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65th Anniversary of the Mendez Case, CA

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Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research, P.O. 490
Midway City, CA 

Board Members: Bea Armenta Dever, Gloria C. Oliver, Mimi Lozano, Pat Lozano, Cathy Trejo Luijt 
Viola R. Sadler, Tom Saenz
John P. Schmal

"If one person has a right to something he did not earn, of necessity it requires that another person not have a right to something that he did earn."

Walter E. Williams

Somos Primos

May 2011
138th Online Issue

Editor: Mimi Lozano ©2000-2011

Dedicated to Hispanic Heritage and Diversity Issues

Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research

Sylvia Mendez, wearing the Medal of Freedom 
presented to her by President Obama on Feb 15, 2011. 
Seated with Sylvia is Hon. Andrew J. Guilford, United States District Court Judge 
65th Anniversary Commemoration Session
Santa Ana, CA. Feb 18, 2011

Somos Primos Staff
Mimi Lozano, Editor
Mercy Bautista Olvera
Roberto Calderon, Ph,D.
Bill Carmena
Lila Guzman, Ph.D
John Inclan
Galal Kernahan
Juan Marinez
J.V. Martinez, Ph.D
Dorinda Moreno
Rafael Ojeda
Ángel Custodio Rebollo
Tony Santiago
John P. Schmal
Contributors to issue:
Hon. Fredrick Aguirre
JoAnn Aguirre
Dan Arellano
David Bacon
Daniel Baladez
Rosa Beas
Maria G Benitez
Eva Booher 

Mercy Bautista-Olvera
Jaime Cader
Roberto Calderon, Ph.D.
Tony Campos
Gloria Candelaria  
Marsha J. Cantrell
Esther J. Cepeda
Gus Chavez
Jim Churchyard
 Sal Del Valle
Joan de Soto
Joseph W. Dooley 
Richard Duree
Thomas E. Fortin
Angelo Falcon
John Flores
Gerald Frost
Lourdes  Galvan
Dr. Lino Garcia 
Erin Geisler
Jerry Gibbons
Isabel Gonzalez Salinas
Rafael Jesus. Gonzalez  
Eddie Grijalva 


Elisa Gutierrez
Lila Guzman, Ph.D.
Centeno Herbeck Jr.
Steven Hernandez
Galal Kernahan 
Alexander King
Jacob Lesner-Buxton 
José Antonio López  
Samuel C. Lopez
Cathy Luijt
Gregorio Luke
Christine Marin
Juan Marinez
Leroy Martinez 
Mike Mireles
Anne Mocniak
Alva Moore Stevenson
Dorinda Moreno
Dr. Carlos Muñoz, Jr.
Patti Navarrette
Sylvia Navarro Tillotson
Paul Newfield III
Rafael Ojeda
Pedro Olivares

Michael A. Olivas
Ricardo Raúl Palmerín Cordero
Willis Papillion
Elsa Peña Herbeck
Joe J. Ponce
Rosalinda Quintanar, Ph. D.
Luis Fernanda Ramirez
Alex Ramon
Ángel Custodio Rebollo
Crispin Rendon
Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, Ph.D.
Jose Leon Robles de La Torre
Refugio Rochin, Ph.D.
Moll Rudy
John P. Schmal
Marc Simon Rodriguez 
Rudi Rodriguez
Ben Romero
Robert Smith 
Ramon Vasquez Y Sanchez
Albert V. Vela, Ph.D.
Brent Wilkes
Kirk Whisler
David Williamson
Nelida Yanez



Federal Court Commemoration Session 
Celebrates the 65th Anniversary of
 The Landmark Orange County, CA Civil Rights Mendez Case


On February 18, 2011 a 65th Anniversary Commemoration Session of The Landmark Orange County, CA Civil Rights Mendez Case was held in Santa Ana, CA.  Sylvia Mendez was one of the 5,000 children on whose behalf her parents and 5 other families filed the lawsuit to integrate Orange County schools in 1945. 

This prestigious event was spearheaded by the Hon. Fredrick Aguirre, Orange County Superior Court Judge who, he himself, was one of the children entering the first classes of the newly desegregated schools in Orange County.  The Hon. Andrew J. Guilford, United States District Court Judge allowed his courtroom to be used for the court session and also provided the welcoming remarks.  

What impressed me the most were the many judges in attendance, many came from outside of the county.  This required travel time, rescheduling of cases and many other inconveniences.  When Judge Aguirre first shared with me his preliminary plans for a Commemoration Session, he said, in case they had more people than the one courtroom would seat, he was planning an over-flow courtroom with live television.  Fortunately they were asking people to call to reserve a seat.  The response was phenomenal.  Not only was one over-flow courtroom needed, but eventually two other rooms were set up in the Federal Courthouse building  . .  and the session was also being watched live in a Los Angeles courtroom and a Riverside courtroom.


United States District Court Judges

Terry J. Hatter, Jr, Alicemarie H. Stotler,

David O. Carter, James V. Selna, Cormac J. Carney,

Andrew J. Guilford & Josephine Staton Tucker

Invite you to the 65th Anniversary Commemoration Session of

The Landmark Orange County Civil Rights Case*


Friday, February 18, 2011 12:15 – 1:15 p.m.

Courtroom 10-A

United States Courthouse & Ronald Reagan Federal Building

411 West Fourth Street, Santa Ana, CA 92701

© United States Postal Service. All rights reserved.


Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean, UCI School of Law

Hon. Loren Miller, Jr., Los Angeles County Superior Court (Ret.)

Hon. Frederick P. Aguirre, Orange County Superior Court

Reception to Follow RSVP by February 15th:

Sponsored by:

Carlos X. Colorado, Esq. JONES DAY
Joseph Chairez,
Paul Evan Greenwald,

*Mendez stamp was issued September 14, 2007.   The Mendez case ended the practice of segregated schools for Mexican American students and led to the repeal of the California statutes that mandated separate schools for Native American and Asian American children, thus setting the stage for Brown, et al v. Board of Education of Topeka, et al in 1954.


Hispanic Bar Association of Orange County
Co-Sponsors Historic 65th Anniversary Mendez Commemoration

By Kristen Zierhut *

"A paramount requisite in the American system of public education is social equality. Separate but equal has no place in education." These words resonated in the courtroom while hundreds of people watched a rousing panel discussion on the 65th anniversary of the landmark case Mendez Et Al Vs. Westminster School District, Et Al on Friday, February 18, 2011. Judge Frederick Aguirre, and Dean Erwin Chemerinsky were among the 357 people who attended the commemoration of the historic decision at the Ronald Reagan Federal Building, filling three courtrooms and a staff break room of the Santa Ana facilities, as well as live feeds in the downtown L.A. and Riverside court houses.

The day started with friendly banter, and a great opportunity to rub shoulders with luminaries from the Orange County legal community and discuss the historical significance of this case.

Once everyone was seated the crowd recited the pledge of allegiance followed by a rousing rendition of our National Anthem. There was a sense of patriotism and real tradition in the courtroom. People of all nationalities and ages were represented at the event. It was easy to see how this decision profoundly affected the lives of many, coming together to celebrate a moment in the nation's history that reflected the principles of justice that founded this country being carried out.

The Mendez decision held that the segregation of Mexicans and Mexican American students into separate "Mexican Schools" was unconstitutional. Governor Earl Warren who later became Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court signed into law the repeal of the remaining statutes in California that promoted segregation, including segregation that affected persons of Chinese, Japanese, or Mongolian parentage. This case paved the way for decisions such as Brown vs. Board of Education, where CJ Warren wrote that "separate but equal" schools were unconstitutional under the Equal Protection Clause within the 14th Amendment.

On February 15,2011 President Barack Obama awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Sylvia Mendez the daughter of Gonzolo Mendez a Plaintiff in the historic case. Sylvia Mendez was the pupil who was denied admission who formed the basis for the suit to be filed. Sylvia is an active participate in the OCHBA and an inspiration.

* Kristen Zierhut is a May 2012 Juris Doctor Candidate at Western State University College of Law.

Santa Ana High School Jr. ROTC color guard team posting the colors.  

Jerry Ramos singing the National Anthem.  

Many Federal and State court judges attended the session.   Because of the great number of judges that attended, all the Judges in attendance were not able to sit in the jury box. All of the individuals in this photo are Judges.  They were seated in the jury box. Third from the left, the Hon. Manuel Ramirez, (gray hair) Presiding Justice, 4th Appellate Court of California.  
Thirty-five (35) judges were in attendance.  They are listed in order of their seniority.  That is the protocol.

First Name       Last Name      Court Affiliation

Chief Judge Audrey B. Collins,United States District Court Chief Judge
Edward R. Roybal Federal Building, Los Angeles
Hon. Robert N. Block, United States District Court Magistrate Judge, Central District Santa Ana
Hon. Cormac J. Carney, United States District Court Judge, Central District Santa Ana
Hon. David O. Carter, United States District Court Judge, Central District Santa Ana"
Hon. Scott C. Clarkson United States Bankruptcy Court Judge
Hon. Andrew J. Guilford, United States District Court Judge, Central District Santa Ana
Hon. Philip S. Gutierrez, United States District Court Judge
Edward R. Roybal Federal Building, Los Angeles
Hon. Terry J. Hatter, Jr. United States District Court Senior District Judge Central District, Los Angeles

Hon. Robert Kwan United States Bankruptcy Court Judge
Hon. James V. Selna, United States District Court Judge, Central District Santa Ana
Hon. Josephine Staton Tucker, United States District Court Judge, Central District Santa Ana 
Hon. Alicemarie H. Stotler, United States District Court Judge, Central District Santa Ana
Justice (Ret.) John Zebrowski, ADR Services, Inc. (California Court of Appeal)
Hon. William W. Bedsworth, California Court of Appeal, Santa Ana Associate Justice
Hon. Richard D. Fybel, California Court of Appeal, Santa Ana Associate Justice 
Hon. Eileen C. Moore,California Court of Appeal, Santa Ana Associate Justice 
Hon. Kathleen E. O'Leary,  California Court of Appeal, Santa Ana Associate Justice 
Justice Manuel A. Ramirez,  California Court of Appeal, Riverside Presiding Justice

Hon. Frederick P. Aguirre, Superior Court of California, County of Orange North Justice Center
Hon. Deborah J. Chuang, Superior Court of California, County of Orange Lamoreaux Justice Center
Hon. (Ret.) Patricia Collins, ADR Services, Inc. (Los Angeles County Superior Court) Hon. (Ret.) James P. Gray, ADR Services, Inc. (Orange County Superior Court)
Hon. Jorge C. Hernandez, Superior Court of California, County of Riverside Banning Branch
Comm. (Ret.) Gale P. Hickman, First Resolution Services, Inc. (Orange County Superior Court)
Hon. James P. Marion, Superior Court of California, County of Orange Central Justice Center
Hon. (Ret.) Loren Miller, Jr., Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles County
Hon. Robin Miller Sloan, Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles Eastlake Juvenile Court
Comm. (Ret.) Eleanor M. Palk, Superior Court of California, County of Orange
Hon. James O. Perez, Superior Court of California, County of Orange
Hon. (Ret.) John C. Woolley, JAMS (Orange County Superior Court)

Also present were U.S. District Court Judges Jay S. Ghandi and Erithe A. Smith, Appellate Court Justice Richard Aronson and Superior Court Judges Gregory Munoz, Franz Miller and Salvador Sarmiento.

Over 350 persons attended the event.  3 courtrooms were filled.  The live presentation was fed into the adjacent courtrooms via closed circuit.  In the main courtroom, as shown here, were the judges, honored guests from the community and scores of family members of the plaintiffs who filed the lawsuit: Gonzalo and Felicitas Mendez, William Guzman, Thomas and Mary Louise Estrada, Frank Palomino, Lorenzo and Josefina Ramirez and the Munemitsu Family.

Hon. Gregory Munoz, Orange County Superior Court Judge, bottom of photo, and 
Hon. Salvador Sarmiento, Orange County Superior Court Judge, top of photo.

One of the adjacent courtrooms filled to capacity 
with the audience viewing the live simulcast on the monitors.

Mrs. Josefina Ramirez, age 99.  She and her husband Lorenzo were the plaintiffs in the Mendez, et al lawsuit.  She is the only surviving member of the original plaintiffs.  

Hon. Frederick P. Aguirre, Orange County Superior Court.  He organized the event.  Here he is addressing the audience and detailing how the Mendez decision allowed him to attend an integrated grammar school whereas his father and older relatives were forced to attend the segregated “Mexican” school in Placentia, California. He also detailed how the Mendez case laid the legal and historical basis for the 1954 Supreme Court ruling of  Brown vs. Board of Education.  

Erwin Chemerinsky, Dean of the University of California, Irvine School of Law, one of our country’s leading Constitutional law scholars, addresses the audience on the legal significance of the case.

Santa Ana Attorney Paul Evan Greenwald was the moderator and producer of the video and PowerPoint presentation.  A portion of  the documentary Para Todos Los Ninos produced by Sandra Robbie  was also shown.

Chapman filmmaker Sandra Robbie won an Emmy for the documentary Para Todos Los Ninos, which chronicles the case. Sandra is now working full-time on the Chapman University Mendez Project. 
Chapman University's Leatherby Libraries began the Mendez v. Westminster Archive in 2009. This archive is part of the larger Chapman Mendez Project which aims to be the national hub and permanent home for the study and celebration of Mendez v. Westminster. This project aims to serve the educational needs of teachers and students across the country as they begin to teach Mendez in the classroom. California voted Mendez v. Westminster into the Frameworks for 4th and 11th grades. Texas has voted Mendez into the standards for 11th grade. 

Among top Chapman Mendez projects are: create interactive Mendez website, curriculum and enhanced WOW! version of Museum of Tolerance Mendez exhibit for permanent home at Chapman University for all of our students and communities to experience and celebrate. Expected online audience - over 1 million annual visitors.

Any one who would like to join the Chapman effort are urged to contact Sandra at or (714) 997-6569.


Briefs: 500 Anniversary celebration planned~Latino Political Avenue website~FBI Files~National Archives Image Library~ National Debt~Latinos who have converted to Islam within the country~ Message from my American Latino Museum~ Dream Act passed by some States

Non-Latinos need more understanding of Latinos,J Rodriguez,JD 
Jerry Gibbons, A-Team Advertising Advisors, LLP 
Latinos Prefer Mainstream by Esther J. Cepeda
Dr. Mario E. Ramirez - Biography of a Doctor   
38th Hispanics Breaking Barriers, Mercy Bautista-Olvera
Susan Castillo, Wise Latina by Mercy Bautista-Olvera 
A Time for Every Purpose by Daisy W. Garcia
Census Milestone: Hispanics Reach 50 Million
National Archives 2011Research Fellowships
500 Anniversary celebration planned, Don Juan Ponce de Leon landed in Melbourne Beach April 2, 1513
I wanted to introduce myself to you and give you a little background on our project.  My name is Samuel C. Lopez I am a Historical Commissioner in Brevard County, Chairman of the Florida Puerto Rican Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Inc. and President of UTB, United Third Bridge, Inc. a 501 (c) 3  not for  profit corporation in the area of education, culture and civil rights.
For the past ten years, I have been working on changing history,  partnering with Historian Douglas T. Peck  and Brevard County.   Don Juan Ponce de Leon landed in Melbourne Beach on April 2, 1513 not in St. Augustine or Miami as previously thought. 

We are planning a major 500 year anniversary celebration, for April 2, 2013.  We welcome the involvement of everyone.   Two other historians who are supporters of Douglas Peck's discovery are Michael Gannon and Frank Thomas.

MEETINGS: National involvement is being facilitated by scheduled meetings being viewable live at on the day of the meeting when WiFi access is available.   

Sincerely, Samuel C. Lopez

President. UTB United Third Bridge, Inc.
2293 Aurora Road
, Melbourne , Fl 32935
  Cell: 321-863-5165

Chairman, Florida Puerto Rican / Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Inc.

Historical Commissioner, Brevard County Historical Commission

President, Florida Puerto Rican /Hispanic Minority Empowerment Committee

For more information on being involved or  accessing the meetings on the web, please contact:
Marsha Cantrell
Brevard County Parks Support Services Manager
2725 Judge Fran Jamieson Way
Viera, FL  32940 
321/633-2046 Office; 321/633-2198 Fax

Latino Political Avenue website, main function is to be a resource where people interested in Latino/Hispanic politics in the United States can come and gather information.

The front page has articles from throughout the nation dealing with Latino issues. This page will be updated frequently, so please bookmark. Opinions, ideas and critique of the website are welcomed. 
Sent by webmaster,

In the last two years we have accumulated national debt at a rate more than 27 times as fast as during the rest of our entire nation's history.  Over 27 times as fast!  Metaphorically, speaking, if you are driving in the right lane doing 65 MPH and a car rockets past you in the left lane 27 times faster . . . it would be doing 1,755 MPH!  

Sent by Bill Carmena

The National Archives Image Library 

The image library provides high-resolution digitised scans and photographic prints of The National Archives' images for commercial publication, display, broadcast, and product and brand licensing.

Image and brand licensing revenue is reinvested to support the services provided by The National Archives to our many users. Commercial users will be inspired by the eclectic choice of unusual and often unique image solutions.

Find out how to order from the image library.

The Vault is our new electronic reading room, containing more than 2,000 documents that have been scanned from paper into digital copies so you can read them in the comfort of your home or office. 

Included here are more than 25 new files that have been released to the public but never added to this website; dozens of records previously posted on our site but removed as requests diminished; and files from our previous electronic reading room.

 Latinos who have converted to Islam within the country.

"Without any census based on the religious beliefs in United States, it is difficult to give a precise figure of Latinos who have converted to Islam within the country.

Yet, it was estimated at about 200,000 in 2006, by the American Muslim Council. Young and educated women make up a large part of this group.

”More than 60 percent of converts are women these last few years”, Ali said, who has also noted an increase of conversions to Islam after 9/11 attacks. “The majority of those who became Muslims after 9/11 are from the Latino community. Maybe more that 60 percent of those who converted to Islam in America are Latinos”.  

The most important reason why many Latinos embrace Islam is because they are naturally religious people as Catholic or Christian, so they are more inclined to religion," he said.  "That’s why they can turn to Islam.”

Many Muslim organizations have stated that the Latino Muslim community has tripled or quadrupled since 9/11."

Extracts from:  AhlulBaytNewsAgency 

Dear Friends, 
An article in The New York Times today highlights the hurdles facing the potential creation of a National American Latino Museum in Washington, D.C. Take a moment to learn more about the work of the National American Latino Museum Commission and stay up-to-date on the upcoming release of the final report to Congress.

THREE THINGS you can do today to stay informed:
1. Learn about what is being done by the Commission.

2. Join the conversation on Facebook and become a fan.

3. Tell friends and family about the work of the Commission.

The National American Latino Museum Commission

Sent by Refugio Rochin, Ph.D. 

DREAM ACT passed by some STATES
According to the National Council of State Legislatures: 
In June 2001, Texas (HB1403) was the first state to pass legislation allowing in-state tuition for immigrant students, followed by California (AB540), Utah (HB144), and New York (SB7784) in 2001-2002; Washington (HB1079), Oklahoma (SB596)and Illinois (HB60) in 2003; Kansas (HB2145) in 2004; New Mexico (SB582) in 2005; Nebraska (LB239) in 2006; and Wisconsin (A75) in 2009. The state laws permitted these students to become eligible for in-state tuition if they graduate from state high schools, have two to three years residence in the state, and apply to a state college or university. The student must sign an affidavit promising to seek legal immigration status in all states except New Mexico. These requirements for unauthorized immigrant students are stricter than the residency requirements for out-of-state students to gain in-state tuition.

In 2008, Oklahoma passed HB 1804 which ended its in-state tuition benefit, including financial aid, for students without lawful presence in the United States. The Act allows the Oklahoma State Regents to enroll a student in higher education institutions permitted that they meet special requirements. Other states that have barred unauthorized immigrant students from in-state tuition benefits include Arizona (Proposition 300, 2006), Colorado (HB 1023, 2006), Georgia (SB 492, 2008), and South Carolina (HB4400, 2008). 

---Angelo Falcón
National Institute for Latino Policy

Non-Latinos need more understanding of Latinos

By Jennie Rodriguez, J.D.

  April 5, 2011
Reading, PA --- On Monday, March 28 at 7 p.m., Alvernia University hosted its Annual Hesburgh Lecture as part of its Ethics, Leadership & Community Lecture

Alvernia welcomed Professor Allert Brown-Gort, associate director of the Institute of Latino Studies at Notre Dame University. Brown-Gort spoke about "The Impact of the Growing Latino Population" in the U.S.
He discussed the forecast increase in Latino demographics over the next decade and the influence on various economies and the impact for communities.  

Speaking to a capacity audience, Brown-Gort, a citizen of both Mexico and the U.S., began his lecture defining "Latinos."

He noted that the words "Latino" or "Hispanic" exist only in the U.S. They define people who have a "pan-ethnic" identity. "They are U.S. residents - of any race - who trace their roots to Spain, Mexico and the Spanish-speaking nations of Central America, South America and the Caribbean," said Brown-Gort.

Puerto Ricans are also Latinos but they are US citizens by birth and are not subject to immigration laws. Latinos share the universal root language of Spanish but their dialects, cultures and customs are diverse. Puerto Ricans who emigrate from the island and who are bilingual and bicultural assimilate much more quickly into mainstream America than their pan-ethnic brethren.

According to Brown-Gort, "Latinos are at once one of the oldest, and one of the newest of American immigration stories."
St. Augustine, Fla., was founded in 1565 by Spanish explorer and admiral, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés. Spaniards held the first Thanksgiving celebration in the U.S. in 1597, and in 1723, the first Catholic Bishop in the U.S. came from Cuba.

In 2008, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that Latinos represented 15.7 percent of the U.S. population. The Census projects Latino representation will increase by 102.6 percent by 2050.

Other Bureau facts:
Latinos were responsible for half the growth of the U.S. population between 2000 and 2010.

Hispanic growth rate (24.3 percent) was more than three times the growth rate of the total population (6.1 percent).

13 states have at least 500,000 Latino residents.

Almost half (49 percent) of the Latino-origin population lives in California or Texas.

About half of Dominicans live in New York City.

Half of the Cubans live in Miami-Dade, Fla.

Brown-Gort also presented U.S. Census Bureau data indicating that U.S. born Latinos are young. In 2009, 18 percent of the estimated Latino population was less than 5 years old. This generation, noted Brown-Gort, is the future workforce of the U.S. He observed: "Can any economy do well with a population that is not growing?"

Yet, representation of Latinos in leadership positions, including in for-profit and non-profit companies, and at higher-education institutions, is dismal.  The U.S. Census Bureau data reports that from 2005-2007, 17 percent of Latinos held professional positions. 

When Brown-Gort asked the audience to guess the industries in which most Latinos work, many answered chicken farms or service industries.  In fact, less than 2 percent of Latinos work on U.S. farms, and 24 percent work in service-related industries.
The largest barrier to Latino leadership is education. Brown-Gort presented Census data from 2004 indicating that Latinos suffer from low education attainment.  

Only 27.7 percent of Latinos graduated high school, 8.8 percent earned college degrees and 3.3 percent obtained advanced degrees. 

Interestingly, Brown-Gort offered that ignorance of the English language was not the No. 1 barrier preventing Latinos from attaining education.  "I have never met a Latino child who does not want to learn English," he said. 

He did acknowledge, however, that children who emigrate as teenagers find it more difficult to assimilate into the U.S. education system. Family and poverty issues also contribute to low education attainment.  But Brown-Gort did present promising statistics. He reported that:

Latinos comprise 18 percent of U.S. elementary and high school students. 

The proportion of college students who are Latino increased from 4 to 10 percent in the past two decades.

2.7 million Latinos, or 12 percent, have college degrees, double from 1994.

Despite these advancements, Latinos continue to be subject to discrimination because of their perceived illegal immigration status.  There is also resistance from non-Latinos because of strained municipal and educational resources. However, the Pew Hispanic Center 2010 study shows that U.S. unauthorized immigration flows reduced sharply from 30 percent to 4 percent since mid-decade.

Brown-Gort discussed the fact that where once Lady Liberty and Ellis Island welcomed immigrants from all lands, current immigration laws are confusing. He acknowledged there are viable reasons to protect U.S. borders from illegal immigrants and terrorists. 

But he noted that politicians have not presented a unified approach to manage this challenge without subjecting Latinos, in particular, to stereotypes or ethnic profiling. Brown-Gort said, "the current immigration debate is fed by fear of displacement - and not for the first time in U.S. history."

The U.S. was built by successful immigrants, many of whom were limited in English proficiency. Yet some communities in Berks County are threatened that Latinos are becoming the new face.  Perhaps it's because of the "look like me, talk like me, s/he can't be as good as me," syndrome. Brown-Gort suggested some people are adverse to change or have simply forgotten U.S. immigration history.

He concluded his lecture by stating that unless non-Latinos break the equation: "Latinos = Immigrant = Illegal = Criminal ? Not worthy of being my neighbor," both the economy and society will stagnate.  Latinos are not going to be equal inside our communities and workplaces until non-Latinos embrace the fact: They're here.

Sent by Juan Marinez



Jerry Gibbons, A-Team Advertising Advisors, LLP
Comments on 
Somos Primos


Hey Mimi – Val just shared your  email with me and I wanted to add my congratulations on the acknowledgement and recognition of your efforts in helping people (especially Latinos) gain  awareness and interest and understanding of the history of Hispanics  -  particularly in North America.  That understanding and knowledge,  especially, help in their sense of self-worth and, therefore, value.  I  believe that people who have this who have this kind of self-respect make  better citizens and, in fact, integrate better into society as a  whole.

Keep up the good work.

Luv – Jerry

Jerry is married to one of my first cousins, Val Valdez.  Jerry has had an outstanding career in the creative field of  advertising. 
I really appreciated his comment on Somos Primos because of his profession and expertise in marketing to ethnic communities.  It is an encouragement and validates that WE (Somos Primos readers and submitters) are helping with the goal of better cross-cultural understanding. 
I am proud of Jerry's accomplishments and greatly value his assessment.

1984, Jerry was given the Professional Achievement Award for Journalism/Mass Communications by San Jose University.  In 2003 he was given “The Wally” award for extraordinary service to the industry by the Bay Area Advertising Relief Committee 2003 The Special Achievement / Original Advocate Award by New America Media, the country's first and largest national
         collaboration and advocate of 200 ethnic news organizations.  
2005 AdMark, the San Francisco Bay Area’s Advertising & Marketing Association, named him Advertising Person of the Year.  

Esther J. Cepeda
CHICAGO -- In a world where everyone is considered special and believes themselves to be, like the residents of Garrison Keillor's fictitious Lake Wobegon -- strong, good-looking and above average -- I'm striving for ordinary, general, and mainstream.

Weird, I know. But like an overstimulated child, I'm worn and cranky from too much Latino-mania. We're the largest minority! We have $1 trillion in buying power! Google, L'Oreal, and State Farm are culturally marketing to us!
Whoop-dee-doo. I'd rather be seen as a normal part of everyday American life instead of perceived as belonging to an alien population that requires special outreach.

When I was little, my Latino cultural touchstones were the rock band Santana, Freddy Prinze of TV's "Chico and the Man," and Jose Feliciano, who sang that show's theme song as well as the ever-popular "Feliz Navidad." They appealed to people of all types, not just Hispanics. I liked that.

But this was before the decline of mass media and the reign of the segmented target audience. Today it's all about "reaching" Hispanics through segregated "culturally relevant" Hispanic TV programming, radio, social media and news websites -- as if the majority of Latinos interacted exclusively with those media. Worse, many of these efforts are in Spanish even though, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, 84 percent of Latinos under 17 and 56 percent of Latinos over 18 speak English fluently or exclusively.

I yearn for the Latino community to become un-niched. If by 2050 Hispanics do comprise one-third of the U.S. population, I'd like them to be an equal part of an American community that embraces its diversity as a strength, not a group maneuvering against disparate Asian, black, mixed-race and white blocs for whatever's left of the American dream.

I long to see people with hair, skin and eye color like mine in all types of magazines, and on news anchor desks and big screens everywhere -- not just in the ones that have been assigned to my minority group.

Happily, in the past three weeks I lucked into two different novels that feature characters who just happen to be Hispanic. In Jack Kilborn's "Afraid," set in rural Wisconsin, there's a Hispanic character who is no more or less deliciously evil than his white, bad-guy counterparts. In Matt Burgess' "Dogfight, a Love Story," the details of protagonist Alfredo Batista's life in Jackson Heights, N.Y., are just the details any good writer would use to fill out an interesting character. I was thrilled.

There was nothing about these people that required Hispanicity -- they didn't have inspirational stories about rising from poverty, or sad ones about learning English. They didn't use some deep cultural wisdom to deal with a problem or drop pithy Spanish-language sayings. This struck me as unique.

I read about 35 books per year, mostly best-sellers, and know from experience that the overwhelming majority of non-Latino authors usually don't include Latinos in their stories. Burgess and Kilborn didn't include these characters because the authors are Latino or have some special connection to Hispanic culture. It was simply because Latinos exist everywhere in real life and there's no reason why they shouldn't appear in books that have nothing to do with the Hispanic experience.

"You know, after the book was published I thought for sure people would want to talk about this, but you're the first person to ask," Burgess told me from his home in Minnesota where he's working on his next novel. I contacted him because I just had to know why he made the struggling, young father-to-be in his book Puerto Rican.

"People definitely don't want to talk about why a white guy is writing about all these different ethnicities and races because people are afraid and unwilling to talk about race these days," Burgess said. "But it's simple: I grew up in a neighborhood (Jackson Heights) and went to school with Irish, African-Americans, Latinos, Indians, everything. That multiculturalism was something that we all took for granted -- and it wasn't that we were colorblind, we were aware of people's races and ethnicities. So when I write, I write about all different kinds of people."

This is, I hope, the future -- one where people from all walks of life will see others in all the places they see themselves. A future in which mainstream books, news, movies and TV shows reflect the real America instead of celebrating content that's "separate but equal."

Esther Cepeda is a columnist for The Washington Post, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, DC 20071. Send e-mail to

Sent by Jesús Najar | South Texas Community Outreach Coordinator, Southwest Office
National Trust for Historic Preservation | PO Box Drawer 446, Laredo, TX 78042
Phone: (956) 727-0977 | Fax: (956) 727-0577 | Email: | www.PreservationNation.or g



Dr. Mario E. Ramirez - Biography of a Doctor  


As a young physician who returned to his home community to practice medicine, Dr. Mario E. Ramirez played a pivotal role in bringing formal health care to Starr County. Located in the western edge of the Rio Grande Valley, Starr County is bordered by Hidalgo County (McAllen) Jim Hogg County (Hebbronville) to the north, and Zapata County (Zapata) to the west. The Rio Grande River serves as its boundary with Mexico to the south.  

Photograph of Dr. Ramirez and others at a hospital

In 1950, following his residency, Dr. Ramirez established the first family practice clinic in Roma, Texas. Soon after in 1958, he established the first hospital in Roma to better serve the needs of the patients in his family practice clinic. Named after his grandfather, The Manuel Ramirez Memorial Clinic and Hospital operated until 1975.  Physicians, surgeons and other specialists traveled to Roma on a regular basis to meet the needs of patients who could not travel to a larger city for health care. Previously, the only hospitals had been 55 miles to the east in McAllen or 90 miles to the west in Laredo. On February 15, 1975, the day the Ramirez Hospital closed its doors in Roma, the Starr County Memorial Hospital opened in Rio Grande City. As Starr County Judge, Dr. Ramirez was instrumental in managing the construction of a new, modern hospital, and helped to create a hospital taxation district to support its operation.  

During his career, Dr. Ramirez made it his goal to bring the needs of medically underserved Texans to the attention of several United States presidents, and numerous state and federal medical organizations. To accomplish this, Dr. Ramirez held numerous key positions in his profession, and was honored for his work by Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush. In 1989, Governor Bill Clements appointed Dr. Ramirez to a term on the University of Texas System Board of Regents where he served until 1995.

Photograph of Dr. Ramirez giving a speech
Motivated by the professional isolation he experienced
as a country doctor and the severe shortage of health professionals in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Dr. Ramirez proposed the creation of the Med-Ed Program during his tenure as UT Health Science Center Vice President for South Texas Programs. In the latter part of his career, Dr. Ramirez established and nurtured the Med-Ed Program. This program has inspired more than 2,200 students in the Rio Grande Valley and Laredo with the message that college and health science careers are attainable. In 2007 Dr. Ramirez celebrated his retirement from the UT Health Science Center, where Dr. Francisco Cigarroa, former President of the UT Health Science Center San Antonio, spoke of the significance of Dr. Ramirez's contributions to the advancement of medical education in South Texas, calling him "one of the greatest heroes that Texas has produced."

Dr. Mario E. Ramirez Timeline

April 3, 1926: Mario E. Ramirez is born in Roma, Texas

1942:  High school & Undergraduate. Received high school diploma in Rio Grande City Enrolled at University of Texas, Austin 
1944: Medical School. Offered early enrollment to The University of Tennessee College of Medicine 
1948: Medical Degree & Internship. Received his Doctor of Medicine degree. Begins internship at Shreveport Charity Hospital 
1949: Marriage. Married Sarah Aycock, a student nurse at Shreveport Children's Hospital
1950: Early Professional Life. Completed internship and residency at Shreveport Charity Hospital Opened his office in Texas     Texa  for the practice of family medicine (Note: Dr. Ramirez would practice in Roma until 1975; half of those years he was the the     community's only physician.) 
1955-1957: Military Career. Served in the U.S. Air Force, and was on assignment in Tokyo, Japan 
1958: Medical Expansion. Opened the Ramirez Hospital in Roma Texas, the first hospital in Starr County
1964: Hospital Expansion. Ramirez Hospital expanded from 15 to 21 beds, including a surgical wing; remained open until 1975
1967: Special Recognition. Received a special citation from U.S. Surgeon General for work done during Hurricane Beulah; Dr.            Ramirez and another physician cared for refugees for two days before outside help arrived
1975: Moving. Moved his practice from Roma to Rio Grande City, Texas. Opened the Starr County Memorial Hospital
1976 : Accolades. Received Benjamin Rush Bicentennial Award from the American Medical Association. Named Chief of  
           Staff of Starr County Memorial Hospital, and later re-elected for the position
1978: President Carter and the White House visit. Honored by President Carter at the White House upon selection as the     
           Family Doctor of the Year by the American Academy of Family Practice and Good House Keeping magazine
1979-1985: Texas Higher Education. Served on Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board; appointed by Gov. Clements
1989-1995: Med-Ed Creation. Established and led the Med-Ed Program at The University of Texas Health Science Center at                      at San Antonio; this program has encouraged more than 2,200 students to consider health and science careers
2007: Retirement and Dedications. Dr. Mario E. Ramirez retires.

An elementary school in Rio Grande City, Texas is named Dr. Mario E. Ramirez Elementary School.  The library at The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio Regional Academic Health Center in Harlingen is named the Mario E. Ramirez, M.D. Medical Library

CREDITS: Used with permission from University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio Libraries  

Submitted by: Luis Fernando Ramirez  
Primo to Dr. Mario E. Ramirez (Somos Primos) 
San Antonio, Texas






Mercy Bautista-Olvera

The 28th article in the series “Hispanics Breaking Barriers” focuses on contributions of Hispanic leadership in the 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 Jimmie V. Reyna:  Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC)

Olivia Diaz:  U.S. Representative, Nevada , 11th District 

Victor R. Ramirez:  Maryland State Senator, 47th District, Prince George ’s County   

Dr. Celia Szelwach:  Member, Department of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans (ACMV)

Adriano Espaillat: 
State Senator, New York , 31st District  


Jimmie Reyna has been confirmed by the U.S. Senate Committee to serve as a Federal Circuit Judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), Reyna is the first Hispanic to serve on the United States Court of Appeals.  

Jimmie Reyna was born on November 11, 1952, in Tucumcari , New Mexico , and grew up in Clovis , New Mexico . He is the son of Julian Calano Reyna and Consuelo Valdenebro-Reyna, who were Baptist missionaries. He is married to Dolores Ramirez-Reyna. The couple have two adult sons Jimmie, and Justin. In 1996, the family moved to Washington D.C. to help meet the needs of their eldest son, who is autistic. 


Judge Jimmie V. Reyna

Jimmie Reyna graduated as Valedictorian from his high school class. In 1975, he received a Bachelors of Arts from the  University of Rochester . In 1978, he earned a Juris Degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law, and began his career as a litigator in  Albuquerque , New Mexico ; handling insurance defense, domestic relations, civil rights, and criminal defense.      

In 1986, he joined the law firm of Stewart & Stewart, where he specialized in Trade Policy and International Trade Regulation in Washington D.C. He later worked as a partner for the law firm Williams Mullen, P.C.  

During 2006 to 2007, Reyna served in the American Bar Association, a non-profit, national membership organization that represents the interests of more than 100,000 attorneys, judges, law professors, legal professionals, and law students. He served in the American Bar Association Presidential Commission on Diversity. He was a founder and Director of the U.S.-Mexico Law Institute; and as a leader within the ABA Section on International Law. He strengthened the organization by establishing "La Promesa en el Derecho" (the Promise in the Law), a guide and program directed to Latino youth to instill trust and confidence in U.S. government and legal institutions.     

In 2009, the Government of Mexico honored Reyna with its Ohtli Award, one of its highest honors, in recognition of his contributions to opening pathways for the Mexican-American and Latino communities in the United States .

Reyna created and established the Office of Hispanic National Bar Historian; he created and implemented the Hispanic Bar Association Legislative Day; he established the HNBA's first formal LGBT Committee; and he also founded and served as a Senior Editor-in-Chief of the HNBA Journal of Law and Policy.  

He served with the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, an umbrella organization serving 30 national Latino organizations.  For over ten years, Reyna has been a Director of Community Services for Autistic Adults and Children of Maryland. He has mentored   lawyers and law students over his 30-year career. 

He has over three decades of legal experience and 24 years as an international trade practitioner. The Senate recognized that Reyna is well qualified to serve on the Court of appeals bench. He is a noted and prolific author on trade topics and has earned a stellar reputation as a practitioner, scholar, advocate and humanitarian.

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has nationwide jurisdiction arising from Federal district courts, the Court of International Trade, the U.S. Court of Claims, and a variety of agencies involving a number of subject matter areas, including international trade, government contracts, and other agencies

 Diana Sen, the Hispanic National Bar Association National President, stated:  "This is a great day for America for it has gained the service and commitment of a great lawyer and leader. The Hispanic Bar Association is proud that Mr. Reyna has been confirmed to the CAFC, and we all take a moment to reflect on the positive message the confirmation sends to the Latino community and the entire legal profession."


Olivia Diaz is currently serving as a U.S. Representative, Nevada 11th District.  

Olivia Diaz was born in Nevada ; she is the second daughter of Mexican American parents, Gilberto and Alejandra Diaz.  She has five siblings. Her father worked as a Casino Porter. She is married to Frank Alejandre; together they have one son Xavier Carson Alejandre, she has two stepchildren: Danny and Frankie. Her husband works for El Mundo, a Spanish language newspaper in Las Vegas , Nevada .  

In 1996, Diaz graduated from Rancho High School , where she served as Student Body Secretary and Salutatorian of her senior class.

Olivia Diaz

Olivia Diaz earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English; a minor in Communication Studies, with an emphasis in Public Relations from the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, and a Master of Science Degree in Education from NOVA Southeastern University at Florida. She served as an AmeriCorps member, where she was assigned to tutor at-risk students at Gene Ward ES.  

In 1997, she won the Miss Nevada Beauty Pageant; she created public service announcements to help “Amigos for Democracy” increase the number of registered Hispanic voters in 1998.  

She also worked as an English Language Learner Specialist at C.C. Ronnow Elementary School in Las Vegas , Nevada . In 2002, she worked for the Clark County School District as a second grade teacher.  

Diaz served as a member of such organizations as Amigos for Democracy, (1998-2002), Clark County Education Association, (2002-2010), Nevada Parent Teacher Association, (2005-2010), and the National Association of the Latino Elected and Appointed Officials.  

Diaz attributes her success to the strong moral values and work ethic her parents instilled in her at an early age, and her teachers who pushed her when she was young, including high school teacher Dennis Blackmer, now retired. 


Victor R. Ramirez is the current Maryland State Senator, 47th District in Prince George ’s County.  The first Hispanic state senator in the state’s history.  

Victor R. Ramirez was born on July 20, 1974 in San Salvador , El Salvador . His family immigrated to the United States when he was five years old, and settled in Mount Rainier , Maryland .  He is married to Betsy Reyes-Ramirez.  


Victor R. Ramirez

A graduate from Northwestern High School , he received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Studies from Frostburg State University in 1996, and in 2001; he earned a Juris Degree from St. Thomas School of Law in Miami , Florida .  After admission to Maryland Bar Association, he began a practice in his own name.    

From 2001 to 2003, Ramirez worked as a teacher of English classes for non-English speaking adults.  

From January 8, 2003 to January 12, 2011, Ramirez served in the Maryland House of Delegates, representing District 47th.

Ramirez is Co-Chair of the Maryland Democratic Hispanic Caucus, and a member of the American Bar Association, Maryland Hispanic Bar Association, Maryland State Bar Association, Prince George ’s County Bar Association, Maryland Educators Caucus, Maryland Veterans Caucus, and many other organizations.


Dr. Celia Renteria-Szelwach has been selected by Secretary of Veterans Affairs Eric K. Shineki to serve as one of the members of the Department of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans (ACMV).      

Dr. Celia Renteria-Szelwach was born in Los Angeles , California ; her father was born in Durango , Mexico and her mother was born in Los Angeles , California .  She is married to Pete Szelwach, a Desert Shield/Desert Storm combat veteran and West Point classmate for over 17 years, and they have on son, Pete Jr.  


Dr. Celia Renteria- Szelwach

She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Spanish from the United States Military Academy at West Point, a Masters in Business Administration in International Trade from the University of Sarasota , and a Doctorate in Business Administration from Argosy University . Her research interests include women’s health, ethics, leadership and culture change, emotional intelligence, cultural competence, and disparities in health care.

Dr. Celia Renteria-Szelwach began her career during the Desert Shield Storm era at Fort Bragg , North Carolina , where she became a Senior Paratrooper. She achieved the rank of Captain in the U.S. Army Transportation Corps. She coordinated logistics for the 18th Airborne Corps Emergency Operations Center (EOC) during Desert Storm and managed logistical operations for two humanitarian service deployments in support of Hurricane Andrew disaster relief in Homestead , Florida and Haitian relief in Guantanamo Bay , Cuba .  

In 1995, after completing her military commitment, she served as a Production & Logistics Supervisor, OD Facilitator, and HR Manager for a beverage manufacturer, Tropicana Products in Bradenton , Florida .  

In 2006, Dr. Renteria-Szelwach was appointed by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to the 14-member VA Advisory Committee on Women Veterans for a three-year term. She also completed a three-year term on the Bay Pines VA Medical Center’s Women Veterans Health Committee in St. Petersburg , Florida .  

Since 2007, she has served as founder and director of WOVEN (Women Veterans Network), a global online community committed to helping women Veterans (and their family members) successfully transition from military service.

Her awards include Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Women in Business Winner, Latin Times Magazine’s Tampa Bay Latina Movers & Shakers, Gulf Coast Business Review’s 40 Under 40, the President’s Merit Award from Girl Scouts

Gulf Coast of Florida , and the Outstanding Performance and Learning Award from the American Society for Training and Development.  

Dr. Renteria-Szelwach is a Certified Compliance and Ethics Professional (CCEP) and teaches ethics, leadership, organizational behavior, and managing change for several universities.  

Dr. Renteria-Szelwach is the Program Manager for Women’s Health at Atlas Research, where she provides project management and technical leadership of public health projects particularly focused on rural, women, and minority Veterans.    

The Department of Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee consists of Veterans who represent respective minority groups and are recognized authorities in field’s pertinent to the needs of the minority group they embody. The Committee responsibilities include advising the Secretary and Congress on VA's administration of benefits and provisions of healthcare, benefits, and services to minority veterans.  

Dr. Renteria-Szelwach stated; “My family instilled values that would guide me as a leader in my military and corporate careers. I was lucky my Mexican grandparents were actively involved in my early years. Although my parents raised us with English as our first language to minimize the likelihood of discrimination; my grandparents, [Simon and Celia Renteria] taught me some Spanish. My abuelita (grandmother) spoke very little English, taught me about the importance of serving others. As her namesake, I admired her spirit, her humility, and her tremendous love for her family. I took her spirit of service and tough love with me when I led soldiers in the army.”


Adriano Espaillat is currently a member of the New York State Senate, 31st District, and formerly of the New York State Assembly.  

Adriano Espaillat was born on September 27, 1954, in Santiago , Dominican Republic ; he is the son of Ulises and Delia Espaillat. The family immigrated to upper Manhattan in 1964. He has an older sister Delia, and an older brother, Ulises Espaillat. He is married to Martha Madera-Espaillat; they have one son, Adriano Jr., and a daughter, Natalia.  


Adriano Espaillat

In 1974, Espaillat graduated from Bishop Dubois High School . He earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science from Queens College , and later completed postgraduate courses in Public Administration at the New York University and Rutgers Leadership for Urban Executives Institute. He is an Adjunct Professor in Political Science in the City University of New York (CUNY).

During the mid 1980s, Espaillat was elected President of the 34th Precinct Community Council. During this decade, he worked closely with community and law enforcement agencies to help eradicate drugs and crime.  

In 1980, Espaillat joined the NYC Criminal Justice Agency, a non-profit agency contracted by the city of New York to provide pre-trial services to the New York Criminal Court system, where he worked as the Manhattan Court Services Coordinator for eight years.  

In 1991, Espaillat was appointed as a member of Governor Mario Cuomo's Dominican American Advisory Board, where he served for two years.

From 1992 to 1994, Espaillat served as Director of the Washington Heights Victims Services Community Office. This organization offered bilingual support   for battered women, and provided relief, compensation, counseling, and therapeutic services for families of homicide victims and other crime victims of crime.  

From 1994 to 1996, Espaillat became the Director of Project Right Start, a national initiative funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to combat substance abuse by educating the parents of pre-school children. This pilot program was implemented in six cities throughout the country and in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico .  

In 1996, he was first elected to the Assembly; he became the first Dominican-American elected to any state legislative seat in the United States .

In addition to serving on the powerful Ways and Means committee, Espaillat recently chaired the Veterans Affairs Committee (2007-2010) and the Small Businesses Committee (2010).    

Following a successful tenure in the New York State Assembly, he worked hard   to champion causes those directly helping communities across New York . Along the way, he executed some remarkable legislative, and policy accomplishments.    

Some of his accomplishments were the Extension of the J-51 Housing Program, which protected tenants from unfair rent hikes. Espaillat introduced and passed legislation allowing undocumented students to pay in-state tuitions enabling thousands of additional New Yorkers to attend college. He successfully advocated for the environment and quality of life, a record rated “Excellent” by the non-partisan Environmental Activist of New York.  

He also assisted in providing legislation supporting over 40,000 livery drivers by extending protections form violent crimes and inclusion of the drivers in the Workers’ Compensation benefits program. In addition, legislation allowing 35,000 daycare providers to organize and collectively bargain, thereby helping empower some of New York’s hardest working men and women and strengthening middle-class.  

From 1986 to 1991, Espaillat actively served on Community Planning Board 12 as a member of the Executive Board. Espaillat became a strong voice in the community by organizing tenants and advocating for their rights. He successfully petitioned for greater police services in the community. His tireless efforts resulted in increased foot patrol, block watches, the creation of the new 33rd Police Precinct and other successful crime prevention measures in Northern Manhattan .

Espaillat helped resolve hundreds of conflicts among his constituents by volunteering his services as a State Certified Conflict Resolution Mediator for the Washington Heights Inwood Conflict Resolutions and Mediation Center .  

This past November, (2010) Governor Andrew Cuomo selected Espaillat to serve on the Governor’s Transition Team.



Susan Castillo

Susan Castillo

A Wise Latina

Nominated and written

By Mercy Bautista-Olvera


 Susan Castillo, a former Oregon State Senator and first Latina in the Oregon Legislative Assembly was recently re-elected as State Superintendent of Public Instruction for a third four-year term.   

Susan Castillo was born on August 14, 1951, in Los Angeles , California . She was raised by her mother, who had not finished eight grade. She is a third generation Mexican-American. She is married to Paul Machu.  

In the 1970’s, Castillo, served as a Secretary in the Affirmative Action Office at Oregon State University for Director Pearl Gray.  

In 1981, Susan Castillo received a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Oregon State University . Prior to entering public office, she had pursued a career in broadcast journalism, first for Oregon Public Broadcasting and later for KVAL-TV in Eugene , Oregon . She was an award-winning television journalist. While Castillo was still a broadcast journalist, she appeared in the 1993, film “Fire in the Sky” playing a TV news anchor.  

From 1997 to 2002, Castillo served in the Oregon State Senate, where she served as Vice-chair of the Senate Education Committee, she worked to foster educational innovation and to remove barriers to achievement.  

She has also served on the Health and Human Services Committee, Governor’s Advisory Committee on DUII, (drunk driving), Oregon Commission on Hispanic Affairs, Advisory Committee on Agricultural Labor, and the Transportation Committee.  

In May 2002, Castillo was first elected to a four-year term as State Superintendent of Public Instruction, as she oversees the education of more than a half-million students in over 1,200 public and charter schools. Since January 2003, Castillo has served as the Oregon Superintendent of Public Instruction.  

Castillo served with the State Board of Education to increase graduation requirements. She wanted to make sure students are well prepared for college, and careers. Castillo also helped create a set of national learning expectations.  

In 2004, Susan Castillo was named one of the “100 Most Influential Hispanics” in “American” by Hispanic Business Magazine.”  

Castillo helps all students reach high levels of achievement. In addition to her duties as an elected official, Castillo is a fellow in the American Leadership Forum, bringing leaders together to strengthen their skills and better serve the public.  

She is a board member of Birth to Three, a nationally recognized non-profit parenting education and support program dedicated to strengthening families. Since 2005, she has served as a board member of the Council of Chief State School Officers.    

In 2007, Susan Castillo was named “Champion of Children” award winner. During her legislative career, Castillo was recognized by the Oregon Library Association, the Oregon Nurses Association, the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Centro Latino Americano, the Oregon Youth Authority, and Soroptomist International of the Americas . 

As Superintendent, she provides leadership for all elementary and secondary students in Oregon's public schools and education service districts, such as the statewide curriculum and instruction programs, school improvement efforts, and Oregon's statewide assessment testing system. Her leadership also extends to public preschool programs, the state School for the Deaf, regional programs for children with disabilities and education programs in Oregon youth corrections facilities. The Oregon Department of Education is a liaison and monitors implementation for a variety of state and federal programs, including the “No child Left Behind” Act.

Susan Castillo has established six priorities for the Oregon Department of education; Ready for School – Full-Day Kindergarten for Title I Schools, Success for All Students – Closing the Achievement Gap, Learning to Read/Reading to Learn – Literacy at every Grade, School and District Leadership, Every School a Community School , and Learning for Success, Improving Middle and High Schools.

Growing up and living with her single mother, Susan Castillo saw the challenges her mother faced for not having a formal education. Her commitment is ensuring that all children, regardless of their personal struggles or circumstances, receive the quality education that will give them opportunities in life.  




Wanda Garcia with Shane Fitzgerald 


By Daisy Wanda Garcia



April 22, 2011 
This past week, Alicia Gallegos Gomez, south Texas radio personality and speech pathologist, Adolfo “Butch” Escobedo, owner of Escobedo Insurance and I met with Shane Fitzgerald, Vice President and Editor of the Corpus Christi Caller Times. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the possibility of me writing a column for the newspaper about South Texas Mexican American history which includes my father, Dr. Hector P. Garcia. 

Prior to my involvement, Alicia and Butch had discussed with Shane the need for the newspaper to reach out to the Mexican American community.  For several months, the group had been discussing the importance and need to capture the vanishing history of Mexican Americans.  This history has been lost for many reasons.  The main reason being Mexicans lost the War of Independence with Texas.   When they showed Shane my articles written for Somos Primos, he wanted to include me as a freelance writer for the paper.  Shane Fitzgerald was especially interested in having my perspective about Dr. Hector’s involvement in the Hispanic Civil Rights movement.

Shane asked Alicia to arrange a meeting with us.  So Alicia phoned me to come to Corpus Christi, Texas to meet with the group.  At our meeting, we agreed to publish my articles on the first Saturday of every month beginning in May.  Shane said, “I really enjoyed our meeting and am thrilled that you will be writing for the Corpus Christi Caller Times.”

Later Alicia invited me to be a guest on her radio program called Hilos de Historia-Stitching Our History. Alicia is an activist, a member of Spanish American Genealogical Society (SAGA) and is very involved in the preservation of Mexican American history.  Alicia asked me several questions and then opened the session to the listener. Some of the questions asked were if my family had been aware of the danger of my father’s activities; about the desegregation of the Corpus Christi public schools; where could the public purchase the documentary “The Longoria Affair.  More than 25 listeners called in with comments and questions about my Papa.  One caller asked if there was a movement to have a National Holiday in his honor. I was very touched to know that La Gente still loves Papa and the older generation passes on the stories about my Papa to their children.  Alicia’s radio program airs on MAGIC 104.9 and 93.6 KMIQ I every Saturday at 11:00 cst.                                           Butch Escobedo,  Alicia Gallegos Gomez                  

After the radio program I made my rounds to the cemetery, the clinic and my parents’ house. As chance would have it, I came across a friend from my childhood, Louise Davis.  Louise and I spent many enjoyable hours together while I was growing up in Corpus Christi.  It was interesting hearing her perspective of the events after all these years.  Louise was quick to remind me of a part of history which I had preferred to forget.  She said that the neighbors treated us disgracefully when we first moved into our home in Lamar Park.  We spoke at length about how the neighborhood children rode by our house yelling out their insults. She shared with me a fact I did not know, that the neighbors also treated her parents badly because they were Jewish and the neighbors did not want Jews moving in the neighborhood. Louise said, “Nobody remembers those neighbors. But Dr. Hector is a historical icon.” His name is everywhere.” I smiled and thought this was divine justice! 

Many years later, one of the neighborhood kids, Chet went to visit my parents to apologize for his actions.  Chet said their parents encouraged them to taunt us.  But time had turned everything around. Where Papa had been vilified and endured threats, he was now recognized for his service to the community. 

On the drive from Corpus Christi to Austin, I had a spiritual epiphany. I was filled with an overwhelming gratitude for the beauty of the farmlands and happy that I had been home, to my roots in Corpus Christi, Texas, and gratitude to Spirit for turning things around.



New Census Milestone: Hispanics Reach 50 Million
by Hope Yen, Associated Press, March 28, 2011
WASHINGTON – Hispanics accounted for more than half of the U.S. population increase over the last decade, exceeding estimates in most states as they crossed a new census milestone: 50 million, or 1 in 6 Americans.

Meanwhile, more than 9 million Americans checked two or more race categories on their 2010 census forms, up 32 percent from 2000, a sign of burgeoning multiracial growth in an increasingly minority nation.
The Census Bureau late last week released its first set of national-level findings from the 2010 count on race and migration, detailing a decade in which rapid minority growth, aging Whites and the housing boom and bust were the predominant story lines.

Analysts said the results confirmed a demographic transformation under way that is upending traditional notions of racial minorities, political swing districts, even city and suburb.

“These are big demographic changes,” said Mark Mather, an associate vice president at the nonprofit Population Reference Bureau. “There is going to be some culture shock, especially in communities that haven't had high numbers of immigrants or minorities in the past.”

“By 2050, we may have an entirely new system of defining ourselves,” he said.

According to data released Thursday, Americans continued their decades-long migration to fast-growing parts of the Sun Belt. Their move to big states such as California and Texas as well as fast-growing Mountain West states pushed the nation's mean center of population roughly 30 miles southwest to a spot near the village of Plato, Mo.

African-Americans in search of wider spaces increasingly left big cities such as Detroit, Chicago and New York for the suburbs, typically in the South. Both Michigan and Illinois had their first declines in the Black population since statehood as many of their residents opted for warmer climes in the suburbs of places such as Atlanta, Dallas and Houston.

The smaller numbers were a surprise to some city officials, including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who questioned the census count of 8.2 million for his city and suggested immigrants may have been missed.

Census director Robert Groves said the agency had not yet received any formal complaints about the census count and that overall indicators showed high accuracy in 2010 compared to 2000.

After initial fears of low participation, the 2010 count of the Hispanic population came in 900,000 higher than expected, matching or surpassing census estimates in 37 states, according to the Pew Hispanic Center, a nonpartisan think tank.

Many of the biggest jumps were in the South, including Alabama, Louisiana, North Carolina and Louisiana, where a small but fast-growing Hispanic population was fueled by an influx of immigrants during the housing boom.

Multiracial Americans now make up 2.9 percent of the U.S. population, a steadily growing group – even if it did not include President Barack Obama, who identified himself only as African-American on his census form. Obama's mother Ann Dunham, a White woman from Kansas, married his father, the Kenyan native Barack Obama Sr.

The vast majority of multiracial Americans lived in California, Texas, New York and Hawaii. The most numerous race combinations were White-American Indian or Alaskan Native, White-Black and White -“some other race.” In some cases, White Hispanics may be opting to list themselves as multiracial in the “some other race” category, which would put the actual number of multiracial Americans lower than the official tally of 9 million.

In all, racial and ethnic minorities made up about 90 percent of the total U.S. growth since 2000, part of a historic trend in which minorities are expected to become the majority by midcentury.

“Hispanics and immigrant minorities are providing a much needed tonic for an older, largely White population which is moving into middle age and retirement,” said Dr. William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution who analyzed many of the census figures. “They will form the bulk of our labor force growth in the next decade as they continue to disperse into larger parts of the country.”

