuno que acompañaron con un reconfortante café negro y humeante, iniciaron el trayecto hacia México. La corriente del Bravo también les fue propicia para lograr el objetivo, Sebastián determinó que cruzaran por el paso natural llamado "Las Islas", así lo hicieron.

(b. circa 1849 Río Grande Coahuila)

Eran las 8 de la mañana cuando llegaron a Guerrero, Coahuila, los esperaba ya un tío de Madero, Don Catarino Benavides Hernández, nieto de dos respetados hombres de la región de Río Grande: Don Lázaro Benavides Soberón y Don Marcos Hernández Montalvo.

Tres días estuvieron esperando. Los que no llegaron, que ofrecieron hacerlo con 300 voluntarios armados y a caballo, fueron Eduardo Bustamante, jefe del Partido Antireeleccionista en Piedras Negras, y Erasmo Anguiano*, los que junto con los que venían de Texas iniciarían la revolución armada atacando a los regimientos 8° y 9° del ejército federal, estacionados en Ciudad Porfirio Díaz (hoy Piedras Negras, Coahuila). Con Catarino Benavides estaban solamente diez voluntarios.  *Erasmo Berain


Francisco Ygnacio Madero González (1910)

A Sebastián le llegan informes de que está expandiéndose la noticia de que Madero está en México, que se acercan los federales; imposible permanecer en Guerrero, Coahuila, quedarse en México. Madero emprende con el guardián y guía recomendado por su tío Gregorio el camino de vuelta a los Estados Unidos de Norteamérica. Lejos estaban de imaginarse los desanimados que a pesar de que ese plan no cuajó, sí se dieron levantamientos en otras localidades de la República Mexicana; Francisco Ygnacio Madero había entrado a México, ésa era la señal, ese día sí se inició la Revolución Maderista.

El Presidente Porfirio Díaz fue forzado a renunciar a la presidencia saliendo al exilio cinco meses después de los hechos que relatamos.

Se había corrido la voz de que Sebastián Pérez cumplía con su cometido de manera tan sagaz y eficaz que fue contratado para hacer varios trabajos para los maderistas. Un día cualquiera se presentaron unas personas solicitando sus servicios, esta vez fue para que matara a una persona, a Francisco Villa. Ni lo pensó, desde el inicio no aceptó.

Su respuesta fue tajante: -No soy, ni seré nunca un asesino.


El 12 de septiembre de 1918, Sebastián Pérez Salinas firmó su solicitud de ingreso al Ejército de los Estados Unidos de Norteamérica; su objetivo era tomar parte activa en la Primera Guerra Mundial. El mismo día, del mismo mes, del mismo año, el General Manuel Pérez Treviño, firmó su solicitud de ingreso al Ejército de los Estados Unidos de Norteamérica; su objetivo también era tomar parte activa en esa guerra. Sebastián se alistó en el condado de Maverick, Texas, su primo Manuel en Calexico, California.

Dos meses después, el 11 de noviembre de 1918, se firmó el Armisticio entre los Aliados y los Alemanes, finalizando así la Primera Guerra Mundial, los primos Pérez ya no tuvieron oportunidad de tomar parte en ella.

En los años en los que el General Pérez Treviño fue Gobernador del Estado de Coahuila, Sebastián fue el Jefe de la Policía de Saltillo, Coahuila.

Sebastián, sabiamente determinó tener una vida tranquila, en familia. Contrajo matrimonio con la también nacida en Guerrero, Coahuila, Ana Castillón Villareal, hija de Juan María y Jesusa. Los Pérez Castillón tuvieron diez hijos.

El héroe vivió para contar a sus nietos muchas hazañas en las que participó, falleció a los 75 años de edad. Sus restos reposan en el Cementerio Católico de Eagle Pass, Texas desde el 11 de enero de mil novecientos sesenta 1960.


Noticia de las Compañías Presidiales de Cavallería de las Provincias de Coahuila y Texas.
por Tte. Corl. Ricardo Raúl Palmerín Cordero 

Envío esta información de Los Presidios de Coahuila y Texas existentes en el año de 1793, la cual obtuve de Pares. Archivo de Indias de Sevilla. Así como también la página principal del libro del año de 1776 del Real Presidio de San Juan Bautista del Río Grande, Guerrero Coah., dos registros de bautismos y un matrimonio obtenidos de: Family Search. Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los últimos Días.

Noticia de las Compañías Presidiales de Cavallería de las Provincias de Coahuila y Texas.
Mexico 30 de Agosto de 1793. Antonio Bonilla.

Los Presidios de las dos referidas Provincias fueron erigidos para defender sus territorios de los Apaches y de las Naciones de Yndios del Norte. El vestuario de las tropas es igual al que usan las tropas del Poniente. El vestuario de la tropa consiste en Chupa corta de Tripe o Paño azul con una pequeña vuelta y collarin encarnado. Calzon de Tripe azul boton dorado y capa de paño del propio color y el de las de Milicias se compone de iguales prendas y colores diferenciandose en los botones que son blancos. Chihuahua 14 de Junio de 1792. Pedro de Nava. 

Presidio de la Purisima Concepcion de la Monclova, se establecio en el año de 1685, consta de segun su ultimo arreglo de 125 plazas incluso Oficiales. Capitan el Teniente Coronel Don Miguel Emparan Governador de la Provincia.

Presidio de San Juan Bautista de Río Grande. erigido en el año de 1687, se compone del mismo numero de plazas que el antecedente. Capitan Don Juan Bauptista Elguezabal.

Ydem. de Agua Verde. se crea en el año de 1736, con la denominación de Santa Rosa Maria del Sacramento de igual fuerza a la de los anteriores. Capitan Vacante.

Ydem. de San Antonio Bucareli de la Babia. se erigio en el año de 73, en el parage de su nombre y se traslado en el año de 79 al Valle de Santa Rosa donde existe con el mismo numero de plazas que los demas de esta Provincia. Capitan Don José Echegaray.


Presidio de San Antonio de Bexar. se establecio en el año de 1718, tiene ciento diez plazas incluso Oficiales Capitan el Teniente Coronel Don Manuel Muñoz Governador de la Provincia.

Ydem. de la Bahia del Espiritu Santo. se erigio en el año de 1721 y se compone de 93 plazas, incluso Oficiales. Capitan Don Juan Cortes.

Estado Mayor. Lo forman los dos Governadores, y el Ayudante Ynspector de Presidios Don Juan Gutierrez de la Cueva graduado Teniente Coronel.



"Libro en que constan las partidas de entierros, casamientos y bautismos de los vecinos y tropa de este Real Presidio de San Juan Bautista del Río Grande. desde el año de mil setecientos setenta y seis, hasta el de mil setecientos ochenta y seis: los que se ponen aqui respecto a que estavan en quadernos, por la dificultad de que no havia libros en que anotarlos, y así mando se trasladen de los dichos quadrenos, a este dicho libro para su lexitima constancia. Onofre Castillon. "



" En diez dias del mes de Abril año de mil setecientos setenta y seis, Yo Onofre Castillon Cura Parroco del Real Presidio de San Juan Bautista del Río Grande bautize solemnemente en esta Yglesia Parroquial de dicho precidio a un parbulo de diez nacido Jose, Antonio hijo legitimo de Francisco Arrañaga y de Jabiela Flores españoles fueron sus padrinos Pedro Salinas y Josefa Faz, a quienes adverti el parentesco y la obligacion y para que conste lo firme en dicho día mes y año. Onofre Castillon."



" En trece dias del mes de Octubre de mil setecientos settenta y nuebe, Yo Onofre Castillon Cura Parroco del Real Presidio de San Juan Bautista del Rio Grande bautize solemnemente en esta Yglesia Parroquial de dicho precidio a un parbulo de ocho dias nacido a quien puse por nombre Jose Dionicio hijo legitimo de Luis Lombraña y de Maria Rosa Ximenez españoles fueron sus padrinos Don Bisente Castillon y Teodora de la Garza a quienes adverti el parentesco y la obligacion y para que conste lo firme en dicho dia mes y año. Onofre Castillon. "



" Margen izq. Dn. Francisco Arospide y Da. Josefa Ecaimusquis en 3 de Septiembre del año de 1780.

En nuebe dias del mes de Septiembre año de mil setecientos ochenta Yo Onofre Castillon Cura Parroco del Rial Presidio de San Juan Bautista del Rio Grande case infacie eclesie a Dn. Francisco Arospide con Doña Josefa Ecaimusquis y vele en la Parroquial Yglesia de dicho, haviendo precedido todo lo dispuesto por el Santo Concilio de Trento: se amonestaron en tres dias festivos inter missarum solemnia que lo fueron el treinta de Agosto dia de Santa Rosa, el domingo tres de Septiembre y día ocho del mismo natividad de Nuestra Señora: fueron sus padrinos D. Francisco Yermo y Da. Luisa Santellana: testigos de vista Dn. Clemente de la Garza y Dn. Thomas de Lombraña y Dn. Jose de Leon Curiel y para que conste lo firme en dicho dia mes y año. Onofre Castillon ."

Investigó y paleografió.

El Presidente de la Sociedad de Genealogía de Nuevo León.

Tte. Cor. Ricardo Raúl Palmerín Cordero


Abelardo Rodríguez Luján




Datos del Tomo IX de XIII, Libro No. 58 de mi obra inédita: La Independencia y los Presidentes de México", relacionados con el General de División D. Abelardo Rodríguez Luján, Presidente de México No. 52, del dos de septiembre de 1932 al 30 de noviembre de 1934. Total, dos años, tres meses y 28 días.

Nació el día 12 de mayo de 1889 en San José de Guaymas, Son., hijo legítimo de don Nicolás Rodríguez Campos y de su esposa doña Petra Luján Maldonado.  

Realizó sus estudios en Guaymas, Son., y era muy deportista, jugaba béisbol y también practicaba el boxeo. Después estudió en Hermosillo , Son., (datos tomados de sus memorias) o en un colegio de Nogales, Son.  

En 1912 ingresó a trabajar en el Gobierno de Sonora, como Comandante de Policía y el 1o. de octubre de ese mismo año, ingresó al Ejército Constitucionalista con el grado de Teniente 2o. del Batallón de Sonora, según aparece en su "Hoja de Servicios" del archivo de Cancelados de la Secretaría de Guerra y que anexé al libro arriba citado.  

El 17 de junio de 1914, ascendió al grado de Capitán Primero de Infantería.

El 1o. de marzo de 1916, fue ascendido al grado de Coronel. Participó en la campaña contra los Yakis al lado del General Plutarco Elías Calles.  

Dice en sus memorias: "Me he casado tres veces, la primera en 1917, con Luisa Montejo; la segunda, con Ethel Vera y su tercer matrimonio con Aída Súlivan en febrero de 1924...”  

El 21 de marzo de 1920 fui ascendido a General Brigadier. El 16 de febrero de 1922 fui nombrado jefe de operaciones de Nayarit.

El 31 de octubre de 1923, fui nombrado Gobernador del Distrito Norte de la Baja California hasta 1927.  

Le gustaba mucho el canto y la buena música.El año de 1929, nació una fuerte enemistad entre el General Rodríguez y D. José Vasconcelos.  

El dos de septiembre de 1932, ascendió a la Presidencia de la República y duró hasta el 30 de noviembre de 1934, cubriendo la última parte del sexenio 1928-1934. La primera parte la cubrió el Lic. Don Emilio Portes Gil y la segunda el ingeniero y General don Pascual Ortiz Rubio. Los períodos anteriores eran de cuatro años que cerró con el Gobierno del General Calles.  

En sus memorias, narra el General Abelardo Rodríguez sus experiencias de su viaje a Rusia.  

Su fallecimiento: el día 13 de febrero de 1967, falleció el General de División don Abelardo Rodríguez Luján en su residencia de La Joya , California , USA . Sus restos fueron a territorio nacional, de uno de los nombres más ricos de esa época en México.  

"Sus restos fueron traídos a Ensenada , Baja California , asiento de su emporio pesquero".  



Lázaro Cárdenas




Datos del Tomo V de XIII, de Libro No. 59 de mi obra inédita: “La Independencia y los Presidentes de México,” relacionados don el general de División Don José Lázaro Cárdenas del Rio , Presidente de México No. 53, del 1o. de diciembre de 1934 al 30 de noviembre de 1940. Total seis años. 

Nació el 21 de mayo de 1895 en la ciudad de Jiquilpan , Mich. , siendo legítimo de don Dámaso Cárdenas y de su esposa doña Ma. Felícitas del Río, según aparece en el acta de bautismo que me expidió el párroco de la parroquia de Jiquilpan, Mich. El 11 de octubre de 1938, y que corre agregada al libro citado al principio.  

Sus primeros estudios los hizo en su tierra natal, en una escuela particular de la maestra Merceditas Vargas, en 1901.  

Al año 1903, ingresó a la Escuela Oficial de Jiquilpan, teniendo como maestro a don Jesús Fajardo.  

Su primer trabajo fue en la oficina de administración de rentas de Jiquilpan.  

El 20 de junio de 1913, ingresó al Ejercito Mexicano, al lado del General Don Guillermo García Aragón con el grado de Capitán 2º. de Caballería.  

El 18 de junio de 1920, tomó posesión como gobernador interino de Michoacán hasta el 21 de septiembre del mismo año.  

Y ese mismo año, el 21 d31 de diciembre, fue nombrado jefe de operaciones hasta el cinco de noviembre de 1921 hasta el 28 de febrero de 1923.  

El 15 de septiembre de 1928, fue electo Gobernador Constitucional de Michoacán.  

El 15 de octubre de 1931, tomó posesión como presidente del Partido Nacional Revolucionario hasta el 15 de septiembre de 1932 y en octubre contrajo nupcias con la señorita doña Amalia Solórzano, con la que procreó a su hijo Cuauhtémoc Cárdenas Solórzano.  

Sus diversos ascensos hasta General de División, figuran en su “Hoja de servicio” que me expidió el archivo de cancelados de la secretaría de Guerra el 23 de febrero de 1958 y que corre agregada al libro arriba citado. Fue electo Presidente de la República Mexicana y tomó posesión el dia 1o. de diciembre de 1934 y duró hasta el 30 de noviembre de 1940.  

Al principio de noviembre de 1936, expidió el decreto de expropiación de las tierras de la Región Lagunera, repartiendo las grandes haciendas entre los campesinos.  

El 15 de abril de 1937, se expidieron las leyes de la Comisión Federal de Electricidad.  

El 18 de marzo de 1938, expidió la Ley de Expropiación Petrolera. El 24 de junio de 1937, expidió el Decreto de Nacionalización de los Ferrocarriles Nacionales de México.  

El 26 de julio de 1939, estalló el conflicto de “El Tesoro del Vita” con la reclamación de España de una fuerte cantidad de joyas y oro, con las consiguientes reclamaciones diplomáticas.  

Al principio de junio de 1937, llegó a Veracruz una cantidad de refugiados españoles, por la guerra en aquel país, y el presidente Cárdenas los recibió y dio asilo.  

El 19 de agosto de 1940, expidió la Ley del servicio Militar Obligatorio. El 26 de febrero de 1956, recibió el General Cárdenas el “Premio Stalin de la Paz.”

Source: El Siglo de Torreón

Sent by Mercy Bautista-Olvera




Santiago Matamoros is the patron saint of many of the churches and chapels of western Michoacán, and is represented in both his militant and peaceful aspects.

The Warrior Saint


The spectacular painted underchoir at San Bartolo Cocucho (detail left) illustrates the most vivid portrayal of the Santiago Matamoros in the region. This extraordinary mural depicts Santiago Matamoros, conventionally astride a white steed with raised sword and banner, smiting Moorish soldiers, who are shown in various stages of dismemberment.

The saint is accompanied on the left by kneeling Spaniards discharging muskets and praying. On the right, soldiers enter a burning building - a reference to the legendary Battle of Clavijo of 844 AD, in which Spanish Christian forces routed a Moorish army with the assistance of St. James, who appeared in the heavens to urge them on to victory.

The Virgin Mary, La Purisima, appears in the clouds above him, clothed in a blue robe with black shoes and surrounded by winged cherubs. She appeals to the Holy Trinity, shown at center right. All the figures, including the fallen Moors are handsomely costumed in 18th century style.

Santiago Matamoros, the Spanish incarnation of the Apostle St. James Major, was a dominant figure in the Christian Reconquest of Spain from the Moslems and also inspired the Spaniards during their conquest of Mexico.  Santiago is the patron saint of many of the churches and chapels of the meseta purépecha of western Michoacán, and is represented in both his militant and peaceful aspects.

"Ay, this is a knight indeed, " cried Don Quixote, "one of those that fought in the squadrons of the Savior of the World, He is called Don Santiago Matamoros, or Don St. James the Moor Slayer, and may be reckoned one of the most valorous saints and champions of chivalry that the earth then enjoyed and Heaven now possesses." Miguel de Cervantes, Don Quixote de La Mancha.

Santiago Matamoros, the celebrated Spanish incarnation of the Apostle St. James Major, was a dominant figure in the Christian Reconquest of Spain from the Moslems. His timely appearance in the Heavens as Santiago Matamoros on his white charger was credited with key Spanish victories against the Moor, and also inspired the Spaniards during their conquest of Mexico. His famed shrine at Compostela, in northwestern Spain, became the chief pilgrimage destination in Christendom during the later Middle Ages.

In Mexico the militant saint is most commonly portrayed in popular imagery mounted on a rearing horse with a red victory banner, slashing at his turbanned enemies with lethal strokes of his sword. Santiago is the patron saint of many of the churches and chapels of the meseta purépecha. of western Michoacán. Across Mexico, paradoxically, the militant saint was often adopted by the native peoples as a spiritual counter force to oppressive Spanish rule, and as an upholder of indigenous rights. This seems to have been especially true in Michoacán, where the brutal conquest of the region in the 1500s by Nuño de Guzmán long endured in the folk memory.

After the shock of the Spanish conquest, the Franciscans and others established a network of missions across the meseta purépecha. of western Michoacán. Each village was encouraged to specialize in a particular handcraft, some of which were already found in the community. Many of these skilled crafts, including pottery, woodcrafts and metalworking, still flourish. This ancient and powerful tradition of native art and ingenuity also found expression in the unique painted ceilings of the mission churches and chapels of the region. Several of these colorful galleries of religious folk art, mostly dating to colonial times, still survive to amaze and awe the visitor of today.

Richard Perry
Exploring Colonial Mexico




"Apache 8" Documentary 
Real Mayan Apocalypse May Have Been Their Own Fault"

There is one Creator of Life looking down on us all. We are children of the Creator of Life. Ussen is listening to me. The sun, the darkness, the winds are all listening to what we now say." 
Geronimo, Apache Sent by Don Milligan

"Apache 8" Documentary

57-minute documentary a documentary about the first and longest-lasting all-woman, wild land firefighter crew from the White Mountain Apache Tribe. The team has been fighting fires in Arizona – including the Rodeo-Chediski and Wallow fires – throughout the United States for more than 30 years. 

Source  of Information: Wendy Miller, The Explorer
Sent by Gus Chavez
“Apache 8” covers the state’s best known fires as they relate to the all-woman firefighting crew, but mostly, it’s about the women themselves, said Zeig.  The women of Apache 8 have all excelled and been honored with national recognition for community and military service, including Cheryl Bones. This Apache 8 crew boss was selected as the only woman model for the Wild land Firefighters Monument in Boise, Idaho, which pays homage to all firefighters with bronze statues.  Bones’ nephew, Rick Lupe, and his hotshot crew were instrumental in suppressing the Rodeo-Chediski fire. He died as a result of burns he suffered a year later while working on a prescribed fire.

Real Mayan Apocalypse May Have Been Their Own Fault
By Stephanie Pappas | 

SAN FRANCISCO — For generations, the Maya thrived in an advanced, complex civilization in modern-day Central America. But then their society collapsed in the eighth and ninth centuries. Now, a new study finds that the Maya may have had a hand in their own apocalypse.

Deforestation in Central America before Europeans arrived contributed to drought in the region, according to the research presented today (Dec. 5) here at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU). Researchers have long suspected that drought contributed to the demise of Mayan civilization, though other factors such as conflicts and overpopulation may have also hastened the Maya's doom.

Using new reconstructions of vegetation stretching back 2,000 years, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies climatologist Benjamin Cook and colleagues found that forest-clearing by Mayan farmers worsened drought conditions in the area.

In fact, past research has shown similarly that the ancient South American Nazca civilization (known for large geoglyphs called Nazca lines) may have caused its own demise by clear-cutting large swaths of forest.

In the case of the Mayans, how did relatively primitive farmers manage to affect the weather? When the Mayans cleared forests, they exposed land surface with a higher albedo, or reflectivity, than the dark-green forest canopy. This land surface reflected energy back into the atmosphere rather than absorbing it, lessening the amount of energy on the land surface available to do things like convect water vapor to form clouds and thus rain. The result, Cook said, was a decline in precipitation by 10 percent to 20 percent.

With less rain, the soil dried out, so any extra energy went to warming the surface rather than evaporating water. The result was a rise in surface temperature by 0.9 degrees Fahrenheit (0.5 degrees Celsius). The lack of rainfall and boost in heat would have been bad news for a society whose survival depended on their farmlands.

Cook and his colleagues compared vegetation cover during pre-Columbian years (before A.D.1492) and then after the Europeans' arrival. The fallout from the European invasion destroyed the population by up to 90 percent in areas, and the result was a re-growth of forest as human pressures were reduced. Cave records confirm the pattern of drying during deforested periods and more precipitation when forests bounced back.

According to Cook, an examination of these records suggests that deforestation contributed to about half of the drought experienced by the Mayans. Rainfall levels declined by as much as 20 percent over the Yucatan between A.D. 800 and A.D. 950.

"I wouldn't argue that deforestation causes drought or that it's entirely responsible for the decline of the Maya, but our results do show that deforestation can bias the climate toward drought and that about half of the dryness in the pre-Colonial period was the result of deforestation," Cook said.

Today, the fate of the Maya is again of interest, given rumors of a 2012 "apocalypse" predicted in Mayan calendars. Maya experts say that these rumors are wrong-headed and that the Mayan people would have thought of the calendar re-starting on that date, rather than the world ending. [11 Failed Doomsday Predictions]

More pressingly, deforestation is once again rampant in Central America, Cook told an audience at the AGU meeting: "We could see these sorts of things happen again."