Among census findings:

-- The number of non-Hispanic Whites, whose median age is now 41, edged up slightly to 196.8 million. Declining birth rates meant their share of the total U.S. population dropped over the last decade from 69 percent to roughly 64 percent.

-- In about 10 states, the share of children who are minorities has already passed 50 percent, up from five states in 2000. They include Mississippi, Georgia, Maryland, Florida, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, California, New Mexico and Hawaii.

-- Asians grew by 43 percent over the last decade. They were tied with Hispanics as the fastest growing demographic group. For the first time Asians also had a larger numeric gain than African-Americans, who remained the second largest minority group at 37.7 million.

Sent by Juan Marinez


50th Anniversary of Peace Corps and Dr. Refugio Rochin
Dear Editor: You continue to mis-lead the public
50th Anniversary of Peace Corps

In 2011, the Peace Corps will commemorate 50 years of promoting peace and friendship around the world. The agency is inviting the public to join them in supporting the agency's mission and legacy of service by honoring and celebrating with them the  history of the Peace Corps. 

On the 50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps.  Dr. Refugio Rochin, a Peace Corps pioneer, shares comments about his experiences during the early experimentation in organizing and training volunteers.  Dr. Rochin was a college sophmore when he joined among the first Peace Corps recruitments.  


On March 1, 1961, President Kennedy signed an executive order establishing the Peace Corps. By June 1966, more than 15,000 Volunteers were working in the field, the largest number in the Peace Corps' history.

For the Peace Corps, the 1970s are a time of change, far-ranging ambition, and specialized talent. Despite budget constraints, by December of 1974, Volunteers are serving in 69 countries, the largest number to date.

The 1980s prove to be a time both to reflect and to move forward for the Peace Corps. The agency celebrates its 25th anniversary and Congress passes legislation that makes the Peace Corps an independent federal agency.

The Peace Corps extends its service to China and Jordan; Crisis Corps is created.

The Peace Corps responds to HIV/AIDS, the tsunami of 2005, and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

Sent by Dr. Refugio Rochin

You continue to mis-lead the public.

To the editor of the Texas Monthly – Roar of the Crowd – May 2011 Edition

Dear Editor:

You are getting better at recognizing the role of the long-ignored Tejanos in the history of Texas independence and the positive contributions of present-day Tejanos and Mexican Americans in this great place we call Texas.  For that, I salute you.  However, you continue to mis-lead the public. 

 It is the 198th Anniversary of Texas Independence, not the 175th.  The honor of the first visionary to see Texas as independent belongs to Lieutenant Colonel Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara who responded to Father Hidalgo’s “Grito” on September 16, 1810 (el Diezyseis) and began his quest for Texas independence.  He accomplished that feat on April 6, 1813, by becoming the first President of Texas.  He wrote and signed the first Texas Declaration of Independence on that day and signed the first Texas Constitution a week later.  In truth, Tejanos had already done much of the heavy lifting, sacrificing, and dying by the time Sam Houston crossed over the Sabine River.  In other words, Houston took over a work in progress.   

Equally important, you must be reminded that the 1836 Battle of the Alamo and the other battles are a chronological chapter of Mexico’s history, not the U.S.  Texas did not join the U.S. until 1845, when the Anglos traded their independence for statehood as a slave state.   

José Antonio López

Universal City, TX



Still at it--
Number 13 (First Number) in the second series on La Leyenda Negra



By Felipe de Ortego y Gasca

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



n the last number (12) of the first series on La Leyenda Negra I closed with the comment “The Black Legend has endured long enough. It’s time to lay it to rest.” As Hamlet would put it: ‘T is a consummation devountly to be wished. I’m persuaded that no matter how much we might wish the interment of the Black Legend, it’s not going to go gently into that good night. In fact, the specter of the Black Legend has grown more menacing more virulent than ever. Hard to believe that in the 21st century, after the bitter and violent civil rights struggle of African Americans and Latino Americans during the 60’s and 70’s, the malevolence of hatred and discrimination has reared its ugly head once more in public discourse, this time with a rancor unabated in American civic discourse, directed point blank toward Latino Americans, undercover of “immigration reform.”  

In 2009, the Black Legend came to a head in the home invasion of Raul Flores in Arivaca, Arizona, some 10 miles from the Mexican border. On the night of May 30, posing as U.S. Marshals the marauders led by Shawna Forde, head of Minutemen American Defense (MAD), and two of her white-supremacist vigilante cohorts, Jason Bush and Albert Gaxiola, shot and killed Raul Flores and his 9 year old daughter Brisenia, wounding Flores’ wife after busting into the Flores home. The story is that as a known drug dealer, Flores was fair game for robbery. The Forde gang is charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder. All are represented by the Pima County public defender’s office. Ignoring the racist motivation of the home invasion, a spokesman for the Pima County Sheriff’s Office attributes the raid to “cash” and drugs.  

At trial for the murders of Raul Flores and his 9 year-old daughter Brisenia, Shawna Forde was found Guilty of first-degree murder on two counts and sentenced to death. Jason Bush, Forde’s accomplice was also found guilty of the murders and sentenced to death. The trial of Albert Gaxiola is scheduled for June of 2011. He’s expected to be found guilty as well with a comparable sentence.

In a 2009 report, the Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAPAF) warned precisely about anti-immigrant extremism, linking the “vitriolic rhetoric to the growing number of hate crimes against Latinos and perceived immigrants” (Shakir, et al, June 19, 2009). From 2004 to 2007 hate crimes against Latinos rose by more than 40 percent. In 2008 the number of hate crimes against Latinos rose from 426 to 595 incidents. Shawna Forde was reported to have declared “We will not stop until we get the results that we need to have,” meaning the deaths of more Latino immigrants.  

Can the rhetoric of hate motivated by the Black Legend prompt murder? “Of course!” Unequivocally. The murders of Raul Flores and his 9 year-old daughter Brisenia were prompted by the rhetoric of hate. Jason Bush may have pulled the trigger but the rhetoric of hate gave him 007 license to kill Raul and Brisenia Flores. How is that? Because the rhetoric of hate “fatwalizes” the victims, putting them beyond the pale of judicial protection. This was the case in the murder of Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorian immigrant in Long Island, New York, on November 8, 2008, by white teenagers hunting for beaners (Mexicans).  

In Schenck v. United States (1919), Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote of free speech that no one has the right to shout “fire” in a crowded theater knowing there is no fire, just as today no one is free to make bomb jokes aloud in an airborne plane knowing there is no bomb aboard the plane. The First Amendment protects a wide range of expression. In its 1942 decision in Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, the Supreme Court ruled that certain offensive words — called “fighting words” — can be prohibited.  

It is well understood that the right of free speech is not absolute at all times and under all circumstances. There are certain well-defined and narrowly limited classes of speech, the prevention and punishment of which has never been thought to raise any Constitutional problem. These include the lewd and obscene, the profane, the libelous, and the insulting or “fighting” words —  those  which  by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. It has been well observed that such utterances are no essential part of any exposition of ideas, and are of such slight social value as a step to truth that any benefit may be derived from them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order and morality. “Resort to epithets or personal abuse is not in any proper sense communication of information or opinion safeguarded by the Constitution, and its punishment as a criminal act would raise no question under that instrument.”  

Surely the rhetoric of hate falls under the banner of fighting words, “words which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace.” However, given the tendency of the Supreme Court since 1942 to rule loosely on First Amendment rights, protection from the rhetoric of hate for Latinos seems a long shot. The only hope is that the rhetoric of hate poses a “true threat” of violence. In the murders of Marcelo Lucero, Raul and Brisenia Flores, the rhetoric of hate may have reached a threshold—murder as an emanation of hate rhetoric seems certainly to be a “true threat” of violence encouraged by the  Black Legend.  

American xenophobia has come to a head with Arizona’s passage of SB 1070 cited as “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act,” although it can best be described as “Round ‘em up (meaning Mexicans), Brand ‘em, then Kick ‘em Out”  signed into law by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. For Latinos in the United States this Act is a wake-up call to the holocaust that this Act presages; for Latinos in Arizona (principally Mexicans and Mexican Americans) SB 1070 heralds concerted harassment presaging ethnic cleansing of Mexicans of any stripe (including Mexican Americans) and Latinos.  

As reported in the Wall Street Journal, Mexican Americans in Arizona have every reason to fear SB 1070 and its specter of “ethnic cleansing” more so since “the Arizona Department of Education recently began telling school districts that teachers whose spoken English [is] deemed to be heavily accented or ungrammatical must be removed from classes.”  

So now, it’s not just looking like a Mexican, it’s sounding like one. Like the pogroms of old against the Jews, over the years this aspect of xenophobia has surfaced many times against Mexicans in the United States including special English classes to eradicate the accents of Mexican American students. It’s okay for Za Za Gabor to have an accent.  

This is, however, the first time that kind of xenophobia has appeared so menacing.  Particularly followed up by the Arizona legislature passing a Bill (HB 2281) and signed by Governor Jan Brewer banning Ethnic Studies Programs (which includes Chicano Studies) on the grounds that these Programs advocate ethnic separatism and encourages Latinos to rise up and create a new territory out of the southwestern region of the United States. Perhaps those Xenophobes need a history lesson on how the Hispanic Southwest came into the American fold. They also need to look at school textbooks to see how under-represented Asian Americans, African Americans, and Mexican Americans are in those textbooks. Which is why we need Asian American Studies, African American Studies, and Mexican American Studies. What are white Arizonans really afraid of? HB 2281 has come to attention of the United Nations which condemns the Bill, citing Arizona’s rage against immigration and ethnic minorities as “a disturbing pattern of hostile legislative activity.”  

Make no mistake about it—this dark force of American providentialism, this dark force of American fascism is crafting the “Final Solution” to rid the country of Mexicans and Latinos. What makes this augury so foreboding is that the list of cities and states taking up Arizona’s lead is growing. The moral dilemma is: how to confront this dark force? We must all speak up or suffer the consequences as Pastor Niemollor warned:  

"They came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. Then they came for me and by that time no one was left to speak up."




Dr. Rogelio Reyes, 
Educator, Linguist, 
Civil Rights Activist, Patriot 
 July 16, 1931 to April 4, 2011

Campus mourns 'irreplaceable' professor 
April 06, 2011|By Chelcey Adami, Imperial Valley Press Staff Writer 

CALEXICO - Flowers began appearing on Rogelio Reyes' office door early Tuesday as the campus began mourning the death of the popular San Diego State-Imperial Valley campus professor.
Reyes died Monday, April 4th of heart failure. He had taught at SDSU-IV since 1986. Campus Dean David Pearson notified staff Monday of Reyes' death.
"For decades, Rogelio has been a powerful positive presence on our campus, a model and a mentor to our students, a valued colleague to our faculty and staff, a most inspiring connection between our campus and the larger community," Pearson wrote in an e-mail. "Rogelio has represented the heart and spirit of our campus, the personification of that marvelous thing we call university. What a wonderful man. More than it is possible to express, we will miss him."
Staff echoed Pearson's sentiments, describing Reyes as a talented, involved and caring colleague.
"He had a wonderful spirit. He was concerned for everyone: the students, the community, farmworkers, immigrants," said professor Donna Castañeda. "He was just such an energetic person. He was a very talented linguist. He was really almost irreplaceable."
Reyes frequently hosted rallies or activities focused on human and immigrant rights, similar to activist Cesar Chavez, who he knew at one point in his life, Castañeda said.
Just weeks ago, Reyes was placing boxes around campus as part of a clothes drive.  Assistant professor Lasisi Ajayi was one of Reyes' closest friends on campus.   They met five years ago, and Reyes immediately made an effort to learn Ajayi's native language, Yoruba, of the western part of Nigeria.

Reyes was well-traveled and was fluent in 27 languages, campus academic adviser Norma Aguilar said. He was a doctoral graduate of Harvard University and also received degrees in Croatia, Italy and Mexico.
"It's a sorrowful day for the campus and for me in particular. He was just willing to help, an activist," Ajayi said. "For him, education is not just something to seek but to serve the community and the people, particularly the downtrodden people, the forgotten people." In 2007, Reyes received the Monty Award for Outstanding Faculty.
Aguilar said an informal memorial will most likely be organized this week to help process students' and staff's feelings, as well as a more formal memorial within the next couple of weeks to commemorate Reyes' memory.
"He lived a full life and a productive life," Ajayi said. "I think that's what it is all about."

Dr. Rogelio Reyes Memorial Scheduled, Written by Imperial Valley News, Thursday, 14 April 2011 

Calexico, California - San Diego State University-Imperial Valley announces a Celebration of Life in memory of Dr. Rogelio Reyes. The event will take place on Wednesday, April 27, 2011, at San Diego State University’s Imperial Valley Campus, 720 Heber Avenue, Calexico, CA. 

The program includes art exhibits from 12:00-8:00 p.m. on the Rollie Carrillo Quad, a military flag ceremony at 4:00 p.m. in front of the campus, a memorial service from 4:15-6:15 p.m. in the Rodney Auditorium, and poetry readings and music on the Quad from 6:15-8:00 p.m.

Dr. Reyes received the San Diego State University Distinguished Faculty Award in 2007. The award is given to faculty who make outstanding contributions to the University through their scholarship, teaching, and service to the community.  Dr. Reyes taught a wide array of courses at SDSU-IV, among them courses in linguistics, Spanish, the Court Interpreting Certificate Program, Chicano Studies, communication studies, translation studies, and experimental courses in Chinese, French, and Portuguese.

Dr. Reyes is survived by his wife Khojasteh, his son Kevin, his sister Raquel, and brothers Ruben, Rodolfo, Jose, Roberto, and Ramon. He had 13 nieces and nephews.

Dr. Reyes had tremendous energy and enthusiasm for life. He was a talented scholar and teacher, and a champion for the powerless. He was also unfailingly kind and caring, and was an invaluable friend and colleague to all. He made a genuine and lasting mark on San Diego State University-Imperial Valley. We honor his memory and will miss him greatly.

Rogelio Reyes, Ph.D; Biography

Rogelio Reyes Ph.D. Professor 1931 - 2011
Dr. Rogelio Reyes was born in the small mining town of Miami, Arizona on July 16, 1931. He had 12 brothers and sisters, the first four of whom died of childhood diseases due to poverty, hunger, and lack of assistance programs at that time. Dr. Reyes was the seventh born child of Mexican immigrant parents who migrated from Mexico on top of freight trains. The town that he was born in was racially segregated and his family lived in an area known as Mexican Canyon, where immigrant Mexicans lived. Schools were segregated by race—Whites went to their school, Mexicans to theirs, and Blacks to theirs. The only jobs for Mexicans were those with pick and shovel in the mines. Average life expectancy for a Mexican male was 45 years, due to mining accidents and lung diseases caused by contaminated air in the mines.

Dr. Reyes was a self-made man and as a child made up his mind that he was going to educate himself and rise above poverty. At a very young age he showed an unusual obsession with books and art and he began his academic accomplishments early. Some highlights from his high school years include the following: In high school in Miami, Arizona, Dr. Reyes joined the debate team and his team was selected to go to Phoenix, the state capitol, to compete in a statewide debate competition. His team won first place in that competition. As a teenager in high school Dr. Reyes also entered a statewide art contest in Phoenix and he won first prize.

In his last year of high school, the principal came to him several months before his class graduation and informed him that he had so many credits that he did not have to wait for graduation for his high school diploma. He was given his diploma ahead of the class and told he did not have to return to school. He was sad that he could not join in the graduation ceremonies with his class (he was never sure of the school’s motives in this). He wanted to continue with his education, but because no money was available, he promptly joined the United States Air Force to try to get educational funding through the Veteran’s Education Program—the G.I. Bill, to go to a university. Looking back, he later wondered why he had not received any high school counseling about going to college or scholarships.

Dr. Reyes served in the Air Force from 1949 to 1952, from which he received an honorable discharge. While in the Air Force, he was stationed in Texas for about one year. He went in uniform to a few restaurants throughout the year, but he was always denied entrance because he was not White. This experience, together with his childhood discrimination experience, solidified his commitment to fight for equality and social justice. 

Dr. Reyes showed a tremendous talent for languages and as an adult he gravitated to the study of languages and linguistics. He went on to receive his BA in anthropology from Universidad de las Américas, in Cholula, Mexico in 1954, completed graduate work in linguistics at the Università degli Studi, Florence, Italy in 1959, did further graduate work in Slavic languages at the University of Munich from 1959 to 1960, and received his Ph.D. in linguistics from Harvard University in 1976. He also earned a diploma in Slavic languages in 1989 from the University of Zagreb, Yugoslavia (now Croatia). His language competencies were legendary. In addition to Spanish and English, he was fluent in Persian, Portuguese, Italian, German, and French; he was conversant in Serbo-Croatian, Russian, Modern Greek, Hindi, Quechua, and Urdu; he had beginner-level language skills in Cantonese, Japanese, Catalán, and Purépecha; and reading ability in Latin, Classical Greek, and Sanskrit. Just before his death he was learning to speak Yoruba from his close friend and colleague, Dr. Lasisi Ajayi, at San Diego State University-Imperial Valley.

The San Diego State University-Imperial Valley Years:
Dr. Reyes joined the faculty at the San Diego State University-Imperial Valley in 1986 as an associate professor in linguistics and in 1997 he was promoted to full professor. For many years he coordinated the court interpreting certificate program and the SDSU-IV faculty lecture series. He organized, along with colleagues, many US-Mexico binational conferences, forums, and lectures focused on a wide spectrum of immigration issues. He was a proud member of the faculty union and a strong supporter of union and worker rights. He had long been an advocate of the civil and human rights of immigrants and, at the time of his death, he was working, along with his colleague, Dr. Alfredo Cuellar of Imperial Valley College, to establish a program of study focused on immigration studies with courses that would take place across several universities. Dr. Reyes also played a major role in educating and informing people of the omission of the Latino and Latina WWII experience in the 2007 fourteen and a half hour long documentary by Ken Burns/PBS "The War." As coordinator of the Southern California Defend the Honor, he sponsored a series of presentations on the contributions and sacrifices made by Latinos and Latinas during and after WWII. He was a prolific scholar and he made numerous presentations at professional conferences and published a long list of scholarly articles on immigration issues, translation studies, and Chican@ linguistics, including a book, Studies in Chicano Spanish, which was based on his dissertation. His most recent publication is the first volume of a two-volume book set entitled Selected Tales of the Shanameh (2009, co-author: Seyed Abolghassem Fatemi Jahromi), translated to English from the Persian original. The second volume in this work is forthcoming.

He was also a co-founder and one of three senior editors of the Binational Press, a joint publishing agreement between SDSU's Imperial Valley Campus and UABC in Mexicali. Begun in 1987 and active in publishing a series of bilingual volumes on literature, linguistics, and the arts throughout the 1990s, the Binational Press/Editorial Binacional is an imprint of both San Diego State University Press and the Autonomous University of Baja California Press. 


Dr. Rogelio Reyes, a Harvard educated linguistics professor at San Diego State University Imperial Valley Campus and Coordinator of the Southern California Defend The Honor passed away.  Dr. Reyes played a major role in educating and informing people of the 2007 Ken Burns/PBS debacle that led to the omission of the Latino and Latina WWII experience in his fourteen and a half hour long documentary "The WAR."  Dr. Reyes was himself a U.S. Air Force veteran. As coordinator of the Southern California Defend The Honor he sponsored a series of presentations on the contributions and sacrifices made by Latinos and Latinas during and after WWII.  Dr. Reyes was a respected and fearless leader whose teachings and community organizing activities went beyond the classroom into the international arena speaking out for the rights of immigrants. 

The public statements made on the passing of Dr. Reyes speak for themselves and we look forward to the memorial services being planned in his honor.  We have included a partial bio of Dr. Reyes below.  It is very impressive and reflect the caliber and spirit of many people involved with Defend The Honor.  There is also a story that appeared the Imperial Valley Press about Dr. Reyes, that gives an idea of how many lives he touched. 

We send our sympathies to Dr. Reyes' family. 
Gus and Maggie-- Defenders of the Honor. 

Rogelio Reyes, Ph.D.
Professor Linguistics       
Educational History, including undergraduate and graduate institutions 
1989: Diploma, Slavic Languages, University of Zagreb, Yugoslavia (now Croatia)
1976: PhD, Linguistics, Harvard University (thesis: Studies in Chicano Spanish, published as a book, 1977)
1959: ABD, Glottologia (Linguistics), Università degli Studi, Florence, Italy
1954: B.A., Anthropology, Mexico City College (now Universidad de las Américas, Cholula, Mexico)
1952: Honorable Discharge, United States Air Force
Statement of research/scholarly interests
    * Immigration studies (co-organized several forums, lectures, binational conferences; in progress: Seminal Course in Immigration Studies, SDSU Honors Program)

    * Chican@ linguistics (subject of PhD dissertation and other publications)     * Translation studies (published: Selected Tales of the Shahnameh, from the Persian original)

Courses taught at SDSU-IV (since 1986)  Wide array of courses in linguistics, Spanish, Court Interpreting Certificate Program, Chican@ Studies, Communication Studies, experimental courses in Chinese, French and Portuguese
Sent by Gus Chavez






Defend The Honor Advisory on Ken Burns/PBS 
27 Filmmakers Accepted 7th Annual Latino Media Market
A new lens on the American experience
Heineken Voces Grant  and  Tribeca Film Institute
'Silent Raids' Squeeze Illegal Workers
Prayer of Farm Workers' Struggle by Rafael Jesús González 
Cesar Chavez  and the Farm Workers  Movement
Border Angels
Hispanics are more at risk for kidney failure than races
Humana/ La Raza Helping Hispanic Manage Diabetes
Disability-Rights Zone
Introducing ...  Doctora Ana
Father sentenced in 'honor killing’
Losing Our Sons 
US Banks launder drug money
World's Largest Army 

Defend the Honor 
April 16, 2011

Defend The Honor Advisory on Ken Burns/PBS 

Attention Latino and Latina Vietnam War veterans, families and extended community . . . . 

Yes, we know - our loyal Defenders of the Honor have been sending us messages about Ken Burns and PBS reaching out to Latino and Latina Vietnam War veterans. Unlike the 2007 Ken Burns/PBS WWII documentary debacle that left out the Latino and Latina experience, this time they might have a different interest in filming a documentary on the Vietnam War. Many of our Defenders of the Honor are rightfully outraged that Burns, who had a track record of excluding Latinos in his work long before the 2007 WWII documentary, is still being allowed to document an important event in American history. Many feel that he has failed repeatedly and that he should never again be trusted. (He still thinks the protests of 2007 were a "misunderstanding" on our part. And one high-placed public broadcasting official called it a "dust-up" - an indication that she still does not get it.) They also question the sincerity of PBS' commitment to diversity, after the disastrous handling of The War.

Defend the Honor welcomes attempts to include stories of Latinos and Latinas in our nation's historical narrative. However, DTH also believes that those who choose to collaborate with Florentine Films, Burns' production company-- or with any others-- should proceed with caution. 

Here is the back story: On March 28, 2011, the Associated Press reported "PBS said the 10-12 hour film by Burns and longtime partner Lynn Novick will be broadcast in 2016. Burns said his film will tell the human stories of Americans and Vietnamese affected by the war, along with those of Americans who protested against it. He said that four decades after the war's end, most people have opinions about it but few truly know its history."

It remains to be seen if the "human stories of Americans" will follow the same path as THE WAR film. In his funding request proposals for the 2007 WWII film, Burns is specific on what the film would focus on. His proposal stated: "The series will celebrate American diversity, telling the stories of ordinary Americans (from our four chosen towns) of many different ethnic and racial backgrounds, individuals who are both representative and singular. In doing so, the film will demonstrate the war's indisputable impact on the transformation of America into a more perfect union, while at the same time acknowledging the difficult challenges faced by ethnic minorities in a segregated society." Until Defend the Honor and others protested the exclusion of Latinos, Ken Burns did not find Latino and Latina WWII veterans to be "ordinary Americans" who fought in the war, much less helped in the "transformation of America into a more perfect union." In the end, in response to the protests, other than several minutes of pasted on images of Hispanics, Burns left our community out of his final public/corporate funded film. The accompanying book had no mention of Latinos. 

Knowing of Burn's history of omitting our rightful place in history relative to our military service record in wars and military conflicts around the world, will our "American" Latino and Latina Vietnam War veterans and their families, respond to Ken Burns/PBS? Maybe yes, maybe no. 

The questions, concerns and reservations surrounding Ken Burns venture into the Vietnam War are many, especially when it comes to the "human stories" of Latino and Latina veterans who served during the Vietnam War era, as well as those involved in the Chicano movement who protested the war.

We must never forget that over 170,000 Latinos and Latinas served or fought in Vietnam, of which, more than 3,070 made the ultimate sacrifice. Thousands more were wounded, exposed to Agent Orange and/or suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. 

The toll taken on our Vietnam veterans and their families continue to be felt to this day. 

Nowhere is this more evident than in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas where veterans have been demanding the building of a veteran hospital. The absence of a veteran hospital forces veterans to travel 250 miles to San Antonio for medical treatment.

We have thousands of Vietnam War stories that need to be told by filmmakers, writers, playwrights and ordinary Latinos and Latinas who are interested in remembering our warriors.

We encourage everyone concerned with any and all facets of the Vietnam War and its impact on the Latinos and Latina community to voice their opinions, personal stories and documentation on family members who were directly or indirectly impacted by this war.

We issue the following cautions:

· All material written by individuals about the Vietnam War should be copyrighted before it is released to Ken Burns, PBS, businesses or corporations seeking to represent our Latino and Latina veterans and families in books, film or other media.

· Do not enter into a relationship with the above mentioned entities without a formal contract that specifies ownership of intellectual property associated with any and all material related to the Latino and Latina Vietnam War experience. 

· Do not allow your material or personal story to be placed in a secondary role in any Vietnam War film production as was done with Latinos by Ken Burns The WAR. His excuse was that he had "artistic license" to do whatever he pleased. 

· Review your material and interest in sharing your stories with existing Latino and Latina veteran's organizations, filmmakers and book authors so that they may assist and guide you with information and resources related to your Vietnam War experience.

· Communicate openly with your state or national legislative representatives if you feel your material on the history, courage and sacrifice of our Latino and Latina Vietnam War veteran is not being treated with respect and dignity by a public funded entity.

Defend The Honor encourages all Latinos and Latinas to write and document as many Vietnam War stories as possible so that no one can deny our existence or service to our country. 

Furthermore, we express our profound thanks to those few who have written books, archived stories, produced films and theater productions on the experiences of our Latino and Latina Vietnam War veterans.

Gus Chavez and Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, co-founders and co-chairs, Defend the Honor 
Defend the Honor | By Local Defenders of the Honor Nationally | Austin | TX | 78712 

Yes, we  remember Ken Burn's demancia...This is why we are building the Hispanic Veterans Monument in San Antonio, Texas.

"La Ofrenda" designed by Viet  Nam Veteran renowned artist Jesse Trevino.  Monument will stand 13  stories high on the west side of  the city and will be the Hispanic  veterans tribute to all veterans of all wars. 

Lourdes  Galvan
27 Filmmakers Accepted into 7th Annual Latino Media Market, April 15-16, in Newport Beach, CA
The National Association of Latino Independent Producers has invited 27 filmmakers to participate in the 2011 Latino Media Market meetings during The New Now conference in Newport Beach, April 15-16, Out of a competitive pool of applicants, producers were selected to take meetings with executives and funders in the following categories: Low Budget Features in Development, Documentaries in Progress, Completed Features, and Non-Scripted TV concepts. 
Sponsored by the NEA, the Latino Media Market™ is an executive meeting series for select projects to have scheduled pitches, presentations and meetings with industry executives, funders, distributors, commissioning editors, representatives, and potential partners. This year, LMM Fellows will have the opportunity to pitch representatives of such companies and organizations as Acuna Entertainment, A&E Television Networks, Gravitas Ventures, HBO, ITVS, KCET, Lifetime Television, LPB, Mun2, NuvoTV, Pantelion Films, POV, SNAGFilms, the Sundance Documentary Fund, ITVS, Maya Pictures, Screen Gems, V Me, Warner Bros., and many more! 

NALIP would like to congratulate the following filmmakers: 

Carlos Aguilar, Temple City, CA - Clean & The F Word
Rafael Aguilo, Carlsbad, CA - The Main Event
Chelo Alvarez-Stehle, Malibu, CA - Sands of Silence 
Elizabeth Dell, Los Angeles, CA - Battle 
Michael Gavino, Toluca Lake, CA - Back in my Day & Slander 
Robert Gudino, Los Angeles, CA - Above the Fold 
Fabio Herrera, Chicago, IL - Over and Over Again (Una y Otra Vez) 
Eli Jimenes, Los Angeles, CA - Happy Birthday, I Hate You 
Nicole Karsin, Los Angeles, CA - We Women Warriors 
Cristina Kotz Cornejo, Boston, MA - Fate of the Unlearned 
Gloria La Morte, Union City, NJ - Soledad 
Lorena Manriquez, Pasadena, CA - Siqueiros: Walls of Passion 
John McMahon, Rancho San Diego, CA - "Families of Deployment" 
Andrea Meller, Los Angeles, CA - Now en Espanol 
Lizbett Perez, New York, NY - Act Your Age 
Jon Proudstar, Tucson, AZ - So Close to Perfect 
Arnie Reyes, Austin, TX - "The Next Dragon" 
Manny Rey, Lakeway, TX - Folie a Deux 
Jojanie Segura, Austin, TX - "Are they Real?" 
Sara Seligman, New York, NY - V-Factor 
Iliana Sosa, Los Angeles, CA - "Fresas Uncensored" 
Jennifer C. Stetson, Pasadena, CA - El Ray 
Angel Vasquez, Toledo, OH - A Whole Lott More 
Marlene Velasco-Begue, San Francisco, CA - Ransom Nation 
Christian Vinces, Los Angeles, CA - In Juarez 
Marco Williams, New York, NY - The Undocumented 
Lisa Wilson, Sherman Oaks, CA - "Model Homes" 

For more information on the Latino Media Market please visit: 


A new lens on the American experience

The University of Texas, Austin's film program equips the next wave of Latino filmmakers with the tools to share their world views


As a kid growing up in San Antonio, Miguel Alvarez adored comic books. His favorites included the film noir-style comic books and graphic novels by Frank Miller, Alan Moore's "Watchmen" and "V for Vendetta," and the seminal underground cult comic book series "Love and Rockets" by Gilbert Hernandez and Jaime Hernandez. These books ignited in him a passion for visual storytelling, and he dreamed of one day producing his own comic series. Because he didn't live in New York or Los Angeles, however, he felt a career in visual story telling was beyond his reach.

Years later when deciding what line of study to pursue as an undergraduate at The University of Texas at Austin, he took the practical, sensible route and earned his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. Despite a well-paying career designing natural gas pipelines for the energy industry, Alvarez's passion for visual storytelling gnawed at him.

This emerging wave of Latino filmmakers should come as no surprise, according to Ramirez-Berg. The film industry was awash in an Irish American wave in the Hollywood golden era with the likes of John Ford, Grace Kelly, Gene Kelly and John Wayne. Later, audiences saw the world through an Italian American lens, thanks to filmmakers Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese. More recently, African American director, writer, producer Spike Lee helped audiences understand the American experience from yet another perspective.

As America's demographics continue to change and areas such as Texas become minority-majority states the film and entertainment industries will need to evolve to reflect their audiences.

"As a film historian I think it's wonderful to see this cinematic evolution," Ramirez-Berg continues. "These new perspectives are one of the ways American film reinvents itself. If you think back on it, this evolution is where films like "Singin' in the Rain," "The Godfather," "Raging Bull" and "Do the Right Thing" came from. This is America and this is who we are."

M.F.A. candidate Ivete Lucas on the set of her film "La Lupita" about a Mexican teen falling in love in America. Read a profile of Ivete on the Know Web site.


Alvarez hesitates to say he makes "Latino" films.

"People tend to think because there's a Spanish word in the title or there's a Latino in the film that I make 'Latino' films," he said. "While my films generally feature Latino actors, the stories I write are universal."

For example, his 2007 film "Kid" is a coming-of-age story revolving around a 13-year-old boy and his estranged father. His follow-up film "Mnemosyne Rising," which features an African American as the lead character, tells the story of a solitary deep-space pilot who experiences unusual flashbacks upon learning he's being sent back to Earth.

"The program is supportive in allowing you to find your own voice and help you work out how you want to tell stories on film," Alvarez said. "It's (the MFA program) hands-off in the sense that there's no faculty council trying to steer you in a direction they think you should go.


Miquel Alvarez's film "Mnemosyne Rising" tells the story of a solitary deep-space pilot who experiences unusual flashbacks upon learning he's being sent back to Earth.

"It's not about being a director or cinematographer — it's about telling stories," said Alvarez. "I wanted to figure out how to visually tell the stories in my head."

video icon Watch a 2010 demo reel of the Latino and Latina filmmakers from the Department of Radio-TV-Film. (The video opens in a new window on the Vimeo Web site.)


Other stories that have come out of the film program include Maru Buendia-Senties' "Entre Lineas," a story about two friends that live on different sides of U.S.-Mexico border; Sergio Carvajal's "Quinceanera," which explores this rite of passage for 15-year-old girls; cinematographer E.J. Enriquez's work on the period piece "The Pond," a story about a young girl living among the ruins of the Dust Bowl; Ivete Lucas' "La Lupita" about a Mexican teen falling in love in America; and David Fabelo's "Test Day," which depicts a young boy of mixed heritage encountering multiple options for his identity.


According to Stekler, the civil rights movement gained traction as African Americans, such as Sydney Poitier, and television series, such as "The Cosby Show," became more common in film and television.

"In the past, Latino filmmakers have been invisible to the wider American community," said Stekler. "As more Latino filmmakers enter the industry behind the camera as writers, directors, cinematographers and producers, we'll see more Latinos in front of the camera, too. I think our Radio-TV-Film students will be a big part of that coming wave."

Whether it's the next Ford, Scorsese, Rodriguez or Alvarez, Radio-TV-Film faculty strive to give students the support, facilities, instruction and feedback they need in an environment where they can explore, experiment and find their voice.

"The department is full of good filmmakers who are also passionate teachers," said Ramirez-Berg. "Filmmaking is an honorable calling, and I hate to think that in Van Horn, El Paso or elsewhere there's an undiscovered Spielberg, Scorsese or Rodriquez that's intimidated by the thought of coming to film school or thinks their circumstances make it impossible. I want them to find us and get their hands on the equipment so we can help them tell the stories they want to tell."

By Erin Geisler
College of Communication

Focusing on Creativity and Critical ThinkingThis story is part of an ongoing series illustrating how the university's culture of innovation and its position as the hub of the leading creative community of Austin drive a continuous focus on new ideas and approaches to address complex economic, social and cultural issues across Texas, the nation and the world. Read more about how we focus on creativity and critical thinking. >


Heineken Voces Grant 
offered Tribeca Film Institute Latin American Media Fund 
American Latino filmmakers could get a boost for their work through a new grant that will be offered by the Tribeca Film Institute Latin American Media Fund and sponsored by Heineken USA, according to the Hollywood Reporter. 

Called Heineken Voces, the grant will help filmmakers tell stories that reflect their diverse cultures.

Those awarded the grant will receive one-on-one guidance and consultation from the Tribeca Film Institute, as well as funding to help them finish their films and get their work into the marketplace, the Reporter says.

Submissions for the 2012 grant will be accepted in September 2011 at 

All grantees must be in production on a feature-length film.

"At Heineken, we are excited to elevate our partnership with Tribeca to honor the contributions of American Latino filmmakers and give them access to new resources," said Carolyn Concepcion, of Heineken.

"We know there is a need for Hispanic talent in the U. S. to be given the opportunity to showcase and perfect their artistic creations," she said.

The Tribeca web site also has information on other grants that may be available.


'Silent Raids' Squeeze Illegal Workers

Wall Street Journal
March 29, 2011


Jaime Lopez used to earn $14 an hour, plus benefits, as a maintenance man for an office building outside Minneapolis. Then his employer was audited by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Mr. Lopez and 1,200 other illegal immigrants in the Twin Cities lost their jobs in October 2009.

Today, the 30-year-old illegal immigrant from Mexico says he is struggling to bring home $500 a month from odd jobs, often working for less than the state's hourly minimum wage.

Critics of U.S. immigration policies on the left and right take issue with such audits by the Obama administration, also known as silent raids. They say that, as a practical matter, the raids shift illegal immigrants with relatively well-paying jobs into the underground economy. Conservatives would rather deport the immigrants; others call for a path to U.S. citizenship.
Javier Morillo, president of the Service Employees International Union's local 26 in the Twin Cities, which represented Mr Lopez, said, "You are taking hard-working people in good-paying jobs and moving them to jobs where they are exploited."

Republican Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, a leading foe of illegal immigration, said, "Audits are not much of a deterrent" because undocumented workers "just walk down the street and get another job."

In April 2009, the Obama administration shifted the focus of workplace enforcement from arresting illegal workers to pressuring employers. The strategy marked an end to the President George W. Bush-era policy of conducting high-profile work-site raids that rounded up illegal immigrants for deportation.

Javier Morillo, president of the Service Employees International Union's local 26 in the Twin Cities, which represented Mr Lopez, said, "You are taking hard-working people in good-paying jobs and moving them to jobs where they are exploited."

Republican Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas, a leading foe of illegal immigration, said, "Audits are not much of a deterrent" because undocumented workers "just walk down the street and get another job."

In April 2009, the Obama administration shifted the focus of workplace enforcement from arresting illegal workers to pressuring employers. The strategy marked an end to the President George W. Bush-era policy of conducting high-profile work-site raids that rounded up illegal immigrants for deportation.

The silent raids have ensnared thousands of businesses, mainly in the restaurant, agricultural and janitorial sectors. ICE agents collect and review hiring files, typically I-9 forms that verify eligibility to work in the U.S. Companies with unauthorized workers can face civil and criminal prosecution.

President Barack Obama, who favors an overhaul of U.S. immigration law that would legalize large numbers of foreign workers, hoped the new strategy would show enforcement was a priority at a time of high unemployment among Americans.

In recent months, the audits have snagged the Minnesota operations of two national companies, Chipotle Mexican Grill, a fast-growing burrito chain, and Harvard Maintenance, a closely held janitorial service. Together, they dismissed nearly 1,000 workers.

All told, more than 1,000 audits are in progress across the nation, according to ICE. "Most of the companies aren't household names, but audits are happening in record numbers," said an ICE official.

In mid-2009, the government notified Mr. Lopez's employer, New York-based janitorial concern ABM Industries Inc., that an audit of its worker-eligibility forms in Minnesota had uncovered more than 1,000 employees with suspect documents, according to the SEIU.

Among them was Mr. Lopez, who had snuck across the border in 2002 and settled in the Twin Cities area, where he had heard jobs were plentiful. He began working as an office cleaner on the night shift, earning $10.25 an hour, with benefits and SEIU membership. In 2005, he was promoted to a maintenance position, doing everything from repairing lights to operating equipment during commercial hours. He earned $14 an hour.

"It was a very good, stable area to work," he recalled. "I was well treated."

Along the way, he got married and had two children. He paid $2,500 for a 1997 blue Plymouth van. After his promotion, he took out a mortgage on an $185,000 two-bedroom, cream-colored house, which he refurbished. He enrolled in English classes at a local college.

Then, in the fall of 2009, the SEIU notified him and many co-workers that ABM had been audited, and that those unable to prove they were eligible to work in the U.S. would lose their jobs.

As a result of discussions involving the union and the company, the workers were given a three-month window to get their papers in order or search for other jobs, according to the union.

"ICE determined that certain workers provided what they deemed to be suspect documentation in support of the government's Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification," ABM said in response to questions about the audit. "At that point, rather than provide different documentation, some workers may have chosen to leave their employment with the company." ABM added that all the employees were replaced "under the terms of the collective-bargaining agreement."

A list released by ICE in January showed that ABM, which has nearly 100,000 employees nationwide, paid a $108,000 fine. The company declined to confirm the figure.

Mr. Morillo, the union leader, said most workers stayed in the area and began hustling for other work. An SEIU informal survey of 200 dismissed ABM workers found that only 6% were seriously considering returning to their countries of origin. Together, they had 760 U.S. citizen children.

Mr. Lopez got a job making $6 an hour to clean a pub, until the boss found someone cheaper to replace him. He worked part-time at a pizza parlor, which closed. He has sporadically walked a dog and run errands for an elderly man. "I'll do any honest job," he said.

To stay afloat, he remortgaged his house once with the help of the union. But he missed last month's payment. He has seen friends lose their homes, he said. Like Mr. Lopez, few have left the state or the country.

This week, he got a monthlong job cleaning a factory for $8 an hour. "I'm relieved to have something," he said during a break.

Write to Miriam Jordan at  

Sent by Jaime Cader  

Oración del campesino en la lucha
por Rafael Jesús González 
Prayer of the Farm Workers' Struggle
by Rafael Jesús González 
Enséñame el sufrimiento de los más desafortunados; 
así conoceré el dolor de mi pueblo.
Líbrame a orar por los demás
porque estás presente en cada persona.
Ayúdame a tomar responsabilidad de mi propia vida; sólo así, seré libre al fin.
Concédeme valentía para servir al prójimo
porque en la entrega hay vida verdadera.
Concédeme honradez y paciencia
para que yo pueda trabajar junto con otros trabajadores.
Alúmbranos con el canto y la celebración
para que se eleve el espíritu entre nosotros.
Que el espíritu florezca y crezca
para que no nos cansemos de la lucha.
Acordémonos de los que han caído por la justicia porque a nosotros han entregado la vida.
Ayúdanos a amar aun a los que nos odian;
así podemos cambiar el mundo.  Amen.

César E. Chávez
Fundador del UFW (1927-1993)

Show me the suffering of the most miserable; thus I will know my people's plight.
Free me to pray for others,
for you are present in every person.
Help me take responsibility for my own life
so that I can be free at last.
Grant me courage to serve my neighbor
for in surrender is there truly life.
Grant me honesty and patience
so that I can work with other workers.
Enlighten us with song and celebration
so that the spirit will be alive among us.
Let the spirit flourish and grow
so that we will never tire of the struggle.
Let us remember those who have died for justice
for they have given us life.
Help us love even those who hate us;
thus we can change the world.

César E. Chávez
UFW Founder (1927-1993)

Sent by 

By David Bacon
Working In These Times, 4/1/11

After Chavez died in 1993, a plethora of coverage speculated that the UFW wouldn't survive his death. Stories since have continued in the same personal vein. Was Chavez a hero or a villain? Did he make terrible mistakes that cost the life of the union he led, or was he single-handedly responsible for its greatest victories?

The questions don't enlighten us because the United Farm Workers was and is the product of a social movement, and Cesar would have been the first to say so. He was not the single author of the boycotts or the strategic ideas the union used in fighting for its survival. No one person could have been, because they evolved as the responses of thousands of people to the age-old problems faced by farm worker unions for a century, of strikebreaking, geographic isolation, poverty and grower violence.

The conditions that ignited the burning desire to organize in the 1960a are still out there in the nation's fields today. In fact, they've gotten worse. At the height of the union's power in the late 1970s the base farm labor wage was twice the minimum wage. Today that would be $16 an hour - more if the minimum wage had actually risen with inflation. Today the minimum wage is the wage for most farm workers, and many earn less, law or no.

Growers tore down most labor camps in California in the era of the great strikes. Today thousands of migrant field laborers sleep under trees, in cars, or in the fields themselves as they travel with the harvest. Most workers have toilets and drinking water, and where they know their rights, they don't have to use the short-handled hoe. But labor contractors, who were once replaced by union hiring halls, have retaken control of the fields. And as contractors compete to sell the labor of farm workers to the growers, they cut wages even further.

Medical insurance, once guaranteed by UFW contracts, has again become a dream for most workers. In the meantime, the lack of safe working conditions was dramatized by the death in 2008 of 17-year-old Maria Isavel Vasquez Jimenez, who was denied shade and water and collapsed in 100-degree heat. The low value put on her life and that of workers like her was also dramatized - by the sentence of community service given by the state court to the labor contractor responsible. West Coast Farms, the grower, wasn't penalized at all, because it claimed the contractor was responsible for conditions in its grape field.

The response that led to the creation of the UFW is still the answer farm workers themselves give to those conditions - to organize, strike and boycott. The year before Cesar died, five thousand workers struck in the grape fields in Coachella, winning the first wage increase they'd had in a decade. Every year spontaneous work stoppages like it, although perhaps not on that scale, take place in U.S. fields.

And in the years since the first grape strike in 1965, farm worker unions have grown to over a dozen, in Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Texas, Ohio, Connecticut, Florida, New Mexico and Pennsylvania, in addition to California. To one degree or another, all draw inspiration from the movement that started in Coachella and Delano. Chavez was that movement's leader, but not the only one. Others also had a part - women like Dolores Huerta and Jessica Govea, Filipino labor leaders Larry Itliong and Philip Vera Cruz, African American Mack Lyons and many white organizers from the civil rights and student movements of the day.

Of all the achievements of that movement, its most powerful and longest enduring was the boycott. It leveled the playing field in the fight with the growers over the right to form a union, and led to the most powerful and important alliance between unions and communities in modern labor history.
Farm worker strikes have traditionally been broken by strikebreakers and, all too often, drowned in blood. No country has done more than the U.S. to enshrine the right of employers to break strikes. From their first picket lines in Delano, UFW members watched in anger as growers brought in crews of strikebreakers to take their jobs. Often the Border Patrol opened the border, as they did during the lemon strike in Yuma in 1974, when trucks hauling strikebreakers roared up through the Sonora desert every night. Local police and sheriffs provided armed protection.

Chavez saw that as akin to the bracero program, which he and other Chicano civil rights activists forced Congress to end in 1964, the year before the grape strike began. The program allowed growers to bring contract workers to the U.S. under conditions of virtual servitude, and deport them if they struck against it.

Chavez did call for turning in undocumented workers to the Border Patrol, for which he was criticized strongly by union members and other community and labor activists like Bert Corona. But he did this because growers and the Border Patrol colluded to bring in undocumented people as strikebreakers. Chavez was against strikebreaking, and believed that all workers have the right to organize.

Undocumented workers have always made up most of the members of the UFW, because they make up a majority of the farm labor workforce. Chavez and the UFW organized all farm workers, people with visas and the undocumented alike. Many of the union's most active members and leaders have been undocumented, and the union fought to make sure that California's Agricultural Labor Relations Act didn't deny workers their organizing rights based on their immigration status. It fought against immigration raids, especially during strikes and organizing drives. 

Non-violence became a basic principle of the UFW because violence in the fields had such a long history. Armed grower militias killed strikers in Pixley and El Centro in the 30s. Nagi Daifullah and Juan de la Cruz lost their lives in the grapes in the 1973 strike. Rufino Contreras was shot as he picketed a lettuce field in the Imperial Valley in 1979.

The boycott couldn't end that violence, but after farm workers crossed the enormous gulf between the fields and the big cities, they didn't have to fight by themselves. Their reinvention of the boycott provided a breath of new energy for the rest of the union movement, and since then it has become a powerful tool for community-based union organizing. Today, the idea of alliances between unions and communities is the bedrock of progressive tactics among union activists across the country. The UFW strikes and boycotts helped develop that strategy, and gave the union its character as a social movement.

The passage of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act in 1975 was a tribute to that strategy's power. The law, which set up a legal process for farm workers to gain union recognition, was not a gift or a private deal between Cesar Chavez and (the now returned) Governor Jerry Brown. Even as legislators debated it, the capitol in Sacramento was surrounded by a strike of thousands of tomato pickers. After ten years of class war in fields and supermarkets, growers and legislators decided to recognize (and to try to control) what already existed on the ground.

Farm workers then discovered what other unions have known since the bitter 1950s and the legal evisceration of federal labor rights - the law is a very weak protection. Although tens of thousands of farm workers voted for the union in hundreds of elections, the ALRA had no teeth to force the negotiation of contracts. And after accepting huge contributions from agricultural interests, a succession of Republican governors put growers in charge of enforcing it.

Since then, the UFW has sought to cure some of the law's weaknesses by passing other legislation mandating the arbitration of a limited number of first-time contracts. Today a card-check bill for farm workers is also on the agenda in Sacramento, and Jerry Brown may repeat his star performance from 1975 and sign it. But even a better law is no cure-all.

The boycotts had a high price, leaving the union fewer resources to organize activity in the fields. Today the pressure is on the union from workers who are tired of moving backwards. With tens of thousands of new immigrants pouring into the fields of California and Arizona every year, few workers remain who went through the titanic struggles which swept through California and Arizona valleys four decades ago. 

If the union doesn't lead and organize that anger it becomes irrelevant to workers. Survival in any union depends on its ability to organize new members, and the survival question for the UFW is whether it can take their existing need and again transform it into a powerful economic weapon. With limited resources, it confronts hard decisions on where and how this work should be done. 

The UFW's present leadership will not have any easier time solving these dilemmas than the union did under Chavez. But if there's inspiration to be drawn from his example, it is that it can be done. The social movement Chavez and the UFW sparked almost half a century ago is still capable of transforming life for farm workers, and in the process, much of the rest of our world as well. state_of_the_farm_workers_movement
For more articles and images, see
See also Illegal People -- How Globalization Creates Migration and Criminalizes Immigrants (Beacon Press, 2008)  Recipient: C.L.R. James Award, best book of 2007-2008 

See also the photodocumentary on indigenous migration to the US
Communities Without Borders (Cornell University/ILR Press, 2006)  

See also The Children of NAFTA, Labor Wars on the U.S./Mexico Border (University of California, 2004) 

David Bacon, Photographs and Stories 

Sent by Dr. Carlos Muñoz, Jr. 


The Border Angels place crosses on the migrant graves. http://www.foodfirst.F​.org/node/45  

Images of the border wall, migrant footprints in the sand of the Imperial Desert. Photos of migrant farm-workers , and a Sunkist truck . In stark contrast across the street from the farm are the grave-sites of 700 unidentified migrants at the Terrace Cemetery.


Hispanics are more at risk for kidney failure than some other races. Did you know that 1 in 8 kidney failure patients living in the United States is Hispanic? That is almost 60,000 people! Although we are not exactly sure why Hispanics are more at risk, diabetes, high blood pressure and access to health care play a big part.
1. Diabetes is the #1 cause of kidney failure. It causes almost half of all cases in the United States. Diabetes is a serious problem for Hispanics: 
Hispanics get diabetes more often. 
Hispanics are almost twice as likely than whites to have diabetes. 
About 1 in 10 (9.8%) of Hispanics has diabetes. 
Diabetes is even more common in older Hispanics. About 1 in 4 Hispanics over age 50 has diabetes. 
Diabetes affects Hispanics differently. 
Diabetes causes kidney failure more often in Hispanics than whites. 

2. High Blood Pressure is the #2 cause of kidney failure. It causes about 1 out of 4 cases in the United States. High blood pressure is a serious problem for Hispanics: 
Hispanics get high blood pressure more often. 
Almost 1 in 4 Hispanic adults has high blood pressure. 
Most Hispanics do not know that high blood pressure can hurt their kidneys. 
A recent study showed that less than half (46%) of Hispanics know that high blood pressure can cause kidney failure. 

Almost 1 in 3 of Hispanics is uninsured. If diabetes, high blood pressure, and kidney disease are caught early, they can usually be managed. However, almost 1 in 3 Hispanics living in the U.S. is not insured. As a result, health care choices may be limited.

How can I prevent kidney disease?
1. Get tested. Talk to your doctor about being tested for diabetes, high blood pressure and kidney disease. Many patients with kidney disease never have any symptoms until it is too late. Ask your doctor to tell you your GFR, the best test for kidney disease.
2. Eat right. Eat foods low in fat and cholesterol. Eat foods that are high in fiber. Limit how much alcohol you drink.
3. Live healthy. Exercise, keep a healthy weight, don’t smoke or use tobacco, and treat bladder and kidney infections fast. 
4. Manage diabetes and high blood pressure. Diabetes and high blood pressure cause about 3 out of 4 cases of kidney failure. If you have either, talk to your doctor about how to keep them in control. Click here to order or download our brochures, "Diabetes and Your Kidneys" and "High Blood Pressure and Your Kidneys".

What is the American Kidney Fund doing to help?
Our MIKE (Minority Intervention and Kidney Education) program provides, education, health screenings, and follow-up to high-risk minority communities in Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, and New York City. For more information on the program, or to attend a free health screening in your area, click here.

More Information
American Diabetes Association  
American Heart Association 
Cover the Uninsured 
National Kidney Disease Education Program  

Sent by Willis Papillion

Humana, La Raza Helping Hispanic Seniors Manage Diabetes

San Antonio Business Journal
Thursday, April 7, 2011 
The National Council of La Raza and Humana have launched a new study  designed to develop best practices in managing Type 2 diabetes among 
Hispanic seniors.

Participants will learn how to incorporate nutritional management and 
physical activity into their lifestyles; how to use medications safely 
and how to monitor their blood glucose levels.
San Antonio was selected as the target community for the study because of the area’s disproportionately high percentage of Hispanics with diabetes, as well as the fact that NCLR and Humana (NYSE: HUM) have a strong presence in the city. Humana and National Council of La Raza Embark on Unique Study of  Diabetes Management among Hispanic Seniors --- Collaboration will  test “promotores” approach to improve management of type 2 diabetes

SAN ANTONIO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--In a joint effort to improve the health of Hispanic seniors with type 2 diabetes, Humana (NYSE: HUM) and the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) have launched a study to test the “promotores de salud” – or, community health worker – approach to help this patient population better manage their disease to improve their  health and well being.

“Humana looks to find ways to engage our members to improve their  ability to manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, especially among populations where disparity issues exist. We hope that the community health worker model proves to be something we can incorporate in the future”

Diabetes is a serious health problem among Hispanics in the U.S. More than 2.5 million Hispanic adults age 20 and older have been diagnosed with the disease, and among seniors age 65 and up, Hispanics are disproportionately affected.

If not properly managed, diabetes can lead to serious and costly complications such as amputation, stroke, blindness and even premature death. The burden caused by this diagnosis can be greater among Hispanics due to numerous factors, including poor self-management of the disease, and barriers to high-quality care. Social and peer support are important strategies in self-management education.

“There is evidence that community health workers can effectively engage, educate, and activate individuals with chronic diseases in ways that the formal health system cannot,” said Dr. George Smith, president of Humana Senior Products in Texas. “This one-year pilot program will study how interventions from community health workers may better serve and support Hispanic seniors who have type 2 diabetes, and allow us to apply best practices to reach even more patients.”

“Among the Latino population, access to health education and overall health care is our community’s greatest barrier toward fighting diabetes,” said Dr. Maria E. Rosa, Vice President, Institute for Hispanic Health, NCLR. “We are hopeful that the promotores approach will break down these barriers to educate and help Latinos with diabetes better manage their disease.”

Through this intervention, participants will learn how to incorporate nutritional management and physical activity into their lifestyles; how to use medications safely and for maximum therapeutic effectiveness; how to monitor and interpret blood glucose and other measures to enable self-management decision making; how to prevent, detect, and treat acute and chronic complications; how to develop strategies to address psychosocial issues and concerns; and, how to develop strategies to 
promote health and behavior changes.

This project will pilot test a promotores-driven approach to diabetes management and self-care among 100 Hispanic seniors with type 2 diabetes who are members of the Mexican American Unity Council (MAUC), a community-based organization and NCLR affiliate. About half of the participants are Humana Medicare Advantage members.

“Humana looks to find ways to engage our members to improve their ability to manage chronic diseases such as diabetes, especially among populations where disparity issues exist. We hope that the community health worker model proves to be something we can incorporate in the future,” said George A. Andrews, M.D., Corporate Chief of Quality, Health Guidance Organization, Humana.

With the participation of the promotores, MAUC staff and NCLR, measures on diabetes self-management knowledge, intention to change self-management behavior and clinical outcomes will be obtained from participants and evaluated by the NCLR California State University, Long Beach Center for Latino Community Health, Evaluation and Leadership Training (NCLR-CSULB Center). Study results are expected by late fall.

San Antonio was selected as the target community for the intervention based on previous research that identified disproportionate percentages of diabetics among Hispanic Humana Medicare members in the area, combined with NCLR and MAUC’s strong footprint in the community and ability to reach this population.

About Humana
Humana Inc., headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, is one of the nation’s largest publicly traded health and supplemental benefits companies, with approximately 10.2 million medical members, 7.1 million specialty members, and operates more than 300 medical centers and 240 worksite medical facilities. Humana is a full-service benefits and well-being solutions company, offering a wide array of health, pharmacy and supplemental benefit plans for employer groups, government programs and individuals, as well as primary and workplace care through its medical centers and worksite medical facilities.

About NCLR
NCLR—the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. For more information on NCLR, please visit or follow us on Twitter | Facebook | MySpace.

Institute for Hispanic Health (IHH) promotes the health and well-being of Hispanic Americans by reducing the incidence, burden and impact of health problems in the Hispanic community.

About Mexican American Unity Council
The Mexican American Unity Council, Inc. (MAUC), a not-for-profit, tax-exempt community development corporation, was established in 1967 and is headquartered in San Antonio’s Westside. MAUC is committed to improving the quality of life in our community in areas of education, housing, community and economic development. MAUC has become an alliance of innovative, responsive programs that keeps reaching further into the community, strengthening its role and strengthening the 
community it serves. MAUC is committed to economic self-sufficiency, encourages pride and participation in the economic mainstream and continuously attempts to leverage its financial, public and private resources. MAUC offers a wide array of critically needed community services ranging from early childhood development to family wellness, tutoring, ESL, GED and education through its Spirit of Education Scholarship Fund. Over the years MAUC has taken a leadership role in building communities….developing human potential. MAUC has built affordable housing and has created hundreds of family supporting jobs through strategic investment in the community. These efforts have resulted in a steady growth of $60 million in assets and 630 affordable housing for senior and multifamily units through today. MAUC has firmly established itself as a vital entity bridging our communities with our ever-changing world.

Sent by John P. Schmal



Disability Rights Zone 

The Disability Rights Zone webmaster Jacob Lesner-Buxton invites readers to go to the site.
Ten impolite things to say to a person with a disability:

10. I didn’t realize you could do___
9. What keeps you going in life?
8. You must know what my sister feels, she has ___ (name of disability)
7. Can you hear me? (said to a low vision person)
6. You give me so much hope.
5. I think it’s great that you’re happy and smiling.
4. What does he/she want to eat?
3. Can I try to heal you?
2. Maybe when I‘m comfortable around your type of people, we can hang out.
1. You are not like other people with disabilities.
If you have any questions about my website, please e-mail me at or join my Facebook at Jacob Lesner-Buxton. Thanks for visiting my website and have a great day.


Introducing ...  DOCTORA ANA

  -Salud, Psicología & Vida


 quotation_top blkFor many years my colleagues, patients and audience have asked me to publish my thoughts and advice so that it could reach a greater number of people. As a result, I have written many books on specific topics, for the general consumer and professionals, and I was in direct contact with audiences through my television and radio shows. Now I have a new way of reaching out to all of you: welcome to my magazine .quotes_bottom blk

Ana L. Nogales, Ph.D.

Psychologist PSY 11317


Casa de la Familia, President and Clinical Director

ALMA (Association for Latino Mental Health Awareness), President



"Father sentenced in 'honor killing'

Phoenix - An Iraqi immigrant was sentenced Friday to 34 1/2 years in an Arizona prison for running over and hilling his 20-year-old daughter because she became too Westernized.
Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Roland Steinle told Faleh Hassan Almaleki that forgiveness is the core of all religions, but the judge said he was struck by Almaleki apparent lack of remorse for killing Noor Almalekoi.
The case caused outrage nationwide after prosecutors deemed it an "honor killing," because Faleh Almaleki had said his daughter dishonored his family.  Defense attorneys called the death an accident."

Losing Our Sons 
The Nashville Connection

On March 10, 2011, Melvin Bledsoe testified at the House Homeland Security Committee hearing on the radicalization of Muslims in America. Bledsoe’s son, Carlos, aka Abdulhakim Mohamed, is charged with murdering a Marine private outside an Army recruiting center in Little Rock, Arkansas.




How a big US bank laundered billions from Mexico's murderous drug gangs. 

As the violence spread, billions of dollars of cartel cash began to seep into the global financial system. But a special investigation by the Observer reveals how the increasingly frantic warnings of one London whistleblower were ignored...

Sent by iwapgh@AOL.COM
World's Largest Army 
Based on the issuing of licenses. There were over 600,000 hunters this season in the state of Wisconsin.  Over the last several months, Wisconsin 's hunters became the eighth largest army in the world. More men under arms than in Iran . More than in France and Germany combined.

That number pales in comparison to the 750,000 who hunted the woods of Pennsylvania and Michigan 's 700,000 hunters, all of whom have now returned home.

Toss in a quarter million hunters in West Virginia and it literally establishes the fact that the hunters of those four states alone would comprise the largest army in the world. The point?  America will forever be safe from foreign invasion with that kind of home-grown firepower.  

Sent by Gerald Frost 
2nd Amendment: Right to keep and bear arms.
New Jersey Man Sentenced for Threatening Employees of National Latino Civil Rights Groups WASHINGTON – The Justice Department announced today that Vincent Johnson of Brick, N.J., was sentenced to 50 months in prison and three years supervised release for sending a series of threatening email communications to employees of five civil rights organizations that work to improve opportunities for, and challenge discrimination against, Latinos in the United States. Johnson was also ordered to pay a fine of $10,000. 

Johnson, 61, who went by the internet pseudonym “Devilfish,” pleaded guilty on Oct. 20, 2010, to 10 counts related to threatening conduct towards the victims, who included employees of the LatinoJustice Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund; the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund; the National Council of La Raza; the League of United Latin American Citizens; and the National Coalition of Latino Clergy and Christian Leaders. 
Johnson admitted that between November 2006 and February 2009, he emailed numerous threats to the victims to prevent them from aiding and encouraging Latinos to participate, without discrimination, in various protected activities, such as accessing the court system, voting, attending public schools, and applying for employment. Johnson admitted that his threats were motivated by race and national origin. 

Examples of Johnson’s threatening language include: “Do you have a last will and testament? If not, better get one real soon.”; “If the idiots in the organizations which this e-mail is being copied to can't fathom the serious nature of their actions, then they will be on the hit list just like any illegal alien...actually, they are already on the list”; “I am giving you fair warning that your presence and position is being are dead meat...along with anyone else in your organization”; “So be warned or we may find you in the obits”; “Get into the American groove or we will destroy your sorry [expletive]”; “My preference would be to buy more ammunition to deal with the growing chaos created by the pro-illegal alien groups. RIP [names of the victims] who are not the friends of our democracy.”; “After reading the article below can you give me simply one good reason why someone should not put a bullet between your eyes for your actions that are promoting lawlessness in this country?”; and “[Y]ou are putting yourself and your staff at great risk . . . and by virtue of the network that I operate under information about your malevolent ways is broadly disseminated. . . And you could very well find yourself belly up 6 feet under.” Throughout his emails, Johnson also made offensive and disparaging remarks about Latinos, including comments such as, “[t]here can be absolutely no argument against the fact that Mexicans are scum as all they know how to do is [expletive] and kill.” 

“The defendant engaged in a hate-fueled campaign of fear to intimidate and terrorize the victims,” said Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division. “Racially-charged threats of violence have no place in a civilized society, and the Department of Justice will vigorously prosecute those who engage in such reprehensible conduct.” 

“Johnson admitted that he sent threatening emails to individuals and groups because of who they are and what they believe,” said Paul Fishman, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey. “Violence or threats of violence based on race, religion, national origin, gender or sexual orientation are an intolerable violation of our most basic civil rights. Hiding behind the perceived anonymity of a computer screen to make hateful threats will provide no protection from prosecution.” 

“Vincent Johnson’s intent was crystal clear: he wanted to strike fear in the hearts of Latino and Hispanic activists in hopes of dissuading their activity,” said Michael B. Ward, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Newark Field Office. “Such conduct was, and will always, be met with swift response by the FBI. There is zero tolerance for this type of criminal activity impacting people’s civil rights.” 

The case was investigated by the Washington, D.C., and Newark, N.J., field offices of the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Benjamin J. Hawk of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Eicher of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey. 

Sent by Brent Wilkes, (202) 833-6130, April 18, 2011
LULAC National Office, 2000 L Street, NW, Suite 610 Washington DC 20036, (202) 833-6130, (202) 833-6135 FAX 




Justice for Mexican Bracero Workers



The local  morning liberal newspaper where I live  carried an article
saying  a crime suspect  was half- Mexican. I came across this  crime
article just as I was finishing breakfast. The article flatly  stated that
one of the suspects in a downtown  robbery was identified  as being
half-mexican. Say what? Why not a third or a fourth or even an eighth ?
Mexicans are already facing the fact that they're half  indigenous and half
European. And now this newspaper is cutting Mexicans in half again? To me it
sounded like the newspaper was playing zeno's  silly paradox  game that
cuts things  in half forever. I telephoned the article's reporter to find
out how she figured that one of the suspects was half  mestizo.. She
surprised me by saying she didn't include any ethnic description of the
suspect , her editor did. later that day i reached her editor. I wasted no
time in asking the editor the same question I had asked the reporter. the
editor seemed annoyed  at me for  questioning her about this article. She
said she added the ethnic description   to give more color to the story. Her
decision was based on the reporter's notes that an eye witness account
described the suspect as having white skin and black hair.  And from this
chiaroscuro description  the editor further  colored  the account saying the
suspect  must then have been part white and part Mexican.   However, since
she had a deadline to meet, she didn't have time to verify  the details of
the witness account. I then asked, if the suspect's ethnicity had two parts
why did she pick on the suspect's alleged Mexican part ?  why didn't she
identify   the suspect as half-white instead ? did she feel the white half
was dr. jekyll and the Mexican half, mr. hyde? She didn't like the tone of
my question nor did she  offer an apology. She only said next time the
newspaper would try to be more careful in accurately  identifying a
suspect's ethnicity. Yes I thought of making lots of mitote about this incident but against freedom of the press, olvidalo!

4/19/11, MIMILOZANO@AOL.COM wrote:

Mike . . . Congratulation for contacting the newspaper  editor.

Good for you!!   I would like to include your  email in Somos Primos. 
Would you please send me your name and the name of  the newspaper.  Maybe it
will encourage readers of Somos Primos to take  action too.

Mimi Lozano  714-894-8161

I would like to echo Mimi's affirmative message.  I also read in newspapers describing the suspect as White or Hispanic; Black or Hispanic, Middle Eastern or Hispanic, Asian or Hispanic.  When it comes to crime - the suspect can always be Hispanic.

Rosalinda Quintanar, Ph. D.
Professor, Teacher Education & Masters Programs
Chair, International Teacher Education Council

Rosalina . . . Excellent point.  I had not made that observation.  That is right, because of our multi-racial mixed culture, we can fit into all those categories. It illustrates and explains the confusion that the general public makes in trying to stereotype us . . . except as you point out when it comes to a belief that we have a tendency to crime.
That goes back to the Black Legend directed at our ancestors.  The English, French, Germans, etc. were soldiers  . . .  but according to them our soldier ancestors were blood-thirsting, greedy, cruel conquerors.  
History promotes and clings to those old stereotypes, because it is a lot easier to explain the so-called "righteous behavior"  of their ancestors. 
What you observed is quite insightful and reveals that the underlying anti-Spanish sentiments are alive, complicated, and confused through manipulation of history. 
We need to learn for the past. 
God bless, Mimi Lozano

By having the wrong description to meet a deadlines is messing with human lives. Mexican have been killed for stupid /wrong information.  The newspaper reporter and editors need more Latino input to educate them on how to use the information to best inform the public and not send a negative cloud on a group.

Pedro Olivares
I come from McAllen, Texas (1950-1966)  and now live in San Diego, Ca.


 Justice for Mexican Bracero Workers

 Compañeros y Compañeras,
      We are writing you to keep you informed of our struggle the struggle of the Ex Braceros of the National Assembly of Braceros. Some of you already know about us, you’ve visited us here in Tlaxcala, or you’ve had the opportunity to speak with our compañeros who went to the United States to share our struggle. For those of you who don’t know us, we begin with a brief history.
       Who we are:
       We are the Asemblea Nacional de Braceros/National Assembly of Braceros (ANB) which is made up of men who labored in the United States from 1942-1966, their wives, widows, sons and daughters who represent those members who have passed away. Our members are from the states of Tlaxcala, Hidalgo, Guerrero, San Luis Potosi, Oaxaca, Mexico, Puebla, Zacatecas and the Federal District. We are an organization without leaders in which we are all equal and we’ve come together as a national collective in which we all govern and obey the collective.
      We left our homes and our country to live and work in the United States from 1942-1966 in accordance with the binational agreement signed August 4, 1942 by then  presidents Manuel Avila Camacho (Mexican) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (North American), during World War II so that Mexican workers would go to work in the fields and on the railroads. The agreement was in response to the urgent agricultural need the United States faced during World War II and in the post-war era.
      In this agreement it was decided that 10% of our salaries would be deducted as a sort of savings that would be returned to us when we returned to Mexico. The years passed and we never received our savings.
      Our organized struggle began in 2001, we began with 10 ex braceros who began by spreading the word and to take the first steps. We found others who supported us and we grew little by little, we went town by town here in Tlaxcala until we had gathered 5000 Braceros       Tlaxcaltecas. This work was carried out from the bottom, in the towns and communities by speaking directly with the ex braceros and by not only informing them of the situation but by inviting them to organize and to fight with us, all of us together fighting for our savings. We decided to come together as the National Assembly of Braceros the 15th and 16th of October 2003.
       To date we have marched to los pinos where the president lives, to the national palace, to parliament, and to the Mexican National Bank demanding justice. In 2003 we made our first march to the US embassy with thousands of ex       braceros, this march had a national impact because this same day our brothers and sisters of EZLN       (Zapatista Army of National Liberation) made a public statement in which they gave us the floor to speak and be heard by all of Mexico so that our struggle could be made known.
      We turned in copies of our original documents and called for a solution to our demand in all of the government offices as well as the US Embassy, but to this date we have not received our savings. In response to our demands the government invented a government trust or fideicomiso with federal money the purpose of which was to divide and trick the       braceros. Furthermore, it was used to take the original documents such as contracts and ID cards away from the braceros so that they would have no legal evidence of their claims. There were many who were fooled and signed up to receive the trust money; they turned in their original documents in the hopes of being paid and now they’ve been left without their original documents and most have yet to be paid by the government. For this reason we reject the       fideicomiso, and demand justice, our 10% savings plus the interests accrued.
      Even though the government tried to destroy our struggle with the fideicomiso we continue fighting. During the last tour of the EZLN el Sub Comandante Insurgente Marcos met with us and told us, don’t give up, don’t sellout, don’t let them fool you. And we continue fighting, continue trying to recover documents that will help us find out where the savings of the braceros was deposited, even though the Mexican and US governments have so far remained silent on the matter.
      This Friday April 8, 2011 a card to President Barack Obama will be presented, asking for his support in recovering the documents we need. The same card will also be presented to the department of agriculture. Simultaneously, in Tlaxcala at 11am as well as in the other states in which the National Assembly of Braceros exist there protests will be held as well as a press conference . We hope that you will be able to help to spread the word of our struggle.
      Below is a letter of support that we ask you send to President Obama asking that he support our effort please copy and paste the letter into the proper fields at this website
    with the subject "Justice for Mexican Bracero Workers" 

Veronica Chavez 
Sent by iwapgh@AOL.COM


Different Strategies Required to Reach the 
1.8 million Latinos in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Study Shows
By Rincon and Associates

DALLAS   - The Census Bureau recently confirmed that 1.8 million Latinos currently reside in the Dallas/Ft.Worth metro area with an aggregate household income of $23 billion. Reaching these Latinos, however, is not as simple as most marketers think since Latinos are comprised of two distinct segments that differ sharply in terms of their language preferences, media usage, and shopping preferences. Not knowing these differences can mean the difference between a campaign's success or failure.
The Dallas/Ft. Worth Latino Trendline Study  conducted by Dallas-based Rincon & Associates, identified key trends regarding Dallas/Ft. Worth Latino adults:  

Latinos are comprised of two distinct segments: the foreign-born (61%) and the native-born (39%).

Native-born Latinos tend to be younger, more educated, have higher incomes, unmarried with smaller households, primarily use English-language media, and shop at a broader variety in retailers.  Foreign-born Latinos, by contrast, tend to be older, less educated, have lower incomes, married with larger households, primarily use Spanish-language media, and shop at a more limited number of retailers.

Despite the availability of numerous media alternatives, Latinos relied on a limited number of English and Spanish-language media for their information and entertainment needs. Dallas Morning News and Al Dia captured the largest share of Latino newspaper readers. Univision and Fox 4 captured most of the Latino television viewers. And five radio stations captured most of the Latino audiences, including La Que Buena, La Bonita, KISS FM, La Raza and La Zeta.

Nearly half of all Latino adults had access to the Internet, although native-born Latinos were twice as likely as foreign-born Latinos to have Internet access.

With the exception of Facebook and YouTube, Latino adults made minimal use of social networks, which were used more frequently by native-born Latinos.

Walmart has de-throned past supermarket leader Fiesta Mart in capturing the estimated $2.7 billion that Latinos spend annually on groceries.

Chase Bank is aggressively challenging Bank of America as the market leader in serving the financial needs of DFW Latinos. Still, foreign-born Latinos were twice as likely as native born Latinos to be un-banked, and nearly nine in ten Latinos voiced no plans to apply for a loan to buy a home, automobile, start a business or pay for college expenses.

Two in ten Latinos planned to buy an automobile in the next 12 months and voiced a stronger preference for American than Japanese brands.

Latinos primarily shopped at Rooms-To-Go and FAMSA for their home furniture.

Sears-Roebuck was the preferred destination for home appliances, while Walmart and Ross were generally preferred for men's, women's, and children's clothing.

Latinos shopping for home improvement supplies were four times more likely to shop at Home Depot than Lowe's.

Community colleges continued to outpace four-year colleges as the primary destination for Latino adults who desired to further their education.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) was perceived as the organization that best represented the needs and concerns of Dallas/Ft.Worth Latinos.

In rating the community involvement activities of 16 large companies in Dallas/Ft. Worth, Latinos assigned the highest ratings to Univision, Walmart, Telemundo, Fiesta Mart, and Al Dia.

The growing presence of Latino consumers, coupled with a strong sense of cultural identity, suggests that the demand for ethnic products, services and media will continue to grow in Dallas/Ft. Worth," explains Dr. Edward T. Rincón principal investigator for the study.

"The study is a roadmap that helps advertisers avoid wasteful spending by understanding the nuances associated with different Latino segments, and integrating this knowledge into their marketing plans."

The Dallas/Ft. Worth Latino Trendline is an annual syndicated study conducted by Rincón  & Associates since 1988 using a random sample of 500 Latino adults. The descriptive survey measures Latino usage of English and Spanish-language media, language abilities, shopping destinations, culturally-related attitudes, community involvement and leadership, and socio-demographic characteristics. For further information about the study, please visit:
The geographic focus of the study was the Dallas/Ft. Worth MSA (metropolitan statistical area)
Cost: $4,500

About Rincon & Associates
Rincón & Associates, based in Dallas Texas for the past 30 years, is a market research firm that  specializes in multicultural consumers. Dr. Edward T. Rincón, president of Rincón & Associates, is a research psychologist who has taught university courses on statistics, survey research methods, and Hispanic marketing.

For further :Information:
Dr. Edward T. Rincón
Rincón & Associates
Ph: 214-750-0102


10 Colleges awarding most doctors degrees 
2011  Guide To Scholarships 
Dream Act's defeat by Jaime Cader
"United Latino Voice"  by Jaime Cader
Florida encouraging more Black male teachers
Graduation Rates of Black-Athletics 

10 Colleges awarding the most doctors degrees to Hispanics, 2009

2011 edition of the Guide To Scholarships for New Americans and Minorities. 

Includes several scholarship directories. Downloadable database that provides great information for all students.
Sent by Juan Marinez 


Local students here illegally move on after Dream Act's defeat
By Matt O'Brien 
Contra Costa Times
Posted: 3/30/2011 

Roberto De Leon, 18, a senior at De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif.
When the classroom discussion veered into the topic of illegal immigration last year, Moises Roberto De Leon waited several minutes before wading into the heated debate. When he finally spoke, the De La Salle High School student revealed a secret known only to his closest family and friends.

"I'm in the same situation," he remembers telling his classmates, revealing that his parents brought him to the United States illegally when he was 2 years old. "Many kids are brought here without their knowledge. They shouldn't suffer for what the parents did."

The 18-year-old senior at the all-boys Catholic school is one of thousands of undocumented students who will graduate from a California high school this spring. December's congressional defeat of the Dream Act, a federal bill that laid down a path to citizenship for those brought to the country illegally as children, was a setback to students such as De Leon. But as the public debate quieted, De Leon went on with his life: studying, volunteering at a community center, applying to colleges and searching for the means to afford one of them.

"You never know," said De Leon, who wants to be a biochemist. "All these people could give back something that might help the U.S."

While the youth-driven movement to pass the Dream Act failed in its objective last year, the political fight raised awareness about the estimated half-million Californians younger than 30 years old who could have benefited from the legislation if they graduated high school and pursued higher education or military service. The movement also fortified networks and information-sharing between those students and concerned educators.  "They probably never realized there were people worried about them," said Antioch Councilwoman Mary Rocha, who participated in a conference last week for local students who are living in the country illegally. "No one ever gives them information." 

At the Saturday gathering at Diablo Valley College, more than 100 undocumented students and a few dozen parents talked about some of their challenges and how to overcome them. Co-sponsored by the Pleasant Hill college, Pittsburg's Los Medanos College and a group called United Latino Voice of Contra Costa County, of which Rocha is a member, the event was the first of its kind in the county.

"I met other people in the same situation I am," De Leon said.  While his father, a scaffold builder, and his mother, a stay-at-home mom, have strongly supported his education, De Leon said he was lacking expert knowledge about the difficulties he will have in applying for college and getting a job when he does not have legal residency. De Leon had kept his problems to himself because few students at his private high school are illegal immigrants, and if they are, they don't share it. De Leon's two younger siblings also do not share his obstacles: Both are citizens because they were born in the United States.

De Leon, however, was already luckier than many of the students he met over the weekend. His parents are on the road to becoming legal residents and eventually citizens, which means that sometime in his 20s, he should be able to join them, he said.

"These students are asking a lot of questions. Many of them hear the rumors -- chismes, as they call them -- about what they can and cannot do," said Walnut Creek lawyer Nicolas Vaca, who led a workshop Saturday on immigration rights. Vaca's was the second most popular talk at the student conference. The most popular was about how to afford college.

Vaca asked his classroom full of students, "Who was brought here as a kid?" Most of them raised their hands."For the first time, they're seeing, hey, look, people care that we're getting an education," Vaca said. "This is something we needed for a long time. They're getting information that's going to help them."

Aware of the sensitivity of the subject matter, and the fear that some students have of making their immigration status known, organizers advertised their event mostly through word of mouth. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement does not specifically target students for arrest and deportation, but some are picked up in other enforcement operations, and others are delivered to the agency's custody after a run-in with local police.

Latino youths in the past decade became the majority of the under-18 population in Contra Costa County and statewide, according to 2010 census data released this month, but just a fraction of those students are undocumented. A study last year by the Migration Policy Institute estimated that about 7 percent of Latino young people in California do not have legal residency.

Most attendees at Contra Costa's conference were born in Latin America, but Asian-Americans also attended the workshops, a reflection of the diversity of the Bay Area's undocumented population. Students who are illegal immigrants are a minority, but one that society would be ill-advised to abandon, Rocha said. "The community at large is much richer if we educate our students who are not here legally," Rocha said.

Since 2001, California has allowed undocumented students to pay in-state tuition at public colleges, saving those students thousands of dollars a year. A state Supreme Court ruling last year affirmed the constitutionality of the legislation, known as AB540. Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, R-Twin Peaks, has introduced a bill that would repeal AB540. Another lawmaker, Assemblyman Gil Cedillo, D-Los Angeles, seeks to expand the opportunities provided to illegal immigrant students with a bill called the California Dream Act, which would allow those students to compete for financial aid. 

AB-540 student conference
The fourth annual "Achieving Your Dreams" conference is being held for Bay Area undocumented students at UC Berkeley from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the Valley Life Sciences Building. It is designed to help students who are eligible for AB-540 benefits -- the 2001 legislation that allows students who are not legal residents to pay in-state tuition at state colleges and universities.
To RSVP or for more information, go to  
Sent by Jaime Cader

"United Latino Voice" Conference

A Conference for undocumented youth by Jaime Cader 

On March 26, 2011 a conference with workshops was held for undocumented youth at Diablo Valley College in Pleasant Hill (Contra Costa County), California. This program, which took the "United Latino Voice" months to organize, had its success in that over 100 high school students attended. The event was informational so that these youths would know what educational opportunities were available to them. 

At the end of the day students, organizers and presenters went to a cafeteria area to have lunch. Different organizations, including institutions of higher education had their tables set up here to give out literature and to answer questions. For more information, please read the article in the following link which is also cut and pasted below: 
Florida school encouraging more Black men to become teachers by Sherri Ackerman - The Tampa Tribune,  March 23, 2011
When Clifford Brady walked the halls of Roland Park Elementary some 35 years ago, students knew their hair had better be combed and their shirts clean. One of them was Lionel Bryant, a sixth-grader who would grow up to work with students at the same school.

"When I looked at that powerful African-American educator, I said 'Wow!' '' recalled Bryant, 46. "It was a 'Wow!' factor.''  That's because there weren't many men teaching in those days - especially black men. There aren't today, either.

Of 15,162 certified teachers in Hillsborough County Public Schools, only 3,008 - about 20 percent -- are men. Only 453 are black men - 3 of every 1,000 teachers, in a district where 220 students in 1,000 are black.  To help recruit and retain more men in the classroom, the district has tapped into a new state program, "Call Me MISTER."  MISTER stands for Mentors Instructing Students Toward Effective Role Models.

Created at South Carolina's Clemson University, the program was designed to attract men to the teaching field. Nationally, men make up less than 2 percent of the profession.

Florida's program began in 2008 and is focused on increasing the pool of minority educators to teach in elementary schools.  "I'm really excited about it," said Quincenia Bell, Hillsborough's recruitment director. "This targets African-American men with a passion for the younger child.''

Compensation, Bell said, has kept more black men from joining the ranks of teachers. Starting teachers make about $37,000 a year and getting to $60,000 can take years.

A new $100 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation aims to improve the quality of teaching, in part by enabling the best teachers to earn more faster.

Men, especially younger single ones, also typically shy away from working with younger children, said Adrian Anthony, a third-year teacher of students with disabilities at Roland Park.

"It's definitely a challenge," said the 33-year-old father of two young children. "But boys and girls at this age both look for mentors. They want to know what should a male be like.''  Anthony tries to be an example, he said, through articulate speech and immaculate dressing.

Men in the classrooms have historically been sports coaches, said Roland Park Principal Dave Burgess. But in today's society of single-parent, divorced homes, male teachers have so much more to offer.  "You're now a dad, an uncle, a grandpa," he said.

It's a need that must be met, said MISTER's program director, Ulysees L. Gilbert.  "A lot of our kids now don't experience a man in the home," he said. "We need to do this so they can say, 'This is possible.' ''  His program isn't just about teaching, Gilbert said. It's about mentoring.

Florida ranks 46th nationwide for high school graduation rates. Hillsborough, with an 82.2 percent rate, exceeds the national average of 75 percent.  But statewide, only 38 percent of black males graduate from high school, Gilbert said. Locally, the number is a dismal 7.8 percent, according to the most recent report from the state Department of Education.  "It's not good," Gilbert said. "That's what motivates me."

He recently met in Tampa with 16 candidates interested in Call Me MISTER - a play on the popular movie, "In the Heat of the Night," where actor Sidney Poitier delivers his powerful line, "They Call Me Mr. Tibbs.'' Of those 16, five will be chosen after completing an essay and undergoing interviews by Gilbert and others in the program. Winners will be announced next month.  "I'm looking for heart," Gilbert said.

Money to train new teachers through Call Me MISTER-Florida comes from the state and goes toward two-year scholarships at community colleges. Four schools now split the $300,000 available: St. Johns River in Palatka, Santa Fe in Gainesville, Florida State College at Jacksonville and Lake City.

Daytona Beach State College is expected to sign on, too, Gilbert said, and if there's enough interest in the Tampa Bay area, he will approach Hillsborough Community College.

MISTERs who earn their associate's degrees and are accepted at a four-year college can receive another $8,000 in tuition assistance from the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers, Gilbert said. Once they graduate, the men must commit to teach in their communities for four years.

Call Me MISTER wasn't around for Bryant and the seven other black male teachers at Roland Park, now a combined elementary and middle school in partnership with the Westshore Alliance.

They relied on strong male influences, including Sam Horton, who led the charge to integrate Hillsborough's public schools, and Brady, who inspired students like Bryant to follow in his footsteps.
"He was telling us young black boys - he didn't have to say it, we could tell by his actions - we could be anything we wanted to be," Bryant said.

It's a message still being heard by students like 10-year-old Delais Cenatus, who never had a male teacher until he started fourth grade this year at Foster Elementary. Now he's learning language arts from Greg Blake, who left the business world at 29 to become an educator.

"I think he's really a good teacher," Delais said. "I learn a bit better from him than I do from female teachers."  It's a good lesson no matter the male teacher's race, said Bell, who hopes to recruit more men in coming years although there are no other programs in place right now.  "They are critical to providing much-needed role models," she said. "Even for a young girl, it can make an impression on them for the rest of their lives."

Blake, among 2,286 white male teachers certified in the district, said he thinks he instructs with a man's point of view. In one assignment, students write a narrative about a Sports Illustrated picture of fans during an Oklahoma State football game.

Behind his desk is a poster of NBA player Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder dunking a basketball. Another features The Rays. Shelves of books include a copy of "Jackie's Nine," about baseball great Jackie Robinson.

"I think a lot of them like it," Blake said. "Usually, there are a handful of girls who say 'We've never had a man for a teacher before!' ''

Most educators say teachers are all trained the same way, but what's different is how boys and girls relate to them.  "To me," Blake said, "it's real world stuff.''

For more information about Call Me MISTER, contact Gilbert at (386) 329-1294 or email him at .

Sent by 
Graduation Rate of Black-American Athletics studied  

Jim Campbell, Editor  Bremerton SUN  
April 12, 2005

Dear Editor Campbell:  

In our continuous discussions on the dangerous images we project to our Black-American youth and in  particular the image of basketball being a ticket to the American dream. I bring to your attention a March 2005 research study: Keeping the Score When it Counts, by the University of Central Florida .


 Its a study of 61 national basketball teams, which evidence the fact—that only 38% of Black-American basketball players graduate from College, as compare to over 50% College graduation rates for White basketball players. Why is this happening? Poor high school academic preparation [regardless of the hard working and dedicated Educators] and a lack of personal academic responsibility in College. 

The study continues with;” Among all College sports, men’s basketball has the worst tract record for graduation rates. “When we look at all 328 Division 1 teams, 45 didn’t graduate a single Black-American basketball student in six years. This is a sport in which 58% of Division 1---are male student/athletes; are Black”  

The research author Richard Lapchick, goes on to state;” It also, disturbing that there were 27 Division 1 women’s program that didn’t graduate a single Black-American basketball female student athletic in six years-with a 42% Black female participation.  

Basketball is a fine sport—and just a sport! And should not be projected as the means to the end—The American dream!  

Fredrick Douglass, once said; “A   little learning, indeed, maybe a dangerous thing, but the want of learning is a calamity to any people”  

Thanking you in advance—and have a fine American Day!  

Willis Papillion, in the struggle, always to make sure all our students receive a quality education!  
1578 Reo PL., NW
Silverdale , WA 98383



Gregorio Luke, Artist of the Year
Adonai Films: Social Streaming Heaven & Earth 
Alex Ramon, Magician, Ringmaster 
Gregorio Luke
Gregorio Luke is an international distinguished speaker and expert on Mexican and Latin American art and culture.    

He has presented over 1,000 lectures in museums and universities throughout Mexico, Europe and the United States in institutions such as the Library of Congress, The Smithsonian Institute, the San Diego Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Art, and Universities such as Harvard, Columbia, UNAM, and Georgetown, among others.  

He is the former Director of the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach, former Consul of Cultural Affairs of Mexico in Los Angeles and the First Secretary of the Embassy of Mexico in Washington D.C.


On April 6th, Gregorio Luke was selected to receive the Distinguished Arts Awards in Long Beach. He was honored  as"Artist of the Year." He was nominated by the public and selected for the distinction by an independent panel. The Arts Council for Long Beach, which hosted and presented the award ceremony, describes Luke as someone whose "lectures...continue to inspire and educate audiences about the impact of the arts in our everyday lives."

Numerous media outlets from KCRW to the Los Angeles Times have agreed with the sentiment. Through an ambitious multimedia approach, Gregorio Luke has been able to redefine what a lecture can be. His topics are wide, varied, and always densely informative. In more than one-thousand lectures across the country and around the world, Luke has spoken on everyone and everything from Frida Kahlo, Mexican muralists, Jesus in art, the historical life of Ernesto 'Che' Guevara and the golden era of Mexican cinema. 

As for an art lecturer being honored as an artist? "I think it's the first time lectures are seen as part of the art genre," Luke tells me. "Most of the time, the people who do lectures are doing them to promote a book or because of their celebrity. The purpose for me are the lectures themselves."

Growing up in Mexico, Luke was surrounded by artists, including his own ballet dancing mother, but feared taking on the financial risks associated with devoting one's purpose in life to a creative craft. "I was scared about being an artist," he lets on. "I avoided it for a long time, but then I started doing these lectures when I was a diplomat. Eventually, it became an all consuming passion. It became like a jealous lover. I had to tell the story right and make it a fantastic lecture."

Soon that motivation lent itself to intensive preparation. "In my case, I can study something to the extent that I sometimes lose myself in that process," Luke says. "My lectures have a narrative pulse to them and are built as if they were a screenplay." As his talks are conceived in that fashion, Luke appropriately brings with him larger than life projection screens to showcase life size murals as was the case when he filled the seats of Hollywood's John Anson Ford Amphitheater two summer ago for a lecture on Mexican muralist Diego Rivera.

News that his vision has culminated in an "Artist of the Year" award has come to be the latest vindication for Luke's move to leave behind an established institution in pursuit of entertaining and informing audiences through his talks. "When I left MoLAA almost five years ago to do lectures full time people thought I was crazy," he recalls.

"Well," Luke says triumphantly, "here I am."

Editor:  I met Gregorio a few years before he became Director of the
Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach.  If his name is not familiar, I strongly suggest that you visited the websites that Gregorio sent.  For those of you that have had the experience of hearing one of Gregorio lectures, you'll remember Gregorio's excitement, enthusiasm, and joy of  presenting the beauty of both the arts and history with such creativity, expertise, and flair.   I still certainly do.  Unique and outstanding is how I would describe what Gregorio is and has done for both the art and history communities.  


Dear Mimi,

I would like to share with you my acceptance speech for the Artist of the Year Award I just received as well as an introductory video in which some friends and colleagues talk about my career.

All the best, Gregorio


Don't miss the series of  10 Spanish language Radio shows, Luke speaks about artists and celebrity figures   . . .  encuentros

Awards received
1995, Irving Leonard Award by the Hispanic Society of the Library of Congress
2005, The Ebell Club of Los Angeles honored him with a Life-time Achievement Award
2006, Luke received the El Angel Award by the Bilingual Foundation of the Arts 
2007 Recognized by CATE (California Association of Teacher’s in English) for promoting literacy in public schools. 
2008 Received the Local Hero Award of KCET.
2011 Distinguished Artist of the Year by Arts Council for Long Beach.  


Adonai Films:
Social Streaming 
Heaven and Earth together!


In the book of Genesis, chapter 28, 10-17 the story of Jacob's dream is recorded. "He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it." Gen. 28:12.  The portal door was wide open.


We firmly believe the ancient gates or doors are media portals of access established by God from the third heaven to earth.  They are unobstructed by demonic interference in which angels travel from heaven and back again while provisions  are delivered, transportation, translation and revelation, books and scripts and stories are given to man. It has encouraged us to create more social konania structures. 

We are on Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, and LinkedIn. For the last four years we have met many creative artists in the body of Christ who want to remain connected with us for future film auditions, red carpet premiers, casting calls, networking events, studio tapings.  Servants of the most high God are always looking to get plugged into kingdom media events around town. 
If your a worshipper, music composer, actor, author, writer, director, screenwriter, drama ministry leader who wants to connect with The Prophetic body in media online, we encourage you to get connected with us for future ministry projects. 
Do you have a burning passion to spread your testimony become a creative expression of Messiah? Great! because we are catching up to portal speed in media culture to accomplish the in time technology of fiber optic streaming in Jesus name. 
We are always looking for innovative streams to communicate the love of Yeshua besides Sunday morning platforms, bulletins, mailings, phone calls, emails, face-to-face conversations, television, radio etc. Faith media has become the new effective tool to add to the mosaic of kingdom konania that has some unique benefits all in it's own in effectively communicating the gospel of Jesus.
This new season "We've are activating social realms in the heavenlies! " You can now follow us on Twitter/Facebook for daily film set reports while on location or in the production studio. We'd also like to connect with you on LinkedIn for more direct film networking and connect with other faith based studio executives.  I  hope that you will write on our facebook wall and tell us your testimony in Kingdom Media".  The buttons located on the left page are direct links to our Facebook Page, Twitter feed, and LinkedIn profile.
The Ten Commandments of Social Media
Thou Shalt Blog & Testify his good works (like crazy).
Thou Shalt Create Prophetic Profiles (everywhere).
Thou Shalt Upload Kingdom Photos (as directed)
Thou Shalt Upload Testimony Videos (that all you can shoot).
Thou Shalt Godcast (podcast often).
Thou Shalt Set Prayer Alerts (immediately).
Thou Shalt Encourage Geeks (by the multitude).
Thou Shalt Get Connected to the Rejected .
Thou Shalt Explore Holy-wood Media (30 minutes per week).
Thou Shalt Be Creative like your Creator (now go forth and create creatively)! 
Mike Mireles
Adonai Films
13105 Knollcrest St.
Houston, Texas 77015



Alex Ramon, Magician
Ringmaster of Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus



World Public Library Association Collection 
Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz - Palabras de Poder
La Biblioteca Digital Mundial
The World Public Library Association Collection shelves more than 750,000+ PDF eBooks in 100+ languages. The World Public Library Association contains 125 of the finest eBook and eDocument collections published on the Internet today. The mission of the World Public Library's Acquisition Department is to add new eBooks 24/7 to our shelves.
Browse Collections: View the Full List of 125 Collections 



Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz - Palabras de Poder

I was sitting around with my family and a friend and mentioned that I wanted to write about a strong Latina in history that went against the grain who many people don't know about. Simultaneously they all said, "Sor Juana" and began reciting poems and retelling her story with enthusiasm and admiration. Where have I been? Why have I not heard about this incredible woman it seems everybody else knows about except me? So I took to the internet to do a little research and I found out she was quite a smart and spunky little rebel. Although I am sure many did not have such kind words for her at the time.    



Born Juana Inés de Asbaje y Ramírez de Santillana in San Miguel de Napantla on November 12, 1651 she grew up in the colonial era when Mexico was part of the Spanish Empire and referred to as Nueva España. As a child prodigy with natural intellect she learned to read and write at the age of 3, composed a poem on the Eucharist by the age of 8, began teaching Latin to others at 13 and not to be outdone wrote some short poems in the Aztec language of Nahuatl. I must remind you that girls were not allowed to be educated at that time.

In 1664, at age sixteen, Juana's thirst for education was so great she concocted a plan to disguise herself as a male student so that she could attend the university in Mexico City. Her parent's didn't buy into that idea, so she continued to educate herself. Shortly thereafter she became a maid-in-waiting for Leonor Carreto, wife of Viceraoy Antonio Sebastian de Toledo a Spanish nobleman and diplomat who served as Viceroy of Nueva España. So intrigued by her wealth of knowledge the Viceroy invited several theologians, jurists, philosophers, and poets to meet with her and ask her a series of scientific and literary questions for which she was unprepared. Her presence and in-depth knowledge astounded all who were present and she instantly became the talk of the town. 

Now much admired amongst the vice-royal court for her charm, intellect and literary accomplishments she was offered and declined several proposals of marriage. Instead she chose to enter the convent and in doing so rather than giving up her freedom she gained the opportunity to keep from being restrained by a husband and was able to continue her education and teach others. 

The convent became her refuge to enrich her mind, spirit, body and soul. She wrote loas, plays, comedies, historical vignettes and imaginative tales of mythology much of which criticized the patriarchial and sexist society of the time that allowed for the subjection of women. Her published works were celebrated by many but equally condemned by high ranking officials and most notably the Archbishop of Mexico who strongly suggested she stick to prayer and more godly duties. She famously replied with a letter entitled Respuesta a Sor Filotea which defended 
a women's right to dissent, equality and education.

This did not please the Roman Catholic hierchy who felt that women and especially a nun should keep her place and her mouth shut. Heaven forbid that women should become educated and speak out against injustices. What would become of the world? Oh and speak out she did. 

Through her writings she openly spoke out against the injustices towards women at the time and the hypocrisy of "honorable" men. In one infamous poem entitled "You Men" she asks:

                                               Which is more to be blamed-
                                               though both will have cause for chagrin:
                                               the woman who sins for money
                                              or the man who pays money to sin?

Referred to as "the Tenth Muse" she was able to speak out for some time with the protection and support from members of the Viceroy court and the Jesuit community. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Jesuits, they are a different breed of Roman Catholic priests who do not report to the local diocese and are fiercely dedicated to higher learning, human rights and social justice.

Incensed with this woman's "waywardness" the authorities threatened her with an official censure. Eventually when many of her protectors returned to Spain, she grew weary of the fight and relented by sending an eloquent and well-written letter to her oppressors agreeing to undergo "penance" for her sins signing in her own blood, "Yo, la peor de todas" or "I, the worst of all." She never wrote again and decided to dedicate her life to caring for others. A year later when a deadly plague came to Mexico, she caught it while caring for her fellow sisters and died in April of 1695. 

Almost 350 years ago Sor Juana died. Today the convent in Mexico City in which she lived the last 27 years of her life and where she composed most of her writing is now the University of the Cloister of Sor Juana where all are allowed to attend. 

Suggested Reading: 
Sor Juana: Or, the Traps of Faith by Octavio Paz 
Poems, Protest, and a Dream: Selected writings by Sor Juana





Especialmente para LOS JÓVENES.

Ya está disponible en Internet, a través del sitio

Reúne mapas, textos, fotos, grabaciones y películas de todos los tiempos y explica en siete idiomas las joyas y reliquias culturales de todas las bibliotecas del planeta.

La BDM no ofrecerá documentos corrientes , sino "con valor de patrimonio, que permitirán apreciar y conocer mejor las culturas del mundo en idiomas diferentes: árabe, chino, inglés, francés, ruso, español y portugués. Pero hay documentos en línea en más de 50  idiomas".

"Entre los documentos más antiguos hay algunos códices precolombinos, gracias a la contribución de México, y los primeros mapas de América, dibujados por Diego Gutiérrez para el rey de España en 1562", explicaba Abid.

Los tesoros incluyen el Hyakumanto darani, un documento en japonés publicado en el año 764 y considerado el primer texto impreso de la  historia;  trabajos de científicos árabes que desvelan el misterio del álgebra; huesos utilizados como oráculos y estelas chinas;  la Biblia  de Gutenberg; antiguas fotos latinoamericanas de  la Biblioteca Nacional  de Brasil

Es fácil de navegar.

Cada joya de la cultura universal aparece acompañada de una breve  explicación de su contenido y su significado. Los documentos fueron

escaneados e incorporados en su idioma original, pero las explicaciones aparecen en siete lenguas, entre ellas, EL ESPAÑOL.

La biblioteca comienza con unos 1.200 documentos, pero ha sido pensada  para recibir un número ilimitado de textos, grabados, mapas, fotografías e ilustraciones. 


El acceso es gratuito y los usuarios pueden ingresar directamente por   la Web , sin necesidad de registrarse.

Permite al internauta orientar su búsqueda por épocas, zonas geográficas, tipo de documento e institución.

El sistema propone las explicaciones en siete idiomas (árabe, chino, inglés, francés, ruso, español y portugués). Los documentos, por su parte, han sido escaneados en su lengua original.

Con un simple clic, se pueden pasar las páginas de un libro, acercar o alejar los textos y moverlos en todos los sentidos. La excelente definición de las imágenes permite una lectura cómoda y minuciosa.

Entre las joyas que contiene por el momento  la BDM  está  la Declaración  de Independencia de Estados Unidos, así como las Constituciones de numerosos países; un texto japonés del siglo XVI considerado la  primera impresión de la historia; el diario de un estudioso veneciano que acompañó a Hernando de Magallanes en su viaje alrededor del mundo; el original de las "Fabulas" de Lafontaine, el primer libro publicado  en Filipinas en español y tagalog,  la Biblia  de Gutemberg, y unas pinturas rupestres africanas que datan de 8000 A .C.

Dos regiones del mundo están particularmente bien representadas:  América Latina y Medio Oriente. Eso se debe a la activa participación de  la Biblioteca Nacional  de Brasil, la biblioteca Alejandrina de Egipto y  la Universidad Rey  Abdulá de Arabia Saudita.

La estructura de  la BDM  fue calcada del proyecto de digitalización de la  Biblioteca del Congreso de Estados Unidos, que comenzó en 1991 y actualmente contiene 11 millones de documentos en línea.

Sus responsables afirman que  la BDM  está sobre todo destinada a  investigadores, maestros y alumnos. Pero la importancia que reviste ese sitio va mucho más allá de la incitación al estudio a las nuevas generaciones que viven en un mundo audiovisual. Este proyecto tampoco es un simple compendio de historia en línea: es la posibilidad de acceder, íntimamente y sin límite de tiempo, al ejemplar invalorable,  inabordable, único, que cada cual alguna vez soñó conocer. 

Estas son las cosas que valen la pena divulgar.

Sent by Bill Carmena


The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
Beyond Rain of Gold by Victor Villaseñor 
Cariño for the Comadre’s Soul, by JoAnn Aguirre
No Undocumented Child Left Behind Michael A. Olivas
The Tejano Diaspora: Mexican Americanism and Ethnic Politics in Texas and Wisconsin  by Marc Simon Rodriguez
Sandra Cisneros’ novel,  The House on Mango Street
was performed by Cara Mia Theatre Company in March at the  Latino Cultural Center, in Dallas.  

Lt to Rt: Pilar Ortiz-Groseclose,  Ana Gonzalez
The a nonprofit organization founded in 1996, has been bringing a broad understanding of Chicano and Mexican-American culture to the stage.  

Dallas South News, 30 March 2011

Saturday was the preview for their newest production of Sandra Cisneros’ novel; The House on Mango Street. The novel is composed of short vignettes that do not necessarily connect with one another and told from the perspective of a young Chicana girl named Esperanza. The play is told from the point of view of an older Esperanza, played by Pilar Ortiz-Groseclose, remembering her past. The scenes represent the memory of her past where a younger Esperanza (played by Ana Gonzalez) picks up the narrative. Director David Lozano had been looking to produce this play since 2006.

L-R Ileana Alcala, Kimberly Gutierrez and Patricia Gaytan during intermission of The House on Mango Street (Photo by Jovana Sanchez-Melendez)

Saturday’s preview was highly anticipated by many within the Latino community. According to audience member Patricia Gaytan, Cara Mia did a good job of promoting the play which followed its acclaimed production Crystal City 1969 in December. Gaytan, a school teacher plans to read the novel to her fourth grade class.

The story is one many Chicanos and Mexican-Americans can easily relate to. Esperanza is a preteen coming of age in a neighborhood full of different personalities. She struggles to understand her changing body and find her voice within the ever present landscape of poverty and male oppression.

Cara Mia is putting forth a view of young Hispanic Americans that is the most honest and truthful I have ever seen. “I find that our plays represent the Latino / Chicano experience that is almost never fairly represented in mainstream theater, film or TV,” said Director David Lozano.

Years ago, the few Latinos in prominent TV shows were typecast as the conga player, handy man or the sultry next door neighbor. Latino children had nowhere to turn to view a character they truthfully could relate to. Spanish language programing offered less hope as novelas imported from Latin America showed a lifestyle far different from ours here.

But The House on Mango Street addresses far more than Chicano culture. Esperanza subtlety hints at a male dominated world on Mango Street where women are domineered by their husbands and fathers. Esperanza struggles to understand the attention her physical changes receive from boys and men.

“I felt that the main character Esperanza is really crying out for guidance in a world in which adults don’t address sexual issues directly but young people learn about in places like the “Monkey Garden” where her friend Sally has an encounter with three boys,” said Lozano. “I knew that I had to direct this play to reveal this aspect of the story. I hope I was able to do that effectively,” he said. These topics directly parallel real life and Lozano taps into the audience’s understanding successfully.

Everyone who attends will be able to relate to a character or moment within the play. The Chicano experience was depicted so precisely that many scenes seemed to be taken from personal story lines.

A scene where Esperanza’s father (played by Ivan Jasso) alerts her that his father has passed is an example of this. Esperanza has to tell her siblings they cannot play outside or listen to music. The scene brought chills to my spine because the same thing happened the day my grandfather passed away. We, just like the characters in the play, were unaware that the mourning process was supposed to be solemn. Jasso convincingly portrayed a distraught father and reminded me of my parents’ reaction.

The House on Mango Street brings to light the little told story of machismo and other barriers for women in the Hispanic community. “Many of us have mothers, grandmothers, and aunts who were unable to fulfill their dreams because of the machismo in traditional Mexican culture, because of language barriers, or even illness,” said Lozano. He wants the audience’s lasting impression of the play to stay with characters which were never able to leave Mango Street.

The play’s story line is solid enough to be enjoyed in any setting. But placed in the context of what Cara Mia Theatre is trying to accomplish makes it more of an experience than just a show. Opening night for The House on Mango Street is Thursday, March 31st. Those interested in seeing the seldom told story of how Chicanos experience their upbringing in America should purchase their tickets soon. 

Sent by Roberto Calderon, 


Beyond Rain of Gold by Victor Villaseñor 

Best Selling Latino Author Goes Spiritual in New Book

By Rami Rivera Frankl

In 1992 when the original Rain of Gold hit the stands, it was a dream come true.  We, Latinos, finally had our own Tolstoy, Faulkner, our modern day Marquez. And now Beyond Rain of Gold (April 2011) takes us on an ancestral magic voyage "beyond" the original. It begins with the funeral of Villaseñor's father, who announced his own death on New Year's Eve and then passed over three months later.  This event becomes the catalyst for an amazing journey of discovery and initiation, taking us back to an indigenous understanding of what it was like to live in the Americas before Columbus - plus telling the incredible story of Villaseñor's perseverance that it took for the original Rain of Gold to be published.  This is a monumental work!  A must read!   


Since the publication of Rain of Gold, Villaseñor has received numerous awards and was appointed the Founding Chair of the National John Steinbeck Institute. The book has sold over 500,000 copies and has become one of the most successful books ever by a Latino author. Rain of Gold is currently being made into a seven hour HBO miniseries.


Villaseñor was born in California to Mexican parents during the 1940s. During his childhood in Oceanside, CA, he confronted bigotry and a cultural barrier combined with dyslexia.  Villaseñor was lost until he went to Mexico and discovered a wealth of Mexican culture and heritage. At the young age of 19, he made a pact to become a writer and after receiving 265 rejections Villaseñor sold his first novel, Macho!, which the Los Angeles Times compared to the best of John Steinbeck. Today, Villaseñor has published 15 novels, biographies, and children's books, and has twice been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. To describe him and his work as brilliant is an understatement. Beyond Rain of Gold, like the original, is destined for greatness.


Beyond Rain of Gold is a thrilling journey of real life magic and "beyond," with Villaseñor's father becoming his Spiritual Teacher just as Don Juan was Carlos Castaneda's Spiritual Teacher.  A series of miraculous encounters convinced Villaseñor that not only is there no firm line between life and death-but that the time has come in our collective "human-story" to usher in a new era of abundance, peace, and harmony on our beloved Mother Earth and among all of humanity!


His new partnership with publisher, Hay House, is a perfect fit. Hay House is the fastest-growing self-help and spiritual publisher in the world, selling their books in more than 35 countries. Hay House also publishes bestselling authors Lousie Hay, Wayne Dyer, Suze Orman, Doreen Virtue, Jerry & Esther Hicks ,Marianne Williamson, Tavis Smiley, and Corel West.  


Ultimately, Beyond Rain of Gold is a transformational, magical journey into our "beyond." For more about Villaseñor's work, please got to

Kirk Whisler
Libros Para Latinos 
Latino Print Network | 3445 Catalina Dr. | Carlsbad | CA | 92010


Cariño for the Comadre’s Soul 
A Collective Wisdom 
by JoAnn Aguirre


"The genesis of this book is rooted within relationships in Latino cultures – compadres, padrinos, ahijados (co-parents, godparents and godchildren), but crosses all cultures. By tradition, these complex ties have led to the unofficial institution of Las Comadres, encompassing generations of women who are related – some by blood, some by friendship, some by professional associations, but all by a deep-seated concern for the well-being of one another. 

Sent by Nelida Yanez 





Plyler v. Doe and the Education of Undocumented Schoolchildren  

Michael  A.  Olivas
William B. Bates Distinguished Chair of Law
Director, Institute of Higher Education Law & Governance  

B.A., Pontifical College Josephinum; M.A. and Ph.D., Ohio State University; J.D., Georgetown University

Michael A. Olivas is the William B. Bates Distinguished Chair in Law at the University of Houston Law Center and Director of the Institute for Higher Education Law and Governance at UH. From 1983-1987, he also chaired the UH graduate program in Higher Education. From 1990-95, he served as Associate Dean of the Law Center; he once again served in 2001-2004. In 1989-90, he was a Visiting Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin, and Special Counsel to then-Chancellor Donna Shalala. In 1997, he held the Mason Ladd Distinguished Visiting Chair at the University of Iowa College of Law. He holds a B.A. (Magna Cum Laude) from the Pontifical College Josephinum, an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Ohio State University, and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. He is the author or co-author of twelve books, including The Dilemma of Access (Howard University Press, 1979), Latino College Students (Teachers College Press, 1986), Prepaid College Tuition Programs (College Board, 1993) and The Law and Higher Education (3rd ed., Carolina Academic Press, 2006). Colored Men and Hombres Aqui was published by Arte Publico Press in 2006, while Education Law Stories was published by Foundation Press in 2007. In 2011, his 13th book, on the subject of undocumented immigrant children (No Undocumented Child Left Behind), and his 14th book, on the subject of higher education and the U.S. Supreme Court (Suing Alma Mater), will be published by NYU Press and Johns Hopkins University Press, respectively. He has served on the editorial board of more than 20 scholarly journals, including The Review of Higher Education, The Journal of College and University Law, and The Journal of Higher Education. In 2010, he was selected to be the Outstanding Immigration Professor of the Year by the national Immigration Blog Group. In 2011, he is President of the Association of American Law Schools.

6 pages listing scholarly publications,

Please contact Michael  A.  Olivas directly for information on how to purchase copies of the book,  


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

Each spring during the 1960s and 1970s, a quarter million farm workers left Texas to travel across the nation, from the Midwest to California, to harvest America's agricultural products. During this migration of people, labor, and ideas, Tejanos established settlements in nearly all the places they traveled to for work, influencing concepts of Mexican Americanism in Texas, California, Wisconsin, Michigan, and elsewhere. In The Tejano Diaspora, Marc Simon Rodriguez examines how Chicano political and social movements developed at both ends of the migratory labor network that flowed between Crystal City, Texas, and Wisconsin during this period.
Rodriguez argues that translocal Mexican American activism gained ground as young people, activists, and politicians united across the migrant stream. Crystal City, well known as a flash point of 1960s-era Mexican Americanism, was a classic migrant sending community, with over 80 percent of the population migrating each year in pursuit of farm work. Wisconsin, which had a long tradition of progressive labor politics, provided a testing ground for activism and ideas for young movement leaders. By providing a view of the Chicano movement beyond the Southwest, Rodriguez reveals an emergent ethnic identity, discovers an overlooked youth movement, and interrogates the meanings of American citizenship.

About the Author

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

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

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

Sent by Juan Marinez 

NCLR 2008 San Diego Lft. to Rt.  
WWII Jet Pilot, Lt. Col. Henry Cervantes, 
Medal of Honor Recipient, 
Rudy Hernandez, 
Rick Leal, President, 
Hispanic Medal of Honor Society


National Law Enforcement Officers
Website for Resources on the Vietnam War
Oral History Project, Voces
Monument to the 2506 Brigade Air Group by Sal del Valle
Military Records in Hispanic Research by George Ryskamp
The Civil War in Photos 
Latinos: Defending American Soil by John P. Schmal

National Law Enforcement Officers
Mr. Craig Floyd, the Director and CEO of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial speaks about the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial and May's National Police Week. 

Tune in:
Sent by Joe Sanchez
Website for Resources on the Vietnam War 
Quotations on the Vietnam War 
Vietnam Air Operations 
Virtual Vietnam Archive (TX Tech) 
USAF History Publications 
Vietnam magazine articles 
Vietnam War Glossaries 

Sent by Bill Carmena


project expansion

This project seeks to document and create a better awareness of the contributions of Latinos and Latinas of the WWII, Korean War and Vietnam War generations. The project was created in 1999 by UT journalism professor Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez and focused solely on the WWII generation until 2010. In 2010, the project expanded into the Korean War and the Vietnam War generations of Latinos and Latinas, made possible through a grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Most of our interviews are of veterans, but we are also interested in documenting the larger Latino civilian experience, men and women alike. The purpose of this site is to foster a greater awareness of their contributions. On our site you will find hundreds of stories, thousands of photos, oral history training videos, all the forms and guidelines you need to submit a videotaped interview or tribute to the project. We welcome your comments and suggestions. 



Sal Del Valle shares photos from the memorial gathering at Tamiami airport  A monument to the 2506 Brigade Air Group, on the 50th anniversary of the ill fated Bay of Pigs Operation. I had a great time with my old gang.



iSal del Valle is wearing the blue shirt with aircrafts prints on it, and the cap.
The event took place at the 50th anniversary of the ill fated Bay of Pigs operation at the Brigade Air Group monument at Tamiami Airport in Miami, Florida, on April 17, 2011.
The monument was completed last year. Before 2010 the only monument to the Cuban Brigade was for the infantry at Biscayne Park. The Air Group wanted to be recognize and the construction of the monument at Tamiami Airport was launch The first gathering happen last year. I was unable to attend. The name of the pilots and crews lost during the operation are inscribed in the obelisk. We did not have any ranks showing in our uniforms, but we were considered officers. 



This article originally appeared in "Hispanic Research" by George R. Ryskamp, JD, AG in The Source: A Guidebook to American Genealogy
The number of peninsular troops stationed in a colony and the extent of the organization of provincial units varied depending on the time period and the colony. Study the history of the military in a colony to better understand an ancestor’s involvement.