You can follow LiveScience senior writer Stephanie Pappas on Twitter @sipappas. Follow LiveScience for the latest in science news and discoveries on Twitter @livescience and on Facebook;_ylc=X3oDMTNsMmVuZGViBF9TA

Sent by John Inclan


Molly Picon, 1898 – 1992 
Dallas Holocaust Museum: Every Child has a Name
A Rather Belated(415 years) Negative Reaction to an Auto De Fe
Desalination Plant could make Israel water exporter



Molly Picon, 1898 – 1992                                                      



For over seventy years, Molly Picon, star of Yiddish theater and film, delighted audiences with her comic song and dance performances. While her career began in vaudeville and flourished in the Second Avenue theaters of New York's Lower East Side, Picon later performed on stage and in Yiddish and Hollywood films for Jewish and non-Jewish audiences around the world. Her engaging persona and powerful performances helped keep Yiddish culture alive by bringing it out of the shtetl and into mainstream American culture. Although Picon always played assertive characters on stage, for many years she struggled to be taken seriously as an independent woman and actress. Ultimately, however, she emerged as an icon for second generation American Jews and helped her audiences appreciate their immigrant past and forge new American Jewish identities.

Dallas Holocaust Museum: Every Child Has A Name

The Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance hosts a new special exhibition, Every Child Has A Name, from December 8, 2011 to March 18, 2012. The exhibition features a selection of a travelling exhibit from Yad Vashem, Israel�s living memorial to the Holocaust located in Jerusalem, called �No Child�s Play.� In addition, the exhibit will feature reproductions of children�s artwork created in the ghetto, Terezín. The exhibition will also include a visual display of a portion of the 1.5 million pennies collected by Dallas children as a memorial to the 1.5 million children murdered during the Holocaust.

Location: Dallas Holocaust Museum, 211 North Record Street
Presented by: Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance
9:30 - 5  $6-8  214-741-7500



By Richard G. Santos
Crystal City native Gilbert Martinez told me some eight months ago that he could get me any rare, out-of-print book from Mexico City. Consequently, I asked him to try to get me the two volume Inquisition trial of the Carvajal y de la Cueva family. La Familia Carvajal (y de la Cueva) Published by the Archivo General de la Nacion de Mexico in 1944, has long been out of print and very much in demand in any condition. Historian Alfonso Toro transcribed the 1589 and 1596 trials of Nuevo Leon founder Luis de Carvjal y de la Cueva and his namesake nephew Luis de Carvajal y de la Cueva, el mozo (the younger). Being an actual transcript of the trials, the two documents contain depositions of the other family members beginning with the Governor’s sister Dona Francisca, widowed wife of Francisco Rodriguez de Matos. Of particular interest are depositions of her daughters Isabel (widowed wife of Simon Herrera), Leonor (wife of Jorge de Almeida), Catalina (wife of Antonio Diaz Casares), Mariana and a number of relatives and fellow Crypto Jews.

In the 1589 trials, the Governor was punished for not having reported his sister and her children to the Inquisition as practicing Crypto Jews. Because he had received a charter directly from the King of Spain to establish Nuevo Reyno de Leon, the Inquisitors could neither torture nor remove him from office. Found guilty, the Inquisition demanded he be removed from office and exiled from the New World. However, only the King could do so, therefore he was transferred to the Mexico City government jail where he died in 1590 of “unknown causes”. hmmmmmmmmm

Dona Francisco and her children, with the exception of Gaspar, Baltazar, Miguel and Anica accepted baptism and vowed to become good Catholics. Brothers Baltazar and Miguel escaped going first to Spain, then the Vatican States and finally settled at Salonika, Greece. Anica was nine years old so she was placed in a “good Catholic home” to be “properly instructed in the Catholic Faith”. Dominican Friar Gaspar de Caravjal y de la Cueva was demoted to servitude within the Order and barred from holding Mass and hearing confessions. As punishment, the women were ordered to serve as maids at a Mexico City hospital. Luis the younger was assigned to serve as a scribe and servant at a monastery. This gave Luis the younger the opportunity to read books not available to the public which reinforced his devotion to what the Inquisition called “The Law of Moses”.

In the meantime, well-to-do businessman Jorge de Almedia who escaped arrest by sailing to Spain, managed to get the entire family released and pardoned. It is not known who he bribed but it is known the Carvajal y de la Cueva family was warned that if they returned to their Judaic religious beliefs and practices they would be executed. The warning did not deter Luis the younger from becoming more devoted to his beliefs and even changing his name to Iosef Lumbroso (the Enlightened). Not surprisingly, the entire family was re-arrested by the Inquisition in 1588. The documents recorded every detail, every utterance, every turn of the screw on the rack, every jar of water forced down the prisoners’ throat, every painful cry and every plea for mercy made before the Inquisitors and in the torture chamber. Having reverted to Judaism, the Mexico City based Inquisition sentenced all to death. The women chose to accept baptism which meant they would be strangled with a wire (no guarantee they were dead) before being set on fire. Luis the younger chose not to renounce his religious beliefs and was burned alive. The Inquisitors claimed he had converted to Catholicism at the last moment but other eye-witnesses wrote he had not converted and was thus burned alive. The great Auto de Fe occurred on December 8, 1596 and the ashes of the victims were scattered to the winds “to erase all memory of their existence”. In that they failed as the Carvajal y de la Cueva family became the best known family unit among the many Crypto Jews of the American Continent tried by the misnamed Holy Office of the Inquisition.

Back to Gilbert. Some four months ago while in Chicago, he called to say he had received the two volume book of the trails of the Carvajal y de la Cueva family and the one volume Historia del Tribunal del Santo Oficio de la Inquisicon en Mexico by Julio Jimenez Rueda published in 1905. Practically every other day for the last four months Gilbert would call at all hours of the day or night to verify what he had just read. He could not believe the Inquisition was as cruel as recorded in the documents. He also needed assistance explaining family relations and what happened to the scant family survivors as the last name Carvajal y de la Cueva was burned at the stake with the execution of Mariana in 1601 and Anica in 1649. Consequently, there are no family members carrying that last name today as only some of the in-laws survived.

Well, two weeks ago Crystal City natives Gilbert and Minnie finally returned to their home in Austin. He called and asked a question that I found very interesting. “I need a name and address of some of those people so that I may beat the you-know-what out of them” he said. I pointed out the torturing and Auto de Fe had occurred 415 years ago. “Yeah, but I just found out about it” he answered. Politely, I asked him to imagine how I felt when I first discovered I am a direct descendant of Leonor and her husband Jorge de Almeida. Fortunately for my lineage, Don Jorge and their child managed to escape and the Inquisition gave up and tried Don Jorge in absentia in1609. He was 

found guilty of being a Crypto Jew and believer in the Law of Moses. Therefore a straw filled effigy with his name written on a plank was burned at the stake. We thus survived and never forgot. Instead of erasing all memory of our existence, the writing of Luis the Governor, Leonor and Luis the younger are still in print and many books have been written about the family, my direct maternal ancestors. Muchisimas gracias, Gilbert and Minnie.

Zavala County Sentinel …………… Nov 30-Dec 1, 2011

Desalination plant could make Israel water exporter
Dec 6, 2011 

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's national water company signed a financing agreement to build a desalination plant, which officials said could allow drought-ridden Israel to export water to its neighbors upon completion in 2013.

Israel's ADL, a subsidiary of state-owned Mekorot, will build and operate the plant in the coastal city of Ashdod for 25 years, supplying 100 million cubic metres of desalinated water annually, the Finance Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

Israel is two-thirds arid and to avoid further depleting its fresh water sources it has become a world leader in desalination and wastewater recycling.

The new Ashdod plant will join four other desalination facilities that to provide, by the end of 2013, 85 percent of the country's household water consumption.

"In the coming years we will be able to return water to nature and even sell water to our neighbors," said Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau.

ADL secured funding for the project from Israel's Bank Hapoalim and the European Investment Bank (EIB), the statement said.

The Finance Ministry had previously put a 1.5 billion shekel ($400 million) price tag on the plant, which will use reverse-osmosis to desalinate seawater from the Mediterranean, and said it will supply water at a cost of 2.4 shekels per cubic meter.


First African American President, Sons of the American Revolution Georgia Chapter 
Ujamaa Place



December 9, 2011 
Georgia Lineage Society Installs First African American as Chapter President

SUWANEE, GA -- On December 8, 2011, the Button Gwinnett Chapter of the Georgia Society, National Society Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) installed Michael Nolden Henderson as its President for 2012. Henderson is the first African American elected as president of any chapter in the 90-year history of the Georgia Society SAR. 

In 2010, Henderson, a retired U.S. Navy Lieutenant Commander, became the first African American in (l to r) Charlie A. Newcomer, V.P. General, Southern Atlantic District, SAR, with Lt. Cmdr. Michael N. Henderson, USN, Ret., President, Button Gwinnett Chapter SAR. 

Georgia inducted into the Georgia SAR. Entrance into the society is gained by tracing one's ancestry to a patriot of the American Revolution. Through two decades of genealogy research, Henderson discovered a Frenchman name Mathieu Devaux, who served in the Louisiana militia under Spanish Governor General Bernardo de Galvez. Devaux, who never married, had a relationship with, and helped secure the freedom, of a former slave named Agnes. The two had seven children together, all of whom were born free prior to the Louisiana Purchase in 1803.

The story of Devaux and Agnes was the focus of a segment on the nationally televised PBS program, History Detectives in 2010. Henderson was featured in the segment, titled "The Galvez Papers," as he searched for the authenticity of Galvez's signature on the manumission document of Agnes, Henderson's fourth generation great-grandmother.

A native of New Orleans, Louisiana and graduate of Xavier University, Henderson first learned of the SAR after hearing of the induction into the Society of Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., famed genealogy guru, Harvard University professor, and host of the popular television series, African American Lives and Faces of America. When Gates learned of Henderson's pursuit of SAR membership, he sent Henderson a letter of congratulations and support.

Since becoming a member of the SAR, Henderson has given numerous presentations to genealogy groups, including the Genealogical Research Society of New Orleans, Afro-American Historical and Genealogical Society in Atlanta, The Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints, Algiers (Louisiana) Historical Society, and the Creole Heritage Center in Louisiana. His research has been displayed at the Louisville International Airport and at the National Archives and Records Administration in Atlanta. 

About the SAR
The Georgia Society Sons of the American Revolution exists to perpetuate the people and events of the American Revolution, promote patriotism, and preserve the ideals of freedom. The Society has 29 member chapters and over 1,400 individual members within the state. It conducts scholarship and recognition programs for high school and elementary school students, for ROTC and JROTC cadets, and for Eagle Scouts. The Society also present medals of recognition to public safety officials, performs volunteer work with veterans, and conducts Revolutionary War grave dedications. The Chapters proudly recognize deserving schools, businesses, and organizations with flag certificates for their proper and prominent display of the American flag. The Society is an active participant in historic battle site observances and other patriotic programs.

The Button Gwinnett Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution is named for Button Gwinnett, an English-born American political leader who, as a representative of Georgia to the Continental Congress, was the second of the signatories on the United States Declaration of Independence. He was also, briefly, the provisional president of Georgia in 1777. Gwinnett County is named for him. 

For information, contact: Anita Paul 

Ujamaa Place
Ronnell Roberson has been shot five times and knows too well what prison life is like. But until recently, the 27-year-old former gang member and father of two had never stepped foot inside a history museum. 