Service Sheets (Hojas de Servicios)

These military service records are found in all Hispanic military organizations. Generally, the name of the officer or soldier, the date and place of birth, and the names of his parents are at the top of the sheet. The body of the record is a detailed, date-by-date list of the various assignments and ranks of the soldier’s military service. This may be brief and occupy only single page, as in the attached image, a service sheet for a Spanish officer who served in Louisiana in 1792, or it may contain many pages.

Personal Files or Petitions (Expedientes Personales)

These were generally petitions compiled for a specific purpose, such as to request permission to marry or to request and prove worthiness for a special promotion or pension. In many archives, these expedientes personales may be arranged in special sections, such as expedientes de academía (academy files), expedientes matrimoniales (marriage files), or expedientes de pensión (pension files), or they may be arranged alphabetically with the various petitions for a particular soldier or officer filed together under his name.

For the complete explanation of the resources within each of the above 8 areas, please go to the website:

Sent by Rafael Ojeda


The Civil War in Photos 

As Americans commemorate the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, looks back at a moment that helped define its end: On April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth crept into the presidential box at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., and fired a bullet into the back of Abraham Lincoln's head. But Booth had help from co-conspirators along the way, men who aided in his escape and even planned attempts on the lives of key Lincoln cabinet members. Here, see the faces of the men connected to the plot, as LIFE chronicles the first presidential assassination.


By John P. Schmal


Hispanics in America’s Defense
When Americans observe Memorial Day and Independence Day, we need to remember that our freedoms were made possible by the soldiers who have protected the United States for over two centuries. It is particularly important to remember that some of those soldiers had to pay the ultimate price for our freedom and independence from foreign domination.  


Each ethnic group that makes up this mosaic we call America has contributed its part in defending the United States . According to the Defense Department publication, “Hispanics in America 's Defense,” when our country has been in need, Hispanic Americans have had more than their share of stouthearted, indomitable men. Their intrepid actions have been in the highest tradition - a credit to themselves, their ancestry, and our nation."  

Until the last half of the Twentieth Century, the Hispanic population of the United States had been quite small. Nevertheless, from the American Revolution to the most recent actions on foreign shores, Hispanic Americans have risked their lives to defend American soil and the principles for which the United States stands. 

Hispanic Volunteers in the Indian Wars (1835-1855)
During the Indian wars of the pre-Civil War era, the United States military recruited local volunteers from Hispanic-populated areas to help quell the disturbances. In the Florida (Second Seminole) War of 1835-42, volunteers of Spanish descent from the St. Augustine area enlisted in at least one mounted militia unit. After the end of the Mexican-American War (1846-1848), U.S. military authorities in New Mexico raised several local companies of Hispanic volunteers to fight in the campaigns against the Navajo, Utah , and Apache nations between 1849 and 1855.  

The Civil War (1861-1865)
When the Civil War erupted in 1861, the allegiance of Mexican Americans, particularly those living in Texas , was deeply divided. Initially, some 2,500 Mexican Americans went to war for the Confederacy, while 950 volunteered for service in the Union Army. By the end of this bloody struggle (1865), almost 10,000 Mexican Americans had served in regular army or volunteer units. Of the 40,000 books and pamphlets written about the Civil War, only one book, Vaqueros in Blue and Gray, has studied the role of Mexican Americans in great depth.  

In 1863, the U.S. Government had established four companies of Mexican-American Californians in order to utilize their “extraordinary horsemanship.” At least 469 Mexican Americans served under Major Salvador Vallejo, helping to defeat a Confederate invasion of New Mexico . Significant numbers of Hispanics also served in such Confederate units as the 10th Texas Cavalry, the 55th Alabama Infantry, and 6th Missouri Infantry.  

Santos Benavides
Colonel Santos Benavides, originally from Laredo , Texas , ultimately became the highest-ranking Mexican American in the Confederate Army. As the commander of the 33rd Cavalry, he was assigned to the Rio Grande Military District where he drove Union forces back from Brownsville , Texas in March 1864. A native of Laredo , Texas , Santos Benavides was the most exceptional of the many Hispanic-Americans who fought for the Confederate States of America (CSA). The 33rd Texas Cavalry eventually became known as the Benavides Regiment.  

Because of the reputation he earned as military leader and fighter, Benavides was promoted to Colonel in November 1863 and was authorized to raise his own regiment of Partisan Rangers.  Benavides was one about 13,000 Hispanic Americans who fought for Confederate States of America . He eventually became the highest-ranking Confederate officer of Mexican-American origin.  

Admiral Farragut
The Civil War's best-known Hispanic was the American naval officer, David G. Farragut (1801-1870), the son of a Spaniard. In 1862, Farragut successfully commanded Union forces at the capture of New Orleans . While commanding Federal naval forces during the Battle at Mobile Bay in Alabama , Farragut uttered the famous slogan: “Damn the torpedoes. Full steam ahead.”   

The Congressional Medal of Honor 
During the Civil War, President Lincoln established the Medal of Honor (MOH) as the highest and most prestigious military award given for valor. The medal is presented to any soldier or sailor, who “distinguishes himself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty.” Three Hispanic Americans received the Medal of Honor for actions during the Civil War. The first recipient to receive the MOH was Joseph H. de Castro, a Spaniard serving with the 19th Massachusetts Infantry, for his bravery at the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863.  

Spanish-American War 
On April 11, 1898, at the start of the Spanish-American War, the United States army, according to the Defense Department, was “a small professional force” of 30,000 officers and men “scattered across small posts throughout the country.” Among the 17,000 American soldiers who landed on the southeastern tip of Cuba in June 1898 were the 1,200 men of the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry under Lieutenant Colonel Theodore Roosevelt. More commonly known as the “Rough Riders,” this unit included several Hispanic Americans, including Captain Maximiliano Luna and George Armijo (who later became a member of Congress).  

World War I
In World War I (1914-1918), the military was rife with discrimination against Hispanics. Soldiers with Spanish surnames and Spanish accents were sometimes the objects of ridicule. Latinos lacking English skills were sent to special training centers to improve their language proficiency so that they could be integrated into the mainstream army. But America 's participation in the war only lasted from April 1917 to November 1918. As a result, it is estimated that only 4,000 Latinos were trained for fighting during World War I and the majority of them were relegated to menial jobs after their training had been completed.  

Nevertheless, several Hispanics did serve with distinction during this time. David Bennes Barkley (of Laredo , Texas ), served in Company A, 89th Division, 356th Infantry. He lost his life on a reconnaissance mission after swimming across the icy River Meuse in France and drawing maps of German artillery positions, which led to their destruction  For his sacrifice, he was awarded France's Croix de Guerre, Italy's Croce Merito di Guerra, and the American Medal of Honor.  Another soldier, Nicolas Lucero, received the French Croix de Guerre for his bravery in World War I.  

Marcelino Serna
The most famous Latino soldier of World War I was Private Marcelino Serna who single-handedly captured 24 German soldiers in France . For his courageous efforts, Private Serna received the Distinguished Service Cross, the French Croix de Guerre, the Victory Medal with three bars, and two Purple Hearts. More detailed information on the life and service of Marcelino Serna, can be seen at this link:  

Puerto Rican Service
In 1917, just before the United States entered the war, Puerto Ricans were granted American citizenship. Thanks to this new status, Puerto Rican men became liable for the military draft. Subsequently, 18,000 Puerto Ricans served as members of the American armed forces. Racially segregated, many of them were sent to the Panama Canal to guard against an enemy attack, while others were sent to Europe .

World War II Begins
At the start of World War II (1939-1945), approximately 2,690,000 Americans of Mexican decent lived in the United States . Eighty-five percent of this population lived in the five southwestern states ( California , Arizona , New Mexico , Texas , and Colorado ). In 1940, while America was still at peace, a National Guard unit from New Mexico – the 200th Coast Artillery – was dispatched to the Philippine Islands. Largely made up of Spanish-speaking personnel -- both officers and enlisted men from New Mexico , Arizona , and Texas -- the 200th was stationed at Clark Field, 65 miles from Manila .

Fighting in the Philippines
On December 7, 1941, the Japanese Imperial Navy launched a surprise attack on the American naval fleet at Pearl Harbor, forcing America into war. Two Latinos, Sgt. Felipe Trejo and Epimenio Rubi, were among the first casualties at Pearl Harbor . Within days of this attack, Japanese forces attacked the American positions in the Philippines . Of the 12,000 American troops in the Philippines at the start of World War II, 1,800 of them belonged to the New Mexico National Guard (the 200th Coast Artillery cited above).  

Outnumbered and desperate, General Douglas MacArthur moved his forces to the Bataan Peninsula west of Manila .  The 200th, which was undermanned as a regiment, was split in two and the 515th Coast Artillery regiment was created to help defend Manila , while the 200th remained on the Bataan Peninsula . Here, fighting alongside their Filipino comrades, they made a heroic stand against the large, well-equipped invading forces. As the weeks wore on, rations, medical supplies, and ammunition diminished. Enduring malaria and starvation, the troops downed 86 enemy aircraft during the four months they held off the Japanese advance.  

On April 9, 1942, starving and greatly outnumbered, most of the surviving troops surrendered. After their capture, the American and Filipino soldiers had to endure the 12-day, 85-mile “death march” from Bataan to the prison camps, followed by 34 months of captivity. Only 900 of the 1,800 New Mexicans who shipped out to the Philippines over four years earlier returned at the war's end. Almost a third of them had died within a year. General Jonathan Wainwright praised the men of the 200th and 515th units, saying that “they were the first to fire and the last to lay down their arms and only reluctantly doing so after being given a direct order.”  

The Bushmasters
In the Pacific theater, the 158th Regimental Combat Team (158 RCT), known as the Bushmasters, an Arizona National Guard unit comprised of many Hispanic soldiers, saw heavy combat in New Britain during 1944, taking part in several invasions.  In January 1945, the 158 RCT was part of a large invasion force that landed at Lingayen Gulf in Luzon . The unit endured eleven days of intense fighting before the enemy finally withdrew.  

The 158 RCT took part in more invasions later in the year and was scheduled to take part in the invasion of the Japanese mainland.  However, Japan ’s surrender in September 1945 spared the Bushmasters from this task, which would undoubtedly have been a bloody affair.  The Bushmasters earned the respect of General MacArthur who referred to them as “the greatest fighting combat team ever deployed for battle.”  

Other Important Units
Company E of the 141st Regiment of the 36th Texas Infantry Division was made up entirely of Spanish-speaking Americans, the majority of them from Texas . After 361 days of combat in Italy and France , the 141st Infantry Regiment sustained 1,126 killed, 5,000 wounded, and over 500 missing in action. In recognition of their extended service and valor, the members of the 141st garnered 31 Distinguished Service Crosses, 12 Legion of Merits, 492 Silver Stars, 11 Soldier's Medals, 1,685 Bronze Stars, as well as numerous commendations and decorations. In all, twelve Hispanic soldiers received the Medal of Honor for their services during World War II.  

Each Family Has a Story
Sixteen million Americans served during World War II and each American family has its own story to tell about its experiences and sacrifices. Some families bore a larger brunt of the casualties. As one example of a Mexican-American family’s great sacrifice, two brothers from Kansas City – Louie and Erminio Dominguez – became casualties of the European theater. Captured by the Germans during a counter-offensive in France in September 1944, Erminio spent eight months in a POW camp in Bavaria . His younger brother, Louie, had also joined the military and was killed in action near the Rhine River a mere five weeks before the surrender of Nazi Germany. The story of these two brothers has been told at the following links:

Puerto Rican Participation
From 1940 to 1946, more than 65,000 Puerto Ricans served in the American military, most of them going overseas. The 295th and 296th Infantry Regiments of the Puerto Rican National Guard participated in the Pacific theater, while other Puerto Rican soldiers served in Europe . In addition, some 200 Puerto Rican women served in the Women's Army Corps, where some were used as linguists in the field of cryptology, communication, and interpretation. During the Korean War (1950-1953), the 43,434 Puerto Ricans serving in the 65th Infantry Regiment saw extensive service in nine major campaigns, losing 582 men in battlefield action.  

Because of their courageous efforts, the 65th Infantry received a Presidential Unit Citation, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, and two Republic of Korea Unit Citations . Individual members of the unit received four Distinguished Service crosses, 125 Silver Stars and 3,500 Purple Hearts. Of his experience as commander of the 65th Infantry Regiment, General William W. Harris wrote: “No ethnic group has greater pride in itself and its heritage than the Puerto Rican people. Nor have I encountered any that can be more dedicated and zealous in support of the democratic principles for which the United States stands. Many Puerto Ricans have fought to the death to uphold them.” A total of nine Hispanic Americans, including one Puerto Rican, received the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroism during the three-year war.  

The Vietnam War
The Department of Army does not have accurate numbers of the Latinos who served and died in the Vietnam War (1963-1973) because statistics were only kept for those persons classified as whites, blacks and Asians, and most Hispanics were classified as “white.” It has been estimated that 80,000 Hispanic Americans served in the American military during the country's 10-year involvement in Vietnam , winning 13 of the 239 Medals of Honor awarded during the war.  

Although Latinos only made up about 4.5% of the total U.S. population at that time, the authors of The Latino Experience in U.S. History stated that Latinos fighting in Vietnam had a 19 percent casualty rate compared to a 12 percent rate for U.S. soldiers as a whole. In Vietnam Reconsidered, a book published by Harper & Row in 1984 and edited by Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Harrison Salisbury, Ruben Treviso wrote that “one out of every two Hispanics who went to Vietnam served in a combat unit.” However, Treviso also pointed out that “one out of every five Hispanics who went to Vietnam was killed in action.”  

Rising to the Top Ranks
Beginning in the 1960s, several Hispanics rose to the top ranks of the military profession. In 1964 Admiral Horacio Rivero, a Puerto Rican, became the Navy's first Hispanic four-star admiral. In 1982 Gen. Richard E. Cavazos, a Mexican-American from Texas , became the first Hispanic four-star general in the Army. A descendant of Don Jose Narcio Cavazos – who received one of the original Spanish land grants in Texas – Richard Cavazos served in the military during both the Korean and Vietnamese wars, earning the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, the Purple Heart, as well as the Distinguished Service Cross in each of the wars.  

After Vietnam , Cavazos served in several commands. Finally, in 1982, General Cavazos assumed command of the U.S. Army Forces Command and earned his fourth star.  On July 2, 1998, Luis Caldera, a Mexican-American and West Point graduate, became the highest-ranking Hispanic to hold office in America when he became Secretary of the Army. During his tenure Caldera sought to increase the number of Hispanics in the military.  

Desert Storm
Twenty thousand Hispanic servicemen and women participated in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm (1990-1991). By March 1994, 28,067 Latinos were serving in the U.S. Army.  

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

Iraq and Afghanistan  
With the new campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan , the Department of Defense recognized the need to recruit and maintain a highly diverse workforce in terms of both civilian and military employees.  Around the time of the invasion of Iraq in 2003, the DoD had 1.4 million active duty service members, of which 130,000 were Hispanic.  In addition, the Department employed more than 650,000 civilians, of which 40,000 were of Hispanic or Latino origin (Rudi, Williams, “DoD Wants More Hispanics in Civilian Workforce, Military Ranks,” American Forces Press Service, October 20, 2003).  

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

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

Hispanic Casualties (2003-2011) 
Hispanic Americans have made up a significant portion of the casualties that American forces have experienced in Iraq and Afghanistan . Between March 19, 2003 and February 7, 2011, 466 military service members who classified themselves as Hispanics or Latinos died in the service of their country, representing 10.6 percent of military deaths. During the same period, 2,012 Hispanics were wounded in action, representing 6.3 percent of all wounded service members.  

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

Since General Sanchez retired, there has been some progress toward greater representation. In August 2006, Major General Angela Salinas – who originally enlisted in May1974 – became the first Hispanic female to become a Marine Corps general officer and the sixth female in the Marine Corps to reach the rank of brigadier general. According to the Defense Manpower Data Center, as of March 31, 2008, the 13 Hispanic flag and general officers in the armed forces at that time represented only 1.3 percent of the 963 flag and general officers.  In contrast, there were 54 African-American flag officers and general officers (including one four-star general) and 883 Caucasian flag and general officers.  

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

  • Major General William D. Catto, Commanding General, Marine Corps Systems Command (Retired in late 2008)
  • Brigadier General Jimmie C. Jackson Jr., Deputy Commander, Combined Air Operations Center , Allied Command Operations (NATO)
  • Brigadier General Robert Marrero-Corletto, Assistant Adjutant General (Army), Puerto Rico Army National Guard
  • Rear Admiral George E. Mayer, Commander, Naval Safety Center
  • Brigadier General Joseph V. Medina, Commanding General, Marine Corps Base Camp S.D. Butler , and Deputy Commander, Marine Corps Bases, Japan
  • Brigadier General Roque C. Nido-Lanausse, Deputy Adjutant General, Puerto Rico Army National Guard
  • Brigadier General Joseph Reynes Jr., Commander, 51st Fighter Wing, Osan Air Base, South Korea
  • Major General Charles G. Rodriguez, Adjutant General, Texas National Guard
  • Rear Admiral William D. Rodriguez, Chief Engineer, Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command
  • Brigadier General Angela Salinas, Chief of Staff, Marine Corps Recruiting Command

Hispanic Representation Among Military Recruits
Each year, the Department of Defense is required by Congress to publish statistics on the social representation of the armed forces in terms of such characteristics as race, ethnicity, marital status, and age. One of the chief goals of the Congress is that the diversity in the armed forces should be proportional to the diversity in the general population. However, in a 2009 research publication, the Rand National Research Institute echoed the observations of earlier years by stating that “Hispanics are underrepresented among military recruits.”  

In 2007, Hispanics made up 17.0 percent of the U.S. population between the ages of 18 and 40, but only 11.4 percent of Army enlistment contracts and 15 percent of Navy enlistment contracts.”  One factor in this under-representation was the high school student dropout rate. In 2008, for example, 18.3 percent of Hispanic high school students dropped out of school.  

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

Creating a Positive View of the Military
On September 22, 2010, retired Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez addressed a youthful group during a Latino Leaders Network luncheon. During his speech, the 57-year-old Sanchez, who retired in 2006 after 33 years in the Army, told listeners that “You can control your destiny, but it requires unrelenting perseverance and a never-accept-defeat approach to life.” Sanchez highlighted his own struggle, explaining that he saw the Army as his way to “escape the poverty” of his family in Rio Grande Valley.  

A Legacy of Service through the Generations
In spite of concerns about the under-representation of Hispanics in America ’s military, Mexican Americans, Cuban Americans, Puerto Ricans and other Latinos have always been ready and willing to serve in the defense of their native soil during times of need.  In the past hundred years, Puerto Rico has contributed more than 200,000 of its sons and daughters as combatants in the armed forces of the United States . In that time, 6,200 were wounded, and 1,225 died while serving their country.  

Mexican Americans have inhabited some parts of the United States for over 200 years and, as a result, many of these citizens feel a strong commitment to serving in the military.  They have served with distinction and, in many cases, without glory. Like their countrymen of other ethnic groups, some Mexican-American families have contributed soldiers to this country’s defense one generation after another.  One very good example of this patriotic dedication by one family is told at this link:  

Writing in Hispanic Heritage Month 1996: Hispanics - Challenging the Future, Army Chaplain (Capt.) Carlos C. Huerta of the 1st Battalion, 79th Field Artillery stated that “Hispanics have always met the challenge of serving the nation with great fervor. In every war, in every battle, on every battlefield, Hispanics have put their lives on the line to protect freedom.”  


Aguirre, Frederick P and Linda M. “Fact Sheet: Latinos and the Vietnam War,” November 7, 2000. Online:  

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

Castillo, Jerry. “Hispanic Wounded Warrior establishes organization to help others,” October 1, 2010. Online:  

Cueto , Virginia , “Hispanics: Serving with Honor,” El Diario La Prensa, Vol. 39, Iss. 1319254, November 3, 2007, pg. S12.  

Department of Defense. Hispanics in America 's Defense. Washington , D.C. : U.S. Printing Office, 1990.  

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

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

Georgia Heritage Council, “Colonel Santos Benavides – Confederate Freedom Fighter,” Online:  

Harris, William Warner. Puerto Rico's Fighting 65th U.S. Infantry: From San Juan to Chorwau. San Rafael , Calif. , 1980.  

Hemmerly-Brown, Alexander, “Retired General Encourages Latino Youth to Consider Military Service,”, Sep 25, 2010.  

Hide, Michele A. “On the Front Lines.” Hispanic, Vol. 6, No. 7 (August 1993), p. 34.  

Miller, Jay. “Commentary: Bataan Heroes to be Honored by Congress,” The Santa Fe New Mexican, Santa Fe, New Mexico, February 24, 2008, pg. B.1.  

Morin, Raul. Among the Valiant. Alhambra , Calif. : Borden Publishing Company, 1963.  

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

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

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

Ramos, Victor Manuel, “Hispanics Left out of Military’s Highest Ranks, Says Officer: Demographics, Hispanics, Latinas, Latinos, Politics,” Orlando Sentinel, Hispanosphere, September 24, 2010.

Salisbury , Harrison E. Vietnam Reconsidered: Lessons from a War.” New York , 1985.  

Sutner, Shaun. “Korean War Remembered: The Next Chapter; Minoirty Vets Were Neglected in Forgotten War,” Telegram & Gazette, Worcester , Mass. : Apr 9, 2000. pg. A.1  

Villahermosa , Gilberto. “On the frontlines: America 's Hispanics in America 's wars,” Army. Arlington : Sep 2002. Vol. 52, Iss. 9; pg. 62, 5 pgs  

Williams, Rudi. “Hispanic America USA : Hispanics Make Great Strides in Military.” 1996-1997. Online: Internet. 1 page. March 26, 1997.

Williams, Rudi, “DoD Wants More Hispanics in Civilian Workforce, Military Ranks,” American Forces Press Service, October 20, 2003. Online:




Hough 8 volumes, Spanish Patriots of the American Revolution now online 
GALVEZ film Status Report
Looking ahead to a National SAR Conference on Spain's Contribution 
    to the American Revolution


Jim Churchyard, webmaster for the South Coast Sons of the American Revolution has made available the published works of their former member, Granville Hough, on their website.  Granville and his daughter, C.J. Hough published eight volumes detailing the Spanish activities in the American Revolution. 

Mr. Churchyard has put the tables of contents and links to download for all eight books.  The easiest way to access them is to go to the basic website (, click on Site Map in the left margin, then click on Borderland Studies. 

Jim Churchyard



GALVEZ film Report

Hola Everyone,

This is to let you all know that some progress is being made in getting the GALVEZ film into a position to be able to not only get grants so we can shoot this, but also in regards to receiving more support and help.

The other day a young film maker stepped up and offered to help me in the development work, even to put together a promotional trailer film to put on line and send out to potential supporting organizations and individuals. Justin is a recent grad of film school, and well educated with hands on experience in the latest in High Definition film production and computer generated imaging. He will be my Technical Director and to top it all off, he is a film editor and good cameraman with his own equipment!

I have enough b-roll film of Rev War recreations, including footage of the Spanish Louisiana Regt, and also historical artwork, maps, etc so we can put this together. We will also pool our money to gas the production wagon and drive up to Winston-Salem [an hour and a half from here] to film interviews with two experts on Galvez, and at a colonial site and on the Battlefield Park at Guilford Courthouse. We will take a film student crew up to do this for one day, that way the trailer-promotional film will be narrated by these scholars.

If this is not progress, we are also going to partner up with a large Hispanic business organization and a local historical commission in Florida to get some support. This led to a renewal and further support for a film project that I developed a couple of years ago for Florida's upcoming 500th anniversary [1513-2013], the First America project as it is called down there. I've attached the newer film package cover for you to see. 

The plan now is to film this first since it leads you right into the Galvez story.  Shooting this first will work out fine since we seem now to have even more support for this forthcoming, and it will clear the way for the GALVEZ film next!  
Progress is being made, and I hope that as things progress we will be able to get some more support for GALVEZ! Spain, Hispanics & the American Revolution.

Thomas Ellingwood Fortin
Looking ahead to a National SAR Conference 
Spain's Contribution to the American Revolution


If I may, I'd like to elaborate on the recent e-mails sent by my good friend Leroy Martinez on the SAR Annual Conference on the American Revolution.  First, let me give you some background on the SAR Annual Conference, and then I'd like to explain exactly why I am asking for your help.
The SAR Annual Conference on the American Revolution is an annual academic conference for university-level scholarship on the American Revolution.
For each SAR Annual Conference, we decide on a topic relative to the American Revolution; we issue a Call for Papers to scholars across the country; we select eight to twelve papers to be presented at the Conference; and, finally, we publish the papers, with the papers from each Conference published in a single volume.
The papers from the 2010 SAR Annual Conference will be published by the University of Virginia Press.  We are currently discussing with the University of Virginia Press whether they will also publish the papers from the 2011 SAR Annual Conference, which will convene on June 24-26, 2011.
The following is a list of SAR Annual Conferences from 2010 through 2012:
2010, Sons of the Father: George Washington & His Proteges;
2011, Slavery & Liberty: Black Patriots of the American Revolution;
2012, Thomas Jefferson's Lives: Biography as a Construction of History.
We are making tentative plans now for the SAR Annual Conferences beyond 2012.  The 2013 SAR Annual Conference will probably deal with an examination of the motives of the common American soldier.  For 2014 and beyond, we are considering a number of topics, including Spain's contribution to the American Revolution.  Here is where I am hoping you can help.
Spain's Contribution to the American Revolution
As I am sure you are aware, there is very little scholarship on Spain's contribution to the American Revolution.  The SAR would like to help redress this by possibly hosting an SAR Annual Conference on this topic.  But we find ourselves in a quandary.
On the one hand, there is a dearth of scholarship on Spain's contribution to the Revolution, so there's clearly a need to explore this topic.  On the other hand, because there is such a dearth of scholarship, we're having difficulty finding university-level scholars who are willing to propose a paper on a topic related to Spain's contribution.
I am attaching a list of scholars and the papers they presented at the 2010 SAR Annual Conference, or will present at the 2011 SAR Annual Conference.  I invite you to search any of these names on the Internet.
We're looking for scholars of this caliber to present papers on Spain's contribution to the American Revolution.  I can easily imagine topics for papers that scholars might present at an academic conference on Spain's role in the American Revolution.  Such topics might include, but are not limited to, King Carlos III's diplomatic maneuvers; Galvez's campaign in New Spain; Spain's contribution to financing the American Revolution; Spain's role in the treaty negotiations in Paris -- and several other topics.
Each paper should be 25 to 30 pages long, properly annotated, and nearly ready for publication.  Do you know any scholars at universities in the United States, or even in Spain, who are sufficiently knowledgeable about Spain's contribution to the American Revolution to present papers at an SAR Annual Conference on this topic?
If we proceed with planning an SAR Annual Conference Spain's contribution to the Revolution, it will be no sooner than 2014, and may be up to three or four years afterwards.
I look forward to hearing from you.
Joseph W. Dooley, Director
SAR Annual Conference on the American Revolution


Editor:  I wrote to Mr. Dooley and suggested that the work of genealogists, turned historians can frequently surpass the historical analysis of history professors because genealogists research primary documents whereas history professors study the research of other historians.   Mr. Dooley responded:

"I completely agree with you that the research of people who do not hold doctoral degrees can be as high in quality as that by any tenured professor.
The problem we face is that we want these papers to be published by a company that is perceived with the professional academic community as a credible publishing house, such as the University of Virginia Press, mentioned in my previous e-mail.  The University of Virginia Press and other university publishing houses are not likely to consider publishing papers written by non-academics.
If we want the contribution of Spain to the American Revolutionary effort to gain credence within the academic community, we need to have papers on this topic written by professional academics, and published by a recognized university publishing house.
Non-Ph.D.'s can and should continue to conduct the important work they are doing to raise general awareness of Spain's contribution to the American Revolution.  Non-Ph.D.'s can and should write papers on this topic, and seek to have them published in any journal that they can.  This constitutes a very important contibution to our general understanding and appreciation of the role of Spain during the American Revolution.
I appreciate your help.
Joseph W. Dooley, Director
SAR Annual Conference on the American Revolution "

Editor: Author/historian Lila Guzman, Ph.D. suggests that research collaboration between genealogists and history professors would perhaps solve problems of credibility.  





The G E N E A L O G Y 

By David G. Williamson 

l interés por la Monarquía Mexicana ha tenido un renacimiento en los últimos años. Ya existen ahora varios websites dedicados a la historia de la Monarquía Mexicana y La Casa de Iturbide.

Hasta donde sabemos, éste es el único Website que cuenta con la ayuda de la cabeza de la Casa Imperial de México, Don Maximiliano de Götzen - Iturbide. Él no es el único descendiente directo de Iturbide pero es también el heredero de la tradición de la Casa Imperial de Habsburgo en México. Él ha sido muy generoso en darnos su permiso para utilizar algunas fotografías, pinturas y documentos de su colección.

Editor: Marvelous site, lots of information.  

Sent by Paul Newfield III


Don JOSE JOAQUIN de ITURBIDE Y ARREGUI, bapt in the parish church in Juan Evangelista, Peralta 6 Feb 1739 (son of Don JOSE de ITURBIDE Y ALVAREZ de EULATE, by his wife Doña MARIA JOSEFA de ARREGUI Y GASTELU), emigrated to Mexico 1766 and settled at Valladolid (now Morelia), designated PRINCE OF THE UNION (PRINCIPE 61 UNION) with the qualification of Highness (Alteza) by Decree of the Constituent Sovereign Congress of Mexico 22 June 1822. He was Rector de la Archicofradia Noble de los Caballeros de la Santa Veracruz, Grand Cross of the Order of Guadalupe, and Oficial Mayor de la Negocios Eclesiasticos. He m at Santa Clara los Cobres, Michoacan, Mexico 21 Nov 1772, Doña MARIA JOSEFA de ARAMBURU Y CARRILLO de FIGUEROA (b in the Bishopric of Michoacan .... 17..; d at Mexico City 3 Dec 1820; bur in the Panteon de Pablo), dau of Don SEBASTIAN de ARAMBURU Y URDIZIBAR, by his wife Doña NICOLASA MICAELA CARRILLO de FIGUEROA Y VILLASENOR, and d at ............... 19 Nov 1825, having had issue, . . . . .  

Editor: Go to the website for the children 


My Aunt Theresa Candelaria, Miss Pin-Up Gal of WW II
It All Comes Back by Ben Romero

My Aunt Theresa Candelaria

Miss Pin-Up Gal of WW II

April 1, 2011 
by Gloria Candelaria, Victoria, Texas.


(Standing, L-R) George, Jr. (Victoria, Tx); George Santiago, Sr.; Victor Alan (Corpus Christi, Tx)
(sitting, L-r) Doris Ann (Mrs. Ed Atkinson, Victoria, Tx); Viviana (Mrs. Abel Cavada, Corpus Christi, Tx); MRS. THERESA CANDELARIA-SANTIAGO; Norma June (Mrs. Jerry Rutledge, Round Rock, Tx); Angelina (Mrs. Juan Rios, Kingsville, Tx) and Nancy (Mrs. Dale Pahmiyer, Corpus Christi, Tx)

In the month of April, 2011, my Aunt Theresa will be 86 years old on April 12th, but you wouldn’t know that back in the 1940s, during World War II, she was a pin-up gal for many soldiers, and was known as “Miss Smarty.”  Even today, she’s smart and beautiful and alert --she has a fantastic memory of times past and sat down to tell me wonderful stories. My genealogy record of her birth in my grandfather’s diary states: “Theresa Candelaria was born 
to Antonio Candelaria and Felipa Plata. She was born at 5 a.m. near Hochheim, Gonzales County, Texas.” Her birth record shows she was the fourth child born to this couple; the father was farming near Hochheim and was 34 years old; the mother was 28 years old and a housewife.  The birth certificate was filed April 25, 1945 in Gonzales County, Texas. 
couple of months later, her parents baptized Theresa at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Yoakum, Texas, on June 24, 1925; her baptism godparents were Jose Martinez and Mercedes Martinez, friends of the Candelaria couple.  However, Theresa was baptized twice: when her parents converted, Theresa and her siblings were all baptized in 1928 by Rev. O. C. Williamson of the Presbyterian Church in Gonzales, TX. 

Theresa was named after her paternal grandmother, Theresita de Jesus Veracruz, child of Pedro Veracruz and Juanita Tejeda.  Theresa was a middle child: she had two older sisters, Lillie and Elvira, and two younger sisters, Antonia (“Tonie”) and Felipa, plus two big brothers (but the eldest died young). Her big brother, Tino Candelaria, was always her guardian.  Today, Theresa has two sisters living: Elvira (Mrs. John Balli) and Felipa (Mrs. August Laurel).  But her life is full of happiness because of her family. After Theresa married, she and her husband George had four girls and two boys who love to hear her family stories as much as I do.  

I want to also share this story of Aunt Theresa, written by Pat Hathcock, of the Victoria Advocate’s newspaper, written a couple of years ago:  

Victoria once had a one-name celebrity, our own Madonna, but considerably more demure.   During World War II, Victoria was a quiet little town, but Theresa Candelaria got to be Smarty, the pin-up sweetheart for a lot of GIs.   For good reason – the teenage girl posing demurely in old photos is a drop-dead good looking!  She was so well known that letters addressed to “Miss Smarty, Victoria, Texas” would arrive at her door.   How did it start?  ‘We had two military bases here in Victoria. A young boy came and took several pictures of me at memorial Park.  I sent my cousin Chacho Gomez my photo to where he was stationed in Hawaii.  He showed the pictures to his buddies.  He wrote and told me “you’re our pin-up.”  Soon she was getting letters from GIs all around, asking for photos.  

The photos are pretty chaste. Theresa recumbent on a grassy hillside, her head leaned against her hand, wearing a long dress with a little white collar.  She points at her shoes in that shot.  ‘Back then we wore those heels with pretty silk socks – not hose, socks.’ And so it is, socks gathered around her trim ankle.  

‘At that time, we’d wear our charm bracelets around an ankle instead of on our arms,’ she said.  ‘They were silver charms.  Silver wasn’t any big deal then like it is now.’  Daughter Doris Atkinson puts in, ‘A lot of the letters are gone.  Mostly they were asking for pictures.  Mother said at that time they got mail two times a day,’ Atkinson said.  ‘I’d be waiting at 8 and at noon,’ Santiago said. ‘I got lots and lots of mail.’  

A page in a family scrapbook has Smarty memorabilia.  In the center is an old correspondence and around it is written ‘Dear Smarty, / Send me your picture. / Love, the U.S. Army/Air Force.’  Why Smarty?  ‘Oh, I guess I always had a smart answer for everything.  We lived at that time at 807 E. Goodwin, this side of the tracks,’ Santiago said, making a formerly important social distinction.  ‘There were a lot of pretty girls in that neighborhood, especially around the candy store.  She said the Candelaria’s owned a grocery store at the Goodwin address and they lived behind the store. [Note: the store was called Tino’s Grocery Store, owned by my father, Selestino Candelaria, Theresa’s brother.]  When convoys would come by, my sister, Tonie, would throw oranges and apples at the soldiers.  They would come back to the store because they knew they would be welcome.  The bases opened up social and economic opportunities for Victorians never before seen.  There were good jobs available working for the government and local girls suddenly had hundreds of GIs in their social world.   Theresa met hers. ‘I met my husband.  It was SRO at the theater, the Rita Theater, next door to the Uptown Theater at Bridge and Constitution Streets.  It was Sunday night.’  

She and George Santiago, a New Yorker of Puerto Rican descent, were married August 10, 1943.  She was 18 years old.  ‘Back in those days, we didn’t send out wedding invitations,’ she said.  ‘You just told people there was a wedding.  So many people came.  It was so hot; our church was small and didn’t have air conditioning, just ceiling fans.  You just opened up the windows.’ [Note: Theresa still attends services regularly at Nicea Presbyterian Church, corner of Church and DeLeon Streets, in Victoria, Texas, where she married, and where she and George baptized their children and many grandchildren have been baptized in the same church. It’s been the Candelaria family church for several decades.]  

Marriage pretty much ended Theresa’s life as a celebrity.  ‘He was jealous of me’ she said.  ‘Generally Hispanic males are jealous.’  She had taken a Civil Service test and a notice came that there was a job for her.  ‘I got a notice to go to work at Foster Field.  My husband was at Aloe Field.  He told her to stay home.’  A year after the war, the couple went to New York to live.  It was a revelation for Theresa. ‘They thought I was rich!  They thought anyone from Texas had a faucet with oil coming out of it.  Everything was different. . . .’  They returned to Victoria where George Santiago eventually became the postmaster, living since the 1960s in a brick house on the corner of Santa Rosa and De Leon Streets. [
George was the first Hispanic Postmaster of Victoria, Texas. He retired from the Post Office and after retirement, George finished college at the University of Houston in Victoria and received his degree at age 75. Theresa still lives in the same brick house.]  

One of Theresa’s grandchildren, Lynae Miyer, a weather announcer on the local television station, dropped by the house while Santiago had all the photos and memorabilia out. ‘She never told me about this before,’ Miyer said, a bit intrigued by grandmother’s life as a pin up.’  

True!  A lot of us did not know about Aunt Theresa’s teenage lifestyle.  As the family historian, however, I love to probe and seek out stories, especially from my relatives, because, as many people know – once they say their last goodbye, their stories, too, also say goodbye forever.

Nambé, New Mexico

When I was a child living in Nambé, New Mexico, we attended mass every Sunday. The old adobe church was built on high ground facing the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Its humble interior smelled of copál and earth. Whenever I entered the large double doors I felt like I was truly entering the house of God. 

I dreaded the collection plate because I seldom had any money. Once in a while I'd have a few pennies, but it was hard to part with them. My mother would ease the pain by saying, "Todo lo que le damos a Diós y a la iglesia se nos devuelve (Everything we give to God and to the church is returned to us)." Her words had little meaning to me at the time. I dared not ask, but I wondered why we bothered to give something that was going to be given back anyway. And when would we get it back?

Once, I found a dime under the seat of Dad’s pick-up and held on to it for days, thinking about an upcoming carnival. When we went to church on Sunday, I thought for a moment that I would put my dime into the collection and make my mother proud. But as the basket was passed in front of me and my heart pounded, I stared straight ahead and the dime remained in my pocket. At first I felt as if I’d gotten away with something, but at night when I was alone with my thoughts, I felt guilty and selfish.

My oldest sister, Ramona started working at a bank in Santa Fé right after graduating high school. She was like a mother hen to the rest of us kids, often driving us to picnics or to town on weekends. She also taught us a clever trick about money, which encouraged us to save. She brought home paper rolls where we could neatly store our small change in meaningful increments. Fifty pennies, for instance, was equivalent to a half dollar (a lot of money back in 1960), and forty nickels in a roll translated into two dollars. Wow.

Fifty years later, due to inflation, money has lost much value, and coins are considered an inconvenience, if not a nuisance. People seldom put them in the collection plate in church anymore.

Holy Spirit Church is Fresno is built in a half-circle, stadium style, with the pews all facing the Alter. The front pews are at the lowest point with each preceding row at an incline, so that everyone gets a good view of the priest.

Last week, while attending mass, I placed a roll of quarters in the collection plate. It was one of those weeks when my bank account balance was low and I didn't have paper money in my wallet. My wife and daughters were out of town, so I had no other recourse. As a precaution, I sealed both ends of the roll with scotch tape so it wouldn't spill, and reasoned that it saved me from having to take it to the bank. At least I hadn’t shown up empty handed.

What I didn't consider was the weight of the coins. It threw the basket off balance. As it got passed on, person to person at each row, people placed envelopes and paper money. A few rows back, someone spilled the basket and my roll of quarters rolled under the pews and kneelers, coming to rest on the heel of my shoe.

At that moment my mother’s words rang clearly in my mind and I knew she was right. “Everything we give to God and to the church is returned to us.”

Ben Romero
Author of Chicken Beaks Book series


Letters to the Editor, examples of  Somos Primos readers' networking
Study: 8 million Spaniards may have "Jewish" genes
This is a Laminin 
Solo  Seis  por  Ángel Custodio Rebollo
African languages tend to have more variety of sounds than  other parts of the world

Letter to the Editor, examples of  Somos Primos readers' networking: 

Querida Mimi,

Gracias por la publicación de la peticion de mi amigo Juan Flores que te he enviado. Antes de las 24 horas de la publicación, ha recibido dos mensajes de personas que se interesan por el tema.

El ultimo numero es muy bueno, cada vez estas superandote. Te felicito de corazon.

Un abrazo, Angel Custodio  

FYI, Cordy and I just returned from another very successful trip to Rio Grande City where we visited with the Rio Grande CISD Librarians.  As usual, most in the audience had not heard of early (pre-1836) Texas history.  They were pleasantly surprised to learn of the details and I like to think that I made them feel good about themselves and their ancestors who built this great place we call Texas

However, you will be pleased to know that some of the attendees had heard of you and Somos Primos.  They attributed their Spanish American history reawakening to you and your website.  Thanks again for all you do to spread the word, not only on our very unique early Texas and Southwest “ U.S. ” history, but Spanish American history throughout the Super Continent of America and the world.

Saludos, José Antonio (Joe) López  



Study: 8 million Spaniards may have "Jewish" genes

Signet with hebrew/kabbalistic inscriptions belong to Christopher Columbus.

From the 15th century on, Spain's Jews were mostly expelled or forced to convert, but today some 20 percent of Spaniards have genes similar to Sephardic Jews, a study has found.

A report in the American Journal of Human Genetics says almost a fifth of Spaniards have genes similar to Sephardic Jews. With a population of more than 40 million, Spain may thus have 8 million citizens with "Jewish" genes.

"The genetic composition of the current population is the legacy of our diverse cultural and religious past," study author Francesco Calafell, on the evolutionary biology faculty at Barcelona's Pompeu Fabra University, said Friday.

 Along with researchers from Leicester University in England and the Wellcome Trust, the study compared DNA samples from 1,140 men in Spain, Portugal and the Balearic Islands with established data on Moroccans, Algerians, and Sephardic Jews in Istanbul and Israel.

"The work shows that religious conversions and subsequent marriages between people of different lines had a significant impact on modern populations both in the Balearic Islands and in Portugal," another author Elena Bosch said in a statement.

Jews lived in Spain before the Moors arrived and although small in number played a significant cultural and economic role. It has been argued that Christopher Columbus, who set sail for the new world the day before Jews were to be expelled in the Inquisition of 1492, was himself. The childhood ditty may have to be revised:

"Columbus sailed the ocean blue Who'd have guessed Chris was a Jew?"

Hundreds of thousands of Jews were expelled from Spain in various repressive moves, started by the Catholic Monarchs. The study suggests many Jews converted rather than face repression. Some Sephardic communities to this day speak Ladino, which is similar to medieval Spanish and can be understood by present-day Spaniards. "Marranos" or "Conversos" secretly carried on Jewish traditions.

Posted by Israel Insider on December 6, 2008

Hello Mimi,
I went to the site to see what they have to say. Are you surprised to find that 20% of today's Spaniards has some Jewish genes? That is the story from the site. The shocking story is that 80% don't have Jewish genes.  After all the generations that Jews were in what is know as Spain today, I would expect everyone there today would have some Jwish genes. The results tell me how little conversion and mixing took place.  That is the real story to me.
Best Regards, Crispin Rendon



This is a Laminin 

Laminins are a family of proteins that are an integral part of the structural scaffolding of basement membranes in almost every animal tissue.   Laminins are what hold us together...  They are cell adhesion molecules. They are what holds one cell of our bodies to the next cell. Without them, we would literally fall apart. 

The glue that holds us together.... ALL of us..... Is in the shape of the cross


Sent by Eddie Grijalva





  Ángel Custodio Rebollo

Hace algún tiempo, encontré entre mis lecturas un relato de un fraile, creo que dominico, que incluía una leyenda de los indios guatemaltecos, que afirmaba que el origen de la humanidad partió del Polo Norte. El libro había sido escrito en el siglo XVII ó XVIII, y traducido de la lengua quiché al castellano.

Ha pasado el tiempo y no había recordado hasta hoy este dato, pero ahora encuentro una información sobre unos estudios que se hacen sobre el origen de la población americana y me tropiezo de nuevo con lo que leí hace años y consideré como una leyenda, por lo que no dí mayor importancia.

Dice la información, publicada en la revista Tendencias,  que el noventa y cinco por ciento de la población de América del norte, del sur y Centroamérica procede de solo seis mujeres que llegaron a estos parajes hace unos veinte millones de años,  procedentes del Circulo Polar Ártico, basándose en una investigación sobre el “ADN mitocondrial”, (sobre lo que no tengo ni idea), y con posteriores exploraciones científicas.

Para más información, nos dicen que estas seis mujeres no vivieron en Asia, porque sus huellas de ADN no se han encontrado en aquel continente. Atribuyen su origen a una región asiático-americana ubicada en el Círculo Polar Ártico llamada Beringia y desde allí pasaron al continente americano en una glaciación.

Al parecer existió un denominado “Puente de Beringia”, por donde pasó esta emigración para colonizar América, pero se encuentra sumergido y de difícil localización.

Lo curioso de esta investigación, efectuada por prestigiosas universidades de los Estados Unidos, es el dato que fueron seis mujeres las que dieron origen a esta proliferación de descendientes, pero ahí llega el tope de mis conocimientos para  comprender como después de veinte millones de años se pueda concretar que fueron seis y no más.

De todas formas creo que tendrían un nivel de fertilidad muy importante y que “trabajarían a destajo” para los grandes logros que obtuvieron.

Hemos de reconocer que, después de estas investigaciones, tenemos la conclusión que los indios guatemaltecos, hace mas de quinientos años ya conocían de donde partió su origen.

                               Ángel Custodio Rebollo


Publicado en Odiel Información, de Huelva

African languages tend to have more variety of sounds than those in other parts of the world

By Maureen Salamon
HealthDay Reporter

Thursday, April 14 (HealthDay News) -- Just as the genetic heritage of humans can be traced to Africa, the world's languages also originated there and spread across the globe, a new study suggests. New Zealand researcher Quentin Atkinson analyzed the phonemes -- distinct units of sound that differentiate words -- used in modern speech and found that their pattern mirrors that of human genetic diversity.

As humans migrated out of Africa and began colonizing other regions, genetic diversity decreased. According to the study, phoneme diversity tended to decrease, too. In a study appearing in the April 15 issue of Science, Atkinson suggests that today's phoneme usage fits a "serial founder effect" model of expansion from Africa, where dialects using the most phonemes are spoken. Those with the fewest phonemes are spoken in South
America and on tropical islands in the Pacific Ocean, he said.

"If our languages can be traced to Africa, and language is a marker of cultural ancestry, then . . . we are a family in a cultural as well as a genetic sense," said Atkinson, a post-doctoral researcher in the department of psychology at University of Auckland. "I think that is pretty cool."  Atkinson said he undertook the research because he knew that languages used fewer sounds in small populations and thought it would be interesting to determine if a "linguistic founder effect" existed that would explain how language evolved.

In general, he said, areas of the world that were more recently colonized incorporate fewer phonemes into local languages, while long-populated regions such as sub-Saharan Africa still use the most phonemes. "I found a clear decrease in diversity with distance from Africa," Atkinson said.

Jeffrey Laitman, professor and director of the Center for Anatomy and Functional Morphology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, called the study "an extraordinary piece of detective work that sheds light on the process of human evolution . . . through
the lens of language." "It has been very difficult for individuals to get a handle on this and trace back," said Laitman, also a professor of otolaryngology. "It gives us extraordinary insight into an area that's not been looked at like this."

Despite the fact that language originated in Africa, however, that doesn't mean dialects still spoken there are more complex or varied than others far away, said Suzanne Kemmer, an associate professor of linguistics at Rice University in Houston. "Africa shows a lot of complexity and diversity because it's a source area," said Kemmer, also director of cognitive sciences. But, "you can always show that a language that is thought to be less complex is more complex in some way." Atkinson agreed, noting that some North American languages use more sounds than African ones.

"There is a lot of variation around the globe, even within regions," he said. "The finding is about a statistical trend or average. It is also worth remembering that languages code meaning in many different ways and so having more sounds doesn't really mean a language is more complex in terms of expressivity."

SOURCES: Quentin Atkinson, Ph.D., post-doctoral researcher, Department of Psychology, University of Auckland, New Zealand; Jeffrey Laitman, Ph.D., professor and director, anatomy and functional morphology, and professor, otolaryngology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City; Suzanne Kemmer, Ph.D., associate professor, linguistics, and director, cognitive sciences, Rice University, Houston; April 15, 2011, Science

Sent by Dorinda Moreno 



May 7: Using Oral History in Research, Dr. Francisco E.  Balderrama
              Book: "Mexican American Baseball in Los Angeles 
May 1: Rancho Day Fiesta,  Heritage Hills Historical Park,
May 14: San Juan Library, Gregorio Luke, Night of the Arts
May 22:  Heritage Museum of Orange County Music Festival
Rails Through the Orange Groves , study by Al Vega, Ph.D

What: Using Oral History in Research.

When: Saturday, May 7, 2011 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Where: Orange Family History Center, 674 S. Yorba Street, Orange, CA.

Details: A free presentation...Everyone welcome...No cost. The presentation by Dr. Francisco E. Balderrama, Professor of Chicano Studies and History at California State University, Los Angeles and Bea Armenta Dever, Family History Researcher, is sponsored by the Society of Hispanic Historical and Ancestral Research (SHHAR). The presentation will include a discussion of how individual researchers can collect oral history documentation to enhance their research projects.

Professor Balderrama's new book, "Mexican American Baseball in Los Angeles," with co-author Richard A. Santillan, Professor Emeritus of Ethnic and Women Studies at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, was officially released March 13, 2011.

Bea Dever will highlight her family history in local baseball, as celebrated by the Mexican American Baseball Project.

One-to-one research assistance is provided from 9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. Presentation begins at 10:15 a.m. 
For more information on this event, call Mimi Lozano at 714-894-8161.


The book: "Mexican American Baseball in Los Angeles 

The author: Francisco E. Balderrama and Richard A. Santillan, forward by Samuel O. Regalado

The vital stats: Arcadia Publishing, 127 pages, $21.99

Find it: At the publisher's website (linked here) as well as Powell's (linked here), (linked here) and Barnes & Noble (linked here).

The pitch: Maybe it's coincidence that this is the 30th anniversary of Fernandomania's arrival in L.A. Hopefully, it's not.

While Chapter 6 covers the Dodgers move from Brooklyn to Chavez Ravine and Fernando Valenzuela's electric rise to stardom, it's really the first five chapters that need the reader's full attention, especially those who grew up in Southern California and could be enlightened by an amazing history lesson.

You come across names like Elias Baca, aka "The Spanish Tornado," who pitched at UCLA during the Great Depression, to the Carmelita Chorizeros team of the 1950s, to the nine Pena brothers who played together.

There are the photos of Saul Toledo, a player who went on to be a newspaper writer and promoter for the teams, and Shorty Perez, longtime leader of the Chorizeros, and Rudy Regaldo, a former Hoover High of Glendale and USC standout who played with the Cleveland Indians in the 1954 World Series.

While it may seem like just a photo album of days gone by, Balderrama, a professor of Chicano studies and history at Cal State L.A., and Santillan, professor emeritus of ethnic and women studies at Cal Poly Pomona, bring it alive with their text. They are on the advisory board of the Latino Baseball History Project, based at Cal State San Bernardino. The group is responsible for pulling together these vintage photographs that document a story that prior to this has only been passed down generation to generation, or experienced through special exhibits, some presented by the Pasadena-based Baseball Reliquary, which fosters an understand and appreciation of the culture of the game.

Baseball Reliquary director Terry Cannon started a collaberation with the Latino Baseball History Project more than five years ago, when he organized an exhibit called "From the Barrios to the Big Leagues" at Cal State L.A., and has cultivated many of the background captions that goes with the pages and pages of black-and-white photos.

How it goes down in the scorebook: Classic, and classy, leaving us wanting to find out more. Viva, indeed.

Also: If you get a chance to scan the Arcadia Publishing library of baseball related books, you'll also find issues dedicated to Los Angeles' Historical Ballparks (2010, by Chris Epting, linked here), Dodger Stadium (linked here) by Dodgers team historian Mark Langill, The Brooklyn Dodgers in Cuba (2011, linked here), Dodgertown (linked here), The Hollywood Stars by Dick Beverage (2005, linked here), Baseball in Albuquerque (2011, linked here), Baseball in Long Beach (linked here), Baseball in Ventura County (linked here), Baseball in San Diego (linked here) and Women's Baseball (linked here).

Sent by Terry Cannon

Francisco E. Balderrama 
Professional Profile

Francisco E. Balderrama is Professor of Chicano Studies and History at California State University Los Angeles where he was selected as Outstanding University Professor in 1997. Previously, Balderrama served as Chair of Chicano Studies from 1984 to 1993 and 1997 to 1999. He also has held faculty and administrative appointments at Texas Tech University , Adams State College, and The Claremont Colleges. Professor Balderrama is a Chicano Historian with special interest in the American West particularly California and Los Angeles. He offers a variety of courses in Chicano History for the Chicano Studies Department and teaches classes on Los Angeles, California , and the American West for the History Department. Balderrama’s degrees are in History: Bachelor of Arts from Loyola University of Los Angeles, Master of Arts and Doctorate from UCLA.  

Balderrama’s research program focuses on the Mexican community during the early 20th century with particular attention to relations with the Mexican nation. He is co-author with Raymond Rodríguez of Decade of Betrayal: Mexican Repatriation in the 1930s (University of New Mexico Press, 1995 and revised edition, 2006). The Gustavus Myers Center for the Study of Human Rights has proclaimed Decade of Betrayal as an outstanding work on intolerance in North America . Balderrama also has written In Defense of La Raza: The Los Angeles Mexican Consulate and Community, 1929-1936(University of Arizona Press, 1982). In addition, his work has appeared in Encyclopedia of the American West, Historians of the American Frontier: A Bio-Bibliographical Sourcebook, Encyclopedia of the History of Chicago, Radical History, Latinas in the United States: An Historical Encyclopedia, and A Guide to the History of California. Recently, Professor Balderrama was selected for the prestigious Walter Prescott Webb Lecture at the University of Texas Arlington for the Spring of 2010. Texas A&M University Press will publish the lecture—“The Mexican Revolution and the Mexican Immigrant Community: Memory, Identity, and Survival, 1910-1940.” Furthermore, Balderrama has co-authored with Richard A. Santillan the pictorial history of Mexican Amercian Baseball in Los Angeles . ( Charleston : Arcadia Press, 2011) He also has completed terms as a managing editor of Ethnohistory: Journal of the Ethnohistory Association. Scholarly journals have reviewed his work and the English and Spanish language press has featured Balderrama and his research.  

Balderrama has served as Oral History Director,  “Mexican American Baseball in Los Angeles: From the Barrios to the Big Leagues” a Collaborative Project sponsored by the Baseball Reliquary and the John F. Kennedy Memorial Library of California States University Los Angeles with  funding from California Stories Program, California Endowment of the Humanities, 2005-2006. This project received the 2007 Helen and Martin Schwartz Prize for the outstanding public funded humanities project in the United States awarded by the Federation of State Humanities Councils.

He has received the following fellowships: UCLA Doctoral Advancement, Ford Foundation Dissertation Fellowship, and the Ford Foundation Senior Post Doctoral Fellowship. Among his professional awards are the Winthrop Rockefeller Distinguished Lectureship at the University of Arkansas and the Senior Fulbright Lectureship in American Immigration History at the University of Rome, Italy. The Ford Foundation, Western Association of Colleges and Universities, Fund for the Improvement of Post Secondary Education, and the Educational Testing Service has retained Balderrama as a consultant and reviewer. He also has given expert testimony for the California State Senate Select Committee for Citizen Participation.


We are pleased to announce that the recently published book, Mexican American Baseball in Los Angeles, by Professors Francisco Balderrama and Richard Santillan, has been a major success.  The initial printing of 1200 copies sold out in less than five weeks, and the book has now gone into a second printing.  The Baseball Reliquary has played a major role in this book's publication, in terms of research assistance as well as publicity and promotion.  The book has also received some excellent reviews; one example is Tom Hoffarth's April 12 posting, "Viva los Mexican Americans from the early days of L.A.," on his Farther Off the Wall blog: 

You can purchase a copy of the book directly from the Latino Baseball History Project at California State University, San Bernardino.  All the profits from the sales of the book go to the Project.  Here's information on how to go about ordering: 

A Baseball Reliquary exhibition that is related to the book's subject matter, entitled Barrio Baseball: The Los Angeles Story, is now on view through June 10 at the University Library at Cal Poly Pomona.  Inform on the exhibition can be found at the library's Web site:

April 22, 2011


The Heritage Music Festival!
Sunday, May 22, 2011 
12 to 7 PM
Enjoy a Native-American exhibit, a blacksmith demonstration, an adobe brick-making workshop, mounted police, photographs in heritage costumes, docent-led tours of the historic Kellogg House, storytellers, student performances in the gazebo between main-stage acts, a popcorn cart, and lots more family fun!

A Children's Concert @ 1:15 PM
BIG Band Americana @ 2:20 PM
Bluegrass, Folk  @ 3:25 PM 
Stephanie & Luke
Cowboy Blues @ 4:30 PM Dennis 
Roger Reed

Beach Pit BBQ (Southern Smoke California Style)
Old Fashioned Chuckwagon Soda
Featuring Southern California Craft Brewers Guild 

Ticket Prices (food & drinks are not included, except as noted*) Kids 10 & under Free!   
Students $10   Adults $15  Family Pass $40 Includes parents & non-adult children
VIP $100 *Includes preferred seating, service, meal, drinks, and gift 

FACEBOOK / TWITTER CONTEST Win a free Family Pass!
Order Tickets Online Now or Call (714) 540-0404 to order by phone
Heritage Museum of Orange County | Heritage Museum of OC | 3101 West Harvard Street | Santa Ana | CA | 92704 


RAILS THROUGH THE ORANGE GROVES is a two-volume publication co-authored by Stephen E Donaldson and William A Myers. The first volume was published in 1989, the Centennial Anniversary of Orange County. The authors state in the Introduction to Volume 2 that they “were overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response” of the first book. In addition, with the celebration of the Orange County’s 100th Anniversary, the authors found new materials that they incorporated in Volume 2 published in 1990.

I came across RAILS in 2007 during my search for materials relative to the history of Westminster and its Mexican American barrio. I wrongly surmised that the volumes dealt only with orange growing towns like Anaheim, Santa Ana, Tustin, Placentia, Orange, San Bernardino, and Riverside. I dismissed the books, therefore, thinking they had little to do with Westminster not known as a citrus town.

Dust Jacket Vol. 1

Dust Jacket Vol.2 

In my search for books and journals dealing with Orange County, I chanced to come across RAILS again in 2009. By this time, the out-of-print books were priced considerably higher by dealers on I was the highest bidder of Volume 1 on eBay’s auction. Later I made a deal with another vendor for Volume 2. 

Volume 1 carries easy to read illustrated maps of trackage in Fullerton, Anaheim, Orange, Anaheim, Newport Beach, and Orange. In addition, other maps of interest are included: the Horse-car/Steam Dummy Line to Santa Ana; the Anaheim Streetcar; the Orange, McPherson and Modena Street Railway Company (1888-1889); the Orange-Santa Ana Dummy Lines (1896-1901); and the Santa Ana, Orange and Tustin Street Railway Company (1886-1895).
In Chapter 1, the authors tell of the history of the Southern Pacific (Espee) in the pre-Orange County days (pre-1889) when the Espee reached Anaheim (settled in 1857) in 1875. It then connected with Santa Ana two years later in 1877, Tustin in 1888 and Los Alamitos in 1896. 

Stephenson and Myers concentrate on the Santa Fe RR (the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe) in Chapter 2. The line started competing for business when it entered Santa Ana in 1887 by way of the Santa Ana Canyon, Yorba and Orange. In time it expanded into Tustin, Fullerton, the San Juan Capistrano Valley, the Santa Ana Valley, and the Saddleback Valley. 

Chapter 3, “A Shortline To the Sea,” is a history of the Santa Ana & Newport Railway (SA&N). Its owners were newcomers to the area, the brothers James and Robert McFadden. By 1875 they had a thriving lumber business and in 1888 they completed a wharf in Newport Beach. Now they were in position to handle freight, mainly lumber and agriculture, between Newport Beach and San Francisco.

San Diegan Northern Bound Steam Locomotive 
Through Orange Orchards

Volume 1 carries easy to read illustrated maps of trackage in Fullerton, Anaheim, Orange, Anaheim, Newport Beach, and Orange. In addition, other maps of interest are included: the Horse-car/Steam Dummy Line to Santa Ana; the Anaheim Streetcar; the Orange, McPherson and Modena Street Railway Company (1888-1889); the Orange-Santa Ana Dummy Lines (1896-1901); and the Santa Ana, Orange and Tustin Street Railway Company (1886-1895).
In Chapter 1, the authors tell of the history of the Southern Pacific (Espee) in the pre-Orange County days (pre-1889) when the Espee reached Anaheim (settled in 1857) in 1875. It then connected with Santa Ana two years later in 1877, Tustin in 1888 and Los Alamitos in 1896. 

Stephenson and Myers concentrate on the Santa Fe RR (the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe) in Chapter 2. The line started competing for business when it entered Santa Ana in 1887 by way of the Santa Ana Canyon, Yorba and Orange. In time it expanded into Tustin, Fullerton, the San Juan Capistrano Valley, the Santa Ana Valley, and the Saddleback Valley. 

Chapter 3, “A Shortline To the Sea,” is a history of the Santa Ana & Newport Railway (SA&N). Its owners were newcomers to the area, the brothers James and Robert McFadden. By 1875 they had a thriving lumber business and in 1888 they completed a wharf in Newport Beach. Now they were in position to handle freight, mainly lumber and agriculture, between Newport Beach and San Francisco.

The final chapter describes the origin of the Santa Ana, Orange and Tustin (SAO&T) Street Railway, the first horse-car line in the Santa Ana Valley. The lead capitalists were C.E. French and David Hewes of Tustin. In 1886 the line ran west from Tustin into Santa Ana, then north into the city of Orange a total distance of about seven miles. In Santa Ana the line “ran east on Fourth to French Street, north to Fruit Street (now Santa Ana Blvd), and northeast to the Southern Pacific Depot.” Unfortunately the line stopped operating on October 19, 1895 after the great building boom in Southern California of the mid-1880s. The Boom of the Eighties was ignited by the competitive policies of the Southern Pacific and Santa Fe Railroads. 

Also covered in Chapter 4 is the story of the Henry E Huntington’s Pacific Electric (PE) interurban trolley, and the impact it had in the speedy growth of Newport Beach, Balboa, Seal Beach, and Huntington Beach in the early 1900s. 

Big Red Car (Trolley to Newport October 30, 1949) Donald Duke Photo

The Big Red Car stimulated a real estate boom in Newport when the PE connected its line from Huntington Beach to Newport on the Fourth of July, 1905. Lots selling for $125 in 1902 skyrocketed to $250 in 1905.   
On November 6, 1905 the PE started passenger service between Watts on the Long Beach line to Fourth Street, Santa Ana. It ran through the then “tiny farming communities of Lynwood, Bellflower and Artesia (Dairy Valley), then crossed into Orange County and entered Cypress, Stanton and Garden Grove, crossed the Santa Ana River then turned east from Artesia Street into Santa Ana’s [ downtown on Fourth Street],” coming to rest at its station on 424 East Fourth Street (Crump, 1983, p. 226).









Line from Los Angeles to Santa Ana Largely Rural (Donald Duke Photo)

he PE “Flyers” made two local stops on its 34-mile trip to Santa Ana. The trip took about 75 minutes.  The PE ran up to 22 round trips on other service runs. Round trip fare was $1.00; one-way, 65¢. The Big Red Car’s final run from Los Angeles to Santa Ana was 45 years later on July 3, 1950.

I recall being on Fourth Street in
Santa Ana one sunny Saturday afternoon. The rat-tat-tat of a jackhammer  made it impossible to carry a conversation. A huge crew of workmen was busy removing the PE tracks.  The din from the compressor added to the nuisance. I recognized Martin “Shorty” Medina of the Westminster barrio who was working on the project that day.

Big Red Car Fourth Street Santa Ana Southbound ca. 1925. Spurgeon Bldg 1913 on Right,  Clock Built 1915
In 1948 the Southern Pacific sold to the Pacific Electric, its sister company, the retired Westminster Depot, its tracks, and right of way from Stanton to Huntington Beach (Huntington Beach Branch). The PE used its diesels to carry freight service only. (Source: Donaldson email of January 19, 2011). The track-age became property of the Southern Pacific when it acquired it in the mid-1960s (Donaldson,, p. 2).  

VOLUME 2. When I opened Volume 2 to Chapter 1, I couldn’t believe my eyes! I was glued to the title, “The Santa Ana and Westminster Railroad.” The SA&W was news to me. I had never heard about it. Incorporated in 1890, the SA&W was designed to connect the two towns by the laying of track down the middle of Second Street. 

It ran into legal problems in Santa Ana. Property owners along Second Street objected to its construction at public hearings held by the city. They were concerned that the value of their properties would decline as much as 50 percent. They complained about the smoke from the engines, the dirt and the general annoyance of the railroad. 

The city granted the franchise to SA&W for the right of way in June 1891. Grading began in October 1891 and on November 3 a crew of teams of horses and some 30 men started laying the track. Several fights ensued with property owners who objected to the construction. 

Facing several lawsuits, the SA&W management put a halt to the work. By this time the track had reached as far as Spurgeon Street, a distance of a half-mile. After over a year of legal proceedings, the Superior Court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in December 1892. The Court awarded the eight plaintiffs nearly $2,000. This verdict put an end to plans to connect Santa Ana and Westminster by means of the SA&W Railroad. In 1893 capitalists of the SA&W sold the company to the Santa Ana & Newport Railway. 

In time the SA&N opened a 10.76-mile section from Newport to Westminster via a southern route by way of Huntington Beach. From Newport the tracks reached the Smeltzer celery ranch in 1897, two miles short of Westminster. The line started operating on January 1, 1899.
The SA&N transferred ownership of the company to the Southern Pacific on 1899. Finally in 1907 the Espee connected its line from Smeltzer to Westminster to Stanton formerly known as Benedict. The community of Westminster had waited 20 years for direct rail service. A depot to serve local farmers was built in 1907 just north of Westminster Blvd and west of Hoover Street.

The titles of Chapters 6 and 7 are “Orange County Comes of Age – How the rail system adapted to changes in Orange County’s economy,” and “Color Cornucopia – Rail Photography in the Orange Groves” respectively. Appendix C is the chronology of the railroad in Orange County. Appendix A relates stories of the railroads in the two amusement parks of Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm in Orange County.

Southern Pacific Locomotive Work Crew 1907

            Smeltzer Celery Field South of Westminster1900s 

Railroad Crane in Background to Rescue  
SP Locomotive Smeltzer Ranch 1898

Calico Ghost Town” in Knott’s Berry Farm Buena Park ca. 1952

Founder of Knott’s Berry Farm, Walter Knott, Bought Locomotive No. 40 from

The Río Grande Southern RR in 1951 
Shipped by Rail to LA (Donaldson, p. 260)

Map by John Signor

Readers of the history of Orange County will be fascinated by the map drawn by John Signor, a noted railroad historian. The illustration depicts the railroad lines of the Santa Fe, the Pacific Electric, the Southern Pacific, and the Union Pacific up to about 1928. The major interior cities of Santa Ana, Anaheim, Fullerton, and Tustin are shown along with the smaller communities of Westminster, Stanton, Los Alamitos, El Modena, El Toro, Buena Park, Placentia, Brea, and Yorba Linda. 

Donaldson and Myers (Volume 2) point to the importance of farmers’ ability to move their produce to market “efficiently, competitively, and rapidly” (p. 153). The authors believe that the Westminster Colony, one of the earliest agricultural communities in Los Angeles County, stopped growing economically because early in its history it lacked direct access to a railroad. The communities of Anaheim and Santa Ana prospered and grew into large cities because the Southern Pacific and the Santa Fe serviced them early on from 1875/1877.

Westminster, on the other hand, remained virtually a small agricultural town until the middle 1950s (Bollman, 1983, p. 91).  It waited until 1897 for the Santa Ana & Newport Railroad to reach D.E. Smeltzer celery ranch (Edinger Avenue) two miles south of Westminster. This was a considerably long wait of 22 years. 

In explaining apparent Westminster’s stagnation, Bollman (1983) points to several factors: Westminster farmers found railroad shipping rates excessive; distance to San Francisco; inadequacy of the Anaheim Landing (wharf in Seal Beach); lack of direct service from the railroads; exorbitant freight rates; and, competition for the same markets (pp 91-92). The communities of Anaheim, Santa Ana, Orange, Fullerton, and Garden Grove faced the same economic forces as Westminster but these small towns developed into major cities much earlier than Westminster. Perhaps the most critical factor say was that the town lacked direct services from the railroads. 

Is it also possible that Wesminster’s leading farmers and community leaders lacked the vision and initiative that motivated the civic leaders of Anaheim and Santa Ana? The latter had the foresight to convince the Southern Pacific to come to their towns in 1875/1877. One major difference between the leading men of Anaheim-Santa Ana and Westminster is that the ones in Anaheim and Santa Ana were speculators in search of more wealth.  German Anaheim grape growers marketed their well-known wines in San Francisco and New York. The Westminster men were in the main small farmers and local merchants.

In Sunset Limited (2006) Richard Orsi lists a number of charges raised by critics of the Southern Pacific Railroad from the 1860s to 1900s.  Among them is that the SP charged “ruinously high freight rates on agricultural produce” (p. 46). Orsi presents extensive research to counter this and other accusations. Instead Orsi finds that “contrary to the traditional interpretation, the railroad linked its own interest with the welfare of its territory” (p. 47). The cartoon below by Swinnerton depicts Southern Pacific’s president Huntington as an octopus “squeezing the life out of California interests” (p. 47). In 1901 Frank Norris wrote the popular novel The Octopus that captured the overall negative feelings of the public toward the policies of the Big Four leaders.

Cartoon by Swinnerton in San Francisco Examiner, 1896 In Sunset Limited:  
The Southern Pacific Railroad and the Development of the American West, 1850-1930

The Finding of Myers and Donaldson. I was fortunate to find authors Bill Myers and Steve Donaldson. Professor Myers is on the faculty of California State University, Fullerton. It was easy to locate him but not so Steve. I found Steve on Google. On February 25, 2010 he was participating in the CPRR Discussion Group (Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum).

Steve’s email address was at the end of his comments about the Santa Ana and Newport Railway: Currently he lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

Luckily, Steve has given me information Westminster’s depot and maintenance yard from his personal files. I’d been searching for information that dealt with the Southern Pacific RR in the barrio of Westminster. 

I wrote Steve that I had heard from several Barrio Mexican American residents about Southern Pacific section houses (cabins) in Westminster. I told him that I believed that at one time SP section houses were located on the S/W corner of Westminster Blvd and the SP railroad tracks. Within a day or two he sent me technical drawings of the SP properties that included the Westminster Depot, maintenance sheds and one large building that accommodated SP crews. 

Socorro “Coco” Pérez Puebla, barrio friend and high school classmate, had related to me that in 1918 her parents lived in a section house when they arrived in Westminster, and that an older brother, Florentino Jr “Cubano,” was born en la sesión in 1919. She and Joe Arganda, a former barrio resident born in 1923, referred to the Southern Pacific’s maintenance buildings as la sesión personal interview, Sept 2009) The name, la sesión, confused me because the Spanish translation of “section” is sección. A third person, Rick Valverde, also referred to this SP maintenance property as it was commonly known, la sesión.


Southern Pacific Maintenance Yard Westminster on S/W corner of Oak & Almond Streets 1907
Westminster Depot North of Almond St The Vela Family Lived on Spruce St
Behind Southern Pacific Maintenance Yard (1943)
(Almond Street now Westminster Blvd / Oak Street is Hoover Street)

By way of explanation, a section house was a dwelling similar to a cabin provided by railroad companies for crews working on sections of the railroad. (Mexican American workers would say they worked en el traque. Railroad companies formed the Maintenance of Way (m-o-w) Department to keep the tracks, bridges, buildings, etc. in good working condition.

Section Houses San Gorgino Pass California  
Near San Bernardino CA

Section House


Table top model of an Anglo foreman house.  It was usually two to three times larger, with two fireplaces and a  porch.

 These companies were made up of divisions; districts made up a division; and sections composed a given district. Sections might vary in length from a few miles of track to 30 miles or more. A section crew and foreman were responsible for each section. 

The section foreman in the Southwest was usually Anglo American. The crew made up of Mexicans replaced ties and rails, added ballast, and performed other demanding duties. The men had to be physically strong and robust to carry 50-pound rail ties on their shoulders and pound metal spikes into the ties. Section workers required the use of heavy machinery and large numbers of men for big projects such as major repairs.

Mexicans Working on “El Traque” in Downtown Los Angeles P.E. Line ca. 1900 


Mexicans Constructing Glendale Line 1904 


Both Donaldson and Myers worked for railroad companies. Myers wrote, “I personally remember seeing Mexicans working on the railroad in laborer jobs when I was a boy in the 1950s. . . .I am also quite certain the vast majority of the Mexicans hired by the railroad were hired for outdoor work in construction and track maintenance, rather than for the ‘indoor’ jobs in dining car cooking. . . or sleeping car cleaning and service” (email, November 12, 2009). 

Donaldson stated that he worked for the Union Pacific in Wyoming one summer in the mid-60s. In response to the arduous work of section crews, he wrote, "Tell me about it. . . .I worked in train service rather than m-o-w (Maintenance of Way), but they still took it out of your hide, even tho I got paid and ate well I never weighed more than 130# in those days.” He added, “[P]ractically had to put rocks in my pockets to even qualify for the job. Lotsa good memories there, working on the big transcontinental route with largest modern locomotives then in operation anywhere” (email, January 19, 2011). 

American investors who financed the building of the railroads in Mexico in the 1880s began the policy of hiring only Anglos as conductors, engineers, motormen, technicians, etc. (Gilbert G. González, 2006, pp 26-27).  Consequently Mexicans recruited to work in the U.S. were relegated to working outdoors. The railroads employed them as section crews and in the construction of new lines (Charles Wollenberg, 1973, p. 364). This employment practice and unequal pay for similar work was an effective way of maintaining the social distinctions favored by Anglo society.

Trolley Track Construction Holt Ave Pomona Mexican Laborers ca. 1900s
Barely Visible Are Overhead Wires Already in Place

The significance of the discovery of section houses in Westminster is that its Mexican barrio owes part its origins and existence to Mexican families who lived in the section homes of the Southern Pacific’s Maintenance property. My barrio friend Coco (Socorro) mentioned that her brother Florentino “Cubano” (d. 2009 at age 90) described the cabins as tiny, and that the section homes were inhabited by Mexican families, telephone conversation, March 13, 2011). In her estimation, this was the beginning of the barrio in Westminster.

It’s not a stretch to surmise that the Westminster’s Mexican barrio began in 1907 on the SW corner of Almond Street (Westminster Blvd) and the Espee tracks. Toward the end of our conversation, Coco related how her dad saved the life of the foreman’s toddler. As it happened, the foreman was looking for his child who was sitting on a rail. The locomotive engineer had tooted its whistle warning of its approach. On seeing the child on the rail, Florentino ran, swooped him up and made it to the other side of the tracks. Other Mexican American men living in the barrio worked en el traque. Sal Vela, Sr informed me that dad worked for the railroad in the U.S. Navy Weapons Station in nearby Seal Beach.

Photo of USS Los Angeles late 1950s Built at Philadelphia Navy Yard  
Commissioned 22 July 1945

Westminster Lies 5 miles Easterly

Other Mexican railroad section camps that gave birth to barrios or Colonias in Orange County are Atwood (Placentia), Stanton, Independencia (Anaheim), Cypress Street in Orange, Logan (Santa Ana), El Toro, Delhi (Santa Ana), El Modena (Orange), and Maple St (Fullerton). An early barrio of this sort outside of Orange County is found in the south side of Colton. An Internet article on South Colton mentions that the Southern Pacific “brought in Mexican labor in the 1890s” ( These barrios no doubt originated in the early 1900s although Mexican communities in Anaheim and San Juan Capistrano had earlier histories.  It’s safe to say that the Mexican barrios of Atwood, Stanton, Independencia, Cypress Street, La Habra, Logan, El Modena, Maple Street, and Westminster were alive and well sometime between 1900 and 1910.  

Downtown Westminster ca. 1920s

Looking West toward Long Beach on Almond Street (Westminster Blvd)

Western Union Sign Visible on Building on Left of Car

The Southern Pacific Depot & Maintenance Yard was a couple of Blocks East of this Point



Huntington Beach Union HS ca. 1930s

Built in 1926 Most Attractive School Undamaged by 1933 Long Beach Earthquake
Mexican Americans from HB and the Westminster and Wintersburg Barrios Attended HBUHS

When the Westminster School District integrated its schools in 1945, we walked a block along the tracks to the Seventeenth Street School on the Boulevard. Connie remembers walking along the tracks by the cabins and being called "dirty Mexican” by white kids. She remembers yelling back, “You dirty Okies!” A small number of Okie families settled in Westminster in the 1930s and ‘40s. 

Being called a dirty Mexican was one of the unkindest epithets possible, cutting deep to one’s core. I only heard it once in my lifetime when I was 15 years old. I felt confused by the name calling because I was wearing clean clothes and was well groomed. My cleanliness had nothing to do with the invective (Paul S Taylor, 1970 Reprint, p. 180). The other epithet used by Anglos to insult Mexicans is greaser. I first heard it when I taught high school in Orange County. It happened during a basketball game hosted by our Orange County team. Our opponents were from Los Angeles and were mainly Mexican American players. There was trash talk by both student bodies. I heard the epithet from some of our students who were called surfers. 

I attended the integrated school in grades two, three and four from 1945 to 1948. I only recall one minor incident with an Anglo student at Seventeenth Street School. By and by I enjoyed my three years with new Anglo friends and teachers at Seventeenth from 1945-1948.

Four Vela children matriculated at the newly built Blessed Sacrament School in 1948. Sal, our older brother, graduated from Seventeenth in1946. He was in grades K-7 from 1937-1946 at the segregated Mexican Hoover School located on SW Maple and Olive Streets in the center of the barrio. He graduated from the beautiful Huntington Beach Union High School in 1950. Another sister graduated from Hoover (1942) and Huntington Beach HS (1946).



(Note the spelling of Westminster is spelled Westminister, with an extra i)

he Westminster Depot & Maintenance. Espee (Southern Pacific RR) built the Depot in 1907 along the west side of the track. The company closed the Depot in 1909 due to lack of sufficient business (Source: Donaldson email, January 19, 2011). It was a one-story building measuring 25 ft x 100 ft. Construction of the Depot began August 1907 and was completed November of the same year.  It was located just north of Almond St (now Westminster Blvd) bordered on the west by the tracks and Oak St (Hoover St). The Southern Pacific removed the Depot in 1938 the year of my birth. 

Joy Neugebauer, Director of the Westminster Historical Museum, reports that SP named J.F. Patterson the resident agent for the company in 1902. He was also the town’s Western Union mail operator and owner of Patterson’s Grocery Store. (Note: The Westminster Historical Museum is open the first Sunday of the month.)

This article is copyrighted (March 2011) by Albert V Vela PhD. Al is doing research for a book on the Barrio of Westminster. He wishes to thank California friends who continue to encourage him: Socorro "Coco" Pérez Puebla, Catalina/Andy Vásquez, Rick Valverde, Robert Castillo, Lloyd Thomas, Steve E Donaldson, Bill Myers, Roisin McAree, and others in Connecticut.    




La Plaza de Cultura y Artes, A Sense of Place by C. Luijt
Bone Bungling at Old Cemetery
Comments by Descendents of Early Los Angeles  Families



Bone Bungling at Old Cemetery

Native Americans get short shrift 
as LA Plaza downtown opens 
under a cloud

By Arnie Cooper
LA Weekly, published: April 14, 2011

Photo by Ted Soqui

The law — California Health and Safety Code 7050.5.b — is clear. When human remains are found during a project excavation "in any location other than a dedicated cemetery," all work must stop. But what if the discovery occurs in an old Catholic cemetery in downtown L.A. that supposedly had been emptied of all human remains? And what if many skeletons were Native Americans who converted to Christianity?

These are among the issues pitting the Gabrieleno Band of Mission Indians and other tribal groups against LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes, a new center honoring Mexican Americans. The heavy historic focus on Mexican Americans is yet another point of contention among tribal leaders, who note that Native Americans first settled the area.

The $24 million project, championed by Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina and to be run by a private, nonprofit foundation, opens April 16 — and protests are expected.

Problems erupted Oct. 28, when workers found a small piece of bone, part of a jaw and a small triangle of skull as they dug a trench for a fountain near La Placita Our Lady Queen of Angels Church, the site of L.A.'s first Catholic cemetery, which is often called "Old Cemetery."

The church was built in 1822 on the former site of a Gabrieleno/Tongva Indian village. Since late October, workers have unearthed the remains of 118 people — leaving everyone involved unpleasantly stunned.

A 2003 Environmental Impact Report (EIR) filed by Sapphos Environmental Inc. had assured that before 1844, "all human remains previously on-site were relocated" away from Old Cemetery.

Gabrieleno tribal chairman Andy Salas says remains were indeed removed in 1844, but not from Old Cemetery. According to Salas, the EIR was incorrectly describing events that unfolded 166 years ago at an entirely different cemetery two miles from downtown, near Elysian Park. That cemetery is known by two names — "Campo Santo" and "Old Calvary Cemetery."

"This is what confuses the issue," Salas says. "They took the bodies — most, not all of them — out of the cemetery by Elysian Park, called Old Calvary, not out of the one at LA Plaza" downtown, known as Old Cemetery.

Among the many confused bureaucrats in charge is Miguel Corzo, LA Plaza president-CEO, who has erroneously called the downtown cemetery "Campo Santo," Salas says.

Another erring bureaucrat is Anthony T. Hernandez, director of the county coroner's department, who declared the site was formerly a Catholic cemetery. According to Corzo, Hernandez then ruled, "These were not Native Americans."

But tribal members say Hernandez was unaware of Native Americans' conversion to Catholicism — and their frequent burial in Christian graveyards. Many Indians were "mission-ized," often against their will.

Corzo says that before Hernandez ruled the bones were not Native American, "the protocol for excavating suspected human remains came into play: Stop everything." But after the coroner's pronouncement, since only Native American burials are protected by law, the digging by contractor Sanberg Associates was allowed to proceed.

An archaeological technician working for Sanberg says the company was too quick to press on. At about Thanksgiving, "I finally had the last straw when I saw a burial that had a really good possibility of being an actual Native American," says the technician, who requested anonymity. "But Sanberg just tried to keep it in-house."

On Dec. 29, the technician walked off the site and alerted David Singleton at the Native American Heritage Commission. Tensions soon broke out between that commission, tribal members, the coroner, Corzo's LA Plaza Foundation and Molina's office.

More than two weeks later, on Jan. 14, the LA Plaza Foundation belatedly halted work.

Some involved challenged even that claim. Desiree Martinez, an archaeologist with Gabrieleno-Tongva roots, says, "They told us that work stopped in the area where the remains are," but photos taken by a group of Gabrielenos showed "digging in the area where the remains are." She termed the methods "horrendous ... ethically wrong, methodologically inaccurate" and "mishandled from beginning to end."

Salas, whose ancestors were buried in Old Cemetery, alleges that the EIR intentionally misstated history. "They knew what they were doing," he claims.

Sapphos did not respond to L.A. Weekly's request for comment. Corzo insists his nonprofit foundation merely "relied on the EIR."

Yet Singleton notes that Sapphos, Corzo, Hernandez and the various other confused officials easily could have learned the truth by consulting the Huntington Library's Early California Population Project, which, he says, shows that 399 of the 696 burials downtown were of Native Americans.

There's no question Sapphos blew the facts. In W.W. Robinson's 1959 book, Los Angeles From the Days of the Pueblo, published by the California Historical Society, a map places "Campo Santo" cemetery not downtown but near Elysian Park.

Elizabeth Miller, a local osteologist brought in by Sanberg, slams the EIR as "incredibly poorly done. I do not see how you can do a legitimate assessment of a site where you know there was supposed to be a cemetery at one time, and not find any trace of the over 100 individuals that ended up being excavated."

She adds: "I'm completely at a loss."

More bitterness has emerged because, Martinez says, the center "seems to be recontextualizing and then silencing the native population and their history — I think it does the history of L.A., and how it developed, a disservice."

Gary Stickel, the Gabrielenos' volunteer archaeologist, says Sapphos made the egregious error of denying that Gabrielenos even exist: "Under page 3.3-11 ... it's the height of insensitivity to claim that the very people you'd be dealing with are extinct. The presumption is if they're extinct, why should we worry about their burials?"

LA Plaza spokeswoman Katie Dunham tries to deflect the anger, saying the parties involved are trying "to reach a consensus on respectful plans for the remains as we move forward. Mr. Stickel, it seems, chooses to look backward and make allegations."

But Molina admits: "There's probably gonna be plenty of blame to go around on all of it. For us, we probably didn't have as thorough an EIR as we probably should have had."

On March 15, Sapphos requested a Sacred Lands File search and a Native American contact list from the Native American Heritage Commission — something Singleton says should have happened in 2008. He also says ground-penetrating radar was not used until March 31.

On April 9, the Gabrielenos led a protest at an opening gala.

Today, thousands of bones from 118 people are being stored in bags and buckets at the Natural History Museum. The Gabrielenos want them back in their original resting place, with a "prayer park" to mark it.

But first, they want L.A. County to fire Sapphos Environmental.

"What's so outrageous to me and the Native Americans is not only did Sapphos write this nonsense that contributed to what happened," Stickel says, "but who does the county hire to restore the cemetery with sensitivity? The same outfit. This is just completely unacceptable."

Reach the writer at

Sent by Alexander King

On Wed, Apr 20, 2011 at 11:45 PM, Robert E. Smith  wrote:

"While viewing the outside of the new Mexican Museum in Los Angeles, with
Councilmember, 4th District Tom Labonge yesterday at about 3:30 PM.  Members of
the Tongva/Gabrieleno Tribe of Mission Indians, members of the Los Pobladores
200 (Ed Moch and myself), with Tom LaBonge and two members of his staff (Press
Secretary).  We arrived at the museum site, to check the status and condition of
the cemetery at the Plaza Church.  But we were to be greated by Councilmember
Gloria Molina's security squad or "Goon Spuad", who denied everyone access to
the site, closed the back gates and then called the LA Police Department,
telling the police that we were treaspassing on "Private Property".  After I
told the (blond girl and her associate) that Councilmember Tom LaBonge was
present, they wanted to know if he had an appointment to visit their museum.
The same security personnel were present when one of them tried to take my
personal camera when I had taken some photographs in late March and early April
2011 of the Dig Site.  At all times, we were on public land, sidewalks and there
were no "Private Property" signs posted to deny anyone access to the sidewalk or
even the side of the new museum building (yesterday).

Since when is "City, County and State Property", "Private Property",  did Molina
purchase the property for her own enjoyment, if so, then, this new museum is not
a public museum (at a cost), but a private museum and that would be interesting
to say the least.  I managed to take a few photographs of the covered former
cemetery grave site, now covered with a very large cover, and a possible opening
to the northwest, to have access to continue to remove any and all artifacts,
bones and anything else that she wants removed without any observation from the
outside.  You see, she had a new covered fense installed, and you have to take
great lenghts to see let alone take any photographs of the site.  Very
interesting, I now wonder what if anything Tom LaBonge can do to help correct
this matter of the damages that Molina has done over the last 8 months."

Source: Maria G Benitez  Sent by: Joan de Soto and Eva Booher 

Francisco "Franky" Carrillo, shown Wednesday on a street overlooking downtown Los Angeles, spent 19 years in prison for a drive-by killing and was freed days after most of the witnesses at his trial recanted testimony.
LA Man Freed 19 Years After Wrongful Conviction: 'I Had a Juicy Steak'

Mar 26, 2011
Tori Richards Contributor
It's been almost 20 years since Francisco "Franky" Carrillo has seen the ocean, tasted food in a restaurant or gone shopping.

Now he's enjoying all these things and more as he tries to integrate himself back into a society he left when the first George Bush was president and the U.S. was fighting the first Gulf War.

Carrillo was convicted in 1992 for a murder he said he didn't commit. Last week, the 37-year-old Southern California man was freed by a judge after all the witnesses who testified against him recanted their trial testimony.

"I had a juicy steak tonight and yesterday was my first Vietnamese food," Carrillo told AOL News Thursday. "My first concert was last night. Afterward, I glanced at my watch and it was 9:45 and I forced myself to think about what I would be doing in prison. I would be lying on my back watching TV. It was a very sad thought."

For now, Carrillo is staying with an attorney in a coastal suburb of Los Angeles while he figures out what to do next with his life. He has a large extended family, including a 20-year-old son, Theo, who wasn't even born when Carrillo was jailed for the crime. However, Theo visited his father regularly throughout the years and Carrillo sent money that he earned while working in prison for school clothes. Now his son is in college.

In prison, Carrillo became a certified optician and a Braille transcriber certified by the Library of Congress. He worked transcribing documents, making $1 an hour. His other jobs, such as cooking, sewing, ironing and cutting hair, paid about 15 cents an hour.

He feared for his safety and tried to keep to himself, always watchful. "I notice I'm not on high alert now, but I'm really observant. More in tune with what's around me," he said. Carrillo, sentenced to two life terms, said he never gave up hope that someday he would get out of prison.

And the things people take for granted -- credit cards, a driver's license, the Internet -- are all things Carrillo needs to obtain or learn. He read a lot in prison to keep current on today's technology even though he wasn't able to use it. Throughout the years, he didn't give up hope that someday he would get out.

"I lost sight of barbed wire and ball and chain and just lived my life," Carrillo said. "I was alive longer inside prison than out. I had a great support system and my belief in God. I'm just grateful for my amazing legal team."

The Legal Odyssey

On Jan. 18, 1991, six teens were standing on a curb talking in front of a house in the Los Angeles suburb of Lynwood. Donald Sarpy, 41, the father of one of the boys, stepped onto the driveway to call his son inside when a car went by and two shots were fired, killing Sarpy.

Five of the boys picked Carrillo out of a series of police photographs because he was known in the neighborhood as associating with a gang. All the boys testified about his involvement, and Carrillo was convicted in 1992.

At the sentencing, another boy came forward to say he was actually in the car when the shooting happened and Carrillo had nothing to do with it. The judge did not want to hear the evidence and sentenced Carrillo to two life terms on one count of murder and six counts of attempted murder. The case was lost on appeal.

Then the long journey to clear his name began. California Deputy Public Defender Ellen Eggers found out about the case and the new witness. But since the appeal was lost, it wasn't part of her caseload so she had to work on the matter during her time off. She contacted Linda Starr, legal director of the Northern California Innocence Project, for help.

"She said, 'We have a huge burden -- we have to get all the witnesses to recant their testimony,'" Eggers said, recalling her conversation with Starr. "My heart sank. I didn't know how we would even get one, they were so certain in their testimony. When you have five eyewitnesses positively identifying that it was the shooter, that was impossible. I would cry on the way to work thinking, how were we going to prove his innocence?"

The pair went to work trying to find all the witnesses along with attorneys and an investigator from the law firm of Morrison and Foerster. It took years. When they were finally questioned, all of the men said they couldn't positively identify Carrillo as the shooter.

Eggers told AOL News that a detective questioning one of the boys showed him a series of six pictures -- including Carrillo's -- and asked him to pick out the shooter. The boy picked Carrillo with the help of the detective.

"The kid told us that the cop picked out the picture and said, 'It's him,'" Eggers said. "Within the next six months, they were all brought into the station. During that time, the information got communicated between them to pick out the no. 1 photo, and it was described to them."

The picture was different from the rest: It was taken outside by police as Carrillo was riding his bike through a park.

"He was nowhere near that location. He wasn't there; he knew nothing about it," Starr said of Carrillo's involvement with the shooting.

Neither the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which investigated the case, nor the District Attorney's Office would comment on the case.

Finally, with all the witnesses -- including the victim's son -- ready to testify that they could not identify Carrillo, a Superior Court judge agreed to hear the evidence. On March 14, the judge overturned the conviction and the prosecutor did not object. The case is still technically filed and the prosecution has 60 days to decide whether to retry it.

The Innocence Project

O.J. Simpson attorney Barry Scheck co-founded the Innocence Project in 1992; to date, 267 convictions have been overturned using DNA evidence. To get a case overturned solely on eyewitness testimony, such as Carrillo's, is rare. However, mistakes police make in dealing with witnesses are all too common, Starr said.

In fact, the California Legislature is working on a bill that would adopt guidelines outlined in a 2006 report by the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice. That report includes the following recommendations:

The detective showing the photos or lineup should not have knowledge of the suspect to avoid giving clues to the witness.
Only one person or photo should be shown at a time.
The witness should be told that the suspect may or may not be in the group.
The lineup should be videotaped.
The witness should give a written statement afterward about his or her level of certainty.Rebecca Brown, senior policy advocate for state affairs at the Innocence Project headquarters in New York, told AOL News that sometimes police may unwittingly give clues by leaning in, nodding or making statements like, "Are you sure?"

"Sure, misconduct takes place," she said. "A lot of the time what you have is law enforcement officers eager to solve a very serious crime. They are providing all sorts of clues to the witness without being aware of it. But by and large, we're not talking about rogue, bad-seed law enforcement. We are talking about folks who are not using updated witness ID protocols."

Many states are starting to come in line with these policy changes. North Carolina, New Jersey and Ohio all have passed laws, along with certain areas of Wisconsin and West Virginia. Texas, Nevada and Connecticut have laws pending, Brown said.

The California Peace Officers' Association and the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training did not return calls seeking comment.

Moving Forward

Carrillo says he isn't bitter about his case and still believes in the American system of justice. However, he wants to start working with the Innocence Project to help other people like himself. He's scheduled to speak at a lecture sponsored by the organization. And he plans on talking to at-risk youth to keep them from ending up behind bars. Even though he is trained as an optician, he wants to go to school to be a psychologist.

But for right now, the best thing is waking up in a safe, comfortable place, he said. "To take a shower in the morning and shave and use regular toothpaste. And fix something to eat when I want," Carrillo said. "The beauty of being free, to actually have opportunities to do what you desire, if it's to stay up late to watch a movie or take a walk on the beach, your life is pretty much your own."

Sent by Eddie Martinez

La Semana Santa Andaluza está catalogada de interés turístico nacional e internacional con celebración de la Semana Santa en 63 municipios andaluces, así como 13 fiestas relacionadas con la Semana Santa de los municipios repartidos por toda la geografía andaluza. 

Sin embargo, el 17 de julio de 2006 el gobierno andaluz declaró de forma general a la Semana Santa de Andalucía como fiesta de Interés Turístico de Andalucía
debido al fenómeno cultural que desempeña con características comunes y unitarias que la singularizan respecto a otras y por ser un importante elemento dinamizador de la actividad turística de Andalucía.
Entre las mas populares se encuentra la Semana Santa de Málaga, Granada y Sevilla La detallada proyección que presentamos muestra algunos de los “pasos” que salen en procesión haciendo un recorrido oficial con visita a la Catedral. Una vez fuera de esta, cada hermandad regresa a su parroquia o iglesia correspondiente por distinto itinerario, dando así una pincelada muy pintoresca a
su recorrido por las calles de las ocho provincias andaluzas con sus balcones floridos, desde los que les cantan “Saetas” a las imágenes; un canto exclusivo de Semana Santa con letras que reflejan la Pasión de Jesús y el dolor de su Santísima Madre.

Nuestra organización agradece el apoyo que, año tras año nos brinda el Consulado General de España en Los Angeles para la difusión de esta celebración cultural tan arraigada en nuestra
región andaluza y en toda España.

Peña Andaluza en California: 1628 Fern St. San Diego, Ca
92102. Telf. 619.234.7897 /

Peña Andaluza en California Presenta su XXI Audiovisual Semana Santa en Andalucía, Spain
del 10 al 21 de abril Lunes a viernes de 8:00 de la mañana a 12 del mediodía
Consulate General of Spain in Los Angeles,  5055 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 860, Los Angeles CA 90036

Sent by Maria Angeles O'Donnell Olson



Old Spanish Trail Association Conference, June 2-5  Pomona, CA
Birth of the State of California 162nd Celebration, Nov 13, 2011

The Old Spanish Trail Association is holding its annual national conference in California.  

This year’s conference theme is “The Old Spanish Trail in California” with a program centering on California portions of the trail. Speakers and panels will explore a range of topics from trail-period emigration to the history of locations and people associated with the trail in California.
This year's conference agenda is the largest and most comprehensive in our history! Three full tracks are planned. Click HERE to download the full conference program.

The conference theme is “The Old Spanish Trail in California” with a program centering on California portions of the trail. Speakers and panels will explore a range of topics from trail-period emigration to the history of locations and people associated with the trail in California.

The preliminary program includes:

  • 170th Anniversary of the Rowland-Workman Party – Paul Spitzzeri, Workman-Temple Family Homestead Museum
  • Agua Mansa Cemetery – Michelle Nielsen, San Bernardino Co. Museum
  • Alternate Travel Plans: The Southern Trail – Phil Brigandi
  • ARRA funded ‘Historic Trails Inventory Program’ – Stacey Jordan-Conner, Rolla Queen, Jon Horn & Jim Shearer
  • The Brothers Wolfskill – Paul Spitzzeri , Workman-Temple Family Homestead Museum
  • Bruce Harley & Agua Mansa – Peter Bradley, Archivist, Diocese of San Bernardino
  • The Californio Vaquero and his equipment – Bruce Haener, Chris Flanagan, Griff Durham, Susan Jensen & Paul Singer
  • Changing Boundaries: The U.S. Mexico Border, A Historic Perspective in Maps” – Simon Burrow
  • Colorado & California: The Moyas and the descendants of Ewing Young – Donie Nelson, GSHA, Southern California chapter
  • The Correct routes of the OST in California – John Robinson, John Hockaday and Dennis Casebier
  • Cuisines along the Trail: beef, mutton & game – Charles Perry, Culinary Historians of Southern California
  • Descendants of the Trail: Sharing stories of our Ancestors – workshop
  • DNA as a tool: Finding the kin of Joseph Campbell and the ethnicity of Lorenzo Trujillo – Doug Daniels & Leonard Trujillo
  • The El Camino Real (de California) and UNESCO world heritage designation – Julianne Burton-Carvajal and Jarrell Jackman
  • End of the Santa Fe Trail? The History of El Monte, California – William King
  • End of the Trail and New Beginnings: The Los Angeles Plaza 1781-2011 – William Estrada, LA Co. Natural History Museum
  • Fresh off the Trail: C. Sepulveda’s ‘divorce’ & G. Trujillo de Quintana’s murder trial – Miroslava Chavez-Garcia, UC Davis
  • Hispano Oral Histories & educational outreach – Lorrie Crawford
  • Miguel Blanco/Michael White: His story and the plight of his adobe
  • Missionization, Secularization and Decimation – 18 Unratified Treaties & No Federal Recognition: The overlooked history of California’s Native Americans
  • My Californio Ancestors – the Lisaldes, Yorbas and Palomares: Life in Alta California in the 1830s & ‘40s – Patricia Wilkes
  • The Old Spanish Trail, Cajon to the Ocean and the Tongva/Gabrieleno People – panel session
  • The Old Spanish Trail, New Mexicans and the New Eden, 1678-1850 – Joseph Sanchez, University of New Mexico
  • On the Trail Again: Locating, Recording and Assessing a 19th Century Mule Trace in the Mojave near Tecopa – Jack Prichett
  • Pack Mules to Model T Fords: From Escalante and Armijo’s Old Spanish Trail to the Arrowhead Trails Highway – Leo Lyman
  • Packing a Mule ‘the Old Spanish Way’ – Chris Flanagan
  • Pio Pico, Last Mexican Governor of California – Carlos Salomon, California State University - East Bay
  • Plant Communities Along the Old Spanish Trail in California– Constance M. Vadheim, Cal.State University – Dominguez Hills
  • R.I.P.?: The Disturbance of Los Angeles Plaza Church Cemetery – E. Gary Stickel, Environmental Research Archaeologists
  • The Old Spanish Trail from Resting Spring to Salt Spring – LeRoy Johnson and Tom Sutak
  • Toypurina: California’s ‘Joan of Arc’ – E. Gary Stickel, Environmental Research Archaeologists
  • Trujillo family: from Agua Mansa to La Placita – Anthony Ray
  • Urban Trails Workshop: Rediscovering and Resurrecting the OST in urban southern California
  • What’s In A Name? The ‘Old Spanish Trail’ highway and ‘the other OSTA – Charlotte Kahl & Charlotte Travis, OST100
  • William and David Workman: Their English Background – David Fallowfield

Editor:  It is an outstanding program, and the cost for the 4 day conference is really quite reasonable.  
For more information and to register online, go to:

Miroslava's presentation on June 4 is entitled: “Fresh Off the Trail - C.Sepulveda’s 'Divorce' & G.Trujillo de Quintana's Murder Trial"   Her specialty is California history, especially women's issues.
Charles Perry is a former food writer for the Los Angeles Times.  He will prepare an authentic Trail-period barbecue for the conference's Saturday night banquet.  His presentation to the conference on Friday is entitled, "Cuisines Along the Trail: Beef and Mutton 'Barbacoa' ."   Perry is a recognized expert on early California cuisine.

Doug Daniels talk:  
"Finding the Kin of Joseph  Campbell: DNA as a Tool"


Donie Nelson talk: 
"Colorado & California: The Moyas and the Descendants of Ewing Young" 

Birth of the State of California
162nd Celebration Planned for 
November 13, 2011
Chapman University in Orange
Our Sesquicentennials of the Birth of the State of California at UCI in 1999 and its Admission as the 31st State in the Union at CSUF in 1950 were great successes. Our 161st California State Birthday Observance at the Orange County Heritage Museum last year was another. The 162nd will be an even greater one. Please calendar it now.
It will take place Sunday, November 13, 2011, at Chapman University in Orange. Sponsors are Chapman's Wilkinson College of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Los Amigos of Orange County and the Society for Hispanic Heritage and Ancestral
Research. We are always interested in suggestions as preparations and planning proceed.
Here follows a proposed background statement:
Californians have a long history of forgetting. . .their own history.
Amnesia set in within months after the State of California was born November 13, 1849. On that rainy day, Californians voted ratification of their Original Constitution.  They elected those who would represent and govern them. California's postwar U.S. military governor resigned and stepped aside.
The first California Legislature convened in San Jose. One of its earliest actions was to create local governments.  Twenty-seven counties (subsequently further divided into today's 58) were established. The then most populous, San Francsico, became what it still is, a coterminus city/county.  Among other original counties centering on Missions are Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, which include cities with those names. Two of the originals counties--Mariposa and Trinity--are all there is to local government in them. They have no incoporated cities.
This and more that was basic to the life of the State (including a public school system) was accomplished before California was admitted to the Union on September 9, 1850.

Congress did NOT grant California "Statehood." The U.S. Congress admitted the STATE OF CALIFORNIA to the Union on the same basis  as the 13 governments that jointly created the United States in the first place.
Does it make any difference? It certainly does. Instead of waiting out probationary deacdes as a supervised "Territory"  (like the last of the present Fifty States: New Mexico Arizona, Alaska
and Hawaii).  
And Californians took charge of their own affairs in the midst of (and in spite of) a tumultous Gold Rush. Diverse people thought  through and wrote California's State Birth Certificate in Spanish 
and English. They approved it in both languages at the polls. . .as mounting waves of humanity came
rolling ashore.
California has been, is and always will be a work in progress. Diversity enriches our society, our economy, our lives.  What was a bicultural beginning has become a rich multicultural present.
California's hope for the future? Dynamic integration of the best in all Californians.
Galal Kernahan


The American Connection to Cinco de Mayo
Honoring & Celebrating Art by Latinas: Madres~Madonnas~Mujeres
New Border Environment Report,  Environment News

TO |
On May 5th 1862 in the city of Puebla the invading forces of Napoleon III, Maximilliano the Archduke of Austria, his puppet Emperor, would encounter a force of Mexican troops led by Ignacio Zaragoza. We have all heard the story of how General Zaragoza who was born in Goliad, Texas would successfully defeat the French invaders at the Battle of Puebla, but that is only half of the story.   

While the United States was busy with the American Civil War, Napoleon decided that he would be as great a conqueror as his famous uncle, Napoleon I and it would be a good time to retake Mexico and stop America’s expansion.  We know now that Napoleon had plans to enter the United States and join the Confederates. 

However, what is little known is that General Zaragoza would recruit Captain Porfirio Zamora from Palito Blanco in south Texas and in turn he would recruit 500 Tejano’s. Together as a cavalry unit they would join the Mexican Army and fight to defend Mexico from the French invasion. These Tejano’s, although still Mexicans at heart, were American citizens. After the invasion of Mexico in 1846, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo(1848) would guarantee these former Mexican citizens full American citizenship. These American citizen volunteers came from as far as Corpus Christi to Brownsville and all along the Rio Grande Valley. 

According to Dr Andres Tijerina, author, historian and professor of Texas History, the Tejano Cavalry that fought under the leadership of Captain Porfirio Zamora, would defeat the French infantry and this decisive charge would end the Battle of Puebla. 

After the French were driven out of Mexico the surviving Tejanos returned and started the celebrations in south Texas. Dr Tijerina says that if it had not been for the 500 Tejanos the war may have had a different outcome. These Tejanos considered the Battle of Puebla as their victory and their contribution in saving Mexico from French domination. After the war, Porfirio Zamora would be promoted to Major, and for his bravery and valor, would be awarded Mexico’s second highest military medal, “ La Condecoracion de Segunda Clase.” This medal and citation were personally signed by President Benito Juarez. 

So powerful in Mexican politics was Zamora that after Benito Juarez died, General Porfirio Diaz, candidate for Mexican President rode all the way to Alice, Texas to seek the endorsement of Major Porfirio Zamora. And now you know the rest of the story. 

Ref: El Mesquite, Elena Zamora O’ Shea Texas A & M University originally  published 1935 by Mathis Publishing Co., Dallas, Texas 

Dan Arellano Author/Historian




ALAC Proudly Presents: 

Honoring & Celebrating Art by Latinas:


Opening Reception 6-10 pm May 6th.

Emily Costello~Artist


Creating & Investing in a Latino~Xicano~Indigenous, Arts & Culture  

Legacy for our Community." LTórres


As we continue to develop and improve our programs, we wish  

to listen to your ideas. Do you wish to Collaborate, Kindly call or email us directly! 



ErLinda C. Tórres, Founding Chair & Immediate Past Chair, Board of Directors. | ALAC Arizona Latino Arts & Cultural Center~Galeria 147 | ALAC: 602.254.9817 Cell: 602.793.1293 | 147 E. Adams.St. | Phoenix | AZ | 85014



Pam Carvajal Drapala~Artist

Monica Gisel-Crespo~Artist 

Cristina Cardenas~Artist

New Border Environment Report
Environment News
March 31, 2011
A new report from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) lays out ongoing environmental initiatives and actions along the 2,000-mile US-Mexico border. Published in both English and Spanish, the report highlights some of the recent steps taken in meeting the goals of the Border 2012 Program, the centerpiece collaboration effort between the US and Mexico on the environmental front.
As the EPA report portrays, numerous actors are working to protect and improve the fragile border environment, including citizen groups, universities, government agencies and indigenous communities in the US and Mexico. For instance, the report updates the celebration of River Day, an annual, binational event that involves Mexican and US citizens in different activities dedicated to the health and preservation of the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo.

According to the EPA, 2010 River Day attracted 800 volunteers just in Laredo, Texas, where people participated in a river clean-up and restoration of the local Rio Grande ecosystem. Up and down the border region, approximately 25,000 people participated in last year’s River Day events, the EPA reported. To keep River Day and related issues in the public spotlight, organizers have formed the Rio Grande/Rio Bravo Basin Alliance.

Other Border 2012 initiatives include mitigating greenhouse gases, reducing diesel emissions, recycling electronic waste, controlling mosquitoes, implementing toxic emergency response and collecting old pesticides, among others.

In the Paso del Norte border region of El Paso-Ciudad Juarez-southern New Mexico, Border 2012 has financially supported environmental and food safety education in three low-income Ciudad Juarez neighborhoods, and has provided more than $50,000 in funding to the University of Texas at El Paso’s civil engineering department for studies on curbing air pollution from the constantly clogged Bridge of the Americas that connects El Paso and Ciudad Juarez.

The EPA estimated that an annual average of 600,000 commercial and 10 million private vehicles cross the Bridge of the Americas, spewing a variety of air contaminants as they wait in long lines to cross the border.

In southern New Mexico, Border 2012 is helping finance an unusual campaign spearheaded by the Ben Archer Health Center. Led by trained health promoters, the project aims to teach home safety in 500 low-income households in Luna, Dona Ana, Sierra and Otero counties.

In home visits, the promoters teach residents about securely storing chemical substances, safely enclosing medicines and properly storing pesticides. The project came after a study revealed that New Mexico ranks highest in the US in terms of deaths from domestic injuries, at the rate of 13.03 victims per 100,000 people.

Spanish and English versions of the EPA’s new Border 2012 report can be accessed and read at the following website: 

Frontera NorteSur: on-line, U.S.-Mexico border news 
Center for Latin American and Border Studies
New Mexico State University
Las Cruces, New Mexico

For a free electronic subscription email:
Frontera NorteSur is made possible in part by a grant from the McCune Charitable Foundation

Walter L. Herbeck Jr.


Daniel O. Vargas,  Latino advocate in Atlanta, Georgia
The 23rd annual Salute to Hispanic Women, Milwaukee
Daniel O. Vargas, 
Latino advocate in Atlanta, Georgia
In Atlanta, Daniel O. Vargas is an advocate for the Latino community and serves on numerous boards in the Atlanta area, to include The Mexican  Center, Roswell Intercultural Alliance, Hugh Spaulding Children’s Hospital,  The Latin American Association, United Way Outreach Program, and the  Cobb County Hispanic/Latino Initiative.

In 1990, Mr. Vargas established Vargas Flores & Amigos—the only Hispanic  advertising agency in Atlanta at that time. Mr. Vargas and his wife, Jennifer,  also established The Three Kings Celebration, a housing service that helps  needy families. Mr. and Mrs. Vargas have collected over 11,400 diapers, 51  baby cribs, numerous twin beds, sleeping bags clothing, furniture, and food in  an effort to help families in need.

Mr. Vargas has earned more than 75 national and international community  service awards for his work. He is also a member of the FBI Atlanta Citizens’  Academy Alumni Association.

Dan has earned more than 75 national and international creative awards including  Five Clios and National Addys. Vargas in 1997 received a humanitarian achievement  award for excellence in advertising from the National Puerto Rican Day Parade Committee,  New York City. This is an honor that he holds dear to his heart for he was the first  Puerto Rican to ever receive this award outside of New York City. He received 5 awards from “The Se Habla Español” for advertising to the Mexican-American market. 

Dan had a one man show of his work in advertising to the Latino market at the  Oklahoma Christian University in Oklahoma City. While there he lectured and  reviewed students portfolios, offering them constructive criticism. 

Dan was a Local Addy’s judge in 2004, 2005 and 2006 for for Districts such as Tampa, San Antonio and St. Thomas and recently served as a judge for the 2006 National and International Addy’s held in Washington DC.

Daniel O. Vargas
CEO/President, Vargas & Amigos, Inc.
3055 Waterfront Circle
Marietta, GA 30062   404 429 5044  Fax: 770 992 9778

Sent by Dorinda Moreno, 


The 23rd annual Salute 
to Hispanic Women
The 23rd annual Salute to Hispanic Women, to be held from 9 a.m. to noon May 7 in Milwaukee, will examine the dropout rate of Latino students.  The sessions at the Hilton Milwaukee City Center, 509 W. Wisconsin Ave., will be held concurrently in English and Spanish.

A parent, teacher and higher-education professor will talk at the conference about the value of bicultural identity, getting involved in a child's education, resources to keep children in school and what dissuades students from staying in school.

Teens also will address the same subjects. The teen session is open to 100 youths between the ages of 12 and 18. They will be asked to complete a brief anonymous survey about their beliefs and attitudes about school and why they stay or leave.

Additionally, a returning GED student, a high school student and a college student will discuss the issues of family, societal, financial and immigration status and how these play into educational advancement.

The keynote speaker at the luncheon will be Heidi Ramirez, the chief academic officer for Milwaukee Public Schools.

The conference and luncheon are sponsored by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin. Tickets for the conference and luncheon are $50. Tickets are $30 for the conference only and $30 for the luncheon only. For information and for reservations, call (414) 643-6963.

Sent by Patti Navarrette     
Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel Interactive  


Remembering the First Tejano Declaration of Independence, April 6, 1813
Unclaimed oil and mineral royalties sought by descendants
Friends of Casa Navarro King William Parade in San Antonio
Spanish Governors Palace,  5th Annual Tejano Declaration of Independence
Rudi Rodriguez Appointed to Board of El Camino Real De Los Tejas National
      Historic Trail Association
Lino Garcia, Jr., Ph.D announces new website   
First Republic of Texas Celebration is a success in Navasota
On the 175 Anniversary of the re-taking of the Alamo, February 23, 1836 
Ramon Vasquez Y Sanchez
The Women at the Alamo Remembered, March 6, 1836 Ramon Vasquez Y Sanchez 

Tejano Declaration of  Independence
In front of the Texas State Capitol, Austin, 
April 6, 2011

Members of the Tejano Genealogy Society in front of the State Capital in Austin having a press conference to bring awareness to the most important day in Tejano History: April 6, 1813 when Jose Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara in front of the Spanish Governors Palace inn San Antonio proclaimed our independence

Left to Right, Pete Diaz co-host of an Austin TV Program, Jesse Villarreal- Member Sons of the American Revolution, Al Reyes Vice President Tejano Genealogy Society, Dan Arellano,  President Tejano Genealogy Society,  Larry Amaro President Johnston Almni,  Mini Wilson Secretary Tejano Genealogy Society.  All Descendents of  the Battle of Medina.”

Visit Tejano Land Grant Movement at:


La Porte attorney Eileen McKenzie Fowler (right), who represents families whose ancestors received land grants, reads the framed lyrics of a song written for her by one of the descendants, Antonia Margarita Gonzalez, after Gonzalez's cousin John Orfila (left) gave Fowler the gift.  Photo: Lisa Krantz  
 San Antonio Express-News

Read more:


In an informational session Saturday that was part pep rally and part devotional, about 500 descendants of Spanish and Mexican land grantees met in San Antonio to hear proposed legislation that could bring them a form of justice their families have long sought: Unclaimed oil and mineral royalties derived from their ancestral lands.

Sitting in the Texas Comptrollers Office, they represent $200 million to $561 million of the state's $2.2 billion in unclaimed funds. “Through the years, our ancestors — my father, his parents, his grandparents and his great-grandparents — all have been seeking justice and compensation of what our forefathers left us,” said Lilia Gonzalez Kohandani, an heir of Joaquín Galán, who settled in what's now South Texas in the early 1700s.

“If they release this money that is due to us, it's going to be spent. It's going to rock the Texas economy,” she said.

Other descendants shared similar stories of failed attempts at restitution. Many came armed with copies of original documents and exchanged stories about their genealogical research.