"As many times as I drove past it in a car or by bus, I did not know that someone like me could go inside there," Roberson said of his trip last month to the Minnesota History Center on Kellogg Boulevard in St. Paul. 

Most of us don't think such a visit is a big deal. But for men like Roberson seeking a serious change in their lives, walking into such a place and learning about history and family genealogy is a milestone, an "aha!" moment. 

That's one of the reasons he's sticking with Ujamaa Place, an ambitious project in St. Paul that has gained support from an array of people in the Twin Cities' civic, business and faith-based communities. Ujamaa translates to "extended family" in Swahili. 

The year-old effort, in a "gang-neutral" site off University Avenue West and Fairview Avenue, may be the last hope for hard-core cases like Roberson. 

"It focuses on folks in our community that are at danger of becoming a lost generation of men," said Bill Svrluga, a longtime Twin Cities civic figure and Ujamaa board member who runs a nonprofit consulting firm. 

"These are young men with little or no education, from families without fathers or parents; many have gone to prison, and there's really no place for them left to go to become productive members of society," Svrluga said. "They are at the bottom of the ladder, and many end up in jail or dead by 35." 


The effort, which officially opened in January, exclusively targets males, predominantly African-American, 18 to 31 years old. Most of the 30-member clientele never finished high school and are chronically unemployed. Roughly 60 percent have criminal histories. 

The statistics in recent decades on such men - caught in a cycle of poverty, drug addiction, joblessness, homelessness, violence and criminality - are a national concern: 

In 2004, fewer than 8 percent of young African-American men graduated from college. The unemployment rate for young African-American men is more than twice that for young white, Hispanic and Asian-American men. The percentage of young African-American men in prison is nearly three times that of Latino men and nearly seven times that of white men. The homicide death rate for young African-American men is three times the rate for Hispanics, the population group with the next-highest homicide mortality rate. 

And a 2003 Bureau of Justice Statistics analysis predicted a disturbing trend: 32 percent of black boys born in 2001 can expect to spend time in prison in their 

DeJonte Davis, left, and Latroy East listen to music together during a lunch break in the computer lab at Ujamaa Place. (Pioneer Press: Jean Pieri) lifetime. 
Roy Barker, the nonprofit's executive director and the driving force behind the effort, might have the toughest job in town. But the 58-year-old Bethel College graduate and others believe it can be done. How? Through a holistic approach that includes completing a high-school diploma equivalency and other training; stable housing; and parenting, life and employment skills. 


The group's ultimate mission, with the help of Barker and two trained coaches on staff who provide guidance to the men along the way, is to empower each man to become "a successful individual, father, employee and citizen." 

But there's little babying here. To graduate from the eight-month program, a participant must remain drug- and trouble-free, complete his high school degree, demonstrate "empowerment" life skills and hold down a job for at least three months. The high standards - they include no sagging pants, sour attitudes or disrespect - has whittled the number of participants who applied and underwent the first two weeks of orientation this year from 98 to 30. 

But Barker, a curriculum-programming specialist who formerly worked as special-projects director at Twin Cities Rise, a job skills training group based in the Twin Cities, expected the drop. 

"They figure they are going to get a handout, and they find out they have to work," Barker said. "What I'm trying to create here is a new generation of deep thinkers. I know they can change. If I didn't think that, I would not be here doing this." 

Svrluga, who knows Barker's past and his work, said he is the perfect man for the job. 

"He has walked in the shoes of these men," Svrluga said. "He knows where they are coming from. He knows that success involves a combination of high standards, tough love, as well as support." 


By his own account, Barker was a dope dealer and hustler who began his life of crime as an adolescent. He grew up in a notorious housing project on Chicago's South Side and, when he was 4 or 5, saw his father, now an ordained minister, stab a man in self-defense. Like Roberson, his surrogate fathers and role models were street thugs. He spent a year in jail awaiting trial for a murder he did not commit. He was acquitted. 

It was a plea by his chronically ill mother, Rosalie Barker, that turned his life around. 

From her deathbed, "she made me promise not to hurt people anymore," Barker recalled last week. "Dealing drugs hurts people. So she essentially put an end to my business." She died of kidney failure a month later. 

Determined to get a fresh start, Barker moved to the Twin Cities in the mid-1990s, got his GED and became a client of Twin Cities Rise. The second-oldest of six, he was the first in his family to graduate from high school and college. 

Another coach on staff is Carver Isabell, a retired Minneapolis firefighter and St. Paul fire inspector who worked earlier stints as a corrections officer at Stillwater Prison and the juvenile detention center in Hennepin County. 

The St. Paul native grew up in the housing projects near the Sears store on Marion and Hanover streets and chose to be assigned to North Minneapolis during his firefighting days. 

He responded to way too many EMS calls of young bodies lying on the streets and knows "what happens when things go awry at home and kids get off track with gangs and street violence." 

But he also wanted neighborhood kids to see the presence of a black firefighter. He believes in Ujamaa Place's mission. 

"I don't want to try to sound warm or fuzzy or politically correct, but I always felt the need to do something," Isabell said. "Realistically, not everyone is going to make it. But I believe some will go on to be prosperous and one day will be in my shoes." 

Bill Chickering, a volunteer teacher since the program began, is another supporter. 

"Many of these young men are motivated," said Chickering, who teaches reading, writing and grammar. "I feel refreshed when I come in here." 

Although the program reaches out to young black men, the first participant to walk through the front door was "a white guy," Barker said. He was welcomed with open arms. No one with similar problems or from any walk of life is turned away if he is willing to change. It's not about color, but circumstance and upbringing. 

"We are trying to teach them what they should have been taught at home," Barker said. 

Anthony Grayson's father called from Chicago to get his 27-year-old son into the program. 

"It's great," said Grayson, another high school dropout with chronic unemployment problems who says he has "done things in my life that I'm not proud about." 

"It has opened my mind to accept criticism and feedback and educate myself in that kind of thinking," he added. 


The funding challenges are huge, and the program works out of cramped quarters that include two small lab rooms outfitted with computers refurbished by felons in state prison. 

But the challenges were allayed recently with $1 million in private donations to keep the program going another three years, raised through the efforts of the group's campaign committee. State Sen. John Harrington, the group's president and the former St. Paul police chief, leads it. 

"It's amazing how well it's gone for its initial effort," Harrington said. "I've been impressed with these guys so far on improving themselves." 

With a minimum $5,000 investment per participant, the hope is that a successful turnaround ultimately will save society - that's all of us - at least $30,000 in annual incarceration costs while generating income and saving tax dollars through job placements. 

Roberson, released this year after a two-year state prison stint for armed assault, said he severed his Black P. Stone Nation gang ties and wants to become a better role model for his two sons, ages 9 and 7. 

"I don't want them to grow up like me," he said. 

Roberson went back to the history museum a week after his initial visit. This time, he went alone, on his own initiative. 

"I wanted to see what I did not see the first time."   

Ruben Rosario can be reached at 651-228-5454 or 

ONLINE To learn more about Ujamaa Place, go to


"The Jersey Beat" Donna Roman 
Upcoming 500th Anniversary of Juan Ponce de Leon’s Discovery and naming of La Florida
Old Pictures: A Cuban Exile Story by Mario Loyola by Mario Loyola,


"The Jersey Beat"
Donna Roman retired as a police captain / New Jersey. Her radio show is "The Jersey Beat"  Come January I will be back on her show talking about what it was like to become a New York State correction officer after being betrayed by the NYPD and working at Sing Sing and Coxsackie Correctional Facilities. It was not easy. Inmates I had arrested recognized me and decided to continue their vendetta. Tune it. I think many of you will enjoy it as much as reading an action/suspense book. I will send out another notice come January.
Upcoming 500th Anniversary of Juan Ponce de Leon’s Discovery and naming of La Florida

Mi Prima . . .  good news . . . 

"In honor of the upcoming 500th Anniversary of Juan Ponce de Leon’s discovery and naming of La Florida, the Coral Gables Museum is proud to present a selection of rare maps and plans of Spanish Florida that trace the European discovery, exploration and settlement of present-day Florida and other sections of the southeastern United States that were once part of La Florida.

Spain established the first permanent settlement in North America at St. Augustine in 1565, fifty-five years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. St. Augustine’s founder, Pedro Menendez de Aviles, also established several other temporary settlements including Santa Elena in today’s South Carolina and Tequesta on the north bank of the Miami River.

Most of the maps displayed in the exhibit are prints from digital images provided by the Archivo General de las Indias in Seville. Other images were obtained from the Bibioteca Nacional de Espana in Madrid and from the Ministerio de Guerra and the Ministerio de la Marina. 

Spain’s Ministerio de la Cultura has been instrumental in coordinating the exhibit along with Ambassador Cristina Barrios, Consul General of Spain in Miami, who provided the inspiration for the exhibit and opened the doors to the various ministries in Spain that enabled this project to become a reality.

Scholars and the public at large is invited to discover and explore these rare documents that highlight Florida’s First and Second Spanish Periods."

Sent by Sylvia Ann Carvajal Sutton

Old Pictures: A Cuban Exile Story by Mario Loyola
by Mario Loyola, November 24, 2011
Every Cuban-American family has the following black-and-white picture hanging somewhere on a wall: Grandfather and his many brothers, dressed in smart suits with thin ties; wives and sisters in floral and pastel dresses; everyone crowded together, some kneeling, others standing, all beaming broadly. That was Cuba in the 1950s.  That was the country that Fidel Castro ruined.
For those of us in my generation – the first to be born in the United States – the memory of our families’ exile begins with that old black-and-white picture. It is the backdrop to the family history we were raised on, which all Cuban exile families share, stories of upheaval, loss, and salvation.
The challenges of exile kept our families close together, long after they settled here. In the Miami house I grew up in, my grandparents lived in the third bedroom. Many of my grandmother’s sayings still ring in my ears: Ay chico, si el diablo sabe más por viejo que por diablo (“The devil knows more because he’s old than because he’s the devil”). Our grandparents and parents spoke Spanish to us growing up but, almost as soon as I learned to read, my mother surrounded me with books in English. We were expected to excel in school.
One thing that keeps the Cuban-exile community close is the intimate knowledge of how depraved Castro really was. Our families felt lucky to find so many Americans opposed to Communism in principle, but most of those Americans had little notion of Fidel’s taste for cruelty. Ask Huber Matos, formerly Fidel’s comandante for Camagüey province, who early on in the revolution dared to write a letter urging Fidel to hold elections as promised. He was summarily convicted of treason and sedition and sentenced to 20 years in prison. The best part was Fidel’s personal touch: He specifically ordered Matos’s best friend to arrest him.
Virtually all our families supported Castro at first. They wanted an end to the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista and a return to democracy. They believed Castro’s rhetoric of democracy and liberty and had little reason to believe he intended anything else.
My family fled Cuba in May 1961, in the midst of a massive exodus. Castro had been in power barely two years, and he had already canceled elections; forced non-Communists to resign from the government in disgrace; worked out secret arms deals with the Soviets; carried out mass summary executions live on television; shut down the free press; attacked the Church and confiscated its property; summarily detained and tortured critics; criminalized private commercial transactions; and blanketed all of Cuba with the enduring terror of his dictatorship.
If Communism was in conflict with human nature, it was particularly in conflict with the nature of Cubans. With no incentive for people to get ahead, commercial activity nosedived. According to Soviet archives, Cubans habitually falsified records to exaggerate production and hide theft. The planned economy fell apart from the very start. It was one of history’s most vertiginous peacetime impoverishments of an affluent society.
Today, Cuba continues its lonely journey through the infinite calamities of Castro’s dictatorship. In recent years, the state has announced such blockbuster democratic reforms as letting people buy toasters and letting barbers keep part of what they charge. More significant market reforms are withdrawn as unexpectedly as they are announced. Dissidents are still routinely detained and beaten. Disgustingly, the victims of these beatings include young women, such as the blogger Yoani Sánchez, and elderly women, such as Laura Pollán, former leader of the group Ladies in White, who recently died in a state hospital after years of intimidation and physical abuse by government-organized mobs. In the last year, many political prisoners have been released from prison, in shockingly poor health, and immediately exiled to Spain. So much for the hope that Raúl Castro would liberalize anything.
Meanwhile, if Cubans turned out to be terrible Communists, they have made great Americans. The young kid who swept the floor of the local Burger King in the 1960s rose to become VP of operations. The one who started at Kellogg’s as a sales rep rose to become CEO and U.S. secretary of commerce. The Cuban-American community now has a median income slightly higher than that of America as a whole.
For our families, America has been a dream of loss redeemed; of sacrifice repaid; and of humiliations undone. The humble dignity with which our parents and grandparents lived out their lives in exile was one inspiration to my generation. Another was their gratitude to America. And yet another was their staunch conservatism in defense of the principles that made America great: freedom, limited government, and self-reliance.
For Cuban-exile families, the American dream continues to play out against that old black-and-white family picture. But those in my generation are the protagonists now. It has fallen to us to build in this country something that can make up for what our families lost in theirs. 
We grew up being told that everything is possible in America. Now it’s our turn to prove
that it’s true, and to make sure it stays true. That’s why so many of us feel called to public service. America has given us – and our families – as much to be grateful for as anyone in America.
The greatness of this country needs defending in every generation. Now it’s our turn.
— Mario Loyola is Director of the Center for Tenth Amendment Studies at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.



Picon Family from Puerto Rico by Joe Sanchez
Puerto Rico's Divedco Institute exhibiting 40 silkscreen prints
Index to Historia de Familias Cubanas Vols 1-9

Picon Family from Puerto Rico by Joe Sanchez 


The Picon sisters and their mother, Angelina Lopez Picon
LtoR: My mother, Clotilde, Margarita, Juanita, Grandmother Angelina Lopez Picon, Rafaela behind, Genoveva, and  Rosa

All the Picon sisters were born in Puerto Rico and came to the mainland in the early '40s, moving and living first in Manhattan's Lower East Side. I arrived with my mother Clotilde, and my youngest brother, Louie and youngest sister, Zulma, in 1952. My oldest brother, Edwin, had already arrived in NYC with my father, Jose "Pepito" Sanchez, in 1951. 

My oldest sister, Ruth, had also first arrived with my grandmother, Angelina Picon, in 1947. At the time my grandmother came to have her eyes checked at Bellevue Hospital. She lived in NYC for a short while and then moved back to Puerto Rico, but would visit when ever the opportunity presented itself. Some of my father's sisters were also already in NYC and living in Brooklyn. My aunt, Rafaela Picon Finamori, was one of the first members of the family to move to the mainland.  She came in the '40s in a two-engine prop.

I remember one of his sisters, Carmen, and her husband, Cachiro, picking us up at the airport with my dad. Boy, was it cold. My first experience of winter in the Naked City.  I believe the plane was a TWA twin-engine prop, and it seems like it took 6 hours or more from Puerto Rico to New York City.  My sister suggests that we arrived either 1951 or 1952  and it was probably a four-engine Pan American. Now it's only 2 hrs and 20 minutes if not less. I also remember my mother getting sick on the flight, and the airline stewardess giving her a barf bag. I don't think they called them flight attendant... back then, like they do now.

My grandmother in the '70s came down with Alzheimer's Disease and passed away in NYC. She was taken back home to Santurce, Puerto Rico and buried alongside her husband, Juan Picon; youngest son, Sarito; and daughter, Rafaela Finamori. Ten years prior or so, my grandfather, Juan Picon, had also been brought to NYC and treated for prostate cancer, which later took his life. 

Juan Picon like my grandmother, Angelina Lopez Picon, and their parents were born in Puerto Rico when Puerto Rico was still part of the Spanish Empire. And as we know, during the Spanish American War of 1898, Puerto Rico was invaded and became a possession of the United States. It was not until the Jones Act of 1917 that Puerto Ricans were allowed to be United States citizens. In 1952 Puerto Rico became a commonwealth.

My mother's family from what I was told lived in Arecibo before moving to Santurce Puerto Rico, where I and my brothers and sisters were born. That's where my father Jose Sanchez Rivera was also born and met my mother, Clotilde Picon. My grandfather on my fathers' side was Jose { Don Pepe } Sanchez. My grandmother Belen Rivera Sanchez, died in 1941, God bless her. 

Above is also information of when my mother passed away here in Florida. I live in Deltona, Florida. My mother like her mother and oldest sister Juanita, had Alzheimer's disease. The hospital she died in, is in Daytona Beach, Florida, 30 minutes or so from my home. She was taken back to New York where she was buried in Long Island, alongside my dad, brother, Edwin, and my sister Zulma. They all knew the Lord Jesus Christ, or should I say know...and are with Him.

LtoR: Juanita , Clotilde, Rosa, and seated, Genoveba, not present, Margarita.  a song written by Rafael Hernandez "Tragedia del Viernes Santo"  
 a crash in 1952 of a Pan American plane from Puerto Rico en route to New York City.   



Puerto Rico’s DIVEDCO  Institute exhibiting 40 silkscreen prints 
produced by Puerto Rico’s Division of Community Education (DIVEDCO)

From the early 1950s until it was disbanded in 1990, DIVEDCO produced at least two commemorative Christmas posters each year. As a group, these can be seen as powerful symbols of the program’s embrace of local traditions and its attempts to maintain Puerto Rico’s cultural integrity in the face of the ever-increasing influence of the United States. The posters featured in the exhibition come from the collection of Professors Thomas Anderson and Marisel Moreno, both of whom are fellows of the Institute.

A comprehensive exhibition of DIVEDCO posters and books from the same collection will be featured at the Snite Museum of Art from January through March 2012. The exhibition will be held in the Institute’s Galeria América from December 5, 2011, to February 3, 2012. For more information please contact Teresa Santos, curator, at 574-631-5224.
Source: FW:ILS December 2011 Newsletter

Index to Historia de Familias Cubanas Vols 1-9 (Histories of Cuban Families)
By Francisco Xavier de Santa Cruz y Mallen, 
Conde de San Juan de Jaruco y Santa Cruz de Mopox

Website dedicated to Cuban Family Research: 

This 9-volume work represents the most extensive collection
 ever compiled of Cuban genealogies. It has 841 surname entries

A Quick Finder Index compiled by Ed Elizondo

You can obtain the text of any of the listed entries by one of the following methods:

  • Volumes 7-9 are available from your local library on interlibrary loan. Use the ISBN numbers listed below in the Publishing History section as identifiers.

  • Volumes 1-6 have been microfilmed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints ("LDS Church"). Go to your local branch of the LDS Church Family History Center (during the hours open to the public) and request a loan of the following microfilms:

    • Volumes 1-5 film # 1162421
    • Volume 6 film # 1162422 item 1

    (This 6 volume set is also available as a 39 microfiche set # 6030546).

    There is also a second filming:

    • Volume 1 film # 1410945
    • Volume 2-4 film # 1410946

    A nominal amount for the film loan, depending on the length of the loan, and a per page amount for copies is charged. These films and microfiche can only be viewed and copied at a Family History Center.

    For a list of addresses of Family History Centers in your area contact the Family History Library at (801)240-5267.

    For more details about the genealogical information available at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Family History Centers, see our page devoted to Where to find information.

  • At the University of Miami, the books are located at the Otto Richter Library, in the David Masnata collection, on the eighth floor, under "Special Collections". Call (305)284-3247 to obtain the necessary day pass. Copies can be made during your visit by the curator for a nominal fee per page.

  • At the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Volumes 1-6 are listed in the Catalog as located in the Latin America Book Area under catalog number 972.91 D2s.

  • At the time of my last visit (Jan 1999), the Miami publisher has copies of Volumes 7-9 for sale at $49 each. They also have only a few copies left of Volumes 2, 4, 5, and 6 for sale for $100 each.

    The Miami publisher is: 
              Ediciones Universal
              3090 S.W. 8 Street
              Miami, FL 33135
              (305) 642-3234

Sent by Bill Carmena


Worldwide Filipino Alliance
A Joy That We Are All From Diverse Cultures 
Sent by Maria Elizabeth Del Valle Embry
The core program of Worldwide Filipino Alliance is to provide overall support to Filipinos in the Diaspora as they move from recruitment, remittance generation, reintegration, and retirement (4 Rs). 

WFA is committed to work closely and actively with Filipinos in the Diaspora by engaging them in

  1. advocacy work
  2. financial literacy program
  3. livelihood projects
  4. systematic savings and investment programs
  5. and sustainable and organic retirement strategies


A Joy That We Are All From Diverse Cultures 

Dr. Elmer:

Thanks for sharing your well written and very much appreciated article. I am sorry that I left the RP early and missed the opportunity when "Teaching in Pilipino/Filipino was the “in” thing" at our university alma mater.

I and my sister were very lucky to be raised by my parents who taught us to be multilingual starting from learning the language we grew up, then English at school, and later the language of Don Miguel de Cervantes. My parents, especially my father, tried to speak to us in three languages to make us appreciate multi-culturalism. From there I went to learn other languages which have since accorded me many opportunities to enjoy life especially when you communicate with other people whose languages spoken are not as diverse as mine.

Imagine myself traveling to a country I first thought was the end of the world to meet my wife without knowing, except for some few phrases from a book, the language of Tsar Nikolai. If I were srictly monolinguist, I would not appreciate other languages. To me it is a joy that we are all from diverse cultures and speak different languages and more importantly, we break the barrier of monolinguism by learning other languages and cultures.

Because I am into languages, I do not and will not say something even remotely odd to people for speaking their native languages even if they are "garil" or speak street language but very fluent and masterful in the acquired languages as what has happened to many of our countrymates who speak English much better than the languages they were born into. In fact it is a blessing that many people on earth are multi-lingual or polyglot and can receive appreciation from others who do not speak their native tongues and happy to see the former speak the latter's idioms. 

In fact I am the person who would like to promote multi-linguism among people as this will promote international goodwill. Lastly I am happy that I learnt the national language in school from primary to high school and then read the magazine and comics' strips in the vernacular. I have also brought and improved this knowledge with me when I moved to another country.  

Eddie Placido

The Other View by Elmer A. Ordonez

Educated in English from grade to graduate school, I belong to the generation (s) of what Renato Constantino called “the mis-educated Filipino.” My exposure to Tagalog literature was limited to a high school subject using Diwang Kayumanggi as text. At home my parents spoke Spanish to each other, English or “garil” (fractured) Tagalog to their children who in turn spoke Manila street Tagalog to each other. Ilocano and Bicol were also heard at home when father’s relatives or mother’s kin visited us. 