Former Democratic state Sen. Hector Uribe, who's assisting the descendants' legal team in Austin, was among the speakers at Saturday's session.  “You have already come a long way,” he said. “This is a grand and noble effort. We need your help, and we need your prayers.”

The Unclaimed Mineral Proceeds Act, a 12-page bill that would amend the Unclaimed Property Act, is expected to be introduced this year in the Legislature.

It would institute methods by which the Texas Comptrollers Office could process oil and mineral claims by descendants and accept judgments from district courts that establish them as heirs.

It also would direct counties that have received unclaimed oil and mineral royalties to send them to the Texas Comptrollers Office to establish a single fund for descendants.

Because the descendants' legal team believes some oil companies might have sent unclaimed payments to the states in which they were incorporated, Delaware and Nevada in particular, the bill ensures future payments remain in Texas. The bill does not address unclaimed royalties now out of the state.

The legislation also would direct the Texas Railroad Commission to determine mineral production for each of the land grants in question and directs the comptroller to separate unclaimed mineral proceeds from the rest of the state's unclaimed funds.

Don Tomlinson, an attorney and former law professor who drafted the legislation, said this is the remedy for the descendants.

“If this law were passed, we could start filing claims for you. Without this, we're back to square one.”  After the presentation at the Sheraton Gunter Hotel, John Orfila, a descendant of several land grantees, was hopeful.  “I'm 75. I may not see it,” he said. “But I feel good about the legislation. I think we'll win.”

Read more:





Sent by Sylvia Navarro Tillotson


April 10, 2011 
Spanish Governors Palace. 

The 5th Annual Tejano Declaration of Independence


Guest speakers were Judge/Historian Robert Thonhoff, Texas LULAC Director Joey Cardenas, TV Celebrity from Austin Jerry(Prime Time Tejano) Avila, Major General Alfred Valenzuela, Texas History Professor Dr Carolina Castillo Crimm, County Commissioner Tommy Adkisson and Dan Arellano. 



Joe J. Ponce: Great .Wow that uniform looks great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Daniel Baladez:  Great history! I have been to this before and its great. I wish the younger generation would watch and listen and that way they would know why we are proud people.

Elisa Gutierrez:  Really enjoyed our afternoon with great speakers and most of all feeling proud of our Tejano Heritage!

To view photos, go to: 

Sent by Dan Arellano 


Rudi Rodriguez Appointed 
As Board Member 
To El Camino Real De Los Tejas National Historic Trail Association
March 31, 2011 - The newly designated El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail 
was originally established to connect a series of missions and posts between Monclova, Mexico
and Los Adaes, the first capital of the province of Texas (in what is now northwestern Louisiana).
It constituted the only primary overland route from the Rio Grande to the Red River Valley in
Louisiana during the Spanish Colonial Period from 1690 - 1821.

March 31, 2011 - The newly designated El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail was originally established to connect a series of missions and posts between Monclova, Mexico and Los Adaes, the first capital of the province of Texas (in what is now northwestern Louisiana). It constituted the only primary overland route from the Rio Grande to the Red River Valley in Louisiana during the Spanish Colonial Period from 1690 - 1821.

El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail Association, along with the National ParkService has appointed its newest board member; Mr. Rudi R. Rodriguez of San Antonio, Texas. Rudi is the Founder and Chairman of the Hispanic Heritage Center of Texas. In his new position, he will serve in an At-Large position and help to represent the San Antonio - Goliad and South Texas region in general.

As a board member, his responsibilities along with the rest of the board are to insure the protection, awareness, and education of one of the National Park Service's newest National Historic Trails in America. The "Camino Real De Los Tejas NHT" is the nineteenth National Historic Trail to be established in the nation. "Our association is fortunate to have this new member as he will help provide the necessary leadership and enthusiasm for the Camino Real Project," said Steven Gonzales, executive director of El Camino Real De Los Tejas National Historic Trail Association. Gonzales went on to say, "This individual will help bring additional communities and organizations to help promote the Camino Real project and make the roads a reality."

In the future, the El Camino Real De Los Tejas Association will provide the leadership to helpdevelop educational programs, exhibits, documentaries, interpretive centers and markers throughout the Camino Real footprint. As the newest board member, Rudi will strive to help fulfill the purpose of the Camino Real De Los Tejas and continue to champion and preserve the heritage and legacy of the Lone Star State. Please see attached a letter announcing Rudi's appointment to the board.

Additionally, Rudi is receiving the Texas Historical Commission's "2010 Award of Excellencein Preserving History on April 1st in Austin at the THC's Annual Historic Preservation Conference.

If you have any questions or require additional information, do not hesitate to contact us at (210) 892-0136.

Rudi Rodriguez @ (210) 892-0136
Sent by 

A few of us have develop a website:

Our purpose is to publish articles on Tejano History (with special focus on the pre-1836 period), and we have plans to make this available to all Social Sciences teachers in Texas as supplemental material. If you go to the link above you will located our first article, and we expect more to appear soon.

Best, Lino Garcia, Jr., Ph.D
Professor Emeritus



First Republic of Texas Celebration is a success in Navasota

Examiner editor
Posted: Saturday, April 2, 2011

Dr. Robin Montgomery, a Texas historian and Navasota Historic Preservation Committee member, has published a pamphlet on the First Republic of Texas, but it's not the same Republic students have been learning about in school. The committee, along with the Visionaries of Preservation of the City of Navasota and special guests, presented the first annual "Celebration of the First Republic of Texas, 1813" on April 2, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., at the Horlock History Center at 1215 Washington Avenue in Navasota.  The history of Mexico's (Then called New Spain) independence from Spain was the core topic of discussion at the event.
Montgomery said the main thing he hopes the community takes from the event is the spirit of togetherness formed through multicultural diversity and strength that allowed the First Republic of Texas to be created in 1813.

"Hidalgo commissioned Gutierrez to get assistance from the United States, and he brought back a whole army of Anglos. And they were coming under an Irish flag (during a later battle.) Here we had the Anglos, Tejanos, Native Americans and African-Americans coming together to fight for freedom," said Dr. Montgomery.

He added that though the history of the Republic of Texas being won from Spain is a little known fact, the 2011 curriculum for seventh grade students is expected to remedy that fact for the enlightenment of future generations.

"We're trying to help students understand their history," said Dr. Montgomery. "Though short-lived, the First Republic of Texas was significant. For example, the famous Battle of Medina, bloodiest in Texas history, marked the demise of the Republic, but set an example of bravery for Texans in the immortal Battle of the Alamo."

High Point students from grades 2-5 will be assisting with presentations on flags ranging from the banner of Miguel Hidalgo of 1810 through the Green Flag of 1813, plus the Lone Star flags of Dr. James Long's Expedition, Sarah Dodson and Charles Stewart.

Navasota Junior High students from Donna Katkoski's history classes served as guides and docents.

Representatives of the Zuber-Hadley Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and of the VIP of Navasota played coordinating and supplementary roles in the program.

The event also included Spanish dancers, music, snacks, free Blue Bell ice cream, live oxen from the Texian Institute, presentations of Indian artifacts, Pioneer Life and Buffalo Soldiers.

"Oxen also played a major role in battles, as well as in pioneer life," said Dr. Montgomery's daughter Joy, who has a Master's degree in history and returned from the Peace Corps in 2010. "What I learned from the Peace Corps is how to bring communities together through activities. This is a way to bring people together," she said.

An African American Color Guard presentation of flags also took place.

Sam Houston State University and museum representatives led historical presentations on the era and battlefield surgeries.

Period costumes are welcome.

"We will be showing artifacts from that time period, and what the Buffalo Soldiers' life was like," said Dr. Montgomery. "The Buffalo Soldiers that gave presentations at Washington-on-the-Brazos for the 175th anniversary of Texas Independence will be there, and they are very hard to get."

For more information on this event, contact Joy Montgomery, history liaison, at 936-851-2839 or

"Celebrating Togetherness"

Editor's note: The following excerpts were taken from Dr. Montgomery's recently published pamphlet entitled "Celebrating Togetherness."

In 1813, Texas was a part of Mexico, which was, in turn, a colony of Spain. On April 6 of that year, the first independent Republic of Texas was established. In that town, on Sept. 16, 1810, Hidalgo had given vent to words known to all lovers of freedom as the "Grito de Dolores," a cry for freedom. Hidalgo's message gave birth to a movement, which by 1821 resulted, finally, in freedom for Mexico from its Spanish overlords. Hidalgo commissioned Bernardo Gutierrez as a Lt. Colonel in his Army.

The beginning of the end of the highly stratified society of New Spain came in 1808. In that year, the French Emperor, Napoleon Bonaparte, placed his brother, Joseph, on the throne of Spain. Napoleon took the legitimate heir apparent to the Spanish crown, Ferdinand VII, into captivity in France.

The Criollos and higher-level mestizos, for the most part, looked to find some way to gain independence for New Spain in the name of the deposed King Ferdinand.

Miguel Hidalgo, born on May 8, 1753, near New Spain, became a priest in 1779. Hidalgo later became involved with a group bent on revolting against the French-supported peninsulares establishment.

On September 16, 1810, Miguel Hidalgo rang the bell summoning his lower class flock and announced that the time had come for revolution in the name of religion and Independence, as subjects of King Ferdinand VII of Spain. Along the way, they took on a banner emblazoned with the Image of the Virgin de Guadalupe.

Although it was just after Hidalgo suffered death, Bernardo Gutierrez did indeed make his way to the United States where he visited with Secretary of State James Monroe. A representative of Monroe, William Shaler, subsequently joined Gutierrez in Louisiana and accompanied him to Texas, entering the state in August 1812. With Bernardo Gutierrez as a co-leader of forces was an officer of the United States Army, Augustus Magee, who soon resigned his United State's commission. The resultant Gutierrez-Magee Expedition overcame the Spanish forces of Trinidad.

Revolutionaries ventured out victorious and set their sights on San Antonio, capital of New Spain.

On April 6, 1813, Gutierrez proclaimed the Republic of Texas and proceeded to write a constitution. Augustus Magee had died during the Bahia siege. The green flag Magee had fashioned at the beginning of the Gutierrez-Magee expedition in honor of his Irish ancestry symbolized the new republic, indeed known as the "Green Flag Republic."

The man replacing Bernardo Gutierrez de Lara as President of the Republic of Texas was Jose Alvarez de Toledo. In the bloodiest battle in Texas history, all but about 100 of Toledo's followers suffered death. A primary cause of the debacle lay in Toledo's decision to divide his forces by race. United upon their entry into San Antonio they had successfully proclaimed the first Republic of Texas.

During 1819 to 1821, Dr. James Long embraced filibustering expeditions to Texas. Representing the government of Dr. Long was a flag emblazoned with a white lone star against an immediate red background coupled to red and white stripes. 


On the 175 Anniversary of the re-taking of the Alamo

February 23, 1836

 Ramon Vasquez Y Sanchez © 2011

On February 23, 1836, the Mexican Army, under the command of General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, then president of the Republic of Mexico, marched into the Mexican town of San Antonio de Bexar.  San Antonio was the principal town located in the Mexican Province of Coahuila y Tejas and had been forcibly occupied by men that wanted to take over Texas.  The majority of these men had been crossing the Mexican/North American border illegally since Mexico had closed its border to the United States in April 6, 1830.  The Republic of Mexico did not have the resources and men power to prevent these men from coming into the province and taking whatever land they desired.  

The original colonists soon aliened themselves with the filibusters to take over the province and create their own Government.  From 1830 to 1836 over 10,000 had crossed the border and taken land of their choice without payment to the Mexican Government.  Some Tejano families joined the movement and became accessories to this plot to take over the province from Mexico by force.   

Mexico soon recognized the danger and labeled these men as pirates from the Untied States and would treat them as such.  Having taken the law into their own hands, criminally attacked and killed Mexican soldiers who were enforcing the laws of Mexico, forced a garrison in San Antonio to surrender, captured Goliad and commissioned privateers to attack Mexican Merchant ships, These people had violated all their rights in Mexico.   Mexico realized that this travesty had to be stopped.  Realizing that there were over 20,000 foreigners now in Texas, Santa Anna organized an army of over 5,000 men and marched to quell this movement in Texas.   

La Tejana 

It was early morning that the bells of San Fernando church in the center of town began to ring the alarm.  The Mexican Army had surprised the occupied town.  At this date only less then 200 men and women under James bowie and William B. Travis were in Bejar and they rushed into the 100-year-old Spanish mission called “the Alamo” to avoid being captured.  General Santa Anna then asked them to surrender at desecration or the garrison would be put to the sword. The Mexican Army was answered by a cannon shot.  The Alamo garrison had sealed its fate.   The majority of the persons inside the Alamo were illegal aliens caught within the Republic of Mexico.  13 days later the Alamo was re-taken.  


Matilde Polanco

1850 – 1955


Her mother  Marcela Vasquez Polanco  
All born in Bejar.  
1822 - 1922  


The Women of the Alamo

 March 6, 1836

By Ramon Vasquez Y Sanchez

Dawn March 6, 1836  


The Mexican Woman with the Army

                  Anna Salazar Esparza  

Watercolors by Ramon Vasquez y Sanchez
Coat-of-Arms/ Heraldry Art Consultant

Early on a cold winter Sunday morning within the blood stained walls of the old Spanish mission called the “Alamo”, a group of young women, their faces dark with smoke, were gathered together by Mexican soldiers. Walking carefully among the corpses that littered the ground, accompanied by their young children, they were led out of the Alamo’s southern gate.  The Mexican soldiers brought them across the broken bridge of the San Antonio River and down “El Potrero” street which led to the center of San Antonio de Bejar.  There they were placed in the custody of the Politico chief, Ramon Musquiz and were given food, coffee and a place to rest in safety.   Most of the women were in their twenties, their faces full of pain and shock.  Staring into nothingness, they were trying to comprehend the losses they had endured. Their children were too afraid to cry. 

At 3:00 p.m. that afternoon, the women and children were escorted before General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, interviewed, and asked to take the “oath of allegiance.”  He told them that the Army of Mexico did not make war on women and children.   They were given a blanket and two silver pesos and set free.  All but Susanna Dickinson were taken in and cared for by friends or family.  Susanna, and her child Angelina, was given an escort out of Bejar.  Juana Navarro Alsbury and her sister Gertrudis were placed with Bettie, the black servant of the Veramendi family, and taken to the Navarro home.



In all of the written history of the Alamo, the only woman to have been recognized and survive the re-taking of the Alamo mission is Susanna Dickinson and her baby, Angelina.  They are remembered, and honored.  The dozen or more are barely written about in the history of Texas.  This article is not meant as closure on this subject, but a beginning of re-discovery of Texas History.  The women at the Alamo are remembered. 

If anyone is related to these women, please feel free to contact the    writer .





Juana Navarro Alsbury: 
Wife of Dr. Horace Alsbury who left the Alamo to seek help during the arrival of the Mexican army in San Antonio de Bejar. Juana Navarro was 28 years old when she entered the Alamo with the Veramendi household. She was the daughter of José Angel Navarro II and had been adopted by then governor Juan Martin Veramendi family. Her father was an officer in Santa Anna's Army during the 1836 siege. Juana first married Alejo Perez who died in 1834 and she re-married Dr. Horatio Alexander Alsbury in 1836. She took into the Alamo her one-year-old son Alejo Perez and her sister Gertrudis Navarro. After the battle she and her sister were taken to the Navarro house. She later re-married Juan Perez, brother to her first husband. She died on July at the age of 78 at her son's ranch "Rancho de la Laguna on the Salado Creek, east Bexar County in 1887.

Gertrudis Navarro: 
Gertrudis was the sister of Juana Navarro Alsbury. She was 20 years old when she entered the Alamo. After the battle she moved to the Calaveras Creek area, south of Bejar, where she later married Miguel Cantu-Gortari in 1841. She had eight children and lived there until she died.

Trinidad Saucedo:
Came with Juana Navarro Alsbury into the Alamo. She was 27 years old. She left the Alamo during Santa Anna's 3-day armistice. Trinidad Saucedo was part of the Veramendi and Bowie household at the time that the Mexican Army entered San Antonio de Bejar.

Antonia Fuentes:
Antonia Fuentes came in with Juana Navarro Alsbury. She was part of the Veramendi and Bowie household.

Bettie was a Black servant and cook of the Veramendi residence. She came into the Alamo with the Veramendi household. She was given charge of Gertrudis Navarro and Juana Navarro Alsbury after the battle. She then took them to their father house who was in the Mexican Army. Since Mexico was free of slavery, she attached herself to the Mexican Army and traveled with them to Matamoros in their retreat after the defeat at San Jacinto. She stayed there for one or two years and when Texas war ships appeared off the Coast, she fled to Monterrey, Mexico. There she became part of the Mexican people population.

Susanna Dickinson: 
She was the 22 years old wife of Almaron Dickinson, who was twice her age. Almaron was cannoneer at the Alamo during the siege. They had come to Tejas in 1831. After the battle she was brought before General Santa Anna. She was released to tell General Houston what had happened at the Alamo. After the Battle Susanna was part of the Run Away scrape and settled in Houston Texas. She was married 5 times during her lifetime and worked in a house of ill fame. Susana met and married Joseph William Hannig and changed her life. Susana died in 1883 and is buried in Austin, Texas.

Angelina Dickinson:
She was the daughter of Susanna and Almaron Dickinson. She was 15 months old at the time if the siege. Her mother had her marry John Griffith and had 3 children but divorced him and then in 1860 she married Oscar Holmes and had a daughter she named Sallie. She later left her husband and became a homeless person in Galveston, Texas. She died in 1868.

Anna Salazar Esparza:
Anita Salazar was the wife of Gregorio Esparza who died at the Alamo. She was 33 years old when she entered the Alamo along with her children. She remained inside the Alamo Chapel until the battle ended. Anna Salazar Esparza and her children along with the other women were taken to the Musquiz house for safe keeping. At the Musquiz house she helped feed the other women and children. When she was questioned and release by the Mexican army, they went to their cousin's house on North Flores. They remained there for several months. She died in the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe in December 12, 1847. 

Maria de Jesus Castro: 
She was 10 years old when she entered the Alamo. She was the daughter of Ana Salazar Esparza and Victor de Castro, Anna Salazar's first husband. After the death of Gregorio Esparza at the Alamo, the Esparza family suffered greatly at the hands of the "straggling Americans" who coveted the ranch lands and homesteads around the town's plazas. Maria died in 1849.

Petra Gonzalez: 
She was an elderly relative of Anita Salazar and Gregorio Esparza. She was a member of the Esparza household.

Concepcion Losoya: 
She was the mother of young Juan, Toribio Losoya and Juana Losoya Melton, wife of Eliel Melton. 

Juana Melton: 
Juana Losoya Melton was 20 years old, considered an aristocrat and the wife of Eliel Melton who died at the Alamo. After the battle, she asked Anna Salinas Esparza not to say to General Santa Anna that she was married to an American.

Victoriana de Salinas and her 3 children: 
Victoriana was the wife of Manuel Barrera. She entered the Alamo with 3 daughters.

Andrea Castanon Villanueva:
Andrea Castanon Villanueva was a resident of San Antonio de Bejar and a friend of the American faction. She always claimed she was at the Alamo when it fell. Andrea was also called Señora Candelabra. She was born in Laredo and it was claimed that she was 112 years old when she died in San Antonio.

La Soldadera Mexicana: Over 500 women and children came with the Mexican army into Tejas. They were the wives, cooks and nurses to the Mexican soldiers. They suffered all the hardships of the Mexican Soldier to and from Texas.

References and Resources

From the Library of Ramon Vasquez Y Sanchez

The Fall of the Alamo
John S. Ford

The Siege & Taking of the Alamo
General Miguel A Sanchez Lamego

The Alamo Remembered
Timothy M. Matovina

El Alamo, What Happened?

Jose Antonio Navarro
Hart Graphics & Office Centers

The Roll of the Alamo
Thomas Lloyd Miller

Juan N. Seguin
Tragic Hero of Texas Independence
Jack C. Butterfield

James Clinton Neill by C. Richard King
Article: Southwestern Historical Quarterly

A Time to Stand
Walter Lord

The Eagle and the Raven
James A Michener

The Alamo
Lon Tinkle
Olvidate de El Alamo
Rafael Trujillo

Historia de la Guerra de Tejas I & II
Gral Don Vicente Filisola

Diary of William Barret Travis
Edited by Robert E, Davis 

The Eagle, The Autobiography of Santa Anna
Edited By Ann Fears Crawford

Our Mexican Ancestors
Volume one 
Institute of Texan Cultures

The Mexican side of the Texan Revolution
Translated and Notes by
Carlos E. Castañeda

A Line in The Sand
Randy Roberts & James S. Olson

El seductor de la Patria
Enrique Serna

Tejanos & Texas under the Mexican Flag 
1821 - 1836
Andres Tijerina

Alamo Survivors
Ron J. Jackson and Lee Spenser White

Santa Anna y la Guerra de Texas
Jose C. Valades

Alamo Traces
Thomas Ricks Lindley

Duel of the Eagles
Jeff Long

Viva Tejas
Ruben Rendon Lozano

Rendezvous at the Alamo
Virgil E. Baugh

With Santa Anna in Texas
Jose Enrique dela Peña

Fall of the Alamo
Francisco Ruiz and J. A. Quintero

Fall of the Alamo
R. M. Potter

Lest We Forget
Ruben M. Perez

Texas Letters
Frederick C. Chabot
The Woman and Children of the Alamo
Crystal Sasse Ragsdale

Dario de las Operaciones Militares de la Division que al mando del General Jose Urrea Hizo la Campana de Tejas
Jose Urrea

An Editor's View of Early Texas
Lorna Geer Sheppard

The Spanish Borders Frontier 1513 - 1821
John Francis Bannon

William Bollaert

An Alamo Album
Mary Ann Noonan-Guerra

100th Anniversary
Pioneer Flour Mills
1851 - 1951

San Fernando 
Heart of San Antonio
Mary Ann Noonan-Guerra

San Antonio de Bexar
Sidney Lanier

San Antonio de Bexar
William Corner

Reassessing Cultural Extinction:
Change and survival at Mission
San Juan Capistrano, Texas
Alston V. Thoms

Dolores, Revilla and Laredo
Rogelia O. Garcia

Presidio de Texas at the place called
San Antonio
Frederick C. Chabot

San Antonio and its Beginning
Frederick C. Chabot

The Makers of San Antonio
Frederick C. Chabot
San Antonio
Outpost of Empires
Lewis E. Fisher

The San Antonio Story
Published in 1978 by 
Continental Heritage Inc.

San Antonio Was
Cecilia Steinfeldt

A Place in Time
A Pictorial View of San Antonio's Past
David McLemore

Texas in 1811
The Las Casas and Sambrano Revolutions
Frederick C. Chabot
Yanaguana Society of San Antonio

Nothingness itself
Marion A. habig O.F.M.

Jose Antonio Navarro
Joseph Martin Dawson

Tragic Cavalier
Felix D. Almaraz Jr.

Tejano Origins in the Eighteenth-Century
San Antonio
Gerald E. Poyo and Gilberto M. Hinojosa

Places Names of San Antonio
David P. Green

The Spanish Borderlands Frontier 
1513 - 1821
John Francis Bannon

A critical Study of the siege of the Alamo and Personnel of its Defenders.
Amelia Williams

Uniforms of the Alamo and the Texas Revolution
Bruce Marshall

The Alamo 1836
Stephen L. Hardin

The Alamo, An Epic told from Both Sides
Jack Jackson

Alamo Movies
Frank Thompson

The Alamo
Frank Thompson

El Soldado Mexicano, 1837 - 1847
Nieto Brown - Hefter

The Mexican Army 1889 - 1913
Thomas A. Janvier

Decree on the Various Military Uniforms 1823
Bexar County Archives.

The Truth About Santa Anna
Walter Caruth Emerson

Documentos que el General Andrade publica sobre la evecuacion de la cuidad de San Antonio de Bejar, del Departamento de Tejas.

Jose Antonio Navarro
In Partial Fulfillment of the requirements for Master's Degree St. Mary's University 1941
Naomi Frity B.A.

The Mexican Texans in the Political History of San Antonio
San Antonio Light
September 1971

Mrs Vicenta Yturri Edmunds
Beta Chapter of Dalta Kappa Gamma

The Alamo
An Illustrated History
George Nelson

The Spanish Missions of San Antonio
Lewis F. Fisher

San Fernando Archives Index
San Fernando Burials 1744 - 60 
San Fernando Marriages 1742 - 60

Outlines and Reading In Texas History 1845 - 1920

H. Bailey Carrol and Lierera B. Friend

The Spanish Texans
Institute of Texan Cultures

The Mexican Texians
Institute of Texan Cultures

Establishing of San Fernando de Bexar, First Civil Settlement in Texas 1723 - 1731
Our Catholic Heritage in Texas
Carlos E. Castaneda

Inherit the Alamo
Holly Beachley Brear

A Preliminary Survey of the San Fernando Archives of San Antonio, Texas

Reminiscences of Laredo through the years
Maria Gonzalez Dovalina
Laredo Historical Society

The First Census of Texas 1829 - 1836
Texas Citizen list 1821 - 1845
Of the Republic of Texas
Marion Day Mullins

Eyewitness to the Alamo
Bill Groneman

Tejano Origins in Eighteen-Century San Antonio
Gerald E. Poyo and Gilberto M. Hinojosa

Texas Almanac
Sesquicentennial .Edition, 1986 - 1987

San Fernando Church Marriages 1798 - 1859
John Ogden Leal


Families of General Teran, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.  Vol. 4
A New People in a New World by by Galal Kernahan 
Emiliano Zapata, Hundred Years Ago in Mexico. March 31, 1911
Basic Foundations of Significant Families of Mexico: Perez de Zamora, Part I
    By Antonio Miguel Campos and Steven Francisco Hernandez
Mexico is taking Significant Steps in Education 
Registro de Bautismo, Sagradrio de la CD de Puebla
Libro de Matrimonios, Sagrario Metropolitano de La CD de Mexico
Personajes en la Historia de Mexico by Jose Leon Robles de al Torre
    Porfirio Díaz
    Manuel del Refugio González Flores 
Founding of the Spaniard settlement of Agualeguas, Nuevo Leon, Mexico 
Heroica Zitacuaro Preservation, Restoration & Redevelopment Society  
I have posted online Volume Four of “Families of General Teran, Nuevo Leon, Mexico.” See the link below;

This volume has marriage information on the 243 records for the years spanning 1825-1829. The church records used as a primary source for this book are available as digital images to view, print or download for free at in the Mexican Church Records browse image collection for General Teran.  The index found on page 262 is a complete listing of all the people found in this volume.
Crispin Rendon
by Galal Kernahan 
Gonzalo Guerrero lived five centuries ago. His statue stands in Merida, capital of the Mexican State of Yucatan. He and another Spanish soldier barely survived disaster at sea in 1511. That companion, Jeronimo de Aguilar, lived both what happened in Yucatan then and then what happened in Cortez' conquest of the Mexican Mainland. 
Before Jeronimo rejoined Spanish forces for that invasion, he and Gonzalo spent years on the Maya-speaking peninsula. Cortez--after his first skirmish on a Mainland shore--was given peace offerings that included young women. One ofthem--originally sold to a trader in the highlands by her Nahua-speaking foster father--picked up coastal Maya.

She came to be called "la Malinche." She gave Cortez understanding ears and a commanding voice. Until Malitzin(her real name) learned Spanish, she spoke to Jeronimo in Maya. He, in turn, talked with Cortez in Spanish. A path of historicity helps us follow the Gonzalo/Jeronimo years in Mayaland. We get a sense of Jeronimo's strict Catholic conduct. The odd couple of shipwreck survivors were eventually accepted into a Maya community.

Its chief found the strange men useful. He thought Maya wives would bind them to his people. Gonzalo started a family. Jeronimo remained celibate.

Seven years passed. On his way to what became the Conquest of Mexico, Cortez stopped at Cozumel Island. It is within sight of Mainland Yucatan. He learned of stray Spanish soldiers ashore and sent in word for them to join him.

Jeronimo learned Cortez was nearby. He couldn't wait to tell Gonzalo so they could leave together. In the end, he left alone. He knew why. Gonzalo had looked at the children playing a his feet and said, No ves cuan bonitos son? (Don't you see how lovely they are?)

These, the first little mestizos, heralded the arrival of a new people in the New World. Racial hairsplitting of the first half of the 20th Century ranged from "Great Races/MILD" to "Master Race/POISONUS.Mestzaje blessedly blurs all such nonsense. Today's answer is to classify as "Hispanic" almost anyone descended fromanyone born in a Spanish-speaking country. Back in the 16th Century. Jeronimo de Aguilar rode with Cortez in the Conquist of Mainland Mexico. When the Spanishturned back to subdue Yucatan, they were in for nasty shocks. At times the invaders faced fighters, who were unawed byhorses and seemed to anticipate their every move. For years, Yucatan would just not stay conquered. After one engagement, bloodied Spaniards may have learned why Yucatan was so dangerous. Among the deadlittering a battlefield, they found a tattooed Spanish corpse. That dead fighter had been struck by a bolt from a Spanish arquebus. His tattoos were Maya decorations for bravery.
Why? No ves cuan bonicos son? 

Emiliano Zapata
Hundred Years Ago in Mexico 
March 31, 1911

by John Flores

Mimi: I wrote this piece recently. Thought you might be interested. I was really disappointed that on this, the 100th anniversay, nobody in the mainstream American media did anything on this important world figure, a successful revolutionary for the cause of land and liberty. This seems to prove how biased the U.S. media are against Mexicans in general. Sad!  
                                                                 John Flores


Late on the night of March 31, 1911--100 years ago this spring--the great Mexican revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata led a group of armed men in commandeering a police station in Villa de Ayala, a small town in southern Mexico. The group disarmed the police and held an emergency meeting in the town square where they gathered more support for their cause, enlisting about 100 more residents in their revolt against the corrupt and cruel government--bent on procuring their historic family farms and ranches and killing them to erase the evidence of ownership.

The next morning the men were on horseback, racing along the Cuaulta River Valley, gaining more support from farmers and villagers as they thrust forward in their assault against the greed of sociopaths in public offices across the country all the way to the capitol in Mexico City. These many paid-off politicians and military generals were intently focused on taking the land and livelihood away from the peasants all across Mexico, for personal gain and to crush resistance at the grassroots level--often the most dangerous starting point for revolution.

By the end of the second day of the regional revolt, hundreds and perhaps thousands of people were at Zapata’s command. At age 31, he was president of the village council at Anenecuilco and more importantly for his society, one of the best horsemen in the state of Morelos. His friends and enemies alike could not escape his penetrating, dark eyes, and an intense, watchful visage that insinuated an air of stubborn persistence.

In previous years Zapata and his brother, Eufemio, had frequently challenged Mexican authority over the issue of confiscation of lands that belonged to people in his village. But on that day, 100 years ago, Zapata became an authority of his own people, leading a rapidly growing force of small farmers and sharecroppers in openly declaring themselves against the government. Their efforts made the issue of “land and liberty” for small peasant farmers one of the most important causes of the Mexican Revolution.

Zapata was capitalizing on a movement that began months earlier when Francisco “Pancho” Villa and Pascual Orozco attacked government troops in northern Mexico. And Francisco Madero, formerly in political exile in the U.S., returned to his country in Feb. 1911 to lead the movement against the government of Mexico. By the time of Zapata’s initial raids, young Mexicans like Lazaro Cardenas, a 15 year old, were breaking into jails to free prisoners, seized weapons, then galloped into the hills joining the fight amid cries of “Que viva la revolucion.”

The Zapata movement, with Villa’s efforts to the north, were collectively successful, resulting in the defeat of dictator Gen. Porfirio Diaz, who ruled the country from 1877 to 1880 and again from 1884 until he was run out of the country in 1911 by the revolutionary forces. Just as in recent times, under corrupt Mexican leaders and heavily influenced by the pay-offs and murderous rampages of the big drug cartels infecting the entire country, Mexico had seen prosperity for the upper classes at the expense of the peasants who have historically made up the majority of population. This was the first of the great revolutions of the 20th Century, and even today, Zapata has many followers, guided by his spirit in fighting basically the same issues of land and liberty that were defended 10 decades ago. And on New Year’s Day in 1994, a small band of men and women led by a man calling himself Subcommandante Marcos, raided a small village in the state of Chiapas just as Zapata and his brother and others had done, and the Marcos group declared themselves revolutionaries fighting the same greed and corruption that had plagued the poor farmers and villagers in Mexico during Zapata’s brief lifetime.

This time, in 1994, the raid took place on the day of the formal initiation of the North American Free Trade Agreement, which would open the floodgates to exploitation of Mexico’s indigenous people and the land that was at the center of their lives. And the fighting drew a swift and relentless military response from the Mexican government, fearful of economic implications. For in the wake of the startling revelations of revolt, many wealthy foreign and domestic investors began pulling out of the country. Following the 1994 raids in Chiapas, national attention was focused on the small town of San Cristobal de las Casas, in that southern state. In the months and years that have passed since then, the Zapatistas began to lead a wider movement--to protect and preserve the rights of indigenous peoples worldwide--a vanishing populace being steamrolled by the iron wheels of progress.

These people, living on the land like their ancestors did for hundreds and even thousands of years before them, are deemed expendable antiques that have no place in a modern world of urban sprawl and the steadily increasing and destructive appetites of a growing technological world. But as the Zapatistas and the people they defend have shown, it takes more than bullets and greed to sever their spiritual ties to the land. Now they face the same challenge the Vietnamese villagers and farmers encountered during the Vietnam War. But in this case the firestorm has not erupted from bombs dropped by B-52s, or by napalm bombs released in the jungles by streaking jets. Today, the drug cartels dominating the country are creating more and more social and political and military chaos, and in the midst of this, the Zapatistas have to lay low and put their ideological imperatives on ice for now. Or so it seems.

A few years ago, dozens of Zapatistas and sympathizers, some totally innocent men women, and children, were shot and killed by a group of “guerrillas” in a small town in southern Mexico. Many believed the assassins were under orders from Mexican officials bent on eradicating the Zapatistas and other indigenous people. National and international news crews probed the story for weeks and months, following with detailed reports on the arrests of suspects in the gruesome murders.
A few weeks after the murders, the Mexican government began to force out foreigners deemed part of an international movement labeled “militant tourists” who came to offer support for the cause of land and liberty. For the most part, these were young idealists--journalists and students, priests and poets--who saw the cause as something of a romantic adventure. But clearly many have been dedicated people from all over the world. Marcos, like Zapata, led the people in their cause at a dangerous time, and his efforts were successful for years. The shrouded mystique of Marcos captivated people all across the globe. With integrity, intensity, courage and shrewd military thinking, he carried Zapata’s spirit out of the jungles of Mexico and onto the pages of The New York Times. Still, to this day wherever he is now, Marcos remains an enigma, as little is known about him. Over the past 17 years he’s surfaced at irregular intervals, while managing to elude capture or death by a Mexican military that has long wanted him crucified publicly or privately--dead or alive.

The irony is that most Mexicans, including many of the soldiers under orders to find and arrest him and the people who support him, consider Zapata a national hero, a man who shaped Mexico in the 20th Century. Now, of course, the cartels are the big influence. As negative for the average people as Zapata was positive. No wonder so many Mexicans want to escape into their neighboring country to the north. To get away from a terrible economic situation, and the drug cartels who kill whenever and wherever they feel like--by the thousands. That is the war in Mexico today.

Zapata and his fellow revolutionaries fought their noble battles with guns and swords And today their adherents are ready and able to fight in the same way, in some cases with the same aged weapons used by grandfathers and great-grandfathers. These modern warriors use any weapon available, no matter how rudimentary. And they continue today facing an army of laser-sighted weapons, combat helicopters that prowl the mountains with cat eyes. And the cause remains the same. It is a revolution, now underground by still alive, for equality, that all people--including poor Mexicans--are created equal. This undermines the old structure of corrupt dictatorship. In Mexico for so long, that meant equality in servitude. In America in the past, it meant freedom. No wall or fence or racist “Minutemen” who probably enjoy killing border violators who are brown-skinned, can destroy the spirit of freedom between people.

Zapata, and Marcos, were truly great leaders because of their commitment to the cause of land and liberty, and because their goals have had nothing to do with greed or privilege, or personal power. Similar in some ways to President Abe Lincoln, Zapata’s aim was the enlargement of opportunity for an oppressed people, the abolition of slavery imposed by the powerful Haciendados--the wealthy landowners and corrupt politicians who wanted more land even if it meant wiping out the common people and taking their farms and ranches by force. The need for vigilance has not diminished, but increased, since 1994. Now many whites in America are openly racist toward Mexicans, questioning the citizenship of many who have lived here for decades. Similar to the way the Nazis treated the Jews during the early days just before World War II made them globally virulent.

A great cause will seek it’s leader, and a great leader attests to the wisdom and power that may lie within the most unlikely of us, according to writings by the late Arthur Schlesinger, who served as special advisor to JFK. Such a leader does more than advance a cause, they exhibit new possibilities, empowering followers. He helps set them free by showing them the buried truth of their own best selves. No matter how just the cause, leaders and countries are somewhat limited by the times they exist in--economics, and especially the influence of our modern corporate media and the forces of a powerful few who control and dispatch the camera and the pen.

But a timeless leader knows that it’s not his or her job to find the truth. Just to earnestly seek it. We don’t see that in leaders today, especially in America--where obscuring or convoluting the truth is the order of the day.
“It is true,” said Alexis de Toqueville, “That around every man a fatal circle is traced beyond which he cannot pass. But within the wide verge of that circle he is powerful and free. As it is with man, so it is with communities.”

 John W. Flores
2901 Christine St. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87112


Basic Foundations of Significant Families of Mexico

By Antonio Miguel Campos-Perez (aka Tony Campos) 
and Steven Francisco Hernandez-Lopez (aka Steven Hernandez)

Perez de Zamora, 
Part I

(aka Perez de Vargas; Perez; Zamora; & Vargas)
 Lineage Connected to the Conquest of Tenochtitlan, 1519-1521



In SHHAR's Genealogical Journal, Volume V, the authors explored the Tello de Orozco surname, a significant line that is quite well known, but insufficiently researched. Another important line is that of Perez de Zamora, which is not as well known as Tello de Orozco, but is of relatively equal importance, since it is a true conquistador line dating back to the conquest ofTenochtitlan, capital of the Aztec or Mexica Empire, now Mexico City. Perez de Zamora has been researched even less than Tello de Orozco. However, like Tello de Orozco, it is present in many genealogies. Most people are not even aware that they descend or have connections to this surname. Even though the Perez de Zamora family started out in Mexico City, through the years its members have extended themselves throughout Mexico, and eventually, into the United States.

We will focus on the specific lines that settled in Zamora and Tiazazaica, Michoacan, and other surrounding areas in Michoacan, as well as in Guadalajara, Ocotlan, La Barca, Poncitlan, and Juanacatlan/Zapotlanejo, in Jalisco. It is noted that one line of this family settled in Oaxaca.

Incidentally, there are two specific coats of arms that were awarded by both Emperors Carlos V and Felipe II, to two members of the Perez de Zamora family. This fact is not well known to the best of our knowledge. We will explore this area in Appendix I. The authors' marked interest in this family stems from their common descent from the Perez de Zamora family.


Early historical books on Mexico have given us the first two generations of the Perez de Zamora family. These sources provide some limited information on the third generation. The difficulty now lies in piecing together the second, third, and fourth generations. Unfortunately, no research has been done on extending the generations. One of the primary reasons is because documentary evidence is difficult to obtain, and when available, it is both difficult to interpret and has little or no genealogical value. To the best of our knowledge this is the first attempt by any genealogist to provide an analysis of this family and provide genealogical data.

The authors have relied on six important pieces of documentation to flesh out and piece together a picture of the Perez de Zamora family dynamics.

The first of these are the earliest baptisms of Mexico City, as microfilmed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Dav Saints. It should be noted that many of these 

entries are quite difficult to interpret, because of their poor paleography. However, we have found actual baptisms for this family in this archive. The Mexico City archive states that the baptisms begin in 1536, but they actually do not start until August 1537, and ends in October 1547. After a gap of four years and a few months, the second volume of Mexico City baptisms begins on 7 March 1552 and continues until April 1569. The third volume begins in January 1570 and continues. We did not research baptisms much after 1582. We should point out that we were unable to read some the baptism entries, so it is possible that we have overlooked an occasional baptism- See Microfilm # 0035167, Baptisms, Archive de la Parroquia del Sagrario Metropolitano de Mexico. Unfortunately, marriages do not start until 1575 which is quite late for our research needs.

The second primary source is research from the Archdiocese of Morelia (ADM). These are mostly documents of marriage information, along with other miscellaneous items.

The third primary source is composed of abstracted entries from the Archive General de la Nacion (AGN). We obtained these from Ophelia Marquez, a genalogist colleague and cousin.

The fourth source is actually a combination of four different expedientes, found in the "legajos" of the Archive General de Indias (AGI) in Seville. These valuable documents are located in the Seccion Patronato Real. The first three basically are the "informacion de los meritos y servicios de Alonso Perez de Zamora, quien se hallo en la conquista de la ciudad de Mexico y participo en ella." The three legajos are for the years 1540, 1559 [1571], and 1570 [1584]. The fourth legajo is the "Probanza de los meritos y servicios de Atvaro Perez de Zamora y de su hijo Alvaro de Zamora, conquistadores y pobladores de la Nueva Espana..." from the year 1583. The authors were made aware of these four legajos via the book Catdlogo de Documentos Michoacanos en Archives Espanoles by Armando Mauricio Escobar Olmedo (Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolas de Hidalgo, 1989). Please note that the reference given for Alvaro Perez de Zamora in 1583, item No. 66, is not correct. It states that the source is Patronatos Legajo 77, No. 2, ramo 5. The correct reference is Patronatos Legajo 77, No. 2, ramo 15.

The fifth piece of documentary evidence is found in the Catdlogo de Protocolos del Archive General de Notarias de la Ciudad de Mexico (on CD-ROM) edited by Ivonne Mijares Ramirez (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, 2002). These protocolos were originally the records of notary publics, Gaspar de Calderon (1554-1555) and Antonio Alonzo (1557-1581). The references to the various members of the Perez de Zamora family are primarily found in the protocolos of Antonio Alonzo.

Finally, the sixth source is, or rather are, the many references obtained from various historical books on conquistadores, encomenderos, pobladores, and general history of early Mexico.  These include Francisco de Icaza, Robert Himmerich y Valencia, Baltasar Dorantes de Carranza, Peter Gerhard, Peter Boyd-Bowman, Jorge Palomino y Cafiedo, and the Nobiliario de Conquistadores de Indias.  Complete reference to these works will be provided as these sources are cited within the article.

We will now explore each generation beginning with the progenitors of this lineage, who originated from the town of Santa Marta, in the province of Zamora, Spain.

Note: To give the interested genealogical reader a glimpse of the various generations, we have provided an outline of what is contained in this article. The first outline is the lineage of Tony Campos and the second one is the lineage of Steven Hemandez.

Lineage of Tony Campos This is also the lineage of his wife, Clarisa Vega

1st Generation: Conquistador Alvaro Perez [de Zamora] & Catalina Dominguez. 2nd Generation (A): (1) Conquistador Alonso Perez de Zamora & Angelina Perez
(2) Conquistador Alonso Perez de Zamora & Catalina Gomez de Moscoso 2nd Generation (B): Conquistador Alvaro [Perez] de Zamora & N. Ortega [Benita Hemandez]
3rd Generation: Catalina Perez de Zamora & Luis de Vargas Corral 
4th Generation: Pedro Perez de Zamora [Perez de Vargas] & Leonor Briseno Gaytan 
5th Generation: Nicolas Perez de Vargas & Anna Ramirez de Ortega 
6th Generation: Isidro Perez de Vargas & Teresa de Hermosillo 
7th Generation: Antonio Perez de Vargas & Josepha Teresa Gutierrez Coronado 
8th Generation: Juan Manuel Perez de Vargas & Rosa Maria Gomez Gamino Hurtado de Mendoza 
9th Generation: Juan Antonio Perez de Vargas & Maria Gregoria Sahagun Gonzalez Hurtado de Mendoza
10th Generation: Joseph Jacinto Perez de Vargas & Maria Margarita Arias Maldonado 
11th Generation: Francisco Perez & Margarita Flores Becerra 
12th Generation: Tomasa Perez Flores & Romulo Perez Gonzalez 
13th Generation: Carmen Perez Perez & Ramon Campos Mendoza 
14th Generation: Antonio Miguel Campos Perez (aka Tony Campos) & Clarisa Vega Avila

Lineage of Steven Hemandez

1st Generation: Conquistador Alvaro Perez [de Zamora] & Catalina Dominguez.
2nd Generation (A): (1) Conquistador Alonso Perez de Zamora & Angelina Perez
              (2) Conquistador Alonso Perez de Zamora & Catalina Gomez de Moscoso
2nd Generation (B): Conquistador Alvaro [Perez] de Zamora & N. Ortega [Benita Hemandez]
3rd Generation: Catalina Perez de Zamora & Luis de Vargas Corral 
4th Generation: Pedro Perez de Zamora [Perez de Vargas] & Leonor Briseno Gaytan 
5th Generation: Nicolas Perez de Vargas & Anna Ramirez de Ortega
6th Generation: Maria de Zamora & Marcos Gomez Flores 
7th Generation: Maria de Zamora [Estrada] & Joseph Alvarez 
8th Generation: Joseph Alvarez & Nicolasa Regina de Robles 
9th Generation: Joseph Maria Nicolas Alvarez & Maria Gertrudis Rita de Arambulo 
10th Generation: Pablo Joseph Alvarez & Anacleta Ventura Nuno 
11th Generation: Jose Simon Alvarez & Maria Hermenegilda Regalado 
12th Generation: Maria Celsa Alvarez & Jose Antonio Hemandez [Gamino] 
13th Generation: Juan Hemandez Alvarez & Maria Cruz Morales Vital
14 Generation: Antonio Hemandez Morales & Maria Dolores Estrada Moreno 
15th Generation: Maria Cruz Hemandez Estrada & Ramon Hemandez Huerta 
16th Generation: Jose Ignacio Hemandez Hemandez & Maria Lopez Contreras 
17th Generation: Steven Francisco Hemandez Lopez

Mexico is taking Significant Steps in Education 
On February 14, 2011 Mexican President Felipe Calderón signed a decree which will make taxes for education tuition deductible, applicable for those students who attend pre-school, primary, secondary and preparatory private schools in Mexico. 

This significant step forward is a dramatic push to bring relief to family budgets, ensure the continuity of studies, promotes education and opportunity in the country. 
The decree will benefit more than 3 million children, adolescents and young people as well as help families stimulate the economy by money saved. The Tax will cost between 11 thousand and 13 billion pesos, which will be covered by savings from the Federal Public Administration. The payment of tuition will be deducted from income tax (ISR). 

This deduction will start right away, it will be considered in the annual declaration of taxes and will be retroactive, and families will be able to begin using this towards tuitions of 2011 that will be deducted in April 2012. 

In his announcement, President Calderón stated the deduction will not affect the education budget nor the quality of public education. 

In order to keep opportunity available to all, a cap has been set as to the amount of deduction per student at various levels: Pre-school: 14.200 pesos; Elementary: 12,900; and Junior High 19,900; technical Professional: 17,100; and High School: 24,500. 

Reaction to the Presidential Decree has been a mix of support and criticism. Individuals and groups who have voiced criticism on the decision stated that support should have been funneled to public education, rather than granting it to private schools, others criticized the fact it was done by decree rather than by law, while others noted emphasized the loss of tax revenue that will result in cuts to the public education system. 

Amongst supporters of the decree, many cited this proposed initiative was a long time in the making and will strengthen the educational system, noting it as a nationwide effort to have a quality education. 

We commend President Calderón in taking a bold course of action and bringing new options for the people of Mexico.   Sent by by Elsa Peña Herbeck and Walter Centeno Herbeck Jr. 



Hola amiga Mimí.
Con mis mejores deseos para Ud. y su familia, así como para los colaboradores y lectores de SOMOS PRIMOS le envío esta información de un distinguido militar de México quién iniciara su carrera en el Colegio Militar siendo un niño.

Margen izquierdo. Joaquin Luz Colombres.
En la Ciudad de los Angeles á veinte y ocho de marzo de mil ochocientos veinte y siete años, yo el Presbitero D. Mariano Goya Teniente de cura del Sagrario de la Y. C. bautise solemnemente  a Joaquin de la Luz Ruperto nacido hoy hijo legmo. de D. José Gregorio Colombres y de Da. Manuela Alvarez; fueron sus padrinos D. José María Colombres y Da. Joaquina Montes. todos ciudadanos Mejicanos y vezinos de esta dicha Ciudad y feligresía, aquiénes les advertí el parentesco espiritual que contrajeron y la obligacion que tiene de enseñarle a su haijado los rudimentos de N. S. Feé; y lo firmé.
                                                                             Mariano Goya.
Don Joaquín fué de los Cadetes del Colegio Militar que a la edad de trece años en 1840, combatió contra la Rebelión efectuada del 15 al 26 de Julio de ese año encabezada por el General Don José Urrea contra el Gobierno Centralista del Gral. Don Anastacio Bustamante, quien ocupaba la Presidencia de la República por tercera ocasión, dicho movimiento fué sofocado por las tropas leales contándose entre ellas al Colegio Militar, muriendo en combate el primero de sus alumnos el Cadete Juan Rico. 
Entre los  Jefes, Oficiales y Alumnos del Colegio Militar se encontraban:
 Director, Tte. Corl.  de Ingenieros Don José Mariano Monterde, Capitanes Ingenieros:  Ignacio Iniestra  e Ignacio  Berrospe, Tenientes:  Francisco Chavero y  José Marquez.
 Capitanes de Alumnos, Comandante  y segundo  Comandante de la Compañía : Joaquín Fuero ( Padre del General Don  Carlos Fuero ) y Emilio Langberg.
 Subtenientes alumnos: Severo del Castillo, Manuel Gamboa, Juan Espejo, José María Sanchez Cordero, Juan Zamora, Rafael Linarte, Jesús Palafox, Juan Bazán, José María Durán y Zeferino Prieto.
 Sargentos segundos: Gregorio Manzano, Manuel Jauregui, Arcadio Labastida, José Lazo, Ignacio Ortega y Manuel Palafox.
 Cabos: Ramón Manero, José María Montoya, José Gonzalez Inclán, Ramón Agea, Joaquín Victoria, Pedro Arrutí, José Antonio Ferríz, Felipé Chacón, Juan del Corral, Fermín Pacheco, Bernardo Miramón y Jesús Malo.
Entre los alumnos:  Manuel Peinado,Francisco Velazquez, Zeferino Martinez, José Cisneros, Ignacio Sartorio, Luis Izaguirre, Joaquin Argais, José del Castillo, Higinio Riós, Ismael Piña,  Antonio Zincunegui, Rafael Moinelo, Manuel Alemán, Gregorio del Callejo, JOAQUIN COLOMBRES, Juan Agea, Juan B. Espejo, Antonio Grosso, Francisco Javier Ricoy, Enrique Unda, Luis Montero. Eduardo Diaz de Vivar, Carlos Palafox,  Francisco Palafox, Vicente Sartorio, Luis G.Osollo, José Moctezuma, Juan Servín, Genaro Noris, JUAN RICO, Manton Skinner,  Francisco de P. Heras, Manuel Morel, Mariano Espinoza,Joaquin Vallejo, Félix Galindo, José María Bonilla, Francisco Pacheco, Angel Gonzalez, Domingo Ugarte, Angel Correa, Antonio Oviedo, Luis Veraza, Juan Olloqui, Ignacio Olloqui, Severo Pérez de León, Hilario Pérez de Leon, Luis Grosso,  Nicolás Solache, Salvador Sanchez Hidalgo,Manuel Jimenez,Eduardo Jimenez,Mariano Fernandez,Vicente Ramirez, Manuel Sanchez Cordero,Isidro Chavero,Adrián Piatz, Sabino Moreno, Vicente Gorostiza, Miguel García Muro, Juan Constant, Guillermo Thompson, Jesús Lozano, José María Malagón, Lino Lobato, Juan Cardona, Joaquin Santibañez, Basilio Garrido, Manuel Torrescano,Joaquin Tena Reza, Manuel Aljovin, Juan Berrones, Angel Cancino, Manuel Barrera, Gregorio Arozamena, Agustín Arellano, Narciso Sandoval, Próspero Alcalde, José Miguel Alcocer, Francisco Portillo, Francisco Pacheco, Félix Carrera, Onofre Antonio Landa, Vicente Piélago, José Carmona, Lauro Ordoñez, Sixto Durán, Ricardo Toscano,Felipe Suarez,José Maria Baridon, Bruno Castillo, Eduardo Paredes, Tiburcio Gonzalez, José María Pensado, José de la Cuesta, Manuel Echeverría, Domingo Reyes y otros más.

 En estos combates  se distinguieron los Coroneles de Caballería Don Anastacio Torrejón y Don Benito Quijano ( ex alumno del Colegio Militar ), el Teniente Coronel Don José María Salinas.
El día 27 de Septiembre de 1840, XIX  Aniversario de la entrada del Ejército Trigarante a la Cd. de México y Conmemoración de la Independencia ; el General Don Gabriel Valencia Jefe de la Plana Mayor del Ejército condecoró con la Cruz de Honor a los que participaron contra la rebelión, en un cuadro al centro de las tropas se encontraban los alumnos del Colegio Militar " A los Alumnos de todas clases del Colegio Militar, que han dado a la Patria la mas lisonjera esperanza de lo que debe prometerse a sus patrióticos y honrosos sentimientos, se concederá una Cruz Particular con el lema. "  EN SU NIÑEZ SALVÓ LA CAPITAL DE LA REPÚBLICA, CONCURRIENDO A LA GLORIOSA JORNADA DEL 15 AL 26 DE JULIO DE  1840"
 El Coronel Don Joaquín Colombres, durante la Guerra de Intervención Norteamericana 1846-1848 se distinguió durante el sitio y Batalla de  Monterrey, siendo Teniente de Ingenieros efectuó obras de fortificación y combatió contra los invasores en el Fortín de las Tenerías, combatió en la Angostura donde obtuvo el ascenso a Teniente Coronel de Ingenieros antes de cumplir los 20 años de edad, combatió en Cerro Gordo y Molino del Rey.

Reciba un afectuoso saludo. 
Tte. Cor. Ricardo Raúl Palmerín Cordero


Hola Mimí.
Este día investigué este matrimonio efectuado en la México durante la Epoca de la Intervención Francesa.
El cual le envío para SOMOS PRIMOS, reciba saludos de su amigo.
Tte.Corl.Ricardo Raúl Palmerín Cordero.
Márgen izquierdo. No.204  Exmo.Sr. Don.Juan,Pedro,Elisidoro,Alfonso, Dubois de Saligny y la Srita. María de la Luz,Josefa,Brigida,del Corazón de Jesús de Ortiz y de la Borbolla.
En veinititres de Diciembre de mil ochocientos sesenta y tres, previa la información matrimonial y dispensa de proclamas. Yo el Doctor Don Pelagio Antonio de Labastida y Dávalos, Arzobispo de México y estando en la Capilla de mi Palacio Arzobispal, casé infacie ecclesia y velé con las ceremonias de costumbre al Excelentísimo Señor Don Juan Pedro,Elisidoro,Alfonso Dubois de Saligny, Conde del Santo Ymperio, Ministro Plenipotenciario de Francia, natural de la misma y vecino de esta ciudad de cuarenta y siete años de edad,hijo legítimo del Señor Don Juan Teodoro Dubois de Saligny, difunto, y de la Señora Doña Rosalía Bertrand de Breusillon, con la Srita. Doña María de la Luz,Josefa,Brígida,del Corazón de Jesús de Ortiz de la Borbolla, de veinticinco años de edad, natural de Puebla y vecina de la Capital de este Ymperio, hija legítima del Señor Don Santiago de Ortiz y Gorgolla y de la Señora Doña Juana de la Borbolla, Noriega de Casa Petina: fueron testigos por parte del contrayente el Señor Mariscal Don Juan N. Almonte y el Señor Gral. de División Don Mariano Salas, y por parte de la Esposa el Señor Gral. Don Santiago Blanco y Don Joaquin Castillo Lanzas.= lo entrerrenglones infacie Ecclesia vale,lo tachado infacie Eccelsia no vale.

Tte. Cor. Ricardo Raúl Palmerín Cordero

Porfirio Díaz





Datos del Tomo VI de XIII, Libro número 42 de mi obra inédita: "La Independencia y los Presidentes de México", relacionados con don José de la Cruz Porfirio Díaz Mori, trigésimo sexto Presidente de México, de facto, del 24 de noviembre al cinco de diciembre de 1876 y Constitucional del cinco de febrero de 1877 al 30 de noviembre de 1880, y del uno de diciembre de 1884 al 25 de mayo de 1911. Total 30 años, seis meses y 20 días.

Nació el 15 de septiembre de 1830 en la ciudad de Oaxaca, siendo hijo legítimo de don José de la Cruz Díaz y de su primera esposa doña Petrona Mori. Fue bautizado en el Sagrario de la Catedral de Oaxaca con el nombre de José de la Cruz Porfirio, según consta en acta que obra en mi libro citado antes.

A los seis años de edad, lo inscribieron en la Escuela "Amiga" de Oaxaca. Y en 1843 ingresó al Seminario Conciliar de Oaxaca donde estudió Latín, Filosofía y otras materias propias de ese centro de estudios. En 1852, estudiaba la cátedra de Derecho Civil que impartía el Lic. don Benito Juárez. Estaba en esa institución desde 1849 y duró hasta 1853 sin recibir el título de abogado.

El 24 de abril de 1855, fue nombrado capitán y nombrado con el cargo subprefecto del Partido de Iztlán. En 1858 luchó en Oaxaca contra las fuerzas conservadoras y nombrado Mayor de Infantería.