As an academic, I moved around in an English milieu such that when the First Quarter Storm (FQS) broke out in the early 70s, we senior professors in the English department in UP Diliman felt beleaguered by nationalists (including English major students and young instructors in English) who mocked us and our English discipline or specialization. The newly created department of Filipino and Philippine literature (founded ironically by Leopoldo Y. Yabes, a professor of English, whose forte was Ilocano literature and staffed by former instructors or majors in English like Petronilo Daroy, Ernesto Constantino, Patricia Melendres and Romeo Dizon and new graduates majoring in Filipino like Rosario Torres ) became the “premier” department as far the nationalists were concerned. Teaching in Pilipino/Filipino was the “in” thing.

Bienvenido Lumbera, Ph.D., former head of the English department and founding chair of the Filipino department at Ateneo, whom I invited to lecture on Philippine literature in English, was lured from my department to teach Tagalog poetry in the Filipino department. Lumbera was an instant hit among UP students and young writers. During the FQS, he was to head the organization, PAKSA (Panitikan para sa Kaunlaran ng Sambayanan) with a national democratic orientation. Martial law forced PAKSA underground; Lumbera was arrested and detained for more than a year. Ateneo refused to take him back but he was welcome in UP. 

Professor Lumbera, now National Artist for Literature, was one of the writers in Filipino, discussed in Alinagnag: Sanaysay ng mga Panlipunang Panunuri sa Panitikan (UST Press) by Rosario Torres-Yu who became dean of the College of Arts and Letters. Lumbera majored in English literature at the University of Santo Tomas and comparative literature at Indiana University in the United States. He wanted to write his Ph.D. thesis on Indian literature in English, but his dorm mate, Rony Diaz, now a top fictonist in English, convinced Lumbera, a poet in both Tagalog and English, to write instead on Tagalog poetry. This was the beginning of Lumbera’s veering away from a western to a Filipino orientation. 

Rose Torres-Yu sees the conversion of Lumbera when he picked up the earlier challenge of Amado Hernandez that he write in Filipino. At the time in the 60s writers in Filipino like Rogelio Ordonez, Efren Abueg, Norma Miraflor and Rogelio Sikat were making waves with their social realist fiction embodied in their anthology Agos Sa Disyerto. Undoubtedly an influence on the younger writers, Hernandez himself was to become the first Tagalog National Artist in Literature on the basis of his nationalist poetry and plays written in prison and his novel Mga Ibong Mandaragit (Birds of Prey). Hernandez was chairman of the Congress of Labor Organizations when the Politburo of the PKP (Partido Komunista ng Pilipinas) was rounded up by the military in 1950. This was the beginning of the McCarthyist witchhunt in the city, in labor groups, government offices and universities. Hernandez was arrested on the charge that the CLO was a PKP front. Jailed along with the Politburo members, Hernandez spent his time writing even in the bartolina. He wrote lines of poetry in slips of newsprint smuggled out by his wife Atang de la Rama who pieced them together and had the poems published under the title Isang Dipang Langit. 

Torres-Yu devoted her studies on Hernandez and became an authority on the Filipino nationalist writer. She has several books on his works as well as on the labor movement which Hernandez once led. When released in the early 60s Hernandez published by installment in Liwayway his novel Mga Ibong Mandaragit. His reentry in the literary scene during the 60s was marked by his getting the Republic Heritage Award. During the First Quarter Storm he was always invited to speak in activists gatherings. In a necrological rite for the slain activist Enrique Brigada of Lyceum, his oration ended with the slogan “Makibaka! Huwag Matakot!” which became a battle cry in the FQS demonstrations. Hernandez died in March 1970. Kabataang Makabayan members carried his bier to rest in the North Cemetery. When he received posthumously the National Artist award in 1973, Salvador P. Lopez noted that the Marcos regime gave the award when Hernandez was “safely dead.” 

Torres Yu also wrote about feminist literature in her book , devoting essays on Genoveva Matute and Lope K. Santos, on underground literature during martial law, Valerio Nofuente and other martyred writers, and the history of the workers movement. Alinagnag seeks to provide illumination on social issues through nationalist literature. It is Marxist literary criticism that runs against the grain of the prevalent formalist/neo-formalist critical practice of the literary establishment.  


Alonso Sanchez de Huelva, 
      Texto: por Ángel Custodio Rebollo y Dibujo:  por José Bacedoni
Sebastian Vizcaino por Ángel Custodio Rebollo
Biblioteca Nacional De Espana por Ángel Custodio Rebollo
Music from Canary Islands website
Spanish Colonial Currency website
One-Page History of Spain

Alonso Sánchez de Huelva
Texto: Ángel Custodio Rebollo
Dibujo: José Bacedoni

Alonso Sánchez de Huelva


Cuenta la leyenda que, estando Cristóbal Colón en la Isla de Madeira, antes del conocido viaje de su encuentro con América, cuando el Almirante se dedicaba al comercio de azúcar y frutas, conoció a un marinero que le contó que hacia frecuentes viajes de Canarias y de la Península Ibérica a Inglaterra, llevando diferentes  mercancías en su barco y en uno de esos viajes su nave fue arrastrada por un fuerte temporal hacia el oeste y  fueron a parar, con un barco semidestruido, a una costa donde encontraron unos indígenas que  acogieron a él y a sus tripulantes muy bien porque le habían tomado por dioses, y tan pronto pudieron reconstruir su nave, emprendieron el regreso a su punto de partida.

Todos al conocer esta leyenda manifiestan que ésta fue la base que dio a Colon  sobre la existencia de tierra al otro lado del océano. Los primeros que mencionaron este hecho fueron Fray Bartolomé de las Casas y el Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. Después le siguieron muchos historiadores de todas las épocas.

El marinero a que se refiere la leyenda, es el llamado Alonso Sánchez de Huelva, y no se encuentra ningún vestigio de la época en los pocos documentos que se conservan de aquellos tiempos, si bien, en Huelva, en la zona de la actual Plaza de la Soledad , había una pequeña casa, muy humilde, que por los materiales y el tiempo que había transcurrido desde su construcción , la erosión la hizo desaparecer hace unos años y siempre se dijo que aquella había sido la casa de Alonso Sánchez de Huelva. Personalmente recuerdo haberla conocido.

Como homenaje a Alonso Sánchez de Huelva, cuya leyenda continua viva, en los jardines del puerto de Huelva hay un monumento conmemorativo con una figura que quiere representar a este legendario personaje, en el que se ha basado José Bacedoni para el dibujo que incluimos al principio de este articulo.        


                                                                            Texto: Ángel Custodio Rebollo

                                                    Dibujo: José Bacedoni


Sebastián Vizcaíno



Cuando leo algo sobre Sebastián Vizcaíno, me pongo a escudriñar para ver si dice algo sobre su lugar de nacimiento, porque en la mayoría de los datos que he visto dicen “lugar de nacimiento desconocido” y otros, ponen simplemente “vasco”.

Yo tengo siempre muy presente lo que hace algunos años me dijo mi amigo Antonio Cabezas, que vivió varios años en Japón, y termino su vida laboral como Catedrático de la Universidad de Kyoto.

Antonio, desgraciadamente ya fallecido, me dijo que en Japón, libros y documentos dicen: Sebastián Vizcaíno, de Huelva, Primer Embajador Español en Japón”.

Por otra parte, y sin haberlo podido confirmar, recuerdo haber leído que el padre de Sebastián Vizcaíno trabajaba para el Duque de Bejar, y vino desde Extremadura a Gibraleón o Huelva, lo que acerca más a lo que en su día me dijo Antonio Cabezas,

¿Pero quien era Sebastián Vizcaíno?. Hay otro dato sin aclarar en su biografía, porque se dice que era hijo natural o medio hermano del virrey Luís de Velasco y Castilla, y si tenemos en cuenta el trato preferencial que recibía por parte de este importante caballero, casi nos atrevemos a afirmarlo..

Se sabe que combatió en batallas de Portugal a la cabeza de una tropa de caballería y después marcho a Nueva España, donde le fueron encomendadas importantes misiones, entre ellas explorar el litoral del Golfo de California, pero tuvo que abandonar porque su tripulación fue diezmada por el escorbuto.

En compañía de Gerónimo Palacio, Fray Antonio de la Ascensión y Fray Andrés de la Asunción, navegaron con tres navíos desde Acapulco hasta el Cabo Mendocino levantando planos y fijando derroteros, que fueron muy útiles hasta principios del siglo XIX.

Como anteriormente había comerciado en Manila y tenia buenos conocimientos de las Filipinas, fue enviado allí, junto con Rodrigo de Vivero, que, según parece, era sobrino del virrey Luís de Velasco.

Viendo la importancia de las mercancías que llegaban a Manila desde Japón y

como había deseos de las autoridades de entablar relaciones con aquel País, Sebastián, fue a Japón con una carta del Rey expresando su deseo que existiesen relaciones diplomáticas entre los dos países, y con un buen numero de regalos, entre ellos un reloj que aún se conserva en el tesoro del templo Toshogu Kuno. Estableció los primeros contactos cuando fue recibido por el  Shogun Tokugawa y posteriormente con el Leyasu, fundador del Shogunato.



La visita tuvo reciprocidad ya que partió una expedición japonesa que llegó primero a Acapulco y posteriormente siguió viaje hacia España, recalando en Coria del Río, en Sevilla.

Posteriormente Sebastián Vizcaíno organizó desde Nueva España dos expediciones a Japón, para localizar las islas ricas en oro y plata, con un resultado negativo ya que la existencia de esas islas era solo una leyenda.

A su regreso se retiró a Sayula para la administración de sus bienes, pero en 1615 tuvo que liderar a las tropas que rechazaron a los corsarios holandeses de Joris van Spilbergen, que intentaban atacar a  Dalagua, para conseguir agua y víveres.

Debido a los importantes servicios prestados a la Corona, fue designado Alcalde Mayor de Acapulco, donde costeó la construcción de una iglesia y desde 1619 se retiró a México, dejando la administración de Sayula a sus hijos.

Murió en la ciudad de México en 1627, aunque algunos autores la sitúan en 1623.

                          Ángel Custodio Rebollo


Biblioteca Nacional de España. articulo publicado en El Periodico de Huelva,



Mi afición a los libros me la inculcó mi padre, que durante su vida coleccionó un importante número de volúmenes y que a mí siempre me sirvieron como libros de consulta y para documentarme sobre temas en los que, por estudios, por afición o por curiosidad estaba interesado.

Cuando mí padre falleció, como ni mi hermana ni yo teníamos sitio en nuestras casas para albergar tantos libros, decidimos donar  toda la biblioteca de teatro, con mas de tres mil ejemplares y parte de la general, a la Biblioteca Pública de Huelva, que entonces dirigía Vicenta Cortés.

Con estos antecedentes reconozco que temo entrar en una librería, porque si lo hago salgo con algún libro y en mi casa, para llevar uno hay que darle salida a otro, porque materialmente no me queda espacio.

Todo este preámbulo ha surgido, porque mañana jueves 29 de diciembre hará trescientos años que se inició la creación de la Biblioteca Nacional de España, que hoy guarda en sus fondos mas de 30.000 manuscritos, además de impresos antiguos, monografías, cerca de 3.000 incunables revistas, periódicos, mapas, partituras musicales, documentos sonoros y audiovisuales, todos ellos en cantidades que aturden hasta al pronunciarlas.