El 17 de junio de 1859 fue ascendido a Teniente Coronel y el 24 de agosto de ese mismo año falleció su señora madre.

En junio de 1861 fue electo diputado, Oaxaca y ese mismo año ascendido a Coronel de Infantería. Participó en la Batalla del 5 de Mayo de 1862 y ese mismo año fue Gobernador de Veracruz y Comandante Militar. En octubre de 1863 fue ascendido a General de División y Gobernador de Oaxaca.

El 18 de octubre de 1864 participó en la Batalla de la Carbonera. Fue héroe en la batalla gloriosa del dos de abril de 1867 en Puebla, y el cuatro de ese mismo mes y año participó en las batallas de Loreto y Guadalupe en Puebla.

El 15 de abril de 1867, se casó con su sobrina Delfina Ortega Díaz, hija de su hermana y lo hizo por poder por no asistir personalmente por encontrarse en campaña, procrearon varios hijos, muriendo pequeños algunos de ellos.

Ocupó la Ciudad de México el dos de junio de 1867. Después el Plan de la Noria en noviembre de 1871. El Plan de Tuxtepec el uno de enero de 1876 y el Plan de Palo Blanco en marzo del mismo año, y el 22 de abril de ese mismo año fue derrotado en la Batalla de Icample.

Ocupó la Presidencia de la República durante 30 años, seis meses y 20 días como lo cité al principio de este artículo.

El cinco de noviembre de 1881 contrajo segundas nupcias con doña Carmen Romero y Castelló.

A lo largo de su vida, recibió 32 condecoraciones nacionales y extranjeras.

El uno de junio de 1906, le tocó el problema de la huelga de Cananea y el siete de enero de 1907 la huelga de Río Blanco.

El 11 de octubre de 1909 se realizó la entrevista Díaz-Taff (Presidente de los Estados Unidos de Norteamérica).

El 25 de mayo de 1911 dejó la Presidencia de la República y se dirigió al Puerto de Veracruz y el 31 de ese mes se embarcó al destierro rumbo a Europa en el vapor "Ipiranga". Se radicó en París donde vivió cuatro años, durante los cuales visitó a Reyes y Gobernadores europeos. (Yo tengo la fotografía de la casa donde vivió esos años). Murió el dos de julio de 1915 y sus restos fueron llevados al "Pere Lechaise", en Montparnasse de París. La fotografía de su tumba me la envió don Jaime Torres Bodet, cuando era Embajador de Francia y sólo puede leerse: "Porfirio Díaz".

Murió intestado y sus bienes se los repartieron por partes iguales entre su esposa y sus tres hijos. Las 32 condecoraciones las guardó su hijo Porfirio y al morir éste, las heredó su nieto Genaro Díaz Raigoza.


Manuel del Refugio González Flores
Manuel del Refugio González Flores 





Datos del Tomo VI de XIII, de mi obra "La Independencia y los Presidentes de México". Libro 43, relacionados con el General de División don José Manuel del Refugio González Flores, nacido el día 17 de junio de 1832, en H. Matamoros, Tamps., aunque hubo quién afirmara que nació en España y que obtuvo acta de Tamaulipas para poder ser Presidente de México. Yo no lo creo, porque en mis investigaciones, obtuve su acta de bautismo realizado en la parroquia del Refugio de Matamoros, bautizado de un día de nacido en Matamoros, Tamps., siendo sus padres don Fernando González y su esposa doña Eusebia Flores.

Estudió con algunos maestros particulares, sin que se tenga noticia de estudios superiores, ya que quedó huérfano de padre y madre muy jovencito y no tenía recursos económicos.

Durante su juventud trabajó en diversas actividades para sostenerse y a los 21 años de edad en 1853, ingresó al Ejército Mexicano como soldado raso y muy pronto fue ascendiendo hasta llegar a subteniente hasta que en noviembre de 1859 fue ascendido a Comandante del Batallón en Veracruz.

En marzo de 1860 fue ascendido a Teniente Coronel y en 1862 el General Porfirio Díaz jefe de su Estado Mayor. Participó en la Batalla del dos de abril y perdió su brazo derecho. En septiembre de 1867 fue ascendido a General de Brigada y nombrado Gobernador de Palacio Nacional y Comandante Militar del Distrito Federal.

Participó en las revoluciones de la Noria y en la de Tuxtepec. Fue Diputado Federal por Oaxaca durante 1871 a 1873. El cuatro de abril de 1876 participó en la dolorosa batalla de Icamole en Tamaulipas.

Se casó con doña Laura Mantecón y procrearon dos hijos, Manuel y Fernando además una hija. Fue compadre muy estimado del Presidente don Porfirio Díaz Mori.

El uno de diciembre de 1880 recibió la Presidencia de la República por el saliente don Porfirio Díaz y la entregó el 30 de noviembre de 1884, a don Porfirio Díaz que ganó las elecciones.

Durante su gobierno, en 1881 fundó el Banco Nacional de México con un capital de 20 millones de pesos...

El 27 de septiembre de 1882, firmó el Tratado de Límites con Guatemala y se ratificó el uno de marzo de 1883. Los años de 1882-1883 tuvo una fuerte crisis económica y ordenó la acuñación de las monedas de cuproníquel de I, II y V centavos, que fueron rechazadas por el pueblo.

Terminado su gobierno de Presidente, se dedicó a algunas otras actividades y luego se instaló a vivir en su lujosa Hacienda de Chapingo donde debido a su avanzada diabetes, perdió la vida el día ocho de mayo de 1893. Su amigo el Presidente Díaz, ordenó llevar sus restos mortuorios al Palacio Nacional donde se le rindieron honores de General de División y ex presidente de México. Fue sepultado en la Rotonda de los Hombres Ilustres, en el Panteón de Dolores en la Ciudad de México. Yo visité su tumba en 1954 y tomé la fotografía de la placa que dice:

"Aquí yacen provisionalmente los restos del señor General de División Don Manuel González, muerto en la Hacienda de Chapingo el ocho de mayo de 1893. Era un brazo nomás, pero de bronce, una mano nomás, pero de amigo".

Source: El Siglo de Torreón

Sent by Mercy Bautista-Olvera



The Introduction of the founding of the Spaniard settlement of Agualeguas, Nuevo Leon, Mexico by

Isabel Gonzalez Salinas


Professor Mauro Martinez Perez is the author of the book Agualeguas 326-September 2001.  

Professor Mauro Perez Martinez has given me permission to translate his book from Spanish to English and to share information with the general public but especially those who are passionate about remembering their ancestors from Agualeguas.  

The author is married to my mother’s first cousin Ester Salinas del Bosque. My mother Raquel Gonzalez Salinas and my father Sebastian Gonzalez Baez Benavides were born in Agualeguas, Nuevo Leon, Mexico in the late 1920’s.  



            The Mission of Saint Nicolas of Gualeguas was founded in a region called “Alive War.” The New Spain Viceroy, Archbishop of Mexico , Fray Payo Enrique. Afan of Rivera and Manrique of Lara, gave the pass to the Royal Card firmed in Sevilla, Spain, the 13th of may of 1675 for the foundation of such Mission in the New Kingdom of Nuevo Leon, city governed by D. Nicolas of Azcarraga, son of Dn. Martin Perez of Azcarraga and Dna. Maria Montero Gonzalez de la Torre, named in the year 1667.  

            In a visit paid to these lands by Sr. Archbishop of Guadalajara , Dn. Miguel Fernandez of Santa Cruz and Sahagun, he decided to found the Mission of San Nicolas of Gualeguas with the approval of the Governor Dn. Nicolas of Azcarraga. San Nicolas for the name of the ruler and of Gualeguas for the name of one of the main tribes of the region.  

            It was populated with Indians of the local tribes, in the north shore of the current river of Aguleguas . Protacio P. Cadena mentions in his booked published in 1942, that was the tribe or nation of Mal Nombre the chosen one, for being docile to conversion with its Cacique; also,   from Fray Diego Vazquez, the Franciscan missionary who came to instill the Christian faith for the first time. If this affirmation is true, then this preacher had a very long life, from the year 1770 or 1771. And if to this we add the years he may had had at the time of his arrival, than he lived around 115 or 120 years. No proof has been found of this data, but that for sure he was a generous missionary and loved by the Indians.  

            The Mission of San Nicolas of Gualeguas was founded in the north shore of the river Agualeguas, approximately at two and a half kilometers from the place where Martin de Zavala founded the Mission of Santa Teresa del Almillo in 1646 (Protacio P. Cadena). If this affirmation is true, the place would be “Los Vazquez, inside the current Dam of Agualeguas. Until the present the exact place hasn’t been able to be determined; is believed that might have been founded in the fields of what is now the Municipality of Vallecillo , N.L.

            With regard to the moving of the Indians from the Mission of Santa Teresa of Alamillo to the Mission of San Nicolas of Gualeguas, several versions exist. Protacio C. Cadena, says in his writings of Agualeguas, that in agreement with the very distinguished Sr. Dn. Santiago Leon and Garabito, the Indians were moved from the Mission of Santa Teresa to the Mission of Gualeguas. And the agreement was due to the proximity of the Missions from one another.

            Dn. Israel Cavazos Garza, in the aforementioned Biographical Dictionary, writes that Dn. Gregorio Salinas Verona, Governor and High Captain of the New Kingdom of Nuevo Leon , paid the general visit to all towns in 1706, and he concentrated the Indians from the Mission of Alamillo and Agualeguas.  

            The cleric and very renowned historian Dn. Aureliano Tapia Mendez says:  in the file relative to the Re-foundation in 1773 (like the common tradition that the Saint Virgen, who is worshiped in the present church of Gualeguas; was moved from the Mission of Alamillo). She is the ninth of Our Lady of Agualeguas, printed in 1981.  

            In a document found in the archives of the Presidential Municipality of Agualeguas, that was presented in litigation over lands with Dn. Juan Antonio de Benavides, as proof of the existence of the Town of Agualeguas for almost 100 years. I will transcribe what concerns to the Repopulation. Says in its final part: A.T.T. Our Superior Council of Indians, with whom we have an agreement, in Seville, 13 days of the month of January of the year one thousand six hundred and seventy five. By decree of your majesty, I, E. P. King. Enrique Rangel and Araujo. Rubric and continue other documents about this litigation that ended the 3rd of October of 1809.  

            Dn. Juan Bautista Chapa was born in Albisola, Geneva in 1630. Son of Bartolome Chapa and Batestina Badi. Alonso de Leon brought him to Nuevo Leon in Dec. of 1650 (he lived in Mexico ). The Governor Cuervo de Valdes was generous to him in lands of what are today Agualeguas, General Trevino, and Paras, lands that his descendants populated.



YEAR 1676.   Nicolas Recio, Religious Franciscan Preacher, Doctrinaire of the towns of Agualeguas and Alamillo.  

YEAR 1682.   Saint John of Leon and Garabito, being the bishop of Guadalajara , in his pastoral visit to the New Kingdom of Leon and the Mission , founded in it a Cofradia, with the hospitality, title, and advocacy of Our Lady of the Conception of Agualeguas and Bucareli, forming Constitutions for it.  

YEAR 1685.   Francisco Vela entered to populate the New Kingdom of Leon in 1645. Was neighbor to Cerralvo and in the year 1685 lands were granted to him next to the river Agualeguas.  

YEAR 1686.   Diego of Evia, religious Franciscan, was designated Presidential Doctrinaire of Saint Nicolas of Gualeguas.  

YEAR 1706.   Gregorio Salinas Verona, Governor and General Captain of Nuevo Leon , replaced Francisco Baez Trevino. He paid a general visit of the towns in the year 1706 and he ordered to concentrate the Indians from the Mission of Saint Teresa of Alamillo into the one of Agualeguas. Dn. Juan Bautista Ruiz asked him for a protection over land rights that he had been granted.  

YEAR 1709.   The Governor, attending to his request, sends to measure the lands to Dn. Manuel Campuzano Coss and Cevallos, and to such measurements Dn. Francisco Baez Trevino was opposed, because he had another land neighboring the one of Dn. Juan Bautista. After this litigation, landowners showed up asking for their lands to be measured as well; among them Dn. Nicolas of Chapa, to who were measured the lands of his father Dn. Juan Bautista Chapa, to whom had been awarded lands in what is today Agualeguas, Paras, and General Trevino.  

YEAR 1713.   Dn. Nicolas de Chapa and his brothers sell a big portion of the lands that were awarded to Dn. Juan Guerra Canamar, Highest Mayor of Cerralvo and Protector of Indians, being the justice or Mayor of the Mission of Agualeguas, Dn. Blas Canales.  

YEAR 1714.   Dn. Francisco of Barbadillo and Victoria was a ruler who decreased the dissatisfaction in the New Kingdom of Leon, applying measures with wisdom, equity, and justice, preventing the abuse of the Indians from those in charge. He repopulated the Missions of Hualahuises and Gualeguas in 1714, and in 1715 the Mission of Guadalupe to which he gave the title of a town January 4th of 1716.  

YEAR 1730.   Miguel Pacheco, Franciscan Religious, priest and minister, doctrinaire of the Cerralvo Convent. He also administrated the town of Agualeguas until May 16th of 1730; date when he resigned.  

YEAR 1730.   Jose de Vergara, Franciscan, preacher and doctrinaire, being missionary in Gualeguas and doctrinaire in Cerralvo, in such year, complained to the Governor of Penalva about the landowners taking the Indians to work without paying them.  

YEAR 1754.   Dn. Pedro Barrio when visiting in 1754 de Mission of Saint Nicolas of Agualeguas finds only 5 Indians.  

YEAR 1756.   The count of Revillagigedo relinquishes the command of the kingdom to the Marques of the Amarillas; and in fulfilling the wishes of his predecessor, sent the General Commissioner of the province, Fray Jose Antonio Oliva, in this in time, sent the Franciscan religious, Fray Alonso de Valdez in 1757, so he would supply corn, cells, axes, hoes, steers, cows, and other thing essential to work the fields, promoting with this the agriculture and livestock in the mission. Livestock ranches already existed like the one of Alamo de los Canales, property of Dn. Blas Canales, located south of the Alamo river; the one of San Buena Ventura beside de margin of Sosa river; the one of Our Lady of Guadalupe, in the north shore of the river Gualeguas, of Don Nicolas de Chapa; the one of Don Juan Bautista Ruiz and some others. All with major cattle, minor, and horses.  

YEAR 1770.   Fray Diego Vazquez left registered the last certificates of baptisms and marriages in this Mission . His death occurred in the year 1770 or 1771 contributed much in the walking away forever of the tribe Mal Nombre. This missionary was very loved and respected by the Indians.  

YEAR 1772.   The Viceroy of the New Spain Dn. Antonio Maria Bucareli, commands in the letter dated Sept 15 of 1772, to the Governor Dn. Francisco de Echegaray, to form a population in the location of the old Mission of San Nicolas of Agualeguas. Echeraray, in Nov 24th of the same year, orders Dn. Juan Jose Gomez de Castro, High Mayor and Captain of war of the Villa of Saint Gregorio of Cerralvo, that in conformance with the dismantle of such Mission, another population should be formed. Gomez de Castro, in Dec 16th of the same year communicates to the neighbors of the jurisdiction who are Spaniards and of good standing, to present them if they wanted to be founders of the aforementioned population.  

YEAR 1773.   As a result of the edict published April 28th, 12 neighbors had presented accepting the conditions they would be subjected to for such establishment. Posterior to this, the days 29 and 30 of April and first of May, information is received from witnesses who knew the area, the land is measured, and the terrain known to belong to the Mission is marked. The surveyor is elected and plans are made for the main plaza, church, streets, and solares for the 12 neighbors. From the 3rd to the 5th of May the awarding is made for each neighbor, and in May 6 of the same year the paperwork is submitted to the governor.  

YEAR 1773.   Jeronimo de la Portilla, Franciscan religious, is Missionary of the town of Gualeguas .  

YEAR 1774.   In this year, D. Melchor Vidal de la Lorca y Villena, Governor of the New Kingdom of Leon from the previous year, continues the population.  

YEAR 1775.   Melchor Vidal de la Lorca, when visiting the town in this year, finds its inhabitants devoted the work of the fields. This form of government continued until 1821.           


REPOPULATION (1772-1775).  

This is the actual edit requesting repopulation of the Mission of Gualeguas.  

                        Dn. Juan Jose Gomez de Castro, High Mayor and Captain of war from this Villa of San Gregorio de Cerralvo and its jurisdiction given by its majesty, God saves, lets all the neighbors of such Villa know that per order of Sr. Governor and General Captain, Dn. Francisco de Echegaray, at the 24 days of the month of Nov of the present year one thousand seven hundred seventy two, in the city of Monterrey, the receipt of a letter with date 15 of September of this year, in which the excellent Sr. Viceroy commands that, in attention to the lack of population in the Mission of Gualeguas, in such location should be formed a population, facilitating the individuals residing there the outmost comfort to secure their survival; but without causing expenses to the Royal Hacienda, nor to take establish resources. And for the verification of such town, the mentioned  Sr. Governor orders me to make it known to all the neighbors of the jurisdiction who present to me as Spaniards in good standing wanting to be founders of this population. To whom the lands will be assigned from entire expansion of the property mentioned; and only will give a short stipend in benefit of the Real Hacienda; and such management will be done by me, according to the order. And to make all the concerning parties aware of such, I command to publish this order in the usual places were news are posted for all in the quality expressed on it and of good manners, be presented to me, from the date of publication and date of this edict, to know the number of families wanting to go and be founders of such town, having 30 days to be eligible. And once the period is completed and families acknowledged, report to the Sr. Governor should be given, so the can determinate what is convenient, and the date in the Villa is sixteen days of Dec of one thousand seven hundred seventy two. Acting with witnesses for the lack of public notary or Royalty for the period of the order, I give faith: Juan Jose Gomez de Castro, High Mayor and Captain of war of Villa of San Gregorio de Cerralvo, of the New Kingdom of Leon (rubric).



            As a result of the Edict published for the repopulation of the Mission of Gualeguas, the next ones presented themselves to me: Dn. Juan Antonio Canales, Dn. Carlos de Benavides, Dn. Juan Angel Lozano, Dn. Jose Antonio Barrera, Dn. Teodoro Salinas, Dn. Francisco Salinas, Dn. Gaspar Garcia, Dn. Juan de Dios de la Garza, Dn. Jose Rafael Gonzalez Hidalgo Navarro, Dn. Vicente Canales, Dn. Jose Antonio Canales, and Dn. Ignacio Guajardo, everyone a family man, committing themselves to populate Gualeguas. Who should admit and admitted them for such a population in conformity with the Law Ten, Book fourth, Title fifteen of the Compilation of Indias, under the next stipulations:  

            That within three months make themselves and their families populate the place that was assigned for their house, solar, and farm, and at the same time cultivate the lands assigned for the planting of wheat, corn, sugar cane, and other seeds appropriately, and to occupy with major and minor cattle the lands marked for grazing and known to belong to the Mission. And they will possess and benefit from everything for the four years that stipulates the law, and they will form the population with its plaza and respective streets seeking its highest splendor, and they will call it Our Lady of the Conception of Gualeguas and Bucareli, and will preserve as much of the church that still remains in such Mission, in which the miraculous image of Our Lady the Virgin Mary is worshiped, and is the favorite advocate, and that in not attending to these stipulations they will be punished as the Law Twenty one, fourth book, seventh title, from the compilation of Indians reads, and to make it official it was notarized in my presence the present certificate and stipulations, which was signed by the ones aware, and the witnesses of my attendance, by secretary for not having a public notary or royalty during the legal term, and is done in this Villa of Saint Gregorio of Cerralvo, twenty eight days of the month of April of one thousand seven hundred and seventy three. Of all I give faith. Juan Jose Gomez de Castro. In attendance, Jose Miguel Gomez de Castro. In attendance, Pedro Salinas, Juan Antonio Canales, Ignacio Guajardo, Vicente Canales, Carlos de Benavides, Jose Antonio Barrera, Jose Rafael Gonzalez Hidalgo Navarro, Teodoro Salinas. In the place of Our Lady of the Conception of Gualeguas and Bucareli, at twenty nine days of the month of April of one thousand seven hundred and seventy three.



            Dn. Juan Jose Gomez de Castro, to proceed to the delivery of the lands to the new inhabitants according to the law, orders to receive information of the boundaries under such term the lands were assigned to such deserted Mission, and provided by the witnesses in attendance. Immediately to proceed with the confirmation of the information, I subpoenaed Dn. Jose Vazquez , neighbor of this jurisdiction and I give faith of knowing him, he swore by God our Lord and the sign of the Holly Cross, and promised to tell the truth about what he knew and would be asked about, according to him he said that knows the boundaries that have been recognized as belonging to the Mission of Gualeguas. One is the old Piedra Tendida and salto of the water in the Arroyo as is commonly called, and that neighbors with the lands that belonged to Captain Ruiz. And from there towards north to a Place called Encinas de Pajuelas, where is told there is a landmark of stone; running to the east, he knows the boundaries of the Canada of the Cross, that is found below of los Ojos of San Juan, and to the south the passage named Aldavalde, in such stream of Gualeguas; from there, up the river to such Salto of Water and Piedra Tendida, under which boundaries he has recognized as belonging to such Mission; and this is the truth of what he knows under the oath he made, and this declaration was read to him verbatim, and was confirmed and ratified. He said to be of forty six years of age, and was signed with me such judge, Jose Vazquez. A. Jose Miguel Gomez de Castro. Pedro Salinas.

            Consequently, for the information ordered to be received, I subpoenaed Dn. Bernardo Canales, neighbor of this jurisdiction and I give faith of knowing him, he swore by God our Lord and the sign of the Holly Cross, and promised to tell the truth about what he knew and would be asked about, and being examined, he said knowing that the boundaries that comprise the lands of the Mission of Gualeguas were: the Old Piedra Tendida and the Salto of Water, where neighbors the lands that used to belong to Captain Ruiz, in the stream of Gualeguas, and from such point North in the Paraje commonly called Las Encinas de Pajuelas, in front of them knows a landmark of grinding stone, that he always has known as the divider from such Captain Ruiz and the lands of this Mission, and from there East, crossing through the Ojuelos of San Juan, down the canes, bordering the old road traveled by the Alamo of the Canales, immediately to such canes recognized another landmark by an old tree named commonly, with a Holly Cross in a hill and towards southeast arriving to the stream of Gualeguas, in the path named Aldavalde, and from this up stream the divider of lands belonging to other several landowners to the Old Piedra Tendida and salto de Water to the West, and the land comprised under such boundaries I have recognized it as part of the Mission of  Gualeguas for more than 50 years; and this is the truth under penalty of the oath and read to him was his declaration, and he confirmed and ratified it, and said being of seventy eight years of age; and although he knew how to sign, he didn’t because he had impaired eye sight, therefore I signed with such judge and the ones in attendance, as said it is, I give faith. Incontinenti for the information that is ordered to be received, was present here Dn. Francisco Antonio Villarreal, from this referred jurisdiction, and his person I give faith knowing and received the oath that he made according to law, and under which he promised to tell the truth about what he knew and would be asked about. He said that because having been a soldier and having heard his ancestors say in the time while he remained a soldier, in such Mission of Gualeguas, he has known the boundaries of lands of el Salto of Water, of the Old Stone, the place named Encinas of Pajuelas, where he has heard there is a landmark of a grinding stone; and towards the east under the los Ojos de Saint Juan to end up at the Canada of the Cross, and towards south, the stream named as of Gualeguas, in the path of Aldavalde; and from there, upstream, arriving to such Salto of Water. And this is the truth of what he knows, and having been read his declaration verbatim, in it was confirmed and ratified, under penalty of the oath that he made, he said of being 50 years old, not knowing how to sign, therefore I signed with such judge. As said it is, and from which I give faith.



            In such place of Our Lady of Gualeguas and Bucareli at thirty days of such month and year, I such judge, having proceeded to see with the eyes the lands that comprised the deserted Mission of Gualeguas, according with the constant boundaries from the information received of their identities, of founding them according to declarations, I should and I do command to continue with the measuring of the land considered workable under said boundaries, and when done, should be taken from it the corresponding land for Plaza, streets, churches, royal houses, and places for neighbors; and the remaining quantity to be distributed among said neighbors with the corresponding water; so they can work and plant corn, wheat, sugar cane, and other seeds convenient to them. For such task, I would name an ideal surveyor, and under the right religion and oath, this promises to perform such task with fidelity; that’s how I provided, ordered, and signed those in attendance, as said it is, I give faith.


THE SURVEYOR           

            Incontinenti, in attention to the previous providence, sufficiently instructed in the surveyor trade Dn. Diego de Sauto, I name him as surveyor, to measure the lands recognized as bread winning, and being present, he accepted such a commission, and swore by God our Lord and the Holly Cross to fulfill his job without fraud or collusion. And to certify he signed in my presence of supra and I give faith.



            Immediately by virtue of the ordered, being in the field, in the stream of Gualeguas, where joins the canes of Palo Blanco, under the chapel, that was the deserted Mission of Gualeguas, that is considered under irrigation, and being present the registered neighbors and the witnesses of my attendance, I ordered the surveyor Dn. Diego Sauto to adjust a string of twenty five Castilian yards, and having this been done, I ordered to laid the string north northwest, up the canes named Palo Blanco, where 36 strings were counted, and they comprise nine hundred yards; in which place a ordered to put a landmark of firm rock.



            From there to the west were measured one hundred and twenty one strings that made three thousand twenty five yards, where another landmark was put. And from here to the south, 36 strings were counted, and with them, were arrived at the stream of Gualeguas, that comprise nine hundred yards, where I ordered to erect another landmark. And from this place, running east, down the river, omitting some short irregularities that such river does, 128 strings and four yards that comprise 3,204 yards.



            Done this, I ordered the surveyor to adjust the land for labor that is comprised under such lines; having practiced it with the reflection and demands of such matter, he said included four caballerias and a half, with more than twelve geometric strings and three thousand five hundred eighty two yards of the same class, needing to be understood that the twelve string are of 69 yards, as it is commanded by the royal orders of land measurements; and to confirm it, I ordered to make it a document, in my presence and witnesses in attendance. In the first of May of said year, I, such judge, having seen the recognizing of the lands for bread winning, as it is perceived in the previous document and in the most convenient place for location, were divided for it by the wind from south to north, nine hundred yards, and from this to the east one thousand two hundred yards, to the south another nine hundred, and towards the west another one thousand two hundred. Resulting its shape in a parallelogram; and in the four corners were put signs and I ordered to erect landmarks of solid rock. Done this, the major plaza was outlined, towards the north of the chapel giving it with the compass on hand one hundred and ten yards to every wind, resulting in four equal blocks; and the one that faces the west was marked for the corresponding church and priest house. The one that faces south for royal houses; and in the ones toward north and south were outlined six solares of 30 x 50 yards. Leaving every street corner ten yards and equal blocks, so that successively buildings can be added accordingly to the attached map for these works.

            And the surveyor said that after taking up space for the circuit in the place, the land left to divide among the neighbors, for their labor, starting at the junction of the canes of Palo Blanco to the North and southeast, 900 yards; and from there to the West ending up with the land outlined for the place, 1825 yards, from there, ending up to the stream south, 900, and down river to end up on said canes, 2,004 yards, which divided among the twelve registered neighbors, and adjusted the count carefully by said surveyor, he said that for everyone, by the side of the stream, would fit 167 yards wide and 900 yards long; and for the other one that runs from West to East, 152 yards and half a sesma. And to record it I made a document, which the surveyor with me and the ones in my attendance, with whom I do as it is said, and I give faith.



            At three days of such month and year, I, Dn. Juan Jose Gomez de Castro, Highest Mayor and Captain of war of the Villa of Cerralvo and its jurisdiction, passed to suggest such assignment in conformance to the previous document, by way of the surveyor, and there were measured lands to:  

Immediately to the plaza, 30 yards in front and 50 deep, for a house, backyard, and, garden, and in the lands outlined for sowing, were measured 167 yards at the head starting near the boundaries outlined for the place, down stream, to the East; and to the other head were measured 152 yards and a half sesma, resulting in 900 yards long, what was outlined with stakes, to continue from them the distribution among the others, staying as common rangeland the lands comprised in the information of identity of boundaries, and in credit of having accepted it this way, did not sign because he cannot, therefore I did it, such judge, with the one in my attendance, I give faith.  

Incontinenti, I, such judge, by virtue of the ongoing distribution of lands, were measured to Dn. Juan Francisco Salinas 30 yards in front and 50 deep, immediately to the plaza, for the house, backyard, and garden; and in lands for labor, at the limits of Dn. Jose Antonio Canales, he got measured 167 yards by the band of the stream, and 152 yards and a half sesma for another head, and he can enjoy the agostadero as common rangeland; and in credit of having this way accepted, he signs with me, such judge, acting ut supra, and I give faith.  

Incontinenti, I, such judge, by virtue of the ongoing distribution of lands, to D. Jose Antonio Barrera for house, backyard, and garden, thirty yards in front and 52 deep, in land of labor at the limits of Dn. Juan Francisco Salinas, were measured one hundred sixty seven yards for one head, and for another one hundred fifty two and a half sesma, and he can enjoy the agostadero as common rangeland; and in credit of having accepted it, he signed with me, such judge, as said it is, I give faith.  

Consequently I, such judge, in continuing there was distributed to Dn. Ignacio Guajardo, for backyard 30 yards in front and 50 deep, in the outlined plaza, and in the lands for labor one hundred sixty seven yards for the head by the stream and 152 yards and a half sesma in the other head; and to enjoy of the agostadero as common rangeland; and in credit of having accepted it, he signs with me such judge, as said it is, I give faith.  

Incontinenti, I, such judge, by virtue of the on going distribution of lands, it was measured to Dn. Juan Angel Lozano, of 30 yards in front and 50 yards deep in the outlined plaza; and for labor were measured around the limits of Dn. Ignacio Guajardo, 167 yards for one head, and for another 152 yards and a half sesma, having the agostadero as common rangeland to enjoy; and in credit of having accepted it he didn’t sign because the did not know how; I signed for him, such judge, acting ut supra, I give faith.  

Immediately in continuation of with the ongoing distribution of lands, it was measured to Dn. Teodoro Salinas for a house, backyard, and garden, 30 yards in front and 50 deep in the outlined plaza; and in lands for labor, for one head around the limits of Dn. Juan Angel Lozano, 167 yards and for the other 152 yards and a half sesma, having as common rangeland the agostadero to enjoy; and in credit of having accepted it he signed with me, such judge, and the ones in attendance, as said it is, I give faith.  

In such place of Our Lady of Gualeguas and Bucareli, at four days of said month and year, I, such judge in continuation with the ongoing distribution of lands, it was measured to Dn. Carlos de Benavides for a house, backyard, and garden, adjacent to the plaza, 30 yards in front and 50 deep; and in lands for labor at the limits of Dn. Teodoro Salinas 187 yards for one head, and for the other 152 yards and a half sesma; having the agostadero to enjoy as common rangeland; and in credit of having accepted it he signed with me, such judge, as said it is, I give faith.  

Immediately, by virtue of the ongoing distribution of lands, it was measured a backyard to Dn. Vicente Canales, of 30 yards in front and 50 yards deep, and for lands of labor at the limits of Dn. Carlos de Benavides, 167 yards for one head, and for another 152 yards and a half sesma, having the agostadero to enjoy it as common rangeland; and in credit for having accepted it he signed with me, such judge, acting ut supra, I give faith.  

Consequently, I such judge, in continuation with the ongoing distribution of lands, to Dn. Juan de Dios de la Garza it was measured a backyard of 30 yards in front and 50 deep; and in lands for labor 167 yard for one head, and for the other 152 yards and a half sesma, at the limits of Dn. Vicente Canales, and the agostadero he can enjoy in common; and in credit of having accepted it he signed with me, such judge, as said it is, I give faith.  

Incontinenti I, such judge, by virtue of the ongoing distribution of lands, to Dn. Jose Rafael Gonzalez Hidalgo Navarro it was assigned a backyard of 30 yards of land in front and 50 deep; and in lands for labor were measured 167 for one head and for another 152 yards and a half sesma, having the agostadero as common rangeland; and in credit of having accepted it he signed with me, such judge, acting ut supra, I give faith.  

Immediately I, such judge, in continuation of such distribution, to Dn. Juan Antonio Canales was assigned a place at the plaza, with 30 yards in front and 50 deep; and in lands for labor, at the limits of Dn. Rafael Gonzalez, it was measured for one head 167 yards, and for another 152 yards and a half sesma; having the agostadero as common rangeland to enjoy; and in credit of having accepted it he signed it with me, such judge, as said it is, I give faith.  

Consequently I, such judge, by virtue of such distribution, to Dn. Gaspar Garcia assigned a backyard with 30 yards in front and 50 deep, and in the lands for labor around the limits of Dn. Juan Antonio Canales until arriving where the canes of Palo Blanco joins the stream of Gualeguas, it was measured 167 yards for one head and for another making it to such canes, 152 yards and a half sesma, having as common rangeland the agostadero for him to enjoy. With what the surveyor said, the lands were measured and divided in twelve equal portions for the twelve registered neighbors; having the ones for labor 167 yards by the shore of the stream, and 152 yards and a half sesma at the other head, and at 900 yards long; having to enjoy according to the lines the ancones of the stream belonging to each part; and having accepted it he did not signed saying he did not know how, I signed it, such judge, acting with the witnesses in attendance, for the lack of scribe, public or royal, during the term of this law; I give faith of everything.  


            In such place, at five days of the month of May of 1773, I, such judge, having seen the conclusion of the distribution of the outlined lands to the constant registered in this matters, I should and will assign the water that the Mission of Gualeguas used to enjoy, divided in twelve equal parts, assigning to each neighbor two and a half days of water for 30 days. Provided in my presence with the witnesses in attendance, as said it is, I give faith.



            In the place of my Lady of the Conception of Gualeguas and Bucareli, at six days of said month and year, seen the conclusion in such place and the distribution of backyards, lands of labor, and water to the neighbors, I command to pass these matters for the judgment of Mister Dn. Francisco de Echegaray, Governor and General Commander of this New Kingdom of Leon, so that during his visit he provides what it is of his superior liking. That how I provided it, ordered it, and signed it with the ones in attendance, like said it is, I give faith.  

            The day 8 of April of 1805. Being subdelegate, the Lieutenant of Justice Dn. Jose Antonio Nepomuceno Canales, a trial is opened for intestate property of Dn. Jose de Chapa, founder of El Nogal and Cieneguitas or “El Chapeno” de Agualeguas, N.L.
In the same year 1851, neighbors from Huizachal de los Canales, with date 19th of September of 1851, solicited from the constitutional governor of that time, Dn. Pedro Jose Garcia, to appoint a city Hall to form a Villa independent from Agualeguas, and in the day 17th of February of the same year, the Decree No. 104 is issued, which establishes the approval for the formation of the Villa of Paras. The city hall of Agualeguas presided by Sr. Dn. Facundo Casso; after doing the measurement of lands and marking the limits and neighboring land of the new population, with date of first of November of 1851, is moved to said place, and at the shade of a fresno in the right margin of the Alamo river, the first city hall is named; being integrated by Dn. Eusebio Cantu, as first mayor; Dn. Blas Maria de la Garza, as first alderman; Dn. Ignacio Cadena, as second alderman; and Dn. Jose Angel Hinojosa as first syndicate. The day 19th of November of the same year, they have their first meeting in the Ranch of “El Tanque”, and in the day 24, they settle in where now is the Municipal Capital.  



            In the time prior to the order of repopulating the Mission of Saint Nicolas of Gualeguas, there were problems relative to the limits or possession of lands. The Repopulation of the Mission, when considered deserted, had consequences. The number of conflicts and claims increased substantially; because there were more than 30 neighbors who had lands since very many years ago; ranches with major and minor cattle, and horses; or dedicated to agriculture and they had documentation protecting their property rights and documentation that supported the acquisition as inheritance from ancestors or buy outs. This litigation processes were prolonged and some lasted many years, and nevertheless, the Repopulation marked a new historic phase in what it was the old mission, because this one took effect with a well defined planning, detailing, and outlining the places for Major Plaza, Church, houses, backyards, and gardens, with the respective street; in addition to land for labor and assignment of water for irrigation to each of the neighbors.  

I transcribe documents that prove the described, and help as one more testimony about the date of foundation of the Mission since the year 1675 (copy of document said to be a faithful copy of the original).  



            People of (illegible) of the New Kingdom of Leon be aware: On behalf of (illegible) certain town called of Our Lady of Gualeguas, and that at least there a fifty leagues from the City of Monterrey , it has been made a relation that it has been populated since the P. Year one thousand six hundred seventy five, in a written document that is pointed out by our distinguished ancestor Dn. Nicolas de Azcarraga, from his lands were given by order of Dn. Miguel Fernandez de Santa Cruz; but that now has Dn. Juan Antonio de Benavides for certain land he says belongs to him and which have always belonged to the town of Gualeguas, and because many disagreements about lands can originate from not marking the limits of their lands and property, I put you in charge and command you that, when my document arrives, at once use our judge of lands and waters, and to mark and measure to the four winds according (illegible and hard to read) my kings and lords of New Spain, and later you will give me a report to prove what is more convenient for the ministers. ATT. Our Superior Council of Indias, with whom we have agreed. In Seville at 13 days of January of one thousand, six hundred seventy five, by command of his Majesty. I E.P. of the King, Enrique Rangel y Araujo (sign).  


            In the name of God amen: know whosoever sees this letter, I, Dn. Antonio Martinez Calderon, Lieutenant Mayor of the Villa of Saint Gregorio de Cerralvo, to Your Excellency present and expose, swearing to God Our Lord and his Saints, that I am certain the lands disputed by Dn. Juan Antonio Benavides and his brothers-in-law has always belonged to this town of Agualeguas not very distant from the Mission of Our Lady of Alamillo; another Mission was founded called Saint Nicolas of Gualeguas and still remains with the P. Name of Our Lady of Agualeguas and today for the fertile of the water is deserted but its communal lands have always been the same. This Mission was erected en the P. year of one thousand six hundred seventy five with the endorsement and superior approval of the Senor Dn. Nicolas de Azcarraga, Governor of this Kingdom of Leon during those days. And this is all I know, if I knew more a would declare it in favor of this locals; and in the name of God swear to say the truth and I sign under my name in this town of San Gregorio de Cerralvo at twenty nine day of February of the year of grace of One Thousand Seven Hundred Sixty Five. Dn. Antonio Martinez Calderon, in my presence, Gerardo Ruiz de Palacio. Royal Public Scribe (rubric).  

My father Sebastian Gonzalez Baez-Benavides shared with me the history of his grandfather Francisco Baez-Benavides Lira. I wanted to share the history of Agualeguas where it was noted the influence of the Baez-Benavides clan. There are many more stories of the contributions of the Baez-Benavides family to Agualegaus. That history will be submitted at a later date.            

Historic Archive of the Municipality of Agualeguas , Nuevo Leon .  

General Archive of the State of Nuevo Leon . Correspondence of Mayors.  

Israel Cavazos Garza. Bibliographic Dictionary of Nuevo Leon , Volumes I and II UANL. Monterrey , Mexico 1984.           

Israel Cavazos Garza. History of Nuevo Leon, with news from Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Texas , and New Mexico . Written in the XVII Century by the Captain Alonso de Leon, Juan Bautista Chapa, and Fernando Sanchez de Zamora, Monterrey , N. L. 1985.  

Protacio P. Cadena. Historic Review, Social, Economic, and Geographic of the Municipality of Agualeguas . January of 1942.  

Agualeguas, Testimonies of its History. November of 1990. Editorial Group Eon, S. A. of C. V.  

Aureliano Tapa Mendez. Novena of Our Lady of Agualeguas, Nuevo Leon year 1942.  

Santiago Roel. Nuevo Leon , Historic Notes. First Edition. Monterrey , N. L. 1985.  

Nuevo Leon , Young Mountains over the Old Valley . State Monograph. Secretary of Public Education, Mexico , 1982.  

Maria Santos Escobedo. History of Nuevo Leon . Monterrey , Mexico , 1984.  

Professor Mauro Martinez Perez Agualeguas 326 –September 2001    



Welcome to  
voice of the H Zitacuaro PRRS


The Heroica Zitacuaro Preservation, Restoration & Redevelopment Society (H Zitacuaro PRRS), a Non-Profit Corporation, was formed by a group of people, most of whom live or have lived in Zitacuaro and who are interested in the socio-economic growth of the city.  A recent visit by an expatriate opened our eyes to the real conditions of the city and the hidden potential that it has to become one of the most beloved and visited places in all of Mexico .

If you have lived there it is hard not to fall in love with Zitacuaro, and currently most of the writings on the Internet that talk about Zitacuaro make an attempt to highlight its natural beauty, its people, the food, and the sanctuaries of the Monarch butterfly.  Some of the websites attempt to make a big ado about the architecture of the various churches of the area, the nearby pyramids, and the arts and craft of the local Mazahuas.  There are some more serious websites that are making a strong effort so that Zitacuaro obtains the recognition it deserves from the Mexican federal government for the formation of the Suprema Junta Nacional Americana.  However, all of those efforts fall short when faced with the reality:  there is no tourism in Zitacuaro.  

The reality is that no matter what you read about Zitacuaro and how exciting its history may seem to the reader, when foreign visitors venture into Zitacuaro they hardly find anything to be excited about.  To be objective, let us remember that tourists have limited time and limited budgets.  Even the wealthiest in the planet make choices about where to be and how to spend their money.  What do tourists see when they come to Zitacuaro? 

1.   A rapidly growing city with no building codes.  Perhaps a stay on the top floor of the Hotel Mexico and a look to the surrounding scenery from that viewpoint will illustrate this issue.  The natural beauty of the surroundings is spoiled by unfinished rooftops and exposed piercing ribbed bars.  Even the newest and most modern buildings in the city have an unfinished “ugly side” exposed for all to see.  The beautiful colonial architecture that ties this city to its history is rapidly disappearing, and that history is better read nowadays in a book while enjoying the pleasures of Cancun or Puerto Vallarta .  Even the home of Rayon was not considered worthy of preserving.  Someone thought a contemporary monument would be a suitable replacement. 

2.  For all its claims to authentic Mexican arts and crafts, Zitacuaro has nothing to show for it.  The Mazahuas have been shoved away from most of the city and have been cornered into the small, remote, and unvisited new Centro Cultural of the old train station.  There they present a limited quantity of small items in an attempt to survive.  Each day they have to make a choice on how to spend their few hard earned Pesos.  Will they eat that day or will they pay the bus fair to go home to sleep at night?  Perhaps the closest thing to actual authentic Mexican arts and crafts is the pottery industry from San Felipe.  Yet, that is rather small and San Felipe is not Zitacuaro.  A tourist in Zitacuaro would expect to see all those items in plain sight.  What is in plain view are all those cheap imports from China ;  plastic, lots of plastic, cheap glass, cheap corningware, cheap shoes, cheap clothes, cheap … 

3.  Mexico has an amazing array of culinary feasts.  So much so that it, together with French cuisine, Mexican food has made it into UNESCO’s list of Intangible World Heritage.  Zitacuaro is no exception.  A walk down the “Calle del Hambre” or “The Street of Hunger” is evidence of the wonderful food that can be obtained in Zitacuaro.  Yet, where is a tourist to eat without the fear of getting “Montezuma’s Revenge?”  Most restaurants fondly visited by locals in Zitacuaro have no appeal to international travelers who back home have access to “quaint” restaurants and bars that serve food prepared under the guidelines of health organizations.  Not only from the health issue, but from the aesthetic and the “fun” aspect, Zitacuaro does not have anything of the kind that would attract and bring back tourists.  Perhaps a few of the isolated restaurants housed by some of the resorts outside Zitacuaro may offer these attractions.  But again, that is not Zitacuaro.  The city itself should be a magnet to tourists by offering its culinary delights in plenty of suitable and attractive venues within the city limits. 

4.  Tourists like to be pampered, catered to, and entertained.  If they venture into Zitacuaro they might head out to the office of the Secretaria de Turismo (the Secretary of Tourism) to find out about activities, events, and places of interest to see while in Zitacuaro.  Zitacuaro’s officials must feel Zitacuaro has nothing to offer because the Secretaria de Turismo has been tucked away in a tiny little office in a remote ugly little building.  Finding it is a scavenger’s hunt!  Once found, the enthusiastic tourist will be presented with the many appealing options:  a visit to their sanctuary during the once a year event of the migration of the Monarch butterfly;  the once a year mushroom fair that is sure to bring in a couple hundred locals;  a trip to San Felipe to see the small displays of pottery from the locals.  Very exciting! … Really?  

H Zitacuaro PRRS sees Zitacuaro not for what it is right now, but for what it can be!  Zitacuaro is the quintessential and very definition of the words “martyrdom,” “sacrifice,”  “heroism,” “honor,” “liberty,” “freedom,” “patriotism,” and “glory.”  Its unique history of bravery and resistance against oppression from foreign and domestic enemies really reflects word by word the lyrics of the Mexican National Anthem:  

Mexicans at the cry of war, make ready the steel and the bridle, and may the earth tremble at its centers at the resounding roar of the cannon!


Let gird, oh Fatherland, your brow with olive by the divine archangel of peace, for in heaven your eternal destiny was written by the finger of God.  But if some enemy outlander should dare to profane your ground with his step, think, oh beloved Fatherland, that heaven has given you a soldier in every son. …


O, Fatherland, ere your children, defenseless   bend their neck beneath the yoke, may your fields be watered with blood, may their foot be printed in blood.  And may your temples, palaces and towers collapse with horrid clamor, and may their ruins continue on saying:  Of one thousand heroes, here the Fatherland began.


Fatherland!  Fatherland!  Your children swear to you to breathe their last for your sake, if the bugle with its bellicose accent persuades them to battle with courage.  For you, olive wreathes!  A memory for them of glory!  For you, a laurel of victory!  A tomb for them of honor!  

Not only Mexicans, but anybody anywhere who treasures these principles should want to flock to Zitacuaro and should want to breathe the air that once such larger than life heroes breathed.  They should want to see and touch the homes they lived in.  They should want to touch and smell the very clothes they wore, even if they are ridden with bullet holes, tainted with their precious blood, and soiled with the dirt of the very land they died defending.  They should want to walk along the paths and streets they strolled.  To imagine and relive the tense moments of the day, the mystery, the danger, the excitement, the fear, and the outrage that lead a people to answer the call:  “Mexicans!  At the cry of war make ready the steel and the bridle, and may the earth tremble at its centers at the resounding roar of the cannon!”  They fought not for freedom of taxation or for power, nor for control of natural resources or in support of opposing political views.  They fought for freedom from slavery, tyranny, oppression, subjugation, humiliation, and rape!  

That history must remain alive!  It must be preserved!  It must be told!  It is one of the most exalting, exhilarating, and sublime stories in all of mankind’s history!  For Zitacuaro paid the ultimate price not once or twice, but three times when it was burned each time to the ground for giving refuge to such valiant heroes!  It is the opinion of The Heroica Zitacuaro Preservation, Restoration & Redevelopment Society that Zitacuaro should be exalted and included in the World Heritage List! 



H Zitacuaro PRRS believes that Zitacuaro’s prosperous future lies in its singular, beautiful, and awe-inspiring past.  It is part of its mission to coordinate an effort to:  

1.  Tell and repeat the story of the Heroica Zitacuaro for all the world to hear!  

2.  Move politicians, entities and organizations to come together in a major preservation and reconstruction effort so that all who visit Zitacuaro may be able to relive this grand story.  To design and enforce strict building codes with emphasis in preserving the architectural integrity of a certain area to be designated as “the historic district” (preservation and restoration) and to ensure that all future growth is in harmony with the historical nature of the city and a code that enhances the surroundings (redevelopment).  

3.  Motivate investors and entrepreneurs to bring their wealth to transform the landscape of the city into an inviting and cozy place with adequate accommodations, restaurants and bars, art galleries promoting local traditional and contemporary artifacts, as well as activities and entertainment.  All in the best of taste and befitting of a place worthy of being a part of the World Heritage List.  

4.  Motivate investors and politicians to create the infrastructure to modernize the key services needed by any modern city, including sewer treatment and continuously flowing drinking water.  

5.  Evaluate the viability of having a regional airport in Zitacuaro with minimum flights to and from Mexico City , Morelia , Guadalajara , and Monterrey , and perhaps international flights to and from Los Angeles , Phoenix , and Houston .  

6.  Create a Historic Society in charge of researching and recounting every detail of the history of the town.  A society in charge of locating every possible relic that ever touched or was touched by any and all of the forefathers of the city, to include photos, wardrobe, weapons, gear, furniture, and the like.  This society should also be responsible for educating the locals in the treasures that exist within the city so as to provide guiding services for tourists.

7.  Procure the support of philanthropists for funding to carry out this monumental task.   

It is our belief that when all of this comes together Zitacuaro will be able to enjoy:

1.  Prosperity by means of Real Estate investments and new businesses in the Tourism and the Hospitality and Entertainment industries.  These projects should translate into more and better quality jobs for the people of Zitacuaro and the region.

2.  Improved quality of life for residents and visitors alike.  

3.  A cultural renaissance for Zitacuaro, the region, and perhaps the entire state of Michoacan.  

4.  A permanent and suitable living memorial to the martyrs whose blood given up in sacrifice paved the road for the Zitacuaro of today and of tomorrow.  Fatherland! … For you, a laurel of victory!  A tomb for them of honor!”  

The Heroica Zitacuaro Preservation, Restoration & Redevelopment Society (H Zitacuaro PRRS),
a non-profit corporation,
March, 2011.  


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Mexico Yaqui Remains Returned from New York Museum for burial

By Mark Stevenson
Mexico City, Mexico (AP) 11-09

Northern Mexico’s Yaqui buried their lost warriors after a two-year effort to rescue the remains from New York’s American Museum of Natural History, where the victims of one of North America’s last Indian massacres lay in storage for more than a century.

The burial on November 16 capped an unprecedented joint effort by U.S. and Mexican tribes to press both governments to bring justice and closure to a 1902 massacre by Mexican federal troops that killed about 150 Yaqui men, women and children.

“They would not be at peace with their souls and conscience until they got their people back to their land,” said Jose Antonio Pompa of Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History.

The 12 skulls and other blood-spattered remains interred in Vicam, a traditional Yaqui town in western Sonora state, carried some of the first forensic evidence of Mexico’s brutal campaign to eliminate the tribe.

As if the horror of the massacre weren’t enough, U.S. anthropologist Ales Hrdlicka came upon some of the bodies while they were still decaying, hacked off the heads with a machete and boiled them to remove the flesh for his study of Mexico’s “races.”

He sent the resulting collection to the New York museum. On Nov. 16, on the slope of a mountain near the Yaqui village of Vicam, the 12 sets of remains were “baptized” to give them names that have been lost to history.

They were given a warriors’ honor guard, and amid drumming, chants and traditional “deer” and “coyote” dances, each was laid to rest in the ground they had been striving to return to when they were slaughtered.

Perhaps best known for the mystical and visionary powers ascribed to them by writer Carlos Castaneda, the Yaquis fought off repeated attempts by the Mexican government to eliminate the tribe.

But they were largely defeated by 1900, and dictator Porfirio Diaz began moving them off their fertile farmland to less valuable territory or to virtual enslavement on haciendas as far away as eastern Yucatan state.

In 1902, about 300 men, women and children escaped from forced exile and started walking back to their lands in Sonora. They were stopped in the mountains near the capital of Hermosillo by 600 heavily armed soldiers, who attacked them from behind. What ensued, long known as “the Battle of the Sierra Mazatan,” is now considered one of the last large-scale Indian massacres in North America.

“What soldiers were doing was – instead of wasting ammunition – turning the rifle around and hitting people in the head who were down, to make sure they were dead,” said anthropologist Ventura Perez, who did a trauma investigation on the skulls for the American Yaqui tribes.

Some bore execution-style gunshot wounds to the back of the head. Cut marks on the bones indicated troops took ears as trophies, said Perez, a professor at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

The bones were forgotten in museum storage until Perez and anthropologist Andrew Darling, who works for the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona, started to study them in 2007 and realized their gruesome story.

The Pascua Yaqui tribe of Arizona took up the fight to have the bones returned.

“The approach we use is that we are one people ... the border is just an artificial concept,” said Robert Valencia, vice chairman of the Pascua Yaquis.

U.S. Indian remains are protected under the North American Indian Graves Protection Act. But because the law doesn’t cover Mexican remains held in the U.S., the Arizona tribe contacted the Mexican Yaquis and they in turn contacted the Mexican government, which also decided to get involved.

The museum agreed the bones and other artifacts – including blood-spattered blankets and a baby carrying-board from which Hrdlicka dumped an infant’s corpse – should go back, saying “cultural sensitivities and values within the museum community have changed” since Hrdlicka’s era.

Mexico’s National Institute of Anthropology and History decided the real owners were the Yaquis and handed over the remains and artifacts last month for burial. The tribe held a memorial ceremony in a wood-paneled hall at the New York museum on Central Park with incense, drums and chants.

“This is the first time that the (natural history museum) has turned over cultural patrimony to a foreign government that immediately returned it to the indigenous people,” the museum said in a statement.

The remains were honored by Yaqui on both sides of the border, spurring the tribes’ hopes for recognition of their status as a single people who have long lived in both countries – in Sonora and in southern Arizona near Tucson.

The remains were packed into ceremonial wooden boxes and taken first to Tucson, where they were given a hero’s welcome by Pascua Yaquis, including an honor guard of Indian veterans of the U.S. Army.

“That is why the warriors’ role is important, because when we make territorial claims, it is because Yaqui blood was spilled there,” said Mexican Yaqui elder Ernesto Arguelles, 59. “This is the first opportunity we have had to stop and mourn.”

Sent by Juan Marinez




Serpent Mound State Memorial, Ohio 
Results of Pioneer Cemetery’s Lost Graves Survey 
Texas find suggests earlier settlers in North America

Serpent Mound State Memorial, Ohio


PEEBLES -- An archaeological investigation of Serpent Mound State Memorial is set to begin April 8, according to the Ohio Historical Society. The society approved an application for the investigation, and William F. Romain, a research associate with The Ohio State University Newark Earthworks Center will do the work.
"Dr. William Romain and a team of archaeologists from various institutions are attempting to get a definitive answer to the question of the age of the Great Serpent Mound," said Sharon Dean, OHS director of museum and library services. "Some people think it might be as old as 800 B.C., and others think it might be as young as A.D. 1000." The work will be weather dependent and continue in phases during the next several months.

Designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of Interior, Serpent Mound is in the process of being nominated for listing as a UNESCO World Heritage site.  Although Serpent Mound has worldwide recognition, much remains to be learned about it. For example, archaeologists do not definitively know who built it or when it was built.

To help answer these questions, the investigation will do remote radar sensing of the earthwork and will extract small-diameter soil cores from various points in and around the effigy mound to obtain samples of charcoal from an "ash layer" that Frederic Putman of Harvard University's Peabody Museum identified when he excavated portions of the mound in the 1880s.

According to Dean, the age of these samples could be determined with radiocarbon dating and provide additional evidence to help scientists determine when the earthwork was built.

"The Serpent Mound effigy demonstrates a sophisticated understanding of geometry and astronomy in its design," Romain said. "By securely dating the effigy, we seek to better understand the time of Native American accomplishments."

Dean points out, "It's so important because before you can understand the meaning of the effigy, you first have to know it's cultural context. A serpent effigy could have meant very different things to ancient Ohioans in 800 B.C. than if it were built nearly 2,000 years later. Once we know the date Serpent Mound was built, we'll have a better idea of who constructed this monumental earthwork."

Serpent Mound, one of 58 Ohio Historical Society historic sites and museums, is a spectacular effigy earthwork of a serpent uncoiling along a prominent ridge top in northern Adams County. From the tip of its nose to the end of its tail, the effigy is 1,348 feet long. When it was originally described, in 1848, the body of the serpent was 5 feet high and 30 feet wide.

Results of Pioneer Cemetery’s 
Lost Graves Survey 


San Fernando Valley Pioneer Memorial Cemetery in Sylmar. Unconfirmed cemetery records indicate more than 600 people could be buried at the historic site, which is owned and operated by the San Fernando Valley Historical Society (SFVHS).
Dr. Damiata, a Cotsen Fellow at the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA, has extensive experience in ground-based geophysical methods to locate unmarked burials and clandestine graves. In the last few years, he has completed similar surveys at various family, pioneer and Native American cemeteries throughout the United States. Internationally, other recent projects have taken him to China, Greece, Greenland, Guatemala, Iceland, and Turkey.

The archaeo-geophysical survey he conducted at Pioneer Cemetery involved land surveying of all visible features within the boundaries of the cemetery using a Global Positioning System (GPS) in conjunction with a robotic total-field station. Geophysical surveys that were conducted included Ground-Penetrating Radar (GPR), electrical resistivity, and magnetic methods. Most of the accessible areas of the cemetery were surveyed. Additional historical research has revealed further details about some of the burials.

A portion of the $20,000 survey was funded by a $5,000 grant from the National Trust for Historic Preservation-Los Angeles County Fund, plus generous contributions by $1,000 angel donors, the “Voices of Pioneer Cemetery: Flashlight Ghost Tour,” engraved brick sales, yard sales, bottle/can recycling, and cash donations.

“Dr. Damiata’s presentation will be an exciting new chapter in the history of Pioneer Cemetery,” notes Jacky Walker, co-chair of the SFVHS Pioneer Cemetery Committee. “Be sure to arrive early for a good seat, and allow time to ask questions and enjoy refreshments.”

For additional information, please contact the San Fernando Valley Historical Society at 818-365-7810, or visit the Society’s Web site at 

The adobe is located in Andres Pico Adobe Park, 10940 Sepulveda Blvd., Mission Hills (across from the Mission Hills Post Office at Brand Boulevard).