La Biblioteca Nacional fue fundada durante el reinado de Felipe V, el primer monarca de la Casa de Borbón, que influido por su confesor, el jesuita Pedro Robinet, decidió fundar una Librería Real, entonces no se llamaban bibliotecas, aprobando su decisión el 29 de diciembre de 1711, para fomentar el estudio entre los españoles y para reunir las otras librerías que eran confiscadas a los nobles que luchaban en las guerras contra el Rey.

Aunque la Real Librería de Madrid comenzó a funcionar en marzo de 1712, su creación oficial se hizo por Real Decreto de Felipe V, de 2 de enero de 1716. 

Para reunir todo lo que se publicase en España, el monarca creo lo que llamamos hoy Deposito Legal, que era la obligación de la entrega de un ejemplar en la Real Librería de todo lo que saliese al mercado, pues en caso de que no se hiciese, los libros serían prohibidos o confiscados. Podríamos llamarla autorización legal de publicación.

La Biblioteca que se inició actuando como Director el Padre Robinet y era regida por el Bibliotecario Mayor, Gabriel Álvarez de Toledo, ha sobrevivido a todas las guerras y luchas intestinas de nuestro País,

Actualmente es un organismo autónomo dedicado a reunir y catalogar el fondo bibliográfico español, cuyo cometido se ha ido ampliando desde su fundación y adaptándolo a cada época, por lo que ahora alberga no solo libros, manuscritos y mapas, sino otros muchos documentos, partituras musicales, documentos sonoros y audiovisuales, prestando servicios no solo en su sede de Madrid y la de Alcalá de Henares, donde además de las visitas “in situ”, se pueden consultar por medios postales y correo electrónico

Actualmente tienen una biblioteca y una hemeroteca digital, en la que se pueden consultar a través de Internet, libros y periódicos antiguos que nos ayudan mucho a los investigadores, al evitar desplazamientos que muchas veces resultan infructuosos.

Desde estas paginas, mi sincera felicitación por sus trescientos años de vida y por el apoyo que presta no solo a los españoles, sino a los muchos investigadores extranjeros, que recurren a ella, por su gran prestigio, ya que es considerada la mas importante biblioteca de habla hispana en el mundo.

Ángel Custodio Rebollo


Music from Canary Islands

Los Sabandeños - Folías - Día de Canarias (2007)  
Sent by Bill Carmena   

Editor: This is a fun way of experiencing the flavor of the Canary Islands


Spanish Colonial Currency
Sent by Bill Carmena

One-page History of Spain
  • 573AD  The Visigoths conquered Spain
  • 711 Muslims from northern Africa invaded Spain displacing the Goths
  • 1094 El Cid, a Castilian Christian, fought the Moors and conquered Valencia
  • 1100s Portugal gained its independence
  • 1200s The Muslim territory had been reduced to the Kingdom of Granada
  • 1200's The Christian territory controlled the Kingdoms of Aragon, Navarre, and Castile
  • 1469 The marriage of Prince Ferdinand of Aragon and Princess Isabella of Castille
  • 1474 Isabella became Queen of Castile
  • 1479 Ferdinand became King of Aragon
  • 1480 The Spanish Inquisition was established
  • 1492 The Muslims of Granada were defeated
  • 1492 Christopher Columbus voyage to America was financed by the King and Queen
  • 1494 Spain and Portugal claimed the lands of the New World
  • 1513 Vasco Nunez de Balboa crossed Central America
  • 1516 Charles I became Spanish king and extended the Spanish Empire to include Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg
  • 1519 Charles I became the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V
  • 1521 Hernando Cortes conquered the Mexican Aztecs
  • 1533 Francisco Pizarro conquered the South American Inca empire
  • 1588 Philip launched the Spanish Armada which the English defeated
  • 1714 The War of the Spanish Succession ended when Spain lost all of its European empire
  • 1763 Spain lost Florida to the United Kingdom
  • 1808 French forces led by Napoleon conquered Spain but the Spanish regained control in 1814
  • 17 July 1821 Spain ceded Florida to the United States
  • 1898 The Spanish were defeated in the Spanish - American War . Cuba was given its independence and Guam, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico were given to the United States
  • 1914-1918 World War I - Spain remained neutral
  • April 1931 The Spaniards voted for a republican form of Spanish government
  • 1936 General Francisco Franco became the leader of the rebels and civil war ensued
  • 1939-1945 World War II - Spain remained neutral
  • 1969 Franco declared that Prince Juan Carlos would become the next king of Spain
  • 1975 Franco died and Juan Carlos became king
Source: Spanish Flag
Sent by Bill Carmena




Muslim Quotes in U.S. Textbooks
President Karzai has Pardoned a Jailed Rape Victim,
Britain: Muslim 'Honor Crimes' Skyrocketing
Is New Moroccan Government Inciting Muslims in Spain?
In Britain: Islam In, Christianity Out, "occupation without tanks or soldiers"
Kamal Saleem: A Muslim Cries Out to Jesus
Muslim Quotes in U.S. Textbooks
The quotes below were taken out of textbooks published by two major U.S. educational textbook publishers: Glencoe/McGraw Hill and McDougal Littell/Houghton Mifflin. The statements speak of  principles of the Muslim faith, which are in sharp contrast to the reality of Muslim global activities, in which Muslim women are being murdered for "family honor" and Christians are being slaughtered, as non-believers.   The articles below reveal the reality of the application of the Quran in the lives of Muslims.  

“The Quran granted women spiritual and social equality with men…” 
World History (Glencoe/McGraw Hill, 2008, p. 203) 

“Shari’a law requires Muslim leaders to extend religious tolerance to Christians and Jews.” 
World History: Patterns of Interaction (McDougal Littell/Houghton Mifflin,  2007, p. 268) 

“Muhammad also preached that all people were equal…” 
Discovering Our Past: Medieval and Modern Times (Glencoe/McGraw Hill,  2006, p. 176) 

REPORTING FROM KABUL, AFGHANISTAN -- President Hamid Karzai has pardoned a jailed rape victim, but only after she agreed to marry the man she says raped her.

The 19-year-old woman, whose name is Gulnaz, was one of the subjects of a documentary recently produced by the European Union, highlighting the phenomenon of rape victims being imprisoned for the "moral crime" of having sex outside marriage, even against their will.

Karzai's office said in a statement Thursday evening that the president had accepted a recommendation from a special judicial committee that the woman be pardoned and freed -- "taking into consideration the consent of both sides for a conditional wedlock."  Gulnaz became pregnant as a result of the rape and gave birth in prison.

Hundreds of Afghan women are serving jail sentences in similar circumstances. But the documentary coverage of Gulnaz's case sparked a petition drive seeking her freedom, and as a result, judicial authorities reexamined her case.

The European Union said in a statement that it welcomed her release. Reflecting the sensitivity of the issue, however, the EU had decided earlier not to release the documentary, citing concerns over danger to the women, even though those who were profiled had given the filmmakers permission to use their names.  The film was shown to news organizations and human rights groups, however.

The pardon came ahead of an international summit on Afghanistan to be held in Bonn, Germany, beginning this weekend. Women's activists are using the gathering as a forum for speaking out about fears of renewed repression in the country after the Western combat mission ends in the next two years.

During Taliban times, women were forbidden to leave their homes unescorted. Virtually none attended school or held jobs during the Islamic movement's five-year rule, which ended with the U.S.-led invasion of 2001.

Women's groups, however, say the gains of the last decade are threatened by the government's attempts to negotiate a peace settlement with the Taliban and bring the group into the political process.


Muslim 'Honor Crimes' 

by Soeren Kern
December 5, 2011 


More than 2,800 so-called honor attacks -- punishments for bringing shame on the family -- were recorded by British police last year, according to the first-ever national estimate of the problem.

The highest number of honor crimes -- which include murder, mutilation, beatings, abductions and acid attacks -- was recorded in London, where the problem has doubled to more than five times the national average.


Is New Moroccan Government 
Inciting Muslims in Spain?
by Soeren Kern
December 8, 2011 
Some 3,000 Muslim immigrants took to the streets in near Barcelona to protest recent cuts in social welfare benefits.

The protest, which took place on December 5 in the industrial city of Terrassa, about 30 kilometers from Barcelona, was organized and attended by Moroccan immigrants.
The size and spontaneity of the demonstration caught local officials by surprise -- they had been expecting no more than 300 demonstrators -- and reflects the growing assertiveness of Muslim immigrants in the northeastern region of Catalonia.

The protest could confirm the fears of Spanish intelligence agencies that the new Islamist government in Morocco may attempt to incite Moroccan immigrants in Spain to organize demonstrations, in an effort to force Spain's new conservative prime minister, who takes office on December 22, to resolve a series of longstanding disputes between the two countries.

The starting point for the demonstration was the heavily Muslim neighborhood of Ca N'Anglada, which is located in downtown Terrassa. The demonstrators then made their way through the city center to the municipal social security office.

The Moroccans were protesting austerity measures that make it more difficult for immigrants to collect social welfare handouts from the regional government in Catalonia.

Budget cutbacks that entered into effect in July 2011 increase the residency requirements to two years (from one year previously) for immigrants who want to collect welfare benefits. The changes also limit welfare handouts to 60 months.

Local politicians fear the protest was the opening salvo of what may become a more sustained campaign of unrest by Muslim immigrants in Catalonia, which has become ground zero in an intensifying debate over the role of Islam in Spain.

The Muslim population of Catalonia reached 300,000 in 2011, compared to just 10,000 in 1990, thanks to a massive wave of immigration, both legal and illegal.

In Spain as a whole, the Muslim population reached an estimated 1.5 million in 2011, up from just 100,000 in 1990.

The influx of Muslim immigrants on such a massive scale has led to an increasing number of Islam-related controversies in Spain.

In September, for example, Muslim immigrants were accused of poisoning dozens of dogs in the Catalan city of Lérida, where 29,000 Muslims now make up around 20% of the city's total population.

The dogs were poisoned in Lérida's working class neighborhoods of Cappont and La Bordeta, districts that are heavily populated by Muslim immigrants and where many dogs have been killed in recent years.

Local residents say Muslim immigrants killed the dogs because according to Islamic teaching dogs are "unclean" animals. Over the past several months, residents taking their dogs for walks have been harassed by Muslim immigrants opposed to seeing the animals in public. Muslims have also launched a number of anti-dog campaigns on Islamic websites and blogs based in Spain.

In December 2010, a high school teacher in the southern Spanish city of La Línea de la Concepción was sued by the parents of a Muslim student who said the teacher "defamed Islam" by talking about Spanish ham in class.

José Reyes Fernández, a geography teacher, was giving a lecture about the different types of climates in Spain. During the class, Reyes mentioned that the climate in the province of Andalusia offers the perfect temperature conditions for curing Spanish ham (Jamón Ibérico), a world-famous delicacy.

At this point, a Muslim student in the class interrupted Reyes and argued that any talk of pork products is offensive to his religion. Reyes responded by saying that he was only giving an example and that he does not take into consideration different religious beliefs when teaching geography.

The Muslim student informed his parents, who then filed a lawsuit against Reyes, accusing him of "abuse with xenophobic motivations." Article 525 of the Spanish Penal Code makes it a crime to "offend the feelings of the members of a religious confession." The lawsuit was later thrown out by a Spanish judge.