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Sent by Mª del Pilar Torres López 

Texas find suggests earlier settlers in North America

By RANDOLPH E. SCHMID, AP Science Writer, Mar 24, 2011

AP – This undated handout photo provided by the journal Science shows some of the artifacts from the 15,500-year-old site.

WASHINGTON – The discovery of ancient stone tools at an archaeological dig in Texas could push back the presence of humans in North America, perhaps by as much as 2,500 years. 

Thousands of artifacts dating to between 13,200 and 15,500 years ago were uncovered by researchers led by Michael R. Waters of Texas A&M University. They report the discovery in Friday's edition of the journal Science. 

The find was located 5 feet below materials left by the well-known Clovis culture, which was once thought to have been the first American settlers around 13,000 years ago. 

It was "like finding the Holy Grail," Waters said in a telephone interview. To find what appears to be a large open-air campsite "is really gratifying. Lucky and gratifying." 

The trove of 15,528 artifacts, including chipping debris from working stones and 56 tools such as blades, scrapers and choppers, was found in the Buttermilk Creek complex near Austin. 

The location is the oldest credible archaeological site in North America, Waters said at a briefing. The artifacts were found in an 8-inch (20 centimeter) layer beneath 5 feet (1.5 meters) of earth and other material from later human occupation at the site. 

The small tools were "a mobile tool kit," Waters said, and of the type that could have led to the later development of the fluted points that trademark Clovis technology. 

While there are other pre-Clovis sites across the country, Waters said the new find included significantly more artifacts than the others. 

Anthropologist Tom D. Dillehay of Vanderbilt University, who was not part of the research team, said he is concerned that the separation of layers at the site "appears not to be as clear as the authors would have us believe." 

University of Oregon archaeologist Dennis L. Jenkins said he was also initially skeptical of the find, commenting "it would have been a hard sell" from many other researchers. 

Jenkins, who three years ago reported discovery of 14,000-year-old evidence of human DNA in a cave in Oregon, said he was concerned that settling or rodents had mixed up the specimens in Texas. 

But, he said, Waters' team had done "incredible, meticulous scientific work." "I believe he's made the case," he said.  

Jenkins said he would have preferred carbon-dating of the specimens, but that couldn't be done because there was no organic material to be tested in the newly found layer. 

Steven L. Forman, of the University of Illinois, Chicago, a co-author of the paper, said the team used luminescence dating which can determine when the material was last exposed to light. They took samples by hammering black, sealed copper pipe into the layers. 

In a separate paper in the journal, researchers report evidence of early humans in south India more than a million years ago. 

Researchers discovered more than 3,500 quartzite tools of the distinct Acheulian design used by the earliest humans in Africa starting more than 1.5 million years ago. They dated the tools to at least 1.07 million years old and some possibly 1.51 million years old. 

The discovery at a site called Attirampakkam in the Kortallayar river basin helps anthropologists understand the spread of ancient people from Africa into Asia. Leading the research team was Shanti Pappu of the Sharma Centre for Heritage Education in Tamil Nadu, India. 

The find is unprecedented for archaeological studies in India, said archaeologist Michael Petraglia of the University of Oxford, England, who was not part of the research team.  He said it could mean that early humans migrated out of Africa earlier than the oft-cited 1.4 million years ago, carrying the tools to southern Asia. "The suggestion that this occurred at around 1.5 million years ago is simply staggering," he said.

Source: TEJANOS2010 Managed, sustained by Elsa Peña Herbeck and Walter Centeno Herbeck Jr. 
Our purpose is to share information in genealogy, historical, cultural, arts, music, entertainment events and other Tejano issues.

Sent by Gloria Candelaria



Israel is first to set up Surgical Unit in Japan
Tribe of Judah
International Symposium, ‘Jewish Life in Morocco: An Epic Journey’
Israel:  A brief history of the fight over a land the size of New Jersey
The Middle East Mindset

CNN: " Israel is first to set up Surgical Unit in Japan " 

The Israeli clinic includes orthopedics, surgical and intensive care units as well as a delivery room and pharmacy. 
The delegation includes 50 doctors. 
They brought with them:  32 tons of equipment and 18 tons of humanitarian aid---10,000 coats, 6,000 gloves and 150 portable toilets.

Sent by Anne Mocniak, who asks with all their billions of "petro-dollars", where is the humanitarian relief from the Arab countries? 

           Tribe of Judah

Shalom, I wanted to share this article below that just came out today in the Jewish Journal. This is sad report. There are thousands of U.S. Latinos who don't understand their Sephardic Jewish roots, blinded by cultural tradition and anti-semitism. Pray they do the homework! The first Jewish Jewish immigrants to the United States were Sephardic Jews that were fleeing persecution by Portuguese rulers in Brazil, around 1654. 

Sephardic Jews follow the customs and traditions followed by Jews who lived in the Spain and Portugal before their expulsion in the late 15th century . Today the term Sephardic is applied to Jews who may not have been born Sephardic (or even Jewish) but attend Sephardic synagogues and practicing Sephardic traditions. 

There are around 12,000 Jews in Spain and about 2,500 in Portugal. I traveled through New Mexico last month and the lord had me sound for the ladino reformation at the New Mexico border gates, since the first tribe of Sephardic Jews colonized there in 1598.  

Lets keep sounding yeshua's horns over our ladino colonies and border regions to bring alignment of identity! 

Tabernacle Blessings
Mike Mireles 
Director/Screenwriter, Adonai Pictures

Poll: Latinos Believe U.S. Too Supportive of Israel  
March 30, 2011

A new poll by the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU) finds that nearly half of U.S. Latinos feel that their country is too supportive of Israel. The findings also suggest high levels of anti-Semitism exist in the U.S. Latino community. 

Of the 740 people from across the country contacted by phone in early March, half were Latino and half were Jewish. All were asked the same questions. 

Forty-six percent of Latino respondents (and 58 percent of Jewish ones) agreed that “anti-Semitism exists in the Latino community.” Smaller numbers of Latinos and Jews (32 and 30 percent, respectively) said “anti-Latino sentiment exists in the Jewish community.”

“We’ve not done our jobs in terms of fostering the alliance between Jews and Latinos,” said Rabbi Marc Schneier, president of FFEU, a New York-based nonprofit. Schneier said the study also showed a failure of American Jews to convey to Latinos the centrality of Israel for Jews and its importance for American foreign policy. 

The findings were released on March 28 and were presented at the Bridges and Pathways Strategic Dialogue Conference in San Antonio, Tex., a two-day event dedicated to fostering connections between Jewish and Latino leaders. 

That was just days after the Census Bureau announced that the number of Latinos in the country has grown to more than 50 million for the first time. Latinos now make up one-sixth of the total U.S. population. 

Schneier said the poll’s findings suggest the American Jewish community’s traditional outreach strategy — “try[ing] to find the one issue that resonates equally in both communities” — would not work for Jews and Latinos. “If we’re going to foster this alliance,” Schneier said, “it has to be done along the lines of a quid pro quo.”

Forming such an alliance would require American Jews to support comprehensive immigration reform in exchange for Latino support for Israel. The poll results, however, suggest that such an arrangement is a long way off.  

Forty-eight percent of American Latinos agree that “United States foreign policy is too supportive of Israel.” Furthermore, a slim majority of American Jews said they support the strict Arizona immigration law passed in 2010, a law that Latinos (including 68 percent of the FFEU poll’s Latino respondents) oppose. Polls have shown that most of the general population supports the law. 

Sunday, May 15 and 
Monday, May 16, 2011

International Symposium 
‘Jewish Life in Morocco: An Epic Journey’

The ASF is conducting a two-day international symposium entitled: ‘Jewish Life in Morocco: An  epic Journey’ at its home at the Center for Jewish History in New York City. The symposium will feature international scholars from Morocco, France, Canada, Israel and the U.S., who will present the history, contributions and contemporary story of Jewish Morocco.Specific topics will include, among others: Evolution of Jewish Life, Moroccan Jews and the Arts, Moroccan Rabbis and Jewish Thought, Relationships Between Jews and Muslims, Moroccan Jewish Diaspora and the Jews of Morocco Today.
The symposium, open to the public, is part of the year-long series: ‘2,000 Years of Jewish Life in Morocco: An Epic Journey,’ which is being held under the High Patronage of His Majesty Mohammed VI, King of Morocco.
If you are not on the ASF postal mailing list, and you wish to recieve the symposium brochure in the mail, then please send an email with your name and mailing address to: 


  Israel:  A brief history of the fight over a land the size of New Jersey


WASHINGTON, April 15, 2011, Washington Times  —  According to the U.S. State Department, Israel is about the size of New Jersey at 7,850 square miles. It’s bordered by the Mediterranean Sea (170 mile coastline), Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. Over half of the country is dominated by the 4,633 square mile Negev desert. The areas most vehemently fought over today include the approximately nine-mile Gaza Strip on the Mediterranean; the 2,270 square mile West Bank which includes the cities of Jericho and Bethlehem; a 27 square mile area called East Jerusalem; and the Golan Heights at 444 square miles bordering Syria. 

The struggle began about 3,700 years ago when descendents of Abraham called Israel (the Jews) departed slavery in Egypt bound for a land promised to them by God called Canaan. This land was already inhabited by people generally called Arabs, many who were also descendents of Abraham. The Jewish line comes from Abraham’s son Isaac while the Arab line and future Muslims, in general, comes from another son, Ishmael. After many years of war and assimilation, the Jews formed the first ever recorded constitutional monarchy about 1000 B.C. (Before Christ). Their King David made Jerusalem the nation's capital. 

This same land area would eventually be called Palestine after the Roman General Pompey put an end to Jewish sovereignty in 63 B.C. "Palestine" is likely derived from the Philistines who dominated what is now called the Gaza Strip until they were conquered by the Jews between 1200 B.C. and 1000 B.C. Between 1000 B.C. and 63 B.C. the land and people, including both Jews and Arabs, experienced rule by various aggressor nations including Cyrus of Persia, the Greek Alexander the Great, the Ptolemies of Egypt and the Seleucids of Syria.

The Romans, from the classical to the Byzantines, held power from 63 B.C. to 638 A.D. (Anno Domini, Latin for “in the year of the Lord”) when Muslim armies from Arabia invaded. During the long Roman rule, the Jews attempted revolt on several occasions. The most notable being the Jewish-Roman War of 66 – 73 A.D. leading to destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem and banishment of the Jews. It was not until 317 A.D., that the emperor Constantine legalized Christianity in the Roman Empire. The Jews were still technically banished. Jerusalem had already become a holy place of worship and pilgrimage for Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Around 1096 A.D., Christian Crusaders came from Europe, defeated the Muslims, and re-established Christian rule in the land until around 1290 A.D. At this point, Muslims re-conquered the whole area and would dominate until the end of World War I. In 1917 the League of Nations’ Balfour Declaration gave the region to Great Britain with a mandate to re-establish a national home for the Jewish people. By 1937 the United Nation’s Peel Commission, concluded that a sharing of the land by Jews and Arabs was unworkable.

During World War II, Nazi Germany killed six million Jews and displaced many more across Europe. In 1947 the United Nations would pass a partition resolution dividing the region into a Jewish and Arab state. In 1948 the British left and the armies of Egypt, Transjordan (now Jordan), Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and other Arab forces joined Arabs living in Palestine in a full-scale war against the Jews. The war ended with a Jewish state and four United Nations arranged armistice agreements between Israel and Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. Gaza was under Egyptian control and the West Bank under Jordan. Mideast Web says, “Of the more than 800,000 Arabs who lived in Israeli-held territory before 1948, only about 170,000 remained. The rest became refugees in the surrounding Arab countries, ending the Arab majority in the Jewish state.”

Israel was admitted to the United Nations in 1949. The Arab states refused to make peace with Israel. Wars broke out in 1956, 1967, 1973 and 1982 accompanied by a long string of terrorism and reprisals that continue through today. Palestinian Arab nationalism became a serious political movement after the 1967 Six-Day War and Israel's capture of the West Bank.



The Middle East Mindset

by Mark Silverberg
April 13, 2011


It is now clear why Mahmoud Abbas and his Palestinian Authority have refused negotiations with Israel for more than a year, even after Israel agreed to freeze Jewish construction in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem: they have been busy working behind the scenes with South American leaders to obtain a declaration of statehood for "Palestine." Abbas has reason to gloat. President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of Argentina recently recognized "Palestine as a free and independent state based on its pre-1967 borders," and other South American countries have followed her lead.


Having failed to obtain an independence declaration at the U.N. Security Council, the PA is now preparing to bypass the Security Council and ask the General Assembly to invoke the precedent of the U.N. General Assembly's "Uniting for Peace" Resolution 377 (passed in 1950), which could allow that body to recommend collective action "if the Security Council, because of lack of unanimity of the permanent members, fails to exercise its primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security". Such action would not only preempt the authority of the Security Council, but would pressure Israel into accepting Palestinian statehood without the Palestinians being required to honor their international commitments or to make any compromises or concessions.

Forgotten are UN Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, both passed in the wake of the Six-Day War (1967) and the Yom Kippur War (1973). These Resolutions acknowledged Israel's need for secure and recognized boundaries prior to any Israeli withdrawals. They now appear, however, to be irrelevant, raising the question: Why should Israel honor its international commitments with the Palestinians (such as those enshrined in the Oslo Accords) if international commitments made with Israel by the Palestinians are not honored as well?

The fact that the Montevideo Convention on the Rights and Duties of States requires a "state" to have a permanent population, a defined territory over which it has control, a stable government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other states - and that "Palestine" does not qualify for statehood under any of these conditions is apparently unimportant to these countries in the General Assembly.

While most of the world ignored a similar declaration by the Palestinian National Council in Algeria in 1988, these new events are disturbing not simply because they contradict both the letter and spirit of the Oslo Accords and bypass existing UN Security Council Resolutions designed to do justice to both Israelis and Palestinians, but because they reinforce the myth that the creation of a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza will satisfy the Palestinians and resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. There is no historical, political and religious basis to believe this will be the case.

The Arabs have initiated six wars to exterminate Israel, and have lost all of them. So intense is the fear of Arab leaders that their own people will target them as the true source of their misery (as appears to be happening today throughout the Arab world); so intense is their hatred of Israel incited as it is by Al-Jazeera, al-Manar and countless other outlets; so humiliating is Israel's presence in their midst, that any compromise on core issues --such as settlements, borders, Jerusalem, a Palestinian right of return, and especially recognizing Israel as a Jewish state -- would be seen by the Arab street as a betrayal of unbearable magnitude. Arab and Muslim leaders understand that any compromise on these core issues would threaten their power and their lives.

Sixty-three years after Israel's establishment, Arabs who fled or left mandatory Palestine in 1948, and their descendants, who now number over five million, continue to live in the refugee camps of Gaza, the West Bank, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria. There, they are enveloped with hatred for Israel, while being used by their Arab brethren, and given "permanent refugee status" by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency [UNRWA], where they are promised that one day they will return to their homes in "Palestine" [Israel]. At the entrance to the UNRWA-funded Aida Refugee Camp, established in Bethlehem in 1950, and where an estimated 3,000 Palestinians live, there is a gigantic key on which is written in English and Arabic: "Not for Sale." What is not for sale is all the land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea -- that is, all of Israel -- which, they unapologetically state in their "moderate" Palestinian Charter, must never be abandoned in any peace agreement. On almost every house one can see graffiti showing an undivided Palestine.

As no Israeli government could allow an influx of millions of hostile Palestinians into its country, Israel's refusal to allow a complete "right of return" has become a useful pretext for continuing the conflict. The longer Israel can be used as a scapegoat, the better it serves Arab interests by re-directing their citizens' rage away from their own oppressive, corrupt and crushing governance. For this reason, at Taba (2001) and at Annapolis (2007), the Palestinian leadership, supported by the Arab and Muslim world, and rejected Palestinian statehood on more than 95% of the West Bank and Gaza rather than recognize Israel as a Jewish state and forego its "right of return." Even the Fatah Revolutionary Council, the ruling PLO Authority in the West Bank, has declared: "No to Israel as a Jewish state, no to interim borders, no to land swaps;" and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad refused to sign a meeting summary with the Israelis that accepted the concept of two-states-for-two-peoples.

Consequently, from the Arab perspective, there is no basis for compromise and nothing to negotiate with Israel except its demise. Recognizing Israel as a Jewish state would be the ultimate humiliation for the Arab world: any compromise by any Arab or Muslim leader on that subject would likely prove fatal, as it did with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.

This uncompromising mindset also pervaded the Oslo "Peace Process." Despite eight years of direct negotiations with the Israelis, Arafat could not bring himself to make peace with Israel. As Richard Landes writes in "Augean Stables", Arafat acted with enormous reluctance, pocketing all he could, using the ceiling of Israel's last concession as the floor for the next; offering no concessions in return, and assuring the Arab street that signing the Oslo Agreement was merely a Trojan Horse, through which he planned to continue his 1974 Phased Plan for the dismantling and ultimate destruction of the Jewish state. For Arafat, the concessions were never real. In response to virtually universal condemnation from the Arab/Muslim world, he justified making the Agreements by stating: "I am hammering the first nail into the Zionist coffin." He equated the Accords with Mohammed's Treaty of Hudabiya with the Koreish tribe, which Mohammed maintained for only two years instead of the promised ten -- until his forces grew strong enough to crush the Koreish. Speaking in Johannesburg in 1993, after signing the Accords, Arafat assured his audience that Jerusalem, in the end, would be exclusively Muslim; that the only permanent state in present-day Israel would be the Arab state of Palestine, and that the "peace process" would end in the Palestinian conquest of Israel -- no surprise given that Fatah's constitution maintains to this day that "the struggle will not end until the elimination of the Zionist entity and the liberation of Palestine."

Similarly, Mahmoud Zahar, co-founder of Hamas, took pains to explain to Gazans that his commitment to an unofficial ceasefire with Israel should not be seen as an act of weakness, but as a tactic that would allow Hamas time to re-arm and re-organize for the coming war.

Intertwined with these overriding feelings of humiliation, hatred and fear should any compromise be reached on Israel's right to exist, are the principles of Islamic Shari'a law which provide for the subordination of women, the subordination of "unbelievers," death for apostasy, homosexuality, alleged adultery, cartoons ...," and so forth -- principles that flow through this conflict and that are downplayed by Western leaders as mere rhetoric. Recently, the Palestinian Authority's religious affairs official praised Palestinians who carry out ribat (religious war) against Israel; and the coordinator of the National Committee on Summer Camps told his local media that Palestinian summer camps instill in children the Palestinian culture "which unites the culture of resistance, the culture of stones and guns ... and the culture of shahada (martyrdom)."

Professor Robert Wistrich in his book, A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad leaves no doubt that the Arab and Muslim rejection of Israel is based in large measure on Islamic principles that permeate their societies. The treatment of Jews in Muslim lands throughout the centuries further confirms that this hostility toward Jews -- and the genocidal rhetoric and suicide bombers that flow from it -- cannot be separated from an enmity that began with Mohammed; was later encouraged by the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem (infatuated as he was with the Nazis and their propaganda); and is now aimed at Israel as a Jewish state.

Whatever points of ideology and tactics may divide the nominally secular Palestinian Authority from the religiously orthodox Hamas, both agree that Zionism is a "criminal conspiracy" against the Palestinian people; that Israel's creation is a satanic, imperialist plot that must be reversed, and that Palestine is, was, and always will be, indivisible Islamic land. Sermons urge believers to "Have no mercy on the Jews, no matter where they are, in any country. Fight them. Whenever you meet them, kill them." These are broadcast live, day-in and day-out on the PA's official TV channel. [see and for documentation].

When Jews are discussed in PA textbooks, it is only to recite the same litany of their supposedly negative traits from the days of the Prophet to the present. On maps, Israel is portrayed as Palestine; Israeli cities are portrayed as Palestinian; and Zionism continues to be portrayed as a modern-day expression of the Jews' essential evil -- all of which raises the question: Can generations of Palestinians force-fed such beliefs ever set them aside to make a stable, long-lasting peace with Israel as a Jewish state within any borders?

These religious imperatives are, additionally, woven into the PLO Covenant (Charter) which sees Judaism as a religion, not a nationality. Although Israel, with all its flaws, represents the realization of a 3,800-year vision of Jewish nationalism, the Palestinian Charter alleges that Jews are not a nation, and it repudiates any claim Jews have to national self-determination or national sovereignty. Instead, it confers upon them the inferior religious status of second-class citizens under Islamic law.

Thus, from a theological perspective, the Arab street cannot accept the right of Jews to sovereignty on even one centimeter of land which, according to Islamic law, forms part of the Islamic waqf, or holy endowment. This law holds that any land that was ever under Muslim control must forever remain so, whether al-Andalus in Spain, or Israel under the Ottoman Turks.

What is also clear is that the Arab and Muslim narrative is focused on Jews, not just Israelis. Jonathan Kay writing in the National Post observes that "When Israeli planes smashed Egyptian airfields in the opening hours of the Six-Day War announcers on Radio Cairo took to the airwaves, calling on Arabs in neighboring countries to attack any Jews they could find. In the Libyan capital of Tripoli, then home to about 5,000 Jews, rioters responded with an orgy of murder, arson and looting that lasted three days. Even after the survivors had fled to Israel and the West, leaving Libya virtually free of Jews, the anti-Semitic bloodlust remained. It was "the unavoidable duty of the city councils," stated one Libyan newspaper, "to remove [Jewish] cemeteries immediately, and throw the bodies of the dead, which even in their eternal rest soil our country, into the depths of the sea ... Only then can the hatred of the Libyan people toward the Jews be satiated." Carrying this pathology forward, the idea of any compromise that would lead to a sovereign, independent Jewish state in the Islamic Middle East would seem a sweet, misguided wish.

This hatred is also reflected in constant Palestinian attempts to negate Jewish history by denying the Jewish people's ancient historical connection to the Western Wall, the Temple Mount, and Jewish historical sites in Judea and Samaria (including, but not limited to, Rachel's Tomb, the Cave of the Patriarchs at Machpelah and even the city of Hebron); the ludicrous claim that Abraham and Jesus were Palestinians; the claim that Islam represents the final and one true faith (Christianity and Judaism presumably being flawed precursors), and the utilization of the Palestinian Authority's educational system and media to deny Israeli legitimacy to any land at all -- not only by falsifying maps, but also by falsifying or destroying any archeological evidence of that history, such as the recent vandalism of Joshua's Tomb in the Samarian village of Timnat Heres. By vandalizing Jewish historical sites, they are making credible the myth they themselves have created that Israelis are mere "foreign occupiers," "modern-day Crusaders" and "imperialists," who have no legal or historical claim to "Palestine."

Then, of course, there is Palestinian and Arab television, such as Qatar's Al-Jazeera and Hezbollah's Al-Manar that continue to flood the Arab and Muslim world with a new variant of anti-Semitism in the form of fables that masquerade as reality. These fables not only include libels from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion - the notion that Jews use the blood of Arab children to make their Passover matzoh - but now also speak of plagues of vicious Israeli attack dogs descending upon Jericho to harass poor Palestinian Arabs; wild boars released by Israeli settlers to attack Palestinians and destroy their plants and crops in the northern West Bank during prayers; the use of Israeli trained rats to drive Arab residents from Jerusalem; and sharks released by the Israelis that attack tourists swimming off Egypt's Red Sea coast in order to weaken Egypt's thriving tourist industry. Of course, as Khaled Abu Toameh dryly writes, "it is still unclear" how these animals are trained to distinguish Arab victims from Jewish ones; but while people in the West might laugh at these libels, they are taken seriously in the Arab world where the media is tightly controlled by Arab governments --- the same governments that have declared that Israelis are responsible for the civil war in Lebanon; the division of Sudan; civil strife in Yemen, and the massacre of Christians and the persecution of Palestinians in Iraq.

Western journalists and non-governmental organizations who repeat and give weight to these lies do no honor to the values of their trade, their countries or those Arabs trying to rid their societies of such damage. Perhaps the ultimate source of Arab backwardness lies in the Arab and Muslim leaders' debasement of the minds of their own citizens by diagnosing every problem as caused by the Jews.

Under such circumstances, how can there be a lasting peace until this mindset changes? Thus, the paradigm floated by the U.S. and the Europeans of "two states for two peoples" is not only naive but dangerous: it not only fails to acknowledge that the Arabs will refuse to make peace with a sovereign Jewish state in their midst, but it also refuse to take into account that any Palestinian state established on the West Bank and Gaza will be a subterfuge for the outspoken Palestinian plan for the extermination of Israel -- phased or otherwise.

A 2009 poll showed that 71% of the Palestinians continue to consider it essential that their state consist of all Israel and the territories. More recently, a poll of Palestinian public opinion in the West Bank and Gaza, released by the Arab World for Research and Development in Ramallah, asked: "If Palestinian negotiators delivered a peace settlement that includes a Palestinian state on the West Bank and Gaza, but had to make compromises on key issues (right of return, Jerusalem, borders, settlements) to do so, would you support the result?" 12% responded "Yes," while 85% responded "No." 65% said it was "essential" that any peace agreement include historic Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.

This is what the Arab-Israeli conflict was about in 1948, 1956, 1967 and 1973; this is what theconflict is about today. Are we to believe that U.S., South American and European leaders are ignorant of these facts or willfully blind to them due to their own domestic and foreign agendas? The dispute is, was and always has been about the destruction of Israel as a sovereign Jewish state in the midst of the Islamic world. As such, Israel's return to the 1949 armistice lines (euphemistically referred to as "borders") will not mark the end of this conflict. On the contrary, a Palestinian state established on the West Bank and Gaza will serve as the staging area for even further aggression and destabilization in the region -- as promised in the Palestinian and Hamas Charters; in the Arab media, schools, summer camps, textbooks, and even crossword puzzles [ and].

The reality is that the Arab-Muslim world cannot openly acknowledge even the most basic facts underlying any two-state solution: the existence of a Jewish people; that Jewish temples have historically existed under independent Jewish sovereignty on that land for millenia, and that all Jewish rights to sovereignty -- legal, historical and moral -- are in no way inferior to those of the Palestinians. The establishment of a Palestinian state will not resolve these issues. It will only guarantee future wars




Black in Latin America
Zora Neale Hurston's Lost Decade,  Harlem Renaissance writer


Black in Latin America Henry Louis Gates, Jr., uncovers Latin America's African roots in new four-part series, Black in Latin America, premiered April 19  on PBS
Episode One 
Haiti & the Dominican Republic : An Island Divided
In Haiti , Professor Gates tells the story of the birth of the first-ever black republic, and finds out how the slaves' hard fought liberation over Napoleon Bonaparte's French Empire became a double-edged sword. In the Dominican Republic , Professor Gates explores how race has been socially constructed in a society whose people reflect centuries of inter-marriage, and how the country's troubled history with Haiti informs notions about racial classification.

Episode Two
Cuba: The Next Revolution
In Cuba , Professor Gates finds out how the culture, religion, politics and music of this Island are inextricably linked to the huge amount of slave labor imported to produce its enormously profitable 19th century sugar industry, and how race and racism have fared since Fidel Castro's Communist revolution in 1959. 

Episode Three
Brazil: A Racial Paradise ?
In Brazil , Professor Gates delves behind the façade of Carnival to discover how this 'rainbow nation' is waking up to its legacy as the world's largest slave economy.

Episode Four
Mexico & Peru : The Black Grandma in the Closet
In Mexico and Peru, Professor Gates explores the almost unknown history of the significant numbers of black people-the two countries together received far more slaves than did the United States -brought to these countries as early as the 16th and 17th centuries, and the worlds of culture that their descendants have created in Vera Cruz on the Gulf of Mexico, the Costa Chica region on the Pacific, and in and around Lima, Peru. 

In Black in Latin America, Professor Gates' journey becomes ours as viewers are introduced to the faces and voices of the descendants of the Africans who created these worlds. He shows the similarities and distinctions between these cultures, and how the New World manifestations are rooted in, but distinct from, their African antecedents. A quest he began 12- years ago with Wonders of the African World comes full-circle in Black in Latin America, an effort to discover how Africa and Europe combined to create the vibrant cultures of Latin America, with a rich legacy of thoughtful, articulate subjects whose stories are astonishingly moving and irresistibly compelling.

The companion website for Black in Latin America, launching March 22, will feature video of the entire series, interactive timelines for each of the countries focused on in the films, as well as commentary from the series' executive producer, writer and presenter Henry Louis Gates, Jr. The website ( will offer resources that viewers can use to learn more about the history of race in the featured countries, essays by academics who contributed to the series and an extensive glossary of people, places and terms referenced in the films. 

A Spanish SAP track for Black in Latin America will be available on the broadcast version and on the home video available on Blu-ray and DVD through PBS Home Video beginning June 2011 at, 800-531-4727. 

Black in Latin America is a production of Inkwell Films, Wall to Wall Media Limited and THIRTEEN in association with WNET. Written and presented by Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Executive producers are Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Jonathan Hewes and William R. Grant. Series producer is Ricardo Pollack. Directors are Ricardo Pollack ( Haiti & the Dominican Republic : An Island Divided and Brazil : A Racial Paradise?), Diene Petterle ( Cuba : The Next Revolution) and Ilana Trachtman ( Mexico & Peru : The Black Grandma in the Closet).

Funding for Black in Latin America is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Public Television Stations and Viewers Like You. Additional funding is provided by the Ford Foundation, Richard Gilder and Alphonse Fletcher. 

Sent by Alva Moore Stevenson 

Zora Neale Hurston's Lost Decade The Harlem Renaissance writer's obscure and impoverished final years are being rehabilitated.
By Eve Ottenberg
In These Times
April 8, 2011
For Zora Neale Hurston the 1950s were years in which she struggled to survive. The story of her last 10 years might sound like a gloomy tale, but in Virginia Lynn Moylan's Zora Neale Hurston's Final Decade (University of Florida) this is not at all the case.

True, at age 60, Hurston - the author of the 1937 novel Their Eyes Were Watching God who first made her mark in the Harlem Renaissance in the late 1920s - had to fight "to make ends meet" with the help of public assistance. At one point she worked as a maid on Miami Beach's Rivo Alto Island.
But Hurston was still active and productive during her final years, and did not end up at the extreme of literary catastrophe (exemplified by Edgar Allen Poe, who died an alcoholic in a gutter), though in 1948 she was falsely accused of having molested a 10-year-old boy - a scandal that nearly drove her to suicide at the beginning of this last decade. (Her passport proved she was in Honduras at the time of the alleged crime.)

Though she would have been loath to admit it, Hurston suffered because she was black and a woman - two factors that stood in the way of her being able to publish her work. But despite repeated rejection, she kept writing, especially about her historical research on the Hebrew king Herod.
Since her death, Hurston's reputation has received two major rehabilitations. The first was a 1975 Alice Walker essay in Ms. magazine, "In Search of Zora Neale Hurston," and the second the 2005 TV movie version of Their Eyes Were Watching God, produced by Oprah Winfrey and starring Halle Berry. Now that Hurston's place in the pantheon of American writers is secure, it is unsettling to see her in Zora Neale Hurston's Final Decade, going hat-in-hand to publishers and employers at an age when she should have been enjoying her retirement and resting on her laurels.

Moylan, an educator and independent scholar, observes that universities all over the world had her books in their syllabi, yet none offered her a teaching position. So she became a substitute teacher at a local high school in Florida, wrote freelance articles for newspapers that paid sporadically and moved frequently due to poverty.

Hurston was in some ways a conservative. She fought with Richard Wright and fell out with her old friend Langston Hughes. Both conflicts concerned their leftist politics and sympathy to communism. As Moylan points out, Hurston was a devotee of the meritocratic philosophy of Booker T. Washington.

Hurston wanted her people to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. On the subject of blacks who emulate whites, she wrote in 1934: "Fawn as you will. Spend an eternity standing awe-struck, but until we have placed something upon his street corner that is our own, we are right back where we were when they filed our iron collars off."

Hurston, the anthropologist and folklorist, who studied at Barnard with Franz Boas, Ruth Benedict and Margaret Mead, never lost her focus on the uniqueness of African-American culture. She bucked the conventions of the black literary establishment and had her characters speak in black dialect.

Hurston was also a contrarian politically. She vocally opposed school desegregation and, as Moylan writes, "blamed the NAACP, President Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Brown decision for what she perceived as the `hate-filled, stinking mess' in which southern blacks and whites found themselves."

Yet years earlier, in 1945, Moylan writes that Hurston had criticized American foreign policy for supporting "democracy abroad while `subjugating the dark world completely' through its sanctioning of Jim Crow at home." Hurston must have known very well that Jim Crow had more to do with that "hate-filled, stinking mess" than the NAACP, but in the heat of journalistic combat could not admit that. Instead, she belittled the idea of a court order that would compel someone to associate with her who did not want to. She seems not to have considered the perspective of ordinary mortals, who might in fact need a court order to go to a better school.

Moylan argues that regarding education, Hurston was a black separatist, and devotes pages to defending Hurston's diatribes against Brown v. The Board of Education. Though at first it may seem jarring, this is in fact one of the most nuanced sections of a much- needed book, one that illuminates the last, nearly destitute years of a great writer's life, years previously cloaked in obscurity. These years have been"a period that might appear outwardly unprofitable,"  Hurston wrote in a 1957 letter. "But . I have made phenomenal growth as a creative artist. . I am not materialistic. If I do happen to die without money, somebody will bury me, though I do not wish it to be that way."

And on Jan. 28, 1960, Hurston died in the St. Lucie County Welfare Home.

Eve Ottenberg recently published a novel, Dead in Iraq (Plain View Press, 2008), and has written book reviews in the New York Times Book Review, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker's "In Brief" section, the Baltimore Sun, USA Today, The Nation, The Washington City Paper, The Washington Post and many other newspapers and magazines.


Portside aims to provide material of interest to people on the left that will help them to interpret the world and to change it.
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Mexicans Fill Pews, Even as Church Is Slow to Adapt
Local Latino population soaring, and not just in Reading, PA
The New Deal Puerto Rico by a New York Puerto Rican Vicente Alba
Puerto Ricans in Central Florida's Tourism Hub Are Driving Hispanic Growth




Mexicans Fill Pews, Even as Church Is Slow to Adapt


Two years ago, St. Joseph’s Church in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, seemed to be headed for extinction. Attendance at Sunday Masses had fallen below 100. The 159-year-old parish’s buildings were crumbling and its coffers were empty.

Today, the scaffolding outside bustles with workers. Sundays draw more than 300 worshipers, many of them families with small children. And where the prevailing language heard in the pews was once English, it is now overwhelmingly Spanish, with a Mexican accent.


As the Roman Catholic Church in the United States struggles with an exodus of American-born faithful, its ranks have been replenished by recent Latino immigrants — most of them Mexicans, who have brought an intense faith and a youthful energy. That buoying effect is especially evident in New York City, where the Mexican population has grown more than 25-fold since 1980. In parishes where they have settled, they have flocked to church, replacing worshipers who have died, moved away, defected to evangelical congregations or abandoned religion altogether.

“If we lost all our Mexicans,” said the Rev. Francis Skelly, pastor of Immaculate Conception Church in the Bronx, “we’d be in big trouble.”

Yet while no one expects anything that drastic, some clergy members, parishioners and even bishops say that decades after Mexicans began streaming into New York, the city’s two dioceses still have not done nearly enough to attract and hold on to Mexican Catholics, particularly younger immigrants and their children.

Timothy Matovina, a professor at Notre Dame and a specialist in United States Catholic and Latino theology, said that just as other groups have strayed from the church as they have become more assimilated, Mexicans, too, are leaving the church in growing numbers — though apparently at lower rates than other Latino immigrant groups.

Religious experts familiar with the challenge say that archdioceses in Los Angeles, San Antonio and Chicago have focused more attention on Mexicans, providing comprehensive social services and referrals, and advocating for political causes like immigrants’ rights. Some dioceses have worked to recruit seminarians from among Mexican immigrants.

The Archdiocese of New York made a promising start: In the 1990s, under Cardinal John J. O’Connor, it began developing a strategy to cater to these new arrivals, including bringing priests and nuns from Mexico. But those efforts faded after several years.

“They are still in the process of formulating a more effective way of reaching out,” said Mario J. Paredes, a native of Chile who is the founder and former president of the Northeast Hispanic Catholic Center. This weekend, the archdiocese is collaborating on a conference at Fordham University and Lehman College that will examine the role of Catholicism in the lives of Mexican New Yorkers.

Parishes, meanwhile, are adapting on their own. Many have added Spanish-language Masses and Spanish-speaking clergy. They have redrawn worship schedules, adding Mexican celebrations and Masses at unusual times — like weekday evenings — to accommodate many Mexicans who work long hours.

The transformation of St. Joseph’s is due in no small part to the arrival in 2009 of the Rev. Jorge Ortiz-Garay, a Mexican-born priest whose presence has drawn new parishioners from as far away as Coney Island, an hour’s trip by subway.

But that resurgence happened almost by accident. Father Ortiz-Garay was sent to the faltering parish because it needed a priest, not necessarily a Mexican one. That he has unexpectedly attracted Mexicans from all over the city is partly a testament to their craving for a personal connection to the church, said Msgr. Kieran E. Harrington, the parish administrator and the spokesman for the Brooklyn Diocese.

“That’s what makes it a home for them,” Monsignor Harrington said.

Angela Reyes, who travels an hour each way to the church from her home in Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn, said that while Mexicans might adapt to non-Mexican priests, they felt a deeper connection to a countryman. “It’s very important,” she said. “It’s good for the community.”

Still, Father Ortiz-Garay is the only Mexican-born priest in the 192 Brooklyn and Queens parishes that make up the diocese. The Archdiocese of New York — with 370 parishes in Manhattan, Staten Island, the Bronx and seven upstate counties — has five priests from Mexico.

Recent studies attest to Mexican immigrants’ fidelity to the Catholic Church; of major Latino groups, they are the most likely to call themselves Catholic and the least likely to say they have no religion. A 2008 survey by the Pew Forum on Religious and Public Life found that about 72 percent of Mexican immigrants were Catholic, compared with 51 percent of other Latinos.

Officials of the New York Archdiocese and the Brooklyn Diocese said they did not track their parishioners’ ethnicity. But the change that Mexicans have brought is easily visible in churches where they sit on parish councils, lead prayer groups and observe their own cultural and religious customs.

Chief among those practices is a deep devotion to the Virgin of Guadalupe, the patron saint of Mexico, that has helped to anchor the Mexican population in the Catholic Church. At parishes around the city, Mexicans have won permission to hang Guadalupe paintings, install Guadalupe shrines and celebrate the Virgin every December.

Though it is unclear whether Mexicans have given the church a financial boost — many are barely scraping by — they have contributed in other ways. In churches needing repairs, Mexican parishioners, many of them in construction work, have stepped forward to volunteer their labor.

“They may not be dropping their money in the collection plate every Sunday, but they’re still going to get involved,” said Alyshia Gálvez, an assistant professor at Lehman College whose recent book “Guadalupe in New York” explores Mexican devotion.

Their reception in parishes where they have bumped up against more established groups has not always been brotherly. Some parish councils have tried to block the creation of Guadalupe shrines. Priests have had to remind their congregations that the Catholic Church in New York has always accommodated new immigrants.

For much of the 20th century, Puerto Ricans were the dominant Latino Catholic population in New York. But in the 1990s, as Mexicans started showing up at services, a delegation of three priests working in East Harlem and the South Bronx began meeting regularly with Cardinal O’Connor to discuss the newcomers.

“We would say to him, we lost the Puerto Ricans and we didn’t want this to happen again,” Father Skelly recalled.

The cardinal invited Joel Magallán, a Mexican Jesuit brother, to help devise a plan to assist Mexicans and integrate them into the church. Seminarians were sent to Mexico to study Spanish and Mexican culture; the cardinal invited clergy members from Mexico City to work in the archdiocese. The church also helped Brother Magallán create Asociación Tepeyac, an umbrella group for dozens of Mexican church-based committees that had formed to organize the Guadalupan celebrations.

But Cardinal O’Connor’s task force disbanded after the cardinal’s death in 2000. Tepeyac soon grew apart from the church, shifting its aim from religious concerns to secular issues like education and political advocacy. The network of Guadalupan committees fell apart, and the concern about Mexicans gave way to the larger challenge of attracting and ministering to all Latinos.

Juan Carlos Aguirre, a former staff member at Tepeyac, said that since then he had not seen any comprehensive effort to organize and support Mexicans in the archdiocese. “Nothing has really happened, and the Mexican population continues to grow,” he said.  “They really have a lot of potential to become influential.”

Today, Mr. Aguirre is executive director of Mano a Mano, a Mexican cultural group that is organizing this weekend’s conference, which he hopes will lead to a rebuilding of a support network for Mexican Catholics.

Bishop Josu Iriondo, the archdiocesan vicar for Hispanic affairs, said that so far most of the initiative for reaching out to Mexicans had been left to pastors. “They have to have much more powerful input from the archdiocese,” said the bishop, who was born in Spain.

Mexicans, he added, “are calling to us.”

In the Brooklyn Diocese, Bishop Octavio Cisneros, its Cuban-born vicar for Hispanic concerns, said he was assembling a committee of Mexican representatives from across the diocese “to see if we can recognize the difficulties and give more unification to the Mexicans in the parishes.”

Church leaders say they would like more Mexican priests — though recruiting priests from any background has been a challenge.

One obstacle to recruiting seminarians in the United States, Bishop Iriondo said, is that many Mexicans are here illegally. He said he was exploring the possibility of opening a seminary in the Dominican Republic where illegal immigrants could study for the 10 years the United States requires immigrants to wait before they can apply for re-entry.

The allure of a Mexican priest can be seen close up at St. Joseph’s, which held its first Guadalupan celebration in December. The parish is in a fast-gentrifying neighborhood with a declining Latino population, far from the city’s biggest Mexican enclaves. When Father Ortiz-Garay arrived, there were only about 10 Mexicans in the congregation. Now there are at least 150.

The Rev. Jorge Ortiz-Garay with Brian Martinez, 9, after a Spanish-language Mass at St. Joseph's Church in Brooklyn, which has experienced a resurgence from Mexican immigrants.  Father Ortiz-Garay, 39, cautioned that even a host of new Mexican priests would not be enough to save the Catholic Church.

“It will fill some holes, but the water will still come in,” he warned. Robust evangelization was the key, he said, and then reached for another metaphor: “We need to look for the lost sheep.”


Local Latino population soaring, 
and not just in Reading, PA

By Kate Wilcox | 610-371-5015 or 
Reading Eagle (March 27, 2011)
Between 2000 and 2010, according to the latest census figures, about 31,000 Latinos moved into Berks County, adding to the county's Latino flavor. Vicky Nunez, Miriam Feliciano and Lenin Agudo have something more in common than being new Berks County residents. They are more and more becoming the face of Berks County.

Between 2000 and 2010, according to the latest census figures, these three and 30,998 other Latinos moved into Berks County, adding to the county's Latino flavor.
Berks County had the third-largest increase in Latino population in Pennsylvania, behind Philadelphia and Lehigh counties. The county is now 16.3 percent Latino; in 2000 it was 9.7 percent. Reading had the largest Latino population increase among Berks municipalities.

There are 20,940 more Latinos in Reading since 2000 and Latinos make up 58 percent of the city's population, a 69 percent increase in the past 10 years.

Over the past 10 years, Reading has been adjusting public education and nonprofit services to cater to the growing Latino population, and the high numbers came as no surprise to those who deal with the community.

"Is this surprising?" asked Patricia Giles, senior vice president of Community Impact for the United Way of Berks County. "The answer is no."

The United Way and other nonprofit agencies such as the Daniel Torres Hispanic Center and the Literacy Council of Reading-Berks have responded to the increase in Latino clients. 

Vicky Nunez and her family came to Berks County from Puerto Rico four years ago looking for better, steadier jobs. She found a job at the Hispanic Center in 2009, when the center was increasing staff to handle more clients. Her husband, Miguel A. Roman, is working at BC Natural Chicken in Fredericksburg, Lebanon County. Their 7-year-old daughter, Michelle A. Roman, attends St. Peter School in the city.  "There are so many more doors here for me," Nunez said in Spanish. "I am growing in my career."

The Nunez family lives in Mount Penn, now 14 percent Latino compared with 3.4 percent in 2000.

"This is a continuing trend we've seen for two decades now," Giles said. "We have seen nonprofit agencies respond in kind to make sure that they most importantly have the services that this population is looking for and are able to provide them in a way that's culturally and linguistically relevant."

That includes hiring more bilingual staff members and hosting more English and citizenship classes.

One of Reading's biggest draws for Latinos is the presence of family members. There were plenty of jobs for newcomers prior to the economic downturn of the past few years. Low housing prices were another attraction. That was one draw for Lenin Agudo in 2004, when he came to Reading from New York to purchase and rehab homes. "It was the real estate values," he said, adding that several other Latinos he knew from New York and New Jersey were drawn here by less-expensive property.

With his success, he became director of the Latino Business Resource Center at Kutztown University.
"I think the people here, their quality of life was good, they had jobs, they were letting their family know Reading is a good place to raise a family," said Michael Toledo, executive director of the Hispanic Center. "With the Latin culture, family means everything."

New immigrants to the area mainly are working in the service and agriculture industries and in factories and warehouses, Toledo said."Where, again, mastery of the English language initially wouldn't prevent them from earning a job, it would be a starting point," he said.

The Reading School District has been adding programs to help the growing number of Latino students.
"It's always a challenge," said acting Superintendent Frank J. Vecchio. "This city is going through a rapid metamorphosis." He said the district is encouraging teachers to become proficient in Spanish to better communicate with students and their families.

Miriam Feliciano's two sons, Kris Filippelli, 6, and Luis Burgos, 9, became a part of that Latino influx of students when the family came in 2006 for better health care for Kris' asthma and to be closer to Feliciano's sisters in Reading. "I came here to save my son," Feliciano said. She is unemployed and is the president of Thomas Ford Elementary Parent-Teacher Organization. Her sons attend school at Thomas Ford. 

At Lauer's Park Elementary, which is 78 percent Latino, about 25 percent are in the English Language Acquisition program, or ELA. The administration tries to ensure there is at least one ELA teacher for each grade level. 

Lauer's Park Principal Gordon Hoodak said the biggest challenge with the influx of Spanish-speaking students has been the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment exams. Any student who has been in the country for at least a year must take the exam regardless of the child's English skills.

"The challenges never go away," he said. "But we have become much better at teaching because of it."
While the population increase comes as no surprise, many would like to see more Latinos in leadership roles.

"If you walk out there in downtown Reading and you drive through the city you can tell that the Latino population has grown," said city Councilman Francis G. Acosta. Acosta, the only Latino on council, said his goal is to encourage more Latinos to take part in city government. "Basically I think that the growth is great," he said. "We not only need growth but we need participation."

In Reading there are 51,230 Latinos out of a total of 88,082 residents. In 2000, Latinos made up just 37 percent of the population in Reading.

Unlike Reading, county government has not added many services to cater specifically to Latinos, Commissioner Kevin S. Barnhardt said.

"I just think the overall increase in population causes a gradual increase in court cases and a need for all types of services," he said. 

One thing that has changed is an increased need for bilingual staff members as well as translators in courtrooms. "Specifically in election services we hire bilingual people more," Barnhardt said

Sent by Juan Marinez 


Written by a New York Puerto Rican
Vicente Alba
Let's be perfectly frank with each other.  We're not getting along. Most of the time we live in myopic isolation regardless of how many times we visit each other. You, the islanders, worry about political status, unemployment, corruption and crime.  We, New York Ricans, stateside 'Ricans, struggle against discrimination, poor schools, unemployment, sub-standard housing and going to jail as a result of all the above.  It doesn't matter how many times we visit you, how many times we fly over to see our family members, how many of us retire there or how much money we spend on the island, you still label us and our children "Americanos". You laughingly, sometimes, cruelly, point out that we don't speak Spanish, that we've corrupted your children with our lack of respect for traditional values, our Spanglish, our aggressive characters, our closeness to and identification with Blackness.   
We've noticed that you're professional class has been coming in droves to America, many with their bourgeoise attitutudes on class and race, their inability or unwillingness to deal with Black people and their occupation of top level positions in our cities based on their educational attainment.  In the main, they've done well, but, now, they've got to take a back seat. They're hurting us. 
It has reached a point where the laid back attitudes of the professional islanders, here, in the urban centers of America, have reached critical mass. It's hurting us for it's lack of vision, it's reliance on cultural forms rather than political militancy, it's lack of courage and the very aggressivity you detest on the island.   I'm pretty sure you feel the same way about our loud, brash ways when we're on the island, our willingness to argue and fight at the drop of a hat, and our seeing "los cucos de racismo" whenever, wherever. 
We, here, in the United States, have learned that to win you've got to organize, hit hard and, if possible, hit first.  We don't wait to talk, ad nauseum, about the problem. We've learned to speak on the problem with no regard for feelings or how it's going to sound to the individual or institution. Our validity, we have found out, through over a hundred years of battle on American streets, does not lie in their hands, but, ours. And, as the pioneers of Latino empowerment and pride, especially, east of the Mississippi, we've paved the road for all Spanish speaking peoples coming to American cities, including Mexicans, Dominicans, Central Americans, etc.
We're at a crossroads now. AmeRican children are not identifying with the island as much, and, we, here, are fighting a last ditch battle to keep them from falling into the abyss of white, corporate American values or the opposite, the lack of purpose or committment to family and community associated with a permanent, marginalized underclass.
It would be wonderful if we could do this together. But, we see ourselves as distant cousins, friendly, but, hardly close or intimate.  And it's time, we let you, on the island, know that.  
Over forty years ago, we loved you so much, we thought, mistakenly, that we needed to fly to your rescue and wrest freedom and independence  from the claws of American imperialism. The Young Lords Party "invaded Puerto Rico" like Fidel did Cuba, to start armed struggle, to win or die trying. Some of you laughed, some of you thought us insane, others were enraged at our patronizing, condescending, ill-directed behavior. Over 40 years ago, some of you, from FUPI, Movimiento Pro Independencia and PSP came to New York, speaking Spanish elegantly, oratorically, giving us long discourses on ideology and the need for forums on everything.  
You, on the island, rejected us, though, we learned some patience and understanding of the nobility of our people.  We, here in the States, New York City, particularly, told you to shut up, stop talking theory, and kick some ass, put your body where your mouth was.  Some left, others learned a new form of militancy and respect for these so called uneducated, New York Puerto Rican callejeros with their fuzzy Afro's and combat boots. 
Now, as we age, some better than others, it is time to be as honest as we can with each other.  We can go our separate ways, quietly, without telling the world we don't kiss and make love anymore or we can hold hands and realize we are a couple, a family, and, before we ;pass, we need to bring our children together and tell them the story of how much we've gone through, how passionate our love was and, how we really miss each other. No one needs anybody. We come into this world alone,  We die alone. 
 I think Puerto Ricans are different.  My feelings are that from an island 100 miles long by 35 miles wide, we know each other's business too well.. It's almost incestuous.  To this day, in New York, if you give me your last name and your hometown, I can find everything out about you and that mistress your granddaddy had and the kids she had. And most of you, on the island, have your hearts torn in half because so many of those you love, are here, in El Barrio, in the Bronx, in Hartford or Bridgeport, Philly or Chicago. Whether you love me or simply tolerate me, whether I think you are a coconut (brown on the outside, white on the inside) or not, we have children and grandchildren who need our stories,our songs, our loves, our losses, our failures, our triumphs. 
Let's stop the bullshit and let's start speaking frankly with each other. We either go it alone or bring ourselves together with mutual respect and appreciation for all we've done to stay alive, here and there. 
We need institutional vehicles to help us cross the ocean of misunderstanding.  I propose a Puerto Rican Fresh Air Fund that plucks kids from the streets of New York, every summer, and plants them in the campos of the island, on farms with families who still love the land.  By the same token, I propose we take kids from the barrios and poor communities of Puerto Rico and fly them to the United States with families who are politically, culturally and spiritually active in their communities.  Let's build a bridge for our children and their children. 
I propose a Puerto Rican Bond Drive that we all invest in to build institutions on the island and in America that we can all benefit from: museums on the Diaspora and all that Puerto Ricans have endured and accomplished,  African Puerto Rican museums with help from Black Americans and Africans themselves that show our origins in the Congo and Guinea,  libraries with extensive volumes on the Tainos and their evolution from the center of South America to the Caribbean, Spanish cultural centers that tell the brutal truth about the conquest and the ensuing genocide, about how closely related we are to Islam and the 750 years of peace and harmony in Spain before Columbus.  And, we must not forget the beauty of Spain and its people and its contribution to the Americas.  
I propose a real "Somos Uno" conference every year, without politicians, that initiates projects that AmeRicans and islanders can work on together. We can teach English and history, you can teach Spanish and culture. 
And I propose building welcome groups that help Stateside Ricans adjust easier to Puerto Rico and help island Ricans adjust to the urban madness and impersonality of these United States. 
We may think we have time to leisurely sit down and discuss these matters in the coffehouses and restaurants of Puerto Rico and America.  We don't.  Time waits for no one.  Vamos a hablar ahora.   Vamos a hablar en secreto,  Tu y yo, na'ma, 'Pana.  Ahora y para siempre.  Bendicion.

Vicente "Panama' Alba
Tel # 917 626 5847

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Puerto Ricans in Central Florida's Tourism Hub Are Driving Hispanic Growth, By Simone Baribeau
Bloomberg  March 18, 2011

Roberto Torres-Aguiar moved to central Florida to practice cardiology after payments for his patients in Puerto Rico, where unemployment hovers around 16 percent, became increasingly delinquent. 
"It was becoming a nightmare to practice medicine in Puerto Rico," said Torres-Aguiar, 56, who now lives in Orlando, about 230 miles (370 kilometers) north of Miami

 Puerto Ricans like Torres-Aguiar, free to move because they're U.S. citizens, have displaced Cubans driving Florida's Hispanic growth, especially in the state's center. They make up almost half the Hispanic population of three counties surrounding Orlando: Orange, Polk and Osceola, according to the 2009 American Community Survey of the U.S. Census Bureau.


Florida has the second-largest number of Puerto Ricans after New York, propelled by a decade of economic stagnation at home and recruiting by state employers such as Walt Disney Co. (DIS), whose Magic Kingdom near Orlando is the world's most-visited amusement park.


"In New York, they're called 'Nuyo-Ricans,'" said Emilio Perez, chairman of the Central Florida Redistricting Council Inc. in Orlando, newly formed to seek increased Hispanic political representation. "Here, we're Mickey-Ricans," he said, referring to Disney's most famous character, Mickey Mouse.


Hispanics in the three central counties more than doubled in the decade to 536,922, or about 26.6 percent of the 2,016,736 total population, 2010 Census data released yesterday show. That outpaced the 25.7 percent Hispanic growth to 1,623,859 in Miami-Dade County to the south, which attracted Cubans since Fidel Castro came to power in 1959.


Statewide Growth


Florida Puerto Ricans, moving from the island and other mainland enclaves, grew 50.7 percent statewide from 2000 to 2009 to 726,637, or 4.5 percent of the total, the census community data show, while Cubans rose 30.7 percent to 1,088,747, or 5.9 percent.

The tourism industry encouraged the growth with employment incentives in Puerto Rico, where both English and Spanish are official languages. Disney offered free airfare and as much as $1,500 for relocation, the Orlando Sentinel reported in 1999. Andrea Finger, a Disney spokeswoman, wouldn't provide details.


Job offers also came from the Orange County Public Schools, which in 2006 hired 60 teachers in Puerto Rico, said Shari Bobinski, a spokeswoman. The state attracted health-care workers with a 2002 law allowing experienced Puerto Rican nurses to skip the U.S. licensing exam.


Easy Sell


It was an easy sell: Puerto Rico's unemployment rate averaged 6 percentage points above the U.S. national average in the last decade, a period when its economy didn't grow. The commonwealth, a self-governing U.S. territory, shed 2.2 percent of its population in the 10 years. Michigan, the only state to lose people in the period, shrunk less, at 0.6 percent, according to the census.


To serve central Florida, Puerto Rico-based businesses including Popular Inc. (BPOP)'s Banco Popular, Ana G. Mendez University and insurance company Cooperative de Seguros Multiples de Puerto Rico opened around Orlando. El Nuevo Dia, Puerto Rico's largest newspaper, published a local edition from 2003 to 2008.


"It feels good to be out of your country and at the same time be able to provide services to people from your country, "said Torres-Aguiar, the cardiologist.


He moved from Caguas, 20 miles south of San Juan, to Miami in 2009. After becoming licensed to practice in the state, he moved to central Florida in June with his wife and their son. While his pay has been "basically the same" as in Puerto Rico, he has the potential to earn more in Florida, Torres-Aguiar said.


17.6 Percent Growth


Florida's 17.6 percent population growth from 2000 to 2010 to 18,801,310 was almost twice the national rate of 9.7 percent. Hispanic residents grew 57.4 percent to 4,223,806, or 22.5 percent of the total from 16.8 percent, the U.S. Census Bureau said yesterday.


Non-Hispanic whites rose 4.1 percent to 10,884,722, or 57.9 percent of the total, down from 65.4 percent as other groups grew faster since 2000. Non-Hispanic blacks rose 25.9 percent to 2,851,100, or 15.2 percent from 14.2 percent, and non-Hispanic Asians grew 70.1 percent to 445,216, accounting for 2.4 percent of the population from 1.6 percent a decade ago, the census data show.


The Puerto Rican gains helped recast the Hispanic voter profile to predominantly Democratic from Cuban-dominated Republican, said Mark Hugo Lopez, associate director of the Washington-based Pew Hispanic Center.


The number of Florida Hispanics registered as Democrats exceeded the number designated as Republicans in 2008, a reverse from 2006, according to the Florida Secretary of State's office.


Only 12 of the 160 state House and Senate seats are held by Latinos, nine of whom are of Cuban descent. Only one, Darren Soto, a Democrat from Orlando, is Puerto Rican.