In November 2010, the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla, two enclaves in northern Africa, officially recognized the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice), as a public holiday. By doing so, Ceuta and Melilla, where Muslims make up more than 50% of the total populations, became the first Spanish municipalities officially to mark an Islamic holiday since Spain was liberated from Muslim captivity in 1492.

In October 2010, the Islamic Association of Málaga, in southern Spain, demanded that Television Española (TVE), the state-owned national public television broadcaster, stop showing a Spanish-language television series because it was "anti-Muslim." Muslims accused TVE of violating the Spanish Constitution for airing a program that criticizes certain aspects of Islam, such as forced marriages and the lack of women's rights in Muslim countries.

That same month, residents of the Basque city of Bilbao found their mailboxes stuffed with flyers in Spanish and Arabic from the Islamic Community of Bilbao asking for money to build a 650 square meter (7,000 square feet) mosque costing €550,000 ($735,000). Their website states: "We were expelled [from Spain] in 1609, really not that long ago. … The echo of Al-Andalus still resonates in all the valley of the Ebro [Spain]. We are back to stay, Insha'Allah [if Allah wills it]."

In September 2010, a discotheque in southern Spanish resort town of Águilas (Murcia) was forced to change its name and architectural design after Islamists threatened to initiate "a great war between Spain and the people of Islam" if it did not.

La Meca was a popular discotheque during the 1980s and 1990s. After being closed for more than a decade, the club reopened in August 2010 under new management, but using the original name, La Meca. The mega-nightclub featured a large turquoise-colored mosque-style dome, a minaret-like tower, as well as traditional Arabic architecture common in southern Spain.

But soon after its reopening, Muslims began to complain that the nightclub is offensive and insulting to their religion; a group of Muslim radicals posted a video on the Internet calling for a boycott of Spanish goods and jihad against those who "blaspheme the name of Allah." Spain's intelligence agency, the Centro Nacional de Inteligencia (CNI), warned La Meca's owners that the discotheque was being directly targeted by Islamic extremists.

The nightclub owners agreed to change the name to La Isla (the island) "to avoid further problems and to ensure that patrons keep coming." They also confirmed plans to modify controversial features of the club's architecture, namely a minaret-like tower that has since been converted into a lighthouse-like tower. 
In Britain: Islam In, Christianity Out
by Soeren Kern
December 1, 2011 at 5:00 am

A Christian worker in Britain has filed a lawsuit after losing her job when she exposed a campaign of systematic harassment by fundamentalist Muslims.

In a landmark legal case, Nohad Halawi, a former employee at London's Heathrow Airport, is suing her former employer for unfair dismissal, claiming that Christian staff members, including her, were discriminated against because of their religious beliefs.


Halawi's case is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre (CLC), an organization that provides legal support for Christians in the United Kingdom. CLC says the case raises important legal issues, and also questions over whether Muslims and Christians are treated differently by employers.

Halawi, who immigrated to Britain from Lebanon in 1977, told the London Telegraph "that she was told that she would go to Hell for her religion, that Jews were responsible for the September 11th terror attacks, and that a friend was reduced to tears having been bullied for wearing a cross."

Halawi worked at the airport for 13 years as a saleswoman at World Duty Free, where she sold perfumes. Halawi was dismissed in July, following complaints by five Muslims that she was being "anti-Islamic."

Halawi says her problems with the Muslims began after she defended a Christian friend who worked with her at the same store, and who was being harassed by the Muslims for wearing a necklace with a cross.

Matters got worse after Halawi described a Muslim staff member as an "allawhi," or "man of God" in Arabic. Another worker, however, who overheard the remark, thought she said "Alawi," his branch of Islam. The misunderstanding led to a heated argument, after which Hawali was suspended and then fired.

Halawi says she persistently complained to management that she was being subjected to personal religious abuse and harassment from Muslim staff, some of whom went so far as to mock her about "shitty Jesus," according to the CLC. She says a group of "extremist" Muslims were the perpetrators, and that other employees are now worried that their jobs could be at risk if the Muslim group turns on them.

"One man brought in the Koran to work and insisted I read it and another brought in Islamic leaflets and handed them out to other employees," Halawi told the London Telegraph. "They said that 9/11 served the Americans right and that they hated the West, but that they had come here because they want to convert people to Islam…This is supposed to be a Christian country, but the law seems to be on the side of the Muslims," Halawi said.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, director of the CLC, said in a statement that Halawi's case is the most serious she has pursued, and that "it raises huge issues."

"First there is the level of Islamic fundamentalism prevalent at our main point of entry to the UK. Secondly, there are very real issues of religious discrimination, which it would appear those in authority are turning a blind eye to, using the current loopholes in employment law as an excuse," Williams said.

The Halawi case comes amid concerns that Christianity is being marginalized in Britain at the same time that Islam is spreading rapidly and Muslims are becoming more assertive.

British MP David Simpson, for example, has warned that Christianity is seen to be fair game for criticism and abuse while Islam receives special protection in the United Kingdom.

During a debate in the House of Commons in May 2011 about the treatment of Christians around the world, Simpson said: "In the United Kingdom, the policy seems to be that people can do whatever they like against Christianity – criticize it or blaspheme the name of Christ – as long as they do not insult Islam."

Sent by Odell Harwell

European 'No-Go' Zones 
for Non-Muslims Proliferating
"Occupation Without Tanks or Soldiers"

by Soeren Kern
Hudson New York, August 22, 2011
Islamic extremists are stepping up the creation of "no-go" areas in European cities that are off-limits to non-Muslims.  Many of the "no-go" zones function as microstates governed by Islamic Sharia law. Host-country authorities effectively have lost control in these areas and in many instances are unable to provide even basic public aid such as police, fire fighting and ambulance services.

The "no-go" areas are the by-product of decades of multicultural policies that have encouraged Muslim immigrants to create parallel societies and remain segregated rather than become integrated into their European host nations.

In Britain, for example, a Muslim group called Muslims Against the Crusades has launched a campaign to turn twelve British cities – including what it calls "Londonistan" – into independent Islamic states. The so-called Islamic Emirates would function as autonomous enclaves ruled by Islamic Sharia law and operate entirely outside British jurisprudence.

The Islamic Emirates Project names the British cities of Birmingham, Bradford, Derby, Dewsbury, Leeds, Leicester, Liverpool, Luton, Manchester, Sheffield, as well as Waltham Forest in northeast London and Tower Hamlets in East London as territories to be targeted for blanket Sharia rule.

In the Tower Hamlets area of East London (also known as the Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets), for example, extremist Muslim preachers, called the Tower Hamlets Taliban, regularly issue death threats to women who refuse to wear Islamic veils. Neighborhood streets have been plastered with posters declaring "You are entering a Sharia controlled zone: Islamic rules enforced." And street advertising deemed offensive to Muslims is regularly vandalized or blacked out with spray paint.

In the Bury Park area of Luton, Muslims have been accused of "ethnic cleansing" by harassing non-Muslims to the point that many of them move out of Muslim neighborhoods. In the West Midlands, two Christian preachers have been accused of "hate crimes" for handing out gospel leaflets in a predominantly Muslim area of Birmingham. In Leytonstone in east London, the Muslim extremist Abu Izzadeen heckled the former Home Secretary John Reid by saying: "How dare you come to a Muslim area."

In France, large swaths of Muslim neighborhoods are now considered "no-go" zones by French police. At last count, there are 751 Sensitive Urban Zones (Zones Urbaines Sensibles, ZUS), as they are euphemistically called. A complete list of the ZUS can be found on a French government website, complete with satellite maps and precise street demarcations. An estimated 5 million Muslims live in the ZUS, parts of France over which the French state has lost control.

Muslim immigrants are taking control of other parts of France too. In Paris and other French cities with high Muslim populations, such as Lyons, Marseilles and Toulouse, thousands of Muslims are closing off streets and sidewalks (and by extension, are closing down local businesses and trapping non-Muslim residents in their homes and offices) to accommodate overflowing crowds for Friday prayers. Some mosques have also begun broadcasting sermons and chants of "Allahu Akbar" via loudspeakers into the streets.

The weekly spectacles, which have been documented by dozens of videos posted on (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here), and which have been denounced as an "occupation without tanks or soldiers," have provoked anger and disbelief. But despite many public complaints, local authorities have declined to intervene because they are afraid of sparking riots.

In the Belgian capital of Brussels (which is 20% Muslim), several immigrant neighborhoods have become "no-go" zones for police officers, who frequently are pelted with rocks by Muslim youth. In the Kuregem district of Brussels, which often resembles an urban war zone, police are forced to patrol the area with two police cars: one car to carry out the patrols and another car to prevent the first car from being attacked. In the Molenbeek district of Brussels, police have been ordered not to drink coffee or eat a sandwich in public during the Islamic month of Ramadan.

In Germany, Chief Police Commissioner Bernhard Witthaut, in an August 1 interview with the newspaper Der Westen, revealed that Muslim immigrants are imposing "no-go" zones in cities across Germany at an alarming rate.

The interviewer asked Witthaut: "Are there urban areas – for example in the Ruhr – districts and housing blocks that are "no-go areas," meaning that they can no longer be secured by the police?" Witthaut replied: "Every police commissioner and interior minister will deny it. But of course we know where we can go with the police car and where, even initially, only with the personnel carrier. The reason is that our colleagues can no longer feel safe there in twos, and have to fear becoming the victim of a crime themselves. We know that these areas exist. Even worse: in these areas crimes no longer result in charges. They are left 'to themselves.' Only in the worst cases do we in the police learn anything about it. The power of the state is completely out of the picture."

In Italy, Muslims have been commandeering the Piazza Venezia in Rome for public prayers. In Bologna, Muslims repeatedly have threatened to bomb the San Petronio cathedral because it contains a 600-year-old fresco inspired by Dante's Inferno which depicts Mohammed being tormented in hell.

In the Netherlands, a Dutch court ordered the government to release to the public a politically incorrect list of 40 "no-go" zones in Holland. The top five Muslim problem neighborhoods are in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Utrecht. The Kolenkit area in Amsterdam is the number one Muslim "problem district" in the country. The next three districts are in Rotterdam – Pendrecht, het Oude Noorden and Bloemhof. The Ondiep district in Utrecht is in the fifth position, followed by Rivierenwijk (Deventer), Spangen (Rotterdam), Oude Westen (Rotterdam), Heechterp/ Schieringen (Leeuwarden) and Noord-Oost (Maastricht).

In Sweden, which has some of the most liberal immigration laws in Europe, large swaths of the southern city of Malmö – which is more than 25% Muslim – are "no-go" zones for non-Muslims. Fire and emergency workers, for example, refuse to enter Malmö's mostly Muslim Rosengaard district without police escorts. The male unemployment rate in Rosengaard is estimated to be above 80%. When fire fighters attempted to put out a fire at Malmö's main mosque, they were attacked by stone throwers.

In the Swedish city of Gothenburg, Muslim youth have been hurling petrol bombs at police cars. In the city's Angered district, where more than 15 police cars have been destroyed, teenagers have also been pointing green lasers at the eyes of police officers, some of whom have been temporarily blinded.

In Gothenburg's Backa district, youth have been throwing stones at patrolling officers. Gothenburg police have also been struggling to deal with the problem of Muslim teenagers burning cars and attacking emergency services in several areas of the city.

According to the Malmö-based Imam Adly Abu Hajar: "Sweden is the best Islamic state."